Acceptance of reality is the first step towards achieving equilibrium. Mastering this process has the power to catapult you into a new and improved reality. If you are not willing to see things as they truly are, then the self delusion that precludes that from happening eliminates the stimuli that is going to propel you out of specific circumstances, which thereby eliminates the catalyst for change.
When the self delusion is stripped away, the reality is transparently obvious. The opportunity for you to see the reality for what it truly is and to own the part that you played in that reality coming to pass, allows you the transcendent potential for change.
For how else are people ever able to improve if they are not willing to accept what is as the current benchmark in order that they may create the definition of what that improvement might look like?
Once that benchmark has been established, every step forward is by definition progress. And of course, every step backward constitutes a regression.
One of the biggest enemies of an entrepreneur is mindfuck. It is omnipresent and almost without exception, every entrepreneur that I have known or studied, suffers from it in one way or another.
Mindfuck manifests itself in many unique, debilitating ways. It resembles overthinking a topic, but is differentiated (in my mind) by the continuous potential it has to weigh heavily on one’s soul while carrying the catastrophic potential of wiping out years of a dream that has been manifesting in a tiny moment of fear and insecurity.
The opportunity to take complete responsibility for one’s relationship with what is, is a definitive moment in one’s journey. When you hit the stage in which the reality is both uncomfortable and potentially debilitating, you are left with either a progression or a regression of your standing at that moment.
When I had hit rock bottom with NxtGenTV, one of my investors (who was running my board meetings) decided that this was his moment to instantly change from being a mentor to me, and out of nowhere, decided to show me his true sadistic nature. At the time, I was about three weeks away from testing for my first-degree black belt. At that moment, I had millions of my own dollars invested in that company and because our investors had dried up due to the blown out economy, I was pouring tens of thousands of dollars of work on the platform from my team at The Illusion Factory which was being paid for by income that The Illusion Factory was generating. This investor called me with his associate who, cumulatively, had $15,000 invested in the company. They got me on speakerphone and told me that I had to drop everything I was doing that day and fly up to Silicon Valley where they had a sheriff who had a warrant for my arrest for misappropriating funds from the investors. Not only was this baseless accusation morally reprehensible, it was a vicious attempt to cut me short at the knees and steal my company and publicly humiliate me.
I would share that my emotion at that moment escalated into the realm of rage and fury but neither of those adjectives begin to describe how absolutely demoralizing that phone call was at that moment in history for me. Not only was the accusation false, The converse was the truth and I was bleeding my healthy company dry in order to support the new company because of what had happened in the housing market (which was entirely out of my area of expertise, knowledge, or control).
I stayed silent in that moment of accusation for more than a pregnant pause. I knew that there were two sadists on the phone who were hoping to get tremendous joy in throwing me off of my game. And then, the black belt that I had just spent the last 11 years of my life and training for, kicked in. In that microsecond, I saw them for the worthy adversaries that they were. I analyzed their attack technique and understood immediately what their intended outcome was. They wanted to shame me and cause me to be out of balance in my game. And that was the turning point. Once I had mentally converted them into opponents on the mat, the rest was easy.
As the long silence was finally broken by me (without a quiver in my voice or a raised voice), I politely told them that I would send over an Excel spreadsheet of the financial books and I suggested that they take it to the forensic accountant of their choosing for review and should they have any questions, my CPA and my attorney would gladly answer any questions that they might have. And then I politely ended the phone call and took a big gulp of air. What I did not say was that I would personally purchase two karate uniforms and ship it to them so that they might meet me on any mat, in any dojo of their choosing so that I might fight both of them together using standard combat rules.
It would have been fun, glorious, exhilarating and therapeutic to have said the last sentence about fighting them, but it is the black belt that makes such a statement a complete waste of time. In this situation, the black belt, in my mind, shows me that to have given that last response would have given them the satisfaction that they had given me the mindfuck that they were so desirous of achieving. Both of these gentlemen were multi millionaires with homes in exotic places. Their combined $15,000 investment was a rounding error. They just wanted the joy and satisfaction of knocking me off of my game and enjoying the outcome.
I look at people like this in my world as my Zen masters. We all have them, they come in many different forms. Sometimes they are adversaries in your business world, sometimes they are colleagues, friends, your kids, your spouse, or an idiot on Facebook who makes a comment that flips out your sensibilities and creates moral outrage. Zen masters love to give us mindfuck. And while their title seems converse at first blush, the reality is that they are a Zen master for you because your ability to master your tranquility and thereby avoid going straight into mindfuck is your pathway to growth.
When you can get to the point where you see one of these negative stimulants as being the opportunity for growth rather than a catalyst for regression, you are on the right path.
Once we are able to take complete responsibility for our reaction and master that so that there is no reaction of negative consequence, then we are truly evolving into a new stage of mastery.