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!

What If You Were Never Born?

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Do you ever feel like you aren’t making a difference? Maybe you think you’re replaceable and anyone could do what you do. Maybe you feel like a failure. We all feel like that from time to time. For some of us it gets so bad we wish we’d never been born.

When that happens, it’s time to George Bailey your life.

Remember George Bailey from It’s a Wonderful Life? He had so many things go wrong that he actually wished he’d never been born. God gave him that wish and he found out just how many lives he had touched and just how important he was. He stopped a pharmacist from giving a boy poison instead of medicine. He saved his brother’s life in childhood and his brother later saved a couple hundred men in WWII. He helped hundreds of people afford good homes. He and his wife created a beautiful family that wouldn’t have existed without him.

It was a wonderful life.

My preacher reminded me of that last Sunday. He was using the story to wonder how the world would be different if the church had never been created.

It got me to thinking, what would be different if I had never been born? What would be different if you hadn’t been? We can’t know for sure, but we do know some things. I know my two daughters, Faith and Summer would not exist. That’s enough reason for me to be born, right there. Of course, my wife could never have found as great a husband…ok, I better stop.

But let’s go deeper. How many people would have lost a friend, coworker, mentor, brother, sister, mother, father, or child if we hadn’t been born? What would have happened to your friend you helped get a job or the elderly lady down the street whose lawn you mowed last week?

Spend just a little time thinking about this and you will begin to realize how many lives you have touched. Each life you’ve influenced created ripple effects that carry on across countless lives.

As George Bailey’s angel, Clarence, put it, “Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?”

Ask yourself, how many lives will you make an impact on today and for the rest of your life?

You know, it really is a wonderful life.

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!

Getting Started is the Hardest Part

You have big ideas, big plans, big goals! But, first you have to check your email. Hey, your daughter needs help with her homework. The lawn isn’t going to mow itself, you know. My desk is so disorganized, I won’t be able to get anything done until I fix that. Time to update my LinkedIn profile.

Why do we procrastinate from the things we know will make our lives so much better? Why is it so hard to get started on something we really want to do? What can we do about it?

The first thing to do is make sure this really is something you want to do. Are you procrastinating because this idea/plan/project/goal doesn’t line up with your values? Is it really your Passionate Purpose?

If you know this really is what you want, then why haven’t you started?

Research shows our minds tend to focus on all the difficulties and complexities of a project or task before we start to do it. So, we tend to avoid starting big projects.

Yesterday, my youngest daughter was a perfect example of this. She was having a self-pity party over all the homework, projects, and studying for finals she had to do. She went on for several minutes and even began to cry.

We then acknowledged she had a lot of work to do, but that getting started is the hardest part. We then organized her work, decided what to do when, and came up with a manageable plan. Then we decided she would work on her first project for 15 minutes and take a break. The idea was to just get started, then she would see it wasn’t as hard as she thought.

It worked great! She ended up working much longer on it and didn’t even realize she had gone past her 15 minutes. It dawned on her that it wasn’t as hard as she thought and that she was getting a lot done.

Another great tool to get things started is to use the Zeigarnik effect to your advantage. The Zeigarnik effect is the tendency to remember projects/tasks/goals that you haven’t completed. In fact, research shows your mind keeps coming back to uncompleted tasks. So, once you get started on what you really want to do, your mind has a tendency to keep coming back to it until you complete it.

Isn’t that great? It’s almost like someone designed us to get important things done. Hmm….

I’m using this a lot right now. As I’m ramping up my professional and personal development business I often feel overwhelmed. I have big ideas for my speaking and coaching. I’m working on creating online courses for “Business On Purpose” and “Life On Purpose.” I’m writing my second book. I’m starting to play gigs again with my acoustic guitar.

Each of these ideas will take a lot of work. Many of them will require me to do things I’m not quite sure how to do yet. So, I sometimes find myself doing busywork instead of getting started.

Boo!

But, once I start, I get on a roll.

Yay!

I’ve found the 15 minute trick I used with my daughter works with me as well. Just do it for 15 minutes. I can do anything for 15 minutes. Then I tend to keep going.

Another great technique is to break down the task into smaller bites and just do one bite. Your little successes will lead to big ones.

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
–Martin Luther King, Jr.

You don’t need to know how to do it all before you start. Get started and you’ll learn what you need as you 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!

Will Finding My Passionate Purpose Really Help Me?

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Greg, this “Passionate Purpose” stuff sounds a little new-agey, touchy-feely to me. I’ve read some articles and books that are saying the idea of following your passion doesn’t work. I’ve even read stuff that says setting goals means you just end up failing and feeling bad about yourself. Is that true?

No, and yes, or yes and no. I’m not trying to avoid answering the question, but that’s really the answer. (Those are the answers?) Another great quote from Henry Ford explains it: “If you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.”

Yes, figuring out why you’re here, discovering your Passionate Purpose, setting goals and not reaching them can be frustrating, and sometimes depressing. But, you know what can be even more depressing? Never figuring out your purpose, never setting any goals, never achieving any goals, and ending up eating a steady diet of government cheese and living in a van down by the river! (Quick, what TV show?)

You know what’s a lot better than not setting goals so you won’t feel bad if you don’t succeed? Setting goals and actually achieving them. You are not going for a passionless existence. You are living an impassioned life!

“When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind.”
–Seneca, Roman philosopher

It’s all about your mindset, how you set your goals, the plan you create to achieve them, and the execution of your plan.

But ask yourself this: What gives you a better chance of living out your dreams, figuring out what they are and pursuing them or just floating through life whichever way the wind blows?

But, Greg, doesn’t success at your job create passion?

That works for some people, for a while. But how many people earning a good income do you know who hate their jobs?

Doctors, dentists, and lawyers all make it into the top 20 of highest suicide rates by profession and those are some of our higher-paying jobs. It’s not all about the cheddar, is it? Golden handcuffs still chafe and hurt.

You have to decide these answers for yourself. For me, I want to live out the “why” of my existence. I want to pursue what I’m passionate about and use that to make me rich in every sense of the word.

You might be surprised to find that you will eventually make more money following your passion than you do right now trying to slog through the day. Then again, you might not. But at a certain point, money isn’t the number one priority, is it?

My goals definitely include creating a good income for my family and me, but a goal like earning $1 million per year is not my primary motivator. It’s not my top “why” for my Passionate Purpose. My “whys” include inspiring people, creating more freedom for myself, helping people live their dreams, a flexible schedule, doing what I love, and taking more vacations with my family. If you took all those away and simply paid me more for doing a soul-sucking job 50 hours a week, I’d say no thanks.

What is it for you?

If this post resonated with you, Please subscribe to my blog and get my free eBook — 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose.

Do You Know Someone Who Needs This?

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The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. — Mark Twain

Do you know someone who hasn’t figured out their why? Someone who doesn’t even know what they really want? Someone who is struggling to find a purpose in this world?

I want to help. My Passionate Purpose is to help as many people as I can find their Passionate Purpose so they can live out the extraordinary lives of their dreams.

If you know someone who needs this information and encouragement, please pass on the link to my homepage and the link to my recent appearance on KC Live

If they are interested my book, GO! How to Find and Pursue Your Passionate Purpose, please pass on the link to it on Amazon.

I would love to give them my free, companion eBook— 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose. They can download it from that link.

If you are receiving this as an email, just forward it to anyone you think might benefit from it.

All the best.

Greg Knapp

Are You Letting Someone You Don’t Even Like Control Your Day?

Man that guy is a jerk! I can’t believe how he talked to me. I wish I’d had a snappy comeback to put him in his place. He got me so upset I’m still mad about it. I wish I could just let it go, but it’s eating me up inside.

Have you ever felt like that?

We’ve all been there. It’s part of life. But how we react to these situations is up to us. Do you want to be upset all day long? Better yet, do you want to let this guy you don’t even like ruin your entire day?

OK, Greg, I’m with you. I don’t want to let this jerk control me, but how do I let it go?

1) Realize that you are in control of how you react to this. You get to decide if you’re going to continue to be angry, sad, hurt, or whatever because of what happened earlier. He can’t make you feel bad unless you let him.

2) Decide what role you played in the conflict and if there was anything you could have done differently. Sometimes we’re actually in the wrong. (I’m sure that’s rare, though, right? Ha!)

3) Write down your thoughts and feelings about the situation. Sometimes it helps to write the person an email telling him exactly how you feel. DON’T SEND IT. This is just to get your feelings down so you can let it go and think about something else.

4) Review some of the successes you’ve had in similar situations. Take a minute to be grateful for all the things that are going well today.

5) Tell yourself you are not going to give that person the power to ruin one more second of your day. Let it go. If thoughts about the conflict come up again, simply acknowledge them and let them flow right out of your head.

It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters. –Epictitus

If this post resonated with you, Please subscribe to my blog and get my free eBook — 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose.

Who Else Wants to Overcome Your Obstacles?

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You have big dreams and big plans. You have educated yourself, set your goal and worked towards it. But, you see some obstacles in your way and you want to make sure everything is just right before you act, right?

That’s how we all get sometimes. It is good to plan, but there is never a time when everything is just right. If you wait for that moment, you will never take action.

But, Greg, what if I go for it and fail? What if I’m rejected?

Great questions. This is where we remind ourselves the simple truths that we often forget. If you never take action, aren’t you failing already? If you learn from a failure or a rejection, can’t you just take action again in a better way that has a greater chance of success? Isn’t taking action how you have achieved your success so far?

Aren’t all these objections to taking action really just a way we hide from our fear?

I just met a new friend yesterday who reminded me of how I wasn’t taking action and was giving in to fear. I have so many things I want to launch, but I find myself waiting until everything is just right.

He asked about how I got started in radio and I remembered – I took action.

He asked how my show became nationally syndicated and I remembered – I took action.

Then I started remembering how I wrote my book, started my blog and started speaking – I took action.

Everything wasn’t even close to being just right. But, by taking action, things started to come together. I met people who helped me. I learned things that helped me. I gained momentum and confidence and kept taking action.

My new friend hit me with it hard when we were talking about how I could increase my speaking business. He said, “You should see if you can work with Dave Ramsey. He endorsed your book and you would fit in great with him.” I told him I agreed.

“Then why don’t you call him and ask — today?”

Great question.

So, I did.

I also wanted to set up a speech at a friend’s business, so I called and asked him. I took action.

It was a little scary, but it felt great.

What have you been thinking about doing but you’ve let fear stop you? Take action.

Ask.

Do.

Go!

You will be surprised how fast fear falls and miracles happen.

Questions for comment: What have you been planning but not doing? How did you take action? What happened when you took action?

If It Was Easy, Everyone Would Do It

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Finding and pursuing your Passionate Purpose seems like a lot of work. (And I still haven’t watched all of Shark Week that I DVRd.) It is a lot of work. It’s a lot easier to coast through days, weeks, months, and years, never putting out the effort to live that extraordinary life.

But that’s not what you want. You want something different. You are all in on pursuing your Passionate Purpose. You are going to capitalize on that by increasing your income to the point you can change your family tree, give to others, live where you want, travel where and when you want, do what you want, and be financially free.

So when you get tired, or down, or you question yourself just remember, yes, all the hard work is worth it. If you do it right, you will also enjoy the entire journey.

I know it can be overwhelming to imagine that you are going to become the person who can do everything you must do to achieve all your dreams.

It will take time.

It will take effort.

It won’t go in a straight line.

You will hit walls.

But if you continually think about what you want and who you want to be, make a commitment to it, and consistently take action every day, you will succeed…

…and it will be worth it.

Get moving on something that will start you on the path to finding and pursuing your Passionate Purpose. After all, the years will go by either way. Do you want to look back twenty years from now and say I just kept making a living, or do you want to look back and say that was when I decided to start earning an extraordinary life?

My hope for you is that you get started right now on your Passionate Purpose. What are you waiting for?

Go.

Now.

Why are you still sitting there? GO!

You Are Not Average – No One Is, Actually

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Wait a second, I agree that I’m not average, but lots of people are average. Hello, Greg that’s how they come up with average – it’s most people!

That’s the funny thing. Todd Rose has done a bunch of research on this and he’s found that not one person is truly average. The averages are made up of statistical models of measurements of all kinds of people, but not one person really fits all the measurements.

Yet, we still try to fit people into the average box. We base our schools on the average child. We base what college we can get into on how far above average our GPA is and how far beyond average we can score on standardized tests. We get hired for our first job in much the same way.

Why? Does real world success correlate closely with those things?

Not really. There is a ton of data showing the correlation is weak.

In Rose’s book, The End of Average: How We Succeed in a World that Values Sameness, you learn how to leverage your uniqueness for uncommon achievement and joy.

The ideas in the book help you in your role as a parent, entrepreneur, team leader, and employee.

Listen to my interview with Todd:

 

Here’s Todd giving a Harvard 8×8 talk about his book.

Questions for comments: What is unique about you that has helped or hurt you? How can you leverage it for even more success?