Oznog encompasses my tenets, derived from years of searching, striving, succeeding, succumbing. It formally began in late 2009, when I convinced a couple of friends to drive an ambulance 10,000 miles from the UK to Mongolia. But that’s a story for another time…
Make a choice. Take a stand. I deeply respect anyone who has chosen to fully express themselves. Mark Twain, Hunter S. Thompson, Tucker Max. Whether or not you agree with them – you’ve likely heard of them. Victor Cheng put it best, “To get taken seriously, you must first get noticed”. Said another way, “Go big or go home.”
Accept the Risk.
Life is Risk. I grew up doing (admittedly) stupid things with my friends: shooting each other with fireworks, speeding on old dirt roads, racing motorcycles and jumping off buildings. In recent years, I have argued with Russian Police, driven through the Gobi Desert, raced a stock car and more. I’ve always been able to stand up and brush myself off when things go wrong.
My sister, on the other hand, leads a more normal life. She has been in multiple car accidents (none her fault) and has been hospitalized multiple times.
The point is – you never know what will happen next. Driving your minivan to the corner store may be just as dangerous as traveling overseas. Determine your level of risk vs. reward and accept it.
Tell the Truth.
I am not perfect. I have made many mistakes throughout my life – mistakes that have hurt others, cost me dearly or were just awful embarrassing. In retrospect, I’m grateful. Each one taught me a lesson and has led me to this exact spot.
My point of view is biased. Like every other human on this earth, I see the world through the lens of my experiences, and report it as such. However, I do not lie or deceive, either directly or through omission.
Play Well with Others.
I appreciate a good, hard struggle and am fiercely competitive; though I do not believe in a zero-sum game. There is enough room for each of us and together we can scale incredible heights.
I enjoy giving back. Call it karma, goodwill or whatever new-age mojo you want; I feel good when helping and teaching others.
Above all, I stand by my core friends. Many of them have risked their lives with me and I will always be in their corner.