It was one of those moments that my step-uncle Todd, in his purest Alabama voice inflection, would have said:
“Boooy, ya shur got de short end of da stick.”
I was at my executive recruiting job in Virginia, many years ago, and at that point in my life, I was “gung-ho” about all things motivational — anything, really, that I thought would jazz me up and fuel my day.
One mid morning, out of nowhere, my boss swung around from his office to mine (whose doors were open) like a mad Ninja. He literally popped in unannounced and said:
“What is it going to take to put your outgoing call activity on auto-pilot? Barry, you don’t smoke cigarettes, so I can’t talk to you about that excuse for not being at your desk.
“But, it’s like this: you’re physically at your desk, just not mentally at it without stopping to open one of your books to read a quote or send out an inspiring story to the entire office via email.”
He kept my office door open. And, as I watched several co-workers smiling and hovering around, I knew he spoke louder than normal for a reason, too:
I was his guinea pig, and he wanted everybody else to hear this big message to me:
“If you constantly need outside inspiration… if living vicariously through other people’s exploits and triumphs and successes motivates you… if slurping down salesdog.com tips, like a rock candy Blizzard, tricks you into thinking you’re actually selling… you’re deluding yourself.
“Being confident in your skills, knowing your value, and seeing your business activity as naturally fun, has to “stick” in your core. Once it does, you won’t need the barrage of surface-level feel-good stuff you dive into every day.”
~ A former boss
While I didn’t like hearing what he said, or how he said it, at the time… in hindsight, it’s one of the best things I could have ever experienced.
Often we humans — who are about as needy for “self-approval” and “acceptance” as dung beetles are needy for… well… dung — just don’t want to hear about what is really happening to us or around us.
We’d rather be externally juiced-up about our life than work hard internally for a foundation that is “set.”
We’d rather believe things will work out for the better than actually know. ’Cause, after all, to know — to really know — requires us to see the rawness of life, roll up our sleeves, and… by golly… get dirty every now and then to improve ourselves.
We’d rather inspire hope in ourselves and stroke others’ backs with hollow atta-boys / atta-girls than confront our situation for what it is or offer constructive criticism, as needed, to others.
Yup, the main message here is simply:
Nothing stalls human awareness and
accomplishment more than denial.
Even this very message, the very words that you’re reading this minute, may give you a feeling of unease, expressed as, “Why do you need to talk about this?” or, “How does this even relate to helping me grow my money?”
That’s a fact, not a conjecture, that we’ll take to the bank. How do I know that a grand majority of our M4 Research readers are mostly in the very same situation I was in with my boss many years ago?
It’s simple: whenever we send out posts that inspire, hearts open up like spring daisies, and “feel-good” emotions are stirred up with grand applause.
Yup, the number of comments on the happy, tickle-my-belly posts are always greater than the ones that require our readers to “think.”
Let me be crystal clear, though, before the Namaste police come busting through our support desk…
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with expressing your feelings about stories, movies, quotes, and other people that inspire you; however, there is something wrong if you have a HABIT of repressing ‘stuff’ that doesn’t make you feel good… initially.
When my boss gave me his sermon some years ago, I could have gotten mad, thought he was uninitiated (to inner work), or tuned him out and pretended he just didn’t ‘get it’; however, something told me in the moment:
“Hey, you know he’s got a point. You’ve got to be honest and open to accept that others sometimes see things about you more clearly than you can see yourself.”
Ah, such is the ongoing struggle with us quirky humans: we just don’t like facing what life is telling us most of the time; and, we attempt to sculpt a reality that matches our view of the world — one based in unreality.
Recently, we came across a home-based entrepreneur who admits to spending $2 a week on lottery tickets because, in her words, “I buy a little bit of hope twice per week for a dollar a shot.”
She went on to tell us that it gives her a constant dose of hope that she can make her parents’ senior years memorable; it gives her hope that she can do more for her children; it gives her hope that she and her husband can make more of their dreams come true.
“Okay, great,” we thought. “Yet, in the grand scheme of your weekly love-making with Lady Luck, where is your mindset and doingness for good ol’ fashioned planning and ingenuity?”
This all comes back to how the mentality for hope and belief (usually in a greater universal good that is watching after you) can be convenient distractions that keep us from “facing” what is foundationally wrong — personal issues that need to be re-programmed at a deeper level.
“An unexamined belief can be described as a habit of mind. Treating a habit as a belief can bring you all sorts of trouble, if it leads you in the wrong direction.” ~ Paul Myers
I could have held some stubborn ground against my boss’s ‘self-help scolding’ and continued to believe that, without it, I wouldn’t be effective; or, I could have very carefully considered his ‘advice’ and removed the duct-tape patch job covering my broken self-esteem hole.
I did the latter…
…and not just because I wanted to keep my job :)
Sometimes, we just need a tough-luv prompt or two to fix the cause, instead of masking the symptoms of mediocre accomplishment and results in life.
In the end, getting what you want — make no mistake — is very often more about changing your deep programming than relying on trite motivational sayings or fueling yourself with overly pie-in-the-sky inspirational quotes.
This article first appeared inside M4 Insider. Specifically as part of the 16-part series titled ‘High-Yield Wealth — From The Inside-Out’.
Are you in ‘reading-lust’ with this post? Kewl. So, now that we’re kindred spirits, I’ll give you some distant mind-love, if you kindly tap the💚 icon below! A BIG digital ‘Bear Hug’ in advance ;)