How I can help Esc members
I've become an elder. I've been around the block, several times. In business and relationships. I've lived and worked all over the world, and am still able to tell the tale. I'd be glad to mentor anyone who feels my life and professional experience might be helpful. Doing this makes me happy. And this (see above) is a Good Thing.
Whatever the hell I want, Which includes painting, recording music, writing books (just finished one, titled "Man Up in Ten Lessons"), working with other authors, and... publishing.
At the moment my favourite project happens to be the creation of a new, fully interactive electronic magazine -- intended to be a monthly, available via Apple's Newsstand app, called http://nirvanachronicles.com/">NIRVANA Chronicles. It's going to be my (very personal) version of The Perfect Digital Magazine, full of great articles, literary fiction & non-fiction, fabulous photography, marvelous music, riveting videos, all organized around the general theme of longing -- longing for a better life. I already love it and the first issue isn't ready yet. It was nice to stumble upon Esc, a nice reality check that I'm far from alone.
Before I escaped...
I was the CEO of one of the world's first web-based publishing companies, with a head office in Canada as well as operations in the UK with British Telecom, in Latin America and the Caribbean with Oracle, and in China with various state ministries and generally shady characters. I was saddled with managing hundreds of staff, antsy shareholders, and a hostile board. My life was, in short, a living hell.
My moment of truth...
The day a member of the board -- a representative of the company's largest shareholder -- loudly slurred my wife (a co-founder of the company) in a drunken outpouring at an upscale bar, in front of colleagues and the general public.
It was clear at that moment that if I chose to stay and "tough it out," I would doom myself to the burning hells reserved for complete cowards.
Planning for it...
You're joking, right?
Seriously, there really was no planning involved. I simply reached a point where I was so desperately unhappy, I realized that escape was the only option -- and that I would need to completely, totally change a great deal about my life if I was to be happier.
So I did, And I am.
The worst and best bits...
BEST THING: Moving from a major city to a village of 1,000 souls, where interactions are real and direct. There's a real rhythm to daily life here, full of opportunities to genuinely interact with other people. There are no traffic jams, no endless parking lots stretching out to infinity in front of sprawling malls and big-box stores.
When I want a break, I walk out my door and head (in less than 2 minutes) to: (a) the river; (b) the lake; (c) the mountains; or (d) Front Street for an espresso, a loaf of fresh bread, or a bottle of wine. There's actually time to savour all the small things that make life ultimately worth living.
WORST THING: Getting motivated to make serious amounts of money (there's something to be said -- just barely -- for greedy shareholders constantly snapping at your heels). But I'm slowly coming around -- witness the upcoming NIRVANA Chronicles. Thank God for the extraordinary reach of high bandwidth.
The only reason we're here is to be happy.
Ask yourself at the end of every day: "did whatever I did today actually make me happy?" If the answer's "no," then do something about it.
...What I wish I'd known earlier.
Useful resources and information...
I've found the writings of John Muir and Henry David Thoreau incredibly inspiring. The whole notion of behaving as if we understand that we are not apart from Nature, but we're an integral part of Nature really resonates, once you drag your sorry ass out of the concrete jungle, take a deep breath, and "wander into the woods."
While not everyone's cup of philosophical tea, I often find the daily emailed quotes I receive from Abraham quite inspirational. Ditto the musings of international marketing guru Blair Enns.