The Magic of
Getting What You Want
by David J. Schwartz
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The Magic of Getting What You Want is an excellent treatise on the subject of dealing with people. Dr. Schwartz writes in a manner which is direct and easy to understand--a must for writers of self-help books. The concepts are simple. Treat people with kindness, understanding, and assertion, and you will get more of what you want. You will be surprised at the effect a smile has on other people. Dr Schwartz may have written this book over 20 years ago, but his message transends decades. Easy to swallow snippets of examples in how to improve one's life never grow old.
Millions of people throughout the world have improved their lives by reading books by Dr. David J. Schwartz, long regarded as one of the foremost experts on motivation, whose teachings will will help you sell better, manage better, earn more money, and -- most important of all -- find greater happiness and peace of mind.
In the long-awaited follow-up to THE MAGIC OF THINKING BIG, Dr. Schwartz has made available his personal formula for success. • Thinking more is your key to personal prosperity and enjoyment • Decide now to go for your own Utopia and enjoy the best this life offers.
• Decide to scale up, not scale down
• Solve budget problems by discovering how to earn more, not cut back • Seek out Dream Builders—avoid Dream Destroyers
PUT THE DREAM PROCESS IN ACTION NOW!
Think More About Having More
Look Again: You Can Make Yourself Even More A-OK
How to Get Others to Help You Win!
Feed Your Mind Success-Producing Information and Prosper
Want More? Then Give More
How to Influence Others to Get More of What You Want
Use the A.S.K. Formula to Get More
How to Win Influence Through Charisma and Commitment
How to Come Back to Life and Enjoy It More
How to Profit from Persistent Patience
Make a New Beginning
"This is magic that really works. David Schwartz is one of our most creative and effective motivational thinkers today."
—Denis Waitley, author of THE PSYCHOLOGY OF WINNING and SEEDS OF GREATNESS
"David Schwartz has done it again! Those who Dr. Schwartz taught to THINK BIG... can now put their thoughts into action and really GET WHAT THEY WANT. It has already helped me as it will help millions of others."
—"Kirk" Kirkpatrick, Kirkpatrick Associates
"The message is clear and inspiring! It isn't what's wrong with me—simply what I need to learn or adjust in my life to accomplish what I want:'
—John W. Evans, John Evans & Associates, Inc.
"Everyone, from relatives to news media, tries to tell us WHAT to think. David Schwartz tells us HOW to think and how to put our thoughts into action to get what we want. His advice works." —Eudora Rogers
"The Magic of Creative Dreaming is that it really helps you get what you want!"—Spencer Johnson, M.D., author of THE ONE MINUTE MANAGER and THE PRECIOUS PRESENT
Think More About Having More
Think about it. Every challenge we face can be solved by a dream. Let me explain.
Consider for a moment what you want. Chances are you want more money so you can enjoy more of the good things this life can offer — a nicer home, more respect on and off the job, more love, more vacations more plain old-fashioned happiness.
You want to do more for your mate, share more good times, build more financial security, enjoy more time together. You want more years to live, better health.
You want to give more to your children — more good education, more cultural advantages, more opportunities to excel and be the best they can be.
The dream of thinking more is the key to your personal prosperity and enthusiasm for life. It is also the answer to making mankind better and healthier, and to building an economy of plenty. Farmers who want to earn more money figure out ways to get more bushels of grain per acre, more eggs per chicken, more milk per cow. Successful manufacturers continually search for ways to produce more per employee, more per hour, and more with less raw material.
Thinking more is even the best answer to crime. As some people state so well, it is not the love of money but the lack of money that is the root of evil. People who learn how easy and self-fulfilling it is to earn more in any one of a thousand ways are not candidates for the courts and penitentiaries.<>Thinking more is responsible for the degree of civilization we have attained. Thinking of a better life got us out of the caves. It brought us electricity, telephones, automobiles, and airplanes. Those who think more have reason to be concerned about those who think less — the people who say, "Be satisfied with who you are and what you have and learn to tolerate misery, unhappiness, failure." For such people, life may as well the a prison sentence that will never end until death.
Decide to Go for Utopia
Utopia means the perfect place where there is love, health, peace, wealth, and happiness — a land beyond description. Most people believe we cannot find or create Utopia on earth. In fact, the word Utopia, coined by Sir Thomas More, comes from two Greek words which, combined, mean "no place."
Utopia is beyond the reach of our society until we overcome the obstacles that stand in our way. And what are these obstacles? Negativism, fear, depression, and the problems they create — discouragement, economic stag-nation, crime, drug dependency, family distrust, and many more.
Some argue that we are moving away from Utopia at a rapid rate. Each decade we set new records for drug and alcohol abuse, divorce, murder, rape, suicide, and a host of other problems, which suggests that society is getting worse, not better.
Now Utopia may be beyond the reach of an entire society. But you are not an entire society. You, as an individual or as a family, can come very close indeed to achieving your Utopia.
Let me describe a couple of people determined to create their own Utopia who are making real progress.
How an Immigrant Is Building a Cab Company
Recently, I was in an Atlanta suburb during rush hour and needed a cab. Finally, one stopped and I got in. The cab was very clean but very old — a twenty-year old Cadillac. The driver said, "Good evening, sir, where may I take you?" I told him where I wanted to go and then I said, "You're from Jamaica, aren't you?"
He glanced quickly at me and said, "Why, yes, I am, but how did you know?"
"I get to Jamaica frequently," I explained, "and your accent is unmistakably Jamaican. I love it."
We drove through the traffic for a few minutes without speaking, and then the driver said very affirmatively, "This my cab. I own it. I am in business for myself. Soon I will own two cabs. My dream is to own twenty cabs."
I said, "Great. I'm always glad to meet an entrepreneur. How long have you lived in the United States?"
"Eleven months," he replied. "When I got to this country, I had two hundred dollars, and already I have my own business."
My mind immediately reflected on a newspaper headline I'd seen while waiting for the cab. It said "9,200,000 People Are Unemployed." I thought to myself: How could this fellow who is in a strange, new environment have a successful business when a staggering number of people who were born and educated here are unemployed?
"You're a remarkable fellow," I said. "You must work very hard."
"Oh, no, sir," he replied. "This isn't work. I like what I'm doing. You see, the profits all come to me, not to a boss or some big company. As you said, I am an entrepreneur, and someday I will enjoy a very good life."
After he dropped me off, I thought: Here is a fellow who appreciates what the system has to offer and is giving it his best. He may not reach his own Utopia, but he is going to come awfully close.
Going Into Business for Herself Put "That Utopian Spirit" Into Jan
Fortunately, there is a wave of new converts to utopianism among your neighbors and mine. These people are discovering that a much better, happier, and more financially rewarding life is within reach. Let me tell you about Jan.
For many years, I have presented a seminar on "Self-direction for Personal Growth," here and in foreign countries. The people who attend come from the big corporations, small businesses, government agencies — all walks of life. One day, in the O'Hare Airport in Chicago, I met a woman who had attended my seminar in Washington, D.C.
As I walked through a corridor, I heard someone call my name. I looked around, saw no one I knew, and kept on walking. Then I heard someone calling my name again. I stopped, looked again. I saw an attractive woman running down the corridor smiling and waving at me.
In a few seconds, she grabbed my arm and said, "Dr. Schwartz, how are you?" I replied, "I'm great, how are you?" She said, "I'm fantastic. It's so good to see you again." Then, as we continued walking, I said, "I'm sorry, but I don't remember meeting you." (I've learned it's usually best to admit not knowing someone who knows you.)
"Well," she answered, "we've never met face-to-face, but I took your self-direction seminar in Washington four years ago. It changed my life! My name is Jan F. Do you have time for coffee?"
I said, "Sure. I've got an hour before my flight to San Francisco."
"Good," she said. "I've got ninety minutes until my flight departs."
Jan soon told me that she was in business for herself. I asked her to tell me about it.
"Well, I had acquired a lot of background about the Social Security system in my ten years in the agency. I saw a need to provide a service to businesses advising them on how they could reduce Social Security costs. In my years with Social Security, I learned that some businesses were paying more Social Security taxes than are legally required.
"For the next six months following your seminar," Jan went on, "after work, I devoted every evening and weekend to deciding what specific money-saving services I could offer and how I could best market them."
"I decided to market my services initially to trade associations, because they represent many businesses and are eager to present money-saving ideas to their members," Jan continued.
"I quit working for Social Security just three years ago yesterday."
"I'm eager to know how you're doing," I asked. "You certainly look happy and prosperous."
"I am happy and I am prospering," she emphasized. "I'm happy because I love what I'm doing. I often work seventy hours a week, but work isn't 'work' anymore. It's fun. I'm traveling all over meeting other people who also enjoy what they do.
"And I'm well into six figures a year already, although I've barely made a dent in the potential market for my services. I've got four people working with me now, and I give each of them a piece of the action because I want them to put forth their very best efforts, too. And it's working. When compensation is based on performance, people just plain do better."
"But wasn't it hard to break away from Social Security?" I asked.
"I confess it took courage to break away," Jan replied. "I was giving up security, and the pay wasn't all that bad. On top of that, I was saying good-bye to a routine I understood. I knew my job. But as I evaluated my situation, I asked myself some sobering questions. I still keep them in my briefcase."
Jan handed me her questions. Here they are:
1. What was the fixed routine doing to my ambition? Would I be happy at the end of my career knowing that I had never really tested myself to see what I could create?
2. What were the people I associated with day in and day out doing to my overall attitudes? What damage was being done to my mind by hearing the same complaints about how unfair the system is, why so-and-so should not have been promoted, and the petty talk at coffee breaks and lunch?
3. To whom did I owe the bigger obligation — to myself or to the organization?
4. Was I really enjoying my free time? Could my free time be better spent?
I told Jan I'd like to have a copy of her questions for use in my work. She agreed, and immediately went to a copy machine and returned with a copy for me.
Soon the hour was almost up and I had to hurry to catch my plane. The conversation with Jan had reinforced my view that thinking more is magnificent and the trip to Utopia is exciting.
How to Profit by Writing Your Obituary
An obituary is supposed to be a brief history of a person's life. Usually, it gives only the barest details, such as date and place of birth, main accomplishments, occupation, and next of kin.
For obvious reasons, most people do not like to write their obituaries. Nevertheless, I've turned obituary writing into a success-building concept for use in seminars for managers.
Here's how it works. I ask the managers to write a summary of where they have been to date in their lives — with added information about family, friends, work, and finances. Then I ask them to write projected versions of the rest of their lives based on past performances. I've learned that our past behavior is a good indicator of where we are headed unless we take positive corrective actions.
The obituary idea works. Let me give you one example. Just after taking off on a flight from Chicago to New York recently, a man in the aisle seat across from me said, "Pardon me, are you Dr. Schwartz?" I smiled and replied, "I was when I got up this morning."
The fellow introduced himself and said, "Well, I remember you from a seminar you conducted six years ago. In particular, I remember that overnight assignment, the "'write your own obituary'" exercise. At the time, I thought the idea was stupid, but I went along with it. It changed my life."
"Tell me how," I said.
"Well," my friend began, "looking back on my life and what I had done with it made me mad at myself. I was thirty-nine at the time, and in writing my obituary, I had to admit to myself certain negatives in my life. I realized I wasn't giving my wife and two kids as much attention as they deserved and needed. Most of my friends were depressing — the 'everything is bad and getting rapidly worse' types."
"What about work and finances?" I asked.
"My analysis of my accomplishments in my work were really negative," my friend continued. "I'm an engineer, and if I had applied myself, I would have been a partner in the firm. But I didn't. And in the money department, I had accumulated little more than some equity in our home."
"Once you had analyzed your life history to that point, what did you do?" I asked.
"You'll recall that the obituary exercise you assigned asked us to project the future based on the past unless we took positive corrective action. The only conclusion I could reach was that my life and the lives of people close to me would only become increasingly miserable down the road. So, immediately on returning home from the seminar, I decided to take some of that positive corrective action, and it worked. I paid more attention to my family and our relationship now is great. I developed new friends — positive types. I began to apply myself at work and now I am a partner, and as for my finances, I'm doing very, very well."
After we parted in the airport, I thought to myself: None of us can change the past. But we can change the future when we take positive corrective action. Success does begin with a dream of more.
Poverty Is Poor People Who Lack a Dynamic Dream
It is no disgrace to be poor, but not having money, resenting the fact that some other people do, and having no concrete dream for improving one's circumstances is totally deflating.
To state it differently, there are two kinds of poor people: individuals with little money and no hope for acquiring it, and individuals with little financial wherewithal but who have a dream for making it.
Many parents discourage their children from trying to find the really good life on the grounds that it's impossible, so they should be content to settle for an ordinary job and the average existence it provides. These parents don't tell their children that every rich family was, in this generation or in a past generation, poor. Huge, prosperous businesses such as McDonald's, Ford, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Amway were started by people with very little capital. Furthermore, Presidents Coolidge, Hoover, Truman, Eisenhower, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, and Reagan — all except two of the people who led the nation in modern times — were born to poor or modestly well-off parents. Presidents Roosevelt and Kennedy were the only exceptions.
Thought Leaders Tell Us to Think Less — Not More
The people who shape the thinking for most of us claim that times are bad and getting worse, society is about to collapse, war is a certainty, crime will only increase, and new exotic diseases will get us sooner or later.
Many thought leaders — teachers, economists, editorial writers, novelists, critics, politicians, and planners — specialize in spreading the bad news. Teachers tell students to seek jobs that offer security and good fringe benefits — not jobs that spell opportunity and reward based on performance. Many economists forecast economic collapse and urge us to fill our basements or rent a mini-warehouse and stock it with nonperishable food; editorial writers and critics find fault with most proposals that would make life better; and politicians specialize in promising us something for nothing.
None of us can control society or the economy. But each of us can determine our own destiny, our own economic condition, and our own happiness. How to achieve control over what happens to us is the central message of this book. Follow the guidelines and watch good things happen!
Decide to Scale Up, Not Scale Down
For the better part of a generation, proponents of negative thought have been telling us to cut back — to be satisfied with miniature housing units, cars built for dwarfs, near-frigid in-home temperatures in the winter and sweat-producing temperatures in the summer. In brief, they've been saying we're running out of energy, living space, resources, and money. They tell us to "learn to enjoy a lower standard of living, because the good life is behind us."
These prophets of gloom even make it sound patriotic to do with less. Carried to the extreme, these do-with-less folks would soon have us living five to a room and would allot us the Russian housing standard of one hundred square feet per person.
Recently, I read one of those back-to-the-cave essays in Time. Part of the conclusion to the article stated, "The current construction of their housing may make some Americans claustrophobic, but cross-cultural comparison might also remind them to be grateful for what they have." In other words, despite how unhappy you may be with your dwelling unit, be happy because it's better than a house in some economically underdeveloped nation.
Such a view is nonsense. It is of little comfort to a sick person to learn that he or she is not as sick as someone else. Worse, it helps lower our standard of living, because it reduces the size of our thinking.
Fortunately, there are still some of us who are determined to use all the skill and all the belief we have in the better life and fight the live-in-a-hut mentality. Interestingly, facing the "downsize the American dream" essay in Time was a full-color ad by Oldsmobile. The ad pictured a full-sized Oldsmobile and began with this statement: "Families deserve the nicer things in life, too."
The advertisement went on to describe how luxurious, roomy, and comfortable the car is.
Besides showing a beautiful automobile, the ad also pictured a fine home, not a mansion but a very nice house, one that could be owned by anyone who makes a commitment to thinking more, not less.
To me, the contrast between the do-with-less-and-like-it essay and the beautiful ad stressing the good life gives us a choice. Do we want to settle in, accept the monotonous, go-nowhere life? Or do we choose to think more and enjoy our life to the maximum?
Think More — Not Less — to Solve Budget Problems
Today, all over the world, individuals, couples, companies, and governments are trying to solve budget problems. The basic problem is always the same. People spend more than they take in as income.
Nearly always the solution people find to a budget problem is the same — and wrong. Consider this conversation between Jane and Bill.
Jane: "We're falling way behind in our monthly payments. We've simply got to cut down on our spending."
Bill: "You're right. But where?"
Jane: "Well, we can stop going out on weekends. And we can cancel the vacation we've planned. Maybe we can find a way to reduce the fuel bills. And you call your mother a lot long distance."
On and on it goes. Balance the budget by thinking less, cutting back, denying yourself what you want.
There is no harm in "Waste not, want not," but thinking in terms of less is not the solution. Recently, I was in a savings and loan bank. The bank was giving away a packet of twelve brochures on how to improve your fiscal fitness. I took them home and examined them. Each brochure told the reader how to save money by doing with less — less food, less heat, fewer auto expenses, cheaper education for the kids.
Not one of those pamphlets suggested one idea about how to make more money to solve a budget problem and create financial independence!
Some corporate managers follow the same procedure as Bill and Jane.<>President: "Projected revenue for next year is off by twenty percent. Now how can we cut our costs so we can balance our budget?"
Mr. Squeakie: "Sir, we can cut out our training program. It won't pay off for at least two years."
Mr. Miser: "And let's cut way back on research and development. Nobody knows for sure if that new product we're designing will make money."
Mr. Tightwad: "We should give up paying the bonuses this year. After all, we pay enough in salaries. Why spoil our people with extra compensation?"
Now a progressive company dedicated to the concept of more will figure out ways to increase revenue so the budget is not only balanced, but a profit results.
Concentrate on earning more, not on stretching your income to the point that you are denied what you want.
One fellow explained his budget problem to me this way. He said, "I was spending at least ten hours a week trying to figure out ways to cut back, skimp, and somehow get by on my income. And I was losing two hours or more every night lying in bed worrying about how badly off I was and what would happen to my family and me.
"Then I got my head turned around. I got a part-time job and now it is paying almost as much as my regular job. I have almost doubled my income in six months and I'm a whole lot happier and I'm enjoying life far more."
Seek Out Dream Builders — Avoid the Dream Destroyers
For decades, I have had the privilege of meeting and observing at close range thousands of people from amazingly different backgrounds. Some were well educated in the academic sense; some had almost no formal education. Some came from wealthy families, while others were products of poverty. The people I have met represented hundreds of occupations, many nationalities, and a variety of personal philosophies. A minority of the people I met were highly successful in earning money, rearing families, and winning respect. The majority were not.
Why? After a lot of study, I reached these conclusions. The minority who make it, the doers, the winners, develop big dreams and seek out people who encourage them in pursuit of their goals. Meanwhile, the majority who are wasting their lives either have no meaningful dreams or, if they do, they surround themselves with dream destroyers, people who laugh at them for thinking big, people who have "proof the dream is unattainable.
Let's examine the most common dream destroyers and consider how you can cope with them if you want to reap the rewards of thinking more.
Dream Destroyer #1: You don't have enough education. Education up to a point is useful and necessary for many occupations. But to believe that more formal education is a guarantee of advancement, money, and peace of mind is foolish. Some of the people who head America's five hundred largest corporations never went to college. Meanwhile, many who received advanced degrees are employed as modestly paid corporate hired hands. Education correlates poorly with success. I made a study of twenty-one of my former students who are now worth at least a million dollars — all self-made. Sixteen of them finished college with a C average (the same average President Eisenhower earned at West Point) and five earned a B average; not one graduated with an A average.
A lot of talented people are held back by folks who keep preaching, "Get more formal education." It is significant, I think, that many successful journalists and writers did not study writing in a formal sense. Nor did all successful artists study painting, nor did all successful actors study acting in college.
Think twice before you accept the advice, "Go back to school and study some more."
Dream Destroyer #2: You don't have enough capital to start your own business. Not since the early part of the twentieth century have so many people dreamed of owning their own businesses. And never before have so many would-be entrepreneurs had their dreams shattered by people who told them, "You haven't got enough money. Forget your idea."
Not having enough capital is an excuse created by people who themselves lack the power to dream, to use their imagination creatively. A young woman came to me three years ago to ask for help. Her dream was to make and market a line of fine blouses. She explained to me that after talking to an accountant and a representative of the Small Business Administration, she had learned the minimum initial capital required would be between $150,000 and $200,000.
"Dr. Schwartz," she said, "there is no way I can come up with that much money."
"How much capital do you have?" I asked.
"About five thousand dollars," she replied.
"Okay," I said, "if your dream is firmly in place, you can start a blouse business with five thousand dollars." I then explained how she could contract with a garment manufacturer to make a sample line for little capital and how she could market the blouse samples through agents who would work on a straight commission.
To make a fascinating story short, in just three years she has turned her dream into a five-million-dollar-a-year business. And her dream is expanding. Her goal for three years from now is to run a fifty-million-dollar-a-year enterprise.
Even more spectacular is the experience of a good friend of mine. A decade ago, he was deep in debt and even deeper in despair. Then someone persuaded him to get in the Amway business because he could make an extra sixty dollars per month that would help supplement his schoolteacher's salary. With less than a hundred-dollar investment, he got into the business. Did he succeed? Well, last summer he moved into a magnificent, custom-designed, twenty-room house. He enjoys trips all over the world and is watching his success grow!
Next time someone tells you, "You don't have enough capital," get advice from a dream builder, not a dream destroyer.
Dream Destroyer #3: You're a dreamer. You've got to be realistic in this world. Chances are you've heard this dream buster many times. But analyze it. Everything begins with a dream. Every business, every building, highway, school, church, house — everything, absolutely everything, is a dream before it becomes a reality. Super-cautious people never achieve because they are afraid to dream about what they want to accomplish.
Suppose Wernher von Braun had listened to the people who laughed at his ambitions to put men on the moon? Or suppose Henry Ford had followed the counsel of his closest associates and not tried to build a car everyone could afford?
Dreams come in all sizes and types. Many people are unable to dream of overcoming a serious ailment. And they don't. Others with the same problem dream they can and health returns. Some people in very ordinary jobs can't visualize themselves as moving into management. And they don't. Other ordinary workers see themselves as some day occupying key jobs and they do.
You see, when life is boiled down to its essentials, we find that dreams are the raw material of reality.
Next time someone tells you that you are foolish to dream, analyze that person, and you'll probably find that he or she is mediocre, achieving next to nothing, un-admired, and not the kind of person you would like to be.
Now we all need advice. But accept it only from people who believe in the miraculous power of dreams.
Dream Destroyer #4: The field is overcrowded. There's too much competition. Suppose you decide to go into business or enter a profession. Odds are many people around you will say to you, "Look, the field is overcrowded and the failure rate is very high. Don't do it."
The restaurant business is often described as being overcrowded, with one of the highest failure rates of any kind of business. But a young friend of mine, after escaping from Russia, didn't know this. He dreamed of making a fortune in the United States. But how? Well, Isaac knew something about the restaurant business. So, with his meager savings, he opened up a sandwich shop. Between eleven A.M. and three P.M. he does a great business. Now he is in the process of opening three more sandwich shops. His dream is to sell more sandwiches and companion items than anyone else in the city. His goal of making a million dollars within two years is assured. And he's only been in the United States three years!
Another young man I met about five years ago came to me with a problem. He said, "Dr. Schwartz, I want to be a lawyer, but my family, my friends, and the counseling service all tell me I'd be a fool to become a lawyer. The field is absolutely overcrowded. We have more lawyers per thousand people than any other nation."
I agreed with him that we do have a surplus of people who are authorized to practice law. Then I asked him, "Do you really want to practice law?" He replied, "More than anything else. I want to be a top-notch lawyer. But I can only afford to go to a night law school, since I've got three kids to support."
I assured him that graduates of "name" law schools get the jobs in the prestigious law firms, but they don't necessarily make the best lawyers. My friend was surprised to learn that most of the members of the United States Supreme Court graduated from very ordinary, virtually unknown law schools.
My friend put action behind his dream. And he's now moving rapidly to make that dream come true.
Dream Destroyer #5: You haven't got the time. There are many opportunities for people to develop sideline ventures in their spare time — ventures that can make money, produce a lot of fun, and do not in any way interfere with a person's regular employment. But again, when you discuss your dream of making several thousand dollars a year more, your dream-destroying friends will tell you, among other negatives, that you don't have time.
Let me tell you about Jim and Alice and how they found time to create a highly profitable part-time business. Jim worked in a bank and Alice operated a word processor in an insurance company. They had a chance to set up their own business. Jim and Alice came to see me to learn how they might find more time. Here were the five suggestions I made:
1. Limit your television viewing to thirty minutes a day. They had been averaging three and a half hours, so this freed up eighteen hours in a six-day week.
2. Stop the daily newspaper. You won't miss it after a week. Another thirty minutes per day saved, or three hours per week.
3. Cut back on your sleep time by thirty minutes per night. Most people, especially when bored, oversleep.
4. Arrange with your managers at work to let you cut your lunch period from sixty minutes to thirty minutes so you can go home thirty minutes early. Over five days, this meant two and a half hours.
5. Cut out those "friends" who insist on calling you several times a week to complain about how awful the economy is, how badly they are treated at work, and how terrible they feel. This produced savings of one and a half hours per week.
The net result was that Jim and Alice each found twenty-eight and a half extra hours per week. Plenty of time to operate their part-time business. Their dream of true financial independence is coming true because they did not let the "you don't have time" people destroy their goal.
As an aside, I am appalled at how much time and how much physical and moral damage is done by the relatively new American institution known as the "happy hour." Some people spend fifteen hours a week getting smashed and wasting time in bars. Just think what these people could do if they put those hours, and dollars, to a good purpose!
The Mack-the-time dream destroyer is self-imposed. We tell ourselves we are too busy. Well, everyone lives exactly 1,440 minutes every 24 hours. Each of us decides whether to use our time productively or waste it.
Dream Destroyer #6: But the economy is bad. This is an old standby excuse for not starting a new venture, changing jobs, or making an investment. Most people use it, and most people suffer because they do. To be sure, a capitalistic economy has its ups and downs. There has never been a time when all stocks, bonds, real estate, or other investments all went up or down in price.
Look at it this way, the economy is always selectively good. There are always some excellent investments. But most investors don't understand this. Two mistakes they make are (1) they buy when everyone else is buying, and (2) they sell when everyone else is selling.
Only a minority of investors make a lot of money, because only a few have the stamina to avoid the herd instinct. Joseph Kennedy, father of President Kennedy, was a classic example. During the 1930's, when the nation's economy was in ruins, Mr. Kennedy increased his net worth more than 800 percent! Very simply, he knew that when people were frantically selling, that signaled a time to buy, and when they began to buy with undue enthusiasm, that was a time for him to sell.
Mr. Kennedy had deep-seated faith in our economic system. When the economy recovered — as it always does — he was ready.
If you are over age thirty, take a few minutes to review the economic performance of the people you knew well in high school. Chances are a few of them are on their way to financial independence. They're the ones who see the economy as always being selectively good. But most of your friends arc probably just getting by. They're the ones who believe the awful headlines that tell people to surrender, give up, not take any risks, and be resigned that even worse economic times are a certainty.
Be a believer in the system or be a disbeliever. It's your choice. But keep this in mind. For decades, a few people have gotten rich by injecting economic fear into the minds of the masses.
For my part, I choose to side with the small minority who know the free world is on the threshold of a truly golden age.
Five Steps for Creative Dreaming
Most people who dream don't really dream. They may have needs, wants, and desires, but they don't follow the dream procedures that work. Here they are:
Step 1: Answer three basic questions about yourself. A wise old professor of mine at the University of Nebraska built an entire course in philosophy around having his students answer three critically important questions:
(a) Who am I? That is, what interests do I have? What special talents? What gives me the most joy? Answering the "who am I" question tells you what special assets and capabilities you have. I had a group of success-searching people answer this question recently, and the results were amazingly diverse. Some folks discovered they were loners and preferred to be around few other people. Others learned they were highly extroverted and needed to be with other people as much as possible. Some people learned that they preferred working with their hands. Others preferred working with their heads. Each of us is unique. Knowing who you are is essential to answering the second question:
(b) Where do I want to go? An overwhelming majority of people you know have at best only a vague idea of why they are alive or where they are headed. If you want to have your eyes opened and learn the truth of this statement, do a little experiment. It's also a lot of fun. Here's the experiment:
Find a clipboard. This makes you look more official. Position yourself on a busy street and interview five people at random. Begin by asking, "Sir (or Madam), may I ask you a few questions?" They'll reply with something like, "Okay," or "Do you want to know who I'm going to vote for in the next election?"
Ask them this one question: "Why did you get up this morning?" Most of your respondents will look at you as if they think you're all the way out of it. So repeat the question, "Why did you get up this morning?"
Chances are the person will reply with, "Well, I had to go to work."
Then ask, "Why did you have to go to work?"
The respondent will likely reply with something like, "Well, I gotta eat."
Next, ask, "Why do you have to eat?" At this point, the other person will look at you as if you really are loco and say something like, "Well, so I can live."
Then as the real eye-opener, ask, "Why do you have to live?" The other person will think a second or two and then reply with, "So I can get up tomorrow morning and go to work."
The masses of people get up so they can go to work so they can earn a living so they can go to work so they can earn a living so they can go to work…
Doesn't that say something disturbing about society? Now success-oriented people get up in the morning so they can do something that carries them upward, not downward or sideways. They get up to enjoy life, meet interesting people, earn more money, do more with and for those they love, and help others to achieve.
It is extraordinarily important that we know where we want to go. Getting up for sixteen hours so we can afford to sleep eight hours is not the good life. Yet for tens of millions of people, that is their reason for being.
(c) How do I get where I want to go? Now I don't think you're like the people described in the street interview or you wouldn't be reading this book. Assuming you have a fix on where you want to go, the next question is, "How do I get there?" Each of us is unique and each of us has different goals. But there are three guidelines that, if followed, will propel us into the orbit we want.
First, get the best possible training and experience to qualify you for what you want to do. If you want to become a great salesperson, for example, get a job where you'll receive top-notch instruction and guided experience. Or if you want to become a computer expert, real-estate appraiser, or psychologist, affiliate with an organization where you will learn the ins and outs of your profession. Affiliate with a second-class organization and you'll learn second-class methods and procedures. (Later in the book, specific techniques are suggested for selecting a mentor — and everyone needs one.)
Second, be willing to sacrifice and then sacrifice some more. One thing all achievers have in common is the willingness to sacrifice in order to achieve goals. A friend of mine is a real-estate broker. One afternoon, he and I talked about how he got to the top of his profession.
"It wasn't easy," he explained, "but I did have sense enough early in my career to do what you suggested. I got a job with a very reputable real-estate firm, straight commission, of course. But the going was really tough. The first year I made in commissions just about a third what I would have earned in a corporate administrative job. But somehow, I was determined to hang on. I like real estate."
"Well, you certainly have it made now", I said.
"Oh, a lot more bitter times lay ahead," he replied. "I began to learn from my mistakes and I got some excellent coaching. And the commissions began to build fast. Then, almost suddenly, the real-estate market crashed. Because of high interest rates, lack of cash, and a fear psychology, my income dropped seventy-five percent. And it stayed down for three years. But during that time, while other agents dropped out of the business like flies, I kept working my clientele. I let them know I was trying my best to sell their properties.
"Finally, the recession ended and a real-estate boom developed and my sales skyrocketed. You see, by making a lot of sacrifices during the real-estate recession, I had earned very little money, but I created an enormous amount of what I call 'confidence capital.' The real-estate developers I had worked with when times were bad believed in me, and now I'm reaping the rewards. Last year I earned over two hundred thousand dollars in commissions."
Getting good advice and making sacrifices pay off.
Step 2: Dream in specifics, not generalities. Once we know who we are, where we want to go, and how to get there, the next step is to get specific about what we want. Typically, people state their dreams like this: "I'd like to make a lot of money," or "I'd like to have a better job," or "I'd like to have a business of my own and be my own boss." The problem with these dreams is that they are far too general. How much is "a lot of money"? What is a "better job"? Or what kind of "business" do you want?
People who phrase their dreams in specifics have an infinitely greater chance of reaching them than people who have only vague ideas of what they want. So, if you want to earn more money, state precisely how much you plan to earn and by what date. If your goal is a better job, write out a detailed description of the job you want. And if your dream is a business of your own, describe what kind of business it will be and when you will start it.
Most people are wishers. Be a creative dreamer instead—someone who knows what, precisely what, he or she wants.
Step 3: Set a time frame, for your dream fulfillment. This dream-fulfillment requirement was suggested in Step 2. But let me elaborate just a bit. It is a fact that people work more efficiently and faster when they impose deadlines or a timetable on what they do. Some time ago, I knew two well-educated young men who had considerable expertise in computer-systems design. They decided they would open a consulting firm and sell their services to businesses too small to design their own systems. Every weekend for a year they planned their future business. They continued planning for a second year, and a third year. By this time, they finally concluded there was too much competition, so they'd better give up the idea of their own consulting firm.
Imagine how different the result would likely have been if they had agreed at the outset, "We'll spend our weekends planning for one year (or six months), and then we'll open our business."
Keep in mind that as Disraeli said, "Life is too short to be little." If you live until age 75, you will have spent only 27,391 days, 3,910 weeks, or 912 months on this earth. Life is too short to waste. Dreams are fulfilled only through action, not through endless planning to take action.
Step 4: Visualize the dream as already attained. A young friend of mine who held a beginning management job with an airline shared with me his dream and what he's doing to fulfill it.
"I know I'm going to make it into senior management in ten years. No one I know at my level is working harder or is smarter or has more desire than I to make it to the top. But I'm doing something else to make sure my wife and I and our two little kids enjoy the really good life."
"I'm curious," I said. "It seems like you're on the right track. But what else are you doing to achieve the good life?"
"I'll tell you," he replied. "My extra encouragement is to go a little out of the way once or twice a week on my way to work. I drive through an extra-fine residential area where the homes are large and custom-designed, where the lots are at least two acres, and the neighborhood is nearly perfect.
"Then I do something else," he added. "I ask myself, how do these people afford to live in such beautiful, exclusive homes?"
"What kinds of answers do you get?" I asked.
"Well," my friend answered, "some of these people were born into wealth. But most of them, I've learned, made it on their own. Like you say, they had a big dream and made it come true, I've got a big dream, too, and I'm going to make it come true."
There are many ways to visualize a dream. If the dream is a specific income, paste the amount on the steering wheel of your car or on the bathroom mirror — any place that you'll be reminded of it several times a day. Or, when you're alone, say out loud — again, several times a day, "This year I will earn ______ dollars." Do these things and gradually your subconscious, that mysterious, all-powerful part of your mental apparatus, will guide you to your dream achievement.
Step 5: Make a total commitment to your dream. There is a psychological law, poorly understood and seldom applied, that says in effect that nothing can stop the totally committed individual from achieving carefully thought-out goals. Translated, this law means that if you are totally determined, willing to make all needed sacrifices, and keep your mind on winning the objective, you will achieve your goal.
Most of us have heard losing football coaches explain after the game, "I guess we weren't up [totally committed] to win today," or "Frankly, we weren't in condition today [the team didn't make the necessary sacrifices in training last week] to win."
Some feel the decisive battle of World War II was one in which the United States did not participate. That battle was the sinking of the German battleship Bismarck. The British naval commanders "knew" they could not sink this huge, new, all-powerful ship. But Prime Minister Churchill was totally committed. He issued the order, "Sink the Bismarck." And the Bismarck was sunk.
Nothing, absolutely nothing, can stop the totally committed will.
How to Profit Most from: The Magic of Getting What You Want
Let me commend you for reading this chapter. It tells a lot about you. It says you're tired of less than the best — that you want more of the good things — more money, wealth, influence and happiness. The fact that you're reading this book suggests that you want to move upward faster, with less wasted effort and fewer mistakes. Those are great goals and very few people have them. Now, to maximize your experience using The Magic of Getting What You Want, follow these four suggestions.
1. Read the entire book as quickly as you can. Read it in two or three evenings or on a weekend. This will give you a feel for the philosophy of thinking more. It will serve as an overall orientation session to an old, yet brand-new concept for achievement and satisfaction. Immediately, as you read the principles and the examples that explain them, you will begin to see what differentiates the successful from the less-than-successful people.
2. Next, spend a week slowly and carefully rereading each chapter. Make notes. Underline concepts and guidelines that have special application to you.
3. Encourage others close to you, members of your family, your special friends, and perhaps your work associates to join you in discussing The Magic of Getting What You Want. You may want to spend an occasional evening or weekend holding a group discussion about the concepts presented.
4. Finally, and very important, apply the guidelines at work, in the home, and in all social situations. See for yourself how they do work wonders in making for more successful living. Practice the guidelines until they become habits.
In a nutshell, put these concepts to work:
• Thinking more is your key to personal prosperity and enjoyment.
• Decide now to go for your own Utopia and enjoy the best this life offers.
• Write your own obituary. See where the status quo will take you.
• Decide to scale up, not scale down.
• Solve budget problems by discovering how to earn more, not cut back.
• Avoid these Dream Destroyers:
a) You don't have enough education.
b) You lack capital.
c) You've got to be "realistic."
d) The field is overcrowded.
e) You don't have the time.
f) The economy is bad.
• Seek out Dream Builders. Avoid Dream Destroyers.
• Use these five keys for creative dreaming:
a) Know who you are, where you want to go, and learn how to get where you want to go.
b) Dream in specifics, not generalities.
c) Set a deadline for dream fulfillment.
d) Visualize the dream as already attained.
e) Make a total commitment to your dream.
START THE DREAM PROCESS IN ACTION NOW!
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