Podcast Season Finale: The End & Your New Beginning
We have more freedom than at any time in human history.
But the majority of us do nothing with this freedom.
Instead, we impose constraints on ourselves, despite fighting so hard to remove these constraints.
We decide what’s possible and enforce artificial limits on our lives.
We do this because it makes us comfortable; it feels manageable, it’s just easier.
But as Abraham Maslow explained, the pinnacle of life is the enjoyment of “peak experiences.”
Today, these “rare, exciting, oceanic, deeply moving, exhilarating, elevating experiences” are within your grasp.
All you have to do is be open and available to where the universe wants to take you.
Put away your fears and go.
After all, you’re free.
But what do you do when you have infinite possibilities?
How do you proceed?
The primary goal of freedom is a fulfilled existence.
And while it’s exciting to have an endless variety of hot dogs, workout programs, and luxury automobiles, these material elements of life have little or no bearing on your true happiness and fulfillment Our powers lie within.
The mysteries of life, the true might of the human experience, exist in life’s emotional aspects. How do we feel about who we are? How do we feel about our loved ones? What do we create and share? How do we make others feel? Our emotional worldview determines what we’re able to manifest and, most importantly, how we feel about our life experience. Therefore, the understanding of your emotions and the emotions of the people with whom you surround yourself is paramount to a meaningful life.
While we all desire happiness and fulfillment, popular culture gives us all the wrong directions on how to reach these goals. The fulfillment we all seek only comes from being creative in our daily life and sharing that creativity with others. This doesn’t mean you need to be a painter and live the life of an artist. It means acting on your creative impulses, pursuing your purpose, whether as an accountant, entrepreneur, or guitarist, engaging in a skill you find challenging and enjoyable.
The result of this approach will be your best work.
From here, your success and fulfillment will ensue.
The Age of Ideas has arrived.
Today, applying your creativity will not only bring you fulfillment, it
is the primary skill you need to create value.
It’s time for you to be truly free.
It’s time to spend your brief time on earth doing the things you love, surrounded by the people you care about the most.
It’s time to share what makes you special and serve the needs of others through a purpose greater than your selfish desires.
Now is the time to realize the gift you’ve been given.
Today is when you make it happen.
Do it for all of us. We can’t wait to see the magic you make.
Tools of Magic
Act always as if the future of the universe depended on what you did, while laughing at yourself for thinking that whatever you do makes any difference.
Knowledge is power. But without practice it is impossible to transform and manifest that power for the benefit of yourself and others. Over the years I have developed some simple practices that I feel have greatly benefited my well-being and ability to manifest my truth.
You are the most creative and destructive force in your life. Therefore controlling your “monkey mind”—our tendency to amplify and indulge unhelpful inclinations—is one of the most important steps you can take in neutralizing your negative habits and empowering your positive self. Below you will find a selection of tools I utilize to help me get through the day in the best possible way. And remember, all of these techniques are compounding—meaning the more you do them, the more effective they become.
Our minds were not built for the barrage of stimulation we experience in today’s world. The only way to ensure we do not overload it is to put in place practices like meditation and exercise to relieve the pressure and stress we are under. Meditation is the lowest-cost approach, in terms of time and effort, and yields the highest benefit, in terms of well-being, that you can invest in. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Our breath has incredible power over our mind and body. In a world filled with anxieties about the past and the future, it’s hard to be in the now. Meditation—the act of using your breath and focusing on one specific thing to calm your mind—brings you into the present. While many people use meditation without the additional tools below, for me it works best in concert with these other practices.
I have practiced guided meditation both in person and through apps or taped tracks, and mantra meditation through the practice of Transcendental Meditation. Both work well for me. Meditation offers substantial physical health and fulfillment benefits. A regular practice of 10-30 minutes a day will noticeably enhance your existence.
As a young man I was physically fit. I was very involved in sports and took up weightlifting toward the end of high school and early in college. Then I went to Italy for a year abroad and everything went haywire. Eating and drinking—indulging as often as possible—took over for the gym. My exercise routine from the latter part of college into my mid-thirties consisted of low-intensity gym workouts, with maybe 20 minutes on the treadmill and some light weightlifting.
I thought I was working out, but the truth is I was just sweating enough to make myself feel okay before I indulged again.
Fitness-wise, I was losing the battle with Father Time.
Over the years I began to feel worse, with diminished energy. And I didn’t feel as good about myself. Eventually it began to negatively impact my relationship with my family and that was when I said enough. I attended a high-energy group fitness class with my friends Jack and Josh, taught by the legendary athletes Laird Hamilton, a big-wave surfer, and Gabby Reece, an Olympic volleyball player.
This class was amazing not only because I got a great workout, but because I felt like I was in it with the rest of the group. We were supporting one another. From there I tried Barry’s Bootcamp and I have been hooked ever since. The combination of dynamic music and being part of a community is addictive. And the intensity of the exercise is far greater then I would have ever gotten with a trainer, from yoga, or from any other workout I have encountered. By no means am I saying Barry’s Bootcamp is the answer for everyone, but high-intensity workouts like Barry’s, Cross Fit, and SoulCycle have a reliably positive impact on us being able to manifest our dreams. The intense exercise, esprit-de-corps, and inspiring support-mechanisms help you be your best self.
Monkey-Mind Morning Pages
As mentioned above, our monkey mind can get us into all types of trouble. It makes us see, feel, and react to things that aren’t really happening. The best way I have found to neutralize the monkey mind is to let all the thoughts running around in my head escape first thing every morning. What I do is to pick up the NotePad on my iPhone or a basic paper notepad and just write out my stream of consciousness. I write everything I am thinking and feeling the minute I wake up. The monkey-mind state usually lasts for about 5-10 minutes and definitely diminishes in time the more days in a row I do the writing. By getting rid of all the garbage in my head in some formalized manner, the unhelpful consciousness just goes away. I am then free to apply my mind to productive, positive things that are worthy of my brain’s energy.
Your First-Principle Truths
You’re constantly changing, and so is your environment. By nature, your highest and best challenge will be changing, too. A simple example from my life would be the birth of my two sons, a year and a half apart. From that time forward, my priorities shifted and my environment changed—which inevitably transformed my ideal pursuit. For your own growth and fulfillment, it’s important you recognize, accept, and evolve with these changes as they happen.
But some things don’t change, they don’t evolve. These are first principles: fundamental concepts—laws of nature, humanity, and life—that hold true for every stage of our journeys.
For me, there are so many thoughts flowing through my mind every day that I find it hard to remember my first-principle truths without some method of reinforcement.
The north-star intentions I want to guide my behavior and decision-making become clouded in the onslaught of information. Consequently, I find it valuable to write down my first-principle truths every morning after I do my monkey-mind morning pages.
The idea is this: First, clean out your mind with the pages, and then fill it up with the good stuff—your most bedrock values. Taking the time to list these anchoring precepts reminds you of what you value and how you would like to act on a regular basis.
Here’s one of my intention lists to help you form one of your own.
1. Be a channel of positivity in the world.
2. Help those less fortunate—remove pain.
3. Connect deeply with my wife, kids, and family on a regular basis.
4. Be in harmony with the surrounding energy.
5. Let nothing sway my equilibrium.
6. Do what I need to be strong. Protect my body and mind.
7. Pursue large and worthy challenges.
8. Earn enough to provide a beautiful life for my family.
9. Be in the moment, and be proud of who I am without
any external approvals or qualifiers.
10. Be gray, not black and white.
11. Exemplify patience and faith.
12. Accept challenges as gifts.
13. Encourage and assist my wife.
14. Embrace fear, and dance with it patiently.
15. Let my ego go—kill it.
16. Never compare; it is the root of all evil.
17. Remember what I value.
18. Focus. Do one thing really well.
19. Appreciate my blessings.
20. Let my journey ensue.