I was talking to a colleague recently about a mutual acquaintance who is an extremely successful Elon Musk-type of person. He has created a significant company, incredible wealth and notoriety. (I am going to keep his identity confidential, but will call him “Ted” since he really kills TED talks, too.)
Anyway, I asked my colleague what he though made Ted so successful. He pondered a minute, then said he had known Ted a long time and that he really wanted to tell me the entire story but that now wasn’t a good time. Of course I said okay, but I hoped that the right time would come soon, and it did.
The next time I spoke to my friend I revisited the topic and asked what made Ted so exemplary. He said simply that Ted had big ideas and used every tool he possibly could to learn how to execute those big ideas —Ted takes every seminar he can, including multiple Tony Robbins sessions and many others. (I worked closely with Robbins in the early 2000s and so I understand how he can impact you.)
I thought it was amazing that he really took all of those seminars, and that he was so driven to do big things. My friend told me that Ted needed a well-stocked tool set to accomplish all that he envisioned. It seems that Ted can think really big with almost nothing but the vision of where he wants to go.
Ted started by knocking on doors and meeting with 100s of people who could help him get his big idea off the ground. Everyone said no until Ted met with the 151st person, and even that was a soft yes. But that was all he needed to start building his vision. He took that soft yes and went back to the 150 people that had already said no and then started getting them warmed up. Pretty soon, he could go back to the first soft yes with 150 people on board with his idea. I think you can imagine the rest.
Okay, let’s pause here. Start thinking about your own goals. How big are they? Do you aspire to incredible heights like Ted? Do you believe you are here to accomplish incredible things? Do you think about how incredible and extraordinary you are?
The real lesson here is that we all need to aspire higher and then take the boldest, biggest, most audacious steps toward that goal. Can you imagine what might happen? Begin now to determine how you can use the tools readily available for you to accomplish your goal. Yes, and use all the tools you can find. Read, explore, visit, meet with people. Use everything in your power to exhibit how incredible and extraordinary you are.
Yes, I am sure you are saying that this is all well and good, but how does this apply to me? You may feel like you are already really pushing your daily life in so many ways! Well, yes, of course you are, for sure! But are you “aspiring higher?” Are you aspiring to heights no one ever thought you could achieve? If you are not, what’s holding you back? There are tools available to help. Ted is the example —all you need to do is think it, know and work towards it!
So, yes, this is a scary proposition, but people who think bigger get bigger, right?! Yep, I can name many successful business people that are always at the table just because they think big. Nothing should hold you back in anyway from moving toward your goal.
So, right now are you thinking bigger or does the mere thought of thinking big scare you? Yes, I will admit I get scared all the time and many times I walk away from projects and companies that should be formed because I just plain get intimidated. But I really know better and have muscle memory of how difficult, scary and ultimately gratifying it is to build a company from a single idea. I have done it multiple times, but I could never have done it without a big vision and building to that big vision through the resiliency of everyone saying no or telling me all the reasons why it won’t work. Believe me, I get butterflies in my stomach just thinking about it.
This year, the Code Blue Team has committed to aspiring higher to build a meaningful and purposeful company —a company that will make a major difference to the health and wellness of mankind. Yep, and you need to hold us to it.
So back to you. What are you going to envision this year that is audacious and that is worthy of your incredible and awesome abilities? Don’t over think it. What comes immediately to your mind? What is that one thing that you can do that really is aspiring higher? Who can you talk to right now about it? In fact, today can you talk to a minimum of 7 people about it? Get some momentum for the vision. And starting today, can you start “chopping wood and carrying water?” (That is doing one thing everyday toward your audacious vision and one thing for someone else.) Can you do this every day, starting today?
Let me close with a real life story. In the late 70s I was at a going away party for a friend named Kathy. We sat on a couch at her house and I asked her what she was going to do. She said she wasn’t really sure how, but she was going to Hollywood and was going to start working in the movie industry. She said she was going to begin producing movies. I asked her if she had a job lined up and she said nope, she was just going for it and was going to see what happens. I wished her well.
I caught up with her about 6 months later and she told me that she had landed a secretarial job with a young, up-and-coming filmmaker named Steven. She sounded stressed, but excited. In fact, I sent a friend of mine who was living in the area to take her out because she did sound stressed.
Well, several years later, Kathy was the winner of an Academy Award for ET along with her young filmmaker —Steven Spielberg. My friend Kathy is Kathleen Kennedy, who has gone on to be one of the most successful filmmakers in Hollywood. Her recent triumph was to become CEO of Lucas Films, guiding and steering the entire launch of the worlds highest grossing film, Star Wars.Gives me chills just thinking about it!
So, how are you going to aspire higher today? Put a stake in the ground for that big, bold vision and go get it! Yep, go get it now.