I’ve listened to a lot of people talk about what they want to do but never doing it. Just yesterday I was speaking to my Brothers in Beat partner Harry. He was saying how you only live once and he wants to go work on an island or on a cruise ship.
After discussing the pro’s and con’s, I began to be convinced. For some reason the phrase “you only live once” hit hard. “…Plus we don’t have a family or anything that would keep us in South Africa”, Harry added.
I noticed he kept on talking about why he wants to do it, being quite repetitive, “The crime in South Africa, the cherries are full of it, the rat race of it all!”, for 20 minutes on and on.
Eventually I stopped him and said, “you keep talking about why you want to do it; Let’s talk about how we are going to do it”, essentially I was saying, “Let’s figure out what the action goals would be toward achieving our dream.”
As we were walking around Harry’s crescent, I joked, “It’s funny how you always come up with the good ideas but I always make them happen.” Harry laughingly responded, “It’s true hey!”
The reason for that comment was that Harry kept saying he wants to start a drumming company, and then I quit my job, bought the equipment, registered the name, designed the website, set up the marketing, etc. Now Harry was saying he wants to go work on a cruise ship and I went onto the internet, researched the idea of taking Brothers in Beat onto a cruise ship as entertainment, signed up with a placement agency, and sent in a DVD of us in action.
I’m truly not saying any of this to try impress you; but I do want to impress upon you the importance of getting off your ass and doing something about your dreams.
Here’s how to make “Make-It-Happen” happen…
Have a schedule
The number one key behind making things happen is to live your life by a schedule.
You may have missed the profoundness in that statement due to it’s simplicity. The secret to making things happen is to live your life by a schedule.
Make-It-Happen people have a schedule, not in their head, but written down, or preferably on computer where it can be easily adjusted and so it can pop-up a reminder of what you need to do next.
Below average people schedule meetings; Average people schedule meetings and important things; Make-It-Happen people schedule everything.
I use Outlook 2007 Calendar. If something urgent comes in, I just drag and drop what I had planned for that time slot to another time slot and create a new entry to do the urgent thing now.
When it’s done I select the entry and press Ctrl+F12 which marks it as purple (you have to set up the categories to do that), meaning it’s done. That little Ctrl+F12 act gives me a sense of progress and accomplishment and it also helps me see at a glance how I’m progressing and where I’m at in my day.
When you have nothing to do, think of things to do
A lot of people work on stuff as it comes in. If no new work comes in they socialise or play solitaire.
At the end of every day, if my next day isn’t full yet, I fill it up. If there’s nothing I need to do, I take a moment to think what could I do to move ahead. I’m not saying we should work for the sake of working. I like to reward a job well done or extra-long hours with some time to chill, but we shouldn’t chill just because we don’t have anything scheduled.
I could just chill tomorrow after lunch for the rest of the day, but instead I schedule something, like “Rethink the website headline, come up with alternatives to test” or “design online brochure with pricing and more info”, or I schedule thinking time, “Go to the pool with some wine and think of something to add or change to take the company to the next level“, or “Think of a new business idea.” - there is always something you could be doing to move ahead.
Remain well balanced
Realise that your health, friends, and spending time with your family is important. If you become a billionaire but neglect your husband/wife and/or children, you have failed since financial and business success is only one aspect of life-success. Whenever I find it difficult to stay well-balanced I just schedule it.
For example I schedule physical development. My gym session and what muscle group I’m going to train that day is scheduled for 18h00 week days.
If I had a wife and kids and I found it difficult to pull myself away from work, I would schedule time with them just like I would schedule time with a client. That may sound a bit insulting but it’s not. By scheduling it, you’re saying, “you’re important to me and I don’t want to neglect you and this is the surest way I’ll spend quality time with you.”
Don’t let the pain of the past paralyse you
There’s a great story that demonstrates this point. When Israel was freed from slavery in Egypt, they traveled a while and eventually arrived at the border to “The Promised Land” – read “their dream”.
They decided to send spies into the promised land to see if Israel was powerful enough to take the land. Twelve spies went in and after a while they came back with a negative report. “There are giants so huge they made us look like grasshoppers. We don’t stand a chance!” Only two of the spies said, “We are well able to take this land.”
The ten, being in the majority, convinced the people that it would be a bad move. After all, they just came out of slavery with Egypt, do they now want to go become slaves of just another empire? It makes sense.
Well, because they lacked a Make-It-Happen mindset, and because of their indecisiveness and lack of faith, they ended up trekking around a mountain for the rest of their lives, going in circles, making no progress.
You must understand something. Every time those Israelites took off their clothes to go bath, they saw the scars of Egypt’s whips. Those scars served as a constant reminder of the pain of slavery. They served as a constant justification for not pursuing their dream.
You and I would say “Shame, we understand why they wouldn’t take that risk. It’s ok.” But it was not ok. Past pain and failure was evidently not an acceptable excuse to not trust and move ahead. At the end of the day, it cost them dearly and they never reached their dream, their promised land.
The bottom line is don’t make excuses; rather make things happen.
“I challenge you to make your life a masterpiece. I challenge you to join the ranks of those people who live what they teach, who walk their talk.”-Tony Robbins