Medium 9781605092751

Flight Plan

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The bestselling book by Rhonda Byrne, The Secret, talks about the powerful effects of visualizing success and activating the Law of Attraction. But many people are finding out that just thinking about what they want, while it’s a good start, isn’t enough. In Flight Plan, Brian Tracy reveals the real keys to accomplishing any long-term, meaningful success.

Using the metaphor of an airplane trip, Flight Plan helps you chart a course to greater achievement, happiness, and personal fulfillment.

Brian has personally gone from rags to riches using these principles. He has taught them to 4 million people in 46 countries and become one of the top success teachers and gurus on personal performance in the world. People who learn and apply the formula in Flight Plan experience immediate changes and long-lasting improvements in every area of life.

The best news is that success is not a matter of luck, chance or mysterious forces, any more than an airline flight is. A favorable tailwind will make for a faster flight, a strong headwind will mean delays, but a pilot reaches his or her destination by skillfully maneuvering the plane in accordance with the physical laws that govern flight. Success is no different. By learning to skillfully apply the laws and principles outlined in Flight Plan, you will be able to fulfill your complete potential and become everything you are capable of becoming.

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12 Chapters

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Chapter One: Choose Your Destination


Thoroughness characterizes all successful men.
Genius is the art of taking infinite pains.
All great achievement has been characterized
by extreme care, infinite painstaking,
even to the minutest detail.


You have the ability, right now, to accomplish more in life than you ever imagined possible. You have more talent than you could use in a hundred lifetimes. There have never been more opportunities and innovations to enable you to achieve higher levels of health, happiness, and financial well-being than exist today. In order for you to realize this unlimited potential, your first and greatest responsibility to yourself is to become absolutely clear about what it is that you really want.

When you are absolutely clear about who you are, what you want, and where you want to go, you will accomplish ten times as much as the average person, and much faster as well.8

Virtually all of us have four main goals in common. These are (1) to be fit, be healthy, and live a long life; (2) to do work we enjoy and be well paid for it; (3) to be in happy relationships with people we love and respect and who love and respect us in return; and (4) to achieve financial independence so we never have to worry about money again. When you give yourself a score of one to ten in each of these four areas, you will find that most of your problems and concerns today are in that part of your life where you scored the lowest. The most rapid improvements in your life will come when you make improvements in that specific area.


Chapter Two: Review Your Flight Options


Our grand business is not to see
what lies dimly in the distance,
but to do what lies clearly at hand.


Once you have become clear about who you are, what you want, and what your true goals are in each area of your life, you can begin to evaluate all the different routes by which you can reach your destination. Now you can determine the strategies and tactics that you can use to achieve your goals and arrive at your destination on schedule.

One of the most important rules that I have ever learned is this: You are only as free as your well-developed options.

For example, if you have only one way to accomplish a task and that method does not work, you will be stopped in your tracks. If you have only one option or alternative to achieve a goal or to reach a destination and that one way fails for any reason, you can find yourself stranded.26

Successful people are continually developing options, just in case something doesn’t work out the way they had intended. They develop alternate courses of action to insure against unexpected setbacks or reversals. As a result, when things go wrong, as they always do, successful people remain calm and relaxed. They have already thought through the worst possible situations that could occur and have a plan ready-made to deal with them.


Chapter Three: Write Your Flight Plan


Our goals can only be reached through the vehicle
of a plan, in which we must fervently believe,
and upon which we must vigorously act.
There is no other route to success.


Many people think that having a clear goal and being positive and optimistic about accomplishing it is all they need to do to be happy and successful. However, choosing your destination, although vitally important, is just the starting point. Now the real work begins. Now is when you demonstrate to yourself and to others that you are really serious about your goal.

The fact is that only 3 percent of people have clear, written goals with plans to accomplish them. Only about 3 percent of adults work on their most important goals each day. Only the top people think about their goals most of the time.36

Instead of goals, the great majority have wishes. They have hopes, dreams, and fantasies. They have what I call “cigarette smoke” goals. They dissipate quickly and fade away in the imagination, providing no clarity of focus and direction.


Chapter Four: Prepare for Your Journey


Are you in earnest? Seize this very minute!
Boldness has power, and magic in it.
Only engage, and the mind grows heated.
Begin it, and the work will be completed.


Preparation is the mark of a professional. Preparation is also the mark of a successful person in any field. As you move upward in any occupation, you will find that the top people spend far more time in preparation than the average person does. The top 10 percent in any field are always more thoroughly prepared in every detail than those who struggle for a living in the same occupation.

When packing for trips, professional travelers take several steps over and over until they become habits. First, they make a list of everything that they will need for the upcoming trip. They do not trust to memory. They write it all down.50

Second, they lay out everything they are going to take with them, in advance, before packing. Third, they pack completely so that they are ready to leave for the airport well in advance of the scheduled time. Professional travelers know that if you pack in a panic because you have not allowed enough time, you will forget things that can lead to unnecessary inconveniences later on your journey.


Chapter Five: Take Off at Full Throttle


There can be no great courage where
there is no confidence or assurance,
and half the battle is in the conviction
that we can do what we undertake.


You have decided on your destination, arrived at the airport, boarded the plane, and taken your seat. You are now ready for the most important step of all: the takeoff, the launch, where you step out in faith with no guarantee of success. This is the turning point in your life and in the life of every successful person.

The plane taxies to the runway, gets clearance for takeoff from the tower, and starts down the runway. This is the critical moment, the takeoff that is the true beginning of your journey toward your destination.

Once the plane has clearance, the pilot gives the plane 100 percent full throttle. The plane begins moving, slowly at first, and then picks up speed, going faster and faster down the runway until it lifts off into the air. This is the moment that pilots call “wheels up.” It is the official beginning of the flight.60


Chapter Six: Plan for Turbulence


If I were asked to give what I consider the
single most useful piece of advice for all
humanity it would be this: Expect trouble as
an inevitable part of life and when it comes,
hold your head high, look it squarely in the
eye, and say, “I will be bigger than you.
You cannot defeat me.”


On a flight, when your plane takes off, the pilot tells all the passengers to stay in their seats with their seatbelts buckled. In many cases, the pilot will say, “We expect a certain amount of turbulence for the first part of the flight, so please stay buckled up.”

When you start any new business or job, you will experience turbulence as well. The first phase of any job, business, or new venture usually plunges you into a series of unexpected problems and difficulties that you never imagined you would encounter. It’s very much like a plane hitting a downdraft and being put into a dive.66

As soon as you commit to your new goal and take the plunge, everything that possibly can go wrong will go wrong. You will learn more lessons in the first few days after starting a new venture than you may have learned or thought of in a year of planning and organizing.


Chapter Seven: Make Continual Course Corrections


Sooner or later comes a crisis in our affairs,
and how we meet it determines our
future happiness and success. Since the
beginning of time, every form of life has
been called upon to meet such a crisis.


Problems, difficulties, and setbacks are a normal, natural, and unavoidable part of life and business. When you set a new goal or launch toward a new destination, you will experience challenges and difficulties that you never expected or anticipated. But the true test of character is the inevitable and unavoidable crisis. Your ability to solve problems is important, but your ability to deal with crises largely determines your success or failure in life.

It is estimated that the average person today experiences a crisis every two to three months. This can be a business crises, financial crisis, family crisis, physical crisis, or personal crisis of some kind. This means that each person you know, including yourself, is either in a crisis today, has just gotten out of a crisis, or is just about to have a crisis.80


Chapter Eight: Accelerate Your Learning and Progress


It is only with the heart that one can see rightly;
what is essential is invisible to the eye.


What is your most valuable financial asset? Surprisingly enough, it is not your home, your investments, or your bank account. It is your earning ability. Your ability to earn money is the most precious and perishable asset you have.

It has taken you your entire life to develop your earning ability to the level it is today. Your current earning ability is a combination of your knowledge, skills, experience, education, background, personality, character, and qualities of thought and behavior, such as courage, self-discipline and persistence. By applying your earning ability judiciously, you can earn tens of thousands of dollars each year.94

You could lose your house, your car, your money, and all your other material possessions. But as long as you still have your earning ability, you can walk into the marketplace and earn them all back again.

Your earning ability is invisible. It is intangible. It is hard to estimate or measure. Two people with the same IQ and grades could graduate from the same college with the same education and begin work at the same time. Ten years later, one of those people has been promoted several times and is earning five or ten times as much as the other. Why does this happen?


Chapter Nine: Activate Your Superconscious Mind


A miracle is nothing more nor less than this.
Anyone who has come into a knowledge of
his true identity, of his oneness with the
all-pervading Wisdom and Power, thus makes
it possible for laws higher than the ordinary mind
knows of to be revealed to him.


Today’s wide-bodied passenger jets have the most advanced and sophisticated avionics equipment imaginable. The high-tech computers on the average passenger plane today are capable of monitoring every part and performance measure of the plane. The avionics systems, costing millions of dollars for a large plane, are so advanced that they can make the plane take off, fly, and land almost without human assistance.108

Pilots, of course, are essential on every plane for three primary reasons. First, they are necessary to set the destination. They must then go through a checklist to ensure that the plane has no technical problems. They are required to taxi to the runway, take off, and achieve altitude.

Second, pilots are essential to continually check that everything in the plane is working properly and to personally make decisions regarding wind, turbulence, storm patterns, and essential course corrections.


Chapter Ten: Avoid Shortcuts and Other Mirages


Some men give up their designs when
they have almost reached the goal; while others,
on the contrary, obtain a victory by exerting,
at the last moment, more vigorous
efforts than ever before.


Perhaps the greatest enemy of personal success is explained by the Law of Least Resistance. Just as water flows downhill, most people continually seek the fastest and easiest way to get what they want, with very little thought or concern for the long-term consequences of their behavior. This natural tendency of people to take the easy way explains most underachievement and failure in adult life.

If you want to become physically fit, there is only one way. You must exercise two hundred minutes or more per week. For all-around fitness, you must engage in stretching exercises, strength-building exercises, and aerobic exercises. You must exercise your upper body and your lower body. And just like brushing your teeth or bathing, you have to do it throughout your life.118

If you want to become mentally fit to maintain and increase your earning ability, you have to work out mentally as well. You have to read and study in your field each day. You have to keep current with what is going on in your industry. You have to listen to educational CDs rather than the radio in your car. You have to turn off the television and use your time to improve yourself personally and professionally. You have to resist the pull of the path of least resistance every single day.


Chapter Eleven: Master Your Fears


Courage is resistance to fear,
mastery of fear—not absence of fear.


Perhaps the greatest challenge that you will ever face in life is the conquest of fear and the development of courage. Fear is, and always has been, the greatest enemy of mankind.

When Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” he was saying that the emotion of fear, rather than the reality of what we fear, is what causes us anxiety, stress, and unhappiness. When you develop the habit of courage and unshakable self-confidence, a whole new world of possibilities opens up for you. Just imagine—what would you dare to dream or be or do if you weren’t afraid of anything in the whole world?

Fortunately, the habit of courage can be learned just as any other habit is learned, through repetition. We need to constantly face and overcome our fears to build up the kind of courage that will enable us to deal with the inevitable ups and downs of life unafraid. The starting point in overcoming fear and developing courage is to look at the factors that predispose us toward being afraid.


Chapter Twelve: Persist Until You Succeed


Determine to become one of the best;
sufficient money will almost automatically
follow if you get to be one of the “best”
in your chosen field, whatever it is.


The most important single quality of success is self-discipline. Self-discipline is having the ability within yourself, based on your strength of character and willpower, to do what you should do when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.

Character is the ability to follow through on a resolution after the enthusiasm with which the resolution was made has passed. It is not what you learn but whether or not you can dedicate and discipline yourself to pay the price, over and over, until you finally reach your goal. Self-discipline is required in each stage of your journey.

You need self-discipline to set your goals in the first place. You need self-discipline to make plans for their accomplishment. You need self-discipline to continually revise and upgrade your plans with new information. You need self-discipline to plan each day, set priorities on the use of your time, and concentrate on the most important task that you could be doing at any time.136



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