Now that I'm back from my honeymoon, my inbox and forum have been floodingly busy! In fact, one thread on my Copywriters Board garnered so much interest that it created close to 10 pages worth of posts.
It's a member's take on “Michel Fortin's Success Secret.”
Dale King, the author in question, postulated that in every post and article I write, there's a “secret” to my success. Although he hinted that the secret can be found in the book “Think and Grow Rich,” the reason why the thread became so popular was because Dale never revealed it until the very end.
It's a great example of the Zeigarnik effect and keeping people interested in your copy. It was so powerful that some people became outright pissed off at Dale's reluctance in revealing “the secret” and posted harsh comments as a result.
In order to assuage the disgruntled, here's what I said. The secret is…
… Not in the knowing but in the application.
It's in the “being.”
You see, I don't know the secret either.
If I were to venture a guess on what the secret is, I'll be completely off-base I'm sure. And what I think the secret is may be completely different than what Dale proposed.
But that's all unimportant. Dale may have found something important — something important to him. And he's trying to share it with us in his own way. And that is what's important.
He is not trying to be disingenuous. He simply wants us to think. And what Dale is teaching us, whether he realizes it or not, is just important as his so-called “secret.”
You see, recognizing the lesson is one thing. Learning from the lesson is a step beyond that. But applying the lesson is more important than all the gold in the world. (For me, anyway.)
It's in the application. Not in the knowing. In the experience. Not the knowledge.
How many times are we taught “secrets,” whether we recognize them as such or not, but don't do anything about them?
For example, how many times a smoker is told to quit smoking, and is told over and over that smoking is bad, but never quits? Apparently, they know it's bad. They know the secret. But they don't “get it.” Why? Because they don't appreciate it. They are not passionate about it. They are not ready for it.
I know, for me in my early career, this was true. I listened to all the motivational tapes, read all the books and attended all the seminars. I was practicing all the steps they taught. I was writing down goals, visualizing prosperity and doing affirmations. But…
… Nothing happened.
Until I learned that, as Lao-Tsu once said, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear,” I applied the lesson only when I was truly ready for it. And “teacher” here could be a person, an event, or a “secret.”
So for me, Dale and many others who tried to guess are nevertheless right in their own way: all of their suggestions are important, regardless — whether you call them “secrets” or not. And whatever the secret is (I prefer to call “lesson”) is whatever you pull from this.
That is, it's what it means to you.
I'm so thankful for what Dale and others have said here. You guys have taught me, and always are teaching me, so much in your own way. Thank you so such and amazing thread.
But in an attempt to “throw a dog a bone,” let me take a stab at this. (And Dale, you can correct me or not.)
Here's my take.
(I'm going to be a little philosophical for a moment, if you allow me. I just returned from a wonderful honeymoon with my new bride, and have so much to be thankful for. So I may be a little biased, I guess (or is that a little “blessed?”), in my answer here. So bear with me.)
My life started to turn around when I started to attract what I wanted. Because the secret, to me, is having an abundance mentality.
It's not something you seek and find, either. You do it because it's natural to you. It's automatic and almost if not completely unconscious. And to get to that level, it's not about knowing but about being.
It wasn't like that in the beginning. I used to “think and grow rich,” but out of a scarcity mindset. I then understood that it's not “think and grow rich.” It's “think rich and grow rich.” There is a difference.
I'll explain what I mean in a moment.
My “secret” or my lesson is, stated differently, the law of attraction.
My favorite quote is from Descartes: “Cogito Ergo Sum.” (I think, therefore I am.) In other words, whatever you think will come true. (That is, whatever you feel, believe in, focus on and are passionate about, will come about.)
Thinking alone is not the point. I mean, if you think you're a fly, do you become a fly? Of course not. It's in the how, not the what.
If you focus on what you lack, you will attract more lack. If you focus on what you want, what you want will come true, too.
The paradox here is that they are both the same. You can lack money and want money, too. The difference is not what you think about. It's how you think about it. It's “I wish I had more money to pay all these bills and get out of debt,” versus “I'm thankful that I'm blessed with so much abundance and the certainty that more will come my way.”
Let me say it another way.
When I say “focus on what you want,” do I mean money? (Or any other material possession?) Not really. If you focus on what money means to you, you will attract money in your life, even though money may not be the main desire.
It's how you feel about money.
And again, this is not just related to money. It can be the same about success, love, peace, health, and of course, prosperity.
When your thinking starts shifting from a scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset, miracles will start to happen in your life. (They did in mine.)
And again, I didn't say “when you start thinking.” I said, “when your thinking starts shifting.” There is a difference. One is deliberate, intentional and “forced.” The other is natural, automatic and unconscious.
So how do you get an “automated” prosperity consciousness?
Here are my three steps.
The act of giving creates a vacuum. The more you give the more you open yourself up to receive… and will do so. But remember, you cannot give what you don't have. So it often starts with you and loving yourself.
Thinking and accepting that you deserve wealth, health and happiness is the seed of an abundance mentality. And the sheer act of giving becomes an almost natural byproduct.
Don't give with the expectation of getting something in return. Why? Because, indirectly, you are still thinking on what you lack. It's scarcity consciousness. Giving with the expectancy of a return is just as worse as hoarding and blocking nature's vacuum.
Give because giving is fun. Give with the awareness that there's plenty to go around. Give because you want to — not because you have to.
“We are what we think. As sure the cart follows the ox, think pure thoughts and goodness will come about.”
— The Buddha
Be appreciative and thankful for what you have. Because gratitude helps you focus on what you have, so you can attract more of it. (And consequently, it forces you NOT to think of what you don't have, and attracting more lack in your life.)
Be thankful for all the blessings you now enjoy. Even the little things. And yes, even the “bad things.” In other words, in every challenge or adversity, be thankful for the lesson it gives you.
This is probably the biggest hurdle. I, myself, am still working on this. But I do know that, once you see every problem as a lesson, and every person as a teacher, you are shifting your mindset from scarcity to prosperity.
“A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all other virtues.”
— Marcus Tullius Cicero
Forgiveness is the most powerful act of an abundance mindset, and probably the most challenging one for most people. Forgiveness is about letting go. I'm sure you've heard of that. But I say forgiveness is also about letting “in.”
An abundance mentality comes about only when you've cleared your mind of negativity. Since nature abhors a vacuum, if you're filled with negativity, there's no space for positivity. A mind cluttered with hate, indignation and resentment is a clogged one.
Peace of mind should be your ultimate goal in everything you think or do.
When I started letting go and letting in, that's when I started to see the lessons in all things. I stopped blaming other people or circumstances. (When you do blame, you are still getting your mind to focus on the very things you don't want, and therefore attracting those things.)
There's a lot of power in humility. But don't be humble for humility's sake. Be humble because you are humble. Look at it this way: You don't attract what you think. You attract what you are. Because what you are will dictate what you think.
Hence, that's why I said it's not “think and grow rich.” It's “think rich (thoughts) and you will grow rich.” Or put another way, “Be and grow rich,” as in be giving, thankful and forgiving, and your thoughts will shift as a byproduct. And as you think, so shall you be.
“Circumstances do not make the man; they only reveal him (to himself).”
— James Allen in “As a Man Thinketh”
If you want a good lesson on everything I just told you, check The Secret. It's one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. Take it with a grain of salt if you will, but like all copy, don't discount it until you've tested it.
Thank you for listening.
Michel Fortin is a senior marketing specialist, renowned copywriter, and digital marketing expert. For the better part of 30 years, he's produced countless successful marketing communications and profitable campaigns that generated in excess of $300 million in sales. He's broken many industry sales records, including being instrumental behind the first ever “million-dollar day” online marketing campaign in 2004. He's worked with thousands of businesses and entrepreneurs around the world in a wide variety of industries on building their businesses, improving their marketing, and increasing their profits. He's a published author and often speaks at industry events. To connect with him, visit his LinkedIn profile where he is most active.