Real Life Inspiration: Ralph Smart

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It’s funny that just yesterday I published one of my Real Life Inspirations on Steve Jobs, and today I am writing about someone who is bringing a much different impact to the world but doing it with a similar message of freeing ourselves from the pre-programmed lives that society dictates for us.

I’ve just recently discovered Ralph Smart; however, had I found him sooner I don’t think I would have been capable of internalizing the simple and profound depth of his messages.

He is a Psychologist, author, counselor, life coach, and relationship guide.

But he’s also an alchemist and what I would deem a brain hacker, because he is helping others to free themselves and awaken to the infinite possibilities that exist.

I recently wrote about self-actualization and based on the videos of his that I’ve watched I get the sense that here is an individual who has discovered his potential and is living from his authentic-self.

Fortunately for the world, he’s broken free from the mainstream and is helping to raise the consciousness of others through his teachings.

As my own journey of self-discovery progresses I’m finding myself drawn more and more to the messages, signs, and lessons that are providing me the connection to clarity that is so essential to the experience of self-realization.

And the more that I walk this path, the more that I am faced with the inescapable truth that once you wake up to the matrix, there is no lasting inner-peace without breaking free.

I just purchased Ralph’s book, Feel Alive, which is available in e-book and audio format.

I am looking forward to listening to the audio version of Feel Alive as I walk on the beach in the morning.

I’m also going to be scheduling a counseling session with him and I’m looking forward to watching more of his videos, which are released every week on his Youtube Channel.

Here’s an excellent video from Ralph Smart, on loving yourself.

Update: Did a one-on-one skype with Mr. Smart and it was well worth it! Highly recommend.

Real Life Inspiration: Steve Jobs

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Steve Jobs is an exceptional example of someone who lived his life according to his own code and left a permanent mark on the world in his wake.

I’ve read his biography, and I’ve watched many interviews with him, but today I came across what I believe to be a more rare glimpse into his mind.

I choose the following four quotes from the video, because they are precious gems that should be digested and internalized within each of us striving to find our way and succeed at realizing our full potential in life.

“The only thing you have in your life is time. And if you invest that time in yourself, in great experiences that are going to enrich you, then you can’t possibly lose.”

“We went and talked to the venture capitalists none of them would give us any money. One of them referred to me as a renegade from the human race because I had longer hair, yeah none of them would give us any money, and thank G-d because they would have ended up owning most of our company”.

“I’ve never found anyone who said no or hung up the phone when I called. I just asked. And when people ask me I try to be as responsive to pay that debt of gratitude back. Most people never pick up the phone and call, most people never ask – and that’s what separates, sometimes, the people that do things from the people that just dream about them. You’ve gotta act. And you gotta to be willing to fail. You’ve gotta be willing to crash and burn, you know with people on the phone, with starting a company, with whatever. You know, if you’re afraid of failing, you won’t get very far.”

“So, the thing I would say is, when you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way it is and your life is to live your life inside of the world, try not to bash into the walls too much, try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money, but life – that’s a very limited life, life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact, and that is that everything around you that you call life, was made up by people that were no smarter than you – and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. And the minute that you understand that you can poke life and actually, if you push in, something will pop out the other side – that you can change it, than you can mold it, um, that’s maybe the most important thing; is to shake off this erroneous notion that life is there and you’re just going to live in it, versus embrace it, change it, improve it, make your mark upon it. I think that’s very important and however you learn that, once you learn it, you’ll want to change life and make it better ’cause it’s kind of messed up in a lot of ways. And once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.”

<br>Thank you Steve. The world was better for you having lived in it.

Real Life Inspiration: Jason Everman

My heroes are all modern renaissance men. The Elon Musks, the Will Smiths, the Donald Glovers, the Viggo Mortensens.

Those who have self-actualized and are living out their potential.

My favorite example of a relatively unknown person who I admire as an example of self-actualization, is Jason Everman, who according to the Columbia University website:

In 1987,  Everman—a commercial fisherman off the coast of Alaska—quit his job and moved to Seattle where he became the second guitarist touring worldwide and recording with Nirvana to promote their “Bleach” album and a bassist with Soundgarden on their “Louder than Love” tour.  He eventually outgrew the rock scene, and in 1994, he traded his pick for a rifle and enlisted in the U.S. Army special operations forces as a part of the 2nd Ranger Battalion.  Thirteen years later, Everman, 45, who has hiked the Himalayas and lived as a Nepalese monk, will graduate from Columbia University School of General Studies with a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy on May 20 at 9 a.m. in New York City. 

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The way I look at it, life is meaningless. The meaningfulness is what you impart to it. 

– Jason Everman

Everman enlisted in the Army after being inspired by the autobiography of the Italian Renaissance man Benvenuto Cellini, who was a goldsmith, sculptor, draftsman, soldier and musician, as detailed in his autobiography, which is free on amazon for the digital edition

To learn more, you can read the amazing piece from the New York Times on Everman, here.

Self-Actualization is Possible

Let me tell you the destination in life, it’s a coffin, with no heart beating inside of you and a brain that is no longer alive.

One life to live isn’t just a show, it’s the script to your life.

That’s already written. Birth to death.

What happens in-between is your choice.

You can work a job you hate, have crappy relationships, feel unfulfilled, never discover your hidden potential, never follow your dreams, and never take risks. Basically, you can be normal.

Or you can be freed from the fear that pushes you to please others. You can choose to live by your own personal code instead of being enslaved by social norms and pressures and you can fulfill your deepest inner-needs while experiencing the pinnacle of psychological health and happiness. You can be more than you ever imagined.

Self-Actualization is possible.

Seriously. This is the guiding goal of my life.

To self-actualize is to discover and cultivate one’s own unique personal potential.

Physical, emotional, mental, spiritual. All the things that matter.

In all of those arena’s I am somewhere on the spectrum between reaching my full-potential, and failing myself.

Hey!, we’ve all failed ourselves at times. It’s okay, love yourself – dust yourself off, and write a new story. Failing yourself human. It’s alright.

But failing yourself is nonetheless a terrible pain and it’s also a shame because we can make our lives and the world a better place by discovering and pursuing our own potential as human beings.

Art, science, music, literature, love, romance, spirituality, equality – the whole of man’s accomplishments that have deepened and enriched the human experience have all arisen from the discovery and pursuit of the unique physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual potential that lies in all of us.

We all have the capability to enrich our own lives and the lives of others. And that’s what I want.

Self-actualizing is the desire to be more and more of what one is, rather than to be all that one can be – because it’s not about being your ideal-self, that is not self-actualizing.

Many people dedicate their lives to actualizing a concept of what they should be like, rather than actualizing themselves. This difference between self-actualization and self-image actualization is very important. Most people live only for their image.

– Bruce Lee

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To self-actualize is to manifest your latent potential. 

That is your potential that is not yet developed or actualized, and potential that often lies undiscovered. 

But don’t think of it as fulfilling your potential – but rather as discovering, developing, and achieving it – because the purpose of self-actualization is not a destination, but rather the happiness that comes from the pursuit of it and all the things that accompany self-actualization.

Actualized people actually possess distinct characteristics that are pretty fucking cool.

In a nutshell, they live in the moment and find the beauty in each experience. They are realistic about the world and themselves and don’t see it through their baggage.They are not fearful of the unknown, or change itself. They are motivated by their own personal code and they apply themselves to solve other common problems in the world. They are introspective when faced with setbacks. They have ‘peak experiences’ in their daily lives that transform them and strengthen them. They don’t try to conform to other people’s ideas of happiness or contentment. They have a friendly sense of humor and can laugh at themselves. They are open, spontaneous and unconventional; being able to follow social norms, but not feeling confined by them. They are aware of their socially conditioned beliefs. They can authentically relate and connect to others. They are compassionate and accepting. They are selective in their relationships, but their relationships are meaningful. They are accepting of their mistakes and even open to making mistakes – but careful not to repeat them. They are aware of their imperfections. They are content. They value their privacy and solitude and use it to discover and cultivate their potential.

I told you they were pretty cool characteristics.

You can read more detail about the characteristics of self-actualized people here.

And remember, those weren’t the steps they took to become self-actualized, but rather the by-products of self-actualization. The characteristics embodied by those who committed their lives to the discovery and the pursuit of their potential.

The Steve Jobs of the world are self-actualized. The Blake Mycoskies (Toms shoes) of the world. The Will Smiths. The Bruce Lees. The Bill Gates. The Elon Musks. The Warren Buffets.

While those may seem like far-fetched examples of people who embody unobtainable lives, the fact is that self-actualization is possible for everyone – it has nothing to do with fame or wealth, but it can often produce it when people discover and cultivate their unique potential to it’s maximum.

But often people aren’t actively actualizing because they are focused on survival, or getting their basic emotional needs met. In order to self-actualize, your lower needs must first me met – as per Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. 

I also posit that here are many people who have reached the self-actualized level of happiness but due to the private and selective nature of their friendships, remain unknown beyond their close friends and family.

A great example is Jason Everman, a guy who left the rock and roll world after playing with bands like Nirvana and Soundgarden, to join the US Special Forces and then studied philosophy at Columbia.

These are people who weren’t hindered by fear and didn’t let social norms dictate their lives, but rather, instead made the choice to live by their own personal code.

If you’re intrigued and want to know how to get started on your own personal journey of self-actualization, I suggest watching the excellent videos below for some great information on how to live a life that creates self-actualization.