Classic self-help book, in the best sense. Inspired the hell out of me. Mostly fundamentals I had heard before, but put in a very energetic go-do-it way. As he says, “You already know all that you need to succeed. You don’t need to learn anything more. If all we needed was more information, everyone with an Internet connection would live in a mansion, have abs of steel, and be blissfully happy.”
There are no new fundamentals. Truth is not new. It’s old.
You already know all that you need to succeed. You don’t need to learn anything more. If all we needed was more information, everyone with an Internet connection would live in a mansion, have abs of steel, and be blissfully happy.
Not good at dribbling with your left hand? Tie your right hand behind your back and dribble three hours a day.
Behind in your math? Hunker down, hire a tutor, and work like hell all summer until you get it.
No excuses. If you aren’t good at something, work harder, work smarter.
Be the guy who says ‘no.’ It’s no great achievement to go along with the crowd.
Small, seemingly insignificant steps completed consistently over time will create a radical difference.
If you were given a choice between taking $3 million in cash this very instant and a single penny that doubles in value every day for 31 days, which would you choose?
A great new restaurant: People started lining up to eat there and would often wait more than an hour to be seated. Then, unfortunately, the restaurant’s staff began to take its success for granted. The place was out of business within eighteen months. They failed because of their success. Or rather, because they stopped doing what made them successful to begin with. Their success clouded their perspective and they slacked off.
Write out the half-dozen small, seemingly inconsequential steps you can take every day that can take your life in a completely new and positive direction.
Write down the small, seemingly inconsequential actions you can stop doing that might be compounding your results downward.
List a few areas, skills, or outcomes where you have you been most successful in the past. Consider whether you could be taking those for granted and are not continuing to improve, and are therefore in jeopardy of having that complacency lead to future failure.
How many of my behaviors have I not ‘voted on’?
What am I doing that I didn’t consciously choose to do, yet continue to do every day?
Have you ever been bitten by an elephant? How about a mosquito? It’s the little things in life that will bite you. The decisions you think don’t make any difference at all. It’s the little things that inevitably and predictably derail your success.
Everyone says, “Of course, I take responsibility for my life.” But then you look at how most people operate in the world. There’s a lot of finger pointing, victimhood, blaming, and expecting someone else or the government to solve their problems. If you’ve ever blamed traffic for being late, or decided you are in a bad mood because of something your kid, spouse, or co-worker did, you’re not taking 100 percent personal responsibility.
We’re all lucky. If you are on the right side of the dirt, have your health, and a little food in your cupboard, you are incredibly lucky.
The difference between becoming fabulously rich, happy, and healthy, or broke, depressed, and unhealthy, is the choices you make throughout life. Nothing else will make the difference.
Richard Branson if he felt lucky: “Luck surrounds us every day; we are constantly having lucky things happen to us, whether you recognize it or not. I have not been any more lucky or unlucky than anyone else. The difference is when luck came my way, I took advantage of it.”
The (Complete) Formula for Getting Lucky:
Preparation (personal growth)
+ Attitude (belief/mindset)
+ Opportunity (a good thing coming your way)
+ Action (doing something about it)
Picture where you want to be: richer, thinner, happier, you name it. The first step toward change is awareness. Become very conscious of every choice you make. Track every action that relates to the area of your life you want to improve.
If you’ve decided you want to lose weight, you’re going to track everything you put into your mouth. If you’ve decided to train for an athletic event, you’re going to track every step you take, every workout you do.
Track in this one area for three weeks. Something doesn’t become a habit until you practice it for three weeks.
If an item was listed at fifty dollars, consider the potential value of that same fifty dollars after it has been invested for twenty years. Ask, “Is this item worth $250?” If it’s worth $250 to you today, then it’s worth buying.
The difference between the No. 1 ranked golfer and the No. 10 golfer is an average of only 1.9 strokes, but the difference in prize money is $10M vs $2M.
We canceled her subscription to People magazine. It was time to study her own life.
Suppose you’ve always wanted to play the piano, but feel it’s too late because you’re about to turn 40. If you start now, by the time you’re retirement age, you could be a master, as you’ll have been playing for 25 years!
Increase her distance an eighth of a mile each outing. Within six months, she was running nine miles without any discomfort. In nine months, she was running 13.5 miles.
95 percent of everything we feel, think, do, and achieve is a result of a learned habit!
If you took a bite of a Big Mac and immediately fell to the ground clutching your chest from a heart attack, you might not go back for that second bite.
If your next puff of a cigarette instantly mutated your face into that of a weathered eighty-five-year-old, chances are you’d pass on that, too.
If that first forkful of cake instantly put fifty pounds on your frame, saying “no thank you” to dessert would be the true piece of cake.
Indulging in our bad habits doesn’t seem to have any negative effects at all in the moment.
Nothing creates more stress than when our actions and behaviors aren’t congruent with our values.
When you define your goals, you give your brain something new to look for and focus on.
Your mind proceeds to match up on the outside what you want most on the inside—your goal.
Top people have very clear goals. They know who they are and they know what they want. They write it down and they make plans for its accomplishment. Unsuccessful people carry their goals around in their head like marbles rattling around in a can.
Make a list of your most important goals. Go for whole-life success: balance in all the aspects of life that are important to you: business, finances, health and well-being, spirituality, family and relationships, and lifestyle.
Okay, I have my goal; now who do I need to become to get it? (“What kind of a man would a woman like this be looking for?”)
In total, he was spending 3.5 hours with the news each day! This man wasn’t an economist or a commodities trader, or in any profession that lived or died by the latest news.
write out your top three goals. Now make a list of the bad habits that might be sabotaging your progress in each area.
Strategies for Eliminating Bad Habits: Identify Your Triggers. Are you more likely to drink too much when you’re with certain people? Is there a particular time of day when you just have to have something sweet? What emotions tend to provoke your worst habits—stress, fatigue?
Clean House. If you want to stop drinking alcohol, remove every drop of it from your house. Clean your cupboards of all the crap, stop buying the junk food.
Go on a “vice fast.” Pick one vice and abstain for thirty days. Proving to yourself that you're still in charge.
The easiest thing to grab when you’re hungry is empty carbs. One strategy I use is to have protein on hand. I cook up a bunch of chicken on Sunday, and package it and have it ready for the week.
I’m always happy when something is hard. Why? Because I know that most people won’t do what it takes.
The space shuttle uses more fuel during the first few minutes of its flight than it does the rest of the entire trip. Why? Because it has to break free from the pull of gravity.
Once you get momentum, you will be hard to stop—virtually unbeatable. This is why successful people tend to get more successful… the rich get richer… the happy get happier… the lucky get luckier.
Momentum works on both sides. (Bad habits are creating a downward momentum.)
Build your performance around world-class routines. You can almost always control how your day starts and ends. When the alarm sounds, I take my most important project and work on it for an hour of completely focused and undistracted effort. I take fifteen minutes to calibrate my day. This is where I brush over my top three one-year and five-year goals, my key quarterly objectives, and my top goal for the week and month. Then, for the most important part of the calibration appointment, I review (or set) my top three MVPs (Most Valuable Priorities) for that day.
As long as I go through my morning routine, a majority of the key disciplines I need to be practicing are taken care of, and I’m properly grounded and prepared to perform at a much higher level than if I started each day erratically.
When people get started in a new endeavor, they almost always overdo it.
Everyone is affected by three kinds of influences:
input (what you feed your mind)
associations (the people with whom you spend time)
environment (your surroundings)
Your brain is programmed to seek out the negative—dwindling resources, destructive weather, whatever’s out to hurt you. (That's why TV/news is so appealing.)
Who do you spend the most time with? Who are the people you most admire? Are those two groups of people exactly the same? If not, why not?
Your associations don’t shove you in a direction; they nudge you ever so slightly over time. Their influence is so subtle. Think of your friends who order greasy appetizers or a cocktail before dinner. Meanwhile, your other friends order healthy food.
I’m constantly weeding out of my life people who refuse to grow and live positively.
To complaining friends: “Man, you’ve got to stop working on your presentation about how bad life is. I can hear you collecting all the data points to reinforce your beliefs.”
I’ve got a neighbor who’s a three-minute friend. For three minutes, we have a great chit-chat, but we wouldn’t mesh for three hours. I can hang out with an old high-school friend for three hours, but he’s not a three-day guy. Make sure you’re not spending three hours with a three-minute person.
Who can I meet who can positively influence me? Let their glow rub off on you. Befriend the person you think is the biggest, baddest, most successful person in your field.
Teaming up with a peak performance partner, someone as equally committed to study and personal growth as you. “Let this be the last week that you don’t come to the table with an ah-ha.”
Harvey Mackay, he told me, “I have had twenty coaches, if you can believe it. I have a speech coach, I have a writing coach, I have a humor coach, I’ve got a language coach, and on and on.”
John Wooden: “Mentoring is your true legacy. It is the greatest inheritance you can give to others. And it should never end. It is why you get up every day. To teach and be taught.”
Never ask advice of someone with whom you wouldn’t want to trade places.
(Restaurant overlooking cliff houses.) That environment had a powerful effect on me. Seeing those homes up on the cliffs fueled my ambition and expanded my dreams. I ended up working harder than I ever thought possible to make those dreams come true—and they did!
whatever surrounds you. Creating a positive environment to support your success. The psychic clutter of whatever around you isn’t working, whatever’s broken, whatever makes you cringe. Each and every incomplete thing in your life exerts a draining force on you,
Incomplete tasks keep calling you back to the past to take care of them.
You get in life what you tolerate. If you tolerate your body being overweight, tired, and perpetually sick, it will be.
I was sure I needed to take a break to go to the bathroom or get a glass of water. But instead of quitting, every time I hit one of those mental and emotional walls, I recognized that my competitors were facing the same challenges. I knew this was another moment that, if I kept going, I would be strides ahead of them. These were the defining moments of success and progress.
“Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.”
Weight training: reps done after you hit your max will multiply your results. Arnold Schwarzenegger “Cheating Principle”: once you reached your maximum number of lifts in perfect form, adjusting your wrists or leaning back to recruit other muscles to assist the working muscles (cheating a little) would allow you to do five or six more reps.
Where in life can you do more than expected?
Extra effort doesn’t cost that much more money or energy. When I was selling real estate, everyone else would call on expired listings when they came up. Instead, I got in my car and showed up on their doorstep and hand-delivered a “SOLD” sign. “Take this,” I’d say when they’d open the door. “You’ll need it if you hire me to take over this listing.”
If I set my sights on something, I’m going to ensure success by going all in and all out. I launch what I call “shock and awe” campaigns.
A company that needed a congressman to sign off on a piece of legislation. This guy wasn’t budging. I suggested we go above his head and talk to his boss—his wife. We went through our network until one person led us to someone who knew her. Then waited for her outside following a church service. He signed on by Tuesday.
A CEO whose philosophy was to pay people, including his vendors and suppliers, a few days in advance of the contract commitment. I was always blown away when I received a check on the twenty-seventh of the month from him for next month’s payment. When I asked him about it, he said the obvious, “It’s the same money, but the surprise and good will it buys is immeasurable—why wouldn’t you?”
What motivates me: My core value in life is significance. My desire is to make a positive difference in other people’s lives.
Whatever I want in life, I’ve found that the best way to get it is to focus my energy on giving to others. If I want to boost my confidence, I look for ways to help someone else feel more confident. If I want to feel more hopeful, positive, and inspired, I try to infuse that in someone else’s day. If I want more success for myself, the fastest way to get it is to go about helping someone else obtain it.