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Share Guide: What do you think
is the biggest thing that holds people back from achieving their goals?
Mark Victor Hansen: First of all, you’ve got to have a purpose that you
are passionate about. If you don’t have a purpose, then your purpose is
to get a purpose. If you do not have goals, then your goal is to
set a goal. I have talked to a quarter of a million people at various
seminars. I teach the 101 Goals Challenge. I tell everyone they
have to set 101 goals, and I give them 20 minutes to do it. The minute
you write down your goals, something happens--your mind gets clear, and
you become enlightened. This is because the light of it enthuses you
and gets your 18 billion brain cells working. This is
Self-Act-ualization--meaning that you take some action to get a result
that gives you enlightenment. The 101 Goals Challenge lets you come
from abundance. And you create massive value for others, which means
you are into service. “The greatest amongst you is the servant of all,
master, and teacher.” Somebody that is self-actualized and is
enlightened is going to leave a legacy. For instance, Gandhi left a
legacy of independence for the whole country of India.
Share Guide: I think of Self-Actualization as achieving goals,
finding your inner passion, working it out, and fulfilling your dreams.
That’s right. And the minute you find out what your passion is, you
have got to have a mentor to take you to real enlightenment. When I
first decided that I wanted to be a speaker I was still in my 20’s, I
looked around for somebody who was good at speaking. I found a
26-year-old kid, who is still my best friend and mentor. Now I am 55. I
don't know anyone that really made it without mentors.
Share Guide: Tell us the value of mentors, and how you go about
choosing and connecting with them.
Everyone needs a great and inspiring teacher. Back in graduate school,
my physiology teacher told me to go hear this guy who was the chairman
of the design department, Dr. Buckminster Fuller. He was amazing! I was
21 at the time, and Bucky was 71. I applied for a job with him, and I
ended up working with him and traveling all over the world for the next
7 years. My writing partner, Bob Allen, has Dr. Stephen Covey as his
mentor. All the greats have great mentors. So you have to look around
and say “Who do I want as my mentor?” Then you need to try and get
close to that person. Ask them, “What can I do for you?” And then you
get to learn everything from them. If that means carrying their
luggage, then you carry their luggage!
Share Guide: I know that one of Jack Canfield’s mentors is W. Clement
Stone, who was mentored amongst others by Napoleon Hill. That is like
going back to our parents’ or our grandparents’ generation. I think it
is great passing this torch of knowledge--now we are doing it for our
Correct. First of all, let’s talk about Clem Stone. He reads the book
Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill, which helped us get out of the
depression. Then he meets Hill in the 1950’s at a Kiwanis Club meeting
and takes him out of retirement. Stone says, “Look, I need you.” By
working with Hill, his company went from $3 million a year to $160
million in one year.
Share Guide: Yes, I believe you’re talking about Stone’s insurance
Right. It is called Combined Insurance. Today it is one of the biggest
insurance companies in the world. Clem Stone just died recently at 100
years old. He was quite a guy. He mentored Jack, and a little with me.
Share Guide: That’s great. You could compare mentors to the gurus from
the East. You take this perennial wisdom and you re-express it in your
own style and then bring it forth to the public.
Mark: Let me talk about that in relation to self-actualization. In
India, guru means “self-realized being.” To be self-actualized
means divine self-mastery--you literally learn how to tell your
thinking mind how to think and your feeling mind how to feel, so you
pre-ordain your destiny. If all life is imaginal, meaning imagination
creates your reality (which I believe), then you want to have an
imagination that is under your control. It doesn’t matter whether it’s
W. Clement Stone building this gigantic insurance company and being one
of the most extraordinary philanthropists of all times, or Jack and I
seeing that we could go from selling zero to 82 million books. Because
of us, 168 people are employed at the publishing company, and Jack and
I get to mentor a lot of other authors to go on to doing greater things
than they ever thought they could do.
Share Guide: Right. So if you want to be an enlightened
millionaire as opposed to endarkened millionaire, you need to do things
that are good for everybody, not just for yourself.
Mark: That’s exactly what enlightenment is about. Before enlightenment,
Buddha says, “I chop wood and carry water.” After enlightenment,
he says “I chop wood and carry water, but I do it knowingly.” Everybody
should be in the best job in the world for them, and be used at their
highest and best potential, which is what enlightenment is.
Share Guide: After reading many books such as yours, I see
success or self-actualization as being very much a matter of correcting
daily habits, and creating a sound plan.
Mark: Your habits make or break you, a little bit at a time. Your habit
owns you unless you re-evaluate it out of a state of enlightenment. For
example, every cigarette costs you 14 minutes of your life. That's an
endarkened habit. An enlightened habit, however, would be to exercise
five days a week.
Share Guide: I loved your book, The Power of Focus. It talks about
focusing your energy like a magnifying glass. I think this is very
Mark: The way I teach it in seminars is I compare it to the David and
Goliath story. Goliath is the problem you have currently in front of
you. David needed only one slingshot and felled his problem. Then he
got to go onto other problems. The point is that each one of us needs
to focus that magnifying glass of attention on one specific thing,
solve it, then go to the next thing. The guy with the most focus on the
planet is Bill Gates. When I was with one of his executives on an
airplane the other day, he said that Bill Gates has 1600 separate
projects that he’s doing. They are all planned out, with someone chosen
to run each and every one of them. He uses the most brain power. Most
people have only one job and they hate it. Well, they are never going
to get self-actualized. Unless you are doing what you love, I don’t
think you can be self-actualized.
Share Guide: Many of us become exhausted by our daily commitments and
therefore we mentally give up on working to achieve a higher level. How
do we get past this feeling of being in a rut, overwhelmed with the
current responsibilities in daily life?
Mark: I think clarity is power. You need to know your purpose,
and what it is you want to accomplish, and why. If the “why” is great
enough, the “how” is easy. What I want to do is change the world and
make it positive, and feed 100% of humanity, and as a result, I’ve got
strategies on all that stuff to accomplish it. If you are hanging
around exciting people, you get to have exciting results, and an
exciting life that is tuned in and turned on. Your energy level goes
way up. That doesn’t mean I don’t need to rest. I teach that to be
enlightened, people need to take their time off, so that when they are
working, they are working on purpose--and they are getting things done.
Share Guide: I really like your motto, “Believe it and achieve it.” If
people have general and vague dreams, they will always be unfulfilled.
Mark: That’s right. If I am not specific I won’t get it done. I want to
create 6,000 speakers that are enlightened to change the world. Well,
to do that I need to train 60,000 people, because only 10% of them will
Share Guide: You’ve written that confidence is a habit that can be
practiced and honed. Some people say “Fake it until you make it.”
Mark: Confidence comes from your mentor. You borrow it until you can
handle it for yourself. In other words, when I wasn’t sure of my
speaking ability, my mentor went through it with me step by step. We
met once a week and he told me the areas I needed help with. That led
me to sales training and learning good work habits. I just kept doing
it until I got really good at it. Pretty soon you are ready to go to
the next thing. Self-actualized means you have a whole list of things
you want to do. When you accomplish a goal, that gives you more
confidence, because you know you are moving forward. Everybody you talk
to, you can say “How is this person going to help me grow?” Suddenly
you are going to start meeting the right people because your
subconscious attracts them. This allows you to do stuff that you never
thought you could do.
Share Guide: A lot of my own goals are clear in my mind, but they’re
not written down. They are in the “some day” category.
Mark: What if you brought them into today? You just decide THIS IS IT,
and you write them down like I asked you to do. You are
self-actualized the minute they are written down. Next you prioritize
these goals. It can have infinite applicability. With our book The One Minute Millionaire, we want
to create a million millionaires this decade, so that they all have 10%
to give away to their favorite charities.
Share Guide: You’ve written that if you really want to go forward,
rather than just dream about it, you’ve got to make certain
commitments. One commitment you recommended was five hours a week of
learning. So you have to re-arrange your time. It’s not going to happen
without a lot of effort.
Mark: Well, the price tag is too high to go through your life and not
have what you want.
Share Guide: I think part of the problem is that people give up
their goals because they are depressed and they get caught up in
Mark: That’s right, and they hang around other people who aren’t goal
achievers. If you want to be self-actualized, you need to get together
with other people that are self-actualizing.
Share Guide: You recommend focusing on doing the things you do
extremely well, and delegating the rest. What if you can't afford to
Mark: Then you get volunteers. You can always get somebody to help you.
If you are really passionate, you can always start with nothing and
build it into something. Here’s a great example. George Washington
Carver got all of his students to help him take 2000 acres of dried out
land and reinvigorate it. He set up crop rotations, and grew peanuts to
put nitrogen back into the soil. When he ended up with a bumper crop of
peanuts, he created 362 inventions in one month to use the peanuts,
including peanut butter. It’s because he was totally self-actualized.
And every one of us can do that. Nobody can become self-actualized
without self-actualizing all those around him or her.
Share Guide: Many of us are guilty of working too long, too many
hours, not rewarding ourselves. You talk about creating optimum
balance. I guess that means remembering to take time off.
Mark: By now I take essentially one week off a month. But if you only
have one break in a year, then make sure you take one real vacation. If
you look at sucessful guys like Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Harvey
Firestone, and George Eastman, they all worked 10 weeks, then took ten
days off in Florida. That isn’t the right model for everybody. It’s
whatever works for you. When you allow yourself free time, you will
come back with breakthrough ideas, because you are rejuvenating
yourself. You are in a breakthrough state. The problem with most people
is they never really work when they are working. They are not focused.
If you say “I am going to get it done in two weeks,” then it will take
Share Guide: Many people have been conditioned to believe they don’t
deserve happiness. Isn’t one of the main steps to success believing
that you’re worthy?
Mark: Yes, everybody’s got to believe that they’re worthy. You
can get that from your mentor. We often don’t get that from our
parents, because our parents don’t know how to have deep self-worth.
Share Guide: Regarding mentors, do you also need somebody in your local
Mark: Yes, you have to have somebody local--face to face, not
just long distance sources of inspiration.
learn more about Mark Victor Hansen's books, workshops and trainings,
visit his website at www.markvictorhansen.com.
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