Don’t Ask For Permission, Know Where You’re Going

Something that’s repeatedly come up in my life lately is the importance of decisiveness, knowing your purpose, and broadcasting to the world that the ball’s in your court. I’ve listed three examples below, as I assume you’ll be able to relate to at least one of the stories.

Story One

I was bench pressing earlier this week and after a recovery week away from the weights I thought It’d be a good idea to be cautious with the amount I was lifting my first day back. I think part of me really believed that, but I also feel there was another part of me that just didn’t want to put in the work that day.

Fortunately I did the math wrong, and I didn’t realize I put the wrong amount of weight on the bar until I was about to lift it. Instinctively I sat up, and was about to take weight off justifying that I couldn’t possibly rep 165 pounds. Then something within me shifted.

I tuned into a meditative state, a state of being in which conscious thoughts don’t exist, and then confidently sat back down and performed 5 reps of a weight heavier than anything I’ve ever lifted.

Story Two

I was at a high school football game, and a girl I hung out with a couple times this summer called my name from a few rows above me. I climbed up the bleachers, gave her a hug, greeted her, and then yelled Macarena! Immediately after, me, her, and the girl she was with all randomly started doing the Macarena.

Story Three

I was talking to another girl a couple weeks ago, and because we hadn’t seen each other all summer I told her we needed to chill sometime. She was down, but I didn’t put the responsibility of setting up plans on her.

I told her we were going Frisbee golfing Wednesday afternoon, and that I’d see her there in a few days. I texted her Wednesday morning telling her not to be too excited to see me, and we were having an amazing time on the course just a couple hours later.

(Social value is provided by inviting others into the amazing movie of your life, rather than begging to be included in theirs.)

The Common Denominator

What do all three of the stories have in common? I knew what I want, why I wanted it, and aggressively pursued it while fully expecting it to manifest in my reality. The last point is key.

A lot of people know what they want, and even have good intentions and take actions toward their goals, but if you don’t expect something to manifest in reality it probably won’t.

If I would have asked the girl, “So uhmm do you think we could maybe do the Macarena?” she would have laughed at me and told me to fuck off. However, because I was willing to put my ego on the line, and fully expected them to start dancing with me, I subconsciously projected I’m the one with social value, and that they’d be crazy to reject me because they’d be the ones missing out.

Moreover, because I fully believed I was creating a more fun environment for all of us, and that they’d dance with me my brain calibrated the tonality of my voice, and body language in a way that exemplified sincerity, and made it impossible for them to say no.

Life is a lot like politics. People want to follow a leader who knows where they’re going. Even your own brain won’t fully commit all of its resources to something unless you’re sure of yourself.

Stop seeking permission to do stuff and just do it. Once you decide you want something, and you have a good reason for wanting it that in itself should be permission to aggressively pursue it. And if you really need somebody else’s permission to start going after what you really want in life here’s mine. 😉

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