A Book Review

“Every  man  has  become  great, every  successful  man  has  succeeded, in  proportion  as  he  has  confined his  powers  to  one  particular  channel.” ORISON  SWETT  MARDEN 

I have been reading lately and as one of my 2018 goals I must say I’ve tried to achieve a certain mark with this goal.

Today I’ll be sharing an excerpt from this book by Brain Tracy, Enjoy!

THE  MARK  OF  the  superior  thinker  is  his  or  her  ability  to  accurately  predict  the consequences  of  doing  or  not  doing  something.  The  potential  consequences  of  any task  or  activity  are  the  key  determinants  of  how  important  it  really  is  to  you  and  to your  company.  This  way  of  evaluating  the  significance     a  task  is  how  you determine  what  your  next  frog  really  is.

Dr.  Edward  Banfield  of  Harvard  University,  after  more  than  fifty  years  of research, concluded  that  “long-time  perspective”  is  the  most  accurate  single predictor  of upward  social  and  economic  mobility  in  America.  Long-time  perspective turns  out to  be  more  important  than  family  background,  education,  race,   intelligence, connections,  or  virtually  any  other  single  factor  in  determining  your success  in  life and  at  work. Your  attitude  toward  time,  your  “time  horizon,”  has  an  enormous impact  on your  behavior  and  your  choices.  People  who  take  a  long  view  of  their lives  and careers  always  seem  to  make  much  better  decisions  about  their  time  and activities than  people  who  give  very  little  thought  to  the  future.

Rule:  Long-term  thinking  improves  short-term  decision  making.

Successful  people  have  a  clear  future  orientation.  They  think  five,  ten,  and twenty years  out  into  the  future.  They  analyze  their  choices  and  behaviors  in  the present to  make  sure  that  they  are  consistent  with  the  long-term  future  that  they desire. In your  work,  having  a  clear  idea  of  what  is  really  important  to  you  in  the  long term  makes  it  much  easier  for  you  to  make  better  decisions  about  your  priorities  in the  short  term. By  definition,  something  that  is  important  has  long-term  potential consequences.  Something  that  is  unimportant  has  few  or  no  long-term  potential consequences.  Before  starting  on  anything,  you  should  always  ask  yourself,  “What are  the  potential  consequences  of  doing  or  not  doing  this  task?”

Rule:  Future  intent  influences  and  often  determines  present  actions.

The  clearer  you  are  about  your  future  intentions,  the  greater  influence  that clarity will  have  on  what  you  do  in  the  moment.  With  a  clear  long-term  vision,  you are  much  more  capable  of  evaluating  an  activity  in  the  present  and  to  ensure  that  it is  consistent  with  where  you  truly  want  to  end  up. Successful  people  are  those  who  are  willing  to  delay  gratification  and  make sacrifices  in  the  short  term  so  that  they  can  enjoy  far  greater  rewards  in  the  long term.  Unsuccessful  people,  on  the  other  hand,  think  more  about  short-term pleasure  and  immediate  gratification  while  giving  little  thought  to  the  longterm future. Dennis  Waitley,  a  motivational  speaker,  says,  “Failures  do  what  is  tension relieving  while  winners  do  what  is  goal  achieving.”  For  example,  coming  into  work earlier,  reading  regularly  in  your  field,  taking  courses  to  improve  your  skills,  and focusing  on  high-value  tasks  in  your  work  will  all  combine  to  have  an  enormous positive  impact  on  your  future.

On  the  other  hand,  coming  into  work  at  the  last moment,  reading  the  newspaper,  drinking  coffee,  and  socializing  with  your coworkers  may  seem  fun  and  enjoyable  in  the  short  term,  but  it  inevitably  leads  to lack  of  promotion,  underachievement,  and  frustration  in  the  long  term. If  a  task  or  activity  has  great  potential  positive  consequences,  make  it  a  top priority  and  get  started  on  it  immediately.  If  something  can  have  large  potential negative  consequences  if  it  is  not  done  quickly  and  well,  that  should  become  a  top priority  as  well.  Whatever  your  frog  is,  resolve  to  gulp  it  down  first  thing. Motivation  requires  motive.  The  greater  the  positive  potential  impact  that  an action  or  behavior  of  yours  can  have  on  your  life,  once  you  define  it  clearly,  the more  motivated  you  will  be  to  overcome  procrastination  and  get  it  done  quickly. Keep  yourself  focused  and  forward  moving  by  continually  starting  and completing  those  tasks  that  can  make  a  major  difference  to  your  company  and  to your  future. The  time  is  going  to  pass  anyway.  The  only  question  is  how  you  use  it  and where  you  are  going  to  end  up  at  the  end  of  the  weeks  and  months  that  pass.  Andwhere  you  end  up  is  largely  a  matter  of  the  amount  of  consideration  you  give  to  the likely  consequences  of  your  actions  in  the  short  term. Thinking  continually  about  the  potential  consequences  of  your  choices, decisions,  and  behaviors  is  one  of  the  very  best  ways  to  determine  your  true  priorities  in  your  work  and  personal  life.


Review  your  list  of  tasks,  activities,  and  projects  regularly.  Continually  ask yourself, “Which  one  project  or  activity,  if  I  did  it  in  an  excellent  and  timely  fashion, would  have  the  greatest  positive  impact  on  my  life?” Whatever  it  is  that  can  help  you  the  most,  set  it  as  a  goal,  make  a  plan  to achieve  it,  and  go  to  work  on  your  plan  immediately.  Remember  the  wonderful words  of  Goethe,  “just  begin  and  the  mind  grows  heated;  continue,  and  the task  will  be  completed!”

Excerpts from the book EAT THAT FROG by Brian Tracy.

This useful insight has shaped the way I set my daily and weekly goals, and I do hope it affects yours positively.



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