Here is a good question to ask yourself: Where are you going? Ten years from now you will surely arrive. The question is, where? We don’t want to kid ourselves about where; we don’t want to kid ourselves about the road we’re walking.
At 25, shortly after meeting my mentor Earl Shoaff, I had a day called “Do Not Kid Myself Anymore” day. I didn’t want to be disillusioned anymore. I finally decided that the crossed-finger theory was not going to get me what I wanted. It wasn’t where the treasure lies. I was going to have to make sure which way I was headed.
Then, with Mr. Shoaff’s help, I found a few reading disciplines, a few disciplines of mind and a few disciplines of activity, when exercised, can make all the difference in the world as to where you will arrive. But it just took a few changes.
Sometimes we get the idea that we’re doing 10 percent and there’s 90 percent more that we need to make the difference for our fortune, but probably the opposite is true. We’re doing enough things to have bought and shared in the good life. And maybe all we need is that extra 5 or 10 percent of intellectual change, activity change, refinement of discipline, refinement of thought. And all we need is the ideas to make those simple changes and the equity starts gathering in one year, three years, five years or 10 years.
But now is the time to fix the next 10 years. You may have to come to grips with reality and with truth; that’s what was good for me when I met Mr. Shoaff. I was 25 years old; he was 44 years old. He brought me a wealth of experience and he started asking me the tough questions. “Big question,” he said. “Are you reading the books that are going to take you where you want to go in the next five years?”
Excellent question. To get to where you want to be in the next five years, you are either reading the right books or you’re not. You’re either engaged in the disciplines or you’re not. But here’s what we don’t want to engage in: disillusion. Hoping without acting. Wishing without doing.
The key is to look and say, “Where am I? What could I do to make the changes to ensure that I can take more certain daily steps toward the treasure I want, the mental treasure, the personal treasure, the spiritual treasure, the financial treasure? I don’t want to make any more errors, now’s the time to adjust my daily program to take me where I want to go.”
The key is to start right now making these changes to walk this new road. Just a few daily disciplines makes a great deal of difference. And before you know it, you will be walking a brand new road.