In this short (4min) video, Rory Vaden makes an important point about achieving what we want.
We always get to this part. The very end. People are always sitting there thinking to themselves, they’re saying, “You’re right, Rory. There are some places in my life that I know I could probably afford to be a little more disciplined. I know that I could probably afford to take the stairs a little more often.” Their almost immediate ensuing question always cracks me up because I think it’s the same question that I would have if I were in your seats hearing this for the first time. They always say to me, they say, “Okay, Rory. Let’s say that I start doing all the things you’re talking about. Let’s say I start overcoming procrastination and I’m really staying focused and I’m making the sacrifices and I’m paying the price and I’m being disciplined and I’m taking the stairs and I’m doing the things I don’t want to do. How long do I have to do that for?”
I’m going to share with you the truth … maybe not that you want to hear, but it’s the one that you need to hear. The truth is we never get to stop being disciplined. We never do. That doesn’t mean life is going to be one great big giant trip to the gym or that we’re only going to eat foliage. The reason that we never get to stop being disciplined is because of something that I call the rent axiom. We referred to it for years at Southwestern as the rent axiom. The rent axiom says this … that success is never owned. Success is only rented. The rent is due every day. Success is never owned, it’s rented, and the rent is due every day.
Take out the word success and put in for it whatever matters to you most in your life. Financial security is never owned, it’s rented, and the rent is due every day. Being in great physical health is never owned, it’s rented, and the rent is due every day. A great business is never owned, it’s rented, and the rent is due every day. A happy marriage is never owned, it’s rented, and the rent is due every day. The rent is higher for some of you than others on that last one, depending on who you married. I got married a few years ago, and my friend Henry said, “Rory, let me just give you a little piece of marriage advice. You need to understand that every marriage follows the same process. It starts with the engagement ring, then the wedding ring, then the suffering.” Funny, not true. Funny but not true.
The rent axiom is true. That success is never owned, it’s rented, and the rent is due every day. I know that can strike you as bad news sometimes, but I promise it’s the most empowering truth of all – when you embrace this idea, this mentality of “take the stairs” and you embrace this idea that we’re not making temporary changes but permanent ones, that I’m going to pay the rent every day, that I’m going to put my pride and my self esteem in my work habits.
We stop looking for the escalator and we start embracing the things that will take us to the next level. We start doing the things that we know we should be doing. We realize that life is not about these huge grandiose decisions, but about the small, seemingly insignificant, nearly invisible choices that we make each and every day. The next time that you are in front of a set of escalators and some stairs, take the stairs because success means doing things we don’t want to do. Thank you very much.
For more on Rory Vaden, visit his page.