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Part-9 Goals


How to Get Everything You Want –

Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible

By Brian Tracy


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Unlock Your Inborn Creativity


Do Something Every Day

Conclusion: Take Action Today


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.


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.


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


Unlock Your Inborn Creativity

“Make every thought, every fact, that comes into your mind pay you a profit.

Make it work and produce for you. Think of things not as they are but as they may be.

Don’t merely dream but create!”

Robert Collier

Tony Buzan is a brain expert. He is the past president of the Mensa Society, an organization only open to people who score in the top 2% on standardized I.Q. tests, and an author of several books on creativity, learning and intelligence. According to him, and to many other authorities in the field, the mental potential of the average person is largely untapped and virtually unlimited.

Your neocortex, your thinking brain, has approximately 100 billion cells or neurons. Each of these cells bristles, like a porcupine, with as many as 20,000 ganglia or fibers that connect it to other brain cells. Each of these cells is, in turn, connected and interconnected to thousands and millions of other cells, like an electric grid that lights up and powers a large city. Each of these cells, and each connection between these cells, contains an element of mental energy or information that is available to every other cell. This means that the complexity of your brain is therefore beyond belief or imagination.

According to Tony Buzan, and other brain experts, the number of combinations and permutations of brain connections you have is greater than the number of molecules in the known universe. It would be the equivalent of the number one followed by eight pages of zeros, row after row and page after page.

Enormous Reserve Capacity

As mentioned earlier, the average person uses about 1% or 2% of their brain capacity for 100% of their functioning in life and work. The rest is “reserve capacity” that is seldom tapped into or used for any reason. Most people “go to their graves with their music still in them.”

You do not need to achieve a miracle to bring about spectacular results in your life. You only need to use a little bit more of your existing brainpower than you are using today. This small improvement in your thinking ability can change your life so profoundly that both you and others will be astonished by what you accomplish in the months and years ahead.

According to research conducted by Professor Sergei Yeframov in Russia some years ago, he concluded that if you could use just 50% of your existing mental capacity, you could complete the Ph.D. requirements of a dozen universities, learn a dozen languages with ease and memorize the entire 22 volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica.

Double Your Income?

If you are currently using only 2% of your mental potential, and you could increase that to 4%, you could double your income, shoot ahead in your profession, rise to the top of your field and transform your life. If you could use 5% or 6% or 7% of your potential, you would begin performing at a level that would amaze yourself and everyone around you. It was estimated that even Albert Einstein never used more than 10% to 15% of his mental potential at the height of his powers, and he was considered to one of the greatest geniuses who ever lived.

Creativity Is A Natural Ability

Fully 95% of children tested between the ages of three and five test out as highly creative. The same children, tested again as teenagers, test out at about 5% highly creative. What happened to them in the interim? As they went through school, they were taught that, “If you want to get along, you go along.” They learned not to challenge the teacher or to suggest unusual ideas. In their attempts to be liked and accepted by their peers, they allowed their creativity to die down, like a fire without fuel.

The good news is that creativity is a natural and normal ability, possessed in quantity by virtually everyone. It is inborn, a part of your genetic structure, a faculty that is uniquely human. Everyone is creative. Fully 95% of the population has the ability to function at exceptional, if not genius levels, given the right situation and circumstances.

Use It Or Lose It

But your creativity is like a muscle. If you don’t use it, you lose it. Just like a muscle, if you do not exercise your creativity and stretch it regularly, it becomes weak and ineffective. Your ability to generate ideas must be constantly utilized to be kept in top condition.

Fortunately, at any time, you can begin tapping into your creativity and using it at a higher level. You can actually begin activating more neurons and dendrites in your brain, creating more and more connections and interconnections. Each time you use more of your existing brainpower, you become even more capable of thinking better, and with greater clarity.

Ideas Are The New Source Of Wealth

Today, we are in the information age. For the rest of your life, ideas will be the major source of new wealth. Ideas contain the keys to solving every problem. They are the most important tools for achieving any goals. And since your ability to generate new ideas is largely unlimited, your ability to achieve any goal you set for yourself is unlimited as well.

All wealth comes from adding value, from producing more, better, cheaper, faster and easier than someone else. One good idea for adding value for others is all you need to start a fortune.

When you have clear goals, written and rewritten, visualized and emotionalized, you trigger your conscious, subconscious and superconscious minds into generating a continuous flow of ideas for goal attainment.

Solve Any Problem

There is no problem you cannot solve, no obstacle you cannot overcome and no goal that you cannot achieve by tapping into your creative mind, exactly as it is today. You have far more intelligence and mental potential right now than you could ever use, even if you lived 100 years. Just because you have not accessed all of your mental powers up until now does not mean that you cannot begin using them from this day forward.

Physical fitness and mental fitness are very similar, in some respects. If you want to become physically fit, you have to work out and engage in physical exercise. If you want to build physical muscles, you must “pump iron” and drive new blood into your muscles by straining them with dumb bells or bar bells. The more stress you put on your muscles, the stronger they become over time.

Your mind is very similar. In order to build your mental muscles, you have to “pump mental iron.” You have to put stress and strain on your brain, concentrating all of your mental energies to generate ideas and solutions, and to solve problems on the way to your goals.

Practice Mindstorming Regularly

The most powerful technique for improving your intelligence and increasing your creativity is what I call “Mindstorming.” The way it works is simple. The results that you get will be so amazing as to be life changing.

You begin the mindstorming process by first getting a clean sheet of paper. At the top of this page you write your goal or problem in the form of a question. The simpler and more specific the question, the better will be the quality of the answers that you generate in response to it.

For example, instead of writing a question like, “How can I make more money?” you would write, “How can I double my income in the next 24 months?”

Even better, if you are earning $50,000 per year today, your question should be, “How can I earn $100,000 per year by December 31 (of a specific year)?”

Each of your answers should be written using the “Three ‘P’ Formula.” It should be Personal, Positive and in the Present Tense. In other words, your answers should be written as affirmations or instructions from your conscious mind to your subconscious mind. Often, you will write down answers on this sheet and promptly forget them. Then, sometime later, as a result of superconscious functioning, you will attract into your life an opportunity to put one of your answers into action.

Mastering The Method

Once you have written your question at the top of the page, you then discipline yourself to generate at least 20 answers to that question. You can write down more than 20 answers to the question, but it is essential in this exercise that you set a goal for a minimum of twenty.

Your first three to five answers will be easy. You will quickly come up with answers like “work harder,” “start earlier and stay later,” “work on higher value tasks.”

Your next five answers will be more difficult. You will have to drill down and dig deeper to come up with less obvious ways but more creative ways to answer your question.

Your last ten answers will be the most difficult of all. Many people find this part of the exercise so difficult that their minds go blank. Their eyes glaze over. They become light headed with the rush of blood to their brains that takes place when you begin this process of “pumping mental iron.”

However, no matter how long it takes, especially the first few times you practice this exercise, you must discipline yourself to keep writing until you have at least 20 answers. Sometimes the 20th answer that you generate will be the breakthrough answer that enables you to save yourself thousands of dollars and many hours of hard work. Often, your last answer is the inspired idea that changes your life and career.

Select One Action

Once you have at least 20 answers, go back over your list and review your answers. Then, select at least one action that you can take immediately to begin moving yourself more rapidly toward your goal, or toward solving the problem.

You can multiple the effectiveness of this process by taking the very best answer that you identified in the first list of 20 and writing it at the top of a fresh sheet of paper in the form of a question. Then, see if you cannot generate 20 answers to that question as well. This combination exercise will rev you up mentally, like stepping on the accelerator of a car while the transmission is in neutral. Your mind will sparkle and dance with mental energy, and bristle with ideas, like the bright lights of a Christmas tree.

For example, your first question could be “How can I double my income to $100,000 over the next 24 months?” One of your answers could be, “I work two extra hours each day.”

You could transfer this answer to a new sheet of paper and phrase it as a question: “What can I do to get two extra hours of productive time each day?” You can then begin writing 20 different things that you can do to save time, gain time and spend two additional hours on productive work each day.

Whatever answer you choose, put it into action immediately. Do something. Do anything. The faster you take action on this exercise, the greater and more continuous will be the flow of ideas as you go throughout the day. If you generate these ideas and then do nothing with them, the creative flow will slow down and stop.

Use Mindstorming On Every Goal

The very best time to do this exercise is first thing in the morning, right after you have rewritten your goals in your spiral notebook. Each morning, you can take one goal, rewrite it as a question and then generate 20 answers to that question. You can then immediately get busy and implement one of your answers.

You can perform this exercise repeatedly on the same goal, if the goal is big enough and important enough to you. Don’t worry about writing down the same answers, over and over again. The more you practice this exercise, the more likely it is that you will trigger completely unexpected breakthrough ideas. This may require several days or even weeks of work before the flash of inspiration takes place. You must be patient and determined. It will come.

The Cumulative Power of Idea Generation

Imagine that you were to perform this exercise every morning before you started out, five days per week. You can take the weekends off to relax your brain. If you did this exercise five days per week, you would generate 100 ideas per week. If you practiced this exercise 50 weeks per year, you would generate 5,000 ideas over the course of the next 12 months. And you don’t even have to think on your vacation!

If you were then to implement one new idea each day to help you to move faster toward your goals, that would work out to one idea per day, multiplied times five days per week, multiplied times 50 weeks per year. This would amount to 250 new ideas per year that you would implement in your life.

Now, here is a question: Do you think that this exercise, conducted regularly, would have an impact on your life and future? In a world where the average person has very few ideas at all during the year, do you think that this exercise would give you an edge in your field? Do you think that, if you did this every day, you would soon become wealthy and successful in anything to which you applied yourself? I think the answer is clear.

One good idea can save you years of hard work, or thousands of dollars. A multiple of good ideas, one after the other, building on each other, will make you rich, happy and successful, virtually without fail.

Focus On The Solution

As mentioned earlier, successful people are intensely solution-oriented. The fact is that life is a continuous succession of problems and difficulties, without end. This river of problems is only interrupted by the occasional crisis, which makes the problems seem small in comparison.

In fact, if you are living a busy life, you will probably experience a crisis of some kind every two to three months throughout your life. You will have business crises, family crises, financial crises, health crises and other crises. The problems and crises never stop. They keep coming, like the waves of the ocean. The only thing you can control is your responses to these problems and crises. And therein lies the key to your success.

Successful people respond effectively to problems. Ineffective people do not. Successful people take a deep breath, relax and think clearly. They look for the good in every situation. They seek the valuable lesson. Above all, they focus on the solution, on what can be done, rather than what has happened and who is to blame.

Deal With Each Problem Effectively

There is a methodology that you can use to solve any problem. It requires that you approach the business of problem solving systematically, and in an organized fashion. Just like there is a process for solving mathematical problems, there is a process for solving business and life problems, and you can learn it use it for the rest of your career.

Step One: Define the problem clearly. A problem properly defined is half solved. It is absolutely amazing how much time is wasted floundering around looking for a solution when no one is quite clear about the problem.

Step Two: Ask, “What are all the possible causes of this problem?” Look for both the obvious and the not so obvious causes of the problem. How did it begin? What are its origins? What triggered it in the first place? What is the critical variable that changed to cause the problem in the first place? What assumptions were made that led to the problem? Just like a doctor conducting an intensive examination on a sick patient, you should thoroughly dissect the problem before you attempt to solve it.

Step Three: Ask, “What are all the possible solutions?” Avoid the natural tendency of most human beings to leap from a problem definition to a conclusion regarding a solution of some kind. Always ask, “What else is the solution?”

Sometimes the best solution is to nothing at all. Sometimes the best solution is to gather more information. Sometimes, the best solution is to realize that this is not your problem and pass it onto someone else whose responsibility it is.

Step Four: Once you have identified several possible solutions, ask, “What must this solution accomplish?” the only way you can judge the attractiveness of a solution is to determine, in advance, what you want the solution to accomplish.

You’ve heard it said that, “The operation was a success, but the patient died.” It is very common for us to initiate a solution, and implement it, but the problem is not only not solved, but it is worse than it was before we took action in the first place.

Be sure that the solution you select will accomplish the purpose you had in mind when you started on the problem solving exercise in the first place.

Step Five: Once you have decided on the ideal solution, assign specific responsibility, or take responsibility yourself for implementing the solution. Set a deadline for implementation. Set a measure by which you can determine if the solution has been effective.

A problem solving discussion that does not lead to agreement on a specific solution, accompanied by the assignment of personal responsibility and a deadline, is a problem that will come back over and over again, without resolution.

Practice this systematic method of dealing with a problem over and over until it becomes a habit of thinking. You will be amazed at how much more effective you become, and how much better your results will be using this method.

The Key To Victory and Success

In studying warfare and battles over the centuries, I have always been fascinated by the situations where a smaller force defeated a numerically superior force. In every case, what I discovered was that the numerically smaller force was far better organized, more methodical and more orderly in its plan of attack and execution than was the larger, more disorganized force.

By the same token, an ordinary person, with a system or recipe for problem solving, can run circles around highly intelligent or well educated people who throw themselves at their problems without a method or process for solving them.

These two methodologies, mindstorming and the systematic approach, give you a tremendous advantage in mastering the inevitable problems and difficulties of life.

Write It Down

Always be sure to think on paper. Write things down. There is something that happens between the brain and the hand when you write. You get a greater sense of clarity and understanding with regard to the issues involved. You think better. Your perception is sharper. You actually become smarter and more creative by the very act of writing everything down as you go along, and before you make a decision.

Play Down The Chessboard

One of the most powerful creative thinking exercises you can practice is called “Scenario Planning.” In scenario planning, you play down the chessboard of life and imagine what might happen sometime in the future.

Even though the future is largely unknowable, certain trends taking place today will continue into the future. Certain events taking place around you will affect these trends, if not interrupt them in different ways. Completely unexpected events will arise that will require that you change your plans completely.

Answer Two Questions

In scenario planning, you ask yourself two questions. First, “What are the three worst things that could possibly happen in the months or years ahead that would negatively affect my business or my personal life?”

Write them down. Be brutally honest with yourself. Refuse to wish or hope for the best. For example, imagine that your best customer went out of business or was unable to pay you for the products or services that you had sold to him. What would you do? How would you react? What steps could you take to guard against this eventuality?

Next, ask yourself, “What are the three best things that could possibly happen to me in the months and years ahead?”

With your answers to either of these questions, you can use mindstorming to prepare yourself for any eventuality. If it is a potential setback, ask yourself, “How could we guard against this setback?” Then generate 20 answers to this question.

If it is a possible opportunity, ask yourself, “How could we increase the likelihood of this opportunity taking place, or take advantage of this opportunity as it is today?” Write out 20 answers to this question, as well.

Each time you ask yourself one of these questions, like an electric spark, you will trigger ideas and insights. The more you think about these key questions, the more you will activate your superconscious mind to give you insights and flashes of inspiration that will enable you to seize opportunities or avoid dangers.

Develop Your Options

One of the most important parts of your personal philosophy should revolve around the development of options. The rule is, “You are only as free as your well developed alternatives.” If your goal is to be happy, successful and free, you must have choices. There must be more than one thing that you can do, in every situation. You can never allow yourself to be trapped with only one course of action open to you.

From the time you take your first job, make your first investment or embark on any part of life, you should immediately begin to develop an alternative to that, if something should go wrong.

Develop Your Plan B

Frederick von Bismarck, the “Iron Chancellor” of 19th century Germany, was considered to be the finest statesmen of his age. He was able to juggle competing nations, principalities and powers against each other in the process of forming Germany into a unified national state. His political life was an endless process of negotiating, back and forth, winning and losing, time after time.

Bismarck was famous for always having a back up plan completely developed before he began negotiations on his main plan. This became known as a “Bismarck Plan,” a “Plan B.” You should always have a “Plan B” for the important parts of your business and personal life as well.

What is your Plan B? What is your backup plan if your current job, career, industry or course of action does not work out successfully? What is your backup plan if your current investments do not work out, or if your “best laid plans” fail? What are your alternatives? What would you do if you found yourself out on the street tomorrow, or in the position of having to start over?

The more options you have, the greater mental freedom you have, as well. The more alternatives you have thought through and developed, the greater power you will have in any situation. The more that you have developed different courses of action, in case the one you are following does not work out, the greater confidence and you will have. This is why one of the most important things you do throughout life is to increase the range of your “freedom of action.” Use your creativity to develop options and alternatives continually, no matter how well things are going at the moment.

Long Term Thinking

Your ultimate goal in your business and your career is to earn as much money as possible and to achieve financial independence. All profit, all financial success in our society comes from “adding value” of some kind. When you add value, you put yourself into a position to capture some of that value in the form of increased income, profit or dividends. This is the basic law of all market economics, and like most basic laws, it is unknown or misunderstood by most people working in our society today.

One of the questions you can ask in your mindstorming exercise is, “What can I do to increase my value to my customers today?” You might ask, “Who are my ideal customers? What can I do to attract more of my ideal customers into buying from me?”

Best of all, you should ask, “What would I have to do to deserve more of exactly the kind of customers that I want to have?” What could you do more of, or start doing, to be more deserving of having more of the customers you really want?

Add Value Continually

Always be looking for ways to use your creativity to add value by doing things faster, better, cheaper or easier in some way. Just as the word “deserve” comes from the Latin roots “de” and “servus” which mean “from service” you should always be looking for ways to deserve greater rewards from serving your customers better in some way.

In the final analysis, as a member of society, as a “player” in our economic system, your riches and rewards will come from your ability to serve other people better than your competitors. Use your intelligence and your creativity every single day to find ways to make yourself more valuable to your company, your industry and your world. This is the true hallmark of personal genius.

Unlock Your Inborn Creativity:

  • Select your most important goal, or biggest problem, and write it at the top of a sheet of paper as question. Then discipline yourself to generate 20 answers to that question, and implement one of those answers immediately.
  • Approach every problem systematically by defining it clearly, developing possible solutions, making a decision and then implementing the solution as soon as possible.
  • Think on paper. Write down every detail of a problem or goal and look for simple, practical ways to solve the problem or achieve the goal.
  • Identify the best and worst things that could happen to you in the months ahead. Determine what you could do to reduce the effects of the worst outcomes and maximize the benefits or likelihood of the best possible outcomes. You are only as free as your options. Develop a plan B for every important area of your business and personal life

  • CHAPTER 20

    Do Something Every Day

    “My success evolved from working hard
    at the business at hand every day.”
    Johnny Carson

    Many studies have been conducted over the years to try to determine why it is that some people are more successful than others. Hundreds, and even thousands of salespeople, staff and managers have been interviewed, tested and studied in an attempt to identify the common denominators of success. One of the most important success factors discovered, over and over again, is the quality of “Action Orientation.”

    Successful people are intensely action oriented. They seem to move faster than unsuccessful people. They are busier. They try more things, and they try harder. They start a little earlier and they stay a little later. They are in constant motion.

    Unsuccessful people, on the other hand, start at the last moment necessary and quit at the first moment possible. They are fastidious about taking every minute of coffee breaks, lunch hours, sick leave and vacations. They sometimes brag, “When I am not at work, I never even think about it.”

    A Story Of Failure

    We use to have an employee who was always late. When we spoke to him about this, he explained that his reason for being late was the traffic. We suggested to him that he leave earlier so that the traffic would not be a problem. He was shocked. He said, “But if I left earlier, and there was no traffic, I might arrive at work earlier than my starting time. I couldn’t possibly do that!”

    Needless to say, we soon let him go and hired someone else with a greater sense of responsibility and commitment. We heard later that he has continued on with the endless round of part time jobs and unemployment that has marked his career throughout his life. His attitude has set him up for failure time and time again.

    The Law of Compensation

    In his famous essay Compensation, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that you will always be compensated in life in direct proportion to the value of your contribution. If you want to increase the size of your rewards, you must increase the quality and quantity of your results. If you want to get more out, you have to put more in. And there is no other way.

    Napoleon Hill found that the key quality of successful men and women, most of whom started at the bottom, many of them penniless, was that early in life, they developed the habit of “going the extra mile.” They discovered, as the old saying goes, that “There are never any traffic jams on the extra mile.”

    The Quality of Self-Made Millionaires

    In one study of self-made millionaires, researchers interviewed thousands of men and women who had started with nothing and who had accumulated more than a million dollars in the course of their careers. These self-made millionaires almost unanimously agreed that their success was the result of always “doing more than they were paid for.” They had made it a habit from their first jobs to always put in more than they took out. They were always looking for ways to contribute beyond what was expected of them.

    Life Long Career Success

    When I speak to a graduating class of business students, they often ask me, usually with some concern, if I can give them some suggestions or ideas on what they can do to be successful in the world of work. I always give them the same advice. It worked for me when I was a young man and it works for everybody, at every stage of his or her career.

    My advice consists of two parts. First, as soon as you get settled in at your new job, and you are on top of your work, go to your boss and tell him or her that you want “more responsibility.” Tell him or her that you are determined to make the maximum contribution possible in this organization, and that you would very much like “more responsibility” whenever it becomes available.

    When I first started doing this as a young executive with a large corporation, my boss nodded and smiled and thanked me for my interest. But nothing happened, at least for a while. Every few days, I would report to my boss and mention, in parting, that I wanted “more responsibility.”

    Your Chance Will Come

    After a few weeks of this, my boss gave me a project to study and evaluate. I jumped on it like a dog jumping on a bone and ran off. I worked day and night, and throughout the weekend, tearing that project apart, gathering research, reassembling the details and putting together a report and a proposal. On Monday morning, I was back to my boss with a complete proposal on the project. He was obviously surprised. He said, “There was no rush. I didn’t expect anything back from you for a week or two.”

    I thanked him for his concern and told him that, “This project evaluation is complete, as you requested. And by the way, I would really like more responsibility.”

    Things began to change for me very soon after that project evaluation. A week later, I was given another small task, completely outside my range of duties. Again, I grabbed the task and completed it to the best of my ability. A week or two later, my boss gave me another task, and then a week later, still another task.

    In every case, whatever it was, whether I knew anything about it or not, I immediately went to work on it, often on my own time, and on the weekends. I would get it done and back to my boss as fast as I could.

    Move Fast On Opportunities

    This brings me to my second piece of advice for anyone who wants to be successful in his or her career. Once you get the responsibility that you have asked for, complete it quickly and well, and get it back to your boss as fast as you can, as though it was a grenade with the pin pulled out. Move quickly. Don’t delay.

    It is absolutely amazing the positive impression you will make on other people when you keep asking for more responsibility, and when you get the responsibility, you complete the task quickly.

    Very soon, my boss had marked me down as the “Go-to-guy.” Whenever something came up that he needed handling immediately, he called me rather than any of the other executives, some of whom had been working there for several years. In no time, I began to move up in the organization.

    Be Prepared For Your Opportunity

    One day, he threw me a task, like a football to a tight end in a close game, which I caught and ran with for a touchdown. By acting quickly, flying a thousand miles and working day and night, I discovered a fraud and saved the company two million dollars. If I had delayed even a couple of days, the money would have been lost forever.

    After that success, the dam broke. First I was given a large assignment, and then responsibility for an entire new division, and then another new division, and then a third. By the time I had been working for that company for two years, I was running three divisions involving almost $50 million dollars worth of business activities and managing a staff of more than 50 people in three offices.

    Meanwhile, my coworkers were still coming in at 9 o’clock sharp, going for lunch with each other and quitting at 5 o’clock to go for drinks at the bar. They muttered and told each other that the reason I was moving up was because I was “lucky,” or the boss was playing favorites. They never learned the importance of asking for more responsibility and moving fast.

    A Secret Of Success

    The retiring president of the US Chamber of Commerce, many years ago, told a story at his going away dinner. He had become one of the most respected businesspeople in America, and overseas. He had developed the kind of reputation for high quality work that every person in business dreams of having.

    He said that when he was a young man, unsuccessful and frustrated, he came across a saying written on a brown lunch bag and posted on a high school bulletin board. As he passed the bulletin board, something caused him to stop and he read the words on the lunch bag. They said, “Your success in life will be in direct proportion to what you do after you do what you are expected to do.”

    He told the audience that these words changed his life. Up to that time in his career, he felt that he was doing a good job because he was doing what he had been told to do, what he was expected to do. But from that point onward, he resolved that he would do far more than what was expected of him. He resolved that he would always go the extra mile and to do more than he was paid for. From that day onward, for the rest of his career, he got up a little earlier, worked a little harder and stayed a little later. He moved faster from task to task and from customer to customer.

    And here is what always happens. The faster he moved, the more experience he got. The more experience he got, the better he got at his job. The better he got, the better results he got in the same period of time. In no time at all, he was being paid more and promoted faster.

    By moving faster and always doing more than expected, he had shifted onto the fast track in his career and began moving ahead rapidly. He was soon promoted into a new department, then hired into a new industry, and given a new area of responsibility. In each case, he had one strategy. Do more than you are paid for. Do more than others expect. Go the extra mile. Get busy. Get going. Take action. Don’t waste time. And he never looked back.

    Wisdom of A Founding Father

    Thomas Jefferson wrote, “Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time, who never loses any. It is wonderful how much may be done, if we are always doing.”

    Later, he wrote, “The rising sun has never caught me in bed in my entire life.”

    The Time Will Pass Anyway

    Here’s an important point. The time is going to pass anyway. The weeks, months and years of your life are going to go by, in any case. The only question is, “What are you going to do with this time?”

    Since the day is going to go past in any case, why not start a little earlier, work a little harder and stay a little later? Why not put yourself on the side of the angels? Why not develop a reputation as the “go-to-guy” (or gal) who everyone looks to when they need to get something done quickly and well? This will do more to put your foot on the accelerator of your career than anything else you can imagine.

    Get Going and Keep Going

    There is a key to high income called the “Momentum Principle of Success.” This principle says that it takes considerable energy to get yourself into motion and moving. But it takes much less energy to keep yourself moving, once you get going.

    This momentum principle explains success as much as any other factor. Successful people are busy people. They get up and they get going, and they keep going all day long. They work all the time they work. They are constantly in motion, like moving targets.

    Plan Your Time Carefully

    Successful people plan their days and hours, and even their quarterhours very carefully. In every study, there seems to be a direct relationship between tight time planning and high income. The highest paid professionals in our society, from whom come fully 25% of self-made millionaires in America, are lawyers, doctors and other medical professionals. Every one of them manages their time in terms of minutes spent on each case, or with each patient.

    The people who earn the very least in our society are those who think of their time in terms of the day, the week or the month. They have no problem wasting the first half of the day. They justify this by saying they will “Catch up in the afternoon.” Sometimes they waste the first couple of days of the week. They think that they will catch up later on in the week. Sometimes they waste the first one or two weeks of the month.

    The Fatal Flaw In Monthly Quotas

    I have worked with countless sales organizations over the years. Fully 80% of the salespeople in these organizations, all of whom work on monthly quotas, take it easy for the first three weeks of the month and then suddenly go into a state of frantic activity during the last week, working desperately to make enough sales to hit their quotas.

    But not the top people. The top people work on the first day of the month with the same focus and intensity that they worked on the last day of the previous month. They hit the road running, like the roadrunner, with his legs moving under him. They put the “pedal to the metal” at seven or seven thirty in the morning. They beat the rush hour traffic by getting in before anyone else, and they beat the rush hour traffic in the evening by staying and working long after everyone else has rushed out to sit on the freeway.

    Generate Continuous Energy

    Mentally and physically, the faster you move, the more energy you have. The faster you move, the more positive you feel. The faster you move, the happier you are. The faster you move, the more enthusiastic and creative you become. The faster you move the more you get done, the more you get paid and the more successful you feel.

    Apply the momentum principle to your life. Once you start going, keep going. Allan Lakein, the time management specialist said, “Fast tempo is essential to success.” Tom Peters said that all successful people have a “bias for action.” The key to getting more things done is for you to select your most important task and then to start it with a “Sense of urgency.” This is the real key to success and high achievement.

    Do Something Every Day:

  • Resolve today to pick up the pace in your life. Move faster from task to task. Walk quickly. Develop a higher tempo of activity.
  • Imagine you were going away tomorrow for a month and you had to get caught up on everything before you left. Work as hard and as fast as you do just before you leave for vacation.
  • Practice tight time planning. Imagine that you only had half the time available to get the job done and work with a sense of urgency all day long.
  • Continually ask for more responsibility, and when you get it, complete the task quickly and well. This one habit will continually open doors of opportunity for you.
  • From now on, resolve to get up one hour earlier and get going immediately. Work through lunchtime and coffee breaks. Stay an hour later to get caught up and ready for the next day. These additions will double your productivity and put you onto the fast track in your career.


    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.

  • h2Unlock 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.
  • h2Take 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.
  • h2Create 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.
  • h2Clarify 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.
  • h2Determine 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.
  • h2Decide 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.
  • h2Analyze 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.
  • h2Start 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.
  • h2Measure 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.
  • h2Remove 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.
  • h2Become 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.
  • h2Associate 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.
  • h2Make 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.
  • h2Manage 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.
  • h2Review 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.
  • h2Visualize 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.
  • h2Activate 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.
  • h2Remain 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.
  • h2Unlock 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.
  • h2Do 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.
  • h2Persist 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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