My name’s Jacob. Three years ago I saw a shrink, fell in love, left my job, and walked on clouds. (there’s more…)
I used to work for an awesome IT company as a computer network consultant in Times Square NYC. I made a nice living enjoying all the cliché token things a “successful” 27 year old would want: A sweet ass apartment, a cool car, a fast motorcycle, a wardrobe that changed with the seasons, fancy dinners with friends, and some extra spending cash for Friday and Saturday nights.
What i didn’t have was an enthusiastic feeling when my day began. All the new techy toys in the world wouldn’t take away that feeling of “damn, i gotta‘ go through this routine again today!”
Everything changed in 2009 when i took 5 weeks off from work to backpack throughout Europe, alone! I came back to New York City a changed man and slowly started to figure out how i would alter my life accordingly…
I’ve created Sensophy as a way to help you live an extraordinary life. A life that when you wake up in the morning, you’re like, helllll yeeeeeeah!
It’s all about living a life of passion, purpose, progress and playfulness. If that interests you, you’re in the right place. If it doesn’t, this site is not for you.
A lot of what we talk about here has to do with “the process”. I love going after HUGE goals (have you heard about How Tim Ferriss Took Me to a Jets Game with Gary Vaynerchuk) but figuring out how to enjoy the process along the way is key!
Hit us up. We love talking to people about life (specifically pertaining to creating an extraordinary one). If you reach out to us, we’ll reach back.
The Story Behind the Glory
I was 24 years old and having an allergic reaction to my life.
It was an existential shit-show.
Times Square NYC, 2009: Spaced-out staring at my dual-monitor screens, I sat slumped in my ergonomically accurate chair. A personal low in my high-rise building. I sported crispy khakis equipped with my company AMEX card. I was in complete conflict.
My life was the perfect paradox: Outer success but inside a mess.
To quote the Notorious BIG, “I grew up a screw up” – so working for an awesome IT start-up as a computer network consultant in Manhattan seemed like success. Come on, I had it good: A sweet ass apartment, a fun car, a fast motorcycle, a fashionable wardrobe, fancy dinners with friends, and on occasion… [earmuffs children]… I’d even get laid.
What was missing?
ENTHUSIASM! Behind the scenes, I led a life of quiet desperation and all the new techy toys in the world wouldn’t prevent me from waking up and feeling like, “Damn, I gotta go through THIS routine again today!?”
Questions like, “Who am I?” and “What’s my purpose?” marinated heavily in my mind.
But talk about it? Yeah right. There was no way my family, friends, and co-workers could understand. I couldn’t even understand myself. After all, I had it good, so to ask questions made me feel like one of those ungrateful uppity snobbish kids.
I tried to dismiss my dilemma, but deeper issues started arising: I had some menacing thoughts racing around my mind – thoughts which questioned my self-worth, my intelligence, my future, my purpose, and even my sexuality. Those were topics too deep, dark, and scary to speak with someone about – even a shrink.
And since I didn’t really know myself, all these thoughts jeopardized my identity. Who is Jacob?
I had no clue and I didn’t know what to do, but this small voice inside kept insisting that I take a trip to Europe. And here’s where the story gets smoking…
Everything changed in 2009 when I took 5 weeks off from work to backpack throughout Europe… ALONE! I came back to New York City with a deeper understanding of myself and slowly started to alter my life accordingly. Family and friends jumped and screamed at me, telling me I was being an irresponsible idiot, but six months after I came home, I quit my job.
Undoubtedly, I was still lost, but going to Hawaii for 6 weeks seemed like a damn good first step. In between the beaches and BBQs it started becoming clear to me: I needed guidance, but not from anyone I knew and definitely not from society. I needed a deeper source of relevant wisdom.
And as it goes, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”
I came across a dude online named Brian Johnson. Brian had created PhilosophersNotes (think cliff-notes for cool books) and once I laid eyes on it, I spent hours everyday immersing myself in his wisdom.
In a matter of weeks I went from confusion to Confucius, from senselessness to Seneca.
Brian was the living embodiment of the class we never had. He was my mentor for Optimal Living 101, and with his playful style, he bridged the gap between me and some of the world’s best wisdom which had always seemed too esoteric for me to touch.
What was I learning?
Bri taught me I could control my thoughts through meditation. (I’ve meditated nearly every day for the last 800 days.) He explained how our outer-world is a direct reflection of our inner-world. So if we want to create extraordinary lives, we need to become extraordinary people. And we do that by taking baby-steps + making non-negotiable commitments to do the things which matter most. I was starting to figure things out.
The idea of consciously creating my *ideal* life was an audacious new approach. It shattered my lurking limitations and opened me up to a plethora of possibilities. Most of all, those menacing thoughts about my self-worth, intelligence, and purpose all started to dissipate. My quality of life was at an all-time high (sobriety intact)!
Mind you, I still had no solid idea of what my future was going to look like but I knew this:
If there was one thing I could give to the world, it would be to help people go from feeling what I felt THEN, to feeling what I feel NOW.
Life. Is. Good.
On June 2nd, 2010, Jacob Sokol became the proud parent of a new born baby blog. Kaboom: Sensophy is spawned!
I spent the next year pouring my soul into Sensophy – studying, learning, applying and sharing the best wisdom I could find to help people (+ myself) create extraordinary lives. I was living life “unrealistically” and loving it, connecting with passionate people who cared about the same things I did. I even managed to get Tim Ferriss to take me to a Jets game with Gary Vaynerchuk. Sensophy was growing and shit was suh’weet.
But in early 2011, only one year after I quit my job, I got a spiritual bitch-slapping.
My relationship just ended and I was heart-broken. My quality of life was quickly declining down a slippery slope. Sensophy was in motion, I was offering life advice, yet it felt like it wasn’t okay for me not to feel okay. Top of that, my savings were shrinking and my finances were becoming finicky.
You ever feel anxiety in your feet before? I have, then and there, as the menacing thoughts slowly started to return.
The universe was testing me.
How badly did I wanna live this “extraordinary” life?
And there was one frightening fact I was needed to face: it was time to turn Sensophy from a blog into a business.[Cue the Rakim] “Thinkin’ of a master plan, ‘Cause ain’t nothin’ but sweat inside my hand…”
I spent the next 6 months sculpting Living On Purpose, an uncommon guide to help people find and rock their purpose in life. So much for playing small. On the day after LOP launched, I flew back to Hawaii for another 5 week stint. Hellooo Honolulu!
It’s great to make a couple grand doing what you love. But I live in NYC where Jay-Z pays more than that for dinner.
I felt doubtful: Sensophy didn’t seem like a sustainable income stream. So as a safety net, I decided to put my IT resume back on the market. Not long after, a company recruited me, interviewed me, and freakishly, I had an offer on the table to make nearly $100,000 per year! That’s some serious guacamole. And my stash was ready for me to stack some chips.
I wrestled with my conscience and did mental gymnastics, systematically circulating around my mind. It was a daunting dilemma.
Was I being naive believing I could follow my heart and financially sustain myself? Maybe my family and friends were right. Perhaps I was too impractical with the idea of consciously creating a higher quality life.
Maybe. But what was the other option? Quiet desperation? The crispy khakis? I couldn’t. My soul was too vocal to accept that option.
So I took it back to the basics.
Where was I able to find guidance in my previous perplexity?
BRIAN! It was time to take a leap of faith, dig deep into my core, and come out with an email asking him for advice. Voilà…
“Bri, this email is the state of my soul purposely positioned in your inbox. I’m at a complex crossroad right now and feel called to reach out to you. Tell me if this sounds familiar: I’m excited as ever cuz I’m making groundbreaking personal progress – but I’m also terrified.”
I hit ‘send’ and waited for a reply. The clock’s hands have never moved so slowly. A day. And another day. And another ‘nother day went by with no response. My heart-pounded and my pulse skipped. Please. It wasn’t a pretty picture.
And just as the first week of waiting was concluding, I saw something. There it sat – big, bright, and unread in my inbox. His response! And not long after, we chatted!
Bri quickly busted out the big wisdom:
“No thing great is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig. If you tell me that you desire a fig, I answer you that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen.” -Epictetus
Class was in session as he was schooling me. Creating an extraordinary life is a long-term vision. And if you approach it with the mindset that this needs to work now or you’re screwed – you’re screwed!
I was starting to see that.
But by the end of our chat, things were looking up. We had concluded two potential financial streams to flow through my life. The first, I started working one-on-one to coach people in finding their purpose and raise the quality of their life.
And the second, I’ve become a (real life) philosopher for Brian’s en*theos Academy for Optimal Living, getting paid to help world-class teachers spread their wisdom so peeps like you and I can raise our quality of life.
I also realized that traveling to some of the most exotic places on the planet (Thailand, Bali, etc…) would save me money. (They didn’t tell you THAT in college!) The cost of living there is cheaper and all I needed was my laptop + internet to work on building my business. I rented my NYC apartment out and the beaches of South East Asia became my office for a few months.
Where does that leave us now?
Well, here, in NYC. And [cue the LL cool J] don’t call it a comeback – I’ve been here for years!
Question: Remember that *ideal* life I was audaciously aiming to consciously create? Yeah homey, I’m living it. :)
I spend my days reading, creating, flirting, playing, traveling, and connecting with people who change the world. I wake up excited and I don’t mean morning-wood.
I’ve also solved the existential conundrum of, “Who is Jacob?”
The answer………. ME!
I’m still studying, learning, and embodying world-class wisdom to help us live extraordinary lives. But now I’m also actively coaching people like you on how to do the same (there are a few spaces open if you want me as your mentor).
I teamed up with en*theos in early 2013 to host a virtual conference called WTF Should I Do w/ My Life?! Why? Because the traditional roadmap for success isn’t working (and the 7,000+ peeps who joined us obviously agree!). So I interviewed some of the world’s leading thinkers and asked them to guide us in creating lives of happiness and success.
What I’ve come to realize is this:
Living an extraordinary life isn’t easy, but it’s worth it.
And we can’t do it without support and guidance from people we respect and relate to… so keep in touch!