“In any given moment, we have two choices: step forward into growth or step backward into safety.”
– Abraham Maslow
– Abraham Maslow
Claire and I broke up because I was prioritizing one dream over the other. I didn’t realize this was what I was doing until it was too late. (at least it looks like it was too late at this juncture). I have a mental disorder. This particular one disordered my ability to prioritize.
I began dreaming about how to become a “millionaire” at the age of 13, which became the dream of owning my own business. However, I cannot tell you when I began dreaming of the woman I would marry. I can’t tell you, because I don’t remember not thinking about it. I think I always knew that I would get married and have a family. As a kid, I just knew that’s what people do. Of course, it wasn’t that black and white. At some point, I regularly fantasized about the life I would live with a beautiful family. I recall a time in my pre-school daycare where the kids wanted to play “house.” I distinctly remember telling the group of children, “We’re going to have to do that when we’re older. Let’s go play on the tree.” And those kids who intuitively knew this to be the case followed my lead.
In this particular tree, we would imagine we were playing a video game. The tree had a stubby branch at the base that looked like a joystick and its trunk grew at an angle of about 20 degrees. We would imagine the kids walking out on the trunk were the characters in the game, while one of us sat at the joystick and used it to dictate what the characters actions. I was much more interested in learning how to play with people, then pretending to do what my parents were forced to do. When I was old enough to go to school, the first complaint my mother received from a teacher was, “Jeff day-dreams too much.” I’ve always followed my dreams.
There are lots of reasons why my dreams evolved toward Entrepreneurship. I’ll spare you most of the details, but one reason is because of play. I never seemed to realize that I was still prioritizing my life the same way I did at a young age. I was always competitive, even at a young age. I believed that the better we played, the more fun the game at hand is to play. Kids that weren’t good at sports, I had no idea were bad simply because they weren’t talented. I thought they just didn’t care enough about playing the game. I remember wondering, “Why does his dad make him play baseball? He obviously doesn’t like it.” I had no idea his dad was encouraging him to follow his passion. To me, the kid clearly didn’t have it. Passion that is. I always saw the good in people. I imagine, that if you went back and explained this to me at a young age, it would have baffled my mind. To me, sports were life. Because of this, I held the belief that before you could play house, you needed to be the best you can be at the sport you’ve chosen to play. This way, you can support your dream of playing house – in the funnest way possible.
My disorder does not allow me to fully understand time. Like the “Absent Minded Professor” I hyper focus on the current dream. The other dream? It may be knocking at my door… But, I won’t realize there is anyone knocking until I am the one doing the knocking. When I was younger – maybe I didn’t know to do it – I forgot to set an alarm to tell me to check the proverbial door for incoming callers. It turns out that some dreams can’t be put on hold. I believed that in order to get married, I needed to be able to provide a life where my wife did not need to work.
And, what’s wrong with that goal? When you don’t realize that you can be married before you are able to meet that goal. That if it’s the right person, you will obtain that goal together in matrimony. Maybe, in the end it won’t matter. But, to sum it up in the case of me and Claire, I guess the record would say, “I did it my way.” It just so happens that ‘my way’ is not necessarily the most optimized way to do it. I might look disordered at times. Because, at times I am. I am not perfect. Claire and I broke up because I have ADHD. It caused me to look through two lenses: broad range of rejection sensitivity and a scope aimed at providing for my number 1 dream: to build a family and play the most fun game of house ever.
I write this here, now, as a reminder to myself that thoughts are dreams. Be careful how you interpret your dreams. Discern your thoughts as dreams. Realize, that nightmares are there to teach you something. And most importantly, they are there because you have created the night terror. Therefore, read the dream for what it is:
A Reflection of You.
Dreams are always a reflection of you. Like a fun house, they do not always reflect an accurate physical image. You must interperate the message reflected back to you with the understanding that your fun house was built by you. The dream represented in the mirror has been warped by something you did. In a relationship, you are allowing someone inside your fun house. When their image is warped, you need to explain why they are seeing a warped image. When you go into their fun house, you should work together to understand why the images are warped.
When Claire was a reflection of me, I didn’t understand how to un-warp my reflection. In other words, I did not love my own fun house. I didn’t understand how I had built the mirrors. I’m now discovering new tools to un-warp the mirrors to bring order back to the funhouse. And, only now, am I learning how to re-build the funhouse into the house I really want to craft: the funnest Donnelly household imaginable. And, if you knew my Grandfather, you would know that that is one hard goal to obtain. I guess this goal required me to “Do it the Hard Way.”
I am a reflection of you. I hope that when you look at me, you can see that my mirror is may seem a little bit warped, but I will always be able to explain myself. I know that you are the best person you can be. My intent is always to help you see how and why that is true. No matter who you are.
I broke up with my girlfriend to learn the hardest lesson imaginable:
Reflections depend on accurate Interpretation.
Communication is key. But, the door will only be opened if you knock.
The door will only open if you knock… back. That’s the secret to the code.
I’ve knocked back. And, we’ll just have to see where it goes. Even if it is In Blind faith.
You are one with the universe. The Gurus present this fact as if it were some kind of deep revelation. They seem to believe that if they repeat the same mantras, it will become cliché. You know where the word cliche originated, right? It’s the distinct sound of a rivet gun installing or binding one material to another material. The guru believes that when you hear the sound of this string of words as distinctly as they do, that you will simply… Wake up!
They think you’re asleep. You’re not. And, if you were asleep this noise they spew won’t wake you up. Something so intuitive as “you are one with the universe” will never snap you out of the state you are in. You are in a place between sleeping and awake. You are dreaming. Intuition is already running on all cylinders while your thought patterns resist your natural ability to simply open your eyes, take a deep breath, and look at your existence. Your thought – whether you call it dreams, or strategies, or visions, or analysis – is also a natural ability akin to intuition. And so, you are constantly playing a game of tug of war. This game of tug of war is the ego. Or some may call your deamon. It rises to the surface and plays games with us. So, the guru tries to remind you of your intuition in times where you are stuck in the game of tug of war. So that your intuition can align and work together to co-create the future that you desire. Worrying about something that does not exist prevents us from realizing the excitement life has offered us in our ability to co-create in every moment we share.
The problem the guru has is one of numbers. Audibly projecting “You are one with the universe.” Requires that the receiver be in a state of condition where the acoustics resonate a recall to the feeling of intuition, thought, and reality aligning in the exact same moment.
You do “wake-up.” You just may not realize that you are the guru when you are awake. You know the feeling:
You look around for a moment and realize that you were capable of coming to a place in some time and some place where your dreaming finally took you to where you wanted to go. It seems everyone is chasing and yearning for this feeling. All the people in this post-modern, digital soup of anxiety – well most of the people I meet in Seattle – LOVE to Hike. They can’t get enough of it. They love to get out there and… post it on Instagram. But, they are also doing what? They love to “disconnect.”
This is precisely where we are guilty of deceiving ourselves. I am not trying to make the argument for why nature is better than technology. Both are vitally important for our progression while both could be the cause of impending doom. Instead I want you to think of them as a yin and yang of our time. Both possessing the ability to disconnect and connect human experience. When you feel nature – feel positively in nature, You are not disconnecting! You are connecting. If we take this word, “disconnect” literally in our digital age, then yes: your nose may be disconnected from a laptop or a screen and your hands may be free of QWERTY. But, that’s not what we mean when we say we are disconnecting – there’s more to it. We are disconnecting from the troubles of “the world.” The world that we have created for ourselves. The world that only exists as a construct in our mind.
When you are connected, truly connected, you are in alignment. And, you get addicted to being in alignment. Suddenly, not being in alignment – connected to “the world” – feels wrong. You get addicted to the feeling of power. The woo-woo’s would say that you have aligned your vibration. And, they would be right. You know they’re right, because you feel it. You feel right down through the bones and into a space, maybe it’s a crevice or a container that has finally opened. And you access this space you feel fully open to all possibility. And, you feel RELIEF. You have accomplished so much by simply doing nothing! By simply walking through the woods. The ability to release yourself from the construct of the world is a powerful and expansive feeling. Of course you’re vibrating!
Now when the guru says: “You are one with the universe.” Picture yourself in that moment where you truly felt one with the universe. When you unabashedly, fully accepted every bit of what it means to exist in exactly the place you are at exactly the moment that you got there. Now, realize that you don’t have to walk through the woods to get to that place again. You are already there. Right here. Right Now. This is you, one with the universe.
This is you connecting with your true nature. You are balancing your systems of intuition and thought. So that we can learn to not worry about the future and instead learn to discern our next step. You are balancing them so well, that you are not questioning. You know that it is true. You know your thoughts have resisted to allow you to accept happiness – to accept your true desire.
Why? Why have you allowed this to be so? Because you think you have already discerned the path to your desire. Instead of discerning each step along the path – putting one foot in front of the other – not realizing that detours are okay. And, it’s not your fault! Your thoughts – tugging at your intuitive nature – have disconnected you from true desire.
The only true desire is the desire you have right now. You don’t need to worry about the desire you will have in the future – it does not exist yet. Remember, the other cliche: “It’s not about the destination, its about the journey.” Well this is only half true. Because the journey has many destinations along the way! Haha. None of which, take you away from the universe. They only expand your world so that you may come to understand that:
You are one with the universe.
Don’t create a world that disconnects you from your true potential.
You are not one with that world. There you are the only one within the world. Now, that’s a lonely place to be. And as my favorite quote states, “Man was not made for himself alone.”
You are one with the universe.
We are all one. And we are connected. Re-connecting, really. Which means that if Claire was one I could connect with, there is another version I can connect with. A refined Claire is out there. Where is she? When will I find her? That’s the game. She will be right where I need her to be when she needs me to be there.
Time is not real. She exists. She’s just not here, right now. She’s not ready to be here. Right now she’s over there. Where is there? Not here. So I cannot stay here. I cannot get stuck looking backward. I need to look forward and go toward the light. Behind me is my shadow and though it may chase me, it will never define me.
What are we afraid of? It’s not our shadow, we’ve already been where our shadow exists. We are afraid of growth. Because growth requires us to reach for unknown heights. This requires us to put faith in the unknown. The unknowable – the future.
This is faith – to have the Clarity required to move forward while our deepest beliefs manifest our reality into being – and faith requires that when we do make a mistake or a wrong turn that we trust there are no wrong turns, and there are no mistakes. There are only detours and learning lessons. Without which, we could not experience faithful acceptance. Allowing faith to be your guide is a test.
Faith guides us in understanding that everything happens for a reason. That reason, well it may be beyond our intellectual anxieties of the moment – and thats usually is the way it goes. Then, these anxieties may extend into many, many moments and cause stress on our faith.
Never the less, our deepest belief will be realized… When? That is the game. That is the unknowable secret. Time is not real, so when is not a matter of worry. All that matters is why. Faith, like throwing caution into the wind, can ease our anxiety by not questioning the path we’re on before summiting the mountain.
If you look inside, you already have the answer to “Why?” So look inside. Do you see your vision? Keep looking until you do.
We are all entrepreneurs. We know this because we all have dreams. Our success as entrepreneurs is not any amount of money, or anything materially measurable. Our success is determined by our ability to realize our dreams.
When you’ve lost sight of success – true success – and you’ve taken your eye off the prize – your dreams – and instead measure your self-worth based on someone else’s idea of success, look for your Clarity.
“Remember the Alamo!”
Learn from the detours you took while distracted by a dream that did not belong to you. Sometimes, as the case was with Claire, one of your dreams may be dangling right in front of you. Dreams are not cut and dry. Dreams do intersect and they do not need to be one in the same. Recognize the many dreams and the drivers of others. But stay true to yourself when you are in the drivers seat. We are usually more powerful than we think we are. That’s for good reason, but you must trust yourself to be able to handle your dreams simultaneously.
Dreams that are dependent on another dream, requires you to prioritize the dependent variable over the independent variable. This is counter-intuitive. But if you truly have faith in the independent variable, then you should put all your faith in the dependent variable.
In this authors case, building my family did not have to wait for me to build my company. Sure, I (now) have nothing to lose. But, having something to lose makes winning more rewarding. Besides, who throws away something – especially something special – for nothing?
Well, that question cuts the ego real deep… The answer, though, is someone who has faith that it will all work out beyond my knowable dreams!
Faith is all I have to hold onto.
Remember this For Clarity.
Have you ever noticed that no one tells you how to “follow your passion?” Have you also noticed that the people spreading this rumor never seemed to have taken the advice? Well that’s because most people do indeed follow their passions. Most, however, do not find their passion in a career.
I’m not convinced that we really know how to define passion. According to Mariam-Webster, the word has many definitions. Almost as if passion can be found in multiple states of consciousness. It can be the event of Jesus dying, it can be a measurement of external forces, an emotion of anger or love or affection, sexual, or the object of desire.
We seem to be full of passion. We have so many interests and hobbies; How do you choose one? How do you know what your passion is? That answer might be found in one of my top passions.
I have a thirst for knowledge. Not the kind of knowledge where I can rattle off facts. I don’t want to be so specialized that I can’t understand the macro level of society. I don’t want to be smart. I want to be wise. I want to know the deep truths that are not dependent on conditional factors. The deep truths are often overlooked. Often, they are labeled as common knowledge. These fundamentals, however, should not be confused with common sense.
Where you seek wisdom is where you find true passion. The kind where all four (4) plus definitions of the word “passion” make sense.
Don’t follow a passion. Follow your truth and look for wisdom.
So, this guy turned on the news channel, knowing it was “entertainment”, expecting it to report the news…
I know this because he then turned to Facebook to report about his discovery – that the news channel was not the news. In a way that suggested his news was newsworthy, others chimed in to let him know that his report was valid. Some also reported back that they often check the reports from the news channel to validate their news was indeed newsworthy.
When I read this news, I did not find it newsworthy. I found it to be lacking objectivity, as the reporter did not understand the times. His own report of the news contradicted the belief he held – that the news channel was entertainment.
Yet, I do wonder: do these people understand that they create the news and they too suck at reporting news? Do they see their opinion to be a reflection of the(ir) times?
I am turning to this blog to report that the news is not always opined to be newsworthy. The news is entertaining for some. For others, the news does not meet their expectations and is therefore not entertaining. In these times we report on news when we do not enjoy the news we receive. Our opinion validates the news’ worthiness.
The reporting you seek is a reflection of you. Your opinion of the news will always determine the objectivity of your news.
Just… Have a look in the mirror.
If not in the physical mirror, then Facebook has provided you a virtual one.
He neglected to answer the question I posed. Instead, clicking like to conceal his validation of my news that the world we consume is a reflection of us.
“Don’t wait any longer”
”You are either living fully, giving your gift…
or you are waiting for an imaginary future which will never come.”
”Every moment waited is a moment wasted,
and each wasted moment degrades your clarity of purpose”
Get on with it. No excuses. Just do it.
Excerpts from The Way of The Superior Man, by David Deida.
This page serves as a sort of review with notes of important concepts and ideas.
Most people would rather be the best than become the best.
”In my whole life, I have known no wise people who didn’t read all the time. None, zero.” – Charlie Munger
Ryan Hawk explores something we can all relate to: How to rid the world of “Bad Bosses.”
have done what I want to do or have attained the position I want to attain – are usually able to assess your current status and offer guidance on how to move forward. They should be able to offer the kind of brutal truth that can only be safely delivered in a caring relationship.
Need to be rooting for you. – Brent Beshore
Learn from afar. Invest in a book.
Read Ryan Holiday’s, “The Obstacle is The Way.”
The Four Tendencies, Gretchen Rubin
You have time to read a book.
Life and growth are all about the accumulation of tiny bits of progress. Start with 20-minutes each night.
Coaching isn’t about competition. It’s about skill development.
Mentor operates at higher strategic level – function: Guide
Coach focuses on tactical details – help drive us forward in skill development.
1. Set a specific goal.
2. Cultivate Intense Focus.
3. Ask for immediate feedback.
4. Seek frequent discomfort.
Becoming is better than being.
Read “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” – Carol Dweck
Don’t Let your Now become your ceiling. Becoming is better than being.
Now, if you didn’t go to college that’s fine. You don’t need to go to college to learn how to learn. You were born with the knowledge of discovery.
It’s best to think back to a time when you were excited to learn. Possibly in childhood. The excitement of discovering something you didn’t know. A swirl of questions rushed to your head as you imagined this new world with this new knowledge.
Trouble is… somewhere along the way you lost your ability to learn. You had studied enough of the laws and principles of your universe – that you felt confident in your mastery of understanding and set out to take on the world. You could now approach life as an expert.
“I can do it” the child exclaims as he grabs the spatula out of his mother’s hand before she had time to instruct, and his zealousness shattered the cake his mother had baked. You know that kid. Always jumping in thinking he knew how to do something after seeing it once. He was annoying. He had something to prove. He was good enough.
But what he actually was, was someone afraid of not being good enough. And instead of wondering what it will take to do something great, he succumbed to the comfort of mediocrity. Where improvement is relative to your perspective yesterday rather than your perspective for how tomorrow will take shape.
The moment you forgot to learn was the moment you lost your sense of wonder. That imagination that allowed reality to feel magical. You lost your vision of the world beyond this world. You settled right where you are.
To learn something you must be vulnerable to the idea that your reality is not what it seems. Your paradigms are yours, not everyones. Your perspective is unique. Your experiences exclusive. The data that comprises your life is yours and yours alone. Your values are shaped by that data, your personal algorithm.
It is insane to think that everyone, every single person, should have the same perspective. It is also unsane to reason that all perspectives are valid. Therefore, a sane reality would have in it such a law that ensured the possibility for a diverse population to remain diverse.
To do so, three things are necessary in structuring the environment:
Many who attend university, actually never learn the importance of a college education. Very few ever did. For that is precisely what Universities are designed to do: guide society to fulfill its potential. At the individual level, this can be summed up as simply expanding your horizon. The individuals potential is an array on a spectrum. And if the universe truly is infinite, the values are infinite, and if values can be negative and positive they must be privatized to protect the finite value of the individual.Doing so promotes the deeply held belief that once made learning so exciting. That belief that may have even driven you to attend university. And deep down you know that society depends on this belief to be true… That anything is possible.
The question is: Do you want to be the one that discovers it?
Secure your value. Find Satori, my fellow salesperson. Go learn something new. Define the future.
You are Little.
–that’s nothing to be depressed about.
If you want to be big
You need to do lots, and lots,
of, really, little tiny things.
Realize your size.
And just do a little thing.
Whatever you think you’re doing –
– It’s not that big.
It doesn’t need to be BIG.
It just needs to be bigger, than, you.
Fuller, than you –
Deeper, than you –
Truer, than you –
Brighter, than you –
… Lovelier, than you –
Than you Are
Success is defined by your worthiness.
Not your wealthiness.
A small human ( no matter – how: dull, cowardly, angry, liars they are.)
can achieve great wealth – Yet,
be he worthy
To be big
is to fulfill what little potential,
Your ring will then–
At this time – and this time alone – you are deemed worthy
to which you now Ascend
Put thy crown upon the head.
The show is yours.
Step, upon the thrown
Enter thy kingdom
The whole point of being human
Is to see the vision complete.
You’ve been shown.
No matter what you are suffering from,
– The vulnerable Feeling –
from realizing that you
are , not,
upon the light.
That Kingdom will not be whole
The vision – incomplete
when darkness fades the light.
There’s so much more of you.
Just go that little bit.
Reach for it.
Just do it.
It’s just a little bit.
a little bit more of you – right, now
That’s all it takes.
RISE UP TO THE OCCASION!
ITS YOUR TIME TO SHINE.
BECAUSE THAT’S ALL OF YOU.
THAT’S ALL YOU HAVE TO GIVE.
have I asked for too much?