I think the easy answer is: Anything I want to! As an apex predator, the lion basically does have the option to eat anything they wish. But if some lions thought like humans do, some would spend their time chasing after field mice while others would chase antelope. In this video with Tim Ferriss, he describes the focused mindset that leaders and achievers need to have. There is no question that managing your focus and your energy make all the difference in the outcomes you get.
Do you want to survive on a diet of tiny field mice, expending almost the same amount of energy that you consume with each field mouse you catch? Or do you want to aim higher, chase larger prey and miss more often than you hit, but on occasion have a huge pay off? Lots of us want to play it safe, have the security of knowing that the next meal is going to be a small effort and although it may be small, I am not going to starve. Then there are a few that understand that the pangs of hunger are motivation and not a punishment. They learn that if they are willing to risk a bigger win, the pay off could be huge, and they could eat like a king. While all of us want to eat like a king, the effort needed to do so, the risk that entails, can be unappetizing for many.
In some ways, it comes down to how you see yourself and your place in the world. Each of us has a ton of experience that we accrue during our lives; some of it is building you up and some of it is tearing you down. If you are lucky, or aware of it and pivot accordingly, you can use your past experiences to learn that you are capable of tackling an antelope instead of trying to pounce on a field mouse. Some will try for the proverbial antelope once, get kicked in the face, and never try again. Some of us learn from this experience and change our tactics for next time, but are right back in the mix to try again. THIS is the key to success in any endeavor in life:
Doesn’t seem like rocket science, does it? We all fell many times when we were learning to walk at a very young age without letting it discourage us. But somewhere along the line we become self aware and aware of other’s opinions and judgments about us, and this can be a major factor in our willingness to try and fail and then try again. Social dynamics, your background and the household you grew up in all impact your view of yourself and your place in the world. If you are fortunate, you grew up in an environment that was largely positive and encouraging, and you develop the capacity to shrug off the misses and keep trying. Others aren’t so fortunate, and they grow up in an environment that for whatever reason does not promote trying over and over. Sometimes it is the general circumstances that someone grows up in, other times it is an abusive parent or lack of parenting in general. Much of this is deeply engrained in us at a very early age, and we continue with this mindset and operating software throughout our lives. If that is the case, it is time to upgrade your operating system.
I can tell you from direct personal experience that you will suck at most things the first time you try them. That is the definition of being new at a skill, you don’t know what you are doing. You need to familiarize yourself with the major building block skills, which will take a while. Once you get a grasp on this, then you can migrate into nuanced skills that will (could) take you farther down the path of mastery. I have hit literally a million backhands in my racquetball career, which is why that is a reliable skill set I bring to each match I play. It took a lots of years to achieve the level of proficiency I have with that one particular facet of the game of racquetball, and that is just one phase of the game. This is also true of my approach to sales; it took a lot of work to refine the approach I use today. Because of this, I started out as a struggling sales person trying to make a living. Yesterday, I did a presentation to a very well know company in the automobile space, and it went very well. I won’t know for a little while if they chose my company or not, but I can tell you that I don’t think I could have done much better of a job than I did. My presentations skills in my current role have become as reliable as my backhand.
If you absorbed the core message of the previous paragraph, you can probably surmise that I am chasing antelope and not field mice. I don’t want to settle for the safe play, I want to eat like a king. I was willing to do the work, put in the hard miles, get kicked in the face once in a while, to arrive to where I am today. I believe that everyone is capable of improving their life circumstances through hard work and perseverance. Not everyone can be king, but all of us can be better than the current version of ourselves is. There is no question in my mind about that. This is one of the reasons I love being a coach, I get the chance to teach caterpillars that they are actually butterflies in the making, getting them to see just how much more they could be with some guidance and effort.
What I believe it comes down to is this: Choose your destiny. If you want more than you currently have, you gotta work. If you want a better house, a better car, a better life, you need to acquire skills and get paid. If you want a better relationship, better family life, you need to put in the work. You need to polish the skills you have and you need to acquire new ones that will allow you to move forward into the next realm. If you want to eat like a king, you need to be willing to do more, work harder and fight longer than anyone else. The good news is you get to pick your destination level to some degree, you don’t have to shoot for the very top of the pile. But if you do, and you miss, you end up in the middle. If you aim for the middle, what do you think happens?
I wish you luck in your endeavors
PS…..Go eat like a king