Socrates Spoke: Riding High on Life
Written by Toan Lam
The Huffington Post
For one full minute I want you to sit down (preferably in silence) and think about what you have accomplished in your career thus far.
Now ask yourself, “Is my life any more meaningful?” If the answer is yes, you’re luckier than many people I know.
Recently, I’ve been talking with a lot of people who are experiencing the same situation: good job + good pay + good title = still not happy.
Many have admitted that they’re lucky to have good paying jobs with fancy titles but at the end of the day, they’re feeling uninspired, unhappy. The mental pendulum of guilt swings back and forth. I should be grateful… but I’m not… to and fro… the emotions go.
This is what happened to Casey Miller who, by all accounts, seemed to have it all: a good education, a good career and a good life. After graduating from Harvard with two degrees, Casey built a successful company that turns garbage into energy. He made money, was able to travel the world, acquired stuff, but still he felt empty.
“By most accounts, I was what I thought success should look like. Yet I was not any happier. And my life was certainly not any more meaningful. Like many people of my generation, I was stuck between the allure of capitalism and the painful realization that more does not mean better. I felt empty, even though my life was surrounded by wonderful places, experiences, and things.” Casey admits.
So he quit and moved to San Francisco (partly for love), but then he was dumped. He then couldn’t find a job and fell into depression.
Several conversations ensued. Casey told everyone that he was going to do something he was very afraid of: ride a bike (he hadn’t ridden a bike since elementary school) across the country — from Oregon to Massachusetts and along the way ask people some simple questions that delved deeper into the journey of finding meaning: What inspires you? Are you doing it now? Why not? His journey was aptly named “Socrates Spoke”.
Taking this risk helped him get the wheels of inspiration turning and, for once, Casey says he “found his meaning of life” and is now empowered to use his experience to help others discover what matters most to them. He’s even created a website (CaseyAdamMiller.com) to inspire people to live the truest, biggest, most meaningful lives possible.
Socrates once said: “An unexamined life is not worth living.” Casey read this, listened and is riding high on these words of wisdom.
If you’re feeling unfulfilled, make a list of what you can do to find meaning.
1. Many people say, “I can’t quit my job.” However, you can spend a little bit of time outside of your work to engage in a hobby or passion project that enlivens you.
2. What would excite you out of bed in the morning? Take baby steps doing what brings you joy. Check out Casey’s website for inspiration: CaseyAdamMiller.com
3. Stop talking about it. Do it now. This was the best advice several mentors gave me when I wanted to leave my TV career and pursue my nonprofit GoInspireGo.com
Vulnerable and raw, Miller makes his way across nation
by Brandon Hurley — Staff Writer
Dickinson County News
Casey Miller hadn’t even touched a bicycle since elementary school, and yet here he is, riding his recently purchased road bike, not even two months old, all the way to Boston, Mass.
“I never really liked riding a bike,” Miller said. “But I moved to San Francisco and I was trying to figure out what to do. I don’t know anything about biking, but this is the best thing I’ve ever done.”
He left Portland, Ore. on Aug. 8 and made his way east. Miller travels 60-80 miles a day and takes his time, drinking in the beauty of the nation.
“I’m on this bike ride to see why people get up in the morning,” Miller said. “How do they find meaning in life?”
So far, he has talked to 200 citizens and from those interviews, has established the six and a half characteristics that provide happiness. Miller is saving the list for a book he plans to write at the conclusion of his journey.
Miller is also teaming up with ChildFund, an organization that helps deprived and poverty-stricken children. He has raised nearly $5,000.
After only training for one week, Miller began his cross-country tour.
“Physically, it’s hard,” he said. “Your butt gets sore and mentally, it is a challenge. It’s a challenge to be with yourself all the time. When you are on a bike it’s just you and you get to know yourself very well.
He was planning on making multiple camping stops along the way, but has only had to rough it three nights. More often, people will invite him into their homes or will offer to pay for a hotel.
“The people I’ve met, have been so genuine and kind,” Miller said. “There are so many good people in this country. You have to really love yourself and it has to come from the inside. You have to love it so much that you can give it away. I’ve found those are the happiest people.”
The 31 year-old has made his way through Yellowstone National Park, the Grand Tetons and many other gorgeous destinations. Not much planning went into the trip, and Miller spends seven to eight hours a day enjoying the scenery and taking as many photographs as he can. His original goal was to travel the trans-American highway, but that idea sort of fell through.
While re-connecting with an old, high school friend, Miller found his way to northwest Iowa. The friend mentioned to him if he makes his way through Iowa, he has to stop for the Clay County Fair.
Normally, Miller doesn’t stay more than a night at a single location. But, he allowed himself the weekend in Okoboji and traveled to Spencer for the first weekend of “The World’s Greatest County Fair.”
“It’s not a race,” he said. “When I started my trip I weighed 210 pounds, I’m now down to 193. The whole package between my bike, bags and gear, weighs about 300 pounds.”
Miller said the trip has improved his sense of smell and opened his eyes.
“This bike ride has really opened up my five senses,” he said. “I really wanted to get raw, and being on this bike ride, I am really raw to the world. The bike makes me vulnerable and awake to life.”
Miller grew up in Los Angeles, attended school in Minnesota and Boston. The far-flung background has helped spark the rider’s passion for travel. He has been to 31 countries and plans on visiting many more.
His favorite trip, by far, has been the current nation-wide trek, but it hasn’t come without it’s fair share of bumps. He’s even thought of giving up.
A few days before arriving in Iowa, winds gusted at 35 miles per hour near Spearfish, S.D., and came after Miller had been on the road for 11 hours.
“It was miserable,” he said. “When I got to town, I sat down and literally started looking for flights home.”
But, he had connected with “Warm Showers” a tourist biking community and was united with a physicist who invited him into his home. They talked nearly four hours about quantum physics and the meaning of life, and Miller’s mindset changed.
“I’ve experienced every emotion under the sun,” Miller said. “From physical exhaustion — I literally fell asleep on my bike for a moment — to one day I soaked in a sulfur stream. The next day my bike and I got in a fight and I pushed it down a ravine. Then there are times when every pedal stroke is easy and I just glide.”
Miller plans on making it to Boston in the next 30 days, if everything goes as planned.
But, as he has learned so far in his journey, life’s road has its own twists and turns. Sometimes it’s best just to keep the wheels turning.