Nuggets For The Noggin
ON BEING GREAT!
By Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, June 19, 2013
Riddle: How do you carve an elephant out of stone?
Answer: You chisel away everything that does not look like an elephant.
From Wallace D. Wattles book, The Science of Being Great written in 1910:
“Do not merely think that you are going to become great; think that you are great now. Do not think that you will begin to act in a great way at some future time; begin now. Do not think that you will act in a great way when you reach a different environment; act in a great way where you are now. Do not think that you will begin to act in a great way when you begin to deal with great things; begin to deal in a great way with small things. Do not think that you will begin to be great when you get among more intelligent people, or among people who understand you better; begin now to deal in a great way with the people around you.”
There is a great reproduction of Wattles three book trilogy, The Science of Getting Rich; The Science of Being Well; and The Science of Being Great. You can find information about this wonderful book at:
You can download a free eBook, The Science of Being Great at:
You can download a free eBook, The Science of Being Well at:
You can download a free eBook, The Science of Getting Rich at:
All three books are very short but very powerful reads. A great way to start and end your day would be to read just one chapter in the morning and another in the evening. Each chapter would take only a few minutes to read.
As the above riddle asks, how do you carve an elephant out of stone? The answer becomes obvious once you read it. A better question might have been how do you carve a successful real estate agent, car salesman, insurance salesman, teacher, doctor, lawyer, etc. out of stone; might be more meaningful to you.
If you are doing what you love and love what you are doing, whatever that might be, how can you become more successful at doing what you love. Or how do you carve that success out of stone or in this case the person that hopefully lies within you?
Throughout Wattles’ writings he has one overriding thought, “Thinking in a Certain Way!” It really is not any more difficult than “thinking in a Certain Way.” The problem becomes, what is the “Certain Way” to think? Read the above quote again. The Certain Way is simply projecting into the future that which you want to become or think as though you have already become that which you want to become. There are, however, two sides to a coin. You can do all the thinking in a “Certain Way” that you wish. You can repeat strings of words as affirmations regarding what you want to become. You can even write these words down and look at them every day. But sometimes you will also think in a “Certain Way” that you fail to believe the positive thoughts you are thinking. These two practices do not balance out meaning if you think MORE in a Certain Way about what you want to become that it will cancel out any negative thoughts about disbelief. On the contrary, your negative thoughts seem to take over and completely eliminate all the good your positive thoughts have worked to create.
Use golf as an analogy. You are standing on the tee-box and you are thinking all the good thoughts of hitting the ball down the left side of the fairway placing it in perfect position to hit your next shot to the green. You are mentally prepared to make that shot. You have the target firmly in mind. Ah, but then you also see the tall rough grass on the left side of the fairway, not a place you want to be. And then you also see the massive lake on the right side, again not a place you want to be. You now have three competing thoughts, the fairway, the rough, and the lake. The lake seems more formidable, you can play out of the rough; you can’t play out of the lake. You think again of the fairway but the lake is still there, even bigger than you thought before. The shot you tend to hit is usually the one that goes towards your last and/or most dominating thought or in this case, the lake. You can have all the positive thoughts you wish to make, you can even repeat them aloud to affirm your desired intentions but if you let the lake enter your thoughts for just a fleeting moment, the thought of the lake usually wins out, time and time again.
In every profession, people want to be the best they can be but do they? If they did, they would think in a Certain Way and that way would be to think as the above quote tells you to think as if you are already great! But how many people actually do this? How many people actually work at “thinking” about what they want, being great at what they do? More likely people think about all that could go wrong rather than what could go right.
I know of a really good real estate agent who is not as great as she could be because of the way she thinks about her customers. Numerous times she has said, “Why do I always get the customers with problems?” This seems to be her mantra repeated over and over to anyone who would listen. Can you guess at what she seemed to attract more into her life and business? Customers with problems, or, she would either find problems that the customer didn’t even know he or she had or she would perceive problems that really didn’t exist except in her mind. This is also “Thinking in a Certain Way” but in this case the “way” is not the way that would lead to a more productive and successful career.
Using real estate as the example, how do you carve a successful real estate agent out of stone? You chisel away everything, and I mean everything, that doesn’t look like a successful real estate agent. That means cutting away the negative thoughts such as, “I don’t deserve the success I am having.” “I seem to get all the customers with problems.” “Cold calling never works.” “I am no good at calling prospective buyers and sellers.” “You-Know-Who is just lucky; I’m not that lucky.” “She is only successful because she knows You-Know-Who.” “I don’t go to training, what could they possibly teach me that I don’t already know.” I really could go on. After 33 years in the real estate business I have heard them all and am positive there are more out there to learn I have not heard as yet.
Regardless of your specific profession or desire in life, here is a suggestion to get better. KEEP SCORE! Just like in golf where golfers keep score of the strokes they take, keep score of your negative thoughts OR the negative thoughts you permit, yes permit, to enter your thought process as a result of OTHERS suggesting to you the negative thoughts. Include negative/gossip type conversations you PERMIT yourself to engage in that will create the type of thinking (a Certain Way) that you intend to prevent from happening. Zig Ziglar refers to it as “Stinking Thinking.” After all, “stinking thinking” is also thinking in a “Certain Way” is it not?
Everything you think, hear or say that is a negative or a counter intuitive thought, make a mark on your Certain Way Score Card. Do this for just one week. At the end of the week tally up your Negative Thinking Score. Obviously the higher the score the more work you have to do on yourself and the way you think. I would suggest that when talking with others that you keep your input to the conversation at a minimum and do more listening than talking. That way you can actually hear how damaging conversations can be.
It would be my belief that most of you who have just read the above paragraph have already had your first negative thought, “That won’t work!” Or, how about, “I don’t need to do that, I think nothing but positive thoughts!” Really? To my knowledge, no one is that good.
Gary Keller suggests in his book The One Thing, that you need to identify the “one thing” that if done would cause all the other things that you need to be doing to simply fall into place or disappear. If you really want to become more successful than you already are, I am going to suggest that for at least the next week, make your “one thing” to remove all negative thinking from your life. That may mean that you need to either tell your friends, co-workers and even members of your family that you do not desire to engage in negative conversations. If that is not possible, you may want to consider getting new friends and co-workers. Not much you can do about family members other than telling them what your goal is and ask for their help in achieving it.
Begin TODAY to Think in a Certain Way. A great way to start would be to read the books of Wallace D. Wattles. Keep in mind they were written in 1910 and the language may at times be a bit different but beautifully said nonetheless.