The story is told that one night when Jim Carrey was a struggling young comic trying to make his way in Los Angeles, he drove his old beat-up Toyota to the top of a hill. This was in 1990. While sitting there broke, looking down over the city and dreaming of his future, he wrote himself a check for $10 million, put in the notation line “for acting services rendered” and dated it for Thanksgiving 1995. He stuck that check in his wallet – and the rest, as they say, is history.
By 1995, Jim had seen the wild success of Ace Ventura, Pet Detective, The Mask and my personal favorite, Dumb & Dumber. His per film fee at that point had escalated to $20 million. Was writing that check just a meaningless trick or did it really set the stage in some way for his eventual success?
In 1988 I took a crash financially. Much of that story of going down and back up is in No More Dreaded Mondays. When I had the IRS knocking at my door and we were losing our house, I kept a $100 bill in my wallet. No matter how broke we were, I knew I had that $100 in my pocket. I am convinced that little tactic helped me stay optimistic when everything seemed hopeless. As a reminder of that I have freely given that $100 away many times to others who were struggling for hope now that replacing it is significantly easier. Next time you see me, ask to see that $100 bill – unless I’ve given it away that morning I’ll have it in its place.
What are you doing to direct your mind for your future? Could you write yourself a check and believe it would happen in real life?
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