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Trading minds with the people you want to influence is a magic way to get others — friends, associates, customers, employees — to act the way you want them to act.

Jason worked as a television copywriter and director for a large advertising agency. When the agency obtained a new account, a children’s shoe manufacturer, Jason was assigned responsibility for developing several TV commercials.

A month or so after the campaign had been launched, it became clear that the advertising was doing little or nothing to increase “product movement” in retail outlets. …

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On occasions all of us have waked up on Saturday morning with no plans, no agenda either mental or written that spells out what we’re going to do. On days like that, we accomplish next to nothing. We aimlessly drift through the day, glad when it’s finally over. But when we face the day with a plan, we get things done.

This common experience provides an important lesson: to accomplish something, we must plan to accomplish something.

Before World War II our scientists saw the potential power locked in the atom. But relatively little was known about how to split…

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The overwhelming majority of really successful people work much longer than forty hours a week. And you don’t hear them complain of overwork. Successful people have their eyes focused on a goal, and this provides energy.

The point is this: energy increases, multiplies when you set a desired goal and resolve to work toward that goal. Many people, millions of them, can find new energy by selecting a goal and giving all they’ve got to accomplish that goal. Goals cure boredom. Goals even cure many chronic ailments.

Let’s probe a little deeper into the power of goals. When you surrender…

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A few years ago, my young son insisted the two of us build a doghouse for Peanut, an intelligent pup of dubious pedigree and my son’s pride and joy. His persistence and enthusiasm won, so we proceeded to build a home Peanut could call her own. Our combined carpentry talent equaled zero, and the end product clearly reflected that fact.

Shortly afterward a good friend stopped by and upon seeing what he had done asked, “What’s that you’ve stuck up there among the trees? That’s not a doghouse, is it?” I replied that it was. Then he pointed out just…

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Every bit of human progress — our inventions big and little, our medical discoveries, our engineering triumphs, our business successes — were first visualized before they became realities. Babymoons circle the earth, not because of accidental discoveries but because scientists set “conquer space” as a goal.

A goal is an objective, a purpose. A goal is more than a dream; it’s a dream being acted upon. A goal is more than a hazy “Oh, I wish I could.” A goal is a clear “This is what I’m working toward.”

Nothing happens, no forward steps are taken until a goal is…

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A friend who is a literary consultant, writer, and critic chatted with me recently about what it takes to be a successful writer.

“A lot of would-be writers,” he explained, “simply aren’t serious about wanting to write. They try for a little while but give up when they discover there is real work involved. I haven’t much patience with these people because they’re looking for a shortcut and there just isn’t one.

“But,” he went on, “I don’t want to imply that pure persistence is enough. The plain truth is, often it isn’t.

“Just now I’m working with a fellow…

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We human beings are curious creatures. We’re quick to accept credit for our victories. When we win, we want the world to know about it. It’s natural to want others to look at you and say, “There goes the fellow who did such and such.”

But human beings are equally quick to blame someone else for each setback. It’s natural for salesmen to blame customers when sales are lost. It’s natural for executives to blame employees or other executives when things get out of gear. …

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Behind this prosperous and respected company is the story of a man fighting, battling his way upward: losing ten years’ savings in his first six months in business, living in his office several months because he lacked the money to pay rent on an apartment, turning down numerous “good” jobs because he wanted more to stay with his idea and make it work, hearing prospects for his service say no a hundred times as often as they said yes…

During the seven unbelievable hard years, it took him to succeed, I never heard my friend complain once. He’d explain, “Dave…

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Social workers and others who work on skid row find many differences in age, religious faith, education, and background among the tragic souls who have dropped into America’s gutters. Some of those citizens are surprisingly young. Others are old. A sprinkling is college graduates; a few have essentially no formal education. Some are married; others are not. But the people on skid row do have something in common: each one is defeated, whipped, beaten. Each one has encountered situations that conquered him. …

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One day I stopped in to see an old business friend. She had just returned from a conference with several of her executives. The moment I looked at her, I could tell there was something she wanted to get off her chest. She had the look of a woman who had suffered real disappointment.

“You know,” she said, “I called that conference this morning because I wanted some help on a proposed policy change. But what kind of help did I get? I had six men in there and only one of them had anything to contribute. Two others talked…

Marcos Brakenridge

Entrepreneur, Investor & Life-Enthusiast. COO @ TopicInsights Media Publisher. Here to write and inspire the world of business.

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