by Niall Doherty

Today is the day.

While most of you are reading this, I’ll be on my way to Dublin, where I’m scheduled to take a ferry to England this eve. It’s the official start of my round the world trip without flying, a trip that’s likely to take a few years and change me greatly.

I’m pretty calm considering. I thought I’d be extremely anxious right about now, but I’m doing fine. Methinks I’ve gotten used to taking big leaps.

There was the leap back in 2004 when my uber-shy self moved solo to the United States without knowing a soul. There was the leap back in 2007 when I moved to New Orleans to follow my favorite basketball team. Last year I took another big leap by leaving my 9-to-5 in NOLA and moving back to Ireland to get started with this self-employed vagabond lifestyle dealio. More recently, I took a leap to go live in Spain, and then lots of little leaps to return home.

Here are a few things I’ve learned from all that leaping, lessons that are helping me not freak out right now…

  1. Taking the leap isn’t as scary as your lizard brain will have you believe. It will always be terrifying until you do it, and then it quickly becomes your new normal.
  2. Things generally work out okay, even when bad shit happens.
  3. People are generally good.
  4. Whether you leap or stay put, you’re going to piss off someone. Just remember that the most important person to keep happy is yourself, because you’ll always be stuck with you.
  5. You can have everything that you want, but you can’t have it all at the same time.
  6. Persistence and experimentation will take you wherever you want to go.
  7. You can’t run away from your own bad habits. Hard work and self-discipline will always be required to fix those. Fix them early on and you save yourself a lot of frustration and self-loathing.
  8. You can’t be happy in the future. You can’t be happy in the past. If you can’t be happy in the moment, you never will be.
  9. Security is not about having things. It’s about being able to handle things. (Thanks, Jacob.)
  10. It’s much easier to land on your feet if you surround yourself with good people who get what you’re trying to do (even better if they’re doing similar themselves).
  11. You can find such people online. They’re just as real as the dude next door.
  12. Set yourself deadlines. Announce them publicly.
  13. “We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret and disappointment.” – Jim Rohn (via CG)
  14. Always be proactive. Boredom is for lazy people.
  15. Playing it safe is the riskiest thing you can do.
  16. What works for someone else may not work for you, and vice versa. You’ll only know for sure by giving it a shot.
  17. No ask, no get. You might have to change how you ask and who you ask, but you must keep asking.
  18. Feel lucky.
  19. Share as much value as you can. Not only does it feel good in itself, but it usually comes back to you in unexpected ways.
  20. Define what success means to you. Recognize and enjoy it once you get there.
  21. Don’t take yourself too seriously. At the end of the day, we’re all a bunch of monkeys 😉

Have you taken many leaps yourself? What have you learned from them?

Leaving you with a recent Slieverue sunrise. I’ll see my next when I return via the West.

Want to learn more about my round the world trip without flying? Check this post.


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