I’ve walked a path that has led me to the creation of a blog. I don’t know why yet, and I don’t know where it will lead. But I’m no longer the only one holding myself accountable for this blog’s creation. About a year and a half ago, I set a goal to find a spiritual teacher. I accomplished that goal at the beginning of this year and along with him came a group of people who synergize with me and offer the spiritual encouragement I’ve been looking for to step out into the world authentically.
In addition to my goal of finding a spiritual teacher, I set another goal to bring more of the “pre-8AM me” to the “post-8AM” me. Over the years I have developed an intense morning routine (the pre-8AM) that I call my “Two Hour Daily Vacation”. During this time I drink water, stretch, read, meditate, journal, and enjoy my ritualistic morning coffee. (Emphasis on the last part as its one of my only remaining vices.) My morning vacation is my “me time.” It is deeply introspective, philosophical, spiritual. It is about learning, growing and exploring free of any self-doubt. I get to be my true and authentic self before 8 AM. Afterwards, when the post-8AM takes hold I attempt to practice what I’ve learned in the objective, external, extroverted world of business. Admittedly fear, self-doubt and people pleasing play a huge role in the later part of my day. The goal of bringing more pre to my post is about alignment and harmony. It’s about bringing my true introspective self to the rest of my objective, extraverted day. It is about both/and.
My spiritual teacher and the mastermind group he brought together have been instrumental in helping me walk closer to this path I seek. As one who holds responsibility as an important value, I owe it to him, the mastermind group, and subsequently to myself to share my life’s lessons with those who wish to receive it. Be warned, I have more questions than answers. There is a saying, “We know what we know, we know what we don’t know, and we don’t know what we don’t know.” I’ve come to realize that truth resides mostly inside that which we don’t know we don’t know. Much of what I thought I knew has proven to be wrong. I’ve learned that things I thought I knew, I didn’t really know. And I’ve discovered that what I thought I didn’t know, I really knew the whole time. This probably makes no sense, but that’s really just because we don’t know what we don’t know! (Read this paragraph a few times if you need to!)
Over the past 25 years I have been a vessel for knowledge, for underpants. I’ve been collecting knowledge (and underpants) all this time. (For more about underpants, see my blog post about the book Level Up Your Life by Steve Kamb.) Yet knowledge does not seem to be the answer to lasting peace and harmony. The application of that knowledge in the form of action has helped. But there is still more to do. I feel that.
I have applied a great deal of what I have learned from books and seminars to my personal and business life. I’ve had successes and failures. I’ve been determined to focus on growth, learning and exploration. I’ve led a group of fabulous people in creating a successful business that continues to evolve. I have made great strides to take care of my physical body through proper diet and exercise. I have stumbled and fumbled along the way, eliminating one bad habit after another. I have tried many different diet and exercise programs with mixed results. Recently, I seem to have found a physical groove that works for me. I will continue to learn, grow and refine these practices. Mentally and spiritually I have experienced the same. I’ve read many different perspectives of philosophy, psychology and spirituality over the past 25 years since graduating college. I’ve read much and discussed very little. Only recently have I started understanding the value of discussing these ideas with others.
I don’t like labels, but I find them to be helpful for providing context without lengthy explanations. Others would consider me to be more of a businessperson than an academic. I do not practice the disciplines of philosophy, spirituality or psychology in the traditional manner through formal education or a paid, professional job. But make no mistake, I have dedicated my life to these areas through my own self-study and practical application. Now I’m sharing what I’ve learned with you.
One of my very favorite motivational writers and speakers is the late Jim Rohn. Much of my growth has been premised on his guidance when he said: “Work harder on yourself than you do on your job. If you work hard on your job, you can make a living. If you work hard on yourself, you can make a fortune.” To be clear, this is not just about financial wealth. We all define our fortune in our own way, just as we all have our own definition of success. For some it might mean financial success, good health, a happy family. Or perhaps it’s meaningful work, inner peace or spiritual enlightenment. What if we play with Jim Rohn’s quote a little in order to emphasize the point a little differently? If you work harder on yourself than you do on your job, you can go from:
- Making a living to making a fortune.
- Being a victim to becoming responsible for your own life.
- Sleeping at the wheel to awakening.
- A life of fear and self-doubt to a life of meaning and fulfillment.
- Never having enough to being enough just as you are.
- Living a life of doing to a life of being.
I left a few blank bullets above so you can add a few of your own.
When we get on an airplane, we are told that in the event of an emergency we must put on our own oxygen mask first before helping the person next to us. This is a metaphor that is easy to comprehend. If you don’t put on your oxygen mask first, you’ll die. How can you help the person next to you if your dead? Morbid? Yes, but it’s the truth. And we need these morbidly simply analogies to understand the not so simple truths of taking care of ourselves before helping the person next to us.
No oxygen means death. Oxygen feeds your bloodstream which feeds your cells and so on. Simple. But what about exercise, healthy eating, feeding your wallet, feeding your mind, feeding your spirit? Will you die if you don’t do these things first? Will you be able to help others around you if you don’t do these things first?
I want to be very clear that I’m not here to tell anyone how to live their life. This blog is not about fixing anyone but me. I’m working hard on myself so I can transcend fear, self-doubt, and a life of being asleep at the wheel to one of confidence, awakening, and service to the world. Remember that I know I don’t know! Take what’s helpful and drop what’s not. Choose your own path and as the great Joseph Campbell says, “Follow your bliss.” I hope that something I share through this blog will help you.
It is my desire to be a great leader. I’ve learned so much about leadership from my spiritual teacher, Robert Holden, author of Authentic Success among his many other books about success, love and spirituality. Robert taught me that a great leader is willing to be the most honest, most authentic person in the room. He also taught me that my success is my gift to the world, no matter how I choose to define that success. You too are a leader and your success is your gift to the world. And there is no need to apologize for that.
As the header says, this is a blog about Philosophy, Psychology, and Spirituality Along the Path of Personal Mastery. I will follow my bliss and I hope you’ll come along with me. I’ve read many books, learned important lessons and have life experiences that I will discuss here. I’m not trying to master the universe. I’m just trying to master me and I hope I can help you to master you.
If you are interested in working harder on yourself than you do on your job and interested in going from making a living to making a fortune, come back often because I’m getting ready to dig deep. Thanks for reading.