Before my cattle deal got big enough to be a full time occupation for me I worked a lot of off farm jobs. I used to drive truck as one of those jobs. I was also farming with my dad then too. I would get a call to pick up a load at around 6 pm. So I would leave the field and go drive. My dad was okay with it because I really wasn’t getting paid to farm, sweat equity (which is worth less than the salt in the sweat, by the way) and needed to make some cash somehow. I’d make that run and usually get home when the sun came up or of it were to a different location I’d get home late the next day. Either way I didn’t sleep. Sometimes I’d go as long as four days without sleeping. My mother hounded me and hounded me to quit driving and go back to school. “Quit working so hard. Get a four year degree and have an easier life” she would tell me. (That is one of the biggest lies parents tell their kids.) One of the smartest things I did was ignore her. I had a chance to make a dream a reality.
One night while driving I heard this story about success. It stuck with me for a long time. I heard it back in the late 90’s, and since have forgotten it. I heard it again this summer. My man Eric Thomas does a great job telling it. I’m going to repost it here
There was this young man who wanted to be successful. No matter what he tried he didn’t achieve the level of success he was hoping for. So one day he went to this guru. This guru was a happenin dude. He was a huge success. He made lots of money and had nice cars. The young man went to the guru and said, “I want to be on the same level you are on. I wanna make money”
The guru said “If you wanna be on the same level I’m on I’ll meet you at the beach at 4 am”
The young man was like I wanna be successful, I don’t wanna swim.
So at 4 am the young man showed up at the beach. He had on a business suit. He was ready to rock and roll. He was pumped up to learn how to be successful and make tons of money.
The guru told him to go out into the water.
The young man was like WTF!? “I didn’t come here to learn how to swim”
The guru said “I thought you wanted to make money.”
So the young man goes out into the water. He goes out waist deep and stops. He’s thinking to himself this is crazy. I wanna make money. I don’t want to be a life guard
The guru told him to keep going out deeper.
So the young man goes out until the water is up to his chest. He’s thinking this is bullshit. What does wading in the water at 4 am have to do with making money? He was ready to come back in.
The guru told him to go out a little bit farther. He’s about there.
The young man goes out until the water is just below his chin. He’s really getting fed up with this whole affair and was ready to come in and go home.
Just then the guru goes out into the water. Grabs the young man and holds him down under the water.
At first the young man did not resist, and waited. Then he started to get frightened and tried to fight to come up for air. The more he fought the harder the guru held him under water.
Just as the young man was about to pass out the guru raised him up.
After the young man got done gasping for air, and was able to compose himself the guru asked him “While you were down there, what did you want more than anything in the world?”
The young man said he wanted to breathe.
The guru told him that when he wanted to be successful as badly as he wanted to breathe, THEN he would be successful.
I think that is an awesome story. Its way better when someone tells it with lots of feeling because then you can really get the emotion of it all.
Now I’m going to get deep for a second. So many people say they want to be successful. And they are willing to sacrifice to get there (cough). Most people are willing to sacrifice or focus until the game comes on, or until their cell phone rings. They can sacrifice when it’s easy and convenient.
Now get this next part
You must be willing to sacrifice who you are today, to become who you will be tomorrow.
Let that soak in
Who you will become is determined by who you associate with and by the books you read. I have stated time and time again I wanted to be the best, so I went and learned from the best. That meant pushing my windshield halfway across this continent. To learn from other people meant I had to miss watching a Husker game, or skip going to a party. I started reading books at 5 am
When you continually do smart things it becomes a habit. When you do this you start to make and save money. If you continue to do stupid things that too becomes a habit, and you will die a slow painful death by 1000 cuts. (I don’t mean you will literally die, your chance of success will die). You see, no one gets “discovered” there is no “break through”. Successful people become successful because they did the right things over and over a million times.