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WC 021: Empire of Dirt

Have you ever noticed that the things that often provide a sense of peace or contentment are far simpler than the grandiose visions of success that we build up in our minds about our future?

Phil Powis
Phil Powis
6 min read

We go about our days making lots of decisions starting from the moment we wake up. We spend time contemplating what is going to not only make us happy, but contribute to a life worth living.

And sometimes we get it right.

Other times we learn something unexpected about ourselves that we didn’t know was there.

And in the end, we return to our next best thought about what to do next.

And so it goes.

Round and round.

And with each passing day, life unfolds quite miraculously.

We think we want a particular outcome, and that it will make us happy.

That it will offer lasting fulfillment.

But have you ever noticed that the things that often provide a sense of peace or contentment are far simpler in scope than the grandiose visions of the future that we build up in our minds?

This cup of coffee.

Savoring the mouth feel of an Oat Milk Latte.

The feeling of your bare feet making contact with a warm pair of slippers for the first time after walking across a cold tile bathroom floor.

Seeing your lover smile.

Watching the sunrise, across a rich and vibrant vanilla sky.

Smelling the air during a walk in nature as it fills your lungs, reminding you of your own capacity for breath.

These are simple joys that never seem to get old.

There is so much wonder to tune into if we allow ourselves a brief pause to inspect our waking reality.

And yet these ever-present experiences often fade into the background of our lives.

We get caught up in running our routines and making sure we “stick to the plan” that we’ve created for how we will achieve that which we perceive we most desire.

How many days pass us by while we stick to the script and continue to play this game?

There’s nothing inherently wrong with the game.

I play it well most days, I think.

But when sacrificing these simple pleasures in pursuit of the plan, we miss out on the opportunity to experience true joy and happiness that is right in front of us.

And this is what so many of us do unconsciously on a daily basis.

We make endless trade-offs with our attention, and justify our lack of presence in each moment as a necessary means to an end of building our empire.

“What have I become, my sweetest friend. Everyone I know goes away, in the end. And you could have it all. My empire of dirt. I will let you down. I will make you hurt”

“If I could start again, a million miles away. I would keep myself, I would find a way”

The Johnny Cash rendition of “Hurt” nearly moves me to tears every time I hear it.

Especially seeing the video where Johnny is shown in his young, vibrant, youthful state, and then it flashes forward to his later years nearing the end of his life.

I feel it speaks to this beautiful unraveling of a universal truth that’s intertwined with the greatest of tragedies - to not see the self we’ve built up over the years for what it is. We suffer greatly in defense of protecting all that we hold to be dear, and that is precisely what holds us back from experiencing that which we desire most.

In the end, there is no empire to be built.

We can always start again.

And it’s not a million miles away. It’s right here, right now.

There is only the now.

Begin again as you read these words.

And as you let the truth of this sink in, awaken to the beauty that surrounds you.

Look around.

Open your eyes.

What do you see?

Here’s What I Want to Share This Week

  1. I'm working on a new productivity mini-course: It will offer a detailed look at how I set up my "mission control system" to maintain a sense of peace as I balance managing my fractional CMO work, with growing Empire Engineering and CTC Circle.
  2. CTC Circle Guest Training for July: "Compassionate Power" w/ David Karasek. I'm pretty excited about this one. David Karasek is an Olympian, and 10-time Swiss swimming champion. In his post-Olympic career, David has been taking the advanced performance protocols developed within the unforgiving “sink or swim” nature of elite-level sports…
    And supporting business owners, entrepreneurs, and high-level executives in “flipping the switch" on command, no matter “what” happened moments earlier. He'll be joining us for a fireside chat on July 18th at 7am pacific / 10am eastern in CTC Circle.
David Karasek

Who We Are Celebrating This Week: Rodolfo Carillo

As a Conscious Leadership Shaman, Rodolfo has developed the powerful SER model for achieving leadership of the fullest potential as well as, deep-sustainable personal mastery and organizational growth.

The SER Model

Rodolfo has a very interesting and unique combination of business skills, experience, and inner wisdom that triggers profound transformation through his work, which is motivated by his strong desire to serve others in their own personal and professional development.

Rodolfo has been involved in business consulting and training for more than 15 years and has participated as an independent director on more than 20 business boards. He has also been on a spiritual path since he was 7 years old.

He has traveled and given talks and workshops throughout the world, having visited more than 30 countries and also lived abroad in the United States and Spain.

His purpose is to contribute to raising the consciousness of humanity so that we can create a healthier society and World where people and organizations interact with compassion and can thrive through a greater state of well-being.

Rodolfo is hosting a 5-day silent retreat in the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica in August, and I’m very much looking forward to joining.

I think there are a few spots left if you would like to join me!

Learn more about Rodolfo and the silent retreat experience

Rodolfo Carillo

This Week’s Curiosities

Budget Your Days Off (Link)

I’ve used YNAB for years for budgeting both my personal finance, as well as that of my business. That being said, I never thought of using it for a time budget. One of the things I’ve been working on this year is more intentional time off. This is one way of doing this, whether you work for yourself, or run your own biz.

Guide to the Business of Copywriting (Link)

If you love writing and want to build a profitable career from it, check out attorney-turned-copywriter Anna Powers’ new Guide to the Business of Copywriting.

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Relating Between the Lines (Link)

When was the last time your conversations felt like camping under the stars with friends, sharing stories around a beach bonfire, or catching up past closing time at some regrettable fast-food chain?

How to Set up Brick Mode (Link)

Brick Mode is an iMessage auto-reply you can turn on whenever you go phone-free.

The Best Tools for Ghost (Link)

I’ll let you in on a secret. I’m migrating my personal website off of WordPress onto Ghost and I’m pretty excited about it!

This is an awesome compilation I found of some of the best tools for setting up your Ghost publication.

Memorable Quote:

“The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.” - Joseph Campbell

wizards chest archives

Phil Powis

Co-Founder & Chief Strategist, Sacred Business Flow

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