“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
– Albert Einstein
The great cosmologist Carl Sagan once said that “Every kid starts out as a natural-born scientist.” We are born with a beautiful sense of curiosity about the world – everything is new to us and we approach every new experience with wonder and without biases or external influences. Remember the time when we were kids and we were asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Isn’t it beautiful how young children have no boundaries of imagination or of what’s possible? They aren’t limited by doubts or by the judgement of others. But along the way, we got this “light” beaten out of us. A lot of people will argue that you have to become more “realistic” as you get older, and I agree to an extent, but I would argue that most people went too far down the spectrum.
Ever since I was a young teen, I wanted to start my own business (I didn’t know what the word “entrepreneur” meant until way later) and live a proud life of greatness and success that I’d seen a lot of my role models achieve. And I still do. I received a small plaque from the CEO of a large construction company back in one of my managerial leadership classes in college that reads:
What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?
Hypothetically, if failure was not a possibility, what would you honestly want to do with your life? I remember asking a bunch of my friends this right after I got this plaque and recorded their answers on my phone. I heard a range of answers such as US diplomat, artist, try to solve world hunger, musician, professional soccer player, etc. These are beautiful dreams, but somewhere along the way we start to believe that these aren’t realistic or possible, and we take a more traditional/”safe” route. Lately I’ve really been envisioning the type of life that I want to live in the next 5, 10, and 20 years from now. My visions of the future are definitely ambitious, and will require massive, massive action from me to change the course of my life and start building myself into the type of person to attract that kind of life (the law of attraction). But I think this is one of the major crossroads that myself and many others come upon – understanding the disconnect between your current situation and the life you want, and really committing to working toward that dream or giving up on it. And I don’t blame those that give up..honestly. If your goals are ambitious, it will require extreme change in your life to achieve those things. For most people, that amount of effort is not justified to them. And that’s OK. But don’t complain about it. If you make the decision in your mind that you aren’t going to commit to taking that risk, then you can’t complain. Because as Einstein said, doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is insanity. What do you expect? The quote on my blog reads:
There’s no magic success fairy that shits 100-dollar bills on your head.
Miracles aren’t going to happen to you, so if you’re doing the same thing day in and day out but expecting your life to become amazing over the next few months, you’re delusional. I’ve seen people like this and it breaks my heart because that frame of mind is so ingrained in them. This is the classic fixed vs growth mindset duality. You always have to believe that you are able to grow and can achieve better things through hard work and effort.
For me, I became really scared recently because I noticed myself complaining about my current circumstances, but my complaints weren’t justified. I wasn’t taking enough action so the lack of results was a given. So I committed myself to my craft and to my dreams. I decided to stop complaining and to take massive action. Because that’s what it takes to pivot your life. Always remember Newton’s First Law: an object in motion will stay in motion. It’s time to start moving.