The not-so-secret secret to getting exactly what you want

No matter who your hero is—Oprah, Steve Jobs or Justin Bieber—all successful people have one in thing in common: They are obsessed. They eat, breathe and sleep whatever they’re into.

And whether they encounter rain, sleet, snow or tsunami, they keep marching. 

These people are not deterred when they can’t get a venture capitalist to finance their brilliant app.

These people won’t let 65 rejections from agents stop them from shopping what they believe to be most amazing piece of fiction since The Firm (just kidding!).

These young women go for procedure X, procedure Y, spirulina shakes, aromatherapy, acupuncture—you name it—for years to have a baby.

These folks are not short on willpower.

And if you ask them how they got it, they’d tell you: “I lead with my foot.”

They know that action precedes motivation in the face of challenges. They’d tell you when you get knocked down, get back up and try another angle.  They tell Epictetus to bug off with his “life is fate” talk. They believe if they build it, people will come.

And while many of us believe you only need faith the size of a grain of mustard seed, these folks will tell you you need faith the size of a watermelon. “Never give up, don’t stop believing in your dream” is their mantra (and will be yours, too, if you hang out with them enough).

Tell the amygdala to chill

When talking about willpower and tenacity, I have to defer to these superheroes because they don’t get hijacked by their amygdalas (the brain’s fear and rage center) as easily as I do; they don’t obsess and catastrophize about the what ifs.

They also have a healthy belief about competition. These folks welcome competition, believing that competition helps them improve rather sets the stage for them to “get beat.” In other words, they don’t bail on the run when it becomes a race (like I do).

You say dispositionalist, I say situationalist (sing along!)

But probably the biggest difference between me and these folks is they believe in the power of willpower in a way that I just don’t buy into. They are dispositionalists; that is, they attribute their success to their own actions and desires versus situational factors like being at the right place at the right time or knowing the right person who knows the right person, or, most importantly, having the parents that imparted serious DNA smarts and modeled good life skills.

I’m a situationalist to a fault. I believe that success is dependent on 10,000 factors in addition to the things you do. I believe that no matter how hard you put the pedal to the metal to get where you wanna go—rain, sleet, snow or tsunami—Mother Nature decides your ETA for you.

So for people who want to get what they want, I recommend merging my situationalist view with the willpower-blessed dispositionalists and aim for smack dab in the middle. That’s where you’ll find the sweet spot.

Do it for love

I hope whatever you’ve got up your sleeve is something that makes your heart sing. Putting the pedal to the metal for something or someone you love is without a doubt the best start in getting the most out of life, no matter what camp you’re in.

Speaking of putting the pedal to the metal, remember that I’m always willing to use the high-test fuel when it involves YOU. Get in touch and we’ll get something powerful going.

Be love, be peace,


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Mollie March 14, 2012 at 6:49 pm

This is the kind of article that gets people talking Dr. Burt!!


Mollie March 14, 2012 at 6:50 pm

This is the kind of article that gets people talking Dr. Burt! LOVE!


Bob Pate March 14, 2012 at 9:36 pm

Another great article!!!!


William March 15, 2012 at 10:22 am



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