Hey, hey! It’s Friday, and you know what that means — time for Friday Bullpen Sessions!
Do you have a meditation practice? Meditation can be a powerful tool to help you get calm and centered in your head, and that’s important for achieving the clarity and focus you need to succeed. I’ve started meditating myself, and it’s been amazing! I recently had a particularly powerful meditation experience, and I want to share the lessons I learned with you today.
You may have heard of Jay Shetty — he’s a very popular thought-influencer right now. In fact, he’s just released a new book, Think Like a Monk, which I can’t wait to dive into. But Jay Shetty is not only an author — he also creates incredible and inspiring YouTube content. Recently he’s been posting videos every day as part of a 20-day meditation series, and I’ve been following along.
I had been listening to Jay’s daily meditations for a few days, and I was getting a lot of value out of them. But then, on about the eighth day, Jay walked his audience through an exercise that surprised me. I was not ready for the experience I had, and I got some advice from a very unexpected source. I’m excited to share that with you today, so let’s get started!
Talking to My Childhood Self
In one of his typical meditations, Jay walks you through some calming breathing exercises and helps walk you through some visualization. However, on this particular day, he did something a little different:
On day eight of the 20-day meditation journey, Jay started by asking me to close my eyes and go back into my childhood. He asked me to pick any age to imagine, and my mind immediately went back to my 11-year-old self at my parents’ house. I could clearly picture my 11-year-old self sitting across from me at the table on the back porch at my parents’ house. And boy, that brought up some old insecurities.
You see, when I was 11 years old, I was an overweight kid. Do you remember the “husky”-sized pants? I had to wear “husky” pants. I was so chubby, and as a result, I had a lot of self-confidence issues. I was constantly worried about being picked on by the other kids at school or in my neighborhood, and I had a lot of problems with insecurity and self-worth.
When I pictured my 11-year-old self sitting across from me at that table, all of those emotions came bubbling back up to the surface. I felt for that kid, and I experienced his fear all over again. Nevertheless, I continued with the meditation.
In the first part, Jay asked me to give my 11-year-old self some advice. We’ve all tried to answer that question, right? What advice would you give your younger self? I told my 11-year-old self all about how things will get better and how he’ll actually get to play professional baseball. But then, Jay flipped the script in a way that made me say, “Holy shit!”
After I gave my 11-year-old self some advice, Jay asked me to let my 11-year-old self give me advice. He wanted me to let my childhood self do the talking for a moment, ask me his questions, and offer me his advice. And guys, what my younger self told me had me in tears. I definitely got emotional because his advice was incredible.
So today, I’m sharing with you the three pieces of advice my 11-year-old self shared with me. I hope they inspire you as much as they inspired me! Let’s dive into #1…
#1: Are You Happy?
As I imagined myself sitting across from 11-year-old Andy, the first thing I heard him say to me was, “Andy, are you happy?” And man, that made me pause to reflect. Am I happy? Am I happy with who I am? Am I happy with what I’m doing? Have I been taking the time to find joy in the little things in life?
If I’m honest, the answer to a lot of those questions is “no.” Don’t get me wrong — I’m not unhappy. But for the last 15 months, as I’ve been hustling to grow my coaching business, I’ve definitely been guilty of not taking the time to enjoy my life. And for that reason, this question made me a little emotional.
It’s funny — my own business coach, Christina, recently asked me that question, but it definitely impacted me in an unbelievably powerful way coming from my 11-year-old self. And now, I want to ask you the same thing: Are you happy? Are you happy with who you are and what you’re doing? Are you taking the time to find joy in the little things?
Take a moment to reflect on that. Because here’s the thing, folks: If you’re not happy, what are you hustling for? If your current situation isn’t lighting you up and fueling your passion every day, something needs to change. So ask yourself: Are you in the right job or career? Do you have hobbies that you enjoy? Do you have happy, loving, supportive relationships in your life?
As I recorded this episode, I can tell you that I sat calmly with a cup of warm coffee in my hand, watching the snowstorm blow around outside. I’m finding joy in the snowstorm we’re experiencing here in Colorado, and I’m hoping that it will be just what our firefighters need to stop the crazy wildfires from continuing to grow. I’m finding joy in small things, and I’m taking the time to appreciate the beauty all around me. I’d encourage you to do the same.
#2: Live for Today
The second piece of excellent advice I got from my younger self was this: “Andy, live for today.”
One of the biggest things I challenge my clients to do is to think and plan for the long-term. After all, business is the long-game, and you have to be prepared to grow slowly and steadily over time. However, it’s also essential to be present right here and right now. We’ve got to live for today.
One of the absolute best ways to do that is to express gratitude. Every day when you wake up, I want you to be thankful. Take a moment just to be grateful that you get to wake up every day and play this game, whatever this game is for you. It could be raising your family and being that father, that husband, that mother, or that wife. It could be building your business and being the best employer you can possibly be. Whatever the game is for you, be glad you get to play it.
Let’s face it: 2020 has been full of uncertainty. It feels like we haven’t stopped talking about it! But it reminds me of a powerful piece of wisdom: The future really is uncertain. And when the future is uncertain, the only thing left is today. No matter what tomorrow is going to look like, no matter how things are going to change next weekend or next month or next year, we have to live in the present and be here today.
So I want to challenge you: Take a look in the mirror, and ask yourself, “What do I need to do to be present today?” It could be spending time with your children or having a date-night with your significant other. It could mean taking the time just to take care of yourself, meditate, or spend some time outside. Whatever it’s going to take for you to live in the moment, I want to encourage you to do it.
#3: Leave It on the Field
The third and final piece of advice that my 11-year-old self shared with me was particularly special because it really got me pumped up. After hearing him say this, I was absolutely ready to go out there and crush all of my goals. The third thing my younger self said to me was, “Andy, I want you to wake up every day and just play all-out. Leave it on the field. Don’t take plays off today in preparation for tomorrow.”
How often are we guilty of that? Have you ever thought, “Well, I’ve got this big meeting tomorrow, it’s going to be a really big day, so I’ll just take it easy today?” I know I have! But here’s the thing: That’s not how the greats play the game. The greats are hustling day-in and day-out. They bring their all to the game, and they leave everything on the field.
Think about those summers when you were a kid. Do you remember those? If you were anything like me, you were outside playing at every waking moment. Your mom probably had to come outside and call you in for lunch just so you could run in, eat as fast as possible, and get back outside to play. And the same thing happened at dinner, right? I remember my mom used to ring the bell to call me in for dinner, and I always raced in to eat as fast as possible so I could get back out and play “kick the can” with the other neighborhood kids. (Remember, “kick the can?” Those were the days!)
Are you applying that same mindset to your work? Are you attacking each day with the same joy and energy and enthusiasm that you used to take outside with you during those childhood summers? Are you applying that mindset to your relationships? If not, I want to encourage you to level-up.
I have talked to too many people recently who are just riding out 2020 and waiting for 2021 to get here so they can start being productive again. If that’s you, I want to tell you right now to knock it off and start playing all-out every single day. Whether in a relationship or in business, I want you to wake up, go all-out, and literally have to be dragged back in every night because you are so excited about your work.
It goes back to what I was saying earlier about gratitude: We are so blessed to have the opportunity to get up and play the game — why not play with as much energy and joy as we can?
Spend Some Time with Your Inner Child
And there you have it, folks — three pieces of brilliant advice from my 11-year-old self. I am so glad I participated in Jay Shetty’s meditation that day, and I’m grateful to my younger self for sharing his wisdom with me. It rocked my world, and it’s inspired me to keep showing up, living in the moment, and creating my happiness. I hope it inspired you to do the same!
And if you haven’t checked in with your inner child recently, I want to encourage you to do that. Talking to younger Andy was an incredible experience for me, and I feel as though my life has changed for the better. Your inner child might have some incredible wisdom for you, too — it’s worth getting in touch with them!
Thank you so much for joining me today, guys! I hope you enjoyed this episode and got some incredible value from it. If you did, please share it with your friends on Instagram, and make sure to tag me, @andy_neary, and tell me about your biggest takeaways from the episode. And if you have a moment, please make sure to subscribe and leave me a five-star rating and review over on Apple Podcasts. Your reviews really do help bring new listeners to the show!
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Thanks again for joining me today. Now I want you to get out there, play the game as hard as you can, live in the moment, and create your own happiness. Go make it happen today!