DAVID LALLY: Welcome to “The Brian Buffini Show,” where we explore the mindsets, motivation and methodologies of success. Today we have a powerful session Brian presented live at our Mastermind event in San Diego. Considering these perilous times, the message is more pertinent than ever as he doves into key lessons from the book Think and Grow Rich. Let’s listen in.
BRIAN BUFFINI: I have no control over what you do with this, nor do I want that control, but I will share with you that what I’m about to give to you is what is currently changing my life, my family’s life, and that’s all I can speak to. After our home burned down, 17,000 books around that disappeared. Now we build this new home. Beverly is the library in our office, I have a library and we have a library, all empty shelves.
Initially, I got to be honest with you, it’s a little depressing, because all it was a constant reminder what you didn’t have. The other thing had been 25 years of accumulation and notes written and this and any of whatever else. Then I chose to make a decision. I said, I choose to look at these empty shelves as a phenomenal opportunity. I thought how delicious is it for me to go and fill my library because there were things on my library shelf that after a while, I’m like, ain’t reading that no more. That’s just there. Now I had a chance to start out. Now, the first book I bought had 66 books inside it, that’s cheating.
Then the next book I got was this one right here, which was “How to Win Friends and Influence People” with the great Dale Carnegie. I say the great Dale Carnegie because to me, from a personal growth and developer standpoint, you don’t need much more than this. There’s a lot of young folks in this room here today. This is a great one. “How to Win Friends and Influence People” is actually a great title to sell this book, but a terrible title in masking the depth of what’s in here. The profundity that’s in here.
This guy, when he was doing this work, I don’t know what was going on. It was like he access something in the divine in a spirit of humankind to understand people in a way that is profound, and then broke it down into some simple, simple follow on how tos profound. I read this book after the fire and I read it and I have read it maybe 15 times before that. I’d look it up before a webinar or a conference call, look for a quote in this either.
I read it in a way I’d never read it before, and it impacted me in a way it had never impacted me before. Dale was the oldest. He produced his work in the 1915, 1920. He was seminar speaker and meeting people and teaching people. He initially was teaching people how to speak. As he met people, he saw the challenges they had in that, okay, I can teach people to speak, but the real issue is they don’t know how to connect.
They’re struggling with their relationships, and they really don’t know how to connect and they’re struggling with themselves. In getting that feedback, being out in the marketplace, he wrote this. Now this book was one of the influencers for “Think and Grow Rich.” “Think and Grow Rich” came along with Napoleon Hill, and we’re going to spend our time with this little Virginia farm boy. This book in the first half of the 20th century, the only book that sold more copies in the world was the Bible. One of the things that’s very, very important though as we understand these principles, is that these men evoked an era that was really transformative in America. Personal growth and development is still very new.
I’ve spoken in 27 countries. Our systems are taught in 37 countries. There are many places in the world, believe it or not, the whole personal growth thing is a brand-new concept and there are places I’ve been where they just flat out aren’t interested. In America, I remember being here and this being flourishing. I remember going to the bookstores and there was just these self-help aisles. I now understand after years they got the wrong term in there because self doesn’t do much help to self. I didn’t grow up — there were no self-help seminars in Ireland and never saw one, never heard of one. How to drink 12 pints of Guinness instead of 11 on a Friday night, there weren’t classes like that. This stuff was big in the American culture and these men were part of. There’s a rich lineage of the men that came out of this, a rich lineage.
It started here. Now this is the thing to remember. In the first 50 years of the twentieth century, the works that were produced in America were based on two things, principles and character, principles and character, principles and character. You see, principles are those things. They’re like laws of gravity. They’re the rules of the game. What happens is, it’s not that people intentionally break the principles, although some do, is that most people unintentionally break the principles, and that’s why they’re not receiving the benefits. That’s why they’re not living the good life. That’s why they’re not economically blessed. That’s why they’re really struggling with their health or their family or whatever else.
I’ve seen intentional breaking, but mostly, it’s unintentional breaking. It’s like this, if you didn’t know that red means stop and green means go, and you’re just driving your merry way. Or if you learned it once and then forgot it, is it possible you might end up in trouble? Yes or no? It doesn’t mean you have a bad heart, bad intentions, bad motivation. No. Principles and character was the first 50 years. Out of these men, this brought a flotilla of people, Norman Vincent Peale, W. Clement Stone, Og Mandino. Now these guys, based on these principles and the development of character, now what happened is out of these came people like Og, and this became a lot about attitude and energy. It was based on these principles.
The next 50 years, it became about attitude and energy, so character and principles led to attitude and energy. Phenomenal combination, by the way. Now, the problem is right now I’d say in this century, what we’ve seen is people have disconnected from the foundational principles and character development. They like the benefits of attitude and energy and what our cultures become today and what the literature is today and what a lot of the books are today, for the most part, are about emotions and feelings. Principles and character development at bedrock. Attitude and energy on that bedrock phenomenal.
If you take attitude and energy and now you just work on emotions and feelings now all of a sudden, like emotions and feelings, that’s what reality television is. You can say whatever you want. Here’s the thing, reality television is big in America because we want to watch it. We want to watch it. When I look at the Kardashians, it makes me feel a lot better about my own family. It does. We’re not that screwed up. Would you guys agree?
BUFFINI: What happens is all they want in that non-reality TV, what they want is emotions. It’s all emotions. The books are written about how to handle our emotions. Why do we want emotions? Because I want to solve it right now. This is how I’m feeling today, and long-term planning is not long-term. Principles and character development that takes what? It takes time. It takes time. Old school. Well, ladies and gentlemen, we’re going old school. We’re going old school. Here’s why. Because I want to help you.
I’m not sure with the things that helped me. How many of you would like to be doing better economically? Could I see your hands nice and high? Okay, it’s a good start. How many if you would like to be doing better with your health? Could I see your hands? How many of you would like to be doing better with your relationships? Can I see your hands on that one? How many of you who’d like to love your work? That’s six of you. I know, it’s in there somewhere. I’m going to share with you things that are about principles and character.
Now, we’re going to spend our time on “Think and Grow Rich.” This work started for me as I prepared for a Peak Performers a few years ago. There’s about 80 or 90 people who are here who were at that event. That was really when I first really went to the next level with “Think and Grow Rich.” I’ve read the book, I’ve studied the book, I’ve figured out what the master key to success was after many readings. Then really went after it and digging in and digging in and digging in. The way Napoleon wrote this he actually wasn’t explicit. How many of you read “Think and Grow Rich”? Let me see your hands. He talks about a secret in this book. Now we’re going to talk about that secret today and I want to also share with you something that I thought was missing.
Refiners refine baby, that’s what we do. That’s right. We’re going to make this better. You were here first. The fact of the matter is there’s brilliant work in here, brilliant work. Twenty-five years released in 1928 right before the Great Depression. The list of people that Napoleon Hill got a chance to interview. At that time the 500 most successful economic people in the world but very, very, very influential people. He knew the whole story. He just didn’t know them as a testimonial or a success story the way we do. Alexander Graham Bell, how many of you have heard of Alexander Graham Bell? What did Alexander Graham Bell invent?
BUFFINI: Telephone. Everybody looks at him, great and you can hear of it. We had the baby bells and all that stuff. That’s how we really know. There’s a whole other story. Alexander Graham Bell went through 587 lawsuits over his patents on the telephone. Five of them went to the Supreme Court. Do you think a guy who had to fight 587 lawsuits and five in a Supreme Court for his invention and all he wanted to do was help people? Do you think that guy might have some wisdom or some experiences or some things he’s learned, yes or no? What do we do? We look at it and we go, the guy made a bunch of money, he made a great invention. That’s all we do. We never go below the surface.
There are many other guys that Napoleon had if we want to just go through the who’s who list. George Eastman, Eastman Kodak, you guys heard of him back when we used to take pictures? We used to take pictures, we just actually print them. Now we take them on our phone and we never see them. Is that true? I got 4,000 pictures on my phone and I don’t know what they are. That’s what George Eastman did. Henry Ford, you heard of him? Henry did a few things. Some of you learned a few things about Henry. Some of you drove here with Henry today.
A few others, John D. Rockefeller. John D. Rockefeller came from poverty, came from a dad that ran out on him, and his mom and his brothers and sisters and cheated all over kingdom come. Went on to become the wealthiest man in the world and most one of the influential human beings that ever lived. In the top 10 most influential people who ever lived, John D. Rockefeller is in there. Jesus was number one, Muhammad’s in there, Buddhism’s in there, and John D. Rockefeller is in there. That guy had a few things to share. This man I want to spend six months with him.
Charles Schwab, really an incredible guy, a brilliant guy and a great salesman. He was called the master hustler when hustler had a positive meaning. Woolworths basically invented the whole department store concept. Some brilliant men politically, civically, economically, inventor, brilliant guy. Theodore Roosevelt, have you heard of him? Very popular in our house. My daughter’s horse that she’s raised since he was a foal is a teddy, she calls him, but the horse’s name is Roosevelt. William Taft, another president. This is who this guy is hanging out with. He wrote the book in 1928, by 1933 at the height of depression, he was the number one adviser to the president of United States from 1933 to 1936. After 1936, he resigned his position. He said, “It’s good, we’re going to be okay. I’ve done what I can do.” This is who Napoleon Hill is. This is who we need to spend time with. The name of the book is what?
AUDIENCE: “Think and Grow Rich.”
BUFFINI: “Think and Grow Rich.” He had everybody in here. My favorite was William Wrigley. Wrigley was brilliant. You guys ever heard of Wrigley, the gum? Now, this guy was brilliant. He was industrious, he was a visionary, but he had one fatal flaw. He bought the Chicago Cubs. Nobody’s perfect. That’s why you don’t want to believe everything in this book. This stuff’s great and we’re going to go deep and we’re going to go hear from Napoleon today. I want to share with you the name of the book. What does it say? Come on now, lock in.
AUDIENCE: “Think and Grow Rich.”
BUFFINI: What’s the first word?
BUFFINI: We’ve got to go back to thinking. One of the things you do when you’re thinking is actually listen to somebody. Listen to what they say, listen to the differences of opinion, be open. Here’s my new phrase I learned this this year, “I don’t know.” Some of you might want to write that one down. There it is, that’s my new swear word, I don’t know. We’re going to get back to thinking. Here’s a definition of thinking. Here’s what it is, it’s to have the mind steadily turned toward, to have the mind steadily turned toward. You’re going to find out how powerful the mind is. To have constantly in mind, to have the mind steadily toward and have constantly in mind.
First question for you to write and this is beautiful stuff and there’s no, listen, no incrimination, no beating yourself up, no self-criticism. This is purely analysis at this time in this day. What am I constantly have in mind? That’s the question you want to ask yourself. Don’t have any attachment to it. It’s just is what it is. What do I constantly have in mind? What do I have constantly in mind? Money troubles? My health? How I look? Problems with kids?
What do I actually have constantly in mind? You’re going to learn why this is the power to either live in the principle or the thing that diffuses and breaks the principle. Here’s what we’re going to talk about. Here are the symptoms that we’re always trying to fix.
Let’s take a look at the symptoms and we’ve all spent money and buy books and done all kinds of things to try to fix these symptoms. Here’s the first one, lack of focus. Some of you’ll need me to say that again.
During this event, someone in this auditorium is going to miss out on a statement or an insight that would have absolutely changed their life forever, but they’ll miss it because they’re texting. I watch it every day, I watch it every day. I see of this every day as I travel all over the world. Same person who’s checked out texting, calling, doing this, doing that, and then comes up to me at the break and goes, I’m broke. My wife just left me, my kids are a mess, yada, yada, yada. Then they asked me a question about something I already said. We are the ADD world. We watch movies while we’re playing video games. We’re in the car, heaven forbid, we might talk as a family, we’ve got to have the movies on and now because we don’t like the kids’ movies, they got to have the headphones on. We have become an ADD world and we have a lack of focus. How can you be good at anything in life with a lack of focus? The technology is marvelous and it’s wonderful and we need to use it and embrace it, but the technology is destroying our ability to concentrate. Is this making sense? Focus.
There’s times for it all. There’s times for it all. There’s times to veg out. Absolutely, but most people are sleepwalking through life. There’s no focus, a lack of purpose. I’m going to begin the seminar by revealing secret. The secret behind this book is about having a definite major purpose. I’m going to tell you by the time we finished today why he kept it a secret. There’s a reason why he kept it a secret. There’s a reason why it was a secret thing to him that he didn’t want to impose on anyone else. He wanted people to come to their own conclusions.
Basically, I think he was afraid of ever telling somebody what a definite major purpose might be. I’m not going to do that with you either, I’m going to tell you what my definite major purpose is and you can dance with that. Does that make sense? That’s the key, is having a definite major purpose. That’s what the essence of this work, and the best thing he got from the 500 most economically successful man in the world at that time was having a definite major purpose. Can you say those words, definite major, that’s the core of this book.
Third, constantly making short-term decisions. You can make 1,000 short-term bad decisions, you have to have the discipline and courage and the principle base to make one good long-term decision and then find a short-term benefit to it. The next is a sense of overwhelm. This is one of the symptoms, we are overwhelmed as people. We are overwhelmed by technology, by life, our life comes at us faster than any civilization that’s ever lived. The business we’re in is overwhelming. Life can be overwhelming, and that is why as Joe Armand used to say, we numb out, we check out, and we drop out.
There are more opportunities to numb out today than ever before. It used to be back in the old days, the only way to really numb out was booze. Poor cultures and poor civilizations like the one I grew up in. The only way you could numb out the pain, the only way you could numb out the overwhelm was to go drink. In our world today, that is just one of the options. What are some of the things we can do to numb out today? What do men do to numb out?
ESPN. There’s 12 ESPNs. I took my kids on a tour of ESPN the other day, 4,000 employees, unbelievable. It’s a factory of preoccupation. Sports and golf and this and that and up and down and in and out, and many other things. What do ladies do?
BUFFINI: Shop. That’s another way. What’s a way to numb out? Eat, drink, sleep, and a lot of other things that we’re not getting into here to keep it a family show. We’re numbing out because we have the sense of overwhelm. Give me a book, give me how-tos on how to fix the numb out. Well, we can do that forever or we can go after the foundation and say this is a symptom. We need to think. Not living the life you want. I’ve had this. I have woken up– Now here’s the tough thing, it is tough to wake up as a motivational speaker, a leader of a company, in some regards, an influential person in the industry you’re in, and wake up and go, “What the heck am I doing? How did I get here? Is this a life I wanted? Or is this the life I even want now? Now some people then make decisions, [makes sound], and they make short-term decisions. We have to make principle-based decisions, character-based decisions that infuse attitude, that infuse energy, and then it becomes the good feelings. Is everybody with me?
BUFFINI: These are the symptoms. How many of you don’t want these symptoms? Can I see your hands? How many of you have experienced some of these five symptoms? How many of you know somebody close to you who’s had these five symptoms? Let me see your hands. All right, good. Well, you can bring this seminar back to them because they obviously need it. Here’s the principles right here. Here’s the keys to Napoleon’s own work. He said. “First of all, take possession of your own mind and to direct it to whatever ends you desire.” “Take possession of your own mind and direct it to whatever ends you desire.” “Take possession of your own mind and direct it to whatever ends you desire.” Second, “What your mind that feeds upon is what your mind attracts.” “What your mind feeds upon is what your mind attracts.” There’s been a lot of books written here recently that are all about the law of attraction and those kinds of things. Then what happens is they try to turn those things into principles that then run off this way. Then it becomes all about attraction. Well, these are just symptoms. This is the principle here. It’s about taking possession of your mind. When you take possession of your mind, you’re going to attract what your mind is actually looking for. Next, a definiteness of purpose, a definiteness of purpose, a definiteness of purpose, a definiteness of purpose. Then here’s the payoff, Napoleon was no dummy. He said, think, and what was the second part? Come on, thinking was. I’m sorry. Thinking, what?
BUFFINI: I know, let’s forget all the stigmas about the word rich. How many of you honestly wouldn’t mind right now being bloody rich? Let me see your hands. Great. Get over it. Get over it. There’s nothing wrong. Rich does not make you a jerk, jerk makes you a jerk. Rich just exposes it more.
Does that make sense? When you squeeze an orange, outcomes orange juice because that’s what’s inside. Money is that magnifier. Maybe people are like, “That’s okay. I don’t want to be rich because I don’t want to be magnified.” Well, how about we do it all? How about we think, character, principles. A person who is a principle-centered living person is someone who is loved, respected, and trusted and should be. I loved, respected, and trusted person who also has means. Does that sound like a good deal to you?
BUFFINI: It’s what we’re talking about here. The name of the book is “Think and Grow Rich.”
AUDIENCE: “Think and Grow Rich.”
BUFFINI: There’s a payoff. The riches you may enjoy and then there’s the penalties you must pay. The penalties you pay is when you intentionally or unintentionally break one of the principles. That’s okay. Part of what we’re going to do today is to remind you and myself, I’m getting reminded while I’m talking to you. Here’s what red means, here’s what green means, here’s what yellow means. The riches you may enjoy, the penalties you must pay. Let’s hear from Napoleon. He said something about taking possession of all your mind. How many of you in here are some way connected to the real estate business? Let me see your hands. In real estate, what we do is help people move from this house to that house. That’s it. Everything else is just shenanigans. Someone wants to go from that house to that house. When we hand somebody the keys, they then take what? What’s that?
BUFFINI: How do you know somebody has taken possession of a home? They move in. How do you know somebody has moved in? Because you move and then you move in. How do you know somebody has moved in?
Because they’ve made it their home. Most people with their mind have not taken possession. That’s why this is such a big deal. People have gotten the keys, people have moved in, they’ve thrown some furniture in there, but there’s still a bunch of boxes. There’s still rooms with nothing in them. There’s still walls with no picture, no paintings, no furniture in certain rooms, none of the little touches. We need to take possession of our own minds. That’s what we’ve been gifted by the Creator, our minds. We have to move in. If we don’t move in, someone else will, and they’re on the box every hour of the day. Whatever news channel you watch, they want to take possession in your rooms, take possession in your own mind. I’m giving you the best information I can. I’m not trying to take possession of your mind. I’m trying to give you information to help you take possession of your own mind. Everybody with me? Age-old principles of being rich. First thing about being rich is having an abundance of money or property, an abundance, an abundance. Can you all say abundance?
BUFFINI: It’s a nice word, would you guys agree?
BUFFINI: Next. Here’s the next thing about rich. It’s full of strength and flavor. I’m not talking about coffee. I’m talking about having a rich life, full of strength and flavor. Flavor means there’s many components, not the one I’m stuck on the same every single day, but it’s got lots of flavor, lots of different people. That’s a reflection of all of who is out there. The richness of relationships and the different perspectives. It’s a rich life. It’s meaningful and significant.
By the way, that’s the byproduct. I’ve spent much of my life pursuing significance. The truth of the matter is you don’t pursue significance. Significance develops. You’ll have a rich life, you’ll leave a very significant legacy. It’s just a byproduct. That’s one that’s cost me a lot of time and energy to learn. These are what happens when we break the principles either intentionally or unintentionally. There is principles.
We don’t talk about the principles, and when we break the principles intentionally or unintentionally, bad stuff happens. According to Mr. Hill and his five hundred successful people he interviewed, here other penalties you pay when you break the principles, ill health, fear and worry, indecision and doubt, frustration and discouragement, poverty and want, and a whole flock of evils, envy, greed, jealousy, anger, hatred. Holy moly.
That can fill up every psychologist’s couch, every therapist room. It fills up the walls of Barnes and Nobles. There is a gazillion articles and blogs by envious, greedy, jealous, angry, hateful people, and they’re all symptoms. How many of you don’t want any of these symptoms in your life anymore? Can I see your hands? Let me share with you this. That’s not going to happen.
That’s not going to happen. How many of you would like as the rest of your life progresses, to see a great diminishment of these things show up in your life, let me see your hands. That’s called winning. That’s called success. That’s called happiness. That’s called joy. If you have a little less of this stuff in your life today than you did yesterday, you’re winning, and that’s it. That’s it. Your goal the following morning, my goal every morning, Lord, help me have this today, and can I get just that little bit less of this and a little bit more of where I want to go. Is this is making sense?
That’s the stuff we want to avoid, this is the stuff we want to go to, and what he calls these is the blessings that will follow. The blessings that will follow what, when you follow, what? What’s the word?
BUFFINI: Principle. Say it together, 1, 2, 3.
BUFFINI: If we keep the principles, there’s what?
BUFFINI: Blessings. If we break the principles, there’s-
BUFFINI: Penalties. Let’s do it again, I want to get this down. If you want the blessings, you got to follow what?
BUFFINI: If you don’t keep the principles, if you break the principles, what do you get?
BUFFINI: What are the riches you may enjoy? The sound health, how many of you want sound health? Let me see your hands. In Ireland, they say he sound as a pound. Do you want sound health? What’s the word we’re looking for health? What is it?
BUFFINI: Sound, peace of mind, wow. The ability to breathe, the ability to be able to breathe deep, the ability to be able to sleep through the night. The first time I had my sleep-tested, I was waking up over 200 times a night. Usually talking, Beverly said.
BUFFINI: There’s a lot of ways to go. Here’s a great way, relaxation, meditation, quiet time, quiet time with no music. I love music, but there’s times to have nothing, times in your car to have silence. Sit somewhere because it’s hard to think when there’s noise. Are you guys hearing me, yes or no?. If you want to grow rich, what’s the first thing you got to do?
BUFFINI: Can think, a labor of love of your own choice. Let me just give you this, can I give you this, please. So many of us, and let me speak autobiographically, I have been frustrated much of my life because I’ve been trying to get there. I want to get past this and get there. Your whole life’s journey, it’s all this transition. I keep trying to get there. I’m going to get past this, I’m going to conquer this and when I achieve this, and then I won’t have to worry about this anymore. That’s where most of my frustration in my life has happened. As opposed to waking up and still waking up to the fact that that is part of the process and part of the process. Yes, there’s different levels you’ll go through, but you never get there. You just have less of this and more of that. Less of the penalties, more of the richest, not economically, but a rich life. That’s what it is. There’s more of this and less of that, more of this and less of that. A labor of love of your own choice. Let me just share with you. Some of you wrote that down and you go, that’s not talking about the real estate been there. There is no labor of love that doesn’t have pain attached to it. I love what I do. Do I strike you as a guy who was fired up? Do you think I enjoy this stuff? Yes or no? Okay. How many nights spent in hotel rooms? A lot. Flights all over the world. Gains that were missed. Times my wife was going through something that I’m not physically there for her. There’s a penalty that comes along even in the midst of that and the key is to keep working towards more of this and less of that, more of this and less of that.
It’s a labor, a little bit of your own choice. Now what we need to do is fall in love with those parts of it and do more of that and over time, diminish some of the other stuff. Is this making sense? Freedom from fear and worry. Freedom from fear and worry. Does he say, am I saying no fear, no worries. Everything has fear and worries. In recent months, my relationship with my dad has gone to a different level than I ever knew was possible. You know what? My dad hasn’t changed so he sent me this email before because I was telling him a little bit about what Mastermind was going to be about and whatever else.
He sent me this email, I’m going to share with you the end of it. We had a lot of personal stuff and then he sent me this, he gave me this little poem and it went like this. If you can start the day without caffeine, if you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains. If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles, if you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it. If you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time. If you can take criticism and blame without resentment, if you can conquer tension without medical help, if you can relax without liquor, if you can sleep without the aid of drugs, then you probably are the family dog.
You thought I was going to get all spiritual. A positive mental attitude, positive mental attitude. Now again, the whole world’s been writing on that and again, if you look at Napoleon’s riches of these six that are mentioned, that’s the one that people have gone off on. Then material riches of your own choice and quantity, your own choice, not someone else’s choice. This guy’s got a mark, I got to have a mark. This guy’s got this house. I got to have this house. This guy’s got to have a jet. I got to have a jet. This guy’s got to have that. This guy’s got– No, of your own, what’s the word?
BUFFINI: Your own choice. Now, as I read this stuff, I’m going to tell you the other part of the story that’s never talked about. These were the 500 most economically successful people on the earth. You see, I like to dig around, I have that detective ability. Many of them didn’t keep the riches. Many of them, their lives were destroyed. One of the common denominators in about 70% of them was their family relationships were a mess. Many of them left vast fortunes and their families were a mess. Their marriages were a mess. I thought, how is that possible? Because I have so loved this work and I have so embodied this stuff and I have still taken this stuff and this stuff has changed my life. It changed my thinking. It helped me from being a poor immigrant to a man who became very successful in a lot of ways. I kept thinking about it and thinking about it and reading and studying and reading and studying and looking at all the principles and then looking at the interviews because you could find the interviews on the transcripts.
I was walking on the beach at Peak Performers and I had an Archimedes moment, and it suddenly hit me. I remember it. Beverly and I were walking up and down our favorite beach in Hawaii and all of a sudden, I take off running, full steam, one mile an hour.
I just dove straight into the water, but I discovered something that I know to be true. Now, I’m going to tell you this. I’m not going to stand here before you today and say I have it, I have one piece. Hopefully, some other characters going to come along and find and share some other pieces, but I have one piece that’s missing. There’s six principles here. Now let me tell you this. Don’t throw out the baby to the bath water. The six principles there and the things that these men are talking about are absolutely genius.
They’re beautiful, they’re fantastic. They can have you have sound health. They can help you have riches. They can help you do all these things. I want to share with you maybe the greatest breakthrough I’ve ever had in personal growth and development. I call it Napoleon’s great omission and it’s love and loving relationships. The greatest personal growth book in the history of mankind, written by a man, this love and loving relationships. There’s no mention of it. Can I give you this? Napoleon Hill in and of himself, embodied love and loving relationships. Listen, this is one of the areas of his own insecurity. He thought all the principles had to come from these other guys, but in his own life. I’m going to give you a little aside here. You talk about positive attitude. You talk about the power, whatever the mind can conceive and achieve, and I tell this story and you will not believe it if you’re a skeptic, but that’s okay. I love you, anyway. His son, Bob was born without ears or any organs with an ability to hear in his head, and Napoleon Hill conceived and believed to his child all the way through, all the way through. It didn’t take right away. In his second year of college, his son was forced to take a course, born without ears or without the physical, not the hammer, the anvil, the stirrup, nothing.
In the second year, he’d believed this. They’d signed, they’d worked with them, they’d worked with them, they’ve worked with him, they’d worked with him. He was forced to read his father’s book in college. His son not only came to hear perfectly without any equipment. His son became a famous lecturer and speaker. Now I have no idea how that works, but I don’t have to. That’s not my job. I’m just telling you it’s what happened. Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe can be achieved, including love and loving relationships. What do we have to put our mind to? What do we have to set our name to? I mentioned the most influential list of all time, the top 10. Well, the top of that is a guy named Jesus. Whatever your religious tradition is, you have to admit that guy was one of the most influential human beings who ever lived. Is that fair to say? He was a good Jew. What happened was Moses was given 10 commandments and over the years, couple of thousand years later, almost 5,000 years later, those 10 principles had evolved through documents and oral traditions called the mission on the Talmud to over 600 loss.
Think about it, start out with 10 and we complicate things a little bit. Is that true? A lot of good ideas and great stuff behind that, but it became 600. They asked this guy, Jesus, there’s over 600 of these laws and he’s meeting with these guys that write these laws. They go one of the most important, he says there’s only two to count. There’s only two to count. 600? No, two, real simple. Love God, love your neighbor as yourself. How these 500 guys and Napoleon missed that one. The love part is tough. It’s easy to love those that love me. It’s hard to love the guy that wrote the email that I burned my house down for sympathy. It’s hard to love that guy. The more I love myself receive it. The more I’m able to give it, the more those relationships happen.
My relationship with my dad has expanded because of nothing to do with him. My relationship with my family, my bride, my kids has expanded. My relationship with my brothers and my sister in the Northern Ireland is expanding and going to continue to expand because there’s more of the reception of love in my life and it’s become my definite major purpose. For 25 years, I’ve studied theology. I’ll be honest with you, I have over that 25 years learn some great things and I’ve also complicated the hell out of my faith. Over time, I came up with hundreds of things, just like the medicine on top of it all, you got to do this, you got to do that and you got to do this and you got to do that.
Now where I’m too in my life is I’ve come to the conclusion so far on my journey, tune in next year, sign up for next year. You’ll hear the next phase. I thought that was pretty good.
That God is love and love is patient. That’s how far I’ve gotten. If you want to ask me any of the theological questions, I have nothing else to say. Patience is a powerful thing. It really is. It’s a profound thing. There’s a famous, famous apocryphal Chinese story from the Ming dynasty, and the emperor at the time had heard of a man in the far East who was surrounded in this village of loving relationships. His children were wonderfully connected with him, with the community. There was this whole village, and his family was the center of this village. The man was universally loved. He was a scribe. The emperor sends for him. This is from the apocryphal Chinese tradition. The emperor at the time brings the man and says, “I want you to, by royal declaration, write a book, a scroll of love and relationships, and it should be no less than 10,000 words.”
The man went away for many, many, many days and came back with his giant heavy scroll. They unveiled the scroll. The emperor reads the scroll and then claps with glee and it’s read to the entire court. The scroll reads one word, 10,000 times. Patience, patience, patience, patience, patience, patience. Are you getting no patience? Patience. You’re frustrated? Patience. Love is patient.
I want you to write this down because I got this from a book. I’m not going to claim it for myself. It’s a cool little book for couples. It’s called Love Is. Love Is, is by a guy named Les and Leslie Parrot. Les Parrot was the business partner of Neil Clark Warren. Neil Clark Warren is the guy that started eHarmony. Neil Clark Warren is known for eHarmony. He is one of the most brilliant relationship psychologists in the world. He and Les Parrot were best friends and partners for years. Les and his wife now do speak and they wrote a book called “Love Is.” It’s pretty cool.
There was a quote in there that I will never forget. If you want to write this down. It says, “The essence of patience is the loving response to frustration.” The essence of patience is the loving response to frustration. The essence of patience. I can tell you right now, this is what is filling my mind. If you want to know what my mind is taking possession of, is that love is patient. When I love my wife, I’m being patient. By the way, I’m starting to realize how patient people have been with me for years. Is this making sense? Love is patient. With my kids, the essence of patience is the loving response to frustration. No wonder no one wants to write about that. That’s hard to sell.
Here’s how I’ve come to the conclusion of– I’m not saying this is right, I’m just saying this is what I’m doing. You take with it what you will. The first six principles there are the riches you may enjoy. What I have those listed under is desires. Desires are good things. It’s good to desire, sound health, peace of mind, love. Number seven to me, that’s my purpose. We’re going to do work on this. We’re going to work with you on this and make the difference between purpose and desires. Because here’s the truth of the matter is, how many of you would like to have all six but you’d swap it out if you had fully had number seven, could I see your hands? Here’s my question. How many of you want both? Six of you? How many of you want all six plus number seven? Let me see your hands. How many of you don’t want to end up as the wrong example in the “Think and Grow Rich” book? Me neither. This is what I came up with for myself. Let me tell you what this came out of. This came out of a conversation many years ago of a well meaning guy who was doing very well with my CFO. Buffini company was on its way. We had 10 years of consecutive growth at the 49% a year, became the world leading and coaching and seminars. I was known all over the world in many places, even though it’s in the small little niche, big fish in a little pond. I’m sitting in my CFO’s office when he goes, Brian, let me tell you right now.
It was a discussion about being conservative and because we were on this growth path and we were having to buy buildings because what we do is real expensive. You got to hire hundreds of people and you got to do this and this and this and this and business was cranking. We’re making a lot of money at the time. He said, Brian, if we just stay where things are right now, let me tell you, you will have a real nice profitable business for the rest of your life. I said words to him that I didn’t know at the time revealed a flaw that was directing my whole life. I said, Jim, do you think I want that on my tombstone? He had a real nice profitable business. Now, the fact that I would equate even that concept with a tombstone, I didn’t know, till sometime later that I was a loft kilter. You guys with me? Why would I relate that to my tombstone as if that’s my legacy, but that’s the path I was on at that time.
Here’s the thing. There’s a lot of good things with that. There was a lot of things I was doing. A lot of great principles and body and lots of stuff, loving my wife and loving my kids as best I could, but that statement was shown that at that time, my purpose at that time needed some enhancing. That’s why this is a process. I’m not saying this is done today, but I will tell you this, as far as I’ve gotten on the journey of all the things I’ve learned and all the things I’ve done, all the things I’ve pursued, here’s what I’ve got to today. The truth is, when I told Jim, I don’t want that on my tombstone, I didn’t know what I did want on my tombstone. Does that make sense? Now, I have a good idea. I know I want them to sing my favorite Irish hymn from the eighth century called “Beat Out My Vision” with a Celtic singer — they’ll know American phonies. Do you understand? I want Elon Pipes, nice stuff in the background. Then this is what I’m settled on as of today, that would have my name on there. That’s probably a good idea, the dates and then here. He love with his whole heart, his bride, Beverly, his children and grandchildren, his family and friends, his fellow man. The reason why that’s very helpful for me is that I keep that in my mind every day because that helps me make good decisions. That has become my definite major purpose. That’s me. I’m not encouraging you to do that. What I’m hoping to do is to help you maybe put some thoughts down that might get you a little further down the path of what your definite purpose might be or elements of it or attributes of it or words for it because whatever the mind the man or woman can believe and conceive, it can achieve. That to me would be a rich life. Does that make sense? Now, I also want the other six. At the end of the day, folks, what we want to do here is we want to think and grow, what?
BUFFINI: What was that? What’s the first thing we want to do?
BUFFINI: Think and grow rich. I don’t know about you, but I want to live a blessed life. I want the desires and I want the purpose and it’s a process. I’m willing to pay the price. I’m willing to pay any price to get there.
LALLY: Powerful stuff, Brian. Only you could have a new principal to one of the pillars of the personal growth and development world. It’s all about relationships. Speaking of relationships, we so value, the one we have with you, our listeners. We hope the podcast is continuing to be a source of comfort, joy, and value. With that, I’ll leave you with Brian’s mom Therese for a little Irish blessing.
THERESE BUFFINI: May the road rise up to me too and may the wind always be at your back. May the rain fall soft upon your fields and the sun shine warm upon your face. Until we meet again, may God hold you in the hallow of His hand. See you next time.