The Sauna, The Rockstar and The Secret to Success

We all have little pleasures.

One of the things I look forward to is hitting the sauna after I workout at my gym. It feels like a small victory.

And truth be told, there is something about a good sweat that often inspires great ideas for my businesses and my clients’ businesses.

You should try it sometime, really!

Since I know the regulars at my gym, I was surprised to see someone new in the sauna today. He asked me a few questions about the gym and we got into a conversation.

It turns out he is a member of well known (except to me that is) rock band that is in town to record a new album. Since I live in the northern boonies of New Jersey, the fact that they were here to record an album was utterly shocking.

We talked about being middle-aged parents, making mistakes, dealing with legal contracts and other things that he, as a rockstar, and I, as a businessman, have in common.

And just as he was getting ready to leave I asked him a question that came out of nowhere.

I asked “has there ever been a time that you were up on stage performing for a packed arena or maybe in the studio recording a hit album and thought to yourself ‘l’m here. I’ve made it?’”

He looked at the floor and fell silent for a few moments. I saw twenty emotions pass over his face in 10 seconds.

I realized nobody had ever asked him that before.

Finally, he replied “Well…maybe?” He paused again. “You know we’ve been doing this so long and there have been so many sacrifices that by now it’s just kind of like what we do, like we’ve earned it.”

Then we made our goodbyes and he left.

I sat there drenched in sweat, feeling strange as I thought about his response to my question.

Imagine being a literal ‘rock and roll star,’ having traveled the world, having played to screaming fans, having won awards, having lived what is almost every person’s dream life and never having a moment when you stop and say “I’ve made it.”

Imagine succeeding without tasting success.

Then I realized I am the same as my new friend.

I have achieved many of the things I desired. Not all of course, but more than enough where someone else would tell me I should be jumping for joy. Yet, to me, life is what it is. And I just keep going.

I’m not sad or anything. But I have never had a moment where I sat back and said“I’ve made it. I’m really here.”

One of my mentors, Blair Singer, tells us to “Celebrate all wins.” When he first taught me that, I thought it was nice, but really just pep-talky kind of stuff.

Now I realize he was right!

Without accepting success, how can you actually say you’ve succeeded?

And what about you?

When was the last time you did a ‘now and then’ comparison on your own life? Have you ever allowed yourself to have the “I’ve made it” moment?

I think the real problem is that if you’ve never had an “I’ve made it” moment, then you just don’t know how.

I’m now inspired to start having these moments on a regular basis.

Since there is no one to teach me exactly how to do this (and I’m sure there is no “right” way to do this) here are the three steps I am going to use:

  1. Picture the outcome specifically – See, hear, feel where you will be, what you will be doing and who you will be with when you know you’ve “made it.”
  2. Control the process - Decide upon what you can control that will get you there, and what you can’t. Then figure out what you will need to gain control over so you can ultimately get to the “I’ve made it” moment.
  3. Rehearse the celebration – Know exactly what you will do upon having “made it” so you can enjoy it and psychologically anchor your win.

That’s what I’m going to do.

If you have other ideas, I’d love to hear them. Or if my idea works for you, then I am glad to help.

Either way, learn to accept your success, because that which we do not accept we ultimately reject.

Keep smilin!