Johnson Cook

Atlanta tech investor. Entrepreneur.

Johnson Cook - Atlanta tech investor. Entrepreneur.

Cure the Destination Disease – Tips for Enjoying the Ride


At the recent EO NERVE Conference, in Charlotte, NC, there were some great speakers on life balance and things that matter. My favorites were Steve Gilliland and Gary Kunath.  Steve and Gary are both great speakers with successful careers, inspirational stories, and invaluable lessons. I wanted to share with you some of the big points I took from their talks.

  • Lessons in serial entrepreneurship. One entrepreneur once told Steve that he wanted to build another business after he sold his first because this time around he wanted to enjoy the process of building it this time.  Having started my first business in my late teens / early twenties, I can admit openly that I had no idea how cool it was to be doing what I was doing. Each new business I am involved with now, my goal is to savor the exhilaration and stress that it takes to go from idea to team to customers to company.  Enjoy!
  • The grass will grow back.  Gary spoke of his father and how he would be frustrated with his grandkids (Gary’s kids) for running on the grass and damaging his perfect lawn.   I can relate to this, being a lover of my lawn. I often find myself barking at the kids to stop destroying some plant or part of our lawn with their antics.    Gary said that his kids are now grown and gone and his father stares at a perfect lawn, with no kids, wishing only that they would come back; but that time has passed.   It is a reminder to me that the grass will grow back, but I only have one shot at having crazy fun in the backyard with my 5 and 7 year old boys.
  • Study of Happiness.    One of the speakers described a study comparing lottery winners to individuals who had an accident and became paraplegics. The bottom line is that those winning $200,000,000 in the lottery are less happy after a couple of years than people who had an accident and became paraplegics! It’s about appreciating life around us. Appreciating what we have and savoring every minute.
  • The big deals at death. Consider that you’re in the last few minutes of your life.   When you write out the bulleted list of “big deals” in your life, what will they be?   Now compare that to the list that today you are working through.   Work to constantly put your daily routines and todo list in perspective of what will matter in the end.  Do this activity in your head with some sincerity on a regular basis and your stress level will drop by 50%.  Here’s a video from Gary to demonstrate.

I may not be able to cure my “Destination Disease,” but with events and reminders like this, I hope to work harder to enjoy the ride. Relax. There isn’t a destination.  We’re living it right now, today.

The ironic thing about this conference is that 24 hours before departure I was just about to cancel because I just “have too many things to do.” Wow. Powerful stuff.



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