Being Excited is the Magic Elixir of Success!

Robert Terson

Something magical happens to me when I commit to a major project that I’m hungry to achieve, like creating a book. I become alive in a way that makes every waking moment seem like I’ve been transported to another world. It’s sort of like Dorothy going from the black-and-white of Kansas to the brilliant colors of Oz. Everything becomes amazingly heightened, every aspect of my life suddenly has an aura around it that wasn’t there before. I feel like I’m waltzing down the Yellow Brick Road with this wonderful secret that’s causing me to jump right out of my skin. It’s concrete evidence proving the truth of my favorite quotation, from an unknown source: “If you don’t have a dream that is so outrageous that you couldn’t possibly succeed unless God Himself puts in a personal appearance, you’re not alive.”

And it’s not just me. Periodically I’ll observe this same phenomenon in others, too. In July, as we do every year, Nicki and I spent a week with my brother-in-law Steve and sister-in-law Diane (Nicki’s younger sister, we call her Dee). They have a house in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, just over the Wisconsin border, about five miles deep into the Northwoods, on a lake. It’s like living in a vacation house all year long. Deer come right up to the front door. As soon as we got there Steve (Steve’s one of the most terrific human beings I’ve ever had the joy to know; I love this guy! He’s not just my brother-in-law, he’s my brother!) started talking to me about a huge business project he’s working on that could affect the entire area. His excitement was beyond measure; I’d never seen him like this before. His eyes were aglow, his arms waving as he spoke. In minutes he had me excited about it; it’s weeks later and I’m still excited about it.

What I’m getting at here is this: if there’s a huge dream percolating in your brain, a dream you’re dying to tackle but have been unable to get started on because of fear—fear of failure—I want you to know what you’re missing; I want you to know that you’re keeping yourself from experiencing this wonderful elixir of excitement that will cause you to become alive like you’ve never experienced before. There isn’t a drug on earth that can compete with it, my friends. And it’s just there for you for the taking.

“But what if I fail?” you’re asking yourself. “What if I get all excited, spend a year or two of my precious life working my ass off to achieve it, and my balloon bursts and I’m left holding an empty dream-bag? What then? That’s happened to me before and it hurts, man. It’s excruciating! I just can’t handle another failure like that.”

Yes, well, I’ve experienced plenty of failures, too; and you’re right: it hurts, it hurts a lot. But the pure raw truth is “failure” is an important part of the success process, and you shouldn’t be afraid of it; you should embrace it. Michael Jordan said, “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.

Besides, the definition of “failure”—my definition, anyway—is this: a temporary learning experience on the path to success. See, if you never quit, failure can never be permanent.

So start dreaming. Become excited, alive like you’ve never known before. Start waltzing down your own Yellow Brick Road. You’re going to have the time of your life!


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