It started off as a half-hearted joke.
I had hit my sales goals and numbers for the year and asked a good friend and coworker, “Well, what next?”
“Ha,” he taunted, “Maybe write a book.”
“Yeah,” I laughed, but later found the idea stuck in the back of my mind.
Around the same time, I heard of a concept called Misogi. Misogi is, historically, an ancient Japanese ritual of cleansing, but has since been adapted as a challenge that radically expands your idea of what is possible.
A misogi is something that you have, at best, a 50% chance of success. It’s supposed to push you. A misogi will teach you that you are capable of more than you ever imagined and that only through an extreme challenge, will you reach your full potential.
Some people have run races underwater, carrying boulders, without oxygen tanks. Others have climbed icy mountains with little equipment. Whatever the challenge, it is not ordinary or remotely easy.
About four years ago, my misogi was to start my own firm. I knew that most businesses (eight out of ten to be exact) actually fail within the first two years. Through a lot of hard work and a specific mindsets I adopted (you can read more about those concepts here), the firm was actually largely successful.
What happened then, though? I grew comfortable with the level of success I had, for a moment. It wasn’t long before I realized that if I wanted, my business could remain perfectly successful and I could keep making the money I needed, with a minimum amount of maintenance.
But was that what I really wanted?
If I settled for the level of success that I had, I knew I wouldn’t be reaching my full potential.
So with that in mind, I decided to embrace a new challenge. A new misogi. I asked myself, “What’s something that sounds terrifying and unsurmountable?”
Then I remembered what I had heard about writing a book. I had heard that it’s really hard. I’ve also heard most of the people who start books never finish them. I had no background in writing and had no idea what even the first step towards writing a book was.
In short, I was inexperienced with little chance of succeeding in any book writing effort.
It was perfect challenge.
As I started the process of writing my book, I found that people weren’t lying or exaggerating. It was hard.
Writing a book challenged and grew me, it even forced me to have hard conversations and learn about an entirely new industry. But writing a book also redefined what I thought I was capable of. It showed me that I can achieve much more than what I thought was possible.
Honestly, I wasn’t sure I could do it. Now, after finishing such a difficult project, I’ve found I can. And I know this is just the beginning. It won’t stop here.
The same is possible for you. You’re capable of more than you think you are.
It’s time for you to push yourself, to take on something big.
Don’t just settle for the success you have now. Strive for the thing you’re afraid of, the thing you’re not sure you can do.
So here’s my challenge to you:
Create your own impossible challenge. It might be a physical challenge or a mental one. It could pertain to your business or your personal life. It just can’t be easy.
You may not know exactly how you’re going to succeed or even if you are going to succeed, but during the process, you’ll find that you come out better on the other side for trying.
What’s your impossible challenge? Let me know in the comments below.