There's a pattern I've noticed among those who achieve great things in their lives – whether it's Tiger Woods winning his 60th title or Roger Federer's dominance on the courts, Bill Gates' mastery of software business and now philanthropy…and so on.
No, it's not thinking positive, having a purpose, setting goals — though in many cases these things are true.
In fact, this odd behavior is quite hidden and is so powerful, I'm finding breakthroughs in areas I couldn't ever seem to make proress on before. It has turned my thinking around 180-degrees and the results are proving quite phenomenal.
This is going to sound strange, but the pattern of behavior is…
Not Accepting Reality!
Be careful, I'm not trying to say that they don't understand or get a feeling for what the normal definition of reality is, just that they have developed a personality (or were born with it – a debate for another post), that allows them to completely ignore society's definition of normal without the built-in need the rest of us have to accept and chase the current definition of reality.
Often, I would meet these people and they would engage me in a conversation where they talked about something in the future as if it were simple, with nothing standing in the way. Now, I would sit there in a state of disbelief wondering how it was possible for them to NOT see the dozens of obstacles that stood in their way to achieve their desired goal —
They would only consider achieving what they wanted, I could only consider all of the obstacles that stood in the way to achieving that end result.
Guess how others perceived us when we were together?
He was the visionary and I was the complainer.
He had passion and 'looked' like a natural leader, I was seen as negative – not a team player.
Why could he take such a simple, unrealistic approach to this situation when it was obvious there were all kinds of landmines awaiting – could it be he lacks intelligence? Was that it – he must be stupid!
Quite the opposite. Instead, it turns out that high achievers do not accept the current reality but have instead built their own reality.
Think about how powerful this concept is.
When you are stuck dealing with petty complaints, bumps along the way, fires that spring up, and spend all of your energy toward overcoming hurdles, the high achiever simply glosses over these in a fashion that they are almost NOT REAL so they don't affect them.
To you or I, a setback may seem to be insurmountable – to the high achiever who has chosen to set his or her own reality, they are already IN their new reality which is characterized by achieving an even loftier goal.
These are the people that can take hit after hit, only to rebound immediately after with no obvious impact.
Living a life where you acknowledge, but do NOT accept reality and instead, set your own reality allows you to limit stress, become much more visionary, become a stronger leader and achieve amazing things in your life without all of the hangups the rest of us experience living according to the "normal" definition of reality.
Think about this – do you know anyone at work or in relationships that seems to be a dreamer – that sets out to achieve things without the smallest sense of whether it is possible or not?
I bet you do know someone, and now you know that by NOT accepting reality, you can grow your personal development by leaps and bounds.