My Origin

Sterling Long
6 min readMay 11, 2023

In college I started a company with my brother. When we started it, we had a vision of building a place where people could gather to learn from others, build their business, and have a sense of community. We wanted to build a Landing Zone for equally inspired peers. We set out on our adventure and determined our first step was to make enough money to support others and bring them together. To truly build a community of like-minded strivers who serve each other to the best of their ability.

To this day, we still both have this vision, and we still both deeply desire it. In many ways, we built it. We had to scrounge, and push, and strive, but we brought together our favorite people and began working with them. It was one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done in my life.

Six years pass working at our company and I’ve learned and grown. I’ve graduated college as a mathematician. I’m building mobile apps for work, and video games, smart contracts, and cryptocurrencies in my free time (Math degree comes in handy here). My brother and I had gathered an amazing group of friends that had built a software suite similar to SAP that connected million and billion dollar companies and spanned nations! For all of that I am incredibly grateful, but even with all of that I felt as if I had reached the cap on my growth. I was struggling to find a passion for the work I was doing. I needed change. I craved personal growth and learning. If I don’t have that personal growth I feel lost and without purpose. It was time for me to launch out of the Landing Zone.

At this point in my life, I had dreamt of making instructional video games for almost 15 years and of teaching and serving at a higher degree and with greater influence for almost 6 years. While I was teaching my coworkers and helping them learn, I still wasn’t teaching at the level I desired. I felt that I wasn’t building my games at the speed I required of myself. I felt unfulfilled in the company I had started with my brother. Without that passion or growth I felt I wasn’t Congruent with my best self. In many ways, I felt caged. The company still needed me, but I was not passionate about our work, and for me, that passion is my lifeblood. I live for adventure, I live to be Fearless, I live to be Congruent.

I was also scared. I was terrified that my life was slipping through my fingers, while also terrified that if I leaped somewhere else I wouldn’t make it and that our company would fail without my presence. I was terrified that I wasn’t having the impact I was destined for, that I wasn’t chasing my dreams with the full force of my spirit, that I wasn’t hurling my Spear of Purpose into the lands of opportunity and chasing it down with abandon.

And the cherry on the cake: I didn’t feel that I could look my Maker in the eyes and say “I fully pursued the purpose you inscribed in my soul and on my heart.”

My conclusion was that, in spite of all of the wonderful things our company had built and the people we brought together, I was living in a cage of my own creation. It did not bring me the joy, connection, or passion that I wanted.

I knew I needed to craft my own life, but I felt I didn’t have the tools to do so.

Then, one week I was on a date with a girl who said something that lit a fire in my belly. She said “You know, in college, we spent so much time and money investing in ourselves. We just don’t do that anymore.”

That statement has changed my entire life. That statement caused me to become Fearlessly Congruent. Because of that statement, I built a one-year plan to launch myself from the Landing Zone, I found my wife, I faced and continue to face my fears with the full force of my soul, and I am now blessed to be more excited, joyful, and enthusiastic than I ever have been in my life.

I sincerely hope that you make the decision, right now, to invest more heavily in your own personal development. It’s time to invest in yourself. It’s time to make your leap, whatever that may be.

Fearless Congruence

As I am a mathematician and software developer with a fierce love of clear definitions, let me give you one now:

Fearless Congruence is consistently discovering and taking your next right action of integrity in spite of fear.

It requires a willingness to face and accept yourself in all your glory and faults.
It requires doing the work to know what you value and treasure.
Finally, it requires a commitment to action based on those values.

Just the fact that you’re reading this right now means you’re on the path to Fearless Congruence. Those who make personal development a way of life are those who find themselves courageous in the face of terror, and congruent to their highest self.

“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 place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Theodore Roosevelt

I need you to know the joy of victory and the satisfaction of failure. For that to happen I need you to commit, right now, to be in that arena with your face marred by dust and sweat and blood, your mind fully engaged, and your heart on the line.

I need you to commit to becoming Fearlessly Congruent, whatever that looks like for you. Say these commitments to yourself. Out loud. Use your voice to command your soul and spur yourself into action.

Why is Fearless Congruence so powerful?

The greatest emotional and mental pain that you will ever feel is due to incongruence with yourself.

  • You say or do something, but you don’t mean it.
  • You act one way but know at the bottom of your heart that you should be doing the complete opposite thing.
  • You go along with the crowd when you know you shouldn’t.
  • You promise a particular course of action to a coworker, but you go back on your word.

Broken lives and incongruent souls are built by should have done. And the worst part about all of it? Every time you act against your inner voice you feel shame. Shame that you didn’t strive. Shame that you didn’t have more courage. Shame that you lied so blatantly. So much shame that it weighs on you. Crushes you. And eventually, you numb the feeling because you just can’t handle it anymore.

Fearless Congruence is powerful because it removes these burdens and renders you free to act as your highest self. When you consistently makes their next right action of integrity, you stick to your word. Your speak only the truth, or as Jordan Peterson says: At least you don’t lie. You speak up when you know a course of action is incorrect and you refuse to go along with the crowd that condones those incorrect actions.

I felt shame for not striving to rise above the perceived limitations I had in my company.

For a long time, I had caged myself into believing that this was the only path available to me. That because I had given so much to my brother and my company, that I couldn’t step away and onto a different path.

Breaking out of my self-imposed cage took vulnerability, clarity, energy, allies, and intention. It will take the same from you.

My rewards were and continue to be satisfaction, enduring peace, soulful connection, amazing companionship, joy, and a realization that it is ok to want to move beyond your current Arena and into a new one.

You may describe your rewards differently than I do once you have them, but they will still be a vast treasure for you. So I implore you to begin your adventure. To step into your Arena of life, and join me in the construction of your dream. I implore you to become Fearlessly Congruent.

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Sterling Long

Fearless, Loving, Joyful. Empowering others to rise above their limitations. Coach. Video Game Builder. Web3 Enthusiast. Dedicated Husband. Disciple of Christ.