This episode kicked off the conversation -- Ron prepares to leap from his longstanding corporate career, while Stu did his swan dive decades ago. Forward and rear views of the pivot to your authentic self. So, what is a dive and when is it time to jump? On this edition we explore passion, curiosity and how life is a long game. This dialogue began before the planet entered its own massive pivot, and the content is even more powerful and relevant now. Send your personal swan dive story and feedback to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Welcome to Swan Dive, a pivot to your vision!
Share your Swan Dive at www.swandive.us
Welcome to Swan Dive. We're so glad you found this place. This is the episode that really sets the stage for upcoming conversations, from my feelings of indifference at work in my career and the growing voice inside my head that it was time for change to Stu's backstory and his continual evolution. There's even a ride on a monorail at Walt Disney World. This is swan dive defined, setting the stage for the conversations that are coming out in the next few weeks. This is about pivoting into your vision. We're glad you're here. Welcome to swarm from Peacock and Park Studios here in lovely Jacksonville, Florida and on the coast of Costa Rica, somewhere in a hut, a thatched hut where you might hear monkeys in the background. It's Ron Rotherg and Sheldon with Swan dive. Hello, Stu.
Greetings, my friend.
Tell me about where you are. What? It looks like, where you are right now.
Well, I'm actually in a little remote corner of Costa Rica in Guang Accost, a province on the Pacific Ocean. Um, I'm in a beautiful home, but I'm actually in a bathroom of that home away from my Children and my family. Ah, but it's a beautiful little jungle environment, quite rural, quite remote. And it's the next chapter of my life and my swan dive. Ah, and I guess we'll get more into that, hopefully eventually. But it's a very, very beautiful, tranquil place. And ah, and I couldn't be happier to be here.
Yeah, and we will get into that because you are the swan dive concept. Is this concept of people of this certain age forties and fifties either thinking about where they were diving or from your perspective, where you have dove into and for you? You dove into a new life with your family in Costa Rica, Um, and educating your kids and that beautiful culture and Pura Vida. Um, and for me, I'm still clutched to the cliff, looking out there with my plan as to what is going to be coming next and craving the change and and desire to talk to other people who were in the similar situation doing the same thing for a long time, but desire ing something different and and and that's where we're at, man, we're we're looking to reinvent ourselves and make ourselves better people.
And if you've been dreaming of this specific inflection point for a long time.
Yes, as a matter of fact, I have. And it's odd. I look back on my, uh, goals. Last time we talked, you said It's a long game, right? You said it's a really it's a long game and I had been beating myself up for being in this holding pattern where I thought I was there for a long time. But I look back on my goals from 2018 and one of the things I wrote there was, you know, I am grateful for my home. I'm grateful for what I'm providing for my family so that my Children could get a college education so that my wife can continue to do our practice and all these things. So looking back where I had been, in the words I wrote then and where I am now, I feel like I'm following the path, and when we talked about the long game we're inventing yourself are reinventing yourself isn't an overnight thing, it does take some time and and I kind of gave myself a reprieve and I feel good because this practice of talking to you and working a mixing board and learning garage band and doing all these different things to publish this voice. This message is pushing me into a different space, and I'm really enjoying it.
Yeah, similarly, I you know, those 1st 5 years out of college when I was a Wall Street stockbroker guy in Miami and loving my existence for many, many years for decades. Even I look back on that while my friends were traveling through Europe and going to school, continuing their education, doing things that I I found sort of implicitly stimulating. And I was grinding it out, you know, reading three newspapers before a M and shaving and wearing a suit. I thought, Man, this is just I'm really, really sacrificing, making a terrible sacrifice. It was not worth it, but in retrospect, again, looking at the long game idea that did a few things that changed my life and have changed it to this moment, No notably. It taught me about money, the value of money versus time. It taught me that money does not buy happiness. My biggest client was the most mean, miserable person I've ever met. Terrible, terrible human being, um it taught me that, Um well, it made me some money so that by the time I was 27 years old, I saved a couple 100 grand, which was far from, you know, f u money, but enough for a single guy to go out, kind of explore what he wanted without really sweating the financial details. So it's set a platform, and it gave me wisdom. Life life lessons that served me to this day taught me sales and how to sell myself how to walk into a room. So things that that ah, that at the time I thought were just ah, terrible waste of my youth have proven to be key factors in, you know, in my success and in my in my well being. Um and so those of you who are out there just thinking off one more minute this I'm gonna kill myself. You know, there's a lot to be learned from. What, you don't like what you don't want. Um, and there's also I'm sure a lot of lessons in what you're doing that will serve you in a parallel universe and and have served me.
Yeah, and one of the things it sounds like from you is, and what happens to most people is they get programmed. The grind programs them. The money programs them that if I do this this many years, I'll have this much. And for you, it seems like you didn't get programmed in that way and and you were able to break yourself out. I think that's unique in that most people once they start that path, the riches on it, the golden handcuffs, if you will kind of consume you and keep you locked in. And it was interesting that you were able to break that. Ah, lot of people can't I tell some folks, You know, we've been working in an industry of media where there's been a lot of consolidation and a lot of downsizing and a lot of people who have been upended. And I asked them, You know, they we talk about what's the next step in? The one thing that I asked them to do is write down the list of the things you do not want to d'oh and start there. And I think you just mentioned that that you write the list of the things you do and you don't want to dio, but start with the Deunan.
Yeah, that's great advice. I mean, the hardest thing to figure out is what you want to d'oh. And one of the most important things to help you decide that and learn that and discover that is to understand what you do not want to do. So that's really sage advice. And I I you learn as much from the negative space that as you do from the positive as a painter, the negative spaces mount is incredibly important. You know, it's the yang to the yin yang s. So I I feel you, man, that's Ah, that's a very keen insight,
but everything goes back to the roots. While you were making several $100,000 in Miami, I was having the time of my life on the radio, you know, doing a radio career in making peanuts. You know, I would just be gassed out if I could get a deejay gig on the weekend to make 200 bucks. You know, money wasn't my metric. My metric was gosh flexing this muscle of creativity and connection and, you know, a small frog in a very small pond with some notoriety and some fame and things of that nature, and it's interesting for me. When I look wrote down my list, I kept talking about this form out of podcasting. I talked, I kept talking about I'm really interested in. I love listening to voices. I love hearing these conversations and I want to contribute to it. And that's back to my roots. That that was really helpful for me. And I feel very comfortable in this role in saying I'm going to do something different and one of the things that I'm gonna do different is something that I've done before, and that's really empowered,
right? We'll use late it. You're being modest. But you know, Captain Ron, back in the eighties in Gainesville was it was a big fish in a small pond and your sketch comedy skills that, you know, you're sharp on your feet, you know, banging out content every day. And you were way out of this curve and you were great at it. And, um, you know, that's just a fact. So I I think it's great, man, I'm happy to be doing this with you now because you're good at this. Um And you know this, this space and it's gonna be a lot of fun. And I know you got the skill set to make this thing Flo and push a narrative that's relevant.
Well, thanks, brother. You know where Captain Ron came together? This is a funny story, too. My first manager in radio. His name was Darwin Postain and loved that name will never forget it. And he was from Iowa. He was from Des Moines, Iowa, and when he interviewed me, asked me, You know, about who I was. I want all this other stuff and I worked at Disney. I grew up in Orlando. I drove a frickin monorail is the first time I was in front of a microphone was on, you know, welcome to the Magic Kingdom. You know, uh, and, um when I told him that he's like, That's what your name's gonna be on the radio. Captain Ron and I was just listening to a podcast. It was so funny to me because this thought came to me. The podcast was Ted Radio hour. Nothing's original. Everything sampled. There are no original thoughts. And the reason why I called myself Captain Ron because there was this other guy that was there. That was Captain Mike. And I thought that was the coolest thing. So I became Captain Ron.
Well, here you are, driving the monorail through people's brains for the duration.
Oh, by the way, that whole inside the side of the contemporary hotel is big enough for us to go through. So let's keep moving forward, Right,
Right. I think I might have actually believe that. I rode on the monorail that you were driving one summer some I I swear to you, I think that I actually had the pleasure of riding in Captain Ron's monorail at Disney Disney World. So there, man, I've got that on my resume.
I had the pleasure of having my grandfather and grandmother on my monorail one night and they were lit because they were at the Polynesian like, you know, luau. And they were stumbling into the monorail, and it was so much fun because my grandmother kept yelling at me to slow down. It was awesome. It was so awesome. And my grandfather was beaming with pride, and he was like, When when he gets out of the front is like, that's my grandson. That's Ronnie. It was awesome. Oh, goodness. Back to the future. Back to your roots. That's where we're at. So last time we talked had a really interesting conversation about indifference, this this evil virus called indifference. I think a lot of people who are trudging through life and maybe getting programmed and maybe having the golden handcuffs and maybe, you know, being holding to the big mortgage and the car payments. And all those things are probably, you know, engaged in this battle, this battle of indifference. Um, you know, settling for what you have versus repainting yourself into what your future looks like you had an experience of, and you've talked about this a lot about drawing your future into existence. What was that? What was the catalyst for that? And what was the end result of that?
Well, I left my Wall Street gig, and I moved to Los Angeles and went to film school. Excuse me for a year, University of Miami that I moved to Los Angeles because I wanted to be a filmmaker. That was my dream and my goal, and I I felt that medium immensely as it as a consumer as an audience member, so I wanted to be a part of creating it, writing it, directing it. I moved out there, uh, wrote a couple of movies that I shall never see the light of day, Um, and eventually decided that l A wasn't for me. Um, moved to Colorado and to make a very long story short found a cool little gig at a magazine, but also simultaneously met someone Married her rather quickly, and that unwound itself in two years. And I found myself that 35 just divorced alone. Tariff looked terribly frightened and sort of without direction and, uh, moved to the Bay area where I knew no one and I was unemployed and was trying to make a documentary film. Didn't have the money in the dot com things blowing up, and basically, I just found myself just sort of in a dark, dark place. And I had started to paint, um because I had come home to Miami for a few months to to just sort of check my head. Ah, and ah, I was writing a lot of poetry, have always written a lot of poetry just for my own personal edification. I was writing poetry. I wrote this really deep home to my parents, kind of thanking them for loving me and being good parents and so forth. And ah, and I wanted it to look more interesting. So I I grabbed some paints. My brother had some child's paints and I couldn't put the painting on a piece of cardboard. I painted it around the edges. Come just flourishes. Not nothing to speak of very rudimentary, presented to them as a gift and, uh, and found that I like the mechanics of painting. And so when I went back to the Bay Area and I went to a paint store and I said, I'm an art store I said, Hey, I want to paint the guys like, Well, you know what you want to paint colors poems under now. So he acrylics brushes, bought some gear, went back home, started painting on cardboard from recycled recycling bins that I'd pilfer on my street and in this dark place. Um, I decided one day You know what? Stop being so not feeling sorry for yourself that stop being so pitiful. I mean, what is it you want? What? What is it? What do you desire? And what I desired was was ah, what I wanted love one of love and wanted a family one creative success. Those are the three pillars of my life that I wanted then and then I want now. And I said, I'm gonna paint the outline of the woman and I desire and I drew an outline. I cultivated this silhouette over over many, many days, kind of perfected it, cut it out. And then that became a stencil from which I painted these figures and the outline of the figure was the word Now written literally hundreds, if not thousands of times over two years and 30 some paintings just in my finest brush. Now, now, now So but from afar you just saw silhouette. But if you walked right up close, you could see this tiny word now written over and over and over. And the magic of this story is that after two years, I finished this Siri's and I was in a much better headspace, had gotten a really cool job, had launched a magazine actually with a friend, just things were really moving in a Ford direction. I I had a creative traction, and, um and just as I finish this Siri's Maybe a month later, I met someone and she was beautiful and she was bright. She was very successful. She lived on a houseboat in Sausalito, which I thought was the coolest thing ever. And most amazingly of all, she looked exactly like the silhouette it wasn't. It's a chalk outline of her body. And to this day, I don't understand it. I don't get it, but I don't even question it was magic. And, you know, I'd like to say that I painted her into existence, which, of course, is a bit hyperbolic. But the point is, is that I think that focus that intention with inaction attached to it really kind of clarified for me. Um, not only what I wanted, but what I needed to do to get it. And what I needed to do to get it was not make 35 paintings. What I needed to do to get it was to change my behavior and start being more of a gentleman. Start being Maur, um, about about her and not about let me tell you how great I am. But listen, be more sincere. be more chivalrous and I did that. I changed my behavior. I no longer was out for conquest. I was out, you know, to really for partnership. And that change is what it happened in those two years. And so that's the essence of sort of trying to put my put a goal out there and activate it literally. Um, and it happened. So it is to this day it's this incredibly romantic way that my wife, it's in together.
It's interesting. What do you want to paint is the question, and there's so many times I have a child. It's 20 and one. That's 18 and we become program to ask these kids, What do you want to d'oh? And I feel like it's an unfair question, you know? What do you want to paint? What do you want? Your existence toe look like? What is What is it of yourself that you want? What's the promise you want to make to yourself? Might be better questions and, by the way, is do I. I don't think your your wife resembles at all. It's also lead a houseboat. I just don't think she looks gorgeous and lovely. I have to agree. But But what do you want to paint, man? Maybe that's the name of this series, you know, because that's a That's a really interesting question as it relates to what these conversations are. I want to paint a community. I want to make great content. I want to connect to people. I want to make sure on that there. If there's something in somebody's heart that wants to urine to get out, man, pick up the paintbrush or whatever it is, is your expression and get closer to it. I feel like there's too many people who are. And I met more people last night. Same story men that are stuck and hopefully we can unstuck, you know, and and and launch.
Yeah, well, I think going
back to your story
I think that you're exactly right. And the words are important here. I think that we are stuck on. So what do you do? You know, what do you do this, Um And what do you do? It? The implication is, you know what? What is your job? What? What? What makes you money? How are you? Sort of, um relevant in in a capitalist society That's kind of what that question what I hear when someone asked him that question. But that's not what a life is made of. That's not what a sad, satisfying life is made of. What you do. What you paint is a beautiful way, a beautiful metaphor for what do you create? What do you what? What's inside of you? What's your vision? Um, that's what needs to be activated. That's what a swan dive is about. It's about pivoting to your vision to what's inside of you to be creative, and it doesn't have to be in the art realm at all. I mean, you know, you might. You just might. You're a plumber, man. You just like to put things together. And you know, you're good at solving problems in that particular realm, and that's what you want to be. And that's what you're good at and go for it. So the point is like, What's inside of you that's meaningful to you, not to society and not to like the money making machinery. Um, and that's I think that's that's the distinction that's really critical here, that you really nailed it there.
Well, it goes back to the battle against indifference, you know, and what is the antidote for indifference? And that's what's been really my challenge over the last 12 months. You know, we had our big reorg over a year ago, the last of the reorg. Um, and I every time I I go to a dinner party now you know I can. I can bring that up is a topic of conversation and have ours of simpatico conversation about a reorg or somebody being part of it. And it That's the thing that has set me into this professional indifference that I know I have to get away from because that's such a killer. But the antidote for indifference, I believe, is to activate curiosity, activate your curiosity. Um, Elizabeth Hille Gilbert, who wrote the lovely book Eat Love, Pray talked about this. She talked about curiosity. She said that we talked too much as a society about getting after your passion, and I think you were talking about. It doesn't have to be a paintbrush. It doesn't have to be poetry. It could be the wrench and the plumber that But what is it? There's a finite few that have this white hot passion point. And many of us don't. I really don't I? I I love gardening, but it's not a passion point. It's not red hot. And for us to launch people into the world and to say to our kids, Hey, find out what you're passionate about and stay with it that that might not be fair for many people who don't have that passion point. But everyone, everyone can really be curious and to remain curious and to dive into that curiosity whole wherever it leads, because it's going to get you somewhere where you may not have thought that you
would have been. No doubt, no doubt, curiosity. As a parent, I mean inspiring and nourishing. Nurturing the curiosity of my Children is, I think, one of my primary mission critical jobs, keeping them curious and instilling in them the, um, the impulse to act on their curiosity and to understand that no curiosity is too trivial or too ridiculous. I mean, frankly, I studied business in college. Unfortunately, one of my one of my great regrets instead of literature and history and the things that I truly love, the things that I am truly curious about, I mean, I've spent a lifetime trying to make up for that and, you know, books and reading and travel and so forth. But if my child tells me, you know, I am just like Russian poetry from the mid, you know, from from the 19th century, I mean, that just likes me up. I'm gonna be like, Do take that deep rabbit hole, dive and get it. Read it all. Learn about it. There's so much to learn in there. Take that and don't worry about what? Whether you're going to get a job from that, we'll figure that out. That's a separate conversation. But anyone back to you, anyone should should. Even if you can't pivot fully from your career because there's bills to pay. I think that, you know, we all owe it to ourselves to to spend some time in that curiosity place a lot of time.
But back to what you said earlier about painting. You know, the silhouette of become the mother of your Children. Was that because of your passion or your curiosity to create?
That was because of my desperation. I need to be perfectly honest with you. I was so broken and I was so like at my wits end that I figured I'm in here painting. I mean, I was by myself in my flat in San Francisco, is a single guy and lived alone. And I'm thinking I'm painting. I'm in my kitchen. I'm doing this. What can I paint? Because I was just a self taught. I just kind of was figuring it out. And I finally figured, Well, you know what? What is it that I want? I mean, that was really the question. What What I want and let's paint that. And you know what I wanted most of all in my life at that moment was love. So I figured, Well, that's it. That's a topic I did not. And it's it's to emphasize I did not start thinking I'm gonna paint this and then I'm gonna meet this person. I'm like, just let's just paint what I want and kind of turned that into a mantra of sorts. Almost a call to the universe, Um, and just just do it. I that didn't get much further than the thought to do it, you know? And Ah, I just did it, you know, just kind of that was a rabbit hole for sure. Yeah, I went. I went super vertical deep into it, and, um and it's become that that methodology has become kind of my way of doing things when something is really burning in my mind. Desire I attend to sort of metaphorically aim it it in artwork. So that's
what I I love, you know, following your career because you have had some great notoriety and a lot of it over the last five years. Right? And it's taken that time back to what you said before. Um, the long game. Um, I I felt I feel so empowered by that statement that we are all just playing this long game vs. It has to be done tomorrow. Um, we can we can push ourselves. We can push each other. Quite frankly, one of the greatest things about what we're doing right now is that I have a co conspirator in you. You know, um, when we saw each other in Miami at the Adler family extravaganza featuring Nestor Torres, By the way, everyone needs a Grammy Award winner at a birthday party. If they can, so do it. That's just just just my opinion. But when we talked about this do and when you said I want to do that with you, Um, one of my things I wrote down for the year was I'm gonna do this, and for me, I'm doing it alone. I might not be as far along as texting back and forth and with you getting on the calendar, having conversations and really being pushed. So that's a key part of it. I think this whole ah ah, notion of accountability with a trusted person that you can do that with. For me, this is very helpful because it's pushing me down this road.
Well, there's another aspect to it, and I agree with everything you just said. And the other aspect to it is last week when we did our 1st 1 of these, you know, you bought two mice. You sent me one. I took it out of the box last week. I plugged him in. I went on YouTube and figured out how to work it with my book and, uh, and called you up and said, Well, and you said, Well, let's just do it. Let's start right now is like, uh, all right, did Ivy? Let's why not. So the whole just life doesn't need a whole, like, you know, college course of preparation for the things that you want to do because the sooner you start doing them, the sooner you get that sort of, like, early, bumbling phase out of the way where you make all the mistakes and you forget to, you know, turn the flip beyond switches. I did right before we started talking today, I'd like to work unquote. Um, so you just start, man, I've always liked that phrase. You ready? Fire, aim. And that's how I paint. That's that's I mean it. I think it serves you more than it doesn't. Every now and then, you totally just blow it. But more often than not, you get going and get momentum and and it's you're moving, You're doing it Before you know it, you're doing it just like painting. And I had no idea what I was doing. And, you know, five years later, I kind of had a style. And 20 years later, um, it's it's getting really interesting. So yeah, I I think you're I think you're right. It is good to have a collaborator it it is good to have someone cheering for you, and you and I complement each other in this particular conversation. We're a great compliment. You're just on the other. You know, you're just ready to launch. I've launched a while ago, so we have incredibly valuable real life experience and and emotion around the different stages of Swan dive.
Well, let's talk about that a little bit from my perspective now, and this will be kind of Ah ah, where we'll end this thing right now. So I have put that date on the calendar, um, March 31st for several reasons, some of them financial, some of them, you know, just doing the right thing for many different reasons. So March 31st and I'm literally about less than 60 days away from that 16 year career in corporate America. And I have not told my supervisor yet, and I have not told anyone at work yet. Um, and I am battling this really getting bludgeoned over the head every day at my desk in the office with this indifference, and it's a challenge. I know I am going to make my intentions known, but I don't want to do it too early because quite frankly, they're who knows. Maybe we'll get rid of me earlier, and and and there are some things that that I don't want that to happen. So it's interesting, Stuart, you know, with this indifference, I had one of the people that works for me come into my office and say, Hey, we're just sitting here talking and we wanna have a fun committee to do things fun in the office. And I was looking at her like I really tried to care about it. But in the back of my head, I was thinking to myself, What is that something fun to do to preoccupy your time before the next reorg? You know, is that Is that, you know, that's what I wanted to say. So I'm having a challenge right now. I think in the next week or two, I am going to make my intentions known, and everything's gonna be great, and you don't take plenty of vacation time and just get myself out of this situation. But the challenge for me is I've never been one to shirk on my responsibilities, but knowing what's on the other side It's very hard for me to to give it my best go. For many reasons,
I will say this and I mean, I respect that. And I think you do. I do think discretion is the better part of valor here and why Why, You know, show your cards 60 days before the finish line. I mean, just just keep your head down to your job. There's a lot of practical reasons to do that. But I will say this. When I was thinking about leaving my Wall Street gig and mind you, I was the youngest vice president. The company I was making six figures. I have, you know, convertible on a house. And on paper, I was like the man and I was. But I knew for sure that I had to leave. It was, you know, it wasn't no question in my mind. So I was trying to
How long? How long?
Well, I was figured out that I had to leave in the summer of my 25th year, and I left on my 27th birthday, so it took me. It took me a year and 1/2 to actually walk out the door, but In that year and 1/2 I had 100% clarity that I was that I had to do it for my survival emotionally and mentally. But I took me that long because I was terrified. I was terrified that I was going to be mocked and ridiculed for the rest of my life is the dumb ass that walked out of a huge Wall Street future where I'd be the richest guy you know, right now to just, you know, write poetry and chase my sort of muses, Um and I was fearful that I would be disrespected by, um are looked at with disrespect by my parents and by my peers by my friends that I would be poor, um, and all of these things that were legitimate fears. But here's the punch line of that in the 27 in the 30 years since that day that I left that job with the exception of one person, my boss at the time, everyone has not only said right on but has gone on to say man, I wish I would have done that like good for you. Wow, That took a lot of courage. I'm amazed that you did that. Wow. With on Lee, I could. So it was so counter to what I expected people's reactions to be, and it's been consistent. So this idea of the swan dive and the world's perspective of people that take it is something that I'm very familiar with and was extremely surprised to discover. So as you prepare for this, I mean the moment you do drop that knowledge on your on your Boston and on your colleagues. But more importantly, on the world at large, you're going to be astonished at how celebrated you are, how respected the choice will be. And I think even within your your job, because, you know, I don't know, you're you're dynamics at work. But I would suspect your loved, your respected You've done your work. You've done good work. You've delivered the goods for decades. Um and so I think when when they look you in the eye and see that you are doing this because it is your destiny and it is your dream and you deserve it. And it's time they're gonna be like, Dude, we're gonna miss you so much. But right on, and you go get that and keep us posted. And we love you. That's what they're going to tell you. I'm telling you right now, there might be one guy like my boss to this day Was like, You are such You exploding it, man. You're gonna be the richest guy, you know? But so what? That guy's not, you know, he's not your problem. Um, I
think I think that I I love the people around me, and you nailed it pretty well. Ah, the only I could ism is going to be out there in a big way. Um, I think for me Ah, the I've been able to read the tea leaves in life, you know, be it with real estate or or my financial Ah, and career choices. I've been able to read the tea leaves, read the room, and for where we are right now, the prediction that I have is that they're gonna be several people in my industry. They're gonna do the exact same thing in March because the stock vests, because of this because of that in March in Q one, and I feel like it's going to be an avalanche of similar things. My only thing with that is that the people who are running away, we're going to be doing there other things. My hope for them is that they look in the mirror and are curious to explore the things that drive their needs versus survival. And I hope my hope is that that that others that are in my situation are able to not be programmed into doing the next thing because it's the next thing. But to pause and to take it all in and to make the list of things that bring him joy and see if they can, in their new existence in their dive, get closer to those things.
Well, you're so on point. I mean, one of the things that I learned unequivocally as the truth, um in the in the finance world was that the only valuable asset, the only true valuable asset looking at life from 50,000 feet is time. It's not money, it's time. I mean, Steve Jobs died with billions of dollars and you know, he he would say, I do it differently, man. I would have been kinder to my family, I. So the point is, is that the metric is time. Do you have time to be you two to be joyful, to be with the people that you care about to stimulate your mind, to stimulate your heart, to stimulate your creativity, to be a good person to give back? Do you have time doing what you're now doing? Or are you just using your time sometimes 10 hours a day, if not Maur to just make money and then what? You don't have time to spend that money to utilize that money. You do what you want to do, so make sure that you understand the distinction between the value of time and the value of money. Because if you prioritize the money and you don't pay attention to the time you're gonna wake up, you're gonna be 80 years old and say, What the fuck did I do? What was I thinking of? And I mean, I got that relatively early on because it had beaten into me just grinding it, you know, in a world where all anyone cared about was money, it was the only metric, and, um, and I didn't care about money that much. Not to say that I don't enjoy money and the values. You know what? Advise me what it allows me in terms of time, but I think that is a fundamental idea and construct in this idea of a swan dive is that, you know, it's about the time that you have and using it to to be the best. You not using it to sort of amass wealth that has no inherent value. So that's really that's a key, a key driver.
And as we look to the future, II was saying this last night. Um, do you own a car studio? Guys on a car in coastal d'oh. Okay. One car, not the
car. Yeah, Old rod for
on Old raft for Yeah, So we have. Gosh, I have four cars here at the house to teens and, you know, two kids and two other cars. And, um, I said last night, I said, in five years, I'm not gonna own a car. I don't think my Children will own cars. Don't you know? So you know, our expectation for today is what it is, but when you and I, or, you know, landing out, you know, in our seventies and eighties, what that quote unquote old Folkshome is gonna look very different. It's going to be in a shared economy. Um, we don't need to drive. We probably won't need to shop for ourselves. There might be a young Scandinavian couple that will be taking care of us in Costa Rica, and it'll be a shared economy of sorts. So I'm looking forward to reinventing that is part of the dive. You know that that when I've the people that I've confided in to say, this is what we're doing because we're gonna travel the world early next year for a year. That's one of the first things we're gonna do as after this dive. And that hits him weird when you first say that and then you say, Have you ever looked to see how much you can get Airbnb in Madagascar for a night? It's like 30 bucks, right? You know, it's I can live my existence somewhere else in the world. We can live our existence similar and else in the world with better access to healthcare with better food with with with better accommodations than we can hear, it's not gonna be it for everything. We're gonna come back to the States But that's part of the dive is to look at things totally differently. And if you want to travel, why do you have to wait until the freaking clock says You're 65 you're ready to go?
Yeah, well, I think something that will need to explore and something that I feel acutely needs to be addressed in this conversation about making a swan dive is there's some people that just, you know, they got bills to pay. It, got kids in college, they got a mortgage and you know it. Reality is what it isyou know. Their annual nut is whatever 200 grand, with three kids in college and whatever, and and and so they got bills to pay. But but I think it's important in tandem with this idea of, you know, kind of launching into who you really want to be and doing that thing. I think it's important to also understand that that the paradigm of just, you know, living in Miami, for example, living in San Francisco, where I lived for 10 years living in Los Angeles or New York or are most other cities that are desirable is a painful experience in rent in groceries, in car insurance in health insurance. I mean, the nut that the US kind of middle upper middle class person is facing is formidable. And one of the things I learned live now living in Costa Rica for a year and 1/2 is that our costs are dramatically less. I'm not. I'm not espousing moving to Costa Rica, but I'm saying there are other ways, as you just so eloquently stated, there are other ways to play the game of daily life where it costs a lot. You know, our health insurance is $10,000 less expensive here, and it's wonderful are other ways to play the game where your nut, your daily expenses, are less you need less. That's another piece. We need less. You don't need four cars. You don't need 25 pairs of shoes you don't need, you know Ram Akins So that on that one dinner party a year, you can put this a VJ in a separate you don't need those. You know what you mean use coffee, but still that the amount of stuff that we accumulate in the cost to maintain it and to purchase it and to store. It is so ridiculous in the United States, and I'm not here to bash on the United States. I'm proud American, but parrot down, people pare it down it already. It becomes easier to make a swan dive if you've got five pairs of shoes. You know what you mean. One car. Well, you know, and you just don't need all that stuff that costs so much money. So I think it's important for everyone to think about that because there's a lot of folks out there that want to make a swan dive. But just it's just not financially feasible. And I actually want to hear from those people talk about how that works and what that looks like and, you know, because that's a really, really relevant kind of weak spot in the argument to just bail
without a question. And the first step of doing that is right, right down with your expenses are CCM, You know, you see what you're putting out there. We had dinner last night with a friend of ours that's ah, relatively same age set, and we had the conversation about buying stuff, he said. I
don't want to buy anything. I'm not buying anything. I don't want to buy anything anymore. But I can't eat it and I can't wear it. I don't want it. Yeah, you
know, And that's where we're at. Its true we, you know, And I think we, Christine and I put our our budget on a piece of paper and a line item light on just a look at it all. Just a look at it all. I'm really bad at doing that, but it was really eye opening to see how much you spend on things that you really don't need.
It's it's uncanny. And nowadays, obviously, when you could just order a pencil on the Amazon, they send it to you. 24 hours or two hours. Yeah, it's it's so it's don't I? I just feel that that is Ah, that is part of the downfall of, you know our society is this. Consumerism has metastasized in such an insane level, and the lesson we so don't need the stuff, and it's so bad for it, for the world. And it's ah, it's just so much less pressure to tea. If you have very few things, Thio fix things and to buy things and store things. And so anyways,
so one last of footnote to that, You know, we moved to our house here in this cool, historic walking neighborhood 4.5 years ago, and I got a text from a friend of mine. He's at the bar, my neighborhood bar down the street. There's this great amazing brass band that was playing. Hey, we're in your neighborhood. Come on down. I was in the, you know, sitting on my couch outside. Sure, man. I'd love to see you guys. I get on my bike, I ride down there and these guys live in the burbs. They live 30 minutes away. They gotta drive down there and we're talking about They saw me driving up on the bike, you know, got the lights on and very safe, you know? And they're like, Wow, I can't ride my bike. Anything at my house. And that was part of the long game Back to what you said. Long game. Look, four years ago, 4.5 years ago, we made that decision. We want to live somewhere where we can walk around and see our neighbors and go to places without getting in our car. And that was one of the steps we took along the way. And and and there's so many steps that I I realize now that I took to get to this space and I didn't give myself credit for. And, um, and it must have taken you a lot of steps to move your family to Costa Rica. There's a lot of
stats, you know, kind of. But it's been easier than we thought. You know, it was a dream my wife and I both had prior to meeting one another that one day live with our quote families unquote abroad. And ah, and we talked about it in the abstract for a number of years. And when I turned 50 um, you know, I said, maybe we should start to kind of think about this a little more in a couple of three years later is like, No, let's, like, lick on foot kind of globe right now. And so, you know, we were very in sync where I'm lucky. My wife and I are, you know, of the same mind, the big stuff, and so we're both We're both decision makers to we both pull triggers eso there's
It's a key point, though. That's a key point. You have to be in sync and you have to be with the person that's going thio support that, too. That took several conversations on my end just because I was so deep into where I was for so long. But I had that full support and and it's it's huge. You have to be in sync. And if you're not in sync, and then you have to look at other things that you might want to fix.
There's also listen. Underlying this notion of a swan dive is action is activated. Yes, if you are not ready to, like, really hit that throttle, pull that trigger, push that button, then you're you know, forget it, man. Then it's just a concept. It's just a conversation at a cocktail party. This is about, like making a choice, and the worst case scenario is it just It just doesn't work. It just it's the wrong choice and you gain wisdom from it and you learn more things not to do for the next for the next pivot and I you know what people are. People are so terrified to make a move because they don't know the endgame in the outcome. And of course, we can't know the outcome. But, you know, we could also just all get hit by a bus tomorrow so everyone needs to this have a courage and a little bit of trust in their instincts. And move, move, man, you need to just make that move and you need to jump. I mean, I guess that's why I love this idea of a swan dive. It's like you got some point you gotta launch and then its gravity so you don't get it. It's not. It's out of your hands. But But, you know, it's exhilarating, no matter what.
Fast forward to my goals for 2020. Um and I wrote these down my words for 2020 be present. Bi curious, you know, always be present living in the moment and always embracing that moment. I guess I can put another one. There is to be active, to be active toward the things that we want. A deal.
Well, activism. You know, the antidote to to indifference, you know?
Yes. Yes. Yeah. You know, you're absolutely right. Actively curious. Actively Curious so Ah, man. So I'm looking at the counter here. This was a crate. I really enjoyed this conversation. I wanted to keep going, and I want to invite others into the conversation. Our next conversation, we will dive into some some other types of topics of, of where we're going because, you know, this is happening, Really time for me in the next couple of weeks. After I do my great reveal, I'll let you know how the how I'm greeted with that. Am I gonna be greeted with the If only I could do that. And I think I will. Um I'm gonna really be looking at the words instead of retiring. I can't use that word reinvention. Whatever it is, reveal reinvigoration. Um, maybe it's just a swan dive. We'll see. But it's going to continue. The conversation will continue. Um, from Peacock and Park Studios. What's the name of your studio's dancy Nasty studios. Yeah, that from our dazzle. If I'm not mistaken,
indeed. Yes, indeed.
Yeah, that's a That's a story for another conversation, but from the fancy, nasty studios in Costa Rica. Si, senor. See, Pura Vi Jacksonville, Florida and lovely historic Avondale. Peacocking Park. This is another swan dive, and we hope you can join us one of Join the Conversation email addresses of Ron Rothberg Comcast dot net Also Stewart at Stewart sheldon dot com.