I find inspiration in people who travel, create and live an unconventional lifestyle. That’s why I decided to start interviewing creative individuals on my blog to understand how they think, what habits and routines they developed to get where they are. My first guest is a fellow world traveler and author Gregory Diehl.
From a young age, Gregory Diehl understood the importance of universal ideals. Though he was raised in California, he soon embarked on a journey of the global quest for learning, self-discovery, entrepreneurship, and inquiry. Since then, Gregory has lived and worked in 45 countries and continues to use his experiences to help others along the path of self-fulfillment through exploration.
Gregory’s first book, Brand Identity Breakthrough, is an Amazon bestseller. He helps entrepreneurs prepare complex value messages across many mediums, and offers unconventional lifestyle coaching and brand identity consultancy for impassioned individuals.
What Are the Most Influential Habits in Your Life?
For me, it is important to be challenging myself and expanding my awareness constantly. There are, of course, countless ways to do this – but I’ve found nothing that accomplishes this as rapidly and effectively as travel. I get bored very easily staying in one place for too long, and this slows my mind and motivation. Throwing myself into an unknown country is reinvigorating, at least for a time. It forces me to focus on getting my most important tasks done and also spurs my creativity.
How Do You Set Goals and Manage Time?
The nature of my work allows me to get almost everything I need to be done from anywhere I can find a place to sit and wireless internet to connect to. It wasn’t always like that for me. I worked hard to set up my life so that I can be maximally productive in even unstable and constantly changing conditions.
I’ve also had to get very good at managing teams of people all over the world, which means I had to become a very good judge of ability and character when choosing who to work with. Once I’ve handed a task off to someone, I have to know that I don’t have to be thinking about it anymore until I get it back accomplished.
How Are You Modeling Your Life?
This is a very deep question, and answering it is one of the cruxes of my most recent book, Travel As Transformation.
But we also need to be brave enough to take complete ownership and responsibility over every action we take. – Gregory Diehl
What does it mean to have a model for how your life is supposed to go? Where does that model come from? If we follow what others are doing, we aren’t choosing our own path according to our own values. Certainly, we can learn from what others before us have done. But we also need to be brave enough to take complete ownership and responsibility for every action we take. It is up to us alone to build a life that is unique appealing to who we really are. I arrived at that place through ceaseless questioning into what elements of life could cause me the most pain and pleasure. But not everyone is ready for that level of self-immolation.
Can You Describe Your Work Process and Thinking Behind It?
The things I don’t outsource to other people all revolve around communication. I write messages that are intended to change the way people think, or inspire new action within them. I speak to people in person or through video conferencing to collaborate on projects where our respective goals and abilities will allow us to get more done than on our own. I must always find the intended message underneath the words, as words are just our representation of concepts. That is my superpower.
What Do You Eat for Breakfast?
Two double espressos with honey, and a big old piece of protein (any kind of meat or eggs). My body likes it.
How Do You Train Your Body and Mind?
I’ve been blessed with a fast metabolism, which allows me to stay lean with minimal physical effort. I walk a lot, and pace back and forth while listening to complex orchestral arrangements to stimulate my thinking. I’m the kind of person who needs a lot of physical motion to stay mentally stimulated. I’m concerned with being able to think as deeply as possible about any given subject, navigating my thought space to go deeper and deeper into how an idea works, how I know it to be true, and how it connects to all other knowledge.
My mind is a vast, vast landscape that takes a lot of concentration to use to its fullest capacity. I still don’t think I am there, but it is now among my highest priorities in life. I recognize the importance of keeping my body healthy and able, but to me, it is just the vehicle to carry my mind through the world.
How Do You Meet and Connect with People?
Because I am constantly moving from one country to another, I am constantly meeting new people of all different types of backgrounds. But this is a very random process. It’s more important for me now to hone in on the kind of people who share my core values to build my own community and mutually prosperous working relationships.
The internet allows me to do this more than anything else. Since the release of my first book, it has become much easier for the right kind of person to find me and reach out to me. All I had to do was put a beacon out into the world that would let people know who I am and what I stand for. They could then choose for themselves how they wanted to respond to that.
What Are Your Sleeping Rituals?
My sleeping habits change depending on where I am in the world. I’m not sure what variables affect it, but sometimes I will go to sleep early and wake up before sunrise which it is still dark, quiet, and peaceful. Other times, I cannot go to sleep until 3 a.m. I think the habits of the city I am in affect me greatly.
What Are Your Investing Habits?
I believe that everything a person does is in service to the self, whether or not they want to admit it or think of it that way. Everything is an attempt to better oneself, but sometimes we aren’t very good at accomplishing that with our actions. I have always been a self-learner. My most valuable investment has been my own mind because it is what will always be with me (barring brain damage). I can use it to create various forms of wealth no matter what situation I am in. I can survive with it. I can learn skills that I can trade for money. I can forge relationships with others that will help both of us. I can think my way out of almost anything.
What Books, People, Experiences Shaped Your Thinking?
I mention in Travel As Transformation that I spent several months living with a Swami in Costa Rica who had spent a decade working with Osho in India. He definitely gave me a very unconventional view on what people call spirituality and how not to be distracted by it.
In my first book, Brand Identity Breakthrough, I talked about another mentor I had in California named John Pugsley. He was a free market author who showed me how business and economics worked, which is what laid the groundwork for me to become a successful entrepreneur. I believe commerce holds the solution to every major problem afflicting human society right now.