With the weather in Vancouver taking a dreary turn and the rain giving us yet another excuse to not get up out of bed, we may as well take the opportunity to evaluate and reflect. To help you get started, I put together a short explanation on why you may struggle to get up in the morning, and why procrastination becomes so appealing.
Only when the Lion has evaluated and reflected, will the path he must take become highlighted. Although he may be uncertain, the lessons he carries with him will uphold his identity and keep him protected. Only once he has discovered all that lurks beyond this point, can he invite his pride along to join him.
Our emotions guide the direction of our lives, but recently I have found myself at a crossroad feeling completely numb. When I feel my emotions slipping away I write, because it freely allows me to be completely honest, forcing me to confront any inner or outer conflict.
Although meditation, exercise and being surrounded by passionate and positive people helps, I feel more like me and more free when I write. If I can’t rely on emotion to guide me at this present time, then I need to process what I’m thinking and face my thoughts.
A few opportunities have risen in my life and I feel I’m being pulled in several different directions. I feel that I've come to a cross-junction of opportunities and I’m unsure which one will guide me closer to where I want to be in life. Unfortunately, the longer I linger here the less I feel and I fear this numbness will lead me astray, triggering complacency and forcing me to venture down the safest and most predictable route.
Living life having found a reason to actually live is a life worth living. There’s something I’m becoming more and more aware of: it’s that there’s no breaking away from passion. Once we've found that thing that fulfills our every particle, it consumes us and we get lost in development as we become more of the person we’re supposed to be. We become so sure of ourselves that in this self-assurance we forget that our journey always has a new beginning; that life and progress is never limited to just one route.
Before I used to just write The Lion’s Life, now I’m becoming it. I find myself wondering where an advisor goes for advice. I’m feeling stranded at this crossroad because I’m unguided, yet I am unafraid and completely aware. To guide myself I must be completely honest with myself and externalizing this honesty is giving me insight as to why I’m feeling this way.
As a coach, consultant, advisor or whatever title I’m given when guiding others, I feel nothing but passion. I’m assertive, expressive and in my element when engaging others. I don’t do it for any sort of self-assurance either, I continue on because it feels easy, because it feels natural.
In one way or another, every interaction and connection I make with people tends to lead to coaching, I find myself blissfully on duty. It’s the best addiction I've ever experienced and the fulfillment I receive knows no bounds. Every beam of hope or jolt of passion I see people experiencing; seeing their identities unfold and ignite makes my life worth living.
As I’m working on this post, it’s helping me realize that potential remains uncapped if we continue to experience these crossroads in life. The emotional numbness we experience is the result of feeling like we've exhausted our current abilities and life begins to lose its challenge. We've reached this point because it’s time to progress and we’re required to venture into new territory. This threatens to our affirmed identities which is why it is so easy to linger.
It’s these moments we must learn to become honest and seek guidance in order to grow and continue onward towards self-actualization. It’s about improvement and becoming better in every possible way.
I don’t want to be another advisor spitting out the same advice over and over again even though it’s easy to hold onto this peak. There’s coming a point where a lot of those I work with are becoming more affirmed, they’ll need a coach that grows with them, not someone who can only guide them so far.
I sometimes forget, all advisors need advice, all teachers need to be taught and all Gurus still need to experience.
Growing from strength to strength has a lot to do with the ability to see past what you believe is your limit.
I was sitting in seat 24E on a flight from Spain to England, we had finally ascended above the clouds and the plane had settled as it continued to cruise through to its destination. I thought to myself “how many people set their limits to a certain point, that they go through life not experiencing the calm and stillness that comes with being self-actualized.”
I find that many people never get a chance to experience their own potential because they set their limits based on the actions and achievements of other people in similar situations. Furthermore, so many people struggle to think beyond the clouds because they allow their success to be default. Success that is expected by following a standard pattern of living – default success.
The idea of default success halts their imagination and constricts their ability to be the best that they can be.
Rather than working to their own potential, they work towards the potential of other elements such as their education, their environment and perhaps their money and upbringing. I find that the majority of people aim for ‘default success’ because it is safe and it is easy, yet they fail to realize the loss of control: finding it difficult to pursue something they really want because of the fear of failure.
Problem is, safe and easy gets safer and easier and there’s nothing wrong with that, until there is, when their entire belief system is turned upside down. The moment they've realized that they have missed out on huge opportunities, those moments they reflect on life wishing they had spent more time investing in their passions. Those moments they've realized that they have no idea of who they are. Moments like these affect so many people negatively because life was never truly lived and turning back or starting over feels like an even bigger risk than continuing on an unfulfilled path.
This happened to millions around the globe during the economic crisis and it won’t take you long to find an example of the many people that chose the securer option, only to lose the very security they believed in.
The annoying thing with people stuck on the belief of default success, is that they repeat the behavior when things hadn't gone to plan, for example: returning to school to obtain a skill, to secure another position they don't really want.
The chase for default success restricts you from joining what I call the ‘happy elite’.
The ‘happy elite’ are people who have the guts to really dream and put that dream into action, even if the investment to begin with is minimal. Those that aren't intimidated by another person’s possessions or monetary wealth. Those only concerned with living life confidently the way that they want to. Investing time in the things that make them happy and surrounded by positive attitudes. Working and determined to make their dreams a reality and free from the fear of failure. Those in the happy elite would only return to school to obtain skills to pursue a passion, with an eagerness to learn and participate.
Life is no longer a rat race, and it definitely isn't about “catching up” to peers nor where I should be on society’s timeline. I’m in full control and I’m piloting this plane straight to the destination I have in mind. The day I decided to really invest my life into what I really wanted from it, also including the process it took to understand and discover what that really was, was the day I became a part of this extraordinary minority.
Everyday you'll be reminded of where you are in life. Sometimes you might miss the cues, but at some point in your day you'll definitely feel the energy of your very existence and that little voice in your head will begin to raise questions.
Your presence will even stare you blank in the face during a phase of procrastination and during moments of depression too.
Moments of sentiment, moments of joy, moments of neglect and stress, there are so many opportunities in your day to really listen to what your aspiration is trying to ask you.
Whether your present moment in life is where you intend to be or not, you should pay attention to it.
The energy you feel and the questions you raise can be your answer to the very things you desire from life: what is it you want more of? What are the things you want to erase? What parts of life are missing on that canvas you envisioned yourself painted on?
How much of this energy do you use to fuel your drive to win and/or keep on winning? Or How much of this energy is ignored and that little voice in your head silenced, in fear of failure?
Use these short awakening moments to give you the push you've been waiting for. It was by paying attention to these moments I rediscovered my ambition. It gave me the spirit to leave a 'safe' life I had no desire for, into a life filled with passion and fulfillment. Dare I say it, I'm actually close to living the dream.
I sit here now working on the very life I want to be living, I sit here now, with the confidence to say what exactly it is I want from life and I sit here richer in more ways than anyone could ever imagine.
My dreams and aspirations may not fit yours and what makes me feel rich won't be the answers you're looking for. Determine your own success today, decide what it is you really want and leave behind anything you feel unnecessary.
Every individual has the power to go above and beyond their borders of comfort and engage in strength of mind. Your will is already leaving clues for you to pick up, your emotion is already giving you the answers you seek and your reflection is pointing you in the right direction...don't let fear suppress your identity and allow you to lose sight of where you want to be in life.
I have a lot to be grateful for, and I'm lucky that I can to turn to what I'm grateful for, when I need prioritize life, as the best possible reason for living.
Today, reflecting on a few dark patches in my past, my thoughts led me to all my lost connections. Connections to people; the people in my life that used to bring joy and wonder to it. My connections to hobbies and interests like volunteering and my fascination with spirituality; bringing me fulfillment and escape. I was also reminded of a darker time when I lost my connection with my dream, when I had lost sight of all ambition and goal, looking for an easy way out.
I was taken aback by the memory of a time when life became numb. I remembered a time when the future looked bleak and I had lost all connection to my identity. I had forgotten how these connections were keeping my spirit alive and how important it was to stay connected and how humbling it can be.
I randomly had a long talk with an ex-girlfriend of mine a few days ago, she reminded me of the silly things I used to say about taking the world by storm with my work and however many times people doubted it, I didn't. I forgot how good we worked as friends, before the turmoil of our break-up and now, although I still can't trust her actions, I can trust the expectations she had of me. I guess it sums up why maintaining connections is important, she reminded me of a more innocent and naive time in my life and I'm glad for that. I gained a boost of confidence as it proved how far I had come on my journey.
I guess my message to you is simple although often overlooked. As you journey onward to success, remember to keep your treasured connections active. They'll pose as reminders of who you are, because the more we learn and the more we grow, we make new connections and we tend not to notice the ones we lose.
Remember when we were kids and we used to aimlessly jump into puddles, I remember I used to go out my way to find these shallow patches of water to make the biggest splash that I could. I’d get so carried away until I had completely drenched my socks misjudging the depth, but I didn’t care. I remember it being so thrilling because I was doing what I wanted to do, regardless of being told otherwise and each time it felt like some sort of accomplishment. Recently this random thought had stuck with me for a while and I noticed how differently many of us live our lives today. How many of us can honestly say we seek that thrill and want to make that impact? Don’t get me wrong I understand that we have responsibilities now and commitments that we never had before, but surely there’s still enough time to jump into a puddle now and then; investing time into shaping the life we want to lead will positively impact on our lives.
Do we invest enough time towards building the life we want to live and the way we want to live it? We continue to follow the same routine daily only to realize how much time we could have spent investing into our true goals. Things had recently settled down for me and I began to feel incredibly uncomfortable; surely working everyday and paying bills on time every month isn't what people have evolved to. I know there is so much more I want from life because there's so much more that life has to offer. I’m at a point now where I've met a lot of goals and now I’m ready to aim higher. I’m ready to jump into even bigger puddles.
I find it absolutely frustrating when I come across people who are willing to invest more time deciding on what type of partner they want before carving out an identity of their own. I find it disheartening when I see parents spend more time in a furniture store deciding on which coffee table to purchase rather than nurturing the minds of their offspring. I also find it bizarre how people can tell me more about other individuals, but can hardly piece two sentences together about themselves. At what point did this change, we start lives off so care-free and so individual to only have our identities consumed by the routines we follow. Somehow we decide to be a little more careful and take fewer risks; we find more time for the most insignificant decisions over investing time in shaping our own lives because we’re either afraid of failure or just learn that we simply can’t.
I turn to the people I admire today and am in awe of what they have achieved because it all started with a risk. Looking into a bold move and diving into a new challenge, they never allow themselves to become complacent and always aim higher. Never feeling they've hit their peak and investing their time wisely by seeking opportunity and focusing on goals by drowning out the pollution around them. My sister is probably one of the strongest willed people I know; a description of hell would probably sound like a vacation compared to the ups and downs she has faced in life, but nothing has stopped her from aiming higher to prove to herself, not to anybody else, that she can create a life that she is truly satisfied with.
Had a random conversation about the universe today and the topic lead to how minute our lives are in comparison to time and space, I thought to myself, f*** that! That notion doesn't work for me, I may be only one out of about 7 billion people on this planet but I’m going to make pretty damn sure that this “one” makes an impact on himself and actually lives. There’s already too many irritated souls filling this planet with doubt and negativity not realizing that the benefits of today came from the ones who made a big splash yesterday. I’m not saying I want my name to go down in the history books and I don't adopt this mind-set purely for others to know who I am and what I’m about. I simply know what I can achieve for myself. Prove to myself that this life is worth more than a routine. Life shouldn't be wasted walking around puddles taking the safer route, just jump right in and make that splash!
We’re always faced with making big decisions; decisions that shape our lives and decisions we make that affect others around us. In such situations we often seek out advice, but often enough our advisers turn into influencers. Just like consultants, we trust that their steering us down the right path because we lack knowledge or skill. So we can often get misguided by placing our trust in others or dismiss good advice completely because of past experiences...
...and on this other hand if we’re not seeking advice, we’re battling against our own experiences and instincts, we rely on what we already know to help aid our decisions. Good or bad, our past has a big influence over our future, previous failures and successes determine the size of risk we're willing to take. We play by odds and a battle between heart and mind commences.
All my life I’ve gone with my instinct and followed my passions - it's what I trust the most, but now and again my instincts get overwhelmed and my passions are taken aback when faced with big, often life altering decisions. I lose trust in my own instinct, or not notice what it's telling me because of all the uncertainty.
Now normally I would battle on and power through a swaying decision until I uncover the answer, but I've learned over and over that there is no time to sit and wait - by doing so major opportunities maybe missed and I’m to be left with regret.
Making quick decisions is a skill you develop when you trust yourself. If you doubt yourself you begin to lose that trust, you lose that trust then you'll live in fear; fear of failure.
To help me out I did what I rarely do, I took a break from my existence. In order to process my thoughts and figure out what I wanted, I had to escape everyone and everything for a moment so that I can re-enter my life definitive. Up until this point I was hit with so many persuasions (both internal and external), I didn't know whether to fight or flight or where to draw arguments from; it was intimidating.
So, I turned off my cell phone, packed a bottle of water and literally went on a hike. I didn't even pack my i-pod, music motivates my mood and I didn't want to be influenced by anything. I journeyed to a familiar spot so that I wouldn’t get distracted by a new environment and I hiked towards a solitary place overlooking the city. From there I just sat with my bottle of water and only had my mind to keep me company, something that is often difficult to do in today’s society, but I processed the hell out of my thoughts.
It was refreshing but it was difficult. For the first 20 minutes or so I kept thinking about all the time I was wasting, the time that could be better spent investing in more productive projects. Focusing on the stuff I needed to get done, thinking I should have brought my laptop along and missing my I-pod. It was like my mind was in rush hour and my thoughts were stuck in traffic; I wasn't getting anywhere but I was very eager to move on from them.
I continued to sit there and my mind eventually rested, I began thinking of the most random things, bizarre memories would just make their way forward and somehow I was taken back to the very first time I visited New York City; the excitement and the motivation that I felt back then. I remembered how ridiculously naive I was and how little I knew about the world and about life in general and yet, remember feeling like I could rule the world – I wasn't scared because I had no other choice but to take control and let my identity lead the way.
It was then I realized that my indecisiveness came from fear and my theory is: fear is a reaction to the lack of control. I had lost complete control over a decision, which is why I feared making it. Fear also starts a war between the physiological and the psychological which is why you’re only really presented with the fight or flight option and i choose believe that’s bulls***, therefore I present to you my loop hole.
When you’re struck with fear and a difficult decision, take the time to just escape for a moment, not completely but just for a moment, re-align yourself with your goals to regain control, to turn the situation around to your advantage and face your decision with your life insight.
Like me it may take some reminding of what you want or gained from life, others it may mean educating yourself more for a better understanding. Whichever way you can regain control, allow yourself to break away into thought to figure a way out of doubt. It allowed me to fully understand the decision I needed to make, it was as if I could see the light bulb flashing above my head and everything suddenly became crystal clear - I came to my own conclusion to overcome the conflict and made my decision. I restored trust back into my instincts.
My roots are important to me. It’s my foundation; they shaped the person I was, the person I am and the person I will be. That doesn't just mean my personality or character; it includes my motivations and aspirations too. What we will go on to achieve and what we already have achieved, stem from roots we have.
I speak to many people on a daily basis and when discussions progress to learning about peoples “journey” or “story” it’s amazing how often we overlook what was inherited. If you've read my other posts, you’ll notice a common theme around looking ahead and moving forward towards your goals - making notes on the importance of evaluation and reflection and most importantly; knowing your identity - roots play a big part in that, whether we’re embracing them or running away from them.
There are many factors that determine your roots; lessons are passed down from generation to generation which have often determined levels of success. Some traditions are upheld, some traditions get lost in translation and some traditions crumble as time progresses. Understanding the motivation behind traditions can help you understand why they exist. Not only can you discover things about yourself, your upbringing, or the lack of in some cases, delving into your past and understanding your history/cultural history can unlock answers in your past and present which may have streamed the course for your future. I for one have discovered this myself, learning about certain aspects of my roots allowed me to understand the passion for life I have today. One of the most imperative outcomes from looking into my roots was identifying the examples that were set. Whether good or bad, examples taught me about what I wanted for my life so I could avoid the things I don’t want and attain things I do.
I have very successful friends who have had very fortunate childhoods and have come up from picture perfect roots. I have very successful friends who have shared some very unfortunate stories about their past and where they came up from. Which is when I understood this concept more; there are powerful motivations that we can extract from knowing where we come from and what we inherit. We all grew up very privileged because we all have roots. Some were privileged to have wealth and fortune, some were privileged to have witnessed hard work and determination and some were privileged to have gone through a lot of pain and suffering which harnessed the motivation for them to become phenomenal people today. This is why I like roots, and learning about other peoples. We are all very different people yet can all achieve the same successes and share common goals - it takes a little understanding of where you've come from, to identify who you are and develop who you want to be.
Picture yourself in the future, you’re at the place you want to be, you’ve achieved what you wanted out of life and your mission: complete...this future life is how you intend to live. Now look at where you are now, what would future you say to present you? Are you telling yourself you’re going in the right direction and to keep on the path you’re on? Maybe you’re noticing that where you are now isn’t necessarily where you should be? Maybe that future self doesn’t even recognize the person you are today. I recently took a dip from enthusiasm and for the longest time couldn’t figure out how to pull myself out from, what felt like, a downward spiral into a pit where things would just fall apart. My year took off to a fantastic start and I started to feel as if things were beginning peak. When things begin to go well in our lives, we sometimes begin questioning it and allow ourselves to steer away from what we really want because of the daunting thought of not achieving it.
I’ve been reading those blogs where people were writing letters to their future selves, it got me thinking - What would my future self write me? We all envision our dreams coming true and this notion helped pull me from this feeling of self-doubt and concern. It was a great way to self evaluate and reflect the present.
Many of my friends were really surprised at how far they had drifted away from attaining that future, and noticed the lack of attention paid when making certain choices. A friend of mine envisioned himself as a very successful musician, it’s what he wants, but came to realize that he never invested time in writing his own music. To get closer to his future and greet success at his door, he needed to step up his game. To all my entrepreneur friends...when was the last time you sat down and researched the viability of a radical idea rather than just noting it down in the ideas box and writing it off before even giving it a second thought. Try actually believing it will take off.
I also found it a great technique when needing to develop more crisp goals. A shift to this perspective can really wake you up to your very present and make you aware of your behaviour today. Establish a new equilibrium and begin syncing with your future self.