I love January because it’s always full of promise. Everyone’s talking about their holidays and gifts; sharing memories. People are discussing what they want to do in 2013.
Judging from everyone’s optimism, we’re all going to lose weight, get rich and get laid a lot this year. I’ll finally learn to knit and you’ll climb that mountain you’ve had on your wall since 2008. Why not? We’ve got the heart; we’ve got the potential!
But before you get too excited, remember that most people fail in their goals. After a while, that cake seems extra tasty; the mountain starts looking real tall; money, you realize, isn’t all that important.
This is when you have a choice to make. Will you buck up, do what it takes and come out victorious like the legend I know you to be? Or are you going to give up at the first sight of trouble like most people do?
In other words, are you ready to pay up for the things you want?
Hold on – what do you mean, “Pay”?
As a kid, I never had to work hard. My parents didn’t push me to do better at school or in sports; I didn’t have to think about money. I had no reason to work for anything – and so I didn’t.
Then I watched Cruel Intentions. After seeing Sebastian – the womanizing protagonist – I knew I wanted women to be a major part of my life.
(Or, as the 13-year me thought, holy shit! This guy is getting all the girls! I WANT THAT!)
That was the first time I passionately wanted something I didn’t have. But, being an idiot, I did nothing about it for another 8 years.
Like most people, I wasn’t ready to pay the price.
See, the price of success isn’t just the things you need to do. It’salso everything you give up, sacrifice and endure to get what you want.
For example, the real price of weight loss is paid each time you deny yourself the food you want; each time your hunger pangs keep you up at night; each time you feel like staying in but go to the gym anyway. It’s not as simple as buying the right books or eating less.
The price of finding a new job is leaving your old one behind.
The price of leaving the city you hate is losing friends.
The price of reading a book is sacrificing quality T.V. time.
In other words, everything we want has a price: nothing in this world is free.
The problems start when people disrespect this simple life rule by refusing to pay up. This happens for many reasons:
- Making a goal that’s not worth paying for
- Making a good goal that costs too much
- Bad planning that results in being overwhelmed
In the end, the reasons don’t matter. What matters is this: when the price of success becomes is too high, the end result is always failure.
Commit To Pay The Price – Or Don’t Bother Showing Up
Let’s go back to my teen self. After watching Cruel Intentions I forgot about being good with women for a number of years. Then, around 2008, I decided it was time for a change – so I swallowed my ego and signed up for some dating courses.
At the time, I was lonely so I told myself I’d do anything to succeed. Face rejection, endure humiliation, get mace’d: whatever it took to get one great girl to like me.
And this attitude saved me.
Think about it: Most people can’t even handle 1 rejection, let alone getting blown off 10 times each day. Dealing with hurt, heartbreak and loneliness is hard. That’s why most guys leave “The Game” as fast as they came in.
But since I was prepared to deal with all those challenges on a constant basis and pay the price, I persevered and succeeded.
Most people’s circumstances are different. Only those who’ve hit rock bottom are ready to do anything to make a change.
Sure, we all talk pretty about what we’re going to do. We buy all the right books and give it our best shot. Sometimes, we even start seeing progress. But in the end we usually give up.
I think this is worse than doing nothing. It means you’ve invested your time and energy with zero giveback. It’s like getting out of the house, walking to the gym, loading up the barbell and saying “screw it” – a huge waste of time.
So don’t spend yourself needlessly on goals you won’t achieve anyway.
Don’t be the guy who dabbles in this and that his whole life, never accomplishing anything. Look at all the crap that you never use in your garage and resolve to never add more books or equipment to that sad collection of shame.
Know what you want. Estimate what the price is in time, energy and emotions. Then ask yourself if you’re ready to pay up.
If you are, great – you’re mentally prepared to deal with anything that comes your way. You’ll get what you want and nothing can stop you.
But if the price is too high, that’s fine too. There’s no shame in knowing what you are and aren’t prepared to pay for. It’s better to give up goals that don’t matter than waste time on them.
Some would even call that “wisdom”.