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#30: This is how I’m celebrating my 40th birthday…

By 2023-06-09June 16th, 2023No Comments

Tomorrow is my 40th birthday. I’m in the best shape of my life. I feel better than I ever have in the last 20 years. I have the energy I had as a 10-year-old, riding my bike through the community park and exploring the marshes near my childhood home.

In the last three months, I’ve barely drunk any alcohol. For the past six months, I’ve been doing weight training three times a week and walking 12,000 steps a day. During the same period, I’ve slept an average of seven hours every night.

How did I get here from being a sluggish guy in his late 30s, starting to get soft around the middle and with a preference for the fourth beer of the evening on the couch to being an athletic man winding down with herbal tea and going to bed early?

With the right habits, I’ve been on autopilot on the road to better health and a more youthful life. For the last few weeks of my project, though – the final approach, so to speak – I put my life under the motto I concluded the second monthly report with:

“Chill your soul!”

Life is allowed to flow. I have a big goal and yet I allow myself to live completely in the moment, at my own speed. Every now and then, I still feel like I’m forcing something. Yet I know in my heart that I don’t have to do anything. I want to. I am and I act freely, in defiance of all habit trackers.

Children are masters at this. They don’t worry, rarely think about tomorrow and certainly not about next year. They learn that from their parents at some point. But until that happens, their thoughts are free. Children live in the here and now.

I don’t know if the carefree attitude of childhood will ever return. It may well be gone forever once we leave Neverland. A bit like learning the constellations. Once you recognize the figures in the night sky, you’ll hardly see the random shapelessness of diamonds scattered on black velvet.

So what to do? I tip my hat to James Clear and try to think and live only in two time frames:

With a ten-year time horizon, you’re thinking further ahead than the majority of your peers. Whether it’s reaching excellence in a profession or hobby, building a deep relationship with another person, becoming financially free: The meaningful things in life take a long time. This is the adult talking.

Once you’ve set your goal, move to a much smaller time scale. With a manageable time block of one hour, you can complete a meaningful step toward your big goal: practicing your instrument, spending loving time with your partner, completing a module in an online course. But most importantly, you’re in the present. This is where the child lives!

I am writing these words from the Abenteuer & Allrad, the trade fair for offroad, overlanding and long-distance travel. For four days, I am living on a meadow with people who drive the same truck I bought last year. You are the sum total of the people you surround yourself with. What better way to prepare for the journey of a lifetime than with the people who are on a similar trip?

Last week I wrote that we have two lives and the second begins when we realize that we have only one. My second life has begun. And it’s going to be even more awesome than the first!

I won’t be staying up longer tonight to celebrate at midnight. I won’t be having alcohol tomorrow. Sounds boring, right? Going to bed early and not drinking. Well … it’s not. It’s amazing! Here’s to the next 40 years in best health and living life to the fullest!


Yours, Ulrich

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