Can we be honest for a second here folks? I know many of you are on a similar path as me, and I just have to take a step back and illustrate how courageous, crazy, and out of our minds we all are. And the truth is, most of us will NOT reach insanely high levels of success, influence, and prosperity (AKA “rich and famous” in the western cultural lexicon). Not because we’re not capable, but because we will give up in some way, on some level, at some point.
It is really the most difficult path I can imagine. At this point, I don’t rely on courage, logic, or fear – I’ve hit rock bottom too many times, I’ve failed too many times, and have too much at stake to need them. I have no other options in life, I can think of no other path that would let me sleep at night, if I were to abandon this one. The ball has been dropped and all I can do is ride it down the mountain and hold on for dear life.
The die has been cast. The stage is set. I have chosen to have no choice.
Now, just because I’m unable to give up, doesn’t mean that I don’t want to. Just because fear doesn’t motivate me, doesn’t mean I don’t feel it constantly. Just because I consciously understand the process and have total faith, doesn’t mean I don’t question it and lie in bed at night (or in my driver’s seat) completely clueless to the next step or why what’s happening is.
If you, like me, have given up EVERYTHING in life – food, shelter, clothing, relationships, stability, safety, comfort, lucrative career, excuses, time, reason – you will understand exactly why most people will not make it. And until you get to this point – not it necessarily happening, but at least the unquestionable willingness to if necessary to follow your dreams – you will not reach them. You will die someday asking: “What if?”
Unfortunately, this willingness is not enough either.
You must do the work. You must master your beliefs and emotions. You must learn new skills from the right people. You must become a new person, and continue this evolution and healing at each stage of your journey. You must serve, you must forgive, you must surrender. You must master paradox. You must survive the barrage of negativity, jealousy, sabotage, crabs-in-the-bucket, propaganda, loving concerns of false safety, distractions, and easy-way-outs.
In every meaning of the metaphor, you must escape and then transcend the matrix. This will be the majority of your life’s work, and once there, it will then be in helping others do the same through your own special niche.
Survive. Escape. Transcend. Uplift. Prosper.
This is the SETUP.
Most of us are still in survive and escape, and will continue to be so for many, many more years (or lifetimes). We attempt bits and pieces of transcend and uplift along the way, but we really haven’t made it there. Just scrambling to share little bits of the puzzle with others, like cute little scout ants reporting their findings, still slaves to the hive. We never really reach a life of sustainable prosperity. (Thanks to Catalin Pirvu for the “P”).
It’s funny how close the path to being a successful and authentic artist/entrepreneur/expert is to that of enlightenment.
Let’s make sure we’re on the same page regarding the terms “success” and “prosperity”, because how I see these things are dramatically different than what you may here a businessman or lawyer for the West talk about. You’re familure with it: the trophy wife, 3 kids, dog, big mansion, few nice cars, and a great corporate job with lots (and lots) of money.
For me, being successful is the entire package.
- You have a healthy abundant life that you chose to create
- You have spiritual peace
- You have all the resources and material items you require
- You are overall happy and in love with life
- Your career/purpose is being fulfilled to the level you desire
- You’re in good health and company
- You wake up in the morning with gratitude and the ability to do what you love
- You are making a contribution to the world
- You are wealthy, in all meanings of the word
- You have healed the darkest aspects of yourself
- You have traveled well
- You have self-mastery
Success, in the end, is on your deathbed you can answer YES to the question: “Did you live your dreams and are you authentically, deeply fulfilled and satisfied with your life and what you’ve done with your time?”
If you’re anything crazy like me, chances are you’re not a one trick pony – you want to master your love life, your career, your family, your health, your spirituality, and hobbies. And because you want to be congruent and authentic, you wish to lead by example, not preach from a pedestal. It feels like you don’t just have to be an accountant or nurse or rock star or writer… it’s all of them in one.
For me, it’s essentially:
An artist + entrepreneur + spiritual teacher + thought leader + author + therapist/healer + holistic nutritionalist + wealthy + influential + coach + marketer + speaker + revolutionary + sex expert + philanthropist + world changer + lover + human being = my career
These are usually all different, individual roles in themselves. My path requires all of them at different doses. It’s pretty damn intense, and I’m already 7 years deep and just getting started, and it’s still a major responsibility.
What is the point in all of this?
The game is designed to be as difficult as possible, not only for diabolical reasons, but to also test your character and see what you’re made of. This path, like most “hero’s journeys”, is one that simultaneously sends you into Dante’s Inferno and the Garden of Eden. It will either chew you up and spit you out like the failure you bought into that everybody told you are, or mold you into the best version of yourself possible.
The bigger the game, the bigger the dream, the bigger the quest.
This does not mean life has to be hard. It doesn’t mean that the path is all suffering. It’s a wave; a cycle. Not a life full of stagnant comfort and complacency, but one that creates the circumstance in your life to facilitate your growth to becoming the person who can manifest their desires.
A butterfly must fight its way out of its cocoon. A bird has to break its way of its egg. It’s darkest before dawn.
The struggle, the work, the darkness IS 100% PART OF THE PROCESS AND MANIFESTATION!
We all want the award without the work; it ain’t gonna happen! The laws of the universe state that you don’t get something for nothing.
This does NOT mean you have to suffer, work ineffectively, or compromise though. This is the major distinction. Taking up the journey, doing the work, and experiencing the darkness are required – the suffering is optional.
It can be the most joyous, uplifting, empowering, loving, blissful journey of struggle – or it can be the most miserable, hateful, resentful, bitter, lonely journey of struggle.
What I find is that the suffering happens when we’re actually NOT on our true path. When we ignore the calling, when we succumb to fear or distractions, when we choose ignorance, when we settle – that’s when we suffer. Not from the struggle and work of our life’s calling.
And most of us will suffer much more than necessary. We will choose the illusions of comfort, security, and stability over the illusions of pain to reach freedom, love, and enlightenment.
We will only give up what makes sense. We will only sacrifice what isn’t important. We will only try until it hurts too much. We will stop 3 feet from the breakthrough after 3000 miles of digging. We will numb out, suppress, and avoid our feelings rather than dive deep and heal them. We will donate what we can, rather than what we “should not”.
We will play it safe, thinking that’s where the comfort lies, forgetting how uncomfortable we are with our stagnant selves.
The truth is, most of us will fail or give up before we really tried, and never the greatness of who we really are. I’m not here to tell you that you can’t, because you can, and must. But to tell you that most of us won’t because we don’t know how truly great we are, and aren’t willing to go all the way to find out.
I don’t have any idea how successful I will become, but I’m willing to do whatever it takes to find out.
I won’t ask you to become successful or happy. I won’t ask anything more from you than to simply risk it all to find out how great you truly are.
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