So, I’ve got a confession to make. I’m not that great at anything! I don’t know the first thing about writing. I know just enough about IT to fool my employer into thinking I know what I’m doing. I’ve made every mistake imaginable when it comes to selling things on eBay. The list could go on and on.
I may never be seen as the best at anything I do but I still have a high likelihood of achieving some level of success. Why you ask? The answer is simple. I’m too stubborn to give up. It’s taken me 25 years to realize that persistence is the key to success and wealth.
Focus on what you can do
If I wanted to, I could spend all of my waking hours dwelling on past mistakes. I’m not going to get anywhere by doing that though. All I have control over is what I can get done in this very moment. I’ve got to forgive myself for past mistakes and only remember them so I don’t repeat them.
The progress I’ve made in my life is a lot like this blog post. It starts out a jumbled mess of vague thoughts and slowly but surely gets shaped into something a little less horrific. I keep hacking away at the keyboard and eventually, I’m left with a finished product that may actually be worth the read. I just start by doing what I can and slowly build on that.
It’s amazing how much of a boost you can get from good information. I started listening to the Dave Ramsey Podcast when I was about 23. That lead to talking to a friend about money and he introduced me to Mr. Money Mustache and the FIRE community.
If I hadn’t had this one conversation with my friend, I may still be a Dave ramsey follower with no idea that you could build enough wealth to retire in your 30’s.
I didn’t know what I didn’t know before learning about FIRE. I wasn’t asking the right questions and had too narrow of a worldview.
The older I’ve gotten, the more curious my mind gets. I’m addicted to learning new things and the thought that something as monumental as financial independence has been around for years without me knowing about it makes me wonder what else may be out there that I don’t know about.
Any movement can be turned into momentum
I sit at a desk all day and I’m not very active. If I don’t move around when I’m not working, I’m never going to feel like doing any physical activity. We’ve all heard Newton’s law “a body in motion tends to stay in motion”. It seems that this doesn’t apply to only physical things but mental too. It’s a lot easier to keep momentum going than to start from a dead stop.
I love the snowball metaphor. If I were to start another blog I think I’d call it the snowball effect. Once you get a small amount of momentum, you start leaning in and figuring out other things to improve on. You keep gaining ground and eventually, your life is on a completely different trajectory from where it was a short while ago. One day, you look back and realize you’ve accomplished so much.
It’s almost like success is unavoidable once you start making some progress. I’ve heard countless people’s stories where they start out in a mountain of debt and in just a few years they’ve completely turned their lives around and are KILLING IT.
Jordan Peterson talks about this in his book – 12 Rules For Life. He says you start putting your life together by cleaning your room. Once you’ve got your room in order, you can move to another room in your house. Eventually your whole house is neat and you start cleaning up other areas of your life. The process never ends and you keep moving towards putting your whole world in order. Someone who’s got their entire world in order is someone who’s going places.
You don’t have to stay down when you fall
I’m sure my journey has many roadblocks ahead. I’m only a quarter of the way to a hundred and I’ve probably only seen a quarter of the tragedies life is going to throw at me. With that in mind, it’s key to know that I’ll always have the option to continue improving.
There’s one thing I tell myself to help me get past future struggles. The world doesn’t need anymore quitters. Happiness, health, and wealth may come and go but there will always be something I can work on to make the world a better place. If nothing else, I owe it to God to do my part. I’ve recently realized that meaning is the most important thing to pursue. It’s the only thing that will still be there when all else fails.
Fear of failure keeps so many people from their true potential. I’ve come to find that failure is inevitable no matter how little effort you put into life. You could be the least productive person on the planet and still fail at something. None of us are getting out of this thing alive anyways so you might as well take chances!
My life may end best described as a manual for how to not do things things. At least I’ll be able to say I tried.
As Bruce Lee said – “Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.”