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mastery.fm – caffeine for the mind & spirit

Keeping Your Distinctiveness Alive

Jeff Bezos:

In what ways does the world pull at you in an attempt to make you normal? How much work does it take to maintain your distinctiveness? To keep alive the thing or things that make you special?

We all know that distinctiveness – originality – is valuable. We are all taught to “be yourself.” What I’m really asking you to do is to embrace and be realistic about how much energy it takes to maintain that distinctiveness. The world wants you to be typical – in a thousand ways, it pulls at you. Don’t let it happen.

You have to pay a price for your distinctiveness, and it’s worth it. The fairy tale version of “be yourself” is that all the pain stops as soon as you allow your distinctiveness to shine. That version is misleading. Being yourself is worth it, but don’t expect it to be easy or free. You’ll have to put energy into it continuously.

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Changing

G.I. Gurdjieff:

It is the greatest mistake to think that man is always one and the same. A man is never the same for long. He is continually changing. He seldom remains the same even for half an hour.

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New Patterns

Stuart Wilde:

Once you realize that you are a timeless immortal within a body, try the following exercise. For the next thirty days totally change the pattern of your life. Get up at a different time. Go to bed later or earlier. Do not do any of the things you normally do. Talk to none of your friends. Avoid newspapers, radio and television. Dress differently and change your eating habits. Spend time on your own in silent meditation. Try to be out in nature away from people. Do at least one three-day fast if that is appropriate to your state of health.

As you pull away from all that you hold dear, your personality will change. You will be able to dedicate your life anew and create a stronger congruence to the infinite Life Force within you. Your mission or life quest will become clear and many of your cherished beliefs will fall away. You will become a freer individual and you will enjoy your new freedom.

By consciously changing your way of life and choosing simplicity, you will be free from confusion. The thought affirmations you create will begin to have power. They will not be cluttered by your old allegiances. They will arise instead from your clarity and sense of purpose.

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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.

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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.

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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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