Take my advice: Take other people’s advice.
The bookshelves at the library are filled with books on success. Whether you want to find seven secrets of success, think and grow rich, stop sweating the little things, or learn to put first things first: There’s a world of great advice out there.
In addition, you know lots of successful people. Think about it and look around. In your work, through your neighbors, and at the local stores you visit, the world is full of people who are working hard and doing well.
As you talk to these people—and read these books—you’ll find an abundance of great advice.
As humans, we seem always to be seeking advice. But for some reason we resist taking the advice we seek! The first time I read The Greatest Secret in the World, I was struck with Og Mandino’s attitude. He starts out by saying that most people who start the book won’t finish it and most people won’t take the advice and do the exercises. Almost no one will take his advice.
And he’s right. He’s also correct that those who do take his advice will be more successful than those who don’t. So why not take his advice?
What’s up with us as humans that we can’t take advice we know we should take?
I can’t summarize all the good advice in the world, but I can give some examples.
If you read ten pages a day of some book on success, that’s 3650 pages a year. That’s a lot of books. I hope this is the absolute minimum you are willing to commit to your own success and happiness. It’s equivalent to at least ten books a year.
[Stop: You’ve just been given advice. Why won’t you do it???]
And in these ten books you are very likely to come across each of the following pieces of advice in at least six of the books:
- Exercise at least three or four times a week.
- Take time regularly to focus on your goals.
- Write down your goals.
- Read books on anything and apply it to your success.
- Do something to reduce stress regularly (quiet time, meditation, relaxation exercise, etc.)
- Write down your values and your “mission statement.”
- Develop a process for planning your day, your week, your month, your year.
- Do something every day to focus on success—even for a few minutes.
You will read all kinds of variations on these themes. You will see them again and again and again.
You will be told many times that daily relaxation exercises and focusing on success are the keys to happiness, balance, and wealth. There should be no doubt in your mind that the road to your success is a variation on these themes.
Most people accept intellectually that they need to do these things. But for some reason only a few people ever take this advice.
I don’t know why. Perhaps we’ve all worked so hard to get where we are that we don’t have the energy to “start over” with a program that requires work and attention and focus.
At a minimum, please keep up the reading. If you read the advice enough times, perhaps you’ll try one thing. And then another.
The great news is that its never too late. Anytime that you decide to focus and spend a year of your life becoming successful, you will be successful.
So please do at least one thing for yourself: get in the habit of reading books on success. Someday when you have time to actually become successful you can take the rest of the advice.