Common sense is not your friend.
How does that statement sit with you?
Are you uncomfortable already?!
But I have bills to pay!
I have kids to look after...
I can't go after my dreams.
That's great. And you're not going to turn into a fundamentally inept person by taking a moment to hear me out...
You need to make sure you're at work on time. You need to get the bills paid. You need to take care of your day-to-day reality. I know.
That's not what I'm talking about.
Nor am I talking about blowing your life up and selling all your possessions to go live in a commune. Though I did do that this year... not the commune bit... I opted for holiday lets on the Gold Coast for 9 weeks (far more comfortable!)
I'm talking about the problem you have in going after something that's important to YOU.
You know, that idea that doesn't meet the necessary limitations of keeping everyone else happy, lining up with the status quo, or generally believing in your own unworthiness.
I come to you today to share something that I believe is hugely important in the world today...
... that the only reason I see people giving up on the life they really want is believing they have to follow common sense - because they can't see anything else out there to live by.
Common sense is about the least spiritual idea we can connect to and live by.
I remember early on, some random guy who didn't know me or my business told me that if I needed more money, my business was obviously not working. And that I should give it up.
Common sense would dictate that he was right.
Common sense, I decided that day, was a bully's game. A way in which we keep ourselves bound to the status quo. Never reaching out, or learning what we're truly capable of.
I'd started a business from nothing - and by nothing, I mean an empty bank account, learning how to build my own website, what a mailing list was, and how to market myself.
These are the days when PayPal had literally just launched in Australia. And being able to take a payment on my website was just so cool!
Online businesses were still a new thing. I mean, people were still implying back then that you just had to follow The Secret. And that you could "build it and they would come"...
Yeah, it was hard.
But I had a lot of blind faith. Based on nothing other than an unwillingness to go back to a day job.
So, I'd built this website. I had something to share. And money was nowhere to be found.
That guy, though, with his bullshit common sense... very effectively cauterize any lingering attachment I might have had to staying small, going back to a day job, and being sensible in the face of challenges!
How dare he claim to know a fucking thing about who I am or what I'm capable of.
Last year, 17 years after that conversation, I made a conscious decision to close that business... because it was time to take all that experience and share a new message... not because the business failed.
I wouldn't let it fail.
That business he told me to walk away from supported me financially, even though the struggles were real, for a very long time.
So, yeah it pisses me off that people throw around common sense, often calling it non-judgement, and we're expected to listen to them...
If I'd followed common sense, I’d have gone back to the life I hated, the one that left me depressed, always doing what I was told and never reaching to find out how I wanted to live, who I was and what was out there for me.
And maybe the bills would've been paid on time more often... but those bills were small and meaningless compared to what I began to understand.
Common sense appears to be safe, on the surface. But it genuinely limits us.
We simply never reach for more.
What I found out, instead?
- How guided everything was. I wasn't alone in this world. There was some other force there leading the way.
- Meaning... every problem I faced had a solution. I never felt that I had to give up. There was always just another step.
- And whilst my Catholic upbringing wasn't something I wanted to continue, it gave me a baseline understanding that God was out there... somewhere...
- Finding that and tapping into those other realms gave me something that common sense and the status quo hadn't... meaning.
More than all that, I helped people change.
I helped people understand themselves a little more. And create a little more meaning in their own lives.
And quite frankly... what’s life if not that? Building. Helping. Growing.
(Even if your dream isn't to help others in the same way: it no doubt comes with an element of serving a purpose and growing within yourself.)
That guy, that day, caused me to FIND the Source of inspiration, solutions, and meaning. And money too. He caused me to figure it out. To not be another small business statistic. To not give up.
I knew there had to be more out there, I just had to find it.
Common sense doesn't cause fulfilment. It turns us into robots.
Who do the right thing, never creating waves, always keeping the status quo...
Never being fulfilled...
So, before you tell me that you have to be sensible... tell me that you're happy. Tell me that your life has allowed you to experience real freedom and fulfilment.
Because I can tell you one thing with certainty:
I never thought it possible to be as challenged as I've felt on this journey. And I'd never known it possible to create the level of happiness, self-respect or abundance that meeting those challenges allowed me to create.
Going your own way is DEFINITELY the harder pathway.
And I'm yet to find a person who regrets it.