Just back from a relaxing week in Crested Butte, Colorado. What a place! Not only is it majestically beautiful in its pristine nature, but it is the home of some really good food. We enjoyed the Wooden Nickel for a fantastic prime rib and porterhouse, Asian fusion at the Ginger Cafe, and of course pizza at the Secret Stash Pizzeria. The running and hiking were picturesque and demanding, so much so the latter that I actually lost a few pounds on this vacation despite all the above-listed eating! How’s that for a fabulous get away? Among other trails, we hit the Lower Loop and the Budd Trail.
Of course, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to learn more about the life of the locals while visiting. So, I talked with anyone I encountered about what drew them to the place and what they did for work (of course!). One such interview took place on the massage table at Elevation Hotel and Spa with masseuse Miles. Poor guy – I had him captive (or perhaps he, me) so to speak. As he worked on my tired and aching muscles, I queried him about his life and hopes for the future. A young man in his 20s, he said he had grown up in Crested Butte and loved its natural beauty and charm. He said he loved working as a massage therapist because he believes in the power of natural healing and the interconnectivity of the mind, body, and spirit. He went on to explain that doing the work allowed him to make enough money to continue funding his other, even more important love – music. So, in my research parlance, I would say that he is both expressing his values and interests as a massage therapist but also in such a way as to be instrumental to his other life interests. As such, Miles achieves what many of us often prize – work/life integration. The flexible schedules he enjoys with massage and music allow him to regularly tear up the trails on his mountain bike. In all, I found him to be a well-rounded guy grounded in his values and living a meaningful life. Further, he continues to aspire toward developing his music career, something I might describe as navigating toward his own self-actualization, as this is his pinnacle goal in life.
I guess the moral of the story for me — and the big takeaway — is that people can, and often manage to, create the life they want. Of course, it takes effort, persistence, focus, and often tremendous dedication. I’m sure it’s not easy for Miles to juggle his various schedules at times, or to manage the high and lower tourist seasons for income, but he’s done it for the last three years. Whenever you think you’re “stuck” and not living the life you want, I hope you’ll remember that you have more control over your life and options than you may think. With focus and dedication, and a good measure of “grit,” you too can architect the life you want. Now, let’s get to it!