In the last couple of decades, the focus of my work has been through three major evolutions:
In the old days it was about getting what you want because I believed that would make my life everything I imagined.
Coming from a place of lack the brain seeks those things it thinks will make it feel full, but we all know this feeling is fleeting.
And after many years of getting and still not feeling “complete,” I came to see doing is where it’s at.
“It’s not about getting somewhere,” I would have said, “It’s about being immersed in doing what you want…”
Nice try… It’s true, but still incomplete.
Feeling is where it’s at.
Getting Demands More Getting
Growing up working poor I figured that when I got what I wanted I would feel how I wanted.
I was right, then, quickly, wrong…
How often do we get what we want, only to then set our sights on the next thing that we “think” we want?
All the time!
We’re no happier than we were after WWII because we quickly adapt to what we have.
We live inside a half-empty brain that no matter what it gets seeks more things to fill it up.
But that brain can never feel full. Enough is never enough.
Like a yin that at its deepest level is missing yang, it’s incomplete wiring leads the brain to constantly seek that next thing it needs to feel good.
A reason is that our thinking and feeling faculties are separated like a car and driver. The thinking mind can’t feel anything and projects lack onto the feeling body, which means no amount of getting is satiating.
Seeing through this lie of thinking, I saw beyond getting, to doing.
Doing What You Want Rocks, But…
The most difficult time in my life I was doing what I want.
As I write about all the time, I had left Carlyle to write my first book, only to discover that my mind wasn’t fit for the task.
In leaving a job that I didn’t want, I figured that once I was doing what I want, I would feel amazing, but again, I was wrong.
Truth is I should have learned this lesson sooner.
Some six years earlier in leaving Goldman Sachs to do what I want, I found it wasn’t all I had dreamed it to be.
For a few months freedom felt free, but soon after my brain moved onto Now What?
Doing what I wanted wasn’t enough for that brain, so it kept looking to the future, to that next doing that would feel “better.”
This time around that brain thought, when I’ve built my mission, then I’ll feel amazing…
But for the first time I was starting to see through the veil.
The Greatest Gift Of My Life
Sadly, most of us humans only learn these lessons at the end of our lives.
“Spending” our lives looking forward to retirement, or sitting in a lame job dreaming to quit, we convince ourselves that the grass is greener.
We know it never is but it’s still easy to be fooled by that brain.
And what I had stumbled upon would come to transform EVERY SINGLE ASPECT of how I live, but I still wasn’t ready to learn the lesson.
Back then I was still all about getting and doing.
But feeling less than stellar, I was stuck in my work, and so, in my old brain I figured…
If ONLY I could feel amazing, then I could be “doing” the work I want, on track to “getting” what I want, which would lead me to feel amazing!
It made sense to me at the time, but looking at that diagram, I bet you can see where it led me…
The Cause And Effect Is Wrong
See, even some 11 years into this work, having read thousands of books, and literally devoted my entire life to these topics, my brain still failed to get it.
I had transformed my life from working poor Australia to doing what I want, yet my brain still thought it needed that next thing to feel amazing.
Ironically, because I believed that I needed to get myself feeling amazing “just” to do and get what I wanted, I tricked myself into learning the truth…
The cause and effect is wrong.
Because of the way our brains are set up to operate in this illusory time-based reality, we “think” that we must get or do something to feel how we want…
When, really, we can train ourselves to feel amazing at will.
Coming Full Circle
By putting my brain in a bind, “forcing” it to feel amazing “just” so I could do and get those things that I thought would lead me to feel amazing…
I discovered the truth about how we feel.
How many of us have those things that we say we want only to get or do them and discover they don’t feel as amazing as we imagined?
That great job. Marriage. Money. House. Car. Even kids.
In the backwards field of psychology which has little clue of how to get people feeling amazing, it’s well accepted that kids make us “less happy,” (less pleasure, more meaning) but, ultimately “no thing” can “make us” feel happy or sad.
I don’t know whether the chicken caused the egg or the egg caused the chicken, but I do know that the only cause of how we feel is…
Most of my life was about getting somewhere or something, or doing those things that I thought would lead me to feel amazing.
These days I no longer live that way. I’m still obsessed with how we get and do what we want, but I no longer confuse that as a cause of how we feel.
How we feel has, literally, NOTHING to do with what we get or do, and everything to do with how you use your body and mind.
Feeling amazing doesn’t require getting or doing what we want. Being our best. Being loved. Respected. Laughable ideas like “Self-esteem.” Being religious. Having a community. Kids. Money. Success. Or anything else.
It doesn’t require meditation. Or practicing gratitude. Or journaling. Or affirmations. Or hypnotizing the crap out of yourself. Or finding meaning. Or changing how you think, or changing anything for that matter.
It Only Requires Training
The tools I’ve built over the last 8 years for feeling amazing at will—e.g. The Cure, The Formula, House of Flow, Worry Destroyer, Mind Champ, BSG, Shake and Wake, 10Step, Limitless 3 Step, and dozens more— are so ridiculously simple because feeling amazing at will is ridiculously simple.
If you don’t believe me jump up and down for 3 minutes like you won an Olympic Gold and you quickly prove to yourself that no matter what’s happening in your life, you can feel amazing at will.
Some people might say, “But that’s not real, I didn’t win an Olympic Gold,” and that’s my point—the brain has rules for what must happen for us to feel amazing, and it’s wrong!
Truth is, because we’re programmed to think that getting and doing are the cause of how we feel, it’s not easy to train yourself to do this…
But it’s the most amazing training because you’re training feeling amazing 🙂