The 3 Simple Rules for Success [MWM – 026] | Mark Van Der Gaag

The 3 Simple Rules for Success [MWM – 026]

The 3 Simple Rules for Success

I used to own & operate pay-per-climb climbing walls in beach towns on the east coast. It was a really fun business that taught me a lot about the world. 

For me, my climbing walls were all about helping people face their fears and self-imposed limitations in order to push through them and get to the top.

Whenever this happened, intense joy and excitement  would erupt – not just for the climber, but for everyone witnessing and supporting as well. 

The exuberance was palpable. Deep down we want to see each other succeed and when we do it reminds us that we can too.

The Obstacle

Many people who came to my climbing facilities thought the obstacle they had to overcome was the climbing structure in front of them. 

But my crew and I knew the secret.

The real obstacle was the wall within.

We would see it over and over. People peeling off the wall in the very spot that they feared they would… the illustrious overhang.

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It looked so scary… but everyone on my crew could get up that route and past the overhang in less than 3 seconds.  

There was a very easy way to do it, but you couldn’t find it if you were more focused on your performance than you were on climbing.

Rule #1: If your purpose for doing a thing is the doing of the thing and not the winning or losing, success is more likely.  

Feigning the Effort

Though they believed they were giving it their best shot while dramatically lunging and missing the next handhold…

…the truth was they were feigning the effort to succeed in order to conceal their intentional and efficaciously controlled fall. 

They weren’t really thrusting toward what they wanted. They were jumping away from what they feared.

They were gracefully and triumphantly… QUITTING.

Rule #2: You are more likely to succeed if you don’t quit.

One day, while watching this travesty play out ad infinitum, I just couldn’t take it anymore and started coaching people up the wall.

Now all of my life since I was a young kid, I’ve intrinsically known that what you believe you can or can’t do will be true for you.

However, what I witnessed that day was person after person making it to the top even though they were consistently declaring & often screaming, “I can’t do it!”

This didn’t make sense to me because it seemed to conflict with what I had come to understand about the power of belief…

And that is when I had my epiphany. 

What was getting these people up the wall was not their own belief. They clearly did not believe they could do it. 

What was getting them up the wall was our belief . We were believing them to the top even when they couldn’t believe it themselves.

Rule #3: You are more likely to get to the top if you surround yourself with people who want you to… and believe you can.

? So Cluster Up! 

Journaling Questions:

This week, take some time to reflect on the following questions regarding The 3 Simple Rules for Success…

  • What is fueling the “doing” in your life? 
  • Where are you “controlling your fall” while feigning the effort to succeed?
  • Are you surrounding yourself with cheerleaders or naysayers?

Now, use your answers to guide the next steps you take on your path to success!

June 7, 2020

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