“The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.”
– Jordan Belfort, The Wolf of Wall Street
I spent my entire life listening to the bullshit that people fed me, and I believed it.
One of the things I regret most in my life so far was not having enough courage.
When I was a kid, if there was ever a clear indication that I was being called towards some kind of work, it was obvious.
I would spend hours outside with books on herbal medicine, meditation, and spirituality, and I had accumulated a pretty nice collection of books on spirituality and mysticism by the time I was eighteen.
So when it came time to look at colleges, I knew exactly what I wanted:
I didn’t want to go to college.
I knew that I wanted to go to some kind of integrated medical program.
Here’s the problem… I’m 29 now, and only now did I finally go after what I always wanted to do.
Too many other people, that were “wiser” and “older” and “more experienced” in life told me not to do it – whether implicitly or explicitly.
They told me the same bullshit stories we hear every day – don’t do it because of money, do this because of money, do what you love or don’t do what you love for this reason.
Eventually, I got sick of listening to all these people not walking their fucking talk, giving me advice they had never lived.
But it took me almost ten years for things to finally click.
The Lies We Tell Ourselves – That Make us Miserable
Lost 20-something most likely pondering her daddy issues.
When I would sit around the dinner table as a kid, especially during the holidays when people got into alcohol-fueled, political debates, I always found one thing fascinating.
There were all kinds of people holding beliefs that they thought were incompatible.
Tell me how many of these you have spotted yourself:
You can’t be successful and spiritual, or successful and a good person.
You EITHER have to do work you love, and be poor, or do a job you hate, and be financially “successful.”
There just aren’t that many successful people in happy marriages or relationships.
And now, studying integrative medicine, I see it all the time.
I see hippie types that believe that money is bad, who I know will never have any financial security in their entire lives, unless they change their beliefs about money.
On the other side, I see people taking shit jobs they hate (like banking, or being a lawyer) because they legitimately think it’s impossible to succeed at something they love.
They don’t even realize the game being played around them.
The Bullshit that Held me Back from Going After What I Wanted
In the Philippines, most likely pondering all the bullshit I had to go through.
Think about the cosmic irony here.
I knew my dream ten years ago, and yet, I never even tried to go after it, because I told myself that “it just wasn’t there” or “it wasn’t possible.”
Think about the cosmic-fucking-irony here.
I had the treasure map in my hand, to the lost city of gold – El Dorado.
It was literally in my wallet.
And yet, someone told me, “nah man, you have the wrong map, that’s not it. It doesn’t exist.”
So, I never even tried searching for it.
I HAD THE TREASURE MAP AND DIDN’T BELIEVE IT.
This is the cosmic irony that most of us find ourselves in – we have the map to our own inner and outer riches, and yet, it’s the bullshit story (a lie) that stops us from ever deciding to follow it.
For me, it was because I didn’t have the courage, the heart, the hustle, the cojones and self-confidence to trust myself and follow the map.
I fucking wish I could’ve gone back in time to talk to all those people who discouraged me.
I fucking wish I could’ve had the gall of a true explorer and adventurer, someone who said, “No? Fine, I’ll be the first.” and then embarked on the quest of a life time.
I fucking wish that I was internally self-confident enough to follow the map anyway, and see what would’ve happened.
Unfortunately, it took ten years lost in the wilderness, burning my map, re-writing it, and then finally realizing the ultimate irony: I had it right all along.
I just didn’t have the faith to follow it.
Cut the Shit – Trust Your Map
“I wonder how many heads rolled off this sacrificial temple in Belize?”
You have the treasure map inside you already.
But you have to trust yourself, and know that you already have it.
You have to understand that the only reason you aren’t trusting it, is because of the bullshit in your head.
And usually, it’s other people’s bullshit that gets stuck in your head, and like a plaque that leads to Alzheimer’s, eventually, it becomes your own and shapes your life.
I don’t want you to have to take ten years like it took me to wake up and dream again.
I don’t want you to think you “just need something else” before you can begin and go after what you want.
And I don’t want you to feel like you have the wrong map – or god forbid, that the promised land doesn’t exist – because it does.
Most of all, I don’t want you to believe the biggest lie – about the treasure map, the vision, the intuition, the faith – that dies in most of us while we’re young.
If you don’t believe there is a promised land, are you ever going to take the first step on the expedition to discover it?