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That voice inside my head that says “Just give up, you’ve been trying this shit for the past 8 years, and where are you now? It was a nice run, you gave it your best, but maybe you should just plug back into the matrix. You’ve been ‘this close’ for years, maybe this isn’t meant to be.” To which I say fuck that shit. I’m sorry rational mind, I don’t have any other options. Really, what am I going to do? I don’t even have a vision besides this, besides making my dreams a reality.
Imagine flying a plane by yourself and trying to land it on the smallest airstrip on the island of paradise. Now imagine that you had no idea how to pilot and instead were learning to fly as you flew it. You have no parachutes, no eject button, no autopilot. You either land this plane or you crash it to varying degrees of injury or death. You either land on paradise or you crash in the ocean — and if you survive that you just sort of float around in a raft, bobbing back and forth, until you die of starvation.
Do you understand what I’m telling you? Do you really get it?
This is not a bloody metaphor – this is your life damn it.
It sounds scary, it sounds like “F‑that-shit”. That’s probably why so many people never even take off. They just hang around at the airport acting busy.
Maybe some people just co-pilot. That’s cool for them, but not for me. I’m not going to play an extra or co-star in my own life story.
There is no other option. I’m not just rambling off some inspiring bullshit, I’m tearing my fucking shell of a life apart to reach the depths of life itself. This is a plea.
A plea for you to take full advantage of every opportunity to pursue your dreams. Do you hear me? If you’re reading this now, you have more opportunity and abundance than most of the planet. How dare you waste it away not being happy, not doing what you love, not pursuing a life in which you let your gifts shine.
You have more money in your bank account. You have more clothes. You have more people that want you to be happy. I’m not talking about more than kids in Africa, I’m talking about me.
I don’t care what your excuses are. I don’t care that you’re happy with mediocrity. I don’t care that this message isn’t for everybody. In this moment, be damned with everyone else – this is about you. If you’re still reading this, this message was meant for you.
You have it in you. You feel the pull. You feel the pain, the dissonance. You know deep down inside that you were meant for something greater, greater than the life you’re living now – even if you’re doing pretty well – you know that you’re not playing full out.
It’s okay. All of this is okay. It’s okay if you do, and it’s okay if you don’t. None of it really matters, it’s all perfect, and it all returns to love.
But don’t hold yourself apart from that in the meantime. Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t play it safe either. So what maybe you have multiple lives? So what if we’re all one? So what if you are loved no matter what?
None of that matters if you don’t feel it. If you don’t feel the love; if you don’t give the love. And you can’t do this to the fullest extent unless you’re living open, raw, broken down and built up better, harder, stronger, faster. Unless you discover who you really are, what you’re really made of. You can’t do that from your computer chair; you can’t do that from mediocrity.
You can’t do that until you take flight. The truth is not everybody is guaranteed to land the plane on paradise – but I can guarantee you’ll never land if you stay at the airport bar and grill.
I’m pretty sure the path that I offer you here isn’t the best, and in fact, I don’t really recommend it to most people. Most people don’t desire it, and that is really okay. That’s them.
But this is you. This is me. This is us. We know we’re not most people, and that’s okay too.
This is the call. This is all I can offer you.
This is my dream. Perhaps it’s not yours. But if it is, my plea is that you heed the call. You will either succeed or die trying. That should scare the hell out of you… but that’s the level you need to be willing to play at. It’s your dreams for crying out loud. It’s everything you’ve ever wanted for yourself and those you love.
What else is worth dying – or living – for?
Your life beckons.
The path to empowering women is not by disempowering men.
While many feminist campaigns and viral videos are great at expressing the (superficial) problem, they’re not helping to solve it. The problem is real – there are some men that have no idea how to relate to women, thus proceed to do so in inappropriate ways. And women often do have to face threats that most men are completely clueless about.
…but prolonging the “battle of the sexes” and “blame game” mentality will never stop rape, harassment, or abuse. All that’s being done is expressing pain and anger, which can be cathartic and okay, unless it’s directed at another. Attacking men (all or even some) for attacking women isn’t going to solve anything.
We need to go much deeper than this. So much deeper.
We don’t need to see more proof of “how fucked up society is”; this only propagates stereotypes that induce resentment and fear. We need to see the power of compassion, love, forgiveness, healing, empathy, and acceptance between both sexes. We need to learn why people hurt other people (hint: it’s because they’re hurting themselves) and how to heal it and empathize with it.
There are many women and men who do not experience these same problems, not because they live in different places, but because of how they walk through the world. We can’t force these immature men to change, and complaining about them on YouTube isn’t going to do anything; I’m sorry it won’t. It’s just going to create more complaining and victimhood, and lots of resentment or commiseration.
The power is inside the women, not the men, so stop focusing on the men and start focusing on helping women empower themselves.
Truthfully, we can’t do anything to “empower women” per se because empowerment is inherently from within. Giving power to somebody is still disempowering – it’s an illusion because the giver ultimately has the power to revoke it. Only each woman (and man) can empower themselves. They have to choose to take their power back; to realize it has nothing to do with anybody else, but in reclaiming what they’ve unknowingly given away themselves.
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.
Hot damn was I fucked up. Where I am at now – compared to where I was a decade ago – is really hitting me. I’m writing my “story” of how I got to be where I am today for my marketing, and am watching the patterns of my life unfold in slow-motion retrospect. Despite the exorbitant amounts of therapy I’ve done, it’s stirring up some somber and despondent feelings.
The most heart-wrenching is seeing how unwanted and undesirable I have been my entire life, and how major of a theme that has been.
I’m not exaggerating: I was an “oops baby” and my mother was disowned by her strict Catholic father for having me out of wedlock at 17. Continuing on to a physically abusive father to me and my mother until I was 3, attempted kidnapping, and pure chaos.
Moving on now towards childhood and elementary school, I was made fun of and bullied because I had warts at 6 years old. I continued to deal with bullying and low self-esteem even after they were gone… all the way to high school graduation. Between that and my unstable home life, my desire and attempts to run away were boundless.
At middle and high school I didn’t fit in at all, mostly for questioning authority and being “too creative and intelligent” (I even was put into a special class for advanced kids, but that only made kids despise me more). The fun continued in my school years with classic nerd scenes such as: getting picked last in gym class, sitting alone during lunch, Forest Gump style “this seat’s taken” on the bus, being rejected by girls, and having no friends. Oh, and my personal traumatic favorite: throwing a massive birthday party for 50 people and only 12 (including me and family) show up.
Now after my pivot from depression and planning suicide, I went into the “real world”. I was 18 doing computer work with mostly adults twice my age, and then skipped out of college and any “real job” to start my first software business. Imagine looking 15 and having close-minded country folk people ask you what grade you’re in… and saying you don’t go to school or work, but are running a software company that’s serving Fortune 500 companies from your grandparent’s spare room.
Nope, not fitting in too well here either, and damn surely no social life as a teenage programmer and entrepreneur in a new city (I finally succeeded in running away to California).
Fast forward to now where I have an entirely “radical” lifestyle where I eat super healthy, partake in non-dogmatic spirituality, writing books and courses for people to have holistic dirty-and-divine-merging sex, and see things in ways many people don’t comprehend.
In the past two years: I’ve been harassed and accused by cops for robbing a house simply because I was rollerblading in my neighborhood and accused for being a prostitute because I was living in my car (seriously). I have been homeless and dealt with that entire world of disdain and outcast for over 9 months. I couldn’t even get a part time, minimum wage, retail job because I has no experience… enough though I ran a 6 figure software company for 7 years on my own, was board certified in multiple therapies and sales modalities, and had traveled the world.
I felt like I had all this value to give, all these high level things I could do for these businesses… but yet, they didn’t even want me for folding clothes or ringing a register?
I have always had a problem fitting in, ever since I was 4 years old, whipping it out to take a leak on a tree in the back yard of my preschool. I think ever since then I’ve had problems with authority. Go figure.
Now, I live in my own world – not a bubble of fantasy or delusion – but a reality. I live in a world of possibilities, where “impossible” is just another word for “lazy thinking”. Where there is a definite, tangible cure for every disease on this planet. A place where every problem has a solution, and all “crisis” are engineered. We have the technology, we have the brilliance and ingenuity of humanity already.
A world where we have a surplus of food, energy, and resources – real fact-driven abundance – that is possible. An idea of joblessness – where instead of fighting for more work and positions to watch and regulate the regulators and watchers, we have no jobs… and thus have free time to explore, experiment, invent, ask questions, play, and create as sovereign people. Where money is a sign of value created intrinsically, rather than slavery tokens to prove you’re contributing to your modern serfdom.
A roundtable where reason and logic have their place alongside intuition and imagination; where science and spirituality converge. A world where we see each other as humans, not opponents to kill or beat due to brandism, nationalism, patriotism, terrorism, teamism, classism, racism, or any other ism designed to keep us separate.
A culture that values men, women, children, and elders with equal respect and opportunity based on character and ability, not demographics or heritage. A place where anybody who wants to be married or worship can, even if I don’t believe in their religion or doctrine.
A place where we learn how to heal deal with our emotions, disagreements, and traumas – rather than suppressing, stuffing, ignoring, drinking, drugging, masturbating, abusing, or mocking them away. Where people love their life and are happy to wake up everyday, instead of being zombies and slaves to their jobs, iPhones, sicknesses, and debt.
Recently, there was a guy that went on a rampage killing girls at UCSB because they reject him (and men because he was jealous of them). Why? He was a virgin and without friends. He felt lonely, rejected, sad, confused, angry, resentful, and like a victim. To handle it, he developed a righteousness and superiority complex, and his ego and narcissistic tendencies arose as a coping mechanism to rationalize his worth – since nobody else valued him.
He meticulously thought of ways to seek his revenge and show these students his worth and wrath through killing them; to be judge and executioner for their crimes against him (and humanity, due to a sense of grandiosity). Perhaps then, for a moment, the roles would be reversed, and they would know what it felt like to be on the other end. Then the brief moment would pass, and he would finish them – doing humanity a favor by removing these cruel people from the world.
Sounds pretty sick, right? How do I know exactly what was going through his head?
Because that guy was me.
10 years ago I was in high school and was in the exact same position. The rejection, loneliness, bitterness, anger, and confusion tore my soul apart. I begged to some benevolent power to never deal with the legions of kids who despised me (for some mysterious reason) – ever again. My mind flooded with images of going into school and beating up, killing, or torturing all the kids who bullied and teased me. To have a moment – however brief – where I reclaimed my power and gave them a taste of their own medicine. I was longing to be free of the pain, hate, teasing, and torment from the daily ritual of school.
I prayed for the day that either these kids – or myself – would die. Suicide was most definitely an option.
Have you ever struggled in life, and wondered if life was really supposed to be hard? Maybe you’ve also heard how life should be easy and effortless. Wait, huh… what’s the deal? Do we have to struggle, or can life flow smoothly? As my mom would say “make up my mind!”
If so, how do we grow, learn, and develop our character without struggle? I mean, after all, there’s not testimony without a test… but what if we could separate our life “tests” from our “struggles”? Perhaps the lesson from struggle is to stop struggling (quicksand comes to mind).
I was on the phone a few hours ago with a client, and was coaching him through this very idea (so thank him for the inspiration for this post!)
Here’s the basic rundown of some thoughts:
- Our beliefs greatly influence how we perceive life, therefore experience reality.
- While we can’t control external difficulties, we can control how we approach them.
- Struggle and hard work is different than challenge and putting in time, effort, and energy.
- We can learn the easy way or hard way, heal through struggle or love – either way is right and perfect for us.
- Life is challenging enough for most of us, why are we adding to the difficulty by not letting it be easier? As if things will even get so easy we master areas of life in a blink – not gonna happen, I don’t care how many “downloads” you get, there will always be a process. So it’s about “how do we make this process more enjoyable and efficient?”
- We are taught the value of hard work– and it’s true there’s lessons to be learned from that idea relating to character versus trying to take the easy way out – but it’s still simply teaching us things about our character. And by the way, what’s wrong with easy?
- What would it feel like to work soft, not hard?
- The word “hard” presupposes resistance inherently, just like there’s a lot more resistance from a hard rock than a soft pillow.
- What notions of masculinity and manliness does your ego throw in your face around ideas such as “soft”, “ease”, “grace”, “effortlessness”? How is that making your life more difficult than it needs to be?
- What’s the relationship between being on your purpose and the amount of struggle? There’s a difference between struggling and overcoming challenges; one’s a choice.
For both of us, my client and I, some of these ideas felt weird. For example, the idea of “working soft” was totally foreign. Luckily, it conjured up ideas of an artisan craftsman building and creating with great care and artistry, rather than an improper association of weakness. For many, making work “easy” has a lot of resistance to it, and hell, even the word “work” is doesn’t feel good to many. The idea of softness is a great way to look at this differently, and still lax on the “hard” part.
In the image above, I created a diagram where I illustrated how being on path, purpose, and not where you need to be relates to struggle. Here’s the breakdown of that:Read More Now »
I will admit it – I have a habit of comparing myself to others. Some of the time it’s against people that are more successful than me, and other times it’s with people less successful than me. But all of the time it makes me feel like shit – like shit for judging them and myself, or for not being as successful as I want to be. I want to be better, I want to be more, I aspire to be as good as my idols. I don’t want to have the same issues as the other guy, I don’t want to be an amateur…
…I want to be something more than I am, but I’m not – so I compare.
This is the truth.
I’ll think to myself: “Oh I’m more advanced than that guy fucking up over there” in order to feel better about myself because I’m still fucking up or not at the “more advanced level” that I want to be. Or I’ll think to myself: “I’m just as good as that guy who has a million likes, or 400,000 followers, or superstar clients, or a new supermodel girlfriend every month, or is teaching a large audience, etc.” because I don’t have that for myself, but I feel as if I should.
If I didn’t think I should be there myself, I wouldn’t be comparing, right?
Think about it.
Do you compare yourself everyday to the Minister of Sumplase, Nobodyland? No. Why? Because you don’t care to be where he is or have what he has. If you’re not a drummer, you’ll probably never compare yourself to Rick Allen, but if you are, you’d probably do lots of comparing since the guy is a rockstar drummer with only one arm. If you’re not into yoga, you’d never get upset at some other yogi advancing faster than you (even though “you’re more spiritual and eat salads full of kale and spirulina”).
So why do we do this?
Main Reason 1: We’re Not Really Happy
The comparisons we have between ourselves and others comes from a lack. A lack of satisfaction, fulfillment, contentment, and acceptance. We compare when we’re not truly happy. Have you ever felt so blissful that you felt the intense urge to pay attention to somebody who was more or less happy? No. You were too busy in a state of ecstasy to even notice, let alone begin analyzing your comparisons.
If you’re comparing one gift to the other, your current socks with a pair of new ones, the curves of the girl you’re on a date with to your ex-girlfriend’s, the size of your arms with the guy-at-the-gym’s, your gold card with somebody’s black card, or even your “size” to another’s – it’s a safe bet there’s some discontent or insecurity at the root of it.
This doesn’t mean I’m saying all comparing is bad. Not at all. We have a natural, ingrained tendency to compare – our brains are wired that way for survival – but when it’s compulsive and making you (or the other person) miserable, there’s something more to it that evolutionary, biological wiring.
It doesn’t matter if you win, get rejected, or get hurt. Life is about showing up. While you’ll never fail if you never try, you’re also guaranteed to never win. Would you bail on working out if your trainer didn’t come? Would you still enjoy a dinner if your date flaked? Would you still make music if nobody listened? Would you leave work or skip your tasks if your boss didn’t show up?
Sometimes we fail. Sometimes other people fail.
But every time we can ask the question and make a choice: “Do I play on anyway?”
As they say, “The show must go on” …but does it still go on if there’s no audience?
Recently, I had a group coaching call where not a single person called in. Not just once, but twice in a row. For both of these calls, I stayed on the line present for the whole hour, keeping my word, regardless of the results. It was just me coaching nobody, and I was loving the fact I didn’t run away or quit. Even though it was a “failure”, I stilled showed up and stuck through it.
Now of course I’m not going to keep repeating the same exact strategy and hope for a different result. As Einstein said, that’s insanity. However when it did happen, I saw it through even though it seemed like a loss. That was the cool part for me – rather than getting sad or mad, or throw my hands up like I may have done in the past, I used it as an opportunity to grow. I stayed with the pain to the finish line.
On one hand, I stayed on the entire hour for them just incase somebody called in late. But on the other, it was about me showing up for myself by following through with my commitment. While, yes, it was technically a total bust, I still got a takeaway from it: Stop worrying about what others are or aren’t doing, and start to show up for yourself. If you can’t even do that for you, why would others?
I think one of the things that makes a man a great man is that he follows through. He’s dependable. Not always-available-as-a-doormat dependable, but keeping-his-work dependable. It’s similar to those hypothetical questions that ask if you’d still do something if you knew you wouldn’t get caught. Would you still show up even if you knew nobody wouldn’t know otherwise?
In an article about why jerks date women and not nice guys, one of the major reasons I discussed was the jerks “ask”. A lot of nice guys don’t make their interest apparent and boldly ask women on a date (or make a sexual move), so women are often left with the drunken bloke who’s pushy and cocky because he was there. He showed up… so to speak. Well actually, he SPOKE UP; he made some sort of move. Showing up, speaking up, asking for what you want, making a move, making a bold request – it’s all the same. Some more of a risk than others, but they all require you to take that first step and keep stepping.
I’ll close with my opening: It doesn’t matter if you win, get rejected, or get hurt. Life is about showing up.
How have you shown up for yourself (or another) recently? Share now in the comments!