Let me tell you a story…
Once upon a time (well, actually about five years ago), I was experimenting with various ways to make a living. (I had the luxury of experimenting because I had taken the time to understand my financial situation before quitting my job.)
My goal was simply to replace my corporate income and support my household. If you had asked me, I would have said it would be nice to earn more, but I doubted I was willing to work that hard and it probably wasn’t possible.
I always enjoy learning and one day my friend Heather Sams, the photographer, asked me if I would like to read the famous book by Napolean Hill, Think and Grow Rich, together.
Well, I always jump on anything Heather suggests, so I enthusiastically said yes.
We both read a version of the book (she listened to it in her car) that included exercises and we would meet every week to talk about it. When we got to the part about setting goals, the conversation sounded something like this…
Me: “It says to set an outrageous stretch goal. I don’t see how this can be helpful, but what the heck? Let’s say $1 million by 2020.”
Heather: “I don’t know. I’ll make a list of the things I want to accomplish and figure out how much I would need.”
Me: “That’s a good idea, but I don’t even know what I want to accomplish, so I’m just pulling numbers out of the air. How about $10 million by 2035?”
The Reality of Numbers
You know how much I would have to invest monthly to have $10 million by 2035?
$8000 a month! Where could any ordinary person possibly come up with that much money? I would have to bring in $20,000 a month to support my household, pay the taxes and have enough left over to save that much.
About this same time, I had gotten involved with a Colorado network marketing company. I signed up because I like to shop local and they make a lot of stuff here in the state. I figured I could sell the products made in Colorado as part of my Hungry Chicken Homestead business.
The company’s annual conference was held in Denver, not far from me, and I figured I would go meet the other people on my team. I only attended for a day, but something amazing happened.
I met people who were making $20,000 a month!
Understanding What’s Possible
I’m not saying that everyone can make that much money. Obviously, it takes work, consistency and commitment to learning the profession. My point is that even though I had rolled my eyes at the exercise in the book, it worked! I had no idea when we began where I could possibly come up with that kind of money.
The goal and the reinforcing of it by repetition made it possible for my brain to see something I had never seen before. It’s not as if I had never encountered network marketing. I had just never realized it could be a vehicle to where I want to go.
What I Concluded from this Experience
I’m not a big fan of the idea that we can “manifest” things with our minds, at least not in a magical kind of way. Hence all the eye rolling.
What I didn’t realize is that our brains are filtering out tons of information every day. And no wonder! We are completely inundated with data from the moment we wake up to the moment we fall asleep. It’s exhausting!
The reality is much more mundane than magic. The act of setting a goal and reinforcing it to yourself simply changes what information you take in. It may seem like magic, but really it’s just a change in mindset.
Apparently, I’m not the only person to think this. I came across the same idea in Darren Hardy’s book, The Compound Effect.
Use This to Your Advantage
Are you wishing you could accomplish something and change your life? Try the exercise I described above and see how it works for you. I bet you’ll be as surprised as I was!