Liberate Your Life: Put Yourself on Auto-Response

People spend vast amounts of time (and sometimes their whole life) wrestling with their minds, trying to figure out if their dreams are practical or ridiculous. Eventually most people give up, because they simply couldn’t make a decision.

The single biggest reason for unaccomplished goals and unfulfilled dreams, is the lack of ability to make a serious commitment. How many times in your life have you not done what you wanted to do, simply because you couldn’t make up your mind?

Putting yourself on auto-response (which I will explain in a minute) is about finding the means to silence your practical mind’s constant decision weighing and follow your heart, no matter how terrifying it may seem.

Most people know what their ideal life would look like. Most people know what they want and how the life of their dreams would look, feel and taste.

So if everyone knows what they want, what stops people from achieving their dreams? What could possibly stop them from leaving a dead end job and dropping unwanted commitments? It’s not that they don’t know what they want, they just don’t know how to get there.

The Myth That Broken Dreams Are Caused by a Lack of Belief in Yourself

Their is a common myth pervading the lifestyle design space that says: “The number one reason people don’t accomplish their dreams is because of a lack of courage and a shortage of self-confidence.” In short, the myth claims that people would follow their dreams, but they just don’t have the guts and self-trust to do so.

I, personally, think this is wrong. People don’t need more courage, confidence, or trust in their ideas. They know, deep down, that they can do it. They just don’t know how.

The problem is that your heart says, “Go for it, follow your dreams,” while your mind says, “How the hell do you think you’re actually going to make that happen?

Despite your best intentions to listen your heart and follow your dreams, it’s not that easy to silence that big booming voice of practicality in your mind. All of this is even more daunting when you’re at project liberation: Ground Zero. (It’s hard to ignore the 7,000 feet you have yet to climb.)

I know what you’re thinking and it’s the same thing I’ve been contemplating since I started chasing the crazy idea of personal freedom: How do you overcome the voice of “reason” while trying to follow your dreams? How do you get pasts that intimidating feeling when you’re staring up from sea level at the summit? Let’s be honest, too: it wouldn’t be so bad either if you’ve actually climbed before, but you’ve barely learned to crawl.

So the way we overcome the screaming voice of practicality is:

Putting Yourself on Auto-Response

Putting yourself on auto-response means silencing your practical mind, in the face of the seemingly unpractical and ridiculous ideas. Faced with liberating your life, instead of thinking “I don’t know where to start,” your auto-response becomes “I’ll figure it out.”

This is especially useful when:

  • You want to start your own business and you’re terrified of failure.
  • You are tired of living your life based on a pre-assigned template.
  • You want to quit your dead end job, but you don’t have a leg to stand on.
  • You are ready to denounce your membership with the Cult of Productivity.
  • You want to disengage from the cubicle machine (somethings wrong with your cog), but you don’t want to be homeless.
  • You want to end the rat race and stop climbing the corporate ladder (and sacrificing your happiness).
  • You’ve barely broken ground to start laying the foundation for your dreams.
  • [insert your objective here]

Putting yourself on auto-response means you stop thinking about it and you start doing. You stop saying I don’t know. (Because we have all found ourselves saying “I’ve been thinking about starting my own business” or “I’ve been thinking about pursuing [insert what you love here].”) You correct things later and make it up as you go along. You act like you know what you’re doing, when in reality, you have no idea. You stop caring about not knowing.

You also stop caring about:

  • Having an acceptable answer to the question “What do you do?
  • Being defined by the work you do and start caring more about the purpose of your work.
  • Sufficing the idea that you need to complete prerequisites A and B before you can move on to C. You don’t necessarily need a degree in business to start one. You don’t necessarily need to have been a wilderness ranger before you decide to live off the grid.
  • Failing and falling on your face. Eventually, though, you’ll probably learn how to create controlled falls and take calculated risks.
  • Spending years (or a lifetime) in drudgery for future-promised happiness (ie. retirement).

Putting yourself on auto-response gives you the daily grit to keep plugging away when you’re tired and wondering if all this struggle is really worth it. It allows you to keep in perspective the reason for your constant pursuit of freedom from unwanted commitments. Most importantly it helps me remember that I’m doing this to serve my own goals (my own purpose) and not someone else’s.

Most of all, it allows your heart to have a say when confronted with the deafening voice of shoulds and social norms. It helps you keep things in perspective, when you have a long path to travel before your dreams are realized.

The End of The Internal Tug of War

There is a major conflict in our society between our mind and our heart. We struggle between what we love doing (our heart) and what we know is practical (our mind). Your practical mind is so loud that your heart –despite it’s screaming and flailing — can’t drown it out. But the goal isn’t to shut one of the two up. The goal is to harmonize them.

I have been reflecting a lot about what liberation means, whether it’s something you find out there, or if it’s something that comes from within. It hasn’t been an easy road for me trying to find balance between my heart and my mind. What has helped me more than anything is not finding more confidence, but having an unshakable commitment to pursuing only authentic endeavors.

True liberation to me is a labor of impeccability with myself and constant realignment when I wander off the course of authenticity. It’s the liberation from a culture that always puts happiness in the future. It’s short-cutting bliss and going directly to the source… not at some future date that never seems to arrive.

Right now I’m currently working towards someone else’s goals to pay the bills. It’s damn hard to keep the daily resolution to keep working toward owning my own business and achieving a goal that, quite frankly, I may never realize. The truth is, though, I would rather be striving toward that ideal my entire life and never see it realized, then surrender to live searching for some false sense of security (and to merely survive).

So what’s the point of all this?

The pursuit of liberation is the pursuit of a completely authentic life. It’s being fully in control of your life and your time. It’s freedom from the expectations of society, of the people around you. It’s freedom from your mind.

Liberation and lifestyle design means different things to different people. There is no “one size fits all” answer. The whole point of lifestyle design is: you are the architect of your life

Note: Liberation means something different to everyone. I would to hear your thoughts on what liberation means to you and what you’re doing to liberate your life.

photo by mckaysavage

Follow a proven framework to earning a living from your passion

My bestselling course on making your first $1k from your passion helped a community of over 2000 adventurers. You can be our next success story.

FIND OUT MORE

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Reply

112 Comments on "Liberate Your Life: Put Yourself on Auto-Response"

Notify of
avatar
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Glen Allsopp
Guest

This concept seems pretty rare and interesting. It’s not often I come across something unique in this space so thanks for sharing.

Submitted to StumbleUpon!

Cheers,
Glen

Tim Brownson
Guest

I love this quote “Putting yourself on auto-response means you stop thinking about it and you start doing. ” That is a great quote, I may even steal it ;-)

I would add that imho most people actually don’t know what the life of their dreams looks like. The weird thing is that most people don’t like admitting that they don’t know what it looks like because they think everybody else DOES know.

A minor gripe though because you’ve written a really good post there JM. Nice one!

Ken | Destiny Building
Guest

I think that having the courage to putt yourself on auto response when you don’t where to start *is* confidence. You don’t know how to find the right path, you simply know that you are going to find it.

Desika Nadadur | I Am My Own Master
Guest

Hi Jonathan,

Great article!

Thanks,
Desika

John Rocheleau - zen-moments
Guest

This is one of the most authentic and honest articles I have read in a long time.

I can’t say more than that. I don’t need to. You’ve said everything that needs to be said. We just need to put action behind it now.

I like your thoughts Jonathan. Really good stuff here.

Cheers,
John

Ari Koinuma
Guest
>I would rather be striving toward that ideal my entire life and never see it realized, then surrender to live searching for some false sense of security (and to merely survive). I wholeheartedly concur. The latter is not life. It’s living death. Jonathan, if I may suggest, though, I’d be interested in hearing more about how to develop the auto-response mechanism. I struggle with the very thing you’re describing here — too much time wondering what I and how I should do, instead of just doing. And I do get a lot of things done! But still too much time… Read more »
Max Bottaro
Guest
I like it. For me, I let the idea of doing what’s “right” for me or finding that “perfect career” stall my commitment. Sometimes just committing to something is more important than wasting time away trying to figure out what your good at and like- people like what they are good at, and they are good at it because they make a commitment. Do what you want to and stop being afraid. Stop running from success, most people know in their hearts what it takes and are really just too afraid to jump into the cold waters of commitment. They… Read more »
Alex Kay
Guest

This article finally made me make up my mind about something important in my life. Thanks! :-)

Carole Fogarty
Guest

Jonathan,

It’s a great article. For me personally I call it going with the flow. If something feels right I just do it, sometimes to many peoples shock horror. Whether I succeed or fail doesn’t matter. I’m living my truth from the heart.

Peace, love and chocolate

Carole

Evelyn Lim
Guest

I sure like how you ended the article off: “you are the architect of your life”. I’d say aye to taking action, instead of being gripped by fear!

Thanks for sharing,
Evelyn

Nathalie Lussier
Guest

Simply amazing Jonathan. I think internal harmony is one of the most overlooked solutions to our problems. Thank you for thoughts, it is always helpful to see how other people figure things out personally.

Hunter Nuttall
Guest

Are we allowed to say “great post” when we mean it, or is there still some stigma about that? Oh well, I’ll risk it: great post! It comes at a good time for me, as my job appears to be coming to an end. Are you involved with Project Liberation?

Lola Fayemi / Nourishment for your spiritual awakening
Guest

I agree the not knowing how is a HUGE blocker for most of us, however I wouldn’t write off lack of confidence. I love the part about harmonising heart and mind, your mind can work in service of your heart and when that awareness rises, the magic happens.

In love, light and abundance x x x

Avani-Mehta
Guest

Loved the post – it’s inspiring and practical at the same time.

Reminds me of a quote I had read sometime back. I don’t remember the quote verbatim but it spoke about –
By all means dream. The risk is not in aiming for the moon and not reaching it. The risk is in aiming for the stars and getting them.

Cedric
Admin

@Tim I really think most people do know what the life of their dreams would look like if they just took a moment to actually dream. Most people are so inundated with practicality that they’ve given up on dreaming.

@Ken There’s definite some amount of confidence that comes into play. I just wanted to point out that most people *really* do know they can do it, they just don’t know where to start.

@John I’m glad you liked it, as always, thanks for stopping by.

Cedric
Admin

@Ari Developing the auto-response is something that takes time. It’s like any practice, the more you do it, the greater you’ll become at it. It’s really just as simple as that. Building the habit daily of doing without over thinking. Some thinking is obviously is important to decision making. But that’s the point I wanted to make. Most people never make a decision because they’re perpetually trying to decide. That’s exactly what we don’t want.

Cedric
Admin

@Max I think it’s true what you said. People are more drawn to something if they were more skilled at it. And building that skill requires time and effort (and commitment). Well said.

Cedric
Admin

@Alex Glad you liked it.

@Carole Exactly, enough said.

@Nathalie I think that if we can figure the whole harmony thing out, we’ll have a lot less to worry about. It’s not about trying to fix what’s “out there.”

@Hunter Thanks for your feedback. I am involved in Project Liberation, but I can’t say at the moment in what way.

Cedric
Admin

@Lola I think confidence is a big factor as well. However, I would say that “not knowing” is one of the biggest reasons that causes people to have a lack of confidence. If you stop caring about not knowing, you’ll naturally become more confident. You start trusting that you’ll figure it out as you go along.

@Avani I love that quote, thanks for sharing it.

Monica
Guest

Hi Jonathan,
I really enjoyed this article and the care you took to describe your thoughts.
You said “having an unshakable commitment to pursuing only authentic endeavors”. We are currently seeing the fruition of an endeavor that has taken 4 years of commitment when everyone else has been a “doubter”. In hindsight, I would say the biggest transformation personally was forgetting the “how” and trusting the successful outcome as a certainty. As a person that has a major tendency to over analyze, forgetting the “how” was a nightmare to grasp in the beginning, but it IS true.

Tom Volkar / Delightful Work
Guest

Jonathan this is the best post I’ve read of yours in quite some time. It’s believable, I knew when reading it that you actually live it. It’s funny how all the things you say folks quit caring about – I don’t care about. That’s fantastic validation.

Most important is what you said about being in the game. Being in pursuit of your authentic liberation is essential for real living. Bravo!

Ali
Guest
This line really resonated with me “You want to disengage from the cubicle machine (somethings wrong with your cog), but you don’t want to be homeless.” — that’s exactly how I’ve been feeling for a while! I quit my job in tech support (my cog had been making a worrying click-click-click noise with every daily spin…), left just over a week ago, and am now freelancing as a writer/website creator. I think it is the best step I have ever taken. I finally did manage what Tim Brownson calls “shut the duck up” and what Jonathan calls “put yourself on… Read more »
Richard
Guest
You’ve got that right – not only is it sometimes hard to tell others what I do (my definition includes a lot of things that have yet to happen and may seem unrealistic to others) but sometimes I don’t fully understand what’s going on. On the other hand I always find a way through when I take the time to look at the situation and identify the problems (sometimes if you just state the problem clearly the solution is obvious). And by doing things this way I’ve found options I never even imagined that suddenly make wild dreams much more… Read more »
Katie
Guest
Wonderful post, thank you. This is exactly what I’ve been dealing with lately. I told my parents tonight that I’m moving soon, far away, and don’t have all the details in place yet. On the surface it may not seem like a big deal. I haven’t lived with them in years and see them a couple times a month. I was nervous about telling them though because it’s one of the first times I’ve done something this big in terms of changing a major direction of my life and didn’t consult them on it. In fact the only people I’ve… Read more »
Monica Ricci
Guest

Love this post! Especially the part about “stop caring about not knowing”. Veeeeery powerful stuff. :)
~Monica

Marc and Angel Hack Life
Guest

Simply wonderful… and well written. Dugg.

Lance
Guest

This is so well-written, and really does speak from a combined heart and mind. The part about not knowing stuck a chord – that’s what we hang onto. We don’t know, so we don’t do. Powerful.

sheila
Guest

These are great ideas and I would love to give them a try someday.

But what about those of us who don’t really love anything and have NO idea of what we should be doing?

Your method sounds great for those who know where they want to go, but how do you discover a direction?

Jamie Lee
Guest

New to your blog (linked over from Write To Done) and just popped your feed into my Google Reader. I have a feeling I’ll find much to enjoy and inspire here.

Mostly just wanted to thank you for taking the time to write such thoughtful and insightful posts – both the one I read at WTD and the one above. You’ve reminded me of my own passion for living without a template and given me a little nudge back onto my non-course…perhaps just in time.

So, thank you. I look forward to reading more.
Best.

Cedric
Admin

@Tom: Yes, I do live it. Everyday in fact. It can be tiring at times and sometimes I feel like giving up. But I’m determined.

@Ali: Something is definitely wrong with my cog. I think it might actually have it’s own will.

@Richard: I’ve really gotten to the point where I don’t care to tell other people what I do anymore. Sometimes I just want to answer “I live.”

Cedric
Admin
@Katie: When you look back, I think you’ll realize that it was one of the best decisions you made. Not because everything turned out exactly how you wanted it to, but because you followed your heart and trusted your gut. @Lance: Sometimes I’m not even sure I know that I don’t know. I’m opting out. Haha. @Sheila: If you don’t know, just try anything. Try lots of things. The most important thing is that you don’t care that you don’t know. You don’t care that you’re not sure if this is really what you love or not. You have to… Read more »
Duff
Guest
I agree that having a “I’ll figure it out” attitude is helpful. I wonder though how much one should just commit though before doing some of that figuring out. Everyone seems to have a different orientation to the pre-action figuring out–some spend a lot of time planning, some are more impulsive. Business books usually recommend “ready, fire, aim”, but with projects where the price of change is high (and this could mean emotionally too, e.g. marriage), it’s better to do more planning and thinking up front. However analysis paralysis is common, especially amongst mental types. At times I have jumped,… Read more »
Seamus Anthony
Guest

Fantastic blog and post. Here’s an article about making the decision about achieving your dreams. Hopefully it helps somebody out there somewhere! http://tinyurl.com/curlyslaw

trackback

[…] Put yourself on auto-response. In this article, I talk about how the practical mind will often get in the way of our heart and our true desires. […]

Marinka: Netherlands
Guest

Hello Jonathan,

Just wanted to stop by to let you know theat i really enjoy reading your articles. Good job and you’ve got fans in Holland to now. ;)

torbjorn rive
Guest
Well written, Jon. And thanks for the email and blog visit the other day. About your post; it’s almost ‘easier said than done’, but the simplicity of drive (as you say) should keep dreams from staying as mere dreams. I’m one of those that often states that I want to start my own consulting company. Soon. I need more necessary steps in place, like security, a larger network, and experience. But the steps to get there, in the meantime, should not be neglected. I can start writing business plans, get my word out there, get choice experience (already all over… Read more »
Luke
Guest

Hi there,

I got around to reading this and I am glad I did. Well written. The cult of productivity is a big thing and I think with everyone looking for a shortcut… you wind up with surface level nonsense to deep level problems.

Good on you for writing this… it’s an excellent post.

trackback

[…] Make a commitment and just do it! – “Putting yourself on auto-response means silencing your practical mind, in the face of the seemingly unpractical and ridiculous ideas.  Faced with liberating your life, instead of thinking “I don’t know where to start,” your auto-response becomes “I’ll figure it out.” – via Illuminated Mind […]

jrandom42
Guest
“Their is a common myth pervading the lifestyle design space that says: “The number one reason people don’t accomplish their dreams is because of a lack of courage and a shortage of self-confidence.” In short, the myth claims that people would follow their dreams, but they just don’t have the guts and self-trust to do so. I, personally, think this is wrong. People don’t need more courage, confidence, or trust in their ideas. They know, deep down, that they can do it. They just don’t know how.” Wrong. According to my wife, the reason she couldn’t accomplish any of her… Read more »
trackback

[…] 3. Put yourself on auto-response. […]

trackback

[…] I think the main reason for this simply that I want to be in control of my time and want to work toward my own goals, not someone elses. I want to own my […]

trackback

[…] you’re trying to liberate your life, you need a plan. But you don’t need to sacrifice your sanity. Remember: You work your plan, […]

wmeyers
Guest

I can only say “Wow!”. That such a simple thing can have such a profound impact. I started applying this yesterday and I’m already noticing a huge improvement in my thinking!

trackback

[…] Change your auto-response. When you want to do something, don’t think about it, just do it. Many of our opportunities […]

trackback

[…] Change your auto-response. When you want to do something, don’t think about it, just do it. Many of our opportunities […]

trackback

[…] Change your auto-response. When you want to do something, don’t think about it, just do it. Many of our opportunities in […]

trackback

[…] Change your auto-response. When you want to do something, don’t think about it, just do it. Many of our opportunities […]

Laura
Guest

Oh goodness, I stumbled upon your site from your guest post at ZenHabits and this entire post was like you were reading my mind. My jaw literally dropped. I will be adding your blog to my daily reads. Thank you so much for putting out there the words that I couldn’t seem to come up with for myself. Here’s to self-liberation!

Adrian
Guest

Hi, Jonathan. This article resonates with me both as a person looking to liberate my life, as well as a researcher into personal productivity.

I’ll be adding this to my feed and research. Wonderful!

trackback

[…] Change your auto-response. When you want to do something, don’t think about it, just do it. Many of our opportunities in […]

wpDiscuz

Previous post:

Next post: