In the last post we discussed consciousness and mindfully choosing your path instead of simply following the one your environment had prepared for you. The post seemed to touch many on a deep level, as they have relayed their stories to me, of leaving the old, pre-ordained version of themselves behind, to create the life they intuitively felt they wanted to be living. It’s such a radical, life-altering decision.
A few people were taken aback with the language I used about killing off the old me. But I vehemently believe that is metaphorically what I had to do. (And what you have to do, if you’re serious about breaking a permanent – and often generational – cycle built upon limiting or dysfunctional beliefs.)
It’s the ultimate demonstration of the vacuum law of prosperity in action...
The universe abhors a vacuum and always will work to fill it. I think that universal law (natural selection, divine order, or whatever you choose to call it) is inherently good. So when you create a vacuum, the odds are it will be filled with good.
My formative years came in the aftermath of Woodstock, the anti-war movement, and rioting in America. I couldn’t just forget I had witnessed all that and ease into the Midwestern life of bowling on Tuesdays, eating fish on Fridays, and going to the shopping mall on Saturdays. So at 17 years old, I packed everything I could fit into my ’71 Plymouth and drove to Miami. I didn’t have a place to stay, a job, or know a single person there. But I had 350 bucks and a dream to live somewhere with sandy beaches, swaying palm trees, and a big city ethos.
It wasn’t all seashells, balmy breezes, and drinking from coconuts…
I stayed in a roach-infested motel for hookers on Biscayne Boulevard for two months until I found a job and saved enough money to put a security deposit on an apartment. Miami provided my first encounters with hurricanes, rain forest humidity, and gun-toting crack addicts. But I believe the new environment was a vital element of killing off that old me.
And that was simply murder number one…
When I was in my early ‘30s, I had my restaurant seized by the tax authorities and auctioned off at the courthouse to pay my tax liens. That left me $55,000 in debt (when that was a seemingly insurmountable amount of obligation to me), with no house, no car and no job. I ended up selling off all my furniture and slept on the floor. I decided my life wasn’t working out very well, and that required murder number two.
That one was a slow death. I spent two hours a day in self-development to begin, then an hour, and whittled it down to about 30 minutes a day. (Which is where I am still today.) It took about two years, but at the end of that time, I felt as if I had completed remade myself on the cellular level. Then began the period of transformation from poor to wealthy. This was a process of learning how to build businesses and make money.
I made a lot of money and literally became a multi-millionaire at 35 years old. I bought exotic sports cars, $10,000 shoes, $65,000 watches, flew the Concorde, purchased art, spent $500 a week on fresh flowers, and got regular massages, manicures, pedicures and facials. (I’ll admit the rest of the money, I just pissed away.)
Those were heady days, filled with success after success. But there was something missing...
This led me to unplug from the world and go on a sabbatical. (If you’re curious, this is the post I wrote back then about why I chose this path.) As you’ve probably already figured out, that sabbatical led me to murder number three. I stopped chasing success and sought significance. Everything went through a filter of meaning: whether or not it would make a positive difference in the bigger picture.
It’s been a pretty good run…
In addition to killing off the old me I killed off 90 percent of my speeches and seminars, and 100 percent of my long-term consulting contracts, which killed off 90 percent of my airplane rides. I’m writing more books, doing only the events that give me a creative high like TRIBAL, and working with an elite group of high-level achievers in my Breakthrough U coaching program.
Right now, I love the path I’m on because it’s the one I envisioned, and then custom built for myself. I’m living my life on my terms. And if for any reason the situation evolves and a different path – or a different person – is required, I won’t hesitate to pull the trigger.
On the next post, we’ll explore an important and related subject: burnout and what causes it. Until then, what are your thoughts?
Are you suffering from burnout? Are you on the path chosen for you, or the one you chose? Are you the person you always dreamt of becoming – or do you need to kill off who you are, in order to grow into who you are meant to be? Would love to hear from you below.