Alan Lakein famously said, “failing to plan is planning to fail.” I wonder if truer words have ever been spoken. They are worth reading again actually:
Failing to plan is PLANNING TO FAIL.
The vast majority of people do not plan anything in their lives. People leave the most important decisions of their lives completely to chance. It is absolutely stunning. Children are arranged by alphabetical seating charts in school. They become friends with those they sit next to everyday. They grow up and work in the same field as family members or get a job through one of their alphabetical friends. They meet their life partner at their random job or through a random friend.
Jim Rohn brilliantly observed, “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” We are going to connect some dots. Brace yourself, this could be painful:
You are the average of the people you surround yourself with. If random chance and not careful planning selected all of those people, you are planning to be a failure.
Tragically, the vast majority of us have unknowingly planned to be failures, and we are succeeding brilliantly. Henry David Thoreau observed, “most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.”
The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered… –Les Brown
Random chance does an extremely poor job of running our lives and determining our future. Successful people have taken the steering wheel of their life back from chance. They have a clear vision of who they want to be, the life they want to live, and who they want to share it with. They set goals and carefully plan how to achieve them. They act on their plans daily (see Habits: Where is Your Autopilot Taking You?).
Some of you may be thinking: “Kurt, I do not want to be the average of the people that are around me, but I do not know where to find the people I want to be like.”
Nobody has successful “real life” friends until after first becoming successful themselves. Successful people do not associate with unsuccessful people. If they did, they would not be successful!
Throughout this blog, I have linked to great writers and speakers. Make them your imaginary friends, and immerse yourself in them. You will grow and will start meeting real life friends who support your growth. Your growth will start like a snow ball and finish like an avalanche.
I highly recommend the following “friends:”
- Tony Robbins: Tony is my “belief doctor.” My brother introduced me to his material which started me on my journey of personal growth. Tony will help you identify beliefs that are holding you back and teach you how to replace them with beliefs that will drive you towards success and happiness.
- Sean Stephenson: Sean is my “excuse surgeon.” Sean has done everything, and if Sean can do it, anybody can do it.
- Brian Tracy: Brian is a great coach. He’ll fire you up to take action and focus on what matters most.
- Grant Cardon: Grant will stoke the fire to a raging, uncontrollable inferno. Warning: you may find yourself working 18 hours some days and loving every minute of it. Happiness is being fully engaged in your passion and purpose.
- Les Brown
- Jim Rohn
- Alan Lakein
I honestly haven’t read or listened to the last three yet, but every time I Google a famous success quote to find the author, it is always one of these guys, so I have added them to my personal “to read/listen to” list.
Here’s what I do:
1. I have Kindle on my smartphone. Whenever I am waiting in line, sitting on the john, waiting for someone, or have a single minute where I am not doing something, I pull out my smartphone and read a few pages. This is one of the best ways to read a book because you get to digest it in small pieces. I read 5-10 books a year just by taking back these fragmented segments of time that would otherwise be wasted.
2. I have Audible on my smart phone, and I purchased a stereo Bluetooth headset (Stereo is essential, or you won’t be able to hear over background noises, click the link for the ones I recommend). Whenever I’m eating alone, stuck in traffic, exercising, or doing anything that doesn’t require my full mental attention, I am listening to one of these guys.
The difference this makes is incredible. My income DOUBLED within a year of starting these two habits, and I mostly just listened and read. I had no definite action plan, wasn’t clear on what I wanted, and I looked at my goals only a few times year. Your success will explode when you become crystal clear on what you want, actively set goals, and plan based on their advice.
We are like dwarves perched on the shoulders of giants, and thus we are able to see more and farther than the latter. And this is not at all because of the acuteness of our sight or the stature of our body, but because we are carried aloft and elevated by the magnitude of the giants. – Sir Isaac Newton
Thoughts? Post a comment or ask a question. I will respond!
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