“I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake.”
~ George Bernard Shaw
I’ve devoted nearly forty years in the study and research of ultimate human performance. Its qualities. Its thoughts, feelings, and actions. Its strategies and skills.
It’s actually hard for me to believe that I’ve been on this quest for that long… just reflecting upon that fact reminds me that there’s always much work to be done; and time goes so very quickly.
I recall picking up the Buddhist Bible when I was a mere eighteen years old. Living in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in the household of a protestant minister, right down the street from Oral Roberts University. The buckle of the Bible belt.
Yet herein began my search for the answers to the mysteries of life that were not being answered in my traditional school or Sunday school. Little did I know all the places and adventures my search would take me. Had I known… I may have had second thoughts about beginning the search at all. While some were beautiful and amazing… some were ugly and extremely painful.
Like it or not… it’s often in the pain that we find true purpose.
Pain is the mother of all growth.
I began my explorations of the eternal and ubiquitous life questions that my research now proves we all ask.
The existential questions:
- What’s the purpose of life?
- What’s my specific purpose?
- Why am I here?
And the more pragmatic questions;
- What am I going to do with my life?
- What do I choose to create?
- How am I going to do it?
People often ask me “James, what exactly is ultimate human performance?” Many tend to believe that it’s the by-product of a “type A” driven personality that bulldozes its way through obstacles to the proverbial top.
Drive is definitely a quality that must be present. I’ll be the first to admit that in my earlier years this was a very apparent quality of my own. As well as of my teachings. If you’ve followed my message for any time I don’t need to tell you this for it’s been apparent. Now it’s a bit more tempered.
A little bit.
But while drive is definitely present, I submit that it’s more than that. Actually, research proves that the stereotypical “adrenalin junkie” image that’s often portrayed is the furthest thing from the actual truth.
True mastery draws closer as we develop both the art and science of life and living.
The beginner moves away from his own internal dissonance and pain.
The master moves toward his purpose.
My New York Times Bestseller Harmonic Wealth (reference James recommends) was my best attempt to address the issue of both internal and external harmony; and to encourage and convey that we should be driven by a complete zest for life as Shaw states above.
A zest for the full spectrum of life by the way. Not just driven to achieve by the measures of social conditioning… but driven to live and live fully and completely in all areas. Financially, Relationally, Mentally, Physically and Spiritually. (reference James recommends)
I’ve always been controversial in my thinking; and therefore most often misunderstood. For example… I don’t believe romantic relationships are meant for life—at least not most of them.
I believe relationships, like everything in life, are meant for growth.
Controversial to say the least—particularly to the old paradigm that was formed post WW2. But evolution always moves forward never back.
When the relationship stops growing you either leave and live… or you stop growing, stay, and spiritually and emotionally die. No exception.
When I’ve stated this historically the more insecure relationship members in the room have tended to get upset. But I’m doing nothing more that quoting what statistics tell us is happening all around us.
Irrespective of how things currently appear,
evolution always moves forward never back.
At the present time over fifty percent of marriages end in divorce. Furthermore, I contend that more probably should have ended long ago. They just haven’t yet done so out of guilt, comfort and/or convenience. Something to ponder.
Once again I prove myself controversial.
I make no apologies.
As a mentor my job is not to make you feel better, it’s to make you be better.
I know that when you become better you will automatically feel better.
Relationships, as well as the whole of every single aspect of life, are meant for the sole purpose of the fuller expansion, experience and expression of your soul. Development, advancement and growth.
In my experience all relationships are successful. Be they the average 8 years which most marriages last, or 8 months. If, and only if, the participant has been open to the development, learning, advancement and growth that resides therein. Please read that again.
But then again this series is not necessarily focused on relationships now is it? But I can assure you that as it unfolds I’ll have more to say about the relationships of the rare breed who’s committed to their own ultimate human performance. Stay tuned.
This series is intended to be focused on life—real life; and the potential ultimate human performance that we have residing deep within our souls.
You must be more committed to mastering your life
then you are to your own comfort.
So we come back to the question, “What is ultimate human performance?” The simplest answer my lifetime research and experience shows is that in a word… it’s greatness. Producing world-class art.
We’ll discuss more about what that means.
Greatness is knowing exactly who you are and why you’re here; and make no mistake… this is no easy or simple task. Truth told most people never find their greatness; they don’t understand it; and therefor they never achieve it.
True greatness is always provocative and controversial. For few understand anything outside the norms of the masses.
And even when a rare breed possibly does find and understand their unique identity and purpose… they’re unwilling to pay the price that’s necessary to achieve it. The price is high for it will take everything you have and then some.
“Pursuing your passion and purpose will take no less than everything you have.”
~ T. S. Elliot
We’ve explored mastery, genius and greatness in previous writings, so you may already be aware of how I define greatness. If you haven’t yet read the series, I strongly encourage you to do so. That is if you’re interested in this concept for your own life. (reference MGG series)
Please understand that it is not “walking on water, materializing things out of thin air, or levitation.”
Greatness is simply bringing your particular gifts and genius fully and completely to the world. Greatness is the ability to give every ounce of energy you have to your purpose; your Magnificent Obsession; and to be totally spent, and used fully and completely, at the time of your last breath.
The purpose of life is to live—truly live it!
The meaning of life is meaning—find it!
I always state to my mentoring clients that if you want an easy life I can’t help you. Please read that again.
If however, you want to live and live fully…
If you want to learn to surf the Tsunami’s and climb the Kilimanjaro’s of your own life…
Be physically exhausted and still spiritually strong…
If you want to find a reason to live beyond your own petty desires and comforts…
If you aspire beyond your desires (reference Innate Ability Development series) to something meaningful and great…
If you’re willing to work hard…
If you’re ready to go to bed tired but fully inspired knowing that you’ve done great work for the day…
If you’re willing to march into your own personal hell for your heavenly cause…
If you’re willing to often be misunderstood by even your family and closest friends…
If you have the fortitude to be considered controversial by the mass mediocrity…
And, if you’re driven to maximum impact and bringing your greatness to the world…
If you can honestly answer “yes” to the questions above (there is no value whatsoever in lying to yourself) then this series is for you.
We are kindred spirits.
And maybe, just maybe we can reach our Ultimate Human Potential, our Superhuman Potential, together.
“Fasten your seatbelt Dorothy…
Because Kansas is going bye-bye.”
~ Cypher from The Matrix
And the journey continues…
Stay Awake, Love Life, and Be Epic!