Here is a habit that I do. Maybe it might be of some value to you. I get up in the morning and I start writing what great ideas that I can think of today that can improve me and that will enable me to reach my goal. And I just let my mind flow. Sometimes I write 15, 20 ideas. Some days it’s more difficult than others. One idea can change your life. One idea can turn your life around. Deciding what you’re going to focus to develop your skills — the guy was the new owner of a team. A team — a baseball team that was in the basement of the league when he took it over. He went to the pitch and he said what is your best throw? He said, ‘Well I got a good curveball and I’ve got a good fastball’, and he went on talking about his different throws. He said, ‘But tell me this: What is your best throw?’ He thought for a moment. He said, ‘I’ve got a good fastball’. He said, ‘That’s all I want you to work on. Nothing else, just develop your fastball’.
The next year, they went to the World Series. Most people don’t know what their fastball is. Most people go through life never discovering what their talents are. Most people never develop their talents. They have skills and abilities but if you don’t nurture them, if you don’t develop them they will never serve you. Your gifts can take you many places if you develop your gifts. Most of us don’t like to do those things that come easy to us.
I’ve always loved to talk to people. I decided taking this advice to develop my skills as a speaker and my gift has developed and it developed and it’s taken me many places. You have something that you brought to the universe and that if you decide that my life deserves my developing this what I do well, and becoming the best at it and mastering myself and seeing what I have within me, if you decide to drop your buckets where you are and develop your gifts, I grant you you’ll never ever be without. I grant you that your gifts will take you places that will literally amaze you. I grant you that if you begin to work to develop your gifts, you develop a strong sense of happiness, you’ll get a larger vision of yourself, because part of beginning to get a larger vision of yourself, all of us need some area of our lives where we can have a feeling of competence. That people know when they think about this area, that’s something you do. That you eat and sleep that, and that you do that, you do that and people know it. And you know it and you know that you know that, you know this, if you don’t know anything else you know this. Can you tell I know I know what I’m doing? You know this. So you’ve got to work on it.
When other folks are having a good time you’ve got to have the strength of character to concentrate, to read, to digest information. If you decide any particular area that you’re concerned about to make a conscious deliberate determined effort to read one book a month in that area. In five years you’ll be among the top 5% experts in the world. I read a minimum of two books a week. The average American reads only one book a year. If you decide that area that you love, that you are going to master that particular area, in this era of accelerated change, overwhelming complexity and tremendous competition, as you begin to develop and expand your skills and your talents and your vision of yourself, you will always be in control of your destiny.
The next thing is whatever it is that you want to do, you want to do it massively. Have a friend who was telling me that his sales were down. I said, ‘Well, how many phone calls you make a day?’
He said, ‘25’.
I said, ‘Double them, make 50 or 75 or 100’.
He said, ‘Oh, man that’s just too much’.
And what do you mean too much? Are you behind on your bills? You’re talking about too much, you know one way to get back on your feet real quick is to miss two car payments, you’re talking about you’re tired. There’s no competition out here. Decide that you’re going to push yourself. Most people won’t do that. Most people give up on themselves easily. You know the human spirit is powerful. There is nothing that’s powerful, it’s hard to kill the human spirit. They asked Benjamin Disraeli, a man who became the head of a country at the time when Jews were not allowed out after ten o’clock. They said how did you do it? How did you achieve against such great odds? He said nothing can resist the will of a people that will stake even their existence on the extent of their purpose for good. That when you have a made-up mind, when you decide that you want to do something — I was reading something the other day, he said the power to hold on in spite of everything, the power to endure, this is the winner’s quality. The hunger, the ability to face defeat again and again without giving up, this is a winner’s quality. You have that quality within you.
When you’re hungry you don’t care about the facts, you don’t care about the odds. Doug Williams played for the Washington Redskins, and quarterback, John Elway of the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl, everybody was talking about Elway, Elway. After the Super Bowl when Doug Williams made a historic passing game, I asked him, and said how were you able in spite of all of the negative publicity saying that you couldn’t win. How did you do it? He said ‘I ignored my critics. I just didn’t pay any attention to them. I ignored myself because they kept on saying it so much. There were times I doubted whether or not I can do what I needed to do’. There’s a Doug Williams in everybody here. There is greatness in you and you’ve got to learn how to tune out the critics outside and the critic inside and say I’m going to do this, I’m going to harness my will. And I’m not going to let anything stop me. I deserve this. I’m going to do it until — and this friend I told him and said, start increasing your calls. I said, make a hundred calls a day, I got a callous in my ear, you can’t see it but it’s there. His sales have increased. He is working harder now.