Destiny, Decisions, and Influences

Mindset is the most precious thing we own. Not our cars, houses, or any other material thing. Anything physical eventually deteriorates, withers away, loses value, decays…

But our minds are priceless. All the moments we gather as we travel this road we call life teach us and our responses to them is our growth. As time moves on we (hopefully) get smarter to what works for us and what doesn’t. Our experience helps us make better decisions as to which way we want to keep moving and who we allow in our inner circle.

As we continue to grow it matters less what happens to us and more how we choose to deal with them, or in other words it’s our decisions and influences that make the bigger difference. Proper goals gives us something to aim for and mastering our decisions and influences help us find direction. And defining our direction is how take control of our destiny.

Clocks and Hourglasses

The way we have clocks set up is a problem. It doesn’t even matter if we’re talking digital clocks or the old fashion style that go around in circles. Actually, those ones are even worse. We see the clock spinning around in circles and think they’re just going to go on forever.

How different would we view our lives if clocks were designed like hourglasses? What would our decisions look like if we knew how many grains of sand we had, or how many times our heart would beat before we move on to the afterlife?

That’s the key point. None of us know the time our hearts will take their last beat. We only know that it’s coming.

This isn’t meant to be morbid or depressing! In fact quite the opposite. But it should be a wake up call.

Knowing that time is the only resource we can never renew, why would we waste any of it in negativity, or on activities that drag us down instead of build us up?

Take a few of those precious moments and think about what matters most to you. Figure out how to prioritize your activities so you can do more of the things that matter most to you. Life is too amazing and your passions are too important to waste, and you deserve to enjoy all of it.

 

Desire, Emotion, and Knowledge

Human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge.” -Plato

We humans are a strange bunch. We share the same basic biology of mammals and the same basic needs of all life: food, water, and shelter. What separates us from the other critters is our greater understanding of the world around us.

Which is a mixed bag. The rest of the species seem fairly content in what they do; their roles are pretty well established and when humans stay out of the way they largely do okay on their own. Nothing really changes or expands, but the circle of life continues.

There is plenty of research to suggest other animals experience desire, emotion, and knowledge. What isn’t so clear is how aware of they are of what they know and that relates to our key difference. Most species tend to operate by instinct and that’s about as far as it goes.

We definitely take it up another notch! We have far greater capacity for awareness and thought than any other species. Whether we’re all using our greater capacities is another story…

Ultimately our behavior comes back to Plato’s three key elements: desire, emotion, and knowledge. We want to achieve some particular goal, be it weight loss, in our relationships, something to do with our business or any other kind of ideas. It usually starts as just a thought or idea and given enough time we get a particular burn to see our goal come to fruition. Interestingly we are more driven by the fear of loss than the expectation of gain, but that’s a different discussion. And once that burn becomes strong enough, we set ourselves to task to figure out how to achieve the goal, or in other words gain the knowledge to do it.

Understanding these points we help you as you consider your own goals. As you look deeper into your own behavior you will find common patterns and therefore also know how to find and attract others with similar traits. As your network grows you will find better mentors and in turn be better able to share your expertise.

Can You Believe It?

Our minds are powerful tools, capable of creating almost anything we can think of. More specifically, we can use our minds to uncover the laws of nature that make the world tick.

For example, the principles for flight have always existed. After a lot of experimenting, the Wright Brothers finally figured out the right combination of materials and methods to get an airplane off the ground.

Just like steam has always existed, long before we figured out how to create it ourselves. It took some physicists and engineers working together to figure out how to use it to produce energy, which in turn made way for train engines, which made way for faster travel and moving more materials, which in turn made way for expanding the country across the United States…

The list goes on and on! And at each step of the way somebody had a vision of something bigger and better than what already existed, a new way of doing things, and set the right actions in motion to see their vision become a reality.

It’s no different for us. We are constantly creating the world around us. It’s important to remember we get what we focus on. Which is why it’s so important we look for the positives in any situation so we continue to grow and expand, even if they might be hard to see at the time. The clearer you can create the picture of what you want, the easier you can achieve the goal.

So what’s in your mind? How clear is the picture? Can you believe in your idea strong enough to see it become a reality? Because you absolutely can do it.

Overcoming Overwhelm

It’s a bit crazy out there in the world these days! We’re such busy people running around doing all the stuff technology was supposed to keep us from doing and it doesn’t look like it’s going to slow down anytime soon. Add in so many distractions from the ever shrinking world and it can get overwhelming without a clearly defined path. It’s relentless!

Obviously we still have to live our lives: tend to kids, keep the bills paid, eat dinner, maintain some hygiene, and so on. However, is watching the news really helping us? Do we really need to check Facebook every 15 minutes to see how many likes we got on our latest post? Or watch another “fail of the week” video on YouTube?

These things are certainly fun and not necessarily bad in moderation. Too much, though, can be a massive time drain and ultimately robs us of the richer life we truly desire.

As the distractions seek to pull us away, the more we need to focus. The more we develop our mindset around our goals the easier it is to determine what activities will get us closer to our goals and which ones need to be minimized or even eliminated.

Developing expertise helps us set goals, goals help us define the path we need to follow, and the more we focus on this, the richer our life experience becomes.

Facing the Odds

“When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favour.”  –Elon Musk

Actually pretty much whenever when we dare to do anything great the odds are not in our favor. If they were, we would already have all the knowledge and resources we need to accomplish what we’ve set out to do and it would have already happened.

There wouldn’t be any stress, or any challenge, or setbacks to our progress.

There also wouldn’t be any growth and it would be BORING.

Setting our goals properly absolutely stretches us. Yes, we have to face the odds, unknowns, dig for new knowledge to accomplish what we’ve set out to do. But we also become far greater versions of ourselves, expanding our capacities and we become capable of even more.

We’ve borrowed from Elon Musk twice this week for a reason. Odds were highly against him starting a private rocket company, yet he’s conquered a historical first in landing rockets vertically, and is drastically reducing the costs of spaceflight along the way. His goal is Mars and while he doesn’t have everything in place to accomplish it yet, just watch.

It’s a similar story for Tesla. Electric cars face overwhelming odds against the oil companies that still hold the majority on how our cars are powered. Even though Tesla is such a small player in the automotive field, Musk has rattled plenty of chains and made the major automotive makers take note that there might be a better way to think about cars.

We could even talk about the birth of the automotive industry, the moon mission, or when a child first learns to walk and talk… The odds are constantly against us and we beat them all the time. Yet it’s amazing how once we tackle “impossible” things how quickly they become the new norm.

So the heck with the odds. You’re wise to calculate the risk so you can adjust accordingly, but great things are ALWAYS done in the face of opposition.

Are You Crazy?!?!

“You need a little bit of insanity to do great things.” -Henry Rollins

Has anyone told you you’re crazy? That what you really want to do doesn’t make any sense or is “unrealistic?”

GOOD!

It means you’re on the right track.

The Wright Brothers were deemed crazy that a man could get off the ground on a flying machine.

Walt Disney’s first animation company went bankrupt and he was rejected by countless banks before getting financing for Disney World.

JK Rowling was a broke, single mom when she wrote Harry Potter on a manual typewriter. She was rejected by 12 publishers before finding one that would work with her.

Colonel Sanders was frustrated by his paltry social security check and at the young age of 65 went on a nationwide tour to sell his fried chicken recipe. He was rejected 1009 times before making the sale.

Steven Spielberg was twice denied entry to the University of Southern California film school before E. T. could finally phone home.

Einstein didn’t speak his first word until he was 4 or read until he was 7. Yet he was elemental to one of the greatest historical finds in the world of physics.

Even The Beatles were rejected by record producers suggesting that guitar groups were on the way out!

The list could go on, but let’s get back to the point. ALL of the people listed above were “crazy” to do what they did. Their dreams didn’t make sense compared to the norms expected of them. But because they stuck to their “crazy” ideas, they literally helped change the world.

I hope you’re crazy. I hope you’re just nuts enough to believe in yourself and what you want to do.

And the next time someone tells you you’re crazy, thank them for the compliment!

Get Paid What You’re Worth

“You get paid in direct proportion to the difficulty of problems you solve.” –Elon Musk

Elon Musk knows a thing or two about business. Probably most famous for his companies Tesla and SpaceX, did you know he was the mastermind behind Paypal? To make a long story short, he walked away with roughly $180 million when eBay purchased Paypal, which he immediately used to fund Tesla and SpaceX.

You could think of it this way, if you ever bought anything on eBay, you helped fund private space exploration. Congrats!

More importantly, look closer at what Musk did with Paypal. Online purchases were clunky and time consuming before Paypal came into existence. He basically created Paypal as the middleman between the banking institutions and online vendors while making the transaction much easier for consumers.

There are other parts to this we could study, but most important to notice is how he solved a massive problem for all the involved parties and was compensated quite well for his efforts!

He has done the same thing again with SpaceX by reducing the cost of spaceflight to fractions of its former costs, making spaceflight much more readily available to many more people. It will be interesting to see what comes of his efforts over the next few decades, but that’s a bit of a tangent.

Think of your own expertise as you build your business. Your knowledge is priceless. What unique challenges can you solve with what you know?

Teamwork

“We’re all working together; that’s the secret.” -Sam Walton

Together
Everyone
Achieves
More

Surely you’ve heard or seen this before? It’s true a group of people can get much more than one person alone. As we put our strengths together we fill in the gaps where others are weak and everyone benefits. It’s how Sam Walton moved Walmart in the direction it needed to become the worldwide organization it is today.

There are conditions that need to be established so all members can perform well. First and foremost the team needs to have common, uniting goals that challenges everyone to stretch and grow. It shouldn’t be so complicated that people burn out, but challenging enough to give sense of purpose and satisfaction when goals are accomplished.

The highest functioning teams have members with a variety of skills, talents, backgrounds, knowledge, and perspectives. This helps keep creativity at peak levels, but also requires having a strong structure in place to promote positive dynamics and communication. This way individuals can still shine in what they do best while the team continues to benefit as a whole.

Making sure we’re reaching these ideal conditions for teamwork takes some work, but it also helps promote a shared identity in which all members can find a shared identity and a sense of belonging. It’s also absolutely worth the effort.

Laser Focused!

“The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.” – Bruce Lee

Such wise words that should inspire all of us! It has been argued that Bruce Lee is the greatest martial artist of all time. I would suggest at the minimum he was at least  the most influential.

His words are so true. We each have our own different struggles to deal with at times, but it’s a general truth we tend get what we focus on the hardest. It’s why I like to encourage people to always think and look for positives even when things might not be going as smooth as we would like them to be. It might take some practice, but it’s TOTALLY worth it.

Many people we know or here about have created tremendous wealth in spite of the meager beginnings: Jim Carrey was a dishwasher as he worked his way the ranks of stand-up before he got his big break. Among others you’ll fine Zuckerberg, Gates, Bezos, or  Elon Musk who can all talk about their humble beginnings as they worked out of their garages and for a while Musk was sleeping on a buddy’s coach as he was building Paypal.

None of them were particularly concerned about their surroundings as they were working on their businesses. They were common people with extraordinary ability to focus. Which is what we’re saying now, too!

Developing your expertise around your own passions will make it much easier to get focused and keep it that way when things get rough.