The Art of Fully Living

The Art of Fully Living

1 Man. 10 Years. 100 Life Goals Around the World

Tal Gur (10/10)

Summary

In this stirring book, author, blogger and lifestyle entrepreneur, Tal Gur offers his own transformational journey as an inspiring example and practical guide to implementing the art of fully living to its fullest potential. You’ll learn how to actualize your potential by forging all aspects of your life through the process built into your life goals.

Once you discover “the art of fully living,” there is no going back; it will feel unacceptable to settle for less than your dreams—and what’s more, you’ll dream even more wildly, aspiring to action with greater clarity of purpose, broader horizons of possibility, and holistic vision across all areas of your life.

The very structure of this book models Tal’s immersive approach to goal-driven living: each chapter of The Art of Fully Living is dedicated to a year of focus—socializing, fitness, freedom, contribution, love, adventure, wealth, relationship, spirituality, and creativity—and follows Tal’s endeavors as he works toward fulfilling 100 life goals in only 10 years.

Review

This book was great; I cruised through it in about 4 days. Tal is extremely authentic and shares the raw details about his experience on this journey to achieve 100 major goals in 10 years. So many great nuggets and motivating ideas about happiness, impact, discipline, focus, and intensity. Really a great read for anyone inspired to push themselves to achieve.

Notes

Ten Main Takeaways + 4 Bonus

  1. Only ONE motivating goal at a time. Have a singular focus with an intense vision. You need disciplined organized effort for any goal. Treat any endeavor like a job and like a fitness plan. Write what needs to be done and when then do it. Have an INPUT based plan and follow it.
  2. Meditation is huge. Mindfulness makes you smarter and is helpful in so many situations. Tal says aim for a minimum of 12 minutes daily. Learn to acknowledge and be aware of pain, doubt, and other emotions but then stick to the plan.
  3. Hire a coach/seek mentorship. 10x results come from good coaching.
  4. Talk to strangers. Force yourself to strike up conversation with everybody. Make rejection a goal to overcome fear of rejection.
  5. Learn to dance.
  6. Relationships need aligned values and aligned long term goals. They need to be Win-Win.
  7. Develop a connection to intuition. The rational brain has its limits. The artistic brain and gut should be developed.
  8. Total Immersion. Go ALL in. Learn a language through as much forced practice as possible. Be extremely direct with learning efforts (learn the thing you are trying to learn by practicing doing that thing).
  9. Age only moves in one direction. Seeing Tal start the book at 30 and end at 40 was a reminder of just how fast a decade is. Use time to the fullest.
  10. Find ways to be happy with the present moment. Stop saying "I'll be happy when."
  11. Your breath is always there for you as a way to return to your body and the present moment.
  12. I'm incredibly privileged and lucky. Take a brief second to list all the basic luxuries we take for granted when compared to many others. (Clean water, hot water, safety from natural disasters, grocery stores, endless entertainment options)
  13. Do volunteer work
  14. Most thoughts are repetitive

My Favorite Highlighted Passages

how would I live my life if I only had 10 years left? (Location 136)

Rather than suffer the pain, or distract myself with friends and the usual nightlife entertainment, I wanted solitude—I wanted to dive into the sensation, understand the lesson it held for me. (Location 183)

Thanks to this temporary clarity, thoughts break free from a hidden crook in my mind: How did I lose touch with this sense of passion, and now, how can I hang onto it? (Location 200)

I needed to promote myself to the status of confident world citizen, who belonged in sleek Melbourne. To do this, I imagined I was already the man I wanted to be— socially fearless and at home in Australia. (Location 294)

I made a point to learn names, and start conversations with anyone I met—bouncers, bartenders, and friends of friends. (Location 315)

Invitations to exclusive parties started piling up, and eventually I was waved into clubs without having to wait in line. I couldn’t believe it—I’d gone from glum foreign student to VIP and social ringleader in just a few months. (Location 319)

I figured I needed to be crystal clear about my area of focus, carve out a plan, and then immerse myself in it totally and completely. (Location 322)

My year of socializing taught me the benefits of learning through immersion and focusing on one thing at a time. (Location 329)

I’ve learned that most visions don't get realized, not for lack of trying or even because of the wrong approach, but because of a common tendency to try changing every aspect of life all at once. (Location 330)

If we pick a single area of life on which to focus and dive in headfirst with unshakeable commitment, we’re able to extract more wisdom, master that area, and savor the finest quality of focused attention. (Location 333)

Steve Pavlina, author of Personal Development for Smart People, puts it, immersion is personal growth on steroids. (Location 351)

My secret was that I’d vowed to follow my intuition in starting conversations with new people. I wouldn’t let the usual negative thoughts stop me. The pressure to sound super clever or make someone laugh no longer restrained me. I dropped the unreasonably high expectations that had once imprisoned me in an invisible cage. (Location 384)

What if I confronted my fears and made it my *goal* to be rejected? I don’t have to appeal to everyone. I could even practice failure. (Location 397)

This is what entrepreneur Jia Jiang did. He overcame his fear of rejection by deliberately seeking rejection once a day for 100 days straight. That's right, over three months of day-after-day rejection. (Location 441)

I redefined failure as not taking action in the direction of my dreams. (Location 457)

I am whole and complete no matter what. (Location 459)

It’s like the Bhagavad Gita, a seminal text in world philosophy, says: it’s vital to focus on doing our best, but “not to worry or desire for results.” (Location 459)

Remind yourself that, above and beyond anything, it’s the direction you’re moving in, and not the outcome, that’s important. (Location 463)

The moment you decide that pursuing a dream is more important than the dream itself, you will be willing to step out of your comfort zone and take more risks. This one small shift in perspective has the power to set you free from your fear of failure, your self-made shackles. (Location 466)

The rejection streak didn’t last long. To my surprise, I started to have a lot of choice with women; my newfound self-confidence began to attract attention from the other sex. (Location 471)

I also learned that real confidence is about being unattached to outcomes. It's about taking action for the sake of improving, not just for the end result. (Location 475)

I wanted to use that amount of money to buy a popsicle for everyone in the stands. Who is this guy? people were wondering as they enjoyed their free treats. I was the guy I’d set out to be when I reviewed my 100 goals list my last birthday: courageous, confident, and on course. (Location 507)

Funny how nightlife socializing became a springboard for athleticism: it’s just a matter of trading wine for green smoothies, all-night pub crawls for all-day bike rides. (Location 568)

Over the last decade, I’ve personally hired coaches and mentors for almost every big journey I’ve taken—from fitness, to surfing, to doing online business. And I myself have acted as a coach for others. (Location 592)

Without the stress of figuring out how to prepare, I could focus all my energy on the challenging workouts. (Location 596)

My advice: Be extremely picky. Look for like-minded individuals who inspire you. (Location 613)

More often than not, how a relationship starts is likely how it will continue. (Location 623)

I began to believe, with training and focus, that anything is possible. If I invest my whole self in my dreams, I can achieve them all. (Location 636)

That was the day I discovered a level beyond pain. Instead of resisting the anguish or pretending it didn’t exist, I climbed into myself. I consciously decided that my body could handle it. I accepted the pain, relaxed around it. (Location 648)

After all, I reassured myself, it’s all in my head. I chuckled at the whiny voice in my brain shouting, “Stop!” Not yet, buddy. We’ve got this. (Location 650)

As I continued pushing, following my triathlon teammates, I welcomed the pain, thanked it for making me better—loved it, even. Then that same wave of love revitalized me deep inside, and just like alchemy, the suffering transformed itself into pure momentum, fueling me up the final steep ascent. (Location 652)

I ate the pain. Time slowed as I experienced perfect flow: a sensation of wholeness, inner strength, focus, control, ease, fearlessness. Peak performance, the ultimate “high” in human functioning, as it’s described in the world of sports. I’d call it magic. (Location 654)

“If you’re not willing or able to be the type of person that’s willing to be uncomfortable for five minutes alone in the shower, where the only negative outcome is you being cold, then how will you ever have the strength or courage to be uncomfortable in a situation where the outcomes are much, much greater?” (Location 669)

Spiritual teacher Neale Donald Walsch has said that life begins where your comfort zone ends. The next time you feel uncomfortable, don't make the easy choice and flee from it. Instead, do the opposite: embrace it. Choose to be uncomfortable in the pursuit of greater reward. (Location 678)

My fitness and Ironman journey taught me that without the ability to maintain consistency, I could never fulfill my potential and my mission. (Location 688)

I’d discovered the power of unwavering self-trust, of tackling goal after goal. (Location 739)

What could I learn from my current pain? (Location 798)

The secret is to refuse to feel like a victim, and to seek the gift that’s hidden like a jewel in every setback. (Location 811)

Freedom for me was not about quitting my job and doing nothing. It was about designing a life that I’m so passionate about that I can’t wait to wake up in the morning. (Location 815)

The ability to shift perspective is a critical skill for increasing personal freedom. When a setback or a crisis happens, don’t think of it as a curse. Maybe it's exactly the inspiration you needed. When you can see a “negative situation” from a positive angle, you can reflect on what’s important and maximize your growth. (Location 818)

In fact, when I think about my motivation to tackle my huge debt and pursue financial independence in one year, I tapped into the most powerful energy source: I’d found my calling. (Location 825)

More important than goal-setting or constructing a vision, a foundational step for living your dreams is to invest time in understanding your motivation, your big “why.” (Location 829)

Take your big dream and ask yourself, “Why is it absolutely necessary for me to achieve this? What’s the calling behind my dream? Is it a “nice-to-have” calling or a “must-have”? If it's just a “nice-to-have,” then your “why” might not be compelling enough to pull you through pitfalls along the way. (Location 845)

why you're doing something is more important than what or how you're doing it, so make sure your desire is clear in your mind and huge in your heart. (Location 851)

Not long after that series of painful events, I created a blog in which I disclosed my debt and announced an audacious mission: I would achieve financial freedom in one year. (Location 855)

I overcame self-doubt by remembering the lessons I’d learned finishing Ironman: I had faith that if I invested the same effort and energy I’d put into physical training, I had a solid chance of succeeding. (Location 878)

The plan succeeded. I worked seven days a week, sometimes 15 hours a day. Mostly, I felt energized, but when I did get tired, I only had to remind myself that my freedom was at stake: my freedom, my dream to explore the world and myself. (Location 883)

The key is commitment—a firm and unwavering commitment to your dream. That is where real change begins and what will get you out of bed early and keep you working late at night. (Location 903)

Until you’re fully committed, there’s still unsureness. You’re still wobbling. There’s always the temptation to pull back. (Location 905)

Commitment means resisting temptations, making sacrifices, and keeping your word with the most important person in your life—you. Commitment means turning off your mobile and saying “no” to people, events, and distractions. Commitment means embracing the discomfort of long, hard work days. And commitment means having the will to take risks, make mistakes, and—yes—even to fail. (Location 907)

The choice is truly yours: either to be flaky and a victim of circumstances, or to create the incredible life that’s waiting for you. (Location 914)

Throughout my 100-goal adventure, I’ve learned that the only true measurement of commitment is action, not words. Without action, all your seemingly great ideas, goals, and plans are useless. (Location 921)

By establishing binding consequences, you involve your emotions, which triples the stakes. The potential immediate loss is an even bigger motivator than the less tangible risk of public failure. (Location 929)

writing your goals will only get you to the starting line. Taking action with real consequences will send you across finish. (Location 941)

I’d learned an invaluable lesson: I can honor my innermost desires while respecting others. (Location 961)

Carnival had lived up to my highest expectations—it had been the greatest, most intense party of my life. (Location 1002)

When it comes to interpersonal interaction, are you a giver or a taker? The answer may be the difference between struggling or thriving on your journey. (Location 1072)

As Grant points out in his book, successful givers are every bit as ambitious as takers and matchers. They just have a different way of pursuing their objectives. (Location 1089)

While successful givers mainly focus on acting in the interests of others, they also remain assertive about their own goals and interests. They set healthy boundaries around their time in order to conserve energy and increase their capacity to give. (Location 1090)

Unsuccessful givers, on the other hand, are passive. They fail to protect their time and other important resources, and suffer burnout and exploitation as a result. (Location 1092)

“The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.” (Location 1096)

True givers give wholeheartedly when the occasion arises, even if it does not seem to benefit them. (Location 1099)

What if you launched your own personal generosity experiment? What if, for the next seven days, you helped at least one friend a day, and did so without the expectation of receiving anything in return? (Location 1119)

“You can get anything you want in life, as long as you help enough others get what they want.” (Location 1129)

Every time you meet another individual, you get to make a choice: You can try to squeeze as much value as you can out of them or, instead, add value to their life without any expectation of what you'll get back. (Location 1132)

Creating a roadmap for our future is not about designing a detailed work plan, but rather about holding a vision, an intent, a north star by which to steer our lives. (Location 1215)

That’s why I chose to call this book, The Art of Fully Living, and not The Science of Fully Living. Being firm with our goals, and at the same time, remaining flexible with the daily work that gets us there, requires an element of art. (Location 1223)

I’d been across the world reaching goal after goal, chasing down happiness, and the smiling woman cleaning my room already had it. (Location 1296)

Still, something had been missing; I’d wanted to devote my skills to a more meaningful cause than my individual freedom. (Location 1301)

I had gained even greater personal freedom through my commitment to helping others. How? Because reaching out and practicing compassion had made me utterly happy. Happiness is freedom, I mused. And a passion to serve is definitely a better master than any boss! (Location 1308)

Now that I was a financially independent traveler with a sense of purpose and joy, the possibilities for new fulfilling experiences seemed limitless. (Location 1319)

why delay our happiness? Why not put our happiness first, and then from that deep sense of contentment go after whatever it is we desire? (Location 1379)

Wouldn’t it be healthier and more fun to change and take action from a place of self-acceptance, rather than from harsh self-criticism? (Location 1390)

All emotions are simply expressions of the meaning we attach to our life experiences. If we change the meaning we make about our experience, we change the emotion. (Location 1394)

Joy is an inside job. (Location 1400)

What I discovered in the Berkshires was that happiness is not something to be discovered, but something to create. (Location 1401)

Choose to see the glass half-full, and you’ll experience challenges as opportunities and develop a deep appreciation for all the goodness you already enjoy. Choose to see the glass half-empty, and you’ll complain, blame, and take no responsibility for your life or emotions. (Location 1405)

This transformation is not always easy, but you can begin with one simple intention: To put happiness before anything else. (Location 1408)

From my experience, pursuing goals from a place of inner peace yields better results. And as you can imagine, it’s also more enjoyable. (Location 1414)

When you unchain your idea of happiness from the goal process altogether, you’ll experience a wonderful sense of freedom. Since your happiness is not dependent on a particular outcome anymore, your fear of failure diminishes, and you find yourself able to take bolder actions and greater risks. (Location 1416)

Why not stop that tiring, ceaseless search for contentment and instead untie the knot between our goals and happiness? (Location 1426)

The key is to relax and have fun in that place of “wanting.” To experience sustained intrinsic happiness, it’s time you transform most of what you see as “needs” back into “wants.” (Location 1432)

You simply WANT them. You don’t NEED any of that stuff to be happy because you’ve already decided to be happy. (Location 1434)

I can’t expect anything external to make me experience these feelings. (Location 1450)

Or, I considered, from a more fun perspective, love and happiness are underneath it all. There's nothing to search for. It's already here. (Location 1453)

I made a new ritual: to take action from happiness, rather than for happiness. No more chasing. (Location 1461)

As if I’d figured out a magic formula, I was on a one-man Appreciation Mission. And as I’d seen in Melbourne, my energy attracted more of what I radiated… people were sending that love right back to me. I was living in a wonderland. (Location 1464)

Beliefs Are Not Truths Often, we treat our beliefs as truths. These unshakable “truths” keep us safe and limit our ideas about what we can and cannot do. (Location 1481)

Those so called “truths” become self-fulfilling prophecies, working like a hidden operating system to control our thoughts and actions. (Location 1488)

The list go on. Money, marriage, countries, companies, religion—all are as real as we agree them to be. (Location 1493)

If we believe, for example, that “Money is evil” or “Money corrupts people” we will sabotage our ability to build wealth. It is only by shifting our inner workings and adopting more empowering beliefs that can we reach our dreams. (Location 1496)

The lessons we learn can be unlearned and replaced. This means there are only two kinds of beliefs: those that serve you and those that don’t. By questioning, uncovering, and then dropping beliefs that don’t serve you, you can gradually transform your life. (Location 1504)

don't take anything at face value. Instead, question, challenge, and pull your beliefs apart. If you hold a belief that doesn’t support your ambitions, examine your reasons for holding it and see what beliefs lie behind it. (Location 1506)

American mythologist Joseph Campbell said, “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” (Location 1627)

When you let go of the need to control every aspect of your life and instead welcome uncertainty wholeheartedly, you open yourself to possibilities that exist beyond your ordinary comprehension. You become at one with the heartbeat of the world. (Location 1629)

“Experience may underpin all learning, but it doesn’t always result in learning. We have to engage with the experience and reflect on what happened, how it happened, and why.” (Location 1654)

According to a study published in the National Science Foundation, 95% of our thoughts are repetitive. Like movie sequels, old thoughts just keep coming back. This pointless pattern prevents us from experiencing all we really have: this present moment, here and now. (Location 1744)

After years of meditative practices, including Vipassana and Mindfulness trainings by some of the greatest teachers in the field, I now believe that short moments of relaxed presence, repeated regularly throughout the day, are more valuable than relaxing deeply for a very long time just once. (Location 1765)

The simplest, most basic practice is to bring awareness to your breath. It’s always here for you. (Location 1771)

Trying to block your thoughts can actually do the opposite; it can trigger more thoughts. Remember, what you resist persists. (Location 1775)

When you bring full presence to your daily activities, whatever they may be—brushing your teeth, putting on your shoes, drinking your morning coffee—you reap the benefits of meditation. Life becomes more balanced between awareness and activity. (Location 1782)

From our breezy beachside patio, I re-channelled my tremendous energy toward a new motivating goal: to make serious money. (Location 1845)

The recipe I’d concocted for making audacious commitments—whether in socializing, Ironman, financial freedom, travel, contribution, love, adventure—was simple: commitment, immersion, discipline. (Location 1849)

I drew from these lessons and dove headlong into a self-designed curriculum, with one question as my north star: How can I diversify and grow my income streams? (Location 1850)

Money is the effect, rather than the cause, of wealth. (Location 1860)

as I prioritized wealth and money in the right order, it became apparent to me that there are more abstract types of wealth, too, like health, relationships, wisdom, creativity, skills, experience, ideas, knowledge, attitude, and strength of character. Naturally, the more intangible wealth assets one has, the greater potential for generating income. (Location 1861)

it’s simpler to pursue wealth if you already feel wealthy... (Location 1866)

Wouldn’t it be simpler to find a suitable partner if you already felt happy and complete within yourself? (Location 1874)

We have a set of limiting beliefs that lead us to secretly think we are not wealthy. We tell ourselves that our resources are finite. We believe that we’re in competition with others. (Location 1878)

In fact, one key relationship is often all you need to lay a foundation for a business and generate income. (Location 1881)

As self-development author Wayne Dyer has said, “Prosperity in the form of wealth works exactly the same as everything else. You will see it coming into your life when you are unattached to needing it.” (Location 1885)

When you invest your time and energy to reflect on the richness you already have, you tap into a wellspring of true power. (Location 1893)

Whatever your advantages are, you probably have something that no one else has. It would be a waste not to use it. (Location 1904)

Take some time to make a list of intangible assets that can help you realize your dream: Do you have unique life experiences? Do you have special skills or abilities? Do you know certain people who can take you where you want to go? Do you have authority in your field? Are you already successful in some areas related to your dream? (Location 1905)

To build wealth, I knew I didn’t need to focus on immediate results, like the number of dollars earned. Instead, I could focus on developing businesses that excited me—a process that granted opportunities to create value for people and with very  little overhead. (Location 1915)

rewards would flow in direct proportion to overall value generated. (Location 1918)

We have far more freedom than any people in the history of mankind, yet we choose to trade it for more stuff. (Location 1959)

What we do not have, though, is more happiness. People’s levels of happiness have not increased for the past two generations despite massive increases in income and wealth. (Location 1961)

racking up debt to acquire more stuff has never been a source of lasting happiness. (Location 1968)

You obviously don’t have to purge all of your possessions to enjoy the benefits of minimalist living. Start by realizing that you already have enough, and then simplify your life. (Location 1983)

Ask yourself: “Do I truly NEED this object? Do I use it on REGULAR basis?” If the answer is no, then donate or sell it. (Location 1986)

Set aside quality time for yourself, when you can think about ways to simplify your life. (Location 2022)

When you choose to let go, to surrender to the moment and accept the present situation exactly as it is, you’ll be able to tap into flow—a state of heightened responsiveness and creativity unrestricted by mind-made tension. (Location 2087)

When you focus on process, however, you’ll discover heaps of benefits gained along the way. You’ll acquire new experiences, skills, and insights. You will likely also increase your discipline and build your networks. Perhaps most importantly, you’ll get to know yourself better. (Location 2109)

These are lessons of extremely high value, often higher than the outcome you originally planned. (Location 2111)

As you’ve heard before, the journey is more important than the destination. And if you fully engage in the process, you’ll tap into what fully living is all about. (Location 2120)

I launched year eight of my 100 goals with exhilaration: I’d already achieved the first 70, and I had every reason to believe I’d capture them all. (Location 2124)

A week later, we impressed the court clerk who filled our divorce. How could we be holding hands? she wondered. My wife and I shared a knowing smile—we still loved each other, even though love wasn’t enough. (Location 2286)

Love is one of the greatest gifts we can share, but it’s not enough to sustain a long-term relationship. You can genuinely love someone and still be incompatible. (Location 2291)

But a healthy relationship—any relationship, for that matter, business or romantic—must feel like a win-win for both sides. If the dynamic becomes a “win-lose” or, worse, “lose-lose” for a long period of time, the relationship will break down. There’s no way around it. (Location 2296)

True love may be unconditional, but relationships are not. Any healthy relationship needs both chemistry and continuous alignment. (Location 2309)

In situations like these, you can look at saying NO as really saying YES to self-respect and your right to assert your personal boundaries. (Location 2330)

people who find it difficult to say NO to others are more likely to experience burnout, stress, and even depression. (Location 2333)

unfold. I committed to respect the truth of the present moment, rather than live in my mind’s idealized future. (Location 2373)

After close to a decade of pursuit, I had learned to manifest whatever kind of life I wanted. So why was I manifesting suffering? (Location 2379)

I resolved to release all unhealthy compromises and rediscover my path—to obey the muted whisperings of my heart. (Location 2380)

I stopped focusing on what I should do, and instead considered what I wanted. (Location 2382)

It was only when I decided to fully embrace my intuitive knowing, rather than solely relying on the logical part of my brain, that I discovered my path. (Location 2467)

intuition is a skill that can be developed and refined. (Location 2496)

He found that putting participants in a good mood before a task that required an intuitive decision more than doubled the accuracy. (Location 2499)

Tapping into intuition is the result of simply slowing down, recognizing patterns in a situation, and drawing upon previously learned lessons to arrive quickly at a decision. (Location 2505)

Here’s that lesson again—it really is all about the journey. (Location 2551)

And after a year of following my intuition, my spiritual practices seemed to solidify. I was meditating every morning and focusing more on my breath. I woke up feeling grateful for the day ahead, for all the big and small comforts in my life. (Location 2599)

I saw that all the compromises I’d made before were just signposts leading back to my calling. I’m an agent of growth, I realized. I’m a person with vision and a desire to empower. And I’ve always been inquisitive and adventurous. That growth-seeking being who I am can never be taken away from me. This is who I am at my core. *** (Location 2602)

yes, you ARE unique. You are a one-time, singular phenomenon in this universe. This is not merely a philosophical or spiritual idea. It is a scientific fact that your exact genetic makeup has never occurred before, nor will it ever be repeated. In other words, there is no other person on earth like you, nor will there ever be. (Location 2616)

We all have been blessed with special gifts, distinctive to us, and yet, we spend our lives trying to blend in with the world. Our schools, religious institutions, and society as a whole encourage us to be the same. We start doing what others are doing and slowly lose ourselves—our authentic unique selves—in the process. (Location 2619)

Make a list of at least 20 people whose opinions you value and send them a short message with the following two simple questions: 1. What qualities/attributes show up when you are in their presence? 2. What contribution do they see you making in a group, community, or society as a whole? (Location 2648)

One of my last mornings in Bali, on my way to yoga, a young woman stopped me. “I have to tell you,” she said with a penetrating look, “Your eyes… they just glow with light and energy. I could feel it from afar.” (Location 2666)

Now that I had found my center, I could create and take action from a peaceful, self-assured place, rather than from a reasoning analytical mind, as I’d always done. (Location 2731)

The goal isn’t to seclude myself for endless cross-legged meditation. The real goal is creative expression. (Location 2735)

I left tranquil Bali for bustling Tel Aviv with one intention: to express my creative self to the fullest. (Location 2737)

When you think about it, you can’t be creative if your attention is focused elsewhere. Watch highly creative individuals—musicians, dancers, painters, actors— and you’ll notice that they first tune into their bodies and the present moment, and only then do they dive into their creation. (Location 2747)

Just like you might condition your body to improve physical performance, practicing mindfulness on a daily basis tones your brain and optimizes the creative process. You’ll improve at generating new ideas, problem-solving, envisioning ideal outcomes, and transforming your visions into reality. (Location 2755)

Each time you calm your mind, you redistribute power to parts of your brain, shrinking the area that responds to stress, and strengthening the region where higher functions like concentration happen. You can actually see these changes in brain structure in MRI scans of people before and after just a few weeks of meditation. (Location 2761)

MRIs show that the longer people have been meditating on a regular basis, the more folds they have in their brains, and the faster they process information. (Location 2771)

Mindfulness also enables you to access your unconscious mind and the resources available only outside of your immediate attention. (Location 2779)

Set the intention of your mindfulness practice to prime your brain for creativity. Then prioritize this training just like you would prioritize physical fitness or any other essential routine. (Location 2790)

You wouldn’t leave the house without brushing your teeth, right? Mental hygiene is just as important. (Location 2791)

The best scenes happened when I was open, vulnerable, and authentic. A valuable lesson for life itself. (Location 2830)

But I discovered that trying to dismiss my valid, very human emotions only made them bigger and hairier. What we resist persists, right? (Location 2832)

I acknowledged my fear, accepted it, thanked it for doing its job (trying to protect me and keep me comfortable), and then gently moved beyond it. (Location 2833)

I made courage, not fearlessness, my new aim. (Location 2835)

As I had invested in other goal-setting adventures, I hired a coach. I knew he would push me to a different level. (Location 2859)

Practice had become the reward. (Location 2868)

It’s really no big secret—we’re happier when we’re operating from a deep sense of purpose. (Location 2889)

The more we situate ourselves between these two poles, setting the right amount of challenge for our skills, the more flow we'll experience in life, and the better we’re able to reach our all-important goals. (Location 2911)

Consider the final results as mere by-products of your effort. Have a clear objective, but don’t obsess about the outcome—just show up and do the work, no matter what. (Location 2915)

This brings me to a crucial point about work: showing up consistently prepares you for the state of flow. Set aside a time everyday to sit down and work. If you do that with regularity, that act of showing up will be an invitation—a summons, if you will—for your muse, your genius, your extraordinary creative power. (Location 2917)

I marveled at my new creative capacity. At the beginning of this 10-year journey, I’d primarily worked from my mind, planning, charting the future, thinking strategically. But as my journey unfolded, I learned to tap into a power far deeper than logic or brainpower. (Location 2927)

My mind became clearer, my heart peaceful, and my spirit more alive. Between salsa, drumming, and improv, I’d connected with the artist in me who was so desperate to find his voice in this world. (Location 2928)

If this goal was my priority, then it had to be the first thing I did everyday. (Location 2956)

When I sat down to begin typing, resistance nudged me back. But I reminded myself: I’d sailed past that same hurdle a thousand times before. (Location 2991)

The brief pain was no different than waking up for a 6 a.m. workout in the freezing ocean. I acknowledged it, accepted it, and moved beyond it. (Location 2992)

Take your dream, immerse yourself in it, breath it, FULLY live it. You never know when it'll be too late. (Location 2999)