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The Absolute Best Week Of My Life

A week ago I got back from the absolute peak life experience of my life. Better than skydiving, bungee jumping, Olympic Skeleton, and even better than the Momstoski Road Trip. To make a long story short, I spent a week in Riviera Maya in a private jungle compound with the ten most amazing individuals I have ever been around.

For the past week I’ve been trying to write a post on the experience, but it was so awesome I’ve been struggling to put it into words. So I’m going to share with you these posts from Jenny, Sean and Willie to get an idea of the trip:

What I do want to share though are my key takeaways from the trip and since I like action items, I’ll throw some of those in there too.

1. Taninah is pretty much the awesomest place ever

The property that we stayed at was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I’ve stayed in a lot of nice hotels all over the world, but nothing compares to renting out your own private jungle compound with a team of Mayan chefs cooking you three fresh meals a day. Add in an underground cave with a pool and waterslide, an in-ground trampoline, and a zipline and you have the stuff dreams are made of. On top of that, the owner of the property came down to visit with us several times and shared with us his vision of the area. We were all blown away by his story and the integrity and passion that he showed us when he was discussing his business.

If you are thinking about hosting a retreat, family reunion, or just want to get a group of friends together, Taninah is the place. Seriously, you need to stay here at some point in your life. Check it out online and let me know if you have any questions.

Action item: Stay at Taninah!

 

2. Adults need to play more

We spent around 20% of the time working (strategy sessions, actually working on our businesses/projects, etc) and around 80% of the time playing. We played dodgeball, whiffle ball, card games, miniature golf, basketball, and ran through an obstacle course put together by the owner of the property. We ziplined for miles above the forest, rode tandem rafts through underground caves, and drove dune buggies through the jungle and through pitch black caves. We danced in the rain, made up games like trampball (trampoline + exercise balls + sumo wrestling), and created several dozen new words. In short, we played our faces off. It was the adult equivalent of summer camp.

The result of all this play was an unbridled creativity that came through in our strategy sessions. I came up with several new ideas for businesses. Several of us had huge breakthroughs in our personal or professional lives. And for the entire week we felt and acted like children. I heard this phrase at least a dozen times on the trip: “I can’t remember the last time I…” Every day I woke up covered with bruises with a giant smile on my face.

Play is delicious. Our bodies, hearts, and minds long for it. So let yourself be a kid again.

Action item: Think of something you haven’t done since you were a child. Do it. Feel good.

 

3. Surround yourself with amazing people and wait for the magic

Never in my life have I been around such intelligent, positive, inspiring people. Throughout most of my life I’ve felt a little like I don’t belong. I’m not interested in a lot of things that most people are and I live a rather unconventional life. Throughout the course of the week though, I learned quickly that there are other superheroes out there with the magical powers of reframing, positivity, cold reading, continual improvement, amazing luck, and the belief that the world is our playground. And they live outrageously purposeful lives on their own terms. Being around other people like that is magical.

And when I say magic, I mean magic. The most epic club night ever. The best dinner conversation ever. The best game of kings ever. The best yoga class ever. It all happened in that one magical week.

There wasn’t a single negative moment in the trip. And anytime something remotely negative happened, someone would reframe it immediately to make it positive.

The funny thing about the trip though is that most of us had never met before. The entire trip was orchestrated by Nick, who told us that he put this trip together by simply inviting a small group of awesome people. You can similarly do the same in your own life.

Action item: Create your own convergence of awesome people. A dinner party, a night out, a strategy session, a mastermind group, or whatever you want to call it. Let the magic ensue.

 

4. Seriously, these people are awesome

These people are awesome and if you don’t know them you should get to know them ASAP. Here are their unofficial bios (as written by yours truly).

Jenny Blake – Former Google employee, author, coach, speaker, yoga instructor, master organizer, dance floor dominator. Basically the female version of me in almost every way.

Julie Clow –  Another former Googler, learning & development rockstar, author of the soon to be released book The Work Revolution. Smiles ALL the time.

Kyle Durand – Tax attorney, former JAG, the brains behind Our Deal, 3-time Ironman finisher, and built like a ninja gorilla wolverine. Seriously the most in shape dude I’ve ever met.

Karol Gajda – Entrepreneur since 2000, totally location independent, and always running experiments on life. Constantly reinventing himself and his businesses. His current motto: “Create. Learn. Improve. Repeat.” Also known as the Cat Whisperer.

Nicky Hajal – Designer extraordinaire, the brains behind some of the best work on the internet,  and man of a thousand faces. Also known to some as Papi Ramirez.

Willie Jackson – Website performance optimization specialist, worked with Seth Godin on the Domino Project, master of frame control. When asked what his secret to success is, he simply said, “I care.” Also has a nasty pop and lock routine.

Dan Jarvis – Software engineer, world traveler, and one of the original four Wolveri. Living life big on his own terms and on his own schedule. Gives lots of hugs.

Allie Mahler – Social entrepreneur, co-founder of Be Social Change, movement therapy and yoga enthusiast. One of those people who I can only describe as “full of light.”

Sean Ogle – Location Rebel, Oregonian, semi-full-time golfer, one of the most interesting men in the world. Incredibly positive dude.

Nick Reese – Affiliate marketing guru, the consummate entrepreneur, mastermind of the entire trip. There aren’t a lot of people in the world who I would trust absolutely 100% with anything, Nick is one of them. Likes tea and making people smile.

Action item: These peeps rock. Get to know them.

 

In closing, I realize I’ve overused the word awesome in this post, but that’s how damn awesome it was. My amazing week in Taninah will forever be a part of me and will forever support me on my journey of life. Huge thanks to Nick for putting it together and this amazing group that I now call family for being so awesome (hah, said it one last time!).

P.S. – Crossed two items off of The List of Adventure on the trip without even trying! (Going ziplining and jumping into a pool with all my clothes on)