The Big Leap

Book

The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level by Gay Hendricks PhD

My Highlights

Life is at its best when love, money, and creativity are growing in harmony.

We humans have a long and wonderful history of transcending our beliefs about what’s possible. In the early days of the steam-powered train, learned scientists urged capping the speed at thirty miles per hour because they believed that the human body exploded at speeds greater than that.

There’s only one way to get through the fog of fear, and that’s to transform it into the clarity of exhilaration. One of the greatest pieces of wisdom I’ve ever heard comes from Fritz Perls, MD, the psychiatrist and founder of Gestalt therapy. He said, “Fear is excitement without the breath.” Here’s what this intriguing statement means: the very same mechanisms that produce excitement also produce fear, and any fear can be transformed into excitement by breathing fully with it

When I was growing up, my next-door neighbor Mr. Lewin shared a powerful bit of wisdom with me. I’ve kept it in mind for more than fifty years. On Judgment Day, Mr. Lewin said, God will not ask, “Why were you not Moses?” He will ask, “Why were you not Sam Lewin?” The goal in life is not to attain some imaginary ideal; it is to find and fully use our own gifts.

The crucial sign that we’re worrying unnecessarily is when we’re worrying about something we have no control over.

There’s a good way to know if a worry-thought is something you should pay attention to. Just ask yourself:   Is it a real possibility?   And…   Is there any action I can take right now to make a positive difference?

Both criticizing yourself and criticizing others are highly addictive and very popular ways of busting up the flow of positive energy.

Underneath the headache might be an insight that is as powerfully positive as the pain is negative. The surface pain is often caused by resisting the underlying positive message. Sometimes the positive message is a message we’re afraid to hear, such as “It’s time to quit my job and do something else.

Committing a breach of integrity is one of the quickest ways to bring yourself down after an excursion past your Upper Limit. The most popular integrity breaches are lies, broken agreements, and withheld truths.

It’s called projection, and there are dozens of chapters in the psychology textbooks on how it works. Simply put, if you have some emotion within you that you don’t know how to manage, you seal that emotion away and start trying to manage other people’s versions of it.

Here’s what I recommend for daily action steps. These specific actions will keep you on track and on the fast track to living in your Zone of Genius. Make a commitment to keeping an attitude of wonder and play while learning about your Upper Limit behaviors. Say this sentence in your mind as often as you like. It expresses the attitude I’d like you to embody: I commit to discovering my Upper Limit behaviors, and to having a good time while I’m learning about them. You can learn a lot more with a spirit of wonder and enjoyment than you can with an attitude of criticism. Make a list of your Upper Limit behaviors. Here are some of the most common ones: Worrying Blame and criticism Getting sick or hurt Squabbling Hiding significant feelings Not keeping agreements Not speaking significant truths to the relevant people. (If you’re mad at John, he’s the relevant person to talk to. It doesn’t help to tell Fred that you’re mad at John.) Deflecting. (Brushing off compliments is a good example of deflecting) When you notice yourself doing one of the things on your Upper Limit list, such as worrying, or failing to communicate some truth, shift your attention to the real issue: expanding your capacity for abundance, love, and success.

In coaching people to discover their genius, I’ve found that it’s essential to begin with a commitment to living in your Zone of Genius. Your commitment must come before you know how to make good on it. The image that comes to mind is from the third Indiana Jones movie, in which Indy must step out into thin air, in a gesture of commitment, before a bridge magically appears beneath his feet. The power of your commitment brings forth the means necessary for you to live in your Zone of Genius. If you will make a powerful, sincere commitment—a vow that you really want to live your life in the Zone of Genius—your journey will be blessed with uncommon good fortune at all the twists and turns of the road.

Begin with a fundamental statement like this: I’m at my best when I’m _________ ___________________________________________. Let that statement resonate in your mind a few times; then speak it out loud. Discover what you come up with. Perhaps you come up with “I’m at my best when I’m generating ideas on a yellow legal pad” or “I’m at my best when I’m figuring out how to put a team together.” Just get a good general statement of what you’re doing when you feel you’re at your best. Once you’ve come up with a simple, clear statement of you at your best, go a little deeper. Use a statement like the following to zoom in for a closer look: When I’m at my best, the exact thing I’m doing is _________________________________________________. Go for a more detailed description, such as “When I’m generating ideas on a yellow legal pad, the exact thing I’m doing is doodling and enjoying the feeling of creating something out of nothing.” Go even deeper with a sentence like this one: When I’m doing that, the thing I love most about it is ____________________________________________________. For example, “When I’m doodling and creating something out of nothing, the thing I love most is not knowing where it’s going to take me. I love the surprise factor, the excitement of seeing what’s going to emerge.” You’ll be able to know you’re getting closer to your unique ability when you feel an inner glow of wonder and excitement.

I encourage you to look carefully at the number of times you say yes to things that do not fit in your Zone of Genius. Even if they seem beneficial for other reasons, those requests can eat up a great deal of energy that could be better invested in expressing your genius

When you make the shift to Einstein Time, you experience a major surge in your productivity, creativity, and enjoyment. The shift takes place the moment you embrace one profoundly simple truth: You’re where time comes from.

A vast amount of energy can be liberated in relationships by dropping the habit of projection. As mentioned, projection occurs when you attribute to others something that’s true for you inside yourself.

To prevent humiliating collisions with the universe, I suggest we all adopt an attitude of being open to learning in every moment of our relationships.

I am part of the whole, all of which is governed by nature…. I am intimately related to all the parts, which are of the same kind as myself. If I remember these two things, I cannot be discontented with anything that arises out of the whole, because I am connected to the whole.

The ultimate joy of being an entrepreneur is creating something that people find valuable, particularly if it’s something that hasn’t existed before.

To this day, few things give me more satisfaction than inventing something that hasn’t existed before. Many of my inventions have been total failures in the financial sense, while others have gone on to make millions of dollars. In the larger sense, all of them have been winners, because they held the fascination of creating something from nothing.

Priority No. 1: creating things that make people’s lives better. I also do my best to create things that make their faces light up, just like biting into a watermelon on a hot day.

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