Want Success and Happiness? Go Get Rejected!

The best part of rejection is that it happens to everyone at one time or another. The worst part of rejection is that for some, it happens less and less as we get older.

I’m going to propose the idea that the reduced amount of rejection is because people are terrified of it. When people are afraid of a certain something, they put themselves in those situations less often.. I guess that’s understandable, but I want to show why that’s not in your best interest.

Now I’m going to get all sciency. I love nature, and to give you a heads up, I studied forestry and natural sciences for my Bachelor’s Degree. This is why I’m going to use forest fires as an analogy.

During the 20th century, forest fires have been feared, and extinguished as soon as they started. I mean, why would we allow something so destructive to continue?

Forest fires happen to be a natural process. They burn the organic matter (dead leaves, branches and other debris on the forest floor). This occurs naturally in cycles, sometimes as often as every 8-10 years in fire prone habitats. A fire comes through and clears out the small amount of dead material along the forest floor. These natural fires go through an area super fast because there isn’t much fuel for it. The trees themselves are typically left relatively unscathed because their bark protected them. It also opens up the understory (lower level of the forest) for new plants to grow, providing food for forest dwelling creatures. At the end of the day, everything is all well and fine.

Now imagine if that same area had been “protected” from forest fires for decades. The ground is covered with a thick layer of material, so when the fire goes through, it burns hot, very hot. It doesn’t sweep through quickly as before because it has so much to burn! Therefore, it sticks around burning through the bark of the live trees, destroying everything in it’s path. These are the devastating fires you hear about in the news.

Upon realizing the importance of frequent fire, it has become a common practice to have prescribed burns. This is a process where professionals go into an area, and burn every so many years (depending on the ecosystem), so it keeps the fuel levels low.

Avoiding new situations/opportunities out of fear of rejection is like preventing wildfires. Sticking within your comfort zone for that reason can also create a false sense of confidence. You may think, “I never get rejected, I must have reached self actualization”. This idea/state of being only occurs when you maximize your potential, doing the best you are capable of doing.

Then the inevitable happens. You get rejected and instead of shrugging it off like nothing, you feel like someone punched you in the gut. It tears you down because you have been “protecting” yourself for so long. Don’t do to yourself what we have previously done to the forests.

Real life examples of rejection include (but are obviously not limited to 😈), applying for a job and not getting it, or trying out for a sports team, and not making the cut, or asking a girl to marry you, and she replies “absolutely not!”.. you get the point.

I suggest you take the prescribed burn idea, and apply it to rejection with a time table that is happens much more often. Instead of every 8-10 years 😂, do it every day. Getting rejected daily is pretty much the best thing ever. I’m asking you to be proactive with this approach so your heart and mind don’t fall apart later.

Some of my favorite activities that provide plenty of opportunity for rejection, and I recommend you try, are – high fives, waving, saying hello, going in for the first kiss.. Do these things to random people, and sometimes it won’t be reciprocated. If you are with friends when it happens, they may tease you that you got rejected, but with some practice, rejection will make you smile just as often as if you received a reciprocation of your action.

I love it. Rejection is like a fuel for my inner fire. Eventually you’ll have a 100% success rate on everything you do. No matter what the result (rejected or not), it’ll cause you to smile. Can we ask for more?

Think about it. Sometimes you got rejected not because there is something wrong with you. Don’t take it personally. It’s probably a capatibility thing. They may just not be on your level. There’s nothing wrong with that, because frankly, you’re growing! To add a cherry on top, they (the ones who rejected you) may even grow as well. They may put themselves out there more, because they see how much fun you’re having.

These are very small examples where you really don’t have much to lose. Once you get the hang of it, and don’t become super sad because that person didn’t wave back for instance, it will become time for you to step up your game. Give yourself bigger challenges. Up the stakes.

Apply for that job you’re not qualified for.

Talk to that person that is “out of your league.

Do that thing you always wanted to do that everyone said you weren’t capable of.

You’re going to be surprised what doors open up for you.. what your future has in store.

Coincidentally, one of my all time favorite hobbies involves me getting constantly rejected. Although considered unsafe by some, I am absolutely in love with hitchhiking.

I have met the most incredible people through this hobby of mine, but I’ll only share my most recent venture.

Heading up the east coast of Australia looking for work, I stopped in a farm town called Bowen looking for a job. I was told immediately after arriving that there were no farm jobs because the season won’t start for a couple of weeks, and they already had too many backpackers waiting for those positions.

It was time to push north again, so I walked the long trek to the edge of town carrying all of my travel essentials on my back. The border of town is always the best bet for a hitchhiker because it filters out the vehicles who are taking their short, within-town trips.

I fortunately had the sun as an advantage because it was blazing hot outside. It’s harder to drive by someone who is standing in the heat or any other weather variable for that matter. Within 50 invigorating rejections (vehicles), I was picked up by a young Italian couple. They were headed to Cairns, and I told them I was headed to Ayr (south of Cairns) to look for farmwork.

They had already completed their farmwork to extend their visa, and expressed the hardships they experienced. Being American, I have the opportunity to do hospitality work to extend my Visa from my one year to two, unlike many other countries. However, I have to do it in northern Australia for it to count. After discussing this situation, they said that I could stay at their house for free if I help around with the garden and odds and ends. On top of this, seeing as they know people, they were going to ask around to get me a job… Rent is super expensive in Australia and jobs are hard to attain. For the very low price of watching 50 cars go by me, I consider myself pretty lucky to have these folks in my life.

What’s the secret?

What I’ve noticed is successful people get rejected countless times. They have made so many mistakes. What usually makes some people crumble, makes them persevere. Successful people take chances, and if things go well, perfect. If not, they side step, not taking on much, or any damage.. Just lessons, and they move on. I promise you.

I dare you to practice this idea. Start with the smaller examples and work your way up. The more you get rejected, the better. You’ll be humbled, and at the same time, possibly become the most successful you, you’ve ever been.

Success means something different to everyone. Your success could be someone else’s failure. You shouldn’t compare your success with others. The beautiful thing is that success is not only a mindset, but also the journey. That path isn’t a straight line to the top. That one dimentional success will topple over with a slight change in the wind or maybe a single rejection.

Your life, with all of it’s experiences will resemble a pyramid. Your foundation of rejections, friends, acts of kindness, simple manners and waves of beautiful energy, will support you on your way to a satisfied life.

This starts now. Please don’t put it off.

I forewarn you though, this lifestyle will cause

1. Your cheeks to hurt from smiling

2. You to rarely notice when things go wrong, because when things go right, they go RIGHT.

3. You to never go back

Welcome to the club my friend.

Go get rejected 🙂

– Jacob Pearson

How Do You Compare?

Recently I spent two days at Alexandria Bay’s nude beach located in Noosa National Park. This has been a desire of mine to disrobe and be naked amongst other people for a long time now.

Before I go any further, I want to express my discontentment of how society has sexualized our bodies. Now it goes without saying, but I’ll clarify that the nude beach was for personal growth reasons.

Think about the history of clothes. It boils down to one of our most primitive needs – shelter. They once served the sole purpose of protection against the elements. Now look how far we’ve come, or did we regress?

Some may argue that our clothes choice has taken on a role of self expression, really showing off what our personalities may be. From that perspective, I agree.

More so than not, it’s more of a status symbol displaying a level of class, by being branded using this company or that. This doesn’t just go for clothes, but accessories and general items we use in our daily lives.

Let’s think of them as keys. They are a key for others to make a judgement or have a preconceived idea of who you are, or who someone else is without even needing to interact with them. Now is this a good or bad thing?

…..

Sex. Sex sells. Wear these clothes and you’ll get laid. Buy this watch and that person will think you’re financially well off, and you’ll end up with them in the end. Rent this penthouse apartment and people will worship you. You get the idea. In my opinion, it’s sad.

These things that I have mentioned (amongst many more) are really killing the human experience. Our mere possessions are telling our story for us. Even worse, most of the time it’s not a accurate portrayal of who we are. I don’t like being misread, I’m sure you don’t want to be either.

What I have been arguing against may be someone’s saving grace. Clothes hide things. They may hide who you are, and they cover up our insecurities. In that regard, clothes are doing exactly what we want them to do, so why would we want to change it?

Try this on for size; I have insecurities. Many of them. I doubt you’d be surprised if I told you that probably most every person on this planet has a minimum of one insecurity. Or maybe, you wouldn’t believe me because you don’t know that many others are hiding the same thing(s) you are.

You are not alone.

So many businesses make their money off of peoples’ insecurities. Without the consumers spending money to cover up these “imperfections” then these corporations would go bankrupt. Truth is, they are damn good at their job, and their job is to make you feel lesser than you really are.

So why do I love the nude beach so much? It’s as simple as me looking over at that naked individual, and not having a clue of who they are. They can be a teacher, lawyer, plumber, judge, prime minister, landscaper.. I can go on all day. The only way to find out is to go have a conversation. How beautiful is that?

Take a look at this very well written piece:

After putting in the work to embrace our insecurities, you’ll realize how much of a weight is lifted off of our minds. That is the first step.

I’m not arguing that we should all go nude when the weather is nice. I’m also not saying to get rid of all your brand name items. I’m just saying that if you have questioned “how do I compare?”, then there may just be a simple solution.

Step 1. We need to change our mindset.

Step 2. We need to educate youth on how ridiculous comparisons are.

Step 3. Understand that we are the present and they are our future. Together we can change things.

One tragedy of life is that we tend to think our issues have complex solutions. It doesn’t need to be that way.

Here are few examples and possible basic fixes.

Uncomfortable with your naked body? – Go where naked bodies are. No not porn, but to nude beaches or to the public shower in your local recreation center. Cover photos on magazines or pictures in advertisements will always make you feel worse. Don’t convince yourself that they’re the correct standard of beauty.

Can’t afford those fancy clothes that everyone is wearing? – Go to a discount shop and get them cheaper if you want to look that certain way. Or as mentioned above, what you put on your body doesn’t define who you are. Work on your hobbies, and your kindness to others. Those things are much more fulfilling.

Your relationships don’t seem to be as good as your peers’? – Focus on what your relationship has, and not what it doesn’t. Invest in it and watch it grow. If it still doesn’t work out, then there’s a chance it wasn’t meant to be, and it was unhealthy for you to stay. Besides, many relationships nowadays tend to only exist for the Instagram “likes” anyways, so please don’t compare. You’re just looking at the surface. I ask you to work on yours deeply. Cultivating something beautiful requires patience and teamwork. You can do it.

Whatever your case may be, it always comes back to your heart. Possessions come and go, looks fade, styles change.. the true happiness comes from within, so if you work on what’s within you, and how you can positively impact others, you’ll learn that everything else is trivial. You’ll do less comparing, and more action. People won’t remember what others wore as much as how they made each other feel.

I comprehend how radical this idea is. As a society, we are constantly comparing, so it would be such a feat to completely flip the way of thinking of billions of people. My goal here is to influence just one person. One person and I’m successful.

Now it’s your turn 💚

What future do you want?

Sincerest love,

Jacob Pearson

Beware of FOMO

FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) is an acronym that became popular in the past decade or so. I just know that it has greatly influenced my life and my decisions.

There is a distinct difference between FOMO and the Opportunity Bus.

You jump on the Opportunity Bus, which is a fleeting opportunity, only in circumstances where you are likely to enjoy that certain something. These are opportunities that you would typically miss out on, because of your inhibitions or shyness to take initiative. FOMO however is dangerous, as it causes people to do things that they’re not really interested in. This is simply because, it might be a fun time. Essentially, you don’t normally enjoy that certain activity, but you go anyways because the one time you don’t go, something exciting might happen.

As an advocate for getting out, and really maximizing life, why am I asking you to question your decisions?

That’s because I want to be your friend.

Friends don’t let friends make stupid decisions, or at least they don’t let them make those crazy decisions alone. We’re in this together right?

I’m writing this post because I don’t want you to pay the same price I did. Learn from my mistakes and you’ll lead a better life, I’m sure of it.

It’s simple. When a chance to do something comes forward, ask yourself “is this the Opportunity Bus or is this FOMO?

FOMO doesn’t always lead to bad experiences. Sometimes (much less often), it has created fun memories. However, once you attain more and more life experience, you’ll be able to differentiate between the Opportunity Bus and FOMO quite well.

The amount of money and time I’ve spent going out to venues just because people I knew were doing it is shocking. It can be for food, drinks, movies, or just about anything else that I’d prefer to spend my time, or money elsewhere. I’m not saying these are bad places, or that you need different friends, I’m just saying to question why. Always question why. Don’t blindly make decisions to join along, solely because everyone else is doing it.

Once you figure out what activities you’re interested in, then propose alternatives to the folks who provided the initial suggestions. Many times you can come to a compromise.

For example, they want to go to the cinema, but you think it’s too expensive, and you’d rather watch movies in your underwear – propose staying at one of your homes together to make popcorn while watching Netflix, or rent a movie for $1.63.

Don’t want to go out to the pub because it’s too expensive and noisy? Propose to go to the store, get much cheaper alcohol and then go on a drunk adventure. Everyone knows that’s more fun than sitting in a room so loud you can’t hear your friends talk, or yourself think. (In my opinion)

Point is, I’ve learned that initial propositions made by friends aren’t always things they 100% want to do. Many times, it’s just a mere suggestion made by someone and everyone else agrees because they’re bored. Now you’re all going somewhere you might not be totally into, spending money you’d rather not spend, having less fun than you potentially could be having.. Obviously these are hypotheticals, but give it some thought.

Have you found yourself in similar situations?

I have. FOMO has been controlling my life for awhile.

Why do I care about what you do with your time and money? Truthfully for most things, I’m like, “you do you boo boo”. Your time. Your money. Your life. You should do whatever you want with it. Personal empowerment.

However, I don’t want you to get stuck under the realm of FOMO for those two aforementioned very big reasons.

1. Time:

You’re not going to get any time that you spend back, so why not spend it doing something you’re passionate about? Something that enhances you.. something that encourages your relationships with others, and the world to blossom.

To put it a different way, FOMO creates situations like that really awful YouTube video that someone showed you that lasts like 5 minutes, and you feel so defeated at the end because you’ve lost that 5 minutes forever. Yeah, I know. It’s terrible.

2. Money:

The reason why I’m emphasizing this is because it does hold power over our lives. I don’t want to be a slave of the system any more than you do. That’s why I want you to invest in what makes you happy, and not what makes others happy. I want you to become financially independent sooner rather than later.

Save all that money from when you refused FOMO and put it towards what you love. It’s not a bad path towards financial freedom and personal happiness.

This is a Strangler Fig tree (The light colored bark one that looks like a vine on the bigger tree). Its seed is deposited in the upper branches of another tree by birds, and then it sends it’s roots down to the ground. As it makes it’s way, it encases the host tree and strangles it until it dies. As the dead tree decomposes, it provides nutrients for the Strangler Fig tree.

FOMO is kind of like the Strangler Fig tree. Don’t let it restrict you by stealing your time, and preventing your personal growth. FOMO may be appealing at first, but in reality, its just limiting your full potential.

Only you can determine what your values are.

I have faith in you.

I’m excited for you.

I look forward to seeing the byproduct of your passions.

Please tell me about it next time we sit together on the Opportunity Bus.

Your friend,

Jacob Pearson

How Tinder Changed My Life

For those of you who aren’t aware, Tinder is an app in which you can communicate with people around you whom you find attractive.

It’s a simple application, you just connect it to your Facebook, upload some pictures, add a description, and select the preferred age range for whom you’re interested in. Then finally you just choose a radius for how far away from your current location you’re willing to travel. Then boom, the magic happens.

“Magic” is a general term with different meanings for everyone. Some people want to find the love of their life, others just want to have sex, others are only there for the free food and drinks, and not surprisingly because we’re a “notification generation”, many people get excited to see that people “matched” with us or messaged us.

I’m sure there are more reasons. Whatever they may be, I’m not here to judge. I promise.

I just know that I’ve experimented on and off with the app over the years. Reflecting back, I astonish myself with the variety of reasons I’ve used it. I’d create social experiments by posting surveys for my matches, or seeing how ridiculously crazy I can take a conversation before she stops talking to me.. but by far, my favorite use is to inquire with locals about their area while i’m traveling.

The classic tourist experience doing everything that is posted on trip advisor is great, but what do the locals do? They obviously don’t buy that overpriced meal, or take all the tours advertised everywhere. What do they do for fun? What are the hidden gems of the area?

I’m a big advocate for vistitor centers because they give you a good idea of what’s nearby, but then you need to check with the locals themselves. If you get the opportunity, ask them in person. Put yourself out there.

I’m going to reflect on my experience in the Netherlands. Although many people speak English, a lot of people don’t. That’s many times part of the adventure, but I found a convenient place where people my age hang out. I don’t even need to leave my house, and yes, I’m talking about Tinder. Remember, in person interaction is better, but you can use Tinder while on the toilet. 😈

While living in Den Haag, Netherlands, I decided one day to take a trip to Brussels, Belgium just as a change in scenery. Although I enjoyed some aspects of the trip, overall I didn’t care for it. Just not my cup of tea.

From that day on, I regarded girls from Tinder (to myself) as my local tour guides. Kind of. I actually had no interest in meeting up with any of them (not in the budget), but I was very interested in learning about the places they loved to frequent. I would ask many girls similar questions on where to go, and if I got a certain city/town/landmark recommended by at least 5 girls then that’s all the convincing I needed. I was never disappointed by a place I visited that originated from their suggestions.

Then there was Raisa. Raisa was a girl who was going to University in the Netherlands, and she took it to the next level.

Some backstory on Raisa: she had recently completed a 850 km (528 miles) pilgrimage in Spain doing the Camino de Santiago de Compostela (you should absolutely look it up), and then hitchhiked all the way back home. After she graduated from University (which would have been May of 2017) she was going to walk from her University in the Netherlands to Rome totaling approximately 1600 km (994 miles) all depending on which route she took of course.

She in my opinion, is a pretty cool girl. I included in our conversation a few places I wanted to go, but was struggling on where to prioritize my near future. Her response, which is verbatim because I screenshot it for loving it so much, was “The destination is not what matters, believe me :p I can only recommend that you travel by foot. The slowness is wonderful. You have time to enjoy, and you meet the most generous and wonderful people on the road.”.

My mind was blown.

She essentially revolutionized my travel experience, and I have Tinder to thank for “connecting” us.

We’ve gotten so fast at everything. I think the desired reason is that we should try to fit as much into our short life as possible. From face value that makes sense, but does it really result in a better life?

Or are we just racing to the finish?

Let’s not stress ourselves out trying to become faster. Let’s not remove the human factor in life. Let’s stop, take a few deep breaths, and take a walk. You’d be surprised where it may take you.

If it’s the speediness of life that we seek a vacation from, then why not make “slow”, a lifestyle? It may sound difficult with everything that’s happening nowadays, however I challenge you to make a list of everything that happens in your day from start to finish. Now circle everything that isn’t essential for life (to survive). Do those items relax both your body, and your mind? When I say relax, I mean unwind from the daily grind.. When I say unwind, I mean reflect.

Reflection is key.

Reflect on what’s important. Spend your time with those who bring out the best in you. Don’t race your life away, and remember slow is where the connection occurs.

Why make your heart race from stress when you can let it beat faster from falling in love everyday?

Much love,

Jacob Pearson

I currently do not have Tinder installed. I’ve noticed I fall in love with life more, when I have increased human interaction, and less of a technological influence. However, I do not regret the growth I’ve received from that experience.

Brown’s Brewing Company

As an avid craft beer lover, I’ve been to a decent amount of breweries during my legal drinking age years. I love the different spins each has with their IPAs, sours, stouts.. it shows a unique personality of the venue.

I could be writing about any brewery that I’ve visited, but Brown’s Brewing Company and I have a special connection. I’m not talking about the fact that we both recently turned 25 (I promise that’s a coincidence), but because I had the privilege of becoming a part of their family about 6 months ago.

Brown’s Brewing Company has two different venues located in the Capital Region of New York in which they brew and sell their beer (as well as food and merchandise). Their original location is right in Troy debuting in 1993 and their more recent venue in North Hoosick, being only a few years old.

Although I haven’t spent much time in the Capital Region since turning 21, I have managed to visit each location a few times over the past four years.

All of a sudden my relationship with Brown’s changed. I would never have predicted it to become a professional one.

This past fall I decided to come home for the holidays, and spend time with family. In addition, I wanted to fill some spare time, make money, and try out working at a brewery. This led to me applying for a position in the North Hoosick taproom. Not only is it conveniently located 10 minutes from my house, but its beautiful setting on the river really drew me in. Okay, okay, I love their beer! Now I said it. Enough trying to avoid the obvious.

All joking aside, I think Brown’s Brewery is a great place. I learned while working there that they have great food, incredible beer, and a fun atmosphere. If you haven’t visited, and are in the area, then check it out. I highly recommend it.

Or not. It doesn’t really matter. I would be lying if I said this post is only about Brown’s Brewing Company and their beer. However, I will use them as an example to display my point in which inspired this post.

Brown’s Brewing Company actually showed me something much bigger than themselves, and I want to share it with others.

Truth is, I recently left working at Brown’s to fulfill my dream of spending time in Australia.

I’m honestly in love with traveling, but I don’t want to be a tourist. In order to get the most out of each destination, I start working there, so I can really get a feel for the culture and learn the region. In my opinion, it beats passing through, and only seeing the tourist view of an area. Needless to say, I’ve worked a decent number of different jobs in my life under many managements.

This in my opinion doesn’t make me a typical employee. Aside from other travelers, I don’t know many people who work temporary/seasonal jobs just so they can attain a plethora of experiences around the world.

I heard once and I confirm the validity of the statement (regarding the conventional workforce) that “many times people don’t leave jobs because they don’t like their job, they leave because they don’t like their supervisor/boss.”

What a hard truth this is.

Capitalism.

Ew.

Sorry, I got distracted by the fact that many companies are more invested in profit than they are in their employees.

I understand that with limited financial capability, it can be very difficult, if not impossible, to leave a toxic working environment. On the other hand, many people don’t understand how much of an asset they really are. You can and should use your abilites for those who appreciate you, love you, and invest in you.

Brown’s Brewing Company is different than some jobs I’ve had, and many more that I hear about. I was a part of the team, family, community..

Wherever you are from, or in whatever industry you work, I want you to inquire within yourself: does this company align with my values? Do they care about me? Am I making a difference?

If you answer “no” to any of the above, then ask yourself if there are alternative jobs that you can rotate into your life. Again, easier said than done. For the sake of your financial security, it’s smart to have a plan “B” or something set up before you leave your current role.

I want to thank Brown’s for making me feel welcomed. They understand the importance, and value of their employees. Customers come for the beer, but stay for the people. Why does this happen?

Easy.

Gary and Kelly Brown (whom are the founders of the Company) invest in the folks who work there. They obviously know that happy workers lead to happy customers. No wonder why they have such a following. The people who work there love their job.

I also personally support their business decisions. It is so easy in this day and age to opt for mass produced products at very low prices. However, Kelly is passionate about supporting, and coordinating with local businesses as much as possible. It may be more expensive, but it’s an investment in the growth of their community. Brown’s is a small brewery so they understand the value of their money staying close to home. It’s a classic case that each dollar you spend represents one vote for how you wish the world to be.

Its not just about small town thinking. That’s how you end up with big problems. It’s no secret how much of an impact we have on this planet. Unfortunately, to date, humans have been too much of a negative influence on the world’s ecosystem. That’s why I’m proud to see Theo, a representative at Brown’s Brewing Company taking initiative to make the two taprooms more sustainable. Some areas of focus are plastic straws and reducing/eliminating them, addressing portion sizes to reduce food waste, encouraging staff to use reusable water bottles.. etc. I’m not even going to delve into all the things they already do.

This stuff excites me. We as individuals can make a big difference. Taking it to the next level, and impacting the people at your work is even bigger. Start a chain reaction. Be that change, and others will follow. Change doesn’t remain uncomfortable, or scary although it tends to start out that way. The reality of it is that once we create that new norm, we will question why we did it differently in the first place.

Let’s make things more sustainable. Let’s create that job environment that makes people happy.

I felt very lucky to work for Brown’s Brewing Company because they align with my values.

If you happen to work for a company that doesn’t value the same things as you, or you for that matter, then I have great news. Even if you’re not the boss, you have so much power. This goes back to you being an incredible asset. You may not be the boss of the business, but you are the boss of your future.

Quick note: Let me clear things up about the word “future”. Many of us mistake it for a point in time 5 years from now, or 50 years down the road. Yeah yeah yeah, that’s true but, stop. Just stop. That horizon is too big for most things. Let’s try 1 minute from now. Actually, 3 seconds from now is more like it. You are the boss. Own your immediate future.

It can be like Theo’s simple request for a drink without a straw. It can be the acknowledgement of someone’s great work (which will most likely make their day). It can be giving someone a high five.. Have you ever received a high five without feeling better afterwards? Yeah, me neither.

You are the change. You are the boss. You are the future. You are the beginning of a very big chain reaction.

While working at Brown’s Brewing Company, I thought many times “they’re too good to me”, which they absolutely were. The only thing I did in return was give them my best. What an interesting concept. 😉

There is something really simple at play here.. It’s people. It always comes back to the people. People make it or break it when it comes to overall morale. I’ll let you in on a little secret. Do you know who is a part of the “people”? That’s right, it’s many advocates like you!

Sometimes when it’s cloudy for long periods of time, you forget what sunshine looks like. Regarding a job/career, please be that sunshine or go somewhere where they light up your world. Because, if you didn’t before, now you know places like that exist.

Cheers.

Jacob Pearson

Sunshine

Sunshine!

Yes, that’s you.

Sunshine tends to put people in a pretty good mood. Unfortunately, depending on different atmospheric factors, it’s not always sunny (even if you’re in Philadelphia).

It’s a good thing I’m not just talking about the literal sunshine produced by that burning star in the sky. I’m talking about most anything that makes you smile. For you, this could be your friends, family, pets, the fact that your neighbor’s cat is silly enough to get stuck in a tree again.. either way, there’s potential for a big ol’ grin especially with an open mindset.

Yet, this works both ways. I wish we lived in a world where we didn’t only hear about the bad news. There is so much publicity showing the world as a terrible place. The media wants to rain on your parade. Jealous people want to throw some shade. Point is, the world is beautiful and sometimes it gets tough but, you’re incredibly good at creating your own sunshine (if you want to be).

Sunshine is a choice. It may be difficult to find on your own especially when times are tough. Luckily, surrounding yourself with people who bring out the best in you can lead to a better life.

I really want to thank you for every time you help people. Kindness and love is the glue that binds us together and makes life worth living. Your actions don’t go unnoticed.

Youaresunshine was inspired by you. Without you, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I get fired up by the positive energy from others and I love it. I’m not the only one you’ve made feel special!

I love traveling and adventuring to places I have never visited before. A byproduct of such a lifestyle is that I meet people from all around the world. Through my experiences, I encounter countless examples of why the world as a whole is not portrayed correctly by the media.

Most people are born good. If for some reason they do wrong, that may not be who they really are. When someone is unkind to you, it is not a reflection of who you are or who they are.. It’s more of a reflection of what has happened to them. When someone is damaged by the world, it’s more difficult to remain cool, calm and collected in tense situations. They start reacting to things instead of responding. They speak or act without considering the repercussions associated with their behavior.

Now it’s our turn to be their sunshine. We need to act in a way that shows the beauty of the world that they have been missing. We return their jolted response with forgiveness. With love. With a kind heart that is caring for a hurt individual. After all, an injured person is probably who you’re dealing with.

Obviously there are some outliers but they are few and far between. Be that good person for others and you’ll inspire a chain reaction of kindness. You can be the proactive positive piece of the puzzle that makes someone feel whole.

Don’t forget, your actions which may seem so small and insignificant, are actually magnified beyond your scope of understanding. What you do today will radiate further than you can ever imagine.

That’s because YouAreSunshine.

Thank you.

Much love,

Jacob Pearson

My One Year Plan

According to Wikipedia, the average age for an American male is 77.5 years old, and females live longer to be 82.1. I also read on some random website that the average age of retirement is 63.

Now, you can do whatever you want with those numbers. For example, you can if you’re a male, ask the ladies how they do it, or you can ask yourself what you’re going to do with 14.5 years of retirement (or 19.1 years for females). Granted, this is while pretending we’re going to die at the average age.

Wait. I like that word “pretend”. As a matter of fact, a lot of us LOVE the word “pretend”. I’m basing this conclusion on both my interpretations, and what I’ve heard from individuals I have conversed with in the past.

1. We pretend we are going to live until retirement.

2. We pretend that we will be fit and able to do things in retirement.

3. We pretend that we’ll have enough money to do things in retirement.

4. We pretend that the world is going to be here by the time we retire..

The world is a crazy place but honestly, the craziest part tends to be within your own mind. Your brain has so much power, so you’re probably better off harnessing the positivity of it, and really take advantage of life right now.

Let’s take a look at the list of “pretends” I spoke of a moment ago.

1. If you are below retirement age, I can almost guarantee that you know someone who left this world too early. I personally have too many friends who have already passed away. You could have been that person, but you weren’t. Cherish today.

2. A lot of people enter their “golden years” on disability or need to have some body part replaced because their body is breaking down from years of living/labor/whatever. For many elderly individuals, it’s tough walking to the bathroom, not to mention hiking that mountain, or walking the streets of (insert your dream city/town here). Your actual golden years are now. Whatever your age may be, they’re now. I say this because this is the richest you’ll ever be. You’ll never be this young again, and you’re not guaranteed another birthday.

3. Haha, money. Capitalism. Taxes. Life. Everything is so complicated. We work our whole life very hard in order to get to that “end all” vacation. We’ll bust our rump at this job we hate in order to be rich. We’ll sacrifice our time to get ahead, but we never do. “Another day, another dollar” is a terrible saying. That day shouldn’t be set aside just to earn that dollar. Let’s look at reality. I have read countless headlines about how retirees don’t have enough saved for retirement, and social security isn’t going to cut it. Or people who saved every single penny their whole life end up having too much at the end and the government takes a large chunk through taxes after they die. So essentially, you’re going to be poor later on (bummer) or rich at the end (but physically incapable of following your dreams), so just try to have fun with what you have. Spend your money on experiences and not material items because in the end, it’s about what you did, and not what you owned. Spend it while you’re young (Within reason).

4. Will the world be here when we retire? Many say “obviously”, but honestly, with all this nuclear bomb talk, we can’t be too sure. Live life to the fullest before our political leaders do something stupid and get us bombed.. just saying.

Do you enjoy games?

Let’s play a game! Honestly, I love games so here’s one for ya; it’s called “Let’s Stop Pretending”. You owe it to yourself and you owe it to your loved ones. Both of whom want nothing more than you to be happy.

I used to be more intense than I currently am on this topic. I used to have the mindset of “I could die tomorrow, so live today to the max”.. well duh. Obviously you can die tomorrow, or you can die today for that matter, but I’m not here to stress you or myself out. That’s just too much pressure! Imagine this going through your head: “I really want to watch the movie Goodwill Hunting because I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. Unfortunately, I can’t do that because I don’t want to be watching a movie on my last day of being alive”. Too much right? That’s why I came up with a different idea.

Now, what does the title of this post mean?

Welcome to my “One Year Plan”. This idea assumes that I’ll die 365 days from today. Lot less pressure, happier you. It allows me to watch Goodwill Hunting tonight without biting my nails excessively because of a self created time crunch.

Flashback to my 21st birthday. I was surrounded by great friends, and I was really happy. That birthday of mine triggered an idea of reflection on that past year. Being a November baby, I’m not talking about when the calendar year started, but all the way back to when I turned 20.

Sidenote: never take your family or friends for granted.

Reflection is magical, and I could write a whole post about it by itself, but I just want to differentiate this idea with the concept of New Year’s resolutions. The key is positive reflection and it is a very powerful thing. Remember when I said to use your brain for positivity? I need you use it now to understand my reasoning.

New year’s resolutions focus on what you don’t have. “I’m not fit, I need to exercise”, or “I am unhealthy because I smoke cigarettes so I need to stop” or “I don’t spend enough time with my kids, I need to appreciate them more”.. these all reflect the things you have done wrong and when compiled together, it’s daunting and can be overwhelming. It’s good to acknowledge where you can grow, but waiting until New Year’s to do it, isn’t the nicest thing you can do to yourself. Self reflect throughout the year and constantly strive to grow, one little thing at a time. New Year’s resolutions may work for some, but not for me.

Alternatively, once my birthday hits each year, I like to reflect on my accomplishments. Thinking about the things I was able to check off my imaginary bucket list. How many new experiences did I have? What made me laugh, smile, and cry from joy?

This simple mental switch has created a happier me. I reflect, and smile. It helps me think about the beautiful things I have done and created. It lengthens my years because it fills them with joy, variety, adventure and travel.

Disclaimer: This by no means is a tool to compare yourself to others, or your year to your past years. Both of which are toxic and should be avoided. Your story is not the same as others so you can’t healthily compare yourself to them and who you are now is a very different person from who you were a few years ago. You’re constantly evolving. Yup, don’t compare apples and oranges.

But.. how is imagining that I am going to die next year supposed to make me happier? It simply makes you aware that our time here is very much finite.

I love the short story that displays this very well: “A man asks his friend who is dying from cancer within 6 months ‘how does it feel to know you’re dying?’, in which the friend replies ‘how does it feel to think you’re not?'”

I was hitchhiking in Death Valley National Park, and I had a very nice conversation with the man who picked me up. One of the things he mentioned was “the only thing we really have is time”.

Time is our biggest asset. How will you spend yours?

Much love,

Jacob Pearson

Oasis or Library?

There really is something invigorating about carrying all that you want and need on your back. That’s what makes traveling so fun, the simplicity of it. The process to get to that point is so empowering; you get to decide what is important for this upcoming trip and what is not. There are many things to take into account: the capacity of your bag(s), how much weight you can carry, what the baggage limits are if you’re only flying carry-on, and maybe how long you’ll be away for. It boils down to the bare essentials for surviving everyday life on the road with an additional one or two luxuries.

Now you’re set. Life is good, people are beautiful, and there is so much mystery along the path ahead. But that’s why we do it, for that anticipation and adventure. Our hearts long for it and it’s hard to fill that tank within you designated for new experiences.

There is one thing that you can’t put on your back and that’s a library. Sounds kind of funny that one would think to include that in your pack but the real funny thing is believing you can make it around the world without a break.

That’s right. Libraries are a saving grace. I’ve had countless experiences where I’m traveling and you’re either worn out or you just don’t have anywhere to go. Libraries provide that refuge. They’re like a sanctuary from all of your hardships while on the road. I never really appreciated libraries so much until I was in a situation where I needed:

1. Water

2. A bathroom

3. Shelter from the weather

4. Electricity for your devices

5. A safe place to rest (yes, and fall asleep)

6. WiFi to connect with family and friends

7. A book to read and relax

8. Information about the area

9. A place to wash up (bathroom sinks are great for this)

10. Friendly, nonjudgmental people to talk to, always willing to help

Libraries don’t get enough credit. They play a key role in the health of a town. I like to play this game where I imagine myself living in each new place I visit. Would I be happy there? Is there enough going on? Would it be safe for my future children? (hopefully that’s a thing). Is the library well funded?

Haha, but seriously. Like schools, libraries are a haven of information. If a town doesn’t want to invest in the betterment of it’s people through them, then I’ll do what I do best; I’ll just be passing through. For those towns/cities that can afford to invest in a functional library and have, I thank you. I show my appreciation for myself and all other travelers like me who have felt your love.

Much love,

Jacob Pearson

The above photo is of the Beerwah Library in Beerwah Queensland, Australia overlooking a pond full of waterfowl.

Small Town Growth

The beginning of more than just a day

It’s interesting how many different factors can nurture growth. It’s something that can occur fast or slow, when you’re young or old, painfully or smoothly.. but everyone has their own growth story. Luckily, your growth can be as a result of someone else’s doing or advice. I mention this because that’s exactly what springloaded me to where I am today.

Growing up in a small town, there were plenty of opportunities to grow and to cherish the community appeal of it all. This could be little league sports to Boy Scouts to our local parades; It was beautiful. Yet, there were two very great growing opportunities that came as a result.

First, there wasn’t very many big world, culturally diverse challenges present. Small towns take on their very own little society and growing up, you don’t really see much beyond those borders. Through my travels, I have noticed a similar theme across many small towns. Now, this isn’t a bad thing! Many people strive to escape the bustling pace of this ever speedy world. This fast pace typically appeals to younger people who are born in these rural settings.. small town life tends to be too slow. Many youth desire a little more spice for their most vibrant years. Young adults are presented with the power of choice; do I continue this lifestyle or do I leave my comfort zone and sample something different?

Growing as a result of your environment, I believe doesn’t provide nearly as much of a lesson as the people within that environment. Small towns are fantastic for that! You basically know everyone because you have countless opportunities to see and interact with the same people repeatedly. In contrast, life in New York City for example, presents the opportunity to see different people everyday and depending on where you are, rarely seeing the same person twice.

Getting to know the folks in your town can be a very powerful experience. Get to know their interests, and as you get older, their goals they accomplished and the ones they didn’t.

Having an intimate understanding of the lives of older people, regardless of their age, provided me with some of the best life lessons in my teens. There is so much value in what these people have to say! Their successes can provide assurance that you too can achieve such results if you work just as or harder than they did. However, I believe their unfulfilled dreams may carry more motivational weight. “I always wanted to travel to..” or “My dream was to always be a dancer” or “I used to envision myself leading a nonprofit”… All phrases followed up with some version of “but life got in the way”.

Of course there are some things that happen in our lives that deem it very difficult or near impossible to fulfill those dreams we once had. Other times it boils down to choice and where our priorities lie. Regardless of the reason for such outcomes, it (at least for myself) has been a great motivator to live a life with very few, if any, “I wish I had(s)”…

Flashback to highschool. I cherish my time there not only for the things I had accomplished but very much for my “I wish I hads”. This very experience as a whole lit a fire under me and as I was propelled myself through my college career, I took on more and more challenges along the way. Life events and certain experiences have reminded me not to take life for granted

I graduated high school in 2010 and I graduated college in 2014. Both of which were located in areas without substantial populations. I recently turned 25 and if I’ve learned anything of value, it’s that the most growth you can achieve is located outside of your comfort zone. Try new experiences. Really get to know someone new. Open your mind, your heart, and your world. Who knows, after a lifetime of learning, you and I may find out that a small town is perfect for us.

Much love,

Jacob Pearson