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Ran ZilcaBy Ran Zilca
First created
Ran ZilcaBy Ran Zilca
First created
$2,830
pledged of $18,000pledged of $18,000 goal
59
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Wed, July 17 2013 11:34 AM UTC +00:00

About

A book about going on the ride of your life and chasing your dreams

There sometimes comes a time in one’s life when one seeks an answer to the mother of all questions. When that happens, you become restless, knowing that you will regain your inner peace only when you find answers. A few years ago, it happened to me. In the fall of 2010 I got a motorcycle license and took off from my house in the New York suburbs towards California. I rode solo through the back roads of the country through forests, mountains, deserts, bridges, cities, and villages each day, spending hours in contemplation during the day and writing my thoughts at night. On my way I also met with eight prominent experts, scientists, and authors. Five weeks later I came back with the answers I will be sharing in this book.

Dreams come true

Ride of Your Life accompanies the journey. It describes the meditative experience of riding daily in solitude for weeks, and the insights that slowly emerged on the road from the joint wisdom of the experts. It’s also a book about dreams. Along the way, many people shared their dreams with me. A nameless biker who lives 4,000 miles away is a great confidant. Looking at their dreams collectively made me realize that people usually dream about things they can attain - if they can only lift some internal barriers. Sometimes a small change in perspective demolishes the barriers, turns life around, and makes dreams come true. Today my mission as a scientist, coach, and author, is to help people make that shift. This is what the book is really about.

The experts in the book – polishing rough ideas into fine gems

Riding solo for weeks provides great raw insights about life. A word from an expert can sometimes help process these “diamonds in the rough” to more specific ideas. While on the road I met with the following experts who helped me refine what I’ve learned:

Dr. Deepak Chopra – explaining his own perspective on inner peace that meshes the millennia of wisdom traditions with modern science

Dr. Phil Zimbardo (Prof. Emeritus, Stanford, best known for the Stanford Prison Experiment) - looking at inner peace from a standpoint of social psychology and the psychological perception of time

Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky (UC Riverside) – providing a practical approach to happiness, based on decades of cutting-edge research

Dr. Barbara Fredrickson (UNC, Chapel Hill) – looking at of the ratio of positive to negative events, as the mathematical basis of modeling happiness

Dr. James Pennebaker (UC Texas, Austion) – using his thirty years of extensive research on the healing power of the written word, to map how self-expression brings clarity and peace

Coach Caroline Miller (Bethesda, MD) – helping her clients pursue their dreams on a daily basis, Caroline provides examples of the use of positive psychology science

Dr. Byram Karasu (Chief of Psychiatry, Albert Einstein Institute) – examining the connection between psychology and religion in a new paradigm called Spiritual Psychotherapy

Byron Katie (Ojai, CA) – discussing inner peace through the lens of her special method called “The Work”

Be a part of the book

The book will include a section with a small number of expert answers to reader questions. These can be questions about inner peace, the experience, or any other relevant question that readers are curious about. Some of the rewards here allow you to enter your question, which will become a part of the final book (!)

Ride Of Your Life Rewards
Ride Of Your Life Rewards

Use of funds (base goals)

  • Developmental editing: $4,000 (The text ranges from expert interviews and a travel log to a description of the spiritual experience that evolves over time. To really project the full experience of the ride, the work on organization and concept is really important).
  • Content editing: $8,000 (My first book, and I want to do a great job. Allocating a lower budget to editing may be a tad arrogant).
  • Cover artwork + internal design: $4,000 (Allowing for some pictures to be included)
  • Fulfillment, shipping, etc $2,000 (What I expect to pay in shipping fees)
  • Total: $18,000

Stretch Goals

Video post-production: $10,000

Ride of Your Life is also a video project. I used a helmet-mounted camera much of the time, and carried a bunch of video equipment with me to film the expert interviews. An enhanced eBook with embedded videos will follow if I can raise the extra funds needed. The video work will be done by No Frames in New York, who worked with me on a few Deepak Chopra projects. They bring in lots of creativity and ideas and help keep the costs down!

PR and social media for launch: $2,000

(Includes initial pitching to media, and social media promotion, will be done by Alison Massie who’s worked on all of my company’s app launches http://mediabymassie.com

Excerpt (Book Foreword): Inner peace was not what I expected

Three years ago my life was supposed to be perfect. On the professional front I was a success story: a veteran of an elite technology unit in the Israeli army, recruited by the world’s largest private research lab, then turned hi-tech startup entrepreneur. On the personal front: happily married, three great kids, and a house in the suburbs. On the surface, I was living both the American dream and all that I have personally wished for.

Life was supposed to be perfect, but it wasn’t.

Under the surface, daily life was comprised of a cautious walk between raindrops of emails, calls, meetings, and carpools. An attempt to stay dry in a torrent of enslaving, often meaningless obligations. The past accomplishments had come at the cost of invisible strings that tied me down. Decisions, big or small, were now dictated by the needs of my career and my family: work on the weekend, wake up for Sunday school, buy a house in a good school district, drive a minivan. Life was an infinite conveyer belt of tasks and constraints.

But as hard as it was to be busy, it was scarier to be free. In the rare times I could decide where to go or what to do, I had no idea what I wanted. Yes, I wanted to spend time with my kids and with my wife, but beyond my identity as a husband and father I didn’t really know who I was anymore. Underneath the layers of being a scientist, a musician, engineer, or businessman my soul was hiding from me in a silent void.

Like all stories of personal transformation, it all began with a faint nagging ache that gradually grew into a pain. The inevitable feeling that something was seriously missing and had to be retrieved. Nights of reflection turned into weeks, and weeks into months, and at some point things came to a boil. When they did, a suppressed childhood dream surfaced from the emotional chaos: I want to be a biker. I want to be on the open road, gripping chromed, raised handlebars and stretching forward leather biker boots. I want to ride from coast to coast, through the back roads, with no plans, no reservations, and no schedules. The motorcycle will be my channel to inner peace.

At that time I had not even sat on a motorcycle before, so some work had to be done. In the summer of 2009 I slowly started pursuing my goal, one tiny step at a time. I took the motorcycle safety course, fell, injured myself, and failed it. Then I went back, passed, got a tiny 250, joined a local riding club, and traded to a bigger bike. By late spring of 2010, I was ready to go all the way: ride solo from New York to California, and mark a big checkmark on my bucket list. My wife, who in the meantime had seen her husband transform from a groggy chimp into a smiling human supported the endeavor, and the project turned from a dream into a plan. I allocated a modest budget and started preparing to go on the road in the fall.

The plan was to ride alone, from New York to California, and spend all days and nights in solitary contemplation, gathering inspiration from the road and from the people I may meet along the way. It was a simple plan, but it was also a little risky: being away from my family for weeks, without an opportunity to process and discuss my thoughts could possibly be boring, perhaps even depressing. It could be great to have the opportunity to stop along the way and discuss the thoughts that emerge, and process them. Luckily for me, I actually worked with some of the most famous experts one would consult on a soul-searching journey: authors like Deepak Chopra and Stephen Covey, and prominent psychology researchers like Phil Zimbardo, James Pennebaker, and Sonja Lyubomirsky. I called them and asked if I can stop along the way to chat with them. They all agreed. Ride of Your Life turned from a personal journey into an opportunity to find some broader answers to the questions that people ask as their lives evolve. To join the wisdom of the road with the professional take of experts to form a guide to inner peace. I got some video equipment and scheduled approximate dates to meet with the experts in Maryland, North Carolina, Texas, and California.

On Sunday, September 19 2010 I headed west shocked and anxious to leave my family without knowing exactly where I’ll be spending the night. In the five weeks that followed I rode through mountains and valleys, forests and deserts, towns, cities, and oil rigs, in rain and in sunshine. 6,000 miles later I got back with answers, and had regained my inner peace. 

The Ride changed the lens through which I see the world, and affected my life in a profound way: prior to leaving I met in New York with the founders of a company called bLife. When I reached Los Angeles I met with them again, ended up selling my company and became bLife’s Chief Scientist.  I also went on to study life-coaching and now coach and teach life-coaching courses. Two years later, I decided to move with my family to Israel, and since then I divide my time between the West Coast, the East Coast, and the Middle East.  I found not just inner peace, but dare I say – enlightenment. Today I’m a better husband, better dad, better professional, and just a better human all around, and I experience daily life in a very different way.

This book accompanies my coast-to-coast journey. It describes the meditative experience of riding daily for hours, and the insights that slowly emerged from riding experience and the professional angles of the experts I interviewed. It is also a book about dreams. Sometimes a small change in perspective demolishes the barriers, turns life around, and makes dreams come true. Today my mission as a scientist, coach, and author, is to help people make that shift and accomplish their dreams.  This is what the book is really about.

I hope this guide helps you go on the ride of your own life. Ride safe and ride on!

Risks and challenges

I’ve done big projects in the past in government, industry, and research, and I’ve also done meticulous research before embarking on the Ride. I am pretty certain I have everything figured out, but doing anything for the first time always encompasses some degree of risk.

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Funding period

- (30 days)