An Experience Machine
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Massive thanks to Stout, Buck, Nick, Steen, Anndi and everyone else who made it for the Live Music Show. Chris, Kenny and I pulled it together last minute and really enjoyed hanging with you all 🙏🎶🧡🎧🤘🔊
Lifting my road bike off the wall mount, the seat wiggles. I need to tighten it before heading out for a twenty-five-mile journey.
I search the garage for an Allen wrench. My neighbor must’ve moved it. I settle for a Philips screwdriver, finagle it into the seat’s screw and tighten it a few clicks clockwise. It’s not perfect but it should hold for the ride.
Stepping outside the garage, the sun greets me with a warm embrace. The temperature is 64 degrees and the sky is a magnificent powder blue. I bend and stretch; kneel and twist. Thirty songs queued in my phone, I place an airpod in each ear, press play and stash my phone in my pack.
I head north on Newport Boulevard, passing a swarm of incoming beach traffic. I barely hear the engines and horns over my pods. I breathe through my nose slowly to find a rhythm. A mix of car fumes and fresh, ocean air enters my body as I cruise by.
My usual ride enters Costa Mesa on Irvine Avenue. A few miles later, I approach Back Bay Conservancy. Back Bay is a Nature Preserve that includes 1½ square miles of precious open water, mudflat, salt marsh, freshwater marsh, riparian and upland habitat. It features a 10.5 mile bike loop that spits me out onto Pacific Coast Highway where I cycle a few more miles home to Newport Blvd. Today, I intend to complete the loop twice.
I pick up speed and zip by the YMCA, Vista Point and around Upper Newport Bay through Dunes Resort. The time passes quickly. Between my pace and the intensity of the music, I glide through loop one in a trance.
I am consumed in thought.
Nearing the turn at Newport, I tire and consider heading home. At the last second, I make a right and commit to the second loop.
My legs tighten and I notice a slight pain in my back. I lifted weights earlier in the morning and feel the effects. As I approach Vista Point for the second time, the bike seat wiggles again. Maybe I should’ve searched longer for the Allen wrench…
While riding, I stand up to inspect the seat. As I do, an awareness triggers.
I think about all the things going right for me to enjoy this moment.
My seat holds by a makeshift tightened screw. The bike’s pedals, gears and chains work together fluidly. My phone and pods wirelessly stream music into my ears. The road around Back Bay provides a clean, smooth path. The sun pours out warm, infinite light overhead.
And my body does all it needs to do to cruise around for a second loop.
Damn. I am an incredible, living
Suddenly, my eyes widen to take in the scene. I spot Ridgway rails and California least terns chilling in the marsh on my right. I notice East Bluff towering over me on my left. Seemingly endless foliage scatters across the surrounding terrain.
My ears receive every beat of music. I sense the effort that went into creating the song. I feel the remarkable technology responsible for blasting it through my pods. The energy feeds into my brain, down my spine and into my legs. My feet engage the weapon of a bike. It’s insanely light, carbon frame glides through the blustery Santa Ana winds.
I pick up pace.
I am keenly aware of my heart, lungs and glutes collaborating to propel me forward. Every Bay breath fuels my blood with oxygen. Even twenty miles in, I feel strong. I’m confident my muscles have miles left.
It’s all absolutely amazing.
Gratitude showers my mind. I am blown away by the moment and simply… stoked.
To cap it off, I realize it’s all unconditional.
The experience doesn’t require my love or appreciation.
It doesn’t demand my admiration.
It’s all here for me, regardless.
It’s a gift.
All I need to do is show up.
Experiences like this are available every day.
I am spoiled.
And so are you.
Will you show up?
How will you use your experience machine?
Play the long game
Carey Ransom joined Student of Intention last week. The first time I met Carey, he shared the importance of playing the long game. Whether it’s business, relationships or health, he suggest life rewards consistency and longevity.
In this clip, I share a key ingredient to playing the long game:
Be infatuated with the moment, the every day… the process.
Enjoy the pursuit of purpose.
Carey is one of the most successful, grateful, patient, giving and thoughtful people I know. During our conversation, he shares the story of his 100-year-old family business, building his own legacy in California, the challenges of starting a venture studio and his work with Orange County’s youth. This podcast episode may be my favorite to date.
Think less. Feel more.
I’ve been jamming on an idea lately.
Living with intention is a game of feel. Not one of thought.
And last week, I stumble onto the following Instagram post by James Clear:
By acting on just a few intentions, we develop awareness and perspective.
We better understand what we are giving and getting moment to moment.
We start to feel what is right.
Like a muscle, that ability to feel what is right grows stronger.
The world takes notice.
Opportunities, people and resources join our cause.
Before we know it, we're winning the game.
We are in flow.
But we gotta start somewhere.
Start by thinking less.
Start by feeling more.
Don’t wait. Start small. Learn as you go.