A lot of people have commented on our most recent episode noticing how mad some people are in the comments about our decision to downsize. It’s a sad reality, but pursuing a dream or great adventure will always be met with adversity along the way. Negativity from friends, family, or co-workers has no place in pursuing dreams, although it’s the most abundant - or it just stings the most. Going against the grain is part of pursuing this lifestyle.
The truth is we all have a choice to make. Do we focus on the positive or the negative? Unfortunately, we are all conditioned to focus more intently on the negative. Regardless of how baseless someone’s opinion may be, the negative always seems to leave a bigger dent than the positive. Fear has a scary way of consuming people’s lives.
While we were pursuing our dream, for every doubter we had, there was a supporter. Like someone who once had a similar dream but gave it up because life got in the way and they now could look back on their life with the subtle awareness of knowing, they didn’t want someone else to do what they did and ultimately, give up. Kelsey was told it’d be impossible to pay off $25,000 of student loans a year on a $34,000 yearly salary. We were told our eventual slaughter would come from hosting guests on AirBnB. With the benefit of hindsight, we know 75+ guests later we have yet to have a bad guest and we’ve been happily debt-free for 2+ years now.
Teddy Roosevelt is accredited with a quote talking about ‘the man in the arena’. It’s a long one so I’ll paraphrase. “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena...”
I write this post in the hopes of reaching people who find themselves in our situation a few years back. The person with the big, hairy, audacious dream that seems impossible - until it’s done. Know that you are on the right path. Living a life dictated by fear is not a life well lived. Follow your dreams and let your values drive your decision-making. Treat everything else as just noise, because that’s really all it is. You don’t have to answer to anyone other than yourself as to whether you lived the life you had envisioned when it comes time to say goodbye to this world. Remember that. Harness the power of mortality and use it to combat fear.
Life is a lot more fun when you’re in the arena.