What seems like just a few weeks ago, I was reading about Rolf Pott’s decision to travel for a long time no luggage. He was preparing to travel the world, the entire world, for 6 weeks with not a stitch of luggage. No backpack, fanny pack or even a plastic bag. He had a fancy jacket and pants with a ton of pockets, and he managed to fit everything he needed into them. I was intrigued and wanted to see how it went.
I forgot to check his blog about how his trip was until today when I saw his name on another post and remembered it. “Let’s see how he is doing,” I thought as I clicked on a link to his blog. “I wonder what country he is in now.”
The most recent entry, dated Oct 5th, says The no-baggage journey is complete!
Whaaaa? How is that possible?! Didn’t he just leave 2 or maybe 3 weeks ago? I wondered if he finished early or something. “After six weeks and more than 30,000 miles on five continents, I’ve come full-circle to New York,” says the next line.
Even though I feel like only a few weeks have passed since I first heard about it, it turns out 6 weeks has gone by. The weeks flew by so quickly, I didn’t even notice. Then it hit me at how often that happens. How many times have I set some lofty goal for myself over a period of time, say the summer, only to scratch my head in September and wonder where the time went.
Or even worse, whole years have disappeared. As I’ve said in a past post my friends went traveling for a year. I thought it was a big deal, a whole year, but before I knew it they were back with tales and photos from their amazing time abroad. To me it only felt like they were gone for a few months, not an entire year. What did I do with my time? Nothing.
Time flies, and if you’re not careful, it can fly away without you.
This is a valuable lesson for anyone looking to change their lives or do something big. We often put things off thinking that you have plenty of time and you can do it later, small things such as eating better, traveling, or beginning the next ‘Great American Novel.’ Like Steven Pressfield writes in his book War of Art, “We don’t tell ourselves, ‘I’m never going to write my symphony.’ Instead we say, ‘I am going to write my symphony; I’m just going to start tomorrow.”
We all fool ourselves and sometimes it takes watching someone do something amazing to make us notice. While Rolf was traveling the world with no luggage what did I do? Did I write 6 chapters of a book? No. Did I walk every night and avoid snacks? No. Did I accomplish anything extraordinary? No.
I woke up, went to work, watched TV and added many status updates on Facebook.
Admittedly, I did all these things in China, which is a small consolation, but really I’m just riding the coattails of work I have done in the past. Getting to China was the tough part. Being here is easy. I can’t rest on the laurels of past work. I need to constantly re-inspire myself, to break down my little goals and take a little step everyday. Sometimes it’s difficult (or rather, surfing the web is much easier), but if you want to achieve anything, you have to start today.
So what would you like to do that you have been putting off? And how can you force yourself to start today?
Writer. Traveler. Tea Drinker.Writer. Traveler. Tea Drinker. Doing all three in China
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