We live in a world of hacks, tips, tricks, 3, 5, 7 steps to success, firewalking EDM dance party seminars, a place where you’re one “funnel” away from a 7 figure business of passive income on a sun-soaked Oasis —deciding between an ice cold cocktail or a nap.
And despite what a marketing consultant once told me in order to get more business who told me:
“Tommy —people want it easy, don’t tell them it’s going to be tough.”
The reality is:
You can’t hack greatness.
You can’t hack achievement.
You can’t hack deep fulfillment.
And oddly enough —the quest for ‘hacks’ leaves people empty, lost and never tapping into enduring consistency.
During the last decade, I’ve been on an obsessive quest scouring the Earth to answer what makes us ‘tick’ and how we can live a life of unparalleled performance but drenched in inner fulfillment.
This quest left no stone unturned; I spent years in a nondescript strip mall gym in Salt Lake City training with the cast and crew of the movie 300, soaked in wisdom from the best in the world at human transformation, sought out multi-millionaires and billionaire entrepreneurs, spent time with sages, shamans, seekers —went to Buddhist retreats, did the “inner” work, released past trauma, interviewed world-renowned academics, PhD’s, elite athletes, artists.
I’ve read thousands of books ranging from Eastern philosophy to mindset and marketing —to leadership, emotional intelligence, spirituality and what makes people and organizations great.
And the prevailing lesson is simple:
There is no hack.
And not only is there no ‘hack’ —the quest for hacks leaves people skimming the surface and on the side of the road wondering why they’re not able to be consistent.
Because deep down —no one wants to be a ‘hack’:
Do you want your dentist to be a hack?
Do you want your airline pilot to be a hack?
Do you want your leaders and teachers to be hacks?
I don’t think so —because if any one of those learned the latest tips and tricks from a Youtube video, you’re screwed.
So, what’s a better way?
- Get rid of the ‘hack’ mindset and instead aim for commitment.
Hacking is a mindset seeped in short term gratification, a desire to take shortcuts and skim the surface —the exact opposite of commitment.
- Play the long game in a world obsessed with playing the short one.
In a world where everyone has 3 months to make their business ‘work’ and relies on short-term strategies —play long.
- Embrace the ‘suck’ of starting out, of being raw, looking like a rookie.
Part of the process is being willing to drop the ego and look like you have no idea what you’re doing —and taking the next step anway.
- Surround yourself with people who hold you to a higher standard.
If you surround yourself by ‘hack’ artists —you’ll become one. Instead, choose a tribe that holds you to excellence, that stands for something that isn’t built on a house of cards.
- Do the ‘inner’ work by spending time alone and asking questions.
The 75-year study on fulfillment done at Harvard explored the power of inner work and creating meaning and perspective out of life as a massive ingredient to lasting fulfillment.
- Acquire real-world skills that amplify your value and mastery.
The antithesis of a hack is to acquire real-world, tangible skills that can be combined to create a unique offering and
- Recognize that growth is not linear —it is messy and unpredictable.
Growth is never linear —it is messy, unpredictable, full of peaks, valleys and plateaus that feel like a barren wasteland, moments of questioning your path, moments of sheer bliss and ecstasy and everything in between.
The truth is:
You don’t want to “hack” your pursuit.
You don’t want to “hack” your purpose.
You don’t want to “hack” your evolution.
Because all of these will take you far past your comfort zone, to the razor’s edge of your capacity —the breeding ground for learning who you really are.
In this place, character, strength, resilience, courage, humility are all revealed and sculpted.
What do you think of this number one growth hack and how does it apply?