Evan Carmichael: He’s an American motivational speaker, personal finance instructor and self-help author. He became well known from his infomercials and self-help books. In 2013, Forbes estimated his net worth at 480 million dollars. He’s Tony Robbins, and here are his Top Ten Rules For Success. Tony Robbins: Ultimately, if you’re going to have lasting change in anything, you’re really talking about just raising your standards. I mean, I always tell people; if you want to know how to change your life, I’ll give it to you in three words, boring as it sounds, “raise your standards.” Now, what does that mean, corny as it sounds, “raise your standards”? “Well, thank you for the breakthrough thought, Tony.
I’m glad I wasted my time watching this little email with you.” Think about it. Lasting change is different than a goal. You don’t always get your goals, but you always get your standards. Maybe what’ll help you is to think about it this way. I try to explain standards to people with a different set of words. Think of it as everybody in life gets their “musts.” They don’t get their “shoulds.” Think about it. Most people have a list of “shoulds”; don’t they? Don’t you have a list of “shoulds,” things you should do, you should follow through on? “I should lose some weight.” “I should work out more.” “I should make more calls.” “I should respond more rapidly to my email,” whatever. “I should get into the office earlier.” “I should be more confident.” Whatever your “should” list, people love to have their “should” list be met, but it’s like New Year’s resolutions.
If it does, it’s really exciting. If it doesn’t, which is most of the time, it’s a little disappointing, but you kind of know it’s not going to happen. When you decide something is a “must” for you, an absolute “must,” when you cut off any possible… you say, “I’m going to find a way, or I’m going to make the way.” Human beings, when they resolve things, when they make a real resolution inside themselves, which is they raise the standard and they make it a “must,” they find the way. Think about it in your own life. Haven’t you had some area of your life where you raised your standard, and your life has never been the same? Maybe, at one time in your life, you smoked cigarettes. Or you did something, and you did it for years. You kept trying to change it, trying to change it and kept telling yourself, “I should.” Then, one day, something happened. Something just clicked you over. Something took you over that tipping point, and inside yourself, you said, “No more.” That was a very, very different experience; wasn’t it? Something inside of you shifted.
What was a “should” became a “must,” and you’ve never gone back. Is there an area like that in your life that you can think of? Again, did you ever smoke cigarettes? Did you ever eat a certain way, drink a certain form of alcohol and then finally say, “No more,” and you just don’t go back? Notice this; it doesn’t really take any willpower, anymore, because somewhere, when we make this click, when we make something a “must,” we attach ourselves to it. It becomes part of our identity. One thing I’ve learned, in the last, gosh, 33 years of work on people from, now, over 100 countries, four million people, is human beings absolutely follow through on who they believe they are. If you said to me, “Well, I’m really going to work hard to stop smoking, but I’ve been a smoker my whole life. I am a smoker,” I know your days are numbered. You’re going to be back smoking cigarettes, again, because we all act consistent with who we believe we are. I tell people the strongest force in the whole human personality is this need to stay consistent with how we define ourselves.
If you define yourself as somebody who is really conservative, you’re not going to be crazy and act nuts, unless you’re really drunk or something. Then you can say it’s the alcohol, when it’s really just you finally getting permission to be yourself. The alcohol is your excuse. If you’re a really crazy person, you act crazy, outrageous, playful. You don’t act conservative because it’s not who you are. Very often people say, “Well, I can’t do that. I’m not that kind of person.” I always say to people, “Really? When did you define yourself? I mean, really, how many years ago did you come up with what you could and couldn’t do in your life? How many years ago?” Most people, if they really look at how they’re living their life today, it’s based on a set of standards, a set of beliefs that they made choices about 10, 20, 30 or more years ago.
Very often, we made decisions in our youth, or very young, about what to believe, about what we were capable of, about who we are as a person, and that becomes the glass ceiling, if you will, that controls us. There is a corny metaphor, but it’s true. I remember, one time, I was with my family at the circus. There was a person there, and they had this big, giant elephant. You look at this elephant. They take this little rope, put it around the elephant’s neck, and they drive this stake into the ground.
I mean, you look at this, and you know that elephant could rip down the entire tent with almost no effort. Yet, the elephant doesn’t struggle, doesn’t try. Why? Because the elephant’s conditioned. They could take that elephant and condition the elephant when it’s a baby elephant. That’s how they train them. When it’s a little baby elephant and it doesn’t have the power, yet, they put a big rope around it, and they drive this huge stake in the ground. The elephant fights and fights and fights. One day, finally, that elephant decides, “I’m not capable of pulling this out.” Once that becomes the definition of an identity of anyone – an elephant, in this case – they don’t even try, anymore.
“It’s just who I am. That’s how it is. That’s just the way it is in my life.” I’d like to ask you to take a look at any place you’ve got a limitation and ask yourself, “When did I decide to accept that limitation?” You may not even see it as a limitation. You might see it as, just, “That’s who I am.” So often, in our lives, we’ve adapted to be a certain way, so that we don’t fail or so that people will like us or respect us.
It’s not necessarily who we are. Joy comes when you’re spontaneous. It’s really hard to be truly happy when you’re not being yourself, and most of us have no clue who we are. A big part of my work – if you’ve ever been to event, you know – is to get people to do things spontaneously, without thinking, because that’s when the real you shows up. That’s when the energy comes alive. When you do that, when you start to connect your true nature, suddenly, there’s energy available for you to set a higher standard for what you want in your life.
That’s what this is really all about. When I talk about “standards” or I talk about “shoulds” versus “musts,” think about your own life. I know there have been areas in your life where, at some point in time, you just shifted. You raised the standard, and your life changed because whatever people have their identity attached to, they live. We live who we believe we are. That’s just how it works. I’ll give you an example. Look at your physical body. Your physical body, today, is an absolute reflection of only one thing. Not your goals, not your desires, but your standards, the identity you have for yourself. If your standard is you’re an athlete, then there’s a certain amount of strength, a muscle tone, an energy that’s available in your body, on a regular basis, because that’s who you are. You do whatever is necessary to maintain that identity. Again, the strongest force in the human personality is this need to stay consistent with how we define ourselves because if you don’t know who you are, you wouldn’t know how to act.
Once you lock in on that identity, your brain finds a way to keep you there. If you say, “Man, I’m overweight. I’ve always been overweight. I’m big-boned” and that’s the story you’ve got, then you’re going to always find a way to get back there. That’s your settling point. That’s your identity. That’s where things lock in. If you see somebody who’s in really great shape, you ask them, “Do you work out?” You know the answer, “Yes.” “How often?” They’ll tell you, “Three times,” “Four times,” “Five times a week,” whatever. In a seminar, I’ll ask people, “Who, here, works out at least five days a week? Stand up.” You look around that room, and you know that they work out five times a week because you can see their body. You don’t just get a result without some kind of action, without some form of ritual; “ritual,” meaning actions you do consistently.
Now, do you believe those people that are out there, working out five days a week, do they have more time than you do or I have or anybody else? Of course not. Is their life less busy? Of course not. It’s just a “must” for them. They must work out that way. They’ve made that turn, and their life changed. I’m not saying you have to work out five days a week. I’m just saying, whatever you really want, “wants” don’t get met consistently; “standards” do. Whatever you identify, “This is who I am.” It’s not so much about changing your identity, as it is expanding it; deciding that, instead of your goal is to lose 10 pounds, which is not compelling, what if your vision was to “get back to my fighting weight”? “This year,” “This month,” “This next 90 days, I’m going to transform my body.
I’m going to take on a new challenge. I’m going to find some technique or strategy. There’s a million of them – that can reframe myself.” Or, “I want to feel younger, stronger, more vibrant than ever before. Here are my reasons. I want the energy to really make my life work because it’s tough out there, and I want to be stronger than I’ve ever been before. I want to go in front of the mirror, and if I’m naked, not want to laugh. I want to look there and take a good look, and go, ‘Yeah. I’m proud of whatever I see there.'” Whatever it takes. Something is going to make you laugh, smile. Something is going to tease yourself, but something is going to move you to another level. If you identify yourself in a new way, you own that every day and that becomes the standard of how you live, you’ll find a way to make that standard real.
Money is the same way. Think about it. It doesn’t matter what’s happening “in the marketplace.” People that make money find a way to make money, no matter what; don’t they? I mean, most people’s standard is to pay their bills, so that’s what most people find a way to do. Even when economic times get tough, most people, if that’s their absolute standard, they find a way. Some people’s standard is to pay their bills most of the time, and so, most of the time, they do.
Some people’s standard is not just to pay their bills, but to take care of their family and maybe even some of their friends. They find a way. In fact, some people may be in a family where, if they don’t have enough money… They barely have money to pay their bills. They worked their guts out, and then somebody – their mother, their father or somebody else, their sister – gets ill. There’s not enough money to take care of it. Nobody else has money in the family. They don’t, either, but they find a way to get that money and take care of their mother or father, don’t they, and pay their bills.
They never could do it before. Why? The situation made them raise their own standard. Not everybody does that. Somebody else in the family might have money and still not take care of their mother. It all comes down to the inner game, my friends. Changing your life is a change in the inner game. The outside world, you can’t control, but you have absolute control over this one, if you learn the dynamics of what shapes you. Identity is one of those simple, clear, fundamental basics that if you start to shift it, everything else will shift in your life, as well. Somebody will, by the way, have to have more than enough money to do what they want, when they want, where they want, with whomever they want, contribute the way they want.
If that’s their “must,” they find a way. I know that sounds overly simplistic, but it’s true. Somebody once said you could take all the money in the world out of the hands of everybody, out of all the wealthy people in the world who are really successful, give it to other people. It wouldn’t take too long; those people would have it back in their hands. It’s not because they’re manipulative. It’s because they have standard. Some are manipulative. Don’t get me wrong, but they have a standard of what they’re going to find a way to make happen. I’m just simply saying to you, take those three magic words and live them.
Raise your standard. Michael Gerber, the guy that wrote The E-Myth, talks about why so many businesses, young businesses fail. One of the things he says is most people are not really entrepreneurs, but they think that’s what they should be. They think that’s the sexy thing, that’s the most attractive thing, that’s the best answer. What I say to you is you’ve got to separate the vehicle from the outcome. What is it that’s going to truly fulfill you? What is it that’s going to give you that extraordinary life? What’s going to make things magnificent, on your terms, not somebody else’s terms, not your father, your mother, your background? What is that, really? Separate the vehicle. There are many ways to get to that vehicle, but I’m saying, sometimes you have to reevaluate what’s going to really make you fulfilled. What is your gift? Are you an artist? Are you the talent that can produce something no one else produces as a skill, a product, a service or some impact? Are you incredibly good at management; you really know how to manage or lead people? Are you an extraordinary entrepreneur that can take that gigantic gut-load of risk, create the vision, attract the talent that you need, the managers and leaders? You may have all three abilities, but which one really fulfills you the most, is going to be the critical question.
We tend to want to do them all, especially in a room like this, because you’re all overachievers; right? Me, too. You say, “Well, I can do all these.” Yes, you can, but what will it do to your quality of life? See, again, the secret is going to be this. What is an extraordinary life, on your terms, today? Things, getting things is not going to make you happy. That’s good news in a tough economy. It’s a good reminder. It doesn’t matter what you get. It doesn’t matter whether it be money or opportunity. All those things might excite you for the moment. Even a relationship, as magnificent as it may be, might exciting for a while, but if you don’t keep growing, that relationship isn’t going to stay exciting. The secret to real happiness is progress.
Progress equals happiness, and if we can make progress on a regular basis, we feel alive. That’s why, at the beginning of the year, we get this thing like, “Okay. I could have this fresh start. I could really do what my soul desires. I could expand. I could grow. I could improve. I could change. Or maybe, better than change, I could progress.” See, think about that. Progress has an aliveness to it; doesn’t it? You don’t have to work at changing. People say all the time, now, “Well, I’m working on changing.” Don’t worry about it. You don’t have to work on changing. Change is automatic. Your body is going to change, whether you want it or not, as the years go by. No matter how hard you work, there are going to be some changes going on there. The economy is going to change, no matter what you want it to do. The weather is going to change. Relationships are going to change. Everything in life is always changing. We don’t have to work on change. Change is automatic, but progress is not.
If you want to make real progress, then you really have to look at your life in a different way. You have to say, “I have to take control of this process and not just hope it’s going to work out,” like people do who make a resolution. Treat people, at the end of the relationship, like it’s the beginning, and there won’t be an end. That’s not just your intimate relationship. What if your customers… What if you fell in love with your customers, with your clients more than your product, more than your company? If your entire life is about meeting their needs, if you would do what for your customers or clients, you would do what? If you loved your customers and clients; you’d do anything, guess what? They’re going to love you. Most people love their customers and clients as long as they buy from them, do what they want, respond to them. If they don’t, they go, “That’s the end.” You want clients for life, not just customers, fall in love with them. It’s a different focus; isn’t it? It’s a different meaning, and that creates a different life because you make decisions differently from that place.
What does it take to create world-class marketing? What is the unique selling proposition? What is what we call “value-added marketing,” VAM? Today, most people are sick and tired of advertising because where is it? Everywhere. In fact, I have a question for you. How many of you, in this room, do not even see banner ads, anymore? Literally, it’s there, but you don’t perceive it, like your brain literally washes it out. Raise your hand if that’s true. Keep your hands nice and high, and look around the room right now. You’ll see 98% of the people wash it out, so don’t buy them, unless you’re going to create something really unique.
It’s a total waste of your money and your time, in the world we’re in today. Today, what creates marketing is when you don’t just market, but you add value to people. You do something. You teach them. You give them an insight. You give something valuable that costs them nothing, and then they look to you as an expert. They look to you as a person that adds value. They want you to supply them more information, more experience, more products and more services. If you lend me this whole business about meeting your needs, you can run a successful business, but it’ll be a job because you’ll never be able to sell it. If it’s just meeting your needs, it’s not a system. It demands your attention, your connection. It’s giving what you want. Ultimately, it’s not going to give somebody else what they want, so you can’t sell it. If you can’t sell your business, if you don’t have an exit strategy, you have a job. I don’t care how successful the business is. That doesn’t mean you have to sell the business, but one of the most important decisions you make in business is, ultimately, “If I was going to sell this, if I chose to, I have to know who would I sell this to, so that I have long-term value, not just an income along the way.
I have this critical mass here. I have a multiple of my business.” Most people don’t have a clear exit strategy. They think, “I’ll come up with that someday.” You have to start with that in the mind. That has to be part of your focus, if you’re going to be successful in your business. I can remember the gentleman who built CAA in Hollywood. It was the largest, most successful agency; right? Michael Ovitz, remember that name? He put together Nike, Coca-Cola and these billion-dollar deals. Eventually, Michael Ovitz went to go sell that business. He had never thought through an exit strategy, and he got almost nothing for it because the laws prevented him from selling it to a studio. He had to sell it to some of his employees for pennies on its real value. Mike found a way to make money, later on, in another place, off of Disney, but the bottom line is the guy didn’t have an exit strategy. It was brilliant. He made lots of money. In the end, didn’t get the value. Whenever people fail to achieve their goals, 99.9% of the time, you ask them why and they’ll tell you it’s because of a lack of resources.
That’s what all these things are. “I didn’t have the support,” right? “I didn’t have the money.” “We didn’t have the time.” “We didn’t have this.” “We didn’t have that.” There is a resource that people believe is missing, and that resource belief structure then keeps people from every being able to really lead because what leaders do is they find a way to maximize whatever resources they have, as little as they may be. They don’t believe in limited resources. I’ll give you an example. Let’s take a business example, to start with. In 1974, a guy named Sam Walton had built his little company up.
He came up with an idea. He started with $20,000 in, I think, 1962, if I remember right. By 1974, within 12 years, he had 78 stores, and you know how he did it? In the middle of the night, he’d drive across the border, and he’d go and study other people’s stores. He’d buy everything the cheapest he could, in the middle of the night. He’d go to other people’s stores. Whatever was working, he figured out. Success leaves clues. He came back and did it in his store. Whatever was working in any store, in any competitor, anywhere he could do it, he did it. He figured out how to maximize the little resources he had, his 20,000; built 78 stores. If you read any of the people following him – the company had gone public in that year – they’re all saying, “This is it. He’s maximized his resources.” He only had so much money. There are only so many cities that are going to appeal to this “discounting” mentality; right? This is it.
This is all he can do, and the word on Wall Street was “sell.” Now, what’s interesting is, at that time, you look at Sears and Kmart, and they were gargantuan companies, weren’t they; 20, 30, 40, 50 times, 100 times his size or more, probably? At that time, they were the leaders, and they knew what was going to happen. Did things change; yes or no? Did he suddenly get mass amounts of capital? No. Here’s what they didn’t understand? Sam Walton, now, or the Walton organization, Walmart, is the most successful retailing operation on Earth.
When you talk about Bill Gates being the richest man in the world, that’s only true because Sam’s fortune is divided amongst a bunch of different family members. You put them together, they dwarf Bill Gates. Sam Walton did this. How did he do it? What people underestimated is that this guy could go to 4,400 stores, do 250 billion. Where is Kmart today? They’ve been shrinking. All of them have been shrinking, and he is the dominant force on Earth. Here’s the thing he understood; resources are interesting, but the ultimate resources are the feelings of emotion that make you resourceful. Think of it this way; resourcefulness is the ultimate resource. What do I mean? What are the emotions that make all this possible? What’s the fuel that takes an idea from being in your head, where you, intellectually, know what to do? How many have had an idea, for example, it was a great idea; you’re excited about it, and then you didn’t do anything? Then, one day, there you saw it, on the shelf.
You saw it somewhere. Someone stole your idea. How many have had this happen? Say “Aye”? [audience says “aye”] The only difference between you and that person was not that they had more resources. They were more resourceful. Success and failure are not giant events. They don’t just show up. You don’t just suddenly became successful or suddenly have this cataclysmic event that makes you fail. It may look that way, but failure comes from all the little things.
It’s failure to make the call. It’s failure to check the books. It’s failure to say “I’m sorry.” It’s failure to push yourself to do things, physically, that you don’t want to do. All those little failures, day after day, come together until, one day, some cataclysmic event happens, and you blame that. That event happened because you missed all the little stuff. Do you agree with me? Success, by the way, is not some overnight event. It’s all these little things. Success is having a vision. Success is making it compelling. Success is really seeing it and feeling it, every day, with strong enough reasons. Success is feeling the sense that “I’m here to grow, and I’m here to give something to the world, more than just myself.” All the little stuff, that’s where success comes from.
In business, it comes from delivering more than anybody could imagine. All those little things add up, and people go, “Wow. That’s who I want to do business with.” It’s true in any area of your life. Leverage is critical. You know how I get so much done? Because I don’t just get it done. I know the outcome. I know the purpose, and I look for leverage. Leverage is different than delegation. What’s the problem with delegation? Delegation is you have all that needs to be done, so you give it to someone else.
You tell them what needs to be done, and when they don’t do it, you’re pissed off. Leverage says, “I can move the biggest boulder in the world, with a little bit of effort. I have something I can do it with, but I’m still part of it.” Leverage is, if I’m going to leverage something here with Tom, I’m going to make sure Tom understands the what? The outcome. I want to make sure Tom understands the…? The purpose, the why and the action. I might say to Tom, “If you can get this done without this action or better action, go for it, baby, and I want to talk to you on this date.
We have to promise that we’re going to check in before it’s needed, so there are no surprises. If you’re having problems, Tom, come back to me because we’re partners on this.” That, I call “leverage.” You know what I do when I have no time? There is time. I just have to leverage it. You know what I’m saying? You say, “I have no one to leverage it, too.” Shane, over here, right? I have all the stuff he wants to do; can’t leverage it. Shane’s answer was hire somebody. Then he thinks about what it’s going to take, and goes, “$125,000, I can’t do that now.” He’s getting caught up in one way to get the outcome. Leverage. He goes through his list, and goes, “What if I go someone to do 20% of this stuff? I could spend 20 grand to get that much freedom. I could pay for it times 10.” Hmm. If I’m really productive, my productivity should enhance the world. Not only in my clients and customers; but it should provide jobs for other people. If there’s anything you hate to do, it’s because you’re either ineffective at it or you don’t think it’s very important, but it is urgent.
You need to hire somebody for those things, and ideally, somebody who loves that job. You’re never going to grow when your time is eaten up for activities that aren’t that important. Activity without high levels of purpose is the drain of your fortune. Do it now. If you can’t get it all now, do a part of it now. Leverage is power. Leverage is ultimate power. Here’s what I’ve created for me life, and anyone I know has succeeded.
I’m a 17-year-old kid from Mezuzah, California, with no real education, other than self-education; with no background; with parents that did their best, all of them; with no money. I did one thing. I love people, and I had a enormous banana [sp? 0:24:10.8] made upon myself. I sculpted my mind and my emotions to get me to do whatever it would take to achieve and to contribute, but to do that, I did it by using my body and changing my focus.
I did it by putting myself in a peak physiology and using what I called “incantations.” Can you train yourself to believe something; yes or no? [audience says “yes”] Absolutely. How many of you ever made the fatal mistake of going to Disneyland or Disney World, and while you’re there, made the fatal mistake of going to a ride called It’s a Small World After All? [laughter] What happens for about a week after you’re out of that damn place? You’re still singing this thing in your head, in 24 languages; right? Well, let me tell you something. How many of you have things, when you want to go achieve them, and this part of your voice goes, “It’s not going to happen” or “Forget it”? How many have a voice that sometimes interrupts that good pattern? Say “Aye.” [audience says “aye”] What you want to do is train a new one.
Starting when I was 17, I started doing incantations, not affirmations. Affirmation, you go, “I’m happy. I’m happy. I’m happy.” What’s the problem? You haven’t changed your what? Your what? Physiology. If you don’t change your physiology, you won’t get anything. An incantation is not only you speak it, but you embody what you’re saying with all the intensity you can. You do it with another repetitions that it sticks in your head. Like It’s a Small World Now, the conversation in your head is always the same, and it gives you want you want. Use your body and your voice.
Seventeen years ago, I started doing things. I was working for Jim Rohn, the speaker, and I was 17 years old. I had long hair; minestrone soup acne on my face. I was trying to call on Bear Stearns-type of people and convince them why they should go to this man’s seminar and be more successful. I was driving a 1968 Volkswagen that I had earned at $40 a week, as a janitor. The only way I did it was park far from the building and then go in. I loved people, and I believed. When I put myself in state, I was able to influence people that were far more successful than I was at the time. I will do something that I still do backstage and I’ve done for 23 years because I don’t hope I’m going to be in good state.
I demand it, so I do an incantation. Using my whole body, I’d say, “I no command my subconscious mind to direct me in helping as many people as possible today, to better their lives, by giving me the strength, the emotion, the persuasion, the humor, the brevity, whatever it takes to show these people and get these people to change their lives now.” I would that, literally, driving in my Volkswagen to a meeting, in LA, on a freeway for 40 minutes. People would look. I’m screaming at the top of my lungs, and they’re going, “I know he’s a serial killer. I know he is.” By the time I entered that room… When two people meet, if there is rapport, the person who is most certain will always influence the other person, and I was totally certain. They were trying to get revved up to certainty. Do you agree with this; yes or no? [audience says “Yes”] I’d do another one because I was poor.
I had to change my mindset. I kept doing things, but I never got beyond it. I’d say, “God’s wealth is circulating in my life. His wealth flows to me, in avalanches of abundance. All my needs, desires and goals are met instantaneously by infinite intelligence. For I am one with God, and God is everything.” I would imagine the abundance in my life, and I would feel so grateful. A year later, I went from making $38,000 a year to making a million dollars a year, in one year. Evan Carmichael: Thank you so much for watching. I made this video because Subash Limbu and my cameraman, Jason, asked me to. If there is a famous entrepreneur that you want me to profile next, leave it in the comments below, and I’ll see what I can do.
I’d also love to know which of Tony Robbins top 10 rules was the most impactful on you. Leave it in the comments, and I’ll join the discussion. Thank you so much for watching. Continue to believe, and I’ll see you soon. BONUS Tony Robbins: There’s a man named Ken Blanchard who wrote those books called The One Minute Manager books. He said something very early in my life. He said, “Tony,” he said, “A business will always consume whatever’s available.” And, he said, “I see you’re coming out with your first book.” I was 24, it was Unlimited Power, and he goes, “You’re coming out with this book, I think it’s going to be a big success.
Do not put that money in your business. Take that money and put it into a separate investment account that nobody else touches. He said, I’m telling you the business will get all the benefit of all the media, of all the things that come to it, but the actual dollars of that should stay out.” He said the same thing when I had an infomercial. He said, “Take that money and put it aside.” Well it was one of the best pieces of advice I’d ever gotten in my entire life because I put it aside and there were times when that money was needed.
But, I was like putting it in a chapel, it was like putting it where it was sacred money and it was not going to be touched. If someone came along and said, “You have no money for your business, but guess what Obama just raised the taxes 20% more for your business.” You’d scream, you’d yell, you’d be upset and you’d pay it. So, why not put your family first? Why not have a portion of what you own, or what you earn, I should say, for yours to keep. It doesn’t go to Kate Spade, it doesn’t go to Wall Street, it goes to your family. The way you do that is you tax yourself, it’s a wealth tax. You go, “That’s my freedom fund.” It comes off the top. The secret is automate it so you don’t see it, that’s really the most important thing. Very often you’re getting what you’re asking for you’re just not aware of how general you’re asking. Clarity is power. The more clear you are about exactly what it is you want, the more your brain knows how to get there.
Your brain is a servomechanism. It’s like a bomb. Those bombs, those missiles, they have a servomechanism, so if the target moves, it knows what the target is and it follows it. Your brain, when you condition it, knows exactly what to go for and it will find a way to get there. Did you ever buy a certain outfit or a certain car and suddenly see that car or outfit everywhere? How many of you have had that experience? Say, “I”. How come that car or outfit is everywhere? It always was everywhere, but now you notice it and the reason is because there’s a part of your brain called the reticular activating system, the RAS. That part of your brain determines what you notice and what you don’t notice. Your brain spends most of its time trying to make sure you don’t notice because you’ll go crazy if you notice everything. But, when you decide what’s most important to you, your brain goes after it. Everyone I know who’s successful, builds what I call an RPM plan. RPM is built on the metaphor that the way to get from where you are to where you want to go the fastest is you’ve got to build power, like in a car, RPMs.
The “R” stands for, they know the result in the rafter, they know what they want precisely. If you don’t know exactly what you want or if you let yourself get beyond that into something general, you’re not going to achieve it. Clarity is power. You’ve got to know the specific result you’re after. What do you want. If you can’t answer that question right now in personal life, in your body, in your relationships, in your finances, in your spirituality, then you’re not going to be as fulfilled as you want to be. Here’s my assignment for you, if you want one. If you want to go from conversation to some action, here’s a simple thing to do.
What’s an area in your life right now that you really want to improve? What’s an area that’s important to improve? If you’re body’s great, how about your career? If your career’s great, how about your relationships? Intimate ones especially. Or, your kids. Or, your relationship with your creator, your spiritual side of your life. Or, is it your finances. Figure an area that really matters, decide on that area. Number One: Write down what your life is like in that area right now as specifically as possible.
So, you might say, “Well I’m pounds’ overweight. You know, whatever the weight is, whatever the situation is. Or, “My body fat’s like this” or “I wake up exhausted in the morning.” And you write the truth of where you are right now, so you’re real clear. Or, I’m not in a relationship. I say I want a relationship, but I’m not in one. I don’t seem to find them; all the good ones seem to be gone is my belief. I really do want one, but I don’t have it. Whatever your definition is, “I’m in a relationship and God I wish I wasn’t in a relationship.
I’m planning my escape.” Wherever you are. Or, “I have a wonderful relationship, we love each other, but there just isn’t enough passion.” Just write the truth of where you are. The area you want to change, but write how it is. The Second Step is, and this is where you’ve got to be really honest with yourself, what are the rituals that have put there? Because, whatever results you’re getting, even if you don’t like the results, there are some rituals that are putting you in that place. There are some rituals of what you eat or don’t eat, how you move or don’t move, how you sleep or don’t sleep. There are some rituals in the lack of variety or spice or energy or focus in an area. There’s something you’re doing and it’s usually not one thing, it’s a bunch of little things that you kind of do consistently whenever you think about getting in a relationship, whenever you think about working out, whenever you think about money, you get yourself into a state of overwhelm.
You start thinking about all of the things you can’t control. Just write down all of the rituals you have. Here’s the Third Step: What do you want? What’s your vision? Be really specific. I want to be my fighting weight; I want to be the strongest I’ve ever felt. I want to be. . .I’m going to turn. . .whatever it is, be specific. Last step Number Four: What are the rituals that will get you there? What would you need to do differently each morning if you were going be that kind of energy, that kind of strength? How often would you have to work out? What days would you work out? What time? A ritual is something you do consistently, usually at a specific time so it becomes automatic.
Let me tell you something, will power doesn’t last. But rituals can last a lifetime. I bet you have some rituals you have in your life that you’ve been doing for years, even though some of them don’t serve you. I’m just saying, wake yourself up. If you want a new year and a new life, you don’t have to start on January first, start today. Start with this little video. Just begin to see what happens and see how easy it is to just to a few little rituals. Don’t do them all, just do two or three new things. You know what happens? You’ll get momentum, because once you discipline yourself in one area of your life, you feel yourself doing it in other areas as well. I always say something that my original teacher taught me, I always remind people; there’s always two pains in life, there’s the pain of discipline or there’s the pain of regret. Discipline weighs ounces, as my friend Jim Rohn taught me, regret weighs tons. You don’t want to have regret.
So, right now, what do you want to change, what’s it really like, what are the rituals that got you there? That will take a little homework. If you’re not sure, ask the people around you, they’ll tell you what your rituals are. What do I really want in depth, what are the rituals that will get me there and then get yourself to start a few of those actions and lock them in place.