July 23, 2013

De-mastering the Art of Time Travel

"Most people obsess on regrets in their past or anxieties in their future...When I walk around New York City, everyone seems to have glazed eyes.  They are walking around in the past or future.  They are memories or speculation, neither of which you have any control over..."    ~James Altucher (got most of the 7 Ingredients for a Perfect Day from him)

I am a master time traveller.  When I’m at work on a slow day, I am actually off in Ethiopia finally exploring the ancient churches of Lailibela.  When I am on my routine run after work or better yet, hobbling around on crutches, I am actually in the final mile of the Western States 100 mile running for the finish line.  When I am unsure about anything, I am back in Arizona living simple life running 100 miles a week and living out of the my truck.  Or drifting my thoughts towards the my future job in the next exotic country- some days it might be in the high altitude of Chile, or in the jungles of Indonesia, or some other exotic country I didn’t even know exists. 

It turns out that I should be working to unlearn the skill of time travel.  Happy is a man who lives in the moment, who has the ability to become numb to past regrets, and who can stall a wondering thought about the future before it suffocates him.

I have been to cities all of over the world, subways in Singapore and New York, bullet trains in Europe, and crowded 7 passenger taxis in developing countries such as Malaysian Borneo.  I always wonder how people live in big cities always glued to phones, riding in subways with a billion other people looking miserable, like mindless zombies looking for the next feed.  Phone browsing to check the stock market or sports scores or what your ex-girlfriend is doing with her new boyfriend.  I always take a moment to look around at the people in the subway or train.  Most of the time I laugh or smile like an idiot, no one even looks up from their phone or burns the one calorie to turn their head in my direction as we pass each other on a crowded street- just blank stares and numb to their surroundings.  Then I laugh some more.        

Charity work in a poor country is one of the best things you can do for yourself.  It seems the more remote, more disconnected, the more likely they are to be living in the moment.  I never once cared about what my friends were doing or the girl I liked, or what job I wanted to take next while I was teaching a child to hammer a nail to construct her future school.  It turns out, as it is often the case, that the ones going to “help” people are often the bigger beneficiaries in unexpected ways. 

Perhaps that is why I look back on a good race?  You must be 100 percent in the moment.  When you are clicking off 5 minute miles, with a group of challengers trying to get to the finish line first, you’re not worrying about asking that girl out or the upcoming exam or your boss asking for that pointless report that no one looks at.     

Drinking hot chocolate with a friend from college in Melbourne, enjoy the city views from the hostel, listening music instructor strumming his guitar after a long day, reminiscing about old times.  I was in the moment then, despite talking about past moments.  And ironically, I will always time travel back to that moment. 

I want to constantly be increasing the number of experiences I am creating today that will make the future me want to time travel to.  As a baseline, I know that I love to travel back to simpler times or to have fireside chats with friends and family, or run a quad destroying mountain race or solve an interesting problem at work after months of toil or anything ever remotely involving a girl that did or didn’t even like me, or any epic failure I've had.  

Am I living a life that is creating time travelable material?  YES=good.  If no, then change something.  Fail at something, engage with people- a girl, do hard work- training for a goal- a marathon for example.  Constantly try to be in the now and to create time travelable material.  But remember to not time travel while getting there.  Does that make sense?

Anton preparing for the Nolan 14- 14 peaks over 14000 feet in the Sawatch Range in Colorado. The record is 54 hours.

This is the last post in my posting everyday for 30 days.  It wasn't that hard to do and very refreshing to see it through to the end even if not many people read it.


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  2. Great blogging brother. Keep on living...whatever that may look like.

  3. You sir have an awesome blog! I happened to stumble on it whilst searching for what it was like to be a mining engineer, and it seems awesome. I am just about to graduate high school and looking what to study in uni, and this seems like a really interesting job with lots of opportunities for travel. Thanks for the insights. Keep on blogging these amazing adventures!

  4. Thanks Sirs...I have bee a lucky dude but made the choice to always take the adventure. I Can't say its all been good, but it has been fun. Let me know if you have any engineering questions. I would be happy to answer them. Thanks for reading.