I love a good quote. But sometimes they can leave you a bit empty because it’s really just a quote. Business philosopher Jim Rohn said, “Affirmation without action is the beginning of delusion.” Is that just a quote though? No. It’s a philosophy.
I opened a successful computer programming learning center in Tyson’s Corner, VA back in 2016. I did it with very little planning, support from management, or much money. When I reflect back on those days, I realize most of the plans I made failed. But, I had taken on the philosophy of an ant, it’s nearly the same as Nike’s motto… except the ants added one word. Until.
Ant philosophy: Just Do It, Until.
Ever drop something in the path of some busy ants? Drop a pebble in the path of an ant and see what it does. It will immediately try to go around, put more stuff there–you’ll find that whatever you do to that ant, it will continue to try to find a way. Block the path and it will try to scratch its’ way through the rock or whatever is in front of it until it gets to the destination. The ant knows exactly where it wants to go and will do what it takes to get there until it is there; or until it is dead.
A baby has the same philosophy as an ant when it is trying to walk. Does a baby decide, “Heck, I’m gonna skip this walking business?” No, babies try to walk until they can… I don’t see many adults crawling around much.
Are you getting the point? It’s that plans fail, people get lazy, and stuff happens. There are your best intentions and then there is the result. In the middle shit happens, always–every time. What you do when that happens is why you need a specific philosophy to keep you going.
Let’s try another one that I love, and I wish I’d been taught this much sooner in life.
“Profits are better than Wages.”
Wages will make you a living (which is fine), Profits will make you a fortune (which is well… SUPER fine). See the difference there? Which is going to get you up at 4 am to get things done? If you have the resolve to do it, you can do it for both. For me, I need something to pull me out of my dreams and back into the fray. You need it too.
Do you hate paying your bills? Well, maybe it’s your philosophy about paying bills then. I used to hate paying bills. But then I developed the philosophy that by paying off my personal and business liabilities sooner, I increase my net worth, I have less stress in my life and I can perform better. So paying my bills helps makes me wealthier and perform better.
I used to hate the idea of paying taxes. Wrong philosophy Dan! Then my mentor taught me this philosophy: “You have to feed the goose that laid the golden egg.” Huh? Yes, you have to pay taxes to the country that provides you the opportunities that you have! Now, some could argue that we feed that goose too much. But, at least here in the USA, we have opportunities everywhere. The government isn’t perfect but at least it gives us the playing field that we can operate on. Try doing that in some other countries where there is no golden goose. Don’t let taxes be the reason you don’t start that new business or try to make money.
If you find yourself lost, worried, overworked, frustrated, don’t look at your plans, develop the philosophies that will get you there, until.
Finally, let’s look at the word resolve. What does that word mean? The best definition that I have heard for this is also a wonderful philosophy and it came from a young female student during a seminar in Foster City California. When the group was asked what resolve is, some didn’t know, some thought they did, but then this junior high school girl about three rows back raises her hand and said, “I think resolve means promising yourself that you will never give up.” That’s the best I’ve ever heard. Ants have resolve; do we?