Realism is for Losers

It’s 1:31 am and I’ve had a great day. I’ve done a lot of work, I’ve had fun with friends, and now I’m back writing.

The day was filled with ups and downs. Great ideas and points of high energy, then stagnant moments and points of low energy. Like any day it was a microcosm of life. We have times when we’re supremely confident and secure in what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. Other times we’re wandering with little focus, direction or ambition.

I’m not sure how I got onto the video, but I came across a collection of Will Smith interviews on youtube. Not expecting a whole lot, I clicked play, and what followed was some great wisdom from a man who truly is living life at it’s fullest. It made me realize that even though life is filled with its ups and downs, if we’re passionate about something, and willing to do the work necessary to see it through, we can accomplish anything. Not just what our parents have accomplished, or what our friend accomplish, but we can truly accomplish anything we set our minds to.

Amongst a number of lessons he’s learned in life, a couple lines he said stood out. One, because it goes against the majority of what I’ve heard from other people in my life. The other caught my ear because it’s where many of us falter on our journey to reaching our goals…

1. ‎There’s no reason to have a plan B because it distracts from plan A

Throughout my life I’ve everyone always told me not to ‘put all of my eggs in one basket’. And I see the validity to that statement, especially in investing, but when it comes to reaching a goal, I think focusing on a singular outcome should be at the forefront of our minds.

If you want to be a great athlete, you have to always be thinking that while you’re sleeping, someone else is training. One of my mentors when I was younger drilled that into my head. And I think it’s something that should translate into any career path.

2. Being realistic is the most commonly travelled road to mediocrity

This is a big idea…

Why would you be realistic? History is filled with things that were seen as unrealistic, but strong-willed people came along who thought big. They didn’t listen to those people that were saying they were nuts, or telling them that they were wasting their time. They just did.

If Thomas Edison believed in being realistic, we wouldn’t have the light bulb. If Martin Luther King Jr. thought that it was unrealistic for one man to create change, the world would be a drastically different place… for the worse. If Lincoln thought that it was unrealistic for a boy who wasn’t allowed to go to grade school, who taught himself how to read, who grew up in houses with dirt floors to become President of the United States of America, history would be robbed of one of it’s greatest heroes.

Every single one of us has a story where we achieved something unrealistic.

Thinking back on my life for example: I had a broken right arm in the 7th grade and I wanted to make the basketball team. So I learned how to shoot with my left and made, and started on that 7th grade team. It’s not a huge accomplishment by any stretch of the imagination, but it wasn’t all that realistic, and I was reminded of it daily.

Those who care about us remind us to be realistic because they don’t want to see us hurt and let down. It’s a natural human reaction to bring down someone who is thinking big. But the world is also filled with men and women who have lived realistic lives, set realistic goals, and never dared to step out of the boundaries that they have placed on themselves.

When I think of it now, I used to be one skinny ass dude. More importantly I used to be insecure with how I looked. With my ‘genetics’, it wasn’t very realistic for me to transform my body into something that I could be proud of. Especially considering that what I wanted was 20-30 pounds of lean muscle. I wanted to be strong, lean, and athletic. And here I was, a skinny, even kind of fat, young man. But I accomplished what I set out to do.

Will Smith is no different than me or you when it comes to talent, or the gifts he’s been blessed with. Abraham Lincoln is no different than me or you. Neither is Rocky Marciano, Sylvester Stallone, Muhammad Ali, or Mr. Edison. But what they had that we may be lacking, is the ferocious hunger to work harder than anyone, and listen to no one telling them that they can’t. They had the focus, and the balls to go after what everyone else saw as unrealistic, but they saw as a dream, and even as a rite.

How can I help you accomplish the unreasonable?

Have a look at the video below…

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