The Pleasure of the Universe

Hugh Jackman:

One of my favorite movies of all time and definitely my favorite quote from a movie of all time is from Chariots of Fire, which I loved as a kid. And Eric Liddell, who’s the religious runner who decides not to run on the Sabbath during the Olympics.

So there’s this great scene. He’s meant to be going off after the Olympics to do missionary work in China, handing out Bibles or something, and his sister’s talking to him, and he goes… She’s like, “You’ve got to throw away this silly running thing. We have really important work, God’s work, to do. Why are you doing this and spending time on this?” You know, basically, kind of accusing him of not following God’s will. And he just says—he looks at her and he says, “But I feel his pleasure when I run.” And I’ve always—somehow that line, it always makes me tear up just saying it. That’s what I feel onstage. There’s a kind of natural energy.

And what I keep saying to my kids actually: Don’t settle. Find that thing that resonates with you in that way, where you feel some kind of the pleasure of the universe, of consciousness. Like, there’s some joy where you feel you can do it longer. And in that way, it’s not such a Herculean effort.


That whatever that decision was, whatever that moment of clarity becomes, whatever gets you to that feeling of Eric Liddell on Chariots of Fire, “I feel His pleasure when I run,” for me, that was always, and I carry it today. Even though my feelings about religion are different than what they were when I was younger, the essence is the same, that there is some calling. As Joseph Campbell would talk about, “Follow your bliss.” There is some calling that is beyond the conscious brain’s strategizing of how to be happy and successful or meaningful in life. There’s something elemental and instinctual. And honing that, the people I admire the most really hone that ability in big decisions in their life and in… to small, day-to-day decisions.


And then I fall still and remind myself that this is all in service of something. I say a little—I say, “Om paramatmane namah,” which means, “I dedicate this show, or whatever it is, to the service of The Absolute”—there is something beyond the show, some reason we’re doing this. Same for your show. You know. There’s got to be a reason beyond just what the immediate thing is there, and that just connects me to that.

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Accept Complete Responsibility

Brian Tracy:

Among the most important personal choices you can make is to accept complete responsibility for everything you are and everything you will ever be. This is the great turning point in life. The acceptance of personal responsibility is what separates the superior person from the average person. Personal responsibility is the preeminent trait of leadership and the wellspring of high performance in every person in every situation.

Accepting complete responsibility for your life means that you refuse to make excuses or blame others for anything in your life that you’re not happy about. You refuse, from this moment forward, to criticize others for any reason. You refuse to complain about your situation or about what has happened in the past. You eliminate all your if-onlys and what-ifs and focus instead on what you really want and where you are going.


From now on, no matter what happens, say to yourself, “I am responsible.”

If you are not happy with any part of your life, say, “I am responsible” and get busy changing it. If something goes wrong, accept responsibility and begin looking for a solution. If you are not happy with your current income, accept responsibility and begin doing the things that are necessary for you to increase it. If you are not happy with the amount of time you are spending with your family, accept responsibility for that and begin doing something about it.


You do not escape responsibility by attempting to pass it off onto other people. You are still responsible. But you give up a sense of control over your life. You begin to feel like a victim and see yourself as a victim. You become passive and resigned rather than powerful and proactive. Instead of feeling on top of your world, you feel as if the world is on top of you. This way of thinking leads you into a blind alley from which there is no escape. It is a dead-end road on which you should refuse to travel.

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Four Things

Brian Tracy:

Essentially, there are only four different things you can do to improve the quality of your life and work:

1. You can do more of certain things. You can do more of the things that are of greater value to you and bring you greater rewards and satisfaction.

2. You can do less of certain things. You can deliberately decide to reduce or discontinue activities or behaviors that are not as helpful as other activities and behaviors or can actually be hurtful to you in accomplishing the things you want.

3. You can start to do things you are not doing at all today. You can make new choices, learn new skills, begin new projects or activities, or change the entire focus of your work or personal life.

4. You can stop doing certain things altogether. You can stand back and evaluate your life with new eyes. You can then decide to discontinue activities and behaviors that are no longer consistent with what you want and where you want to go.

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Energy is Eternal Delight

Tom Morris:

“Energy is eternal delight.”
– William Blake

Printer, painter, poet and mystic, William Blake knew what he was talking about. Samuel Smiles once praised energy and described its place in life like this: “It is energy – the central element of which is will – that produces the miracle of enthusiasm in all ages. Everywhere it is the mainspring of what is called force of character, and the sustaining power of all great action.”


The most important ingredient is a cause to believe in. Deeply.

Are you doing something you really believe in? If not, why not? Find a way to get a big picture for your work. Connect it to the meaning of life. Connect it to something noble. Or change what you do to something you can view in this way. Then you’ll experience the energy that’s always at the heart of great endeavors.

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When prompted to describe Jobs using just one word, Cook chose “curious.”

During the same panel, philanthropist Laurene Powell Jobs shared a little-known insight into her late-husband’s curiosity, saying that Jobs called multiple people — including business leaders from industries beyond tech — to ask them what trends they were seeing and what was on their minds.

“He had a list of people he called, and he just would ask them what’s going on,” Powell Jobs said, adding: “He would just pick people’s brains constantly, which was really interesting. I think it’s not a widely spoken-about trait of his.”

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Danny Miranda:

An Ohio University set out to examine the effect of a toxic diet on heart disease in the 1970s. They fed rabbits a high cholesterol diet that attempted to mimic what humans do to their bodies.

They found the diet affected the rabbits the same amongst all trial groups, except for one group of rabbits who mysteriously had 60% fewer symptoms.

At first, it was assumed that these rabbits had better tolerance to the diet. But they didn’t.

It turned out the only difference was the student who was running this group liked to hold and pet the rabbits.

Repeated experiments, in which one group of rabbits was treated neutrally and the other group was loved, found similar results.

Are we that different from rabbits?

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Neil Strauss’ Editing Process

Danny Miranda:

Neil Strauss has a specific editing process that’s helped him author seven New York Times bestsellers.

The first time he edits his writing… It’s for himself.
The second time… For his readers.
The third time… For his critics.

This three step method is simple, easy to remember, and can be used by just about anyone who writes. Maybe try it out?

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How To Stop a Negative Nancy In Their Tracks

Kat Norton, aka Miss Excel:

When we start to push past our comfort zone—whether it be by posting a TikTok, starting a business, or taking on a daunting project at work—it’s not uncommon for people to say things that clobber our self esteem.

  • “Why are you posting these cringe videos?”
  • “Are you sure you want to give up your secure corporate job to start a business?”
  • “We know you want to take on this project, but are you sure you’re ready?”

Sure, their intentions might sometimes be pure. But when those intentions, sincere or otherwise, cause you fear, worry, and doubt—well, that’s the last thing you need when you’re taking a leap of faith.

When building Miss Excel, I’d get loads of comments from doubtful observers. Boomers told me to get a “real” job and strangers commented not-so-nice things on my videos.

So, how do you filter out the negative noise when you’re going after what you want?

My go-to method is to ask myself,

“Would I trade places with this person in this area?”

If the answer is yes, I might have something to learn from them.

But if not, it’s probably a no-go. For example, if someone is telling me the “right way” to parallel park but doesn’t have their license, I won’t consider their input too much.

Entrepreneur Michael Hyatt compares advice to the many options Google Maps gives you for getting from point A to point B in routes both direct and convoluted:

“Some advice will get you where you want to go. Some will just send you in circles. Don’t waste time. Look for people who can get you where you want to go with the fewest dead ends.”

The next time someone questions you or gives you advice contrary to your ambitions, remember you’re at the steering wheel. You get to decide if you’ll follow their directions or if you’ll stick to your own route.

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Open Yourself to Fresh, New Frequencies

Steve Pavlina:

If you don’t have that kind of feeling in your life right now, why not open yourself to it? Let go of all the guilt, fear, and resentment that have been holding you back. Recognize that life is abundant and that the universe is eager to provide all that you need. You just need to get your limiting beliefs out of the way. Don’t make the mistake of trying to manifest FM music with an AM radio. Let your manifestations (including the people in your life) be as they are. If you want new experiences, be willing to receive them from anywhere. Don’t try to force them into a particular form. Choosing the form is the universe’s job. Your job is simply to hold the general desire for the range of frequencies you wish to experience next.

Letting go with love is an important part of this process. In order to invite new experiences into our lives, we must shed the old ones. Notice where the energy of your life has gotten stale, and make the decision to let go. Then open yourself to fresh, new frequencies. They will come into your life.

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See the Forest for the Trees

Stuart Wilde:

If, say, you are concentrating on an important problem, all of your thoughts and feelings will be engaged by that problem. You become the problem. By identifying with the problem, you gradually solidify its reality around you, cutting yourself off from other energy.

As you identify with the problem your feelings become clouded, and you will find that you cannot see the forest for the trees. New energy finds no opening to refresh you. The reality around you reflects only the countours of the problem in which you are immersed. The solution must come from what you believe, since that is the only reality you can perceive at that time. The same logic applies to your life. Each event ratifies your experience and that experience settles in your consciousness like a block of concrete, every bit as real.

The feelings you generate pull you into areas of the physcial plane that match those feelings and they will dictate what you will choose to do day-to-day.

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