Introduction To The Successful Thinker Part Two
Author Napoleon Hill in his landmark study of Success and Wealth concluded that as many as 98% of the population drifts their way through life. The other 2%, the successful ones, become obsessed with a definiteness of purpose. Join host Corey Jahnke as he examines what Hill was referring to while sharing his personal formula for living life as a successful thinker using his proprietary P.U.R.P.O.S.E. Formula.
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Introduction To The Successful Thinker Part Two
Using The Successful Thinker’s P.U.R.P.O.S.E Formula
I’m excited to have you back with me because this episode is one that really turned my life around. When I wrote The Successful Thinker, I included a reading list at the back of the book of the books that my customers had suggested to me that had totally turned my thinking upside down. A lot of times we go through life and we don’t have anyone to coach us. We don’t have anyone to help us figure out where the roadblocks are, where the distractions are, where are the different things that have derailed us and put us on a path that isn’t worthy of us. If that’s happened to you, I want you to know that we’re going to work hard on getting you on the right path going forward.
Wisdom From Napoleon Hill On Success
One of the major books on The Successful Thinker readers list that changed the way I looked at my goals and my dreams and the things that I wanted out of life was Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. If you’re not familiar with Napoleon Hill, he has an interesting story. Around the turn of the century, he was a reporter and he interviewed a guy called Andrew Carnegie, who at the time was the richest man in America, or at least in the top couple. Carnegie had authorized Napoleon Hill for a very short interview for about twenty minutes and it turned into three days.
At the end of those three days, Carnegie made a challenge to Napoleon Hill. He thought Napoleon Hill should take on the study of what makes people rich and what makes people successful. Carnegie felt that there was a formula and he felt that he could get Napoleon Hill to share that with the world. Napoleon Hill took on a 25-year journey and interviewed 500 of the most successful people in America at that time. Carnegie made the introductions and Napoleon Hill made the introductions worthwhile. He ended up crafting a book in the middle of 1930s called Think and Grow Rich. This book was a study of what makes some people successful and other people not so much. It is a fascinating book and everybody should read the book.
The key idea that I came away with was that 98% of the people in the world live by the seat of their pants. They’re drifting their way through life, as Napoleon Hill calls it. Only 2% of the people live with a definiteness of purpose. That’s what Napoleon Hill called it. He called it a definiteness of purpose. That means many people live their life a moment at a time and float along and take what comes and live by the seat of their pants. They aren’t concerned with long-term results, long-term success and long-term relationships. They’re essentially just trying to get through life one day at a time.No one is better than you and no one is smarter than you. It's just that some people have found a better plan than you, but once you begin to live using the PURPOSE Formula, you will quickly begin to outpace the competition. Click To Tweet
What Napoleon Hill said was, “The successful people, the people that make a difference to the world that changed things, decide what they want and they become obsessed with that.” They decide what their number one priority is and then go for it. They don’t worry about what other people think about them. They don’t worry about setbacks, roadblocks and excuses. They’ve decided what it is they want to do, be or have and they aren’t going to give up. When a person creates this definiteness of purpose, it makes them unstoppable. I thought about that after I read the book and I thought, “What does this mean purpose? What does it mean to live on purpose?”
The Winner’s Formula: Prioritizing
I sat down with my computer and my keyboard and I began to write an eBook called The Winner’s Formula: How to Live Life on Purpose, because I realized that P.U.R.P.O.S.E is an acronym, an abbreviation. When you go ahead and you create an actual system for working on purpose, living life full out in hot pursuit of your major definite goal, there’s nothing that can keep you from reaching that goal. The P.U.R.P.O.S.E acronym stands for prioritizing, understanding, recognizing, positioning, organizing, strategizing, and eliminating. Let me tell you what that means.
The first P on the P.U.R.P.O.S.E Formula is prioritizing. Brian Tracy, author, speaker, coach and an amazing success expert says, “The number one attribute that successful people have is clarity. Successful people know what they want and what they’re willing to do to get it.” If someone just gave you $1 million tax-free, where would you want to go? What would you want to be? What would your life be like if suddenly you had all the money that you need to do whatever you want?” Most people don’t think about what it is that’s their highest priority in life because they feel trapped by their situation and circumstances. Therefore, they feel ineligible for the things that they wanted to do anyway so it’s easier to put it aside and say, “I can’t afford that. I’m stuck in my situation. I have to be where I am because quite frankly, I’m in a position that I can’t take advantage of any opportunity that would come my way anyway.”
Napoleon Hill said that what you have to do is to realize that your life is about what you decide that it’s about. God’s plan for you, whatever you believe God is, is that you step into your greatness. Nowhere is it written that your particular greatness has to be in one given area. What it is, is that you have to decide what matters most to you. Some people will tell you that money doesn’t matter to them. Some people will tell you that relationships are the most important thing. Some people will tell you that they just want to be wealthy so that they can have the freedom to do whatever they want to do. Those are three different answers to the same question, “What do you really want?” When you sit down and you make a list of your priorities, what I suggest is if your life were absolutely perfect in a year from now, what would it look like? Where would you be working? Who would you be with? Who would you not be with? What kind of money would you be earning? What kind of job would you have? What kind of car would you drive? If your life was perfect in every way, what does that look like and what does that look like for you?
The key is to realize that your life is just that. It’s your life. What I want for you to do is ask yourself this key question. If no one told me who I was, who would I be? Quite frankly, many of us are living someone else’s idea of who we should be. For some people, their parents said, “You’ve got to go to college and become this.” For other people, they were told, “You’re not smart enough to do ABC, so you should do D.” For some people, they never had what they felt was a decent opportunity to get anywhere, so they didn’t do anything. An awful lot of us thought we knew what we wanted. We got where we wanted to go and found out that we were climbing the ladder to success, but as Stephen Covey said, “It was leaning against the wrong wall.” You need things in life. They tell us that at eighteen, you have to decide where you’re going to college, what your major’s going to be, and you’ve never done anything. You’ve never been anywhere and somehow, you’ve got to decide what the rest of your life is going to look like. That’s positively 100% untrue.
The overwhelming majority of people don’t know what they want out of life until they’re in their 30s, 40s or 50s. I will ask you to decide right now. Based on everything that you know about yourself, based on everything that you’ve done in your life, what would the perfect life look like to you? I would ask you to write that down because those are your priorities. Those are the things that define who you are. Chances are, those are the things that are going to get you making the biggest difference in the world because chances are, that’s where your talents lie. If you’re not interested in something, there’s a good chance that it’s not where your talents and abilities are best used. That’s the P. The first P is prioritizing, “What do you want?”
The Winner’s Formula: Understanding
Then there’s U. The U is understanding. When I work my coaching clients through the P.U.R.P.O.S.E Formula, I always try to get them to take a hard look at the understanding part. Why am I not where I wanted to be already? Why are the things that I say are my priorities, not my reality? What is it in me that’s holding me back? Is it a talent of some kind? Is it a scale of some kind? Is it a fear of some kind? Everybody is afraid, but not everybody knows even how to work through their fears. Understanding says, “What can I do? Who can I become so that I can change my life to meet the priorities that are most important to me?” When you take a look at understanding, what you realize is that you’re only one decision or one skill away from changing everything for your life.
Successful people don’t worry about the status quo. They don’t worry about what’s in fashion or what’s in style. What they worry about is the person they have to become to reach the priorities that they want to have in their life. In other words, there’s something in you that’s been holding you back, but you’re only one skill away from eliminating that. You’re only one thing that you need to know to make that difference. Brian Tracy also says this and I thought it’s quite a fascinating thing. “Everyone who is at the top of their career, was once at the bottom of their career or not even in their career at all and didn’t even know it existed.” Just because you haven’t done what it is that you wanted to do already, doesn’t exclude you from doing it now. I’m 53 years old. If I wanted to go ahead and start playing the saxophone, there’s no reason why I couldn’t, except that I might have the fear that now I’m too old. Excuses are fears in disguise. I believe that when you truly decide what it is that your heart wants and you take a look at what’s holding you back, you will find that what’s holding you back is a fictional story.Nowhere is it written that your particular greatness has to be in one given area. Click To Tweet
The Winner’s Formula: Recognizing
In the last episode, we talked about the stories that run our lives. There are major stories about who we are and there are mini stories about what we can do. I can’t play the saxophone because I don’t have time to take lessons. Is that true or is it just a story? What I want for you to do is take a hard look at why you’re not where you want to be already and what you could possibly do about it, because the R in P.U.R.P.O.S.E stands for recognizing. One of the things that I talked to people about is opportunity. You’ve always grown up hearing the phrase, “Opportunity is everywhere,” and I know that you don’t believe that. Most people don’t think that opportunity is everywhere. They think they’ve got to put up with the life that they’re stuck in right now.
The way I like to think about it is when you watch a Major League baseball game and they’ll talk to the hitter who’s on a hitting streak, “He’s just killing it.” He says, “It’s like the ball is the size of a basketball when they’re throwing it up in there. It is so big. I can’t help but hit it.” You fast forward in about six weeks, the guy is all of a sudden in a slump. He says, “I don’t know. It’s like they’re throwing ping pong balls up there. It doesn’t look the way it was when I was hot,” but you and I know that what hasn’t changed is the size of the ball. The ball was always a baseball size but it was his perception, which means his confidence.
He had confidence and he was able to step up into that basketball-sized baseball and rip it. Something happened that destroyed his confidence or at least shook it a little bit and all of a sudden, the ball changed sizes on him. How often does that happen to us in life? We’re going along and we’re doing well. We think, “We’ve got a little extra money in the bank.” All of a sudden, we get an unexpected hit. We get a bill that we weren’t expecting or something breaks. Even sometimes something nasty like a fire or a tornado. The reality is, we make decisions based on our perception and not about the facts. What we do is we convince ourselves that we’re ineligible because the circumstances won’t allow it.
What successful people do is they go out and they look for the circumstances that they want. If they can’t find them, they create them. I was at a meeting and I met Daniel, who is one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met, and we ended up speaking for several hours. What Daniel does for a living is he teaches Chinese businessmen how to speak better English. He had put out some YouTube video saying that he could do this and he’s connecting to these people via computer, via Skype and he’s made a whole business of this. He is conducting business from anywhere on the globe. He is sitting on a beach somewhere talking to a guy and teaching him how to speak better English because that guy wants to be able to do better business in America. He literally created an opportunity out of something that didn’t exist.
The last time my family and I went to Disney World, I was sitting out at the hot tub. It was about 11:30 at night and I was marveling at the way all this stuff around me was nothing more than an idea. A 100 years prior, it was a swampland. I was sitting in a mire 100 years ago, but because someone said, “What if?” They were able to create something out of nothing. All businesses work that way. All businesses come about because someone said, “Here’s something that doesn’t exist but should exist and I can make it exist.” They recognized that their awareness level needed to grow to create an opportunity that wasn’t there.
The way we do that is we do things that increase our confidence. We say to ourselves, “I can do it.” We fill ourselves with positive information. We exclude negative information that keeps our mind shrinking. For example, there’s a government shutdown. Most people are afraid for the future because we don’t know who to believe, whether Republicans or Democrats. We don’t know what to think about the realities of the economic environment in our country. Most people are operating from a position of fear. I will ask you to focus your attention on things that strengthen you like books such as Think and Grow Rich or any of the other eleven books on The Successful Thinker’s readers list.
We sometimes surround ourselves with negative people who make us afraid to be who we are. I’ll ask you, who are you surrounding yourself with? What types of things are they saying to you? Are they encouraging you or are they discouraging you? I believe that discouraging others is a form of bullyism. I’ll ask you to take a look at the people that you surround yourself with and ask yourself, “Do they make me more afraid? Do they make me worry more or do they make me optimistic for the future? Do they make me feel that there are opportunities in my world? My wife is a representative for a product called Juice Plus+. One of the things I love about Juice Plus+ is it has gotten her around people that are going places and doing things. It’s gotten her around people who feel that the future is in their hands. That they have an opportunity to create something out of nothing because they’re simply willing to take the risks and to do the things that they need to do to make their selves financially independent.
The Winner’s Formula: Positioning
They are strong people because they know that the future isn’t in the hands of the government or isn’t in the hands of the economy, it’s in the hands of themselves. When you approach life like that, you begin to develop what’s called an internal locus of control. Happy people or successful thinkers understand that the world is based on their world. The world is based on the decisions they make and the actions that they take. Unhappy people feel that the world at large is in control. The economy, the republicans, the democrats, the bureaucrats, everybody else determines their future and this is not for you. You’re the person who recognizes opportunity and you’re ready to go ahead and get to the second P, which is called positioning.What it is that you have to decide is what matters most to you. Click To Tweet
How often have you set a goal for yourself and then fail to set yourself up for success in that goal? One of the best ways to describe that is if you wanted to lose 30 pounds in the next three months, what’s in your refrigerator? What is in your kitchen cabinets? Are there Oreos? Are there Chips Ahoy! or are there bananas, apples, lean meats, fruits or vegetables? What’s in your wallet? Your wallet being credit cards or you’re checking cards. Are you buying things on time or are you buying things right out of your checking account for cash? What I’m asking you to look at is, “In my life, how have I positioned myself? Am I somebody who does the homework that needs to be done before I go to a meeting? Am I someone who sits back and watches TV while the competition is doing their homework?”
The Winner’s Formula: Organization
We determine our outcomes by what Abraham Lincoln like to call preparation. Positioning could just as easily be preparation. Abraham Lincoln said it this way, “I shall study. I shall prepare because I know that my time will come.” Abraham Lincoln failed a lot in his life before he became president. I don’t know that he was a very popular president at the time, but he certainly is considered among the greatest presidents now because he prepared intensely for his meetings. He positioned himself in a way that when the opportunity to be a president came up and the opportunity to make bigger decisions came up, he is ready and that leads to the O, which is organization.
I want you to think about the way you organize your life. I feel that there are three different ways that we organize our life. There’s an organization of our relationships. In other words, do we continue to add value to the people who add value to us? Do we set ourselves up with people in our lives that add value to our lives, that make us feel better human beings and that grow our potential? Do we reach out to those people in an organized way? Sometimes that even might be your customers. Do you have a system for following up with the people that you care about? Do you send regular texts? Do you send cards? Do you have a way that you can go ahead and stay in touch with the people that matter most? Do you follow up with those sales that are in your pipeline and so forth? Organization of relationships is so critical.
The second way that we organize ourselves is we organize our minds. Do you have a list system, a journal system, a computer system or reminders on your phone that help you stay where you want to be in terms of reaching your goals? Are your thoughts clear or are they random and haphazard? Napoleon Hill said that most people are going to drift their way through life. Their thoughts are unorganized. They’re random and they’re all over the place, but this is not for you. What you want to do is wake up every morning, create your list if you didn’t create your list the night before and then go to work on your list to the exclusion of everything that’s not on your list. What successful thinkers do is they create a list of the things that they feel they need to do now or this week and then they prioritize that list. They put an A by the things on their lists that are the absolute mandatories. The things you’ve got to do right now, the things you’ve got to get done now.
Then they write a B next to the things that would be nice to do but are only going to be done if all of the things on the A list are done. Then they create a C list which are things that should be canceled like, “I always fantasize about watching this movie, but I don’t need to watch that movie. I need to do the things on my A list.” They have a D item which is delegate. Those are the things that are like, “I could do them but someone else can do them well-enough and take them off my plate.” Then they play and have an E list, which is eliminate like, “Let’s just get this sucker out of our lives altogether.” If you realize that when you prioritize and organize your tasks and events, you’re in effect prioritizing and organizing your life. When you’re working on your A tasks, you like yourself better because you know that you’re getting the thing done that needs to get done. When you are getting those things done and you like yourself better, you’re more productive so you can work through the A things faster and more effectively.
As we go to the B things, we start to like ourselves even more because we’re getting even more done. The more you organize your schedule and your mind, the more you’re able to get good with organizing your environment. If I walked into your office, what would I say about you? What does it look like to the outsider? Is your workspace neat and clean like the workspace of somebody who is trustworthy and someone who can get stuff done? Are you working in a mess? I will invite you to go ahead and look hard at the areas that you live in, the areas that you work in, and the areas that you drive in. Most people don’t know that many personnel managers will actually escort a prospective interviewee for a job out to their vehicle because they want to see what kind of vehicle they keep. It’s not necessarily what kind of vehicle they drive, but they know that if you can’t even keep your vehicle clean and organized, how do we expect to have you keep your workload neat and organized?
People that are successful dress for success. They don’t have closets that look like the dryer threw up in them. What I want you to do is to take a look at the environment that you live in. If your environment is a mess, it’s hard to keep your thoughts straight. It’s hard to find inner peace. One of the things that you will come to see is that people who have the most peace of mind are people who have the cleanest clutter-free environments because they realize that simplicity is key. People who are mindful that clutter fills their brain, gives them anxiety, makes them unproductive, are people who are able to relax and breathe deeply. It’s so hard to find inner peace or any kind of enlightenment or any kind of mindfulness or relaxation around your major definite tasks when you have anxiety and stress about your environment.
The Winner’s Formula: Strategize
Once we’ve got our environment organized, our mind organized and our relationships organized, what we’re able to really work hard on the S, which is strategize. What successful people do is they go ahead and work off of their list all day every day. There are two kinds of list. There’s a today’s to-do list and there is a goal or priority list. What we ask people to do is we say, “If by the end of this year you had completely rocked this year, what would that look like for you? What would have to happen for you to know that you crushed it? If you and I met for drinks on New Year’s Eve at 5:00 to midnight, how would you know that this is your best year ever? What two or three or five things would have had to have happened?” Sometimes it’s closing a major deal. Sometimes it’s, “I paid off these five bills.” Sometimes it’s, “I put this much money in my savings account.” What is that for you?You're only one decision away from changing everything for your life. Click To Tweet
Then we start creating plans to make that happen. When I work with a client and they’re able to give me a concrete, “I would know that this is my best year ever because I was able to get $10,000 into my savings account that I didn’t have before,” then we can create a plan working backward. Right now, it’s January 2019. If that person told me they’d want $10,000 in their savings account by New Year’s Eve, then we figure out how can you save $900 a month so that by the end of the year we’re $10,000 ahead? By saving $900 a month we’re $10,000 ahead at the end of the year.
If you wanted to save $900 a month, how do you save $300 a week? When you look at my math, my math is off because what you’re trying to do is to realize that you can dramatically increase your long-term goals by increasing your short-term goals. When you think in the short-term, that’s our action term. That’s where we can do something tangible and manageable. What you will find when you work with me is that you are going to take bigger actions, because I like to frame it in a way that you feel that you can do it. The biggest mistake you’ll ever make is to assume that’s extensive for everyone else, but not for you.
What’s for you is the same as what’s for everyone else. Everyone who is not where they want to be is only not where they want to be because they haven’t found the right plan yet. No one is better than you. No one is smarter than you. It’s just that some people have come across the right plan, the right strategies, and the right tactics. If you keep working through the P.U.R.P.O.S.E System, you’ll go ahead and find the strategies that will make things happen for you. If I can get it down to where you only have to make $300 a week extra to make your $10,000 a year goal, people will say, “I spend this much on that and I spend this much over here.” I eliminate those two things and all of a sudden, I’ve got $300 extra. I want you to break those down for yourself.
The Winner’s Formula: Eliminating
What strategies could you put into place to make one of your goals happen? What you’ll find is that as soon as you start taking action, you’ll like yourself that much more. The more you like yourself, the more you want to take action because you want to like yourself. As soon as you spin yourself into a cycle that is moving upwards, it becomes good to you and it gets much easier to stick with. If that’s the case, why isn’t everyone successful? Why isn’t everyone out there crushing it? That’s because most people forget to include the E in P.U.R.P.O.S.E, which is eliminating. It stands for taking a look at what are my distractions? What are my roadblocks? What are my excuses and how can I get rid of them? How can I go through them? How can I go over them? How can I blow them to pieces so that I don’t continually get stuck?
For instance, the guy wants to lose 30 pounds during the holiday season. He gets stuck because he’s under the belief that it’s Christmas, you’re entitled to Christmas cookies. You’re entitled to Halloween candy. It’s Thanksgiving. I can have Turkey and gravy. It will just be that one day, but what happened is we’ve created several days by that thinking. We’re willing to have those distractions and excuses that allow us the leeway to go ahead and mess up. Successful people say, “I’m going to make a list. Here are the distractions that keep me from reaching my goals.” For some people, it’s television. For some people, it’s a particular set of commitments to keep them from working on their goals. They joined something that they wish they could unjoin. For some people, they’re making excuses, which are those mini-stories we talked about.
Successful thinkers write down those excuses and when it’s sitting there in front of you on paper, it’s a little bit easier to poke holes in because your excuse sounds even sillier to you than the people you say them too. I was a pharmacist for 25 years in a big retail chain. People will come to me and they’d say, “I can’t lose weight because I’ve got bad knees and I can’t exercise. I’ve got this bad wrist and that keeps me from doing stuff. I have this busy schedule.” As much as I felt for them and I cared about them, I would always think that’s fine if you could convince me, which you can but if you could, Mother Nature still wouldn’t care. Mother Nature says, “Fine, you don’t want to exercise because you got bad knees. You don’t want to find a different kind of exercise, here’s a heart attack. Here’s diabetes. Here’s a stroke.” My point being is that it’s never going to get easy, but it can be is better because you can get better.
In Corporate America, we’ve got a wonderful phrase that we use called, “Do more with less,” but you can’t do more with less. We all know that so many people get frustrated and don’t do anything. The winners in life say, “I can’t do more with less, but I can always do more by becoming more.” That is the central theme of The Successful Thinker book. Cynthia needed to get better and Otis showed her how. The challenge is the bureaucracy is always going to make new changes, new challenges, new distractions, and new roadblocks. They’re always going to come out and make things difficult for you. If you stand up to those difficulties, you’re going to find is what you’re made off.
In five years, if you worked hard with this P.U.R.P.O.S.E Formula, you would find that your life would be on a trajectory that you can’t even imagine. People will say, “Corey, how am I supposed to put five years into this?” The time is going to pass anyway. In five years, you’re going to be five years older. The best time to start was 25 years ago. The second best time to start is right now. I don’t want you waking up in five years going, “That guy was talking about it on the podcast and I wish I would’ve done it.” What I want you to do is to say, “I heard that guy. That guy talked about prioritizing, understanding, recognizing, positioning, organizing, strategizing and eliminating. I made a list and I started making that stuff happen. Before I knew it, not only did I reach the goals I had at that time, but I reached goals I didn’t even know were possible before.”Excuses are just fears in disguise. Click To Tweet
Go ahead, successful thinkers. Make your P.U.R.P.O.S.E list. Go out and make the changes that you need to make to get your life moving on a higher trajectory and you can’t even imagine where you’re going to be by the end of the year. I appreciate you all. Remember that I believe in you because I know you’re a successful thinker. I want to hear about what accomplishments you made when you started using The Successful Thinker and you started using the P.U.R.P.O.S.E Formula and you go forward. Then you live your best life ever. God bless and thanks so much for your time.