As most of you know, I went to Kenya a couple months ago. On my return flight I briefly met a young guy in his mid 20s, I don’t even know his name, but for sake of this post we’ll call him Phil. Let me help paint the picture of Phil. He’s tall and lanky. Not homely but not dashingly handsome. He doesn’t really have a sense of fashion, he’s the type to throw on whatever’s practical and comfortable. He’s very friendly and likes to talk but he’s no smooth talker with the ladies. Getting the picture?
Well, we got into a conversation after getting off our flight about what he had been doing in Africa. He told me that he was there because for the past couple years he’s been watching Man vs Wild and thought what Bear Grylls does on that show is so cool. Now, most guys would agree that Man vs Wild is a cool show and as men, most would want to experience a “manly” adventure like that. Unlike most guys, though, Phil actually acted on that impulse and decided to take his own trip across the world and have the adventure of a lifetime.
As he was telling me his stories, I couldn’t help but smile. Here’s a guy who probably wasn’t the coolest guy growing up and he doesn’t have a prestigious job or much of a career. However, he just went and travelled throughout a number of countries in Africa and did some amazing things like going to remote tribes, scuba diving, and visiting ancient ruins. I can only imagine how fulfilling this made Phil feel having grown up with his background.
I don’t care how uncool or dorky people think Phil might be, he has some of my highest respect. This guy has grown up being the underdog, and like all underdogs, Phil had a dream. But unlike most people, underdogs and non-underdogs alike, Phil made his dream a reality. To me, that’s cooler than the best dressed, best looking, and smoothest talking guy on the block.
Phil broke free of his inhibitions. I hope his story challenges you to do the same.