One of the best things I ever started doing was listening to podcasts. Whenever I’m commuting, cooking, cleaning the apartment, or doing basically anything where I can’t sit and read but my mind wants to be engaged, it’s podcast time.
If you don’t already listen to podcasts, I’m going to rock your world. If you do already listen to podcasts, then I’m rock your world by sharing an episode that literally changed the way I live my life.
I know, I know. Sounds too good to be true. Changing your life by listening to someone else talk for an hour? But I promise I’m going to deliver on this article’s title. Here goes!
The Tim Ferriss Show – Terry Crews on How to Have, Do, and Be All You Want (Episode #287)
Yes, that Terry Crews of White Chicks infamy. Does anyone not love this guy? Is that even possible? I’ll admit I was a little lukewarm on Terry until I heard this podcast episode, and then I became his biggest fan.
A couple of fun things you probably didn’t know about Terry: he’s a visual artist (like, a real artist who went to college on a full arts scholarship for painting); he designed a best-selling piece of furniture called The Lily Pad; he had a really tough life growing up (I’ll let you listen to get the full story on this) which he overcame but dealt with well into adulthood; his marriage almost ended over his pornography addiction; he’s a self-help nut (same); and lastly, he’s an incredibly eloquent speaker and this episode gave me chills.
The Moral of the Story
Terry’s best lesson in this podcast is that you have to be the thing before you can become the thing. You’ll need to give the episode a listen to understand this completely, but basically it means that you need to habitually do the thing that a person would do if they were already the pinnacle of the dream they’re envisioning, in order to become the person in that dream.
The example that Terry gives: you have to be fit (meaning you have to practice fitness, exercise and healthy-eating daily) in order to become someone who is in shape. You have to do the things a rich and successful person would do (grind hard, be undeniable, push yourself to new limits) before you can become rich and successful. You want to be an author? Great. What do authors do? They write – so now start writing!
This probably sounds like common sense, but think about it for a minute. How many of us delay getting started on our dreams because they feel like they’re just a bit too far away from the life we live right now? We fool ourselves by saying that in a few years, things might be different and we’ll start then. How many of us (myself included) feel like once we become thinner, then we’ll finally start making healthy choices as a permanent lifestyle change? Or once we get that promotion, then we’ll really start showcasing our contributions at work and owning our role. It’s completely backward – we want the results before we do the work!
I see this everyday in the professional world. We put our dreams on pause because we think we should only start when we’re already practically guaranteed to succeed. But that’s not how life works. You need to do the work and act like the thing you want to be, before you can actually become the thing you want to be.
Accepting this truth has made an enormous difference to my life in the past year. So I want to have a successful, highly-read website? Well then first I need to write all the articles, publish them, market them, and do all the work that comes before the success. I want that promotion at work? Well that means I need to start working harder now, and show that I already have the skills to do the harder job before I get it.
Your Homework Assignment
Jk. It’s a small one, don’t worry.
Try to think of one small thing you’ve been putting off starting, whether it’s a side-hustle (like starting a podcast, or a bow-tie design company, or taking a post-graduate certificate to get ahead at work) or a hobby (like learning French or Mandarin, or learning how to paint, or finally getting in shape). Be honest with yourself – why haven’t you started yet? What are you waiting for?
Will next month or next year really be a better time to get started, or have you just not yet accepted that you’re going to have to start putting in the work before you get perfect at it?
What to do: Try just setting out the first step toward your goal (example: download a fitness app and do one workout) and working on that making that a habit for one month. Next month, add the next step (example: try a new, healthy, recipe each week). I bet you’ll see progress before you know it.
Other Major Lessons I Learned From This Episode
Creativity does not mean competing.
The darkest of times in your life can still inspire you to become better and to forgive.
Courage inspires more courage.
Sound inspiring, right?! There are a million other gems like this in the podcast, but it wouldn’t be fair to summarize the entire thing here because (1) The Time Ferriss Show deserves your listen, and (2) writing it out wouldn’t do Terry any justice. His message really resonates when you hear it in his own words.
So give this thing a listen – it’s worth your time! Download it on your Apple podcasts app or give it a listen here.
Did you listen to the episode? Get in touch and let me know if you liked it, or let me know if there are any other podcast episodes you’d like me to review!