We buy an online course and do 20 percent of it.
We buy books and read a third of them.
We sign up for events we never attend.
We follow “gurus,” or pedestal prophets, hoping to get a glimpse at their human existence or hear something we already know but are too afraid to admit.
Look, I get it.
So many of us are searching for something we feel is missing or broken, thinking we won’t be happy and whole until we find it.
We struggle to feel content no matter what we are doing, who we are with, or what we’ve accomplished. So we pay for something, hoping and praying it will connect us to some “absolute truth.”
Seekers—I see you.
You’re not lost.
You’re definitely not alone.
You’re not broken, or empty, or wrong.
You just are.
And that’s okay.
Honestly, for years I was in the same position. I looked in every crevasse of the human experience to find some universal truth in my existence.
It was the classic existential crisis: Why am I here? Who am I?
There is one universal truth I’ve learned through all of this, and I wish I could tell every seeker on the planet:
We’ll never find answers to these questions if we don’t give everything we’ve got.
I don’t mean this in some motivational “rah-rah” way. More in the “we need to jump in feet first and learn how to swim” kind of way.
Buy the online course and do the whole damn thing—not because we paid $97 for it, but because it could literally hold the key to our enlightenment.
And perhaps that sounds dramatic, but think about it:
What if the answers we have been looking for were in one of the countless books we started but never finished?
Or on the other end of that coaching call we committed to, but didn’t show up for?
Or in the yoga class we paid $25 for, but decided to sleep through instead?
The worst thing we can do as a seeker is to sign-up for everything and show up for nothing.
I know this because my life didn’t change until I did.
I spent an entire week unsubscribing from email lists I didn’t open, giving away books I knew I had no interest in reading, and deleted courses I knew I’d never finish.
All of the unread, unfinished, uncommitted things had a cost—a weight that was holding me back from seeing my actual truth.
Every unfinished course, unread book, and half-assed therapy session seemed to push me further and further away from my ability to find answers.
It became increasingly clear to me that the problem wasn’t the programs or the books—the problem was my (lack of) commitment to finding answers.
1. The Four Life-Changing Words.
“Belief clings and faith allows.” ~ Alan Watts
These four words can change our lives. Our brains are meaning-making machines. They are pattern recognition pros, which constantly look to understand and make meaning out of things which often can’t be fully understood.
Therein resides the problem.
The challenging aspect of belief is that sometimes there is no evidence. Sometimes we have no real proof that we should believe. Because of this, sometimes it seems impossible to do so and sends us on a journey for answers we may never find.
Our job isn’t to constantly seek out evidence to believe something will happen the way we want. Our job is to have action-based faith. What I mean by “action-based faith” is this:
We need to take action in the right direction (or at least the direction we feel we should go) and have faith that whatever is meant to happen will happen. We need to notice where our mind is seeking evidence to believe and shift by asking ourselves, “What action could I take to have more faith?”
Faith is not blind; it helps us see what our minds cannot, but only when we’ve taken action that allows faith to be present.
2. Stop Saying Yes to Sh*t That’s a No.
“No: It’s a complete sentence.”
But how? How do we know what to say no to? Simple—if we aren’t going to complete something, press ctrl + delete.
Unsubscribe from the email lists we never open. Donate the books we aren’t going to finish. And say no to people who drain our time, happiness, resources, and faith in humanity. (You know the ones I’m talking about.)
So many of us are seeking happiness because we don’t know what it looks like. We say yes to everything and only enjoy some of it. We confuse ourselves about what’s a “f*ck ya!” and a “f*ck no.” It’s all just “meh, I guess so.”
We will never find answers living a “meh” life.
3. Stop Half-Assing Everything and Start Whole-Assing One Thing.
There are a lot of people who know a little about a lot of things, but not many who know a lot about a few things.
We put a half-assed effort into a bunch of courses or books and never really implement the content in those courses.
Last year, I implemented the “would I read this three times?” strategy and found it immensely powerful.
The reason this works so well is because most people buy books they don’t even plan on reading once, never mind three times. It forces us to really chose something, to be intentional, and to commit to something deeply.
Find a book you want to read and commit to reading it multiple times. Take notes, highlight it, implement one of its strategies for a week, and then see how this shifts your understanding of the core principles within the book.
We can use this concept in so many areas of our lives—dating, for example:
We swipe left and right so fast now we hardly see a person’s face. Instead, imagine that swiping right meant you had to go on three dates with this person. We’d be much more intentional, wouldn’t we?
So chose what you want to whole-ass. Chose, intentionally, what you want to commit to and then dive in like a navy seal.
So have action-based faith, say no, whole-ass the things that bring you joy, and before you know it, you’ll have the answers you’ve been seeking for years.
Connor Beaton is the founder of ManTalks, an international organization focused on men’s health, wellness, success, and fulfillment. Connor is also an international speaker, podcast host, CEO, and leader of ManTalks mission to build a global brotherhood. Before founding ManTalks, Connor had a brief career as an opera singer and worked at Apple, leading high-performance sales and operations teams. Connor has spoken on stage at TEDx, taken ManTalks across North America and been featured on platforms like Forbes, Influencive, HeForShe, The Good Men Project, UN Women, CBC, CBS, and the National Post.