I generally do not include too many “case histories” in my books. Most authors use them as “space fillers” but I prefer to use the same space to include solid, useful information. However, I am going to make an exception here. Also, I am going to use this “case history” to end the book.

You will see why it is a perfect way to end the book after you read it. The reason for this is that I have never known anyone who more clearly exemplifies the principles discussed in this book than my friend Ramon Bonin.

I met Ramon several years ago while I was on the lecture circuit. In his continuing efforts to apply the principles for success to his own life, he came upon some of my books and tapes. At the time we first me, he was spending in excess of $6,000 annually on self-improvement material. He would even listen to my tapes while riding along in his Rolls Royce. Over the years, he has given hundreds of my books and tapes to personal friends and business associates.

When I met his family, I realized that Ramon, his wife Patty, his son Blaise, and his daughter Kim comprised an impressive example of how a family can live by and share abundantly in the principles for success.

Through the years, it has been my privilege to know presidents, politicians, authors, celebrities, and religious leaders, but I have never met anyone with a better grasp of the principles of personal and business success than Ramon Bonin. Here is a man who truly believes in doing what you love and loving what you do.

In a recent taped interview I conducted with Ramon, he summarized his own personal philosophy. Here, in his own words, Ramon explains it:

QUES: The first question, the obvious one, I suppose, is: Were you born with that proverbial silver spoon in your mouth?

ANS: I was born in a backwoods region of Louisiana, in a small Cajun community where I lived with my patents in a tarpaper shack. I spoke only French until I started attending school.

QUES: What was the extent of your formal education?

ANS: Eleventh grade. At the time, I did not really understand the value of school. I just went because that’s what everybody else did. No great value was ever placed upon education by my uneducated parents. At the age of fifteen, I decided it was time to strike out on my own.

QUES: What did you do after that?

ANS: I worked at menial tasks, mostly farm work in Ohio, for which I was paid the sum of fifty cents per hour.

QUES: Would you say there were any significant influences in your life at this time?

ANS: Yes. A retired schoolteacher who was the mother of one of the farmers with whom I worked with. It was because of her that I developed an avid interest in reading. I began to make a sincere effort to understand what each book was telling me, to discover its basic message rather than simply looking at the words. As time went on, I began to read Philosophy, literature, poetry, and even after joining the navy, I continued to be an avid reader.

QUES: Were there any books that particularly impressed you at that time?

ANS: Yes. I remember buying a book for twenty-five cents entitled: In Tune with the Infinite, by Ralph Waldo Trine. That book communicated something to me that changed my entire life. Its basic overall message was that we live in a universe that is controlled by fixed laws, and one of these laws is the law of cause and effect. At the age of twenty-three, I did not immediately grasp the full impact of this, but eventually, I did. I gradually came to the realization that I was completely in charge of my destiny, that what happened to me was a result of what I did, and also, what I failed to do – my acts of commission as well as my acts of omission. Whatever occurred or did not occur, I was solely in charge.

QUES: After your discharge from the navy, what did you do?

ANS: I went back to performing menial tasks, common-labor-type jobs. In California I found a job as a shipping clerk that paid $1.26 per hour. Before very long, I noticed many inefficiencies in the way things were done. There was no organization, which made it extremely difficult to fill

orders on a timely basis. Although I had not been invited to do it, I gradually worked out a more efficient system, and once it had been adopted, everything moved along much more smoothly.

After that, I began looking at the assembly area with the same critical eye. Fortunately, I had always possessed a natural ability to look at a situation and see what needed to be done. During idle moments, I would clean up the place and rearrange things so that they would be more organized. It seemed important to establish some kind of order, perhaps because order is a very important part of my life. I also worked after- hours and helped the employees clean and set up their equipment. Eventually, I was moved to the production department and received an increase in salary.

QUES: How goal-oriented were you in those days?

ANS: Not at all. I had absolutely no sense of purpose; I just went to work every day because I knew I had to eat. I took a lot of menial, dead-end jobs, whatever was available.

QUES: What do you believe was responsible for eventually altering your outlook?

ANS: I got married. As you might expect, this had a very dramatic effect upon my life. For the very first time, I began to focus on purpose, to consider the idea of working toward something specific. I had never done that before. I had always just worked to survive. But once I was married, my wife and I became interested in owing things, in having things that would make life more comfortable and enjoyable. And this moment I needed a specific plan in order to achieve my goals. The first thing we did was move to a rural area, since neither of us had ever really enjoyed living in the city.

QUES: Was this a fortuitous move?

ANS: It changed everything! I went to work as a helper for a local building contractor and that was the beginning of a beautiful lifetime career. I had never before loved my work, or even really liked it.

Although I respected my employers and always did an outstanding job for them, I simply put in my hours. But when I started working for this building contractor, I found I couldn’t wait to get to work! We were building custom homes, and each day, I would eagerly drive a distance of sixty miles and throw myself into my job. At the end of the day, it was the same thing in reverse. I would continue to think about my work after I returned home, wondering what we would be doing next. It was all so incredibly exciting! I absolutely loved my job!

QUES: How would you describe your overall attitude and feelings at this time?

ANS: As one of constant expectancy. Driving in each morning, I found I could not wait to get there. And I hated to see the day end since this meant I had to wait until the following morning to see what would happen next!

QUES: Would you say that your relationship with your employer was a pleasant and compatible one?

ANS: He was more like a mentor. He was incredibly patient, was an excellent communicator, and always took the time to explain everything we were doing, and why. He was also a master craftsman and taught me to demand the best of myself in all situations. I learned all the elements of construction since he himself was involved in every phase –

digging foundations, doing form work, pouring concrete, framing, all the way through to the actual finishing. By the time I returned to southern California, which I eventually did, I was well schooled and ready to take on the world!

QUES: What did you do then?

ANS: I went to work for a framing contractor, although he did not really want to hire me. Someone had given me his name and I went to his house and knocked on his door. When he answered, he opened the door only slightly and tried to close it again when I told him I was looking for a job. Since I desperately needed work, I couldn’t afford to have him do this, so I put my hand against the door to keep him from closing it. I offered to work for him an entire week with the understanding that if I did not make him any money, he would not owe me a cent. He admitted he had never had an offer like that in his life and promptly took me on. Within three weeks, I was running his crew.

QUES: How did you launch your career as an independent contractor?

ANS: It came about as a result of a conversation I happened to overhear. The job superintendent asked the contractor if he would be interested in cutting some doors between offices and installing window air-conditioning units. The contractor said no, that he considered this “junk work” and that he couldn’t make any money on it. So, I offered to do it myself.

QUES: When did you find the time to do it?

ANS: During the evenings and on weekends. Soon other people were referring the same kind of work to me, and suddenly, I was drowning in opportunity!

QUES: Drowning in opportunity. I like that! With that kind of an attitude, I assume you managed to stay busy?

ANS: That was twenty-five years ago, and I’ve never run out of work. For the first seven years, I worked seven days a week, but after that, I began to relax, no longer fearful that I would ever be unemployed.

QUES: What principles for success were you utilizing at this time?

ANS: Mainly those I had learned as a child. To always be honest, and grateful, to have a good attitude, to do the best job I knew how, to communicate well, and to always keep things simple.

QUES: Can you remember at what point you made the transition from “junk work” to major construction?

ANS: Oh yes. I was maintaining a rigorous schedule, often working twenty-hour days in an effort to meet my projected deadlines. One day, while I was digging ditches in downtown Los Angeles, I learned of a piece of condemned property for sale. I purchased it for $7,200 and later sold it for $15,000. After the sale was made, I was contacted by some people who wanted me to construct a building on that lot. I explained that the property had already been sold, but offered to find another site on which to erect a building. This was the start of my career as an independent developer. Utilizing what I had learned in northern California, I did all of the layout work and constructed the building in about sixty days. I did most of the work myself – dug ditches by hand, put in the forms, tied the steel, did the roof structure as well as the interior framing. I loved every minute of it! I made more money on this job in a shorter period of time than I had every made in my life.

QUES: Again, I must ask you, what principles for success were you applying?

ANS: I spent a lot of time thinking about my clients – what I could do for them, what they would like. I began to come up with a lot of creative ideas and often ended up giving more than I was being paid for. At the time, I didn’t recognize these practices as principles for success, but obviously they were. I did only quality work, and in my book, the customer was always right. One time, it meant painting a room four different times before the lady was finally satisfied, but afterward, she repaid me by involving me in five additional jobs.

QUES: At that point, you had obviously begun to apply that principle of positive expectancy you were talking about.

ANS: Oh yes. It is truly amazing how often we will succeed when we proceed on the premise that we cannot fail. As the time went on, I continued to acquire properties – single parcel, at first, then two parcels.

After a while, it became five and six parcels at a time. Eventually, it became entire city blocks, and in one case, I acquired an eleven-acre tract of land in downtown Los Angeles on which I developed a 400,000 square feet of buildings. All the buildings had already been leased or sold before I even closed escrow on the land. At present, I am in the somewhat enviable position of being able to take on as much work as I want, drawing on the abundance that is always there.

QUES: So, you are still drowning in opportunity?

ANS: Oh yes, but I would like to stress that getting to this point was not a “happy accident.” It all came about because I applied specific

principles for success. In the early days, I applied them unconsciously, but now it’s a deliberate process.

QUES: So, what you are saying is you can never afford to stop learning and applying what you learn.

ANS: That’s right. In some cases, it’s simply a matter of discovering what principles you have been applying accidentally, so that you can give them a label and make them a conscious part of your life. In my own case, I continued to read and started listening to motivational tapes in an effort to uncover the true principles for success.

QUES: Are you a list maker?

ANS: Very much so. Along time ago I got into the habit of writing down whatever it was that I wanted to accomplish. The lists are important, I think, because they make your goals more tangible.

QUES: And once the lists were made, what did you do then?

ANS: Then I formulated definite plans in order to achieve those goals.

QUES: For people, who might be interested in developing such plans, would you like to explain the specific steps involved?

ANS: Well, I would define each plan in terms of how I was going to achieve my objectives. Writing it all down in outline form, I would take each topic and break it down to the smallest detail. Then I would determine what resources I would need to accomplish my plan.

QUES: At this stage in your life, do you consider yourself a self-made man?

ANS: Oh no. Everything I have done has taken some team effort. I realized early on that the things I wanted to accomplish couldn’t be accomplished alone, because my goals were always greater than my individual capacity. So, I made a practice of surrounding myself with a group of the best-qualified people I could find.

QUES: By most people’s definition, you are certainly a successful person. In your own mind, how would you define success?

ANS: I think success has more to do with choices than anything else does – the freedom to choose what it is you want to do in life and having the resources to pursue those choices, whatever those resources might be.

If I were to define a successful life, I would have to say it is different for each and every one of us. Too often, people tend to equate success with money, or the acquisition of wealth.

While I believe that can be part of success, the real success lies in finding what you love to do, and having the freedom to do it. What a beautiful feeling that is, to pursue this thing you love to do and to have it as your job.

QUES: In other words, what you are really saying is, if you really love what you’re doing, you’ll never work another day in your life.

ANS: Exactly! I don’t remember working a single day since I first found the thing I truly love to do. I just look forward to daily challenges and accomplishments.

QUES: What about people who have nothing, any money to speak of? Do you think the acquisition of wealth is a good motivation for them?

ANS: Well, as we already know, money is not the answer to everything. If it were, wealthy people would be totally ecstatic, and we know this is far from true. By the same token, those who are relatively poor, at least from a financial standpoint, are often very happy and well adjusted, particularly if they feel they have a real mission in life, and if they truly enjoy that mission.

QUES: What about people who don’t really know what they want to do?

ANS: I would tell anyone who made that statement: “You’re making your life too difficult.” You see it really isn’t a matter of finding the one thing that’s perfect, but finding whatever seems best at the time. I would think that if someone didn’t know exactly what they wanted to do, that they could begin by making a list of various things that had always interested them. The important thing here is to jot down whatever occurs to you, without regard for possible difficulties or limitations. Just make out a list, and then, through a process of elimination, determine which thing or things appeal to you the most. Eventually, you are going to get down to a very small group of choices, which should clearly indicate what you should actually be doing. Another way is to not focus on the job at all, but rather on the activities and conditions you most like to surround yourself with. This, in itself, will suggest the kind of work you should be doing.

QUES: And, assuming these people have the proper attitudes and behavior patterns, what else do you think they will need in order to succeed?

ANS: There are certain basic laws of nature, and one of the most dominant ones is that everything finds its own level. If you place a

person in an environment that is totally alien to his nature, only one of two things can possibly happen. Either he will separate himself from that environment; or else he will become like the environment. This is a particularly significant fact to consider when a person with limited skills and abilities is placed in a situation where something clearly superior is expected of him. In order to make the adjustment; it becomes necessary for him to aspire to something higher in order to succeed in that environment. The important thing to learn from this is that if you wish to improve your life, you must first place yourself in an improved environment.

QUES: What about the PEOPLE you choose to surround yourself with?

ANS: It’s all the same thing. If you wish to succeed, you will need to associate with people who think on a higher level, who have higher principles, and who communicate in a truly positive way. In other words, people with higher ideals.

QUES: In your dealings with people, it appears that you subscribe to the win-win philosophy. Is that true?

ANS: Definitely! The cause of a lot of failure in life is the erroneous idea that you have to get more, that “winning” means getting a bigger piece of the pie. This is untrue. Although you may, in fact, get a bigger piece of the pie, it may well be the only pie you’ll ever get. Practicing the win- win philosophy is simply a matter of helping others to win. Not only that, it also means never participating in any activity that is not conducive to a win-win situation. One of the major elements of success is helping other people get what they want. In order to do that, you have to make sure that they win, and that they feel they have won, according to their own individual perceptions of winning. It is only when people feel they have

won that they will come back to you so that you can help them to win again.

QUES: It appears obvious to me, from what I have personally observed, that no matter what happens to you, you always subscribe to an Attitude of Gratitude. Would you say that is a fair assessment?

ANS: Yes, very much so. You’ve undoubtedly heard the saying: Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have. An Attitude of Gratitude falls right in harmony with that. There are so many people who have true abundance, but who nonetheless persist in focusing on the little that is wrong, rather than on everything that is right.

Through the years, I’ve created something I call Ramon’s rule, and I use the standard yardstick as a metaphor. In every yardstick you will find exactly thirty-six inches. Everyone has a yardstick for life, and in each life there is so many inches of good conditions, and so many inches of bad. If they choose to focus on their one bad inch, eventually their whole life becomes bad. If you focus on the bad, it becomes your reality. Since your thoughts also produce your feelings, if your thoughts are bad, then your feelings will be bad, and the quality of your life will also be bad.

This is the best reason I can think of to concentrate on what is good about your life. An Attitude of Gratitude is something I have always been blessed with. No matter what my job is, no matter how lowly a task it might be, I always appreciate having a job, which is no small thing in itself.

QUES: Good point! Now then, let’s talk about results. You already know from reading my books and listening to my tapes and that I am result oriented. How do you feel about that?

ANS: Well, we are all inclined to seek out people who are going to help us get what we want. Whether we’re looking for a mechanic to fix our car or someone to type a letter for us, we are looking for someone who can provide what we need.

That’s what success is all about – knowing what you need to do and when you need to do it. Many people in this world possess the potential for success. They have skills and motivation, long term goals, and even the proper attitude. But they never quite get around to doing what they NEED to do when they need to DO it. In other words, they go through the motions, but never achieve the results. Faulty timing is often a big part of their problem. If you have critical deadlines to meet and somehow don’t meet them, you only create additional problems. Like you have repeatedly said in your books and tapes: There are reasons and there are results. Results are all that matter. Reasons or excuses don’t count.

QUES: How do you; feel about proper timing, about being in the right place at the right time?

ANS: I think the time is now! The time is always now. I think that timing is really a matter of mental attitude. Success is not so much a matter of overcoming the wrong conditions as overcoming whatever conditions exist. Let’s not forget that there are many people who will fail even under the best conditions, while others, who are constantly battling adversity, somehow manage to rise above their conditions and achieve great success.

QUES: Which leads us finally to the subject of integrity, this business of living up to your word. How important do you believe this is in your dealings with others?

ANS: I would say integrity is vital to your success, that any kind of long- term success is impossible without it. Also, there is tremendous power in being predictable in a positive way. What many people don’t realize is that we all evaluate patterns of behavior in others. If a pattern of behavior is good, if promises are kept and work is performed according to the terms and conditions originally agreed upon, you may be sure that you will always be surrounded with satisfied customers. On the other hand, there are many people who will say what they are going to do and then change it in varying degrees as time goes on. Although they may believe this is an acceptable practice, it is not. Predictability is extremely important as it pertains to integrity. It is never wise to “change the game.” Never!

QUES: Would you agree that the bottom line for making all the principles for success work is your own self-image and your sense of self-esteem?

ANS: Yes, definitely. We all have a picture of ourselves, which I sometimes refer to as our “script.” We all have a particular perception of how life is and how we are. There is a scripture in the Bible that reads: As you believe in your heart, so shall it be done unto you. I think that covers the self-image and self-esteem situation pretty well. It isn’t so much what happens, but how we feel about what happens that makes the difference. When we have a poor self-image and poor self-esteem, we have a tendency to react badly to the situations we encounter. Life is a miracle!

What we put into it is what comes back to us, and the manner in which we respond to situations in our lives will determine in large measure how other people regard us. If we are rude and arrogant, it is unlikely that anyone will ever treat us kindly. And if we are dishonest, people will certainly not be motivated to do business with us. But if we are

considerate and caring, and exhibit a winning attitude, we will make it far more desirable for others to interact with us.

QUES: And finally, to sum things up, would you like to share any closing thoughts that others might find helpful as they undertake their own road to success?

ANS: We live in a universe that is governed by fixed laws, such as the law of cause and effect. Whether we believe in such laws or not it will not alter the fact that they exist. It is like the law of gravity. If a person decides to walk off a cliff, the fact that he does not believe in the law of gravity will not alter the fact that he will fall. Getting back to cause and effect, it is important to understand that you are designing your destiny each day – with every act you commit of fail to commit. Because the things you do in the present have such an impact upon the future, an effort should be made to choose the destiny you really want. The next step is to do something each day that will bring you a little closer to your objective, however inconsequential an act it may appear to be. The important thing is to keep moving ahead, with your eye on the target.

And finally, never, never, never, give up! There are many people who succeed in life, not because they are more intelligent, more educated, or better qualified than others are, but because they refuse to fail! They never quit. They never let go. They push and persevere, until finally, they have no choice but to win! Better to be a person who tried and failed than someone who failed to try. Always try. Always believe in yourself. And enjoy every day that you live!

How do you believe you would feel if today were your original birthday? That’s right, the very first day of your life! You could enjoy it without prior conditioning, with total freshness and joy. There would be nothing to

dread nothing to feel defensive about. For that matter, why should there

ever be?

Today is all you have. If you are immersed in worrying about the future or in regretting the past, you are robbing yourself of the priceless present. It is unfortunate that so much attention is given over to the past and future, since neither time frame even exists! Only the present exists- and whatever you choose to do with it!

Dr. Robert Anthony

Dr. Robert Anthony

The works of Dr Robert Anthony are some of the best kept secrets on the Law of Attraction. Operating without the massive self-promotion and razzmatazz that so often accompanies other ‘Personal Development’ teachers, Dr Anthony has nevertheless provided a guiding direction to some of the most successful people on the planet.

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