It’s true that I.Q., upbringing, social status, class, popularity, and even education don’t always cause the achievements of a person. So, if the playing field is level, why do so many people leave the game?
What’s common to every success story?
I think back to some of what I consider are the greatest successes in my life. Each time that I set the course, immediately it was like I entered into a live-ammunition battlefield. The agenda that you set into motion, when it comes into contact with those of others, is going to meet with opposition, guaranteed.
Everyone does things for their own reasons, and everyone’s understanding about why those things should happen are different. When your vision of the possible comes into contact with another dream, there is immediate conflict. This is normal in our utterly atypical world.
To avoid controversy…
It is easier to go through life doing as you are told. And the people who like to tell you what to do will tell you how great you are doing–as long as you do exactly what they say. The moment that you try to bring in a new idea or to color outside of the lines there is push-back, smack down, and you get the screws put to you.
This is the common scenario when you set to live a dream for someone else. When your dream starts to creep in–even a little–there is recoil, mayhem, and upheaval.
How many nos make a yes?
My father always says that in sales, there are 100 “nos” to every “yes”. Sometimes, it is more like 1,000 nos before you get to yes. It could very well be true that there is only 1 in every 1,000 people who will agree with you, will like your idea, will share in your passion, or will buy what you offer.
So, you need prepped for battle. I can say quite honestly and unashamedly that the times that I have succeeded are the times when I knew for sure that what I wanted to see happen, must happen at all costs. This means that my commitment to seeing it happen was final–no matter how long it took, or who stood in my way, or how many obstacles needed overcome.
Have you ever been angry enough to make a difference?
A while back my wife and I were desperately trying to educate the fatherless kids that were living with us here in Cambodia. When all avenues dried up and the kids were grown up, they had a better education than otherwise; but it was still very wanting and I was one angry dude. Not that I wanted to yell at or hurt anybody, but rather I was angry in a good way–very focused on what needed done and ready to make a change.
I thought about the children that lived with us–I could have done so much better! It was clearly futile to send children to the national schools. And then I started to see all the really young kids around–the ones that couldn’t afford the “free” government education–and I thought, “Well, if I can’t do it for the others, maybe I can do it for these!”
The hurdles were incredible. The org that we were with at the time didn’t like the idea, church people in the US wanted sold on it, and then there is a whole host of logistics involved. It was literally years before I saw the dream happen and the doors opened. But that is all scientific and anybody can do it, although not everybody does; the real magic to success is something else entirely.
What’s the magic?
The anger I felt wasn’t the magic, it was indicative of something deeper that was at work. I call it conviction.
Most people don’t own their convictions. They get told them. But because they don’t own their convictions their actions fall flat and there is no authority to them. These people give up quickly. It is more important to own your convictions than to have a better education, or to have a high I.Q., or to have abundant resources at your disposal from your inheritance (although these things are certainly helpful).
- Because opposition comes before respect
- Rejection comes before reception
- Scrutiny is before accolades
- And because there are 1,000 reasons why you will fail
Therefore, you need ONE reason that will trump them all. ONE vision that is so compelling to you and only you that nothing will stand in your way of getting it. ONE emotion so powerful that it will not leave you alone, no matter how hard you try to distract yourself. These are the components of conviction, which is the magic of success.
Proof of this for me is that there are 90 children in a rural town in Cambodia that are getting one of the best educations available in the country–and the school is still growing year by year.
Conviction, my friends, is the only assurance of success that you will ever have, and the only one that you will need for any plan or trajectory on which you launch.
Developing your convictions is the most important preparation for your ministry, business, or family ventures.
And this I know in my bones–that if I can do it, so can you!