If you’ve ever seen the movie Fight Club you might remember a crazy scene where Brad Pitt’s character Tyler Durden brings a gun to a convenience store. He drags the guy behind the counter out back and sticks a gun to his head. At this point Pitt asks this man his name and begins to ask him questions about his life. The man, Raymond K. Hessel, quivering, answers his questions. The main questions Pitt asks are “what did you want to do before you took this job?” Hessel explains that he studied biology and that he wanted to become a veterinarian. Pitt then asks him why he stopped pursuing this dream?
Hessel responds with “too much money.” Essentially what happened to Hessel is something that happens to many of us: life happens. We let every little intricacy of life get in the way of us pursuing our dreams. Pitt then sticks the gun to the back of Hessel’s head and tells him that if within six weeks he’s not on his way to becoming a veterinarian, that he’ll come back and kill him. He then tells Raymond to run away. Pitt then says that the next day of Raymond’s life will be better than any day he’s ever had.
It’s incredibly twisted and yet proves an incredible point. Check out the scene below:
Pretty intense right?
This is all about urgency
Look, am I saying that you have to pretend you’re going to die if you don’t accomplish your dreams? Not necessarily, no. The point of this whole thing is to motivate you to take action. Clearly, death is a motivator. The problem with death as a motivator is that it might make you trip up from being so nervous. You might take shortcuts to get to your goal. You might act in a way that’s unprofessional. You’ll do whatever it takes. But let me ask you this: Is it better to take that approach or no approach at all?
And therein lies the ethical question. If you can approach a goal with this kind of “do or die” mentality you will 100% be better off. Because the mere act of doing it will be more valuable than sitting on your ass and not doing it at all. At least doing it wrong gives you experience. At least doing it wrong teaches you a lesson for next time. At least doing it wrong is doing something.
The last thing I want people to do is put undue pressure on themselves but you have to remember that it’s pressure that forms diamonds. It’s multiple failures that set you up for success. So yeah, we don’t literally need a gun to our heads, but we sure as hell need metaphorical guns to our heads.
So then how in the world can you put this kind of pressure on yourself? Well, it’s not necessarily about pressure as much as it is about your own thresholds. And when it comes to your own thresholds I’m talking about accountability. Accountability is a tough one because it’s extremely easy to let yourself down. It’s easier to sit on the couch and eat a bowl of ice cream than to get your ass up and go to the gym. It’s easier to watch a movie than to study. It’s easier to NOT than to DO. Period.
However, if you set up some kind of accountability system for yourself it might just be the step you need to move in the right direction. And in essence, this is what Brad Pitt was doing in the scene above. He was holding Raymond accountable if he didn’t follow through on his dream. The consequence? Death. Extreme, yes, but likely effective. So what’s going to work for you? That’s the question you’ve got to ask yourself.
Can you set up some kind of accountability measures for yourself? Not only that, are you responsible enough to stick to it? And if you can’t do it yourself, how about hiring someone to help you? That’s completely OK by the way. People hire personal trainers because the trainers hold them accountable. If you don’t do this last set I’m gonna make you work even harder. This is what coaches, therapists, teachers, and plenty of others are for.
Look, I don’t care what it takes to get you to do the things you need to do. The point is that you need to do them. And one of the ways to ensure that is by having an accountability system. But let’s not forget a key component that’s also needed in this equation…
I’ve talked about motivation numerous times. Motivation comes down to knowing what’s important to you and then using that to fuel your daily actions. Allow me to give you an example. Let’s say that your health is something you find extremely important to you. Let’s be even more specific. Let’s just say that you are at high risk of heart disease. You speak to your doctor and you have a complete game plan in order to combat this risk.
Your top level priority is health. Right underneath that is heart disease. Now, all the things below that? Those are your actions. Let’s say it comes down to diet, medication, exercise, and stress management. Now you’ve got four subsets beneath health. Your daily actions are the things you do in order to maximize each subset which in turn gives you the best chance at improving what’s most important to you. Make sense?
It’s one thing to make cold calls and have no importance attached to them. It’s another to make cold calls with the mindset that each call is getting you closer to a sale which in turn is getting you closer to an income goal you’ve set for yourself.