Today I recorded and added a new 16-minute audio lesson to our current Stature deep dive called “Impossible Invitations.” It’s about those times when some greater power inside us invites us to step into a whole new level of experience, usually by nudging us to do something we don’t think we can handle yet.
When these invitations happen, I have this sense of knowing or believing that I can accomplish something without logically seeing how it’s even possible. I may feel there isn’t enough time, or I lack the skills, or I don’t have the resources or support necessary to pull it off. So my mind chimes in: I object!
While I know it’s possible to overextend myself or spread myself too thin – I especially had that problem during my 20s – even in those situations, I often felt that it was worthwhile to say yes to a big stretch experience due to the long-term gains. Stepping up was transformational for my character, regardless of the immediate outcome. It’s like asking someone out and getting rejected, but you still feel permanently stronger from knowing that you stepped up and tried.
When I was about 25 years old, I remember holding a check for $50,000 made out to my company. That was the biggest check I’d ever seen at the time – the first payment of an advance from the publisher for a new game we were working on. That deal eventually fell apart, and later the publisher and some of its officers were fined by the SEC for accounting fraud. It was a bitter and difficult experience to go through at the time, but in the end I felt grateful that we didn’t end up working with that publisher long-term. And my character gained a lot from trying to accomplish something that seemed big and expansive at the time. Even though it didn’t work out for my company, it was still very good for my character.
A couple of years later, I had to go to a nearby publisher’s office with the goal of closing a deal and picking up an advance check from them for $25,000. The problem was that there were still a lot of details to work out, the short time we’d be meeting was inadequate to finalize everything. My company wasn’t in a good financial situation, and things would be really bad for us if I left that meeting empty handed. But some part of me stepped up and empowered me to believe that I was going to leave the meeting with that check in hand. It didn’t seem at all logical or realistic – far from it – but somehow I knew I could and would make it happen. And I did. The CEO handed me the check even before we had all the deal details worked out. Even though some part of me knew I could do it, another part of me was awestruck that it actually happened.
Many times in my life I’ve found myself in seemingly impossible situations, only to find that some part of me stepped up, took charge, and basically said, “Don’t worry – We got this!”
This powerful self was often triggered by desperation. Things would be looking bleak, and I didn’t see any realistic solutions. But then this potent sense of knowing would flow into me and convince me that I could hit a miraculous home run. I might still lose the overall game, but it didn’t matter. The home run itself was transformational.
Later in life these impossible invitations took on a different form. I wasn’t so desperate anymore, largely because I’d done a lot of character sculpting work. So in that sense, it felt like I was already leaning into greater alignment with this powerful part of me. But my incremental progress apparently wasn’t enough to fully satisfy it. Even when I felt things were going pretty well, it would still dangle even bigger step-up invitations in front of me.
When viewed on a short time scale, these step-up invitations didn’t always turn out as well as I’d hoped, but they were powerfully transformational in the long run.
Joining a $30K per year mastermind group for 2018 was a step-up experience for me, but I was a little disappointed in the group dynamics, values, and alignment (as I shared in the Masterhearting article). However, just the act of stepping up and saying yes to the invitation to join was transformational for me, and I’m still experiencing good positive ripples from it. You can make a lot of character sculpting gains even when you don’t get the short-term results you hoped for.
Spending $30K on personal growth in a year (like for coaching or a mastermind group) doesn’t feel like such a big deal today. A few years ago it seemed extraordinary. What changed from point A to point B was my character. I became a person who could handle something that once seemed like a stretch experience.
Impossible invitations aren’t really impossible of course, but they sure can seem impossible when they first show up.
How would you feel about joining a $30K per year mastermind group if someone invited you to join? Is that within your comfort zone? At the edge of it? Well beyond your comfort zone? Do you think it’s possible for you – and that you could consider it normal someday?
Do you realize that regardless of your current beliefs, this is actually possible for you? Earning an extra $30K is a lot if you think it’s a lot. Your current self may find such an expense intimidating. But it’s just money, and money can be earned many different ways. I like to earn it with inspiration and creativity. We’re four days into 2020, and I’ve already earned about $30K so far, mostly from the current Stature launch, and we still have four more days to go in the launch.
That sort of thing used to be impossible for me. The way it became possible wasn’t from focusing on the money. It was from focusing on my character. Earning more money than you believe you can earn is borderline impossible. But sculpting yourself into a character who can earn that same stretch amount is very possible.
This reminds me of some lines from The Matrix movie:
Do not try and bend the spoon – that’s impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth: There is no spoon. Then you’ll see that it is not the spoon that bends; it is only yourself.
This aligns nicely with my own experiences of accessing a more powerful version of me. I may not be able to solve a seemingly impossible problem, but I can become a stronger me who will no longer see it as impossible. And then the problem becomes trivial.
This path of growth really gets me thinking: Could I stretch even more? How far can I take my character if I cooperate more harmoniously with these powerful invitations? Is there another impossibility that could become part of my normal reality, if only I recognize the invitation and say yes to it?
It’s time to publish this with only 15 minutes to go in the day, as part of my daily blogging commitment for 2020. It seems like a big stretch to do this every day for so many days in a row and never miss a day. But it’s not nearly as much of a stretch to recognize that I can sculpt myself into a character who can do this and enjoy the process.
Becoming is easier than doing, and you get lifetime results.
Also get off your butt and join us in Stature already. How much more obvious could a step-up invitation be? 😉