Life’s little moments of success can pass us by so easily. If we don’t track the things we’re proud of, we lose track of how far we’ve come. Steve Kamb’s Epic Quest of Awesome inspired me to build my own Epic Life Quest. I keep track of achievements, and after five significant tasks, I level up. Yesterday, we finished off another 5 tasks for Level 15, and this feels like The Iceland Level.
We moved to Iceland in January 2021, and we treated it as half vacation, half work. I alternate my time in sprints between work and play: 2-3 weeks in a rental house teaching and consulting remotely, then 2-3 weeks on the road, touring the country. We’re in the midst of one of the play sprints as we speak.
Here were the tasks we checked off for Level 15 – and all of ’em are fun stuff, nothing work-related. Forgive me for goofing off the first half of this year:
- See the Northern Lights – we spent weeks in Iceland before we finally got a spectacular sighting. Completed February 2021.
- See a live volcano eruption – we hopped on a helicopter to visit the new Geldingadalsgos volcano near Fagradalsfjall during our Ring Road circumference. Completed April 2021.
- Drive around Iceland’s Ring Road – the circuitous 828-mile Route 1 wraps around the country and is like a greatest hits compilation of Iceland’s scenery. We visited the Hverir sulfur vents, the opening scene of Prometheus, the black lava pebble beach at Djúpalónssandur, the columns at Reynisfjara Beach, so many glaciers and waterfalls, explored the plane wreck at Sólheimasandur, the Hofskirkja turf church, saw a lot of reindeer, ate the best mushroom soup I’ve ever had, held icebergs at Diamond Beach, and so much more. Completed April 2021.
- See a 24-hour day – as a fan of Arctic Circle type stuff, this has always intrigued me. I loved, loved, loved this. Iceland’s summers are amazing for my sleep schedule: it doesn’t matter when I wanna get up or nap or sleep. It’s always daylight when I get up. Completed May 2021.
- See puffins – these adorable birds spend most of their life out at sea, but come into Iceland in the summer to raise their young. We drove out to Latrabjarg, the westernmost point in Iceland, where countless sea birds make their home. Completed May 2021.
Most of this level’s stuff was very visual, so I’ll leave you with some of my favorite photos:
This level was awesome.
I’ve been working really hard over the last couple/few years to, uh, not work really hard, hahaha. I made a lot of business decisions and compromises to be able to spend less time directly in front of a computer, and to make that computer-facing time be less and less dependent on specific dates and times. I still have work to do on that front – and the Epic Life Quest really helps me prioritize the right work to do, at the right times, to help achieve my eventual Level 50 Character.
See, in Kamb’s Epic Quest philosophy, you start by writing your Level 50 Character – the eventual goal you want to achieve. Here’s mine:
Brent Ozar and Erika Valencia: Each morning I wake up before dawn & Erika rise, working for a few hours to build my passive income portfolio. Part of the year, we’re living in our Iceland cottage, making day trips to incredible natural sights and watching the Northern Lights at night. The rest of the year, we live at a beach, spending our mornings making sure baby sea turtles make it to sea, and our evenings at our favorite local restaurant. I have a couple of really nice sports cars, and I love sharing them with others at local events. When we’re not at home living our life, we’re traveling to beautiful, relaxing locations.I wanna get to Level 50 by age 50, and I’m in my late 40s now, so I’ve got some work to do. Moments like this, checking off Level 15, help me take stock of what I’ve done so far, be happy that I’m gradually making progress, and then put my head down to crank out a few things to get closer to Level 50.
I highly, highly recommend Steve Kamb’s book, Level Up Your Life. It changed my life, and it can change yours. Life is short, as the pandemic reminded all of us. As you get vaccinated and you get the opportunity to get out there again, go grab the chance to make memories that you and your loved ones will treasure.