Do you remember, in chapter 5, how I told you that most people are trying to work under a ceiling which is three feet high? Just imagine for a moment how confining and stifling this is.
I lived for the first twenty-five years of my life under a false ceiling about this high. Far from believing that I could become a millionaire, I didn't even believe that I could own an average car or take a foreign holiday. I'm not talking about a new car or an exotic foreign holiday, just a five year old saloon and a package trip!
My false ceiling stopped me from learning a foreign language.
My excuse was: "I'm no good at languages, I never have been and I never will be." After applying the methods used in this book, I learnt to speak Russian in six weeks! (Very badly, I ought to point out, but enough to know that I could speak it fluently if I wanted to.)
My false ceiling stopped me from going abroad. My excuse was: "It's far too expensive to go to these places, I'll never be able to afford it."
Within the last few years I have spent a month in Papua New Guinea, taken four package holiday trips and visited the U.S.A five times. All of these trips have been holidays, none of them were business. The world is wide open to me, I know that I can go anywhere I want to, providing they'll let me in! Within the next two years, I plan to go to China and Russia, two places I have always wanted visit.
My false ceiling stopped me from earning more than a good living wage. My excuse was: "You have to be lucky or dishonest to make more than a certain amount of money, anyway, I never get the breaks."
This is the single biggest misconception amongst people who want to succeed . They are locked into an illusion of what they think they should earn. This illusion is created by comparing yourself with the other people around you, then lowering your ceiling until it matches theirs! Can you think of anything more ridiculous? In my case I was effectively saying: "I can't earn more than £100 per week because Dave across the road is getting that, and he's on a higher grade!"
It is a staggering revelation when you realise, as I did, that this is total nonsense! It is up to YOU to decide how much you want to earn. That's right, just sit down and decide! I did. Forget about other people, forget the flood of excuses which will pour into your brain the moment you attempt this exercise, and, most importantly, forget HOW you are going to do it, just set yourself a level of earnings which you want to achieve.
My level was quite modest, I set myself £35,000 a year. This was all I needed to live very comfortably. I easily achieved this income! Absolutely no problem at all! But, then again, it was quite a low income. (If you think it is high, you had better start doing some mental re-adjustment. I believe a high income to be £250,000 a year, and a low income to be anything less than £20,000.)
I would have a bit of trouble living on £35,000 a year now.
This year, I expect my income to be £75,000, but even this I consider to be modest, although comfortable!
Do you begin to see how my fifty foot ceiling beats your three foot ceiling?
My three foot ceiling limited me to driving a beaten-up old wreck of a car. My excuse was: "I couldn't possibly afford a new car." Now I drive the car I want, a BMW worth £22,000. I am just about to trade it in for a brand new BMW which will cost £30,000. This is the car I WANT to drive. I could buy a Rolls Royce if I wanted to, but I don't like them.
My three foot ceiling limited me to thinking that I had to work five days a week, eight hours a day, or more, to earn my living. My excuse was: "Everyone works at least this hard, so I suppose I'll have to."
When you think about it, this is even more ridiculous than limiting your earnings just because: "Everyone else is earning about this much." What is so magical about 40 hours a week? The answer is - nothing! It is a purely arbitrary figure, I don't even know where it came from; yet my World View maintained it to be a fact that you have to work at least this number of hours to earn a living wage. Nonsense!
Some time ago I decided that I wanted to work for about twenty hours a week doing enjoyable and highly profitable work (remember I also need to make £75,000 a year doing this!), the rest of the time I wanted to devote to various creative pursuits; for example writing music, plays and books. My fifty foot ceiling allowed me to do exactly this. For two or three days a week I run a profitable business, and the rest of the week is my own to do with as I please.
This is the second most difficult concept for people to grasp. They are locked firmly into the idea that they MUST 'work for a living', even if the work that they do is either pointless, wasteful or even damaging to the environment. In our society, we believe that ANYTHING is better than fulfilling yourself as a human being. God forbid that anyone should actually sit at home and be creative, or (blasphemy of blasphemies) ...enjoy themselves! Far, far better to be sitting at a factory assembly-line putting tops on talcum powder containers or working in a weapons factory, or producing goods with built-in obsolescence.
We believe that people MUST have a job, no matter what that job is. We believe that we MUST while away the greater part of our lives doing something which is totally pointless and which we probably dislike intensely (or, at best, just tolerate).
This 'work ethic' attitude is rife within our society. So strong is it, that I am careful about telling people exactly how much leisure time I have, because they always have trouble with the concept. If I don't particularly want to get involved in a deep conversation about how I run my life, I simply pretend that my business takes up 100 hours a week of my time. People are happy with that, it satisfies their belief that you have to sacrifice everything and work like a demon to earn better than average. If I tell them that it actually takes up only twenty
hours and that I make £75,000 a year, then I am in for a long interrogation. The interrogation isn't to find out how they can do it too, (I wouldn't mind that and I'd gladly tell them), but the questions are all aimed at trying to prove that I am a liar, or that there is a 'catch' or a hidden secret or that I really work far harder and earn much less.
Do you remember that corridor with all the doors of opportunity on either side? Do you remember how I told you that your lack of I-Can belief had the effect of slamming a lot of those doors shut, then hanging large, red DANGER! - NO ENTRY signs on them?
I've told you about just five of those doors which were locked firmly shut for me. Using my system, I tore the DANGER signs off those doors (and many, many more) and unlocked them forever.
One door led me to the fascinating world of foreign languages. I now know that I could learn ANY language that I want to.
The second door opened the whole world of travel to me. I have been to lots of foreign places now, and fully intend to go to plenty more. I will go anywhere I want to, whenever I want to.
The third door let me set MY OWN salary level. From now on, I decide how much I want to earn. At the moment, that is £75,000 a year, but if I wanted to double, or quadruple that amount, I know that I could.
The fourth door let me choose ANY car that I wanted to own. I chose a BMW, but I could choose a Rolls, Porsche or any other car that I fancy; or more than one if I want.
The fifth door opened onto the amazing, delightful, stupendous world called 'free time'. I now have two or three days a week (apart from weekends which I devote exclusively to the family) to do anything I want to. Amongst other things, I now have time to write books (like this one), I am writing a novel and a fourth play. I compose music and study science. I am interested in astronomy and have my own large (12") telescope; I have an interest in Zen and now have time to meditate regularly for the first time in my life. Needless to say, I take a holiday whenever I want to, and have plenty of relaxation time.
These are just FIVE of the doors that I have opened by raising my three foot ceiling to fifty feet. I have opened dozens and dozens of others, some small, some very large - and remember, I still have fifty feet left to raise my ceiling!