By Steve Mills
You can learn a lot about life from reading and listening to the life stories of others. I love biographies, to see how my personal hero’s have structured their lives. The struggles they have faced, strategies they have used and the way that they have structured their lives in order to do what they love every day. The insight gained from looking at the place where people have started their life journey, and the steps they have taken to get to their goals is extremely valuable, like the condensed experience of every year of their life, put into the few hours it takes to read the book.
While it is important to use biographies and stories of success to learn and motivate us, there is one thing to be wary of. That is using the circumstances of others as excuses for not taking action ourselves. In the past I have caught myself, after reading about another self made billionaire, thinking things like “If only I got that big break then my life would be different” OR “if I didn’t have all of these responsibilities then I would have time to plan for success.”
This has lead to periods of inaction, or for settling for life circumstances that are less then favourable because I didn’t feel that I had the resources or advantages that others may have earned or been given by fate. I am now the first to admit that when we compare our life circumstances with other people, and then use the differences as excuses, we are entirely missing the point.
It is not that important to get hung up on the facts, but more to take the broad lessons of another’s life experience, and then apply them to your current life and dreams. Sure, your hero may have been a millionaire by 25, and you are close to pushing 40. Does that mean that you are in any less of a position than them? No, it just means that you have walked a different path, a unique experience that is the most valuable thing that you could possibly possess.
Sure, some of your idols may have been overnight successes, or been given a massive “lucky break”, but in general they were people just like you, following an inner urge to do their own thing, and not be confined by the rules of others. Don’t get caught in the game of looking for reasons why your life structure is less than ideal and stopping you reaching your goals. Look to see the advantages and benefits that are unique to you and give you an advantage. Always look to make small gains every day, and utilise the resources at hand as fully as possible.
If an interest in deeper spirituality has taught me anything in my life, it is that each of us must walk their own path towards their own truth.
We are here in this life as individuals so that we can learn and explore a way of living and a path to fulfilment that is unique.