The Single Best Decision I Ever Made

I am sitting here typing this in a hotel room in Ashford, Washington. Tomorrow I will make a summit attempt on Mt. Rainier, the 14,410 ft volcano that on lucky days graces the skyline of Seattle and reminds the population why they put up with all of the rain. This life list item, if completed, will mean I have passed the halfway mark on my life list.

Before starting to write this post, I exchanged friendly tweets with the person who now has my old job. (From what I can tell, Cyrus is doing a fantastic job) It was right after hitting send that the magnitude of how much my life has changed in the past eight months came into focus. My life is now completely different (new home, job, friends and lifestyle) and it all started with a single decision.

The single best decision I have ever made wasn’t leaving my old lifestyle and moving to Buenos Aires. It wasn’t surrounding myself with interesting places, things and people. It wasn’t even the choice I made to actively love more. These things all made my life better but were merely the results of a much bigger decision.

The single best decision I have ever made was to choose a direction in life and fully and uninhibitedly commit myself to it. The direction itself was irrelevant, (in this case I chose pursing my life list) but the fact that I fully committed myself was the factor that forever changed how I think of myself and my potential.

I didn’t hesitate and ask what if, I didn’t wait for more data and I didn’t ask for more opinions. I was nervous as hell but made the conscious decision to grab my life by the balls and live it my way. I made the decision to pursue my life list and in order to accommodate it, I radically changed everything about my life in order to pour all of myself into it.

I sit here on the eve of climbing the biggest physical mountain of my life and smile. The real battle has already been won. The mental mountain has already been summited.

Which summit is next for you?

24 comments… add one

  • Cyrus Aug 17, 2011

    From the old guy who has your old job, you continue to inspire and motivate me. I hope to keep following in your footsteps by following my own path. Good luck on your climb!

    • Danny Dover Aug 17, 2011

      Thanks Cyrus! Keep kicking ass!

  • Joe Dover Aug 17, 2011


    Great post! I am so proud of the directions you have “chosen” to take your life.In less than a year, you have all ready accomplished more than many people do in their lifetime. This is because you have become focused and proactive to what makes you happy.

    Congratulations on the successful summit of Mt. Rainer and a safe return. I am a proud papa!

  • CeCe Aug 17, 2011

    What a monumental way to complete the half way point of your list! It just seems like the goals you are completing are just getting bigger (literally). I hope the altitude treats you well!

  • Adrian Lazo Aug 17, 2011

    Awesome. I had a similarly formative decision a few years ago when I found myself working in a lab while finishing up college being swept into a science grad program that looked to be inevitably leading to another half-decade of research drudgery followed by eventual postdoc slave-wagery and, if lucky, academic bureaucracy.

    Quit my job, broke up with my long-time girlfriend, drove across the country to Utah (where I’d never been and knew noone) and dedicated my life to skiing, climbing, biking and deliberate living.

    It’s an incredible feeling to come to the unflinching acceptance that you are responsible for your own course through life, and that you must be the architect of the outcome that you desire. Keep on living dude.

    • Danny Dover Aug 17, 2011

      Wow that is a lot of change! Good for you. :-)

      • Adrian Lazo Aug 18, 2011

        Thanks man, your story is definitely an inspiration. If you ever decide to pursue some gravity-based adventure out in UT, drop me a line.

        Also, have you seen MovNat ( Seems like it would be up your alley.

        • Danny Dover Aug 18, 2011

          Appreciate it. :-) I very well might take you up on that.

          I haven’t heard of MovNat but I am checking it out now.

  • Tomasz Banas Aug 17, 2011

    Hi Danny,
    Great job. You inspired many people including me.

    Good luck!

    • Danny Dover Aug 17, 2011

      Thanks Tomasz :-)

  • jeremy page Aug 17, 2011

    Awesome post. My favorite part was “stop looking around for more opinions or for more data to come in”. Sounds too familiar. I need to make one of these changes.

    • Danny Dover Aug 17, 2011

      Let me know if I can help in any way.

  • Thomas Klein Aug 17, 2011

    Hi Danny,

    i wish you all the best for your new chapter in your life! Its great to see that you enjoying it so much. Be good to yourself!

    Greetings from Germany

  • Thando Vuzane Aug 17, 2011

    Wow Danny, that is so inspiring! You had a dream and trusted yourself and the universe enough to pursue it. Now that takes some gigantic balls.

    Wishing you further happiness and success on your quest! :-)

    March on forward soldier!

    • Danny Dover Aug 17, 2011

      I wish the same to you! Best of luck!

  • Mark Horoszowski Aug 17, 2011

    From somebody who did something very similar this year, I can’t tell you how much this post resonates with me. Very well written, I couldn’t agree more! Good luck on Rainier… you’re gonna love it!

    • Danny Dover Aug 17, 2011

      Hope all is well Mark! Congrats on your own journey. Keep fighting the good fight!

  • Scott Aug 17, 2011

    You should have planted a big flag with Ralph Naders face at the summit. That would have inspired me.

  • Joe Aug 17, 2011

    This is pretty awesome, and I can’t wait to hear when you learn how to live in the wilderness for a month without modern tools – that is definitely one of my life goals. I also like what you said about not waiting for more data, with the multitude of data on the internet these days it seems like we can be frozen with the data overload and not be able to act. You and Tim Ferris both highly motivate me to grab life by the balls as you said so eloquently!

    • Danny Dover Aug 17, 2011

      Stay tuned! That is going to be perhaps the most difficult item on the list but looking forward to it :-)

      The data online was exactly what I was talking about. As you mentioned, it is only growing. Information overload is leading to lack of action.

  • AnitaMac Feb 21, 2012

    Wow ! Very impactful. I imagine the lightness of foot with the attainment of your goals made the climb easier and the experience richer. Way to go. Very motivating.

  • Hillary Claire Feb 25, 2012

    Checking out your blog, and this post makes me want to get up off my butt RIGHT NOW! I love hearing about others pursuing their bucket list, and you talking about following some direction, any direction, passionately is just plain awesome. I’m working on building my own bucket list blog to hold myself accountable and hopefully inspire as much as you do!

    Loved stopping by!

    Hillary Claire

  • Brad Oct 1, 2012

    Yes, your story is definitely an inspiration to me and my friend next to me! We are seriously considering this! I have a few irons in the fire but whats one more! :-)

    Brad R

  • EmmaR Jul 31, 2013

    Just wanted to say this is such an inspirational blog and this post in particular. Thank you for sharing it with the world. I lose my way a lot but I keep coming back here and always feel positive and confident about changing what I want to in my life. Thanks Danny, keep them coming! :)

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