“Do what you love. Know your own bone. Gnaw at it. Bury it. Unearth it, and gnaw it still.”
-Henry David Thoreau
Why are you waiting? Is there a ship coming in soon? Are you going to get a big inheritance someday?
As I think back over my life, I recall that I often put myself into positions in which I was waiting for something BIG to happen. At times, my life was a waiting game. I was waiting for a big check, or a big break, or a lottery ticket win, or a company we invested into being sold for a gazillion dollars, or the stock market to rise quickly, or my Presidential pick to get elected.
However, looking back on how I used to be in my 20’s and 30’s, I’ve realized that this “Waiting Game” is a fool’s game.
Since getting married and having four children, it’s become painfully obvious to me that total life fulfillment comes does NOT from waiting for my ship to come in. It only comes from the day-in-and-day-out practice of self-governance. Today, I didn’t like getting up at 5:00 a.m. to do a short prayer and meditation, then put on my work-out clothes and rush to the gym for my 30-hard-sets in 30-minutes routine with my trainer. I didn’t like eating bland eggs for breakfast to keep my weight down and my high blood pressure in check. I didn’t want to update my calendar and to-do list and hit the ground hard at the office at 7:00 a.m. I didn’t want to hold the team accountable and have some tough-love conversations with key employees and partners this morning. I didn’t want to stop everything and focus for one hour to write this blog to you.
But, life is NOT about what I want and don’t want. It’s about what I committed to doing. All of those things mentioned above are commitments, whether I want to do them or not.
If I don’t take care of my own, “self-governance,” who will take care of it for me?
If YOU don’t take care of your own, self-governance, who will take care of it for you?
It seems to me that our culture has shifted over the past 80 years of so, from a self-governing culture to a “Wait for someone to give me something or tell me what to do” culture.
If you ever get a chance to see old World War II videos, you’ll see our young men running up the beach in Normandy straight into a machine-gun firing line – facing almost certain death – and putting their lives on the line to protect our right to self-govern here in the United States.
Today, in 2020, our young men and woman are afraid to put down their electronic devices and introduce themselves to a total stranger because they didn’t take their anxiety pill this morning.
I believe that among other things, parenting has changed. And therefore the values that our children and future generations possess also change.
As you know, my wife and I are very passionate about raising independent kids. We don’t want to have children still connected to the umbilical cord, like millions of American kids seem to be, at age 18 and beyond. We teach them how to do their own laundry, which they are totally responsible for in 1st grade and beyond. We have them do a ton of chores, starting at age 3. We show them how to earn money and track money early. They take turns setting the table, cleaning off the table, and doing the dishes, after every evening’s family dinner. We buy them zero electronics to fry their brains. We hold their feet to the fire on commitments. Is this easy? Of course not. Not at the beginning. But over time, it becomes very easy, and they begin to have confidence in their own self-governance.
There are many sad articles written by college professors about college students who have their parents reaching out or emailing to make excuses for why their sons and daughters can’t complete homework or show up for tests. These parents are also complaining about grades, too much homework, and why these professors treat their poor kids so horribly by holding them accountable.
What is the answer?
The answer is to teach your children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews what “Self-Governance” means.
If we continue to put pillows under the butts of the under-20 crowd, our problems will only exacerbate further.
This also goes for you! Re-read the quote above. Get back to your purpose in life! Cut out the toxic people and behaviors from your life. Cancel all your apps and social media accounts. Delete Netflix and the other things that waste countless hours of your life. Stop watching news and media that is destroying your life fulfillment.
Please, for your own sake and ours… only engage in things that enhance your purpose and align fully with your values.
Let me know how quickly your life turns around when you do this!
Rick Sapio, Founder of BFS. What is Business Finishing School (“BFS”) and why do we exist? Operating since 2010, BFS is a private, member-based community of motivated people, committed to enriching their families and growing their businesses and wealth, who embrace the values of Simplicity, Probability, and Leverage.