In his most recent blog post, David Cain at Raptitude wrote about his year-long exercise of ‘going deep.’ Instead of creating new resolutions for 2018, he urged readers (and himself) to pick up abandoned projects and passions, to not buy anything new, or even necessarily seek new friendships, and instead revisit all of the resources already present in their lives. The results surprised him in ways he couldn’t have predicted at the onset.
Not only did Cain discover that fulfillment isn’t something ‘out there,’ he also resolved long-standing personal issues because of the “particular demand the pursuit of depth makes on us: we can’t go deeper in a given area without coming to terms with why we were never able to before.”
Reading his words, I couldn’t help but think about how we’ve all grown so accustomed to looking outside of ourselves for answers, to “treating ourselves” to something new and shiny when what we really need is a hug or a nap or a cry. Because of this, most of the time we don’t even realize we’re robbing the world of the best and brightest version of ourselves. As the brilliant Mrs. Frugalwoods put it, “I think the concept of ‘treat yourself’ underlies the belief –or insecurity– that we’ll never realize our deeply held dreams.” We know we’re unhappy, and the cure must be more stuff –new things, people, and resolutions– all of which allow us to avoid the fear inherent in chasing our heart’s deepest desires.
“We live in great danger of inadvertently keeping our most cherished pursuits, the ones that promise the most fulfillment,” Cain writes, “buried down there in the realm of ‘potential,’ where they’re safe from the real world and its limitations. In the meantime, we find other things to do –things that offer less meaning, but more assured outcomes– and we just get older.
We don’t want to put our hearts on the line if we don’t have to, and all the important things involve our hearts.”
Cain really struck a chord as I round the bend on another year filled with exciting, transformational, game-upping goals. I’ve spent the past couple of years making friends with my demons, figuring out how to transmute negative patterns, and deeply considering the kind of life I want to create – because in the end, everything that surrounds us is a result of what we’ve created: the thoughts, the actions, and the stories we tell ourselves.
Who do I want to be, and what does her life look like? Who are her closest friends? How does she think, see, and feel? What are her daily habits?
Envisioning this ideal life has made it easier to set goals, yes, but also to set boundaries. If someone or something feels constricting and out of alignment with my dreams, guess what?
It hasn’t been easy. There have been tears, sleepless nights, and relentless self-doubt. But also miracles, deeper friendships, and a wellspring of hope I never knew existed before. As Cain put it:
“Going deeper means finally seeing what’s really going to come of [pursuing your dreams]. And that’s damn scary. Existentially scary. It is our one life, after all.”
I love this reminder that living a heart-centered life is
scary A.F. the only way to fulfillment.
As a tribute to Cain’s advice, I thought I’d kick off Go Jules Go: 2019 Edition by plumbing the depths of the existential lessons I’ve begun to internalize over the past two years –ones I know I’ll come back to over and over again to truly appreciate their profundity– and briefly share them here.
“Life happens through you, not to you.” -Derek Rydall, Law of Emergence
“You cannot act in love and act in fear at the same time. You must choose between them.” -Gary Zukov
“Everyone’s opinion is right.” -Seth Godin
“That’s all anyone really needs. To know with sure conviction that the world is limitless, abundant, and strangely accommodating.” -Pam Grout, E-Squared
“Just BE happy! It’s easy. You don’t have to save the world. You just have to be happy. If you’re happy, then you will save the world.” -Go Jules Go, woo-woo hypnosis session
Happy New Year, my cherished Chipmunks! I can say with the confidence of Jessica Biel after Justin Timberlake proposed: 2019 is gonna be MAGIC!