Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become. Your vision is the promise of you shall at last unveil. —John Ruskin
Your mind can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Your thoughts alone have the power to make you healthy or sick, rich or poor, popular or unpopular. Your mind is like a powerful force that can be turned in any direction to bring about wonderful results, or wreak havoc and destruction.Your main goal in life must be to har- ness your amazing powers and direct them intelligently and system- atically toward achieving everything you really want.
A JOURNEY THROUGH ITALY
Let me tell you a story. Some years ago, I took my family to Italy on vacation. We toured several of the great art museums of Rome and Florence. In Florence, there is a special museum that was built to house the statue of David created by Michelangelo several hundred years ago. This is perhaps the most beautiful piece of sculpture in the world. The actual physical experience of being in the same room with it is something that none of us has ever forgotten.
The story of the creation of the David is very interesting and contains a lesson for all of us. Michelangelo was commissioned by the Medicis to create a statue for the main square in Florence.
The Medicis were the wealthiest and most powerful family of Italy at the time. A commission for a statue from the Medicis was not only a great honor; it was also a task that could not be re- fused. For two years, Michelangelo searched for a block of stone out of which he could create the kind of masterpiece the Medicis were looking for.
Finally, on a side street of Florence, partially overgrown with weeds and covered with dirt, he found a huge slab of marble lying on wooden trestles. It had been hauled down from the mountains years before and had never been used.
Michelangelo had walked past this street many times, but this time he stopped and looked more closely. As he walked back and forth studying the block of marble, he actually envisioned the statue of David and saw it in its entirety.
GREAT SUCCESS REQUIRES LONG, HARD WORK
The sculptor quickly arranged to have workmen haul the block of marble to his studio some distance away. He then began the long, hard job of hammering and chiseling. It took him two solid years of work to create the rough outline of the statue. He then put his ham- mers and chisels aside and spent two more years polishing and sanding before the statue was complete.
Michelangelo was already famous as a sculptor, and the news that he was working on a major commission for the Medicis spread all over Italy. When the day came for its ﬁrst public viewing, thou- sands of people came from all over Italy and gathered in the main square. When it was unveiled, the crowd stood gaping in awe. It was breathtakingly beautiful. People cheered. Women fainted. The audi- ence was amazed at the incredible beauty of the enormous statue. Michelangelo was immediately recognized as the greatest sculptor of his age.
Afterward, when Michelangelo was asked how he was able to create such a masterpiece, he replied by saying that he saw the David complete and perfect in the marble. All he did was to remove everything that was not the David.
YOU ARE A MASTERPIECE
There are many parallels between yourself and the David. You are very much like a great masterpiece enclosed in marble as well. But the marble that envelops you, and most other people, is the marble of small, limited thinking and excessive worry about the possibili- ties of loss or failure, rather than an excited anticipation of the re- wards of success and achievement.
To realize your full potential, your greatest need is to break out of your limited thinking by dreaming big dreams and imagining un- limited possibilities. You need to remove all the negative beliefs that hold you back from becoming all you are capable of becoming.
But remember, even after the David had been released from the marble, it took Michelangelo two solid years of sanding and polish- ing to turn it into a masterpiece. In the same way, you also have to work on yourself, sanding and polishing, learning and practicing, for days, weeks, months, and even years, to develop and bring out all the talents and abilities that lie deep inside of you.
YOU CAN BECOME UNSTOPPABLE
The central purpose of this book is to help you change your think- ing in such a way that you become absolutely unstoppable in achiev- ing any goal you can set for yourself.Your goal is to develop yourself to the point psychologically where you become like an irresistible force of nature.You will be like the tide coming in, or like a powerful storm that sweeps across the land.
Your aim is to become so conﬁdent, courageous, strong, and resolute that you can set any goal for yourself with the ﬁrm knowl- edge that you can learn what you need to learn, and do what you need to do, to eventually achieve it. You will become so persistent and determined that nothing and no one can slow you down or alter your course.You will become truly unstoppable!
DREAM BIG DREAMS
You begin the process of becoming unstoppable by dreaming big dreams. Since everything you create in your world begins with a thought, the bigger the dreams you dream, the bigger the goals you will achieve. All successful men and women are dreamers. All peak performers are what are called “blue-sky thinkers.” They continu- ally allow their minds to ﬂoat freely when they think about what is possible for them. They look at the unlimited blue sky above them as the only limit to everything and anything that they could possibly be, or have or do.
Successful people continually practice “back from the future” thinking. They project into the future several years and imagine what their lives would look like if they had achieved all of their goals. They look back to the present, from the mental vantage point of the future, like looking from the top of a high mountain down to where they are actually standing in the valley, in the present. They then look at the path that they would have to take to get to where they want to be in the future.
By the law of correspondence, whatever you can clearly see on the inside, you will eventually experience on the outside.You should therefore visualize your goals with as much clarity and vividness as possible. Visualize your goals intensely and create within yourself the same feeling that you would have if you had already achieved your goals. Visualize your goals frequently. Replay a picture of your goal, as if you had already realized it, on the screen of your mind as many times a day as you possibly can. Visualize your goals for as long as you possibly can, preferably just before falling asleep each night.
Repeat these exercises of visualization—vividness, intensity, fre- quency, and duration—until your goals become absolutely clear, living, breathing, exciting, clear pictures in your mind. The more skilled you become at moving from the dream through the goal to the visualization, the more motivated and determined you will be. The more clarity you develop, the more courage and conﬁdence you will have, and the more unstoppable you will become.
CREATE YOUR IDEAL FUTURE VISION
The most important part of dreaming big dreams is for you to deﬁne your ideal future vision. It is for you to think about what you want be- fore you begin to think about what is possible for you. You dream big dreams by looking into the future and imagining that you have no limitations holding you back from achieving anything you set your mind on.
Detach yourself from your current situation and allow yourself to dream. Pretend for the moment that you have all the time and money you need. Imagine that you have all the connections and con- tacts, all the resources and opportunities, all the education and knowledge, all the skills and experience that you require to be, have, or do anything that you could dream of.
Imagine your ideal lifestyle. Imagine your ideal job or income. Imagine where you would like to live and how you would like to spend each day, each week, each month. Imagine your ideal family life. Imagine your ideal state of health. Design your perfect life in every respect.
MAKE YOUR OWN DREAM LIST
Here is an exercise for you. Take out a piece of paper and at the top write the words “Dream List.” Underline these words and then write down everything that you can think of that you could ever possibly want if you had no limitations whatsoever.
Most people are held back by their self-limiting beliefs. The way you burst these mental chains is with a dream list. The very fact that you can write down something that you would love to have someday means that you probably have within you, right now, the ability to achieve it. Let your mind ﬂoat freely as you write. There will be lots of time to organize and evaluate your dreams later.
WHAT WOULD YOU DARE TO DREAM?
Here is a great question: “What one great thing would you dare to dream if you knew you could not fail?”
If you were absolutely guaranteed of success in the achievement of any one goal, big or small, long-term or short-term, what would it be? If a billionaire took a liking to you and offered to write you a check to cover any goal that you could clearly deﬁne, what one goal would you choose? If you could have any job, what would it be? If you could work for any kind of company, what kind of a company would you select? Where would it be, and what would it be doing? If your fam- ily life and your relationships could be perfect in every respect, what would they look like? Answer these questions clearly. Write them down.
START WORK ON YOUR FUTURE
You begin the creation of your ideal future by making up your dream list.You write down everything that you would want to be, do and have, exactly as if you had no limitations at all. You make up your list as if you were absolutely guaranteed of success. Then you can begin reﬁning your list, step by step to develop a detailed blue- print for your life.
Henry David Thoreau once wrote, “Have you built your castles in the air? Good, that’s where they should be built. Now, go to work and build foundations under them.” Once you have broken free from your limited thinking, like a balloon casting loose its moorings and rising high into the sky, you can begin to turn your dreams and fantasies into concrete practical goals with speciﬁc plans of action.
Your ability to set goals and to make plans for their accomplish- ment is the “master skill” of success. With this master skill, there are no limits on what you can accomplish. Putting your goals on paper is the next step in the process.
HOW TO ACHIEVE ANY GOAL
There is a seven-step method for goal setting and achievement that you can use, over and over, in any situation, to accomplish anything you could ever want for yourself. These seven steps con- stitute a powerful, proven formula that you can use to change your life immediately.
STEP ONE: DECIDE EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT
A real goal is clear, speciﬁc, measurable, and time bounded. A non- goal—a wish or a hope—is fuzzy and unclear. It is a fantasy that ﬂoats in the air. People with clear, speciﬁc goals, who know exactly what they want, are very different from people who are going through life hoping for the best.Your ability to decide exactly what it is you want in each area of your life is one of the most important re- sponsibilities of adult life.
People often approach me at my seminars and ask what their goals should be. I reply that only they can decide. It is amaz- ing how many of them tell me how hard it is to set goals, and I agree with them. It is hard, but it is also essential. With clear goals, you can do almost anything. Without them, you can do vir- tually nothing.
One of the major reasons that people fail in life is because they waste so much of their time doing things of low value or no value at all. And the reason they waste so much time is because they have no real idea of what they really want. Once you have clear goals, your ability to manage your time improves dramatically.
USE YOUR TIME WELL
Here is a way to decide whether something is a good use of your time. Just ask, “Does this move me toward the achievement of one of my goals?” If the activity helps you to achieve a goal you have set for yourself, it is a good use of time. If it doesn’t, it is a poor use of time.
When you get into the habit of only doing those things that move you toward your goals, your life will take off. Your results will improve. You will soon ﬁnd yourself busy every hour of every day doing things that are helping you in some way.You will have no time left to spend on activities that aren’t helping you to achieve one of your goals.
When you set clear goals for yourself, and you know exactly what you want, you will become increasingly impatient with activi- ties that are not helping you in some way.You will watch less televi- sion. You will listen to less radio. You will read the newspapers quickly, if at all. You will become far more selective with your friends and your social activities.You will spend time only with peo- ple you enjoy, people you can learn and beneﬁt from. But, as the old saying goes, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.”
STEP TWO: WRITE DOWN YOUR GOALS
Write your goals down on paper. There is something quite incred- ible that happens between the brain and the hand. When you take a paper and pen and write down your goals, you activate the Laws of Expectation, Attraction, and Correspondence simultaneously. You intensify your belief and deepen your conviction that your goals are possible for you. The very act of writing down your goals gives you a sense of control and personal power. Written goals in- crease your resolve and determination to do whatever is necessary to achieve them.
The speed at which you will begin to achieve your goals after you have written them down is nothing short of miraculous. The very act of writing out your goals increases the likelihood of your achieving them by as much as 10 times—1,000 percent!
Many thousands of my graduates have written or come back to tell me about the amazing things that have happened in their lives that started immediately after they began putting their goals in writing.
STEP THREE: BE WILLING TO PAY THE PRICE
Determine the price you are going to have to pay to achieve your goal. Make a list of everything that you are going to have to do if you want to make your goal a reality.
Are you going to have to start each day’s work a little earlier, work a little harder, and stay a little later? Write it down. Are you go- ing to have to upgrade your knowledge and skills, and take addi- tional courses? Again, write it down. Are you going to have to change jobs, change industries, or change careers in order to achieve every- thing that is possible for you? Write it down.
The Law of Cause and Effect is the iron law of the universe. For everything that you want, there is a price that must be paid. This price must be paid in full and in advance. The Law of Sowing and Reaping is not the Law of Reaping and Sowing. You have to put in before you get out. You have to give before you receive. You have to pay the price before you enjoy the reward.
Your willingness to do whatever you need to do, pay whatever price is required, go whatever distance is necessary, and make what- ever sacriﬁce is demanded is the measure of how badly you really want your goal.
Many people sabotage their own success by deciding that they want a particular goal, and although they are willing to pay a high price for it, they are not quite willing to pay the full price that the goal demands. This is like wanting to win in a poker game but not being willing to match the ﬁnal bet made by the other player. You end up losing the whole hand, just as by failing to make a total com- mitment people end up losing the entire goal.
STEP FOUR: MAKE A DETAILED PLAN
Make a plan, in writing. Remember, the ability to develop written goals and create plans for their achievement is the master skill of success. A plan begins with your making a list of all the things that you can think of that you are going to have to do to achieve your goal. Once you have made your list, you can add new items as they occur to you.
You then organize your list in terms of priority and sequence. What are the most important things on the list that you will have to do to achieve your goal? What are the things that you will have to do before you do something else? Which items on your list are depen- dent on your completing other items ﬁrst?
A plan of action gives you a track to run on. It increases your level of belief and intensiﬁes your desire for the goal. You gradually become convinced that your goal is actually possible and achievable for you. You begin to see possibilities that you may not even have been aware of in the absence of a written plan.
STEP FIVE: TAKE ACTION ON YOUR PLAN
Take action of some kind in the direction of your goal. Once you have set a goal, written it down, determined the price that you are going to have to pay, and made a plan, you must take some action immediately. Even if you only make one phone call or collect one piece of information, be sure to do something. In the Bible it says, “Faith without deeds is dead.”
There is something powerful in your willingness to take a speciﬁc action, in faith, in the direction of your goal, with no guarantee of success. Your action itself seems to trigger all kinds of other powers and forces in the universe. You activate the Law of Attraction to help you. When you take action, you demonstrate to yourself, and to others for that matter, that you are really seri- ous about your goal.
Until you have taken a speciﬁc, irrevocable action of some kind, you have merely engaged in an enjoyable exercise, like day- dreaming. You have put your key into the ignition but you haven’t turned it on.
STEP SIX: DO SOMETHING EVERY DAY
Do something every day that moves you toward your most impor- tant goal. This is a vital success principle that generates energy and enthusiasm. For you to maintain your courage, conﬁdence, and self- motivation, you must be doing something every single day that gives you a feeling of forward motion and progress. Your job is to build yourself up to the point where you genuinely feel unstoppable, and the only way that you can do this is by refusing to stop, by doing something daily.
STEP SEVEN: NEVER GIVE UP
Resolve in advance that you will never quit once you have started toward your goal. No matter how many setbacks or obstacles you experience, make the decision that you will keep on picking yourself up and persisting until you eventually succeed.
By deciding in advance that you will persist, no matter what the difﬁculty, you give yourself a psychological edge. When the difﬁcul- ties do arise, you will be mentally prepared to plow through them rather than quitting. Your willingness and ability to persist are what will eventually guarantee your success.
SECRETS OF SELF-MADE MILLIONAIRES
If money is your goal, remember that most of the people who are wealthy today started out with no money at all, or even deeply in debt. Almost everyone who is on the top today was once at the bot- tom. Almost everyone who is at the front of the line of life was once at the back of the line. Almost everyone who is wealthy today was once poor.
Most of the ﬁve million millionaires in the United States are self-made. That is, they started out with nothing and worked their way up. Our world today has more than 300 self-made billionaires and multibillionaires as well. Many of these are people who started with little or nothing, and by changing their thinking, they un- leashed their own inner potentials to achieve extraordinary ﬁnancial results. And almost anything that anyone else has done, within rea- son, you can do as well. What are your goals?
■THE POWER OF COMMITMENT
One of my favorite quotations is from the mountain climber Charles Murray.
Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is an elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans; that the moment that one def- initely commits oneself, then providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one that would never other- wise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the deci- sion, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidences and meetings and material assistance that no man could have dreamed would have come his way.
He ﬁnishes off his statement with these words from Goethe:
Are you in earnest? Seek this very minute, Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.
Only engage and the mind grows heated. Begin and then the task will be completed.
- What one great goal would you set for yourself if you were ab- solutely guaranteed success?
- Make out a “dream list”; write down everything you would like to have in your life someday, exactly as if you had no limitations.
- Imagine your perfect lifestyle; if you were ﬁnancially indepen- dent and you could live any way and anywhere you wanted, what would you change?
- Make a list of 10 goals you would like to accomplish in the next year. From that list, select the one goal that would have the greatest positive impact on your life if you could achieve it right now.
- Write your most important goal on a separate piece of paper. Make it measurable and set a deadline for its accomplishment.
- Make a written plan to achieve this one goal. Write out a list of everything you can think of that you will have to do to accom- plish it.
- Take action on your plan immediately. Once you have started, discipline yourself to do something every day that moves you to- ward that goal. Never miss a day until you have achieved it.
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