The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he’s working or playing. To him he’s always doing both. – L.P. Jacks
Buddha is the archetype of spiritual master. When the author says Buddha, he’s not necessarily talking about the literal Buddha – someone who has achieved enlightenment. Instead, Buddha refers to someone who recognizes and uses the power of the world that is ‘within us’.
Badass is the archetype of the change-maker. Badass is the person who goes out there creating change, building, coding, writing ,inventing and leading. The badass disrupts and challenges the norms so humanity can be better as a species.
To truly master your life, you need to integrate the skillsets of Buddha and the Badass. You need to fully realize your values and you need to be just as relentless in executing the work that reflects your values.
So often, we build products based on the product-market fit.
The common advice you hear is “What product do you want to sell?” or “What’s the market asking for?”. The question most people fail to ask is “Given my values, given what fulfills me and how I want to grow, what can I uniquely offer the world?”
The point is you must know your values before you ever take a job or start a business. Your clothing, your book, your app, your career should be infused with your unique set of values. Market research, data, customer surveys are metrics that are subservient to your values.
Make no mistake. Life becomes easier when your values shape the choices you make. And unlike so many other people, you know who you really are and what you truly want.
Two types of core values – foundational and organizational
Foundational values bring the right people into the room. Foundational values give the products a unique edge. Great brands, great restaurants and great books are great because of the unique ‘flavor’ given to them by their founder’s values.
Organizational values are developed after people are in the room. Organizational values reflect the behaviors required for day-to-day collaborations to run smoothly. They’re also agreed upon by the company as a whole. As the organization grows, its organizational values become increasingly important.
Be brutally honest with your why.
People don’t care what you do. They care why you do it.
You need to get raw, real and authentic to find your why. And when you share your inner big why, the right people will naturally follow you. Don’t worry if your manifesto doesn’t appeal to everyone. Because it is not supposed to be. If you’re truly authentic and real, most people will love some parts of your manifesto.
First, craft a specific and compelling vision. Don’t worry about getting your vision perfect right away. Let it flow. Consider allowing your coworkers, family and friends you trust to read it and give you feedback. Sometimes, the magic happens when you vision is co-created.
Second, ferociously share your vision with the world. The challenging part for most people is making their vision public. You might be worried about people’s judgments, but you can’t let that stop you from taking action. The right people are naturally attracted to your vision. The wrong people may be repulsed but this is exactly what you want.
“The Buddha mindset isn’t concerned with judgement. It’s concerned with expressing your inner truth. Anyone you lose in the process was never going to serve your mission anyway.”
Think years out.
Cameron Herold, top business consultant, author and speaker, says the best way to craft your vision is to think 3 years out. The 3-year time-horizon is important. It gives you ample time to achieve desired results but it’s not so far away that you can’t get excited. Amplify your business into the future and ask yourself:
“What does the future look like because my business exists?”
Elon Musk doesn’t speak dryly about sending payloads to space. When he was asked how long before the human race gets to space, Elon simply replied “I estimate ten years or so.” “But I’ve been known to be over optimistic with the deadlines before.”, he added with a smile. He talks about SpaceX ten years out into the future, and he speaks in a way as if it’s happening right now. He creates a vision so compelling you can’t help but be swept up by it. His why and his vision are so clear that people flock to him, even if the endpoint is a decade away.
“As human beings we tend to overestimate what we can do in one year. But we tend to underestimate what we’re capable of in three years. So always visualize yourself three years ahead. And push that limit and dream bigger.”
Are you unfuckwithable?
Unfuckwithable means when you’re truly at peace and in touch with yourself that no one can bother you and no negativity can touch you.
A true badass is unfuckwithable. But most of us are far from it. We get a negative performance review at the job and we can’t stop feeling inadequate. We see our siblings, peers and colleagues progressing faster than we do and we start feeling afraid of getting left in the dust. These are all tiny blows that eat away your confidence over time.
If your goal is to get a particular person to love you, chances are you’re fuckwithable. Your failure or success lies within the hands of someone. But if your goal is to bring as much energy, love and enthusiasm as you can to the lives of people around you, you are in control of that situation. You are unfuckwithable. Any acceptance or love you get back from it is simply a bonus.
Rules to raise your unfuckwithability
Rule #1 Start feeling you’re enough
Not that you’ll be enough in the future, but that you’re enough in this present moment. Being unfuckwithable means you’re enough as you are right now, with no changes, upgrades or tweaks. Two of the most powerful ways to start feeling enough is to
- Tell yourself “I love you” – it sounds ridiculous but you’ll notice a major difference if you do this daily.
- Practice self-gratitude – love yourself and love people around you without conditions. Every morning when you wake up, show gratitude for all the good things and people in your life.
The best way to raise your unfuckwithability is to elevate others. By appreciating others, you feel good about yourself.
Rule #2 Create your life as a unique masterpiece.
Most people are conformists and will choose to do what everyone else does. This is in large part due to our innate desire to fit in and be liked. Unfortunately, too many people don’t create original lives because of this need for conformity. Other peoples’ goals become their goals.
Understand why you’re here on this planet and create your own shopping list before it’s too late.
Have you answered the 3 MIQs: Most Important Questions in your life?
Goals are useful for direction but achieving them isn’t what life is about. Ask yourself 3MIQ (three most important questions) to get clear on what you truly want in your life.
Question #1 What do you want to experience in life?
We’re all here to experience the world has to offer – not objects, not money, but experiences.
Question #2 What growth do you want to see in yourself?
Continuous growth makes life an endless journey of discovery.
Question #3 What do you want to contribute to the world?
What we give is the special mark that we leave on the community even beyond our lives.
Answering these three questions give us the reason we’re here and what we want to achieve by the end of our lives. If you’re running a large company and have a big budget, you can take this a step further and implement a Dream Manager program for your employees.
“Grow so fast that your friends who haven’t seen you in a month have to get to know you all over again.”
If you’re depressed or fearful, remember your life is more than just about yourself.
When you wake up every day, remember your life is not about you. It’s about the lives of every single person you touch. If you really get this, you’ll never wake up depressed, stressed or fearful ever again. When you walk into the room with the intention to heal the room, when you wake up with the desire to serve the world, the problems and negativity you’re feeling immediately disappears.
We are in the age of the Human Colossus.
An average person with a smartphone today has access to more information about the world than the president of the US did in 1994. The world is becoming more connected than ever and we’re operating as one unified body. Every post you write, every photo you share, every vote you give impacts other people. Vishen refers to this as the Human Colossus.
The Human Colossus is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, a president’s reactionary tweet can spread with lightning speed and leave a negative impression of the entire country. On the other hand, it’s incredible to see people collectively solving problems, like Dr. Lisa Sanders who crowdsources rare illness to find cures on the show Diagnosis. So here’s the grand question:
If we are all cells, are you a healthy cell or a cancer cell? Does your work positively impact humanity? Or like a cancer cell, are your work and your actions making the Colossus sicker?
And the funny thing is that cells think they’re just the regular cells, growing and reproducing. In the mind of the cancer cell, it’s just doing its cellular job.
Is your business Humanity Plus or Humanity Minus?
Humanity Minus companies never hesitate to maximize profits and exist solely for the profits. Many Humanity Minus companies are founded on artificial demand, meaning we don’t need their products. In most cases, they are even harmful for the human race. But Humanity Minus companies market their products as necessities for our well-being or happiness. Take vape companies for example. While it’s great to see people Americans ditching cigarettes, vape has become the replacement, and many vape products contain toxic chemicals and cancer-causing substances.
Humanity Plus companies on the other hand push the human race forward. The products they have to offer make the Human Colossus healthier and the world a better place. Take Southwest Airlines, the world’s largest low-cost carrier, for example. Southwest is making people happier and connected than ever by flying across the borders and by radically innovating their customer service.
Make people care about humanity.
There’s a famous story about how Steve Jobs motivated Apple engineers to speed up the start time of an early Mac. In his article Saving Lives , Andy Hertzfield writes
One of the things that bothered Steve Jobs the most was the time it took to boot when the Mac was first powered on… One afternoon, Steve came up with an original way to motivate us to make it faster.
Larry Kenyon was the engineer working on the disk driver and file system. Steve came into his cubicle and said “The Macintosh boots too slowly. You’ve gotta make it faster!” Larry started to explain where he thought he could improve things but Steve wasn’t interested. He replied “You know, I’ve been thinking about it. How many people are going to be using Macintosh? A million? No, more than that. In a few years, I bet five million people will be booting up their Macintoshes at least once a day.”
“Well, let’s say you can shave 10 seconds off of the boot time. Multiply that by five million users and that’s 50 million seconds, every single day. Over a year, that’s probably dozens of lifetimes. So if you make it boot ten seconds faster, you’ve saved a dozen livs. That’s really worth it, don’t you think?”
Needless to say, his engineers got the job done, in far less time than they initially anticipated.
Take a stand for what you believe in.
Social media influencers do it all the time. Larger companies do the same. Patagonia inspires millions with its stand for the environment. Nike takes a stand for equality. Starbucks takes a stand for supporting refugees worldwide.
We live in an extremely polarized world. People are losing faith in the government and looking to entrepreneurs to stand up for what’s right. The old way of business was not to push boundaries and take a no-stand position. Today, no-stand position might actually harm your business.
Break free from the limiting beliefs.
A team of scientists placed a number of fleas in a glass jar with no lid. As a flea’s favorite hobby is high-jumping, all of them jumped out. So, scientists placed the fleas back in the jar and sealed it with a lid. The fleas continued to jump but now only to the height of the lid. After several days, scientists took the lid off. They were shocked to discover that fleas now only jumped to the height of the lid, even though the ceiling was their limit.
Humans have bigger, smarter and more evolved brains than fleas but we’re vulnerable to the same type of conditioning. We are often held back by our limiting beliefs that are often unconscious and invisible. Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.
OODA – Observe, Orient, Decide, Act
OODA was developed by military strategist and US Air Force colonel John Boyd. By following OODA, air force pilots were able to shoot down more enemy planes. The idea is simple:
Act fast, even with imperfect knowledge.
OODA accelerates innovation by optimizing two things: increasing the volume and rate of ideas shared and speeding up decision-making. In air force lingo this would mean:
- Observe the enemy aircraft
- Orient yourself
- Decide your next move
- Act and fire!
OODA loop has also become an important concept in business strategy. Imagine you’re trying to get your brand out on YouTube:
- A is taking months to launch a channel because he wants it perfect.
- B is launching his channel in one week and fine-tuning as he goes.
OODA wants you to always follow the path of the latter, because with OODA, failing is okay. Being slow is not.
- Do everything you can to speed up the decision-making cycle.
- Move fast. Pivot. Learn on the go.
- Fail fast. Fail often. Learn from it.
- Embrace rapid innovation and change.
- Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.
If you believe work is hard, you’ll see the hard work as the only way forward.
And you’ll feel trapped because there’s only so many hours you have in a given day. A better way is to understand that sometimes the way forward is the opposite of work. The next big leap often occurs when you move from acceleration to navigation.
“The Soul’s Experience on Earth is Not Meant for Hard Work and Toil. It’s Meant for Freedom, Ease and Expansion.”