Counter-Intuitive Stuff Inside
Eben Pagan says that the steps to success are barely obvious, and often counter intuitive. I concur.
Whether you talk about wealth creation, or aesthetic body building, or strength training… Skills accumulation, seduction or persuasion… Salesmanship, Leadership, or Craftsmanship… nothing comes naturally to anyone. No one is born with an innate talent for anything in particular. That there are child prodigies all over the world is not a miraculous event, though. Child prodigies, who are successful at some craft or art, like music, or painting, or singing or dancing… are almost always born in a family that has a background in the same art or craft.
Right now, I am sitting in a studio. Two young classical musicians are recording an album as I write this. These guys are the poster-children of child prodigy. They are immensely talented at an extremely young age, and pretty soon, are going to be world famous.
They have the talent that matches, rivals and even exceeds that of some of the best classical musicians alive. And I am not even kidding. These guys make some serious music. Hard-core, classical Indian music.
And yet, when you look at it carefully, it’s not as if they were born with it. Their father, who’s also one of my very first mentors, has always been a HUGE fan of classical Indian music. He’s a strong and influential man, to be sure, and a great father, teacher and leader at that. You can’t NOT admire and respect him.
Now, when he tells me that his own business has always been kind of a side job to him, and that his own passion has always been classical music and spirituality through music, I am not surprised that both his children are also immensely passionate about classical music. And that both of them are immensely talented at it, too.
Because they started playing as soon as they were old enough to hold their instruments. That’s why!
To be sure they were just fiddling around with their fiddles at first. But within a few months, they started holding the instruments correctly. And within a few years, with the financial and moral support from their family, and with training from the best musicians and musical teachers money can bring, they started playing well.
Now, they’ve been playing well for almost a decade. Is it a wonder that they don’t play just well, anymore?
Of course not.
If you stuck to practicing something for 20 years straight, I can promise you’ll be known and renowned as one of the best in the world in that field. Now the “world renowned” part may take a decade or two more (and that depends upon the marketing too), but you’ll be among the top 1% of the top 1% of the people in the world in that field.
Me, I am the latter. At least now I am.
All my life, whenever I have waited to be ready for something, I never succeeded. Simply because I never could be completely ready for anything. And I either kept waiting around forever… or I did it before I was ready.
There is no perfect moment. There is no perfect day. No perfect level of skill. No perfect preparation. Nothing.
That I approach a lot of women with the intention of seducing them is no secret. All my life I have never had a perfect approach.
That I made a lot of cold calls and a lot of warm calls to grow my business myself is no secret either. I must have made over 50,000 cold calls in my life. None of them was perfect. None of them went perfectly. Some of them resulted in a meeting, and most did not. Failure never fazed me.
Now, I am by no means an epitome of acting before I am ready. I routinely wait around for the perfect situation. Or the perfect moment. And without exception, I fail to act if I don’t act immediately.
Last night, I was at a party. It was an extended family gathering, and the family members invited some of their friends too. So, there were a lot of strangers. I saw this girl with a very cute face and a very sexy body. I saw her, she saw me, we held eye contact and there was definite attraction. It was ON! She’s someone I would have approached immediately had I seen her on the street or in a mall, or at a client’s office. She was with her parents. I didn’t know that at first.
As soon as I saw her I knew I wanted to meet her. But I thought… well, maybe there will be a better opportunity when a dozen people aren’t standing around us. So I waited for the perfect moment.
And in the next five minutes, her father and brother arrived and were introduced to me. When I saw her, she was there by herself. But her father and brother arrived within 10 minutes, and she wasn’t alone for the rest of the night. I couldn’t approach her. Waiting for the perfect moment destroyed any chance of what could have been a great connection.
Normally “father and brother standing around” situation would not have fazed me. I would have spoken to her anyhow. But since they were friends of my cousin, and one does run the risk of ending up in an explosive situation while trying to seduce, I didn’t approach.
Had I approached her before I knew anything, I would have done it. I mean outcomes could still have been negative, but at least I would have had a wonderful story.
Now, all I can do is what my friends call “mental masturbation”.
Are you waiting for the perfect moment to start something? I met a guy yesterday who told me he was waiting to graduate before he took up a job and rented his own apartment. In the same breath he confessed that he really does have a lot of spare time, and feels bored all the time. Consequently, he plays video games, and just sits around with people in his college campus who also have nothing better to do than gossip.
I wanted to start a consultancy business. I waited two years. Two years, I kept telling myself, “Once I am ready, I’ll start.” Two years I waited in misery and semi-apparent poverty. Two years I waited to be an expert. And then it dawned on me that there is no school of expertise that hands out a degree or a flag that tells the world that you are an expert. To be known as the world’s leading consultant, you need to consult… And you need to consult a lot!
I started, acted before I was even ready and within the first month of starting business, I brought in revenues more money than the highest salary packages any of my college classmates could land.
I waited for everything. And everytime I waited, I either ended up doing nothing, or realizing that there is no perfect situation or perfect time. You just do it and hope for the best.
But it has not killed me so far. Neither in business, or in love.
I’ll tell you one GREAT reason why I am not going to end up with the girl I loved. I waited for the perfect moment to kiss her. It was our third date, and I wanted to kiss her. But I merely told her that I was going to kiss her, and then when she resisted, I did not persist.
Now, was I NOT expecting any resistance? NO! I knew for a fact that in the beginning she would test me and resist me a lot.
Was that the perfect position to kiss her? NO! It was a busy Delhi afternoon, and we were standing on a road next to her car. Less than 100 meters away a cop car was parked, and the cops were looking right at us, along with many curious onlookers and passers-by.
Did I look perfect? NO. I had on a cheap suit that I rarely wore anymore. I hadn’t even worn any perfume.
But should I have backed off? Absolutely NOT!
If I hadn’t told myself, “This is the perfect girl. She is going to be with me for a VERY long time. There’s time for this, and maybe I’ll do it when I am better prepared, and we have a bit more privacy” I would be in a perfect relationship right now.
She drove away and called me immediately. First she tested me. She used every line in the book from “I am not that kind of a girl” to “Your male ego got a huge kick out of it, didn’t it?”. And when I assured her that it was purely because I desired her, she promptly asked, “Why didn’t you kiss me, then?”
Just then, I knew I had made a HUGE mistake. In less than a week she told me she wouldn’t see me anymore.
By the way, this happened twice. She met me one more time, dressed to the tilt like a diva, and this time it was dark. We were in a relatively secluded place, and had I kissed her no one would have seen us, most probably. She resisted, and told me, “Not here. I am not doing this on a street” and I bought into the notion of perfection yet again. That was the last time I saw her.
Coincidence? Me thinks NOT!
Ask me how I know!
Till next time
P.S. Do something TODAY. Something that you are waiting for the perfect time for. Something that you think you will start doing once something specific happens. Something that you KNOW for a fact that you aren’t ready to do right now. You’ll be thanking me later.
P.P.S. Seriously. Do it. Or stop reading this blog. Pick one. There’s no reason you should be reading anything I write unless you apply it.