Let me say from the beginning, before the PC police show up, by “beat most people”, I’m not wishing any ill-will towards others. But if you don’t think life is a competition… you’re losing.
Life Is Hard
Life is very hard, unless you figure out a way early on to be very strategic with your goals. You won’t be able to map out a perfect strategy in your 20’s… or really at any age “perfect” is probably not attainable, but you should try. Don’t wander through life waiting for things to happen to you; work towards making them happen for you.
I wish everyone could be successful in some way. Most are not willing to put in the work necessary to be successful, though. And if your definition of success is a 9-5 job until you’re 70, 5-10 years of retirement, and then you die… then I wish you well. I’m not here to change your definition of success.
My personal story of success took a long time. I’m not the smartest guy, and I made a lot of dumb decisions along the way, and I had a lot of failures. The one thing I did right was every day, no matter what, I did something that improved my life just a tiny bit. As an entrepreneur, you never run out of things that need to be worked on. So, every day, I made progress on something, consistently, for years. And I don’t mean 1 or 5 or 10 years — I mean 20-25 years. And all that consistency finally paid off.
Do You Want More?
If you want more (and by more, I mean freedom to choose what you do with your time — NOT necessarily money), you better be willing to hustle and “show up”, consistently.
Passion is overrated. Consistency is underrated.
Passion is overrated. Consistency is underrated. Everyone talks about “find your passion”. Don’t take a job unless you have “passion”. Finding work you’re passionate about is great if you can find it — and it’s worth trying to find… but working passionately is more important.
Working Passionately is More Important
Working passionately, and doing it consistently is more important. Let me give you an example. Would you agree that everyone from doctors to nurses to trash collectors don’t always feel like doing their job? Would you want your doctor to stop mid-way through an operation and say “I don’t feel like finishing this right now”? If you need assistance at the hospital and call on a nurse, you wouldn’t want her to say “I don’t feel like helping you right now”. Everyone has bad days and negative feelings, but you must push through and be professional. If you’re waiting on an emergency transplant, and your doctor has an argument at home with their spouse, you wouldn’t want him to cancel your emergency surgery just because he’s having a bad day, right?
Are You Better Than A Squirrel?
If you’ve ever observed squirrels for very long, you’ll notice one thing for sure. They work on a daily basis to improve their lives by planting nuts for the winter. My wife and I have even fed squirrels peanuts. If you give them 10, they’ll eat 2-3 and plant the rest. Oh… and they’ll usually plant first — then eat. And they do this no matter what else is going on — every day. They “show up” every day to try and improve their future.
Feelings are Real, But They Should Not Always Control The End Result
I’ve known some psychologists that have given some really bad life advice to their patients. They tell people it’s OK to have feelings (and it is), but they do not explain that you need to carry on about your business no matter what your feelings are (at least most of the time). We live in a world where everyone wants to acknowledge their feelings and let it rule over how they react to everyone else. No one cares about your feelings (except maybe your parents and hopefully your spouse). If you work in customer service, it doesn’t matter what else is going on in your life — you need to be professional and be kind to the customer you’re serving.
You won’t always feel like “showing up”. But if you want to be desired and respected professionally, you must show up. You must honor your word. If you commit — do it. No one is perfect, and there are times you just can’t do what you said you would, but those times should be rare. And because “showing up” consistently is so rare, you will shine and be valued by others.
Don’t follow your passion, but always bring it with you.
Showing up (consistently) is a plan for success.
Mr. Hobo Millionaire