Try Not to Have a Plan B: You Should be All in With Alan A
For many years I’ve been exploring the choices of people I find fascinating: friends I know well, people I’ve met serendipitously, and special family members with whom I crave a deeper connection. With each person’s choice and the safety and trust of our connection, I enjoy deep and curious inquiry, allowing my questioning to go wherever I trust we’ll get the richest information.
Exploring the depth and nuance of other people’s choices is an incredibly rich and satisfying experience as I’m let into an otherwise unaccessed world that exists under the surface of our everyday experiences. In our deep connection time, I mine for thoughts and insights often forgotten or disregarded. I listen for golden nuggets of wisdom and let my intuition guide my questions to unearth more. Some are thoughts that have never been shared, thoughts that once voiced, allow for new connections and insights to be made.
What is Choice Mapping and how is it helpful?
Choice Mapping is the tool I use to visually represent a choice, replete with branches representing each person, opportunity, thought or experience that presents itself because of a choice you made or will make. After our deep-dive exploration I sit in a place of faith and trust that with my intuitive brain and mapping software I’ll make sense of the complexity of their words and extract their nuggets. In a clean map, branches extend on the map sharing a new perspective with which to look at a past choice.
To date, I’ve created over 100 maps of those I know personally and over 150 of my own for choices I’ve made and am making. After reading Mastin Kipp’s Daily Love: Growing into Grace, the story of his hero’s journey, I felt a strong knowing that I was meant to capture and document the choices and crossroads he navigated and all that eventually unfolded in a map. His map is unique to the others I created in that he and I never spoke, and all that I gleaned is from words and stories he shared in his book. It was a fun, though laborious experience to create his map and one that I envision sharing with him personally.
My Gifts of Interest
With those I speak with in person, I use my gifts of interest and curiosity to delve into their details of their choices. With Mastin, I allowed the words on his book’s pages to guide my inquiry. I delved into his story and observed nuggets of his wisdom coaxing me to capture them. Many nuggets felt like universal lessons that stretched far beyond the choice he shared. As I turned the pages, I could visualize the branches of his map growing in many directions forming a structure that would allow him to view his life, and the choices he’d made, with new eyes, from a fresh perspective.
Daily Love is the story of one man turning his life around and sharing the lessons he learned along the way. His journey from crisis to grace is an inspiration and opportunity to bare witness to Mastin’s intimate, moving and magical journey through his dark night of the soul. It’s the story of an underdog who grew to see his dreams come true and who continues to dream into the unknown.
His Story of Personal Growth
In his authentic voice, he lays bare his truth, drops his armor and invites us to hear his whisper that lays within. Through his stories and lessons he guides us to find greater meaning, purpose and passion in our lives.
He fearlessly shares his story of personal growth and emerges as a leader for a younger generation, with the goal of inspiring his reader to take more risks. Believing his book will inspire a new generation of thought leaders, he hopes to push them to be tomorrow’s conscious change-makers.
As a self-described geek, drug addict and college dropout, he’s the well-journeyed traveler who guides us through the uncertainty that lies ahead. He’s broken hearts, lied, been an asshole, gambled and stolen money. Moreover, he doesn’t have a fancy degree and is rough around the edges. With his many life scars he sits with a fierce belief about what is possible for each of us, and an unwavering certainty that the best is yet to come.
From an early age, his parents respected him to make up his own mind. His dad gave him a sense of faith in something larger than himself. Moreover, his mom shared that his prognosis didn’t have to be his diagnosis. And he could do anything he set his mind to. Nevertheless, he took a journey to the dark side.
Discrimination because of religion or belief
At 13, feeling judged and unloved in school, he left Christianity and turned away from all things religious and spiritual, looking for God in all the wrong places. While diving into metal music, he found God in the lyrics, and travelled the country listening to music. He met a band manager who offered him an internship, and although he had no plans to move to LA, he told the manager he did. This single choice and moment of opportunity changed his life.
His first mentor inspired him with how he lived life, and how he could manifest anything. Modeling Paul, Mastin soaked in everything he taught. He dreamt of being powerful and influential, and judged those from his past “Kansas” self. He focused on getting the job done, learned to make his client’s desires come to life. And removed “no” from his vocabulary.
Financial Toll of Drugs & Addiction
Looking for adventure, he got sucked into the Hollywood life. He fell into drugs and found himself with a lethal addiction. So that brought out his worst side, developing an arrogant addict’s voice and thinking he was invincible.
“How can I feel good about myself so I can get stuff done without taking drugs?” he questioned.
After getting fired, having a dark moment of despair and letting himself drown in the shame of his failure. He had a moment of grace feeling the presence of his intuition urging him to get sober.
An integral part of himself
“Why,” he asked God, “did you show me the greatness of Hollywood and then take it all away?”
After losing himself, giving away his power and sinking into darkness. He emerged wiser and chose to start showing up for his life. Finding himself in real crisis and feeling great uncertainty, he chose to turn his gaze within instead of continuing to use drugs. Pop culture and other stimulants to soothe his pain. Refusing to look away, he spoke his truth and put voice to his shadows. Acknowledging he was a long-term project who’s constantly growing, learning and expanding. He realized at last that he had nowhere else to go. It was time to face and recognize his inner demons as an integral part of himself.
Having walked the path from crisis to grace, he realized grace will find a way in. And arrive the moment he decides to let go of what he can’t control. Focus on what he can, and let something greater take over. Having a spiritual connection helped him to better navigate his life. So the cycle from crisis to grace would be less bumpy. This universal truth came to him, and is available to each of us.
He did not start out wise — he spent years being rude, arrogant, self-righteous, impatient and stressed out. Moreover, he shares stories of his bad judgment with the hope of making our path to wisdom shorter and less painful.
Service & Contribution
“Power flows to those who serve, and service and contribution is everything.” With the voice of Tony Robbins ringing in his ear, Mastin chose to make his driving need contribution rather than personal significance. By making being of service and being loving his primary focus, he trusted his perspective and life would change. He shifted his personal inquiry from “What can I take?” to “What can I give?” and chose to follow the lead of the answer to his newest question: “How can I serve others at the highest level possible?”
He committed to daily writing of The Daily Love, his blog, and observed that the more he serves and adds value to other people’s lives, the better his own life feels. Oprah, his role model, embodies the principle of putting contribution to the world as your key priority. His main lesson: when you add value to other people’s lives, cool things happen.
While focusing on his daily writing, and focusing on contribution and service, one of Oprah’s employees, a loyal reader, reached out affording him the opportunity to appear on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday.
Uncertainty & Fear
Tony Robbins shared impactful words: The quality of your life is the quality of your relationship to uncertainty. Mastin became friends with uncertainty and took more action, knowing he needed to push consistently into uncertainty if his life was going to change. He set the intention to do things that scared him. Journeying into the deep unknown is one of the hardest things we can ever choose to do and it takes a certain kind of person to leave the confines of their comfortable life and venture into the unknown.
He became a person of massive action knowing that personal growth without action is just spiritual entertainment. He trusted his intuition, and didn’t wait for answers to take action.
Fear is the response to the uncertainty which is always present. Fear, when harnessed, is a compass showing you where to go, allowing you to be discerning. We must become comfortable with fear in order to make better choices. Fear is the necessary precursor to change and everything we want and need can be found in the unknown territory of fear and uncertainty. Mastin uses fear as his fuel, allowing it to propel him to take action that he might otherwise retreat from. It becomes his daily practice.
Why there’s no reason to have a Plan B?
He shares a key wisdom nugget that its better not to have a Plan B because it distracts from Plan A. It’s time to make a choice with an uncertain outcome and leap into the unknown. Avoiding uncertainty is a comfortable path for many because it brings us back to the familiar and well-trod story of our past. Because they’re comfortable, we repeat familiar behaviors even though they no longer serve us. Instead of looking back, we better serve ourselves and others by asking “what do I want to create, and why? How can I serve others with this creation? Asking these questions creates forward momentum. Moreover, it shifts the focus away from the victim of “why did this happen to me?” To the actor of “what am I learning?”
Here are some of Mastin’s Wisdom Nuggets:
- Personal growth isn’t about fixing ourselves but about changing our patterns.
- We can’t get rid of uncertainty but change our pattern in how we relate to it.
- “Where does good judgment come from?” to which the teacher responds, “experience.” The student then asks the teacher, “well, where does experience come from?” to which his wise teacher responds “bad judgment.”
- Wisdom is learned through having the courage to attempt things and then learn from your mistakes.
- Your prognosis doesn’t have to be your diagnosis. The outcome of your life doesn’t have to be what the experts tell you it’s going to be.
- When you add value to other people’s lives, cool things happen.
- When you’re open to life and not attached to how your blessings will show up, you’re led to exactly what you need.
- A self-ish person fills themselves up so they can serve others in greater and greater ways. It means being in your power, being fully yourself.
- Forgiveness resides in the heart, and isn’t something you do on behalf of the person you want to forgive. Forgiveness is about taking our power back from others — it’s a selfish thing to do.
- The only forgiveness that’s needed in order for us to move forward is our own.
- Big outcomes are the accumulation of many small outcomes. Life is all about the small wins. It’s all about the little steps being taken every day.
- We cannot look to our mentors as our source of power. Instead we must look where they’re looking and find our own answers.
- Accepting our humanness means feeling the feelings we don’t want to feel and being terrified and moving forward anyway.