Embracing the Race to Nowhere

On this week’s Ignition Point, I welcome Chris J. Snook back to the show to wrap up our series on struggle.

Chris is an entrepreneur, a mentor, a speaker, and the best-selling author behind Digital Sense and Wealth Matters 3.0; but his main focus is driving innovation as the Managing Director of Launch Haus.

Launch Haus is big on serving what they call “communities of common interest,” and helping them with launching bold new strategies, brand identities, products, and events. Their current portfolio includes ambitious projects like the Sandcastle Foundation, the World Tokenomic Forum, and their lifestyle apparel brand for entrepreneurs, called Startup Drugz.

During our first season, Chris became an audience favorite for his talk on identifying your dealbreakers, but today, Chris is flipping the script on what you know about overcoming struggle with a counterintuitive take – that struggle is something you need to embrace.

So, let’s get after it! Click the Play Button right now to hear Chris’s perspective on embracing the race to nowhere.

If you're looking for advice, have leadership questions, or have always wanted to ask me something about myself or the show; now you can submit your questions by visiting bit.ly/IgnitionPointAMA to be featured in our upcoming Q+A Segments. 

You can also leave a review for the show by going to ratethispodcast.com/IgnitionPoint. All of your thoughts, feedback and suggestions are appreciated, but please be sure to follow the show wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts to be notified whenever new episodes drop.

chris snook

Chris J. Snook

Managing Director of Launch Haus
FULL TRANSCRIPT

Hey! What’s going on? I’m Steven Miller and you’re listening to Ignition Point – the show that’s here to get you fired up and ready to win the week.

Before I get started, I want to let you know what’s been going on behind the scenes.

Right now, we’re only a few weeks away from wrapping up our second season, but we’re also approaching the anniversary of when we dropped our first episode. So, to celebrate these two big milestones, I decided to put together our first-ever Ignition Point Live Show. And over the last few weeks, everything was really coming together, but there was just one minor, pandemic-sized problem with it… As I was prepping to announce the Live Show on this episode, the good people over at the CDC released a statement encouraging all event organizers to cancel or postpone in-person events.

So, that sucks; but I get it. Right now, community health and wellness have to be our number one priority. When the time is right and COVID-19 is in the rear-view mirror, I promise you’ll hear all about our plans for Ignition Point Live; but for now, there’s another way you can be a part of the show.

If you're looking for advice, have leadership questions, or have always wanted to ask me something about myself or the show, now you can submit your questions for a chance to be featured on our new Q+A Segment. To submit a question, you can visit bit.ly/IgnitionPointAMA.

As for today’s episode, I couldn’t be more excited to welcome back – friend of the show – Chris J. Snook.

During our first season, Chris became an audience favorite for his talk on identifying your dealbreakers, but if you’re unfamiliar with him, he’s an entrepreneur, a mentor, a speaker, and the best-selling author behind Digital Sense and Wealth Matters 3.0.

That being said, right now his main focus is driving innovation as the Managing Director of Launch Haus.

Launch Haus is big on serving what they call “communities of common interest,” and helping them with launching bold new strategies, brand identities, products, and events. Their current portfolio includes ambitious projects like the Sandcastle Foundation, the World Tokenomic Forum, and their lifestyle apparel brand for entrepreneurs called Startup Drugz.

Today, Chris is flipping the script and wrapping up our series on struggle with a counterintuitive take – that struggle is something you need to embrace.

So, let’s get after it! Here to share his perspective on embracing the race to nowhere, this is Chris J. Snook.

THE WEEKLY MONOLOGUE WITH CHRIS J. SNOOK

So, today I want to talk to you about what I've come to embrace as this "beautiful race to nowhere."

Whether you're pursuing wealth in the financial sense or in some more holistic sense. What I've come to learn after 20 years of doing that same thing in my life is that the journey is really where the action is. The journey is really kind of where the reward is, but when you actually reverse engineer how to get to it, it takes some of the mystery and some of the magic out of it.

Again, I do none of this to say that it shouldn't motivate you. It should absolutely motivate you. I do this more to protect those of you who have maybe succeeded in the past and felt like it wasn't everything you thought it would be, or maybe you have struggled to succeed and you're struggling right now and you're wondering if it's ever going to be worth it, if it's ever going to pay off, or if you're just bat shit crazy.

And the reality is that it really is all about what's happening in that moment and who you become because of it. And so, when I say it's a race to nowhere, I don't mean that in any sense that it doesn't have meaning, or it isn't a wonderful race. I actually say that to level set everyone on my belief and bias that after all this time, if you're not enjoying the struggle, if you're not enjoying the friction, if you're not enjoying the competing with yourself and others in the race, then you're missing a big part of it because that's where the real juice is.

You've probably realized by now – in some way – that following mentors, leaders, people that seem to have the things that you want is kind of part and parcel to the process. You have to almost lose yourself in someone else's dream to find your own dream at its real core because you're trying to model their behavior and model their results, and then you get somewhere along the line where it begins to show up inauthentic to you.

Maybe they're more brash than you, maybe they're more money motivated than you, maybe they're less money motivated than you. There's all kinds of things. Maybe they don't have the marriage that you want, but they have the car - you know, things like that. And so, it's important to model people who have the things you want and it's also important to touch base with yourself and realize when things are starting to slide into an inauthentic realm or where you don't feel like yourself.

So, one of the things that I would do is I would start out with just a list of musts. Like if you could really look at yourself - in your old age, hopefully - what are the things that when you're really in that moment that you're going to go, "oh... I wish I had." Or that you're going to say, "wow, I can't think of anything else that I would have done."

Did you take those risks? Did you jump at those opportunities? Did you kiss that person? Did you go for that promotion? Did you sell that client? Did you make that trip? Did you move to that place?

And one of the things that we've learned about goal setting and goal achieving, more importantly, because everyone can set goals, but achieving goals is a whole different thing. It's a very lawful process.

The universe operates by laws - much like there's a law of gravity that treats you and I the same whether we're good people or bad people, if we step off of a building, we're falling down; and laws of success are very similar. They treat us equally, whether we're a liar or a cheater or whether we're the most honest person in the world; if we play within the rules of those laws, we will get those results.

And why I bring that up is because when you're lying there and you're thinking about your musts, musts always get done. Like, if you're not homeless right now, you have a must - stated or otherwise - that you won't be. And so, you asked the question, "well why?" Well, the reason why is because they have a must called, "I will not be homeless."

Someone who's homeless, whether they realize it or not has chosen that that's acceptable. And this is not a judgment against people that are homeless. It's just a reality that what we set as our minimum acceptable standard is what we will always achieve.

When we set something that is a goal, like "I want to 10x my income," or "5x my income," or "live in a bigger house;" setting that goal is cool because it stretches our awareness to it being possible for us, but until that becomes a minimum - meaning, until we cannot function without that being our reality - we will never get it.

That's why it's all a race to nowhere; because this notion that I'm going to set a goal and then by achieving that goal somehow blow my mind and be miraculously satisfied by it, flies in the face of how goal achieving is even done. Because goal achieving means I've set a standard that I will not go below, and I've internalized that at a subconscious level that it is literally part of what makes me breathe.

And so, when I get it, it was already mine. I already had it. I already demanded it.

And until you reconcile that, you're always going to be wanting and always wondering why you're unhappy or why you're unsatisfied; and being unsatisfied isn't necessarily a bad thing. You can be happy and be unsatisfied. Being unsatisfied is realizing the way that this mechanism works.

I set a goal; it stretches my awareness. The minute that my minimums become my maximums, then I get it, and now I set a new maximum that I have not yet internalized as my new minimum. If you're going to chase the glory of that, it can feel very lonely because less and less people will understand your problems. Then the people that might understand your problems, you might find like, "well, I can't talk to them cause you know they have a certain perception of me," or "I'm doing business with them and I don't want them to thinking I'm losing it just because I'm having a bad day."

"Mom and dad don't understand because they're not really going through it. They'll be there for me, but I can't talk to them the way that they'll understand what I'm going through, and I don't need to worry them;" and you start going through your list of people and it gets really small in a hurry.

"I can't scare the shit out of my spouse. Like Holy crap, I can't do that," and so what happens is you get to this point where the emotions are real, and you feel alone.

When you're feeling down or you're feeling that struggle or you're even kind of self-loathing because you feel like you're responsible for the result, you really have to cultivate that habit of just doing the thing that you know is right. Meaning, put down the bottle of vodka and go listen to a podcast; or go out and walk outside and look and realize that the world's not melting down around you.

Do the thing you don't feel doing because if you get in the habit of doing that, then those little choices over time add up and those rollercoaster hills become smaller.

I think if you try and resist it and if you try and think that somehow, you're failing because you're emotional, that's actually being emotional. What's being rational and logical is realizing worry is nothing more than fear of future anger. If you're angry, that's because something happened you didn't have the answer for and now, you're scared - because you don't know what to do next.

So, worry is the predecessor to fear. Anger is the manifestation of, "the thing happened, I wasn't prepared for it, and now I don't know what to do and I'm panicking." And the opposite of that is joy and freedom and all those things and full on belief. And so, both have to exist simultaneously somewhere for one to occur. So, if you're present to one, the other one is available to you. And what you don't want to hear in that moment is that it's available to you.

So, I'm not suggesting that you just go, "okay, yeah! Right, yeah! I'm going to let go of the fear," like that's bull crap. Like, no one can do that, but what you can do is you can go, "I'm human, I'm pissed right now. I'm angry because X, Y, and Z – I shouldn't have done this, I shouldn't have done that. Dammit! Okay, part of the game."

And so this race to nowhere is really about this journey of leveling up what my standards are, leveling up what I will accept and then letting my body and my actions move me to and through that reality as I bring it into my physical world. So this notion that you can achieve anything that you set your mind to, if it comes from inside of you, if that impetus to do it comes from inside where it's a burning desire - as Napoleon Hill would say - then it means you're trying to give birth to it. "De a Ensire," the root of desire is to give birth to.

So if I want to give birth to this thing, then it's coming from me, which means I'm capable of it or I already have it; I just haven't materialized it yet and materializing it means dropping everyone else's standards, everyone else's minimums and setting my own to that minimum bar. Again, a beautiful race to nowhere because I'm just going to keep repeating this process. I'm going to continue to raise that bar.

So, when you set your list of musts, what do you really need to be happy? Maybe you don't need that much. It's probably less than what you think. Knowing what that is gives you freedom. Once you're very clear on that and you're unapologetic about that to yourself and anyone else, you're more self-aware than 99% of the population.

STRATEGY FOR SUCCESS

I’d like to give a big thank you to Chris Snook for taking the time to contribute to this week’s show.

If you’re interested in connecting with him, you can check out his website at chrisjsnook.com or you can see what he’s up to over at Launch Haus by visiting LaunchHa.us.

Whenever I think about struggle overcoming your challenges, I tend to believe that despite how intimidating a situations is, when you feel like you’ve got your back up against the wall you have to stay levelheaded about what’s going on.

Think about yourself walking through a crowd.

On second thought, let’s say you’re walking through a crowd… in a world where COVID-19 doesn’t exist. Yeah, that’ll work.

You see where you want to go but you’re practically at a standstill because there’s just a ton of people in the way. It’s not that you can’t get there, you just have to figure out what your options are and look for the most realistic way to make your way through the crowd.

If you were to just sit down in the middle of the crowd and say, “eff it. I’m done! I quit!” You’re clearly never going to get there, but in all reality, the weight of your struggle may come down on top of you. Literally.

If instead you let panic set in and you start freaking out under the pressure, you’re probably just going to get a bunch of concerned looks. So, that option's also out.

But what you can do is start taking little steps.

You can look for a familiar face in the crowd and ask them how to get to where you want to go. You can ask the people around you where they’re trying to go and offer to trade places if it would help.

Regardless of what you come up with – when you’re under pressure – you can’t live at extremes. You’ve got to take a deep breath, ask yourself what’s within your control, accept that, and make a realistic plan. That starts you down this path of embracing the struggle, but don’t let yourself get overwhelmed by all this talk about life being a race to nowhere. All the uncertainty and doubt can make you think that any effort is pointless, but when you break it down, it makes a lot of sense.

How about we work our way backwards. In this case, nowhere represents an abundance of opportunity, rather than a lack thereof. It’s the infinite range of outcomes and endless possibilities of where your life may lead. So, nowhere is actually somewhere.

The race is where tenacity comes into play. It’s the speed with which you choose to live and level up. It’s the constant urge to progress and grow.

Which finally leaves us with the beauty of it all – understanding that your experience is never going to be cookie cutter because if your ability to level up was just a consistent upward trend, it wouldn’t be beautiful. It would just become a uniform expectation.

This beautiful race to nowhere teaches you life lessons and provides you with these qualitative measurements to look back on. They make you recognize, “oh yeah, I’m definitely not going back there. That wasn’t me living my best life, but I see where I want to go and I’m going to use what I’ve learned to propel myself up and over that bar. “

So, yes, embrace your race to nowhere for greater self-awareness and teachable moments, but use those lessons to set and adjust your expectations and your minimum acceptable standards.

Remember, it’s also a race to nowhere because the minimums you set should always be evolving. That’s why when you feel like you’re sliding backwards or you’re at a plateau, that you start feeling on edge or anxious or stressed; because from that place, your current minimum acceptable standard is still well within view.

But herein lies a question worth answering. What’s an acceptable minimum?

Well, it’s different for everyone, but if you go out into the world and you’re conscious of the fact that you’re going to struggle along the way, you’re minimum acceptable standards should track with both your living needs and your emotional needs.

For example, if things go off the rails, or my progress is stifled and I’ve got to pick up all the pieces, I base my minimums on what I need to guarantee my family’s safety and happiness. If I’m meeting those needs, that means I won’t be compromising on my minimums, but the details of what lives within those needs is free to evolve over time when I reach new maximums.

Now, if you’re still pushing back on this because you’re worried about idea of it being “lonely at the top,” don’t. That’s its own type of struggle – but it’s more of a social struggle.

If you’ve found your way past the fundamental challenges of growing into leadership, there’ll come a time when you’ll need to challenge your peers to get on your level or find others who can relate to you on your level. Once those people are flying at your altitude, here’s what I want you to keep in mind. It’s never a race to nowhere when you’re chasing dreams with others.

Having that kind of support network is a really big deal when you’re on the up and up, but you’ll still need coping mechanisms to get yourself out of your head and into the moment. There are hundreds of ways to manage all that worry and fear and anxiety and aggression that stems from struggle – but all good coping strategies have to be held in moderation, even the healthy ones.

The ones that immediately come to mind are reading books and going out for a run, but without moderation, coping can start to look a lot like avoiding. All of a sudden, you’re reading to escape your reality or you’re running away from your problems.

What I’m getting at is that finding the right strategy is the easy part. The real challenge is making sure that you’re using it to get yourself to the point where you can recognize the sky isn’t falling, that the birds are – indeed – still chirping, and the world is still turning.

So, when you reach that point where the struggle is real and you feel like you’re at the end of your rope, you need to make sure you’re thinking with your head as opposed to your heart. Logic will always reveal the truth by showing that your greatest fears are nothing more than false expectations appearing real.

Think about your most recent struggle. It’s not that you weren’t prepared. It’s not even that you were dealt a shitty hand and it wasn’t like your work was actually going up in flames.

So the next time struggle rears its ugly head, take a page out of Chris’s playbook and embrace your race to nowhere. Remember to take that deep breath, remind yourself what’s in your control, accept that reality, plan accordingly, and start executing against that plan to overcome your struggle.

Again, I’d like to give a big thank you to Chris J. Snook for joining the show. If you want to connect with Chris or you’re looking for a link to submit a question for our next Q+A Segment, all those links are available in this episode’s Show Notes up at DecisiveLeap.com/IgnitionPoint.

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Well, that’s going to do it for this episode, so stay motivated and keep moving forward.

If you put in the hard work right now – one day – you could be the one motivating the world with your story.

I’ll look forward to speaking with you next time on another Ignition Point.

Now get on out there and win the week!

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