PS. Help me out as I go along? I’ll need it!
* * *
Ask any surfer, and they’ll tell you it takes hard work to catch a good wave.
Some say it’s a science. Others say it’s an art. Whatever it is, it goes something like this:
- A surfer needs the determination to set out into the water. Staring out into the ocean and its waves can be intimidating. A surfer standing on the shore must pick up the board and walk in.
- A surfer needs to paddle through incoming waves to get into deep water. It can be arduous work, and it takes careful analysis to avoid being overwhelmed by the barrage of waves. With stamina and determination, a surfer gets through.
- A surfer sits outs on in the deep water and waits for the right wave. Carefully and methodically, a surfer chooses the wave that’s worth all the hard work that’s already been accomplished.
- A surfer chooses the right wave and starts fighting for it. The only way to make it to the wave is to paddle like hell. This isn’t just about willpower and grit — it’s about physical strength and agility.
- A surfer rides the wave in sweet ecstasy. The ride is the benefit after all the hard work. All previous training and experience shine through in this wonderful rendition of smooth twists and turns through the water.
Once the ride is over, it’s time to start all over again.
Time to Reset
Surfers work their bodies by furiously paddling to catch a good wave — and then ride it as far as it’ll take them. They do all the work for the short bliss of an exhilarating ride.
I’ve been doing the same thing.
The past few years of my life have been extraordinary. The fact that I’ve pulled it off still weirds me out.
Writing: I remember being terrified of sharing my writing. I’d hide my notebooks under my bed. I even got laughed at during a Feature Writing course in college. I’ve now been sharing my writing online for 3+ years and have written two books. What?
Entrepreneurship: I went through my master’s program thinking I’d go home after graduation and get a job. I did that — only to quit 2 months later to start my own business. My business has experienced both nightmares and highlights.
Travel: I dreamed of traveling the world to meet amazing people, but I hated traveling without my husband. It just didn’t feel complete. Over the past year and a half, he’s accompanied me to Miami, New York City, Portland, and San Francisco. Next up, he’ll be joining me in Spain and Italy. Wherever we go, we go together.
I only accomplished this because I worked on myself first.
Crafting a meaningful life means doing the work first, paddling out and choosing the right wave.
When I did the work on myself, I took the time to get to know myself and what I wanted to accomplish. I read books. I journaled and brainstormed. I spoke with mentors and friends. I traveled to conferences. I stayed healthy and slept a lot. I experimented and failing more times than I can count.
I did all of that work and rode a great wave — writing books, traveling a ton, and starting a business — but something doesn’t feel right anymore.
I’ve realized it’s time to do the work all over again. I need to paddle out and catch another wave.
Paddling Out Into the Waters
Living a perpetual vacation isn’t easy. Like I mentioned during my TEDx talk, what I enjoy changes constantly.
So far, I’ve been able to build a business on putting all of the things I enjoy — design, writing, marketing, branding, serving — together into one package. Over the past year and a half, it’s worked wonderfully.
Part of me feels like I shouldn’t complain, but a bigger part of me is saying I need something new.
Accomplishment marks the end of a journey — and the start of a new one.
Living a perpetual vacation is a constant struggle to figure out what’s right for me and what feels good for my life, taking into account all of those changes that happen over time.
All of you are about to witness a transformation.
The current state of things needs to change, but I don’t yet know what that change looks like. I have a few ideas, but I need to do the work first.
I know that most of you are still trying to create your “perpetual vacation” lifestyle. Tackling our dreams isn’t easy. Franco, our very own Adventurer, told us the story of how he created his “perpetual vacation” and continues to work on it day in and day out.
It’s time for me to do the same.
I’m going to redesign my perpetual vacation right here, in front of all of you. I hope you’ll help me as I go along this journey.
The Redesign Challenge
For the entire month of August, I’ll be sharing my journey to do the work and redesign my life, including details on the work I’m doing. Each week, I’ll post articles on the following topics:
- Week 1: How I feel now vs. how I want to feel in the future
- Week 2: What problems do I want to solve?
- Week 3: Who do I want to solve them for?
- Week 4: How will I solve these problems and still maintain how I want to feel?
That’s a lot to do in one month!
Note: I’ll probably have more work to do after August, but I hope to have a good grasp of what I want direction I’m going in as of September 1st.
I’ll know I’ve finished when I’ve answered all the questions above, and I have a flexible plan of what I’ll do going forward to accomplish it.
Flexible plans are the only way to keep my sanity. In the mind of Marcella, things change quickly. The only kind of plan I’ll follow is a flexible one.
In the words of Antoine de Saint-Exupery:
“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”
It’s time to reset my course and paddle back out into the water. Who’s with me?
Wishing you awesomeness,