You can’t fake self-belief.
You either speak and act with conviction or you don’t.
It’s the only way to break free of predetermined molds and do your own thing because society isn’t going to carve out the path for you. And your family and friends can’t provide all the belief that it will take to answer your calling.
It’s up to you. It’s up to your belief in yourself. The strength of which will be tested, you can be sure.
Here’s a 3-piece framework to keep in mind as you stumble forward.
If you’re reading this, you already know that life doesn’t go as planned.
It’d be overwhelming if everything went according to plan.
I vividly experienced something similar once in a dream.
In the dream, I had witnessed the series of steps of the dreamstory already, and then I had to go through it again. At first, it was an incredible feeling to know what was going to happen next. It felt like a superpower, with a body-tingling amount of deja-vu. BUT, it soon became almost too much to bear when I remembered the impending troubles that were upcoming. I KNEW there were tough negative moments coming up that I did not want to re-experience, and it put me in a panic state with paralyzing anxiety. (Again, this was all in the dream).
What I took away from this strange dream is that I’m happy I don’t have to live like that - knowing the future.
Luckily, there’s always going to be an element of surprise & error within the day-to-day of our lives. It’s a potential source of meaning embedded within the range of possibilities that keeps it interesting, it keeps us engaged. If your life went as planned, and could be planned out, you would miss the value in surprise and not be able to experience the elation of unexpected joy.
Yes, there will also be unexpected negative things too, but there’s never an error that occurs without bringing with it gained information.
We are hardwired for curiosity.
It’s not just the kids who are curious. Don’t let the responsibilities bury your curiosity.
As much as the mainstream may paint it otherwise, there’s still a plethora of frontiers out there. So many things about our world and human experience that needs uncovering. Plus, there are no limits to what can be added to the culmination of human understanding.
As a leader of the family, you must seek out ways to continuously be learning and updating your previously held hypotheses. With time, you improve the mapping of your worldview.
Plot twist your way out of other people’s stories of you. This includes the trillion-dollar AI pointed at your brain, its algorithms, and society’s expectations.
You have to have fun. You get to have fun. Take advantage of those opportunities.
When you trace back the origins of the meaning of ‘have fun’, it means ‘to turn away’ (from the usual). It’s to look away from where everyone else is looking. Where everyone else is focused is bound to be the least interesting because it’s the most well-thought out.
Every now and then, do something you normally wouldn’t do. Read something completely different. Listen to strange music. Talk to weird people. Ask questions you already know you won’t need, but just for fun. Occasionally, mess with the algorithm, be unpredictable.
Pay attention to what catches your mind’s eye and not others.
Turn towards the unusual.
Don’t be wishy-washy when making a decision.
Go all the way, own it. Don’t half-ass it. When you say something, mean it. When you do something, be there. When you commit to your choices fully, you will be on solid footing even if it’s the wrong choice.
Mistakes + Full Ownership = Knowledge Accumulation
And I know I dropped this same quote last week, but it's too good:
“There is a saying when you sit, sit. When you stand, stand. What ever you do don’t wobble. Once you make your choice do it with all your spirit. Don’t be like the evangelist that thought about praying while making love to his wife and making love to his wife while praying. It’s better to make a mistake with the full force of your being than to carefully avoid mistakes with a trembling spirit. Responsibility means recognizing both pleasure and price, making a choice based on that recognition, and then living with that choice without concern.”
-Soc from Dan Millman’s Way of The Peaceful Warrior
The two greatest challenges that we as humans will face for our entire lives are:
There will always be apart of us that is afraid, but it doesn’t mean we have to live a fearful life.
It will always be easier to get distracted and float around our comfort zone - ignoring our true calling and instead scrolling our feeds about things that don’t mater.
Kicking our feet up and letting time fade by without any justification, no real WHY.
All the inner resources you need to face these issues are present, but it takes work and discernment to know which inner voice to listen to.
We are creatures of imitation for better or for worse. The choice is up to you:
This assumes, of course, that who you’re choosing to be like is a good person, one that does things that are not only beneficial to himself (easiest), but also beneficial to his family (harder) and the larger community (hardest).
That person is aligned with the right stack of priorities and responsibility - a noble way of living.
You can bet that if they are benefiting from those layers of relationship, they have a solid sense of meaning in their life - don’t you want that?
What you’re currently doing with your life, is it benefiting just you? Does it end with your family? Or worse, is it causing harm on any of these levels?
Every day you can be learning a lesson or gaining insight. If you're like me, you'll be religious about getting these consistently. That's because I aim for a deep life full of treasures found.
Potential should never be traded for obedience. A dog's life looks very different than a wolf's, but as humans, we can get our lives mixed up. If we're lucky, with enough time and attention we can get it all straightened out.