I was in my studio shooting a show while interviewing a good friend of mine, Ed Mylett, who has done very well for himself financially. He, just like me, keeps pushing for more. During the interview, he said there are two motivators that push people to achieve significance and wealth.
We all know people who want to feel more significant, but I agreed with Ed that after a certain point, it’s difficult to fill that bucket up much more. Once you start getting famous, it becomes satisfying (if that’s your goal) but you need another driver to keep pushing.
The same is true for wealth—there’s only so many planes, boats, and luxuries one person can consume.
But there are two motivators why you should never take an “I have enough” attitude:
Motivator #1: Growth
I believe every person has room to grow and expand in life. I talked about it in my 10X Rule the concept of contraction—or retreating—and how success requires you to avoid retreating. Of course, you may need to play defense at times for short intervals, but success—in any form—requires constant expansion.
Whenever you believe “enough is enough”, you’ve quit playing offense.
Finances—and success in general—requires you to take risks and not just play defense.
How many times have you seen sports teams get up by a big score and then take their foot off the pedal, internally thinking “it’s enough”, only to see the other team come roaring back and win?
In sports, that’s called a choke job.
The team that blows the big lead didn’t have enough points, even though they thought they did at some point in the game. The same thing happens in life.
How many empires have come and gone?
The Vikings, ancient Rome and Greece, the Mongols—they all got fat and happy and quit doing the things that expanded their empire in the first place, and so they lost it. Their time came and went.
How many once great companies and brands no longer exist?
Pan American was once the world’s greatest airline. Kodak was once the world leader in photography. Woolworth’s used to be the greatest department store. Brands like Blockbuster, Circuit City, Compaq—I could go on all day—they all at some point quit having success.
This highlights the fact that yesterday’s success does not guarantee tomorrow’s success. People who have been sold that they have enough are counting on their past carrying them through the future.
This is a dangerous way to live.
Empires, businesses, and individuals need growth. If at any point they decide growth is no longer needed, that enough is enough, then decline will soon follow. I don’t want to start declining. Do you?
Where can you grow?
My wife Elena has said that you’re either building an empire or destroying one. My friend Tim Grover has written a book about being relentless. All the greats, no matter the industry, keep pushing long after others quit.
Kobe Bryant knew that on the basketball court, enough was never enough. Mother Teresa knew that when it came to helping people, enough was never enough. I know for me and my business, enough is not enough!
You see, the problem with those who have decided they have enough is that they’ve stopped making new goals to hit, they’ve stopped dreaming new and bigger dreams.
So, look for constant growth. If you look for growth in life—in whatever area you desire—you will find that you don’t have enough. You will find new goals to hit, and new dreams to achieve.
Motivator #2: Contribution
When you are producing and bringing value to people, it makes you feel good. Every single contribution you can make to this world will make you feel better about yourself.
Whether you contribute on a team or as an individual, whether you help millions of people or just one single individual, contributing something positive is a great thing.
Whenever I feel I’m contributing, I want to do more of it.
You don’t get tired of this. I can never get enough.
And let’s face it, oftentimes contributing to something involves money. The more money I have, the greater I can contribute to my family and society.
Think about this:
- Can you ever have enough friends?
- Can you have enough love?
- Can you have enough resources?
Considering all the world’s current problems, I don’t believe anybody should feel they have enough. Not even Bill Gates has been able to stop all children from starving, diseases from spreading, and communities from crumbling.
Money helps fix problems. The more money you have, the more problems—and the bigger problems—you can try to attempt to fix.
Use contribution as a motivator to stop settling for what you have.
Everyone knows deep down that they could be doing more.
I know it and you know it.
Whether you have $10 million, $1 million, or $10,000, it’s not enough. I’m climbing to a billion and it’s not enough.
Use contribution and growth as two ways to push yourself going forward.
It doesn’t have to be those two things, you might be pushing for significance or wealth—and there is certainly nothing wrong with that—in fact, I’d encourage it.
Use whatever motivation you can to stay on the offensive in life.
Don’t be sold by others telling you that you’ve “made it”!
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