Bilbo Baggins’ Ignored Advice

Did you ever read “The Hobbit”?  Or see the film?
Amazing story.  I started reading Tolkien when I was 9 and I’ve been hooked ever since.  I guess I’ve read through the books at least 15-16 times.
Anyway, if you don’t know the story….
Bilbo Baggins gets recruited by a wizard (named Gandalf) to join a company of dwarves to go on an adventure to kill a dragon and take the gold.
And the story is full of elves, goblins, trolls, stone giants and giant spiders and a man who can change into a bear.  It’s absolutely wonderful.
Here’s one of my favorite parts of the story…
Our heroes are about to go into a deep, dark forest and Gandalf the wizard says…
“I’ve got leave you for awhile.  But you’ll be fine in the forest as long as you follow one rule:  DO NOT LEAVE THE ROAD.”
He said, “If you step off the road for any reason, you may never find it again and you could wind up wandering around Mirkwood Forest for the rest of your life and never escape.”
Man, when I was 9 years old, that gave me the shivers!
And they were pretty simple instructions weren’t they?
The road is right in front of you.
You don’t have to do anything but walk on it.
That’s all.
Gandalf didn’t say they had to learn to juggle.
He didn’t tell them they had to do handstands.
They didn’t have to learn how to bake a soufflé.
All they had to do was walk on the road….one step at a time.
And, of course it wouldn’t be a good story if someone didn’t make a mistake.
So, sure enough, someone got distracted by a shiny object….they stepped off the road and everything went pitch black.  And then Bilbo and the dwarves all wander around in thirst and hunger until they get captured by some Elves.
So, what does this have to do with YOU and your bank account?
Simply this…
Sometimes we’re just like Bilbo and the dwarves:  we take the simplest instructions imaginable…instructions that ought to be simple enough to follow….
…and we get distracted by some “shiny object”…
…and then we look around and find that not only did we step off the path…
…but we’re not even sure how to get back to where we started.
Life is that way.
Have you ever noticed that kids have a lot of this stuff figured out?
When’s the last time you saw a kid say, “Learning how to stand up is hard so I’m not going to try anymore”?
Answer:  never!
You never see a kid who says, “I’m tired of trying to figure out how to put these Cheerios in my mouth.  I’m just going to sit here and starve to death.”
That doesn’t happen.
And yet, somewhere along the way, we gave up on a lot of the methods that create success in our lives.  (And, to be fair, the problems get more complicated, too.)
At some time or another, most of us know what it’s like to “step off the path”.
In fact, most of us know what it’s like to be LURED off the path because we saw some “shiny object” that turned out to be fool’s gold.
That happens a lot in the “success advice” industry.
“Look over here!  All you have to do is think positive and your dreams will come true!”
“No, look over here!  It’s all about The Secret!  It’s all about law of attraction!”
“No, it’s about goal-setting!  If you don’t have goals, you can’t be successful!”
“No, don’t listen to him!  Success is about meditation!  You’ve got to meditate!”
“Over here!  Over here!  Make this vision board and you can become a millionaire!”
Before you know it, we’re off chasing some “guru” who actually believes that the Moon isn’t there if you’re not looking at it.
And we wind up believing that we’re going to have everything we ever dreamed off if we can just “control our thoughts” and “program our subconscious” and “manage our vibration”.
(Hint:  isn’t it interesting that billionaires never give that advice or talk about those things when asked?  Isn’t it strange that only self-help authors seem to talk that way?)
Think about it….
The advice was so simple, wasn’t it?  
“Stay on the path.”
“Don’t leave the path.”
“Just keep walking on this course.”
Why do we abandon such clean, simple advice?
Because we need the solution to be mystical?
Because we need the solution to be magical?
Because “just stay on the path” is too simple?
I don’t know…
I wandered around in the “forest” for years because I got suckered into believing a lot of things that are commonly taught by popular success gurus.
I learned some valuable lessons,
But, boy, I really got thrown off-track, too.
The short version is that – when I started ignoring a lot of the “success advice” I was getting from popular books and courses…
…I went from “struggle” to prosperity in a startling amount of time.  It felt like the difference between an escalator and the stairs.
So, my point is this:  
When you were a kid, you didn’t need to carry a goal card in your pocket to be able to learn to walk.
You didn’t need a “vision” board to learn to feed yourself.  You didn’t need affirmations to learn how to speak English.
What if success is actually WAY simpler than we thought…
…and all you have to do is stay on the path?
If you’ve been asking the same questions…
If you’ve been following the success advice but it’s not working….
If you’ve been practicing “law of attraction” for years and it doesn’t seem to be making any difference….
…ask yourself whether there might be a simpler path to success than all that.
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