We have, as humans, we have something that no animal has. And what it’s called is, imagination. And what imagination allows you to do, it allows you to see it before it actually happens. What I mean by that is I need you to go ten years into the future, twenty years into the future, and I need you to see yourself actually becoming the person you want to be.
You got to live in the forward. Block the whole world out – put some music on, some classical music; the piano if you need to. I don’t know what you need to listen to but I want you to take thirty minutes – go in the closet, go in the basement, go to the library, go into a room alone, and I want you take thirty minutes and I want you to imagine. I want you to take thirty minutes and I want you to live in the forward. See the problem is, I’m talking to some of you guys, the problem that you’re having is you’re living in the future and you’re living in the present. And you keep talking about the mistakes, you keep talking about the past, you keep talking about your trials, you keep talking about your situation – and I want you to know that everybody that has ever been great, everybody, has had an obstacle to overcome, they’ve had a barrier that they had to climb. There is no individual who has ever reached success and he didn’t have to go through an obstacle or a barrier to get there.
I need you to live in the future – I need you to go in your future every single day. I need you to go in your future; I need you to see what you’re going to be. Listen to me, what you are to be you are now becoming. And so you got to use your imagination – and your imagination has to take you beyond the pain, your imagination has to take you beyond the trouble, your imagination has to take you to the next level. We have to see ourselves there long before it happens. The second tool is, we got to embrace faith. I have to have faith to believe the thing that I see ten years from now, twenty years from now, that one day that thing is going to be successful.
When I was homeless at sixteen I could have quit, when I was homeless I could have given up; there were many of days that I thought about committing suicide. But I said to myself, ‘E just keep imagining. Keep thinking, keep seeing. Keep seeing what you’re not now but what you’re going to be.’ Sometimes it’s going to be hard. Sometimes you’re going to look all around you and nowhere do you see success. Nowhere do you see anything that remotely looks like success, but you got to embrace number two; you got to embrace the faith. You got to believe that although it’s not happening right now, if you keep pressing, if you keep pushing, guess what? One day it’s going to be your day.
That’s right; I need you to say that with me, ‘One day it’s going to be your day.’ Embrace the faith. You got to be able to see it and believe it; that when there’s no evidence around you, when there’s no evidence around you, when you got pain in your life, when you’re tired, you feel like giving up, and you feel like quitting, when you look around you and you don’t see anything that looks anything like success, you got to embrace the faith and believe that one day will be my day! But one day can’t be your day if you give up, if you quit. If you quit no day will ever be your day.
I want you to fail forward. That’s right I said it; fail forward. I want you to get to a place in your life that every mistake you make, every setback you get, every obstacle that you don’t overcome, every barrier you can’t climb – I don’t want you to give up but I want you to fail forward. You got to learn from your mistakes. That every mistake you make – you fail a class? Get back up and try again. You lose a job? Get back up and try again. You put all of your money in an investment? Get back and try it again. If you start a business and it don’t work, don’t stop don’t quit! Fail forward. Learn from each and everyone one of your mistakes. Don’t quit, don’t give up. Listen to me, don’t quit, don’t give up – if it gets hard you tie a knot around yourself, you double tie it if you have to, but you hold on. But I want you to know, you will never reach your goal, you will never reach your dreams if you don’t use your imagination.
So when you fail that class, don’t drop it. When you fail that class don’t just stop going. You go to the end of that class, and you go to the end of that class, and you go to the end of that class, and you go to the end of that class – because I want you to know something: when you start that class over the next semester you won’t be starting from scratch. You won’t be starting from the bottom. Because you were all the way up here when you quit, and now all you got to do is go a little further, and a little further. So keep reaching, keep climbing!