Jeff Corrigan: Welcome back to Habit Masters. I'm Jeff. I'm Sheldon. And today we have something that has been on my mind heavily lately after I've been reading about it a lot, and I'm not living this, and I'm doing my best to try and implement it now, I call it live with no contracts
this is like living your life all in and with no expectation of return. Some people would call it letting go of the fruits. Gandhi would call it reducing yourself to zero. It's trying to live in a way where all of your actions are out of service and love. And not with an expectation of some return on the other end, right?
They're not transactional. And the question I think sparked this for me is this, what's in it for me? I feel like at the heart of most human , conflicts, is this idea or the question of what's in it for me? And the way to get over that is to work on living life with no contracts.
To stop seeing every situation as a, how does this benefit me? And to start seeing it as, how can I serve more? How can I , give more? How can I contribute at my highest level? And without any doubt, that always comes back to you because karma is real, people. What goes around does come around.
And it also just allows you to be liberated from whatever is holding you back. Because I think a lot of times we do hold back. Because we feel like we deserve something in return, and until we get that promise, or that guarantee, we're not going in. It's probably what stops me from taking certain risks, it's probably what stops me from loving more, from serving more, from doing a lot of things that I've hesitated or held back on those to some extent, because I'm not certain of the reward.
Is this making sense, Sheldon, or am I?
Sheldon Mills: Yeah, well, let's go with an example that I think is probably the most prevalent and the most relatable for all of us. And that is the hidden contracts in our relationships, right? The hidden expectations and the, I'll scratch your back, you'll scratch my back. I mean, it's hard to see it like that.
, I mean, when you expose it to that kind of light, it's all of a sudden like hard to look at. You know, because it's obviously selfish, right? And ideally I want to get to the point where I love unconditionally, , there are conditions on my giving 100 percent of myself. .
And yet, if I am,
Sheldon Mills: Honest, I sometimes get irritated and resentful. And
Jeff Corrigan: yeah,
Sheldon Mills: you know, and then I have to say to myself, well, are you loving someone because of that's who you want to be? And that's who you are. Are you loving them because you're expecting something in return?
Jeff Corrigan: Yeah. And that can go for almost any relationship that you have, but especially those most intimate relationships.
Yeah. And you really have to take a hard look at what what your motivations are and say to yourself okay, am I doing this because I want something in return or am I doing this because I truly love the other person and I want them to have happiness in these things and that. And undoubtedly when you give fully of yourself, more comes back to you,
and I look at it this way, I think a lot of times I approach my commitments and my goals and my things in life almost like , I want to swim without getting wet. It's like I dip my toe in or something, like that's kind of this hesitation. We're limiting ourselves because we're not willing to just dive in and try and fully commit to something.
Call it YOLO, we had a episode a while back where YOLO is really about living life all in, not so much about what was the other way that people see it?
Sheldon Mills: Take risks, do dumb things. You only live once.
You know what I mean? It's instead of not committing, if you're living YOLO the way it's intended, it's like we commit fast and hard and fully.
Jeff Corrigan: Yeah, like , we dive into the water we dive into our goals and we don't hold back it's like you don't plant a plant and then withhold the water and say, Hey, I'm only gonna give you water once you give me a tomato.
That's similar idea, right? If we're going back to the garden examples, like I'll plant this. Tomato, But I'm not going to water it unless a tomato comes, right? It's that's how we approach some of our goals and some of our things in life because We want a guarantee of something in return and the truth of it is there's just no guarantees,
there's a great quote from Gandhi that I put in my newsletter this week he used to live by a mantra called reducing yourself to zero and this one quote kind of spells it out. There comes a time when an individual becomes irresistible and his actions become all pervasive in their effects.
And I mean, we can all agree that Gandhi had that effect, right? One man. That had that big of an impact, ? His actions truly became all pervasive in their effects. And so, here he says, This happens when he reduces himself to zero. And what he was referring to was his complete willingness to let God guide his actions.
He was attempting to live in such a way that God would guide his actions. And in fact, if you go in and dig into the story of Gandhi, he had everybody on their toes, the British, nobody knew what he was going to do or when, because he didn't know what he was going to do or when. He would wait until the moment of inspiration and then act.
on that inspiration. And another example that I heard from a book recently is Harriet Tubman, when she was working with the Underground Railroad, right? Saving slaves. And she had more success than anyone else in that endeavor of freeing slaves from the South illegally,
at the time. And she said the same thing, that she just knew you. In the moments that she needed to move in the moments that she and everybody else started to trust her gut as well. And it all goes back to when she first felt called to do this. She said she heard essentially a message from God that told her, Hey, I need you to go and free these slaves.
And she said, no, I can't do that. And he said, no, I need you to do it. And she said, fine, but I don't know how. So you're going to have to lead me, right? And that's, in essence, what reducing yourself to zero is all about is approaching Your life, your goals, your commitments with that kind of mentality of.
I don't know exactly how this is going to turn out, but that doesn't change how I'm going to act it won't stop me from going all in and living full out, and maybe this is changing slightly directions from where we started, but I've started to consider how to do this in my own life and live it more fully and not hold back and start and first it stuck out to me to say, Well, where am I holding back?
Like, where do I have these hidden contracts that I don't even realize are there? And Sheldon pointed out a perfect one. It's in our relationships. In our relationships we hold all, with our kids, with our spouse, with our coworkers, , with business partners. We have these contracts that are like, I deserve this and that.
And this isn't to say that you should never ask for a raise or whatever it is. I'm just saying. This is more about the energy you bring to everything you do. Even though, yes, there will be a return, a reward, because everything you put out into the world comes back to you to some extent, you're not expecting that, or you don't have some I must have this before I move forward, in essence.
Yeah. Yeah. I
Sheldon Mills: would argue that part of living with no contracts and giving your all, there's a book called mr. Nice guy. And basically it's like a nice guy does and gives and does all these things, but with this hidden expectation that he'll get something in return, you know, affection, love, admiration, sex, whatever it is.
And when that desire, that need, if I put that in quotes, does it met, then it's like, they become resentful and angry. And so I think, you know, living without contracts or loving unconditionally, whatever you want to call it, you know, it's within that is the strength to own what it is you want.
It's there's no hidden contracts because you are upfront about what you want. And at the same time, your actions, you live in such a way that you do things because you've decided that's who you want to be. That is how I want to love. Not because I'm waiting for, you know, I'm scratching your back because I want to make you feel good and show affection or whatever, to help you out. Not simply because I want you to scratch mine.
Jeff Corrigan: Yeah, it's okay, my turn, right? It's ha. This, what's in it for me, we were talking about this a little bit before , we started recording this episode, is it's really a finite kind of approach to life. It's thinking of the world as there's a limited pie and I have to get my piece.
Where living with no contracts is essentially the opposite mentality. It's realizing that the more you give, the more there is, right? It's the more you give, the more you receive. And , the larger you grow, in essence, in your abilities to serve and to be contributory. So, there's one thing that I wrote in here as well that I think is kind of fun.
I've come to realize the biggest mistake I've been making in my commitments is making them transactional, only willing to give with the promise of something in return.
But, by never fully committing, I limit the impact of my contribution. And I think, I also limit the opportunity or the ability , to receive what potentially is there. It's kind of like when Brene talks about Brene Brown, I said Brene, I just say Brene now, everybody knows who she is, right?
She's pretty much like universal at this point. But when Brene Brown talks about daring greatly, I think it's the same idea. Or like Teddy Roosevelt, the man in the arena, it's the same idea. It's you're, you'll never really. Taste it until you've put yourself out there, made yourself vulnerable, and been willing to risk being denied, being cast out,
you think of those great people in history, almost all of them were cast out were were tossed aside were basically considered, fools, right? Paul, for example. We've been reading about Paul in the scriptures lately, and he's a great example of someone who put it all on the line with no thought of return.
It's no, this is it. I'm in a hundred percent invested in what I'm trying to accomplish. So
Sheldon Mills: Sean, you got it. I want to read it real quick. So Theodore Roosevelt, you know, delivering a speech. And this is the banner in the arena quote. I have this on my wall, but it just dawned on me as you were saying that it's maybe not everybody is familiar with it as people do
Jeff Corrigan: have it hanging on their wall.
Please do, I love this one. We could do a whole episode on this, Evan.
Sheldon Mills: It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming. But who does actually strive to do the deeds, who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his soul shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.
Jeff Corrigan: Every time he gives me goosebumps. I mean, that could sum up this whole episode essentially is it's about getting in the arena courage. It's Doing the
Sheldon Mills: deed. It's not
Jeff Corrigan: holding back. Yeah. Yeah, it's not holding back in anything that you do in life and knowing that's always going to work out for the best.
Even if it, in the moment, feels like the opposite, right? Like you said, you may err many times, you may fail, , you're marred by dust and you're cut and bruised and it's been a long journey. Maybe you're thrown into prison like Gandhi, like Nelson Mandela, like Paul. The apostle, all men who dared greatly, who gave it their all, who were fully invested in what they were trying to accomplish.
And that's just how I would like to live. And I know that I hold back a lot up to this point. But in each of us, I think there comes a time. And this can be gradual. Like with Paul it happened overnight because, you know, he had a vision. But with all of the rest of us, I think we have an opportunity little by little to transform into someone who does give more than they receive, who really is contributing at their highest level.
That doesn't have to be your goal, and if that's not, well, maybe this isn't the podcast for you. That's fine. But but there is another quote from Thomas Merton, who is an American monk, who also throughout his life struggled with this desire to be a great writer, right? But he kind of realized along the way.
His error and this is his quote. He says we cannot achieve greatness unless we lose all interest in being great and therein lies Kind of the core of this living with no contracts is being willing and daring enough to put yourself out there to ship the work to love unconditionally Right?
To give with no thought of return, and then be okay with the results, because in this life you may not have the greatness or the love or whatever that you hoped for. But I promise you, as a believer in not only God, but in the afterlife, that those things always come back to you in one way or another, and in much greater quantity than you could possibly imagine.
We were talking about Henry David Thoreau and Walden the other day, and he was someone who during his life was constantly working on this work But considered a complete outcast and a failure, right? It's only after he died that his work became well known and is, you know, inspired.
Consider it a masterpiece. Yeah. Yeah. Consider it a masterpiece. Inspired generations. That we don't know what the results will be of our efforts, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't put forth the effort.
To finish this episode off, , I want to give you five... Methods that I've started to apply and I think that will be impactful for you. And you've probably already applied some of these.
This is not revelations. These are reminders these aren't new things. These are just reminders of things that can help you live with no contracts. The work, the first is, especially when it comes to your big goals or your dreams or the things that you've kind of been like, thinking about but holding back on is work for free.
Now, Sheldon and I have been doing this podcast for several years for free. Okay not even for free at our own expense, which doesn't matter. But this is a principle that I have seen all over now that I've been starting to think about this is, first of all, one of my mentors, he coached hundreds and hundreds of people before he ever got paid a dime for coaching, right?
It's like that practice though was invaluable for developing his skills, helping him understand people better and how to really help them. In their progress. And then I was thinking about all the YouTube and people that I follow on social, that anybody that I, like all my favorite follows on social media and YouTube, all of them gave it away for free at the beginning.
They just made videos. They made comments. They talked about things that they were trying to do in their lives and they shared all that stuff for free. And now lots of them make truckloads of money, and now I'm not saying that's always going to be the result. , almost all of them, I can see, have a comment in there when they've been interviewed to some extent or another, I never expected it to go this way,
Like, they didn't start out with the intention of, I'm going to make a million dollars doing this. They started out with the intention of, hey, I want to share this with the world. In a format that I like and they did, right? It's so as much as possible, and especially in new endeavors, work for free and where you're not working for free, do more than you're being paid for.
I saw that benefit me so much throughout my time working for a corporate entity was given tons of promotion opportunities. I was just willing to try things that other people weren't. Going above and beyond my call of duty, call it that, whatever that is. Okay, number two. Wanna do this one?
Sheldon Mills: didn't you just do that? Do more than his asked. Oh,
Jeff Corrigan: I just did that one. I lied. Okay. That's the second one. Number two. We already did number two. Do more than that. Okay. Take the third one, . Okay.
Sheldon Mills: And you can find this in Jeff's just blog post And True with a guide with the quick guides to help you out so you can keep it.
Turn it off, whatever take 100 percent responsibility, right? Again, back to our relationships example, you know, I think too often we think, Oh, it's 50 50. No, it's a hundred and a hundred, right? You have to own everything that is in your control. which is how you show up, it's how you act, it's how you react,
. I'm gonna. Read Jeff's quote here, because it's that good, right?
It talks about the Good Samaritan, can you imagine in the parable of the Good Samaritan, the Samaritan came back later and demanded that the injured man repay him? Imagine if every gift you gave came with a note that said the receiver owed you something of equivalent value in return. Sounds crazy, right?
But that's how we treat our closest relationships without realizing it. What if instead we gave from the heart with no expectation of return? It does indeed make us vulnerable, but it also opens us up to receive joy like we never thought possible. We just need to decide if it's worth the risk. It's good stuff, Jeff.
It's good stuff.
Jeff Corrigan: Oh, man. I wrote it better than I said it, but yes. And I guess the answer is we just need to decide if it's worth the risk. I think the answer is yes.
Sheldon Mills: It absolutely is. Yeah. Are we willing to put away our pride and ego,
Jeff Corrigan: you know?
Yeah, alright, so we need to finish this off last two, I'll do one and Sheldon will do the other, give generously, this one I think is just as powerful as it comes it's like, it is the Good Samaritan, it's the embodiment of the Good Samaritan, it's give with no thought of return, when we do that, we open ourselves up to receive more than we can imagine and it's not so much that we're doing it because of that, but by doing it, we are, we will receive, it says, when we treat others as ourselves, we become one with them, . and start to see all of humanity differently. Our focus is turned outward and our energy is multiplied to the level of our impact. You know, people call it karma, people call it the golden rule, but simply put, anything you desire, first give it away,
if you want love, first love fully, I feel like that's a great methodology to live by. Gandhi said it best though. He says, the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
Sheldon Mills: Last practicing gratitude. I'm just going to read this section as well again.
Okay, go ahead. When you want to feel more positive, hopeful, or energized, there's no better way than to consider all you are grateful for. Gratitude is the fastest, most effective way to put your mind in a more positive and creative state. Amen to that. When we think of all we lack, we are in the gap. When we consider all we have, we are in the gain.
Gratitude is the fastest way to get back to living in the gain. It's just true, people.
Jeff Corrigan: It's true. This is a reminder for me as well.
Sheldon Mills: Thanks for listening. We are again trying to give away more great free stuff on our website to go there to get the guide, this, these five steps, ways to live free of contracts. And if you love this, liked it, share. And if you have anything you want us to talk about, people you want us to interview, things you want us to explore, please let
Jeff Corrigan: It's time to start living your best life.