Wise As F*ck
“Life won’t stop for your pauses and procrastinations. It won’t stop for your confusion or fear. It will continue right along without you. Whether you play an active part or not, the show will go on.”
Some days it just takes a few words or as James Clear would note, that 1% better than the previous day. Gary John Bishop's Wise As F*ck recently dropped following a line of books that capture your attention with their titles. Don't let that fool you though, there is a lot of wisdom hidden inside of these books provided in a confrontational style that is sure to jar you out of any stupor.
One of the big ideas that Gary talks about that is critical and can be found in many different books is this: "You Could Be Anybody Right Now."
What does this mean?
We all have grown up in our lives learning to tell ourselves stories about how things are or should be. Do you consider yourself someone who works out or not? The answer is a story that you have created. You either are someone or you aren't but beyond that, there really is no reason for you not to be someone who does. If you haven't worked out in a year and woke up this morning telling yourself you are a person who works out then from today forward your story has changed.
Gary does an excellent job of really hammering this home that until we are willing to break the storylines that we have told ourselves for years, change is going to be difficult. The reality is that we can be anybody we want right now.
For the most part, when we look out and recognize that change is needed. Fear is in the driver's seat. As Gary notes: "Fear can be the companion or the driver; that choice is yours." We've essentially given over control to the storylines that fear has helped create. We listen intently to the reasons why we can't do something without recognizing, as noted above, we can make a different decision right now.
I loved this example that Gary provided to help show what he means:
You're not afraid of public speaking for instance, you're afraid of what you have made public speaking mean; and what you have made it mean is hidden from your view.
You can replace public speaking with anything. You're not afraid of starting a new business ... podcasting ... blogging ... writing .. etc. We have crafted a story about each of our own fears and are unwilling to look at them for what they are. Ideas floating around in our head that can truly be changed at any time.
So what do I do?
You've got to own up to where you are in life. This means taking an honest look at your place in the world. Write it down. How are you feeling about your life right now? What is working and what isn't? What fears do you have any what do those fears represent? Is it public speaking you are afraid of? What does the story behind that look like and why have you crafted it?
You've been holding off on starting that podcast and now you see that your fears aren't rational. What is the next step? Action. Action. Action. Sometimes taking a step is far easier than thinking about what the next step means or how you are going to do it. Open your laptop, open the voice recorder, and record a message. Start simple. It's amazing when you start to shift your mindset away from thinking about the next steps to actually doing them.
Gary again: "If there's anything you could start to develop, it would be the ability to act powerfully in your life in the absence of that positivity or motivation or enthusiasm."
Don't find yourself waiting for the mood to strike. Being able to act when the mood doesn't feel right is even more powerful because it begins to align with your own identity.
I highly recommend this book for anyone feeling stuck on something. Having someone come at you from a neutral and yet forceful position can open up both your eyes and your mind. Gary leaves the book with a powerful question that you can use every day.
"If I keep doing this, how does it all turn out for me?"
If you keep walking the path you are on, look out 5, 10, 15 years, and think to yourself in the most honest way possible, what does that look like? Do you see the regret building?
Don't be fooled by the title. This is a powerful book and one you should consider picking up.