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Welcome to my story blog. I will post one new story here every day. You are welcome to comment on any or all of them. Enjoy!
                   --Lee Pound

Day 34 - Hail Mary

Johnson was stuck.

Not in the usual sense of physically stuck somewhere. No tires in the mud, airplanes not taking off, or deep snow packs.

No, Johnson was stuck in another way. He couldn’t get anything done. When he did try, it fell flat, no results. What was going wrong, he kept asking himself. Why didn’t his efforts work?

Johnson wanted to make money and he wanted to do it fast and he wanted to do it online. He’d listened to all the gurus, spent thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours with nothing to show for it. His biggest refrain was, “Just tell me how you did it so I can do it too!”

He copied this guru. He copied that guru and nothing worked.

One afternoon he was talking with a friend, Harmon. “You’re successful,” he said. “How did you do it? Not just in general, what were the exact steps you took that worked for you?”

Harmon laughed. “You’re kidding me!”

“No, I really want to know. How did you succeed? What steps, little steps did you take? I need to know so I can do it too.”

“Look, I could give you every last step, every person I talked to, every loan officer, every setback, and every person I hired and how they did. You couldn’t duplicate it.”

Johnson asked, “Why not? It seems like it should be easy.”

“How many gurus have you copied so far?” Harmon asked.

“Quite a few.”

“And how many paid off?”

“None.”

Harmon said, “Here’s why. Circumstances change, laws change, lending rules change, people are different, and locations are different. What your guru did three years ago won’t work today for you because you’re dealing with different situations. You have advantages he or she didn’t have. He or she had advantages you don’t have. Of course their stuff doesn’t always work for you.”

“But it does work for some people.”

“It works because they adjust to current circumstances. Do you?” Harmon paused. “If you want to succeed, take the best ideas from the gurus, add the best ideas you have, and do the best you can with what you have.” Harmon waited a second. “I’ll give you the best advice I can. Set a goal and work toward that goal. Find the best people you can to help you meet that goal. Above all, never ever give up. The individual steps? Won’t do you a bit of good. They’re different for everyone.”

That night Johnson rolled these ideas around in his head. Made sense, he thought. A lot of sense. He switched goals every time he found a new guru. He’d spun here, spun there, he’d failed time and again, and now he knew he’d keep failing if he didn’t stop what he was doing right now.

Funny thing was he had no idea what his real goal was.

He remembered a football game he’d seen the previous season. The losing team didn’t seem focused on the goal. They ran, they passed, and they struggled, but the quarterback seemed to have no vision. The game went into the final quarter tied. The winning team hadn’t seemed much better until with just three minutes left in the game a new quarterback came in. On the first play, he took the ball, ran right, then left, then right, and then suddenly lofted a high pass to an open end 50 yards down the field. The end caught the ball and scored a touchdown.

Johnson realized he’d played it safe his entire life. He had taken baby steps where he needed bold steps. He’d forgotten where the goal was. He hadn’t thrown that “Hail Mary” pass that most successful people must do at some point in their lives.

Now it was time. Forget the gurus, get that goal firmly in sight, and take the action that had the best chance of working. And take it now.

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