When you read the title you might have been thinking this article was about how much you can drink. Over the last couple weeks when I’ve had certain moments of doubt where I’ve thought to myself “maybe I’ll just pack up and head home”, the thing that became apparent to me is just how high of a tolerance level you need to really push the limits of what’s possible in your life and to start playing a bigger game. It’s not easy. It’s not perfect but when you consider the alternative you keep coming to the conclusion that to live any other way would be insane. We’ve all been put here to make a contribution and every one of us has a gift. But somewhere along the way we lost site of that because we got so caught up in the the ego-driven pursuit of a life that looks good on paper.
I’ve talked before about how your tolerance for risk impacts your potential for success. Risk, reward and bliss all seem to go together. I’m not sure how we get to be risk averse, but it seems that as our tolerance for risk decreases so does our potential for a life without limits. If you look at almost any successful entrepreneur or any successful person they all have taken huge risks. People have left top notch educational institutions and become billionaires. Do you think that it was the safe, tried, and true path? I’d say it’s more likely these people took the scenic route through life. I’m not saying you should sell everything you own and leave the country in less than a month. Only a person who is batshit crazy and lost their mind chasing impractical pursuits would do such a thing. But why not bring some risk into your life. Take one turn in a different direction and see where you end up.
Right now what lies ahead for me is a complete unknown. Life as I know it seems to be transforming before my eyes. The uncertainty of all of it would drive many people crazy. But as I’ve said before, making too many plans tends to limit your potential. Somewhere along our journey we get this ridiculous idea that we need to know how it’s all going to turn out. I have to admit there are moments in my life that I wonder about. What if this or that had gone differently? What would life look like? All I want is a glimpse of what might have been. But it’s silly because it’s all over and done with and all that we have at our disposal is what lies ahead. The only thing that’s certain is uncertainty (and supposedly death and taxes). So embrace the fact that you don’t have all the answers and don’t sweat it if you have no idea what you want to be when you grow up.
On the days that test our patience and build our character you really learn just how high your tolerance for inconvenience needs to be. The status quo, and the tried and true paths are all convenient. Nothing goes wrong. But when you go down a different path it’s entirely likely that life won’t go according to plan. JK Allen said something the other day in the comments that really struck me. It was about a car that his mother drove that constantly broke down, but she dealt with it, and today she’s in a position to drive any car she wants. I figure it must have been a worthwhile sacrifice. The way I’m living right now is not exactly convenient. But when I think about what JK wrote and what the flip side of all this looks like, I believe with all my heart that it’s completely worth it to make a short term sacrifice for a long term gain. Today I’m writing a different story than I was a year ago and a year from now I’ll be writing a different story than I am today and it will be even better.
Standard of Living
One of the biggest traps that keeps people from getting wealthy is that they increase their standard of living along with their income. I spent a good amount of my 20’s living above my means and filling my dwellings with useless crap. But today I’m living below my means. It’s not the lap of luxury, but by letting my income grow while keeping the standard of living below my means, I’m making of a financially responsible choice and know deep down that the payoff is worth anything you have to go through. Some of you might know the story of how Steve Jobs got one good meal every sunday at the Hare Krishna temple and was grinding it out every single day. Most people who are living the life of their dreams didn’t have a glitzy and glamorous route to reaching their goals. At one time or another it seems that everybody was standing on the edge of success with adversity as the catalyst.
So, there you have it. How high is your tolerance?