"No one else can live your life for you – no one else will have to live with your regrets – so do not allow them to determine your successes or failures."
As author Danny Stone declares, You Have the Keys, Now Drive will take you on a journey of self-exploration. You’ll dig deep on what you want. A magic wand won’t come along to make everything alright. Rather, this volume is filled with tools to go from stuck to unstuck, from satisfaction to true happiness, and from dreaming to actively shaping your future.
The Ten Steps
"Living your dreams sometimes means not following the rules, not conforming, and not wanting to be like everyone else."
Unfortunately, many people can’t see their situation from a different perspective because they don’t understand that who they are and what they value are catalysts for new decisions. Once they understand their values and passions, these forces will form the driving purpose behind how they comport their lives.
Via his research, Stone discovered 10 essential steps that people must take to get out of the “mud” (a state of being stuck in some area of your life). Here they are:
- Identify and acknowledge where you’re stuck.
- Find self-awareness – a deep connection with yourself.
- Reconnect with your values, passion and purpose.
- Shift your perspective to get unstuck.
- Set powerful goals to achieve what you want.
- Use failure as an opportunity to learn and grow.
- Learn the importance of celebrating milestones and successes.
- Establish a support system.
- Discover the power of taking time for yourself.
- Achieve a life free and unstuck.
No Really – Who Are You?
"Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity is: ‘Doing the same thing and expecting a different result.’ I think many people can relate better to this: ‘unhappily doing the same things over and over and settling for the same result.’"
So, how is it that we come to think small as opposed to dreaming large? One factor is that we’ve been conditioned to accept a limited reality. We look at the glass as half empty. Now, imagine a hot day of beating-down sun. You desperately need water. Someone offers you half a glass. Would you accept it or would you tell them you’ll only take a full glass?
While these questions may seem strange, the author poses them because a chief reason people are stuck is because they can’t think bigger than their specific situation. To prompt our expansion, here’s a compendium of food-for-thought inquiries:
- Without over-thinking, write down 20 of your best attributes (strengths).
- The top 5 positive words or phrases I’d use to describe myself are… (fill in the blanks).
- Imagine you’re being interviewed by a top talk show host and asked: “Tell me about yourself.” What would you say?
- What accomplishment are you most proud of?
- How do you want other people to see you?
- What are you most passionate/excited about?
- What do you want your legacy to be?
The F-Word – Permission to Fail
"Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do."
In order to achieve great success, we must be willing to step out of comfort zones; we need to challenge ourselves to do something different. Being uncomfortable helps us tap into unrecognized skills and/or allows us to play to current strengths even more. Interestingly, the world’s greatest entrepreneurs have all failed at some point in their lives. Even Steve Jobs got fired from Apple before later returning as CEO.
To advance our “comfort” with failure, we’re offered these questions for reflection:
- What would your life be like if you were not afraid to fail?
- If you could not fail, what would you do?
- What would you attempt to achieve?
- What impact would that have on your life?
At the same time, it’s important to reward and celebrate our victories as well as maintain positive self-talk to reinforce our worthiness of success. That’s why Danny shares stories and examples throughout of how he transformed his life – from growing up in a low-income housing project surrounded by drugs to being a business owner and public speaker.
As he says, the book is not called Danny Has the Keys and Will Be Your Chauffeur or Danny Handed You the Keys and Will Teach You to Drive. We already have a license to drive in any direction we choose. In the end, Stone’s only role is that of an “alarm clock” waking us up so we can begin (or continue) the journey to our end destination.
How encouraging it is to know we don’t need to settle or accept quiet dissatisfaction as the norm. Let’s always remember to declare and believe that we deserve more!