Live Your Own Life

Many think they have a financial crisis, 

when it’s most often a crisis of meaning

We’re exploring principle number six in Innate Ability Development™ which states: Know your Innate Abilities and utilize them to fulfill your unique purpose in the world.

We furthermore discussed the awareness, courage and perseverance it takes to first realize what your innate genius is; and then to pursue it in the world. Remember, the fact that you are a genius is backed up by Howard Gardner from Harvard as well as many others.

Finally we suggested that your traditional schooling was not very life-functional unless you decided to be a professor in math or science. Technology might possibly be added to the list in today’s climate.

Isn’t it a fact that your traditional schooling did little to prepare you for the rigors, as well as the opportunities, of life?

There are two major problems in our fundamental understanding as I see it. Please remember principle number one: Principle must precede practice.

When fundamental principles are not in operation… our practice is often futile if not downright dysfunctional. This is extremely prevalent in many social systems worldwide… not the least of which our traditional education system.

First problem: we’ve been conditioned that certain things are to be valued and others have little to no value. This is the furthest thing from the truth.

Everything in this universe has value. 

Anything that does not provide value has become extinct.

Please ponder that one long and hard.

I recall being asked to mentor a young lady years ago (reference mentor with James) who had been labeled A.D.D. in her school system at a very young age. Needless to say this made a tremendous negative impact on her young self-image.

Let me just take a tangent here for a moment if I may…

A.D.D. is bullshit! There’s no such thing!

Is that emphatic enough?

No one has an “attention deficit.”

Everyone is paying attention to something!

In fact you hold your entire personal world together with your attention (that’s a topic all its own for a later date).

The very same people that are labeled A.D.D. can often sit for hours and play video games, create art, or something else that they enjoy. Think about it… doesn’t that chosen activity take an extreme focus of attention?

Again, everyone is paying attention to something!

The people who are branded with the heinous label as having a “deficit” of attention are just not paying attention to what we want them to pay attention to; and more often than not… for good reason!

Not the least of which is that it’s damn boring! Particularly traditional school.

Because we don’t see the value in all things, we take no time whatsoever to diagnose the individual uniqueness and find ways to strengthen, develop and leverage that uniqueness (more on this in a moment).

As a result, we’re unable to teach students about the things they’re individually here to accomplish with their unique genius and gifts (Innate Abilities); and in the way they need to be taught. Different individuals learn in different ways. Please ponder that one long and hard… particularly if you’ve been labeled or possibly have a child that’s been labeled A.D.D.


All of my live events used to consist of 2-5 days. And all of them were 16 hour days! Complete immersion is learning and transformation at its finest.

While I’d invariably lose one or two in a room of 500-2,000… this was the exception. Not by any means the rule.

In fact, more often than not, people would come up to me at the end of the day and say something to the effect of, “Man, I can’t believe what time it is! That went so fast!”


Because I’ve studied accelerated learning techniques as well as adult learning models for years; and I specifically designed every single detail to ensure not only engagement… but enthusiasm and awakening. If you’ve ever attended one of my events you know exactly what I mean and I think you’ll have to agree.

The young lady mentioned previously I was asked to mentor, who had been labeled A.D.D., was an absolute genius in training horses and communicating with them. If there ever was a “horse whisperer,” it was her. To watch her in action was inspiring. And she could do this for days upon end with total attention, enthusiasm, and inspiration.

This is a great example of one of the intelligences Gardner’s research calls “body/kinesthetic” (reference Living a Meaningful Life). But of course our traditional school system has very little knowledge or value for this type of intelligence… unless it’s to have a winning football squad.

And even then, schools most often don’t know why they’re valuing a football squad… beyond the desire to be in competition with other schools.

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” 

~ Albert Einstein

When I explained to her that her label was a problem of the system versus her own shortcomings; and I furthermore pointed out that she was an absolute genius; and that by utilizing her own Innate Abilities she could fulfill her unique purpose… I saw the transformation occur right before my eyes.

Will she ever make a million dollars or build a mega business with her Innate Ability? I don’t know; and ultimately I don’t care; and by the way neither does she. Her life is filled with meaning and she’s doing what she is here to do and loves doing.

Life is not about money. It’s about meaning. 
While they’re not mutually exclusive.
Please, let your money follow your meaning.
For this is a life well lived.

What are you truly committed to? What’s your story? Do you even know?

Second problem: because we only tend to highly value certain things we’ve been conditioned to value in society… many (if not most) find themselves spending a bulk of their time, and often spinning their wheels, attempting to strengthen their weaknesses versus developing and leveraging their strengths. Man this is extremely powerful and profound (if I must say so myself).

As you may be aware, I was blessed to build and lead a team that in 2009 was awarded the prestigious Inc. 500 designation. One of the fastest growing and most successful privately held companies in the United States (Inc. 500 list).

When interviewed by Inc. they asked me, “How did you do this?” To which I promptly replied, “I didn’t. My team did it.”

You see I was aware enough to know that as a leader all I had done was find my own Innate Abilities, what I’ll call my “A” game; and then find other individuals who had Innate Abilities (their A game) that were in the areas that were my “B” and “C” game. Do you follow?

For example, I’m really good at three things: research, development and delivery. These are the three areas where I’m fully developing and utilizing my Innate Ability.

On the other hand… I really suck (technical term) at accounting, details, administration, management and a whole host of other things that must be done; and done correctly.

I’m gifted in the ability to lead, educate, mentor and inspire. (I mean gifted literally—these abilities were given to me, I came in with them, they’re not a “developed skill”—even though they definitely have been developed and I’ve worked incredibly hard on them—and still do). reference IA D17.

This leadership/mentoring ability is a very different beast than management… which I can do… but it’s a stretch for me. Management (similar to coaching) is definitely my “B” game I typically don’t have the patience for it; and accounting and other similar things are my “C” game. Do you follow?

Just because you’re good at something…

doesn’t mean that it moves your soul.

But I was wise enough in my last venture to attract and recruit and inspire those individuals to my team that had an “A” game which was my “B” and “C.”

This enabled me to focus on playing my “A” game; while simultaneously give them free rein to play their own “A” game. Do you follow?

If you understand this concept then you’re at least beginning to understand Innate Ability Development™

Build and live your life; and then build your livelihood around it.

I’ve done a large amount of consulting with business leaders over the years. Both with entrepreneurial companies as well as the Fortune 500; and this brings us to back to our second problem mentioned above…

A major percentage of people and businesses are giving a tremendous amount of energy to developing their “B” and “C” game whereas if they will take the same amount of energy, money and time… and focus on first fully understanding, and then developing and leveraging, each persons’ “A” game, their productivity and results will go through the ceiling!

Not to even mention the level of personal inspiration, meaning and fulfillment!

Build your living around your life; not your life around your living. 

Big difference

But of course that would make too much sense now wouldn’t it?

Play your “A” game. Develop your “A” game.

Now let’s please be clear that this is not some romantic admonition to say that you’ll never do things that you don’t like doing.

That you’ll never be involved in “B” and “C” activities.

Of course you will… particularly in the early days of any business or new life adventure.

Me too.

But what I am encouraging is that you live! Really live! And true life is only lived when you understand who you are, your Innate Abilities, and how to utilize them to fulfill your unique purpose in the world.

Furthermore, if you have a business (which I believe you must in today’s world; and I can help you—entrepreneurs change the world. Reference mentor with James) then you must commit to continually moving toward playing your “A” game (using your Innate Abilities) and offloading and outsourcing your “B” and “C” game to others. Build powerful partnerships.

When you do this, not only are you improving your own personal world, and living a meaningful life… but you’re literally changing and improving the entire world! (reference Living a Meaningful Life)

By helping others play their “A” game, you’re facilitating the ability of others to live their purpose as you both live and fulfill your own. You can’t get much more noble or exciting than that.

And that my friend… is a life well lived!

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!