Warning: This is not your great-great-grandpa's personal development.
Are you a world leader?
A: You are if you're in contact with one person or more per week. The real question is, where in the world are you leading yourself and others?
If this was a common introduction letter, the status quo would tell me something like, "Dumb it down. Keep it short. The masses are not that smart, and they're lazy." This is how slaves are patronized. That is not my intention for this introduction; plus, I hate "common and status quo." Today, I am calling on BRAVE world leaders—people who know, "If it doesn't challenge you, it won't change you!"
I thank God that my mentors never treated me like a "dumb slave" but treated me like the world leader that I am. They saw the best in me and CHALLENGED me to be better than I could ever imagine. Now I will return that favor to you.
[ 24-min read ]
With a plethora of "experts," courses, books, and “self-help” gurus professing to lead you by the hand to the Promised Land of financial, personal and physical success, why have your results with them been so underwhelming?
In the information age, why do 97% of people still fail at their goals and resolutions in the darkness of suffering and shame? All while overall happiness and relationship satisfaction continues its downward slide?
What's the missing X-factor to holistic success?
That self-awareness is THE X-factor for success in EVERYTHING is not a new insight. Centuries of definitive research (plus our own common sense) show that acing self-awareness is what powers what you want and prevents what you don't want. “Know thyself” has been THE motto of sages throughout the ages from the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Buddha and Jesus Christ to today's renowned life scientists and respected billionaires.
"Man, the key is self-awareness. Crucial." -Mark Cuban
"You can't begin to love yourself unless you know who you are." -Oprah Winfrey
The game-changer new insight is that acing self-awareness is a CONTACT SPORT. This new discovery has clearly not been known by most people, evidenced by the fact that over 90% of people are still dysfunctionally self-unaware (Harvard). The revolution of Bravely is self-awareness done right: You get real know-how plus you enjoy 24/7 access to real confidants you trust to practice ACE with, daily. The complete solution to ace your self-awareness has never been available in human history. Your empowerment to ace self-awareness at your fingertips makes Bravely the No. 1 life hack! Of course, this is assuming you will be brave enough to complete the ACE-10 Training Modules and practice ACE on 5-minute calls, daily:
Also, if you’re into geeking out on your own bio-universe and want to see how ACE triggers ON your biochemistry, epigenetics, DNA, neurogenesis and your real fountain of youth, go to the research page on Bravely website. I LOVE the definitive research we have gathered that proves just how incredibly, exquisitely, and wonderfully made we all are.
With Bravely, simply put, if you're not acing self-awareness as a leader (of team or home), or as a student from K-12 to college, then you are seriously handicapping yourself. You are bequeathing that curse to your family and team, as epigenetics research shows. No question.
The real question is, how can you avoid self-sabotaging such simplicity, thus your No. 1 life hack? I will cover these three points as your guide and red-carpet you to ACE-10 Training Modules:
Note: In the ACE-10 Training, I will show you the greatest holistic health discovery today, called Pit & HIIT. Through modern self-awareness—knowing physics and bio-physics—I, my wife (Theresa), and our users are enjoying a revolution in our holistic health by only exercising for 7 minutes, 3 days a week (“HIIT”) AND being powered to ACTION with five 5-minute ACE calls per week (“Pitstops”). We have found Pit & HIIT to be THE best investment to ace self-awareness, to get in great shape and to power holistic success (“have it all”). Pit & HIIT has saved me from suffering obesity and self-inflicted failures, stemming from me not knowing that nearly 100% of advice from “helping” companies and the government on health doesn’t help but actually harms. Why do you think, after nearly two centuries of following all the status quo "helping" advice, people are more overweight and skinny-fat than ever? If you’re interested to know more on the latter, watch Black Death 2.0, a Bravely short movie—A MUST WATCH and EYE-OPENING.
First, congratulations to you for being healthy! As my friend and renowned relational clinical psychologist Dr. John Townsend reveals, "It's the healthy people who want to grow and guard their well-being. It's the sick who suffer apathy."
Bravely is for the healthy—the brave who want to discover and grow, and not for the SICK: Shallow, Into lying, Cowardly, Know-it-all.
"To not discover and evolve is sitting around waiting for extinction." -Elon Musk
As well, congratulations to everyone around you! They are fortunate to have you because they will model your brave and ingenious behavior here to ace self-awareness.
1. HOW DO YOU ACTUALLY BECOME MORE SELF-AWARE?
The secret that has been sold to the masses to supposedly raise self-awareness has been some sort of lotus position up on a high hilltop or on a yoga mat. This "be solo" sales pitch started with the 1970s Zen (now failed) movement. Today, failed Zen has been repainted as “mindfulness" with the same ole’ advice to "be solo" to gain self-awareness. The results? After nearly 50 years of zenfulness, over 90% of people are still considered dysfunctionally self-unaware. So what?
"We are the most in-debt, obese, addicted and medicated adult cohort in human history."- Dr. Brené Brown, social scientist, Top 3 Global TED speaker
Unbeknownst to the masses being brainwashed to buy up lots of mindfulness programs, it’s been debunked by many high-level researchers including the world's largest neuroscience study, which was just published in January 2017 by world renowned neuroscientist Prof. Dr. Tania Singer.
"Just because it sells, doesn't mean it works." -Mark Cuban
What is the ONLY method that is definitively proven to raise self-awareness and thus holistic success? A breakthrough neuroscience study conducted by the highly regarded Max Planck Institute found that it was the ACE practice. Interestingly, I founded ACE practice on May 13th, 2011. We show their breakthrough study within ACE-10 Training.
Why has ACE been so successful to raise self-awareness in 100% of our brave beta users?
The right information plus real connection vs. bad info. and isolation:
“We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” -Bill Gates
How many books would you have to read to master a martial art?
A: You would need just one definitive book on the subject. Plus, you would need to spar with others, daily.
How many books would you have to read to master bodybuilding?
A: You would need just one definitive book. Plus, you would need to train with others, daily.
Building your self-awareness muscles and mastering self-awareness is the same way: You need just one definitive resource; plus, you need other brave peers to practice ACE with, daily. It is simple, but if you don’t have other brave peers, you won't master self-awareness. You will only get information that you will forget within days. But hey, all those “helping” companies professing to lead you to the Promised Land don’t care because you already gave them your money.
Information without activation through real connection just leads to more procrastination.
2. HOW CAN YOU ACE SELF-AWARENESS THE FASTEST?
Treat your ACE practice as if the lives of your children and of those around you depend on it—because they do.
3. HOW CAN YOU NOT SELF-SABOTAGE YOUR NO. 1 LIFE HACK?
How do the great ones of holistic success (those who “have it all”) from John D. Rockefeller and Warren Buffett to Bill Gates avoid screwing up such elegant simplicity?
Avoid Living the Deadliest Lie and Instead Live the Truth:
Beware: The following self-inquiry questions are not for the cowardly but for the brave.
Why do your peers out-earn you? Why do they always seem to get the luck? Why do you feel stuck? Why are you overweight or skinny-fat? Why do you feel unattractive? Why are your relationships unfulfilling or broken? Why are you always busy-busy? Why do you feel numb or empty? Why do you suffer from chronic worry and stress? Why do you feel unworthy? With so many friends and colleagues around you, why do you still feel like an outsider? With so much success, why do you still feel like an imposter? Why do you want to give up? Why do you cover your scream with a smile? Why are you so angry and bitter? Why are your children not functioning? Why can't you just stop doing THAT?
If your answer is to blame (it's their fault), shame (whoa, it's always me), deny (oh, it's “fine”), or chase (I just need to try harder), then you lack self-awareness and so you are living the deadliest lie. Congratulations, you are human! 100% of us lack self-awareness in certain areas, as the research shows.
The real question is, to what degree is our lack of self-awareness leading us to dysfunction and to the inability to be the best that we can be for God, for us, for our loved ones, and for our team.
I have suffered all those problems listed above. I lived the deadliest lie for 44 years, because I was self-unaware and clueless. Today, because of Bravely, I now know that I disconnected from myself because I suffered level-10 trauma and abuse from my childhood years as an orphan to adulthood. And then I abused myself. Today, because of Bravely, I now live THE truth that enables me to avoid living the deadliest lie.
What is the deadliest lie? What is THE truth about YOU that you must know?
I am getting ahead of myself. First, I would like to share with you how I got here, having the honor to empower you to ace self-awareness. Together, with you and yours, we can bring more badly-needed light to our ever-darkening world.
Looking back through the lens of higher self-awareness, I can see that I began living the deadliest lie when I was 5 years old. That is when I ran away from my orphanage because of all the abuse. Did you grow up with SICOs too? Shallow, Irresponsible, Chronic-criticizers, Oft-abandoners? If so, odds are, you too are living the deadliest lie.
If you have lived long enough, you know that living a lie is the most dangerous and exhausting way to live. It's why healthy people have a visceral reaction to liars. It's our survival instinct to discern what is real from what is fake. Is that a blueberry or a poisonous berry? Is that a branch on the ground or a poisonous snake? Is that a lion that's about to eat me or a deer I can eat?
Prior to 2010, my life was exhausting and broken on the inside. I was able to hide all these dysfunctions with "success" because of my love for big data and my ability to see problems and build solution systems to solve them. These talents helped me make good money. However, I suffered from bad crash-and-burn cycles. Unconsciously, I chose blaming, shaming, denying and chasing to solve many of my problems that I now realize were self-inflicted.
At the age of 19, I started to try many "helping" things, such as best-selling psychologists, counselors, religions, 12-step groups, self-help books, personal development seminars, lectures, and videos. They all claimed they were “research-based,” but they ended up being fake science or just flat-out lies. They all got me excited at first, but then most did not work at all. A few gave me good information, but without activation, there was no realization. They just took my money, time and hope.
What they never taught me was that nearly 100% of my problems were caused by low self-awareness. What they did have me do was chase my problems like Buddy the Bull Dog.
Watch how Buddy, with his low self-awareness, tries to stop the sprinklers (“problems”). He eventually gets exhausted and gives up, like so many of us do. We settle for mediocrity.
If Buddy could raise his consciousness, he would know that all he had to do was turn a single spigot off, and voila! All his problems would be gone. THAT is the power of acing self-awareness.
That is THE key difference of what I have found between the masses and the world class. World-class leaders are always raising their self-awareness, thus not chasing problems. The masses don’t ace self-awareness; they're always choking and drowning in self-inflicted problems. It’s that simple.
Watching Buddy always reminds me of my life prior to Bravely: EXHAUSTING and futile.
"No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it." - Albert Einstein
Ace self-awareness and you practically ace everything in life! So, what does the vast majority of us do to screw up this simple truth and live an unconscious life chasing the sprinklers of self-inflicted problems? I will reveal this in 2 minutes.
Now, back to how we got here.
In 2004, after my first near-suicide, I used my big data talents to do my own research, which helped me understand seven leading life sciences (from epigenetics and neuroscience to relational clinical psychology) to culminate into Bravely. There was no nobility in my cause. No save the world. I just had to find answers; I was desperate.
It was very hard for me to sift through so much data while suffering so much. There weren’t any big ahas! By 2008, I found myself at the age of 42, a totally hollow man with another near-suicide attempt. Yet, from the outside, I lived a life that friends described as larger than life. I am a 3X founder, including a NASDAQ IPO by 34. I had achieved power, possessions and popularity, but why did I not feel anything inside? Why were my love relationships so broken and my other relationships so shallow and empty? Why did I keep suffering?
Finally, in 2010, the pure truth I had filtered out from an ocean of garbage data became clear enough for me to put into daily practice. I shared it with my men’s circle group in Lake Forest, CA. I began to awaken, and I began to feel more alive. Yet, there were so many inherent problems like confidentiality, safety and access to trusted peers with that old circle group model. So, on May 13, 2011, I took ACE practice online. Our model today is called Digital Therapeutics.
With the inherent problems of status quo circle groups gone, by 2013, our results, for me and for our brave beta users, were and are MIRACULOUS. Then we tested more ACE online teams, and results were again miraculous. By 2016, we knew we had THE No. 1 life hack with 100% of users reporting improvements; this in comparison to a meager 4% "success rate" with status quo "helping" companies. In January 2017, the world’s largest neuroscience study was published. We were pleasantly not surprised to see how Dr. Singer’s forensic, one-year study supported ACE practice. In fact, ACE was the only method that was supported. They debunked many popular "helping" methods like mindfulness.
In addition, our mission to empower the best relationships (through self-awareness, which leads to real connection) was also proven out in 2016 by the longest human study (conducted by Harvard for 75 years) for health to success. Again, we were pleasantly not surprised. In short, the good doctor said, "No matter which economic ladder you were born on, no matter what early trauma you suffered, from what part of the town you were born, those who win in health to success know how to build the best relationships, period." You can see that TED Talk by Prof. Dr. Robert J. Waldinger in your ACE-10 Modules along with Prof. Dr. Tania Singer's breakthrough neuroscience study in ACE-10 Training.
"Relationships rule the world." -Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn Founder
To the wise, it’s obvious: to ACE self-awareness is not a luxury but a necessity. However, when I let busy-busy cheat me from my daily ACE practice, I fall back into living the deadliest lie. Then I suffer self-inflicted problems like Buddy. Why would I do such a stupid self-sabotage behavior? Meet self-sabotage behavior No. 1: living the world's deadliest lie:
The lie is so beautiful and so big that the masses don't even know they're breathing it. Like the oxygen and the 850,000 units of bacteria you will breathe in today, you don't see them. You're not self-aware of them, but your very life hinges on them. The deadliest lie has caused more human destruction than any army or bomb in world history. The deadliest lie topples kings and queens, servants and slaves. Over 90% of your problems originate from living this lie.
Those who ingest this lie, besides suffering the lowest quality of life and bequeathing that curse as their legacy (shown by epigenetics research), also end up on their death bed with these top 3 regrets:
1. Wished I would have loved more
2. Wished I would have been truer to myself
3. Wished I would have taken more risks
Beware: The masses unknowingly live this deadliest lie, but the world class don't.
Study the past or you’re doomed to repeat it. In 1934, Adolf Hitler began selling the German masses the self-sufficiency lie—the deadliest and most beautiful of all lies. It's what the German masses wanted to hear: "We are the super-race. We are an island unto ourselves. We can achieve whatever we believe. We are gods. We have unlimited power within."
Then Hitler skillfully added, "As long as you follow the steps in my Germania book of power!"
Of course that "book of power" never existed, but the German masses ate up the delusion spewed by Hitler.
Thus (counterintuitively), they lost their power to him. Hitler enslaved and looted them out of their money, homes, and hopes. The German masses and their country were destroyed in WWII, which was started because Hitler and his masses believed wholeheartedly in the self-sufficiency Lie. By the end, in 1945, after committing many atrocities, Hitler cowardly chose suicide, spewing his self-sufficiency lie to the self-unaware German masses all the way to the very end as he and Germany were buried in utter destruction. Not much "unlimited power from within," was there?
“No one does it alone.” -Mark Zuckerberg
”No one is self-sufficient; everyone relies on others." -John Donne
"We are only as sick as the secrets we hide from others." -Oprah Winfrey
Hitler’s No. 1 mistake was not tactical; it was relational: He believed in his own self-sufficiency lie, which resulted in being out of relationship with THE truth, himself and others. This was why he suffered disconnectedness and loneliness. This was why he became so sick, fatigued and self-deluded. He became a victim of the very self-sufficiency lie that he was spewing. Seeing through the lens of seven leading life sciences, I have mapped Hitler and his self-deception and self-sabotage downfall. Science back then couldn't fully see it. Today, we can.
"For all who use the sword will die by the sword.” -Matthew 26:62 NIV
THE No. 1 killer of your goals and dreams and of your life is the sword of the self-sufficiency lie.
Isn’t the self-sufficiency lie alive and well today? We live in the culture of “me me me.” The masses live on a digital island unto themselves. Hitler told them what they wanted to hear, “You have unlimited power within. You are gods. You can achieve whatever you put your mind to.” Really!? Try putting your mind to holding your breath for just a day, or turning a stone into bread, or stopping time.
“Once we accept our limits, we move beyond them.” -Albert Einstein
"Actually, there are impossible things. I try to be aware of those and avoid them." -Elon Musk
The masses today are self-deluded in the self-sufficiency lie, just like Adolf Hitler and his German masses were in 1934 and like how I used to be before 2010. So, what’s the destruction we caused for living the self-sufficiency lie?
Again, "We are the most in-debt, obese, addicted and medicated adult cohort in human history." -Dr. Brené Brown, social scientist, Top 3 Global TED speaker
Now, do a brave self-inquiry (Audite; Latin for listen); see if you have ingested the deadliest lie. Be brave, hear the truth:
In times of problems, stress and worry, do you move into:
Blaming (It’s not my fault, it's theirs)? Y/N
Shaming (It’s always me. I am not capable. I am stupid)? Y/N
Denying (Oh, it’s fine. Time will fix it. Someone will save me)? Y/N
Chasing (I just have to try harder. I’ve got to be strong.)? Y/N
Do you live in chronic busy-busy? Y/N
Do you say, “Someday, when this ___________________ happens, THEN I will be worthy, whole, happy, confident? Y/N
These are all self-sabotage beliefs born from self-deception from low self-awareness resulting from living the self-sufficiency lie. So how do the great ones of holistic success like John D. Rockefeller, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates avoid living in the delusion of the self-sufficiency lie? (By the way, since I am in business, I do use many public business figures to make my points about holistic success. However, that does not mean only business people have holistic success.)
3. HOW CAN YOU NOT SELF-SABOTAGE YOUR NO. 1 LIFE HACK?
a. Know THE truth about YOU.
b. And, "Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” -John D. Rockefeller
Do you know what THE most important truth about YOU is that you must know?
A: You are wonderfully made but NOT “self-made.” The world-class leaders live this truth.
What does a Formula 1 race car, a Smartphone and YOU have in common?
They are all wonderfully made systems but NOT “self-made” systems!
Kiichiro Toyoda, Toyota Motors founder, knows exactly what parts and how many parts are in his cars. He is able to tell you, right down to a single bolt. Why is he able to do that? Because he is the maker of Toyota cars.
Now, tell me exactly how many brain neurons, cells, flagellum, DNA codes, epigenetics layers, hormones and hairs you have. You can’t. Why? Because not you (nor any human) made you. Were you there when your unique fingerprints were being shaped? No. Even your parents weren’t there nor could they answer these questions. Case closed. You are wonderfully made but not “self-made” because you have no idea what REALLY makes up you.
I have studied and mapped hundreds of people who enjoy holistic success, and I have mapped hundreds of people who don’t. The defining difference is this: the most holistically successful know they’re wonderfully made, and the least holistically successful believe they’re self-made.
From John D. Rockefeller, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, I clearly see these people know and live by THE truth that they are wonderfully made. The people who don’t, live THE truth and suffer (as I once did).
THE Truth: You are NOT the Maker; you are the wonderfully Made. You are NOT the Creator; you are the wonderfully Created. What does living THE truth about YOU do for you?
In this letter, I will touch on #1, because as you bravely practice ACE, you will experience in your heart and soul and deep down in your bones just how priceless and wonderfully made you truly are.
Now, you are reading my letter because you want something better. You want more of something and you want less of something ("functionality"). Congratulations! It’s the healthy people who want better. We call wants “output”. You’re about to see why 97% of people fail their goals and resolutions and why the “experts” haven’t had a real solution.
Remember the Formula 1, smartphone and YOU example of wonderfully-made systems?
Well, for every wonderfully-made system to have successful output, it first needs INPUT. The Formula 1 car has all sorts of input needs for it to output properly, such as fuel, oil, coolant and a whole team of experts to care for it. For your smartphone to properly output, it needs the right data, electrical power and an environment that doesn’t overheat it. With all systems, the needs of input must be fulfilled first before one can have the wants of output.
In fact, look around right now. Do you see an appliance system, an electrical system, a water (toilet and shower) system? Open your eyes and raise your self-awareness: Each one of these systems needs input before they can properly output your wants. Appliances needs electricity input. Showers needs water input. Stereo systems need data and electricity input before they can output. Our entire earth ecosystem needs input from our sun, or we all die.
YOU are a bio-system. YOU were designed to require input before you can output. If you are self-unaware to fulfill your input needs first, guess what happens? You don’t output properly. It’s that simple. It’s why nearly 97% of people fail at getting what they want even with a plethora of "helping" info and apps. Ever notice how nearly all that information is about DIY and focuses on what you "should" be doing ("output") but rarely on INPUT discussion?
So what is YOUR NO. 1 NEED right next to air, food, and water? ACE, daily. It's definitive science, period.
When we live the self-sufficiency lie, we forget we are the Made and not the Maker. Then we forget we are wonderfully created bio-systems, and then we forget our NEEDS. Thus, the vast majority of us crawl through life barely puttering along, starved of our intrinsic ACE needs. We believe we are failures and must accept being enslaved by a life of dysfunctions. Nearly 100% of “helping” companies LOVE IT because studies show, the masses of “failures” are the "helping" companies’ target market to loot with more seminars and books touting the self-sufficiency lie.
“Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” -Albert Einstein
Be different, be genius, be self-aware of what you are: a wonderfully-made bio-system. Be self-aware of your needs and your wants. Be self-aware of what you think you want versus what your heart desires. We'll cover this in ACE-10 Training.
Repeat after me: I am wonderfully made but not self-made. So, if I want output. I must choose the action that fulfills my No. 1 need first, which is to ACE self-awareness, daily. I am a priceless, wonderfully-made bio-system, so my needs precede my wants. My input precedes my output. It’s as simple as that.
“Need, want, desire and action must be aligned. If not, failure and shame awaits.” -Richard Lee
Fulfill your No. 1 need, and your healthy wants will almost take care of themselves.
Today, we can learn from the past more than ever. I have mapped hundreds of human lives that didn't live THE truth, from Robbin Williams, Michael Jackson, Prince, Ernest Hemingway, Alan Turing to Steve Jobs, including our brave beta-members, me and my wife. And each time, in the suffering, in the self-inflicted failures and the self-sabotage tragedies, the self-sufficiency lie is the hidden contagion. The unseen controls the seen.
John D. Rockefeller is arguably the world's most holistically-successful human. He was brave enough not to let the good get in the way of the great. Success leaves clues. Despite being rock-bottom poor, Rockefeller became the wealthiest entrepreneur who has ever lived ($340B. -Forbes 2014 est.). He was the world’s first billionaire. He was a great husband, father, friend, and he was the world's greatest philanthropist (of which Bill Gates models from). Despite building the greatest business the world has ever seen (Standard Oil), Rockefeller was not a workaholic. He actually said, “Workaholism is pathetic.” He lived in great health and vitality to TWICE the men of his age. Rockefeller had it all. He was a world-class leader.
I have scrubbed Rockefeller’s biography, Titan, twice. Through the lens of seven leading life sciences, I now can clearly see his relational patterns of how every single day, Rockefeller would ACE self-awareness with close confidants, then at night with his wife, Laura “Cettie.” I saw that John was a relentless ACE practitioner. Way more than me. He inspires me to do more ACE practice! Rockefeller knew THE truth and he lived THE truth. Thus, he was a world-class leader.
Overwhelming research (like Stanford University Prof. James Collins book, Good to Great) shows that the healthiest, happiest, most powerful, purposeful, successful people have the ability to say no to the good so they have room to say yes to the great. This crucial ability to choose the good over the great investments (a skill Warren Buffett attributes to emotional stability, aka emotional intelligence) is how Buffett was able to multiply his own personal $100 in 1959 in his first investment fund into a global holding company, Berkshire Hathaway. Today, as of this letter, it is worth over $437 billion and counting. He did this while not being a workaholic and enjoying a great marriage, deep friendships, physical vibrancy and longevity (while eating McDonald’s and drinking Coke), and being one of the world's largest philanthropists.
Hint: The foundation of emotional stability is self-awareness.
Buffett is said by his peers, including Bill Gates, to be the wisest person they have ever met. Buffett's ability to choose the good over the great is synonymous with others who, like Buffett and Rockefeller, have it all.
People who are self-aware are not afraid to give up the good to go for the great.
Interestingly, Bill Gates (amongst other billionaires) touts Rockefeller's biography, Titan, as the foundational must-read. Looks like Gates learned well from Rockefeller. Gates’s best decision of his life was to say no to Harvard (the good) and to say yes to founding a highly risky, on a shoestring, moonshot venture back then, called Microsoft (the great). Because of Gates’s brave choice to go for the great, he got both. Harvard awarded Gates an honorary doctorate, even being it's "most successful dropout." Can you imagine if Gates had chosen the good and missed out on the great Microsoft?
"Genius is rare—but courage is rarer still.” -Peter Thiel
I see 99% of people missing out on their own "Microsoft" in the financial, physical, relational, emotional and mental parts of their lives (as I once did). Because we keep COWARDLY choosing the familiar, chasing the busy-busy with work, family, friends, hobbies (“the good”), we are not self-aware enough to know that we must be filled up with the truth (grace, love, courage, wisdom…the great) which affects the good. As one of my wife's wise friends realized, “How can I be really connected at work, home and play if I am not really connected with myself, first.”
Giving up the good to go for the great is so counterintuitive, isn’t it? Giving up the familiar is scary, even if the familiar is dysfunctional and unfulfilling. It’s why to ACE self-awareness daily is THE hallmark behavior of the brave world class.
Heed my story: Why would anyone need to pour out good cool water on a searing hot summer day?
As a teen, I loved going on road trips to the desert. On one such trip, we ran out of gas in the middle of nowhere in Arizona on a blistering hot day.
We remembered a small gas station about five miles back. So we grabbed our only jug of water and began our brutal trek for gas. When we got to the gas station. There was no attendant. No portable gas tank to buy. So we had to empty out our good water from our jug to make room for the great gas we NEEDED to power us out of being STUCK so we could get to where we wanted to go. The great must trump the good. Input precedes getting output.
We were all so thirsty already and dreading hiking back five miles without water. But if we didn't choose to empty out the good water to make room for the great gasoline, we would have been immobile in that barren desert. Stuck in that state long enough, we would then suffer other agonizing human problems, including an early death. It's that predictable and that simple.
“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” -Henry Thoreau
What would you feel if you were lost in a barren desert?
A: Quiet desperation.
Busily running about but stuck seeing the same arid, boring sand dunes over and over and over—isn’t this the same as being STUCK in a desert of barren sand hills? Sure, maybe the possessions, passions, promotions, and popularity are around you, but do these really make the great difference once the novelty wears off (as it always does)?
Unless you are self-aware, you will always be STUCK in the boring busy-busy and missing out on the great. Stuck in the dizzying spin cycle of life—over and over and over. Stuck in the same barren desert of recurring epidemic problems, like loneliness and disconnectedness—the contagion of hidden depression, immobility, chronic disease, anxiety and addiction ("The Big 6"). Plus hundreds of other problems stemming from the Big 6. The number one reason people file for bankruptcy is because of the Big 6, and why people are overweight and skinny-fat stems from the Big 6, along with shallow, broken relationships. Make no mistake, the lack of self-awareness causing the Big 6 has become an extinction-level event and THE global human problem.
Stuck—not able to rise out of the same financial, physical, relational, emotional and mental problems. Even though we may know what to do, somehow, we just can’t do them: STOP procrastinating, stop smoking… eating… drinking… spending… clicking…, visiting… angering... but we can’t. We live with haunting quiet desperation.
THIS was my life prior to Bravely, and if I don’t practice ACE, I can easily get lost again. Remember, the good is the enemy of the great. Forgetting THIS is how 97% of people get stuck, disconnected and parched in the desert of life.
"We don't talk anymore. We don't listen anymore." -Huffington Post, Sophia Nelson
So, how do we get out of the barren desert of boring sameness? The same way the world-class leaders do.
Treat your ACE practice as your life and the lives of your children and your children’s children depend on it—because they do.
Remember, the masses want power, but the world class have power because YOU ace self-awareness, daily!
“To believe yourself invested with divine self-sufficiency is not the mark of a strong individual, but of a person who has mistaken the crowd’s worship — or jeering — for the truth.” -Peter Thiel, Zero to One, pg. 189
For the sake of you and yours and theirs, my plead to you is to bravely not live like the masses do. As I once lived. Unaware, going about like the passengers on the sinking Titanic. Busily choosing the good chairs to sit in and not seeing the great — being self-aware that the very ship they are in is already sealing their doom. More than ever, we need world-class leaders (of teams and homes) to bravely choose the great — to ace self-awareness, daily.
"Stupid is as stupid does." -Forest Gump
"World class is as the world class does." -Richard Lee
In closing, before I wrote this ACE-10 introduction, I knelt and prayed to God (for me, He is Jesus Christ) to use me to speak to His beloved creation. I said, “Please Lord, let me write this letter as if I only had 20 minutes left to live. Use all my multitudes of failures, hundreds of heartaches, thousands of my self-inflicted problems, millions of miles of my crawling through that barren desert and whatever valuable knowledge I have gained to do just one thing: to give a battle cry to the brave, all around the world, to ignite the torch in their hearts for our courageous march to ace self-awareness, together.”
Now, master your ACE-10 Training with brave others.
"Do not go gentle into that good night, …rage, rage against the dying of the light." -Dylan Thomas
1st Bravely member