This post is a condensed version of a full article entitled Do You Want to Be Somebody or Do Something? in the BIGG Success Entreprenurturing™ Center. Join free to access it immediately.
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John Boyd is “the fighter pilot who changed the art of war.” The two of us know him best for developing OODA loops. It’s is the planning model for today’s entrepreneur in our opinion.
He became a colonel in the Air Force, an instructor, and a man who abhorred incompetence. He often got into arguments with his superiors.
He would have been kicked out of the military except for one thing – he was usually on the right side of the argument.
So in case you’re not familiar with it, we want to share with you his “fork in the road” speech.
It’s one of the single most practical pieces of advice we’ve ever seen or heard.
The fork in the road speech
He would tell his charges: “A day will come when you will face a fork in the road. You will have to make a decision about which way you go.”
Pointing to the left, he continued, “If you go that way, you can be somebody. You will have to make compromises and you will have to turn your back on your friends. But you will be a member of the club, and you will get promoted, and you will get good assignments.”
Putting his left arm down and pointing to the right, he said, “Or you can go that way and you can do something – something for your country and for your Air Force and for yourself.”
He continued, “If you decide you want to do something, you may not get promoted and you may not get good assignments, and you certainly will not be the favorite of your superiors. But you won’t have to compromise yourself. You will be true to your friends and to yourself. And your work will make a difference. To be somebody or to do something. In life there is often a roll call. That’s when you will have to make a decision. To be or to do? Which way will you go?”
Boyd’s right. We all face this choice.
In the pursuit of fame and fortune, many people walk all over anyone and everyone. They will do anything and everything they have to do for glory.
They will behave unethically. They will act selfishly. They may even succeed. They may have money and mansions. They may have fans who adore them.
But status gained in this manner often leads to a certain feeling of emptiness inside. These people often end up divorced, with bad children, and go to jail.
But instead of trying to be somebody, you may find your BIGG opportunity in an organization which shares your values. As a corporate entrepreneur, you can make a difference from the inside out.
Or you may create your own gig. More and more people are doing it – finding ways to make a life, not just a living.
You can become a difference-maker. You can serve your fellow human beings. You can lift them up instead of tearing them down.
When you do this, they will lift you up to BIGG success!
To be or to do – which one do you choose?
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