The ego. The Mindset. The Present.
+ how the Beatles were denied by every single record label, and Micheal Jordan didn't make his high school team
What is a champion? Is it a winner? A trophy collector? A rich man with young beautiful women surrounding his washboard abs on a long yacht in a tropical paradise listening to Lil' Wayne's "A Milli"? I don't think it's any of those things at all. I think the definition of a champion has become very skewed with time and association. A champion is someone who conquers themselves...everyday. Our biggest opponent is ourselves. Our doubt, our limitations, OUR EGO!
“A bad day for your ego is a great day for your soul." - Jillian Michaels.
I took a life changing adventure to Indonesia in my early 20's and had the great pleasure of meeting some of the most incredible people I have met to this day. I met Reiki Masters, Buddhist monks in the enlightened realm, high Priests and Hindu leaders...but it was the common people who shocked me the most. They were so poor, had so little, and yet were filled with SO MUCH JOY.
I really started to investigate and soak in as much insight as as could on this trip, and that is when I rediscovered the Ego. Of course I had heard this word "ego" my whole life. I learned a little about it from a scientific perspective in school, but I had never really grasped it until this trip. And when I did, I was flabbergasted. WHY IS THIS NOT KNOWLEDGE 101 IN AMERICA?! Why is this not taught in preschool? Because the more I learned, the more I understood how hard one's ego is to grasp and overcome the older you get.
I thought about how beneficial it would have been as a child to know what the ego was and how to work with it. I picture myself in school getting made fun of by a pretty girl, or picked last for a kickball team, or failing a test.... I could have reminded my self "you are not these things. You are worthy. This is part of the journey. Embrace it. Be like the wind, let this discomfort move through you."
"The ego is the mind's identity of our own construction, an identity which is false. We are more than just the mind. If we take all the beliefs of what we are – beliefs about our personality, talents, and abilities – we have the structure of our ego"
99% of the time, we are not who we think we are. We are so much more. We are so much stronger, so much more beautiful, so special. But, it is also important to remember your ego can trick you. If we identify ourselves as "beautiful" or "powerful" then when life shows us we aren't those things, like the pretty girl calling me fat in 5th grade, we would crumble. Its so important to know we are ALL things and to not get attached. We are invincible, but we are glass. We are brilliant, and we are fools. Life is ever changing. So are we. That same pretty girl is now my beautiful wife.
By remembering these things, we can give ourselves a break, and instead of judging ourselves, we can accept ourselves. And when we can accept, we can choose, and when we can choose....we can choose brilliance. We can choose invincibility. We can choose beauty. We can choose limitless.
And when life comes by and pops our tires, and we don't make the team, or we fail a test. We remember that we are not those things, but that a greater work is in the making.
The Beatles + Micheal Jordan
How is it that the greatest band of all time got denied by every single record label they attempted, and the greatest athlete to walk this planet didn't make his high school basketball team? Really, it's quite ridiculous.
It's the one quality that has created more champions, more rock stars, and most importantly more really kind and humble people, than any other quality there is. The Beatles didn't give up. They went to ONE MORE record label that only recored classical music. It was their only option, and they took it. The producer at the label, George Martin, wasn't used to recording rock bands, but sure enough he did it anyway. And what happened is the most record shatteringly monumental phenomenon that has occurred in planet earth's music realm. Think if they had stopped. Think if they didn't go for ONE MORE. Think if after Micheal was cut from the team, he threw in the towel.
Think if they let the seeds of doubt planted by the chattering voices in their heads grow. Think if they let the failure ruin them. Think if they let their EGO make the call. Because don't think for one second that Micheal Jordan wasn't having cruel thoughts in his head after he was cut. Or that John Lennon wasn't thinking he sucked and the effort was useless. They might be heroes today, but they were just human, and all humans have egos, and all egos create stories. Sometimes good ones, sometimes bad ones....but NEVER real ones.
The ego only creates stories based off the past, or our own conception of the future. The ego does not live in "what is." And "what is" is the now, the present.
The greatest gift in the world is the present. It is the healer of anxiety, and the joy driver of life. It does not care about how perfect its face is, or how many likes its Tik Tok received. It doesn't receive rewards. It moves discomfort and pain through it with grace.
So if this is true, why are we not constantly living in the present?
The ego. It is a loop. It is life. We are human beings, and we are not perfect. We get distracted. And although we have extremely evolved technology, we still have parts of our neurological make up that are hardwired in unnecessary ways. Like stress for example. The panic attack we might have when we find out we received a D on a test, is the same chemical reaction that happens when a rabbit sees a starving fox. That is not necessary.
Things like meditation, stretching, yoga, prayer, and exercise can play an invaluable role in becoming a champion. Because in order to become the champion we all are, we must first defeat our greatest enemy. Ourselves. In order to do that we have to overcome our ego on a continuous basis. And in order to do that we need to set plans of action that include tools and techniques that work for us.
So many of your favorite professional athletes meditate or do yoga. Many do both.
Meditation, for me, is the most underutilized and untaught practice in western culture. The fact we are not meditating as little kids at school is mind blowing to me. The mental benefits of meditation far out way so many of the things we learn in school.
What is meditation?
Most people already know, or think they know, but meditation is simply focusing your mind and achieving a state of living in the present. Focusing your breath is an excellent way to do so. Sit in a comfortable position, and breathe through your nose and out through your mouth...or breathe any way you want. There are not really rules. Just focus your mind on the air coming in and the air coming out. Focus on your belly and chest going in and out. You can also do a deep stretch and focus on the part of your body that is in discomfort and tight. This works best for me because it forces me to focus.
Either way you do it, anytime your focus goes away from meditating, you can say to yourself something like "see how you stopped focusing. Its ok. Now go back to your breath" for example. There are a million ways, but the important thing is being focused and living in the present. It is a long long practice that people, like Buddhist monks for example, spend their whole lives practicing and working on.
Becoming The Champion
The ego has been covered, the antidote to the ego, and a major practice to obtain the antidote; in Becoming The Champion pt. 2 we will dive into your limitless potential and finding what it is you most deeply desire.