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The Master Prefers What Occurs

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If you have been reading any of my posts throughout this worldwide adventure, you have probably noticed we have had some of the highest of highs but also some really low lows.
Whenever you make a huge life change, you have to be willing to accept that so much of what you thought to be true is going to be challenged.
Many of us go through our days and consequently our life going through the motions.
It is almost like driving your car to work or driving home from work.
In the beginning, you notice every turn, every stop light, every beautiful home and every ugly home. You notice exactly what the road feels like and every pothole or bump. You pay attention to which lanes move faster and the ones that have a tendency to get backed up.
In short, you are fully awake and fully present.
Then something happens.
You get into a routine. You stop noticing things and you just start going through the motions.
This happens to all areas of our life if we are not careful.
When our job becomes routine, we start to go through the motions.
When our relationships become routine, we start to go through the motions.
When we are just going through the motions, life becomes ordinary. There is much less effort involved.
We live in the middle when the highs are just above the midline and the lows are just below the midline. We never experience the true highs or lows that life has to offer.
Sometimes I wish I could live in the midline. It seems a lot easier and sometimes easier looks good to me.
The problem is there is something about my DNA that doesn’t allow me to do “easy.”
Sometimes that leads me to the peak of a mountain, literally, experiencing some of the most amazing views and feeling like I am on top of the world.
Other times it leads me down in the dumps pondering my identity and my very existence.
This has been my MO since I have been a kid.
Looking back though, I can see the lesson in every challenge and every victory. I can see the beauty in the amazing moments and the lessons I learned from the really crappy ones. When I do this, I am in full gratitude.
The biggest challenge is feeling that sense of gratitude in the moment of facing great adversity. It’s a lot easier to experience it in hindsight.
It has been said that ‘the master prefers what occurs.’
This goes for everything – the good and the bad.
- Matt Westheimer
Hanoi, Vietnam

Experiencing Fear and Doubt – A Lesson from Hanoi


If you ever experience doubt or uncertainty, you are not alone.

I’ve always prided myself on being unwaveringly and unshakeably confident in the eyes of all those around me.

The truth is I am not always confident. I have doubts at times. I have insecurities. I have plenty of things in life I am unsure about.

I used to run away from things I was afraid of. I would run from any feelings of discomfort and insecurity.

I was always really good at attaching myself to things that I was really good at and things that came easy to me, and avoiding things that really challenged me emotionally.

It was great for capitalizing on my strengths but made me weak when dealing with things that scared me or made me emotionally uneasy.

That was one of the reasons I decided to take this trip around the world.

My strengths have always been working, achieving, and being productive.

My weaknesses have been dealing with downtime, times of being idle and not pursuing something tangible or big future goal, and taking time to just be present and live in the moment.

Quitting a great job, selling 90% of my things, not knowing where I will be sleeping a week from now, and dealing with times of idleness and boredom have proved to be as challenging as I expected it to be.

In the past, there was a place I could run to when feeling uneasy – work and achievement. Now there is nowhere to run.

There is only so much site-seeing and activities I can do to distract myself, but inevitably I must face these feelings of discomfort and learn to be at peace with them.

Hanoi, Vietnam

Hanoi, Vietnam

There are a few ways I do that.

Meditation is the biggest and most powerful habit I have added to my life. I start every morning with anywhere from 10 – 26 minutes of meditation. Sometimes I do silent meditation and other times I do a guided meditation (Hence the 26 minutes). Meditation has been incredible for me.

Writing. Sometimes I sit down and journal about whatever is on my mind or challenging me at the moment. I just write about whatever I am thinking about. I don’t try to sensor it. I just write. These are things that are just for my eyes. Actually, I usually don’t even go back and read them. Just the act of writing is incredibly cathartic.

Other times, I do exactly what you are reading now. I write about something I am working on, challenged by, or realized. It helps solidify an idea, concept, or practice in my own mind, and by putting it out for the world to read, I deeply hope it benefits your life by reading it.

Movement practice. Doing some type of exercise every day does wonders for my sanity. Sometimes it is an intense lung-screaming, muscle-beating workout, and other times it is a stretching and mobility session. The key is to get my body moving. Also, I always do this while listening to a podcast to feed my mind while I am feeding my body.

If you ever feel uncertain, scared, or stressed about life, you are not alone. I experience it as well.

The key is to lean into that discomfort and make it your friend. Don’t try and run away. Don’t try to avoid it. You can’t outrun it no matter how hard you try.

It helps to deal with these feelings by having some powerful rituals like the ones I mentioned. You just learn to be able to sit down and be at peace with those feelings and emotions. When you do, they no longer have power over you.

At least that is the idea. I am still working on that last part.

– Matt Westheimer


048: This One Thing Could Be Stopping You From Success


Do you have that one (or more) thing in your life that you aren’t happy with but have not seemed to be able to change it?

Maybe it is the diet you have been meaning to stick to. Maybe it is the workout program that has been eluding you. Maybe it is the business you have wanted to start or improving your performance at your current job. This list could go on and on.

There really is only one reason why you haven’t been able to change that habit, behavior, or thing in your life.

Today’s episode explores that ONE THING.


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030: Powerful Stories from an International Adventurer with Rob Lilwall

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Rob Lilwall is a former geography teacher, turned internationally acclaimed adventurer, author and speaker. His two most epic expeditions to date are the three-year 50,000 km Cycling Home From Siberia expedition, and the six-month 5,000 km Walking Home From Mongolia expedition – both were commissioned as television series for National Geographic. Rob’s unsupported and human-powered travels have taken him across the frozen plains of the Gobi Desert and Siberia; through the thick jungles of Papua New Guinea; and over the lonely passes of Tibet, China, Pakistan, Japan, Switzerland, Bolivia, Peru and Afghanistan.

He is the author of two books which have been translated into five languages, and has given his acclaimed motivational talks to more than 40,000 people in over 20 countries around the world.
Asides from his expeditions, Rob has spent over 14 months of his adult life as a volunteer on educational and humanitarian projects in Africa, Central America, and Asia. His expeditions have raised over 100,000 USD for charity. Between 2010-2015 he and his wife Christine founded and ran the Hong Kong office of the children’s charity, Viva. Rob received his education at the Universities of Edinburgh and Oxford, and most recently has been taking a MOOC course in Positive Psychology with UC Berkeley.

You can reach Rob at