Self-sabotage

Of course, it is hard to change people’s minds.

No one wants to admit they’ve been wrong all these years.

We don’t inform the internal narrative in light of new evidence. No, the stories we tell cherry pick the evidence presented. We reinforce our decisions and biases we’ve made.

(It’s not logical, we are emotional creatures of habbit. Logically, it doesn’t make sense to smoke. We can only justify smoking emotionally.)

So if you are going to help someone, you have to be prepared to not give up on him when they have given up on themselves. Re-wiring, unraveling the internal narrative takes time.

No one changes their worldview after one, two, or ten attempts.

In a culture of low expectations, we can’t stop giving up on people when they are in the middle of the dip. We are only feeding the narrative that this individual will never amount to something better.

Recently, I was discussing this idea with one of my smart and trusted friends. At one point, he turned to me and said that there will always be people in the world that won’t live to their potential.

It broke my heart.

It sad that the culture has taught us that some of us will never be good enough, that we’re not special snowflakes.

Everyone has something to contribute. It’s your insight, and how you see the world that can make a difference. You may not be the one that cures cancer, but you can be the one that cures social cancer in your community, in your tribe. You can be the one that puts a smile on a customer’s face every time they walk in. You can be the one that cleans the hospital floor with more attention than anyone else, helping patience get better quicker. You can start a blog, and share your insights.

You can start, right now, with anything.

There is still time to build a culture that we can all be proud of.

Backfire effect

The amygdala always wants to be right.

It’s not rational, no matter how much we bargain with it. It’s not based on fact, no matter how much evidence is stacked against it. It’s not based on truth, no matter how much faith we have.

It’s the natural man. It’s angry and it’s afraid and it controls the conversation, the inner dialogue in our heads.

When our core believes are challenged and our foundation is shaken, we let narratives, stories, prejudices, and biases get in the way of what’s real and what’s fake. All in an effort to protect ourselves.

So what if instead we developed a new posture. We don’t let our views and narratives get in the way in our search for truth. We admit we are wrong, all the time, and we’re willing to change our minds. We say that this is my tribe, these people are like me in sharing this system of values, these are the ideas we believe in, this is what resonates with me. We work to unravel our narratives, stories, prejudices, and biases so we can elevate the conversation.

If someone is offering something that isn’t for you, it’s not for you. It’s okay to say no thank you, but, more importantly, we work to open our minds to a world of possibility.

You might be surprised to discover that you’ve been wrong about something your whole life. Only then, can you move to a higher sphere of thinking.

 

Create something

The root of most people’s suffering in a world of scarcity is fear. Fear that today, we may not survive. Those who live in scarcity lack opportunity, dignity, and respect. Their stuck in the cycle of poverty. Their trapped in a different century.

Most of us with access to the internet don’t know what it’s like to live on less than $3 a day.

With access to these abundant resources (capital, healthcare, education…), and once our survival is taken care of, we have an opportunity to make things better.

When we are not living the life we are supposed to live, when we are not being the person we are supposed to be you will find the root of suffering in the world of abundance.

Are you a writer who isn’t writing or a painter who isn’t paining?

One of the names God chose is Creator. It’s in our DNA. He is happiest when we are creating, when we are creating solutions to complex problems or art or when we put a smile on someone’s face.

Nelson Mandela was able to change the world from a jail cell. In contrast, if you make over $30,000 a year, you are part of the top 1% of income earners in the world.

You have more power than you think you do.

So start. Today. You can do anything. Pick up that piece of trash on the ground. It’s not your job but it needs to be done. It doesn’t matter how small of an act as long as it is done out of love.

Generosity is a choice. Your well-being is only as good as you give.

You can’t change people’s minds

But you can accept their opinions.

It’s better to be persuadable, to change your own biases, your own narrative then it is to change someone else’s.

Far easier, to light a path for those you lead then it is to tell someone else outside your tribe how to live their lives.

If the story you tell is good enough—of what is and what could be—maybe you can inspire a movement.

Maybe you’re the ignition, the spark for someone to make the change you are seeking to make.

 

Air travel

The other day, I flew to Seattle.

The plane went over 40,000 feet in the air going 600 miles per hour. I sat back with my book next to a window with AC and access to Wi-Fi. The flight attendant asked what I wanted to drink.

It was only a 100 years ago that air travel was science fiction. Now, we take it for granted.

To think what the kings of old would have given up for this type of luxury or convenience or experience.

What a wonderful time to be alive.

Truly, every day is a miracle.

What are you running away from?

Perhaps something happened: Your parents weren’t around, you struggled to learn how to read or write, you were bullied, something horrific or traumatic happened, you lacked access or opportunities, maybe you squandered them. Maybe the deck was stacked against you from the beginning.

You didn’t choose these circumstances you were born into. Those were the cards you were dealt.

Seems to me that we can never put enough distance between us and the past. No matter how far we go, it’s right behind us like a pet.

We know what we are running away from but we lose sight in what we are running towards.

What if instead of spending our time looking backwards, we start looking forward. We invent a new future, tell a better story, throw away an old narrative.

If you are placing yourself as the victim, stop. The past doesn’t have to drive us into the future.

There isn’t a dragon in the world that can’t be slain.

First things first

Instead of worrying about what’s going to happen next, start with what needs to happen first.

Urgencies and emergencies will come and go with every news cycle.

That next big thing is already here.

Your email, it can wait.

Do the work that matters most.

Do the hard thing first.

Whatever comes next is bound to be better when we put our best foot forward.

DNF

No one signs up for a marathon not expecting to get tired. The question is: Where are you going to put the tired?

Sprinting is an all-out effort for a short period of time. No matter how hard we try or how much we want it, we can’t sprint forever.

It’s beneficial to learn when we need to take our foot off the gas before we run ourselves into the ground. We need to pace ourselves, to embrace the tension, and not make it go away.

Sure, it’s exciting to start but there are no heroes at the beginning.

Enthusiasm soon dwindles and you’ll find yourself in the dip. Its hard and you’re uncomfortable. That’s the moment. When others are turning around you find another gear, a place to put the tired, you lean in to the tension.

If we don’t leave anything in the tank, we don’t leave anything to finish.