Ancient productivity hack
Sent Monday, June 29, 2020
2,500 years ago the world changed forever.
What made it change?
Well it wasn't geopolitical forces...
Nor was it technological upheaval...
And it wasn't the whims and wiles of a King or Queen or Genghis-type tyrant...
It was the resolute decision of a 35-year old man.
He is known by many names.
Siddhārtha. Gautama. The Tathāgata. And most commonly:
Now, don't you worry. I am not going to get all woo or religious here. In fact, I do not think what The Buddha taught was a religion in the typical sense. (Because it isn't a belief structure. But a methodology for experiencing directly what is true).
But that is a topic for another time.
Because today, I want to talk about a very "mundane" aspect of The Buddha's story. It is something anyone can use to accomplish nearly any goal they wish.
To make it work, you do not need to believe in reincarnation.
You do not need to sit cross-legged and meditate.
You do not need to burn incense or chant.
So what do you need to do?
All you need to do is lean in and listen to this story. And, of course, put it to work in your own life.
What you may or may not know is that The Buddha did not set out to start Buddhism. Nor did he set out to become a great teacher. He simply set out to understand the causes and conditions of suffering.
And it was not an easy path.
He spent years as a mendicant, living in "jungle thickets" and studying under the top teachers of the time.
Still searching... he became an ascetic. Depriving his body of food and comfort. And becoming so emaciated, his bones could be seen through his shriveled skin (there are statues depicting this and they are worth looking up).
But still, after making all these rounds in the "guru casino", The Buddha had not found his answer. All he had found were bright shiny objects. Things that sounded good and that promised him the answer. But none of them delivered.
So what did he do?
Did he pack his bags and go home?
Did he say 'woe is me' and give up?
Did he despair?
Obviously he did not. Or I would not be telling you this tale (quitters never make great heroes).
Instead, he nourished his body. He accepted rice porridge from a young village girl named, Sujata. And what he did next changed the world forever...
What did he do?
He sat down at the foot of a tree and determined he would not get up until he saw the truth. He would not move until he found his answer.
And so he did.
Even though his mind threw all sorts of tricks his way. Even though, according to tradition, it took seven weeks of determined meditation... he did not budge. And so he reached enlightenment. And his teachings have changed the world, helping untold beings live better lives.
But the key to it all, was what happened before he sat down.
When you commit, there is very little you can't do.
In fact, you can change the world.
But to change the world, you can't just say you are committed. You have to feel it down to your bones. Which means sacrificing the things in your life that are easy and fun.
Want to get in shape?
Then you must commit to going on that run... even though bingeing netflix sounds way more fun.
Want to quit your job?
Then you must commit to waking at 4am, so you can build your business before going to your 9-5... even though jumping back under the warm covers is so much easier.
Whatever you want, the first step is always to commit.
Even when your mind tells you:
"I'm not good enough..."
"I can't do it..."
"I should just quit..."
I'm not saying to ignore those thoughts. Listen to them. Listen well. Thank them for the feedback. Then tell them to kindly fork off as you have work to do.
And trust me, I am not lecturing you or pontificating. I know about this because I go through it too.
Just like The Buddha could only teach about suffering because he befriended his own suffering.
He befriended his own suffering because that's what he committed to do.
And you can commit too.
Whatever it is, you can do it. I am rooting for you. Whether or not you hire me as a copywriter or consultant, I want you to accomplish your wildest dreams. It's what you were put on this Earth for.
So make it a great day. As Matt Furey says: "Kick ass and take names".
The world is counting on it.
If you do want my help, writing copy or consulting, head to my waitlist at the link below:
When you do, you will be notified when I am next taking on a new client.
P.S. A while back I wrote about Gandhi, but I stupidly misspelled his name. And so I was chastised by one of my Indian subscribers. So I apologize for any cultural faux pas this email contains. Chalk it up to me being an ignant American :P