'"No one is ready for a thing until he believes he can acquire it."-Napoleon Hill
We all have that nagging sense we won't reach our goals. That we will fall flat on our face while people laugh and point.
I've never actually seen this happen, btw. I've never seen people laugh and point, nor have I heard people say, "I told you so."
No one has ever said that to me. Seriously.
I might be lucky that way, as I'm sure some people get it. But I suspect it's less often than we realize.
I want to give you some ideas to think about on this topic. There are some ways you can mitigate the ridicule of others. Some of these may or may not work for you, depending on your situation.
The reason I've never experienced the "I told you so" comes down to a few things.
1. I assert my opinion passionately.
Because of this, I think people around me don't feel the need to "told me so." Maybe they are afraid. Not sure, but I do know that the more assertive you are as a person, the less likely people will give you their unsolicited opinions.
2. I tell people what I'm going to do sometimes and other times I don't say anything and just do it.
When I'm confident and committed, I might share what I'm up to, though I share less than I used to since I've learned there are pitfalls to this approach.
There is a lot to be said for keeping your goals to yourself and just getting to work.
Then people will ask you, saving you from having to tell them. That is a huge difference when you have a discussion ahead of time.
3. I don't complain. Ever. Ever. Ever
I don't complain or blame.
If something doesn't work, I learn from it and can intelligently discuss it.
The thing about people is they mirror behavior. And most are all too eager to join your blame game, engaging in the negative bias that comes naturally to our species for a host of evolutionary reasons.
Misery loves company
Because I don't complain to others, I don't open up the floor for them to express their negative opinions.
4. I don't give it the old college try.
I take action. I build things. I get results.
If I kill a project or if it "fails," I usually have something to show for it. I'll have experience (of course), new knowledge, more awareness of myself, and the merit badge from putting myself in the ring.
Perhaps it's a respect for my effort that prevents 'I told ya so' comments.
The greatest regret of the dying
One of the greatest regrets of the dying is, "I wish I wouldn't have lived for others."
We do things for other people. Most of the time, these people don't even know it because it's the things we don't do that cause us the most pain and regret.
Most are so afraid of someone's unfavorable opinion of something that may or may not happen, that they don't even try.
So what if someone has something to say?
So freaking what?
What will you care when you're 70 and it's too late?
Will you care? Do you really think you'll give a shit?
You won't. Trust me, none of us will.
The reality is the world doesn't care about you or your successes or failures. They are too consumed with their own shit. They are plugged into the Matrix, addicted to dopamine, and as I write this, to the fear-mongering news cycle.
And yes, someone will always have something to say.
This is life.
If you want to avoid criticism, do nothing, be nothing.
The Internet Age
There has never been a greater opportunity to live a life on your own standards than now. You can try experiments for little or no money. You can start businesses, reach potential customers, prototype things on the cheap, and so on. Much of it for free or negligible cost.
So get out there and fly under the radar if you need to. Then make a ruckus, learn, build, experience, and bring your gifts to the world and yourself.
So how does all this relate to the Napoleon hill quote above?
Most look for others for ideas on how to live. They end up mimicking others and trying to figure things out by copying. This has a time and place, but if your entire life or strategy is built around this, you'll find yourself on a surefire path to failure.
You have to develop belief, and belief is something that can only come from inside.
No amount of books, programs, videos, or self-help will create belief for you. It's up to you.
You have to believe in what you are doing, and then you use that faith to commit to the long haul.
As you are put in the work and gain experience, your confidence solidifies. Eventually, you become someone that others want to follow.
If you don't believe in what you are doing, you will not receive what you want.
This is why success always boils down to your beliefs.
You are where you are supposed to be right now because you believe what you believe right now. To get to the next level, you need beliefs of someone that is at that next level.
This is why teaching success is so hard; because to become successful, you have to literally become a different person. That's not easy to teach, and some people will never get there.
Ever heard the "think big" advice?
How do some people think big and others don't?
How does Jeff Bezos think the way he does?
What about Elon Musk or Warren Buffet?
Separate differences aside, they had an unwavering commitment to their vision, and as the years went on, as they got results, their believes only got stronger.
And they are still going to this day.
Before I let you go, here is a way to think about all this.
Don't make the mistake of thinking just because you think big you'll become a billionaire. We all have certain limitations based on genetics and upbringing and where we are now in our lives.
So you do want to set your beliefs around something that is attainable, and the older you are, the more careful you have to be in your projections.
I used to think I wanted to be a billionaire. Then I decided I needed at least 10 million. Now that I have kids and I'm 35, I've adjusted my number down because I realized it's not the number that matters but what I'm building and why that matters. I've had an unwavering belief that I will become a millionaire, then in 2019, I did.
I've since adjusted my financial projection based on what I've learned becoming a paper millionaire and having a family, two things that each respectively can change how you see life.
My goal has since adjusted to focus on the minimum threshold for what I need for freedom and security for my family. Once I lock that up—and make sure to never put it at risk—I can do anything I want, which ironically, could put me in a position to do something even bigger.
The importance of adjusting the target based on the data
Sometimes we have to adjust what we are aiming at if what we are aiming at is not attainable.
We all can't change the world on a scale like Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk. That doesn't mean we can't change the world in our own small way.
If you help one person solve a problem, you've changed the world. if you create one piece of art that moves people, you've changed the world.
Never sell yourself short by comparing yourself to someone else. You have to do what's right for you.