For this post, I will begin boldly. Your economic future is precipitously diminishing unless you’re doing the one thing very, very few people do. I’m talking about the fact you’re very likely not to ever make much more money than you’re making now unless you do something vitaly important. And depending on your age, making more money than you’re making now will become increasingly important as the cost of important things rise. It’s true.
While the cost of unimportant things like clothes and electronic trinkets are likely to remain low to reach a mass market, the cost of things that truly add value to our lives is likely to escalate. That’s because the things that improve our lifestyle, where we live, and how we live, even the experiences and opportunities that we have are likely to cost more because there are enough “rich” people who value exclusivity more than prices. That drives prices up. (If you want to see how this works, just visit any major city in the world. New York and London are perfect examples of tow tiered lifestyles.)
Your Leadership Challenge
I believe the way to leapfrog our of middle-class stagnation is to radically increase the value of your work. This takes immense personal leadership. It takes a very active and mature imagination to invent a nonlinear future for yourself. Your linear future is the long slog up the traditional ladder of success. That doesn’t work anymore because that ladder is not leaning on anything you can count on. I think most of us recognize the world has changed.
I think may of us agree our current paths are risky if we think they will lead to economic security and a way of life that we can embrace. Yet we stay seated in our assigned seat on the train chugging down the track of the life we find ourselves on. May of us keep waiting for the train to take us to our ideal destination. But what if that’s not where it is headed? The train never stops. The only way to get off is leap.
What You’re Designed To Do Well
The way to leap is to start a new personal enterprise called ME Inc. It is in the business of your life’s true work. This is work that you are designed to do well with passion and energy. It is work that enables you to use the talent you are motivated most to use. IT is work that is intrinsically fulfilling… the work itself makes you a better, more capable person. It is work that creates value through your self-expression. You don’t have to become housebroken or domesticated. In your true work, being you matters. It is work you never want to retire from because it calls you to learn, improve and grow. And growing is sound satisfying.
Others Are Thriving
I know many people who are doing this work. Their work. Some work for themselves. Some have started companies and nonprofits. And many work in large uninspiring corporations but because they look at their employers as client of ME, Inc… they thrive. They have declared their own psychological independence. They are up to something much bigger than a job. They have one thing in common.
They LEAD their lives.
They don’t just make the best choice from whatever the current alternatives are. Instead the have a vision…where they desire to live; they they desire to live; what work they desire to do. I use the word ‘desire’ purposefully. Their vision of the future life is not a wish. It is a deeply thought out and chosen path that they stay committed to even when the inevitable, discouraging obstacles show up. These are people who rage with desire to fulfill their vision and…they have one extra vital imperative. They constantly invest in themselves. This is rare. It takes confidence and courage. T
he Best Investment
So let’s talk about us, you and me. What we have to invest is our time and energy in your own future. You may not think you have much of it after a hard days work achieving someone else’s goals. But, I’d like you to reconsider. If you gave up watching television or playing games on your smartphone for the next month…what might you be able to do with that time to help you get clear on the life and work you really desire?
You might be thinking…”I’m so exhausted there’s no way I could put that much energy into smart thinking about my future by simply giving up things that are an enjoyable waste of time.” And actually, you’d be right. Trying to open your mind to creative thought and imagining new possibilities or learning new knowledge and skills to help you drive ME Inc. is not late-night work. Your brain is too tired to think clearly.
Develop Your Expertise
Brain research confirms that the best time for high-value thinking is early in the morning. That’s why research confirms nearly all genius high achievers are early risers. It’s what early rising enables you to do. Set your own agenda not only for your day, but for your life. Before opening any emails of watching the news, open a journal and begin to write what is most important for you to accomplish each day that will take you closer to the career and life you want.
Then spend the next 20 minutes investing in learning the new knowledge and skills you need to achieve ME Inc. Focus on exactly the right career goals that you most desire. Today the world values extreme expertise and thought leadership. That comes from knowing a lot about something important. If you just invest 20 minutes a day using the internet to learn the vital skills and deep knowledge of something you want to be an expert in…in three weeks you may know more than 50% of people making a living in that field. Don’t take my word for it… give it a try.
Give This Up To Grow
So why should you give up TV to invest in yourself? Well you don’t really have to give up all TV. (I certainly watched the Super Bowl.) It’s just that if you do give up TV doing the week, you’ll sleep more. You may also find you have time to read or have conversations with people that you value. But the big difference is that you’ll go to bed earlier which will enable you to get up early and invest in yourself. Now we know… geniuses are regular people who are focused on living the life they most desire invest in themselves every day. Do you?