“If you can believe it, then you can achieve it”, said David’s teacher after hearing David expressing his desire for becoming a top scientist one day. David’s heart was set. He could see it. He could see himself wearing the teacher’s lab coat, only he wasn’t teaching school kids; he was at the forefront of groundbreaking research.
“I’d love to find a cure for that bastard disease that took grandpa!” He was aiming high (cancer). What happened to David, you ask? It’s now 12 years on and David didn’t even make it to college. David flirted with plenty of low paid ‘professions’ – call centre work, labouring, security work and shop work. None of which offering any of the fulfilment he, or any of us, crave in life.
What happened to that magic sentence uttered by the teacher all those years ago? How can such a prominent sentence said at such a pivotal moment, get lost among the midst of childhood memories getting blurrier by the day?
I wonder whether David himself remembers; I wonder just how serious the teacher was when he heard such exclamation. Surely he’s heard that a million times from hopeful kids throughout his teaching career……
(clicky.co.uk) – One in a million
He knows better than to quash the dreams and spirits of youth by showing even the slightest glimmer of doubt, of disbelief at their aiming for the stars. But he’s human, he’ll be doing what we all do: judging and sizing people up based on what we see. He’s not smart enough, the teacher will think, but he’ll not have the heart to say it.
All of these facts of human nature raise a question………
Does it matter what they think or what you think?
There isn’t an answer to this. There’s only YOUR answer. Your answer tells me exactly whether or not you know what it means to really believe. Real belief doesn’t hinge on the opinion of others. Real belief cannot hear those saying you should rethink your ambitions. Real belief ignores the slight smirk that you wasn’t supposed to see when you tell people what you WILL do. They don’t think you’re sufficient.
But does that matter or not?
It shouldn’t. Don’t misinterpret me here either, I’m not saying the most successful people haven’t felt the dagger through the heart feeling of someone ‘pissing on your parade’ – they will have…….and probably more than most. The substantial difference here is, they found their method of processing these moments, and converting them into more reasons why they should keep squinting towards the light at the end of the tunnel. The image of getting close enough to the light in question, that it burns like a blazing sun is still prettier than the dark view of accepting and bowing down to the opinions of the nay-sayers.
How can you be that strong?
The first step is removing the fear of messing up. There’s no instruction manual to doing this, it’s a practical experience thing. You need as many screw ups as you can in order to build immunity to failure’s fear inducing properties. A big portion of this is having enough self-faith to know you will self examine, and make the necessary altercations to screw it up that little notch less next time.
Forget the notion of perfecting. Work on improving.
The second step is one I’ve written about before – and a huge factor in personal development; the company you keep. It is almost impossible to avoid negative people 100% of the time. There’s an ‘assholeville’ in every town and city. Your mission should be to get better at locating assholeville and reprogramming your sat nav, such that you never end up within a 10 mile radius of it!
Residents of assholeville are people that cannot be in the company of anyone above them in any fashion, whatsoever. There’s a difference between wanting to be the best and expecting to be. A massive difference. These guys will employ whatever tactics they can to ensure others don’t rise above them.
Who are the right people, you ask?
A good, comprehensive answer is found in my post, 3 steps to bringing the right people into your life. If you’d prefer a short summary, here goes: Be particular about identifying who is staying true to their mission instead of leaking emotional energy watching others conquer theirs. Find modest people who’ve done things you deem almost impossible, and let them tell you how unspectacular they are. Let them tell you how much consistency played a part in their conquest. You may not even get to know these people on a personal level, but you must see yourself as equal. Maybe not now, but at one point you were sharing the same paddle raft. There’s no reason you can’t own your own yacht either.
Find people who aren’t afraid to tell you when you suck and when you need to buck your ideas up. But not those who will bail on you for doing the slightest thing wrong. Forgiveness is a powerful and rare concept.
One thing is certain, anyone who is the diametric opposite of these is guaranteed to have a negative bearing on your life, and you really would be better off alone. Never take bad company over your own company.
The fire burning within you
I don’t want to speak in absolute terms here, but I sincerely believe there’s very few people without any passion whatsoever in life. The lines get blurred courtesy of our tendency to assume having passion means wanting to get rich and live the life of Hugh Hefner when we’re old and grey. I’ll agree, it’s a nice thought, but not for everyone.
Individual passion is all around us. What about your neighbours that are obsessed with their “perfect garden”, they may not be rich and famous, but they feel as big as anyone when someone admires their work. Some take pride in restoring old cars. Some people use art as a form of therapy. They sit and draw/paint for hours on end, their work being far better than they realise.
I’ll share mine……I feel alive when I’m chasing progress at something; it can be a skill, a game, a relationship, whatever. At present I’m trying to work towards bodyweight mastery. That’s my thing. What’s yours?
There will be something that excites you enough to talk unwittingly for hours on end and bore the poor soul(s) you’re with to death about. And if you haven’t, maybe it’s because you’ve not got anyone you believe will be willing to hear your passion flow? F*ck it, don’t worry about it. Keep talking to everyone until you find someone that enjoys hearing it. Own what you love.
An example of true belief
Having enough confidence to showcase your individual masterpieces, is what I think separates those whose work is loved and appreciated by millions and those who keep their magic private. Can you expose your one love to the world and withstand the possibility that it will be rejected? If it is rejected, can you retain that love to the degree that you’ll be back doing your work the very same night?
Do you have such confidence in your work, your skill, your passion, that you don’t mind forcing people to see it? And when they see it, you’re oblivious to their judgement. You don’t need approval. You don’t even need feedback. You’ll do it anyway. Reward or no reward.