Back in 1988, Tony Robbins released his first infomercial for his best-selling program, Personal Power. That audio program has been a HUGE hit, consumed by MILLIONS around the world.
Today, you’d be more successful with a program called Personal Safety: How To Find Security In An Unsafe World. Once again – and to new epic levels – the media has managed to whip the population into a fear frenzy, paralyzing people to the point of becoming shuttered in their homes with rooms full of toilet paper, fearful of going anywhere without a full hazmat suit, convinced that we’re ALL going to die.
Without a doubt, this has been a HUGE win for the media because viewership skyrockets when fear sets in, and millions repost their agenda-slanted articles on social media as clubs to beat the “other side” to their point of view. You’re a complete idiot if you don’t see the agendas woven throughout all of this.
But this brings me to a more important point regarding a movement that has been going on far longer than the wearing of face masks: The desire to trade away independence and personal power for security and safety, driven by fear and/or a desire for easy resignation when facing risk, difficulty and uncertainty. Many want to be coddled, comforted and cared for by others so much so that they are willing to sacrifice personal freedom to get it.
What they fail to consider is that the completely safe, no-risk, well-lit covered path goes nowhere. A bird in a cage is safe but trapped, unable to fly and is entirely at the mercy of its owner. Difference between you and a bird is, you get to choose whether or not you’re going to put yourself in the damned cage.
It’s undoubtedly true that taking full and complete responsibility for your own life is a path fraught with uncertainty and pitfalls. Risks and dangers lurk in deep, cold waters, but only by venturing into those depths can you catch the big fish. When I decide to host an event like our annual Boot Camp, I’m taking a HUGE risk on many fronts – the risk of someone getting hurt, sick or even killed at the event due to any number of things completely out of my control. The risk of speakers, AV, sponsors, attendees or even my staff going rogue and creating massive problems. The risk of investing over $2 million to put on the event, with no guarantees that people will attend and vendors will sponsor. The risk of being unable to fulfill due to a terrorist attack, fire, flood, riots or even a pandemic, which no insurance will cover. It would be “safer” to not “go big” and play it safe by doing a Zoom meeting or a smaller event. But that BIG event not only generates millions of dollars in sales and growth, it is also a very critical connection and inspiration to our members, which is every bit as valuable to us (truly). It’s essential to our success.
And THAT is what those who “play it safe” fail to consider: there is absolutely a risk in doing nothing and playing small. It leads to a miserable existence where you have no control and must take whatever life hands you…where you become resentful and bitter. Where envy and jealousy poison your soul and ultimately cause deep-rooted resentment. Certainly NOT a life of abundance and gratitude.
I’ve been a serious student in the personal development field for nearly 25 years now and can tell you the overarching themes have changed from fundamental principles of developing an “iron will” and extreme work ethic to those of the 4-hour workweek and how to have a “balanced,” stress-free life. Shameful. Hear ye, hear ye: freedom and independence aren’t free – they are HARD-EARNED and purchased through difficulty, through resistance, through taking risks and intense, focused effort. Freedom must be defended daily. A precious, precious gift that ought not be taken for granted even for a moment.
Our individual freedom is so profoundly important that men and women voluntarily stand on our borders and beyond to defend it, selflessly risking and giving their own lives to that cause. Folks, it is THAT important, and I’m not just talking about a virus here. That is why on Memorial Day, I and those around me will remember the brave, selfless individuals who gave everything to a cause. That cause was FREEDOM and our rights to independence. They gave their lives to buy our liberty and our right to pursue happiness. A fundamental human right. A debt none of us could repay, but should honor by respecting their sacrifice, being grateful for the freedom we have and never, ever forgetting how dear it is.