Finding Your Equilibrium
In a previous blog I laid out what I believe is the optimum way of living a maximized life, which settles in the balance of making sure all aspects of you (which is made up by the mind, body, and soul) are being satisfied. I refer to this concept as finding your Equilibrium.
If you don’t want to read that entire blog, I understand, so here is the quick gist. Viktor Frankl wrote a very famous book called “A Man’s Search for Meaning.” In this book he explores the concept that people should not be trying to find their purpose in life, as if it has already been ascribed to us and we are on the hunt to uncover it. Rather, he believes that we must ascribe our own purpose in life. We should declare it and make it our own. A path down existential lane. I happen to be in the same boat as Viktor Frankl. However, I expand on this idea to say, we should declare our purpose for all the major aspects of who we are, the three most important being the mind, the body, and the soul.
Now, we must be extremely cautious when doing this, because this is where the nuance becomes extremely important. The satisfaction must come from the other side of doing hard shit. Period.
My Personal Equilibrium
For me, for example, the three main things I do are Jiu Jitsu for the body, language acquisition for the mind, and practicing Stoicism for the soul. There are other things I do to complement these, however how much I advance in these are where I place my worth. Notice how each one of these are difficult and uncomfortable. Getting choked by people, being in uncomfortable social situations, sitting in 37 degree freezing cold water, making endless mistakes, etc. This is my life however I thrive within it. This is where I find growth and satisfaction in life. These declarations.
Monetizing Your Equilibrium
Okay, so how does this all relate? I believe that you should find a way to pay yourself with one of your declarations. Master something that is fucking hard. Make sure it satisfies your mind, or your body, or your soul. Take it to a level (utilizing Flow States) where others would love to be where you are. Then people are willing to seek you out monetarily because you have mastered something that can make their lives better.
People have become really weird about money in recent years. Between scams, the internet, social media, an untrusting history in sales, and more, people have made it awkward when asking for money. Trust me, I used to be the worst when it comes to this. However, you shouldn’t feel weird about asking for money when you provide something that truly benefits the lives of others. Money should be viewed as a measurement of value. If you have something of value, and you believe in it, then people will exchange their money to increase the value of their life. For example, people pay me in order to learn how to navigate the waters I have already mastered in Jiu Jitsu. However, I spent many, many years studying and practicing the craft of grappling. Now that grappling has grown in popularity, people value it because it brings a positive value to their life, and as a result I can now exchange money for providing that value that I have obtained. It also happens to be one of my declarations. Making it so I can provide for my family with one of my declarations and feel good about it because I am adding value to their lives in return. That is an incredible feeling that every day I make people’s lives better with a purpose I declared for myself, and it supports my life. I consider that success!
This is what I want for you! I strongly believe you can accomplish this!
A Simple Formula
Consequently, I have created a formula that worked extremely well for me. It’s super simple. NOT easy, but simple.
Maybe you’re sitting at work, or sitting on your couch after working, or whatever it may be. You have this feeling of existential angst that lingers with you at all times. A lack of satisfaction in life. A lack of purpose. An ever apparent meaningless to your actions (that’s how I felt at least). Now ask yourself, what would you rather be doing? Now I don’t mean partying or playing video games. Something that brings satisfaction through difficulty, effort, and accomplishment. Maybe it’s writing. Perhaps it’s filmmaking. It might even be welding, or fixing cars, or hiking long distances. Who knows! However, really melt into what that thing is. Make sure it satisfies one of the three aspects for your Equilibrium. Then follow this formula:
- What would you rather be doing? Take that to 2.
- Find out if other people are making a living doing that thing (If people can do it, I am people, I can do it). Yes, go to 3; No go to 5.
- Does what you want to do bring an overall positive impact to the world? Yes, go to 4; No, start over at 1 with something else until you find something that brings an overall positive impact to the world.
- Quit everything you’re fucking doing right now, burn the ships, and start doing it. Go to 5.
- Find a creative new way to bring something brand new into the world you’re entering. Go back to 3.
It’s truly that simple. You only live once. That life is a short one. Memento Mori – as the Stoics declare. There are two pains in life. The pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The discomfort of uncertainty inherent in risk or the discomfort of meaningless inherent in security. No matter what you are going to feel discomfort and pain in your life. You get to choose! Just remember that whenever you are in the pain, you choose that pain. No one else!
People who are living the lives which most of us envoy took risks to arrive there. I sold my home and pulled my 401K to open a Jiu Jitsu gym in the midst of COVID. No one believed in my vision. Told me it was a bad idea. However, now I get to do Jiu Jitsu every day, homeschool my kids every day, and actually improve myself every day. Pretty much every part of my day consists of things I love or supports things I love. Every ounce of effort I put into the gym is directly reflected back to me and my family. Every effort I don’t put into the gym, I directly miss out on as well. People might be envious, however, were they willing to take those risks or put in the work? Or would they rather play it safe and continue to propagate their unsatisfying life? It is easy to judge from the outside. If I would’ve failed, they could’ve said, “well that simply wasn’t fiscally responsible.” Convincing themselves that they were smart by NOT chasing their dreams.
No way. Not me. Even if I failed. Or if I fail in the future. I am going to keep going, and going, and going until I have conquered what I set out to accomplish. Let the people behind their safe bubbles judge when I crash. I’d rather be a struggling conquistador with my life, than one who kisses up to the king and queen for scraps from their table.
We must realize that once we begin doing what is best for us at every corner, as opposed to what is easiest for us, things in our lives will become so much more fulfilling. Force yourself to be who you want to be. Hold yourself accountable to you, rather than some other person. Make waves. Make enemies if you must. No one carved their way to the top without making enemies. Know that. If you don’t have enemies, then you are likely not at the top of anything. Be comfortable with the idea that you have to take what you want in this life. There will be people who do not want you to achieve this autonomy over your life. You will lose people who you thought were your ride or die friends. Family members might not approve. People might actively try to bring you down and destroy what you have built. They might even want to destroy you after you tried to do everything for them! I have experienced all this and more. It is heartbreaking and I wanted to give up multiple times. I do not like the idea of not being liked. I do not like the idea of having enemies. I tried to make the right decisions and fair choices at every corner. Nevertheless, I couldn’t keep everyone happy. It almost broke me. They tried to destroy me and it almost worked. However, now I feel on top of the world and they were the ones who created the new me. The survivor. I can sleep at night with all the decisions I made.
All this to say, you are going to face obstacles and challenges you never thought you were going to have to face. Things you cannot possibly prepare for. Then, once you overcome that, on the other side is what most others will never experience in their lives. Witnessing and living out your dreams being fulfilled. As I said, the formula is simple, NOT easy. This is why most people will stay exactly where they are. Begging for scraps at the king’s table. Dependent on the generosity and power of the nobles that overbear them. However, there exist a few of us who are willing to go through hell and come out the other side. Perhaps roughed up, but independent, nonetheless.
Do you want to learn more? Check out:
The Podcast: “Be Relentless Podcast”!