What If Your Success Was 'Locked-In' At The Moment Of Decision, WHAT Would You Do?
WHO Would You Be?
Yup! It's an intriguing question, isn't it? But what is my point?
I have an interest, I read about it daily, I write about it often, it fascinates me immensely, some would say it borders on obsession. What is it? Oh I am glad you asked Dear Reader, it gives me a chance to discuss it again today. The mystical subject to which I am referring is success.
Why do some seem to achieve success in a seemingly effortlessly manner, moving from one triumph to another with hardly a hair out of place with obstacles side-stepping their path so as not to cause any impediment? While many of us study the principles, learn the tricks and hacks that we are told will make accomplishment inevitable but to no avail.
Some of us buy the books, watch the tutorials, attend the seminars, pay for the secrets and follow the gurus but just don't seem able to make any tangible progress, what is the deal here?
I guess there's a myriad of reasons that the things we pursue most of all sometimes elude us. There could be many factors that come in to play here. Maybe the answer is simple, Perhaps it is merely something along the lines of;
- We have chosen a bad plan or even worse no plan at all.
- We only have some of the puzzle pieces required to complete the picture, maybe it's gonna take one more book, strategy or seminar.
- Maybe we are lacking in the discipline required to make the bold strides necessary.
- Perhaps we have purchased snake-oil from a skilled salesman or infomercial.
- Perhaps the Guru we follow is giving us plain old bad advice and has no practical experience of walking the walk.
- Could we be racked with self-doubt ever- fearful of the specter of failure?
- Maybe the converse is true, fear of success is our chosen disease.
- We start with no skills or resources, after all how could we ever hope to achieve from such humble beginnings?
- I'm too short, tall, fat, thin, dumb, inexperienced, my parents didn't hug me enough... and on and on it goes.
If we had the mind to ,we could all come up with an endless, infinite, exponentially expanding list ((or even a compendium)) of reasons for not being able to succeed at any endeavor we turn our hand to, wouldn't you agree?
I sincerely believe that once we understand this we are beginning to scratch the surface on why we fail despite all our best intentions even when we appear to have an unlimited store of resolve and boundless belief and enthusiasm when we begin.
Let me propose what may appear to be a bizarre query upon asking but may begin to yield answers that maybe sting a little and speak of our intrinsic nature.
Could it be that from the outset we KNOW we are destined for failure?
Hear me out! I am not saying that we have a mindset along the lines of:
"Hey I could achieve that buff body I've always believed would be mine one day - Hell, I know I'm gonna fail but what the heck, let's go make a disastrous attempt at success anyway..."
No, no, no Dear Reader, what I am taking about is far more insidious and surreptitious than that. It works more along the lines of:
- Decide on a goal or something you desire.
- Detail exactly what you are gonna do in pursuit of it.
- Build up an intense fire of belief and enthusiasm in the pit of your resolve.
- Think about the practical ramifications about going after your goal, consider the downsides...
- Feel those nagging doubts start to creep in to the periphery of your vision, chipping away some of the gloss from your grand vision.
- Listen to your Cousin Mikey's advice about how he knew a dude who failed at exactly what you are gonna do.
- Notice a news article on why it's a terrible time to do what you are planning to do right now.
- Remember that you don't have any special skills, you didn't even do all that great at school and your homework was always late.
- Hear your Dad's voice from way back when telling you you'll never amount to anything worthwhile.
There are several ways the story can go from here on in, but I am sure you can work them out yourself.
You could do a quick inventory of pros and cons to get yourself back on track and on your way to a well considered plan that has had both sides completely thought through. Perhaps you will pay particular attention to those red flags that gave you pause for thought. Maybe you will seek out advice from somebody who has trodden the path you are about to embark on. You realise of course that there are no cast-iron guarantees when it comes to success or the pursuit of something you do not currently have but you are gonna give it your very best shot.
You decide to give it a shot anyway although you realise you are probably going to fail after all the previous step almost guaranteed it, didn't it? You don't want to lose face in the eyes of others and you are gonna at-least have a go at what you said you would. You begin to start thinking up potential reasons for this abject failure ((should it arrive)) and line up your story about the myriad of reasons for it and why YOU are in no way to blame. Maybe you could blame your unsupportive family, the economy, the current government, maybe it was the prevailing capitalist/socialist culture and ideals that thwarted your well designed adventure.
OR is it the third scenario, the one I have witnessed all too often and the one most of us would have envisioned when I asked the question...?
You exclaim inwardly at-least that you "Knew it!" The idea was doomed from the outset! How could you possibly have believed you could break away from the 'Status Quo'? How could you have been naive or even arrogant enough to believe that someone from your background could possibly hope to ever break away from abject mediocrity. The odds were massively stacked against you from the start, everybody knows that the dice are loaded, the tables are rigged and the house always wins! Dear oh dear how could you ever have been so foolish?
Let me give you my understanding of the thought process leading to any of the above three scenarios.
The second the decision was made on how to proceed the seeds for success of failure were already sown!
I am sure you are very familiar with the famous quote from Henry Ford...
If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right.
I believe there is an immense amount of truth squeezed into those few words, I really do. You see most of us vastly underestimate the unlimited power we hold within. That's not to say it is easy to believe and easy to achieve anything without question but it is possible to cultivate the sort of personality that is unshakable and resolute and more than a match for anything it decides to do, I mean really decides to do.
A thought exercise springs to mind, I have read about it many, many times in a wide range of books on the topic of success, achievement and inner strength and confidence. Business leaders use it in rallying cries to their people as it shows a way to take a shortcut through all of the psychological guff and get busy with what you could really be doing.
It goes something along the lines of, If I asked you to enter a burning building would you? Unsurprisingly the answers invariably range from "No way!" all the way too "Are you nuts?"
What if your child was trapped in there, the question obviously resonates with any parent and I guess, anybody with the slightest modicum of empathy. In the latter part of that fictitious example the questioner would be knocked out of the way by the sprinting parent, right?
What if I offered you $100 to cross a plank placed between two skyscrapers? No you cry? What if I upped the reward to $1000, I'm still not envisaging many takers. What if I placed the same two planks on the ground before you right now offering you the same reward?
Did the fire get slightly less intense in the second example? Were the flames a little lower? Maybe you remembered that you are flame retardant, maybe that's it? Did the planks suddenly become a little wider in the other example? Maybe inflation made a massive move and the dollars were suddenly worth more, is that it?
No the task in question did not change, but the odds became less relevant in the first example and what was at stake became more important. In the second example the odds appeared to swing back in your favour and the fear was all but eradicated. You understand of-course that the task itself did not change one jot.
Most of all, you obviously understand that the psychology behind taking the required actions felt drastically different!
When people set goals, think about starting a business, maybe contemplate investing in the stock market, they initially have a wave of euphoria as they consider what they could have, do or be. Then they over-think and start imaging in glorious 8K 3D UHD technicolor everything that could potentially go wrong.
People often focus on what is at risk if I do this? I want to ask you what's at risk if you don't? Maybe give that some serious thought before you make any hard and fast decisions.
I suggest you put in some work on building a titanium plated, unshakable character that considers, plans, adapts and pursues anything and everything you could ever wish for. I put it to you that if you do this you can actually guarantee almost certain success in every undertaking you engage in.
Take some time to really think about the question I opened with...
What If Your Success Was 'Locked-In' At The Moment Of Decision, WHAT Would You Do? WHO Would You Be?
What WOULD you do??? Can you imagine how empowered you would feel knowing that you were capable of achieving almost anything your mind could conceive? How would it feel to wake every morning with that kind of resolve, that sort of character, knowing you are that person?
You can! It may take a little time to hone the aspects of what makes who you are. You may need to read a few books or watch some informational videos about the facets of yourself you would like to sharpen and hone but I believe wholeheartedly that not too long from now you could be taking the steps to cultivating your perfect life. Take a little time to recognise and hear the internal thoughts that pipe up when you are least expecting them, are they empowering or limiting?
If they are limiting, stop them, re-word them and start to think about YOU in the terms of who you REALLY are when all the psychological crap is stripped away. If they are empowering, view them as the building blocks you CAN work with and build upon them to become even more resolute and confident in your ability.
Did you notice the second part of my opening question?
WHO Would You Be?
That is incredibly important. It is one thing to have the skills, the wherewithal and the positive attitude and the confidence to tackle any challenge head on. But who do you need to be to do the things you dream of? Do you need to be a person who knows when to say yes or to say no? Do you need to be more disciplined, focused and organised? Do you need to be more open with others or more authentic? Do you need to develop the skills of leadership?
THIS is the other side of the coin, the piece of the puzzle that people most often miss. They train to become a business person for instance, learn all the technical and practical skills needed to thrive in such an arena but they forget they are completely unequipped to organize people or they are shy and dislike the element of confrontation necessary for effective negotiation.
Don't skimp in this regard, make a list of all the traits you will need to move forward, what sort of person do you need or want to be? Then get to work on YOU - This is the aspect that will put you over the top and give you the tools to work through the hard times and obstacles that will surely come.
Imagine the person who spends three months learning to display the perfect form for completing their perfect exercise routine, works overtime t afford the elaborate range of equipment that they believe they need to move forward, they study the top ten bodybuilders in the world for a further 6 months and finally the day comes for them to embark on their journey to better health and fitness BUT They never cultivated the mental resilience they would need and they never learned about their own destructive nature and impulses and saddest of all they never learned to say no to donuts, burgers and alcohol!
A stool with two incredibly strong legs and one weak one will fall and eventually break!
YOU CAN learn the skills necessary to be the kind of person who organises their plans and goals in such a way that success is locked in before you ever strike out towards them on day one.
If you have managed to stick it out till the end of my post then you have proven you have a certain amount of fortitude already. It is my sincerest wish that this post strikes a chord in the person who was looking for that one final piece of motivation before they dared to embark on their dream. The person who has been nagged with self-doubt even though they know deep down, they are capable of greatness.
I will be writing much, much more, albeit with a little more brevity in the future as I said it really is a passion of mine. If that sounds like something that would be inspiring to you then check back often as I would to see friends both new and old swing by for a virtual coffee. You are always so much more than welcome.
Live each day with integrity, authenticity, and lashings of love, joy and laughter whilst always striving to be a better version of yourself, when you bring those ideals and values to this community we all become a little better collectively and always remember that...