Much of what I’ve learned about success is an attitude. My favorite saying in the whole world is:
I live for the boooooooom!
The ‘boooooooom’ means so many things to me. I get a charge from the excitement of working on my aspirations. I love the challenge, especially when I achieve something everyone told me would be impossible, like those miserable teachers who told me I would never amount to anything. I’m completing my PhD, so take that.
‘Living for the Booooooooom’ also means having grit, especially when things get tough and don’t go your way. (Welcome to life.) It’s about holding yourself accountable for your own actions, even when making an excuse and blaming others is far easier. As a martial artist and coach, I know that I can’t ask someone to do something unless I’m prepared to do it myself. When I tell my students what’s required physically, mentally, and emotionally to spar a tough opponent who has the potential to kick their ass, I know from firsthand experience, because I’ve fought some of the toughest people on the planet.
There were tons of times when I was afraid, tons of times when I believed I couldn’t take on a particular opponent. But I did. What stood out to me most was that I was never actually afraid of getting hurt, the one thing I should’ve been afraid of. In fact, when my students are really honest with themselves, they realize that they’re not afraid of being physically hurt either. That’s not what makes them afraid of sparring an opponent.
Our fears are almost always created psychologically and are often completely irrational: the fear of looking bad in front of others, of messing up and looking like a failure, of saying we’re going to achieve something and then not doing it. That’s why it’s easier to create an excuse — blaming others, circumstances, lack of resources, or lack of know-how — than to say, ‘I failed myself.’
You can make as many as you like, but no amount of excuses ever helped anyone overcome obstacles or achieve personal success. So, as basic as it sounds, you can either make excuses and live a life of mediocrity or accept life as imperfect and go for what you want. Fearlessness is an attitude. It doesn’t suggest that fear doesn’t exist but rather accepts fear as always there, like it or not. So, you can either move toward what you want or allow fear to hold you back.
The heart of living the booooooom lies in recognizing that imperfection is just what is needed to achieve success. You need the contrast. As Thomas Carlyle noted, “Imperfection clings to a person, and if they wait till they are brushed off entirely, they would spin for ever on their axis, advancing nowhere.” In other words, if you want to wait until everything is perfect before you move toward what you want most in your life — diet, mindset, resources, knowledge — well, get ready, because you’e going to be waiting for a long time. When you finally wake up and realize the fatal flaw of this strategy, life will have passed you by and windows of opportunities closed.
Allow me to let you in on something they never told you in school:
Perfection is the enemy of success.
Simply put: If we strive for perfection before committing to action, we’re all but guaranteed to never achieve anything worthwhile. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not against perfection. I’m simply trying to draw attention to the fact that waiting for the perfect moment or striving for perfection can keep us stuck where we are: in the mud of life. In other words, the ideal of perfection should never serve as fodder for inaction.
Rather than waiting for perfection, you’re much better served to prepare as best you can — by managing your fears, setting intentions, and utilizing your rituals (articles I previously wrote about) — and then begin by taking the first step while maintaining your awareness of any errors or missteps along the way. Use your action and interaction with the world around you as a source of feedback and then course correct as you go. Aim for constant improvement rather than striving for the impossible ideal of pure perfection.
Here is my top four tips for living the Boooooooom,
•Learn to manage your fear, not control it.
•Set daily intentions.
•Build powerful rituals to create success.
•See imperfection as an opportunity to excel.