After more than 24 hours of anxious, edge-of-your-seat, trying-to-get-admitted waiting, my wife and I welcomed with open arms our second daughter, Mally Nanette Holmgren just before 8 o’clock Tuesday morning. Oh. On her sister’s first birthday. Lil’ Stinker.
What a deal.
This is a blog geared toward entrepreneurship, freedom lifestyle, and non-conformity, not personal labor and delivery tales (if you want that, I’m sure there’s plenty of blogs to tune in to). But a common thread that runs through all of these subjects (and for some us, it’s the most important thread) is family.
Plus, it’s my blog, so if I want to write about my new little girl, I’ll do just that, thank you very much. 🙂
Mally and mama are healthy, recovering from the ride, and just got home from the hospital last night. For that, we are thankful.
When you’re the dad, sometimes it feels like you’re limited in what you can do to help. That’s because, as the dad, you’re limited in what you can do to help (duh). You don’t deliver, you don’t feed, rarely change, only sometimes rock to sleep – that’s about the size of it. For me, it’s opened up lots of room for thought. Thoughts around what the dad is supposed to do (not during labor – just in general).
As I tie the subjects of our recent addition and my vocation as a father together in my mind, there’s one thing that continually rises to the surface: Non-conformity
As we pick this apart, I ask you to bear in mind one simple truth: Each of us has the option of doing whatever we want with our lives.
This is the overarching theme around the blog, the goals, and ultimately the lifestyle that I strive for. If you feel apprehension towards my actions and/or motives, I would ask for your patience: I’m new at this, and it’s harder than it looks to be the Sore Thumb of your little group.
To really understand why I get a kick out of Non-conformity, we have to establish Conformity first.
Conformity is defined as: behavior in accordance with socially accepted conventions or standards. It’s just doing what everyone else is doing. No independence, no plans, no crazy audacious goals, no living of dreams, no freedom. Like the title of Author Kimanzi Constable’s book questions: Are you Living or Existing?
I get fired up about Non-conformity as a way of life because it’s answered a lot of questions I’ve had for many years. Here’s a few that come to mind:
- Who says I can’t love my job?
- Why can’t I buy a house for cash?
- Why not live life debt-free from the start?
- Is credit really that important?
- How come everyone only takes two weeks of vacation?
- What’s so crazy about entrepreneurship?
- Why do people think making lots of money is bad?
Non-conformity has cleared these questions up in my mind. Now, I don’t have to simply accept the common belief system around these questions. Instead, I get to make up my own answers, based on how I see the world (and countless examples of people who have done the same things).
- Do I want to be annoyingly happy on a Monday morning? I’ll do just that
- Do I want to buy my first house for cash? Yes. I’ll get some of the details worked out
- Do I want debt? No. Okay.
- Is credit important? Nope. Not for the lifestyle I want to live. Not for the goals I have. Not even your free airline miles
- Do I want more than two weeks vacation? Well, I think I’ll have to build a business to be able to do that. It sounds really appealing to work from the road
- Do I want to be an entrepreneur? Oh yes. I’ve got my work cut out for me! We’ll get this figured out. How can I serve?
- Do I want lots of money? Meh. Depends what ‘lots’ is. I don’t want Donald Trump ‘lots’. Enough so it’s not something I have to figure out every couple of weeks
Now, this all sounds pretty good, but it begs one question: Am I naive, overly-optimistic, or crazy? I guess we’ll see. But maybe I’m on to something.
What I do know is, 100% commitment to a cause (in my current case, personal freedom) has achieved more goals, built better businesses, allowed for more vacation and family time, and brought more happiness than any life of mediocrity.
Arman Assadi, founder of Why I Left Google said this of the journey out of his past life of mediocrity:
“What drove me was literally the fear of laying on my deathbed and having major regrets.”
As I hold our new little girl and think about the unknown future, lots of hopes and dreams come to mind. Giving my family wonderful experiences, being here for them, having plenty of time to spend with them, seeing great places together, meeting cool folks, teaching, learning together, growing together, all the while praying to and trusting the One who provides, protects, and blesses.
We plan to take some alternative routes to our definition of success. The beauty of it is that, as we make up our minds to enjoy what we have directly in front of us today, we can begin to realize how wonderful we have it already.
*Insert witty quote about the journey being as great as the destination*
Like this post on non-conformity? What are you doing that is against the norm? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!