Not long ago, I learned that the key to success was creating habits for yourself that lead to creating excellence in everything you. If life is meant to be lived well and we are tasked to be creators of excellence then the only way to do that is to do that… every day.
Having decided this, I came up with a three part daily habit that I will expound in just a moment.
Scare, Share, Tear.
Do something that scares you everyday.
Why? Because every person I have ever considered as being successful successful has done it by doing that which scared them. They weren’t fearless. No. They felt small and weak and outnumbered. In the American culture, this would be translated to ‘feeling like a pussy’. But they faced their fears, made themselves uncomfortable. And they learned and grew from being brave. It was these insights that propelled them into the stratosphere of accomplishments they have attained.
It’s the reason I started writing. I was scared to express myself. I didn’t ever want to make people uncomfortable with anything that I said. I wanted people to like me because I was agreeable. But I quickly realized agreeable made me feel fake and I developed no real connections with the people around me because of it. It took scaring myself, being willing to look awkward or stupid to start gaining some confidence in myself.
And maybe it’s because I believe it is our duty as conscious beings to seek truth and when so much fear is propagated by our cultures and societies, the only way to understand the validity of a fear is by testing it. Seeing if it stands strong even when you face it. It probably won’t.
Or maybe like the artist’s intuition or the genius’s hunch, fear is meant to tell us what our next challenge will be.
Create a Win/Win Situation Everyday.
Share your wealth. Share your love. Share your help, your gratitude. In everything you do, make it a win/win situation for everyone.
Again, all the successful people I have studied have found a way to build others up. They award gratitude, humility and acknowledgment to those who helped build their magnificent lives. They found ways to build beautiful futures for others. They paid it forward.
But giving thanks and helping others is also a way of humbling yourself. I’m a recovering ego-holic. I understand how easy it is to get wrapped up in yourself and think you are the center of the universe especially in our culture of selfies and social media. By creating win/win situations, or by giving to others without any expectation of anything in return, you acknowledge that there is more important shit going on in the world than the things in your life. More significant things are happening; people are suffering more than you are and when you help them or forget about yourself for a little bit, the tension that the ego weighs on you eases just a bit. You feel lighter and you feel more connected to others. And it’s quite nice.
And if you ever start getting too self involved or consider the infinitesimal problems in your life worth your ranting and raving about, remember this small, disturbing but illuminating thought by Ryan Holiday in his enlightening book The Obstacle Is The Way:
It doesn’t matter who you are or how many things you have left to be done, somewhere there is someone who would kill you for a thousand dollars or for a vile of crack or for getting in their way. A car can hit you at an intersection and drive your teeth back into your skull. That’s it. It will all be over. Today, tomorrow, someday soon.
One day we’ll all die. So it is our duty TODAY to make the world a bit better for those who are here now and who will be here when we are gone.
Throw something away Everyday (or give it away, you wasteful bastard!)
This habit is meant to rip, tear, rid me and my life of dependence on material goods. Some may call it minimalism. All I can tell you is that there is not much better feeling in the world than ridding yourself of possessions (that you certainly do not need) and thus taking off the burden from your mind. It’s freeing. It’s less things to worry about. There’s a great line from Fight Club that accurately expresses the idea here. What was it again?
Ah right. Thanks Brad. But there’s also that one by Bruce Lee…
Don’t get me wrong. I would like to be adequately wealthy and successful. But to me that doesn’t mean compiling copious amounts of gadgets, things I’ll use once and never look at again and other garbage. I would like more freedom as I grow older and having more stuff to take care of impedes on that freedom.
Minimalism and success are not mutually exclusive.
Cut away the inefficient. Cut away the material things that are holding your life down and start focusing on what is actually going to make your life and your mind better. Like developing yourself. Reading. Finding a new hobby that expands you!
I have a penchant for reading and as a result I love my books. The hardest things for me to give away are books. Because I find myself thinking that I will eventually read them again after I had already read through them. But there is not much like the feeling of lightness you feel when you get rid of stuff that was taking up physical space in your life. Even books that you will probably never read again!
Write it down everyday.
The last thing I’d like to say is that if you do not write down the specific thing Scare, Share, Tear act you did for each day, it is easy to go about days on end without actually doing anything, convinced that you have.
So if you decide to scare the shit out of yourselves, share yourselves and tear yourselves away from material things, keep a journal and watch how you progress.