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I recently had a bunch of blood tests done and I noticed that if the nurse inserted the needle just one millimeter off from the vein, he or she wouldn’t be able to draw blood no matter how much they poked around. But if the nurse was spot on, blood would be drawn with ease 100% of the time. The first time I got poked it was just to the left of the vein, and no blood was drawn. Then they’d try again and do it perfectly. So the next nurse that saw me saw two tiny holes in my arm and tried the one that didn’t work first. This pattern of getting poked twice instead of once continued until I discovered that if I simply told them, “this hole works, that hole draws nothing,” they would get it right 100% of the time.

Some of us are so used to measuring productivity by how much work we do, that it’s easy to get confused when hard work doesn’t lead to results. But, sometimes working hard is like trying to draw blood from a spot just millimeters off from the vein. It looks so much like it should work that it can fool three seasoned professionals, but in the end you get next to nothing even though they’re performing the exact same actions that lead to success when they find an angle that’s spot on.

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Yesterday I watched two guys playing chess and found myself thinking, “That looks fun, but I’m not good enough to know how to play optimally, so why bother?” As I kept watching I noticed myself having fun just thinking about the moves I would make if I was playing, and I thought, “Wouldn’t it be great if I could play just for fun and not be invested in winning or losing?”

That got me thinking. If I’m setting the bar this high for a game I don’t even play, and it’s preventing me from even starting, what is this line of thinking doing to things I genuinely want to accomplish?

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A good person is limited to doing things they believe are good. If someone else has a different definition of good, their identity as a good person is threatened unless they conform to others’ perception of good as well.

A free person is free to do as they choose. If you’re free, you’re not limited by anything, not even your beliefs.

You don’t have to choose between the two, but I’d rather be a free person who follows their own definition of good, than a good person who can only truly feel free under certain circumstances.

Here are five signs that you may be sabotaging your success by trying to be a good person:

  1. You only feel like you can be yourself when you’re alone or around certain people
  2. You have hidden desires that you seldom share with others
  3. You do things you don’t want to do, even though you don’t have to
  4. You’re unwilling to challenge beliefs that no longer feel good to you
  5. You would rather be uncomfortable than risk being embarrassed

How many of these apply to you? I know all five apply to me under different circumstances. You don’t have to do anything about them right now, just be honest with yourself about where you’re holding back. Tomorrow I’ll write about how to reverse this trend and give yourself the space to start being openly you.

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I recently heard that compassion and gratitude are the highest vibrations we experience. However, compassion doesn’t feel high vibrational to me. How does relating or feeling sad for others translate to high vibration? How does that serve anyone? Compassion is never used towards people experiencing great things. It used when people are experiencing struggle and pain so how is it a high vibration to think and relate to a person’s struggles?

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Have you ever passed up on an opportunity because you didn’t feel good enough? Maybe you imagined all the other people who were more qualified than you and assumed it was pointless for you to throw your hat in the ring.

Well, that’s exactly how I felt when I saw an opening for a freelance writing position that would involve me writing about all the beautiful places and attractions in the state of Wisconsin, EVERY DAY! I’d be getting PAID to practice appreciation! I got all excited about applying, but then quickly talked myself out of it. “I write very inconsistently, there’s no proof that I could write every day even if I was being paid to.”

I felt defeated and gave up.

A few days later I came across a piece of advice meant for someone else that shifted my mindset completely:

“APPLY! Let them tell you no. Right now you’re denying yourself.”

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Your ability to learn is based on how worthy you believe you are for the knowledge you’re desiring. Thoughts like “I learn quickly” indicate that you believe you deserve to know what you’re wanting to learn. Thoughts like “I don’t get it” paint yourself as an outsider to those who are in the know, or capable of being in the know.

If you’re having trouble understanding something, ask yourself, “What sort of person would understand this easily?” And then see if you can look at the world through their eyes.

The key to easily absorbing knowledge is to soften your view on who you are and how easy it is for you to become someone different. Because any knowledge worth achieving is knowledge that changes you. A petrified sponge absorbs no water, no mater how big an ocean it’s cast into. So immerse yourself in what you’re desiring to learn, loosen up, and let your surroundings seep into you.

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The key is learning to let your emotions guide through the pre-manifestational process. Once your desire is in your reality you can work with it directly, but before then the only way you can know if you’re making progress is by how you feel. And in order to manifest something that would make you truly happy, you need to raise your vibrational set-point to that truly happy level.

For example, let’s say you wanted to buy something in a store. Once you have the money, manifesting is as easy as going there and buying it. So your first goal is not to go get what you want, but to save up the money so that when you go to the store you’ll leave with what you want. With something that you can’t buy at the store, manifesting it still follows the same process. Except instead of saving up money, you save up an emotional currency that raises your vibration until you’re within range of effortlessly rendezvousing with what you want.

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The ultimate lie is that outside forces are a threat to you. The truth is they’re always here to help, sometimes in ways you can’t recognize. Stories can be spun where one party appears to be the victim, but that is just a way of seeing things from a perspective that validates that point of view. Other perspectives are valid too.

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I was in a really aligned place over the weekend so I decided to let some writing flow out of me and I ended up recording song! It was recorded in a single pass with the intent to just let inspiration flow. Full lyrics written out below. Hope you like it!

Full Lyrics:

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This is the first installment in a four part series on finding your success path (the path between where you are and where you want to be). A new article will come out every week this month!

It was early 2007, in the past year I had blown through almost all of my $90,000 in savings and lost all motivation to work. What was the point of working hard for chump change after experiencing the thrill of effortlessly pulling in $30,000 a month? But once you’ve burnt through all your savings, you lose the luxury of having those sorts of thoughts. A new instinct kicks in: survival.

I’d made all that money in an extraordinary and unrepeatable fashion. My friend had discovered an online blackjack glitch that drastically altered the odds in our favor. Over the three months that it took the casino to find and fix the glitch, I exploited it for the aforementioned $90,000 and declared myself financially independent. One year of reckless spending later: 22 year old me finally realized how little $90,000 actually was.

From a traditional standpoint my prospects were dim. I hadn’t had a job in over two years, lacked any in-demand skills, and didn’t even have a high school diploma or GED. But the list of reasons that made me borderline unemployable also gave me my edge. The reason I allowed myself to fall into this situation was because I deeply believed in my ability to carve my own path through this world. It didn’t matter how much importance others put on graduating high school and going to college, to me it was a whole lot of work for a few pieces of paper that would only encourage me to conform to the world the way it was. But I didn’t come here to conform, I came here to create.

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