What everyday habit do you wish you had developed earlier in life?

Habits make or break a person.

A Quora user posted the question: What Everyday Habit so you Wish you had Developed Earlier in Life? I reflected on some of the habits I have acquired over the past 4-6 years and posted an answer to the question.  You can check it out below:


Looking at people as an opportunity to learn and give, rather than to fear and take advantage of: With ego being such a pervasive entity of our human existence, it’s easy to see why most people fear, envy and take advantage of others. The best way to combat these ego induced tendencies try forgetting about yourself and thinking of others first. This doesn’t mean don’t take baths or pay your mortgage…it means listen, learn and see where the commonalities are. Once you have a paradigm shift in the people department life gets that much more enjoyable for you and the people you’re around.

Reading the right stuff: It’s worth listing a 100 more times…however, we need to be more specific cause there’s alot of crap out there. Read Emerson, William James, Seth Godin, Napoleon Hill, Earhart Tolle and other authentic authors. Read stuff that will help you dive deeper into yourself…and add practical value to your life–like build a successful startup or life location independent. Limit your consumption of the news.

Putting contribution first and expanding awareness: Looks beyond status…yes you can become a lawyer, doctor and I’m sure make a difference…but because of the status layered over the professions much of their work can be convoluted.

Put adding value first…change the world…we need you. Start by putting contribution first. Sometimes all it takes a smile…to see the impact you make on someone to shift paradigms. Looks at what’s wrong with the world and transform that piece. Never loose site of what’s right with the world.

Make a difference in someone’s life each day…and dedicate your life to making a lasting positive impact.

Don’t listen to your parents (in some cases): I love my parents…and they’re right alot of the time. But your heart is more right…go with your gut, your dreams and follow what excites you.

_____________

What are some good habits that you have formed that have gotten you where you are today?


The Mastermind Retreat (A Few Days Like Thoreau)

I have some incredible friends… Truly incredible, inspiring, change the world type friends. Last Thursday three of these friends and I traveled up to the remote woods of Napa to get away from the fast paced life of the valley and SF for a few days.  However, it was less about pressing the “reset button” and more about charging up the console for 2012. We called our four day retreat a “Mastermind Retreat”.  The purpose: to create a platform for shared wisdom, knowledge and to have us all come out in planned action mode, working to accomplish our goals and mission for the year.  Sounds valuable and virtuous right?  Well…with a group of guys in their mid-twenties and no sight of anyone else for a few days you get some behavior that is far from valuable and virtuous.  No need to elaborate.  Still, the actions and results are worth elaborating on…

Thursday Night

A large cardboard box that has been converted into a bookshelf dumps out about 20 books that are cornerstones of business, self-development, spirituality and more.  As a group that has been firmly dedicated to self growth for a long time, we dive right in to accessing the titles, reading the intros and smelling the pages (don’t act like you never did that before your Kindle).

We relax around the cabin coffee table and openly discuss what we’re looking to get out of the weekend.  One thing is consistent, we all stated in some form that we are looking to create unprecedented results in our lives and a solid framework that will lead us to those results. Kyle passes out a work book that was created by Seth Godin and Zig Ziglar  that’s called “Pick Four“.  This will be our tool book for creating results in our work over the next three months. Soon after it’s off to bed…

Friday

In the Napa woods…it’s hard not to wake up early.  I get up, walk around the property to take in the views and take deep breaths of pine soaked air. After a little reading and solo time we get together at the dining room table at the cabin to start brainstorming our goals for this year.  Recently I have been a bit resistant to setting hard goals for a few reasons.  First off, much of the time they’re too linear, they don’t allow room to discover new possibilities or to iterate.  Second, if you work top down off a big dream, it’s often too hard to create small incremental progress.  If you can’t break a large dream into little goals, you set your self up for failure and to be disempowered.  However, this time I was dedicated to discussing what I felt works and doesn’t…and even more open to adopting a new system for track results. With that all aired out…we listed out all our high level goals…dreams.  I surprised myself as I found I wasn’t dreaming big enough…point taken.  From there our job was to filter those goals based on the feasibility of getting it done in 3 months and the importance to you and your overall mission.  And the there were 11.  Next step, write down “why” you chose that goal.  The impact achieving the goal can have on you and others (a super super important part of the exercise).  Lastly…break the list down to the top 4 and make each goal super specific and results oriented.  Before fully commiting to those 4 we all decided to sleep on it…but it was only 2pm at that point so we went down “into town” at that point. While in town: the most freakishly astounding display of synchronized flying by over a thousand black birds–no joke (D-Man…get the video up!). We went back up the hill and had an awesome dinner with the guys, my dad and step mom.  We switched out the wine for coffee and decided to pull and all night “hack sesh”.  Kyle was writing a new book he’s working on, Derek got strategic with ConvoSpark, Cam when off to bed early and I started working on some Be Social Change work that I have been wanting to work on for the past few weeks. An “all nighter” ended up being a strong session until 2am (I swear Napa is in a different timezone).

Saturday

Never felt so fresh after 5.5 hours of sleep. After pacing around the property for a while I decided to post up at the bottom of the hill to meditate.  Since I had set a goal to meditate consistently, there was no better place or time to dive deeper into myself.  For a moment my mind was still, I felt the profound power of silence and when I finished the session I felt more alive than I have in some time…like woah. On the theme of “wholeness”, you know…mind, body spirit, it was time to give the body a little love.  Well…maybe love isn’t the right word.  Trainer Derek put Kyle and I through an intense MMA inspired work out.  We were not fully functional after. After regrouping a bit, it was time to fully commit to our detailed goals.  We gathered around the table…took out our notes books, and on the signature page, put the pen to the paper (Kyle wanted to do the good old fashion way, mark it in blood).  Here’s what I committed to:

  1. 275 drop-ins on JoynIn by April 1st
  2. Release the Be Social Change MVP
  3. 100 sales (more details on that later :) )
  4. Meditate 60 out of the 90 days.

After the signing, we ended up reading some more, having breakout discussions, then went into town.  It was time to enter back into the world of beer, YouTube and unproductive chatter (you know…the norm).  We ended up going to an awesome South American restaurant, drank a few beers and watch Drew Brees be a bad bad man to the Lions secondary.

Back up at the cabin we took a detour from our work and watched 10 too many Chael Sonnen (best of Chael) and Fula videos (best of Flula).  We then moved to a semi productive mode by playing a game of Apples to Apples with a “pitch your card” twist…people got buzzed, it got heated, we all became better sales people. …ya I know what you’re thinking…”this is not how Thoreau lived at Walden Pond”…ya we know.

Sunday

Last day…woke up (a bit later)…meditated…connected with the guys. Sunday was all about being pragmatic and action oriented.  We went one by one discussing an individuals needs, roadblocks and ideas when it came to there four goals.  We pulled from out wide range of skilled and experiences to help fortify each other’s plans.  We know from experience than when a simple yet actionable plan is not laid out…it’s easy to stray away from that goal due to inertia alone.  We spent a good four hours diving deep into each goal, highlighting weaknesses, discussing strategies and ultimately making each goal a living entity. It was then time to say goodbye to our very own Walden Pond.  We all took time to reflect on our short yet transformative time in the Napa Woods by walking, reading and finding other ways to go deeper into the present moment.

What I Took Home With Me

You know that post vacation feeling?  You come back home bronzed and relaxed to a world polar opposite of the one you came from.  This trip was not like that…it was not a vacation…it was a retreat.  It helped us dive back into our world of chaos more powerfully than before.   To take the chaos…look at it as art, yet approach it scientifically. I came back to my new apartment that I share with my girlfriend excited for new possibilities.  I came back with map that will help guide me towards my destination…everyday I take out my machete and start blazing the trail that is beginning to look clearer and clearer. It’s important to regroup, refresh and reestablish yourself.  I would suggest everyone finds there own way to create their own retreat.  A time and place where you can work off an clean canvas and organize your palette.

What 99% of the 99% Does Not Understand About #Occupy

For those of you that are part of the movement, that hate the movement and even those that are apathetic…I encourage you to read this post.  This post is my humble attempt to bridge the gap between factions of the 99% that seems to be polarized based on social and political affiliation.  You should know that I am a firm supporter of  the purpose and message of the Occupy Movement, however I am not an active participant in the protests (as you can see in a previous post).  With that being states…here we go…


All discussions now involving social issues naturally gravitate towards the Occupy Movement.   So when a dinner conversation started to drift in the direction of social change…Occupy came up…again.

This time the discussion was less about the movement itself, but more about the disdain many people have for the movement and its participants.  From Facebook friends giving the “smelly hippy” jab, to Newt Gingrich saying “Go get a job after you take a bath” …there seems be some strong polarization forming between factions within the 99% (Newt Gingrich is not part of the 99).

For some, this noise is to be expected…for me…I can’t stand to hear it! It comes down to a fundamental lack of understanding…in some cases unwillingness to understand.  I am not trying to debate which stance is right or wrong…nor am I saying I am more informed then the rest (that would be completely untrue)…instead I want to help the people that are protesting the protest see that they too should be in support of such a movement…because it affects all of us!

The more momentum the movement gains, the more spinning the press does, the more the masses have an opinion.  We have been seeing the protesting, the camps, the unjust violence and now just about all of us have an opinion.

I understand the format in which this message is being proliferated can cause people to shake their heads and easily dismiss the message.  However, you need to consider a few very important points before you do so.  Read below..do not be impulsive and base your position on Occupy on your person life circumstance, political affiliation (this is a non-partisan movement), or media persuasion.

Here’s what 99% of the 99% does not understand about the Occupy Movement:

You are part of the 99% even if you have a job.

The vast majority of the middle class are slaves to wages (including myself).  The time we spend at our jobs is directly correlated with the money we earn and therefore are in servitude to money.  In some cases our wages does not match our cost of living and therefore we incur debt.  When you add interest into the mix matters get worse and wage slavery is perpetuated and proliferated even further.

Many people are unaware or in denial of this form of slavery…but it exists in this fiat money monetary system…and most likely it affects you.

Supply and demand of the job market is not in equilibrium

Get a job and take a shower?  Hmmm…

According to BusinessWeek over 200 million people worldwide are currently out of work. 2010 college graduates only reached a 50% employment rate a whole year after graduating.  Unemployment isn’t just staggering…it’s screaming to us that something is wrong.

We live life in America under the assumption that certain credentials and hard nosed perseverance guarantees us success.  So we look at homeless people like…”get a job”.  We now know this is not the case…that nothing is a guarantee and that even the most diligent people cannot find jobs or jobs good enough to match their credentials or lifestyle.

Many people of the Occupy movement have jobs…others believe that creating social change is their job.  The expression should be respected.

Millions of people are dying, staring and are homeless due to this inequity

It is true…the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.  Even more grave…the poorer die, starve and kill on the basis of survival.

We are busy people, and live lives full of distractions therefore it’s sometimes difficult to notice.  But it’s true that for most of humanity, our very survival is dependent on the money we earn.  Under a more equitable system would industries like war (defense), sex, and organized crime even exists?

This movement is bigger than any one person’s life situation, judgement or  political persuasion.  This is a movement to help move humanity further whether you agree with the format of the movement or not.

Protesting, camping out, yelling…screaming for change may not be the way you would do it.  The people affiliated with the movement may not be the people you would get a drink with.  Once again…the format may be of nuisance to you but I believe it’s our responsibility to dive deeper into causes of this magnitude.  When it comes to Occupy, we must dive in deeper, because whether or not you believe so…this issue affects you!

An Inquiry Into the Occupy Movement

It’s been about two weeks since, Catherine and I went to join in on Occupy SF.  We were excited to join in on the movement that was shining the spotlight on the fundamental flaws in our monetary system and the people and institutions that exploit the people by using the system as a lever.

We were greeted by a charming girl who handed us an informational flyer and told us to “join in on the love”.  We liked that, smiled and began to observer.

As humans we naturally (based on conditioning) processed an analyzed the crowd around us.  Most seemed to poses the “anti-establishment” personas…raw, rough, conscious and uniquely fashionable.  These people represented the flint of the movement…the people that give light and spark to ideas.  However, we also observed that there was very little kindling.  The middle class, the cube jockey’s or however you want to label the bigger chunk of the 99% was no where to be found.

We grabbed some poster boards… signaled for cars to honk in front of the Federal Bank in San Francisco … conversed with a few people about why they were there…then went home.

We left Occupy that day feeling inspired and refreshed to know that there is a movement hovering above the distractions of our daily life…a movement that was focused on educating the blind.  However, we saw that even within a community built on positive change and love; that there was a distance between those who were the spark…and those that were needed to bring this to critical mass.

The movement since then has grown and I have thought more about its dynamics, purpose and effectiveness.  In New York they have reached a significant tipping point with all types of 99%ers participating.  In SF they have been growing relentlessly.

A Skype call with a friend that I made in Brazil (also the innovative ED of PCI Media Impact) Sean Southey made me think the Occupy Movement from a higher level.  I have begun to ask even more questions, thinking about the anatomy of the movement, the soul, and the calls to action.  Here are some of those questions that are arising:

Why Doesn’t Our World Work…What Can We Do?

The human race is an egotistical bunch.  If you are trying to depute that…it’s not you…it’s your ego arguing with me.

I say this not to stir up dissent; I say this because our massive egos have been holding us back from creating a world that works everyone.

It’s really strange to think that we have been putting up with this bullshit for this long.  Living in an abundant world by its very nature, we still have managed to deplete the earth of many vital resources and uphold a separatist attitude which allows inequality and poverty to perpetuate.

When you put it like that, it’s a bit weird to think.

Even weirder is that we support this type of “weirdness” in all we do.  Just take me and my life for example:

  • I strive to be known be others (with only a few good reasons why).
  • Much of my attention is on myself rather than others.
  • A good amount of  my focus is put on making money.  I actually believe I am different from many people as my earnings has come as a product of creating valuable things that I am passionate about–which has not yet equated to much monetary success, instead a simple living.
  • I have no true need for about 50% of the things I buy.

Well…it looks like my life consists of a bunch of selfish wastefulness when you look at it in this context.

It’s easy to see that our priorities are completely out of wack.  Much of this is culturally and structurally embedded while being upheld by a lack of inquiry into these system flaws (I will not say apathy because I feel that people truly care…even if some don’t know it).  The media fuels massive distractions and an indoctrination of collective belief systems.

Before you see this as some crazy stuff I just decided to post on a random Monday…take a look at our lives:

We work to make a living (structural)…how important our work is to you is based on many cultural factors (as well as others).  Because we work 8-10 hours a day it’s hard to give much attention to anything else.  All else that falls within our small scope of attention typically relates to friends, family, entertainment and others interests that typically are a reflections of our friends, family, entertainment and work.

Therein lies the problem…the cultural and structural (social, political, monetary) forces help create our beliefs and actions.  Money and status are the drivers behind those forces.  Which brings us full circle back to our ego driven world.

Woahhh…what a rant.

Forget that…it would be denigrating to call this a rant.  This is a call for awareness and consciousness.  It’s a call to transcend the cultural and structural boundaries that are inflicted upon us.   It’s a call to put contribution before status.

It may be too overwhelming to take on the system flaws of this world…still…we can all do our part to collectively create social change.  Be aware, look beyond yourself, and start contributing to others!!

I would love to hear your thoughts on how we can collectively create a world that works for everyone.

If you are interested in joining a community that is looking to do just that…signup for early access to the Be Social Change website on besocialchange.com!

-Nothing but <3

Image Created By: workisnotajob.com

Startup Launches — World Change Movements — Crazy Book Campaigns…with visions of Machu Picchu

When you title blog post like this, you run the risk of being construed as a pretentious self-important braggart.  At this point…so what!!…I’m tired, excited and eager to share!

Over the past two months I (in collaboration with many incredible people) have:

  1. Released the first version of JoynIn in the Bay Area for private testing (much more to come over soon)
  2. Worked to build the Be Social Change movement (much much more to come very soon)
  3. Helped launch a incredibly powerful and empowering book campaign with Jake Sasseville and team.
  4. Went all out home workout style!
  5. And woke up an hour earlier than normal (on most days)…eekkk

All being done in rapid sprint mode as a  trip to South America has been hovering in the background like the pleasant but often noticeable chirping of  an early morning bird.  My girlfriend Catherine and I have been planning this trip for months and TODAY will be strapping on our oversized travel backpacks and be catching a plane to Brazil!

The intensity of these past months coupled with the visions of Machu Picchu has tested me on many levels from: commitment to my work, relationships, mental dexterity, leadership, confidence in my abilities and flat our ability to execute.  In the face of all the chaos I have surprised myself in maintained a calm core (although it may have not always shown out the outside).  No pats on the back for that…instead a simple take away realization that I will make sure to keep with me as we go on our month long excursion and step back into work when I get back:

Your Life is Your Life

Nothing in your life is not your life.  You cannot say that work is work…or that a vacation is vacation … everything in life encompasses YOUR LIFE.

What is the significance in this obvious and almost intellectually insulating truism?  The significance is that when we act and live as if every moment, regardless of what we’re doing, is part of our life…we make sure to LIVE it.  You don’t wait for life to start happening or for you to finish something.  You just live…you are present.

Despite the challenges that arose over the past two months I can honestly say that this was very much an incredibly fulfilling chapter in my life.  I was present as I pressed forward with self imposed deadlines, Skype meetings, and challenging situations.  I never really said…”why can’t I be in South America already” (ok…maybe a few times).

I will be there soon enough…and I will make sure I smell the roses :)

So….in the past two months…

  • I sprinted
  • We hit major milestones
  • and now Cath and I are off to South America…

See you in September!!

Intentionally Foul: How Jake Sasseville Changed How I Create My Reality

About three months back I got a Facebook message from a guy named Jake Sasseville that read:

hey — zach hurst tells me i need to know you? true?

I wrote back:

“Need”…tough to say :). But I’m sure it would be great if we knew eachother!

Heard you’re going to be in SF. Feel free to shoot me a call before you come here or while you’re here. I’m in the social media/ startup space which Zach told me you’re interested in.

Hope to meet soon.

At that point all I knew about Jake was the little that a mutual contact of ours (Zach Hurst) told me about him.  If I remember correctly, Zach felt that Jake was a guy that I needed to meet and he was moving to San Francisco.  Sounded like all other San Francisco transplants to me.  Even with that tiny bit of cynicism I am always about meeting new and interesting people and Zach is a guy I inherently trust, respect and he’s always helping me out!

Diving a little deeper into Jake’s Facebook profile the first thing that stuck out, naturally, was his outrageously fluffy hair.  Second was that he is the host a late night series called “Late Night Republic“.  Intrigued by the hair, his show and his seemingly innate audacity that came through his Facebook message we set a time to meet and that was that!

A week or so later we were all set up to get some coffee at one of my favorite places of earth and my frequent remote work office Philz Coffee by the ballpark in San Francisco.  Jake was late…but telling from the text messages he was shooting off as he was running from the Bart to the coffee shop it wasn’t typical for him to be late (he basically shot me off a play by play of his sidewalk trot as he was approaching Philz).  When he finally got there he was sweaty, apologetic and full of life.  We greeted each other with hugs and Jake greeted me some interesting speech patterns that I quickly got used to.  He was like not one I ever met: he looked crazy and composed at the same time, he had the energy of a 5 year old, and most importantly he cut through all the bullshit.  I could tell he was a very REAL person in the first minute of getting to know him.

Quickly diving into discussions about spirituality, entrepreneurship, friends and his TV show (which I thought was only a web serise before I met him…it actually airs on over 50 million households across America) I felt like I knew Jake for years.  Our meeting made me realize two simple things about Jake:

1. He was going to be a good friend.

2. He knew how to make S#!t happen!

The friendship would flow naturally I knew that; but I knew I would have to dig a bit deeper if I was going to figure out how he accomplished so much at such a young age.  His stories were those of a vagabond, movie star and slightly manic person mixed into one.  The stories were incredible…but even more incredible was that I could see that he was living that life right then and there…NOW.

The second time we met up after a meeting I had in San Francisco.  This time we shared our philosophies and methods in greater depth.  Then we honed in on one specific topic.  In essence the conversation was about how we created our reality.  I shared my thoughts on how our realities our often limited by the identity we create for ourseves.  That those identities (who we are to the world) govern what we create and how far we can go.  Jake then took it to a whole new level…he started to talk about how he can create anything…literally ANYTHING.

He began to talk about the power of intention.  How he used to set goals but found them to be counter productive.  ”You set a goal you loose track of peripheral opportunities…you don’t hit your goal your’re discouraged.”

I agreed emphatically.

He said he instead creates intentions.

Go on…

Before he takes on a task or objective he thinks about what his intention is behind it.  Why does he want to obtain what he is looking to obtain?  He works to feel this on the level of the soul.  He then imagines what it would feel like to have it.  Really feel the joy, abundance and creativity that emboides that possibility.

So if Jake wanted to buy a private island he would create the experience for himself before he even owned it.  He would envision the process of negotiating on the deal.  He would create the experience of walking through the island for the first time and roughing it in a hammock made of bamboo.  He would feel the emotions of owning and island and sharing it with others.  He would own that experience already…now it would just be up to him to execute it in the real world.

This concept stuck with me…

I needed to create my intentions and be extremely intentional about it!  I have started to know exactly what I want out of every situation and just simply take the steps to get there.  I now work on feeling what it will be like to fulfill on those intentions and the impact it can have on the world.

We can create our custom realities.  Work off a blank canvas…understand your intention behind what you will create…and start to paint!!

Don’t Know Where To Start? Just Start

Over the past couple months I have been keeping close tabs on my actions and the actions of others.  Since I am committed to creating incredible results in all I do, I thought investigating these actions would be a great place to start.

To create results, action is required.  Simple, yes, but there is an important distinction to make of this.  Without any marketing research you can conclude that about 99% of people want great results in their lives.  However many people don’t do what it takes to get those results.  The natural question to raise is “what stops people from getting the results they desire?”.

The responses you will get from people and the true answer to that question are typically two different answers entirely.

The response you will typically get is: “I don’t know where to start” or “I simply don’t know what it takes to get the results I want”.


However, the “true” answer to the question of “what stops them?” is lack of action
.

The fact of the matter is no one knows where to start, no one starts out with adequate knowledge on how to get the results they desire.  Even funnier is that too much knowledge often stagnates people (ask an academicJ).

Saying we lack enough knowledge to produce results is a cop out the vast majority of the times (future doctors please stop reading).  We all do it…some more often than others.  When we do this we fail to recognize how overrated preparedness can be and how underrated constant action is.

Actions generate possibilities.  When we send an email, “like” a Facebook status, make a cold phone call we are generating an infinite amount of possibilities, most of which we are unaware of.  We may not understand the “best course” of action in these cases most likely because there isn’t one.  Sending out that email can ignite a spark of inspiration in the person who reads it and thus creates a new chain of possibilities and further actions.  We can all think of at least one time where some nearly unconscious action led to a new job, a date, the apartment in the perfect neighborhood.  We often fail to give credit to the series of actions that got us there; instead we just believe it just happened by chance.  These cases are not by chance or serendipity…they are created by an accumulation of actions.

So when it’s all said and done, there are two people in this world:

…those who don’t act and those who do…

I don’t buy into our societies need to separate, decouple and create opposites.  However in this case it’s hard to argue against.

You may waiver between sides…but during every single moment you are either one or the other.  Most likely 80% of the time you are hovering on one side of the equation.

The good thing is that we are not fixed as one way or another.  We can change instantly.  I have been a person who does and have been a person that doesn’t…so I know from experience.

I have observed that the people that “do”, do two things exceptionally well:

They act in spite of fear and they constantly indulge in curiosity.  They are constantly in action; they gain momentum on top of momentum.  And when the momentum appears to stop, they find a way to build it up again.

They are the ones that post about 5 Facebook updates in one day sharing their experiences with the world, then won’t post for an entire week because they are writing an ebook while traveling on top of elephants in Thailand.  They are the ones that send audacious emails to VC’s despite not having an “in” at the firm.  They are the ones that have a deep interest for people, their work and their play.  Their curiosity leads them to learn and experience more than ordinary people (and post it to Facebook).

These are the people that get results by constantly being in motion and allowing their awareness and instincts to guide them.

In conclusion…ACT!  Simple as that!  If you don’t know how to start, don’t worry, no one does.  Be aware of how powerful one action can be, and the momentum that can build from it.  Don’t fear not knowing, that is always going to exist.  Instead act in the face of fear and see yourself develop a natural curiosity for what you do!

Advice for Success: Burn Your Ships!

After searching the term “Burn Ships” in Google I can see I am not the only one to touch on this  familiar ”how to be successful” anecdote.  But hey…just because it’s played often does not mean it’s played out (I mean how many times have you listened to “Regulators”?…timeless)

The “burning of the ships” came about in a discussion I had with my best friend Daniel Gibson.  We chatted about a whole bunch of things…including my poor grammar and spelling  (sorry guys).  The final points we touched on were success, passion and complacency. Daniel felt that in pursuit of living a life you love…you need to rid yourself of any options to live any other type of life (if that make sense). Meaning, that we have a choice in the matter…a choice to not leave complacency or apathy as an option. A choice to live your version of success at all cost.

The “burning of the ships” comes to play in a relatable story that I heard a few years back. A historic event that I actually despise (Spanish imperialism in South America)…but nonetheless it happened and paints a very strong picture when it comes to firming you commitment to success.

Side Note: Not sure how accurate my portrayal of the story is:

Hernán Cortés led the conquistadors over to South America with the goal of finding and claiming the “New World”. He understood that the task would be looked at as insurmountable by most. He understood that to pull this off…he would need to kill off all excuses, plan B’s and reasons for failure. So he did just that. He sunk his own ships. He ordered his commanders (or whatever) to sink the ships so there was not conceivable way they can cross the ocean and go back to Spain. That stimulated a simple but extremely powerful mindset shift…that shift was that there are no other options. We win or we die. Defeat, failure, passivity were not options if they wanted to survive.

When it comes to our case we’re not taking about survival. We’re living in a space of abundance where there are unlimited possibilities. However the primary message still applies to our lives. What are our ships? Is it saying: “I can do that someday” or is it saying: “it doesn’t matter”…or is it just being mediocre. Living in a world of abundance haunts us with the “privilege” of building many ships. On the flip, our world also enables us to create anything we want.

So whatever your ships are..sink them. If not for yourself do it for the Aztec people that were killed by the Spaniards and would have loved to have sunk their ships for them :) .

We are the creators of our journey and our results…if we take ownership of that…we can accomplish anything!

Note: This was one of my contributions to the SF Mastermind Group.

Fighting With Love

Recently I had a discussion with my incredible girlfriend about my view of the media’s impact on our society.   As you may guess…I have my strong opinions on the topic…most of the time tearing into the destructive content that gets passed around as truth (here I go again).

Catherine, seeing this day to day struggle I go through with the media decided to bring me out of my normal realm of thinking.  She told me I constantly make them wrong and myself right.  She how can I expect to create significant change if I don’t come from a place of understanding.

This resonated with me.

I do believe you need to know what you stand for and what you will stand up against…however I do see you can still take a stand with compassion and understanding.

Below is a note I shared with a mastermind group I am part of…unedited and uninhibited I discuss the distinction of creating change through love and understanding; illustrated by some of the most impactful leaders of our time.

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I’m gonna take the liberty to add to the free day Sunday!!!

First off…this group has been incredible so far…just in a few days I feel like we have all added so much to eachother!

I wanted to let you guys in on a discuss Cath and I had over dinner yesterday. I don’t know if you guys saw that video of the UCLA girl that was bashing on Asians in the library. I watched it…Cath watched it…her little brother watched it. He got really really angry…he felt that represented a portion of the folks at his school….couldn’t understand how people could be that disgusting…all that, and rightfully so.

However Cath and I tried to help him look at things in a different way…this “way” came to life when we discussed Nelson Mandela and MLK last night.

Cath said that hate perpetuates hate and by getting angry…you will never make real positive change bc you will cause an even bigger gap between these groups of people. That reminded me about MLK and Malcom X…both incredibly smart, passionate, leaders in the civil rights movement. The difference was one believed in an eye for a eye…while the other believed in love and that all eyes should be colored blind. Both are historical figures…but you can argue that only one will leave a long lasting positive impact on the world.

I believe the best example of love breaking barriers is the story of Nelson Mandela (maybe Gip and H know this story). A new friend of mine filled me in on his story I didn’t know. Nelson Mandela was a successful young lawyer with hate in his heart for whites. He did all he could to rid South Africa of the oppression brought on by the whites. He ultimately wound up in prison for acting on these beliefs. In jail he came to the realization that to fight the apartheid with hate would never create a flourishing country…instead the blacks and whites would need to come together under one union. He had an incredible vision…problem was…he was in a jail cell. So he inspired/ empowered everyone he could…he would share the vision with the meanest and the baddest cell guards the prison had. Each one seemed to come out of the discussions sharing the same vision. So the Warden sent tougher guards that wouldn’t budge…same successful results for Mandela. Incredible!!! He would later become the president and not only successfully end apartheid…but end it as a unified country. All done through love and understanding for all people.

This story makes me smile and makes you realize that the world that we all envision is possible…we just have to create it. I know really take a step back before I see true acts of hate…understanding that battling back with hate or angry will only further separate people. Instead it should be seen as an opportunity to rise above and contribute in a positive way.

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