#033: The Spiritual Side to Freelance Success — A Candid Talk with Pete Savage from ExpandYourself.com

 See if this sounds familiar…

You try your hardest to launch your business. Or to get to a certain income level. Or to land that high-profile client you’ve been chasing for months.

But no matter how hard you try, you can’t seem to get there. You’ve followed the formulas. You’ve toiled day and night. You’ve given it all you’ve got … to no avail.

What’s going on here? You’ve played by the rules. You’ve worked your tail off.

In part one of this two-part episode, my good friend Pete Savage (from ExpandYourself.com) and I explore this issue. And we talk about the missing link in this complex puzzle: the spiritual side of freelance success.

The notes that follow are a very basic, unedited summary of the show. There’s a lot more detail in the audio version. You can listen to the show using the audio player below. Or you can subscribe in iTunes or on Stitcher to get this show delivered straight to the Podcasts app on your smart phone, tablet or iPod.

Why is it that someone can work hard and do all the right things for his/her business, but things still don’t fall into place?

Part of the answer lies in the realm of spirituality, which may surprise you. Traditionally, there’s been a divide between being a spiritual person and having a successful business. The two seem contradictory. In Pete’s experience, the more you weave the two together, the more things tend to go your way.

This is an important topic and not one commonly covered in the world of writing and freelancing. It won’t resonate with everyone. But it’s too important to ignore.

So where do we start with this topic?

Let’s begin with an analogy. Think of a ladder with four rungs. Pete will describe each rung and you can self-identify which rung you’re on.

Keep in mind that what we’re going to discuss doesn’t conflict with most religious tenets. In fact, it’s largely complementary.

Rung 1 – There is a universal intelligence.

You believe there’s something greater than us. Traditionally, we’ve called this intelligence “God,” but for a lot of people today the word “God” feels too concrete or iconic. It conjures up images of a white-robed figure with a  long white beard. But the word you use to describe this intelligence doesn’t matter as much as the acknowledgement that there’s a greater intelligence out there.

Rung 2 – We are connected to this intelligence in some way.

You believe we’re all connected in some way. You may think of us as spiritual beings or having a sole.

Most people can easily move from rung one to two.

Rung 3 – This intelligence is benevolent.

You believe that this intelligence is benevolent towards us. We can receive, on some level, some good from it. We are, at a minimum, passive benefactors of “God’s” grace. It touches our lives and comes from somewhere beyond our physical world.

Rung 4 – We can communicate with this intelligence.

You believe we can direct it and tap into it in a very deliberate, intentional and participatory way. 

It isn’t a random phenomenon. You can influence it and create your own reality.

Today’s we’ll focus on Rung 4. How you can change your life by changing your approach to life.

If you want to make big changes, you have to stop looking at outer things long enough to look inward, at yourself. You have to shift the focus inside.

To reveal things that might be going on inside you that might be causing things to not work out for you; Pete has developed a number of questions to ask yourself:

Question #1: When I look at this situation in my business, have I been mostly problem-focused or solution focused?

Most people are problem focused. They try to fix problems instead of find a solution. The two sound similar, but they’re two totally different things.

Mind hack: Stop calling it a “problem” and call it a “project.” Change the label, and you can totally change your perspective.

Question #2: Have I visualized the outcome I want?

Visualization is simply daydreaming. We tend to think its silly or childish or a waste of time. But, for some reason, we accept it when it’s done in relation to sports. People love stories about major sports figures and how they visualize their success. Visualization has been used for decades in sports.

But outside sports, it’s suddenly seems strange or new-age-y. It has a different connotation.

So ask yourself, have you spent enough time visualizing the outcome? Do you have a clear picture of what it will feel like?

Question #3: Do I have a clear feeling of what it will feel like to have this situation happen?

Right now, in a heartbeat, can you access what this will feel like? Yes or no?

When you want something, you want it because it’s going to feel great. So you have to train yourself in that feeling. If you can’t embody the feeling, then you’re more likely to feel negative or neutral about it.

An important concept: Your actions line up with what you’re feeling. Scientific research shows that we need our outer experience to jibe with our inner thoughts and feelings of who we want to be. When they don’t, it throws us off. It feels wrong.

When our outer circumstances are different from our inner feelings, it causes us to act in ways to get things back to a state of homeostasis, even when it’s detrimental to our interests.

So part of the solution is to consciously recognize what’s going on and be open to something new happening.

Our feelings are how we communicate with this infinite intelligence. Feelings are the “language” of communicating. It’s not through words or thoughts.

For more on this idea, read Gregg Braden. Pam Grout’s book E-Squared has experiments you can do to test these ideas.

Stay tuned for part two of the Pete Savage interview in Episode #034!


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-Ed