Having the good fortune to know a great many hustlers who, not only dreamed big and worked towards their goals, but who have become success stories and maintained that hunger for more in life, I’ve been able to learn what makes them succeed.
Many of us have been preconditioned to view difficulties as question to stop chasing our goals. Every dream, every resolution, every spark of inspiration is checked by our minds inability to see beyond the struggle. There are many studies on this phenomenon and well documented solutions, but what it comes down to is essentially a reality check.
Instead of looking for default excuses as to why we are slow to progress in our personal agendas let’s look at it for what it truly is. It’s a matter of priorities. It is okay if completing some project is not high on your list of priorities. Or if losing unhealthy weight is not high on your list of priorities, but we have to face the truth and go from there.
By default one may admit to procrastinating on achieving a goal, or one may find some other situation that’s to blame for complacency but the reality is often that we just don’t have a particular goal as our priority. If you discover that you are okay with that then you can move on and stop stressing. If however the goal really is important to you, then the next step should be to look at your life and restructure it in such a way that you can become successful. The success of ones hustle is dependent solely upon the level of hunger, passion, and drive he or she has to succeed. If one is not driven it is because that particular goal is not a priority.
If you can change your mindset you can change your life for the better but you have to make positive change your number one priority and act.
How can one be free while simultaneously tied to debt?
Maybe you dream of living the good life, travelling, building that dream home, or simply investing itself rather than a 9 to 5. The reason most of us are driven economically is to have a sense of freedom in the future. What will my retirement be like? Can I quit working before 65? Why not enjoy life in my twenties and worry about a career later? These are some of the questions I hear people ask all the time and the choices they make often revolve around accumulating time equity. How much value one places on their time aka freedom effects their choices today as well as in the future. knowingly or not we make real choices based on our ultimate desire for enjoying an endless vacation.
For some people grinding away at some task is actually meditative and so they work or avoid work to spend as much time grinding away as possible. For others freedom is floating beneath a waterfall on some tropical island without a care in the world and so they put in countless hours of overtime for years to acquire freedom. But how can one be free while simultaneously tied to debt? Debt is a voracious monster that will eat as much as possible before releasing you from its grasp.
For many people it is easy to look at debt and think “I’ll just put this off until later.” If someone takes out fifty grand in student loans only to have to repay a few hundred thousand over the course of the loan it’s easy to understand that you are being ripped off. Many creditors bring in millions of dollars a day and so sure your hundred dollars here or there probably won’t be missed but non-payment will hurt you in the long run. Because these institutions are so large and so well-connected they can actually ruin ones life in more ways than one.
Debt can occur for many reasons ranging from emergencies, the pursuit of higher education, or just poor decisions. To escape from debt is difficult but essential. If your goal is to be free to enjoy life to the fullest then you must start by getting rid of debt. In the process of eliminating debt one can learn more about debt and the obvious dangers of debt in order to avoid falling back into the vicious cycle of economic slavery. Lets take two scenarios and decide which is best. One person has a savings jar with one hundred dollars in change saved up and is completely free of debt. Another person has a bank account with ten thousand dollars in savings but is one hundred thousand dollars in debt. Of the two, which is richer? We should get in the habit of always paying ourselves, saving as much as we can for emergencies and expendable income, but we should also work to free ourselves from debt as soon as possible. To do this takes discipline and a clear strategy to execute longterm. Getting free of debt will not only free you up to save and do the things you want in life but it will also be liberation to the mind as well.
We will discuss more on this later when we look at tools to maintain self-discipline and achieving economic freedom.
I woke up this morning with every intention to crawl back in bed after ten minutes but found myself instead tackling several projects, one of which was putting together a crib. As I’m working I’m meditating compassion and the brains response to life in general. Of course being a typical guy I overlooked some things and created more work for myself. The cool thing about my mistakes was that I then had to use my brain to fix the mistakes without having to spend another two or three hours.
This got me to thinking about a crazy idea. What if we created a safe environment for children to make mistakes in problem solving as opposed to punishing wrong answers or failed attempts at projects. If children, employees, teammates etc. feel as though they can be innovative and actually use failure as creative tool how much more would they achieve?
If children are not afraid to fail they won’t be afraid to pick themselves back up and push an idea forward. This is how innovation works and maximum results are repeated. It’s actually not such a radical idea but it does take the cultivation of mindful compassion individually and collectively. I believe that if we create a culture of compassion then we evolve exponentially.
The day we stop dreaming is the day we die to ourselves. But to dream is not enough. We must act upon our dreams no matter how lofty they may seem to the logic mind. To dream is to have life and to act is to live.
Continue to progress one step at a time towards your goal. Do not be discouraged if your path is wrought by thorns; and be not distracted by beautiful things, for these are meant only to inspire and push you forward on your journey. Remain equipoise and fixed in your determination to succeed.
I had a short, but extremely informative conversation this afternoon with a researcher doing his post doctorate in animal science. When he told me that he was researching the effects of stress on animals my mind immediately went to a lecture I recently gave on the environmental effects on the human condition. I learned from this gentleman that scientist are studying effective ways to reduce stress in animals during transport and while cohabitating in pasturing grounds. They are looking into synthetic supplements to introduce to animals in an attempt to reduce for example the stress of heat during a drought or summer months in extremely hot climates.
During the conversation I brought up the topic of natural foods as opposed to enhanced foods consumed by humans which lead to talks of cancer caused by either nutrient deficiency or too much of a good thing as far as diet. The whole conversation was scientific and my retelling would probably bore more than 90% of readers, so to get to the good part!
The researcher agreed to send me his published work as I saw a great application for it in my work and we also went in-depth about the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual effects of stress. Stress caused by environment or other situations we as individuals may be unable to mitigate must be overcome through healthy coping mechanism. This is where meditation and yoga come in. A natural plant-based diet, regular exercise, and developing spiritual and emotional fortitude are keys to avoiding illnesses down the road.
Remember that the body and mind are interconnected and that mental and physical health are also tied together. It is never too late to start developing healthy habits to combat the stress we all undoubtedly encounter on a daily basis.
I’m logging this blog after having a very interesting phone conversation with a total stranger who gave me some great financial advise. I should clarify that he was pretty much chastising me and told me that I needed to stop trying to create a job for myself and focus on starting an actual business. I won’t go into detail here, but essentially he reiterated that being an entrepreneur can mean doing a job as your own boss or heading a business which can generate income regardless of your level of involvement and stressing that I should never create a “JOB” as a longterm plan for wealth building.
Rather one is building a business or building muscle, there are certain steps one has to take in order to be successful. But what if successful isn’t good enough? Many people can be successful in many things but what if you want to be exceptional? I was talking to a friend this morning after dragging him out of bed and I asked him what are his plans for his future. He is an aeronautical space engineer and I was happy to hear him say that he is considering creating his own startup company as opposed to going to work for NASA.
This got me thinking of what it takes to become great or exceptional at what you are doing as opposed to simply being successful i.e. getting a job.
While a job is good to have, if you want to be exceptional in business than stepping outside the box and building your own legacy is a must. Here is a list by Jay Jones of Black Entrepreneur Blueprint of ten things you can do daily in order to be Great! (Examples are my own).
- Determine to be great. (You must first embrace the idea of greatness.)
- Make a plan with deadlines. (Self accountability and Progress measurement are essential. If we don’t set deadlines then by nature we’ll find the path of least resistance and put off doing the needful.)
- Have a mindset of greatness. (We must not fall into the mode of mediocrity. Most can be mediocre, few can be great.)
- Go outside of your comfort zone. (We can often become trapped by our own minds. Although we are not happy with a situation we feel safe and so we never progress until we leave our comfort zones.)
- Take Action! ( Execute your plans and do something daily to move you towards your goals. A friend to me that most people have theories on success but unless execute those theories greatness will never manifest.)
- Challenge yourself daily. (Push yourself to go further, higher, and faster than you did the day before. Learn to work in a more efficient manner to maximize your output.)
- Embrace the process of becoming great. ( In our age of immediate gratification it can be painful for some to undergo the process of transformation, but what sets those who are great apart from those who are average is that those who are great embrace the process and actually feed off the challenge.)
- Take small steps. ( This is important for so many reasons. It’s good to give yourself a little confidence boost every now and then by achieving small daily goals.)
- Learn from others. (Not only is it a good idea to learn from others missteps but to glean from their wisdom and experience is like having a diamond mine all to yourself. I cannot stress the value of this step enough. Just go online and look up advisors or life coaches. I’m sure they are not cheap so if you get good advise from a mentor consider yourself ahead of the game!)
- Be disciplined. ( This is probably the most difficult for most people but it is, I believe the most important. Develop a system of accountability and rewards and stick to it. You’ve got this!)
So I hope this helps on your path to greatness. Always have a plan of attack and execute that plan adjusting and reshaping it as needed but stick to your goals.
The fracture in society that Americans are feeling right now and the sense of betrayal being expressed by many people when confronted with the reality that some of their friends family and coworkers stand firm to their chosen side during such a divisive point in history is palpable.
Are we really going backwards? Where we ever really living in a post racial, post sexist and xenophobic society? For so many the answers are all to clear. To be sure however, the people pushing this utopian idea were basically of two kind, those who wanted to exploit and the positive dreamers who want to make a peaceful society a reality within their lifetime.
I’m hearing from lots of parents that they voted because their young children pushed them to because it was the young children who were watching this election closely. Watching not only with a sense of hope, but also with a sense of dread. These feelings I’ve come to learn were not influenced by parents as much as by the spectacle of the election itself.
Many adults are going through their emotions at the moment but the youth are alive with unfamiliar feelings and even 6 and 7 year old kids are trying to understand how to make sense of what they are experiencing. It is a scary place for many of them who basically see adults behaving like boogie men.
My question is, if we are truly a nation divided shouldn’t we as adults work on fostering a society based on unity? If adults truly care about the future the youth will inherit then it behooves is as a nation to bridge gaps within our society and reject this old worn out structure of a nation divided.