The Magic of “We Have Already Made It!”
I used to wake up with my hair on fire, perpetually anxious about my lack of progress toward my goals, feeling like a failure at the ripe old age of twenty-seven because I had not yet accomplished every goal I had ever set for myself.
I berated myself continuously.
What was the matter with me, I scolded myself, that I had not yet developed my business to the point that someone else wanted to purchase it?
Where was the empire I envisioned in my mind?
Even more to the point, why wasn’t I making my income goals on a consistent basis?
If I could only, I thought, get my business to the point where I was making three grand a month, every month, then I would feel successful. But oh, I fretted, would three grand be enough?
Better make it ten grand, or even twenty.
I could never do enough fast enough to suit myself.
Never mind that I was building a startup that some of the best investors in the world were backing.
Never mind that I had already proven my skills and talents to myself and others by developing other successful businesses.
Never mind that I was speaking at international conferences.
Nothing I did was ever enough for me.
I worked countless hours, at all times of the day and night, hardly ever taking breaks—much less days off—grinding it out.
The irony of it all is that I was working toward something that I thought would make me happy. When I achieve this goal or that one, I would tell myself, then I will be happy.
Success…. Now, that’s what this is all about, isn’t it?
I was chasing success as a racing greyhound chases that poor little bunny around and around the track.
Something had to change, but I didn’t know what.
Then one day, I was talking with my friend Amar.
At the time, Amar had just left his corporate job so that he could devote more time to building the SAAS business he and his partner had been working on for more than a year.
He was a happy chap about it.
The words slipped out of my mouth before I even thought them through. “I can’t wait for us to finally get there!” I whined.
Amar looked at me in surprise. “What are you talking about?” he said.
“We are already there.”
“What do you mean?” I protested. “I certainly don’t feel like we’ve gotten anywhere yet! I definitely wouldn’t call myself successful.”
He felt successful, he told me that day, but my thought at the time was, “What does he mean?”
The monologue in my head that day was really loud.
“How can Amar feel successful,” I wondered, “when he doesn’t have millions of dollars in the bank, when he isn’t leading a company that’s considered highly successful by the world?”
I didn’t stop there.
“Doesn’t he have any ambition?” I protested in my mind. “His face has never yet graced the cover of a national magazine, for Pete’s sake!”
What I was really thinking was this:
If you thought you had already made it,
wouldn’t you just give up on all your goals?
But afterward, something about what Amar said that day—and the confidence with which he spoke it—stuck with me and changed me forever.
The point was: He was happy. I wasn’t.
And it didn’t look like I would be happy any time soon.
Now that you have made it…
We all have a friend or at least we’ve heard the story about someone who has finally reached that point in their career they worked so hard to achieve for many years.
They have the money they’ve always wanted.
The world validates the work they’ve been doing.
They have approval and acclaim.
Finally they feel like they can breathe, and they wake up to live.
And they tell themselves: This is it.
They give themselves permission to be happy, to pursue their passions, to spend time with their family and take care of their relationships.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret now, so listen up. What if I told you:
You’re already there.
What if you don’t have to wait another moment? What if everything you’ve ever dreamed for yourself is right at your fingertips?
Let me show you what I mean. I want you to try something for a sec:
Close your eyes and take a deep breath.
Imagine that everything you ever wanted, everything you ever dreamed of, everything you’ve been working for so hard….
It’s already here.
You have overcome.
The years of struggle and sacrifice are behind you.
You have walked through all your problems.
You overcame them all.
You are successful.
You have arrived.
You are there.
This is it.
This is what it was all about.
All those years when you were striving, fighting, pushing.
Those struggles are behind you now.
You are here.
You have arrived.
There is nothing else.
There is nothing to wait for. You can be happy now, right now.
Nothing more needs to happen before you can allow yourself to just be, to breathe, to appreciate the moment.
You have proven everything.
You have proven that you are enough.
You have proven that you deserve love, attention, respect.
You have made it.
Go as deep as you like with this exercise. Imagine the details vividly.
How does it feel knowing that you have made it?
• How does your body feel?
• What thoughts are you thinking?
• How are you breathing?
Take another deep breath, then another.
Allow yourself to relish the feelings. Linger for a while
Now that you have made it what would you like to do?
What will you work on?
What will you do today?
When you’re ready, take a final deep breath and open your eyes.
Did you feel it?
That feeling of freedom, lightness, permission….
“But wait,” you say. “That’s way in the future….”
“I haven’t achieved anything yet.”
I felt the same at that moment when I was talking with Amar, but something has changed in me since then.
Despite my doubts in that conversation, I took a deep breath and asked myself, “What if he’s right? What if we actually have made it?”
I don’t mean in some imaginary point in the future, but NOW. Right here. Right NOW.
What if we are already successful?
Not because we have millions in our bank accounts; not because our faces are on the covers of magazines; not because we are rich and famous…
We are on our way. We are doing it. We are pushing, trying, growing, learning….
Allow yourself to consider: What if we have already arrived?
Something changed in me when I had that conversation with Amar.
The idea that we have made it rewired something in my brain. When it hit me, I felt a rush of endorphins. Happiness exploded within me. I felt light and free.
I gave myself permission to just be, do, create, love, give.
I had never felt such a sense of celebration before. I was overwhelmed with gratitude.
Here it is, I thought:
We have made it because we are on our way!
At a recent meeting of my mastermind group, I told this same story to my mastermind fellows. There were five of us. We had all worked hard during the day, but we were relaxing after our work, laughing over a few beers.
The mood was one of celebration.
We were celebrating the day, celebrating our businesses, thinking back over how far we had come.
But the story and the words I spoke that evening left my friends puzzled, and I know why.
“We are already successful! We have made it!” I told them. They were puzzled because…
…there is a paradox behind this story.
How can you think you have made it and still pursue your goals? Won’t you stop pushing, trying, hustling?
The Theory of Awesomeness
Vishen Lakhiani of Mindvalley talks about the “Theory of Awesomeness,” an outgrowth of countless observations of and conversations with some of the planet’s most remarkable people, among them Elon Musk, Richard Branson, highly regarded neuroscientists, revered monks in India, outstanding philanthropists, and well known personal growth experts.
He bases his theory on the notion that there is a special state of human existence which can be engineered, and that if this engineering is done properly, human beings can live as if the universe has their back.
The keys to this special state of human existence are:
• You must be happy in the now, while still having a vision for the future.
• You need to have goals—but these goals cannot be tied to your happiness.
• You must be happy before you can achieve your goals.
This is the concept that Amar was trying to convey to me that day.
There is an energy behind this mindset that he had already tapped into, but which eluded me at the time.
Can your mind handle the paradox contained in this marvelous insight?
You’re working so hard because you think the achievement you’re working toward will make you happy, but…
…you can choose to be happy right now.
Because the ride itself is the point, the whole point.
Now, something magical happens when you act from this state instead of acting from the state of thinking that something is missing or something is wrong.
Magic happens when you enter this space of “I have already made it.”
As a matter of fact, being in this state of already having made it, feeling happy, knowing in your bones that you have made it just because you’re on your way is absolutely essential.
Whatever you can do to get yourself into this state is what you need to do.
There is nothing, but nothing, more important than this.
Not the struggle, not the hardship, not even the problem-solving.
Allow yourself to know that you are already there.
The most beautiful thing about it is that when you consciously generate this state of being for yourself, the universe bends itself in your direction.
• You can enter the state of flow so much easier when you know you have already made it, and life will start falling into place for you. It will look like magic—but you’ll know you are the magician!
• You’ll begin to see that life always works out for you.
• You’ll act not from a place of fear, but from a place of love and acceptance.
• You won’t be driven scarcity but by abundance.
• You will follow things which are aligned with you.
• You will be solid within yourself, centered, grounded.
No matter what your mind may be telling you…
…your most important work is to get yourself into the state of “We have already made it”
and keep yourself there.
Once you have achieved this all-important state, your wildest dreams will start coming true. As a matter of fact, they will become inevitable.
You will achieve your goals faster, you will be more productive, and you will feel happier.
Even your physical health will improve. You will be more aligned with people and situations that are right for you; you will make better decisions, be braver, take more risks.
Isn’t that what we all want?
There is no downside. You can only go up from here.
I can hear your howls of protest now, but bear with me for a bit. We’re not finished yet, not by a long shot.
“How on earth,” you cry, “am I supposed to feel successful and be happy if:
• I work at a job I hate?”
• I am not happy?”
• I am constantly broke and out of money?”
• My business is not making enough money yet?”
• I am stressed and worried about how I will pay my bills this month?”
The secret is this:
• Really accept whatever is going on in your life, while
• Focusing on the things you can be grateful for and things which are going well, and
• Maintaining a strong, clear vision for your future.
Since I sometimes slip out of this blissful condition, this “special state of human existence” as Vishen Lakhiani calls it, I’ve developed some practices that help me to maintain my balance on this joyful ride I call my life.
It’s all in the practice of being in the now, while keeping your goals clearly in focus before you. Try these things for a few days and see what happens:
Practice feeling gratitude for everything in your life, even the small things, and even the things you might not like so much.
Really get into that feeling of gratitude and stay there as long as you can. With practice you can hold this feeling for longer and longer lengths of time, sometimes for days on end.
Keep your goals clearly in focus by visualizing your intended future on a regular basis.
It can also help to recite affirmations and regularly set your intentions. Learn more about how to keep your goals clearly in focus before you here. (insert link)
Meditate every morning without fail.
While meditation won’t solve all of your problems, it will help you to be in better touch with your feelings as they arise, to identify them and track them down to their source, and to choose thoughts that lead to more positive feelings on a regular basis.
When you meditate every day, visualize your intentions regularly, and practice your other positive habits, you will remain in a more positive state overall and for longer and longer lengths of time.
When you’re in that state of “we have already made it,” you will be better able to:
• Relax into each and every moment, enjoying the journey, trusting that everything is fine, and savoring life as it occurs.
• Notice that life always turns out fine for you.
• Be really clear about what needs to be done on any given day.
• Eliminate distractions and keep yourself focused on what’s important.
• Love yourself and your amazing life.
• Give love and support to your family and friends.
• Ask for and graciously accept help when you need it.
• Consciously achieve and maintain that special state of having already made it.
What do you think?
Have you ever had a moment of clarity that changed your life, such as the moment I had when I was talking with Amar? What happened for you then? How did that change your life?
If you have not had such a moment—yet—have you tried the exercise and suggestions here? If so, what happened for you? How did these practices change the way you see your life? How did they change what happened for you in your life?
Let us hear your miracles!