On Tuesday evening, I flew back home to Vancouver after five amazing days spent in San Francisco and Palo Alto. I traveled to the Valley primarily to attend Y Combinator’s Startup School conference, but I also got a very substantial dose of inspiration from the many friends and startup people that I met with over the course of the trip. Needless to say, I was downright giddy from my first proper trip the region and I was beyond motivated to pursue my entrepreneurial dreams after being surrounded by so many likeminded startup enthusiasts.
It felt like things were now different. I had gained a new perspective of the world. I had met new lifelong friends. I saw world-class innovators speak. My perspectives on entrepreneurship had been altered forever.
On Wednesday, I called my parents, excited to share with them the highlights of my adventures. I told them about when Drew Houston (he’s on the cover of Forbes this month) sat down next to me. I shared with them how Dan Martell gave me $500 on the spot to “build something”. I spoke about how I had stayed up until 4am talking about life with my new friends. There was no doubt that my smile, energy, and enthusiasm could be heard across the phone line as I was recounting my experiences.
My parents’ reaction, however, was quite a bit more restrained. They were happy that I was happy, but they immediately shared their concerns. “You always come back from trips with kind of feeling,” was my mother’s comment. “Shanghai, Zambia, London, Toronto, it doesn’t matter where you’ve gone, you always come back energized,” my mother continued. “However,” she said, “that energy always dies down within days or maybe weeks. You come back motivated, but fairly soon, you’re back to your usual self.”
That comment stung. It’s certainly not what I wanted to hear as I was sharing my newfound enthusiasm. However, the most difficult part about my parents’ comment was that it was completely true.
I have felt this way after almost trip that I’ve gone on. I’ve visited a new place, met new people, gained a new perspective, and came back motivated to make a real change in my life. I’d alter my habits or behavior for a short period of time, but normally within a couple of weeks, you wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference.
This time I want things to be different. I want to make a permanent change to my lifestyle. I don’t want to fall back into my usual routine. I want to set my life onto a new trajectory that in inspired by what I discovered in California. The question is, how do I do it?
Clearly I haven’t been successful in converting the inspiration from my trips into life-long change. However, I know that I’m not the only who gains inspiration from my travels. Is there a secret formula or strategy that I’m missing? If so, I’d love to hear all about it.
What feels different about this time is the accountability aspect. I am accountable to build a project over the next six weeks, which came out of this trip. I am trying to be accountable to my friends from the Valley and so far, that has been going very well since I’ve been in contact with them daily. Is the reason that I haven’t been successful in the past simply because I haven’t had the self-determination to create that positive change in my life?
Here’s to hoping that this is the beginning of a new wave of trips…both inspirational and creating last change.