Who You Are and Why Everything Depends on It
Who you are and why everything depends on it: how each of us are our number one problem and number one solution for all things in our lives.
To have a great life you must be great.
Men do not attract that which they want, but that which they are. – James Allen
I wish someone had pulled me aside as a young man and convinced me that what I want is only secondary to who I am. I wish someone had convinced me that to have an extraordinary life I would need to be extraordinary.
Alas, that was not the case. I slowly and by accident stumbled upon authors who convinced me, after much repetition into my thick skull, that it was I who needed to change. Not the external world around me.
If I want to lead an extraordinary life and excel in all my endeavors, then I need to lead myself to improvement. I had to acquire the skills necessary, to foster the mindset required and to build the character of a successful person.
My work began in my mind. It moved into action. Eventually it created the opportunity for me to become a leader, have an extraordinary relationship and to become healthier than ever before.
Myth of the Born Success
Often time people see a successful person and assume they were gifted at birth the attributes necessary to achieve greatness. And that may be true for some people and for some traits. But no matter how gifted someone is they are flawed just like the rest of us. No matter how charismatic, or how eloquent, or how charming, these “born traits” cannot exist in a vacuum.
Life mastery is a well rounded skill set. An extraordinary person must be the total package and I argue no one is born with every trait necessary to be extraordinary. The idea of a born success is a myth. This is very encouraging for those of us who were not “natured” or nurtured with exceptional attributes. We can all have great social skills, or charisma, or confidence, or the many other skills attributable to the successful people we study and respect. It takes dedication, hard work and lots of discomfort.
Our ambition should be to rule ourselves, the true kingdom for each one of us; and true progress is to know more, and be more, and to do more. – Oscar Wilde
The born success is surely outnumbered by the “learned success”. I was not a born successful leader or husband. I worked hard to study and take action to become the person necessary to become extraordinary (it’s a work in progress).
There are many people who want to lead extraordinary lives but who also measure themselves short for the task. If I could just impart one thing to everyone in this world it would be this: You are more capable, more powerful, and possess more potential than you believe.
Learning it the Hard Way
I learned this the long and tedious way. No one ever convinced me of this as a young person. I had to convince myself. I did it by facing my long feared habits and old mental conditioning at every opportunity. Thought by thought I proved that I was indeed capable of more than I had previously thought.
When I worked 100% commission outside sales, I listened to a lot of audio books. When you hear “no” 10-15 times a day you begin to look for sources of encouragement. There was one story in one book that really stuck with me. It convinced me that it was possible to remake myself into anything I wanted to be.
Jeffrey Gitomer, in his book The Little Gold Book of Yes Attitude, shared his story of how he trained himself to “have a positive attitude”. His story was compelling. Essentially, through reading, writing, and sharing with a group of like-minded people, he was able to recondition his mind. He was able to discard old, unproductive thoughts and replace them with empowering and productive thoughts. It was then that I said to myself, “If he can do it so can I.”
I’m the Problem, Are You?
It was a hard thing to admit – to really admit in my heart of hearts – that I was the problem.
When I realized that the only way to have an extraordinary life was to be extraordinary, I focused my attention on me. I am the source of all obstacles, all set-backs, and all limits. It was a hard thing to admit – to really admit in my heart of hearts that I was the problem – but something I had to accept if I wanted to be better.
What about you? Are you willing to look in the mirror and face your biggest obstacles? It’s not a destination, but a life-long journey. Take the first step. Today.