Read an Excerpt
This is a terrific book. My hope is that you read it, practice the principles you find here, and make a great life for yourself. The world needs you to be successful. Touchdown! can help a lot. I’d like to tell you how and why. So please take a few moments and read on.
I used to be an ad man in Australia. My mother and father had been artists—of the mostly starving variety, as I liked to quip. Before I was born, my dad went off to the Second World War where he was injured. He was shipped back to Australia, and after a little while he died. My mom did the best she could, but I didn’t have to be psychic to know we were poor.
Being a reasonably bright lad, I figured that the solution to being poor was to make money, which as far as I could tell back then, was the only reason to get an education and endure going to high school and then on to college. The thing about going to college, as compared to going to high school, was that dropping out was less of a big deal in the 60s. So I dropped out and put my creative genes to work as an advertising photographer and creative director. Turned out I loved it and was really good at it. Which was just as well—in today’s world, not graduating from college is a seriously bad idea.
Since I’d convinced myself that the secret to being happy was to acquire and consume the right stuff, being a creative type in advertising seemed like the perfect career choice. Basically, I became the guy telling you that if you wanted to have a great life, you pretty much had to acquire and consume the right stuff —and that would be our client’s stuff. I was the guy telling you that things actually went better with Coke, that if your deodorant failed your life would, and that if you didn’t use my client’s toothpaste you wouldn’t even get kissed, let alone have a chance for anything else you were hoping for later on.
Then one morning I woke up and realized I had solved the problem of being poor. I had enough stuff to start my own world. Next I reasoned that if having enough stuff was going to make me feel successful and happy on the inside, it would’ve worked by now. It hadn’t. And it didn’t seem like more stuff would work any better. So I dusted off my college philosophy and psychology textbooks and began to realize that living successfully had to happen on the inside before it could happen on the outside. Then one day I came across a copy of Look magazine. Th e issue editor, George Leonard, was talking about a thing called the Human Potential Movement happening in California. It was about people transforming their lives. Sounded like just what I needed. He reported that San Francisco was Ground Zero. In Australia it was the summer of ’70. I made plans.
I got on a Qantas jet in Sydney and got off in San Francisco. I found myself standing on the corner of Haight and Ashbury. I said to myself, “Self, you are definitely not in Sydney anymore.” I got involved with the kind of ideas and practices Kevin is offering you in this book. I became the first CEO of a transformational training company known in those days as est. Tens of thousands of people participated. Today the company lives on as Landmark Education. I moved on to co-found an international training company called Actualizations and became a successful partner in a corporate consulting firm. I have written four books—all bestsellers. It’s been a wonder-filled adventure.
I know that you really can make it happen for yourself on the playing field of business (and life) if you really want to. First, as Kevin will show, you make it happen on the inside—in your heart and in your imagination—then you make it happen on the outside and become a success in the world. This is one of the core ideas of this book—that it all happens before it happens: First you create a vision for your life, then you take skilled, spirited action. Sometimes this can take awhile. And then suddenly it happens for you in the world. People may even think you’re an overnight success. As Kevin likes to say, “It all happens over a long period of time all of a sudden.”
A problem with many so-called self-improvement books is that while they might make sense on some level, how to actually take the words off the printed page and put them to work is not terribly clear. Not so with Touchdown! The printed pages that follow are filled with Dr. Kevin Elko’s crystal-clear messaging and step-by-step “how to.” You will be able to do what he suggests and make a rich difference in your life. In the lives of others, too.
As you read this book, you will learn that extreme makeovers start inside your head. Kevin tells you exactly how you accomplish all this. Now, I don’t mean to suggest you need an extreme makeover the way I did way back in the early 70s. However, each and every one of us has the opportunity to be more tomorrow than we were yesterday; and the world really needs that from us right now. Always has.
I have learned that the happiest and most successful people in the world have this in common: They discovered what they love to do and learned how to get really good at it. Th ey create tremendous value in the world. Become one of them. If you are already one of them, this book will help you to help others become one of them. This is important work.
I wish you a wonder-filled life.
Stewart Emery San Francisco, California April 2009
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