#123 - Real Danger vs. Fake Danger

I’m certain that there’s a strong desire in each of us to change.

Change is part of human nature. We’re wired to grow physically, emotionally, spiritually, and any other way you can imagine.

Change is trying to happen, but am I the only one who feels the challenge of that resistance?

No, I know I’m not... I know you feel that resistance too.

That resistance is the thing that’s always holding us back.

It’s holding us back because it’s trying to keep us safe.

That safety, though, isn’t usually true life safety.

That safety is usually psychological safety.

For example, when I think about all the steps I need to take to grow my business, it sparks up massive resistance with me.

Growing means finding the people I seek to serve and creating an offer.

Offering my service is a psychologically vulnerable process, because they can say no.

That no feels like a rejection. My brain perceives that as dangerous. In reality, it’s not.

Contrast that with the experience of Sanul, my uber driver from yesterday.

An Afghani man who served on the front lines of the US military as an interpreter for the Seals and Special Forces.

Sanul deployed three times. He was shot three times, on three separate occasions. He’s missing a finger. He watched friends die.

That is real danger.

Although psychological danger feels very real (you brain can’t tell the difference between real vs. fake danger - they’re the same emotions), when you put it in perspective, your brain can more easily see that these little things you want to do to grow every day, but consistently find trouble in, are not so scary.

Thanks for reading,

Chip


#122 - Doing It Alone Takes Longer

Trying to do everything on your own is the quickest path to burnout and failure.

You burnout and fail when you try to do everything without help because doing so doesn’t allow you to maximize your strengths.

Maximizing your strengths is the key to achieving your greatest level of success.

Success arises when you know what you’re good at, and what you’re not good at, and from that build something that allows your unique self to shine.

You shine when you’re maximizing your gifts.

An example.

I have always had a poor fashion sense.

My fashion sense was basically my mom’s fashion sense until I was 18. Then, I was on my own and things probably got even worse.

From 18-25 I struggled with fashion. I tried to shop online, and it gave me headaches.

I hated every minute of it.

Then one day, it dawned on me that I should get some help.

And help I found.

I now have a fashion coach who pretty much covers all my fashion needs from A to Z. It’s great, and it makes me a lot happier.

The key for me was learning to depend on others. It’s a practice I continue to try and practice every day.

What area of your life should you start depending more on others?

Thanks for reading,

Chip


#121 - What Do You Want?

What exactly do you want out of life?

Deciding what you want is the first step to achieving what you want.

This achievement process is a science.

The process has been tried and tested by many before us.

I encourage you to spend some time thinking about what exactly you want out of life today.

Write about it.

Ask yourself: what would I do if I could not fail?

Then just let yourself write from a place of true desire.

This desire is the fuel inside you that may currently be sitting as an untapped reservoir of energy.

This energy, is the key to igniting the unstoppable force of energy inside yourself that, when tapped into from a place of heart, can drive you to create a more beautiful life that might even seem possible right now.

Start dreaming.

Thanks for reading,

Chip

#120 - Purpose and Performance

We live in a culture of performativity.

Performativity is the cultural norm of performing for the sake of performing.

There’s no inherent purpose in performativity other than to keep up with, and ideally separate yourself from, the pack.

Keeping up with the pack is important, but if you spend your entire life only focused on keeping up with the pack, at the end you won’t have driven the sled to where you want to end up.

You want to end up in a place where you lived a life that was full of purpose and meaning.

Purpose and meaning is possible to find in any context - Victor Frankl famously wrote about how finding purpose in life was the critical element to the Jewish people who survived Auschwitz (he himself was a survivor).

Purpose gives you life. It’s literally an energy source.

This valuable source of energy is often missing when you’re stuck in a mind state of performativity.

If you are stuck in a performativity mind state, it’s good to recognize it.

Recognizing it doesn’t mean you have to make a big change, but it does help you to start thinking about how you can get-unstuck.

A great question to start with on this is what’s your why?

Why are you doing what you’re doing?

If you can find the answer to this, that can unlock the secret ingredient of purpose.

Thanks for reading,

Chip


#119 - Life Wants You to Live

Life is calling you to live.

To live with a sense of passion, aliveness, and creativity.

This is your natural state.

These qualities are always trying to come forth inside of us.

These are the qualities of the heart. Our true desires.

Our true desires however are often put aside by the beautiful thinking mind.

The mind likes to take control of the situation and create its own picture of what will make you happy.

That’s precisely why there are so many people in the world who are outwardly successful and inwardly unfulfilled.

And that is the greatest failure.

The key to moving closer towards the life that wants to live through you doesn’t necessarily lie outside of you, either.

For me, the best way to get closer to the life that truly wants to live through me is actually by slowing down.

Slowing down seems scary to the mind, which again, has built its own picture of what it takes to be fulfilled.

In order to slow down, you don’t have to go to a 10 day meditation retreat in the Himalayas.

You can start right now.

Notice your breathing, and slow it down a little.

Relax just a bit.

Make micro adjustments.

And go about your day with 0.1% more inward connection.

Thanks for reading,

Chip


#118 - One Step at a Time

It is so easy in life to get focused on the end goal.

Focusing on the end goal is wired in our brains, and it’s not something that always serves us.

Don’t get me wrong, having an end goal in mind can be very helpful.

It’s also helpful, once you’ve got the end goal in mind, to take things one step at a time.

I learned this lesson in the physical sense of this concept.

I was in Bali, Indonesia climbing Mt. Batur at 3:30am to reach the peak by sunrise.

My friends and I had been partying the last few days, and I was exhausted going into it.

At the beginning of the hike I was focused on how fast we could get to the summit, but I realized at some point that this mind state was making the experience suck.

Realizing this, I decided to start focusing on one individual step at a time.

This subtle shift of mind changed my entire experience.

It was still challenging, but it was challenging in the present moment.

The mental pain of not being where I wanted to be (the summit) faded away when I moved my concentration to the present.

The same lesson can be applied to any venture where you’re moving towards some destination.

For me right now, as an early stage business owner, I’m trying to use this concept of one step at a time every day.

It’s hard to practice, but it’s far better than the alternative (analysis paralysis).

If you want to employ this concept in your life, I invite you to start out with the physical practice of literally taking things one step at a time.

The next time you’re walking, see if you can take it one step at a time for a few minutes.

See if you can stay connected to the feeling of your feet connecting with the ground as you make each step.

What can you notice that you normally don’t?

Thanks for reading,

Chip

#117 - Act, Be Patient, Trust

Action, Patience and Trust are three qualities that, when combined together, create great fortune for an individual.

These three qualities are interrelated, and without a harmony of all three, the path may not be as rewarding.

Taking massive action on a consistent basis is the most critical piece.

It’s the most critical because it drives you forward. It creates momentum.

When you’re taking massive action, you can’t be stuck. You’re moving, and as long as you learn from your mistakes, you’ll be moving forward.

Following action comes Patience. Patience allows you you be where you are at with greater ease.

Having greater ease with whatever you’re going through is always helpful - it gives you the grit to stick something out even when it’s uncomfortable, like a job that you don’t truly love.

The third piece is Trust. Trust allows you to rest in the feeling that everything is okay and on schedule.

We live in a world where marketing messages are telling us that we aren’t good enough where we are right now.

Don’t believe that. You are exactly where you need to be right now. Because where you are right now is the only place you ever can be.

Developing the three qualities of action, Patience and Trust is a wonderful investment of your time.

How will you cultivate these qualities today?

Thanks for reading,

Chip

#116 - Grow Every Day

The point of life is to grow.

Growing is the thing we are fundamentally here to do.

This is evident in all life on Earth, and humans are no different.

Have you ever thought about the point of the life of a tree?

The point is to grow. There’s no final destination the tree gets to where something magical happens.

The magic happens along the way. The magic is the journey.

Humans are actually no different from trees.

The point of our life is to grow. Have you ever noticed that?

Your hair grows. Your fingernails grow. Your intelligence grows.

Everything about you is trying to grow.

That’s because growth is the fundamental law of the universe.

It’s forward progress. It doesn’t stop. It keeps evolving.

In this, facilitating your own growth and the growth of others is actually the point of your life.

It’s the point of your life because it’s the reality you’re living in, whether or not you like it.

Realizing this can liberate you.

Once you realize this, you can start to enjoy the process of growing.

Life becomes about the present moment, not about the future and past.

And it’s a beautiful thing.

Don’t get me wrong, it never gets easy.

But it does get better.

Because as you grow, guess what else grows?

Your capacity to enjoy the experience of life.

There’s no limit to the growth you can have in that regard.

How will you grow today?

Thanks for reading,

Chip


#115 - Just Breathe

Just Breathe

Breathe a little slower.

Slow it down.

Slow it down and relax.

Relax your body.

Your body is responding in every moment.

In each moment you have the power to influence how you’re feeling.

How do you want to feel today?

Thanks for reading,

Chip


#114 - Success Doesn't Require Stress

There’s a narrative deeply embedded in Western culture that success requires hard work and lots of stress.

I agree that success does require hard work, but I don’t buy the story that stress is a necessary ingredient.

Don’t get me wrong, stress is a natural part of the human experience and is healthy in moderation.

Many people in the Western world, though, experience chronic stress that hurts their health and livelihood.

Fortunately, this doesn’t have to be the case.

You have the power to change.

You have a huge amount of influence over the stress levels you experience, and through practices you can become the master of your stress.

I know this because that’s the result I created in my life.
If you’re ready to start, I invite you to pick up an awareness practice.

Once a day to start, check in with yourself and feel what that stress feels like.

Feel into where in your body you feel it.

Rate your stress level on a scale of 1-10.

If you’re feeling bold, start keeping a log of these once a day check ins, and see if any patterns emerge.

Thanks for reading,

Chip


#113 - Identify Your Target

In order to reach your dream destination, it’s helpful to figure out what that destination is.

Any destination, otherwise known as a target, is easier to reach when you have a clear image of what that is.

When you have a clear image of your target, and you hold it in your mind every day, the brain becomes a target-achieving mechanism.

This mechanism is a technology like that of a heat-seeking Missile.

Once it’s locked into its target, there’s no stopping it.

So how do you identify your target and hold it in your brain every day?

You make it a practice to visualize your target morning and night.

Two times a day, morning and night, find at least a minute to do this.

As these images get wired into your brain, another part of your brain called the Reticular Activation System (RAS) will start to kick into overdrive and help you notice opportunities you weren’t seeing before.

This process is the key to achieving your dream.

Know your target and reflect on it every day.

Thanks for reading,

Chip

#112 - One Door Closes, Another Opens

In life, doors are closing all the time.

Closing doors are often hard to deal with, because they mean the loss of something.

Whether it feels good or bad, closing a door creates a new opportunity.

New opportunities are always arising in the world, but they become particularly evident when a door is closed because we get the chance to lift our heads up and look.

Tomorrow as I’m writing, and yesterday as you’re reading, is/was my last day at Red Bull.

It’s been a great 2 and a half years, but the time has come to “beat it on down the line” as the Grateful Dead would say.

This represents a door closing one of the most significant chapters of my life.

As this door closes, though, another one opens.

I’m excited to see what opportunities present themselves, what doors open up.

Thanks for reading and for being on this journey with me.

Your support truly makes a difference.

Warmly,
Chip


#111 - Perfection is Overrated

Perfection is overrated.

It’s overrated because it’s impossible to be perfect.

Despite this impossibility, there’s a drive inside many of us to want to make things perfect.

This urge to be perfect can show up in many forms.

How does it show up for you?

We live in a culture of perfectionism, but it’s good to remember that we live in a narrow perspective.

This perspective isn’t shared by all cultures.

Native American art, for example, often contains intentional pockets of imperfection to demonstrate the fact that humans cannot be perfect.

It’s healthy to embrace that every now and then.

Thanks for reading,

Chip

#110 - A Reflection on Coaching

I’m currently going through my professional coaching certification, and one of the themes that keeps coming up is the importance of doing your own work.

At the end of the day, a coach can only help you if you’re willing to do the work.

On top of this commitment, there needs to be an openness and a willingness to accept the help and guidance of others.

Accepting guidance can be difficult, especially when it pushes us to the edges of our comfort zones.

These comfort zones often have to do with our blind spots.

I’ve recently been learning about some of my own blind spots.

Blind spots are something we all have.

And they’re uncomfortable to open up to.

Oftentimes, the blind spots exist because of defense mechanisms we’ve learned to keep ourselves safe.

We learn to keep ourselves safe by avoiding opening up to the parts of ourselves that scare us.

For example, I’m coming to the realization that my obsession with personal development, combined with my patterns of workaholism, are in many ways keeping me from experiencing connection with others.

My relentless quest to figure out life’s answers and help others, if unchecked, can in fact lead me to become isolated and not achieve the impact I want to have.

So we learn. We learn about our blind spots. We learn about why they exist. We learn new language to understand them and then most importantly we develop new practices that allow us to break our habitual patterns.

That’s what coaching is.

Coaching is helping someone to better understand themselves, including blind spots.

Coaching is helping someone to develop a new language that allows them to see the world in a different way.

Coaching is helping someone to develop and implement new practices that allow them to act in the world in a new way.

I’m currently going through the first phase of my professional coaching certification, and this topic is very real in me right now.

I’m working with master coaches, seeing how they do things, experiencing the way they perceive me and opening up to the new possibilities they’re helping me to see.

It’s hard work.

These people see things in me I don’t see in myself.

The good and the bad.

It’s cracking my image of reality. The version of reality I live in where everything feels like I’m doing exactly the right thing and I’m moving towards this great vision of impact.

I’m seeing my own blind spots.

I’m seeing this process work for me.

And I believe it. I believe in this process. I’m seeing the impact. I’m seeing the new possibilities.

It feels like I’m in the right place and that I’ve found a calling in coaching. I’m excited to pursue a career where I can help others experience this too.

Thanks for reading. I know it was more about me than normal. It’s what’s arising as I go through this chapter of personal development. Have a great day!

Warmly,

Chip

#109 - Leading with Heart

In today’s world, logic dominates

The domination of logic-based decisions, though, often leads to the creation of a life that looks good on paper.

The perfect life on paper often isn’t a deeply fulfilling life.

That was my experience at least.

One key ingredient missing from a life that’s perfect on paper is the desires of the heart.

The desires of the heart often get ignored in pursuit of the perfect life resume.

So today, just for fun, I invite you to interrupt yourself for a few minutes and journal on one question.

What could this year be for you if you made every decision from the heart?

Thanks for reading,

Chip

#108 - Comfort: The Enemy of Greatness

Feeling comfortable is a lovely feeling.

This feeling is one of the most enjoyable feelings a human can experience.

The experience of comfort, though, as nice as it is, can limit you.

It limits you if you consistently choose to do what makes you comfortable.

If you want to maximize your potential, however, you’ll have to become familiar with discomfort.

Discomfort is the feeling you get when you’re at your growth edge.

It’s the feeling you get when you are doing something you could fail at.

The potential for failure stops most people from ever trying.

It’s a mind state shift to go from seeking comfort to seeking discomfort.

It doesn’t have to be a 24/7 mentality, either.

It can be a small shift. It can be trying one small uncomfortable thing each day.

Like asking for what you want, even when it scares you.

How can you explore discomfort today?


#107 - Undercover Burnout Signs

We live in a culture of burnout.

The burnout culture is measured with metrics like hours worked and hours slept.

Sleep less, grind more tends to be the motto.

This motto is exactly the one I’ve been living by, so I’m not here to criticize it.

High-performers feel a relentless drive to succeed, and this can drive you into the burnout lifestyle.

I’m torn between paying attention to the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson who routinely advocate sleeping less, and someone like Arianna Huffington, who experienced burnout in her own career and now advocates for the opposite approach: human thriving and self-care.

The problem with human thriving is that it feels like it’s truly hard to make a lot of progress when you go slow and sleep eight hours a night.  

It seems like everyone who is extremely successful paid the price of sleeping less.

My experience is that when I’m sleeping less, I’m doing more but being less strategic and effective.

Why is that?

It at least feels like you’re making more progress when you’re grinding.

Regardless, I have some thoughts on things to look out for that could be undercover signs of burnout.

  • You don’t have the energy to do simple chores like laundry, dishes, or mailing a package

  • You constantly feel like you’re using all your energy but don’t ever feel caught up

  • You feel uncomfortable when you don’t have something to do.

Let me know if you have any other ideas on burnout signs. The more aware we are, the better job we can do at avoiding it.

Thanks for reading,
Chip


#106 - What Holds You Back?

You don’t get what you want, you get what you need.

This is the underlying psychological principal holding you back from that which you desire.

Our brains our powerful tools, but it’s important to remember it’s primary function is a survival tool.

Consequently, your brain doesn’t try to expend extra energy getting you the things you desire.

Your desires, to your brain, don’t actually matter.

What does matter are your needs. When you meet your needs, your brain is happy.

This brain software is what creates resistance in you when you’re trying to do something new or take your game to the next level.

Your desires to advance, in many cases, become overridden by the brain’s desire to keep you safe, right where you are.

So if you want to achieve that which you desire, and you’re currently finding yourself blocked or that progress is slow, the trick is to change it from a want to a need.

When your brain needs something, and sees it as imperative to get, a different thing starts to happen.

When your want becomes a need, all of a sudden your brain’s survival software kicks in, re-directing those resources to help you achieve that which feels necessary to survive and maintain status quo.

So how do you change a desire from a want to a need?

There are multiple ways to do this. One method is to leverage the brain’s pain mechanism.

Focus on the pain that will come if you don’t achieve your goal.

Write these pain points down, and look at them daily.

If your brain feels it’s a real threat to you, it will start to figure out a way to get you what you need.

Thanks for reading,

Chip


#105 - A Secret to Career Success

There’s this old school success model floating around that the combination of hard work and intelligence is what brings you to the top of your field in your career.

In the 20th century, where opportunities were more limited, this was a more relevant strategy.

Still, though, it was never correct because it was always missing something.

It misses the importance of finding work that you are excited to do.

Being excited about your work is the third key pillar. Excitement, combined with intelligence and hard work, is the key to success.

It’s hard to fake excitement. You can cognitively trick yourself to be more excited about something you don’t enjoy, but that excitement is only temporary.

Most working people, at least 75% in America, don’t have excitement about their work.

If you’re in this bucket, you aren’t doomed. There is work out there that will excite you. You just have to find it.

In order to find it, you have to understand yourself and try different things.

By developing a deep self-awareness, you can tune into your own human nature and learn the things that truly light you up.

For my entire life I’ve found deep joy in talking my friends through times of difficulty, but I never realized I could make this type of activity my job.

Ultimately, through a deep self-awareness, I realized that this type of work was my calling. It’s not my choice, it’s the way I’m wired at a natural level.

When you can understand your natural wiring, and then find work that aligns with that, then you’ll find excitement.

Add in your 10,000 hours of hard work and sprinkle some intelligence, and you’ll be at the top of your field in no time.

Thanks for reading,

Chip


#104: Your Mind is a Garden

You’re current situation in life right now is not the result of your circumstances.

Your circumstances don’t define you.

What does define you are the thoughts in your head.

The thoughts in your head are what have created your present circumstances.

As James Allen so eloquently put it:

Just as a gardener cultivates his plot, keeping it free from weeds, and growing the flowers and fruits he requires, so may a man tend the garden of his mind, weeding out all the wrong, useless and impure thoughts, and cultivating toward perfection the flowers and fruits of right, useful and pure thoughts”

What James means by this is that your mind is a precious soil.

In this soil, you can either plant seeds (thoughts) that will empower you or make you weaker.

The seeds aren’t just your thoughts, either.

Every single piece of information that you allow to enter your mind has an impact on you.

The things you watch on tv impacts your garden.

The music you listen to impacts your garden.

The friends you have impact your garden.

Every conversation you have impacts your garden.

So, at any moment, there are either seeds of fruit or seeds of weeds being planted in your mind.

There is no stagnation. The garden is always growing.

Plant your seeds wisely.

Thanks for reading,

Chip