Last week we gave a talk at a web conference in Oslo, Norway about how we run our life and business. During the talk, we ran a slow slideshow of pictures from our travel and work, starting from 2008 when we first decided to make this lifestyle change.
Afterward we met many people from the audience and were surprised to keep hearing the same comments about our presentation:
I can’t believe how you used to look.
It was hard to believe that was you.
You look so much younger now than you did then!
You’re 43? More like 33. (This guy might have been hitting on me, now that I think about it.)
We were expecting comments and questions related to our business and how it supports our lifestyle, not our appearance. Our message to this group of web editors and communicators was that you can use technology to create more freedom in your life, to enjoy more of the offline moments with experiences and relationships.
What we didn’t realize was that our unintentional ‘before and after’ pictures delivered a more powerful message than our words ever could.
It’s not the weight loss, Warren’s incredible mane of magical unicorn-like hair, or the destination notches in our travel belts.
Pursuing our small and large dreams together gives us a vitality we didn’t have in our 20s and 30s. We’re engaged in life – actively working to achieve our dreams – instead of following the list of society “shoulds” like we used to.
Now our “shoulds” are defined by us:
- Staying on budget and debt-free so we can continue living the lifestyle we want
- Living with minimal possessions so we can have maximum experiences
- Writing books to share what we’ve learned and exercise our creative juices
- Hiking some of the most beautiful places in the world to maintain our fitness
- Adjusting our dream as we evolve, like buying the house in Spain
We know all this, of course. But sometimes it is good to be reminded where we started and how far we’ve come. Those everyday steps may look small on their own, but when you look at them altogether you see evidence of an incredible journey.
Thanks for reminding us of that, Norway.