I just got off a call with a friend of mine who coaches men to be their absolute best. He’s amazing at it. He’s built a very successful business and a lifestyle that most of us could only dream of. He’s extremely talented.
He asked me a question about one of my goals. Now, one of my goals is to be able to speak conversational Spanish within 90 days. Now, I just want to be able to have a basic conversation in Spanish and I’m far from that goal.
We were talking about this and kind of joking, as we often do. I asked him what other languages he speaks. His response was really interesting and one that I’m going to share with you. His response was, “You know what, Doug, my girlfriend and I, we tried to learn Italian, but it didn’t work out.”
So of course I asked more. What happened? “Well, you know, we hired a coach,” he went on to tell me, “and it just wasn’t structured the right way. The coach was kind of new at it. Yeah, he spoke Italian, but we just didn’t really learn anything so I just gave up on it.”
I found that to be very interesting. Because oftentimes, how often do all of us start a goal, hit one roadblock, and then just give up on it? Rather than using our resources or our resourcefulness.
See, I found this with Spanish. I recently relocated to Bend, Oregon. That’s where I’m filming this right now. Now here in Bend, it’s beautiful, but there are not nearly as many Spanish speakers as of where I’m from natively in Southern California.
So it’s very easy for me to make an excuse. Now back where I grew up and back where I lived, many many many of my friends speak fluent Spanish. But here in Bend, I don’t know people who speak Spanish. There aren’t as many Spanish-speaking natives here. So it’s hard for me to find people to have a conversation with. Very easy for me to give up.
So what I did was something very different. I went online. I went online and hired a Spanish coach. More than that, I came up with a structure for the program. I hired a woman named Ana. Ana’s amazing. She lives in Brazil. She’s been coaching Spanish for over a decade.
Now as I relayed this story to my friend, you could just see visually his face open up at the possibilities and perhaps the opportunities that he had missed out on. So what I did was just something that took a little shift and became resourceful.
With Ana, I talk to her. The more and more I talked to her, I realized that I was able to leverage geo-arbitrage and pay Ana a very good wage. I pay Ana $8 an hour to teach me Spanish. She’s a professional with a master’s degree in teaching foreign languages and tons of experiences.
As I talk to Ana about her career and what she did, I found that by teaching Spanish to foreigners, she made double the average salary that she would at home. So she was able to take care of her family and live a very, very good life on her own terms.
I also found that listening to audio books in Spanish, listening to Spanish music, I went out and I actively seek out Spanish speakers. I call up my friends and annoy them to the ends that I get them to speak Spanish to me and try to let me speak my Spanish to them. It always results in comedy.
See, my friend who is an amazing coach, he didn’t take it to that next level. Which got me to thinking. Where do all of us, in our five to thrive, in our mind, in our body, in our soul, in our relationships, in our business, do we have a goal and hit one roadblock and make an excuse?
Maybe it’s, “I’m not going to get as fit as I want to because, you know, the gym’s too expensive. Or it’s too far away. Or, you know, I need new running shoes. Or I’m not quite there yet.” Rather than being resourceful and coming up with ways to get to our goals.
So I’m going to ask you this because I know it occurs for me. Where across your five to thrive are you experienced this, making an excuse rather than being resourceful and pushing yourself across that next line? Where are you falling just short because you’re coming up with a barrier that makes it easy for you not to follow through?
Write that down. Then what I want you to do is look at your journal. In your five to thrive. Look at these areas that you made these excuses. I know I have mine and I’m sure you have yours.
Where are you in these areas and what can you do right now, at this very moment, to take action? To take the next step? Is it signing up for a sports league? Is it simply getting your clothes ready for a workout? Or even better, is it putting your clothes on right now? Rather than waiting tomorrow and going out for a walk or run? Going to the gym? Calling a friend? Telling somebody you love them? What can you do right now at this moment to take action and eliminate the excuses and utilize your resourcefulness?
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