Michael Jordan said, “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
It’s called iteration--the act of repeating a process with the aim of progressing toward a desired goal, target, or result. It’s one thing to simply repeat a process, it’s another to do so with progress.
Failure enables iteration.
2. You Can’t Please Everyone.Everyone has an opinion and will give their advice. And they’re not all going to be supportive of your dream. While it’s in our nature to love and be loved; to make friends, not enemies, striving to live your life according to someone else’s blueprint will only create bitterness.
Before David fought Goliath, he was instructed to put on King Saul’s armor. It was so uncomfortable that he could barely walk. Only when he stripped off the armor, and picked up the sling he knew so well, he was able to defeat Goliath.
It would’ve been a different David & Goliath story had he taken on King Saul’s advice.
There’s nothing wrong with seeking counsel and taking on advice, but you’ve got to be able to filter the advice that propels you, from that which derails you. It’s wise to have an inner-circle of people you respect to speak into your life and act as a second filter. But ultimately, you have the clearest and best vantage point for what excites you. The sooner you realize you cannot please everyone, the better.
Bill Cosby said, “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”
3. Keep Dreaming The power of the human brain and imagination continues to baffle scientists. Visualization exercises are used by elite athletes with incredible results. In a studycomparing pianists, those who simply imagined playing a melody performed almost identically to those who physically practiced. Your imagination—creating a vision, has effects that blur lines with reality.
Writing down your goals and dreams is a practice involving your imagination, and likewise has profound effects.
A fascinating 1979 Harvard study asked students whether they had clear written goals for their future. Only 3% of the group responded positively. Ten years later, that group was interviewed again with astonishing results—that 3% who had clearly written down their goals were earning, on average, ten times as much as the 97%.
Practically living out your dreams is fueled through impractically dreaming out your dream. Write your goals down often. And the next time someone calls you a dreamer, that’s a great sign.
4. Quality Will Beat Qualifications. Every Time. You’ll question whether or not you’re qualified to do the work. Inevitably, you’ll run into someone with more degrees, more initials after their name, and you’ll put your tail between your legs.
It’s a good time to think of Joyce Hall, founder of Hallmark who never attended college; Anne Beiler, co-founder of Auntie Anne’s Pretzels who dropped out of high school; and of course, Richard Branson who left school at 16 to start his first entrepreneurial venture.
Don’t mistake what’s valuable, for what’s essential. At the end of the day, if your product or work absolutely rocks, nobody will care what piece of paper hangs on your wall.
That being said, there’s no question over the necessity of education—the issue is between traditional institutions vs self-education. It’s not that these individuals decided to cease education altogether, they simply pursued it through their own efforts.
Their successful product became their framed diploma.
5. Don’t Just Make A Dollar, Make A Difference.Inspirational men and women are renowned because their dream wasn’t simply about making their pockets bigger. Their vision extended beyond self-gratification.
Let’s be real—money is important. It’s a powerful resource that can bring great change. And when ambition turns into success, wealth is sure to follow. What you choose to do with that wealth will reveal much about you. Money can tear down bridges as quickly as it can build them.
Much like the ring Frodo carries, money has an all-consuming power. And if the scope of your dreams are as wide as blinders on a race-horse, your fulfillment will be as narrow. Just take a look at the tragic ending for almost every major lottery winner.
Money without meaning is worthless. Create a grand vision for your success that extends far beyond confines of your own life.
6. It’s Who You Know.Nobody leaves a campfire without smelling like smoke. Subconsciously, we cannot help but take in information from our environment. After prolonged exposure, it manifests in our behavior.
Some of the most profound maxims are so widely used they cannot be attributed to a single person: “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future;” “You’re only as good as the people around you.”
It was Jim Rohn however, who said, “You are the average of the 5 people you spend most time with.”
Indeed, we’re deeply impacted by the people we allow into our lives. It’s for that reason “Mastermind” groups are so popular and effective among entrepreneurs.
It’s a good time to take inventory of the people closest to you. Are they lifting you up or bringing you down?
7. Ain’t No Valley Low Enough.Your dream isn’t going to be presented on a silver platter. There’s yet to be an accomplished person quoted as saying their success was without struggle.
One of the most celebrated authors of our time, JK Rowling, chased her dream from the age of five. But before the Harry Potter series became an ‘Everest’ in the literary world, Rowling spent many years deep in the valley. After losing her mother, and enduring a failing marriage whilst raising a daughter, Rowling reflects, “I was as poor as you can get without being homeless.”
Of course, depression and turmoil aren’t prerequisites for success, but sacrificing your comfort zone is. And by definition, that isn’t a pleasurable experience. Transitioning from your present reality, toward that future dream, is much like moving into your dream house—packing and sorting through junk isn’t easy, but necessary.
But just like the paradox of giving and receiving, there is sacrifice and reward.
Endure, persist, and you will surely celebrate.