For my 18th birthday, I didn’t get a new car, I didn’t get a nice holiday somewhere sunny, I didn’t even get new clothes. For my 18th birthday, I got a ticket to Kurek Ashley’s 3 Day motivational seminar. I was pissed. Not only did I not get what I thought I wanted but I was also about to lose out on a whole weekend away from my friends as the seminar went from 9am to 9pm, Friday through Sunday. Little did I know, this weekend was going to become the root of my life to come.
Day 1. It’s 9am on a Friday; I’m not too upset because I got to miss school for this. There are about 1000 people at this event. Kurek Ashley comes out and makes us all get up on our feet and literally skip around the conference room. Get. Me. Out.
He then went on to talk about the workings of our mind and how throughout our lives we have conditioned our beliefs and categorized certain things into the ‘possible’ and ‘impossible’ columns. I was listening.
Day 2. It’s 9am on a Saturday; Kurek comes out and makes us hug and chat to the stranger sitting next to us. Oh. Lord. I’m not a morning person to put it lightly, I strongly second Zooey Deschanel’s quote: “in an ideal World no one would talk before 10am, people would just hug because waking up is really hard”.
He was trying to break our resistance and change our comfort patterns to be able to adapt to new situations with ease. If you’re going to be more successful than you are now, you will have to do things that you are uncomfortable with. So if you are less resistant to change, your success flow will be smoother.
Day 3. 9am Sunday, the final build up to the breaking of all barriers. Tonight, I would be walking on fire! The purpose of the three days was to prepare the mind for what it thought was impossible: the ability to walk on fire without getting burnt. The lesson was, if you can do this, you can do anything; nothing is impossible.
The time comes. Kurek stands us all in a line, chanting “Yes!” repeatedly, walking towards the strip of burning coal, about three or four meters in length. When I got to the fire and it was my turn to walk, I had to look Kurek in the eye for about 5 seconds with both of us yelling, “YES! YES! YES!” at each other, making the ‘yes’ motion with our arm and clenched fist until his eyes said ‘you’re ready, go’. And I went.
I didn’t tip toe, I didn’t run, I didn’t make a sound. I walked across briskly with my entire foot gripping the coal at every step. It was surreal. I didn’t feel a thing. I had so much adrenaline running through my body, from the weekend, the chanting and Kurek’s eyes, I felt invincible! When I got to the other side, I checked my feet for blisters or marks: nothing. I started running up to strangers, embracing them whole-heartedly, giving airborne high fives. We had all just shared the most profound experience; I no longer cared about social norms or being appropriate. I was living for me now!
Monday morning, I went to school with barely any sleep, but I was alive! I was so contented, I felt like I knew something that not even the teachers knew; I felt like I got life.
I learnt that the only truth that exists is the one our mind believes and that I have the power to change what it believes. Whatever rules we set for ourselves in our mind, those are the ones it will follow and our life will abide by.
From that blissful Sunday, my goal was to live the happiest life I could, to go for whatever I wanted, and to show people that they could do the same.
It’s all in the mind.