The future has a finish line started with a phone call.
“Have you ever eaten magic mushrooms or taken LSD?”
This was a question my friend asked me as we were nearing the end of a 45-minute phone call together.
I laughed a little and said, “funny you asked. I was looking up psilocybin near me.”
“You should do it. I think it would be good for you.” He says.
The burden of ambition
Our call wasn’t supposed to be about taking magic mushrooms. I was having a tough time trying to figure out what’s next for me. In my career, relationships, and life in general.
I’ll be turning 40 in a few months (and if you’re reading this now I’m 40 as of Nov 22, 2020). The last 12 years of my life have been dedicated to helping people achieve amazing physical, mental, and emotional transformations.
I help people lose weight and keep it off forever. Coaching both in-person and online. At any moment I have 80+ clients that I work with. We dive deep into the challenges they face to achieve a body and life that they’re proud of.
Everything I do revolves around my work. Every book I read, every article I write, every thought I have from when I wake to when I sleep. It all revolves around my work and helping someone.
I’m lucky. I like my job. I don’t love it but I like it. It allows me to mostly work from home, have a flexible schedule, and I get to help people change their life.
But I’m burned out. Or at least I feel burned out. Not from being overworked, simply from the work itself. Personal coaching is like having a house party and entertaining the same guest the entire time.
It doesn’t excite me like it used to. I don’t get any intrinsic value from it. Everything is external. When a client is successful I’m successful. But that lasts about a day. It’s like buying a really dope car. It’s awesome the first week, you feel like a boss. But after the initial excitement, um, it’s on to the next.
Essentially, this was my premise on the call with my friend.
Justin. You’re a super smart and successful guy that’s always striving for the next thing. Maybe there doesn’t need to be a “next thing.” Maybe you simply write because you enjoy the art of writing. Read a book not because it helps you with your career, but because you want to read the fucking book. Take your camera out and shoot some pictures, not to share on the gram – but for you. Go whisky tasting, to learn, not to write an article about whisky tasting.
As type-A people, we like to set big goals and get shit done. But this ambition can leave us feeling unsatisfied. Always striving to learn, grow, or challenge yourself isn’t only unrealistic. It’s also not needed and may be detrimental.
This was the punch in the face that I needed.
Moving forward and always looking ahead is wonderful. But every so often it’s important to turn the head around to reflect on how far you’ve come. And for a moment, sit with that.
Drink it in.
Allow yourself to slow the fuck down.
The future has a finish line. It’s called death.
And if you keep striving for faster, better, harder – or the next thing. You’ll reach that finish line quicker than if you would have taken a moment to look back at how far you have come.
I guess that’s what this digital garden entry is. A way for me to slow down a bit. To write something simply to write it. A way to force me to look back at how far I’ve come.
Gratitude: Nate Green and the phone call we had. As well as his thoughts on the burden of ambition.