Full text of The Law of 33% by Tai Lopez at at TEDxUBIWiltz Conference
Listen to the MP3 Audio here: Why I read a book a day (and why you should too) – The Law of 33% by Tai Lopez @ TEDxUBIWiltz – MP3
Everybody wants the good life, but not everybody gets the good life, right? Imagine for a second. If right now, today, how much more successful would you be if you just started a company 50:50 with Bill Gates as your business partner and he was using every trick of the trade that he used to build Microsoft into one of the biggest companies in the world?
Imagine how much money you’d have in your bank account today – how much more money, I should say – if Warren Buffet was teaching you how to invest in the stock market, showing you what he used to build Berkshire Hathaway into a $140 billion company. Imagine how much happier you’d be today if the Dali Lama was your personal guide, showing you how to find fulfillment in life, in the little things that most people overlook.
Imagine how healthy you’d be today if when you woke up, you went down to your gym, and Arnold Schwarzenegger was waiting there, who was your personal trainer, showing you how he built his body into the most fit body maybe ever, right?
Imagine the change you’d be making in the world, the injustice you’d be solving today, if Mother Theresa and you were running a charity together and she was showing you what she learned on the streets of Calcutta, helping the poor, the sick, and the dying.
Mentors have the power to do this in your life. I think everybody here recognizes the importance of a role model. But in the next few minutes, I’m going to show you how mentors are more powerful than you can possibly imagine in their ability to transform your life. It’s interesting that I’m here in Luxembourg, because my grandmother was born not too far from here, in Berlin, Germany. She is 96 years old, by the way, and she said, “Tai, tell them hello.” So, hello from my 96-year-old grandma.
She said, “There was a role model, a mentor that I had when I was a little girl.” She was born in 1918 in Berlin, and she said, “We had a renter in our house.” Edith Knox, who was a famous piano player from California in the 1920s. And she said, “Tai, this woman made such an impression on me.” She rented a room for a summer, and she said, “Edith Knox wore pants.” My grandma said, “I’d never seen a woman wear pants.” Apparently, in Germany in the ’20s, no women wore pants. And not just regular pants. She had an orange jumpsuit on.
And then she’d play the piano, and Edith Knox, every hour, would stand on her head for exercise. My grandma was like 7 and she said, “Tai, I thought if that’s how women are in California, one day I’m going to move to California.” And sure enough, she ended up in California. That’s part of the story of how my family ended up in California. And I’m from California. I flew here. It took me 20 hours to get here, and I’m from Hollywood, specifically.
So Hollywood, the “Land of Dreams.” Or for most people, it’s the land of broken dreams. Every year, 100,000 people move in and out of Hollywood. Some come to be movie stars, actors, singers, writers, comedians. Most go home empty-handed. So I live up in the Hills, and I’m surrounded by all these celebrities. I have one on my left, one on my right. And I often think, “Why did these celebrities make it? What did they do differently that allowed them to make it?” Because in Hollywood, everybody wants something, but not everybody gets what they want. So I want to talk a little bit about that today.
Because life is short. I think we all realize the sands of time quickly can slip by in your life. And you don’t want to be old when you finally get the good life, or too old. Right? It’s like the Dutch saying, “We’re too soon old, too late smart.”
Steve Jobs said, “I didn’t want to be the richest man in the graveyard.” And I realized this. I remember back, I was younger and Alan Nation, one of my mentors, he had told me, “Tai, what did you want to be when you were 16? That’s the truest version of yourself. What did you want to be when you were 16?”
And I remember at 16, I wanted to find the good life. Aristotle talks about eudaimonia, his definition of the good life. Health, wealth, happiness, love. All those things. And I remember going, “It’s too hard. How am I ever going to figure this out? There are so many hard questions. I’m 16. I got to figure out what college I am going to go to, what religion I’m going to follow, who I’m going to marry, what politics, where to live, what career and path to pursue.” And I had this idea. I was like, “I know the perfect idea.” What I’ll do is I’ll find one person – I thought this was so genius, it turned out to not be so smart – But I’d find one person who had all the answers.
So I wrote a letter. The smartest person I could think of was my grandfather. So I wrote this letter and I was like: “Will you tell me how to design my life?” TED is about T-E-D. The “D” is about Design, the designed life. So I said, “Will you help me design my life?” And I was so excited.
I thought three days later, four days later I got this letter back from my grandpa. I read it and it said, “Sorry, Tai, I can’t help you. The modern world is too complicated. You will never find all the answers from just one person. If you’re lucky, a handful of people along the way will point the way.”
And I was like, “Ugh!” So much for my shortcut.
But seven days later, a package came. It was books. My grandfather had a 20,000-book library, and he had sent me some old dusty ones. A 1,000-page volume. 11 books. “The Story of Civilization,” by Will and Ariel Durant. I was like, “1,000 pages? This is too much.”
But I see now, he was giving me a hint, I didn’t understand it. There’s this myth that you have to go inward to find truth. But the truth he was saying is you have to go outward. If you can download the consciousness, the mindset of people who have gone before you – the smartest, the wisest, the most intelligent, the most experienced people – then you will get what you want.