By which my friend Eleutherios assures me is the Kabbalistic (and poetic) equivalent of Steve Pavlina’s three principles of personal growth; truth (wisdom), love (beauty) and power (strength).
This post has been a long time in coming, and in it I’ll explain why in order for me to move towards truth, love and power, I’ve decided to close Life Coaches Blog.
Be Willing to Change Everything in Your Life
In David Deida’s book The Way of the Superior Man, he talks about how you must be willing to change everything in your life when necessary.
A man must be prepared to give 100% to his purpose, fulfill his karma or dissolve it, and then let go of that specific form of living. He must be capable of not knowing what to do with his life, entering a period of unknowingness and waiting for a vision or a new form of purpose to emerge. These cycles of strong specific action followed by periods of not knowing what the hell is going on are natural for a man who is shedding layers of karma in his relaxation into truth.
But when do you know it’s time to let go of something and move on?
Among the signs of fulfilling or completing a layer of purpose are these:
You suddenly have no interest whatsoever in a project or mission that, just previously, motivated you highly.
You feel surprisingly free of any regrets whatsoever, for starting the project or for ending it.
Even though you may not have the slightest idea of what you are going to do next, you feel clear, unconfused, and, especially, unburdened.
You feel an increase in energy at the prospect of ceasing your involvement with the project.
The project seems almost silly, like collecting shoelaces or wallpapering your house with gas station receipts. Sure, you could do it, but why would you want to?
3 years ago, I started Life Coaches Blog with enthusiasm, fire, desire and a real hope to help the world and improve my life in the process. Today, I feel all 5 points Deida lists above when I think about this blog.
It’s not that I’ve lost my passion for personal growth – far from it. But my path of personal growth has moved away from Life Coaches Blog’s path, and so to move closer to my truth I must leave it behind. For one, it has become less and less truthful for me to write a blog called Life Coaches Blog, as I haven’t been a ‘life coach’ for the longest time.
It has also become less truthful as I believe less and less in the simplistic answers most ‘life coaches’ out there offer as the gospel truth. The more I’ve grown, the further I realize I’ve moved away from the original tone of this blog. And to try to offer simplistic formulas for personal growth that I no longer believe in for the sake of web traffic and the hope of earning a quick buck, would just be me lying to you, and me lying to myself. And for the sake of my own growth, down that path I cannot go.
Real growth takes time, thoughtfulness and effort, and cannot be achieved just by reading 7 easy tips. To attempt to sell you otherwise is simply lazy-ass thinking.
The Dip (When to Stick and When to Quit)
In his book The Dip, Seth Godin talks about the dip, the dead end, and how winners quit all the time; they just quit the right stuff at the right time. The difference lies in knowing the difference between a dip; the tough journey between the beginning and a worthwhile goal, and a dead end; where no matter how hard you slog you still end up going nowhere.
But when is the right time to quit? Godin proclaims that anytime you’re going to end up average, you might as well quit – because average is for losers.
Quitting at the right time is difficult. Most of us don’t have the guts to quit. Worse, when faced with the Dip, sometimes we don’t quit. Instead, we get mediocre.
The most common response to the Dip is to play it safe. To do ordinary work, blameless work, work that’s beyond reproach. When faced with the Dip, most people suck it up and try to average their way to success.
Which is precisely why so few people end up as the best in the world.
To be a superstar, you must do something exceptional.
Not just survive the Dip, but use the Dip as an opportunity to create something so extraordinary that people can’t help but talk about it, recommend it, and, yes, choose it.
The next time you catch yourself being average when you feel like quitting, realize that you have only two good choices: quit or be exceptional. Average is for losers.
Am I being too harsh? Isn’t your time and your effort and your career and your reputation too valuable to squander on just being average? Average feels safe, but it’s not. It’s invisible. It’s the last choice – the path of least resistance. The temptation to be average is just another kind of quitting…the kind to be avoided. You deserve better than average.
If I’m truthful to myself, I’ve made Life Coaches Blog just average. And in order for me to become more powerful, I have to let go of the things that give me less returns than the power I put in.
In a life with finite time and energy, I find myself saying no more and more the more I realize what’s truly important to me. The enemy of the great is truly not the bad, but the good, as choices become more refined and require greater awareness at that level. It’s easier to say yes to ice-cream versus a dish of rubbish, but harder to make the choice when you love both vanilla and chocolate flavors.
Letting go of less important and more average work frees me up to do the work that truly matters – my very best creative work. And that’s powerful.
To Live, to Love, to Learn, to Leave a Legacy
In his book First Things First, Stephen Covey writes about the four human needs.
The essence of these needs is captured in the phrase ‘to live, to love, to learn, to leave a legacy.’ The need to live is our physical need for such things as food, clothing, shelter, economic well-being, health. The need to love is our social need to relate to other people, to belong, to love, to be loved. The need to learn is our mental need to develop and to grow. And the need to leave a legacy is our spiritual need to have a sense of meaning, purpose, personal congruence, and contribution.
Life Coaches Blog served my spiritual need for meaning and contribution for the last 3 years, by giving me the chance to write and give away over 400 free personal development articles that have helped people, and by dedicating Life Coaches Blog’s profits to charity.
The thing about love, is that its not just about a connection to others but also about a connection to oneself – about how connected you are to your own heart. My heart tells me that it’s not enough to want to leave a legacy; it’s about leaving a legacy that you can be proud of.
I don’t want to leave behind mediocrity. And in a way I can’t really explain with the power of words, my heart tells me that if I continue with Life Coaches Blog I will be heading down an average path. The journey has been good, but I’ve gone as far as I can go here. And when I look at going down a new path, it is this path that my heart tells me is the path with heart.
I will be closing down Life Coaches Blog by stopping all posting, but I’ll still leave the site up. I still get comments and thanks for articles that are in the archives, and as long as they remain useful to someone I’ll be leaving them up to serve as my own little legacy.
I want to thank all the life coaches who have contributed articles for Life Coaches Blog. Your contributions are all appreciated, and I deeply apologize for not being able to publish all of them. I should have been quicker and much more frequent in my replies, and for being inefficient and seemingly aloof, I’m sorry.
So, to Brenda Tung, Carey Powell, Chrissy Scivicque, David B. Bohl, Eleutherios, Jeanine Austin, Jeff Cleveland, Josh Perez, Karen Parsons, Paiboon Busayarak, Pete Tan, Rick Cook, Shelley Stile, Todd Goldfarb and Wang Yezhong, I thank you deeply – Life Coaches Blog could never have been as successful as it got without your help.
Create a Blog You Can Be Proud of
If I may give my contributors some advice – you don’t need anyone else to publish your articles for you. Create your own blog. I’m guessing it’s a lack of technical familiarity that’s holding some of you back – well, with free and easy to use software like WordPress and support forums, it’s not too hard. Or, use a host like Site5 that helps you install WordPress with the click of a few buttons, then customize it from any number of free WordPress themes.
As to how to create a blog you can be proud of, read Steve Pavlina’s How to Build a High-Traffic Web Site (or Blog) and How to Make Money From Your Blog posts. I suggest my own 9 Keys to Building a Blog You Can Be Proud Of. Watch Merlin Mann’s video on How to Blog. Think about what they say. A lot. And then just do it. You won’t be perfect from the get-go but you’ll learn most from doing.
The Next Step
So what’s ahead? I still love writing, and I still love personal growth, so if you want to follow me on my journey you can follow me at the new 21 Dragons. It’s not a personal development blog per se, although it does have personal growth posts like The Beginner’s Mind Sucks But You Still Need It, A Letter to a Young Colleague and Personal Growth is a Choice.
Instead, it’s more a personal blog than anything really, which is why you’ll find sudden thoughts on marketing like The New MacBook’s Story, riffs on internet marketing like Before Making Large Bags of Money Online and muses on design like Apple & The Essence of Simplicity.
It’s also more snarky and contains some swearing, so it’s a little different from Life Coaches Blog 🙂 It’s a real hodgepodge of my interests, and definitely not a ‘targeted, niche blog’. And that’s perfectly fine with me, as I explain in Why 21 Dragons Exists that I’m doing this for fun not profit (if you’re wondering about the name, check out What Does ’21 Dragons’ Mean?). And I’m happy and excited and inspired to be doing it.
Which, I’m beginning to think, is the best reason to do anything.