Richard Branson sure is a cool dude. And he’s done some incredible stuff in his life.
He’s also had some stupid, massive failures.
Have you ever heard of Virgin Cola? Their bottles were called “The Pammy” because they were shaped like Pamela Anderson.
Really, Richard? You are the same guy that started Virgin Airlines?
How about Virgin Brides? Yikes. (Yes, that’s him in the picture dressed up as a bride.)
It’s easy to laugh at when he swung and missed, though we all know he’s the man. And a big reason is that he doesn’t let a few whiffs stop him from going balls in the next time. And the next time. And the next time.
How can you have the same go-for-it attitude that he does? Simple. The next time you want to make a change in your life—want to start something new—you Experiment.
Simple: we procrastinate because we don’t want to mess up. We are afraid of not being perfect.
(Want to know the psychological reasons why you procrastinate? Watch the video here.)
See, the purpose of an experiment is to learn. The great thing about it is that the only way you fail in an Experiment is not to conduct it. Because I don’t know about you, but I learn best by doing. There is no substitute for experience.
When someone learns to fly, he reads. Then he Experiments in a flight simulator. Then he Experiments by flying with someone else. Then he is ready to go solo.
Our brain gets freaked out when we want to make a change or try something new—especially if it’s something big.
When you want to make a change, how can you break that change down into the smallest experiment you can?
If you decide you want to run your first marathon, you might then become paralyzed with fear: Do I have the right shoes? Do I run before or after work? Am I ready to commit to running five times a week for the next fifteen weeks?
You don’t have to answer any of these questions. All you have to do is perform an Experiment this next week. Try two Experiments: run once, for 15 minutes before work, and run again for 15 minutes after work. See which one fits best in your schedule. See if you need better shoes. Is it easier to commit to running almost every day for the next four months, or twice over the next week?
This concept works so well that I’ve written a whole book about it, which has become a #1 bestseller in both the Creativity and Business Leadership Training categories. It is a modern business fable, where a business owner—who wants to make changes in his personal and work life—meets a coach, who walks him through these changes through a variety of Experiments.
Take the next project you have. Is it a book? Starting a business? Getting healthy? What is the tiniest step you can take? Do that step. Then evaluate; what worked? What didn’t? What is your next step from there?
What do you think Richard Branson’s next Experiment will be? Virgin Butter? Virgin Flypaper?
Doesn’t really matter, because he’s still the coolest guy in the world. And he’s going to keep Experimenting until he dies. And his Experiments change the world.
It is that time of the day again. That time where we muster all of the strength we have to get out of bed, plant our two feet firmly on the ground, take a deep breath, and start believing again. We did it yesterday and if we are extremely lucky we’ll get to do it again tomorrow. We will have that chance to believe and act on our belief. Our belief that we were meant to do something significant with our lives. The belief that there is more to our existence other than staring at little small computer screens all day long. And the belief that we have the ability to make somebody else’s life better as a result of us being alive. Sometimes it feels like progress comes too slow, and that other people are just dying to block us at every opp. But yet we still get up every day and put those two feet on the ground. That is faith. That is believing. That plus massive action every day is what will make us successful.
Every single one of us on this planet has at least one ‘thing’ on this planet that makes us come alive. We may have discovered it as a kid (like me) . Or it may have taken several decades for us to peel back the layers of your soul enough to get to the heart of it. And some of you reading this still may not know what that magical thing is. To you I say – keep peeling back the layers. One day that magical ‘thing’ will hit you and you’ll wonder how you lived without it.
Why do I bring this up? What many of my friends may not know is that I am a pilot. Right behind my driver’s license I carry an equally important card with me every place I go. It will be in the wallet the day that the air leaves my lungs. That is my pilot’s license. It says that I am allowed to crawl into a small metal machine and escape the surly bonds of earth.
That is my ‘thing’. If you are ever hanging out with me and something with wings passes overhead, whatever we are talking about probably disappears into the background of my brain. I will turn my head. I will look up. Because I know that in that little metal box I will find a kindred soul. He is in heaven just like I would be (or at least he is 2000′ AGL closer to heaven).
I was reminded of ‘my thing’ when I saw the video below earlier in the week, and then again today when Mr. Cliff Shaw shared it. Flying is my thing. When I am there I am in heaven. And when I am not there I wish I was. I share the video below with you and I hope you get a kick out of it. I know that I have some pilot (or pilot-in-training) friends who will say ‘yeah. this!’.
Take 60 seconds and think: What is that ONE thing that gets you excited and makes you drive faster – literally or figuratively?
There is one common feeling that all human beings have: They want to be happy. They want to wake up healthy, do what they want to do, love their friends and family, and go to bed worry-free.
However most people don’t get to live that way. There is a huge problem in our world, and it is the problem of lack of control. Most people don’t consciously live their lives and take actions by choice. They react. They allow themselves to get into conditions they don’t want to be in. Then they spend every waking moment reacting to conditions that they don’t like. If you live this way long enough, you will become depressed and frustrated. But there is a cure. And it is called action.Read More
Take a moment and think about how your day unfolds every day. What actions are you taking from the moment you wake up until you lay your head on your pillow at night. If it is anything like most people your day probably goes on autopilot and looks something like this:
When was the last time you did something so scary that you got the shakes and started sweating profusely? If you can’t remember that is the answer right there. It has been way too long.
If you are not regularly doing something that scares you a little or a lot then you are not really loving on the edge of life. Living on the edge is where the fun is. It is the middle of the candy bar. It is the pancakes with the syrup. It is the cold shower at 6am. It is the thing that will wake you up, and will make you smile when you are done.
Do both of us a favor? Do something scary and spontaneous. Today. In the next 5 minutes. This week. Go ahead. Just stand up and take off and go do it. It could be something as tame as a run around your neighbor, or something huge like skydiving. But make the committment to do something. I double-dog dare you. And the come back here and tell us all about it.Read More