There is one quality which one must posses to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it. – Napoleon Hill
Step 2 of the upside of FEAR process is getting powerfully emotionally committed to your income and sales goals, as well as any other goals you identified in the focus step. This commitment step also begins the process of moving from planning your exceptional life and business to actually taking actions toward making it your new reality. This is where you will move from knowing and wanting to doing.
Think back to a memory from your childhood that sticks with you even today. Once you’ve recalled a specific memory, consider how long it took you to recall it. A millisecond? For most people, it doesn’t take long. We can recall something that happened decades ago instantly if it’s important enough to us.
Now ask yourself this question as you think about that specific memory: What were you doing an hour before or an hour after the moment in the memory? If you’re like most folks, you can’t remember.
Isn’t that something? Despite having such a clear, precise memory of something that happened when you were a kid, you can’t remember what you were doing just before or just after.
More than 400 million seconds elapse from the moment you are born through your thirteenth birthday. And if you assume that each second that ticks by is a potential memory, then that’s 400 million potential moments to remember. Yet you remember only a handful of things from your childhood.
There’s a reason we remember a small number of things from our childhood over the course of so many years. It’s because of emotion. Memories are created when something that creates a strong emotion occurs; then, that event anchors to that emotion. Once that happens, decades can go by and you can still recall that moment at the drop of a hat.
Therefore, there’s a very good chance that you were feeling a powerful emotion during the memory you just recalled. You were likely very happy, very sad, very scared, or very something. It’s the emotional state you were experiencing in that moment that binds your memory to the event and ensures that you’ll never forget it.
Sometimes the memory is one we would rather forget, but we can’t. Once that memory is programmed into your subconscious mind, it’s not going anywhere—ever.
That’s the permanent effect of forming a powerful emotional connection to something: It’s there for the rest of your life. And even though you weren’t consciously thinking about it before you started reading this chapter, it was right there on the surface of your subconscious mind just waiting to be called up at a moment’s notice.
The goal of the emotional commitment step is to program everything you listed in the focus step into your subconscious mind, just like a powerful childhood memory. This will ensure that these items are deeply embedded in your subconscious mind. The items on your prosperity plan will be ever present in your subconscious mind.
In addition, it will drive your daily behavior to do the things you identified as needing to be done to get the things you want. No matter how distracted your conscious mind becomes, your subconscious mind and your reticular activating system (RAS) will be aware of where you are going and what you need to get there. You will move toward your ultimate destination automatically—in the same way you drive from your office to your home without consciously thinking about it.
Later, in the action step, you will learn about cognitive dissonance and how this tendency of human nature will drive your actions to consistently do the things you already know you should be doing. And when you think and do the right things, success is not a matter of if; it is a matter of when.
Have you ever started a new diet and stuck to it for a few days, only to forget you are on a diet at some point and blow it? I don’t mean you consciously decided to break your diet; I mean you were actually several bites into a piece of cake when you thought to yourself, “Holy cow! I completely forgot that I was on a diet!”
Wouldn’t it have been great to have the diet programmed into your subconscious mind as a powerful memory? That way, no matter how distracted you became, the knowledge that you are indeed dieting would be right there on the surface of your subconscious, just like that childhood memory from 30 or 40 years ago. You’d be a lot less likely to forget you are on a diet and shove that yummy stuff down your piehole.
Similarly, have you ever decided to do something new in your sales career that you absolutely knew would have a profound impact on your income? You were out of your mind with excitement, made the decision to do it, and went to work and did it. Boom! That’s it. This is your new way of doing things—and it’s going to change your business forever!
Soon enough, however, you were distracted by the usual daily tasks and problems that needed to be solved. It takes only about a week before you forget about the new way of doing things and go back to whatever you were doing before. The worst part is that the new results of increased profitability and/or income would have manifested if you had implemented the change over the long term. But somewhere along the way, you forgot you were doing the new thing and things went right back to where they were.
Wouldn’t it have been nice if you had programmed this new approach into your subconscious mind so that no matter how busy you got, you could never forget you were doing it? Even if you wanted to forget it, you couldn’t.
Imagine the impact on your business and the results you’d see if you actually did that new thing consistently.
You know by now that you can’t focus on creating one thing and accidentally create something else. (Remember the motorcycle parts in the box?) If you focus on the new way of doing things at work, you will create only the desired results of those things.
The problem is that most of us rely on willpower alone to keep us on track. But as we so frequently discover, our willpower will fail us—and we simply stop doing the things we know we need to be doing. The secret to creating an exceptional life and business is to program your subconscious mind with everything you identified in the previous focus step as a permanent memory. Once you do that, everything in life you want, want to become, and want to contribute will be permanently etched into your subconscious thought and memory. You won’t be able forget to do the things you know you need to do, nor will your RAS filter out opportunities you need to make your dreams a reality. You also won’t have to rely on willpower alone. You will supplement your willpower to make a certain number of cold calls or follow that process at work with a powerful memory. It will become part and parcel of who you are, and you will not forget.
And as you’ll see in the action step later, once these things are etched into your memory, they will guide your actions to remain congruent (consistent) with the things on which you are now focused. Once those actions become consistent actions, they will weave the fabric of who you are and turn into habits. The results will soon follow.
The key is to supplement your conscious thought and willpower with a powerful emotional connection to the things you are focused on and expect in your life and business. This requires that you program your goals as an unforgettable permanent memory into your box.
The following is a three-step process that will get you emotionally committed to your dreams and make them permanent memories. This process will help you organize the information from the previous step into your prosperity plan. The three steps are:
1. Write it.
2. Review it.
3. Feel it.
Let’s go into each of these in detail.
The first step is to write out those three crucial goals: what you want, what you want to become, and what you want to contribute. You’ll also outline the things you listed that you must do to get the things you want. You should have this list from the previous step, and this will form the basis of your prosperity plan.
The key here is to write those things out as statements of fact in present tense. In essence, you are going to manufacture the thoughts as if you have already achieved the goals and aspirations you are writing down. This will drive the emotions and actions to make them actually happen. It’s all one huge circle of creativity and manifestation—basically, a self-fulfilling prophecy.
It’s important to understand that even if the thoughts are manufactured, the emotions, actions, and results that flow from the thoughts are as real as real gets. Therefore, as you begin programming your thoughts about your sales and business career, you’ll engage in a physiological process that creates the emotion. And although the thoughts are manufactured initially, the emotions that result are real.
In other words, if you think you won the lottery, you will experience the exact same emotions as if you actually won the lottery, even if you later learn you did not win the lottery. The emotions created in the moments you thought you won the lottery are real.
Remember the story of the two teenage girls in the car accident? Each family experienced the emotions connected to what they thought had happened, not what turned out to have actually occurred. This is why it’s crucial for you to write out your prosperity plan in the present tense, as though it is actually true.
Let’s take a couple of examples. Suppose you identified a $200,000 annual income as one of your career goals. You write out the following in present tense on your prosperity plan:
I earn $200,000 annually.
We will refer to each of the things you outline in your personal prosperity plan as consistency outcomes and to the things you will need to do to reach these outcomes as consistency actions.
It’s important to describe the consistency outcomes in a way that feels right to you; don’t limit yourself according to my words or anyone else’s description. Use the words that feel natural to you, and keep it simple! Don’t worry at this point about how you are going to accomplish these things. We’ll get to that. What’s critical now is that you write out specifically what you want in your life and business as if it has already happened.
Incidentally, you can use this process in each area of your life and business that is important to you: your income, your business, your professional aspirations, your health and physical fitness, your relationships, and so on.
Now move on to what you want to become and what you want to contribute in life and business. Be specific.
Here are two specific examples from my own experience:
I am an awesome father to my son.
I am a man of honor and character.
Your contributions might include:
I have built three schools in Ethiopia.
I have adopted two Chinese orphans.
I have donated $1,000,000 to charity.
The key is to write them in present tense, as if you have already achieved them. Do not worry about how far away the dream may seem, or that it might be too extravagant. It isn’t.
When you are finished dreaming as big as you can dream . . . go bigger! Don’t let people who tell you, “You can’t do that,” get in your way while you are busy doing it!
Each consistency outcome that you’ve written out will be a heading on your prosperity plan. Next, you will begin to fill in one or two things you need to do on a consistent basis to make each dream your reality. These are your consistency actions. While each item on your prosperity plan is a desired outcome or result, each consistency action is what you’ll need to do to get there.
Write the consistency actions out in present tense, as if you are already doing them on a consistent basis, just as you did the consistency outcomes. For example, using the income goal from earlier, your consistency outcome and consistency actions might look like this:
I earn $200,000 per year. (consistency outcome)
1. I make six new cold calls per day. (consistency action #1)
2. I run every sales opportunity with passion and purpose. (consistency action #2)
Once you have written out your consistency outcomes and consistency actions, you will have the foundation for creating everything you want in life and business. All your personal and professional success will emanate from your plan.
How likely is it you will achieve your consistency outcome if you implement the consistency actions every day. I’d say the odds are pretty good! The key, of course, is taking regular, habitual actions, which we will discuss later. Right now, we are concerned only with creating your prosperity plan.
Let’s take another example. Suppose one of the things you want is to build a $10 million business, and you have identified two leveraged actions that will help you get there. Write out the consistency outcomes and actions like this:
My company generates $10 million in annual revenue. (consistency outcome)
1. I generate 2,000 new sales leads per year. (consistency action #1)
2. I treat my customers and employees with dignity and respect. (consistency action #2)
Again, outline what success looks like to you, use words that feel personal and comfortable, and don’t get overwhelmed with the how. Just stay focused on what you want and what steps will likely get you there.
Here is another example from other areas you may be focused on:
I weigh 180 pounds. (consistency outcome)
1. I eat only healthy foods. (consistency action #1)
2. I exercise three days per week. (consistency action #2)
Is there any doubt that if you ate only healthy foods and exercised on a consistent basis that you would enjoy a healthier, more active lifestyle? Of course not! You already know that; you just aren’t doing it. But that will all change once you leverage The Power of Consistency.
Once you have written down each consistency outcome and one or two consistency actions under it, you will have created a very simple, straightforward personal prosperity plan. This will be the foundation on which you will create amazing things in your life.
Keep in mind at this point that you need to identify only one or two actions that will lead to your desired outcomes. Although there are likely dozens of potential actions, just figuring out what one or two you’ll act upon will move you toward your desired outcomes.
This is also your opportunity to outline consistency outcomes that are specifically designed to counteract the limiting beliefs you discovered in the focus step of this process. You will learn later how to program these things into your subconscious mind. When you do that, you will inundate any limiting beliefs in your box with powerful new beliefs that will help you overcome them and inspire you to achieve amazing things in your life and business.
Suppose, for example, that you’ve always believed that the profession of sales is a shady one and that you can’t trust sales professionals. To counteract that limiting belief, you could add a consistency outcome and consistency action, like this:
The sales profession is an honorable career. (consistency outcome)
1. I extend myself professionally to better serve my clients. (consistency action)
Let’s consider another example of how you can overpower a previously held limiting belief with new beliefs.
Suppose you’ve always assumed that “rich people are crooks.” Let’s further suppose that this limiting belief was undermining your ability to create legitimate wealth and success. If that were the case, you could add consistency outcomes and actions like the following:
Creating wealth while serving others and creating value is an honorable endeavor. (consistency outcome)
1. I consistently extend myself professionally to others in service. (consistency action)
2. I consistently seek to provide exceptional value. (consistency action)
Once this new set of thoughts and beliefs is programmed into the subconscious memory, it will bury any dysfunctional beliefs about creating wealth and prosperity. When you are finished with your freshly minted personal prosperity plan, you could have something that looks like this, depending on how many areas of your life you want to address:
My Prosperity Plan
I earn $200,000 per year.
1. I make six new cold calls per day.
2. I run every sales opportunity with passion and purpose.
I create wealth while serving others. Creating wealth is an honorable endeavor.
1. I consistently extend myself professionally to others in service.
2. I consistently seek to provide exceptional value.
I weigh 180 pounds.
1. I eat only healthy foods.
2. I exercise three days per week.
I am an awesome husband and father.
1. I make time for my family on a weekly basis.
2. I treat my wife with patience and kindness.
I am a man of honor and character.
1. When I give my word, I have given my bond.
2. I resolve conflict with fairness and equity.
I improve the life of others who are struggling.
1. I share what I have learned when called upon.
Your list can be as long or as short as you want, and you can add or delete from the list as you desire. In fact, you will learn in the action step about the two times you will delete consistency outcomes from your list: when you accomplish them or when you fail to take the appropriate consistency actions (more on that later).
The thing to keep in mind the entire time is that this is a creative process, so don’t get hung up on format or rules or perfection. Write things out so that they have significance and meaning to you. Whatever way you do it is the “correct” way. The goal is for you to end up with a plan that you will learn to review during your quiet-time ritual and program into your subconscious mind.
And remember to dream big. Don’t be restrained by practical expectations. Be unreasonable! Allow your imagination to explore the possibilities. Remember, you have the ability to see things that you haven’t created yet and dream things you haven’t accomplished yet. Use your ability to do that!
Seeing the life and business of your dreams is the first step toward creating them. Embrace Dr. Stephen R. Covey’s words: “All things are created twice.”
Also keep in mind that you don’t need to know everything you need to do to accomplish your dreams. As you make progress and discover new things you need to do, you can add those. But don’t get overwhelmed in minutiae or lost in the details. Keep the big picture in mind. Pick the low-hanging fruit. Make this process easy on yourself, and above all, keep it simple!
You have reached an important milestone at this point in the process and have done what only a very small percentage of people have done by outlining what a perfect life for you will look like and one or two things that you need to do on a consistent basis to get there. Most people don’t even know where they will end up, much less how they plan on getting to wherever it is they are going. They are ships drifting at sea with no focus, direction, or plan. They are lost, and their futures are in doubt. They never think about the things they are thinking about.
But you, my friend—you are different. By taking the time to seriously consider what you want, what you want to become, and what you want to contribute in life and business—and by outlining precisely what you need to do to get there—you have distinguished yourself from the masses. You have taken a significant step toward becoming “the master of your destiny” and “captain of your soul.” You have taken control over where you are going and how you are going to get there. Of course, you have more work to do, but you have taken the first critical step on your journey to wealth, happiness, and peace of mind.
You have taken an enormous step and displayed strength of character and determination to create the life and business you deserve. You have a right to live the life you have written out. All you have to do now is take consistent steps toward achieving the goals on your prosperity plan.
In the next phase of this process, you will learn how to program your prosperity plan into your subconscious memory. Once it’s embedded there, you will never forget what you are working on and what you need to do to get there. You’ll learn about a quiet-time ritual that will result in programming your prosperity plan into your subconscious memory and getting you deeply emotionally committed to your dreams. It will propel you to take consistent action toward reaching your dreams.
Reviewing your prosperity plan—and experiencing the emotions of creating your exceptional life during a daily quiet-time ritual—is a critical part of reaching your income and career goals. In fact, if you don’t commit to a 15-minute quiet-time ritual, the excitement you feel while writing out your plan will be a fleeting moment of potential that never moves beyond your imagination.
Although you create your dreams in your imagination first, you certainly don’t want to leave them there. You want to see that creation eventually reveal itself in your life and business. And your daily 15-minute quiet-time ritual will provide that bridge between dreams and reality.
Not only will you find strength and inspiration in these moments, but you will also form an abiding emotional connection with your dreams during this time. Your dreams will take on new significance, and you will come to know that they are destined to come true. The time you spend alone in thought will guide and direct your daily actions to ensure that what you do is consistent with what you want. When your thoughts, emotions, and actions are in alignment, the results are certain.
More important, by programming your consistency actions in to your subconscious (your box), cognitive dissonance will drive you to take those steps daily.
I realize, of course, with all the distractions of work, family, bills, and chores, it will be difficult to find 15 minutes a day to devote to your dreams. But you have to do it—even though it is difficult. Think of all the times when you have given yourself to others. Surely you can find just 15 minutes a day for yourself.
You may need to dig down deep to get this done. It’s the fundamental process that requires you to completely reprogram the contents of your box. Fifteen minutes a day devoted to you and your dreams can change the course of your life. Fifteen minutes a day can supplement your willpower and give you the strength to do the things you need to do to have the things you want to have. Fifteen minutes a day is the one thing that will change everything.
We know that, according to Albert Einstein, “We can’t solve our problems at the same level of thinking that created them.” Your quiet-time ritual is what you use to elevate your thoughts to a higher level.
There is simply no escaping the necessity of getting alone with your thoughts if you want to see The Power of Consistency manifest itself in your life and business. You cannot reap the harvest if you don’t plant and tend the seed—and that is what your quiet-time ritual is for.
Most important, it is about you, not about your spouse or your boss or your business partners. It’s about 15 minutes a day that belongs to you and only you—15 minutes that will change your life and the course of your destiny.
William Jennings Bryan once said, “Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved.” Your 15-minute quiet-time ritual is how you choose your new destiny.
Will you struggle initially to wake up 15 minutes early or to stay awake 15 minutes longer to do your quiet-time ritual? Maybe. But do it anyway, despite this initial struggle.
Find the time wherever you can: in the morning, before you go to sleep, during lunch or a break at work, while waiting for the laundry, or even while waiting for a meeting.
Just find the time. If you don’t find the time, you won’t find the results you desire in your life and business.
Your quiet-time ritual is the missing link to everything you’ve ever wanted and wanted to accomplish in your life and business. This is what you’ve been looking for—15 minutes a day to create unimaginable wealth and success in your life and business.
Seems like a small price to pay, doesn’t it?
I’d like to share with you the morning routine I use to program my thoughts, emotions, actions, and results. This brief quiet-time ritual completely changed everything in my life; it served as the foundation for the massive transformation that lifted me from living in a cold prison cell behind concrete and razor wire to a life of wealth and prosperity.
I tend to awaken early in the mornings so that I can have a little “me time” before the hectic pace of life gets a foothold. I walk into the living room and build a fire (which, at my house, involves hitting a switch on the wall that somehow sends fire to the fire place—it’s amazing). My home is high in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado at nearly 9,000 feet elevation, so it’s chilly in the mornings year-round—and the fire makes for a warm, inviting place to have some quiet time.
And just in case you are thinking, “Well, yeah. It’s easy for you. You have a cozy place to sit by a fire and gaze out at the beautiful mountains,” keep in mind that for the first seven years, I awakened each morning in a cold, concrete bunker called a prison cell. I would sit quietly on my steel bunk surrounded by misery and austerity. I didn’t have that fireplace then—and I certainly wasn’t looking out at the mountains.
Yet despite my reality, I imagined the life that awaited me beyond prison walls. I imagined the life of wealth and prosperity that was my new destiny. I pictured the life I would one day have with my son.
Once the fire is built, I make my coffee and turn on the stereo to a very low volume and tune it to the “Spa” or “Zen” channel on satellite radio. I sit down in a chair next to the fireplace and turn on a soft lamp. As I sit quietly, soaking up the warmth of the fire and listening to the soft music, I revel in the moment. I don’t regret the past or wonder about the future. I am completely absorbed in the moment.
It’s very easy for us humans to relive past frustrations and hurts or to fret over the uncertain future. There will be plenty of time for that later. But right now, it’s about right now.
Even before I really get started, this is my favorite time of the day. I wish it could last for hours. But, alas, at some point I will have to participate in the world around me.
I sit quietly and peacefully and take a few moments to count my blessings. There is something about gratitude that gets my day off to a good start and puts me in a wonderful state of mind. I think about the wonderful things I have received in my life: my family, my successful companies, my health, my smart and committed staff, freedom, and so on.
Again, lest you think it’s easy for me to be grateful, I spent many years counting my blessings in a desolate cell. No matter how bad things were, I could always find something to be grateful for.
Also keep in mind I am not some kind of Zen Master. Ask anyone who knows me well, and they will tell you I am high strung and impatient. I do not want to suggest that I walk around in a robe with my eyes closed and hands open in supplication to the heavens in some ultra peaceful state.
My nature for 23 hours and 45 minutes a day couldn’t be more different from my nature during my 15-minute quiet-time ritual. That’s why it’s so necessary for me. It grounds me and gives me strength and direction over the course of my day. It gives me sanity and peace of mind.
So although this type of quiet-time ritual is not natural for me, I have come to love it and look forward to it. I have also learned that it is a critical step to creating exceptional success in life and business.
After I’ve gotten comfortable and counted a few blessings, I take out my prosperity plan. At various times over the years, it’s been on a notepad, on a computer, or even on the inside cover of a favorite book. It doesn’t matter where it is—as long as it is.
I then review each consistency outcome and consistency action one at a time. After I read each outcome a few times, I close my eyes and imagine what it will look like once it’s happened.
Remember: You have the ability to close your eyes and see something long before you’ve actually created it in your life and business. Use your ability to see it. Allow yourself to see the manifestation of the dream however it looks to you. There is no right or wrong; there is only how it looks to you. As the brilliant Dr. Wayne Dyer says, “You won’t believe it when you see it. You’ll see it when you believe it.”
I remember years ago when I would review “I am an awesome father to my son” in my prison cell. I would close my eyes and repeat that consistency outcome and picture myself hugging my son and telling him that I love him and am proud of him.
I would then review the necessary daily consistency actions consistent with being an awesome father to him. My consistency actions at that time were “I write Hunter letters on a weekly basis” and “My word is my bond with my son.” Given my incarcerated status, those were the only actions I could take that were consistent with being an awesome father. (We’ll talk more about action in the next step.)
As you read each outcome, see what each one will bring to you: the house you’ll live in; the business you’ll grow; yourself as a healthy, physically fit individual; your relationships with others; the income you’ll earn. Use your ability to see all of it. Remember: “All things are created twice.”
As you read and see each outcome, repeat the consistency actions written below them. Allow the dream—and what you need to do to reach it—to seep into your subconscious mind. Additionally, allow yourself to experience the emotion as if these things have already happened. Something amazing often happens here: The emotions that you fabricate during your quiet-time ritual are just as real as the emotions you will feel when you actually achieve the dream.
As I reviewed my prosperity plan alone in my cell 15 years ago, I would imagine how it would feel when I became an awesome father to my son. Last August, I took my son to college. When it came time to leave him, I gave him a hug and told him how proud I was of him. He told me he was proud of me too. As we embraced outside his dormitory, I reveled in the moment—because it was just like I always dreamed it would be. That moment with my son felt exactly as it did when I imagined it alone in a cold prison cell 15 years earlier.
Thoughts—even imagined ones—are powerful forces for your emotions to feed off.
As you are reviewing your personal prosperity plan, you are literally manufacturing a new thought process—essentially putting new beliefs into your box. You will eventually remove these thoughts and beliefs as you take action.
Another critical process is taking place during this time as well. Remember how memories are made: Something happens and is anchored to an emotion. As you experience the emotions of reaching your dreams, you are attaching powerful emotions to the thoughts. And you are therefore creating a subconscious memory that will always be lurking beneath the surface—and that will have a profound impact on your actions with respect to your income and sales. It will have a profound impact on whether or not you forget you are on a diet and shove a piece of carrot cake in your mouth. It will have a profound impact on whether or not you remember that you should be making six sales calls per day to boost your career.
Those little consistent actions will have a powerful impact on your results in life and business. So allow yourself to experience the emotions of reaching your dreams as you picture each outcome in your mind’s eye. Enjoy it. Feel it. As you do, you attach potent emotions to reaching your dreams and create powerful memories deep within your subconscious mind that will guide your actions in the next step. You won’t forget the dreams and what you need to do to reach them when faced with distracting daily responsibilities.
You are programming the route from where you are today to where you want to end up into your subconscious, making them “second nature.” And just like the trip from your office to your home, you will reach your destination—despite life’s distractions. Regardless of anything that’s happening in your conscious mind, your subconscious mind will stay focused on getting you where you deserve to be.
Common sense dictates that if you remain focused on achieving something, you will eventually get there. But daily distractions too often prevent your conscious mind from obsessing on success. This is why programming the destination into your subconscious mind provides you with a guide that never gets distracted and never loses its way. You are setting the neurological anchors in your mind that will guide you naturally to begin taking your consistency steps.
Additionally, you will find yourself strengthened to take the consistent actions necessary to reach your dreams. Whatever those actions are, this guide will ensure that you’re completing them, which will most certainly lead to the results you want in life and business. You’ll see in the next chapter that failing to take one of the steps you have programmed will cause internal anxiety called cognitive dissonance, something that will drive you to new levels of consistency and performance.
You’ll also see how creating your prosperity plan and programming it into your (subconscious) box is translated into amazing results through action.