4 Lessons learned from living in a van

Outside Magazine has a great set of videos that I find to be pretty inspiring. Most recently they posted one called 'How to Live the New American Dream'.

The video creator is named Cyrus Sutton, being that my brother is named Cyrus I am naturally skeptical.  I have many fond memories of my brother, I also have many memories of him dunking me in the pool. So I watched the video...and it was awesome.

He says a couple of things that resonate with the concept of #59in59:

(1): "I am just so grateful that I have been able to have a dialogue with myself about what actually feels good to me instead of what is accepted and that’s just led me to life that I really want to live." 

Often times we get caught in the rat race. We don't afford ourselves the luxury of a break, a pause. Stop the race just for a couple minutes, and think about what you are doing. Do you like it? If yes, great. If no, then why? Are you doing a job so that you can pay for your kids to go to college, or to retire early? If the reason makes sense, great (don't do it for too long). If no, then why are you doing it?!

We talk about this a lot in the School of Nursing at U.Va. with mindfulness. You do yoga and tai-chi and reflective writing so that you can slow down and take an introspective look at yourself. If things aren't good then make a change. Life isn't worth being miserable.

(2):  "Anytime that I have gotten caught up in trying to impress somebody, or do something for something other than what makes me feel good, I always end up in hell."

I don't think that this is an endorsement of a hedonistic lifestyle. It's an endorsement of staying true to yourself. You know the dark place that you go when you live for others, so stop living for others. Live for yourself.

(3): "Creativity comes when you have the time to breath, when you have the time to take time off"

One of my friends is a writer for a nightly talk show. He said that he read a quote that said 'Writing monologue jokes day after day is like taking a shit when you don't have to.' He then noted 'and that is ONE MILLION percent true.' Doing something day in and day out, over and over and over is mentally and physically exhausting and it depletes you of your creativity.

We are creative beings. We have large brains that are creating connections and processing things that other animals are incapable of. You can claim that you aren't creative, but you are. Finding the fastest way to drive to work is a creative way to save time. Knowing the days that specific bars have deals is a creative way to save money. Blocking annoying friends on Facebook is a creative way to avoid the social consequences of ignoring friends while also not flooding your feed with terrible posts.

That being said, you are less creative when you don't reward yourself with the time to breathe and think. That feeling when you get off work and you meet friends at a bar, or sit down on your sofa at home. The one where you take a deep breath, lift up your shoulders and then fall into non-working bliss. That is the time. That is what you need to be giving yourself more frequently.

(4): "It's scary, you know, giving up a traditional roof over your head, you are giving away a lot of security. But what you are getting is reality."

I don't think that #59in59 and dropping everything to go to the road is for everyone. You don't have to quit your job and move into you car. Giving up part of that 'traditional roof' could do everyone a little bit of good.

So I'll leave you with Cyrus Sutton's video.  Take a breath, step away from what you are doing and just relax. It's 1 minute and 40 seconds long, all of your work will be there when you go back to it.