As I've observed what makes me feel most fulfilled in life, it is always others focused. Self-satisfaction is deepest when satisfying others. It's infallible. I've experimented enough to rely on this as truth.
I've spent countless hours digging deeper into what it is exactly that I do as good or better than anyone else, that can bring satisfaction to others...and thus to me. It's an exciting journey of self-discovery. As I've noted before, it's about keeping it real; it's about just jumping in and trying; it's about being comfortable with unanswered questions and opposing points of view.
So far I've found that what I do best is providing new perspectives, new ways of thinking, and helping people see unrealized value, worth and good in themselves and in what's around them.
I've compared this to putting on a winter coat after it has been in the closet all summer. You slip your hand in the pocket, feel an unexpected object that shouldn't be there, and pulling it out find a $20 bill! It's like winning a small lottery! Although it's always been yours, and you may have known about it before, re-discovering what was lost feels like you got $20 for free. The $20 had been there for you the whole time. You just didn't know it was there to find it. I love to create this discovery for others. And I'm typically pretty good at it. Recognizing that it takes two to play this game.
"Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to fish and he'll eat forever."
In the context of what I do best, the 'fish' is the $20, the hidden value. The 'fishing' is learning how to find the $20 repeatedly. Most of what I think about and will record in my blog posts are and will be about the mindset, beliefs and knowledge that open us up to the world around us in a deeply fulfilling and enriching way...and how cycling and NJ bike tours accomplish that objective. I'm sharing personal experiences as I try to live what I preach, though often falling short.
One of the beliefs that help me find otherwise hidden value in my life is also what draws me to cycling, especially in the circuitous roads of New Jersey! It is this:
"Getting lost isn't losing your way. It is the way."
This is one reason why I love cycling, and especially why I love biking New Jersey. It's so easy to get lost...and DICOVER! Hidden treasures await those who are willing to be lost.
Only when you are lost are you in a place to find something new. Getting lost is required for discovery and adventure. It is pre-requisite to finding hidden value. I think of my kids as they step into a place like Disney world. They are lost. They have no idea what's next and that anticipation is too much. They are beside themselves excited for what they will discover.
I was at a Wellness day for a local high school, sharing this message. Explaining that at NJ bike tours we seek to get lost. We love to get lost. And then share what we found with others. That process is where we find le joie de vivre. It's ok, I told them, to not know what you want to be when you grow up. You'll struggle with the tension between personal responsibility and fun; between doing something great for the world and the realities of being human; between giving to others and investing in yourself.
I shared this picture and asked them to guess what this young woman is thinking at each decision point along the way...and why there are still ????'s at the end of,
"When I grow up I want to be..."
If anyone is reading this far...I'd love to know what you imagine she's thinking at each decision point!!