The Ticket to Ultimate Freedom: YOU!
“Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it.” – Lou Holtz
To All Our Living Legends,
As 2015 draws to a close, it provides us all with a natural space to reflect and regroup.
There is no doubt in my mind that despite all the books I’ve read, classes I’ve taken, and travelling I’ve done, life has undoubtedly been my biggest teacher of all this year.
How about you? What happened to you this year? What have you had to deal with? What was unexpected? How did you respond? And most importantly, what did you learn?
Life is an expert at throwing us huge challenges that we simply cannot anticipate, and it will continue to do so. It is perfectly natural and understandable to react with frustration when things around us change and we feel out of control… But what if we could start to practice tiny shifts in our thinking that would provide massive benefits and instead of continuing to resist the changes around us, we could accept and adapt accordingly?
This week I want to share with you one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from this past year about personal freedom. And the awesome thing is… it’s completely within your control!
Leaning Into Uncertainty
As I reflect on this year, I do so with a mixture of immense pleasure and intense pain. It’s an interesting feeling to have, actually… this year was by far the best year of my life but at the same time it was the worst year I’ve ever had.
Despite the fact that it could have looked like Scott and I were just having fun trouncing all around the world, this year was a huge growth year for us. We let go of a lot, we lived in a way we never had before and as a result of that, we grew tremendously.
During our trip, we let go of a lot of material possessions, a freeing feeling indeed to find out how little you actually need! But more importantly, we let go of a large part of our identity. As you shed ‘stuff’, you begin to shed part of what you identify with and attach to. We let go of being associated to any one physical space. We let go of the ‘needs’ we had in order to be happy and we let go of the rules we had to meet those needs.
It is easy to forget how attached we get to the stories that we tell ourselves about who we are and what we ‘need’ to be who we are. And the more of those stories you shed, the closer you get to your true self, to who you really are, to your actual identity.
We also learned to live with a lot of uncertainty in our lives – about where we were going to end up, how we were going to get there and who we were going to meet along the way. It wasn’t always easy but after the first few months, we fell into the groove of being more free flowing rather than trying to control situations and I have to say, I was amazed over and over this year by the things I was able to do that I never would have been able to anticipate or prepare for!
We ended up in many surprising situations, such as when we got to snowy Brasov, Romania with my warmest shoes being a pair of Tom’s. Or when we found ourselves in the middle of the medina in Marrakesh only to discover that it was Ramadan. That may have explained why there wasn’t another tourist in sight… We held full fledged conversations in languages we didn’t speak, we ran an online business with internet speeds slower than you could ever imagine and almost daily we found ourselves realizing that things never go as planned.. such as crazy road trips through Argentina (and by that I mean endless hours of bumpy, windy dirt roads), arriving to boarded up beach towns in Bulgaria and planning 2 hour hikes through Italy where we actually ended up bush-wacking our way along a ‘trail’ for 6 hours.
The trip was filled with constant adventure and unexpected surprises. There was an unparalleled amount of joy but there is no denying that there were also consistent lessons being learned day in and day out.
We encountered a lot of newness and very little normalcy – and that tests you. Every new culture, every new country and every ‘interesting’ situation (anyone who travels knows there are always interesting situations that come up!) was a learning experience.
As Scott and I journeyed through 20 different countries and cultures we noticed that the less we expected things to be a certain way, the less we resisted what was and the more we made small changes in ourselves to adapt to the situation, the more we experienced pure joy, freedom, and love. And I can safely say the same lesson has rung true over the past few months…
So as I think and reflect back on this very interesting year, a major take away is this:
The ticket to ultimate freedom is not to change what is around you, it’s to uncover what is within you.
It’s actually an amazingly simple thing when you think about it, but it’s simplicity offers so much value. Situations rarely change, people rarely change, but YOU can always do something to be a truer version of you.
Why the Best Gift you can Give, is YOU!
When you embody and live out the best version of you, not only do you personally benefit but everyone around you benefits as well. The past few months have reiterated to me that there is no greater gift you can give to those you love than to live a life of purpose.
I am thankful every single day for the way Scott lived his life. Because he took the time and did the hard work to be true to himself, to follow his spark and to live out his passions and his purpose, I now get to live a better life… I don’t have to wonder, hope or wish he could have done more because (as corny as it sounds!) he truly did live his legend! And there is tremendous peace in that.
Additionally, I see and feel the rewards of the way he lived his life on a daily basis – through this community he created, through the people I meet and the stories I hear, through the daily reminders I have of how much he loved me, how much he loved life and how big of an impact he made because he did all of that.
It sounds so simple… and that is the beautiful part about it. It is that simple. The best gift you can give to yourself and those around you is to discover and be the truest version of you! And as I said a few weeks ago, the truest version of you is already within you. It is not something you need to create or discover, you just have to uncover how to let it shine!
Small Shifts = Big Differences
Last week while I was in San Diego with my family, I was having a hard time because it’s the first place I have been since September that I was ‘supposed’ to be with Scott. Him and I were scheduled to land in Southern California on December 19th together and instead I made my way down there alone…
To be honest, I wasn’t having a very good time when I first arrived – my focus was clearly on what I didn’t have. The first step was to become aware of this. I noticed how I was feeling, what I was focusing on and also how it was affecting everyone around me. In my opinion, I had a few choices:
- Avoid the situation (the easy route)
- Continue to be miserable (the choice many choose to take in life but it’s just not very fun!)
- Change (the seemingly hard way out)
So the next morning, I went outside to do my morning routine. By the way, it’s not wise to hope you are going to wake up feeling good… you’ve got to create a routine (ideally in the morning) that makes sure you will go into your day feeling good! For me that means spending a few minutes focusing on things I am deeply grateful for and allowing myself to be flooded with that feeling.
That morning I looked at where I was, a house on the beach (one of my favorite places in the world!) with a family that loves me and was doing the best they could given the challenging circumstances. Instead of thinking about me, I looked around me. I found the beauty of my surroundings. I found compassion for my family and I shifted my focus to the many things I did have in that moment versus what I did not. And then I sat with that until I really absorbed it.
And to be honest, it was like a light switched. I walked back in the house that morning and everything changed – yet nothing had actually changed at all.
You see, the circumstances hadn’t changed one bit. I was still in the same house with the same people, Scott still wasn’t there but everything was completely different because I made a shift within me. I could have taken the easy way out and walked away saying the situation was too hard. I could have stayed miserable. But instead, I took responsibility. I took action. I changed instead of hoping things would change and that allowed me to enjoy the rest of the week with my family. But more importantly, it allowed them to enjoy their time with me!
I found a better version of me and because of that everything around me was better…
How to Peel Back the Layers and Uncover the Best Version of YOU
So how can you start to peel back your own layers, built up over the years from society’s or perhaps your family’s expectations of who you should be, and start to uncover a truer version of you?
We want to share with you three simple steps to start you on that journey, inspired by the tools and example that Scott left us all…
It’s also important to note that uncovering who you are is not an end-point, it’s not something you can ‘learn’ and then put on a shelf, it’s a process of ongoing discovery.
Ready to start (or continue!) that process of discovery?
Step 1: What is really important to you?
“A congruent person does not let the thoughts of others affect their approach to the world. They take their own unique path paved by their understanding of themselves.” – Scott Dinsmore
It’s basically impossible to become the best version of you without first becoming a self-expert. Most of us have spent years adhering to society’s expectations of us and pleasing everyone except ourselves along the way. So it’s easy to see why most of us enter adulthood having lost touch with who we truly are and have zero clue which direction to take in life, let alone have any idea what we’re passionate about!
So we first have to shake off all the outer layers we’ve accumulated over the years from others…
Activity: Take a blank sheet of paper and create two columns with the following headings:
Column 1: What I think I should say is important to me
Column 2: What is truly important to me.
The first column is where you can spew out all of the ‘shoulds’ and expectations you’ve collected over the years. Remember: this is your private work so unleash!
The second column is where you can really start to uncover your own unique truth. Ignore the internal voice of judgement that will probably come up, and stay true to yourself as you write.
Step 2: What do you value most?
The better your relationship with yourself, the more congruent you’ll be able to live your life. It’s contagious. You will not only be enhancing your own life, but the life of those around you. Congruency inspires congruency. – Scott Dinsmore
Now that you’ve nailed what’s really important to YOU, you have a strong foundation for identifying your values. Steve Pavlina has a pretty extensive list to get the juices flowing.
Activity: Circle or highlight all on the values list that resonate with you and then narrow them down to your top 5-10 that you feel represent what’s most important to you and your life. Make a note next to each value as to why that value is so important to you.
Step 3: What are your superpowers?
Be convinced of your reason for being on this earth and your positive impact will be something the world will appreciate. – Scott Dinsmore
Now that you know what matters to you and what you value, we can start to nail down your superpowers – your innate strengths and talents. The reason this is so important is that you can harness these things most easily when life throws you curve balls. So you might be thinking ‘But I don’t have any superpowers!’ – don’t panic.
If you’re anything like most of us, you have probably been trained to look for your ‘weaknesses’ and then spend a bunch of time and effort improving them (only to become mediocre at everything!). Sadly, this also means you have probably forgotten about all of the things that come easily to you aka your superpowers.
- What tasks are you good at? What things do you genuinely enjoy doing? What do bosses, and coworkers or friends always ask you to help with? What things excite you to think about working on: Is it perhaps presenting a new idea, researching a product, doing a price comparison, entertaining a client or fixing a water pipe? Get creative.
- What underlying strengths do these tasks require? These things could be: problem-solving, organizing, listening, public speaking, project-managing, creative-thinking, movement, empathy, writing, drawing, designing, relating to others, etc. List the five things you know you rock at.
Releasing Your Personal Power
When was the last time you sat down to explore what makes YOU tick? What makes you YOU? Why are you following the path you’re on? What you’re chasing and why?
You see, answering these kinds of inward-looking questions is something that most people never do, because uncovering and then releasing your personal truth and power comes hand-in-hand with great responsibility. It gives you the power to choose how you respond to the cards life deals. Most people just make excuses why it’s too hard, or why they don’t have time, that it just won’t work for them, or that they simply just cannot change.
But the truth is, doing this work firmly kicks you out of the stands and into the ‘arena’ of life. It can feel like a huge spotlight has been placed on you, waiting for you to mess it all up. But we know that this community is unlike any other, because you are willing to ask the hard questions of yourself, to take scary steps, and to push outside of your comfort zone.
So when the arena starts to look a little scary, here are 3 secret weapons to help you to keep on pushing through and stay the course:
- Ask yourself: What will become possible for me and my life if I travel this journey and become a self-expert? List 2 or 3 super-specific awesome things that will happen as a result?
- What will happen if you don’t? List 2 or 3 of the worst possible things that could happen if you don’t travel down this road.
- Who or what can you lean of for support along the way? Make sure you have the right people and resources in your corner to set yourself up for success.
Being 100% responsible for your life and how you respond to its challenges and changing nature definitely takes practice and courage, but it’s also where your personal power lies. And after all, it’s the one ticket to ultimate freedom: being YOU!
Note: These steps have been inspired by course content from Scott’s Live Off Your Passion course. We have only just scratched the surface of what is taught in much greater depth across 8 modules of guided self-discovery. And because we want to see YOU shine in your brightest light in 2016 (and beyond!), we have some very special bonuses for you if you choose to join the course before January 1!
Moving Forward Together
This year has presented challenges as we have together struggled to find our feet and walk a new path since Scott left us in September. Yet, the way that this community has come together over the past few months has left me in absolute awe and I know it would have made Scott so tremendously proud. Thank you.
As we look ahead to 2016, let’s continue to band together, lift each other up, and inspire those around us by making a difference, doing work that matters, and being the best versions of ourselves each and every day.
With Love and Gratitude,
Chelsea and the Legendary Live Your Legend Team (Celina, Charlie, Leah, Naz, Rick, Shan and Steve)