Notes & Quotes: No Excuses! by Brian Tracy

The following are my favorite quotes from Brian Tracy's No Excuses!:The Power of Self-Discipline.
  1. Do it or don't do it -- but don't make excuses.
  2. "Self-discipline is the ability to do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not." Elbert Hubbard
  3. The most successful people are long-term thinkers.
  4. The habit of taking the easy way, doing what is fun and enjoyable, or eating dessert before dinner becomes stronger and stronger, and it leads inevitably to personal weakness, underachievement, and failure.
  5. The biggest thing that holds you back from moving in the direction of your dreams is usually your favorite excuses and lack of self-discipline.
  6. There is an interesting point about the price of success: It must always be paid in full -- and in advance.
  7. To become someone that you have never been before, you must do something that you have never done before.
  8. "What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear a word that you say. " Ralph Waldo Emerson
  9. It is your level of integrity, living in complete truth with yourself and others, that demonstrates more than anything else the quality of your character.  In a way, integrity is actually the value that guarantees all the other values.
  10. Trust is the lubricant of human relationships.
  11. The more you think about the long-term consequences of your behavior, the more likely it is that you will do the right thing in the short term.
  12. One of the greatest questions for the development of character is this: "What kind of a world would this world be if everyone in it was just like me?"
  13. By the Law of Concentration, whatever you dwell on grows and increases in your life.
  14. Your ability and willingness to discipline yourself to accept personal responsibility for your life are essential to happiness, health, success, achievement, and personal leadership.  Accepting responsibility is one of the hardest of all disciplines, but without it, no success is possible.
  15. Over time, I learned that fully 80% of the population never accepts complete responsibility for their lives.  They continually complain, criticize, make excuses, and blame other people for things in their lives about which they are not happy.  The consequences of this way of thinking, however, can be disastrous.  They can sabotage all hopes for success and happiness later in life.
  16. It takes tremendous self-discipline to refrain from blaming others for our problems.  It takes enormous self-control to refuse to make excuses.
  17. As long as you are blaming someone else for something in your life that you don't like, you will remain a "mental child."  You continue to see yourself as small and helpless, like a victim.
  18. The more you accept responsibility, the greater sense of control you experience.
  19. Only 3% of adults have written goals and plans, and this 3% earn more than all of the other 97% put together.
  20. In life, you either work to achieve your own goals or you work to achieve the goals of someone else.  Which is it going to be?
  21. The 7 Step Method to Achieving Your Goals:
    1. Decide exactly what you want
    2. Write it down
    3. Set a deadline for your goal
    4. Make a list of everything you can think of that you could possibly do to achieve your goal
    5. Organize your list by both sequence and priority
    6. Take action on your plan immediately
    7. Do something every day that moves you in the direction of your major goal
  22. They have a job, which can also be thought of as an acronym for "Just Over Broke."
  23. Excellence requires a definite decision and a lifelong commitment.
  24. When you decide to best one of the best people in your field, look around you and identify the people who are already at the top: What characteristics do they have in common?  How do they plan and organize their days?  How do they dress?  How do they walk, talk, and behave with other people?  What books do they read?  How do they spend their time?  Who do they associate with?  What courses have they taken?  What audio programs do they listen to in their cars?
  25. Bob did something that few people ever do: When he received advice, he followed it.  He immediately took action on the advice and then reported back to the people who had given it to him.
  26. To guarantee your lifelong success, make a decision today to invest 3% of your income back into yourself.  This seems to be the magic number for lifelong learning.
  27. There are 3 simple steps that you can follow to become the very best in your field:
    1. Read 60 minutes in your field each day
    2. Listen to educational audio programs in your car
    3. Attend courses and seminars in your field regularly
  28. According to the experts, the acquisition of "mastery" requires about 7 years, or 10,000 hours of hard work.
  29. The average person does only an average job, and as a result, he earns an average income and worries about money all his life.
  30. Your television set can make you rich or poor.  If you watch it all the time, it will make you poor.
  31. 7 Steps to the Top:
    1. Arise 2 hours before your first appointment
    2. Rewrite your goals, every day
    3. Plan every day in advance
    4. Discipline yourself to concentrate single-mindedly on one thing
    5. Listen to audio programs in your car
    6. Ask 2 magic questions after every call or event.  First, ask yourself, "What did I do right?"  Then, ask yourself, "What would I do differently?"
    7. Treat every person you meet like a million-dollar customer
  32. Fully 85% of your success will be determined by how much people like and respect you, especially in business and sales.
  33. The difference between the hero and the coward is that the hero sticks in there 5 minutes longer.
  34. The only reason that one person bullies another is he feels he can get away with it.
  35. 99% of the things that you worry about never happen.  And most of the things that do happen, happen so quickly that you didn't have time to worry about them in the first place.
  36. The Disaster Report has 4 parts:
    1. Define the worry situation clearly
    2. Identify the worst possible thing that could possibly happen
    3. Resolve to accept the worst possible outcome
    4. Begin immediately to improve on the worst
  37. There is a direct link between self-discipline and self-esteem.  Each time you discipline yourself to do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not, your self-esteem increases.
  38. Resolve to focus on the solution and what can be done now, rather than on what happened and who's to blame.
  39. The difference between successes and failures is simple: Failures feel sorry for themselves when things go wrong, whereas successful people look for the valuable lesson they can learn that will help them in the future.
  40. Persistence is self-discipline in action.
  41. The Law of 3 says that there are 3 primary things you do that contribute 90% or more of your value to your company or organization.  Your job is to identify those three critical tasks and then discipline yourself to do them all day long.
  42. "The very worst use of time is to do very well what need not be done at all." Benjamin Tregoe
  43. Keep yourself motivated and focused by talking to yourself in a positive way.  Your mantra from now on should be, "Back to work! Back to work! Back to work!"
  44. Whatever your boss gives you to do, do it quickly and well.  Then, go and ask for more responsibility.  And when you get it, do the job quickly and well until you get a reputation for being the person who does things fast.
  45. "40+ Formula" This formula says that you can tell where you are going to be 5 years from now by looking at the number of hours that put in today in excess of 40 hours each week.
  46. The highest paid people in America, in every field, work 50 to 60 hours per week.  The average self-made millionaire works 59 hours per week.  This is equal to 5 12-hour days or 6 10-hour days.
  47. Each morning before you go to work, look in the mirror and ask yourself, "Do I look like one of the top people in my field?"  If you don't, go back and change -- and keep changing until you look like one of the top people in your business.
  48. Dress for the job 2 levels above your current job.
  49. In its simplest terms, the role of the leader is to "take responsibility for results."
  50. The first quality of leadership, based on 3300 studies of leaders done by James MacPherson, is the quality of vision.
  51. You cannot raise morale in a business; it filters down from the top, from the leader.
  52. 7 Principles of Leadership:
    1. Clarity
    2. Competence
    3. Commitment
    4. Constraints
    5. Creativity
    6. Continuous Learning
    7. Consistency
  53. Great leaders discipline themselves to keep their fears and misgivings private.
  54. There is no area of activity that demands more self-discipline than starting and operating a successful business in our current economy.
  55. To market effectively, you must be clear about your competitive advantage and your unique selling proposition: What is it about your product or service that makes it superior and more valuable for a customer than any other similar product or service being offered today?
  56. What is the key measure of business success?  The answer is customer satisfaction.
  57. What is the key to long-term profitability?  The answer is recommendations and referrals.
  58. You need to concentrate on the most important thing you could possibly be doing every hour of every day rather than getting sidetracked by low-value or no-value tasks and activities.
  59. On average, it takes about 2 years to break even in a new business venture.  It takes another 2 years of positive cash flow to pay back the money you borrowed in the first 2 years.  It then takes another 3 years before you become truly successful.  In addition, everything costs twice as much and takes 3 times as long.  Based on these statistics, why should you start your own business or embark on a new business venture?  Because the time is going to pass anyway!  After all, 5 years from now you will be 5 years older, and 10 years from now, you will be 10 years older.  At the end of that time, you will either be at the top of your field or still down among the 80% struggling for every dollar and worrying about money every day.  The choice is yours.  Discipline is the key.
  60. The most important element in business success is selling. 
  61. Almost everything you do in a business either increases or decreases sales.  Everything either helps or hurts.  Everything either attracts and keeps more customers -- or drives them away.  Everything counts when it comes to sales.
  62. Do your paperwork before or after work, but during working hours, when customers are available to be seen, you should dedicate yourself entirely to sales generation.
  63. One of the most important questions you can ask as a salesperson, entrepreneur, or business owner is whether what you're doing right now is leading to a sale.  Ask this question of yourself repeatedly throughout the day.  Every time the answer comes up "no," you must immediately stop whatever you are doing of lower value and turn your attention to sales generation.
  64. The starting point of achieving financial independence is to discipline yourself to rewire your attitude toward money.  You need to reach into your subconscious mind and disconnect the wire linking "spending" and "happiness."  You need to then reconnect that "happiness" wire to the "saving and investing" wire.
  65. The more money you have in your bank account, the more energy it generates and the more money is attracted into your life.  You have heard it said that "it takes money to make money."  This is true.  As you begin to save and accumulate money, the universe begins to direct more and more money toward you that you can save and accumulate.
  66. When you pay yourself first, saving 10 or 15% of your income off the top and then saving 50% of your increase for the rest of your career, you will soon achieve financial independence.  You will joing the top 5% of wealthy people in our society.  You will never have to worry about money again.
  67. Time management is a core discipline that largely determines the quality of your life.
  68. Time management is really life management, personal management, management of yourself rather than of time or circumstances.
  69. Only your actions tell you -- and others -- what you truly value.
  70. The essence of time management is for you to discipline yourself to set clear priorities -- and then stick to these priorities.
  71. Consciously determine the activities that you are going to discontinue so that you have more time to spend on those tasks that can really make a difference to your future.
  72. Here are some questions that you should ask yourself, to help keep you focused and working on your top tasks, activities, and responsibilities:
    1. Why am I on the payroll?  Exactly what have I been hired to do?  What results are expected of me?
    2. What are my key result areas?  Of all the things I do, what are the most important results that I am expected to achieve in my position?
    3. What are my highest value activities?  Of all the things I do, which activities contribute the greatest value to my company and to myself?
    4. What can I -- and only I -- do, that if done well, will make a real difference?
    5. What is the most valuable use of my time right now?
  73. You will rise in life to the height of the problems that you are capable of solving.
  74. A 9 Step Method for Solving Problems Effectively:
    1. Take the Time to Define the Problem Clearly
    2. Ask, "Is it really a problem?"
    3. Ask, "What else is the problem?"
    4. Ask, "How did this problem occur?"
    5. Ask, "What are all the possible solutions?
    6. Ask, "What is the best solution at this time?"
    7. Make a decision
    8. Assign responsibility
    9. Set a measure for the decision
  75. Your rate of pay and speed of promotion and therefore your forward movement in your career are largely determined by your problem-solving ability.
  76. Your ultimate goal in life is to achieve your own happiness.
  77. You can only truly be happy when you practice self-discipline, self-mastery, and self-control.
  78. There is an old saying that "success is getting what you want; happiness is wanting what you get."
  79. Happiness is a by-product that comes to you when you are engaged in doing something that you really enjoy while in the company of people who you like and respect.
  80. 5 Ingredients of Happiness:
    1. Health and energy
    2. Happy relationships
    3. Meaningful work
    4. Financial independence
    5. Self-actualization
  81. Fully 85% of your happiness -- or unhappiness -- will comes from your relationships with other people.
  82. In studies of employee motivation, employers think that people are primarily motivated by money and benefits.  But when employees are surveyed, the three factors that motivate them the most turn out to be challenging and interesting work; opportunities for growth and advancement; and pleasant coworkers.
  83. 7 Key Healthy Habits:
    1. Eat regularly
    2. Eat lightly
    3. Don't snack between meals
    4. Exercise regularly
    5. Wear a seatbelt
    6. Don't smoke
    7. Drink alcohol in moderation
  84. There is no food value in a white flour product.
  85. The best time to exercise is first thing in the morning.  People who get up each morning and exercise for thirty to sixty minutes are much more likely to make exercise a permanent part of their daily routine.
  86. When you are truly in love with another person, that person's happiness and well-being become more important than your own.
  87. The Disciplines of Listening:
    1. Listen attentively
    2. Pause before replying
    3. Ask for clarification
    4. Feed it back
  88. Most problems in relationships arise because of poor communication.
  89. There are only 4 ways that you can change your life.  First, you can do more of some things.  Second, you can do less of other things.  Third, you can start something that you have never done before.  And fourth, you can stop certain things altogether.
  90. On a regular basis, you should sit down with your spouse and later with your children and have the courage to ask them those [above] four questions.
  91. You can calculate the value or importance of something you do by measuring the possible consequences of doing or not doing it.
  92. Responsible parents approach childrearing as the most important part of their lives.
  93. In a recent study, researchers concluded that children form their idea of the world by watching how their mother deals with the ups and downs of daily life.  If their mother seems calm, relaxed, and in control, children assume that this is a logical and rational world so they are much more likely to practice calmness and self-control themselves.
  94. One of the most important of all values that you teach your children is forgiveness.
  95. Psychologists tell us that everything we do is either to build our self-esteem or to protect it from being torn down by other people.
  96. The deepest subconscious need that people have is the need to feel important.
  97. 7 Ways to Make People Feel Important:
    1. Accept people the way they are
    2. Show your appreciation for others
    3. Be agreeable
    4. Show your admiration
    5. Pay attention to others
    6. Never criticize, condemn, or complain
    7. Be courteous, concerned, and considerate of everyone you meet
  98. Resolve that from now on, when people leave your presence, they will feel much better than they did when they entered your presence.
  99. The chief cause of negative emotions and the primary destroyer of inner peace is blame.