What are the five things you want to see, experience or achieve before you die? Do you have a Purpose For Existence that helps to guide each and every one of your decisions? If no, then why not?
The more we speak about new work, the more we hear about purpose and the importance of goals and designing, creating and achieving purpose-filled work. But few of us take the time to think about how we actually intend to get there. Enter John Streleky and his international best-selling book, ‘The Big Five for Life’ and ‘The Why Cafe.’
We (and by we, I mean myself and Zisa who was kind enough to do a podcast takeover this time) had the pleasure of interviewing John in his hotel room during his stay here in Hamburg. So of course, we had to make sure to record the entire meeting as well!
John, who grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois had big dreams of becoming a pilot. A dream that quickly came to an end at the age of 21 (after investing everything he had) due to failing the required medical exams. Why a pilot? Quite simply because he believed in freedom. And at that time, that’s what freedom meant to him.
Nowadays freedom means something different to him. He is convinced that we all have the freedom to make our lives that which we want most. That this freedom stems out of living a life of purpose and being true to ones inner most desires goals. In ‘The Big five for Life’ he uses the idea of a museum as a metaphor for our lives.
Picture this: you reach the end of your life and a museum is erected to show your life, exactly the way you lived it. It would have images and videoclips depicting the different milestones you reached, the goals you set yourself; it would state whether you reached them or not and how you went about it, or whether they were never anything more than good intentions. It would show how you treated the people around you and the attitude with which you approached different types of situations. There might be snippets from different conversations you’ve had with different people throughout your life, or biographies written from the people who knew you best. What would your museum look like? Would it be a museum you would want to wander through?
With this simple metaphor, John challenges us to reflect on our lives thus far, what we want most and calls on us to work a little bit every day to make our life museum worth the visit.
So begin by asking yourself: is today going to be a good museum day?
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I am one of the crew members and founder at Blackboat. A digital consultancy specialized in New Work and Cloud Collaboration. In this role I am also quite frequently on stage as a keynote speaker ( But my true passion is filmmaking. You will see a lot about this topic this year. We are currently building something new!
okay has it become some podcast on the way to new work and surprise surprise it's not cursed off and it's not my code but Caesar we have such special guests today and it's John it's true like please thank you for the invitation to be here you were the author of it's an English it's called the why caffeine I think right a minute of 8 yeah yeah cafe at the edge of the world yeah and and the other the big five for life which made a big change to my life I have to admit so which I read last week fantastic thank you so it feels it feels interesting to sit here and finally you have a person who need someone who wrote that the guy behind the pages there yeah yeah thank you so much so um the usual start we do is the question how do you became the person who you are today forty-nine years of a work in progress let me yeah yeah from how far back I mean YouTube wherever I want to go you know I think every life has significant defining moments probably one of the most defining for me was when I was graduating from a university degree so I had wanted to be a pilot that was my dream coming out of high school University or excuse me high school going into University and then there were a series of unusual medical circumstances I ended up having to lose that dream I've tried invested countless time in countless money in that dream basically every penny I had ever earned and then it was gone and so I didn't know what to do for a year was a very challenging year but I ended up going and someone recommended why don't you go back to school and I was like seriously okay that was not sounding so good but I did and I ended up getting an MBA and then heading off into the work world for that but before I began my work part of that I took a month off and went down to Costa Rica and with a buddy of mine and that was the first time I'd ever traveled overseas and my life leading up to that point was non-stop you know I was trying to make it as a professional athlete I was going to school at night I was working full-time and so literally every moment of my day it was scheduled and this experience of going and backpacking around Central American country where people are so chill right and the experience in das cafe talking about Mike sitting on the beach in Costa Rica watching the waves come upon the shoreline and realizing that that had been going on for millions if not billions of years and therefore Wow so how important are my little problems right that was actually the experience that I had and that I was 28 years old at the time and that was the very first time ever that I asked myself so if all the things I thought were so important really aren't then what is and in that context why am I here like what am I supposed to be doing with my life so that was really I think the first main tipping point the main catalyst which has led to sitting down today write all the books and all the rest of that yeah oh yeah and the amazing thing is I remember I came back from that trip and it was so life-changing in so many ways and I came back and I was at the airport waiting to get picked up and I had a journal with me and I I wrote in my journal never forget that this exists you know down there these experiences etc and I wish I could tell you that from there on it was just like always in flow but for the next five years I promptly forgot it existed and fell right back into the rat race but you know it was a turning point in my life without a doubt and it was interesting because sometimes you have these little seeds of experiences and then it grows into something else so it was five years later that I decided I need to leave it all behind and that's when I went off and backpacked around the world for a year but had I have not done that first trip there's no way I would have done the second big trip so sometimes we start with the small little sample but that's what gives us the taste of what is yet to come okay I was wondering when I read the book last week and I was reading about you and I heard another podcast and if we think about new work there must be something like old words yeah great and what is your what was the environment you grew up in concerning work what did your parents do yeah did they like work did you think oh great I'm gonna be like them and you know all the things that come up with this yeah so my dad was a small-town dentist and so had a very small little office that we lived outside of a city but we were far enough outside of the city that it like there were farms between our house and you know the next area that you would get to so it's quite small and had an office with no windows his dream was always in his life to have an office of the window and he never did yeah and but so that was interesting and you know you got to see that part of someone else's life I remember visiting him as a kid and you know there it was it was just no windows there's nothing to see unless you went outside of the office right but what I did learn from him was about being an entrepreneur because when I had a baseball game or there was something going on that he wanted to attend he was able to arrange his life in his schedule and I think even as a kid I realized okay that's kind of cool you know like you're not locked in to the standard 9:00 to 5:00 or 9:00 to 6:00 and so I guess on an unconscious level that resonated with me I personally started working when I was about 12 I realized very early on that if I wanted to go to university if I wanted to go do some of these things that were on the horizon for me that I was going to need more money than what was going to be available within the family all right and I think as a kid also you see the way that money impacts people's emotional states right and I didn't want to be a part of the problem yeah so for whatever reason I realized very early on I needed to get out there and start earning money and where I live you you can't just go get a regular job at 12 you know so but I ended up doing physical labor jobs because they'll hire you to do that kind of stuff and I'm not a huge guy to begin with so when I was 12 was even smaller but but I learned something very powerful not that I would necessarily recommend it for my own kid but you learn to have a great work ethic and you learn to work hard and I think one of the things that has enabled me to be where I am in my life is being willing to work hard when the time requires you to work hard you know when I write books it's flow it's really effortless ease to sit down and type but when that's done the editing process is very intensive and I will go through a book 50 times write conservatively 50 times and I will go through every line every sentence every word until I'm happy with it and that work ethic that I learned when I was 12 years old is what enables me to do that and sometimes people will say John what you read my manuscript or my my where I'm at with my book and I tell them alright but I'm gonna give you brutally honest feedback right and most of the time I will tell you they're on the scale of a B C D and F they're in the middle of the B range you know and I say okay so it's not bad alright but once it's out there you can't take it back and the first person who reads it that's going to be their impression of this so are you willing to put in that extra work to take it to an a because that's what's gonna make it great you know and I think it's a great life lesson that I learned very early on so I'm not unhappy that I did it but yeah it was a tough go I'm just like in my mind I'm just going through all writing process and I think oh we thought we had such a good book in two weeks yeah and sometimes sometimes you need to step back from your work you know so with editing I'll go through it and through it and through it but then sometimes I just need to put it on a shelf for two weeks so that I sort of forget what it looks like because you think you're there and emotionally you want it to be there because you're tired of it you're tired of the editing process you're tired of the digging in and grinding it out process and I liken this to be an athlete you know my goal as I mentioned earlier was to be a professional athlete I wanted to be a professional beach volleyball player and playing games is fun right the matches are fun but running up and down 20 flights of stairs during the wintertime to get yourself in shape is not fun but that is what gets you to the point where then you can go do the fun stuff and like when going back to your dad and your parents liked learning about work ethic and also from the work you did for yourself when considering the money how did you see the like how did it evolve like people talking and thinking about old work like doing the work and write a new work which is not also fun all the time obviously but how did that change over time and you like you shaped that with your books obviously but yeah you know I had a very profound experience when I was about 21 so around that time is when this dream of being my dream was to become a pilot and it's interesting how life takes you in different directions I really only had the dream because what I really wanted to do was to be free I wanted the ability to chart my own course and to have a lot of time off and I wanted to go see the world right but the only pathway that I knew of at that point to do that was and going back even further when I was 17 I knew that airline pilots could arrange their schedules that they would fly for four days on and have three days off and if you structured it the right way you'd do for days on three days off three days off and then four days on so you could have an entire week off and then you had free airline tickets to go wherever you want and I was like this sounds like Nirvana right and it's so fascinating about how your understanding is such a limitation to what you think is possible because now I realize there are a thousand ways to be free there are a thousand ways to go travel the world right but that was all I knew and so that was the great big dream and then when that got pulled away from me there were no fault of my own because I'm a medical condition I was like again about 21 years old I graduated college early and I was driving this very old beat-up car and I was trying to figure out what am I going to do now right and so I was driving down the highway in Chicago in January or February it was freezing cold right now I was going to my job as a waiter which is a horrible job but this was me trying to figure out what the heck am I going to do now that my dream has been stripped away from me let's drive I'll never forget those driving down this this highway i-80 outside of Chicago and all of a sudden I see smoke coming out from the hood of my car all right well this can't be good so I pull over on the side of the highway and cars are just whizzing by me you know like doing just flying by me and it's it's January February zhing it's way below zero scary yeah and so I jump out of the car I popped the latch for the hood and I go there and I lift it up and there's smoke just billowing out of the hood and I'm like oh my god my car is on fire and and so I'm like my cars on fire and so I'm trying to think of how am I gonna put out the smoke right and so in my frenzied state I run around to the trunk I open up the trunk and I'm looking for water and I grabbed the first liquid that I find and I unscrew the cap and I run around the fronton they dump it on the engine but what I had grabbed it was antifreeze which I was primarily alcohol this is not a good thing to put on a hot engine block that is smoking and so within seconds I went from a smoking engine block to an inferno of flames right so now it's just like in all the cars that are flying by me are honking as if to let me know that my car is on fire like I would have missed that so standing right there and so now I'm like oh my god how do I put this out right and I somehow remembered that a kitchen fire like you have to get like flour or you know something like that in like jerks I need dirt right and I am on my knees scrambling to find dirt on the side of the road in February when it's a frozen tundra right and I'm grabbing anything I get handed rocks dirt whatever and I'm throwing it on the engine block and after about five or six times finally the flames go out and I'm standing there and I just I will never forget this and I thought to myself something is going to change in my life not that I hope something changes are always be nice if something changes but something is going to change I have got to figure this out this is more more than a sign yeah yeah exactly yeah this is the universe saying to you okay here's the 2×4 across your attic you've got to figure this out dude I would say find you a fire yeah okay and what I what I needed to figure out looking back now so many years so I needed to figure out is the way the game of life worked right and that was the opportunity that was sitting in front of me and that really launched me I can't say that I figured it out like that but that really launched me on this quest to figure it out I started reading different books I started asking different questions and I have to say at that point I wasn't the most self secure person you know I think I struggled to ask questions how is it in that age I guess I guess but that kind of experience propels you to overcome your fears and start asking the questions or at least to look into other scenarios that you may have felt uncomfortable with so yeah crazy Chevy Malibu tan Chevy Malibu I'll never forget the car on fire yeah the amazing thing about that story to further show you how how low I was in my life so I'm standing there on the side of the highway right the car the engine block has now been on fire but I have no way to get from there to my job which is a mile and a half further down the road and so I literally it's like well let's see if it'll start and I got in the car I turned it on it started and I drove a mile and a half down to the job oh yeah but yeah even without being on fire I'm a image and there are so many people like in a situation like like heading to a job saying that's my routine I got it yeah that and then you know being stuck and do that yeah matter what it takes driving fast getting crazy Monday morning just because you're on the way to work and you have to be there on time it's pretty crazy it is yeah and who was your biggest help I think for me at that time it ended up being people who had written books to be honest with you I can't say that there was one person who I looked at their lifestyle although I highly recommend that and the work that I do one of my favorite techniques that we teach is it's not about how do you go from where you are to where you want to go it's who who is already there right and learn everything you can about that person we live in an unprecedented era where you can get on YouTube and watch you can listen to podcasts you can read books you can find out biographical stories so the information is out there the paths are out there the question is simply are you willing to look and figure out who is your ultimate who's living the life you want to live who has the dream job who has the lifestyle and then are you willing to do the tough nuts and bolts work like we talked about of digging it mm-hmm find out everything you can about this person and then the courage to start modifying your life to move in those types of directions but if you do it that way instead of saying well how do I get from here to here mm-hmm like if you find your whose and just start imitating you rapidly accelerate your path but I think for me back then and again this is way before YouTube and waiting for podcasts it was a few books that started to clue me into like there may be alternatives to the way you're thinking and the way you're doing this you can lose yourself in doing that like I'm pretty sure there are many people currently watching youtube videos on fixing in my life and that stuff so you can watch things in your life instead of doing that yeah be careful you don't become back in the day it was more seminar based now it is be careful you don't become a seminar junkie right every single month you're at the next one because that's because you love the way it feels right but then if you never do the work it's never gonna change because I have to say I like to books and that had a big influence where your big fight for life definitely I read that then I put it aside for years yeah um the second one was flow from I hope I get it right Makai she checked me high which I highly recommend because people tend to think I just do something that is fun and nice that's good yeah but you miss out this challenge part to get flow what you were describing like okay digging into that doing that stuff knowing how hard it is to read a book 50 times again and again yeah and then a friend of mine came we have an entrepreneurship group where we meet once a month and he said during our we do the big five for life and I'm like hi I read that already but then we worked through it yeah like we did the whole process and I realized I actually tricked myself in setting them right okay like with the wrong priorities yeah and with wrong top-12 and so on and I also realized that different people have like a completely different horizon on what's the big five one one can say my top one is let's say having having windows in my in my office like you're like your dad yeah or like having it something you can really feel touch smell and I realized it's much more about what I do the process so I realized I couldn't live and breathe without a creative process and I don't do it for the result but for sitting here Monday morning recording the podcast knowing afterwards what's the work behind edit that and so on so what I'm what I'm aiming at is the question like what is this how let's say how how stress do you have to be when you look in your life and say okay I got to change something instead of just reading a book I started doing that I started going like what's this spark that you need so everybody's different first of all and the big five for life just for super fast context for someone who maybe hasn't read the book it's the five things that you most want to do see or experience in your life time before you die framed in that context it is the five most important things that will enable your life to be the life that you truly want it to be right and then it's about allocating your time and your energy and your resources financial and otherwise towards these five things whatever they are for you and your right everybody's big five for life are different and that's a critical point because it's not about you and I telling each other well here's what you should be doing right it's about you deciding for yourself this is what's truly important to me this is what would make my life my life right so then once everybody knows they're unique Big Five for life then it is this process of okay let's let's get started now there's I find in life that there are sort of one of two things that kick people into gear one is a near-death experience so they're working the job that is causing them so much stress that they suddenly start to have heart palpitations and end up in the ER at the hospital in the doctor says listen if something doesn't change something big is going to change right you're not going to be able to do this and this happens to people right and it happens because of cumulative effect their diet their lack of exercise their lack of feeling good in the morning all of a sudden starts to the body says we're done right the problem with having a near-death experience is that sometimes you get so close to death that you don't come back right this is a big problem or your quality of life is diminished significantly you may have a lifetime ongoing injury or illness because you got so you push yourself so far to this edge so what I much prefer is instead of having a near-death experience is to have what I call in your life experience right and this is where you get to sample the things that you feel are your big five for life and start to taste this life because when you have the taste of it this can propel you just as effectively towards making this your reality right a very small example of this so if you say yeah what I'd really love to do is I would love to go travel right and in my dream scenario I go to Hawaii and I spent a month on the beaches swimming with sea turtles right well fantastic instead of waiting in saving and trying to structure your whole life until you finally have the freedom to take 31 days take a week right and I know that sounds so simple but sometimes we get so caught up in the no it's got to be 31 days that we forget it's possible to sample or even better on a smaller scale hey you know what allow yourself to watch a youtube video about what it's like to snorkel or swim with a sea turtle alright and let the unconscious mind start to experience that on a small scale have a conversation with someone who's already been to Hawaii right these small things can start to become the catalyst which at least gets you to Hawaii for the week and then you've got a really good taste of an your life experience and you can say wow I can totally see myself doing that right and you can apply this technique to anything you know whether it's I want to have more freedom in my job okay well so find a way to sample that where maybe it's you negotiate with your boss that one Friday over the next six months you're gonna work from home right I mean you can find an infinite way of opportunities to sample these things but when you have these new your life experiences in conversations with your who's is a great one right so talk just like someone who have says wow I'd really like to have more flexibility more freedom they should have a conversation with the two of you and say well what is that like tell me the good the bad and the ugly right mm-hm what makes it spectacular what's less exciting than you thought it was going to be and what's tough about this right so that you're closer to the reality and you can start to make these educated choices and you can get your body moving in that direction what I like about that is it comes close to what footy of pac-man said but he's the inventor of this term your work in their 70s he's a philosopher at the University of Michigan great guy 80s you're years old and he came up with that term during times when the car workers were let down from the jobs and he tried when they had a crisis yeah and he was asking the one of the questions he was asking them saying instead of like do something else would go home okay let's take six months versus six months work for six months off fifty-fifty and we asked the question what do you really really want to do in your life yeah it's like what do you really really want to do in your life and he find out that they were struggling with that question because they were never asking that question sure knew they were caught up in that work and it's a really challenging question and I can relate to that because when we did that seminar we had people in the group who were really struggling because for them it was too philosophical too like no I cannot do that and then we were watching moving one movie in the evening it's called the fastest the word fast is Indian yeah Dennis Hopper is Dennis Hopper but I know it's not Dennis Hopper it's a I can't hear the actors name but yes Anthony Hopkins anything handy no thanks sorry yeah okay and he is fantastic in that way this movie this one he is so good is so good he has just one goal being the fastest guy on a motorbike ever he's from New Zealand he had to drive to the states and he's 60 some years old this is something this movie is so good and there are so many examples in that movie like one is he had this lemon tree in the garden and one of the things he was doing every morning he was taking taking UB every morning in front of that lemon tree and that one guy in our group said you know what I want to have my own garden I want to have a lemon tree and I do that every morning just because of it and I'm like okay this example makes it so black and white instead of saying I'm home I live here in town I have neighbors and so on being nice and I love that inspiration that you can find out there but I'm so afraid these days that we have so much inspiration that it's easy to as I said like got caught up in that right being inspired all the time there is always the unioning of everything right there's the positive and negative so the access to technology today enables us to find out who's at a pace and a depth of understanding like we've never been able to in human history right at the same time it can be the ultimate distraction because the algorithms are designed to watch what you look at and then give you more of that and give you teasers to pull you off of this and it's not just looking at your brain patterns and the way that you react to this it's aggregating data from millions and millions of users so you're up against a huge system that is designed to distract you right because that is how those sites that is how websites make their money when their news based is by advertising and the more clicks in the more views right so yes this is the the balancing act of humanity right now is are you willing to not get distracted and instead allow yourself to focus on the life that you truly want to live so there's always something that's right and how do you find your ground like if you are not grounded you can't really decide that you want to change yeah and its really it can be a very long process as we all know so what is your ground or what do you recommend for people to ground so my suggestion is current to have non-negotiables and a non-negotiable is where you take a look at your your week your month however whatever timeframe you want to box it into and you say so what are my non-negotiables the things I will not break in there and I'll give you an example so for me Sunday's are the days that I play beach volleyball with my friends and this is a non-negotiable if someone says to me I'd like to do an interview and they say sunday is the only day I can do the interview then we will not be doing the interview right I really don't care who it is because Sunday's are non-negotiable now there are times when I take a trip right so in this case I'm on yesterday right no Beachbody was right but the good news is that not tomorrow but the day after tomorrow and May first I'm playing beach volleyball here in Hamburg so I will make up for my missed Sunday but in general this is a non-negotiable another non-negotiables every night I read with my daughter this is a non-negotiable we've been doing this since she was 2 years old right and it's something I look forward to and she looks forward to and this is what we do right and so I have very specific family non-negotiables for me I have as I said volleyball is a personal non-negotiable and I think it's important for each of us to say I am willing to dig in and I'm willing to do the tough work but I also want to make sure that these specific things that keep me grounded are in my in my calendar they're in my diary and I treat them with the same degree of importance and respect and as I do everything else because very often it's easy for us to treat the things that matter most to us with less important thing right working out is such the traditional and for people right I want to get in better shape so they booked their workout in but then you know there's work to be done there's emails and I don't know about you all but the great danger of all dangers is waking up in the morning opening up your laptop and starting to answer email because this is like the time warp of all time warps you start with that first one and the next thing you know it's 11:30 because as you're answering that one or two or three that seems the most critical of course five more critical ones come in and you never get off of that thing and so maybe part of your non-negotiable is to say the night before you figure out these are the three things I most want to accomplish tomorrow right because if I do these three things I will have really made progress towards what matters most to me and so that next morning instead of opening up the phone instead of opening up the laptop the only thing you focus on is those three things and when they're done then you can look at your email all right these types of little practices become very useful when I was writing my last book I found that I had so much going on that I set a 10-page goal every day right I was going to write 10 pages I would literally get up I would take my daughter to school I would not even shower I would sit in my chair and I would write 10 pages right and when those 10 pages were done I could start the rest of my day how did your big five for life change or the time did it did they change yeah so the big fire for life are flexible in that the goal is to figure out the five things that you most want to do so your experience and sometimes their short-term in nature you may say that I want to do an interview that might be on someone's list of once in my life I want to do an interview right and then when that's done it's off and you say it was it so fun that I want to put on my list I want to do a second interview right or do you then want to put on your list I want to travel to Bali right so it can be flexible in that regard it often is there are also other ones that are consistent maybe for long stretches of time so number one on my list is to have a loving relationship with the people that matter to me yeah and this is something that I literally think about every day when I'm putting together and this is my practice the night before I I always think about what am i doing the next day and this is a very effective tool for me and so when I look at my calendar for the next day I'm saying okay so what in that events for the next day they're going to help me have loving relationships with the people that matter to me right and you know this is where the non-negotiables come in I'm taking my kid to school take my daughters who non-negotiable I do this every day right and so these are short-term in nature or they can be really consistent now that said you may have one that is consistent for a long time maybe it's something around physical fitness or whatever and then at some point you may say I'm good right I can take that off my list but there is this this degree of flexibility and so the choice is up to you when you're gonna add something on when you're gonna drop something off and it's based on how you feel so but I would say one thing to be cautious of is the unconscious mind has the desire which is a core desire which is to keep you alive right and that means that it wants to do today what you did yesterday because you're still here this can be very dangerous this can be very dangerous because it will default to activities that aren't necessarily in your best interest of your big fire for life but ones that are secure and safe right so watch that am I am I doing this again today because we did it yesterday or am i doing this today because this is really moving me in the direction I want to go or like the experience I do it for somebody else and I feel better yeah yeah that might be again and again and again right yeah because the unconscious mind can trick you into it's not wasting your time exactly but it is sort of delaying right it's it's um it's it's like saying we'll keep you pleasantly occupied for a while where you're not actually working on this right yeah um I guess you're married right yes and I was asking myself if you sit together with your wife and say these are my big fives and how are you your big five and do you discuss them all the time not all the time but right once in a while yeah and so just to clarify because people sometimes ask me they're like alright so you're talking about these topics is this all you talk about no I talk about infinity worst part to coming out because I love Marvel movies I'd like yes I have a plethora of topics that I do too about everyday life but I absolutely do live this and breathe this all the time right because this is what enables me to live the life that I want to live doesn't mean anybody else should be talking about it with this degree of frequency but it's up to you but ya know we do in as a matter of fact for 2019 one of the conversations that we had as a family was what would make 2019 the best year ever for our lives and so we did a really cool exercise we each individually put spent about 15 or 20 minutes and wrote down a list of all the things that we wanted to do see your experience in 2019 now we travel a lot as a family because the type of work that I do enables me to travel a lot and also we travel a lot as a family just for fun when my daughter was four and a half we took a year off and we traveled around the world backpacking as a family and we structured it around animals because my daughter loves animals and so we went to Africa to see the animals in Africa we went to Malaysia to see orangutans in the wild we went to Australia so she could see koala bears and kangaroos in the wild not just her because I wanted to see that too yeah and so we have really carved out our time to do really amazing experiences in line and in spirit with our big five for life that's sad when 2019 was about to be here I said all right so let's do this and figure out literally what would make this year the best year ever even in the context of these other things we've done so we each put together a list of 15 or 20 things and then we rank ordered them using this really cool tool that is in one of the books that I wrote and it's not a tool I created it's something but somebody else created it but I get to use it and so we've rank ordered all of these things and then we looked at our aggregate rank order list so like if you rank them one to ten and I ranked him you ranked one to ten okay so of those ranking lists like which ones are at the top for all of us right yeah and so that is how we planned our 2019 and it's been really really fun so one of the trips I'm most looking forward to is going to Alaska which I've been to before and is absolutely amazing but I've never seen the Bears in the wild you know those iconic pictures are the Bears like and it's eating the salmon that are and I wanted to see that and so we're going this summer to specifically see that and it's you do a fly into this place called Kodiak Island it's very remote and I've been looking forward to this now literally since the start of January because it's really high on my list so this is a great little tool you know to ask yourself what would make this week the best week what would make this year the best year ever and you can do with a family which is really fun because then it gets everybody excited what if these goals are not in sync so this is a really interesting thing and it provides an amazing opportunity for a relationship dialog right and so maybe what you're gonna find is that your partner wants to go on a one-week yoga retreat to India alright and you personally have zero desire to do yoga and even less desire to attain and so then what does this mean so in an ideal a constructive communicate communicative relationship you can have that dialogue and you can have it in what I call a raw way right so a raw way is where you're willing to say to me I want to go to India to go on a yoga retreat and maybe you even say and I want to go on my own and I as your partner have to deal with the fact that you know you want to go on your own and I don't get invited right but if you can be in that raw open space then the other person can say okay that that's got a little sting to it let me think about why that stings a little but at the same time why do you want to go on your own and you can engage in this really really genuine dialogue the amazing thing about relationships is that conflict usually follows the exact same path every time right and I say this from life experience it's always about one person says something this way the other person responds this way on this topic and then the response is here and then the response that is here and then this happens often enough and then both people leave the room or one person starts yelling or voices race and it's this very predictable pattern right but if you can allow yourself to have this raw discussion you can break that pattern because then you can really start to understand the other person is coming from and you often have to do with cultural aspects of this because if you're heading off to India all right and someone meets your husband and says oh you know where is she she's in India is something wrong no we just she wanted to go to India yeah we are not twins Yeah right so I have a buddy of mine and we've known each other for over 20 years and every year we take a guy trip and we disappear for seven to ten days through our backpacks on no place we stay can be more than 30 euros a night and we know where we know we're in the right kind of places when there's no hot water for a shower like I mean it's it's out there it's meaning true core hard core adventures which is what we were when we were in our 20s right and yeah to the outside world they may be like wow like it's something wrong your family no this is just what I need to be me all right this is what keeps me being the dad that I want to be the partner that I want to be for my wife and so I think these are great things to do really great things too it's just about having that discussion that if there's not sync maybe there actually is great sync because maybe on your big five for life list you say I want to be in a great relationship well maybe that means you have to let the other person disappear for weeks at a time true give them their own space yeah yeah yeah that's probably what you loved about them when you met them anyway yeah right their independence their their joy of life there are free charismatic spirit well if you never let that come to life during the relationship then that's gonna disappear so is it that kids have that still built-in that they do the stuff that they want to do just because when you were talking about your daughter I'm just thinking my door is for and I of course can relate to the situation you were describing what I think no it's totally different at home with us okay now I can I when we had a discussion my daughter was in a new plane wow he did it it's quite easy mommy you just say what you want and did you just say what you want yeah and I'm like okay is that still built-in and when do they lose it yeah there they're totally so aware of how simple life can be and they don't have filters they don't write then they don't have the fears right because the fear in the relationship is that she's disappointed in me that means I me not enough right it's all this so many different layers it has nothing to do to me with the actual moment that's happening and kids are able to see right through that why don't we just talk about it and get past it then we can all go to the playground it was exactly exactly and so then which is amazing because there at the start of their story which means they don't necessarily have this awareness of how precious time is and yet they do somehow because they're like let's get past the craziness and get to the fun stuff and I think there's great wisdom in that I really do because life is supposed to be fun you know and when we're a kid we have no issues whatsoever with doing the fun stuff for no other reason that it's fun yeah right you run around the playground nobody is going to give you clicks on your YouTube channel because of that you're not gonna get Instagram likes because you were at the playground swinging but you do it anyway well why do you do it because it's fun in the moment it's like good the ultimate expression of being present and this is something that we as adults can learn a great deal from because often we look at our potential list of activities and if it doesn't have a payoff other than it was just fun we don't do it all right but at the end of the day when we're very very old I be I believe what we have left is our stories all right and if you get to the end of your life when you've lost the ability to move effectively you can't do the adventures that you want to do what you have left are your stories and if you don't have stories that's got to be miserable yeah then it won't work with them with young thing no right you're not gonna want to walk through your Museum because there's nothing fun in the museum yeah that's what I learned but if you have stories stories are like they have recurring value because when you replay the story in your mind or you retell the story and you laugh again it's added value I'll just share the museum story for people who maybe did not read the book but because I love that story as not as a pitch for the book but as a summary of something that it really that pulled me in the last time I did that yeah maybe let's the chair that I think it's quite valuable yes so the museum concept is that imagine if every moments of your life was recorded and everything you did everything you said the places that you went the ways you spent your time and all of this was aggravated into a museum and then at the end of your and the museum would be entirely based on how you actually lived and what you did and what you said and then at the end of your life when when you pass away that you become the tour guide for your own museum not just for one tour though you become the tour guide for your museum for all of eternity and so this is how people would know that you lived your life and this is the reality you would be living again and again and again and so if you spend 80% of your life in ways that are not joyful then 80% of eternity is going to be spent reliving these non joyful moments right and if you did if you if you loved going on a yoga retreat to India that was your dream one day you're either going to walk through the museum and see those flashes were you dreamed of going but never actually went in the regret or you're going to be able to walk through that wing of the museum where you were in India doing a yoga retreat right and this idea that it lasts for all of eternity is what I think really connects people to it like wow like this is this is what my life is going to be like and I love it because it's something that came to me walking through a tiny little Museum actually this is people often ask me where did the idea come from there's a tiny little museum not that far from where I live and I was walking through it and I saw these pictures of people from the 1940s and 1950s and I thought and they were in their 20s or 30s in the picture and I thought wow they're probably all gone you know like all these people are probably dead now and I wonder what their life was like because I am only getting a snapshot you know one second in time when they were 20 something right and I wonder what they did I wonder what kind of life they lived that was real this idea came from I love that it's many people think they actually set up their Museum by their Instagram feed yeah because it's something the lights are ok but it's this is cinema I mean this is just the role playing you know the person behind that role and we get stuck up playing that role or people mix it up yeah so this goes back to the kid thing right so make every day a museum day so when the kid says okay let's get done with this discussion you talk to you you talk to you know talk to each other and then we get past this and go for ice cream in the playground they're interested in creating museum day moments when does when do they lose it I was just wondering like is that since the puberty I think well every kid is different right so you can grow up in a very hostile environment as a child and doctor beaten out of you literally figuratively or even physically you can go through life and enter this school system where you have an amazing teacher who Foster's that or you can have a teacher who every day tells you that it's all about structure and no more creativity and no more fun and everybody get in line and you know yeah so that just depends on the kid and their life experiences ideally you could carry it through but I think this is actually maybe one of the we're talking about there's the easy stuff and then there's the stuff that you have to dig through which gets you to the great stuff and maybe this is part of the human experience then you start off with this awareness you're born with this awareness and it can be fostered and then part of the life challenge is to to remember it or do your best to remember it all the way through and then rediscover it and bring it back to your life because they honestly won when you when you encounter an obstacle and you go beyond the obstacle that's when you really grow and that's when you your sense of what you are capable of grows also so I recently spoke at something called the world Leadership Summit 15,000 people I spoke right after Barack Obama so I was the guy who spoke after the most famous presidential orator in the last you know who knows how many decades right and I will tell you that I've spoken thousands of times I'm never nervous when I because I know my topic I live my topic etc but when you follow up that guy and you're standing there in front of 15,000 people and you also have just I had an 18 minute time slot which I never speak for 18 minutes because I like to tell stories and I like to take people on a journey right I will tell you that it was not the same carefree casual experience of going up on that stage as it normally is you breathe differently you breathe a little differently right but I will tell you so this week I spoke to 5,000 people at an entrepreneurship and self-development conference I didn't even prepare I was like I was so calm and so comfortable that I was gonna be no issue right because I had just come off of this other experience which really pushed me and you know this applies in all aspects of life when I used to as I said run 26 flights of stairs up and down the idea of playing a single match of volleyball which is gonna last for 42 minutes or so not a problem because I've spent all winter running 26 flights of stairs up and down right so I guess my point is yeah we encountered these obstacles these barriers to our happiness at times but when you get beyond these you're bigger and stronger and faster emotionally intellectually than you ever were before and this lets you take your life in a whole new directions you couldn't imagine yeah yeah so don't run from these you know you say yeah you need them to grow and we tend to think it's about the pleasure it's not it's about like leaving the comfort zone stake taking one step out of it and then see what it's like yes they're baby steps yeah yeah sometimes that is the pleasure is taking out an obstacle a challenge and I think one of the keys to that as it relates to moving at you were asking before about what does it take to move our life in these new directions having an understanding that learning is not linear so if you want to play guitar right your first lesson you are not going to be good right I mean you're not going to be as brilliant as the instructor of course because they've been doing this a while right but what happens in learning is that it's tough it's tough it's tough and then there's like a breakthrough and so learning tends to be exponential not it's language learning it's the same way it's not like Oh today I learned two words in Spanish and the next day I learned four or than I learned two today and then two tomorrow and then to the next day and then to the next day no it's all of a sudden there's a breakthrough and now you comprehend right and this applies to whether you're training for a marathon or whether you're trying to learn another language or learning guitar and so knowing that in advance keeps you grounded that I'm gonna have to sort of work through the mud for the first few effort endeavors right whether that's hours or weeks or whatever but trust that it will kick there's going to be this cataclysmic moment where all of a sudden learning becomes exponential right and I think this is one of the challenges of Instagram right in social media in general it used to be a problem because you used to watch vh1 and you'd see the story of a celebrity and in 30 minutes they would take them from nobody knows who they are they're a baby up and then 30 minutes later they're like a rock star and so we also think that all right 30 minutes I can change my life to be a rock star all right this is so easy and then as I said on instrum social media we see these pictures and think oh that's how easy this happens instantly no it doesn't all right but that doesn't mean you shouldn't do it you better enjoy the right yeah oh great expression right yeah because of all you're focusing on is the moment when I'm fluent in Spanish or the moment when I can play a spectacular guitar lick trust me it's gonna be very disappointing because the joy is the whole process not that final moment of the guitar lick yeah nice so we're we're hitting the one hour deadline we're driving to that we have a couple of minutes left and and we always ask our our guests like where do they get their inspiration from and we already called it a bit between the lines but is there something specifically where is it this is usually my source for inspiration for writing something new before doing something yeah I so I don't write anything unless it is just screaming to be written I don't like writing on demand and I would never write a book just because oh it's been 18 months or two years or five years we really would like you to write another book never do that because it's very critical to me that whatever comes out of me Urmi is something that is going to have tremendous value to the reader right and I will tell you that so my inspiration comes from different sources in different times I find tremendous insight by being in nature the AHA's books that I've written where each page is a single concept or every two pages is its own unique idea and thought most of those come from walking on the ocean or being out in my kayak by myself and I'll just be like oh wow that's a cool thought right and so I love those formats of whatever and the three of those and I love those because on every page there's something that's small but I didn't need to write it all in a story all right I can just take these individual things and share them but that said every once in a while there is something that is screaming to come out and I have a third cafe book coming out in October and this book is entirely based on things that I have been struggling with for the last two years I mean really struggling with around aging and around getting to this point in my life and and struggling so much that I was not sure I would find my answers and for whatever reason something said to me sit down and start writing about this right and in the process of writing I have found the answers that I was seeking for two years and my hope is that other people who were in the same situation as I was in will find the answers or some of the answers at least early starting points for the answers for themselves as well so yeah it comes from different sources but usually it comes from something cataclysmic like this for myself yeah is there anything then you can share about like and I like that you said you're all you have also logistics at home it's not only the big fight for life you're discussing it over I'm actually dying to see infinity works part 2 by the way is there anything like you you had certain routines like the non-negotiables you have but stuff you do for yourself to like know when you have rough times that brings you through that rough time routine you stick to or something yeah yeah so I mentioned kayaking very briefly this is that I picked up a few years ago this to me is one of the fantastic tools to keep myself in balance right it's create physical exercise it is great emotional exercise it's great just to be in nature nature is such the ultimate reminder that hey you know those problems you think are so big you are a microscopic piece of microscopic sand in the entire time frame right and so being out in the waterways to me is just such a great reminder of that because I'll look down and I'll see this tiny little minimus amelong like what does that dude thinking right now is he worried about anything or is he just like this is the greatest game ever and in conjunction with that I love looking at at night at the Stars the Stars to me I'll be taking out the garbage I'll be wheeling out these trashcan inserts my curb and I will look up and there is not a problem that I'm having that day which I can honestly that my ego cannot honestly hang on to like Oh our problems are so big when I look up because just the ultimate reminder that dude like you know I don't remember the exact math but did something like what you can see with the naked eye if there's a perfectly clear night when it's completely dark out no outside light interference and it looks like there's millions of stars what you can actually see is about 3000 stars with the naked eye on 180 degree field that is to put it in somewhat perspective like Oh point zero zero zero zero zero zero zero zero five percent of what is in our galaxy and there's a hundred and twenty-five billion galaxies beyond that I mean when you start thinking in those terms like okay you know what that email not that important so that that's a great centering – I love that yeah I think we should we should leave it with that picture that is something no it's just wonderful yeah thank you well thank you for giving me the opportunity to spend some time with you today it's been a treat for me thank you so much it's been great being here we'll have to do this again a wonderful Monday morning thanks so much good you start any better