11 Lessons Learned From My (Third) Once-in-a-Lifetime Vacation, Hanging with a Billionaire, and Being Away From Home For The Longest Time in 10+ Years.

1. Too much of a good thing is no longer a good thing

I snowboarded more world-class, untouched powder runs in the last 2.5 weeks than most skiers get to experience in multiple lifetimes.

  • By the end of my second week I started becoming numb to them. An activity that would have registered as unbelievable to most people barely registered as awesome to me by the end of my trip.
  • I ate so many treats and candies and five-star meals they were no longer was a delight to consume — I just ate them (and their overabundance of calories) without much enjoyment.
  • I watched people partake in massive amounts of drugs and alcohol night after night after night, destroying their ability to indulge in the activity they paid to experience.

Good things are good things. Getting massive amounts of good things (whether candy bars or powder runs) invokes the Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility. Lesson learned: continue to invite novelty and delight into my life–but experiment doing so in small small doses to enhance my ability to enjoy them thoroughly and deeply .

2. Alcohol, a bunch of men, and one woman = sadly predictable

I was the sole female guest at one of the lodges I stayed at over the last few weeks. I was inappropriately touched and spoken to on multiple occasions while at the lodge’s bar. As someone who typically doesn’t go out, ever, it was an interesting to experience what other females in the world likely deal with on a regular basis. I can now empathize.

3. Ping Pong and Table Tennis are 2 completely different games

I much prefer (and even won a tournament in) ping pong.

4. I can hang with the most successful businessmen + billionaires in the world

I had several intense, private conversations with one of Australia’s wealthiest men during my trip. I played rounds of Liar’s Dice with men who serve on the boards of publicly-traded companies and who laughed that “You can’t possibly get rich” only bringing in $9,000,000/year in personal salary”. I wrote and read a badass poem to people like an an architect that chuckled about $40,000 weekend trips he doesn’t remember. I explained the science behind MindFix to the founder of national medical startup and debated the pros and cons of monogamy with an ex-Enron executive who now buys and sells solar power plants. None of this may seem like a big deal, but 2 years ago, pre-MindFix, I would have said that I never–in a million years–would be worthy enough or interesting enough to hold the attention of such people. And yet — now here I am. Confidence in yourself has nothing to do with vanity and everything to do with showing up authentically and being open to possibilities (for friendships, connections, opportunities…) that wouldn’t otherwise exist

5. Building a truly scalable company feels as UHMAZING as they say

I built my first company foolishly. But over the last year I set out to learn from my mistakes, and built MindFix so it can run without me. For the first time in my life I was able to step away from work for 2.5 weeks and return to a business that is generating revenue and delighting clients based on the systems, processes, and team I built. We’re still in the very early stages of growth, but I can share that when you set things up properly for an amazing team, you can relax fully into your time off and experience freedom from a constant compulsion to return to work. You can rejuvenate. You can recover. You can experience freedom and get more out of life–instead of feeling like a slave to your business

6. Staying open to connections in all forms reaps massive benefits

Despite going on these trips with 2 friends, a group of wildly successful entrepreneurs, and a group of the most successful businesspeople in the world, I found myself engaging in deeply meaningful conversations with people I met along the way, including a helicopter engineer, a chef, a bartender, and a house manager. I am a better person because of these interactions and have come to more deeply appreciate just how fascinating and rich most human beings are

7. I really don’t like some music

I would be really, truly fine if I never hear AC/DC, Gin Blossoms, or Counting Crows for the rest of my life.

8. Habituation is real

Last year I went on a heli-ski trip. At the time, it was THE vacation of a lifetime for me: A one-time-only occurrence and something I couldn’t believe I’d ever indulge in. I thought of it as something I’d never be able to do, ever again. This year? I not only returned, I went on two of these trips.

As humans, we habituate. The extraordinary becomes ordinary, the exceptional becomes the rule. We level up. What used to be out of reach becomes expected. 

I plan to use this new, deeper understanding of habituation in my business by constantly striving to make common what a year ago seemed out of my league: in revenue, clients, ease and flow

9. Environment is just as powerful as (if not more so than) habits + willpower

Despite having rock-solid, long-established habits and buckets of willpower when it comes to achieving my goals, these last 2 weeks I immersed myself into environments where I was surrounded by temptations (mounding plates piled with of fresh chocolate chip cookies always sitting in front of you?) and people who may not have been healthy influences (Getting 1 – 3 hours of sleep a night for multiple nights in a row doesn’t support your body….). I observed my rock solid habits quickly melt away and get replaced by poor choices and weak justifications. I’m returning from my trip inflamed, overweight, fuzzy-headed, and sleep-deprived. Environment is POWERFUL. I plan to leverage this already-understood-by-newly-appreciated understanding to ensure I set up and maintain rock-solid work, people, and life environments as much as I possibly can and plan better to deal with inevitable environmental changes down the road

10. What you’re certain of actually is often not true

When we showed up to Blue River, BC, it hadn’t snowed in almost 5 weeks. We were pretty convinced it was going to be a rough week. And yet…. we ended up having an AMAZING time and I actually experienced the single best run OF MY LIFE on the second to last day. Would never have imagined that could even be possible as we rolled up to the lodge and gasped at the obvious lack of new snow.

11. Real Friendship is Priceless

I used to think I didn’t need friends; I was fine by myself. I used to think I was a rugged individualist who didn’t need anyone. And while I may not technically NEED anyone to make it through this life, I’ve come to realize that there are few things more meaningful and amazing than true friendships. I got to share some of my time in Canada with two best friends. These friends stayed up late into the night talking with me, got up after one hour of sleep to do a big favor for me, were there to share the best run of my LIFE with me, and were there for me at 2 a.m. in the morning when things got rough one night. Could I have done this trip on my own? YES. Would it have been as meaningful or memorable of an experience? NO. I am only now beginning to fully grasp how much depth in life I’ve been missing by isolating myself from others over the past 15 years

Now I end my vacation and re-enter daily life. I plan to combine lessons #1, #8, and #9 though, to habituate to a way of life that includes more — but shorter — novelty and peak experiences with my closest friends.

It was a good trip…
…and it feels good to be home.

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