1. Hissing is the echo of awesomeness. Accept the fact that approximately ten percent of the people you encounter in life will not like you. Get over it. Screw the ten and stick with the ninety. Pick a side, put a stake in the ground and polarize people purposely.
And remember that if everyone loves you, you’re doing something wrong. Besides, you’re nobody until somebody hates you. At least that’s what my parole officer tells me. How much hatemail have you received this week?
2. Inertia is the slaughterhouse of success. Jon Kabat-Zin’s book Wherever You Go, There You Are, explains this beautifully:
“If you can make some time early in the day for BEING, with no agenda, it can change the quality in the rest of your day. By affirming first what is primary in your own being, you get a mindful jump on the whole day and wind up more capable of sensing, appreciating and responding to the bloom of each moment.”
Beware of inertia. How can you arrange your day so you become unstoppable?
3. Inexperience is the machete of fear. Why are children more creative than adults? Because their sense of curiosity and innocence hasn’t (yet) been suffocated by wet blanket of adulthood. Lesson learned: Innocence and ignorance overcome fear and lead to curiosity, creativity and knowledge. Your challenge is to temporary suspend your adult habit of self-criticism and do it anyway.
The first step is to write the following five words on a sticky note: “Yeah, but I can’t just…” Remember: As Jeff Bridges said in the movie Tron, “You keep doing what it looks like you’re supposed to be doing – not matter how crazy it sounds.” Are you willing to look stupid on the road to immortality?
4. Mistake is the mentor of man. First of all, they’re not mistakes – they’re lessons. Catalysts. So, practice attending to your errors with a mindset of personal growth, life-long learning and never-ending improvement. By approaching failure with this attitude, disappointment will slowly dissipate.
Secondly, listen to the way you speak to yourself when you make mistakes. Instead of berating yourself, try asking questions like: Is this a new mistake or repeat mistake? Why did the universe want me to make this mistake? How many different ways can I embrace, incorporate and ingeniously leverage this mistake in my life? And what would I have to learn about this mistake to make it no longer a mistake?
Remember: Failure IS an option – not learning from that failure isn’t. How are you exponentially growing from your screw-ups?
5. Suffering is the sandpaper of life. “If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently?” I get that question a lot – especially during media interviews and after speeches. And my answer is always the same: Nothing. I would do everything exactly the same way.
Here’s why: I am eternally and unregretfully grateful for everything that’s ever happened to me – good AND bad. Especially the bad. After all: From great suffering comes from great awakening. And the person I’ve become is the summation of all that stuff. It made me who I am. And I love who I am.
Think about it: Consider the three most powerful lessons you’ve ever learned in your life. EVER. Odds are, at least two of the three stemmed from some form of pain, didn’t they? And that’s a beautiful thing. That’s how we learn and grow. So, your mission is to put all the bad stuff to good use. To use suffering – even if it’s minor – as sandpaper. To smooth out the edges of your life like a pinewood derby car, cruising to the finish. What made you into you?
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.
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