To those that know me know that I am fascinated about the difference between very motivated individuals and the individuals that are, for lack of a better word, average. What separates the two?
I don’t think it would be very challenging for you to find people that answer “yes" to the question: “Do you want to be successful?“ Because the truth is everyone wants to be successful. They want everything that is associated with being successful at something whether it’s a better body, more money, the best at a skill, etc. That’s precisely why there are so many fad diets promising weight loss with minimal effort or get rich quick schemes that get you rich with minimal effort or professional corner cutters that try to expose the short cuts on mastering a skill with minimal effort. Yet there it is, the thing that separates the great from the average, the special and the normal, the rabbit from the rest of the pack it’s effort.
Do you want a better body so much that you are willing to put in the effort to get there? Do you want to be rich so much that you will work your tail off compared to those around you? Do you want to be the best at playing piano so much that you’ll put in 10,000 hours in to master it. Do you want to be successful so bad that you will put in the effort to get you there?
The Comfort of Staying the Same
Your brain continually tells you to stay the same because becoming better takes too much work. There are entire industries built on this fact alone. Just turn on late night TV and you’ll find all kinds of promises of becoming better. You also reject the things and people that could influence into that change as well.
The group of buddies who love to drink together don’t want you to become sober just like the group of single dudes don’t want you to find a girl, because then it would force them to look at bettering themselves. And we hate that, we’re fine just the way we are.
Another thing that holds us back is how we discredit those who actually do something and criticize how they do it, what they do and how you could do better. It’s much easier that way after all. To point the finger at the messenger so you don’t have to hear the message. We do it more often if the message itself is different than how we naturally think. We tend to discredit the person saying the message or worse, just disagree with the point of the message by picking apart a small point that really had nothing to do with the entire message.
Recently there was a post on Facebook that went viral stemming from something that Morgan Freeman said about the massacre in Connecticut being our own fault for consuming the media aftermath of these events, thus making the killers into celebrities themselves. Soon afterward, there were posts saying that it actually wasn’t Morgan Freeman who said this, it was someone using Morgan Freeman’s face/voice/celebrity to gain a larger audience. Now I’m not supporting people using someone else’s image to put forward a message without that person’s consent, but the message itself is automatically shot down because of this “hoax” when I think everyone can agree with the point of the message.
We do this all the time whether we know it or not. Here’s a scene from Glengarry Glenn Ross where Alec Baldwin’s character tells the room of failing sales people exactly what they need to hear. You can see that the reaction was to reject it and even in Ed Harris’ case, to challenge who Alec is as opposed to hearing the message.
The reason why this speech is so famous is because it divides the room into people that watch this and say either “Fuck yeah, let’s sell some real estate" and the others saying “That boss is such an asshole.“ When the reality is, Alec’s character is forcing them to become successful at what they choose to do or get out. Nothing wrong with that at all. After all, if you don’t do something that’s useful then you aren’t trying hard enough.
When you see yourself becoming part of the pack and not leading it, it’s time to find another way before you stagnate and kill all motivation to become great.
The Harsh Truth You Already Know
Is that if you don’t serve a purpose then people won’t care about you. They won’t care about how nice you are, they won’t care about how honest you are and they won’t care about who you are on the inside unless what you are on the inside actually does something, makes something that of use.
So try to become better at something and challenge yourself to use people’s viewpoints and jumping off points to do something even more incredible. Because after all, we can only do great things if we are constantly trying to improve and collaborate on accomplishing something that does something, and isn’t that the point?
As I move into my next challenge and into the unknown, it’s the return of that scary feeling that makes you get excited about what’s next. I look forward to sharing my experience here.