Today I need you to embrace what comes hard. Today I need you to accept the challenge. Today I need you to fall in love with the process.
There will be plenty of opportunities to get discouraged, lose your passion, and think it’s not meant to be. But if you reach your destiny, you must have a made-up mind. If you give up after the first time, the fifth time, or the thirtieth time, what that means is you didn’t want it bad enough. There should be something you believe in, that you are relentless. You are not moved by how impossible it looks. You’re encouraged by how long it’s taken. You don’t give up because people told you no.
If I have to believe my whole life, your attitude is that I will not stop thinking. I am not going to take no for an answer. I’m not going to settle for mediocrity. I’m going to keep pursuing what went in my heart.
And ask yourself, what do I want? What do I want? And write it down. Writing causes thinking. Thinking creates an image. And you get these images going, you’re building a vision in your mind. It’s the visionaries that changed the world. Think of that.
But what keeps that competitive edge and you on top is the ability to think and prepare mentally repeatedly. The body has limitations. The mind does not. We focus so much on what goes on from the neck down that we forget it all starts from here. Everything starts from there. If you’re not mentally ready, you’re never really physically prepared. And that’s where the preparation begins.
What would your life be like as you look toward the future if you decided I won’t allow your fears to stop me? And I’m saying to you, whatever you got to do, do it. Because if you don’t, life will whoop you until you surrender.
So when you are young and make mistakes, don’t let them eat you up. Because everybody that created it, that made them. You got to fail to win. Hey, look, man, to understand how to hit the game when it’s shot, you got to miss the game when it’s shot. You know, you’ve got to be challenging because the road to success is always under construction. It’s never a clear path to success. The people who become successful are the people who have a relentless attitude. And you just got to hang in there through the bad breaks because the holidays are coming.
But they usually come right before the big break is about to happen. You get a series of bad breaks, and it stumbles up many people. My life and success are to say to anyone; you can stumble, fall, and get back up again.
No matter what you face. No matter how bad it will be when there is a challenge. And by a challenge, I mean anything in life. Any challenge. Anything that you’re facing. The only way to overcome your challenges is to start walking. Take that step every day. No matter what you are facing. Get up and start walking.
I can see the end before the beginning even begins. And what that means is I know that to get to the very end, I can see it right now. So before I went to butts and was losing all this weight and shit, I saw myself walking across the stage at 191 pounds. That’s what I had to get to get into the door. I saw myself six months, a year later, whatever it’s going to take me to do it, I saw myself walking across that stage getting that certificate of graduation from butts, and I was able to be there at 300 pounds.
And that feeling that I was nowhere near that feeling, I was able to put myself there a million times every day. That feeling of, like, my God that will feel amazing. That’s what made me suck.
That’s what allowed the pain to be authentic and say; this is worth it. I want to feel for these next 18 months; it took me 18 months to finally become a Navy, to get through butts finally. Eighteen months, it’s six months, took me 18. That’s what woke me up every morning. I will endure this much pain and suffering for a few seconds. That’s all it is. A few seconds of joy. It’s so worth it, man. That’s what people don’t get.
So I can put myself at the finish line, even though I have no finish line, but at the finish line of an event before I even start to say, how will you feel at the end of this? Visualizing is my most important tool in life. That’s why I’ve put myself in cold water and in a 100-mile race a million times before I’ve done it. And I can go through the race and see how I will feel at mile 50, almost to the exact feeling. Right, so when it comes up, it’s no surprise. It’s no surprise.
I’ve already done this in the meantime.
I recommended the Little Book, Richest Man in Babylon, the last time I was here, and I said, I’ve lectured now to over 3 million people. How many have gone and got this little book? The answer is very few. My best guess is 10%. Such an easy thing to do. This little book, number one, is easy to find. Number two, it’s easy to buy. The most you can pay for it is six, seven, eight dollars. You can borrow that from your kids. But if it’s easy to find and buy, and if it’s easy to read, why wouldn’t everybody get it? We don’t know.
I don’t know. Nobody knows. Here’s how profound it is. Some do, and some don’t. Now here are the numbers, about 10% do. We are still determining the mystery of that. And I’m telling you, ten years from now, and those numbers will still be the same. The numbers don’t change. Only the faces change. I used to belong to the 90%. Who couldn’t be bothered even if it was easy? How many people have a library card? The answer is 3%. 97% couldn’t be concerned. Guy specializes in happy hour, but he doesn’t have a card.
And now readily and quickly blames the government, blames his company, and blames the pay scale. Here’s my advice to you today.
Walk away from the 97%. Could you not talk like they talk? Stay where they go.
Could you not act as they act?
Don’t specialize in what they specialize in.
Throw away the blameless.
They cling to.
You must be conscious today because your environment can hypnotize, mesmerize and paralyze you. The other thing is to take full responsibility for your life.
Oscar Wilde once said responsibility is what we expect from somebody else. This is very true. Most people dread accepting responsibility. That’s just a fact of life. And we can see it in operation every day. We can see ourselves getting hot under the collar when the dentist keeps us waiting. And we’re sitting there reading old magazines when our appointment was 30 minutes ago. And we continue thinking we forgot to mail this month’s mortgage payment.
We can see ourselves growing angrier and angrier because a business contact is supposed to call at noon. And here it is, almost two o’clock, and the phone still refuses to ring. But we don’t stop to think about the calls we have forgotten to return while we’ve been so busy fuming. We can see ourselves writing an angry letter to the airline because a flight was delayed. But we don’t write an angry letter to ourselves when we’re late for something, even though that might not be a bad idea at all.
Yes, we can always see avoidance of responsibility in our personal and professional lives. And here’s something else we can see just as often. We can see that most people are less successful than they wish they were. Do you see there’s a connection between these two pervasive phenomena? I certainly do. And by the end of this session, I hope you’ll agree. I hope you understand that taking responsibility for everything you do is in your best interests. But that’s only the beginning.
I suggest that many times it’s even best to accept responsibility for the mistakes of others, especially when you’re in a managerial or leadership role. I can hear you saying, what? Accept responsibility for someone else’s mess-ups? Why would I want to do something like that?
That’s a fair enough question; I’ll try to answer it over the next few minutes.
One of my weak points in my personal life is I wouldn’t say I like technical stuff. So even though I have to be on Twitter and Instagram, and Facebook, I don’t care for that. Guess what? I find somebody who loves to do that. You know, I see somebody who has a strength where I will have a weakness, and I partner with them. What you’re trying to do is get to the goal. No one gets there by themselves. Everybody needs help. Now when you know what you got going for you, be confident, not cocky.
Managing your strengths, knowing what they are, and not letting anybody talk you out of it. And that gets you to fight-ready. You get fight-ready like that. You got to know you. It helps you develop your skills. All the while, you’re creating your strength. You just got to keep developing the muscle. Don’t let anybody talk you out. At the same time, you must work on improving your weaknesses. So I’ve had to, despite myself, get on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
I got to do the videos whether I wanted to or not because the world is moving to social media. I wouldn’t have to do this TV show if I had as many followers as Kim Kardashian.
During the years when professional basketball was beginning to become popular, Bill Russell, who played center for the Boston Celtics, was one of the greatest players in the pro league. He was primarily known for his rebounding and his defensive skews. But like many very tall centers, Russell was only somewhat of a free-throw shooter. His free throw percentage was below average. But this low percentage needed to give a clearer picture of Russell’s ability as an athlete.
And in one game, he gave a compelling demonstration of this. It was the final game of a championship series between Boston and the Los Angeles Lakers. With about 12 seconds left to play, the Lakers were behind by one point, and Boston had the ball. The Lakers would have to foul one of Boston’s players to regain the ball. And they chose to foul Bill Russell. This was a perfectly logical choice since, statistically, Russell was the worst free throw shooter on the court at that moment.
If he missed the shot, the Lakers would probably get the ball back, and they’d still have enough time to try to win the game. But if Russell made his first free throw, the Laker’s chances would be seriously diminished. And if he made both shots, the game would essentially be over. Bill Russell had a very peculiar style of shooting free throws. Today, no self-respecting basketball player anywhere in America would attempt it. Aside from whether it’s an effective way to attack a basket, it looked ridiculous.
Whenever he had to shoot a free throw, the 6 foot 11 Russell would start holding the ball about waist-high in both hands. Then he’d squat down, and as he straightened up, he’d let go of the ball. It looked like he was trying to throw a bucket of dirt over a wall. But regardless of how he looked, as soon as Bill Russell was fouled, he knew the Celtics would win. He was sure of it. Because in a situation like this, statistics and percentages mean nothing.
There was a much more important factor at work that no one could express in numbers and decimal points. Bill Russell was a player who wanted to take responsibility for the success or failure of his team. He wanted the weight on his shoulders in a situation like this. No possibility for excuses, no chance of blaming anyone else if the game was lost, no second guessing. Bill Russell wanted the ball in his own hands and nobody else’s.
And like magic, even if he’d missed every free throw he’d ever shot before, he knew he would make this one. And that is precisely what happened. That is what virtually always occurs when a man or woman accepts responsibility eagerly and with confidence.