The Courage of Your Conceit

You can’t resolve to climb a mountain, any more than you can resolve to fall in love. Experience has taught me that to accomplish either, anything so completely out of your control you must resolve instead to become the person with the courage to do such things, to cultivate the skills, habits, relationships and the conceit to believe that they are even possible.

On this first day of 2012 my wife Shamane rolled over in the bed I built for us to whisper in my ear.

“Happy New Year,” she said. “I’m so glad you asked me to marry you.”

This is our 14th year together and like an old married couple we settled in early the night before after a lovely dinner with friends. We were both asleep by 10. No Champagne toast or even a midnight kiss, we rang in the New Year to the sounds of our family’s gentle snoring, she and I plus our dogs Reba and Bella. Very much in love with each other and the life we made we set course on another lap around the sun. Our adventure continues.

“If you want to got fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”~ African proverb.

Today marks Season 4 of the Joy Trip Project and I resolve to cultivate the skills, habits, relationships and the conceit to believe that it’s possible to lead an active lifestyle that protects the environment and benefits those around us. My goal in the project is to demonstrate and showcase those who are actively engaged in their lives through adventure, art and activism to make the world a better place. And as a writer and media producer I aim to bring you stories and current events that may help to define and realize your own life’s objectives and aspirations.

In 2012 I resolve the courage of my conceit to believe that such a life is possible. There are times when I struggle to fathom how lucky I am to make a living as a freelance reporter and travel writer. I often question my abilities to deliver on the promise of compelling content and wonder how to make my particular point of view worth your time to read and enjoy. To write for others is the very height of conceit. It is to assume that my words and ideas have enough value to command your time and attention, to not only entertain but to inspire.

As I want to continue in this profession for many years to come I am resolved to be a person with the skills to research and follow a potential storyline, the habits of news gathering through reliable sources, the ability to build relationships with knowledgeable and insightful people and to have the courage to bring these stories to you with full confidence that they are worthwhile and relevant.

In Season 4 for the Joy Trip Project I resolve my continuing commitment to bring you the latest news and information on the business art and culture of the sustainable active lifestyle. You’ll get my updates from major events like the Outdoor Retailer Shows in Salt Lake City, the Mountain Film Festival in Telluride and the Banff Mountain Film Festival in Alberta. But I’ll also make sure you get details on new and ongoing expeditions, philanthropic conservation initiatives and innovative art projects throughout the year. Regularly on the Joy Trip Project blog and podcast, frequently on Facebook and Twitter and periodically in print and on radio I’ll deliver updates on people like you who are living their lives in adventure. And through the course of my reporting I sincerely hope that you will reach back to me as well and share your stories of how you’re finding and facing life’s greatest challenges.

But remember, you can’t resolve to climb a mountain. Resolve instead to become the person with the courage to do such things, to cultivate the skills, habits, relationships and the conceit to believe that they are even possible. Happy New Year! ~ JEM

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Author:James

I'm a freelance journalist that specializes in telling stories about outdoor recreation, environmental conservation, acts of charitable giving and practices of sustainable living.

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