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Table of Contents

Title Page

Foreword

People don't tap into their full potential.

Nearly everyone (certainly anyone who would pick up this book) wants their results to significantly improve. They want to grow, thrive, and make a huge impact, but the majority of their God-given potential isn't being used.

In the pursuit of personal development, most people make two dire mistakes. First, they look outside themselves for the answers. They believe that there's a magic bullet that someone has forged, and if they could only get their hands on that elusive magic bullet, everything would change for them.

Of course, nobody admits that they are looking for a magic bullet. Deep down inside, however, most people really hope that someday their magic bullet will magically appear.

After people resign themselves to the fact that there is no magic bullet, they commit the second mistake. They make the process of growth way more complex than it really is. In an attempt to take personal responsibility and fully engage, all but a very wise few overcomplicate the simple steps that create huge personal growth.

This brilliant book has no magic bullets. It is simple without being simplistic. What you will find are foundational skills and fundamental truths that have been around for thousands of years, yet are still missing from most people's lives. These skills are fun to learn, interesting to study, and remarkably easy to apply.

I've traveled with, lived with, and worked with Roger Seip for more than two decades. I've watched him do the things that he teaches here, and he's living proof that when you understand and apply the fundamentals, you win.

Although there are no magic bullets, the results certainly seem magical. Tripling your ability to remember information! Reading two or three or even four times faster than you do now! Crafting goals that propel you toward them, and utilizing time in a way that allows the achievement of everything that's really important!

From the outside looking in, these are impossible feats, right?

Not at all. These are simply the foundations that any committed student of this book will experience. And that is only the beginning.

The principles and stories shared in this book work. They've worked for thousands of people just like you. Your task is to be bold enough to believe that you too can do extraordinary things, teachable enough to let this powerfully simple information sink in, and then accountable enough to act on it. Be free!

—Eric Plantenberg
President of Freedom Personal Development
Creator of The Abundant Living Retreat

Introduction How to Break Records

The very first motivational speaker I heard as an adult was a gentleman named Mort Utley. I experienced his speech in May 1989 in Nashville, Tennessee, at the end of a week of sales school with the Southwestern Company. I was 19 years old, and Mort Utley made one of the most unmotivational statements I had ever heard. He said:

“Most people do not get what they want out of life.”

How depressing, I thought. This guy gets paid large amounts of money to motivate people and he comes on stage and says that most people do not get what they want out of life. My 19-year-old brain went “Thanks for the tip, Mort. I suppose next you'll tell me that people from France all speak French. No kidding, most people don't get what they want out of life. Why do you think I am listening to you in the first place?

I didn't want to be most people, and my guess is that you don't either. If you want to be most people—broke, unhealthy, and with too little time to actually enjoy your life—you wouldn't be reading this book. However, you have to be aware that your brain/mind has a lot of unconscious patterns that hold you back. Here's one of them.

A big part of you wants just to be average.

Starting in elementary school, through a combination of education and our brain's natural urge toward safety, we all develop a strong unconscious desire to be like everyone else around us. We want to fit in. We want to be average.

In America in 2012, here is what “average” really means.

And I could go on and on. Why do I start this way? Mainly because if you are serious in your quest to lead the kind of life that you really want, the first realization that needs to happen is that even now, in the most technologically advanced and prosperous society the world has ever seen, average sucks!

But as I said earlier, you don't want to be average. Congratulations! The fact that you are even reading this page indicates that average is not for you. You want to break records! In Train Your Brain for Success you are going to learn some fundamental principles, principles that have been proven over literally thousands of years to help individuals and organizations see consistent upward growth in every area—professionally, financially, physically, emotionally, spiritually, and in all types of relationships. The great thing about success it that it's simple. Not easy, but simple. Learn the fundamentals and apply them diligently, and you definitely will achieve the things you want.

So before we go further, I'd like you to do a short exercise. Consider whatever you believe to be your most important goal right now, and write it down.

Seriously, don't go any further until you've done this exercise. Whatever you consider to be your most important goal, please write it down.

Now look at what you wrote down, and envision that it has already happened. Imagine that you've made the money, that you've gotten the promotion, that you've lost the 20 pounds, or that you have the relationship that you have been looking for.

How does it feel? Good, right? I would suggest that what you currently have is a decent start. This book will show you how to take that thought seed that you have in front of you and transform it into something that doesn't just feel nice for a little while, but will actually cause you to accomplish that result—efficiently, joyfully, and with excitement.

We'll start with three mental factors for success. Understanding these concepts and applying them to any degree will automatically start you moving in the direction of your goals. The more you understand these, the faster and easier your goal achievement will become.

Mental Factor Number One: Success Leaves Clues

This means that the achievement of your goals is not a function of magic, luck, or circumstances. It's a function of how you think and what you do. Look at the goal you wrote down earlier. Is there anybody, anywhere who has accomplished what you are looking to accomplish or better? I'm hard pressed to find anyone who can answer no to that question. Whatever you want to do, somebody has done it and that's very good news for you. If anyone else has accomplished what you are looking to accomplish, you can be totally confident that they didn't do it because they are somehow better or luckier than you. They did it because they thought a certain way and they took certain actions. If you'll develop the same thought patterns and the same habits it is virtually assured that you will end up in the same spot. Success leaves clues. So no matter where you're starting from, you have the ability to get where you want to go. It also means that one of the fastest ways to get where you want to go is to simply find somebody who's gotten there and copy what he or she did.

An excellent example of this concept is an interview I heard of with a very successful professional bass fisherman. This fisherman was known for winning fishing tournaments no matter how tough the bite was—he just caught fish all time even when nobody else did. So a reporter asked him, “How do you do it? How are you so successful at catching bass?” The pro's answer instructs that success leaves clues.

Fisherman: “Well, most folks think that bass fishing is all about luck. They think that if you happen to be at the right place at the right time with the right bait you'll catch fish, and if not…well, you won't. What I've learned is that bass fishing is much more predictable and scientific. On a given body of water, the time of year and the weather will pretty much tell you where the fish will be. Their location determines which presentations might work, so I just find the fish and experiment with a handful of lures and presentations until I find the one that works. Simple. Some days are tougher than others, but a systematic approach always works best.”

Interviewer: “That sounds too easy—like anyone could do it.”

Fisherman: “Yeah, that's probably true.”

Interviewer: “Well then, why doesn't everyone catch fish as consistently as you?”

Fisherman: “Listen to the first thing I said. Most folks think that bass fishing is all about luck. They simply don't realize that they have so much influence, so they never put in the time it takes to learn the patterns that work. They just don't know.”

This same is true about life. Yes—there are circumstances to deal with, and many are tough. But your success is not a function of those circumstances. It's a function of what you do with them. True, most people are not successful. Most people don't have the money, the relationships the health, or the life they really desire, because most of them think that they're just unlucky. Find successful people, people who are, who do, and who have what you want, and then do what they do. “Success leaves clues” means that success is something that can and should be modeled from others.

Mental Factor Number Two: What You See Is What You Get

Most of the time when someone says “what you see is what you get” they're saying that nothing is hidden, that you can take a situation or person at face value. This is different. Here I mean that the pictures you see in your mind tend to be the results you get in your life. If you watch top-level athletes right before they perform—what are they doing? That's right, they're visualizing the outcome they want. They're seeing the ball go in the hole, they're seeing the perfect gymnastics routine—whatever their sport, they're seeing a perfect result—in their mind's eye.

Athletes do this is because they know that it works. Athletes understand that the more clearly they can picture their desired result, the more likely they are to deliver a performance that produces that result. Again, the same is true in your life—the more clearly you can picture the results you want, the more likely you are to deliver the performance that produces those results.

Mental Factor Number Three: What You See Is What You Look For

The pictures that will live in your mind most consistently will probably be the pictures that you condition your mind to see. There is a very powerful part of your brain that can work either for you or against you. It's called the Reticular Activating System (RAS), and it acts as a filter on your brain. It'll cause you to notice what you teach it to notice, and filter away almost everything else. You've experienced this part of your brain at work if you've ever made the decision to buy a particular kind of car. Think back to anytime you made the decision to buy a new car. As soon as you decided what you wanted, where did you start seeing that exact vehicle? That's right—everywhere! And that's not because they all of a sudden showed up in your environment; it's because you finally flipped the switch to notice them. And as soon as you flipped the switch you couldn't not notice them. The good news is you can use the reticular activating system for achieving your goals much more quickly and easily than you have. By the way, you'll see several references to the RAS throughout Train Your Brain for Success; it's very useful when used properly.

Critical concept: Your brain is always working. Your brain is either working for you or against you, but it's always working. And it's vital to understand that your brain's default setting for how it works is not very helpful. When it comes to your brain's natural tendencies, there's bad news, good news, and really good news.

The Bad News: Your Comfort Zone Limits You

One of your brain's strongest tendencies is called the homeostatic impulse—the desire to stay where you are. More on this later, but your brain is highly evolved for survival; it is exceptionally good at keeping you alive. You may not like where you are right now, but the fact is that where you are right now has not killed you yet. As a result, your brain has deemed it safe, and will do all kinds of weird things to keep you there. Have you ever known someone who lost the same 20 pounds, four or five times? Have you known someone who paid off all their credit cards, only to rack them back up again? Or someone who had the same relationship with the same kind of person over and over again? All these are examples of this homeostatic impulse, popularly known as the Comfort Zone.

This is bad news because no growth can occur in the Comfort Zone. The only place you can grow is outside your Comfort Zone. I love this visual; see .

You Can Elevate Your Comfort Zone

I.1

Your Comfort Zone must be addressed if you want to see lasting change, because it's pull is incredibly strong.

The Good News

Now that I've convinced you that you could be stuck forever right where you are (which you could), you must understand that this is not your destiny. You absolutely have the capacity to move your Comfort Zone to any place you'd prefer. Here's why:

Whether you realize it or not, your Comfort Zone is something you have chosen.

You've chosen it unconsciously, but you have chosen it. This is encouraging, because you have control over your choices. So you can consciously unchoose your current Comfort Zone and then choose differently. And the best part is that once you've elevated your Comfort Zone, your life stays elevated! You can permanently reset your internal thermostat to a higher level. It will require commitment, education, and a little help from outside yourself, but you absolutely can do it.

The Really Good News: Small Changes Make a Huge Difference

You don't need to be 100 percent better to see a 100 percent improvement. You just need to be a little better. There's a concept in play here called the winning edge. It means that a small change in the right place makes a huge difference in the end result. In golf, a 1-mm difference in the angle of the club head means the difference between “middle of the fairway” and “you can't find your ball.” In a horse race, the winning horse often wins “by a nose,” but that split second is usually a fourfold increase in prize money. In sales, the tiniest perceived difference between competitors can mean the difference between receiving all of the business or none.

So take heart—small improvements in the right area of your life will give you a huge improvement in your end result. Here are some examples I've seen with my clients:

And I could go on and on. Ultimately, you get to choose how you use your brain. Train Your Brain for Success gives you the specific tools and skills to turn on your brain in a way that propels you forward.

How to Use This Book

Train Your Brain for Success is not created as just a recreational, passive read. It's been set up to be:

1. An ongoing resource for your development.
2. A gateway into an entire system of accelerated learning and record-breaking results in your life.

In the first section, Your Learning Foundations, we'll tune up the most fundamental learning skills you possess—your Instant Recall Memory and your “Smart Reading” capacity. You'll be able to learn in a way that stimulates more of your brain and enables you to absorb any information more quickly and more permanently. Both of these sections are Memory Optimized™ with interactive video exercises that you'll find listed at the end of each chapter under Reinforcement and Bonuses. “Memory Optimized™” means that you'll literally be walked step by step through an easy, fun process for committing the main points to your long-term memory. Just follow the instructions and visit , using the access code found in the About the Author section of this book.

Read these sections first, and more importantly, do the Memory Optimization exercises that support the chapters. Will it take a little more time? Yes, on the front end. But the result will be that you will absorb the rest of the book much more efficiently and you'll remember it better. The best training in the world does you zero good if you don't apply it, and you can't apply it if you can't remember it. So get involved with your own learning.

The rest of Train Your Brain for Success will focus on the four components of record-breaking performance. Anytime an individual or an organization takes their results to a higher level, there are four things you can observe and then model.

1. Having energizing goals.
2. Being fully present; using time as it's meant to be used.
3. Being brilliant with basics.
4. Practicing aggressive mental care.

Chapters 7 through 18 are devoted to elevating your skills with these four components. In these chapters you'll develop specific plans for thinking and acting that are proven to get results quickly and in a way that lasts, in any important area of your life. Once again, these chapters are supported by exercises and tools that can be found under “Reinforcement and Bonuses.” Read each chapter, take some notes, and then lock in your learning before going on to the next chapter. Take an active approach to this book. Read it with a pen in your hand and a place to write your own thoughts.

You unquestionably can be, do, and have anything you want, but you can't do it with the thinking you've currently got.

If you want a higher level of results, you must grow into a higher level of thinking. So many personal development books promise “the key” or “the secret” and then just tell you “you can do it!” That's fine, but we're going a step beyond. We're going to teach you how to get from point A to point B quickly, efficiently, and how to have a ball on the way!

Section 1

Your Learning Foundations

Learning Foundation #1

Your Instant Recall Memory

Chapter 1

Discovering Your Memory Power

As we discussed in the Introduction, the first six chapters of Train Your Brain for Success are dedicated to the very foundations of your ability to learn, your ability to absorb and then recall the information that you need for your growth. In this section, you're going to learn how to learn in the way that actually uses your brain in the way that it prefers to be used. Let's start with one of the most popular subjects that my company teaches: the subject of how to improve your memory.

Think for a moment about how many different ways you use your memory on a daily basis. If you're having trouble coming up with an answer, try this question on for size:

“If you lost your memory completely, what would you be able to do?”

The correct answer is “nothing.” When we're born, we come into the world with a working autonomic nervous system, so our breathing, heartbeat, and other bodily functions work properly. And we have automatic reflexes, like when the doctor hits your kneecap with that little rubber hammer to see if your muscles contract. That's it. Everything else in your life is learned. Even things as basic as what your own name is and how to eat are learned behaviors. So literally everything in your entire life requires the use of your memory.

Extend that out to your life today. At Freedom Personal Development, we will often ask our workshop audiences the question, “Where in your life do you feel an improved memory would help you be more effective, more productive, or reduce stress?” Just a few of the common answers we hear:

From professionals:

From students:

Honestly, I could just go on for an entire chapter about all the ways that we get to use our memories as tools for getting through life, so here's the best news:

No matter where you would like to see improvement in your memory or any area of learning, you absolutely have the ability to make those improvements. A significant body of research now confirms that for all practical purposes, your memory is actually perfect; you literally never “forget” anything. Some of you right now might be saying to yourself, “Okay, Roger, you just lost me. I feel like I forget stuff all the time! Why do you think I bought this book in the first place?” And I understand that perception; I get where it feels that way. Fact is, though, that essentially everything—every book you've read, every conversation you've had, every person you've met—everything—is recorded by your brain. Your challenge is actually not your memory, but your recall.

Example: Think back to the last time you bumped into someone you knew (and you knew that you knew), but you couldn't come up with their name. Common situation, happens to everyone. See that instance in your mind. You probably had a reasonably good conversation with that person, right? Five or 10 minutes of “how's it going, how's work, how's the family,” and so on. But the whole time you were talking to them, what was your brain doing? Racking itself with one question: “What the heck is this guy's name?” And it didn't come to you while he was there. But it did come to you later. See, you didn't forget that guy's name, you just couldn't recall it when you needed it.

Again, I could give you tons more examples, suffice it to say that your memory is in fact excellent, it's actually your recall that may be suspect. The reason this is good news is that improving your recall is very much under your control. If you can't recall a piece of information, it is always because the way that you stored it in the first place was accidental, mindless, haphazard, and unconscious. Here's what I mean.

How You Originally Learned to Learn

If you're like 99 percent of the population, back in school you learned to learn through a process called rote memorization. Rote memorization is simply learning through repetition. You got some information (from a teacher or a textbook) and then went over it and over it and over it, until hopefully it stuck in your brain. Sound familiar?

How's that working for you now? Not too well, I would bet. Just to prove the point, take this short two-question quiz:

Question 1: Did you ever take a biology class?
Yes_____ No_____
Question 2: Without looking it up, please name all the phyla of the animal kingdom.

In our live workshops, everyone says “of course” to question #1, and then nobody can even begin to answer #2. Which is fine; you don't actually need to know any of the phyla of the animal kingdom. The point is that if you took biology, I promise you were taught that information. The question is “did you actually learn it?”, and the answer is almost assuredly no. You didn't learn that information, you memorized it for the test. Test came, you barfed the information up onto the test, and were done. Which was fine for back in school, but do you see the problem?

By following the process described above over and over again throughout your formalized education, you formed a habit of how you learn everything. My guess is that habit no longer serves you very well. Rote memorization actually can get you a decent grade on a test that you know is coming, but your life doesn't consist of tests that you know are coming, does it? So you'll need a method of learning that serves you a little better, which is exactly what you'll get from the first six chapters of Train Your Brain for Success, if you'll keep an open mind about your mind….

The Teachability Index

There is a specific way of thinking and acting for any result. Our job is to be open and flexible enough to adopt those ways of thinking and acting.

Bill Harris, founder of Centerpointe Research Institute

How much you get out of this book or any learning experience has a significant amount to do with you as a learner. This material will change your life, if and only if you absorb and apply it. So be aware of what's called your Teachability Index. It's a measurement of how ready you are to learn. Whether you realize it or not, the Teachability Index is in play anytime you are attempting to develop a new skill or a higher level of understanding of anything. There are two components of the Teachability Index, each of which can be easily evaluated on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the highest).

The first component of your Teachability Index is your desire to learn. It just makes sense that if you're going to maximize any learning experience you must want to learn what's being taught. Some of the best news about you as a learner is that your desire to learn is very high, like 9 or 10 on the scale. Congratulations! The reason I can say this with confidence is that even though you and I may have never met, I know for a fact that you've already made an investment in yourself. You've probably invested some money to buy this book (thanks!). Even if you didn't invest your own money for it, at a bare minimum you've invested some time to get this far. You simply wouldn't have made that investment if you didn't have a pretty darn strong desire to learn. So go ahead and grade your current desire to learn from 1 to 10.

Desire to learn score _____

The second component of the Teachability Index is a bit more tricky. It's called your willingness to change, and it cannot be taken for granted, ever. Anyone who attends one of our programs or picks up a book called Train Your Brain for Success inherently has a strong desire to learn. Nobody inherently has a strong willingness to change. It's because of the comfort zone we discussed in the introduction: We are hardwired to stay wherever we are and do whatever we have been doing, even if that behavior pattern isn't getting us the results our conscious mind wants. I'm not saying that you can't have a high willingness to change, because you can. I'm just saying that if you want to boost your willingness to change, you will need to do it consciously and purposely. It won't happen by accident. So what would you say is your current willingness to change score?

Willingness to change score _____

Now that you have some numbers, the correct way to gauge your Teachability Index is to multiply the two scores. The highest possible score is 100 (10 times 10). So why not do that now, just to see what you come out with.

Desire to learn score × willingness to change score = Total Teachability score

Notice that even if your desire to learn is a 10, if your willingness to change is a zero, your Total Teachability score is zero. For you to really learn, both scores need to be high. Don't just pay lip service to learning, do it! You picked up this book because you want your life to be better: true or false? Of course it's true, so if you really want that, you must do something different. The Chinese actually have defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”

Lots of our clients have told us this is a useful exercise, anytime the objective is to learn something new. There's no need to be judgmental or upset, it's just helpful to notice. If someone has a higher Teachability Score than you, it does not make them better than you, but it does mean they will make progress faster than you.

All this is to say that for these chapters on memory training, I have one tip that will help you get maximum value from them.

Tip #1—Don't judge the process; do evaluate the result.

The method you'll learn here definitely produces results, but it is different than what you are accustomed to. Because it's different, your brain will likely give you a thought like “Well, this is just weird.” Everyone who learns memory training goes through at least one phase where they just think the whole thing is just a goofy bag of tricks. It's not. So when you experience that thought, I recommend you check your Teachability Index, get over it, and keep moving forward. So don't waste time or energy trying to pick apart or analyze the process; there's plenty of time for that later if it's of interest to you. You'll learn much more quickly if you don't judge the process.

At the same time, do evaluate your results. That's how you're evaluated in your profession, isn't it? Do the same thing here: Trust the process, engage in what I ask you to engage in, and just see how it works. My guess is you'll impress yourself with how quickly you can boost your abilities.

Tip #2—Have fun with your brain! One of the things we know for sure is that at its best, learning is fun. There are a couple of aspects to this.

First off, think about the sense of enjoyment you feel when you learn anything new. Ever waterskied? Snowboarded? Played backgammon? Figured out how to sell something? Conquered a fear? When you started “getting it,” it felt good, right? Whether or not you liked school, your brain likes to learn new things!

Secondly, we know that your brain's stress response—fight or flight—is clearly the worst possible state for learning something new. It's very effective if you've already been trained in something and you've reached a level of unconscious competence, but for learning new skills or information, the fight or flight stress response essentially shuts that ability down immediately. The whole reason you remembered that guy's name later is that after he left your presence you took a deep breath and relaxed. While he was there and you were racking your brain, your brain was experiencing the same thing that soldiers experience in battle! Granted, it was milder (the grocery store is a less intense scene than the battlefield), but fundamentally the biochemistry and brainwave activity are the same.

In our workshops we teach that stress is the #1 killer of your mental ability. So back off on the pressure a little. If you get stuck or stumped, just take a deep breath, tell yourself “This will come to me,” and move on. Come back to it later. That's often all you need to re-fire some neurons that will get you where you want to go.

Just be open-minded about your mind. If you're anything like the hundreds of thousands of people who've experienced our live workshops, you are capable of way more than you think you are. So let's have some fun.

Your Baseline Memory Evaluation

Before we leave this chapter, let's just see where you're starting from. In a few moments, you're going to see a list of 20 items. Your job is to look the list over as slowly and carefully as you can, for no more than five minutes. Do the best job you can to commit the list to memory in that time span. You are not allowed to write the items down on scratch paper, only use your mind. When you are done, flip to the test on the next page and without looking back, write down the 20 items in order to the best of your ability. Ready? Go.

a unicorn
an electrical outlet
a tricycle
a truck
a hand
a can of beer
a hockey stick
a spider
a baseball
a dime
chopsticks
a rose
a black cat