At the beginning of each year, for four full years, I’d set goals to quit my corporate job to start doing work that actually matters to me.
For four full years, I told myself I’d start my own business, but I didn’t.
For four full years, I told myself I’d start my speaking career, but I didn’t.
For four full years, I told myself I’d launch my own podcast, but I didn’t.
For four full years, I told myself I’d stop making excuses and take some fucking action… but I didn’t.
That was several years ago.
Eventually, I got myself to get up and do something. And once I did, everything changed.
I’m actually living the life of my dreams now. Doing something meaningful that matters to me, and gives me the freedom I want, and allows me to help millions of people around the world.
You wanna know what finally got me to take action?
I thought about two things:
- What would it FEEL like if I did NOTHING? (PAIN) How embarrassed would I be with myself if I did nothing? If I stayed in this shitty job? If I let myself remain paralyzed with fear? If I worried about what everyone thought of me if I tried; if I failed? What kind of pain and regret will I feel when I’m 45, 55, 65, 75 years old–knowing that I had the chance to go for it–to really chase my dreams and live like I gave a damn–but I chickened-out?
- What would it FEEL like if I took ACTION? (PLEASURE) What will it feel like for me—one, two, or three years down the road—if I were to have accomplished my dreams? How much pleasure would it give me to know that I’d given it my best shot? An earnest effort? How much freedom would it give me? How much joy and meaning would I get out of my life if I were to take action on my dreams?
Here we go… It’s that time of year again—when you start reflecting on the last 12 months, and begin thinking about the year ahead.
And you’re probably expecting me to give you some tips and tactics on how to figure out what you want to do in the coming year, and how to make your resolutions stick.
But not today.
My inclination is that you already know what your most important goal is for 2019—you’re just too afraid to take action towards making that goal a reality.
You don’t need me to give you any tips about making resolutions stick.
You don’t need me to tell you how to set goals or why they’re important. All you need to do is DECIDE.
You need to take action.
You already KNOW what you want the upcoming year to look like for you, so stop sitting around. Stop talking about your resolutions; and start DOING something about them.
How many more books do you need to read before you finally take action?
How many people do you need to talk to before you finally take action?
How much research do you need to do before you finally take action?
No more excuses. No more research. No more procrastination.
Are you afraid to take on responsibilities, afraid to make decisions, afraid to step out on your own? Most people are—that’s why there are so few leaders and so many followers. If you’re confronted with a problem, the longer you put it off, the greater it becomes and the more fearful you become of your ability to solve it. So, learn to make decisions, because in not deciding you fail to act, and in failing to act you invite failure. Experience will soon teach you that once a decision is made, the problems and troubles start to disappear.
Now, you may not always make the best decision. You may not always make the right decision. But merely making a decision in and of itself will give you strength and energy.
Said Claude M. Bristol in The Magic of Believing: “It’s the fear of doing the wrong thing that attracts the wrong thing. Decide and act, and the chances are that your troubles will fade into thin air—whether you make a mistake or not.”
As we close out one year, and open up another, let me leave you with the a quote from the author Stephen Pressfield; a quote which I enjoy pondering on from time to time:
“Were you put on earth to be a painter, scientist, an apostle of peace? In the end the question can only be answered by action. Do it or don’t do it. It may help to think of it this way. If you were meant to cure cancer or write a symphony or crack cold fusion and you don’t do it, you not only hurt yourself, even destroy yourself. You hurt your children. You hurt me. You hurt the planet. You shame the angels who watch over you and you spite the Almighty, who created you and only you with your unique gifts, for the sole purpose of nudging the human race one millimeter farther along its path back to God. Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and everything in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got.”