The Grand Assertion

“First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.” Epictetus

We generally are where we are and who we are in life as the result of circumstance. It’s usually not the circumstance themselves that are the cause of our condition—it’s the choices we’ve made and the actions we’ve taken or not taken within the context of those circumstances that have created the “reality in which we live.”download (4)

I’m not casting blame, nor am I ignoring the fact there are incredible challenges, disadvantages, hardships, and even cruelty in the world. Some of the conditions and situations people of the world have had to endure exceed my capacity to imagine or perhaps even cope. But for most of us, living in relative safety, freedom, and within the confines of civilized societies, there’s more than simply “hope”, there’s the opportunity to create the life we can imagine.

But How?

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Every extremely “successful” person I have ever met, asked, or interviewed about their lives and success shares a common event or characteristic. Notice I didn’t say “most”, I said every—without a doubt, with no exception. Some people carried it around consciously; others uncovered it in our conversation but the event or characteristic was there.

What was it?

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Every person had “their” story, their moment. There was an instant of recognition or reckoning where they simply realized or declared who they would be, what they would accept, or what they would no longer live with that put them on their path to personal or financial success. How each person I spoke with defined “success” varied pretty widely—they kept score uniquely and many played a “different game” altogether regarding their measure of achievement, accomplishment, or even happiness. Still there was a clearly conscious and articulated decision and distinction that made “all the difference” to them and their lives. Some had hit rock bottom. Some simply raised their eyes to look to the proverbial sky of what was possible but not yet a reality in their lives. Some said, “never again”, others proclaimed, “from now own I always will”. But there was that moment of recognition, reckoning, realization, or declaration.

Some referred to it as a moment of truth; others described it as an awakening or a simple recognition of possibility. Still others referred to it as a vow or a solemn commitment. I describe it simply as…

“The Grand Assertion”

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It’s greater than a goal…

It is a defining moment where we consciously, purposefully, and resolutely choose who we truly are, what we will do, what we will have, give, and become.

There’s a great distance between a want, a wish, a goal, and a commitment. The “grand assertion” is different than a desire or a dream; it’s an affirmation of and to ourselves and the world. It’s unwavering and absolutely authentic to each individual. Certainly the grand assertions of others can serves as guideposts, inspiration, and even models for others. But as stated in one of my favorite quotes…

“Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Seek what they sought.” Basho

Seek what they have sought but find or create your own defining moment to declare who you are, what you do, what you will have, give, and become. Most of the people I spoke with or interviewed had the moment thrust upon them in that “something happened” that caused the shift. You don’t have to wait for the blinding bolt of realization to strike you; you can simple decide in this moment—right now, who and what you vow to be or become, what you will accept, change, do, or create in your life.

But there’s more…

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The Grand Assertion is a formula of more than the just realization or the declaration. In every example of the people I asked or interviewed their life-altering moment was followed by an instantaneous action. Each had taken a step toward making transforming their thought into reality, transcending the present moment and beginning their new future of their conscious creation. Some wrote a proclamation and shared it with their friends and family. A few created a set of daily activities that soon became rituals of action and behaviors. Others made sweeping life and career changes on the spot. But all acted swiftly and decisively to action on, engage, and truly embrace their Grand Assertion.

I invite, encourage, implore you to…

Declare your Grand Assertion to the world and begin taking action in earnest.

I just have!

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Tags: Spike Humer, Change, Goals, Decisions, Motivation, Success, Achievement, Mentors, Learning, Self-growth, Leadership

by on Mar.30, 2010, under Spike Humer

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12 Comments for this entry

  • Joel Bomane

    We’re on the same page!
    The Grand Assertation is an Awakening indeed!
    For *Epitectus we are reponsible for our own actions,
    and should make use of self discipline while caring for others.
    My Grand Assertation is on the office wall for my eyes to see every morning…
    in the center in bold letters is the word >…
    What about you?
    Please! Don’t wait! Follow Spike advice.
    *Free yourself NOW and declare your Grand Assertion:-)
    In doing so remember my friend=>
    Fulfilment/Happiness/Well Being is NOT about Income or promotion…
    Happiness goes deeper =>
    right into the GOLD found in:
    “Interpersonal relationships.”
    So let us look for balance between material growth
    and interpersonal relationships in our Grand Assertion.
    Thanks again Spike for sharing.
    Joel Bomane
    P.S: *Epitectus probably born a slave…was able to teach
    not a theory but a way of life.

  • spike

    thanks buddy. I appreciate you sharing. Best, spike

  • Mike McRitchie

    Great blog post, Spike!
    I too had one of those moments. I had been just coasting along in my career and felt like I was on a dead end track. I wasn’t doing anything to really improve my life.
    Then one day I went to the nearby school to shoot some baskets. After running down the court one time I was out of breath. At that point I decided I was not going to live that way – where I was in horrible shape. I had played sports all my life and becoming aware of this condition was my turning point.
    I then started training for bicycle racing (something I’d become interested in at college) and then raced 30+ races the first year and did several other challenging events.
    I believe this then led me to improve my professional life as well. At one point I drove across the country for the promise of a job (that was offered and then pulled the day before I started my cross-country journey). When I got to Pennsylvania and called to check in they said if I could be there tomorrow I could interview…I got the job and started that day.
    That led to future successes as well that continue today.
    As you indicated I never would have had those successes without that turning point, that “Grand Assertion” that day.
    Thanks for reviving those memories.

  • spike

    that’s great. thanks for sharing.

  • Mark Myszak

    It’s my experience that even minimal assertions and actions move someone along in happiness.
    It is the continuous actions and momentum that allows us to discover who we are.
    These incremental gains allow greatness to occur.

  • spike

    Absolutely. It’s the incremental and the exponential. best, spike

  • Carl Sarfi

    Hi Spike,
    Excellent concept “The Grand Assertion”. Your article was very thought provoking, stirring and revealing. I believe every human being has tremendous destiny placed within them at birth and sadly many live far beneath their potential or capacity.
    Many people live a life of quiet desperation, inwardly knowing there is something far greater that can be achieved outside their current reality.
    Adversity seems to be the one thing that reveals the man or women. Not adversity alone, but the corresponding action taken in light of the circumstances.
    If we view adversity from the point of view that it is the very tool that shapes our character, we will develop a resilience and mindset that propels us forward instead of it neutralizing our effectiveness in life.
    Fear of the unknown is one of the greatest hindrances from achieving anything worthwhile and has caused many lives to go to the grave with unfulfilled potential.
    To me ‘The Grand Assertion’ is framing your world through the thoughts you think about yourself, the words you speak over yourself and the corresponding action that lines up with your desired outcome.
    The question is what will it take for ‘The Grand Assertion’ to become a revelation that moves us to change our actions?
    I don’t believe we only have one, but numerous ‘Grand Assertions.’ For when we finally arrive at what we thought was the ultimate place of achievement, we discover greater obstacles, greater challenges, greater adversity…which gives us the opportunity to achieve greater things that will positively impact humanity and make the world a better place.
    The good news is our yesterday doesn’t have to equal our tomorrow and we can change our tomorrow by changing what we do today. By living in the now and making “on purpose” choices we develop lifestyle habits that affect our outcomes.
    Thanks again Spike for the great insight. You are very much appreciated in all that you do.
    Your Friend,
    Carl Sarfi – Founder/President
    Maximum Business Performance, Inc.

  • spike

    carl, beautiful brother. thanks for sharing

  • Cleveland Auto Insurance

    Hello, This was a great thread thank sincerely for sharing this information with me.

  • Lynn Brown

    Thanks Spike or a very insightful post with an abundance of thoughts that truly made me stop and think of where I am today. The Grand Assertion is the perfect verbiage for how we see ourselves in a deeper more fulfilling light. For me my grand assertion formulated based on things that were beyond my control. Once I fully understood that, I knew it was time for acceptance and to move toward the positive light that I am in today. I enjoy more of who I am, where I am and what I see ahead. Again, I appreciate your very inspiring writings.

  • Susanna Lepianka

    The grand assertion happened to me Spike. It was quite subtle really and, in fact, when I read your post at first I didn’t think it had but then it occurred to me that it did. One day I was contemplating my life, my trials and tribulations, high points etc and it occurred to me that all my efforts, stressing and straining had not really got me anywhere. Like most people I had set ideas and goals of what I wanted out of life and how to get it & always considered that knowledge and hard work could get me everything I could ever want. As long as I focussed on the goal of manifesting my dreams it would happen. In fact what did happen was that I seemed to move further and further away from my goals by the very ACT of persuing them. For all my efforting I didn’t really have much to show for it & certainly had not ‘achieved’ what I’d set out to do or at least not in the way I had hoped.

    It then occurred to me “what if I let it all go” and stop trying. At first this seemed a ridiculous thing to do I had always been taught to arm myself with whatever skills and learning were necessary to achieve a goal and coupled with hard work I would achieve it, when this didn’t work for me it threw me back on myself – who or what could I trust. It threw my beliefs into question and I started wondering “what is this life,” “who am I and what is it all about.” Then I started to ponder what if I just let it all go, get out of the driving seat and let ‘life’ takeover and steer me wherever it will. I was bascially handing myself over to ‘life’ irrespective of what came my way. I let go of all the limiting ideas I held about myself and who or what I am to plunge into complete uncertainty. I discovered that far from the chaos I expected to ensue as a result of ‘letting go’ instead a natural order came into my life I realized I didn’t need to know it all, didn’t need to control anything that I could just let things happen and it would be fine. There is no end result to all of this, like there would be if I was working towards a goal, instead my life now unfolds beautifully, often mysteriously and without any effort on my part. I never have to worry about anything because it all just falls into place and I have never been happier. Whatever happens is ok and I find that whatever happens is just perfect for me and I constantly wonder and am amazed at the beauty of it all. I realized that everything I can ever be is already within me and all I had to do is get out of my own way and allow it to flow out – just being myself was enough.

    How could I not be successful, I am successful already.

    For me the Grand Assertion is a living reality.

  • Lisa Perkins

    Love this article Spike.
    So true.
    That “I decide” moment is so critical to creating one’s future.
    Even gave me an idea for a book.
    Thanks so much.

    Lisa Perkins
    Avatar Master

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