As a business coach, I interact with store owners every day. I have found that most, at some point, were motivated by a desire to go beyond the rat race. The rat race is an unhealthy competition that is created by the misconception that there is a limited supply of resources in the universe and that to be successful; you must do so at your competitor’s expense. I remember the story of two store owners who competed with each other for sales and customers.

One night, one of the shop owners named Joe had an encounter with a Magical Jeanie. La Jeanie informed him that she would be teaching him a lesson by granting whatever request he had on the condition that his competitor would get double what he asked for. If you asked for wealth, your competitor would get double the wealth. After much thought, Joe requested to be blinded in ONE eye. This story is a humorous illustration of the unhealthy competition that takes place in the rat race. There is one thing I have discovered about the rat race: Even if I win, at the end of the day, I am still a RAT! So the question I ask is how do you go beyond the rat race? I will give you three points to consider that will allow you to advance and grow to the next level.

The first point to consider is the destination. When you have a focus on destiny, your focus shifts from your competence to your calling. One of my favorite television shows as a child was Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Alfred Hitchcock had a unique way of opening each episode. He would show an image of her silhouette and then walk towards her. His silhouette was molded specifically for him and only for him. Our destiny is like that silhouette. It is made specifically for us and all we have to do is walk towards it. It eliminates the need for unhealthy competition in the sense that it is not necessary to compete for something that is already done for us. Our Destiny is our life plan. When deciding on a business plan, our life plan should be the first priority.

The second point to consider if you plan to go beyond the rat race is discipline. It takes discipline to move towards your destination. I watched an interview with actor Will Smith in which he communicated the principles of success and used the perfect brick wall analogy. You mentioned that if you were looking to build the perfect brick wall, your direct focus would have to be on the individual brick and laying it as perfect and complete as possible. The focus on the individual brick would lead to the perfect wall. This is the discipline necessary to advance towards your destiny. Focusing on doing the right things and working one brick at a time takes away your focus on a competitor.

The third and final point to consider is desired. Desire is what motivates your discipline and allows you to walk towards your destiny. I’ll share with you the story I saw online from the success guru that will emphasize this point. A young man who wanted to succeed and achieve his destiny met a success guru. He asked the Guru what he would have to do to be successful. The guru instructed the young man to meet him on the beach the next day. The next day, to the surprise of the young man, the Guru was standing in the water and called him to meet him. The young man sank to his knees in the water only for the Guru to signal him to come closer.

He reached up to his waist and was again told to keep going. Finally, when the young man sank to his neck, the Guru plunged his head into the water as if trying to drown him. After much struggle, the Guru let him up and they headed for the shore. The guru asked the young man what he wanted to do while his head was in the water. The young man replied that he wanted to breathe. The Guru then communicated the following lesson to him: “To achieve your destiny and be successful, the same level of desire that you had to breathe is the same level of desire that you need to succeed.”

By focusing on destiny, discipline, and desire, you can go beyond the rat race.

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