The best book I read in 2017 was probably Ray Dalio’s Principles.
I say ‘probably’ as I read a bookstore full of books a year, and many get lost in the shuffle of turning pages.
If a book stands out, I tweet about it.
If it really sits up and rolls over, I write a blog post about it.
Dalio’s Principles made the cut for 2017.
I don’t know Dalio personally and actually never heard of him at all before I read his book.
He’s a billionaire entrepreneur and investor. He’s highly respected and successful.
After a lifetime of paying attention to what works in business and life, he compiled his “Principles.”
Apparently they were first put online.
They were downloaded over three million times.
When his book came out in 2017, it went to #1 on the NY Times bestsellers list.
Why did I buy the book when I didn’t know Dalio or his work?
A strong intuitive nudge urged me to preorder it.
Something about the title just said, “Read this next.”
As I’ve learned to do, I acted on that impulse.
And I’m glad I did.
The book is huge at almost 600 pages.
And it’s packed with wisdom.
I felt I was reading a software manual for life.
While Dalio sometimes comes across as a computer programmer, he’s actually more of a keen observer of life. As he finds insights that hold true, he writes them down as Principles.
Underneath Dalio’s drive is a prime directive that basically reminds him that he doesn’t know it all.
But the combined mind power of others could help him see objective reality and make clearer decisions.
At his TED2017 talk, he says, “Rather than thinking, ‘I’m right,’ I started to ask myself, ‘How do I know I’m right?’”
I love this question.
“How do I know I’m right?”
I love it because it’s so easy to deceive ourselves with our own thinking.
We can be illogical and not even know it.
When I coach or consult people, I often hear them say things they don’t hear as limitations. Until they invite outside input, they will continue to believe their own limitations.
It’s because thought is circular until you invite objective input.
Dalio solved this quirk of human nature by creating a way to judge the merit of an idea.
You don’t judge the person or the situation.
You judge the idea.
He calls it idea meritocracy.
Finding the merit of an idea.
One of the most unforgettable passages in the hefty book is when Dalio is told he has to have his esophagus removed.
Remaining as detached as he could, he decides to measure the merit of that recommendation.
He finds four other medical experts.
They all openly share.
They agree to a retest.
The result is Dalio kept his esophagus and changed a few basic lifestyle habits.
But he may have lost it due to the first doctor had Dalio not questioned the merit of his recommendation and been open to other experts opinions.
There’s abundance in this book.
I’ve folded back pages and underlined passages.
There’s no way I can memorize all his material. I have to keep a few basic principles in mind, such as –
“Reality is optimizing for the whole – not for you.”
“Pay attention to people’s track records.”
“Make your passion and your work one and the same and do it with people you want to be with.”
“Train your ‘lower-level you’ with kindness and persistence to build the right habits.”
“Almost nothing can stop you from succeeding if you have (a) flexibility and (b) self-accountability.”
Those principles seem stark and naïve sitting alone on the page.
Of course, those are only a handful of his principles and you’ll need to read his book to understand them.
But the book is friendly, easy, deep, and unforgettable.
Out of the thousands of books I’ve read and still own, only a handful make it to my desk, sitting at arms reach, to be seen or grasped at will.
They include legends, like Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich and Maxwell Maltz’s Psycho-Cybernectics.
Today I am placing Ray Dalio’s Principles in that little lineup of success classics.
PS – See my “Best Books Ever” list of 2015 at https://www.mrfire.com/law-of-attraction/best-books-ever/ for a sense of the books I read and like.
Here’s the true story of yet another person who went from homeless to great success using The Law of Attraction, The Secret, and other self-help books and principles.
I’m in Bangkok, Thailand as I write this.
I was flown here to present at a two-day seminar on The Missing Secret to success.
The people were warm and loving, the event was sold out, the traffic was awful, the food was amazing, and the Thai massages between my presentations were deeply and unforgettably relaxing.
But that’s not the good part.
One of the organizers is a young man from Sweden. His name is Andres Pira.
He left Sweden 15 years ago out of desperation.
He was 20 years old and unhappy.
His life was going no where, he was tired of the ten months a year of darkness, and he needed a way out.
His grandfather died, left him two thousand dollars, and he used it to buy a ticket to the warmest country he could get to fast.
That turned out to be Thailand.
But Thailand was not an easy road for a young man with no contacts, no experience, and no ability to speak the Thai language.
Within a short period, he was homeless.
He slept on the beach.
He was too embarrassed to ask his family for help.
He contacted a friend and confessed that he was desperate.
The friend said, “I won’t send you any money, but I’ll send you a book that might help you.”
Andres was upset.
He’s starving and his friend is going to send a book?
The book was The Secret.
Andres read it.
And as he did, something awakened within him.
He started to realize that his thoughts were creating his reality.
Since he was homeless, he didn’t like what his thoughts had created.
He decided to learn and use the Law of Attraction to create a better life for himself.
The next book he read was Napoleon Hill’s classic, Think and Grow Rich.
After that, he read my first book on ho’oponopono, Zero Limits.
He was committed to change his life.
He succeeded, too.
Today he runs 19 companies, has 150 employees, and is a billionaire.
He is one of the largest real estate developers in all of Southeast Thailand.
One of his biggest properties in 2018 will be managed by Best Western Premiere.
But he also owns a gym, a law office, a gas station, several coffee shops and more.
He’s only 35 years old.
He told me this story after picking me up at the Bangkok airport.
I was fascinated.
Even though I had just spent 24 hours traveling – with 20 hours of that in the air – I was engaged and wanted to know more.
“You have to tell your story,” I said. “This is inspiring. People look at you and see a billionaire. They don’t see the homeless man who read self-help books and took action to recreate his life.”
“I have never publicly told my story,” Andres confessed. “It would seem like bragging.”
“It’s not bragging to admit you were homeless,” I explained. “How is being homeless a bragging point?”
I told him of my own struggle from homeless through poverty on to global success.
I tell my story not to brag, but to inspire.
I wanted Andres to do the same.
“You are hosting your first event this weekend,” I said. “Why not stand up at it and tell your story?”
He had never considered that idea.
Andres was nervous, but I coached him on how to present his case.
To his credit, he agreed to make his speaking debut at his own event.
He did, too.
And he was great.
People loved this young man and his honest rages to riches story.
Andres explained how he read The Secret, and then moved on to other books by the teachers of The Secret, including me.
In fact, Andres is so grateful for my books and audios impact on his life that he is taking me to Phuket, Thailand for a week of rest, all at his own expense.
As we continued our ride, he told me of various turning points in his life.
One was about giving.
Both he and his fiancé decided to start giving on their birthdays.
The traditional custom in most countries is to receive gifts on your birthday.
But Andres and his soon to be wife liked the Thai custom of not getting but giving.
So on his birthday, he went to orphanages with bags of gifts.
His fiancée did the same on her birthday.
They felt fantastic in making a difference in these children’s lives.
But Andres discovered another benefit to this giving.
“Right then I noticed my businesses began to grow and multiply. Somehow my giving triggered a receiving that I didn’t expect.”
Of course, I’ve written about giving in numerous books, including Attract Money Now.
But it’s always fortifying to hear of others proving the power of giving.
The more I spoke to Andres, the more I realized he deeply integrated what he learned from me and other authors, and yet made it his own and went beyond it.
I told Andres that he needed to write his life story, including his life and business lessons, and his meditations and visualizations.
Whether he wrote it, I wrote it, or someone else wrote it, I could see it transforming millions of readers.
Andres and I will be spending more time together in Phuket, so I may be able to get a fire started under him to share his life with you.
I hope you find this story as inspiring as I do. Again and again, we keep seeing evidence that the Law of Attraction works. But you have to not just read about it, but also apply it.
Andres did, and look at him now.
You can be next.
PS – Great news! I convinced Andres to let me help him with his book. You can expect it in 2019. It’ll reveal his story, secrets, principles, meditations, extreme sports insights, multiple business practices, and more. Meanwhile, learn from him and his wife, as I have. My birthday is this month. I plan to turn the tables on custom and my past and make this 64th birthday one of giving on the day I usually receive. You don’t need to wait to your birthday to give. Look around. Someone needs your kindness. Why not give right now?
In case you want to work with me in person, letting me help you personally with my three decades of marketing and metaphysical experience, here are three ways to do it —
1. On May 28th I am holding a private mastermind event in Austin, Texas. It will be a half-day of brainstorming with me and nine other people. It is a powerful way to profit from the group energy and the group’s experience, combined with my own. The fee is $5,000. Write firstname.lastname@example.org for details, availability, etc.
2. If you would prefer a one-on-one mastermind, with just you and me, working together on your life and business, then you might want to consider the Phantom Mastermind. While I sold my Rolls-Royce, I have a brand new 2016 Bentley that we can drive to dinner in, and then spend three or four hours focused on you and your desires. The fee is $7,500. To register, write email@example.com The site explaining it is – https://www.mrfire.com/phantom/
3. If you want year-long personal mentoring by me, with monthly meetings by phone or Skype, then you might consider my Gullwing Mastermind. This is a major commitment of time and money, but clearly it could obviously transform your life and business forever. Write firstname.lastname@example.org Details are at — http://blog.mrfire.com/whats-your-gullwing/
And if you want a far less investment to get some insights and inspiration from me, consider my new Awakened Millionaire Academy. You can have lifetime access for only a one-time investment. Details at — http://awakenedmillionaireacademy.com/join-12/
Choose your path to success.
Write email@example.com with any questions.
PS – If you feel all of the above are beyond your reach at this time, then be sure to go read The Miracles Manual: The Secret Coaching Sessions. All three volumes are yours, free, over at – http://www.miraclesmanual.com
Note: All prices are good at the time of this posting and may change at any time.
Brace yourself. This is the first time I’ve ever made this offer. It is limited to 10 people. It will transform your life. It is BIG. Details below…
“Joe Vitale is a true marketing, sales and promotion genius.”
– Dan Kennedy, in his book ‘No B.S. Marketing to the Affluent’
“Just when you think you understand how the world works Joe Vitale comes along and takes you to a whole new place. He’s engaging, entertaining, enlightening and – oh boy – does he ever stretch your thinking.” – Ian Percy, Reg. Psych. and member of both the US and Canadian Speaker Halls of Fame.
“No one else I know of could help someone come up with a Barnum-like Big Idea and then help them take it to fruition = becoming a huge phenomenon, which means BIG money, fame, recognition, and unique world positioning. See Joe Vitale’s outrageous list of accomplishments to know this is the real deal.” – David Garfinkel, Copywriter, Author, Consultant
What else is possible?
What’s left undone?
What can you attempt to attract or achieve that would stun even you?
Yes, you can stay comfy.
You earned it.
But we both know that life begins at the end of your comfort zone.
That’s where “the rush” is.
That’s why people do dare devil endurance feats and climb mountains and open businesses.
They want more.
That’s why people in Kuwait, already wealthy, open retail shops.
They are seeking the gusto of life.
They want to feel alive.
What’s your next dream?
While you think about your answer, allow me to share my own answer.
My own big dream is the desire for a vintage Gullwing.
That’s a Mercedes SL300 Gullwing.
That’s the iconic car considered by many as the world’s first super car.
Leading edge engineering.
Built in 1954-55 and sought today as investment grade masterpieces.
And fetching upwards to two million dollars.
I want one.
I want one because the desire for one is melting my limits about what I think is possible.
If a once homeless man like me can attract a vintage Gullwing, what else is possible?
It’s not about the Gullwing.
It’s about The Stretch.
So, what’s your Gullwing?
It doesn’t need to be a car.
It can be anything that makes you suck in air.
It can be anything you long for but have yet to achieve.
Anything that gives you chills.
Anything that makes you a little scared and a lot excited.
What’s your Gullwing?
What would you like to experience just because you want it?
I’m looking for 10 people to join a Gullwing Mastermind with me.
This is a full year program for creating miracles.
It’s what Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, declared was the key to success.
He wrote –
“The “Master Mind” may be defined as: ‘Coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose.'” – Napoleon Hill
The Gullwing Mastermind private group that I am inviting you to join consists of –
And you will have the power of a mastermind to help you achieve your goals.
Some of the most successful people I know are in one or more mastermind groups.
I met a man recently who is in five masterminds.
These are powerful, inspiring, life changing.
You not only draw from my experience, but you have the collective power of the entire mastermind group on your side – the wisdom, energy, support, experience, education, resources, contacts, and more.
Obviously, this is a priceless experience.
But maybe you need to know more about me —
* I started as a homeless nobody, lived in poverty for a decade, and went on to fame and fortune. Today I live the lifestyle of the rich and famous. Incredibly successful people hunt me down for consultations and engagements, like the princess in Kuwait who paid me six figures to speak at her event, and the son of the man who produced The Beatles who wants me in a movie and television show he is producing.
* I wrote more books than most people read in a lifetime – about 50 so far, with numerous ones being bestsellers, such as The Attractor Factor and the recent The Secret Prayer. These books have become #1 bestsellers on Amazon, in the overall category of ALL books. I have been published in every way you can name, and have secrets and insights about each approach.
* I recorded multiple bestselling self-help programs, for the largest and most famous audio producer in the world, and saw many of them become record-breaking bestsellers – even out selling Earl Nightingale’s famous programs. I know how to create, package, and sell programs so the world hears about them.
* I pioneered Internet marketing, wrote one of the first books every published about it in the 1990s, created outrageous attention grabbing stunts like being the first to hypnotize someone live online, using the Internet to out sell a Harry Potter book, and selling a hefty package and making half a million dollars in three days.
* I traveled around the world, speaking in countries as diverse as Russia, Peru, Poland, and Kuwait, and of course being a keynote speaker at major events in the USA, including for the National Speakers Association, and at mega-wealth events with Donald Trump and Tony Robbins on the same bill as me.
* I invented Hypnotic Writing, Hypnotic Marketing, Buying Trances, The Secret Mirror, The Secret Reflection, Miracles Coaching, Wealth Trigger, Hyper-Wealth, and much more, all of which are staggeringly successful. I know how to generate ideas, package them, and market them to the masses.
* I wrote sales copy for more authors, speakers, consultants, CEOs, celebrities and more, than I care to remember, increasing their sales, improving real world numbers, and more. I’m talking everyone from The Red Cross to hospitals and non-profits to Abraham of Jerry and Esther Hicks fame. I created Hypnotic Writing and wrote a book explaining it.
* I have attracted national media exposure being on everything from Larry King Live (twice) to Donny Deutsch’s Big Idea show, to being on ABC, Fox, CNN, CNBC and more. I’ve been in the New York Times and Newsweek. I know the value of media exposure in establishing you as an authority and the “go to” person.
* I have been in 15 movies, with The Secret being the most famous, and three more coming out in 2016. And I got in one of the movies because of a mastermind.
* I am coming out with my own television show in 2016. It’s going to combine a TED-style talk with Oprah-style interviews and the selling power of QVC, and is designed to inspire people to go for their dreams.
* I wrote Attract Money Now and give it away as a list builder and gift to humanity. I also give away numerous other books, including The Miracles Manual and The Abundance Manifesto. I know the value of “karmic marketing” in helping the planet and yourself.
* I brought ho’oponopono to the world, through my books, Zero Limits and AT Zero, reaching an estimated 5,000,000 people.
* Near the age of 60 I recreated myself as a musician and, at my last count, recorded 15 albums. I called myself the world’s first self-help singer-songwriter to separate myself from the overwhelming competition. Reverbnation voted me #1 singer-songwriter. My music videos have attracted hundreds of thousands of views. I have over three hundred thousand fans. My albums with Guitar Monk Mathew Dixon have made more money than most musicians ever make in an entire career. I know how to reframe and repackage to market to success.
* I developed a spiritual approach to wealth, ignoring cutthroat methods and always focusing on a balanced, healthy approach to success, based on passion and purpose. I know how to create win-win-win negotiations and conduct business from the heart.
* I can listen to virtually anybody for about 20 minutes and see or create a unique money making idea specific to them. I have done it with friends and strangers, helping them create products, and with my own wife, helping her create a bestselling cookbook.
* I created a movement to end homelessness, raised funds for those in poverty, and compiled a book to help others who struggle. I know how to think big, confront limitations, and urge people to go for their highest ideals.
* I discovered the “missing secret” in self development, the idea of counter-intentions, and have been teaching it to people for over a decade, in my books, audios, and Miracles Coaching program. This one method alone can accelerate results for anyone.
* I’m considered an expert on the Law of Attraction, and know how to use it, teach it, and go beyond it. I’ve explained deeper concepts than it in my books and audio programs, such as The Awakening Course. Most people have a superficial or erroneous understanding of LOA. I help them get clear. I help them get results.
* I invented e-classes back in the 1990s, which everyone and his brother offers today. I know how to repackage material as an authentically new product.
* I wrote There’s A Customer Born Every Minute, the only business book on P.T. Barnum, the famous circus promoter who was also a speaker, writer, politician, entrepreneur, publicity genius, and more. Studying Barnum (and others like him, like Houdini, Branson, and Trump) gave me the ability to “Barnumize” almost any business by finding or creating the Big Idea and promoting it to the world for fame, fortune and immortality.
* I created the Rolls-Royce Phantom Mastermind, where people flew in from all over the world to spend a few hours with me in the famous luxury car, going to dinner, sharing, and getting coaching from me. ABC television news covered one of them. I know how to think bigger than big and light a fire under people to go for their dreams.
I could go on.
The point is, you not only will get the collective genius of the mastermind, but you will also draw from my own experience as well.
But I have to warn you –
This won’t be cheap and it won’t be for everybody.
After all, when I offered the Rolls-Royce Phantom Mastermind, people paid $5,000 to $7,500 each for just the evening with me.
An entire year will of course be a much larger investment.
If you qualify, we can arrange a payment plan, too.
If this idea makes your palms sweat, but makes your heart race with anticipation, then contact my assistant for details.
Write Suzanne at suzanne @ mrfire.com (close spaces to make it a workable email address).
Are you ready to fly?
Are you ready to stretch?
Are you ready to go for the biggest dreams of your life?
What’s your Gullwing?
PS – What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
Note: If this offer to join my Gullwing Mastermind ends up being too pricey for you at this time, remember that you can always join Miracles Coaching right now. And you can always read many of my books, such as Attract Money Now, for free.
Someone on Facebook wrote a variation of this statement…
“Napoleon Hill said, ‘Whatever your mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.’ This is the biggest load of monkey poo since the Law of Attraction. Right now, I am conceiving and believing that I can walk on water. Wish me luck.”
This is a wonderful example of illogical thinking.
Does the person really think they can walk on water?
Can they really imagine it?
Do they really believe it?
And if they can’t, then they just proved Napoleon Hill right.
Hill said, “Whatever your mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve” and not “Whatever your mind can make up, even though you don’t really believe it and it’s not really possible, it can achieve.”
And please note that Hill said you can achieve it, not that you will achieve it.
He wisely left room for the possibility of you not actually attracting what you “conceive and believe.”
He knew you still had to work all the steps, including taking action.
His quote wasn’t just about conceiving and believing.
He said there were at least 16 laws, remember.
He wrote about them in such books as Laws of Success and of course Think and Grow Rich.
The ridicule people give the Law of Attraction or Napoleon Hill is a reflection of people’s own belief system – only they rarely see it.
I remember being in Russia at one of the many book signings and author meet and greets I did there.
An elderly gentleman in one audience said, “I really want to believe in this Law of Attraction but the skeptics make a good case against it.”
“Have you ever noticed that the skeptics seem to hang out together,” I began, “and the Law of Attraction positive thinkers seem to gather together?”
He smiled, nodding, as it dawned on him what I was saying.
“Everyone is living the Law of Attraction,” I explained, “but some know it consciously and others do not. You are free to believe what you like and you will attract whatever evidence you need to support your belief, even when it’s illogical to others. That’s the Law of Attraction.”
Remember, you get what you really believe, not what you want to believe.
In other words, when you examine your own statements, you might see the twisted logic behind them.
But like the person who posted the opening line, you probably won’t see the fallacy of your thinking without someone there to lovingly point it out to you.
This is why it’s so important to have a coach.
A coach can listen to you speak, reflect back to you the very beliefs you won’t even hear yourself saying, and help you question any beliefs that don’t serve you.
For example, the person who was poking holes at Napoleon Hill’s statement probably didn’t realize they weren’t being logical or even accurate. Seeing this blog post, they might grasp it.
But arguing for limitations seems silly to me.
Why argue against goals, success, visualization, positive thinking and the like?
Why not argue for them?
After all, the whole point is to help you achieve success.
Why not find ways to prove Napoleon Hill right?
Hill also wrote, “Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.”
Anyone who tries to dismiss the positive and encouraging words of Hill is speaking without thinking.
More than that, they are raining on the hopes and dreams of other people.
That isn’t wise, kind, loving, or useful.
As Mark Twain said, “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”
Napoleon Hill believed in you.
So do I.
Go for your dreams.
PS – For the record, I can walk on water. I’ve done it numerous times, usually in Ohio, usually during the Winter months. We called it ice.
PPS – I also found this on Facebook: “Dear Optimist, Pessimist and Realist: While you guys were arguing about the glass of water, I drank it.” – Opportunist
PPPS – And here’s Napoleon Hill himself giving you some coaching: