If you’re at all interested in personal development, you’re likely to have heard the name Brian Tracy. What you might not realize is that Tracy has spent an average of three hours a day for 50 years, roughly 150,000 hours, studying and looking for the answers to the question “Why is it that some people are more successful than others?”
He’s written over 70 books including Eat That Frog which became the most successful time management book ever, and has consulted for many of the world’s largest companies talking on the topics of management, time management and personal development. In other words, he knows his stuff. Here are seven of his quotes that changed my life forever.
- “Two hours a day, five days a week.”
In Brian Tracy’s fantastic three-day event back in 2016, he posed a question to his audience – “Can you carve off ten hours of those 168 hours to be a fantastic success and one of the highest paid people in America?” What a great question. I knew what my answer was.
- “Your greatest asset is your earning ability. Your greatest resource is your time.”
Our earning ability is the accumulation of all our knowledge, skills and experience throughout our entire lifetime. It’s your ability to get results that companies will pay for. Many people might be saying, “But Adrian, I don’t have enough skills.”
My answer is simple, “You’ve got to change that.” In the digital age, there is no excuse not to get educated, not to develop your skills. I wasn’t always a writer, I became one. There are programs and books out there on every imaginable topic for you to become world-class at. It just takes three things: time, money and effort. If you don’t have much money, then start with YouTube, borrow books from your local library. How you invest your time and money is completely up to you.
- “Invest three percent of your income in yourself in order to guarantee your future.”
In my early thirties I could count the number of business and self-development books on one hand: one, Rich Dad, Poor Dad. To this day I can’t remember whether I bought it or it was given to me. But when my partner and I were struggling with our new business, I made the decision to invest heavily into books, audio programs and seminars in search of answers. While I eventually decided to walk away from that business, my thirst for knowledge only grew. Today, I have over 800 books on my shelves and another few hundred on my Kindle. No longer just a teacher, today I’m a productivity consultant, bestselling author and I write for many of the world’s largest publications. And I did it all from my apartment in Osaka, Japan. The lesson is simple – if I can do it, so can you.
- “Every minute you spend in planning saves 10 minutes in execution.”
This is possibly the most common advice I find myself giving executives or entrepreneurs. Despite understanding this concept, too often people let things get out of hand and end up reacting to events, rather than carefully planning things out.
- “The greatest gift that you can give to others is the gift of unconditional love and acceptance.”
Tracy says that the single greatest thing a parent can do is tell their children that they love them. Children need love almost as much as food. It’s nourishment for their mind and soul. It gives them the confidence to try things because they know their parents will always love them. For those parents and parents-to-be out there, I implore you to do this. The results will amaze you.
- “The most powerful word in time management is ‘No.’”
Individuals struggling with their schedule tend to be their own worst enemies. They have simply overwhelmed themselves. Too much on their plate for them to handle. If that’s you, start by saying “No” to absolutely everything you possibly can. There are those things out of our control, but experience has shown me that most people can turn down at least 20% of their commitments with little or no effect.
- “Good habits are hard to develop but easy to live with. Bad habits are easy to develop but hard to live with.”
Aristotle was one of the great thinkers of history and a quick Google search will reveal one of his most misattributed quotes as “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” It’s actually a quote by Will Durant in his excellent book, The Story of Philosophy.
I recently learned that the quote above isn’t actually Tracy’s, but rather one of his friends. However, it’s too good to leave off this list.
Habits can be developed in one of two ways: intentionally and unintentionally. If you don’t intentionally brush your teeth properly, you will unintentionally create the opposite and over time, the results will be obvious. This is the same for our health and our bank account. As Jim Rohn used to say, “Success leaves clues.” Indeed, it does.