I don’t believe in being “realistic.”
Realistic is just a limit we allow others to place on our own dreams.
It’s someone else’s boundary.
It’s another person’s fears and experiences and insecurities, spoken as an absolute truth.
But your truth is what you define it to be.
Your path is what you decide it to be.
And if you have the belief, the passion and the work ethic, you can create anything…
But first, you have to stop being realistic.
Greatness is a lonely road.
Most people don’t want to be great.
Because it’s harder. And harsher. And more inconvenient.
It demands too much of your time and requires too much of your attention.
It is big and loud and needy.
It’s a beautiful masterpiece that people would rather stare at from a distance than paint with their own hands.
Watch, and not touch.
Admire, not unleash…
When you choose greatness you instantly downsize your ability to connect and converge and communicate with the majority of the people around you.
Because you stop speaking “average.” And stop accepting “ok.” And “nice” becomes just too damn low of a bar.
Most people would rather play it safe and simple and stationary than take the steps necessary to spark their unlit soul.
And when you choose greatness, you’re always burning. Blazing. A fearless flame…
The decision to be great – to live your greatness, your best and most passionate life – is lonesome.
But keep going…
It’s not about winning.
It’s about how you react when you lose. How you improve and evolve and grow.
It’s about learning to take a punch and some shoves and a few cheap shots, and then becoming a better fighter.
It’s about manufacturing your own toughness while manifesting your own vision. All while getting your ass kicked.
Failure is not only part of the path, it’s the pavement.
Losing is the only way.
The key is to keep going despite the defeats. Sounds simple enough, but most people stop way too soon, and far too short. Just keep moving.
That’s how you get to where you want to go.
Grateful for the highs, lows and all the spaces and places in between.
Keep believing, keep working and keep going. It’s not about the wins and losses. And it’s not even about getting to a specific position or reaching a certain height, because those points are always moving. The playbook is always changing. The bar is always rising, and, if you want to be great, you’re usually the one pushing it higher…
So it’s not about reaching the top or claiming any trophy. The process is the prize. The journey. You gotta fall in love with it – even on its angry days; even when it leads you to uncomfortable turns and pushes you to dark places.
Because no matter how ugly or different or long or challenging the path, it’s YOURS. All of it.
So, through it all, try to be thankful for those steps. Be grateful for that journey. That’s true happiness.
One of my core philosophies is to reverse-engineer everything.
Work backwards, beginning with the intended result, starting with the vision you want to manifest. Then, piece the steps together.
It’s a simple strategy, but one that’s too often overlooked and underutilized. We did it with our brand, building Besomebody around a feeling first – from the inside out – through content and community, and then creating the product around it. We’re doing it with education now, beginning with employers and open jobs, and building curriculums and launching training Paths based on those job requirements. And I personally try to do it every day, as a way of life.
Know where you want to be, and begin every morning with that end in mind.
No matter what you’re doing or where you’re going, the first step is ALWAYS the hardest.
Making the initial move. Taking the opening action. Getting off the freaking couch…
Thinking and talking and listening and learning and wondering and wishing all have their place. But the one thing that ignites EVERYTHING is our own decision to DO.
The first step is the hardest… Take it.
Dreams aren’t free.
There’s always a price to pay. There’s a cost for the cause, and a charge for the reward. There’s a tax on the journey and a tariff on the Vision. Ambition ain’t cheap. You gotta pay the premium. And there is no discount for the sweat you put down and the sacrifices you deposit. No refunds or exchanges. You cannot reimburse your mileage…
But, no matter how big the bill, if you want it bad enough; if it calls deeply enough; if it commands and demands; then, it’s ALWAYS worth the investment.
To build something great, it’s gotta be bigger than you.
It’s gotta serve more than your wallet, or your resume, or your ego.
It’s gotta ignite more than your own passions.
The “experts” say it just needs to solve a problem. But I believe it has to make a difference. It’s gotta truly help people.
Sure, your own financial success most definitely can/should be a part of it. Pursuit of personal legacy or celebrity or influence may play a role.
Yes, you should enjoy it. And of course, you want to make your mama proud.
But the larger purpose, the greater mission, has got to be about others.
It has to be more about meaning than money.
It has to be more about fulfillment than fame. And it’s gotta be a lot more giving than getting.
Those are the missions worth fighting for…
Those are the missions that make you feel alive.
In every part of life, you lose more than you win.
Business, entrepreneurship, sports, relationships. No matter who you are or what you’re chasing, life has an uncanny way of kicking your a$$. And, the bigger the stages and bolder the places you pursue, the more punches you take.
But life is not about sliding through unscathed.
It’s about breaking free in a body of beautiful bruises and hard-earned scars. It’s about keeping your heart clean and your mind clear, while you crawl through the dirt and destruction. It’s about growing thick skin and concrete ears, so you can ignore the hecklers and haters on the sidelines.
It’s about believing in yourself and your vision so much, so passionately – so delusionally – that you are crazy enough to keep creating.
Because FAILURE is not only part of the Path, it’s an enabler of it. Losing is the only way.
All those hits make you a better fighter. All those falls make you a better climber. And each time you sink, you learn how great you swim. So when you lose, take a moment to absorb, reflect, learn, and be grateful…
Then, keep going. You’re right where you’re supposed to be.
Two weeks ago we decided to come down to Houston and help. The impact of Hurricane Harvey hit home. We knew our help would be small. But we believed that little things can make a big difference in times of need. An unexpected lift. A helping hand. A comforting conversation.
People came together. Strangers became saviors. Distant neighbors became lifelong friends. A city rich in contrasting colors spilled into the streets with total disregard for tints or pigments. A Muslim boy gave blankets to a Catholic woman. A white cop helped a black family onto his boat. A liberal pulled sheetrock out of a conservative’s walls. No one asked for documentation or green cards.
We learned a lot, but remembered even more. Core values and shared beliefs that were somehow lost or buried or forgotten, all washed up on our doorstep. People became people again. And we waded in our sameness. Our tears flowed in the same direction. Our smiles were the same shape. And, when life was flooded, we all reached for the same thing: each other.
Boats were sent for animals and loved ones. Family heirlooms and wedding albums were pulled out of windows. Silent memoirs were plucked from soaking shelves. Cars and clothes and TVs and toys and fine china and pricey furniture were left to float on their own. In the moments where life mattered most, we all remembered what really mattered.
With as much damage and destruction that our city and state endured the past 9 days, I hope a little of what was in that rain remains. I hope it soaked into all of us – just enough to move forward without forgetting what it left behind. And, when the streets are dry, and homes are rebuilt, and strangers become strangers again, I hope we remember what was in that Water.
I’d love to connect with you as we work to create a new Path for education and employment at Besomebody, Inc. Please feel free to leave a comment, or send me a message here.