Vision = Faith

You cannot call yourself a visionary if you need to see it to believe it. At that point, you’re just a spectator. Can you really see the possibilities? Do you really believe in it? It takes a lot of dedication and persistence to reach a point where you can qualify the vision. To get that far, the goal needs to be clear and indisputable to all parties invested. You need to understand the vision and believe wholeheartedly in it. You need to have faith that you are on the right path.
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You Always Have An Enemy

The human spirit does not lend itself well to complacency. Never assume everyone is on your side. Even with widely accepted “fact,” rebels always stand up. To many, the world is only a few thousand years old. To others, genocide has merit as a method for population control. You can never completely convince everyone to join your team. Even when you do, someone will wake up in denial and challenge you out of an intuitive aversion to conformity. To keep the species alive, it is our nature to challenge each other. To keep the universe in balance, the coin must have a flip side. There is no peace without war. No light without dark. No opinion without opponent. Accept the conflict. Embrace symbiotic relationships.

Treat Loneliness Like A Shark

When I was 13 years old, I realized the popular kids were not always happy – they just looked really happy when they were busy hanging out with friends (which was often, but not always). When they went home and found themselves alone, they suffered the same withdrawal that I did when they thought too hard about it (some hyper-social kids are never comfortable alone and have worse withdrawals than anyone else). We find ourselves at our lowest points at home left alone with nothing but our thoughts. In rough patches, these lulls sap our energy, optimism, and confidence. Loneliness cripples us.

The popular kids taught me early on that staying busy and surrounding yourself with good people dramatically increases your positive energy and quality of life. Like a shark, you are happier if you keep moving. Stay active, keep friends close, and only stop to reflect if you dare. Before long, you might even become the popular kid.

Bringing People Together

I left Los Angeles because it was too difficult to get around and randomly run into people. When your world is not colliding with the worlds of others, it’s exceedingly difficult to coordinate, collaborate, and compete. If you want to accomplish a lot in this lifetime, it makes a big difference living in an environment where you can always find someone to share ideas with. If you are not in that environment, then you need to consider leaving or find a way to build that environment where you’re at. Many groups in San Francisco and New York have taken the coffee shop to the next level by organizing co-working spaces where like-minded thinkers gather at their own pace and immerse themselves in the productivity of mutual togetherness. Surround yourself with people. It makes a huge difference – not only for your productivity, but also for your social and spiritual life.

At every opportunity, sound the horn and bring people together. Throw a party, call a conference, organize a lunch – whatever it takes. Host an event, get people in the door, and thrive.

Appreciate

Give thanks by living out your gifts. If you feel blessed with a great life, the greatest way to show appreciation is to pay it forward. Give back to those who gave to you by fulfilling your talents, maximizing the value of gifts, embracing relationships, and making a difference in the world. Make your life and all that you have been given count. The worst way to say thanks is to say “thanks” and do nothing. Enjoy your food coma today; earn it tomorrow. Go be the best that you can be.

Happy thanks and giving!

Invest In Your Childhood

I don’t care how immature or nerdy it may seem; everyone needs to invest in his or her childhood once in a while. Revisit old cartoons, movies, video games, board games, books, and destinations. Spend money on the things you loved as a child. I just purchased the new Legend of Zelda; after nearly two years devoid of video games, I look forward to burning a good 50 hours on it. Why revisit your childhood? It’s a grounding experience. Through nostalgia, you refresh core values and trace your steps. You come to appreciate who you are and where you came from. It’s important for building identity. It’s important for building the soul.

Do not hesitate to buy and enjoy that childhood classic. Screw the person who tells you to grow up.

Create Daily

I can think of nothing decidedly more human than creativity. The human value of creativity stems from our primordial experiences as a species when we discovered how to wield tools. Inventing and creating are spiritual endeavours. Like cleansing yourself of toxins, genuine creative output clears the heart and mind. The more often you create, the healthier and richer your humanity becomes. I blog daily and get a kick out of it. What can you do everyday to keep the juices flowing?

A Grain of Sand in the Universe

Without question, nature inspired me this weekend. The world is so much bigger than we are, so much older, so much wiser. To comprehend how instantaneous and fractional our lives are in the grand scope and age of our planet and the universe is very humbling. Problems with traffic, bills, chores, jobs, and other people seem so meaningless while lying under billions of stars at night. Quite an experience.

When struggling with personal woes, step back for a second and remember: you are not alone. You are part of something grand, something much larger than yourself. You play a role not only in humanity, but in the greater scheme of the universe. When small problems seem like a big deal, try to remember that there are stars collapsing and entire worlds ripping apart out there. Count your blessings. And remember this: we have it pretty good.

Love life, live in awe of the universe, and make it count.