“You’ll never reach a point in your life when people will stop telling you ‘no,’ and stop telling you about the failure you’re going to crash into headlong. It doesn’t matter. Fuck them.” -Jon Westenberg
Most of society will never be successful.
This is for a lot of reasons. Most people are unwilling to pay the price of success. Others are unwilling to experience the pain of evolving into a better version of themselves.
There are a million excuses. The majority is a safe, comfortable place — people like knowing that even if they didn’t accomplish their dreams, at least they’re with a huge crowd of others who didn’t, either.
The majority hates deserters, though. These individuals remind the majority of their lack of action and success.
If you decide to leave the majority, be prepared for an onslaught of resistance, criticism, and condemnation. Most people don’t like being confronted with harsh truths about their life.
Said Chad Grills, founder of The Mission: “The great achievements in this world are reserved for those willing to look like a fool in the eyes of society.”
But for those who choose to sever their ties with mediocrity, ignore the laughter and insults, and commit to achieving success no matter what…
This defiance builds millionaires.
The Road Is Lonely
“It’s lonely at the top. 99% of the world is convinced they are incapable of achieving great things, so they aim for the mediocre middle-ground.
The level of competition is thus fiercest for ‘realistic’ goals, paradoxically making them the most time- and energy-consuming.” -Tim Ferriss
Here’s an interesting secret about success:
Most people don’t believe they can achieve big goals.
This means most people only shoot for mediocre goals that aren’t even that difficult. Rarely does anyone even attempt to achieve huge, enormous goals. So, the level of competition is fiercest for “realistic” goals.
This is great news for the rest of us. It means we actually have far higher chance of achieving our goals if they’re bigger and more daring.
To use a sports analogy: everyone is aiming for an easy base hit, but hardly anyone actually swings for a home run.
However, this also means the road to achieving huge goals is a lonely one.
Once you decide to take full responsibility for your life and start acting like a winner, you’ll soon discover this adventure doesn’t have a lot of company.
Most people would rather trade in their dreams for comfort and security, and are unwilling to join you on the risky, uncharted road to living an extraordinary life.
“The problem is that our culture has engaged in a Faustian bargain, in which we trade our genius and artistry for apparent stability.” -Seth Godin
Are you willing to look like a fool, risk embarrassment, and begin a journey that might be very lonely for a long time?
Most people aren’t.
Most people aren’t willing to do what it takes to experience an extraordinary life.
Make Decisions Based on Where You Want to Be
“Unsuccessful people make decisions based on current situations. Successful people make decisions based on where they want to be.” -Benjamin Hardy
Most people make decisions based on where they are. They have no vision of the future, no long-term goals, and no motivation to start.
Hence, many people make some of the most important decisions of their lives based on where they currently are, and not on who they want to become.
When most people consider what jobs they’d take, what dating partners they’d engage with, or what they do in their free time, they aren’t thinking about where they want to be down the road.
This is a calling card of the majority.
Instead, build up a healthy defiance of this lifestyle. Who you are now is not who you’ll be later.
With every passing day, work on the four major areas of growth — physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. You’re evolving into a better version of yourself, so act accordingly.
Most people simply take what’s available. They settle for average and merely “good” instead of waiting for extraordinary, “great” opportunities to arrive.
Don’t make decisions based on where you are. Build a vision for what you want to become in the future, and make decisions to get there.
“People are always asking me the secrets and tricks I use to get results. Sorry if this disappoints you — there are no secrets. There are no tricks. It’s simple: ask yourself where you are now, and where you want to be instead.”
-Tim Grover, personal trainer to Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant
Use Pain as a Litmus Test
“Suffering through your fears and anxieties is what allows you to build courage and perseverance.” -Mark Manson
Everything worthwhile in life is won through surmounting the associated negative experience.
Success, reward, fulfillment, growth, achievement — all these lie on the opposite side of pain.
Do you do things that terrify you?
How often do you feel uncomfortable?
Do you embrace pain as a teacher, or run from it as a punishment?
Most people avoid pain. They avoid it, reject it, and numb themselves from it if they have no other option.
But your tolerance for pain is a strong indicator of your success.
Is the discomfort of growth part of your life? Are you characterized by stumbling, failing, and learning?
Or are you satisfied to simply appear like you’ve got it all figured out?
Use pain as a litmus test. Look at your life, your behaviors, and tolerance for things that make you uncomfortable. This is an excellent way to gauge the state of your life and your trajectory for success.
“The extent of the struggle determines the extent of the growth.” -Ryan Holiday
“Life shrinks and expands in direct proportion to your willingness to assume risks.” -Casey Neistat
Defiance is risky. Leaving the pack is scary.
But the higher our willingness to assume risk, the greater life expands to provide us with opportunities for success.
Defiance against all the limits, criticism, discouragement, laughter, and insults is what makes millionaires.
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