Bear with me if I get a little too “Tony Robbins” with you today. There’s something I’m really passionate about and have to get off my chest.
I’ve had several conversations this week that have left me feeling pretty confused.
I definitely can understand being in a bad financial situation and being broke. Been there many times myself.
But I always knew that it was a temporary situation for me.
First of all, if you took away every dime I have and all my possessions, I can get it all back and more because of what’s stored in my brain.
And on top of that, whenever there was something in my life I didn’t like… I did whatever I needed to do to improve it.
That just makes SENSE to me. If there is something about my life I want to change, I start doing what I need to do to change it.
If I need information to accomplish that, I start seeking out that information. If I need to take certain actions, I start taking those actions.
Maybe I’m “wired” differently than most people… but that just makes sense to me. Apparently not to many others.
Most people seem to complain about their situation but never do anything to change it. They wait around expecting it to change while continuing to do what they’ve always done.
I just don’t get that!
To me, it’s rather simple…
If you want to make a change in your life,
YOU have to make it happen.
Wishing it will happen won’t work.
Complaining about it won’t make it any better.
Waiting for the government, your boss, your wife, God, your union or any other person, place or thing to improve your life won’t work either.
The plain unequivocal truth most people don’t want to hear is… YOU are the only one who can affect a change in your life.
And you do it by taking ACTION.
I’m amazed at how many people are broke in this country, living paycheck to paycheck.
That’s a simple problem to solve. (I said simple, not easy.)
Live UNDER your means and don’t go into debt for ANYTHING. If you can’t pay cash, you can’t afford it.
I may be extreme in my beliefs about this… but for me that includes real estate.
And there is no excuse for anybody not making enough money in this country. There is plenty of opportunity out there. What I’ve found is most people who complain they aren’t making enough money are really only doing the minimum to get by. If they REALLY wanted to make more money, they could easily take the actions necessary to make more.
Heck, if they just invested the time they spend watching mindless TV every day into learning a new money making skill or starting a side business, they could increase their income pretty quickly.
(By the way, “TV” stands for “The Vacuum” because it sucks your brains out.)
Forgive me for getting all worked up about this, but it really makes me angry to see reasonably intelligent human beings completely waste their potential and settle for so much less in life than they are capable of achieving.
Now, please don’t take what I’m about to ask you lightly:
When is “some day” going to be today? When is “one of these days” going to be YOUR day?
It has taken me 50 years to learn this:
Your biggest regrets in life won’t be the things you did… your biggest regrets will be the things you didn’t do.
Read that again and take it to heart.
Your biggest regrets in life won’t be the things you did…
your biggest regrets will be the things you didn’t do.
Trust me. Those kind of regrets are “kicked in the gut” painful. They hurt down to your soul. They can suck the life right out of you.
Of all the pain I’ve experienced throughout my life, I can’t think of one single thing more painful.
Many adults have lost the ability to dream. They give up after experiencing the normal disappointments and setbacks of life. It seems less painful to give up on your dreams and expect nothing than to hope for something and be disappointed.
But most young people haven’t had the ability to dream beaten out of them yet. Unless they were raised by parents with a “poverty mindset.” That usually poisons the kids. And the gummint funded youth indoctrination camp (aka “public school”) will DEFINITELY destroy them eventually. That’s the stated goal of that system. But until that time, most kids can still dream.
Whenever I talk to some teenager with a dream… ANY kind of dream… I feel like grabbing them by the shoulders, shaking them and saying…
“Please… PLEASE! For the love of God… PLEASE just do it! It’s a great dream! Get started NOW! Just put the blinders on and go for it! The worst that can happen is you lose a little time. At least you TRIED!”
My 16 year old niece likes theater and acting. I’ve seen some of her performances and she’s pretty good. With some more experience and coaching she could probably make a living at it. Maybe even a VERY good living. Maybe even a life filled with fun and excitement doing something she loves. Sounds like the definition of “success” to me.
Or the worst case scenario… she could possibly spend a few years doing some acting gigs, having a lot of fun but not making a living at it.
No big deal. So she gets a day job to support herself and continues to audition for productions. At the very least, she’s still involved in her passion and having fun. And that’s the WORST case scenario.
She starts college next year and wants to study acting. Her parents and teachers are telling her, “You need to get a degree in something that has a future. Something you can support yourself with. It’s not realistic to study acting and hope to make a living at it.”
It’s THAT kind of advice that will kill your dreams. (And that eventually kills YOU.) It will leave you with regrets that will hurt the rest of your life.
Look, it’s better to give it a shot for a few years so you can look back and say that you at least TRIED. It really hurts to know you had the talent, intelligence and determination (the most important of the three) to achieve your dream but you never even made the effort because you listened to the dream stealers.
And here’s what doesn’t make any sense at all. Those dream stealers will most likely be your family and friends. The very people you would think would most want your success and happiness!
I don’t think they do it deliberately to hurt you. I think they do it for a couple reasons…
- They really believe they are giving you sound practical advice to keep you from getting hurt or disappointed.
- If you succeed (or even just start the process of pursuing a dream) it’s just too hard for them to cope with… because the implication is that they could do it, too. They too could be pursuing their dreams and improving their lives. But instead they choose to spend their free time watching TV or hanging out with their friends. They’d rather avoid you or bring you down than be faced with your silent accusation every day that they could have a successful life, too.
Wouldn’t it be a shame if you died
not having achieved anything of note?
Not ever pursuing or accomplishing
any of your dreams and goals?
I guess I’m unusual. Downright weird even. In fact, I didn’t know how unusual I was until recently.
A quick poll of ten friends and acquaintances revealed a grand total of ZERO people who felt anything similar. When questioned, none of them had life plans any grander than the possibility of a new television or a vacation next year. No ambitions. No drive. No enthusiasm. Nothing. Are your friends the same?
Imagine a life just like billions of others before you – sleeping, eating, shopping, mowing the lawn, washing the car; until one day… you grab your chest, slump forward and check out of this earthly existence.
About ten billion humans have lived and died on this giant ball of mud hurtling through space. How many of those ten billion did anything of note during their lives? Maybe a tenth of one percent?
What about the rest?
Well, incredibly, they were willing to piss away their irreplaceable, limited, precious life in dull, repetitive, mind-numbing boredom. And in many cases, this was their CHOICE – it wasn’t imposed on them like previous generations.
These faceless, nameless billions left nothing behind except a new generation of the same. They’re all gone now… their names forgotten. They didn’t push humanity forward by even one inch. They were born… they consumed… they died.
It’s sad to say but if the truth be told, 98% of gravestones, if they’re to be honest, should simply state:
“Here lies John W. Doe.
He was born, he consumed, he died.”
You think I’m kidding? Look around you. Talk to people. Do they have any burning ambitions? Any creative energy? Do they want to leave their mark? To accomplish ANYTHING with their life?
Do you know anybody who is actually taking action (as opposed to just talking about it) toward a dream, no matter how small? I doubt it. There are precious few.
Read what one of my favorite writers, Stuart Goldsmith, has to say about it:
You probably had the glimmer of a dream when you were a youngster, but this was soon knocked out of you. Your parents undoubtedly called your dream unrealistic. Then, to the sound of a points-lever being pulled, they suggested to you that you get a ‘practical’ education in order that you might follow your dream at a later date.
I am not implying any malevolence here, you need to remember that your parents, and all preceding generations did not have the luxury of fancy life-planning. The name of their game was survival. To survive you needed money. To get money you needed a good job. To get a good job you needed a good education. They pulled those levers on you for the best of intentions, but the result was a disaster for your fledgling ambitions.
This message was reinforced by teachers, friends and career advisers, until by the time you left full-time education you were almost certainly way off the main line and heading fast down some insignificant branch line.
Throughout these years, you learned the trick of suppressing your dream. You simply could not maintain this dream in the face of such ordered opposition and so you buried it in a secret place within you.
Then the pace of life started really to heat up, and problems started to come at you like a pack of hungry jackals. No time for fancy, childish dreams now. All of your energies were involved, and probably still are involved, in fighting off the pack of slavering dogs. Dreams are… well, for dreamers. There is a life to be lived, food to put on the table, a mortgage to be paid and other people to worry about. If you even remember your dream, you probably fool yourself into thinking you’ll pick it up later, when the family has grown up, when you are retired. Some time.
The tragedy here is that most people’s dreams become so deeply buried they not only forget what they are, but even forget that they had a dream in the first place.
Certainly, few people can put a name to their dream. Instead, they sit in the sidings, rusting away, perhaps (if this is not pushing the railway analogy too far) hoping that some bright, gleaming locomotive will arrive one day to pull them to safety. Is it any wonder that they are depressed?
Here’s something I’ve learned:
That bright gleaming locomotive isn’t ever coming. You can hope, pray, cry… go through all the motions, rituals, ceremonies, recitations, chanting, etc. required by your religion…
Or you can read a million positive thinking books and look in the mirror every morning saying your affirmations…
It doesn’t matter… that locomotive is not coming to magically pull you to success.
No magical, spiritual or celestial force or being is going to float out of the sky to pull you to the realization of your dreams. The sooner you accept that, the sooner you can do what you really need to do to realize your dreams.
YOU are the locomotive, my dear friend. The help you are waiting for is YOU. Only you can do the work needed to get the locomotive moving forward.
What does all this have to do with marketing? EVERYTHING!
You can read all the marketing books in the world and attend every seminar that comes down the pike… while sitting around talking about what you’re going to do and projects you’re going to start… but not until you actually DO something will you ever make any progress.
A wise man once told me…
Motion beats meditation!
I have a very important question to ask you:
Can you really stomach the thought of a life filled with gut-wrenching regrets? All because you kept putting off that dream until “tomorrow?”
When are you going to get started on those dreams you’ve been talking about? Days have turned into weeks, months and now years. And you know what? You really don’t have a whole lot of time left.
Tomorrow is today, my friend. For God’s sake… set aside 30 minutes today to get started toward your dream. Just 30 short minutes! Do SOMETHING in those 30 minutes that will move you a little bit closer to that dream.
Then do it again tomorrow…. and the day after that.
And every day thereafter.
Please don’t squander your time (your life) waiting for “some day” to arrive. Take action NOW.
Please don’t look back at age 40, 50, 60… or whatever, with regret for the things you didn’t do.
You have the power and ability to design whatever kind of life you want. I sincerely believe you can accomplish what you really are determined to accomplish.
But it doesn’t really matter if I believe it. YOU have to believe it and start taking action.
Get started today, OK?
In fact, right now would be the perfect time.
All the best,
P.S. If you want to really “go deep” about how to break through the mental roadblocks that keep you from achieving your goals and dreams, here is where I share the really advanced “smash through the success barriers” secrets.