How do you complete a thousand-mile journey? You take the first step, just one step, and before you know it you’ve walked a thousand miles. How do you help a million people? You help one and that will multiply a million times. We have taken that first step on our journey we won’t stop until we’ve reached our destination wherever, whatever that may be. Once we reach that destination, we will pick another destination and begin a new journey. Once you understand how easy it is to become successful at one thing that you want, then you can become successful at everything. If you can be successful at losing weight then you can be successful in making money because it’s all the same principles. Enjoy the journey.
The most important part of the journey is the WHY. Why do you want to take this journey? You will hear me refer to the WHY many times because the WHY is what gets you to your destination. The HOW does not matter, it will be revealed to you once you know the WHY. I remember when I began training for the military and that it was definitely out of my comfort zone. I didn’t really know why I had volunteered, I was just pulled in that direction. I knew it was going to be physically and mentally difficult. It was peacetime so I didn’t have any visions of being a war hero. There was no certain rank that I desired to achieve. Heck, I wasn’t even inspired by Gomer Pyle, USMC (If you don’t know who that is, look him up. A very funny show). My WHY became my fear of failure. I was terrified of not making it, being one of the few who couldn’t cut it, and going home to face my family not worthy of wearing the uniform.
I didn’t know how I was going to make it through. I was just going to take it one day at a time. One of the first days that I was there, we were standing in formation and I was scared, homesick, and felt totally out of place. So I just looked to my right, looked to my left, and randomly picked out one of my fellow soldiers. I made a commitment to myself that if he made it, I was going to make it and that if he didn’t make it, I would pick out another person and say the same. I made the decision that day that I was going to make it to graduation. I then began using this technique for every difficult and challenging event in my life.
My first day at the U.S. Army Airborne School in Fort Benning, Georgia, I used this technique to make it through and earn my wings. I had to use this technique many times because we had such a high attrition rate. I would pick out a fellow soldier and say to myself if they make it, so will I, only to find out the next day they weren’t there. I would then repeat the process with another fellow soldier until I made my final graduation jump. The funny thing about jump school was I didn’t even know why I was there. One day I was in military science class in college and the major asked for volunteers for the airborne school. I really didn’t know what it entailed but I did know that it included jumping out of airplanes and I was scared of heights. I thought this would be a good thing for these other gung ho cadets in my class but my mama didn’t raise no fool. There’s no way I would ever do that. I counted eight hands raised and heard the major say, “Okay we’ve got nine volunteers.” I then realized that my hand was raised and I don’t remember making a conscious decision to raise it. It was too late now, I would look like a coward trying to take it back. I thought about faking an injury. Grabbing the back of my leg and yelling, “it’s a hammy, it’s a hammy!” Then came my way out, the major said that he only had eight slots so we would use the physical training test to decide who would go. All I had to do was make sure eight other guys did better than me on the test. Even I couldn’t screw this one up. When the day of the test came I still had no desire to jump out of an airplane but damn my competitive spirit, I scored one of the top eight scores and about a month later my dad was dropping me off to go learn how to fall out of an airplane.
I always wondered how my hand got raised that day and why I was doing these things. This has happened to me several times in my life where I ended up doing something that I have no idea how or why I was doing it. Several years later I realized that my hand was raised because airborne school was going to be essential in my journey. It provided me with the self-confidence to take on the challenges on my journey. Airborne school taught me that everyone has fears but you can control these fears. One part of training is the 250 foot tower. During this training, they harness you to a deployed parachute which is hooked to a large ring and haul you 250 feet in the air. The sergeant on the ground gives you commands and you have to acknowledge his commands by opening and closing your legs. Once you’ve acknowledged all of his commands the parachute is released from the ring and you float down and try to make a perfect landing without hurting yourself. I remember one soldier was at the top of the tower and the sergeant was giving him commands. The soldier didn’t open and close his legs and was frozen in fear. The soldier was then lowered to the ground and removed from training. That’s when the sergeant turned to the few of us that were sitting on the bench waiting their turn and gave me one of the greatest gifts of all. He said, “fear is normal, everyone has it but you must learn to control the fear.”
“You can conquer almost any fear if you will only make up your mind to do so. For remember, fear doesn’t exist anywhere except in the mind.”
– Dale Carnegie
Learning how to control my fears and getting out of my comfort zone has been part of my journey. It has led me to where I am today. Thinking about how are you going to do something will not control your fears. Only the WHY will give you the strength to control your fears and make it through your journey. When you decide to lose weight, you will go through some doubts and struggles on your journey. But make it your journey and enjoy every part of it because there’s a new you at the end. You might be afraid of going to a support meeting for the first time or joining a gym because you think everyone’s looking at you. I implore you to conquer your fears and not worry about other people. They are not on this journey with you. This is your journey and your journey only.
As I look back on my journey so far I can only smile. Thinking about the successes and the failures makes me happy. Everything I have gone through in my life has gotten me to this point today. Everything needed to happen for me to be the person that I am today. Enjoy your journey. Enjoy the good, the bad, and the ugly. When it’s all said and done you will have created the greatest masterpiece in the world and be proud to sign your name to it.
“This train is moving on, you can get on, you can get off, but the train keeps moving on!” We are going to the top of the mountain!”