LeBron James was named “Sportsman of the Year” for 2012 by Sports Illustrated. I remember when James was just nineteen years old and had just been drafted by the NBA. In a radio interview he said that he was happy that all his “years of hard work” had finally paid off.

When I heard the interview I was working with a friend at the local flea market. Both of us, in our forties at the time, were busy putting up a tent and unloading a van. My friend and I looked at one another. “Years of hard work?” We knew about hard work having worked hard for at least the last 20 years. LeBron James was a kid, what did he know about hard work?

That’s not to say that James wasn’t dedicated to developing his talent and practicing hard. But for how long? Five or six years? Try working hard year after year, year in and year out, for years on end. It can be frustrating for an older person to see another achieve success at a relatively young age. “When will my hard work finally pay off?” you might ask.

As it turns out, although I was working hard, doing physically demanding work and putting in long hours, I wasn’t working smart. The work I was doing had little reward, had a slim chance of making me rich, and demanded much from me.

But I’m a slow learner and it took me a while to figure that out. Everyone grows and develops at their own pace. Someone like James whose talent manifests early and is recognized, achieves success early in life. For others of us it takes us a while to find our true talents and passions, and then a while longer for others to give us recognition.

Look at people like Colonel Harland Sanders of KFC, poetess Maya Angelou, and President Abraham Lincoln. They didn’t achieve success until later in life. Sanders and Angelou were both in their sixties. Grandma Moses was 76 when she began painting.

What took me so long to learn was that you have to achieve success in your mind first. I worked my flea market business hard hoping to become a success. But when I made my mind up that I was already a success, success followed.

I actually don’t like the term “success” for it implies a destination, an achieved position. Rather I believe that success is a process, an undertaking that we are involved in all the time. It’s a cause and effect relationship—what we do today will reap us benefits tomorrow. If we call a person a “success” today it is because of the work, the causes, they have done in the past.

So the successful causes I made were changing my mindset from one of hoping one day that I would achieve something to one of believing that I had already achieved something. Before I used to complain about how I had to drive a beat up car, wishing that I had a nice new car.

Then I changed my thinking to how fortunate and prosperous I was to be driving a nice car, even though it was the same beat up car I was complaining about before. When I started thinking like a rich, prosperous person then riches and prosperity came into my life.

I used to think, “Yeah, I can be rich some day.” I was confident that I had what it took to be rich, that I was deserving of it, and that would become rich. But I didn’t believe that I was rich. That is what the law of attraction is all about—believing that you are already there, that you have already achieved success.

By believing that you are already at your desired destination, the forces in the universe will align to deliver you to that destination. It took me a while to figure this out even though I had read and heard it thousands of times. Like I said, I’m a slow learner.

So my advice to you is to make the causes now that you need to achieve your desired goals. These causes include planning, preparation, research, desire, and dedication. But the most important is believing that you have already achieved your goals; that you are living your goals. When you live you goals, when you feel the energy of having achieved your goals, then, and only then, will your goals be achieved.

12/25/2012 9:04am

Absolutely crucial to be in the mindset first! CRUCIAL!

Jim Risser
12/28/2012 8:22pm

Thanks for your input, Jason.

One of the goals of my blog is to help people to see how crucial it is.

Thanks again!


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