There is no shortcut to reach the top of the mountain.

Issue #23 - Action Over Inspiration & the Power of Perseverance

Limiting Beliefs Mar 8, 2023

Welcome to the latest issue of The Qi of Self-Sovereignty. The newsletter exploring what it means to be free in an increasingly not-so-free world.

Whether you're looking to locate your authentic self or investigate sovereignty, you're in the right place! In each post, with just a few minutes of reading, I aim to expand your awareness through a quote and a piece of content that made me go hmm...

Sounds intriguing? Start learning with issues sent directly to your inbox:

Thought-Provoking Quote:

"The bad news is you're falling through the air, nothing to hang on to, no parachute. The good news is, there's no ground." — Chögyam Trungpa

I am gunna be honest...

Whenever I observe a master in any field, their work appears effortless.

But as I watch them, I often notice an internal dialogue that goes something like, "Wow! That person is gifted. There's no way I could ever achieve something as awe-inspiring as that."

Only by analyzing this thought process did I realize that such thoughts not only undermine the master's hard work and dedication to their craft but also limit my own capacity– I am selling myself short by believing that I am not capable of achieving greatness.

This internal dialogue stems from our failure to recognize an important aspect of what we are observing: What we are witnessing is a finely honed end product, not something of chance or innate talent.

We do not see the numerous steps, frustrations or hurdles that led up to this final masterpiece.

In doing so, we overlook the fact that these top performers have put in endless hours, and sometimes even their entire lives, towards perfecting their craft.

Mozart is known for his ten or so world-renowned pieces.

However, many don't know that he created over 626 musical works throughout his life, including 21 stage operas, many of which never gained global recognition.

Although achieving such an endeavour may seem daunting, there is a silver lining.

These individuals, in most cases, were not born with their gift. Instead, they developed their gift through perseverance.

To me, this realization has proven invaluable in times when I have started to doubt myself and my capabilities.

Everyone, including Mozart, goes through tough times. We just don't usually witness those times. Instead, we only see the end result of their tireless efforts and commitment to their craft.

In light of this, I wanted to share a podcast exploring the belief that skill isn't a gift imparted to certain individuals. It is a product of hard work and perseverance.

Insightful content which made me go, hmm...

I make it a daily habit to walk my dog through the forest while immersing myself in a book or a podcast. There's something incredibly calming about being in nature and absorbing new ideas simultaneously.

Earlier this week, a friend recommended a talk between Tim Ferriss and Seth Godin, so today was the day I decided to press play. And I am glad I did.

*I have to admit that although Seth's name has come up in the past, I've never read his works or listened to him talk. So I am excited to have finally stumbled upon this man and his wealth of knowledge.

If I were to encapsulate the talk into as few words as possible, it would be:

Our actions determine our feelings far more than our feelings determine our actions, and our identity is a product of our actions.

If we wait for the stars to align or until we feel motivated, we will likely never begin. Instead, we just need to start and our feelings and identity will follow.

This podcast really got me pondering...

Many of us believe that we need to wait until the perfect moment, a big epiphany, or a spontaneous burst of inspiration before we take action. However, the fallacy of this belief is that motivation and inspiration are not passive phenomena that happen to us but rather a result of active effort and experimentation.

In other words, waiting for inspiration or motivation is futile. We shouldn't wait for the right time when inspiration strikes us. We just need to start trying, and motivation and inspiration will follow.

For all the writers out there... Seth also mentions that there's no such thing as writer's block. As he describes it, writer's block is simply a fear of bad writing.

To work through this fear means acknowledging that whatever we write may not meet our rigorous internal standards. But that is fine. Bad writing won't persist forever... as long as we have tenacity.

Even Seth admits:

"I was a really insecure, failing, flailing entrepreneur for at least eight years in a row. Just consistently failing. Barely breaking even. Getting close to bankruptcy on a regular basis."

What made him who he is today was that he kept persevering. He kept mastering his craft.

This got me thinking...

My favourite article to date has been "The Surprising Solution to our Downfall of Culture and Authenticity." But it didn't come easy. I lacked confidence while writing, so much so I gave up on it many times.

Despite this, I persevered, and from doing so, it dawned on me that sometimes, the things that matter most to us are also the hardest to bring to life.

We tend to shy away from finishing these heartfelt pieces because we feel we're not doing them justice. But it's precisely for this reason that these pieces usually resonate most deeply with others. When we put our hearts into our work, we create something authentic, raw, and meaningful that others find easier to connect with.

*Here is a link to that article:

The Surprising Solution to Our Downfall in Culture & Authenticity
I grew up in what I believed to be a typical household. My parents separated when I was five as their relationship had soured, and my mother was no longer happy. After the separation, my two brothers and I, alongside our mother, moved halfway across the world… twice. Throughout this,

The last piece of wisdom I took from Seth was that of balancing patience and impatience.

We should be patient when honing our skills. We should try not to rush the process by looking for shortcuts. However, we should be impatient with our fears and anxieties, brushing off anything that inhibits our ability to create.

Why so callous? You might be wondering.

A need for reassurance usually underpins our fears and anxieties. However, as Seth points out, reassurance is fruitless. It doesn't make us better writers, and we can never get enough of it.

Even the reassurance we do get quickly dwindles, requiring ever more reassurance.

Trying to avoid rejection and failure by looking for reassurance is only detrimental to our progress in the long run. Instead, we should put ourselves out there and embrace rejection– something necessary to master a craft and reset our trajectory toward success.

All in all, you shouldn't be scared of bad writing or feel success is nothing but luck or a gift. Instead, you should put yourself out there, persevere and embrace the ups and downs.

Any hurdles you encounter, see them for what they are: feedback on what works and what doesn't, something preliminary to success.

And if you're not sure where to start...

Rather than setting some outsized audacious goal such as writing the sequel to Beethoven's Ninth Symphony or the next competitor to Harry Potter, start small.

  1. Choose your smallest viable audience around a subject that interests you
  2. Deeply understand your niche
  3. Explore what it means to create value in this niche

But most importantly... write. Throw out the bad stuff, keep the good stuff and repeat. Over time you'll improve your craft, offering more quality and value.

Thanks for taking the time to read this issue of The Qi of Self-Sovereignty. I hope you found it insightful.

I always welcome feedback and thoughts. So, do not hesitate to respond to the newsletter email, comment on the article or reach out via Twitter.


The future is bright!