How to Effectively Thrive Off the Beaten Path

Salto MortaleLeap into the Void

There’s something satisfying to the soul about a saying from a different language that captures the essence of living entirely in just two words.

Carpe Diem―Seize the Day. Memento Mori―Remember, you must die. Salto Mortali―Leap into the void.

A leap into the unknown is a bold action. So bold, few people take the plunge, but those who do live fully or die trying. The opportunities you seek will not find you; you have to find them and embrace them while you have the chance.

What that takes is a full onward leap into the unknown. Nobody is ever ready for the unknown. If you were ready, it wouldn’t be the unknown. But opportunities are waiting for those bold enough to take the plunge. 

A delve into the void implies learning as you go. You are the first to throw yourself into the action so you can lead the way and pave a path for anyone bold enough to continue with you. So how do we maneuver off the beaten path? Where do we go to when nobody has the answers?

That’s something you have to discover through embracing the unknown entirely.

5 Steps to Embracing the Unknown

Set an Intention with a Purpose

“By banishing doubt and trusting your intuitive feelings, you clear a space for the power of intention to flow through.” -Wayne Dyer

Start with the end in mind. Determine what your intention is, write it down, and revisit it every day. To actively move toward your goal, you have to remind yourself daily what the goal is.

The goal isn’t engraved in stone; you can change it as you grow and evolve. But to move in the direction of a goal, you have to set one.

If you’re not clear what your intention is, take the time to set one right now. What is your passion? What is it that drives you?

If you haven’t delineated what it is you’re passionate about, you’re in the majority. 

Let’s ponder a thought experiment.

What are the three things that interest you the most? Where do these three interests intersect?

The place your three highest interests intersect, there you will find your passion. 

Now set a goal revolving around manifesting that passion into your reality. 

Now you can aim in the direction of your goal, and pave your own path.


Have a Plan

“Our goals can only be reached through the vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” —Pablo Picasso

How can you create a plan if you don’t know the territory?

The plan is just a hypothesis at this point. It is an educated guess. You have to take what you know right now, and use the tools you have to get you moving in the direction of your goal. The plan isn’t set in stone; it is more of an inspiration for daily action. 

Here are 5 practical steps for developing a plan.

  • Set a long term goal. 
  • Set checkpoints and achievements on the journey to the long-term goal.
  • Determine the daily habits you have to break and replace them with productive habits.
  • Determine the daily actions you have to take to get to each checkpoint.
  • Take daily action, and adjust as necessary.

Remember, the plan won’t be perfect. You’re going to have to make adjustments as you go, but a plan is necessary to take effective action in the direction of a goal.


Stay Flexible

“Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.” Bruce Lee

The goal is subject to change, but let it be a north star to guide you through the process. Life is not composed of straight lines. The path to your goal will be winding, as the north star’s position in the sky is always changing.

It is the process of stumbling toward the goal that will lead you in the right direction. Zig and zag along the path. Plans will not go the way you anticipate, but at least you’re moving forward.

Hone your focus on the end goal, but be flexible. Don’t be too attached to the way you get to the objective. There will be many unexpected mountains and valleys you have to climb and descend.

You’re off the beaten path; so, expect the unexpected. The great news about pioneering through unmapped territory is you can learn and map the area to share with others as you go.


Show Your Work

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” -Lao Tzu

Before you’re ready, show your work. Your successes, your failures, your intentions, and your regrets, SHOW YOUR WORK. Your work is your map. It’s not the final product, but you are building the foundations. 

The final product isn’t the map; that’s not what people can apply to their lives. The process is the map. To get from A to Z, you have to go through the entire alphabet. A to Z with nothing in between has no use to anyone.

Show what worked, show what didn’t work, and be honest about your imperfections. It’s the imperfections that make us human and the quirks that make us unique as individuals. Don’t let perfect get in the way of progress. Perfection is overrated. 


Start Before You’re Ready

“The fool is the precursor to the savior.” ―Carl Jung

Carl Jung described the archetype of the fool as being the precursor to the savior. In the most basic terms, you have to be willing to look like a fool before you master your craft.

You have to put in the deliberate practice to become a professional. Nobody starts as a professional; everybody starts from zero. It takes consistent dedication and time to master your craft. 

You learned to walk, and talk didn’t you? That’s no easy feat. To go from crawling on your hands and knees to walking on two feet, or from rambling nonsense to articulating a complex language. That wasn’t an easy process to learn, and there was a lot of stumbling along the way. And yet, it’s probably something you don’t even think twice about.

Whenever learning something new, you have to be willing to fail before you succeed. Otherwise, you might go your entire life living on your knees. Start by doing it badly; you will improve if you make it a point to improve. 

You might look like an idiot, you might get ridiculed, and you might get shut down. But if you take the leap and stay on course, you will learn, grow, and evolve. Remember to take notes as the fool is molded into the savior.


Last Word

When people are on their death beads reminiscing on their lives, they often say they don’t regret the opportunities they took and failed; they regret the opportunities they failed to take. 

As you’re standing on the edge, the leap into the void is a scary thought, but in hindsight, people regret not leaping. The people that take the risk at least have the satisfaction of knowing they tried. Of knowing they lived their lives and pushed their limits to the fullest.

It’s the process, the adrenaline, the satisfaction of a life fully lived that makes the leap worth taking.

 Salto Mortale―Take the leap.

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