“The best journeys answer questions that in the beginning you didn't even think to ask.”
This past weekend we held our first annual emerging leaders retreat deep in the mountains of Colorado. We brought in some of the top entrepreneurs, leaders, and speakers that we knew, and a group of 35 people set out on a weekend retreat that dove deep into what it meant to have a real impact in today’s society.
I could talk about this guy, or that girl, or this spiritual breakthrough, or this emotional breakdown. I could talk about this story, or that adventure. I could talk about the food, or the people, or the late nights, or the early mornings. I could talk about the emotional rollercoaster, or the rush of swimming through whitewater. I could talk about the deep earth, or the nature to get there. I could talk about all of that… if only words, or thoughts, or phrases could do it justice.
We took the Manhattan project to heart. We didn’t know what would happen, and to protect the sanctity of the weekend, I’m not going to try to explain it.
How can you put into words relationship? How can you replicate what happened? Or paraphrase it? How am I supposed to put on paper a representation that does any of it justice?
I think that the one thing I can say is that the common thread in the people that came is they’ve accepted and appreciate the responsibility that comes with being alive… and they’re all currently on the front lines, and actively seeking to live a better story.
We spend tireless hours trying to ensure our success or predict how our stories will unfold, and while ambitions indeed help us move forward, we cannot control what we will encounter.
We don’t always know what will or won’t happen for us. But I think, if we keep moving forward in hope, and letting God surprise us along the way, this whole messy-long-beautiful-life ends up being worth it - and we might just end up finding some beautiful views along the way.
In the same vein, we’re completely at risk of missing them if all we’re worried about is keeping our eyes down and getting to the top. I mean, getting to the top isn’t really what its about… its never really been 1what its all about. The process, and the lessons learned in-between, that’s the stuff that makes the journey worth it.
As Yvon Chouinard (founder of Patagonia) said so eloquently in reference to respecting the process:
“Taking a trip for six months to get in the rhythm of it. It feels like you can go on forever doing that. Climbing Everest is the ultimate and the opposite of that. Because you get these high powered plastic surgeons and CEO's, they pay $80,000 and have Sherpas put the ladders in place and 8000 feet of fixed ropes and you get to the camp and you don't even have to lay out your sleeping bag… It's already laid out with a chocolate mint on the top. The whole purpose of planning something like Everest is to effect some sort of spiritual and physical gain, and if you compromise the process… you're an asshole when you start out and you're an asshole when you get back.”
I planned an emerging leaders trip and am just now realizing that over half our speakers do not have college degrees. These are the leaders, CEOs, teachers, preachers, doctors, and accountants – You buy our books, you listen to our music, and we speak inside your schools. We are the future… and let me tell you first hand- the future truly does belong to the misfits.
This is the Unlife.
My prayer for all of us is that we can walk bravely forward and keep our eyes open - in work, in relationships, in any doubts we experience, and respect the process, in all it has to teach us.
Life will pleasantly surprise us when we commit our steps to less worry, and more adventure.
Questions / Comments / Hate / Etc – Holler@ruckusapparel.com