How to create a life with genuine happiness, big success, and real purpose? – Jake Ducey
David: So, hello, achiever. Today, I am with new awesome guest. He is young. He is awesome. He is the author of this book, “Into the Wind.” We will discover his story and you will enjoy him. Hello.
Jake: Hey, man. Thanks.
David: How are you today?
Jake: I'm doing awesome. I'm great to be here with you.
David: I'm very glad because you know we have a lot of old people and it's great to see someone younger because you will inspire youth to be, “Oh, it's possible. He can do it, I can do it.” I love that. I love to have a great range of people, different people. I would love to know your story, and what is “Into the Wind?”
Jake: What is “Into the Wind?” Well, I was living a life that I realized wasn't mine. I was living purposeless and I was using a lot of substances. I went to school to play college basketball, and I sat down one day and I realized I was doing everything I was doing to please somebody else. And while I sat in economics class one day, I realized we may not have a world in 100 years due to environmental degradation. A football field size of the rain forest is destroyed every second, and not to mention the threat of nuclear proliferation with all the arms that we have. And I said, “I don't wanna just be another cog inside of this wheel of obedient students and I wanna make a difference.” I don't wanna look back at the end of my life and say, “Where did life go?”
And then these books started coming to me. We can do anything, anything is possible. We are talking about it and we've all heard it, and I realized that I was living it at learning it. There is a difference, I became aware, of between learning it and living it, and I was just learning it. I was aware of the possibilities, but I wasn't testing them. So after I was drunk one night and I flipped my car four times, 400 feet down a ravine, I realized this life is gonna be over before I know it. And the only way I'm gonna be fulfilled is if I truly create my dream.
So I said, “Well, I'm gonna drop out of school and I'm gonna quit basketball and I'm gonna travel around the world without a map to prove that when we do follow our hearts that anything is possible, that our thoughts do create our lives. And when we do have a dream, it's possible. I realized I couldn't do that while I was sitting inside of this life that was planned for me. I had to create my own plan for how I wanted to live. And thus, going into the wind, taking a risk, and I said…you know, this is like the people you are interviewing, Tony Robbins, Jack Canfield said, “It sounds like these books I'm reading are true but I need to really know.” So I took the biggest risk I could take.
David: At this time, you were reading books about success and how to live a life of fulfillment, right?
Jake: And all I was doing was intellectualizing and conceptualizing it. It was in my mind. I was learning it, and I wasn't applying it. As you were saying, you teach people how-to, and I was only inheriting beliefs that I wasn't testing. So I said, “I need to prove that this works for myself.”
David: So you started to take actions?
Jake: Which was dropping out of school and traveling around the world and having the experiences that ultimately culminated in the book, “Into the Wind.”
David: And you started to write the book during your travel or after?
Jake: I journaled while I was traveling, but I didn't write the book until after I was done.
David: And every day you wrote something?
Jake: Not every day. I wrote a lot of poetry. A lot of it was I came back and ultimately, what happened is I fell off of a cliff in Indonesia, and my whole life flashed before my eyes and I realized there was nothing in the world I was looking for. Everything was in here. The opportunities to make a difference were here right now. Everything was here. And so I felt compelled to write this book, and that sense of destiny is what ultimately inspired me or motivated me in order to come back and write the whole book.
David: Yeah. And so before this book and this travel, you were struggling to find your way, find your purpose? Do you have a suggestion, do you have tips of how can we find our own way? Because other people are wondering, what is my way?
Jake: It was funny because I realized that I lived my whole life never really asking myself what I wanted. It seems so simple, but I think if we took these cameras and we went around and we asked people, “What do you want,” pretty much everyone would say, “I don't know what I want.”
David: [crosstalk 00:05:10] let you know there is a study they did in the U.S. with students, and at least 3% of the students knew what they want to do. Did you know about this study?
Jake: Oh, right, this is the Harvard study, right? Yeah, yeah, so this leads in perfect to what I suggest to others is simply asking yourself, what would have to happen one year from now in order for you to look back and say it was your most fulfilling or your most successful year? And after I fell off the cliff, for me, it was writing the book. And I think that vision, most heart attacks occur, I read, between the hours of 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. on Monday morning. I feel if we have a compelling vision, something to get us out of bed, that's what's going to, as you were saying, help people find more fulfillment or more happiness or more joy in their life, when they have something that they are looking forward to.
David: A lot of people know that and started to write their goals, their dreams. But they have maybe 20 goals, one goes there and another goes there. Their difficulty is not to find what they want, but how to know what I want between all the things I want. Do you understand my question?
David: So how can I focus on one thing?
Jake: Well, you know, I read in the email that the man who connected you and Bill together, he said that you're looking to bring Napoleon Hill's “Think and Grow Rich” principles here. And in the book, Napoleon Hill talks about the difference between being a wandering generality and a meaningful specific, and I think that that happens a lot when we have, “I wanna do this, I wanna do this,” and we're dispersing our energies too much so we become, as Napoleon says, wandering generalities. And a meaningful specific is, of course as Napoleon talks about, a chief objective, a chief aim.
And so I believe that it's powerful to have many goals, but I only really focus on one. Right now, I only focus on this, putting this book out right now. And so I think it's just choosing what you can spend your time putting forth to because in order to create success or fulfillment, we have to engage in consistent action. And I think it's hard to engage in consistent action if we're so spread out. So I think it's just that simple question, what would have to happen one year from now for you to look back and say what's your most successful, your most fulfilling year yet, and following that [inaudible 00:07:57] to that specifically because you know it's hard to get results.
David: So you maybe you are saying that if we have 10 goals, we choose one?
Jake: I think for the primary amount of our focus…
David: We start to take actions and maybe we will see after?
Jake: I think for the primary amount of our focus, that's important. Jack Canfield talks about how to create, have over 100 goals, but only focus on a couple because the rest of them are being created…your subconscious mind, it's what's generating these. So if we can consciously focus on one or two things to do and then have the faith to allow the rest of it to manifest subconsciously is the way that I…
David: So you are saying that we have to understand that you focus on one, but it's not because I focus on one that I will not have the others, right?
Jake: I absolutely would say so.
David: Yeah, okay, perfect. I would like to know, during this travel did you have some struggles?
Jake: Did I have some struggles? Before the travel was a lot of my struggles because I realized that I was gambling on the biggest risk of all and that was the bet that I was gonna be able to buy the freedom to do what I want later in life after I studied stuff I didn't wanna do and things like that. Then when I got into the journey, I actually lost all of my bank cards in Indonesia and I had no money, and a family actually took me in. And these locals that live in concrete shacks that are 6 feet by 6 feet, there's no doors, no windows, and these people took me in. They actually gave me all of their money in order to get a phone to call America and for me to be taken care of.
And so I guess the biggest challenge was faith, was belief that everything was gonna be okay and good things happen, which it did, absolutely. And then eventually, I got a wire transfer. I got money transferred to me, and I tried to give them money back. And they said, “I don't want your money. The purpose of life is giving without expecting return,” that we're here to give to other people. And so it was beautiful to see that just beyond my challenge was this huge opening, this huge life-changing experience.
David: Yeah, that is great. So I would like to ask you something. Can you give me six life lessons you learned in this six months? Six months, right?
Jake: Yeah, yeah. I can do that, absolutely. Six things that I learned is, number one, when we know what we want that it manifests. In 1979, they did the study at Harvard University where they took the incoming MBA students and asked them if they had any written goals. Only 3% did, 97% didn't. And 10 years later when they surveyed their net worth, the 3% with written goals was greater than the 97% without. So the power in knowing what we want is unparalleled, number one. Number two, I learned that I am not my past. That a fire doesn't burn by its past ashes, that who we are is more than our mistakes, it's more than our past.
Number three, I learned that when our desire is to help other people, that ultimately, everything opens up for us, and thus, the book was able to manifest. And number four, what I really learned is when you can take a risk and you can step into the unknown, into the wind, and you can take those first couple of steps, then life sees that you have faith in it, that you believe in it, and everything opens up. The problem is that most of us, we know what we need to risk and what we need to do, but it's so scary that we actually never take the first step, which leads me into number five, and that's asking the right questions.
I realized, all my life, I was asking myself the wrong questions, such as, what's the worst that could happen? And then I relay in my head, what's the worst that could happen to me? Well, the worst thing that can happen is this, and this person won't like me, and I'll fail this, and my life will be ruined. We live these experiences that haven't actually happened yet, and that's how most of us are living, in this paranoid state. And when we can ask ourselves, rather, what's the best that could happen to me, then we can focus on that vision and then that creates these other emotions: excitement, power, gratefulness. All of these emotions shift our entire focus and can allow us to finally begin to take action.
Number six, what I learned is that we may not have a world in 100 years. The most beautiful part about this is that right now, we can reach the entire world with these cameras, with the internet in a matter of days, in a matter of weeks. And so it's what do we want the world to know, that we're all, can have the same impact that Martin Luther King had, that Gandhi had, that Mother Teresa had, and that the world can be completely transformed with us if we engage in consistent action.
David: Right, I love that.
Jake: Thanks. Right on, dude.
David: I would like to know. You gave me one moment, one transformation moment when you were hosted by this family. Do you have another moment? Can you tell me another moment where transformational for you?
Jake: Yeah. On my journey, I fell off of a cliff and I saw my whole life flash before my eyes. I realized that just before we die, a voice is gonna ask us if we really lived our life. And I realized that I had something to share, that this was a message to be shared. And so I ended my journey instead of continuing to travel around the world, and look with my eyes for things in the world. I decided I was gonna enter a 14-day silent meditation in Thailand, something I didn't foresee that I was gonna be doing.
David: So you started to meditate after this moment?
Jake: After I had this accident. In 14-day silent meditation, what I realized there is that all of my pain, all of my suffering, all of my doubts, none of it was actually real. While I sat there, [inaudible 00:14:29] my body was sore, I felt lonely, where I thought about my book. And I thought, “Well, you know, I'm 20 years old,” this and that, and I created all of my excuses. I realized that none of it was actually real and then I could be free from…
David: The meditation helps you to clean your soul, clean your body, right?
Jake: Yeah, and to clean my…to separate who I am right now from my past.
David: Okay. It's amazing, meditation, because a lot of people are struggling to mediate and to be persistent to meditate, like me, for example. Why or how can we become persistent in meditation every day, for example?
Jake: It's the same parallel, I guess, with everything in our life, how to get anything. And Les Brown says that if you want results in anything, you have to engage in consistent action. I think a great analogy is when somebody's like, “Well, I tried this diet and I tried to lose this weight.” And you're like, “How long did you do it for?” And they're like, “Oh, I did it for 5 days.” You're not gonna be able to see any results if you are not consistently doing it.
I interviewed Laird Hamilton, who wrote the foreword to my book. He's the world champion big wave surfer. He rides the huge waves. I said, “Laird, how do you get on giant waves? How do you do that?” And he just said, “I just do it.” He said, “I just don't think about it. I just do it.” So in terms of your question with meditation, but maybe somebody else is asking how do I write a book? You just sit down and you do it. For some people, maybe you need to create a time allocation and say, “For 10 minutes, I'm gonna do this.” And that seems to work.
David: How many times do you…how long do you meditate every day?
Jake: I don't have a set plan because I feel that that's too much like a rigid structure. Sometimes, I might just sit down because it relaxes me and helps me detach from the past or those stories or clean myself out, as you were saying. And so I just do it. I used to set a timer or think something like that. And now, I just do it till I feel connected with who I really am, and my power, and my confidence, when I feel all of that aligning back up.
David: And you do eat every day, right?
David: Right, I love that. I have a lot of youth who are following me and my goal is to touch a million of youths.
Jake: That's why we met because we're the same age and we both have the same goals.
David: Yeah. We can build that together, and we are doing that. So what could be the life lessons you would like to share to youths who are following us now about their own dreams? If you ask a youth in front of you, 18 years old, what do you want to say to him?
Jake: Absolutely. What I'd like to say, most of us are gambling on the biggest risk of all and that's the bet that we're gonna be able to buy the freedom to do what we want later in life after we made some money or after we please enough people. The only way we're ever gonna be fulfilled in life is if we do what we want.
And so what I would like to ask a youth is what do you really want? What do you really want with your life, rather than just fitting the mold of studying business, or doing this, or doing that, just because everybody else wants you to do? Because when we look back on our life, we're just gonna wonder if we really lived it. And to take some risks, everything is a risk. It's a risk to step into the unknown or keep doing the same thing over and over again, and so asking yourself and really taking into consideration the question of what do you really want from life, that you can make a difference, and that you matter, and that you count.
David: Great, I love that. It's a great insight you gave me and you give to the youth, too. Thank you very much for that.
Jake: Thank you.