For millions of readers, Bob Proctor’s name is synonymous with success. A former protégé of personal development pioneer Earl Nightingale, Proctor first built a wildly successful business career, and then an internationally successful speaking career, elaborating on the principles of Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich and other classic success and prosperity texts. Proctor’s position in the business motivation community equals that of Stephen Covey or Og Mandino. But as is not the case with those masters, his books have never been available to the general public—until now!
In The ABCs of Success—the first trade book ever published by this master of motivation and prosperity—Proctor goes beyond the simple laws of success and attraction, weighing in on sixty-seven different topics essential to all those who wish to make their dreams a reality, including persistence, winning, effectiveness, and vision. Organized in A-to-Z fashion and composed of brief essays that can be read over and over, The ABCs of Success is an essential resource for anyone who wants the combined wisdom of a century of success thinking in a single, accessible volume.
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About the Author
Read an Excerpt
In 2006, at a seminar in Vancouver, Washington, a man I’d never met, seen, or heard of before stepped onto a stage in front of me, began speaking, and proceeded to change the course of my life forever.
That man’s name was Bob Proctor. And the day I spent in his audience all those years ago, soaking up his energy and wisdom and jotting down notes like crazy, marked the beginning of a journey I had never imagined myself taking, toward a future I had never envisioned—though I came to realize it was the future I had been destined for all along.
As I would quickly learn, I wasn’t the only one who’d had such an experience after meeting him. In fact, I was one of millions.
But Bob Proctor didn’t just help facilitate my new future; he became an essential part of it. You see, I made a sudden and absolute decision at that seminar: I decided that one day, I was going to work with this incredible man. Not just work with him, but become a member of his inner circle of advisers.
Soon after that seminar, I walked away from a thriving law practice and booming, lucrative career to do exactly that. I have never looked back.
Today, as his business partner, his collaborator, and—the role I most cherish—his friend, I am reminded on a day-to-day, sometimes minute-to-minute basis, of exactly why Bob Proctor is one of the most respected, listened-to, and beloved people on this planet.
“How does he do it?” Walk through the crowd at a Bob Proctor event (and there’s always a crowd) and you’ll hear that question a lot. How does he have so much energy? How does he manage to do so much, to connect with so many, to always seem as excited and passionate about the information he’s presenting as if he has just discovered it for the first time?
Having now spent countless hours with him, I can tell you that there’s no “seem” about Bob’s passion or belief. It’s 100 percent real, every time.
Everything Bob does comes from a place of absolute genuineness, conviction, and generosity. He is a living testament to the truth and effectiveness of everything he teaches. He knows, from the most powerful, indelible sort of personal experience, that with the right combination of faith, knowledge, and action, anything—anything—is possible, for anyone. He is consistently awed by the magnificence of this truth, and he’s on a mission, in every moment of his life, to awaken as many people to it as he possibly can.
And if it also “seems” as if he’s plugged in to some sort of cosmic energy source in pursuit of this mission, he’ll be the first one to tell you that he absolutely is . . . and that there’s an open outlet for anyone who wants to join him!
Yet there remains something about Bob Proctor that defies definition or categorization—something that can’t be explained by his past, his experiences, or his accomplishments; something remarkably rare and precious. Many know the truth. Many live the truth. But very few are able to make the truth known and livable to others. He IS. As one gentleman at a recent event so perfectly put it, “You could hear the same thing a hundred times from a hundred great people. But somehow, when Bob says it, you get it. You believe it.”
Of the many wonderful gifts he possesses, I believe this one is his greatest. Truly, there is no one else in the world quite like Bob Proctor.
The writings we’ve brought together in this collection represent Bob at his very best. As you read them, you’ll witness his amazing ability to distill the most complex questions and challenging concepts down to something simple, clear, and completely understandable: his extraordinary gift for seeing and articulating the profundity in ordinary occurrences and the magic in everyday moments, and his uncanny knack for saying exactly the right thing, at precisely the right moment and in just the right way, to flip the switch . . . to make it all suddenly click.
This is what Bob Proctor did and continues to do for me. It’s what he has done for so, so many people all over the world. It’s what he will do for you, too, the moment you let him into your life.
Turn the page, and start right now. I promise . . . you’ll LOVE where it leads you.
—Sandra Gallagher, President, CEO, and Cofounder,
Proctor Gallagher Institute
Whidbey Island, Washington
In school, straight As were always indicative of a great year.
In business, the same rule applies:
Straight As will give you what you want every time. With Awareness, Acceptance, and Alteration comes Achievement.
First, you must become Aware of the primary cause of the results you are getting. The truth is not always in the appearance of things. Your results are never caused by something outside of yourself; results are always an inside job. Your results are a physical or outward expression of the inner conditioning in your subconscious mind.
Your behavior is causing your results . . . and your conditioning is causing your behavior.
The second A is Acceptance. You must accept responsibility for your results. When you accept full responsibility for your own results, you will make the necessary decisions to alter them.
Acceptance of this truth is always the preamble to a magnificent future.
When you accept your subconscious conditioning as the cause of your results, you will be ready for the third A—Alteration. You will decide to alter the conditioning in your subconscious mind, conditioning that is both genetic and environmental. You and your results are actually the product of someone else’s habitual way of thinking. To make the necessary alterations in this area not only takes time, it takes a respectable amount of study and discipline, but it’s worth it.
It is well worth every penny and every speck of energy you invest in learning how to alter your old conditioning.
This simple process will permit you to ACHIEVE whatever goal you set.
Let’s review it. Become Aware of the cause of your results. Accept responsibility for your results. Alter your conditioned subconscious mind. Achieve any goal you set.
Straight As—aim for them!
Nothing stops the man who desires to achieve. Every obstacle is simply a course to develop his achievement muscle. It’s a strengthening of his powers of accomplishment.
I attempt an arduous task; but there is no worth in that which is not a difficult achievement.
The personal association I had with Earl Nightingale was a great education, but I could never estimate the effect his recorded messages have had on my life.
One of those messages was titled “That’s Good.” I listened to it so often, I could almost repeat it verbatim. On that record, he shared a fable about the devil having a sale that is most interesting. Like most old fables, it has a moral well worth thinking about.
The story goes that Satan was having a sale of his wares. There on display, and offered for sale, were the rapier of jealousy, the dagger of fear, and the strangling noose of hatred, each with its own high price.
But standing alone on a purple pedestal was a worn and battered wedge. This was the devil’s most prized possession, for with it alone he could stay in business. It was not for sale. It was the wedge of discouragement.
Why do you suppose the devil valued so highly, and actually would not sell, the worn and battered wedge of discouragement? Makes you think, doesn’t it?
He prized discouragement because of its enfeebling, demoralizing effect. Hatred, fear, or jealousy may lead immature people to act unwisely, to fight, or to run. But at least they act.
Discouragement, on the other hand, hurts people more than any of these. It causes them to sit down, pity themselves, and do nothing.
Now, this doesn’t have to happen.
Unfortunately, it all too frequently does. Not until we realize that discouragement is often a form of self-pity do we begin to take stock of ourselves and our predicament and decide to act . . . to do something that will take us out of the unpleasant situation.
The answer to discouragement, then, is intelligent action. Get rid of discouragement before it gets rid of you. The devil might not survive without this priceless wedge, but you can.
There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long-range risks of comfortable inaction.
Action is a great restorer and builder of confidence. Inaction is not only the result, but the cause, of fear. Perhaps the action you take will be successful; perhaps different action or adjustments will have to follow. But any action is better than no action at all.
Doubt, of whatever kind, can be ended by action alone.
Successful living consists of knowing and being. When the two are separated, there is nothing but frustration and failure.
To know all about love without loving can be disastrous. In the same way, knowing all about the right way to live and not acting on what you know, on a daily basis, can prove to be very destructive for anyone.
Unfortunately, most of the self-help books on our bestseller lists deal with positive thinking, without much concern for translating it consciously into experience. We are supplied with maps to Nirvana but cannot locate the vehicle to get us there.
If positive thinking alone resulted in successful living, 95 percent of our population would reside on Easy Street. All of our preachers and teachers would be physical examples of health, wealth, and well-being. Unfortunately, many are physical contradictions to what they tell us.
Half-truths are more elusive than lies. Positive thinking as a medium to the good life is just that: a half-truth.
Positive thinking alone does not deliver, it does not fulfill. In fact, it frustrates, because it is not in harmony with what we do. Thinking positively about music will not make you a musician. Only singing and playing a musical instrument will bring you fulfillment.
The power of positive thought lies in its being expressed in a positive act. The thought of love finds its fulfillment in loving. Thoughts of joy find their power in laughter. Faith without action is dead.
Nothing can result so negatively as thinking positively without the action that fulfills that thinking.
Schools should award diplomas for what we do rather than what we know. Nothing is more powerful than a positive thought joined with positive action.
The ancestor of every action is a thought.
Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.
Action is the real measure of intelligence.
Winners are wide awake; they are alive. Every day you will find them in the marketplace making things happen. The real winners are not just dreamers. Although they have dreams, they are doers: They realize their dreams. They are the bell ringers, always attempting to wake others up to the numerous opportunities life offers.
If you want to cash in on the rewards life has to offer, follow the winners. Do as they do, and ultimately you will become the winner you are capable of being.
If you are not presently living the way you really want to live, don’t feel bad about it or have any regrets about the past. Today can be the beginning of a new life. Just as you turn the page on the calendar to reveal a new day or month, mentally you can do that with your life.
Listen to the winners. They want to help you. Every day they are offering you membership in their club.
The greatest reward a winner can receive is to see someone who has been in a deep psychological sleep wake up and grab that brass ring. The winners are openly rewarded for the help they provide.
They are easy to spot; they very rarely hide. They drive nice vehicles, wear good clothes, live in beautiful homes, take interesting vacations, have happy families, and live in healthy bodies. They have dynamic, creative personalities and are almost always involved in executing a big idea.
Winners do not permit the criticism of the losers to distract or slow them down.
They are too busy turning their dreams into reality and helping others do the same thing.
Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all the time thing. You don’t win once in a while, you don’t do things right once in a while, you do them right all the time. Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.
When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.
Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.
Do you ever think of yourself as a natural goal achiever? If you don’t, you should, because you are . . . a natural goal achiever.
The moment the first breath of life filled your lungs you set out pursuing goals. You are innately programmed to improve the quality of your life. Each of your first early achievements brought with them tremendous satisfaction, along with great pride and joy.
Your first goal was to get something to eat, and when have you ever seen anyone more satisfied than a baby who has just been fed? Or where have you seen greater pride and joy than on the face of a new mother nursing her baby?
How about those other first early goals—to crawl, to talk, or to walk? Think of the satisfaction, pride, and joy that came with that first word or first step. The satisfaction with the first word or step soon wears off and dissatisfaction sets in. You want to put words together, steps together. They became goals and as you accomplished them, more satisfaction, pride, and joy followed, but so did the feeling of dissatisfaction. You wanted to accomplish more, do greater things.
You naturally want to experience life and experience it in abundance. You not only should, you can have the things you want—all of them—and you will have them if you rekindle that early spirit that caused you to pursue and achieve those first goals.
Unfortunately, too many of us were told at an early stage that we should be satisfied with what we had. Goals and their importance were lost.
You should never be satisfied. Happy, but not satisfied. Dissatisfaction is a creative state. It took you out of the cave and put you into the condominium. It gave you the wheel, the fax, and the furnace. Dissatisfaction gave you and me a lifestyle that is the envy of the world.
Develop a healthy dissatisfaction with your life. Set new goals—big, exciting goals. Then, set out to achieve them with the same enthusiasm you knew and used as a baby.
That is called living. Everything else is dying.
Big results require big ambitions.
Aim high. Behave honorably. Prepare to be alone at times, and to endure failure. Persist! The world needs all you can give.
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
—ALFRED LORD TENNYSON
Nature gave a wonderful gift to most of her little creatures—a gift we call “protective coloring”—so that the deer blends into the forest, the fish into the stream, and the bird into the tree. But from one notable creature was this gift withheld. The human creature stands out like a sore thumb on any sort of terrain.
I believe this is because the human was given a much greater gift: You and I have the godlike power to make our surroundings change to fit us.
When you change or improve as a person, your environment and surroundings change to reflect this improvement. Just as you can tell what a business is doing for a community by observing what the community is doing for the business, so can you, with a few notable exceptions, tell what a person is doing for the community by assessing what the community has done for the person.
You can tell a lot about a person by carefully examining his or her environment. Contrary to popular belief, people are not the reflection of their environment nearly as much as we might think. Environment is a reflection of the people. Change the people for the better, and the environment will change for the better as well.
Watch one person change, and that person will leave his or her old environment and seek out a new one—one that more closely reflects their emerging being.
Our attitude is the environment we carry with us during the day. It proclaims to the world what we think of ourselves and indicates the sort of person we have made up our minds to be.
It is the person we will become.
Yes, as we look at the fish, the bird, or the animals in the wild, we do marvel at how well nature has camouflaged them. But don’t you think we should spend a little time being overwhelmed by our great gift of creative ability . . . then do all we can to develop and utilize this ability?
Our environment, the world in which we live and work, is a mirror of our attitudes and expectations.
Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.
“That’s right.” “It’s right.” “He’s right.” “She’s right.” Those words are echoed every day by millions of people. Once we decide we are right, an abundance of energy goes into defending our rightness.
What People are Saying About This
On Bob Proctor:
“Zig Ziglar may be the master motivator, Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield of Chicken Soup for the Soul, the master story tellers; Anthony Robbins may be the guru of personal development, but Bob Proctor is the master thinker. When it comes to systemizing life, no one can touch him.”
—Doug Wead, presidential historian, philanthropist and public speaker
“I was blessed to meet Bob Proctor at the beginning of my career as an author and speaker. Because of his wisdom and guidance, I was able to make more money my first full year of speaking than I did at the top of my career at Sprint Communications. Bob’s insight enabled me to jump-start my business in a way I would have never been able to do without his help. I wholeheartedly recommend Bob Proctor to everyone who is ready to transform their existing reality.”
—Cynthia Kersey, author of Unstoppable and Unstoppable Women
"I have shared many hours with Bob Proctor in my home. I am fascinated by his depth of knowledge and understanding of the mind and why we do what we do. Listen to him. He communicates so clearly and effectively. If you want to make a major shift in your life, this man will definitely show you how."
—Jay Abraham, Fortune 500 Consultant
"This man has the ability to reduce the most complicated concepts in life to the simplest form. He can and does explain how to turn any idea you can think of into physical results. This man's name is Bob Proctor."
—Vic Conant - President, Nightingale-Conant Corporation
"I've listened to hundreds of speakers during the past 15 years and none can compare to Bob in teaching simple concepts that you will be able to immediately use to improve your life."
—John Assaraf, President - Re/Max of Indiana