Extraordinary Joes Session 4: What I Learned - International Man of Mystery
What an exciting show with The International Man of Mystery. Intrigue, slight of hand, misdirection, and horses. Here is what I learned from this session:
Say Yes, Then See What Happens
There's a funny Jim Carey movie, Yes Man (by funny I mean, it's good for a few laughs, nothing award winning), that chronicles a man who has lived a dull and boring life, until he attends a seminar that encourages him to say yes to everything. As he does, he has experiences that weren't even on his radar before. Saying yes leads him to gain new perspectives, learn new skills, meet new people, and open up opportunities that he would have otherwise missed.
It's a movie, and it's Jim Carey, so it's over the top for sure. And I don't advocate for saying yes to everything. In fact, I think many of us have things in our lives that we should probably be saying no to, in order to protect our time, and direct it towards what's most important. But it seems to me that we often have it backwards. We say yes to things out of fear, misguided feelings of responsibility, boredom, or simply because we can't say no. Then we get frustrated, angry, or resentful, because we didn't want to be doing the thing in the first place. On the other hand, we say no to things out of fear or uncertainty. These are often things that could provide new learning, new opportunity, and open doors that could lead us towards the very thing we have been hoping for.
Daniel approached things that he was interested in, or things that seemed interesting, and said yes. He said yes to opportunities that aligned with what he was trying to work towards, or that were adjacent to things he wanted to pursue, and then, he figured out the details along the way.
This led to some amazing opportunities for Daniel, which led to more amazing opportunities. I believe the same is true for us. Consider saying yes more to those things that align with where you want to go or who you want to be. In these instances, you can usually work the details out later, and learn along the way.
There Doesn't Always Have To Be An Endgame
Daniel mentioned that many of his best relationships and opportunities have been born out of him serving, helping, or simply working with others, without trying to figure out how it was going to benefit his business in the future. For many of us, we might wonder how something is going to make us money, or simply provide benefit on our end, when we are trying to decide whether or not to engage with a person or a specific activity. This is very similar to the first lesson, in that the focus is not on the end, or trying to figure out what's next, but rather, it is on what is directly in front of us.
By being willing to meet new people and use his knowledge and experience to help when he could, Daniel has been able to forge friendships, and secondarily, build his business, without focusing solely on the final result.
This does not mean we allow people to take advantage of us or that we offer our services for free all of the time. For me, it's a reminder not to always get so caught up in wondering where this will lead, or trying to figure out the ROI on a given interaction or situation.
There's More To The Story
I don't know how long comparison has been thieving joy from people. Probably forever. I also don't know if it's stronger for our society now due to the power and scope of the internet and how much more we know about other people. My guess is that it probably is.
It's easy to look at Daniel's life as The International Man of Mystery and feel like he's living the dream. It's also easy, then, to wonder why you aren't or can't be living a similar dream. Daniel has traveled to some of the most beautiful places in the world, and experienced things that I probably never well. If you listened to the episode, you might think that his life is extraordinary, and interesting, and full of adventure. And you'd be right. But there's more to the story.
That's not to say that Daniel is secretly miserable, and that I left all of the truth out of the show. He mentioned during our conversation that there are plenty of challenges that come with the schedule he must maintain and the nature of the work that he is doing. Other than the people that he's working for, he's traveling solo, and much of his time in these incredible places is spent working. He's had to figure out how to live a "normal" life, in terms of finding community, building relationships, and having time to develop himself through an unusual schedule and work life.
Just a reminder that there's always more to the story. And a great point to support that Daniel really is an Extraordinary Joe. He's an ordinary guy, just like you and me, who is doing great things with his life, all while trying to pursue the simple joys that we all desire.
I'm pulling for you, Bryan
Thanks for listening to Extraordinary Joes! If you have any Extraordinary Joes you think would be great for the show, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.