I’ve been following Brendon for a good while now, but this is the book that started it for me. I saw a Facebook ad for his book, immediately ordered it, and let it sit on my shelf for a couple of years. I don’t know why exactly- life got in the way? Other priorities taking precedent? In any case, with my new resolve to read more great books, I knew I wanted this book at the top of my list.
I’m so glad I ordered and dove into this book! Brendon has such a passion for helping people. I see it in every course of his I take, every workshop and training. He truly gets fired up every time he speaks about building a positive life. If you haven’t signed up for his updates, you won’t be disappointed.
“Life’s Golden Ticket” is an allegory about a man trying to come to terms with his past, forgive and be forgiven, and make a fresh start. I don’t want to give away any of the story, but here are some of the lessons I pulled from the book. (There are many!)
1. Society’s Lie
Do not fall prey to, or let go of what Brendon calls “Society’s Lie.” As the main character is told on pages 34-36:
“You have been lured into a lie that has controlled your mind and contaminated your life, a lie that has prevented you from being your best, from taking risks, from having the confidence and strength needed to seize the life that you’ve always wanted. It has mesmerized you into believing that you are not good enough and that there is something wrong with you. It has made you secretly feel inadequate, ugly, weak, slow, small, useless, and helpless for far too long. It has been neutralizing your innate desire to stand up for yourself and become the person you were destined to be."
I absolutely love this passage. Does this sound at all familiar to you? Are you guilty of allowing this horrible lie seep into your thoughts and cause you do doubt your potential? I know I am. Self-doubt is a mean monster, and it doesn’t fight fair. I love how vividly Brendon expresses the damage it does to our spirit, as well as providing us with something way more powerful than this vile lie. (I’m not going to tell you what it is- you have to read the book!) It's something we're all able to obtain, and it's super effective in overpowering "society's lie."
In this section of the book, Brendon also gives three steps to defeating the self-doubt. Simple things that although aren’t always easy, are incredibly helpful in putting you on the path to the great things you’re capable of.
2. Elephant’s Leash
In the story, an analogy is drawn between us and one of the most massive creatures on earth: an elephant. It is explained how from a very young age, elephants are tied by rope to a pole. They struggle, at first, to get free. But soon they come to terms with the fact that they’re just too weak to break the rope. They stop struggling. They give in. As they grow stronger, they never question that rope again. Even as adults, they never stop to realize they have the potential to snap that rope in two with almost no effort. They have resigned themselves to their fate: no question. No trial. No reward.
How many of us are like that? Resigned to our “fate” of accomplishing little, because someone told us we couldn’t? Or because we tried once and failed. Why do we give up? Why do we stop trying?
It is truly a beautiful story, and Brendon’s rendition is so powerfully worded you really should read it first-hand. (If you own or buy the book, it’s on p. 82-84)
3. Positive VS. Negative
This seems to be a major theme running throughout the book. It’s discussed several ways in different places, in different ways. This is something I’ve personally struggled with: keeping a positive outlook. As one character in the book says to another:
"We're drowning here. In despair, in our own pools of pessimism." (p.6)
And aren't we? Isn't there so much negative around us? On the news? In our communities? In the media?
But wait- that kind of thinking is exactly the kind of negative focus Brendon warns us again in Golden Ticket. Because really, though yes, there is a lot of bad, there is also a lot of good! It's all around us! But do we focus on that? I, personally, struggle with that quite often. It's easy to see the bad and blame it for all our troubles. But how often do we express gratitude for the good that also surrounds us?
4. Miracle Makers
I loved this section so much. I can't express to you how strongly this section of the book touched me.
"Many of us live our lives desperately seeking to draw attention to ourselves. We live our lives to be noticed, accepted, and adored. We live our lives as if we were in the center ring [of a circus], as if the world should sit around applauding our every move. But there are a small number of people in this world who live their lives to make others smile, to remind others of the magic and hope in the world, to help them discover the possibilities that live within them. Whenever people like this end up in the spotlight, they use their moment to help others through the dark.” (p. 178)
Doesn't that just give you goosebumps? It did for me! Brendon goes on to call these people "Miracle Makers", because they make miracles happen for those around them. He explains that these select few have dedicated their lives to making life better for the people they associate with. How beautiful is that?
While reading this section, you can't help but ask yourself: What am I adding to the world around me? Am I only "taking" from the world? Or what is my contribution? Can I give more? How can I add to the lives of the people in my life?
Powerful stuff right there...
5. Don't Settle: Progress
Or as I like to say: "Be who you want to be."
Another overarching theme of the book, rather than a single section. This is a topic that is mentioned frequently. I counted over fifteen times in the book (all separate, but related, examples, thoughts, or ideas) that this topic was addressed. It seems this was something Brendon really wanted to hit home for us.
One of my favorites:
“Don’t you dare settle for anything other than the life you want to live. Look at your life. Look at every area. See what you need to stop doing and what you need to start, and do it while you still can, no matter how hard it is. Just keep learning and living.” (p.29)
When you look in the mirror, are you satisfied with who you are? What would you like to improve? In what areas would you like to see yourself progress?
There's a huge difference between self-confidence and no desire for progression. I believe that the purpose of life is to learn, grow and progress. So isn't there always something we can strive to be better in?
Don't settle for a mediocre life because you're afraid to put the work in to improve your life.
“You can be whoever you want to be, and you can do whatever you want to do. It’s time to believe [that] again.” (p.29)
If you could become whoever you wanted, who would that be? What does the "perfect" version of yourself look like? What steps can you take to get there?
Verdict & Next Steps
This book is five-stars for me, hands down. It was a fabulous read. It is pretty short, and only took me a couple days to get through. You can read it story-style (read it like a novel) or pen-in hand ready to make notes and mark your favorite passages. I started with the former, but decided there were far too many fabulous tidbits to miss, so I ended up grabbing my highlighter anyway.
So what now? I'd highly recommend purchasing the book and reading through it if you haven't already. While you're waiting for your copy to arrive, be sure to download the free printable: "Top 10 Favorite Quotes" from the book. There are so many more great things in the book I didn't even address here!
If you purchase the book through my affiliate link (or if you already own it, you can purchase any other book through my link and receive the same bonus), send me a copy of your receipt and I'll send you a printable workbook to accompany your reading. It walks you through many thought-provoking questions as you read the book, helping you digest and apply what you're reading. (Reminder: My email is: firstname.lastname@example.org)
(Don't forget to email me your receipt for your bonus workbook!)
Have you read the book? Enjoy one of the passages I shared? Let's start a discussion! What are your thoughts? Tell me in the comments below!
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