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Dance ‘til It Rains

There is a Maasai tribal village in the African Savanna that has the incredible ability to bring on rain every time it does its rain dance.

Each year, as the Dry Season drones on, the landscape turns from lush greens and golds to a shriveled, blighted grey-brown.  The rivers shrink until nothing is left but their bone-dry cracked beds and the lakes turn into little more than mud puddles.  At some point, as the water supply is becoming dangerously low, the people of the village gather to do a rain and fertility ceremony—in large part, to hasten the oncoming of the Rainy Season.

The dance these villagers perform is virtually indistinguishable from the dance performed in the surrounding Maasai villages.  They use the same rhythms, the same chants, and even the same movements.

But the results of the ceremony in this village are remarkably different.  While the rain dances the other villages perform may appear to bring on rain every two or three times they are done, in this particular village, the dance manages to bring on rain one hundred percent of the time—on every occasion that it is performed!

Rain Dance

Anthropologists, meteorologists, and other scientists took note of this seeming phenomenon—which links the desires and actions of a people to a physical change in their environment—some time ago.  Researchers came to the village in teams to study what was occurring.

The only thing the experts found, however, that might account for the difference between these villagers’ ability to generate rainfall and the more random results obtained by those in the surrounding villages, was that while in the other villages they do their dances for three days straight, or five days, or even nine days, in this village, they dance…‘til it rains.

You could argue that there’s nothing *special* about dancing ‘til it rains when you know that at some point it will rain.  But conversely, if you know for sure that at some point you will have the success you seek, maybe there’s no great *sacrifice* in keeping at it until you get it.

If you don’t believe that at some point, if you work hard, you will have the success you want, you’re also almost 100% certain to be right about that.  Anything you actually want in your career or your life that you don’t already have requires three commitments from you:

(1) A burning desire to have it.  This means more than just wanting it; it means wanting it at a level of commitment that you’ll do just about anything to get it.

(2) An unwavering belief that you will have it at some point, even when other people tell you it is impossible.  Think of all the dreamers who were told that it would be impossible to create what they wanted:

For Christopher Columbus, it was the belief that he could sail due West to reach the Far East.
For The Wright Brothers, it was the belief that they could create a sky filled with heavier-than-air flying machines.
For Nelson Mandela, it was the belief that there would someday be a multi-racial, democratic South Africa.

(3) A willingness to “dance…‘til it rains”.  Mandela “danced” in prison for 27 years before his seasons changed, but when they did, they brought growth to his whole land.

If you’re not happy with your career or some other aspect of your life, ask yourself which of these three commitments is missing from your daily ritual.  If you have the burning desire, and the belief that what you want will happen, all you have to do is dance, and dance, and dance, and keep REACHING…

‘Til It Rains,


16 Disciplines

I suppose it would have been more fun if I called them 16 “hot tubs” for advisors, or less intimidating if I called them “practices,” but after 17 years of working with and observing how the most successful advisors, it's clear that there are branches of knowledge involved. 


Practice these simple 16 disciplines daily and watch how quickly and easily your practice grows.

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