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Trying to become a verb!  But a good verb.  No one wants to be remembered as “you totally Nick’d that one up!”  I’d prefer….”That was totally Nick!”  Pretty great goal right?  In all honesty, I just want to live a great life.  Enjoy everything that it has to offer and have incredible experiences.

In a small neighborhood outside Salem, Oregon is where I grew up with a great family and some incredible friends.  My high school was the “rough” school in town and was often labeled the most dangerous school in Oregon.  That is from an outsiders perspective though.  On the inside were some of the greatest people I’ve met.  A lot whom I’m still in contact with.  A school like this provides a great life lesson.  It’s a real micro chasm of the world around us.  Nothing is perfect, but no matter where you look, there is always some greatness to be found.

McKay also cemented the idea of choices.  Life is a series of choices and no matter your circumstances, a person can make the choices necessary to have an incredible life.  It may have not had the best reputation, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

After high school, it was off to Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR.  I’d had plans of going to school outside the state, but I’m a third generation Beaver, the ties were just to strong for me to turn my back and go anywhere else.  Electrical Engineering was my major of choice and graduated after five years with a B.S. in EE and a minor in Business and Entrepreneurship.

No rest for the weary though and it was straight on to the work force a few weeks after graduation.  After two years of work though, I was growing restless.  I couldn’t get passed the thought of “this is it?”  Will the rest of my life be spent in a cubicle working away life?  The company was fantastic and the people amazing, but I needed to get out and experience more.  What “more” was, who knew, but I needed to go.

So with two years of work under my belt, I quit my job and took off for an excursion on the other side of the world.  New Zealand was my destination and what an incredible country it is!  The adventure mecca of the world and a prime backpacker destination as well.  It would take a whole lot longer than an “About” page to explain the trip but I would, hands down, recommend going!  In all I spent seven months as a Kiwi followed up by a month in the Philippines.

Now that I’m back stateside, people ask me what it is I took away.  How has my life changed?  Is my outlook on life different?

My outlook hasn’t changed, just more cemented.    The restlessness is gone.  I feel more comfortable in having a goal in life, a path that I want to travel, but also not being afraid if things change.  Life is fluid.  If something isn’t working, well than fix it.  Change habits that you don’t like, build new habits in order to achieve an outrageous goal.

I love being outside, camping, hiking, rock climbing.  If books are a meal, I’m continuously at the table.  Hours could be spent wandering around Powell’s Books in Portland.  Give me a book and a lawn chair by the river and I’m a happy guy.  Throw in my guitar and I’m ecstatic.  Those all come second to friends and family though.  Spend every minute you can with loved ones.  Make the time count!

Life is complicated but incredibly simple.  So many forces at work in this world and yet if you look out for one another and are not afraid to take risks and make positive changes, life will be amazing.  Open our minds, arms, and hearts to new things and people.  Stop looking for happiness and it will find you.

These are my thoughts, tips, tricks, tools, motivators, and anything else I come across that help me, and hopefully you, to take action on your life.  Live it up!

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