Some time ago I shared my “10 Prosperity Ps.” Since then I have added two more, Passion and Practice. Passion is obvious and I can’t believe that Passion wasn’t included in the original list.
Practice was added after reading the books, Talent Is Overrated by Geoff Colvin; The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle; and The Genius in All of Us by David Shenk. All three books expound on research done by Anders Ericcson and colleagues, which was published in a paper titled “The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance.” This research shed valuable insight on the ongoing debate of “nature vs. nurture.” In a future post I will go into more detail on these ground-breaking findings. The basic premise of the findings is that people are not born “gifted.” Instead, exceptional performance is the result of certain “nurture” influences and what the researchers call “deliberate practice.” This includes so-called prodigies such as Mozart and Tiger Woods. It’s very interesting reading.
The good news is that virtually anyone can achieve a high level of expertise and virtually anything they want (excluding areas that require certain physical characteristics and size such as a jockey or a basketball player or football player) if they are willing to discipline themselves and follow a specific framework of deliberate practice for many years.
The bad news for many is that these findings virtually remove all excuses for why they haven’t achieved much in their lives. The answer is as simple as “they chose to do other activities to spend their time doing rather than choosing “deliberate practice” in a chosen field to acquire a high level of expertise in that field. It puts the responsibility squarely where it belongs… on ourselves; and not on our DNA or other excuses.
There is a phrase I have repeated so often at my home that when I start the sentence: “When you say YES to one thing…” my children can finish it: “… you say NO to another.” That’s fundamentally the key to “acquiring expert performance” in almost every field. Simply put, people who have acquired certain levels of expert performance in their fields said NO to years of social and leisure activities and said YES to years of deliberate practice.
As I said, I will go into more detail on that in another post. For now, here is my updated “12 Prosperty Ps.”
D. Scott Elder’s 12 Prosperity Ps
- Personal Responsibility. You must take personal responsibility for your life. You have to stop blaming others or circumstances for where you are in life. You need to be accountable for your decisions and actions and not allow yourself to fall into the downward spiral of “victimitis” where one thinks that the world, and everyone in it, is out to get them.
- Purpose. When you find a big enough “why” you will find a way. What drives you? What are the desires of your heart? When you live life on purpose, doors open and miracles happen.
- Passion. You must ignite within yourself the motivation that will give you the drive to persist, no matter how hard it, how tired you are or how many times you fall and have to pick yourself back up.
- Preparation. With a plan in hand you can begin preparing yourself to achieve it. This might require learning a new skill; specialized training; getting the right tools or equipment; building up your savings account; etc.
- Plan. Planning helps you chart your course. When your mind can see a clear and logical path, your imagination can be inspired with hope and creativity to help make it a reality. It’s been said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. The journey actually begins with the idea and the plan to take the journey.
- Proper Action. Taking just any random action will not help you carry out your plan. In fact it might hurt you. Your actions must be the proper actions.
- Practice. You must always be improving your skills through constant and deliberate practice.
- Persistence. Once you start your journey, you must persist “until” – until you succeed. Everything worth doing, everything that brings about a substantial reward will not be easy. You will not have “over night success” you will not “get rich quick.” But if you persist you will eventually succeed and you will eventually get rich if that is what you desire. It’s like Dory said in Finding Nemo: “Keep on swimming.” Challenges and trials are the test from life to find out if you’re really serious about achieving your desire. If you’re not, you will drop out early.
- Patience. Even when you’re doing everything right, achieving success in any area takes time. If you know you’re not going to quit, then you know you are going to eventually arrive at your destination. When you know this you can turn frustration into anticipation and get excited knowing that with each obstacle you overcome you’re another day closer. And as Benjamin Franklin said: “He that can have patience can have what he will.” You can’t have it all right now, but you can have all that you want eventually if you persist with patience.
- Perspective. Keep your failures and successes in the proper perspective. You are learning and growing as you persist with patience. It really isn’t about how much stuff you can acquire in this life, it’s how you can use your experiences to grow and progress as a person… and help others to do the same. At some point along the way you will realize that you can acquire as much material stuff as you want. The test after that is to stop wanting to, and to start using what you have learned to help others enjoy lives filled with abundance.
- Perception. You must be aware of the opportunities around you. Contrary to a popular expression, I don’t believe that “your ship only comes in once in your life.” I believe you have opportunity ships coming in all the time. But until you believe that and start looking for them, you’re missing opportunity ships on a regular basis. Expect a “lucky break” and through the convergence of everything you’re doing to achieve success, the lucky break will come and you will recognize it.
- Prayer. This step is optional depending upon your religious beliefs. I used to leave it out, but don’t any more because I believe prayer is instrumental in helping me to do the other eleven. I believe in a higher power, a Creator of worlds and people without end who cares about me and is willing and able to help me achieve the righteous desires of my heart.
Wishing you health, happiness and prosperity,
D. Scott Elder
(C) 2010 Cosmic Bridge, LLC