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WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR SHIP COMES IN
If you have successfully applied all the winning techniques in this book, if you have worked hard, with an unshakable sense of dedication and resolve, you are certainly entitled to your reward. The question is, are you also prepared?
For as long as the realization of one’s dream remains a long-range goal, it is an easy thing to live with. Life goes along in a familiar and ordinary way. There are no major adjustments to be made. It is simply a matter of getting up each day and working toward a clearly defined objective.
Most people give little or any thought to success until it finally happens. On a grand scale, it can be a truly earth-shaking experience, but only if you haven’t properly prepared yourself for it.
Let’s consider a few of the things that generally occur when a person’s ship finally comes in.
The first reaction is usually “I can’t believe this is true!” In situations where a person’s success is brought about by his own diligent efforts, it is hardly a logical statement. If you have worked hard, have done everything necessary to achieve your goals; is there really any reason why you shouldn’t be successful?
Of course not! But there is still an aura of unreality connected with any huge success, perhaps because people inherently expect so little from life.
The next most typical reaction might be even more difficult to understand. In many cases, people are inclined to feel “I don’t deserve it.” What I have always found intriguing about this is that people rarely adopt such an attitude when something bad happens.
They seem inclined to accept adversity as their due, but something really good is often hard to handle. While people with a high sense of self-esteem may have less trouble accepting the good things that come their way, even they have been know to experience some twinges of doubt.
At this point, superstitious feeling often enter the picture, causing a person to feel that “this can’t possibly last!” Believing that something or someone is going to come along and “snatch it all away” is only another way of saying. “I don’t deserve it.” Although this belief has no actual basis in fact, it is yet another of the more common reactions to success.
What happens after that? Well, that really depends upon you. Let’s review a number of the things that CAN happen, both good and bad, and the best way in which to cope with them.
TYRING TO BE WHO YOU’VE ALWAYS BEEN
- Do you like yourself as a person?
- Are you comfortable with who you are?
- Then, why change?
Extremely successful people often feel they have a role to play. Society assumes that they will now live in a certain way, drive certain type of an automobile, wear certain clothes, belong to private clubs and associate with those whose income bracket is similar to their own. The faulty premise in this type of thinking is that all of us want the same things in life.
How would you like to own a 325-foot yacht, with a mosaic swimming pool, an office, huge master bedroom, semicircular bath and nine guest cabins? Aristotle Onassis owned such a yacht, the largest in the entire world. It required a staff of sixty people to keep it properly maintained.
Not surprisingly, most people would love to vacation on such a yacht, but few would have any real interest in assuming the responsibilities of ownership.
If you are a person who has always enjoyed a simple, uncomplicated life, there is no reason why personal success should force you to give that up. But don’t be surprised if others expect you to give it up, and even belittle your efforts to keep things on a simple level.
One woman I interviewed admitted that she had enjoyed astounding success in the field of commercial real estate. Once she had enough money to retire, she decided instead to open a little antique shop, which she operates with the help of only one part-time employee.
“No one could understand why I would want to spend long hours in this quaint little shop when I could be lying around on a beach in the Bahamas,” she said. “The thing is, I truly love antiques! The historical significance of each piece is something I enjoy sharing with my clientele. Since the part-time employee I’ve hired is less knowledgeable on the
subject, I feel I need to be in the store as much of the time as possible in order to answer questions and to provide all necessary information. I don’t really think of it as a job. Since antiques have always been a hobby of mine, it is more like playing at something I’ve always wanted to do.”
I could certainly identify with much of what this woman was saying since I had gone through many similar experiences of my own. In a previous book, Doing What You Love and Loving What You Do, I described a period when it became necessary to simplify my lifestyle, to adopt a way of living and being that was more in keeping with the person I actually was.
At the time, I remember that some of the changes caused friends and family to feel uneasy and anxious, but this did not deter me from doing what I believed was necessary to live as happily and as honestly as I could.
HOW TO AVOID THE GUILT TRAP
Once you become truly successful, there will be others who envy you. Envy is not a feeling that anyone enjoys experiencing since it is always tied into the nagging reminder that someone else is doing better. Envy will often cause people to make you feel guilty about what you have. Suddenly, you will find yourself inundated with the latest statistics on those who are destitute and living in poverty.
Notwithstanding your own desire to help such people, which you can certainly do through any number of charitable endeavors, there is no reason to feel guilty about having something that others do not. You earned what you have, and that gives you the right to have it. By the same token, you are in a far better position to help others less fortunate if you, yourself, are successful.
Moral of the Story: You should always be proud of your achievements, not ashamed! And never allow yourself to be affected by the envy or
jealousy of others. They are free to enjoy many accomplishments and successes of their own, once they are willing to pay the price!
THE MONEY TRAP
It is indeed unfortunate that so many people see money as a “trap,” as something that is destined to affect their lives in some undesirable way. The way to avoid any possibility of this is to decide at the outset that you are going to control your money, your money is not going to control you.
If money is allowed to become your master, you will soon become its slave. Although it is easy to get carried away with the exhilarating feeling that comes with greater financial strength, there is no reason to allow this feeling to get out of control.
A part of what you earn should always be allocated to sound investments, which means that you MUST adhere to a “hands off” policy toward that portion of your income. As long as you are looking toward the future in a practical and realistic way, you will never be hurt by a few extravagances in the present. The answer lies in maintaining a good balance between spending and saving.
NEITHER A GEYSER NOR A MISER BE
A geyser, as we all know, is a natural gusher that periodically spews forth-boiling hot water or steam. As your fortunes continue to increase, it would be best not to think of yourself as a financial geyser, a source of endless monetary wealth, since your fortunes can always reverse themselves. By the same token, there is absolutely no reason to live like a miser, someone who is inclined or even determined to live beneath his means.
Those afflicted with a chronic case of poverty thinking find it impossible to increase their spending habits once good fortune comes their way. They continue to pinch pennies, to save for a rainy day to wait form some catastrophic event to occur. The memory of earlier, more difficult times continues to haunt them. What happened before could happen again. Perhaps it is even inevitable!
Even if you are not plagued with such thoughts, you may still be a victim of a poverty life script, since it is know to manifest itself in many ways.
Do you hate to spend money on yourself? If you find it easier to spend money on others, you may be afflicted with yet another form of poverty consciousness.
Other signs often include a tendency to put off making purchases, and an inability to decide what you really want.
Respect yourself enough to know that you deserve what you want! If at first you find this difficult to do, imagine the universe as a constant source of plenty. The fact is, you are surrounded by more money-making opportunities, more sources of endless supply than you could ever avail yourself of! What you choose not to recognize nonetheless exists!
How many people have you known who have made, lost and remade a fortune in the space of a single lifetime? I have personally known people who have gone through two or three bankruptcies and then made a million dollars again!
Do you think such a thing would be possible if the universal source of unlimited supply were actually limited? Or if it was selective in who it chose to shine down upon? Or if it allocated only one fortune to each individual on earth? Fortunately, we have as many opportunities as we care to avail ourselves of.
SUFFERING FROM THE “SUCCESS SYNDROME”
If you were to talk to any professional psychiatrist, you would soon learn that the Success Syndrome is so common that it is frequently the reason people end up lying on a couch when they would rather be lying on a beach.
Many of the problems associated with success have already been discussed in the foregoing pages, but there is another that frequently afflicts those who have finally “made it big.” Inside themselves, successful people often feel they are frauds.
If you were ask them why, they would say, “Because I know any number of people who could have done this better. Given the same opportunities, the same breaks – why, they could easily have shown me up with achievements far greater than my own.”
For purposes of simplification, let us suppose that you have written a book. It is a book on a subject that you know extremely well. Let us assume it is a How-To book – how to do something.
Because you are so well versed on this particular subject, the book itself took you less than six months to complete. It is published by a major house and because of an aggressive advertising campaign and international distribution rights, it quickly becomes a best seller.
At the time this happens, there is someone living next-door to you who has been working on the Great All-American Novel for a period of seven years. The author has done a monumental amount of research and has submitted several sample chapter packages to various publishers, who have rejected all of his early versions. The book itself has been revised a total of five times. Your next-door neighbor is obviously a hard-working and dedicated individual. From all indications, he deserves to succeed.
To make it even worse, he seems delighted with your success as a published author, although you find it difficult to seriously accept yourself in this light. In your own mind, you feel that you only had this one book in you, and that your neighbor has countless volumes.
Is life being fair? Yes, in all probability, it is. To begin with, it is impossible to compare the two books since that would be like comparing apples and oranges. One is an instructional text, and the other, a complex fictional saga covering three generations. As far as research is concerned, it may seem to you that your neighbor has been burdened with the greater portion, but let’s take a second look!
The book that you have written has to do with a business in which you have been engaged for a period of twenty-five years. You know this business like the back of your hand.
You have seen it through all of its ups and downs, through periods of dramatic change and advancement, and through it all, you have managed to compete successfully in the market. That is the research that YOU have done! It has taken a major portion of your life. For that matter, it has taken much more than that.
There have been times when it required some daring and risk, when long hours of overtime took you away from your wife and children. Even so, you persevered – and won. That is what YOUR book is about. It also tells your reader how he can avoid many of the pitfalls that you were forced to contend with.
The information and helpful advice contained in your book could save your reader countless hours of time and a great deal of money. Because this message has obviously gotten across, the book has become extremely popular in a relatively short period of time, and deserves to be!
The next time you give a helpful bit of advice to someone, stop and think how long it took you to learn the information you have just passed on. Yes, it has value. It has worth. Just as you have!
ACHIEVING “INNER SUCCESS”
Successes in life can be many and varied. There are both outer and inner successes. Outwardly, it is possible to do great things and to be richly rewarded – both monetarily and through public adulation. Inwardly, success is an altogether different kind of thing. And so are the rewards.
As you continue to work toward your goals, it is necessary to keep working on yourself. This means rejecting ideas that are useless and uninspiring in favor of those that can help you to become a better YOU.
In time, you come to see the difference between excitement that is aroused by external events and the unique kind of elation that comes from seeking and finding the Truth.
Truth is what it IS. It cannot be affected by anything you think, or say, or do. It will not bend to your will, nor will it become what you would like it to be. Truth is Truth.
A comical little filler piece I once read in a magazine made the following observation: What men usually ask for God when they pray is that two and two NOT make four.
There is a great deal of truth in this, although we might prefer to believe that we do not really think in ways that are illogical, or possibly even irrational. Unfortunately, we do! At such times, we frequently find ourselves praying (or wishing) that a problem could simply be
eradicated from our lives. Or else, that we could be transported ahead to some future time when everything would be “magically resolved.”
What do such thoughts have to do with being logical or reasonable? Whatever the problem, you may be sure it came about through a certain combination of circumstances and events, and that it can only be removed by altering those circumstances and events in a logical and systematic way.
To become more “inwardly successful” means, among other things, that you will no longer depend upon a “stroke of luck” or any form of “magical intervention” to rescue you from the situation at hand. By the same token, you will no longer be a slave to exterior events. What happens or doesn’t happen will not make or break you.
NOTE: It is success in the inner world that will enable you to place the outer world under your command.
HOW TO ESTABLISH AN ONGOING SUCCESS PROGRAM
You would like success to be ongoing, wouldn’t you? What IS success really? Success is enjoying life! There can be no truer definition. Imagine going to work each day and earning an exorbitant salary for doing something you hate to do. Many people are presently engaged in such occupations.
Perhaps you have even known a few. Have you noticed how their inner dis-satisfaction has begun to spill over into their personal lives? How it is affecting their loved ones? Obviously, success is not money. Not in itself!
Success has a lot to do with career choices and long-range goals that complement your personal interests and talents. While many people have
no trouble deciding what they should do when the question is presented to them in such terms, others remain indecisive.
Perhaps you have heard people say, “When it comes to success, I don’t really know what I want. One minute it’s one thing, the next minute it’s something else.”
Success, among other things, is a matter of establishing priorities, of putting first things first. As you may already have guessed, the “first things” have more to do with your inner life than your outer life. Why? Because it is impossible to enjoy any of your possessions until you have learned how to thoroughly enjoy yourself! Makes sense, doesn’t it?
While there is nothing wrong with having lots of money, it is more important to have an inner peace and serenity with which to greet each day. And while you may have been thinking of totally redesigning your home, perhaps it would be better to work at redesigning the way you think.
An Ongoing Success Program – both inner and outer. It is a vital component of your Winning Life-Script and should never be neglected or ignored. In order to keep going it is necessary to keep growing!
BECOMING A MAGNET FOR GOOD
While you were busily climbing the ladder of success, you undoubtedly gave considerable thought to acquiring the “good things” in life. Have you ever stopped to think of yourself as one of those “good things”?
Do you feel that the world is a better place because you are here? Because of the contributions you have made? Because of the example you will have set for others?
Life is a mirror. It reflects back what you put into it. Do you feel that the image you presently reflect could be improved upon, either in your own eyes, or in the eyes of others?
Remember always that your thoughts and words create. Whatever you say, or think about, or do, is bound to have some long-range effect, in much the same way that pebbles dropped into a stream create every- widening rings on the surface of the water.
It is important that we constantly guard our thoughts and words, constantly affirm love, truth and the highest good within ourselves.
What have you been thinking and talking about today? Have you been conveying positive or negative messages? In either case, you can be sure that someone was listening, and reacting to them.
When you were a child, your parents undoubtedly impressed upon you how important it was to live up to your word. In effect, your word was a verbal contract.
Whatever you promised to do might as well have been written in stone since you were always expected to honor your word, live up to it, make good on it. This, of course, is not an easy thing to do if you are constantly saying things that are in contradiction with something you said earlier.
Or if you are expressing other people’s opinions rather than your own. Or if you are saying things “off the top of your head” that you really have no intention of following through on. If you really listen to what you are saying, you may realize that it is time to do some “mental housecleaning.”
I once knew an elderly lady who had adopted a somewhat innovative approach to her annual spring-cleaning. She would go through her closets and drawers and carefully examine everything that was there.
Anything she found that hadn’t been used in a year was immediately discarded. This kept her from accumulating needless items that would never be of any use to her. Since he was an elderly woman, I was quite impressed with her unique approach to housecleaning since most of the elderly people I knew were more inclined to collect things than to dispose of them.
It occurred to me that a “mental housecleaning” could be accomplished in much the same way, although it would be necessary to do it much more frequently than once a year.
Depending upon what they are, your words are constantly attracting or repelling. They are constantly helping to defeat of inspire others. They are constantly creating positive or negative images that others will tend to judge you by. Your words, of course, are a product of your thoughts, and that is why it is so important to engage in regular “mental housecleaning.’
If you wish to draw good into your life, you must first exude it to others. Whatever is truly good is beneficial not only to you, but also to everyone around you. It is what makes each day a happy, loving and life-enriching experience.