“Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves, they therefore remain bound.” James Allen
What does stuck look like for a successful business leader? What I have found is it sounds something like this:
I remember when I used to be excited when I walked through the front doors.
I remember the excitement we all had when our new products hit the market and customers raved on how we outdid ourselves again.
I remember when I used to pull in $500K a year and give away more money than I now make in a year.
I remember bringing home $20K a month just in commissions and taking a family vacation each quarter.
I can’t wait until I retire so I can live the life I dream of…
Stuck stinks. My heart aches even more when I hear phrases like the ones above and the person speaking isn’t even aware that they are STUCK on HOLD while life continues playing in the background.
Just the other day I was working with a fast tracking business executive, barely forty and the words, “I am almost too old to start the business I dream of …” rolled off his tongue. I stopped him in mid-sentence and interrupted that stinking thinking.
Then I pulled out the best trump card I could think of:
“What story do you want to tell your kids? – When you are approaching forty you will be too old to do anything new or to even start a new business? “
Are YOU are really willing to perpetuate this myth adopted by our culture or Will you be ONE who proves it is a lie?
“Ouch”, he said.
I wanted the reality of what he let slip out of his mouth to sink in and yes perhaps … I even wanted it to sting a bit so he would not STOP on HOLD, instead he would pursue the desires of his heart.
We, all of us ages 40-100 have bought in on some level to the thinking that certain things are supposed to be accomplished by a particular age or we too old so why start.
I call it faulty BS (Belief System).
As I was rereading THINK & GROW RICH by Napoleon Hill the following from the chapter on The Sixth Sense, jumped off the page.
“ Seldom does any individual come into workable knowledge of the sixth sense before age of forty. More often the knowledge is not available until one is well past fifty and this, for the reason that the spiritual forces, with which the sixth sense is so closely related, do not mature and become usable except through years of meditation, self-examination, and serious thought. …..
The chapter on the sixth sense was included, because the book is designed for the purpose of presenting a complete philosophy by which individuals may unerringly guide themselves in attaining whatever they ask of life. The starting point of all achievement is DESIRE. The finishing point is that brand of KNOWLEDGE which leads to understanding – understanding of self, understanding of others, understanding the laws of Nature, recognition and understanding of HAPPINESS.”
The legends of nearly hundred years ago provide evidence that those who we see as incredibly successful didn’t even reach their stride until their fifties or sixties.
It’s your thinking not your age that SETs life on HOLD.
A friend of mine retired at age 55, in her mind she was done at 55, in my mind she has hardly started. Who is right? Both of us, it’s a matter of thinking.
FACT: We have no idea how long we get to live. Maybe we get one more day, 5 more years or 50 more years so why let any part of it be SET on HOLD? Why act like it is only a couple of more years when it might be 50 more?
What would you do with 45 more years?
Imagine you are 45, and you started your career at age 22 , which suggests 23 years of experience doing what you do well today.
Now imagine you are going to live to be 90. Do the math.
You have 45 more years to explore and to live.
What will you do with these 45 years?
SIT on HOLD because you bought into the thinking that you are too old to start anything new?
SIT on HOLD telling the story of how successful you used to be?
SIT on HOLD still envisioning the life you dream of but never start living it?
In case I haven’t convinced you yet that you are never too old, let me introduce you to Pat. The first time I heard her ask a question on a conference call I was inspired by her contagious passion. With tears in her voice she rejoices that after living 80 years (yes eighty) she finally sees the purpose in her life.
I recognized a soul on fire, the youth of her spirit was strategizing how to change her world. She truly is an inspiration to all of us in passionate pursuit of the desires of our heart.