To fully leverage The Power of Consistency and generate massive sales and business results, you must begin by understanding the concept of getting your mind right.
It’s just a reality of our neurological system that translates a thought into a result. When I first came across Emerson’s statement that “we become what we think about all day long,”
Whatever comes out of your mind will form to create a perfect reflection of whatever was once in your mind.
The results you experience—in sales, business, and life—are not accidents. They are reflections of whatever is in your box. And whatever is in your box is an accumulation of a lifetime of thoughts, attitudes, beliefs, choices, and decisions. In much the same way, whatever is in your mind—your thoughts, attitudes, beliefs, choices, decisions, and expectations—is all you can create. You can’t visualize and create one set of results in your mind and accidentally create a different set of results in your physical reality.
This is why you cannot focus on creating abundance, prosperity, and excellence in your business and accidentally create scarcity, struggle, and mediocrity. In fact, you can generate negative results such as these only if they have somehow found their way into your box. Over the course of your sales and business career, you accumulate expectations, thoughts, attitudes, beliefs, choices, and decisions. Although your box’s contents are technically invisible, they are as real as anything in your physical (and visible) world.
You remove these expectations, thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs through the countless choices you make throughout your life and career. Those decisions accumulate to create your results. That’s why your success and prosperity in sales and business are a perfect reflection of whatever is in your box.
“Sometimes other people such as our family members (especially parents), put things in the box for us. Sometimes our community and neighbors, coworkers, and competitors put things in there too. We can even accumulate stuff from talking heads on television and through the information we read in a book or see in a movie. Sometimes we put things in the box ourselves.”
It doesn’t matter how all these things got in there; it only matters that they are there—and will eventually come out in one way or another. Regardless of who put them there, everything in your box forms your belief system. They help to form your basic view of the world and what you expect from yourself and others.
You’ve used every thought and belief and have emptied the box of its contents. You stand back, take a deep breath, and behold the business you have created—a perfect reflection of whatever was in your box.
Everyone’s business is a perfect reflection of what they have in their minds. For each person, there was only one type of business that could have been created—and it was not an accident.
You alone have 100 percent control over what goes in your box. You can be a hoarder, or you can clear out the clutter and get focused and organized. It’s absolutely your choice.
Your business is not a reflection of your past struggles and difficulties, so don’t even try to blame your parents, your ex, a mean boss you once had, or anyone or anything else. Your thoughts and beliefs are completely under your control, and they are completely your responsibility. If your business doesn’t look the way you want it to, take a long hard look within yourself. What thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs are poised to come out of your box and create your results?
If victim hood is in your box, then victim hood is all you can take out.
Therefore, the first step in creating a prosperous career is evaluating what’s in your box. Then remove any “junk” and replace it with whatever results you really want by exercising dominion and control over what you tell yourself on a consistent basis. This is the essence of getting your mind right.
Socrates said, “An unexamined life is not worth living.” I suspect the historians and philosophers will cringe when I say this, but I think Socrates was suggesting that we all need to take a long, hard look at the “junk in our trunk.” It’s not an easy process, but it’s a necessary one.
After my father died in 1996, I knew I had to make a change. I knew what I needed to do to stay out of prison and build a productive life: stop breaking the law, get a job, and take care of my son. Apparently, I was getting arrested and going to jail because I was breaking the law. I wasn’t going to jail because I had bad luck or because someone was out to get me. These consequences were clearly the result of my actions.
It wasn’t about something I didn’t know; it was about something I wouldn’t do. I knew what I needed to do to create a better life. I just wasn’t doing it regularly.
I realized that the only way to change my destiny was to change what was in my box. So I started reading the great writers and philosophers in an attempt to discover exactly what the contents of my box were—and to figure out how to change it.
Soon, I stumbled across a passage written by Friedrich Nietzsche, who quoted the universal law that, “We attract that which we fear.” When I first considered those words, I thought they were preposterous. Why would I attract things in my life I did not want? It seemed ridiculous.
But later, I was perusing passages in the Bible when I came across a scripture where Job proclaimed, “For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.”
I thought it was odd that two men separated by philosophy and thousands of years were essentially saying the same thing. Was it possible that I could create things I did not want in my life simply by thinking about them? Could I actually attract things that I was afraid of just by holding onto them in my mind?
Eventually, I came across a book called Man’s Search for Meaning written by Viktor Frankl, where I read these simple, yet powerful, words: “Fear may come true.”
And that was exactly how my life looked. That was exactly what I had attracted.
I had created a life that was a perfect reflection of what was in my box and what filled my mind. Somehow all the chaos and fear in my peanut-sized brain was getting out of my head and showing up in my life.
This realization was profoundly liberating, because I had always thought my life was just a consequence of having really bad luck. Once I realized that it was just a product of my miserable thoughts, I was ecstatic, because I could control my thoughts. And that meant I could change them for the better.
And so I did. When I changed my thoughts, I changed the way I felt. And when I changed the way I felt, I changed the way I acted. And all of this led me to create better results.
As I came to appreciate my newfound power over the results in my life, it occurred to me that most of the sources I was learning from attributed our ability to create amazing things to ethereal and mysterious sources. But the reality that our lives are perfect reflections of our thoughts is not exclusively a metaphysical or spiritual concept. This is the case because of a simple physiological process whereby our minds generate thoughts that lead to chemical secretions that lead to emotions that lead to actions that lead to results. It really isn’t all that mystical, nor is it a mystery.
The quality of your thoughts determines the quality of your life. That’s why Emerson said, “We become what we think about all day long.” That’s also why the fearful thoughts that inhabited my box eventually manifested themselves in my life. The invisible eventually becomes visible, and my fearful thoughts triggered fearful emotions. Those in turn led me to take unhealthy actions, which created results that mirrored the fearful actions.
It’s simply a reflection of how our neurological and physiological systems work together to create whatever is in our box.
So I made a decision in 1996 to empty my box of destructive and limiting beliefs and replace them with thoughts and beliefs that would create an exceptional life.
As I began to experience the amazing life that I had been forming in my mind, I realized the entire process was fairly predictable. It was just a matter of how my brain, thoughts, and emotions worked.
Many of us struggle to understand this process because half of it is invisible. If we could see it, perhaps it would be easier to process and understand. But the fact remains that we can’t see the most important things taking place in our lives, because our thoughts and emotions are invisible.
Your thoughts drive your emotions. Your emotions drive your actions. Your actions drive your results.
Your thoughts send a signal to a part of your brain called the hypothalamus, which secretes a chemical that triggers an emotion. The emotion leads to an action that eventually leads to a result. That is basically what determines the quality and circumstances of your business.
The actions accumulate and result in your life. That’s why your business results are a mirror reflection of your thoughts.
Whatever goes in the box eventually comes out and creates your business. You put things there or allow others to. You pull them out. And that’s it—for better or for worse.
Now consider this: Your emotions and actions are reflections of your thoughts—so even if the thoughts are inaccurate, the emotion that follows is real. And because the emotion is real, the actions and results are likewise real. Therefore, it is completely possible to create a real emotion and a real action based on an entirely false thought.
Consider the following powerful example: Several years ago, two teenage girls were involved in a horrible automobile accident—so horrible, in fact, that law enforcement could not tell which girl was which. The two girls were of similar size, hair color, and appearance, and the cops who came upon the scene could not tell them apart. To make matters more complicated, one girl died and the other survived.
Eventually, the families and officials sorted out the confusion. One family went to the hospital, and the other family went to the morgue. The families’ grief was unimaginable. Both were inconsolable.
Think about how each family felt. The family at the morgue was overcome by grief, loss, and unimaginable pain. The family at the hospital—while feeling a glimpse of gratitude that their little girl has survived—was still overcome with worry and anxiety.
Consider how these powerful and intense emotions affected each family’s actions. We can rarely separate what we feel from what we do, and we certainly can’t separate what we do from what we get. The result is a direct reflection of our actions.
But here is where things get really weird.
After one family had a funeral and the other family went to the hospital, everyone realized a terrible mistake had been made. The daughter of the family that had planned a funeral was alive in the hospital. The daughter of the family that went to the hospital had actually died. Everyone had gotten the girls’ identities wrong. Because both were so badly injured, these accident victims had been wrongly identified.
Now ask yourself a simple question: Were the emotions and actions of each family the result of what was real—or what they thought was real?
Of course, it was the latter. The family that thought their daughter was alive experienced the emotions of a family whose daughter survived. It did not matter that their daughter had actually died. Their gratitude and relief mixed with worry came as a result of what they thought was true.
The family that thought their daughter had died experienced those associated emotions: grief, anger, despair. It did not matter that their daughter had actually survived. They felt according to what they thought was true.
Although the tragic circumstances are likely quite different from anything any of us has ever known, this story has a critical lesson for all of us. It forms the foundation on which you can better understand what drives your actions and business results.
Your business results are a reflection of your actions, which come as a result of your emotions. Your emotions are a result of what you think is true.
Lousy customers didn’t care about our quality and service. They care only about a cheap price!
Customers valued quality and service more than ever and are willing to pay a few extra bucks for it!
Remember: You can pull out of the box only whatever is in the box. As long as you believe it, it is in the box. And anything you put in, you will eventually pull out.
The bottom line is this: When you have a thought that you believe to be true, your brain will send a signal to your hypothalamus, which will emit an emotion, which begets an action, which will create a result, which will define the quality and circumstances of your life and your business.
Everyone has a metaphorical box that follows him or her around in life. Thoughts, ideas, beliefs, dreams, and expectations go into the box, where they mature. We eventually retrieve these as we develop and grow professionally and make decisions about our careers and businesses.
It is crucial to remember that the relationship between thoughts, emotions, actions, and results is a linear process, one that always occurs in the same order. Thoughts come first based on our life experiences, perceptions, and expectations. Emotions come second, and actions, third. Finally, a result is created.
Thoughts → Emotions → Actions → Results
It’s also important to remember that the first two steps are invisible, whereas the second two are quite visible.
For instance, you may observe someone who seems to be creating a pretty miserable life for himself. It’s very easy for others to say, “Well, look what he is doing!”—because this person’s actions and results are visible to others. However, it’s much more difficult to see—and therefore, to understand—the emotion that’s driving the action and the thought that’s driving the emotion. The fact that things are invisible to us frequently leads us to diminish their importance. The answer seems obvious to us: This person should stop doing the things that are creating his poor quality of life.
But until he changes his thoughts, he will not change his emotions. And until he changes his emotions, he won’t change his actions. And until he changes his actions, he won’t create better results.
This is precisely why we’ve got to spend more time understanding and shaping what we can’t see before we can change what we can see. We’ve got to understand what’s in the box.
Imagine someone telling you that she is bound and determined to change her results in life. She is ready to create a superior existence that includes a successful business. She is committed to reaching new levels of wealth, happiness, and prosperity.
Now imagine that this person said she was not willing to do anything differently. She wants a different life, but she’s not planning to change her actions in any way to get it.
Wouldn’t this be an absurd expectation? We all know that the only way to get better outcomes is to start doing something differently.
However, here’s the rub (and I think you know what’s coming): You can’t generate better results without changing what you do (actions). But you can’t change what you do without changing what you feel, and you can’t change what you feel without changing what you think.
In other words, you have to start at the beginning, to look past the visible to the invisible. You have to look deeper than the results and actions.
Albert Einstein said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” This is why actions alone will never produce new results. We must alter the actions’ source: our thoughts.
Your sales results and career can be exceptional. My life is a stark example of the fact that no matter how far we have fallen, we can get back up and do amazing things. No matter how bad things are, they can get better. No matter how many mistakes and bad choices you’ve made, you can overcome them and start making new and better ones.
Changing how you think will change the way you feel, and you’ll begin to act upon these enhanced feelings, all of which will lead you to generate better results in your sales and business career. And when you see these amazing things in your business, you’ll know they are not the result of luck or accident. Rather, they are the product of your thoughts.
It is helpful as we analyze what’s in our boxes to understand where the existing junk in our trunks came from. Being able to identify its source makes it possible to begin exercising some discernment to ensure more junk does not find its way in there.
Junk sneaks in from many sources, especially when we are young. Usually the stuff in our box very closely resembles the stuff in our family’s box, since we frequently believe the same things our family believes. Our thoughts and beliefs are pretty much a reflection of what those around us—especially those who raised us—think and believe. We tend to see the world the way our community, society, and family see it.
When we are young, people just walk by our boxes, throwing junk in. For instance, my dad used to say things like, “We can’t afford that! Who do you think we are, the Rockefellers?” I also remember my dad telling me, “Rich people are crooks.” Those were beliefs and thoughts he had accumulated over his life, and without ever realizing it, he put his junk in my trunk by repeating those beliefs to me over many years. Eventually those things found a way out of my box and were created in my life.
While it may be impossible to “forget” limiting beliefs, you will learn in this book how to overpower the limiting beliefs with new, empowering beliefs.
How can you possibly excel at something that you don’t respect? How can you become an expert in sales if you’re worried about your family judging you for it?
We will examine your fundamental beliefs about sales and business as we work through this process. We’ll replace any of the junk in there with more empowering beliefs, which will pave the way for improved sales and business performance.
If you believe that prospects care about only price, what do you suppose you will pull out?
On the other hand, what if your box is full of beliefs that people still long for quality and service and that they are willing to pay a few extra dollars for them? What do you suppose you will pull out?
Of course, you can’t ignore your coworkers or avoid the news. However, you do have to be aware of the sources of the junk so that you can decide what gets in and what stays out.
From my years as an entrepreneur, business owner, and sales professional, I have learned a very simple lesson: the confused mind says “no!” So if folks are going to use this information, I believe it’s necessary to make it simple. There is no need for the mystery.
You’ll probably find as you work through this process that your sales and business career looks a lot like your thoughts about it—simply because of how your neurological system works. Chances are that you’re rarely surprised by your performance, since it’s pretty much consistent with your expectations. It’s nothing mysterious; it’s just Mother Nature.
You will also notice and understand that the process by which thoughts drive emotions, actions, and results is a very predictable pattern, and you will come to understand the source of many of these lackluster results.
You will see their genesis in your thoughts—for better or for worse.
Remember the quote from Emerson: “We become what we think about all day long.” As you work through this book, you will come to understand why Emerson was right. You will understand how the invisible eventually becomes visible via a predictable and dependable process. You will learn to depend on your understanding of how to use this process to create the sales and business results you need and deserve. You will have the tools to create wealth and reach new levels of sales and business performance.