One Compelling Reason To Change The World
Publication: RidiculouslyExtraordinary.
Posted by Ryan Neal
One Compelling Reason To Change The World
Publication: RidiculouslyExtraordinary. Posted by Ryan Neal

The title of this article might be a little bit misleading so let me clarify: if you want to do anything that's important to you, something that will change your world, you need just one compelling reason.

As you may know I strongly dislike cold weather. I also strongly dislike constantly saying how much I dislike cold weather. :)

I've written many times that I refuse to travel to cold destinations (except to Michigan for the holidays) because there are a few lifetime's worth of warm weather places to visit. Why waste my time in place that make me decidedly miserable? Doing something that makes one miserable is something only fools do. Unless ...

Cold Weather and Compelling Reasons

Unless you have a compelling reason to visit your cold weather destination it will be an insurmountable (or miserable) hurdle. (Cold weather can be anything for you. Hot weather. Rainy weather. Rocky geography. A certain state. A particular restaurant. Etc. Etc. Etc.)

I've decided my next mission, from January 2 - March 11, will be in a very cold weather destination. It's not even an "exotic" cold weather destination like Stockholm or Oslo or Antarctica.


I'm heading to the land of the Magnificent Mile. The Field Museum. Millenium Park. Chicago Diner. Soldier Field. Navy Pier. The former Sears Tower. Monkey Bar Gym.

Monkey Bar Gym?

Yes, Monkey Bar Gym. For the purposes of this article: my compelling reason.

The specific compelling reason is vegan fitness bad ass Jon Hinds.

I first heard about Jon Hinds about 4 years ago when I purchased jump ropes from LifeLine USA, the company he runs with his father. If you look at my ultra light packing list you can see I travel with the LifeLine USA speed rope. When I learned Jon was vegan and that he did training with high level athletes I was immediately intrigued. I put "train with Jon Hinds in Madison, WI" on my things to do.

But Madison, WI?

My thoughts: "Why would I ever want to move to Madison? What's in Madison? I don't want to move back to the midwest. Nah, I'll just put this off."

We all put things off, no matter how much we lie to ourselves that we want to do something. The important thing I've learned is not to force it. I follow my heart and inspiration. I wasn't ever in a proper frame of mind to drop everything and go to Madison to train with a vegan fitness trainer, no matter how well respected he was/is.

That is until my Brazil plans starting falling apart a bit. See, I originally planned on heading to Brazil for multiple reasons.

  1. It's warm. (Good, but not compelling reason.)
  2. I've been wanting to visit the Amazon since I was in 3rd grade and my class did a month-long assignment on Brazil. (Good, but not compelling reason.)
  3. I wanted to bike Route 66 in the US in 2011 and I needed a warm place to train. Curitiba, Brazil is on many lists as a very bike friendly city so I chose that. (Compelling reason!)
But when I knew I wouldn't do the Route 66 trip in 2011 I had a feeling Brazil would fall apart. I just didn't have a compelling reason to go there.

A List of Compelling Reasons (or How I Changed My World This Year)

Let's break down the compelling reasons for me to visit every place I've visited this year.

Baga Beach, Goa, India

Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • Consistently shows up in lists of the top vegetarian cities in the world. I needed to see what that meant with my own two eyes and my thousands of taste buds.
Wroclaw, Poland
  • I was born in Poland and wanted to experience the city my Parents grew up in as a real resident instead of just a passerby. I was also incredibly embarrassed by my lackluster Polish and wanted to learn the language better. (Success on both counts, I believe!)
Austin, TX Metro Detroit, MI
  • Holidays + Family
Chicago, IL
  • I contacted Jon Hinds and asked him whether he is training people anywhere. I was fully ready to move to Madison and even began searching for apartments. But Jon replied that he's moving to Chicago and opening a branch of the gym there. Boom! Next destination settled with compelling reason in place. I've already registered for the Jan 10 - March 10 60 Day Challenge and put down a deposit on a Gold Coast apartment.

Running Blind vs Tunnel Vision

When most people set goals they set empty goals devoid of emotion or experience. If you've read much of my work you know I don't believe in specific goals. I believe in specific experiential goals. A specific goal is good and provides some direction. A specific experiential goal provides tunnel vision and a compelling reason.

Which of the following goals is better?

Goal 1: I will earn $250,000 this year.


Goal 2: I will earn $250,000 this year so I can indulge in my childhood dreams and become one of the first civilians to take a trip to space.

Goal 2 is immeasurably better. And while that might not be a compelling enough reason for you to earn $250,000 this year it's much more tangible than "I want to earn $250,000 this year just because."

I'm willing to bet that the very large majority of people who set specific (but not experiential) goals don't ever reach them. This holds true for the people I personally know. The people I personally know also kick ass when they set specific experiential goals. An experience gives you something to work towards and it involves your emotions which are very powerful motivating factors.

What's Your Compelling Reason?

Do you have something you want to accomplish? What's your compelling reason? Without it you're running blind and you're setting yourself up for quitting or failure.

If you'd like, share your compelling reason(s) in the comments below.


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