About Me

Hey There !

Mark KilianThanks for stopping by and checking out my personal journal.  Those of you who know me through my business connections or volunteer work  may or may not know that my adventurous spirit carries well into my personal life .   I am highly passionate about life’s adventures, travel, meeting people, and exploring new things.   As an  outdoor adventurist,  mountain biker,  and river enthusiast – I am able to access places very few ever get to see.  Don’t like big water, exposed trails  or heights ?  Fear not, I enjoy sharing my adventures through photography and writing.  You may be surprised to find that my description of adventure goes well past what can been seen and touched.  The physical realm has brought me to some crazy, beautiful places,  but  my  life’s best adventures have been exploring the metaphysical world and I can only describe that  as a a feeling of  deep inner peace and understanding of where I belong in the universe.  Its like being able to see millions of colors when everyone else can only see a few thousand.     So this journal is a work in progress – just as I am –  it   represents a collection of ramblings, images and adventures from my trips and experiences in life.    If you want to learn a little bit more about me ,  here are a few of the principles I live by :

I don’t think outside the box – I live outside it…

If I could pick one phrase that defines me – this would be it.  I have always had a zest for life and it is hard to follow that call if life is overfilled with obligations &  responsibilities.      Some may call that  wanderlust or not being content – but  I am very content in  life –  I love to work and I love my job (I help grow companies) ,  but I work smart, not hard.    I live in a great place, I have great friends and I’m extremely active.    It  means I  will never shed that fire and passion to experience everything I can in life  and one can never do that if they live in a box.

The only risk in life is not taking one…

One has to take risks to truly experience life  –  step outside the comfort zone and explore the physical, mental  and spiritual  space all around us as it truly is an amazing place.

Instead of wishing for a vacation – I build a life I don’t need to escape from

Life, at least how I define it , is a grand adventure filled with exploration, learning, helping others, profound friendships & relationships  – anything less is not living.  True living can not be done from an office chair or a couch – and it certainly can’t be done if fear limits our every move.   Adventure, risk and even failure breathe life into a soul – but comfort and routine will wither it.    We have one life – one bucket of time – we can chose to do what everyone else does – play it safe –  or we can be the architect of an amazing life – that choice is ours to make.  Most people are  so busy spending their energy worrying about the past or the  future that they are oblivious to the  beauty and opportunity that lie right in front of them.

I can be comfortable, or I can be courageous –  I cannot be both…

The amazing life is not comfortable , its risky and at times uncomfortable, sometimes it can be dangerous or even painful in the case of emotional risk   –  but it is one HELL of a lot more rewarding.   I truly feel that most of humanity’s misery and stress could be eliminated if more left the path of routine, comfort and safety.  I believe depression and many mental  illnesses arise or are prolonged by being under challenged,  under active, and under connected with others and our world around us.     Our body and our mind  are the most amazing tools we’ll ever own  – if we use them actively – fuel them well –  push them to their limits every now and then –  we will be  rewarded with an amazing  life.

Live a few years like no one will – then live the rest like no one can…

Profound words that have always resonated with me. The world, society, family, government, friends – all place expectations on us – false expectations. I’d argue they are limits. Shackles. We are told at a young age by everyone around us what we should be, do, and how we should act.  We’re taught to immediately buy all sorts of stuff and go to college and  get into debt,  chase the money ,  buy the dream house, and when its all over we  can retire in paradise.  And by that time, we’re too  old to enjoy any of  it – if we’re even still alive or healthy enough to enjoy it !     I never believed ANY of that.  Why dream about something when I can live the dream in the here and now ? I live with a purpose every day – I take risks and I am not afraid to feed  deep connections with others   – I live simply and within my means and I  work  to build  something I’ve never felt the need  to escape from !

The most dangerous act of all — spending  life not doing what I want on the bet I can buy  the freedom to do it later.

A lot of people die at 25 and are not buried until they are 80 — chances are we all know a few.   If one never leaves themselves enough  margin to take a few risks  or step outside their comfort zone,  they will never get to know what is truly out there.    I push myself every day – whether it be with a friendship or relationship , with my clients, on the bike,  or  in the wilderness  – the only way to truly grow is to expand my limits.    The only way to expand my limits is to give fear the middle finger  and just get the hell out there and do it.

Be grateful,  give affection often and  freely &  find the extraordinary in the ordinary  …

If there ever was a single key phrase to summarize my happiness, this is it.   I wake up every morning and those words are the first thing I say to myself.    I think C.S. Lewis summed it up best  –  “Affection is responsible for nine-tenths of whatever solid and durable happiness there is in our lives.”   I live that every day.    As someone who has stood on top of mountains, run crazy rivers in tiny boats and  raced bikes –  I’ve been fortunate enough to have more physical adventures than I could ever  count –  but  believe it or not there are amazing  adventures  in  some of the simplest things as well.   Looking into the eyes of someone as they talk about something they truly love, surprising someone I truly care for,  dog visit day at the children’s hospital,  a good morning text and a few kind words every day from friends and loved ones,  a “job well done” from a client , and especially  laughter.   Laughter is the fuel of life and of happiness and  it is here, in our vulnerability and openness that we step into our greatest selves.    The physical adventures,  they are simply the  icing on the cake….

It is better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing – than a long life spent in a miserable way…

I think a lot of people are afraid of dying because they are not really living.  To me – that is like this definition of Hell :  “Hell:  on the day you die,  the person you have become gets to meet the person you could have been”.     Do what you love,  make time for the important things,   grow your relationships profound and deep,  live life to its  limits , love someone like they are all you have,   take  risks,  but most of all LISTEN & LEARN.  I will never understand why the easiest things to say  are often  the hardest to say for so many.  It is the little things that truly change the world.    If you feel it, say it ! If you think it, do it !   Fuck fear     So what if your heart gets broken a few times,  or you break a few bones,  or even if you fail completely ?   If I could leave you with one sentence this would be it –  take the time and the risk to truly grow your life and your relationships.  Jump for that high bar –  oh you will fall to the ground  –  but I promise you will never feel more alive ..  or happier.

Life is not a journey – it is a composition – and  we are supposed to sing or  dance while the music is being played.


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