Last week I was having a conversation with a friend of mine on our lives and how we got to the place where we are. We’ve been close friends since High School and have constantly been pushing each other towards doing bigger and greater things. Anytime either one of us made some sort of progress, whether it be personal or professional, the other would make sure to step his game up. The idea of being left in the dust simply was not an option.
Through the course of hundreds of conversations and many decisions later we’ve gotten to the place where we are now. He is running NYC’s trendiest food trucks and I’m involved in a slew of projects, all of which involve spreading the Human Operating System technologies.
By our accounts we’re living pretty remarkable lives. We’re deeply immersed in our lives and our work. The other cool part about this is that living this way stirs something up in others. For some people, a sense that they are capable of much more than they think they are emerges. For others, a complete repulsion comes up because it challenges the beliefs that they maintained as facts. Either way, I think this is a good thing. The more you are self-expressed, the more you challenge other people’s assumptions of what’s possible.
Simply by having the experience of your life, you force others to reevaluate theirs. I know that many people want to create a different and more evolved future. The sense that something must be done is palpable, but the question of how to do it and what must be done often remains unanswered. The rest of this post goes on to answer that.
The Most Important Rule Of Creating Change
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
– Howard Thurman
Now this may sound contradictory but if you really want to change the world, you must be selfish. You have to stay absolutely committed to honing your sense of self before you can really offer the world anything.
This means, pursuing your own interests, relationships, career and lifestyle as you see fit and NOT compromising this for your family, society, church or school system.
Remember, you don’t have to ask permission to achieve greatness.
If you compromise yourself in order to appease others then this is neither compassion, sacrifice nor altruism despite what others may have you believe. Instead, it’s living life by others terms. How can you expect to create the change you want to see in this world if you can’t even create it for yourself?
If you remain selfish long enough you attain the rare opportunity of actually living your life. The vast majority of people will have no idea as to what this means or what it feels like but when you do it, you live your bliss and inspire others to do the same. More importantly, the contribution that you make to society comes authentically and effortlessly because it is the thing that you most want to do.
Real leaders make bold decisions based on the best information they have available to them and update from there. The decision isn’t always the right one but it is the ability to act and learn from the results that breeds effective change makers.
Indecision is the mother of stagnation.
Think about how many decisions Richard Branson or Lebron James make per day. Now imagine if Lebron stopped in the middle of the court, sat down and made a pro’s and con’s list on who to pass the ball to.
Most decisions are best made from a place of deep stillness. Some people call this centeredness, zen or as a friend recently referred to it, her “internal GPS.” Of course, in HOS lingo we call this your Default state.
Access to this place of stillness, particularly in the realm of decision making is monumentally important. There are countless signals constantly being sent at you from friends, media, relatives, co-workers and you don’t want to be swept up in them. Instead, you want to rely on your own internal GPS. It’s there to guide you!
Here’s an exercise to get you started. Think of a time when you’ve made a decision in the past and you were absolutely certain that this was the right one. What was that like for you? What did it feel like to be absolutely certain? Once you have a sense of what it feels like, ask yourself, will the decision I’m about to make bring me deeper into that certainty?
Age Is Not A Factor
One of my own personal self-limiting beliefs in the past has been my age. I constantly came up with the excuse of, “I’m too young.” Whether this involved starting a company, working with people or impacting the world, I constantly reverted back to old faithful. I’m not much older but my mentality has changed.
One of the main mantras I live by is that you don’t have to ask for permission to achieve greatness and you certainly don’t have to be limited by your age, no matter how old or how young. In fact, use it to your advantage. If ever there was a time to step up and claim your stake in the future it is now.
The World Is Yours For The Taking
So, what will you take? Explore the things that you love and have a natural proclivity towards. In other words, what are you a natural at?
Here is some insider info, rarely does it happen that you ask the universe, “Why am I here?” and the universe responds with something as short and to the point as, “To be a podiatrist!”
Instead it is much more of a deepening and an unfolding. It’s a non-GMO completely organic process. You fan the embers of your simmering passion until it blazes into something sustainable and immensely rewarding.
The Beauty of The One Trick Pony
The more you hone into your claim to fame the more you become a one trick pony. It’s not just me saying this either. It’s a phrase that has been propagated by business experts like Seth Godin, in his book Linchpin (<- affiliate link). You find yourself doing just one thing but you do it really, really well. And the best part is, that one thing is uniquely your own. Nobody can do that thing the way that you can.
For example there is only one Naomi Dunford, Mars Dorian or Johnny B. Truant. They’ve found the unique conversion point of being themselves, doing their one trick and making a great living doing it. These people don’t have to worry about being fired or the recession because nobody can do the thing that they can do in the way that they do it. Three Whinnies for the One Trick Ponies of the World!
From Time To Time You’ll Forget This
As inspired as you may be feeling there will undoubtedly be times when you forget this. You’ll face all sorts of adversity along the way and may waiver. You are not alone.
There will always be critics, asking about your back-up plan and filling you with doubt. Most of their intentions are good. Some of them will be malicious. Either way, not succumbing to them will serve you well.
At first, there will be a lot of work with very little payoff and you may wonder why the hell you are doing this. Remember, you are laying the foundation. This is about the big picture of your life, not the early moments of struggle.
There will be other moments where you won’t feel like you are good enough. Remember the reason you decided to do this in the first place. Tap back into that and let it guide you. Guaranteed, in the moment you decided to do something big – doubt, fear and anxiety simply weren’t.
The way that you become bold and revolutionary will be unique to you and yet the path will have many similarities to others that came before you. Certainly there is much more to discuss. In fact, any one of these paragraphs could have been a separate post. However, if you let this post be your primer, you’ll undoubtedly be off to a good start.
Talk to me, how does this article resonate with you? What are some other key characteristics of real leaders? Leave your comment below.
Would you do me a big favor? If you enjoyed this post, please hit the like button below.