Maverick Miles & Musings
The NEW Way to Better Goal Setting and How 40 is the New 20
Lordy…lordy guess who’s 40?
Missy has been waiting for this day for awhile since she’s 2 ½ years older. She thought it would never come but I’m officially in my fourth decade. Several of my friends have asked me how 40 is and I’m pleased to say I’m truly happier and more content than ever.
I feel like I know myself better and have done quite a bit of work in the self discovery realm in the last 2 years. Part of it has really been digging into what makes me happy and what I am meant to do here.
The above picture resembles a part of a quote from Joseph Campbell.
“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.”
Campbell was a mythology expert and is known for studying the hero’s journey and how in a multitude of cultures this hero’s story is played out over and over again. He is also the author of “The Hero With 1,000 Faces,”
I ‘found’ that door coincidentally in the restaurant a group of Mavericks commandeered following part of my birthday celebration. It’s a great piece of art and it showed up just as I’ve been studying Campbell’s material more intently. (I wrote a little bit about the Hero’s journey in the last post about the 22 excuses for playing small.) I always love when things like this happen in my life just at the right time. There’s certainly something more going on than we realize.
And that’s partly what I want to share a bit about here…
If we go back to the focus of attention I was just talking about – goal setting for many people is focusing attention on their intended course. You’ve probably been taught all sorts of things about goal setting. Throughout the last 20 or so years after I became a student of success traits I’ve conducted several different experiments. I remember the first time I was exposed to goal setting was at a Brian Tracy seminar. I think I was probably 22 or so at the time and Brian had us write out our 10 most important goals that we truly wanted. I can’t remember all 10, but I remember one of the goals was buying a Mercedes SLK.
Interestingly enough I misplaced that workbook and found it a few years later. I think something like 7 out of 10 of the goals were hit, though the more interesting thing was, things had turned out even “better” then I had hoped. For example, I had made more income and I ended up getting a much cooler Mercedes – SL55 AMG.
Seeing how that came together, I then changed up how I wrote my goals to add the words “or better”, “or sooner”, “or more” thus giving myself more flexibility around what I was working towards.
The New Way to Better Goal Setting
More recently, I feel like I have an even better method that strikes to the heart of what I really, really want.
A few years back I wrote in my journal what my ideal day would look like when I was 40. I wrote out some specifics about net worth, the car I was driving, what I was doing that day, etc. A few weeks before my birthday I went back and found that entry and at first glance felt that I hadn’t really hit many of the specific goals.
I told Missy about the entry and after seeing what I wrote, she asked if I was upset about how things were. I thought about it and said, ‘no’. And that’s because the essence of the goals were there, some were even exceeded.
For instance, instead of driving a specific car – I would rather figure out what is the essence behind the car I want. It’s about having joy and satisfaction from driving it, and something that reflects a bit of my fun-loving spirit. So instead of writing I want a Fisker Karma as I had indicated, it’s leaving it open but focused on those previous criteria. (Interestingly enough I wouldn’t want a Fisker on my 40th with all the issues they had.)
And the dollar amount I wrote in my journal was I wanted $2M in profits coming in from various business ventures per year. But what’s the real essence behind that? It’s the freedom to work on what you want, with whom you please and on what gets you excited!
I don’t need 2 million a year to have that and you don’t either. I already have the essence of that goal. It’s just about creating enough freedom from passive income or designing your business to support your most important contributions.
A few more specific items included the dollar amounts of giving, number of young entrepreneurs and start-ups we’ve helped and hosting a Maverick gala. Sometimes the goals that still connect to your deepest passion are still on the horizon. It’s just not the right time. But like a train coming down the tracks – you know it’s coming. For instance, I didn’t hit $5M in charity contributions but we are at over $1.2M and growing so the momentum is building. And once again the essence is there with or without the specific dollar amount.
The requests most of us make are for things (better car, bigger house, etc.). These are not at the same level as requests that come from your heart.
“Learning to receive is learning to ask for the essence of what you want, rather than the form”– Sanaya Roma, author “Living with Joy”
Another Item I had written down the previous year (my 39th) was that I hoped to accomplish going up into Space on Virgin Galactic. Well…that timing is not of my own doing so it’s still happening and I can continue savoring the anticipation.
Coincidentally, Virgin Galactic threw a 400+ person party on my 40th birthday. They had a big ‘Behind the Hanger Doors’ event in Mojave right on September 25th – a perfect excuse to take my birthday on the road.
400+ well wishers for my birthday…or maybe they showed up for the rocket
Sophia doing her best impression of the flying Galactic lady on Spaceship2
I had factored Richard Branson into my journal entry regarding my 40th, but he appeared in a bigger way than what I had hoped for. I wrote “In a few weeks the family is going to Necker Island again with Maverick members and Richard. It’s become a yearly tradition since 2011 when they first came. I was just reminded of the trip because Richard sent over a wonderful surprise gift for my birthday.”
Once again we’re blessed to be heading out to Necker with the whole family in March 2014 and it has become a family tradition. Richard did send over a surprise birthday gift in a personal video that was pretty funny. But even better, I got to see him on my birthday for the Virgin Galactic event and roughly a week later on a Safari in South Africa. Amazing!
Now, about my birthday celebration in LA….
Sophia (who heads up our incredible events for Maverick), and my wife, Missy had their hand in quite a few surprises lined up for me in LA. I actually like surprises since I’m frequently involved in planning them for others and for Maverick members – so I enjoyed not prying and letting it play out.
The first night we arrived late in LA, Missy and I joined an old high school friend of hers in his yoga studio for Kirtan chanting. If you’re around the LA area or Santa Monica drop into Govindas’ Bhakti Yoga Shala studio.
If you’ve never done kirtan – it’s worth trying. Essentially a wonderful experience of sacred singing, repeating and chanting with tremendous group energy. Afterwards, we went to dinner at a delicious restaurant in Santa Monica, Tar & Roses. The pork chicarones on the menu is frickin amazing! I’ve been working on mindful eating to really savor each flavor, texture and scent of my meals. I don’t always do it since sometimes we’re just too busy and wolf down our meals without thinking. But at times when I do pay attention I enjoy my food so much more.
This dish really deserved it. Yes, it was that good that it deserves a picture here:
They used the little mini wooden skewers with cubes of pork, just the right amount of crispiness and moistness. Then the black mission fig to add the sweetness and a pickled pearl onion. Like I said, amazing! Even Missy, who doesn’t like pork, enjoyed this dish.
The next morning more of the surprises started up. Sophia had arranged for about 35 or so different Maverick members and friends to show up at various times during the day and for different parts of the event. I first saw Robert Hirsch waiting for me in the lobby with my first scavenger hunt clue. And then heading out to the parking lot was Sarah Roy and our video biographer, Alex. Something was up – but I played along.
We had to battle LA traffic as we headed from Beverly Hills to Santa Monica for our first set of clues which lead us to the 3rd Street Promenade. Anytime there’s a Maverick(esque) event you don’t know who will be a random bystander, an actor or willing participant. I got a great impromptu ‘Happy Birthday’ song and dance from (I think) a maintenance guy strolling along. But that kind of interesting stuff frequently happens to me.
One of my favorite missions was to convince a bartender to hand off the reigns of the tap and let someone from our group tend bar for a bit. I was pouring some of the sorriest pours I’d seen in some time. Lots of foam and not much beer, definitely one of those “don’t quit your day job moments”. I was giving out free drinks to the 4 patrons who were there eating lunch on me. One guy wouldn’t take a free Goose Island beer because I asked him to honk like a goose before I gave it to him. He paid and quickly got out of there.
We got bonus points if there was something a bit unusual or daring as part of this mission so I laid out on the bar for an upside down beer swill from the tap. Elegant!
After a bit more mischief we ended up on the Santa Monica pier awaiting the next rendezvous. We played a few carnival games to pass the time. Although I have no idea what I’d do with a gigantic stuffed animal they are so compelling to play for.
As I was tossing rings onto the jugs, a small contingent of ‘things’ in all-green, head-to-toe spandex suits comes out from the corner.
You could see parents immediately grab their children’s hands and usher them away from these crazies. They kidnapped me down below the boardwalk where a big group of Mavericks were waiting to celebrate with me.
That night more surprise guests showed up for dinner and then we moved into a private library room for drinks and a video. Sophia had compiled 40 well wishes from friends, family and colleagues. Watching these videos made me realize how much of an impact I’d had on so many different people. It was actually a bit overwhelming and humbling. Really moving. In fact, one of my buddies came up to me afterwards and said, “I need to really start living my life the way you do – you are an inspiration to me.”
Having a video like that was one of the most meaningful things I could receive. And the other gifts had thought behind them too. I don’t need big things – I’m more interested in the why behind them. Thank you to so many people for the wonderful gifts that meant a lot. But ultimately I’ve been enjoying the feeling of love…
At 40 my life has become one big adventure, which is how it should be. Life reveals itself through whimsy and play, if we let it. And everything seems to happen at the perfect time. As I mentioned, I’m more content and happier than ever. I really understand myself on a deeper level and I’m ready to enter the next chapter of my life. I’m hoping many of you will be on that journey with me. The hero’s journey is to uncover our biggest contribution yet.
I believe Mavericks are on an interconnected Destiny of Greatness and through the unique collisions of big ideas and incredible individuals, we can co-create something meaningful.
I think we’re already seeing it, especially during this last Vegas 3X Retreat. Maverick had a bigger impact with Opportunity Village and were able to dig deep into the Zappos culture with Tony Hsieh and Robbe Richman as our guests. I’ll probably have more to share about my trip to South Africa, the Vegas 3X and Off-roading in my next contribution.
All the best,
Yanik Silver, Founder & CEO