BRIAN TRACY says that the top 10% of the most successful people in the world began in the bottom 10%. Albert Einstein grew up with the idea he would amount to nothing: could not read until the age of four and – worst – a Jew in Nazi Germany. Ludwig van Beethoven – now recognised a great musician and composer – was a horrible conductor. He was also deaf! Everyone began at the bottom. Then they moved up in society through accumulation of experience and self-improvement.
After going through a lot, I have come to a conclusion that luck plays only a little factor towards a person’s actual success: material, spiritual, relational, emotional, physical and mental. Some people are born into certain opportunities. However today we are exposed to the same amount of wisdom.
I AM NOT IVANKA TRUMP. Growing up, I did not have a tycoon father who imparted his life and business skills to me. Yet can you and I still access Donald Trump’s wisdom? Hell yeah!
He has published books. Books you can find in your local bookstores. He has done a series of interviews over the years. On The Apprentice, we caught a glimpse into how he runs his company and what he expects. As if that is not enough, you can find articles on him. Both the business world and the academic world are fascinated with how he turned himself into a mogul after being on the brink of personal bankruptcy. By 1994, he reduced a large portion of his $900 million personal debt. His business saw its $3.5 billion debt shrank. Whether he is now worth $3.2 billion (Forbes) or somewhere between $150 million – $250 million (O Brien), it sure is well above our current net worth!
There is a good news for you and I. You may be a struggling writer. Maybe a graduate fresh out of university with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing. You may even be a struggling single mother with two kids. Whatever your situation is now. There is hope for us.
If you want to join the top 10% of the people in your field, there is one single key. So important is this key that without it, no one accomplishes anything. Tony Robbins, in his quest for finding the cause of success, stumbled upon many “elements” or “keys” to success:
- Time management
- Positive thinking
All these are important in attaining success. But they are not the most important.
How often do you make goals for yourself?
- This year I want to loose weight.
- I will go to the gym and have a good diet so I am 60kg by June this year.
- This semester I must score 4.00 in my GPA!
- I’ll finish work over the weekend.
Sounds familiar? In NLP, you will be asked “how do you know when you get it?”, “What is stopping you?” and other questions meant to elicit the accompanying information. But still, goals are not attained. Why? Because it is not the important first step.
The only real resource that you have to sell is your time. That is why you go to work: to be paid for the 9-to-5, Monday through Friday, over a span of 40 years. You get a diploma and degree so you are paid more for your time.
You schedule and reschedule. You eliminate tasks, reduce some or outsource/delegate others. But still, year in and year out, you are among the good workers. So many are good workers that “good” is the new “average”!
Positive thinking is like walking into your garden while repeating, “There are no weeds. There are no weeds. There are no weeds.” I’ve got news for you, buddy! Six months have passed since you last mowed your lawn. You’re drowning IN weeds!
Positive outlook in life is important. Again, it is not the cause for success. It is merely another tool or strategy in attaining success.
If knowledge is what you need to succeed, then all professors, teachers, Master’s degree and Doctorate holders are successful! Universities, schools and libraries would be overflowing with cash, peace and satisfaction! Yet, the contrary is true. Lecturers and professors mostly are swimming in debt, frustration and problems. Students are plunging into debt. And MBA and DBA holders are becoming to expensive to retain.
So, how are you going to join the Top 10% of your field? What is that vital key?
Severe ties with Alternatives
Decision comes from the Late Middle English word “decisioun”. You can find its roots from the Latin word decision which literally means “cutting off”.
When you decide on something, you not only chose. You eliminate its alternatives. There is no more choice. It becomes what you must do.
When you chose to join the top 10% of your field, what ever that may be, you severe all options that leads you to anything short of that top 10%. The idea of “going back” is not in your mind!
When you decide you want to achieve a 60kg body weight, you will work towards that. You will not be limited to just jogging or going to gym. You will take any means necessary to supplement what you need to do to attain the goal. If you’re on a shoestring budget, you may opt to “fast” instead of “diet”. If you are faced with offers and options that sway you away from your goal, you would react the same way a non-smoker would when offered a cigarette.
Decide today to take control of your life. Decide today that you will join that top 10% of the people in your field. Decide to find ways and means to realise this vision. Decide and act.