The Top 50
Secrets of Success and the Pillars of Self-Mastery
less. This is
one of the best investments you can make to make your life more productive
and rewarding. Most people do not need more than 6 hours to maintain an
excellent state of health. Try getting up one hour earlier for 21 days and
it will develop into a powerful habit. Remember, it is the quality not the
quantity of sleep that is important. And just imagine having an extra 30
hours a month to spend on the things that are important to you.
aside one hour every morning for personal development matters. Meditate, visualize your day,
read inspirational texts to set the tone of your day,
listen to motivational tapes or read great literature. Take this quiet
period to vitalize and energize your spirit for the productive day ahead.
Watch the sun rise once a week or be with nature. Starting the day off
well is a powerful strategy for self-renewal and personal effectiveness.
- Do not
allow those things that matter the most in your life be at the mercy of
activities that matter the least. Every day, take the time to ask yourself the question
"is this the best use of my time and energy?" Time management is
life management so guard your time with great care.
the rubber band method to condition your mind to focus solely on the most
positive elements in your life. Place a rubber band around your wrist. Each time a
negative, energy sapping thought enters your mind, snap the rubber band.
Through the power of conditioning, your mind will associate pain with
negative thinking and you will soon possess a strongly positive mindset.
answer the phone with enthusiasm in your voice and show your appreciation
for the caller.
Good phone manners are essential. To convey authority on the line, stand up. This will instill further
confidence in your voice.
the day we all get inspiration and excellent ideas. Keep a set of cards (the size
of business cards; available at most stationary stores) in your wallet
along with a pencil to jot down these insights. When you get home, put the
ideas in a central place such as a coil notepad and review them from time
to time. As noted by Oliver Wendell Holmes: "Man's mind, once
stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions."
aside every Sunday evening for yourself and be strongly disciplined with
Use this period to plan your week, visualize your encounters and what you
want to achieve, to read new materials and inspirational books, to listen
to soft soothing music and to simply relax. This habit will serve as your
anchor to keep you focused, motivated and effective throughout the coming
remember the key principle that the quality of your life is the quality of
your communication. This means the way you communicate with others and, more
importantly, the way you communicate with yourself. What you focus on is
what you get. If you look for the positive this is what you get. This is a
fundamental law of Nature.
on purpose, not on outcome. In other words, do the task because it is what you
love to do or because it will help someone or is a valuable exercise.
Don't do it for the money or the recognition. Those will come naturally.
This is the way of the world.
for five minutes in the mirror each morning. Steve Martin does. Laughter
activates many beneficial chemicals within the body that place us into a
very joyous state. Laughter also returns the body to a state of balance.
Laughter therapy has been regularly used to heal persons with varied
ailments and is a wonderful tonic for life's ills. While the average 4
year old laughs 500 times a day, the average adult is lucky to laugh 15
times a day. Revitalize the habit of laughter, it
will put far more living into your life.
a candle beside you when you are reading in the evening. It is most relaxing and
creates a wonderful, soothing atmosphere. Make your home an oasis from the
frenzied world outside. Fill it with great music, great books and great
enhance your concentration and powers of focus, count your steps when you
walk. This is
a particularly strong technique. Take six steps while taking a long
inhale, hold your breath for another six steps, and then exhale for six
steps. If six steps is too long for the breaths,
do whatever you feel comfortable with. You will feel very alert,
refreshed, internally quiet and centered after
this exercise. So many people allow their minds to be filled with mental
chatter. All peak performers appreciate the power of a quiet, clear mind
which will concentrate steadily on all important tasks.
to meditate effectively. The mind is naturally a very noisy machine which
wants to move from one subject to another like an unchained monkey. One
must learn to restrain and discipline it if one is to achieve anything of
substance and to be peaceful. Meditation for twenty minutes in the morning
and twenty minutes in the evening will certainly provide you with
exceptional results if regularly practiced for six months. Learned sages
of the East have been advancing the many benefits of meditation for over
to be still.
The average person doesn't spend even 30 minutes a month in total silence
and tranquility. Develop the skill of sitting quietly, enjoying the
powerful silence for at least ten minutes a day. Simply think about what
is important to you in your life. Reflect on your mission. Silence indeed
is golden. As the Zen master once said, it is the space between the bars
that holds the cage.
it is likely one of the best training programs you can invest in. Here are
some ideas to strengthen your will and become a stronger person:
a) Do not let your mind float like a piece of paper in the wind.
Work hard to keep it focused at all times. When doing a task, think of
nothing else. When walking to work, count the steps that it takes to get
all the way to the office. This is not easy but your mind will soon
understand that you hold its reins and not vice versa. Your mind must
eventually become as still as a candle flame in a corner where there is no
b) Your will is like a muscle. You must first exercise it and then
push before it gets stronger. This necessarily involves short term pain
but be assured that the improvements will come and will touch your
character in a most positive way. When you are hungry, wait another hour
before your meal. When you are labouring over a
difficult task and your mind is prompting you to pick up the latest
magazine for a break or to get up and go talk to a friend, curb the
impulse. Soon you will be able to sit for hours in a precisely
concentrated state. Sir Issac Newton, one of the
greatest classical physicists the world has produced, once said: "if
I have done the public any service, it is due to patient thought." Newton had a
remarkable ability to sit quietly and think without interruption for very
long periods of time. If he can develop this so can you.
c) You can also build your will-power by restraint in your conduct
with others. Speak less (use the 60/40 Rule = listen 60%
of the time and speak a mere 40%, if that). This will not only make
you more popular but you will learn much wisdom as everyone we meet, every
day has something to teach us. Also restrain the urge to gossip or to
condemn someone who you feel has made a mistake. Stop complaining and
develop a cheerful, vital and strong personality. You will greatly
d) When a negative thought comes to your mind, immediately replace
it with one that is positive. Positive always dominates over the negative
and your mind has to be conditioned to think only the best thoughts.
Negative thinking is a conditioned process whereby the negative patterns
are established over and over. Rid yourself of any limitations and become
a powerful positive thinker.
an effort to be humorous throughout the day. Not only is it beneficial
from a physical viewpoint but it diffuses tension in difficult
circumstances and creates an excellent atmosphere wherever you are. It was
recently reported that members of the Tauripan
tribe of South America have a ritual
where they awake in the middle of the night to tell each other jokes. Even
tribesmen in the deepest sleep wake to enjoy the laugh and then return to
their state of slumber in seconds.
a highly disciplined time manager. There are roughly 168 hours in a week. This surely
allows plenty of time for achievement of the many goals we desire to
accomplish. Be ruthless with your time. Set aside a few minutes each
morning to plan your day. Plan around your priorities and focus on not
only those tasks which are immediate but not important (i.e., many
telephone calls) but especially on those which are important but not
urgent, for these allow for the greatest personal and professional
development. Important but not immediate activities are those which produce
long-term, sustainable benefits and include exercise, strategic planning,
the development of relationships and professional education. Never let the
things which matter most be placed in the backseat as compared to those
that matter least.
only with positive, focused people who you can learn from and who will not
drain your valuable energy with complaining and uninspiring attitudes. By developing relationships
with those committed to constant improvement and the pursuit of the best
that life has to offer, you will have plenty of company on your path to
the top of whatever mountain you seek to climb.
- Stephen Hawking, one of the great modern physicists of
the world, is reported to have said that we are on a minor planet of a very
average star located within the outer limits of one of a hundred thousand
million galaxies. Are your problems really significant in light
of this? You walk this Earth for but a short time. Why not become devoted
to having only a wonderful experience. Why not dedicate yourself to
leaving a powerful legacy to the world? Sit down now and write out a list
of all that you have in your life. Start first with your health or your
family - the things we often take for granted. Put down the country we
live in and the food we eat. Do not stop until you have written down fifty
items. Once every few days, go through this list - you will be uplifted
and recognize the richness of your existence.
must have a mission statement in life. This is simply a set of guiding principles
which clearly state where you are going and where you want to be at the
end of your life. A mission statement embodies your values. It is your
personal lighthouse keeping you steadily on the course of your dreams.
Over a period of one month, set a few hours aside to write down five or
ten principles which will govern your life and which will keep you focused
at all times. Examples might be to consistently serve others, to be a
considerate citizen, to become highly wealthy or to serve as a powerful
leader. Whatever the mission statement of your life, refine it and review
it regularly. Then when something adverse happens or someone tries to pull
you off course, you quickly and precisely return to your chosen path with
the full knowledge that you are moving in the direction that you have
- No one
can insult or hurt you without your permission. One of the golden keys to
happiness and great success is the way you interpret events which unfold
before you. Highly successful people are master interpreters. People who
have attained greatness have an ability which they have developed to
interpret negative or disempowering events as positive challenges which
will assist them in growing and moving even farther up the ladder of
success. There are no negative experiences only experiences which aid in
your development and toughen your character so that you may soar to new
heights. There are no failures, only lessons.
- Take a
speed reading course. Reading
is a powerful way to gain many years of experience from a few hours of
study. For example, most biographies reflect the strategies and
philosophies of great leaders or courageous individuals. Read them and
model them. Speed reading will allow you to digest large quantities of
material in relatively small periods of time.
people's names and treat everyone well. This habit, along with enthusiasm, is one of
the great success secrets. Everyone in this world wears an imaginary
button that screams out "I WANT TO FEEL IMPORTANT AND APPRECIATED!".
soft as a flower when it comes to kindness but tough as thunder when it
comes to principle. Be courteous and polite at all times but never be pushed around.
Ensure that you are always treated with respect.
discuss your health, wealth and other personal matters with anyone outside
of your immediate family. Be very disciplined in this
truthful, patient, persevering, modest and generous.
in a warm bath at the end of a long, productive day. Reward yourself for even the
smallest of achievement. Take time out for renewal of your mind, body and
spirit. Soon all your more important goals will
be met and you will move to the next level of peak performance.
the power of breathing and its relationship with your energy source. The mind is intimately
connected with your breathing. For example, when the mind is agitated,
your breathing becomes quick and shallow. When you are relaxed and
focused, your breathing is deep and calm. By practising
deep, abdominal breathing, you will develop a calm, serene demeanour that will remain cool in the hottest of
circumstances. Remember the rule of the Eastern mountain men: "to
breathe properly is to live properly."
and cultivate the power of autosuggestion. It works and is an essential
tool in maintaining peak performance. We are all performers in one way or
another and it is particularly valuable to use such techniques of athletes
and public figures for our own enhancement. If you want to become more
enthusiastic, repeat "I am more enthusiastic today and am improving
this trait daily". Repeat it over and over. Purchase a legal notepad
and write out this mantra 500 times. Do it for three weeks with regular
practice and feel that this quality is developing. Very soon it will come.
This is a strategy that Indian sages have employed for thousands of years
to aid their spiritual and mental development. Do not be discouraged if
the results are not immediate, they will certainly develop. The spoken
word is a powerful influencer of the mind.
a diary to measure your progress and to express your thoughts. Writing out not only your
successes but your troubles is one of the world's most effective methods
of erasing the worry habit, staying in optimum state and developing
precision of thought.
is simply a response which you create in the interpretation of an event. Two people might find that a
given event results in quite different responses. For example, an after
dinner speech might strike fear into the heart of an inexperienced speaker
while a strong orator views it as a wonderful opportunity to share his
thoughts. Understanding that the perceived negative effects of an event or
task may be mentally manipulated and conditioned towards the positive,
will allow you to be a peak performer in all instances.
- Read "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective
People" by Stephen Covey. It contains a wealth of wisdom and powerful
insights into further developing your character and enhancing your
a committed audio-tape user. Most personal-mastery programs and books are now
offered in this format. Listen to these inspirational materials on your
way to work, whilst waiting in the line at a bank or while you wash dishes
in the evening. Make your car a college on wheels and use the drive time
to make knowledge your best friend. All down time can be very effectively
used in this productive fashion. Use such opportunities to learn and
continually expand your mind and its vast potential.
fasting one day every two weeks. During these fast days, drink fruit juice and eat
fresh fruits only. You will feel more energetic, cleansed and alert.
Fasting also has a salutary effect on your will-power as you are
subverting the otherwise pressing impulses in your mind calling on you to
- Keep a
radio-cassette player at your office and listen to soft, soothing music
throughout the day. Place pleasant scents and inspirational pictures in your
workplace. By the magic of association, your work will become something
you enjoy even more and arouse a very pleasant feeling within you. Budget
your time on trips such that you can spend half an hour in the airport
bookstore. They always contain the latest and best self-mastery books and
tapes given that those who travel by air are of a group that finds value
in these materials.
- Read "As a Man Thinketh"
by James Allen. And don't just read this little book once, read it over
and over again. It contains an abundance of timeless wisdom on living a
fuller and happier life.
that forgiveness is a virtue that few develop, but one that is most
important to maintaining peace of mind. Mark Twain wrote that forgiveness is the
fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it. Practice
forgiveness especially in those situations where it is seemingly
difficult. By using your emotional forgiveness muscles more regularly,
petty wrongs, remarks and slights will not touch you and nothing will
penetrate your concentrated, serene mindset.
your cup. A
full cup cannot accept anything more. Similarly, a person who believes
that he cannot learn anything else will stagnate quickly and not move to
higher levels. A true sign of a secure, mature individual is someone who
sees every opportunity as a chance to learn. Even the teachers have
Two Minute Mind is an excellent exercise for
developing concentration. Simply stare at the second hand on your wristwatch
for two minutes and think about nothing else for that time. At first your
mind will wander but after 21 days of practice, your attention will not
waver during the routine. One of the greatest qualities a person can
develop to ensure his success is the ability to focus for extended periods
of time. Learn to build up your concentration muscles and no task will be
too difficult for you.
a cup of warm water before a speech. Ronald Reagan employed this strategy to ensure that
he maintained his honey-smooth voice. Mastery of the art of public
speaking is a noble goal. So dedicate yourself to it. You will be judged
by the calibre of your communication skills.
you stand and meet someone, stand firm and steadfast. A telling sign of an
unfocused, weak mind is constant fidgeting, shifting of the eyes and
tough and you will be tough. Have courage and inspire others with your actions.
But always be considerate.
not what this world can do for you but, rather, what you can do for this
service an important goal in your life. It is a most fulfilling investment
of time. Remember, in the twilight of your life, when all is said and
done, the quality of your life boils down to the quality of your
contribution to others. Leave a rich legacy for those around you to savour.
- Once a
week, arise at dawn. It is a magical time of day. Be still, go for a walk or
simply listen to an old Ella Fitzgerald recording. Take a long, hot shower
and do 100 pushups. Read one of the classics. You will feel alive and
Do not let everyone know everything about you. Cultivate a mystique.
the art of public speaking. There are few natural speakers. One great trial
lawyer stammered dreadfully but through courage and strength of
conviction, he developed into a brilliant orator. Role model anyone you
think is a highly effective, influential communicator. Visualize a picture
of this person. Stand like him, smile like him, and talk like him. The
results will startle you.
out motivational speakers committed to character training and lifelong
it a point to attend inspirational lectures each month to consistently
renew the importance of personal growth in your mind. In a two hour
seminar, you can learn powerful techniques and strategies that others have
spent many years learning and refining. Never feel that you have no time
for gathering new ideas, you are investing in yourself.
- Read the wonderful book "Discovering
Happiness" by Dennis Wholey. It will
certainly open up new horizons for you in your quest for an optimal state
of health and happiness.
enhance your concentration, read a passage in a book you have never
try to recite it verbatim. Practice this for only 5 minutes a day and
enjoy the results which follow after a few months of effort.
- Try entering a 5 km running race and then
a 10 km event. The adrenaline that flows from the experience of
racing with several hundred other fitness-minded people is exhilarating.
By constantly pushing the envelope of your capacity, your potential will
quickly unfold. Remember, the body will give you only what you ask of it.