Copyright (c) 2006 Rob Marshall
For years I have fallen prey to just about every ad that promised to sell me the “missing secret” to success. I have read the material from countless authors again and again, but I have never found the secret. I have never come across something “nobody else” was telling me, or that everyone else wanted to keep from me.
No, after spending all that money and time I came to one inescapable conclusion: There is no new, old, or missing secret. In all the years that I have been studying personal development, and all the different methods that I have heard, they can all be boiled down to three simple steps that anyone can do.
Step 1: Know What You Want
As part of a class that I used to teach I would ask the students to put down a list of what they would do if they had all the time, and all the money, the needed. Most of the students would only come up with three or four things at most. And the things they listed would be vague and generic like, “I want to travel.”
As I went around the room I would ask them to be more specific. The reason is that we won’t accomplish anything without desire. Unless there is a clear picture in our minds, one that we are deeply emotionally involved in, we will never develop the desire to reach our dreams.
When it comes to what we want, we need to: Write it down, imagine it vividly in our minds (pictures from magazines can help you develop these images), and get excited and emotional about having it.
Step 2: Believe You Can Have What You Want
What do you really believe about the things you want in life? Do you believe that it’s possible for you? Or do you believe that there are just too many obstacles in your way?
I like to use a little acronym: IOTA. It stands for: If One, Than Anyone. And what it means is that if one person has done it, anyone can do it. If one person started from nothing and became rich and successful, than anyone can do it.
Albert Einstein said, “The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.”
When we look at nature, we see that tiny seeds become gigantic trees. That is God’s way of telling us that He created everything for success, especially human beings. All of creation tells us that we live and a precarious, sometimes dangerous, but none-the-less friendly universe that wants to see us, like every seed, to succeed.
But God also gave us the dignity of choice. Whether we succeed or fail, it all comes down to what we believe. And when we choose to believe with all our hearts that we can reach our dreams, nothing can stop us.
Step 3: Take Action On Your Belief
A few years ago I was trying to build a network marketing business. I had heard that some people were being very successful buying lists of “opportunity seekers” and calling them on the phone. I spent hundreds of dollars, and many hours, calling people on the phone. I studied methods for delivering my sales pitch and practiced them diligently, but I never got anyone to sign up.
The truth is that we all take action based on our beliefs. If we believe that we can’t succeed, even though we try, we will sabotage our own efforts and fail. And when it came to convincing people over the phone to sign up for my business, the truth was that I didn’t believe it would work. The problem wasn’t the method I was using; it was my belief that I would fail.
Our thoughts and feelings are based on our beliefs. And it is our thoughts and feelings that cause us to act. But in order to change our beliefs we have to act. Simply repeating affirmations to ourselves won’t change our beliefs if we don’t develop the disciplined actions that agree with those new beliefs.
In some ways it’s like the chicken and the egg. Our actions are the result of our beliefs, thoughts and feelings, but our beliefs, thoughts, and feelings are shaped by our actions. Once we know what we want and we begin to believe that we can have it; the next step is to take action on our new belief. By doing that we send a powerful message to ourselves that we really do believe that we can have what we want.
Everyone who has become successful in life has used these three steps, and you can too.