“Set aside a certain number of days, during which you shall be content with the scantiest and cheapest fare, with course and rough dress, saying to yourself the while: Is this the condition that I feared?”
– Seneca 4 BC – AD 65
I went to college right after high school. Mistake.
I rarely took time off from my first job. Mistake.
I bought a house thirty minutes from my job. It was “more affordable.” Mistake.
I bought that house because we were expecting our second child and the condo in town (near work) was “too small.” Mistake.
While learning Latin, I learned Latin grammar first. I learned to read and speak Latin later. Mistake.
In short, I followed much of the standard advice that is given to young people today. Mistake.
Two years ago, my wife and I threw it all to the wind.
We cut ourselves off from all of our “advisors.” After all, many of these “advisors” had contributed to our earlier mistakes.
With no plan and no reservations, we packed our family into our van and drove from Florida to Maine. As Seneca suggested we made ourselves content with the scantiest and cheapest fare. For forty days, we camped and ate rice and beans. We lived as scantily as possible. Did you know, by the way, that you can camp in New York City for $30 a night? It’s true.
Driving (and camping) up the East Coast was one of the most liberating (and one of the most difficult) experiences our family has lived through.
Last summer, we stayed home so that I could work. It was the “sensible” thing to do. Mistake.
We are not going to make the same mistake this summer. In two weeks, we are going to run away again. We will drive from Nashville to California (and back, of course).
I suggest you run away, too.
Why are we running away? And, why am I suggesting that you run away, too?
The main reason we run away (and you should, too) is that, for a time, you can escape your “web of expectations.”
Well-meaning friends and relatives tend to impose their expectations, their rules, and their way of life on you.
Have you ever presented a crazy idea to friends only to hear them respond with negative feedback? You will hear things like “That could never work,” or “I really don’t think that’s a good idea,” or “I had a friend who tried that once, and he failed.”
That is what I mean by “web of expectations.” Sometimes you have to break away before you can really “break away.”
You know that crazy idea you have? It could be a major breakthrough. Chances are, you will need to escape your “web of expectations” to achieve it.
I go into this in more detail in this post:
By the way, I will try to post the tip of the week every Saturday during the month of June… but, there is a small chance you will not hear from me for a bit.
I will be on the road.
Have a happy Saturday!