This post is a little different. It’s more of a rant, an honest expression on how I thought I failed, and what I have created to bring myself back from that mindset. I hope this contributes some value to you, and that you can use the system for your own benefit.
There was a time, months ago, where I was fervently moving towards everything I wanted in life. I was dating a beautiful, intelligent, and motivated woman, with the thought that I would one day have a family to nest with.
I was always pushing my career further, moving into new areas in which I had no experience, but wanted to take on and grow into.
I exercised daily, and pushed my martial arts skills to new levels, motivated by the satisfaction of better, faster, and stronger movements.
I wrote for this blog almost daily, with notebooks and post it notes full of ideas to be one day incorporated as insightful posts and chapters for our upcoming book, Dharma in Every Wave.
I read books on leadership and communication, using the lessons, tips, strategies and systems in my career, personal relationships, and day-to-day interactions with strangers.
I meditated daily, a half hour in the morning on waking, and a half hour before bed. This brought peace and ease to my life in immeasurable ways.
Then one day, in March of 2014, I suddenly lost all my motivation for most things I was working towards. I lost my vision of what I wanted my life to look like. Things were automatic and built in, but I did not remember why I was doing all these things.
I forgot the essence of my life, and what was important to me.
It all began with working more. I found myself working longer days, and having to take on more areas in a company which was increasingly strapped for resources. In order to accommodate this, I had to cut out my personal time.
The first things to go were my morning meditations. I needed more sleep and wanted to get to work earlier in order to get more things done. I decided that the thing that would need to be cut was my morning ritual. So it went. The effect was not noticeable at first, as I do take time throughout the day to calm my mind. But eventually, I found my mind noisier, busier, and less relaxed.
Earlier and longer working days meant I had less time to write for the blog and our book. I put things aside, telling myself that I would get to them on the weekends. But I did not adjust my systems. I left everything too vague. Weekends would come and go, and I found that I was too tired from my work week to sit down and write anything of value.
The one things I managed to hold on to was my daily exercise routine. Martial arts and physical fitness have been an important part of my life since I left high school in 1998. Physical exertion is something that brings me peace and allows me to sleep better. I didn’t cut it out, but I did choose between it and time towards personal relationships. I lost my desire to put effort into my dating, and found that my partner and I grew apart quickly in many ways.
With a noisier mind, more easily distracted by the information we are bombarded with daily in the news, on billboards, and on the internet. I read less about leadership, communication, and spiritual practices. I took less time for walking meditations. I began losing patience with my loved ones, telling myself that they’ll be there tomorrow, and that they don’t need to speak with me anyhow (or I with them).
In summary, my life became about two things: work as a reactive endeavour, and staying physically fit. I lost my vision of my life, and put aside my dreams. I lost my systems, and forgot my goals.
The months of March through to June became increasingly difficult and frustrating, and I wondered where my zest for life was disappearing to. I wondered, yet I took no real time for self-reflection and examination. I had cut out precisely what I needed to check in with myself!
Then on my yearly summer solstice meditation retreat on one of the Vancouver islands, I reconnected with myself for the first time in months. I checked in with my life, and I saw the vision of what I had once wanted to create. I felt the excitement that used to push me towards accomplishing things even when I could barely keep an eye open. When I returned to Vancouver, I started laying out the steps I needed to re-integrate the things that being me energy: time with myself, connections with others, writing, and planning to a life larger than the one I have now. It has not been easy, and at first I stumbled on picking up the pieces of things once important to me. I had to first recognize and expand on the vision that drove me to excitement and motivation. But I was so tired, so tired from working and thinking too much! So I slowly took the time to look at my life, and came up with a series of statements, some old, some new, which helped me visualize what I wanted. I also re-visited reading actively about success, and how we create barriers within ourselves.
In combination with past training and insights, I began to get a better understanding of what it is that sometimes stands in my way of accomplishing things I want, and keeps me from expressing myself as the person I can truly be. Some, such as laziness, are deeply rooted in our ancestry as a way to preserve our energy. Others, such as fear of failure, stem from wanting to look good in front of others.
In mid August, I sat back and looked at all the steps to success, goal making templates, and some select key Buddhist practices I had encountered over the years. I knew in the mess of notes and books that there was something of value I could create for myself, and eventually, others.
And this is where I came up with the Dharma to Accomplishing Anything, or 5 Steps to Success in Any Area. Since I distilled the information, and began using the structure, I have found that I have been able to re-invigorate my life with a vision that drives me, create goals and systems to support those goals that contribute to my vision, and, most of all, learn to let go of the attachment to either success or failure.
I have written a short ebook, free to download, that contains these 5 Steps to Success, for you to have and read at your own leisure. There is no catch, there is no commitment. There is only your word to yourself to implement the steps to move your life towards where you want it to be. In fact, I would bet this ebook will help you find what you love to do, and move towards it.
So go on. Today, I invite you to download the ebook here. In short form, you will examine the following:
Barriers to Success
The 3 common barriers to success, and where they reside in your mind.
The 5 Why’s to Digging Down
The barriers above can be expanded upon and your limiting beliefs uncovered by using the “5 why” method. Dig down into your beliefs about yourself and the world around you.
5 Steps to Accomplishing Anything
Finally, the 5 steps that will push you past your barriers, and motivate you in tough times.
So go on; please download the ebook, read it, and apply it. The only thing I ask is if you enjoy it, please leave a comment below. Even if you do not like it, and have a positive criticism, please leave it so that we can incorporate it in a second revision, and future material we want to release.