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The Dream Dies Hard


Just Rolling with It

October 14 · Issue #110 · View online

Pursuing our dreams, not theirs.

Ideas on pursuing our individual dreams, not the dreams of others. Learning to hear our inner voice to guide us toward them while filtering out the noise of modern society’s dream pushers.

I’m writing this on a flight home from Korea. I was in Japan for Devcon 5. My flight was cancelled due to the typhoon. I had to rebook and fly through Seoul a day later.
I sat next to a soft spoken 75 year old Japanese man. At one point during the 12+ hour flight, we both paused at the same time from doing what we were doing.
He asked me if I traveled much.
I explained I used to but don’t anymore. He described how he traveled a lot for the first part of his career. He then switched jobs to travel less and be home with his young family.
We talked about the importance of being around and our children grow up. I told him I feel fortunate to be my own boss, more or less.
This means I can set my own schedule, take our son to school daily and pick him up as necessary. I can choose where and when I want to travel.
The man told a couple stories about one of his sons. His son was twice offered new jobs that promised to double his salary and more. One catch would be long working hours and lots of travel.
The first time this happened, the son asked his dad’s advice. His dad told him that family was more important than money. The son passed on the job.
The second time the son received an offer, he “knew what to do”, as his dad described it. The son turned that offer down too.
I felt touched and inspired hearing this exchange. It’s not the usual Dream pursuit story. I started to wonder how this happened. 
The man described how he believes we each have a purpose in life. I added that many times we pursue purposes others think we should pursue, rather than our true purpose. 
This topic’s been on my mind as I’ve been reading Reboot by Jerry Colonna. (See the Current Reading List for details 👇) Jerry talks a lot about how the purpose of our life is to discover and fulfill our true purpose.
Then the man described to me how he almost died. 
It was during the recovery from this near death experience the man changed his perspective. He stopped pursuing The Dream after it. He had been pursuing The Dream before it.
I sat with this story for a bit. It started me thinking about The Dream’s power.
How is it that often something as powerful a near death experience is required to stop pursuing The Dream?
In my own life, even a near death experience didn’t get me off The Dream’s path. I almost got blown up on a train during college. I’ll probably write more about this later.
For now, I mention it only to say that I kept pursuing The Dream after this happened. Something shifted in me, for sure. Yet it took a while for the shift to manifest in way that got me off The Dream path. 
How is The Dream that powerful? How are The Dream Pushers so effective?
Let me know by responding to this email. I reply to every response.
Catch you next week,
Semi-Random Thoughts
If you’re not in crypto, you may not know Devcon is the biggest Ethereum conference of the year. I attended Devcon last year for the first time.
Last year I was there on someone else’s terms. It culminated in me getting criticized, on personal and professional levels, by the co-founders of a project I was working with at the time. 
I was leading the product team then. We launched the project’s first production release on the conference’s first day. The project had been struggling to release before I arrived. I managed to organize the ongoing efforts, help refocus them and drive us to releasing in 7 months. 
Rather than receiving even minor appreciation, my personal choices and professional abilities were being attacked from every angle imaginable. This happened in a soviet era, block style apartment on an evening in Prague, under dim fluorescent lights.
I had felt a marked shift in tone from the last time we met in the spring. There was an uncomfortable undertone that hadn’t existed before. Looking back, I now see I was being walked down the same path that ends in parting ways that I saw others walked down before. It was pre-mediated, yet never openly communicated. Each time I asked for a direct answer, about things like performance and goals during this time, all I received was positive reinforcement.
The two people doing the criticizing had both been out partying the night before into the early or maybe late morning hours. One was vaping incessantly during what I experienced as an onslaught of at least somewhat unprofessional criticism, both personal and professional.
Afterward, I tossed and turned all night, alone in a hotel room, 1,000’s of miles away from home and my family. The next morning I recorded this podcast on the way to the airport.
Not surprisingly, I parted from that project shortly after. It did happen faster than expected, as one of the founders concluded our Prague conversation by saying that we’d see how the next few months go. What was originally presented as months turned into only a few days.
At the time it felt both frightening and liberating. Looking back a year later, it turns out to be one of the most beneficial things that’s happened in my career. As I return home from Devcon, I feel grateful for enjoying the conference on my own terms this year as a result.
Photo of the Week
Image by justrollingwithit Image by justrollingwithit
Current Reading List
Moneyland: The Inside Story of the Crooks and Kleptocrats Who Rule the World by Oliver Bullough
Jerry Colonna is the CEO, and co-founder, of, an executive coaching and leadership development firm whose coaches and facilitators are committed to the notion that better humans make better leaders.
Keeping Your Child in Mind (A Merloyd Lawrence Book): Claudia M. Gold: 9780738214856: Books
Permanent Record by Edward Snowden
Current Playlist
Kerri Chandler - Movin' Non Stop (1995) by Kerri Chandler | Free Listening on SoundCloud
Kiss Disco Club Classics by Kerri Chandler | Free Listening on SoundCloud
Tony Humphries and Shep Pettibone 98.7 Kiss FM N.Y Mastermix 25/12/1980 by Chris Wildblood | Free Listening on SoundCloud
Something for Your Mind ..Body .. and Soul-Pt 2 by djadamt | Adam NC1BRUVA | Free Listening on SoundCloud
DJ CASPA UPFRONT & PERSONAL AUGUST 19! by djcaspa | Free Listening on SoundCloud
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