Welcome to Do The Hard Thing Episode 14. I am Jason Archer… creator, freedom seeker, leader of self | full time student and part time teacher of self mastery, and today’s theme is “Want It… Like A Kid At Christmas!”.
So, turn up the volume, put down the distractions and let’s kick this off…
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Have you ever started down a path that you felt held a great deal of meaning for you, and then for whatever reason you could not move toward the outcome you wanted to create? Whether it was a Mental, Physical, or Spiritual target you sought, it didn’t matter… there was some part of you that refused to move. This podcast is born out of that specific idea. Do The Hard Thing is an exploration in human movement.
When was the last time you really wanted something? I mean wanted something so hard you couldn’t rest until you had it?
Aside from getting laid… my experience of most adults is they live on the surface of life in shallow conversations about nothing meaningful, living in repression… and never allowing themselves to REALLY want much of anything. Certainly not enough to go hard after it.
In Walden… Thoreau wrote, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats”.
Minks and muskrats are not very brave… And, Thoreau makes a good point when it comes to the ability of the average person to stand up for an idea, a want, or a set of principles they claim to believe in.
They are afraid to speak their minds for fear of offending the wrong person.
You’re a business owner who fears losing a customer, you’re an employee fears losing a job, you’re in a relationship and fear being ostracized… In this explosion of PC culture that has been reborn in American Colleges and Universities, I see repressed people doing their best to make their way in a world dying to be offended for even the smallest slight.
What do you do… how do you live out loud in a world with sensitive ears?
The short answer is: You Don’t. You sedate.
You busy yourself with nonsense, material things, and distractions like the latest trash TV show, or the Constantly Negative News channel that only echos back your existing beliefs with no allowance for reasoning or deeper thought around any given topic.
No wonder the US has the highest use of antidepressants in the world… People are living a lie. Living inauthentically. Living out of integrity with what they really want. And, they can’t figure out why their deepest desires will not be filled with another episode of Real Housewives or Game Of Thrones.
There is hope… though. What if you could erase the fears you’ve created as you’ve grown, and create strategic ways of dealing with problems that allowed you let off steam in a way that puts you back on track?
Think of your younger self… that kid you used to be?
What if you could get in touch with him or her… especially the way you were around Christmas and the holidays. Remember how hard you would want a certain toy?
I was a child of the 70’s and 80’s… and growing up each year at Christmas, all the department stores would mail catalogs out to every home they could knowing full well that this time of year money would be more apt to flow their way if they could plant seeds of desire going into the holiday season.
I vividly remember spending hours flipping pages in the Sears Wishbook… It was like Amazon, but in print. They had every toy and bike you could want. It was like holiday crack for 8 year olds.
My brother and I would pass it back and forth, and circle things we wanted, dog ear the pages, cut pictures out, and anything else we could do to make sure Mom and Dad knew which presents we really wanted. It was a big deal for us… This was the one time of the year where we could load up on stuff. We had to take advantage!
We absolutely bombarded our parents with “I want this, I want that”, we’d show them the photos, we’d tell them how cool each thing was… We were so filled with energy and desire around what we wanted that they didn’t stand a chance. They’d tell us no… My brother and I would complain and cry and get mad, then once we processed that… You guessed it, we just kept on hammering home how cool it would be to have that new GI Joe with swivel arm battle grip, and that new intellivision video game, and that new dyno GT bike.
We were relentless. They’d tell us no again… My brother and I would whine and moan and get mad until we processed it out of our system. Then we’d start the process of wanting all over again.
And guess what, we almost always got everything we wanted and then some!
But why.. What strategy did we unknowingly employ as kids to create such great results under the Christmas tree?
Well, let’s see: First, we identified what we wanted under the tree. The Wishbook was a huge help in this endeavor… filling our heads with all kinds of ways to bankrupt our parents.
Secondly, we got really excited about the possibilities… so much so that we attached emotion to the things we wanted and painted ourselves into the vision of how it would feel to have these things.
Then, we took our desires to the people who could help us fulfill that vision: Mom, Dad, Aunts, Uncles, and Grandparents on both sides.
After we presented our wants to the various people we knew who could help us, we went through the process of rejection… One by one, we collected no’s, we’ll see’s, and maybe’s.
We then processed the negative emotions we felt fully… when we were told no. Meaning whether by pouting, or just acting like little assholes, we experienced the emotion fully so we could release it.
Once we released the emotion… We could get back on task and start the process of wanting all over again, free of distraction and focused on our next angle of attack and influence so that Christmas morning looked like we wanted it to look.
Now, I’m sure you noticed the parallel here. And, how it relates to what you want as an adult.
The problem isn’t that as adults we stop wanting… hell, I want all the time. The problem is that when we meet disappointment or failure or embarrassment, the emotion that we feel we hold onto. Then, we use that emotion to create a story about the situation that justifies us staying exactly where we are now rather than pushing forward.
When, what we really ought to do is process the emotion… experience the situation fully so we can write a new story that empowers us.
Maybe for you that’s yelling, maybe that’s crying, maybe it’s solitude… whatever it is, the only way out is through. And, once you’re through you can see clearly and tell yourself a new story about what happened. See it for what it is and start the process again and again until you get the result you want.
Your ability to persist will depend on the story you tell yourself. If my brother and I told ourselves no matter what we did, we weren’t going to get the Christmas we wanted, then we would’ve quit at the first no. But we didn’t and neither does any kid… they want it too hard. And, they will tell themselves whatever story they need to in order to make their vision a reality. The story I ran with as a kid was if I kept at it, I’d eventually get a maybe, and if I could get a maybe I could get a yes.
So how about you… what are you not allowing yourself to want? What did you go for and get shot down so hard you got embarrassed or pissed off and decided that your story was one of victimhood. And, everytime you think about that time you still feel negative energy around it. You’ve got to do the hard thing and process that shit out of your system. Find a place where you can release, yell, scream, or whatever you need to do without scaring the neighbors so you can fully experience that thing and write a new story that fuels you to want again.
That’s it for today! Thank you for listening, and if you found value in this message be sure to subscribe on iTunes, Google, Castbox, or Stitcher | Share this with those you know need to hear it on social | And I’ll see you back here in the next episode | This is Jason Archer signing off | Now… go, and DO THE HARD THING.