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Greatest Success Secret of All Time
Excerpt from A
Touch of Greatness
Wise old Andy Carnegie, multi-millionaire philanthropist and builder of
men (he created 43 millionaires) became an omnivorous reader as soon as
he first learned to read.
He particularly liked stories of biography about successful and rich men.
He quickly learned that most successful men made a habit of writing down
goals and striving for them. He read this so often he regarded it as the
secret of success. He preached it to anyone who'd listen.
He went so far as to think up a little trick for finding out how many
of his own employees wrote down goals and aimed at them. This he did as
He thought up a questionnaire of 15 questions so worded to make them think
he wanted their opinions and suggestions. Here were some of the questions:
How long have you been working here?
What prompted you to come to work for us?
Are you satisfied with your pay and working conditions?
Do you have any suggestions for improving conditions, or improving
Are you earning enough money for the work you do, in your opinion?
Do you make enough money to take good care of your family?
Etc. etc. 15 questions in all.
But in between
the 15 was one, the only one he was interested in. That one was:
you have the habit of writing down goals and working to reach them?
When the questionnaires came in, he had his accountants separate the "yes"
sheets from the "no" sheets. There were 226 Yes sheets and 3572
Then he checked the earnings of each employee. The 226 Yes sheets were
among the 10% of the highest earners in the company. The No sheets were
among the 90% of the lowest earners.
After the test was over he confessed his trick and explained he did it
to persuade them to become GOAL SETTERS. And it paid off. The production
of the plant increased and hundreds began goal-setting. Many of them became
rich. Fortythree of them became millionaires.
For a while he was nicknamed the High Priest of GOAL SETTING.
Since that time dozens of other research agencies, colleges, accountants,
employment agencies and others conducted similar tests. And they always
came out close to these figures of 6% and 94%.
GOAL SETTING... THE GREATEST, MOST VALUABLE AND MOST
USEFUL OF ALL SUCCESS TECHNIQUES
This technique applies to any goal large, small, short range, long
range, personal, job or career. It works for just a passing thought. Writing
down a mere passing thought works like magic for converting that thought
into a goal. And writing down a goal works like DYNAMITE for converting
a goal into reality.
You are already
acquainted with GOAL SETTING through reading Lesson 1 [from the book
Touch of Greatness]. That lesson applied GOAL SETTING to writing
down the six most urgent tasks for the next day. Your next step is to
write down something with a longer range, like a week. Then gradually
for a little longer like a month or so. As you see the giant results,
you'll automatically apply it to longer and longer range goals.
Don't choose as your first step upward, a goal that your judgment tells
you is so high that it's probably unreachable, or one that will take you
so long that it might become discouraging. Select one that you're sure
you can reach with a LITTLE time and effort.
Many students ask me: "You say most people know that deciding on
and writing down a goal is the most important first step toward success.
If so many people know that, why do so few people do it?"
logical question. I'll be glad to answer it. I'll call on Edison and Napoleon
to help me answer it. Napoleon wrote:
most difficult of all tasks, and hence the most rewarding, is the POWER
TO DECIDE. It takes little power to do big things. But it takes great
power to decide on big things. And deciding on a goal is a BIG thing.
It affects us all our lives."
you want large or small, material, mental, or spiritual
write it down as a goal then do something every day to help you reach
it. That's the nearest thing to that "so called" SECRET OF SUCCESS
youll ever discover.
The great Goethe wrote: First build a proper goal. That proper goal
will make it easy, almost automatic, to build a proper YOU.
William. James and other great psychologists tell us: Compared to what
we should be, we are only half alive. We are making use of only a small
part of our mind power. Deep down inside of us are vast powers we know
nothing of and never use.
How can we wake up more of our mind power? By waking up more of our 12
billion brain cells most of which are idle, asleep. Some wake up by themselves.
But the surest, most powerful technique is to set goals and to work towards
After you've chosen your goal, whether long range, or short range, whether
a job goal or some other, you now have the task of realizing it. When
your car needs a major repair, your mechanic selects the best tools. And
when you want to realize a goal, you also need the best, quickest and
And what are they?
Without the slightest question of a doubt, they are PENCIL AND PAPER...
Edison once said: "Most people will go to ANY length to avoid the
labor of thinking." My classes taught me: Many people will go to
any length to avoid the labor of writing. They'll practice auto-suggestion,
positive thinking, meditating, affirmations, even hypnotism. But they
shrink from writing.
throwing away their sharpest tool for the purpose of realizing a goal.
Why? Because writing requires thinking, the most exact kind of thinking.
In fact writing forces us to think. It has ten times the power to force
us to concentrate and think accurately, exactly, and meaningfully as mere
talking or silent pondering. You can prove this in a minute. Just try
to write something without thinking. You can't. Forcing yourself to write
harnesses a group of brain cells to produce thoughts and that develops
The starting point of all achievement is a vision, a dream. That dream
continued changes to a desire. And if it's definite, it leads to a plan,
which in turn leads to action. But it must be definite and WRITTEN DOWN
as a goal. Otherwise it's a mere passing thought.
Unless you write down your goal on paper, you are merely toying ...you
haven't gotten serious. I'd like to print in letters 12 inches high this
MILLION DOLLAR MESSAGE:
BY WRITING DOWN YOUR GOAL ON PAPER CAN YOU HARNESS YOUR SUBCONSCIOUS MIND
TO GO TO WORK TO REALIZE YOUR GOAL
I can't emphasize too strongly: Only the emotions, feeling, have the power
to put a message over to the subconscious mind. Ordinary thinking or talking
does NOT arouse the emotions. Seeing your goal on paper involves the optic
nerve which is 17 times larger than most other nerves. Therefore, seeing
it on paper makes a deeper impression on the mind, makes you remember
it longer and it penetrates your inner, subconscious mind.
Many potentially great people remained just ordinary because they never
wrote down their goals. And many ordinary men who did write down their
goals rose to wealth and some even to greatness. A written down goal has
more power than brilliance, luck, pull, even genius.
Writing down your goal is so important that I'm going to remind you, urge
you, spur you and coax you to write it down until you're blue in the face.
If I fail to motivate you to write it down, I'm a flop as a teacher. If
you don't like to write, I strongly urge you to force yourself to write
until it becomes a habit. Any skill or habit can be developed and acquired,
IF we want it seriously enough to seriously set our minds to it. That
requires SELF MASTERY, will power, discipline. Here is a good place to
begin developing this SELF MASTERY one of the two MIND GROWTH traits.
Writing down your goal is planting the seed. That seed will grow and draw
all other success aids it needs, like the apple seed that grows and draws
all the ingredients it needs. Writing is both physical and mental. It
has double power... bringing faster results than any single power. It
reaches the subconscious mind.
The subconscious is much smarter than the conscious mind. It's much older,
millions of years older. The conscious mind is a comparatively late-comer.
Writing it down gives it momentum, life, substance ...makes it definite
and PERMANENT. Mere mental thinking lasts a few seconds. Writing on paper
never forgets. Writing it down has two powers, drawing and driving power.
Through the subconscious it draws and through the conscious it drives
us to do everything we can think of to help realize that goal. It's the
it down is like hiring a MIRACLE WORKER.
seemingly from nowhere come to your aid. There's an ancient Swiss saying:
FATE ADDS A THREAD TO THE CLOTH BEGUN. How? I don't know. Experts have
several theories about how a goal converts itself to its physical equivalent.
Here is the one most widely accepted:
Your conscious mind is the RULER of your life. Your subconscious mind
is the FACTORY. This factory is also a giant COMPUTER. It has thousands
of separate facts, ideas, plans, notions, concepts and thoughts. A written
down order from the conscious mind signals the subconscious mind to select,
compare, combine, adopt, adapt, reject, relate and switch these facts
and thoughts around and combine them into new forms, new ideas, plans,
and means to realize that goal. It even has cybernetic action like a guided
missile. When it wanders off course it self-corrects and puts itself right
back on course.
Paper with writing on it never forgets. And writing a goal on paper is
in some way related to writing it on the subconscious mind, where it acts
like a note to ourselves and projects itself upon our eyes and minds to
spur us, urge us and nag us until we take some action.
Writing it down activates a new group of our 12 billion brain cells to
go to work and realize our goal. Authorities admit they know very little
about just how and why this subconscious mind works. But like electricity
which produces light, although they don't know how and why electricity
works, they are not willing to sit in the dark until they discover how
and why. They're satisfied to push buttons and turn it on.
Many hesitate because they don't know how nature works. No one does. She
works in mysterious ways. How she transforms a goal into its counterpart
in material form is one of her secrets. As we use electricity without
knowing how it works, let's do the same with writing down a goal. Those
who do, win; those who don't, fail.
Writing down a goal is like turning on a switch. Pencil touching paper
is like joining two electric wires together to form a path for the flow
of electric power. This simple act of writing down your goal will do more
to realize it than anything else you can do. It's electrifying, galvanizing,
magnetizing ...it draws all it needs toward it ...it will make you a new
it will lift you from creature of circumstance to master
of circumstance ... it will release the sleeping powers of your mind ...it
will permeate every facet of your life. A note on paper never forgets.
Nor does your subconscious mind. It might flare forth weeks later.
Your problem is more than half solved once you get your message over to
the subconscious mind. In six weeks it can change your whole life. Seemingly
miracles begin to happen. Ideas to help you realize your goal will come
from everywhere ...seemingly even out of thin air. Your hopes rise ...you
change from drifting to driving. Your whole life seems to surge ahead.
replaces pessimism, positive replaces negative. Hope blooms and despair
flees. Your confidence drives out all doubt indifference changes
to enthusiasm. You're on your way!
One surprising way your subconscious mind works on your goal is: IT WORKS
ON YOU. Your written down goal motivates you to action. It seems to set
a fire under you to wake you up. It changes your whole attitude and outlook.
Writing it down takes less than a minute but does more than 20 years of
mere wishing to realize it. It's a literal magnet, a charm that draws
everything it needs.
You'll notice your goal working on you right away. Seeing your goal on
paper will alert you to notice everything even remotely related to your
goal. You'll notice your goal gripping you and everything you do. It will
keep you ever alert for new ideas; give you new spring, new energy and
zeal, new spirit to permeate your whole being.
So far weve been emphasizing the power of the subconscious mind
to help us realize our goal. That was proper. Writing it down on paper
was the mightiest single action we could take to help realize it. But
since we want quick results, we owe it to ourselves to use ALL possible
aids. Our conscious mind also has power. Remember it is the RULER of our
And remember it was our conscious mind that impelled us to harness our
subconscious mind to help realize that goal. And remember: "Committing
your goal on paper will activate both your conscious mind and subconscious
minds, and help keep your goal always before your vision."
There are several ways to harness your conscious mind to help you realize
your goal. Probably the most powerful one is as a reminder. Keep that
goal in mind. That requires conscious effort. Look at that written goal.
Be sure to LOOK at it, not merely think of it. Look at it every evening.
In addition, write it on several cards.
Put one in your car, one in your bedroom, one in your bathroom, and others
where you'll AUTOMATICALLY see them without depending on your unreliable
Your success, and how quickly you'll realize your goal, will depend on
how long you can keep your enthusiasm up. Some have enthusiasm for a few
minutes, others for a few days, some a few weeks, or months. But the real
winners are the ones who keep it up for years. Keep in mind enthusiasm
creates energy. Energy impels you from within to take actions that help
you realize your goal.
OTHER WAYS TO HARNESS THE CONSCIOUS MIND
keep in mind the subconscious mind is deaf to mere thinking or weak wishing.
It only heeds strong feeling, emotion. Other methods to harness your conscious
- 1. Auto
suggestions ... telling yourself, aloud if alone, in positive tones
that you will realize your goal. Still better, telling yourself that
you are already realizing it.
- 2. Visualizing,
seeing it mentally as realized.
- 3. Every
evening reading the list of all the rich, rewards of your goal.
- 4. Meditation
- 5. Talking
to people in fields of your interest.
- 6. Reading
trade journals about your goal.
- 7. Reading
success books, articles and stories about men in your field of interest.
- 8. Listening
to lectures, tapes, records on success.
- 9. Associating
with successful people.
- 10. Try
to think up several ways of your own. Thinking is the highest faculty
of the mind. Exercise it at every opportunity. It's easy: COMPARE AND
results, while your subconscious mind is drawing, your conscious mind
should be driving you to develop the qualities needed to reach your goal.
To this end get up a list of slogans, axioms, proverbs, precepts, maxims,
mottos as short reminders. Read them every day.
NEED MORE TO BE REMINDED THAN INFORMED
To make the most of yourself keep in mind: We need more to be reminded
than informed. All ambitious people, from the lowest to the highest need
not merely yearly, or quarterly, or monthly or weekly inspiration, but
the millionaire founder of Forbes Magazine, read an average of three success
books every week for 20 years. Most leaders in business, industry, education,
religion, entertainment, and EVERY FIELD are ALWAYS improving themselves
by reading, studying, and seeking inspiration. Most world famous leaders
claim they read practically all the new books on success, positive thinking,
human relations and other success books as fast as they come out. Napoleon
once said: "Show me an army of leaders and I'll show you an army
Do you remember the last words of Kaiser to the students of Denver University?
They were: "After you decide on a goal, put it in writing. Then every
evening read it to keep it in mind. The next day, and every day, do one
thing to take you a little closer to that goal. Keep that up for five
years or until you reach your goal."
"BUT," I sense some of you mentally say, "That's harder
than it sounds. That takes the kind of will power and brains you read
about in the history books. That might be all right for Henry Kaiser and
other big shots, but I don't have the will power and the persistence to
stick to a goal and do one thing every day for five years to reach it."
If that's your only objection, I have good news for you.
YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE BRILLIANT TO SUCCEED
The news I'm going to tell you might be the BEST NEWS YOU EVER HEARD.
If you act on it, it might mark the turning point in your life. Pull up
a chair and I'll tell you the one big factor behind most hugely successful
men and women; that helps turn "ordinary" ability into "extraordinary"
achievement; helps change average people into big shots, more often than
any other trait. It took me 20 years to discover it. I'll tell it to you
in 20 minutes.
Whether you want to get rich, become a star salesman, a top executive
or entertainer, your ONLY right starting step is to find or develop some
OVERMASTERING GOAL, VISION OR PURPOSE TO DRAW AND DRIVE YOU TO SUCCESS.
Otherwise you'll fall by the wayside as all "average" folks
This right FEELING OR PURPOSE will speed you ahead further and faster
than all the knowledge in all the books and colleges. The more people
I analyze, the more convinced I am that the chief benefit of education
is to help you find a worthy goal, vision or purpose in life, to give
life meaning and to DRIVE AND DRAW YOU TO SUCCESS.
THE REAL CAUSE OF MOST FAILURES
Nothing leads to futility and failure like the lack of a chief, strong
aim, goal or purpose in life. In my classes, clinic and correspondence
course, I have analyzed more than 2000 people. Eighty-seven percent were
accomplishing less than their highest potential because they had no goal
or vision to draw and drive them forward.
You'll never even know what your real power and possibilities are until
you feel that irresistible pull from an overmastering purpose from within,
drawing you forward. That vision or goal, that purpose or feeling will
act like a magnet, pulling you from in front, instead of requiring a push
from behind. Your powerful subconscious mind will take over and replace
the crude will power and DRIVE AND DRAW you forward.
This dominant goal will relieve you of the source of petty annoyances,
fears, hates, peeves, excuses, inhibitions, and complexes that lick little
men. Whenever an obstacle crops up, you'll automatically think, "How
small this petty piffle will look five years from today." Your vision
will carry you over obstacles like a jet bomber.
It will free you from the paralyzing complexes and the picayune peeves
that flatten floundering floaters.
You'll automatically think with Sir Thomas Buxton,
longer I live, the stronger becomes my conviction that the truest difference
between the success and the failure, between the strong and the weak,
between the big and the small man, that separates the boys from the
men, is nothing but a powerful aim in life, a purpose once fixed and
then death or victory. And no perfect speech or manners, no culture
or education, no pull or influence, can make a two-legged creature a
man without it."
Frank Tibolt, author of A
Touch of Greatness
by Frank Tibolt:
Greatest Motivational Technique of All Time