We have seen planes keep moving in the runway and seeing other planes take off. They are waiting for their signal to take off. I feel the analogy here is applicable to our lives. We are all in the runway of life and we see others taking off in their lives. The moment we decide to take off in our lives is where we take firm control of our lives and direct it to the way we want it to happen.
This quote is powerful from Roy T. Bennett “You are not the victim of the world, but rather the master of your own destiny. It is your choices and decisions that determine your destiny.” That quote has stayed with me and it is a powerful quote. Just think about it anything in your life is due to your decisions. One of the decisions you need to make to get the most out of life is to take off in your life. Really take off from the depth of your soul and the results will be there for all to see.
I have expanded the word take off to really drive home the point.
Believe in your talent – We all have reservoirs of potential to be unleashed and to recognize our unlimited potential is the first step towards getting the best out of ourselves. Talent is a strange word that we use to describe only the uber successful like multimillionaires, sports superstars and other public figures but we all have talent that can be unleashed.Talent is not something most of us are born with, it is something we develop through thorough soul searching, self-analysis, practice and deep learning. It is a cinch but worth repeating find out what ignites your passion. Passion ignites reservoirs of talent that is hidden within our vast reservoirs. The main obstacles in our path are our self-doubt and lack of patience. First you need to know exactly what you want. As Geoff Colvin says in his inspiring book “Talent is Overrated” you have to know deep in your heart what you want. Finally you need to believe it is possible and you do have what it takes to put the 10000 hours of deliberate practice needed for success.
Take action– Action is the antidote to procrastination. As Jim Rohn said “You cannot hire other people to do your push-ups.” The takeaway is if you want to exercise it is not enough to read about it same way reading diet books is not enough. We really have to take action for anything we want in life. This is written not only for the readers of this post but also me. I want to keep reiterating to myself that knowledge is only half useful and unless it is married with action nothing will change. So take action for example if you want to lose weight exercise more, if you want to earn a promotion do better at work, if you want to increase skills read more and if you want more passion be passionate. So the message for all of us is to take action in the direction of our dreams to achieve anything we want in our lives.
Be Kool – Obviously once you take off in your life you are going to face the inevitable headwinds and turbulence that characterizes any journey. In order to weather these storms we need to be vigilant and stay calm. Keep your focus on the end goal always. That’s why it always comes back to how burning the yes is in your life. How badly do you want something? That will determine how far you will go. Staying cool will enable you to enjoy the arduous journey much better.
Be full of energy – Once you take off you need a lot of energy to sustain the passion for a life time. It is not what we do once in a while that makes a difference. What makes a champion a champion is to do action on their dreams day in and day out. Keep moving forward and the best way is to stay energetic. Some of the ideas are to sleep well, exercise, read, write in a journal, meet new people and always stay grateful. Read my article on how to maintain high energy 11 ways to have High Energy.
Be optimistic – The key to success lies in optimism. It’s not what happens to us but how we respond to what happens to us that matters. Steve Jobs believed in his products even when he was the only one with the vision. He was not even sure if it will be accepted in the market but he showed undying optimism to see success till the end. Even in his professional nadir he showed enduring optimism and show what one can achieve with optimism and belief. An example is the Apple Stores concept. Initially the media had written this off as a non-starter but Jobs believed in it. He wanted to take retailing and brand image to a new level. So stay hungry and foolish but stay optimistic.
Fail Forward – John Maxwell begins his book Failing Forward with the thesis that “All successful people have one characteristic which is different from others and that is how they respond to failure.” The famous quote from IBM founder Thomas J. Watson comes to mind. He said “If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate.” Everyone is going to fail no matter what so all that matters is dust it off and move forward learning what you need to from the failure. Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn. Failure is merely another way to intelligently begin again. Never give up on your overall vision and remember obstacles come not to obstruct but to instruct. We can even call failures as challenges that are meant to be overcome. Success is not avoiding failure but accepting it and moving forward towards something bigger. In the Jim Collins and Morten Hansen book “Great by Choice” they say all the great leaders whom they call 10Xers have three qualities which make them special and they are fanatic discipline, empirical creativity and productive paranoia. To overcome failure we need to have fanatical discipline to keep our commitments/vision/goals front and center of our lives. When the going gets tough the tough really get going. In fact welcoming failure and overcoming it can become a game which you keep winning always. The one thing that is certain in our lives is uncertainty so we do need to equip ourselves to deal with it.
Be in it forever – Once you take off towards your destination you can land a few times. However the key is to keep on taking off to new destinations to ensure you sustain the excitement that life can bring. Just think that a genie offers you three wishes and write down those three that you want. The only catch is the genie will grant it only if you take the action towards fulfilling those wishes. This is an exciting way to look at life and enjoy it. Rather than hoping for a lottery win we can take complete control of the way our life shapes barring too many unforeseen circumstances.
Let’s face it once we embark on a journey we get a little overwhelmed with the effort that is required to get to our summit. There are no guarantees in life and the journey is going to be hard but we have to realize it is worth the effort. We have to really deeply think what we are in it for. Yes money is a reason, fame is a reason, a sense of accomplishment is a reason but once we get deep within ourselves and realize that there is something more important our juices start flowing.
So be in the game, don’t ever leave the game of life, as you are in it for the long haul. Take some chances, feel alive again, whether we believe in reincarnations or not we can safely say that none of us know if we will ever get a second chance so make this life count. There are many people who are waiting for us to show our talents. No one will ever know our talents unless we exhibit it.
There is abundance in this world and we have enormous choices. As we exercise choices that enhance our lives we eventually go forward and we will reach our Everest. Continuously pursuing our summits is the true joy in life and the journey is more exciting than the reward itself. The only decision we need to make is to take off and leave the ground to achieve all our dreams.
The views expressed here are my own and do not represent my organization.