The Inner Peace Experiment with Joe Metcalfe
First came a near- death experience that rattled Joe Metcalfe’s mindset. A few years later, another life-changing incident shook off any lingering doubts, and ignited Joe into the actions that changed his life. The combined timespan of these two events is approximately 22 minutes – a mere blink of an eye in the scheme of life, but those 22 minutes were all he needed.
He was a twenty-something success story, blessed with a brilliant career with people he liked and admired. His work led him to various places of the country, and placed him before thousands of people each year.
Joe Metcalfe should have been at peace with his life, but he wasn’t.
Somewhere along the way, Joe felt the first stirrings of angst. It seemed as though regardless of what he possessed or how successful he was, he still couldn’t feel content. There was always someone who seemed to be doing better than he was – to own more things, to take bigger trips, to make more money – people who seemed generally happier than he was.
He wondered why he wasn’t happier, and the angst began to build. Then came the day he believed he was about to die, and his outlook on life changed.
“Brace for impact,” came over the speakers, permeating the smoke-filled cabin of the plane packed with terrified passengers and crew. Up front was his close friend, mentor, and boss Kent Clothier. Between them was Kent’s wife and daughter. They were all traveling on the last leg of a trip home from a business trip.
For almost twenty minutes, Joe’s brain swirled with disbelief and heartbreaking clarity on unfulfilled passions as he masked his face with his shirt and assumed crash position. The plane lurched and plummeted into a nosedive as the pilot made a last-ditch effort to extinguish the flames.
Fortunately, the plane remained intact for an emergency landing, and everyone on board lived to tell the story.
For Joe, life’s trajectory shifted.
A long-time reader of inspirational books, the businessman was now inspired to share his own experience with readers, so they too may glimpse some of the clarity he’d experienced – without sitting on a ball of fire as it hurtles through the sky.
In spite of never feeling like a creative person, or enjoying creative writing, Joe felt a compulsion to write this experience in the form of a blog. He created his website and typed away.
With each sentence, a new drive gained momentum within him. Soon, Joe realized his true bliss was not in the successful career he’d built but in writing. Month by month his inner conflict grew, warring between perceived success and inner peace. Then came the second half of the universe’s one-two punch, knocking Joe to his knees in front of 70 people.
It was just another presentation in another town. He’d given this precise presentation hundreds of times before, for thousands of people. He knew it inside and out, and was caught completely off guard by what happened.
Right there on stage, Joe experienced a full-fledged panic attack. It struck with no warning; one minute he was speaking, the next, he was seeing spots before his eyes, and overcome with dizziness. He could feel his heart striking his chest like a battering ram, and he knew he was in trouble.
Ever the professional, Joe managed to stumble his way through the rest of the presentation. It was the last time he took the stage in that career.
Joe credits his boss Kent with being flexible and open to his assertion that he was done with the public speaking. Kent, having survived the same near-fatal flight as Joe, had how own new set of life priorities, and family and well-being were forefront of the list. He readily agreed to Joe’s request to step back from his managerial role as well, to focus solely on phone sales.
For Joe, the career move was intended to alleviate stress and free up more time for him to pursue his new bliss. Writing, meditating, and mindfulness became his new priorities now that his job had narrowed down to one specific focus.
Ironically, Joe found that when he drastically reduced his professional roles and responsibilities, his already-healthy income skyrocketed. In fact, he did so well for a couple more years that he was perfectly primed for that next leap.
With money in the bank and inner peace growing in his mind, Joe committed to uncertainty in pursuit of his bliss.
He left his career, sold all of his possessions, and struck out on adventure.
To step into something uncomfortable was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
For two years, Joe traveled the world with a friend. He focused on experiencing life with fresh eyes and an open mind, and reveled in the beauty of an unencumbered life.
Aware of his blessings, Joe felt he’d reached the point for him to begin returning his good fortune in life by reaching out to help others.
He became part of helping Frank McKinney’s Caring House Project, first as a financial donor and then adding his personal time to helping this organization creating sustainable food, water, and housing in Haiti.
Once you’ve developed your passion and are living your bliss, he says, doing something for a higher cause is wonderful.
Joe’s motives for becoming a part of the work in Haiti are altruistic ones. He genuinely feels the need to show his gratitude for his own blessings, and helping others is lockstep with this gratefulness. He expected to feel good about this work, and he does. What he didn’t expect was the influx of further value that would bounce back at him.
The group of people involved in this work in Haiti is personally and professionally high-caliber. They have developed a camaraderie and professional networking mastermind of sorts that significantly impacts Joe’s own commitment to living his bliss.
Joe has returned from his travels and settled in New York City. His first book, The Inner Peace Experiment, shares insight from a 30-day experiment he conducted on city streets.
His next book is in the works, and he has his own mastermind opportunities available in 2018.
Among the many experiences and lessons learned from his travels, Joe realized the opportunities in America are limitless when compared to several places he visited. He remains grateful for these opportunities and invested in helping others find their own inner peace in the Land of the Free.