TIME TO KICK IT IN GEAR
Let's start with a prayer: Father Mother God; guide me and lead me through every trial I face today and every day. I know that you supply me with everything I need to stand tall in the battles of life. Strengthen my heart so that I can have the confidence to tackle every issue that comes my way. Help me to remove my doubt and fill me with self-esteem. I know that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I believe as it says in Romans 8:31 "If you are for me who can be against me." Nothing is impossible in the name of Jesus Christ. I won't ever give up. Amen.
We've spent this month pushing out the borders of our comfort zones and heating it up in here as much it is has heated up out there by exploring what it takes to stop doubting our greatness and start living an awesome life - in other words start being our badass selves!
And, as you know if you've been here, we've had not only a great time, but gone to some powerful places this month inspired by Jen Sincero's book of a similar title.
And I am aware that I have ruffled a few feathers with this topic, but I guess that's what badasses do, right?!
Today, we are going to "Kick Our Badass Selves Into Gear" with a question. What is possible for your life?
Do you know that whatever your answer to that question is - and you are the only one who gets to answer that question -- there is one key factor that will make or break the chances of your achieving it?
One key factor out of all the things. All the things we've talked about this month - all the things we talk about all the time; in fact, all the things we've talked about this month and all the things we talk about all the time stem from and rally around this one key factor!
What is that key factor? Having faith; trusting the Universe; believing in God; believing in yourself; letting go of limiting beliefs, praying; surrendering the outcome; etc. etc.? Yes, yes, yes. Those are all so incredibly powerful and important. And being your badass self begins before all of that.
It is this one key factor that kicks everything into gear! You are just sitting with baited breath wanting to know what it is, aren't you? Well, it is . . . ok I'm not going to tell you quite yet. I want to tell you a story first. A true story and embedded in it is the key.
KICK IT IN GEAR
The story goes that when Henry Ford first came up with the idea for his V-8 motor, he wanted the engine to have all 8 cylinders cast in one block.
But that had never been done before and his team of engineers told him so. Not only had it never been done before, but it also couldn't be done. It's impossible, they said over and over and over.
That, however, is what Henry Ford wanted so he told them to keep at it no matter how long it took.
After an entire year of keeping at it, they came up with nothing! As they tried to tell him from the beginning, it couldn't be done!
But Ford was quite sure about what he wanted - he wanted to create an 8-cylinder block engine and so he sent his engineers back to the drawing board, mumbling and grumbling, I'm quite sure.
Lo and behold, eventually his engineers figured it out and the V-8 block engine was birthed!
What is the key factor contained in this story? A committed decision!
Sincero writes: "This is what it means to make a decision for reals. When you make a no-nonsense decision, you sign up fully and keep moving toward your goal regardless of what's flung in your path. And stuff will most definitely get flung, which is why making the decision is so crucial - this [stuff] is not for sissies. The moment it gets hard or expensive or puts you at risk of looking like a moron, if you haven't made the decision, you'll quit. If it wasn't uncomfortable, everyone would be out there all in love with their fabulous lives!"a
Stephen Covey once said: "I am not a product of my circumstances; I am a product of my decisions."b
The quality of our lives is based on the quality of our decisions AND our willingness to see them through. I love this beautiful statement by Yogi Bhajan, a yogi and spiritual teacher who introduced Kundalini Yoga to the U.S.:
"Human is not born a slave, human is born in truth in the image of God. And every man, woman and child has to learn: there's no turning back and there's no playing weak."c
The key factor in being your badass self is to decide to be it - whatever that means for you and you get to decide! -- and want it badly enough to be willing to stick with it even when it gets hard!
Because when we do, even though there may be difficult moments, there are also moments of magic and what looks like coincidences . . . we might call it Divine Intervention!
We have probably all heard the quote from W. H. Murray's book The Scottish Himalayan Expedition (1951): "Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too."d
But there is more to that passage, and I love the more of it. In the book, Murray is writing about this expedition they are about to take and saying they hadn't done anything yet. He was discussing his frustration at the lack of forward movement. But then he writes: "... but when I said that nothing had been done, I erred in one important matter. We had definitely committed ourselves and were halfway out of our ruts. We had put down our passage money- booked a sailing to Bombay. This may sound too simple but is great in consequence. Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets:
Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in ite!"f
There are so many examples of people who have done extraordinary things because they made committed decisions, including W. H. Murray's climbing party.
Ford was committed to a V-8 block engine and so much more - his business failed more than once you know!
Michael Jordan was committed to playing basketball even though he was cut from his high school basketball team for lack of skill.
Stephen Spielberg, was a high school dropout and was rejected from film school three times, but he was committed to making movies!
Soichiro Honda was turned down by Toyota for an engineering position but he was so committed, he started his own little company that you may have heard of, thank you very much!
Of course, we know that Thomas Edison was once dubbed by a teacher to be too stupid to learn anything but was so committed to creating a light bulb that he tried more than 1,000 times before he saw the light (literally and figuratively!).
Fred Smith was committed to a big idea, and he wrote a paper about it while at Yale. He only got a C, and his professor wrote on his paper, "Well Fred, the concept is interesting and well formed, but in order to earn better than a "C" grade, your ideas also have to be feasible." But he went on to create FedEx anyway!
The examples go on and on of those who were committed to a decision they had made; they went for it, no matter what; and lived their badass lives!
Now, here's an important thing:
Playing major league basketball is not only about playing basketball and making millions of dollars;
Becoming an award-winning director isn't only about directing amazing movies;
Inventing the light bulb isn't just about bringing light to the world;
Starting your own car or delivery company isn't just about starting successful businesses . . . not that there's anything wrong with any of those things and I for one am very happy that all of those people have done what they have done!
What it really is about is who we become in the process and what we believe is possible for ourselves!
I want to ask again a question I asked at the beginning of our time together: What is possible for your life?
And is it time to expand what that might be?
Could it be get a job, buy the house, quit a habit that does not serve you, get in shape, go back to school, find your soulmate, become a Spiritual Life Coach or minster? What is it for you?
Sincero writes: "There's no big mystery to this stuff: If you want something badly enough and decide that you will get it, you will. . . . There are plenty of people out there in the world living the kind of life you only dream about living, many of whom are far less fabulous and talented than you. The key to their success is that they decided to go for it, they stopped listening to their tired old excuses, changed their lousy habits and got on with it!"g
We end our month of "Being Your Badass Self" with this challenge. Decide what that means for you and then make the commitment to go live it!
Is there anyone here would like to stand and proclaim your committed decision?
I want to leave this month's theme by reading the final chapter in the book, entitled Beam Me Up Scotty. It summarizes beautifully all we have done this month.
It starts by saying, Nothing is impossible, the word itself says "I'm possible."
And then quotes Audrey Hepburn; actress, icon, fabulist.
My grandmother on my mother's side lived to be one hundred years old. Nana was as WASPy as they make'em: prissy, reserved, able to avoid confrontation with the skilled precision of an F-16 pilot. For as long as I can remember, she always looked exactly the same. She was eternally adorned in a cardigan, pinned together at the top by an antique brooch, her pink lipstick and sparkly brown eyes shining through a face full of wrinkles that erupted in a series of "oh dears" every time she laughed.
In her long lifetime, Nana witnessed the birthing of such pivotal human achievements as the phone, the car, the TV, human flight, the computer, the internet and rock and roll. The two things that blew her mind the most, however, were putting a man on the moon and the soda dispensers at McDonalds. She'd stand there watching, gripped by disbelief, as an employee placed a cup, small, medium or large, beneath a spout, pushed a button and walked away, leaving the machine to fill it up the perfect, proper amount. "How does it know where to stop?" Nana would shake her head, mortified, "How does it know?!"
After we figured out how to clone a sheep, she pretty much threw in the towel on ever questioning anything again.
One day my family took her out for lunch to a restaurant on the top floor of some giant hotel. When we got into the elevator, someone accidentally pushed the button for the floor we were already on the moment the doors closed, making them open right back up again. Thinking we'd just gone up forty-five-flights in a split second, we watched my sweet little grandmother exit the elevator, nervously patting her hair as she wandered down the hallway muttering to herself, "Why not?"
I want to sign off here by encouraging you to pursue your dreams with the same belief that anything is possible as a little old lady in knee-high stockings and sensible heels who was born in 1903 and lived through the most technologically flabbergasting century to date. Whatever you desire to do with your precious life - write jokes or rock out or start a business or learn to speak Greek or quit your job or raise a bunch of kids or fall in love or lose your flab or open orphanages around the world or direct movies or save dolphins or make millions or live in a canyon in a loincloth - believe that it's possible. And that it's available to you. And that you deserve to be / do / have it. Why not?
Give yourself the permission and the means (yes, this includes the money), to be who you are REGARDLESS OF WHAT ANYBODY ELSE THINKS OR BELIEVES IS POSSIBLE. Do not deny yourself the life you want to live because you're worried you're not good enough or that you'll be judged or that it's too risky, because who does that benefit? No one, that's who. When you live your life doing the things that turn you on, that you're good at, that bring you joy, that make you shove stuff in people's faces and scream, "check this out!!!" you walk around so lit up that you shoot sunbeams out of yer eyeballs. Which automatically lights up the world around you. Which is precisely why you are here: to shine your big-ass ball of fire onto this world of ours. A world that literally depends upon light to survive. You are powerful. You are loved. You are surrounded by miracles.
Believe, really believe that what you desire is here and available to you. And you can have it all.
You are a badass.h
Closing Prayer:I know that God is infinite. God is all-powerful, all-knowing, all-capable. There is no limit to what God can do. The God who made us in the first place...the One who got us started...:has said to us:
When you're in over your head, I'll be there with you.
When you're in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you're between a rock and a hard place,
it won't be a dead end-
Because I am God, your personal God,
The Holy of Israel, your Savior.
So I now put my faith in this all powerful God
I accept my new possibilities
And say Thank you God. Amen.
aJen Sincero, You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life p. 192
dW. H. Murray The Scottish Himalayan Expedition
fW. H. Murray The Scottish Himalayan Expedition
gYou Are A Badass, Jen Sincero p. 195
hYou Are A Badass, Jen Sincero