Recollections, reviews, discoveries, and future plans.

Build Your Legacy

Add to your legacy everyday by setting and accomplishing your goals.  We're all writing our own autobiographies whether it be on paper or through conversations and activities.  The question is . . . will your tale be exciting or mundane when it's told?

Thank you Gage Golightly for the notebook, it accompanies me on all my travels.

When You Start to Enjoy Being Alone, These 10 Things Will Happen

1. You’ll get to recharge.

Often times when we’re surrounded by other people, we’re expending a lot of energy. Trying to keep others happy, make them laugh, soothe their egos, read their emotions, and all of the other rigors that come along with regular interaction.

It can be mentally draining if you’re constantly connected to other people. A little alone time lets you recharge and take a break from the emotionally and mentally taxing job of constant interaction.

2. You’ll reflect more often.

Your life is always moving at a crazy fast pace. So fast in fact, that it’s probably rare when you have a moment alone to sit and reflect on your life.

Being alone gives you the perfect opportunity for a little self reflection. Since you aren’t spending so much time processing the thoughts and feelings of others, it’s the best time to turn your focus inwards.

Solitude provides the perfect environment for reflection.

3. You’ll get in touch with your own emotions.

Again, when you’re surrounded by other people all the time, you’re constantly trying to read, and cater to, the other persons’s emotions. So much so, that you could end up losing touch with your own.

When you start to enjoy being alone, you’ll gain a greater perspective for your own emotions. You’ll create a deeper understanding of what makes you happy, what upsets you, and what saddens you.

With that knowledge, it’s then easier to regulate your emotions. But it all starts with understanding how you feel, and that comes from a little bit of solitude.

4. You’ll start doing things you actually enjoy.

When you’re constantly in the company of other people, you’re always making compromises in order to find solutions that the entire group can enjoy. And unfortunately, the things you want most, may not always line up with what the group wants.

So it’s easy to enjoy being alone once you realize that doing so gives you more freedom to do the things you actually want to do.

5. You’ll become more productive.

Being in the company of other people can be fun and entertaining, but it can also seriously affect your productivity. There are times when the company of other people acts as nothing more than a distraction from getting your work done.

Time spent alone can be some of the most productive time in your life—mostly because there are less distractions, and you can just put your head down and get to work.

6. You’ll enjoy your relationships even more.

When you spend time alone on a regular basis, and eventually start to enjoy being alone, you’ll come to find that you also enjoy your relationships with other people even more.

And that’s because the time spent alone gives you a greater appreciation for yourself.

But it also let’s you appreciate all the great things that come from your relationships with other people, most of which you were oblivious to before.

7. You’ll feel more independent.

Once you enjoy being alone, you’ll feel more confident in your ability to actually be alone. And that naturally leads to you feeling more independent.

You’ll no longer feel that anxiety, or burning desire for company, once you learn to enjoy being alone. You won’t feel the need for constant interaction with other people, or the anxiety associated with looking around and seeing no one but yourself.

8. You’ll get a break from constantly trying to keep other people happy.

Life is filled with relationships, and most relationships only last when both people are kept happy. And that can turn into a draining job depending who that relationship is with. Now, this does’t only apply to personal relationships, but every kind of relationship.

Once you’re alone, the only person’s happiness you have to worry about in that moment, is your own. You can treat yourself to thing that makes you happy, but may have upset someone else.

9. You won’t have to apologize for anything.

When you start to enjoy being alone, you’ll quickly see that solitude means you don’t have to keep apologizing for what you’ve done. So often, we do things that end up upsetting other people, or hurting someone else’s feelings, and then have to quickly apologize for it.

But when you’re alone, you don’t have to apologize for anything. And that takes a lot of pressure out of most situations. You get to stop second guessing everything you say, or every move you make because you’re afraid someone is going to be offended, or saddened, and angered.

10. You’ll stop looking for validation.

So often we feel we the need to get the “OK” from our friends and family before we take action. We constantly look to other people for advice on what we should do next.

Of course, there are times where it’s not only perfectly acceptable to ask for advice, but downright necessary. But there are also times where we’re perfectly capable of acting on our own, be we instead of looking to others for an answer.

When you start to spend more time alone, you’ll learn to trust your instincts and make decisions without any third party validation.


TECH TIP: Getting the Shot with Corey Rich: Using Graduated Neutral Density Filters Life is all about balance. And the same can be said for photography, especially when it comes to exposing for the highlights and the shadows. In this episode of Getting the Shot, photographer and director Corey Rich discusses an image he captured of two mountain climbers approaching the iconic mountain Cerro Torre, located in the southern part of Argentine Patagonia.

A Life Well Lived

This is a short documentary that I first saw last year and happened to stumble upon it again a few minutes ago.

Fifty years ago, Jim Whittaker became the first American to summit Mt. Everest.

Directed by Eric Becker. This film was made possible by support from Seattle University. Archival footage courtesy Eddie Bauer and The Whittaker Family.

Heroes Project

The Heroes Project Feature Documentary, directed by Academy Award winner Freida Mock, is an inspiring story about strength, resilience, the human spirit and the ability to triumph over the impossible. It weaves together the story of seven men, all single or double amputees, who served their country with honor.  Faced with catastrophic injuries these ordinary young men attempt the extraordinary – to climb the highest mountains of every continent in the world. 

The Heroes:

Isaac, a double amputee from Michigan, who goes down under to Australia to tackle Mt. Kosciuszco in the middle of a severe winter storm.

Brad, a double amputee from Phoenix, who just 8 months after his injuries climbs Mt. Aconcagua in South America, the 6th tallest of the 7 Summits.

Kionte, a single amputee from Stockton, CA who climbs the highest peak in frigid Antarctica.

Mark, a double amputee from Michigan, climbs Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa.

Matt, a single amputee from the flats of N. Carolina, climbs the highest mountain in North America, Mt. Denali.

Keith, an above the knee amputee from Colorado who climbs Mt. Elbrus in Russia, the highest mountain in all of Europe.

And Charlie, a single amputee from Boise, ID who sets his sights on the top of the world, Mt. Everest. 

For these seven, facing a challenge that demands something deeply human in themselves, what motivates and inspires them on this heroic journey of recovery?

I think this project is worth getting behind and I'm pretty shocked and disappointed that it hasn't reached or surpassed its fundraising goal yet. The guys involved with this project are all real American Heroes that made huge sacrifices beyond what most of us can comprehend.  They fought the good fight during the war and are bringing that fight home to take on each of their individual challenges head on.  Tim Medvetz is a former Hell's Angel and founder of the Heroes Project, he seems like a pretty solid guy and he's really doing a great thing by honoring and helping all the troops that were wounded during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Unfortunately our nation has a short attention span and we tend to quickly forget all of those that put their lives on the line for our country, which is why I respect guys like Tim that make sure we don't forget.  Regardless of your political beliefs or your opinion of the wars, you can't deny that this is a worthy cause.  It should be viewed as something inspiring, because that's exactly what it is.  Each of these guys has overcome serious injuries and gone way beyond the typical recovery, they've conquered their challenges by climbing the highest peaks on each of the 7 continents.  Most healthy individuals with all 4 functioning limbs can't even do that.

We all go through struggles in life, most of them petty and occasionally some that are serious, but we should look at guys like my friend Mark Zambon and realize that those problems shouldn't stop us from living our lives and challenging ourselves everyday.  Mark is the retired Marine that climbed Kilimanjaro after losing both of his legs in Afghanistan AND he's now training for the 2016 Paralympics!  He's a truly inspirational individual and one of the most upbeat people I know.  I did an ocean swim with him one night awhile back and it was a challenge for me to keep up with him.  It's hearing stories like his and those of the other guys featured in the documentary that helped me get through my injuries and recovery process after a terrible car accident a few years ago.  I broke a bunch of bones and partially tore both of my carotid arteries.  The bones have since healed, but after 4 and half years the arteries still haven't.  The injuries were pretty serious, but there wasn't a single moment when I felt down about my situation because I knew it wasn't anything compared to what others have been through.  I realized if guys like the ones involved with this project can climb that tallest peaks in the world, I should have no right to complain or even take a moment to dwell.

If you have a moment, I'd really appreciate it if you would take the time to watch their Kickstarter video, donate something if you can, and please help spread the word because there are only a few days left of the campaign and if they don't reach their funding goal they won't get any of the money.

Trailer for Heroes Project / Seven Summits