In the second grade, they asked us what we wanted to be.
I said I wanted to be a ball player and they laughed.
In the eighth grade, they asked the same question, and I said a ball player and they laughed a little more.
By the eleventh grade, no one was laughing.
These are the words of former baseball great Johnny Bench.
This could have very well been said by someone you know…even you.
Obviously, you’re most likely not a baseball player…but you do have goals…dreams of what you would love to do…a vision of how you want your life to be.
And if you’ve ever told someone what those are…at some point…you most likely had someone who laughed at you…said you were crazy…told you to “get real”…and in all likelihood said “get a job.”
In other words…
These people did not take you seriously…at first.
Who were these people?
Where were you at?
And when this happened what did you do?
This brings up the question…
What do you do when people don’t take you seriously?
1. Giggles and kids
It typically begins when you start elementary school. At some point you’ll be doing something…or saying something…or declaring in some way what you’d love to do.
And what happens?
You get the other kids…and sometimes even the teachers…laughing at you and thinking it’s some kind of joke.
It may not be obvious as outright laughing. It can also be the giggles that kids give.
Then over time those giggles and laughter from the kids turns into being “ignored” as an adult.
In either case it still has to do with others not taking you seriously.
So what can you do about this?
Whether you’re a kid still in school…or an adult…it begins with being aware and making it a point to consistently pay attention to this…
One…no matter what you do in life you’ll always get both sides equally.
That is, the supports and challenges, the praise and criticism, people liking and disliking you, and people paying attention and not paying attention to you. There’s no escaping this.
Two…whatever it is that you’d love to do…no matter how outrageous it may seem now…if it’s something you truly want, you’ll do whatever it takes, travel any distance, and pay whatever price to achieve it.
And you’ll embrace both sides equally along the way.
When people do ignore you and not take you seriously, you’ll know that as one person ignores and isn’t taking you seriously…another person is paying attention to you and taking you seriously.
2. Cocky or Rocky
Here’s what else Johnny Bench said in his quote:
“There are too many false things in the world, and I don’t want to be a part of them. If you say what you think, you’re called cocky or conceited.
But if you have an objective in life, you shouldn’t be afraid to stand up and say it.”
This is one of the more common reasons why people don’t speak up and say what it is they truly want. As a result they’ll either stay quiet or just say, “I have no idea what I want to do with my life.”
Then you have the flip side of this…the people who are cocky, “puffed up”, and are bragging about themselves.
So how do you strike the healthy balance?
Because…believe it or not…it is vital that you do have a “healthy ego” along with a “non ego.”
It’s called being humble…in a confident way.
This reminds me of being “cocky” vs. Rocky.
“Cocky” being the typical ego centric mindset of “I’ve arrived”, “look at me.”
When I say Rocky, I’m referring to the Rocky character in the movie Rocky. The humble, yet confident person that knows he’s a good boxer…but was never given the chance…while having most people laugh at him thinking he’s a joke.
And it’s being confident in who you are…in what you’re doing…while being humble…and embracing both sides equally is what skyrockets you from being ignored to being someone that people start paying attention to and taking seriously.
As far as being confident is concerned…
Again, when you embrace both sides equally…and not worry about the so called “negative” people and situations you encounter…you’ll remain confident because you won’t let either side…the so called “positive” or “negative” get to you.
You’ll be poised and focus.
At this point is when you’ll get people taking you seriously.
There’s still another incredibly important part involved…
3. Heartfelt craziness
Earlier you saw this other quote from Johnny Bench…
“But if you have an objective in life, you shouldn’t be afraid to stand up and say it.”
This leads to one of my own favorite quotes…
“The next time someone says that you’re crazy and out of your mind, tell them thank you and say, “when I’m out of my mind I’m in my heart which is the most powerful and authentic place to be.”
I call this heartfelt craziness.
And it’s certainly one of the “tipping points” you’ll experience when people don’t take you seriously.
Because it allows you to stand up for yourself…what you believe in…and it’s your driving force to stay persistent without giving up.
As a result…
People will start taking you seriously and listen to what you have to offer.
Now granted you’ll still get some people who will ignore you no matter what you do.
You’ll have new people coming into your life that do take you seriously…
And you’ll have more of those people as well.
If you want 1000 people liking and support you…expect 1000 people disliking and challenging you.
The same thing is true when it comes to people taking you seriously…
If you want 5000 people taking you seriously…be prepared and expect 5000 people to not take you seriously.
Yes, it sounds strange and goes against the so called “conventional wisdom” you’ll hear from most people…
Yet, this is one of the true secrets that’s involved in having the levels of success you want…to of course include wanting people to take you seriously.
And just know this…
It all begins by taking yourself seriously…in a healthy and fun way…
And this includes acknowledging the magnificence and brilliance of who you are.
Because when you do…
You’ll value yourself more…
People will value you…
And you’ll be taken seriously for the special person you are and all that you contribute to the world.
Do you remember this happening in school while growing up?
It may have been in the classroom…the school yard…on the school bus…while walking home.
It was also likely to occur at home.
And it has to do with that one kid…
You know, the kid that others would make fun of…laugh at…and in some cases “beat up.”
There’s one more thing…
The kid that no one believed in at all.
Whether it was the other kids…teachers…the gym coach…and even family members at home…
There was always that kid who others thought would never “make it”…would end up not going anywhere in life…or never amount to anything.
This same kid…strange as it sounds…always had at least one person who did believe in them.
Think about this…
If this was you how did things turn out?
And even if you weren’t that kid back then…what about now?
Because even adults like you and I come across this as well.
With that in mind the question is…
Who believes in you the most?
1. Missing in action
What happens the moment you discover that someone doesn’t believe in you? Whether it’s a comment you hear, patterns in how people act towards you, or just a strong sense you have…what’s going through your mind?
How about this…
Does the thought of doing something about it pop into your mind?
Let’s face it…
There isn’t a person on the face of the earth who didn’t have someone…at some point in time believe in them.
The question is…what did you do about it? What action did you take to “show everyone” that you belong…that you want to be recognized in some way?
Along with that, one thing is certainly obvious…
Every person who ended up succeeding…that had people who didn’t believe in them did one of two things…
They either “showed them” in the area of life that no one believed in them.
They got good at a different area and “showed them” that way.
In either case…while people were still doubting them…they were quietly doing something about it.
I call it being “missing in action”..
Because the action they were taking “behind closed doors” wasn’t seen. And then all of a sudden you see this person “appearing out of nowhere”…right?
How many times have you seen this with someone?
And then everyone says, “I can’t believe how he/she got so good because when we were kids growing up he/she was quiet…shy…and didn’t seem like the type.”
What’s also familiar in each of these situations is that this person…the one nobody believed in…unknown to just about everyone…had that one person who did believe in them and was always on their side.
2. Inches, yards, and miles
It’s been said that “by the inch it’s a cinch” and “by the mile it’s a pile.” What does this mean…and what does it have to do with people believing in you?
The person no one believed in…that started quietly going about their business “behind closed doors”…taking little action steps while nobody was paying attention…they know what this means.
Because they approached it using the mindset of “by the inch it’s a cinch”…meaning that they were “chunking things down” and taking “baby steps.”
And they were methodically doing this…chipping away…even though people still didn’t believe in them.
Let’s take a look at you.
When faced with people not believing in you…what is that you’re taking “quiet action” on that you can “chip away” at?
What is it that you love doing…that you can do all day and still feel alive and inspired?
Because when you’re doing whatever that is…what others say about you will just “roll of your back”…it won’t bother you even when they don’t believe in you.
This will inspire you and is likely to be something you’ll thrive on.
And it goes back to what you hear me say frequently…
No matter what you do you’ll have people supporting and challenging you…praising and criticizing you…liking and disliking you…believing and disbelieving in you.
And the second you “get this”, you’ll “chunk things down” and come from the mindset of, “by the inch it’s a cinch.”
Those “little things” you do that seem like they’re taking forever—according to others that are looking from the outside in—are actually speeding up the process and before you know it you’re getting done 5 years worth of stuff within a few months.
And while this is going on…you have that one person who has believed in you all along.
3. Believer deceiver
This is uniquely strange. Earlier I mentioned about those who didn’t believe in that kid you knew while growing up…whether it was the other kids…teachers…the gym coach…and even family members at home.
What’s strange here is…the one person who believed in that kid…when no one else did…is quite often any of these people…sometimes even the same person.
Along with this…
There’s always one person who does believe in you…even when it seems like no one else is.
That person is you.
At some point it will seem like no one believes in you. At times that person may even be you.
Like I said earlier…when you see that no matter what you do in life you’ll get people supporting and challenging you…people believing and disbelieving in you…you’ll “stick with it” and keep moving forward.
It doesn’t matter if no one…or very few people believe in you because as long as you do that’s all you need.
This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes:
“I’d rather have the entire world against me instead of my own soul.”
It’s what’s inside of you…your soul…that dictates how your life turns out. It’s also your soul that believes in you when it seems like no one else does.
Even though at times it may seem like the world is against you…just know that you always have you on your side…your true self.
Along with your true self is the uniqueness of who you are.
And it’s your uniqueness that allows you to stand out and be the special person you are.
The next time you have someone who doesn’t believe in you…quietly thank them…and then thank yourself for who you are and all that you do.
It’s one of those things that keeps you up at night.
And it involves those never ending questions…
How did this happen?How did I get to this point in my life?What can I do to get out of this?
…And along with this comes those other never ending thoughts that leave you very curious about something you’ve always wanted to do.
Before I talk about that consider this…
How much are you in control of your life?
Whether it’s your current career, family life, your physical health, your financial situation, or your overall state of mind…how much control do you have? (And when I say control I’m referring to you being truly fulfilled in any of these areas, along with the other areas of life most important to you?)
Are any of these areas controlling your life?
Because if they are controlling your life it can leave you feeling like you’re walking on a tightrope 1000 ft. above the ground…
Just as much as it can leave you feeling like you’re trying to jam on the brakes of your car at 50 miles per hour while driving on a sheet of ice.
It leaves you feeling out of control, helpless, and powerless.
Now of course something can be done for you to take control of your life so you can go from where you are now to where you want to be.
Before you’re able to do this it’s important to answer a very fundamental question.
1. Tell me why
Whenever you get into a situation, especially one that is controlling and affecting your life in ways you don’t want, the question that always comes up is, “why?”
“Why did this happen to me?”
And in order for you to go from where you are now to where you want to be in any area of your life, it starts by answering that “why” question…
Because unless you do, you’ll have a very high probability of repeating the same
patterns over and over again…and in many cases attribute why your current situation is the way it is to something other than what it really is.
There are two strategies you can use here.
The first is to ask yourself if your expectations are realistic or unrealistic.
For example, if you’re expecting people and situations to be more one sided (more positive than negative) then you set yourself up for an unrealistic expectation.
Every situation and person has both sides equally. The idea here is to use both the positive and negative to help you in what you’re looking to achieve.
Many people want to get rid of negativity and negative thinking…why would you want to do that when it can help you in certain situations. How can it help you?
By getting you to set realistic expectations on yourself, others, and the world in general.
Another example of this is trying to live a happy life in an attempt to get rid of sadness and depression . This also sets you up for many of the situations you don’t want to be in that leaves you asking “why.”
And just like the negative thinking can be used to help you to set realistic expectations, so does the so called “depression.” And it also helps you to set realistic expectations on yourself, others, and the world in general.
Not only are these the sources of “why” we get into situations we don’t want to be in—but as strange as it also sounds—it’s the very way you can also use to answer that “why” question.
Because by doing this you start transforming from a fantasy seeker into a fulfillment driven person…which in turn begins the process of you going from where you are now to where you want to be.
2. Time is always on my side
The second strategy you can use to answer that “why” question involves that elusive and sometimes infamous 4 letter word…time.
How many times have you found yourself saying, “I don’t have enough time” or “There aren’t enough hours in the day” or “I couldn’t do what I wanted because I ran out of time doing other things?”
Let’s face it, we’ve all done this.
Now if you’re in a situation where you don’t want to be and feel like you’re not in control of your life (which usually leads to that “why” question again), then it’s wise to use this second strategy I promised you earlier.
And that is to ask…
“How do I spend my time?”
Because if you’re looking to change your current situation, whether it involves getting out of debt , improving your physical health, transitioning to a career that you’d love doing (and even figuring this out if you currently don’t know), or whatever it is for you, the question is, “How much time are you spending on this?”
Now I’m asking you, “How do you spend your time?”
Are you spending 4 hours a day watching TV or 4 hours a day learning about building your financial future?
Are you spending 4 hours a day surfing the internet mindlessly or spending 4 hours a day learning how to start (and build) a business doing something you love?
If you’re currently working a job you don’t like and commute 2 hours a day, how are you spending that time?
You get the idea.
This is incredibly important because when it comes to getting out of the situation you’re currently in (and even getting into it in the first place), knowing how you’re spending your time will give you a snapshot of where you are and how you can get to where you want to be.
Time is always on your side.
3. Just let yourself go
Earlier I mentioned those other never ending thoughts that leave you very curious about something you’ve always wanted to do. Let’s come back to that now.
And this too involves that “why” question but in a much different way. By answering this “why” question you’ll be able to just let yourself go into the world of what were once thought of as impossibilities.
You see, no matter what is going on in your life right now you have something of tremendous value to contribute to the world. And the best part about this is that it’s something you would love to do most.
It’s something that involves your purpose, your mission, your spiritual quest…
And carried out through the uniqueness of who you are.
And this is what also leaves you with those never ending thoughts of how you want your life to be. Those never ending thoughts that leaves you very curious about what it is that you’ve always wanted to do…
And those never ending thoughts of the new ideas and new ways of how you can go about doing what you love.
Now if by some chance you don’t know what those are yet, ask yourself that other “why” question I mentioned about a minute ago, and that is…
“Why do I want to have ___________?”
We all want the “how” but it’s the “why” that jump starts your life. It’s the “whys” that help you take control of your life.
And it’s the “whys” that helps you go from what seems like a “no way out” situation to living a fulfilled life while doing what you love and loving what you do (of course this also involves taking action).
When you have enough “whys” the “how’s” take care of themselves.
As a result you start coming up with the answers to the questions you at first couldn’t figure out.
You come up with the new ways and ideas on how to go about living the type of life you’d love to live.
You start to attract the people and situations that help you along the way.
And in the process you realize how magnificent and special of a person you really are…
And in return the world treats you like the magnificent and amazing person you have always been.
Most people thought it was impossible…then it became commonplace.
At first it looked like there was no end in sight…then it became crystal clear.
Even to the point of just giving up.
Then something occurred that turned it all around.
And as a result…
Because in addition to now living a fulfilled and meaningful life, they realized how to pave the way for other people to follow in their footsteps.
And they did so from discovering a cure.
Not only for what were once seen as incurable diseases and illnesses…but for life in general.
And no matter how you look at it—whether it has to do with your physical health or not—if you’re in a situation you don’t want to be in, you’ll be looking to get out of it.
The way you start?
By looking for a cure. And to also realize what your cure stands for. As you go about doing this ask yourself…
What is the cure for your life?
1. Across the human race
One thing is certain about you, me, and all human beings…we all live under the laws of the Universe. Most of these are intangible which is why a majority of the people don’t pay attention to them.
It’s the old “if I can’t see it then it doesn’t exist” mentality.
Within these “laws of the Universe” is your cure for life.
And it is your cure that allows you to experience a fulfilled and meaningful life.
Before I get to this let me mention what cure stands for…
Because when you have realistic expectations the cure for your life has begun.
Now of course what is realistic to you may or may not be realistic to someone else.
If your mission in life is to open up a school that teaches children how to maximize their genius—such as what Marilyn Wilhelm did—and you are little by little taking the action steps to follow through on that…then it’s a realistic expectation to you.
Someone who has no interest in doing that…or someone who has no idea what their mission is.
What will they do?
They’ll see it as being unrealistic. And will mostly tell you to “get real.”
So your realistic expectations are relative and based on what you “love” doing…what you’re “inspired” to be doing…what you look forward to doing everyday when you get out of bed in the morning.
Why am I bringing this up…and what does it have to do with you finding your cure for life?
Because when you’re clear on what you love to be doing…
And you’re seeing evidence along the way that you’re on track…
While also realizing that you’ll get equal amounts of support and challenge…pleasure and pain…praise and criticism…people liking and disliking you along the way…
You are consciously understanding realistic expectations.
In other words…
You have begun figuring out what your cure for life is.
And then comes the next piece.
2. Throes of authority
It’s true about doctors. The same with religious leaders. Your boss at work…within your own family…and even those you admire on TV.
As you’re well aware I’m talking about the different authority figures you deal with throughout the course of your life.
And your ability to have your cure for life depends on how effectively you act and react to these “perceived” authority figures.
Case in point…
How many times have you heard from family that you “should” go to college…and that you “have to” get a job?
As a result how many times have you found yourself not doing what you love? And in the process were told that you can’t do what you love…or that you need money to start your own business…or that certain people are “lucky” and you’re not?
And in many cases who is telling you these things…perceived authority figures you’ve given power to.
The result in most cases?
You end up living an unfulfilled life of “have tos” and “supposed tos”…
Instead of a fulfilled life of “I love tos”, “I’m inspired tos”, and “I desire to.”
Same thing with people you know…and even those you admire on TV.
How many times have you looked at someone famous and said, “I wish I had their talent”, “I wish my life was just like theirs”, “I wish I had a loving family like they do?”
Anything you see in someone else you have as well.
Anything you say about someone else you’re saying it about you…otherwise you wouldn’t be saying it at all.
Why is this important for you?
Because when you “stand on the shoulders” of these perceived authority figures…instead of minimizing yourself to them…you are well on your way to discovering the cure for your life.
It goes back to what Einstein said…
“My contempt for authority is what made me one.”
Instead of subordinating yourself to a perceived authority figure you’ve given power to…see where you have what you see in them. It may or may not be in the same exact way as you see in them…yet it will be in your own unique way.
I’m not saying to disrespect these authority figures. I am saying to acknowledge in you what you admire in them.
At this point something else changes in your life…
3. Your will to live
On the last day of your life you’re going to be asking yourself a question…
“Did I do everything I could with everything I was given?”
And you want to be able to say…
“Yes I gave it my all.”
My question to you…
“Why wait until the last day of your life?”
Make it a habit to ask yourself, “did I do everything I could with everything I have today?”
Because when you approach your day (and life) this way you strengthen your will to live.
It gets you to “dig deep” within and come up with the answers to the most challenging questions you have.
You already have the answers…and the solutions…to your biggest challenges.
What it comes down to is having the will to live…to be relentless…persistent…and perseverant in pursuit of your life’s purpose.
And this again goes back to what I said earlier…
It’s about having realistic expectations…the cure for your life.
It doesn’t matter where you are right now…or what you’ve done or not done…or what you’ve been through…or what anyone has said or not said.
What matters is…
You are a special person worthy of being a shining star in the world…
Of being the person that other people respect.
Of being the person who has left their mark on the world in a way that benefits others.
And it all starts by discovering your cure for life…
And continues through your will to live.
And if by some chance you find yourself down and out right now, keep this in mind…
“The more down and out you’ve been, the more in and up you are destined to go.”