The September issue of Outside magazine has an inspiring interview with author-documentarian-bar-owner Sebastian Junger that speaks directly to an uncluttered pursuit of a remarkable life. Junger, most famous for The Perfect Storm, was once an extreme minimalist who slept on the floor until he was 40, and he continues to live quite simply in New York City with his wife.
A few highlights from Junger’s interview “The Path of Most Resistance,” which will be online when the October issue hits newsstands:
The things in life that aren’t exciting, if they’re a hassle, I just don’t do ‘em. Like, I could go out and buy a shaving mirror, or I could use the back of a CD.
Everything I do, I just assume I’m going to fail. It all seems impossible. But I’m very scared of failure — you know, everyone is — and that sense of impossibility gets me to crank up the turbines. Everything mentally and physically at my disposal I pour into a project.
The people I know personally who cannot sit down and chill out for a while are people who have not really come to terms with their emotional, inner story. They’re staying a step ahead of it. I did that through my twenties and thirties. In my forties, I stopped working so hard for a bit and confronted a certain amount of stuff about myself. I think that one of the impetuses for working outrageously hard and traveling constantly and always being on deadline is that your personality can’t catch up with you.
Also in the magazine, tangentially related to Junger’s interview, is advice from Eric Greitens about how he manages to get everything done. Greitens is a former Navy SEAL commander, Rhodes scholar, has a Ph.D., and a laundry list of additional accomplishments and activities. Speaking about how he does it all, from page 24:
It’s all about energy. Whether you’re leading a nonprofit organization, running a private company, doing something outdoors, or conducting military operations — you have to build habits that keep your energy high. This is my formula: (1) Vigorous exercise: Six days a week, I walk out of a gym, a dojo, or off a track pouring with sweat … (2) Good fuel: When I eat clean, quality food during the day, my energy never sags. (3) Good partners: Working with a team of positive people keeps your spirits up. (4) Balance: I pray every day, and I also laugh, a lot. You won’t have focus without balance. (5) A goal: A worthy challenge will take care of your motivation for you.