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I recently was asked, “How can we have more opportunities come into our lives?” Good question, but I think my answer surprised them a bit.
I bypassed the obvious (and necessary) points about hard work, persistence and preparation. They actually were very hard workers. And they had the great attribute of being seekers; they were on the outlook. But I felt maybe they were missing this next and most valuable point: Attraction.
I always thought opportunities and success were things you went after, but then I found out that I needed to turn it around. Opportunities and success are not something you necessarily go after, but something you attract—by becoming an attractive person.
That’s why I teach the development of skills. If you can develop your skills, keep refining all the parts of your character and yourself, your health, your relationships, etc., so that you become an attractive person to the marketplace, you’ll attract opportunity. Opportunity will probably seek you out. Your reputation will probably precede you and someone will want to do business with you. All of the possibilities are there by working on the philosophy that success is something you attract.
The key is to continue making yourself a more attractive person by the skills you have, the disciplines you have, the personality you’ve acquired, the character and reputation you have established, the language and speech you use—all of that refinement makes you more attractive to the marketplace.
Your own personal development: the never-ending chance to improve yourself, attract opportunities and affect others!
Each of us has two distinct choices to make about what we will do with our lives. The first choice we can make is to be less than we have the capacity to be. To earn less. To have less. To read less and think less. To try less and discipline ourselves less. These are the choices that lead to an empty life. These are the choices that, once made, lead to a life of constant apprehension instead of a life of wondrous anticipation.
And the second choice? To do it all! To become all that we can possibly be. To read every book that we possibly can. To earn as much as we possibly can. To give and share as much as we possibly can. To strive and produce and accomplish as much as we possibly can. All of us have the choice.
To do or not to do. To be or not to be. To be all or to be less or to be nothing at all.
Like the tree, it would be a worthy challenge for us all to stretch upward and outward to the full measure of our capabilities. Why not do all that we can, every moment that we can, the best that we can, for as long as we can?
Our ultimate life objective should be to create as much as our talent and ability and desire will permit. To settle for doing less than we could do is to fail in this worthiest of undertakings. Results are the best measurement of human progress. Not conversation. Not explanation. Not justification. Results! And if our results are less than our potential suggests that they should be, then we must strive to become more today than we were the day before. The greatest rewards are always reserved for those who bring great value to themselves and the world around them as a result of whom and what they have become.
What a fantastic day to tear-up that old-life script and begin writing a new chapter in the storybook of your life. Go confidently in the direction of YOUR dreams and LIVE the life YOU have IMAGINED!
Change comes from one of two sources. First, we may be driven to change out of desperation. Sometimes our circumstances can become so out-of-control that we almost abandon our search for answers because our lives seem to be filled only with irresolvable questions. But it is this overwhelming sense of desperation that finally drives us to look for the solutions. Desperation is the final and inevitable result of months or years of accumulated neglect that brings us to that point in time where we find ourselves driven by urgent necessity to find immediate answers to life’s accumulated challenges.
The second source that drives us to make changes in our lives is inspiration. Hopefully, that is where you find yourself right now- about to become sufficiently inspired to make major and dramatic changes in your life.
I was born in California and grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles. Both of my parents are immigrants who came to America during the 60’s. My mother was a domestic engineer and my father worked in the garment industry. I was raised in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Los Angeles, yet I somehow managed to complete high school and graduate. I attended banking school and completed that too. I then applied to college, but then decided I was smart enough, so I quit. One of my major mistakes. I should’ve stayed in school and continued my education. But I thought, heck, I’m smart enough to get a job – that’s what life’s all about – get a job, pay your bills, work hard, stay out of trouble, keep your fingers crossed and hope for the best. And I figured I was at least prepared to do that, so I quit college and went to work. And I’m out doing what I thought was the best I could do.
By age 21, I was running a nightclub at the corner of Hollywood and Ivar. The money was decent and I was meeting famous people. Within a short time I had saved $10,000 and thought, “I have a fortune!” I decided to take a trip to Europe during which time renovations would take place at the club. London was my first stop. I had always been fascinated with the stories of London Bridge and I couldn’t wait to get there! I toured the rest of Europe on a Euro-rail pass and I tell you I thought I had it made. Then disaster struck. The famous Northridge earthquake in California leveled the dance-floor on our club. It destroyed the entire building and my only source of income.
After almost a years time in Europe, I returned home flat-broke. I then decided to get a job at a local supermarket and I tell you, I hated that job! But one day on a nice hot afternoon I noticed a red Ferrari parked outside a small real estate office just opposite to the market. I thought, “it must belong to the owner.” Little did I know that two weeks later while having lunch with a friend I’d discover that that same car belonged to an agent at the firm and not the owner. It immediately changed my perspective on things. At a time when the real estate market had tanked, for someone to be driving that car was very impressive! I soon made a decision to get my real estate license and go work for that same company. And then the miracle happened to me – good fortune came my way!
Who can explain good fortune? I don’t know – remarkable things happen to you at a particular time. Sometimes it’s just unexplainable how those things happen. And maybe that’s it, I don’t know. I’m an amateur on life. I guess like most of us are, trying to figure out how to make it valuable. But I was ready and my good fortune came at age 25 when I met my mentor. He took my under his wing while I was still a rookie. I was struggling to get new business, and on top of that, I was flat-broke and driving the ugliest car on the parking lot. I tell you, there is nothing more depressive than a broke-broker!
But things changed rapidly in my life after I met my mentor. From that point on, I endeavored to be a good student of success.
People often ask me how I became successful during a period of time while many of the people I knew did not. The answer is simple: The things I found to be easy to do, they found to be easy not to do. I found it easy to set the goals that could change my life; They found it easy not to. I found it easy to read the books that could affect my thinking and ideas; They found it easy not to. I found it easy to attend the classes and seminars, and to get around other successful people. They said it probably really wouldn’t matter. If I had to sum it up, I would say: what I found to easy to do, they found to be easy not to do. Six years later I’m blessed with abundance and they are still blaming the economy, the government, and company policy, yet they neglected to do the basic easy things.
Early on I learned that success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals.
Within this section of my blog I plan to share the secrets of my success and the actions I took that launched my career from zero to fortune. The topics we’ll cover in this section may very well be the seeds that turn your life around. So stay-tuned, the seeds of high achievement are about to be planted in the soil of your mind.
While most people spend most of their lives struggling to earn a living, a much smaller number seem to have everything going their way. Instead of just earning a living, the smaller group is busily working at building and enjoying a fortune. Everything just seems to work out for them. And here sits the much larger group, wondering how life can be so unfair, so complicated and unjust. What’s the major difference between the little group with so much and the larger group with so little?
Despite all of the factors that affect our lives—like the kind of parents we have, the schools we attended, the part of the country we grew up in—none has as much potential power for affecting our futures as our ability to dream.
Dreams are a projection of the kind of life you want to lead. Dreams can drive you. Dreams can make you skip over obstacles. When you allow your dreams to pull you, they unleash a creative force that can overpower any obstacle in your path. To unleash this power, though, your dreams must be well defined. A fuzzy future has little pulling power. Well-defined dreams are not fuzzy. Wishes are fuzzy. To really achieve your dreams, to really have your future plans pull you forward, your dreams must be vivid.
If you’ve ever hiked a 14,000-foot peak in the Rocky Mountains, one thought has surely come to mind: “How did the settlers of this country do it?” How did they get from the East Coast to the West Coast? Carrying one day’s supply of food and water is hard enough. Can you imagine hauling all of your worldly goods with you… mile after mile, day after day, month after month? These people had big dreams. They had ambition. They didn’t focus on the hardship of getting up the mountain.
In their minds, they were already on the other side—their bodies just hadn’t gotten them there yet! Despite all of their pains and struggles, all of the births and deaths along the way, those who made it to the other side had a single vision: to reach the land of continuous sunshine and extraordinary wealth. To start over where anything and everything was possible. Their dreams were stronger than the obstacles in their way.
You’ve got to be a dreamer. You’ve got to envision the future. You’ve got to see California while you’re climbing 14,000-foot peaks. You’ve got to see the finish line while you’re running the race. You’ve got to hear the cheers when you’re in the middle of a monster project. And you’ve got to be willing to put yourself through the paces of doing the uncomfortable until it becomes comfortable. Because that’s how you realize your dreams.
The philosophy of the rich versus the poor is this: The rich invest their money and spend what is left; The poor spend their money and invest what is left.