Summary -  The Magic of Thinking Big - David Joseph Schwartz

Summary - The Magic of Thinking Big - David Joseph Schwartz

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Here's a summary of the key ideas:

  1. Believe in yourself and your ability to succeed. Develop a winning attitude. Think positively. Have faith in yourself.

  2. Get rid of self-doubts and negative thoughts that hold you back. Don't make excuses or blame others for your failures or shortcomings. Take control of your mind and your thoughts.

  3. Build self-confidence by doing things well and systematically confronting your fears. Face complex tasks and overcome them. Success builds upon itself.

  4. Dream big and dare to imagine big things for yourself. Let your mind dwell on happy outcomes and successes. Think about the potential that awaits you.

  5. Take time to think and use your creativity. New ideas emerge when you ponder and imagine new possibilities. Brainstorm and make new associations between unrelated ideas.

  6. Develop a self-image of yourself as a success. How you see yourself determines your destiny. Change your thoughts and you change your life.

  7. Create an environment that fosters success and big thinking. Surround yourself with other success-oriented people. Read and listen to materials that inspire you.

  8. Maintain an optimistic mindset. Your attitude shapes your future. Expect good things to happen and look for the opportunities around you.

  9. Treat others with kindness, empathy, and respect. Success is a team sport so you need to win the cooperation of others. Make others feel good about themselves too.

  10. Take action and do something each day that moves you closer to your goals. Develop habits and disciplines to progress steadily rather than being inactive. Continuous effort fuels further action.

  11. Learn from failures and defeats. Look at them as temporary setbacks rather than permanent failures. Change your approach and try again. Failure is not fatal.

  12. Set goals to motivate yourself. Aim high and be specific in what you want to achieve. Plan action steps and start working on them right away. Monitor your progress.

  13. Thinking like a leader. Take initiative, make decisions and influence others. Accept responsibility for success and failure. Learn persuasion skills and how to motivate people. Leaders think big.

That covers the essence and main highlights of the advice and recommendations provided in the book. The key message is that your thoughts are compelling and by thinking big you unlock your potential and open yourself up to new possibilities of success and happiness.

Here are the main points summarized:

•Success means achieving your goals and living a happy, prosperous life. Everyone wants to succeed.

•Belief and faith are compelling. If you genuinely believe you can accomplish something, you will find a way to achieve it. But wishful thinking is not the same as belief. Belief requires action and conviction.

•Belief generates the power, skill, and energy required to accomplish your goals. When you believe you can do something, you figure out how. You find the steps to succeed.

•To climb to the top, you must have an "I'm going to the top" attitude. Study successful people and model their behaviors, attitudes, and approaches. The "how-to" comes from belief.

•Belief triggers your mind to figure solutions and gives others confidence in your abilities. Belief makes the impossible possible.

•Most people do not have a lot of belief in themselves and their ability to succeed or make substantial changes. But some people, who live in "Successfulville," have a mindset of confidence that allows them to achieve extraordinary things.

•Belief allows people to accomplish things that seem impossible to others. Belief opens your mind to possibilities and gives you the persistence to find solutions. Those who don't believe in themselves cannot move mountains. But those who do think they can move mountains, do.

•In the engineering firm example, belief allowed a small company to take on a project that seemed impossible to nearly every other firm. Their faith led to a solution and winning the job. Faith made the difference.

•In summary, belief in yourself and your ability to succeed is the foundation of a prosperous life. Belief triggers action, skill, solutions, and achievement. Belief allows you to accomplish the impossible.

  • Belief is the essential element required for achieving great things and success. It will only be attempted with the belief that something can be done.

  • Belief in success and positive outcomes drives all outstanding achievements and accomplishments. Lack of belief leads to failure and mediocrity.

  • Belief is the "thermostat" determining what you can achieve. If you believe in miniature, you gain little. If you believe in great things, you can achieve extraordinary.

  • Belief in yourself and your abilities is required for others to believe in you. A lack of self-belief will show through in your interactions and results. Believe in yourself and others will too.

  • Your mind produces thoughts constantly, both positive and negative. Which ideas you focus on determines your outcomes and success. Focusing on positive, empowering beliefs leads to positive results. Focusing on negative thoughts leads to lack of achievement and mediocrity.

  • You can choose which types of thoughts to activate in your mind by the mental "signals" you send yourself. Send positive signals and your mind will produce positive reviews. Send negative alerts and your mind will have negative thoughts. Your outcomes depend on the types of studies you choose to activate and focus on.

In summary, the key message is that belief and positive thinking drive achievement and success. Lack of confidence and damaging thinking guarantee failure and mediocrity. You must believe in yourself and focus on positive thoughts to achieve your full potential.

  • Your mood and experiences can be affected by your mindset and thoughts. Mr. Defeat represents pessimistic thoughts that can make you feel unsuccessful and like you are having a bad day. Mr. Triumph represents optimistic thoughts that can make you feel successful and like you are having a good day.

  • The more you focus on negative or positive thoughts, the stronger they become. It is best to avoid negative reviews from Mr. Defeat; instead, focus on positive reviews from Mr. Triumph. Fire Mr. Defeat and only use Mr. Triumph.

  • There are many opportunities in society with a growing population and economy. However, only some people succeed due to negative thoughts and a lack of belief. Success requires developing an optimistic mindset and confidence in your abilities.

  • There are three guides to developing belief in yourself:

  1. Think success, not failure. Have an optimistic mindset.

  2. Remind yourself you are better than you think. Do not underestimate yourself.

  3. Believe big. Set big goals and have big plans. Big ideas are more accessible than small ideas.

  • A plan for personal development and growth requires content on the attitudes and techniques of successful people, a method for taking action, and achieving results. Applying the advice in this book can lead to tremendous success and rewards.

  • You must take charge of your development through self-administered training. Observe others and experiment with different techniques to understand why some people are more successful than others. Study both very successful and very unsuccessful people. Make a habit of positive and successful behaviors through practice and repetition. Growth and progress feel rewarding.

  • In summary, you control your experiences and results through your mindset and thoughts. Develop an optimistic outlook by focusing on positive thinking, believing in yourself, and setting big goals. Take action through self-training, observation, and habit-building. You can achieve tremendous success and feel rewarded from your progress.

The road to success and achievement requires making the most of yourself. The biggest challenge is overcoming excuses for failure or mediocrity. People who are unsuccessful or average tend to suffer from 'excusitis' - constantly making excuses to rationalize their lack of progress or achievement.

The four most common types of excusitis are:

  1. Health excusitis: Blaming 'bad' health, sickness or medical issues for failure to achieve goals or success. But successful people do not let health issues stop them, and many have achieved great success despite health problems. The key is having the right attitude and not obsessing over health issues.

  2. Intelligence excusitis: Believing that lack of education or intelligence hinders success. But many successful people still needed a college education or high I.QI.Q. Success is more about determination, hard work, and perseverance than raw intelligence.

  3. Age excusitis: Thinking that being too young or old prevents achievement or success. But age is not a barrier and many people have succeeded at a young age or started new careers and succeeded late in life. Success is about attitude, not age.

  4. Luck excusitis: Believing that luck or external circumstances primarily determine success and failure. But successful people make their luck through hard work, persistence and the ability to take advantage of opportunities. Success is not about chance alone.

In summary, the road to success requires overcoming excuses, having the right mindset, determination, hard work, and perseverance. Success is possible regardless of health issues, age, education level, or luck. The obstacles we perceive are often just excuses we make up. Eliminating 'excusitis' and cultivating a success mindset are critical to achievement and success.

Four Things You Can Do to Overcome "Health Excusitis":

  1. Refuse to talk about your health issues. Constant complaining only makes the problems seem worse and bores others.

  2. Refuse to worry excessively about your health. Constant worrying can negatively impact your health and cause imaginary problems.

  3. Be grateful for the health you have. Comparing yourself to those less fortunate can help put your health issues in perspective.

  4. Remember that staying active leads to better health outcomes. Do not let minor health issues prevent you from living life.

Some critical ideas about intelligence:

  1. Most people underestimate their intelligence and overestimate others. Raw intelligence or brainpower alone does not determine success. How you apply your mind is most important.

  2. Success is more dependent on interest and enthusiasm than raw brainpower. Persistence and determination are more impactful than intelligence alone.

  3. Pessimistic attitudes, not intelligence, hold most people back from success. The thinking that guides your intelligence is more significant than how much intelligence you possess.

  4. Knowledge alone is not power. Knowledge only becomes power when applied and used effectively. The attitudes and thinking that shape how knowledge is used are most important.

In summary, health issues and a perceived lack of intelligence are often excuses for preventing success. But these excuses can be overcome with determination, optimism, and practical application of your abilities. Success depends more on positive and solution-focused thinking than raw abilities or circumstances alone.

• Knowledge and intelligence are only potential power. They are powerful only when put to use for constructive purposes. Simply accumulating facts and memorizing information is of little value.

• Two examples illustrate this:

  1. Einstein said he didn't bother memorizing facts. He could look up in two minutes. He focused on thinking.

  2. Henry Ford said he could hire someone to answer simple questions about history and facts in five minutes. But he wanted employees who could solve problems and generate new ideas.

• There are three ways to overcome "intelligence excusitis," the tendency to make excuses based on a perceived lack of intelligence:

  1. Do not underestimate your intelligence or overestimate others. Focus on using your intelligence constructively.

  2. Develop a positive attitude. Believe in your ability to succeed. Look for ways to win rather than reasons why you can't.

  3. Remember that thinking ability is more valuable than memorizing facts. Use your mind to create and develop new ideas.

• "Age excusitis" refers to the tendency to make excuses based on being too old or young. But age alone does not determine success or failure. Attitude is key.

• The story of Cecil illustrates how to cure the "I'm too old" version of age excusitis. By realizing he had many productive years left, Cecil overcame his belief that he was too old to change careers at 40.

• The story of the 45-year-old man who became a minister shows how defeating age excusitis can open up new opportunities. Though others said he was too old, he pursued his goal and enjoyed many more years of productivity and success.

• The "I'm too young" version of age excusitis can also hold people back from opportunities and success. But as the story of Jerry, the 23-year-old offered a promotion to sales manager, shows—if you are offered an option, you are likely ready for it, regardless of age. With confidence and hard work, Jerry overcame his belief that he was too young for the role.

• In summary, do not let perceptions of being too old or young limit your success. Develop an attitude focused on positive outcomes, and pursue your goals and opportunities with hard work and determination, regardless of age or what others may say. Success depends on attitude and effort, not age alone.

The key points are:

  1. There is no such thing as actual accidents or luck. Everything happens due to some cause and effect. Successful people attribute their success to causes within their control, while unsuccessful people blame their failure on bad luck.

  2. People who blame their failure on lousy luck suffer from "luck excusitis." The cure for this is:

  • Accept the law of cause and effect: Look for the real reasons behind perceived "luck." Success is due to preparation and hard work, not luck. Failure is also due to specific reasons, not just bad luck.

  • Don't wish for effortless success. Success comes from action and mastering skills, not relying on luck. Focus on self-improvement instead of attributing life events to luck.

  1. Fear is real and must be recognized to be overcome. Just dismissing fear as "all in your imagination" is not helpful. Like an infection, anxiety must be specifically treated.

  2. All confidence is acquired through effort. No one is born with confidence—people who seem very confident develop it over time. Through conscious effort and treatment, anyone can build trust and overcome fear and worry.

  3. An example is Navy recruits learning to swim to overcome their fear of water. At first, many are terrified of just a few feet of water, but through gradual exposure and practice, they gain confidence, and their fear disappears. The same can apply to conquering fear in other areas of life.

The key conclusions are that you can build confidence and overcome fear through accepting reality, self-development, and gradual exposure and practice. Do not dismiss fear as imaginary or rely on luck. Take deliberate action to improve your abilities and accomplish your goals. Over time, your confidence will grow, and your worries will fade.

Here's a summary:

• The exercises required new sailors to jump from a six-foot board into eight feet of water while experienced swimmers observed. Though frightening, taking the plunge defeated their fears. This illustrates that action cures fear.

• An executive felt his job was in jeopardy due to declining sales and mistakes. Rather than just hoping for the best, he took action. He energized his sales team, cleared out inventory, rearranged displays, and talked to his manager. He also let industry contacts know he'd consider other offers, just in case. His sales and security both improved. Action and contingency plans beat inaction.

• Fear comes in many forms, but there are actions to address each: improve your appearance, work harder, study more, help others, distract yourself, do the right thing, make decisions, and see people accurately. Take prompt action; hesitation worsens fear.

• Your memory bank supplies the raw material for your thoughts and confidence. Approach it by requesting positive or negative information, and it will provide what you've deposited. Deposit positive thoughts, and you'll feel increasingly adequate. Deposit negative thoughts, and you'll feel increasingly inadequate.

• Specifically:

  1. Only deposit positive thoughts in your memory. Dwell on successes, encouragement, and the bright side. Don't relive embarrassments or put yourself down. Positive reviews build confidence; negative thoughts tear it down.

  2. When a setback or criticism comes, dismiss it from your mind quickly. Minimize damage to your confidence. Learn from it, but don't relive it mentally. Then refocus on the good and future improvement.

Action and optimism are the paths to confidence. Your memory bank fuels both, so fill it well.

• Recall pleasant, positive experiences and memories before bed each night. This builds confidence and happiness.

• Only withdraw positive thoughts from your memory. Let negative thoughts fade away. Don't build up negative memories into "mental monsters."

• It's easy to forget unpleasant memories if you refuse to recall them. Your mind naturally wants to ignore them.

• Fear of others often comes from seeing them as more important or capable than yourself. Put others into proper perspective:

  1. Realize that other people are fundamentally similar to you. They have the exact basic needs, desires, and problems. There's no reason to fear someone just like you.

  2. Take a balanced view of others. Recognize that both you and the other person are essential. Don't see others as very big or necessary compared to yourself.

• Having a mutually important attitude, where you respect yourself and the other person, helps overcome the fear of others. See any interaction as "two important people discussing something of mutual interest."

• Confidence comes from filling your mind with positive experiences and memories and developing a balanced perspective of others. Overcoming fear of others starts with seeing them as fundamentally like yourself.

  1. Most people have fundamentally the same interests, desires, and problems as you. Do not let their outward hostility or aggression fool you. Underneath, they are lovely people.

  2. Develop an understanding and forgiving attitude. Do not get upset by rude behavior or personal attacks from others. They usually take out their frustrations on you and do not mean it. Maintain your calm and confidence.

  3. Do what you know to be right according to your conscience. Do not do anything unethical or wrong to get ahead or achieve your goals. It will undermine your self-confidence and integrity in the long run.

  4. Your emotions follow your actions. You can change how you feel by changing your behavior and actions. Smile and you will feel happier. Stand up straight, and you will feel more confident. Practice confidence-building measures, and your confidence will increase.

  5. Most psychological problems stem from guilt over wrongdoing and the fear of getting caught. Please do not do anything to harm others or violate their trust. It will only create internal turmoil and anxiety within you.

  6. When you make a mistake, learn from it and move on. Do not dwell on past errors or failures. Look at them as learning experiences and opportunities to grow. Then refocus your mind on positive goals and actions.

In summary, think right and do right. Be understanding of others. Do not violate your conscience or integrity. Learn from your mistakes and refocus on the positive. Your thoughts and emotions will follow. This is the path to building self-confidence from the inside out.

The recruitment specialist was discouraged by the lack of motivation and ambition she saw in many college seniors she interviewed. She sought candidates who could take on significant management roles within a few years. However, she found that:

  1. Many candidates were more interested in retirement benefits than career growth opportunities.

  2. Many were concerned primarily about job stability and avoiding frequent relocation.

  3. Few candidates expressed ambitions for career advancement and taking on more responsibility.

In short, she wanted to be more satisfied with the limited scope of candidates' thinking and vision for their careers. The candidates were thinking small instead of big regarding their potential and aspirations.

  • Most successful people define success as opportunity and growth, not security. Companies need forward-thinking, optimistic leaders to thrive.

  • Many people think small and doubt themselves due to self-deprecation. But by focusing on your assets and accomplishments, you can overcome self-doubt and realize your potential.

  • The words and phrases we use strongly impact how others think. Optimistic language creates positive mental images, leading to more significant thinking and tremendous success.

  • There are four ways to develop an optimistic, "big thinker" vocabulary:

  1. Use positive words to describe how you feel. Say you think "great" or "wonderful" as much as possible.

  2. Use positive words to describe others. Compliment people and avoid petty criticism.

  3. Use positive language to encourage others. Praise and compliment the people in your life. Sincerely administered compliments are powerful success tools.

  4. Use positive words to outline plans for others. Describe opportunities and promise victory to spark people's imagination and gain their support.

  • Big thinkers see not just what is but what could be. They look past surface issues to more profound potential and possibility. This vision and optimism lead to more extraordinary achievement and success.

The key message is that optimism, positive language, and vision can drive growth for individuals and companies. Success requires forward-looking thinking, not security-seeking. People can overcome self-doubt, accomplish more, and reach their full potential by focusing on assets and possibilities.

  1. Real estate value comes from its potential uses and benefits, not its present condition. Successful realtors can visualize properties transformed into valuable enterprises that generate revenue and meet essential needs. They can convey these visions to buyers and sell the properties at higher prices.

  2. Customers are worth much more than a single transaction. Repeat business and customer loyalty are what generate profits. Failing to provide good service and valuing customers only for what they buy today sends them to competitors, losing their long-term business.

  3. Evaluating opportunities based only on what currently short-sightedly exists. One must have a vision to see what could be and the potential for growth and increased value over time. Missing opportunities due to a lack of vision and foresight is like being blind.

  4. A person's self-worth and future success depend on how they view themselves - based on their current circumstances or potential. Those who focus only on their present conditions and what they lack tend to remain in those conditions. But those who can visualize the person they intend to become and work toward that vision open up opportunities for growth and a better life.

In summary, vision - the ability to see what could be rather than only what currently exists - is critical to creating value, customer loyalty, identifying opportunities, and achieving one's full potential. Vision looks to the future potential, not just the present circumstances. It is a crucial attribute for success.

The key message is to avoid small, petty thinking and instead think big. Some examples:

  1. To be an excellent public speaker, focus on having something meaningful to say and a desire to share, not trivial details like standing up straight or perfect grammar. Successful speakers connect with audiences by sharing knowledge and passion rather than by being technically perfect.

  2. Most quarrels start over minor, unimportant issues. To avoid arguments, ask yourself, "Is it essential?" before reacting negatively. Letting little things go helps build better relationships.

  3. A young executive named J.M.J.M. failed in his career because he thought small about being assigned to a smaller office. He felt discriminated against and resentful instead of recognizing that the company was increasing and that the office size didn't reflect his value. His small thinking undermined his success.

  4. Even difficulties like stuttering can be overcome by thinking big - focusing on your message rather than your delivery. Successful people think about their goals and purpose, not obstacles.

In summary, think big by focusing on the meaningful, impactful, and purposeful. Don't be distracted or undermined by petty concerns. Think about the forest, not the trees. Keep your eyes on the prize. That is the mindset of successful people.

  • Creative thinking is finding new and improved ways to do anything, not just in science, engineering, or the arts. It is an ability everyone can develop and strengthen.

  • The first step to creative thinking is believing something can be done. This belief sets your mind in motion to find ways to achieve it. For example, believing jails can be eliminated in 30 years would stimulate ideas on reducing crime and improving society, so prisons are unnecessary.

-Other steps to stimulate creative thinking include:

  1. Question the way things are. Challenge assumptions and the status quo. Ask why things are done how they are and if there are better options.

  2. Free your imagination. Let your mind wander and make unexpected associations. Entertain absurd and impractical ideas. This opens up more possibilities.

  3. Look at the familiar in new ways. Examine habitual and routine ways of thinking and doing things. Try different metaphors and analogies. Speculate and experiment.

  4. Combine two or more ideas or objects in a new way. New combinations often lead to creative solutions and innovations.

  5. Seek ideas from unrelated fields. Let views from outside areas stimulate new insights and ways of thinking about problems. Make unexpected connections across domains.

  6. Play with ideas. Juggle thoughts and notions, whether practical or fanciful. Look at situations from multiple angles and perspectives. Make new combinations.

  7. Visualize your goals and challenges. Mental imagery stimulates creativity. See in your mind new possibilities and ways of achieving goals. This helps break fixed mindsets.

  8. Let ideas incubate. Allow time for thoughts to develop and connect in your mind. Creativity arises from a combination of conscious and unconscious processes. Incubation allows unconscious thoughts to blossom.

  9. Be flexible and adaptable. Consider alternatives and be willing to adjust to change. A fixed and rigid style of thinking inhibits creativity. Cultivate an open, curious mindset.

  10. Take risks and be willing to fail. Creative accomplishment involves risk and the possibility of failure. Have the courage to try new approaches. Failure is often a step toward success. Learn from it and try again.

According to the passage, that covers some key ways to think and dream creatively. Believing in possibilities, freeing your imagination, questioning assumptions, combining ideas, and flexibly adapting to change and risk are all part of the creative thinking process. With practice, anyone can strengthen this ability.

The passage strongly argues against traditional thinking and favors an open, progressive mindset. Some key points:

  1. Traditional thinking blocks creativity and progress. It leads to the attitude that things must stay the same simply because "that's how it's always been." This mindset stifles new ideas before they even have a chance.

  2. An open, curious mind is vital for creativity and progress. One should avoid dismissing new ideas out of hand and instead contemplate them. As the passage says, "Believe it can be done. That's basic to creative thinking." A willingness to experiment and try new things also fosters creativity.

  3. Static or regressive thinking is harmful. Successful people and organizations are forward-thinking, not stuck in the past. They are constantly improving and innovating rather than assuming that the "best" or "ultimate" solution has already been achieved. Progress requires an openness to new ideas and a willingness to move forward, not backward.

  4. Breadth of knowledge and experience aid creativity. Exposure to diverse subjects, places, and people helps spark new ideas and insights. Narrowing or being stuck in routines limits creativity. As the passage advises, "Do something new and different...take a different route to work someday, take a different vacation this year." New experiences open the mind.

The key message is that an open, progressive, experimental mindset is essential for creativity and continued success. Traditional thinking that is static or regressive severely limits one's potential. A willingness to consider new possibilities and gain new experiences allows people and organizations to thrive.

Constant improvement and progress are keys to success. Successful people are always looking for ways to do better and achieve more. They ask themselves questions like "How can I improve my performance?" and "How can I do better?".

Perfection is impossible, but progress and improvement are always possible. Successful people set high standards for themselves, focusing on increasing efficiency, getting more output with less input, and continual advancement.

Capacity is a state of mind. How much a person can achieve depends on how much they believe they can achieve. When faced with additional responsibilities or demands, people who think they can do more will find ways to increase their capacity and efficiency. They look for ways to streamline routines, delegate when possible, minimize distractions and time-wasters, and optimize their time and effort. By improving systems and processes, they can accomplish more.

Success comes from improving the quality of what you do (doing it better) and increasing the quantity of what you do (doing more of it). People who adopt an "I can do better" mindset and look for ways to improve continually, and progress will achieve tremendous success. Regularly asking, "How can I do better?" and "How can I improve?" stimulates creativity and reveals new ways of increasing efficiency and performance.

Progress should be the essential product. Successful people make progress their purpose and constantly strive to improve and achieve more. They believe in their ability to do better and find ways to increase their capacity and get more done. They can accomplish extraordinary results by optimizing their time and effort and improving the quality and quantity of their work. Success is reserved for those with an "I can do better" attitude.

  1. Accept more opportunities and responsibilities eagerly. It shows your value and ability. It helps you grow as a leader.

  2. Focus on how to do more and better. Look for ways to improve planning, take shortcuts and drop nonessential tasks. Successful and competent people are busy. They get work done.

  3. Listen more and talk less. Prominent leaders listen more and ask for advice. They use others' inputs as raw materials for their ideas. Small leaders preach more and monopolize talking.

  4. Asking for and listening to others sparks your creativity. It gives you more raw materials to generate ideas. You can encourage others to talk, test your views by asking others and concentrate on understanding what others say.

  5. Learning comes from listening, not telling. Listening feeds your mind and spurs creativity. It helps in both personal conversations and group discussions.

  6. Management training programs help most by stimulating new ideas through exchanges and discussions. Participants gain exposure to new ideas, not ready-made formulae. Their minds get stimulated to generate customized insights.

  7. An accountant bought a farm based on insights from a talk he attended and made a profitable venture by dividing and selling it. The conference exposed him to an opportunity he had never seriously considered. It stimulated his thinking and creativity to turn an idea into reality. His story shows how others' inputs can spark new thinking and actions.

In summary, a key message is accepting more responsibility and focusing on continual improvement. But an equally important ability is gaining input from others by eagerly listening and using their ideas and insights as raw materials to stimulate your creativity. The accountant's story highlights how a single encounter can spark a transformative new idea and venture. The passage offers a dynamic self-improvement process through internal focus and external openness.

The author made a profit of $19,600 by selling ten plots of land on evenings and weekends. The total income was $30,000, and the total costs were $10,400. The author attributes the success to being exposed to new ideas by attending a luncheon with people outside his usual work circle.

The author recommends two ways to get mental stimulation:

  1. Join and participate in at least one professional group to get new ideas from others in your field. Interacting with like-minded success-oriented people provides "mind food" and prevents undernourished, stagnant thinking.

  2. Join and participate in at least one group outside your occupational interests. Interacting with people from different fields broadens your thinking and helps you see the bigger picture.

The author says ideas need to be captured and developed to have value. Three ways to harness and develop your ideas:

  1. Write ideas down as soon as you have them. Memory alone is not enough to preserve new ideas. Carry a notebook or cards with you to capture ideas whenever they sprout.

  2. Review your ideas regularly and keep the promising ones in an active file. Get rid of useless thoughts. Continue to think about and develop good ideas.

  3. Cultivate and fertilize the idea. Read about related topics. Investigate the concept from all angles. Eventually, put the developed idea into action.

The author recommends shaping up the idea on paper through writing or diagrams. This allows you to see gaps or areas needing improvement. It also allows you to "sell" the idea to others, whether customers, employees, bosses, friends, or investors. An argument in written or visual form is much more persuasive than just an oral description.

The author says you must believe in yourself and the possibility to think creatively. Ask yourself daily how you can improve and do more. Practice asking questions and listening to get new information to make sound decisions. Associate with people who can expose you to new ideas and ways of thinking.

You receive the treatment from others that you think you deserve. If you feel and think you are inferior, you will act inferior and be perceived as such by others. If you believe you deserve respect, you will work in a self-respecting manner and earn the respect of others. Your appearance and how you present yourself also significantly impact how others view and treat you. Always look like the competent, credible person you want to be perceived as.

• Your appearance and how you think about your work say a lot about you to others. They determine how others perceive and treat you.

• Dress well and groom yourself neatly because it will make you feel more confident and vital, boosting your performance. Your appearance also affects how others view and respect you. First impressions based on appearance can last a long time.

• Think of your work as important and meaningful. A positive attitude toward your work will motivate you to perform better and advance in your career. Those who see their jobs as "just a job" or unimportant tend to remain stuck in place. But those who believe their work contributes value tend to get promoted and progress.

• A personnel director shares how he evaluates employees' attitudes in interviews. He finds they fall into two groups:

  • Group B sees their jobs as a "necessary evil." They focus on security, benefits, and complaints. They comprise 80% of employees but rarely get promoted or recommended for rewards.

  • Group A sees their jobs as a chance to progress. They suggest improvements, think broadly, and view interviews as constructive. They frequently get promoted and recommended for rewards.

• The challenge is helping Group B employees transition to a Group A mindset. But their performance and career will be limited until someone believes their work is meaningful.

• In summary, your appearance, thoughts, and attitudes significantly impact your success and how far you can go. Take pride in how you present yourself, believe in the importance of your work, and maintain a positive perspective. Doing so will open up more opportunities for advancement.

The key message is that you become what you think. If you think positively about yourself and your job, you will succeed. But if you think negatively, you are doomed to mediocrity.

The author presents several examples to illustrate this:

  1. A secretary who sees spare time as an opportunity to help the boss will be recommended for a raise, unlike one who wastes time reading magazines.

  2. An employee with a positive attitude and willingness to improve will prosper, unlike one with a negative attitude who threatens to quit.

  3. A salesperson who expresses enthusiasm for helping customers will succeed, unlike one who sees the job as just doing what they are told.

  4. A supervisor with faith in upper management will motivate employees, unlike one who criticizes administration.

Executives promote people based on how well they do their current job. So you must think positively to succeed in your current role before being considered for promotion.

People imitate the attitudes and behavior of their leaders, bosses, and parents. So your subordinates will reflect your job attitudes, positive or negative. To get good performance from others, demonstrate enthusiasm yourself.

You can develop an enthusiastic attitude by thinking enthusiastically. Give yourself "pep talks" to build optimism and confidence. One car salesman did this and became very successful, unlike when he needed more confidence and motivation.

A man who thought negatively before giving a talk failed miserably, unlike when he thought positively with encouragement. Your thoughts control your success or failure. Think positively!

In summary, think positively about yourself and your job. Your success depends on it. Spread positive thinking to others, and you will all prosper together. But negative thoughts doom you to failure and mediocrity. It would help if you managed your review to achieve your full potential.

  • Practice self-praise and positivity instead of self-punishment. Believe in yourself.

  • Build your own "sell-yourself-to-yourself" commercial to build confidence and courage. List your best qualities and strengths. Repeat positive messages about yourself.

  • Upgrade your thinking by thinking like successful people. Ask yourself, "How would a successful person think/act in this situation?" Follow their lead.

  • Improve your environment. Your environment shapes your thinking and habits. Associate with positive, ambitious people. Your future depends on the environment you construct.

  • Recondition your mindset for success. Do not feel limited or that significant accomplishments are out of reach. Expand your vision through positive self-talk and environment.

  • Go first class in environments whenever possible. Treat yourself to the best to expand your thinking. Congenial backgrounds also make you feel successful and confident.

  • What you feed your mind determines your capacity for success. Control your environment and mental influences. Limit harmful exposure and increase positive exposure. Your thoughts and capacity for success will improve.

The overall message is that you have significant control and influence over your capacity for success through managing your environment, mindset, self-belief, and thinking. Success is built from the inside out by feeding your mind positivity, confidence, and an expanded vision of what is possible. Construct an environment and way of thinking that supports your goals and potential.

  • We all had high goals and ambitions as children but faced many pressures and suppressive influences that pushed us toward mediocrity.

  • There are three groups of people in terms of how they respond to these suppressive forces:

  1. Those who surrender completely - rationalize mediocrity and believe success is for others. They are unhappy but pretend otherwise.

  2. Those who surrender partially - they had ambition but succumbed to fears and obstacles. They settle for less success than they want.

  3. Those who never surrender - about 2-3% of people. They don't let obstacles stop them and keep working toward tremendous success. They are the happiest and most accomplished.

  • To be in the third group, you must fight against suppressive influences from your environment, especially "negators" - negative, pessimistic people who want to drag you down to their level.

  • Negators are often average or mediocre people themselves. Don't listen to people who tell you that you can't succeed. See their negativity as a challenge—study negators as examples of how not to think.

  • Choose your environment and associations wisely. Spending time with positive, ambitious people will inspire you, while negative people will discourage you. You become like the people you surround yourself with, so flock with other "birds of a feather" - positive, success-oriented people.

The key message is: Don't surrender your goals and dreams. Fight against negativity and mediocrity. Cultivate an environment and peer group that supports your ambition. With determination and the right mindset, you can overcome suppressive forces pushing you toward less than your full potential.

  • How we think is directly affected by the people around us. Choose to associate with people who think progressively and positively.

  • There will always be negative thinkers who try to hold you back due to their inadequacies and jealousy. Do not let them discourage or embarrass you. Ignore them and stick with positive people who support you.

  • Be careful about whose advice you take. Seek advice from successful people, not those who have yet to progress. Executives and leaders are often willing to mentor those who show drive and curiosity.

  • Successful people realize that a person's life outside work profoundly impacts their performance and success. Having a supportive partner and engaging in constructive activities leads to more extraordinary achievement and happiness.

  • Expose yourself to a variety of social groups and types of people. Do not limit yourself to the same small circle. Making new friends and learning about different kinds of people expands your mind and helps you better understand human nature.

  • Choose friends with a diversity of views and opinions. Successful people in today's world have open and adaptable minds. Surrounding yourself only with like-minded people leads to narrow-mindedness.

In summary, choose a growth-oriented mindset. Associate with other progressive and successful people. Continuously expose yourself to new ideas and ways of thinking. Maintain an open and willing attitude toward learning and understanding different kinds of people. This approach will maximize your ability to advance personally and professionally.

• Important associations should be pursued with those who can understand opposing viewpoints. Seek out friends who have differing political views, faiths, and backgrounds. However, these associations should be with people with potential and above pettiness.

• Choose friends who focus on positivity and encouragement. Petty, small-minded people will drag you down to their level. Guard your mental environment and choose relationships that help you grow.

• We are cautious of physical poisons but often ignore thought poisons like gossip. Gossip is subtle but impacts thinking by focusing us on petty details. It warps our views of others and creates guilt. Gossip is always wrong thinking.

• Both men and women gossip. Gossiping conversations start with phrases like "don't tell anyone, but...". They spread rumors and judge without facts. Avoid spreading gossip and judge pretty based on facts.

• Not all conversation is gossip. Some casual talk is necessary. But evaluate if your conversations spread rumors, are optimistic about others, judge pretty, keep confidence, and avoid "don't tell anyone." Make your talks positive.

• Going "first class" - choosing the highest quality option - is always the best choice. It may cost more upfront but saves in the long run. People evaluate your quality, and it reflects well on you. Develop an instinct for quality.

• Make your environment work for you. Avoid negative people and their defeatism. Don't let small thinkers hold you back. Get advice from successful people. Expose yourself to new ideas and activities. Remove gossip and negative conversations. Choose high-quality options.

• Reading minds is easy through evaluating attitudes. Attitudes reflect the thinking, and we convey them even without words through expressions, actions, tone of voice, and word choice. Skilled communicators understand perspectives and can modify them. Our attitudes show how we honestly think and feel about someone or something. Manage your moods and be aware of the views you convey to others.

• For millions of years, humans communicated primarily through body language, facial expressions, and simple sounds. Verbal language as we know it today developed very recently.

• A person's attitude is the most critical factor determining their effectiveness and success. The right attitude can enable accomplishment and positive results.

• Three critical attitudes for success are:

  1. Be enthusiastic or "activated." To activate others, you must first activate yourself. Enthusiasm makes things 1100% better.

  2. Treat others as necessary. Show interest in people and make them feel valued.

  3. Focus on serving others first before yourself.

• To become enthusiastic, "dig deeper" into the subject. Learn more about things you lack interest in. By gaining knowledge and understanding, you can develop enthusiasm.

• Apply this principle to people, places, and things:

  • Learn more about another person - their background, work, family, ideas, etc. This builds interest and enthusiasm in them.

  • Research a new place you're moving to. Learn the history and plans, and meet the people. This helps you become enthusiastic about moving there.

  • Study a topic you know little about, like the stock market. Gain knowledge to develop enthusiasm.

• With enthusiasm and the right attitude, you can accomplish more and gain success in various areas of life. Confidence makes a significant difference.

  1. Do things you don't enjoy doing. Push through the boredom and you'll often find your interest grows. Perseverance pays off.

  2. Enthusiasm is contagious. Put energy and passion into everything you do, from handshakes to conversations. A lively, spirited style wins people over and makes you feel more engaged and purposeful.

  3. Share the good news. Talk about positive events and uplifting topics. It makes you and others feel better. They are complaining breeds more negativity. Spreading good cheer creates an optimistic environment where people and ideas can thrive.

  4. Make people feel important. Everyone wants to feel significant and valued. When you satisfy this need in others, they will do more for you. It fosters better relationships and goodwill. Though it costs nothing, few make the effort.

  5. See the importance of all people. Don't dismiss someone as unimportant because they can't do something for you right now. All human beings have intrinsic worth. And they make each person feel special and pay practical dividends through their goodwill and cooperation.

In summary, bring passion and purpose to your activities, spread optimism, make people feel valued, and recognize the worth in all individuals. These principles create positive environments and relationships, which lead to growth and success. Each small effort compounds over time into a continuous improvement in well-being for yourself and those around you.

Here's a summary:

• People will work harder and do more for you if you make them feel important. Making others feel important leads them to help you in return.

• Practice appreciation. Compliment others sincerely and precisely. Thank them for what they do. Make them feel necessary and depended upon.

• Calling people by their correct name makes them feel important. Add appropriate titles like Mr. or Miss.

• Don't keep praise and glory for yourself. Could you share it with others who deserve it? Spread praise and credit to subordinates to motivate and show you value them.

• Do small things each day to make your family and loved ones feel important. Give them your time and planned attention. Thoughtful gifts and kind acts can go a long way. Make them feel like a priority.

• When you make others feel important, you think that is necessary. People who don't feel the vital struggle to succeed and achieve their potential.

• Treat all people as necessary, regardless of their status or position. Everyone deserves respect and common courtesy.

The author works daily from 7:30 to 8:30 pm, spending time with his young children. He plays with them, reads to them, and answers their questions. After an hour with them, the children are satisfied, and the author feels recharged. At 8:30 pm, the children go to bed, and the author works for two hours.

At 10:30 pm, the author stops working and spends an hour talking with his wife. They discuss their children, her activities, and their plans. This undisturbed hour together ends the day well.

The author also reserves Sundays for his family. He finds that organizing time for his family benefits them and energizes him.

The key message is: Focus on service to others, and money will follow. Many people have a "money-first" attitude that focuses on earning money but forgets they must provide value to others first. The author shares several examples of businesses and individuals that provide extra service to others and reap the financial benefits.

The rule is: Success depends on the support of other people. To win that support:

  1. Show enthusiasm and passion for what you do. Three ways to build confidence are gaining more profound knowledge about your work or role, acting energetically in all areas of your life, and spreading the good news.

  2. Make others feel important. Express appreciation whenever you can. Address people by name.

  3. Provide more service than expected. Look for ways each day to exceed expectations. Providing that extra level of service will lead to more success.

The key to success is gaining the support and goodwill of others. The only thing standing between you and what you want to achieve is the support of others.

  • An executive, salesperson, college dean, politician, writer, or business owner depends on others to support and accept them to succeed.

  • In today's world, people will only support you if they choose to willingly. It would help if you acted to get people to keep and accept your leadership.

  • Thinking positively about others, or "thinking right toward people," is the key to gaining their support. People prefer and promote those they like.

  • Committees and groups usually weigh a person's likability more heavily than their competency when making decisions. Likability is critical to opening up opportunities.

  • Successful people often have a systematic plan for thinking positively about others and building friendships. For example, President Lyndon Johnson followed ten rules focused on liking people, being comfortable with people, and meeting their needs.

  • Don't try to buy friendships with gifts. Companies must be built on genuine sincerity and liking people.

  • Take initiative in starting new friendships and thinking right toward people. Reach out to others first instead of waiting for them. Building friendships requires work and leadership.

  • Introducing yourself, learning names, following up, and saying nice things to strangers can help start new friendships. These actions make others feel good and help you relax and feel better.

In summary, leaders depend on gaining the willing support and acceptance of others. You can get this support by thinking positively about people and taking the initiative to build new friendships. Simple actions that show you care are very impactful. Likability and gaining trust are crucial to opening up new opportunities. Focus on meeting the needs of others instead of yourself.

Here is a summary of the key points:

• Successful people take the initiative to meet others. Don't be timid or afraid to act differently. Find out who the other person is and ensure they know you.

• No one is perfect. Recognize that people will make mistakes and have flaws. Accept people as they are instead of expecting perfection.

• Allow others to be different. Don't dislike someone just because they are different from you. You don't have to approve of someone to like them.

• Avoid trying to reform other people. Don't tell people when you think they are wrong. It is better to accept others as they are.

• Your mind transmits messages to you through positive and negative channels. Choose to tune into the positive channel, especially when interacting with others. Staying tuned to the positive channel leads to more positive thoughts, while the negative track leads to more negative thoughts.

• When others say negative things about people, don't engage or add fuel to the fire. Change the subject or excuse yourself instead of contributing negative comments.

• Like the people you interact with. Look for reasons to like them and focus on those reasons. In return, people will like you and be more open to what you say.

• Even when facing rejection, continue to like the other person. Stay positive and sincere, and the other person will often come around. Enjoying others is the key to success in influencing and interacting with them.

• In summary, think positively about others, accept them as they are, allow them to be different, avoid negativity, and like people genuinely. This way of thinking about others leads to better relationships and tremendous success.

Your friend bought a $250,000 life insurance policy.

Sol Polk, the 'appliance king of Chicago,' attributes his success to treating customers like guests. He suggests treating employees the same way. After mocking him on the drive to meet him, a business consultant friend lost a client. Successful people talk less and listen more. Listening helps win friends and gain helpful information.

Practicing courtesy reduces stress and helps you think positively about others. How you respond to setbacks determines your future success. Accept that no one is perfect. Don't try to change people. Finding qualities to like in others leads to positive results.

To succeed:

  1. Be likable. Build good relationships.

  2. Start new friendships. Get to know people.

  3. Accept human differences. Don't expect perfection.

  4. Think positive thoughts about people.

  5. Encourage others to talk by listening.

  6. Practice courtesy. It reduces stress and fosters goodwill.

  7. Don't blame others for setbacks. Have a positive mindset.

Leaders want people who produce results and get things done. Success requires an action orientation, not just good intentions or qualifications. Taking action builds confidence and additional opportunities. Make a habit of getting into action. Don't procrastinate or make excuses. Act on your goals and commit to constant progress.

The key to success is taking action. Successful people, called activations, actively work to achieve their goals and follow through on their plans. Ordinary or unsuccessful people, called passivation ists, procrastinate and make excuses not to act.

Passivationists insist on waiting for perfect conditions before acting. But ideal conditions never come, so they fail to achieve their goals. Three examples illustrate this:

  1. G.N.G.N. wants to get married but keeps finding faults with prospective brides and not following through. His unrealistic standards and refusal to compromise have prevented him from getting married, even though it's something he wants.

  2. J.M.J.M. and his wife wanted to buy a house but needed money for a down payment. However, J.M.J.M. was determined to find a way. He got creative, made a deal with the builder, and did extra work to earn the money. His action and determination allowed him to achieve his goal.

  3. C.D.C.D. wanted to start his own importing business but kept waiting for conditions to be perfect. He never ended up taking action, and years later, he still works at the same job he wanted to leave, failing to achieve his goal.

The lesson is that action and determination pay off, while inaction and excuses do not. Successful people make the most of their conditions, take risks, and work to overcome obstacles. Waiting for perfect conditions often means missing opportunities and not fulfilling your potential. Acting, even imperfectly, is better than not acting at all.

Here are the key pros and cons of starting your own business:


•Control and independence. You can control critical decisions and determine the direction of your business. You don't have to answer to anyone else.

•Potential for high income. If successful, you can generate a higher revenue than working for someone else. You get to keep more of the profits.

•Job security. You don't have to worry about being laid off since you're in control. Your income and job depend on you.

•Flexibility. You can set your hours and workplace policies. You have more flexibility to balance work and personal life.

•Opportunity to pursue your passion. You can focus on something you care deeply about and are good at. Running your own business gives you an outlet for your skills, talents, and interests.


•Financial risk. There is a possibility of losing money if your business is not successful. It can be challenging to obtain funding. Your income may be uncertain and irregular.

•Time demands. Running your own business often requires long hours and can be all-consuming. It may be difficult to "turn off."

•Responsibility. You have to oversee all aspects of the business. The buck stops with you. The weight of responsibility can be stressful and demanding.

•Isolation. Being an entrepreneur can be lonely without co-workers and social interaction. You have to handle many challenges on your own.

•Work-life imbalance. The demands of starting and running a business can make work-life balance a big issue. Taking time off and focusing on other parts of your life may be challenging.

•Failure risk. Unfortunately, many new businesses end up failing. There is a possibility your business may not succeed, despite your best efforts and planning. This can be demoralizing.

In summary, while starting your own business offers many potential rewards, there are also substantial risks and downsides. Ensure you go in with realistic expectations and understand everything involved before leaping into entrepreneurship.

The key message is that successful people act rather than wait for inspiration or motivation. They get started on tasks, chores, and problems immediately instead of overplanning or procrastinating.

To develop this habit:

  1. Tackle unpleasant tasks mechanically without overthinking. For example, jump right into dishwashing or another chore you dislike. Getting started is the hardest part, so avoid dreading the task and dive in.

  2. Use a pencil and paper to concentrate and overcome distractions. Writing focuses your mind. This can help you solve problems, develop plans and generate ideas. Don't wait to feel inspired - just get started.

  3. Develop an action-oriented mindset. Say "now" instead of "someday." For example, start a savings plan today rather than waiting for the perfect time. Take action on ideas and opportunities immediately.

  4. Speak up in meetings and share your ideas. Don't be a "vegetable" - contribute to discussions. Your input can help shape decisions and policies. Speaking up also builds your confidence.

  5. Avoid overpreparing and get into action. Take your time getting ready to start a task. Avoid delaying with excessive planning, calls, errands, or breaks. Focus your energy on getting started.

  6. Show initiative by taking action without being told. Look for ways to improve work processes, develop new ideas, and help the organization progress. People who demonstrate initiative tend to achieve more successful careers.

The examples illustrate how taking action, rather than waiting for the "right" moment, can lead to opportunities and progress. Developing the habit of initiative and avoiding delay or inaction is critical to accomplishing goals and achieving success. Overall, the most important message is to start now rather than someday.

How you respond to setbacks and failures is the key to turning defeat into victory. Successful people view defeats as temporary and as learning experiences. They get back up, learn from their mistakes, and persist. Unsuccessful people, on the other hand, view defeats as permanent and give up easily.

Some suggestions for turning defeats into victories:

  1. Develop a success mindset. Believe that failure is temporary and that you can overcome setbacks. Successful people see failures as learning opportunities, not permanent defeats.

  2. Get back up after getting knocked down. Don't stay down after facing defeat. Learn from your mistakes and try again. Success is often achieved after multiple attempts.

  3. Learn from your failures and mistakes. Analyze what went wrong and determine what you need to improve. Then plan to acquire any new skills or knowledge required to succeed.

  4. Persist and never give up. Success is only sometimes achieved over time. Behind every success story is someone who refused to quit, despite facing multiple setbacks and rejections. Persistence and determination pay off.

  5. Use defeats as motivation. Channel the disappointment from failures into motivation to try harder and do better next time. Let defeats fuel your resolve and intensity.

  6. Forget past defeats and move forward confidently. While you learn from past failures, you can't let them hold you back or undermine your confidence. Put losses behind you and maintain an optimistic spirit.

  7. Study how successful people overcame failures. Read biographies and stories of successful people who persevered despite facing significant failures and rejections. Let their stories inspire you.

In summary, your response to failures and defeats determines your success in life more than any other factor. Develop a mindset of determination and persistence, learn from your mistakes, and never quit. That is the key to turning defeat into victory.

Investigating setbacks and failures leads to learning and progress. Many successful individuals and organizations analyze failures and mistakes to determine their causes. They then take steps to prevent similar failures in the future and make improvements.

For example, air safety investigators thoroughly examine plane crashes to figure out what went wrong. Doctors perform autopsies to understand diseases and human anatomy better. Sales executives review lost sales to see how they can improve next time. Football coaches go over losses with their teams to make corrections.

When individuals experience personal setbacks, it's normal to become emotional. However, it's more productive to analyze what happened objectively and determine the lesson that can be learned. A student who failed a class learned the importance of effort and hard work by retaking the course and passing. An investor who lost money early on saw it as part of his education; he learned from his mistakes.

Blaming others for failures and setbacks is unproductive. It's better to be self-critical, determine your faults and weaknesses, and improve. The opera singer Risë Stevens was devastated after losing a significant competition early in her career. But her teacher told her to have the courage to face her faults. Stevens realized her teacher was right; she worked to expand her vocal range, improve her language, and learn more roles. Facing her weaknesses helped her succeed and become a better person.

In summary, viewing setbacks as learning opportunities and being willing to identify weaknesses and mistakes leads to growth and future success. Blaming others, on the other hand, is counterproductive. Successful people build on failures and use them to pave the way for later victories.

Here's a summary:

• Be self-critical in a constructive way. Analyze your faults and mistakes to improve, not put yourself down. View them as opportunities to grow.

• Don't blame bad luck. Analyze the situation to understand what caused the setback so you can avoid similar mistakes. Blaming luck prevents growth.

• Persistence is critical but not enough. It would help if you also experimented with new approaches. Edison conducted many experiments before succeeding. Don't keep repeating yourself expecting different results.

• Believe there is a solution. Your mindset is powerful. Believing you can solve a problem attracts ideas to do so. Assuming you are defeated, draw reasons why you are right.

• Step back to gain a new perspective. Continuous focus on a problem can prevent you from seeing new solutions. Take a break to refresh your mind. Solutions often come when you're distracted from the pain.

• Look for the good in a situation. How you view events tends to determine their effect on you. Try seeing setbacks as blessings in disguise, as opportunities for new and better things. Your interpretation shapes your reality.

• Summary: persistently work to improve yourself through self-analysis and experimentation, maintain an optimistic growth mindset, take a balanced perspective, and make the best of any situation. That's the approach of professionals and winners.

  • Success and failure depend on your attitude towards difficulties and setbacks.

  • There are five guideposts to turn defeat into victory:

  1. Study setbacks to learn from them and do better next time.

  2. Criticize yourself constructively and work to improve.

  3. Don't blame luck; research what went wrong.

  4. Stay determined but also experiment with new approaches.

  5. Look for the positive in every situation.

  • Goals are essential for progress and success. They turn dreams into realities.

  • Goals should be specific and long-term, at least ten years ahead. Plan your future in the areas of work, home and social life.

  • Ask yourself questions to determine your goals, like: What do I want to accomplish in life? What will satisfy me? How much income and responsibility do I want in 10 years?

  • An example is a man who couldn't find a new job because he had no goals or direction. He had to determine his long-term vision before finding the right career path.

  • Another example is a man who visualized his future home in great detail, with a winding driveway, a Southern-style house, fishponds, and a Doberman kennel. 5 years later, he was well on his way to accomplishing that vision.

  • Your work/career has the most significant influence over your home and social life. The caveman, the best hunter, typically had the best home life. The same is generally true today.

In summary, develop a clear vision for your future, set specific long-term goals, and work steadily towards achieving them. Your goals and efforts, especially in your career, will determine your success and happiness in life. Turn defeats into victories by learning from mistakes and maintaining an optimistic attitude.

Here is a summary of the key points:

• The most essential quality for success as an executive is desire and passion. Success requires focused effort and commitment to achieve one's goals.

• Failure to pursue one's desires and passions leads to mediocrity and lack of fulfillment. The example of Dan illustrates this well. Even though he had a stable job, he was unfulfilled because he did not pursue his passion for writing.

• There are five "weapons" that can kill one's desire and passion:

  1. Self-depreciation: Doubting one's abilities and potential.

  2. Fear of instability or lack of security: Being unwilling to take risks to follow one's dreams.

  3. Fear of competition: Being deterred by the prospect of competing with others.

  4. Dictation by parents or others: Allowing others to determine one's path rather than following one's desires.

  5. Family responsibilities: Using family duties as an excuse not to pursue one's dreams.

• Success requires focused effort over long hours. Goals provide energy and motivation. Setting clear goals helps engage one's subconscious mind, giving guidance and inspiration. The examples of Tom and Jack illustrate the power of clear objectives.

• To achieve anything, one must have a plan and set goals. Goals provide direction and deadlines to work toward. Significant accomplishments like the atomic bomb would not have been achieved without clear goals and plans.

• Continuous purpose and goals are essential for longevity and well-being. Retirement should not mean the end of purposeful living and dreams. Lacking drive and goals leads to decline in health and longevity.

The key message is that desire, passion, and clear goals are essential for success, fulfillment, and well-being. One must pursue one's dreams and not allow obstacles like self-doubt, security, competition, or dictation by others to stand in the way. A life of purpose and continuous achievement of goals leads to tremendous success and longevity.

  • One effective retirement way is to stay engaged and work as a consultant. This keeps people young at heart and gives them a sense of purpose. The example of Lew Gordon is given, who worked as a business consultant after retiring from a bank. He has stayed active and energetic into his 60s working for many clients and giving speeches.

  • Having intense goals and a purpose can keep people alive and motivate them to overcome difficulties. The example is given of a woman who was determined to see her young son graduate from college despite being diagnosed with terminal cancer. She lived for 20 years through many surgeries by being selected to achieve this goal. Goals and desire can be more potent than medicine in promoting long life.

  • Progress is achieved through many small steps, not overnight success. Examples are building a house brick by brick, winning football plays one play at a time, and growing a business one new customer at a time. Accomplishing big things is done through accumulating many small accomplishments.

  • The "next mile" principle is illustrated through an example of soldiers having to march 140 miles through rugged jungle terrain. They were overwhelmed thinking of the total distance but could make it by focusing on just getting to the next village or milestone. Focusing on small, manageable steps applies to any long or complex project.

  • Success is achieved gradually through building a solid foundation, not overnight. Setting monthly goals and constantly working to improve yourself through small steps is an effective strategy. An "Improvement Guide" is an example, with suggestions for breaking bad habits, acquiring good habits, increasing value to your employer and family, and sharpening your mind. Continuous self-improvement through small actions builds excellent success over time.

  • Be prepared to deal with setbacks and "detours" on the road to your goals. Keep your goals the same but find alternate paths. Military leaders and pilots always have contingency plans, and successful people frequently have had to navigate detours and roadblocks. Stay focused on your destination.

  • The best investment is in self-improvement to build your mental capacity and skills. This provides the highest and most lasting returns. Successful businesses invest heavily in employee development. Individuals should do the same for themselves through reading, courses, mentoring, and continuously upgrading their abilities. This life-long accumulation of knowledge and skills generates abundant "compound interest."

The key to leadership is influencing others and gaining their support and cooperation. There are four practical leadership principles:

  1. Trade minds with the people you want to influence. This means understanding how others think and what they want rather than assuming they believe as you do. Two examples show how failing to trade minds can lead to failure:
  • Ted created T.V.T.V. commercials that he liked but that failed to resonate with viewers and increase sales. He thought only of himself rather than his audience.

  • Joan failed as a retail buyer because she selected merchandise based on her tastes rather than what customers wanted. She didn't trade minds with the customer.

  1. Think: What is the human way to handle this? Consider how to meet people's human needs and win their willing cooperation.

  2. Think about progress, believe in progress, and push for progress. Focus on continuous improvement and helping others achieve their goals and desires.

  3. Take time to confer with yourself and develop your supreme thinking power. Reflect regularly on your leadership and how you can improve your ability to influence and help others achieve.

By following these principles, you can become an effective leader who can gain the support and cooperation of others. The key is developing insight into how people think and what they want and using that insight to help them progress.

  • To influence others effectively, you must see things through their eyes and understand their perspectives. This is known as "trading minds."

  • Successful leaders and salespeople anticipate how others will react to them. They put themselves in the shoes of their audience or customers.

  • An example was a young credit executive who improved collections by writing letters he would want to respond to if he received them. Another example was a political candidate who lost because he needed to communicate in terms average voters understood.

  • An advertising executive failed to promote a new product successfully because he viewed it through his own eyes as a high-income consumer rather than through the eyes of the mass market.

  • Some key questions to ask yourself to trade minds include: "How would I react to this if I were the other person?" and "What would I think of this if I exchanged places with the other person?"

  • Two leadership approaches to avoid are those of the dictator and the impersonal "rule-book operator." The most effective approach is to "be human" - show people you respect them, care about them and want to help them.

  • An example was an engineering executive named John, who helped employees in many human ways, such as assisting someone who was dismissed to find a new job. John believed that "whoever is under a man's power is under his protection, too." His human approach inspired loyalty and high performance.

  • The key lesson is: "Think: What is the human way to handle this?" Treat people with empathy, compassion, and care.

The passage describes a millionaire businessman named Bob W., who the author has known for 15 years. Bob came from humble beginnings but built a successful upholstery and furniture business through hard work and determination. Bob's key to success with people is treating them with kindness, dignity, and compassion. He follows a "four-step formula" when criticizing employees: Talk to them privately. Praise them for what they are doing well. Point out one thing they can improve and help them improve it. Praise them again.

Bob believes that the better you treat people, the more good things will happen to you. He shares a story of an employee named Jim who came to work drunk one day. Bob took Jim home, reassured Jim's worried wife that he would not be fired, and asked Jim's co-workers to give him another chance. Jim became a loyal employee and even defended Bob in later union negotiations.

The author suggests two ways to apply Bob's "be-human" approach: 1) ask yourself, "What is the human way to handle this?" when dealing with people's problems, and 2) show you put people first through your actions and interest in their lives. Praise your employees, treat them with dignity, and support them. Become known as someone who stands up for the "little guy."

The author also recommends two traits for leadership and progress:

  1. Think of improvement and high standards in all you do. Look for ways to do things better.

  2. Believe in and push for progress. Promotions go to those who want to improve the status quo. Leaders think about expansion, efficiency, new products, better processes, etc.

The author shares an example of interviewing three salespeople for promotion to sales manager to make this point. Two wanted to maintain the status quo, while the third had many ideas for improvement and growth. The third man was the obvious choice for the leadership role.

The author concludes: believe in and push for progress, and you'll be a leader. Leaders have a forward-looking, improvement-oriented mindset.

  • The teacher who first took the class could not control the students and did not care about their progress. The students misbehaved and played pranks the entire year.

  • The new teacher earned the students' respect the following year and gave them responsibilities. The students behaved well and progressed under her guidance.

  • People in groups adjust their behavior to match the leaders. Subordinates become like their superiors over time.

  • Leaders should set high standards and be an example through their behavior. The performance of groups depends on the leadership.

  • Successful people, including leaders, spend time alone thinking and planning. Many leaders and thinkers throughout history have spent substantial time in solitude.

  • Some people avoid solitude and independent thinking. They rely on distractions and interacting with others. Over time, they need to develop purpose and judgment.

  • The author asked trainees to spend an hour a day alone thinking for two weeks. Solitude and reflection can help tap into one's "superpower."

  • To be an effective leader, apply these four principles:

  1. See through others' eyes: Try understanding other people's perspectives. Ask yourself how you would think in their position.

  2. Be human: Treat others the way you want to be treated. Show you put people first.

  3. Push for progress: Always aim to improve things. Have high standards and support advancement. Subordinates often emulate their leaders, so be a good role model.

  4. Confer with yourself: Spend time alone thinking. Solitude and reflection help tap your creative power and problem-solving skills.

  • Deal with challenging situations by thinking big:

A. When criticized by petty people, ignore them. Feel sorry for their psychological issues and remain confident in yourself.

B. When you feel inadequate, focus on your strengths and accomplishments. See your worth and maintain a positive self-image.

C. Avoid arguments and quarrels. Remind yourself they could be more productive and save time and energy.

D. When faced with setbacks, view them as learning opportunities. Persist and experiment with new approaches. Defeat is a mindset, not an outcome.

E. When romance fades, concentrate on your partner's best qualities. Do small things to show you care.

F. When career progress slows, believe you can improve. Look for ways to increase the quality and quantity of your work. Put service first, and success will follow.

  • The key message is that you can achieve enormous success and live without defeat by thinking big. Maintain an enthusiastic, positive attitude and work to better yourself and your situation.

Here's a summary of the key points:

  1. Excusitis - the habit of making excuses for failures or shortcomings. The most common reasons are age, health, lack of education, and bad luck. These excuses must be overcome through positive thinking and action.

  2. Fear - the biggest obstacle to success. Fear can be conquered through positive action. Isolate your concerns, then act despite them. Think positively.

  3. Environment - Avoid negative people and influences. Circulate among positive, stimulating groups. Get advice from successful people.

  4. Mental attitude - Develop an attitude of success. Believe in yourself and your ability to succeed. Broadcast good news and enthusiasm. Look and act as necessary. Give sincere appreciation. Think like a leader.

  5. Goals - Clarify your ambitions and objectives. Have a 5, 10, and 30-year plan. Work constantly toward your goals. Take problems and obstacles one step at a time. Flexibility and determination are key.

  6. Initiative - Do it now. Act quickly and decisively on ideas and opportunities. Be a self-starter.

  7. Positive mental attitude - Fill your mind with cheerful, optimistic thoughts. Remember, your mental attitude determines your altitude in life.

  8. Continuous self-improvement - Commit to constant self-education and development. Increase your skills and knowledge through reading, taking courses, and associating with successful people. Growth is critical to success.

  9. Responsibility - Do more than expected. Take on additional responsibility whenever you can. Success is in direct proportion to the commitment you assume.

  10. Cooperation - Develop a team spirit. Work harmoniously with others by being friendly, courteous, and helpful. Encourage others to feel important.


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