Want To Get Real With Yourself?


Imagine for a moment that you are preparing for the journey of a lifetime and that your final destination is the paradise of your dreams. Time, money, and resources are of no importance. You have an unyielding supply of all three. Now some of the questions I pose to you are:

  • What is the purpose of this journey? What are your reason(s)?
  • What sort of vehicle would you take on your journey? (For example, a car, a  boat, a plane)
  • How much fuel will you need? What type of fuel?
  • Who will accompany you on your journey?
  • What would you bring along? (For example, knowledge, books, clothes, etc.)
  • What would you leave behind?

These are important questions to a game I like to call, “Getting Real with Yourself”. Each of us is on our own separate path, a journey of sorts that requires the same level of planning, preparation, and forethought that any normal weekend vacation trip would entail. The only difference between this journey and a random weekend vacation is that this journey is the journey of your life. Let’s take the questions from above and explore them in further detail.

What is the purpose of this journey?

Before you embark on your journey you will need a clear idea of why it is that you even want to go on this trip in the first place. What are your core directives? In essence, what is the outcome that you hope to achieve? Each of us has our own inner drive. The challenge comes in rediscovering exactly what it is we wish to do with this wonderful and precious gift that we call life. Some may call it life purpose others may call it destiny or fate or karma or court directive(s), whatever label you wish to call it doesn’t really matter. The only thing that does matter is that you have one or more than one. For myself my two core directives are:

  • To be of positive and loving service to humanity in rediscovering its greatness.
  • To positively contribute to myself, and those around me, and to positively grow in mind, body, and spirit in a relaxed and simple way of life.

Your core directive(s) is really your passion. It is the engine of your vehicle that will help make your journey more enjoyable. In simpler terms it’s the thing that gets you up early in the morning and it’s the thing that keeps you up late at night. It’s your inner drive for which all your values and core beliefs support. Each of us has a set of core beliefs and values. It’s our way of looking at the world. We filter all aspects that come into our periphery through our seven senses (sight, sound, touch, taste, smell, intuition, and passion) through our beliefs and values.

The single most important suggestion that I can recommend is to create a mission statement for who you are as a person. The mission statement is a reflection of your values and beliefs. It is simple and to the point. Most mission statements are one sentence in length. The mission statement isn’t something to memorize and continually go to once you’ve forgotten it. The mission statement is something that resonates to the core of who you are as a person. Consider your mission statement to be your definition of what it is to be successful. Imagine you have been given 100 years to do with the planet as you wish, what would you do or be? How would you like to show up in this world?

Nothing can withstand the power of the human will
if it is willing to stake its very existence to the extent of its purpose.
-Benjamin Disraeli

Sometimes coming up with a mission statement is not immediate. When it comes to creating a mission statement, being patient is definitely the call to order. The mission statement is generally effortless. One fun exercise that I enjoy doing in helping guide others toward their mission statement is mind mapping. Mind mapping is a graphical representation of your thoughts and ideas. In mind mapping, thoughts and ideas are presented in a multi-linear fashion. Traditional note taking utilizes a linear top down and left to right approach. Mind mapping is more of a global approach. (To learn more about mind mapping read the mind mapping section in my book, The Tao of Business, Chapter 4.)

Another fun exercise in helping you to create your mission statement is to take a “survey”. What I mean by survey is that you take stock of all that surrounds you either on your own or through the eyes of a friend.

For example, several months before I began writing this book I was at a crossroads. I was managing several business projects at the time and I wasn’t really enthusiastic about any of the projects I was working on. I thought I had come to the proverbial fork in the road. It wasn’t until I spoke with a good friend, that I began to realize that it wasn’t a matter of deciding which road to take. It was a matter of realizing that I was already on the path that was right for me.

Take a look around you. What are the more recent books in your library? Chances are good that what you’re reading is probably what you are most passionate about. Where do you spend most of your free time? The manner in which you divide your day and spend the currency known as time can provide some insight into the things you enjoy most.

What sort of vehicle would you take on your journey?

I can tell you from personal experience that the “answer” to this question wasn’t quite so obvious for me when I played this game. If it weren’t for the help of my good friend JD Mumma, I would still probably be contemplating this one for some time. The advice my friend gave me was this, “your vehicle is you what you’re already doing, what you’ve already done, and what most likely you’ll be doing in the future.” In other words, your vehicle isn’t some fancy brand-new car off the showroom floor. Your vehicle consists of the things that you are right now in this moment.

How much fuel will you need?

Regardless of where you’re headed the fuel (i.e. Energy) required is essential. It’s the proverbial garbage in garbage out. We live in age or just about any piece of information is readily available at our fingertips. Ancient civilizations would marvel at incredible speed that we are able to access information. As in all things a sense of balance is required especially when it comes to information overload. When I refer to fuel I am referring to not only be external things such as food, water, sun, air, but also I am referring to the internal things that are going on inside your mind, emotions, and spirit. A mathematician will tell you that a formula of negative times a negative equals a positive however when we stack more negatives onto this simple equation the end result becomes simply a negative. In other words, as you begin your journey be conscious of the influences both external and internal. Despite what’s going on externally albeit positive or negative if your internal dialogue is one of the poverty mentality it will override any positive external circumstances that are surrounding you at the moment and the end result will be a life put on hold. Your vehicle will simply not move forward. It becomes a parking lot on wheels.

The road of someday leads to the town of nowhere.
— Unknown

To prevent this from happening make sure you keep a vigilant eye on your core directive(s) and guard yourself from any negative external or internal influences. Obviously you can’t live in a bubble so it goes without saying that you may encounter negative influences that may appear beyond your control. Rest assured that you still have the ability to simply ask yourself, what’s good about this? or What could be good about this that I’m not seeing at the moment? Remember that your perspective and vision are the end results of that which you choose to interpret in each and every moment. Some people choose to see the proverbial glass of water half empty and others may choose to see it half full. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Who will accompany you on your journey?

First off, before we begin to talk about who is going to accompany you on your journey, I want to clear up something. No man is an island. If you think that you’re going to do this journey by yourself, you’re sadly mistaken. For one of life’s greatest treasures are relationships. A relationship, amplifies the human experience. It allows you to see things that you wouldn’t normally see from your vantage point. If you think you’re going to do the journey of your life on your own I would like to remind you that nobody is that independent. If you look around you, right now, at this very moment all the things that surround you such as the clothes on your back, the food that’s in your cupboards, and the roof over your head was the result of people working together. Albeit these people were unknown to you, they were still a part of your team indirectly helping you. So get over the notion that you’re going to do the journey of your life alone. You’re not.

Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.
– Ryunosuke Satoro

When it comes to your team I will tell you this it’s critical that you choose the right people. But how will you know that you have chosen the right people?

Deciding who will accompany you on your journey of life is indeed a formidable task. On your journey you’re going to encounter many people who will help you in a variety of different ways. Yet the people that are most important are those that will accompany you on your journey. The people that want to stay on the journey with you and see it through. You don’t really need to go looking for people. You don’t need to do interviews or random searches or get onto the Internet and start looking for people nor do you need to begin advertising. You just simply need to continue with your core directive(s). When you’re living in your passion you will naturally attract those that have an interest in traveling with you. So there’s no need to worry just simply do what you’ve always been doing and what you’re currently doing now, which is pursuing your passion, your core directive(s).

What would you bring along?

As with any trip you want to make sure that you have properly planned and prepared for the journey that awaits you. The equipment you bring along need to be flexible and multi-use in nature. You need things that easily adapt to the ever-changing environments you may encounter on your journey. There is no right or wrong answer as to what to bring. Take into consideration that what you bring along needs to support you while at the same time complementing your individual needs.

One of my all-time favorite things to do is to go hiking in the mountains. It’s an opportunity to get closer with nature. When backpacking in the mountains I try to bring along as little as possible, the bare minimum. As an ultra light backpacker weight is crucial or more so the least amount of weight possible. I want to travel as nimble and light as I can so that I am unencumbered by my gear. I rely more on what’s in my mind than the equipment I bring with me. With the proper amount of mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical training a person can survive in just about any environment regardless of the equipment he or she brings with them.

There are tools that are essential on any trip you take but a heavy reliance on your gear can cripple you if the tools you bring along fail. I have experienced my share of equipment failure only to be pleasantly rewarded by my ability to thrive because of the preparation I did. It is for this very reason that I rely more on my mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical training and less on the equipment I bring with me. I urge you to consider doing the same. Focus more on yourself and the knowledge. Knowledge truly is power.

What would you leave behind?

The acronym, K.I.S.S. or Keep It Simple Stupid pretty much sums up my attitude about the things you need to leave behind. The single most important thing you need to take with you is yourself. Everything else you can leave behind. If you have second doubts about whether or not to leave it behind or take it with you you’ll probably best served in just leaving it behind. Letting go is probably one of the most difficult things to do for people. We become so attached to people, places, and our things that we lose sight of the big picture, our core directive(s). Nothing is more important than your passion, your drive. Let your intuition and your passion dictate to you what it is you take with you and more importantly what it is you leave behind. Detachment is everything.

He, who is happy with nothing, is happy with everything.
– Unknown

Your answers to these six simple questions can make the journey of your life an exciting and fun filled adventure.

Ask any trip emotions can vary from person to person and from day to day. It’s useful to have with you some techniques to raise your energy. When your emotions are “down” what can you do to re-ignite the spark?

About Bronson Tang