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Conspiracy Theories

May 6th, 2011

I’m a skeptic. I also love a good conspiracy theory. As a professional storyteller, I really appreciate the intrigue and drama that a good conspiracy theory entails. I respect the battle of “good” and “evil” and the mystery of which is which in these stories.

But most of the time, conspiracy theories tend to overlook the obvious: reality is usually much simpler than the involved conspiracies would dictate.

It’s been less than a week since President Obama announced the death of Osama Bin Laden and already there are so many accusations being made on all sides. From questioning whether or not OBL was actually killed, questioning whether he was killed recently or several years ago, and even whether or not the Pakistani government knew where OBL was living (since he was reportedly staying in a mansion just a few miles from the capital of Pakistan).

Even the most level headed politicians are getting in on this last one.

“How could they NOT have KNOWN Bin Laden was living there? It’s a huge mansion with no telephone service, and high walls topped with barbed wire! It’s just miles from the capital! The government HAD to have known!”

Really?

There was a story last week about a family that kept their daughter in a cage and fed her two pop-tarts a day. They lived in a mobile home in a mobile home park. They kept the kid this way for months or years and no one noticed until someone came knocking about an unrelated case and just happened to see the kid in the cage.

I know who lives in every house on our block. But there is no way that I can tell you if there are OTHER people also in there hiding in a spare bedroom or the attic. I see people come and go, but I can’t see the people who DON’T come and go. Unless I go through every room in every house, Osama Bin Laden could have been living next door to me…or you. Unless you’ve systematically checked every room in all of your neighbors houses. It’s not likely.

As for Bin Laden’s death, there have been suggestions that the timing was conveniently close to the release of Obama’s birth certificate. But c’mon! When, in ANY presidency has there ever been a time that WASN’T involved in some sort of controversy?

Political leaders that get things done face opposition. Always. And political leaders that don’t get things done face controversy for not doing anything. No matter when OBL’s death was announced people would have noticed that there was some controversy going on at the time.

Why didn’t we capture him? We could have gotten good information from him.

Look, we’ve been hunting this guy for ten years. He’s slipped through our fingers by just hours on many occasions. Clinton missed his chance and caught hell for it. OBL got away a few times during the Bush administration and Bush never lived it down. Now Obama finally has the change to finish the job. Can you imagine what would have happened if, while trying to capture or transport OBL the guy managed to escape? Everyone would have been screaming “Why didn’t you just KILL him?!”

The job of a president is never easy. You are always having your decisions scrutinized. And no matter what you do, there will be people from the other political party who will work to undermine your efforts and minimize the importance of your successes. This is true for Democrats and Republicans.

So good leaders make decisions and move forward and start getting more things done.

And then conspiracy theorists invent interesting alternative motivations and stories that I love to hear, but just can’t really sink my teeth into.

Getting Things Done, Just Personal, Success

I’ve given up hope…

March 27th, 2011

 Hope is so overrated.

 

I keep hearing all my friends talk about it, tweet about it, and blog about it like it’s the next great thing.

 

Let’s face it…if “hope” is your last best strategy, you are a cataclysmic failure. Hope is all fine and good in the right context, but when you really lay it all out on the table, hope is about the crappiest guidance system you could ask for.

 

Nothing in life is guaranteed. As my CFP constantly reminds me: Past results do not predict future outcomes. But let’s get real for a little bit. There is not a better indicator of future outcomes than past results. None.

 

The abusive boyfriend is the one MOST likely to hit you again. The aggressive driver is the MOST likely to get in an accident. They guy with perfect attendance at work is the one MOST likely to show up first thing tomorrow. Past performance doesn’t guarantee anything, but it’s a pretty good place to start.

 

Hope has nothing to do with it. You can “hope” until you are blue in the face, but it won’t do you any good if your day-to-day, minute-by-minute actions are out of synch with how the world really works.

 

Here’s an idea that won’t sit well with many of you: Make decisions (especially the important ones) based on real-world, proven patterns and leave “hope” out of it all. You don’t marry someone and “hope” they’re the mate for you. You date them, question them, talk to them, watch movies with them and then TALK about the movie you just watched so that you KNOW what they think and you KNOW how they act and you KNOW what they want in life and you KNOW what they are willing to do (and what they are absolutely NOT willing to do) to attain their goals. You don’t “hope” their goals and dreams and aspirations and boundaries are in synch with yours. If you do, you’re in for disappointment unless you are decidedly lucky.

 

The problem with “hope” is that it leads to false conclusions. It leads us to ignore legitimate evidence that undermines our position of hope, and leads us to find and even create false evidence in our minds that supports our position. Hope is the mirror image of paranoia only worse. When we worry (paranoia), we set up defenses. A worrisome person works to protect themselves from danger, and often from dangers that don’t really exist.

 

The potential loss from “worry” and “paranoia” is significant, but limited: a little time, a little money, an little joy. But the losses that can amass from false “hope” can be monumental. With hope you can bet it all and if your hope is unfounded, you can lose it all. With hope you can very quickly make decisions that will have consequences that linger long after the hope has faded. Because hope is not rational, it can rise quickly and fade just as fast. And because hope is not at all linked to reality, it can result in horrible consequences.

 

Over the last two weeks I’ve spent twelve days in a series of state parks around Texas that have a reputation for interesting mountain biking trails. I always wear a helmet because (as a former special education teacher) I know all too well the results of a traumatic brain injury. I am not paranoid about this matter, but I am consistent in wearing the helmet. I would never ride and “hope” that I’ll be fine, nor would I sit in my camper too fearful of the trails to get out and enjoy life. Neither extreme is healthy or productive.

 

Instead I look at the risks, mitigate them with rational safety precautions, and then enjoy myself to the fullest extent possible.

 

Every time I head out to the woods I set up a few automatic stock trades that might or might not fill while I’m out on the trails. I have a few buy orders if the price drops low enough and a few sell orders if the price jumps high enough. No matter what happens I’m going to win. I either pick up a good stock at a great price if the market drops significantly, or I sell a stock at a great price if it jumps significantly. And if it chugs along at an even level, then I’ll collect the dividends and interest. But I never have to “hope” the market does anything!

 

I fully expect the market to swing up and down like it always has. I will capitalize on that consistent pattern. But I do not make financial decisions by “hoping” that my decisions are accurate. Instead I base them on patterns that have proven true over time. That means I’m wrong quite often since these patterns are never 100%. I miss opportunities from time to time. But I never suffer traumatic losses, because I never allow “hope” or “fear” to guide my decisions.

 

If you have nothing else going for you, then by all means, “hope” for the best. But if you are in a position where you have ANYTHING worthwhile to lose, please, base your decisions on something more substantial.

Getting Things Done, Success

Simple, Powerful, and Inexpensive

June 15th, 2010

“Burn The Thoughts, Beliefs and Attitudes of the Happiest, Most Effective People Into Your Mind and You Will Feel How They Feel, Do What They Do and Get The Same Results They Get!”

Two weeks ago I told you about a product that has changed my life and many of you have decided to take a step in investigating what might be the transformative missing link in your own success.

Whether you are working on health and fitness goals, financial goals, relationship goals, productivity goals or all of these, I am confident that you will find a solution in the next 90 seconds.

First, a promise.

I promise that you have never seen ANYTHING like what you are now going to learn about. These Accelerated Success Conditioning Programs are a radical enhancement to traditional self-help.

These programs are not “how-to” lecture based advice. They make “how-to” information and self-help advice work better.

These programs don’t attempt to teach you WHAT to do. You may know what to do already – but can’t get yourself to do it. Anybody have books on their shelf filled with good advice that hasn’t yet been implemented?

They don’t explain how to get motivated… that wouldn’t last.

And they can’t show you how to eat, how to get more done, how to be more persuasive or how to feel happy or get rid of fears. Those are habits that can’t be acquired through lecture. These Accelerated Success Conditioning Programs are thought and behavior modification Programs, and as a behavior modification expert with two decades of experience in the field, I can tell you that the science is sound and I can attest that the product works. I own ALL of the systems and use them because they are so easy to implement.

So unlike mere advice or information, they literally alter your unsupportive thoughts, beliefs, attitudes and emotional habits you’ve developed over a lifetime to be more like the people who get the results that you want to get.

Imagine being able to:

• Hit your ideal weight and stay there forever without feeling
     miserable

• Exercise like a maniac and LOVE it

• Be free of depression no matter how severe or how long
     you’ve suffered

• Explode your personal sales and fall in love with prospecting

• Get rid of your panic attacks and stop obsessive behaviors

• Live every single day with passion and purpose no matter
     what your age

• Have more money than you could ever need

• Quit bad habits for good – and not miss them one little bit

• Become a goal achieving machine

• Feel great about who you are, happy to be you

Until now there has been no simple, easy and fast way to permanently change the little voice inside your head, to change how you think, to let go of your past, to release unsupportive emotions.

• No “how-to” book will insert the motivation to get up
     after you keep falling down

• No lecture or seminar can implant unstoppable
     determination to do whatever it takes to succeed.

• No punishment you could endure would guarantee that
     you’ll stop doing what you’ve done most of your life.

• No exercise equipment can force you to take the time
     to use it. 

• No patch, powder or pill can alter your behaviors. All
     they can do is suck your bank account dry and leave
     you no more able to succeed on your own than you
     were before you got hooked on them.
 
Until now, there has been no way to predictably eliminate the mental patterns that make fear jump up and stop you and install all the qualities it takes to make a dream life.

But now there is…

Check out this affiliate link to what I believe is one of the most powerful and definitely one of the least expensive methods to reprogram your brain that I’ve ever found.

Simple, inexpensive, and powerfully effective: This deserves your investigation.

Think Right Now or if you are curious, you can go see my own results from using one of the systems by visiting www.JulianSpeaks.com/bragging but be warned, there is a photo of me without a shirt on so view it at your own discretion.

Fitness, Getting Things Done, Goal Setting, Success

As Your waistline gets smaller, your wallet gets FATTER

June 4th, 2010

I’ve often pointed out the relationship between a person’s financial success and their level of fitness. I’m not the only behavior change expert who recognizes the correlation. Countless success gurus have pointed out the direct correlation between physical fitness and “fiscal fitness”. The more a person is worth financially, the more likely they are to be healthy and fit.

As a behavior change specialist I find it fascinating to discover the myriad reasons people either take action or avoid taking action. One of the most powerful discoveries in human behavior (and it probably won’t shock any of you) is that we often do things that are NOT in our best interest and we repeat these patterns for no recognizable reason.

A few years ago I realized that I had gotten almost 50 pounds overweight and my cardio vascular endurance had plummeted. I was determined to get back into shape but just couldn’t seem to find the time (sound familiar?)

But something quite simple changed in my life and within a few months I had lost ALL the weight and was in the best shape of my life. That was more than three years ago and any of you who have seen the before and after pictures or who have known me for that length of time can attest to the recognizable differences in my physique.

Those differences are still here. I’ve kept the weight off and in fact have gotten in even better shape over the last year and will continue to get stronger, faster, and leaner as I continue to age. These differences are irrefutable and obvious when you see me or see pictures of me.

What you CAN’T see are the other, more meaningful changes that have taken place. Because my endurance is up it is easier for me to get more work done in less time. I feel stronger and more confident. My relationship with my wife has gotten much better. Because I am more efficient in the things I do, I actually have more free time and have taken up a few new hobbies including geocaching which is like a world-wide, 24/7 Easter egg hunt that often involves some pretty serious hiking.

So what was the little something that happened to me three and a half years ago? When researching human behavior modification techniques, I came across what I believe is one of the most powerful tools for a person to be able to literally hypnotize themselves into becoming exactly who they would like to become.

The CD system is really quite simple and it is NOT subliminal programming. Rather it is based on proven scientific principles that have definitely worked in my own life.

If you are interested in losing weight, developing higher self-esteem, getting more organized, becoming a better leader, controlling your smoking habit, setting and reaching your goals, or any of the other patterns that ThinkRightNow has available, I encourage you to visit their site through the affiliate link below and at least investigate what has clearly worked for me and many others.

If you purchase 3 systems, you get a fourth system tossed in and each system is less than $35.

If you’ve been thinking about doing something to regain the health you deserve but you’ve been putting it off because it would be too difficult or you don’t know where to start…Then I recommend you add the “End Procrastination” system to your cart  :)

Check out ThinkRightNow and see if you are willing to put them up to their 6 month money back guarantee.

You have nothing to lose but unwanted weight and bad habits!

Fitness, Getting Things Done, Goal Setting, Success

Results from a Mastermind

May 11th, 2010

Last week I got back from a five day mastermind session with a few of my very intelligent friends. We spent the week in Dallas, Texas where we rented an executive suite and stayed up until 3am every night, which was quite different for me since I normally rise at 4:30 am.

We had several very serious discussions on trends we saw over the past twelve months and how we might be able to capitalize on them. Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing some of what we discussed and discovered, so stay tuned for those emails.

But in addition to conceptual and the strategic planning that went on, we also took time to engage in the tactical. We spent time each day in the gym working out. We spent time on the computer implementing ideas to test our new theories including some new Amazing System Autoresponder campaigns, some new Google Adwords campaigns, and a few other actions that we agreed would remain exclusive to our group.

But there is a reason I’m sharing this with you.

We scheduled our mastermind session in Dallas to coincide with a marketing conference that overlapped our group session by 3 days. During that time it became clear that success falls on a continuum. At one end, inability to pay bills and at the other end complete financial freedom and everything in between…well, in between!

When looking for the commonalities we were hoping for something revealing. Smart people at one end, dumb people at the other end. But that was not true. Friendly at one end, rude at the other? Not particularly true. But across the board we noticed that implementation seemed to be a distinguishing factor.

Smart, nice people who failed to take action were overshadowed by dumb, ugly, rude people who consistantly implemented the tactics that supported their goals.

What lingering ideas have you been thinking about but have failed to act on? Choose THREE of them (no more) and work on them until they are fully functioning. You’d be surprised what you can do with just a few working tactics.

Getting Things Done, Success

The Value of Deadlines

March 15th, 2010

For some reason I never seem to get my taxes done early. I get them done and I get them done on time, but I never seem to do them early.

It seems easy enough. I have it all on the computer. I just select “Tax Report” and print. Then I give it to my accountant. It’s easy. But I never do it until the deadline approaches.

Most people are this way. Deadlines prompt us to avoid postponing the things we need to get done. Life if full of actions to take, opportunities to capitalize on, and things begging for our attention. We have to prioritize and one of the ways we do that is to deal with the most urgent things first.

Deadlines and expiration dates create urgency. I’ve even imposed artificial deadlines for myself in an effort to keep myself motivated on a task, but I’ve found that legitimate deadlines are far more effective.

For example, I’m helping to coordinate an amazing event this fall where superstar speaker Garrison Wynn will be revealing how he earns seven figures every year as a professional speaker and how he has helped lots of regular men and women to do the same thing. The event is going to be lots of fun and will obviously change some lives. We’ve already sold far more seats than we expected for an even this far out but I’ve also had dozens of people call me to tell me they were coming, but they still haven’t registered.

Well, guess what? There is a deadline approaching! It was scheduled for today but I realized this is the week of spring break, so I pushed back as far as I could, but this is a legitimate deadline, not something I have control over.

You will still be able to register after this week, so don’t panic if you miss this deadline, but by registering now you can pay out over six equal monthly installments which makes it quite affordable. After this week we are less than six months from the event and so we obviously can’t offer the six month pay option, but you’ll still be able to attend until all the seats are sold.

As we get closer there will be other deadlines and when they approach I expect that it will prompt more people to take action. Some people feel like deadlines are a form of manipulation, but our purpose in life is to accomplish our goals, whatever goals you have set for yourself. If you find ways to inspire yourself or can be around others who keep you motivated to achieve more, there is nothing wrong with this.

You can use deadlines in your own business if you think about it. Coupons usually have expiation dates just to keep people from putting things off. The idea is to push yourself (or your customers) to take action.

Don’t allow yourself to put off things that you know are going to benefit you. If you are interested in learning how the speaking business works and how you can join in on making a good living doing something you love and making a real difference in the lives of your audiences, check out http://TheRealTruthAboutSpeaking.com

Next week we will be posting a list of some of the bonuses we have lined up for everyone who attends including some amazing assessment tools to help you discover the hidden talents and insights you currently posses that others are willing to pay big dollars to hear you share. And every one of you has these insights.

Visit http://TheRealTruthAboutSpeaking.com right now to learn more.

Getting Things Done, Goal Setting, Marketing, productivity

Discipline

February 1st, 2010

I was at a party recently and bumped into Daniel Garcia, a long-time friend of mine. He was demonstrating something quite impressive to a group of fans and they asked him “How do get to be that good”. In his usual modest way he said, “You just do it. You just do it over and over”.

And it’s true. In the ten plus years that I’ve known Daniel I have never seen him without a deck of cards in his hand or in his back pocket. Daniel is amazingly disciplined in his approach to magic. Of course he loves what he does and that probably makes it easier. But I knew Daniel when his hands got burned.

If you ever get the chance to talk to Daniel, ask him about this. You can still see the scars on his hands. The scabs were so thick he couldn’t bend his fingers and when the skin finally grew back it was so tight and stretched over his fingers that his doctors told him he would not be able to manipulate cards again.

But Daniel practiced anyway. He practiced because he loves magic. But he practiced past that. He practiced when it was boring and he practiced even when it was painful. He practiced when every coin palm stretched the skin on his fingers to the point of pain. He practiced when holding a deck of cards caused him to wince. He practiced when he wanted to, and he practiced when he DIDN’T want to. He practiced with discipline.

You just do it. You just do it over and over.

I work out because I’ve discovered this is what disciplined people do. I’ve also discovered that disciplined people have other character traits that rise from their discipline. They tend to be wealthier, healthier, and have more manageable lives.

This is not just a guess on my part. Thomas Stanly (author of “The Millionaire Next Door“) found a similar correlation that he describes in another of his books, “The Millionaire Mind“. Stanley writes “The majority of millionaires exercise regularly…those with net worths of $10 million or more had the highest incidence of regular exercise.” He goes on to speculate why this might be true but admits that whatever the reason for this correlation, he had met “very few self-made millionaires who are lethargic or even noticeably overweight”.

So there is a correlation between fitness and wealth, but I don’t think that fitness causes wealth or that being wealthy makes you more likely to work out. Instead, I believe that both of these traits are the result of discipline. Disciplined people love cheesecake just as much as everyone else, but they control their behavior in the face of temptation. Disciplined people love the comfort of a warm bed just as much as everyone else, but they choose to leave the comfort and travel to the gym or the track. Disciplined people have things they want to buy and own just like everyone else, but they limit their spending to less than they earn and they invest a pre-determined amount. Disciplined people can be sidetracked and unfocused just like anyone else, but they work to stay on-task while they practice, train, study, and learn.

These disciplined actions pay dividends over the long term. They pay dividends of fitness and health. They pay dividends of financial security. They pay dividends of expertise and skill and talent.

These disciplined actions permeate other areas of a person’s life. As you become more disciplined in one area, it is much easier, and sometimes almost automatic, that you become more disciplined in other areas of your life. When Daniel Garcia and I were recently able to break away from the crowds that seem to gather and follow him, we were able to talk in private for a few minutes. We spoke about how disciplined he has to be in other areas of his life as well.

“Man, I love talking about magic. I could sit here at this party all night long talking magic with these guys. But I have a phone call with a guy in England that’s scheduled for 8:30 tomorrow morning and I have to be awake and ready to go”. And his life is filled with these scheduled calls, lectures, talks and appearances with greater and greater frequency.

He confided in me that “I seriously sometimes need to set a timer when I get on MySpace or Facebook because I just love talking to all my peeps. Those sites let me connect with a lot of people really quickly, but I can get sucked into that real fast, too.” The more disciplined you are, the more talent you develop, the more fans you generate, the more in-demand you become, and the more disciplined you need to be. Your success is only limited by your capacity to be disciplined.

The good news is that discipline is not something you are born with. By nature we all tend to seek the path of least resistance. This is normal and usually a good thing. But we are also forward-looking beings and by imagining the future we are able to shape it as we want. Discipline is simply a matter of looking forward and thinking about tomorrow and next week and next year.

When I worked as a teacher I systematically saved 20% of my income, which was very difficult to do on a teacher’s salary. Today, the money that I saved during my 8 years as a teacher is less than 10% of my net worth but the discipline that I developed in the process of saving that money is what enabled me to accumulate the other 90% of what I own. Said another way, the discipline to save and invest was far more valuable than the money earned through the saving and investing.

In fact, I’ve come to understand that the discipline just might be the most important character trait I strive to develop since it allows for all the others to shine. A loyal spouse is a disciplined person. A prolific writer is a disciplined writer. A healthy person is a disciplined eater and mover.

And a disciplined person is not one who suffers or deprives themselves. Just the opposite is true. A disciplined person knows that the path to wealth is not an overnight journey, but a long, steady progression of steps. The path to excellence is not a week of late night jam sessions, but rather a steady progression of regular practice. The path to fitness is not losing 30 pounds in two weeks, but rather a healthy, steady progression. Slow and steady is how we gain weight and it is how we lose it. Debt creeps up on us and it takes time to beat it back down. Lethargy steals a night from us as we stare at the television, but the next day we can decide to rehearse instead.

Discipline is like a muscle or a skill. It must be practiced and exercised in order for it to develop and get stronger. The more you work toward your goals, the easier they all become. Work, not just for the goal itself, not just for the immediate benefit that will come from your success, but for who you will become in the process of attaining that goal.

You will become a person of discipline and it will reflect in all areas of your life.

Getting Things Done, productivity

Connecting in Philadelphia

November 22nd, 2009

I am pretty stingy with my endorsements. I have lots of friends who want me to sell their stuff but I politely decline unless I TRULY believe in it. This usually happens less than once or twice a year and invariably I end up catching some flak about it for some reason or another.

Faithful readers might remember LAST November when I endorsed a company called Think Right Now for the help they provided me in really cementing some important beliefs in my mind that helped me accomplish more while getting into the best shape of my life. I liked the product so much (it’s just  a simple CD) that I invested in the company and endorsed their product and when people bought it, I made an affiliate fee (the HORRORS!). This created quite a little controversy. Apparently some people think you should only make money doing things you loathe and DON’T believe in and if you DO believe in something you should to that for free. I disagree, but we are all entitled to our opinions.

Anyway, if you are a performer or speaker or aspire to be either, I HIGHLY encourage you to purchase a set of the DVDs and CDs from the recent Eric Paul Super Conference in Philadelphia. It is no exaggeration to say that this was quite probably the single most important event I’ve ever attended either as a speaker or attendee, and at this event I was both.

I spoke on growing your business in a down economy and I will admit that I got a little “passionate” in my talk. If you are easily offended don’t watch the DVD of my session as I probably crossed the line on a few occasions and definitely crossed it at least once. It caused a bit of a stir at the conference but many people came to my defense and the video is evidence that what I said was absolute truth.

Frankly, Eric Paul (the organizer of the event) is down on his health and I think it has caused him to make some decisions that he wouldn’t normally make. He’s giving 14 DVDs, 9 audio CDs and a CD-ROM for less than you would pay for ten CDs. He’s charging less than most of us paid to fly to Philly! And you get it handed to you on a silver platter to listen to and watch at your convenience.

It is a great opportunity to catch some great speakers, hear some amazing insights, and review them at your leisure and he’s giving it away WAY too cheap. I’m buying a set and I was there to see it live. Get your hands on it while you can. He’s taking it off the market at the end of November. You have until the 27th.

Here’s the link to get what you need: Eric Paul Super Conference DVDs

And if you are interested in the product that I endorsed LAST YEAR, still use, and still get great results from, feel free to visit:  Think Right Now

But FYI: I will make some spare change as an affiliate on both of these products, so if this bothers you, don’t use the links above. ;-)

Down Economy, Getting Things Done, Success

Forget Success – Embrace FAILURE!

July 12th, 2009

The video below just might be the most inspiring, fear-inducing, and truthful five minutes you’ll experience this year. It’s not me. I get scared just watching the video. That’s one of the things I love most about it. Plus, it’s just REALLY COOL!

Since I was a young pre-teen I’ve trained in the martial arts and for as long as I can remember I’ve always been the first to volunteer when it came time to spar, fight, or be the guy that the instructor uses to demonstrate a new technique.

When a visiting black belt comes to the school where I train Jiu-jitsu I’m always willing to roll with him no matter his size or experience. One day someone in class asked me “Aren’t you scared?”

“Sometimes”

“Do you really think you can take that guy?” he then asked.

“I hope not” I replied, “because every time I lose I learn at least two things. I not only learn a new technique that can be used to win, but I learn about a weakness in my own defense”.

Too often we strive so hard for success that we develop a fear and loathing of failure, when in fact, failure is one of the most important secrets to success!

For the past three months I’ve been studying a video of Danny MacAskill that many of you might have seen already on YouTube. If not, here’s a link to this incredible video.

Danny MacAskill – Inspired Bicycles

When we watch sporting events and we see the thrill of victory.

But we almost never get to see all the pain, and sweat, and frustration, and perserverence, and failure that it takes to get to game day. We never get to see it because it is tedious, and scary, and intimidating, and emotionally draining. We never get to see it because it is very time consuming and boring and repetitive. And because victory often starts before 5 AM when many of us are still asleep.

Watch this video and bookmark it. Study the first 1:20 because you get a glimpse of what Danny puts in to become the talent than he has. You still can’t see all the broken bones, all the stitches, all the scraped knees and elbows. You only get to see a few of the bicycles he’s destroyed in his quest for excellence.

Pause the video at 3:05 and notice the path that he’s worn up the side of that huge oak tree. How many hours do you think you have to spend rolling a soft rubber tire to wear down a groove in the side of an oak tree? How many broken bones, bent wheels, and blows to the chin between the time he thought up this particular stunt and the time it was videoed?

We’ll probably never know. All we know is the result of his efforts and they take less than 4 seconds from the time he approaches the tree. But what an amazing four seconds.

I don’t aspire to become a great bicyclist, or even a world-class martial artist. But in the things that are important to me I have allowed myself permission to fail. I have allowed myself permission to get out, scrape my knees, and fall down in front of people I care about. For the things that are important to me I have given myself permission to expose myself to ridicule. I have accepted that failure is almost surely part of the path, but it is not, and will not be my final destination.

What are you going to do today that scares you? Whatever it is, I give you permission to fail while trying as long as you get up and try again after you fall.

Embracing Fear, Getting Things Done, productivity, Success