We believe that (nearly) anything is possible to achieve with the killer combination of determination, time, and sacrifice. The word "hustle" is thrown around on the web often these days as the main ingredient to creating a purposeful life.
And while we've gone through periods of hustle (as in, working everyday, into the evenings, and on weekends,) it can become a crutch. And it can make you feel as though non-stop work is the only way to achieve something great. Burn-out often falls on the heels of unrelenting hustle. I should know; I felt this way the whole month of January and questioned all that we're trying to accomplish. It was a reminder that hustling, by itself, cannot make dreams happen.
Here's the deal: anything is possible, but what are you willing to give up in exchange for your dream? All dreams require payment or an exchange in addition to stubborn determination and dedicated time. For example, when we moved north to Indiana we made some difficult sacrifices. We left our friends, our church, our first home we bought together, and the "security" of a place with roots. We also knew, however, that in exchange for our faith in making a major move that we would be that much closer to creating the life we were dreaming of for our family. And although we still very much miss the people and things we gave up, we are so much closer to our dream of making music + writing books + traveling 3-6 months a year. None of that would have been possible without the help of family and the financial responsibilities we shed in the process.
We made some hard financial decisions in January, namely selling the Casita. We had good reasons to do so. Some of our reasoning was logical (i.e.: our family would soon outgrow that particular model.) But we also sold it for a more complicated reason. Letting go of it (and travel) for a period of time has made it possible for Kirk to quit his job. We knew that the pain of selling it and loss of travel would provide the push we needed to get our creative projects rolling. It took us some time to rip off the band-aid of being comfortable and instead openly embrace discomfort in pursuit of our dreams.
Last fall we started weighing the benefit of making a comfortable living (now) with little time for creative pursuits versus having more time and less money (but possibly more money later.) We knew we could not increase our allotted time for creative ventures while also making the same amount of money we had gotten so used to. And after a year of discussion, we decided to give up the extra income (from Kirk's full-time and stable hospital job) to gain more time. Risky? You bet, but also has been worth it. Shedding additional financial responsibilities (like a camper we knew we probably wouldn't use very much in 2017 with a new baby and paying off the 4Runner) increased our bottom line as our total income decreased.
This past week Kirk recorded his EP, something that he did not have the time to do previously. He spent several days in the studio with Nimble Wit Productions and created something beyond all of our expectations. And now that he's done with it (for the time being) we're trading places, and I am wrapping up final revisions on my book. In the past I had very little time to write as it was squeezed between Kirk's job, my job, and caring for and homeschooling our kids. So although we are making less income, I have more time now to see if I can sell my book. Again, it's a risk, but certainly a worthy one.
What trade-offs have you made in your life? Were they worth it? And more importantly, what do you envision for your future? Imagine it in the tiniest of details and the steps it would take to reach that outcome. How would it change your life to live in a way that reflects your deepest values? Now, what are you willing to give up in exchange for that?
Every dream has a price, it's just a matter of figuring out the cost and deciding if you can live with it.
What are you willing to give up?