What I Learned from a Week on Necker
I went to Necker Island for a week with a bunch of other entrepreneurs, some incredibly successful, all super generous and inspiring.
Going to Necker and meeting Richard Branson was something I’d wanted to do for a decade, and this year, the opportunity presented itself, and I jumped on it.
It was a scary thing to do. A week on Necker is not cheap. As we left the island, Russian billionaire Andrey Melnichenko was waiting for his turn in one of the world’s most expensive and biggest yachts, Sailing Yacht A, designed by Philippe Starck, and worth about a half a billion dollars. So, yeah.
My one main take-away was this: To love myself, even more deeply.
Being stuck on an island with a group of strangers for a week is not something I do very often. So it brought up a lot of "stuff" for me. Emotions, insecurities, the works.
It brought back memories of being in school and feeling different, feeling like an outsider, longing for others to see me, to approve of me.
It brought up comparison. There were people there with their own private jets, some of them more than one.
Comparison is a big one for me, as are its companions self-criticism, self-sabotage, and self-hate.
I'm not like most people. It's something I hear a lot. My hands (fingerprints and hand prints) are unusually complex for a man. My Meyers-Briggs is very rare for a man. So it's very easy to compare myself to others and find myself lacking.
I'm also really really great at spotting "flaws". Especially in myself. That, too, is in my blueprint. My Human Design chart says that exact thing, and my experience bears it out.
I'd be looking at others thinking "they're getting more attention than me". Or imagine that others were admiring someone else, and feeling envious. Or hoping that someone would spot my brilliance. I wanted people to see me and approve of me. Sound familiar?
If you're on Necker and not absolutely loving every moment of it, you're insane. In fact, no matter where you are and what you're doing, if you're not loving every single moment of it, you're insane. In that moment.
When I would catch myself worrying about the mastermind and the lack of applications, I’d gently remind myself to stop it. Worrying about the mastermind is useless. It’ll either happen or it won’t, and I’ll be fine. Soon enough, I’ll be on my merry way doing all kinds of awesome speaking and coaching work, and I won’t care for one second about this mastermind. In fact, I’ll probably be grateful it didn’t work out. But I will remember my first trip to Necker. So let’s just be present and get the most out of that.
I would also sometimes catch myself worrying about my book and my message. The book workshop is coming up in a week, what if I don’t know what my audience is going to be, what if I don’t know what I’m going to be writing about before the workshop? What if I go to to the workshop and I’m the one guy that just can’t figure it out, and I fail at writing a book again!
Our mind is fascinating like that. We can be in the most incredible paradise on earth, watching the most beautiful sunset over a gorgeous beach in the company of incredibly generous, caring, and beautiful people, and still conjure up a story about a future and use it to scare ourselves out of enjoying it. Good job, mind!
So whenever I caught myself doing that, I just let go of that, too. Just enjoying the moment, and trusting that the right answers would show up at the right time.
And they did. One afternoon on the beach, I sat down with Yanik and talked about both of these things. I wanted to talk to him about leading my own groups kinda like his group to Necker, but obviously a different group with a different purpose. And he really helped me clarify what I have to offer that stands out.
What it comes down to is the 360 degree look at things. It’s not just financial success, but all of the important areas of life: Relationships, healthy, body, spirituality, emotions, beliefs, and so on. If you lack in one area, it’s going to pull the rest down.
Where most people have taken the route of focusing on business and letting the others languish, I looked more broadly at life and addressed all of the areas causing me pain and suffering.
So I had to remind myself over and over again to not compare myself to anyone. To just be me and enjoy.
The reality is, we can only compare ourselves to our own imagination about someone else. We can't truly know them. So we speculate, and we compare, and we either come out on top or at the bottom, depending on how we want to make ourselves feel.
That's why I love Byron Katie and her work. It helps me realize that if there's any suffering at all, it's because of my own unexamined thoughts.
"I should be making more money?" Is that true? No, it's not. This is the exact right amount of money for me to be making. How do I know? Because it's what I'm making.
No matter how much money I was making, I'd still right now be sitting in a chair writing this to you. I might be in a private airport terminal instead of Delta's commercial terminal, but I'd still be sitting in a chair writing on my laptop, sipping Body Meal out of a plastic water bottle. It would make no real difference.
No matter what our level of success, we either stand, sit, or lie down.
We each have a different journey, a different purpose for being here. All we can do is walk our own path. We can't walk someone else's. There's no point in comparing. We're all different, we have different roles. The world needs both a this and a that.
Ultimately it comes down to how much good feeling we can allow in our bodies in this moment. I recently read Agnes Sanford's book The Healing Light, and she talks about letting Christ's healing energy flow through the body. Some people meditate on white light. Some people allow love to enter into and between the cells in their bodies.
To me, it's all the same thing: How much joy, love, God, truth, life, energy, light am I willing to allow into my being in this moment?
Try it, right now. Consciously sense your whole body. Then, as you breathe into your belly and release, notice that you're actually unconsciously contracting your being a little bit, like you're gripping with your entire body. And then, just gently release that grip. Imagine that you just let go of any tightness in your body, and allow the open space in your body to be filled with love.
You don't have to do anything. You just have to allow, or even be willing, and love will do its thing all on its own. Not loving takes doing. Loving is effortless and automatic when we stop resisting.
So I practiced a lot of this. Try it right now, and see how it feels.
This is the key to everything good in our lives.
Love is what we seek, and yet love is what we already are. We've just forgotten.
I have some friends in the "sex positive" community, and one of the things they talk about there is New Relationship Energy or NRE. It's the feeling you get when you fall in love with someone new. We all know that feeling. It's exhilarating, it's such a rush. And then eventually it wanes. So if you're in a longterm committed relationship till death do you apart, then it's just tough luck for you, you'll never get to experience that again. Or so the thinking goes.
But that's just because we're confused. We think the ecstasy of the NRE comes from the other person. It doesn't. It was inside us all the time. We just made up a story that we're somehow incomplete and we need someone else to make us feel complete, safe, that everything's well with us and the world.
It's a game we invented, unconsciously. We throw ourselves out of heaven, and then decide that we'll only let ourselves back into heaven when we fall in love, or when we make enough money, or when we get famous, or someone approves of us, or whatever it is.
Cultivate feeling the love in your body, and you won't need anything else.
One of the things I did was leave situations that I didn't enjoy. Instead of thinking I had to stay there, I'd go somewhere else by myself, and set the intention that the right people would join me. And maybe the right people would mean no-one joined, and that would be great, too. Usually, though, someone did, and we had fabulous conversations. Perhaps even while staring into a beautiful fire on the beach.
Or instead of clamoring to add myself into a conversation that already felt filled to capacity, I'd set the intention that if people wanted to hear what I had to share, they'd call on me. And every time, someone did. It was surprising how well this worked.
The key was truly not caring about the outcome. I'd just do what I wanted to do, and be an open invitation for anyone to join. I'm happy either way.
So this is your work: If there's anything but love and bliss inside of you, you've still got work to do... and the work is in your own mind.
We can have all the money and spoils in the world, and yet still be suffering, because we keep searching for the answers out there, when everything out there is just a projection of what's in here.
So there you have it. I traveled all that way only to find what was right under my nose the whole time.
It was, of course, an absolutely incredible experience.
And yeah, I got a story or two with me as well. But I'll save those for another day.