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How to Piggyback Geniuses (Without Lugging Around a Backpack Full of Books)

How to Piggyback Geniuses (Without Lugging Around a Backpack Full of Books)

Many from Napoleon Hill to Eben Pagan have talked about the power of participating in Mastermind groups. In fact, Napoleon Hill, author of the famous Think & Grow Rich has been attributed with inventing the concept back in the 1930s.

Hill’s Mastermind groups are based on the “two or more heads are better than one” principle. His idea was that when you put two or more minds together, a collective mind emerges that serves the interests of the entire group.

But you can’t just have any old heads. They’ve got to be heads with something valuable to contribute. The people in your Mastermind need to offer critical feedback, inspiration and above all, keep you accountable. You don’t want any non-hackers in your group, no whiners, complainers, or underachievers. You want people who will ensure that your success is inevitable.

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It makes sense. Imagine what the world would be like if Shakespeare had surrounded himself with self-pitying actors who couldn’t be bothered with memorizing his plays. Imagine the music Frank Zappa would have made if he had hung around with half-interested high school band teachers instead of world-class musicians. The examples go on and on, but the fact remains that most successful people surround themselves with other successful people.

But What If I Don’t Know Any Successful People?

This is where Napoleon Hill was an absolute genius. He knew that not everyone has access to the best people operating in their field. And let’s face it. Not everyone feels social enough to go to meetups or even show up at a cafe for brainstorming over bran muffins. Being communal and capable of greatness do not always go together.

What Napoleon Hill suggested is that if you can’t do the real thing, you can always compile the perfect Mastermind group in your head. No matter who you are or what you do, you can probably think of the top ten people working in your field. The next step is to simply gather them together, offer them a creative problem, and ask them to tell you what they would do.

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Love him or hate him, if you’re in business, then you know that you cannot trump Donald Trump when it comes to skill, experience and confidence.

If you’re a writer, why shouldn’t Stephen King sit at your table? If reading one of his novels doesn’t start a fire under your career, his book On Writing certainly will.

If you’re a musician, you have the best of all worlds, because the best of the lot tend to be both writers and business professionals (like Frank Zappa).

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No matter whether you are an auto-mechanic or a dentist, you will be aware of powerhouses who can counsel you. The best part is that, once you’ve established your ideal group, you can take them with you wherever you go.

No whiners, Complainers or Underachievers

The best part about compiling a Mastermind group in your head is that every member will always show up on time. Each member will be as active or as passive as you need him or her to be. There will be no squabbles over management or leadership. No one needs to be appointed president.

This doesn’t mean that there isn’t organizational work that needs to be done, however. As the sole organizer of your mastermind group, you will need to choose when and how to leverage the group. It may seem a little silly, but if you were a writer, you would definitely want to create an agenda for the questions you want to ask Stephen King, Cormac McCarthy, and Margaret Atwood at your next meeting. The more prepared you are, the better they’ll be able to respond. Yes, even if their responses are imaginary.

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The fact of the matter is that when you know enough about a successful person, you can make an educated guess about how they would respond to difficult, creative, or strategic problems. The trick is to go beyond the NLP idea of modeling just one person and gather an entire crew around you. Go beyond modeling and enjoy the multiple angles you’ll receive from Masterminding with geniuses.

The downfall here is that you cannot directly contribute back to the members of your mental Mastermind group. However, when you start to achieve success with the help of their insights, you’ll find yourself contributing not just to a small group, but also to the world.

Featured photo credit:  boy playing chess close up via Shutterstock

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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