Achieving what you truly want doesn’t have to be a lonely marathon when you have the power of others at your disposal…
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See the author’s TEDx Talk on Creating Extraordinary Intimacy in a Shut Down World
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Let’s face it. No matter who you are, what you have or accomplished, chances are there is something, maybe a lot of things, you’d like to change about your life. For many it’s more money or better career, for others perhaps finding the mate of their dreams. The point is, most people are not satisfied with at least some aspect of their current circumstances. The trouble is, few really know how to go about achieving what they want out of life and end up either discouraged or settle for distracting themselves from the awareness of that painful fact.
Happily, there is a proven way to vastly increasing the odds of getting what you really want. And what is so surprising about this strategy is that it incorporates other people who are willing and dedicated to helping you achieve your dreams at no cost whatsoever.
Wisdom from the Great Depression
Talk about undesirable circumstances, can you imagine what it must have been like living during the Great Depression? It was more about just surviving, having a roof over your head, enough cloths to wear and food to eat rather than pining for a slick new car or bigger home. Arising out of this sea of misery was some incredibly profound wisdom which came as a result of a very wealthy man’s challenge to another man.
Andrew Carnegie, an industrial titan and one of the worlds’ wealthiest men and benefactors at the time commissioned a plucky young attorney and writer named Napolean Hill to interview over 500 millionaires. And that was a time when a million bucks was a hell-of-a-lot of money. The purpose for doing so was to determine if there were fundamental principles used by all those wealthy individuals that any average person could follow to achieve great success. Out of this 20-year pursuit came the world’s best-selling success book called “Think & Grow Rich”. A quick aside, the original working title was: “Use Your Noodle to Boost Your Boodle”. Somehow, I don’t think that one would have been as compelling to help the book achieve its lofty success all these years.
The Power of the Mastermind
One of the more prominent and consistently effective strategies mentioned in the book is called the Mastermind. A mastermind is essentially a small group of people who meet regularly to help each other achieve their goals and dreams. As simple as this sounds don’t be tempted to think this is just a group of friends getting together to brainstorm ideas. It is far more structured and powerful than that.
A mastermind is essentially a small group of people who meet regularly to help each other achieve their goals and dreams.
I formed my first mastermind in 1993 with a friend who was just as determined as I was to make big changes in our respective lives. I had just “retired” (at the tender age of 41) from a successful business that made me good money but really didn’t feed my sense of mission or purpose. And he was looking for a new career as well. Starting with just the two of us we recruited several other men and women, being careful of who we let into our circle. They had to be on fire about their desire for what they wanted, totally trustworthy, have valuable yet complementary skills / experience and willingness to be held accountable by the group. Eventually our Mastermind grew to about eight people. We met weekly and during each meeting several of the members had the privilege of having the entire group focus on their problem or desire.
As a result of that Mastermind I launched a highly successful international technology speaking / writing career just 24 months later which lasted 16 years until I retired (again) in 2011. My friend was hired for his dream job, one that he still has to this day. And most of the other members achieved what they were seeking as well.
My Life Partner and I started a new Mastermind just over a year ago to help us shepherd a new direction for our respective careers, including working together in one or more businesses. The weekly meetings, holding ourselves accountable via the group and gaining other people’s trusted input has so far helped us tremendously as we march toward reaching these new dreams.
Starting Your Own Mastermind
It takes no money and relatively little effort to start your own mastermind. However, a structured approach to forming and running it will help you see big results more quickly. Here’s a brief rundown of the elements you need to consider:
- Members – choose them wisely as they can have a significant impact on your and the other member’s success in achieving goals. Only allow members that you know can be trusted, are totally supportive of your success (vs. feeling envious) and ideally, has high-level skill sets and experience that all members can benefit from. On this last point it is important to shoot as high as you can. Group dynamics and individual member advancement toward declared goals are often dictated by the weakest link.
- Frequency of Meetings – I recommend weekly to start. Anything less than that distractions, loss of focus and reduced accountability tend to occur. If you are forming a mastermind with really busy high-powered individuals, then their schedules may necessitate more time between meetings.
- Purpose – have a written purpose for the mastermind that encapsulates the spirit and intention of all its members.
- Agenda, Rules & Structure – having written agenda, rules and structure for meetings is important so that all members can achieve their desired results in the least amount of time or effort.
You can save a great deal of effort and get started almost immediately with the help of a couple of Word templates I’ve created for our own Mastermind. I freely share these with you here to use as is or modify as you see fit (just click the links to download).
The Agenda Template includes our written Mastermind Purpose, Agenda and Rules. This particular document is designed to keep the meetings on focus and purpose for the benefit of all members.
The Accountability Template includes tracking of member weekly goals, brainstorming topics and resources to share. This is the one that changes the most each week and is crucial to using the power of the group members to keep each other accountable for declared individual objectives.
The Most Important Part
As Napolean Hill so succinctly states in his book, clarity of your desires wrapped within strong emotion is crucial to seeing real results. This means being crystal clear about what you want and why you want it. The strength of your “why” is the emotional fuel that drives the engine of success towards your intended “what”.
…clarity of your desires wrapped within strong emotion is crucial to seeing real results.
Though not strictly necessary, our group has an unwritten rule that every member complete and share their “What Matters” document. This concisely declares their Life Purpose, Mission and Vision as clearly as possible. The reason for this is to give the group a well-defined framework in which to help each member stay within their declared purpose, mission and vision as they pursue their goals. You are welcome to use my What Matters document (also in Word) to modify for your own situation.
Getting what you want out of life begins with knowing without a doubt what you want, why you want it with strong desire (emotion) and having a structured approach to achieve it. The Mastermind strategy super-charges this process by leveraging the intellectual horsepower and emotional support of other like-minded individuals whose primary desire for you is attaining what you want.
Your dreams truly are there for the taking. And standing on the shoulders of others is the quickest and easiest way to reach them.