Why Am I in Argentina? Genius I say…

Why am I in Argentina until the end of November?

“The more scared we are of our work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.”*

Yes I want to learn spanish, tango, salsa, kiteboarding, relax, read a ton, meet some amazing people and have some adventure.  Yes, I want to create space for my soul to breathe, my mind to wander, and my heart to dream.

But the core purpose is to confront my resistance and pursue my genius.

Genius is a Latin root word denotes an inner spirit, holy and inviolable, which watches over us, guiding us to our calling.* The taunting shadow of our genius is Resistance(next blog).

Simply, I’m in Buenos Aries to pursue and clarify my calling.  To duke it out with myself and with God. To confront the resistance that constrains me from pursuing my unique work or call.

I’ve sensed for years that my deepest purpose or calling is to equip, encourage, and catalyze people to discover and pursue their God-given dreams and calling.  To empower and serve others so that fear no longer robs them of their unique gift, their unique contribution to the world.

Yet, I’ve been the one hindered, the one afraid.  Afraid of failure.  Afraid that no one would read my book (forthcoming), attend my seminars, or listen to my coaching or advice.  And I’ve been afraid of success.  What if I become really successful and people want me to speak all the time?  What if fame and fortune smile upon me and people start having ulterior motives in friendships, romantic relationships, and business?

Ok, so abysmal failure and astounding success are both long shots. Worrying about it is like trying to be the tallest midget.  Foolishness I say. Yet fear hinders nonetheless.

False

Evidence

Appearing

Real

But that’s the nature of fear isn’t it?  Completely irrational and unlikely.  I’ve been really freaking scared for years.  So silly isn’t it?

I have no idea how it all will play out.  But I know what makes me cry, literally, is when I think about people I know forgoing their God-given calling, their destiny, their unique contribution to this world.  They settle for a life that’s realistic, practical, socially acceptable.  Yes, we need accountants and yes people have different personality types.  For some, the dream is to have stability and predictability.  That’s well and good.  But I don’t write for them.  I’m here to give a breath of fresh air, of new life to the unreasonable.

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world.  The unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself.  Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” –George Bernard Shaw.

What would have happened if Mother Theresa had ignored the voice insider of her, the burning fire for the poor?  How would our world have been different if Einstein had accepted the messages he received as a boy that he was learning disabled and wouldn’t amount to much? What if Paulo Coelho listened to his father’s wisdom and pursued a practical life as an engineer instead of one day becoming a prolific author who’s inspired countless millions across the globe?

It’s never too late. Moses began his greatest work at the tender age of 80. The time to pursue your call, your genius is now.

Take a moment and write out the answers to these questions on paper in as much detail as possible.  It could change your life.

1. What is the unique work, the burden, the dream you’ve been putting off, or that you’ve buried somewhere deep within?

2. What will happen if you ignore your intuition and bury your dream, trading in your calling for a ‘realistic or reasonable’ life?

3. How many will suffer in your life, your family, and the rest of the world because you gave up?

*From Steven Pressfield‘s magnificent book The War of Art. Must read.  Oh and he waited till his late 40s to truly pursue his calling. Now he has a plethora of best selling books including the Legend of Bagger Vance, Tides of War.

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Try Vs. Decide…The Lameness of Trying or The Power of Deciding

Star Wars - The Exhibition

Image by Andres Rueda via Flickr

I am trying to lose weight.

I am trying to be a better spouse.

I am trying to make time for what’s truly important to me & pursue my dreams.

I am trying to be a kinder person.

I am trying to find a job.

I am trying to get over my ex.

I am trying to get over my past.

I try, I try, I try.  What’s implicit within “I am trying…?”  The acceptance of failure.  I may not lose weight, but at least I’m trying.  I am trying to workout but if work goes late, personal life pressures overtake me…I am trying to be a better husband, but if my wife treats me this way, or if I’m tired, or if my work demands this of me…how can I possibly be a better husband?  I’m Trying counts for something right?  Blah, blah, blah.

I already have a prebuilt acceptance of failure built right in for each ‘try.’  In the mind of trying, we’re successful if we tried, not if we actually accomplished what we really want to accomplish. Inherent within the mentality of the tryer is the belief that I’ve succeeded because I’ve tried.

Why???  It lies in how amazingly powerful my mind is, especially my subconscious or unconscious mind.  Indirectly, by trying, I’m giving my mind a command, an authorization that it’s ok to fail.

Look, trying is ok in some matters.

I will try to like brussel sprouts.

But I quickly discover once again that only a fool with maladjusted taste buds likes these little morsels of displeasure.  Now, I know that’s offensive to you brussel sprout lovers, but I doubt that one of the eight brussel sprout fans in the galaxy will ever actually read this blog.

Frankly my life won’t be any worse for not liking brussel sprouts. It will be better.  But, in matters of real significance trying in those critical areas that affect the quality of my life, I must decide.  You must DECIDE.

Have you ever decided with conviction that you needed to find a solution to something and then one day out of nowhere, the solution comes to you, maybe when you least expect it?  You weren’t searching for the solution at that moment, but because you decided a while back, your unconscious mind has been working behind the scenes to find an answer.  Once it’s found the answer and it has room to communicate (a moment when you’re not running on the hamster wheel, Stuck on the Hampster Wheel of Life?), then it will bring the solution to the forefront of your mind.

Are you ready to quit BS’ing your boss, your loved ones, and yourself?  Are you ready to leave behind the litany of excuses and justifications for trying in key areas of your life that you’ve had for weeks, months, years, or even decades?

If I’m ready, when it’s something I’m emotionally vested in, my conscious mind issues a command to my unconscious mind.  My unconscious mind dictates at least 95% of my behavior (more on this in another blog).  I must eat healthier, when compelled by a strong emotional desire, it will happen. I must create healthier boundaries and rhythms with work and personal lifeI must get over my ex.  The decision coupled with strong conviction will lead to the achievement of that desire.  The speed it happens depends on how complex the solution and how deep my conviction and passion for change.

Caution: Use moderate limits and wisdom when deciding, though those limits are much larger than you might imagine.   ‘I will fly without wings off the roof of a tall building because my dream has always been to fly.’  You foolish Brussel Sprout lover you.  ‘I will fall in love with Brad Pitt.’  You foolish Brussel Sprout lover you.  He’s in a weird pseudo partnership with Angelina. Quit such foolishness.  Your decisions have to be something controllable by you.  You can set boundaries on work (comment or email me if you struggle with that).  You can get over your ex.  You can create a new future, a new you.

Just as I command my mind when trying, I command my mind when deciding.   When I decide something with conviction and determination, my unconscious mind goes to work, and it’s amazingly resourceful. I have commanded my mind, move in this direction, find a solution, I must succeed. I am commanding it to find a solution, to be resourceful, to search relentless for ways of moving me in the direction I want it to go.  I rapidly or gradually create a whole new pathway neurologically that enables me to move in that direction (See Vision Board video-lightly touched on there).  I don’t get where I want to be overnight usually, but it can and will happen when I decide.

Two wise sages said:

Yoda: “Do or do not…there is no try.”

Jesus: “Let your yes be yes and your no be no.” Matthew 5:37.

Tap into the hidden power of your mind.  Make the decision you’ve been needing to make with conviction today!

*Unconscious and disempowering agreements we’ve made with ourselves and others can be our deep rooted blocks, but they can be removed.  Same for limiting beliefs.

Challenge: What needs to shift in your life from “try” to DECIDE?”

Please post a comment or email me and let me know what decision you have made!

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Shadow Self vs. Best Self?

Shadow

Image by Rickydavid via Flickr

In the recent movie, The Last Station, Leo Tolstoy, the great Russian novelist is plagued. Plagued with a dilemma…his wife of many decades is driven, even dominated by insecurity and fear. So much to the point that she seeks to control, manipulate and scheme against the very man she loves has loved for more than thirty years. Instead of spending the twilight years of their lives together reflecting together on the amazing journey they shared and so many years of deep, intimate passion and genuine love, they are contentious, angry and distrustful of each other. So much so that Tolstoy decides he must leave his estate and move to experience peace and calmness in the last years of his life. The woman Tolstoy loved persisted in spending the last years of her life living in what I call her Shadow Self.

A shadow self is when we become led by insecurities, fears, anxieties, or a sense of worthlessness. When such emotions overcome us, we act selfishly, seeking to control circumstances & the people around us, instead of seeking to selflessly love. We are living beneath who we are. We are living a mere shadow of who we truly are. You have one. I have one. What does this shadow self look like for you? What emotions drive your shadow self? When does your shadow self come out?

Fortunately, we each also have what I would call our Best Self. When we are living in tune with our best self, we have inner peace, trust and confidence. We are led by a spirit of freedom. A freedom to pursue our heart’s desires, our passions, what we want to do and who we want to be. We are generous and trusting instead of selfish and afraid. We engender trust and draw others near when we’re living lives congruent with our best selves. We inspire others to live more noble, authentic lives just by being ourselves.

Your Best Self is inspiring, encouraging and pleasant to be around. Your shadow self pushes people away, leeches life from them and robs you and the people you care about of someone unique and someone worth knowing.
What causes your Shadow Self to come out? What situations, experiences? Who are the people that tend to bring out your shadow self? What emotions drive it? How do you feel when your Shadow self is present?

What causes your Best Self to come out? What situations, experiences? Who are the people that tend to bring out your best self? What emotions drive it? How do you feel when your Best Self is present?

Are you willing to pursue your Best Self more consistently and frequently? What would be different if you lived more true to your best self? How would it affect your relationships both personally & professionally? How would it affect your career or business? How would you feel about yourself living a life dominated by your Best Self?

Go ahead. Imagine a day, a week, a year, the rest of your life playing out with your Best Self present & leading the way. Allow yourself to experience your best self handling every situation, living every experience. Feel yourself living your life as your Best Self.

My next blog will take it one step further, giving ways of cultivating your best self.

Stuck on the Hamster Wheel of Life?

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Image via Wikipedia

Do you feel like the hamster on the wheel? Running really hard, really fast…giving it all you’ve got, but seemingly STUCK…can’t go anywhere in life. But running on the wheel is seemingly your only option?

At one time or another in each of our lives if we paused & truly examined our life in one of our key areas, we might not like the direction our life: Relationally, physically, emotionally, mentally, vocationally, or even spiritually…where would we be headed? Is the path of my life leading to my desired destination? Do I like the path I’m on? Do I like where I’m headed, how my life is going?

Sometimes, life throws us a favor in disguise…we have a misstep or something happens & we get knocked off the hamster wheel…maybe a relationship or a job ends. We experience what appears to be a setback, but could really be a setup…a setup for something greater, sometime better.

Although the crash can hurt, getting off of that spinning wheel can be one of the best things to happen to us. The hampster was forced to make a change and sometimes…so are we. Beware…you will be tempted to get back on that same wheel & head in that same direction. Why? Because that’s what’s comfortable to you & we’re creatures of comfort. Though our desire for comfort sometimes protects us from danger, it also can be a subtle enemy, robbing us of the life we deeply long for, hindering us from making the move we need to make. The move that leads to our BREAKTHROUGH…

What is a breakthrough moment? A moment of piercing clarity, an epiphany, you know where you want to go a specific aspect or situation of your life, l, “Ah-ha!” – the breakthrough moment happens when you realize are free to move in the direction that you want to take your life free from the hampster wheel. Sometimes breakthrough moments are magnanimous events that forever change the course of our lives. Yet we can also make breakthrough moments happen in our daily lives.

First we have to get off the wheel. We need to stop and disconnect from the incessant busyness of our lives. Walk away from the computer or the TV, put down the cell phone, don’t facebook stalk tonight. Take a night off from socializing…or get out & socialize if you never go out. Create space to breathe, reflect, think. Often, the longer the better, 30 mins is good…2 weeks is amazing. My biggest breakthroughs have typically come on trips, esp. international trips. On those trips, when I’m disconnected from my normal routines, my own hamster wheels, sometimes for weeks at a time….

How do we get to this breakthrough moment? Ask yourself, “Is the pattern of my life going to lead in the direction that I want to go?”

Vocationally
Relationally
Mentally
Physically
Spiritually

If the answer is YES and you are content, then great! Accelerate & enhance your life in that direction…but if not, it’s time for a change…time to shake off the complacency, the boredom, the monotony. It’s time to engage in the 2nd step that will lead to a breakthrough.

The 2nd step is to actively change your current pattern, or enhance the current pattern if you really like where it is leading you. Invest quality time with the right people. Intentionally choose the people that you hang out with or with whom you pursue relationships. They affect the trajectory of your life dramatically.

Embrace the changes, the discomfort, the learning, the growth… Often, the times when we are most excited about our lives are when we are experiencing growth or something new. As we get older & stuck in our routines we become bored with life, we lose the childlike wonder and awe.

Watch a small child who is completely captivated by something as small as a butterfly. Have you lost that wonder, that sense of awe of life? What’s different from you & the child? Are you stuck in a monotonous routine, a comfort zone that’s not changed in years??? Come on!! Get out there & experience life!! You’ve only got one life to live!!!

Live your one & only life well, my friend.