I’m always talking about the attributes of successful people:
– They set goals.
– They are action-oriented.
– They are willing to outwork the competition.
– They are eager to learn.
– They are persistent.
Today, for a change, let’s talk about what you don’t need to succeed.
– You don’t have to be smart.
– You don’t have to be good-looking.
– You don’t have to be thin.
– You don’t have to be nice.
– You don’t have to be right — all the time.
– You don’t have to be even-tempered.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t be kind, sympathetic, and patient. You should try to be all of those things, because those qualities will make you a better and happier person.
But in remaking your personality into that of an automatic wealth builder, focus on enthusiasm, diligence, and determination. Set goals. And take action.
Now, this is a book that I strongly recommed to improve our efficiency at whatever we do: The 168 Hour Week by Kevin Hogan
Here is your current life script:
1. You want some thing or some stuff in life. You want to feel something good, get rid of feeling something bad, and you want to have meaning and significance. No one ever told you about breaking orbit.
2. You generally can point to what those things are that you want and have a hint of what would give your life meaning and significance.
3. You can generally write down those things (and we will in the future).
4. You can generally devise a plan or strategy to move in the direction of those “things.”
5. Then things go wrong in various parts of life.
6. Some of it is your fault. Some is the fault of the person you live with. Some of it is your boss’s fault. Some of it was a random act of “God.” But the key fact is BAD STUFF or UNPLANNED STUFF, HAPPENED.
7. Now you have COMPETING COMMITMENTS. The Daily Planner says to do X but life has just thrown a Q (Someone decides to invite you to their wedding) or a Z (someone dies, gets sick, the neighbor kids egged your car, or you get sick perhaps) at you and you either have to let X go, or you have to do it while navigating Q or Z.
8. You’ll have to clean the car, get well, go to the wedding (or not) AND get X done.
9. That causes OVERWHELM and STRESS.
10. That raises levels of anger, resentment, hostility, frustration and generates feelings of blame, guilt, shame and all kinds of other nonproductive …stuff.
11. You become difficult to work with/live with and your relationships are compromised.
12. It now takes additional time to repair what your emotions AND the emotions of others have mixed into the life cocktail. Now X doesn’t get done and neither does Q or Z.
13. You all but toss the Daily Planner aside and recognize that Time Management in it’s traditional sense, simply doesn’t work. (And it doesn’t.)
14. You go through life day by day, then month by month and YEAR BY YEAR missing out on number 1 and 2 above. There is very little meaning, very little significance. There is a minimum of good feelings and sadly plenty of stress and angst.
15. That’s how your life works.
And I’d like to change that now…if it’s OK with you…
What no one tells you, but you really do need is…momentum.
Remember those old pieces of footage from when NASA would launch an Apollo rocket to the moon? That big Saturn rocket that carried the teeny tiny lunar module on top…the one with Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Jim Collins….that Saturn V rocket was over 350 FEET tall.
I’ve stood next to the lunar module that came back from the moon and it’s about 10 feet high and it’s hard to believe you could squish a few people in that little thing.
Back to the Saturn V, though.
I am not a rocket scientist but these missions fascinated me. Those huge rockets were actually built in three different parts (stages). The first stage was the big one. It was the base. It was what gave the initial burst of oomph to get the rocket and it’s passengers in the air.
That first stage was 138′ tall.
It burned 4.4 MILLION POUNDS of fuel in just 150 SECONDS.
That took the rocket a grand total of 42 miles on it’s 250,000 mile trip to the moon.
42/250,000…the first 42 miles and it used 80% of the fuel for a HALF MILLION mile trip!
Then the stage was ejected and it fell back to earth somewhere in an ocean. The rocket was now flying at over 6,000 miles per hour. Then stage two kicked in.
Stage two was 81′ tall and used 1 MILLION POUNDS of fuel in just 6 minutes and pushed the rocket another 109 miles to a speed of 15,000 miles+ per hour.
So you have this 350+ foot rocket and in the first 9 MINUTES 96% of all the FUEL was used to gain momentum were used for the first 109/250,000 of the mission TO the moon. (Remember the passengers had to get back home too!)
Stage three was 58 feet tall and this stage was a little more complex and I frankly don’t get how it all worked but basically it pushed the remainder of the rocket for about 6 MINUTES (as little as 2.5 minutes and as much as almost three hours) to get the rocket really rocking around the earth so it could “slingshot” out of earth’s atmosphere and off to the moon, then it would bring the passengers into orbit around the moon. (All of the science is beyond my comprehension.)
This final stage used 250,000 pounds of fuel, or about 4% of the total FUEL for 99.9% of the remainder of the trip there and back! That boggles my mind to this day.
When I was a little kid, my grandparents lived in Huntsville, Alabama and my brothers and myself would visit them in the summer time. One of the “stages” of the rocket(s) was kept in Huntsville at a NASA facility. We got a chance to see it and it triggered even further fascination into the idea of MOMENTUM.
When it ALL Happens
EVERYTHING HAPPENS in the first few SECONDS or MINUTES. If you break earth’s gravitational pull, inertia, then you can accomplish anything.
You have to get started, and CONTINUE. It’s hard at first then you break gravitational pull and the orbit of the STATUS QUO and you are OFF and the rest is almost easy.
Momentum is SO important. If you dedicate 10 hours per day, 7 days per week, to your project X for six weeks, it will be almost a sure thing that you will succeed over the next 10 YEARS with Project X. Your life will COMPLETELY change. You will be COMPLETELY transformed. You will be CAPABLE of just about anything that is humanly possible. But only a teeny tiny percentage of people will be willing to be that uncomfortable for say, six weeks.
Because most people can’t get past discomfort for any period longer than moments, few people accomplish…anything. There is no meaning to be had because there is no discomfort, there is no sense of unfamiliarity.
Am I Making You Uncomfortable?
Meaning comes when something is not comfortable.
You can use 95% of the energy on a project and fail, exhausted with the remaining third stage falling back to earth…or you can use the 96th% and break free from gravity…which is really just getting past inertia and started and then it’s not unfamiliar or uncomfortable anymore. Then it’s simply a wise use of time.
The great life lesson, perhaps the greatest and most important lesson is knowing this in advance: The danger is that you WILL feel unrewarded for the energy you expend on a project with no return.
People are used to getting a paycheck every two weeks and no table top business will return a dollar in the first two weeks but you’ll work two or three times as hard at the Coffee Table business as you are at work.
Your family will be upset with you because you are grumpy. You will be tired and have nothing to show for your work. The TEMPTATION to QUIT is OVERWHELMING ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE DOING WHAT WORKS… which is why it takes 5.5 MILLION POUNDS OF FUEL to go 109/250,000 miles and only 0.2 MILLION POUNDS OF FUEL to go 249,881 miles….AND BACK! No one knows that…except you.
Obviously this could be a relationship, a business, anything. All of the hardest work on your part is early when everything is unfamiliar and uncomfortable.
All of the smart work is the rest of the project.
A Daily Reminder
So isn’t it worth planning your day, your life so that you are constantly REMINDING YOUR SELF DAILY to CONTINUE if you are in the first 109 miles AND challenging yourself to do things that you would be proud of yourself for?
That is one of the fatal flaws of almost all (perhaps all) time planning systems in existence.
Nothing is more important than the advance reminder that the unfamiliar and uncomfortable is anticipated and prepared for. But no matter how much preparation or planning you do it WILL BE UNCOMFORTABLE & UNFAMILIAR.
You will feel like you want to jump back into your comfort zone. Period.
Much of the rest of this book is about fixing that!
Source: The 168 Hour Week by Kevin Hogan