I ended up waiting for almost 6 hours while the mechanic was trying to overcome issues with his parts supplier, so I made a great call getting a new book. And in six hours I got through a lot of this book. It didn't take me long to finish it thereafter. I have to say this is one of the best books on success that I ever read. Not only has it confirmed much of what I've read elsewhere about the mindset of success, but it also gave me new ideas to think about.
Success is your duty
For example, Cardone talks about ethics in approaching success. By ethics, he means that success is a duty, an obligation, and a responsibility. I've heard him talk about this before but never really understood the idea until I read his book. Without success, you won't be your personal best or live up to your potential. Because ethics regards a system of appropriate behavior, not being successful, in the mind of Cardone, is inappropriate. Thus, success is an ethical duty, obligation, and responsibility.
In thinking about that idea, I agree with it because success in business and in life provides the means by which we meet our obligations to ourselves, our family, and the broader community. Without success, our ability to meet those obligations is severely diminished. So in thinking along those lines, I'm on the side of Cardone.
Set unrealistic goals
Having a high interest in goals, I was curious about Cardone’s perspective on making goals when I saw his chapter on goals. One of the themes of this chapter on goals is a diatribe against realistic goals. We hear this all the time, especially in the SMART acronym in which R stands for realistic. But Cardone doesn't believe in realistic goals. He says,
“I truly despise the word ‘realistic’ [sic] because it is based on what others . . . have accomplished and believed possible. Realistic thinking is based on what others think is possible — but they are not you and have no way of knowing your potential and purpose. If you're going to set goals based on what others think, then be sure you do it based on what the giants on this planet think. They will be the first to tell you, ‘Don't base your goals on what I have done because you can do even more.’ But what if you set goals based on those of the top players of the world? Steve Jobs’s goal, for instance, is to ‘ding’ the universe — to create products that forever change our planet. Look at what he has done with Apple and Pixar. If you're going to set goals comparable to those of others, then at the very least pick the giants who have already created massive success.”
To me, that idea makes a lot of sense. It reminds me of something Will Smith once said: “Why should I be realistic? What's the point of being realistic?” He goes on to talk about how extraordinary achievements are not made by thinking small. I think that's what Cardone is getting at here. Goals should be unrealistic because, in Cardone’s mind, only goals based on big dreams have the ability to inspire their achievement. That’s something to think about as I consider my own goals.
Competition is for sissies and other gems
His chapter on competition also changed my thinking. For so long I've thought about competition as being something good, even desirable. But competition is not the objective of the successful. They don't want to compete; they want to dominate. As I think about that difference, I can see many ready advantages to dominating my space. It provides so much opportunity and freedom that I don't have if I merely compete.
I was also impressed by this thought: “Your biggest problem is obscurity — other people don't know you and aren't thinking about you.” That one really got me thinking, and I could see that it's totally true. All of my past unsuccessful entrepreneurial efforts were just that because of that one word: obscurity. No one patronizes the business they don't know about.
Here's another idea that turned me around: “Learn to commit first, and figure out how to show up later.” When I first read that, it made absolutely no sense to me. Why would you commit to doing something without knowing whether or not you can do it? The loss of integrity with yourself is you fail could be massive. The uncertainty attached to that approach provides a huge risk that, before reading Cardone’s book, I've always rejected as being above my threshold.
But after reading his book and especially the experience at the end where he talks about applying that idea to his personal striving for success, I'm thinking he might be right. When you commit, you put yourself on the island, and when you commit without really knowing how it's going to work, you put yourself on the island and burn your boats. That puts you in a space where you have to make it happen. Results come from one thing and one thing only — action. It's really what the 10X Rule is all about. It’s not so much spending 10 times more time working as it is using the time you have to produce 10 times the results because you fit 10 times the action within the time you have.
Cardone talks time management
That leads me to the last idea I found really impressive. Cardone’s book has a chapter on time management, which like my interest in goals has always been high on my curiosity list. There's really two parts to his idea that impressed me. The first is the idea of balance. Most people think in terms of either-or; “I don't have time to do everything, so with the time I have, I must do either this or that.” But Cardone takes a different approach. He doesn't think in terms of either-or; he thinks in terms of all. Because he wants it all, he arranges his day so that he can have it all.
That brings me to the second part that impressed me. Cardone said, “To really understand, manage, maximize, and squeeze every opportunity out of the time you have, you have to fully understand and appreciate how much of it you have available to you. You must first take control of your time — not allow others to do so. If you listen to people discuss the topic of time — especially in regards to the amount they have at work — you'll probably hear a lot of complaining. People act as though work is something to get through, yet in reality they spend very little of their time even doing it. Most people only work enough so that it feels like work, whereas successful people work at a pace that gets such satisfying results that work is a reward. Truly successful people don't even call it work; for them, it's a passion. Why? Because they do enough to win!”
He then talks about the need to work harder and get more done in the same amount of time. This makes sense when you consider his 10X Rule, which is assessing the effort needed to hit target and adjusting thinking to dream big. Big dreams inspire big action, so the 10X Rule is about massive action at 10 times the amount others give. And that really is what it all comes down to, because results come from action and only from action.
If you haven't read this book, I highly recommend it. There's a chapter near the end where he gives 32 qualities of successful people and a brief treatment on each one. I’m thinking I might adopt that chapter as a sort of daily primer to start my day. Each day I read one section about one quality, and then after 32 days, I start all over again. There seems to be some mindset here that I have in part but not completely. And as I think about the concepts in this book, I feel impressed that it contains much of what I've been lacking in order to have the success I've been dreaming about for years. We'll see what comes of that. So again, if you haven't read this book, I highly recommend it. In the very least, it will get you thinking about the assumptions behind your thinking and the approach you could take to life. And that in itself would by good, even desirable. 5 stars.
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