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Inner Game

What Causes Change?

different “Change is hard at first, messy in the middle, and gorgeous at the end.”
 ~Robin Sharma, writer and motivational speaker

Change is a word that can make us cringe... usually because change takes us out of our comfort zones. But, if you understand what causes change – internally, in a person – you can harness that knowledge to change your own life... for the better.

Hey Moguls, Preston Ely here…

What I really want to talk about today is: What is the root cause of change? And what causes change in a person?

There are so many ways that a person might want to change. Maybe they want to lose weight or gain financial security. How do they go about this?

Hard work.



Not giving up.

So, why is it, if we know what we need to do, that we can’t make that change instantly?

We know that we need purpose. We know that we need to have a positive attitude. We know that we need to work hard

We know that to lose weight, we need to exercise. So, why can't we do it?

I think it’s because we don’t understand the source of true, lasting change.

Change or... Die?

One example of people failing to understand the source of lasting changes can be found in the book Change or Die by Alan Deutschman. This book describes an experiment where 10 people were told by a doctor that they would die within 6 months if they didn’t improve their lifestyle (better diet, more exercise, etc.).

lotteryIf you had to guess, how many of those 10 people would you say changed their lifestyles?

You might be shocked to learn that only 1 did. Only ONE – when faced with death – could find the power within himself to change.

Am I the only person who thinks that's just insane?! How crazy is that?

This is how it feels sometimes when I’m trying to help my students change. When I'm trying to get something into their head—it can feel like I’m up against a brick wall.

In life, sometimes you want to change a lot of things, but you can't…

I mean, have you ever tried to get yourself to exercise regularly? You want to, don't you? Who doesn't want to? We all want to…

But who can honestly say that they’ve been able to do it regularly – without missing a single day of exercise – for over 5 years? Probably not many people.

I remember a specific conversation I had with one of my friends in the REI industry, and I was explaining just how overwhelmed I felt. I had this moment where I was so overwhelmed with how much competition there is in this field. It was mind-boggling for me…

I was describing to my friend how I thought that you have got to be a freaking REI monster to be financially independent and to create the life you want.

If you compare it to the exercise example, it’s like you basically need to work out every day (never missing a single day) for 15 years. That’s why I felt so overwhelmed. I felt like success as an investor was unattainable.

The Key to Change

So how do you fix this?

Whether it’s exercise or building a successful business... you want to do it. You know you should do it. You put the plans in place…

But you can't do it. Why not? What’s the tipping point?

Everybody's heard of the tipping point, right? What causes that tipping point where you finally have a defining moment and make a permanent change?

The answer: pain

I know, it’s not a very cheerful answer, but it’s true.

changePain or suffering is what causes “the click” – the change in your brain that makes you do a 180. It’s a defining moment.

Where does the click come from?

Let me tell you with another example...

I used to be miserable. I still am, sometimes. But, back in the day, I was a really miserable guy. I was unhappy. I was unfulfilled. I was angry. I hated everyone. I didn't care about anyone. I didn't care about anybody but myself, and I couldn't figure out why I was unhappy.

In fact – not to get too heavy here – but, at that time, I didn't even want to be alive. I was nowhere near suicidal, but I just hated my life. Then, all of a sudden, something clicked and I had this epiphany that I was miserable because I wanted to be miserable.

At that moment, it was like the roof opened up and a light shone down on me. I thought, “Wait a minute, I could choose to be happy.”

The next day, I went out and bought 10 books on positive thinking and read them all. And I’ve been “Mr. Positive” ever since (even though I don't really call myself that – haha).

So, how did that happen?

I had spent my whole life miserable… and then, “click.”

Well, the most important part of this is: I can't control my clicks. And you can’t control your clicks.

I know you’re thinking, “Dang it, man, you’re supposed to tell me what I’ve got to do to change and to be successful.”

So, where do we get the clicks?

Again, I think I can tell you best with a story…

When I was in my early 20s, I came home from work to discover that the electricity was out. And this was the 5th time it had happened... because I was so terrible with my money.

It was all pretty stupid because I lived in a $300,000 house and made 6 figures, but I couldn’t manage my money. So I was in Florida, it was July, and it was freaking 100 degrees. I had no air conditioning. I had no money for food. I didn't have anybody to help me.

So, big deal. I thought that I should keep doing what I was doing, right?



 Something snapped inside of me and I said, “This will never happen again... ever.” It was a defining moment. Within 4 months, I was rich, and I quit my job.

And I still have financial freedom, to this day.

Being a Student of Life

Now, I consider myself a student of life... which is my key to success.

diffWhat do I mean by “student of life”?  

Well, I just... study it all.

Like Jim Rohn, the motivational speaker and entrepreneur. I listen to all of Jim’s books and talks. I probably have 30 home-study courses, and I've listened to every single one of them.

Are you doing stuff like that?

You need to.

I went through like 30 home-study courses in 1 month; I just sat there and listened and listened and listened and listened and listened. That's what it takes. That’s what I mean when I say that you need to be a “monster” to survive in this real estate market.

You have to really, really be focused and driven, work so hard, and be so dedicated.

As a student of life, I’m always curious how people became successful. I always ask:

“How did you get to this place? How did this all happen? How did you achieve this?”

And here’s the #1 thing I hear, in response...

“It just happened.”

It just happened?! That doesn't help me. How do I help people with that?

So here's the problem... and here’s the main point...

Right now, I have several businesses, but my main one is teaching people about money and how to obtain financial freedom. But what I always tell my students – and what can be frustrating, at times – is that learning how to make money is just a secondary thing.

C.S. Lewis said:

“You can’t get second things by putting them first; you can
get second things only by putting first things first.”

So, since making money is a second thing, you can’t put it first – or you will never achieve it. 

“First” things or primary things would be the “clicks.” It’s changing your mindset – becoming motivated, positive and driven. 

So I know what's causing these clicks, right?

But I can't tell people that upfront... because if I said on a squeeze page: “You're about to discover the secrets of ‘clicks’ and how they’ll change your life,” no one is going to opt in to that class.

But if I say, “I can show you how to make $20,000 in 2 seconds by pushing this button,” that’s going to get a lot more students.

Long story short: If you focus on the second thing (money) without focusing on the first thing (fixing your mindset), you won’t succeed.

Everyone’s journey will be different. I can’t tell you the exact steps that will make you successful – because some of them you will need to discover for yourself. But you got this.

Now It’s Your Turn

How will you create change in your own life? The “click” will happen, but you also need to have purpose and motivation to make it happen. 


Do It To It! Immediate Action Steps

Make a concerted effort to have a positive outlook

Be a student of life; find books, audio books, online courses, etc. that speak to you

Focus on first things (your mindset, your inner workings)

Let second things (making money) come second

Recognize when a “click” happens and learn from it

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