by Matt Hogan | January 8, 2020
“The meaning of life is whatever you ascribe it to be. Being alive is the meaning.” ―Joseph Campbell
Over the course of four months . . .
- I left my job,
- Sold most of my belongings,
- Cashed out part of my retirement,
- And jumped a plane and left the US for nine months.
As you can imagine, a lot transpired in my life over the course of those four months in late 2018 and early 2019.
From the moment I decided to let my boss know, “It’s not you, it’s me,” to the moment I became clear about the next chapter in my life, I was clear I wanted to create a deeper understanding of humanity and the world.
From watching my material belongings that I thought I needed so much disappear one by one, to the many moments of self-doubt and worry that I held in my mind about what I had done or what was to come—those moments were followed by a reminder to myself that I had made my decisions with intention.
by Matt Hogan | October 5, 2019
“What I have learned through experience is that fear is on a spectrum. From subtle hesitation to full blown panic. Right now, I notice a bit of fear grabbing hold in my mind. A message saying the end of this trips spells the end of living a life I enjoy.
A life committed to exploration of the world. A life committed to understanding how we humans are unique, and the same. A life committed to understanding how people change the world from which they experience.
And I am grateful I wrote that line above. Because I call bull**** on many levels. Because I have learned that our experiences in life can and do change us forever. Whether they be experiences of trauma or experiences of joy. All our experiences as humans offer an opportunity to evolve.”
by Matt Hogan | October 1, 2019
“Ever afraid of the consequences we may face in our lives, we hide, we stay silent, we hold back, and we give up. We say something is important to us. We say this “something” has been a “dream”, a “goal”, or, “what our life is all about”.
Yet, it seems we are living two lives.
The one where we show up to our jobs every day. The one where we pick up our kids from school. The one where we pay our mortgage. The one where our actions say something different from what we say we want.
And then the other life. The life that most of us live. The life inside of our heads. The life of the voice only we can hear. The life that we can control a bit more. The life where we can quietly dream, judge, criticize, and worry.
The life spent listening to the voice only that only effects us. The voice that either propels us forward, or holds us back. The life spent worried about the future, or obsessing of the past. “
by Matt Hogan | September 23, 2019
“Yes, people judge. People criticize. People make decisions about us in a split second. People will not like us. People may not hire us. People may turn us down. People may laugh at us. And yes, the opinion of other people can impact our careers, our relationships, and our entire life. But, out of seven billion people on this planet, it’s naive to think or expect that each person will like and relate to us.
To think that out of seven billion people, we actually need that many to accept us is stressful and unrealistic.
How many people do we honestly need to connect with and relate to in a way that leads to a meaningful life? It’s a practical question—a question of going from an undefined and abstract drive to belong to an innate understanding of what we really need in our lives; understanding what it really takes to live a life that we, personally, are okay with when we reach the end of it.”
by Matt Hogan | September 17, 2019
“I’ve often believed that the presence of fear, anxiousness, and worry were stories of reality. That somehow those feelings and body sensations were facts about the world. And that is false. The presence of fear has nothing to do with whether something can or cannot be achieved. Rather, these are triggers of the mind and body, but often bear no fact in what is possible outside of us.
And at the end of the day, I realized that all the stories in my mind were based on an identity that I thought was fixed. An identity that I thought could not be changed. And even if it could, I was powerless to do so.
The truth is that we are only one way or another because of the story we keep choosing to buy into day in and day out throughout our lives. And the more we prove to ourselves that we can make changes, the easier it becomes to create our lives from a different foundation.”
by Matt Hogan | September 9, 2019
“There’s the part of us that clings to ritual, certainty, systems, and consistency. While another part of us screams from the rooftops, “damnit, I need some excitement in my life. Some surprise. A challenge.” There are entire industries built on our need for both. We need both, and the amount of each depends on the person.
Each person with different thresholds. Thresholds that can expand or contract depending on the context and willingness. Well lately, it seems my world has been shrinking a bit. Shrinking in perception, anyway.
I’m currently sitting at a cafe in Zagreb, Croatia as I write this, and it feels weird to say this. It feels weird saying my world is shrinking. It feels weird because I’m currently halfway across the world, and after traveling to seven countries over the past six months, it feels odd saying, “I need a challenge”.“
by Matt Hogan | August 19, 2019
“…because I didn’t know any different, I continued choosing a life that I knew, deep down, was killing me. A life that was leading me straight toward prison or death.
My attempt to rebel, my attempt to numb, were the results of a boy who did not understand himself. A boy lost in his emotions and his mind.
I didn’t understand that every day I was choosing to do one thing or another. Every day, I was choosing to blame other people for my suffering. For my anger. For the fear I had of being alive.”
by Matt Hogan | August 11, 2019
“Many of us underestimate what we can achieve. We underestimate the life we can create. We underestimate the power of a belief that tells us, “we can’t”.
We underestimate our resourcefulness and resiliency. I have had many uncomfortable moments, sitting in reflection during my travels.
Discovering beliefs I didn’t know I had. Beliefs that hold no ground in reality. Beliefs I adopted without questioning them. Beliefs that I’m pruning away one by one. Another example of a faulty belief I have discovered, The belief that I can’t both travel the world and fall in love along the way.”
by Matt Hogan | August 8, 2019
I could talk about how I changed, but I won’t, because it’s one thing for me to say I’ve changed, and another for the people I know to see that I have.
I like seeing cool things. I like hiking, and new food, and trying local favorites, but for me, the enjoyment of those fall short of the love I have for getting to know people from each place I visit. Because it’s through the people I meet that I learn the most about humanity and myself.
by Matt Hogan | July 31, 2019
by Matt Hogan | July 25, 2019