“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life. Think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.”
Those are the words of Swami Vivekananda, who introduced the Western world to the Hindu philosophies of Vedanta and yoga in the late 19th century.
I couldn’t agree more. That’s what I did with Spartan. I had an incredible idea, and I made it my life to the point where I had no other choice but to succeed.
Robb Wolf, bestselling author of The Paleo Solution and Wired to Eat, took the same path. “I had initially been focused on going to medical school, because I really like helping people, and I like science,” Robb says. “But when I understood the paleo concept and the idea of functional fitness, I realized that a conventional medical program would be a waste of time for me. The gym was the type of medicine I wanted to practice. For me, the gym is primary care medicine.”
So, Robb dumped his plans for medical school and went for it. “What I saw was the ability to transform people’s lives.”
Since then, Robb has been terrifically successful, though it wasn’t exactly a smooth ride. “I’d call it uninformed stupidity,” he says. “We had no idea the work that would be involved, and we didn’t know anything about running a business. To the degree that we were successful, it’s because we did every single thing wrong until there was nothing left to do but stuff that worked.”
So basically, Robb—like most successful entrepreneurs—was too stupid, stubborn, and deeply invested to quit.
Your dreams, whatever they might be, really can come true, but only if you have the courage to fully pursue them. You can read all the self-help books you want. You can talk to every mentor on earth. You can day-plan yourself from now until the end of time. But you won’t truly succeed until you push all of our chips into the center of the table to pursue the biggest jackpot you can think of.
Make no mistake: The natural inclination of most people—including yours truly—is to quit when the going gets rough. That’s why I go all in when I want to achieve something great. I need to have so much money in it, and to have told so many people what I’m doing, that I feel like I must make it work.
Of course, there’s more to courage than just saying, “Yes, I’m going for it.” You have to be able to stick with it when you make mistakes and when things don’t go your way. You’ve got an area of expertise, a great idea, and you’re totally committed, but you’re still going to screw it up early and pretty often. The trick is picking yourself up, dusting yourself off, figuring out what you did wrong, and getting right back into it with a little more wisdom.
The bridges are burned and the boats are sunk. There’s no lifeline. You have to make it work. So you do.
Sure, operating in this fashion is scary as hell, and it’s probably not for everyone. But the people who change the world are those crazy enough to think they can. They have the courage and focus to walk from one failure to the next without losing faith in the ultimate goal.
If it sounds too risky, consider the alternative. If you’re not willing to risk the safety of an ordinary life, that’s all you’ll ever have. And that’s no way to live.
Push harder, go farther in 2018. Let us crush your excuses. #noexcuses