The way we think determines a lot about what we believe is possible and impossible. A tiny shift in your thinking can create a ripple effect in your life that changes everything.
My thinking since 2014 has radically changed. This change in thinking has allowed me to do the following:
- Build a side-hustle that generates six-figures
- Attract a mentor in my life that found me through LinkedIn and interacts daily with people I’ve read about for years
- Write 2000+ articles online and generate money from them
- Balance a 9–5 job with being a writer
- Be stronger because of a near-miss with cancer and transform my health in the process
- Fall in love with a woman
This list of achievements didn’t happen in a moment or easily and I’m not suggesting that — but they did all stem from one tiny shift in thinking. That shift in thinking was a question I repeated to myself:
“What if that could be you?”
We can observe other people winning and experience FOMO, or we can ask ourselves this question. The truth is, any of these outcomes can be your own.
Thinking that could be me
When I started out as a writer, there was an Australian man that inspired me. He was doing really well from being a writer and going to work each day, enjoying what he was doing.
Meanwhile, I was stuck in a dead-end job and dying to get home each night and watch movies to escape. Something was missing and I had no idea what. One night the question “What if that could be me?” hit me in the face.
It was only an idea. (Changing your life always starts with a tiny shift in thinking sparked by an idea.)
I reached out to the writer that inspired me to see if he would meet with me. It was not easy contacting him. I obsessed over ways to reach him. While surfing his website, I saw a link to an event he was running. Unfortunately, it had already occurred. Thinking my one chance to meet him was over, I kept endlessly scrolling. On the bottom of the event page was a mobile number.
The question “What if that could be you?” crossed my mind again. The phone rang. It kept ringing and right before there were almost no dial tones between me and the hang-up sound, a young lady answered. “Damn, it wasn’t him,” my mind repeated.
“Yes hello, I wanted to talk with the speaker at the event you ran a few days ago.”
The conversation started and led me down a rabbit hole. I knew that the young writer wouldn’t meet me if all I wanted was a cliche “coffee catch-up” that had no value for him. The writer had a podcast, though, and he was interviewing young tech entrepreneurs. I was surrounded by exactly these people in my boring day job. There were young entrepreneurs as far as the eye could see and their phone numbers were saved in my work phone.
At the end of the conversation with the woman on the other end of the phone, I convinced her that I had something to offer to the speaker/writer. She turned out to be the girlfriend of the person I was trying to contact. For some strange reason, she gave me her partner’s mobile number.
“What if that could be you?” my brain said.
Getting to know him
When I finally met the writer in question, we got on really well. My plan of giving him access to young tech entrepreneurs worked and we got to know each other. He let me write on his famous blog and sent me videos via email on how to use Wordpress.
His success, now included my success. Seeing me win was good for his blog and that was helpful validation that allowed me to see that I might become like him.
As the years passed and we got to know each other, his writing career became distant and he chased new businesses and a career in speaking. My career, on the other hand, took a radical shift towards writing. Within a few short years, I achieved more progress in the field of writing than the person who partly inspired me to get started.
Becoming a writer was no longer a dream or a fantasy. I’d become just like the person who once let me write on their blog. Even more strange was that he would often come to me for advice or to share my thoughts on writing/social media.
It started with a question
Asking yourself a question like “What if that could be you?” changes your thinking.
Questions lead you to imagine and think about different possibilities.
Changing your life is not some song and dance moment with a huge encore at the end. Changing your life starts with a small shift in thinking that begins with a question.
The people you observe from a distance are no different from you. You have the same opportunity as them and you can be them. But you’ll never be exactly them. You may seek their results but your journey will be different. Along the way, you may also find that your initial goal changes.
My writing started from nothing and then led me to transcend the title of being a writer and seek to be helpful, inspiring, and useful to anybody who might need it. The meaning became about so much more than writing.
Why couldn’t it be you?
There’s nothing stopping you.
You can work just as hard and learn to network just as well. You can endure the pain of setback, or the disappointment of failure. You can fall down and get back up again. You can inspire people with your stories, or help a stranger who reminds you of your former self.
You can act on stage, or take up public speaking. You can write an award-winning book, or do a TED Talk that has millions of views.
All of these skills can be yours. You’re not immune to acquiring skills or learning or education.
What don’t you have?
You may not have the money, time, contacts, experience, knowledge, or skills — but that doesn’t mean it can’t be you. You can overcome all of these challenges and find a way if you want your goal bad enough.
If you’re passionate about something, it can be you. You can be the person you keep imaging in your mind.
Think about the question, “What if that could be you?”
That one question can create a tiny shift in thinking that might just change your life the way it did for me in 2014.
They have it and so can you. You can be anything you want.