Monday, 4 July 2016

This is a story about a man who lives a life full of meaning

I met a man who lives a simple life full of meaning, and this is his story.

Who is this man? What does he do? Has he always been this way? Near the end of the post I will ask a question of which sparked a debate between myself and my two friends.

Let's call this man George. George is an aerial kite boarding trainer. For those of you who do not know what that is: It is an international extreme water sport which combines the physics of flying a kite as well the same laws apply as when you wakeboard, wake surf, skateboard, paraglide and surf.

George is in his early 30's, around my age, and he is single. He seems to live a life free from burden and stress. What caught my immediate attention about George and the reason for writing this post was how he lit up when he said that the only thing that he loves most in life is when his students become independent kite boarders.

That's it.

That is the reward of which George pursues. He explained that the persistence, determination, and the willingness of a student is what determines the student's success at becoming an independent kite boarder. With these characteristics of a student George will not stop training until the student can become independent.

If you notice it is not how much money George makes from teaching, and he doesn't care about the amount of time he spends working. What motivates George are his students.

George explained to us that he has been a trainer for 9 years, and that he is the only one out of all the trainers in the company that works 7-8 hour days as opposed to 3-4 hours for the average trainer.

For George aerial kite boarding is not a job instead it is work. I believe that George has found his calling, wouldn't you agree?

What is the difference between a job and work? "A job is an activity one performs in exchange for a specific fee or payment. Work is the activity one does because he loves doing it, and does not always have to be paid for the activity."

Remember that analogy I gave you about the brick layers. George is the brick layer that is building a house for god not one that is there from 9-5 to build a church. His end result was the success of others, not the paycheque he receives.

This is where I want to go next with this post, and this is the debate which was sparked between myself and my two friends.

George being the simple man that he is, who does not need a lot of money to be extremely satisfied with what he does, and his lifestyle choices, what would happen if he received a large sum of money? Would his lifestyle change? Would he change as a human being? Would he become less satisfied or more?

Before we dive into this I just want to give you a brief back round about George so you understand why we got into this debate.

We have established that George is very passionate about what he does for his career.

He has an extreme wealth of knowledge about every aspect of kite boarding and he displayed it when we were out in the water. He was able to explain every single detail of what goes right and what goes wrong. He gets real serious about it, so much so that you cannot recognize training George and friend George. I would say he is definitely in the state of flow while he is on the water.

What I haven't told you is what he does outside of his career.

George works 6 months out of the year teaching students that range between the ages of 6 and 71. In the summer for 3-4 months he teaches water sports and in the fall he teaches snowboarding and skiing. What does he do the other 6 months of the year?

George packs a backpack and heads south with his motor bike to visit family, friends, to meet new people and relax all on a budget of 10k. How can someone afford to live on 10k for 6 months? This defies a lot of people's beliefs who have become accustomed to our ever demanding social responsibilities. (This topic requires another post, since it is a great deal of content of which I want to cover)

I think you can see now why my friends and I have sparked a debate about George and money. Since we realize that George seems to be a simple man, what would he do if he earned drastically more money than he does right now?

You may or may not agree with me however, I believe that if George had access to more money that his lifestyle would change.

He wouldn't stop teaching but I believe he would do things differently. I don't think he would ride his motor bike down south I think he would fly. I think he would get a nice place he would call home. His habits might slightly change in terms of eating, drinking, and partying.

Would you agree with me? This is the lens of which I see it. Why do I think this way? Not because this is what I would do, but because of the small detail I left out before my last paragraph.

When my friend and I had a discussion about another friend of ours and his successful investment in a condo. George's eyes went wide open when he heard the amount of money of which was earned by my friend.

There I knew that to George money does matter. It is however not the only thing that matters and if George was to choose between a better corporate paying job and the work that he does now, he would not take the corporate job.

George is the Mexican fisherman.

George doesn't need money like most of us think we do. George just wants enough so he does not have to think or be motivated by money. George already lives life on his own terms, even though he is working for someone else.

How do you live your life? What lights you up? If it is not your work, then what is it that you do outside of work that matters so much to you that you would never give that up? Do more of that!

Thank you for reading this post. To be continued....

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