There’s always something to howl about

It’s Your Call – Decide – Make Some Toast

Ever wondered what the most powerful factor is separating those who’re successful and those who’re constantly wondering why they’re not succeeding as planned? There are bajillions of books attempting to explain it to us. They tell us about planning, goal setting, visualizing, hard work and a dozen more ways to get what we want. We’re told the world is our oyster! Shape it as you will! YOU! Can become a goal achieving machine!

So, how’s that been workin’ out for ya?

For the sake of this discussion, let’s set aside goals we ‘must’ set, but aren’t particularly motivated to bring off. Losing weight is an example. Tony Robbins talks a lot about ‘gaining leverage’ on ourselves. ‘If I don’t lose X pounds by Y date, I hafta go to work the next day in a Speedo.’ Then you’re supposed to tell your trusted supporters, who’ll hold you to your commitment. I’m not poopooing this, as I know it works for many. Let’s just talk about what we’re naturally motivated to do, and truly want to accomplish.

Grandma was right.

She told us we could be anyone we wanted to be. If you were lucky, yours told you one more thing. You must consciously decide to make it so, to become that person. No decision = guaranteed, abject failure.

How many have a goal to ‘get into great shape’? Know the worst 3-4 weeks for serious people in a gym? The first weeks of the year. All the wannabes with their new workout ‘outfits’ show up, makin’ things tough for serious members. Almost all of ’em disappear by Super Bowl Sunday at the latest. Why? They didn’t decide to become that person. They ‘decided’ to try, to ‘work’ at it. They planned, wrote goals, bored folks with all they were ‘gonna’ do to make it a reality.

Then they disappeared.

When we decide, we become.

Those who knew me in the 70’s saw a soft, slightly pudgy guy, whose waistline was several inches too big, and whose weight was far over the line. Then one day I brought a client’s offer to a husband/wife team. They hadn’t seen me in a few years. When I entered their office, she said, Jeff! I was wondering who that pudgy blonde guy was downstairs. Ouch. That was it. The decision to get back to my athletic self was made on the drive home.

A year later I ran my first marathon. I became that guy through one simple decision. I didn’t try. I didn’t work at it. Since the decision was already made, I was that guy long before I looked like him, even when I was huffin’ and puffin’ to finish a couple miles in 24 minutes.

I did the same thing years later when I returned to serious bodybuilding. It also worked like magic when I decided I wanted to be a baseball umpire. Made it to Division I NCAA level less than four years after my first (hilarious) Little League umpiring debut. I was also chosen, by the coaches no less, to umpire NCAA postseason play.

It works, people.

I’ve decided to do many things at work, just like you have. Only I’ve never tried really hard. Those who’re constantly showing empirical evidence of how hard they work while tryin’ to reach a goal, are really doin’ something else. They’re storing mountains of undeniable proof that their failure, their consistent failure, isn’t due to lack of effort.

Bullllllll Pucky.

Whether it’s a lifelong affliction or something we’ve overcome at some point, being in denial about what we’re willing to achieve is what plagues us. You a real estate agent and never made six figures? You’ve never decided to. Period. Over ‘n out. Stop makin’ those faces cuz you know in your heart of hearts I’m right.

Becoming a wildly successful anything is always, without exception, preceded by the decision to become that person. Sans deciding, all the goals, hard work, and so-called motivation won’t get you anywhere but makin’ excuses for another year’s mediocre results.

Makin’ six figures, gettin’ into unbelievable physical condition — whatever it is you want — is no more difficult than makin’ toast. Decide to do it. How many times have you tried to make toast?

Everything we do — or don’t do — is the RESULT of our decisions. Anything we try to do? It’s damning evidence we really don’t wanna be that person. Deal with it.

Then decide.


12 Comments so far

  1. Jim Klein November 26th, 2011 10:45 pm

    What a post, Jeff; a masterpiece IMO. It amazes me that so few people have any idea what you’re saying, even as they themselves become what they decide.

  2. Brian Brady November 26th, 2011 11:26 pm

    Another home run. I can share a half-dozen internal decisions with you (and you know they worked) and a couple of dozen well-written, well-planned, proclaimed-to-the world ones which didn’t

  3. Will Stewart November 28th, 2011 11:50 am

    Couldn’t agree more. Much like Brian’s experience, I’ve found that the best results come from decisions I’ve made deep in my soul and quietly worked toward without telling anyone.

    I think the main reason many fail is they want something for all the wrong reasons. To use the gym example, I dread how crowded our gym gets after January 1. Seems like many of those people are in the gym because of guilt, not because they truly want a healthy and fit body — and they aren’t willing to embrace the sacrifice it takes.

  4. Johnny Brooks November 28th, 2011 11:52 am

    Everyone has goals in life, unfortunately most folks are not motivated enough to achieve those desires.
    Everyone wants to be relevant at one time or another in their life.

  5. Wayne Long November 28th, 2011 5:08 pm

    Excellent post!! You are exactly right! When you make up your mind that you are willing to pay the price to be whatever it is you want to be….. There is not much that can stop you from achieving your desires.

  6. Dr.Phillips November 29th, 2011 2:15 pm

    Whether you think you can or can’t your right!

  7. Rob Chipman November 29th, 2011 2:50 pm

    After taking a ride in a float plane I wanted to learn to fly.

    15 years later I made the decision. I starred calling myself a pilot before I soloed – other pilots didn’t mind and were, in fact, encouraging.

    15 years between the idea and the decision. There was no actual obstacle except what was between my ears.

    A good idea is a good thing. The decision to make it happen, like you illustrate Jeff, makes all the difference.

  8. Jeff Brown November 29th, 2011 2:54 pm

    Welcome Rob — I was always taught that the decision is akin to a light switch. We can want the room lit up with all our might, but ’til we flip the switch darkness will remain the status quo.

  9. Teyona D. November 30th, 2011 12:10 am

    I really believe our every decision is our responsibility and that’s all that matters. Jeff, your article is great.

  10. Jack Sander December 2nd, 2011 12:51 am

    You are perfectly right…most of us tend to postpone essential decisions until it’s the “right time”. Unfortunately, that means that we will carry with us for many years the burden of our indecision.

    The best option is to go with our instincts. In most cases we will be better off.

  11. Robert Kerr December 25th, 2011 11:08 pm

    Jeff, have any of your decisions or goals failed to materialize even though you made the decision and a full commitment towards success?

  12. Jeff Brown December 25th, 2011 11:11 pm

    Yes, it’s happened. More than once.