Throw away the squirrel food

I wrote Follow You Anywhere in 9 days, or did I? When people ask me, "Wait, how long?" I usually tell them ten years. That's how long it took to gather and learn the lessons I share in the book. 

This month, people are talking about the new UFC featherweight champ, Conor McGregor. He knocked out the former champ in 13 seconds. How does a guy conquer a division in 13 seconds? I think it's similar to writing a book in 9 days. 

I'm a fan of the UFC. If you're unfamiliar with it, you may perceive it as violent or brutal, but the informed viewer sees an art form in the mixed martial arts competition.

I grew up in a wrestling household. I didn't know I'd end up being 6-foot-5-inches, and neither did my 5-10 dad, a world class wrestler and hall-of-famer from Illinois State University. He built a high school power house wrestling program while I shot hoops outside his wrestling room. 

Ryan Wallace recently wrote a piece on "overnight sensation" Conor McGregor (ht David Siteman Garland):

"I've seen several articles today floating around about how much money Conor McGregor '‪#‎thenotoriousmma‬ 'earned' in 13 seconds, on Saturday night. And while there is no question it was an awesome payday for the new champion...

Here is what we don't see...

  • Before his first fight in UFC, he was told he wasn’t up to it, as he had not fought any UFC caliber fighters.
  • Before him no Irish man had excelled in this business.
  • Many have repeatedly told him he is overhyped, and that he will fail.
  • At the age of 17, McGregor moved with his family to Lucan in west Dublin where he commenced a plumbing apprenticeship.
  • For years, he worked 10 to 12 hours each day - and then went straight to the gym for training. He fought on the weekends.
  • In 2006 he was introduced to 'The Secret' and started to apply the law of attraction in his life.
  • He and his father nearly came to blows when McGregor told his Dad he was quitting to be a full time fighter. His parents were skeptical, because fighting for a living sounded like a bunch of nonsense.
  • His parents and his family laughed at him when he said he would be a self made millionaire by the age of 25. (He was one year late fulfilling his prophesy by the age of 26.)
  • He went 4-2 in his first six fights, showing promise but also holes that needed to be filled. He worked relentlessly on filling them. He constantly badgered the owner of the gym at all hours of the night, which prompted the owner to give him his own key, so he wouldn't be woken up by phone calls in the middle of the night.
  • Something clicked on his seventh fight, and went on a 14 win streak, including one of the fastest recorded knockouts in MMA ending a fight in 4 seconds at Immortal Fighting Championship in Letterkenny, Ireland.
  • After tens of thousands of hours of practice, proving everyone wrong, and starting at the bottom -- He became the Champion in just 13 seconds on Saturday night!

Many are now referring to him as, "The best pound for pound fighter in the world.
No...he didn't earn millions of dollars in 13 seconds on Saturday night.....It took him a lifetime to become an "Overnight Millionaire".

Clearly McGregor had aligned his life around his vision. He must have said "no" to an awful lot of things along the way, in order to say yes again to his goal. 

I've had big goals before. Maybe you have too. When you chase squirrels along the way, you end up far off the path of your goal. Perhaps one of the things that makes McGregor's story so unique is that he came from nowhere. I didn't even know who he was until about a year ago and I'm fairly aware of UFC personalities. 

If you're on your way to a goal right now, don't be discouraged that the public hasn't heard of you yet. You only need a very small percentage of your market to build something big. That's what is most exciting about being alive in this economy. 

Align your life. Throw away the squirrel food.