John Assaraf Didn’t Do Anything For Me

About a year ago, I decided to join John Assaraf’s Having It All Challenge.

As I’ve documented before, I’d come to a point in my life where I felt stuck and directionless. I sought out some accountability for my actions, a person whom had achieved greatly to keep me on task.

Eventually, I figured out his involvement in my success would be minimal.

The curriculum consisted of one-hour conference calls in which lessons were discussed and questions answered by experts from a variety of fields. With the exception of a one-day trip to San Diego, there was little in the way of personal interaction.

It offended me.

I’d paid good money to figure out how to change my life and I continued to lumber along the same course with a restless spirit.

Same work.

Same results.

Same discontent.

Where was my miracle?

Slowly, I figured out the problem:  me.

His voice echoed through my brain with the resounding clarity of a church bell: “I can’t do your pushups for you.”

He would give me some tools. I would do the work.

The burden of discipline and strain is mine alone.

The rewards are, too.

I bring this up because I had another encounter with my loudest-complaining student last night.

I wholeheartedly confess the test I prepared was unfair. The questions were disconnected from the manner in which I have covered the material. As an instructor, I failed the class.

I admit that without reservation.

The same tired argument arose from the seat halfway back on my right.

“I do better when I can match up words with pictures.”

“Give us the answers to pick from instead.”

And finally, “It’s not that you can’t do it, it’s that you won’t.”

She’s right.

She’d rather have it her way instead of putting the work in to do it mine. She knows what is simplest for her and everything should accommodate that.

Life works in its own way.

Much of your results are determined by your willingness to adapt to situations. As the saying goes in boxing: “Everybody’s got a plan until they get hit.”

You can do two things when faced with a challenge:

Improve yourself or blame everyone else.

Which do you think gets you farthest?

The price of a victim’s mentality is the repetition of excruciating events over and over again, whether tortured by consuming addiction or an unrelenting professor. Sure, the circumstances may change, but the aftermath is the same:

You pointing one finger at the world and three back at yourself.

To change your end-products, adjust your attitude. Control the quality of your effort and take what comes to you. Whether you get what you want or not, refine your technique to be better next time.

I can only give you a shovel.

You must dig the well yourself or die of thirst.

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7 Responses to “John Assaraf Didn’t Do Anything For Me”


  1. 1 Randy Gage April 16, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    I love your take on this.

    -RG

    • 2 Jason Eichacker April 16, 2010 at 4:00 pm

      Thanks! I really enjoyed your post this morning and–coupled with the experience last night–felt compelled to discuss how much our results rely on our own efforts.

      I really appreciate you supporting my expression of the message.

  2. 3 Britt April 20, 2010 at 10:29 am

    “Improve yourself or blame everyone else.”

    That’s a fantastic point in a great blog. It’s so much easier to deflect the cause of the problems away from us to others. But if we can look in the mirror, then we realize that we can grow and build ourselves to be a better person. Even if that is easier said than done!

    • 4 Jason Eichacker April 20, 2010 at 4:27 pm

      The important thing to accept is the amount of control you have over a situation. Sure, there will be times when consequences or others’ actions affect your results, but what’s important is your own ability to take those situations and turn them for your benefit.

  3. 5 Nancy Battye May 4, 2010 at 12:15 am

    Jason my brother I love your honesty, I love your personal accountability, I love your honesty with yourself, love your committment to self, I love your willingness to spread your wings strap on your courage and to soar to new heights and undertake your passion for writing with your personal journey of discovery and ownership for who you are
    with much love and kindest of intentions from one of your biggest fans, loved ones and supporters


  1. 1 The Best Won’t Come While You Wait « MeBuilding Trackback on April 30, 2010 at 7:37 am
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