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Today’s insight comes to a result of a phone call that I just got from a friend of mine. Now, I haven’t spoken to this friend in quite a while, and I’m outside in my adventure van getting things ready for a trip that my family and I are going on. We take these trips regularly, and this is actually what prompted this phone call because my friend found out. He called me to say, “Doug, it seems like you’re doing all these great things; however, it just seems like a lot of work. I really don’t want to put all the work into going on. I have a decent job, a decent family, a decent life, yet I feel like I’m stuck in a rut and it just seems like a lot of work. Taking care of my family, my health, my wealth, my relationships, and all these things that encompassed in my business. It just seems like taking things to the next level is just a pain in the butt. Do you have any secrets?”

This is a common thread that I hear often. First of all, I don’t have everything going on. I just choose to be the author of my own story, which is a process that I’ve gone over for decades and I just wanted to share that with people. That’s what that sparked this phone call, which is great because it always was the first time that he and I had talked in many, many years.

What I thought about was a quote. I dug it up, and so I want to share it with you. Here’s how this quote goes: “I bargained with Life for a penny, And Life would pay no more, however, I begged at evening when I counted my scanty score. For Life is just an employer, he gives you what you ask, but once you have set the wages, why, you must bear the task. I worked for a menial’s hire, only to learn, dismayed, That any wage I asked of Life, Life would have gladly paid.”

Now, what it’s saying here is something that I’ve found. Now, it’s just as easy to have lofty goals and dreams and aim high as it is to get stuck in a rut and aim low. In fact, I think it’s actually easier to have lofty goals and go for those because they’re more inspiring, they pull you forward, and they give you more energy than it is to stay at a low level. See, my friend that called me and was talking to me and was telling me that it seems too hard for him to balance all of these things in his life, and that’s really what he was talking about, but also to take it to a next level, to take care of his health. To him, it felt easier come home from work, have a couple cocktails, sits on the couch, and watch TV. That seemed easier to him, yet he was depressed. He was reaching out to me because he had a problem he wanted to solve and felt that I had the solution.

Now, what I wanted to tell him, and what I did tell him, is, “Look, if you set your goals high, what you really want in life, that’ll energize you. It’ll also impact those around you, and that’s critical as well.” See, he has a family. He has a wife and two beautiful children. By doing this, by actually going after these lofty goals, he’s not only up leveling himself, giving himself more energy, more joy, more love, more passion, all these things that we all want, and these are the things that people want to be around, right? You want to be around someone who’s going big. You want to be around someone who’s passionate about life. We all do. Now, so he was just moping and he was losing his energy. Plus, he’s a role model, right? He’s a role model for his kids to watch, so if he’s not going for his goals, why should his kids, right? Why should they try it?

What he was doing is he bargained with life for a penny and he wasn’t happy, he wasn’t fulfilled, and he was scared that it was going to take too much work to actually go for his dreams, to go for his goals. In our conversation really what I broke down with him fairly quickly … Obviously, it wasn’t a coaching call, and I don’t coach people unless they request it. If it’s a friend looking for advice, that’s all I give. But what I noticed, and I talked to him about it, I was like, “Hey, really what you’re talking about is fear. You’re afraid that if you have these lofty goals and visions, it’s not the work that it requires that holding you back. It’s the fear that you won’t hit them, and what will everybody think of you?” That’s just something we all have. It’s a natural thing. It’s not the fear of success or the fear of failure. People talk about that often. But it’s the fear that if you’re putting yourself out there, you’re putting your real you in front of people. You’re putting the real you in front of you. When you mess up in front of you, then you count yourself as a failure.

Now to me, not being the author of my own story would be a failure, not doing things in the way that I want to do them, not being able to go on adventures with my family, not being able to deliver this message to you right now. That would be a failure for me. I’m not looking to sit on the couch. There’s nothing wrong with that, with relaxing, but if you’re playing low and you’re aiming low, what I want you to do is start aiming high. What could you do to uplevel? Remember, I believe, and I’ve seen this with millionaires as well as people that are just starting out in their business careers, that playing low is harder. It’s more difficult than playing big than shooting for the stars. I think you should have reasonable goals, and I think that’s great, but I think you need to play big because that’s going to bring the passion out of you.

Here’s what I’m going to ask you to do: Grab your journal. Grab that journal, write out your Five to Thrive, your mind, body, soul, relationships, and your business. What I want to know is where are you playing small? Where are you playing small in each of those five areas? Where are you playing just at a level that you know you can compete? Maybe you have goals, aspirations, but you know you can hit those. Yeah, no problem. I can drop 10 pounds. Yeah, no problem. I can play on the varsity soccer team. Yeah, no problem. I can make an extra 10 grand a month on my business. That is playing small. What else can you do? What’s that stretch goal? Do you need more money? Well, why not make 15 grand a month so you can give that other five grand away? Give it away to charity.

One of the best things that I’ve ever done is give away money to charity, or give away resources. Our marketing company, Branded Innovation, developed a plan so we can help the hurricane victims. We decided as a team we’re going to do this. Every quarter we pick a new charity and we’re going to donate our services to this charity. This is just a great way of giving back, and it’s a way of playing bigger. Now, of course, it’s easier for us not to. It’s easier for us not to do that extra work. It’s easier for us just to make enough money so we can play more, but it’s not fulfilling. It’s not rewarding to myself, and it’s not rewarding to my team. I have an amazing team, and I’m very lucky, and they all play big. That’s what I want you to do too.

So grab your journal, write our your Five to Thrive. Simply just write out, “Hey, where am I playing? What level am I playing with?” And be raw and honest with yourself. If you know you can do better, then do better. You’ll feel better about it. You know this is true in your own life, and I want you to experience across your whole Five to Thrive on how you can do that.

Second thing I’m going to ask you to do is share this conversation with three people. This is exactly why my friend reached out to me. Somebody shared this Daily Growth Hack with him, and that opened up his eyes. He realized that what he was doing wasn’t fulfilling. Now, of course, he was worried it might be too hard, and you know it’s not. But somebody else sharing this conversation with him opened his eyes and realized that he had the opportunity to take that next step. I’m going to invite you to do that too. Share this with three people. Now, this is not only to help these three people out. We’re not here to fix other people, but these three people are people that are going to uplift you and build your tribe and community to allow you to become the author of your own story more readily. So two tasks for today, as always, but remember, absolutely if anything else, just remember, go out and be the author of your own story.

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