Someone sent me a video recently that had such a big impact on me, I now watch it every morning when I first wake up (and I recommend you watch it every morning as well before you start your day). I put it on my iPhone so I can see it every time I need to get focused again. You can download an iPhone-ready version of the video or see it on YouTube here: I want to start with a quote from that video:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

To be successful in business and life, you need to become a leader. You need to become someone who is willing to “shine,” and bring those around you to a higher level. But I need to help prepare you because as soon as you decide to step up as a leader, you will notice that people around you will almost instantly try to pull you down. That is why most people do “shrink,” because they are afraid that others around them will feel insecure – and that is why we don’t have more leaders in this world.

Jay Abraham said that “people are silently begging to be lead.” I believe that is very true, and those of us who will stand up and lead are going to be those who make the money and have the ability to change other people’s lives.

Here are three things that will help you to start playing bigger in this life. 

Lengthen Your Line

I want to share this first story because it will be important for you for two reasons. The first is how you will look at successful people around you, and the second is to understand why people will try to pull you down as you become more successful.

This story is from a book I bought at a used book store in New Jersey when I was 20 years old. I saw it on the book shelf, and for some reason I thought it would be fun to read. It’s called, “Zen and the Martial Arts” by Joe Hyams. An excerpt reads:

…I was practicing Kumite (sparring) with a more skillful opponent. To make up for my lack of knowledge and experience, I tried deceptive, tricky moves that were readily countered. I was outclassed, and Parker watched me get roundly trounced. When the match was over I was dejected. Parker invited me into his small office; a small sparsely furnished room with only a scarred desk and battered chairs.
“Why are you so upset?” he asked.
“Because I couldn’t score.”
Parker got up from behind the desk and with a piece of chalk drew a line on the floor about five feet long. “How can you make this line shorter?” he asked.
I studied the line and gave him several answers, including cutting the line in many pieces.
He shook his head and drew a second line, longer than the first. “Now how does the first line look?
“Shorter,” I said.
Parker nodded. “It is always better to improve and strengthen your own line or knowledge than to try and cut your opponent’s line.” He accompanied me to the door and added, “Think about what I have just said.”

When you see someone more successful than you, there are two ways you can get to their level. You can lengthen your line, or you can try to cut them down to where you are. Unfortunately most people take the second option, where they cut down others. Don’t let this be you.

Look at what successful people do, and model it so you can lengthen your line. And just be aware that the more successful you become, the more people will try to chop you down to their level. Remember the quote at the beginning of this article when this happens: “Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do.”

Your Finest Hour

One of the things that always makes me laugh is when I hear people tell my story, and they end it with “he became an overnight success.” If only they knew how many years of work and preparation I had to go through to get my “overnight success.”

Here is another one of my favorite quotes spoken by Winston Churchill:

“To every man there comes in his lifetime that special moment when he is figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered a chance to do a very special thing, unique to him and fitted to his talents, what a tragedy if that moment finds him unprepared or unqualified for that which would be his finest hour.” 

Success does not come overnight. It comes from a lot of hard work and preparation. What I feel is the best way to prepare yourself is through a concept I learned from Tony Robbins called “immersion.”

When I am interested in a topic, or need to understand something that I know is going to be necessary for success in a part of my life, I immerse myself in that topic. For example, recently I got very interested in Neuro Linguistics Programming (NLP). So to understand and learn how to use this concept in my life, I didn’t dabble in it, I immersed myself in it. I bought as many books on Amazon as I could find on the topic.

I then found out who the “gurus” were on that topic, and I bought copies of their audio programs. Then for the next two weeks, I immersed myself in this topic. I listened to audios when I drove to work and back. I read copies of the books at night and during lunch; I read articles and case studies on Google. In about two weeks I had absorbed the concepts to the point where I could use them in my life.

I am convinced that you can learn almost any topic in about two weeks if you will immerse yourself and focus on it. Every two weeks you could get the equivalent of a college education on any topic that you want. Prepare yourself now through constant and intense education on the topics that will prepare you for your finest hour.

However Long and Hard the Road

In what was probably the most powerful calls of courage ever uttered in the English language, Winston Churchill, after being called to be the prime minister of England went to the House of Commons with this speech:

I would say to the House, as I said to those who have joined this Government: “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat.”
We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask; what is our policy? I will say: It is to wage war, by sea, land, and air, with all our might and with all our strength that God can give us… that is our policy. You ask; what is our aim? I can answer in one word: victory – victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror; victory, however long and hard the road may be.

As a leader and someone who is playing life to the fullest, you have to realize that there are going to be times in your life when the task seems almost impossible. Unfortunately most people under those circumstances give up and quickly go towards an easier way. Do not let that be you. Fight for your dreams and do not give up.

I covered three important principles that will help you to become a leader and live life to its fullest. The first is to always Lengthen Your Line, the second is to increase your knowledge, and the third is to fight for a victory no matter how long or hard the road might be.

I want to challenge you today to make a goal to become a leader. Decide today that you are going to become a better you. Dream big dreams, then focus and fight to make those dreams become a reality. That is how you are going to do your part to change the world.  As you start living life at a higher level, you will help others rise to your level as well.

“And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”