Staying Hungry - How To Use Massive Pain To Break Out Of Your Rut
By Leo Gura - April 29, 2014 | 7 Comments
I talk about my painful legal trial in Canada and how it will fuel my life.
Hey, this is Leo for Actualized.org and in this video I’m coming at you from the city of Toronto, Canada. As you can see behind me right there we’ve got the CN Tower, we’ve got the whole city back there. In this video what I’d really like to talk about is the idea of staying hungry and how it’s important to remind yourself of where you came from, especially if you’ve already got a good amount of success in your life right now.
The Back Story
All right so let’s talk about how to stay hungry. A little bit of back story here. I’m in Toronto right now and the reason I’m here is not for vacation. It’s fucking cold, it’s windy, literally my fingers are feeling like they’re about to freeze off. It’s still pretty much winter here, it’s bleak. The reason why I’m here is for a legal case that I’ve been trying to battle now for two and a half years where an old where an old client from a previous business owes me and my partner twenty three thousand dollars.
Not only that, but finally I come out here to argue the case and my lawyer ditches me. I’m without a lawyer and I have to argue the case myself. Not only that, but the guy who didn’t pay us- he owes twenty-three thousand dollars in cash on goods that we delivered- so not only that, but he’s countersuing us for the bogus claim for fifty-five thousand dollars because that’s the most convenient way for him to escape paying us anything.
So I’m on the line for fifty-five grand beyond the money that I’m already being owed and on top of that I was here and I’m driving a rental car and I park it at night at the hotel and in the morning some asshole scratches the side of the car and I can’t even find him. I don’t know how he did it but the car’s scratched and I’m going to have to pay for it. I had a brutal, miserable day last night.
Yesterday, all of yesterday I spent inside of a courtroom for eight hours arguing my case by myself, no lawyer, just arguing it. I spent over thirty hours straight preparing for it, didn’t sleep for that whole day and the day before it and just argued my ass off, argued for my life. I still have fears and emotional triggers around money, still have fears around that from childhood, and so when I’m on the line for fifty-five grand for me that’s something I perceive as a life and death situation.
Killer Instinct Mode
I was pumped full of adrenaline yesterday. I was really operating on a survival kind of killer instinct type mode, it was a do or die type of situation, at least I perceived it that way and I was very, very emotionally triggered. I haven’t been this emotionally triggered probably in five or ten years I would say. This was literally one of the toughest most brutal days of my life emotionally.
It kind of brought me back home. It brought me back home and it triggered some memories of where I came from in the sense that emotionally where I came from. Internally, my mindsets, where those came from because I can vividly remember back to times in high school, in college, when I was studying my ass off trying to be a good student and how much emotional labor went into that. Or at the end of college when I lost sixty-five pounds in six months, how emotionally taxing that situation was and how much of a do or die mentality I had to apply there to get the result I wanted.
Same thing for the business that I started. First business that I started was also a do or die type of situation where literally I was going to either succeed or I was going to be homeless, so it was that kind of decision. Then after that getting into the dating scene, getting into the pickup scene, studying sexuality and female psychology, for me that was also a do or die type of situation. It might sound funny for you to hear that, but literally for me it was like that because I was so bad with women. I was so bad with relationships because I had so little experience that literally for me it was going to be die miserable and lonely or put massive, massive, massive attention and effort on this problem in your life and fix it and then maybe you can have a chance to even be at a normal level in the dating-relationship area of your life. For me that was a very serious type of thing.
Having done all those I kind of forgot and I’ve started getting into a bit of a rut, a little bit of complacency started building up inside of me and I didn’t notice that until yesterday when this thing came and just kind of like “Bam!”, it punched me in the face and I felt it. I felt what it was like to be fighting for your life. That’s what I literally felt. I also felt that I could empathize a little bit better with some of you guys because I know some of you guys are already fairly successful, already have good jobs, already have good relationships, already have good fitness levels, good inner development of your mind and your psychology, but some of you are at zero, quite frankly.
Some of your lives are shit, some areas within your lives are shit. Maybe your finances are shit, or your relationships are shit, or you have no really promising career or business opportunities for you. Maybe you’re emotionally unstable, maybe you’re depressed, maybe you’re miserable, maybe you’re anxious, maybe you’re having panic attacks… whatever that is, I consider that being at level zero, at ground level. Then you have to work your way up. I can empathize with you a little bit easier now. I could in the past, but I had just forgotten that. It’s literally what happens that when you get more successful you get more and more successful what starts to happen is that you start to coast. You start to coast on that success.
That initial killer instinct that you had, that got you to your present level of success, what happens is that that killer instinct starts to shut off because that’s a survival mechanism. It’s like a lion jumps out in front of you as you’re walking through the jungle. Sure, you’re going to get all fired up and you’re going to start to act immediately, you’re not even going to think twice. You’re going to start to run, you’re going to start to fight. It’s that fight or flight response.
You can’t keep that up all the time so what happens is that slowly you start to get accustomed to it and accustomed to it and accustomed to it and you start to get into a rut. Any kind of dreams and goals that you had up there you just kind of forget about them, they kind of dissipate or you kind of start to think, “I don’t really need that anymore, I’m kind of comfortable where I am” and you get into this rut. Being in this rut, it can be nice, you just kind of get comfortable, but it also keeps you from getting to that true high level of success. That level of self-actualization that you want to get to. To get there it takes something more.
Get Loftier Goals to Keep You Motivated
You have to have more vision, you have to start to motivate yourself in creative ways. You can’t always motivate yourself by negative pressure, negative forces, survival instinct. That’s not going to be enough to get you to your ultimate level of potential. To do that, really, you need those loftier goals, you need to be working towards something bigger.
For me, personally, now what that is it’s not really money, it’s not sex, it’s not food, it’s not a better house or a nicer car. It’s none of that. It’s really impact, for me that’s impact. It’s the impact that I’m having on you guys, it’s the impact that I’m having on everybody that I interact with with the information that I’m delivering. This is my purpose, this is what I’m doing so for me that’s very important and to me what I’m doing now is I’m starting to notice that I need to start to take this and I need to make it a base need.
In my mind I need to trick myself and say, okay, this idea of impacting people, to me it should be as important as breathing air. It should be as important as the need for water and food and for sex. It needs to be one of those baser levels because I’ve noticed that for the last year I’ve been pursuing these loftier ideals, these loftier values, the problem is that I still get complacent on a day to day level. Sometimes I get lazy, sometimes I don’t want to work hard, and honestly you know I’m not working as hard as I used to.
You Need That Raw Drive
How hard I worked out of college, how hard I worked to start my business, literally I worked so many hours, I worked so fucking hard, I’m not doing that anymore. It’s hard for me to motivate myself to do that. I’m working smarter not so in many ways I’m more efficient, but still. There’s something about having that kind of raw drive, that raw determination to just go out there and work through a problem no matter what and that can be a very, very powerful force and a lot of times what happens is that people lose that force once they reach a moderate level of success.
Maybe that’s you. Maybe that’s where you’re stuck at, maybe that’s the reason that you are feeling frustrated and the reason that you are feeling unmotivated is because you are stuck in a rut. When this happens I tend to find that one or two things can knock you out of it. So I’ll say that most people get stuck in that rut and they’ll stay stuck in there for a very long time, maybe the rest of their lives.
A certain other percentage of people what’ll happen is they’ll get stuck in that rut, but an external circumstance will come and will knock them out of that rut. This has to be something jarring, something emotionally triggering. For me for example, it’s this case, this legal case. It was very jarring for me. It gave enough contrast to my life that I can see like, “Whoa, that’s what it used to be like to have that kind of hunger for life. Okay, awesome”. That was a great reminder.
For you it might not be a legal case, for you it might be the breakup of a relationship, or it might be just finally looking at yourself in the mirror one day and saying, “Enough! Enough is enough” and you start to see that you’re disgusted with your body and you start to take care of it, you start to lose weight, you start to find ways to go to the gym, that kind of thing. Maybe it’s some sort of rude comment that someone makes at you, but it’s one of those comments that’s rude but also true at the same time and maybe it starts to get you to see yourself in a new light.
You Need To Remind Yourself What It Was Like
Maybe it’s the collapse of a business that you’ve got, maybe it’s some bad luck that you get, maybe you lose your car, maybe someone steals a bunch of money from you… something that happens that gets you to reevaluate your life. You’re just forced into it. Maybe a death in the family, maybe someone near to you dies. That’s always a very powerful external influence that can get you to rethink your life and to start to get you out of the rut. To get some of that thirst for life back again because you start to see that “Wow, life is short”.
I’ve been worrying about a lot of petty shit lately, petty shit that’s not going to be remembered by anyone after I’m dead. I’m not going to build any kind of legacy, I’m not helping anyone with this fear that I’ve got so why don’t I just forget that for a second and focus on something that’s actually important, focus on something that’s bigger than me, how about that?
I tend to see that one of these external circumstances can come and knock you out of place and those can be good. A lot of times we think that those are really bad, for example if you asked me yesterday I would have told you that it’s horrible what I’m going through. It’s literally one of the most brutal days of my life, but now I look back at it and that was actually an awesome growth opportunity. I really grew myself a lot by having to go through that whole ordeal.
Take Conscious Control Of The Situation
The final point is that of course sometimes an external circumstance won’t come along. If it doesn’t come along then you’re probably just going to stay in that rut and of course you can’t take conscious control and that’s kind of what I’m doing now. I’ve had this external circumstance come in but I’m also going to now start taking external control more. I’ve committed myself to that, take conscious control of the situation.
What does that mean? I think that means taking some bold action. It’s not enough to take a little baby step. Sometimes that’s good, sometimes that’s generally how I do personal development is through baby steps, but sometimes you need to take a bold step up in order to get higher. Sometimes you need to just bust through the wall, make some sort of big, bold, radical decision to bust you out of a rut when you know that you’re in a rut. What could that be? It might mean moving out of the country, living in a new country just out of the blue. Maybe moving to a new city, a new city, a new state. Change your entire environment. Maybe it might mean getting out of a relationship, breaking up a relationship, maybe getting a divorce if that’s what’s right for you.
Maybe it might mean finally dropping that business that you know isn’t what you really want to be doing, Maybe it’s time to quit that lame job that you’re frustrated with, that’s keeping you down. Maybe it’s time for you to quit that very successful job that you’ve got that’s taking up all your time and keeping you from your true dream projects.
Be Bold, But Be Strategic
There’s a whole list of these kinds of bold actions that you can take. I’m not saying that you should be frivolous and stupid and you should just go and quit your job tomorrow. No, I’m saying that you have to do this in a very intelligent, well planned out, strategic sort of way. Ultimately if you’ve been in a rut, and you notice that you’ve been in a rut for a year or more, I would say a year or more, maybe five years, if you’ve been on a rut for a long time you know that you’re not going to change just by yourself. You know that you need some sort of external stimulus to come pull you out of it, or you need someone to help you, or you need to basically put yourself in a situation where you’re not going to be able to ignore the problem any longer.
Maybe you should consider doing that, because it’s really nice to have that thirst in your life. Sure, it’s tough, it’s not always pleasant in the moment to be kind of fighting for your life, but it’s also very lame to be stuck in that rut too. Right now I think the best situation, the best solution is to go out there and have the loftier goals, have the loftier values, but infuse into that killer instinct that you had from the past.
That’s the ultimate ideal situation. That’s personally what I’m going to try to create for myself right now. I feel extra pumped up from the case. Extra pumped up and I’ve still not gotten the verdict from that case, argued my as off, even the opposing counsel came up to me at the end of the trial and said how impressed he was by how hard I argued that case. Even the guy that I was suing, he was at the trial he was a witness, he came up to me at the end and said how impressed he was, how hard I argued that case.
There were even legal students that were taking some notes, there were some students that were studying laws and they were just taking notes and observing the trial and they told me the same thing, they were impressed by how well I argued the trial and that I wasn’t a lawyer myself. What I learned from that is many lessons are a long shot, but ultimately it’s this feeling, this feeling of being back on track and really fighting for something not just in a slow paced sort of way, but in a do or die sort of way. That can be really powerful so see if you can create that kind of scenario in your life.
If you’re in that scenario already, not out of choice but because you’re stuck in the mud and your life is shit, then you know what? I’ve been there, I’ve just been there yesterday, I’ve been there many times in my life. You just have to push through. You just push through and trust that there is going to be something bigger for you. I know now how painful it is. I remember very vividly how painful it is just because I went through an experience like that yesterday.
All right, so this is Leo, I’m going to be signing off. This is what I have to say about staying hungry. This is goodbye from Toronto. Go ahead, post your comments down below, please like this, please share this. Click the like button right now. Of course I would like to you to come check out Actualized.org and sign up to our newsletter there, where I’m releasing new videos, new articles, other goodies about how to self-actualize, how to master your own psychology so that you can create an extraordinary kind of life.