When I think about life in total, our stay is a short one. I think we would all like to believe time is on our side, and to a certain extent it is. Life is crowded and full of ‘Stuff’ that we do every day. But my question is, “is the stuff that we do changing us, changing others or making a difference? – even if it’s for our own selfish needs?”
What I’ve noticed is a lot us are neither selfish, nor self-less as we seem to fall somewhere in the grayness of the middle. I think we do this because we get too used to our own routine (whether good or bad), and hit the repeat button every day… like robots.
The truth is, it is much easier to stay with the routine than it is to break the tractor beam of the status quo. It’s as though you are in a trance and the mother ship has beckoned you to fall in line and follow others. It reminds me of the movie, The Equilibrium, where everybody was, well, the same… and they were punished for doing anything other than the norm.
Audacious or Crazy?
I was an early bloomer when it came to breaking the status quo as, when I think back, it was a fairly audacious move when I started out running my first business with MJ. Becoming an entrepreneur during my senior year of college was not my plan and neither was leaving school to become one. The timing sucked. Shipping orders and studying for tests just don’t mix well together, and when you throw a lot of money and risk into the equation, studying just doesn’t have the importance that it once had before.
What I came to understand was that it wasn’t an audacious move for me – the people around me thought it was audacious and probably crazy, but if Steve Jobs, The Wright Brothers, and Henry Ford were called crazy, I’ll gladly wear that title as well.
Finding The Lost Tribe
I’m a believer that journeys lead to other great discoveries. While in college, MJ and I were a unique occurrence among the status quo, which consisted of students trying to get good grades and eventually move on to a career in their field. We started out just like everyone else, but were drawn into a different direction that seemed more worthwhile and expressive of what we wanted to do for a living.
As you could imagine, there weren’t many people who could relate, or have perspective on what we were doing – initially. As we started to spend more time outside of the college environment, we began to build connections to other entrepreneurs across several types of business. It was like finding our lost tribe because we were able to gain more perspective on what we were doing.
We began to understand why we were able to break the ‘tractor beam’ of the status quo. It wasn’t because we were born that way, or that we were brought up to think that way. It wasn’t about being different, for the sake of being different. It was simply seeing and believing in possibilities that others may have thought of as pure fiction. If that’s audacious – then so be it.
Being Audacious and Fearless
We can not grow walking a path that has beaten down and trampled by others as that path becomes hard as a rock. You will come to find out that at the end of that path is an endless line filled with people that look, think and act the same. New paths are forged with fresh new foot-prints – ones where the lines are short or non-existent.
So, how do we become more audacious and fearless? Here are 7 fail-proof ways you can start working on, right now!
1) Develop Your Dreams (Big or Small) – The 1st and most important step is having a dream or idea worth pursuing… Something that will get you out of bed everyday excited. Your dream has to spark you enough that you will invest your time in learning all you can about it.
2) Be Yourself – Like this quote says, “One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else.” Fighting the status quo is hard but bringing out your true self will eventually showcase your uniqueness.
3) Challenge Your Past – Your past doesn’t equal your future. Being tied to your story will keep you thinking and acting like you always have. To break that, you must gradually re-write a different story that supports your new outlook.
4) Accept A New Future – Part of re-writing your past is simultaneously accepting and believing in a new future. Your ability to make the future as real as possible will inevitably be your guiding light to success.
5) Live with Integrity – Integrity is not some general rule that all should live by. Integrity is what you have developed, and the standards that you live by. Simply said, “Integrity is what we say, what we do, and what we say we do,” – Don Galer
6) Own the Successes and Failures – It’s easy to blame others for bad outcomes in our lives, and it’s just as easy to give ourselves credit for the good ones. Own everything! This will enable you to take responsibility for your own outcomes.
7) Plan and Take Action – Planning is what brings our future into reality. “Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” This quote is one that you should have on re-dial because planning takes consistency and discipline – that’s half the battle!
Today I challenge you to re-assess your career and life plans. Here are some questions to consider…
Have you been just going through the motions, or have you been challenging yourself to uncover who and what you want to be?
Are you making the sacrifices necessary to succeed, or have you decided not to give up the things that will not make your dreams into reality?
Are you confronting fear with courage, or is fear ruling your ability to start, continue and succeed at the goals and aspirations you have set for yourself?
Ask these questions, give yourself some honest answers, and just maybe you will not only survive the status quo plague, but thrive among it!
Work Hard, Work Smart & Stay Hungry!