How much of your life do you need to sacrifice in order to reach your goals?
I’m crazy interested in the answer to that question.
Wisdom passed down from the wise have said that sacrifice is a necessary ingredient for any achievement.
So does that mean that I have to give up the happy hour cocktails and the Superbowl pizza parties and the long hours logged into Netflix to catch up on a few episodes of Breaking Bad?
Preparing Yourself to Get What You Want
We don’t spend enough time thinking about what it’s going to take in order to achieve the things we want in life.
Movies like The Secret spend so much time talking about “faith” and “visualization”–both incredibly important for achieving goals–but both words don’t touch on the mental preparation needed for what you’ll have to give in order to get what you want.
You’re going to have to go through some shit. And the bigger your goal is, the more shit you’ll have to trek through.
Recently, I’ve made the commitment to pursue my greatest idea. In my post about morning routines, I mentioned that I spend some time in ‘forethought’ during the last hour of my Package. Forethought is thinking about the process of achieving what you want, both the work involved and the challenges you’ll face along the way.
If you’re mentally prepared for the work and the challenges and the sacrifices you’ll need to make in order to get what you want, then you’re more likely to get it, rather than give up when the shit starts piling up to your neck.
“Talent and time are a [creator]’s only assets. Why give your life to an idea that’s not worth your life?” – Robert McKee (Click to Tweet)
Think About What You’re Getting Yourself Into
I would encourage you to really spend time thinking about what you’re getting yourself into.
I’m as optimistic as anyone, but before you make that leap into achievement, ask yourself a few questions:
“Is this idea so fascinating, so rich in possibility, that I want to spend months, perhaps years, of my life in pursuit of its fulfillment? Is this concept so exciting that I will get up each morning with the hunger to [create]? Will this inspiration compel me to sacrifice all of life’s other pleasures in my quest to perfect its telling? If the answer is no, find another idea.” — Robert McKee
This is a rough outline of how I go about my mornings right now. I like to start with the mission statement and repeating my goals out loud so I can condition my brain to OBSESS over achieving them. The visualizing is super clutch because it gets me feeling excited about living the life I’ve dreamed about.
I always gets ideas when I work out–I don’t know why either, they just come to me when jogging or doing pushups–so I journal after my workout session so I can write down any great ideas that came to me during the session.
For the two hours after that, I focus on creation. It’s been said that creating regularly opens you up for receiving bigger and better ideas.
Sounds good to me.
The last part of my package is the delivery of my work. Creativity should be shared with others so they can get inspired–it doesn’t belong to you. So I’ll spend this hour looking for channels to deliver the writing and video content creation. This is a big part of building a business online, which is what I’m very passionate about right now.
So if you look at the structure of the package, you can see how it serves my personal and professional goals. Now I move through the day with the confidence that I’m growing daily in all areas. I’m not upset because I didn’t get to the gym in the morning or because I haven’t worked on my business in days–everything is done right there in the morn.
On May 16th, 2012, my Life changed forever. My Mom—bless her soul—the last of my parents still breathing, passed away…one week after I didn’t call her on mothers day. I was sad, and numbing myself with a blunt, stuck in my head, overthinking things as I usually do when I’m overcome with emotion. And before I could apologize, she was gone…
I write this letter to you, my friends, the first of perhaps many letters, to express what is now coming through me, something/Someone that has been begging for expression for a long time now.
It’s funny how the death of someone close to you can so brutally destroy all shitty monuments that you’ve built up around yourself. The walls of ego and false beliefs and identity that you’ve become so attached to, come shattering down so vividly, with such an epic crash, there is nothing left but what you really are.
So, for perhaps the first time, you are seeing who I really am. For the first time, I am being who I really am.
There has been an Idea formed in me for a while now, and Idea of a way to be, and Idea of what life could be if I were to live as I could live—with all the love and intensity and creativity and integrity and honesty that exists. Old versions of who you knew as Obi have been deathly afraid to be that guy…until now. I guess you can say that when you’ve lost the two people that you love more than anything else at such a young age, you look out to Life’s horizon afraid of nothing else that can come at you.
What is Death when you’ve already seen it face to face? What is poverty? What is scorn? These things are nothing to me.
YOU ARE GOING TO DIE. I hope you understand that. The people around you will fall sick and pass away. Someone you love will suddenly not be around. Something you’re attached to will finally break and dissolve into nothing. You will be fired. Your car will break down. Someone will steal your iPod. Everything that you’ve become attached to will change. And when all those THINGS change, who will you be then?
I write this letter, not to you—Fuck “you”—but to that Person within. When we talk and have those deep conversations that last for hours on end, “we” are not talking, but something more…there is a connection of two souls that see each other beyond the forms that we’ve come to believe that we are.
But we’re not things. We’re something more. And that’s what I speak to. I speak to the Restlessness within you that tugs at your carefully-ironed polo as you’re typing those fucking spreadsheets on Monday morning when you’d rather be at home playing the piano, naked.
I promise that I will no longer bullshit you. I will no longer tell you what you want to hear. My truth will burn within you. It will rattle your falsehood. It will spark that inner something that knows that you’ve been full of shit for a long time.
So when we talk next, don’t tell me of your problems. Tell me of your purpose. WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU HERE FOR? What are you doing with your life? I want to hear of your plans to fly off into space shooting lasers from your soul.
I write this letter as a testament to the Obi you will know from this moment and for every moment until I explode like a wayward rocket over the skies above you. You will never know me more intense, more creative, more loving, and more honest than right now, and every now in the future.
In late 2007, I told the absolute truth for two weeks straight. I went out of my way to tell people how much I either appreciated or resented them. I brought up past situations that still really bugged me. I answered questions with the kind of overwhelming candor that would make Howard Stern blush. I was completely transparent.
Needless to say…those were the worst two weeks of my life.
Okay, I’m lying—they weren’t the worst two weeks, just the most confrontational. Every conversation was like playing hopscotch in a mine field. The conversation topics that we generally gloss over with convention turned into full-on confessionals.
At the bank: “Hello sir, how are you this morning?”
“I’m doing great—the woman in front of me was wearing a thong and I could totally see it through her skirt.”
. . .
“Obi, did you get my email?”
“Yea, I read it but couldn’t think of anything clever to respond with so I just deleted it, hoping you wouldn’t ask me about it.”
1. Work on one thing at a time until finished. 2. Start no more new books, add no more new material to “Black Spring.” 3. Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand. 4. Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time! 5. When you can’t create you can work. [Click for more of this awesome post…]