Why I believe finding the zone is something you can practice

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After a annual camping trip to Friendsville I wondered…

hy does time just peel off me when I am in the zone?

I call this playing with magic (yes, D&D was real, my imagination wanted to be a wizard as a kid).

The magic is in the small interactions we have: with ourselves, with our loved ones, with our passions, jobs, (applied) friendships, and hobbies.

Shit, with everything.

When I am playing with magic, it peels back the layers of my conditioning, of my stress, of my incessant thoughts that try to steal my happiness.

At 39, a few weeks after my birthday, I take stock in what I am doing, in where I am going, and I question if it is aligned with who I truly am when I feel the magic inside me.

The magic, does it strike me when I work? When I build? When I create? When I love?

Shit, who knows when magic strikes, but there are clues being left for me.

I cried today when I left my dad’s house. It seemed inappropriate.

My dad isn’t emotional. He didn’t say anything different to me. He just gave me a hug and told me he loved me.

As I get older, I realize the important of practicing habits that build my connection with moments that strike me with the Magic Stick (no, not that kind of magic stick Fifty).

My dad’s innocent moment was magic because I felt: I’m so lucky to get the chance to build a relationship with a man that tucks a pink collared shirt into his blue and black army camouflage cargo shorts.

You never know when this type of shit will strike you, but when it does, take out a notebook and write it down.

But why, when I leave those moments do I still question my weird place in life?

It’s not like I don’t have a semi-successful life. I do. I feel good about my life at times. About my job. About the startup. About my friends. About my move to Chicago. About building passive income.

But there are days when you wake up and you aren’t in the zone. When the magic is gone. When you are tired. When your fingers hurt from typing and your back aches from sitting; when you don’t want to work out or spend time with your friends, or do something positive with yourself; when you’d rather not do the habit you are practicing this month.

When you lose the magic, the zone, what is that shit?

The tides and moon? Black magic?

Why does it happen at all?

Minds are paid to think too much (or not enough).

When you question the car you drive, when you question the job you get paid for, when you question the date you went on, when you look at the wrinkles and gray in your beard and tell yourself, “Shit, 39 looks pruny.” When you wonder if you are the one that needs therapy and life counseling because everyone else around you is married, with child, and working a 9–5.

Trevor, like, what the hell are you doing?

Homeboy, seriously, what you are doing?

And then I sit back and think about it.

Dude, relax.

There are a thousand low paying 9–5 jobs waiting for me to take with my super sweet creative writing bachelors degree from Kent State University.

But that isn’t where the magic lives.

I think about the fact that my life has taken me to live in Europe for 13 years; that I did what I loved; that I worked extremely hard at my passions; that I built successful habits and learned life lessons from the pro athlete life; that I have a friend circle that makes me laugh and relax and feel joy; that I get to invent something new and work at with minds and people that give me something I value the most: freedom, laughter, and purpose.

This is what I want, I tell myself.

Take your millions of dollars ego-maniac men, I see you working out there.

But that is not me.

I will probably be in a camper van with my dog Bear solo traveling across the country by next March.

But at some point, after all the healing and wonder and curiosity, the layers of my being start descending on me like a heavy fog.

Am I running from something or towards something?

What am I?

Who am I?

What is time?

What will I do with my time?

I am 14,263 days into this thing called life.

What will the next 14,623 be about for me?

See, the existential question of doing something for the sake of doing it doesn’t make sense to me. It’s like love. Why would I get married if I don’t believe in the friendship or attraction of being with one partner the rest of my life?

Is there something I am missing about love, about growth, about being unapologetically me?

Getting in the zone, finding that place where you can flow and work free of anxiety, worry, and stress is balanced on the values that tip the pendulum towards peace, happiness, and love.

The times I don’t question what I’m doing with my life:

  • When I am spending time and laughing with friends in nature
  • When I am doing something adventurous (with friends) in nature
  • Writing about my life as I question my life and what I’m doing (in nature)
  • When I am with my family or spending time with loved ones
  • When I’m working out and pushing my body to improve
  • When I am focused and in the zone creating something that inspires me
  • When my dog Bear just looks at me and wants love hugs
  • When kids smile and learn from something me (or when they give me a hug and their big bug eyes blink up at me)
  • Helping people learn more about their lives and their growth and where and what it means
  • Learning about my life and where my growth will take me next
  • When I’m working on aligning myself with a team that cares about the process and interactions just as much as the result

I did a tarot card reading over the July 4th weekend and it was funny because I don’t believe in that shit.

A tarot card?


What the hell, c’mon, I’m a 39-year old dude that has built his tiny ass savings account on putting a ball through a metal rim and then started investing it all into things that create a better now.

A better now?

Ha, (seriously, the cliches) what does that even mean?

Well it means, I need to know and believe in me. In my process. In my direction.

But who am I while I travel through time and space?

Who do I believe I am?

I am surely this: If I don’t believe in what I’m doing, I won’t try to do it (for very long).

Do you feel that way? Or do you just push through? If you do push through, how do you do it?

Is your stoicism heroic or just plain dumb?

Do you do it for your kids?

For you partner?

What do you do when you lose the magic then?

Is there a route I am not seeing for myself or do routes get inspired by the magic I choose to practice every day?

The magic is what I am talking about, that is the zone. Yes, the zone is sports cliche. But the magic is in practicing what you want, and doing it, day by day, moment by moment, focusing on what needs to be built or designed either inside yourself or outside yourself.

Or shit, think about the magic, and prepare for the launch. Spend a year if you like. Surround yourself with the people that practice magic. I am happy doing this type of self-work. I am content to work for myself so I can find balance in filling my bucket daily.

Hell with the bucket list.

Be the bucket list today.

But, I will have to change, you ask? But, I will have to move? But I’ll be uncomfortable, you say.

If you grow out of your friends orbit because you choose to fill your bucket list differently every day, then so be it.

Growth or atrophy is part of life.

Leaves fall.

Families split.

Stars fade.

Babies grow.

Humans are just big babies that get to choose their own growth anyway, so be a smarter baby.

I don’t think my friends will let me out grow them because they usually grow faster than me. They take the time to love more often than me. To connect and reconnect in nature and do funny, fun, adventurous things.

If your interactions aren’t authentic, your star will fade.

Your magic will die.

Live in Friendsville with those you love and passions you practice.

Written by

“Do it or don’t do it.”

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