Dolphins frolic in the water with their fins bobbing up and down, right beside the dock. Looking down into the water, shading my eyes from the reflection of the warm morning sun, I can see a stingray slowly cruising along the sandy bottom. The flag blows in the breeze, just enough wind to keep it steady. 

Driving the U.S.A.

Earlier in the week I set out to drive from Austin to the central coast of Florida, where I hope to spend part of the winter, escaping “cedar fever” season in Austin. That’s an allergy almost everyone gets after three years there that can cause flu-like symptoms for the first couple of months of the year. Those are also the coldest months, making time away even more appealing.

Pioneering Virtual Work

Thirty years ago, my company had an entire floor of an office building in West Palm Beach. One day one of my team members, Chuck Renwick, asked if he could work remotely because all his work was done on the phone and via e-mail (new technology at the time). He wanted to live in the Carolinas. I agreed to give it a try, and it worked so well that when our lease expired, I downsized the office from the whole floor to a small corner, asking everyone to work from home. For decades, I’ve been able to work from anywhere with no obligation to a fixed location, and that’s why I’m able to spend time in a remote location this winter. 

A Specific Plan

In 2002, when our triplets were born, I was fired from an early-stage Internet radio company I’d founded in San Francisco, as the company went down with the Twin Towers and the economy. Though upsetting at the time, seeing my dream crumble was a chance to reevaluate what I wanted my life to look like. 

What did I love about my last few years, and what did I not love? What did I want my life as a dad to look like? What were the things I wanted to make sure I did? What did I want to avoid? 

There is nothing quite like a kick in the teeth to get your attention. 

Though I’d been having the time of my life, living a dream after inventing something that could change the world of audio forever, I also discovered some things about myself that I did not love doing. And now that I was free, I had a chance to reinvent myself.


What if everything you had going for you came to a sudden stop? You’ve lost your income, and the things you’ve been working on for the last few years have been taken away. What if you could never do what you do now? Where would you turn?

Some people have to have things end badly before they realize what needs to change in their lives. We’re so busy keeping the merry-go-round moving at high speed that we can’t see that we’re dizzy and not enjoying the experience anymore. 

What needs to be reinvented in your life?

The magic of the week between Christmas and New Year’s is that things slow down, and the gift of the new year, beginning tonight at midnight, is that you get to make some resolutions. 

The countdown has begun. You have today and probably tomorrow to discover some things about yourself that need to change. And you have a fresh start to begin implementing them. 

Hopefully you won’t be forced to make hard decisions, but this is a chance to make some adjustments to eliminate the things you know need to change.

Broken Resolutions 

How many New Year’s Days have come and gone when you made resolutions and did nothing about them? How much longer will you tell yourself things need to change but do nothing? 

Here are some questions. The first thing that pops into your head is probably what you need to change. 

What needs to change regarding your health?

What needs to change regarding your diet?

What needs to change regarding your family relationships?

What needs to change regarding your spirituality?

What needs to change regarding your marriage?

What needs to change regarding your job?

What do you least look forward to doing?

What do you want to do more of?

What have you always wanted to do but never gotten around to? 

What do you hate about your life now?

Who do you need to spend more time with?

Who makes you happy?

Who makes you sad?

Who do you need to remove from your life?

If you were told you have three months to live — but you would have perfect health till the day you die — what three things would you do? What is the most important of the three?

What have you always wanted to do but fear?

What do you see yourself as, but you’ve never made it happen?

Here’s a tip:

Be detailed and specific in your answers.

And whatever comes up on your list, ask yourself, item by item, if you believe they can happen, 

The things you tell yourself probably can’t happen are likely the most important ones. 

Now ask yourself: If they could happen, what would have to change to make them happen? 

Add those things to your to-do list. 

Typically the biggest things that have not happened are the things we tend to tell ourselves are not possible.

But how do people build skyscrapers, invent rockets, and change the world?

They have fear, too. They have simply found ways to control it and not let it stop their dreams. 

What I Want for You

I set a giant, unreachable goal about three years ago. I wanted to teach one million people to paint. 

When I set the goal, it seemed impossible. So I lowered it to half a million. I lowered it again to half that, then half again. I ended up with a goal that I would teach 10,000 people to paint. But even then it seemed impossible. So I told myself it might as well be a million. 

I set the goal, and I announced it publicly so I’d be accountable. But I did not believe it. Yet after a couple of weeks of telling myself daily, “I am teaching a million people to paint” (not “I’m gonna,” but “I am”), it started happening, and things started falling into place. 

My brain paved the way. Total views of my YouTube channel have reached several million. 

I want you to know that you have the ability to overcome any obstacle, to do things you currently believe are impossible. 

I believe you can do impossible things. I believe in you more than you believe in yourself. Sometimes just knowing someone believes in you is enough for you to begin believing in yourself. 

But impossible things don’t happen until action is taken. Every small step toward the big dream is a step in the right direction. Any step toward the goal is courageous. 

If you make your list, pick the number one thing on the list and take action toward that thing every day, using focused time toward that goal, you will hit it. If you break down big, impossible steps into small, bite-size steps and knock them down like bowling pins, you will crush any impossible goal. 

“Small plans do not inflame the hearts of men.” — Napoleon

You can do this.

Eric Rhoads

PS: This message is spread worldwide to over 90 countries and hundreds of thousands of people. I’m honored that you open your e-mail every Sunday and thankful for all of you who forward messages to friends and family.

Only a tiny fraction of you live near me in Austin, Texas, but we’ll be at one of five services today (probably the 11 a.m.) at Austin Ridge, our home church. We hope to see you there. You can find it online at