The phone rang; I answered.
“Thank you for calling Mountain High Outfitters, this is Alex. How may I — — “ Before I could finish my sentence the phone was ringing again.
I clicked over to line 2.
“Thank you for calling Mountain High Outfitters, can you please hold?”
Then back to line 1.
“I’m sorry about that, thank you for holding. How may I assist you?”
“Yes, do you have any of those Yeti coffee cups?”
“No, ma’am. I’m sorry but we’re out. I’ll be glad to add your name to our wishlist if you’d like?”
No response, she had already hung up.
Back to line 2.
“Thank you for holding. This is Alex, how may I assist you?”
“I’m calling to see if you have any Yeti tumblers?”
I work as a manager at a local outdoors store. This Christmas season played host to one of the most unbelievable product crazes I’ve ever witnessed. The Yeti Rambler was a retail unicorn from Thanksgiving until stores closed their doors on Christmas Eve. Our inventory restock shipments would sell in a matter of hours upon putting the Yeti out on the shelves. We had a wishlist pages long for customers who wanted a Rambler but weren’t lucky enough to find one. One day we took tally marks of every Yeti request we got by phone or in person — we totaled 78, and we’re a small store 20 minutes outside of town.
The Yeti Rambler is a coffee cup. Available in two sizes, 20 ounces and 30 ounces, it features kitchen-grade stainless steel and a double-walled vacuum insulation that’s guaranteed to keep your hot hot and your cold cold for longer than you can imagine. It’s a great product, I’ll admit it myself. I have a 20 ounce Rambler. More than once I’ve poured a cup of coffee before 7am and left it in my Rambler for several hours to find it waiting for me, still warm.
There are a number of competitor products that rival the Rambler in design. The ORCA Chaser, the Corkcicle tumbler, all of the Hydro Flask product line, the Stanley Thermos, and the list goes on. These are all good products, some are even excellent products that have additional features that the Yeti lacks. And yet they collect dust on the shelves.
My hat’s off to the Yeti company, they’ve certainly done something right. Two syllables — four letters — have launched a luxury cooler business to unthinkable levels of success. In 2012 the company reported a three-year growth rate of 829% and $29.2 million in revenue. That was three years ago. I’d love to see some updated stats on the company in the present day.
But what about us, those on the buying end of it all? What does the Rambler say about our culture of consumption, our insatiable need for new, more, better? I’m not immune to it, I dished out $30 for one just like everyone else. But it does make me stop and rethink a few things.
And so in the rush of the season and the excitement of opening yet another new chapter, I found myself making a mental list of everything I want to do in the coming year. My list of resolutions grew and so did my excitement, until I had the sudden realization that this form of thinking is of the same vein as the overboard consumerism.
New, more, better.
Maybe it’s time for enough?
What if our NY Resolutions looked a little more like this:
Don’t learn a new skill.
What if instead of rushing to acquire mediocre proficiency in a new skill we instead chose to work towards mastering the skills we already posses? What if we spend quality and focused time into smoothing out the kinks so that we can deliver an entirely new level of value in those things that we already do on a regular basis? Can you share your expertise with someone else? Or find a new and creative way to use it for good?
It all comes back to the concept that what we are, what we have, is in fact enough. Being able to do more doesn’t always translate to being able to do better. Do better with what you already have.
Don’t lose 20 pounds.
This one is coming from 5 years experience working in fitness. I’ve seen 5 January 1st’s come and go, and the story never changes. What if we resolved to not lose pounds, but to instead focus on developing a healthy relationship with the act of eating? Food is one of the most personal things there is (It becomes part of us. That’s pretty personal), so it’s of utmost importance that we have the correct approach to eating and nutrition.
Food is functional, it serves a purpose. On a daily basis it serves to nourish our bodies so that we can do the things we do. It provides us with the micronutrients that keep our system in tip-top shape while also providing the macro’s and energy we need to fuel life. Therefore the way we eat and what we eat should be in line with that purpose. If it’s not, if you make poor choices with what you put in your mouth (or how much you put in your mouth, be it too much or too little) then your focus should be on resolving that relational disconnect.
Food also has its place in celebration. Holidays, special occasions, and birthdays are all made complete with a good, satisfying, and delicious meal shared with meaningful people. So if it’s time to celebrate, then celebrate! Eat like it’s a joyous occasion and apologize to no one, especially yourself. And when the celebration is over, so is the celebrating.
I can guarantee you that if you get your relationship with food right and do something active more days than you don’t, your body will respond and change in the way you want it to. You’ll find a holistic health that no diet or restrictive guilt-based thinking could ever offer you.
Before you go, stay.
Travel is the end of all prejudice. Don’t take my word for it, Mark Twain said so first. Travel is good, it’s adventure, it’s eye-opening, it creates the kind of memories that withstand the decades. I believe we were made to leave our tracks all over the face of this incredible planet.
But what if before we start planning to get the hell outta Dodge we first made sure that we are offering ourselves to the people and places we share our home with? Be present today right where you are. Engage with your community and see the blessing of home, wherever that might be for you at the moment.
Express gratitude for “here” and traveling will reciprocate that right back to you.
It’s not the journey that matters, it’s the act of arriving…
…because you already have. You can stop spinning your wheels and squinting through thewindshield. Let go of the steering wheel and get out of the car. This is life, you’re already here. So stop living in anticipation of a tomorrow that may not come. And if tomorrow does come I can promise you it won’t feel any different than today.
Our stories are always evolving as we carve out our own little path through life. But the day is good, because this day is all that this life will ever be. Circumstances come and then they go, the sun rises and then it falls. Storms blow in and then they fade back out. This is the ebb and flow that will persist until your final breath, so surrender the fight. This is life, and it is good.
In 2016 I hope you bite less and chew more. Talk less, hear more. Want less, have more.
I hope nothing but the best that this world has to offer you. And more importantly, I hope you take time to slow down and see that the best is already there waiting right in front of you.
Cheers, twenty fifteen. You’ve been good to me.