This week’s Blog is longer than normal and more personal. I just got back from LA where I attended the second annual “Worldz” Conference and I’m truly inspired to write to you today. I was moved by our fellow creatives at the “Worldz” 2017 conference and will revamp this blog to accommodate for my new sense of purpose. I have been inspired to “think beyond my imagination” and get out of my comfort zone in order to make the kind of impact I dream of making. 🙂
At the conference I was invited to share a personal story (one day I will share here) about an important event that changed my life. Sharing that personal experience to a room full of strangers inspired me to be more open. It inspired me to listen to my heart and be my authentic-self. Being in front of that room speaking from my heart helped me find my voice!
The moment my life changed forever is the day I thought I was going to die! It happened in 2007 when I was a young military officer in Iraq being led by an uncreative and careless leader and ordered to execute a pointless mission far from friendly forces in one of the most dangerous regions in Iraq. It was the closest I ever felt to imminent demise and the intense emotions and feelings of helplessness are something I never want to experience again….but I’m glad it did.
If it had not been for the incident I would still be oblivious to the world around me, existing instead of living. I would still be plugged into a system that teaches us a steady job with upward mobility, regardless of uncreative, short-sighted and uninspiring management was the key to happiness; just as our grandparents and countless generations were taught before us. That narrative, I quickly discovered, was a lie.
I am grateful for the moment and the mental shift it caused that uprooted my whole life. If the moment had not happened, I would not be here blogging to you today nor would I be planning the expansion of 3AM Creatives into a company that not only inspires others to find their creative voice, but works closely with worthy causes to change the world for the better. The Moment inspired me so much I’m dedicating the title and subject of my first book (The Moment) to it…that’s how powerful it was.
We will all be faced with moments in our lives and how we react to those moments will define our mark on this world. If you don’t believe anything else I tell you, remember that you only get one life, make every moment count or you will spend an eternity wondering what could have been. I’m a firm believer that the richest places on earth are cemeteries…they are the resting place of so many unwritten best sellers, cures to diseases, and great companies that could have been. Unfortunately none of these things happened because people were talked out of their dreams by others. My fellow creatives, don’t waste your life listening to the fear of others, your own self-doubts, or the dream killers (tradition, status quo, friends/family/strangers) of this world.
For the longest time I was a dream killer. When others would tell me about their dreams I, with no ill intent, tried to talk them out of it. I did this because I believed a traditional career was the only way to go….until reality slapped me in the face.
The moment I thought I was going to die in Iraq from an ill-conceived mission, was the day EVERYTHING changed. Three major personal truths changed within me the day an uninspiring, uncreative, and uncaring leader ordered me to my potential demise in total disregard for my life or the lives of my men: 1) never again would I dedicate my life to following an uninspiring leader; 2) Life is precious and can change in an instant; and 3) I would listen to my own inner voice in everything I did!
Over the years I have searched high and low for my calling and purpose in life. I became a voracious reader of leadership and management studies. It was not until I recently read The Alchemist and The StoryTellers Secret that things began to take shape. Here are the five biggest lessons I learned over the years since that moment in 2007, in the deserts of Iraq, to the moment I’m writing this blog:
Imagination is more powerful than fear…dare to dream the impossible.
Our imagination is more powerful than fear. We have within ourselves the power to dare to dream the impossible….to create something out of nothing. Before Thomas Edison discovered electricity, before the Wright brothers took the first flight, or before Dr Dre discovered the power of his gift for music people thought such things were impossible.
Every famous creative has dared to dream the impossible and step out on faith that everything would work out. Look at the world as a result of people dreaming big. We have planes flying around world, we have the power of a computer in our pockets, we can reach anyone anywhere in the world in an instant, and you are reading this blog from the comfort of a coffee shop or your bed. How did we get to such a point? It was the power of imagination. Walt Disney used to say if you could dream it, you can do it. 3AM Creatives did not exist until I dreamed it and put in the work to create it. The power of our imagination can change this world if we ignore the doubters.
Conformists loose and complain, Creatives win and Break the system…
Listening to others opinions of you and how your life should be will make you miserable. Conforming to the opinion of others may let you “fit in” but it’s also a sure-fire recipe for giving away your own inner voice and you loosing yourself. When you lose sight of who you are…you exist at the behest of what this world wants you to be….good luck with that. I can tell you from personal experience it sucks.
Being original is the only way to live the life you dream. When you are being yourself and valuing your own opinion you have no time for “haters”. When you are confident with who you are and listen to your inner voice, your inner creativity (resourcefulness, ability to imagine the impossible, cleverness) will awaken and you will never be the same. It happened to me.
When you are being a creative you will start thinking outside the box, you will cease excepting what’s normal, and you will start challenging the status quo….when you do this you WILL break the system. DO IT!
You don’t have to be a Lion to Roar…just follow your heart to do it.
When you follow to your heart you will shake up this world! You will make others fear you through the power of your own inner truth. Power is not how much material wealth you have…power is living your own authentic truth and being who you were meant to be!
Unreasonable, Unrealistic, World Changer…
To change this world, to live your truth, to be who you were meant to be, you have to be uncompromising in your journey. You must have uncompromising courage to live your imagination and dreams no matter how big they are. You must learn to ignore conventional wisdom and embrace the impossible.
In my case, my dream is to change the world. It’s lofty and seems impossible. When I tell people I want to change the world they look at me as if I’m crazy. Who are you change the world; you’re not rich, famous, or wealthy. But what they don’t see is that my heart has told me that’s why I’m here or that’s more than enough for me to believe it. I awake everyday thinking about changing this world…it drives every decision I make. I don’t want to change the world…I’m driven to change the world. It motivates me beyond everything else in life.
Steve jobs used to say that the people who think they can change the world are the one’s crazy enough to do it. When you are unreasonable in your goals, uncompromising in your determination, you will change this world!
In the end, you have purpose, F%^& Fear, Shoot your Shot!
We are all here for a purpose and we all have a destiny. We are born with greatness inside us and the ability to manifest our destiny. When we accept this…fear will no longer factor into anything we do. If you can imprint this message on your heart, that you have a unique purpose other than existing, you will be unstoppable.
Living with an unstoppable attitude will cause you to ignore self-doubts. Understanding you have a destiny is a powerful motivator because (deep in your heart) you know everything you were meant to have is already yours (law of attraction)…you just need to shoot your shot (aka go for it) to make it happen.