Not all remarkable people start out that way.

I love to listen to audiobooks when I drive. It’s the only time I multi-task. (I am a devout mono-tasker.) This week I began listening to Titan by Ron Chernow. It is the biography of John D. Rockefeller. The Rockefeller. The man who practically invented oil. The world’s first billionaire. And, I assume, the guy who invented oysters and The Rockettes.

I expected the audiobook would be long. After all, there is a lot of money to cover. But when I discovered the recording was 35 hours long, it exceeded my wildest ear-spectations. Today, I am only 3 hours into the book and The Original Rock is still just 16 years old.

Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.
Notice how it says HER on his forehead?

The Inspiration

There is one thing that stands out about young John D. that I find tremendously inspiring. At 16 years old, the most remarkable thing about the future world’s richest man is just how unremarkable he still was. There was nothing that indicates his future success. He was no child prodigy. He was no Doogie Howser. No Stevie Wonder. No Sundance Kid.

I find stories like Rocky’s thrilling. Calvin Coolidge became President of the United States, arguably the most powerful man on Earth. But his childhood, and even half of his college-hood, was bland and mediocre at best. Sara Blakely was another late bloomer. She was selling fax machines door-to-door for 7 years before creating Spanx and becoming a self-made billionaire.

You Are Not Done Yet!

Keep Rockefeller, Coolidge and Blakely in mind as you travel your path. You have the ability to do, be, create, and accomplish much more than you have so far. Whether you are a high school student or a retiree, there is still time for you to discover your calling, your perfect pitch, and create your personal legend.

Keep Going!

Remember, your achievements, accomplishments and impact will continue to grow until you stop pushing them. So think bigger. Take more action. Surround yourself with the right people. Take risks, and make them pay off. It is how you write a great biography for yourself, in real-time.

Key Takeaway

It’s not the beginning of your story that matters. Keep growing and learning. Keep pushing yourself. Discover what you are really capable of. Maximize your gifts and you can create the You that You always wanted to be. The You that You know you are. Have a vision for yourself. Dream no small dreams. Make the story of yourself in your head come true. Anyone can do it. Why not you?

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

How to think of 2021 in the story of your life.

That was quite a year we just had, huh? Which is why 2020 had more nicknames than Sean ‘P-Puffy-Diddy-Daddy’ Combs. 2020 was called Train Wreck, Dumpster Fire, Sh!t Show, The Worst Year Ever. And then, of course, there were the really bad names.

But none of those labels are helpful. So as we start 2021, consider reframing how you think of 2020, and the year ahead.

The Story Of Your Life.

Think of each year as a chapter of your life. Chapter 1 was your birth. Your Genisis (only without Phil Collins). The next few chapters covered your childhood. Several chapters later, you left home on your life’s journey. The following chapters were full of exciting rising action, as you found your path, gained momentum, and enjoyed success, happiness and stability.

Then Came 2020.

In the story of your life, 2020 was the plot twist. It was where your plans were disrupted. The path was blocked. The rules were changed. The villain showed up and started messing with your toilet paper. Maybe you lost all you had. Or lost someone close to you. Or lost an election.

But remember, the best part of the story always happens after the plot twist. The story gets really good after things go sideways, or downhill, or into the dumpster and set on fire.

As humans, we can’t wait to see what happens next. We are dying to know how the hero of the story responds. Do they splat or do they bounce? Do they give The Wicked Witch the ruby slippers, or do they moisturize her and steal her cleaning equipment? Enquiring minds want to know.

Welcome to 2021 everyone.

This year, and this chapter, represent the critical choice of your story. This is where you, the main character, responds to the plot twist. This is where you make the critical decisions that ultimately lead to the climax of your story.

So, we all want to know, what are you going to do now that it is 2021? How are you going to respond? What are you going to make happen next? How are you going to get your happy ending? (Robert Kraft wants to know.)

It’s up to you. You are both the author and the main character of your story. You are in control. You choose the adventure. You choose the tone and the pace. You choose your supporting characters. And your choices make all the difference.

Key Takeaway

2021 is a pivotal year in your story. Remember, you get to write what happens next. So write a really great chapter. You have 365 days to work with. Use them all.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.