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E-Earn The Right To Succeed

"If people knew how hard I worked to achieve my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful after all." - Michelangelo

My purpose in sharing these principles of increasing your ability to believe towards discovering your full potential is done in support of my purpose while here on planet earth for your benefit. As shared in my blog post, The Impossible Dream, I got crystal clear on my desire to assist others in discovering their full potential in 2004 during a weekend seminar my company hosted called 'Life Path'. I did the work to gain clarity on both my highest values and purpose. I learned that most of us live our lives by values we assume 'should' be important to us rather that what our lives demonstrate are 'really' important to us (evidenced by where we spend our time and money). When at first asked to list my hierarchy of seven life values from most important to least important I wrote 1-Spiritual; 2-Family; 3-Vocation; 4-Financial; 5-Mental; 6-Physical; 7-Social. Being raised in a strong Christian family, I was taught that God always comes first, followed by family thus ranking them one and two. Both of my parents instilled a tremendous work ethic in me thus vocation being ranked third. However regarding money, I had a love/hate relationship with it as a result of my religious upbringing (money is the root of all evil), yet I also knew of its value and importance; just not before God, family and work. Though having a goal to be a millionaire after watching "The Strangest Secret" by Earl Nightingale in 1977 and making $100,000 a year since graduating from college in 1989, I had done neither at this point in my life.

However, when I looked at where I spent my time and money, my true hierarchy of values were 1-Mental; 2-Vocation; 3-Financial; 4-Physical; 5-Social; 6-Family; 7-Spiritual. When I recognized this I thought I was going straight to Hell. How in the world could the values I thought were supposed to be most important be last? After believing I had done something wrong, I learned and realized there are no right/wrong answers. Our values that are highest are simply those we feel we lack the most, thus why we spend an inordinate amount of time and money on them. Those we value least are those we're the most complete with and don't feel like something's missing. Once I had this breakthrough, I gave up feeling guilty about working so hard and wanting to be wealthy and accomplished both lifelong financial goals within the next 30 months.

Regarding my purpose, after spending intensely focused time during this weekend retreat on clarifying and verbalizing it, this is what showed up for me. "I Brett Anthony Penager hereby declare before God, myself and others that my primary purpose in life is to be a man of total integrity, love and excellence in every area of my life and share freely the universal laws of success that God has granted me the wisdom to learn and use in creating extraordinary success for myself and others." This is my 'why' and I've lived it fully expressed ever since. Now we've finally arrived at the final piece of the puzzle in learning the power of belief towards discovering your full potential.

  1. Believe... - You've recognized that those who achieve, 'believe', and are now beginning to understand its' power. You've chosen to exact its limitless potential and grow in your ability to 'believe' by...

  2. B-Be Responsible - You've taken responsibility for your life and don't assign cause outside of yourself as a reason you can't succeed. Your past has taught you to stay focused on your present and future.

  3. E-Eternal Education - You've read this far, thus taken into consideration that there's more for you to learn, and you're ready and willing to breakthrough any mental barriers that have kept you prisoner from your destiny.

  4. L-Live Fanassionously - You love what you do and do what you love and have chosen to live life with fanatical, passion with a purpose.

  5. I-Insist On Integrity - You've been brutally honest with yourself and have seen where you've been out of integrity, yet have chosen to clean it up, make new promises and keep them.

  6. E-Ensure A Successful Attitude - You understand the spiritual principles of the Universe and know there is a (+) and (-) to everything. As a result you have an attitude of gratitude for ALL things that have formed you.

  7. V-Vividly Begin With The End In Mind - You've done the work to get crystal clear on what it is that you want and are focusing your attention on all of the distinctions that will come unto you to accomplish it.

As shared in my post entitled E-Eternal Education, I realize there is far more I don't know than that which I do. Though acknowledging my ignorance, all that I've shared with you thus far is based on my own study/application and the results in which it has produced. At 56 years young, in most...not all seven areas of life, I've accomplished what can be measured in the top 1%. In several areas it's in the top .001%. I don't share this out of hubris, but rather a level of certainty in knowing these principles work for anyone willing to apply them. It is my intention that perhaps something I've written, shared, or done will allow you to grasp a different perspective in the realization of manifesting your dreams and serving the world as a result. In effect, providing you a shortcut based on my own experiences so you don't have to go through the trial and error on your own. This is true for all of the principles shared thus far except this one. This final principle is the grandaddy of them all. Now is the time to E-Earn the right to succeed.

There are no shortcuts in doing the work that is necessary to achieve measurably extraordinary results (the top 5%-1%+). Author Malcolm Gladwell, in his seminal book "Outliers: The Story of Success", revealed what he called "The 10,000-Hour Rule". It was based on research by Anders Ericsson who was a Swedish psychologist and Professor of Psychology at Florida State University. He studied expert performance in domains such as medicine, music, chess, and sports, focusing on the impact of extended deliberate practice (high concentration practice beyond one's comfort zone) as a means of how expert performers acquire their superior achievement. To put it into real time perspective, if you deliberately practice a specific skill towards mastery in any discipline, it breaks down as follows:

  • 10,000 hrs/10 hrs/wk = 1,000 wks (19.2 years)

  • 10,000 hrs/20 hrs/wk = 500 wks (9.6 years)

  • 10,000 hrs/40 hrs/wk = 250 wks (4.8 years)

Though he didn't have this work ethic as the only reason someone would be exceptional, it repeatedly showed up when studying several of the worlds greatest people and the excellence they left behind for us all to revel in. Gladwell claims greatness requires enormous amounts of deliberate practice over time to achieve mastery. Using examples such as the Beatles and Bill Gates, he showed how the Beatles 1,200 performances in Hamburg, Germany from 1960-1964 allowed them to amass more than 10,000 hours of playing time. All of this repetitive deliberate performance shaped their talent and as Beatles biographer, Philip Norman, quotes, "by the time they returned to England from Hamburg, Germany, they sounded like no one else." Gates met the 10,000 hour rule when he gained access to a high school computer in 1968 at the age of 13, and spent the requisite 10,000 hours programming on it before launching Microsoft to the world.

Personally, in every area I've demonstrated 1% or better performance, I looked back and saw this to be true also. As an athlete, due to starting my career in 1978 while in 7th Grade, I didn't begin to gain mastery in my sport (wrestling) until my 9th year of competition (1987) when I was a Junior in college. As a coach, it took me five (5+) years of working 50+ hours a week before I could write the best selling 'USA Wrestling Coach's Guide To Excellence'. As a businessman, I didn't break through in building a $100M+ company (now approaching $1B) until my 17th year in business in which only years 10-17 were spent with 100% focused and deliberate practice. In each example, the 10,000 hour rule held true.

There can be a misconception for some that, “I’ll work hard when it is something worthy of working hard at.” Earning the right to succeed doesn’t work like that. If you have a strong work ethic, it will show up regardless of what you are doing. If you don’t, no matter ‘what’ you are doing, the work will not follow. As Martin Luther King said, “If a man is called a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and Earth will pause to say, Here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well.”

Some may read this and either be intimidated by the amount of time in front of them or despite all of the evidence to the contrary attempt to realize their dreams by shortcutting the 10,000 hour rule. When discussing the power of belief and both its' spiritual and physical characteristics, I'm referencing accomplishments that stand the test of time. If it's immediate gratification you're seeking and not lifelong lasting success, it is possible to attain short term achievements without putting in the 10,000 hour rule. Personally, I've done it and found when attaining success too quickly, I was met with far more devastating side effects than going through the process over time. Some of these included:

  • Overconfidence/Arrogance

  • Righteousness/Entitlement

  • Narcissism/False illusions of self importance

  • Debilitating thwarted expectations

  • Exhaustion/Depression/etc.

Though the price for long lasting accomplishments may be great, the rewards are even greater. Earning the right to succeed allows this process to be fully realized. It may not be easy but it will be worth it. As the late, great Vince Lombardi stated (paraphrased), “Winning (work) is not a sometime thing, it’s an all the time thing!” The more work you put in, the higher your confidence. The higher your confidence, the better you perform. The better you perform, the more results you produce. The more results you produce, the stronger your belief grows. Ralph Waldo Emerson summarizes it best as follows. “Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.” Ultimately, who you become in the process will have far more value than what you attain in its realization.

“If you go to work on your goals, your goals will go to work on you. If you go to work on your plan, your plan will go to work on you. Whatever good things we build end up building us” - Jim Rohn. It is my heartfelt desire that you continue with me on this endless journey of discovering your full potential. That you realize how magnificent and wondrously made you truly are. That your gifts bless not only you, but all that are touched by your life. Let's get to work on ourselves and our dreams. In doing so, together we'll change the world for the better through our ability to be the example for others to follow because we are the few who;



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