Why DOES it Take So Long to Succeed?
Stop Learning More. Start Loving More.
Many of my coaching clients are working on discovering their dearest dreams and bringing them into the world. I watch them melt down, freak out, and experience astounding progress, sometimes in the same day. And a question that plagues so many of them, so many of us, daring to live inspired lives is this: why does it take so long to succeed?
As I go forward, I can't help but look backward. Why has it taken me so long to really succeed?
Why did it take so long to write my books, develop speaking chops, or become Our Lady of Transformation and Black Comedy in my workshops -- an alchemy of Kahlil Gibran meets Woody Allen? Or to "find my voice" or reach in my ezine, blogs, Facebook, and Twitter? Maybe you've wondered the same thing in your life: like what takes so long for you to become who you're meant to be?
Where did the years go?
I'll answer for me. And I know you do the same thing, look for reasons... maybe in all the wrong places.
It could have been that love-insanity of a relationship I had in the eighties, and the healing, purging, and voodoo required in the nineties. Or because I'm poetic, moody, emotionally apocalyptic, and journal more than I move.
Maybe it's because I never ate kale. Or because I was born to emotional Luddites (though innocent) or because I, say, nursed that concept, for a mere 20 years. Maybe I just didn't go to the right peak performance workshop, therapist, or energy healer. Maybe I should have seen John of God or Tony Robbins or spent less time at Coldwater Creek. Maybe I should have visited Israel or Sedona or taken an online business marketing seminar. And really I should never have snuck home that black lava rock from Maui.
Nope, none of things. It's more like this:
There is a divine appointment -- a time when you finally stop searching for reasons for your failure, and you start cherishing your truth instead.
My success took me the exact amount of time it took for me to trust myself, to trust my essence, to trust this Presence, this other realm and momentum of ease and goodness you never see on the evening news.
I have finally gotten it -- that those fleeting instances of feeling excited about who I am and where I could go, weren't moments of fantasy -- but incoming intimations of reality. It's just taken me this long to depend on my exuberance more than my doubt. It's taken me this long to realize that being cynical or wary is not "being realistic." It's just being cynical and wary, at the expense of a very beautiful reality.
We're so wired to rely on our brains, our conquest of crunchy data. It's hard to trust our own wisdom more than information. I see this in students. At workshops and retreats, they want the 3 steps, the 8 steps. Hell, they'll even do the 15 steps, if that's what it takes. They just don't want to hear about the only step that will make all the difference, the one step that feels like a free fall, yet is the fast-track to everything you want: Trust yourself. Commit to your own singular and anointed journey.
I'll tell you what I tell them. I could hand out a bunch of sexy steps. They could have fun scribbling them all down. But steps are from the mind. Steps make our egos feel like they're accomplishing things. Our egos love shiny binders, packed with impressive work sheets. They can tell you what they learned. But at my events, I don't care about what you learn. I care about what you experience.
Albert Einstein, you know, of 'what are you, Einstein or something?' said "We should take care not to make the intellect our God." Inspired success is a journey of feeling your way forward. It's not a journey of following steps. I want you to have an experience of whatever comes close to what you would call Divine. I'll call it the sacred, a startling power that doesn't add on knowledge, but helps the unnecessary and unnatural fall away, revealing a purity that has always been there.
It's always been love that has moved me forward.
It's always been joy. Joy convinced me. All the data in the world couldn't give me the solidity of one inspired moment. I have had moments when I knew I would make it because I felt the love and rightness of the situation. You have too, and you know it. It wasn't provable. But it was irrefutable. Love reveals clarity, not of the mind.
Naturally, I have empathy for those with demanding minds. I went to Harvard Law School. I know a little bit about what it's like to want to know everything up front -- documented, authenticated, certified and notarized -- before you budge a single half step. But of course the inspired path is one that asks you to dive into an ocean in the moonlight when there's no life guard in sight. Then and only then do you understand what you're doing. And by then, you couldn't care less. Because the love and goodness is overwhelming and you no longer need facts because you've already bought the farm and you're singing to the daisies.
Real life requires us to dive into uncertainty -- because that's the only place where we experience a passionate certainty. You will never find what you don't know yet -- by only looking in the world you know.
I've had a great deal of success in my career and I'm opening the door to more. I keep looking at what's making the difference. And here's what it comes down to. I am trusting my own way more. I stand in my strength. I'm not as desperate to learn "trade secrets." I'm more interested in paying attention to the deepest resources in myself. I am less concerned with what the deluge of information on the Internet says. I want to hear the still, deep, dark, electric truth within me.
I want to know what only I can know.
I want to know-- what I'll never learn from someone else.
I want to experience the waves of immensity and safety and union and reverence that open me to a new logic and intelligence and a frequency and bevy of abilities I never knew I had. I want to know what I know, in the aftermath of being lavishly kind, encouraging, and connected to myself.
I think it took me this much time to trust, to stop floundering, fighting, and sabotaging myself in the name of an intellectual debate. I think it took me this much time to admire and believe in myself.
For me, believing in myself never came from learning more-- but from loving more.
Loving myself, loving my flawed, sporadic, morose, poignant, lumbering and redemptive way.
It wasn't about learning things. It was about learning ME.
It's been about paying attention to what I needed, wanted and what I ultimately didn't want. Of course I learned skills. Of course I learned tips along the way. But that's not where this success came from; my success is not clever. My success is coming from a deep musk inside that you can't fake or manipulate. It's the essence of really caring about yourself and everything you do.
I want you to have it.