No kidding, I was lying on the floor of my office just trying to breathe because of the stress -- staring at the ceiling, just waiting until I could pull up some courage and the shred of confidence required for me to hit it again.
That was me, just a few years ago. When I made the jump from the corporate world to being a full-time writer, there was risk. Though I pulled it off, I still came out of the pivot with my share of scars. Mental and physical. Yes. Risk can hurt you even when you win.
You can take deep breaths, meditate, pray, whatever, but when you see your family dangling by the metaphorical rope, you spend some time worrying about that rope breaking, giving loose, dropping them.
This worry leaves a mark. It’s one of the highest forms of adversity. It’s what holds most dudes back from living a life of pure purpose.
Now, having gone through it, I feel it's my duty to lead others to do the same. But without all of the pain that comes from going it alone.
Here’s Why I Did it:
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Howard Thurman
Do you believe that? I do. In fact, I believe many of the problems we face today on this planet, in our country, in our towns, and especially in our own homes, are because too many men have allowed themselves to be stuffed into their cubicles, offices, and careers.
After I left the SEAL Teams I spent almost 5 years of my life living in this trap of pragmatic mediocrity. Boredom consumed me and laziness followed.
Frustration began to fester until it gave birth to the ultimate sign of death, ANGER.
I believed that the world needed me to “come alive,” but I knew that I needed to first do it for myself. It was just a matter of figuring out how, and I did, and here are the three critical lessons I learned.
You need a leader. Someone who’s been there and done that. Someone with their shit together. Someone who can show you the path to a good life. Point out the pitfalls and be that one guy in your life who locks arms with you until you get it done.
Without this, it’s like trying to get to the peak of a mountain without a guide. You’ll likely run out of time, pass the point of no return, get lost, or for some of you stubborn sun-of-a-guns, you'll die trying.
You need a brotherhood surrounding you. Other ambitious dudes who can make and fulfill commitments. Guys who can and will hold you accountable, call you out on your bull shit and inspire you to keep going.
Alone we lack the required levels of courage, confidence and the accountability required to live a life of purpose and passion. Living this way, on fire, goes against too much of our cultural grain to stick with it by ourselves.
You need opportunities to stretch yourself out in the wild, outside of your normal day to day life. I call these excursions. You and your brothers need to get out and get on these together.
Yes. The excursions are fun, but they’re there because we need to see ourselves differently, thresholds of fear and comfort need to get pushed open.
Together you need to do things that you didn’t think you could. Sitting around a campfire just ain't going to do it. We go on these excursions so that we can come back and apply the experience in our own lives.
I was lucky enough to be exposed to these things early in life while I was in the SEAL Teams. A certain baseline, a standard for living was set so when I got out, I knew I was missing something: I was missing SEAL Instructors (leaders), other SEALs (brotherhood), and the deployments (excursions) that reset and elevated my perspective.
For too long I tried to reproduce this around me, but I couldn’t do it. There just wasn't enough men living bad ass lives to connect with. I literally had to make it my job, produce more badasses around me to get it done.
So those are the basic ingredients to "Coming Alive". As I wrap this up it occurs to me that there is perhaps a fourth piece to this and that would be time. Like a Black Belt in Jiu Jitsu, living a life of purpose and passion takes time to discover and figure out; but, I can tell you that living "alive" is worth every bit. The journey aint too shabby either.
Soon I’ll be opening a few seats for my next Strategic Training Group. A small 7 man group that integrates leadership, brotherhood, and these excursions over the course of 12 months.
If this speaks to you it might make sense to apply and have a conversation with me about the possibilities.
[_] Get started now by reading the ebook “Habits of Heroes,” and learning more about the group HERE