Some things require you get wet and take risks before you see results.
My mother can’t swim. Her mother couldn’t swim. Her mother told her that she couldn’t get in the water until she knew how to swim. So to this day, my mother doesn’t know how to swim.
Some things require you to take responsibility before you see results.
Maybe you want a new car. Maybe your current car is 8 to 12 years old with a few hundred thousand miles on it. It may really struggle to run at times. Maybe the air conditioner no longer works and the transmission slips. How do you treat the car? Is it neglected because it’s not worth your time to clean the fast food bags out of the back floorboard and all the dropped French fries out from in and under the seats? Are the windows filthy? Are things like changing the oil and small repairs, that wouldn’t cost much, put off indefinitely? It’s an old piece of junk, right? So why do those things? You tell yourself you’ll spend the time and money on maintenance and cleaning when you can afford the new car you want. Right?
Imagine how much better you’ll feel about that old car if you took the time to clean it up and repair a few of the small things that are broken. Vacuum the seats and carpets. Wash the windows. Clean off the dash and trim so that it’s not so disgusting. Even if it is old and on it’s last leg, show it some respect. In doing so, you’re showing yourself respect. You’re telling yourself, others, and the world that you have pride in your appearance and the pride in the way you keep take care of your things. Even if it is an old car, you’re not going to ride around in an old car that’s trashy, dirty, and neglected. If you can’t, or won’t, take care of an old car, why should anyone, including yourself, think you will take care of a new car?
Responsibility = Self-Respect
Self-Respect comes before success.
In addition to your old car, perhaps your house is too small. You don’t have much room and you’re really cramped. You try to get a functional setup but just can’t seem to make things work. You have a little corner office in the bedroom but as time goes by, the corner, as well as other areas of the house, get more and more cluttered. Finally you just can’t seem to actually do any work because you can’t move without knocking something over. You can’t find anything you need. When you sit there trying to work, you feel beaten, worn down, and frustrated. You constantly long for the day when you’ll have a much larger house and a real home office where you have lots of room, where you can finally get organized.
Just like the car situation, you need to dig in and treat your small house with the same love and care you would a big, new house. Because, the fact is, if you’re not going to stay organized in a small cramped space, and if you’re not going to take care of your little house, you probably won’t do so in a large house either. You’ll just have more space to clutter up and spread out.
Be realistic about the examples I’m using. A car is a car and it’s for driving. A house is a house and it’s for living in. They both are going to get dirty. They both are going to break. If you’re fortunate enough to have children, the dirt and the breakage will increase exponentially! Don’t be afraid to get the car dirty driving down a dirt road to go fishing. Don’t be afraid to let the kids play on the nice rug in the living room. If it’s dirty clean it. If it’s broken fix it. Enjoy life.
What do the examples above have in common? Mindset. Some may call it the Law of Attraction. Some call it common sense. To me, it just makes sense.
The fact is neither the car nor the house is really about the car or the house: it’s about you. It’s about the way you see yourself. It’s about the way you respect yourself. It’s about the expectations you have for yourself. It’s about setting a pattern of behavior that will generate success.
Let’s pretend you want to be a boxer. But, let’s say you don’t want to workout and train. What would happen if you were to get in the ring with Rocky Balboa? If you’d just been sitting on your couch watching TV for the last few years? You’d be killed. Dead. And it wouldn’t take long either!
However, if you were really motivated to become a boxer, you’d have the sense (hopefully) to know that you need to spend years working out in the gym with weights and training with boxing coaches. You’d train like a boxer. You may not have the resources to train in fancy, expensive gyms, but you could still train. You might not have electronic monitoring systems to track your strength and progress. You might not have the best weight training equipment available to you: but the weights your gym does have are heavy, and moving them up and down builds muscle! You would train. You would train hard. You would start to think like a boxer. You would do the things a boxer does. You would become a boxer in the process. And when you were ready to step into the ring, you would fight like a boxer. You didn’t become a boxer and then start to do the things a boxer does, instead, you started doing the things a boxer does and you became a boxer.
Waiting until you’re successful to act successful only creates more failure.
Why is it hard for some people to understand that they’ll never get a new car or a bigger house until they take responsibility for the car and house they already have? Nothing will change until they start treating that old car and their small house with the same appreciation and respect that they would give a new car and a bigger house. Even then, things may not change as fast as they would like.
You wouldn’t treat a brand new $45,000 SUV like a trash can. You wouldn’t clutter up your new expensive home so that you couldn’t move from your desk to your closet. So why would you treat your current things and situations any differently?
You can’t wait until you have achieved your goals to suddenly become the person you want to be. Nothing will change until appreciation and respect change. If you want to have a nice new car, get in the habit of taking care of the one you have. Even if it’s on its last leg, treat it like you love it and take care of it like you would a brand new car. If you want a larger house, take care of the one you’re living in now, get it organized so that you can live in it without tripping over yourself, so that you feel good about living in it.
It’s all mindset; it’s all frame-of-mind.
This same philosophy applies to many things:
the list can go on and on.
You can’t learn to swim sitting on the couch… If you want to learn to swim, you are going to have to get in the water, get wet, start taking some strokes, and starting doing the things a swimmer does. Before long you will learn to swim. Before long you’ll BE a swimmer. Start taking care of what you have and eventually you’ll have something to be proud of.
Until next time,