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Part-1 Goals


GOALS
Part-1

How to Get Everything You Want –

Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible

By Brian Tracy


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TABLE OF CONTENTS

_________________________________________________


Dedication


Preface


Introduction


Chapter-1

Unlock Your Potential


Chapter-2

Take Charge of Your Life


Chapter-3

Take Charge of Your Life


Chapter-4

Create Your Own Future


Chapter-5

Determine Your True Goals


Chapter-6

Decide Upon Your Major Definite Purpose


Chapter-7

Analyze Your Beliefs


Chapter-8

Start at the Beginning


Chapter-9

Measure Your Progress


Chapter-10

Remove the Roadblocks


Chapter-11

Become An Expert In Your Field


Chapter-12

Associate With The Right People


Chapter-13

Make A Plan of Action


Chapter-14

Manage Your Time Well


Chapter-15

Review Your Goals Daily


Chapter-16

Visualize Your Goals Continually


Chapter-17

Activate Your Superconscious Mind


Chapter-18

Remain Flexible At All Times


Chapter-19

Unlock Your Inborn Creativity


Chapter-20

Do Something Every Day


Chapter-21

Persist Until You Succeed


Conclusion: Take Action Today

DEDICATION

To Rick Metcalf, a good friend, a great American, an extraordinary entrepreneur,
one of the best salesmen who ever lived, and an inspiration to everyone who knew him.

I only wish you could be here to read this book. You left us all too soon.

PREFACE

This book is for ambitious people who want to get ahead faster. If this is the way you think and feel, you are the person for whom this book is written. The ideas contained in the pages ahead will save you years of hard work in achieving the goals that are most important to you.

I have spoken more than 2000 times before audiences of as many as 23,000 people, in 24 countries. My seminars and talks have varied in length from five minutes to five days. In every case, I have focused on sharing the best ideas I could find on the particular subject with that audience at that moment. After countless talks on various themes, if I was only given five minutes to speak to you, and I could only convey one thought that would help you to be more successful, I would tell you to “write down your goals, make plans to achieve them, and work on your plans every single day.”

This advice, if you followed it, would be of more help to you than anything else you could ever learn. Many university graduates have told me that this simple concept has been more valuable to them than four years of study. This idea has changed my life, and the lives of millions of other people. It will change yours as well.


The Turning Point

A group of successful men got together in Chicago some time ago, talking about the experiences of their lives. All of them were millionaires and multi-millionaires. Like most successful people, they were both humble and grateful for what they had achieved, and for the blessings that life had bestowed upon them. As they discussed the reasons why they had managed to achieve so much in life, the wisest man among them spoke up and said that, in his estimate, “success is goals, and all else is commentary.”

Your time and your life are precious. The biggest waste of time and life is for you to spend years accomplishing something that you could have achieved in only a few months. By following the practical, proven process of goal setting and goal achieving laid out in this book, you will be able to accomplish vastly more in a shorter period of time than you have ever imagined before. The speed at which you move onward and upward will amaze both yourself and all the people around you. By following these simple and easy-to-apply methods and techniques, you can move quickly from rags to riches in the months and years ahead. You can transform your experience from poverty and frustration to affluence and satisfaction. You can go far beyond your friends and family and achieve more in life than most other people you know.

In my talks, seminars and consulting, I have worked with more than two million people all around the world. I have found, over and over, that an average person with clear goals will run circles around a genius who is not sure what he or she really wants.

My personal mission statement has not changed in years. It is: “To help people achieve their goals faster than they ever would in the absence of my help.”

This book contains the distilled essence of all that I have learned in the areas of success, achievement and goal attainment. By following the steps explained in the pages ahead, you will move to the front of the line in life. For my children, this book is meant to be a road map and a guide to help you get from wherever you are to wherever you want to go. For my friends and readers of this book, my reason for writing it is to give you a proven system that you can use to move onto the fast track in your own life.

Welcome! A great new adventure is about to begin.

INTRODUCTION

This is a wonderful time to be alive. There have never been more opportunities for creative and determined people to achieve more of their goals than they can today. Regardless of short-term ups and downs in the economy and in your life, we are entering into an age of peace and prosperity superior to any previous era in human history.

In the year 1900, there were five thousand millionaires in America. By the year 2000, there were more than five million, most of them selfmade, in one generation. Experts predict that there will be another ten to twenty million millionaires created in the next two decades. Your goal should be to become one of them. This book will show you how.

A Slow Start

When I was 18, I left high school without graduating. My first job was as a dishwasher in the back of a small hotel. From there, I moved on to washing cars, and then washing floors with a janitorial service. For the next few years, I drifted and worked at various laboring jobs, earning my living by the sweat of my brow. I worked in sawmills and factories. I worked on farms and ranches. I worked in the tall timber with a chain saw and dug wells when the logging season ended.

I worked as a construction laborer on tall buildings, and as a seaman on a Norwegian Freighter in the North Atlantic. Often I slept in my car, or in cheap rooming houses. When I was 23, I was working as an itinerant farm laborer during the harvest, sleeping on the hay in the barn and eating with the farmer’s family. I was uneducated, unskilled, and at the end of the harvest, unemployed once more.

When I could no longer find a laboring job, I got a job in straight commission sales, cold calling from office-to-office and from door-todoor. I would often work all day long to make a single sale so that I could pay for my rooming house and have a place to sleep that night. This was not a great start at life.

The Day My Life Changed

Then one day, I took out a piece of paper and wrote down an outrageous goal for myself. It was to earn $1,000 per month in doorto-door and office-to-office selling. I folded up the piece of paper, put it away and never found it again.

But 30 days later, my entire life had changed. During that time, I discovered a technique for closing sales that tripled my income from the very first day. Meanwhile, the owner of my company sold out to an entrepreneur who had just moved into town. Exactly thirty days after I had written down my goal, he took me aside and offered me $1,000 per month to head up the sales force and teach the other people what it was that I was doing that enabled me to be selling so much more than anyone else. I accepted his offer and from that day forward, my life was never the same.

Within eighteen months, I had moved from that job to another, and then to another. I went from personal selling to becoming a sales manager with people selling for me. I recruited and built a 95 person sales force. I went literally from worrying about my next meal to walking around with a pocket full of $20 dollar bills.

I began teaching my salespeople how to write out their goals, and how to sell more effectively. In almost no time at all, they doubled and tripled and increased their incomes as much as ten times. Many of them are today millionaires and multi-millionaires.

It’s important to note that, since those days in my mid-20s, my life has not been a smooth series of upward steps. It has included many ups and downs, marked by occasional successes and temporary failures. I have traveled, lived and worked in more than 80 countries, learning French, German and Spanish along the way, and working in 22 different fields.

As the result of inexperience, and sometimes sheer stupidity, I have spent or lost everything I made and had to start over again - several times. In every case when this happened, I would begin by sitting down with a piece of paper and laying out a new set of goals for myself, using the methods that I’ll explain in the pages ahead.

After several years of hit and miss goal setting and goal achieving, I finally decided to collect everything I had learned into a single system. By assembling these ideas and strategies in one place, I

developed a goal setting methodology and process, with a beginning, middle and end, and began to follow it every day.

Within one year, following this blueprint for goal achieving, my life had changed once more. In January of that year, I was living in a rented apartment with rented furniture. I was $35,000 in debt and driving a used car that wasn’t paid for. By December, I was living in my own $100,000 condominium. I had a new Mercedes, had paid off all my debts and I had $50,000 in the bank.

Then I really got serious about success. I realized that this “goal setting” stuff was incredibly powerful. I invested hundreds and then thousands of hours reading and researching on goal setting and goal achieving, synthesizing the best ideas I could find into a complete goal setting and achieving process that worked with incredible effectiveness.

Anyone Can Do It

In 1981, I began teaching my system in workshops and seminars that have now reached more than two million people in 35 countries. I began audiotaping and video taping my courses so that others could use them. We have now trained hundreds of thousands of people in these principles, in multiple languages, all over the world.

What I found was that these ideas work everywhere, for everyone, in virtually every country, no matter what your education, experience or background may be when you begin.

Most of all, these ideas have made it possible for me, and many thousands of others, to take complete control over our lives. The regular and systematic practice of goal setting has taken us from poverty to prosperity, from frustration to fulfillment, from underachievement to success and satisfaction. This system will do the same for you.

What I learned early on is that any plan is better than no plan at all. And it is not necessary to reinvent the wheel. All the answers have already been found. There are hundreds of thousands, and even millions of men and women who have started with nothing and achieved great success following these principles. And what others have done, you can do as well, if you just learn how.

In the pages ahead, you will learn twenty-one of the most important ideas and strategies ever discovered for achieving everything that you could ever want in life. You will find that there are no limits to what you can accomplish except for the limits you place on your own imagination. And since there are no limits to what you can imagine, there are no limits to what you can achieve. This is one of the greatest discoveries of all. Let us begin.

“A journey of a thousand leagues begins with a single step. Confucius


CHAPTER 1

Unlock Your Potential

“The potential of the average person is
like a huge ocean unsailed, a new continent unexplored,
a world of possibilities waiting to be released and
channeled toward some great good.”
_____________________________________________
- Brian Tracy

Success is goals, and all else is commentary. All successful people are intensely goal oriented. They know what they want and they are focused single mindedly on achieving it, every single day.

Your ability to set goals is the master skill of success. Goals unlock your positive mind and release ideas and energy for goal attainment. Without goals, you simply drift and flow on the currents of life. With goals, you fly like an arrow, straight and true to your target.

The truth is that you probably have more natural potential than you could use if you lived one hundred lifetimes. Whatever you have accomplished up until now is only a small fraction of what is truly possible for you. One of the rules for success is this, it doesn’t matter where you’re coming from; all that matters is where you’re going. And where you are going is solely determined by yourself and your own thoughts.

Clear goals increase your confidence, develop your competence and boost your levels of motivation. As sales trainer Tom Hopkins says, Goals are the fuel in the furnace of achievement.

You Create Your Own World

Perhaps the greatest discovery in human history is the power of your mind to create the aspects of your life. Everything you see around you in the man-made world began as a thought or an idea in the mind of a single person before it was translated into reality. Everything in your life started as a thought, a wish, a hope or a dream, either in your mind, or in the mind of someone else. Your thoughts are creative. Your thoughts form and shape your world and everything that happens to you.

The great summary statement of all religions, philosophies, metaphysics, psychology and success is this: “You become what you think about — most of the time.” Your outer world ultimately becomes a reflection of your inner world, and mirrors back to you what you think about. Whatever you think about continuously emerges in your reality.

Many thousands of successful people have been asked what it is that they think about most of the time. The most common answer given by successful people is that they think about what they want, and how to get it most of the time.

Unsuccessful, unhappy people think and talk about what they don’t want most of the time. They talk about their problems and worries, and who is to blame, most of the time. But successful people keep their thoughts and conversation on the topics of their most intensely

desired goals. They think and talk about what they want most of the time.

Living without clear goals is like driving in a thick fog. No matter how powerful or well engineered your car, you drive slowly, hesitantly, making little progress on even the smoothest road. Deciding upon your goals clears the fog immediately and allows you to focus and channel your energies and abilities. Clear goals enable you to step on the accelerator of your own life and leap ahead rapidly toward achieving more of the things you really want.

Your Automatic Goal Seeking Function

Imagine this exercise: you take a homing pigeon out of its roost, put it in a cage, cover the cage with a blanket, put the cage in a box and then place the box into a closed truck cab. You can then drive a thousand miles in any direction. If you then open the truck cab, take out the box, take off the blanket and let the homing pigeon out of the cage, the homing pigeon will fly up into the air, circle three times and then fly unerringly back to its home roost a thousand miles away. This is the only creature on earth that has this incredible cybernetic, goal-seeking function, except for man.

You have the same goal achieving ability as the homing pigeon, but with one marvelous addition. When you are absolutely clear about your goal, you do not even have to know where it is or how it is to be achieved. By simply deciding exactly what it is you want, you will begin to move unerringly toward your goal, and your goal will start

to move unerringly toward you. At exactly the right time, and in exactly the right place, you and the goal will meet.

Because of this incredible cybernetic mechanism located deep within your mind, you always achieve your goals, whatever they are. You move toward them and they move toward you. If your goal is to get home at night and watch television, you will almost certainly achieve it. If your goal is to create a wonderful life full of health, happiness and prosperity, you will achieve that as well. Like a computer, your goal seeking mechanism is non-judgmental. It works automatically and continuously to bring you what you want, regardless of what you program into it.

Nature doesn’t care about the size or scope of your goals. If you set little goals, your automatic goal achieving mechanism will enable you to achieve little goals. If you set large goals, this natural capability will enable you to achieve large goals. The size, scope and detail of the goals you choose to think about most of the time is completely up to you.

Why People Don’t Set Goals

Here is a good question: If goal setting is automatic, why is it that so few people have clear, written, measurable, time-bounded goals that they work toward each day? This is one of the great mysteries of life. I believe there are four reasons why people don’t set goals.

Goals Aren’t Important

First, most people don’t realize the importance of goals. If you grow up in a home where no one has goals, or you socialize with a group where goals are neither discussed nor valued, you can very easily reach adulthood without knowing that your ability to set and achieve goals will have more of an effect on your life than any other skill. Look around you. How many of your friends or family members are clear and committed to their goals?

They Don’t Know How

The second reason that people don’t have goals is because they don’t know how to set them in the first place. Even worse, many people think that they already have goals, when in reality, what they actually have are a series of wishes or dreams like, “Be happy,” or “Make a lot of money,” or “Have a nice family life.”

But these are not goals at all. They are merely fantasies that are common to everyone. A goal however is something distinctly different from a wish. It is clear, written and specific. It can be quickly and easily described to another person. You can measure it, and you know when you have achieved it, or not.

It is possible to take an advanced degree at a leading university without ever receiving one hour of instruction on goal setting. It is almost as if the people who determine the educational content of our schools and universities are completely blind to the importance of goal setting in achieving success later in life. And of course, if you never hear about goals until you are an adult, as I experienced, you will have no idea how important they are to everything you do.

The Fear of Failure

The third reason that people don’t set goals is because of the fear of failure. Failure hurts. It is emotionally and often financially painful and distressing. Everyone has had failure experiences from time to time. Each time, they resolve to be more careful next time and avoid failure experiences in the future. They then make the mistake of unconsciously sabotaging themselves by not setting any goals at which they might fail. They end up going through life functioning at far lower levels than are truly possible for them.

The Fear of Rejection

The fourth reason that people don’t set goals is because of the fear of rejection. People are afraid that if they set a goal and are not successful, others will criticize or ridicule them. This is one of the reasons why, when you begin to set goals, you should keep your goals confidential. Don’t tell anyone. Let them see by your results and achievements what you have accomplished, but don’t tell them in advance. What they don’t know can’t hurt you.

Join The Top Three Percent

Mark McCormack in his book What They Don’t Teach You In The Harvard Business School tells of a Harvard study conducted between 1979 and 1989. In 1979, the graduates of the MBA program at Harvard were asked, “Have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?” It turned out that only 3% of the graduates had written goals and plans. 13% had goals, but they were not in writing. Fully 84% had no specific goals at all, aside from getting out of school and enjoying the summer.

Ten years later, in 1989, they interviewed the members of that class again. They found that the 13% who had goals, but which were not in writing were earning on average twice as much as the 84% of students who had had no goals at all. But most surprisingly, they found that the 3% of graduates who had clear, written goals when they left Harvard were earning, on average, ten times as much as the other 97% of graduates all together. The only difference between the groups was the clarity of the goals they had for themselves when they started out.

No Road Signs

The importance of clarity is easy to understand. Imagine arriving on the outskirts of a large city and being told to drive to a particular home or office in that city. But here’s the catch. There are no road signs and you have no map of the city. In fact, all you are given is a very general description of the home or office that is your goal. Here is the question: How long do you think it would take you to find a home or office in a city without a road map or without road signs?

The answer is: Probably your whole life. If you ever did find the home or office, it would be very much a matter of luck. And sadly enough, this is the way most people live their lives.

The average person starts life traveling through an unmapped and uncharted world with no road map. This is the equivalent of starting off in life with no goals and plans. He or she simply figures things out as he or she goes along. Often, ten or twenty years of work will go past and the individual is still broke, unhappy in his or her job, dissatisfied with his or her marriage and making little progress. And still, he or she goes home every night and watches television, wishing and hoping that things would get better. But they seldom do. Not by themselves.

Happiness Requires Goals

Earl Nightingale once wrote: Happiness is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal, or goal.

You only feel truly happy when you are making progress, step-bystep, toward something that is important to you. Victor Frankl, the founder of Logotherapy, wrote that the greatest need of the human being is for a sense of meaning and purpose in life.

Goals give you a sense of meaning and purpose. Goals give you a sense of direction. As you move toward your goals you feel happier and stronger. You feel more energized and effective. You feel more confident and competent in yourself and your abilities. Every step you take toward your goals increases your belief that you can set and achieve even bigger goals in the future.

More people today fear change, and worry about the future, than at any other time in our history. One of the great benefits of goal setting is that goals enable you to control the direction of change in your life. Goals enable you to assure that the changes in your life are largely self-determined and self-directed. Goals enable you to instill meaning and purpose into everything you do.

One of the most important teachings of Aristotle, the Greek philosopher, was that man is a teleological organism. The word “teleos” in Greek means goals. What Aristotle concluded was that all human action is purposeful in some way. You are only happy when you are doing something that is moving you toward something that you want. The great questions then become: What are your goals? What purposes are you aiming at? Where do you want to end up at the end of the day?

Clarity Is Everything

Your inborn potential is extraordinary. You have within you, right now, the ability to achieve almost any goal that you can set for yourself. Your greatest responsibility to yourself is to invest the whatever time is required to become absolutely clear about exactly what it is you want, and how you can best achieve it. The greater clarity you have regarding your true goals, the more of your potential you will unleash for good in your life.

You have probably heard it said that the average person uses only 10% of his or her potential. The sad fact is that, according to Stanford University, the average person functions with only about 2% of his or her mental potential. The remainder just sits there in reserve, being saved up for some later time. This would be exactly as if your parents had left you a trust fund with $100,000 in it, but all you ever took out to spend was $2,000. The other $98,000 dollars simply sat in the account unused throughout your life.

Develop A Burning Desire

The starting point of all goal attainment is desire. You must develop an intense, burning desire for your goals if you really want to achieve them. It is only when your desire becomes intense enough that you will have the energy and the internal drive to overcome all the obstacles that will arise in your path.

The good news is that almost anything that you want long enough and hard enough, you can ultimately achieve.

The great oil billionaire, H. L. Hunt, was once asked the “secret of success.” He replied that success required two things, and two things only. First, he said, you must know exactly what it is you want. Most people never make this decision. Second, he said, you must determine the price that you will have to pay to achieve it, and then get busy paying that price.

The Cafeteria Model of Success

Life is more like a buffet or cafeteria than it is a restaurant. In a restaurant, you eat the complete dinner and then you pay the bill. But in a buffet or cafeteria, you have to serve yourself, and pay in full before you enjoy the meal. Many people make the mistake of thinking that they will pay the price after they have experienced the success. They sit in front of the stove of life and say, “First give me some heat, and then I’ll put in some wood.”

As motivational speaker Zig Ziglar once said, “The elevator to success is out of service. But the stairs are always open.”

Another important observation from Aristotle was his conclusion that the ultimate purpose of all human action is the achievement of personal happiness. Whatever you do, he said, it is aimed at increasing your happiness in some way. You may or may not be successful in achieving happiness, but your happiness is always your ultimate aim.

The Key To Happiness

Setting goals, working toward them day-by-day, and ultimately achieving them is the key to happiness in life. Goal setting is so powerful that the very act of thinking about your goals makes you happy, even before you have taken the first step toward achieving them.

To unlock and unleash your full potential, you should make a habit of daily goal setting and achieving for the rest of your life. You should develop a laser-like focus so that you are always thinking and talking about the things you want rather than the things that you don’t want. You must resolve, from this moment on, to be a goalseeking organism, like a guided missile, or a homing pigeon, moving unerringly toward the things that are important to you.

There is no greater guarantee of a long, happy, healthy and prosperous life than for you to be continually working on being, having and achieving more and more of the things you really want. Clear goals enable you to release your full potential for personal and professional success. Goals enable you to overcome any obstacle, and to make your future unlimited.

Unlock Your Potential:

  • Imagine that you have the inborn ability to achieve any goal you could ever set for yourself. What do you really want to be, have and do?
  • What are the activities that give you your greatest sense of meaning and purpose in life?
  • Look at your personal and work life today and identify how your own thinking has created your world. What should you, could you change?
  • What do you think and talk about most of the time, what you want, or what you don’t want?
  • What is the price you will have to pay to achieve the goals that are most important to you?
  • What one action should you take immediately as the result of your answers to the above questions?

  • CHAPTER 2

    Take Charge of Your Life

    “A man, as a general rule,
    owes very little to what he is born with
    – a man is what he makes of himself.”
    ________________________________
    - Alexander Graham Bell


    When I was 21, I was broke and living in a small one-room apartment, in the middle of a very cold winter, working on a construction job during the day. I usually couldn’t afford to go out of my apartment in the evenings, where at least it was warm, so I had a lot of time to think.

    One night as I sat there at my small kitchen table, I had a great flash of awareness. It changed my life. I suddenly realized that everything that happened to me for the rest of my life was going to be up to me. No one else was ever going to help me. No one was coming to the rescue.

    I was thousands of miles from home with no intentions of going back for a long time. I saw clearly at that moment that if anything in my life were going to change, it would have to begin with me. If I didn’t change, nothing else would change. I was responsible.

    The Great Discovery

    I still remember that moment. It was like a first parachute jump. It was both scary and exhilarating. There I was, standing on the edge of life. And I decided to jump. From that moment onward, I accepted that I was in charge of my life. I knew that if I wanted things to be different, I would have to be different. Everything was up to me.

    I later learned that when you accept complete responsibility for your life, you take the giant step from childhood to adulthood. Sadly enough, most people never do this. I have met countless men and women in their 40s and 50s who are still grumbling and complaining about earlier unhappy experiences, and still blaming their problems on other people and circumstances. Many people are still angry about something that one of their parents did or did not do to or for themtwenty, or thirty, or even forty years ago. They are trapped in the past and they can’t get free.

    Your Worst Enemy

    The greatest enemies of success and happiness are negative emotions, of all kinds. It is negative emotions that hold you down, tire you out and take away all your joy in life. It is negative emotions, from the beginning of time, that have done more harm to individuals and societies than all the plagues of history.

    One of your most important goals, if you want to be truly happy and successful, is to free yourself from negative emotions, and fortunately, this can be done, if you learn how.

    The negative emotions of fear, self-pity, envy, jealousy, feelings of inferiority, and ultimately anger, are mostly caused by four factors.

    Once you identify and remove these factors from your thinking, your negative emotions stop automatically. When your negative emotions stop, the positive emotions of love, peace, joy and enthusiasm flow in to replace them, and your whole life changes for the better, sometimes in a matter of minutes, or even seconds.

    Stop Justifying

    The first of the four root causes of negative emotions is justification. You can only be negative as long as you can justify, to yourself and others, that you are entitled to be angry or upset for some reason. This is why angry people are continually explaining and elaborating on the reasons for their negative feelings. However, if you cannot justify your negativity, you cannot be angry.

    For example, a person is laid off from a job due to a change in the economy and declining sales in the company. However, the individual is angry with his boss for this decision and justifies his anger by describing all the reasons why his being laid off was unfair. He can even get himself so incensed that he decides to sue, or get even in some way. As long as he continues to justify his negative feelings toward his boss and the company, his negative emotions control him and absorb much of his life and thinking.

    However, as soon as he says, “Well, I’ve been laid off. These things happen. It’s not personal. People get laid off all the time. I guess I’d better get busy finding a new job.” His negative emotions vanish. He becomes calm, clear and focused on the goal, and on the steps he can take to get back into the workforce. As soon as he stops justifying, he becomes a more positive and effective person.

    Refuse to Rationalize And Make Excuses

    The second cause of negative emotions is rationalization. When you rationalize, you attempt to give a “socially acceptable explanation for an otherwise socially unacceptable act.”

    You rationalize to explain away or put a favorable light on something that you have done that you feel bad or unhappy about. You excuse your behavior or actions by creating an explanation that sounds good, even though you know that you were an active agent in whatever occurred. You often create complex ways of putting yourself in the right by explaining that your behavior was really quite acceptable, all things considered. This rationalizing keeps your negative emotions alive.

    Rationalization and justification always require that you make someone or something else the source or cause of your problem. You cast yourself in the role of the victim, and you make the other person or organization into the oppressor, or the “bad guy.”

    Rise Above the Opinions of Others

    The third cause of negative emotions is an over concern or hypersensitivity to the way other people treat you. For some people, their entire self-image is determined by the way other people speak to them, talk to them or about them, or even look at them. They have little sense of personal value or self-worth apart from the opinions of others, and if those opinions are negative for any reason, real or imagined, the “victim” immediately experiences anger, embarrassment, shame, feelings of inferiority and even depression, self-pity and despair. This explains why psychologists say that almost everything we do is to earn the respect of others, or at least to avoid losing their respect.

    No One Else Is Responsible

    The fourth cause of negative emotions, and the worst of all, is blaming. When I draw the “Negative Emotions Tree” in my seminars, I illustrate the trunk of the tree as the propensity to blame other people for our problems. Once you cut down the trunk of the tree, all the fruits of the tree, all the other negative emotions, die immediately, just as when you jerk the plug out of the wall that lights up the Christmas lights in the tree, all the lights go out instantly.

    Responsibility Is The Antidote

    The antidote for negative emotions of all kinds is for you to accept complete responsibility for your situation. You cannot say the words, “I am responsible!” and still feel angry. The very act of accepting responsibility short-circuits and cancels out any negative emotions you may be experiencing.

    The discovery of this simple but powerful affirmation, “I am responsible” and its instant ability to eliminate negative emotions was a turning point in my life, as it has been for many hundreds of thousands of my students.

    Just imagine! You can free yourself from negative emotions and begin taking control of your life by simply saying, “I am responsible!” whenever you start to feel angry or upset for any reason.

    It is only when you free yourself from negative emotions, by taking complete responsibility that you can begin to set and achieve goals in every area of your life. It is only when you are free, mentally and emotionally, that you can begin to channel your energies and enthusiasms in a forward direction. This is why, without the acceptance of complete personal responsibility, no progress is possible. On the other hand, once you accept total responsibility for your life, there are no limits on what you can be, do and have.

    Stop Blaming Others

    From now on, refuse to blame anyone for anything - past, present or future. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Buddy Hacket, the comedian, once said, I never hold grudges; while you’re holding grudges, they’re out dancing!

    From this point forward, refuse to make excuses or to justify your behaviors. If you make a mistake, say, “I’m sorry,” and get busy rectifying the situation. Every time you blame someone else or make excuses, you give your power away. You feel weakened and diminished. You feel negative and angry inside. Refuse to do it.

    Control Your Emotions

    To keep your mind positive, refuse to criticize, complain about or condemn other people for anything. Every time you criticize someone else, complain about something you don’t like, or condemn someone else for something that they have done or not done, you trigger feelings of negativity and anger within yourself. And you are the one who suffers. Your negativity doesn’t affect the other person at all. Being angry with someone is allowing him or her to control your emotions, and often the entire quality of your life, at long distance. This is just plain silly.

    Remember, as Gary Zukacs says in his book, Seat of the Soul, Positive emotions empower; negative emotions disempower. Positive emotions of happiness, excitement, love and enthusiasm make you feel more powerful and confident. Negative emotions of anger, hurt or blame weaken you and make you hostile, irritable and unpleasant to be around.

    Once you decide to accept complete responsibility for yourself, your situation, and for everything that happens to you, you can turn confidently toward your work and the affairs of your life. You become “the master of your fate and the captain of your soul.”

    Hello, Mr. President!

    In a study done in New York some years ago, researchers found that the top 3% of people in every field had a special attitude that set them apart from average performers in their industries. It was this: they viewed themselves as self-employed throughout their careers, no matter who signed their paychecks. They saw themselves as responsible for their companies, exactly as if they owned the companies personally. You should do the same.

    From this moment forward, see yourself as the President of your own personal services corporation. View yourself as self-employed. See yourself as in complete charge of every part of your life and career. Remind yourself that you are where you are and what you are because of what you have done or failed to do. You are very much the architect of your own destiny.

    You Choose, You Decide

    You have determined your entire life up to now by the choices and decisions you have made, or failed to make. If there is anything in your life that you don’t like, you are responsible. If there is anything that you are unhappy about, it is up to you to take the necessary steps to change and improve it so that it is more to your liking.

    As the president of your own personal services corporation, you are completely responsible for everything you do, and for the results of what you do. You are responsible for the consequences of your actions and your behaviors. You are where you are and what you are today because you have decided to be there.

    In a large sense, you are earning today exactly what you have decided to earn, no more and no less. If you are not happy with your current income, decide to earn more. Set it as a goal, make a plan and get busy doing what you need to do to earn what you want to earn.

    As the president of your own career and your own life, as the architect of your own destiny, you are free to make your own decisions. You are the boss. You are in charge.

    Develop Your Own Strategy

    Just as the president of a corporation is responsible for the strategy and activities of that corporation, you are also responsible for the personal strategic planning of your own life and career. You are responsible for overall management strategy, setting goals, making plans, establishing measures and performing to get results.

    You are responsible for achieving certain outputs, for the quality and quantity of the work that you produce, and the results you are expected to get.

    As president, you are responsible for marketing strategy, for selfpromotion and advancement, for creating your image and packaging yourself to be able to sell yourself for the very highest price in a competitive market.

    You are responsible for financial strategy, for deciding exactly how much of your services you want to sell, how much you want to earn, how rapidly you want to grow your income year by year, how much you want to save and invest, and how much you want to be worth when you retire. These numbers are entirely up to you. You are responsible.

    You are responsible for your people strategy and your relationships, both at home and at work. One piece of advice I give my students is to “choose your boss with care.” Your choice of a boss is going to have a major impact on how much you earn, how fast you get ahead, and how happy you will be at your job.

    Make New Choices, New Decisions

    By the same token, your choice of a mate and friends will have as much or more to do with your success and happiness than any other decisions you make. If you are not happy with any of your current choices, it is up to you to begin taking steps to improve or change them.

    Finally, as president, you are in complete charge of personal research and development, personal training and learning. It is up to you to determine the talents, skills, abilities and core competencies you will need to earn the kind of money you want to earn in the months and years ahead. It is then your responsibility to make the investment and take the time to learn and develop these skills. No one is going to do it for you. The unavoidable truth is that no one really cares as much as you do.

    Become A “Growth Stock”

    To take this analogy a little further, see yourself as a company with a stock that trades on the market. Is your stock the kind of stock that people could invest in, confident that it will continue to grow in value and profitability in the months and years ahead? Are you a “growth stock” or has your value leveled off in the marketplace?

    If you have decided to be a “growth stock,” what is your strategy for increasing your income 25% - 30% every year, year after year? As the president of your own life, as the spouse or parent in your own family, you owe it to the important people in your life, to be on a growth curve, to be continually increasing in value, income and profitability as the years progress.

    Take The Wheel of Your Own Life

    From this point forward, see and think about yourself as the master of your own fate. See yourself as completely in charge of your own life. See yourself as the president of your own personal services corporation. See yourself as a powerful person, completely selfdetermined and self-directed.

    Refuse to whine and complain about things that happened in the past, which cannot be changed. Instead, orient yourself toward the future and think of what you want and where you are going. Above all, think about your goals. The very act of thinking about your goals makes you positive and purposeful again.

    Determine Your Locus of Control

    There is a large body of psychological literature that revolves around the concept of “Locus of Control Theory.” In more than 50 years of research, psychologists have determined that your “Locus of Control” is the determining factor of your happiness or unhappiness in life. Here is why.

    A person with an internal locus of control is a person who feels that he or she is in complete control of his or her life. This person feels strong, confident and powerful. He or she is generally optimistic and positive. He or she feels terrific about him or herself and feels very much in charge of his or her destiny.

    On the other hand, a person with an external locus of control is a person who feels controlled by external factors, by their boss, their bills, their marriage, their childhood problems and their current situation. They feel “out of control” and as a result, they feel weak, angry, fearful, negative, hostile and disempowered.

    The good news is that there is a direct relationship between the amount of responsibility you accept and the amount of control you feel. The more you say, “I am responsible!” the more of an internal locus of control you develop within yourself, and the more powerful and confident you feel.

    The Golden Triangle

    There is also a direct relationship between responsibility and happiness. The more responsibility you accept, the happier you become. It seems that all three –responsibility, control and happinessgo together.

    The more responsibility you accept, the greater amount of control you feel you have. The greater amount of control you feel you have, the happier and more confident you become. When you feel positive and in control of your life, you will set bigger and more challenging goals for yourself. You will also have the drive and determination to achieve them. You will feel as if you hold your life in your own hands, and that you can make it into whatever you decide to.

    It Is In Your Hands

    The starting point of goal setting is for you to realize that you have virtually unlimited potential to be, have or do anything you really want in life, if you simply want it badly enough, and are willing to work long enough and hard enough to achieve it.

    The second part of goal setting is for you to accept complete responsibility for your life, and for everything that happens to you, with no blaming and no excuses.

    With these two concepts clearly in mind, that you have unlimited potential and that you are completely responsible, you are now ready to move to the next step, which is to begin designing your ideal future.

    Take Charge of Your Life:

  • Identify your biggest problem or source of negativity in life today. In what ways are you responsible for this situation?
  • See yourself as the President of your own company. How would you act differently if you owned 100% of the shares?
  • Resolve today to stop blaming anyone else for anything and instead accept complete responsibility in every area of your life. What actions should you be taking?
  • Stop making excuses and start making progress. Imagine that your favorite excuses have no basis in fact, and act accordingly.
  • See yourself as the primary creative force in your own life. You are where you are and what you are because of your own choices and decisions. What should you change?
  • Resolve today to forgive anyone who has ever hurt you in any way. Let it go. Refuse to discuss it again. Instead, get so busy working on something that is important to you that you don’t have time to think about it again.

  • Conclusion

    Take Action Today

    You have now learned perhaps the most comprehensive strategy for setting and achieving goals that has ever been put together in one book. By practicing these rules and principles, you can accomplish more in the coming months and years than most people accomplish in a lifetime.

    The most important quality you can develop for lifelong success is the habit of taking action on your plans, goals, ideas and insights. The more often you try, the sooner you will triumph. There is a direct relationship between the number of things you attempt and your accomplishments in life. Here are the 21 steps for setting and achieving goals, and for living a wonderful life.

  • Unlock Your Potential – Always remember that your true potential is unlimited. Whatever you have accomplished in life up to now has only been a preparation for the amazing things you can accomplish in the future.
  • Take Charge of Your Life – You are completely responsible for everything you are today, for everything you think, say and do, and for everything you become from this moment forward. Refuse to make excuses or to blame others. Instead, make progress toward your goals every day.
  • Create Your Own Future – Imagine that you have no limitations on what you can do, be or have in the months and years ahead. Think about and plan your future as if you had all the resources you needed to create any life that you desire.
  • Clarify Your Values – Your innermost values and convictions define you as a person. Take the time to think through what you really believe in and care about in each area of your life. Refuse to deviate from what you feel is right for you.
  • Determine Your True Goals – Decide for yourself what you really want to accomplish in every area of your life. Clarity is essential for happiness and high performance living.
  • Decide Upon Your Major Definite Purpose – You need a central purpose to build your life around. There must be a single goal that will help you to achieve your other goals more than any other. Decide what it is for you and work on it all the time.
  • Analyze Your Beliefs – Your beliefs about your own abilities, and about the world around you, will have more of an impact on your feelings and actions than any other factor. Make sure that your beliefs are positive and consistent with achieving everything that is possible for you.
  • Start At The Beginning – Do a careful analysis of your starting point before you set off toward the achievement of your goal. Determine your exact situation today and be both honest and realistic about what you want to accomplish in the future.
  • Measure Your Progress – Set clear benchmarks, measures, metrics and scorecards for yourself on the road to your goals. These measures help you to assess how well you are doing and enable you to make necessary adjustments and corrections as you go along.
  • Remove The Roadblocks – Success boils down to the ability to solve problems and remove obstacles on the path to your goal. Fortunately, problem solving is a skill you can master with practice, and thereby achieve your goals faster than you ever thought possible.
  • Become An Expert In Your Field – You have within you, right now, the ability to be one of the very best at what you do, to join the top 10% in your field. Set this as a goal, work on it every day, and never stop working at it until you get there.
  • Associate With The Right People – Your choices of people with whom to live, work and socialize will have more of an effect on your success than any other factor. Resolve today to associate only with people you like, respect and admire. Fly with the eagles if you want to be an eagle yourself.
  • Make a Plan Of Action – An ordinary person with a well thought-out plan will run circles around a genius without one. Your ability to plan and organize in advance will enable you to accomplish even the biggest and most complex goals.
  • Manage Your Time Well – Learn how to double and triple your productivity, performance and output by practicing practical and proven time management principles. Always set priorities before you begin, and then concentrate on the most valuable use of your time.
  • Review Your Goals Daily – Take time every day, every week, every month to review and reevaluate your goals and objectives. Make sure that you are still on track and that you are still working toward things that are important to you. Be prepared to modify your goals and plans with new information.
  • Visualize Your Goals Continually – Direct the movies of your mind. Your imagination is your preview of your life’s coming attractions. Repeatedly “see” your goals as if they already existed. Your clear, exciting mental images activate all your mental powers and attract your goals into your life.
  • Activate Your Superconscious Mind – You have within you and around you an incredible power that will bring you everything and anything you want or need. Take the time regularly to tap into this amazing source of ideas and insights for goal attainment.
  • Remain Flexible At All Times – Be clear about your goal but be flexible about the process of achieving it. Be constantly open to new, better, faster, cheaper ways to achieve the same result, and if something is not working, be willing to try a different approach.
  • Unlock Your Inborn Creativity – You have more creative ability to solve problems and come up with new and better ways for goal attainment than you have ever used. You are a potential genius. You can tap into your intelligence to overcome any obstacle and achieve any goal you can set for yourself.
  • Do Something Every Day – Use the “Momentum Principle of Success” by getting started toward your goal and then doing something every day that moves you closer to what you want to accomplish. Action orientation is essential to your success.
  • Persist Until You Succeed – In the final analysis, your ability to persist longer than anyone else is the one quality that will guarantee great success in life. Persistence is self-discipline in action, and is the true measure of your belief in yourself. Resolve in advance that you will never, never give up!
  • There they are, the twenty-one most important principles of goal setting and goal achieving ever discovered. Your regular review and practice of these principles will enable you to live an extraordinary life. Nothing can stop you now.

    Good luck!

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