How to Make the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life
Author: Brian Tracy
Pub Date: January 2009
Print Edition: $14.95
Print ISBN: 9780814437544
Page Count: 224
Format: Paper or Softback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814413470
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I N T R O D U C T I O N
Your World in Transition
‘‘Wherever we are, it is but a stage on the way to
somewhere else, and whatever we do, however well we
do it, it is only a preparation to do something else that
shall be different.’’
—ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON, SCOTTISH NOVELIST AND POET
LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL!
The future may be uncertain, but as you read this
book, one thing I can assure you of is that the rest of your
life is going to be the best of your life. Whatever you have
accomplished up to now is merely a shadow of what you
will be able to achieve in the exciting months and years
ahead. Understand and take comfort in knowing that whatever
changes are taking place in your life today, they are
part of a larger plan to lead you onward and upward to fulfilling
ALBERT EINSTEIN was teaching at Princeton University and
had just administered an exam to an advanced class of physics
students. On the way back to his office, the teaching assistant
carrying the exams asked him, ‘‘Dr. Einstein, wasn’t
this the same exam that you gave to this same class last
Dr. Einstein responded, ‘‘Yes, it was.’’
The teaching assistant, in awe of perhaps the greatest
physicist of the twentieth century, then asked, ‘‘Excuse me
for asking, Dr. Einstein. But how could you give the same
exam to the same class two years in a row?’’
Einstein replied simply, ‘‘The answers have changed.’’
At that time, in the world of physics, with new
breakthroughs and discoveries, the answers were changing
at such a rapid rate that the same exam could be given two
years in a row and have different answers.
How does this relate to you? The answers in your
own life are changing more rapidly today than ever before.
If someone were to ask, ‘‘What was your biggest problem
or goal a year ago?’’ you probably wouldn’t even know the
answer. The answers have changed so completely.
Researchers at Harvard University once made three
predictions about the future. First, they said, there will be
more change in the coming year than ever before. Second,
there will be more competition in the coming year than ever
before. And third, there will be more opportunities in the
coming year in your field, whatever it is, than ever before.
But the opportunities will be different than the opportunities
and activities of today.
Those Harvard researchers made these predictions
in 1952. They are as true today as they were then. And
today, once again, the answers have changed.
Here is another prediction: Within the next two
years, 72 percent of people working today will be in different
jobs in the same or different companies and have different
responsibilities requiring different talents and skills to
achieve different results. And those people who fail to respond
to the challenges of change will be most affected by
Because of our fast-moving society, almost everyone
is in a state of transition in one or more areas of life all the
time. This rapid rate of change is inevitable, unavoidable,
and unstoppable. Knowing how to deal with change effectively
is a primary requirement for living successfully in
perhaps the most exciting time in all of human history.
Perhaps the most common form of change is the loss or
change of a job. Because of the dynamism of the American
economy, fully 20 million jobs are lost or restructured each
year. The good news is that 22 million more jobs are created
each year as well.
No matter how many hundreds of thousands of new
workers flood into the job market each year, the economy
continues to create opportunities for them. According to the
Department of Labor, there are now more than 100,000 job
categories in the United States and many subcategories
within that number.
You could be in transition today because of a career
change. After all, the average person starting work today
will have an average of 11 full-time jobs lasting two years or
more, and five or more multiyear careers in different fields.
It is quite common for people to move from one industry
to another and from one part of the country to another,
to enter a new job. Many people are changing their
professions completely. Perhaps the fun or thrill of a particular
job, career, or profession has gone and the individual
decides to make a major change. Often, because of changing
economic conditions, consumer tastes, and national or international
competition, entire industries are downsized or
eliminated. The demand for people within a particular job
classification or career may decline or even disappear within
a few short years.
JOBS AND INDUSTRIES BECOME
At the beginning of the twentieth century, buggy manufacturing
and horse care were major industries employing hundreds
of thousands of people. When the automobile was
first invented, it was seen as a passing fad. But within a few
years, the horse and buggy, and all the jobs associated with
those industries, faded into history. Meanwhile, hundreds
of thousands—and eventually millions—of new jobs were
created in the automobile manufacturing and parts indus-
tries. Those jobs were cleaner, higher paying, and offered
greater opportunities for advancement and higher standards
of living than ever before.
In 1990, one of the largest workforces in America
was bank employees. But with the dawn of the computer
and Internet age, and the advent of the ATM, fewer and
fewer bank employees were required. Millions were laid off
and made available to work at more interesting, higher-paying
jobs in other industries.
During the real estate boom of 2004–2007, hundreds
of thousands of people poured into the real estate, mortgage,
and title insurance businesses, many of them earning a lot
of money in a short amount of time.
But as always happens, the economy changed. The
number of attractive long-term jobs full of opportunities to
earn high incomes declined precipitously, leaving many
people shaking their heads, worse off than before, and wondering
what had happened.
LIFESTYLE CHANGES NEVER STOP
Many people go through dramatic changes in the different
stages of family formation. Getting married, especially for
the first time, requires a major shift in priorities in many
areas of life. Getting divorced, especially when children are
involved, can require another major set of transitions. The
death of a spouse, unexpected or not, often requires that a
person change many other aspects of his or her life.
The birth of children and the entry into family life
requires a transition as well. At each stage of a child’s
growth and development, parents have to adjust and adapt
to new pressures and responsibilities. Later in life, when
children grow up and leave home, even more transitions are
necessary. Sometimes, empty nesters decide that this is an
opportunity to change their lives completely, and they do.
Throughout your life, financial changes—especially
reversals and even bankruptcy—can require you to change
your life in major and minor ways. Sometimes, a major financial
loss will require you to completely reevaluate almost
every other part of your life.
The rate of change, driven by information explosion,
new technologies, and competition of all kinds, is not going
to slow down. Knowledge, technology, and competition
seem to multiply, increasing the speed of change to almost
To ensure that your life stays on a trajectory of increasing
success, your goal should be to become a master of
change rather than a victim of change. Use these unavoidable
and inevitable transition periods in your life to step
back and reinvent yourself for the months and years ahead.
THINK ABOUT THE FUTURE
One characteristic of the most successful and happy people
is that they are intensely future-oriented. They think about
the future most of the time. They refuse to dwell on what
has happened and things that cannot be changed. Instead
they focus on factors that are under their control and actions
they can take to create the kind of future they desire.
Future-oriented people have a special attitude. They
believe that their happiest moments and most satisfying experiences
lie in the future, waiting to be created or enjoyed.
They look forward to the future like a child looks forward
to Christmas: ‘‘I can hardly wait!’’
We are living in the very best time in all of human
history. It has never been more possible for more people to
earn more money, enjoy higher standards of living, and live
longer, healthier lives than it is today. And if anything,
these conditions will only improve in the years ahead.
The average life span in America today is about 80
years. As people become more knowledgeable and sensible
about health habits, diet, nutrition, and exercise, they can
comfortably expect to beat the averages and live to be 90 or
even 100 years old in good health.
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