We all have dreams, goals and aspirations. And we have probably all encountered on our pursuits to success and happiness the biggest obstacle, which are two simple words: “I can’t.” The I can’t belief is often justified by reasons such as “not smart enough, not educated enough, too old, too young etc.”
“Whether you believe you can or whether you believe you cannot, you are always right.” Henry Ford’s quote perfectly encapsulates the power of our beliefs. But how can we overcome this inner obstacle, so that we can go the extra mile to reach our goals?
My father tried to nip my can’ts in the bud by telling me the same thing every time I appeared to struggle with achieving a goal: “Son, now is the time to get out of the saddle.” As an adolescent, his attempt to cheer me on rather irritated me (“what does he know about getting out of the saddle, he doesn’t even have a bike…”). Later on, I realized that my dad didn’t just tell me to work harder and push myself more. He also showed me that he believed in me and my abilities to reach any goal I could imagine.
Sometimes, when we have trouble believing in ourselves, we need to borrow that belief from somebody who has trust and confidence in our potential. My guest on this week’s Empowerment Radio is a staunch believer in the unlimited possibilities of the human spirit. Shawn Anderson is a bestselling motivational author, unlimited thinker, and lifetime entrepreneur with a history of inspiring others. Shawn is also the creator of Extra Mile Day, a day recognizing the power we each have to create positive change when we “go the extra mile.” Shawn walks his talk. He built a million dollar company, pedaled a bike solo across the U.S. (twice), and created adventures in 45+ countries including having walked across six (England, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Italy and 750 miles around Shikoku, Japan). His book titles include: SOAR to the Top!, Amicus 101: A Story About the Pursuit of Purpose and Overcoming Life’s Chaos, Extra Mile America: Stories of Inspiration, Possibility and A Better Life: An Inspiring Story About Starting Over, and The Four Fibs.
Here are two examples of his empowering and motivating writing:
After walking across Italy, I’m now asked: “What’s NEXT?”
I get it. I set myself up for this sort of question. I’ve walked across six countries in four years and pumped out a couple of books. People who know me a little…and a lot…expect me to think of some crazy-ass big goal because they think that’s “my thing.”
But being motivated by “What’s NEXT?” is not what keeps me juiced about my life.
I’m not thinking one moment right now about a big “What’s NEXT?” because it takes away from my ability to live an empowered and awesome “What’s TODAY?”
THAT is my thinking.
THAT is the question I ask myself.
Setting and chasing goals is fun, and I love the challenge. However, it’s not the completion of giant goals that makes my life special. Instead, it’s the awareness that today is rich with opportunity to enjoy tens of small moments.
Big goals might fill my mind with vision.
Small daily moments fill my heart with happiness.
Three items top my list:
- I’ll take my dogs for an extra walk…and watch them enjoy the world.
- I’ll look for a potential “Can’t-Put-It-Down” book to start reading.
- I’ll watch tonight’s sunset from my window.
Pretty simple, huh?
There’s nothing big on that list, yet each of those items will potentially empower me to find my best happiness today.
We each have the power to make ourselves happy.
We each have the power to enjoy life…or not.
So let me ask you:
It’s an uncomfortable place to visit.
Even if the Known we are living every day is mediocre, we often choose not to risk venturing into the Unknown because we don’t know what will happen if we do.
It’s easy to accept the mediocre in our lives because the Known is safe. The Known is easy. The Known has no surprises. The Known rarely pushes our lives outside our “comfortable.”
It may be hard to love the Known, but it’s easy to live it.
All the mediocre ways we live the Known don’t need to be numbered. You know the ways that your life has gotten too comfortable. However, the deal about living too comfortably now is that we set ourselves up to carry weighty “regret” baggage later.
This Monday (July 22, 2018), I’ll eat, sleep and breathe the Unknown…on purpose. I’m catching a plane to Italy for 35 days. Instead of a suitcase, I’ll carry a backpack. I’ll avoid a car rental and trust my new sneakers. I’ll have no scheduled itinerary…just a map with a route between two dots roughly 500 miles apart that read “Start” and “Finish.” And then I’ll walk. After I get on the plane, never once will the voice of someone I already know touch my ear. I’ll walk as far as I can each day, and when I tire at day’s end, I’ll scout out a bed and food.
Why am I so big on walking into the uncomfortable Unknown?
Because experience has taught me that the Unknown is where the most exciting, adventurous, difference-making and life-changing book chapters of our lives will be written.
Don’t be afraid to write an amazing life.
Join Shawn and I this Wednesday, September 19th, on Empowerment Radio (now also available on FACEBOOK LIVE), to hear more about his wondrous stories, and learn how you, yourself, can attain the passion, purpose and drive to make your dreams come true.