The Ultimate Parable on How to Escape the 9-5 and Do What You Love

This story is an ideal representation of my blog’s theme: You CAN live the life you want.

It’s possible to discover your passion and get paid to do it! As you will see in this story.

You don’t need to immediately give up your current path but you also don’t need to spend 40 hours each week for the next 30-40 years doing work you don’t enjoy.

I first heard this story from Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek.

 

Enjoy…

 

…Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Twenty feet and closing.

“Run! Ruuuuuuuuuun!” Hans didn’t speak Portuguese, but the meaning was clear enough—haul ass. His sneakers gripped firmly on the jagged rock, and he drove his chest forward toward 3,000 feet of nothing.

He held his breath on the final step, and the panic drove him to near unconsciousness. coacht.blog beautiful beach

His vision blurred at the edges, closing to a single pinpoint of light, and then … he floated. The all-consuming celestial blue of the horizon hit his visual field an instant after he realized that the thermal updraft had caught him and the wings of the paraglider. Fear was behind him on the mountaintop, and thousands of feet above the resplendent green rain forest and pristine white beaches of Copacabana, Hans Keeling had seen the light.

That was Sunday.
On Monday, Hans returned to his law office in Century City, Los Angeles’s posh corporate haven, and promptly handed in his three-week notice. 

For nearly five years, he had faced his alarm clock with the same dread: I have to do this for another 40–45 years? 

He had once slept under his desk at the office after a punishing half-done project, only to wake up and continue on it the next morning. 

That same morning, he had made himself a promise: two more times and I’m out of here. Strike number three came the day before he left for his Brazilian vacation.

We all make these promises to ourselves, and Hans had done it before as well, but things were now somehow different. He was different. 

He had realized something while arcing in slow circles toward the earth—risks weren’t that scary once you took them. 

His colleagues told him what he expected to hear: He was throwing it all away. He was an attorney on his way to the top—what the hell did he want?

 

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Hans didn’t know exactly what he wanted, but he had tasted it. 

On the other hand, he did know what bored him to tears, and he was done with it. No more passing days as the living dead, no more dinners where his colleagues compared cars, riding on the sugar high of a new BMW purchase until someone bought a more expensive Mercedes. It was over.

Immediately, a strange shift began—Hans felt, for the first time in a long time, at peace with himself and what he was doing. He had always been terrified of plane turbulence, as if he might die with the best inside of him, but now he could fly through a violent storm sleeping like a baby. Strange indeed.

More than a year later, he was still getting unsolicited job offers from law firms, but by then had started Nexus Surf, a premier surf-adventure company based in the tropical paradise of Florianopolis, Brazil. He had met his dream girl, a Carioca with caramel-colored skin named Tatiana, and spent most of his time relaxing under palm trees or treating clients to the best times of their lives.

Is this what he had been so afraid of?

These days, he often sees his former self in the underjoyed and overworked professionals he takes out on the waves. Waiting for the swell, the true emotions come out: “God, I wish I could do what you do.” His reply is always the same: “You can.”

The setting sun reflects off the surface of the water, providing a Zen-like setting for a message he knows is true: It’s not giving up to put your current path on indefinite pause. He could pick up his law career exactly where he left off if he wanted to, but that is the furthest thing from his mind.

As they paddle back to shore after an awesome session, his clients get ahold of themselves and regain their composure. They set foot on shore, and reality sinks its fangs in: “I would, but I can’t really throw it all away.”

He has to laugh.

 

The End

 

I’m rooting for you.

 

Here are 3 ways to live a life you won’t regret in 30 years!

I include the top 5 things people regret most on their death beds in this article above, based on research!

3 Ways To Live a Life You Won’t Regret in 30 Years

Scientific research has been collected from hospice workers who have asked people on their death beds what their biggest regrets were. They came up with the top 5 things people most regret which are listed at the bottom of this page. The 3 I discuss are intertwined with the top 5 & this list can help spark the inspiration needed for you to begin living your best life! A life you can reflect on daily and you won’t regret it years from now.

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Dance like no one’s watching 😉

Number 1) Do what you Love!

Don’t waste your life spending all your time at a job you hate! Try out all sorts of things to see what you enjoy doing most. If someone is an expert in the subject you love then you can too! It’s possible. This article can help you figure out what you really would like to do in life.

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Great times in Venezuela!

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Spring Break 2015

Forbes discusses statistics here where 71% of employees in America hate their jobs… So most people would rather spend their entire life working a job they hate just so they can keep living, which is to keep working until they can possibly retire. Are you living to work or working to live? Choose to live now.

When you do what you love you feel better about yourself & have a stronger connection with a higher purpose. Take time out of your day to do more of what you love!

2) Don’t live for the approval of others.

“There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.” Aristotle

 

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Paris 2013

Many people never follow their dreams because they are so afraid of what other people will think about them. Someone whose main goal in life is to impress other people will one day end up reflecting on so many meaningless interactions that could have been spent in a joyous more fulfilling way. The funny thing is, no matter what you do or how nice you are people will still disagree with you. People will criticize, complain & try to bring you down.

 

Are you choosing to live small? Or are you letting the light that is within all of us shine?

If you live based off of other people’s opinions you will never be right. There will always be someone who finds fault in what you choose to do so you need to do work that matters to you! Allow your beliefs to guide you, not anyone else’s.

3) Make A Choice

“Not making a choice is still making a choice.” Unknown

When you don’t choose, you are making the choice Not to choose! You are leaving the situation up to fate instead of taking control of it yourself.

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Great example of why you need to make a choice.

You are making choices every single day! But most of the choices you make are habitual such as “Do I stay with my job or take the risk of following my dream?

Have you asked yourself that question?^^

You have a choice about your job. You have a choice with who your friends are. You have a choice about your relationship. 

When you stay with someone or stay in a place that you dread, it’s time for some change. Where do you feel like you’re being called? What would you do if you could spend your days doing anything you want? I’m sure there are opportunities to get experience & get paid to do what you love.

 

Feel free to email me if you are wondering how you can begin living a life that you truly love.

Make a choice. Act on that choice then let it go & move on. There are more choices to be made. If you never choose, you’ll be exactly where you are for your entire life…

The choice is yours.

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Cheers Dublin, Ireland

How do you make a choice?

Make choices that lead you closer to where & who you want to be and what you want to achieve.

“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” Nelson Mandela

“Everything in your life is a reflection of a choice you have made. If you want a different result, make a different choice.” Anonymous

“Your life is a result of the choices you make. If you don’t like your life, it is time to start making better choices.” Anonymous

“No matter what the situation, remind yourself, I have a choice.” Deepak Chopra

“Ignore the noise and follow your own choice.” Anonymous

“It is our choices….that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” J.K. Rowling

“Life is the sum of all your choices.”Anonymous

•Do what you love. It’s better to fail at what you love doing than regret not doing it later.

Don’t live for the approval for others. People will criticize you no matter what.

Make a choice. Don’t allow fear to control your choices. Be guided by Love.

 

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Family 🙂

 

Top 5 things people regret most when on their death beds:

1) “I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.”

2) “I wish I had stayed in touch with friends.”

3) “I wish I had let myself be happier.”

4) “I wish I had the courage to express my true self.”

5) “I wish I lived a life true to my dreams instead of what others expected of me.”

Listen to a TedTalk that discusses this subject & a few things you can do to live happier & longer.

 

Share this article if you are going to live a life you won’t regret!

What would you do if you didn’t have to worry about Money?

What would you really do?

How would you spend your days?

(Download 7 Methods the Happiest & Most Successful People Use to Live their Dreams at Bottom of Page)

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Took this picture as I enjoyed my time in Cancun Mexico

This might be the most important question you ask yourself on your journey toward happiness.

I’ve read that between 70-90% of all people are going to a job they hate. Are you part of that large percentage?

So think about it. Continue dwelling on those questions until you come up with what you really want to do. It may take days, weeks, months or even years to find out what you really want to do, so be patient-or be impatient and settle for a job you hate.

Don’t disregard your first instinct. If it is something such as acting, writing, traveling the world, being a professional athlete, teaching, painting then that is wonderful. It can be anything! Too many people look past their true dreams because society has driven this limited view into us. We have been told that our dreams are not actually possible by authority, then we don’t question them, so we settle.

Dream Picture

For years I have asked myself this question, and one of my instinctual thoughts has always been “acting.” I didn’t know how it would happen, but I knew that it is something I would like to do. As I’ve continued to dwell on what I want, acting opportunities began to arise. I’ve been in multiple movies, TV shows and commercials, have met many famous people on sets and I am currently working as an Acting Teacher.

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I continue to listen to life and adapt as well, as our passions can change throughout the years. I have been blogging for a few years, and a few months ago I got an opportunity to become an intern for the best-selling author, Ryan Holiday. I have published posts for one his websites, done research, editing, but most importantly (after having faith) I put in a lot of focused hours into the work! Your dream is possible.

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” MLK Jr.

I never knew how it would all happen, and it is still happening, but I had faith that it would happen.

You don’t need to know HOW it will happen!

You just need to know what it is you actually want, and then believe it is possible. I found out some of the powers of the mind and the power of life at some point in college, and I have been trusting it ever since. Instinct…

Intuition: Life is talking to you. Are you listening?

If you aren’t sure how to listen to your intuition, no need to worry, intuition can be practiced and improved upon.

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Books!!!!

Some ways to improve intuition:

•Meditation: “Think Less to Live More

•Spend time in nature. Shut off your mind & observe the beauties of life.

•Read books and other content on developing intuition. 

Developing & listening to intuition has been one of the characteristics that has helped many of the happiest & most successful people live out their dreams.

For more techniques on how people are living their dreams you can grab a free copy of  7 Methods the Happiest & Most Successful People Use to Live Out Their Dream Life. You can get it sent to your email by clicking here!

5 Life-Changing Takeaways from the Book, “Way Of The Peaceful Warrior”

Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives

Book Written By Dan Millman

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Dan signing my Peaceful Warrior book!

Click on Dan’s name above to go to his website & learn more about him. (Also can scroll down to go straight to the 5 life-changing takeaways if you’d like).

Growing wise through personal and spiritual experiences, this story follows a World Champion Gymnast, Dan, who seemed to “have it all” in the eyes of society.  Even though he had everything he desired in the physical realm, he was still not happy.

I think many people can relate to this^.  We get what we think we want and then find out that it doesn’t bring lasting fulfillment. We hear about rich & famous people committing suicide, although many people often desire that famous/rich life. Dan is still alive & well today, but he went through many struggles to be able to live life beyond his ego.

I feel good, sometimes I don’t, ay,” said Drake in his popular song “God’s Plan.”

Everyone feels bad at times, no matter how much ‘success’ they have in this world. And it’s okay to feel bad, even though the media only portrays happy people having a good time. Remember that what you see on tv usually isn’t an accurate example of real life.  You can check out an article I wrote on accepting our feelings by Clicking Here.

Anyway, one night, while Dan was still in college, he went to a gas station after waking up in the middle of the night.  He met a unique old man who he named Socrates later on. (“Socrates” never told Dan his real name).

Socrates became Dan’s guru/mentor/teacher. Helping to enlighten Dan, Socrates teaches him many things throughout the book that ultimately opens Dan’s mind and allows him to awaken; to be happy now without a reason.  Like many people in the World today, Dan was living through his ego before he met Socrates.  He pursued worldly pleasures & accomplishments only to find out that those “fulfilling” moments don’t last.  Led by his teacher, Socrates, Dan is able to experience life beyond his ego, and live in peace.

The “living in peace” phrase just created another thought through me; we always say Rest in Peace when someone dies, but why don’t we ever say Live in Peace when we are living??

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Way of the Peaceful Warrior was one of the first books that had a big impact on my life.  I read it for the first time when I was around the age of 19, and have continued to read it again & again.

After I finished reading this book for the first time it immediately became my favorite book, and remains my favorite to this day. It opened up my mind to new ideas & a different way of viewing & living life. Way of the Peaceful Warrior has helped me live joyfully in the present moment, to be happy now without reason, to focus on things that really matter, to take action instead of dwelling in thought, to live non-judgmentally, & to live life in love.

I do not always remain in this state of bliss, but when I accept my feelings & situations as they are, this brings me peace. I shared this earlier, but click here if you’d like to read an article on this.

The author, Dan Millan, said he wrote this book “to inspire, uplift, and to remind readers of life’s bigger picture & higher promise.”  This book definitely inspired me & gave me more insight into the bigger picture of life.

Live the moment

“Be happy now, without reason, or you’ll never be happy.”

~I truly believe that this book should be read throughout schools all around the world.  The ideas & ways of thinking this book explains could benefit the education system & our future tremendously~

In this post I will summarize some of the main points of the Way of the Peaceful Warrior. I will discuss how I have been using what I’ve learned from this book, will provide you with many of my favorite quotes from the book that relate to each takeaway & I’ve added some thought provoking quotes from the book at the end. Thank you for reading & Enjoy!

**I also want to encourage you to not just read this, but to put these ideas into practice. Ask yourself, “How can I apply this to my life?” These life-changing ideas need to be more than just read. Be patient when practicing these, & continue to remind yourself of these ideas throughout your days for them to become second nature.**

1) BE HAPPY NOW, WITHOUT REASON.

  • Millman’s words helped me see that happiness lies in the journey, not in the destination.  Many people are working at jobs only to make money for retirement.  Retirement does not equal happiness. I have used this knowledge to do more of what I love & to practice being fully present in each moment.  I am able to enjoy the ‘little things’ in life, such as a cup of coffee, a book, playing basketball, teaching, hanging out with family/friends, and the list goes on.

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Why waste half your life doing things you don’t enjoy doing if you have an opportunity to do something you enjoy?

Happiness happens now, in this present moment.  The future never really comes, the future only happens as another present moment.

Here are great quotes from the book that can open your eyes to being happy now, without reason:

* “‘What do I do then, now? Where do I go from here?’ Dan asked Socrates.

‘Who cares?’ He yelled gleefully.  ‘A fool is ‘happy’ when his cravings are satisfied. A warrior is happy without reason.  That’s what makes happiness the ultimate discipline—above all else I have taught you.’”

“Reality never matched their dreams; happiness was just around the corner — a corner they never turned. And the source of it all was the human mind.”

“There is no need to search; achievement leads to nowhere. It makes no difference at all, so just be happy now! Love is the only reality of the world, because it is all One, you see. And the only laws are paradox, humor and change. There is no problem, never was, and never will be. Release your struggle, let go of your mind, throw away your concerns, and relax into the world. No need to resist life, just do your best. Open your eyes and see that you are far more than you imagine. You are the world, you are the universe; you are yourself and everyone else, too! It’s all the marvelous Play of God. Wake up, regain your humor. Don’t worry, just be happy. You are already free!” 

“Sometimes sorrow, sometimes joy. But beneath it all remember the innate perfection of your life unfolding. That is the secret of unreasonable happiness.” 

“You Don’t need a reason to be happy. If you do that reason can be taken away.” 

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“And so I awoke to reality, free of any meaning or any search. What could there possibly be to search for? All of Socrate’s words had come alive with my death. This was the paradox of it all, the humor of it all, and the great change. All searches, all achievements, all goals, were equally enjoyable, and equally unnecessary.” 

“Act happy, be happy, without a reason in the world. Then you can love, and do what you will.”

“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.”

2) You are much more than what you think

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Live in the Present.

  • Our thoughts limit our experience.  When you can let go of your thoughts, you can be fully alive in the present moment.  The answers you seek lie beyond thought.

“My name doesn’t matter; neither does yours.  What is important is what lies beyond names and beyond questions.”

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“The birth of the mind is the death of the senses” 

^^ I’ve been realizing this more & more lately that we are most alive when we are not dwelling in thoughts.  We can take time to have rational thoughts, but take some time to meditate in nothingness.  Let go of your thoughts by focusing on your external environment.  Tap into your senses. What do you see? Hear? Smell? Taste? Feel?  Try to do this for at least a few minutes.

When you are only in your mind, thinking, you are never fully in the present moment. Practice focusing your attention to things outside of you.

* “Satori is the warrior’s state of being; it occurs at the moment when the mind is free of thought, pure awareness; the body is active, sensitive, relaxed; and the emotions are open and free.”

“Remember, every-moment satori.”

“The warrior is Here, Now.”

“You have to ‘lose your mind’ before you can come to your senses.” 

“Stay in the present. You can do nothing to change the past, and the future will never come exactly as you plan or hope for.  The warrior is here, now. Your sorrow, your fear & anger, regret & guilt, your envy and plans and cravings live only in the past, or in the future.”

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“Your business is not to ‘get somewhere’ — it is to be here.

“You have been immortal since before you were born and will be long after the body dissolves. The body is Consciousness; never born; never dies; only changes. The mind — your ego, personal beliefs, history, and identity — is all that ends at death.”

^^This quote reminds me of the philosophy stoicism. I wrote a post about it that you can check out by Clicking Here.

3) Life is much more than what you can think.

  • This book helped me view the external environment without judging it. Instead of looking outside & thinking “Ooo I love or hate this weather. There is a bird & a tree, and wow that car is going really fast,” I practice just looking outside & dwelling on what is, letting thoughts come & then go like passing clouds. I practice not judging things around me, seeing them just as they are, with no thinking needed. I am not like this all the time, but it is good to practice this technique!

“You now see everything through a veil of associations about things, projected over a direct, simple awareness. You’ve ‘seen it all before’; it’s like watching a movie for the twentieth time. You see only memories of things, so you become bored. Boredom, you see, is fundamental non-awareness of life; boredom is awareness, trapped in the mind. You’ll have to lose your mind before you can come to your senses.”

“You’ve become bored to things because they exist only as names to you. The dry concepts of mind obscure your direct perception.”

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“Like most people, you’ve been taught to gather information from outside yourself; from books, magazines, experts.  Like this car, you open up and let the facts pour in.  Sometimes the information is premium and sometimes it’s low octane.  You buy your knowledge at the current market rates, much like you buy gasoline.  Like this gas tank, you are overflowing with preconceptions; full of useless knowledge.  You hold many facts and opinions, yet know little of yourself.  Before you can learn, you’ll have to first empty your tank.

4) Actions are more important than thoughts.

“Your thoughts are like wild monkeys stung by a scorpion.”

Don’t believe everything you think; I have heard this phrase many times & it relates to this idea.

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We can’t always control what we think, but we do have control of our actions.

Yes, try to think positive & focus on the best, but don’t try to force thoughts away. Embrace them; let it come & then let them go like clouds passing by.

“You don’t need to control emotion,” Socrates said. “Emotions are natural, like passing weather. Sometimes it’s fear, sometimes sorrow or anger. Emotions are not the problem. The key is to transform the energy of emotion into constructive action.”

“Old urges continue to arise, but urges do not matter; only actions do. A warrior is as a warrior does.”

“. . Action always happens in the present, because it is an expression of the body, which can only exist in the here and now. But the mind is like a phantom that lives only in the past or future. It’s only power over you is to draw your attention out of the present.”

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Paying attention is also an action, and one of the most important actions:

“A Zen student asked his roshi the most important element of Zen.  The roshi replied, ‘Attention.’ 

‘Yes, thank you,’ the student replied. ‘But can you tell me the second most important element?’ And the roshi replied, ‘Attention.’”

Practice paying attention.

“Ultimately you will learn to meditate your every action.”

“Use whatever knowledge you have but see its limitations. Knowledge alone does not suffice; it has no heart. No amount of knowledge will nourish or sustain your spirit; it can never bring you ultimate happiness or peace. Life requires more than knowledge; it requires intense feeling and constant energy. Life demands right action if knowledge is to come alive.” 

“Full attention to every moment is my desire and my pleasure. Attention costs no money; your only investment is training.”

5) On Life & Death.

* “Experts devote their life to training. Masters devote their training to life.”

“I’ve tried to show you by example that a warrior’s life is not about imagined perfection or victory; it is about love. Love is the warrior’s sword; wherever it cuts, it gives life, not death.”

* “Everyone tells you what’s good for you. they don’t want you to find your own answers. they want you to believe theirs.”

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* “‘Why worry? Better to live until you die.  I am a warrior; my way is action,’ Socrates said. ‘I am a teacher, I teach by example.  Someday you too may teach others as I have shown you—then you’ll understand that words are not enough; you too must teach by example, and only what you’ve realized through your own experience.’”

“The World out there, is a school, Dan.  Life is the only real teacher.  It offers many experiences, and if experience alone brought wisdom and fulfillment, then elderly people would all be happy, enlightened masters

..But the lessons of experience are hidden.  I can help you learn from experience to see the world clearly, and clarity is something you desperately need right now.  Your intuition knows this is true, but your mind rebels; you’ve experienced much, but you’ve learned little.”

“Think of death as a transformation — a bit more radical than puberty, but nothing to get particularly upset about.” 

“Death is not sad; the sad thing is that most people don’t really live at all.”

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“Where are you? Here. What time is it? Now. What are you? This moment.”

“You fear death and crave survival. You want Forever, you desire Eternity. In your deluded belief that you are this ‘mind’ or ‘spirit’ or ‘soul,’ you find the escape clause in your contract with mortality.” 

“Wake up! If you knew for certain that you had a terminal illness – if you had precious little time left to make use of your life and consider who you are, you’d not waste time on self-indulgence or fear, lethargy or ambition.  You do have a terminal illness – it is death. Be happy now, without reason – or you never will be at all.”

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Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed these book notes as much as I enjoyed the book.  I think many people can relate to this incredible story.

Let us be happy now, without reason, and we will live our best life.

You can purchase The Way of the Peaceful Warrior book from Amazon by clicking here if you’d like.

More thought provoking quotes from the book:

* “So I’m a fool, huh?” Says Millman.  Socrates responds with, “We’re all fools together.  It’s just that a few people know it; others don’t.”

“Your mind is your predicament. It wants to be free of change, free of pain, free of the obligations of life and death.  But change is a law, and no amount of pretending will alter that reality.”

“Enlightenment is not an attainment, it is a realization. And when you wake up, everything changes and nothing changes.” 

“How do you know you haven’t been asleep your whole life?  How do you know you’re not asleep right now?”

“Understanding is the one-dimensional comprehension of the intellect. It leads to knowledge. Realization is three-dimensional — a simultaneous comprehension of head, heart, and instinct. It comes only from direct experience.” 

“Focus all your energy not on struggling with the old, but on building the new.” 

“Embody what you teach, and teach only what you have embodied.”

“Stress happens when the mind resists what is.”

“There are no ordinary moments!”

*Story about a younger traveler, Milarepa who has been seeking enlightenment everywhere.  He eventually sees an old man carrying a heavy sack down a mountain & thinks the man knows the answer to his question… 

Milarepa says, “‘Old man, please tell me what you know. What is enlightenment?’ The old man smiled at him for a moment, and swung the heavy burden off his shoulders, and stood straight.

‘Yes, I see!’ Cried Milarepa. ‘My everlasting gratitude. But please, one question more. What is after enlightenment?’

Smiling again, the old man picked up the sack once again, slung it over his shoulders, steadied his burden, and continued on his way.”

I had to read this story^ a few times before I understood it. I hope you can see it.

“Life is not suffering; it’s just that you will suffer it, rather than enjoy it, until you let go of your mind’s attachments and just go for the ride freely, no matter what happens.”

“If you don’t get what you want, you suffer; if you get what you don’t want, you suffer; even when you get exactly what you want, you still suffer because you can’t hold on to it forever.”

“Reading the future is based on a realistic perception of the present.  Don’t be concerned about seeing the future until you can clearly see the present.”

“Meditating an action is different from doing it. To do, there must be a doer, a self-conscious someone performing.  But when you meditate an action, you’ve already released all thoughts, even the thought of, ‘I.’ There’s no ‘you’ left to do it.  In forgetting yourself, you become what you do, so your action is free, spontaneous, without ambition, inhibition, or fear.’”

“The journey is what brings us happiness not the destination.”

I hope you enjoyed the quotes as well as the summary! Now it’s time to put what you’ve learned into practice! Start today, ask “How can I apply these ideas to my daily life?” Let these ideas sink in to who you are.

I also recommend reading Dan’s second & third books in the Peaceful Warrior trilogy. (Sacred Journey of the Peaceful Warrior & The Hidden School) which you can purchase from Amazon if you’d like by clicking on their title.

Get the books from a library or buy them; either way it will be worth your while! I read both & thoroughly enjoyed them.

Happy Reading! I wish you well on your journey toward becoming a Peaceful Warrior.

Dream Big. How I got Involved with Acting

The first time I remember wanting to be an actor was after watching Jim Carrey starring in the movie, The Mask.  I watched it on VHS! Do you remember those?

I enjoyed 27970cd5226fcca6a7ab5d534a4c6a63watching Jim in his many roles as I was growing up, and so he was one of the first people that gave me inspiration to become an actor.

But after getting a little older, I realized that “no-one” can actually become an actor..right?  Wrong.  If no-one could become an actor, how are there actors?  ..“Because they are born into it” or because they “got lucky,” is what many people say..  Oh.

That is the mindset when you grow up in a small town that is 2,000+ miles away from Los Angeles.

So I continued living my life as a kid with little responsibilities, focusing on school, athletics, friends and family….and catching crayfish

Kenny Thompson

I’m on the right side holding the crayfish above Peter’s head.  Thank you Ginny for the picture!

The older I got, the more people asked what I wanted to do with my life, because that’s what happens when we get older right.

I never really had a good answer for them.  I didn’t know what I wanted to do.  I think that most people don’t know what they want to do so they just choose a generic field to study and then they follow through with it.  They end up living a 9-5 life that they don’t really enjoy so that they can spend their money on a house that is used for sleeping and a car used for driving to work.

Alan Watts says “That’s just stupid to live like that.  Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way.”

Ask yourself “What do I really want to do with my life?”

After two years of being undeclared in college, I literally had to choose a major, so I chose Sports Administration with a Business minor.  I thought, “Well I like sports so I’ll try this.”  Throughout the next years when I got closer to graduating, the thoughts of what I want to do with my life came to me again.

I thought, “I think I would really like to be an actor.”  But not knowing how I could become an actor was a big obstacle for me.  Philosopher Alan Watts inspired me in his video “What if Money Was No Object?

After listening to many of Watt’s speeches, as well as reading and listening to Ram Dass, Dan Millman, Dale Carnegie, Steve Jobs, Tim Ferriss & John Lee Dumas, I really knew that I didn’t want to work a 7-3, or 8-4, or 9-5 job that I did not enjoy going to for the next 30-40 years of my life so that I can retire and “be happy.”

(Recent inspiration from: Marcus Aurelius, Eckhart Tolle, Mark Manson, Ryan Holiday, Tony Robbins, Derek Sivers).

So even after knowing I didn’t want to have that 8 hour a day job at somewhere I don’t enjoy, I thought it would be a good idea to get my Masters in Education to become a teacher.

School was never that hard for me, but there were definitely some overwhelming times while I was getting my Masters Degree.  I had the end goal in mind, of getting this degree, so I knew that I was going to get things done whether I felt like it or not.

My First Movie

Anyway right before I began my Master’s Program, there was a movie to be filmed on my Universities Campus (I.U.P.).  That movie was Southpaw, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams and 50 Cent, directed by Antoine Fuqua.

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When I found out about this, I asked myself, “How can I get involved with this movie?”  So I googled information about the movie and found that they were looking for people to play as extras in the movie.  I went to an audition for the movie, they asked some questions, took some pictures and I was on my way.

I didn’t receive a call for weeks, and the movie began filming so I thought that I was not going to get a call.

But one day, I was working as a Sports Information employee in the building where Southpaw was being filmed, the K.C.A.C in I.U.P. and I went to a bathroom.  As I was at the urinal, a man came into the bathroom and went to a urinal nearby (there were only 2 or 3 urinals).  So I struck up a conversation, asking him if he was involved with the movie.  He responded by telling me that he was the director.

It was Antoine Fuqua!  The man who directed Training Day with Denzel Washington.

Anyway, I asked him if he needed any help with the movie and that I would work for free.  He asked if I would like to be an actor.  And I jokingly said, “Well I have the face right?”  We both laughed after we washed our hands and were exiting the bathroom.  Once outside the bathroom he called someone over.  They came over and he told them to get my information down and put me in the movie.

I got a call the next day to be a character as a press/media journalist for the movie during the boxing scenes.  I got paid and also got to personally meet 50 Cent, while being in the vicinity of Jake Gyllenhaal and Rachel McAdams.

Anyone who has worked on a movie set knows that they are long days, usually between 10-14 hours of work, with a lot of chill time in between shooting scenes.  It’s not for everyone, but I loved it.

I had my first taste of what being on the set of a feature film was like.  It was exhilarating.

I had met another actor on set who told me about an agency he was with in Pittsburgh who frequently sent out casting notices, so I got involved with them after working in this film.

They helped me get into two more huge movies and two tv shows.

The movies were: Concussion & Love The Coopers.

I played a NFL Employee in the movie Concussion and a Diner Patron in Love the Coopers.

The TV shows were: Banshee & Mindhunter.

I played an amish protestor as well as a news reporter in the show Banshee (did multiple episodes), and I played a police officer in Mindhunter.

I recently got into a commercial & a paid student film that I will talk about shortly.

Each set is a unique and wonderful experience.  There is no set that is exactly like the next, which makes acting exciting.  It’s also fun when you get to meet some pretty famous people and work with them.

While I was working as a police officer on the set of Mindhunter (which is on Netflix), I was able to meet and shake the hand of David Fincher, the director who also directed Fight Club, Se7en, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Social Network, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and many more.

David Fincher was awesome.  Everyone respected him on the set and he directed with a confident and knowing vision.  I was also able to talk a bunch with the two main characters, Jonathan Groff and Holt McCallany.  They both were very nice to everyone on set and I could tell they were having fun while being serious about their work.

The food on big sets is also delicious.

Anyway, that all began in 2014 during the filming of Southpaw, which aired the next year in 2015.

2018

The year is now 2018.  I moved to Colorado in 2017 and landed an Acting Teacher job in my fifth month of living here.  I was a full time teacher in PA before coming to CO & substitute teaching every day.  I have a local agent, I filmed a real estate commercial in January that is now airing locally, and did a paid student film this past November which I had a blast doing!  That crew was so fun to work with.

I had an audition today, April 4th, that I think went really well, and I have another audition tomorrow.

A long time ago I had a dream of being an actor.  As a child I had a belief that it was possible to become a paid actor, until I grew up and found out that “no-one” becomes an actor.

I’m here to tell you that it’s possible.

Your dream is possible.

Feel free to message me if you have any questions about acting or how to get involved.  If you want to talk about the movies or shows I’ve been in, message me, & I’d love to hear about your acting stories!  Comment below or email me at Kthompson7814@gmail.com.

Interview with Youtuber Denise Vlogs

I had the pleasure of interviewing YouTube star Denise Vlogs via Skype!  Denise loves creating short horror films which you can check out HERE.

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She also vlogs her travels in which she has been all over the world; so if you love a good horror story and an adventure you need to check her channel out!  She has almost 100,000 YouTube subscribers and videos with over a million views.  She recently bought a one way ticket to Europe and was in the Capital of Portugal, Lisbon when I interviewed her.  For now, enjoy the q and a interview with Denise Vlogs:

  1. Hello Denise! Where are you from?

DV: “I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York; moved to Los Angeles after graduating from Brooklyn College majoring in film production.”

2.  Where are you currently and would you like to live somewhere specific?

DV: “Lisbon, Porutgal.  If I had to settle it would be in Los Angeles.”  She knows a lot of people in Los Angeles, but is not too fond of living in the states because at the moment it is hard to be a freelancer here.

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City of Los Angeles California

3.  What is your dream job?

DV: “Film production; writing scripts, film maker, and that being the only source of income.”

4.  Do you have a role model?  Who is it and why?

DV: “Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.  I met him when I worked as a receptionist at Anonymous Content.”  She watched his movies in film school where he was used as an example of a great foreign director and admired for his work.

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Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

5.  Since she had lived in Los Angeles for awhile I asked her if she met any celebrities and she did:                                                                                                                                                                                     DV: “I met Snoop Dogg, Ashton Kutcher..lots of famous people and  famous YouTubers.  I was more excited to meet other YouTubers because I wanted to collaborate with them.”

6.  Tell me about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career.

DV: “DV Presents-Denise Vlogs presents;  a series of short films-10-20 of them.  I love these films that focus on a story.  These are what I love to make.”  Check out these videos HERE 

DeniseVlogsPresents

7.  If you had a superpower what would it be?

DV: “Time travel—I’d warn my mom about her cancer so she would have survived; also a friend who died of the same cancer.  I’d tell myself to break up with several people.”

8.  What does your perfect day look like?

DV: “New experiences; a brand new country in a beautiful place.  When I just released a DV presents video, get a lot of money, and eat good food.”

9.  How would you spend a billion dollars?

DV: “Travel, film making, donate to charities.  I would save for 10 years and adopt a child.  Buy several properties all over the world.  Buy a citizenship in another country.  Never bring a suitcase with me everywhere I went; I’d shop wherever I went and then donate my old clothes.”

10.  What did you want to be when you grew up?

DV: “Starting at 11 I wanted to be a screen writer.  I wrote a script when was 11.  Before that I wanted to be an actress and singer, maybe I just wanted attention…I also wanted to be a meteorologist when I was really young; I was fascinated by natural disasters as a little kid.  My dad bought tons of movies, and my mom loved to watch scary movies so I would watch them with her and I really like them.  At sleepovers and with friends I would make up ghost stories with friends.  My uncle also told me he wrote a screen play when I was a young age, so that made me realize that anyone could do it!”  Her friends liked her scary stories the best!

DVBlogs

11.  What is the hardest part about maintaining the lifestyle you live?

DV: “I want to make more money; I just make enough to get by at the moment.  Being a digital nomad can be sad having to leave people after I connect with someone.  It can get lonely being by myself, so it might be nice to settle.”

12.  What do you enjoy most about your lifestyle?

DV: “New experiences and new people I get to meet all the time.  It’s a burst of energy when you connect to a new place.  I enjoy not having to sit in a desk every day, learning new things, creating content, and hopes I’ll have more time to create more content to focus on.”

13.  What kind of computer do you have?  You probably have to edit a lot for those awesome videos!!

DV:  “I recommend the MacBook Pro to edit videos and stuff.  I have the MacBook Pro 2014.  I use adobe premier to edit but for beginners recommend iMovie.  I use photoshop sometimes and would use a desktop but I move around a lot.”

Currently Denise is working now as a freelancer.  She edits videos, consults people and companies for social media– YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, etc.  She has looked into teaching online and possibly substitute teach.  She also like to volunteer to teach English.  She has two YouTube channels DeniseVlogs and DeniseActuallyVlogs.  She uses both channels but deniseactuallyvlogs is more casual.

Follow her on Twitter @DeniseVlogs, Instagram @DeniseVlogs.  Follow her travels on snapchat at DeniseVlogs too!

If you missed it at the top here is her youtube main page!

Life is NOT about making Money

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As I was gazing at stars tonight in the pool, I had this thought…

I want to be financially free just like the next person, but this does not mean I should be living my whole life only to make money.

I spend a lot of time thinking about how I will earn my next dollar.  I think a lot of people do, and I realized that I do not want to be consumed by the thought of money.  Life is so much more than these pieces of paper we use for transactions.

So what is life about?  …It’s NOT about making money.

  • Life is about making the world better than it was before you came to this Earth.
  • Life is about having a positive influence on the lives of others.
  • Life is about finding something you truly love doing, then doing it until you become an expert!
  • Life is about spending time with people who support & love you; stop spending time with people who only bring you down.
  • Life is about the adventure.
  • Life is about finding answers to questions but also accepting that some questions won’t be answered.
  • Life is about Living.

What is life about for you?

Life is not meant to be wasted constantly thinking about the dollar bill.  Or the five, or the ten, or the twenty, fifty, not even the hundred dollar bill.  Crazy huh?

I know that money is a necessity when it comes to paying the bills and raising a family, but you can be pursuing what you love as you make money in another way (A Job) until you start getting paid for what you love doing (Your Captivating Career).

Do you truly want to spend your days consumed by the thought of money?  Or do you want to free your mind and start truly living the life meant to be lived?  The choice is yours…

Get off of the couch and go for a walk.  Call a friend or family member.  Think about how you can positively impact this world, your community, one person, and then do it!  Take time to think of what you love doing, and try to figure out how you can make a job out of it.  Appreciate and be thankful for what you have, for one day, this too shall pass.

Think it’s impossible? It’s not. More and more people are doing what they love. This is a new day, a new age, a new generation. Here is one awesome example of a person who quit their job to follow their passion:

How to Quit Your Job, Move to Paradise, and Get Paid to Change the World

Please leave a comment below if you’d like.  Let me know what Life is about for you.

     And enjoy each moment of this beautiful mystery we call Life.