As a kid growing up in the suburbs of Louisville, Ky we were lucky enough to spend lots of time in the woods playing, or on the streets playing pickup basketball games and football games, or just riding our bicycles around.
Being young and be an adventurous boy, hanging out with other boys. We were always doing dumb things. Whether it was building a ramp out of plywood and cinder blocks and riding our bikes off the ramps. To swinging across a creek on a tree vine. Grabbing the backs of cars, while on our skateboards and letting the cars pull us. You know, kind of like Michael J. Fox did in the movie Back to the Future. Yes. I know this was really stupid and dangerous.
In all of these scenarios, as dangerous and innocent as they were. What we were really doing was betting on ourselves to accomplish whatever it was we set out to do.
Why were we willing to do all of these dumb things? It wasn’t just the testosterone. It wasn’t because we were young and dumb. It was because we were fearless. We didn’t lack fear. We just believed in ourselves enough to overcome the fear or any doubt that we had to have the nerve to attempt what ever dumb thing it was we were attempting to do.
When you’re young you weren’t afraid to take risks. You weren’t afraid to do things that you didn’t know how it would turn out. You were willing to bet on yourself. You were confident in your abilities and your skills, or lack of, to take a risk and do something that wasn’t certain and wasn’t guaranteed to work. And in most cases, when you attempted these things, there is a big chance of you looking foolish in the process. It didn’t matter though. You were willing to look foolish because you were willing to take that kind of risk to prove that you could do it, to yourself and to others.
Most people aren’t willing to invest in themselves. They are scared to make an investment in to something that might not work out the way it should. They don’t take the new job, because they might not have it the same way they have it now. They don’t attend the meeting that could change their life, because they are afraid to be uncountable getting around people they don’t know.
In the last few years I have invested more money in to my personal development than I did the previous ten years. I sold a house to move to an apartment that I didn’t know if I would like living in. I got married. I moved from my hometown. I went from a very lucrative and stable six-figure plus position to a job that paid zero, unless I produced. I put thousands of dollars and lots of time into a potential business opportunity, that ultimately didn’t work out the way I planned for it to. I met countless numbers of people who I would have never met before. I made thousands of phone calls to people who didn’t have a clue on what I did or what I could do for them. All of this was because I was willing to bet on myself to make whatever I wanted to happen to happen.
I have to be honest though, sometime between the days as a kid growing up in my neighborhood to becoming an adult, I lost that willingness to bet on myself. As I look at the last two years of my life. I believe I have finally found it again. I am willing and ready to continue to bet on myself that things will happen because I will make them happen.
I heard a lyric in a song recently that really jumped out at me. I don’t know who sings it or I would give them credit. They said “The grass is always greener where I am standing”.
I firmly believe that as well. Conditions don’t make me. I make the conditions. I choose what conditions will exist and so do you. Betting on yourself is your best bet. Nobody cares as much as you do about you. Nobody can impact your future more than you. Betting and investing in yourself is the best way to ensure your future is the future you want and not the future you get. Or as my mentor told me “You get what you deserve.” If you do less, invest less, contribute less, work less, then you deserve less.
Take some risks, be that fearless kid again. I am. The only time you should be worried to bet on yourself is if you are not prepared. That is why you must continue to prepare yourself daily.
To your success and your future.