Summary of Brian Tracy’s book “Bull’s-Eye”: This book reveals 7 practical, achievable and accessible key steps for everyone to follow to successfully achieve their goals and dreams.
By Brian Tracy, 2015, 112 pages.
Chronicle and summary of “Bull’s-Eye” by Brian Tracy
Introduction – Get it right
In his introduction, the author, Brian Tracy, a specialist in personal development, argues that we are all able to achieve much more than we currently do if we can develop three essential mental skills:
- Clarity: you need to be clear about who you are.
- Focus: you need to focus on your main objectives and activities.
- Concentration: you need to focus on the completion of your tasks and to be able to achieve your goals.
It is practice and repetition that will allow you to develop these three skills and to achieve many more things within a few months than most people do throughout their lives.
Chapter 1 – Clarity
“The secret is clarity. You have to be very clear about who you are, what you really want, and the steps you need to take to achieve your ambitions.”
1.1. Clearly define your target
“Bull’s-Eye” begins with the story of archery champion Howard Hill. Brian Tracy actually uses this story as a metaphor to show us that in order to succeed in life, you need to have a target, and to visualize it very clearly. In fact, the author quotes Zig Ziglar on this subject, who says:
“You can’t hit a target you can’t see.”
So, Tracy believes, you won’t be able to make progress until you know exactly what you want:
- What you want: your goal, in the heart of the target area;
- Who you are: likes and dislikes, desires, goals and objectives.
“Thomas Carlyle wrote: “A person with a clear purpose will make progress, even on the roughest road. A person with no purpose will make no progress, even on the smoothest road.”
1.2 Identify the consequences
Set priorities with consequences in mind
Brian Tracy suggests you set your priorities. He offers a simple and straightforward way to do this: just think what the consequences will be if you do something, or if you don’t.
The author highlights that successful individuals spend the majority of their time on tasks and activities that can have significant potential consequences, a major impact on the future. Conversely, those who “get nowhere”, spend their time “to do odd jobs” with no consequences.
Never overlook reflection
“Of all our activities, reflection is the one that has the most important consequences.”
Indeed, it is the results you achieve that will count (for yourself and others). And it is the depth of the reflection that precedes your actions that will mainly determine the quality of these results.
1.3 Consider the law of probability
Do what successful people do
Statistically, it has been proven that you can greatly increase your chances of success if you imitate successful people in any field. If you take this probability into account, then the conclusion can be drawn that you have considerable control over what happens to you and what you achieve in life.
Improve your odds rather than always rely on hope
“A lot of people live that way. They yearn and hope to win the prize on the merry-go-round of life, it’s their dream. And they try all sorts of approaches; they endlessly throw arrow after arrow aimed at this target called life. And then, tired of the fight, they give up and wallow in mediocrity. They convince themselves that they are useless and that they will never have the skills or the ability to hit the bullseye in this game of life.”
But in Brian Tracy’s opinion, if a person’s goal is to win, if he or she is coached by a competent expert, or is properly trained to do so, then that person greatly improves their chances of success, thanks to the way they have gone about their preparations. If they then continue to persevere, assess and control each decision they make, correct their mistakes and try harder every time, then there is almost a 100% chance that they will achieve their goal.
Chapter 2 – Focus
“Success is all about goals, everything else is bullshit.” Lloyd Conant.
With this quote, Brian Tracy introduces the idea of the second chapter of “Bull’s-Eye”: To achieve one’s goal in life, it is essential to:
- Know exactly what it involves and where it can be found.
- Set the goal as a priority: it must take precedence over all others.
2.1. Seven steps to accurately define what your main objective is
For Brian Tracy, to define this goal is very simple yet extremely effective. And it’s done in seven steps.
Step 1: Decide exactly what you want
In order to do this, you must not inhibit your thought process but, on the contrary, imagine that you have no limits and that you already have everything you need: talent, abilities, skills, knowledge, contacts, money and resources.
At this stage, it is essential to:
- Trust in the future.
- Be very specific. Brian Tracy quotes Einstein, “If you can’t explain it simply, you haven’t understood it well enough.”
- Don’t confuse “purpose” with “desire” like most people do. For example, “I want to get rich, get slim, be happy, have a nice house, a nice car, designer clothes, travel” are not goals. They are wishes. But a desire does not create energy.
Step 2: Write down some measurable goals
If you write down your goals it will activate what Brian Tracy calls the “law of gravitation”, that is, you will attract people, ideas and resources into your life that will bring you closer to your goals and bring your goals closer to you.
Step 3: Set a deadline
If you set a deadline to reach your goals it is a way to lodge the goal into your subconscious. If your goal is ambitious, Brian Tracy recommends that you break it down into intermediate steps, i.e. monthly or even weekly goals on your schedule.
Step 4: Make a list of all the things you need to do to reach your goal.
The point here is to identify:
- The knowledge and skills to be acquired,
- Obstacles to overcome,
- Who to ask for help.
High ambition can seem like a big step to some. So, if you make a list of all the tasks and activities necessary to accomplish your goal it will make it more attainable for you.
Henry Ford once said, “Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs.”
Step 5: Structure your list into a plan
As with any project, Brian Tracy advises you to sort this list sequentially and in order of priority. To establish priorities, you can refer to the 80/20 rule: this means that 20% of the entries on your list will represent 80% of the value of the results to be achieved.
Step 6: Execute the actions on your list
“A person in possession of a target and a plan is like an archer who has everything he needs to compete: all he has to do is stand on the line and hit the bull’s-eye.”
The watchword here is: action! Success is, indeed, impossible without it and that is why Brian Tracy urges you to “get moving”!
In fact, if you can take the first step towards your goal it will bring you three simultaneous benefits. It will generate:
- Immediate feedback that allows you to adjust your course and assures you that you have chosen the shortest possible path to your goal.
- Many ideas for future initiatives, in order to advance your projects even more quickly.
- An immediate improvement in your self-esteem: you will feel positive, more powerful and stronger in order to reach even more ambitious goals, which is a good way to achieve personal success.
Step 7: Do something every day, even a small step, that brings you closer to your most important goal.
“You can achieve the most inordinate ambitions as long as you take them one step at a time. And the next action is never unattainable.”
Brian Tracy believes that the other most powerful principle of success is to “keep moving!” The author suggests that you write down ten goals that you would like to achieve in the next twelve months that will enable you to achieve your main goal.
2.2. Two methods to be applied to optimise its chances of success
The three P’s to multiply your chances of success
Brian Tracy explains that man’s subconscious responds more effectively to orders when they are expressed with the use of the formula of the three Ps: Personal, Positive and in the Present (as if the goal was already achieved).
So it’s this method he recommends, to write down your goals: to express a positive sentence with the use of the first person of a verb in the present tense, as if this was already the case. Examples: “I win…”, “I succeed…” or, if your goal is to double your income, you need to write down the amount with a deadline: “I earn so much each year.”
The magic wand to establish your main aim
The purpose of this exercise is to help you to define your main aim.
Brian Tracy suggests that you imagine yourself in possession of a magic wand which will enable you to realize, within 24 hours, one of the goals that you have written on your sheet of paper. Then he suggests you ask yourself: what would that goal be? In other words:
“If you could achieve any of your life’s goals in twenty-four hours, which one would create the most positive change in your life at this moment?”
Tracy believes that the answer you give must become your main aim. Lastly, he points out:
“You may have a series of goals in different areas of your life, but you must always have one goal that is more important than the others.”
2.3. The step-by-step guide to achieve your greatest ambition
Brian Tracy finishes this chapter of “Bull’s-Eye” with a summary of the seven steps that you have put in place, to be followed in sequence:
- Write down your goal in personal, positive and present terms, with a deadline to complete it. Example: “In 2017, I earn 100,000 euros”.
- List everything that comes to mind in order to reach this goal: what you will have to learn, the difficulties to overcome, who can be of help to you, daily tasks you need to complete…
- Start immediately and complete at least one task from your list.
- Achieve something every day that brings you closer to your main goal.
Brian Tracy concludes that:
“If you write ten goals, choose a main goal, think about how to execute it, and take daily action, it will change your life and ensure that you’ll hit the bull’s-eye, and sooner than you thought.”
Chapter 3 – Intent
In this third chapter of “Bull’s-Eye”, Brian Tracy explains that the deepest aspiration of man is to give life meaning, and he offers to help you define your own purpose in life.
“Mark Twain wrote, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”
3.1 Embrace something bigger than yourself: five key elements
Brian Tracy covers a few theoretical aspects before he then helps you define your aims in life.
The pyramid of needs devised by Abraham Maslow prioritizes man’s needs. Thus, this pyramid mentions the needs:
- Of the body, called primary needs;
- Of the spirit, called higher needs, which are related to personal fulfilment.
Maslow’s conclusion is that if you can satisfy your primary needs, you free yourself to fulfil your higher needs. And to satisfy these higher needs, humans needs to define what they need in life:
“To release one’s full potential and become what one is capable of being, one must give a high meaning to one’s life. One needs to commit to something greater than oneself.”
Brian Tracy believes that this requires five elements:
- Values: they represent what is most important to you, your base principles, those with which you won’t compromise at any cost. They are the foundation of your personality.
- A vision: you need a clear and inspirational vision of your future.
- A sense of purpose: the meaning given to your mission is a natural extension of your values and vision.
- A mission.
- Goals: these are the targets that you aim for; these goals make your values, vision and main goal a reality, each and every day.
3.2. The three essential elements of your declaration of intent
A declaration of intent requires knowledge of three elements:
- Your actual goal,
- The method to achieve it,
- A way to measure your success once your goal is reached.
For example, in a “sound” declaration of corporate governance, each member of the company will fulfil these three elements if they:
- Have total clarity on what this statement of intent means.
- Comprehend fully, from the very start, their role and responsibilities.
- Easily evaluate their contribution to how the business functions.
3.3. The seven ‘right’ questions to ask in order to determine your vocation
“Most essential to your long-term happiness and success is to reflect and identify your mission in every important area of your life.”
Brian Tracy suggests that you answer 7 “sound” questions to determine your future vocation:
- If you had as much money as you are able to spend, as long as you were active and fully invested in your business, what would you choose to do?
- What is it that you really like to do? What job/life would you choose if financial problems were a thing of the past?
- And what do you really believe in? What are your core values/beliefs?
- In what ways would you like to be famous and what sort of reputation would you like to create? How would you like people to describe you if you weren’t there? At your funeral? What legacy would you like to leave behind?
- What are your deepest concerns? Who would you like to help and how would you like to impact the world if you could?
- What gives you the greatest sense of importance in your life?
3.4. Draw up a declaration of intent
To conclude this chapter of “Bull’s-Eye”, Brian Tracy encourages you to write your statement of intent (i.e. that which you wish to achieve more than anything else) in black and white. For this purpose, he suggests that you use this model as a guide:
- My goal is [changes you would like to make in the lives of others]?
- My strategy to implement my goal is [the activities you plan to employ].
- I will measure the success of my goal by [the number or result to be achieved to evaluate if you have succeeded in your goal]?
Brian Tracy ends with a message on the impact of the quality of service to others and what it means to your personal satisfaction in life:
“Your satisfaction will always be proportional to the quality of your services. If you want to increase the quality and quantity of your satisfaction, you must increase the quality and quantity of the services you provide to others. Perhaps the biggest question to ask yourself in your job and in life is, “How can I improve the value of the services I provide to others today?”
Chapter 4 – Concentration
This chapter of “Bull’s-Eye” emphasizes that it is always best to focus on one thing at a time.
4.1 “We are what we repeatedly do” – Aristotle.
For Brian Tracy, it is difficult to concentrate and focus continuously but “once the move is made, it becomes an automatic process”. In his opinion:
“Focus and concentration are acquired through tireless discipline and practice, until they become habits for life. Johann Wolfgang Goethe said: “Everything is difficult before it becomes easy.”
The author adds:
“Good habits are hard to adopt but make your life easier. Bad habits, on the other hand, are easy to adopt and make your life miserable.”
In fact, 95% of our daily actions are the result of automatisms. So that is why there are huge benefits if you can adopt good habits and let them lead you in your daily life.
4.2. Distraction, a major problem
The biggest distractions to most people are caused by emails, mobile phones and social media. The author argues that they destroy people’s ability to complete their most important tasks and are extremely addictive.
Neuroscientists state that every time we respond to the sound (or other signal) of an electronic device, the brain releases a burst of dopamine. Dopamine is a drug (this chemical is found in cocaine and other stimulants). This means that electronic communications render people unable to work for more than a few minutes uninterrupted by electronic distractions. This makes it extremely difficult to complete your tasks and to carry out the work you’re supposed to do.
Even if basic habits of time management, focus and concentration are necessary at the outset of training and practise, they are, in this context, indispensable. After all, it is these habits that will allow you to make a difference and to achieve much more than most other people around you.
4.3. The personal management process in 4 steps
If you can simply just organize your lives and your work, you can make huge improvements in productivity, performance, results and revenues.
In this part of “Bull’s-Eye”, Brian Tracy explains how to do it. He encourages you to follow these four steps:
Step 1: State your goals in each area of your life
Your goals must be very clearly defined, written in order of priority. You also need to establish your main goal for each part of your life.
Step 2: Make a general plan and a check-list for each time you complete a task or project.
If you draw up a schedule it will save a lot of time in the execution phase. Good preparation leads to good results.
Step 3: Make lists
It’s a necessity that you to write down all the things you want to achieve in your future plans: things to do monthly, weekly, and then daily.
Step 4: Decide on your list of priorities
For this, Brian Tracy advises using the 80/20 rule (20% of the entries in your list will generate 80% of your results).
4.4. Two effective methods to help you prioritize your actions
The ABCDE method
Some tasks will be difficult to classify. To prioritize this or that task, Brian Tracy suggests the ABCDE method. It requires you to classify your tasks in one of these categories:
- A = Indispensable: these are the tasks that you have to complete in order to succeed and keep control of your project. The rule: don’t leave these tasks unattended as this will end with seriously negative consequences.
- B = Necessary: these are tasks that must be performed at some point in time, but are less important than category A tasks. The rule: never execute a task B when a task A has not been fulfilled.
- C = Friendly: these are pleasant and fun activities with no positive impact on your future. The rule: practise in moderation, avoid the social networks associated with these activities.
- D = Delegate: these are the tasks that can be delegated so that you can solely concentrate on what you know how to do best. The rule: delegate as much as possible so that you can free up more work time to devote to the tasks that are the most important to your career.
- E = Eliminate: these are the tasks that are of no use. The rule: learn to say no and refuse these tasks.
Three questions to set out your priorities
To separate out these issues, Brian Tracy suggests you answer these three questions:
- If I had to do only one thing from morning to night, what would be the most valuable task in my job?
- What are the tasks that only I and I alone can accomplish and that, if done well, make a significant difference to me?
- What is the most productive use of my time at this precise moment?
4.5. The secret of success and excellent performance
“Focus on your most important task, stick to it until it’s 100% complete is one of the most effective time management techniques.”
Indeed, excellent performance, generally, is down to a few habits:
- Know what your most important task is and focus only on it (one task at a time).
- Work on your first task early in the morning, before all the others on your list.
- Continue to work until all of your tasks are completed.
“Every feat is preceded by hundreds and thousands of small efforts and minor acts that no one sees, no one appreciates. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote: “There is not a great man whose history is not steps toward a summit. All have watched in the dark night while those around them have slept.” In short, success is the culmination of completed tasks.”
Chapter 5 – Excellence
The idea developed in this chapter of “Bull’s-Eye” is that success and happiness can only be truly experienced if you are able to excel in a particular area.
5.1. Self-esteem leads to success
For Brian Tracy, self-esteem has a definitive impact on what happens to you in life. He believes that the more you love yourself, the better your life will be in every way.
“Self-esteem and efficiency develop synergistically. The more you love yourself, the better you do your job and everything you undertake. The more you love your work, the more you love and respect yourself. These two elements nourish each other.”
For the author, everyone has it within themselves to excel in at least one field, or even in several:
“It’s up to you to discover your area of excellence and then put your heart into it and excel.”
5.2. The top 20 %
Brian Tracy tells us an anecdote that radically changed his outlook on life and, whilst he was at a bit of a low period in his life, led him to make a momentous decision. He says:
” One day, a top salesman showed me a statistic that changed my life forever. It showed that “in every industry, the top 20% of salespeople make 80% of the money.” It was a revelation. Immediately I resolved to be one of the top 20 percent earners. I wanted to do it. That decision changed my life.”
5.3. Everyone starts at the bottom of the ladder
Anyone who is successful struggled to begin with. Everyone starts at the bottom, without training or skills. The author quotes T. Harv Eker who says:
“Every master was a bad student in the first place.”
But then, it is legitimate to ask:
“How is it that some people rise to the top and start to earn ten or twenty times more than those they started with but still have the same level of intelligence, education, relationships and opportunities?”
For Brian Tracy, the answer is simple:
“Those who earn the most have invested years of hard work to excel in the areas that matter most to them and achieve the results that matter most to their company.”
For the author, this demonstrates that income inequality is largely your own responsibility.
5.4. Ericsson’s work on income and skills gaps
Brian Tracy shares the results of 25 years of work by Professor Anders Ericsson, a world-renowned expert in the study of work performance:
- The executives who receive the highest salaries practice “thoughtful training”, i.e. they are people who have been able to develop one skill at a time, in a clear and calculated way, throughout their career.
- Among the employees:
- The 80% of the lowest paid take the trouble in the first year to learn their trade. Then they just cruise from there: they don’t read, don’t train and just amble along in their job. After ten years of experience, they are no more productive than after their first year. Their salary only increases by about 1% per year above inflation.
- On the opposite spectrum the top 20% go forward with their education and training and show continual progress; their salary increases by an average of 11% per year, i.e. it doubles every six and a half years.
5.5. Strive for excellence
This part of “Bull’s-Eye” explains how to achieve excellence in 4 steps.
Step 1: identify a key skill
For Brian Tracy, the first thing to do to be successful and prevent career failure is to ask yourself this pivotal question:
“What is the skill that, if acquired at the highest level, will have the greatest impact on my career?”
In other words: what is the skill that, if you seek to excel in it, would be the most helpful for you to achieve your main goal, your fundamental purpose?
Step 2: Write a plan
Then, once this indispensable skill is clearly identified, the author encourages you to write out your plan and make it your goal:
“Let this plan be clear, personal, positive and written in the present tense, with a deadline. For example, write, “I’m a top specialist in such and such a skill by such and such a date.”
You will then list everything you can learn and practise to develop this skill. Then sort your list by sequence and priority.
Step 3: Focus on the acquisition of this skill
Brian Tracy encourages you to put your plan into action immediately and practise daily (2 hours/day on average, 5 days/week or even more). The author emphasizes that if you can focus on the development of your core competency, you will also improve other of your skills:
“Once you’re ready to learn all your life, you automatically progress to the other areas, as if by osmosis.”
Step 4: Continuous improvement
When a skill is learnt, the process is repeated: the question of the most important skill to learn is reiterated.
In general, the idea is to always seek to improve your efficiency and productivity, to continually feed your mind with new ideas, methods and techniques.
- Two final important points about your path to excellence
- Any skills can be acquired. There is no limit.
- Sometimes, if you learn a single new skill, you can achieve extraordinary results, way beyond what you may have expected. So it’s up to you to identify what that skill is…
Chapter 6 – People
Success, believes Brian Tracy, is largely due to the people “we know and who think well of us”. He says:
“Mathematically, the formula is: QR × QR = QL. (The quality of your relationships multiplied by the quantity of your relationships equals the quality of your life.)”
6.1. Five tips to help build successful relationships
In light of this, the author encourages you to come up with a list people who are in a position to help or assist you to achieve your goals. He suggests that you follow a few tips:
To make yourself known “as one who gives, not one who takes.”
Brian Tracy believes that it is essential, in your relationships with others, to adopt an attitude of “giving to give”: in other words, we must learn to “give in order to receive”.
The author distinguishes two types of people in our society:
- Those who consider others as “tools to be manipulated, and who seek only their immediate interest in all circumstances”: those who, when they meet someone new, only ask themselves: “How can I take advantage of them?”
- Those who see others as “people with desires, needs and personalities that give them intrinsic value”. People who are part of the elite generally belong to this second category. When they meet someone, they ask themselves, “What can I give them? What do they need? What do they appreciate? If I give it to them, it’s a positive way to connect.”
It has often been forgotten, but Brian Tracy reminds us that at every influential point in your life, there is a key person who has had a major impact on who you have become and what you have accomplished.
This is why the author enthusiastically encourages you to create links with as many people as possible: in this way, you inrease your chances to meet these key people. His opinion is that the top 20% of individuals function this way: they are constantly in search of opportunities to network and find people they could help, and from whom they could expect help in return.
Take an interest in others
Brian Tracy points out that you never know how and when someone will be able to help you. Likewise, they don’t know how or when you can return the favour. Therefore, you just have to have faith in the law of probability and grow your network of relationships as much as possible.
“Meet people. But rather than consider what they can do for you, reflect on what you can do for them. When you are introduced to a new person, don’t just tell them about yourself and hand them your business card; instead, ask them about themselves and the kind of work they do. It is pertinent to ask what you need to know so that you can refer a new client.”
“The best way to make friends and business connections is to try to help others improve their sales and margins.”
Brian Tracy tells us one of his favourite rules for success. It is as follows:
“The more you give of yourself with no expectation to get something back in return, the more you receive unexpectedly. […] When you sow obligingness, friendship, kindness and generosity, you have done your part. You don’t have to worry about where the returns and profits will come from. What we have to do is to sow. Nature itself and God’s nature will take care of the rest.”
Flatter, praise, congratulate
Brian Tracy tells us about a very effective technique used by Mary Kay Ash (founder of one of the largest network marketing companies) to maintain quality relationships with others: it is to imagine a sign that hangs around the neck of every person you meet that says “Make me feel important”.
6.2. Nine helpful practices
In this section, “Bull’s-Eye” outlines nine practices that you can adopt to help your life improve dramatically:
Never criticize or condemn a person or their behaviour.
If you disapprove, it’s better to keep it to yourself.
Be pleasant, genuine, friendly and approachable in all circumstances.
If you don’t share the same opinions with someone, there’s really not much point for you to express yours to them. People often argue over minor issues that are not worthwhile. Instead, you should drop it or ask questions to better understand the other person’s position. It’s best to be open, friendly and cheerful. Act like the positive person you wish to be.
Show forgiveness and care
Everyone has a deep need to be accepted by their loved ones. So when you are indulgent with others, you strengthen their self-esteem and put them at ease. This feeling leads them to love and respect you. Another way you can show your kindness is to smile. It shows the other person that you value them:
“When you smile at a person, they feel attractive and important. Their self-esteem grows.”
Brian Tracy suggests that you should always thank others for what they do for you, whether it’s important or not. It’s a good way to show them that they are important and this will make them happy. This makes the person more amenable to you and encourages them to act the same way in the future. It creates a virtuous circle.
Express your appreciation
If you give somebody a compliment it gives them a sense of importance, of value. This will make it more likely that they will engage with you. For example, you can compliment them on the clothes they wear, their hairstyle, their car, on their house, the wonderful place they work at, what they have achieved.
Show your approval
If you commend someone it satisfies their need to feel valued, which applies to everyone. Each time you praise a person, that person’s self-esteem grows; they appreciate and respect you more. You can then:
- Compliment people on their achievements, be they big or small.
- Congratulate them regularly when they accomplish something positive and productive from your point of view.
- Conversely, refrain from criticism or the need to complain when they make a mistake.
The best way to make people feel important is to listen carefully when they talk. Here are some tips from the author:
- Stand in front of the person, bend over slightly.
- Soak up every word: try to imagine that your eyes are sun lamps and that you want your interlocutor to be as tanned as possible, especially their mouth and lips.
- Do not interrupt the speaker and take a moment when they remain silent, as if you mean to soak up each and every word they say.
Ask for clarification
The more questions you ask (e.g. “What is it?”) and the more carefully you listen to our interlocutor’s answers, the more confident and comfortable they will feel when they are around you, and, as a result, the more they will appreciate you.
Rephrase the person’s ideas in order to provide them with feedback
If you rephrase what the speaker said, it proves that you have listened to them.
Brian Tracy concludes the chapter with this summary:
“If you spend your time to build up your network, look for ways to help before you’re even asked, and give people a sense of importance, they’ll rush to help you achieve your goal.”
Chapter 7 – Perseverance
This final chapter of “Bull’s-Eye” explains why your ability and determination to persevere in the face of adversity is paramount to your ultimate success. Because very often, when you embark on a major project, you run into unforeseen challenges. The most important thing at this point is to know how to overcome them.
7.1. Develop your character when faced with hardship
Tracy says that your character is measured, in part, by your ability to respond to problems. In this section, he reveals some tried and trusted techniques to help you deal with short-term failures:
- Stay calm
When an event rattles you, your neocortex, which enables you to reason and decide, becomes blocked. In this state, there is a strong likelihood that you will make poor decisions or say the wrong things.
- Stick to the facts
In many cases, a problem is not as catastrophic as it appears at first glance. So, it is essential to be fully informed about the facts before you respond.
Brian Tracy reminds us that, in times of trouble, successful people always remain calm and ask as many questions as possible: in this way, they maintain complete control of their emotions and their ability to think. In fact, if you ask questions it is an excellent technique to avoid confusion and to help you make the right decision when required.
Positivity in all circumstances
Napoleon Hill said:
“Every difficulty carries the seed of an equal or greater advantage. It is up to you to find them.”
Brian Tracy points out that some of life’s greatest successes stem from some of its worst failures. So there is always something positive to come out of setbacks, and sometimes “that good side brings more profit than anything you’ve lost would ever have done”.
Learn from every challenge or temporary setback
” Challenges do not rise up before us to block us, but to teach us.”
Brian Tracy recommends that you face each problem with the understanding that it contains a lesson that will allow you to be more successful in the future. To do this, you need to remind yourself that every challenge comes with a hidden gift. This gift, if you find it, will teach you a valuable lesson and provide you with more opportunities for future success.
7.2. Learn from your mistakes
“There’s nothing wrong if you make mistakes. They are inevitable. On the other hand, it is unforgivable not to learn from them. They must be analyzed methodically and then never make the same mistake twice.”
Brian Tracy gives three tips so you don’t the same mistake twice.
- Take responsibility for the problem, whatever it is
“The past is history. Simply acknowledge it and admit, “It’s my fault.” Even if you are not responsible for what happened, you are totally responsible for the way you react.”
So if you take responsibility for what happens and refuse to blame anyone else, it shows that you are calm and positive. You stay in control of the situation. You use your head to best solve the problem and get yourself out of it.
- Be pragmatic
“Great businessmen […] know that life is a constant stream of annoyances. They focus to find solutions. They think in terms of actions to be taken to get out of the rift and continually move forwards.”
- Program the mind
Here Brian Tracy explains that it is perfectly feasible for you to program your mind in advance to react properly and rationally when a problem occurs.
7.3. Solve the problems
Brian Tracy, in 5 steps, explains his method to solve problems and make decisions:
- Clearly define the problem.
- Consider the possible implications of the collateral damage.
- Look at the problem from different angles.
- Look for the solution.
- Once you have found the solution, ask yourself if it solves everything.
Lastly, Brian Tracy points out that in any problem:
“The number of solutions considered is proportional to the quality of the solution ultimately applied. The quantity of solutions leads to the quality of decisions.”
7.4. Consider the worst possible outcome
To alleviate the anxiety that a problem provokes and to restore calmness and clarity of mind, Brian Tracy suggests that you work on what he calls a “disaster report” comprised of 4 steps:
- Step 1: Define the problem clearly
If possible, write it down so as to clarify your thoughts and assess the scale of the problem.
- Step 2: Imagine the worst possible outcome
Anticipate the worst-case scenario that could happen as a result of the situation and then formulate solutions so as to avoid these consequences.
- Step 3: Accept the worst that can happen, if it is unavoidable.
Once the worst possible outcome has been identified and you resolve to accept it, if it should happen, the pressure is suddenly lifted. You re-establish a sense of calm and serenity, as well as a feeling of complete control.
- Step 4: Make every effort to ensure that the worst-case scenario doesn’t happen.
Immediately fix what is most serious. Act without delay.
7.5. Eliminate stress and anxiety through action
“The real cure for anxiety is action, action, action… directed toward your primary goal.”
Book critique of “Bull’s-Eye”
The essence of Brian Tracy’s approach in one quote
Brian Tracy concludes his book “Bull’s-Eye” with a few sentences to summarize his ideas:
“To be successful in life, you need to clearly define your goals. You must have a plan of action for day-to-day work. You need to focus and concentrate on the most important things you can accomplish in order to achieve your main goals. And, you must commit to persist until you win. You have to make that decision in advance so that, no matter what happens, you never give up. And if you do this time and again, you will become accustomed to success for life. You’ll do more in a few months than most people do in years.”
A great approach, concise and encourages practical implementation!
He is regarded as a benchmark for personal development. Although “Bulls-Eye” is not one of his best-known books, it is nonetheless an excellent book in which he offers a clear, practical and concise approach to personal development.
The 7 key steps described – clarity, focus, intention, concentration, excellence, people and perseverance – are accessible to everyone. The content goes straight to the point and encourages you to take action.
Finally, “Bull’s-Eye” is a simple but very effective book, focused on action and pragmatism, which brings together the ideas of the greatest authorities on personal development. A compendium of methodologies to be read at length when you wish to consider a change in your life!
- A truly compact guide to unlock your potential and start a change in your life.
- A practical and comprehensive approach, to be followed step by step, relevant to everyone
- The straightforward tone and language focused, above all, on practical application.
- Makes you feel motivated.
- The arguments go to the heart of the matter but are often repeated.
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