On July 16, 2013, our next story chose us.
Next July, we’ll set off on the Monday after WDS from Pioneer Square in Portland, Oregon, and ride our bikes home to Corpus Christi, Texas. It’s about 2,300 miles, and we think it’ll take about a month. In addition to the ride, our goal is to raise $23,000 for charity: water, enough to build a school water project.
We’re not prepared, and we don’t yet have a plan.
That’s okay. We have something even better – a story.
In tomorrow’s KKFM edition, I’ll share more about why that’s important. For now, here’s a two minute video about why stories matter to families.
(If you can’t see the video, click here to watch it online.)
At the closing session of WDS, Don asked, “Is life meaningless? Rather, what if just your life is meaningless?”
Before you think of that as an insult, reframe it as an opportunity.
What if life could be lived more like a good story? What if a person could plan a story for his life and live it intentionally?
If that’s the case, what kind of story are you telling with your life?
Maybe, like us, you accidentally slipped into a dull one. That’s okay. You can simply pick another story and start to live it.
That’s when the real excitement starts.
You’ll get a taste for one story and then want another, and then another, and the stories will build until you’re living a kind of epic of risk and reward, and the whole thing will be molding you into the actual character whose roles you’ve been playing. And once you live a good story, you get a taste for a kind of meaning in life, and you can’t go back to being normal; you can’t go back to meaningless scenes stitched together by the forgettable thread of wasted time.
– Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
It’s completely true.
Two years ago, we went skydiving with folks we’d never met. Signing the brutally honest release forms, we joked about how our legal and financial advisors back home would never approve. Hours later, we were floating above the earth, enjoying its beauty like an astronaut would on a return trip from space.
On somewhat of a whim last year, we signed up for a business bootcamp in the Philippines. Flying on reward miles, we had (long) layovers in Moscow and Singapore. The day after we arrived in Manila, a monsoon hit, trapping us at the tip of the island. Forced to trust the natives for a place to stay, we ended up in a traveler’s hotel sharing meals with new friends from all over Asia. A few days later, we took a freighter to another port and a jeepney to our final destination, Puerto Galera. Then we spent two weeks with some of the brightest minds in the world, went scuba diving, hiked barefoot, and crashed our websites learning to program. Throughout it all, we kept up our work, finishing financials, managing projects, and hosting 5am conference calls with breathtaking Pacific sunrises in full view.
We learned that life could be different, and now, we can’t imagine living any other way. We’re determined to live a meaningful story of adventure, community, and service.
Last week, we realized that we’d always played supporting roles in other people’s stories. We’d never been the main characters in our own.
Robert McKee says humans naturally seek comfort and stability. Without an inciting incident that disrupts their comfort, they won’t enter into a story… The character has to jump into the story, into the discomfort and the fear, otherwise the story will never happen.
I guess you could say we’ve jumped.
If you’d like to follow along on our adventure, you can get all the details at wdsride.com.