The biggest decision (yet) of my life

That’s quite a view right? That’s how I feel too. This was taken in Norway after hiking 11km to the “Troll Tunga”. How I got there, and where I was in my life tells a story of a lot of unexpected situations, dedication, and careful planning. That’s a lot how life is though, isn’t it? You do some planning, and there are a lot of unexpected things that come along.

Up there on top of the Hardangerfjord in Norway, looking off the ledge of that rock, I was thinking two things, 1) “this is one of the most spectacular moments of my life”, and 2) “I better go soon, there are a lot of people waiting to stand here after me!”. But something changed inside me that day from that moment. I just wanted to stay. I wanted to spend as much of my time as possible in places as beautiful as Norway, looking out over endless beautiful landscapes. I felt rewarded, and I felt lost. I had touched bliss for a moment, and soon I had to walk down the mountain, to get back to the car, so I could drive to the airport the next day, and eventually head home to Berlin where I live and had a job to return to.

The juxtaposition of responsibility and desire to enjoy the moment were playing a tug of war in my head. I knew it was possible to stay, the consequences were not so big that I couldn’t recover from them. Everything that went into getting there emphasized the importance of time, to make the most of the time I had in Norway: looking at tons of maps, finding driving directions, comparing car rental fees with paying for tour busses, camping vs cottages, this city or another, phone calls and emails to tourism offices. So many decisions had been made before even getting to the airport in Oslo – so more time could be spent enjoying my time in this beautiful country. And yet here I was with less than an hour at the summit only to have to prepare to leave.

It’s a huge metaphor for life.

You spent so much time fighting, waiting, working, planning, just so you can get somewhere that you expect to be grand. And then the hike back down begins as quickly as the final approach had ended. How can we extend that time at the summit? How can we have more of it? How can the inevitable return to “real life” be less urgent? What if being at these places was “real life”, and the time back at base camp getting ready to ascend the mountain was the brief moment? That’s what I wanted!

Life is beautiful. It’s short. If you don’t think so, you’re probably in your early twenties and haven’t looked back at your last year of college like it was eons ago. But age is no matter, if you can open your eyes to behold a breath taking sunset, the world is still your oyster. The most important thing is the world is changing, constantly. It’s easier than ever to climb to the top of that mountain and have a lifestyle that allows you to stay at the top of that mountain, or go on to climb many more.

I’ve found many ways to live like this, and I think anyone else can do it. It’s not as easy as asking to work from home until your manager trusts you so much you can get away with flying around the country without anyone noticing.  You can’t just find someone in another country to cover your ass while you go surfing. But it is as easy as giving yourself some runway, removing unnecessary lifestyle habits that prevent you from getting out into the world, making a plan, and booking a one way ticket.

This blog is dedicated to teaching people how to obtain those spectacular moments. No matter what your dreams are, chances are, some of the steps for getting there scare the living daylights out of you. On a deep chemical molecular level that is just your hippocampus warning you there is some risk. But just like riding a rollercoaster, or jumping off a diving board. As soon as you take the plunge, that same gland will reward you with dopamine, and nothing will feel as good as waking up every day challenging yourself to once again take a proverbial dive into the world that awaits you. Challenging yourself, and taking the sometimes unimaginable steps to get the things you want in life, not only helps you enjoy how you live completely. It’s an amazing ride and I plan to show you how to take it.

Stick around, read on. And if you didn’t already please sign my mailing list. I promise not to spam you, or sell your email address to anyone. This is a very personal thing and I would never betray that trust between us. I would love for you to sign the newsletter because I want to keep sharing inspiration, life hacks, beautiful photography, travel inspiration, career building insights, and tools to make you rich and happier than ever. And the moment you get an email from me that you don’t like, you can unsubscribe faster than it takes to think of the most amazing un-ending vacation possible. That’s my promise!

 

– Thomas

Before you forget

Conversations move quickly. Thoughts move even faster. Unless you are highly focused, it’s easy to be distracted, especially if you’re staring at a computer screen with a broadband internet connection to boot. You can save energy (perhaps not time) by giving into the distractions, but do yourself a favor, as each one comes, remember what you were doing before you changed course. Once your curiosity is fed, go back to the thing you were doing last.

This one skill works wonders for conversation, productivity, and more.

Tell the story of other companies

Tell the story of other companies

Startups are the future, already so common the word itself is a bit cliché and stigmatized. Making companies that generate new business and leverage new technology is so common it should be taught in all business schools, and encouraged from a young age.

But that’s still so far off.

Many learnings will not be taught, young founders will have figure it out for themselves.  So it makes sense then to teach people early on, in a simple format, some of the bigger more dangerous lessons. Not necessarily for avoidance, fear of failure without context can be just as dangerous, but for awareness. Some decisions will destroy companies: pivoting too late, building technology the wrong way, investing resources on the wrong customer; all of these can create an end with no value remaining except the knowledge itself. But if this knowledge is available, other companies can use it and benefit from it.