Do you remember when you were a kid and you wanted to find a map that showed you where the pirates had hidden buried treasure? You were ready to follow the pirate’s code – and the map – to find the X and start digging.
Growing up, my two younger brothers and I loved making treasure maps and hiding things for each other to find. As a child, I never questioned finding that “buried treasure”. I just remember looking forward to finding it (or hiding it). And I think that’s because as children, there’s possibility in everything. As a child, you don’t overthink things. As a child, life is a game just like that treasure hunt and you’re so filled with excitement and wonder. As we grow older, and what I’ve noticed in myself, is how we lose our ability to trust – to genuinely call up excitement and wonder. And so rather than search for the buried treasure in our lives – rather than believe there is buried treasure to be found – we’re fearful, less than optimistic and lack the faith to start looking for the X.
Last week I came across an interview with Tony Robbins on how to breakthrough and rewire your mind. The whole interview is oozing with inspiration (and you can watch it HERE) but the biggest takeaway for me was this concept of buried treasure. In the interview, Robbins recounts a story about a man named Mel Fisher who for 17 years searched for an undersea buried treasure, finally discovering over 400 million dollars’ worth of gold and silver bullion. I was so floored by the fact that someone would keep going for something they believed in for 17 years, or that they could believe in something that strongly for so long, that I started to research more on this man. Turns out he lost his son and his son’s wife during one of their ventures and experienced trial after tribulation over the 17 years; but through it all, he never lost sight of his treasure or the fact that he would find it. When one of Mel’s crew members was asked why he stayed on the venture for so long, he replied that Mel had the ability to get everyone excited. Mel would tell them, “Today’s the day!” and at the end of the day, “Tomorrow’s the day!” Day after day, Mel’s unwavering faith allowed him to put himself into a state of excitement and to incite that feeling in his crew. Mel didn’t just hold the map, he became the key. He believed in his vision and that he would find his buried treasure.
17 years is a long time and I don’t know about you, but after a couple times of things not going how I’d like them to go, I’m often ready to throw in the towel and find another map. In order to develop the fortitude, strength, willpower, courage, tenacity and persistence (among other necessary virtues) we need to stay in the long haul – in order to achieve our goals and find the buried treasure – in order to fully invest in the process and the outcome – we’ve got to have faith and three core beliefs need to be in place:
- You must believe there is treasure
In other words, you must believe that the thing you want to have exists. It can be a financial reward, a fitness goal or a desired relationship – but you must believe in its existence and you must want it enough to look for it until you find it. Bottom line: if you don’t believe it’s there, you won’t find it.
- You must believe you will find the treasure
It’s the laser-focus clarity of an outcome that brings the outcome. Notice this isn’t, “I will try to find it.” Trying is poisonous to persistence, eventually leading to the death of a dream. Trying lets us off the hook because all you’re committing to is an attempt, maybe multiple attempts at best, but you’re still giving yourself a loophole. Believing you’ll find it is essential but also doesn’t exclude you from experiencing failures and setbacks. It’s part of the deal and the struggle is evidence of the process. Remind yourself often that you will find it. Call up the same excitement you had on day 1, on day 27. And, back it with evidence of your own, reminding yourself how you’ve succeeded before or how someone else has done what it is you want to do. In the end, if Mel had only committed to “trying,” how many days would he have continued before giving up?
- You must believe the treasure is worth the investment
When you see things as an investment, rather than an instantaneous return, you are willing to invest in doing the work that’s needed. 400 million is enough to make most people get out of bed. Make sure your targets are enough to get YOU out of bed.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been meeting a lot of resistance – mostly self-imposed. I’ve let my mind run rampant with fear around teaching new formats. I’ve let anxiety have a strong hold when class numbers don’t meet expectations. Even with all the good and amazing things that are happening around me and for me, I find myself unsure, worried I’m still not enough and lacking faith. Hearing the story about Mel’s buried treasure had me realize something: there’s buried treasure in every situation. There’s buried treasure in every challenge, setback and difficulty. But, it’s not enough to know that. I have to believe it. I have to believe my buried treasure is there, that I’ll find it and that I have what it takes to make it every step of the way.
We don’t get what we want. We get what we tolerate. I’m realizing that if I continue to tolerate my fears and doubts, that’s what I put my faith in and that’s what will grow. In order to find my buried treasure, I have to put my faith in the buried treasure and in myself. Building that unwavering faith begins by understanding that the struggle, the resistance I’m meeting in my new ventures, is part of my investment. It’s part of the process. The struggle doesn’t mean I’m not good enough and it’s not evidence I can’t have what I want. It’s evidence that I need to trust. It’s the reminder to look back at other times I’ve been in similar situations – how 4 years ago I started teaching intenSati at Athleta and I built my tribe from the ground up, or how a year later I began all over again when I transplanted my community to Weston Fitness. When I can look back and see that I’ve done hard things before, I’m better able to trust. And it’s when I start to trust that I get to breakthrough and ultimately dig up my buried treasure.
So, what’s your buried treasure? And, more importantly, what’s the story you tell yourself every day that holds you back from achieving the success you want or believe you deserve? What’s the “thing” you’re tolerating that’s running the daily show for you? This week, start to trust a little more that your buried treasure is awaiting your arrival.
Today’s the day!