7 Qualities of Master Achievers
By Brian Tracy
If you think the way successful people think and adopt their success habits, you too can be successful. Here are seven qualities of the top 1% of successful people.
1) They are Ambitious.
They see themselves capable of being the best. They see themselves with the capacity of being really good at what they do. This was a really big thought for me. It held me back for many years. When I saw people who were doing better than I was, I naturally assumed they were better than I was. And if they were better than I was, then I must be worse than them, so that would mean they were superior and I was inferior. That is a big problem in our society. We have feelings of inferiority, and these feelings of inferiority are often translated into feelings of undeservedness. We don’t feel we deserve to be a big success. The word “deserve” comes from two Latin words meaning “from service.” You deserve 100% of everything you make and enjoy as long as you get it from serving other people. Your rewards are in direct proportion to your service. If you serve better and serve more and serve at a higher level and serve more enthusiastically and serve a higher quality, then you’ll have a wonderful income you’ll deserve every penny of it. You must see yourself capable of being the best.
2) They are Courageous.
They work to confront the fears that hold most people back. The two biggest enemies to yours and my success is fear and doubt. Eliminating fear and doubt is the key. The key to eliminating fear: If you want to develop courage, then simply act courageously when it’s called for. When you do something repeatedly, you develop a habit. Make a habit throughout your life of doing the things you fear. If you do the thing you fear, the death of fear is certain. To overcome fear of rejection in prospecting, you must realize that rejection in selling is not personal. Top salespeople do not fear prospecting. Face your fear. Do the things you fear. The ability to confront your fear is the mark of the superior person. If you have high ambition and you decide to be in the top 10%, and you can confront your fears and do the things that are holding you back, those two things alone will make you a great success.
3) They are Committed.
The top people in every field, especially the top salespeople, are completely committed. They believe in themselves; they believe in their companies; they believe in their products and services; they believe in their customers; they have an intense belief. We know that there is a one-to-one relationship between the depth of your belief and what happens in your reality. And if you absolutely believe in the rightness and the goodness of what you’re doing, you become like a catalyst. You create what is called a transfer, like an electrical transfer of enthusiasm. People like to buy from people who truly believe in what they are doing. People who are not committed to what they do lead very empty lives. The second part is that caring is the critical element in modern selling. Caring is a critical element in life, as well. All men and women who enjoy great lives care about what they do! They have passion about what they do. They love what they do.
4) They are Professional.
Top salespeople see themselves as consultants rather than as salespeople. When you think of the word “consultant,” what words come to mind? When do you call a consultant? A consultant is a problem-solver. What word does not appear when you think of a consultant–the word “salesperson”. We don’t think of consultants as salespeople. The most successful consultants in America are the very best salespeople of their services. When a person is positioned as a consultant in the mind and heart of the customer, he is not seen as a salesperson. Do people like to be sold? Do people like to be helped to improve their lives and work? So they look upon a salesperson as someone who sells them. Selling is something you do “to” someone, and people don’t like to be done “to”. So when you think of being a consultant, here is the key. How do you position yourself as a consultant with your customers? Of course, you act like a consultant, but even before you get the chance to act like a consultant, you build a rapport. And the most simple answer of all, and this is the most profound principle: People accept you at your own evaluation of yourself. Consultants come in and have a cup of coffee. Salespeople wait in the waiting room and have a glass of water. If you say you’re a consultant, your customer will accept you as a consultant. >From now on, position yourself as a consultant. Think of yourself as a consultant. Remember, 80% of what you accomplish on the outside is determined by who you are on the inside. How you see yourself determines how the customer responds to you. The customer’s perception of you determines how much they buy and how much they recommend you to other customers.
5) They are Prepared.
They review every detail in advance. To be in the top 10% requires additional efforts. It requires doing things that the average person is not willing to do. It requires making sacrifices the average person is not willing to make. It requires reviewing every detail of every call or situation before every business meeting. But the difference it makes is extraordinary. Before you go into a meeting, do your homework. Successful people are more concerned about pleasing results than they are about pleasing methods. When you sit down with a client, there is nothing more complimentary to a client than the feeling that you have prepared for the meeting.
6) They are Continuous Learners.
They recognize that if they’re not continually getting better, they’re getting worse. They read, they listen to CDs and they take additional training. The professional never stops learning. So read, listen to CDs, take continuous training.
7) They are Responsible.
They see themselves as President of their own personal services corporation. The top people in our society have an attitude of self-employed. 100% of us are self-employed. We are presidents of our own personal services corporation. You work for yourself. The biggest mistake we can ever make is to think we work for anyone else. We work for ourselves. The person who signs our paycheck may change; our jobs may change, but we are always the same. We are the one constant–we are always self-employed. The fact of the matter is — this is not optional, it is mandatory — you are the president of your own company, you’re the president of your own career, your own life, your own finances, your own body, your own family, your own health. You are totally responsible. We are responsible. No one will ever do it for us. It’s the most liberating and exhilarating thought of all, to think that you’re the president of your own life.
7 Habits For the Mind
First we make our habits, then our habits make us. -Charles C. Noble
Mind habits are simple lifestyle habits that have the potential to radically alter the efficiency of our minds and the potential of our lives. We can easily integrate these habits into our daily routines to keep our minds sharp and efficient for years to come. Here are seven ways to keep a great head on your shoulders:
1. Challenge your mind with new activities, skills and information.
The primary function of the human mind is its ability to absorb information and adapt to challenging unfamiliar environments. Do you remember the old saying ‘use it or lose it?’ Nothing could be closer to the truth. If you don’t use your mind, you will lose your mind. So broaden your horizons, LEARN NEW SKILLS, and challenge your mind every single day.
2. Your mind is part of your body. Fuel, exercise and rest your body properly.
The human brain accounts for roughly 2% of the total mass of the human body, yet it consumes over 20% of the oxygen and nutrients the human body intakes. Therefore, it makes sense to fuel your body with healthy food and keep your blood oxygen levels high with regular exercise. Also, a tired mind is rarely productive, so get yourself enough sleep every night.
3. Pay attention now. Concentrate on the present.
People often obsess themselves with the past and the future. But life is happening right now. You can’t learn something or remember something that’s happening now if your mind is stuck in another time.
It takes about eight seconds of intense focus to process a new piece of information into your long-term memory. So don’t let your life and your mind slip away. Instead of dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, practice being and living in the present moment. Remember, right now is the only moment guaranteed to you. Right now is life.
4. If something requires your attention in the future, write it down in a trusted location.
The more miscellaneous commitments you try to juggle in your mind, the less efficient your mind becomes. There’s absolutely no reason to memorize to-do lists, general reminders and most supplemental information. That’s a huge waste of brainpower that could be spent more wisely on learning something new (see bullet #1). So put your mind at ease by writing down these bits of information in a trusted location that can be easily accessed in the future.
5. Rehearse information frequently – ‘over-learn.’
In a nutshell, over-learning is the continued practice of material or skills long after the material or skills have been mastered. The primary goal is information retention – to practice something until it becomes second nature to you, like an automatic function of who you are.
Over-learning is frequently used by people who make public speeches or those who must perform certain functions on the spot with little support or external assistance. For example, a concert pianist doesn’t stop learning a piece of music she will perform once she initially masters it. She keeps practicing it so that it’s automatic and there’s little possibility of forgetting it when she performs in front of a large audience.
You can easily apply the concept of over-learning in your own life by reviewing what you’ve learned the same day you learn it and at regular intervals thereafter – something researchers call ‘spaced rehearsal.’ And once you over-learn whatever it is you’re studying, you’ll always be prepared to employ the information or skill at a moment’s notice.
6. Develop and nurture long-lasting, stimulating relationships.
Human beings are social creatures. Regular interaction with close friends and family is regarded by most mental health professionals as the number one source of happiness in a human being’s life. When the human mind is happy, it is less stressed. And a less stressed mind is a more efficient mind.
7. Be motivated, keep a positive attitude and find something to smile about.
Each one of the six points above has the ability to make your mind more efficient (and change your life). But when you combine them with positive thinking their beneficial effects increase exponentially.
Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story. The mind must believe it can do something before it is capable of actually doing it. So be aware of your mental self-talk. We all talk silently to ourselves in our heads, but we aren’t always conscious of what we’re saying or how it’s affecting us. Start listening to your thoughts. If you hear negative thoughts, stop for a second and replace them with positive thoughts.
As the Dalai Lama once said, “The way to overcome negative thoughts and destructive emotions is to develop opposing, positive emotions that are stronger and more powerful.
Now remember, what counts the most is not what you learned by reading this article (or any article for that matter), but how you apply this knowledge. You must take action. So start small, but start now.
Choose one of the seven bullet points above that speaks to you the loudest and practice it for a few minutes today, tomorrow and every day for the next several months. Eventually, one day, without even thinking about it you’ll start doing it automatically. And you’ll suddenly realize that these short practice sessions have evolved into a permanent, internalized, habit.
Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement Speech 2005
“Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” – Stewart Brand
Here we see Steve Jobs delivering his commencement speech to the graduates of Stanford University in 2005. In it he talks about getting fired from Apple in 1985, life & death.
11 Powerful Ways to Expand Your Life in 2011
1. Define your future. Describe the life you'd like to live. The future you see defines the person you'll need to be. Identify the traits and qualities you'd like to acquire. Think bigger than yourself. An acorn that only thinks as an acorn will never become a mighty oak. Stretch yourself. You are undoubtedly capable of more than you ever dreamed is possible for you.
2. Become the person who would achieve your goals. As you develop the skills, knowledge, relationships and demeanor of the 'future you,' your goals will be the natural byproduct of your growth. Spend an extra hour each day in the study of your chosen field.
3. Give more than you must. Nothing advances until somebody does more than they are paid to do. Always deliver more value than others expect. Don't require others to acknowledge your generosity. Give with 'class.'
4. Make time for what you love. If you don't live fully, you deny the world your potential contributions. Your 'play' sometimes contributes as much as your 'work.' What you love reveals the value you bring to the world.
5. Refine your Inner Circle. We define ourselves through our key relationships. Explore the mix and depth of those with whom you spend most of your time. Release those who limit you and connect with those who can help you live more fully.
6. Resolve your unfinished business. Either deal with it or discard it. Say your apologies, face your fears, pay your debts, express your gratitude and get on with living. Don't let yesterday drain value from today and tomorrow. Break out of the limited world of your past and start to grow.
7. Rethink existing habits and routines. Describe your typical day and then reconsider every aspect of it. Change or expand the places you go, people you see, things you do, and the time you devote to each. Try new things. Learn a new language, go someplace different, do some things you'd typically pass by. Find out what your possibilities really are.
8. Lighten up. Stop stressing over things that only matter to you emotionally. When life isn't fair to you, get over it quickly. Take your misfortunes as 'course corrections' rather than 'catastrophes.' Let go so you can grow.
9. Tighten up. Sloppiness in life allows more variables to creep in and spoil your plans. Stay on target, increase your self-discipline, master the art of self-motivation. Sometimes details matter a lot.
10. Profile yourself. Keep a journal of your goals, concerns, fears, and dreams. Review it at least once a year. Look for patterns that reveal your core values, natural velocity, natural intelligences and recurring situations. Realize how life ebbs and flows for you. Notice the natural cycles of life. Know yourself.
11. Invest in yourself. Set aside a portion of each year's income to acquire new tools and teachers to increase your potential. Refine your systems, get expert coaching, attend special conferences, cultivate a study group, appoint a board of advisors. You are your only true asset. Send part of today ahead to the person you'll be in the future.
7 Essentials For Living Your Fullest Potential
Most of us have heard something like this before: “You have a lot of potential,” or in school, “You have so much potential, work hard and you might realize it.”
The only problem is no one seems to tell us where to start or how to achieve our fullest potential. After all, potential is such an ominous term. You can’t measure it. You can’t quantify it. You can’t define potential.
Even though we may not ever be able to measure our potential, we can develop habits to help us grow. Here are 7 essentials I’ve found to ensure that you are the best possible version of yourself:
1. Have an open mind. Everyone talks about how important having an open mind is. But what they don’t say is how much having an open mind can affect your potential. A lot of opportunities pass us by because we’re stuck in a limited pattern of thinking, or we’re afraid to take a risk. If there’s no actual real (or perceived) danger, take the risk. The worse that can happen is you’ll look silly. Having an open mind is the first step to reaching your potential, because it gives you the willingness to take risks. We’ll never be the best we can be by playing it safe. As the saying goes: “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always be where you’ve always been.”
As a musician, when I make a mistake, I’ll cringe and think I sounded terrible. After I’m done playing and ask someone if they heard my mistake they usually say “What mistake?” There’s a good chance you see yourself more critically than other people do.
2. Seek out new perspectives and contexts. The more perspectives you seek out, the more you push the boundaries of your mind. If you only focus on one thing, you’ll likely become an expert before long. But if you stay inside your box, you’ll be like a stiff bridge, waiting to collapse when the first hurricane comes through. A well built bridge has give; it has a certain amount of flexibility to it.
Try to push the borders of your thinking. Here are some suggestions:
- Get inside someone else’s mind. Pick their brain and try to see things from their point of view.
- Listen to music that you never would have dreamed choosing. Give it a chance. If you don’t like it, you can always turn it off. I know there are some types of music I can’t stand, no matter how much I try to give it a chance.
- Change your routine. If you buy the same jelly donut, the same coffee, and drive the same way to work everyday, try something different. Be adventurous. Try the bear claw. Drink blueberry tea instead. Take the scenic route home.
- Learn a new language. Learning a different language forces you to think in that language. It pushes your mind to make new connections between ideas, phrases, and thought patterns that never would have been pushed.
- Travel. What better way to stretch your mind than by completely immersing yourself in another culture?
4. Help other people succeed. The best way to reach your fullest potential is to help other people as much as possible. When it’s your time to ask for help, other people will be more inclined to help you in return.
If you find yourself falling short of your best, it’s likely because you’re not giving enough of yourself. The more you give of yourself to others, the more value you create. The more value you create, the more other people will want to give value back to you.
By helping others as much as possible, you create a wide network of support. Most great people you’ll meet will tell you they didn’t achieve greatness alone. They had many mentors, and they stood on the shoulders of giants.
5. Think different. You won’t be surprised to find that those who have reached their greatest potential have often been the most prolific. They aren’t afraid to step outside of the norm. In fact, most of these people would consider the norm as something to vehemently avoid. Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein, and Ralph Waldo Emerson (to name a few) were considered radical thinkers. Now they’re just considered geniuses.
Thinking different doesn’t just mean intentionally going against the grain, though. It doesn’t mean swimming upstream blindly, just because you want to revolt against authority. What it does mean is having the courage to express your individuality. It’s in developing and unabashedly accepting your unique strengths and talents that you’ll reach your highest potential.
6. Work smart, not hard. By working smart you can save a ridiculous amount of time you would have otherwise been spinning your wheels. Working smart is about paying attention and taking the time to do your research. It isn’t, however, obsessing over getting every little detail figured out. That’s obsession.
Working smart means modeling other experienced people and doing your homework. It’s the difference between first watching an experienced mechanic, and then haphazardly trying to wing rebuilding an engine. Working hard at that point becomes irrelevant when you don’t have a clue to what you’re doing.
7. Change your auto-response. When you want to do something, don’t think about it, just do it. Many of our opportunities in life pass us by simply because we can’t make a decision. We’re wrapped up in an effort to figure out all the facts and gain enough experience before we take the plunge.
The truth is, most experience comes from making things up as you go along. You’ll inevitably make mistakes and achieve less than perfect results. If you can develop a keen ability to ignore fear of the unknown, you can take years off your learning curve.
Instead of thinking “I don’t know,” think “I’ll figure it out.”
It will help you overcome you fear, and can be very liberating.
Jonathan is the author of Illuminated Mind – The less boring side of personal development. His articles include Living Freestyle: Life Without a Template and Liberate Your Life: Put Yourself on