Posted by: draknor | October 1, 2011

Opportunities & Reflections

It’s been a busy week of travel! But good — lots of good opportunities this week that I’ve been able to take advantage of.

My original plan was to visit my family this past week, but after some discussions with my girlfriend I decided to come home to Madison instead (and I would visit my family after the marathon).  While catching up on emails I noticed that Ramit from was going to be in downtown Chicago for a meetup on Thursday.  I recognized I had a choice — I was already planning to leave Madison on Thursday, so I could continue with my original plan of returning to Minneapolis, or now I could drive to Chicago instead (and then come to Minneapolis on Friday instead).  It seemed kind of crazy, but to be honest – I didn’t even give it a second thought. I emailed Ramit and said I’d be there!

Ramit emailed back & wanted me to email him a little info about myself, so Monday night I sat down and brainstormed what I would write.  If you read Ramit’s blog at all, you know he’s a guy who looks for actions; not “plans”, not “goals”, not “ideas” — but action.  So I wanted to frame what this year has been like for me in terms of what I’ve done, not what I still hope to do.  That was an enlightening experience, to think back & reflect upon all that I’ve done this year.  Here’s the list I came up with:

Sounds pretty impressive, eh?  But I didn’t want to stop there — reflection is good, but its also helpful to look ahead to what I’ve got coming up:
  • Running a marathon Sun, Oct 2
  • Starting my own dojo in Madison (hot off the heels of that special training I just attended) — will start a 6-week pilot class in October
  • Restarting my Earn1k lessons with ideas I’ve been brainstorming all summer long
And more, I’m sure — that’s just what I have in mind for the next few weeks.
So Thursday afternoon I drove down to Chicago and meet up with Ramit and other IWT readers.  You know what? It was a great decision!  I met some cool people like:
  • Joshua Harbert (web developer & fellow martial artist)
  • Andrea Arnold (graphic designer)
  • Amanda Lee (copywriter & designer)
  • David Kadavy (author of Design for Hackers)
  • Ramit’s awesome colleagues Rachel & June (there was a third woman I didn’t actually meet, but I’m sure she’s awesome too!)
  • And a bunch of other people whom I didn’t get names or cards from.

But through our conversations I heard inspirational stories, learned of others’ experiences freelancing, and generated some interesting new ideas to pursue.  By the time I was headed back home to Madison late that night, I was flying on cloud nine — filled with confidence and ideas! (I was also flying on I-90 west, but thankfully my guardian angel was vigilant & the cops were not!)

Today I’m resting up and preparing for tomorrow’s marathon – 26.2 miles of pavement-pounding, calorie-burning, sheer craziness.  It’ll be a blast, it’ll be painful, I’ll swear I’ll never do another marathon again (this is actually my 4th!), and somehow through it all I’ll feel great, and accomplished, and I’ll even probably end up signing up for another marathon in a year or two, when I find some great opportunity to travel somewhere exciting, or get talked into it by an old friend, or to support a great cause — who knows?
The point  is — when opportunities come, I want to take them!  Life’s too short for me to sit on the sidelines too many times.