If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The battle cry of the complacent and the one thing stopping you from crossing over from good to great. Nothing will steal your dream quicker than that comfortable feeling you get when things are good. If Steve Jobs and Apple marched to the beat of that drum there would be no iPhone 5 coming out soon because the first one would have been good enough. If that was Mark Zuckerberg’s motto we would still be using Facebook, only it would be called Friendster.
It’s human nature for us to become complacent when things are good, but if you want more out of life (which I highly recommend) then you are going to have to step it up because complacency breeds mediocrity…and mediocrity ultimately breeds failure.
Take Your Medicine
This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you, but here it goes. You have the potential to do great things if you weren’t so focused on accomplishing good things. Your goals are weak. We both know it. They require a reasonably small amount of effort to accomplish so you can feel good about yourself when you are able check them off. They are safe. In the end, they are nothing more than slightly larger items for your todo list.
If you want to be great, your goal should be something that makes you weak in the knees. Something that you logically don’t stand a chance in accomplishing. Something that is life changing. You do have these, but you currently call them dreams and consider them “nice to have’s” and not “must have’s.” That’s not going to get it done.
Here is the truth. What is stopping you from your dream of making $1 million dollars is your goal of making $100,000. What is stopping you from your dream of losing 50 pounds and being in the best shape of your life is your goal of losing 5 pounds. What is stopping you from your dream of being a New York Times Best Selling Author is your goal of writing a book. You are not thinking big enough.
Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
If you want to accomplish great things you need to start getting uncomfortable. It’s the most effective way to get past that feeling of complacency that has been haunting you all of these years. It introduces a sense of urgency. How many times have you heard the success story of someone that started out living in their car and is now at the top of their game? It’s not a coincidence. They had a sense of urgency that they didn’t have previously when things were good. You can easily create that same sense of urgency without actually having to set up camp in your Honda Civic.
My Challenge (but Only if You Want it Bad Enough)
You aren’t going to catch a giant fish with a tiny worm. If you are committed to living out your dreams as bad as you say you are, I have a challenge for you but it’s going to require that you put on your big boy (or girl) pants.
- Come up with something big that you want. Something so big that it’s going to keep you up at night. Something that you have to swallow hard before telling anyone because you know they are going to think you are crazy. Write it down along with the date that you want it by.
- Figure out an amount of money that would be really painful to lose and write a check in that amount to a person or organization that just turns your stomach. It could be a political figure, a competitor, an ex-spouse or a hate organization. This is the important part, so don’t write a check for a dollar. Make sure it really hurts. I’m talking about “we can’t pay the mortgage this month if that check gets cashed” kind of hurt.
- Put the check in an envelope and address it to the bastard(s) you wrote the check out to and slap a stamp on it. At this point you will likely feel sick to your stomach. That just means you are on the right path.
- Give the envelope and your written goal (with the date on it) to someone you trust. Someone that will hold you accountable. Someone that will constantly remind you that they have your check and ask you how you are doing. Someone that will not be talked out of sending it if you screw up.
- The rest is simple. If you accomplish your goal you get to shred the envelope and your check. If you don’t, your friend mails it out and you get to live with the warm fuzzy feeling of knowing that the world is a little worse off because of you. No pressure.
If you are going to do this, the only thing I ask is that you go all in. Don’t dip your foot in the water, jump in. Do something great for a change. Be amazed at what you are actually able to accomplish if you commit to it.