“Adventure can happen all your life.”
– George Walther
I’m a big fan of learning from the lives of others. That’s why I interview inspiring people for Steve TV. Because sometimes all you need to hear is one word or one phrase that can:
That’s why in this episode, I got George Walther to share his story and takeaways for living your dreams now.
For 34 years, George has been keynoting and running business workshops for clients to the likes of Microsoft and Starbucks, to dental groups and entrepreneurs.
He’s a Hall of Fame speaker and he’s spent the last 10 years in a different country every year and he still maintained his successful business!!
George has hitch-hiked in Namibia, almost slept with hungry leopards on the roadside.
Which is what I’m super excited to share with you.
Because when you expand your mind, you expand the choices you have available to you. And more choice is key to more success in any area of your life.
I believe everyone makes better choices if they are given better choices. And adventure is a way to add more choice to your life.
There were many takeaways in this interview with George. I did my best to summarize them for you.
(I also suggest you watch the full video. It’s worth it! 😊)
Two years ago, George was diagnosed with cancer. He got it removed. And it left him thinking:
“Why would I wait until old age? Live now for goodness’ sakes George! You have the choice to live now or put it off until you’ve finished with your career or other important business. No. This is the business of life.”
We are all going to die someday. We don’t know for sure. And I don’t think we should wait to find out.
It’s a humbling thought. Truly, if you don’t when your time is going to be up, what do you most want to do with your life now?
Life first. And your business should be built to support that. I know I have said this many times. But I really want you to get it. So does George.
“Being good at business does not mean that you have a good life. That’s one dimension of your life. But what gets ignored is those adventurous aspects of life.”
George claims this has changed his speaking and helped build his business. Because he focused on talking about more of what was in his heart, his passion. And that’s what people connect with.
If you aren’t doing what you love, if you aren’t sharing what your heart just wants to share naturally—consider how you can have more of that every day in your life.
It’s still important to learn techniques and processes to grow your business. But that comes secondary to learning how to live a fuller life.
When George is on stage, he is normally speaking to corporate people who aren’t too happy with their lives. They are doing the same thing each day, and facing the same issues repeatedly.
They aren’t exploring different ways to look at things. So instead of simulating creative thinking, George modeled it by continuing to be an active adventurer. Which leads me to the next take away …
You don’t have to do what George did, and hitchhike in the middle of Namibia and be willing to sleep on the roadside while hungry leopards patrol the grounds.
Doing something different can be the simplest of things. Like ordering something different from the café or restaurant. It exposes you to a potentially new experience. Do what George suggests: go to a restaurant for lunch, and instead of ordering what you love, order the date.
If you are born on the 19th of March, take the number 19, and order 19 on the menu. If they don’t have that many numbers, count down and then up again and take the 19th thing.
You could even decide to do change radio station, and listen to different music than you are used to. Your mind is used to the kind of music you like but if you change channel, you’re helping your brain form new neural pathways. Your brain must find new ways to process the sounds!
When they looked at the brains of people like Albert Einstein, scientists were surprised to find that it wasn’t the amount of brain matter that was distinct from other people, it was the amount of complexity of the cross-links (aka, neural pathways).
When George was hitchhiking in Namibia, people thought he was crazy. They said, “No! You can’t hitchhike! There’s nobody to pick you up. It’s a deserted country!”
George’s response was, “Yeah but I only need one (one person to pick him up).”
George walked 22 miles without a car passing. By then, it was dark, and George had surrendered to sleeping on the side of the road. And out of the dark, came headlights, and a gentleman said, “You can’t stay here. The leopards killed my cattle every night here. I can’t leave you here!”
Instead of taking George to his home and feeding him, the man left George on another dirt-road at 3:00am in the morning. With blistered feet and exhausted muscles, George thought, “Well, if it’s going to be over, then it’s over. But here I am under these stars in Namibia. How many people have gotten to do this?”
Eventually, George found his way back home. His phone magically intermittently had a signal at some points of the road, and he called somebody in the capital of Namibia to come rescue him. They found him easily because he was the only man walking on that road.
In George’s words, “It always works out fine.”
When I asked George what his favorite country was to travel to, he responded, “I haven’t been to my favorite yet. The favorite thing for me is always the unknown. What’s the next place going to be like?”
George believes that if you’re looking back over your shoulder, you’re looking at something you’re not going to change. But if you focus on right now and what’s ahead, that’s totally within your power to choose.
“There’s not a moment that that’s the pinnacle.
No. The pinnacle is always just coming up.”
– George Walthers
Choose Gratitude Create Freedom