My nose has been on the grindstone since my birthday. I can’t believe that was only 5 days ago!
It’s felt like twice as long as I’ve poured my brains over Content Lab.
A wellspring of joyful motivation has bubbled up from somewhere. It feels so good, I’ve had a few moments of tearing up with joy. I’m getting loads done, and enjoying myself.
This is not normal for me, historically.
I’ve felt this way once before
At the start of this year I ran out of money. I mean really ran out. I calculated I had enough for four kilos of potatoes, and wondering if I could last on that alone for another week.
I woke up at 5am every morning. No resistance.
I arrived in hub:raum, a local co-working space, before 6:15am most days.
I worked a minimum of 10 hours daily. Once I think I clocked 14 and was shocked at how “fine” I felt. I had been conditioned to fear such long hours.
It provided a little bit of cranial re-wiring. I not only understood, but experienced that long hours does not equal unhappiness.
In fact, as time went on I became happier and happier.
By the time I hit day 7 of eating super-cheap gruel, I felt an occasional burst of exquisite joy and appreciation for life. I tried to share how I was feeling with my friends. It was impossible. It was a bit like I was high, surrounded by sober people.
So it would seem my advice to anyone who’s dissatisfied with their life is to do the same, right?
Set an income goal, and work like a maniac until you get there.
Nope. It’s not enough.
After I had money again, I slipped right back into laziness. It took a little while this time, but it felt as unstoppable as the tides.
The most important part of the motivational system is the most misunderstood
The fruits were financial stability (and proper meals). The tree trunk was the grind and the hustle. The labour. Most people say if the fruits of your labour suck, you should push harder. Make the trunk better. But that’s not usually going to work.
The trunk is reliant on something else.
It needs good roots.
For the best fruits, everything in the system needs to be on-point.
And the part of the system found underground (the subconscious), is of course the part many people either ignore or misunderstand.
Don’t kid yourself. You can’t change it.
At least, not by thinking it into changing.
I’ve seen and heard a lot of self-appointed gurus describe models of the mind that are mostly true. Then they’ll ruin it by making the casual assumption that you can affect the whole thing by changing your thoughts.
Don’t kid yourself.
If you’re worried about something, you can’t stop imagining the worst case scenario.
If you hate someone, you can’t stop imagining all the ways you’re going to get back at them.
Maybe you can stop a few thoughts, but as soon as you move on to another task, up they come again.
Your thoughts arise from emotion, not vice versa.
Sprinkling fertiliser on the leaves of a plant is about as effective as trying to change your soul by forcing your thoughts to be more positive.
The only way that works…
…is something I’m still working on. ;-)
One thing I know: It requires going deep, and it requires ugliness.
It requires facing things that you would much rather avoid or suppress.
It means looking your ugliest feelings and attitudes in the face, and letting them pour over you like a bucket of black slime.
I once “caught” a rising sensation of anxiety that came from seemingly nowhere. I was able to coax it to the surface, where I held it by the throat and forced myself to feel it as much as I could.
(Although I use the word “forced”, it actually felt more like a process of acceptance).
I became short of breath.
I hyperventilated for minutes on end.
Energy drained out of my muscles and I slunk to the floor.
The terrible wastefulness of my daily choices of lazy self-sabotage became painfully clear, and I begged forgiveness.
. . .
When my energy returned, I started to laugh.
I felt exquisite relief, and a cloud-9 joy that lasted for about half an hour.
I’ve had a few experiences like that recently. They’ve been possible because I have stopped trying to mentally analyse my way out of my behavioural issues, and instead I’ve learned to connect with and let go of emotion.
The other factors
I can’t say with total certainty that my inner emotional work is solely to thank for this recent burst in energy, bravery, and inspiration…
…but I have plenty of food this time, so what else could it be? ;-D
To be fair, I have just moved back to my home country, and the change in environment may have helped.
I was also engaged in work that didn’t engage me back, a few months ago. Now I have a big mission that I’m pushing towards. That could be contributing.
But again, are those not just the fruits?
My choices to move out of a comfortable location and to take the risk of pursuing Content Lab are the effects of the internal changes I’ve been putting myself through this year. They’re not causes of the change.
Should I be telling this story?
It’s pretty personal, I know.
I’m just shocked that so few people are talking about aspect of human nature. I know I’m not the only one who’s discovered it, because I discovered it from someone else!
I hope it’s not unknown because it’s unmarketable. For sure it’s easier to sell seats to a seminar that promises to show you the 10 minute exercise that will reverse your limiting beliefs once and for all.
Compare that with…
Roll up and we’ll force you to face your worst internal horrors and help you heal them through acceptance and forgiveness.
Yeah…that’s a harder sell.
But it’s what works.