Brothers In Life’s Magnificent Adventure

Greg, my brother in life’s adventure, just left Japan after visiting for two weeks to continue on his path in San Diego. I’m in Japan traversing my own.

It’s always hard to say goodbye, particularly to a best friend whom I don’t know when I’ll see again; yet I’m fortified by the faith that this is only the beginning of something truly extraordinary.

I love you, Vin! Came the echo of his voice as he walked down my apartment stairs. It’s not goodbye, it’s see you soon!

Love you buddy, I called back. I shut my front door, stood there, and tears came to my eyes. What a strange, beautiful feeling — deep emotion emanating from a heart full of love.

Through misty eyes, I couldn’t help but put my hand on my heart, and smile.

Tell people you love them. More than what seems necessary.​

I love this guy so damn much. Greg’s a friend with whom I can read and write for hours in a cafe or party alongside in a foreign country until the sun comes up.

A friend with whom I can lift weights, run to the top of a mountain, have a good cry, or philosophize about life over a hole-in-the-wall bowl of ramen.

Greg is more than a friend, but a brother on this magnificent adventure.

These past two weeks, Greg and I made soul-enriching memories in Osaka, sunny Fukuoka and a rain-drenched Nagasaki. Along the way, we often brainstormed on our biggest, most outrageous ambitions.

One anchor of our trip was the following quote on the Rich Roll Podcast by legendary editor and founder of Wired Magazine, Kevin Kelly:

“Do something in your twenties that looks nothing like success. That experience, as unsuccessful as it might look then, might become the touchstone for your success later on.”

Greg and I figure this likely means monetary, traditional success, because what is success, really? Perhaps it’s our life’s journey to find out for ourselves.

Kelly spent his twenties wandering Asia, stoking his curiosity.

He turned his manifold interests into a career that was unclear from the outset and likely hazy all the way through, like a meandering drive through a foggy mountain pass.

All there is to do is continue with a heightened awareness.

He pursued his interests. He never stopped. Now, he has the truly unique life experience to impart to people like me, grappling with which steps to take.

Yet, he says, in our modern day, it will be those who traverse the untraditional paths who will play important parts in society later on.

It’s not about being the best, but being the only.

The only you, doing whatever it is your heart steers you to do.

“The deal is you’re alive and you have this chance and you have a genius that nobody else has,” says Kelly.

“And if you can share that with us, we all benefit.”

Greg and I are on opposite sides of the planet, yet we’re bound by this profound spirit to be the only. The only what?

The only Vinny Van Patten and the only Gregory Benedikt, giving something to the world which only we can.

What we strive for more than anything is a life that feels fulfilled, one without regret. Alas, we must choose our regrets in life; we will always have regrets of some sort.

What I mean is that we strive for a life where we can look back when it’s all said and done and confidently say, I gave it everything.​

I am so unbelievably grateful for the people in my life who inspire me to continue on this path of love. This world affects me strongly.

I couldn’t share, embrace, or understand that without my family and friends supporting me along the way. With that support, I feel it deeply that this is the time of our lives to throw caution in the wind and go for it.

Even if you feel you have nobody to lean upon, you have what it takes — it doesn’t matter how old you are. This is the time.

Be courageous. There’s only one of you. Go discover what that means.

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