The Real Reason the Early Bird Catches the Worm

BY Mike Dooley        December 10, 2014

I often see the Universe and its magic play out in life is with people who are very successful in their own respective professions. Oftentimes, I see this in entrepreneurs. They might not know a lick about the Universe and life’s magic, yet somehow they know to do the most basic, fundamental things that will predispose them to miraculous circumstances. The reason, however, that they’re so successful, apart from having a goal and a vision, is because they have this glint in their eye that says they are committed to doing whatever it takes. They’re automatically doing everything they can with what they have from where they are, and they’re not too proud to humble themselves, particularly in the beginning of their journey, with menial work.

When I graduated from high school and went to college with the rest of my peers, I had one boyhood friend who stayed back and went into the restaurant business, busing tables (preparing clean place settings and collecting the dirties). Every spring break and holiday when I’d come home to visit, he and I would get together and trade stories. It was actually a bit uncomfortable for both of us. He felt left behind, as the rest of his friends were off on adventures to “conquer the world,” with college as our gateway.

One day, on home leave from school, my other friends and I discovered he left the restaurant business. He had gotten into sales, selling ladders. “Nice going! Congratulations! The sky is the limit!” we chimed, trying to be positive about his new direction in life—a ladder salesman. After receiving the warm wishes, he stopped us. He wanted to show us his sales pitch. Humoring him, we agreed.

Talk about enthused! Talk about mastering what’s before you! When his ten-minute demonstration was done, not only did we all seriously want to buy one of his ladders, but we all wanted to join him in business! So did everyone he pitched these ladders to. He was “tearing things up” at fire stations and school boards across the entire state of Florida! By the time of my next visit home, he had become the number one ladder salesman in the United States. This friend later went on to scaffolding! A natural extension—if you don’t mind the pun! He began supplying high-rise contractors in Florida’s booming office development community! The last I heard, many years later, in addition to his booming business, he had gotten back into the restaurant business, this time as a proprietor, and his plans were to start franchising. His success has been unending, far exceeding what any of us more “fortunate” college students have yet to find, and if I had to say what made him so successful, it was his willingness to do all he could, with what he had, from where he was.

The real reason the early bird catches the worm is not because they’re early, but because they’re there, they showed up, and the Universe provided. It means you must humbly get out into the world, go, show up, without worrying about or insisting upon the hows, delegating them to life’s magic.

This article was excerpted from my New York Times Bestselling Book, Leveraging the Universe: 7 Steps to Engaging Life's Magic.

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Mike Dooley

Mike Dooley is a former PriceWaterhouseCoopers international tax consultant, turned entrepreneur, who's founded a philosophical Adventurers Club on the internet that's now home to over 600,000 members from over 182 countries. His inspirational books emphasizing spiritual accountability have been published in 25 languages and he was one of the featured teachers in the international phenomenon, The Secret. Today Mike is best known for his free Notes from the Universe e-mailings and his New York Times bestsellers Infinite Possibilities: The Art of Living Your Dreams and Leveraging the Universe: 7 Steps to Engaging Life's Magic. Mike lives what he teaches, traveling internationally speaking on life, dreams, and happiness.

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