Quick story for ya.
It was the Spring of 1996 — freshman year of college.
I was hanging out in front of the dorm with my roommate and one of his fraternity brothers, complaining about about my professors and a brutal round of midterm exams coming up.
You see, exams were just two weeks away and according to my syllabi I had 4 (yes, four) midterms scheduled on one day.
Back to back to back to back.
I went on and on criticizing my professors, each of whom seemed to act like their class was the ONLY class I was taking.
They were setting me up to fail.
It wasn’t fair!
Then, when my 10-minute grumble finally came to an end, the frat bro looked at me and said this:
“Well, I guess you’re gonna find out what kind of student you’re gonna be.”
Those words I will never forget. That one sentence changed everything.
He was right.
I was being a victim of my circumstances. My professors were not colluding to sabotage my GPA. No one wanted to see me fail. NOTHING was unfair.
The bottom line was that the outcome of my exams was entirely up to me.
I spent the next two weeks in a non-stop study mode that reminded me of the training scenes in the Rocky movies. I even grew a beard.
Then when exam day came, I woke up, gave myself a good shave, grabbed a pencil and pen, and walked to campus to find out what kind of student I was.
Four exams. 200 questions. 199 correct answers.
I missed one all day.
Those midterms taught me one of the greatest lessons in life. That regardless of how terribly unfair or catastrophic the adversities I encounter may seem, it’s up to me to overcome them.
I am responsible.
Not only did I find out what kind of student I was, I discovered the kind of person I wanted to become.
I mean, we all want to be successful, but one thing we tend to overlook is our development as people. Check out this quote:
“Your level of success will rarely exceed your level of personal development, because success is something you attract by the person you become.”
The late Jim Rohn said that.
Success can mean whatever you want it to mean — overcoming that health challenge, losing those extra pounds, earning more money. It’s up to you.
But here’s the thing. Your doctor isn’t the one holding you back. Nor are Big Food, Big Pharma, or your Boss.
In the end, you are the captain of your own ship. You are responsible.
Blaming others — like I blamed my professors — ultimately places the power that is your life in someone else’s hands.
Yeah, giving away that power can seem so much easier than the alternative. It’s safer, with less ups, downs, and unknowns. But it’s that gnawing feeling of living below your potential that sooner or later becomes difficult to live with. Is this the person you want to be?
Why has this post gotten all “self-helpy”?
Because last week, Hal Elrod — author of The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM) — shared one of the most incredible stories ever told on the podcast.
Hal died. A drunk driver took his life — albeit for a few minutes — in a grisly head-on collision at the young age of 20.
He calls it the BEST thing that ever happened to him.
On Episode #299 of the podcast, Hal shares:
* How every experience, good or bad, is an asset … as long as you see it that way.
* 6 Things Successful People Do and How to Get “Level 10” Success.
* How to rise above mediocrity and become a “five-percenter”.
* How making small changes to your morning routine can change your life.
This. Was. Awesome.
Click the player below to listen to Episode #299 with author and speaker Hal Elrod.
Thanks for listening,