I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine about those so-called personal development gurus like Dale Carneigie, Tony Robbins, Jim Rohn, Stephen R. Covey, Napoleon Hill, Jack Canfield and many others who, I must say, have played a major role in my life and my outlook on people and life.
My friend’s rather simplistic view was that it is all hokey-pokey delivered by snake-oil salesmen and that talented people don’t need all the Ra-Ra, they just need to get on with the job.
I totally disagree with him as, I suspect, does Warren Buffett.
From other material I’ve read about Buffett he attributes his success to habits like:
- Reading for 5-6 hours a day – yes that’s right! “How does he find the time?” most people say. My guess is, like all of us, he has all the time there is – 24 hours every day. What he does is make a choice about is how he chooses to use it. As the saying goes “if you want to earn more you need to learn more.”
- He says you must confront and overcome your fears. For him, one of the biggest fears was public speaking and communicating with people. What he is in effect saying in this video is any fear can be overcome with help. I’m not suggesting you’ll be “successful” (however you want to define your concept of success) if you read How to Win Friends and Influence People, what I am suggesting is fear of some sort is what holds people back from reaching their potential. You have to overcome that fear to achieve your full potential and to overcome that fear you may need the help of a “personal development guru.” If it is good enough for Buffett, it’s good enough for me.
- His third piece of success advice is “never do anything you don’t like doing.” Easier said than done you might say. And you’re right. But then nothing worth pursuing is easy; if it was everyone would be doing it. This gets to the core of what i like to call my success formula which goes like this:
Your Gift (what you have a talent or specific strength for)
Your Passion (what you really like doing because it fulfills your sense of accomplishment and purpose)
Your Work Effort (the time and energy you are willing to commit to achieve your challenging goals)