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It’s time to give ourselves a pat on the back and a pep talk to get us ready for our future.

So far here on Failing Upwards we have eliminated some of our worse habits and introduced new more positive ones (see: The Dichotomy of Habits). We have learned to use defeat to find strength. We have reduced wasted time in our personal lives to improve the quality of our free non-work time (see: The Time Space Continuum). We have given ourselves a raise by learning to ask for the discount as well as introduced ourselves to our networks. We have even explored hacking our lives to find short and smart cuts to make ourselves more successful and fulfilled{1}.

These are all ways to create awesome momentum towards achieving whatever it is that we want in our lives. Some of us want more financial success, some want more free time, some want to be better family members or friends. Whatever our individual goals may be we understand by now that our work is far from over. Going from good to great is an ongoing process.

Congratulations on taking those first steps. If you’re still with me reading these “self-help” posts, or if you are actively seeking improvement in yourself to better your life, you are already way ahead of the status quo. Most of our society is content with working a nine-to-five for someone else until they reach retirement age. People give themselves carrots along the way such as vacations and toys, but generally speaking work comes before the things that should really matter.

Ourselves, our health, both mental and physical, our families, our friends, our time and our experiences are what really matters. Life is just a blink. Why wait until the end to flip the script? Bruce Lee lived thirty two years. John F. Kennedy passed when he was forty-six. Jimmy Hendrix was twenty seven. What if all three waited until they were sixty seven to start doing the things they wanted to? It’s sad to think so many people die before they realize their own potential and greatness because they are keeping up with the Jones’s or because they developed an addiction to work.

Addictions do not always have to be bad. Workaholism isn’t awful if you love what you do. I write compulsively because I love to develop my craft and I love to share my knowledge, experiences, and stories. Addiction to fitness is another example of an addiction that can benefit us.

What kind of world would we live in if we became addicted to spending time with our family or getting involved in our communities? What if we became addicted to activism or helping others in need?

Right now let’s continue on this journey and get addicted to self-improvement. We will never be as good as we can be, but we can certainly work on it and strive to get there. I’m proud of you for taking the time to think differently about yourself and the direction you will take in your life. Success, happiness, fulfillment are all accessible to all of us. It is so close you can see it if you know where to look. You can feel it if you reach out and grasp it.

So what’s next?

We will flip that proverbial script. We have been working too hard for too long for too little money that we will walk into our boss’s office and ask for a raise or a promotion or a work hours reduction depending on which suits us. We will leave our coworkers pay-rates or capabilities out of the conversation because it’s not relevant. It’s about us and what we excel at. It’s about how much more we can do if given the trust and empowerment. Most people don’t ask for a raise because they are scared; of what I am not sure. Perhaps they are afraid of losing the job they are already not satisfactorily compensated for.

Most people don’t communicate what they want. Additionally they don’t set boundaries or say no when they really should. This goes beyond work into interpersonal relationships as well as dealing with ourselves.

We will be fearless because the worst thing that could happen is usually not that bad. The upside is infinite. It’s more money in less time. It’s better looking and higher quality lovers. It is self-satisfaction.

We will be undeniable. We will change the humdrum approach to our daily tasks to reflect our goal of being better, stronger, and faster. We will continue to look for the hacks and we will add value and bring our people along with us into a successful future.

We won’t walk into Google and ask for a job if we want to work there. We will create a project or application that Google will need. They will say to themselves “We cannot afford to not hire this person.”

You will walk up to that hottie at the venue. You will show yourself as the self-confident, fun, communicative person you are. It will be so obvious that you will add value to their life that they will have no choice, but to want to be in your life.

It starts with confidence and an open-mind. Repetitions and action correction should follow. Reproduce successes often and filter out the ineffective and the noise. Work on your strengths more than improving your shortcomings. We will only get small gains from improving on our imperfections, while mastering what we are good at may allow us to corner the market. There is no gold medal for someone who is a little good at a lot of things. There probably isn’t a lot of financial success in it either.

Again, be undeniable in a world where we are socially conditioned to deny ourselves. Create your success. Shape your future. You are what you make of yourself.

{1} In Hack Your Life to Peaces I committed to a sub-fifty minute 10k time at today’s Bolder Boulder. I am happy to report I ran a 48 minute race. I do not want this blog to be a bunch of hypothetical. Much of what I present I am either currently doing in my own life or have done. Please feel free to share similar successes, especially if they were inspired by something touched on here in Failing upwards. Thanks for reading.

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