"The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the amount of uncertainty you can handle at any given moment." -- Tony Robbins
Since starting this post earlier in the month, I have been writing from the passenger seat of a car driving from Georgia to Florida, the window seat of a plane flying from Miami to Atlanta, the middle seat of a plane to Colorado, and now in the fresh mountain air outside. And I wouldn't change a thing.
Throughout my working years, I have chosen a life of constant change. After leaving my parents home for college at 18, I reached two months shy of turning 29 before I could say I had paid rent at the same address for an entire year. The unknown is all I have ever known. When I had the opportunity at age 21 to travel to Ghana with a few people I had never met, I jumped at the chance. Later that year, I had a chance to study art in Italy in a program where I was the only person from my university there, and I knew absolutely no one. When our semester ended, with my heart broken by a fall semester fling and our travel plans needed to change so we could part ways, I ventured out on my first solo travel adventures through France and Italy. When I graduated college and struggled to find a job in my field, I took the skills I had of working with children and moved up to the mountains to be a ski instructor for a season. That decision sent me off to Australia for southern-hemisphere winter, half way around the world, to work in a country where I knew no one. After finishing my second winter in a row, I took the break I had before hitting my third straight winter to explore more of Oz and some of Thailand. When you're alone, and you have to take a tuk-tuk, to a bus, to a taxi, to a ferry, to another bus, to a ferry, to a late night tuk-tuk, hoping your friends that you haven't spoken to in 24 hours are there to meet you since you don't have a phone, you learn a lot about yourself and other people. For 17 years, I've had a successful business with my sister and mom based in Atlanta. I have continued to run that business every summer, 1) because I love it and 2) it allows me more freedom. It was part of the reason I was able to only work part-time while in college, as well as pay and plan for a lot of my travel. Getting a taste early in life of living season to season, location to location, and understanding that flexibility and owning my life is in fact possible had me hooked.
Be accepting to the change. You can't have change...without change.
It is the uncertainties of life that make us feel ALIVE. I don't list my travel adventures and work opportunities to brag. I share it simply to share my own experience. It is through these times of uncertainty that I have grown and thrived the most. The change and travel have shaped me into the strong, confident and capable woman that I am. I know what I need in life to succeed, and I am out to get it.
There is no guilt or shame in WANT. And fulfilling that want and need is not selfish.
Recently a mentor and friend of mine shared the two most important skills in life to master: 1) The science of achievement, and 2) the art of fulfillment. To put it simply, if we are not fulfilled, we are unable to achieve. By fulfilling what I want and need, I am choosing to live every moment, every day alive and in ecstasy instead of suffering. We all have the opportunity and the ability within us to set each other free, but how can an empty water pitcher fill another's glass to quench their thirst? We must fulfill the self in order to fulfill others.
There are six human needs that must be met in all of us: certainty, uncertainty/variety, significance, love & connection, growth, and contribution. The first four are what fill our human instinct, and the last two fill our human spirit. I was asked by a friend, "In order to be your best self, to be in a top state, to have the life you have always wanted and live in constant ecstasy, what do your top two need to be?" I thought for a minute, silenced the judgement from my ego wanting to chime in, and felt that growth and contribution, in that order, was my clear answer. What fills me up is exploring and adventuring while volunteering my time. I have chosen a life of flexibility and uncertainty in order to thrive. Through my experiences, I have learned the of magic that is created in the space of unpredictability, the blank slate of the unknown. There are no expectations, just results. Less calculation, more chance.
So what now?
Some may call me naive or idealistic. So be it. But I believe that travel can and should be affordable and accessible to all. I believe that through travel and changing our perspective, our eyes are opened wider, and we move closer to experiencing world peace. The work place is changing, and remote work is becoming more popular for good reason. While this is beautiful to see, we also are beginning to see a lack of connection between people. I recently started a new venture with my co-founders Charlie Birch and Summer Weirich, Rebel + Connect. We have a passion for creating human connections in this ever growing digital world we live in. We are open to connecting with other remote workers, leaders of remotely distributed teams, and content partners to co-create value for our client base. If you identify with any of these, please reach out to us, and let's connect! What are your top two human needs in order to live the life you have always wanted? What do you need to be fulfilled and achieve success? We look forward to hearing from you soon!
Originally published on LinkedIN Pulse on July 29, 2016: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/pardon-my-french-wherever-fk-i-want-whereiwork-rachel-mcgehee?trk=prof-post
Rebel + Connect creates custom retreats for remote teams. A Colorado based company owned and operated by Charlie Birch, Rachel McGehee, and Summer Weirich, we operate remotely and service clients from all over the globe. Join us as we create cultures of meaning and celebrate human connections in a digital world!
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