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How to Design Your Own Road Map for Success

by J.P. Vaughan   

This article has nothing to do with real estate investing. On the other hand, this article has everything to do with your success in real estate investing and in every other aspect of your life. With the New Year rapidly approaching, many of us are getting ready to make some changes in our lives. I hope some of the ideas here will speed you on your way.

All aspects of your life will improve dramatically if you will take the time to design your own road map for success. Whether you are a renter trying to buy your first home or an investor working on your first million, you can achieve these goals and much, much more. Your wildest dreams can become your reality. And you can have anything you want out of life.

Success or failure begins in your mind

Most people shuffle through life, putting in their hours, accepting the crumbs they are tossed, too meek or too lazy to demand much more, for one simple reason. They do not understand the power of their own mind. If you learn only one thing from this material, learn this: Your success or failure begins in your mind with your thoughts.

Every time you have accomplished what you really wanted, your mind was absolutely focused on it. The human mind is incredibly powerful. It becomes magnetized by its dominant thoughts and attracts the people and circumstances in life that are consistent with your mind's dominant thoughts.

A wise Navajo saying expresses this truth well: "Be careful what you think, else you bring calamity upon the tribe." The mind is so powerful that it literally can bring about calamity. Or prosperity.

If you constantly worry about the lack of money, you will attract poverty. On the other hand, if you focus your thoughts on abundance, you will attract abundance. The manner in which you perceive the world defines the world for you. Therefore, whether you believe you can do something or believe you cannot, you are always right.

As a human being, you have the power of choice. The human mind is so very powerful that you virtually can change and direct your future by consciously choosing to direct your thoughts. You can eliminate negative, self-defeating thoughts that creep in to sabotage your well-being and program yourself for success. The only limits are the ones you set for yourself.

Programming yourself for success requires a little time, a little energy, and a little self-discipline, but it is neither complex nor difficult. The real magic is in its simplicity. There are only three steps:

  1. DECIDE

  2. VISUALIZE

  3. ACT

Step one: Decide what you want

The first step is the most important. You must decide exactly what it is that you want. Your conscious mind must have a defined target so your subconscious mind can go to work.

Once you decide what you want, your subconscious mind can start to process information and move you toward your desired outcome. Your subconscious mind starts to "tune in" to sources of information you would have otherwise missed.

A key part of this process is knowing what you want. When your mind has a clearly defined target, it can focus and direct your thoughts and actions until it reaches its intended goal. Without a definite target, your mind's energy is wasted. When you know your outcome, your mind has a clear picture of which pieces of information being received need highest priority. You mind needs a clear message to be effective.

The reason so many people fail to achieve their goals in life is because they never really set them in the first place. Most people spend more time planning a vacation than they do planning their lives. You need to decide what you want because that is the only way you can get it. Knowing what you want determines what you get.

An often cited study conducted of the 1953 Yale University graduating class underscores the power of deciding what you want. The graduates were asked if they had a clear, specific set of written goals, with a plan for achieving those goals. Only 3% had such written goals.

Twenty years later, the surviving members of the 1953 graduating class were interviewed again. The researchers discovered that the 3% with specific written goals were worth more, financially, than the other 97% put together!

Take the time now to create your life the way you want it. Plan to spend at least an hour dreaming in a focused way about what you really want to do and be. Don't put any limits on what is possible. Limited goals create limited lives.

When you set your goals, make sure you cover all aspects of your life, including Mental/Spiritual, Physical, Financial/Material, Family/Relationships and Professional/Work.

State your goals in positive terms. Write what you do want to happen, rather than what you don't want to happen. Be as specific as possible. The more detailed the better. You, yourself, must be able to accomplish your goals. They must not depend upon others having to change themselves. Your goals must benefit you without harming others. What goes around comes around: The energy you put out comes back to you. Keep it positive.

Write your positive goal statements on the index cards and carry them with you each day. Read them each morning. Look them over throughout the day during spare moments. And read them again before you go to bed at night.

Step two: Visualize your success

Earlier we stated the most important principle in this material: Your success or failure begins in your mind with your thoughts. The second most important principle is this: The human mind and nervous system cannot tell the difference between an actual experience and one that is vividly imagined.

The process of vividly imagining an event or scene in your mind makes it a real experience. Visualization works because the mind reacts automatically to the information we give it in the form of pictures, words and emotions.

Use visualization to get what you want out of life, to obtain the outcomes you desire, to achieve the goals you have set for yourself. When you repeatedly picture what you want, your brain sends signals to your body and causes you to take the action needed to bring about your desired results. Your brain will notice and transmit to your conscious mind any items related to the things you have decided are important to you, namely, your goals.

Regularly practicing visualization will program your mind for success. Visualization increases your effectiveness ten-fold. Plan to spend 30 minutes each day visualizing your goals as if they are already accomplished. If you practice visualization regularly, the results will amaze you.

Step three: Act toward realizing your goals

By deciding exactly what you want from your life, by setting powerfully stated goals and by programming your mind for success through visualization, you have accomplished more than 95% of the adults in this country. But you can do more.

To really catapult yourself into success, you need to act toward attaining your goals in a systematic way. You need a game plan, a plan of action. You need to learn to work smart. Working smart requires an investment of thought, self-discipline and change.

Attaining your goals depends on every day that passes. Do not confuse "activity" with "results." They are not the same. We all have daily tasks we need to do. Just don't let them "take over" your time. In addition to our daily tasks, most of us spend at least 50% of each day in various activities that are of no use or satisfaction to anyone, including ourselves. If you convert that wasted time into productive time you will tremendously accelerate achieving your goals.

The 80/20 Rule

Making the best use of time requires prioritizing your activities. The 80/20 Rule explains why setting priorities is so important.

The 80/20 Rule states that 80% of the value of a group of items is concentrated in 20% of the items. Many examples in life validate the 80/20 Rule. For example, 80% of sales in a company are produced by 20% of the salespeople; 80% of all telephone calls are made by 20% of all callers; 80% of all airplane travel is done by 20% of all air travelers; 80% of all television viewing is spent watching 20% of all programs.

We apply the 80/20 Rule to goal achievement. It is the third most important principle in this material: You can be 80% effective by achieving 20% of your goals.

Think about what this means. If you have a list of ten items to accomplish in a day, you can be 80% effective by successfully completing the two most important items on your list!

To be effective, you must focus your attention on the most important items first. Therefore, you must learn to prioritize. The easiest way to set priorities is to rank goals in order of importance:

  1. Must Do

  2. Should Do

  3. Nice to Do

Remember the 80/20 Rule: You can be eighty percent effective by achieving only twenty percent of your goals.

Overcoming fear

Fear is your worst enemy on the road to success. Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of appearing foolish, fear of criticism. Fears appear in different forms for each person and can cripple the best intentions. The good news is you can completely control your fear because fears are nothing more than states of mind.

A University of Michigan study on fears puts them into proper perspective. The study found that 60% of our fears are totally unwarranted; 20% have already occurred and are completely out of our control; and 10% are so petty and trivial they do not have any impact on our lives at all.

Of the remaining 10% of our fears, only 4% to 5% are real and justifiable fears. Of those, we couldn't do anything about half of them. The other half, or the 2% to 2.5% of all our fears that are real, can be resolved easily if we stop worrying and take action.

Fear is nothing more than a state of mind. You now know how to control your state of mind by using our three-step process and positively programming your brain to succeed. Therefore, fear no longer needs to be any part of your life.

We hope you take the time this year to design your own road map for success.

About the Author:

j.p. vaughanJ. P. Vaughan was the co-founder and Publisher of Creative Real Estate Online. She wrote the book How to Buy Your Dream House for 1/2 Price (Quantum Publications 1994, out of print). J.P. was also an attorney who practiced law in Michigan until she started investing in real estate full time in 1988.

J.P. passed away in October 2015 after a long battle with ovarian cancer.


 
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