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I recently watched a TED talk on YouTube by Kalina Silverman entitled How to Skip the Small Talk and Connect with Anyone. She shared her story of struggling to connect with people in her sophomore year of college, and she found herself contemplating and questioning what her true purpose in life was. In her TED presentation, she then shared the first half of a YouTube video from her personal channel. The video’s concept was skipping the small talk and getting straight to the point by having deep, meaningful conversations with strangers, which she calls “big talk.”
After I finished watching Kalina’s TED presentation, I immediately went to her channel to watch the rest of her video she shared. The title of the video is Before I Die I Want To…, and in this video, she asked two questions that moved and inspired me.
“What do you want to do before you die?”
What do you want to do before you die? This question is evident by the title of her video, but it’s really a simple yet not so simple question. What do you want to do? Are you doing it? What’s your passion? Are you pursuing it? Have you ever really thought about any of this, or are you living life by accident rather than with purpose?
What do I want to do?
- I want to make a positive impact on this world. I don’t want to just make a small impact; I want it to be massive. I want to rattle the planet and help, influence, and inspire others as others have done for me.
- I want to get married to the woman of my dreams and have lots of kids. I can hardly wait share with them all the knowledge and lessons I’ve learned in my life. I am going to raise strong, independent winners (and good-looking, of course).
- I want to run a successful business, build wealth, and gain financial freedom. I want to comfortably do the things I want and go where I want to go without money being an issue. I then want to take this wealth and give it away. I just love the idea of philanthropy. You reap what you sow.
There’s a quote that I love from the movie The Pursuit of Happiness, I believe, in which Will Smith’s character says, “If you’re not making someone else’s life better, then you’re wasting your time.” It’s so true! I was talking to my cousin the other day, and I told him that life is about people. Life is people. Life is relationships. It’s impossible to be successful in life without interacting with others and building relationships. You have intimate relationships, business relationships, platonic relationships, etc. As Zig Ziglar says, “You can get everything you want in life if you help enough people get what they want in life.”
All of life is a sale. All of life is a negotiation.
How do I achieve all these things that I want? How do I get the world’s attention to the point of influencing them? How do I meet and attract the woman of my dreams? How does a business become successful? The answer is the same for all of them: by having something of value that others want.
For example, men, if there is a woman you really want to ask out on a date, what do you think is going to make her agree to going out with you and cause her to genuinely have interest in you? The simple fact that you want her is not going to make her interested in you. In order for her to want you, you have to give her what she wants, which is a person she sees value in. This doesn’t mean you start boasting about having a nice car or lots of money—at least not if you’re looking for a quality woman. Having valuable material possessions doesn’t make you a valuable person. You have to carry yourself in such a way that communicates you are valuable, that you’re comfortable in your own skin, that you’re ambitious, and that you’re confident, and you can’t just fake it; you have to be this person and truly believe you are these things. All of life is a sale. All of life is a negotiation. In this scenario, you are the product. In order to make the close, she has to believe the product is worth her investment.
This is why I gather as much knowledge as I can all the time. I’ve written an article on personal development and life coaches. The more I learn, the more valuable I can become. I’m currently watching seminars and training videos by the master salesman himself, Jordan Belfort, AKA the wolf of Wall Street. How do you get what you want in life before you die? You become great at selling yourself. In order to sell yourself, you have to become a person of value. To become a person of value, you learn as much as you can every single day, and more importantly, you apply what you learn. Learn how to communicate with others, build quality relationships, and increase your personal value. Become the best possible version of yourself.
The second of Kalina Silverman’s questions really tugged on the ol’ heart strings.
“If you knew you would die tomorrow, what would you do?”
If you knew you would die tomorrow, what would you do? Who is the first person you would call? Who would you go see? Would you even tell anyone? Like one of the guys in Kalina’s YouTube video, would you reconcile differences with one of your parents or loved ones? Speaking of loved ones, is there a particular loved one you would need to say something to before you’re gone? Would you make things right with God? If you’re a non-believer, do you think you might begin to believe in God if today was your last? If you were to die tomorrow, what would be your regrets? How many “shoulds” would you wish to have followed through with because they weren’t “musts”? These are questions I couldn’t help but ask myself when watching Kalina’s video, and they are what recently lit a fire beneath me.
This question really reveals what’s important to a person—what one values. What do you really value? What are you willing to do to achieve these things in your life so that you aren’t shadowed with the pain of regret in your last days?
Nothing comes to a sleeper but a dream.
Personally, if I knew I would die tomorrow, I would regret that I didn’t live life to my full potential. I would feel that I had fallen short of achieving things that I know I could have achieved, and I would be more disappointed in knowing that it was because I hesitated with fear and doubt (I covered “personal responsibility” in my last post, The Most Valuable Lesson I Ever Learned). I know exactly who I would call and exactly who I would go see if today was my last, because all their faces immediately popped into my head when I asked myself the question.
I’ve been really focused on my next step, my goals, and my vision of where I’d like to be in the next five years. I’ve been in business meetings, and I’ve been reading, writing, researching, and studying every day to make myself better. I have been getting in the flow of writing blogs, and more topics are naturally emerging in the process. So, I’m getting the hang of it, and it’s actually pretty fun. I’m happy that I’m making progress, but I’m not quite content with the speed of the progress, which is what fuels my hunger. Reaching my goals is on my mind every single day.
So remember, you don’t only live once; you live every day, and you only die once. The clock is ticking, and you don’t know when your time is up, so why not go after what you really want? Right now. Do something every day, whether big or small, that moves you in the direction of your goals. Don’t just dream about it; DO it! Take action. Nothing comes to a sleeper but a dream. I don’t know about you, but I’m neither mediocre nor average. I’m outstanding. I’m extraordinary. There is not one single person on the planet who is the same as you or I am, and that which is rare or scarce is inherently VALUABLE. Get out there, and start selling.