My goal is to provide the best information I have gathered since starting in the real estate finance industry in 1997. I have spent years personally working to improve my outlook and intellect. I have heard many of those considered to be the great thinkers of our present and past, but I gave little consideration to what being referred to as a great thinker actually meant. I realized that although I had heard them, rarely was I listening. Not until I found myself sitting at a pub with a friend who shared with me the book The Goal over a platter of chicken wings, did I decide to actually listen to a thinker.
My friend indicated this book changed his view of productivity, and I was newly in a business partnership where I needed additional guidance on how to increase productivity. Up to that time I used brute force to bread my table. From that day on, I immersed myself into the world of those great minds. Eliyahu M. Goldratt, Napoleon Hill, Charles F. Haanel, Dr. Joe Dispenza, Wallace Wattles, Seneca, Darren Hardy … the list goes on. These and many others helped me realize how the human mind works.
Since childhood I have had a fascination with chainsaws. I spent my early years in New Mexico watching my father and grandfathers cut wood every year to heat our homes during the winter. I loved watching them use chainsaws to cut up the piles of wood we would haul away and stack back home. To me, the chainsaw was and still is the coolest, most powerful, elegant and useful tool ever created. The chainsaw is also in my opinion the most dangerous tool ever created. If held carelessly while in use, it can injure, maim, or kill its operator. It is not forgiving in any way. Misuse has swift and enduring consequence.
In recent years, I began wearing a camo ball cap with a STIHL chainsaw patch on the front of it. I wear this hat nearly everywhere I go. The chainsaw logo represents that which the hat sits upon — our most powerful, elegant, and useful tool in existence — our minds. Much like the chainsaw, the mind is by far the most dangerous tool known to humankind. The slightest misuse can not only be detrimental to the person who possess it, but to all of those around them.
The creative capability of the human mind is limitless. We can create positive and negative results all with the same tool. The operator must be vigilant in the handling of this instrument of creativity. As a very young teen attending junior high in Mesa, AZ, I had an English teacher, Mrs. Shumway, write in my yearbook, “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe it can achieve.” That yearbook is long gone, but this quote stuck with me. It wasn’t until my early forties that I saw it again in the writings of Napoleon Hill.
It has taken me 30 years to understand the context of this statement. It has a creative and destructive connotation. We all want great things. The desire for abundance, comfort, and health exists in all of us; yet, many people cling desperately to their errors and their lack rather than reaching for their possibility. The desire for what they do not have is followed by the excuse as to why it is impossible to get. They are right. Sitting on your ass gets you nowhere. I suggest rather than use that excuse, just say you don’t want it, and forget about it. Quit dreaming about things you don’t really want to pay the price to have.
Find happiness in being stationary, but if you really want to be something more, do not give up the thought. Focus on it. Start every single day with purpose and put the most powerful tool in your possession to work on it. If the slightest excuse pops into your mind, you absolutely must remove it. You can try to shovel it out, but it must be replaced. Focus all your concentration on what your ideal looks like. Write as elaborate and emotional a description of this ideal and keep it with you.
Live with the mindset of your ideal and keep yourself there as long as you can. Then, wear yourself out physically every day keeping your mind open and available to receive opportunity that will contribute to your ideal. The process can be slow; it can be tedious, but one day you will sit down and read the words describing your present and you’ll realize what you achieved seemed so unlikely when it was mere thought. You will have brought about what you thought about.