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Be the Water, Not the Wave – Fired Up Friday: Week 84
June 4, 2018

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Life Hack:

Be the Water, Not the Wave.  There are days where I let my thoughts and emotions get the best of me. Just recently at work, I had a prospect stop returning my calls and emails. After two meetings, and what I thought was the start of a good relationship, I was met with an eerie silence. For the whole day I started running back the meetings in my head and wondering what went wrong. Surely I was to blame. My mind spun, confidence sank, and self-doubt set in.

But a teaching I heard recently from Zen monk Thich Nhat Hanh has helped me rethink how I deal with these types of situations and overcome the emotional rollercoaster. Hanh compares our emotional roller coaster to the waves in the ocean – with inevitable highs and lows. But when we look closer at the ocean we can see that it is not made up simply of waves. The ocean, at its core, is water. And the water itself is not experiencing these highs and lows. It is simply being water.

Like the ocean, we too will always have these waves of emotions occurring throughout our lives, but the key is not to attach ourselves to these waves, but rather to be the stillness that is the water. So now, when I think about this lost sales opportunity, I can see my negative emotions flow by but I do not attach myself to them. I am the water.

 

Career Hack:

The Power of IRL.  I started building this blog two years ago with the hope that someday I would be able to work and live fully remote. With the internet making it possible to connect with people all over the world in an instant, I started to question the need of connecting with people IRL (in real life). However, I’ve noticed a pattern as I’ve built this blog that has caused me to rethink this position. I’ve noticed that my deepest connections and best opportunities still arise after meeting someone in real life. This has been true for building my blog, establishing my coaching service and in my sales job. In fact, all of my Patreon supporters and coaching students are people who, at one point or another, I’ve met face to face.

Why is this important to you? I believe it’s important to understand that, although we are slipping quickly into a digital world, your greatest opportunities and connections will be made from meeting someone face to face. Simply put, trust is not built online, it’s built in person. So no matter what your career goals are right now, I encourage you to start networking and building authentic connections with people around you. These connections will open doors that you would never find on your own.Need help on how to master networking? Drop me a line: brendan@straddletheline.co.

 

Book to Read:

You Are Here by Thich Nhat Hanh.  Throughout my life I have been fooled by this false hope that things will “get better” in the future. I remember being unhappy in my first full-time job and thinking “if only I can get a promotion, I will be happy.” Well five years and three promotions later I can tell you that career advancement did not lead to happiness. Today, I even catch myself day dreaming about how much better life will be when I start my own business. But I know now that happiness cannot come in the future. It must come from living now.

This concept of finding happiness in the now is expanded upon in the book “You Are Here” by Thich Nhat Hanh recommended to me by Patreon supporter, Daphnie Yang. In the book, Zen monk and meditation master, Thich Nhat Hanh breaks down the essence of Buddhist practice and how we can use mindfulness to transform our lives. Hanh offers a series of simple practices for helping us to live, and find happiness, in the present moment. You’ll learn breathing, walking and listening meditation techniques that you can use in your daily life to bring awareness to the present moment and happiness to your life.

 

Quote of the Week:

“In our lives, change is unavoidable, loss is unavoidable. In the adaptability and ease with which we experience change, lies our happiness and freedom.” – Buddha

 


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