I saw a friend at my favorite local coffee shop today. He’s always there. It’s essentially his office (as with a large handful of entrepreneur/creative types here in town — that’s why I love this particular coffee shop). He’s an IT guy by trade, but he always has several epic side-projects going on.
A high-achiever by nature, my friend is also a fitness coach, a digital marketer, and a web designer. He’s always hustling. Grinding. I knew that his latest project was building a fitness site that he’d hoped was going to ‘crush it’ (make him a $h*itload of money). It’d been awhile since I’d asked him about it, so I threw it out there… How’s that thing going?
He went on to tell me how Facebook and Google were constantly changing their algorithms so his ads and emails weren’t reaching his audience (he’s no schmarmy marketer — really). He said Amazon was pulling his account for some arbitrary reason, so he took a huge hit there too. To add to this, he was discovering how some of his mentors and people he was looking up to in the fitness marketing space weren’t actually making as much money as they were advertising (shocker).
My friend is in incredible shape. He truly walks his talk. He trains his body on the regular. And he’s a very mindful person. But I could tell that his head was frazzled. So I prodded him a bit…
“Hopefully you’re taking care of your mind. You have your meditation practice, right?”
All of a sudden, the energy totally changed. His shoulders relaxed. His eyes lit up…
“Dude. This is so weird. I’ve been wanting to meditate now for months. Thanks, man. You just did it. I’m going to get my head right again.”
He went on… “I’m at a point where I want to step away from this madness. I’m constantly worrying about what algorithms are going to change and how a slight policy change from some huge corporation that cares nothing about me might affect my well-being. I’m over it. I’ve been considering going back to a local model where I help people, face-to-face, with the things I’m passionate about — building their businesses and improving their health.”
He was on a role. Dominoes were falling. He paused for a moment before he continued, “You know what? I’m done here today. It’s the weekend. I’m gonna go enjoy it,” and he closed his laptop, chugged his last sip of coffee, hugged me, and left. With a huge, relaxed, Buddha-like smile on his face.
See — I KNOW for a damn FACT that, because he’s surrounded by high-achieving creative types like himself, they’re constantly asking him something along the lines of… “How’s it going, man? Crushing it?!” or “How’s the A/B testing going for that email campaign? Killing it?!”… All questions based on checking to see if he’s achieving. If he’s making a lot of money. If he’s ‘crushing’, ‘killing’, or ‘slaying’ it. It’s all bloodthirsty, alpha-dog, hunter-focused inquiries of strength and achievement. But here’s the thing…
NO ONE — I’m sure — asks him how HE’S doing. No one asks how his headspace is. No one asks how his stress levels are or how his relationships are going. It’s all based on the bottom-line monetary gains and ego-focused metrics of our digital world. That’s the entrepreneurial conversation.
Until I came around. And gave him a gentle nudge to remember His true Self.
I know my friend said it was ‘weird’ how he’d been wanting to step back from the constant hustle to re-connect with his life (I’d call it Spirit, although he might not), but it’s nothing ‘weird’. What’s weird is how he and most of us these days are sitting in front of a screen all day, constantly in fight or flight mode without taking care of our connection with Source. This is weird. What’s NOT weird is being in-tune with our Higher Selves — our natural state. But it’s the norm to lose ourselves in the onslaught of digital erroneousness that we have access to 24/7.
I was merely helping my friend remember his natural state of well-being. He’s been operating from his toes. Reaching. And he knows it. He also knows at a deep level that, once he finds his center, he’ll be able to do more powerful work from a much better place.
Now, before I close… I’m NOT against achieving at very high levels. I’m not against screens. I’m not against any of it. (Heck, I’m writing this to you on a screen.) But — as with anything — when it becomes an addiction, it pulls us away from the things that keep us healthy. That keep us sane.
More and more of us are realizing this. We’re coming back to ourselves. I truly believe that, in today’s chaotic digital world, if we don’t have some sort of mindfulness practice, we WILL go fucking insane. I’m not saying we have to retire to a mountaintop in an Ashram or to totally disavow our digital lives. Just a simple daily practice of checking in with ourselves and finding the stillness and Presence within might be the thing to save our lives while helping us achieve the things that truly matter to us in the healthiest way possible..
Thanks for putting up with my rant today. Hope it helps you crush/kill/murder/slay it in a more mindful/aware/re-connected way.