There is a lot of information about what’s ‘right’ and ‘not right’ to do with your day. Some of it seems pretty ironclad. Eat healthy, exercise, get plenty of rest, drink water; it’s essential to do these things. Other ideas seem just as carved in stone: don’t work too hard, take time for yourself, make sure you play, you need to work to survive, don’t be selfish, get what’s yours, don’t take from others. The list goes on and on.
Here’s the issue. There is no ‘one right path’ for everyone. I’ve been an entrepreneur my entire adult life. Even as a teen, I tried door-to-door sales. I sold Amway and Tupperware. I was a nail technician and a Shaman. Like so many in the millennial movement, I knew I couldn’t be happy locked in a box just earning a paycheck. That reward-based thinking of the fifties wasn’t going to work for me. I knew I had something more to give to the world. The problem was, I didn’t quite know how to give it.
I tried for a while to make it being a sole proprietor before giving up to spend a couple of decades’ working for the man.’ I was reasonably successful, not quite a six-figure income, but close enough to own a home, timeshare and a couple of cars. But there came a time when I realized, those ‘rewards,’ just weren’t enough for me. So, in 2008, I opened my first real corporation.
Of course, this was the worst possible time to go all-in, or maybe it was the best. My business was very successful through the first year, then I had the stock market to blame for varying levels of failure after that, but the real gift in my journey was to realize, it wasn’t the stock market. It was me. I was bound to fail because I didn’t fully understand the right path to success.
There is a process I teach, mostly to those at the Phase Four level of the Inspired Evolution Project (IEP). I call it Reverse Goal Setting, or Milestoning or a lot of the time, Post-its. Those who have done the process know the reference. In a nutshell, Milestoning is a process of using vision for goal setting rather than the traditional planning method. It is an act of setting milestones from a right-brain process rather than the traditionally left-brained approach. It is an enormously successful approach. Many have moved mountains using it, and it all begins with one question.
Stop for a moment and imagine you have unlimited time available to you. Imagine yourself waking up in the morning with no agenda, no responsibility, no expectation. You have the next 24 or 48 or 8,760 hours available to you to do whatever you want. Now, in addition to this wide-open calendar, imagine you have all the space you need to do what you want to do. Imagine you have buildings and land and all the personal space to think and organize. Finally, imagine you also have all the resources you might need to make an impact in the world. Imagine you have unlimited investors and friends, people who wanted to help, and people who wanted to participate.
Here’s the question; if you had all the time, space and resources to do whatever you wanted with your day, what one thing would you do to serve the species, the planet, something bigger than yourself?
The process doesn’t end here. Ironically, what you do is not enough to give you the life you deserve. Who you are doing it is the goal. When we long for anything; when we desire a relationship, or money, or status or even the reward, we aren’t actually longing for the thing itself. We covet the person we believe we will be if we have it. We hunger for that very best version of ourselves.
So, I want you to stop and to ask yourself; who are you if you live that life of service? How do you feel when you wake up in the morning? What’s the first thing you do? How do you spend your day? Who’s there with you?
What does all this have to do with how we live our lives? How does it relate to whether or not I take a vacation or spend the day polishing my shoes?
Striving to be the best version of ourselves we can be, has a powerful impact on our brains. You don’t need to do the thing you saw yourself doing, but it is vital to be the person you saw yourself being, and there is an easy way to do this consistently. Do everything you can to live in service to that future self.
The simplest way to do this is by continually asking yourself a single question. Forget the formula. Sometimes you need to work too hard to achieve the life you want to achieve. Sometimes you get too little sleep or miss out on that perfect vacation. Sometimes it’s important to spend time resting when you would prefer to work because your brain needs to regather itself. Sometimes you’ll be required to forget the needs of others and even of yourself.
It’s easy to convince ourselves we need that break because we haven’t discovered the discipline it will take to be successful or maybe deep inside we are afraid to finally live up to the full expectations of what our life can be. It’s just as much a mistake to work too hard, forcing something that doesn’t align with the image of our best experience of life. Regardless of the underlying factors behind our habits, living our full potential isn’t meant to be a struggle. It shouldn’t require we live in a state of conflict.
Living in service to our best self is as simple as making one choice and make it repeatedly. We must forget what we want, what we think we need, what looks good at the moment and we must ask ourselves; is what I’m doing living in service to the person I want to become? Is this what the best version of who I am would do now, to live the life they want tomorrow?
I’m still discovering how to live my life being a muse full time successfully. Some days I feel tremendously accomplished and others I wonder if the money will come to pay the bills, but no matter the day, troublesome or not, what I do know is this; I can’t truly live being anything else.
Live your life in service to the best version of who you are and I promise, you’ll be happy. Your life will be whole, and in the end, you’ll live in tremendous service to humanity, regardless of what you do.
I look forward to meeting you along the way.