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  • When I turned 13 years old, my father gave me a birthday present, a loaded shotgun that he insists that I keep by the side of my bed, just in case somebody broke in to the one bedroom apartment where we were living in a tough area of Los Angeles.

  • Think about it.

  • A loaded shotgun.

  • I was 13 years old by the side of my bed, instructions for my father about how and when to use it.

  • You see, my father was a street thug or street hustler, which meant he did whatever it took, no matter what, or who got in the way to make sure that his son, me was safe, loved and protected.

  • For him, it meant a life of violence and crime and spending intermittent times in jail for my mother.

  • Unfortunately, it meant an early divorce, being estranged from me for many years and a life of depression and periodic episodes of drug and alcohol abuse.

  • To say I had unconventional childhood is an understatement, and I was determined to lead a very different life, and I did everything I could in my power to make sure that happened.

  • I'm proud to say that I was the first in my family to go to college.

  • I went to a prestigious law school.

  • I practiced law and spent a number of years at the famous consulting firm McKinsey and Company.

  • I became a partner at a private equity firm, and at a very young age I was responsible for investing hundreds of millions of dollars of capital and sitting on boards of companies.

  • I achieved a level of financial success and security that I never dreamt would be possible.

  • And then one day I walked into the office of my CEO and without any warning, I was summarily fired and it shook me to my core.

  • I began to doubt myself.

  • I began to question everything about me and my life.

  • Despite all of the external measures of success and there were many, I realized I wasn't truly fulfilled and flourishing inside.

  • I realized I was living on autopilot, that there had to be something more to life, something more I could be and give and become.

  • And so I set out on a quest toe.

  • Answer a question that I believe human beings have been asking and struggling to answer for thousands of years which is what is the secret to an extraordinary life?

  • Why is it that some people seem to flourish in their relationships, Their career, their health and others seemed to struggle and suffer despite almost identical circumstances?

  • I was determined to figure out that question.

  • And here's what I found.

  • There is a human superpower that, if discovered and practice consistently, will allow anyone, regardless of circumstances, to lead an extraordinary life.

  • That discovery changed everything for me.

  • Professionally.

  • I became the CEO of two companies I now coach and advised of CEOs and leaders of some of the most influential organizations in the world, have an amazing wife and three incredible Children, a group of incredible friends.

  • My life, my work and my purpose are all completely aligned.

  • Is my life perfect?

  • Of course not.

  • I don't think there's such a thing, but I can say unequivocally that I lead an extraordinary life, and I'm honored and thrilled and excited to be sharing that discovery for you.

  • So profound was that discovery that has been my mission to share it with the world.

  • I'm thrilled to be doing that with you today.

  • Let me start by sharing a story starring.

  • Maybe some of you have Heard, which is the story of two to shoe Salesman based in London, England, in the years 1900.

  • And they're asked by their company to go to a developing country to see if there's a market there for shoes, and so they get on the boat.

  • They take a four day long journey across the ocean, and they arrive at their destination.

  • Exhausted and tired and hungry.

  • Get very well dressed in their crisp tan suits and white hats and white suede buck shoes.

  • And they walk into the village and all they can see are thousands of Villagers, but none of them are wearing shoes for the rush back to the port.

  • In the first, shoe salesman writes a telegram back to the office, the Home Office, and says, Total disaster.

  • No one here where shoes I'm on the next boat home.

  • The second shoe salesman writes a telegram and says, glorious opportunity.

  • No one here where shoes Yet please send inventory fast.

  • Same circumstance.

  • Two totally different interpretations, actions and results.

  • You see, the human superpower is the ability to choose your beliefs.

  • The human superpower is the ability to choose your beliefs, you can choose like the first shoe salesman to believe in a world of scarcity and fear and insecurity.

  • Or you can choose to believe, like the second shoe salesman did.

  • In a world of abundance, hope and possibility.

  • Which belief is more true, they both are.

  • We confined plenty of evidence of a dark, scary and evil world, and we confined just a CZ, much evidence of a world of hope and possibility and optimism.

  • The question isn't which belief is more true.

  • The question is which belief better serves you.

  • The quality of your life is the quality of your beliefs, and you get to choose.

  • Let me start by making one assertion, which is we have thousands of beliefs that determined the actions we take and the results we get.

  • Choose a disempowering belief in any situation, and the actions you take and the results you get will be powerless.

  • Choose and empowering or powerful belief, and the actions you take in the results you get will be powerful.

  • There is perhaps no better example in history than what happened in 1954 to demonstrate and illustrate the power of belief for hundreds If not thousands of years, human beings have been trying to run the mile in under four minutes, and I've been getting really close.

  • But by the early 19 fifties, people have given up hope.

  • Newspaper accounts of the time had basically said that human beings had reached the limits of their physical capabilities, that it was physiologically an anatomically impossible for a human being to run the mile in under four minutes.

  • And then in 1954 in a track in Oxford, England, a man named Roger Bannister came along and ran the mile in three minutes 59.4 seconds.

  • And he shocked the world.

  • It was an extraordinary human accomplishment.

  • What I find even more fascinating, however, is that the very next year, two different runners not named Roger Bannister in the same race ran the mile in under four minutes.

  • Dozens followed, and as of today, over 1400 runners have run the mile in under four minutes, and one individual has run two miles in under eight minutes, which is blows my mind.

  • What happened in the few years following 1954?

  • What seemed like anyone could run a mile in under four minutes.

  • Did global weather patterns or track conditions suddenly changed?

  • Was there some leap forward in human anatomy or some massive change in the human diet?

  • Was there a major technology innovation and shoes?

  • None of that happened.

  • The only thing that changed that could explain the sudden it's resurgence in running and the capability of runners was that the belief that human beings couldn't run the mile in under four minutes change.

  • Roger Bannister had not only broken the four minute mile barrier, he had shattered the myth or the belief that it held the barrier in place.

  • To begin with, such is the power of belief.

  • Now we all hold thousands of beliefs.

  • But it turns out there are only two beliefs to major beliefs that really matter and that if you master them and practice powerful beliefs, consistently allow you to lead an extraordinary life.

  • First is the belief about your circumstances, and the second is the belief you have about yourself.

  • Let's talk about each of those.

  • Start with the belief about your circumstances.

  • In 1966 a psychologist named Julian Rotter developed something he called the locus of control spectrum.

  • He said that human beings on one end of the spectrum have an external locus of control.

  • I call that a victim mindset, which means they believe that the world happens to them.

  • Circumstances shape them.

  • There's very little they can do to affect their situation.

  • On the other end of the spectrum are people with an internal locus of control or responsible mindset.

  • That person says, Hi shape my circumstances.

  • There's always something I can do tow, affect any situation.

  • It's an incredible distinction.

  • We now have over 50 years of research that shows, without a doubt the people with an internal locus of control or responsible mindset a chief superior outcomes in virtually every dimension of life.

  • People with an internal locus of control or responsible mindset tend to be married longer and are more satisfied in their relationships.

  • They tend to earn more money and be more satisfied in their careers.

  • They have better health outcomes.

  • They live longer, they're better athletes.

  • They recover from injury quicker.

  • People with an internal locus of control are better teammates.

  • They're better leaders.

  • They tend to go to college more and score significantly better on standardized tests.

  • An incredible body of research.

  • Now there's some good news and some bad news as it relates the belief that we have about our circumstances.

  • The bad news is that the dominant belief, the dominant human belief is a victim mindset.

  • Circumstances shape me.

  • There's very little I can do to affect my situation.

  • Remember the last time you were in the airport and your flight was delayed and you're sitting in the middle row of a crowded airplane waiting to take off and not make it not sure whether you're gonna make it to your destination on time?

  • Did you turn to your seatmate and extolled the virtues of modern transportation and the wonder of flight and acknowledge the inevitability of of delays in this incredible mode of transportation and take responsibility for planning accordingly?

  • Course not.

  • You did what we all do.

  • We turned to the sea, mate, and we commiserated complain about the injustice and indignity being delayed by 45 minutes.

  • The victim mindset is an incredibly seductive place.

  • It promises an incredible short term pay off.

  • We get to avoid responsibility for our lives and blame others.

  • I have three Children, and when my oldest to became teenagers, I began to notice I was complaining a lot internally and externally, and I was saying, My kids don't listen to me.

  • I know there's some parents in the audience I'm sure you can relate to this.

  • Was it true?

  • Sure.

  • Does it matter whether it's to know?

  • Was it a belief that was serving me?

  • Absolutely not.

  • And it was my cue to remember that kind of statement is a belief born out of a victim mindset.

  • It's powerless, and I did two things that are sort of emblematic of what a person with an internal locus of control does.

  • Number one is acknowledged and appreciated all of the places where my Children were listening to me, and there were many and to even more importantly, I got honest and took responsibility for all of the places I wasn't listening to my Children, and I realized in that moment is this human superpower that I had a choice, but how it was believing in how I was acting and that I couldn't expect my Children or, frankly, anyone to do something that I wasn't consistently doing.

  • That's the mark of somebody that makes a choice to have a powerful belief about their circumstances.

  • and to take responsibility for their life.

  • And it's, frankly, one of the keys to an extraordinary life.

  • Let's talk about this belief that you have about yourself.

  • Everybody has hundreds of beliefs about themselves, and we've heard that from the earlier speakers and reform them largely in childhood.

  • But through the course of our life and they aggregate, they sort of scaffold and stack, and they become what I call our identity.

  • Each of us has an identity.

  • The most powerful driver of human behavior is the desire to be consistent with your identity.

  • It's virtually impossible to take actions that are inconsistent with your identity again, some good news and some bad news.

  • The bad news is most of us walk around with a subconscious identity, meaning we don't even know that we have an identity, let alone what the beliefs are that we hold about ourselves and worse Yet for many of us, the police that we hold about ourselves are totally at odds and inconsistent with the very things that we want to achieve in life, things that are most important to us in life.

  • For years I had wanted to write a book, and I discovered that I was holding a subconscious belief about myself, a subconscious identity that I am not an offer.

  • I'm not ready to write a book.

  • No one will be interested in my story.

  • There's nothing original.

  • I have to say I need another 5 to 10 years.

  • That was my subconscious identity because I knew about this thing called a superpower discovered it, and I remember the good news.

  • The good news is, every single belief you have every single one without exception is made up totally.

  • 100% made up, and whatever is made up can be reconstructed, including the beliefs you hold about yourself.

  • So I decided I get to choose.

  • I have this human superpower.

  • I get to choose the beliefs about myself, and I declared that I am an author.

  • I have a gift offer the world, and I repeated that believe over and over again, such that it became so embodied, and I was so certain and confident about it that I couldn't help but take the actions consistent with that identity, which was sitting down writing and publishing a book, which is which is what I did.

  • Each of us has a choice to go through life driven by a set of subconscious safety based play.

  • Not to lose beliefs about ourselves that automatically driver behavior and limiter results, or to choose to consciously construct an identity that powerfully serves us and leads to extraordinary results.

  • So how do we do it?

  • Well, we have a choice, and we get to construct it.

  • So what I encourage people to do is to start with the blanks sheet of paper and to construct and write your identity statement.

  • I spent a lot of time doing that.

  • Over the course of six months.

  • I tweaked it and landed it.

  • And it continues to evolve today, and it's a big source of why I'm proud to say and privilege this an elite and extraordinary life.

  • But anybody be interested in hearing what my identity statements, All right, I will share it with you, and it's something that I say every single day.

  • It's the first thing I say in in the morning, and I say it repeatedly.

  • The best places I scream it in my car despite some weird looks that I get from people.

  • Okay, so here's my identity statement.

  • I am an extraordinary leader, coach, author, speaker, athlete, husband, father, son, brother, friend and colleague.

  • I command my mind and my body to use every ounce of my unlimited potential and infinite capacity to massively and positively impact the lives of others.

  • That's something I say every single day.

  • And it's become so embody that I can't help but take actions that are consistent with that.

  • If you want an extraordinary life, you have to have an extraordinary identity and everybody has a power to choose to do so.

  • Everyone has the potential to lead an extraordinary life.

  • Your responsibility is that consciously choose a set of empowering beliefs about your circumstances and yourselves.

  • You deserve it and the world needs it.

  • Thank you.

When I turned 13 years old, my father gave me a birthday present, a loaded shotgun that he insists that I keep by the side of my bed, just in case somebody broke in to the one bedroom apartment where we were living in a tough area of Los Angeles.

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The Secret to an Extraordinary Life | Darren Gold | TEDxLosGatosHighSchool

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/03/31
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