52 books in 52 weeks is going to be a bit tougher then I expected. My brain has some information overload happening already. But man, I am loving the challenge. I’m a little late posting this as I have already finished book four but cut me some slack. I got it done. Hopefully you all enjoy.
Book three was “The War of Art” by Steve Pressfield. I came across it after readling Julian Smith’s FREE book “Flinch.”
Both books dive into conquering fear, personal limitations, and why we need to hold ourselves accountable for not achieving the things that make us truly come alive on an everyday basis.
What holds you back? What excuses are you making for not taking control of your life, your true spirit, being the person you have always wanted to be?
As Steve calls it, this post is about going from amateur status to a “PRO.”
If you were meant to cure cancer or write a symphony or crack cold fusion and you don’t do it, you not only hurt yourself, even destroy yourself. You hurt your children. You hurt me. You hurt the planet.
Do we come into this world with a destiny? Do we have a pre determined legend that we are supposed to fulfill?
Wether or not we have a predetermined destiny could be argued all day and all night.
I believe there is one thing we have been put on this earth to do.
To be PRO at.
It is our soul mission in life to find out what our legend is and to live it! Live it to the fullest. Your legend knows no money, no passion, no love, no happiness. It is all of the above. It is what you have been created to do. Once you find it the Universe rewards you with everything you need in order to keep pursuing it. It wants you to be PRO. It wants you to achieve your legend.
It’s how you can contribute to this world and the world wants you to do it.
The universe doesn’t want to keep you from achieving this. The only thing that wants to stop you…. is YOU.
Show me some pro’s
Stevie Wonders legend was to play the piano and to touch us with his music.
Mahatma Gandhi led India to independence and helped spread freedom over the entire world.
Babe Ruth’s legend was to hit a baseball. Quite possibly the best that ever lived.
Martin Luther Kings legend was to unite millions of people from all walks of life to create unity, equality, and more love for one another.
You don’t have to change the world, be a hall of famer, or create inspiring music to become a pro or to live your legend. Check out these 57 people that are living their legend in many different ways.
How could it not be their legend?
They worked hard, invested every single ounce of their being into what they truly knew was their contribution to this world. Sure they may have dabbled in some side projects, had a little fun, experienced as much as they could. But when it came down to it. They knew who they were and what they were put on this earth to do.
How to turn PRO. Finding your legend
How do you find your legend?
Get out of your own way In order to find your legend you need to get out of your own damn way first. The most influential person in your life today is you. That’s right! You control what you can and can not do based on what you believe about yourself. If you believe you are not worthy of great things, then guess what. No chance you will ever change the world. If you tell yourself you are not worthy of money. Then you will never see a penny. If you continue to resist writing that book, starting a charity, telling yourself you can not do it. It’s too much work, you don’t have the skills, the resources, the help. Then you will never get there.
All of the people above and the 57 included in that link got out go their own way. They made self-doubt an ally. They recognized that by questioning themselves and asking the universe “Am I a __________ ” they set the wheels in motion to live that way.
Self-doubt is an indicator. If you are doubting yourself you are on the right path. Living your legend is not the easy road. There are pressures, expectations, high levels of commitment. Doubting yourself is how you try to keep yourself safe. Self-doubt aims to paralyze you. To keep you from trying new things, experiencing, living to the fullest. Self-doubt wants to keep you safe, comfortable, following the crowd.
Stop listening to others Let me clarify that. They connected with those that had similar visions because they recognized they could not do it alone. Martin Luther King had Fred Shuttlesworth and Ralph Abernathy. When I started this blog I emailed (and still do) hundreds upon hundreds of writers. Some that wrote about health and fitness like Vic Magary and the infamous Steve Kamb.
I wrote to people who were
trying doing the impossible like Joel Runyon. Cubicle renegades and personal finance bloggers like Caleb Wojcik. Sat down with inspirational people like John Falchetto.
I took a look at my weaknesses and hired people to do the things I suck at like David Crandell and the team at (in)SPYR. More to come in MAY on the projects we just crushed!
I looked at people and connected with people who were doing things that resonated with me and that I felt were living their legend (or at least on the path) and connected.
Aside from connecting with some I disconnected with others as well. This is a tough pill to swallow for sure.
I’m all for having a devils advocate. Getting real world feedback is vitally important to our personal growth. But make sure the real world feedback is constructive and beneficial to you on your request to becoming a PRO. Playing follow the leader and listening to the status quo won’t do you any good. That’s how you play it safe. That’s how you live comfortable. That’s exactly how you stay stagnant.
How many naysayers do you think stood in Gandhi’s way? How many told Babe Ruth he couldn’t do it? How many buried Stevie Wonder before he even began? What percentage of the world thought what King Jr was doing was impossible?
They didn’t let it ice them. They beat it. They knew who they were and what they believed in. They followed through.
It drives us crazy when others are living their authentic lives if we are not doing so.
Master your craft To live our legend we have to be willing to work hard. To have self-discipline, continually acquire knowledge and skills, to resist instant gratification for the pursuit of long-term development if ourself. Wether it be in a career, health, family, or adventure.
Those that find it do so because they resisted the urge to stop. When you are on the path of your destiny forces will tell you to stop. Most of the forces are from within. Your head, your soul, even your heart might try to convince you to stop. However, this is not your head, heart, or should speaking. It’s rooted in fear, in self-doubt.
It is your own self-doubt that is trying to convince every bit of you that you should not continue on the path of your legend. It will do what ever it takes in order to make sure you do not succeed. You will never overcome this self-doubt. It will always be there, so long as you are pursuing your dreams it will keep challenging you.
Some of these people are not the best at what they do. Some are. The key concept they all have in common is that each of them continues the pursuit of being better. They strive for more. They feed off personal growth, they are committed to helping others, and they don’t or did not let anything stand in their way. As Pressfield says in “The War of Art,” they dominate their territory.
You probably know already know what I am talking about.
It’s when you are in your element. Your wheel-house. No one can get in your way when you are here. No one can stop you. You’re hyper-focused. The blinders are on. The only thing you can see is the road ahead that leads you to your calling.
Don’t focus on rewards When you work hard with regards to something you believe in and are wholeheartedly invested in you will be rewarded. Remember, the world wants you to live your legend. It will do whatever it can to help you get there. It is invested in you. If you don’t achieve your true self you are hurting the world. It doesn’t want that.
Money, accolades, acknowledgment… this will all come with finding your legend. Your focus should be elsewhere. Enjoy the process of self discovery, the story that you are telling with your life, the way that you are benefiting others. If we do that, the rewards mentioned above will follow.
Daniel Pink, the author of Drive offers that what really motivates does not have much to do with material rewards. His focus is what on motivates employees but I think the principles translate to our every day lives.
Autonomy: The desire to direct our own lives
Mastery: The desire to make progress and get better towards something that matters
Purpose: The want to do something much larger than ourselves.
Rewards do motivate…. they motivate us to get more rewards. However, rewards will not help us achieve our legend. They serve as speed bumps self-doubt has placed in our path to convince us that we are already there. They try to reassure us that you do not need to continue your pursuit. But we do.
Rewards serve as a reminder. Something to pick you up when we need a boost. They are not the sole purpose of you pursuits. Are you better, are the people around you better, do you believe in what you are doing? That is your focus.
Dreams are real Do you think for a second that Michael Jordan thought of himself as anything else but a basketball player? Not a chance. We he closed his eyes at night that is all he saw.
Martin Luther King JR. Didn’t have a plan, he had a dream. He visualized what we wanted to accomplish, what exactly he believed he could do, and he trusted his dream was real.
Believe in your dreams. They are the gateway to the truth that lies in us all. They are rooted deep in our subconscious. Every so often they give us a glimpse of what we are capable of. Do not ignore them.
Where do we go from here? Why is it that we need to think of ourselves on our death-bed before we are actually motivated to do something? A bucket list asks what you want to do before you die. Hell, there’s even a movie dedicated to it. Does it really take death to scare enough mojo out of us in order to pursue our dreams? Instead of just a months, weeks, or even days…. why not just start living it now?
“Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows.”
― Michael Landon Jr.
Ask yourself today why you are holding yourself back. I can problem answer a few of them right now for you.
Work, family, time, kids, responsibilities, money, confidence. Probably sum up the majority of our excuses.
I’m not going to argue that these are not legitimate. But Stevie Wonder was blind, Gandhi was just one man, and Martin Luther King JR had the same excuses. All of these men decided that nothing would get in their way. They made it work. They did not get paralyzed by excuses.
Every-time we try to rationalize why we can not do something we are feeding self-doubt. We are making it stronger.
There is only one way to weaken it. To constantly challenge ourselves, do things that we are afraid of, push our boundaries, and help others to do the same.
Do not do this world a disservice and keep your gift inside. You, I, and all of us have a destiny. A legend to live. GO BE IT.