A Principled Rise to Greatness
By Chance Lunceford
@thebornknowitall - Instagram
@LogoCentrifuge - Twitter
2017 was a shit year for me, psychologically speaking, and nearly destroyed me.
2018 was one of the best years in my life. Maybe the best.
What was the difference?
That’s what this piece is all about. The core principles I lived by to create a great year immediately following a dreadful one.
1. Drastic cleaning is required for a thoroughly tarnished soul.
January 1, 2018 I fasted for seven days.
It was a psychedelic spiritual trip by day four.
I had four days of total freedom from the hunger reflex. It amazed me how much energy, both mental and physical, is spent on hunger and digestion.
In a state free from hunger, I was granted a startlingly clear perspective, and my thoughts were mellow and sparse. I felt similar to how I’ve felt after a hard hour’s yoga or after a long meditation.
For four days.
I highly recommend you go at least five days.
I’m going to do it again January 1, 2019.
That’s because I need a clear perspective; the velocity of my pursuing excellence is about to go zoom.
2. If something is killing you, remove it from your life.
I started a new job in February.
For about half the pay.
The job I was in before was not for me. I got to the point that I was hating every minute of my time working, and dreading every minute until my return.
It was crushing my soul, and taking a psychological toll.
I was having suicidal thought pop in my head, often, and of an intensity I hadn’t felt since I’d been all smashed up on all the drugs and booze I could manage to consume.
So, I decided after my fast that I needed a new job, and within a couple weeks I had one with a company I felt a good sense of opportunity with.
So far, so good.
3. Shut the fuck up and listen when those above you speak.
I always have something to say. That tends to piss people off.
Mostly I don’t give a shit, because I know and they know that everything is going to be alright.
Plus, it’s about 70/30 smartass jokes with a point, and useful, sometimes even profound and often actionable advice for the target of my lip flapping.
But, if someone who knows more about something I need to know about is speaking, I shut my stupid yapper and pay borderline creepy attention to the conversation. I only interject if I’m feeling, say, 8/10 sure that what I’m going to say is useful.
I’ve learned a lot about the inner workings of a big money business by doing this, and I’ve been rewarded with mentorship and participation in important decisions and projects.
4. Boldly pronounce your intentions for the top… to the right people.
I’ve always had a strong drive to be the best at the things that I do, especially if I’m actually around other people. It has a lot to do with coping strategies for being a weirdo, but it’s also served me quite well in developing a lot of useful skills.
I also tend, as previously noted, to go ahead and just say whatever is on my mind.
When I’ve mentioned that I intend to rule the company, which I always intend, to the wrong kind of people they begin to work against me.
When I’ve mentioned it to the right people, they’ve offered me challenges, mentorship and opportunities for growth and advancement.
I’ve learned the difference too.
Want to know?
Simple. Two things:
1- Don’t announce your ambitions to serfs or cruel overseers. They don’t believe in one’s ability to rise, or will fight against it. People on the bottom expect you to stay there with them. Never mind that. Be kind to them, and always help them get shit done. Then you’ll have the serfs behind you, and that is the foundation of power.
2- Do announce your intentions to the workaholics. They understand the drive to rise, and usually they do, so you can learn a lot by making yourself useful to the most useful. When you deal with a workaholic, stay 90% focused on the business and the status of the tasks at hand, the other 10% is for your “great” ideas and for personal interactions.I’d suggest sticking with jokes, but then, I always do.
5. Understand and utilize your cycles of engagement.
It’s not all GO GO GO at a goal without taking moments to step back and reorient based upon changing conditions.
I’ve struggled with this.
Quite a bit.
I tend to hyper-focus in on one thing, and get angry at distractions until I get there or pass out. You can imagine that’s not always worked out super great for me. One major thing in my life has forced me to really confront this one.
Having three kids.
I work a ton, and I fulfill a lot more responsibilities besides, so there’s precious little non-scheduled time. So, I’ve had to learn to roll with the punches on dealing with interruptions and returning to the task.
I can say I’ve gotten a lot better, but I can also say I’ve got a helluva long way to go.
Still, the progress I have made has allowed me to take on a great number of extra projects and to be able to cycle between them based on assigning priority codes to the tasks. So, I’m pretty sure this is a worthwhile endeavor.
6. Automate productivity.
I got a smartphone for the first time this year.
I’ve used it to keep track of tasks, schedules, and to automate many tasks.
I record all my calls and log all my texts into a spreadsheet, all done automatically, so that I can have a record of all the important information I need to remember.
I’m just getting started with technological automation, but it is delivering results quickly and easily.
Do a little research on an executive type blog and you’ll find plenty to get started.
7. If you listen, they will come.
I’ve found myself in a lot of odd conversations over the years.
Because I’m not here to judge your character on anything but you’re actions, and even then, I’m humbled enough by my own mistakes to want to support you in converting yours to lessons.
I’ve recently applied this same logic to my business interactions, and have quickly become the guy that everyone vents to.
This is peculiar, because I’m so emotionally detached by way of Asperger’s, but I follow patterns that yield results.
This pattern is a winner.
I’ve been made privy to much of the behind the scenes workings of my company, have made valuable alliances with big movers, and have been given the opportunity to solve more than one significant problem by making myself available to vent to.
I don’t care for complaining whatsoever, but I try to treat these situations like a story problem.
I just shovel all the bullshit off my plate and set to work digesting the meat.
8. Be of service to everyone, every time, everywhere you go.
My dad always says, “Leave things better than when you got there.”
This is a deeper exploration of what that means.
I started as a shop-boy in February.
I cleaned and organized the shop in a way that had never been done. I labelled and considered workflow and convenience. I swept and stacked and consolidated.
I was then given the fleet-manager position.
I organized, and streamlined the processes.
I was then given the safety-manager position in addition to the fleet-manager one. My instructions were, “We need a safety program, good luck.” So far, so good.
I have this much trust placed on my because every project I touch gets done right.
Moral of the story?
See a problem, solve a problem, level up.
9. Don’t be afraid of your greatness.
I’ve known my whole life that I have a unique perspective and uncommon abilities.
I let the haters convince me otherwise. I believed in the lies that their hate spawned, and wrote them into my story. This had catastrophic results.
In order to pull myself from this pit, I jumped in to nutrition, athleticism, supplementation and becoming a motherfucker of a hard worker.
2018 was the first year my hard work and momentum crossed over the line from compensating for my past to building my future.
I’ve had the opportunity to work with some great mentors, and good men, the master of this domain among them, and I’ve discovered the areas of expertise that I possess that much of the world has not.
I’m done being afraid to show myself to the world. I’m ready to shine a light on who I’ve become, and to teach how I thought and what I did to do it.
In that light, here’s some news:
1) January 1, 2019 I will be launching The Born Know It All website and podcast.
2) By the end of 2019, I will have published in both digital and print form, Uncommonly Capable. This is a book of the tools I used to go from scoundrel to champion compiled, explained and actionable in concise form.
You won’t want to sleep on any of it.
10. If you want to survive, you’re gonna need to learn to kill.
Hopefully not, but if they cross any of the sacred lines, then you gotta do what you gotta do, but that’s not what I’m talking about here.
I’m talking about killing the parts of you, no matter how familiar or seemingly foundational they are, that are not serving you well, and may even be destroying you.
Do you struggle to exercise? Do you have a hard time dragging you lazy ass out of bed in the morning? Have you intended to start writing, but you just don’t have the time for it? Are there bills piling up, and you just don’t seem to be able to sit down and plan out your finances?
These are all lies that you’ve told yourself so often that they seem like unavoidable truths.
They are not.
Any behavior is programmable. Any program can be deleted.
You just have to be willing to be honest about yourself, to believe that you can change, research how and work your ass off to make it happen.
Murder the parts of you that are holding you back. Make your weaknesses bite the curb, and then stomp those bastards until you can see their eyes from the back of their head.
Be ruthless, and cunning, and tireless in your pursuit of your own weaknesses. Be violent, and extreme, and relentless in your routing them out and ending their hold on your life.
Then replace them with the habits of your heroes.
Then you’ll be one.
If you enjoyed this, go read Chance’s previous work: The Path is Always Waiting