"Twice you burned your life's work: once to start a new life and once just to start a fire"
- John Roderick
In his book, "Start With Why", Simon Sinek describes an annual leadership summit among the world's most successful Entrepreneurs. This gathering serves more as a support group than a celebration. Why? Because success for the hunter means the end of the game. It is the hunt that most inspired these uncompromising thought leaders. With the selling of their companies their balloon had been deflated. The hunt was over, they now had found fortune, but they had lost their purpose.
Big wave surfer Laird Hamilton likens himself to a dragon slayer: when there are no waves, there are no dragons to slay....his search to conquer the impossible is stifled.
Many heroic athletes experience depression in their retirement, their quest is no longer celebrated.
The stories above have a common thread: the climber has reached the mountain top but the wish is to keep climbing. Indeed, we will all look back on this life with a fondness for the seemingly most difficult times. Over steak and fine wine, with our life's achievements behind us, we may miss eating pizza on the floor of our dorm room.
As we endure this wonderful life, our bodies might slow down but our vision becomes more focused. Michael Jordan will admit that his game was elevated when his mental discipline helped him slow the game down. If you are crystal clear in your purpose, have participatory evidence to fall back upon, and are more driven than your adversary...your trophy awaits.
There are people who possess natural talent, those who have read thousands of books, and others who have attained countless certifications....but they have never experienced success. They are doing what they are good at not what they love. They are following an attainable skill set not a passion. Anyone with a heartbeat can read books, take classes, and pass tests. There is no differentiated skill in the process of knowledge attainment. It's what you do with the knowledge that matters.
Sales is a hell-of-an-occupation. The uncertainty in sales requires endurance, unflappable confidence, and an uncompromising belief in your purpose. Most people try sales...and fail. Transactional process knowledge might help you sell bibles door to door, but over time you will plateau. In order to endure the world of selling over the long haul, you have to learn to differentiate. Empassioned story telling beats product-knowledge every time. 'Tis far more important to articulate why something can make the world better as opposed to knowing simply what it does.
...in the end will you look back on a life well-served...or the times you did the less-popular thing...and won! We seldom remember the validation of a test passed. We remember the time we followed our heart despite our brain. The time we sacrificed everything to conquer a challenge that logic may have told us to avoid. There is nothing sweeter than the taste of victory!
When Alfred Hitchcock made "Psycho" we mortgaged his house to finance the film....his belief was so strong that he was willing to sacrifice everything to bring the film to life. The bands Wilco and Radiohead mortgaged their careers to produce their most relevant musical artwork. Even Francis Ford Coppola went broke making "Apocalypse Now". We don't know of the depths of sacrifice that lead to greatness, we only remember the result. All things worth investing in share one great certainty:
Their Creators Had Conviction!
...are you going through the motions? Has convenience taken over the drive to do more? Are you part of something that matters? Do people admire your spirit?
Need I remind you that we have 29,200 days on this planet...why would you waste one of them doing something you don't believe in with all of your heart and soul?
Stop pretending and be part of something bigger than yourself! If you can't find it, create it!
Don't Forget to Remember!