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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Destination vs. The Journey or The Journey vs. The Destination January 29th 2012

January has been a Hodgepodge for me.  A mix of creative brilliance combined with infinite energy and procrastination combined with just ehhhh energy.  A mix of waking up with the excitement to take on the world and a little "I don't want to do this or that right now, I'll do it later," itus.  The first three weeks were the former while this last week has been more of the later. Is it part of being sick, yeah, maybe a little.  Is it a case of being a lazy procrastinator... yea definitely a little of that too (as of this writing I have about exhausted all the time I care to dilly dally on YouTube).  And then there is the 1000 Challenge, day to day life without day to day challenges to go on; that is the bigger part of it which is the reason for my title of this blog "The Destination vs. The Journey or The Journey vs The Destination."

When I was in Texas two weeks ago for my birthday road trip I found myself pondering the above.  As I drove by historical land marker after historical land marker, I realized already how different 2012 was than 2011.  In 2011 each of those land marks would have been a stopping point, an experience to have, history to learn, and thus become part of the 1 Year 1000 Challenge.  This time though I traveled with an agenda.  I had four days to cover about 2000 miles which left little to no time for stopping, save for gas and the planned stopping spots on the trip: Roswell, Carlsbad Caverns, Guadalupe Mountains, Big Bend, and the Alamo.

I am not going to lie, at first I was very sad.  I squirmed, I fidgeted, I fussed about not stopping.  It felt like I kept passing one of my best friends on the side of the road, but I never stopped to say hi.  I realized in these moments just how desperately I wanted to hold on to 2011 and the year that was the 1 Year 1000 Challenge. 

I think it was the band, "Aerosmith," that sung about "Life's a Journey not a Destination."  I found myself silently pondering this.  Actually in the early stages it was more of a stressing out about this to be perfectly honest.  Was I falling back into an old routine?  Was I allowing so much of the world to pass me by?  Was I back to focusing on one thing and one thing only instead of slowing down to appreciate all  the world around me??!!   AHHHHHHHHH!!!

By giving myself a limited amount of time and focusing on the Destination was I missing out on the entire Journey?  Then suddenly I had an epiphany, the Destination was the Journey, they had become one in the same.  This time the journey had become the trip itself.  The adventure of getting to these places, the great distance to travel, the bonding time with a friend, the long days, all of it was part of the Journey.  The Journey had just changed a little, change can be good.

Last year was about a challenge, a challenge to do at least one new thing, but averaging close to three a day, for an entire year to try and do/see/experience 1000 things I never had done/seen/experienced.  From that challenge all sorts of wonderful things have been born, amongst which are my goals for this year.  And my goals for this year are part of my life's journey. 

Even more than that the journey has evolved to something new.  Last year was constantly about Challenge's and with having so many to do in such a short time, I often felt like I was rushing from some places I would have liked to spend more time at.  This year, part of the journey is to have the option to take those extra few minutes and really enjoy all that I experience. 

Ok, this is all great Jesse, and a big high five to you for this little epiphany you have had, but it still does not explain why you have been procrastinating so much this last week (hence not blogging for over two weeks).  I would love to say it was some deep profound reason, but I think the real deep down reality of it is: I kind of enjoyed being lazy the last several days.  Despite what I may say to the contrary, I just kind of wanted to chill for a few days.  After being "on" non stop for over a year; once I finished my website it was time to just unwind. 

It was great and all.  I finished a video game that I never finished the last time I played it back in 2005.  I watched a couple of really bad movies.  I was sick and spent a day in bed.  I ate some junk food, but mostly healthy food.  I went to lay on the beach a few times (yes our winter has been that nice that we can go lay on the beach).  I..., well that was really about the extent of it.  And now I am over it. 

You see it was nice to relax for a bit, but the problem with being lazy for to long is that it is not going to help me achieve my goals and fulfill my dreams.  I truly enjoy my job, my day to day life, and I love working hard - it brings me a sense of fulfillment, a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.  Why would I ever want to check out from that?

I really enjoy the life I have created for myself.  As I have said before and you all will hear me say again and again sometimes you have to spend some time in the valleys to appreciate the view from the tops of the mountains.  I voluntarily gave up my amazing view from the top of the mountain and went down below for a little R&R.  I am grateful for the opportunity I had to do it and also the insights I have had during it.  However, I am beyond eager to get back up and enjoy the view from the top of the mountain.  It is all just a part of the Journey.

Enjoy the pics,

Carpe Diem,


Thursday, January 12, 2012

A New Year

I am not going to lie... it has been weird!

How does one re-adjust to a life that does not include 1000 Challenges?  How does one fill in the gaps and holes in their day that would normally be filled with exploration, adventure, trying out something new?

Its not just the 1000 things in a year, it's the 20,000+ photos I took, its the 1000's of miles I traveled, it's the people I met, the places I visited, the food I ate, the memories I created, the action I took, the resolve that I made, it's the... it's the... it's the deliberate intention to Carpe Diem every single day!

Then all of a sudden the clock strikes midnight and a year that started at 12:01am one year ago is over.  A year that began with a dream and a #1 on a list; ended at midnight with a dream realized and a list of 1022 challenges completed.

I had hoped to write with you all and share my insights of what I have been thinking/feeling at this point, but to be perfectly honest, I have not given it time to fully set in yet.  This year has begun with a flurry.  I have found myself very busy at working to keep the momentum from last year going. 

I am headed out of town this weekend for what will provide me first real break from the 1000 Challenge (even though this is a 1000 Challenge inspired trip).  I promise when I come back I will be more insightful and have more to share.

So for now I will clear up a few things:

1.) Yes shirts and bands are still available for sale and will remain so as long as there continues to be a demand for them.  You can find all the info about that here: Shirt Info

2.) Yes, the sunrise/ sunset challenge will continue until we have filled up the entire list.  For more information on that, including the list and what places we still need, click here:  Sunrise/sunset challenge  Please remember to ONLY send in photos that have not yet been checked off from the list.  With that in mind please check the list before submitting a photo.  I cannot tell you how much time this saves me.  If you have additional photos you would like to share with me, please do so in a private message, thank you. :)

3.) Check out this amazing video a member of the 1000 Challenge Community put together.  I think it really captures the essence of what the 1000 Challenge was and is a great summary for the amazing year I created for myself.  Watch the video here: 1000 Challenge Summary Video

And finally, something I have been asked over and over again is "out of all the things you have done, what was your favorite, what was your top 5, what was your top 10?" 

It is surprisingly hard to choose 10 things out of over 1000 things.  That is less than one percent of all the stuff I did do.  However, there were definitely some of the Challenges that stand out beyond the rest.  So, without further ado, I give you, my top 10 challenge from the 1 Year 1000 Challenge.

#1 this was the easiest one.  Without question it was Sunrise/Sunset day we had on September 1st 2011.  I cannot tell you how special that day was.  100's of photos were sent in from all over the world.  It was so special because so many of us set aside a few minutes of our day to share with everyone else the beauty in their part of the world.  One of the things I hope I conveyed to all of you is just how beautiful this world we share is.  For more on the sunrise/sunset day challenge, click here: Sunrise/Sunset day

#2 The final Space Shuttle Launch:  The only time in my life I have ever truly felt I lived in a fully "United" States is when September 11th happened.  From that tragedy patriotism of the likes I have never seen was born.  Flags were everywhere, there was no Democrat and Republican, there was only American.  As awful as 9/11 was, the aftermath and floods of patriotism that came with it was something very special in our country.  I feared I never would experience that again.  I was one of over one million people who gathered in Florida to watch the final launch of the Space Shuttle.  It was amazing.  Flags were being flown everywhere.  License plates from nearly every state were scattered up and down the highway.  People were celebrating, cheering, they were being unified as Americans.  I felt a similar patriotism again, I felt like I was a part of something special, something greater than myself, and this is why this ranks as #2.

#3 International Trash Clean Up Day:  The first big event we held as a community.  This event was so special as I really realized what us as a community could accomplish if we worked together.  Each and every day the 1000 Challenge community grows.  I cannot wait until the next Trash Clean Up Day... imagine how much we will be able to clean up this year.  On that note, I am looking into places in the states where a large group of us could travel to to really clean up the area.  If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know.  I prefer a coastal area, but am definitely not opposed to other areas or even urban.

#4 Machu Picchu:  It has been my experience that often times when you find yourself seeing those famous places we all want to see like  The Eiffel Tower, (for example), the experience is almost anti-climatic.  With media and photography the way they are today I find that when I arrive to these places that I have seen so many amazing pictures, that the real thing just does not measure up to those pictures.  Machu Picchu is an exception.  I have never seen a picture that even comes close to capturing the epic-ness that is Machu Picchu. What made the experience all the more special was the people I was with.

#5 The Colosseum in Rome:  The opportunity to see the Colosseum may be one of those once in a lifetime opportunities.  It was extra special to be able experience as part of the 1000 Challenge as this was one on my "lifetime list."  And if you get the chance, do not hesitate to go.  It is an amazing structure and there is definitely a feeling of "you are someplace special" when you are there.  As with Machu Picchu what made the experience all the more special was the people I was with.

#6 Hang Gliding: The beautiful views, the world class spot, the feeling of being scared shitless, the being told I was 50lbs to heavy by one person then suddenly being told my weight is just fine by another, the story, the video, the laughs from the George Lopez show, all of these elements made this an experience I will never forget.

#7 Sunrise at La Cumbre Peak (#1000): The symbolic one.  The feeling is surreal when you accomplish something you have put your heart soul and worked tirelessly at for so long.  And then like all moments, suddenly it is gone, leaving you with only the memories.  The 1000 Challenge has been and continues to be a life changing experience.  What ended on top of La Cumbre Peak, only marked the beginning of more to come.

#8 Finishing my first book/ouch my heart is broken make over:  Ouch My Heart is Broken was born out of one of the most painful times of my life.  It was something I wanted to do to just try and help people.  Writing a book is something I have tried several times then gave up on myself.  To actually complete the book and see Ouch My Heart is Broken evolve into a larger site that can access and help more people.  I cannot tell you how happy and proud that makes me feel.

#9 The Sedona Weekend: I am cheating and grouping a bunch of challenges into one here.  The reason is because all of them made up the sum of a whole.  A whole weekend that was very special to me as I got to spend it with some of my closest friends.  Not only that, but we got to test launch a charity that I want to put more time and energy into in the near future.  I had fun, but what was so fun for me was watching the people I care about have fun.  This experience was made by the people.

#10 Hoover Dam: My Dad's favorite place.  For me to be able to go here and look upon it for the first time so close to the one year anniversary of his death made it all the more special.  It was a very cathartic experience and I felt very close to my Dad while I was there.

So there you have it, my top 10 from the 1000 Challenge.  I have to run now.  I am headed off to Texas to get started on my National Park Challenge and to make some more memories in 2012.

Enjoy the pics,

Carpe Diem,


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The End... And The Begining 12/28 - 12/31 Days 363 -365

Where does one even begin to sum up such a special year in one's life?  I rarely find myself speechless or at a loss for words, but this is one of those times.  As I type this, I have been reflecting on the last year, all the experiences, all the memories, all the pictures... What a year.

I guess I will start with just typing whatever comes to mind and see where this takes me.

First, I want to thank all the people in my day to day life.  So many of my friends stepped up to help me make this possible.  Many of them spent hours and hours of their own time brainstorming ideas, helping me get organized, and going with me to do some of the Challenges.  I can never say thank you enough for all the time and energy you guys put into this.

I would also like to thank my personal training clients who are on the regular rotation.  You guys were so flexible, understanding, and supportive.  I could not have made this year happen without all of you.  Watching you all continue to work towards your goals inspires me everyday.

The Members of the 1000 Challenge Community.  As of this writing we are nearly 7000 strong and our numbers are growing each and everyday.  When my alarm goes off at 415am everyday, I think of all of you scattered throughout the world - working hard to live better, more fulfilling lives.  You all are the fuel to my fire.  Watching you all grow, reading your stories, seeing you want more for your lives, motivates me to do more, to reach for greater heights.  One person wrote to me saying goodbye today.  I responded by saying, "there is lots more to come.  The world is a big place and if I truly want to change the world, well then I guess I am just getting started."  Anything is possible guys... keep reaching for new heights.  Be the change you wish to see in the world.

To say this year has been amazing, would be an understatement.  In January I thought "How and the hell am I going do this... what have I gotten myself into???"  Now on the last day of 2011 my thoughts are, "How the hell is this year over... how did it go by so fast?"

What were my favorite Challenges, what were the most memorable moments... all of these are questions I want to answer, but am going to wait a few days to answer them so I have some time to honestly take a look back and reflect.  How can I choose from so many.  I know the sunrise/sunset day is my favorite ( sunrise/sunset challenge ), but what is number 2, number 3, number 4?  What moments stand out, what moments were more challenging than others?  Again, I think in a few more days I will have more clarity and will be able to better answer those questions.

As 2011 ends, I am torn.  I want to spend time remembering the past, but also want to spend time looking to the future.  2011, the past, has been a year to remember, but the future, 2012 and beyond, holds the potential to surpass 2011, I know it is up to me.

2012, how does one begin at day 1 after living a year that was defined by doing something new, averaging nearly 3 new things each and every day for 365 consecutive days???  I guess there are choices, just like with everything else in life.  Choice #1 - I could sleep in, take the day off... I am sure people would expect that.  Choice #2 - I could go out and celebrate the end of the 1000 Challenge, go crazy for the New Year's and start 2012 like that - it's an option, but I have done that before, minus the celebrating the end of the 1000 Challenge.  Choice #3, I can wake up just like I have for the last year, motivated and with a purpose.  I could take the momentum I have generated from this year and use it to start 2012 in a way that is special, meaningful to me.  Hmmmm.... what choice do I make?? :)

A year is composed of 365 days, life is composed of each and every day that makes up the years of one's life.  Each of our lives are made up of 1000's of moments.  If there is one thing I hope everyone can take away from the 1000 Challenge it is this: Each of those moments, we have power in choosing how we experience them.  We can choose to let them slip away like grains of sand falling through our hands, or we can choose to make the best of every moment we are presented with.  We can choose to smile instead of frown.  We can choose to make each and every moment special if we really wanted to.  We all have that much power in the day to day living of our lives.

 There is so much I want to say right now, but am just not finding the words to say it.  There are so many thoughts and feelings running through me right now.  Again, over the next few days, I think I will find more words to properly share all I wish to.

So as a New Year and new set of Challenges begin, I leave you all with this, a recurring theme from the 1000 Challenge, "A little fact about life, it is meant to be lived!"

Life is meant to be lived everyone!  Get out and live this year like no other, make it your best year ever.

2012 is here, I got a ton of Challenge's I plan to take on this year and only 1 Year to do them in... I need to get started Right Now!!!

Enjoy the pics,

Carpe Diem,