I'm not your typical motivational speaker.
I'm not Tony Robbins (the big guy with the teeth and the headset) and I don't try to be (not least because I'm over a foot shorter than him). And yet I often get asked to speak.
Earlier this year one of those invitations was from the lovely, wise, and somewhat mischievous author of "Fuck It: The Ultimate Spiritual Way", John Parkin. John asked me to speak at his weekend event in London.
On the day, I talk for about 40 minutes to a room full of people on how to do what you love, and then John asks me "Do you have some final rousing words to leave people with?"
I think for a while and when no snappy feel-good messages come to me, I simply say,
"You're going to die"
John looks at me a little surprised and with his cheeky grin, says,
"You're going to lift them up from here, right?"
And I said "Well, yes. This is my motivational message. Because the fact that you're going to die (and you don't know when) is the most powerful motivation I can think of for starting to do something you really care about as soon as possible."
When we put this reality out of our mind, then we think we can put off our dreams for the week, or for the month, or for the year - or even until retirement. But not only is there a risk we won't make it to that point, it's also a terrible waste of a life.
Whatever your dream is, you can start it today. And you don't have to necessarily "Take massive action!" as Tony shouts at us to do. We can ease our way into doing what we love, one project at a time. We can do it our way, and focus on the part we love most.
In reality, that's the way most people get what they want.
What holds us back is not all the practical stuff (honestly, you can always get started without money, training, offices, or a book deal, and you can google most of the answers you need). What holds us back is fear; very reasonable fear of the unknown, of failing, of succeeding (because success changes everything).
It's really difficult to tackle that fear on your own. On your own, you have to counter the doubts and fears with the same organ that creates them - your own mind.
But... team up with enough positive, committed people and everything changes. You get to admit you're scared, get reassurance, and get the practical advice and contacts you need.
Suddenly, all sorts of things start to look possible.