JTBL #11 – My am I, the hidden obstacle in achieving your goals
You have it all laid out in your mind. Planned out every minute detail. Your luggage, documents, schedule, transport.. everything is ready and all you need to do is enjoy the ride.
It’s a 32 hour journey to Miami, which is formidable, sure. But it’s not the lengthy trip that’s making you quiver in your socks. No, it’s America. See, you need to get into some serious trouble in Europe before losing all your lifelines of help. Friends, family, even the random acquaintance along the way, all provide a safety net. But on the other side of the pond, you’re alone.
America has spent the last 20 years becoming more and more hostile to immigrants and foreigners: building walls to the east and the west, not unlike 21st century Russia, trying to revive a consumer paradise that should’ve died a long time ago. Coming from a tiny European country, America and America’s monster capitalism presents itself as not much more than a pub joke. Something you laugh at over a pint of beers.
.. but it’s much less funny, when you’re the butt of the joke.
You hardly get out of the country before American bureaucracy starts kicking in.
“ESTA documents please?” inquired the deeply antagonistic, slightly hung over Italo-Spanish check-in attendant.
“What?” you quip, biting into your apple.
“ESTA documents. You have electronic?” continued the increasingly displeased service clerk.
“Sorry, I don’t understand,” you reply, slightly puzzled, slowly putting the apple down.
“You are going to US, si? You need VISA, otherwise you not enter country!” advised the attendant, with that look of displeased security professionality in his eyes.
“Wait, what? I didn’t know about this. I thought you can do that when you enter the country.” you explain, to no avail.
“Everybody know this. No VISA, no enter country.” commanded the clerk.
“Well, that’s not a good thing. Can I do anything? Can I call someone?” you suggest, remaining in a constructive stance, even though worry was filling your mind.
“You call anyone! I don’t care. Maybe you go ask service desk over there.” the Italian attendant boomed, with a tone of bitterness and scorn over his menial job.
With two hours time, you grab your bag and head over to the service desk, ambiguously rumoured to be in that direction. Your smile fades into a stern look of concern. Your apple fades into a nearby garbage can.
This lead into a 45 minute interrogation and having to pay for a quick ESTA-application. Plus commission. Plus credit card charges. Yeah, this could’ve been avoided by doing some research about VISA-requirements. Live and learn, you think..
.. and secretly cross your fingers, hoping this will be the last of your troubles on this trip.
Pasta à l’Eminem
But you’ve been to dangerous countries before. Why would this be any different? What’s that thing nagging at the back of your head like an itch you can’t quite scratch? It’s becoming all too clear that this is no vacation. Granted, hopefully there’s time to sit on the beach and check out some babes, but you’re on a mission. This conference, this writers’ workshop, is bound to make an impact on your ultimate goal of becoming a blogger and a coach. Whatever happens, it’ll change the course of your immediate life.. and it’s giving you the shivers.
You know when you feel like your feet are frozen, your palms are sweaty and knees like Eminem’s spaghetti? Yes, we’re talking about the exact same feeling that creeps up when you walk past an amazingly gorgeous woman on the street. You want to approach her. You’re interested. Your mind feels like there’s something at stake, so it makes an effort to try and prepare you for a fight. This, guys btw is why you sound like a bumbling idiot when talking to the ladies.
You obviously have a financial stake in this blog business, but it runs deeper than that.
Your whole life has been a stream of unfinished projects, people you’ve lost interest in, projects dismantled by lack of motivation and procrastination. But now you have a burning desire in getting this coaching business of the ground.
You flick down a few gears on the Mustang’s gearbox. That sweet V6 bellow turns into a mighty roar as you accelerate out of the bend.
Suddenly the financial toll of this trip takes a backseat. It’s all worth it. The conference is full of stunningly brilliant people, all with their own creative approach to the blog profession. You feel like .. you belong. The type of people you’ve been searching for, they’re here: entrepreneurs, writers, and coaches. People who enjoy traversing outside their comfort zone. Suddenly it all makes sense. This blog business, which only moments ago was just a game, is now frighteningly real. It’s actually attainable.
You now have a direction. A path. And there’s a group of amazing people who are going the same way!
“And how would you like to pay for your hotel room, sir?” asked the hotel clerk, in a polite proper manner.
“Sorry? I thought it’s paid for.” you quaver. A déjà vu of an airport episode 30 hours before runs through your mind. You shake it off and focus.
“No, this is just the reservation, sir. We’re going to need to charge the full amount now for security.” explained the hotel clerk. From his expression, you understand that he’s on your side. He’s here to make your stay pleasurable. You give him your credit card, and sure enough it redlines immediately.
Thankfully, internet banking helps and two days of headache later your hotel is paid for.
Actions speak louder than words do
It’s been four months since you left beautiful Finland, and you’ve achieved more than in the last ten years combined. This can all be traced back to that fateful weekend in September. The Sasha Daygame bootcamp in London. But what was it exactly, that instigated this chain reaction of changes? Beneath everything else, what changed?
They always told you to go out there and apply yourself. What does that even mean? What good could it do to just jump out there with no plan and just start “applying yourself”? It’s completely useless to explain, because, ironically, unless you go out there and try it, you won’t understand.
But I’ll try. See, our minds learn by doing. We may logically understand something, but our minds won’t subconsciously believe it unless we put it into action. You leave home without a plan. Without a destination. Even this simple act of hopping onto a flight is enough to spark a belief. A belief that defying convention is possible.
The bootcamp showed you how to take action, and not just run your mouth. Because at the end of the day, even the tiniest bit of action towards a goal is worth a thousand words. A small bit of action sends you overseas to meet an astonishing group of people. A small bit of action ends up in talking polyamory with the cutest little brunette from Zagreb.
At the end of the day you realize the world isn’t going to stop you. Social validation is worth nothing.
The only thing stopping you..