Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Plan

Just rediscovered this old post which for some strange technical reason never got published. Seeing no reason to let it go undiscovered I've posted it now.

I was talking to my friend yesterday about goal setting, success thinking and why so few people actually ever achieve a high level of success even when they've applied the Law of Attraction or gone to so many retreats or seminars or whatnot. We had some ideas but in today's Six Minutes to Success episode, I think Bob Proctor (best known for The Secret) really hit the nail on the head.

I wouldn't normally rip from Bob's work but this is such a nugget of information I'm going to make an exception. Of course, as he commonly does, Bob was in fact pulling his material from Napoleon Hill's Think & Grow Rich, so I don't feel so bad. By the way, if you don't own Think & Grow Rich, you definitely should.

Bob has been in the Personal Development business for over 40 years and has worked with some of the real legends of the industry. In that time he's seen many, many people apply all the great advice they receive and still fail. Why?

They have goals. They have a vision. They have a plan. And that's the problem. They have A plan.

Napoleon Hill said that if your plan doesn't work, use a different plan. If that fails, attempt with another plan, and so on until you achieve your goal. This is where the masses fail. They make a plan and when that fails they give up. Rare is the person with the fortitude to pick themselves back up and start over with a new plan.

This is understandable as a failed plan could result in emotional exhaustion or financial bankruptcy. However that doesn't change the fact that Napoleon Hill is right.

If you study the great ones you will find they almost all had horrendous set-backs and hurdles they needed to, and did overcome. Marconi was put in an insane asylum for suggesting he could talk through the air with people hundreds of miles away. Copernicus was tossed in jail for suggesting the Earth was not the Centre of the Universe. Nelson Mandela was jailed for speaking out against apartheid. Donald Trump lost millions in a steep decline in his business. Edison failed over ten thousand times before he finally perfected the lightbulb. Stephen King struggled for quite a while trying to make ends meet, unable to sell any of his books and very few short stories until Carrie finally sold. Virtually anyone you can name meet failure after failure in the pursuit of their goals. What separates them from everyday people is they kept going.

Ever have a fly in your house that is trying to escape through a closed window? What does it do? It just keeps bashing it's head off the glass, over and over. Even when there's an open door just on the other side of the room? That's the definition of craziness, doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. If one plan doesn't work, try another.

Now, don't get me wrong. If you've made a plan and taken action on the plan you are ahead of 90% of the world. You are to be congratulated for most people don't even know what it is they truly want out of life, let alone has a plan for how to accomplish it. But don't stop. If the plan failed, try again, and again. There's no such thing as failure as long as you've learned from your mistakes. You're just one step closer to your goal.

If you've gone bankrupt, well, welcome to the club. Many successful business owners had previous businesses that went bankrupt. If you've had a failed relationship with someone you truly love, same thing. Almost everyone does at some point. You learn and you move on.

"Every time you want something and achieve vibrational harmony with it and allow it to come to you, you not only gain the satisfaction of having accomplished your desire, you also gain a whole new perspective from which to desire." -- Abraham (Esther Hicks)

The great thing about that quote from Abraham is that it can still be true even when you fail. For example, if you get married to someone and then later decide that person was not right for you, or that business was not right for you or that job was not right for you or whatever you now have a clearer idea of what it is that truly makes you happy. So much of life is learning. Discovering what makes us happy.

From a Christian perspective, God often blocks us from going down the wrong path. Joel Osteen (Become a Better You: 7 Keys to Improving Your Life Every Day) said when his church went to buy a larger plot of land to build on, twice the land they were going for was unfairly sold out from under them. He was convinced the Devil was working to thwart them but in truth, God knew they were thinking too small. Instead they bought a sports dome for their congregation and fill it weekly.
Now obviously failure doesn't make us happy but as long as you learn from it and move on it does bring us closer, and in closer alignment with what does. So remember, it's not the plan that matters. It's not even the goal really, it's how that plan and goal will ultimately make us feel. Keep that feeling of bliss in mind, always. The plan can change, even the goal might change but you should always keep moving towards that which makes you truly happy. And if what your doing now isn't working, isn't it time for a change?


"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit."

— Aristotle: was a Greek philosopher
Successful people make a habit out of things that most of us seek to avoid.  Are your daily habits helping or hindering you?