Category: Blog

The Truth Will Set You Free – Part 6 of 20

I recently read a post on Johnny B. Truant’s blog that really hit home. So much so that I wanted to do two things: share it with my readers and 2) think on and write about each piece of his post. The post is “20 Truths About Life No One Wants To Believe” and the sixth one I am going to tackle is:

6. Doggedly pursuing a stupid idea won’t turn it into it a smart idea.
I once tried to get a Ph.D in genetics. I hated my studies within a month, but I told myself that if I just stuck with it, I’d eventually love it and life would be grand. It didn’t, and eventually I wised up and quit. One of the best aphorisms I’ve ever heard is from the movie Christine, when Darnell says, “You can’t polish a turd.” So stop trying. That turd is a turd, and no matter how long you polish it, it won’t turn into a shiny new Plymouth Fury. And sure, Arnie got lucky in the movie, but his car turned out to be evil. There’s a lesson there.

There’s a huge difference between giving up and quitting because something is hard and/or it’s taking longer than you thought at the outset and stopping something that isn’t working, never will work and, honestly, never really stood a chance of working in the first place.

One of the keys to a great life is being able to tell the difference.

How to tell the difference?

That can be a tough one.

Knowing how to make that distinction, accurately, requires deep self knowledge and the ability to think clearly, calmly and authentically: all things I support my clients in cultivating, maintaining – and expanding.

What Should You Do?

Nothing that I can do will change the structure of the universe. But maybe, by raising my voice I can help the greatest of all causes – goodwill among men and peace on earth. – Albert Einstein

Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up. – Anne Lamott

First, let me say that you shouldn’t do anything. Do what you do because you truly want to. (I used that word to grab your attention, and to create an occasion to comment on the word itself… )

Second, I am breaking from the typical and offering two quotes today because the both showed up in my Inbox, one after the other and express similar sentiments.

Einstein reminds us that we cannot change things, but we can change what we bring to things, namely ourselves and the full measure of our spirit, starting with our voice.

Anne Lamott exhorts us that it’s often “dark” when we start, but that we must start nonetheless.

Don’t Make Your Passion Your Work

I hear a lot of people say “Follow your passion and the money will follow.” Unfortunately, many people do this and make little-to-no money. I’ve seen so many solo-preneurs struggle, end up broke and eventually resort to a “day job.”

One explanation is that our passions are either not terribly lucrative or not aligned with what our soul has mind for a right way of earning money.

Instead of (blindly) following your passion, trusting that the money will find you, I recommend something more along the lines of what Jim Collins recommends.

Collins recommends combining three important things: 1) what you’re passionate about, 2) what you’re genetically predisposed to do and be excellent at and 3) what the marketplace truly needs and wants.

I would tweak Collins’ formula in the following way:

Firstly, put aside passion and think about what you believe is important. What does the world need? What is missing in how the world works – in your opinion?

Second, what do your strengths, talents and enthusiasms direct you toward? As Collins might say: what were you built to do?

And third, what will the world actually value? Too break  it down: what will people actually pay you for?

It’s when you combine those three things, in an authentic way (i.e. a manner in which you really can get behind, personally), that you will unleash your creativity, energy and determination.

Leave the things you’re just passionate about to hobbies or activities.

If you enjoy gardening, then enjoy it, but it is likely not something you want to try and make money at.

I love to golf, but it would be incredibly hard for me to try and make money at it (at least in the sense of trying to make the PGA, or even the Champions, tours). (I may, however, offer one-on-one retreats for clients at golf resorts, using golf as a adjunct to my life optimization work – but not as me trying to offer any golf instruction (Ha!).)

It’s when we try and take something we love and attempt to make it commercially viable that the trouble begins.

I believe that substituting the idea of what we’re passionate about (i.e. what we are in love with) with what we believe is important (what we stand for), we can then really formulate something that will be engaging, energizing and remunerative.

The Future Isn’t Over

This week’s external resource is an inspirational video, an excellent reminder that with uncertainty comes opportunity and from challenge comes growth.

What we focus on matters. We create our realities by the thoughts we think, and especially, the thoughts we repeat.

Enjoy the video, be inspired and take action on your dreams…


What Ideas Must Become

Ideas must work through the brains and the arms of good and brave men, or they are no better than dreams. – Emerson

Ideas are nothing, really, without action.

I would put a slightly different twist on Emerson’s words by saying ideas not worked through the minds, hearts and bodies of men are mere fantasies.

Dreams are meant to become reality.

Dreams are like the blueprints for a building. But without the right materials and intelligent labor, they are mere fantasies about buildings.

So, dream. Dream big and small and take action on your dreams: make them real.