The secret to getting anything you want in life
I recently gave a TEDx Talk called The Secret To Getting Anything You Want In Life. Sharing my life lessons with such an enthusiastic audience was an incredible experience.
As an entrepreneur, it’s a privilege to pass on what I’ve learned especially because I’ve experienced failure over and over again. However, I’m sure had this not happened, I wouldn’t have achieved many of my successes. Here are a few things I’ve learned.
Realize Boldness Is More Important Than Intelligence
Boldness is a stronger indicator of success than intelligence is. This is because smart people think of all the negative things that can happen when things go wrong. But, bold people think of all the good things that will happen when things go right. I’m not saying that smart people can’t be bold and bold people can’t be smart but boldness is the “secret sauce,” to getting anything you want.
I started to realize this truth when I was 18 and living in Winnipeg, Manitoba. At the time, my biggest dream was to be an on-air host (they called it a VJ back then) for Much Music, which is the Canadian version of MTV. This was a highly competitive job and I knew a great reel would give me an edge over the competition. Enter Keanu Reeves—who was even at that time, one of the biggest movie stars in Hollywood. And he just happened to be in my town performing in Hamlet. (You can’t make this up.) I needed to get him on tape to make an unforgettable reel.
One night, I waited outside the theatre in bone-chilling weather for hours to track him down. I made the boldest move of my life (up until that point) and asked him to be in my reel. Keanu didn’t agree immediately, but he took my phone number.
My friends and family doubted me. But, four days later, Keanu called my house and agreed to an interview. My dream was coming true. I had my “Oprah” moment on the living room sofa, with three friends holding amateur camcorders.
My boldness paid off. In my opinion, I made the greatest reel of all time. Did I get the interview with Much Music? Yes! Did they ask me to audition? Of course, they did. Did I get the job? No. But I learned to be bold and ask for what I want. It was one of the most pivotal moments of my life.
Chase What You Want, Don’t Take What You Can Get
Most of us default to what’s convenient. We take what’s available and acquiesce to what’s in front of us. The other problem is that we don’t end up chasing what we really want. They don’t pursue their own Keanu.
People tend to approach salary in the same way. According to a survey taken of over 160k people who believed they deserved to make more money, two-thirds of them never even asked for a raise. Of the people who boldly asked for a raise, 70% were told yes.
Realize Boldness Is A Skill
Boldness isn’t something you’re necessarily born with. You need to practice it to get better at it, just like anything other skill you’re trying to develop.
Don’t Order Off The Menu
Not ordering off the menu is a great way to practice boldness. When I go to a restaurant, I look at the menu and I see all the ingredients and make my own meal. While the server thinks this is very annoying, I ask nicely and I get what I want. I reason why I do this is because when you’re comfortable asking for the small things in life, it gives you the skills, habits, and confidence to ask for the bigger things.
Make Ten Attempts
The 10% Target is a mindset I’ve developed. Take whatever you want the most in life and make ten attempts at it. The problem is that most people don’t make ten attempts. They don’t even make one attempt.
However, the true purpose of the 10% Target is to get used to failing 90% of the time. If you make ten attempts at anything, I guarantee one will be successful. You either get the thing you wanted and achieve your goal, or another opportunity will become available that you didn’t even know existed.
So how do you get comfortable failing? You practice over and over again until it becomes your new normal. Just like you train your body to be strong, you train your mind to be bold.