Jeff Bochsler is not your average trail running, bone-marrow-donating, bilingual model/banker/blogger hybrid. He’s an example of someone whose life is so engaged that not one moment is wasted (not even when he’s watching his favorite TV show, Project Accessory, which he considers a passion unto itself). “Once you lose your curiosity,” he says, “life is bland and depressing.”
Curiosity and education are what fuel Jeff. Mention something you’re interested in and he’ll come up with a short list of people he can introduce you to, organizations you might want to check out, plus a TED Talk you’d probably love. “I like seeing people succeed,” he says.
Jeff defines success as a life surrounded by inspiring people. Recently he developed the Minds Executive Lunch, linking local entrepreneurs with experienced business leaders. His blog, Daily Intent, seeks to make life’s mundane events sparkly and fresh. This is a response, he explains, to the many people who don’t try to learn from their lives. “If you don’t have curiosity and you think you’ve already learned everything you need to know you’ll never be surprised,” he says.
Part of Jeff’s ongoing education took him on a six-month sabbatical from his job at Bank of America to South America where he did microfinance work for the non-profit, Kiva in Lima, Peru. His fluency in Spanish led to other adventures while there, such as volunteering on a wild animal refuge in Ecuador and falling in love with a famous Brazilian telenovela star (for about 15 minutes) in Rio de Janeiro.
Jeff’s deep respect for education can be traced to his grandfather, a school principle, who has lived with blood cancer for 20 years. Jeff joined Team in Training, an organization that raises funds for blood cancer research through marathon training, which serendipitously, led him to donate bone marrow to another school principle. “Funny how life is circular like that,” he says.
He wants the world to know that the process for extracting bone marrow is no longer painful and technology for the procedure has much improved over the years. Jeff and his recipient developed a close friendship. Sadly, months shy of their three-year anniversary, Jeff received a text saying his friend was dying. Hundreds turned out for the funeral, as the man had been a beloved principle and educator. “If you can give someone another year, or six months or whatever it turns out to be, then you have done your job,” Jeff says. He urges everyone to register as a bone marrow donor and firmly believes his contribution was small in comparison to what he receives each day from the experience. Currently he is editing the blog of his recipient as a gift for the family.
Admittedly, Jeff spends too much time in front of the computer. He gets his exercise through weekly trail runs and surfing. He also has a policy of never eating lunch alone and makes time in the workday to take coffee and tea breaks with co-workers. He stays focused on what is important by sharing a gratitude text at the end of each day with his sister. Follow him on his blog, and if you happen to see him somewhere in Santa Barbara, make sure you stop and introduce yourself – he would be happy to meet you.