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Saturday Sage: Build a Better Life with Good Travel Partners

Life is dangerous. Never walk alone.

The people you invite into your life reflect the person you will become.

What travel partners should you invite into your life – people who mark you, lift you, and model life for you.

Travel partners sculpt your better life.   

A sage becomes a sage because of travel partners.  One of life’s great questions: “How and why did you choose your travel partners?”

Build a better life with good travel partners:

#1. Get to know people.

Knowing people just might be the most important skill for anyone to possess.

Ask weird questions.

The great explorer, Ernest Shackleton, took an unusual approach in choosing his travel partners.  He had four criteria in identifying the men to sail with him across Antarctica.   There were no forms for candidates to complete and little attention was paid to qualifications.  In one interview he asked a scientist if he had good teeth, if he could sing, and whether he would recognize gold if he saw it. 

#2. Look through the lens of values.

Shackleton’s 4 values were optimism, patience, imagination, and courage.

The beginning of any journey requires strong optimism.  The travel partners must sense that the sage is charged up about the pending journey.   Not every experience of the journey is as planned, so patience is a must.   People gain patience by observing patience in their leaders.  Imagination is crucial in being creative throughout the journey.  Spur of the moment decisions are expected.  And finally courage is necessary when the future is unknown.  Courage calms the seas.

Identify the qualities and characteristics of good travel partners.

5 qualities of good travel partners:

The sage has become a wise person because of the influence of many people in their life that possess these 5 things.

#1. Look for dependability.

Why are people so attracted to people they trust?  Answer:  They are consistent and dependable.  Trust makes decisions have merit.  A trusted person has lived a life of obedience to what is right and resistance to what is wrong.

#2. Look for curiosity.

“Adults who aren’t curious may do well enough in the world, but they rarely influence it.” Victoria Ryan O’Toole

A sage is always learning and “filling up” their brain.  Curiosity is never put on hold.  School is always in session, even when the teacher turns off the lights.   

Lousy travel partners have all the answers. Great travel partners are looking for all the questions.

“What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within the span of his little life by him who interests his heart in everything.” Laurence Sterne

#3. Look for care.

No one loves traveling with a jerk.

Great travel partners care for the clerk at the grocery store and the neighbors with barking dogs. They care for you.

Care is associated with uncertainty.  You’re never sure where it takes you.

Caring is leaning into solutions or contributions. Caring is often associated with obscure unresolved situations. 

Caring is taking a liking to someone.   It’s paying attention to needs. 

#4. Look for joy.

Joy is a remarkable characteristic on the sage’s list of travel partners.

Grumpy people are ugly. Joyful people are beautiful.

Joy fuels curiosity, exploration, and relationships.

Joy creates wonder.

Joy has a sound, a pulse, a taste, and a look.

#5. Look for faith.

In order to live a life of faith you have to be okay at not knowing stuff.

Kids eating their favorite pancakes on Saturday morning with no worry about getting pancakes next Saturday is great faith.  They simply enjoy.

Faith fills the gap between what is hoped for and what will happen.  Buying a little puppy to be a kid’s pet is great. But what that puppy is like as it grows is a complete gamble. The ticket to ride on the “faith train” is to not insist on knowing.  It’s a mysterious future. 

Insisting on knowing outcomes eliminates many of life’s most fascinating experiences.

Putting faith into practice is not throwing up your hands in “que sera sera” or “It is what it is”.

The opposite of faith is pretending you aren’t looking at the answers to the quiz.

Faith demonstrates confidence in the people you do life with. Who wouldn’t want a travel partner who believes in them?

A sage builds a better life by choosing good travel partners.  

What do you look for in a good travel partner?

What would make you a better travel partner?

Still curious:

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This post is a collaboration between Dan Rockwell and Stan Endicott.

Note: I relax my 300-word limit on weekends.

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