The most motivational statement comes down to three words: “You’re gonna die.” I’m not trying to scare you — I’m being practical. You get one life and one chance to make yourself happy. Instead of sitting and complaining about not pursuing the things you want in life, do something about it.
Too many people focus on other people’s happiness when they should be focusing on their own. Do you know why I like making other people happy and motivating them to succeed? Because I’m already happy. It might sound selfish, but the first person you need to make happy is you. (Then you can make other people happy.)
I implore you to be honest with yourself and ask if the things you are doing will put you in a position to succeed. Not just in the business world, but in life. When you’re happy in life, you realize that how you make your money is much more important than how much you make.
In my early 20s, I spent an enormous amount of time surrounding myself with people in their 90s. Whether I met them while traveling or working in the wine industry, I would ask each one of them to tell me about their life. They all started with these two words: “I wish.” Some wished that they had worked harder, some wished that they spent more time with loved ones, and some wished that they did what they wanted to instead of listening to their parents. They wished, they wished, they wished.
If there’s one thing I learned hanging out with these old-timers, it’s this: There’s no better time to act than now.
If you’re in your early 20s, this is your moment. This is not the time to try to be practical and maximize your money so you can buy something flashy like a fancy car right out of school. This is the time to realize that you have a five-year window (give or take) for you to attack the life that you want to win. Travel with buddies and experience the world, start a band to hone your talents, or start networking while you’re still living in an apartment with eight other people. Since most of you have no major life commitments, this is the time to take the chance on the life you want.
Even if you’re in your 40s, 50s, 60s, or older, there’s still time to make yourself happy. If you want it that badly, you can get it. Instead of retiring and taking up golf, maybe it’s time to triple down and really focus on what you want. We live in a world today where there is so much opportunity available to us, especially with the Internet. It gives us access to more ways to pursue the things that we care about the most.
Bottom line: We are all going to die someday. No matter your age, you have the time to make yourself happy. We’ve never had more opportunities open to us than now to create the life we want.
I was compelled to write this post because it’s a reaction to what I’ve been observing over the past couple of years. There’s this tendency people have to pass over opportunities when they think they can just “come back to it later.” People are living their lives like they have unlimited time. We all know that’s not true.
If I can just get one person to change their behavior, have that one conversation, or take that one chance, I’ll be glad I wrote this. Because at the end of the day, we’ve only got one at bat.
“You’re gonna die” should motivate you every morning to get out there and get what you want done. You get one life — one chance. The biggest poison we encounter as humans is regret, so stop making excuses and start making yourself happy.