I’ll tell you the moral of this story before the actual story: You have to earn your success in New York. This is nothing new. We all have heard this a bazillion times. But most people don’t earn their success fast enough, they get distracted, they try to earn another success, and then they never accomplish anything.
Those who endure in New york, those who are singular-minded, and those who outlast all of the others are the people that succeed. Why is Lewis Howes so prolific? Because he has done over 1,000 podcasts and spent years networking on LinkedIn. One. Thousand. Podcasts. I guarantee that if you do anything for as many hours as it takes to make 1,000 podcasts, you’ll achieve some sort of success.
So, now that you know the main moral of the story, let’s get into it. (There’s a bonus moral at the end). Here goes:
This morning, my son found a brand new matchbox car that we had hidden in the guest bedroom. Immediately, he thought it was his and wanted to open it. Meanwhile, I had been trying to get him to brush his teeth for about ten minutes (to no avail).
So, I decided to tell him that he would need to earn his new car by brushing his teeth for a count of ten and then by helping me clean up his toys. You’d think this is would be a pretty reasonable deal, right? Brand new toy car in exchange for about two minutes of work? Well, no two-year-old in all of New York that I know is reasonable. So, he screamed. He cried. He ran away. And he wasted a good five minutes of our morning repeating those three actions.
Eventually, after he was too tired to object, he reluctantly allowed me to brush his teeth for a count of ten. However, every two seconds, he’d go limp and squirm which eventually made the whole tooth brushing thing take three times as long as it should have.
When we were finished, though, you should have seen the smile on his face. He LIT UP! He did it! He was done! He ran into his room and threw his toys into the toy box in record time and then happily received his new car.
There’s a lot we can learn from this story about how we go about achieving the goals in our lives.
We waste time
People in New York waste so much time planning for and thinking about doing something. It could be anything. You’ve either been thinking about becoming a life coach for a year or you’ve been planning to go to Peru for the past ten years. Whatever it is, I bet that, if you’re only thinking about it, you haven’t done it.
Wasting time is the WORST thing you can do . . . because we never get time back. You can’t earn more time.
So, why did my son waste time getting things done? Well, mostly because he didn’t want to do the work that it took to get to the other side of the task. I know that I, personally, can find pretty much everything there is to do OTHER than do my taxes. And I waste a lot of time procrastinating. So did my kid. And, I’m guessing, so do most people in New York.
The other reason we waste time is that we’re afraid. Yes, some of us (if not most of us) are afraid of failing. We’re afraid of putting ourselves out there and falling flat on our faces. The ironic thing about this is that many of us also are afraid of succeeding. We’re afraid of what will happen if we achieve our goals.
The fact of the matter is that the more time we waste before we put the pedal to the metal to get to our goals, the less likely we will be able to achieve them in our lifetime.
We stop before we’re done
The whole tooth brushing shenanigan could have taken a total of sixty seconds. However, it ended up taking about three minutes because my son kept moving his head, bending his knees, or pushing my arm away. We do this all the time in life.
I do it on a daily basis. I write half of a story and then I check Instagram. Or, I create a third of a virtual course and then I go downstairs to my favorite New York bodega to grab a bite. The more I distract myself, though, the more time it takes for me to complete a full project. And the fewer projects I complete, the less successful I am in the long run.
Success takes dedicated practice and singular focus on a regular basis for YEARS. Most people can’t do that. Most people stop before they’re done. Why? Because they don’t want to put in the hard work. But, hard work is the WAY things get done. If you stop before you’re done, your journey will inevitably take longer. And, in the long run, you may not make it to where you want to go at all.
We run away
It’s easy to run away from the things we want in New York. Why? Because, usually, the things we want are hard to get. And there is so much lower hanging fruit that is ripe for the picking. Well, lower hanging fruit is great if you’re hungry, but if you can stave off your hunger for a little longer than the average person, you’ll get a little higher on the proverbial cherry picker. Here’s a sad but common example of running away:
Let’s say you want to work for industry-leading company — Blue Water Bottles Inc. Rather than making connections at the company, acquiring skills to work at the company, and applying for every job at the company, you decide to take jobs doing an assortment of other things, get too busy to take any actionable steps toward working at Blue Water Bottles, and then you waste years of your life doing things that don’t necessarily align with what you want to be doing.
Sound like someone you know? It does to me. I know TONS of people like this. Now, if you need a job in New York and you need money right away, I am not suggesting you default on your mortgage while you work to obtain your goals. But, becoming involved in another career when you wish you were doing something else is a whole other ball of wax. And you know the difference.
Run TOWARD what you want. Not away. Or, at least keep your eye on the prize and shift from side to side until you can run forward again.
The bonus moral of the story is that everyone experiences the same difficulties in achieving success. Things are hard for everyone until you do those hard things enough for them to become your new normal. The way you succeed is to overcome the difficulties, to close your eyes, count to 10, endure the hard work, and graciously receive the reward you earned when you’re done.