5 Minute Interview: Matt Gartland

Question #1

Alvin: Who are you, what do you do, and what do you enjoy most about it?

Matt: Thanks for having me Alvin!

I’m Matt Gartland, a creative editor, change agent, and proud anti-hero!

I presently lead two projects…the crusade for 10,000 Random Acts of Greatness and the blog Modern Audacity.

Random Acts of Greatness aims to chronicle the greatness of others as performed in everyday moments. I believe that ‘greatness’ is not a pristine and singular grand act but instead a series of little, magical moments made throughout a lifetime. And I’m determined to prove it but showcasing the amazing deeds of others.

Modern Audacity is all about taking the initiative to live intentionally. This platform serves as a rallying point for bold adventures hell-bent on living life above low expectations. My theory is simple – that the ripest rewards of life are reserved for those that push limits, question authority, explore the unknown, and hold themselves to higher standards without any hesitation or compromise.

In the same vein as being a bold, audacious change agent – I serve as a go-to creative editor for ambitious online authors with messages/stories that need to be heard.The digital content universe is exploding. Thus, it’s more important than ever to collaborate with a savvy online editor to help your most prolific work stand out and get noticed.

The best part about these two projects and my freelance business is the interactions with other creative superstars. I’m thrilled and privileged to meet, befriend, and collaborate with other brilliant minds that are helping catalyze meaningful change in the world.

Question #2

Alvin: Pick any man in the world, who would be the most influential to you and why?

Matt: My late Opa (granddad) was by far the most influential man in my life. And though gone, he remains in legacy and memory as influential as ever.

Opa was a man of deep conviction, loyalty, love, faith, compassion, and purpose. He was the consummate gentlemen in every degree. He embodied the high standards that we all should aspire to – men and women alike.

Opa was a decorated WWII officer for valor. He also raised an amazing family with six children. He was a successful businessman. And, most importantly, he was an adored father and grandfather.

We talk a lot online about making a lasting impact on the world. Opa did. And I’m forever grateful to have known him.

Question #3

Alvin: What do you wish to accomplish 1 year from today?

Matt: In a year I hope to be in a completely liberated lifestyle where I can pursue creative adventures on any continent at any time. I still have some roots that are tying me down. But I’m working hard to untie these knots and gain more creative latitude.

Of course, with this plan comes the desire to meet more amazing people from around the world – either as a function of the RAOG project, my creative editing freelance business, or general travel and networking.

The magic exists where people’s personal crusades unite. We must not avoid the crossroads. We must search for them.

Question #4

Alvin: From your project “Random Act of Greatness” which acts would be your favorite and why?

Matt: This is quite a challenging question because each Random Act of Greatness is meaningful in its own way.

A personal favorite is the story of Phoenix Jones, a real-life crime-fighting hero that suits up in rubber and patrols the streets in the name of justice. He’s the real-deal in every way.

But really, the most touching stories are those of pure generosity and compassion – two human elements in rare quantity. There’s the story of “Me-citals” that foster amazing musical moments for families to enjoy. There’s also the story of a Mexican family assisting a man with his broken down car simply become “today you, tomorrow me.”

As Jim Collins says, “Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline.”

We’d all do well to embrace that idea.

Question #5

Alvin: What has been your largest step to manhood?

Matt: This might sound weird, but overcoming my epic health problems has been my largest manhood achievement. I had dug myself a tremendously deep and perilous healthy lifestyle ditch due to emotional stress and a lack of firm identity. But as I gained stronger self-confidence, personal courage, and resilient attitudes I was able to crawl out of my ditch.

The fortification of my character helped propel me into a true place of manliness – in the sense of being full confident, compassionate, brave, and willing to embrace and show my emotions. I’m no longer afraid to be the man that I was always meant to be. And thanks to that spirit, my health has never been better!

BONUS:

Alvin: What has been the best advice you received about being a man?

Matt: “At some point in your life, you decide who it is you want to be. And that’s what you do. You become that person.” – Robert Whiteside (my Opa)

That wisdom was shared by my late Opa. Amazingly, he shared that life secret late in his life when he was well-submerged in Alzheimer’s. But every now and then he’d have an incredible lucid moment. And in that moment true magic would happen, as it did when he shared this insight from his life.

There is nothing else that can trump this conviction. Become not whom you were born to be. Become whom you want to be.

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