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How to Achieve Financial Independence Faster and Easier Than You Ever Thought Possible
Dream big dreams; only big dreams have the power to move men's souls.
The first secret of self-made millionaires is simple: Dream Big Dreams! Allow yourself to dream. Allow yourself to imagine and fantasize about the kind of life you would like to live. Think about the amount of money you would like to earn and have in your bank account.
All great men and women begin with a dream of something wonderful and different from what they have today. You know the song that says "You have to have a dream if you want to make a dream come true." It's true for you and for everyone else, as well.
Imagine that you have no limitations on what you can be, have, or do in life. Just for the moment, imagine that you have all the time, all the money, all the education, all the experience, all the friends, all the contacts, all the resources, and everything else you need to achieve anything you want in life. If your potential were completely unlimited, what kind of a life would you want to create for yourself and your family?
Practice "back from the future" thinking. This is a powerful technique practiced continually by highperforming men and women. This way of thinking has an amazing effect on your mind and on your behavior. Here is how it works: Project yourself forward five years. Imagine that five years have passed and that your life is now perfect in every respect. What does it look like? What are you doing? Where are you working? How much money are you earning? How much do you have in the bank? What kind of a lifestyle do you have?
Create a vision for yourself for the long-term future. The more clear your vision of health, happiness, and prosperity, the faster you move toward it and the faster it moves toward you. When you create a clear mental picture of where you are going in life, you become more positive, more motivated, and more determined to make it a reality. You trigger your natural creativity and come up with idea after idea to help make your vision come true.
You always tend to move in the direction of your dominant dreams, images, and visions. The very act of allowing yourself to dream big dreams actually raises your self-esteem and causes you to like and respect yourself more. It improves your self-concept and increases your level of self-confidence. It increases your personal level of self-respect and happiness. There is something about dreams and visions that is exciting and that stimulates you to do and be better than you ever have before.
Here is a great question for you to ask and answer, over and over again: What one thing would I dare to dream if I knew I could not fail?
If you were absolutely guaranteed of success in any one goal in life, large or small, short-term or long-term, what would it be? What one great goal would you dare to dream if you knew you could not fail?
Whatever it is, write it down and begin imagining that you have achieved this one great goal already. Then, look back to where you are today. What would you have done to get where you want to go? What steps would you have taken? What would you have changed in your life? What would you have started up or abandoned? Who would you be with? Who would you no longer be with? If your life were perfect in every respect, what would it look like? Whatever it is that you would do differently, take the first step today.
Dreaming big dreams is the starting point of achieving your goal of financial independence. The number one reason that people never succeed financially is because it never occurs to them that they can do it. As a result, they never try. They never get started. They continue to go around in financial circles, spending everything they earn and a little bit more besides. But when you begin to dream big dreams about financial success, you begin to change the way you see yourself and your life. You begin to do different things, bit by bit, gradually, until the whole direction of your life changes for the better. Dreaming big dreams is the starting point of financial success and of becoming a self-made millionaire.
A person with a clear purpose will make progress on even the roughest road. A person with no purpose will make no progress on even the smoothest road.
Take your dreams out of the air and crystallize them into clear, specific written goals. Perhaps the greatest discovery in human history is that "You become what you think about most of the time." The two factors that, more than anything else, determine what happens to you in life are what you think about and how you think about it most of the time.
Successful people think about their goals most of the time. As a result, they are continually moving toward their goals, and their goals are continually moving toward them. Whatever you think about most of the time grows and increases in your life. If you are thinking about, talking about, and visualizing your goals, you tend to accomplish far, far more than the average person, who is usually thinking and talking about his or her worries and problems most of the time.
Here is a simple seven-step formula for setting and achieving goals that you can use to become a millionaire:
First, decide exactly what you want in each area of your life, especially in your financial life. Most people never do this.
Second, write down your goals clearly and specifically. Something amazing happens between your head and your hand when you put your goals in writing.
Third, set a deadline for each goal. Set subdeadlines if a goal is big enough. Give yourself a target to aim at.
Fourth, make a list of everything you can think of that you will have to do to achieve each goal. As you think of new ideas, add them to your list until it is complete.
Fifth, organize your list into a plan of action. Determine what you are going to do first and what you will do later. Decide what is more important and what is less important.
Sixth, take action on your plan immediately. It is amazing how many splendid goals and plans are never realized because of procrastination and delay.
Seventh, and perhaps most important, do something every day that moves you at least one step closer to your most important goal. This commitment to daily action will make you a big success in anything you decide to accomplish.
Here is an exercise for you. Take a sheet of paper and write the word "Goals" at the top of the page with today's date. Then, make a list of 10 goals that you would like to achieve over the next 12 months. Write your goals in the present tense, as though a year has passed and you have already achieved them. Begin each goal with the word "I" to make it personal to you.
By making out a list of 10 goals for yourself for the next year, you will move yourself into an exclusive group consisting of only 3 percent of adults in our society. The sad fact is that 97 percent of adults have never made a list of goals in their entire lives.
Once you have your list of 10 goals, go over the list and ask this key question: Which one goal on this list, if I were to achieve it, would have the greatest positive impact on my life?
Whatever your answer to that question, circle that goal and make that your number one, most important goal for the future. Set a deadline, make a plan, take action on your plan, and do something every day that moves you toward that goal.
From now on, think and talk about that goal all the time. Think and talk about how you can achieve that goal. Think and talk about all the different steps that you can take to make that goal a reality. This exercise will stimulate your creativity, increase your energy, and unlock more and more of your potential.
I am the captain of my soul; I am the master of my fate.
From now on, accept complete, 100 percent responsibility for everything you are and everything you will ever be. Refuse to make excuses or to blame other people for your problems or shortcomings. Stop complaining about things in your life that you are not happy about. Refuse to criticize other people for anything. You are responsible. If there is something in your life that you don't like, it is up to you to change it. You are in charge.
The top 3 percent of Americans see themselves as self-employed, no matter who signs their paychecks. The biggest mistake you can ever make is to think that you work for anyone other than yourself. You are always self-employed. You are always the president of your own personal service corporation, no matter where you might be working at the moment.
When you see yourself as self-employed, you develop an entrepreneur mentality, the mentality of highly independent, self-responsible, self-starting individuals. Instead of waiting for things to happen, you make things happen. You see yourself as the boss of your own life. You see yourself as completely in charge of your physical health, your financial well-being, your career, your relationships, your lifestyle, your home, your car, and every other element of your existence. This is the mind-set of the self-made millionaire.
Self-responsible people are intensely result oriented. They always take high levels of initiative. They volunteer for assignments and are always asking for more responsibility. As a result, they become the most valuable and respected people in their organizations. They continually prepare themselves for positions of higher authority and responsibility in the future. You should do the same.
Here's a question: If you were president of your company for a day or were completely responsible for results where you work, what one change would you enact immediately?
Whatever it is, write it down, make a plan, and begin implementing it today. This action alone could change your life.
When you start doing what you really love to do, you'll never work another day in your life.
Doing what you love to do is one of the great secrets of financial success. One of your primary responsibilities in life is to find out what you really enjoy doing, what you have a natural talent for, and then to throw your whole heart into doing that particular work very, very well.
Self-made millionaires are those who have found a field where their natural strengths and abilities are exactly what is required to do the job and achieve the results desired. Most self-made millionaires say that they "never worked a day in their life." You must find a field in which you can be totally absorbed—a job or area of endeavor that completely fascinates you, that holds your attention, that is a natural expression of your special talents and abilities.
When you are doing what you love to do, you seem to have a continuous flow of excitement, energy, and ideas to do what you do even better. Here is a question for you: If you won a million dollars, tax free, tomorrow, would you continue to do what you are currently doing?
This is a great question. It simply asks you what you would do if you had all the time and money you needed and you were free to choose your occupation. Self-made millionaires, if they won a million dollars cash, would continue doing what they are doing. They would only do it differently or better or at a higher level. But they love their work so much that they wouldn't even think of leaving it or retiring.
Perhaps the greatest responsibility of adult life, when you are surrounded by so many different choices of occupation and career, is for you to find out what you really love doing and then dedicate yourself to that field. And no one else can do this for you.
The quality of your life will be determined by the depth of your commitment to excellence, no matter what your chosen field.
Resolve today to be the very best at what you do. Set a goal for yourself to join the top 10 percent of your field, whatever it is. This decision, to become very, very good at what you do, can be the turning point in your life. Virtually all successful people are recognized as being extremely competent in their chosen fields.
Remember that no one is better than you, and no one is smarter than you. And everyone who is in the top 10 percent today started off in the bottom 10 percent. Everyone who is doing well was once doing poorly. Everyone who is at the top of his or her field was at one time in another field altogether. And what countless others have done, you can do as well.
Here is a great rule for success: Your life only gets better when you get better. And since there is no limit to how much better you can become, there is no limit to how much better you can make your life.
Your decision to become excellent at what you do, to join the top 10 percent in your field, is the turning point in your life. It is the key to great success. It is also the foundation of high levels of self-esteem, self-respect, and personal pride. When you are really good at what you do, you feel wonderful about yourself. Being excellent affects your whole personality and all your relationships with other people. You feel happy and proud when you know you are at the top of your field.
Here is one of the most important questions you will ever ask and answer, for the rest of your career: What one skill, if I developed and did it in an excellent fashion, would have the greatest positive impact on my life?
You cannot become good at everything right away, but you can identify the one skill that can help you the most and then throw your whole heart into developing that skill. Set it as a goal. Write it down. Set a deadline. Make a plan. And work on becoming better in that area every single day. You will be absolutely amazed at the difference this commitment to excellence will make in your life. This commitment alone can make you a self-made millionaire in the course of your career.
The harder I work, the luckier I get.
All self-made millionaires work hard, hard, hard. They start earlier, they work harder, and they stay later. They develop a reputation for being amongst the hardest working people in their fields. And everybody knows it.
Practice the "40 Plus" formula. This formula says that you work 40 hours per week for survival; everything over 40 hours is for success. If you work only 40 hours (and the average workweek today is closer to 35 hours), all you will ever do is survive. You will never get ahead. You will never be a big financial success. You will never be highly respected and esteemed by your colleagues. You will always be mediocre working the basic 40-hour week.
But every hour over 40 hours is an investment in your future. In fact, you can tell with tremendous accuracy where you are going to be in five years by looking at how many hours over 40 you put in every week. There is just no substitute for long days and hard work.
Self-made millionaires in America work an average of 59 hours per week. Many of them work 70 or 80 hours, especially at the start of their careers. They work an average of six days per week, rather than five, and work longer days as well. If you want to call a self-made millionaire, phone the office before normal working hours and after normal working hours. The self-made millionaire is there when the staff, the "nine-to-fivers," arrive and is still there when they leave.
Excerpted from THE 21 SUCCESS SECRETS OF $ELF-MADE MILLIONAIRE$ by BRIAN TRACY Copyright © 2001 by Brian Tracy. Excerpted by permission of Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Posted April 22, 2001
you have to get this book and the cd if you want to get the results that Brian has achieved. Brian knows what he is talking about and he gives you to tools that you need to make this happen in your life.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 30, 2001
This book will mainly be valuable to people who love to read books about personal success, and want to have one brief volume that reminds them of everything they have read on the subject. For those who do not know much about achieving success, the lessons here are usually presented in such a simplified way (without explaining much about why they work) that the meaning will be elusive. Also, these rules 'maximize' the opportunity for those who are truly obsessed about success and/or money. If you are interested in love, happiness, relationships, or having a great family, I think this book will put you out of balance and cost you in those areas. Mr. Tracy is a very admirable man, and someone from whom we can learn. He is a self-made millionaire. In his comments here, I got one new idea for why. He grew up in Pomona, California. Every person I knew of his age who grew up in that town became extremely eager to overcome their childhood poverty. You may not be so obsessed. Two things, however, annoy me (as usual) about Mr. Tracy's book. First, he doesn't ever choose to credit anyone whose work he draws on in another book. A great deal of this material (almost verbatim) comes directly from Anthony Robbins' books and courses. Second, the book is often an advertisement for Mr. Tracy's many tapes, seminars, and other books. I get 90 pages-long advertising paperbacks in the mail all the time that are written much like this book. The main difference is that I don't have to pay for those. I think that this advertising is out of place in a book that people purchase. I graded the book down two stars for these flaws. The strength of this book is that it contains many brief exercises that will help you begin to develop more useful habits. I hope you will do them. If you do the exercises, you can virtually ignore the text, except for where you want a little insight into why you are doing the exercise. Without the exercises, I would have graded the book down to two stars to reflect the overly minimal exposition in the 21 essays. A fundamental weakness of the book is that the 21 rules here could have been boiled down into about 9 points. Many of the concepts overlap one another more than they differ. Rather than give you the list of the 21, let me distill the book for you instead. It basically says: dream of something that excites you, do things that you enjoy that you are great at, establish goals in writing, keep focused on those goals, develop your skills (Covey's Sharpen the Saw) regularly every day, put the needs of others ahead of yourself, be a decent human being, connect with others, don't entirely ignore your health, work very hard, save some money and invest it, and take action as soon as possible! You could read Benjamin Franklin and find the same points and have more fun. If you are a young person, that's exactly what I recommend that you do. Old Ben knew how to enjoy life along the way, and was one of the greatest Americans of all time. You will find yourself admiring him. Poor Richard's Almanac is often very pithy on these subjects, so you'll save reading time in the process. People wiWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.