Last night, we had a blackout.  Pitch black.  But I still got my 90 minutes of self-improvement in.  If it worked for Abraham Lincoln, it can work for me! Here’s my story.

In this episode, I talk about:

  • Blackout!
  • Power of Backup Plans
  • Don’t Abandon Your Goals


Good morning everyone. Welcome to episode 157 of the Path to 1 Million. Usually at the end of the day.


There are like videos that I bookmark on YouTube or there’s other videos out there that I absolutely love to watch. I don’t have time during the day to watch them. Usually the videos have something to do with helping me to achieve my goals or to learn something new about me as an individual or a person. And so I usually bookmark those videos to watch them at the end of the day. And I have my Roku box, which affords me the ability to be able to watch YouTube or Vimeo or any of these other videos on my TV set. So last night I sat down with my dinner and I actually, I put on church. So the church that I really like and that I attend, they put all their services online. I typically try to watch them on Sunday if I can. Sometimes I just don’t have time.

So actually I was going to watch a sermon from a couple of weeks ago that I had missed. So I put it on screen and their whole, their whole series that they’re working on right now is communication, right? How can you be a better communicator, how can you better convey what it is that you want to say and what it is that you mean. And so last night I put onthe sermon. Pastor Scott was up there talking and I was actually like learning a lot of what he was saying. I finished with dinner. I put my TV tray off to the side and I sat back on the couch. I was watching and also puff! Everything goes black. Like all the power in the house is just gone. So I’m sitting here thinking to myself, great. Now yesterday and Long Beach was ridiculously hot day.

It was like 91 degrees here. Sorry for you people that are freezing, but it was 91 degrees here. So I’m thinking to myself that maybe everybody was running their AC when they got home or whatever it is. Power outage, whatever. Look out the front door. And of course I see houses across the street and they all have power. I’m sitting there, of course my brain is like, well did you pay the electric bill Cliff? And I’m like, yeah, I pay it automatically every month right out of my checking account. So I walk outside. Well come to find out it was just our side of the street that didn’t have power. But I noticed that there was another street adjacent to us that didn’t have power as well. So I don’t know exactly who has power and who doesn’t. So anyways, I go onto the Southern California Edison’s website and I fill out an outage report saying, Hey, don’t have any power. Gotta get power. So I come back in the house. It is pitch black. And I’m a little bit bummed cause I didn’t get an opportunity to finish the sermon that was on the screen. And I still dedicate this time every single day to try to learn something new or trying to fill this time and plant some ideas into my head and maybe something that I could sleep on, marinade on it. Maybe even talk about it the next day on a Facebook live.


Well I’m stuck. I mean the house is like pitch black. So I thought well I could get on my phone but when I got on my phone I only had like 35% of my battery left. So I didn’t want to use all the electricity, surfing the web and then come to find out, you know, tomorrow morning my phone was dead, my alarm didn’t go off and all this other stuff, drama, drama, drama. So as I’m sitting here on the couch, all of a sudden it occurs to me that I actually remember where I put my candles. Cause I in the process of packing. So I know where everything is. And I remember that I had this box of candles and I had a lighter. I’m like, Oh this is sweet. So, you know, I start lighting candles. And then I remember it, I’m like, you know what, if I put all the candles in the same room, then that room will be lit up and maybe I could read.

So I light all the candles up. I’d put them like in my bedroom and I’ve got like three candles on my nightstand and I got two candles on the other nightstand and the room is actually lit up like really nice. Very romantic, right, for one person. So anyways, got the candles all lit. And I opened up the book that I’m reading right now called “Outwitting the Devil”. And I start reading. I didn’t miss a beat. And I just sat there and I read and read and read. It was probably closer to eight o’clock or 8:15. I took a second to give my eyes a break from reading and all of a sudden, boom, power came on. So we were, we didn’t have power for probably about an hour and 15 minutes, hour and 20 minutes. And by this point in time I was getting like really super tired to go to bed.

Cause when you get up at three o’clock in the morning, if you make it till nine o’clock at night, you’re doing really good for yourself. But anyways, it’s just one of those things where, you know, having a backup plan for everything that you want to do is always a good idea. And I know that a lot of people, what their vision of a backup plan is, is that if they set a goal for themselves, what it is that they want to achieve and they make a plan to get there. If that plan doesn’t work, then they abandon everything. They’re like, all that didn’t work. I’m just gonna, you know, move on to something else. But what it does it occur to, you know, one of the things that I had to reframe and teach myself is that your, your goal doesn’t have to change.

You know, my goal last night was to dedicate the last hour, hour and a half of my day to learning something, whatever that might be. So without power that makes it kinda tough to do it. So I could’ve sat here in the dark, I coulda crawled into bed and hoped that I could have went to sleep or anything else like that. But I found a way, I had to change my plan in order to still achieve my goal. And this is just one of those things where you know, what’s happened multiple times in my life. Classic example of this was when I was graduating high school and I applied to the university to become an engineer. They denied me because my grades were absolutely horrible. Like I said, in high school, I did not care about my grades, which was rather dumb and shortsighted of me. So anyways, I figured out that if I applied to the college as an engineering technician, they would accept me.

So my whole plan from that point was, okay, I’ll go in as an engineering technician. I’ll absolutely rock the first semester that I’m there.I’ll score perfect 4.0. Then I’ll transfer over in engineering, which is exactly what I did. So a lot of people could’ve given up. They could’ve said, you know what, I’ll never be an engineer. So you know, I’ll, you know, go figure out and do something else. Maybe work in fast food or something. Who knows? So anyways, just because the plan doesn’t work to get you to your goal, doesn’t mean that you abandoned your goal. Doesn’t mean you move on to something else. It just means that you change the plan, you try something different, but your overall goal remains fixed. And for mine, yesterday, all I wanted to do, my very simple daily goal, which is to dedicate that last hour, hour and a half of the day to learning something new. Something that I could think about, something that I could marinate and if applicable, apply it to my life. Whether that’s, you know, my business, my body, my mind, relationships or spiritual, whatever that might be. So anyways, I just wanted to share that thought with you guys today. It’s something that was rattling around in the back of my head. I hope you guys have a phenomenal Wednesday. If not, make it a great Wednesday. I will be back again tomorrow with another story. I will see you then. Make it a great day. Bye.