Why? Because unless you can be moved on the inside, you are dead and I can’t help you… nobody can.
Unless you can attain to a certain level of awe, you are not going to be able to have a purpose to your life, or love, or rise above the pedestrian existence of the current humanity.
And no, I am not going to turn it on for you, please don’t ask.
This is a project you need to invent for yourself, and try to get in the state of awe. Inspiring stories, inspiring books, inspiring people, inspiring movies.
Awe is being present to the beyond… the beyond of the level where you are, the beyond of the knowable universe… from where all power comes.
One of my students has a day job that pays the bills, but in the doing sense is not challenging enough to feel he is using his life wisely.
I recommended that he uses it as a practice ground for being, for purpose, to integrate it into his life.
He resisted it for a while… after all why give meaning to an obviously meaningless job… right?
It’s not easy. You need to decide what will be the common thread between the parts that unifies them.
But before you can do that… it seems that you want to claim control over each area.
For this student work was the area that he felt he had no control over.
This is what he just wrote to me this morning:
This is what I discovered today. When I am at the desk, if I just pay attention and do nothing else. I can extend those moments of clarity and service. No internet, no watching the 67 Steps, nothing. Not pretending to be paying attention, not splitting my attention, not filling myself with anxiousness or resentment. Clean, clear, easy, blissful moments…calmly, gracefully being attentive and available. Connecting with my people as they pass through the lobby. Actually doing my job (with a level of beingness and not just doingness.)
I was better at the door, too. More focused on doing a good job, less on my phone and on being somewhere else. Still quite a challenge.
I experienced this myself for the first time back in 1987. I was an architect for hire, and I hated my job. Less than a year later I quit the profession for good, but at this point it paid my bills, but filled with hatred for my life.
Everywhere was better than in the office. Everything was better than doing what I had to do.
Do you hear “hell on earth?” It was.
Then I decided to bring excellence to that area. I didn’t know excellence from shinola, but I had a feeling that how I was not excellence.
I left my little black book at home. I told my friends that I can’t take calls at work. I brought my lunch to work.
All of these so I can make my work, the office the whole world: no other world to be pulled by.
I managed to keep my attention on the work, on the herenow… and after a week it was like heaven. People looked at me with funny eyes, but I didn’t care: I was happy. I was in flow, I produced, I hummed a tune under my breath, in my own cocoon.
Now that I look, this wasn’t the first time. Back when I was 13, I was on a self-imposed quest to get an A in violin, after five years of just doing it because I had to. (which was a lie, by the way. But it wasn’t the piano I wanted, so I had resented the violin. Very funny looking back from where I am now. Very funny, and very toxic.)
Anyway, I was miles and miles away from an A. It as summer like now, and all my friends were having fun outside… pool, the zoo, camp, whatever.
But I was on a quest, and it was more important than anything else. A custom made guitar was waiting for me at the end of that quest. I had to win.
And I practiced. And practiced. 4-5 hours a day. All summer. By the middle of August the sound that came out of that violin was beautiful. People stopped in the street to listen.
End of August: I aced the exam. I left violin on the top of my game.
I invented grit for myself. And awe. I was in awe for what I did.
That is, by the way, the foundation of my relationship to myself. I am someone who will produce awe-inspiring results.
For me that is the common thread in all areas of my life. The Self.
And even when it’s tough, even when I fail, the Self remains the same… I am on a quest to produce awe-inspiring results in every area, with every person, with every project.
Do I succeed at everything? Hell no. But the failures are temporary, because who I am is that person who produces awe-inspiring results.
I didn’t know I was inventing my Self… I just wanted to get access to that guitar. And the path was arduous: I had to make up five years of slothful behavior in one summer.
Nothing else mattered. Nothing else was important. Not whether I was skinny or fat, whether it rained or shined, not whether there was a good movie on television.
I practiced the violin and I read. It was the best summer of my whole life. Long and beautiful.
PS: When you see who you are, the Self that is awe-inspiring for you, in that one area, then you can take it and be that in every area of life.
The Self is like a beacon. All actions come from the Self.
Integrity now makes sense for the first time. The expression: Being true to your Self is now clear: only actions that are consistent with that new Self have integrity.
Self-development makes sense… because the Self is still going to be a little shaky… it doesn’t have enough legs to stand on… so developing more legs will make sense to you. (The main job of the 67 steps coaching is to show you all the areas that you can see in 67 days where you could grow legs… that would allow you to be larger than life. That is how I use it, that is how it’s worth using it.)
PPS: if you are not willing to be awe inspired about your own accomplishments, then you are too pretentious to be in this work. And if you are awe inspired by your looks, by your talent, and other non-accomplishment, not beingness qualities… then you are narcissistic and will hate this work…