There will never be a surefire way to success, but some little hacks in life can do wonders in setting you up for that journey. On today’s show, Julia and Travis Gentry share something lighthearted and yet truthful about what really changed their lives in so many different ways. Lately, they’ve had people asking different questions about “What do you do about this?” and “What do you do about that?” in all areas of their life, whether it’s been health and nutrition or the way that they raise their kids or the way that they travel. In response, they take this opportunity to share the top eight life hacks that have made their lives easier in one way or another and allowed them to achieve a life of design. Listen in and see if you can pick some of these for yourself!
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8 Life Hacks To Succeed At Life
Here we are in Orlando, Florida. We’re going to look at the beach.
The giant wave behind us. The picture is crooked. It’s the picture that they hung that is not straight.
I’m excited about this conversation.
What are we talking about?
This episode is the Eight Life Hacks by the Gentrys. We thought it would be fun to do something lighthearted and yet truthful about things that have changed our lives in so many different ways. We’ve had people lately even asking different questions about, “What do you feel about this? What do you do about this and that?” In all areas of our life, whether it’s been health and nutrition, the way that we raise our kids or the way that we travel. We thought we would do an episode specifically geared towards the things that we would say have changed our lives. The good part about this is that I don’t know what Travis’ four hacks are, nor does he know what I’m saying.
We’re each doing four, which equals eight. We didn’t share that. You go first with hack number one.
Stop pushing a cart. Use Instacart.
Hack number one. One of my first hacks would be Instacart. Instacart changed my life. For those of you who don’t know what Instacart is, it’s a grocery delivery company, not the kind that you order online and then you pull up to go get it. Instacart does it all for you. They even bring it to your doorstep. I feel like that has changed my life since having four kids.
That’s so funny you say that because I am excited to share my first one and be more deep. This one helped me too.
It is for real. I remember the first stages. When we first had Malachi, I did not want to go to the grocery store because when you have your first kid, everything feels hard. Do you remember first having Malachi and you’re like, “How is everybody having children all this time?” This felt challenging to me. I didn’t know what he was going to do if we were at the grocery store and he would freak out. I didn’t like it. You would watch him out and I would go to the grocery store because I didn’t enjoy going to the grocery store with him. We had Aslan and that was fine because they entertained each other. The grocery store never felt very overwhelming to me. I felt like I was understanding motherhood and I could control two children in the grocery cart then we had four kids. Four kids at the grocery store is the most stressful.
Trying to push a cart with food because only two fit in it unless you go to some of the stores where they have the four-seaters but most of them fit two.
Even still, they don’t stay in the cart. Even if you wanted the cart to all have four seats, they don’t stay in the cart. If they do, it’s seven minutes and the grocery store excursion is at least 47 minutes long.
We found it or you found it and we started using it in Oregon.
It’s in Bend, Oregon. People are like, “How much is this?” It’s $9 a month, you pay a few dollars in servicing and then you tip the driver. If you think about how many hours you spend at the grocery store, I have this part of my app that says I saved 127 hours for driving to the grocery store, shopping then bringing home all the things. In my mind, it’s $10 a month. Let’s say we order groceries twice a month. You pay another $15 in fees and then you pay another $20 or $30 in a tip. Collectively, let’s call it $75, it’s all said and done. It’s the best $75 I could ever spend. It saves your grocery list. When you buy groceries, it’ll give you a category where you go and you push all the recurring things that you buy.
It shows you weekly the things that you’re saving. I feel that Instacart makes so much sense in my life. The kids love it because they knock on the door, they all run to the front door and then they help me load it. It’s that simple. I like it. All my mommy friends out there and I do have a couple of that have four kids. I’ll talk to them and I’m like, “What you are you doing?” They’re like, “I’m going to the grocery store.” I’m like, “Do you still do that? You’re going to the grocery store and you have 3 or 4 children.” If you don’t have enough time, I don’t understand of all the things that you could invest in your lifetime, why $75 a month would not be that?
Unless you liked going to the grocery store but even if you’re single, it saves so much time. You can get the same food and not typically because when you go to the grocery store, you wander and you pick up things that you never tried. Even if you were single or a couple, it saves time and you get consistent food. The only disadvantage is it is fun sometimes to go to the grocery store and see what is it.
Go buy yourself.
Once every quarter.
It was in Denver before we moved. We try to go to Whole Foods by ourselves and we wander up and down the aisles and be like, “I’m going to meet you up at the front,” before our meetings together. That’s fun to me grabbing 1 or 2 things. Other than that, I don’t want to ever go to the grocery store again. That is hack number one from Julia Gentry, Instacart. If you haven’t tried it out, they let you try it. It has a trial for 30 days. I want you to try it. If you haven’t tried it, do it. That’s a life hack I can go with.
When all else fails, YouTube it.
Life hack number two is YouTube.
Is that a life hack for you? Tell me more.
YouTube is one of the best tools and resources because I’m a visual life learner. It’s visual and audio, so I get both. If I’m watching or wanting to learn something, there have been so many times where I can YouTube on how to fix something and there’s a video on pretty much everything.
It’s so funny that you say that because I remember when we were driving in the RV and I don’t remember what broke but it was in the middle of the night. I was like, “What are we going to do?” You’re like, “I don’t know. Give me a second.” I honestly, in your defense, was a little upset for a minute because I was like, “Where is he? Why is he on his phone? We need to fix this.” He was YouTube-ing. I remember that. I was like, “Why are you on your phone?” You’re like, “I’m YouTube-ing to figure out how to solve this problem.”
It’s pretty much every problem. I watch it for the news because you get cliff notes so you don’t have to sit around. You can see the headlines, “Real estate investing. Fixing any random thing like RVs or cars.”
My thought with YouTube has always been a more entertaining factor, so I don’t go to YouTube even if you’ve said to me a couple of times, “YouTube it.” I’m like, “Why? I don’t know how to do that.” You’ve you say YouTube more than Google?
YouTube is my preferred because I want to visually see something and I can listen to it. Instead of reading something, someone is showing you how. Most of the time, the people that I follow or when I YouTube something, it gets to the point. I don’t have to scroll through it and read a bunch of stuff. If I’m looking for a how-to, it shows me how to do that, not a bunch of copies to read and figure it out.
I feel like I learned a lot about you when I go and look on your YouTube because YouTube will pull up when you start scrolling. It’s hard to be Travis Gentry. I want you to know this because your YouTube channel is the most variety of different options. Mine is worship music and kid worship music. That’s what it is. I go to yours and it’s from crocodile hunting to real estate investing.
Some of that is the kids. At night, sometimes me and Malachi will cuddle up and it’s like, “Let’s watch the craziest or coolest animals.” That’s it but at the same time, you’ll see anything from Dr. Myles Munroe, Joel Osteen, UFC, real estate investing, to money. It is what I watch. It’s very different.
For anyone reading, YouTube it when all else fails. It’s an amazing life hack. That’s a good one to have. Back in the day, they would have said dictionaries.
If I could only have one app on my phone, it would be YouTube. I’d have to have two, the MapQuest.
Think about this, several years ago, it was dictionaries. Remember, it was door-to-door sales. Wasn’t it dictionaries?
That’s more for words. That’s not how to do it.
It seemed like when you start figuring out what words mean and the definition of words.
First, you had the information and how it traveled. It was like the radio, TV, print ad, internet and then it was Google. It evolved over time but how do you want your information. You can Google it but it typically shows screenshots and pictures. Sometimes it has a video but I can go to YouTube and find a video specifically anything I want.
YouTube is hard for me because I am a verbal learner. I process by talking.
You can talk back to it if you want. You can pause it. It’s almost like you’re having a conversation.
Do intermittent fasting.
I’ve noticed even when I will say to you, what did you hear? I’d like to have that conversation with you. You almost give me the cliff note recaps that you have and I like to talk about it and process it out with you. YouTube and I don’t have that relationship because it doesn’t allow me to talk back to him. My life hack number two is intermittent fasting.
What is intermittent fasting?
Here are my shortcuts. You learned about it from YouTube, Thomas DeLauer. This was years ago because it was right when you lived in Arizona. We just had Nixon and you started to study specifically Thomas DeLauer’s stuff. He’s a big proponent of intermittent fasting. I’m not a huge breakfast person but I always subscribed to breakfast as the most important meal of the day. A lot of times, even if I would eat healthy stuff, it energetically didn’t feel right to me but I don’t know that I had the words until I started doing intermittent fasting.
I swear, it changed my life. I remember you and I spent seven years getting to a place that our health has increased to where it is now. I knew that I wanted vital energy. The more kids that we’ve had and obviously with all the travel and all the things, good energy has been so important. The concept of intermittent fasting is you don’t eat for a span of sixteen hours, give or take. It’s for the point of letting your body process. It’s almost like to detox, purify, rid of itself and not work hard digesting our food.
Even though that’s what our stomachs are designed to do is to digest our food, but when we eat as much as we eat, you’re not giving your body a break to breathe and reset itself. This is the part I’d love to talk about more with you because you have such a good interpretation of how this has worked in your life too. The power is when you break the fast too. It’s not fasting for sixteen hours, it’s the process of breaking your fast that is so important. For me, when I break my fast, I’m not starving. I have a period or an hour or so where I can tell I am hungry. That is such an important part of intermittent fasting is how you break the fast, what you eat and the rest of the hours that you’re able to eat but I swear by this.
That’s where you can get where your body has to adapt to it too. I didn’t know that at first. You can do intermittent fasting 2, 1, 4 or 6 days a week. It depends on what you want. I started out with seven days but I didn’t understand that. My energy levels were down until my body started to adapt to it. Now, I don’t even like to eat in the morning. When I do, it throws me off a little bit. We’ll have black coffee and water. We can do a whole show just on food.
How you break your fast and Thomas DeLauer is big on that. In that eight-hour span that you’re eating, you’re not eating to make up for the lost calories. Naturally, your body starts to lose weight. I haven’t noticed it as far as even losing muscle. That’s a big thing too. We can talk about that as far as calories. I love working out in the morning and then I don’t eat anything. I don’t eat any big meals or protein.
Your body also processes that so quickly in the workout.
It’s not going to totally derail me but true intermittent fasting is no carbs.
The claim to fame for intermittent fasting, and I will say I am a testimony for this, is mental clarity. The amount of mental clarity that I have in the morning and throughout the rest of my day is so sharp. There’s not another word to describe it. I feel very clear. It helps me be present. I feel like I’m in my body and not as spacey, cloudy or people talk about a lot of that brain fog. Mental clarity is huge. It’s energy. I personally have not found my dips later on in that afternoon. That’s partly because we stopped drinking as well. My body isn’t craving sugar. To me, my energy feels sustainable looking back partially because I used to put tons of sugar in my coffee and I used to drink in the afternoon.
I think my body was always riding those highs but intermittent fasting has created sustainable energy. When I’m tired, I’m tired. That’s a sign and signaling me as opposed to some of us having more caffeine or doing something else to avoid being tired, whereas for me, it starts to signal I’m human and I’m tired. I don’t have to think about food in the morning. That’s the best thing for me. It’s one less thing I have to decide. I get up, the first thing is a glass of water and have my coffee. I break my fast because it makes me feel good, it’s another probiotic in my stomach is I do goalkeeper followed by an hour later of bone broth protein.
Nutrition, in general, because it’s not bad to eat in the morning. It’s very commercialized. It bred in us at a young age, “You have to have your breakfast, have lunch and have dinner,” but you also have snacks in between your breakfast and lunch and then your lunch and dinner. It’s all over the media. It’s very commercialized but you can lose weight, not by intermittent fasting. You can gain weight with intermittent fasting. It’s finding your body and how you break it. There are certain things that you don’t want to go eat your bowl of burrito right after you break your fast. You want to ease into it and do something that helps promote gut health, that protein and then a few carbs. It’s not high-fat right after you break it and not super high calories either. Again, it’s finding that balance. Something with gut health or probiotics in it is a great way to break your fast.
For a lot of people that I’ve talked to also, weight loss has been a huge advantage. Partially because you see how much food we eat throughout the day and it’s a lot and it then becomes habitual. If you’re reading and you’re intrigued, don’t start seven days a week. Even one of our good friends, she’s an achiever on the Enneagram. She was like, “I feel like it’s a little bit more challenging than I expected.” I was like, “How many days do you do it?” She’s like, “I do it every single day.” I was like, “Don’t start there. You’re going to burnout. Your body has to get used to it but once it gets used to it, for me now, I’m 6 to 7 days a week. I don’t have to think about it.” At first, I was almost doing every other day to get my body comfortable. I would do two days in a row and then I’d skip a day and so on.
I like to jump it. If we’re going to do it, let’s do it. Let’s shock our body and get over with it. Here’s what I would also say. For most people that say, “I can’t do that.” I remember having a conversation with a good friend of mine. I talked to him about that. His wife started doing it. He was like, “I can’t do that.” Now, he’s doing it and loves it. He’s lost weight. He’s toned down a little bit but now he wants to gain a little bit more weight. It’s finding that balance but he loves it. Most people, when you eat a lot of food, you can’t fathom not eating for sixteen hours. What we normally do is from 8:00 pm to 12:00 pm and the next day, you don’t eat. You can adjust those hours. If you work at night, adjust those hours. Eight hours out of that time, you’re not even awake anyway.
For me, I didn’t start at sixteen hours. I am not as fast and furious as you. I started at fourteen hours as well. I would go to fifteen and then I would go to sixteen. This changed my life.
You can do a 24-hour fast. I knew someone that did 24 hours once a month. There are different things that you can do to reset your body.
For Thomas DeLauer, thank you.
Give yourself to Jesus.
I would say my second hack is Jesus. I was eighteen when I got saved and gave myself to Jesus. Have I been the best follower? No, but at that point, it was a tipping point of knowing there’s something else besides me and understanding. There’s grace, mercy, forgiveness and freedom by having faith. That’s why I have it tattooed on my arm. When I’m in faith and full alignment, I feel free because I’m not perfect. I don’t need to be perfect. I’m going to try to be the best that I possibly can but I’m human. That’s when grace comes in. Grace on myself and then when other people do things, it’s having grace on them because I’m forgiven so I should forgive. We had an amazing conversation and we talked about it a little bit. It’s like a weight has been lifted because it’s been floating around for both of us and then we put it into words.
At eighteen, you gave your life to God. What was that tipping point? What did that sound like in your heart or your mind? Why did you decide at that point in time?
It was weird. I can remember where I was sitting and it wasn’t this pretty thing like going to church and this is the day.
Was it premeditated?
No, not at all. At that time, we didn’t go to church as a family but I was going with someone else. That day, it was when they do the typical call. My body almost stood up. It wasn’t even conscious. My body stood up and started walking down and you’re like, “It feels so right but what am I doing? What else is it going to be?” This was more of a Baptist style church where you’re going in front. It wasn’t a huge one.When all else fails, YouTube it. Click To Tweet
Did anyone go down with you?
I can’t remember that. It was almost like you’re in this tunnel vision. I stood up and I went down there. It was like processing, judging or anything. It’s a smaller church and you’re up in front of people. Now, it’s more and more in many churches and stuff. It can be different. Normally, when you’re eighteen, you feel nervous. I don’t want to get judged.
You’re aware of what other people think at that time.
You care. That moment, there was no care like, “This feels right.”
Now, walk me through these years to God.
I feel so good.
God has been in your life and been a part of your life longer now than he was not. Talk to me about how He’s been a life hack for you.
When you get saved and you give your life to Christ, it’s not instant like everything is good. Going through seasons of life from high school out into college and stuff, I lost sight of it. I lost sight of who I was. I lost God. Coming back, God is still there. God never left, I left. Sometimes, through this process, you don’t feel alone even when you’re walking through those harder times. God is right there for you to go back to Him.
In my opinion, it’s one of the biggest misconceptions that I’ve heard. Ours is very different because when my parents got divorced at the age of five, my mom dove headfirst into the Christian church. They were walking completely outside of God. I think that was her wake-up call. I remember as a kid, you name it, Rodney Howard. I’ve saved it 100 times. I remember people running around the church and falling over. I remember people speaking in tongues and that was very normal to me. My experience was God was almost handed to me on a silver platter.
I didn’t have to work from. I didn’t have to ever know Him. I gave my life 100 times. It was so around and it wasn’t until the day I remember. It’s the same age, eighteen years old, where I was like, “I don’t want to do the same one.” I can remember knowing, feeling and hearing God’s voice. I remember praying that it would go away like, “God, I can’t be bad. I hear your voice too much.” I remember the day that it stopped. God was like, “I’m not going to force you to hear me.” The misconception is that we think that God goes somewhere.
Explain that and I think you went somewhere.
That’s what I’m going to say. We think that God goes somewhere. Where is God in this? Why can’t I feel God? Why can’t I see God? It’s God’s fault that he wasn’t there or whatever that is. To our point, we had very different experiences but God never went anywhere. I remember the day that I recognized that I was no longer hearing from Him and immediately, I got back on my knees and I was like, “I don’t want to live my life not hearing from you.” That immediate spirit to where you’re like, “There he is,” not because He didn’t go anywhere but because I went somewhere. That’s the beautiful part about a walk with God. It’s not that He goes anywhere. It’s where did we go? How has that impact now with you having kids because our experiences were very different? How does that life hack translate even with our kids?
It evolves just like with anything. We evolve as humans. Awareness as you have kids, certain things that you didn’t do, you don’t do because whether you don’t have time or it doesn’t fit in the lifestyle. The awareness of, “If I’m going to be the best that I can possibly be and be a follower, be a leader of our marriage or the house, that there are certain things that I can’t do and say because I know consciously.” It’s different if you’re not connecting the pieces. We’ve said it before, you’re responsible for what you know. Once you know something to be better, then do better. We’ve said that and it’s so true. We’ve talked about it, like alcohol, on and off for quite some time. I’d stopped drinking for a year at a time.
I go through those and then go back. Looking at it, that’s one thing. We’ll definitely do an episode specifically on that. My relationship with God has evolved and it’s getting deeper and quicker now because I am not clouded by alcohol, scarcity and fear. Now, it’s new awareness or I’m consciously been there for quite some time. With anything, I tend to go all-in quick and I’m trying to go as quick as I can through actions, words to the kids, business and everything. I feel this new sense of purpose in business, life and responsibility. It has nothing to do with I’m almost 40. I feel better now than I did when I was 30. It doesn’t have to do with that. It just has to do. Now, I’m consciously aware of these things. I have a better connection with myself and God. Now, I want to be responsible for what I know because that is why I’m here. It’s to bring that gift and light to the world around me.
When you start to realize how they function, I think it’s are the biases about God that stop us from knowing God. It’s what we saw growing up. The hardest part about church or God, in general, is that we’re all people. People make mistakes. When we start to put people or religion on a pedestal, we get a skewed perspective. We’re all human trying to figure this out. When you start to know God, I would say even for you the way that God has come alive to us and again, not that what’s written in the Bible was just written in the Bible but I read it differently now. It’s so come alive even to me that it’s like, “Has this said this the whole time?” I feel like I’m reading verses going, “Did I miss the context? Did I not apply it in my life?” This stuff works.
You go through the motions of saying something or one of the scriptures but it doesn’t connect. The head leveling, you say it sounds good in prayer or someone else but now it’s like that has power behind it.
When you said to Malachi, you forgive 70 times 7. We get in the car and it felt like church. We even reminded them it was the craziest conversation around 70 times 7 the Bible tells us to forgive. We started talking through the times that we haven’t forgiven, why we don’t forgive or where we’ve got stuck whether it’s in relationships or things with ourselves or whatever. Both of us were so convicted because we set the answer. Until you sit and marinate in it and you go, “This doesn’t even just imply. It is very vivid.”
It’s connecting the dots like what you said. I had a conversation with a friend specifically on that where it’s easy even with COVID. Mask or no mask, Trump or Biden or whatever it is to judge people as opposed to classifying people in a certain category whether you’re gay or lesbian, you like Trump or don’t like Trump or whatever it may be. There are fundamentals faith-wise and I may not agree with you but I still like you and I love you.
If I’m going to be a follower, I forgive you because I can’t cast a stone because I have sin in my life. It’s so easy for people and that’s where we were at. Let’s talk about us specifically. For us to classify and say we’re not going to forgive, not necessarily consciously but underlying. It was like, “We’re not going to forgive you. We’re going to put you over here. We’re going to cut you off, disconnect or not have your part of our life because of one thing or multiple things,” because we don’t forgive. That was a huge part of the context of the conversation.You’re responsible for what you know. Once you know there’s something you can do better, then do better. Click To Tweet
It was because this person had done it multiple times. We thought that we were being wise by not showing forgiveness because that’s wisdom to not forget them. These were not words we were using, but we’re going to set boundaries and we’re going to push that person out of our life because it’s been multiple times. The minute we found ourselves saying, “Malachi, the Bible talks about forgiving 70 times 7.” We looked at each other and we were like, “70 times 7.”
We didn’t even hit it. We were talking about that. That’s where the seed got planted. It was festering and cut water. All of a sudden, forgiveness and there’s forgiveness that I know I have not done. That was huge. Coming back to what you were saying as far as family and kids, I can’t tell Malachi to do something if I’m not willing to do it and lead him in that too. When he’s going through a hard situation in forgiveness, judgment, right or wrong, if I know that, I’m responsible for it. Now, I have to take action on it.
How do we talk about any other life hacks after that? Jesus is our number three life hack. I’m going to go lighter. I feel like this is silly but this water bottle, this is my straw.
From Jesus to water bottle.
It’s called LifeStraw. It’s a life hack. There are six of us, we drink water like crazy. I’m so big on clean and filtered water. I’ve never been a fan of drinking fountains, not just since COVID. I think that they’re gross. I’d want it to be purified. That’s always been a big deal for me. We are out somewhere and the kids are like, “I’m thirsty.” You’re like, “I’m sorry.” It doesn’t matter how many water bottles they bring. I’m not a huge fan of buying more plastic water bottles. Anyways, I heard about this LifeStraw through a friend and it is a water bottle that comes with a dope filter.
It’s not any old filter, it’s a state-of-the-art filter that filters out all the crap. I can fill up my water at the drinking fountain, in a river, even the sink where I wash my hands in the bathroom or anywhere and I have filter water on-the-go. You can put it up on your backpack. Even the kids were like, “Did you bring the purple.” I was like, “We only filter when we’re out.” I want to use the filter when the filter is needed. I need people to know that it is so important that we’re drinking clean water and now there’s no excuse to not drink clean water.
Where did you get that?
You can get this on Amazon or at LifeStraw.com. You can get water bottles, filters and a whole bunch of stuff. I feel like this is one of those things when we find ourselves saying, “I can’t do it. It doesn’t matter.” It is so easy not to drink good quality water. I know that this is not Jesus but if Jesus was here, He would drink this water bottle with me. Even Zion, our ten-old has figured out how to drink out of this. This has changed my life. Thank you, LifeStraw.
How do I follow that one? We’re going to talk about the third one that I have, which is traveling.
That’s a good one.
It’s a great one if you think about it as we are traveling right now. I’m talking about travel and we’ve done extreme travel. We’ve done fifth-wheel travel with two kids. We’ve done RV A-class with three kids. Now, we’re Vrbo traveling with four kids. To me, the travel from that time when we made the decision of like, “We have to start doing things intentionally and with purpose.” Before we got married, we both traveled and lived in different places. When we got married, we still lived in a few different places but to me, that’s what puts life in perspective. It makes you look from the outside in. Les Brown says, “You can’t see the picture when you’re in the frame.” When you’re going through the habits of life, the Monday through Friday grind and routine that most people live in, you have to disconnect yourself from that and not just the vacation of either.
You go on vacation depending on where you go on vacation or what you do, you almost go overboard or you can’t. It’s a reflection time to see going to these places and meeting people that we’ve met throughout the country now, the culture, food and lifestyle, it’s so different. To me, it’s life-giving because now I can take little different things from different environments and different people as opposed to and I’m not saying this is a bad thing, but talking to the same people and running the same habit loop of conversations, you start to go outside and you’re like, “There’s so much more.”
This gives you insight into living and being married to Travis Gentry. When we were in Castle Rock, it was a total of nine months that we were there before we started traveling again. He’s driving home the long way and I never drive home the long way. I was like, “Why are you going home the long way?” He looks at me so matter of fact and he’s like, “I’ve driven the short way a thousand times. I don’t want to drive home a different way.” In my head, I was like, “He’s ready to travel again.” You’ve always looked at life that way like, “Why do I want to drive the same way all the time?”
We had that thought when we were in Bend, Oregon. We started to get into that routine. For us, to a certain extent, where it’s like, “What did we do last Saturday and the Saturday before that?” You’re like, “The same thing.” I’m like, “What’s the point of living if you’re doing the same thing or you can’t remember the Saturday or Sunday before looks like the same for six weeks or six months.”
He’s going to ruin you forever. You need to turn this show into something else. It wasn’t until you started making comments like that when it was like, “We’ve gone to this park a thousand times. I’ve driven home this way a thousand times.” I’ve seen it and I’ve done it but I don’t think you’ve ever put context around it from that perspective. I’m not a routine girl but I am more of a controller. I can easily start to get in my box of control because I can control everything. I know the outcome. From A to Z, I know what it’s going to taste, feel and look like. You are such a good pattern interrupt for me in that. What travel has done for me this last couple of years is it is stressful. I’m not going to lie.
There have been times that I have found myself on my knees emotionally and spiritually leaning into God but going, “It’s not about the travel.” We talked about the thing under the thing so often but the travel for me has broken the spirit of control. It is breaking the spirit of control. I’d like to say that I’m fully recovered but it has caused me to lean into God in ways that I didn’t know I wasn’t before. It helped me to break and look at my control issues in ways that I haven’t before. It allowed me to experience life with our kids in a way that I would have never before. It caused me to trust you, the journey and the process in ways that I don’t know that I would’ve needed to before. For me, it’s been priceless. I feel like our travel has been the best therapy I could have ever had. You can’t pay for this stuff.
That’s been the conversation as of late. We want a routine to a certain extent. We want a home-base. We want the kids to have a routine. We want routine and a little bit of structure but also know we’re going to travel, explore and see new things. I don’t think there’s such thing as balanced and you just do this. When we have a home-base, we’re still going to travel. We’ll go out for a month or two weeks and explore and see new things. I remember it was at Castle Rock, it blows my mind sometimes when someone lives there and they go to the same park over and over. There are eight parks. You’re missing out on potentially something new.
I was chatting with the girl who said, “Julia, before I met you, I didn’t even know that I could do something different. I was stuck so much in these patterns that you afforded me the ability to look up and realize that I could think and live differently.” What starts to happen is we do start getting in those cycles and in those habitual traits over and over again that we don’t ever pattern interrupt, look up and go, “How can I make this possible?” A lot of times, people ask us, “How have you ever been able to do that? It’s got to be expensive.”
Our monthly expenses in all of our RV travel was pretty much the same. You don’t know that until you start to follow that trail a little bit. It’s possible. It’s just, how we can make this possible and you’ve always been a proponent of that. I don’t think I would have done these last few years without your perspective because I “didn’t know” how to make that possible. When we decide that we want to do something, you’ve got the skill of knowing how to make it happen.
It’s also helped me understand what I was doing well and good that I need to keep doing.
What do you mean?
Even in business, there are certain times where I feel like I almost sabotage it because I needed something different. I’ve recognized that more so now than ever of staying consistent having the pattern, that’s what business is. Doing something good and getting better at it, not trying to do a bunch of different things like the shotgun approach. I’ve recognized that it’s a shortcoming of mine of I do something different for the sake of doing something different as opposed to saying, “In real estate, I’m going to get good at these and then get even better at those. I’m going to bring in and travel and other things the variety outside of where I know I need to have consistency.”
To that point, even with the kids, I had people say to me in regards to the travel, “Don’t your kids need consistency?” Let’s talk about 2020, first of all, no child has had consistency. Whether we’re traveling or not, things like COVID could happen to where you pull the rug of consistency out from underneath of any kid. For us, there are things that you and I have worked on that are consistent even in the midst of all the inconsistency. How do we parent? Most of the time, how we do dinner? How we do bedtime and getting to church. There’s enough consistency that it’s fine. I love the variety for our kids. I love that they will talk to anyone.Travel puts life in perspective. It makes you look at it from the outside in. Click To Tweet
They had a new nanny walked in and it was the best thing since sliced bread. They love new people. They’re extremely comfortable talking to new people. At the pool, they met three girls and I didn’t see them for two hours because they were playing with their friends in the pool. To me, I feel like that is so valuable that if we can learn how to create small ways of consistency that it doesn’t require us to do it the “normal way.” You can find consistencies in any type of lifestyle if you look for it.
It’s good and it’s needed. You also need variety to mix things up and get a different perspective.
I can see that as a life hack especially because you lived in the same house growing up for many years.
I only remember two houses. I didn’t live in one house for twenty years.
The one in Parker, how long did you guys live there?
I lived in the house for 10, 11 years and then the house before that was six years. I don’t remember from 1, 3, 4 or whatever.
Disconnect from the glass.
I appreciate that one. I have a couple more. Which direction do I go with this? We’re going to do another episode. It was between two, The Passion Translation Bible since you already said Jesus. This is a quick book that has changed my life. I loved that book. The one that’s changed my life is not drinking. I’ve never been an alcoholic. You and I, we never got sloppy with it. I don’t even think that someone watching our lives would think that we had a problem or that I had a problem with alcoholism. What it started to do for me was it created an out.
On stressful days, it felt like my release. On days that I wanted to stop thinking, it was the thing that helped me not think. If I was at an event that I didn’t want to be at, I would have a glass of wine. It was the thing that kept me from being present. It was the thing that kept me from engaging and helped stop me from feeling all the feels. I feel like when we decided to finally stop drinking that I had got my life back. I don’t know if I read it or heard it somewhere but it’s another girl who’s been sober for years but she’s got this quote that says, “We’re the lucky ones.”
When you stand on the other side of sobriety, you’re like, “Why would you ever stop drinking? Life is fun when you are drinking. I don’t even know what I would do without drinking. What about Christmas? What about birthdays? What about Friday at 4:00? What about happy hour?” I’m like, “You realize that life is so consumed by alcohol.” When you start to look at the path of sobriety, you’re no longer drinking, I remember feeling anxious about it when I think about it because I felt like life was calling to me a little bit. When I thought about not drinking, I started feeling anxious when I was on the other side of it.
When you hear the quote, “We’re the lucky ones.” It hasn’t been until I’d been on the other side of it that I’m able to look back and go, “I think I’m the lucky one.” The way that I see life and myself, how much more we get done every single day, how I feel consistently every single day, how much money we save, the ability to process emotions and all the things that I wasn’t doing because I don’t have a glass of wine and mentally or emotionally tap out has been unreal for me. That has been a game-changer. It has been a life hack for me.
What was the tipping point? We’ve talked about it for a long time. We’ve started and stopped. We’ve gone through one more day.
We’ve toyed with it. We’ve touched at a time or two. I remember the episode that we did about letting go and you have to let go of things in order to go where you’ve never gone. It was in that episode that I knew. There was a part that you don’t want to do that episode because what you know better, do better. When I started thinking about where do I want us to go and I think about our family, our kids, the way that I want to love our kids, I want to connect with you, our marriage and how I want to touch heaven on this Earth. I want to play a role in bringing heaven to Earth.
Writing this book, the impact I want it to have and how much it requires all of me, I feel like that was a tipping point if you asked me that question, what can you not take with you on that journey? We had packed up all of our stuff. We were traveling light and that was the final tipping point of this. I can’t take alcohol with me though I don’t drink a lot, I drink enough to where I’m giving attention to it. I’m putting focus there. I’m still not dealing with something or not processing being present or whatever it is. It was that question and putting our attention there that stimulated this.
It’s been a struggle in a conversation in our marriage for years. We enabled each other on different levels. I remember there’s been a couple of times where we’re not going to drink or whatever and then you get a text like, “I have stuff on the grocery store, do you need anything?” You’re waiting for the other person to say, “I’d love a glass of wine.”
I don’t even know that I ever admitted that.
How many times does that happen? I know exactly what was going. Julia will text me and I would wait for a text and she’d be like, “I’m stopping. Do you need or want anything?” Not saying it or sometimes you would say, “I’m going to stop. I’ve got some wine. Do you want anything?” I wouldn’t have that night but since you are, yes, I would love one and the next night and the next night.
For me, it started to be this conversation of like, “Why not? I need a glass of wine to distress or check out.” It was like, “Why?” You’re not processing what you have to drink. If you’re feeling like the day was so stressful, it’s what I’m telling myself like, “Julia, if you feel that the day is stressful or you’re around people that you don’t want to be around that much, your emotions are at the surface ready to explode or whatever it is, that’s what we need to be dealing with. That glass of wine isn’t going to solve the problem. It’s prolonging the inevitable.” At some point in time, wherever I go there, I am. When I started to connect those pieces, that’s when I started to go, “I don’t want this to go with me anymore. I want to look at the thing.”
It’s the complete opposite. When you drink, it allows you to be someone that you’re not, normally. It’s definitely a way to #disconnect. That’s exactly what it is. That’s what we’ve talked about and joked about for a while. For me, it’s a glass to disconnect. That’s exactly what I want to do is disconnect from you, our kids, this space or people.
I’m thinking, “I won’t have fun without it.” You’re like, “There are so many things to talk about.” A wedding is not fun without it or going out with my girlfriends is not fun without it. You’re like, “Maybe it’s the girlfriends that are not fun.” You think you are not fun and you’re like, “We got stuff to look at. There’s something here to look at.” Finally, on those conversations of watching myself every time I wanted a glass of wine and going, what’s the thing under the thing because that’s what I want to deal with? It’s been interesting, thank God.
Having not to drink now, I’ve had one day that I was like, “This is the day that I want a glass of wine. One day, this whole time.” I looked at myself in the mirror and I was like, “Why would I want a glass of wine?” If I feel emotionally like, “This was hard, I want a glass of wine so I don’t have to feel it, or is there something else that I could do? Can I go for a run? Can I get in the bath? What do I need to do that’s going to heal the problem and not put it off until tomorrow?”
The understanding of the reason why we were doing it was starting to weigh on me too where it was like, “I don’t want to do this to disconnect. The feelings and the emotion are going to start to build up because I keep burying them. I’m not living in my full potential.” For me, it was killing me inside. I wasn’t totally being and living in faith and being the best man I can be for you and the kids. I can’t keep doing this but that was the vicious cycle. I’m going to keep doing it because it’s bothering me, which is a weird thing. It’s like this habit loop of, it bothers me so much but I am going to keep doing it because if I stopped then I’m responsible for other things that I’m hiding from or buried. It’s been the most freeing too. Now I’m hungrier than ever to do my business in investing and everything. That’s my life hack number four.
This is the final. This is number eight. What was the life hack?
Investing in money. It starts with a book, Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad but investing in money and understanding it. That’s what I’ve avoided for such a long time. We’ve been successful. We’ve had rentals. I’ve sold them off. I’ve lived by fear. That’s one of the reasons why we sold them off. I thought the market was getting crash and now being super aware, conscious and going after what I want. Surrounding myself with people that are further ahead than I am but also then putting into practice what I know has been so exhilarating, exciting, freeing and not just about me. Also, living truly to my full potential. I’ve read many books and listened to many podcasts, I know real estate very well. I’ve done more real estate than I have in the last couple of years.
Talk to me about why investing is a life hack.
Real estate is the best vehicle to gain wealth, grow wealth and maintain wealth. There’s nothing a vehicle that everybody can do.
I think that there are so many people right now that will go, “I don’t have that money, I don’t have the wherewithal and I don’t have a high-paying job.” There are a million excuses. Talk to me about that.
It’s the understanding of real estate and money, in general. It’s not racist. If you grew up with no money or poor, you have poor money thoughts and habits. If you grew up in a wealthy environment, you have different ones. YouTube, coming back to it, you can YouTube every how-to out there on real estate. How’d to get to real estate with no money? How to start real estate from wholesaling, investing, creative financing, flipping houses, partnering and JV-ing? All the things are all there. The one thing I would say and that’s what we’re pressing into is the mindset behind it. It has nothing to do with the how-tos, it has everything to do with the mindset. That has been where I’ve allowed myself to get attacked.
I would agree with that. When we first started our business in real estate back in 2008, the biggest learning curve for me was that mindset. Even though my dad was an entrepreneur, I grew up living paycheck-to-paycheck and that was what I was accustomed to, what I was used to, what I was familiar with. I remember reading that book and thinking, “What?” You don’t see it, understand it and get it. It feels like the terminology is insane. I didn’t feel my brain worked that way and there is a ton to learn.
It’s like being a doctor and an attorney, you learn the language. They don’t teach it in school. You don’t grow up unless your parents teach you about money and how money works. Most people invest in their 401(k) and whatever their company offers for the long run. I can have a job. If I love my job, great. You can still do real estate on the side. You can still invest in real estate. You can be a passive investor or you can be an active investor. There are different ways to get into real estate but you might put your money to work. With that, there’s leverage of it. I put other people’s money to work. It’s not all of my money. It’s other people’s money that I get to put to work based off of the skillset that I’ve acquired over the years. My biggest life hack is once you know real estate, money and investing, the opportunity is endless.
Here, I’m biased but I feel like the world needs what you have, Travis, because you get it in a way that is earth-shatteringly different than what I like here. I try to follow your awakeness for years. You have a way of communicating, talking about it and exemplifying that a lot of people don’t talk about it the same way. I feel like what you know, you need to share more.
I definitely am. That’s where alcohol has prohibited me. Underlying the thing has been a thing. The limiting beliefs that I’ve carried with me. I can’t have what I want. If I were to follow the path from 2008, I sabotage myself. These are all the things that I want to start talking about of how I sabotage myself, why I sabotage myself because I’m consciously aware of it. To help other people identify those quicker to overcome their limiting beliefs into the thing for them to then put into practice the tools and resources that are out there.
We’ve been to so many different events, seminars, read books and you’re around these people that never do anything but they spent tens of thousands of dollars to get coached and mentored but the thing that they don’t do is work on the mindset. It’s more about the mindset than the how-tos. That’s exactly what we’ve been talking about that we will collaborate on and do and talk more about that to help people to understand that and then understanding where we’ve fallen short and the mistakes that we’ve had. The things I would have done differently but now, with all of that, moving faster than I ever have.Real estate is the best vehicle to gain wealth, grow wealth, and maintain wealth. Click To Tweet
These life hacks are game-changers. I love how this went in this direction. To recap, give me your four life hacks again.
LifeStraw, Jesus, sobriety and investing. You don’t need anything else. What else do you want from us? I cannot think of one more thing that you could possibly need to change your life in 2021 other than those eight life hacks from the Gentrys. From us to you. We hope that you enjoyed some life hacks, simple all the way to the most profound, that have changed our lives. Maybe they will change yours as well.
Until next time, let’s Dream On.
See you soon.
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Rich Dad Poor Dad
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