Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Okay, so maybe the title is misleading… This story has nothing to do with trains. Yet it’s about how I’ve slowly had to come to terms with my own mortality over the past few months.

Though, yes it DOES indeed have to do with Planes & Automobilies.

I suppose for anything to make sense, what we truly need is context into my life and how I ended up here. (Here being my girlfriend’s couch with a hurricane brewing outside)

I dropped out of highschool at the age of 18, right before graduation. Now, this is something I’ve always wondered about… I mean I was months away from graduation, I had always maintained excellent grades. Yet it seemed like I couldn’t take it anymore

It’s funny, because I wanted to get into Nuclear Medicine and I didn’t have a plan other than “I’ll figure it all out.” and I had enough faith in myself to realize… Yeah, I’ve got this

Soon enough I started the path of the online entrpreneur and out the gates I imagined a life full of grandeur, women, cars & trips around the world

I’ve always told myself “I’m an entrepreneur because I want freedom, I want the ability to do what I want when I want.”

Yet as time went by and I found more and more success I became a prisoner to all the items I owned. This grandiose life came to own me. And instead of freedom all I’m met with is feelings of inadequacy

I suppose as my income went up everything needed to be replaced on to that next tier or I wouldn’t be happy. Suddenly my $100,000.00 car wasn’t enough and I needed a $200,000.00 car… Funnily enough, as soon as I drove off the lot my first though was something along the lines of “Well, what car should I get next?!”

What happened to enjoying your life as it comes at you?

What happened to living my life at my own terms and not just others perceptions of me?

I suppose, I titled this “Planes, Trains & Automobiles” as a poorly done metaphor. I had always wanted the planes & traveling, I wanted the fast cars… Yet once I came to achieve these things they owned me.

The Realization

I never thought the worst months of my life could be the change I had always needed.

A few months back I was hit with a law suit from people I truly considered my friends. Or at least one of them, what’s funny is I even directly and indirectly generated them over $1m revenue in a short time span.

It was devastating, I didn’t want to deal with this at all and I knew it was going to keep me away from my business when it needed me most.

All I could think about was the negative and I think as humans we always jump straight to worst case situations. When we get hit hard sometimes it knocks us so brutally on our ass we can’t see past it.

All is lost.

I don’t know how many people may be effected by that type of though process, however I am one of them.

The truth though, is that no matter what happens, no matter how hard you’re hit.. You’ll learn from it.

So even if you’ve lost it all, you’ll take something away from it that will stick with you forever.

This lawsuit paired with some troubles in my personal life showed me I can bleed. I can bleed and I hate it.

I don’t typically show emotion, I don’t cry, I remain stoic at all times

Yet for the first time I find myself in my girlfriend’s arms as my world seems to unravel and I can’t hold it back anymore

I’m no longer immortal.

In this moment I realized what’s important in life (and don’t get me wrong, I do believe as people we need purpose & if building a business/changing the world is yours… Power to you. However, I do believe it’s means to an end)

Life isn’t about the planes, trains & automobiles.

Life is about your friends, your family, your experiences and most of all those that you love.

The realization came while my girlfriend was with me and I thought to myself:

“If I lose all that I’ve worked so hard for, all that I’ve slaved years for, all the failures I’ve endured, the hospital trips from the stress… If I lose all of this and have to start over it won’t be that bad. At the end of the day I will still have her, I’ll have my family, I’ll have my amazing friends. I can make millions again, I can replace cars, I can buy a new flight, I can get a new condo… These people are irreplacable”

And through my pain, I came out stronger and smarter

I was stronger because I knew now that no matter what life throws at me I’m not alone, I can choose to take on my problems alone but I’ll never have to if I don’t want too

I was smarter because I realized that these material items owned me and not the other way around. I am finally free to live in the moment, to love those around me instead of just thinking of what I could buy next

I realized I could use my business to fuel my life and others instead of just buying items that won’t even be in fashion next month

Diamonds are forever?

No. The love that a diamond may represent is forever, without that it’s a useless piece of carbon.

It’s fine to work hard and buy expensive things, but remember you’re not immortal although it may be great to live like you are

Appreciate the things that matter

“But thinking about and being aware of our mortality creates real perspective and urgency. It doesn’t need to be depressing. Because it’s invigorating.”
— Ryan Holiday
Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Devin Zander’s story.