Destro the waiting place
“How much of human life is lost in waiting!”
-— Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Activity Trap
“It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in an activity trap, in the busy-ness of life, to work harder and harder at climbing the ladder of success only to discover it’s leaning against the wrong wall.”
The lesson here is clear: make certain you’ve got your ladder leaning up against the right wall—that you are consciously aware of where you’re headed—before you start the climb. (Or, as Covey so concisely put it, “Begin with the end in mind.”)
“When it’s time to die, let us not discover that we have never lived.”
-— Henry David Thoreau
Sadly, retirement planning, in many circumstances, has become nothing more than planned procrastination.
we have several generations of people who have actually been incentivized to put off their dreams until age sixty-five or later. With a promise in hand (from management or government or retirement planners) that life-after-work will be better, we crumple up our dreams like a paper ball and toss them out the window, hoping that the wind will blow those dreams back our way when we finally hit retirement.
“How do your decisions change if retirement isn’t an option?”
You work, and you work, and you work, and then, you die. If this were the case, would you truly wait another thirty or forty years to start implementing the ideas that are planted inside your head and heart right now? Would you wait another thirty or forty years to start living the life you truly want to live?
‘No man ever said on his deathbed I wish I had spent more time in the office.’
Saving and investing money for the future = GOOD
Saving dreams (stupid ideas) for the future = BAD
ask yourself if you’ve been waiting your whole life to do what you really want to do.
Don’t get lost in waiting.
Don’t live a life of regret.
Don’t lose out on opportunities that can influence your life and the lives of others for good.
There is a great saying, often attributed to Abraham Lincoln, which poignantly reminds us, “Good things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”
“So what do we do? Anything. Something. So long as we just don’t sit there. If we screw it up, start over. Try something else. If we wait until we’ve satisfied all the uncertainties, it may be too late.”
-— Lee Iacocca
Part II - The Time Has Come
Will I regret it when I'm eighty?
“Do not act as if thou wert going to live ten thousand years.”
—- Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor
"If you can project yourself out to age 80 and sort of think, “What will I think at that time?” it gets you away from some of the daily pieces of confusion.
You know, I left this Wall Street firm in the middle of the year. When you do that, you walk away from your annual bonus. That’s the kind of thing that in the short-term can confuse you, but if you think about the long-term then you can really make good life decisions that you won’t regret later.""
Jeff Bezos changed the world as we knew it, all because he was stupid enough to start.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
-— Theodore Roosevelt
Where Not to Start
“I have so many ideas! What if I pick the wrong one?”
You’re in the quicksand of paralysis by analysis, and it has suffocated more great ideas than all the other potential stumbling blocks combined!
You can’t let fear and indecision sink your creativity.
Fear and indecision will stop you dead in your tracks every time. They’ll keep you stuck where you already are.
“Well, I guess I should just try them all and see what sticks.”
“No, I must focus. Focus is the key!”
These two conflicting thoughts can quickly freeze you in the realm between thought and action, and as a result, again, you’ll find that absolutely nothing happens at all.
If you’re scared of choosing the wrong idea to start, you’re going to keep yourself from starting altogether. And on the flip side, if you try to start all of your stupid ideas at once, you’re bound to waste time, energy, and money (and go completely loco in the process). Plus, no matter how hard you focus, if you’re laser-focused on the wrong activity or activities, your laser is going to end up burning a hole right through your potential for success.
FUTURE REGRET = TODAY’S IMPERATIVE
Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could travel into the future, see where you messed up, and then go back in time to rearrange things in order to make your future better? You can. If you can foresee regret, you can mind-travel to the future. If you can train yourself to mind-travel effectively, you can intentionally affect your future by doing something about it today.
Question 1: Do you have a pressing thought or idea that simply won’t go away?
Maybe you didn't pursue it for some reasons: not enough time, feeling underqualified, not enough money, a good idea for someone in a different life situation.
imagine your eightieth birthday. You’re relaxing in your rocking chair; You realize you didn’t end up doing anything on that list.
Some of the things you don’t feel much concern or regret over, some things on the list make you laugh, but there are a few items written there that bring you a deep feeling of sadness and regret as you contemplate the joy and fulfillment that could have been yours (and your family’s) if you’d only had the courage to try.
Question 2: Looking at your list, what would you regret not doing?
Question 3: If you had only a short time to live, and you were required to rid yourself of all the things from your list except for three or four, which three to four ideas would remain?
Question 4: If you had to prioritize these few things in order from most important to least important, which order would you choose?
Additional Tips and Tricks
trust your gut. It’s a process, and sometimes it takes time.
- If this idea is the last thing I ever do, will it be something I’d be proud to be remembered by?
- If I were forced at gunpoint to choose only one of these ideas, which one would it be?
The urgency created by these two scenarios often serves to provide the clarity necessary to knock us free from indecision.
“If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.”
—- Albert Einstein
The overarching goal is to determine which ideas are most aligned with your core values for your life, and then to simply start.
No Time, No Education, No Money = No Excuse
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
-— Theodore Roosevelt
We All Have Excuses
No matter how hard you work, no matter how much you study, no matter how much money you earn…
You are as ready today as you’re ever going to be.
You’re buying into the limiting belief that no matter how badly you want to, no matter how deeply seated your passion, you simply can’t start now. Your hands are tied by circumstance, and there’s nothing in the world you can do about it.
It’s simple logic that each day we wait, we are left with less remaining time to do our dream work
“A year from now, you’ll wish you started today.”
-— Karen Lamb
“He wanted my time. Money is easy. Time is hard.”
Time will always be hard to find.
Just like those horrible high school projects from days gone by, our dreams won’t get started until they’re due.
Education and Experience
"experience is overrated. Some people say they have twenty years’ experience, when, in reality, they only have one year’s experience, repeated twenty times"
I suddenly realized that if something was important enough to me, if I was truly committed to achieving success, I could learn what I needed to know along the way! Nothing could have felt more empowering.
“Experience is the opposite of being creative”
Oprah was born into poverty, raised in the inner city, and abused growing up.
Rowling declared at a Harvard University commencement address, “Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”
If starting dreams were dependent on your bank account, then we’d have no “rags to riches” stories. No Oprah. No J.K. Rowling. No Steve Jobs.
Aren’t we grateful they didn’t choose to trade their legacy and their life’s influence for a deceptive, convenient time (like retirement) to start inspiring others, writing books, or inventing computers?
Just as “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion,” so, too, does money expand so as to fill the expenses available.
If a family spend $500 / month and then earn $500 more, they'll find a way to spend $500 more as well.
It’s not about the amount of money you do or do not have; it’s how you view and use the money you have that matters.
necessity will dictate that you learn the art of resourcefulness in the form of bootstrapping.
the value of networking. the value of partnering.
Part III - The Business of Stupid
Conventional wisdom has its limitations, and in today’s fast-paced global economy, organizations demand creativity and unconventional thinking to maintain the competitive edge—organizations demand the New Smart.
Stupid ideas come from a very powerful, creative space within our hearts and minds.
Few are willing to put their money, or their jobs, on the line for an unconventional idea.
Don't get stuck at model T
“Business men go down with their businesses because they like the old way so well they cannot bring themselves to change.”
-— Henry Ford