This will be a long newsletter (because of all the little paragraphs I wrote throughout the month), but it will also be my last (manual) one.
I’ll be switching the emails to automatically send out from now on. I already have the system in place to automate this, so I’m removing this job from myself. Every Monday morning, what I’ve been up to will show up in your inbox. Feel free to reply to any email with your thoughts.
- Family Feature (11/03/19)
- Flight Risk (11/07/19)
- Family Feature (11/10/19)
- Reach Team Service (11/15/19)
- Family Feature (11/17/19)
- Give (11/20/19)
- Mind Management (11/24/19)
- Family Feature (11/24/19)
Below, you’ll see all the writing I did throughout the month. I challenged myself to write at least 100 words each day through November. It trickled away slowly and became less of a daily thing, and more of a few times a week thing. Now, that experiment is done. The next set of projects are on the way.
I started yoga a few months ago. I’m headed there in a few minutes. It’s something new for me: to stretch, to stay grounded, to gain patience, to meditate. It’s something that’s completely different for me, and even a bit uncomfortable at times. I’m still learning the basics, but I know that, ultimately, it’s just another layer that I can add to my life. It’s also another chance for community. To find new friends and people to spend time with. It doesn’t have to be yoga, but I encourage you to try something, anything that’s new and different than your everyday routine. Keep finding ways to be uncomfortable.
What does calm look like to you? There’s distractions pulling at us from every direction: agendas, expectations, people we don’t want to upset, deadlines needing to be met, money to be spent — disappointment. The list goes on, and it continues to grow the more we live this current lifestyle.
But what would it look like to be calm on a daily basis? What’s something in our life that isn’t offering value anymore? Maybe there’s a part of our identity that we’re still holding onto, not realizing that we’ve outgrown that old version of ourselves. Getting down to the essentials of life, just the important things, breaking through the madness, and finding a level of peace that becomes a staple of who we are. Find your calm.
I’m fascinated by the conversations we’ve had these last few days. We’ve known each other since 4th grade, but we haven’t talked in what feels like decades. You remember things from before I was even 10 years old (like my mom helping your cheer team, and how shy I used to be), things that I didn’t even remember myself. And now, you’re seeing the person I am today, and you’re seeing the impact I’m having on the people around me.
The positive memories from childhood, and the “teacher” you claim that I am now (with my site, my writings, and my influence), is all you really know of me. That’s fascinating. There’s no in-between: just childhood and now. None of the middle, none of the mess that I seem to dwell on. That’s an interesting perspective to have. It has me thinking about the middle, and how we tend to worry about it way too much. In the grand scheme of life, all those little things that we stress over on a daily basis, all that in-between, is irrelevant compared to what’s in front of us and what’s to come.
We were kids, and now we’re here. The problems we had last year, or the year before that — to a person that we haven’t connected with in decades, they only see now. All of our shortcomings and things we regret. All those little moments that we wish we could take back. All those tiny situations that we think define the person we are today. They don’t.
We were kids, and now we’re here. It’s this very moment that makes up who we are right now, and its this simple perspective that gives us a unique opportunity to be the best version of ourselves today, without worrying about who we were before.
Most sites, under their blog post title, have a date that shows when the article was published. I spent an hour the other day doing something similar, but also a little different. Each post on my site now has a weekday, date, and time underneath each title. Look close though. It’s the current day of the week, and the current time, and the current second. It’s a live clock, ticking away.
As you read, and as you notice the seconds ticking away, I hope it reminds you about this current moment that you’re in. The date something was created is irrelevant. Only now matters. Time is moving. Things are happening. Just keep building.
A year later. Who I was. Who I wanted to be. All the ambition. Where I thought I was going. The plan I had in place. Nothing looks the same. The plan I had then is different now. In a good way. It starts with excitement. Then it starts to fade. Until it’s gone. You spend time trying to build it back up. But that’s harder than simply accepting this new version of yourself. The inertia. The force stopping you to move with momentum again. Trying to go against the current instead of flowing with the world and the season you’re currently in.
A year later. How did I get here? Did I grow? Did I take a step back? Did I remain exactly where I was? Was it all a loop?
We fly high. The world is limitless at this point. But eventually we start drifting down. It’s inevitable. We can’t stay in the air forever. Find a place to land. Somewhere safe. Somewhere that looks like home. You’ll be ok there.
A few months ago, I had plans set in place. To close out the fourth quarter strong. October, November, December. There were music videos ready to release, three books, an album, a weekly podcast, all ready to go. I was prepped to start releasing YouTube videos regularly. I had other smaller plans in place, like starting a book club with a small group of people, and traveling to Missouri for 10 days. I was also going through depression, seeing a counselor, and bunch of other things all at once, while still keeping everything together. Still staying on track to complete the year the way I planned. I had it all under control. Each project was strategically lined up to knockout through the quarter. It was my grande finale. Then something changed.
It must’ve been from five different people, without talking to each other, but all had very similar words on their heart to say to me. They didn’t know my plans. I usually keep all that private. They simply just wanted to share something with me. It started with my friend Renae from church. I walked up to her for prayer, and before I could even say a word, she whispered in my ear, “I have a message for you.” I got excited thinking it was from someone I like, thinking some good news was coming my way. I responded, “From who!?”. Her response: “Jesus.” I replied, “Oh.” “He told me to tell you to rest.”
I was talking to my dad a week or so after, and telling him how I break the year into four quarters, and I’m about to approach the fourth quarter. I told him I was prepping for it, and it’s going to be some big months ahead for me. He followed up with something similar to what Renae had told me. “I’ll tell you what you’re gonna do for the fourth quarter.” I got excited again, thinking he had a brilliant plan in place for me. He knows how my mind works. His response: “Nothing. Absolutely nothing. You’re gonna rest. Until January 1st.” Several other people in my life, without knowing, all nearly said the same thing. I took it as a sign. ‘Well, I guess I need to rest.’
We’re in November now, and I have been resting. Doing about 90% less than what I usually do on a daily basis. (Although, my dad wasn’t expecting the news on October 1st, when I told him that I bought a motorcycle. “Didn’t I just say to do nothing.” I told him that this well help me do nothing. “It’s just me and the bike now.” He laughed.)
I’ve been reading a lot. I bought a gaming system and been playing video games to let my mind rest. Just doing things to relax. I’ve been trying my best not to create as much. It’s an urge that I have to fight every day, but as you can see from these words, little ideas and plans still sneak through. But…I’ve been resting. It’s made me a much better person because of it.
We all go through life trying to do things, and fix things, and solve all the problems the day throws at us. I’ve learned that problems are like the whack-a mole game, and it doesn’t matter how many of those problems you solve today, new ones will be there tomorrow, showing their head, waiting for you to react. It’s a never ending race.
So I took this fourth quarter: October, November, and December — and I’ve set out to do as little as possible. To clear my calendar and task manager. To have days that are completely free from any agenda.
“You need to rest.” Those words stay on my heart now, and I’m happy to say that I feel more rested and refreshed than I have in years. I guess it’s working.
The disconnect. It rarely happens. The network is always flowing through us. The stimulation of a connection. Our devices, within arms reach: an extension of our body, like another ligament they offer us, paying monthly to stay attached.
How many minutes or days can we go off the grid? No connection. Have we even tried before? The world makes it seem as if there’s urgency here. We can’t disconnect. It’s impossible. We’ll miss out on something. If we don’t constantly tell our friends that we’re ok, then they’ll think we’re not ok—or even worse, they’ll forget about us.
What would happen, though, if we completely went off the grid? Disappear for awhile. Into the wild.
Sometimes a backpack is too much. Sometimes leaving the house doesn’t require you to take all your possessions with you like I usually do. That’s where this Aer City Sling comes in. Keys, charger, AirPods, wallet, GoPro, Kindle, Field Notes, pen. That’s what’s currently inside of the sling. It goes over one shoulder and attaches to me at angle, with all of my gear behind me as I’m riding the motorcycle. Think of Trunks, my favorite superhero, and his sword that slings over his shoulder, as he arrives from the future. That’s me and this little sling. There’s not much saving or killing I’ll be doing here though. I’ll probably just read you a book.
One of our many family businesses will be launching soon. The first one is handmade leather goods, like purses and wallets. My dad picked up this skill while being away for a few years. This little business will be operated by me, my dad, and my brother. I’ll have the first batch of products in the next few weeks, and I’m hoping to sell through all of them immediately. I hope you see something you like and purchase it right away.
Each one purchased will be helping several things: payback the initial investment, help my dad make a living during his last few months until he comes home, help fund the next order of supply to keep the products coming, help me and my brother make extra money, and most importantly, help show us that a family business is possible.
For the last few years, my vision has been to create a bunch of micro-businesses. Instead of having all of my money coming from one job, I’ll have little buckets of income from many different sources, totaling up to a full paycheck. Over the years, this has slowly become a reality, and this leather project is another step in that direction.
Give yourself more credit. Whatever your story is, whatever background you have, whatever your childhood looked like, whatever your current job status is: you’re here right now, and that alone means so much. It might not be where you imagined yourself being at this point, but I bet it took a lot for you to get here. Give yourself credit for where you’re at in this very moment. Even if it doesn’t feel like it sometimes, you’re winning. That mentality — the fighter mentality, the thankful mentality, and the mentality to know that you’ve made it this far, so you might as well keep going — will bring you to your next milestone.
I think back at all coaches, karate teachers, and Air Force instructors that I had throughout my life (In basketball, I had Coach Fred. In karate, I had Master George. In the Air Force, I had Staff sergeant Nunez). The lessons I walked away from usually had nothing to do with the task at hand.
I think of patience, and how to not just lead, but follow. I think of a the discipline that was instilled in me throughout the years. I learned teamwork and perseverance. I learned how to be a winner, even if my team didn’t win. I learned self-confidence. I learned how to work on something bigger than myself.
I say all this without mentioning any basketball drills, karate kicks, or military techniques—because being a coach goes way beyond that. It comes down to vision: for the court, for the board that was broken, for the PT drills that I had to do before the sun came up. It’s vision that has carried me on daily basis throughout the years, and it was from these coaches that vision has become a staple in my life.
So I don’t take being a coach lightly. I’ve seen what my coaches have done for me. I wouldn’t be who I am today without them. Now it’s time for me to pay it forward to the kids that are on my team. I see the younger me in each one of them.
I’ve accomplished a lot in my 33 years, and I still have so many things ahead of me. When it comes to my creations and career goals, I truly am just getting started. It’s such an exciting thought, when I brainstorm on the roadmap and vision I have for the years to come. I’ll always be just getting started, because my perspective continues to evolve, while my creativity and wisdom continues to grow.
But there’s one area where I continue to run into a brick wall. It’s always the same wall. Over and over again. I’ve fallen short with attempting to start my own family. With relationships. With getting past the dating phase and the honeymoon phase, and actually building a relationship that would be considered longterm.
It’s absolutely my kryptonite—and because of how many failed attempts I’ve had, the effort I put on it with each new attempt is magnified from past attempts. It’s not that same blank canvas that my art gets to enjoy. With my art, I’m starting from scratch each time with a new idea. With dating, and going through life meeting and getting to know these people, I carry weight behind me, as if it lives in my backpack. Each ex. Each failed attempt. There’s scars there. Past memories that stick around longer than they should. Starting over is never just starting over. People matter. I don’t just forget them, and that weight stays with me as I travel on my journey.
It’s a mission that has yet to be accomplished. You can hear the intercom static, and then, someone quietly speaks. “This is passenger N33. This is attempt 1,019. We’re on planet earth, and there’s no signs of life. No partner. The mission and the connection of turning two into one is currently not available. This mission has been compromised once again. Over.”
A family is uncharted territory for me. That simple thought—a family—is too far into the distance to even spot on my radar. All I see is water, for hours, and on the horizon, I see no kind of land. Only emptiness. Sailing through the uncharted.
The process continues. The loop. Getting past the dating phase. Getting past the disagreements. Growing into something more. Knowing that we’ll still be there together after the dust settles. That’s as far as my mind travels. A family. A future. It’s hard to see that. The horizon hasn’t shown it yet. It’s just water.
I look at my current situation, with only the 50 items that I own, and only the motorbike for transportation, and the future plans I have that go even deeper into that direction—and I wonder, is this family project even aligning with where I’m headed? My trajectory is unique and it’ll continue to get harder to make those lines parallel. The vision for my life, and the vision I have for a family, they’re on opposite ends of the spectrum. I want them both, but my lifestyle tells a different story.
I’m waiting in the water, but I’m also building my own legacy along the way that isn’t technically built for a family. So when I finally reach land, by that time, will I even want to stop and make that land my home? Or will I continue sailing the uncharted? Time will tell.
Start where you are. With what you have. Most people wait. They wait for that missing piece to the puzzle. That little solution that’ll make everything fall into place. They have an idea, but it’s not completely formulated yet. One day though, they think themselves, it’ll be there. They just need the right equipment. The right tools for the job. The right location. The right person to help them get to that next level. They plan on doing something big one day, but just not right now.
Start where you are. With what you have. Whatever tools you have in front of you. Use those. The constraints of your situation are more powerful than you think. Use them. They will help you. Because having the best tools in the world won’t help: it’ll only make you just like everyone else. You’ll get lost in the crowd, just like they are. Your constraints though, that’s you. That’s the difference between you and them. That’s what’ll set you apart.
Start where you are. Right now. With what you have. The world is waiting.
A few months ago, I added a feature to the top of my site for those who want to send me a private message. Throughout the week, I’ll check my email in the morning and see a private message waiting for me. Someone saying hello. Someone asking for advice. Someone sharing their thoughts on whatever they just read. The email shows what page they’re replying from, so it helps with the context and knowing what triggered their thoughts and inspired them to send that message. It’s one of my favorite new features to the site, and it’s something I’ve wanted for a long time.
I created a page this morning, nashp.com/comments, where I take a few of those messages, that aren’t too private, and I make them public, with my direct reply to them right underneath.
It inspires me each time I get one of these messages, because it starts a conversation with a stranger or a friend that otherwise wouldn’t have been possible. Someone who simply just stopped by to visit. To say hello. To share a thought. To ask for help. I never take that for granted.
The unknown. The uncertainty. What tomorrow might hold. We’re afraid of it. The fear of not knowing paralyzes us to the point that we’re now on the sidelines, watching life happen around us. Frozen on defense. Afraid of the moving target instead of taking action on what’s ahead.
During the unknown, that’s when the biggest moments of our life could happen. It’s these moments that’ll define us going forward. There’s an opportunity here, to be excited, simply by understanding that the breakthrough is next, and it’s time to get ready for it.
Your future self—the best version of yourself—starts with the preparation of today.