The Secret

4 years ago I tried to retire from full-time work. My plan was to be a part-time angel investor and full-time rock climber.

No commitments, no responsibility. Livin’ the dream, right?

👉 3 weeks later I realized I had it all WRONG.

Billionaires & broke people have something in common: Rich or poor, we only find true fulfillment through growth. And we only grow by doing hard, scary things. It's an inescapable truth—like 🦈 we either keep swimming or suffocate.

The paradox of life is… We strive for comfort & certainty—the finish line. BUT Struggle & uncertainty—the *race*—are the things that make us feel alive.

secret image

Yvonne Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia, put it simply:  

🏔“When you reach the summit there’s nothing there.” The reward is the climb itself. If that sounds like a crock of 💩 try this:

Ask a few successful people to describe the happiest, most fulfilling times in their life—the moments they felt most alive. Chances are they won't point to awards or account balances—they'll usually speak fondly of the struggle to get there. The climb, not the summit.

In rock climbing we call it “Type 2 Fun”: Things that don’t feel fun in the moment but are immensely rewarding afterward—because you learned & grew. Life works the same way. If you learn to recognize Type 2 in the moment, you can embrace it, savor it.

🤫 Here’s the secret: Each of us has 16 waking hours to fill every day. It’s intoxicating to imagine filling those hours with leisure.

👉 Leisure can make for a great day—but endless days of leisure don’t add up to a great *life*. Our time has to add up to something. 👇

secret 2

What are the ingredients for a great life?

🪓 Challenging work (that pays the bills)
🏋️‍♀️ Pursuit of exceptional health
👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Time with family & friends
🏔Connecting with nature
🎨 Developing new skills
🤩 WOW experiences
👩‍🎓 Constant learning
💫 Spiritual growth
👬 Helping others

Notice that none of these tasks is ever complete. There’s no finish line or summit. It’s a process with no end. The equivalent of the 🦈 swimming. What if, instead of racing for a finish line (that doesn't exist), we simply accepted that we're always going to swim?
That we're always going to do hard things and CHOOSE Type 2 Fun. Stop gazing at the summit above and learn to embrace the climb right in front of you. That’s the secret.

P.S. I chose the the first pic for a reason. In the moment pictured my whole world—every thought, every action—is the few feet of rock right in front of me. It’s moments like this—the struggle, not the send (the summit)—that are the reward.