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The irony of Easy Street and why you may never reach your potential

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Photo by Michael G. Olsen from Unsplash
  • Easy sounds so appealing, and in theory it is, but easy is nothing but a dead end.

    It makes you weak, makes you soft. Easy makes you incapable of truly achieving your potential.

    Back in college, when I was young and naive, I heard of this myth that there was a road called Easy Street in Hawaii. Not sure why, but it kind of made me curious to go find it. LIke it held some magical power, or pot of gold or some kind of epiphany for me. I was searching for anything to solve the riddle that was my future at that point in time. I thought I knew how to work, but I was secretly hoping success was something I would stumble upon or be able to obtain quickly.

    I drove right by the road almost missing it the first time around, but when I turned around it surprised me, there was not much of a road. Ironically, the road is extremely short and it’s a dead end. Epiphany granted. I stood there as these two defining signs juxtaposed in pure irony almost as a prophecy were staring me dead in the face.

    It was so real and so authentic; a real-life analogy, the opposite of what I was wishing for. Its feeling was clear:

    “Stop chasing easy street and get to work.”

    Sometimes when we’re young we underestimate the amount of work it takes to get done what is required to “make it” or be successful. We may even secretly think that with minimal effort the right person will knock on our door, happen to pay it forward and give us their car, or invest in our idea we haven’t even told them about and so on. But this is pure fantasy this is you gambling your dreams away. Get that thought out of your head!

    And yet despite this truth, life keeps getting easier and easier every day. Or at the least, it has the potential to be much easier if we harness the innovative and digital world that is exploding all around us.

    We have been given great power, even power at our fingertips…but can we handle it? Can we harness it for our good and others?

    “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

    Abraham Lincoln

    The Power Struggle

    We live in a world of handouts and freebies. And we are becoming a slave to others generosity; including your parents, your friends, wealthy associates, your business and the government.

    We live in a world obsessed with instant gratification where all things can be accessed almost immediately.

    This kind of power is scary. It can make us feel like it is our right to have whatever we want now. Unfortunately, your dreams do not come at a snap of a finger. You are not entitled to your dreams. Let me say this again: You are not entitled to your dreams! Those are earned, with sweat, blood, and tears.

    The majority of people fail to live up to their goals and dreams because they use this power for instant gratification instead of powering their path to human development. They become too entitled, too lazy, too distracted, and too addicted.

    You have been given the power, which makes it too… Easy to be entitled!

    Advancement in technology, systems, business models has led to much of our wants becoming automatically accessible. Everything from entertainment we consume, to the fast food we desire, to the debt we are able to get into, to on-demand everything. All are quick and easy.

    None of these are inherently bad, but it makes it easy to get caught up in the slothful side of these advancements and improvements of life.

    We have pushed so hard for innovations that would make our lives easier that it has made it too easy. It has become too easy for us to rid ourselves of the drive and passion that true dreams require.

    Now don’t get me wrong, we all struggle at times with some of these if not all of them, but we must overcome them if we want to achieve success in life.

    Quick anecdote! I have a friend who sold his company for $100 Million. He also has a software plugin on all Microsoft operating systems. He then worked on another $100 million idea afterward and he still had to convince people to invest in him. You would think he should feel entitled because of what he had done. If anyone should feel entitled it should be him. But he knew that the real world, where your dreams are either made or broken, never gives you an inch without you giving it your all. Every. Single. Time.

    You have no reason to be entitled. Go get what you want!

    “Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”

    Abraham Lincoln

    You have been given the power, which makes it too… Easy to be lazy!

    From the food we eat to the media we consume, to the shortcuts and get quick rich schemes; they are all bred by laziness. Some may argue that some of the great ideas came out of laziness as people sat doing nothing. I would disagree! They were sitting still, pondering and ready to utilize that time by studying books and thinking deeply.

    According to the Nielsen Co., most Americans are consuming approximately 3.5 hours of TV a day. About 107 hours a month. About 1289 hours in a year of nonstop TV-watching. In a 70-year life, that person will have spent 10.3 years — night and day — glued to the tube. Let’s just translate that into waking hours: 20.6 years!!!

    Is anyone else freaking out right now? Because I am. What a waste of your potential. If you used a fraction of that time doing something daily, you could have already become one of the best in the world at that thing and over a lifetime you could do incredible things.

    This is staggering. Actually, it is appalling and overwhelmingly sad.

    Some of it may be justified, for some balance, leisure or education, but most of it is most definitely not!

    The people that use their time wisely have a huge lifetime advantage. They have at least 30% more time to achieve what they want to. Every day. And that doesn’t include the fact that they want it more, and they will work harder and longer for it.

    You will not have a chance to conquer your goals if you don’t conquer the laziness.

    “If this country is ever demoralized,

    it will come from trying to live without work.”

    Abraham Lincoln

    You have been given the power, which makes it too… Easy to be distracted

    Devices, phones, tablets, being online at all times of day is leading to an epidemic of procrastination. Stop looking down and staring at your distractor! What a waste of your life!

    These devices/distractors also waste at least *5–7 hours a week of the average American’s life. You do the math this time. It’s time we stop trying to keep up with other people’s beautiful lives, by painting a prettier picture of what our life is actually not.

    This is not productive time, this is not even healthy time, it is spent mostly coveting!

    Turn off. Unplug. Rip away. Use it only when you need. Everything in moderation.

    It’s a perpetual procrastination cycle of having responsibility and putting it off by distracting yourself with a device and then feeling bad that you shirked your responsibilities. Only to go back to the device to distract yourself from how guilty you feel.

    “You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”

    Abraham Lincoln

    You have been given the power, which makes it too… Easy to be Addicted

    These are just some of the addictions a vast majority of our population suffer from.

    • Video games
    • TV
    • Pornography
    • Alcohol
    • Drugs
    • Social media

    Media, entertainment, food and drug companies have got it down to a science. Everything is designed to suck you and they have figured out the psychology that will keep you coming back for more, again and again.

    While you sit there, they make loads of cash off your useless, ever more passive, backside. Whipping you with high-intensity instant pleasure. Dumbing down your willpower to rise above our station.

    Addictions are the plagues eating at our dreams, our goals and our aspirations.

    These are the drugs of this, and more drastically, the next generation. Especially because everything will be at their fingertips even more than it already is now. Everything will be instant. Everything will be easy. Everything will be free. We must prepare for the automated future.

    Procrastination is the thief of dreams, and potential, and happy lives. It steals time and confidence while leaving you full of regret and diminished willpower.

    Stop the cycle now!

    Stop doing it, stop self-sabotaging, stop feeling sorry for yourself, stop the dead end habits.

    Stop chasing easy street.

    Stop right now! Stop where you are! No, really. Stop what you’re doing!

    STOP!

    It doesn’t matter where you are right now. Close your eyes and breathe deeply and slowly.

    Relax. Feel the calm. Find your happy place.

    A place where you are safe, without a care. Where you feel good, empowered, and confident. Picture your favorite colors, thoughts, dreams, and insert it in your scene, and anything else that brings peace and serenity.

    Go there and just breathe.

    Relax. For 1 whole minute…Close your eyes and do it now.

    Now open your eyes.

    You can do this! If you can find peace for a moment you can build on that.

    Start reassessing your life, acknowledge you have room for improvement, and you are not in full control of your life. The TV, the news, the food, the gambling, the devices, are some of the ones pulling your strings.

    It is time to take back your life!

    It is time to live with purpose and design. You are the designer. You get to choose. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and get off the couch.

    Stop letting devices, media, and substances control you. You make the decisions, no matter who laughs or mocks you.

    Start Moving

    Get your feet moving, taking small action. It helps significantly to confide in someone else how you plan to take action. Let them be your “action buddy”. If you can bring a group of people together that would be even better to keep you accountable. Change is hard but possible. It does need daily and weekly action steps and updated with a group or buddy every week. You can’t do it on your own. Every week meet up and go over where you’re at, how you did during the week and what you will conquer the next week.

    Change is a constant battlefield between your mental and emotional states and your willpower to overcome. Key word: battle. Half-hearted effort will result in you losing again and again. You must commit! Give your all.

    Take one thing at a time and tackle it each month, and then another, the next, and so on.

    “I am not concerned that you have fallen —

    I am concerned that you arise.”

    Abraham Lincoln

    Work is one of the main missing ingredients in most people’s plans. Without action, one cannot profit in any walk of life. It is what turns mere belief into unstoppable faith; faith that realizes miracles.

    I’m going to make this short and sweet. Start taking action, work no matter how small, every day and never stop. Those things that are nagging at you that you know you need to do, but they seem so hard, must be tackled. They are not as hard as they seem and they are most often the ones that need to be done now.

    Sacrifice and do the hard things now, so you can live up to your real potential.

    Share that light you have. It might be faint as you sit fireless in front of the TV, but you have a unique creative ability to give the world something special; something only you can give.

    Find that unique part of you and let that burst out to every seam of your being. Light up the world around you.

    Persevere through the inevitable hard times to come. It wasn’t supposed to be easy. The hard path is the one no one else will take. And you are left at the destination of success not because you were better, but because you didn’t give up.

    Though the task may seem daunting and overwhelming, with no one on this lonely path but you, you can and will overcome entitlement, the lazy habits, all the distractions, and addictions that hold you back. You can become who you were designed to be.

    “You can have anything you want if you want it badly enough. You can be anything you want to be, do anything you set out to accomplish if you hold to that desire with singleness of purpose.”

    Abraham Lincoln

    Conclusion

    All of these things I have told you are things I have, throughout my life, come to know to be true with absolute certainty. Easy street was then and ever will be a short fruitless, dead end.

    We are all battling our demons, but we can win the battle, and we can win the war over our future.

    If you want to time travel, past the easy streets of life, and on to an accelerated path to your goals and dreams then pick up my free checklist here.

    Free Time Traveler Checklist

    P.S. — Despite the title of this article, I believe in you!

    References:

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