I have to start this by acknowledging how far I’ve fallen behind on posts this last few weeks. Between engaging with people personally with an intimate form of storytelling, and sharing with far more people but across a less personal (yet no less vulnerable) format such as writing, I haven’t quite found the balance that I’m looking for yet. It’s fantastic to be speaking to so many different people all around the country and overseas about Mars One, but it also pulls me away from writing and publishing content online.
Thankfully I now have plenty of opportunity to correct some of that imbalance: over the next 4 weeks I have no commitments beyond looking after a gorgeous black Labrador called “Cherry” that I’m house-sitting in country New South Wales!
One thing is for certain though: wherever I am these days, I’m focused on engaging & inspiring people. I may have spent the last 4 weeks dashing around Australia doing school visits and corporate speaking events, and I might be spending the next 4 weeks writing articles and finally editing/publishing my book, but there’s no doubt that I’m engaging people across a range of platforms with personal stories and weaving them into a narrative where we on the pathway to becoming a dual-planet species.
It’s never that simple though. There’s always doubt, and as the journal entry below shows it can come from the most unexpected places. Speaking confidently about space exploration takes discipline and practice. Writing about one-way missions to Mars takes discipline and practice. And acknowledging the doubts while still pursuing what’s truly important to you, what will ultimately serve those around you and change the way we see ourselves as a species – that takes discipline and practice too.
In late 2014 – when this journal entry was written – I certainly felt like I was losing sight of that. I had just gotten back to Australia after catching up with an old crush in London, and landing at Adelaide airport felt like having my heart ripped out. It could even be argued in 2015 I genuinely lost sight of what was important because I was so focused on a romantic partner. One thing I’ve learnt over the last few years though is that signing up for a one-way mission to Mars doesn’t mean I have cut myself off from people romantically (because I haven’t) but I do need to keep those relationships in perspective next to the knowledge that I’m involved with something way bigger than myself or my relationships.
Know what’s important to you, acknowledge the doubts and sacrifices you’ll have to make to pursue that, and then do the work on those things you value most. Every day. It’s the simplest and hardest thing in the universe.
Day 10,634 – Sat 27/9/2014
How many people can you help by doing what you’re doing? How many kids can you inspire? How much better can you make this world in the time you have left? How much can you give, and how much can you let the universe flow through you to help this species – your species – evolve?
You owe nothing, yet that frees you to give everything. By knowing you’ve already given – that you ledger is already in the black – you’re liberated to take the risks to give more. The gift of giving becomes it’s own gift: to to feel superior, or to make others feel indebted. To give to know that giving makes the universe a better place. That each act of kindness eases the cosmic suffering, that every gift cascades into a thousand more through the ages. That the kindness of one far out-weighs the cruelty of dozens.
This is doubt. [Former Crush] has a hook that has brought out doubt – that what I’m doing is worth it. I know the impact I’m having, & the exponentially greater impact I can make with every passing day. But she’s brought out pangs I haven’t felt in a long time. That eagerness to be close, to hear from her & that everything is good. There’s a sick feeling that my life will lose something if I let her slip away, yet I know it’s the energetic link I’m trying to find. It will shift. Right now I hope it doesn’t, but I know it will. My ginger unicorn is still out there…