Stop, Look, and Listen… then Act (literally if you’re Hugh Jackman) – Lessons from Him to Create a HIM

When: 7.10.20

Where: Scrooge

PAX (20): 8-Track, Band Aid, Banjo, Belding, Big Worm, Boucher, CDC, Cinnamon, Ginger, Kimchi, Monkey, Nymph, Pom-Pom; Spam; Speedwalker; Squatter; Swan; Wee Man; Yo-Gi; Paycheck (QIC)

Third F

Phillippians 4 :

Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise, think on these things. Do those things which you have both learned and received, and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

  • Benjamin Franklin on his journey to and from America meditated this verse.

Ephesians 4:29-32:

‘Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.’

Romans 8:

The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life[d] because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of[e] his Spirit who lives in you.

12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.

14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.[f] And by him we cry, “Abba,[g] Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Present Suffering and Future Glory

18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that[h] the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

More Than Conquerors

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[j]

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k]neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Hugh Jackman (Wolverine)

  • Was on path to study Journalism…Took one path but took an acting class as an easy credit
  • As a young man, frequently asked God to show him the way
  • Could not have literally received a clearer sign

“People should know you’re a Christian through your actions”

Tim Ferriss:  

Q: “And in a few of the instances you’ve mentioned, you have—and not all—but you’ve honed it, it seems, over time, listened to this gut feeling, this intuition, this, I would say, sensitivity that you seem to have, even when you’ve had huge sunk cost. Right? So you’ve invested years into education, pointing you in one direction, and then, at the 11th hour you go, “Hmm. OK. Well, I turned right. I should turn left.” And you turn left. And then you have these examples that you’ve given. How do you relate to intuition or that gut feeling now? Is there a certain way you think about it or have become more attuned to feeling it? And I’m asking, in part, because I’ve spent a lot of my life trapped in my… the front of my brain and hyper-analyzing things. And it has often been a disservice because it’s overpowered feelings, intuition, on deals, partnerships, friends, or foes that I should have listened to, right? So I’d just be curious to know how you have developed a relationship with listening to that.

Hugh Jackman: 

A: “Yeah. I’ve never been asked this question. I think this is probably the most vexing, most important, vital thing to work out in your life, certainly in my life. And I think about it a lot. To answer the question What do I do now?, I just… I think I need to take you back. 

I’ve never really said this before publicly, this particular thing I’m going to say. But as I told you, I was brought up in a very religious household. So a lot of the messages I was getting and instructions for life came through the examples of Jesus and through all these characters and the parables in the Bible. And I carried them very close to my heart. I can remember praying nightly, for I don’t know how long, to God. I used to… I remember just saying, “I don’t care, God, what it is you want me to do. If you want me to collect trash, I’ll collect trash. If you want me to… I do not care. But please make it clear to me what you want me to do. Please make that clear.”

…a consistent theme in that is that I listen to the messages, that they come in crazy ways. They come in strange but clear, concise ways.

OK. So I’ve just come full circle. Let me give you an example. I’m going to go back again. I… In terms of knowing to get into acting, right, following those examples, I went and studied—sorry, auditioned—for an acting school. And I got in. I got in on the reserve list, so I didn’t get it on the first time round. This was a one-year course I did before my three-year one. I just snuck in, and I was so excited. After graduating as a journalist, “OK, I’m going to go to acting school for one year.”

And then I got a letter in the mail a week later saying, “Congratulations, you’re in. Please make sure you come with the three-and-a-half thousand dollars tuition fee. And it had never dawned on me that it was going to cost anything because when I was young in Australia, secondary education was free. Like, all university was free. So I was like, “Uh, oh,” and then I thought, “I’ve got to go and ask my dad, and I’ve just graduated from college.” And I thought, “I can’t do that.” I literally ripped up the letter. I screwed it up, put it in the bin. And I’m not joking—this is to me one of those signs, crazy signs, that are just like a wallop in the face—I got a check the next day from my grandmother’s will—she had died three months before—for three-and-a-half thousand dollars, the exact dollar amount.

D R  P

The Daily Committment To Accelerate Fitness Fellowship And Faith

A man needs help to Get Right

The boats of some men have been so long capsized that they have gradually surrendered to a life of being swept downstream by circumstance. Having lost the ability to make headway, they become fully focused on mere survival. We call these men Sad Clowns and their affliction Sad Clown Syndrome .

The symptoms of Sad Clown Syndrome are subtle, so the malady can be difficult to diagnose. The Sad Clown may not be chronically obese–but he is not physical fit, lacking in strength, speed, stamina and toughness. He may not be alone–but he is lonely, living bereft of meaningful male friendships. He may not be unemployed–but he lacks true purpose, having no clear vision, belief system or direction governing the things he does or fails to do. The Sad Clown may seem happy on the outside–but that is only what he seems to be, not what he is.

Focused on mere survival, the Sad Clown zombie-shuffles through the motions of his life governed by his perception of what is expected of him from the world rather than in the manner for which he was created. Having no sense of purpose other than existential continuity, he squanders his days and energy trying to seem like a man rather than be one. This makes him a Mascot , aspiring for little more than the clearance of his last check in the final fearful moments before greeting what awaits him in the Super Unknown .

Although uncomfortably numbed to his condition, a Mascot may be aware enough to make periodic attempts to invigorate himself. He (if he can fit into his shorts) goes to the gym for a week or so every January. He (if he can fit it into his work) tries to make that yearly golf trip with his college buddies. He (if he can fit it into his schedule) makes a few appearances at the family dinner table. But these tepid attempts to self-invigorate his life never seem to bear lasting fruit. They always lead him back by the end of every year to the exact place he started–only now, one year closer to death.

Going it alone, the Mascot is doomed to fail because no man can disengage the death grip he holds on his own status quo. Absent a Disrupter, a man willing and able to create a disturbance in his enervated life, he will remain just as he is, clinging to the capsized boat of his life and incapable of initiating the Movement required to Get Right.

A man must turn pro to Get Right

The first disturbance the Disrupter makes in the life of the Mascot is to elicit Commitment . To Get Right, the Mascot has to Commit to actual Movement, not just its appearance. To obtain proper personal alignment, he must stop seeking to seem and determine to be. He must decide to turn Pro rather than continue life as an Amateur .

The superficially-Committed Mascot is an Amateur. To him, what truly matters is only that he make periodic resolutions and look like he is trying to fulfill them. Then, when the circumstances of his life inevitably undo whatever small progress he might have made, he can repeat the process without being completely embarrassed. For that man it is all about the appearance of the process not the substance of the progress.

The fully-Committed HIM is a Pro. He views his proper personal alignment as a skill that requires daily practice to first obtain and then continually sharpen. Determined to be rather than merely to seem, a HIM focuses on Preparedness absent any concern of how that appears to the world.

Take golf as an illustration of the contrast between the Amateur and the Pro. A professional golfer goes to the driving range every day to get prepared for what he expects from his next match and to be prepared for what he doesn’t. He practices driving and putting because he plans on doing a lot of both–but he also practices his sand shots and getting out of the rough because he knows that his plan to stay in the fairway will not always succeed. What he’s wearing while he does all that is of very little concern to him.

An amateur golfer spends more time trying to look like a golfer than he does practicing his swing. He might go to the range if he can fit it in, but he usually comes in hot on Saturday morning five minutes before his tee time hoping for good things to happen and reacting emotionally when inevitably they don’t. How could they? He is prepared for neither the fairway nor the rough. He is not actually a golfer–he only seems like one because he’s wearing the right shoes.

A Mascot brings the same Amateur approach to his proper personal alignment. Instead of organizing his time around the daily grind required to work out his imperfections, he just shows up and reacts emotionally to his circumstances. For him Preparedness is something he never seems to be able to fit around his “real” life when in fact the Get Right is his real life.

The HIM is the complete opposite. He is a man who has turned Pro. He knows that proper personal alignment requires the constant honing that can only be done through daily practice. Unlike the Mascot, the HIM’s focus is on Preparedness–not just for the next Event in his life, but for his life in general as well as what awaits him in the Super Unknown.

Until the Mascot turns Pro he will be ruled by the emotional surges that result from his lack of Preparedness for the expected and unexpected Events of his life. He will make the same resolutions every December and break them in the same way every January. Because he is an Amateur he will start each day with the Blue Pill and live a life of seeming rather than being.

Fortunately, no man is too far wrong to Get Right. No matter how long his boat has been capsized he can begin returning it to the normal upright position with one very small Movement–the decision to take the Red Pill instead of the Blue one. He need only determine to begin doing those things necessary today to become a HIM tomorrow. This is the first step on the path to the EQV.

Discretion is a cage with velvet bars

Each morning, we all face the decision whether to take the Red Pill or the Blue Bill. The first is hard-true and the second easy-false. The Red forces a man to hike up the rocky path toward the EQV, while the Blue lets him mosey down the smooth trail to Mascot-life and chronic Sad Clown Syndrome.
A man’s first Red Pill is the toughest to swallow because it causes Disruption to the status quo in the form of Movement. And while it doesn’t get easier, it does get better. The second, third and thousandth Red Pill is just as tough to swallow as the first, but that initial Movement gives birth to Acceleration which leads to Momentum and Momentum ultimately leads to joy.

Whether it’s his Fitness, Fellowship or Faith, the rocky path to the EQV keeps getting steeper the higher the HIM gets on it. As he becomes more fit, every Workout finds him pushing a little bit harder and faster to improve. As his relationships deepen, he grows into the increasing weight of people’s reliance upon his strength. As his understanding of the Super Unknown becomes clearer, he dives more deeply into his relationship with the SkyQ. The HIM knows that there are no plateaus in the pursuit of proper personal alignment. Every day he is either getting more Right or less.

The HIM depends upon his Guardrails to continue Accelerating. The faster his Movement, the stronger they need to be. To get ready for the expected and be ready for the unexpected, the HIM gradually improves his Guardrails by constructing Routines that allow for increasing action with decreasing thought. Because it is comprised of positive Habits , a Routine does not require an active choice to perform. Over time, it becomes ingrained into the HIM’s daily rhythm such that it would require his active choice not to perform.

The HIM constructs his Routines through the process of Bricklaying. Each individual Brick is a singular positive Habit that is light enough for him to carry and place together with other Bricks. Conjoined, the Bricks become a Routine that form and build his Guardrails. Once a Brick is set, it provides a place to lay the next Brick. Because it is set, the HIM has effectively deprived himself of the discretion to remove it. This enables him to focus his full energy on performing his Routines because he doesn’t have to waste energy thinking about it. Like a soldier, he is freed to action through deprivation of discretion.

While discretion may be the freedom to decide what to do in a given situation, for a man without Guardrails discretion is a cage with velvet bars–it will lead him to take the Blue Pill. Through military training, the soldier learns that there is nothing liberating in having to decide what to do in every situation. True freedom is the pre-determined what that allows full focus on the how.

The stronger the Guardrails, the faster you can drive.


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