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Are You Willing to Pay the Price?
This is the question that will determine how your life pans out
I will be writing some of the best essays I’ve ever written in this newsletter. Join, enjoy, and learn.
Your success in life is determined by whether or not you’re willing to pay the price to get what you want.
If you don’t have a certain outcome, it’s because you’re not willing to do what it takes to get said outcome.
Don’t get me wrong…
Sometimes that price tag is very high. Sometimes what’s required of you to get certain outcomes seems unfair.
Still, the rule applies.
Before we cover what it really takes to get what you want, let’s talk about an option that most self-help gurus don’t offer.
This is Actually An Acceptable Option
You can accept that your life just isn’t going to change.
You can accept that, deep down, you know you’re not going to start that business.
You can accept that you’ll never be wealthy. You can decide to just settle in your relationships—both romantic and friends.
You can come to the conclusion that that juice just ain’t worth the squeeze.
Happiness comes from the gap between your expectations and the outcomes you get. You can live a ‘mediocre’ life and be content if you lower your standards.
But that’s not what most people do…
They cling to pipe dreams even though they know they won’t follow through with them.
Ever since I made a name for myself as a writer and a business owner, lots of people reach out to me and tell me about their big plans for the future. I truly wish the best for them and want them to succeed. I’ll give them advice if they ask and support them.
But, deep down, I know most of them are full of shit. All talk. Hot air.
Such is the way of the world.
There are tons of slick-haired self-help gurus that sell panacea for a living. They tell you that anyone can do anything they want if they put their mind to it. This is technically true.
But most people don’t put their minds to it. Most people fold quickly.
You have to be brutally honest with yourself.
Do you ever think you’re going to stop dicking around and start pursuing your dreams? If so, you’re ready to proceed to the next section. If not, just go enjoy your life. Honestly.
“Success” in the conventional sense —money, status, huge accomplishments others don’t achieve—doesn’t make you better than anyone else. It doesn’t make you happy either.
To be honest, most people who pursue success do so out of compulsion. You have to be borderline delusional to go that hard. You have to be off a little bit. You have to be a little sick in the head because the price to pay is often ridiculous.
You don’t have to do anything. You can just chill. It’s fine. I’m not mad at cha at all.
For those of you who think they’re willing to pay the price, let’s talk about what that price looks like.
You Can’t Have Your Cake and Eat it Too
Lately, there has been this equal and opposite reaction to hustle culture. There are these new gurus who tell you that you can get amazing outcomes in life and be a normal person at the same time.
They’ll tell you there’s nothing wrong with:
Watching a little T.V.
Scrolling on social media
Going out for drinks with friends
Eating junk food occasionally
Taking time to just relax instead of relentlessly working
They try to make people like me look 'toxic’ because I dare say you need to make sacrifices. Any mention of having standards means you’re shaming people.
There’s a hint of truth to what they’re saying, but they’re missing the bigger picture and ignoring reality.
Sure, there’s nothing wrong with doing any of the above…in moderation, but, most people don’t do these things in moderation whatsoever:
Not only is the average person nowhere near doing counterproductive activities in moderation, they’re doing them excessively.
Most people make ZERO sacrifices above and beyond the norm.
Yes, they work hard at their jobs.
Yes, they take care of their families.
Yes, they are all inherently good people.
But basically, nobody goes above and beyond the typical standards set for most people. Then they have the audacity to complain when their lives aren’t extraordinary.
It’s in the word itself…
If you want to be more than ordinary, you have to do some extra shit.
You have to pay the price.
Harness the Power of “Monk Mode”
For about a two-year period of my life, I had no life except for working on my writing and building up my business.
I didn’t watch T.V. at all.
I exercised every day.
I didn’t go out to parties and drink with friends.
I read 75 books
Every spare moment outside of my 9 to 5 was spent WORKING.
I said no to everything else except the mission.
You don’t have to do this forever, but a monk mode period can help you get the momentum you need to get a project or a long-term goal off the ground.
These days? I watch Netflix. I’ll go out for a drink with friends. I don’t work 24/7. But I can do all of the above guilt-free because I know I’m living life on my terms.
The T.V. one is funny…
I’ve realized most people are addicted to T.V. because if you tell them not to watch it they freak out on you.
The imaginary lives of people they’ll never meet are that important. I like a good show myself, but it’s awe-inducing to see how much people get wrapped up in fictional tales.
Here’s the point: All of that stuff will still be there in the future.
All T.V. shows are easily accessible and recorded. You can afford to miss them.
If you stop going out and partying for a while, the first time you go back you’ll realize why you stopped doing it
The people who really care about you will be okay with you disappearing for a while
You don’t have to go as extreme as I did. To be honest, it was unhealthy, even though it worked. But you have to be willing to give up something.
You’re really going to let the latest episode of Succession keep you from building your business? K.
Will You Let What Others Think Get in the Way?
Some of your personal relationships will suffer if you decide to go on this grand adventure to build your dream life.
A couple of months into writing, my best friend at the time, who was incredibly pessimistic, once tried to sit me down and convince me to stop writing —telling me all the reasons why it wouldn’t work.
That was the last time I spoke to him.
I was so engulfed in getting my career off the ground that I paid zero attention to my marriage. My wife at the time used to always say:
“You care about your purpose more than our relationship”
She was 100 percent right. I cratered my marriage for the sake of my career and I’d do it all over again.
People will say you’ve changed.
They’ll throw subtle jabs at you through innocuous questions:
“How’s that little business thing going?”
Your own family members might not support you.
It is what it is.
The only person I’ve been able to draw the line with is my child. I won’t miss any of her recitals or sports games because I’m working.
Everyone else, though? If they’re not with the program, they can bounce.
Speaking of kids…
Make This Trade
You have to sacrifice your short-term emotions for your long-term results.
Most people are unwilling to pay the price of giving up their addiction to instant gratification.
You might have to put in hundreds of hours of free work to get your business or creative skill off the ground.
You will probably have to get over your fear of rejection and putting yourself out there. You will get told no. You will have people laugh at you. You will miss more shots than you make.
You may have to suffer through gut-wrenching boredom and tedium when it comes to doing all the little things you don’t want to do to be able to do the thing you do want to do.
Oh, and it may take years or even decades to reach the pinnacle.
I love this definition of success:
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. — Winston Churchill
You will take L’s.
If you can accept that up front and push through to the other side, you’ll get what you want. If not, you won’t.
You have to master the powerful combination of staying focused in the present moment on tasks that matter and then repeating the process every single day for a really long time.
That’s why I avoid selling dreams even though I could make more money and build a huge audience. I can’t stand the idea of lying.
Most people quit.
Most people fail.
Most people fold.
You have to decide you’re going to become the exception to the rule.
Stop daydreaming and fantasizing.
Stop sitting in limbo wishing for a better life but doing nothing about it.
Pick a side.
You’re either going to go for it or not. Either option will make you happy. Sitting on the fence is what kills you.
This will be the playground for my ideas for the foreseeable future. Follow along to see what comes next.