FIRST, be prepared to know yourself better. A serious appraisal
of your life is essential to getting what you want. If you need
to get to Pittsburgh by Friday, you’ve got to know where you’re
starting from. A serious self-appraisal may take weeks to
complete. How well educated are you in the things you would like
to know? How much effort do you put into each aspect of your
What are your best and worst points? How do you choose your
friends, your home, your job and your hobbies? How do treat your
friends, family and strangers? How deep is your personal
spirituality? You have hundreds and hundreds of special traits,
but how well developed is each of them? Which of your traits are
the worst? What have you accomplished over the past twenty, ten,
five, two and in one year? In the past month? The past week?
Today? Who have you hurt? Who deserves better than you’ve given
them? And most important, how close are you now to where you
hoped you’d be when you looked ahead a year ago, five years ago,
or even as a child?
Be prepared to cry a little as you make this appraisal of your
life. Humans are far from perfect, and even the minor goals we
set for ourselves are not achieved, and it can hurt to see
exactly where you are. Draw upon every bit of serenity you have
when making this appraisal, and always keep in mind you are on a
fact-finding, not a fault-finding mission. Whether your
strengths match evenly with your weaknesses on paper is not
important. What you want is a written record of who and what you
are in as great a depth as possible, a blueprint of your house
which you can use as a base for improvement.
Great people in every field start with such a deep analysis and
revise it yearly to chart their progress, and the time and
emotion spent in such an appraisal will be chicken feed compared
to the value you will receive from it.
SECOND, make a special report based on your self-appraisal and
include the report everything you ever did which you didn’t
think you could do. THIS ABSOLUTELY VITAL! It will provide you
with enormous inspiration when faced with a problem you don’t
think you can overcome. These are not only real-life success
stories, they are your success stories, positive proof that
there’s more in you than you might think. These experiences are
the batteries you’ll use to power the shovels which will move
mountains in the future. Remember, even an almost-dead battery
will start a car. Have this report in writing and keep it with
your personal analysis, and make a copy in case you lose it.
This will be a vital document in times to come.
THIRD, decide where you want to go. Most people fail because
they don’t set goals worthy of themselves. If they do, they do
not live each day in pursuit these goals. This, and every other
step outlined here, is absolutely vital to a truly successful
When you set your goals, make them better than you’ve done
before, but make them achievable. In other words, if it is at
all possible that you or someone like you could achieve the
goal, it is worthy. But don’t set them too low either, or you’ll
be breezing through life, bored and unchallenged. Set goals for
each day, for the next week, month, year, two years, five years,
twenty years, fifty years (regardless of your age).
Be definite about what you want. Write your goals down and use
as much detail as possible. Make them firm… for the moment.
You will find as you achieve certain things that some goals will
have to change, and that’s fine. Just don’t go around changing
your mind every time the wind changes or you won’t know which
way is up.
Set as many goals as you like, and include among them – what
you’d like to be doing, where you’d like to go, what you want
for your family, what kind of person you’d like to be, how much
you’d like to be earning, your net worth, your health,
personality, education and spiritual growth. Keep your daily
goals confined to activities which will lead to accomplishment
of your long-term goals. Don’t be afraid to set goals. Mistakes
can be corrected; doing nothing cannot be corrected.
The next step takes no real effort, and strangely enough, it is
the most difficult step for the average person to take.
FOURTH: COMMIT! Make the decision to achieve those goals, to
strive for the things you want which will make your life and
yourself all that much better. Make that commitment from the
heart, not at the lips! It will take time to really feel that
commitment, and regularly reviewing the goals you’ve written
down will make it possible to truly feel that commitment. You’ll
go through agonies at first and wonder if any of this is really
worth it, and that’s the point most people give up.
Remember this and you’ll look forward to that agony. Every
change comes with pain. It hurts to be born, to fall in love, to
pass an exam, run a marathon. Once you start feeling that pain,
know it for what it is – your old self screaming for life. Let
your old self win and you lose!
Once you pass through that barrier of pain between what you are
and what you want, you will know what it is worth every bit of
discomfort. You’ve been through it before, and you’ll need the
memory of past incidents where you’ve made it to help you get
You’ll need the support of others, too. So you’ll have to
consider the people with whom, you spend most of your time. If
they are not as interested in improving themselves as you are,
it’s time to expand your circle of friends to include those
people, and make them the best you could want. Make your friends
inspirations to you in your quest for a better life.
The final step is so simple and so tough it literally separates
the men from the boys who will never grow up. It means
sacrificing immediate pleasure for real satisfaction down the
road, so if you’re not ready to make the trade, go back two
FIFTH: Spend every moment of your life in the most effective,
efficient way possible in the pursuit of your goals. You’ll
never be able to do this as well as you will want to, but that’s
fine. Nobody spends all their time as effectively as humanly
possible. The degree to which you can tune your desire to the
things you want and discipline yourself to do the things that
lead to getting them – will determine how successful you will be.
Regardless of how weak you are now, you can and will increase
the value your time and activities and garner more happiness
than you might think fair only if you’ll keep your failures in
perspective. Think of them as lessons and gain something from
them. Use your successes as a well of strength on which you can
draw when you’re ready to quit.
These simple steps are the true secret to getting what you want
out of life. It has been proven time and time again by great men
down trough history, and centuries from now. The words may
change, but the ideas will be the same.
For centuries men have tried to find ways of making this simple
set of guidelines more complicated and more difficult to
understand and follow. Most of them succeeded admirably. Most
got what they wanted by doing so. What they really wanted was
less than they set out to achieve. Getting what you truly want
is so difficult precisely because it is so simple. Humans are
very complex beings and thrive on making things even more
It might help to remember that the foundation of every religion,
belief, system and philosophy that has worked its way to a
culture and taken root is personal happiness. In every case,
happiness is achieved by reducing things to their simple