I have a mantra that I repeat to myself as often as possible.
It's designed to keep me in the right state of mind to not only be as productive and effective as possible, but to be at total peace while doing it.
It goes, "Siddhartha on the inside, Alexander on the outside."
Siddhartha is the first name of the historical Buddha. The man who reached a state of unshakable inner peace, free of attachment and desire, through stillness and meditation.
And Alexander is the greatest conqueror in all of recorded history. His accomplishments are staggering, especially when you consider how young he was when he died. He ruled a massive chunk of the world, and to this day, there are still structures marking his rule scattered throughout the world.
To top it off, the man is literally known as, "The Great."
Two great men in their own right. But they sound like polar opposites. Striving for two different ideals, and viewing the world through completely different lenses.
The Buddha had enlightenment and inner peace. He was completely free from desire, which means he was free from suffering. And since he desired nothing, he didn't strive to achieve anything.
Alexander went the other way. He had desires. He had an ego. And he set out to achieve greatness. He wanted to be remembered as the greatest conqueror to ever live.
Buddha and Alexander Walk Into a Gym
First of all, what gym is that? Because that's the gym I want to be at.
Second, these two men and their ideals may seem like opposites. But they're really just two sides of the perfect coin.
When you take these two ideas and marry them together, you create the ideal state. A state that's worth spending your lifetime pursuing.
This is the state where you achieve your greatest accomplishments. You have a clear vision for your future, and you overcome your own laziness and fears to achieve it.
It's also the state where you aren't crippled by the outcome. You aren't afraid of failing, because you accept any and all outcomes. Accepting all outcomes means you're able to stay calm, cool, and anchored in the present moment.
This is the great paradox.
By not worrying about the outcomes, you're able to remain present, and focused on whatever you're doing. And by remaining present, you create the best possible outcomes.
Who'd a thunk it?
Now, let's make all this practical.
Ruling Your Two Kingdoms
You rule two kingdoms, whether you realize it or not.
Siddhartha represents the ideal way to rule your internal Kingdom, and Alexander shows us how to rule your External Kingdom.
Let's break it down.
Ruling Your Inner Kingdom
You want to rule your internal kingdom like Siddhartha.
Which means you focus on two things:
The present moment is where you find peace. It's also where you do your best work, free of distraction or wasted energy.
And by letting go of attachment to a certain outcome, you free your mind up to focus on the task at hand.
As Bruce Lee says, "By eliminating your fear of dying, you're liberated from death."
So if you can find it in your heart to let go of your attachment of a certain outcome, you're completely free to do your best work without fear getting in the way.
This leads to inner peace, presence, and your best possible results.
How to achieve this?
Practice meditation. Practice focusing on your breath. Practice staying present. All day. Every day.
When you notice you're worrying about achieving a certain outcome, remind yourself to let go of that attachment, and get present with whatever it is you're doing right now.
Easier said than done?
Hell yeah, it is. And that's why this is a lifelong pursuit, and one worth pursuing.
Ruling Your Outer Kingdom
Rule your outer kingdom like Alexander.
Focused on a mission, and poised to get closer to it every day.
Only your mission isn't conquering the world (I mean, it could be, but let's say it's not).
Your mission is conquering yourself. By overcoming your own destructive patterns, habits, fears, and mental resistance, you become the greatest possible version of yourself.
You do this by choosing progress over comfort. And long-term satisfaction over short-term pleasure.
When you face a decision...
...go to the gym or stay on the couch
...pizza or grilled steak
...get up early to meditate or hit snooze...
...you choose the one that will move you towards your mission. NOT the one that provides a little short term pleasure.
You rule this kingdom with the intention of becoming more..becoming better... every single day.
Peace, Presence, and Domination
Peace is found in the present moment. And the present moment is where you flow, and do your greatest work.
While satisfaction, meaning, and fulfillment are found in the pursuit of your greatest self. Orienting yourself towards this goal is crucial.
So stay present, let go of the outcome, and always choose actions that produce long-term progress over short-term pleasure.
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