Zen (Business) Habits: Stop Stressing and Enjoy the Ride : Under30CEO Zen (Business) Habits: Stop Stressing and Enjoy the Ride : Under30CEO
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Zen (Business) Habits: Stop Stressing and Enjoy the Ride

| July 15, 2013 | 18 Comments


I wrote You’re Already a Millionaire, All You Have To Do Is Show Up”. How many successful people have you heard say: I always knew I was going to be successful?

Maybe it’s supreme confidence, or maybe they realized that they were put on earth to do something and executed upon it, but my article came to one important conclusion– if you know you are going to be successful, then you will be successful. You just can’t quit. If you show up everyday, do the things it takes to be successful, then you will be.

The takeaway: stop stressing about it and enjoy the ride.

I’m guilty of trying to muscle my way to where I want to go. You know the type– if you’re late, you hurry, if times are tough, you work longer and harder, and when things go wrong, you are extra hard on yourself….

Where Are You Rushing Anyway?

Everyone says it’s about the journey, not the destination. Either that’s bullsh*t, or everyone just seems to forget to practice this critical little cliché. I look around (and inside myself) and see a hell of lot of stressed out people in our goal oriented society…. Wherever they are going– they are certainly in a hurry.

As I’ve been learning for myself, and trying to pass on to our readers at Under30CEO, enjoying the journey is extremely difficult when you always have your eye on the prize. When you are so focused on where you are going, you forget to keep calm, and be present. If you truly believed that the journey was the fun part, you’d stop worrying so much about the future .

If you’re like me, you’re in a hurry to live up to your potential, meet expectations, and “be all you can be” like we’ve watched one too many US Army commercials. Well, my potential isn’t a destination. My potential does not have a dollar sign in front of it. And my potential certainly isn’t dependent on whether 500k people or a million people read Under30CEO every month.

What I do know is that I want to inspire and lead people, be creative, build something that makes impact on the world, and have a positive influence on the people I come into contact with. And I know damn well that I’m better at that when I’m relaxed, engaged in the present moment, and not stressed out.

It’s About the Process

This Fourth of July I hit the beach with my Co-Founder @JaredOToole for a little rest, relaxation, and “board meetings” out on the water. Serendipitously, “Let My People Go Surfing” by Yvonne Chouinard ended up at the beach with us, where I promptly read the first 120 pages. The very answer I have been looking for appeared– it’s all about the process.

Yvonne Chouinard, the Founder of Patagonia talked about how he never tried to build a massive outdoor equipment empire, instead, just like surfing or climbing, he focused on the process, not the destination. In surfing, you don’t know how big the swell is going to be, or where it is going to take you. Instead you focus on the mechanics of getting up on the board, and having a fluid technique for catching the next big wave that comes your way. To Yvonne, it wasn’t about the size of the company, it was about the process of delivering a quality product over and over again.

Hold On For the Ride

By focusing on the process and not the destination, you spend your time and energy solving sizable problems, instead of being overwhelmed, stressed, and worried about where you are going. You focus on the present and the things you can solve right now.

As my friend @ItsRayLand told me, when you’re in a tailspin, just like a fighter pilot, you just have to let go and stop fighting it.  Just like the stock market, you’ll figure out how to get going back in the right direction somehow.  An experienced trader would tell you that historically the market has always gone up over time, if you look at the big picture.  If you take this approach through your own business and life, we can all learn to stop fighting it, and enjoy that feeling in the pit of your stomach– it’s why we ride this rollercoaster anyway.

Matt Wilson is Co-founder of Under30Media and Adventurer in Residence at Under30Experiences.

Need a new outlook on life?  Apply to travel with Under30Experiences to Costa Rica,  as seen in the New York Times and Forbes.

About the Author: Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is co-founder of Under30CEO. After two years traveling and working from his laptop, Matt's official title became Adventurer in Residence, heading up Under30Media's travel company Under30Experiences. If Matt is around he will be easy to spot as his long luxurious hair is generally flowing freely in the breeze.

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  • michaelpeggs

    Wayne Dryer once reminded us to, “Stop acting as if life is a dress rehearsal. Live this day as if it were your last. The past is over and gone. The future is not guaranteed.’ I try to practice this level of presence everyday despite “trying to muscle myself to way to where I want to go.” So true, great post!

  • http://under30ceo.com MattWilsontv

    Mr. Peggs– thanks my man. It was our original conversation at Think Coffee that got me going in this tangent… I think we both need to learn to use a little finesse in our lives.

    Don’t forget– The time is now.

  • Cara Murphy

    Great post! Finding the right balance between determined perseverance toward your goals and appreciating the stage that you are at (and what you have achieved so far) is a daily balancing act. I’m not sure I’ll ever achieve that perfect equilibrium but as long as you waiver between appreciating the moment and putting your head down to get work done, I think you’ll be well on your way to success!

  • http://under30ceo.com MattWilsontv

    Hey Cara, for sure– everyday we put our heads down and accomplish what needs to get done, but it doesn’t mean we have to be so stressed about it all the time. Maybe we need a little more celebration? Team Happy Hour soon? Let me know!

  • http://EasyWeave.com/ Nwams

    Matt, this is the realest post I’ve read related to “not stressing & enjoying the journey”…I personally have been burned out for the past 2 weeks and wasn’t able to accomplish many small tasks for my business like I usually do.

    At first I kind of panicked because the worry and anxiety that my “to-do” list is piling up, was getting the best of me….but then I remembered your post I read a few weeks back about Already being a millionaire & just showing up! So I relaxed. I stopped stressing on my way to work. I stopped stressing on my business & in turn I have a clear mind & my business is making more money t his month than ever before! July 4th weekend, I put the mouse & macbook down & I went and played tennis (something I’d probably wouldn’t have done before reading your article).

    and P.S. great interview on Entrepreneur on Fire :)

  • Mike Darche

    Great article Matt! I jump into projects with my goals in mind all the time and I quickly find myself procrastinating or stressed out by the bigger picture. You’re so right: it’s important to take a step back and figure out how to solve the problems of the present and not worry so much about the destination. You’re better off knowing that you’ll find success so you can spend your time chipping away at the every day battles that might lead you there.

    Also- Yvonne Chouinard is the man!

  • Tim Frie

    Matt, this article really resonates with me.

    I’ve found that a lot of my “When I get [insert thing here], I’ll be able to [insert feeling or other thing here]” is totally inaccurate. I’m predicting a feeling and giving something else power when I have absolutely NO idea how it’s going to turn out.

    Take my recent post on here, http://under30ceo.com/an-open-letter-to-the-scared-and-uncertain/. I wrote that piece because I felt scared and uncertain myself. I posted it with the sole purpose of sharing my thoughts and opening the message to others that I knew were feeling the same way.

    I had an absolutely overwhelming response from the community here. People poured into my website and sent me e-mails with very personal and authentic messages.

    My connection with this article and my recent experience is that we can try, push, climb, and chase after so much. There’s nothing wrong with it. But the most constructive and meaningful takeaways are going to come by simply relinquishing your expectations and ALLOWING for an experience to be transformative for you.

    One has to be open for a travel experience to lead to metamorphosis. One has to foster a place for the mojo to brew that takes unexpected connections with others, and transform that into a meaningful relationship.

    Because when we become fixated on some end goal, sometimes life sends us all kinds of signals to look elsewhere or embark on a different path. We hear another call-to-adventure and don’t respond because we’re overwhelmed or consumed with the one we’re already chasing.

    So when you say: “You focus on the present and the things you can solve right now” – you are so right.

    Because we WILL run out of tomorrows. But there will always be an abundance of now.

    Thank you for this, Matt. Genuinely.

  • cesar romero

    @MattWilsontv:disqus thanks for sending me this article first thing in morning today; I really needed it; something so simple as being present has become difficult to achieve, especially since we are always thinking about where we want to go.

    I try to practice being present everyday, but I always get caught up at some point thinking about past and future.

    I remember when I was a kid, I used to have a script of how my life was going to be, fast forward today, it is nowhere near that script; This is why one of my favorites phrases is “enjoy the journey” because you never know what you will come across with or where you will end up!!!

    Here’s to being present and showing up everyday, giving your best……the rest will take care of itself!!!

  • Cara Murphy

    Under30 is the least of my stresses! It’s what keeps me motivated and passionate. But I’m certainly not opposed to celebrations and happy hours :)

  • http://under30ceo.com MattWilsontv

    Hey Cesar– we’re on a journey with Under30CEO and Under30Experiences… we’re pumped to have you part of it, and it’s important to embrace every part of it and not be so worried about meeting sales goals and stuff like that… Let’s focus on the process and we will get where we need to go not by muscling it, but by letting it snowball. This business machine needs to turn it’s self.

  • http://under30ceo.com MattWilsontv

    Hey Tim, really appreciate your involvement in our community and your heartfelt response to my article. Love that you’ve been taking the time to think about these things, apply them to your own life, and then share them with others on Under30CEO. Really pumped that you ran with Daniel DiPiazza’s “Open Letter” series like I did.

    Let us know if you want to get more involved, would love to have you in the Contributors Facebook Group if you aren’t already involved. Shoot an email to jared @under30ceo .com and he can get you setup! Thanks again.

  • http://under30ceo.com MattWilsontv

    Hey Mike– highly suggest the book. He’s not only the founder of Patagonia, but they spun off Black Diamond which is another really badass outdoor equipment company. I’ve ridden their skis before and they are really really sweet.

    Keep chipping away at the daily battles!

  • http://under30ceo.com MattWilsontv

    Hey Nwams, glad you caught me on Entrepreneur on Fire, and even happier that you recognized how real this post is. Simply trying to pass on the things I’m learning as I’m going through them. Thanks for reading, and cut it out with the anxiety already !! haha

  • Kevin Diamond

    “What I do know is that I want to inspire and lead people, be creative, build something that makes impact on the world, and have a positive influence on the people I come into contact with”


  • Pingback: How to Re-Fuel and Keep. Going. | Tim Frie

  • http://EasyWeave.com/ Nwams

    hahaha okay okay! Side note: If you ever get a free moment, We’d LOVE LOVE LOVE to have you as a guest interviewee at the Tribal Accelerator Program (TAP) with Daniel Piazza. I’m a member and I think your insight would be crazy inspirational for our group.

  • http://under30ceo.com MattWilsontv

    Hey Kevin, it’s the truth my man. Looking forward to having a cerveza with you on our next Under30Experiences trip!!

  • http://under30ceo.com MattWilsontv

    Hey Nwams, sounds like a cool program– let me know matt (at) under30ceo.com!