Listen, life is over in a flicker. Not long from now, they're going to be planting you in the ground, hitting that dirt with a shovel. Don't give yourself a reason to lie on your deathbed and regret what you didn't do. As a patent attorney practicing for over 20 years, and as a professor of patent law, I see inventors dealing with the frustration of having others judge their ideas on a daily basis. Who's going to want to buy that? How does your invention solve anything? It probably already exists. What makes you so special? The successful inventors are the ones who ignore the voices of the naysayers and the fear mongers. Famous People of all stripes have dealt with the same problem of gatekeepers, who slammed the door in their faces, never knowing who they were turning away, or what the people they rejected had to offer. There was an actor who went to over 1000 auditions and never got a call back. He was told he was goofy looking. Even his own wife told him he needed to get a real job. Just to get by. He had to sell his dog for $50 just to cover rent, and couldn't afford to heat his apartment. Over and over again. casting directors said he didn't have the right look, or the acting ability to be a leading man. Then, after seeing a Muhammad Ali fight on TV, he got an idea. Three and a half days later, he completed a screenplay and began to pitch it around. His script was turned down repeatedly, mainly because the actor wouldn't accept any offer that didn't include him in the starring role. He was being offered more money than he'd ever seen in one place at one time in his life. But it was the package deal for him all or nothing. Finally, he found producers who are willing to take a chance on him at a steep price $35,000 and a 10% cut of the completely uncertain profits from the film. Given the offers he'd received and rejected previously, this look like madness of the highest order $20 million and an Academy Award later, Sylvester Stallone's real life story, and the script he penned, rocky became firmly entrenched in American history as a classic and eternally intertwine underdog story, Fred Astaire was informed that he was balding, and he couldn't act, but could dance a little. He hung the letter containing this information from an MGM executive over his fireplace, and enjoy many a chuckle over it later. Henry Ford knew virtually nothing about American history, but famously said in court that he had no need to know these things, because he could readily hire anyone he needed with the knowledge he lacked. JK Rowling was told she needed to stick to being a secretary. children's books didn't sell. After 13 rejections in a pittance of a first advance. Her creative vision finally saw daylight and sparked an international phenomena that spanned seven books, a series of movies and netted her over $1 billion in personal wealth, making her by far the most successful author ever. The vision of course, was the Harry Potter franchise. Oprah Winfrey was told she was too fat and ugly for TV, but would probably do well in radio. In each and every case, these people persevere and overcame the naysayers. Everyone knows their names. But very few people remember the names of those who told them that their dreams were absurd. are the gatekeepers slammed door after door. And these people rose to the tops of their respective professions despite them, we know their names, but the names of the people who denied them over and over again, are largely lost in history. When I first finished the rough draft of my best selling book, escaping the gray, I got another taste of what that feels like. There was a lot of so white, good on you, but who cares? It made me sit down and really consider what it was I was trying to get across. But I was determined that hell or high water, the stories of my clients, average, everyday Joe's, and everyday genes that pursued their dreams and succeeded, needed to be told. Here's why it matters. For inventors, the nine to five grind can be the single biggest obstacle to achieving success. I've heard countless people reflect ruefully on the time they spent dealing with things that were completely irrelevant to their dreams, because they were too busy planning the work to actually do the work. I found myself in a similar position when I was a young Associate Attorney at fishing nev in New York. I was working at the most prestigious and well respected patent firm in the world. The law firm counted Bell, Edison, the Wright brothers, and Ford among its client roster. The job was all consuming, but I wasn't doing the thing that really inspired me. As a suit working for other suits, I found my passion ebbing away, and the great Twilight pressing in ever closer. When I escaped the grave for myself, I realized that one of the greatest gifts I had to offer inventors was my heart one knowledge that there is no perfect time to choose life. on your own terms. The world will do everything it can to drown you in mediocrity until the day you choose to swim, then it has a funny way of sending you the occasional flotation ring to help you along. The problem is that far too many people are too timid to grab on to it when it arrives. They don't see their potential salvation in their dreams, but focus instead on all the risks and the reasons why things might go wrong. It takes courage to pursue your dreams, it takes planning and dedication. But most of all it takes action. Action is the deciding factor between the inventors who make it and those who don't. But who or what is the enemy of action. There are so many really indecision, doubt, uncertainty, too much information, too little time, too little money. Too many people crowded around telling you that your dream doesn't have legs. And so it isn't going to take you anywhere. The good news is like any other enemy, these can be overcome. The only thing that matters is taking action. And the time to take action is now I can tell you, there is no roadmap to success. There are no projects or guidelines to follow. Choosing to pursue a passion is a creative endeavor, in which you blaze your own trail. There are guides for staying on course, but many roads will lead you to the same end, you have to decide what works best for you. While there is not a single path to take you there. There are good strategies that can help you along the way and let you know if you're on the right track. If you value having free time to relax more than building the life of your dreams, that's your choice. The path less traveled is not for everyone. But if you want it, if you can see how your life could be and desire that reality. Instead of enjoying the dream of it. carve out some time to build your passion every day. Someone did a survey of people in retirement homes facing the end of their lives. They asked about what sorts of things they would have changed and what they regretted. The number one regret of people at the end of their days on earth are the things they wish they would have done. It was never I shouldn't have done this. Or I wish I hadn't done that. It was always the things that someone didn't do. I wish I would have spent more time I'm with my family.
I wish I had taken that dream trip instead of canceling at the last minute to work. I wish I would have written a book or built that idea. When I was living in New York, I won a raffle to watch the Broadway musical Rent. And in it one of the main characters is a starving artist dying of AIDS, who dreams of coming up with one song before he dies. The poignant lyrics spoke to me One Song Glory. One song before I go, glory, one song to leave behind. Find one song. One last refrain. If you continue on the course you're on now, will you have those regrets when you're 80 or 90? What could you be building right now that will let you live a life you love. Imagine never building that thing you have in mind right now. What feelings might you have? If that thing is left undone? You have the power. You can get the knowledge. All that's left is action. Listen, life is going to be hard. Either way. Whether you go for your dreams or let them pass you by. Have the courage to escape the grave. Take the action that in your heart, you know you need to take remember what Wayne Gretzky said, you miss 100% of the shots you don't take. Don't miss your shot. Take it I'm very pleased to have played a role in the lives of some of my clients that have taken their chance at living life on their terms. In my book, escaping the gray, I have compiled the stories of my clients average everyday Joe's an average everyday Jane's that pursued their dreams and succeeded. But what will your story be? What direction will your road to escaping the grave take? It's different for everyone. But inspiration is always the first step. And if my book gives that spark that drive to escape the grave to just one person then I will say it's a success. And as the main character in rent, put it I will have written my one song before I go.
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