“If you knew that your life was merely a phase or short, short segment of your entire existence, how would you live? Knowing nothing ‘real’ was at risk, what would you do? You’d live a gigantic, bold, fun, dazzling life. You know you would. That’s what the ghosts want us to do – all the exciting things they no longer can.” -Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club)
Part 2 (part 1 here)
While I can’t exactly pinpoint the moment my personal understanding of the Undeferred Life began, I can say that it has been, more or less, a gradual process for more than a decade.
It all began with the promise I made to myself; the promise that being another “average” person simply wasn’t an option. This idea grew throughout the failures of the schooling system, the lessons learned through my various entrepreneurial ventures, the unquenchable thirst for self-education, and my travels around the world.
Finally it all came together in a moment of utter clarity, when I realized that the only life worth living was one that you were constantly excited for; one that moved you towards a greater purpose; and one that made you absolutely ecstatic you had the opportunity to live for yet another day.
I then commited myself to living out this mantra everyday through daily reminders and actions, both large and small.
Interesting enough, I feel that the lessons I learned up to this point are not just relevant but absolutely vital to the long-term success of this lifestyle.
To live an Undeferred Life you must escape average, you must embrace self-education and learning, you must be willing to fail, and you must, above all else, enjoy yourself.
The barriers to escaping the deferred life were not long ago nearly insurmountable. The financial and intellectual resources barriers were much beyond the capabilities of almost everyone. However with the advent of the Internet and the communication age, these barriers are falling faster than ever.
-Information is no longer restricted to a few select institutions or degree holding individuals but instead is now freely available to everyone.
-Businesses don’t need tens of millions of dollars to start but instead can be launched for hundreds or even tens of dollars (Check out $100 Startup).
-Travel is no longer limited to the rich, as adventures can be safely had anywhere on earth for cheaper than ever (all with the potential to continuing working and making money if you so choose).
-You no longer need to start off with an “in” or family connections to get in-touch with the influential people, but instead, can find and connect instantly with nearly anyone using social tools and personal websites.
-Marketing and visibility is no longer only for the fortune 500, as new communication technologies allow our products, creations, and ideas to be efficiently targeted and distributed around the globe in a matter of seconds (did I mention that much of it can be done for free?)
The only obstacle that really remains is the unawareness of what is going on around you. The only barrier to living the life you want is your unfounded fear and the excuses that follow.
Today, even a homeless person can go to the local library, access internet, build a website using widely available free tools, and quite literally change the world.
Virtually anyone can launch a project from a crowd funding platform, hire a contract manufacturer to produce at scale, design a professional prototype, start selling stuff on the web, hire an expert to do custom work, or showcase their skills in a unique way to get the job of their dreams.
Most of which, should be noted, can be done with little to no upfront investment.
In a world free from barriers, why haven’t you started? Why are you still putting up with anything less than your ideal life?
Nothing is stopping you from moving down the path to the life you want except your own reservations. Stop making excuses and start taking action!
Society has, rather forcefully, pushed us into accepting the notion that we should try to fit in, that it’s not safe to be try things, and that we shouldn’t go off on our own path. (Largely the fault of our schools)
Society prefers that we conform to the thoughts and desires of those around us, those in power. For example: Do what the teacher tells you and you’ll pass; Follow your boss’s orders and you’ll be able to retire some day; don’t take risks, leave it to the experts; don’t think too much and you won’t have to be responsible when things fail; do what your told and it won’t be entirely your fault.
All you have to do is fit in, become a societal cog, and everything will be taken care of.
For the greater part of the last century, the promise of permanent job security, relatively high pay, and access to a majority of the modern conveniences, provided a phenomenal increase in the quality of life for people in modern industrialized nations. At the time, there was an exact path that guaranteed a “comfortable life,” and those that followed it reaped its rewards.
However things have changed.
We are no longer living in the realm of the established corporate giants with their promises of lifetime jobs, relatively high pay, and a comfortable life. We are entering a new age where job “security” has almost become laughable and the value of knowledge has become drastically diluted. The industrial machine of the past century is dying and will soon be dead.
The quicker we come to realize that we can no longer live according to the predetermined plan established by past generations, the quicker we can learn to adapt to this exciting new world around us. Even now, the people who are finding success are those who are casting aside the preconceived notions they were fed and living according to how they perceive the world. And it is the people who live life on their own terms who we look up to, envy, and wish to one day emulate.
The narrow road — the road less traveled, the road you create for yourself — is now the only road worth taking.
Are you living according to a deferred life plan? Are you putting off what you want to do for what you think you have to do? Are you needlessly “surviving” so that some day you can enjoy life? Are you doing something you don’t care about, something that doesn’t enhance your being, something that doesn’t allow you to be a “better you?” Are you stuck in the vicious cycle of “necessity?”
Be brutally honest with yourself.
Rationalizing your current position or making excuses on behalf of your fears and insecurities certainly isn’t doing you any favors.
After all, it’s not the destination but the journey that counts; if you’re not doing something you love, then stop doing it.
To Live Undeferred you must be willing to be heard, you must be willing to take a step forward and assert your position; to move in the direction that moves you.
These first steps largely depend on the individual, but are all similar, in that, they must involve ACTION. You need to start taking actual, tangible steps towards accomplishing your dreams.
I can guarantee that you won’t always make the right choice; but with each failure, you’ll be ever so much closer to achieving a life of passion, fulfillment, and meaning.
This first step, so to speak, is often the greatest barrier to the Undeferred Life. However once initial momentum is achieved, your mind is free to grasp the possibilities around you and the rest is almost self-fulfilling. (A shift in perception, if you will)
Now don’t get me wrong, I am in no way suggesting that you don’t have to work hard and make sacrifices. Especially at first, you will seem to run into an endless amount of barriers as you gain experience and knowledge about your chosen path. However, this surely isn’t the same as wearily trudging through your day-to-day existence to no ultimate end or higher purpose. Living Undeferred isn’t about having the easy way out, it’s about being passionate about what you do and working diligently towards worthwhile goals. It’s about believing in what you are doing and where you are going. It’s about finding inspiration in every day life.
“Don’t sacrifice your life to make a living”-Mark Twain
Living the Undeferred Life requires making a decision:
The decision that your life is to be lived to its fullest, not merely survived.
Personally speaking, my primary reason for choosing this mentality and lifestyle is simply; I have already experienced too many of the wonders and possibilities of this world to quietly sit back and let the opportunity slip me by. I accept that life will probably hit me pretty hard over the years (No one is spared this reality), but in the long run, I am confident that I will come out victorious; that is to say, a happy man full of experiences and with few regrets over opportunities lost or squandered.
I live my life in the hope that someday when I am on the brink of death I’ll be able to reflect on my life with the greatest grin ever grinned; knowing full well, that I took advantage of every moment, every talent, every relationship, and as many opportunities as I possibly could to make my life worth living and the world around me a better place.
You must find your own reasons for making this transition, but once you do, the mindset quickly follows.
-Make the Decision to Live Undeferred
-Decide Where You Want to Go or What You Want to Be
-Embrace Learning and Constant Growth
-Commit Yourself to Actualizing these Goals Every Single Day through some form of action (doesn’t matter how large or small as long as you stay moving)
How was your day? Did you grow in some way? Did you build something that matters? Are you excited about what you are doing? At the very least are at least one step closer to actualizing your dreams or ultimate vision for your life?
If not, why?
The changes of the new world have brought on an unprecedented amount of opportunity. No longer is there an excuse not to do what you really want.
Job security is a thing of the past, yet, advances in business tools have opened endless opportunities for creation and innovation for those who can recognize these opportunities and act.
Junk food and poor health plague our planet, yet, advances and discoveries in medicine and biology have made “true health” an entirely achievable process for anyone willing to learn and dedicate themselves to this goal.
We are busier than ever, yet, new communication and travel technologies are allowing more freedom than ever for those who are willing to take a step back, enjoy life, and embrace adventure.
With these changes, new challenges.
With these challenges, endless opportunity.
-Opportunity to not just enjoy your work, but make it a part of who you are; to pour your heart and passion into something you actually care about; to turn stress and difficulties into challenges that better yourself and the world; to redefine the future and become truly remarkable.
-Opportunity to cleanse your body from the filth of the modern world; to prevent the diseases of tomorrow by acting today; to feel the power and confidence that streams from health in all its forms; and to ensure an active life well into the future next to whomever you choose.
-Opportunity to see the world like never before; to explore endless paths of personal growth and adventure; to see reality as it actually is; to delve into yourself and recreate the world from your own experiences; to learn and to act; to change the course of humanity itself.
Opportunity to live Undeferred…
The choice is up to you…
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"The most dangerous risk of all—the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet you...