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"And who knows, maybe you'll meet your future wife on this trip."

It was probably one of his foremost thoughts regarding the trip and undoubtedly the last to ever cross my mind. Hearing this simple statement over the phone from a long-time friend was some kind of revelation for me; I hadn't thought that way in years. When meeting friends of friends be it at a bar or poker table, often you'll hear me ask, "So, what's your story?" The follow up questions are fairly scripted as well and occasionally include the "Do you have a default thought?" question. The default thought is what gets tossed around inside your head when nothing else is being considered... maybe when you're bored or just before you fall asleep. The question often is reversed back to me and the answer would always pertain to the security and companionship of love... but that was years ago. If you had asked me back then, I would have sworn to you that it was all and everything that would ever matter. What I overlooked is the fact that people change - sometimes in a very radical manner. I'm not saying there is some kind of tragedy in this; truthfully I'm stoked to become more mission-driven. I'm just saying that it's dangerous to assume you know who you're going to be when you wake up one morning a year from today.

I've had a conversation on more than one occasion regarding the use of the word "smart". To call someone smart is always a curious thing to me. What kind of smart are we talking about? Is he/she a quick-learner, logically or verbally gifted, one who challenges the status quo, people-smart, exceedingly perceptive, able to see the utmost perspective or what? I have a feeling that I'm smart, but I really don't fully comprehend why I feel that way. For all I know, I could be totally blind to my own, obvious naivety. It is no easy task to see yourself in the light that you're projecting onto others, to know thyself from an external vantage point.

On the same token, I believe that the word "danger" has many of the same qualities as "smart". What is danger? What is risk? Does being in danger mean having an immediate threat to your physical self? Or can danger be something of an entirely mental capacity? Would you consider it dangerous to give all the years of your life to a path or a belief simply because someone or something told you to? Would you consider it dangerous to disregard the advice offered by conventional wisdom? To me, the greatest danger is the inability to see the big picture in your own life. To me, dangerous is not realizing that money is literally time and time well-spent can lead to peace of mind. To me, danger is committing your life to something without committing your heart; to walk a path simply out of fear of change. Danger is believing that "it's too late". Maybe this is just a different kind of danger or maybe I've stretched the word too far. However, the way I see it, these kinds of dangers are far more reckless than an immediate physical risk, because when it's over, the tragedy has lasted a lifetime.

I know when I was reading Michael's journal during his circuit around America, I sat there admiring him and a lot of what he had to say really meant something to me (of course, now I'm doing it, too). Even as I'm riding through my own journey, I'm still reading the journals of fellow bicycle tourists. I feel it necessary to quote Patrick Terrance Rodden on the subject of security.

Ciao,

Chuck

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SECURITY

If our societal goal is to reach the end of our lives at a ripe, albeit unhealthy old age, we are most likely on the right path. If however, we aspire to a richer life filled with quality personal experiences then we must begin to reject this notion of security at any cost. Fear is keeping us from having the life we each deserve. Our cultural obsession of fear is obscuring the very things we value. Peace of mind, trust, independence, self-determination, freedom and even our sanity are threatened on a daily basis. I think back to the many people before us that took incredible risks to settle this land. They had only each other. Picture these very same people contemplating how we choose to live our present day lives. While 20,000 American children died in automobiles over the last 4 years we allow others to manipulate our lives by continually instilling an irrational and pervasive fear. I no longer want to live this way.



Comments to date: 1

Chocho:

December 18th, 2015 @ 11:35am

Go to your bank and get a secured cedrit card this is a card that is backed by your money and can be set for whatever amount you can afford.Then go out every month and buy something, cloths, lunch anything just be sure and pay the balance in full before the due date. After 6-months of doing this you will have established your cedrit. That is assuming your bank reports to the cedrit bureaus.Now lets talk about cedrit scores they are based on the following;1. Payment history 35%2. Time in bureau 15%3. Types of cedrit 10%4. New cedrit 10%5. Debt to cedrit ratio 30%To have the very best score and profile people need 3 cedrit card accounts (revolving) with balances below 30% of their limits and 2 cars, boats, homes, motorcycles, computers, furniture or personal accounts (installment) all with good long pay history's.Good cedrit is not something that happens overnight cedrit scores are 90% based on the last 24-months of activity so take your time, do it right and your cedrit will be great.


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You Can Retire Young

Written by Larry Ferstenou


2002
Nobody says you have to wait until you're 59 1/2 to retire. As a rare inside view of early retirement, this book sets out the exact steps necessary to retire young.




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