Guest Post: Why Successful People Are Crazy — and You Should Be Too — by Eric Lunsford

Uluwatu Temple - Bali

Uluwatu Monkeys - Bali

Greetings from the road! The pictures above were taken at the Uluwatu Temple in Bali, a magical place filled with monkeys who will give you (and your stuff) the side-eye, waiting to pounce to steal what they can in exchange for peanuts that you buy in order to get it all back. Thankfully my phone stayed with me, and I could upload these pictures for you! Next travel stop: The Yoga Barn in Ubud, then Chiang Mai on Sunday. Quick shout-out to the amazing Adam for sending me off with a killer music playlist and list of places to see.  

Eric Lunsford HeadshotToday’s post is from one of my rock-star coaching clients Eric Lunsford. Eric writes at his blog Coffee & Warm Showers where he has one goal: “to help others wake their true self up and transform into the person they’ve always wanted to be.”

My travels in Bali have been amazing so far and it’s only just the start – hanging out with people like Dan (founder of The Tropical MBA), Tommy (professional travel photographer) and Elisa (blogging BFF and TMBA goddess) are proof of exactly what Eric talks about below: that the best way to live life is bat-shit crazy, baby :)

Why Successful People Are Crazy and You Should Be Too (Plus: The 5 Best Times To Go Crazy) — by Eric Lunsford

“When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.”
–Mark Twain

It’s okay to be crazy. In fact, if you want to live the life you dream of, it’s required.

Take a minute to tap into your memory bank and think of a time when you were considered crazy for making a choice or taking action.

You may have been a child, you may have been a “naïve” teenager, hell, it may have been yesterday.

How did it feel? What was the result of you doing something that was viewed as “crazy” to others?

I’ve had my crazy moments.

Times where I’ve decided I’m going to make a big change to better my life. I was going to quit my cushy job and move without a real back-up plan. I was going to get rid of the majority of my “stuff.” I was going to jump out of an airplane at 12,000 feet.

I was a pre-determined failure in the eyes of my boss and even some family when I quit my job. I was looked at as a kook by my fiancé when I recommended we get rid of 98% of our stuff. I was told I was testing fate by my mom when I told her I would be skydiving (who, coincidentally BOUGHT those tickets to jump out of a plane. She gets my crazy. Thanks mom!)

But my life is better after making those decisions.

I’m one step closer to my dream life now.

I realized I didn’t need a secure job to make me happy or a bunch of crap around my house to fit in and experiences, by far, are the best things to spend your money on.

Crazy is different. Crazy makes a difference.

And that’s exactly why the people who truly succeed in life choose to be crazy. Those that don’t take chances are stuck. Stuck in a life they don’t enjoy – waiting for the day their dreams magically come true.

Not. Going. To. Happen.

Not without crazy choices at least.

Take a minute to think:

  • If Ben Franklin didn’t have the “crazy” idea for Night Riders to deliver mail between colonies at night, the mail system we have now may not exist. In fact, the entire fate of the American Revolution may have been different.
  • If Richard Branson didn’t make the “crazy” choice to sign the (at the time) unwanted band the Sex Pistols, he may have never grown to the position he is at now with over 400 Virgin companies affecting the entire globe in more industries than you can count.
  • If Yvon Chouinard didn’t go on the “crazy” 6 month trip to Patagonia his friend recommended, we likely would not have the brand Patagonia or any of the environmental initiatives we have today created by him and his employees.

But don’t get overwhelmed or frustrated by these more famous successes.

Anyone can be crazy.

Anyone can make decisions that are so crazy it affects their lives in the most positive way.

  • Jenny quit her job at Google to move toward a life full of spontaneity, travel, independence and freedom. And she’s helping others do the same along the way (me included — thanks again Jenny!).
  • Adam Baker and his wife got rid of over $18,000 of debt, sold everything but two backpacks and moved to Australia with no set plans. Oh yeah, with their 1 year old daughter! Now he’s making a living doing exactly what he loves.
  • Steve Kamb has combined fitness and…wait for it…nerds! Steve is a self-proclaimed nerd who is obsessed with fitness. He’s making “crazy” decisions almost daily including traveling the world, trying unheard of workouts, and inspiring people to do the same in some of the most unique ways.
  • Therese Schwenkler just recently made the “crazy” decision to quit her job and travel around the U.S. indefinitely. What I like most about her is her posts bring her “crazy” personality to life and inspire her readers to “go for it” just as she’s done.

So you see, in order to be successful, you must be crazy.

Here are the 5 best times to be crazy:

  1. Immediately after waking up – It’s early in the morning when your mind is the clearest. You have the most optimism at this time as well. Clarity + optimism = a perfect time to make a crazy decision. As an added bonus, it’s much easier to continue something when you start first thing in the morning before you let the everyday hustle and bustle bog you down.
  2. After being inspired – I’m sure you’ve had that moment. You watch an awesome documentary or read an inspiring book. You feel a fire inside you. You want to get out there and do something big! Capitalize on the inspiration and let the craziness begin right away!
  3. After “damaging” news – I use “damaging” because often things that happen to us unexpectedly are initially viewed as negative. However, there’s always a silver lining. Maybe you were just laid off from your job of 15 years. Well, now seems like the perfect time for you to take that severance, new found free-time and create something big!
  4. The status quo just isn’t good enough – This is one of the things I love to do most. Question why we do what we do. If you don’t like something or don’t understand why you do it, make a radical change. Ask questions, push the boundaries, and raise the bar.
  5. When you’ve got support – There’s nothing better than a crazy idea that at least one other person agrees with. For example, just the other night I told my buddy that I was planning on building a tiny home and traveling around the country for at least a year, snowboarding and surfing every chance I got. I asked if he wanted to come along and he lost it. As we talked about it, I was running around the house in excitement while he was texting, “I feel alive!!!” A crazy idea gets even crazier when someone else believes in it too.

We all have dreams. It’s just the crazy ones who see them come alive.

We’d love to hear in the comments: 
What can you do to honor your crazy?

***

Video: Here’s to the Crazy Ones

Note from Jenny: On the subject of embracing your crazy, here is one of my all-time favorite videos from Apple.

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify and vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as crazy, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

Update: This Just in! 8 Free Kindle Books from Scott Ginsberg

Right after I hit publish on this post, I got a (totally unrelated) rebel-rousing email from my friend Scott Ginsberg, who is known as “The Nametag Guy” — he has been wearing one for 4,205 days and even has one tattooed on his chest! I’m sharing it with all of you since Scott is a brilliant, well-known author — and this is an awesome ballsy move on his part. From Scott:

Help me prove that thinkers don’t need permission to do so. Help me show which of the mainstream hoops aren’t worth jumping through. Help me lead the charge to risk our faces and step across the lines of artistic safety. Help me reject the invisible jury who no longer needs to stamp our creative passport. Help me make a global statement about the state of the mainstream publishing industry. Help me end the shipping of easy, predictable safe work that appeases our corporate masters.

Tomorrow, I am releasing eight new books on Kindle. All digital. All daily devotionals. And the best part is, all books are $0.00 for the first five days, then $0.99 after that. Grab them here.

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