‘Know Thyself’ was written over the portal of the antique world. Over the portal of the new world, ‘Be Thyself’ shall be written. ~ Oscar Wilde
One thing I’m pretty sure about you, aside from your likely above-average intelligence, is that you’re human. And being human bears certain great privileges and disadvantages — namely the tendency towards self doubt and seeking outsidevalidation, especially regarding creative and professional work.
The thing is: If you want to be of real service to the world you’d need develop your own titanium inner compass of self knowledge, drive and validation. The more you base your self-worth on the standards of a society that’s essentially broken, the farther away from your truth you risk straying and the less strength your work carries. You build your strength and power by knowing the truth of who you are, embodying that truth and pursuing it’s expression ruthless lion heart.
This tension between being who you are, knowing the truth of who you are, and sharing that with the world is at the heart of all the greatest creative work. And if you can ride this flow full on, I believe you can accomplish most anything.
Luckily, I was able to conjure up a couple root principles to riding this flow full on without one f*cking apology — and hopefully give you some background to what may lie ahead for us:
Principle #1: Know Thyself to Be Yourself (to Know Yourself)
The greater you understand the layers of your existence — your unique genius and innate beauty, the depth of your intelligence, your drive to make a difference (and the value you provide to the world through all these) — the more likely you are to really kick ass in your work. In short, the greater your depth of self awareness, the better you become at expressing the truth of who you are and not give a f*ck about anything else.
Starting with an exploration of the framework of human existence, it’s fairly easy to identify five basic elements:
1. The Body
2. The Mind
4. Energy Field
The first four are relatively easy to master, though with progressively more difficulty from 1-4. The fifth element is by nature not something to “master,” though one could certainly approach merging with that (dissolving into “cosmic consciousness” or Sat-chit-ananda).
Using your intelligence, practice intention and guidance, there’s no reason you could not master the first four elements, and eventually approach self-mastery called for in merging with the fifth. The fifth element is fabulous, and the practice of merging with it is fairly advanced. Bringing this practice into the other four dimensions of this life is a constant journey for me.
But the kicker is here: Until you enter into the practice of being who you are in this life, your depth of self understanding won’t be likely to reach too deep… Sound like a hopeless Catch-22? Not really.
Principle #2: Decisive, unapologetic, ruthless creative expression.
In my last post I shared 33 things I’ve never told you about myself, and discovered a new streamlined mission for myself:
To fully embody and express the truth of who I am, and create pathways for others to do the same.
Aside from the buzz generated by my post — and the negative backlash of energy — the discovery of a new simplified mission was actually the greatest outcome I could hope for.
In choosing to redefine my experiences, crafting a picture of who I am for you, I deliberately strengthened my own self-knowledge and awareness — the process of understanding who I am was dramatically accelerated by defining and expressing it. Essentially, in claiming my own truth — extravagantly, decisively, without apology — I strengthened my resolve to live according to that truth. Along with that comes great confidence, and inner strength; the strength to truly not give a f*ck.
It’s only natural to struggle with what we share though…
Especially in an entrepreneurial or work environment, where we’re charging money for our experience and abilities. There’s this ingrained need to prove our worth, and get validation from above — like little schoolchildren programmed to wait anxiously for little f*cking stars on our report card.
The problem: When you’re focused on what other people think about your work — and continually looking for outside validation — it really gets in the way of creating great work. As Jeff Goins put it, brilliantly:
This is natural, of course.
This desire to be heard.
To be acknowledged as an artist.
But ultimately it corrupts the art,
the pure desire to create.
We must put these ideas
of fame and reward to death.
They have no place
in the creative process.
- Jeff has an entire manifesto for writers devoted to this subject — I highly recommend it.
Principle #3: Innovate Relentlessly
I’m currently obsessed with genius, innovation, extraordinary creativity and what it takes to be the best in your field. I’ve always found discussions of being the “go to” person in your field to be trite at best, or manipulative bullsh*t marketing tactics at worst. Now I see the beauty of it — if I’m considered the best in my field, than I’m naturally positioned to help the most people possible.
As Marianne Williamson famously put it:
We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? [...] There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
It’s your imperative as a human being to strive to be the best you can be at who you are. And the only way you can truly do that is by relentlessly inquiring into your value, questioning everything, and innovating.
You’ve got to constantly strive for improvement. You’ve got to be like Tyler, who realized he’d become safe and boring — settling for 8 out of 10 work — and got pissed about it. You do this by pushing the edges in everything you do. Look for the edge.
Understanding the energy exchange — or, the principle of reaction:
Every interaction in the world is governed by the energy of exchange and the principle of reaction — whether it’s financial, or purely the energetic exchange of giving and receiving — what you give out and produce eventually comes back in some form. (And any time you put money or exchange into the equation — whoa — look out, baby! Things can get pretty intense.)
This is why we relentlessly innovate, and re-evaluate. You look at what you’re giving, and what’s coming back — then you fine-tune.
Beyond Principles: Tune it up, Baby!
What’s Your End Goal — are you keeping the end in mind?
For me, the end goal is FREEDOM AND LIBERATION. Freedom to do what I want to do, when I want to do it. Freedom from the bonds of human existence…this innate fear of my own mortality at the core…the perfect sadness and suffering of this existence.
If I can master certain elements of my existence I know it may be of great service. And yet, can I expect to master that which has not been tried in practice?
That’s why I’ve been waiting for almost a year to launch my next major project — The Flow Book was just one step in this direction — until I could see clearly what it really was meant to be. I’ve been channeling bits and pieces for the last several months, and now I’m in the full embrace of love with my muse — my Daemon as Elizabeth Gilbert put it — and witnessing her gloriously embodied ultra-intelligent sex appeal. Full sensory extravagant indulgence.
Can’t wait to share more about it with you. It’s the embodiment of all that I am, and all that I strive to be. I’d love for you to be on my exploratory adventure team, and see if we can’t make something together that changes the world.
I know this is a lot of information. What will you do with it? Look it over again, reflect on it, and if you feel so inclined, and state your own truth here on Google+
Please RT/share this with your gang — and thanks again for being here, for your support and for being you — for reals. :)