I’m really cautious when using the word failure because I think even a perceived failure can be a huge monumental, transformative life experience so not saying that all failure is bad. I believe that sometimes when we fail we have the ability to fail forward and we have the ability to get back up and make progress as a result of that fall. That’s a different way of looking at failure. I think failure could be a very powerful, powerful life experience if we extrapolate and pull the nuggets and the wisdom that we need to prevent it from happening again. Because if we don’t and we fail and then fail again over the same thing we just failed about, and fail again and again then the failure is just sad. It’s a heartbreak. Any talk I ever do is dedicated to the possibility of human transformation. I would not be doing this if I didn’t believe that.
1. Lack of a Well-defined Purpose in life.
When a human being knows the Why of their life the How takes care of itself.
Why do you wake up in the morning?
Why do you do the things you do?
Why don’t you do the things you don’t?
Why do you live the life you live?
When you know your Why, the how am I going to do it, how am I going to overcome this, how am I going to figure this out, all of that takes care of itself.
Because the why is so freaking powerful. If the why is compelling enough the motivation exists inside of it.
So what’s your purpose?
My purpose is to leave this world a better place than I found it. As simple as that. So how do I go about making that become a reality for myself? Well, with every interaction I have with somebody I do my best to make sure that they leave that interaction in a better way than they did before. Anything that I do, if I go and speak somewhere, engage somewhere, exercise somewhere, I leave it better than I found it. And if I continuously leave situations, people, places and things better than I found them, ultimately my goal of making this world a better place will become true.
Another one of my ways is to be able to empower human beings to realize that they can also transform their lives because the reason that’s a big, big one for me is because I believe if enough people transform, those transformed people can transform people the same way. I always say that every week on this talk. At some point I say, “Hurt people hurt people.” Hurt people are the ones that hurt people. Well, on the flip side of that, shouldn’t transformed people be the ones that are able to transform people? And if I’m able to help a few people transform then I definitely know I’m making the world a better place before I leave this place.
So I don’t know what your purpose is. Some of you are so codependent that the only purpose you have is for your loved one and for your children and for your spouse and for your family members to succeed. And as long as they succeed then you’re okay. I say that’s so narrow-minded. I say that’s so playing it safe. Let them have their own goals and dreams. What are yours? Let them have their own purpose in life. What is your purpose? Can’t be for your loved one to be happy and you’ll be happy. What is that? My motto is, “I make a difference in people’s lives every day.” I know based on the interactions we’ve had here that you’re doing that kind of work. And I like how you wrote ‘everyday’ in there because if we just make a difference in people’s lives once in a while won’t be enough.
So hopefully that inspired you to find out that your purpose is not the same purpose your loved one has. You got to find your own.
2. Lack of Ambition to Aim above Average
If you wake up everyday and you do not have if you do not have the desire to aim above whatever your average is you will never have a life beyond average.
A lot of people want to have above average lifestyles, above average relationships, above average mental health, above average outlook and perspective, above average bank accounts, but they never aim above average. So how is that going to work out?
How do you get to the top of the mountain when you don’t want to climb? How are you going to have an above average life with an ordinary work ethic? What it’s called is wishful thinking. The same way somebody goes to 7-Eleven or the gas station, gets a little lottery card and fills it out and sits and waits to see if they won couple billion dollars is the same way that someone sleeps in their bed, goes to work, goes back home, watches TV, goes to bed, wakes up the next day, doesn’t even try, just automatic robo like that, wondering if tomorrow is the day that my life is going to change, no it’s not a lottery ticket. Ain’t gonna hit like that. So if you just aim for average, and I get it, why do people do it? Some people like to play it safe, some people have a fear of success, some people have a fear of failure, some people have a fear of the unknown. So instead of trying I’ll just go in my little turtle shell and I’ll go on my little Netflix and I’ll watch 20 hours of TV in a 3 day span. And then the next day when Monday comes around I’m going to say, “God, it’s Monday again, I feel like I’m never moving forward in life. I always feel like I’m stuck. I always feel like I’m on a little hamster wheel. Well, you sat down and did nothing for three days. What else do you want to feel like?
If you just aim for average your whole life, just be ready for average, that’s all.
3. Lack of Self-discipline
Our society is plagued with this. I’m not saying everybody but if you got a bell-shaped curve – you guys know what those bell-shaped curves are. It’s got 90% of the middle and then 5% on each side. They’re called the outliers. I believe that people with self-discipline are the outliers. Everybody else falls in this norm of the bell shaped curve. You want to know why? Because it’s easy, it’s comfortable, and it’s crowded. You look around and everybody around you also doesn’t have self-discipline. It looks familiar. It’s like, “Well I’m like those guys. I’m okay. I’m in the middle of the pack, the middle of the herd.”
And you know, we look at self-discipline as such a negative connotation. I mean the word discipline in general just makes us kind of feel a little uncomfortable because when do we ever get disciplined in life? When we did something wrong. Discipline him, discipline her. So now we’re older and we’re self-disciplined: I don’t want to punish myself. Man, you got it all twisted because discipline is an act of self-love. I believe human beings that are disciplined love themselves more than the ones who are not. It might be a controversial statement but I do believe it.
Because when a person is disciplined they ensure and make sure that their mind, their body, their spirit is in check.
Why do they do that? Because they know that without that they can’t be who they want to be, they can’t do what they want to do, they can’t go where they want to go, and they can’t experience the life they want to experience. Self-discipline creates freedom. Some people think it’s restrictive. It creates freedom. It creates the ability to transform. That’s one thing that I take very high levels of pride in, is the amount of discipline I have when it comes to different areas of my life. I wish I could just strike somebody in the head and give them the same discipline. I don’t know how that works but I do know that when you got your Why it makes it a lot easier.
4. Lack of Persistence
Do you just try? Do you just try and give up when you fail or do you try again, fall down seven times, get up eight? We all love that. What’s weird about people is that human beings love to read stories about businesses where the person was very persistent, like the Starbucks or KFC, this Colonel Sanders guy. I’m not a big KFC guy by the way but everybody likes KFC. When they hear that this guy took his little recipe and he was shot down a thousand times and he kept trying to sell it in a thousand Nos and a thousand Nos and a thousand Nos and eventually someone said, “Oh we love this chicken recipe. Let’s make a restaurant out of it,” and there you are. Now it’s all over the world. People love that. But when it comes to themselves they’ll try once or twice and they’re like, “I’m just not gonna do this anymore, I’m not gonna try man.” What we admire in others we also would admire in ourselves if we just allowed ourselves to do it. But why do people do it?
People don’t because they say it’s too hard. So here’s the other truth.
Working on your mental health is hard.
Working on your childhood trauma is hard.
Working on your addiction is hard.
Working on your grief and loss is hard.
It is. I’m not going to lie to you. It’s hard.
But not working on your mental health is hard.
Not working on your childhood trauma is hard.
Not working on your addiction is hard.
Not working on your grief and loss is hard.
They’re both freaking hard.
So we’re talking about perspective and we’re talking about choices. You got to choose your hard. See, one of them comes with a significant payoff when you deal with your stuff and you heal and you transform and you recover. Then your life becomes anything and everything possible. But if you choose not to work on that stuff because it’s too hard, guess what happens? Your past becomes a part of your future. It will repeat and repeat and repeat and not only to yourself but it will just repeat to the generation underneath and just keep going and sucking everybody out like a freaking cyclone. So it’s all hard. Choose your hard.
5. Lack of a Well-defined Power of Decision
So we can just use what I said in the last part and bring it here. So what was that? I’m going to give you an opportunity to make a decision and here it is. It is hard to work on your mental health. It is hard to work on your physical health. It is hard to work on the wounds and the pains and the traumas you experience in life. But it’s so freaking hard when you don’t work on your mental health. It’s so freaking hard when you don’t work on your physical health. It’s so freaking hard when you don’t deal with the wounds and the pains and the traumas of your life. There is the binary decision right there. Either you work on it or you don’t.
If you work on it, if you make the decision that despite it being hard I’m going to work on my mental health, my physical health, my pain, my trauma, my losses in life, you’re going to feel so good. You want to know why? Because you’re going to heal, you’re going to recover, and you’re going to transform your life, in your experience and the lives of those around you. And if you don’t, if you make the choice not to because it’s too hard just expect and anticipate that your future will feel exactly the way it does right now. And it’s going to look a heck of a lot like your past so as an adult watching this right now you got the choice. Choose your hard and come back and let us know which one you chose.