When I was 15, I lived with my aunt and uncle out in St. Louis, Missouri. They live in a quiet, peaceful town of only 20,000 or so. It's the kind of town where people actually know their neighbors. The first, and frankly, only, place like that I ever lived.
I used to go bike riding with my uncle. I had this clunky, heavy Toys R Us bike that I'd had since I was like 10. The thing was so heavy I couldn't even pick it up with two hands. And so my uncle and I would ride through the town – him in front, me in the back. But I wasn't in the back by choice. Actually, it was my ultimate goal to be able to pass him.
Yet no matter how hard I pedaled – it never happened.
Never! And I would pedal my heart out. I simply couldn't understand it… No matter how much effort I put into it – he never got any closer. That summer I went out to California to visit my brother, and we did a TON of biking. We went into the mountains and rode for hours – up hills I never thought I could, in places where mountain lions roamed, and down slopes so steep my brakes could barely manage.
When I came back to St. Louis, I was HOOKED. My Bar Mitzvah was only a couple years before – and I still had money saved up that my relatives had given me as their way of saying "congratulations."
I decided to buy a new bike.
And something incredible happened.
The next time I went riding with my uncle – I realized I could easily pass him. I had been training so hard on that old POS for MONTHS that I built up the strength and endurance to ride just as well as he did – if not better. But most importantly, I realized something huge:
It wasn't me all along. It was the bike.
I learned that sometimes you can be doing everything "right" – yet things outside of yourself will hold you back. And this lesson has carried into every aspect of my life. When I simply wasn't feeling fulfilled in college – yet my business was growing and thriving and brought me a ton of fulfillment and inspired my passion – I dropped school just like I dropped my old bike.
And business boomed.
When our former business partners simply weren't willing to listen to what we had to say, and as a result we felt disrespected, unappreciated, and robbed of the freedom we sought when we started our own business – we realized we had to drop them, too.
And our lives instantly become more liberated, more full of people who really respect and appreciate us, and more abundant than ever.
I'd like to ask you something now…
Think about your life the way it is right now. Maybe even close your eyes and take a deep breath. And think to yourself…
Are there any things in your life right now that simply won't work – no matter how much force and effort you put into them?
Are there people who just won't respect you, approve of you, appreciate you, no matter how much you "prove yourself" to them? Are there objects in your life that are holding you back – like my bike? Maybe even something as simple as the pen you write with? Or something bigger like the car you drive, the house you live in?
Think about it. Let the thoughts stir. And when you're ready, imagine what your life would be like if those things were out of the picture. Imagine if instead of that negative, inspiration-sucking person in your life, there were 10 people who admired you for who you really are.
Or if instead of the car you drive now, there was one that made you feel proud to drive it around, or at least extremely comfortable.
Or maybe even it's where you live. Maybe the city you live in just isn't right for you. Maybe that's the "old bike" that you need to replace.
Care to share?
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. I'd love to hear about anything you've ever set aside like my old bike. Or if you have any questions.
Feel free to just scroll down and write them below.
Till next time,