At the end of the day, my momma told me don’t let no one break me
At the end of the day, nobody ever could stop me
At the end of the day, you can’t regret it if you were trying
At the end of the day, I’m walking with the heart of a lion
~ Kid Cudi, “Heart of a Lion”*
* In most cases. Cudi’s lyrics do not promote values I adhere to. But I like this song a lot, and it’s pertinent to today’s conversation. 🙂
In my most recent newsletter, I asked the question “Is it healthy to believe you’re invincible?” I believe it’s a dangerous path – an overblown ego is bad for everyone and pride goes before destruction – but an essential one if you want to become a successful and influential entrepreneur.
The problem with the previous email is that we didn’t talk about how one becomes invincible. Let’s correct that. Today, I’m going to share my personal recipe.
Please note that because this is MY recipe, it is imperfect (probably). I don’t claim exclusive insight. I’m just sharing what I’ve learned in my own study and experience.
Walking with the Heart of a Lion
When you think about the most successful people you know…and the ones you read about… one of the prominent characteristics that most of them seem to have is confidence. But telling you to be more confident is not helpful at all. That’s not how it works.
You don’t become more confident by focusing on being more confident.
In my experience, I’ve found that clarity is the sturdiest foundation for confidence. But clarity it is even more important than confidence. Why? Because clarity
- gives direction – how can you make progress if you don’t know where you want to go?
- minimizes distraction
- decreases resistance by strengthening your conviction of the “rightness” of what you’re doing
- internal – conviction is the combustion that drives your engine. When you know what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and what you’ll get out of it, those sneaky feelings of procrastination, doubt and lassitude are kept in check
- external – your conviction gives you a hard-to-resist pathos when communicating with others. Powerful speakers, charismatic leaders and persuasive salespeople emanate certainty, and are able to move the masses.
Don’t Let No One Break You
If you want to be invincible in practical terms, you need to get clear about
- The source of your ability: your God-given gifts, the skills and knowledge you’ve developed and your hard-won experience. No one can take these away. If you put your confidence in your position, the approval of peers or something else that can be taken away, you’re walking on thin ice.
- Your end goal. Most of the people you know drift through life. A clear destination gives you a target to aim at. Instead of drifting, you’ll be driven. Instead of taking whatever comes easy, you’ll strive purposefully toward the bigger future you want to attain.
- The steps you’ll take to get to the destination, if possible. Or at least the next step. It’s easy to feel paralyzed when you don’t know how you’re going to reach your goal. So take some time, do some research and think it through. Don’t let fear or knock you off the path.
You Can’t Regret It If You’re Trying
Clarity is the first ingredient in my invincibility recipe. Tenacity is the second.
I define tenacity simply as the understanding that success is an ongoing process with the willingness to keep showing up and making the difficult choices required to move forward.
Without clarity, tenacity is shadowboxing.
Tenacity allows you to keep trying, even when things don’t seem to work out. It gives you the courage to test different ideas and approaches to see what works…and what works even better.
And it keeps you going when everyone else is quitting.
Try to avoid second-guessing yourself. It’s a fairly destructive habit. You’re going to make mistakes, there’s no avoiding that. But make a decision and go for it. You’ll be surprised how much good can come from an imperfect decision. And if it doesn’t work the way you’d hoped, be tenacious: regroup and figure out your next move.
The Secret Ingredient
Of the three parts in my recipe, this is the most controversial. Donald Trump and Michael Jordan would probably disagree, and they both have much more money than I do!
I believe outward focus is absolutely essential for invincibility. Self-centeredness limits the amount of value you create for others. It hurts your relationships – all of them – and often leads to depression in the long run.
Remember what Zig Ziglar said: “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want. …If you put other people first, the dynamic of helping others will overtake you and put you over the top.”
Have an invincible day!