Are You Willing to Do What It Takes

Like pure gold he shines even in the midst of the furnace

~ Zen Proverb

If there’s anything at all you take away from this series on Innate Ability Development™, please take away the lesson of this last principle:

There is no magic in life but life is magical.

In straightforward terms, you’re going to work hard at something… for life is often hard. But it’s also grand.

The fact is that it’s hard to be broke, overweight and miserable, right? It’s hard to spend your days, day-in-and-day-out, doing something that doesn’t feed your spirt and rattle your very soul.

You would never play an opponent in any sport where you absolutely knew you were more talented, quick, able, and you knew you were always going to win no matter what. You’d be bored out of your gourd!

The truth is that you want the challenges and uncertainties… even when you fool yourself into thinking that you don’t. For that is where you shine.

Life often throws curve balls… but curve balls can be hit.

Just like any great movie has a formidable antagonistic opponent, such do you want in your life. Otherwise you’d never buy a ticket—what’s the point?

So if you’re going to work hard regardless… you might as well work hard fully using your Innate Abilities and fulfilling your purpose. Do you follow?

What is this so-called Spiritual Purpose?Is mine different from yours? Click here to learn more.

But the most magical thing of all of it is that you’re alive!  You get to play!

And all the ups and the downs are part of the Grand Adventure!

My personal Grand Adventure took me to the pinnacle… and it slammed me in the pit. But when I realized it was all part of the ride I found the joy in all of it. Even when in tremendous pain. For even in pain there is life! And without the occasional pain how could we even define, much less experience, the pleasure and joy?

I’m not suggesting this is easy, nor always the most desirable to our personal will—it’s not—certainly not consciously. But the greatest way to true joy is to give yourself so fully and completely to something that you love… your unique purpose; and then embrace the fullness of the journey in which it takes you. This is the magic.

This is my greatest wish for you; and I’d be honored to help you. (Mentor with James)

I was doing a mentoring session with a young ice dancer recently. She had just lost her dance partner that day and was quite disappointed at the harsh reality of starting all over again.

Before I ever get into solutions, I always ask a lot of probing questions. As we’ve discussed many times… prescription without diagnosis is severe malpractice.

As I conversed with this young, vibrant 22 year old woman, she began to tell me how she had to practice a minimum of five hours per day. Simultaneously, she was holding three jobs and barely making ends meet.

You see, her sport is a very expensive venture (something I was not previously aware of), and she educated me that it took about $6500 per month for her to pay her living expenses, rent “ice time,” buy equipment and costumes, and a whole host of other necessities to excel.

She has a dream of going to the Olympics and as she described her life, and her dream, her face shined with sheer joy. Even through the pain and disappointment.

I asked her, “If you had to live in a tent and scrape for groceries to go to the Olympics would you be willing?” (I already knew her answer).

Without hesitation she answer, “Yes! I’ll do whatever it takes!” She just might make it to becoming an Olympian. But she’s guaranteed an exciting life!

There are very few guarantees in life… but one thing that is guaranteed, is that when you find your Innate Ability, and align it with your unique purpose, you’ll live a full and meaningful life.

Her partner bailed on her because he wasn’t willing to make the same sacrifices. That’s fine… it’s good to be honest with ourselves.

But the dishonesty (as well as incongruity) was that he “said” he wanted to go to the Olympics. But the truth is that he didn’t want it badly enough.

There’s a big difference between wishing for something and being willing to do what it takes to achieve it.

I find that athletes often (not always) have a great head start on life—they know what it takes to achieve their dreams. No amount of “I visualize daily” or “I’m attracting my dreams” or “I have a secret sauce” is going to create a champion.

Yes, I do believe in the Law of Attraction and visualization; and I use them daily along with many other techniques on the energetic/spiritual plane. (LOA rebooted) But I couple them with hard work, and big bold action on the physical plane; and anything less is illusion. Are you with me?

On the physical plane of existence, there’s no substitution for action; big, bold, immediate, persistent, consistent.

The Law of Correspondence from Hermetic tradition tells us “As above so below.” This is a profound law and the implication are vast.

Simply put, it tells us that if we want to know how the Universe works we must only look at how Nature works. If we want to know the Mind of God, we must only look at the mind of man. For each it but a reflection of the other.

Consequently, if you want to know what it takes to build your dreams and fulfill your purpose… look at what it takes to build your business. If you want to know what it takes to build your business… look at what it takes build big muscles and a lean physique. While practices are contextual… principles are cross-contextual and universal.

“Work like there is someone working 24 hours a day to take it away from you.” 

~ Mark Cuban

The people who are trying to make this world worse are not taking a day off. How can I?”

~ Bob Marley

One of the greatest misnomers I’ve come across is that “when I start my own business I’ll set my own schedule and have more time.” This is both true and false. 

You definitely will set your own schedule… and that schedule will be centered on whatever it takes to fulfill your purpose. If you’ve done it right, your life and your living will be one and the same. Remember “hardly work” and “effortless effort?” (reference IAD20)

Everyone schedules their life around how they earn their living… this is true. But there’s a big difference between finding a way to make a living and then building your personal life around it…

Versus first defining your life; and then earning your living around it. Do you get the difference? (reference IAD20)

Life becomes truly magical when you earn your living around your life…

Versus fit your life around your living. Big difference!

What are you currently doing? 

What are you going to do?

And the journey continues…

Stay Awake, Love Life, and Be Epic,

james arthur ray


Permission to re-post my personal articles is granted with acknowledgment of the author, James Arthur Ray and a link back to this website. Thanks and Enjoy!

9 Responses

  1. Yes… I’m with you…

    “On the physical plane of existence, there’s no substitution for action; big, bold, immediate, persistent, consistent.”(JAR)

    I’m working hard (not hardly working). I’m changing my life, and the lives of those around me for the better! Manifesting my vision, whatever it takes. Doubt me? Wait….

  2. Doing whatever it takes is standard operating equipment for every child and puppy I have encountered. Somewhere along the line, they learn otherwise. All of us, schooled on the two levels below whatever it takes, conform. The base level or two levels down is to try, everyone can try… and the ‘tried that’ group hang out together. All of us have tried and failed and then stop trying. The ’empowered’ group does their best. “I always do my best!” Many are proud of doing their best and that proves somehow it couldn’t be done.

    Most people succeed at learning to ride a bicycle. No amount of learning, watching or studying made any difference. Some may argue once you know how to ride some of the ‘education’ has value. Three major parts are required. The bicycle has to work. If most people can’t ride the bike no matter who they are, perhaps there is a design function missing on the bike you are attempting to ride. You have to get on the bike with a ‘whatever it takes to accomplish’ attitude. Someone helps you maintain ‘balance’ until you catch it yourself. That may mean training wheels but once caught; you cannot unlearn how to ride a bicycle. Most of what is failure is missing one or all three essential ingredients. Your willingness and ability to help/mentor/coach people makes the difference. Thank you James.

    1. Love it Michael, and you’re correct. Doing whatever it takes is a innate quality in children. Maybe that’s part of our primary innate ability. Something to ponder. Live Big ~ JAR

  3. James, you are spot on in this blog. My wife and I started a sightseeing tour business 28 years ago out of our home. We worked 24/7 for most of those 28 years and built a very successful business. We did whatever it took to build our business. We were inspired by our success. We were living our dream and helping others to enjoy and learn about the area. There was nothing we would not do. Living your innate ability and sharing our love of travel in the Southwest with visiting tourists took us to the pinnacle as well.

    911 was the beginning of our fast fall from the top to the bottom. Our $3 million dollar business was cut in half. It took another fall in the economic crash of 2008 to really put us into free fall.

    After many months of “why did this happen? How could everything we worked so hard to build be gone? What do we do now? Only after a period of sorrow and recriminations did we begin to understand we were to learn and grow from this experience. (Very hard lesson, by the way).

    Today we are still rediscovering and reinventing ourselves utilizing the many lessons we now realize we have been blessed to have been taught.

    Having mentors is one of the methods for gaining clarity we have found to be extremely helpful. Reading, studying, attending seminars and emulating the many people who have gone before us in this journey is another. Contemplation and meditation, we have learned, is very important in getting clarity of purpose. But staying plugged in to those I resonate with in my journey is critical. A core group of like minded people I can sit with and discuss ideas and concepts is also very important.

    The most important lesson to finding and utilizing my innate abilities, I have learned, is to ask myself, would I do this if I was not getting paid? Do I shine from the inside when I am doing this? Do I inspire others when doing this? If I can answer yes to each, then I am on the right path.

    So yes, James, your blog is most important to me in gaining clarity and fulfilling my purpose. Thank you, James, I appreciate you!

  4. Hi James,
    I have read some of your books and your blogs. I have been on strike from my job for over a week now and can not help but think this is not my purpose in life! I only wish I had been able to see you in person for a consult about a few things while I was employed. If this jobless time is for growth,I only hope I grow in the right direction! I want to thank you for what you do for others and the thought provoking insight you impart in your work.

    1. Thanks Laura! Take advantage of the time you’ve been given. I certainly took advantage of the 2 year hiatus I was given and it’s proved tremendously beneficial. Much love ~ JAR

  5. Thank you Wayne Parker for sharing your experience and insights with us. And thank you Michael Eisbrener for your insights as well. I enjoy and appreciate both of you. <3

  6. Thanks again James!

    The main problem is that we relate the word Work with something painful and difficult. So automatically, our mind rejects it and we try to avoid it at all costs.

    If we could reprogramme our mind and see Work as something pleasurable, then things would be very very different.

    Can wait for next article!

    Thanks a million,


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