October 15th brought the start of the first bootcamp, taught purely through Social Dynamics, in an environment where the world is our venue. This weekend, we took students to the streets of Calgary to build real connections, based on their external image. After a weekend full of genuine conversations and real connections, this article is inspired by the actions of our students this weekend. The inspiration comes from the students dedicating themselves to growth.
Growing in general though, comes with a price. I’ve paid that price, and I continue to pay it to this day. That price that you pay is your ego, because to grow is to admit that you need help. Coming to this realization over the course of the past couple of days has lead me to discover my life’s greatest truth: the only limiting factor that I have in this life is my own fear.
For the past few months, I’ve been a strong believer that we are unlimited. This started with the movie “Limitless” to be honest. I had been studying the mind, my mind, and how it tended to act under pressure. I had the luxury of insight from the people in my environment, and the continuous exposure I was beginning to experience. Over this past year I’ve come to understand this truth: everyone is knowledgeable. The age of technology that we live in gives anyone access to the thoughts of the greatest men of all time.
The Power of the Interwebs..
The thoughts of the greatest men of all time are quotes from their mouths. These men speak these words, write these words, based on their worldly perspective. They understand their perspective clearly enough to define it in a few simple words, passing along infinite perspective in a single sentence.
The thing that the knowledgeable people don’t understand, is that these men of wisdom did not live their prophecies through their words. These men lived their prophecies through their actions. Over this past year, I’ve come to know that the difference between the knowledgeable, and the wise, is application. The gap between knowledge and application brings to the surface the greatest enemy of growth. This gap between the knowledge, and the application of the knowledge, is the ego.
The ego exists in only one form, and that is language. The ego exists in the language of memories, telling stories of past moments to justify slacking off on the process of the present moment. The ego exists in the moment, pointing out the insecurities in others to avoid the attention being drawn to himself. Finally, the ego exists in the language of vision, telling great stories of the plans for the future, to slack off on the process of the present moment.
The ego that exists is to validate the identity of the individual who possesses it. We have all attached ourselves to an identity, based on our individual personality types. This identity that we’ve attached ourselves to is the one that our ego exists upon.
An example is a man who attaches his identity to the art of fighting. The ego who validates the identity of a fighter, exists in memories telling stories of fights that have past. These stories that receive validation from the individuals being told are the band – aids covering the wound of laziness, for the man who tells the stories of fights past actively is the man who slacks, in the moment, in the art of fighting.
The man who attaches his identity to the art of fighting, that lives in the present moment is different. This man points out the insecurities in others, because if the environment sees the insecurities in others it deviates the attention off of the man who tells the story. This man is the man who will ridicule the losers of fights, point out the flaw in everyone’s fighting game, find the fault in the other fighters in his environment. This toxin will cause the environment to dwell upon the negatives of the process, instead of focusing on solution oriented ideas. How Can We Get Better (process) vs. Look At Our Faults (insecurities in lack of process).
The identity of the ego, who validates his identity through language and vision, talks about his plans for the future to everyone and everything. This is the man who tells everyone that he’s going to be a boxer, this is the man who tells people he is thinking of trying out for Kung Fu, this is the man who talks about his plans to everyone, and everything. The validation by language that this man will receive, in the moment, will be enough to slack off on the self – sacrifices that must be made in the moment.
See, the man who’s internal identity is that of a fighter, does not need the validation by language that he receives from the environment. The man who validates his identity by process is openly praised by his environment for his fighting ability, for his identity. The man who’s core identity is a fighter, though, does not let this validation by language keep him from slacking off on the process of becoming a better fighter. The man validated by the process is a man who sets out to be better than yesterday, every day.
It’s funny though, because both happen in the present moment. Process and language, both happen in the present moment. One is much more difficult than the other, though, and one requires an element that cannot be neglected. Receiving validation by language is easy, and is instant. Telling a story about how you’re going to write a book is a lot easier than writing the book itself, but writing the book is much more fulfilling.
Writing the book is going to be a lot harder, because I have to face the number one element that holds not only myself, but everyone back. That element is my emotion. My emotion tells me that I’m scared of my own success, my emotion tells me that I’m scared of my own potential, my emotion tells me that the book may fail. My insecurities about the results of my process keep me from working on the process itself. The thoughts of stepping into the ring and getting knocked out, keeps most people who attach their identity to that of a fighter, to actually step into the ring. To avoid stepping in the ring, they avoid going to the gym in the first place. The gym is the process, so they slack off on the process to avoid the potential failures, coming as a result of the process.
“Our biggest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”
When I first started on this journey of self–development, my fears were that I would fail. I was scared to fail so I’d slack off on the process of approaching people and creating real conversations. As I kept moving forward, meeting new people, I found that my fears changed. I found that as I got better at my skill set, my ego came to the surface to validate my identity through language. I would write journal entries telling the stories of my nights out, I would pick out the flaws in the others around me, and I would speak language of vision about my plans for the coming months, days, whatever. These stories, this validation through language that my ego was bringing me, kept me from grinding out the process of facing my emotions.
I found that my emotions began to shift, and instead of being afraid of failure, I was afraid of success. Over the course of the last six months, overcoming my obstacles has not been overcoming my fear of failure. Overcoming my obstacles has been overcoming my fear of success. Everyone is knowledgeable, few are wise. Wisdom isn’t measured in age, wisdom is measured in experience. Wisdom is measured by the amount of reference experience one has to tie the parallels of the knowledge together. I found that my ego validated my identity through language, to mask the emotion of fear that I felt deep inside of me. I found that my ego, as is everyone’s in this world, was designed to keep me emotionally numb.
The Lessons of One Year
Over the course of the last twelve months, I have learned my life’s greatest lesson so far. The process of my life is never–ending, and as long as I’m alive I’m on the process and must continue to grow. The first step to growth was to admit that I needed to grow, and seeing that the identity that I attached myself to was not validated by process, but it was validated by language. The emotional shelter that my ego had created for me kept me from growing, but kept me from feeling pain. I only felt contentment, and if anyone came into my reality and challenged my ego, thus, exposing the insecurities at my core, I would shun their knowledge and justify my knowledge with logic.
If you are to become anyone in this world, do anything, be anybody, you must understand your ego. Your ego exists in language, and it exists in three forms. It validates it’s identity by language of memories, telling stories of past moments. It validates it’s identity by pointing out the insecurities in others in the present moment, possibly with humor, instilling positive emotion in others. The last form of the ego exists validating it’s identity through language of vision; preaching stories of moments to come. The ego, the logical mind, exists to maintain your current emotional state. The ego exists to numb your emotion.
If you are to become the identity that you want, you must overcome your emotion. You must understand that you have room to improve, you have room to grow. The individual who makes a justification, saying that his growth isn’t needed, is the man who’s ego exists in language. If this is you, understand that the only way you will become the best that you can be, unleash the unlimited potential that we all possess, that you must dedicate yourself to the process of the moment. Working towards getting better at your skill set, whatever your skill set is. The process is never easy, and it never should be. The process is a continuous struggle, because within the process lay your deepest negative emotions. If you are to become the identity that you’ve always attached yourself to, through your ego validating yourself by language, than you must face the hardest emotion to admit is yours… Fear.