I’ve deleted two versions of this essay so far, and now have 30 minutes to finish it for you…
Sometimes, that’s how I roll.
Because I’m not going to send you crap wrapped up in cellophane, and think it’s somehow doing you good.
Here’s what I really want to write about today, that I’m struggling to speak to:
Victims, Dreamers, and the people who actually get s—t done.
It’s really three different types of people. Or, more accurately, three different identities that any one person can take on, and does in different moments.
And it’s completely based on where you’re looking, what you’re focused on.
If you’re a victim, you’re constantly looking at the past, and making excuses about why things aren’t how you want them to be.
If you’re a dreamer, you’re staring off into the future, waiting to become what you’re meant to be.
But if you actually want to get things done… If you want to change the world… If you want to build a business… If you want to build your career… If you want to make an impact… No matter where you come from…
YOU MUST FOCUS ON RIGHT NOW, THIS MOMENT!
Does the past matter? Absolutely. Do your circumstances have an impact on your life? You bet.
For example, the simple fact that I was born in 1982 as a a middle-class, white male in suburban Nebraska, inside a reasonably well-educated family, played an important role in my early experiences.
If I was one of my friends who were born in the same area of town, but black, Asian, or Hispanic, my experience would have been totally different.
Or if I were born in another time and place, my experience would’ve been totally different.
Yes, context matters.
And does the future matter? Doesn’t goal-setting matter? What about making plans for my business and my life? What about envisioning a better world, and working to make it real?
Am I more likely to achieve things if I write down my goals and intentions, and create a vision of what I want my life to be like?
But, these things only matter insomuch as I let them influence how I feel and what I do in this moment…
You have absolutely no control over the past. It’s dead. It’s gone. It’s over. Yes, your total experience of the past informs who you are now, but the past is behind you.
Right now, the past is only a memory that you are experiencing right now.
You also have no control over the future. It’s not been born yet. Yes, you may have an idea of what it could be, but it’s not here, and outside of your influence.
Right now, the future is only an imagined scenario of what could happen.
This present moment is all that there is. It’s all that’s living. It’s the only place you can exercise control.
What you do NOW is all that matters. It’s all that can matter.
What you choose to do in this moment, today, is what determines everything.
This is the lesson of the greatest spiritual gurus — and the greatest success gurus…
I’ve studied spiritual and wisdom traditions from around the world. Outside of their cultural contexts and mythologies, all of their teachings point to basically the same place.
You achieve enlightenment, or Heaven, or oneness with God, or whatever name you give it RIGHT NOW.
It’s only by fully embracing the present moment as it is, without judgment, that you “enter into the Kingdom of Heaven,” or whatever name they give it.
Sometimes this buried under many layers of cultural mythology (or baggage). But the true sages of all ages and cultures all point toward this truth.
What the heck does this have to do with business?
As I’ve learned from peak performers at the top of their crafts and industries, I’ve found parallel thinking — whether they consider themselves spiritual, anti-spiritual, or somewhere in between.
Want to succeed in business?
You can’t let your past dictate where you are going today. You can’t let your circumstance set limits on what you work to achieve. And you especially can’t let past failures stop you from getting up and trying again.
You also can’t get lost in the future. You can’t spend all your time planning. You can’t spend all your time “getting ready.” You definitely don’t want to get so into imagining your ideal future that you don’t do anything.
Whatever you want to achieve in life can ONLY be achieved by taking action right now.
Right now is all there is.
Right now is all there ever will be.
“The best time to have planted a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is right now.”
If you want to achieve anything in life, you have to break it down to the tiniest actions you can take, in this moment, to get you closer to your goals.
Who do you need to reach out to?
Who do you need to get on the phone with?
Who do you need to introduce yourself to?
What do you need to write?
What task do you need to knock off your list?
What action do you need to accomplish?
Don’t make it big. Make is small. Make it actionable. Make it immediate. And then sit down, right now, and get it done. And then do the next thing, and the next.
I don’t want to be too hard on this guy, but…
I had someone emailing me asking me business advice.
He was looking to start his copywriting career.
He was asking me about clients.
He wanted to know, basically, what he should type into Google to find the kinds of clients he’d like to work with.
I mustered up my best Yoda impression (by email) and told him, “Your decisions, I cannot make.”
Don’t get all caught up in trying to find the best thing to search for. Just freaking search for it! And if you don’t like what you find with the first search, try another, and another, and another.
Doing something will ALWAYS get you better results than doing nothing.
It’s people who decide, in this moment, to do things, that end up getting s—t done.
Whatever your goal is, that’s THE SECRET…
It’s not “you become what you think about.”
It’s that you get what you take action to get.
It’s that the value you receive will be directly proportional to the value you create through your actions.
Are there exceptions? Sure.
But usually, the exceptions are luck or freak occurrences.
For the vast majority of people, if you focus on creating value for others in this very moment, that’s what’s going to get you out of all past baggage, and into the desired future.
And, because you’re focused on doing good things and creating value in the now, you’re going to have a helluva time, and get a lot of s—t done.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,