Dear High Achiever,

Know what’s the most difficult part about writing a weekly newsletter, a book, a training program, or anything?

The beginning.

Try this test: When you are done reading this FYI, open up a Word doc. Notice the cursor … sitting on the blank white page … just blinking at you? It’s like its challenging you, saying “Go ahead. Write something. I dare you!”

That’s when most people stop. Sometimes, when Geoff’s “networking” with his publishing hat on, I often hear him start a conversation by asking people what book they have inside of them. It’s his interesting and clever approach to get people to think about and share what’s unique about them.

I believe that most people have a book inside them. But I also know that most people will never write it and die with that book still inside them.

What a shame. They will also die with a dream, a goal and vision of how they wanted to live their life, but were held hostage by their own fears.

Don’t let that be you!

I read my favorite quote by Henry David Thoreau the other day and it inspired me to share it with you. It’s a classic and you’ve probably heard, seen and read it before — perhaps many times.

Here it is:

If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams,

and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined,

he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.

- Henry David Thoreau -

You’ve seen this, right? This is one of those timeless quotes that’s been referred to so many times that you almost don’t pay attention to it. Actually, it’s so well known, that it’s something I refer to as a “throw-away”. And that’s a big mistake!

There is a reason why it is a classic … and why it has endured the test of time … and why it deserves being referenced so often:

Because it’s powerful.

How powerful? Put on your thinking cap for a moment and let’s look together. Here is how I use and interpret this quote to “Go Forward” and work hard every day to achieve my goals. I’m going to break this down, reviewing the three distinct phrases.

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams …”

Notice Thoreau does NOT say, “If one advances perfectly.” If I stared at the cursor waiting for the perfect words, I’d never write. I don’t want to be my own victim of “analysis paralysis.” When I write — or do almost anything for that matter — I think about this axiom: Progress over Perfection.

Whenever I’m stalled, or when I stop and ask myself “Should I?” — that’s my automatic “green light” to advance confidently. I don’t have to be perfect. I just need to get into action.

FYI ACTION IDEA: You can if you think you can. Just advance. I know you can. Just do it!

Does that help? Get it? Move toward your dreams, today. Get out of Park, put yourself into Drive, take your foot of the brake and put it onto the gas pedal, begin to get in forward motion, and advance with confidence.

“… and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined …”

“Endeavor” is defined as “to make a serious effort; to try hard.”

Are you trying hard? Or — be honest — are you hardly trying? Are you making a serious effort to live the life you have imagined? Is what you’ve imagined success? Or do you foresee failure? Have you already made up your mind to not work too hard and you’ve settled for less?

FYI ACTION IDEA: Check your mindset. We become what we think about most of the time. So think about that life you once imagined for yourself? Have you lowered expectations? Why? “Did you give it your best? And was it really your best?” Sound familiar? If not, ask me to resend last week’s FYI #83.

“…he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

When I talk to mentors they all say very much the same thing about achieving success: “Eric, you have to set your goals extremely high; make them seem a bit beyond reach. What’s cool about that is, when success comes … when it happens … it happens fast. And it’s like a massive tidal wave!”

Wow! That gets me excited.

FYI ACTION IDEA: Start with a BIG DREAM. Remember, achieving it is not automatic; it requires imperfect confidence and trying hard. But the payoff of pursuing a BIG dream is BIG success. To quote another well-worn cliché, “If you shoot for the moon and miss, you’ll still end up among the stars.” That’s just another version of Thoreau’s “success unexpected in common hours.”

To me, this last line also means that you have to have faith. You have to believe that you will achieve your desired outcome and that success will surely be yours. I believe that.

I believe that persistence is synonymous with faith. If I didn’t have faith I probably wouldn’t persist. But I persist because I have faith. I believe that if I keep moving toward my dreams and my goals, they will move toward me (and maybe even meet me half way).

Go Forward! My wish is that this upcoming year will be Your Best Year Ever! And with each New Year you will set even higher goals and “advance confidently in the direction of your dreams.”

Eric Taylor

P.S. - Speaking of writing: Walden (the source of this famous quote) was published in 1854 by Ticknor & Fields and sold for $1. Thoreau got a royalty of 15 cents on each copy. The first printing was 2,000 copies. During the first year after publication, all but 256 of the original 2,000 copies were sold, due in part to generally favorable reviews. “Eccentric,” “strikingly original” and “stimulating” were typical reviewer reactions. But the balance of the copies took 5 years to sell out and the publisher was in no hurry to reprint. Currently about 20 copies of the First Edition are on the market and one could cost as much as $40,000. You can see photos of a copy recently sold at auction HERE.

Go Out and Make This Your Best Year Ever!

Author's Bio: 

Eric Taylor is the Chief Inspiration Officer of and founder of New Jersey based Empowerment Group International. He delivers more than 100 energized and interactive keynotes, workshops and seminars each year to corporations, associations and tradeshows. He is the author of the Energy Passport, Co-creator of the Best Year Ever! Success System and Co-author of The Complete Sales Training Encyclopedia. To get complete details about Eric’s background, his products and services, visit Eric Taylor’s Blog and review Eric Taylor’s Profile.