Zen and the Art of Being R.E.A.L

Good morning, good afternoon, wherever you are. This is Chris with his beautiful, sexy, deep-throated voice. Yes, I’ve still got a flu, but it’s all getting better.

Full audio at the end of this post.

The Core of Personal Development: Zen and Being Real

Today, I want to discuss Zen and the art of being real. This topic is central to your personal development, and you might find it helpful to take notes as we go along. Zen is fundamentally the art of sitting still while being truly authentic.

This means the ambition to be constantly active, always acting or reacting, isn’t necessarily the wisest approach to being yourself. There’s an old story that illustrates this point well. It can be set in many places worldwide, but today, let’s focus on Prince Edward Island on the east coast of Canada.

The Story of Prince Edward Island

A long time ago, the British decided to occupy as much of Canada as they could. They advertised in Britain for people who were poor or unhappy there. At the time, Britain was plagued by famine, disease, poverty, violence, and religious persecution. Life was desperate, and many of these issues led to death.

So, people flocked to the boats offering free passage to a new life in Canada. They sailed across the treacherous waters, where many ships didn’t make it, but many did. Upon arrival, these immigrants began creating their new world by pushing the indigenous people away and establishing their communities.

The Cycle of Repetition

The first thing they did was to recreate what they had left behind in Britain. They planted crops, built buildings, and constructed streets for horse and cart. Unfortunately, they also recreated the same problems: disease, poverty, violence, and death.

This story, which I heard from a priest over a whiskey on Prince Edward Island, highlights a common pattern. People often move locations without changing themselves, leading to the same issues they tried to escape. This is true for tourists who bring their familiar foods to new places to feel at home, and for people who seek new lives but carry their old problems with them.

Embracing Real Change

One workshop attendee once said, “Before your workshop, Chris, I would have said I had 20 years of experience in real estate. But now, I realise I had one year of experience 20 times.” This realisation left him depressed, recognising how little he had changed despite numerous seminars and personal development programs. He had operated in a comfort zone, a safety zone, repeating the same patterns.

To truly evolve, we must revisit the valuable aspects we’ve left behind and bring them forward. Running away from problems only leads to encountering them in different forms.

The Role of Emotions in Growth

For example, take the fear of spiders. You might move to a place like New Zealand without spiders, but you’ll find other creepy, crawly nuisances like sand flies. Similarly, anger, if not addressed, will manifest in various ways. Anger, when judged and suppressed, leads to physical and emotional issues like migraines, lung disease, and more.

Transforming Anger

Anger isn’t the problem; it’s the judgment of anger. When we express anger towards others, we waste our energy. Instead, we should transform that anger into constructive action. Anger can drive performance if channelled correctly. Love, at its core, is evolved anger. It’s the same energy transformed from raw emotion into positive action.

Owning and Utilizing Anger

To use anger constructively, we must first acknowledge it. Anger, when owned and not expressed destructively, builds resilience. This transformation from anger to action is essential for high performance and real personal growth.

Growth vs. Change

Growing performance is valuable in any job, but changing something fundamentally is often more rewarding and challenging. Mediocrity, while comfortable, doesn’t lead to significant change. Real transformation requires us to step beyond comfort and challenge the status quo.

The Zen Approach to Life

Zen teaches us to do things with full commitment. When we engage in something, we must do it 100%. If we can’t commit fully, we shouldn’t bother. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy life’s simple pleasures like breakfast or a walk in the park with your family. It’s fine to have moments of mediocrity in these areas, as they serve to relax and rejuvenate us.

However, mediocrity must be our enemy regarding things that matter deeply to us. To fight mediocrity, we need the raw energy, the volcanic lava, the prana, the kundalini force, the mojo, or the hara—whatever you want to call it—that comes from anger. This anger isn’t destructive; it’s the powerful force we harness to turn our intentions into actions.

Harnessing Anger for Growth

If we do things because we feel we “have to” or “should,” we’re merely letting the raw lava roll downhill. If we act out of genuine choice and love, we transform this energy into a positive force. This is how we become real, use our energy best, live long, vital lives, and sleep well at night.

Doing things with either mediocrity to absorb and revitalise or with the zen of being real means no mediocrity in our important endeavours. This is the essence of living a fulfilled life.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this. If you have, please share it. This is Chris, have a beautiful day. Bye for now.


    Subscribe to my newsletter and be inspired