I’m on a mission. This is the greatest venture I will ever build. The most exciting adventure that makes Indiana Jones and Lara Croft pale in the face. The most successful business I’ll be the operator of, taking all the roles, the CEO, CTO, CMO, CCO, COO, CFO, ABC, and XYZ.
In fact, you’re invited. Invited to make your mission impossible possible. You’re not Tom Cruise. Instead you’re Joe, Hero Joe, and Josephine Heroine. Get ON BOARD, this is your call, all your hero/-ine friends have been waiting for you. Do you accept the invitation?
From now on we go together. You’re one of my people now. You follow me because you trust me. You listen to me because what I’m telling you will change your life. We will be together for a while, and will say good-bye eventually.
Don’t be sad. I will help you build your community of people so you can replicate the trust you built up towards me for your own people. The moment it’s happening, I will leave you on your own. By then, you will have learnt everything you need. I won’t speak your language, will no longer be your leader. You will have established how to speak to your people, how to understand their language, and vice versa.
Remember what you learnt. Apply it for your own life. Give me credit if you want. These are the lessons I taught you to become your best self.
Lesson 1: Intention
You become your best self when you want to become your best self. It must be your goal, not a goal you reach, then relax and stop. It’s a goal you continuously pursue.
In your mind you’ve already reached the goal. That’s how you tick. Why do you visualize success? Why do you imagine it in your inner eyes? Because you see it happening, and it happened. In your head you have it all figured out already. Let reality catch up.
Example: When I was in primary school back in the 1990s, I was a very good high jumper. In fact, I dominated it for some years in my school although I was one of the smallest in terms of bodily height. Before every jump my friend Jan recommended to close my eyes and say „concentration, concentration, concentration“ and visualize how I would jump over the bar. It worked very well, not always but most of the time.
I visualized the result.
Without thinking about success I was already in the mindset of it. Sports helped me wanting to become better. Regular school courses never had that strong effect on me, except for my extraordinary French teacher Mrs. Pahlke who I had the pleasure to be taught by. With regard to sports, Mr. Senftleben was responsible for exciting me about high-jumping and athletics.
Let me sum up before you continue.
Allow yourself to enter spaces that evoke and provoke your excitement, that make you become ambitious, where you feel „I want to be part of that because it looks fun and is compatible with my skill set“.
High-jumping did that for me. For you it can be any other field, like math, history, archeology, extreme sports, racing, outer space studies, medicine, humanitarian aid, film-making, acting, design, painting, photography, writing, translation services, diplomacy, teaching, politics, selling or being the leader of a social movement.
As much as the field of your passion is important so are the teachers and mentors that guide and advice you on your journey. It can be formal teaching and mentoring like it happens in school and university environments, or people you look up to who give you excellent advices in légère conversations.
Lesson 2: Daily challenge
Your day follows a routine. Routine is good. It allows you to have order and structure, and stay sane. A day without routine is chaotic. There’s nothing wrong with chaos from time to time. Remember when you clean your room and after you don’t find anything, while in the relative chaos before you knew where everything was because you put it there in an organic way. You left your pen there out of intuition. No logic behind. Gut feeling is what you obeyed. Ratio is what you didn’t even hear.
I want you to apply this synchronicity-/serendipity-esque form of chaos in which you encounter things you didn’t look for in a meaningful coincidence to your day. Make a daily challenge in which you take a path non-taken, a bike non-ridden, a breakfast non-eaten.
Like in your travels when you can’t guarantee the circumstances and conditions because you just arrived, you will have that cold shower instead of warm water because the hostel ran out of it.
You will have these conversations with new people that you met because they felt you were open to it. Also, you will be the person people ask for directions because you are so approachable and friendly.
Your daily challenge ranges from what you eat (vegetarian muesli instead of a bacon sandwich), who you talk to (strangers on the street because you intentionally took another street to work), what you experience (surprisingly meaningful and super random conversations with thought-provoking questions you didn’t dare to ask your colleagues before instead of the usual lunch talk) and what you learnt (another more efficient way to solve a problem because you shifted from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset).
Your daily challenge will become part of your daily routine. Embed it so much into your life that you wonder: “How was I able to not challenge myself and go into the things I’m scared of, skeptical or uncomfortable about?”
Lesson 3: Company + Care
Who you surround yourself with is who you ultimately become. In the words of Jim Rohn:
You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.
This is very important because it has drastic consequences on your social life.
You have a friend that you’ve known for years. You’ve been best friends and nothing can change that. Well, yes something can. If your goal in life shifts, your priorities do as well. This can result in terminating the contact with a person, or at least reducing it. It’s hard and very uncomfortable. The way to tackle it with confidence is to present your new life goal in an understandable manner. Nobody deserves to be dismissed with no appropriate explanation. The people who mind, won’t matter. The people who matter, won’t mind (as said by Dr. Seuss).
Care for yourself by eating healthy, exercise regularly and find company in those who matter to you but don’t mind expressing who you are, what your path is and what you feel.
Care for people you let come close to you, those who really play a major role. You will know which ones are harmful to your path, and abandon them.
Lesson 4: Focus + Clarity
Having communicated your goal to the important „A“ players in your life, and seeing them supporting you, gives you the social strength you occasionally need.
Your turn is now to focus your efforts, channelize your actions and be very specific and clear about what you want to achieve. The clearer you set your goals, the more likely it is they will happen.
The art is to say “No“ to most things people request: meetings, projects, “a second”, consulting. Again, you will learn when to say „no“. And it shouldn’t be after a burnout or nervous breakdown. Focus your commitment on the things you care about and go all-in to get everything out of it.
It’s inevitable you will become your most successful best self when you act with intention, social support, care for people, focus, clarity and your own way of thinking.
Lesson 5: Your own way
Your life mission is an endeavor that only you know how to maneuver best. In the beginning you will walk clumsy like a new-born giraffe or baby cow. You will stumble, fall and stand up again. It will happen a lot. Don’t fool yourself thinking that this is Disneyland. You will have magic moments but that’s not your aspiration.
To go your own way means to have trust in your actions and be responsible for every outcome. It’s your duty to stand behind your path even if people talk about you — in sometimes not the most positive way. Shut them up by continuing what you’re doing. They will ultimately become admirers and follow because you followed what was meant to happen for you.
You chose to make it happen. You heard the call, you listened to yourself and embarked into this life journey that will make you the proudest person on Earth.
When I previously said „Copy me“ I meant to use what you learn on the way and study people mastering the subjects you’re fond of. At first, you do it 1:1 to gain confidence. You imitate me. After, you’re going to tweak here and there. You accumulate so much knowledge that you’ll gain a pool of wisdom. Later on, you will refine, extract and establish an own style that is unique to your art, your voice, your talent, your skills.
Sticking to your way you will attract people.
Oh look, over there. Some more who look hungry, „foolish“ and brave enough to join you. Wow, there are even more a bit further. Let’s say „hi“. We’re many now. And there are more, are there? Yes, there are.
So, where are you?
Do you accept my invitation?
✓ Yes ☐ No ☐ Maybe later
I helped a little. I hope you don’t mind 😉
This was essay 1 of #EveryDayIsTravelDay⛵
I’m Alexander. Thanks for reading. If you liked this post, share it with people you care about.
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Have a great day!
Also published on Medium.