The Most Dangerous People Care The Most

By dangerous, I do not always mean “destructive” – I prefer “disruptive.” MLK disrupted the national perspective on civil rights because he cared a lot about his brothers and sisters. Dangerous can certainly mean destructive, though. Suicide bombers must care a lot about their beliefs if they’re willing to throw their lives away. Destructive or disruptive, caring is the common denominator. No one impacts the future of mankind by accident or through apathy. Your ability to change the world is directly proportional to how much you care – about your mission, beliefs or other people in your life. The more you care, the more dangerous you are. And caring should be your priority. You do not change the world by trying to change the world; you change the world by caring about others and believing in something greater than yourself.

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The Single Greatest Step to Success

If you do not believe in what you are doing, you are unlikely to succeed. No level of responsibility, compensation, or flattery can change your mind. Only you can tap into the higher context of your personal values and goals. Only you can know what makes your heart tick. Figure out what you believe and you can find your place in the world. If you truly believe, nothing can stop you.

Mission Before Business, Horse Before Cart

People throw around the word “entrepreneur” like it’s a lifestyle trend. Many fancy themselves an “entrepreneur” with only the curiosity (or perhaps a lust) for building a business. Like movie or rock stars, many successful business leaders keep up a public image. Far too many people subscribe to entrepreneurship because it sounds and looks cool. Most fail to understand the real work involved.

Building a business is very hard. With very few resources at hand, you must pull everything together through favors and very long hours. If you do not truly believe in what you are building, then it will never work. You must have a mission or product you believe in first before chasing your lust for business. Not only that, but you must have a mission or product that can inspire other people to help you and customers to buy from you. That’s a tricky thing to find. Most wannabe entrepreneurs forget that the core mission or product is what it’s all about. And it must come first.

Everyone and his or her mother wants to start a business and be a boss. Nobody will care about you until you give him or her something to sink teeth into. If you cannot offer the world a product that changes lives, then you must start with a mission people can understand, sign on for, and follow to the end. You must get the team on board and excited. And to find success with your business, you must get customers on board and excited as well. As the character Proximo says in Gladiator, “Win the crowd, and you will win your freedom.”

Find your core idea, set your mission, build a product, and then build a business around it. You cannot have a business without something to be busy about.

The Hat-Trick of Leadership

While it takes many different ingredients to make a leader, some of the greatest I study share the following three traits:

  1. Higher Purpose – for the mission and for humanity abroad.
  2. Steadfast Optimism – faith in people, the direction, and positive results.
  3. Genuine Patriotism – in service of and love for the family or organization at hand.

Do you have what it takes?

Write History

The men and women revered in our history books made it there by impacting their community. Their personal ambitions transcended the self and aimed for a higher context. The heroes in our history books lived their lives for others, for a mission or spirit greater than themselves. We do not remember them because they were trying to earn a paycheck; we remember them because they made a difference in our lives. They served us in one way or another. They played a role in changing the world.

If you want to leave a legacy before you go, push personal needs and wants to the back burner. Live life for a higher context – if not for humanity, then for your community, friends, and family. See past your own problems and look into the problems of others. Make it your mission to heal the wounds of the world. Target a problem you believe you can solve with your talents, and do not rest until the job is done.

The world will notice. Before long, your needs and wants will be fulfilled in thanks. Your deeds will enrich lives, your name will live on, and life will be good. But only if you do it for others, not yourself.

Do Not *Reach* for Your Goals

Be your goals instead.

We are raised to set goals and reach them. “Shoot for the moon and you could reach the stars.” The problem? Stars are really far away. Our nearest star Alpha Centauri is 4.37 light-years away (about 26,395,661,800,000 miles). “Reaching” your goal establishes a psychological distance between you and your objective, making it that much harder for you to accomplish.

Be your goal. Forget distance. Close the gap. Discard maps. Embody your mission. Speak the language. Do not hesitate. Plow all obstacles aside. You have what it takes.

Finish lines are illusions. Be who you want to be, no less, no later. Now.