Clear the Slate

Stuart Wilde:

If you do not know what you want in life, you express that uncertainty into the Universal Law. And it — being impartial — expresses back to you the same feeling. The result is that nothing flows and all your attempts to materialize your dreams fade or break up.

If you do not know what you truly want, then the best move is to begin to clear out all of those things that you know you definitely no longer want — debilitating relationships, unhelpful habits, lack of action, imbalance of one kind or another. Sooner or later what you want will become clear and then you can head toward it.

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Stop Seeking Permission

Sarah Elkhaldy:

Many times, we unconsciously seek consent from others to allow us to grow. What we are innocently asking for is a mirror in the external world to validate what is taking place in our internal world. This isn’t so horrible once it’s demystified.

(…)

Humans are interdependent, it’s a natural instinct for us to want and seek support from our peers. The difference between wanting support and wanting permission, however, is that with permission we are asking someone to give us the green light to do or be whatever it is we believe we need permission for.

This creates a sticky dilemma since needing permission makes us entirely dependent on the feedback we are getting from whomever we’ve bestowed the role of authority figure to. Consider the weight of that position for someone to hold. We may be seeking consent from people undeserving of that role with their own constraints and programming to abide by simply because we need that mirror.

(…)

Up to a certain point we can’t continue our growth through someone else’s authority, so we are going to get placed in circumstances where we are denied permission all so that we can become aware that we were asking for permission.

(…)

Friction is a huge catalyst for growth and part of becoming sovereign beings is the ability to allow ourselves to be misperceived by others without it spiraling us into an existential crisis.

People can spend their entire life unfulfilled by the course of their life choices all because of fears relative to accessing their own power. This doesn’t mean we have to compensate for our insecurities by fully immersing ourselves into the ego, it just means we stop avoiding judgment and become conscious of where we placed limitations on ourselves. Forgive yourself for allowing the judgment of others to hold you back.

(…)

The underlying fear is that if we lose the approval of those that we rely on for connection, we will be all alone. While this fear is not unwarranted, in reality, we are only denying ourselves our own totality by allowing our expression to be limited by the judgments of others.

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Window of Opportunity

Sean Stephenson:

Recently, at the airport, I overheard two friends talking. One of the guys said that he really liked this girl who worked at his office, but he never let her know. Years went by, but he never reached out to her, never made any effort to connect with her on a personal level. Then one day she showed up at work with a huge rock on the fourth finger of her left hand. When she showed him, he said, “That’s great” in a somewhat sarcastic tone. Then he walked away.

His reaction upset her so much that she asked around the office, trying to understand why he wasn’t happy for her. Surprised, her colleagues told her that it was obvious that he had always had a crush on her. She collapsed in her chair, crying. “I’ve always had a crush on him too,” she sobbed, “but I thought he didn’t like me because he never talked to me . . . and now it’s too late!” The man telling the story was crushed. At this point his friend reached over and patted him on the back.

We can’t procrastinate when it comes to making connections. When we see the window of opportunity, we have to reach out and connect—no BUTS about it. In fact, I believe we put ourselves in real danger when we refuse to connect with others. Like this man and woman, we can not only lose positive opportunities but also incur negative consequences.

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Level Up

Tom Bilyeu:

Don’t obsess over your current standing in life. Even if you’re a total failure today, so what? What does that have to do with what you’re capable of becoming? Insist on delivering value to yourself. Only focus on that which drives you to improve.

Everyone has 86,400 seconds a day to spend however they see fit. The only thing that separates the successful from the “also rans” is how effectively time is used in pursuit of their goals. Like money, time must deliver a return. Focus on what is true and effective. There is something in the rhythmic passage of time that blinds people to the opportunities that exist even in the most mundane of moments. As long as you have time, you have time to progress. And progress is so fundamental to happiness, that simply leveling up any element of your skill set will make you feel more alive.

Humans have an innate drive to master their environment, but we also have a competing desire to sit around and do nothing. You have to push through your lesser impulses. Invention is an active pursuit. Value doesn’t drop from the sky, it comes from serving others better than anyone else. But you can only do that if you focus on leveling up – of becoming capable of more. If you focus on results, on what is true and effective, on what delivers value, you can transcend opinion and arrive at a place defined entirely by your accomplishments.

If you want to feel good about yourself today, fall in love with your potential. Don’t be satisfied with what is already done. Emotional comfort is the enemy of future progress. Thankfully, you’ll always be a fraction of who you can become. No matter how much you’ve accomplished. And that’s a wonderful thing, for it is progress that will make you feel most fulfilled. That’s why the cliche that it’s the journey that matters and not the destination has persisted for so long. It’s the progress inherent in the journey that we crave.

You can’t hide from the passage of time, but you can fail to make use of your time. Become what you’ve always envisioned. Use your 86,400 seconds well. Level up.

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Being Seen

Steven Pressfield, Turning Pro:

Though the amateur’s identity is seated in his own ego, that ego is so weak that it cannot define itself based on its own self-evaluation. The amateur allows his worth and identity to be defined by others.

The amateur craves third-party validation.

The amateur is tyrannized by his imagined conception of what is expected of him. He is imprisoned by what he believes he ought to think, how he ought to look, what he ought to do, and who he ought to be.

And:

Paradoxically, the amateur’s self-inflation prevents him from acting. He takes himself and the consequences of his actions so seriously that he paralyzes himself. The amateur fears, above all else, becoming (and being seen and judged as) himself.

Becoming himself means being different from others and thus, possibly, violating the expectations of the tribe, without whose acceptance and approval, he believes, he cannot survive.

By these means, the amateur remains inauthentic. He remains someone other than who he really is.

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Start with the End of the Movie

Jesse Itzler:

It’s always been having for me — probably similar to you — always having the end of the movie in my head. And then filling in the script. So I knew I was going to leave there with a sale. I just had to write the script.

The script might change. There might be, you know, call an audible, and you might have to rewrite the script, but the end of the script was always the same.

I’m going to run a hundred miles.

Okay. Well, how are you gonna do that, Jesse? You’ve never — You’re not, like, a crazy endurance runner!

Well, then, let’s think backwards.

It starts with the end scene in the movie.

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It’s Already Yours

Abraham-Hicks:

And so, the question isn’t ‘Will it be, will it be?’

Because it already is.

And the question isn’t, ‘Do I get to have it?’

Because it’s already yours.

The question is, ‘How can I, right now, feel that it’s there, rather than antagonize myself into feeling that it isn’t there? How can I trust, rather than doubt? How can I believe, rather than wonder? How can I know, rather than worry?’

And so, it’s an emotional game, it’s a vibrational game.

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Your Relationship with Time

Jesse Itzler:

I became very aware of my relationship with time. When we think of relationships, we think of our relationships with our mom or our dad or our kids, or this and that, but no one thinks of a relationship with time.

Now, I’m turning 50. The average American lives to be 78 years old. So, if I’m average, I hope I’m not, but that means I got 28 years of life left. If you reverse engineer that… Like, I just climbed Mount Washington. There were no 70-year-olds climbing Mount Washington. The actual years that you have left to be active and do the shit that we want to do, they shrink significantly as a percentage as you get older.

So once you get aware of your relationship with time, everything shifts. I had a fundamental shift when I came home, as it relates to my relationship with time. Who I want to spend it with and what I want to do. And I want to put more on my plate of the stuff that I love to do, with the people I love to do it with.

And I started getting a lot of clarity around that when I wasn’t getting bombarded with everything else. Like, I don’t spend any time alone. The only I spent alone is if I go for a run. Everything else is… I’m getting influenced by everybody else and everything else. So I’m losing my main superpower, my instinct.

I survive on instinct and gut, and I was losing that, because I was so distracted. So once I started to get that alone time… You don’t have to go to a monastery to do it, you just gotta, you know… Carving out a little bit of time for myself, every day. I started to think a lot clearer on how do I want to live, how do I want to reverse engineer the rest of my life.

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Critical Threshold

James Clear, Atomic Habits:

Breakthrough moments are often the result of many previous actions, which build up the potential required to unleash a major change. This pattern shows up everywhere. Cancer spends 80 percent of its life undetectable, then takes over the body in months. Bamboo can barely be seen for the first five years as it builds extensive root systems underground before exploding ninety feet into the air within six weeks.

Similarly, habits often appear to make no difference until you cross a critical threshold and unlock a new level of performance. In the early and middle stages of any quest, there is often a Valley of Disappointment. You expect to make progress in a linear fashion and it’s frustrating how ineffective changes can seem during the first days, weeks, and even months. It doesn’t feel like you are going anywhere. It’s a hallmark of any compounding process: the most powerful outcomes are delayed.

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Purple

Jenny Joseph:

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practise a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

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