The foundation much of my work is based on is this:
Achieving goals doesn't make you happy. Your greatest happiness comes from the thrill, adventure and challenge of pursuing them.
In the last post, we looked at the issue of surrounding yourself with people who challenge you, and create the tension that drives personal growth. This is important, because to live a life of happiness, you must know that your greatest days are ahead of you, not behind you.
Yes the reflexes may slow, the eyesight might decline, and the bones may ache more. But your mind can grow, your wisdom can deepen, and you can continually move closer to enlightenment. That happens when you consciously choose it.
Two stories to illustrate from my personal experience…
I was speaking at an event with some other “big name” speakers. There were six of us on the program and they asked us all to join together on stage for a session at the end for a panel Q&A session. I was seated near the middle, and I looked to the left and to the right and came upon a startling conclusion…
Every one of the other panel members was living off the reputation of a mega-successful book they had written 20, 30 and in one case, 40 years ago. Afterward I told a friend of mine there, “If I ever reach that point, kill me.”
After I finished the first draft of Risky Is the New Safe, I sent it to some colleagues whose opinions I respect for their comments on how I could make the book better. One of those people was long time friend Bob Burg. Bob loved the manuscript and told me it was my magnum opus, the greatest work of my life.
Of course I was honored to hear he thought that highly of it. But I told him it better not be. Because the best book I write, always has to be the next one. And that’s exactly what happened with Mad Genius. It was the hardest book I ever wrote and the one that challenged me the most. It debuted on the New York Times bestseller list and has been translated into many languages around the world.
I am continually amazed at how ignorant I was, when I was six months younger. Which is why I am always updating old albums, writing new books, and making blog posts like this. I’m always looking for my next mountain to climb.
So what about you?
If you think you’ve accomplished your greatest work, what would make you want to jump out of bed in the morning?
You can look backward, reminiscing on all that was. Or you can be peering into the horizon, anticipating what you still have to accomplish.
What are you doing to challenge and grow yourself? What is the new mountain you must climb, to know your most important days are ahead of you?
P.S. I’m returning to my roots! I’m coming back here to blog much more frequently. So enter your email in the “STAY CONNECTED” box to the right if you want to get an alert when I publish a new blog post for you.
Randy, My 15yr old and I were talking about this the other day. I'm almost 50, and recently had a class reunion for our local high school. The song "Glory Days" comes to mind. On the other hand, a few weeks ago my son and I were camping in Colorado and met with some friends at 3am so we could join a group that was climbing to the summit of Blue Mountain to watch the sunrise at 5. Climbing that mountain was the hardest physical challenge I have had in 10 or 12 years. I'm SO glad I did it, and and and am looking forward to challenges in the future.
Thank you for all you do!
At 75 I am surround by friends and colleagues who are ill, "hanging on" to life. Yet, I don't feel that way! A recent read of mine was "From Age-ing to Sage-ing" by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi. He captures your spirit, and reinforced my determination to make these next decade my best. Peace.
Hey Randy I'm on the third draft of my novel .As I draft and redraft I see changes in myself and challenges from my characters which I find really exciting. I'm a quarter up the mountain and am really looking forward to the rest of the climb.
Just one thing. You said you asked a respected friend his opinion on your book. I recently read that praise and criticism are both imposters because ultimately whatever anyone says isn't really going to change how you feel and wheat you are thinking.
When I read about your Magnum Opus I cringed, then I finished the sentence and heaved a sigh of relief. 🙂
My next mountain is Kilimanjaro in December. I expect you'll meet me there to do it. Hello? Hello? Dammit! Nothing but crickets in the background, again. You must be hanging out with the other 5 speakers that were on stage smoking a little weed.
I'm at crossroads of my life! I don't know whether I should pursue my dream or continue living a safe and comfortable life, follow my heart or live a life of regret. Overcoming my dilemma and taking the first step is the mountain I need to climb.
Pyramid book of going forth by day.
Yes and... my challenge is to take a moment and appreciate what I have achieved and take it in. Often it is all to easy to finish one thing and be on to the next without even taking a breath, striving for something even more worthwhile or 'perfect'. I think a large part of happiness is in living in the moment and acknowledging your achievements, not something I personally find very easy to do.