On Monday April 1 I will be interviewed by Aline Boundy on her Telesummit Series “Real Lives.” This is a great new telesummit series focused on illuminating the back story, or the REAL story of REAL people’s paths to success. See below for your free registration.
Consider the definition of success as “Getting up one more time than you get knocked down.” There’s a lot of truth to this! Because we so often hear the polished or glossed over version of someone’s life story, it can be hard to appreciate the challenges, determination, luck, preparation, practice, and synchronicity that are at play in most stories of success. Bringing life to this back story is the purpose of the “Real Lives” Telesummit.
In this issue of Major Good Mojo we look a little closer at the problem with some of those inspirational “Rags to Riches” stories. How are they applicable to the less sensational, more typical, average life – like the one most people are living?
Read on and enjoy!
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR “Real Lives” Telesummit with me and Aline Boundy
The Problem With Rags To Riches
We’ve all heard the Rags-to-Riches stories of people rising to amazing levels of success from incredibly challenging places: bankruptcy, homelessness, drug addiction, depression, disease, and hardships of all kinds. These can be very inspiring. However, there is an element to these stories that is rarely appreciated: when life sucks that bad, there is an incredible amount of motivation to do just about anything to get out of it! People in these situations have nothing to lose and to not change could mean death (or at least significant ongoing suffering). This unusually high level of motivation causes them to do things they never would have done.
Unfortunately, a lot of these “Rags-to-Riches people” tell us their stories in this context:
“If I can come all the way from THERE (incredible challenge and suffering) to here (a level of success)…. then you can certainly come to HERE from where you are (because you are not nearly as bad off as I was), and I will show you how!”
Now, as logical as that may sound, it’s not exactly true. The problem with this for the average person is that, unlike those who were forced to initiate their change from the bottom of the pit, we, as much as we may want to change, are pretty damn comfortable where we are. AND we have something to lose. Because of this, we do not have access to the same level of energy and motivation that they had from their suffering. Pain and suffering are VERY motivational. And since we actually do have something to lose, our risk is higher. These two things are rarely, if ever, recognized.
In the Rags-to-Riches transformation, the literal physical deprivation (“I didn’t have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of”) is extremely motivating. The challenge today is that we have five pots to piss in and ten windows to throw them out of! My point is: finding your purpose at this time in history – when the standard of living is at an all time high for the largest number of people ever – is MORE challenging. We are less motivated because it is pretty easy for us to just “plod along” in our day-to-day lives doing the same habitual things over and over again. Our pain level is not dramatic enough to propel us to change. This is what I call “Dead Man Walking.” You’re not alive in any real sense of the word, but you’re just too damn comfortable to do anything about it. That is until you aren’t. And there’s the rub.
In addition, our comfortable situation itself can intensify this mental/emotional suffering; because while you may have everything you need to be comfortable, you still aren’t happy! That’s a bit of a mind-f*ck (please excuse the word, but strong language is required) because you think you should be happy given all that you have, but you aren’t, so what’s wrong with you?
On top of that, it looks to you like everyone else out there is happy. They may simply be putting on their to-the-world-happy-face, but this leads to depressing questions of comparison like, “How come they’re happy and I’m not? And “What do they have that I don’t?” Do they have a bigger house, nicer car, better job, more education, more loving spouse and family, etc.??? Chances are they really aren’t happy, either. But you’d never know that unless you were able to dig down and see inside the reality of their life. Just like somebody would never know that YOU aren’t really happy (unless they got two martinis in you and were willing to really listen to how your life ACTUALLY is).
So, bottom line: it IS a bit more challenging to really step out into new ways of living and being, because for a large majority of us we’re just “comfortably uncomfortable.” It seems like there is too much to risk. But the truth is, there is far too much to risk by not consciously choosing and stepping into your most authentic life – literally YOUR LIFE is at risk.
“Those who seem to be most alive, most in touch with life and their own creative powers, are individuals who are demonstrating what it means to live on the edge of their own potential. They may be musicians, artists, writers, politicians, engineers, scientists, philosophers, or mystics. Living on our edge is really, really important, especially if we don’t want to live a life only half-lived—a life lost in mediocrity, ambiguity, and existential confusion. In the way that I see it, the full glory of what it means to be alive only begins to reveal itself when we are actually on that edge. That’s when we are truly alive—consciously alive, creatively alive. When we push towards that edge in ourselves, we allow Spirit’s true face, the creative force in the universe, which I call the evolutionary impulse, to reveal itself right now through you and through me.” —Andrew Cohen
Realizing and affirming your choice to live authentically and freely is the first step into joyous, delicious, juicy living. Into your Major Good Mojo.
Your Major Good Mojo Assignment:
If you desire to live joyously, with deep passion, excitement, and love, rather than numbed-out living for shallowly pleasurable moments, repeat right now after me, “I choose to consciously engage my Hero’s Journey.” Go ahead, say it out loud: “I choose to consciously engage my Hero’s Journey.”
Thank you. Now say this: “The suffering of not living is far greater than the suffering of truly living. I choose to truly live.” Go ahead, say it out loud: “The suffering of not living is far greater than the suffering of truly living. I choose to truly live.” Nicely done. It may feel a bit scary, but doesn’t if feel “good-scary”?
Congratulations – you’re one step closer to your Major Good Mojo!