The 3 Pillars of Creating the Ultimate “Do Over”

Is life calling you to start over? Could it be time to wipe the slate clean and begin again? This can be a scary proposition for most. It’s understandable. The long-term pleasures of pursuing your passion and living life to the fullest are exciting to contemplate, yet they are kept from most people as once the immediate euphoria of starting something new wears off, the actual effort to make it happen will deter even the most enthusiastic. This is my attempt to encourage you to fight through this short-term discomfort as it may be the key to your success.

Before taking that leap and starting a new life, you’ll want to make sure that the “pain” required will actually result in “pleasure,” long-term pleasure. To help determine whether a “do over” is right for you, ask yourself these questions…

The 3 Pillars of Creating the Ultimate "Do Over"Is life calling you to start over? Could it be time to wipe the slate clean and begin again? This can be a scary proposition for most. It’s understandable. The long-term pleasures of pursuing your passion and living life to the fullest are exciting to contemplate, yet they are kept from most people as once the immediate euphoria of starting something new wears off, the actual effort to make it happen will deter even the most enthusiastic. This is my attempt to encourage you to fight through this short-term discomfort as it may be the key to your success.

Before taking that leap and starting a new life, you’ll want to make sure that the “pain” required will actually result in “pleasure,” long-term pleasure. To help determine whether a “do over” is right for you, ask yourself these questions…

  • Can I be the best in the world at this new endeavor? [“world” defined as YOUR world]
  • Do I have access to the resources to follow through and make it happen?
  • Will the reward truly be worth the effort? Should I get to work, or go back to the drawing board?

If you can answer “yes” to all of these questions with reasonable certainty, go for it! The reason being is that most will quit when the going gets tough, and believe me… it will get tough. Anything worth pursuing will have a period where you’ll question, and maybe question countless times per day, whether you made the right decision. We live in a world of where the tougher the road gets, the greater rewards; And if you’ve established that the rewards will be worth the effort up front… again, go for it!

If you answer “no” to any of the questions, quitting is not just OK but smart.  Quitting when you can’t win frees up you or your company’s resources to go after something that you can win. Godin convincingly makes the case that the axiom “quitters never win and winners never quit” is wrong, as long as quitters keep searching for the things they can win.

I contemplate quitting on a daily basis. Not all day, but daily. I know my competition does, as well. Being #1 is underrated. If your answered “no” to any of the above questions, I would suggest re-thinking your “do over” is not just okay, but actually the intelligent thing to do. Reserve your resources to go after something that you can win.

If you’re fortunate enough to have already identified a “do over” of which being #1 is possible, you’re still likely questioning your capabilities. The mere presence of a “do over” suggests you’ve previously failed to meet your own expectations, maybe more than once? Not to worry as what’s usually lacking in most people’s ambitions is a solid and proven process for achievement. I have that process for you, The 3 Pillars of Creating the Ultimate “Do Over.”

Now, this is a longer than normal post, much longer! In fact, reading this post in its entirety could represent an introduction to the “effort” that could be required for a successful “do over.” This is likely where your competition will contemplate quitting, and that’s the very reason you should not.

To download a free audio recording of The 3 Pillars of Creating the Ultimate “Do Over,” click here. If you’re a traditionalist and prefer to read, The 3 Pillars of Creating the Ultimate “Do Over” begins here:

Hi, this is Matt, “The Do Over Guy,” and welcome to The Three Pillars of Creating the Ultimate Do Over. I’m so excited for you, because this is the opportunity for you to transform your life emotionally, physically, financially in your relationships; you name it. And I know that sounds like a big promise, but what this program is really about is taking control and creating life on your terms.

This is The Three Pillars of Creating the Ultimate Do Over, or starting over if you will. In this context, starting over doesn’t necessarily mean you have to start something new, nor does it mean you have to go all the way back to the beginning, either. But what it does mean is you’re going to have to make some significant changes. You’re going to have to drastically do something different than what you’re doing right now. If not, you likely wouldn’t have been attracted to an audio program by the name of The Three Pillars of Creating the Ultimate Do Over.

I want to begin by first thanking you to give me the privilege to work with you, to serve you. I’ve immersed myself in personal development for two decades now, and this is the most excited I’ve ever been. And I’m really excited for you.

This program is allowing me to really share with you what I’ve been able to put into practice from my years of study and bring to you what has really made the most dynamic impact in my life, specifically my Do Over. This is the best of the best stuff I’ve learned. I call it the best because it’s “street tested,” if you will. It works. It works with unwavering consistency.
I’ve pulled together three foundational principles that make or break whatever it is I’m up to, and they’re going to make or break whatever it is you’re up to also.

I’ve noticed a pattern. I’ve noticed a pattern and it’s these three principles of which I make sure that when I set out to take on something new, anything I value where I’m trying to produce a specific result, I make sure these three principles are in place. And when something isn’t going right, I check and make sure that they’re still intact. That’s how important they are. They are the foundation of success. It’s why I call them The Three Pillars of the Ultimate Do Over, because without them, success is really fleeting.

Without them, you might experience some success, but it will be short-lived. It will not last – I promise you that. That’s not to say that everything is going to be perfect. I face challenges every day. But because I have these three pillars in place, my challenges are workable. They give me control over my circumstances situations. They give me control over my life.
That’s important because we’re experiencing a very unique era. For many people, businesses, and organizations, this is the first time in their lifetimes that they might be experiencing real adversity.

Many have no choice but to start over. Whether it’s a new endeavor or the same endeavor, by putting in place these three pillars, the foundation for their success will be laid, and the rebuilding process from that point forward is going to progress with greater velocity than they had ever experiences previously. The Three Pillars, however, they’re not going to cure everything that ails you. I don’t have all the answers. I wish I did. But what I can promise you is I can help you get to a place where you can find your answers. That’s what’s going to happen.

Almost immediately when you make the decision to put these three pillars in place for you – in fact, you can put them all in place today (I mean today) within hours of this audio program’s conclusion. It is my wish that you take action on what I’m going to share with you.

If you do, your life will be different. It will be different instantly. You will have taken the first step in the right direction by putting these in place. There will be no wondering what to do. You’ll know.

One thing I want you to know is that I don’t take lightly the time you’re taking to listen to this or who you are as a person or what you’ve experienced in the past or what you’re dealing with right now.

Maybe you’ve just been laid off. Maybe the economy has taken its toll on your business and your industry and it’s just not what it used to be. Or maybe it doesn’t even exist anymore. Maybe you’ve reached a level of success and you’re just no longer fulfilled. Maybe your last child just moved out of the house and you’re ready for some you time. It’s really time for you time. It’s time to focus on you.

I don’t know what it is, but we all enter stages of life where you’ve got to turn the page. The chapter changes, so to speak. Those are the times where we search for every resource we can to take us to that next chapter, to take us to the next level – or maybe a different book altogether; a different book of life or turn things around completely and head in the other direction. Just literally do a 180 and go the opposite direction.

Now, I’m not sure what you’re thinking right now. I don’t know what you think you’ve gotten yourself into. Maybe you think this is some sort of motivation program. Whatever it is, I respect your time. I am not taking it lightly.

I know you’ve extended to me a little bit of trust. You’ve given me some trust to have even set aside some time to listen to me right now, let alone get this far in the program.
I want you to know that I will not betray your trust. I’m going to give you everything I’ve got in this program. I’m not holding anything back. I will extend an invitation to you at the end of this program to pursue other avenues of us working together, but it is not required by any means.

The Three Pillars of Creating the Ultimate Do Over are whole and complete on their own. By following my suggestions and taking action, they alone are going to lay a solid foundation for whatever you aspire to, setting you up not just for success, but lasting success. Lasting success in a way that you never have to call for a Do Over again, you never have to start over again because the life that you have will work and it will last.

Now, if you really take action on what I’ve put together on you, please know that no one is going to do it for you, by the way. I’m not going to do it for you. I can’t. Nobody can. It’s up to you. You have to do it.

And if you do, you will remember that this is the day when everything changed. This is the day that will go down in your own personal history. Maybe it won’t happen all in one day, but this will be the day where the momentum was created that changed everything in your life to be what you’ve always desired it to be.

As I’m saying all of this, I’m really wondering what you’re thinking. Is this guy just like the rest with all of these great words and ideas but no substance? “These are a bunch of false promises,” maybe you’re thinking or, “This is great talk, but what where’s the walk?”

If you want to know who I really am – listening to someone talk is one thing, but watching what they do is another thing entirely. This is my life. This is how I live.
When I got out of the Marine Corps, I spent the next 15 years of my life in the music industry pursuing my passion, really living the dream. It didn’t take much effort at all because it was my passion.

There towards the end it wasn’t uncommon for me to experience six-figure months. I had three or four employees, but to experience six-figure months to support four people – five including myself – I really had made it. I thought this life thing is really easy; I don’t know what everyone is whining about.

All of a sudden, things changed. The only thing you can count on in life is things will change. And they did. The dot com crash hit and took a significant toll on my business. 9/11 hit and took a significant toll on my business. My music distributor was just a few blocks away from ground zero. Business stopped seemingly for almost six months, meaning nobody was writing checks.

Then what really put the nail in the coffin was emerging technologies, how people consume music. The digital download came along and literally wiped me out. I was in a real niche sort of music – underground music. I was in underground hip-hop music. But it didn’t really matter what type of music it was. If you were in that underground hip-hop or the underground dance or the underground rock, that audience really embraced the digital download first and it had a significant impact on all of us before the general public even really knew what was going on.

I found myself at age 34 having to start life all over again. It was really a tough time. And if you’ve ever made a lot of money and lost it, it is a really tough spot to pick yourself back up because life just seems so unfair at that moment.

I hit such a low, I was bagging groceries at age 34 next to a 16-year-old for almost six months trying to figure out what I was going to do next. I was online every day submitting job applications and going on interviews to little to no avail. It was a really tough lesson in futility.

I found out really quickly that there was no demand for an out-of-work music industry entrepreneur. After a while, after all the soul searching, I stumbled across a lot of different types of hints and evidence that real estate is where the money is. It’s kind of common knowledge now, but then it was an epiphany to me.

So I did what I thought the logical thing was to do and I went out and got a real estate license and I became a real estate agent. Well, that wasn’t the answer. That wasn’t the type of real estate they were talking about where the money is.

Sure, I had some success and I had a couple good years, but I will still on six-figure years instead of six-figure months like I had been accustomed. It was just not what I thought it was going to be.

Then right there at the end of my real estate agent career, I had a couple of clients and they gave me repeat business. They gave me business over and over and over again. We’d show up for our business meetings and I would be in a suit and tie and they would show up in jeans and a t-shirt, typically 20-30 minutes late. They were always on the go like they were onto their next weekend getaway or an extended vacation.

I remember just sitting there looking at them across the desk thinking, “I want to be you.” That was the type of real estate that I was supposed to get into. I didn’t know how to get on the other side of the desk.

If you’ve ever had a real estate license or know anybody that has, ask them, “Does it do anything to prepare you to be a real estate investor?” because that’s what they were; that’s where the money is. That’s where the money was and that’s where I wanted to be.

Long story short is I did become a real estate investor eventually, and now real estate agents work for me. I am sitting on the other side of the desk and I owe a great deal of my Do Over success to these three pillars. I’ve been incorporating them into my life ever since. And if you only take on one of these pillars for your achievement, for your Do Over, if you decide to only adopt one – just one – for setting up a solid foundation that’s conducive to success, it’s your environment. It’s your environment and the people within that environment.
W. Clement Stone said, “Be careful the environment you choose, for it will shape you. Be careful the friends you choose, for you will become like them.”

Does that quote cause you to immediately think of your environment like it did me? Now knowing that you will become your friends, does it cause you to immediately think of your friends? Do you want to become your friends?

I don’t know your friends. You know your situation better than I do. Only you can answer that question. I’ve often thought, and perhaps you’ve thought something similar, what would my life be like if I had been born in a different country?

Would I be a fan of the same music? Would my favorite foods be the same? Which football team would I root for? Would I even like football? What would I be doing for a living?
It is impossible to know for certain, but at the same time, there is certainty around the fact that I would be different – as would you being raised in a different environment than what you were. Depending on the environment, it is not farfetched to suggest we’d be significantly different.

The human condition has a propensity to assimilate to its environment. Who you are and who you will become is greatly influenced by your environment, if not entirely. The way you talk, your choice of entertainment, your style of dress and all of your other idiosyncrasies, they were all given to you by another person or your environment.

Not totally convinced?

Well, name one habit, trait, or mannerism that is 100% yours. Try to name one that was not given to you or inspired by another.
The point is: choose your environment carefully. If who you are right now is because of where you have been, then who you will become will be considerably determined by your future environment. Don’t underestimate that.

Early in my Do Over, empowered with this distinction, I made a conscious decision to change my environment. My then current environment just wasn’t working for me. I felt uninspired and unproductive working from home. In fact, I got really lazy.

Just the thought of getting dressed, leaving the house, and meeting new clients became exhausting. Keeping myself motivated was a serious concern. All it took were a couple of nos from new prospects just to completely wipe out my day. If those nos happened in the morning, forget about it. The afternoon was shot.

I wasn’t stretching myself nor was I being stretched by my environment. Growth seemed to have ceased completely, and my attitude was deteriorating and the size of my dreams dwindled from grand possibility to just mere survival. I could go on about how bad m thinking had gotten, but really, what’s the point?

After weighing my options for environments, I chose boldly. I chose an environment of young, energetic, goal-oriented doers 50 miles away from my home. The commute from my bedroom to the downstairs office literally transformed overnight to a daily two-hour round trip.

My monthly gasoline bill and office expenses tripled. My much-coveted eight hours a night sleep had to be sacrificed, but it was worth it. And it still is worth every extra minute and every penny.

Since the move, my dreams have been restored, skills strengthened, activity increased, results multiplied, and my confidence bolstered. I give every ounce of the credit to my decision to change my environment – the way you think, your attitudes, the size of your dreams and goals. Your very personality will be shaped, if not completely altered, by your environment.
Experts and independent studies agree that a person consistently functioning in an environment of negative thinkers, and petty attitudes and pessimistic dispositions will take on those traits.

But not to worry. You see, by surrounding yourself with ambitious people, you will increase your ambition. Continued companionship with big thinkers will increase your thinking. Prosperous camaraderie, that will contribute to your prosperity. It’s in your environment and it’s the people within that environment.

Regardless of what we’re up to – whatever you’re up to, whatever I’m up to, whatever whoever is up to – and more than we are aware, the thinking around us dictates who we are.
Unfortunately, most of this thinking is small. That’s common. That’s ordinary. We are constantly surrounded by an environment that is tugging at us. The metaphor for this I hear frequently is that of a bucket of crabs. Perhaps you’ve heard of this. I’ve never been crabbing, so I don’t know exactly if this is accurate.

But it goes something like this. If you were to put a crab into a bucket, you would have to place a lid on that bucket in order to keep the crab from crawling out. However, once you have placed a second crab in that bucket, the lid is no longer necessary.

You see, the reason being as soon as one crab attempts to escape, the other crab will clamp down on its leg and pull it right back down into the bucket.
Do you have crabs in your life? Who are they? Do you regularly hear expressions like, “A bird in the hand beats two in the bush,” or “Curiosity killed the cat,” or “There are too many chiefs and not enough Indians”? Do you ever hear expressions like that in your world?

In other words, your environment is telling you to be happy with what you have, that being inquisitive will kill you, and there’s no more room at the top. An environment of crabs will insist it’s too crowded and there is too much competition for the top spots in life. Is that true?

Your answer to that question is also a very good clue to your environment.

A family friend of ours who employs thousands once told me that he received fifty times as many job applications for positions that pay $50,000 a year and lower than he does for the jobs that pay $100,000 and above. That clearly demonstrates right there where the competition is, doesn’t it?

Not only is there less competition at the top, the people are nicer, the resources are more abundant, the air is cleaner, the views are better. Most importantly, the thinking is bigger. If great minds think alike, you need to surround yourself with great minds and big thinkers. It’s your environment, and it’s the right people.

Regardless if your next endeavor is to be an entrepreneur, an actor, a politician, a doctor, chairman of a nonprofit, vice president of your company or whatever your pursuit may be, on your way up you will be interacting with other people.

You’ll be interacting with vendors and customers and directors, producers, investors, managers, patients, colleagues, family, friends, superiors, subordinates, mentors and critics. They will all need to be incorporated into your plan if success is to be yours. Surrounding yourself with the right people is paramount. Get around the right people. Relationships are everything.

I’ve heard that 85% of your success in life will be determined by both your personal and business relationships. I’m not sure how someone go about determining a statistic like that, but based on my experience, 85% is a conservative number.

So on the road to success, there are two types of people you will want to steer clear of or dramatically limit your association with:

Those who are afraid to travel the road themselves. You’ve got to stay away from them. They’re going to drag you down. They’re a crab. I promise you.

Those who are afraid that you’re actually going to make it. They’re even worse. You have to limit, if not completely cut off, all interaction with these two types of people.

What you might find surprising, and it’s certainly disappointing, but what you’re probably going to find surprising is that many of your close friends right now, your close friends and your family members, they are going to fall under one of these two categories.

I created an exercise to help you identify these toxic people in your life, to help you identify the crabs. I’ll later give you my recommendation of what I think you should do once they are identified, but it’s up to you how you associate with them from this point forward.

What I want you to do is take out a sheet of paper and make a list of all the people you are certain to interact with over the next twelve months. Just write down a giant lottery list of all the people you need to consider. I want you to take some time and write down every single person you are going to encounter in the next twelve months.
On a separate piece of paper, I want you to draw a line down the middle so you have two columns. On the left side, title the column, “People who poison me.” On the right side, column two, I want you to write down, “People who love me, but also poison me.”

Go through that original list on the other piece of paper where you have all the people that you’re going to interact with, go through that original list one name at a time and imagine yourself sharing with that person that you’re going into business for yourself. What is their most likely response?

If you imagine that person laughing at you or calling you crazy, you’re going to write their name on the left hand side of the paper. Now, if you imagine that person empathetically trying to talk you out of it, you’re going to write their name on the right-hand side of the paper.

Now, if you imagine that person being inquisitive or supportive and encouraging, you will not write their name on either side because they don’t poison you, so they’re not going to go on that second piece of paper.

Once you’ve sorted through every name on that list, you get to make a decision. Whatever you decide, that’s entirely up to you, but I’m going to tell you what I did. You don’t have to do this, but I’m going to tell you what I did.

I eliminated all contact with the people on the left column – the poisonous people. Those people are no longer in my life. They are nowhere to be found.

I eliminated all conversation about my goals with the people on the right-hand side, the people who love me. I love them, too, and I enjoy their company. I simply changed the subject if my ambitions come up in conversation – politely, of course.

Again, what you do with the people on the list is entirely up to you, but that’s what I did. You know your situation much better than I do.

Here’s another perspective. If you told a millionaire you were determined to make a million dollars in the next twelve months, the last thing they would do is laugh or suggest you were crazy, right?

In fact, that millionaire might offer some advice on how to make it happen or how they might help you. That’s a hint, by the way, about who you might want to have in your new environment. I’ve said it several times. Your environment is so important. Your environment will be a source of stress and influence on your thoughts, a sway of discerning right from wrong and a support when faced with challenges.

At the end of the day, if you do not create the right environment and have the right people around you, the repercussions can be swift. They can be swift and severe. A toxic environment and toxic people will not just slow you down, they’ll lead you down dead-end paths. You are a product of your environment and you will become a product of the environment you create.

So create a good one.

If you create an environment of losers, you’re going to lose. If you create an environment of achievers, you’re going to achieve.

Here’s the good news. The bright side is you get to create it. You get to choose. You get to create your environment. A positive and supportive environment is your first pillar of creating the ultimate Do Over.

The second pillar is what makes everything happen. Without it, nothing moves. To what I’m referring obviously is action. But there’s a force that’s even deeper than action whether you move forward or backward, whether you pull back or you don’t, whether you go left or right, what controls that? What controls all action? What happens just before you take any action?
You have to make a decision. Every action is born from a decision. Think about it. If you really want to know why your life is where it is right now, look at all the decisions you’ve made over the last three, six, nine, fifteen years. Every decision you’ve made in life has led you what to you are experiencing in life right now.

You’ll want to know that not making a decision is also a decision. In fact, it’s worse than making the wrong decision. That’s why I consider indecision or eliminating indecision the second pillar of creating the ultimate Do Over. You need to remove indecision from your life.

When I got out of the Marine Corps, I remember hearing a quote from General Colin Powell. He had said, “Indecision has cost the American government, American businesses, and the American people billions of dollars more than the wrong decision.”

In other words, not making a decision can be more costly than making one – even if it’s the wrong one. That quote has stuck with me and I’ve referenced it at least a hundred times in conversation since. It’s a compelling notion. In fact, it’s a notion shared by many.

Indecision is broadly recognized as a success killer. Yet, almost completely ignored as a distinction in the world of personal development.

I’ve divided decisions into two categories. Category one is a yes or no decision. What will happen if you do? What will happen if you don’t? Category two is a right or left decision. When you find yourself at fork in the road, you can become paralyzed. Do I turn right or do I turn right?

These two types of decisions have one thing in common. They can stop us dead in our tracks to paralysis. Relationships deteriorate and businesses fail. Indecision is toxic. It is the offspring of fear. It’s the mother of paralysis, and it can be costly. It can be very expensive.

For example, when I was first introduced to the venture that ultimately pulled me out of my real estate agent days, I initially resisted – not because I was against the idea, but because I was uncertain of how it would work for the average person.

After the initial exposure to the opportunity, I thought to myself, “Sounds good, but I’m going to think about it.” How often do you say that? How often do you refrain from making an important decision because you want to think about it and never really actually think about it or go back and revisit the decision?

In hindsight, this turned out to be a really big mistake for me. The person who brought this opportunity to my desk decided to move forward with it himself and in six short months had generated a high five-figure income and began building a positive cash flowing real estate portfolio. And during this same six-month period that I was thinking about it, my business had waned significant. Based on my subsequent success in that venture, I estimate that my moment of indecision six months prior of deciding to get involved, it cost me at least $100,000 in actual income and probably $500,000 in lost opportunity.

Had I made the decision to move forward when the opportunity was first presented and then figured out the details later, the most I could’ve lost was $20,000. I have several examples from my professional life to illustrate the point that indecision is more expensive than making the wrong decision.

My old pal, Theodore Roosevelt agrees. He’s not really my pal; we never met. But he’s on record of saying, “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The next best thing is the wrong thing. And the worst thing you can do is nothing.”

Just so we’re clear, I’m not suggesting that to be successful you should go out and make a bunch hasty, uninformed and irresponsible decisions (well, almost). But what I’m suggesting is don’t use the “Let me think about it” answer as an excuse to not make a decision. Do think about it. Do some research. But then decide. Decide swiftly.

Here’s why. Decision causes movement and nothing happens. Nothing moves without a decision. The danger with nothing happening is you are unknowingly moving backwards. You’re not just standing still while waiting to make the right decision. You are moving backwards because life continues to move forward.

If you find yourself paralyzed by indecision, life will pass you by. No doubt about it. Life is short. That’s an old saying. It’s very common. I’m sure you’ve heard of it. But I’ve come to know it better as life is fast, and the older you get, the faster it seemingly gets.

Our rapidly-evolving times and my experience has led me to believe we no longer live in a world where the strong pummel the weak or the big swallow the small. We now live in a world where the fast overtake the slow.

Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision. Develop a reputation for speed and dependability and be decisive and action-oriented.
A while back, a very good friend of mine called me on the phone raving about a little town in Alabama where he could pick up small, little houses for only $3,500. I live in southern California. That sounded like a joke to me. But he said he could pick these little houses up for $3,500.

My friend went on and on about how he was witnessing with his own eyes the transformation of this little town and one specific street in particular was just a fortune waiting to happen.
He said, “Matt, I already bought one house and I’m going to buy another very soon. You should at least pick one up for yourself. This town’s value is going to explode. It’s so obvious.” He cited many and countless positive economic factors to support his opinion.

I got off the phone very excited. He really got me fired up. Yet, depression soon set in for me when reality hit me that I only had $5,000 to my name at the time and rent was due. I shared my situation with a few friends, and to my surprise, a couple of them offered to loan me the money. They said, “Here, take it. Go do it.”

I was like, “Really?” I didn’t even know my friends had that much money. I was surprised. That was my initial delighted response, of course, but that was my initial response. Then I followed up with, “Let me think about it.” Ugh. Death sentence.

To make a long story short, I never took my friends up on their generous and gracious offer. Six months later, property values had soared to $30,000. And a couple of years later, $75,000. It was insane what was going on in this little town. And even as the nation’s real estate values took a significant hit in 2008, that little street was virtually unaffected as the value of that real estate today is still sitting at about $100,000 give or take a few thousand, but it’s still up there.

You see, by not making that decision to accept the gesture of $3,500 offered by my friends, I lost a minimum of $70,000 and l lost the opportunity to give back a sizable return to my friends who were willing to loan me the money in the first place.

Had I accepted their offers, made the investment and the opportunity failed to pan out, I would’ve lost a mere $3,500. That’s it. In hindsight, it would’ve only taken me a few months to recover and pay back my friends. Just a few months.

Decisions are important and their impact on one’s life can be grossly ignored. As I previously described, it can be the smallest decisions that can change a life. The subsequent three years turned out to be the worst for me financially than the previous fifteen.

Had I made a decision to join my friend in pursuing investments in that neighborhood, the impact of an extra $50-, $100-, $200,000 during those years, they could’ve opened up many other opportunities for me.

Napoleon Hill – you’ve probably heard of him. He wrote the classic “Think and Grow Rich.” He notes a distinction between the rich and the poor in that book and the speed in which they make decisions. He says “The rich make up their minds quickly and change them slowly, while the poor make up their minds slowly and change them quickly.”

Now, these are words coming from a man who is associated with and interviewed more wealthy people – the wealthiest by the way – than anyone probably ever will. The affects of my mistakes caused by my wrong decisions have been no greater than the effects of my extended vacillation, my thinking about it.

Decide and do it quickly. If all you had to do today was to start making quicker decisions to mitigate the effects of an indecisive way of living, would you do it? Would you?
I’m coming to know that a prosperous, enlivened, and productive life is yours for the taking by simply making decisions and making them quickly. I’m struggling less and less with this question. I’m struggling less and less with the question: “Is it that simple?”

Actually, yes, it has been. Easy? No, not necessarily. It can be, though, with a little discipline and practice. It’s getting easier and easier, and now having it as a distinction is becoming a very useful tool.

I invite you to consider this. Each time I put off making a decision, I rob myself of time and a clear mind, resulting in lost days and performance. To compound the problem, more days are lost lamenting over the lost days.

But the true cost of indecision is not limited to wasted time and lost opportunity. Indecision exacerbates worry. It breeds heartache and sadness. Indecision can be debilitating. It can take on a life of its own and creep into your character. It can be contagious and infect others. It can chip away at your self-confidence and the confidence others have in you. It will not only stifle your progress, it will stifle that of the people around you.

So here it is. Whether you think you can or cannot do, just begin. Just do it, if you will. Perhaps indecision was the inspiration of the Nike slogan. I don’t know. Just do the best you know how at the moment of decision. As you do, more times than not, you will come to realize that it’s not always what we know or have analyzed prior to making a decision that makes it a good one. It’s what we do after the decision that makes it good.

General George S. Patton once said, “The willingness to make a decision is the most important quality in a good leader.” He also said, “A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.”

The Napoleon Hill distinction that I just pointed out of which rich people make up their minds fast and change them slowly – they change them, if they change them at all, slowly because they commit to their decisions. They live lives of commitment. And because they commit, they get what they want. They live the lives they want.
And that is the third pillar of creating the ultimate do. Commit. When you decide, make a commitment to that decision.

“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence regardless of their chosen field of endeavor” – Vince Lombardi said that.
Commitment is a funny thing in the sense that I really don’t have to tell you to be committed because you’re already committed to something. What is it? Well, it’s simple. Everything you have in your life right now is what you’re committed to.

If there are things that are missing in your life, it’s because you just haven’t made a commitment to them. If you don’t have as much money as you’d like, it’s because you haven’t committed to getting it. If you don’t have good relationships at work, it’s because you haven’t made a commitment to creating them. If you don’t have a peaceful life, it’s because you haven’t made a commitment to it. It’s really that simple.

Unless a commitment is made, there are only false promises and empty hopes. I know each and every human, including you, is committed. But to what? Well, the answer actually is very easy – possibly painful (prepare yourself) – but it’s easy.

Are you ready for this? Regardless of what you declare your dreams to be, you are committed to exactly what you have in your life right now. Nothing more; nothing less. You can’t be committed to anything else.

Here’s what I mean. Imagine a thermostat in an office building set to 72 degrees – a nice, comfortable 72 degrees. Now when the temperature drops below 72 degrees, the thermostat recognizes danger. It’s too cold and the heater turns on increasing the temperature back up to 72 degrees.

Now, when the temperature rises above 72, the A/C recognizes, “Danger! It’s too hot!” and it begins to operate bringing the temperature back down to 72 degrees. The thermostat is committed to 72 degrees.

What does that have to do with your commitment? Each and every human being has an internal comfort thermostat, or what I call your survival thermostat. When the going gets tough, the heater kicks in. When the going gets good, the A/C kicks in.

I share this with you to illustrate that you have an autopilot working to ensure your survival. It’s your internal auto-commitment, if you will. Now, although this automated mechanism keeps you alive, it also prevents you from achieving your dreams and desires.

For that reason alone, it deserves your attention. It deserves our attention. When I say you are committed to everything you have in your life right now and If you’re not satisfied with what you have, it is a result of your internal auto-commitment. Your auto-commitment has provided you with everything it was programmed to provide you. It’s giving you your 72 degrees.

That includes your relationships, your appearance, your assets, your liabilities, your bank account. To be committed to something other than what your survival thermostat is committed to, you must choose to be. You must decide.

There’s that word again. If it is success you want, regardless of what area of your life you want it in, it is success you must commit to. Commitment is a choice and unless you consciously make this choice, your auto-commitment will maintain a comfortable 72 degrees for the rest of your life.

Actually, let me correct that. It’s not that easy. Your auto-commitment will struggle to maintain a comfortable 72 degrees, but it will operate most often between, say, 68 and 71 degrees while the heater fluctuates in intensity resulting in struggle and frustration.

Now, because of your auto-commitment, you have a probable and almost certain future. Don’t believe me? It’s kind of scary, right? You have a probably and almost certain future. It’s almost already picked out for you.

Looking back at your life, do you recognize patterns? Do you see common traits in your past relationships? Do you see patterns in the fluctuation of your health or your weight? Do you recognize patterns in the ebb and flow of your accomplishments and bank balance?

Humans are committed to survival. How do I know? I know because you are here. You are here listening to my voice on this audio program. You are surviving. You’re winning. You’re committed to survival. You’re here. You will do whatever it takes to eat, breathe, or sleep. But anything beyond that is a conscious choice. It’s a decision. There’s that word again, right?

Most people, they’ve got an interest in success, but very few commit to it. There’s a significant difference between interest and commitment. Understanding the difference creates clarity around what you’re up to in life and allows you to be real with yourself.

When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstances permit. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results. You can’t get much done in life if you work only on the days you feel good. It takes commitment to work on the days you don’t feel good.

For example, you are committed to breathing. That’s a commitment. Imagine yourself swimming in the ocean. You take a deep breath and you dive below. Once your lungs run out of air, you are committed to resurfacing for a breath of oxygen. There are no excuses. No kidding. No excuses.

You wouldn’t say to yourself, “I don’t really feel like getting some oxygen right now. I think I’ll just hang out down here under the water and play with the fish for a little while.” You would never think that.

There are no excuses accepted. Only the result of oxygen is accepted. It’s accepted because your life depends on it. Are you committed to your dreams and goals as if your life depends on them?

If you were, they wouldn’t be dreams. They would not be dreams; they would be your reality. It’s one thing to declare, “I’m going to be a millionaire.” It’s another thing entirely to declare, “Every day I will do whatever it takes to get there.” One has to make that declaration every day until they arrive.

The achievement of your dreams and goals, it’s assured the instant you commit yourself to it. Commitment will provide you with many things. It will inspire new realms of creativity, vision, and performance to turn our dreams into reality. And in the face of conflict and adversity, commitment produces character. The quality of your life will be in direct proportion to your commitment to your dreams. When your commitment, work, and pleasure become one (and that’s what most people hire me for, by the way, but that’s another program), nothing will be impossible. Your life begins with your dreams and it exists through your commitment.

I’ve given you the Three Pillars of Creating the Ultimate Do Over. But they do need a platform on which to stand and that platform is your dreams. Your life begins with your dreams.
This is one of the surprises I promised, by the way. Don’t you hate it when someone is hyping something up and they run down a long list of features and benefits and the last thing they say is, “And so much more,” or “And many more.” And don’t you hate it when there isn’t so much more and there isn’t many more?

Well, this is my “so much more” section. Your life begins with your dreams. What are your dreams? Are they big enough or have they wanted with age?

When you were five years old, what did you want to be when you grew up? What did you want to do? What did you want to have? What were the answers to these three questions when you were ten years old? How about 15 years old? 20 years old?

What are the answers to those questions right now? Are you who you originally dreamed of being? Are you doing what you originally dreamed of doing? Do you have everything you originally dreamed of having or did you settle?

Did you once dream of being a rock star, a ballerina, an astronaut, an actress? When did reality kick in and redirect you? At what age did you dream of doing what you’re currently doing?

Did you ever? Have you settled?

Certainly, our interests will change with age, so it’s not necessarily sticking with the same dream throughout life to which I’m referring, but it is the size of the dream.

As you move your way through life, your childhood passion of exploring outer space might have morphed into a passion of discovering a cure for cancer, eradicating world hunger, or inventing the next thing that makes the world an easier place to live.

The question is: are you pursuing your passion, your dream? Dreams and passions can, and they often will, change. What you’ll want to monitor for change, however, is the size of your dreams and passions. Throughout the years, have they increased or have they decreased?

If you dream it and you believe it, it’s not a dream. It’s reality waiting to happen. The world is replete with evidence that this is so. Bruce Springsteen once dreamed of being a rock star. Tiger Woods once dreamed of being the world’s greatest golfer. Robert De Niro once dreamed of being an actor and Neil Armstrong once dreamed of going to the moon. Benjamin Franklin once dreamed of harnessing electricity. Mahatma Gandhi once dreamed of a free India. Martin Luther King, Jr. once dreamed of raising the consciousness of civil rights and ending racial segregation.

They all had a dream. They all believed in their dream. They all pursued their dream. And they all achieved their dream. What would our world look like if they hadn’t? And if they can do it, why not you?

A while back, I attended a seminar in which this doctor – Dr. Jay Grossman, he’s a dentist – stood up to share an experience he had while running his nonprofit organization. He has a nonprofit organization called Homeless, Not Toothless.

His organization has been able to establish a program for homeless people in Los Angeles to get free dental care. It’s a really good program. He’s a really good guy. I believe his program has expanded actually since, but I’m not quite certain. But at this seminar, Jay shared an encounter he had with one homeless patient during his free examination. The patient was blessed with the good fortune to have met in his lifetime both Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. The homeless man went on to share his experience with Dr. Grossman.
The two parts of the story that stood out for me the most was, first, that he had the nerve to ask both Gandhi and King, “If you were to live your life over, what would you have done differently?”

The second part that stood out for me was that both Gandhi and King had the exact same answer to the question. Their answer was, “I wish I would’ve dreamed bigger.”
When I heard the story, the hairs on my arms stood on end. They’re standing on end right now. It happens almost every time. It’s a great story and I have really no way of verifying its authenticity, but knowing what Gandhi and King dreamed, believed, and achieved in their lives, it’s not difficult to accept the story as unequivocal truth.

What I want you to get out of this is that no dream is too big. There is magic in dreaming and thinking big. The greatest artist, Michelangelo, once said, “The greatest danger for us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.”

Many are waiting for Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King to come back, but they are gone. We are it. It is up to us. It is up to you. Dream big and believe.
And don’t be afraid to take risks. Risks can be a telling gauge of people. People who avoid them, they do so to protect what they have. But people who take them frequently end up with having more.

What I’ve come to know is that if you risk nothing, you risk everything. For a dream to come true, you must first have one. Allow yourself to dream really, really big. Big dreams lend themselves to big thoughts. Big thoughts create big emotions and they foster passion.

Not only does a dream give you something to aim for, but when a burning desire to achieve that dream is in place, the dream calls you into action. When you discover your passion, your mission, your purpose, you will feel its demand. Big emotions and passion will lead to big conversations and actions.

Your dream will fill you with enthusiasm and excitement to get to work. It will burn. You will be able to feel it. There will be no doubt about it which is the right dream to pursue.

When that vision is crystal clear and the burn is in place, the daily decisions to take action become easy. Those actions will eventually become habits and those habits will support the pursuit of your dream. Your habits will then shape your character. They’ll shape your character to that of a person capable of achieving that dream, creating a compelling future for you to live into. And the future we create for ourselves gives us who we are today. But before anything else, you must have a dream. It all begins with the dream.

What inevitably holds most people back isn’t the quality of or size of their dream, but it’s the lack of faith they have in themselves. Your biggest obstacle on the road to realizing your dreams in your Do Over is the belief that the dream is beyond reach – or more specifically, beyond your reach.

This belief stems from the many suppressive forces we encounter that cause us to settle for mediocrity. A lot of it’s all happening right now in your environment. It has a lot to do with our first pillar – your environment. That’s why it’s one of the pillars. It can rob you of your dreams.

Whatever dream you’re pursuing, people will always – and I mean always – tell you, “You can’t do it.” These naysayers can be inescapable, but you can do it. There will always be critics trying to steal your dreams. Don’t let them in.

The world belongs to people who say, “I can.” It will seem impossible, though, until it’s done – because it will get done, because you’re committed, right?
The importance of dreaming big cannot be underestimated. The size of your dream is the first line of defense against negative people and a negative environment, and most of all, negative thoughts.

It’s paramount that you revisit your dream constantly, by the way. It will fade unless you do. You want to maintain a very clear vision of that dream. And it’s not uncommon for me to review my dreams – and I have them displayed in a dream book, by the way. But it’s not uncommon for me to review my dreams two or three times a day.
Surround yourself with literature, sounds, images, and people that remind you and support your pursuit of your dream. Don’t let the details block your view. Don’t let doubt and indecision hinder your performance. Life is short; aim high and move fast.

First, it’s the dream. Then you must believe in that dream, and you must believe in yourself, and the achievement of that dream will come.
Allow me to expand on the power of belief for a minute and bring to your awareness the phenomenon known as the placebo effect. It’s that important. I want you to really understand this.

When an inactive and powerless substance improves the health of or cures an ill patient, the effect is called the placebo effect. All the actual mechanism that produces the result of this placebo, it’s still a scientific mystery, but enough research has been conducted to strongly suggest that it’s the patient’s expectation or belief that cures wherever is ailing them.
The expectancy effect can even be enhanced through factors such as enthusiasm of the doctor, differences in size and color of the placebo pills or the use of other inventions such as injections.

In one study, the response to a placebo pill increased 44% – 62% when the doctor gave it warmth, and tension, and confidence just because the patient believed it was going to work. That’s how strong your beliefs are.

First it’s the dream. Then you must believe in that dream, and you must believe in yourself. For most of my life, I underestimated the power of belief. It was not until I witnessed the placebo effect firsthand that I really understood the true power of belief.

Expectations supported with confidence equates to belief. Good, strong beliefs are prevailing character traits among the successful people.

The famous Napoleon Hill quote, “What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve,” that’s the foundation of Hill’s philosophy and bolsters the foundation of every successful person’s character.

Here’s why. Placebo’s work. What you believe in most comes about. You are then what you believe others believe you to be, and you are to them, in large part, what you believe yourself to be.

Your belief in yourself will inspire it in others. If your belief in yourself is lacking, you need to transform your image to that which you want to become. Your image and appearance are great places to start.

I saw on TV – it was a Sunday afternoon; I was watching football and Deion Sanders was on. He said something to the effect of, “If you look good, you feel good; if you feel good, you play good; if you play good, you win.”

If you truly believe in yourself, others will, too. This is nothing new. The force and power of belief have been engrained in American culture since the early 20th century via the children’s story, “The Little Engine that Could.”

“I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.” We all know the story. It could be the greatest belief you could adopt on the road to success – “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.”
Regardless of what you experience in life, whatever it is that’s causing you to do over, knowing and believing it’s only temporary is going to foster persistence and keep you grounded.

A belief that has served me well for years and has pulled me through my lowest points in life is, “This, too, shall past and the best is yet to come.”

I want you to aim high, I want you to move fast, and I want you to focus. Dream, believe, achieve.

I just referenced aim high, move fast, and focus as a method of achieving your dreams. We haven’t discussed focus yet. A razor-sharp focus is vital to achieving your dreams. Focused energy is much more powerful and efficient than energy dispersed.

If you were to walk outside on a typical fall day and feel the sun against your face, it would feel pleasantly warm. Sunlight is an example of energy dispersed.
Conversely, that same sunlight directed toward a dry autumn leaf, say, through a magnifying glass would burn a hole right through it. That is energy focused. More so, that sunlight focused with enough intensity, can produce a laser that cuts through steel.

Your mental focus works in precisely the same way. Focused energy is a powerful force.
Which dream to believe? There’s a shortcut to figuring this out. Ask yourself, “What am I passionate about?” It’s pretty simple. Keep asking yourself that question. “What am I passionate about? What am I passionate about?”

When your heart rate increases a bit while thinking of your dream, that’s the one to pursue. When you find yourself excited to talk about it, that’s the one to pursue.
If you find yourself feeling lukewarm about an idea, ditch it. Get rid of it. No room for it.

If you’re finding it challenging to come up with a passionate and unique idea, it’s okay. Look around you. Who’s doing something that you respect and admire?
There’s nothing wrong with eyeing someone else’s dream and morphing it into your own. Inspiration comes from everywhere.  Inspiration can come from within your own industry or a competitor.

Much of my book and this audio program is inspired by other great writers and thinkers who came before me. It evolved from myriad concepts and different faiths, and disciplines, and techniques, and strategies and systems.

I haven’t reinvented the wheel; I’ve just merely reshaped it a bit and presented it in a different way that works for me and in a way that can make a difference for you.
Have you ever noticed how you can hear something over and over and over again, and then one day you hear it in a different way from a different source in a different environment and it finally clicks? You’ve been hearing it over and over, but now this time is the time it finally clicked.

Your dream may come about in the very same way. And if it does, it’s perfectly okay. In defining your dream, be sure to aim beyond what you are capable of. You must develop a complete disregard for where you think your abilities end.

Try to do the things you think you’re incapable of. If you think you’re unable to work for the best company [48:46 inaudible], make that your aim. If you think you’re incapable of running a company, make that your aim. If you think you’re unable to be on the cover of Time magazine, make it your business to be there. Nothing is impossible.
Once you’ve decided on the dream to pursue, document it. If you don’t, it’s easy to lose sight. It’s easy for your razor-sharp focus to blur. At least write it down.
I recommend creating a dream book or a vision board. Create as much detail as possible around you. Use emotional images and bright colors. You’re going to need to call on these images frequently to maintain your focus, to get you past the obstacles, to pass the tests.

Clarity around your dream cannot be underestimated. The ability to clearly articulate your dream to others is paramount. To attain your dream, you will need the cooperation of people. People will follow someone with a clear vision. People love to be around and help people with a clear vision.

Why? In many cases, people are unclear about their own dream and they’ll follow and support someone with purpose and confidence and clarity.

The next step: You need a plan. “Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan in which we must fervently believe and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success” – Pablo Picasso.

Without a dream, a plan is worthless. That’s why we create the dream first. To accomplish great things, we must first dream in high definition and believe with unwavering face. Only then does it make sense to plan. An effective plan should begin with the end in mind – a goal. And a goal must be aligned with your dreams.

There are a lot of different schools of thought out there, but many authorities on goal setting suggest that to maintain balance, you should set goals in all areas of your life – in personal development, in career, in business, economic, toys, adventure, contribution, spiritual.

I’m going to suggest going against the grain on this, though. I’m going to suggest you choose one to three areas of your life that aren’t working, or not working as well as you’d like them to be working, and go to work only there.

The reason being is I’ve always had written goals and what I’ve found is this. The more goals I have, the less I achieve. The more goals, the more dispersed my energy is. My philosophy on why this is so has everything to do with how dispersed energy and focused energy work.

I don’t see anything wrong or detrimental to you having many goals, but what I’m suggesting is to focus on no more than three at the time. My rule of thumb is to focus on one to three goals for maximum effectiveness. I’ll typically achieve one to three of those goals. Focus on four to eight goals and I achieve one, maybe. Focus on nine or more, achieve nothing.
Just the law of diminishing returns can impact economics. It can impact your goal achievement as well. A confused overwhelmed and unfocused mind does and achieves absolutely nothing. So get focused.

A simple step-by-step plan on one to three goals, that creates focus. If you can create a plan like this on your own, awesome. The Three Pillars of Creating the Ultimate do will enhance any plan.

If that’s the case and you’ve got it from here, your audio program is complete. You are free to stop the program.

However, if you’ve enjoyed our time together and if it’s made a difference for you, let’s continue real quick. Let me walk you through step-by-step in creating a simple plan of which you can take small, easy, daily steps that lead you directly to your dream.

It’s irrefutable. This simple plan – The Do Over Plan – works with unwavering consistency. It’s almost like it’s plug and play. And it will work for you, and you’ll enjoy the process. When we enjoy something, we tend to follow through.

So go to DoOverBook.com and pick up a copy of the book, Do Over, and we’ll work on this together. As long as you follow the steps outlined in the book, you are welcome to communicate with me for help – as much help as you need.

All you have to type is type “Free Do Over” in the subject line of your emails and I’ll be sure to always get back to you first. You can send your emails to [email protected]
I’ve shared a lot of great stuff with you today, the very same stuff I use every day. It makes a tremendous difference for me in my life. My wish is that it does for you, too. At the very least, I hope I’ve inspired you to make quick decisions and take immediate action.

Remember, this is not Your Learn Over. It’s Your Do Over.

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