When was the last time you made a decision? Did it even matter?
Are daily actions are so pre-programmed into our reptilian brains we live life on autopilot. Why is that? Why do legions of loving and complex individuals seemingly support the status quo by consistently failing to push the envelope of evolution?
Think if you will of the most exciting individuals in your life….what do they have in common? What makes some of us more amazing than others?
The stimulus of awesome is alive and breathing inside every one of us. Yet so often you see the pre-mature aging that ultimately follows stagnation, simplicity and lack of living. But this isn’t what you want in your life…you couldn’t possibly fall prey to this unspectacular trap of humanity.
The folly of this statement is so absurd we all realize the deceit we bestow upon ourselves by believing it. No one wishes to live lamely. Everyone strives for a human highlight reel life of success, happiness, and adventure in all they do.
Entrepreneurs in particular want to walk the line of epic Blockbuster badass with adventure, mystery and musical mayhem at every turn. But the trap of life, the lure of living is one which pulls people off a course of awesomeness onto the never ending treadmill of typical.
There are ways to avoid this pitfall with proper planning. Avoid becoming the next casuality of stale and superficial happiness by pursuing the passions and drives inside.
Why waste the one life you have to live?
The 10 Ways You Must Fight for Your Right to a Kick Ass Life
1. Ignore Idiotic Advice. People give me advice on an almost daily basis. Everyone has an opinion on what you are doing and why it is “completely right” or “totally wrong.”
But really why do you care what anyone else says? Why should you take their advice?
I heard an awesome interview with Scott Britton of the Competitive Edge and he summarized perfectly the point which so many others ought to know and use. When receiving advice about life and living always examine the source.
If the individual offering free feedback on your decisions and directions is not living the life you wish or closer on the path than yourself you can almost wholeheartedly ignore everything they say.
“A note of caution: We can never achieve goals that envy sets for us. Looking at your friends and wishing you had what they had is a waste of precious energy. Because we are all unique, what makes another happy may do the opposite for you. That’s why advice is nice but often disappointing when heeded.” -Marcus Buckingham
People preach what they know. How often has a Catholic priest pushed Islam upon his followers? It doesn’t happen. We revert to what we know when attempting to offer consolation and insightful advice. And often times this attempted aid is exactly what we didn’t need to hear.
As entrepreneurs this can be extremely challenging. Few have traveled paths of any similarity to the ones we so ardently attack. If another mid level manager or accomplished engineer gives me advice on how to live my life it is an annoyance at best.
I do not want your life. I do not want your advice.
Next time someone shares something with you consider the impact and origin of their words. Is this insight actually something you should consider or ultimately unhelpful and distracting in whatever journey you have set out upon?
2. Surround Yourself with Epic People. We all know we are the average of the five closest people in our lives. And while overly simplistic this is a crucial piece of the puzzle when working to build the life of your dreams.
You need to get around similarly minded entrepreneurs and thought leaders to help transform your own mentality.
It is almost impossible to succeed without support. Times will get tougher than you or I can imagine. Without others accustomed to the same challenges and struggles plaguing you and your business you cannot hope to survive.
“Whatever you do in life, surround yourself with smart people who’ll argue with you.” -John Wooden
And in an age of electronics, technology and instant communication this becomes easier than ever.
Activity in accomplished forums and online networks is critical to creating a dynamic inner circle of knowledgeable supporters able to propel you forward in business and life. Think of these others as you own personal Cabinet. Building relationships with guys in similar spaces will fuel you with ideas, insights, and involvement you couldn’t possibly get fumbling about on your own.
The shift in mentality and outlook triggers success. This is hard to explain and yet any exposed to the transformative powers of change and awesomeness by association understand.
You never know what is possible until you see others living the life and doing the things you never imagined possible.
3. Cut Excess Baggage. As entrepreneurs how many of you have found yourselves drifting further and further from past friends? You just have less and less in common with others as your lives slowly separate and take on truly differing routes.
This is hard. How can you console others who view your abandonment of their ideals as a personal insult? Why are you doing this to them?
This is such a selfish response on the part of supposed friends but is a reflection of the human need to be loved.
“When someone tells me “no,” it doesn’t mean I can’t do it, it simply means I can’t do it with them.” – Karen E. Quinones Miller
But should you really feel compelled to waste your life in order to allow others to be happy? Whose happiness is ultimately at stake here?
Don’t hold yourself back. Again the five closest friends phenomenon must come into your mind when choosing whom you spend the bulk of your time. The strengths and successes, weakness and failures of your friends and family will rub off on you.
Many of these so-called supporters will feel threaten by your fighting the status quo. Your decisions to start a business, live a life, do something radical are unwanted annoyances in their lives. Your “selfish” and “bad” decisions to take your life into your own hands will alienate you.
As human beings jealousy is an unfortunate outcome of our nature. People instinctively lash out against others living the lives they wish they could. These actions and unconscious attacks upon you and your mission will hamper your adventure.
Whether it is the fat guy offering you a burger during your diet, the smoker constantly offering a cig after you quit or the desk monkey trying to convince you to stay you must cut out the less productive pieces of your life to free yourself for forward moving action.
4. Learning is Living. There is no simple way around it. While need not perpetually endure the awful ordeals of elementary school on a daily basis we must constantly be working to learn and improve.
Life is dynamic. Once the mind becomes static the body is soon to follow.
“A mind is a terrible thing to waste” -Anonymous
Who are the most vibrant and life filled individuals you can envision? As you age the mind and body begin to decline. Such is the unfortunate nature of nature. Yet when studying the habits of highly successful people a pattern almost always emerges.
Those who society view as a success never cease to pursue learning. Whether you are constantly performing new jobs, starting and selling million dollar companies or simply studying for the sake of learning you are growing and evolving as a human being.
This is essential to life. As in the weight room where athletes struggle to constantly improve lifts and increase muscle mass the same can be said of the mind.
Your brain is a muscle. Without constant stimulation your beautiful brain has no reason to thrive. Yet thriving is what all entrepreneurs, really all people passionate desire.
5. Travel Now. Life is too short to waste on bullshit. What are you doing today? Is this what you truly wish your life to be?
You always hear from older and more experienced individuals to travel when you are young. Why do so few people follow this sage and wise advice of elder, more experienced people.
The pace of life pulls in so many directions it can be impossible to push priorities in the proper lines. And of course this is only an excuse.
Travel is truly possible for all. The world is shrinking before our eyes. What was once possible for only the wealthiest of society is suddenly being opened for all.
Even as gas prices rise the flexibility of work and life allow for ever increasing travel and exploration of the world.
The so-called digital nomads of the internet are revolutionizing the world as we know it. And this life is almost universally available for skilled first world peoples. Even the availability of originality is emerging in many up and coming markets as more and more technology becomes the mainstream medium of work and income.
There is so much learning and living to be done in areas unbeknownst to you today. The customs, traditions and innovations of others are what make the world amazing. In lands across the globe great and terrible things are happening daily. These experiences and the raw beauty our planet holds are inexplicable. Come see for yourself.
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” – Mark Twain
So what are the real reasons you aren’t traveling? Why do you fail to focus on truly living?
People have their house payments, fancy cars, and luxurious luxuries but does this bring you happiness? I cannot answer the question for you. Take a look at your life, your certainties and the outlandish ideas of your youth. You just may be able to salvage your life and live an adventurous, world traveling type of storybook tale you always wished.
6. Be Amazing. I recently spoke with an awesome dude. Andrew Ferebee is the founder of Knowledge for Men and leads and amazing life.
As I spoke to him something truly captivated me. This simple statement is so powerful that I feel you must make this a pillar of existence in the way you live your life.
Andrew asked me a deep and dirty question we often avoid entering into.
“If someone made a movie about your life would you even want to see it?” -Andrew Ferebee
Seriously. What are you doing with your life?
Is your existence something that excites and inspires you? Would you pay the outlandishly expensive ticket price to see that story unfold in 3D or is your life a mere Redbox rental?
You need to live life in a way that you love.
Live like their is no tomorrow. Who would play you in your Hollywood hit? Would Morgan Freeman ever consider narrating or is the story so boring and mundane the great voice of god couldn’t possibly care?
This struck a chord with me. I have not been Hollywood material recently. My film crew surely fell asleep filming another lackluster movie. It seems high time to pull in Nicholas Cage to add a little spark.
Seriously though. Ask yourself everyday if this is the life you want to live. Are you living life to the fullest or is it time for a drastic script change to alter the Ebert reviews?
7. Don’t Accept Shit. If you hate your life change it. Can’t stand your boss, your company, your meaningless cubicle? Do something about it.
Every day I feel sorry for individuals trapped by inaction. People are literally killing themselves constantly to live a life they hate.
“When you write the story of your life, don’t let anyone else hold the pen” – Harley Davidson
This is the 21st century. There are opportunities aplenty for anyone to change their stars. Stop suffering and take a freaking stand. Whether that means building a business after work, divorcing an abusive spouse or escaping an impoverished area there are always options.
Everything you accept in life is an ultimate endorsement. When you see a woman bothered at a bar, hear an offensive joke or are verbally abused by your boss you are allowing that to happen.
What makes you human? What makes you tick? These are the things I wish people had told me long ago. These mundane decisions, these simple priorities we push everyday define who we are.
It is cliche as hell but actions do really speak louder than words.
8. Fight Distractions. Shiny object syndrome is a bitch. There is nothing more damaging to an entrepreneur or success minded individual than the loss of focus.
And yet our society is built around this epitomization of multi-tasking. But where does dual focus get you? Just as texting and driving destroys lives and distracts focus so too does the perpetual push of new and sexy stuff.
And we all struggle from this. I for one am foremost in the ultimately awful arena of shiny, sexy failure. Past failures and excessive multi-tasking are not mistakes easily forgotten.
There is always a new diet, a new phone, or an awesome movie coming out. Literally every day the world works to distracts and differentiates through sameness.
“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.”― Zig Ziglar
Stop chasing the grass. It isn’t greener. It just isn’t.
How many yards can you possibly mow at once? How many ventures can you have without crushing productivity and passion in your business?
Brecht Palombo nailed this analogy. Business is like chinese juggling….in order to succeed with multiple plates you must first get one successfully spinning.
Pick a maximum of two things and just kick ass at those. I ignored this in the past, you probably will too. Focus, fail, and repeat.
9. Get Outside Your Comfort Zone. Everyone hates hearing this. It is so obvious and ultimately something every individual has heard.
And yet why do we ignore it? When was the last time you pushed yourself? When was the last time you did something so terrifying your stomach flipped like an Olympic athlete and your bowels clenched into a stressed stupor of evil?
I suck at this. I will be the first to admit my ultimate inadequacy when it comes to doing the different.
I am absolutely a routine guy. Sudden changes startle me. And that is okay. Understand your weaknesses and limitations.
But push the boundary. Stress yourself to build, grow and improve. You never know what you are capable of until you do it. Exposure is the ultimate form of therapy and forces personal and professional growth.
“The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry our their dream.” – Les Brown
What are you terrified of? Heights are the hiccup which wreak havoc upon my world. As a tall guy anything above my head level makes things spin wildly out of control in a worrisome state of agony.
But what do you really have to be afraid of? Why do these silly fears freeze me in my tracks? I actually allow these internal doubts and destructive ideas to hold me back.
We all do. It is the way we are wired. But as focused fighters and industrious entrepreneurs you have to push the boundaries of comfort to truly achieve anything.
Analyze your fears, doubts and failures and assault them. Over time you will be amazed at the transformation these simple thoughts and actions have upon you as a person.
Podcasting traumatized me initially. What will people think? Is my voice okay? Blah blah blah.
All these voices in our head create limitations which are complete rubbish. Confronting these is the easiest and hardest way I have found to overcome them.
I jumped off a cliff into deep water and screamed FUCK at the top of my lungs…what will you do? Trust me it is worth it.
10. Regularly Re-evaluate. What are you doing in life? What am I doing in life? These meta woo woo questions are so silly.
Why does society seem to think this way? Have you ever had or heard a serious conversation concerning life? It does not happen. Human beings as a whole are uncomfortable talking about such serious issues.
While religion and politics are paraded as the questions of value and violent anger these hold nothing to the ideas of self-actualization. People push the all-important questions to the background to discuss sports, sex, and a whole mix of other unimportant items.
Why do these matter? Why and who am I? And damnit anyway that scares the shit out of me to consider. This is hard. This makes me uncomfortable.
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” -Aristotle
Well get outside your comfort zone. What captain ever planned a path without any idea of where he was going?
Yet so often we see circles. Life is a game of circles. History constantly repeats itself.
Are you okay with that? Without a focus of where you want to be you forever will be where you are. This is the nature of life. I sure don’t want that. I don’t know about you but I plan to go places, do things, and experience the world.
But without a blueprint you can’t. Spinning your wheels is the ultimate form of failure. Wasting the time and effort without a clear path and vision.
I am absolutely guilty. I don’t know where I want to be in life. It is a journey as is business. But you need an idea.
Always have a compass when you go for a hike. Maps may fail but a compass consistently points north. What is the compass of your life? Which direction will you walk into the wilderness? Simply starting sets you apart, course correcting makes you successful.
Bonus: Seek Out a Mentor!
There is a reason so few people live the lives of their dreams. It is really freaking hard. Find others more experienced or accomplished than yourself to help.
Setting and managing expectations is difficult enough without assistance. We often loose sight of the end results or become lost in the wilderness of wild and spectacular options available to us an individuals.
Nothing is more valuable than an awesome guide to take you down a treacherous trail. Mentors make the process of accountability and decision making so much more successful and straightforward.
Picking the perfect mentor is paramount to success however. One mustn’t jump lightly into the role of mentee when working to find oneself in life.
With knowledge comes power to shape and craft the course of a life and mentors must align with the expected outcomes you wish to receive. Seek out those with lives you feel satisfyingly successful and our among those you wish to emulate.
These individuals are an amazing source of guidance and insight into the perils and problems of the path ahead of you and can counsel on mistakes made to help you in your journey ahead.
Who am I? Who are you?
I hope you enjoyed this article. I hope some of this struck a chord with you and made you feel as shitty and uncertain about life as it did to me writing it. These deep questions and ultimatums of life make me question everything I am and I hope it helps you with finding the path and purpose you want to pursue in life.
If this post messed you mind up harder than a mind-bending Hollywood film and did something beneficial for your life and business I would love to hear it. If you think others need to hear it share it with friends. I don’t have the answers but at least let’s start with the questions.