The following is a guest post from Bert Purdy of IntentionalEmployee.com. I had the privilege of meeting Bert for coffee earlier this year since he was working with some of his clients that are in my area. Bert was very excited to share his message with me and I’m equally excited to have him share this guest post on the blog. Introducing Bert….
The majority of my life has been unremarkably predictable.
Good grades. High school graduate. College graduate. White collar job as an accountant.
Marriage, children, no pets.
It’s been, sad to say, the typical life of a kid from the lower middle class in the Midwestern United States.
It’s been un-extraordinary.
Why has my life been good, but drab? Let’s explore it a bit.
A life of probability
I was fortunate growing up to have happy, loving parents. They were raised by parents who experienced the Great Depression. They were taught to survive, to do what they had to do … but not to dream.
Dreams are for little kids — or so I thought. My parents never told me not to dream. They supported whatever dreams I had. The problem was that my dreams were always based on life’s probabilities. Supporting dreams that are probably going to be realized is a pretty easy task. At least they were supportive.
My father worked two or three jobs while I was growing up. He was dedicated to his family and would do anything to help us survive. I praise him for that dedication, but as I look back, I wish he would have let himself see the possibilities in life, rather than only the probabilities.
I followed my father’s example of being hard-working (everyone should be, so I’m not knocking this trait), loving, and dedicated… but all too predictable. If only he would have reached for what was possible instead of probable. If he had, I would have changed my life’s view sooner than age 34.
A life of possibilities
Two years ago, I stopped being me. I started being someone new. I’m not sure where it came from, but I was tired of the status quo; it had to change.
It all started with the realization that I could do more. I could affect change in the world. It was time for me to share, to teach, to inspire.
Intentionalemployee.com was born with that realization. I chose to make it my life’s quest to change the world, one employee at a time.
Rather than just being the best employee, father, and Christian I could be, I chose to help others help themselves. My mind was clear, and my heart was alive.
I thought to myself, “From now on I will start experiencing life and will help others experience theirs.”
Your life of possibilities
What is wrong with leading a predictable life? Nothing at all! Nothing is wrong with only striving for what is probable, but it’s not going to be very exciting. Probable for most people is the exact same as what they experience on a daily basis. But is that all you want out of life?
The probable result is the same as the family in which you live and the friends with which you surround yourself. You’ll be similar to everyone else.
Possibilities, though, go much further. You can achieve more than you think. You can experience life, rather than letting life happen to you.
Anything is possible.
Everything is possible.
Possibilities go beyond your dreams. Dreams have some basis in reality, because you have had to think or experience something related to that dream. Dreams are good, but go bigger. Be more.
You’re destined to be great. You’re here to realize your dreams. You’re alive to make the impossible possible.
7 actions to reach the state of possible
The layman’s definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again, but expecting a different result. Are you insane? Do you keep doing the same thing every day, expecting to one day awake to a different world?
Instead of continuing in the insanity, you can find your life’s possibilities. It takes action, though. Following are seven steps you can take today to reach your state of possible.
1. Change your thoughts – All major changes in life begin with one’s mindset. You’re no different; you truly have to want to change. You have to believe it’s possible to change.
It does not take anything extraordinary to be happy, to be motivated, or to be loving. These are simple decisions you can make, but no one can make them for you.
2. Change your sphere of influence – It has been said that you are the average of the five people you hang around most. Do you know who those five people are? Take a close look, and you will realize how much like each of them you are.
Now, ask yourself if those five people will help you realize your possibilities. Most likely, they have not reached their possibilities, either. If they are living for probabilities, how can they help you live for the possibilities? They can’t!
It’s up to you to change your sphere of influence. Only you can control who you spend time with. Identify who can help you become great, and start spending time with them.
3. Be different – People who live according to their probabilities live normal lives. They live like everyone else. They only see what their peers have, and they lust after their things. That’s no way to live.
You have to be different. You need to think and act differently.
When you start acting differently, wanting different things and experiences, and showing love differently, people start to question you. They will wonder what’s wrong with you.
Don’t worry about what those people think. Remember, they live lives of probability. You want to live a life of possibility. You deserve more. You deserve the best. Dare to be different, and you’ll be one step closer.
4. Take a risk – Very few entrepreneurs became successful without taking risks. Richard Branson took a risk by renting a charter plane and selling tickets to other passengers from his major airline flight when it was cancelled. Many of the internet, software, or computer entrepreneurs dropped out of college to start their businesses.
Identifying a dream and ignoring it will never help you realize what is possible. Instead, identify a dream, stop what you’ve been doing, and take a risk. Do something differently.
Maybe you have to quit your job to reach your possibilities. Maybe you need to start a side hustle while you continue working your job. Maybe you can reach what’s possible in your current company.
Not everyone who lives for the possibilities are entrepreneurs. Most are employees. The difference between them and the people living for their probabilities (like you) is that they work to pay for their possibilities. They live for experiences. Do you?
5. Ask for help – “Behind every good man is a great woman.” That’s just one saying proving the point that you can’t realize possibilities by yourself. You will need help.
You will need someone to help you, such as a mentor, coach or partner. Ask one of the five people from your sphere of influence to help guide you. Seek the support of your spouse, your best friend or your family.
Being different and taking risks can be a daunting and sometimes frightening trip. Having others to help motivate and encourage you along the way will speed up that trip.
6. Start small – Major changes rarely succeed. Why? It’s too much to handle emotionally. If you want to realize the possibilities of your life, you need to start small.
You’re more likely to be successful with a diet if you gradually change your eating habits. The same is applicable to a life of probabilities. Let small changes take effect. Change one thing at a time.
Every success is motivation to continue. Taking small steps to change from probability to possibility will let you experience small successes more frequently. Eventually, those frequent, small successes will turn into one big success, and a life of realizing your possibilities.
7. Do one thing every day – Realizing your life’s possibilities is a life-long process. You cannot achieve it all in one day. It takes a life of continual action.
Each day, do one thing to help you realize what’s possible. Create the habit of working on you every day, of every week, of every month, of every year. After just a very short time, you will be taking those small actions without even realizing it.
What are your possibilities?
Your purpose in life is to have a positive impact on others. Have you realized how you will achieve your purpose yet? If you have, great. If you haven’t, what’s stopping you?
Living to realize your possibilities will provide you more opportunities to have a greater impact on the world. You will be happier, have more great experiences, and change the world in a positive manner.
Have you really thought about what you can do with your life? Can you be more than who you are now? I believe you can. Do you believe it?