(What is the Rocking Chair Question and how should it dictate the decisions you make in your life.)
The primary motivator in my life is something I made up called the “Rocking Chair Question”. What is “The Rocking Chair Question” you ask? Simple, whenever I’m faced with a difficult decision in my life I ask myself, “when I am 80 years old sitting on my porch in a rocking chair will I regret NOT doing this?”. By living with this mentality you will be able to fully take charge of your own life and also get yourself in to some incredibly dangerous and/or adventurous situations. The RCQ got me a broken arm and it also has gotten me to live in places like Connecticut and Paris. The RCQ has gotten me rejected at bars and has also gotten me laid. The RCQ got me to almost die surfing in Morocco and it has also launched me into a decade long period of growth that made me the man I am today. While I can’t in good faith recommend anything that puts your health in danger I do recommend you living your life to the absolute fullest because as you know, it is fleeting.
At the end of your life what you value you the most will not be money, it will be your experiences. Go figure right, you’ve heard Confucius say it on all your fortune cookies but you’ve never really thought about it. At the end of your life when you’re laying in that hospital bed I guarantee you are never going to say “I wish I bought that Sub Zero fridge” or “I wish I bought those spinners for my car”. But I bet you will trade in all the lime green Jello in the world if you only lived in Japan that one summer, said more to “the one that got away”, or were able to once again savor and experience the confectionery wonder that is the Pasteis De Belem in Lisbon.
A lot of my friends got married or settled down at a very young age but now that they’re older they tell me they envy all the things I’ve done and the risks I’ve taken. I say this not to brag but more as a cautionary tale.
Don’t get me wrong though, I’m not some Affliction T-shirt wearing douche bag that head butts dogs on the street while yelling “YOLO”. I don’t always obey my own advice. From time to time I still get timid approaching women, I’ve stayed too long at a job I’ve hated, and sometimes I’ve taken the blue pill instead of the red bill allowing me to stay in the sweet comfort zone that is The Matrix. But even if you follow the Rocking Chair Question only 25% of the time, at the end of your life you will feel 25% more enriched and happy with yourself. So in the future when faced with a decision that terrifies you just ask yourself, “when I am 80 years old sitting on my porch in a rocking chair will I regret NOT doing this?”
Your life, your choices, your destiny are 100% in your control.
[Photo: Looking up in the bamboo forest. Maui, HI]