Ruthlessly subtract

Image: Barn Images

Why don’t the 6 or 7 Tips (weird how it’s always 6 or 7) ever work?

You know, you read Cosmopolitan or Men’s Health and you get the “6 Tips to 6-Pack Abs” or “7 Ways to be a Bobcat in the Sack” or whatever…

You read them. Aha! They make perfect sense. A lightbulb goes on as you close the magazine. You’re going to be superhuman now!

I bet you’re wondering why it never happens this way (or, at least, I hope you’re wondering why, because I wrote this whole article about it)…

Their model of success

You + Their 6 Tips = Ultra-Badass You

Makes total sense, right? You’d think this would be the case. But clearly, it’s not. Because, how many times have you read advice in Forbes or elsewhere? And you’re not financially set for the rest of your life? (Or maybe you are — and kudos to you — but it’s probably not because of their 6 Tips.)

Here’s the deal…

You’re built for success. You’re built to thrive. From the get-go. It’s your default setting.

So why is it so damn hard? Why — if we’re supposedly born this way — are so many of us so unhappy/unfulfilled/stuck/gassy/bloated/etc.?

Because no one tells us this when we’re kids. We’re told that we have to get the grades, fight for it, land the job, hustle, find the partner, buy the house/cars/toys, have the kids, get rich, get on the board for the Chamber of Commerce, etc. in order to ‘be successful’.

So we spend our lives seeking fulfillment when all we need to do is realize we’re already whole and that the purpose of life is living/working/loving/creating from that essential truth.

The goal is not to add one cubit (or 6 Tips) to our stature. It’s to ruthlessly subtract all the bullshit we’ve piled on top of our true selves so we can get this thing back to our perfect default settings and live life to its fullest right now.

This is all I do with clients. I don’t come in with my bag of tricks to add to the noise already in their heads that’s keeping them from themselves.

I go in with a big-ass hack saw and start cutting.

Here’s the proper model

You — All the stuff you think will ‘make’ you happy = Super You (Your default setting)

Yep… The equation is a subtraction problem, not an addition problem like the world tries to convince us of.

The problems come when you start thinking that the 6-pack abs or the dating tips or the perfect business will make you whole.

Nope. Doesn’t work that way. You’re already whole.

I tooootally get it… There’s nothing wrong with the stuff. It’s what adds color and flavor to life. We’re human. If you want that 6-pack or those killer sex moves, so be it. Have fun and create them. But know they’ll come and go.

After all, they’re just thoughts/cravings. In a moment, they’ll change. When you get that 6-pack, you’ll start thinking you’re too vain. When you get that perfect business, you’ll worry the government is after you, trying to take all of your money. Etc. Etc. Etc. It’s how the nature of thought works.

Subtract. Ruthlessly. Know there’s nothing else you need. Get back to your natural state of wholeness — no justification needed.

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