A few short days after the horror of 9/11, I found myself shivering on a frigid broken sidewalk in the shadow of the mighty and desolate Tian Shan mountains just north of Afghanistan. I had just finished teaching nomadic Muslim students about the convergence of art and free enterprise.
It was in a stark Islamic University equipped with rickety ancient desks, a chalkboard and little else. Standing in the context of the most extreme poverty I had ever witnessed combined with the country’s oppressive history of tyrannic rulers made even the concept of free enterprise untenable. It was a humbling and daunting experience.
And yet, one could have heard a pin drop for 90 minutes as the students listened in rapt attention, patiently stood in line for an autograph, and then followed me outside into the blowing wind and snow.
Little did I know the next few minutes were to change the course of my life forever.
A student named Rafael shyly inched closer to me and asked with a hesitant smile, “Какова ваша мечта?” My translator in broken English told me he was asking, “What is your dream?” As I immediately defaulted to the good ole’ American answer, “Well, Rafael, I am living my dream”—the words seemed bitter in my mouth.
That phrase continued to echo and haunt me long after the sights, smells and sounds of the trip had faded to distant memories.
What is your dream? What is your dream? What is your dream? What is your dream?
As every word of that phrase progressively took on meaning, I realized I was tired of sitting in meetings every day that had nothing to do with me, I was tired of working with people who did not share my life philosophy or dreams, and I was tired of realizing that life is too short to be tired all the time.
So I quit. At the ripe old age of forty-seven, I resigned my lucrative day job that in many ways was the epitome of success in my field. I stepped out into the great unknown with little guidance.
As I began to peel away the layers of a life ruled by control and unreasonable—and yes, empty—expectations, my dreams slowly began to emerge.
It has been five years and I have gradually (and at times painfully) come to understand, live out and monetize my dreams.
It is possible! I earn the same amount of money and more doing what I am passionate about—the way I feel it needs to be done—while not needing permission from someone else when I want to rest, travel, or even take an afternoon nap.
And now, everyone wants to “buy my lunch and pick my brain” on how my dreams came true. Obviously, it is physically impossible to accept all these invitations. That is frustrating.
It is why I created 48 Hours of Solitude (A One-On-One Mentoring Experience). It enables me to personally mentor, spend quality time in solitude, encourage and teach other artists and leaders—all of which are my passion.
Here are a few of the crucial topics we cover together:
—Understanding Why You React the Way You Do And How Your Reactions Lead To Your Dreams
—How To Create a Global Personality Profile That Is Invaluable in Relating To and Understanding Yourself and Others
—How To Identify, Analyze and Eliminate Toxic People In Your Life
—What Free Enterprise (Entrepreneurship) Really Means
—Three Crucial Steps To Understanding, Living Out, and Monetizing Your Dreams
—The All-Important Steps To Finding and Creating A Team of Personal Advisors
—How To Set Up, Implement, Structure and ENJOY Weekly, Quarterly and Annual Meetings for Financial Planning, Goal Setting and Dreaming
—Five Must-Have Gifts People Say You Can Only Be Born With—But That Everyone Can Develop
—How To Create A Life Plan
—How To Effectively Relax and Rejuvenate
—And much, much more…
—Or nothing…but rest and solitude.
You choose—as little or as much as you desire during your 48 Hours of Solitude. It requires a financial investment on your part. But as with most things in life, you get what you pay for.
I have only ten opportunities for 48 Hours of Solitude in 2011—come be one of them!
So, I ask YOU…”Какова ваша мечта?”
What is your dream?
If anything were possible, what would your dream job be?