There’s More Left in the Tube Article by: Jeff Keller
When I shave each morning, I use shaving cream that comes out of a small “travel size” aerosol can. The can is only about three inches high. I’d been using that little can for several weeks, when I realized the can was getting very light. I immediately thought, “Can’t be much more left in here.” I was just about to throw it in the wastebasket when I figured I could eke out another shave or two.
Much to my amazement, the shaving cream kept coming out day after day after day. I ended up getting 19 more shaves from that little dispenser! And to think that I was just about to throw the can away.
I’m sure you’ve experienced the same thing with a tube of toothpaste or shampoo. It looks like the tube is just about empty, but you keep folding the tube and squeezing â€” and you get days or weeks of extra use from the supposedly empty tube.
There’s a lesson here for all of us. We work toward a goal and sometimes get frustrating results for a long time. Things aren’t working out as we had anticipated. We think there’s not much left in “our tube,” and we give some thought to quitting. The reality is that we have a lot more left in the tube, if we’ll only continue to believe in ourselves and keep moving forward.
In fact, our biggest breakthroughs often occur when we think there’s nothing left in our tube. You see, there’s a polarity to life, and when you experience setbacks and disappointments, these are often balanced by significant achievements. Yet most people quit before the “turnaround” happens.
Napoleon Hill, one of the most insightful success writers of all time, described this phenomenon in his classic self-help book Think & Grow Rich. In the early 1900s, Hill spent decades interviewing more than 500 of the most successful people in the United States â€” people like Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Andrew Carnegie. Hill reported that hundreds of these successful individuals told him that their greatest success came just one step after they suffered their greatest defeat.
Harriet Beecher Stowe put the principle this way: “When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you until it seems that you cannot hold on for a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”
About 10 years ago, Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen began pitching their book to various publishers. The first 30 rejected their book. They could have thrown in the towel then, believing the tube was empty. Then they got the 31st rejection … and then the 32nd rejection. Was the tube empty? They didn’t think so. On the 140th attempt, they finally got a publisher to say yes to their book. That book was Chicken Soup for the Soul, and it spawned a series of books that has now sold more than 80 million copies!
Sometimes we have to fight our own doubts as to whether we can keep going in the face of setbacks. At other times, we have to ignore the beliefs of others who tell us that there’s nothing left in our tube and that we have to give up on our dreams.
Take the example of George Foreman â€” businessman, broadcaster, and former heavyweight boxing champion. As he approached the age of 40, George decided he would come out of retirement and regain the heavyweight championship. Most people thought he had nothing left in the tube, certainly not enough to win the championship again at his “advanced” age. They said he was too old, out of shape, and “rusty” after being away from boxing for so long. But George never listened to the naysayers, and on Nov. 5, 1994, at the age of 45, George Foreman knocked out Michael Moorer to recapture the heavyweight title. In the end, it didn’t matter that others doubted George, because he never doubted himself. He knew he had plenty left in the tube.
Some of you may be wondering whether there’s ever a time to “cut your losses” and stop pursuing your goal. I think the answer to that is yes, but it’s usually when you come to the point where you lack enthusiasm to achieve that goal, or if you find you no longer have the commitment to do what it might take to accomplish it. Without enthusiasm and commitment, there really is very little left in your tube.
However, if you’re still excited about reaching a goal that may seem off in the distance, it might be time to re-examine your strategy and see if any adjustments are called for. After all, there’s no point in continuing to take steps that have proven ineffective.
Once you believe you have a viable strategy, and you’re willing to expend the energy and effort to do what it takes to accomplish your goal, don’t give up. It’s just a matter of time until you’ll get a “second wind.” If you’ve played sports or exercised, you’ve experienced the second wind. You’re exerting yourself for a while and you think you can’t go on any longer. Then, you suddenly feel a new burst of energy as you catch your second wind. You’re re-energized!
William James said, “Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they’ve got a second.” Don’t let that happen to you. What a shame to give up when you can still reach your fondest dreams.
So, when you think the tube is just about empty, take heart and realize that now is not the time to call it quits. Success may be just over the horizon.
Because certain people dared to be “unrealistic,” we now live in a world where we fly with the birds, we have walked on the moon, and we can communicate with anyone in the world via the Internet. Take a moment to think. Are there any goals that you have given up on … or hesitate to pursue … because you decided they were “unrealistic”?
Here are some ideas that will assist you in bringing your “unrealistic” dreams into reality:
A Positive Attitude Is the Foundation
You can achieve something extraordinary only if you have a dynamic positive attitude and a strong belief in yourself and your abilities.
Don’t Expect Others to Feel and See Your Vision
You may be able to picture your outcome in vivid detail. This is your personal vision. But don’t be discouraged when you find that others (even those close to you) can’t “tune in to” that dream. All that counts is that you see it … and feel it.
Enthusiasm Is Crucial
Bold objectives are achieved by those who are “on fire” about accomplishing them. So, are you excited about your goal? When you are speaking about that topic to others, can they sense your passion? If you are lukewarm about achieving your goal or are just in it for the money, you probably won’t succeed. Also, if you are trying to achieve a goal that someone else has set for you â€” but your heart isn’t in it â€” you will face disappointment.
Commitment Gets the Job Done
Sure, many people are excited at the outset. But, they quickly lose interest when obstacles appear in their path. And, with any “unrealistic” goal, you can bet that the trip won’t be all fun and games. You’re going to face some tough times. Those who are committed have decided that they are in it for the long haul â€” however long that haul may take.
Your Everyday Progress Will Look Quite Ordinary
When you look back at the accomplishment of most “unrealistic” goals, you’re going to find that they were achieved by harnessing the power of cumulative efforts. Thus, if we view a snapshot of each day along the way, no single day’s accomplishments would look extraordinary or monumental. However, by making these efforts day after day, you will create a momentum that will propel you to your desired destination. Remember, you don’t climb a mountain with one giant leap.
There Are No Guarantees
By the way, is there a chance that you could embark on a challenging goal … and not reach it? Absolutely. But, when you set an ambitious objective and give it your all, you are a winner and can hold your head high regardless of the end result.
So, do you think that you could double or triple your income â€” or come up with an idea that could drastically improve your company, your community, or the world? Whatever your big dream might be, don’t worry that it is “unrealistic.” People are achieving “unrealistic” goals every day. As Thomas Edison said: “If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.”
To learn more about Jeff Keller and his bestselling book Attitude Is Everything, visit www.AdvantEdgeMag.com/Keller today.