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Edited and compiled by Frederick Mann with important contributions by Mark Lindsay
© Copyright 2002 Build Freedom Holdings ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Version #1 - May, 2002

How to Do Things Right
and Succeed

Your 11 Hidden Core Thought Patterns determine your level of success. FIX THEM OR FAIL. Most people don't know what sabotages their success. Switch all 11 of your Hidden Core Thought Patterns to "win" and succeed big time.Think right and success follows!

DEEP in your MIND is a SECRET POWER. Unlock it with the 10X KEY. Jack Welch of General Electric found the 10X KEY. In 1985 it was taught to GE managers. By 1988 they had grown GE from a $30 billion company into a $300 billion company!


Note: This report is incomplete. It has largely been superseded by #TL10E: THE POWER OF DOING THINGS RIGHT.

I was doing a Google search for "denial" and I struck gold! "The denial of personal disadvantage!" (Many people have personal disadvantages in some areas of their lives. Some of them deny to themselves that they have these disadvantages.)

The Ultimate Success Secret is largely about ADVANTAGES and DISADVANTAGES.

"The art of using moderate abilities to advantage often brings greater results than actual brilliance." -- Francois de la Rochefoucauld

The Ultimate Success Secret involves a simple logic that seems so obvious that you would think every human would realize, understand, and apply it instinctively.

TO WIN IN LIFE YOU NEED ADVANTAGES. What could be more simple than this? The elephant wins because of its size. Because of its height advantage, the giraffe can reach leaves no other animal can. So it wins. Lions win because of their camouflage, speed, power, and hunting in groups. They have advantages and utilize them instinctively. What could be simpler than this?

"Give me a lever long enough and a place to stand and I shall move the earth." -- Archimedes

Many advantages are like elusive levers you can use to increase your ability to do what you need to do in order to achieve your goals. But you need to find a place to stand, and discover the right levers for you, and learn how to use them.

Many people have formulated success principles. Some have written articles and even entire books on how to become more successful in life and business. Many people have been searching for ways to become more successful in their own lives. Mostly, the "success books" have not helped them very much for a number of reasons, including that they are all incomplete.

"In 1982, I found 196 books on how to become wealthy. Today there are 976 offered by one online bookseller alone. Two decades ago, I found 497 titles on the subject of success. Today I find over 4,000 ...[Y]ou are soon overwhelmed by the plethora of resources available to help you succeed." -- Mike Hernacki ('The Ultimate Secret to Getting Absolutely Everything You Want')

(The most powerful components of Mr. Hernacki's "ultimate secret" are included in my Ultimate Success Secret.)

The Las Vegas casinos win because each game is designed with a "house advantage." Generally, depending on the game and how good the players are, the house advantage is anything from about 1% to 20%. This means that in the long run, for every $100 the players bet, the casinos win anything from $1 to $20. The games are all rigged so that on average the players lose. They lose several billion dollars every year... to pay for all the bright lights and to fuel the Las Vegas economy.

So why do millions of people visit Las Vegas every year to play games where they suffer disadvantages and in aggregate are guaranteed to lose? How many hope to win against the odds? Sure, some play for the fun and adrenaline rush, and are happy to spend a few hundred or a few thousand dollars for the excitement and enjoyment.

But why do so many players effectively play to lose? Is there a kind of loser-mindset that involves the denial of personal disadvantage? Does this denial of personal disadvantage also spread, like cancer, into other areas of their lives?

What about all the lottery players? Some even drive a hundred miles or more to the nearest State where they can buy tickets. The chances of winning are far less than the chance of being struck by lightning! Typically, lottery gamblers play at a huge disadvantage.

Contrast this with how Bill Gates operates. He will literally do anything he can get away with -- and quite ruthlessly -- to increase Microsoft's advantages in the marketplace. This includes arrangements with PC manufacturers and suppliers to sell PCs with Microsoft products already loaded into them, buying out and swallowing start-up companies with competing products, and buying control of the NBC media network. Essentially, Bill Gates is the richest man in the world because he plays the game of gaining advantages, increasing those advantages, and exploiting them effectively, ruthlessly, and to the fullest, more so than anyone else on Earth!

Bill Gates plays his business game with a winner-mindset that pervades everything he does in business. (That of course doesn't prevent him from making the occasional mistake. Even the most winningest players strike out sometimes!)

It's also worth looking at the professional gamblers who make a living, beating the Las Vegas casinos. First, they are fully aware of the basic house advantage of each game. They know that the only way to win is to do something that switches the advantage into their favor. In the case of blackjack, they count cards and bet in certain ways. They also know a great deal about the statistics involved -- specialized knowledge often provides advantages.

Analogous to lions gaining advantages by hunting in groups, some blackjack professionals pool their bankrolls and play in teams. The statistics are such that each professional can play as if he or she personally owns the entire pooled bankroll. So each professional can play with a much bigger bet size than he or she could afford if playing alone. This multiplies the advantage each team player enjoys. Of course, casinos don't like professionals who can beat them. Their surveillance systems are partly aimed at detecting professionals. Like lions, professionals use camouflage to reduce the chances of detection. Both sides are involved in an "advantage contest." Some professional craps players shift the advantage to their side by manipulating the dice. See Money Skill #105: Acquire a winning edge and WBM#7: The Winning Edge.

Tiger Woods is the best golfer in the world because he developed a range of advantages and exploits them. He's mentally tough. He commands a wider range of shots than probably any other golfer. He hits the ball further than most. He can play spectacular recovery shots. On occasion, he can raise his game to an almost unbelievable level and gain 6 or 7 shots on the leader in the last 9 holes. These are all advantages he developed. In order to develop them, he had to overcome disadvantages. And, in order to overcome his disadvantages, he had to recognize, admit, and confront them.

Examine the career of anyone who has been spectacularly successful, and you'll find they applied aspects of the Ultimate Success Secret: Leonardo da Vinci, Isaac Newton, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison, Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, Ayn Rand, Muhammed Ali, Andre Agassi, Lance Armstrong, Michael Jordan. (Da Vinci was arrested on a sodomy charge. Newton suffered a mental breakdown in his thirties; it took him about four years to recover. After numerous failed attempts, Lincoln won one election. Edison had only three months of formal education and was fired from many jobs. Einstein's first doctoral dissertation was rejected. Armstrong recovered from cancer. Jordan was cut from his high-school basketball team.) No matter how gifted they were naturally, in order to succeed, they had to overcome disadvantages and create advantages for themselves.

Fortunately, I was born with certain advantages. When I was five years old my father taught me checkers. He thought of himself as highly intelligent. At school he had usually been near the top of his class. The first game we played, my father beat me. I must have been a quick learner, because the second game I beat him. After that he refused to play checkers with me ever again!

My father was obviously at a disadvantage playing checkers against me. I'm sure he refused to recognize that. He denied his disadvantage. Because he couldn't confront and admit his disadvantage, he also couldn't do anything about it. As far as I know, he never did anything to increase his brain power. He lived most of his life at a disadvantage. He constantly complained about his health, the weather, the neighbors, his employees, the economy, the interest he had to pay to the bank and the taxes to the government, etc. He smoked and drank too much, which subjected him to further disadvantages. He died at age 49 from liver failure.

He most likely had a pattern for dealing with his disadvantages:

  1. He denied them;
  2. He deluded himself that he was superior in practically every respect to practically everyone he knew;
  3. He shifted blame for whatever went wrong to others and factors outside himself and then complained about it;
  4. He did very little (avoidance and inaction) about learning and self-improvement in order to gain advantages in his disadvantaged areas of life;
  5. He resorted to nicotine and alcohol, attempting to ecape the intellectual, emotional, and psychological hurt stemming from being severely disadvantaged.

After the second game, he refused to play checkers with me because doing so would force him to admit that he didn't have the brain power to beat his 5-year-old son. If you have a disadvantage in some area of your life, you may be able to hide it -- deny it -- by avoidance and/or inaction.

I found two interesting references on the Internet:

Around 1972, I met a group of four people who had been meeting once a week to discuss issues of freedom and philosophy. They seemed like intellectual giants compared to me, but were kind and generous enough to allow me into their group. After about three years of discussion and debate and reading the books they suggested, I felt that I was at least their intellectual equal on the subject of freedom.

For much of my life I have felt that I was inadequate (disadvantaged) in some areas and had to do something to improve. Generally, I took action to overcome disadvantages and gain advantages. A few years ago I played six chess games against the world correspondence chess champion -- a professional chess master, earning his living as a chess teacher. A few months before I met him, I had started playing several games a week over the Internet. I also bought some books on the latest chess opening developments. I selected a few lesser-known openings, studied, and practiced them.

The point is that I recognized that In general I was at a substantial disadvantage compared to the champion. So I took action to overcome my disadvantage and to gain some advantages that would at least give me a "fighting chance." The outcome of the six games was: two wins, two losses, two draws! Now, I don't deceive myself that I was the champion's equal. Had he challenged me to play for money I would have declined respectfully!

About 15 years ago, a friend and I often played friendly chess over lunch. Generally I played in a carefree manner, and my friend won a few games. One day he said that he thought he was at least as good as I was. I said, OK, let's play 10 serious games. If I win all 10 games, you give me 100 francs. If you draw or win just one game, I'll give you 1,000 francs. In other words the score had to be 10-0 for me to win the bet. Any other outcome, and he wins the bet. He accepted the challenge, probably thinking I was crazy to make such a "one-sided" bet. I proceeded to win all 10 games. (After that, we continued to play friendly, carefree games, and he won a few.)

What this illustrates is that my friend had no idea that he was at a huge disadvantage when playing chess against me. He denied his disadvantage. He also never did anything to become a better player. Some psychological research has been done to indicate that disadvantaged people consistently underestimate their disadvantages -- do a Google search for "denial of personal disadvantage."

When I saw the phrase "denial of personal disadvantage" it hit me like a ton of bricks! People in general are not aware of their disadvantages. Maybe it's too threatening to their brittle self-esteem to admit their disadvantages. So they deny them and do nothing about them. They stick their heads under the sand, like "ostriches" -- "The Denial of Personal Disadvantage Among You, Me, and All the Other Ostriches!"

Part of the phenomenon of denial is that many people -- maybe as high a percentage as 99% -- when reading the above, say to themselves, "This applies to most other people, but not to me!" Well, dear reader, I have news for you. The chances are about 99% that it not only applies to you, but that it applies to you with a vengeance!

There's a very important difference between humans and other animals. Most animals automatically develop their advantages to the point of reaching their full potential. Not so with humans. Most of us need to make a deliberate, conscious, and persistent effort to overcome our disadvantages and develop our advantages.

Another very important difference between humans and other animals has to do with the development of new advantages. The advantages that a lion in the wild now enjoys are little different from the advantages its ancestors enjoyed 100,000 years ago. Humans, on the other hand, are constantly discovering and developing new advantages. We live in a competitive world where many people are constantly acquiring new advantages to gain the upper hand. If you're not constantly gaining new advantages, you become uncompetitive and get left behind.

There's yet another very important difference between humans and other animals. Most of us sometimes use a part of our minds to interfere negatively and even destructively with our built-in advantages. Many of us typically, habitually, and unconsciously put ourselves at a huge disadvantage in at least some areas of our lives.

If the success you desire has so far eluded you, it's most likely because part of your mind has been interfering with your success. If you visit bookstores, you'll find that the "self-help"/"self-improvement" section often has the most books. That's because most of the books don't work for most people, so they always come back for more. The demand is never satisfied. If you've been searching for success, YOUR SEARCH MAY NOW BE OVER!

My general approach in this report is to provide you with all the "success levers" I know of. There are some very powerful needles in the haystack of success principles and techniques. It's up to you to identify exactly which ones you need to start implementing in your life. Many of the "success elements" I have identified can be found in some good books which I refer to.

"The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them." -- Mark Twain

The best investment you can make is in yourself. It may be very worthwhile to invest money and time to increase your advantages. So do yourself a favor and study the books relevant to your situation. but don't expect any one book to provide you with all the answers.

Some of the success elements I describe are pitched at what I call the "context level." Others are pitched at the "content level." Most "success books" are pitched at the "how-to" or content level. In general, they won't help you very much unless you make changes at your context level."Give me a lever long enough and a place to stand and I shall move the earth." Archimedes' "place to stand" can be regarded as context, compared to his "lever long enough" as content.

Below, I list the elements of my Ultimate Success Secret. The most important ones are those that address context rather than content. If you don't make the necessary changes at the context level, it will be as if you have no place to stand, and the other elements will be of little or no value.

You may want to quickly skim this entire report to get an overview. You may also want to skim some of the materials linked to. I suggest you make a list of books to purchase or obtain from the library. Then you can come back to the beginning of the report for a more thorough study.

If the overall task of all you need to do to gain the necessary advantages to reach the level of success you desire seems overwhelming, you have my sympathy! One of your objectives when initially skimming these materials can be to identify where you want to start. Then you can proceed step-by-step from there. See Money Skill #13: Apply the small-step progression principle.

Here's to the success you deserve and are willing to work for! Massive success is available to you!

The 72 Elements of the Ultimate Success Secret
#8. Secondary Questions.
#9. Identify Your Natural Life Energy.
#10. Core Knowledge/Fundamental Principles.
#11. Become the Creative Force of Your Life.
#12. Success Context and Attitudes.
#13. Be willing to Do Everything Necessary to Succeed.
#14. Distinguish between What You Can and Can't Control.
#15. Quality of Choices/Doing Things Right.
#16. Discover and Wake Up Your Conquering Force.
#17. Are You a Hunter-Warrior or a Farmer?
#18. Have You Been Living as an Owner or a Victim?
#19. Adversity Quotient - Quitters, Campers & Climbers.
#20. Empower Your Survival Personality.
#21. Mastering Expectations.
#22. Psychological Failure Scripts and Psychic Masochism.
#23. The Phenomenon of Denial.
#24. The Quantum Success Jump.
#25. Flexible Goals and Objectives.
#26. Focus.
#27. Escape from the Jailhouse of Failure.
#28. Say Goodbye to Dead-End White-Collar Sweatshops.
#29. Overconfidence.
#30. Profit from the Psychology of Losing.
#31. Increase Your Intelligence/Develop Your Thinking Skills.
#32. Strategic Thinking and Game Theory.
#33. Handling Uncertainty.
#34. Reverse Engineering.
#35. Discipline, Thought, then Control.
#36. Extropian Principles.
#37. Technology.
#38. Scientific Method.
#39. Handling Critical Variables, TOC (Theory of Constraints), and TRIZ (Theory of Inventive Problem Solving).
#40. Personal Freedom and Mobility.
#41. Personal Power.
#42. Reality-Based Action/Find out What Works.
#43. Preponderance of Means over Ends.
#44. Solutions vs. Nonsolutions.
#45. Persistence and Massive Action.
#46. Maturity.
#47. Responsibility.
#48. Health.
#49. Emotional Control.
#50. Information Skills.
#51. Money Skills.
#52. Marketing Skills.
#53. Management Skills and "Hatting.".
#54. Street Smarts/Beat the System.
#55. Become an Expert.
#56. Create a Good Reputation.
#57. Become Unstoppable.
#58. Tools and Resources.
#59. Find a Good Horse to Ride.
#60. Effective Use of Time.
#61. Security.
#62. Formulas.
#63. Systems.
#64. Prediction.
#65. Coaching.
#66. Study Human Nature.
#67. Martian Analysis.
#68. Take Charge of Your Meanings.
#69. Understand B.S.
#70. Understand the Nature of Government.
#71. The Anatomy of Failure.
#72. Anything I May Have Missed!


"Deep within humans dwell those slumbering powers; powers that would astonish them, that they never dreamed of possessing; forces that would revolutionize their lives if aroused and put into action." -- Orison Marden
"The problem is that most people do not know what they are capable of until forced to survive in extreme conditions." -- Al Siebert, Ph.D. ('The Survivor Personality: Why Some People Are Stronger, Smarter, and More Skillful at Handling Life's Difficulties... and How You Can Be, Too')
"It seems clear that the breakthroughs of the next age must come in the form of advances in our individual and collective abilities to tap existing human capabilities and to overcome the negative internal forces that interfere with their expression." -- W. Timothy Gallwey ('The Inner Game of Golf')
"There do exist enquiring minds, which long for the truth of the heart, seek it, strive to solve the problems set by life, try to penetrate to the essence of things and phenomena and to penetrate into themselves. If a man reasons and thinks soundly, no matter which path he follows in solving these problems, he must inevitably arrive back at himself, and begin with the solution of the problem of what he is himself and what his place is in the world around him. For without this knowledge, he will have no focal point in his search. Socrates' words "Know thyself" remain for all those who seek true knowledge and being." -- G. I. Gurdjieff ('Views from the Real World')
"Humans are the only species on earth with the ability to interfere with their own performance. Self-interference is a learned skill; we are not born with it." -- Michael Hebron ('Golf Swing Secrets... and Lies')

In his "Inner Game" books, W. Timothy Gallwey makes a distinction between "Self 1" and "Self 2." Self 1 is an invented or alien self. Self 2 is your natural self.

This is similar to Gurdjieff's distinction between "personality" and "essence."

"Death must come before rebirth. But what must die? False confidence in one's own knowledge, self-love and egoism. Our egoism must be broken. We must realize that we are very complicated machines, and so this process of breaking is bound to be a long and difficult task. Before real growth becomes possible, our personality must die." -- G. I. Gurdjieff ('Views from the Real World')

You may have noticed some conversation or chattering going on inside your head. For example, while having a conversation with someone, all kinds of judgmental thoughts go through your mind about what the other person is saying. While listening, you may also be rehearsing what you're going to say next. This is your Self 1 in action.

In tennis there is a typical "Self 1 downward spiral." You hit a poor backhand into the net. Your Self 1 comments in your head, "That was a terrible shot!" After a few more weak backhands, your Self 1 says, "My backhand is terrible!" Not too long after that, the comment becomes, "I'll never be able to play good tennis!" -- or some similar putdown.

The "Self 1 downward spiral" may not stop there. It might be followed with, "I'm too clumsy to be good at any sport." And even, "I'm a worthless person."

Your Self 1 may also be constantly telling you what to do and what not to do. The essence of Self 1 is that it INTERFERES with the powerful abilities of your natural Self 2.

Gallwey has come up with the formula: Performance = Potential - Interference.

In any area of your life you can improve your performance by reducing interference from your Self 1.

Your Self 2 is your Powerful Real Self or essence. To wake up your Self 2, you may have to "kill" aspects of your Self 1. By "kill" I mean become aware of and UNLEARN a host of more or less unconscious thinking habits designed to keep your Self 1 in control and suppress your Self 2.

Your Self 2 has powerful, natural learning abilities. Your Self 1 may interfere with your natural learning. Much of "formal education" is styled after Self 1 interference and is more of a hindrance than an aid to natural learning. Most humans have largely lost their natural learning abilities -- a big disadvantage! Fortunately, by reducing Self 1 interference, you can recover your natural learning abilities.

If you're trying to make money on the Internet, you may experience interference from your Self 1 in the form of negative comments circulating in your mind. Your Self 1 may be sabotaging you in other ways -- like steering you into making bad decisions.

In all kinds of activities ranging from sports to ordinary communication and to making money on the Internet, there is an Inner Game and an Outer Game. The Outer Game has to do with hitting the ball. The Inner Game has to do with what goes on in your mind.

By becoming better at the Inner Game, you can greatly improve your Outer Game. If you're not as successful as you would like to be with your Outer Game of making money on the Internet (or anything else), you may want to work on improving your Inner Game.

During the past 37 years I've done a great of work on my personal self-improvement. I've read hundreds of books, attended numerous seminars and workshops, and done several kinds of counseling. In my opinion, Gallwey's Inner Game formulation is by far the most important breakthrough in understanding and improving human behavior.

Whether or not you're interested in tennis or golf, ALL THREE of the following books are "must reading!" Each contains some important and profound information not included in the others. (It's OK to skip some of the material on technical aspects of tennis and golf.)

Your Self 1 interference may put you at a disadvantage in several areas of your life. Self 1 interference could even cause you huge disadvantages. Gallwey's books include several examples of people dramatically increasing their advantages by becoming aware of and "killing" aspects of their Self 1. Most likely, you'll be able to do the same -- waking up your powerful real self!

What is the most important human ability or power? I think it's the power of choice, the ability to choose and make decisions. See "Human Choice: The Greatest Power on Earth" in #TL10: How to Achieve and Increase Personal Power.

"Although we are weaker and slower than every other large animal, our advantage lies in being able to find options and choose the best one." -- Charles Foster, Ph.D., M.B.A. ('What Do I Do Now? Dr. Foster's 30 Laws of Great Decision Making')

One of the most important ways to increase your advantages (and decrease your disadvantages) is to improve your ability to make great decisions.

Experiment: Hold your finger about 12 inches in front of your face. Decide to lift your finger about 3 inches and make it go up. Repeat to make your finger go 3 inches left, 3 inches right, and 3 inches down. Did your finger move in accordance with your decisions? If it did, think about the implications and what in the universe made this remarkable achievement possible. Repeat the experiment once a day or more often until you have a major realization.

"Whatever you're trying to decide, you have everything you need inside you right now to be one of those people who easily, quickly, and comfortably make great decisions." -- Charles Foster, Ph.D., M.B.A. ('What Do I Do Now? Dr. Foster's 30 Laws of Great Decision Making')

Whatever the current quality of your life -- your health, happiness, career, wealth or poverty, relationships, etc. -- consider the extent to which it's the outcome of your past choices or decisions. Also consider that your future may be an "open book" to be largely written by the choices or decisions you make from now on.

"When faced with a decision, the most important quality winners have is that they care about making good choices. When confronted with a big decision, they think about it and work hard to figure out the best thing to do.

What makes losers losers, more than anything, is that they make decisions the way a cork in the ocean decides which way it's going to go. They are totally controlled by the haphazard forces around them. They make bad decisions because they don't really care about making decisions." -- Charles Foster, Ph.D., M.B.A. ('What Do I Do Now? Dr. Foster's 30 Laws of Great Decision Making')

I have several thousand books. I've gained many advantages from studying some of these books. If I were to rate my most useful books in terms of "advantages per page," Dr. Foster's 'What Do I Do Now?' would rate in the top 10! (As would Gallwey's "Inner Game" books.) So I suggest you get your own copy as soon as possible.

Here's a list of "Dr. Foster's 30 Laws":

#1: Focus on the most important thing (Are you giving full weight to the most important issue?)
#2: Don't decide until you're ready (Why not give yourself more time?)
#3: Look for all the good things that can happen (What's the best outcome you can expect?)
#4: Choose it or lose it (What big decision are you not making now?)
#5: Base your decision on self-acceptance (Does your decision fit the real you?)
#6: Look ahead (How will your decision play out over time?)
#7: Turn big decisions into a series of little decisions (What small step can you take toward a decision?)
#8: You always have better options (What are better options beyond those you've checked out?)
#9: Get what you need to feel safe (What are you doing to take care of your safety needs?)
#10: Do what you really want (Are you sure you've let your heart's desire hold sway?)
#11: If it ain't simple, it ain't gonna work (Are you making things more complicated than they need to be?)
#12: Have a hopeful heart and a cautious head (Have you balanced hoping for the best with protecting yourself from the worst?)
#13: Tune in to what you're saying to yourself (Have you remembered to really listen to yourself?)
#14: Never let a lower priority outweigh a higher priority (Are your priorities all out of whack?)
#15: No matter what, don't get trapped (Are you protecting yourself from getting stuck?) [For more examples of important traps, see #FFP05: Harry Browne's Freedom Principles.]
#16: Know your Achilles' heel (What are the top ten bad habits in making decisions?)
(1) Biting off more than you can chew
(2) Detail mania
(3) Fear
(4) Losing touch with you
(5) The green-eyed monster [envy]
(6) Keeping on keeping on [persistence with what can't work]
(7) Acting without thinking
(8) Dithering
(9) Taking the path of least resistance
(10) Not believing that things can be better than they are.
[Personally, I would add the following to the above list:
(11) Poor diet/unhealthy lifestyle
(12) Allowing your Self 1 to interfere with your decisions
(13) Living your life as a "passive passenger" -- obedience or "following the crowd" -- let others decide for you -- automatic acceptance or rejection of information
(14) Irresponsibility -- blaming others or factors outside yourself
(15) Dishonesty
(16) Coercion -- initiating force, threat of force, or fraud in order to impose your will upon others -- see Why You Must Recognize and Understand Coercion
(17) "Thinking" with your sexual organs rather than your brain -- see #TL05AA: The Breeding Motivation: What You Can Do About It
(18) Unrealistic expectations
(19) Not considering the hidden bad side of people -- see #TL15A: The Good and the Bad
(20) Unwillingness to make drastic changes
(21) Ignoring or neglecting absolute essentials
(22) Denial (of personal disadvantages)
(23) Procrastination and failure to follow through (lack of persistence)
(24) Failure to be a life-long learner and keep abreast of new developments
(25) Failure to distinguish between what you can and can't control
(26) Overconfidence).]
#17: Always take your own best advice (Would you tell your best friend to do this?)
#18: Appreciate the newness of each situation (Are you in danger of applying old learning to s new decision?)
#19: Make yourself proud (Which decision will give you self-respect?)
#20: Pay attention to the big, fat, obvious issues (What are you overlooking?)
#21: Never forget why you made your decision (Are you judging yourself with different criteria from what you first used?)
#22: Know what's real (What realities will affect your decision?)
#23: Get what you need to make your decision a success (Are you equipped to carry out this decision?)
#24: Find and follow an expert (Are you making sure you're relying on smart advisers?)
#25: Keep an open mind (Are you caught in attitudes that keep you from seeing what's best for you?)
#26: Take care of the basics (Will your decision address your basic needs?)
#27: Some things you "know" are wrong (Have you checked your facts?)
#28: You don't have to run from risk (Do you know what the risks are and how to protect yourself?)
#29: Following through makes decisions great (Will you do a great job carrying out your decisions?)
#30: Make decisions to make things wonderful (Will you get something that's wonderful?)

Get Dr. Foster's 'What Do I Do Now?' You may discover it's one of the most wonderful books ever written!

Much of this report can be regarded as the means to further improve your ability to make great decisions, and -- even more important! -- to follow through and implement your great decisions!

You can also apply Dr. Fosters 30 Laws to select from the remaining success elements those most important to you. Dr, Foster also provides a method you can use to determine which success elements have the highest priority for you.

A very important aspect of decision-making is covered by William Glasser, M.D. in his books:

Glasser makes a distinction between "external control psychology" and his "choice theory." He illustrates external control psychology with three central beliefs:

"FIRST BELIEF: I answer a ringing phone, open the door to a doorbell, stop at a red light, or do countless other things because I am responding to a simple external signal.
SECOND BELIEF: I can make other people do what I want them to do even if they don't want to do it. And other people can control how I think, act, and feel.
THIRD BELIEF: It is right, it is even my moral obligation, to ridicule, threaten, or punish those who don't do what I tell them to do or even reward them if it will get them to do what I want."

Glasser talks about "driving the plague of external control psychology from the Earth." (Note that your Self 1 typically attempts to act as an "external control psychologist" over your Self 2.)

"Whatever behavior we choose is generated inside our brains. Choice theory explains that we are, as all living creatures are, internally motivated." -- William Glasser, M.D. ('Choice Theory: A New Psychology of Personal Freedom')

Glasser also developed the concept of total behavior consisting of:

  1. Doing;
  2. Thinking;
  3. Feeling;
  4. Physiology.
We choose our actions (decide to take them) and our thoughts (decide to think them). We indirectly choose our feelings and much of the physiology (e.g., clenching our fists) that form part of a "particular total behavior." We answer the phone because we decide to do so. We stop at a red light because we decide to do so.

We depress ourselves when we decide to choose certain "doings" and "thinkings."

External control psychology: "I am depressed." "I suffer from anxiety." "I have a phobia."

Choice theory: "I am depressing myself or I'm choosing to depress myself." "I am anxieting or choosing to be anxious." "I am phobicking or choosing to be phobic."

Recognizing the extent to which your choices (or decisions) extend, opens the door to making other choices (or decisions): "Instead of depressing myself, what other better thoughts and actions can I choose (decide to think and take) that will result in different feelings and physiology?"

Learning and implementing Glasser's Control Theory and/or Choice Theory can give you huge advantages!

First, I recommend the book 'Career Tests: 25 Revealing Self-Tests to Help You Find and Succeed at the Perfect Career' by Louis Janda, Ph.D. Completing the tests will tell you about your strengths (and much more besides). Also a great way to do some important self-discovery.

Second, you could discover your strengths through personality and psychological tests. There are many you can do online:

"Most Americans do not know what their strengths are. When you ask them, they look at you with a blank stare, or they respond in terms of subject knowledge, which is the wrong answer." -- Peter Drucker

Third, I highly recommend the book 'Now, Discover Your Strengths' by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton. The authors work for The Gallup Organization, which has interviewed more than 2,000,000 people. Based on their conclusions from this extensive research, they propose two basic assumptions:

"1. Each person's talents are enduring and unique.
2. Each person's greatest room for growth is in the areas of his or her greatest strength."

They also say, "The real tragedy of life is not that each of us doesn't have enough strengths, it's that we fail to use the ones we have. Benjamin Franklin called wasted strengths "sundials in the shade." ... Look inside yourself, try to identify your strongest threads [natural talents], reinforce them with practice and learning, and then either find or, as he [Warren Buffett] did, carve out a role that draws on these strengths every day. When you do, you will be more productive, more fulfilled, and more successful."

Most people believe that their greatest improvement will come from overcoming their weaknesses. Buckingham and Clifton say, NO! Your greatest improvement will come from identifying your natural talents and strengthening them. They provide three "revolutionary tools" for doing this:

"1...[U]nderstanding how to distinguish your natural talents from things you can learn...
2...[A] system to identify your dominant talents...
3...[A] common language to describe your talents."

To develop your natural talents (once you've identified them) into strengths requires knowledge and skills. Buckingham and Clifton provide these definitions:

"* Talents are your naturally recurring patterns of thought, feeling, or behavior. Your various themes of talent are what the StrengthsFinder Profile actually measures.
* Knowledge consists of the facts and lessons learned. * Skills are the steps of an activity."

Buying the book entitles you to do the StrengthsFinder Profile online and receive the results, indicating your five most dominant natural talents. Mine are:

  1. S T R A T E G I C - People strong in the Strategic theme create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.
  2. D E L I B E R A T I V E - People strong in the Deliberative theme are best described by the serious care they take in making decisions or choices. They anticipate the obstacles.
  3. S I G N I F I C A N C E - People strong in the Significance theme want to be very important in the eyes of others. They are independent and want to be recognized.
  4. C O M M A N D - People strong in the Command theme have presence. They can take control of a situation and make decisions.
  5. S E L F - A S S U R A N C E - People strong in the Self-assurance theme feel confident in their ability to manage their own lives. They possess an inner compass that gives them confidence that their decisions are right.

Buckingham and Clifton have identified 34 natural talents. I list them below, with my own assessment of the basic dominance of my natural talents, and the extent to which I have or haven't developed each talent into a strength. Note that natural talent + knowledge + skills = strength. Natural talents need to be developed by the addition of knowledge and skills to become strengths. Besides the StrengthsFinder Profile, there are three additional ways to identify your natural talents: yearnings, rapid learning, and satisfactions. From doing the StrengthsFinder Profile and self-observation (particularly regarding yearnings, rapid learning, and satisfactions), I have generated my personal assessment for each natural talent.

NT = Natural Talent
DS = Developed Strength
VD = Very Dominant
MD = Moderately Dominant
AD = Average Dominance
MP = Moderately Poor
VP = Very Poor
VS = Very Strong
MS = Moderately Strong
AS = Average Strength
MW = Moderately Weak
VW = Very Weak

Personal Talent/Strength Assessment

  1. Achiever - NT (MD) - DS (MS)
  2. Activator - NT (MD) - DS (MS)
  3. Adaptability - NT (MD) - DS (MS)
  4. Analytical - NT (VD) - DS (VS)
  5. Arranger - NT (MD) - DS (MS)
  6. Belief - NT (MD) - DS (MS)
  7. Command - #4 NT (VD) - DS (VS)
  8. Communication - NT (MD) - DS (MS)
  9. Competition - NT (MD) - DS (MS)
  10. Connectedness - NT (VP) - DS (VW)
  11. Context - NT (MD) - DS (MS)
  12. Deliberative - #2 NT (VD) - DS (VS)
  13. Developer - NT (AD) - DS (AS)
  14. Discipline - NT (VD) - DS (VS)
  15. Empathy - NT (VP) - DS (VW)
  16. Fairness - NT (VP) - DS (VW)
  17. Focus - NT (VD) - DS (VS)
  18. Futuristic - NT (AD) - DS (AS)
  19. Harmony - NT (MP) - DS (MW)
  20. Ideation - NT (VD) - DS (VS)
  21. Inclusiveness - NT (VP) - DS (VW)
  22. Individualization - NT (MP) - DS (MW)
  23. Input - NT (VD) - DS (VS)
  24. Intellection - NT (VD) - DS (VS)
  25. Learner - NT (VD) - DS (VS)
  26. Maximizer - NT (MD) - DS (MS)
  27. Positivity - NT (AD) - DS (AS)
  28. Relator - NT (VP) - DS (VW)
  29. Responsibility - NT (MD) - DS (MS)
  30. Restorative - NT (MD) - DS (MS)
  31. Self-Assurance - #5 NT (VD) - DS (VS)
  32. Significance - #3 NT (VD) - DS (MS)
  33. Strategic - #1 NT (VD) - DS (VS)
  34. Woo (winning others over) - NT (VP) - DS (VW)

In addition to the five dominant natural talents identified by the StrengthsFinder Profile, I feel that I also have seven more dominant natural talents:
Analytical - NT (VD) - DS (VS)
Focus - NT (VD) - DS (VS)
Ideation - NT (VD) - DS (VS)
Input - NT (VD) - DS (VS)
Intellection - NT (VD) - DS (VS)
Learner - NT (VD) - DS (VS)
Restorative - NT (VD) - DS (MS)

I also feel that I have developed all my dominant talents into strengths, except for "Restorative" -- my problem-solving strength isn't as strong as my natural talent for problem solving is dominant. Of course, I will further develop my strengths through more knowledge, improved skills, and overcoming disadvantages.

I suggest that you make your own personal self-assessment as above, to supplement the results of your StrengthsFinder Profile.

It's important to realize that the Buckigham-Clifton model is their personal "map" of the "territory" of human talents and strengths. "The map is not the territory," as Alfred Korszybski said. Other maps can be drawn of the territory. The authors may not have identified all the important natural talents. They also don't say very much about how you develop each of your dominant natural talents into strengths. I suspect they also underestimate the importance of overcoming weaknesses. I suggest that there are certain "general weaknesses" (disadvantages) that may prevent you from developing your dominant natural talents. People typically deny or underestimate these disadvantages -- "The Denial of Personal Disadvantage Among You, Me, and All the Other Ostriches!"

A very important aspect of the Buckigham-Clifton model is that for practical purposes your natural talents are fixed. You can't develp new natural talents. In my own case, my natural talents related to "people skills" (Communication, Connectedness, Empathy, Fairness, Harmony, Inclusiveness, Individualization, Relator, and Woo) are mostly very poor. To attempt to develop them into strengths would be a futile waste of time. I'm much better off focusing on further improving my strengths. Buckingham and Clifton provide some useful guidance for "damage control" relating to your worst weaknesses and "managing around" them.

Also very important about the Buckingham-Clifton model is that it may suggest an answer to: "There is so much I need to improve about myself to become really successful, that the task seems overwhelming, and I don't know where to start."

Well, once you've identified your dominant natural talents, and assessed to what extent you've developed them into strengths, you can ask yourself:

  1. What do I want to achieve with my life?
  2. What are my purpose and goals?
  3. Which are my most important natural talents I want to develop further?
  4. Which of my natural talents can contribute most to achieving my purpose and goals?
  5. What do I have to do to develop these talents into strengths?
  6. What knowledge to I need to learn to develop these talents?
  7. What skills do I need to acquire or improve to develop these talents?
  8. What weaknesses do I need to overcome to develop these talents?

I think it's a weakness of the Buckingham-Clifton model that they emphasize adding knowledge and skills to talents in order to develop them into strengths, while they don't say enough about weaknesses that may get in the way. In my opinion, most people need to confront, handle, and overcome the weaknesses (possibly many) that have prevented them from developing their natural talents into strengths. The rest of this report, particularly the "Disadvantage Factors," will illuminate this further. Buckingham and Clifton define weakness as "anything that gets in the way of excellent performance." The "Inner Game" books demonstrate why it's so important to reduce negative interference from your Self 1.

"It is far more important to know how to deal with the negative than to be "positive"." -- Martin Seligman ('Learned Optimism')

There are "Disadvantage Factors" that may have created or contributed to disadvantages in your life. Some of these factors may interfere with the development of your natural talents into strengths. Select the ones that apply to you:

Steps to Confront, Handle, and Overcome Personal Disadvantages

1. The first step is to discover the extent to which you may suffer from negative Self 1 interference. Study and apply the "Inner Game" books.

2. The second step is to improve your ability to make great decisions and follow through with their implementation.

3. The third step is to realize that we live in a world in which some people play "high-level advantage/disadvantage games." Particularly politicians, bureaucrats, business and religious leaders, journalists, bankers, lawyers, other "professionals," etc. use all kinds of political, legal, economic, and religious "tricks" to gain advantages for themselves and to inflict disadvantages on their victims. To appreciate the nature and extent of these "high-level advantage/disadvantage games," see:

(Note that the above references don't imply endorsement of Neo-Tech writings in general.)

4. The fourth step is to realize that in reality you may be much more disadvantaged in several areas of your life than you may have suspected. (You may not have noticed because those around you are similarly disadvantaged.)

5. The fifth step is to make a list of all the areas of your life where you may be disadvantaged. Practically everyone (are there any exceptions at all?) suffer from some disadvantages in at least some areas of their lives. Admitting that you suffer from personal disadvantages does not condemn you to being a "special case"; or a "freak." Everyone has personal disadvantages and so do you. Like everyone who wants more success, you want to confront the disadvantages unique to you and overcome them.

6. If you're trying to make money on the Internet, you may want to examine the relevant areas where you are disadvantaged. Marketing may be one of them. You may lack money skills. Learning to do simple things right may be a disadvantage you suffer from. While writing this report I received the following email:

I joined program x just under you, i have now tryid everything to put members under me, i upgraded the first day, i would like your help, i know that your already making a lot of money, so your problably thinking why should you help me.

I can't tell you why, but I am ofcource impressed when you can get several thousands under you, and I can get 5 in the same time, all these 5 are my friends, and they arent doing anything

In the last to weeks I have used 5-6 hours on the net every day to promote, I have joined traffic silla, I have tried everything, exept spamming or bulk email

The only thing I have got out of all my hard work, is about 2000 emails a day from other people who is trying the same.

Would you please help me, I cant afford to advertise in newspapers, and cant afford to use more money on the net, I have already in the last year used over 500$, and I don't make a fortune with my normal job.

I can't do a lot for you, but I will make you a promise, if you will help me build the top of my downline, I will promise you, when I start making money on the net, and can cut down my normal working hours I will do all that I can to learn the marketing skills, and that would maybe in a year or two be beneficial to you.

I know this isent any good deal for you. but I wont get any help without asking.

From his name and email address it seems that the writer is Danish. That accounts for the spelling. Note that he says he has tried everything to sponsor people. It seems that he may have devoted about 70 hours to futile marketing attempts and then gave up. It's unlikely that he has tried more than a small fraction of "everything" to sponsor people! He deceives himself about what he has and hasn't done. Also note that he seems to have something backward -- "...[W]hen I start making money on the net, and can cut down my normal working hours I will do all that I can to learn the marketing skills..." Compared to someone who has learned some Internet marketing skills, this person is at a HUGE disadvantage. He is severely deficient in marketing skills. Most likely, 95% or more of people trying to make money on the Internet are at a similar level of deficiency -- severely disadvantaged!

To succeed he has to identify his marketing disadvantages and overcome them. Or he has to find ways of making money without having to do any marketing. Note that in my personal case, my natural talents related to marketing (Communication, Connectedness, Empathy, Fairness, Harmony, Inclusiveness, Individualization, Relator, and Woo) are mostly very poor. I've simply found ways to utilize my other talents to succeed as a marketer. See #52. Marketing Skills.

7. The seventh step is to identify some specific disadvantages you suffer from. Use the Disadvantage Factors as a guideline, if necessary. The above references to "Economic Rape" and "Neo-Tech" may also be useful in this respect. The Breakthrough Questions and other elements of The Ultimate Success Secret, below, may also help you identify specific disadvantages.

An important aspect of overcoming your disadvantages is recognizing a disadvantage or becoming aware of a particular disadvantage. If you're not aware of a disadvantage, how do you even begin to replace it with an advantage? Someone could sit down and make a list of what he/she thinks are his/her personal disadvantages, but what if his/her most debilitating or crippling disadvantages are those that he/she is unaware of? Carefully studying the above list of Disadvantage Factors and following up on the links, may help you recognize hidden personal disadvantages.

Another possibility is to employ the help of a partner or buddy. Someone you could hold a dialogue with, who can ask you questions that may help shed light on your disadvantages. Maybe you could ask people who know you well to tactfully indicate to you what they think may be your disadvantages. But don't become defensive and attack them if they say something you don't like or something that "hurts your self-esteem!" (Typically, your Self 1 would make you self-defensive and/or make you feel hurt.)

An option is to utilize our "Upgrade Your Life" email discussion list.

Another method is to do personality and psychological tests. There are many you can do online:



10. The tenth step is to choose a specific disadvantage and start working on improving that area of your life. I suspect that for many people this could be helplessness -- see #TL10B: Escape from Helplessness and Move up to Power. For some, a good starting point is to tackle the phenomenon of denial itself -- see 22. The Phenomenon of Denial.

11. Another approach is to ask, WHAT CAN I DO TO IMPROVE MY GENERAL ABILITY TO RECOGNIZE MY DISADVANTAGES AND OVERCOME THEM? Obviously, it would be a great advantage if you could recognize and acknowledge your disadvantages, and quickly overcome them!


A friend indicated to me that when he was in his early teens, he had an image of how he wanted to be in social situations. He was also aware that this was not how he was in reality. When he thought about how socially deficient he was in certain ways, he experienced psychological discomfort. He preferred the pleasure he experienced when he thought about himself as he was in his image/fantasy. But even at that age he realized that he needed to think about and confront his deficiencies and disadvantages in order to overcome them and transform himself in reality.

* I've-Got-My-Shit-Together Theory -- * false pride and arrogance.

The term "I've-got-my-shit-together" is from 'Looking Out for #1,' by Robert Ringer. See #FFP01: Robert Ringer's 'Million Dollar Habits.'. Someone who tells himself that "he's got his shit together" and that he's all OK, may be reluctant to recognize, acknowledge, or address his personal disadvantages.

12. Study and apply the book 'The Path of Least Resistance' by Robert Fritz to become the creative force in your life. See also my article on "The Path of Least Resistance."

13. Study and apply the book 'Software for Your Brain' by Dr. Michael Hewitt Gleeson (available free, online). Among other pearls of wisdom, it includes two powerful formulas you may be able to apply to improve your general ability to overcome your disadvantages: "CVS to BVS" and "BVS = CVS * 10."

14. There are certain qualities that distinguish "solutions" from "nonsolutions." If you're looking for a solution to overcome one of your disadvantages, your attempted solution may be a nonsolution. What I mean by this is that solutions that work have certain characteristics. The nature of some attempted solutions is that they have no chance of working; they are nonsolutions. It's a big advantage to understand the nature of solutions that work. See What Constitutes a Solution?

15. If you suffer from any "psychological disadvantages" (most people do), then you may find Idenics of great value. I've made a special arrangement for my contacts to receive a FREE Idenics telephone session. To schedule, call Mike Goldstein toll-free at 1-800-IDENICS (1-800-433-6427) and tell him Frederick Mann sent you. For those outside Mike's calling area who can't reach him on the toll-free number, you're welcome to call him at 1-303-695-4940. Through the application of Idenics you may quickly improve your general ability to recognize and overcome disadvantages. Here's a recent testimonial:

"Dear Mike: Subsequent to the initial free phone session with you last week (for which I again thank you and Frederick), I feel a great weight has been lifted from me. The depression and hopelessness I felt saddled with have greatly abated, and I can go on. In the days that followed the session, I have had relief even from the issues we did not specifically address. Somehow the answers arrived; and this demonstrates for me that "looking" at any of the problems bothering me allowed for a general release. Last but by no means least, the session was painless, and afterward I did not feel processed. Thank you for enabling me to feel that I really accomplished something. I look forward to being able to have further sessions with you in the near future." -- M.E.

The following is from a testimonial letter I wrote in 1995:

"Idenics is a powerful, straightforward and effective system that addresses an individual's "unwanted conditions" [personal disadvantages or deficiencies] on a one-to-one basis.
About three years ago I experienced Idenics for the first time. I started with a list of about 30 "unwanted conditions" in my life - things I didn't like about myself - mainly fixed and more or less compulsive emotional behaviors.
It took about 35 minutes to handle the first "unwanted condition." The second one took about 15 minutes. I handled each successive "unwanted condition" in less time. It was truly amazing how certain long-standing problems disappeared in minutes!
About nine months after the first few sessions, I had a few more Idenics sessions. There were only a few minor "unwanted conditions" to handle and I handled them very quickly.
Before Idenics I was never particularly successful at anything for very long. Every venture or business I tried to start, failed quickly or never got off the ground. I found it extremely difficult to get others working with me.
Since Idenics all that has changed. Now there are people from all over the world working with me. Hundreds of thousands read my writing. People are changing their lives because of my influence. Companies are being reorganized according to my suggestions. I feel that I've become spectacularly successful and that much greater success is coming in the future!"

You can find the rest of the letter on the Idenics website.

In addition to what has been covered above, the rest of this report contains more information on what you might be able to do to increase your advantages. The "while benefiting others" needs to be emphasized. I absolutely don't advocate that advantages be used at the expense of others or by harming others.


"The main message is that self-discovery and problem-solving skills are more valuable for learning than someone else's "how to" list... Using a "how to list" is looking outside ourselves for answers, where self-discovery looks inward where long-term learning is born." -- Michael Hebron ('Golf Swing Secrets... and Lies')

This is one of the single most important elements of the Ultimate Success Secret.

"For over 20 years, I was an avid reader of so-called "how-to" books, especially the kind that describe how to become rich and successful. I devoured every word and did everything those books suggested. I followed the formulas. I trained myself to think positively. I set goals. I fed my subconscious mind with suggestions for wealth and success. Yet I found that after twenty years of reading millions of words, after twenty years of trying what those well-meaning books instructed, I was not measurably closer to being either rich or successful than I was when I picked up my first how-to book." -- Mike Hernacki ('The Ultimate Secret to Getting Absolutely Everything You Want')

Many people have difficulty learning from certain "how-to" information.

Do you know why?

Well, people are different and each individual has his or her own unique situation and circumstances. One person's "how-to" instructions may not work for another person. We also have unique talents and strengths. What works for me may not work for you because of these differences.

Another important factor is that for "how-to" information to become useful to you, you may first have to "make it your own." You may want to reflect on it, integrate it, and generate your own insights about it. You may want to use it for self-discovery. Do I have the talents and strengths to utilize this information? Do I have to adapt it to cater for my unique talents and strengths? What do I have to do to make this work for me?

Note that your Self 1 may be constantly telling you what to do and what not to do. This may interfere with your ability to utilize "how-to" information.

Maybe, in order to make certain "how-to" information work, you first need some "street-smarts," or "marketing-smarts," or "money-smarts," etc.

Maybe there are some people who learn well from "how-to" information. What sets them apart from those who can read all the "how-to" marketing information in the world... and never learn to market on the Internet?

Maybe they have superior LEARNING POWER.

Anyone with sufficient learning power can read the materials on our websites, implement what they find relevant to their talents, strengths, situation, and interests, and within maybe 6-24 months earn enough to live on.

"Now, in only two months, with only $3,000 invested, I have created $1,000 per month cash flow. With more learning and a little more time, I will be financially independent." -- RM

But how do you develop your learning power?

While reading, you may want to ask questions like:

Asking such questions will develop your SELF-DISCOVERY SKILLS and your LEARNING POWER!

"After years of searching, I finally found the answer -- interestingly enough, within my own self." -- Mike Hernacki ('The Ultimate Secret to Getting Absolutely Everything You Want')

I also recommend these books:

A while back, I received the following email (edited):

After more than two years of searching, studying, researching, and promoting a variety of programs on the Net I have to admit I haven't had much success. I have even invested thousands of dollars that have not produced "good" results.

I tell you this not to gain your sympathy, but to just let you know that I appear to have a very steep learning curve. Despite this I am very stubborn and determined to succeed.

In the last couple of weeks I have begun to really read through your sites and have discovered some great information and resources. Thank you!

I know that promoting is the key. No, good promotions to the right people is the key.

The reason I am writing to you today, other than to introduce myself, is to ask for your advice on how and where to get prospects looking for Program X and SuccessArsenal? Even using BB7M, I still have to generate traffic to that site. This is the area in which I have failed despite buying lists, joining safelists, and spending hundreds of hours promoting on free sites...


Persistence is one of the secrets of success! However, persisting with things that don't work, won't get you anywhere. Most likely, all the information BC has so far studied on Internet marketing is pitched at the "how-to" level. And he has not found ways to make it work for him.

Seeing that his success depends on marketing, I suggest he ask himself:


"A "Breakthrough" in learning is a breakout, or breakaway from a past point of view. "How To" directions are trying to manage learning, but self-discovery and awareness skills -- lead learning in the direction of long term progress." -- Michael Hebron (Golf Swing Secrets... and Lies')
"A prudent question is one-half of wisdom." -- Sir Francis Bacon
"Useful instruction is not about giving people the right answers, it is more about helping people to learn to ask the right questions." -- Michael Hebron ('Golf Swing Secrets... and Lies')

People who are not making long-term progress are stuck in their disadvantages. You can break out of being stuck in your disadvantages by asking yourself certain Breakthrough Questions. Here are some candidates:

Exercise: Go back to the beginning of this report. Note all the questions. Which of these questions could be breakthrough questions for you? Do any of these questions suggest what might be breakthrough questions for you, personally?

"Great minds ask great questions. The questions that "engage our thought" on a daily basis reflect our life purpose and influence the quality of our lives. By cultivating a Da Vinci-like open, questing frame of mind, we broaden our universe and improve our ability to travel through it." -- Michael J. Gelb ('How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci')

Exercise: Do the "Hundred Questions" exercise in 'How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci' by Michael J. Gelb.

"Most business innovations are inspired by the question "What if ... ?"" -- Michael J. Gelb ('How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci')

Read some of these books:

See also How to Disagree and Question Everything.

#8. Secondary Questions
Some of these questions may be breakthrough questions for you:

"Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny."
-- Frank Outlaw

* Do I have psychological habits that prevent my success?

"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat." -- Theodore Roosevelt
"My personal advice is to remember the words of Winston Churchill, who said, 'Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm'." -- Ross Perot
"We can do anything we want to if we stick to it long enough." -- Helen Keller

#9. Identify Your Natural Life Energy
While doing research for this report, I found a very important book: 'Gary Null's Guide to a Joyful, Healthy Life.' It's actually three books in one:

  1. 'Who Are You Really?: Understanding Your Life's Energy'
  2. 'Be Kind to Yourself: Explorations into Self-Empowerment'
  3. 'Choosing Joy: Change Your Life for the Better.'

"Consider the thousands upon thousands of people -- you may be one of them -- who conscientiously pursue self-improvement. They go on a weekend retreat, attending the words of a charismatic teacher, seeking psychic peace and mental happiness. With renewed spirit and new resolve, they return home to their everyday lives. And too soon their fresh perspective and vigorous resolution dissolve in the face of old problems. They can't effectively adopt and implement new constructs for being because they are still trapped in their old ones. A weekend of self-examination and self-exploration cannot undo a lifetime of conditioning." -- Gary Null
"Here I had dedicated my entire working life to helping people change their lives for the better, and my brother could see the terrible truth that I had failed to consciously grasp: I wasn't making a difference -- not even for those who personally attended those weekly sessions [of a radio show]. It was shocking. How could I have misssed it? ...It just didn't make sense. I knew that they were intelligent. So why had they failed to take all the information they had received and apply it to making positive changes in their lives? What is there about people that keeps them from acting in their own best interests -- even when they show up week after week to learn what to do? There didn't seem to be an answer." -- Gary Null

Null distinguishes seven "natural life energy types":

  1. Dynamic Aggressive - 6.0
  2. Dynamic Assertive - 6.5
  3. Dynamic Supportive - 0.5
  4. Creative Assertive - 5.0
  5. Adaptive Supportive - 1.0
  6. Adaptive Assertive - 2.0
  7. Adaptive Aggressive - 3.0
At the end of 'Who Are You Really?' there are sets of questions you can answer to determine the predominant type(s) of your natural life energy. The numbers after each type above are my scores.

"...[H]ere's my own personal notion of success. It consists of three parts:
1. Knowing who you really are;
2. Spending each day doing what you really should be doing, based upon your knowledge of who you are; and
3. Doing so with joy and love in your heart, so that those you come in contact with feel the effects of your fulfillment." -- Gary Null

'Be Kind to Yourself' and 'Choosing Joy' contain many "self-questions" worth exploring.

Key question: How does the nature of your unique natural life energy influence the course you select toward achieving success?

See also Money Skill #4: Understand life energy.

#10. Core Knowledge/Fundamental Principles
In some subjects there is a well-defined body of core knowledge and fundamental principles. For example, in arithmetic there are numbers: 0, 1, 2, 3, etc. These numbers can be used to indicate quantity, sequence, or size (order of magnitude). There's a set of rules (fundamental principles) for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. All this is generally agreed upon by people who have learned arithmetic.

In each branch of science there is a well-defined body of core knowledge and fundamental principles.

Can the same be said for the humanities?

"Regarding golf, in no other sport on the face of the earth is there so much difference of opinion as there is in golf, each no doubt thinking their style not only more correct but by far the superior way." -- 'The Golfer's Manual' (1857) -- quoted from 'Golf Swing Secrets... and Lies' by Michael Hebron
"The cover story of the 1998 August issue of 'Senior Golfer' was, "Why aren't we getting any better?" This well-written article by Nick Mastroni started with, "Something is wrong! Despite all the new technology for balls and clubs; 24 hour golf on television, more instruction videos; more books; more golf schools; more lessons, and in many cases, more practice: handicaps are not any lower than they were 17 years ago." The USGA director of handicaps Kevin O'Connor says, "The average handicap of 16.2 for men, and 26.5 for women, has been the same for 17 years"." -- quoted from 'Golf Swing Secrets... and Lies' by Michael Hebron

When it comes to success, what is the core knowledge? What are the fundamental principles? Why are there so many thousands of success books, all saying different things?

In my opinion, the best place to start identifying the core knowledge and fundamental principles of success is by studying the "Inner Game" books -- 1. WAKE UP YOUR POWERFUL REAL SELF!

#11. Become the Creative Force of Your Life
One of the single most empowering books I've ever read is 'The Path of Least Resistance' by Robert Fritz -- and I've read thousands of books. Fritz makes a distinction between the "reactive-responsive orientation" and the "creative orientation." We could also call them the "reactive-responsive context" and the "creative context."

Note that the word "context" is used in a different sense here compared to the "talent of context" of the Buckingham-Clifton model.

The reactive-responsive context is essentially a passive orientation toward life characterized by the belief that you are basically a victim of circumstances or fate. If you live out of this context, you tend to get so used to things happening to you that you forget that you can control your own life. You are like a weak reed blown every which way by the wind.

Self 1 could be regarded as the "architect" of the reactive-responsive context.

The creative context is an active orientation toward life characterized by the belief that you are basically in control. To a considerable extent, you can make choices independent of the circumstances of your life. You are like a powerful bamboo with a will of its own. You can lean over in the direction of even a strong wind.

Self 2 could be regarded as the "architect" of the creative context.

See also my article "The Path of Least Resistance."

One of the reasons "how-to" books don't work very well for most people is that practically all of them are written at the "reactive-responsive level." Very few are written at the "creative level." Rather than providing you with the means (guidance, stimulation, and inspiration) to make a breakout shift in your fundamental orientation to life, they provide you with lots of low-level details to respond or react to.

#12. Success Context and Attitudes
In my opinion, all the dictionary definitions of success that I've seen are unsatisfactory. I have a little ebook "Real 'Secrets' of Success" by Dale Armin Miller of Success Arsenal! in which he indicates that success is a state of mind or attitude. (He also points out that, "in a recent year in the United States, 87 millionaires committed suicide!")

If you think that you first have to accomplish things in order to become successful, you have it backwards! You create a "context of success" and then live out of that context. Most of the first 25 elements are central to such a Success Context. You first become a success in your mind. The actions and results then follow from the Success Context.

Key question: Why are most of the first 25 elements central to creating a Success Context?

Note how Dr. Foster assists you in creating a Success Context:

"Whatever you're trying to decide, you have everything you need inside you right now to be one of those people who easily, quickly, and comfortably make great decisions." -- Charles Foster, Ph.D., M.B.A. ('What Do I Do Now? Dr. Foster's 30 Laws of Great Decision Making')
"Early in my new writing career, I resolved to make a success of it." -- Mike Hernacki ('The Ultimate Secret to Getting Absolutely Everything You Want')

The above decision is an example of creating a Success Context.

Another way to see this is to look at "be," "do, and "have." Many people think in terms of:

  1. If I have such and such; then
  2. I'll be able to do such and such; and then
  3. I'll be successful.

Several philosophers have indicated that the above is a "backwards context." It's much more powerful and creative to think in terms of:

  1. I am a success; therefore
  2. I can do whatever it takes; and therefore
  3. I can pretty well have anything that's humanly possible to have!

"We are free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it." -- William Faulkner
"Freedom means self-control; no more, no less." -- Rose Wilder Lane

The "Freedom Context" version would look something like this:

  1. We are free by nature;
  2. We control the energy that animates our minds and bodies, i.e., we control ourselves;
  3. Therefore we practice freedom.

We can make a distinction between context and content. Mr. Hernacki's "Early in my new writing career, I resolved to make a success of it" is at the level of Context. If he were to provide a list of all the things he did to become a successful writer, the list would be at the level of Content. Practically all "how-to" information is at the level of Content.

If you're operating out of an unworkable Context (such as "It's very difficult to succeed as a writer, Internet marketer, etc."), then it's unlikely that any Content you study will make a significant difference to your level of success. Though it's always possible that some "how-to" Content will trigger you to make a breakout shift in Context.

Robert Fritz's Creative Orientation is at the level of Context. His Reactive-Responsive Orientation is at the level of Content.

Your Attitudes are at the level of Context. One of the most important Attitudes is Commitment.

"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would come his way." -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Another most important attitude is to have an Open and Receprive Mind as exemplified by Leonardo da Vinci.


#13. Be willing to Do Everything Necessary to Succeed

"In order to accomplish something, you must be willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish it." -- Mike Hernacki ('The Ultimate Secret to Getting Absolutely Everything You Want')

Hernacki's "Ultimate Secret" creates a Context for Success. The key is being "willing to do whatever it takes." I highly recommend his book.

While I recommend his book, I also need to point out what I consider his errors (quotes from The Ultimate Secret to Getting Absolutely Everything You Want'; 2001 paperback edition):

* P3: "To get absolutely everything you want, you don't have to study anything, meet anyone, go anywhere or do anything in particular." If this were true, it would not be necessary to read the rest of his book! You could stop right there and automatically get "absolutely everything you want!"

* P28: "...I realized that the method of doing something, the how-to of it, doesn't matter." It would be more appropriate to say that something else (creating a Success Context) is much more important and that the method (how-to) is less important.

"The most valuable insights are arrived at last; but the most valuable insights are methods." -- Friedrich Nietzsche ('The Will to Power')

* P37: "The truth is, when it comes to getting results, intention is more important than action." There are many results which require not only action but Massive Action for success. Anyone can have the intention to succeed. In many cases, that intention is worthless, if not followed by action. Hernacki uses the fallacious argument that because you can be happy by simply having the intention to be happy without doing anything, therefore this is a general principle applying to other desired results as well.

* P47: "You must recognize that you alone are the source of all the conditions and situations in your life." It would be more accurate to replace "all" with "most of." See 14. Distinguish between What You Can and Can't Control.

"All successful men have agreed in being causationists." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson.

While many people underestimate what they are the source of (also the cause of or responsible for) in their lives. It's an error to believe that you're the source of everything. There are things you can control and things you can't.

In Fritz's Creative Orientation you operate at cause. In his Responsive-Reactive Orientation you operate at effect.

* P56: "All that matters is what goes on in your head." It would be more accurate to say that what goes on in your head matters a great deal. The "Inner Game" is often more important than than the "Outer Game."

* P57: "...The Ultimate Secret does not demand that you actually do anything." To think that you can achieve most results without doing anything, or anything in particular, is absurd "magical thinking." Most desired results require action for their achievement; some require Massive Action.

* P67: "While it would be good to get help from other people, you don't need it. And while it would be good to have a plan of action, you don't need that either." There are many results you absolutely cannot achieve without help from others. Some people -- depending on their talents and strengths, and the complexity of what they want to achieve -- absolutely need a plan of action.

* P90: "...[W]henever you think something, the thought immediately attracts its physical equivalent." "New-age magical thinking" or "infantile megalomania!" Read what Gallwey says about "positive thinking" in 'The Inner Game of Tennis.'

* P91: "In objective reality, the thought of winning attracts the physical counterpart of winning." That's why it's so easy to win in Las Vegas! More "magical thinking" or "infantile megalomania!" (Self 1 can be very devious in providing you with unreal expectations!)

* P93: "When you think of having ten million dollars, that money immediately begins making its way toward you." Much of what Hernacki says about "thoughts as physical things" and their supposed "magical powers" is nonsense, in my opinion.

Nevertheless, his "ultimate secret" is valid, and profound, and part of the Core Knowledge of Success:

"In order to accomplish something, you must be willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish it."

#14. Distinguish between What You Can and Can't Control
See #TL10B: Escape from Helplessness and Move up to Power.

#15. Quality of Choices/Doing Things Right
Certain elements are absolutely necessary for success. If you don't gain advantages, no matter what else you do, you're likely to fail. If you operate out of a "failure context," "negative context," or "backwards context," no matter what you do, you're likely to fail. In the ebook "Real 'Secrets' of Success," Dale Armin Miller of Success Arsenal! emphasizes the importance of doing things right. He indicates that his successful Affiliates take care to write emails that contain all the necessary details and are designed to work and produce desired results; while his Affiliates who fail typically send him careless and dumb emails. My own experience indicates that 10-15% of the people I have contact with seem to have little or no concept of doing things right; no concept of designing actions to produce the results they want. People who don't know about doing things right also tend to have problems with completing online forms for joining programs, making online payments, etc. They may also have difficulty reading and following instructions.

For many people, the road to success starts with this element. They need to learn to do simple things right. If you can't do things right, no matter what else you do, you're likely to fail. Make Doing Things Right part of your Success Context!

For more on Quality, see #TL15: How to Achieve Ultimate Success.

#16. Discover and Wake Up Your Conquering Force

"I found a book that gave the possible mental origins of various physical problems. Turning to the section on lung diseases, I read: "Maladies of the lungs and difficulty in breathing are a sign of unfulfilled passions, unrealized dreams."
Naturally, I asked myself if I did indeed have any unfulfilled passions, or dreams that as yet were unrealized... aha!
At that moment, my entire problem -- and its solution -- immediately became clear to me. I was sick in my lungs because all of my adult life, my secret ambition had been to become a professional writer. Yet, for many reasons, I had never allowed myself to pursue that ambition." -- Mike Hernacki ('The Ultimate Secret to Getting Absolutely Everything You Want')

Before becoming a professional writer, Hernacki didn't succeed as a teacher, advertising man, lawyer, and stockbroker. But when he discovered what he was really passionate about, he suddenly started succeeding.

This suggests that the real secret of Hernacki's success might have been his discovery of what he was really passionate about. What he calls his "ultimate secret" may have been a secondary factor. Had he applied his "ultimate secret" in his earlier professions, it may not have helped him succeed at all!

So I'm suggesting that discovering what you're really passionate about may be more important for some people than Hernacki's "ultimate secret." This may also fit into the pattern of most authors of success books not being very good at identifying all the most important reasons for their own success!

When you discover what you're really passionate about, it unleashes a Conquering Force in you. That's what happened to Hernacki. With his unleashed Conquering Force he quickly cleared up his lung problem and became a successful writer.

#17. Are You a Hunter-Warrior or a Farmer?
In his excellent book 'Attention Deficit Disorder: A Different Perception,' Thom Hartmann makes a distinction between "hunters" and "farmers."

Hunters have these characteristics:

"* They constantly monitor their environment...
* They can totally throw themselves into the hunt; time is elastic...
* They're flexible, capable of changing strategy on a moment's notice...
* They can throw an incredible burst of energy into the hunt...
* They think visually...
* They love the hunt, but are easily bored by mundane tasks...
* They'll face danger that "normal" individuals would avoid...
* They're hard on themselves and those around them."

People who are considered to have "ADD" are the descendants of hunters.

Farmers have these characteristics:

"* Isn't easily distracted by his or her environment...
* Farmers sustain a slow-and-steady effort...
* Farmers see the long-range picture...
* Farmers are not easily bored...
* Farmers are team players...
* Farmers attend to the details...
* Farmers are cautious...
* Farmers are patient with others."

We basically live in a world organized by farmers for farmers. Some hunters find it difficult to utilize their natural hunter talents to best advantage in a world of farmers.

Whether you're a hunter or a farmer (or have some mix of their characteristics) has important implications for the strategies and tactics you want to develop in order to succeed.

Attempting to suppress hunter characteristics with drugs may not be the best strategy! See:

The following books may be of interest to hunters (and even some farmers interested in learning how to "hunt" for success!):

#18. Have You Been Living as an Owner or a Victim?

"Most of us today live in cocoons.
...We could tear open the cocoon if we wanted to. We could push out and see the light of the world. We could learn to fly. The cocoon is known by the name of personality.
Most people live trapped inside their personalities for their entire lives, never knowing that they can leave. They are victims of their own invented "selves."
...As you look back on your life so far, you will see that you have two basic ways of being. At any given time, you were either one way, or you were the other; you were either an owner of the human spirit, or you were a victim of circumstances. One way (owner) reinvents you as you go. It reinvents you outward, in an ever-expanding circle of capability, skills, and personal power. The other way (victim) shrinks you down. Just as your muscles shrink when they are not moving, so do you." -- Steve Chandler ('Reinventing Yourself: How to Become the Person You've Always Wanted to Be.')

Living as an Owner or a Victim is an orientation at the level of Context. If you live as an Owner, you're basically a winner and the Owner Orientation pervades all or most of your life. If you live as a Victim, you're basically a loser and the Victim Orientation pervades all or most of your life. It's possible to live as an Owner in some respects and as a Victim in others.

In order to experience success, it's necessary to live as an Owner. Making the contextual shift from Victim to Owner may require massive effort.

"The biggest lie humankind has told itself in the past 50 years is that happiness is available without effort. That effort is painful. That effort is not valuable, and indeed, is to be avoided whenever possible. That a retirement of ease and comfort is something "you owe yourself" and that only a thoughtless fool exerts any real energy in the course of a given day." -- Steve Chandler ('Reinventing Yourself: How to Become the Person You've Always Wanted to Be.')

Owners use different language compared to Victims -- see Chapter 25 of 'Reinventing Yourself: How to Become the Person You've Always Wanted to Be' by Steve Chandler.

"I was a true lowlife...
...[T]he lower you are now, the more fun you are going to have if you take reinvention as a personal project... You can redesign yourself completely. And not because there's necessarily anything wrong with you, but just for the sheer joy of reinvention. There is no joy like it.
The way I got started back to the spirit was this: I began to allow myself to think.
It sounds almost too simple, but I found that true victims don't do it. They don't think. They brood and ruminate and worry. And then they feel depressed. And then they feel angry. And the deadly beat goes on. It circles back on itself. As a woman in a workshop once told me, self-pity is like a snake that gets in your brain and lays its eggs there." -- Steve Chandler ('Reinventing Yourself: How to Become the Person You've Always Wanted to Be.')

There may be a great deal in this report and its links for you to think about.

#19. Adversity Quotient - Quitters, Campers & Climbers

Success can be defined as the degree to which one moves forward and upward, progressing in one's lifelong mission, despite all obstacles or other forms of adversity." -- Paul G. Stoltz, PhD ('Adversity Quotient: Turning Obstacles into Opportunities')

AQ = Adversity Quotient and

"takes three forms. First, AQ is a new conceptual framework for understanding and enhancing all facets of success. It builds upon a substantial base of landmark research, offering a practical, new combination of of knowledge that redefines what it takes to succeed...
Second, AQ is a measure of how you respond to adversity. Unchecked, these subconscious patterns are your for life. Now, for the first time, they can be measured, understood, and changed...
Finally, AQ is a scientifically-grounded set of tools for improving how you respond to adversity, and, as a result, your overall personal and professional effectiveness." -- Paul G. Stoltz, PhD ('Adversity Quotient: Turning Obstacles into Opportunities')

Stoltz distinguishes between "Quitters," "Campers," and "Climbers." Humans have a core value or drive to "Ascend" -- what Abraham Maslow called the drive to "self-actualization."

Self-actualizing is a life-long climb or Ascent up a high mountain, requiring conscious and deliberate effort. Quitters give up at the foot of the mountain. Campers go some way up the mountain, until they reach a plateau where they quit and sit out their remaining years. Climbers are dedicated to a lifelong journey of Ascent.

I strongly recommend 'Adversity Quotient: Turning Obstacles into Opportunities' by Paul G. Stoltz, PhD.

#20. Empower Your Survival Personality

"True self-improvement, self-confidence, and spiritual development come out of real-life, everyday experiences, not from books or workshops. Thus my approach is to provide guidelines on how to learn your own surviving, coping, and thriving skills. This is a book of useful questions and practical guidelines, it is not a book of instructions. Think of it as a manual on how to discover inborn abilities that no other human can reveal to you." -- Al Siebert, Ph.D. ('The Survivor Personality: Why Some People Are Stronger, Smarter, and More Skillful at Handling Life's Difficulties... and How You Can Be, Too')

Siebert's book 'The Survival Personality' contains a wealth of survival advantages and disadvantages.

"...[W]hen I was a graduate student in clinical psychology, I discovered that psychologists and psychiatrists did not seem to know about people who hold up well under pressure. After graduation I started a personal research project to understand life's best survivors. To focus my efforts, I developed a list of criteria. People with survivor personalities are those who:
Using these four criteria as a frame of reference, I listed questions I wanted to answer:

Visit THRIVENet and Survivor

#21. Mastering Expectations
What do you expect? Why do you expect? Are you an "effective expecter?" Or an "ineffective expecter?" Can you gain advantages by becoming a "better expecter?"

What about "unreal" or "unrealistic" expectations?

To what extent do expectations become self-fulfilling prophecies?

In general, do you expect to fail or to succeed?

How do you feel when what happens fails to live up to your expectations? What does your Self 1 usually say about this?

How do you feel when what happens exceeds your expectations? What does your Self 1 usually say about this?

Might it be better to live your life without any expectations whatsoever? Without expectations, would you be able to eliminate all disappointment from your life?

Are you ambitious?

If you were diagnosed as "HIV-positive," would your expectations turn the diagnosis into a psychological death sentence? See Rethinking AIDS & The HIV Hypothesis. What role would your Self 1 play? What would your Self 2 do?

What is the difference between purpose, goal, hope, and expectation?

Chapter 9 of 'The Inner Game of Golf' by W. Timothy Gallwey has some profound information on expectations.

#22. Psychological Failure Scripts and Psychic Masochism
This is another element that may be absolutely necessary for success, i.e., recognizing and overcoming any Psychological Failure Scripts and/or Psychic Masochism you may suffer from. Of course, you personally may not be the victim of any unconscious Psychological Failure Scripts or Psychic Masochism -- in which case, you can safely ignore this element. However, beware of the possibility of denying Psychological Failure Scripts and Psychic Masochism that stand between you and your success. Beware of Overconfidence, if you think you don't have to do anything about this element.

The most effective and quickest way I know of to overcome Psychological Failure Scripts and Psychic Masochism is Idenics (see above). See also:

Psychological Failure Scripts and Psychic Masochism "operate" at the level of Context. That means, if present, they permeate major aspects of your life. If they are not handled, anyone suffering from them is unlikely to enjoy much success.

The concept Psychic Masochism was formulated by [from]

"...the brilliant psychoanalyst Edmund Bergler M.D. Bergler gave us a comprehensive framework for understanding our emotions and for learning to regulate them. He wrote twenty-two psychology books and 273 published articles, and a 400-word obituary was written about him in The New York Times when he died in 1962. (Many of his titles are in print and available from International Universities Press in Madison, CT.)
Bergler, an Austrian Jew who fled the Nazis in 1938, challenged the notion that we are simply the product of what is done to us in childhood. He said that, as children, we form subjective interpretations separate from the reality of what is happening. These subjective interpretations, interwoven with the reality of how we were treated and conditioned, grow into fixed negative messages and expectations about ourselves, others, and the world.
Bergler determined that humankind suffers from a condition he called psychic masochism. This term refers to an unconscious willingness we all have as adults to experience or indulge in unresolved childhood emotions such as feeling deprived, refused, controlled, criticized, disappointed, rejected, betrayed, and so on. This condition of psychic masochism, through which we maintain and reinforce our negative beliefs and emotions, is defended (covered up by us) through our conviction that external situations, other people, or certain flaws in ourselves are responsible for our failures and unhappiness.
Bergler challenged the notion of "innocent victim" and proposed that we unconsciously look for, set up, and feed off of the negative dramas in our lives. According to Bergler, we have become attached to and identified with our suffering and our self-defeating thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Experiencing ourselves as victims, and being immersed in self-hatred and self-defeat, we resist experiences of happiness, success, fun, pleasure, self-love, and self-acceptance.
His theories help us understand contemporary society, for they explain the roots of our self-defeating entanglement with passivity, victimization, helplessness, paranoia, and even violence. He contended that unconsciously we are perceiving and interpreting reality from the infantile, emotional, or child part of ourselves. To put it another way, we have an inner need to experience again and again unresolved feelings such as deprivation, shame, domination, control, rejection, and self-hatred.
Bergler was aware of the enormous resistance to his ideas and understood that we are determined emotionally, through our defenses, not to disturb the psychic status quo. He once said his books were time-bombs that would go off in 100 years. Perhaps now, faced with the crucial need to break out of our personal and national malaise, we can speed up the timetable.
It is an axiom of history and philosophy that the greater the truth, the more we resist it. Humanity took centuries to accept that the earth was round, that it was not the center of the universe. Bergler's theory also threatens our notions of who and what we are, for it asks that we open our minds to the possibility that an unconscious part of ourselves orchestrates an agenda of emotional suffering and self-defeat.
Because we remain so strongly in denial and project our inner conflicts onto others, we resist the notion that a secret program beneath our conscious awareness holds such a dominant position and manifests such a malignant nature.
Freedom from this emotional tyranny comes only when we begin to understand the extent to which we maintain unconscious infantile interpretations and realize how these feelings and beliefs control our reactions and behaviors.
Traditional or pop approaches to self-help and psychotherapy offer coaching, advice, sympathy, and superficial techniques. These approaches fail to expose the origins and attachment to our negative interpretations, nor do they expose our unconscious resistance to good, happiness, success, and self-love. Bergler's approach, by comparison, disturbs our psychic status quo. It penetrates our defenses and exposes what we have been reluctant to see and understand about ourselves.
A good way to understand Bergler is to read our books, which are based on his profound understanding of psychology. Our books provide a deep understanding of the critical factors required in order to choose health and wholeness over self-defeat and self-limitation. Such factors include:

I haven't read any of the books referred to above. I have read some writings by and about Bergler in:

If you suffer from Psychological Failure Scripts and/or Psychic Masochism (and most people do), you may be severely disadvantaged. Your Self 1 may be sabotaging your success.

#23. The Phenomenon of Denial
In 'Denial and Acknowledgement: The Impact of Information About Human Rights,' Stanley Cohen describes denial:

"The dictionary definition of the term "denial" refers simply to the assertion that something is not true or does not exist. In a common everyday usage, the term covers various processes by which people block, shut out, repress or cover up certain forms of disturbing information or else evade, avoid or neutralize the implications of this information.
...[D]enial is an adaptive, instinctual measure built into the organism to protect it from damaging emotion. The defensive evasion or distortion of what one sees or knows is always assumed to be unconscious: "The subject... is never spontaneously aware that he or she 'denies.' Almost always an outside observer is required to notice the phenomenon"."

In 'States of Denial,' Stanley Cohen provides a list of common phrases related to denial:

Denial can be described as:

It's interesting to me that in the references to "denial of personal disadvantage" I found on the Internet, the phenomenon was usually described in terms of women or members of minorities being discriminated against and then denying or underestimating the disadvantages stemming from such discrimination. However, I found no references to anyone discussing denial of personal disadvantage as a central phenomenon that applies to practically all humans. See Appendix below.

#24. The Quantum Success Jump
The Quantum Success Jump is the phenomenon of "the last straw that breaks the camel's back" in reverse. As you progressively replace your disadvantages with advantages -- and implement more of the elements in this report -- there comes a point where your ability, skill, and effectiveness suddenly take a big Quantum Success Jump. Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods are two outstanding examples of athletes who have progressively increased their advantages to the point of being a Quantum Success Jump ahead of their competitors.

See also "Quantum Success Jumps" in #TL15: How to Achieve Ultimate Success.

#25. Flexible Goals and Objectives.
Your life purpose is something you're passionate about. It's the answer to: "What do I want to achieve with my life?" With your life purpose in mind, you can set goals and objectives for yourself. You want to steer your ship in a definite and determined course toward a specific destination. However, you need to be flexible. You don't know at any given time with certainty whether you will encounter tailwinds that speed up your passage, or headwinds that slow you down. Setting objectives such as "earning $10,000 a month by the end of this year" may be unrealistic. Given where you now are, the status of your current advantages, and how your advantages might change between now and the end of the year, a specific objective could be too optimistic or too pessimistic.

Your goals should be about what you passionately want for yourself; not what your family, friends, or anyone else wants for you.

You can also think in terms of short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals. Be willing to change your goals from time to time.

The book 'The Power of Focus' by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Les Hewitt provides a "Top-10 Goals Checklist":

"1. Your most important goals must be yours.
2. Your goals must be meaningful.
3. Your goals must be specific and measurable.
4. Your goals must be flexible.
5. Your goals must be challenging and exciting.
6. Your goals must be in alignment with your values.
7. Your goals must be well balanced.
8. Your goals must be realistic.
9. Your goals must include contribution.
10. Your goals must be supported."

The authors also suggest that you create a Master Plan for achieving your goals.

[Unfinished; see note...]

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