Maslow only had it partly right: Self-actualization is a peak experience individuals can strive towards and perhaps reach. He theorized that this was the final stage of our life’s journey, but it turns out that this stage is simply the platform from which a new adventure begins.
We now stand in our same shoes, though to us they look brand new.
It is essential that we use our time at the peak to patiently take a thorough inventory of any fundamental needs that were not adequately integrated to that point. Only then can we step boldly onto unknown paths, free from any fear that our lives will come crumbling down around us as a result of some rookie mistake.
An unspeakable crime happens every day that affects almost every single person on this planet.
The primary victim: Ourselves.
The secondary victim: The world around us.
The crime: Misspent creativity.
An excuse for why you can’t be creative is the most devious form of creativity. Do any of these sound familiar:
“I can’t sit down and create right now because…”
1. I’m cold
2. I’m sleepy
3. It’s been such a busy day
4. I have to get to the laundry started
5. I only have half an hour
6. This place is such a mess
7. I just take care of these dishes first
8. I’m too comfortable
9. I’m too uncomfortable
10. I need a dedicated space
11. I have a mountain of work to do
12. I need to organize my sock drawer
13. I just need to sit for a minute
14. My show’s about to start
15. I need some inspiration
16. I have to just look this one thing up before I forget
17. I should just check my email real quick
18. I need more light
19. It’s too bright in here
20. The computer’s fan is too noisy
Creativity can be used on excuses, or creativity can be used on our life’s work: the choice is yours. What form will creativity take for you today?
Authentic fulfillment is an inner phenomenon, and is therefore independent of outer circumstances. Trying to achieve fulfillment by making the circumstances of your life fit some ideal is a fool’s errand. You might succeed at changing your life, but you won’t feel any more fulfilled. The mindset that prompted the desire for transformation will be stronger than ever, and over time this mindset will see this newly created life through a lens of growing discontent.
Authentic fulfillment arises in the act of aligning with life’s inherent perfection.
Rather than trying to shift the unwanted aspects of your life, learn to leverage them. Shifting how you engage with those undesired elements will fuel transformation.
Authentic transformation starts, and ends, with awareness. In this way, transformation is not about doing things differently: it is about “showing up” in a different way. Shifting focus away from “what” you do and onto “how” you do what you do is pure alchemy transforming perfect lead into pure gold.
Sunny rays reflect
off masterful ice crystals
warming bitter winds
Starting a business to help others is a noble endeavor, but “noble” is not enough to guarantee success. The hard fact is that your business may not succeed: certainly not as quickly as you would like it to. Once you are clear about that, you may decide to start your business anyway. That is the point where your business can be of genuine use to others.
Leverage your curiosity: Make it about what you will learn in the process. Don’t wait for permission or assurances. If your business is something you can’t NOT do, then do it. Even if it does not “succeed” in the conventional sense, you will learn tremendous lessons which can be parlayed into something else. Your chance of success increases with each “at bat”.
Authentic success grows out of the willingness to fail.
All questions are powerful. They have the power to move us forward, and they have the power to keep us stuck. A fundamental step on our journey to personal mastery is learning to trust that we are the source of the answers we seek. Another is learning to ask questions that help us move forward.
Every question has its answer built right in. Truly, they are inextricable. If you are not asking the right question, however, you will be left groping in the dark without an answer.
If you find yourself stuck, ask yourself: Is there a different question I should be asking?
If a question arises without an empowering answer, use that as your cue to drop the question and turn your full attention to whatever is in front of you to do. Do that task openly: fully surrender to it. Doing so creates an opportunity to learn what that activity has to teach you. Each activity then becomes a source of empowerment, and often reveals the question…and the answer…you need to move forward.
You are the source of the empowering answers you seek.