Think about those few people who are treated universally with high regard, congratulated as thought leaders, and who one can say has truly “made” it. What makes them so different from us? Are they so different? Or did they all start here one day: where we are at now.
These leaders are people who have consistently challenged themselves, motivated themselves, to break beyond the proverbial box. They challenge themselves by being courageous enough to seek out new perspectives, to fail and fail again, to prove the nay-sayers wrong.
At the core, they challenge themselves with the possibility.
The possibility that the ideal could become reality. The possibility that the history doesn’t dictate the future. The possibility that lies within every obstacle.
Steve Jobs spoke on this concept at Stanford’s 2005 Commencement.
“And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.”
A multitude of obstacles, met with the courage of possibility.
“Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this…. None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography.”
You can read the full text of Steve Jobs’ speech here: Steve Jobs Commencement Speech.
You have the internal power to make every moment in your life have an impact. Every obstacle is an opportunity to find something to apply to the future. Every self-discovery, has an application that isn’t apparent until you look back and see the connection. The key is to develop the internal vision to see events in the light of possibility.
Consistently, we meet people who complain, bicker, and resist. Those around you that hear that, they can only work to help you overcome those negative obstacles, and that is, if they can bring themselves to care enough to spend the time. Conversely, if you start changing your very language into what it is you want, and what it is you’d like to grow, people around you will start looking for those opportunities. And you will have much greater help achieving what you want instead of focusing on all that is holding you back.
Some call this the Law of Attraction. I’ll be honest, I’ve never liked that term. It makes this sound like some magical, undefined, magnetic natural law. It is far simpler and far more within your control than that. If you describe all the things you don’t want, people are bound to add in more things you want to avoid. If you describe all you do want, people will make suggestions on how to get there if they have an insight. Instead of knowing what else to avoid, wouldn’t you rather know what’s going to make the next leap towards your goals?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this one! And as always, if you need help seeing your possibilities, give me a shout.