It’s clear from our conversation that that’s true. Tony, you were talking about this roadmap that you were shown that laid out how to get what you wanted and get clear about how to move your life forward. Can you talk a little bit about that roadmap?
It’s just great. Fantasy to reality, everybody’s got a bunch of fantasies. We got all these things that we think we really want. We put them down on a piece of paper or we throw them up on a wall, and we’re like, “That’s what I want out of life. I want to travel to that country. I want to marry that person. I want to drive that car.” I call those a bunch of fantasies. I’m not saying what you put on your wall is wrong, I’m just saying you’ve never built a roadmap to get it. It’s a bunch of pictures up on a wall. I said, “What does that mean?” Fantasy. We all have fantasies. Tell them to a friend, tell them to somebody, they become possibilities. You take what’s on the wall and you share it with a friend. You’re like, “This is what I’m working on. This is what I want to achieve. This is the thing that I’m after. They are goals, they are things, whatever you want to call them.” I said, “Everybody then begins to see. You’ve heard the old saying, anything’s possible.” I’m starting to tell you my possibilities on the show. I’m going to share the roadmap. The reality though is there is a certain amount of things that have to happen for that to become a reality. I go from fantasy mindset to the possibility of sharing with you. To get to the reality side, there is this gap. I got to remind myself, “I’m a quitter and I played the game Chutes and Ladders enough to know that along the path I’m going to fail. I’m going to fall down.” Help people to see that you just have to bridge the gap. You have to make the gap steps. You have to say, “If you do this, you’ll get to that.” “I don’t know how.” That’s the key component, ask.
When we were little kids going to school, we were good at asking to go to the bathroom. We were good at asking our parents, “Can we go to Bob’s house and play?” We were good at asking for things. Somehow in high school and even in college, we stopped asking and we started assuming. That’s where I believe we failed. What it is, it isn’t like I don’t need your permission but I need your help because I’ve only gotten to so far in life by knowing what I know, but I’ve never gotten to the next level. Who can I ask in my network? Maybe my neighbors, maybe my mom, my dad, my friends, and my family. “Do you know a carpenter? Do you know an electrician? Do you know somebody that’s wrote a book? Do you know somebody who’s traveled to Italy? Do you know somebody who’s driven this car? Could you introduce them to me?” What I’ve realized from possibility to reality is a bunch of asks. Here’s what happens though. We forget to ask enough and we fall down. That’s when we begin to want to quit. We say, “Screw it. This is not going to work for me. I’m going to fail anyways. I’ve already failed. I might as well give up. I’m going to go back to what I had before.” It’s so much easier because it was like putting on your underwear. It was just old routine. Along the way, what I’ve learned is that the possibility is in all of us. The greatness is in all of us.
You need a good coach. You need a good mentor. You need somebody to spend about an hour and sit down and build some stuff. To make it really simple to help you bridge the gap, I’m going to put in the middle right there the GROWTH Mindset. G stands for grateful. If I can help somebody to be grateful and be in gratitude, then I’ve got a chance to help them. The second letter is R. I need them to be real with themselves and I need them to be real with others. If they are real and they’re okay with, “I failed. I made some mistakes. I’m humbling myself,” that goes with the gratitude piece. The next piece is open-minded. If you can get somebody to be open-minded about what I’m sharing, about what they’re going on in their life, maybe it’s not working and you can show them some blind spots, you have a chance of helping them. The W stands for wise. Be wise. What I say may or may not be applicable to you, but be wise enough about you spend some time. Go look into the word and go spend some time in the books. Go ask some friends like, “I heard this guy talking about this. What do you think?” The T is to be teachable. Be teachable, download podcasts, read books, journal, spend time learning. Never stop learning. Education is the key. It may have not been for me when I was in high school, but the essential ingredient that has gotten me to where I’m at is that I’ve never stopped learning. If you can get to the end, the H stands for happy. You can be happy. You can be happy that life works. What I love is playing it backwards. I’m happy. I’m teachable, so I’m open-minded. What are all the other things that I am? I’m real. I’m totally finding myself in there. I’ve been wise and I’ve been grateful. My life works. It gets to the gap a little closer.
What you’re going to see in a short period of time is your relationships are much more authentic. Instead of being on the surface which so many people talk about, you’re going to be talking about the stuff that really hurts. Then you’re saying to your friend, “You know why I want to do that? My family had never achieved anything. My mom and my dad, they had to work three jobs to put food on the table. I would love nothing more than to take my mom on a trip and just tell her thank you. I’ve never done a trip anywhere in the world, but you know what? My mom, since I was very little, said she always wanted to go to X and I’m going to do that. I’m going to put something in front of me that is inspiring, something that is going to make me happy.” If you do that, that gap starts to get so small, they’ll become little steps and you realize it’s not that hard. It’s just the formula we’ve been using has been wrong.
I love working that backwards. I’m a big believer that you choose your own happiness. Many of us wake up and we look around at our circumstance, and we decide at the beginning of the day it’s going to be a bad day. I went through a period where I had a lot of bad days in a row. I finally woke up and said, “Enough of this. We’re going to be happy.” It’s funny things began to improve almost immediately, at least my experience of them. One of the wonderful things about what you laid out is that’s a formula for changing your experience in the world. You control how you experience the things around you. Most of us can’t completely control our circumstance, but we can certainly control how we choose to experience it, starting with gratitude and ending with happiness. You get that power back.