Written by: Stevie Orrill, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
Matthew McConaughey has pronounced a number of times, “Unbelievable is the stupidest word in the English language.” He calls it “A rude and disrespectful word.”
Why? Because it fails to give credit to all the incredible triumphs that we witness every single day.
I’ve been a big thinker for as long as I can recall. I remember lying in bed as a child contemplating the vastness of the universe. Pondering questions such as:
“Where does space end?”
“Is there a wall when you reach the end?”
“If there is, what’s on the other side?”
The answers to those questions still elude me. I think they always will. My experience and firmly held belief is that the Universe – just like our human potential – has no end.
It blows my mind to think that we have created technology that can travel to (and land successfully) on another planet, or that very soon we’ll be getting driven by our cars. That’s something we could only have dreamed of a few years ago.
Imagine what might come next. Some people spend hours every day contemplating things that don’t yet exist. Are you one of them? Everything that exists today was once just an idea.
When I was growing up as a child, I was often told to “be realistic” and not “fantasize about things that were out of reach.” I don’t hold any resentment toward family or teachers who were probably trying to keep my feet on the ground or save me from feeling disappointed. They were only passing on to me what they believed had served them best.
But the only time we ever create anything new is by contemplating something that doesn’t exist. We have to let go of what is “real.” Just like the Wright Brothers – who in 1903 launched the first successful flight of a “heavier than air” powered aircraft – contemplated objects “heavier than air” taking flight. They didn’t accept the reality they were accustomed to or buy into the theory that what they were attempting was “impossible.”
We recently witnessed the first flight on Mars. That’s a planet millions of miles from Earth. I am no scientist, but can you imagine the level of complexity that went into that operation being successful? The necessary calculations of the air mass, the manufacture, the delivery, the control of the entire operation from another planet. Impossible? Apparently not.
Now, I know that I have fallen prey to the “it’s impossible” story many times in my life. I catch myself several times every day, subconsciously accepting a reality that is far below what I truly desire. I’m probably not going out on a limb by suggesting that you all do as well.
Despite our infinite capacity to create, we place limits on ourselves every day. Doesn’t that seem bonkers to you? Why would we suffocate our best thinking?
If you desire to live a truly extraordinary life, you need to take your foot off the brake pedal of possibility. Here are 3 secrets that, if used wisely, will guide you to a life experience way beyond anything you’ve ever dreamt of. Those who are truly committed to being the best version of themselves will absorb these secrets.
“Believe” is a word that has become way too overused in modern society. It gets thrown around in contexts that don’t do justice to the power it represents. Here are a few contexts that you might be familiar with
When we express our opinion on the sincerity of others, we might say, “I don’t believe him/her.”
When referring to the faith that people follow, we say, “He/she believes in…”.
Many people use it interchangeably to express what they are thinking. For example, when asked, “Is she coming alone?” we might respond, “We believe so (= we think she is).”
None of the above are incorrect. But I’m a little uncomfortable throwing around such powerful language to discuss trivial matters. For me, the standout definition of what belief means, “to accept that something is true, especially without proof.”
The part that trips most of us up every single day is “without proof.” We have been conditioned (or have conditioned ourselves) to accept what we see or what we’re told. We look for evidence before believing.
The Wright Brothers had no proof that objects heavier than air could fly through the air. I still struggle with the idea that a 747 is going to get off the ground. It just looks too big and heavy. Thankfully, for all of us who love to travel, the Wright Brothers believed.
The NASA scientists had no proof that an object could take flight and land safely on the surface of Mars. Thomas Edison had no proof that light could be created by electricity and used as a lamp. Edmond Becquerel had no proof that we could use the rays from the sun and convert them into usable energy.
And yet, behind all of these discoveries, and many more, someone believed it was possible. They might have tried and failed hundreds or thousands of times, but they never lost belief.
What story are you telling yourself? Believe that your life can be bigger than anyone told you. I mean. Truly believe. Feel it!
2. Have the courage to take the second step.
I have lost count of the number of people who have told me they have an amazing idea or they have a “a plan” for the life they want to create but have yet to take any meaningful action. Instead, they become a master at creating excuses, while simultaneously playing the world’s smallest violins.
We all have aspects in life working against us. But I’ve witnessed way too many examples of people who have created something unthinkable with so many odds stacked against them to buy into stories that we don’t have what we need to succeed.
In 1974, a 24-year-old Frenchman named Philippe Petit walked a high wire illegally rigged between the Twin Towers of New York's World Trade Centre. Everyone held their breath as he stepped out because the towers were 1,350 feet above the ground. They were swaying that morning because of the wind. The rain was beginning to fall, which made the wire between the towers wet and slippery.
Petit stood there for a moment, took a deep breath, and then he stepped out onto the wire. His team had shot an arrow across the 200 ft gap between the towers and pulled across a 450-pound steel cable the night before. He used a custom-made 26-foot-long balancing pole. And that morning, he danced for nearly an hour on the wire.
A few years ago, the author Alan Weiss was invited to a presentation of the film "Man On Wire" about this feat, and Philippe Petit was present for a Q&A session. A few of the guests asked Petit, “What's the most difficult part of this? Is it psychological preparation? Is it overcoming fear of death?”
Petit's reply was fascinating! He said, “It's the Second Step.” Not the first step but the second step.
You see, with your first step, you still have one foot anchored and supported by something solid. But with the second step, you have to shift your center of gravity so that your entire body is no longer supported by anything solid.
The “high-wire” in our lives is the dream we want to create. And our “something solid” is the dull, unfulfilling reality we currently experience. And while many of us might dabble a few toes in the waters of possibility, we’re terrified to leave behind the safety and security of a life that doesn’t fulfill us.
Why? Because we’re afraid that we might fall. Afraid that we might embarrass ourselves. Afraid that we might stand out. I’d even go as far as to say as we’re afraid of what success and feeling alive might do to us. It’s always been out of our reach.
The second steps are most likely slightly different for every one of us. It may not be as obvious as you think. Your second step might be to stop trying to be like everyone else and do it your way. It might be to share your vulnerability. It could be to actually start believing in yourself and what you’re capable of.
Whatever your second step is, find the courage to take it. And trust that whatever happens, you’ll be fine. And on the other side of your fear is a life full of everything you desire.
3. Take the lid off the man-made roof
So, what happens when we truly believe in ourselves, and we bravely jump with both feet off the solid ground? What happens when life begins to line up better than we ever imagined?
Not long after I’d turned 30, I was vibrating amazing energy. My life really began to take off. I’d secured a great job that meant I could live in a nice house; I closed a massive deal that put $200k in my bank account; my love life was rolling; people wanted to be my friend. Everything was going great.
I remember thinking to myself, “This is all too good to be true.” A few months later, I got sick. I couldn’t eat. Breathing became difficult. I checked into the hospital and from there began a 2-week rollercoaster with a tube drilled between my ribs, chained to a bed in an airborne isolation room. Doctors and nurses would visit wearing protective masks. My right lung had become filled with toxic fluid. I was diagnosed with tuberculosis. I underwent surgery to remove the disease and repair my lung.
For the next 9 months, I was visited by a government employee to administer and certify that I was taking the prescribed TB medication. Any positive momentum that had been working in my favor was gone. The deals dried up. The relationships ended.
So, what happened? Could it be that I placed a ceiling on what I believed was possible for me? Looking back, I can see clearly how I invited disease into my life. Instead of fully embracing and feeling deserving of the life I had created, I chose to feel guilt. I reached for the familiar comfort zone of solid ground represented by struggle, ill-health, and worry.
Who am I to say what I’m deserving of? Who am I to place a ceiling on what’s possible for me in this lifetime? Now, I feel blessed and thankful for the work and skill of modern medicine. But more than that, I’m thankful for experiencing first-hand how much power we have over our destiny in life.
I know now that whatever joy and positive experience I had attracted into my life were fully deserved and just the tip of the iceberg in terms of how good life can be. I know that I’m capable of creating anything I choose to believe possible. I know there is no limit.
So, get out of your way. Allow your magnificence to rise. Believe that you can create whatever you desire. Have the courage to let go of anything that limits you. Take the lid off the man-made roof. And make what you’ve always thought was impossible, POSSIBLE.
“Reach beyond your grasp, have immortal finish lines, and turn your red-light green, because a roof is a man-made thing.” —Matthew McConaughey.
Stevie Orrill, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Stevie Orrill is a leading mindset coach. Following an epiphany that his traumatic childhood meant that he was relying on outdated survival-based programming, he made a conscious choice not to settle for a life that isn't fully aligned with his true purpose. Directed by the powerful experience of his own personal transformation, he is an expert at taking high achievers to become the fulfilled and fearless leaders they were born to be. His mission is to create a reality where people wake up every day feeling on purpose, fulfilled, and in love with their lives. He is the founder of Today Will Be, and his work is underscored by a belief that every human can achieve extraordinary things if they choose to connect with them. He has created programs that transform the life experience of others.