Aspire Magazine Issue 2 - Page 15

< INKED ingredient in all that we do and aspire to. Eventually, every single thing that we do both benefits and illuminates. It’s a virtuous cycle. YOU WRITE THAT A SERIES OF EPIPHANIES ABOUT UNIVERSAL SKILLS EXPERIENCED IN YOUR 40’S WAS THE INSPIRATION FOR ELEVATE. WHAT UNIVERSAL SKILL HAVE YOU FOUND MOST EFFECTIVE? The mere understanding that there are universal skills that underscore all that we do is the game changer. Just as “reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic” are skills that power everything from business to personal to athletic pursuits, there are other skills that also have for the connective tissue. When I eventually understood the yin-yang of awareness and action, it provided the foundation. Interestingly, I think it’s what sets Elevate apart from most other self-help books. The norm is to focus on task-specific books (e.g., getting better at golf, gardening, managing people, writing books, and so on) or they focus on raising awareness (well represented by Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle, Jiddu Krishnamurti, Michael Singer, and others). However, as important as all of these topics are, I have come to appreciate that by themselves, they’re only half of the equation. We need both • We are kept from our goal, not by obstacles, but by a clear path to a lesser goal. WHAT IS KEY IN TURNING FRUSTRATION INTO FASCINATION? It starts with an understanding of why we get upset and also how we can grow. For example, since we learn more from our mistakes than our successes—and by extension, other people’s mistakes, since we probably do similar things but often can’t see it as clearly—it makes sense that we should try to benefit from unpleasant situations rather than bemoan their existence. Learning from mistakes is an incredible opportunity “WE CAN MOVE FROM A MINDSET OF ‘I CAN ONLY DO THAT WHICH I’VE ALREADY LEARNED’ TO ‘I CAN DO VIRTUALLY ANYTHING.’” broad applicability. I suspect that 80 percent of success in any endeavor comes as the result of these basic attributes. Once we embrace these skills, we can move from a mindset of “I can only do that which I’ve already learned” to “I can do virtually anything.” That changes everything! While I love all of the powerful skills that are explored in Elevate, “Ask” is definitely one of my favorites. Asking targeted questions is akin to a superpower. Plus, it’s free and available 24/7. Simply by asking questions of others, and ourselves, we quickly and easily can find out anything. “STRUCTURE” IS ONE OF YOUR 10 ESSENTIAL SKILLS OUTLINED IN ELEVATE. HOW DID YOU DECIDE ON THE STRUCTURE FOR YOUR BOOK? It was a long time coming. While it was easy to compile a long list of helpful hints and valuable insights, we humans have trouble remembering more than a few items. It’s akin to juggling—we might be able to juggle one or two or more things, but at some point we’re overloaded and they all come tumbling down. For many years I searched for the essence of what I was learning, and increased awareness and improved action. They are both necessary to achieve, advance, and thrive in life. HOW DID YOU CURATE THE INSPIRING QUOTES FROM OTHER THOUGHT- PROVOKERS FOUND IN THE BOOK, AND DO YOU HAVE AN ALL-TIME FAVORITE? The quotes are one of my favorite parts of the book. There is so much wisdom that has been handed down to us, and much of it is packaged quite powerfully and poetically. Finding the perfect quote often turned into a treasure hunt that yielded more than I anticipated. Here are a few favorites: • You don’t drown by falling into the water; you drown by staying there. • W hether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right. • G ratitude paints little smiley faces on everything it touches. • I f you think education is expensive, try ignorance. • I t’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled. • W here you stumble, there lies your treasure. to benefit from misfortune and learn something valuable. This begs the question of whether the supposed misfortune was really bad or a lucky break. But here’s the biggest opportunity, and this is not always intuitive: Our world is a mirror of our mind. Our reality is a result of how we choose to give meaning to people, things, and events. Therefore, every time we respond to something, it’s an opportunity to see into our soul and psyche. When we get frustrated, we suffer and we rarely learn much. However, if we adopt an attitude of fascination, the whole world becomes a classroom, and everything that happens provides clues as to how to improve ourselves, our mindsets, and everything we interact with. It’s utterly glorious! The frustration evaporates and the elevation expands. HOW OLD WERE YOU WHEN YOU HAD YOUR FIRST SPIRITUAL “A-HA” MOMENT, AND WHAT WAS THE REVELATION? The one that I remember most was being 18 and somehow coming across Jiddu Krishnamurti’s book, The First and Last Freedom. While letting go of our ego and opening up to something ASPIRE | ISSUE TWO 13