Why Asking For Permission To Take What You Want Leads To A Mediocre Life | Dr. Isaiah Hankel Why Asking For Permission To Take What You Want Leads To A Mediocre Life | Dr. Isaiah Hankel

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Why Asking For Permission To Take What You Want Leads To A Mediocre Life

don't ask for permission | Dr. Isaiah Hankel | take what you want in life

“If it’s a good idea, go ahead and do it. It is much easier to apologize than it is to get permission.”

Admiral Grace Hopper (U.S. Naval Officer)

“Dream and give yourself permission to envision a you that you can choose to be.”

Joy Page (Actress, Casablanca)

Poor is the man whose pleasures depend on the permission of another.”

Madonna Ciccone (Singer, True Blue)


He stood at the shores of a tiny, insignificant river where nothing important had ever happened.

He stood alone with a heavy decision to make.

Should he cross the Rubicon River, become a public enemy in his own country, and risk execution for treason?

Or, should he forego his dreams, lay down his command, and return home?

The Rubicon River was the border of the territory where Julius Caesar was allowed to lead the Roman army.

Crossing this river would be seen as an act of war against the Roman state.

A war against his own people.

The Roman Senate had ordered him to step down from military command.

They wanted him to return to the city.

They wanted him to do their bidding as part of the herd.

They wanted him to be a figurehead and nothing more.

Julius Caesar had other plans, though.

Plans he was unwilling to put aside just because other people told him to.

Plans he was unwilling to put aside even though he was already very accomplished.

Already an accomplished general who expanded Rome’s reach in modern day France, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Switzerland, Julius Caesar could have rested on his laurels.

Literally, he could have had a crown of laurels rest on his head.

If Julius Caesar had returned to Rome, the Senate would have laid laurel leaves on his head and held a parade for him.

Instead, he decided to cross the river.

He decided to strive for something greater than what he had already accomplished.

He didn’t ask for anyone’s permission.

He acted without permission.

A civil war resulted, but Julius Caesar ended up victorious in the war, putting himself in an unrivaled position of power and influence.

Why Waiting For Permission Will Ruin Your Life

When you ask for permission to follow your dreams, you give up a little control over your life to someone else.

When you ask for permission again, you give up a little more control.

On and on this goes until you have no control over your life.

Bit by bit, you learn to be completely helpless.

Bit by bit, you become dependent.

A study reported in the Annual Review of Medicine found that dogs that received mild electric shocks would try to find a way to escape at first, but then would give up and stop trying to escape.

The interesting part is that when the experimenters later gave the dogs a way to escape from the shocks, they didn’t escape.

Instead they just sat there, getting shocked.


The dogs were so resigned to their helplessness that they quit trying.

In fact, they quit trying to try.

This ‘learned helplessness’ effect is something that happens to humans too.

Other studies reported in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that this kind of learned helplessness leads to depression and despair.

You can see the effects of learned helplessness all around you—your colleagues trapped in dead-end office jobs, your friends stuck in miserable relationships, all of them refusing to try to escape.

Bit by bit, these people surrendered themselves to being helpless to change their situations.  

The longer you wait to change your situation for the better, the harder it becomes to change your situation for the better.

Instead, you’ll sink into a deeper state of depression and despair.

Instead, you’ll learn to be more and more helpless until you give up on yourself completely.

mediocrity is not an option | Dr. Isaiah Hankel | stop the mediocrity

5 Keys To Taking What You Want In Life

Learned helplessness is not a permanent condition.

You can break out of it.

But it’s not easy.

You have to force yourself to be optimistic about your goals.

At the same time, you have to take action to change your situation and respond to feedback in real time.

Most importantly, you have to stop asking for permission.

No one who ever made a difference in the world asked for permission to do it first.

Asking for permission is a gateway to a dependent life.

Asking for permission will leave you permanently stranded in the fields of mediocrity.

First, you’ll become helpless.

Then, you’ll become worthless.

The only way to avoid this fate is to always remain certain of yourself.

You must remain certain that you can always control your attitude, attention, and your behavior.

You have the power to change your life at any time.

You have the power to take back control over your mindset and actions right now.

Here are 5 reasons why you should stop asking for permission to take what you want to avoid a mediocre life…

1. The only person who can see your vision is you.

Nobody can see inside your head.

Nobody has any idea how strong or talented you are.

Other people only see what you show them.

So why listen to someone else who tells you not to pursue your dreams?

What do other people really know about you?

The answer is nothing.

Other people only know their own limited perspective.

They only know their experiences, not your experiences.

They can only see their vision for the future, they can’t see your vision.

Stop listening to other people’s opinions.

Start listening to yourself.

Bet on yourself.

Look— other people’s opinions don’t matter.

They really don’t.

Wanting someone else to give you permission to follow your dreams is like asking a deaf person to choose your favorite song.

When you realize other people will never be able to appreciate your vision, you’ll understand how little their opinions really mean.

You’ll understand why you should stop waiting for their support and start working toward your goals despite the critics.

Your goals are more important than the petty opinions of negative people.

Stop waiting for permission from weak-minded people.

Give yourself permission to move forward with your life right now.

2. There will never be a “perfect time” to pursue your goals.

The moment you set out to achieve your goals, others will start to warn you.

They’ll tell you it’s the wrong time.

They’ll say you don’t have enough experience.

They’ll say you aren’t ready.

These people are right—there is never a “perfect time” to start pursuing your dreams.

Pursue them anyway.

There will always be an obstacle between you and what you want.

You will always need something you don’t have, and someone will always be around to point that out.

You will always need more money, more resources, and more connections.

The only way to stop needing these things is to get started on your goals without them.

If you wait until someone says “the time is right,” you will never get anywhere.

You will never even start.

Instead, you’ll sink into a pit of resignation.

Stop obsessing over potential obstacles and start dealing with obstacles as they come.

Make a plan to overcome setbacks.

Successful people create the right time instead of waiting for it.

3. Not everyone wants you to succeed.

You’re not anyone’s favorite son or daughter.

You’re not the golden child that everybody loves.

Instead, you’re an adult that other people are competing against.

Like everyone else, you will have friends and you will have enemies.

There will be people who don’t want you to succeed in life.

There will be people who will never like you and people who will actively work against you.

Some of these people might be jealous that you’re pursuing your goals and they’re not.

Some of them might feel inferior around you, or simply not like the way you look.

Their reasons don’t matter.

The only thing that matters is that you don’t need these people’s permission to succeed.

You don’t need other people’s approval to take action.

Your goals don’t need to win a majority vote to be important.

Stop waiting for people who don’t like you to give you permission to pursue your biggest goals.

Stop waiting for people who don’t like you to give you permission to be yourself.

Let other people’s reservations and warnings go in one ear and out the other.

Let other people be helpless spectators in their own lives.

You have bigger and better things to do.

4. Most people don’t care about your goals.

Do you think other people are interested in you?

They’re not.

They’re interested in themselves, and rightfully so.

Other people are not responsible for you.

You are responsible for you.

As such, most people couldn’t care less about your hopes and dreams.

If you’re waiting for these people to give you permission or support you, you’re going to be waiting a long time.

Too many people make the mistake of trying to get other people to care about them.

They make the mistake of pitching their goals to others.

Begging the masses to approve their dreams.

Many of these people will even lower their ambitions to get other people to like them.

They’ll reduce their goals to match their friends’ small-minded goals.

All in the hopes of making other people care.

Look—other people don’t care.

They especially don’t care about some goal you’re just running your mouth about.

They don’t care about what you might do one day, maybe.

Make something happen first.

Take action on your own—all by yourself—first.

Start to make some actual progress in the real world.

Then people will start to care.

They’ll start to care right when you don’t need them to care anymore.

You won’t need them to care anymore because you’ve made something happen for yourself.

That’s how it’s supposed to happen.

So stop looking for handouts and attention, and start getting to work.

5. No one else can make you successful.

Success is subjective.

Your version of success is unlikely to be the same as someone else’s.

You’ve already chosen what you care about by yourself.

You’ve already chosen the goals you want to pursue by yourself.

No one forced these values on you.

Now you have to choose to pursue your goals.

You have to take responsibility for your choices and values.

You have to realize that no one else can make you feel a sense of success, accomplishment, confidence, or anything else.

No one else can reach into your brain and feel anything for you.

You have to make a decision to feel successful.

But first you have to decide on what will make you feel successful.

You have to define success for yourself.

You have to give yourself permission to determine your own stakes and your own milestones.

If you put this permission in other people’s hands, you will be miserable in life. You will be dependent, mediocre and regretful.

You will end up living in a state of perpetual helplessness, hoping for something better but never taking action to get there.

The only way to avoid this is by refusing to be a helpless bystander in your own life.

Taking what you want in life without asking permission will make you stronger and more successful. No one else knows you like you do, and no one else is as interested in you achieving your goals as you are. If you want to achieve greatness in life, you have to give yourself permission to be great. You have to take control of your decisions. Don’t let the naysayers tamp down your expectations. Don’t let toxic people trick you into failing so they can feel better about themselves. Take that responsibility for yourself. Give yourself permission to achieve your goals now, without waiting for anyone else to validate you or what you want.

To learn more about how to take what you want in life and avoid mediocrity, and to get instant access to exclusive training videos, case studies, insider documents, and my private online network, get on the Escape Plan wait list.


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