A lot of people think they’re living life in the fast lane, when really they’re just jumping from whatever looks cool and interesting in the moment to whatever comes along next. While this may give the feeling of change, it rarely leads to real success. I had the same problem for 12 years, but I cured myself of this shiny-object syndrome, and today I’m going to teach you how you can too.
Life in the Fast Lane Still Means Commitment
As I said, I had the same problem for 12 years. Additionally, I think that half of the people reading this, if not more, have this same problem of trying to get into the fast lane but continually getting off track instead. What can they do about it?
Two words: Focus and commitment.
My Own Story of Life in the Fast Lane
I spent 12 years doing whatever I could possibly do to be successful, trying to stay in the fast lane and failing. I had 14 different jobs and 12 different businesses in 12 years. Do you think that’s focused? No. Consequently, what was my result? Broke. It was a vicious cycle where I would make a little and then be broke. Make a lot. Broke.
I got so damn sick of being broke and jumping from one opportunity to the next. Then, I realized that it was the jumping around that was killing me. I wasn’t ever following through 100%, because the next thing was coming into view. Every time, I thought that the next thing was going to be faster, smarter, better. When this new thing was presented to me, I thought, Why should I stick with this thing that’s really hard?
It was habitual. Why did I choose the thing that was really hard? The thing is, it wasn’t hard when I chose it. It was beautiful, but then I made it hard. The shiny object is shiny until you get there. Then it becomes dull and ugly.
There is No Perfect Shiny Object or Fast Vehicle
What I learned is a huge lesson. It’s not the outside circumstances or vehicle that’s going to make or break you. I spent 12 years looking for the right vehicle and discovered there’s no right vehicle. Instead, there’s only the right you within the vehicle that you love.
When I was going through that continuous cycle of being broke, one of my close friends on the West Coast called me up and said, “You have to get into this business. I’m killing it. You’ve been looking for a business and this is the one to get into.”
I said, “Oh my god. Thanks for letting me know.” My dream was coming true. Someone I knew was doing well, making $20,000 to $30,000 a week. I thought I would soon be doing the same.
Instead, six months later, I was broke again, and he was already a millionaire and doing even better. I said, “How on earth could you be doing so great, and I’m doing so bad?”
Finally, I had to look in the mirror and say, “Do you know what? It’s not the business. It’s me.”
Even though I felt like crying, that’s how I started putting two and two together and working on me. I said, “If I work on me and just do something I really enjoy, let me try that.” As you may know, I became a millionaire two and a half years after that, and I hope you relate to this yourself someday.
Focus and Commitment
I committed to staying focused on one thing until I got rich. You don’t have to do that, but I will say this: Commit to something for a minimum of three years. Why three years? That’s how long it takes to systemize something so it can work without you.
Don’t even think of leaving it. It’s like the Army. You’re in for three years, period. There’s no going away. You commit to it.
This may not seem like the fast lane, but it is. While three years may seem like a long period of time, I guarantee a focused three years is going to be more rewarding — and get you to your goals faster — than a sporadic one year.
I study Zen and Buddhism a lot, and they have a saying:
“Thinking about a better tomorrow is what prevents me from having a better today.”
Here’s the mantra applied to you:
“Thinking about having a better business is what prevents me from succeeding in this business.”
“Thinking about a better job is what prevents me from succeeding in this job.”
Why is that? It’s because you’re taking your mind off of the present moment. The only time you can be happy and successful is right now. You can’t be successful tomorrow, because it doesn’t exist. You can’t be successful in the past, because that’s gone. Your shiny object is blinding you and taking your mind off of what is necessary to get done today.
You gain focus by experimenting. You say, “I’m going to do an experiment on myself. I’m going to commit to something for three years, and I’m not quitting. Even if I go broke, I’m not quitting.”
I’ll tell you what. You won’t go broke. You’ll do well because you’ll focus on it. There won’t be any thought about trying to get into a faster lane because soon you’ll realize you are in the fast lane. The objects don’t get any shinier.
This was one of my biggest lessons. It changed my life. I hope the same happens for you.
Tell us what you think in the comments below. Give us your stories of lessons in focus and commitment, and how they helped you stay in the fast lane.
For Your Freedom,