It’s been such a great ride writing and now getting ready to start promoting Risky Is the New Safe soon. One of the most rewarding elements is getting the endorsements streaming in every day. I’ve received some that have practically floored me. And humbled me.
More than forty thought leaders have sent in quotes thus far. A few in particular, from Larry Winget, Bob Burg, Brian Tracy, Alan Weiss, Joe Calloway, Dave Carpenter, Robert Ringer, Randy Pennington and Lisa Jimenez are completely off the chain. They’re comparing the book and me to everyone from Ayn Rand to Warren Buffet, George Orwell, John Naisbitt, Tom Peters, Tony Robbins, Seth Godin and Springsteen.
Carpenter told me it was one of the best books he ever read. Weiss said he couldn't take his eyes off it. Calloway said he got so engrossed he missed a meeting with his accountant. I was shocked how many people asked permission if they could show the galley to their spouse or children. People said it kept them up all night, or it’s the book they wish they had written. (Remember this is my ninth book. I never got this kind of reaction before!) But warm and fuzzy as that makes me feel, why am I telling you all this?
Because of the most important lesson for you…
One of the main points in the book is about how you develop critical thinking skills. How you harness your ego, expose yourself to stimulating information, and think in new and different ways. So obviously I’m honored to get such a response for so many thought leaders. But here’s the key thing:
I bet none of them agreed with everything in the book. (Or at least I hope not!) And that provides a very important clue. Brilliant people expose themselves to ideas, opinions and concepts they aren’t familiar with, sometimes don't like, and sometimes may even violently oppose.
So you can imagine my surprise when I received an email from someone who told me they couldn’t endorse the book because it had something in it they disagreed with. They loved everything else, and offered to do a quote if I would remove an offending paragraph from the final version. Which of course I would never do.
I was surprised that someone I thought was a critical thinker would feel it necessary that he or she should agree with everything in a book before they would provide a quote on it. I’m reading a galley for Scott Stratten’s new book right now, and I can tell you I will provide a raving endorsement. Even though I don't agree with everything in the book. That’s why I like it. It makes me think.
Now that reaction I received would not be surprising coming from an average person. But that’s why so many average people are broke, unhealthy, and unhappy. Because they only expose themselves to people and ideas they agree with.
The reason thought leaders are called thought leaders is because they lead thought.
That doesn't mean they are always right. In fact, they’re frequently wrong. But they think about things in different ways. Ways that challenge their beliefs. And that is why they cause us to think about things in different ways.
The Aurora, Colorado shooting has raised the debate on gun control again. Actor and director Jason Alexander wrote an interesting and intelligent post about it. So I tweeted it out and said it was a thought-provoking piece. Right away, at least 10 people wanted to argue points in the piece with me. And here’s the funny thing…
Some of those points they disagreed with Jason I couldn’t debate with them – because in fact I disagreed with Jason and agreed with the other side. But that didn't stop me from reading and sharing Jason’s opinion.
I saw yesterday Mark Sanborn (Who also gave me an amazing quote on my book.) posted something on Facebook about the ways the mayors in two cities were overstepping their roles. He was talking about Mayor Bloomberg in New York on gun control and the mayor of Boston on the Chick-fil-A dustup. Poor Mark was exasperated because someone took issue with him, posted a negative reply and then unfriended him, so he couldn’t respond to him. (Get used to it Mark, it happens to me every day!)
Sean Hannity and most of the evening opinion shows on FOX News channel are ridiculous propaganda of Karl Rove’s talking points of the day, designed to manipulate people. But I still watch sometimes, because it makes me think.
Reverend Al Sharpton and most of the evening shows on MSNBC are just as much manipulation and demagoguery, simply from the opposing point of view. But I watch sometimes, because it makes me think.
Let me share with you a short excerpt from the new book on this subject of critical thinking:
The many years I have been studying the principles of prosperity have brought me to a fascinating realization:
Healthy people think differently than sick people; happy people think differently than depressed people; and wealthy people think differently than broke people.
Healthy people have more energy and find it easier to exercise. They’re eating a healthier diet so they face less physiological cravings for bad stuff. People who enjoy good health have a totally different view about things like diet, exercise, and addictions than people who are sick.
Happy people face challenges just like depressed people do. But nothing has any meaning, except what we choose to give it. Depressed people might see a challenge as an insurmountable obstacle, while happy people see it as a wake up call from the universe to make a course correction.
Take the same opportunity and offer it to a broke person and wealthy person, and I guarantee you they will see it differently.
When I was poor, I looked at everything through the lens of the mind viruses I was infected with. No matter what business venture I was exposed to, I approached with the beliefs you need money to make money, need an education, have to know people, etc. I could look at anything and immediately give you 15 reasons why it wouldn’t work. While I was accumulating all the evidence why it couldn't be done, people with prosperity consciousness were simply doing it.
For those many years I was struggling financially, I was a cynic. And nothing kills innovation, creativity and ambition faster than cynicism. It’s poverty consciousness.
Wealthy people have a healthful skepticism. That causes them to evaluate things objectively and make good decisions, based on solid assumptions. Skepticism is healthy, cynicism never is. Here’s why:
If you ask the wrong question – the answer doesn’t matter.
For all those years when I was mired in poverty consciousness, the questions I asked were always looking for evidence to demonstrate why success wouldn’t work for me. When I began to develop prosperity consciousness, the questions began to change to ones of possibilities.
Think about that last part again: If you ask the wrong question – the answer doesn't matter. So how do you ask the right question?
Expose yourself to people and ideas that make you think. People and ideas that make you think differently than you do now. People and ideas that make you question your core foundational beliefs.
Because that’s where the breakthroughs live!