One of my favorites quotes of all times is by Yogi Berra, he said, “If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.” While that may sound funny, think about it for a few minutes and let it sink in.
Do you know where you are going with your life? Most people spend more time planning a vacation than they do their lives. Many people never figure out why they were put here on earth because they don’t take the time to figure it out. They get up, have some coffee, fight traffic to get to work, work with people they don’t especially like at a job that is unfulfilling. They then fight traffic on the way home have some food, pay some bills, watch T.V, go to bed and repeat it the next day…for forty or fifty years, then they retire and die.
Imagine living a life where you wake up each day excited to have another day to do what you love to do. Is that unrealistic foolishness that only happens in books and movies? Nope, I know several people that live this way and I believe you can too. One of my mentors and best friends, Darren LaCroix, heard Brian Tracy ask a question that changed his life. The question was, “What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?” He decided he would make people laugh, he had no skills or background but be had desire and determination. Not only is he living his dream, he has helped many, many others achieve the goals and dreams…and I am one of them.
Interestingly, Brian Tracy started me on my journey as well, when I left the US Navy in 1987 and went to work in the civilian world; I had no sales experience. Since I was an electrician the Navy, that was my first job as a civilian. Once I was promoted to area manager I had to start quoting jobs which included a component of sales. I attended a Brian Tracy seminar shortly afterward to improve my sales skills. When I saw Brian sharing ideas that would change people’s lives I was hooked, I knew what I wanted to, I wanted to be a professional speaker.
I only had a few problems. I didn’t know anything people would pay to hear, I had just gotten out of the Navy because I didn’t have to travel and be away from my family, and I had NO idea how to become a professional speaker. (Hint: there was no Google, Al Gore hadn’t even invented the internet yet!)
Like Darren, I had desire and determination, I knew where I was going. That was early 1988, it took over 15 years for me to start my speaking business in 2003 and it was still part-time for a while. I didn’t have any clients or reputation, but I had been studying and growing personally and professionally so that I gained information and experience that people would pay to hear. I’ve told this story many times and have often been asked, wasn’t it frustrating that it took so long? While I would have liked to achieve my goal sooner, the journey is part of my story. Earl Nightingale once said, “Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.”
Both Darren and I could have given up on our dreams because they would take too long, but fifteen years later the time would have passed anyway and we would have been one of those people who got up, went to work, came home and died. (That was the short version.)
Instead, I have now given over eight-hundred paid professional presentations and have spoken in over forty states and ten countries on four continents, over 100,000 people have seen me speak live or on virtual training and was recently awarded the designation of Certified Professional Speaker, the highest earned accreditation a speaker can achieve. I’ve visited 27 countries and I wake up every day excited and ready to help others live their dreams. I don’t say any of this to brag, I’m just a “guy” that grew up in a little town called Prunedale, that has never been to college, I just decided where I wanted to go and to never give up, if I can do this imagine what you can do.
Here a few tips to help you have the amazing life you deserve:
- Decide what it is that you really want out of life. What ignites your spirit? What are you passionate about?
- Who do you need become to live that dream? Notice I didn’t ask what you need to do, I said, “Who do you need to become.”
- Have a burning desire to achieve it, it will be hard and there will be setbacks. If you don’t have a burning desire you won’t make it. Also, if you don’t have a burning desire, you’ve probably chosen the wrong goal.
- Decide what you will sacrifice. Nothing great was ever achieved without giving up something. You may have to give up a hobby or T.V., or Facebook to have the extra time you need. You may have to drive a car that is older than you would like to be able to afford to get training or to fund your new venture. You may not be able to keep up with the Jones’s (Why does everyone want to keep up with them anyway?) I don’t know what it will be for you, but I know there will be sacrifice.
The choice is now yours, should your life’s GPS be recalculating?
Let me know if there is anything I can do to help you on your journey.