Success - many are chasing it, but very few make it. 99% of people will die broke according to Tom Bilyeu, founder of $1b company Quest Nutrition. But why? Why is that all the answers are there (all for free if you look hard enough), and yet we are endlessly discussing why so few people seem to make it?
I believe there's one thing they are all missing. I am on a journey to prove to myself and to you that you can do it once you know this, and I will be breaking it down over the next few blogs.
What is the problem of the 99% that EVERYONE already knows?
All the self help books allude to it. All successful people allude to it. All of humanities greatest accomplishments are thanks to it. It's not really a secret... Can you guess?
It's the mind.
"You become what you think"
says Early Nightingale, father of positive thinking, a revelation that came to him after reading many books and scriptures - an eternal Truth.
If we have all the answers, why can't we all just be like them?
All the books and YouTube's are more or less the same - an outline of some principles or ways of being to follow in order to become successful. I listen to a lot of podcasts from successful people and when they talk about unsuccessful people, they usually come to similar conclusions.
In a recent podcast between Tom Bilyeu and Morgan Housel, author of "The Psychology of Money" they conclude:
1) You either have it or you don't (born with it)
2) You can change your mind (with force, willpower, or some kind of strategy or set of principles)
Tom has mentored many people and gave them his process and found that only 2% of them made it, and he couldn't understand why. He resigned himself to the idea that youth had the highest chance of success because they had the most malleable minds, unspoiled with so much pre-conditoning.
It makes intuitive sense. But where does that leave the rest of us who are beyond our teenage years? Are we doomed to fail?
Why can't I change? The science of cognitive abilities
The evidence suggests that humans learn the most between the ages of 2 and 7 and as we get older it's more difficult to change (successful people often start exploring their defining talents in this period). Also, intelligence over the years gradually fades, which is suggestive of the power of a youthful mind's ability to learn and grow as cognition changes.
There's also the 10,000 hour rule which suggests the more hours you put into something, the better at it you get. If you've seen the Matrix, you'll recall Neo learning a skill by downloading it into his mind. Even though it's fiction, it all makes perfect and intuitive sense, right?
So it's a given - the mind is being "programmed" from the life we have lived. But what about the opposite? How does this programming serve you if you have a life of failure?
"I can't do it"
"I'm not good enough"
"I'm not smart enough"
"I'm just going to give up eventually, so why bother?"
"I'll never make it, I'm not as talented as so and so"
There's so many dynamics of a self defeating and negative mind, and so many ways we can condition our mind to believe the lies - it all depends on how we've lived. What it means is, if I have failed once, I am more likely to fail twice. If I fail twice, I am more likely to fail a third time. And when I have failed enough, it becomes "who I am" - because I am living in the past inside of my mind. This can make change next to impossible!
So is that past conditioning really who I am?
I don't believe so!
How can I change? What don't they understand about the mind?
Common knowledge shows that things can be added into your mind, but do they know that things can also be subtracted from your mind? For example, one of our biggest cruxes in modern age is the distractions of smart phones (successful people don't have that kind of time to waste!) . But if you can subtract that addiction from your mind, as one studies show, then what else can you subtract?
When you subtract things from your mind, you can free up your mind from the old conditioning and it makes it INFINITELY easier to actually change. Will power alone is not enough, and if it were, there wouldn't be so many people continuously failing.
I am one of those failed 99% - I will put my hand up and say I'm a complete failure. A hedonist, glutton, negative minded, victim, blamer, overly emotional, lazy, undisciplined - a programming destined for failure. But I've changed so much just by first clearing out my mind to make space for the new!
I'm on a journey, with my blog and with my life to prove that these things can be changed so I can inspire others to change.
You become what you think, because your mind is programmed from the life you have lived. Where Tom Bilyeu is right, is that yes, you can change! But, if the "programming" of the past is too strong, you'll never be able to defeat it with will power alone. So, if you can't change, try to subtract things from your mind. I want to prove that anyone can change if they clear out the old to make way for the new, because I am the failed 99%, and I will show how the changes can be made in the next blog.
Have you struggled to change? Have you been able to successfully change and do you have recommendations? I'd love to hear from you!