Jeff Howell: The Lion Tracker's Guide To Life

Mindset Monday - March 21, 2022

The Lion Tracker's Guide To Life

Hey, guys. How you doing? This is Jeff Howell coming at you with another edition of Mindset Monday. And today I want to go over a few things from a book called The Lion Tracker’s Guide to Life by Boyd Vardy. I came across this book a couple of years ago. I think I listened to his TEDx talk. You can look it up and find it online, and I didn’t finally read it until it was recommended through a coaching program that I’ve been involved with and recently graduated from. And during the graduation ceremony they gave us all the books. So I actually read it before I had just seen the TED Talk and looked at different summaries online and things like that. But the author, Boyd, he has had a really interesting journey throughout his life and he spent time with a lot of big game animals and been in attack with like some big venomous snake or something. And he’s had malaria and like a crocodile and attacks and things like that. So he really, I think throughout his life and his approach to writing this book is really thinking through like not really understanding what his purpose was. I think a lot of us struggle with that in our lives and trying to figure out like what’s our why, what’s our purpose and all of that. And so this is just a really great, concise book. It’s not very big, it’s not very long.

It doesn’t take that much time to read it. But it really, I think through story and metaphor, because it’s so visceral and real, through his own felt experience that the lessons come through really easily and you don’t need a 300 page book to tell the story. So throughout the book, it has some little like sectioned off pieces of text that tell us different ideas about what’s going on in each chapter. So I’m just going to go through a few of those and just kind of give you an idea of what’s going through my mind when I read them and how I relate that to my own life development and entrepreneurial journey. So the first one early, early on in the book, it says, no one can tell you what your track will be or how to know what calls you and brings you to life. That’s your work to do. But a great tracker can ask, How do you know you love something? So I think in my mind what this brings up is really just kind of avoiding other people’s ideas or or their even if it’s not their intention to program you in a certain way. But they’re definitely affecting you by the things that they’re saying and doing around you when you’re younger, especially your your parents, your friends, the culture of the area where you’re growing up, the things that other people think is possible for you, they just kind of put that off on you like that’s all that’s going to be possible for you, too.

And I think that in the beginning, in the earlier stages of our lives, I know I did this as I lived my life according to what I thought I was supposed to do and what other people told me was possible more than what I knew in my heart was true for me. And I think that that exercise of asking like, How do you know you love something enough to spend your life and your life force energy pursuing it to that level? It’s like, is it worth it or not? And a lot of the things that if I look back, especially now at looking back on my younger days in high school and college and early twenties, and all of that is like, I didn’t ask myself those questions. I was just going through the motions of what I thought I was supposed to be doing. So had I had this book or the device or the courage or the mentorship or whatever it is, that would have given me a different perspective on it. I may have lived my life a different way. Now, that’s not to say that I regret anything because I don’t, because the way that I’ve been able to reconcile the mistakes and the different things that I’ve done in my life that didn’t give me the result that I was looking for is that the lessons learn is given me the wisdom to understand where I am now and to continue to learn and grow and to recognize the gifts of each one of those situations, even if they weren’t fully the success, if you will, that I thought that they were going to be they were successful in their own way.

So anyway, the second one is the art of the way the tracker sees is the way he can look at the thing he has seen 1000 times and always see something new. So this is like the idea that if you’re a tracker, you’re bringing in all of these all these different data from your surroundings and your intuition and really bringing it all together into a place of this confident knowing of being like. Yes, we need to go this direction now because that’s going to get us closer to the goal of finding the lion, if you will. And so I find that true in my own life, is that when I come into a situation that I’m going to get new data or I’m going to have a new view of that data or a new insight into that data, or a new message that I get from the intuition of seeing all of that data and maybe one little leaf on the path is different or one little thing is different, and you see things in a completely different way so that you might change that next step that you’re going to take.

And I think that this is really important to recognize that there there is no one path, there is no one way to get there, and that the landscape in front of you is always changing. And you are responsible for on your own path to pull in all of that data and use your own intuition, your own cognitive abilities to make the decision that’s right for you and taking the next step on your path and not be so wound up on what, again, other people are saying or what you have this idea that, well, there is a perfect next step. You know, there are only there’s only a perfect next step. In hindsight, you can’t connect the dots. Looking forward, you can only connect the dots. Looking back, I believe a Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs would say. So it’s really easy to connect the dots looking back and not so much looking forward. So that’s kind of how I read that one. The next one is, I don’t know where we’re going, but I know exactly how to get there. And so I think this is that confidence that kind of goes from the last one where the confidence is that you can bring in all of that data and the way to get there is to just be able to accumulate that data in a way that’s going to allow you to confidently take that next step.

And if you’re confidently taking that step, that next step based on what you know at that moment, then that’s the right next step to take. The next one is obsessed with perfection and doing it right. We want to go straight to the path of a lion. We don’t realize the significance of the path of first tracks and how to be invested in a discovery rather than an outcome. So this is something that I’ve mentioned in other lives and Mindset Mondays. It kind of all all the information that I kind of go through in the personal development world, it’s really about the journey. And so this is what this little sentence speaks to me, is that you you see, the lion is so confident and strong and able to make these types of decisions, but and it’s living true in their true self and purpose of what they’re doing in their lives. But we can’t go straight there. It’s a journey for us and it’s going to be a practice, right? We’re definitely dynamic. Human beings like lions, have one, one path, one purpose, and we have all of these different opportunities and options. We have opposable thumbs and we have different abilities and opportunities that we have in our lives. So there’s there’s not one purpose, but understanding and recognizing that, you know, our journey of discovery is the journey of a lifetime and that we can’t just step into the shoes of this liar.

We see these people in business or in life that are living lives that we would we would aspire to, but we can’t just snap our fingers and be there. Right. We have to go through this process of becoming those people. And as those people have, you know, most of the time, when you look at these people who have these lives that inspire us, you realize that they’ve been through and you hear their stories. You realize that they’ve been through a lot to be able to develop themselves into the person that is able to handle the responsibility of the life that they’re living. And in that same way, we have to do that on our own. So so that’s that one. The next one is don’t try to be someone. Rather find the thing that is so engaging that it makes you forget yourself. So I think this is important and all of these kind of stringing together in a path because of the way that they weave through the book. So in this sense, it’s kind of related to the last one again where it’s do not try to be someone rather buying the thing that is so engaging that it makes you forget yourself. So in this this is what that means to me is that you’re instead of just finding someone or seeing someone in the world around us and saying, oh, I want. I want to be that and trying to be exactly that person.

Just more focus on what it is that makes you happy and what makes you fulfilled fulfills you. What fulfills you and. Step into that so deeply that you’re not even worried about the destination. That’s not the goal. Goes back to the journey, right. Is that you’re you’re so engaged and engrossed in the process of of that becoming that the destination doesn’t matter. So you’re not like so wound up on, oh, I didn’t get to this exact place. It’s like I went for this specific goal and I got to wherever I got and be okay with that based on your mindset and the different things that you believe in your life. And so that’s kind of a concept that really hits home for me because I have learned to love the journey and less focused on the destination, which I was. I was more focused on the destination earlier in my career. So the next one is, as paradoxical as it sounds, going down a path and not finding the track is part of finding the trap. So the path of not here is part of the path of here. So that’s kind of again related where not finding the next track is also part of the path because that will force you to make that next step, even if you’re not really sure that it’s going to lead you to where you’re going or where you want it to go initially.

But you’re going to bring all of the knowledge and wisdom of all of those steps that you’ve taken before, and maybe you will go off the path and course correct and then get back on the path. Or maybe you’ll start on this other path and you’ll be like, Wow, I like this path a lot better than that other path, and you’ll be okay with that because of all these other things that we’re talking about. The next one is it’s hard to know when to stay on the trail and when to divert again. Super related to the last one. It’s like, Yeah, that is hard. But sometimes in life when the trail or all of that data is pulling us into a different direction, at times, we’re going to have to honor that and say, okay, I’m going to have to go way off the path here. And I know that I may not ever get back on the track, but based on the data that I have, based on everything that I know right now, the next step that I have to take is a diversion from the actual path. So that’s just going to happen in life. It’s going to happen on our journey when we’re dealt different situations. That may be the data that we have is not going to lead us in the direction that we thought it was going to or that we we know that it’s probably the wrong direction and leading us to that goal that we actually want.

But it may actually end up being the best step for us to take anyway. So that’s the way I read that one. So there’s a couple more here. The next one, everything in the natural world knows how to be itself. Now, this is kind of getting into the later stages of the book where it really is showing you that as you’re becoming this this lion tracker, if you will, this person who knows how to follow a path in life and have purpose and meaning behind it and create purpose and meaning and joy and happiness behind it that it will be. And that is the natural state of things. That is the natural state of things. So everything in the natural world knows how to be itself. A lion knows how to be a lion, a monkey knows how to be a monkey and knows how to be an ant, etc. As people, these lessons, as humans, these lessons that he’s talking about in the book allow you to know a little bit more, have a little bit more confidence in the process of being yourself. So that’s that’s that’s the way I’ve been able to become one with the journey itself and to be happy in that pursuit. You know, of all of these things that I want to see brought forth and and still be inspired and still be hopeful and still be happy along the way, even though I don’t have all of the material material results or the all of the relationships or all of the things that have not become true, I’m still I’m cool, right? Because I know that this is who I am.

This is the natural state of where I’m at. And it’s up to me to have and I have a responsibility to myself to live up and live into those next steps of what I want to what I want to create for my life. And that’s the natural state of things. So that’s the way I read that one. Next one track. What makes you. Feel good and bring more of it into your life. Notice what makes you feel lousy and do less of this. Less of it, man. This is right. Some of the best wisdom I’ve ever read. Really. And I’ve done this in my life. I had to have everything that I thought I wanted stripped away from me before I was able to recreate my life and really choose. And that was a journey of over the last like five, six, seven years where I was able to pick up the pieces of the past life that I thought was going to be the right path for me and to be like, Okay, well, that stuff didn’t work and it didn’t work for a reason. And now I have the opportunity to create the life that I want.

So if I have the opportunity to do that, what do I want more of and what do I want less of? And write it down. Think it through. Be very intentional. And that’s what I’ve done. And I mean, I’ve created amazing life. I mean, I had an amazing weekend this past weekend with Community here in Austin and just enjoying different opportunities and connection and experiences that were just they just light me up. I mean, it’s just amazing. And when I have things like that happen, then I can be really grateful for it. And that leads me into the next that gratitude pulls me into the next opportunity to have even greater experiences. And so this is something that is really fundamental, but we don’t always do it from the beginning. Sometimes we have to learn the lessons the hard way. And that was that was definitely true for me. I learned probably the hardest way. But now that lesson is so ingrained in me. It’s like, you know, they say, if it’s not a fuck yes, it’s a fuck no. Right. So I’m living my life more and more that way and sort of the fuck maybes or whatever they have to happen sometimes. But for the most part, it’s like, if I hear somebody come up with something, that’s an opportunity for me to do something or that I want to wake up and do something in the morning.

It’s like, Yeah, it’s a fuck yes or Fuck no, and that’s it. So the last one, there is more there is nothing more healing than finding your gifts and sharing them. So I think that this is really also a very important step in your growth. And once you have some of these other things that we’ve mentioned along this path, this lie in tracker’s path, once you get those things in place and this sort of you’re sitting in this place of resonance with the journey that you’re on, you’ve created this life that you want for yourself. And then the more that you’re able to have to wait, but the more that you do that, the more that you’re able to share the gifts that you found and the wisdom that you’ve earned by being on that path. And then the more joy that’s going to bring to you because you’re helping others. And that’s that’s what I’m trying to do here. And this Mindset Monday series is share some of the things that I’ve learned, some of the information that comes to me, because I’m on I’m on my mom, my journey, you know, and I continue to learn and grow in every way at all times, because that’s what I believe is the true purpose of my life, is to continue to learn and grow and to share. And so that’s really encapsulates the entire vision of the book as it’s wrapped up in that one sentence.

There is nothing more healing than finding your gifts and sharing them. So I find that to be very healing in my own life. So that is the book The Lion Tracker’s Guide to Life by Boyd Vardy. I hope you enjoyed this little rundown of some different ideas that came out of it. And I highly recommend that you buy a copy of this book and have it on your shelf. Don’t put it on your shelf, but you know what I mean. Have it near you so that you can refer back to it and and kind of think through some of these things that it brings up because it really is some of the best information doesn’t require a huge tome of words, like he boils it down into the the basics of the basics. And that metaphor, again, of the Lion Tracker really brings it home, you know, and he has the stories to back it up. So anyway, I hope you enjoyed this book review. I’m not going to do book reviews every week or anything like that. It’s just these came to me the last week, magic and the magic of believing in this one line trackers guide to Life. They just kind of hit me at the right time, and that’s why I shared them. So I will see you on the next one. I hope you guys have a good weekend. Go get some wins and we’ll see you on the action. Take care.

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