And why doing what you don’t want to do, is the best thing to do.
I recently stumbled upon a Warren Buffett quote that basically says really successful people say no to almost anything.
That made me think (and write an article about).
I can get it. It makes sense but in many cases, it goes against your instincts. After all, if opportunity knocks, can you let it keep on knocking? Really?
It can drive a person crazy…
So I thought about it some more. The answer came from a Tony Robbins special, Yoga and my kids fighting.
Let me tie it all for you
Thread #1: Tony Robbins
In Tony Robbins Netflix special, I Am Not Your Guru, there is a scene taken (around 10:20 into the special) at a beautiful mansion, probably his house, and in that scene we see Tony standing by the side of a custom build tub, about 1 meter across, but about 2 meters deep. sufficient to completely cover a man the size of Tony standing up. The tub was filled to the brim with ice-cold water( 57°F, that’s 13.8°C). Tony took a jump in, covering his entire body with the freezing touch of the water. This gave me the chills. I enjoy taking cold showers now and then, but ice-cold? Full-body immersion? Every morning? This guy is nuts I thought.
Thread 2: My kids arguing
If you have kids then you know sibling feuds are just part of the routine, like breakfast or lack of sleep. Nonetheless, as their father, it is my duty to guide them into brotherly love. Earlier today, while putting my 2 youngest to sleep (there are 4 in total), they found something to argue about which ended in some physical contact. Nothing serious, but unacceptable nonetheless, and as I was in a relatively good mood, I used this opportunity to educate my kids. I described to them how anger s a negative emotion that builds up inside, and how we should avoid acting by it. I continued explaining how we should assume control over ourselves and our will, redirect the anger and negative feeling and use language to express ourselves, instead of violence. This was like saying something for the thousand times but this time it got a different meaning for me. I’ll explain in a short while.
Thread 3: Yoga
It’s for quite some time that I want to add yoga into my daily routine. Having 4 kids running around the house and always being busy with one project or another made procrastination feel acceptable. I recently took it upon myself to start yoga daily, 20–30 minutes a day, nothing fancy. As expected this was a struggle. A struggle that made me think. Why is it so hard to do something I want? Why is it that my will and body are not one? Can there really be such a divide between my deeds and my needs and wants? If that is so, does that mean I’m not the one behind the wheel? That question resonated in my mind for quite some time. Still is.
Let’s tie the threads
Thinking about Warren, Tony, my kids, and my Yoga helped me realize something. Something so obvious I’m sure was lurking in my mind for quite some time. What if what Warren meant to say was that really successful people, simply have control over their will? That, at least to me, sounds more logical and acceptable than saying no to almost anything. It feels right. Looking at Yoga or ice-cold tubs got me thinking that maybe going against your will, is assuming control over your will, taking both reins by your hands and owning your destiny and destination.
After all, what is success? Is it how others measure us? by possessions? appearances? or is it something internal? Maybe success is this, owning yourself! Being able to direct your will in any direction you want. No matter the challenges or the struggles within. Maybe Nike put it best in their tag line: “Just Do It”
For me this is a much better explanation as to why people become really successful, they don’t give in to their will, feeding it Netflix specials and Snickers bars. They own it, taking it to extremes, from ice-cold baths to saying no to what are obviously distractions from your destiny. I’m sure Tony’s body is screaming NO whenever he steps up to that icy tub, but his power over his will is strong, and jumping against his body’s will is just a demonstration of how his powerful it is.
In theology/philosophy, there is a term called Superconsciousness, an internal power or tool that when developed, can rule over one’s consciousness. How useful would that be if any decision we make is carried out by our body without a struggle? Eat healthy? no problem. Start exercising? On it. Write that book? already there!
Real success comes from doing what you know is best for you instead of what you crave. It’s not easy but getting behind the wheel is the first step to success and the last. So whatever you think your entrepreneurial self needs to succeed, ask yourself this
“Am I behind the wheel?”
Drive by Incubus.
Songwriters: Jose Pasillas Ii / Alex Katunich / Michael Einziger / Christopher Kilmore / Brandon Boyd
“But lately I am beginning to find That when I drive myself my light is found”