Zig Ziglar once said “Don’t become a wandering generality. Be a meaningful specific.” It’s crazy to reflect back on how I ended up where I am today. Actually, I guess with enough contemplation it’s crazy to think about how any of us ended up where we are. Once upon a time, I believed that I was afloat on the great river of life, just “going with the flow”. I would end up wherever I was meant to be, doing what I was meant to be doing. Life would magically manifest itself as long as I just took care of all the little details and followed the little nudges and clues that was left for me.
If this story sounds familiar and you feel like you are following a similar path, I want you to stop and think for a second. Is going with the flow really guiding you toward a life of your dreams? There were many periods in my life where I meditated on this thought: In college, when I was busy partying and failing my classes. At the Hyatt after college, when I was working as a towel boy catering to people while they enjoyed their dream vacations. At the recycling centers, working to earn just above minimum wage while collecting other people’s trash. Working in waste management, averaging 60-70 hours a week, 4 days off a month, riding on rubbish trucks, handling rubbish dumpsters. Was this what I was meant to be doing? Is this really where I was meant to be?
It’s crazy to think back on how I ended up at the Honolulu Club. How after applying there a year earlier, I finally got an email inviting me to come in for an interview. I was sitting in the Lihu’e Airport dreading my trip back to O’ahu. I used to go home often those days to escape the nightmare that my life had become. I never even heard of the Honolulu Club. All I knew is that I wanted to find my way back to working in fitness and health like I originally planned, and Membership Advisor sounded like a good enough place to start. I didn’t know my life was about to change completely.
I went into that job without any expectations of what it would be like. I considered myself an introvert and never imagined I would be in sales. All I knew was that I was hungry for change and a chance to prove myself. I quickly learned what sales was all about in a dog-eat-dog environment. It was a lion’s den and fresh meat in the form of new membership sales was hard to come by. Being the young cub left to fend for my own meals, I decided I needed to learn everything and get every advantage I could if I wanted to rise to the top. This is where my personal development journey began.
My boss had a lot of stake in our success as a sales team (she was getting overrides) and every month we were required to submit a request to the team Audible account to further our education in business, sales, or self-help. The first book I listened to was “The Power of Positive Thinking” by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale. It was like unlocking a vault of limitless wealth! From there, I started researching and gobbling up everything I could. The greats Zig Ziglar and Jim Rohn became my professors at “Automobile University” as I listened to them on my commute. Les Brown and Eric Thomas pumped me up as I watched them on Youtube while trudging through countless hours on the treadmill. Books, magazines, blogs, Youtube motivational videos, podcasts, Audible. I was hooked.
Fast forward to today. Life is very different even though I’m still a personal development junkie. I’m no longer just drifting by on the river of life. I have an oar in the form of self-education and I use it now to paddle myself toward a destination and a life that I choose. Every time I’m in my car, I listen to podcasts, motivational videos, or audiobooks. I’ve committed myself to reading at least one non-fiction book a month. I read blogs daily on different topics. I’ve been able to achieve levels of success that I would never have thought were possible had I not constantly fed my mind with positive and stimulating content. Self-education and personal development is the key to living the life of your dreams. If this part of the story doesn’t sound familiar to you, I want you to stop and think for a second. Will you choose to be a wandering generality or a meaningful specific?