Nobody can accuse Kenyon Salo of being asleep at the wheel of life. A motivational speaker, Kenyon has made over 5,000 skydives and 400 base jumps. As one of the six members of the Denver Broncos Thunderstorm Skydive Team, he flies into Sports Authority Field at over 60 mph at each home game, landing on his toes on the ten-yard line. He's been to a lot of Broncos games but he's never once had to come in through the gate.
Kenyon's life is filled with the kind of adrenaline-packed activities that many people would love to do. And he's helping those people to enjoy those experiences. Kenyon is also the creator of TheBucketListLife.com, a community that introduces people to extreme experiences, from leaping out of planes to wrestling alligators.
It's not the kind of job that most people would think of, but it is the kind of job that many extreme sports enthusiasts would dream of. So what can Kenyon's journey to his ideal lifestyle teach other people looking to build their own perfect lives?
The first lesson is that the path to your destination might well go through a period of hard effort. "There are times when you have to buckle down and do what needs to be done," says Kenyon. So if you don't have the capital that lets you get through the period that always comes before revenue, then you might have to do two or three things at the same time, working a nine-to-five job then focusing on what you really want to do until midnight or later. "Eventually you're able to make the leap from one to the other," he says.
For Kenyon, the process was reversed. He worked nights for a property maintenance company in Colorado while spending his days on the ski slopes until he was good enough to become a professional snowboarder.
But moving towards work that's so enjoyable it doesn't feel like work requires more than the hours needed to make the leap. According to Kenyon, the activity you choose to do needs to contain three things.
First it needs be about you. It has to be something that makes you excited and happy. Not everyone is going to find that in leaping out of a perfectly good plane, but that's what does it for Kenyon Salo, so that was the path he chose, however strange that might be those of us who prefer to get our thrills reading Stephen King.
Secondly, it should build a connection with others. The excitement that comes from sharing stories with friends and colleagues builds bridges between people. It opens new paths in life that people might not have considered and exposes them to new opportunities. And even if those people choose not to take those paths, the stories deepen friendships and forges relationships.
And third, the activity should help others because that's when it's most fulfilling. Doing something that you love is always an incredible experience but the only thing that beats it is helping other people to do what they love. Even if what they really love to do is jump out of a plane.
For the complete interview with Kenyton Salo, check out episode #7 of The Fun Podcast below.