“I guess I was working too hard and worrying too much. In 1931, I had a nervous breakdown. Each picture we made cost more than we figured it would earn. First we began to panic. Then I cracked. I couldn’t sleep. I reached a point when I couldn’t even talk over the telephone without crying. I was in a highly emotional state.”— Walt Disney
If I sit down and make a list of things I care about, really REALLY care about, here’s what I get:
- Taking my daughter to school
- Breakfast once a week with my son who will one day be his own man with his own family
- Workout every day, take care of my body
- Date my wife because she's the most important relationship in my life
- Talk with God and walk with God
- Enjoy nice vacations with my family to balance out work & play
- Write and publish my body of work (which requires me to build things worth publishing)
- Read and learn, grow as a human, leader, father, investor and businessman
There’s nothing in here about money, yet when I look at the areas that cause the most stress — money always comes up.
There’s nothing in here about status, yet when I look at the areas that cause me to be insecure — status always comes up.
The reason these discrepancies occur is because we get tricked. An incessant addiction to social media has distorted our world views. We no longer rate our lives based on how closely we are living to our value, but by how far away we are from someone else’s version of success.
The “records” we’re all chasing are usually to be the biggest, baddest, fastest & nastiest but if you zoom forward to the end of your life, imagine the panic that would come from becoming the “biggest” and everyone hating you because of it.
I will not trade the irreplaceable moments for replaceable trophies that require constant defending.
But you may be missing my point: I didn’t say I wanted to be small and obscure and insignificant. I don’t believe there is a true dichotomy here. This “game” is not one of choosing “this OR that,” it’s rather one of priority.
When push comes to shove, I know who wins and who loses.
If my attention becomes finite and I cannot do both, my daughter gets picked up from school — you will have to wait. You do not win, she does. And yet, I still have a reach in the millions; my events have been seen by hundreds of thousands of human souls; I have THOUSANDS of letters, pictures, case studies & thank yous from people who say they would never have ventured out and had success without me.
How can you do both?
By getting smarter.
It’s easy to forget that talent is trainable and no matter how bad you are at something, you can choose to become good at it. You are not stuck in a prison or a cage. If you have access to the internet (which, clearly, you do – as you’re reading this) and you have a bit of margin, you can learn to become anybody you want to become.
Life is simultaneously LONG as it is SHORT.
If you don’t take care of today, tomorrow will be here to hurt you before you know it. If you take care of today, you have nothing to worry about tomorrow.
This is the mindset of a true professional.
Yesterday I woke up and was feeling off. Yes, it happens. I know, the gurus say this is avoidable — that you can just snap your fingers and sing a few songs and then you will feel powerful and driven… but that has never been true for me.
Some days I don’t want to work, I want to sleep.
If you are like me, there’s good news for you: you’re honest, and normal. And guess what I did yesterday?
I did my f*cking job.
I woke up, logged in, hit my list. How I felt in the moment was not as important as the obligation I have to my priorities at the top of this page. And if we come full circle with it, the vacations, the trips to school (and the gas to make the trip), the balance, the date nights — all of these things require a measure of autonomy that I have to earn daily.
I didn’t earn it in 2015, of 2018, or 2020, or last year — I earned it this morning. And tomorrow morning I will earn it again. I will earn it if I feel like it, I will earn it if I don’t feel like it.
But I’m not chasing the medals or the money. They are a means to an end. AT the end I will be able to say I performed my duty. I will be able to say that millions of people accomplished freedom because of my choices…
Live your life in such a way that you will be able to stay the same.
Here’s some more:
Hope this gives you food for thought.
CEO, Welch Equities