There are some days when I don’t want to do jack squat. And even on those days, jack squat seems like a stretch. I don’t always have to 'do' something. I run my own company now. No one is going to fire me if I stay in bed longer than I planned. If I don’t get the research done that I wanted to, or prep for a session that I have that day with a client, no one will know but me. But I can’t fool myself anymore. My work will suffer for it and my ability to make a difference in the world diminishes if I don’t show up consistently. Do the work.
My most memorable wrestling match in high school was against the toughest kid I had ever met. This guy had muscles growing on top of his muscles. Before the match, he was across the gymnasium, mouthing curse words that I hadn’t even heard before. I was intimidated. But something in me snapped in that moment and I realized that there was every possibility in the world that my best was good enough.
Being completely present means that I have to let people experience the totality of me. It’s easier to say a half truth than it is to let people see all the way through me. What if they don’t like what they see? What if I don’t like what I think they see?
I have a friend who writes, directs, and occasionally acts in his own movies. He comes up with the concepts and the storylines, writes out the script, and then proceeds to bring it to life. He talks Award-winning actors Into being in his films. He secures the locations to film these movies, the funding, and then he gets them distributed. These films win awards and he is now highly sought after to direct major film projects. I often used to tell myself that I could never do that and was totally amazed by his ability to succeed at what he wanted to do. I wished that I was born like he was, because he obviously had something that I didn't. I have a friend who writes beautiful music and Tours with possibly the most famous American rock band ever. He is a phenomenal musician and is excellent at what he does. He is highly sought after to perform as a solo act now. I used to tell myself that I could never do that. I used to wish that I was born with whatever it was that he had that enabled him to accomplish so much in the area of life that he loved, music.
I have a friend who is writing a book at the urging of some famous authors. Every time he speaks people gather around him to hear his insight. Strangers from all over the world write to him and ask him for his thoughts and let him know how much he has impacted their lives with his blog. I used to think that I could never do that. I used to wish that I was born with whatever it was that he had so that I could impact the world like he does
And then I discovered the difference between my three friends and myself. They don't wish for anything. They pursue that which they love and are constantly aligning their passion with their work. Nothing is impossible when we choose to no longer limit ourselves with our limiting belief systems and align our passions with our work.
How does my friend succeed in the film industry? He wants to and believes that he can. I came across a quote awhile back that when I read it, awoke something within me. It sounded preposterous to me when I first read it and I balked at the audacity that someone had to put that out in the world. And yet I wrote it down immediately, knowing that something within that quote resonated with something within my soul. I’ve searched and searched but cannot find the originator of this quote.
“You have within you, right now, everything you could ever need or want to be a great success in every area of your life. You have within you, right now, deep reserves of potential and ability that, properly harnessed and channeled, will enable you to accomplish extraordinary things with your life. The only real limits on what you can be, have, or do are self-imposed. They do not exist outside of you. Once you make a clear, unequivocal decision to cast off all your mental limitations and throw yourself whole-heartedly into the accomplishment of a great goal, your ultimate success is virtually guaranteed… as long as you don’t stop.”
What is the monologue in your head these days? What is it that you have convinced yourself you cannot do? Do you know how to change that track in your head? Are you willing to dare to be more?
Take a moment to list 3 self-imposed limits that you have placed on yourself. Now challenge them with the audacity to believe they are lies. Now pick one of them and make a decision to let this next thought sit with you for the day… “I can _________________.” You fill in the blank. Do it now.
If you are still having difficulty with this idea, contact me. I'm glad to help. Seriously.
“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” - Jesus Christ
"To grow, you must be willing to let your present and your future be totally unlike your past. Your history is not your destiny." - Alan Cohen
Doing the work is rarely sexy, but it has teeth. Many people have talked about what it means to ‘do the work’. When we talk about ‘work’ we are talking about so much more than you ‘job’. The work is anything that needs to get done, by you, in order to move from where we are to where we want to be. And its rarely easy. The work is rarely glamorous but it moves us forward.
Work takes discipline. Work takes energy.
Work means changing your schedule and getting up early doing the cardio routine you don't want to do. It means sitting down to write the pages you don't feel like writing. It’s having the difficult conversations that you just don’t want to have.
Work means making difficult choices. It often times means simplifying and sacrificing now for something greater in the end. You can tell who does the work. They are the ones who began living their lives on their terms and they haven’t regretted it for a moment.
Work means saying no to so many other things so that you can say yes to the things you truly want. And those things that you say no to immediately often times make us feel better right away but leave us wanting and far from our goals.
Work means keeping an open heart when all you want to do is close down. Work means being vulnerable when all you want to do is hide.
Work often means ignoring the criticism of others and not pleasing the masses. Work can often times feels lonely even though it isn't.
Work usually happens in the midst of crippling fear, not without it. It means moving forward with the plan even when we're scared to death of being rejected, failing, or more likely... scared of succeeding.
This is why it's called work. But doing the work makes all the difference. It allows us to sleep at night with a clear head. You already know it but I'm going to say it anyways. Nothing comes easy. But all things are possible, with the Divine and some work.
If you've done any self-reflecting, you probably are aware of some of the work in your life that you need to do. Now get to work.