Become Fiercely Authentic in a Delusional World
Become Fiercely Authentic in a Delusional World
I’m so glad you found us. As someone who has a history of taking a rational, commonsensical, even scientific approach to life up until these past few years, what I’m about to share with you makes me a bit nervous. But… it’s true. It’s the result of a mysterious occurrence that emerged from a place far beyond anything I could personally author.
I’ll get to those happenings in a minute, but first, let’s talk about you...
If you’re here, chances are, you’re stuck. I don’t know how better to describe it than that. In this increasingly informed, connected and success-oriented world, as with many of us, you’re probably finding yourself more anxious, more confused and more angry than ever. You’re in a deep mental rut and you’re looking for a way out.
Another guess I’m willing to make is that you’ve been wanting to do this for a while now. You might have even purchased a program or two (or three… more?) that seemed like it was going to set you free. Maybe you were sold some big promises. Promises that got your heart racing and brought a new vibrancy to those daydreams of yours.
I’m going to presume that those daydreams consist of you jumping and landing right into that perfect scenario. It’s the proverbial “happily ever after” ending that we’ve been yearning for since we watched our very first Disney movie. You’ll set goals, work hard, get “somewhere,” and then… you’ll cruise—happy, in control and without a worry in the world.
Well, despite the advice from the self-help gurus—and as you may have discovered by now—life doesn’t happen that way. Yes, we want to get unstuck… so badly. We get inspired by the latest viral quote on Instagram (again). And then, we sit down and try to pencil out what would happen if we were to actually do the thing we REALLY want to do and… it strikes us!
There’s no way this is going to work out. S**t!
Suddenly, like a ruthless trial attorney, you surprise yourself at how well you start building your case against your dreams. You start seeing the obstacles, the challenges, and those people lurking in the shadows who “have it out for you.”
And so, you stay where you are—nice and comfy. In short, you settle. Maybe you sign up for another program to help you “visualize” or “manifest” that perfectly cushy safety net before you look to leap… again.
But a certain part of your psyche still isn’t convinced. Nope. It’s still not working out on paper. Stay where you are, it says.
Well, I’m going to make a radical statement to help break your trance...
Your best life will NEVER work out on paper (it’s not supposed to).
I know... a part of you is terrified, but another, deeper part of you is shaking its fist in excitement. Trust me, I get it. And that’s why we have a lot of talking to do (much of which I won’t get to right now).
I’m Tom Asacker. I won’t belabor you with my bio, since with a quick Google search you can learn more about the books I’ve written, talks I’ve given, and everything else you need to know (and much of which I’ve long since forgotten). I’ll just say here that most of my career has been spent in the field of belief and behavior change, and how it applies to life and business.
Until, one day, I decided to write a screenplay for a movie (I know, pretty random).
Well, that’s where my life took a turn. Through the creatively stimulating—albeit exhausting—process of film storytelling, my writing partner and I inexplicably discovered the keys to liberation and freedom. Yes… I am being quite sincere.
Now, the epiphany I had wasn’t pretty. Not at all. It was a paradigm shift in perception, surprisingly contrary to what “everyone knows.” If anything, it terrified me. But as I stayed with that terror, it opened up a whole new world and brought me in touch with the most daring and authentic expression of my inner self.
A self that let go of the stifling story that told me I had to get all of the issues in my life in order and work everything out on paper BEFORE I could be free to live passionately… as my true self.
A self that finally came to realize that I would NEVER win the battle in my mind, and that that ongoing struggle was simply another insidious illusion to keep me stuck in my story.
And so, the single most important question I have for you at this moment is the same one Mary Oliver asks at the end of her legendary poem, The Summer Day...
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
So, what’ll it be?
Will you spend the coming days, weeks, months—years, even—trying to make your most authentic life work out on paper? Viciously agitating back and forth between your inner desires and the critical comments and snide remarks of friends, coworkers, family (and the even more potent critic that lives in your head)?
Or will you bravely step out into this one wild and precious life that waits for you in each and every moment (even this one)?
But first, a quick disclaimer is in order (I can’t believe I’m about to say this… not the best marketing move, trust me).
This program doesn’t offer simple answers. There are no easy 7-step “blueprints” to hack your way to success, or sterilized inspirational anecdotes that seem pretty on paper (and sell a lot of books and courses), but result in disappointment and more stuckness.
This 12-week, immersive program is a compass, not a map (view the schedule). Maps may get you where others have gone, but you’ve already tried that. If you’re still reading this, you’re poised for off-roading, not for a mere cruise down the congested highway of life.
The concepts I’ll share with you are ones that speak to your heart and (just as importantly) your feet, as unsteady as they may be, as you take the first fresh steps into your wildly improvisational and uncertain life.
Mary Oliver calls it “wild” for a reason. Your most authentic life is by nature uncharted. You’ll be the first, and the only one living it. And I promise, it will terrify a certain part of you. But as I mentioned earlier, a deeper, more eternal part of you will awaken and spring to life (if you’re willing to surrender to it).
And so, may you stay with your terror and see it through to the other side.
May you rage, rage against the dying of the light. Because you are NOT a character in a story, defined by an imaginary past. You are the Universe’s way of playing, creating scenes, and embracing the wonders of existence.
If you’re ready to start the journey and learn how to wake up, be truly alive, and infuse your life with possibility and power, then scroll down and you’ll find an outline of what this program offers.
I can’t wait to hear about the life that awaits you on the other side. And I’d love to help you get there.
Until next time, stay passionate!
“Most courses of this nature, I consume. But this course CONSUMED ME and wouldn’t let go...
This program gave me the permission I needed to say YES to several things in life that I’ve been putting off for years (one of them being enrolling in seminary—at age 40!). Life after this program is terrifying, but I’ve never felt more alive!
Unlike many of the personal development courses out there that offer cookie-cutter solutions and sterile, unhelpful generalizations (that merely look nice on social media), Tom’s approach is rooted in the often unpleasant-but-true realities of the human condition. Though he strikes me as an enlightened soul, it’s apparent that this work of his taps into something far bigger than himself. It connects with the strain of universal truth that’s present in wisdom traditions of old, bringing it into the realm of modern daily life.
A warning: this program is not for the spiritually faint of heart. But if you’re willing to step—hell, leap—outside of your comfort zone, it may be the thing that opens up new worlds for you as it did for me.”
— Jonas Ellison
• You’ll stop treating life as a problem to be solved and start embracing the wonders of experience. And you’ll feel energized and excited for the first time in a very long time.
• You’ll learn how to recognize, understand and free yourself from your negative and stressful inner voice.
• You’ll become psychologically flexible, flowing with life circumstances as a fully conscious human being. And doing what you REALLY want to do with your life.
• You’ll learn to lean into the uncertainty of the human experience, embrace your true gifts, and be more alive than ever.
• You’ll move through life, and interact with others, in a manner that is free of guilt and anxiety, and in harmony with your inner desires and values.
• You’ll become free to be... you!
“The concepts in this program are nothing short of life-changing. I know, because I’m living them!”
— Mark Ramsey
Our first session provides a brief reflection on how this program all started (oddly enough while writing a motion picture screenplay). We’ll go into why the world feels so tumultuous today. And you’ll get a glimpse of the most important skill that nobody taught you. We’ll also explore:
• The “collective hallucination” that drives the status quo
• The dynamic relationship between the way our minds work and the culture we live in
• Why most people will stay hypnotized and stuck in the invisible prison cell of their unaware mind
Passion. Adventure. Romance. These are just a few attributes that most of us would assign to a life well-lived. So, why is it that hardly any of us would describe success in these terms? In this session, we’ll go over what this kind of life might look like for you (and why it terrifies you to actually live that way). Session two explores:
• What your verse might look like in the infinite poetry that is your life
• How to overcome your fears and rebel against conformity
• How to get your dreams to follow you
• One simple mantra that could change your life, forever
As much as we think that we live in a rational world, the truth is, we live in a fictional reality of our own construction. In session three, we’ll break down the concept of narrative thinking and how it affects our lives (as well as the lives of those around us). We’ll also explore how living under the tyranny of our personal narrative automatically creates conflict, struggle, and enemies. Session three delves into:
• How stories are as much a part of human nature and behavior as breathing
• Why “rewriting your story” doesn’t work
• The societal conditioning around personal narrative and the false comfort it brings
• How to start living life on your own terms
We are inherently story-making beings; it’s how we make sense of our world. However, we run into problems when we are unaware of our story-making nature. In session four, we’ll go over how the scripts we unconsciously author quickly turn into real horror stories. We’ll also explore:
• How we create our own enemies
• How we become a living and breathing cliché without even knowing it
• Why the world seems to “work against us” most of the time
• How “mindfulness” is so often misused (and turned against us in the long-term)
Not only are many of us unaware of our story-crafting nature, we’re also unaware that we’ve meticulously written out and assigned ourselves the role of the central character of life. Here, we’ll outline the inner workings of the mind that fuels our human propensity to do this. You’ll start to learn how to escape your mind, escape your script, and ultimately change your life. Session five offers:
• A peek behind the curtain of the stage that is childhood
• How the “character acting” we learned in childhood unconsciously carries through to our adult life
• Why we stay in the clichéd roles that others assign for us
• A look at the paradoxical, yet miraculous human brain and why it works the way it does
Behind the scenes of our mind sits a relentless and cunning (albeit well-meaning) director who’s hell-bent on keeping us “on-script.” This metaphoric “mental director” views the world through safety goggles that blur reality and keep us small (by trying to keep us safe).
In this session, you’ll also be introduced to the other voice in your head; the wide-eyed dreamer and mystic who knows no limits and seeks utter freedom. When you meet these two, you’ll also see the liberating role that you play among them. Session six explores:
• What “self” we’re talking about when we talk about “self-confidence,” “self-awareness,” and “self-esteem”
• A paradigm-shifting metaphor between two romantic dead poets (and how they correspond to the two parts of your mind)
• Why (against popular opinion) the ego is NOT the enemy
• The paradox between essence and identity, and how unifying them can lead to liberation
Why do we stay stuck in lives that bore us (at best) and even harm us (at worst)? Why do we cling so tightly to the seemingly safe lives that sap our creative energies and burden us with overwhelming anxiety? In this session, we’ll look at why our personal narratives are so powerful and how we can start gaining some healthy distance from them. In session seven, we’ll traverse the following:
• How to discern between the two distinct voices in our heads and navigate accordingly
• An unpacking of “narrative coherence” and how this simple concept keeps us trapped within the limitations of our own story
• The prophetic findings of an eccentric psychologist from the 1940’s that shows us how we make sense of the world
• Why a postmodern world powered by the internet is like kryptonite to our inherently human, story-seeking mind
In this session, you’ll take a stark look at the role you play within the story you’ve crafted about your life. Seeing this can be de-centering, but it holds the keys to unlimited freedom and potential. Because you are not stuck. You’re merely playing an unconscious role assigned by an unconscious mental director. Until now, that is. Session eight outlines:
• A mental trick that screenwriters use to keep you under their spell (the same trick used by your cunning mental director)
• A look into the illusory nature of “consistency” (hint: no one is a consistent identity, no matter how much they fake it on social media)
• How we get trapped into social norms (and how to start inching our way out of them)
• How to channel the improvisational and revolutionary qualities of Bob Dylan to let your irreverent inner artist out of its cage
We all want certainty. We want security. We want to live a life where we can lay back and stay happily-ever-after. But turns out, certainty is a toxic, dangerous illusion. Certainty is the first of the “Three C’s” that the worrisome director in our mind uses to manipulate us. We’ll pop open the hood of our modern culture’s obsession with certainty and expose it for the fraud it is. Because if you can transcend the striving for certainty, a whole new world opens up to you. Session nine jumps into:
• An examination into why certainty is an illusion (and a toxic one at that)
• How to navigate when the rug of certainty is pulled out from underneath you
• How to listen to the morbid, yet enlivening teacher of our very own mortality
• Why we enter into the fruitless exercise of rationalization when things don’t go our way
Comparison is the second of the “Three C’s” that the exasperating director in our mind uses to manipulate us... the Achilles' heel of our increasingly connected, social-media fueled modern culture. No matter how remote your location is, if you’re online, you live in a world that’s steeped in unhealthy comparison. Huge industries are profiting from your anxiety as you strive to “measure up” to the illusory virtual world we inhabit. This session will start to break the spell and snap you out of the comparison game before it’s too late. Session ten explores:
• Why comparison has consumed the culture and how to start stepping away from the madness
• How to question the motivations that keep you spinning in the hamster wheel of life
• A stark look into consumer culture (and our hidden beliefs that fuel it)
• How to start bringing back our true sense of worth
Maybe it’s happened to you. Your cursor or finger hovered over the “Send” button of the message that would have effectively ended that dead-end job or other unhealthy situation that’s kept you stuck for so long. But then... you hesitated. In your mind flashed an image so compelling that you moved your finger/cursor away and settled back into the comfy confines of mediocrity. Comfort is our third of the “Three C’s” that the director in our mind uses to keep us away from our most authentic life. In session eleven, we’ll explain:
• Why we secretly love the lives we hate
• What keeps us from stepping out of the well-worn paths of comfort that hold us back
• Why the director swoops in to block any sort of positive change in our life
• What the world really needs from you, right now
This is where we shift from the director in the mind to the mysterious voice that emerges from universal intelligence, creativity, and freedom. In short, session twelve will show you how to shift from staying alive to really living. Because the only way to live into true possibility is by entirely switching your paradigm. Session twelve uncovers:
• A compelling concept originated by the poet John Keats that has the power to open up storehouses of potential
• How to start adjusting the distorted lenses we’ve installed over our internal worldview
• A primer on how to live in today’s increasingly ambiguous, uncertain, and connected world
• The challenges that await us as we step out of our story and into a life of possibility
Your most authentic life starts to unfold as you begin to release your grasp on the “Three C’s” above (certainty, comparison, and comfort). So what does this look like? It seems terrifying to the rational mind, doesn’t it? And it is. Because the rational mind is designed to persuade us against anything we can’t predict or solve. But in this vast, uncertain, and unpredictable realm of existence lies the lives we’ve always been looking for. And it’s been under our feet the whole time. Session thirteen looks at:
• How to truly bring wonder back into your life (and keep it there)
• The profound cultural shift that has sapped the joy out of life for so many of us
• How to go about the dilemma we face of balancing our dreams with the wants and needs of our loved ones
• How a hilarious scene from the movie Caddyshack actually provides a paradigm-shifting life lesson
• How to become a “chameleon poet” in order to connect deeply with your world
Curiosity is the one common trait of every creator and luminary that’s ever inspired. It’s also the first of our second set of “Three C’s” that come out of the enlightened side of the human psyche (and that terrifies the other more practical side of us). By following curiosity with our minds AND our feet, we take the steps into our ultimate creative expression as humans. Session fourteen explores:
• How to feel the rapture of really being alive
• How overcompensating for society’s warped outlook could provide the key to lasting freedom
• A look at the mental cage we’ve become captive in
• A look at the terrifying, yet liberating nature of faith
Life doesn’t happen in a vacuum. No matter how much we want to turn away from the suffering of others, there’s something inherent to the human condition that constantly turns us towards service to others. Compassion is the second of the enlightened “Three C’s.” We’ll examine how so many people have this word confused with similar terms such as empathy, sympathy… even kindness. This session alone is enough to open you up to a side of you steeped in power and passion. In session fifteen, we’ll discover:
• The true meaning and power of compassion
• How to foster your own compassion without giving in to sadness
• The one thing that will keep you away from the gifts of compassion as long as it remains unseen
• How to get beyond your fears so you can speak for yourself and stand up for others
• A simple statement that may transform your business and personal relationships, forever
Unfortunately, many of us have relegated creativity to the fine arts vocations like dancers, painters, actors, writers, and singers. In doing so, we’ve abandoned the one distinctive quality that makes us human. Dogs are compassionate and curious (the two enlightened C’s in the previous sessions). But dogs aren’t creative. No other living creature is. In this third enlightened C (creativity) you’ll define, embrace, and learn to live into this uniquely human quality. Session 16 goes into:
• How to take a passive, yet fully embodied role in the creative process
• How to harness the ephemeral forces of synchronicity
• Why you don’t need a canvas, a pen, or a stage to be an artist
• How to address the inherent impostor syndrome that comes with the creative process
• The power of improv (and why most actors hate it)
Like the song says, life’s a dance, you learn as you go. When we hear this line, a part of us knows it’s true. So why do so many of us live contrary to this sentiment? Why do we try to force life into being safe, certain, and predictable? It’s a fruitless endeavor; one that’s wrought with heartache and frustration. In this session, you’ll learn ways to find your feet in this ever-changing, dynamic, awe-inspiring, and improvisational dance that we call life. Session seventeen examines:
• The detrimental cultural belief in “happily ever after”
• Why you’ll never achieve lasting happiness (and why you should actually be happy about that)
• Why even the most successful people’s lives aren’t nearly as deliberate as you think
• How to stop Googling your way into disappointment and bitterness
There’s no time to waste. At this moment, you must throw yourself into the world and be an active participant in the wildly creative dance called life. But how? When? And why… especially when your current life is so comfortable? Because we have no choice. Either we make the decision with a whimsical smile, or life makes it for us, kicking and screaming the whole way. That is the choice before us (and it’s our to make). Session eighteen dives into:
• How to prepare yourself going forward as you step into your true, authentic life
• Why it’s a fruitless endeavor to try to “find the purpose of your life” (and how to find strength and freedom in that notion)
• The truth of existence (seriously… no, seriously!)
• How setting goals the wrong way can literally be detrimental to your life
• How your flaws can be the very things that revive your enthusiasm for life
It’s true... your best life will never work out on paper. Your most authentic life calls upon your inherent improvisational skills, not learned ones. Your truest self prefers the rollercoaster to the merry-go-round (because no one talks about how safe and secure the merry-go-round was 20 years later, but they come to life telling the story of that rollercoaster that almost killed them!). Our task is to constantly remember to forget (yep, you read that right) the falsely contrived hero’s story that binds you to your past as you step into who you really are. Session nineteen closes the program by reminding you:
• Four words that, if taken to heart and lived, can change your life this very instant
• A summary of the psychological underpinnings of this entire program
• What TYPE of intelligence is needed to thrive in today’s modern, upended world
• How to be truly unshakeable, no matter who or what you bump up against in life
• What spiritual luminaries from disparate areas of the globe have all been saying (and how their message is even more profound in the world we live in today)
• How the notion of your imminent demise contains the spiritual fruit that brings forth new life
Note: If you’re interested in bringing the program to your team, contact us for information about our new, organizational offering, ALIVE AT WORK!