I love listening to podcasts. One of my favorites is Entrepreneur on Fire by John Lee Dumas. At the end of every interview, John always asks the millionaire the following question:
Imagine you wake up in a different world. You still have all the knowledge and skills you have now, but you don’t know anyone, and you don’t own anything except $500 and a laptop. Your food and shelter are taken care of. What would you do?
The very best answer I have ever heard to this question:
I’d burn the food and shelter.
Wait…what? This is the very last thing that most people would do, how can it possibly be a good idea? The very last thing that most people would do is probably not only a good idea; it’s likely brilliant. If you want a life that is above average, you cannot do what everyone else is doing. If everyone is doing it; it’s wrong, period.
We are all going to die; it is inevitable. No matter what, we are not getting out of this alive. The greatest risk in life is not death; death is certain. The greatest risk is waking up to find that you are old and your life is spent. You find yourself looking back on your years regretting all the chances you never took and all the dreams you never chased. The greatest risk in life is not going for it, not realizing your true potential, and dying without ever really living.
Comfort is the single greatest threat in our lives. The millionaire chose to burn his food and shelter because as long as he had them, he would be comfortable. He could live out his years without ever doing anything. He knows if his food and shelter are taken away, he would be forced to take action and that action would be the genesis of becoming a millionaire again.
When Alexander the Great landed on the shores of Persia, he ordered all of his ships to be burned. The message to his men was clear. Move forward and conquer, and you might live. Retreat, and you will die. Often outnumbered more than 10 to 1, the Macedonians advanced and conquered Persia.
68% of Fortune 500 companies were started in a depression or recession. John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, Sam Walton, and Henry Ford were not born wealthy. They struggled and all knew hard times when finding success was essential for their survival.
Jamie Tardy hosts Eventual Millionaire, another podcast I love. She’s interviewed 100’s of millionaires, and the “baby factor” is a reoccurring theme. Entrepreneurs became successful after having a baby and being forced to either succeed or be unable to take care of their children. With their backs against the wall, they become millionaires.
You must get uncomfortable to grow. Your dreams should be so big they scare you. Your goals must drive you beyond your current limits into the discomfort zone. Commit to doing something every day that makes you uncomfortable.
We feel fear when we are out of our comfort zone. Fear and discomfort are actually a great litmus test for discovering what you should be doing. Whatever you are afraid of the most, whatever makes you the most uncomfortable is probably the single most important thing you need to do. Do it.
We are not getting out of this alive. You have nothing to lose.
Do not go to the grave with your best work still inside you. Die empty.
– Todd Henry
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