I struggled enormously in High School. I didn’t fit in at all and nothing turned out the way I expected it to. Very small in the grand scheme of things, especially compared to the unimaginable atrocities and horrors we see in the news happening around the world. It’s something I can laugh about now (though it was no laughing matter at the time), but I mention it to say that I genuinely know what it’s like to be at rock bottom with little to no hope.
While our individual situations and circumstances are vastly different, feelings are what connect us and are universal. And I know what it feels like to think you’re worthless.
The other reason I mention this is because I wanted to give you context for the enormous power Brian Tracy has had in my life, with the purpose of sharing his insights for your benefit. When I first saw him speak at a success seminar in Washington, D.C. my freshman year of college in the fall of 2007, my life was forever changed. I saw the possibility of something better and I was ignited on a lifelong journey of personal development.
Fast forward nine years later and I’m happier than ever. I’m speaking internationally and about to publish my second book. Most importantly of all, I’ve learned the crucial importance of helping others. I’m a work in progress and I’m improving every day: I can genuinely say that what I’ve learned from Brian really works.
Implementing a new mindset, establishing better habits, and becoming a better person and leader is not easy. There are lots of setbacks and pitfalls. And on the bad days it sometimes feels like two steps forward, three steps backwards. But if you keep moving forward every single day, you can and will make progress.
Below are ten key insights I’ve learned from Brian Tracy. Any one of these tips, when applied consistently, can revolutionize your life. They will help you in both your business and personal life. As Brian Tracy says, “good habits are hard to form but easy to live with; bad habits are easy to form but hard to live with.” Change is slow. Change is messy. But if you start small and take it a day at a time, these tips can make a big difference in your life over time.
Think In Terms of Solutions
Leadership and success in both business and life is about thinking in terms of solutions. As Brian Tracy says:
Stop talking about the problem and start thinking about the solution
As a freshman in college, for the first couple months, all I could think about was the past. Please learn from my mistake: this is no way to go through life! I thought about the problems of the past and what couldn’t be changed. But after I heard Brian Tracy speak in Washington D.C., I started reading his blog posts and watching his YouTube videos. I also purchased his program The Psychology of Achievement.
In his program he said that successful people are future-oriented. They are more concerned about the future and where they are going than the past and where they have been.
This one insight shifted my mindset, increased my happiness, and turned my life around. Hopefully it does the same for you.
In all of human history, there’s never been a better time to be alive. There are opportunities everywhere. But to take advantage of these opportunities, you have to know what you want. You have to know where you’re going. I learned from Brian Tracy the incredible importance of clarity in every aspect of your life.
Take some time in the near future to reflect on what you want out of life and how you can help others. Where do you see yourself fifteen years from now?
You can’t do amazing things with your life if you are holding grudges and stuck in the past. To be clear I’m pointing the finger at no one but myself, as for many years I was living in the past. But I changed that habit for the better and so can you. Brian Tracy referenced a book by James Newman called Release Your Brakes! What Tracy and Newman said is that going through life without forgiving is like driving your car with the emergency brake on – you’ll go forward, but with enormous stress on the engine and very slowly.
Forgive the people who have hurt you. I know as much as anyone that it’s not easy (I’ve been burned pretty badly in numerous cases). But when you forgive, you free yourself. You give yourself a clean slate to do remarkable things with your life. As Brian Tracy said, “there are some people who have endured enormous hurt and pain, but moved beyond those events and did incredible things with their life. If they did it, so can you.”
What One Great Thing Would You Dare to Dream If You Knew Beyond the Shadow of a Doubt You Could Not Fail?
This question from Brian Tracy frees your mind to think in terms of possibilities. What would you dare to dream if you had no limits? You may have some limits in your current circumstance, but what this process allows you to do is think in terms of your goals and where you’re going. If you are courageous, persistent, and consistent, you can absolutely achieve your goals and get to where you want to be.
Find the Hidden Opportunity in Your Setback
All of these tips are amazing and this one might be my favorite of all. This one tip has literally created opportunities for me that I thought only happened in movies.
Although I was a good player, I was benched on my college baseball team for reasons beyond my control. But I found the silver lining using Brian Tracy’s practical tips by deciding to study abroad for an entire year in Budapest, Hungary, the location where my college had a sister school. Had I not been benched I never would have considered studying abroad – traveling the world and meeting new people ended up being much better for my long-term goals, so it was a win-win. As Brian Tracy says, I “plucked success from the jaws of failure.”
It was one of the best years of my life and the year abroad was so magical that I wrote a book about it.
“If you look for the hidden opportunity in your setback you will find it,” Brian Tracy says.
The power of asking, another tactic I learned from legend Brian Tracy, is so powerful it literally gives me goosebumps. Oftentimes we do the hard work necessary to achieve success, but we forget to ask for what we want! Don’t let this happen to you.
Ask the person you have a crush on to go out on a date with you. Ask for a raise at work. Ask for the business. Ask for a better deal. Ask for what you want. The absolute worst that can happen when you ask for what you want is someone says no or doesn’t respond. But if they say yes, you’ll hit your Mountaintop. It’s worth the risk.
“Ask politely. Ask respectfully. Ask courteously. But never be afraid to ask.” – Brian Tracy
Find Your Balance Point
Brian Tracy will give you the tips and insights you need to achieve more and reach your potential, and at the same time he also strongly advocates finding a balance in your life. Take breaks. Take weekends off. Spend time with your family. Reward yourself along the way as you hit checkpoints on the way to your goal.
Break your big goal down into small daily goals so that it becomes more manageable and less stressful. Be happy on your way to the end destination.
“Set peace of mind as your highest goal,” Brian Tracy says, “and organize everything else around that. Resolve today to never again compromise your peace of mind for anyone or anything. If you do that, you’ll probably never make another mistake.”
Simplify Your Life
There is enormous power in simplicity. Brian is able to achieve and help others at such an incredibly high level because his life is simple, not complex.
Brian Tracy suggests you perform a KWINK analysis: Knowing What I Now Know:
- Knowing what you now know, would you get into the job or career path you are currently in?
- Knowing what you now know, would you have made that investment?
- Knowing what you now know, would you be in the relationships and friendships you are currently in?
“Make your next move based on how the situation is today, not the way it was in the past or the way you’d like it to be in the future,” Brian Tracy says. “Use the reality principle and look at reality the way it really is. If it’s time to make a change, then how do you get out and how fast? Once you get out of that bad situation, you’ll feel so much better about yourself. And guess what? That’s how you’re supposed to feel most of the time!”
Thank you, Brian, for sharing your wisdom with the world. It is epic and life-changing, to say the least.
None of these tips involve a one-time, quick fix, cut-the-corner mentality. It’s about consistent, daily action. It’s about establishing routines and new habits.
Get up a little earlier. Read a little bit more. Work a little bit harder. Be a little bit more disciplined. Improve a little bit each day. Small, tiny, daily changes lead to enormous progress and results over time.
“In order to become successful, you must pay the price in full and in advance.” – Brian Tracy
Dream Big Dreams
Allow yourself to dream big dreams!
“Whatever anyone else has done, within reason, you can do too.” – Brian Tracy
Concluding Thoughts and a Testimonial Video
There are many more insights I could share with you, but the above ten are a great starting point. If you get a chance, check out this testimonial video I made last night while I was in New York City.
Learn from Brian Tracy. I’m saying this not because I have to, but because I want to. He’s that good. He’s the best of the best.
See you at The Mountaintop.
Speaker Jeff Davis is an internationally-renowned author, professional speaker, and leadership expert. For updates on his next book Reach Your Mountaintop Without Climbing the Wrong Mountain: 13 Keys to Overcoming Obstacles, Revolutionizing Your Life, and Leading From Within, follow him on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.