One of the first things that people tend to ask you these days is something like “what do you do,” or “what do you do for a living?” It used to be an easy question for me to answer. I could talk about being an entrepreneur, or about being a business consultant, or perhaps even about being a Mom. At some point, around about age 45, I decided that I was living my life in the fast lane, at warp speed, I was tired, and I was ready for a major change. My children were 1 and 4 and I didn’t want to miss their childhood, and I certainly didn’t want to miss the best years of my life by simply working to earn more money and to buy more “stuff.”
When your life is lived on adrenaline, it is an intoxicating drug! Like any addiction, cold turkey is the toughest way to go. I made a conscious decision to first slow down, then re-evaluate once I had a little time and perspective. Many changes came about as a result of this hiatus, but in all, the end result was the realization that when you are on the hamster wheel, you can’t see it. I craved more time and more happiness, but was at a complete loss as to how to get those things when I was too busy to simply just be…
A few years of working less, taking time to find what made me happy, and mostly just “being” led me to realize that it is not a race to the finish line that makes me happy.
My children and I create New Years Goals together every year. Part of it is self-improvement focused, part is learning focused, and part is experiential. Along my journey, Keaton, my younger son, chose “smell the flowers” as his goal for the year. We spent an entire year stopping to smell the flowers every time we saw some. It remains a habit of our family to this day. The best thing about this learning was that you first have to notice the flowers! If you are truly present, it is amazing how many flowers surround us. I think we are often too focused on where we are going to see them. What else do we miss by being on the hamster wheel?
I saw this billboard about winning the lottery when I was with my kids one day in the city. We all noticed it at the same time. We all thought the same thing, in different ways. Why? What it takes to have more toys defeats the purpose of having toys. I had this business idea a long time ago that I would still love to do. It is part of the inspiration behind MotoSoul. A world wide toy sharing software app that lets you list your toys and trade the use of toys with others. Just like we learned to share when we were kids, why not do it as adults? I trade motorbikes with my friends all over the world. Anyone who wants to ride mine can. I have been able to ride cool bikes in many cool places by sharing. What about a boat? Or a car? Or a house? Why should we spend more time on a hamster wheel in order to buy more? Why not take more time off and share instead?
The MotoSoul concept has a deep element of sharing as one of its primary tenets. Sharing stories, sharing wisdom, sharing a vision, which will also lead to sharing of other things too, I am certain. We may not have people listing their toys on a website, but we will have people sharing stories around the campfires, making new friends, and offering their homes, their bikes, and other things too, to their new found friends, if they come to visit them in their hometowns.