Reading this to the end will light a spark of uncommon belief that can ignite a fire of exceptional success.
So please allow me to start…As I write this, I’m on a plane. Listening to Roads by Portishead. Feeling blessed. Alive. Grateful. I’m nothing special. I get that. I come from humble beginnings. Zero silver spoon in my mouth.
In school, I didn’t fit in. Wasn’t given much of a chance. My principal told me I’d never get into university. I didn’t believe him.
I kept on moving ahead. I understood the power of ferocious learning–reading books constantly, studying the best consistently and putting in the effort relentlessly.
I made seemingly insignificant small acts that to me revealed a beautiful progress. Quietly proving my naysayers knew nothing.
Anyone can put someone down. Heroes lift others up.
Thanks Cora Greenaway. My grade 5 History teacher. You saw something in me nearly no one had. You encouraged me–and helped me believe in myself. Via you, my self-perception changed. My interior story transformed. I’ll always revere you for this.
Got to university. Made it into law school. Did a masters on a scholarship. Clerked for a Chief Justice. Worked for the best firm.
Bright lights. Big city stuff.
But that external success without interior significance is a hollow victory.
What’s the point of winning in the world while losing yourself?
So, I wrote The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. The first editor said it was pure garbage. I’ve still got his letter to prove it.
I didn’t believe him. I hand sold the book myself. Left copies where people could find them. Stood at a prestigious booksellers conference in Chicago with a cover hanging from my neck, looking like a fool. Famous literary agents snickered at me. One outright insulted me.
Security at the gathering asked me to stop blocking the flow of people. I didn’t. My faith was bigger than my fear. My heart instructed me to get the book out to those who needed its message.
And so I did.
And life, with its Super Generous Accounting System, rewarded me with uncommon blessings beyond my loftiest ambitions.
There was no massive machine behind The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. I self-published the thing in a 24-hour copy shop. Mom edited it. Dad helped me sell it.
My first seminar had 23 people. 21 of them were family members. People mocked me. I took it as a good sign. Society ridicules dreams of any value. So what happened next?
The book exploded. Israel took off. So did Latin America. Next came India and Malaysia, Europe and Australia. You get the point. Stunning what happened to this simple human from small town Port Hawkesbury, Canada. I wrote with love and my readers felt my love. (I still craft with love. Still working the mission. Still on fire to be helpful to as many as possible. The non-believers say it’s all for the money. Sad they are so cynical).
And when I’d fall along the journey, I’d rise. When I’d stumble, I’d dust off the disappointment. And stand. Did it hurt? Of course.
There’s a real person, with dreams and fears and gifts and vulnerabilities behind these words you read so often.
But unstoppability is the foundation of exceptionality. And luck favors the obsessed. Monk has gone on to sell many millions of copies. Other books I wrote topped bestseller lists. 20 years of high-profile speaking across the planet, so far, and the privilege to impact over 100 million people, so far, via social media (love you Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram; we live in an era where each of us can do our part to lift the world with a single smartphone).
New books are on the way. I’ll be writing in my “Distraction Free Sanctuaries” of Rome, Zurich and Mauritius this year. The 5 am Club will get finished. Along with others I need you to read.
My private humanitarian work will also continue. As will my leadership presentations and my annual flagship event, The Titan Summit (yes, it’s true: we’re almost 75% sold-out for the December 2016 Summit given all the people who snapped up seats at the one that recently completed).
Anyway, what I’m attempting to say and convey with the utmost respect for your highest life is this……I’ll keep doing this until I’m dead.
Because there are still people without hope on the planet.
Citizens without happiness. Brothers and Sisters among us who have lost their best selves.
And the magical connection to the brilliance, bravery, love and light that resides at the core of who they are.
Today, maybe you just needed a reminder…that……You are meant to fly. Built to wow. Created to bring on staggeringly great creativity (and ingenuity) that then morphs into inspiration, audacity and humanity for all witnesses.
Maybe you don’t believe this. But that doesn’t mean that on this flight into Rome at 40,000 feet I am not writing of truth.
I share all I’ve expressed to you so you get that my ride wasn’t–and isn’t–an easy one. You get knocked down, so do I. You get scared, so do I. You have difficult days, me too. People throw rocks at you. Trust, I get them too.
If the pursuit of world-class and positive global influence was easy, everyone would be doing it.
Let us not confuse the end result with the rigorous journey. May we not be seduced by the temptation to think those of great success have gifts we don’t have. And opportunities we’ll never see.
So today, please understand that everything you’ve experienced in the past was necessary for you to become the person you are today.
Your pain has purified you. Your stumbles have strengthened you. Your failures have fortified you. It’s all been a brilliant–and perfect– path, even when you resisted it most.
And as you start 2016, the year I viscerally encourage you to commit to growing into the finest year of your life yet, leverage your past to stand in your greatest power.
Use the great and the good, the messy and the heartbreaking of your history as a heroic platform to make this new year the year you completely change the game.
I’m in this with you. Here to help. Always got your back. Endlessly showing up as your encourager. Why? Because this is what I do.
And I know, that as you rise, I get to see our world raised. And what could be better for this very average man than that?
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