Creating a life is creating the courage to change the things you can, which is all about creating a fearless life. One of the most creative people of all time was Vincent Van Gogh. He said. "If you hear a voice within you saying 'you are not a painter,' then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced."
Let's look at that quote from Van Gogh very carefully. There's a huge lesson in it.. When you are living in a world that's happening to you, you hear a voice inside you saying "you shouldn't do that…you should be safe...you're not really a painter… you shouldn't start your own business…you shouldn't do this…be careful…be cautious…don't do that…don't call that person, they don't know who you are…"
There's this voice - this inner critic - that all people have. And when you actually listen to it and believe it, it creates your "happening to me" world. What happened was I bought some materials, I bought a canvas, I thought I would start to paint, but what happened was, I heard a voice and the voice said to me, "Ah…you shouldn't paint…you're not a painter… you don't really have any real talent…what makes you think you are a painter?" So because I heard the voice I just didn't paint-I was discouraged. We hear this discouraging voice and we don't do something.
The problem with living in that world, and staying in that world, is that we are huddled and safe and riding this train to the end…to the death…and when we are on our deathbeds, we look back and say , "Oh, my gosh, so much happened to me. But what did I do?"
Here's an alternative. Here's what Van Gogh suggests. Create. Paint. Bypass the voice. Create the action that alters the reality and the certainty (and the truth) about you.
Van Gogh said just paint. And if you paint, the voice may be happening to you, but the world you're creating is you painting and that voice will go away! Because it's no longer true that you're not a painter. You are now painting. You know that's it's true that you are a painter. Look at the paintings being created in your studio. You are a painter. The voice disappears.
The voice says, "Oh, my gosh, this would be so scary, and I dread this and don't do this and don't try that." It's a voice that tries to keep the organism safe, but it's not really safe to be safe. It's the opposite of safe. People trying to stay safe, aren't creating the world that they really want; and they're not learning to be fearless. They are actually learning to be scared. Training themselves to accommodate fear. Ongoing fear. Soon they wake up into it. Ever feel that in your stomach when you wake up and think about the day ahead?
Instead, you can create the action that alters your world. You wake up in a creative artist's inquiry: "What can I create? …what can I do?…what step can I take?…what move can I make?…what action can I do right now?" Soon you're making a difference. You are creating the world.
I was sitting in a group of people-a group coaching session-and I was facilitating the group, and we were sitting around a big table, and people were reporting about their world. They were reporting what was happening; and so there was a lot of wishing and hoping and victim language. But there's a problem with victim language. When I am thinking and speaking like a victim of circumstances, there's a biological effect on my body and all the bio markers are affected, the internal chemistry of the body is affected, all the energy is affected and I'm literally dis-couraged. Discouraged means I am dis-couraged. The courage goes out. The sense of being at the mercy of things keeps deepening and expanding inside my whole system. It effects my breathing, it effects the way my heart beats, it effects the chemistry in the body, in the blood, it effects my brain; and emotions shut down and I get scared.
So, people in the group were just reporting about how things were and they were wishing and hoping.
Let's look at the phenomenon of wishing. If you're wishing for something, you are wishing things were different. So if you were wishing things were different, the message it sends to your subconscious mind, is "you can't handle the way things are." So it's like a quarterback going up to the line of scrimmage and seeing the defense out there and wishing it was different. If he's wishing the defense was different, he's not going to run a very good play. But, if he says to himself, "What would I like to create given that the defense is set up the way it is (because it's always set up the way it is)?
I wrote a book called Fearless, and a lot of people thought, "Well, this book is about creativity and it's also about courage, but when they read it a second time and they often see it-it's the same thing. If you've ever tried to write a book and you've stared at the blank page, you know creativity and courage are the same thing. If you've ever tried to do a painting and you've stared at the blank canvas, you finally realize creativity and courage are the same thing.
So back to my group. The group is sitting there wishing things were different, talking about the economic system, the global panic and things like that, and wishing it was different than it was. Wishing we were back five years ago or wishing we were in some better future, but not creating. Because whenever I am wishing I'm not creating.
So, victims wish and hope and owners plan and take action. That's a major distinction between the two. Victims wish and hope and owners plan and take action.
The group was also hoping. "Oh, I hope this new administration (the new President, the new government) makes the world a better place…I hope the world is better because of that... I hope the world that happens to me will get better."
You can see how weak this is. There's nowhere to go from there. It's a victimized, reported-on, happening-to-me world. It's a world that gets reported on but not changed. How do I change the world? Well, with a simple question. "What do I want to create?" Given that the defense is set up the way it is, what play do I want to create? Given that the market is the way it is, that people are the way they are right now, what do I want to create?
So when I was working with my group (it was a wonderful mastermind) and I said, "Let's start here. What do you want to create? What would you, yourself, like to create? Let's bring it back to your power and your creative ability (which everyone has.)
We get it talked out of us. We get hypnotized and seduced into the happening-to-me world. "This is happening to me….oh, boy do you know what's happening to me right now…I'm having problems with my daughter…yeah, she's gotten into some trouble…and so I didn't need that to happen to me right at a time when we are downsizing the business….oh, yeah, you know what's happening to our industry….that's happening now…and you know what's happening in our marriage…. well, we're not as….do you know what's happening here….that's happening to me right now…I didn't need that to happen….that's the last thing I needed the first thing this morning was to have her walk out on me."
So we worked with the group with "what would I like to create" and it returned people to their power and got them thinking. You could see them rising up on the ladder saying "I'd like to create this…I'd like to create that" and so it became a powerful session; but it required that we move off of this "what's happening to me" and all the wishing and hoping. "Oh, I hope….I hope that doesn't happen… Oh, I hope the banks…I hope people start saving more and spending less, or some people hope people start spending more to kick the…hope...hope…hope. You can see how weak that is. You can see how pathetic it is to walk around filled up with wishing and hoping. It really ruins a person's life. It ruins it. Because that very person could be in action and loving it. People say, "Is it possible to live a fearless life?" Well, stop thinking about your life. Stop thinking about life, and my life and a long, linear thing and a big accumulation of events. Think of who you are right now in the present moment. Are you fearless right now in this present moment? That's all you need to be. Take action. Do what you want to do? Change the world.
The question isn't "How do we change the world?" The question is how do I change my world; because that changes the world.
I'm almost in tears to see this mastermind group work the way they are working on creating their own impossible futures. I was urging them, "Hey, come on make it impossible, don't just do some kind of safe future you are creating based on a past and calculated… well, if I improve by three percent this could and might happen…I hope it does… I wish this would…..No, create something that was formerly in the category of impossible!" And they were actually doing it. People were actually creating impossible futures. Now the funny thing is after that meeting, there are people now actually doing what they previously thought was impossible because they dropped that as a barrier; because they got into a world that was now created instead of just happening to them.
I am looking out on the room, and I'm thinking to myself, "Oh, my gosh. Wouldn't it be wonderful if somehow everybody in the world (all these scared people who are hoping this administration will change my life and all that…wishing this would happen. What if the frightened world -the whole world -were able to come into this room today and sit with us and see how it works; and see what's it's like to create, and see what it's like to live in the inquiry "What would I like to create?" Given what's happening, what would I like to create?
So, I began to think about that and I thought well, look at what I'm doing here. I'm wishing that this could happen! Now that's weak, it's not creative, it's reactive; and it's a victim mind wishing things were different; so I said to myself, How might I create a way for everyone to be in this room today-and I mean everyone. People in other countries, people who don't have a lot of money, people who can't afford to pay what this group did (people put down $10,000 to meet once a month for a year.) Not everybody can do that, or at least not everybody thinks they can do that, so how could I do it in such a way that everyone could afford it and everyone could be in this room today? What could I create?
And so I created an impossible project called Club Fearless. It would be a club. It would be a world mastermind where people would learn to be -not fearless every second of every day -that's a kind of sick perfectionism -but rather to be fearless in this moment now.
One of the things that victims do is they immediately say, "Well, how do I now do this all the time and every moment? How can I always be fearless?" But instead of that … how about just now … in this moment doing it -just for the pure fun of it.
So I began to imagine what it would take to spread this through the world and I thought Club Fearless, World Mastermind, that's what I'll do. People who join will receive and exchange distinctions. I'll have a live component, I'll have things to read for people who love to read, but I'll have a lot of audio, things for people to listen to (if they don't like reading as much as listening) and all sorts of things; and I'll load it up with unexpected things for people as well, so they'll have things they can count on but they'll also receive unexpected little surprises. And I began to get very excited because that's what happens when you're creating - the excitement comes in.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Nothing great was ever created without enthusiasm." It's really true. So when you ask "What would I like to create?" the next step is "How do I get excited about it?"
Now create it! Make sure that what it is you'd like to create isn't just some safe little incremental betterment because that won't get you enthused -that won't get you excited and if you're not excited, you're not going to create anything really great and the creative juices won't be flowing. Biologically, excited people are more creative. More of the brain is lit up. They can track that on a scanner, and the more of your brain that's lit up, the more innovative and the more intuitive you are. You start really thinking out of the box and creating surprising things. You surprise yourself, and you surprise others.
So, I called the club, Club Fearless. I decided to base it on what was in the book Fearless because the response to that book has been really rather exciting for me and that's it. Anybody in the world can join and when they join, they'll be glad they did and that's a promise from me.
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