I’m currently in the process of saying goodbye to our home in Oregon. The state will hold a very close place in my heart.
The fresh air from the Douglas firs made it seem like a winter vacation every day. I’ll miss the summers paddle-boarding, finding our own private watering hole as we would plunge into the Umpqua River, and the countless culinary titans dishing out some of the best food I’ve ever had.
It was tough at first, but when the wife and I eventually took the unknown journey to nowhere, we felt a type of freedom that’s difficult to articulate with words.
Usually, the best things in life are.
A close family member lent me his truck to help with the move. Bless his heart. It’s hard to get a rental vehicle these days. Anyways, the truck came in handy. I understand why truck owners seem to have lots of friends.
It was a 1990 Nissan D21 hardbody. She was a beauty. It had a 5-speed manual transmission and no power steering. This was my first time ever driving a car without it and I LOVED IT!
The truck had a solid engine and was built like a rock. It was useful, and an overall utility vehicle.
When pulling out of the driveway, I actually had to use quite a bit of force to move this classic beast.
The irony is that it didn’t have power steering, when in fact I had to use all my power to move it.
Semantics aside, this brought me to an interesting sentiment. Power steering in the sense that I am describing can be summed up in one adjective:
There is beauty in the struggle, in pain, and in the discomfort that life may bring. For the past 15 years, I have been a test subject of this struggle.
My intention was never driven by vanity, but instead, purpose.
The purpose was driven to find happiness, and to my dismay, happiness has always had a silent affair with struggle.
Dr. Anna Lembke, a Stanford Neuroscientist, Professor, and author of “Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence,” takes us through the dangers of our pleasure-filled world, and how the modern-day luxuries and conveniences have actually made us less happy. She goes on and talks about a dopamine reset, and how this can happen through having a healthy relationship with pain.
“Because we’ve transformed the world from a place of scarcity to a place of overwhelming abundance: Drugs, food, news, gambling, shopping, gaming, texting, sexting, Facebooking, Instagramming, YouTubing, tweeting . . . the increased numbers, variety, and potency of highly rewarding stimuli today is staggering. The smartphone is the modern-day hypodermic needle, delivering digital dopamine 24/7 for a wired generation.” — Dr. Lembke
Please check out this awesome podcast from YouTuber, Chris Williamson and Dr. Anna Lembke.
I am an advocate of technology. I hope to create a sustainable life where I can merge the best of technology and live within nature.
However, technological advancement, much like evolution, is not linear.
Progression with technology takes time, but it’s a responsibility that each of us must take on.
I think about the world today and how fortunate I am, but there is a place buried deep in my heart that longs to have the strength and courage of my grandmother.
She grew up in the Fiji Islands. When my grandfather had his legs removed due to diabetes, she took over running the household and worked their farmland, which was their main source of income, all the while raising 5 children.
She had one dress. She would bathe in the river while this one dress would dry. It was the only piece of clothing she owned.
I don’t despise our modern, fast-paced, convenience-driven world, and I am grateful for the opportunities innovation has given to us.
It wouldn’t be possible without people like my grandmother, but in their lack of tangible material items, they gained tenacity, grit, perseverance, and a type of all-encompassing love that we are losing today as a culture.
Power steering isn’t just about the car, it’s a metaphor for my entire life.
I embrace pain and have a relationship with struggle every day.
Whether it’s a morning workout, cold shower, meditation, fasting, limiting social media, and cringe worth news content, I am realizing the things that we don’t want to do are preparing us for something bigger.
Tough times will find you. They find us all. There is no escaping it and the mindset that we build today can help us preserve tomorrow.
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