I had a huge setback in my business yesterday. My business partner and I have been waiting anxiously for a large delivery of equipment that would propel our business and ignite our revenues. I would give myself daily affirmation about, “it’s on the way!”, and other hopeful thinking. I found out that the company we were working with got scammed. Thankfully, we had the foresight to not wire money to them and pay with an expensive and well-known credit card company that extended me a very large line of credit to make these purchases and we didn’t lose money. But we did lose time. I spent this morning recalibrating my vision and reminding myself specifically about the philosophies I’ve been taught, the ones that have helped me changed my life. I also thought about the next five years and I know exactly what will be there, I’ll put that for you at the end of this post. Let me share those with you.
First of all, let’s remember. We all have challenges in our lives, we all have the same sun, the same wind, the same governments, the same world in which to operate. It’s something I remind my son all the time, who is an avid and accomplished sailor (and he’s only 12 now), that it’s not the wind that gets you where you end up, it’s the set of the sail.
The Three Key Wishes
We all watch markets, we all know that recession usually follows expansion, and expansion follows recession unless the bottom drops out on it all and never comes back. Still, we find ourselves hoping and wishing for things that will never happen. So what should you wish for? I’ve asked myself this question, and I find myself doing it a lot when I’m in a huge expansion and/or a huge recession.
- Wish you were better. Don’t wish for it to be easier in the world and in the business you’re in. Wish you were better. Better at everything. If you want things to change you have to change.
- Wish for more skills. Don’t wish for fewer problems in your business or life. Wish for the skills that you need to attack those problems with a resolve that you’ve developed that won’t quit. Do it Until.
- Wish for more wisdom. Don’t wish for less challenge, fewer obstacles, or less adverse conditions. Wish for the wisdom to understand. You can’t grow without challenges. You can’t fly without gravity. You can’t get rich without it being a challenge. You have to understand the challenges and overcome them. I believe you will if you seek the wisdom to overcome the challenge.
Remember that we are humans. We are remarkable and we can do remarkable things.
I used to use parts of the speech that JFK gave at Rice University on September 12, 1962, in my commencement speeches for the graduates of the programming school I helped build. I couldn’t get through a single one without tears flowing from my face. I was so proud of my students and the challenges they found the wisdom to overcome.
“We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things (the other hard goals the US had at the time), not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.”
Finally, I promised that I tell you what I think the next five years will be like. The next five years will be exactly like the last five, or even the last five thousand years… The next five years will be: Opportunity mixed with Difficulty.
How’s the set of your sail today? Can it handle the wind? As my son told me yesterday, you have to “hike out” more on the boat to keep it from flipping. What he meant was you have to lean out further off the side of the boat to adjust for the challenge of sailing a larger vessel.
Have a great day all! Be sure to check out President Kennedy’s speech. I’ve cued it up to the right spot. Love you!