Editor’s note: The following are excerpts taken from Maximum Achievement: The Brian Tracy Story, which tells the life and legend of Brian Tracy. Throughout the film he discusses his seven ingredients of success that have been compiled here for you. To learn more about Brian Tracy’s life and benefit from his wisdom, we invite you to watch the documentary, Maximum Achievement: The Brian Tracy Story. You can currently view a complimentary version of the entire film at maximumachievementmovie.com for a limited time.
You can imagine that life is like a recipe and that recipe has seven ingredients. If you make the dish without one of the key ingredients the flavor will be gone. Very much like if you make bread, it has many ingredients – but it also has yeast – if the yeast is missing than the bread is just flat. Many people have many of the ingredients necessary for great success, but they are just missing one or two skills, just one or two pieces of knowledge which are very easy to attain. There are seven ingredients of success. I’ve studied this using thousands of books and articles and I’ve found there are seven things that embrace everything people seek.
- Peace Of Mind
The first is peace of mind. This is the foundation and principle of all religions, all philosophies, all discussions of personal relationships and all works on personal growth and development. The goal is for a person to achieve peace of mind; to be at peace, to be happy, to be calm. You’ll find that as human beings we strive continually to create a world around ourselves that enables us to feel at peace. In fact, you can give yourself a grade of how well you’re doing at life by knowing what percentage of the time you feel really happy, and at peace with your life. Then, of course, if you’re not at peace: Why not? Why aren’t you at peace? What would you have to do differently to enjoy a greater level of peace?
I spent 4000 hours, almost my whole twenties studying this area of psychology. The only thing between you and complete happiness, and success and everything else is negative emotions. Those are the only barriers that block you from getting there. I’ve learned two things. First of all, no one is born with any negative emotions. Second, all negative emotions are “unlearnable.” They’ve been learned so you can unlearn them, you can cancel them. In the absence of negative emotions, your life fills with positive ones.
- Health and Energy
Health and Energy is the second most important thing in life. The major cause of negative health in most cases in life, about 85% of the time according to the doctors, is negative emotions. As my friend Denis Waitley used to say, “Your medical problems are not caused by what you’re eating, but by what is eating you.” The gerontologists today, we’re talking about people who reach older age, are giving lectures and pointing out that 70-80% of your medical problems are caused by the things that you are doing more of, or less of, or starting, or not stopping. In order to change your health, you have to change the health habits that are causing that bad health.
- Loving Relationships
One of the most important things in life is having loving relationships, having people we love and a wonderful family. I started to take this MBA at the University of Alberta and I had written down a description of the perfect woman for me. I left something off this list, and I found the perfect woman based on my description, but the one thing I left off was pleasant temperament. This woman was an absolute witch, she was just a witch, wild, out-of-control, shouting, screaming, neurotic, everything! So, the next time I wrote out my list I wrote pleasant, very pleasant, normal, nice, lovely personality, good qualities, warm, friendly, cheerful, stable. I wrote it all down. The type of people that are in our lives matter.
You know who buys all the books on love? 98% are bought by women because men think, “Oh I know how, it’s just as natural as riding a bicycle. I don’t need any instruction.” Do you know why men read books? Because women give it to them, they buy them for presents. Every man has a pile of books on relationships that they are meaning to get to.
- Financial Freedom
One of our goals in life is to achieve financial freedom. I studied millionaires and billionaires for years and years and years, I have programs and books and courses on their habits. One of the things studies found about self-made millionaires (a critical concept) is they spent a lot of time thinking about how to become financially independent. Whereas most people spend most of the time thinking about how to spend their money. The average person spends about an hour a month thinking about their money, usually at the end of the month when they are paying their bills. They complain and whine about how much everything costs. They ask, “Who spent this?” and “Who bought that?” and try to figure how much they can pay off the credit card, paying a little bit down here and there. Rich people spend about 10 hours per month just studying the magazines, the financial programs that have some of the smartest financial people. They read the Wall Street Journal and BusinessWeek, they make notes and then they read books on how to earn more money, how to accumulate it and how to invest it. So, a person who is spending 10 times as much time as the average person thinking about money has got an edge. They have an edge the average person can never catch up with. And at a certain time in their twenties and thirties their financial resources begin to grown, in their forties and fifties people who start in their twenties are financially independent. Now they’re working for fun, and they’re working for love and they’re doing things they enjoy, which, surprisingly enough, pays a lot more than anything else.
- Worthy Goals and Ideals
One of my wealthiest friends, many years ago, said success is goals and all else is commentary. Success in every part of your life: of course, your financial life, but also your business life and your home life. Success is goals and all else is commentary. In regards to goals, worthy goals and ideals give us a sense of meaning and purpose. Meaning and purpose are the deepest most profound subconscious need of the human being; to feel that their life has a meaning, to feel that they’re doing something that means something. Viktor Frankl, was famous for his work after being at Auschwitz and Kaufering concentration camps, said, “The greatest human need is for meaning and purpose.” He watched the people in the camps and as long as they had a meaning, a reason to survive, they survived. But, if they gave up hope they would die very quickly.
- Self Knowledge and Self Understanding
This is one of the most important things of all. All of psychology, all of psychotherapy, all of counseling/guidance coaching and everything else is to help people reach a higher level of personal awareness. In the gothic oracle, which is one of the greatest seven wonders of the world, there is a sign that says “Man, know thy self.” The most important thing in life is to know thy self. Pascal, the French writer said, “All the problems of the human race come from not being able to sit alone in a room for an hour.” We teach in our seminars the importance of solitude. The importance of going into the silence and being completely still for 30 minutes or more and just letting your mind unwind. Don’t write, don’t smoke, don’t listen to music, don’t drink coffee, just sit. It’s astonishing because as you sit there, as you pass what seems to be the 26th minute of total silence, suddenly ideas start to come to you. Ideas and insights of what to do more of, or less of, or what to start doing, or stop doing. Ideas that can change your life.
- Personal Fulfillment and Self Actualization
Number seven is personal fulfillment and self actualization. Many people have asked me if the key to happiness in life is how much you like yourself, or how much you love yourself, how much you love other people? This determines your health, your happiness, your wealth, it determines the size of your goals, it determines how much you persist, all from how much you like yourself. What we have found is, you become what you think about most of the time, but you also become what you say to yourself most of the time. The transforming words are the words, “I like myself.” I like myself. I like myself. I like myself. When you first say those words, because of all the previous experiences in your life, you may feel a little uncomfortable. That’s just telling you that you have some negative baggage back there that’s blocking you. But the natural state of the human being is to like themselves unconditionally no matter what happens. Say the words, say “I like myself.”
Those are the keys to success. As long as you hold onto these whenever you have a problem or difficulty of any kind you’ll go back to this.