Elevate Everyone with Sarah King
Something that I believe we all are worthy of and we all aspire for, but we all have a difficult time accessing is purpose. We all are capable of doing things that we find meaningful and fulfilling, but it’s not going to happen on its own. You need to step into it. And the first step is to start asking yourself the right questions. These are some of the questions Call to Creatives Founder Sarah King reflects on to bring about a better understanding.
"I believe it's a matter of asking and answering these types of questions that allows us to live the fullest life we could ever imagine. Questions like: Is it really possible to elevate everyone simultaneously? And if it is possible is there a greater call and is there a greater purpose than living a life that benefits you, and it benefits others simultaneously? If it is possible, is there a greater call and is there a greater purpose than working to eliminate suffering for yourself and for the world simultaneously? What is the ideal, and what does it look like? Is it completely unattainable or is it right within our reach? What is alignment, and what breaks alignment? But better yet what strengthens alignment and how does that helps us live a life that elevates everyone?"
Sarah brings up a crucial point, which is that you can meet your needs while meeting the needs of others. That authentic purpose is something that serves you and someone else at the same time. Sarah calls these win-wins, and they're more accessible and prevalent than you would think!
Abundance at Rock Bottom with Garrain Jones
Now Garrain Jones has an inspiring story. He’s experienced really high highs and really low lows in his life, all of which have been exactly what he needed on his path to self-discovery. At one point, when he was at rock bottom, he had a perspective shift.
Change your mindset, change your life.
And he did exactly that to create a new mindset that created abundance in his life.
What do you have when everything is taken from you?
Well, the only thing that absolutely no one can ever touch, possess, or gain full authority over is your mind. As Garrain often says, "You can take my things but as long as I can control my mind I will always be free.” You see we’re in a world where we focus so much on the materialistic goods and statuses that we earn and inherit, but that’s all meaningless unless we discover what our soul hungers for. And sometimes that requires having things taken away from us to open up space for those things we need.
“Keep looking up, that's the secret of life.” - Charlie Brown
Well first I wouldn’t say that there’s a secret to life, there is so much variety within everyone’s own experience that it’s impossible to attribute something that broadly. But there are a few concepts that are generally true, including the core thesis of this quote: “Keep looking up, that's the secret of life.”
First - Keep looking up! The metaphorical understanding of this it that things are going to be okay. You can be hopeful for the future and the opportunities it will bring. You can be intentional about looking up and seeing the “light at the end of the tunnel”, and the hidden blessings in the situation. It’s a great way to live because you raise the level of what you expect, and what you’re willing to tolerate, which then facilitates the delivery of those qualities in your life.
There’s also a physical understanding of this. The opposite of “looking up” is looking down. This is a very common response when something doesn’t go according to plan, or you’ve been hurt in some way and seek to protect yourself. And that’s exactly what your posture is meant to do. Your closed body language creates perceived signals of protection and comfort that you seek. But the unfortunate byproduct of this is that it communicates to others that you don’t want to be approached, you aren’t friendly, and that they should keep their emotional and physical space.
Looking up opens that posture and invites people into your life. This means they can be a part of the solution and support you in necessary ways. It also means you’re looking ahead at what’s to come, representative of your intention to overcome the situation in the best way possible!
While it’s not the end all secret to life, do look up, because that’s the best way to keep going forward.
A Calm and Harmonizing Focus (Promotion - SKARA CBD Oils)
Full disclosure: This article is a product promotion for SKARA CBD Products. There are a few of reasons why I am choosing to support this brand. First, their leadership staff is made up of people of color, and I want to be more intentional about representing individuals with a different background than my own. And second, out of the goodness of their heart, SKARA leadership contributed $1000 dollars to the fundraising campaign I led to support racial integration and opportunity for under-served youth through Peace Players.
Over the past few weeks I have been a consumer of their product and can attest to its quality. I honestly have never used a single CBD product in my life, never a lotion, never an oil, and I’ve never smoked. And I chose to put the negative associations I have about CBD to try this out and I’m glad I did.
The reason I believe this product is relevant for personal development is because it promotes internal harmony. It very subtly puts me in a heightened brain state that helps me to overcome procrastination, it narrows my focus, quiets distractions, and it seems to help me to approach challenges with more logic and clarity around how I want to move forward.
Maybe I had a few good days and it’s a random correlation, or maybe not and there’s something to it. In any case I never felt high, I never felt uncomfortable, and I believe the product offers some real benefits.
I think many of us have the wrong expectations about purpose. We think it’s something that hits us in a moment, all at once in a life-changing way through some form of divine intervention or stroke of destiny. I believe that those things do seem to happen to some people, but the truth is, that divine moment is just the tip of the iceberg and there is much more to the story.
Purpose is not something that you receive, it’s something that you discover. The process of discovery is long, uncertain, wrought with challenges, and unconscious. Oftentimes all of the steps you’ve taken to pursue your purpose are not clearly evident while you’re experiencing them, but they make sense in hindsight when looking back on the path that led you there. Yes it’s a difficult, enduring, faith-based process, but it produces an unparalleled beauty that lights up the truest senses of your being and soul. It’s your unique journey, but there are many fundamental concepts that can accelerate your process once they’re understood.
Here is something you probably didn't know about me, I don’t love exercising. Even though it has been a fundamental part of my life, exercising isn’t something I particularly enjoy. There have been times when I’ve had fitness goals like running a sub 5 minute mile or bench pressing 275 pounds, but the joy I pulled out of the was the achievement after each session and not the act of doing it.
Despite not really enjoying exercise, I’m still very consistent about it, at least 3x a week and every evening with my pushups. But I don’t want to rely on my will power and discipline to get it done. I’d prefer to have authentic motivation and be pulled to exercise rather than forcefully push to exercise.
So, this is what I started recently. Anytime the idea of exercise comes up, I choose to smile and think, “Oh yay, I get to exercise today!”. It’s hard to do because it feels inauthentic, but my subconscious doesn’t know the difference. And with enough repetition it will eventually generate an excited, positive relationship with exercise. Or at least that’s my theory.
So, when I look at my calendar and it says “exercise”, I smile. When I start taking my first few steps on my run, I say to myself “Finally I get to run!”. In my goal sheet, if I write down ‘exercise’ as an action item, I put a smiley face next to it. It’s simply an adjustment of perspective that reinforces the identity I aspire to have. I think it’s starting to work!
Never Quit. Move On
I asked myself a timeless question, “When is it okay to quit?”.
Never! Come on, did you expect me to say anything else? You hear it all the time to never quit, never surrender, never give up! I think persistence is an extremely important quality to have, just like the little engine that could. And persistence, in the face of a challenge, will generate unbelievable fulfillment in your life. But, that’s not the end of it.
While it’s never okay to quit, it is always okay to move on. It’s a very subtle difference and it’s all about how you identify with the act. If you quit then you internalize how you didn’t have what it takes to meet the task. It has a very strong association of guilt and shame built into it. It’s not okay to treat yourself like that, so it’s unacceptable to quit.
But, if you move on from something, you retain your power. You think through the current situation, evaluate the trade-off, and decide to do what you believe is in your best interest. Of course, you can be disappointed and upset by the fact that you’re moving on from something you care about, you should feel that way, but you don’t need to feel guilty or shameful for it because you cannot change the past. You can only do what you think is the right right thing to do moving forward, which very well could be to move on to something else.
Each one of us has our own tolerance and relationship with that trade-off between persistence and moving on. I firmly believe that it’s important to persist through difficult challenges because the discomfort in it will force you to grow. But, if something feels out of alignment, and you have confident awareness of that, it most definitely is okay to move on to something better suited.
Energy Goes Where Energy Flows
We are energetic beings. We go through life securing resources so that we can add more energy to our spiritual, emotional, physical, and metaphysical being. But, it’s not like energy is simply acquired and stored in our bodies for the rest of our lives, it is constantly in motion and transferred from being to being to sustain everything around us. This is consistent with the first law of thermodynamics. Energy cannot be created nor destroyed, it simply is changed from one form to another.
With that flow and transferring of energy there’s a really important opportunity here. And it’s that energy goes where energy flows.
We choose where we put our energy both consciously and unconsciously, but the mechanism works the same regardless of the level of consciousness you have toward it. You can be intentional and do some gratitude journaling, or you can be passive aggressive to a family member about an old issue. In both cases, you are allocating your energy and it will continue to flow in that direction in other ways of your life.
And this is the opportunity. You can decide where your energy goes. You can be selective about what you’re willing to tolerate within your life and assign energy to. And when you allow your energy to go in the positive, beneficial, fulfilling areas of your life, you will find that more of your energy naturally flows there and presents you with more life circumstances in alignment with that energy.
Less Effort, More Consistency
I am in Darren Hardy’s Jump-start program and man is he giving us the honest truth. When you think of personal development you usually think of discipline and hard work and grit, but in Jump-start Darren teaches us how to re-frame our focus and put our energy in the right places. The most important factor in taking positive action is consistency.
In fact, Darren calls humanity’s fatal flaw “inconsistency”, and the reason why so many people fail to be consistent is because we are all hardwired to seek immediate gratification and cannot rationalize the value of delayed gratification. This causes us to start and stop and start again, demanding so much effort every time we get moving because we have to break inertia, putting in an amount of work that isn’t congruent with the results we're getting out.
However, there’s a secret to consistency that I think we all can appreciate. You don’t need to work as hard to sustain the same level of performance! Once you have things in motion, it requires much less energy to keep pace on the same trajectory.
The example Darren uses is a locomotive. That thing is heavy, and in order to get it going you need to generate a ton of force. Once it gets going, it just needs to be maintained and requires only a fraction of the fuel! Our results work the same way. As a byproduct of the actions we take to keep moving forward. The currency of these actions isn’t intensity, it’s consistency.
Where 99% of All Human Productivity, Motivation, and Achievement is Stored
Do you want to know where 99% of all human productivity, motivation, and achievement is stored?
It’s in this mystical land called tomorrow. Tomorrow I’ll wake up at 6am. Tomorrow I’ll start exercising every day. Tomorrow I’ll begin working on that project that I know lights me up.
It’s so easy for us to make plans for tomorrow because it doesn’t require anything from us right now. We can just stay in the comfort of non-action and in the ideas of what we want to do, because we'll get to it tomorrow.
Well at least in my own experience, I know that’s not how it works. Tomorrow will be exactly the same. We'll schedule for the next day, and the next day, and the next day, and what we truly want to do keeps getting pushed off.
What can we do to shake out of this cycle? This is something I try to keep in mind when I recognize this slippery slope is starting to take place. I think of the quote, “Yesterday you said tomorrow.”
For me this is a powerful thought because we attach so much to our past. We reflect with disappointment when we look back at the things we could have done. We regret the time we wasted and the dreams that we neglected. It’s an emotional thought, and we can use it to trigger ourselves into taking responsive action, making today day one.
Everything is Relative
I wanted to put this out there because it’s a truth we lose sight of: Everything is relative.
You might see someone else who has or is doing what you dream to do. Then someone else might be looking at you for the same reasons. No matter where you’re at there’s going to be something better and there’s going to be something worse. There’s going to be different, and there's going to be unrelated. There's going to be things that are unfathomable and unacceptable. And all of that is powerful because it helps you gain awareness on exactly where you’re at and what you need to do next.
Some people would argue that you need to have blinders on and be so focused that you don’t see any of this, but I think understanding your relativity to others is important. The first side of this is that you need to see other people and their success to believe that you can have it too. This accounts for the time and work they put in to achieve it, serving as a nice blueprint for you to use as well. It’s not, however, about being critical of yourself. It’s meant to gain an understanding of where you’re at and what you need to do to get there for yourself.
Then the second side of this is that there are people who don’t have it as well as you do. That’s the gratitude piece, and appreciating aspects of your life in relation to how other people are living.
Notice that I didn’t say compare. Comparison is a dangerous game because it provides relativity without context, trying to position things as better or worse than each other. Relativity in itself is an acknowledgment of how things are presently, as well as the history that lead to it and its implications for the future. Also notice that I didn’t say the good side and the bad side, or the positive side and the negative side. There is no objective “better”. All of this exists on a spectrum where everyone accepts their own tradeoffs for their purposes, interests, and responsibilities.
And that’s what relativity is about: Acquiring more data points to understand where you are on the spectrum.
You Have Significance Today with Charly and Richard Jaffe
Have you every played this script before for your life? One day I’ll do something meaningful. One day I’ll have clarity on what I was put on this earth to do. And this was a big one for me - One day I’ll be in a position to give back. The truth is you will never know the full extent of your actions in the moment, and that should not deter you from believing you are capable and worthy of having significance today.
This is what Charly and Richard Jaffe, a father daughter team that recently co-wrote the book “Turning Crisis into Success”, had to say on the subject.
See now this is important. It’s so common to live life from a “one day” mentality, but what that does is it decreases your capacity for significance because it stalls your taking action in it. You have significance today in everything you do, and those around you require your attention!
Do you try new things?
I’m going to ask you a very fundamental question when it comes to personal development. Do you try new things? I don’t mean just tweak something here and there. I mean do you actively put yourself outside of your comfort zone? Do you have an open mind about your beliefs and actively seek other perspectives?
It’s a tough thing to do, but it’s necessary if you want to make any kind of advancement in your life. A previous podcast guest, Brian Mazza, has a classic expression that states, “Nothing changes if nothing changes”. Whether you’re happy or not with the way your life is going today, it will continue to stay the same unless you do something different. That’s just a given in life.
Just because something, historically, has served you in the past, doesn’t mean that it’s still right for you now. In fact, there’s a book about this called, What got you here won’t get you there.
I have an example of this in my life. I grew up an athlete and was very conscious about my health and what I put in my body. I have never smoked once in my life. This awareness made me develop a negative association toward smoking weed in particular because I saw how it affected the ambition of those around me. However, since my playing days have ended a lot of research has come out about CBD based products, and I’ve retained that negative association because it served me in the past. But now, I recognize that very well could be holding me back, that there’s a lot of validity and use for CBD based products, and recently I’ve decided to explore that.
Make The Pass
What does it mean to make the pass? It’s something that has been on my mind a lot lately. As you probably know I have a long background in sports playing college soccer and even baseball through high school. In sports, making the pass is doing the unselfish thing that is best for the team overall. It’s a result of prioritizing the team’s success over personal acclaim.
But there’s a second form of making the pass - it’s an invitation. A pass involves an intentional decision to include someone else and work with them to generate a certain result. Within passing is collaboration, teamwork, and mutual interest. And when you live in a way that considers others, inviting them into your world, it’s a much brighter place to live with more understanding and less suffering.
But today, I want to talk about Making the Pass through the lens of underserved youth. As an athlete myself I know first hand the value in playing team sports - the meritocracy of it where you get out what you put it, the structure guidance and mentorship, and the opportunity for advancement that lies within it. Unfortunately many under-served do not have access to organized sports and therefore do not have that influence to develop in a well-rounded way. That is why I chose to fundraise for the non-profit Peace Players, to bridge the opportunity gap and drive change in the lives of deserving kids.
Outcome, Process, and Identity Orientation
Here is an important clarification on goal setting. You don’t accomplish a goal simply because you have one. Yes, you are 42% more likely to accomplish a goal if you write it down, but that’s more because it means you acknowledged your intention and you’re serious about it, not that there’s any mechanism behind it.
However, a well crafted goal SMART goal gives you the direction required to figure out exactly what you need to do to accomplish it.
When you set a goal you approach progress from something called "outcome orientation", which is taking the position of generating a specific result. Well outcomes are a delayed indication of the work you’ve been doing, they’re a lagging measure of the action you’ve taken. So if that’s delayed, then what can we do in the now to accomplish our goals?
Take action! Once you know where you’re headed, you need to get there. You need to take action. And that’s called "process orientation", approaching progress from the lens of the things that you do to take steps toward your goals.
But even then, how sustainable is it to use will power and discipline to take action? It will run dry eventually, which is why it’s important to make one final shift toward "identity orientation". When the actions you take are simply the person you are, then it’s not longer a decision to take the right action, it just becomes something you do.
You see there’s a system to all of it, and making that change you’ve always had on your heart is all possible when you have a comprehensive plan.
Changing Your Mind is a Strength
I want to talk about something that is true for a lot of us. We are stubborn. When we have our mind made up about something, or an opinion on a topic, we hold onto that perspective very tightly. It makes sense because there is an identity built within that viewpoint, from which we have drawn other conclusions and generated other opinions.
The problem is though, that when we’re challenged in that opinion, it becomes more a matter of protecting our perspectives than having an open conversation about what is right. This happens across the board from social issues to common preferences to politics to religion.
I believe the reason we do this is because we don’t want to be wrong, because if we are wrong, what does that say about us? We’re incompetent, ill-informed, uneducated, and therefore not valuable.
But, what if I were to flip it for you and tell you that changing your mind is a strength? Hmm. Well it is, and here’s why.
When you have the awareness to recognize that your perspective or opinion isn’t completely accurate, and you take action to renew or improve it, it’s actually a major display of emotional maturity. It demonstrates that your identity isn’t tied to you being right on something, but instead suggests an overall capacity and willingness to become more right in many different things. This more generally lifts your value, displays that you can become educated, opens the door to conversations that will allow you to be more informed, and therefore you are more competent.
3 of the most powerful words a leader can say are “I don’t know” because the vulnerability in it implies confidence. It’s an expression of humility in asking for support, and it’s proactive in its approach to find the answer.
So believe it! Changing your mind is a strength, and when you become open to being persuaded, you’ll stumble upon much more authentic, pure, and appropriate strategies for life.
Life Goes On
Life goes on.
The good, the bad, and the ugly. The planned, the unexpected and the spontaneous. We have a tendency to attach so much anticipation and emotion to future events, and while it does pull us out of the present moment, it’s fascinating to think about how the future becomes our present.
Then, it becomes our past. That’s the core message. If you’re ready for it or not, life goes on. It’s your choice to decide if you move along with it.
For me, it was a big exciting launch day at my full-time job and I couldn’t even picture what life would be like after it, because it was the culmination of so much hard work. And here I am on the other side. In college, it was a reflection on heartbreak and private matters and injuries, but it all came and went.
I don’t mean to sound cynical or pessimistic. I’m just bringing this up to share more about our reality. The only thing we can do right now is the next thing. We can’t change the past. Sure we can influence the future but we can’t craft it perfectly. What we have in front of us today are the choices we make in the present. Time doesn’t care how you feel today or if you’re in the mood to dwell or celebrate. Life is just going to keep moving forward. you need to make sure you do the same if you want to keep up.
"You'll never know until you try."
“You’ll never know until you try”. The expectations we have are imposed by ourselves and those around us, and usually aren’t all that fair. We expect that we need to succeed in everything we do, that it’s only worth it if we succeed and there’s some measurable outcome that comes from it.
But that’s not fair, especially in the context of this quote, because all that’s asked of you is that you try. When you try, you make an attempt or effort to do something. It’s all about the process, and not the outcome.
That’s because when you try, both failure and success are very possible options. And that’s great! It means your effort and commitment to trying is what should be measured, not the result generated. If you start approaching things with curiosity, and you start giving them a try, it is best that you aren’t emotionally attached to the result because that undermines your reason for trying.
Think of it this way. One of the most effective things you can do is use the trial and error process. Each time you try and don’t create what you want, it still should be viewed as a success because now you’re one step closer to doing it right and the outcome you want!
As Thomas Edison put it, “I haven’t failed, I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”.
The reason that this is all important is the quote, "you’ll never know until you try". You don’t want to live in the what if’s and could have been's in life. Might as well figure out the truth for yourself by simply giving it a try.
The 7/38/55 Rule of Communication
Have you ever heard about the power of non-verbal communication? I’m sure you have, but fortunately I came upon some research that backs it up a little more. The study was conducted by Dr. Albert Mehranian at UCLA. Dr. Mehrabian founded the 7/38/55 rule, stating that 7% of our communication is in the words we say, 38% is in our tone and the way we say it, and 55% is in our body and our posture as we deliver it.
While the specifics are under contention, there’s one thing everyone agrees on, and it’s the idea of balance. It’s that all 3 of those elements are most definitely at play while communicating, and they need to all say the same message. In fact, when those messages are not consistent, you can know that there is an underlying disbelief or concern that isn’t being expressed.
This is where we as leaders and communicators need to be extra cognizant of everyone’s holistic communication so that we don’t get ahead of ourselves and draw conclusions too early in conversation. These incongruencies are often displayed as micro expressions.
A good method that is shared in the book, Never Split the Difference, by Chris Voss is to use the rule of 3. If someone is saying something, make them repeat their thought in a few different ways so that they have more opportunities to express themselves. 3 opportunities seems to be the magical number when it comes to disclosing truth.
Communication is about the words you say, the way you say it, and the belief your body has behind it.
Coincidences Aren't Lucky
If someone achieves something amazing they often say “I was in the right place at the right time” implying that it could have been anyone, it just happened to be them. And as things start to domino and grow into massive opportunities we all look back at the lucky breaks we caught to get there.
I want to focus on one word in particular that relates to all of this, but in understanding it we flip this whole thought on its head. Coincidence. What does it actually mean if something is a coincidence?
The root words built into the word are “co” meaning together and “incident” meaning occurrence, which means that two things are happening at the same time. But then when we think of the word coincidence there’s an element of luck, chance, and randomness built into it. Why can’t coincidence happen by design?
As David Meltzer puts it, this new form of “designed” coincidence is the combination of attention and intention. Attention helps you to know that something is happening, and intention helps direct where it will happen! When these two elements are applied, you’ll find coincidences start to multiply, and you know that it’s not random.
I can describe it this way too. Arnonld Palmer, a legendary golfer, once said, “It’s a funny thing. The more I practice, the luckier I get”. We can clearly see the correlation between his practice and generating positive results. He attributes those results to luck, but is that really the cause? The same goes for coincidences, they might seem lucky, but they’re really a response to the foundation you’ve laid for two things to occur together in a magical way.
My Daily Mental Reset
I’m going to share a bit about my daily mental restart. The reason I choose to restart my brain every single day is for the same reasons you restart a computer, laptop, or anything. For whatever reason, when it starts getting slow or glitching out or being inaccurate, all you have to do is unplug it, wait 30 seconds, and plug it back in and like magic it’s as good as new.
Well, that’s what I do every morning with my brain but in the form of meditation. After I quickly ground myself by focusing on my sensations and the flow of my breath, I close my eyes and ask myself a question. “Why are you meditating today?”. My answer is always some form of, “I want my brain to work more efficiently, defaulting to the traits and perspectives I choose to embody, and I want to make higher quality mental associations more often”. Then, I turn my brain off, and picture my visual field go completely black and feel what it’s like to have zero brain activity.
Even on the days when I feel like I’m relaxed, I always find that there’s a little more of my brain to turn off.
I’m far from an expert. I’ve only been meditating about 2 years but I’ve found that very quickly I was more often in higher brain states where my processing power, ability to recall information, and ability to understand new information was far improved.
To get started, it doesn’t need to be massive. It can take you two minutes. Spend 30 seconds focusing on your breath, 30 mores seconds focusing on your breath with your eyes closed, and then let your brain screen go completely black. Relax the tension on your face particularly in your forehead and eyes, and just let yourself rest.
Within Our Dark Is Our Light with Jessica Carson
The reality is, many people shy away from real critical self-reflection. It's understandable - Self-reflection is intimidating, it’s scary, and it doesn’t sound like a whole lot of good can come from it. Well that is actually not the case. Jessica Carson, the author of “Wired This Way” has discovered that when you’re willing to explore that dark within you, you’ll be able to tap into your innate creativity and energy that has the potential for real change. Your darkness holds the key to a growth opportunity you otherwise would never have discovered!
Jessica encourages you to step into your truth, get uncomfortable in your own skin, and acknowledge the things you have chosen to repress, because it very well could be the source you’ve been looking for.
"Believe in yourself and you will be unstoppable."
“Believe in yourself and you will be unstoppable.”
The word that gets me is unstoppable, and let me shed some light on why. One thing that I tend to speak a lot about is the importance of consistency. With every positive choice or action your identity grows deeper and your resilience grows heavier. A result of consistency over time is momentum, which is a measurement of your mass,(how difficult you are to move), and your velocity,(how fast you’re going). The more momentum something has, the more unstoppable it is!
Well, that’s you. You become unstoppable when you consistently execute whatever you’ve committed to. Let’s remember the quote and take one more step back.
“Believe in yourself and you will be unstoppable.”
The limiting item in your ability to be unstoppable is yourself. All you need to do is believe in yourself. When you believe in yourself, you will believe that you can get the result you want. If that’s a possibility, then it’s not so silly to do the simple things that you know will get you there. With consistency you pick up momentum and then boom! You’re unstoppable!
You see where it all starts? It starts within you. You need to believe that you can do it. You also need to be sure it’s what you truly want. You cannot second guess your ability or reasons, you just need to go for it! So what steps are you taking today to become unstoppable?
Science and Spirituality with Dr. Sangeeta Sahi
I wanted to share this thought because it is so necessary and important to keep in mind as we continue to navigate new frontiers in this world. Former SISD guest Dr. Sangeeta Sahi, who has her Medical Degree had a well articulated thought on the differences between science and spirituality, with specific context to today’s environment.
"I was very interested at the time in science, and how science could maybe verify some of the spiritual teachings and experiences. I realized that science can go up to a point, but spirituality has a very different character to it. Science is very structured ,it is quite linear. It is all about observation and putting things into a structure that makes it standardized and repeatable. Spirituality is a much more experimental. It is much more creative. It has a flu character to it. So, that is a bit different. And we are living in uncertain time, and we are in a state of not knowing the answers and what is coming next. So, we have to open up to this new way of flowing a being".
There is a necessary element of surrendering and faith that is required to see the light at the end of the tunnel. When you begin to acknowledge spirituality you can begin to see that the chaos is designed, the hardship is full of lessons, and you’re being prepared for your big breakthrough.
Everything Can Change in an Instant
I recently saw a good friend of mine post on Facebook about an accident. His brother Pierre was mountain biking and seriously injured himself, requiring emergency spine surgery to save his life. Fortunately, he did survive but he is not expected to walk again. Things like this happen and it’s an unfortunate reality in the world.
When I was scrolling on Facebook and read this, I was taken aback and got emotional. Then, I couldn’t help but think of my friend, who had a similar moment of receiving horrible news out of nowhere. I’ve had moments like that in my past and the pain and shock of it is overwhelming.
That’s the truth. You wake up in the morning and you have no idea what’s going to happen. This is part of what makes life so exciting, but in times like this it’s what makes life so painful also. We cannot take these simple things for granted, things we see as normal and expected, because it all can change in an instant. When Pierre woke up that morning, he never could have expected how his life would change.
And when this stuff happens, because it will in life, it becomes a matter of perspective. It’s all on a spectrum and you need to find the positive in the event. The fact that he has his life is incredible. The response and love he’s received from family and friends is remarkable. These life situations will always exist on a spectrum, and while it’s hard to see the positives in tragedies like this it’s important to try to. Because a positive outlook and optimism for the situation will attract more of the same, which will give you more strength and courage to press on in your life.
Every Hour, Every Minute, Every Second
This is something that is pretty crazy to think about, and it requires absolutely nothing different from you. Every hour, every minute, and every second you take up space in this world, which is your house, your desk at work, a seat at a restaurant, or your favorite spot on a friend’s couch. When you spend time with people, they are right there in front of you clearly taking up space as well.
Great, so you spend a few moments, part ways to get back to your independent lives, and off you go. The thing that we have grown so accustomed to, is that our experience is always within our body. We are always directly aware of the way that we are taking up space in the world because we literally cannot be anywhere else.
Have you ever thought about how that’s also true for everyone else? In this moment right now, every person you’ve ever met that is still alive is taking up space somewhere. They have their own agendas, making their own decisions, just like you every hour, every minute, and every second.
In 2018, there were 7.6 Billion people on our planet. And every single one of them, whether you passed them on the street, bought something from them while on vacation, or have never crossed paths with them is doing exactly what you do with the same focus an intentionality applied to their own life experience. It’s nuts!
Then thinking about occupying space, that space is filled in different ways by different people over time. 7.6 million people were estimated to have visited the Coliseum in Rome in 2018, not to mention how many different people took up that space the year before, or even those who attended events there during the height of the Roman Empire thousands of years ago.
We are so focused on our own experience and our own context that we lose sight of the big picture. Everyone lives their life with the same importance and purpose as you do, and I think it’s important we start thinking about that.
What Interests You?
What do you respond when someone asks you “What are you interested in?”
One default answer points in the direction of our careers and what we do for work. But, is that really what you’re interested in? If you’re bored on a weekend, what would you head in to work?
Another default answer is the socially acceptable canned response like,I like travel, I like hanging out with friends, and I like being active. Great, but that doesn’t say anything specific about you.
Let’s dive a layer deeper and think about this question: What interests you? I want you to get as specific as possible.
I want you to come up with 3 things, 3 really, specific, wholeheartedly true things that speak to you today. Put aside what seems to be socially acceptable and tap into your truth.
After some thought, these are my 3.
I am interested in understanding human behavior and how our evolutionary history, social conditioning, and unique life experience informs our understanding and perspective. I could have simply said psychology.
I am also interested in finding authentic ways to connect with people from different backgrounds in a mutual way, which, for me, often comes through soccer.
And last, I am interested in finding subtle ways to challenge myself, try it, and share with others about it to broaden my perspective and increase my abilities.
That says a whole lot more about me and who I am than the broad responses we usually give. The reason we don’t think about these things is because it’s hard to be vulnerable to yourself and others. On the other side of vulnerability is authentic connection, which is something we all need more of.
"It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop."
"It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop".
So often we choose to see our journey and speed relative to someone else’s, which causes us to get self-conscious or insecure when we compare. However, we know that’s not the full story. Your speed is on your path which is different than everyone else’s, and it’s important to keep that in mind. Guess what happens when we let comparison weigh too heavily? We stop. You cannot stop.
It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.
I am of the opinion that a necessary ingredient in progress is consistency, and by continuing onward at all times, even if it’s at a slow pace, you’ll continue to make progress as the days pass.
There’s one important element to this that isn’t listed, but it’s vital. It’s the direction. Where are you going? You can go as fast as you want, but if you’re even one degree off course that miscalculation will grow and bring you somewhere you didn’t intend. So, taking your time you can reroute with ease and make sure you’re still on course, all while being as efficient as possible with the effort you’re putting in. To reiterate, you cannot stop. It’s a persistent pursuit that does not stop and cannot wait!
Why Groups Don't Get Along with Michael Vargas
This is about the dynamics and pressures we feel as being a part of a group.The founder of Lead By Impact Michael Vargas breaks this down for us so we can better understand:
So, the best thing we can do as a member of a group is actually what we shouldn’t do. We should not attribute right or wrong to a thought, and we should not view another opinion as worse than our own.
Avoid Vs Resist
I wanted to send forward a lesson that has left an impression on me lately. I learned this through Darren Hardy and it relates to not taking negative action or giving in to negative habits.
There are two ways to go about doing this. You can either avoid, or you can resist. More specifically, avoid the stimulus or resist the urge. I’m just going to tell you up front that you should want to avoid. It all comes back to the habit loop. If you’ve been presented a stimulus and have been prompted to action, then you’ve begun the habit loop and your brain will crave the reward at the end until it receives it. This is very distracting and requires a lot of mental energy, and it is exactly the distinction I am trying to make.
When you choose to avoid, you prevent the stimulus from happening in the first place. You, therefore, avoid initiating the poor habit, never starting the habit loop and don’t experience the urge to take the action at all. You can do this by keeping your phone away from you or off, closing unnecessary tabs in your web browser, or throw out the unhealthy foods in your pantry.
When you resist, it’s because you were already presented the stimulus. You feel the mental pull to take the action, but you know it’s not what you want to do so you fight against the urge. This requires a lot of energy and no matter how much will power you have, you need to actively use it to resist. This means that you have less cognitive energy to focus on what you are trying to do. This creates poor performance and frustration, which then affirms your brain’s desire for validation and strengthens the craving you’re experiencing.
This is the reason you’re told to keep your phone out of your bedroom at night, delete social media apps, and get rid of your TV. The most effective thing you can do to not take negative action is avoid it altogether.
Ask Yourself For Help with Gina B
You want to hear something that doesn’t make any sense, but we do it anyway? We hold ourselves to different expectations than we hold for other people. And the unfortunate side-effect of that is we fail to support ourselves in really important ways. Our favorite dietitian and mindfulness expert Gina B says it best:
Just like Adam Roa say’s, “Treat yourself like someone you love!”
Self Development Books?
Lets talk about self-development books. Some people love them and feel like their life is changed by them, and they admire the authors and take a special interest in their work. However, some people think it’s a bunch of placebo and new books are just reiterations of the same ideas and information that are presented too broadly to be catered to you.
Whatever you believe I respect, but I find myself to be the former. I’m a believer that if you want to sit in the throne you’ve gotta watch the king. And that’s what these books are for me, they are a synthesized download of the information brilliant minds have processed and tested into an easy to understand format. Sure the information might be redundant, but the perspective is always novel. What I appreciate most about self-development books is how people come to the same conclusion in different ways, which gives me hope that I can arrive their in my own way.
Positive Thinking Only?
What I’ve found with this so far, is it has presented just the right balance. If you’re feeling motivated and alive on an idea, maybe it’s not always the right time to view it from the lens of practicality or implementation. Many ideas don’t come to life because they aren’t supported initially, and this is our system to indirectly tell each other if we want feedback or if we want objective support.
Of course, that feedback is important and more than welcome, but in the right time and place. Setting the intention to share unrestrained positivity and optimism for an idea might be exactly what is needed to get it off the ground and address the immediate concerns built into the idea.
So, I’d encourage you, if you have an idea and you aren’t looking for feedback yet, to tell whoever you’re sharing the idea with that you want positive thinking only.
Faith: Fully Attainable in the Heart
I wanted to highlight something that came up in the Discover Your Purpose Digital Summit. It’s the idea of trusting and following your heart. Sarah King, who facilitated the event, called this radical obedience, and obedience is listening to what your heart is telling you. It’s about yielding and surrendering to what you’re pulled to do and whatever is pulling you in that direction.
Another word for this is faith, and a participant, Leo Galofre, put this in the chatbox. "Faith - Fully attainable in the heart".
That just really stood out to me because it’s so comprehensive. First it counteracts the doubt we have within ourselves and other press upon us because it “hasn’t been done before” or it’s “not completely thought out”. This suggests that you don’t necessarily need those pieces in place and if you truly yield and surrender to the process those question marks will be answered by exclamation marks and the solution will naturally present itself in front of you.
When we can shed ourselves of that layer of societal doubt and criticism we recognize so much more is possible than we first thought. And that’s your first sign that you should do it and keep chasing it.
One of my favorite books, Promise of a Pencil, by Adam Braun. Braun is the founder of the non-profit Pencils of Promise, and a line in the book is, “Go chase the footsteps you want to leave behind”.
This suggests that you are following the path, and the path is there, you just don’t see it in the here and now. But, when you surrender to the process, and believe that it is fully attainable in the heart, the path will light up for you.
What if we were to celebrate others’ success as if it were 98% our own? What would that look like, and how excited and inspired would we be in that acknowledgment? From someone you don’t know, like an Olympian at the top of the podium, or a girl who successfully fundraised so that she could go on a field trip, or a CEO who doubled revenue.
Just about everything in life would be worth celebrating.
Well, here’s a thought for you. Your body is made up mostly of water, air, and food. What makes you different and unique from other people is your genetic code which is only a fraction of who you are. Then, 98% of those genes can be found in all humans, and more than 50% of those genes come from yeast.
So, if you’re willing to think through that logic, almost all of you is identical to and lives in everyone else. So, when they succeed, you succeed!
As mentioned in the interview, it’s so common for us to see the differences we have from other people because it gives us a sense of our individuality. And while that variation is important and powerful, we can also view it from the other end and recognize how much we are the same! This is one of the factors that goes into the cycle of service, relating the two ends of humility to mobilize resources, (humility being a willingness to give without expectation and a willingness to ask for help which helps). When you choose to support someone else, you are supporting yourself because most of what they are is also you in its makeup. And through that lens, we can make the world a better place for all, which is a better place for ourselves.
This concept has always been personal to me, and a competitive advantage that I chose not to share publicly. Thinking about it more recently, I realized that there’s no secret sauce and I want you to know about it.
Since I was 12 years old in Junior High School I have been doing 51 pushups before bed. Originally my reason for doing pushups was to be a better soccer player, and it worked. I played D1 college soccer and developed into a pretty good player and then played a few years of semi-pro too. But I chose to do 51 pushups because I refused to be outworked, I always wanted to one more pushup than everyone doing 50. So every evening I had it in my mind that I was going to do what others won’t to earn in life what others don’t.
But something interesting happened. When my soccer career ended, I still found myself on the ground doing pushups that first evening, the next evening and the next. This made me reflect on my reason why.
I realized the pushups were never about soccer. They were about committing every single day to the person I wanted to be. A person who is devoutly disciplined. A person who appreciates the value of hard work. And at that point it wasn’t a choice anymore, it was just me.
Now, I’m 27 years old which means for 15 years I’ve been doing this. And have I missed a night? Of course I have, I’d say conservatively I’ve done pushups 90% of the time. But check this out. By that math I have done 246,375 pushups.
There’s no secret here. It’s the daily commitment to disciplined hard work. And my success with my pushups is the same success that helps me produce a new episode every single day for you for the last two years. It’s also the same reason I believe I can achieve the massive goals on my horizon. Because every day I know I have it in me to get done what needs to be done. I believe that your ceiling for your potential can be determined by your daily habits. I encourage you to think about what you choose to do on a daily basis, and what that means for your future, because “how you do one thing is how you do everything”.
Mindfulness is the Secret to Happiness with Dr. Saamdu Chetri
I wanted to feature our humble and enlightened SISD guest, Dr. Saamdu Chetri. Saamdu was a part of implementing Gross National Happiness, which is a governing structure that prioritizes the wellbeing of people over economic output. The full conversation is really eye opening, and I’m excited for you to hear it, but for now let’s listen to this short bit Saamdu shared about mindfulness.
Saamdu’s perspective is really refreshing and needed in today’s crazy world. We should spend more of our time in appreciation of what we have in the moment, understanding the miracle that it is, and find meaning and fulfillment in what’s happening right now.
Having Self-Awareness Part 2
This is a scary time, and I hope that you’re safe. I know I talked about having self-awareness previously, and that message is still important, but seeing self awareness through the lens of the Black Lives Matter movement is far more urgent.
I am the definition of White privilege. I have had every opportunity to excel in my life, and sure, I’ve made the most of it, but that’s not where the conversation should end. Something that has been on my mind lately is that Youtube Video that involves the race for the $100 bill. Kids were asked to take steps forward if they had their college paid for, parents that were together, and a bunch of other inherited privileges. Then they were asked to race to the end, winner gets $100. The truth here is that the kids who never took a step forward, many of them being Black, didn’t even have a chance to win because the odds were stacked so far against them. That’s our society in America, and we need to address it.
It’s important to acknowledge how you might have received some of those steps that others didn’t. Yes, your family worked hard to provide that for you, but they also started a few steps ahead themselves. And that comes from the racial bias integrated into the very systems that determine achievement and opportunity.
The fact that Black people in America aren’t safe, especially in the hands of police officers and those responsible for protecting them, is devastating. But, Black Lives Matter is not only about safety. That safety is being threatened by the systems in place, which is taught at a very young age, to change the way white people perceive Black people. I am the problem. I have strong racial biases, because I grew up in a system that I never questioned. Consciously, I choose to love everyone regardless of who they are. But, unconsciously I have biases that affect me in ways that are only now coming to light.
The thesis here is have self-awareness. Because from awareness comes choice, and your choices matter more than ever. I have been ignorant on the issue for far too long, and I can’t fix it. However, I can find ways to play my role in being a part of the solution.
Let’s talk about self-awareness.
Self awareness is usually mentioned in the context of your abilities relative to someone else’s. This is the idea of knowing your strengths and staying in your lane, your upbringing as compared to someone else’s, and your interests and passions that are born out of your own unique experience. Yes, that’s all true, but that’s only half of it.
The second half is covered beautifully in a quote by Debbie Ford, that goes as follows: “Self Awareness is the ability to take an honest look at your life without attachment to it being right or wrong”. What this means to me, is self-awareness does not involve judgment. It’s merely an observation of how things are, not being critical of how you wish things were different. What this does is it allows you to accept yourself as you are, feel liberated in your truth, and create your life from a place of authenticity.
It’s easier said than done, I know, but each one of us in our heart has an ability to accept ourselves for who we are, and then use that to do something amazing! I have an idea about how we might get started.
Fault Vs Responsibility
I wanted to make a distinction between two important terms that I think we can all relate to. This specifically pertains to when things don’t go right and how we handle poor performance in a team setting. The two terms we’re dissecting today are “fault” and “responsibility”.
I know they already sound very different, but it’s not immediately obvious why that is. Let’s explore that.
The first difference is in the implied time frame. When someone is at fault it, focuses on the past and how things were meant to go. Yes, that’s when the error or oversight took place, but what good is it talking about something in a way that can’t be changed? When it is someone’s responsibility, you still create the opportunity for a constructive confrontation but do so in a way that suggests there are actions today that can remedy the error. Leaning more into the ways things can be fixed than just the things that went wrong.
A second big differentiator, is the mindset and intent you take in addressing the error. When you say that someone is at fault, they are blamed for causing the negative result and the consequences that comes with it. The focus here is on how things went wrong, which comes from a less collaborative place. When you recognize it was someone’s responsibility to manage something, and that thing went wrong, then you’re taking a more holistic angle that implies this isn’t an incident in isolation. It acknowledges that they had responsibility outside of this specific instance, suggesting there were many times everything went right! It also provides more perspective to the problem and respects the work typically required to maintain whatever was neglected, suggesting that sure this didn’t go according to plan and that’s not okay but it is a mistake among other positive performances.
That’s the way I see it anyway. If at all possible, limit the amount of fault you assign to people when things go wrong. Instead, try to acknowledge their responsibilities in order to have a more constructive conversation.
Remember the hot cold game? As a kid, you’d play it to figure out if you’re getting closer or further from some mystery object, and you’re friend would say “warmer” or “colder” to tell you how you were doing? Well, let’s use that same basic concept and now apply it to something else.
Every single day, we make a number of decisions, and those decisions affect us in imperceivable ways. After going to the gym for a day, you might get a little swole, but the next day does it look any different? After having ice cream for dessert do you feel your cholesterol rising? Of course not, it sounds pretty ridiculous, but those decisions are important nonetheless because it’s after hundreds of those choices when you start to notice the results of them.
So, going back to the hot cold game. Every positive decision you make, you’re getting warmer! You’re inching closer to your goal or dream, or the person you want to be. And, in taking that positive step, you affirm that it’s something you’re committed to achieving and you reinforce the importance of taking that action. By recognizing that you’re getting warmer, you turn that distant “delayed gratification” into an acknowledgment and reward in the present moment.
Now, if you think through the hot cold game, how did you use to play it? It was a big game of trial and error! You would take a couple steps, wait for feedback, take a few more steps, wait for more feedback, until eventually you found what you were looking for. In this adult version of the game we do the same, but instead it takes the form of integrity check ins. You need to be reminded why you’re looking for that object in the first place, why that dream matters to you, so you can then compare that intent to the actions you’re taking. It’ll be pretty easy to know if you’re getting warmer or colder with each step you take.