Is THIS Your Opportunity to Succeed or Give Up? — Yes

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My daughter has a stomach bug and she asked me to watch a movie with her. She decided on, Joy, with Jennifer Lawrence. It’s the story of how a divorced mother of two, living with a very dysfunctional family, went from nothing to creating a multimillion dollar business empire.

The film is loosely based on the life of Joy Mangano, the inventor of the Miracle Mop. I thought the movie was just ok, but even Hollywood messing with the truth, the messages I took from Joy are great.

Joy had family troubles, house troubles, ex-husband troubles, work troubles, financial troubles and legal troubles. Most people would have given up. Her mom did give up – she just laid in bed watching soap operas all day. Joy could have followed that example, but instead she kept making the choice to take action and succeed. (Yes, that is a choice.)

I keep noticing that the biggest difference between success and failure is not giving up. I’m not saying that’s easy. I know I’ve had times when I wanted to give up. In fact, I have given up before, and then gotten back in the game. What’s stopping you from getting back in the game? You haven’t failed until you’ve given up permanently.

What will you choose to do with your next opportunity? Keep going and tweaking it until you succeed, or get discouraged and give up?

Unfortunately, just about everyone in Joy’s family discouraged her. They told her that her business ideas wouldn’t work, that she wasn’t smart enough, and she was “just an unemployed housewife.” She almost allowed them to be right.

How many people – some of them meaning well – are pulling you down and preventing you from pursuing your Passionate Purpose? How long will you let them? What can you do today to change that dynamic in your life?

Joy’s Grandma, daughter, ex-husband, and best friend believed in her. She leaned on them for support. We all need that. Who does that for you?

Action steps:

  1. Actively seek out and spend more time with your supporters. Bounce your ideas off them. Thank them.
  2. Avoid the energy vampires. Remember, they can only hurt you if you let them.
  3. Figure it out: Is THIS your opportunity to succeed or give up? The answer is, yes. Which one will you choose? What can you do right now to pursue your current, best opportunity?

Let’s GO!

If this post resonated with you, Please subscribe to my blog and get my free eBook — 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose. You can also purchase my book, GO!

You’re So Close – Don’t Stop Now!

You’ve done all the hard work of thinking and planning. You’ve taken action and you’ve made progress. But some obstacles have come up and you’re not sure it’s going to work. You might fail!

Before you quit, please watch this:

Question for comments: What successes have you had that you almost gave up on? What do you do to keep going when you feel like quitting?

If this post resonated with you, Please subscribe to my blog and get my free eBook — 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose. You can also purchase my book, GO!

Can YOU Really Get the Life You Want? Yes! If…

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You’re excited about the idea of finding and pursuing your passionate purpose. You’ve visited a few websites about it, watched some videos, and maybe even read a book about how to do it. You’ve been dreaming about what your best life would look like.

But…nothing’s changed. You aren’t taking action. Five years ago you were in the same situation and a year from now?

Why?

The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.
–Amelia Earhart

If you read my blog, social media posts and book, you know I’m a super positive, encouraging, optimistic guy. (And humble!)

But, let’s get real here, ya’ll. Tough love time. IF you really want to live an extraordinary life where you pursue your Passionate Purpose, I can’t sugar coat this.

If you have thought about it – or tried to do it – before and failed, you’ve made excuses.

Here are some that I’ve heard (and used myself from time to time).

  • Only the lucky few get to do that
  • I’m not rich enough
  • I’m afraid I’ll fail
  • I don’t have the right connections
  • I’m not a genius
  • I’m afraid I’ll lose all my money
  • You have to be really talented to do that
  • I don’t know how to do it
  • I’m afraid I’ll get divorced over it
  • I don’t want to sacrifice my wife/husband/kids/relationships to do that
  • I’m not educated enough
  • Now’s not the right time
  • It’s too hard
  • I won’t make enough money to live on if I do that
  • I’m not good enough
  • I don’t deserve it
  • People from my family don’t do that
  • It’s selfish and greedy to want to do that
  • I don’t have enough time to do everything I would need to do
  • I’ll do it someday

Those are just some of the excuses I’ve heard to make people feel better about giving up on their dreams. I’m sure you could help me come up with more. Some of these concerns are real. I don’t want to suggest that going after what you really want is easy and requires no sacrifice. That’s just dreaming.

But, if you really want to pursue your Passionate Purpose and go after that extraordinary life, you have got to cowboy up for a serious ride.

Do you really want to look back on your life and list the excuses why you never tried? Do you want to use your children, spouse and friends as human shields to protect you from your fears of going for something great? Do you really believe that ALL successful people are divorced, greedy, horrible human beings who sacrificed all their values to get where they are in life?

Am I going to stop talking in questions? Yes. Right now.

The reason you aren’t taking action and going after this isn’t because you don’t have talent—nothing in the world is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. It’s not because you aren’t smart enough, don’t know the right people, or don’t have enough money to get started. It’s not because you don’t have enough time. We all have the same 24 hours in each day.

Look, all the excuses really boil down to one. Fear.

Change is scary. All those excuses we listed create fear. Your mind is screaming at you to avoid fear and risk. Subconsciously, your brain is telling you that you get more out of not changing than you think you would get out of changing.

IF you really want this, it’s time to convince yourself these aren’t just wants, they are needs.

Time to convince yourself that the fear and pain that always comes with change is worth it for the chance to live the extraordinary life of your dreams.

Time to convince yourself that NOT changing is risky, too. Imagine living your whole life and NEVER going for what you could have had!

If you are tired of just getting by and letting days, months, and years slip past without achieving what you know you were put on this earth by your Creator to do, then now is the time.

Get your mindset right.
Understand fear creeps in but can be handled.
Determine what you want.
Set your course.
Take action.
GO!

How much longer will you wait?

If this post resonated with you, Please subscribe to my blog and get my free eBook — 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose. You can also purchase my book, GO!

Be Encouraged by Rejection and Failure

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How can rejection and failure be encouraging? By learning how common it is and how every successful person has dealt with it.

Yes, all of us experience rejection and failure. I’m convinced a great deal of success comes down to simply not giving up on what you really want.

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time
–Edison

Look at these stories and Be Encouraged.

 

Modeling agencies told her she should consider becoming a secretary. —Marilyn Monroe.

 

A college drop out started a company called Traf-O-Data. At first the software didn’t work. Then, it barely made money. Oh, yeah, then he started another company and is now the richest man in the world. —Bill Gates

 

He was awkward on the violin. Teachers said he was too stupid to compose. —Beethoven

 

“Can’t act. Can’t sing. Slightly bald. Can dance a little.” — From Fred Astaire’s first screen test.

 

“So we went to Atari and said, ‘Hey, we’ve got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or we’ll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we’ll come work for you.’ And they said, ‘No.'”

“So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, ‘Hey, we don’t need you. You haven’t got through college yet.'” — Apple Computer founder Steve Jobs on attempts to get Atari and HP interested in his and Steve Wozniak’s personal computer.

 

Fired as a contributor to the San Francisco Examiner because, he was told, “You just don’t know how to use the English language.”–Rudyard Kipling

 

Failed at starting his own business three times. Tried again and became one of the richest men in the world while making it possible for the average family to own a car. – Henry Ford

 

Put aside her passion for decades but in her seventies became one of the best-known American painters of all time. — Grandma Moses

 

 

Why not you?

Why not now?

Questions for comments: Who told you no, or you weren’t good enough? How did you overcome that?

If this post resonated with you, Please subscribe to my blog and get my free eBook — 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose. You can also purchase my book, GO!

Do You Feel Like a Failure When You Miss a Goal? Read This

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A friend of mine is reading my book and wrote me: “Greg, the stories in your book about people struggling with their goals are good, but it can still be hard to focus on and attack goals that you didn’t meet even after very diligent efforts. Sometimes you feel your doing everything right, but its still not working. It makes you rethink if your goals are even legitimate or worthwhile to pursue.”

Hey, when we put in great effort and don’t get the results we want, that’s frustrating. If this has ever happened to you, have you looked at what you did achieve with your efforts? Listen to what my friend did achieve.

“My goal is to get to ten percent body fat. I have been working on it for ten years. In that time, I have gone from an extremely overweight guy who was afraid of my car breaking down in the middle of summer (because I might die walking to get help), to having hiked the Grand Canyon with my wife in the middle of summer with a 50lb pack. My body fat percentage was 45% and I was able to get it to around 18%.

I went from a weakling who got tired carrying groceries from the car to the house, to a fairly strong man that can bench press over 300lbs, squat over 400, and deadlift 495.  I went from a lazy undisciplined gamer who sat on the couch, to a guy who earned two black belts in martial arts.”

“I also met my wife during this time. But, the ten percent body fat goal evades me no matter what I try.”

OK, wait. You achieved all that and that’s failing at your goal? I’d like to fail like that!

I’d rather be partly great than entirely useless.

– Neal Shusterman

He has already achieved some great goals. He has transformed his body, and his life. To a great deal, he’s transformed his mindset as well.

But, I get how we can all still be frustrated when we don’t meet the exact goal we set for ourselves. We can see this as a block to other goals.

I want to encourage you. Don’t miss the great stuff. My friend should feel amazing at all he accomplished by pursuing his goal. Why do we focus so much on the negative? Why are we so hard on ourselves?

I asked my friend, “If your son or daughter achieved what you have, would you be disappointed in them for not making the body fat percentage goal? Would you tell them that they are failures? Of course not. Then why do this to yourself? Give yourself some Grace.”

Then decide if you still need to reach your original goal. If the answer is yes, start over with finding new ways to reach it. If you’ve been trying something for ten years, then it’s time to try something else.

Maybe check with your doctor to make sure this is a goal you can physically reach. Research the best meal and workout plans to get to your ideal body fat percentage.

Interview personal trainers who have had success getting their clients where you want to be.

Ask yourself, “If you knew what step you needed to take right now to decrease your body fat, what would it be?” (Do that!)

Regardless, you have proven to yourself that you have what it takes to change your life. Don’t let this stop you from changing other areas as well.

Imagine what your life would be like if you had never tried to achieve this goal. You have succeeded in so many ways because you created a goal and took consistent action. Great job. Don’t give what you see as a failure the power to stop you from achieving even greater things in the future.

Questions for comments: Have you ever fallen short of a goal? How did it make you feel? How did you keep moving forward?

Sometimes It’s OK to Quit

Quitter

Greg, you’re freaking me out again. Didn’t you just tell me to never give up? Now you’re telling me it’s OK to quit? Are you off your meds?

Slow down, speed racer, let me explain.

I understand the conventional wisdom is that you should never give up once you’ve set your mind to something. I agree with that – to a point.

There’s a big difference between giving up and deciding to quit something. If you stop working towards what you know is your Passionate Purpose because it’s too hard, or someone talked you out of it, or you got sidetracked on unimportant things, or you had to watch the Simpsons marathon on FX, that’s giving up. That’s what I hope you won’t do.

If, however, you are trying out new things to see what fits on you, it’s perfectly OK to stop doing something you find out you truly don’t enjoy. How will you know what you really like if you don’t try it? I don’t want you to feel like once you try something new you can never quit or you’re a failure. That might stop you from trying awesome things.

And how can you keep being awesome if you stop trying awesome things?

(Who’s awesome? YOU’RE AWES…ok, sorry, got carried away.)

What if you discover what you’re struggling with wasn’t really your Passionate Purpose after all? What if you realize you’re trying to live out the dream your parents have for your life, or you’re trying to please someone else? Wouldn’t it be crazy to keep pursuing someone else’s goals?

How do you know the difference between giving up and quitting? Here’s what I do and what I make my children do. If you want to try something new, like a new job/career, a sport, an instrument, dance lessons, etc. determine a set amount of time that you are going to continue trying it no matter what. (A rule of thumb is six months to a year.) If you decide you don’t like it at the end of your trial period, you can quit without being a “quitter.”

You aren’t quitting because you can’t stick with something. You did stick with it. You did what you set out to do. You learned it wasn’t a good fit for you and now you’re moving on to something else.

If it is a good fit for you, keep doing it! You’re on your way.

Remember, you can try a new job or business without quitting your old one. You can ease into it. You don’t have to GO BIG right away. You don’t have to take a big leap and risk everything. You can take baby steps to get started.

Question for comments: When’s the last time you tried something new to see if it was a good fit? How did you know?

Before You Give Up – Read This

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You’ve been working really hard and you’re frustrated. All the big ideas, extra hours, sacrifices, and effort you’ve put in have gotten you…what?

Nothing.

Maybe.

But what if you’re this close to a breakthrough? What if that last little bit of work will put you on a path to something that could really change your life?

My first job in talk radio was not as a talk show host. I was working for minimum wage doing all the grunt work and overnight shifts. I even had to buy time to get a chance to be on the air. Fairly quickly they were “kind” enough to let me provide a show for the station for free, but I wasn’t getting paid. Ouch.

Even though my wife’s job and my part time job as a mental health counselor were earning enough to support us, I felt like I was letting her down. I told her I was about to quit the radio dream and get a full time counseling job.

She convinced me to stay at it at least until the end of the year. (She’s awesome.) About a month later I was offered a full time job as a talk show host on the number one station in town.

I was reminded of this while I was watching The Voice with my daughter. One of the contestants is married with children. He’s a teacher and sings on the side. He’s been doing it for over a decade without much success. He told his brother he was about to give up on the idea of a singing career – and then he got a spot on The Voice.

What if you’re that close?

Before you give up, do a double check:

1) Remember why you want this. Is that why still strong for you? Why are you working this hard? Why are you doing what other people aren’t willing to do? Isn’t is because then you will get to do what other people aren’t able to do?

2) Review the progress you’ve made so far. You might be surprised at what you’ve already accomplished.

3) Review your plan. What parts are working? What parts aren’t working? What could you change to get better results?

4) Imagine what your life would be like if this started turning around for you? What would change? How would that impact you, and those around you? How would it make you feel?

5) Give yourself some grace. Maybe you just need to slow down and take a bit more time on this. Maybe you’re burning yourself out and expecting too much too soon. Go for smaller successes and then build to bigger things. You’re human, and that’s ok.

6) Email me before you give up and see if I can help you!

My next post will be about when it’s okay to quit. I know I just said don’t give up, but I’ll explain the difference.

Question for comment: How do you keep going when you feel like giving up?

You Get to Choose Your Memories

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Do you have a bad memory that you keep replaying in your head? Does it keep coming back and put you in a bad mood? What if you could choose not to keep reliving it?

I thought about this when I heard Mike Golic on ESPN talk about the worst loss of his life. It was a high school wrestling match in 1981. He says he still thinks about it. His wife says he still talks about it so much that she tried to call the wife of the guy he lost to so they could actually set up a rematch.

Wow.

Mike Golic played football and wrestled for Notre Dame. His record on the mat was 24-4-1 He played in the NFL for eight years. He won in sports time after time.

Yet, he’s still reliving a match from 34 years ago! Dude, let it go.

Greg, it’s not that easy! It’s like when a song gets in your head and you can’t stop singing it all day long. If I could stop it I would.

I get that. But we have tremendous power over what we put in our long-term memory banks.

What do you focus on and think about over and over? Is it your worst losses or your greatest wins?

Yes, learn from your mistakes, but then quit reliving them. Move on. Relive your victories and all the things you did right. Build your confidence.

When a bad memory pops in your head, focus on some good ones. Better yet, get busy making some new ones. Do something to disrupt the pattern of solidifying that bad memory.

It’s almost impossible to tell yourself not to think about something. (Quick, don’t think about a purple eight-foot tall Easter bunny hopping on your front lawn.) Replace what you don’t want to think about with something awesome you do want to think about.

Try writing down your dreams, goals, and plans. When you’re writing, it’s very hard to think about anything else.

If you train your brain to focus on your successes, that will become it’s default setting.

This will come in handy when you’re about to do something new or big. Think back to when you’ve succeeded in similar instances and replay them in your mind. Your subconscious mind treats your successful visualizations the same as successes in the real world. Use that to build your confidence. (I know this sounds a little weird, but try it and then get back to me.)

You get to choose what movies get played and replayed in your head.

Choose wisely. – Greg Knapp

Would You Rather Be Redirected or Reprimanded?

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Is this a trick question, like does a one-legged duck swim in circles? Or is this just semantics and being redirected is simply a nicer way of saying reprimanded?

Neither. This is a real question and there’s a big difference between the two things.

Most bosses, managers, and even some parents tend to reprimand you when you’re not doing what they want you to do. Very few redirect you.

I’ve been reading The New One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson, and this is how they explain the difference:

Reprimand:

The boss/manager/parent tells you that what you did was wrong. There is a punitive feel to it. It tends to make you feel bad about yourself or get angry with the person reprimanding you.

You usually don’t receive the feedback until your yearly review (unless you did something really wrong). This gets you frustrated because you could have fixed the problem if you were told about it.

It creates an “Us v. Them” mentality.

I had a basketball coach who reprimanded us all the time. The slightest error and he would yank you out of the game and yell at you. The team played tight because we were afraid of making a mistake instead of reaching to play our best.

Redirect:

The boss/manager/parent re-clarifies your mutual goals to make sure you’re on the same page.

He explains to you what you did wrong and gives the feedback as soon as he can.

He lets you know he is truly concerned and pauses to let you reflect on why this should concern you as well.

He then explains how he values you, knows you’re better than the mistake, and still expects great things from you from now on.

When the redirect is over – it’s over.

I also had a basketball coach who worked in a style very similar to this. He would tell you when you blew it – even yell at you at times.

Then he would give a quick instruction on how to do it the right way and encourage you.

Then he would let it go.

I played way harder for him than I did the other coach.

“A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success”

– Unknown

Does any of this resonate with you? What can you do to use redirection instead of reprimands in your daily life?

Choose Yourself – Don’t Wait to be Chosen

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Are “the gatekeepers” stopping you from pursuing your dreams?

Told no on your loan application?

Passed over for the promotion?

Waiting for someone to ask you to marry him?

Never given the lead role?

Why do we think we have to wait to be chosen? Why must we play by someone else’s rules and live up to someone else’s standards to be good enough?

Why not choose ourselves?

That’s what the painters Monet, Renoir, Cézanne, Degas, Pissarro, and Sisley finally did. They chose themselves.

Malcolm Gladwell tells the story in his book, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants. 

In the 1860s, Paris ruled the world of art. If you wanted to gain respect, and make money, you needed to have your works accepted to the Salon de Paris.

The judges had strict standards. Art was supposed to represent real life with very defined details. No paintbrush strokes should be visible. Abstract art was always rejected.

Obviously, the Impressionists art did not fit the Salon’s parameters.

After years of trying to get chosen by the Salon, struggling with being true to their art and trying to make a living, the painters decided to choose themselves.

They staged their own art show, in ways vastly different than the Salon They slowly started to build an audience. Some critics even started seeing the beauty in their art.

They changed the world.

Yes, it’s scary to go outside of the so called experts, gate keepers, directors and judges, but why do we keep giving them the power to decide if we’re good enough?

Be like Monet and Renoir.

Choose yourself.

Find a new way to show what you can do.

  • Self publish your book.
  • Start your own YouTube channel.
  • Open your own business.
  • Create a new product or service that you can start selling on your own website.

Maybe one day what you create will be priceless too.

Questions for comment: What have you tried to do but been told no by the gate keepers? Have you ever gone around them? How?