Expectations. We all have them.
We are all taught at a young age to dream and to follow our passion, and that you can do whatever you want to do and be whoever you want to be. Some work for it and believe wholeheartedly that it will happen; however, sometimes it just doesn’t work out.
Why, is the big question?
We all want to be successful. We want nice clothes, a nice car, a beautiful home, an amazing partner, and financial freedom. We all think about it, some of us even dream and fantasize about it, but why do so many of us fail to achieve it?
My dream was to be a professional golfer.
A few years ago, I came to the realization that I wasn’t going to play on the PGA Tour. I was lost, depressed, and felt like a loser. All I ever wanted to do from the time I was a little boy was to be a professional golfer and prove that I could be one of the best in the world. I worked hard at it. I played competitive golf whenever I could and I won more than my fair share of tournaments. I was reaching my goals. I attained a full scholarship at a University in Oklahoma. I turned pro – I was all in and I was living the dream; so, when I realized that becoming that person who I had always wanted to be wasn’t going to happen, I was crushed.
Afterward, I remained a dreamer. I shifted my focus to business and becoming an entrepreneur. I attempted a golf instruction business, an e-commerce business, and even looked at getting into the used car financing business; but in the end I didn’t pursue any of these businesses. I had no self-confidence. I had no direction to my life. I was lost.
At one point I had been out of work for 3 months, didn’t have any money saved, and my checking account was below $100. I had to do something! I realized I needed to change and change is what I did.
I landed a job as a server in a restaurant to make money. I then began working with my father in his business. I started learning from him and others. I watched countless motivational and self-help YouTube videos. I started to get up early. I read books. I spoke with successful entrepreneurs. I attended webinars. I listened to podcasts. I journalized everything. Simply put, I became a learning sponge.
Through that experience, I learned lessons that would change my life.
I learned why I failed as a pro golfer and why I failed in my first 3 attempts at business.
- My expectations far outweighed my desire.
- I was in love with the result, but not the process.
- I wanted the glory but I wasn’t willing to feel the pain.
- I wasn’t committed enough to put in the necessary blood, sweat, and tears to get what I wanted.
In the process of understanding the root causes of my failures, I learned that I actually didn’t want to be on the PGA Tour, and I didn’t want to start those businesses, I was simply in love with the end results of what those things might bring me.
I learned that when you have expectations, you are set up to succeed or fail, win or lose. You either “get a big head” because you think you were the reason for the success, or you “feel like a loser” because you think you were the reason for the failure.
You’re now probably asking yourself: “That’s great and all; but if we don’t have expectations, or goals, how do we get better and achieve success?”
I’ll tell you. After speaking with some of the most successful people in the world and implementing the one strategy that they all had in common, I started seeing real improvement in my approach to life and subsequently, in my approach to business and my relationships. All these successful people had a vision – they all had a long-term goal in mind. This goal wasn’t to make a billion dollars, it wasn’t to have nice things; instead, it was one or all the following:
- leave a legacy
- impact others in a positive way
- change the world in some way
- make life easier and more enjoyable for others
- set the foundation for which others could build on.
Notice how their goals were immeasurable. They all wanted to simply help others or make the world a better place.
When your life is constructed with this type of goal in mind, your mindset shifts from becoming focused on accumulating belongings and money, to becoming focused on just getting better every day.
The key to reaching your goals starts with consistency. You have to get up every day and do something to make sure that get better than you were the day before. I like to look at life as a success ladder, with an infinite number of steps and every day my goal is to wake up and take 1 step further up on that ladder of success.
Every morning when I wake up, I reflect on my life, ask myself if I improved yesterday and when the answer is yes, I am happy.
We all want success. We all want to feel fulfilled. We all want to make our mark on the world and have an impact on those around us.
So, how do you do that?
To achieve success, you must first learn to delay gratification, and then start to work on YOU!