dream. dare. do.
3 great enemies of growth and happiness
I believe we have three great enemies that prevent us from advancing our lives, from actualizing our potential, from living our dreams.
The first being doubt.
We doubt whether or not we’re capable. We doubt whether or not we’re worthy. We doubt whether or not we’ll succeed. We doubt whether or not we even deserve it. It’s so unfortunate.
I think doubt is one of the greatest enemies of our lives. It’s so easy to overcome, but most people won’t practice the discipline of overcoming it—which is weird, right? They say, “I’m so doubtful,” and they stop.
It’s like, if you have any negative recurring emotion in your life, doesn’t maturity require you to face it and say, “Hey, how do I fix this?”
If you’re always doubtful, then you can’t just wander around saying I’m so doubtful, like some kind of victim. That’s not fair to the humanity that you’ve been given, to that real power of free will that says, “Hey, you can direct your consciousness.” That’s why you have this big prefrontal cortex. Other animals can’t, we can!
Handle it! If you’ve been plagued with doubt your whole life, then face it. Stop running from it.
I know that sounds hard to say to people, but I had the same story. I was so doubtful that people would even care about what I say. I was so doubtful that people would want to read my book or listen to me at all. I was so doubtful that I could chase my own dreams.
And then I realized, for what reason am I doubtful?
Because of past failures in this space? No, I’m trying something new. Because people told me I might not be able to do it? So, what makes them an expert on my capabilities and my potentialities?
I thought why am I so doubtful?
We’re doubtful because the germ of fear spread in our body because somebody planted it there one time or we cultivated it with our own thoughts.
At some point, maturity and consciousness says, if doubt has been plaguing you let’s have a look at it, and let’s realize how you banish it. Every single thing that we know from spirituality, from philosophy, from the great writers and great texts from human culture has all revealed one thing: Where there is doubt, grant me faith.
We have to have faith and faith does not mean the absence of doubt. In fact, the very definition of faith realizes that doubt is still there. You can’t have faith unless there’s some part of you that says, “I’m going to go anyway despite the doubt.”
So I’m not saying we have to get rid of doubt forever and handle it, I’m saying doubt should never prevent you from advancing when you feel like advancing, that in your own mind you must say,
“I must trust in my abilities. I must trust that I will figure it out. I must trust that I can build it. I must trust that I can get some help and progress, even though the doubt might be there.”
Look, the hero is a hero because the hero does it anyway. Even though the hero is terrified and risking it all, he goes anyway. We’re all heroes in some way. We can all be courageous. I also think society overblows courage. Society says courage has to be some big magnificent act, but it’s not. Courage in this world anymore is just having the belief in yourself and the ability to genuinely express who you are.
If you’re doubting yourself, the only way through is to give yourself more faith and take more action. With more faith and more action comes more competence. With more competence comes more confidence. In psychology they call it the competence-confidence loop. The more you learn and try the more you master and develop.
So go out there, even with that—yes let the doubt be there, but do it anyway.
The second great enemy we all have is Delay.
I think delay is one of our great challenges. Delay doesn’t just come from doubt, though they’re related. If I’m doubtful I’m more likely to delay, but a lot of people delay just because frankly, they have something in themselves, that either they have a competing priority or they’re lazy or they’re uninformed. That’s hard to say, I get it, but it’s true.
There’s a part of us that, we don’t go and do our own desires. It’s not because we’re not smart—it’s because Seinfeld is on or some new show is on that we want to watch so we watch that show. That’s indolence that’s not ignorance. It’s just sitting around and so often we delay. Well, I’ll get to that tomorrow. No, you probably won’t. You aren’t going to get to your dreams in 50 years.
Most people awake with a dream in their mind but they let that dream die in the daylight. They have the dream at night and it dies in the day because they take no action towards it, because they’re fooling themselves that maybe someday I’ll get to that.
No one wants to be the person who ends up at the end of their life regretful, because they never began what they wanted to.
What are you waiting for? What have you been delaying for way too long that you know you need to get to?
Maybe today is the day to put your feet on the ground and say, “I’m going to begin this.” The only way through delay is action.
The third great enemy is Division.
What I mean is we feel divided. We feel different from other people. We feel like there’s this great divide between us. There’s this chasm between us and other human beings, and you can recognize this person all the time who’s really having challenges in their life, who really are struggling from division because they say the same thing. They say, “Well, they can’t understand me.” Or they spew hate and their hate or their belief that others can’t understand them accomplishes the same thing. It protects them and keeps them from connecting with other people.
Because those elements of ourselves and our beliefs about other people divide us from humanity, from others, guess what we do? We don’t ask for help. We think, “They can’t understand me,” so I’m not going to ask for help.
Guess what we do? We judge other people. We become critical of other people. We push away other people and stop being kind and respectful to other people.
That’s division—that part of us that believes that we are separate from others, that forgets about the reality that humanity is really united by a common energy, a common force, by at least a common purpose to thrive and survive.
That if we forget those things, then life loses its color. We are no longer connected to other human beings. We can no longer be connected to ourselves. We can no longer be connected with God, with the Creator, with the Cosmos, whatever you want to call it.
Division—that sense within us that we are separate—prevents us from getting ahead.
What can we do? All we can do is take action.
The only way to get over the divisiveness between us and another person is to go be kind, to go say something, to explicit, to ask, to put ourselves into play with other human beings again in ways that we build magnificent relationships.
That we build real connections that are meaningful and deep again.
All these things — doubt, delay and division — can be overcome we just have to learn to recognize them. The first step is always awareness.
What have you been doubting in your life that’s preventing you from moving ahead?
What have you been delaying in your life that’s preventing you from moving ahead?
How have you been perceiving other people that have been preventing you from developing relationships and moving ahead?
When you start to see these things you can break through.
But it’s only within that deep desire within yourself to have faith, to take action, to become your highest self and overcome the very things that are limiting you. That’s what makes us great. That’s the great shine of becoming a mature, conscious human being.
So I say, why not make this day the day that we re-design our lives so that doubt, delay and division are handled by faith, action and love.