[The following is the ZDXP backstory which is also the "official" start of my blog (earlier posts were added retroactively from other sources).]
“What is the world’s greatest lie?” the little boy asks. The old man replies, “It’s this: that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That’s the world’s greatest lie.” — from “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho — An inspiring fable about following your dreams.
Once upon a time — not too long ago…
“Restlessness and discontent are the first necessities of progress.” — Thomas Edison
It was towards the end of the sixth 12 hour day in a row — I was sitting in my cubicle staring at my monitor. This 70+ hour work week was no different than the many that came before it. Being on salary meant I only got paid for 40 hours, but despite this discrepancy, I wasn’t unhappy.
And I’ll admit it, I was comfortable. I had a routine. Gym, work, gym, sleep. Repeat. As a result of my routine, I was as healthy & as fit as I’d ever been.
And in the midst of the global financial crisis, I was grateful to not only have a job, but very fortunate to actually continue to get paid to be creative for a living. I considered myself to be one of the “lucky ones” and assumed my life, on the whole, was as it should be.
But as I was about to leave work that night, I had the thought: “This isn’t what you’re supposed to be doing”. Whoa — where did that come from?
I responded by doing the most rational thing I could I could think of — I shrugged it off. But the thought came back the next day…
“This isn’t what you’re supposed to be doing”.
And again the day after that. It was nothing, if not persistent — so I decided to give it some attention. I figured if I did that, then it go away and I could go back to living my “comfortable” life.
Needless to say, that isn’t what happened — because when I started actually thinking about what I was doing, it raised many more questions than it provided answers.
Was I doing what I was supposed to in my life — and what happened to my dreams?
Was sitting behind a monitor so many hours a week really “living” or had I turned into a robot just going through the motions?
Was I really directing my life to where I truly wanted to go or just doing what I thought I was supposed to?
And where exactly was it that I was heading anyway? — and that’s what really scared me.
With those questions in mind I looked into my past, considered my present, and projected into future. And that’s when it dawned on me that I’d been letting my life, dreams, aspirations & opportunities to fulfill my potential pass me by.
And then there was eL-Oh-Ve-Ee…
Where was “she” — the missing piece of my puzzle? How come we hadn’t met yet?
Maybe working all those hours behind a computer — in a totally male dominated industry — wasn’t allowing our paths to cross. Sure, I dated — but I didn’t want “a date”, I wanted something much more significant than that — and I hadn’t found it yet — and I wasn’t willing to settle.
I knew what I wanted — it was simple — everything. Chemistry, love, passion, romance, a connection on many levels, and a true partner. How far would I be willing to go to find that? What kind of sacrifices would I be willing to make in order to make myself more visible to my fashionably late female friend?
”If you want your life to be a magnificent story, then begin by realizing that you are the author and everyday you have the opportunity to write a new page.” — Mark Houlahan
I daydreamed about what my life might be like if I “broke away” from what appeared to be a common, well-trodden path in life and instead, made my own. And then I took it a step further — I thought about what I’d have to do or sacrifice to make what I wanted to accomplish happen. Nothing major really. Just comfort, security, and stability — ok, wait! — that’s pretty major! It scared the hell out of me. And then a surprising & life altering event occurred…
I did it.
I took a leap of faith — I quit my job, terminated my lease, and sold (or donated) everything that wouldn’t fit in my 4Runner.
And then set off on a crazy adventure ”personal journey of discovery” to break away from the life of the robot I’d become. To rediscover my passions. To attract the love of my life. And to bring my life back in line with the one I imagined.
This became known as ZDXP.
Also see: Why I took a leap of faith.
I hadn’t yet read the Alchemist when I departed on my adventure, but it wasn’t long after I left that a fan suggested I check it out. They said I would be inspired. And so I did check it out. And I was inspired.
And that’s when I realized that what I was really attempting to do was fulfill my “personal legend”. I was pursuing something that filled me with an immense amount of enthusiasm — and it was something that involved 5 of my passions:
To spread goodwill & positivity and inspire and motivate people.
To share an experience with others in a way that it touches them on a personal level.
To help create a community of positive, passionate, and friendly people who in turn help inspire, motivate, and enrich other people’s lives.
Other ZDXP Adventure Photos (mainly snapshots) can be found in my ZDXP Facebook albums – they often include captions and comments that help provide context.
Additional snapshot photos from my adventure can be found at https://picasaweb.google.com/zerodean.com