“Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer,” wrote Sun-tzu—a great Chinese general and military strategist. When waging war there is nothing more important than understanding your enemy and keeping him at arm’s length.
For all of you successful self-made entrepreneurs out there, you know exactly what I’m talking about: your business’s success—your success—depends on staying ahead of your competition; that sometimes requires you hiring the talent in order to make sure they work for you rather than against you.
Believe it or not, each and every one of us is a business owner. We may not be CEO’s of large corporations or even small-business owners, but we all own the business that matters most: ourselves. You are a business; you are your business—you are your brand.
What few seem to understand is that becoming successful does not start with finding that perfect job or starting that innovative company. Before you can do any of that you have to take care of the business that you are born with.
The one product that you will be selling to each and every person that you ever come into contact with in your life is you. Whenever you make new friends, start dating someone, or get hired, all of these people are essentially buying what you are selling. This being the case, if the one thing that you want from life is success, then the one focus that you must have and keep for the entirety of your life is bettering yourself.
The concept is simple enough: you are your business, so if you want your business to grow, then you need to grow. The biggest problem with this is that each one of us seems to be our own greatest enemy. How many times have you told yourself during your self-motivational stage prior to action, that this time around things will be different? That this time, this time you will finish what you started and you will achieve the goal that you set for yourself?
Whether our goal is to learn a trade, get healthy or throw a poor habit, I am willing to bet everything on the fact that we have all attempted to achieve something and failed miserably. I most definitely have—many times. What I had to learn the hard way is that blaming anyone on the outside, blaming any circumstances or conditions, blaming anyone but yourself is the greatest mistake one can make.
You are your worst enemy. You will spend days or even weeks staying motivated, pushing yourself in the direction that you chose, and then convince yourself in a matter of minutes to give it all up—to throw in the towel. The problem is not that you don’t know what you want to achieve.
The problem is that you either do not understand how important the achievement will be to you and your success, or you simply do not want the achievement bad enough. There is a third possibility—you don’t crave success itself enough—but I shutter to even think that anyone would be willing to settle for mediocrity, at least not those that read Elite Daily. Generation-Y does not settle for ‘only enough’—we are the leaders, the future of tomorrow. Failing to take action and follow through only leads to a life wasted.
While being your own worst enemy can be detrimental, there is a bright side: you are already keeping your most notorious enemy as close to you as you possibly could. You literally could not keep your enemy any closer. Now all you need to do is learn to control him. In order to control your enemy, you must come to recognize him—understand which part of you is working against you.
This may seem like a daunting task, but it’s rather simple: your enemy is the one feeding you all those negative thoughts that you have floating about in your head. Every time you hear a voice saying that you CAN’T do something, that you CAN’T succeed, that you CAN’T take the pain, that you are NOT capable of achieving what you set out to achieve, that you would be happier if you were to take things EASY—that is the voice of your enemy poking at you and nudging you towards failure.
Whenever you think any of these negative thoughts, whenever your mind becomes filled with NOs and CAN’Ts, tell that voice inside you to shut the fuck up. Seriously, tell your enemy that he needs to go fuck himself because you are going to achieve what you set out to achieve no matter how much it hurts, no matter how much you have to sacrifice and no matter what it takes.
You CAN and you WILL do what you set out to achieve—and that’s the end of that. You can’t convince a stubborn person otherwise; be stubborn. In response to negativity, fill your mind with positive thoughts of success and prosperity. Visualize and imagine how it will feel once you achieve whatever it is that you set out to achieve.
Close your eyes and place yourself in the future, looking at your bank account with more zeros that you thought could fit on a computer screen. Close your eyes and feel how great it feels to have that six-pack you wish to have—that you must have, will have. The more you focus on your goal and the path that you need to take to achieve that goal, the more your personal enemy will keep his yap shut.
Fighting with yourself is a winning battle if you allow it to be. You must want what you want more than anything else at that moment. Sure, you would love a scoop of ice cream right now, but you know what tastes even better than ice cream? Fit and healthy tastes better than ice cream. Yes, going out with your friends for a few rounds of drinks, getting shit-faced and bringing home some new tail would be great.
But do you know what would be even more awesome? Owning your own penthouse in Manhattan would be more awesome. Driving that Ferrari would be more awesome. Being financially stable, being successful, being respected by other people because you achieved what they were too weak to achieve, would be more awesome. We all face failure from time to time. What matters is how we overcome it.
Paul Hudson | Elite.
For more from Paul, follow him on Twitter @MrPaulHudson