One of the first things you should realize is the old saying, “If it is to be, it is up to me.” For you, that means that your success, your course is up to you.
This doesn’t mean that you do it all alone. It simply means that you take responsibility for your life and your career.
Too many people today look at opportunity and figure it is up to someone else to make sure they get it. They wait and wait, figuring that it is up to someone else.
And then the wait is over, and it is too late to do anything. Their life is over and they are filled with regret.
But this isn’t true for you. You know that you must take responsibility for your life. It is up to you.
The fact is, nobody else is going to do it for you. You must do it yourself.
Now, some people might think, That’s a lot of responsibility.
But here’s what I think: That is the best news you can ever hear.
You get to choose your life.
Hundreds of millions of people all around the world would give anything to live in the situation you do—to have the opportunity to take control of their destiny. “It is up to you” is a great blessing!
1. You get to chart your own destiny.
Maybe you want to start a small business and stay there. That’s great because you can choose that. Maybe you want to create a small chain of stores. Maybe you want to have a net worth of $100 million. That’s OK, too. The point is that you get to choose. You can do whatever you like.
Different people have different dreams and they should live them accordingly.
2. You reap what you sow.
Sleep in and go to work late and reap the return. Or get up early and outwork the others and earn a greater return. Place your capital at risk and earn a return. Place your capital at greater risk and perhaps reap a greater return. You decide what you will sow and thus what you will reap.
3. No one else can stop you from achieving your dream.
Yes, there will always be obstacles that come up and people who may not like what you are doing, but you can just move on and chart your own course. There is great freedom in that.
4. You experience the joy of self-determination.
There is no greater pride than knowing you set your mind on something and accomplished it. Those who live with a victim mentality never get to experience the joy of accomplishment because they are always waiting for someone else to come to the rescue. Those who take responsibility get to live the joy of seeing a job well done.
Let me ask you a question: Where will you be in five years? Ten years? Twenty-five years? Do you know? Do you have an idea? Have you ever dreamed about it or set a goal for it? Are you willing to take responsibility and recognize that it is up to you?
You will be wherever you decide to be at that point.
You decide. It is up to you.
And that is very exciting!
When it comes to meeting and smashing all the unnecessary negativity in your life, here's a key question you have to ask yourself: What can you do, starting today, that will make a huge difference in your life?
What can you do when everything has gone badly wrong? What can you do when you’ve run out of any money? What can you do when you don’t feel too well? What can you do when it’s all gone shit? What can you do?
Let me give you the broad answer first…
You can do the most remarkable things, no matter what happens. People can do incredible things, unbelievable things, despite the most impossible or disastrous circumstances.
Why can humans can do remarkable things? Because they are remarkable. Humans are different than any other creation. When a dog starts with weeds, he winds up with weeds. And the reason is because he’s a dog. But that’s not true with human beings. Humans can turn weeds into gardens.
Humans can turn nothing into something, pennies into fortune and disaster into success. And the reason they can do such remarkable things is because they are remarkable. Try reaching down inside of yourself; you’ll come up with some more of those remarkable human gifts. They’re there, waiting to be discovered and employed.
With those gifts, you can change anything for yourself that you wish to change. And I challenge you to do that because you can change. If you don’t like how something is going for you, change it. If something isn’t enough, change it. If something doesn’t suit you, change it. If something doesn’t please you, change it. If you don’t like how things are, change it! You’re not a tree. You don’t ever have to be the same after today.
If there is one thing to get excited about, it’s your ability to make yourself do the necessary things, to get a desired result, to turn the negative into success. And that’s remarkable.
Can you picture yourself living your dream? Some people will tell you that getting a clear vision of your success is all you need to do to realize it.
By now, you probably know there’s a lot more to it. You must either modify your dreams or magnify your skills.
If you’re not advancing toward your goals as quickly or as easily as you’d hoped, it’s time to address your skill set. This might mean your industry skills, but real advancement more likely requires you to sharpen your self-discipline and to focus on your personal development.
From productivity tips to leadership styles, how are you supposed to know which skills you should improve and which will lead you down the path of success?
This is an important question to answer correctly because the wrong answer could send you down a rabbit hole of useless suggestions and pie-in-the-sky promises.
The Luck BS
Before you can answer the question of which skills need improvement, you’ve got to stop telling yourself that success is impossible.
There’s a pervading belief that success happens for others but not for us. Maybe it’s the idea of luck: Some people are just lucky and some people aren’t, right?
Wrong. When it comes to executing a strategy with consistency and the right attitude, luck has no part in the plan. That’s good news because it means that if you create the right map, pack the right gear, and set out with the right pair of binoculars, you’re sure to discover the journey of your dreams.
Luck isn’t about a random set of circumstances that make or break your destiny. Instead, luck is what you make of the things life throws at you. It’s the idea that if you really put your mind to something, you can achieve it.
That might sound simplistic, but any kind of success starts with this fundamental belief that success is possible—for you.
Without this essential belief, you’ll get stuck. You might already feel stuck.
When we’re stuck, we have a constant, nagging voice in our heads telling us that we’re not far enough, fast enough, or good enough. There’s a daily regret at not tending to the important things. There’s a recurring feeling of dashed hopes and frustrated dreams.
Being stuck feels like being so close to failure that you’re about to fall off the edge. Every time we think of the life we could have—that life where we’ve met our goals and have set even higher ones—we feel defeated and a little more hopeless.
That’s the danger of believing in luck. If you’re unlucky, you think, “Why bother?” If you’re unlucky, you feel like a failure before you even start. So you don’t start.
It’s time to set aside the myth of luck. Bad luck is not the root of your frustration or failure. Good luck isn’t something that only a few receive.
Instead, your approach to your dreams and the choices you make along the way are the determining factors in whether or not those dreams are possible.
No matter what skills you need to sharpen to move ahead toward your vision, the first skill most people need to hone is attitude. You can call it perspective, approach, or mindset—but it all comes down to the same concept. How you think about your life and your business is the first essential part of success.
And yes, the right attitude for success is a skill. Developing the right attitude for success might seem simple, but it’s a lifetime endeavor.
Why? Because each new challenge, every setback, and any roadblock can blast away your positive attitude and replace it with dread, depression, or defeatism.
The worst thing one can do is not to try, to be aware of what one wants and not give in to it, to spend years in silent hurt wondering if something could have materialized – never knowing,
That sad outcome is one too many people are familiar with – you likely know someone who didn’t pursue their greatest dream and regretted it deeply.
You don’t have to go down that road. Instead, you can pick up the essential tool of a success attitude and choose a brighter path.
To develop your own attitude of success, you’ve got to determine what success means for you. Ask yourself:
What makes life valuable?
What makes life worthwhile?
What makes life work well in all areas?
The answers to these questions will help you define success for yourself. It might look like travel with your family, financial freedom, your own business or a certain promotion, robust health, and a sense of peace and well-being. Try to be specific as you consider the successful life you’d like to lead.
The next step is considering what thoughts, ideas, and beliefs will support this life.
For example, if your family and friends make life worthwhile, then you need an idea on how to spend more time with them. You need the daily thought of your family’s well-being, and you need the core belief that family obligations are more important than professional ones. Without that, all the calendar reminders in the world won’t get you home in time for dinner with your spouse and children.
Your attitude, your personal rules, are the first step toward success on any path. While there are many puzzle pieces for success, without developing a sound personal rulebook, the other pieces are of shit value.
The sound philosophy I'm referring to is the attitude of success you build through the right thoughts, ideas, and beliefs.
When you take such an attitude, the other pieces of your success plan function at a much higher level. Your future is within reach when you have a firm foundation on which to build and maintain it.
Taking responsibility for your attitude is the first step. Most people hand over the responsibility for their attitude in the following ways:
They point to personal circumstances as the reason for their attitude.
They point to other people’s actions (or inactions) as the reason for their attitude.
They point to luck (or lack of it) as the reason for their attitude.
They point to their own flaws or failures as the reason for their attitude.
They point to the world at large as the reason for their attitude.
None of these are suitable excuses to have a poor attitude. Sure, things happen in life you can’t control, but you must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.
The difference between someone who has a difficult youth, a career full of failures, and a personal life that’s in shambles versus a person who has the same difficult youth, career full of failures, and personal life that’s in shambles but has an attitude for success to go with all that is massive.
That one ingredient—the right attitude—can make or break us.
Because the right attitude for success says, sure, we had a rough start in life, but we aren’t going to sit around blaming others’ actions for our choices. Instead, we’re going to start shedding old ideas and adopting new beliefs to grow beyond the painful past.
The right attitude for success says, ‘Wow, we failed a lot in our professional life but what we learned from those failures will propel us even further next time we try!’
And the right attitude for success says, ‘Relationships are hard sometimes and we all lose people we care about, but now we can take what we’ve experienced and apply it so we’re the best versions of ourselves.’
Rather than spend idle time wondering why we have it so rough, an attitude of success inspires us to look back only to see what lessons we can take with us as we charge into the future.
Sometimes it takes an outside perspective to help us get there, but if we end up in a positive place of gratitude, even after difficulty, we know we have the right attitude for success.
Your Personal Development Plan
Once you’ve stepped back from your challenges and looked at things with a new view, you might feel like it is smooth sailing from here on out.
Well, probably not. Every path has its highs and lows. In fact, the most difficult thing you face might be maintaining that positive attitude.
It’s a daily discipline to keep your personal philosophy at the forefront of your mind. Everything else in your world will battle for prominence, from the news to your complaining neighbour. You might feel pumped up at the thought of your impending success, but without the right attitude to keep your mindset on track, your plan is likely to fail.
You need to adopt a personal development plan that helps you on a both a daily and weekly basis. Reading, writing, talking with other success-minded folks, and learning from a mentor are all part of a solid personal development plan.
The idea is to control what your mind dwells on and how you see the world.
If you leave this vital component of your life to anyone else—whether that’s your boss or the local news anchor—you’re likely to be disappointed.
If you don’t design your own life plan, “chances are you will follow someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Fuck all mate.” So, whatever your life's project is, start today, start right now!
Knowledge fueled by emotion equals action. Action is the ingredient that ensures results. Only action can cause reaction—and only positive action can cause positive reaction. So add some emotions into your endeavours!
The only reason we don’t have what we want in life is the reasons we create why we can’t have them.
They don’t happen overnight. But because so many of today’s products and services promise overnight perfection, we’ve come to expect instant gratification—and we become discouraged when it doesn’t happen.
However, if you make a commitment to learn something new every day, getting just a little bit better every day, then eventually—over time—you will reach your goals. Most people do not attack their projects with “I-have-to-get-it-done-now” urgency and therefore they do not get it done. Most people never commit like fanatics, and therefore they never become fantastic.
All of that said, there are still so many people who are really sold on affirmations. There is a famous saying that “faith without action serves no useful purpose”—and how true that is! Now, there is nothing bad about affirmations when they are used as a tool to create action. Repeated to reinforce a disciplined plan, affirmations can help create wonderful results.
But there is also a very thin line between faith and folly. You see, affirmations without action can be the beginnings of self-delusion. And for your well-being, there is little worse than self-delusion.
The man who dreams of wealth and yet walks daily toward certain financial disaster and the woman who wishes for happiness and yet thinks thoughts and commits acts that lead her toward certain despair are both victims of the false hope—which affirmations without action can manufacture. Why? Because words soothe and, like a narcotic, they lull us into a state of complacency.
Remember this: To make progress, you must actually get started! You must turn that ignition key, take that first most difficult step ahead!
The key is to take a step today. Whatever the project is, start today.
Start clearing out a drawer of your desk… today. Start setting your first goal… today. Start listening to something motivational… today. Start putting money in your new “investment for fortune” account…today. Write a long-overdue letter… today. Anyone can! Even an uninspired person can start reading inspiring books.
Get some momentum going on your new commitment for the good life. See how many activities you can pile on your new commitment to the better life.
Go all out!
Break away from the downward pull of gravity. Start your thrusters going. Prove to yourself that the waiting is over and the hoping is past—that faith and action have now taken charge.
It’s a new day, a new beginning for your new life. With discipline you will be amazed at how much progress you’ll be able to make. What have you got to lose except the guilt and fear of the past?
Now, I offer you this challenge: See how many things you can start and continue in this—the first day of your new beginning.
I Challenge You!
To Best You!