Sometimes people think that when you find your purpose the angels appear, the violins play, the rainbows gild the bright sky and everything is just hunky-dory. However, Kute Blackson, dubbed as the next generation leader in the field of personal development, believes that when you find your true life’s purpose and you’re following your truth, that’s when the challenges start. In those moments when we’re faced with difficulties and roadblocks, we’re being prepared and groomed to develop the mental, emotional, spiritual and soul muscles to fulfill our purpose. Kute believes that instead of wanting the “waves of life” to stop, we could instead view them as opportunities to expand our capacity and our ability to serve. Be inspired to fulfill your true life’s purpose as Kute shares his own journey and insights on living in alignment with your truth and who you really are.
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Fulfilling Your True Life’s Purpose with Kute Blackson
I am feeling blessed in this moment for so many reasons. It happens to be Valentine’s Day and I don’t typically say what date is when you are a podcasting. It’s the kind of thing you want to be able to be consumed by folks no matter what time of the year it is. We rarely say the date or lock us into a particular time of the year. For me, it’s a day to remind me of how much I appreciate and I’m grateful for my wife, Randi, and for the other amazing women in my life, like my mother who’s still alive and I’m so grateful that she’s still around.
I’m so grateful to be married to the love of my life for 28 and a half years. To have three daughters who are these beautiful, amazing young women. One of them, our oldest daughter is engaged, which as well is cool. It’s an interesting day because it’s all about love. Mostly, this day is associated with intimate love with that kind of close connection. It’s a day also where there’s an element of loneliness. There’s an element of being lonely and feeling lonely. I’ll say this because this is coming up for me and that because you’re in an intimate relationship doesn’t mean you don’t feel lonely. I’ll say vulnerably now. Even being in such an incredible positive relationship for so many years have not necessarily been easy, but it’s been worthwhile.
It’s been everything in terms of my own development, to have somebody on my team that has supported me and built me up and loved me so unconditionally for so many years. How profound that has been for my own development and I wish that for all of you. I wish that for myself. I wish that for our kids and yet at the same time, it doesn’t mean that I haven’t felt lonely and I had been curious about that. I’ve explored that. I don’t pretend to have “the answer” to it, but what came clear to me some time ago is that the relationship that’s really celebrated. That we have an opportunity to celebrate not just on Valentine’s Day but on every day is the most important relationship and that’s the relationship with ourselves, to love ourselves first.
I’m wearing one of our new t-shirts at the moment. We’ve got some new t-shirts out, the “I love My Life” t-shirts and the whole point of that brand, the whole point of that statement is to inform us, me, myself, when I wear this, I am reminding myself and informing myself about what’s most important, which is that I take care of myself. That I love myself because I can’t possibly love Randi or love the kids or love anybody any better than I love myself. That’s the thing that we don’t get taught. I wasn’t taught it. It wasn’t modeled for me growing up by my own parents.
It’s not taught in the schools and we could go a whole lifetime. Plenty of people do just not having a sense of that. On this day, which is Valentine’s, whether you’re hooked up, not hooked up, whether you’re feeling good or whatever about the love that’s in your life, you can focus in this moment and it clearly won’t be valentines for most of you, when you’re listening and watching this, you can focus in this moment on loving yourself. From that space, I get to spend some time with a gentleman that, to me, is a ball of love. He exudes love. He is on such both a verbal and a nonverbal plane, somebody that feels like love and peace to me. I love being in this gentleman’s presence. His name is Kute Blackson and he is this incredible guy. We’ll explore at a deeper level what this guy is all about, what he’s up to, where his pivots had been, and where he’s serving in the world today. Kute Blackson is the author of the national bestselling book, You.Are.The.One, and is widely considered the next generation leader in the field of personal development by everyone ranging from Larry King, my friend, Jack Canfield, Marianne Williamson and more.
He’s been featured on Larry King Now, Fox, Friends and Doctor Drew. Kute has spent more than twenty years inspiring audiences around the world from the first time he spoke to more than 3,000 people at the age of eight. Speaking in over 300 venues by the time he was eighteen, helping organizations to develop authentic leadership and achieve extraordinary performance over the last decade. His mission is simple, to awaken and inspire people across the world to access inner freedom, live authentically and fulfill their true life’s purpose. Welcome to the Conscious Pivot, Kute. Great to have you. I love holding up your book. It’s a beautiful book. This is a rock-solid piece of writing and a gift to the world. Thanks for being on the show.
Thanks for having me. Thanks for the beautiful, warm introduction. I feel held in love. It’s great to be here.
Would you share with us, if you could, what’s something that’s not part of that bio that you love for people to know about you?
From a very young age, I always felt a deep calling to serve people. I felt a burning desire to impact people and touch people from a very young age. I remember being five, six years old, I felt the suffering of humanity. I felt pain of people. I was so sensitive. I had this burning desire. For me, being in the field of personal development, personal growth, and yes, I’m a bestselling author, one of business speaking, etc., but for me, honestly, it was never a, “Yes, it’s a business,” but it was never a business. It was always, for me, a calling. For me, what I do is love and serving people is love. To me, it’s literally the greatest privilege I have, to serve people’s evolution and growth. That’s the first thing I would say and it’s remarkable. It’s been a remarkable journey from the very first moment I started it.
I was thrown into my father’s audience. He had about 300 churches in Ghana, West Africa. I used to be the rambunctious kid who would play soccer in the lobby of my father’s church. That didn’t go over too well being the son of a minister. I was popped in the front row and one day, my father said, “My son’s going to get through service,” then throws me on stage and says, “Speak.” That’s how it started. Fourteen, I was ordained as a minister in my father’s church. You can say my life was pretty much set out for me where my father announced to the congregation, “My son has taken over my whole operation. He is the one.” In that moment, I knew deep down that wasn’t my path, but the truth was I was too afraid to confront my father at fourteen.
I was too afraid to tell him the truth. I was too afraid to say, “Dad, I’m not taking over,” because I was afraid if I spoke my truth, if I was honest, if I told him how I felt, I was afraid that I’d be outcast. I’d be alone, that we won’t have a relationship that loses love, that I’d be abandoned. Talk about being alone. I was afraid I’d be alone. All the of hopes of tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people in my father’s organization were on me as his fourteen-year-old kid. I felt tremendous belongingness. I felt a tremendous pressure and so for four years I said nothing. Yet I knew in that moment of betraying my truth was an in incredible pain. Whenever we betray our truth, whenever we’re not true to ourselves and our soul, and that knowing that we all have, it’s painful.
It took me four years to muster up the courage to confront my father. When I was 18, I had a Iook into my future and I saw the expected path that everyone had. There’s no shortage of people in life that will tell you who you should be and how you should live and will think they know how your life should be. That was my life. I was going down this path and looked into my future. I saw myself at 24, 34, 44, 54, and 64. I thought, “I could be successful by everyone else’s standards, have the love of my father, but if I don’t have myself, what the hell do I have? I have nothing.” I saw myself at the end of my life living someone else’s version for my life. I don’t have a life and I’m not alive.
I made peace with my truth and made peace with letting go of my relationship with my father, which was incredibly terrifying. Talk about a pivot. It was incredibly terrifying, incredibly challenging, but I decided that this was my life. I decided that nothing was worth my life. Finally, I had the conversation when I was eighteen, ready for all the consequences. I spoke to my father, I told him I wasn’t taking over his whole organization. He simply looked at me and he said, “Are you sure?” I said, “Yes.” Trembling and afraid and he said, “Are you sure?” My entire future flash in front of me. That was the day I became a man.
You have kids, that was the day I became a man and gruesome Kahuna, so to speak, who is ready to face the consequences of whatever my actions were in that moment come what may. As terrifying as it was, there was a deep peace inside and I said, “I’m not taking over, and I love you.” We didn’t speak for a couple of years and it was terrifyingly alone to feel this calling in my heart and have no one understand, to feel this calling in my heart and not have my father’s support to feel this burning desire. I ended up winning a Green Card in the lottery literally. That was living proof for me that whenever you follow your soul, whenever you follow your truth, the deeper truth beyond the logic, beyond the mind, that there is an intelligence, life force, God’s consciousness, whatever you want to call it. There is an intelligence that is always guiding us, and the soul knows.
Once I won this green card, that gave me tremendous amount of strength and came to the US with two suitcases. I knew no one in the country. One suitcase full of clothes, $1,000, another suitcase full of personal development books. I came and found teachers, many of whom you know, Jack Canfield, mentors, teachers. When I found them and studied with them, that began my journey, began my quest and started me on the path in the US. That was about eighteen, twenty years ago.
It’s not an easy path. Sometimes people think that when you find your purpose, then somehow like the angels appear, the violins open, the rainbows, everything is just hunky-dory. Sometimes when you find your purpose, that’s when the challenges start. That’s when the difficulties really start. Many people think, “What did I do wrong? It should have been easier.” The reality is I feel as though when we are faced with challenges in those moments, especially when we are following our truth and we face difficulties and roadblocks, we are being prepared. I was going to say we’re being tested but we are being prepared. We are being groomed, that the cosmic chef is cooking us and preparing us so that we can develop the mental, the emotional, the spiritual, and the soul muscle to be able to be the vehicle, the human being, the person, the vessel to truly be able to embody and fulfill the purpose and the dream that we’ve been given. Sometimes our dreams are evolutionary. We’re given a vision and a purpose.
Just because it doesn’t happen it doesn’t mean it’s not meant to happen. It can be timing. Many times, those dreams take us on that journey of having to become. Those first days were incredibly difficult. I landed in the US, I knew no one in the country, and at nineteen, you were a kid. I think back, “What the hell was I thinking, that nineteen-year-old kid?” I knew literally nothing. I was so green, nothing. I was just flying on the wings of my soul without thinking. That’s an amazing thing. When I think back, many times thinking it’s what creates suffering. Thinking is what creates resistance. Thinking is what gets in the way of the flow that’s already happening. I wasn’t thinking, so I just showed up. I’ve got a tiny apartment that was the size of a toilet.
I had no money. I was eating bread every day, dragged a mattress off of the street that someone threw out, but I was happy. I was happy because as difficult as it was, and we will be faced with challenges, sometimes, the myth is, “If I follow my path, it’s going to be easy.” That’s like saying, “If I go into the ocean, there’s going to be no waves.” Many times, we pray for the waves to stop, the waves of life, but we should stop praying for the waves to stop and expand our capacity and our ability to serve. I was really happy, Adam, in that as challenging as it was as alone as I felt. I could look myself in the mirror and be at peace with who I was being. I could look myself in the mirror and be at peace with the fact that I was following my truth.
I believe that you can’t be truly fulfilled and happy. I don’t care what you have, you can’t be truly fulfilled and happy living someone else’s life. As challenging as it was, I knew I was living my life and that if I died that day, I was going to live and die based on my own truth, not my fathers or anyone else’s. There was a peace in fact, that I was in alignment with my integrity. For me, even though I didn’t have much money to show for it, I was poor was a mouse. There was a deep fulfillment and there’s a difference between success and fulfillment. For me, fulfillment came from the fact I was living in alignment with my truth. I was being who I really was. I didn’t have a dollar to show for it. That’s a whole another game, but I felt aligned. I felt coherent. I felt in alignment with my soul. That was the joy. I was literally living the dream.
[Tweet “Whenever we betray our truth, whenever we’re not true to ourselves and our soul, it’s painful.”]
You were resilient, clearly.
I had to be. For me, it’s not a matter of resources because I didn’t have any. Having no resources literally made me resourceful. I’m not proud of it. Some days I have $2 in the bank. Can you imagine having $2 in the bank wondering, “How am I going to eat today?” I couldn’t go back to my father because he was just waiting for me to come back at that time. I imagine, at least, that’s what I made up in my mind. I would walk into a Ralph’s or a supermarket and I would pretend I was going to buy some food. Put a few things in the shopping cart and snack on some bread and suddenly change my mind and walk out. That’s how I would survive. This is something a lot of people don’t know but I got involved with Multi-level Marketing. It was a satellite-based TV network dedicated to personal growth. Jim Rohn, Brian Tracy, they are all part of faculties called TPN at that time in the mid to late ‘90s. I signed up for this thing because I was so passionate about personal growth. For me, this was my purpose. This was my passion.
I was so passionate about personal growth, I had to sign up for this thing. I was going to be the biggest distributor in the world and share personal goal for the masses through this Multi-level Marketing thing. Challenges I knew not one. Talk about resilient. I would ride up and down Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles with the only suit I had and I would harass nice looking people like yourself, like your wife. I’d ride up and down in the elevator with you every day until you came to my network marketing meeting and sign you up and that’s how I got started, but that opened doors for me. It pushed me outside of my comfort zone. It developed my capacity to speak to people, go beyond myself, speak and follow my dream.
And not to be destroyed by the word no. How many people that would literally create suffering for them to hear that word and so they arrange their lives in many ways around not having to hear the word?
The challenge is many times when people hear the word no, they take it personally. That’s where the pain comes. I had to realize that no isn’t a personal rejection of myself. It’s just the state of where someone is at. When I could separate the two, there was a tremendous amount of freedom because here’s what happened, here was my rejection training. When I first joined this Multi-level Marketing company, my upline said, “Kute, I know you don’t know anyone. Here’s a list of people you might call.” He gave me the list of everyone from his past organization and they were not happy network marketers. They got burned because they had a whole bunch of products in their garages and he’s given me that list because he doesn’t want to call them. I am naïve. I don’t have any idea. I’m just happy to have a list of copy. I started calling 800 people on the phone. I’m calling these people. It took me a week, two weeks, something like that. I’ve got so many noes and at first, it is painful because you feel like it’s a personal thing, but I had to switch it. Once I realized it wasn’t personal, it freed me up in my relationship with the word no. It changed the law.
It’s interesting that we struck on this. The universe is always delivering so perfectly things that help us in the moment because I’m sure there are people listening to this that have an issue with the word no, that no means rejection, no means abandonment. No means I’m not good enough. There’s all this meaning that no is packed with. I think it’s always a great idea to ask yourself and even sit quietly and in prayer or in meditation or just stillness, to ask yourself what’s something means.
For you, if you’re listening to this, you’re not strong in sales, you don’t think you’re strong in sales. You’re not particularly inclined to having enrollment conversations or sales conversations with people. It’s a good thing to ask yourself, what do you make no mean to you or for you. Clearly, had you an adverse reaction to that you probably wouldn’t have made a move forward in your life from that point. It would’ve stopped you dead in your tracks. You didn’t have very much to fall back on in that moment. You’re in a new country, you don’t have any money, and here you are. You’re given an opportunity to just battle something, get through something that would otherwise could have crushed you right there, but you didn’t.
That’s helped me too in terms of the whole no conversation because I was so passionate about personal growth. I was so passionate about what I was doing. I was so passionate about the product. I was so passionate, and it meant something to me. It could be anything for someone that could be supplemented. It could be whatever it is. For me, I was authentically passionate and a believer in personal development, self-help and I knew what it could do for people. I was coming from that place of really believing and wanting to be of radical service that when people said no, I knew I wasn’t just asking for something for myself. I knew that what I was bringing to them was going to serve them and add value to their lives.
My focus wasn’t on myself. It was about making a difference and that shifted the whole relationship with no as well. When they said no, I figured they just don’t understand the value yet. They aren’t quite getting what’s possible for them yet. For me, it became about, “It’s all about me.” I need to be able to skillfully help them understand like if I have a freaking Ferrari, I’m like, “I want to give you the Ferrari.” They’re like, “No.” I’m like, “I’m trying to give you a Ferrari. Instead of giving $400,000, I’m going to give you this Ferrari for $1,000,” and they say no. Clearly, they don’t understand. As that focus shifted from myself to being of service, that also transformed my relationship to their response.
This a big deal because there are obviously lots of people that are in the network marketing space to this day. I had a wonderful meeting in a network marketing company that wants me to speak, to a celebration event. They’ve got a big national conference thing. That space, that business model has continued to thrive. There are some great companies in the space and there are some companies that are not so great. So clearly, some distinctions in what you said just now where that you loved the product. You loved what it was you were offering to people. It’s like Jim Rohn is speaking in this moment. The bigger the why, the easier the how. The why was so strong for you, the purpose of what you were doing and the value in the service you are providing was so strong that it overshadowed or outdid the little voice, the fear, the insecurity that’s triggered when a person clicks, hangs up on you, gets angry, says no, says don’t call me again.
How did you get me on my number? Take me off the list. Whatever things that people hear on a routine basis to this day, not twenty years ago, but today, tomorrow, last week, ongoingly. For me, I remember I learned this lesson in a different context, but I was a lifeguard years ago at a beach. It was a very busy beach in New York on the south shore of Long Island and on weekends with Jones VJ, we used to get 100,000 patrons there on a Saturday or Sunday. Most of them came from the city, came out in buses and things. There were some fields that you could drive to and other fields that the buses would show up. We work and worked, until four and that’s where the buses went.
You’ve got a lot of non-swimmers and all that thing. In any event, we made a lot of rescues. On the days when the ocean was active and rip currents and things like that, we’d make hundreds, literally hundreds of rescues in a day on a Saturday and Sunday. I learned from our captain of that field that he had a mantra. He said, “Nobody goes down in our water.” Then he went on to say, “You make the save or you die trying.” That was the level of intensity when we sat up on that stand and for the six, seven summers I worked there, we never lost anybody at our field. People drowned at the field, to the west of us and to the east of us. It’s a brutal thing when you hear those whistles go off and you know that somebody is under and they’re not found. Now it’s a search and rescue. It’s a scary and awful feeling.
Nobody went down at field for in that time period before that and after that. There have been drownings there, but in a lot of years it was that intense mantra that commitment that nobody goes down in our water. You get in the water, you make the save or you die trying. That’s very much the passion and more than the passion, it’s the purpose that’s driving a certain activity or a certain way of being. It sounded to me when I was listening to you that your purpose in conveying that message to people about personal development and how they could help themselves was not giving them, you’re not offering them a Ferrari. You’re offering them a life saver.
That’s how I felt because the vision was so big, the no was so small. The vision was so big that it’s like having an ocean and someone throws a little pebble of knowing that it was like I didn’t care. That was the shift.
The other thing that got activated in me was this book called The Life You Were Born To Live. I don’t know if you’ve ever read that book, but it’s a Dan Millman book. The proposition in the book and really magical, beautiful book where my interpretation is that the challenges in our lives are signposts to our purpose, to our true purpose.
The challenges aren’t things that we necessarily have to look at and think, “Shit. Wish that didn’t happen. That’s unfair. Why me?” and all the rest of it. I’m not saying we want to invite the challenge or that the challenge is something we should wake up and go, yeah baby, bring me more of that. In much the same way you described how you overcame some of these things early on, which was first to have the courage to stand up for yourself, to stand up to your truth, to embody your truth in the most difficult way, which was in the presence of a powerful being like your dad, in the presence of a powerful community that had expectations of you.
To stand in your truth and embody that was a defining moment, was a pivotal time for sure. To come to this company or this country with nothing and just hear that word no again and again and have no money and no resources but become so purpose driven. So willing to be bigger than those challenges. In many ways, that has informed you about your life’s purpose or did it? Did it inform you? Did it clarify it? How much would you say your life represents the truth of that statement or the level at which the statement is accurate, which is that the challenges in your life are sign posts to your life purpose?
The challenge is all preparation. The more we are able, maybe we don’t go, but what if we did go yet when the problems arise? If you look at these big wave surfers, like Dave Kalama who we met in Hawaii and Laird Hamilton. They go seeking the biggest challenges possible. They spend their entire day going where are the biggest challenges? They look for the biggest challenges. They don’t go to the ocean and go, yay, it was a great day. There was just a three-feet wave. They look for the challenges. For me, going through different challenges, coming to the US, speaking to my father on and on, being broke, having no money, building a business start and getting rejection after rejection trying to do a TV show, getting rejected. All of those challenges prepare us. All of the heartbreak prepares you.
We are just being cooked by the cosmic chef, being prepared. Every divorce, every pain, every trauma is an ingredient in the soup called you that we are being marinated to be prepared to serve to the world. They’re a necessary part of our evolution. When we can start celebrating those challenges in the moment, celebrating them as they’re happening, we move ourselves out of resistance. When we’re out of resistance, not fighting the challenges as they occur, if in the moment then it frees us up to, I believe a release the grace that is active and available in the challenge. The gift that’s available in the challenge in the moment because we’re not busy resisting it. There is gift and grace in the challenge. All those challenges have prepared me. All those challenges have made me stronger. All the challenges have given me different insight, different perspective, different way of seeing things.
All those challenges have been required.
All of the challenges and failures have made me humbler and more compassionate of people’s process and what people have been going through. I look back and realize I had certain things occurred for me at a particular moment back then initially when I wanted it to, number one, likely I would not have been ready. I would not have been mentally, emotionally, spiritually ready to truly fulfill the purpose that was seeking to happen.
Let’s think about this, that those challenges that became part of daily life for you, they pointed the purpose out to you in many ways. Today, your work is about helping people in the very way that you’re describing now. It’s not an accident that you’re speaking the way you speak. This is not the first time you’ve had an opportunity to share from your soul how it is that you live a healthier life, a better life, a more harmonious life. I don’t want to speak your message. I want your message to come from you, but I shared your mission earlier to awaken and inspire people across the world to access freedom, live authentically, fulfill that true life’s purpose. How on Earth could you be living your purpose if you didn’t get those challenges to deal with?
That’s why when I look back and go, “That didn’t happen. If that happened, my God, how could I have gone through that experience?” I realized some things even not happening that seemed challenging at the time was grace. If someone’s listening in and they’re like, “My vision didn’t happen, my dream didn’t happen, it’s grace.” When things don’t happen according to plan, give thanks in the moment because it’s grace. There is a purpose to your problem as you’re going through it. Look at Mandela. Imagine Mandela, 27 years in prison. That’s a big challenge but imagine if he didn’t go through that, would he have become the person he was? Even in the psyche of the masses, would he have been right to become president? That had to happen. There’s a purpose and I think when we can celebrate as it happens. Give thanks as it happens and look for the lessons and the evolution because I believe success in life is not just a matter of what you attained, but it’s about who we become.
[Tweet “Success in life is not just a matter of what you attained, but it’s about who we become.”]
For me, you’re defining resilience. When we teach this part of the work of pivot, we talk about how important it is in in this evolution. This process of change and utilizing change that resilience is the key and you’ve given us a few of the key ingredients in that resilience recipe. The ability to reframe situations quickly. There was an HBR, a Harvard Business Review article, that compared high performing athletes, the Olympic gold medalists, and the top performance in professional sport to high achievers in business and entrepreneurship, those kinds of things. What they found was in the commonality in the highest of the achievers was their ability to recover quickly. Their ability to recover from setbacks fast, to get back up on the horse, so to speak, to bring their heart rates down to a resting level.
Even in the midst of stress, the stress of the moment, the stress of the point or in between the points, in between the games that it could recover quickly. Resilience was the key ritual for recovery were so powerful. This idea that we cultivate certain practices, certain conscious practices that I would call rituals, you might call habits that make you more resilient. That help you to be able to bounce back quicker so you can continue to explore and be curious about how it is that your purpose is unfolding based on even the things that you would least invite which is challenge.
I love how you also brought into the picture the fact that there are some people like Dave Kalama or Laird Hamilton or some folks that are literally chasing after the biggest wave, the biggest challenge so that they can sharpen themselves and their tool in the face of those challenges. I’ve got a couple of questions left for you. One is related to what we just said, which is are these rituals for resilience? Do you have rituals yourself that helped to help create more resilience?
Let me start off with just some of the basic tools. One basic ritual is I exercise every day. It’s non-negotiable. People say I don’t have time. You have to make exercise a choice to not be a choice and so I’ve made exercise that choice not be a choice. It sets the foundation for my physical, for my mind because the body is a structuring thing for the spirit to come through. I do some form of exercise, an hour, an hour and twenty minutes. Pretty much daily in some way shape or form makes a huge difference in my life. How I feel once exercise is radically different than any day I don’t, which is really where. That’s just the basic ritual. I meditate every day, usually twenty minutes a day, sit in silence and just be.
Those are some simple ones, but one ritual, it’s something that started when I was a teenager. Looking at my future with my father and deciding what should I do, one of the things I found keeps us stuck are all the ways that we lie to ourselves. All the ways we be assessing ourselves, all the ways we don’t tell the truth to ourselves. I’m in a relationship, but it’s not so bad one. We know it’s not aligned anymore. We’re not in love. It’s completed its cycle or I’m working a job and I just know I hate this job. To really shift one’s life as a ritual, as a daily practice, we have to be willing to tell the compassionate, ruthless, radical, authentic truth to ourselves about what we feel, where we’re at, what’s going on for us in terms of our own inner process.
Deep down there’s a part of us that does know. If we could say as a practice or ritual, ask yourself, “What lies am I telling myself? What lies do I consistently tell myself? What am I be asking myself? What lies am I telling myself? What am I pretending to not know?” One of the games that we play is this game of, “I’m confused. I’m not sure. I don’t know.” Deep down we do know. We have to stop playing this, “I don’t know” game as a part of us that knows everything because at the deepest level, we aren’t everything. I am seeking daily to ask myself, “What lies am I telling myself? What am I pretending to not know? What do these lies cost me?” A daily process of feeling the truth and feeling the pain of the lies.
Many times, we do feel the pain of out of alignment or the lies that we tell ourselves because we’re afraid of the consequences. We distract ourselves. We social media away, eat away, fix away, shopping, whatever it is to just not feel the lie we’re telling ourselves. We end up wasting so much of our life, so much of our precious time. The reality is every single one of us would be a Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Oprah, you, me, the baker on the street, we all have one thing in common. We have time. Practice this daily practice of facing the truth. Truth is real yoga. Truth is real meditation. Truth is real prayer. Truth is real spiritual practice. This practice of just looking at yourself, eye to eye, heart to heart, and speaking the truth, telling the truth. That’s been a huge thing for me not be assessing myself.
Another practice that I do, we could say feeling my death. Making death on a daily basis. Not avoiding it. Not some morbid thing but facing the fact that you know what, you me, Bob Marley, David Bowie, every single person we are going to die. I am going to die. Bringing death close, pulling death to my cheek and going, “If I was going to die today, if today was my last day, would I be ready? Would I be ready? What’s on given, what’s not spoken, what’s not shared, what’s unforgiven? Who do I need to forgive?” Feeling death and remembering it as a profound inspiration to get my life correct.
As a profound inspiration to realize I don’t have time to waste because when we all die, and we meet our Maker, whatever we believe, we can go to God and say, “God, I wasted those four years in a relationship that wasn’t right. Could you give me those four years back?” God is going to say no because there’s no refunds. A profound practice for me that will cure procrastination. This is a practice that will dissolve fears. Face your death like, “I am going to die. This is my last day.” Today could be my last day right now and feel it. It gets things pretty straight and puts things in perspective. When I do that, this thing I’m worried about over here, about this person and that it puts everything into perspective.
“The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul. He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for thou art with me. Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies. Thou anointeth my head with oil, my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” The 23rd Psalm. I’m not a scholar of the Bible. I love reading sections of the Bible. That one is one that I’ve committed to memory some years ago. It comes in handy at funerals for sure.
It’s a daily prayer. Just as you said Kute, “To be present with something that is a reality.” It’s a reality for all of us and one of those things we might not invite to be today. We have no idea when it will be. There are people in this very moment as we take a breath, just as you did earlier, is you took a breath in that moment, feeling what it would feel like for this to be the last moment. How were you living in this moment? There are people in that moment, in this moment now as we breathe, taking their very last breath which makes this moment sacred. It’s sacred for so many people, including ourselves, whether the axe is hanging over our head in this second and the thread is as thin as can be and it’s frayed just enough and it releases or it doesn’t. It’s still a sacred holy moment that we get to share with each other and share either in the present or in some exploration of the past or the future. It was amazing earlier when you were speaking, I was thinking guys, truth is so important.
To give ourselves the gift of truth in the present as opposed to living with some regret or worrying about the future. How often probably 90% of the day, the waking thoughts that most people entertain during the day, are either thoughts of the past or their thoughts of the future, usually regret or fear. We obviously know that all the power of life, Osho that said, the past is dead. The future doesn’t exist. We know that but there’s no energy that has any life to it except the present, except this moment. We are endowed and empowered in such an incredible way in the present moment when we’re in the present moment or occupying it.
Thank you so much, Kute, for sharing that. To unpack that would take us days because you shared so much that I thought was so incredible. I love the book by Og Mandino, The Greatest Salesman in the World. If you’ve not read that book, go get that book. It’s this tiny little book. This tiny little, thin book, one of the scrolls in this book that Og shares is to live this day as though it is my last and I say that every day.
I say it before I go to bed at night. When I’m conscious during the day, I remind myself as I am right now that we live this day and so which is what you’re talking about. Kute, what a wonderful opportunity to chat and have so much more curiosity about you and what you’re up to. I want to ask one final question, what’s next? What’s the next challenge for you in this moment?
Part of my vision is to take spirituality, personal growth to the masses using media and so we’re working on some things TV-wise, media-wise. That’s a challenge to spread it to like what’s happened with hip-hop. People like Russell Simmons regroup and took their part with Alex in Brussels, it’s in Bombay, it’s in Berlin, it’s everywhere and it’s infiltrated the collective consciousness of the new generation.
Our vision is to create more awakened culture on a mass level. It’s like Mike Ivan saying to Jay Z, “It’s not sneakers, it’s speakers.” Everybody out there, I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode as much as I hope that you enjoy it. I really pray it and want more than anything that you take what you’ve heard and put it into some useful action for yourself. Whether it’s to create some ritual or conscious practice or a new habit for yourself, whether it’s stillness, getting out and exercising, moving your body, creating your own rituals for resilience, your own rituals for recovery. At least in my experience and in Kute’s as well, this is the key element to the thing that you might call success or the ability to get shit done, get your goals accomplished is to be able to be resilient, to be able to hear that word no and put it in its proper perspective which is usually about somebody else and their vision.
It’s nothing to do with you necessarily. It’s things like that. Absolutely love that I’ve got to spend this time with you. Feel so grateful again that we were here together. If you’re not yet subscribed, please feel free to do that. You can go to AdamMarkel.com and subscribe to the podcast. Please leave a review on iTunes. We love the feedback. We love those reviews, so please do that as well and join if you haven’t yet already checked out our Facebook community, The Start My PIVOT Community is growing, and people are incredible in that community. Just sharing their vulnerable pivots and giving support, receiving support, doing amazing things. You can get there by going to PivotFB.com.
As we conclude our podcast, we’ll do the same thing in a different way to book in the beginning with the end and that is to be in gratitude. Wherever you are, if you’re not operating heavy machinery, you can close your eyes. If you want to keep your eyes open but take a deep conscious breath. In this moment, I’m going to wave a magic wand. It’s one of the fun things about having the microphone because I get to do that, which is to wave this magic wand and with it my prayer, my intention, my wish for all of us is that we get to wake up tomorrow. You get to wake up physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually that we wake ourselves up. That we are a little more conscious tomorrow even than we are today. It’s a good sign. We’re on a good trajectory just to be a little more awake tomorrow. That’s step one, that we wake up. Step two is that we are grateful in that moment because as we take that deep conscious breath of the new day, realize that there are people who are taking their last breath in that moment. There are also people being born who are taking their first breath in that moment and it is a sacred moment.
Lastly, if you’re inclined to say these words, they’ve changed my life. They’ve changed it. I dare say a lot of people’s lives from all of the people we’ve heard from. When you put your feet on the floor or even while you’re still in bed, you can declare out loud, “I love my life. I love my life. I love my life.” I certainly have loved this time and I can’t wait to spend more time with you guys in the future. For now, I will say ciao and peace.
- Kute Blackson
- The Life You Were Born To Live
- The Greatest Salesman in the World
About Kute Blackson
Kute Blackson is author of the national bestselling book You.Are.The.One. and is widely considered the next generation leader in the field of personal development by everyone ranging from Larry King, Jack Canfield, Marianne Williamson and more. He has been featured on Larry King Now, Fox and Friends, Dr. Drew and more. A charismatic visionary and transformational teacher, Kute Blackson offers a fresh, bold look at spiritual awareness for a whole new generation. Born in Ghana, West Africa, Kute’s multicultural upbringing as the child of a Japanese mother and a Ghanaian father has spanned four different continents. His unique lineage lay the foundation for his approach to breaking down barriers and unlocking an individual’s true gifts and greatness. Kute quickly learned that the “outside-in” approach favored by so many in the personal development space had to become an inside-out approach. So he decided to create his own method—a process that liberates the individual and the true self at the core and then pushes those gifts outward into the universe. This helps the individual get in touch with who they really are. It is a process of breaking free—so that the individual can live, give, and share the truest expression of their self. This is what Kute calls “Liberated Living.” For over 20 years, Kute Blackson has been inspiring audiences around the world. From the first time he spoke in front of 3000 people at age 8, to speaking in over 300 venues by age 18, to helping organizations develop authentic leadership and achieve extraordinary performance over the last decade. His electrifying presentations, not only offer real world practical ideas and soul stirring wisdom, but also ignite the heart, and inspire courageous action. His mission is simple: To awaken and inspire people across the world to access inner freedom, live authentically and fulfill their true life’s purpose.