Living deliberately. Working deliberately. Traveling deliberately.
What does that word even mean – deliberate?
My favorite quote about being deliberate comes from American philosopher and writer Henry David Thoreau. In explaining his reason for living in a cabin in the woods over two years at Walden pond, here’s what he said:
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
My two favorite definitions of deliberate are:
That’s what GiveLiveExplore is about.
It’s a publishing company and blog about being deliberate – in work, life, and travel:
Work Deliberately. I believe work is our greatest gift to give. How we spend our time, what we pour our energy into, what we do with our days – all of it is a gift to give while we’re here on earth.
Live Deliberately. This is about mindful and intentional living, outside the realm of work. This includes useful practices to recenter ourselves or reminders to become deliberate when we inevitably get off track.
Travel Deliberately. Travel is how this blog started and it remains a core practice of being deliberate. When we don’t know what’s next, we can hit the road and wander through the world. We pilgrim. We journey. We travel deliberately.
Hi, I’m Matt – writer, publisher, and deliberate journeyer at GiveLiveExplore.com. Here’s My Story.
Like many people in their mid-twenties and several years out of college, I reached a point in my personal life and professional career where I found myself asking: “Is this really the beginning of the rest of my life?” When I looked back, my life situation was the result of going through the motions of life, without truly understanding what I wanted to get out of life.
Instead of continuing to be a passive participant in my own life, I decided to become deliberate. And I realized that in order to live the life I want, I must start acting out the life I want to live.
I created GiveLiveExplore as that first step in becoming more deliberate about building a life of creativity and freedom. GiveLiveExplore is my vehicle to explore personal and professional projects that excite me.
Many people, stories, and books have inspired me, but the passing of my friend Shannon really kicked my butt into action. She dealt me the hard-earned lesson: Our time is not guaranteed and every single day is a gift. From that moment, I decided to commit myself to live fully, follow my excitement, and spend my time doing things that matter.
After her passing, I decided to commit myself to live fully, follow my excitement, and spend my time doing things that matter. Everything I do here is in homage to her.
In the wake of her passing, my unrealized dream of long-term, slow travel came to the forefront. My first order of business was to slow-travel around Europe on my own terms. On June 2, 2012, I left on a one-way ticket to Iceland. And in the process of preparing for that trip, I created GiveLiveExplore.
I wanted to create some sort of entity that encompassed my values and goals in life–something that could develop into a vehicle to explore personal and professional projects that excited me. I imagined something that could facilitate my deliberate journey in building a life I could be proud of. The result was GiveLiveExplore.
It’s evolved quite a bit over time, but today GiveLiveExplore operates as an independent media, travel and lifestyle company, as well as my personal blog. Everything I do here is guided by my personal values of Give, Live, & Explore (more on these below).
Most importantly, GiveLiveExplore is a way of life. And GiveLiveExplore.com is where I share my travel tales, creative projects, entrepreneurial endeavors and the lessons I’m learning along the way.
Further Reading: Why I Started GiveLiveExplore
While this blog began as the platform to share my physical journey through Europe in June-December 2012, it continues as the living, breathing scroll upon which I’ll document my broader personal and professional journey:
It’ll be a journey of learning and growth, inching closer to answers and destinations. I’ll explore projects that interest me. I’ll try some things that might not work and you might see me fail. Hopefully you’ll also see me succeed, and we can enjoy those successes together. Through it all I’ll document it here. For your information, your inspiration, or maybe just for your entertainment.
By sharing my personal journey, I hope to be an inspiring and comforting voice for others on a similar path. I hope my story provides others the courage to ask tough questions, to have the confidence to live with those questions, and to care enough to become deliberate journeyers.
There’s a deeper meaning behind each component of GiveLiveExplore. Here’s my definition of each:
…is about giving freely without expectation of reciprocation.
The definition is much broader than physical or financial giving.
It’s about giving thanks. A compliment. A listening and caring ear.
It’s about sharing your story and the story of others.
It’s about spending your time doing something worthwhile.
It’s about being a part of something bigger than yourself.
And remembering that Give always comes first.
GIVE is realizing we’re all on the same team. Let’s help each other.
…is about living intentionally and with conviction.
It’s about being present.
It’s embracing living wherever you find yourself, not merely visiting.
It’s about completely immersing yourself in culture and human connection.
It’s living with the courage to do bold things that make you feel free and alive.
It’s about embracing those things which excite you the most.
LIVE is a constant reminder that we have the privilege of being alive.
…is about being a relentless explorer of the world around and within.
It’s about being forever curious.
It’s about fostering a growth mindset.
It’s believing that every new encounter is an opportunity to learn.
It’s about having big dreams, and never giving up on those dreams.
It’s about deciding to be a deliberate journeyer.
EXPLORE is a call to action relish the journey and to never, ever arrive.
About two to four times a month, I’ll write pieces on GiveLiveExplore that could be classified as essays, stories, or better yet, Tales. I generally won’t do standard blog stuff, like top-ten lists or SEO-baited and bulleted pieces. I may use lists or bullets, but the primary goal is not to drive traffic. Of course, I welcome traffic, but my first intention is to provide quality, meaningful content.
I’ll tell tales of life, philosophy, travel, self-awareness, personal growth, influential books, and inspiring people. I’ll share the things I’m learning. The posts will be thoughtful and introspective, and will often have a lesson embedded inside (blatantly, discretely, or both). Almost all will be thought-provoking tales that cause pause and reflection. For these reasons, I call them Tales from a Deliberate Journeyer. It won’t always be light reading, and it certainly won’t be for everyone.
Also, quotes. You’ll get lots of quotes.
Further Reading: If One Advances Confidently in the Direction of His (or Her) Dreams
If you’d like to join my journey and receive my Tales from a Deliberate Journeyer straight into your inbox each week, just stick your email address below.
I’ll also send you a free ebook of my 5 most popular articles about traveling, working, living deliberately.
And if you put your physical address, I’ll even send you a handwritten postcard from my next destination! Not required, but I bet it’ll make you smile.
No spam, no funny business, no unwanted solicitation. Just a letter from me each week.
Subscribe to GiveLiveExplore here.
Wherever you find yourself and whatever led you here: I’m thrilled you made it. Thank you for reading and joining me on this journey.
Until next time – happy exploring.