I routinely like fixing a martini and writing about philosophy and what I'm experiencing in life at that moment. It helps me stay clear and focused on the bigger picture. It helps me not get caught in the 'thick of thin things'.
I was looking through a few old notes and I fould this posting I wrote 10 years ago. At that time, I'd had a business win under my belt and thought I was hot shit. Instead of continuing to better myself, I had slacked off and stopped challenging my mind. Even though I had more financial resources, I was emotionally empty.
Sometimes I could not see my path until I was able to look back and catch the vibe of where I was, what I learned, and how I've grown. I'm thankful for the people in my life that continue to push me.
May 6, 2001
I am realizing that if I don’t start acting now, continuing to reinvent myself, I run the risk of being one of those middle-aged guys that was mediocre, but never stood out. A good guy, nice person. But never did anything extraordinary.
I am afraid.
Afraid to even type the fact that I’m scared of letting my life pass without making it count.
It is time to re-invent myself. To become the mover and shaker that I know I am. It is simply an unfulfilling life to be a nobody – someone that doesn’t make a difference – someone who doesn’t risk. Half of me runs afraid of losing what I have (my house, etc) and the other half run afraid of being mediocre and not becoming all I can be.
I lost some of the FIRE I was famous for.
Somewhere along the way, I lost the frightened and scared kid that pushed me away from failure.
Somewhere, I lost the necessity for action. I lost the drive that pushed me never ever to settle.
I lost the bull-headed, focused, belief that anything was possible and nothing was good enough.
I lost that feeling that drove me to go to school – that drove me to try my hand at buying houses – that drove me to give up my job and head to Vegas – that drove me to quit a well-paying job for the shot of doing something great.
In essence, I decided to let my life just pass me by for the past few months. I decided – by not deciding – that I had pushed hard enough and now was a time for coasting.
Coasting is being mediocre. It's for the 95% who do not care to push forward.
Coasting is compacency. And complacency is death.
And there I sat, in the midst of the very success I created, and let that same success drain me from the core of what pushed me to start with.
It’s wrong. It’s so wrong.
It’s not the matter of how much cash I have, or what car I drive. It’s that I always keep pushing myself. I always drive forward.
Steven, your goals – your drive – is more important. You are slacking when you fail to commit! I must stay committed. I must stay focused.It's not about setting goals, it's about having the discipline to achieve them.
Take my weight for instance. This is not just about weighing 185. This is about being able to sacrifice for my goals. This is about being able to finish the workout and cardio – even though I feel like quitting.
Do you understand?
This is about CHARACTER.
This is about being able to keep a long-term commitment and surpass all expectations.
This is about pushing myself – getting the FIRE back – getting the drive back.
This is about having the discipline to control my destiny!
This is one way you are going to get your life back!!! What’s “good enough”? Good enough is for losers. Good enough is for people looking for an excuse. I've decided that good enough is not good enough for me.
What motivates me is the pursuit of the challenge, creating, winning, helping someone else achieve, love and loyalty, deep friendships, and fuck-you money. I refuse to hang out with people who are not striving to become better.
It's time to make a change. It's time to require more of yourself than others do. It's time to become passionate again.
In order to make change, I can’t just change my behavior. I must change my belief of who I am. I must change my IDENTITY to myself. I must BE my WHY. Step into your new role TODAY. Change your identity to become what you want. How would I act and feel and think if I was exactly like I want to become?? Go out and DO and KNOW.
Today I will dedicate myself to make a change. And I will be a better man for it.
2 thoughts on “Do Something Extraordinary. Personal Notes from 10 years ago.”
Awesome, Steve! I’ve run into those moments in life as well. Those moments when it seems like it’s time to call it good enough. My marriage is a good example. We reached a point where we were finally happy and we stopped pushing forward together and reaching toward one another. I said “This is good. Leave it be.” as I pursued other interests. Then one day I woke up and realized that in the process I’d forgotten to be “me” in my marriage. An adjustment was necessary. Took some time, but now I’m more present in my marriage and it feels like my husband is as well.
In my career, I have a different problem. I’m never able to let go of the idea of perfection, so I have a tough time letting my writing breath in the world. I’m always finding one more thing to tweak, to make it just a little bit better. And, that can be as deadly as accepting “good enough”, possibly more deadly at times.
I’m glad you found your drive again!
May we all strive to make the world a little better with our presence in it!
Thanks for sharing your personal thoughts so willingly – that is awesome. I found out about you and your company (TakeLessons) today and I’m glad I did.
In society we talk a lot about waste (typically in the context of materials).
It could be said that some of the greatest generators of waste are those that have the mental and/or financial ability to create something innovative or genius but end up ‘coasting’. They end up in a job they hate, with a lifestyle they aren’t proud of, and a vision that couldn’t be considered a vision at all.
This is the saddest form of waste I believe.
In some cases, however; what may be seen as a period of waste or ‘coasting’ from another’s perspective (or even your own), may be the very catalyst required to achieve greatness.
This of course is the most difficult balance for an innovator or visionary. Those that ‘coast’ enough but not too much seem to always be the ones that create great things. Those that don’t ‘coast’ at all never give themselves enough time to think deeply (an integral part of creating something great).
Thanks again for the post and for sharing your thoughts!