Here are three takeaway tips that I’ve learned on how to stay still.
I’d like to expand a bit on the first stage of The Hero’s Journey when you realize that you no longer want to live in The Ordinary World and hear The Call for Adventure.
This is when you live your life on purpose and choose to walk your own path instead of following someone else’s footsteps.
It could be when you decide to leave the job that weighs you down or stifles your creativity.
It could be when you decide to let go and stop resisting change so that you can embrace it.
Or it could be something completely different. When you feel The Call to Adventure, it’s a sound only you can hear.
And it’s up to you to listen.
This morning I decided to re-read one of my favorite books by Pema called Living Beautifully.
Pema Chodron gives a beautiful analogy for what it’s like when you experience something you’ve never even known existed.
Pema needed cataract surgery — perhaps a surgery your parents like mine have gone through. After her eye surgery, she began to see colors and the mountain view like she never saw it before. Meer words could not accurately describe the expansiveness of beauty that she now saw.
Until then, she said, “she didn’t realize how limited her vision had been.”
1. Get Out of Your Own Way
As Jay Stolar showed us, so many times we just have to get out of our own way. It’s so easy to talk ourselves out of a great idea. Or, even worse, we allow ourselves to give into beliefs that we’re not good enough.
That the people we admire are someone superhuman.
When the truth is, the world was made up by people that were no smarter than us and we can change it.
So, take a look at your actions and reactions and ask yourself, are you getting in your own way?
Stop getting in your own way and let your inner hero out.
2. Self-Limiting Beliefs
Everything in the research books says that I should not be successful.
Was raised in a poor family with parents who didn’t go college.
And had an alcoholic as a father.
From a very early age, I believed that if you put your mind to something, there’s nothing that can stop you from achieving your goals.
I know we’ve all heard that as a kid, but I really believed it. I needed to believe it to survive and thrive.
But I still find myself with self-limiting beliefs. Like I need another college degree or that Ph.D, or I need someone who I admire to recognize that my work is good.
These beliefs are totally normal. And all the people you admire have them too. In fact, they more than likely have more self-limiting beliefs because the ladder they can fall from is a lot higher so-to-speak.
3. Living Authentically
When I went to the bookstore the other day, I noticed that they no longer have a “self-help” section. It’s now called “Personal Development” or “Life Enrichment” or something like that.
That’s because the term “self-help” has become taboo in our culture.
I know whenever I went to the bookstore as a kid and went over to the self-help section, my friends would make fun of me because that’s where people who are messed up would go to get fixed.
Ughhh — what a backward way of thinking of it. That’s where people go who want to better themselves.
Seriously, if you want to achieve greatness you need to be open to help. You need to be vulnerable and identify your weaknesses.
Every top-performer that I’ve interviewed asks for help and looks as help as an opportunity to get better.
This is how you become limitless.
4. You Don’t Need Permission
Stop asking for permission. You don’t need it.
We’re raised in a way that we grow up always having to ask for permission. It’s gotten to the point where 16-18-year-old students still need to ask to go to the bathroom during school.
And if you know behavior psychology, you know that this type of consistent behavior changes the connections in the brain. Think Pavlov’s Dog. What this does to us as humans is that it wires us to ask for permission
If we have to ask for permission to do the most basic of human processes like going to the bathroom, how can we expect people to become their own bosses as entrepreneurs or creatively solve problems that no one has ever solved before.
It’s impossible to do something really innovative and extraordinary if you’re waiting for someone to give you permission.
Instead, give yourself permission to just focus on being YOU. This is your life on purpose.
5. Define What it Means to Be a Hero
Define what it means to be a hero on your own terms. Instead of comparing yourself to others who you think are heroic.
Consider, instead, to define what it means to be a hero.
For instance, I’m finding a lot of those I meet tend to compare themselves to and idolize a few celebrities who have made it big so-to-speak.
That’s extremely toxic and doesn’t do ourselves again good. You can’t compare your week 1 to someone else’s week 100.
5.5 Ignore Mediocrity and Choose to be Awesome Instead
Back in 1977, Billy Starr hopped on his bicycle and went for a ride. His mother had just died from melanoma and pushing the limits of the physical body helped Starr grieve the loss of his mother.
On one rather strenuous ride, Starr had an idea. He and his friends would make a weekend of cycling, but instead of just pushing their physical and mental limits, their pedaling efforts would go to raise money for cancer.
Starr had found a deeper purpose in life. It was now time for him to live intentionally and embrace it.
“I was an athlete. I wanted to merge some of the things that I had embraced as an athlete: the commitment, the sweat equity, the teamwork, the camaraderie (all of the things I had enjoyed about sport) and commit it to a higher purpose,” said Starr on arecent interview.
This year, Starr and his team over at the Pan Mass Challenge have set the bold fundraising goal of $45 million for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund’s lifesaving mission to conquer cancer.
Starr and his friends are inevitably responsible for the “a-thon” fundraising strategy popular in endurance sports like running, cycling, triathlon, or obstacle course racing.
What makes the Pan-Mass Challenge different from the many other “a-thons” out there is that fundraising is the core purpose of the event. And, of course, Starr created this fundraising model well before computers were in our living rooms (or in our pockets for that matter).
“But, most importantly, this ride, while being an inspirational physical, spiritual and emotional weekend, put fundraising at the center of the event. This was not about awareness. You carried a commitment,” says Starr.
Perhaps you have a cause that you too wish to fundraise for. In that case, here are five tips that Starr shared with me to have a successful fundraising event.
I’d like to sit still and focus on focus.
Because here’s something I think you can relate to.
I want to do so much in my life. It’s like I have a thousand lives in me that I feel I need to live.
I want to do so much, yet if I don’t focus on one thing I’ll never get anything done. Seriously.
We live in the most distracted time of our history. It’s a beautiful time to be alive and I really feel like we’re living in a new renaissance, but phew…this connected age has me distracted all the time.
I get messages from all over the place and it’s not like I can just ignore them. I mean, seriously, once my mother learned how to send a text message, forget it — my world of staying focused was over.
Because if your mother sends you a message you can’t ignore it, right?
If I do, I’ll get five more messages by the next morning of her worrying whether or not I’m still alive.
Text messages, tweets, Facebook, Instagram — and now, wait…Periscope?
It’s never ending. And I don’t want to be unplugged because as much as being plugged in to the connected world makes it difficult to focus, it also allows for truly amazing connections to happen.
I get to talk to you, for instance.
I can speak with my mother who lives far away. I can literally tweet an Italian grandmother if I want a truly authentic Italian recipe. That’s amazing.
So, when it comes to focus and staying on your own path, here are a few thoughts:
I stare at a blank screen, my fingers hovering over ASDFJKL;. The cursor taunts me with its consistent blink, blink, blink.
Resistance… the plague which stops creators from creating, stops writers from writing, stops changemakers from changing, and stops entrepreneurs from launching.
Have you ever come up with an idea and felt such an incredible rush of adrenaline that you needed to grab the dinner napkin and nearest pen so you can scribble down the thought in your head?
What happens so often though is that we come up with these ideas and then just as they rise in a mist of fury, they just as soon fizzle as the resistance blows in like a trade wind.
What is resistance?
– Self doubt
– Not knowing where to start
– Questioning your purpose
– Feeling overwhelmed by responsibilities
My point in a shareable tweet: “Learn to recognize the resistance and say, ‘No, thank you. I’d rather move onward.”
My fingers were clenched and full of chalk. My right knee was turning black and blue. “I can’t climb it,” I said, barely audible, unaware that people were even listening.
“Yet,” said the little boy to my right. I looked over at him, wondering how long he’s been standing there. He continued, “Whenever you feel like you can’t do something, just add the word ‘yet’ to the sentence.”
And so I did what probably made me look like a madman.
I watched as my students picked up their cap and gown and carried it in their arms like a newborn baby. I smiled, said a few last words of encouragement, then asked, “You graduated… now what?”
Most talked about college. Many laughed about building a bonfire with their textbooks. Some just wanted to sleep.
What I realized is that for the first time in their lives, my students have a choice.
Instead of having to go to school, they could choose to go to school. If they want to work, they could choose to work. And if they want to dream, they could choose to pursue their dreams.
The act of choosing, however, can be overwhelming — especially since the school system design does little to build a student’s autonomy. Great teachers, principals, and parents can only do so much with an outdated school design.
So, like most teachers, I want to help my students one last time as they embark on their journey.
I interviewed successful business leaders, changemakers, and entrepreneurs and asked them to share tips to help graduating students become self-reliant and happy.
If you prefer to listen, here’s a 10-step audio podcast I put together to help guide students in building their life on purpose.
Read more for 10 Quick Tips for Graduating Students To Build a Life on Purpose
Right now, I have 18 tabs open on my browser, an inbox full of emails I need to reply to, and a garbage that needs to be emptied.
I’ve learned a thing or two about productivity, yet I have so much more to learn.
Trying to be productive all the time — just like trying to be mindful all the time — is a daily juggle. Some days I’m a world-class juggler and others…not so much.
But, I’m getting better every day and have a few tips I’d like to share with you.
1. Build a Team to Help
Okay, so if this one seems like common sense to you, then you’re one step ahead of other solopreneurs out there or those, like me, who work a full-time job and run a passion-based profitable side hustle.
It took me far too long to finally give responsibility to other people. Now, I have three (and growing) assistants that are helping me produce my work. They are my saving grace and I’m excited to grow this new chapter in my life.
I now understand a bit more about what Tim Ferriss wrote about in the Four Hour Workweek. Delegating tasks that you have learned and can now teach to others to do is one of the simplest ways to spread your message.
By spending more time on the things that only you can do, you can deepen your purpose and have more impact.
It was 5am and I had already been cycling indoors for an hour. With two more hours to go for my triathlon training, I downloaded one podcast after another.
Listening to podcasts became my choice of infotainment during exercise, driving to work, and when working on tasks that didn’t require intricate thought.
Listening to a podcast is like feeding two birds with one scone. I’m learning something by listening to meaningful content while also exercising, commuting, or doing something else.
Back then I didn’t know I would find podcasting to be part of my purpose. I certainly didn’t think I’d ever create a podcast that hit the top 5 list in Business and Career Planning. You see, I’m a connector at heart. I love hearing a person’s story. When I listen to someone’s story, I immediately think of others who they should talk to to help them on their journey.
I love connecting people. I believe conversations with the right people can help us grow and rise to a new level of actualization (to use Maslowian terms).
That’s why I’ve gone to launch not one or two, but three podcasts.
There’s just something so exhilarating about a podcast launch. It’s a new level of exhilaration and equally terrifying at the same time.
This is the third one I’ve done and there are a few things I wish I knew back when I launched my first podcast.