“I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I’m about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something” - Steve Jobs
This seemed so very pertinent when I heard it for the first time. I wasn’t completely happy each morning when I looked at myself in the mirror, and I certainly wouldn’t have been doing what I was about to do, if that day had been my last. I also recall thinking that it was a bit idealistic to spend every day doing something worthy of your last hours on earth – time with family and friends would be at the top of the list for most people. Under normal circumstances though, we don’t know which day will be our last, and it’s because of this, we owe it to ourselves to spend our days doing something that we love.
It is for this reason that my time at Pastoral Vadi has come to an end.
After working on the farm for three weeks, it was clear there simply weren’t enough hours in the day for me to accomplish all that I wanted. I justified the extended break to myself on the basis that it would allow me time to write my first e-book – something I had originally planned to do once reaching Vietnam (due to the lower cost of living). Working on the farm appeared to be a great way to reduce my living costs to practically zero, while still leaving enough spare time to write. It didn’t quite work out the way I had hoped; the work days were tiring and distractions abound meant quality writing time was scarce.
That’s not to take anything away from Pastoral Vadi and the people that make it what it is, only that my journey was never really about working on a farm. It was a fantastic experience and I met some amazing people I hope to see again sometime soon. I left a very good job to pursue doing what I love; challenging myself physically and mentally by travelling the world by bicycle, learning about the world around me and within me, contributing to others, and writing, as it turns out! And so ultimately, when I looked at myself in the mirror each morning, the answer had been “No” too many days in a row.
But not too far…. All things considered, spending the winter in the south of Turkey is still far more appealing than cycling through the rest of Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and China in the bitterly cold winter months. It’s now the off season for tourism and I have managed to secure ‘all inclusive’ accommodation in Kargicak, 220 miles further east along the coast, for eleven pounds per day – result! It is here I will endeavour to spend my days doing something that I love – writing (and eating!).
Does spending your days doing something that you love mean everyday will be spent in a state of utopia? Far from it; in fact, transitioning from where you are now, to where you want to be, is potentially the hardest step. It could mean a change of career, releasing yourself from a long term relationship, losing weight or giving something up – it could mean all of the above, and then some (tragic soul, but all is not lost). What it does mean, is that when you look at yourself in the mirror each morning, the answer will be ‘Yes’ more often than not.
It’s the processes of making the necessary changes in one’s life, to facilitate spending one’s days doing what one loves, that will be the subject of my first e-book. Getting from where you are now, to where you want to be, is a very courageous and challenging pursuit. Having a map and the right tools on hand could be the difference between stepping out into the unknown, to live a life that you love, and a lifetime of “No”s in front of the mirror.
This blog post was inspired by an email I received from a regular reader. He asked me a number of questions, one of which was; ‘Do you continue to love what you are doing, as you advocate – or do you love the challenge?’ A great question, which caused me to re-focus my energy and get on with doing what I love. Thanks Miles.
It’s always great to receive emails for readers; if there is a specific question or issue you’re struggling with, which you would like me to address in the e-book or future blog posts, leave a comment below or drop me an email.
And of course, if you would like to explore in more detail how to spend your days doing what you love, fill in your name and email below and I’ll be in touch when my new book is released.
Bonus points: If you’ve made it this far watch Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement Speech 2005, to be inspired.
Title inspired by and editing courtesy of the fantastic Disco Stu