The Official Guide to Success
In my opinion (and experience), “The Official Guide to Success” (1982) is the best guide for success ever written.
Granted, I certainly haven’t read EVERY book on success- I just know that concepts and steps in this book dramatically improved my life.
* the link above is an affiliate link, it will cost you 1 cent if you buy it used. I get a 4-6% commission on Amazon sales. So I'll get ~4-6% of $.01 if you buy it. Obviously, I'm not selling it for the commission, I'm selling it because the book was been extremely helpful to me. It might sound silly but I still genuinely appreciate it if you purchase it through my link!
This book is what the majority of GoodLookingLoser-Lifestyle is based on.
It's my own little 'tweak' though, for guys ~18-35 years old.
Video: Good Looking Loser Recommends "The Official Guide to Success" (Tom Hopkins)
(you don't need to watch the video, it talks about the stuff I wrote below in less detail)
Forward by Good Looking Loser-
I don’t recommend many books.
It’s not because I don’t think they aren’t good, it’s because there’s only a certain amount of information you can consume without it becoming useless or even counterproductive.
That amount of information is actually pretty small in my opinion.
You should apply the information you have
learned read and NOT continue reading new information until you do so. Most people, like my own Mom, go through self-help book after self-help book, never applying ANY of the information. Consequentially, the genre of “self-help,” “lifestyle” or “personal improvement” becomes entertainment rather than personal improvement.
I’m guilty of the same. Very guilty.
In my early 20’s, I’d read through books and material and think “Wow! This is great stuff!” or “Damn! This guy knows his stuff!” Never once applying anything or better-ing my life. Arguably, my life got worse, I became a frustrated ‘know-it-all’ of personal improvement.
It wasn’t until I turned 26 until I started taking significant ACTION and made some real changes. It was the same year I found this book.
In general, I recommend reading no more than ONE book from cover-to-cover in any 9 month period. I also recommend reading your personal-improvement book at least 2 times.
First- for overview.
Second- for detail.
Make sure you apply EVERY single sentence. You should become an expert on how it applies to your life and applying it should become second nature. If the book doesn’t call for you to TAKE ACTION, it’s clear that the author has never actually done the stuff that is talking about. Take some ACTION and sell it on Amazon.com.
I’ve only read a handful of books in the past 5 years. “The Official Guide to Success,” by Tom Hopkins was one of them. The principles and mindset discussed in this book have benefitted me in all 3 major things I’ve tirelessly committed to the past 5 years.
1) Getting “good” with high-quality women, slept with 127 between Late 2008-March 2011.
2) Building my personal training business (2008-2010), made over $100,000 in my first 10 months.
3) Building GoodLookingLoser.com with no prior blogging experience, I can easily live on the passive income. (we’ll discuss that later)
It has also helped me have healthy relationships with friends and family, have confidence in living an ‘outside-of-the-box’ life after I QUIT Law School and find a balance in my life while still remaining OBSESSED with my goals.
Arguably, in terms of being productive and achieving my goals, this book is the MOST valuable book I’ve ever touched.
Write This On a Notecard and Hang A Sign On Your Wall
If you remember NOTHING else from this book, or if you don’t even read it, remember this-
“I MUST DO THE MOST PRODUCTIVE THING POSSIBLE AT EVERY GIVEN MOMENT.”
That’s all you need to do. Repeat that to yourself when you aren’t sure where to spend (INVEST) your time.
That doesn’t mean you need to WORK all day. Sometimes the most productive thing is to sleep. Sometimes the most productive thing is to go to the gym. Sometimes the most productive thing is to have sex.
While it seems like that statement could be used to justify any behavior, if you are truly serious about your goal and can write yourself a reasonable schedule, this statement should keep you on task. If you slip off task (e.g. watching random Youtube videos), you may find that just repeating this statement “I MUST DO THE MOST PRODUCTIVE THING POSSIBLE AT EVERY GIVEN MOMENT” will immediately refocus your attention.
For example, right now the most productive thing to do is to finish this article. Not look at Facebook for the 2nd time today, not look at my email, and not answer the texts on my phone and caught in conversation thread. Right now, 100% of my attention is dedicated to this article.
If you are doing the most productive thing most of the day, it really REALLY add up. In a few months, you'll look back and see all that you have done.
Other Super Helpful Concepts
The book goes on to mention 82 more concepts with steps of “How-to” apply them to your life. Frankly, if you just applied 5 of them, you’d probably see a massive in your productivity, focus and outlook on your goals.
Some of the concepts include-
#3 Defining success so you know EXACTLY what you are shooting for.
#4 The problem with “Work Smarter, Not Harder.”
#5 No one can give you what they don’t have. (who to take advice from)
#21 Using anger as a tool. (how to confront people)
#74 Goal-Setting guidelines
#79 Cut your chains to yesterday (forgetting the past)
"The Official Guide To Success" By Tom Hopkins
Book Summary by- Allison Waite (GoodLookingLoser.com Contributor)
“Winners almost always do what they think is the most productive thing possible at every given moment; losers never do. When you look at what winners and losers actually do moment by moment, the difference between these two divisions of the human race really is that small. But the results of those small differences keep adding to each other at every given moment until they reach a critical size.”
“The most valuable thing you can ever own is your image of yourself as a winner in the great game of life, as a contributor to the betterment of humankind, as an achiever of worthy goals. Unless you have that image of yourself, nothing worth having will stay with you for long.”
Tom Hopkins is one of the biggest success stories in the world of sales. A college dropout, he was forced to do construction work to support his young family. Recognizing that he could do something better, he ventured into salesmanship and earned a measly $42 in his first year. Arming himself with life-changing principles, he became one of the world’s most successful real estate salesmen. Today, he is remembered as one of the best trainers in salesmanship.
Like most successful people, his achievements are a product of hard work and a few brilliant core principles. Outlined in one of his books, The Official Guide to Success, are the principles which carved for him a life of real worth.
Though packed with hundreds of practical points, the overriding theme of the book is:
Create a noble aim for your life and make use of every moment to achieve it.
Single Moments Make a Life
Ordinary people mistakenly believe that success comes because of daring vision and lofty goals. This may be true, to some extent, yet Tom Hopkins held on to the personal belief that a masterpiece is the result of years of tiny and good brushstrokes. Success in life is the cumulative effect of each productive thing you are doing with each passing minute.
Productive Minutes = Productive Hours = Productive Days = Productive Years
The life-changing statement uttered by Tom Hopkins in the book is: “Winners almost always do what they think is the most productive thing possible at every given moment; losers never do.”
Tom’s instructions for doing this are simple-
Consciously repeat these four steps minute by minute until they become second nature:
(1) Tell yourself, "I must do the most productive thing possible at every given moment."
(2) Decide what the most productive thing is.
(3) Do it.
(4) When you've pushed that thing as far forward as you can right now, go back to step (1) and start over.
(source: Tom Hopkins Sales Newsletters April 2008)
A lot of people say, “I’m going to start ____ just as soon as I get myself together.
No. Start now.
Hopkins does not depict winners as the harried and hurried type who is slave-driven by his labors. Rather, winners are those who analyze what is the productive thing to do at every moment – be it to set a schedule, spend time with family or just sleep. Winners are thoughtful enough to recognize the value of every moment and to identify the productive thing that can be done within those fleeting minutes.
To help us keep in memory this golden principle, Tom Hopkins encapsulates it in what he calls his “golden dozen” – a verse of 12 words that one can repeat to oneself three times a day.
“I must do the most productive thing possible at every given moment.”
Care should be taken that these words be embraced in its liberating rather than in its constricting sense. When you think of the golden dozen as one which will free you fully to attain your life purpose, you will not think of it as a restrictive chain that will bind you to a set of rigid schedules.
Success Can Be Programmed
Another striking theory proposed by Tom Hopkins is that people can literally program their own brains to achieve success. Today, that theory isn’t exactly new news- but in 1982 this was a pretty unique idea. According to Hopkins, all of us live according to a set of instructions which fall into the following 3 categories:
- Instinct - instructions provided by the innate wiring of your brain.
- Do’s and Don’ts – instructions forced upon you during your childhood.
- Self-instructions – instructions that you have thoughtfully created for yourself.
Though this is nothing more than a theory right now, behavioral scientists are aware that self-instructions, by some mysterious way, do work. Hopkins believes that losers lose simply because they are living according to a set of negative self-instructions which make them “succeed at failing.”
Expounding this concept, Hopkins says that winners are confident not because of their success but rather, they are successful because they are confident. Winners possess a high level of self-confidence to start with so that their positive self-instructions program them to be an achiever and a star. Their innate belief in themselves helps them to recognize and seize those “lucky breaks” in life which losers fail to see because of their low sense of self-worth.
Similar to the golden dozen memory aid, Hopkins suggests writing on a card ten positive, affirmative self-instructions of what you want to be. For instance, if you are in sales, Hopkins recommends writing these self-instructions: “I always make a fine impression because I know my stuff, I dress sharp and I am genuinely interested in people.” Hopkins says it doesn’t matter if these self-instruction are not true to you at the present. The point is to instruct yourself over and over until the instructions take root within your being and surface on their own in time.
Set An Aim Higher Than Your Goals
Tom Hopkins recognizes a common scenario occurring even in the most successful of people: that of achieving a goal and quickly losing the excitement of doing so. Rather than denying, Hopkins acknowledges this to be a normal propensity common in people. Hopkins advises that in order to always have a reason to be happy, one should set still higher goals.
Hopkins does not refer to an insatiable greed for ambition but rather to a noble cause of attaining something worthwhile and bigger than one’s specific goals. Citing one example, he says, “Jonas Salk’s great aim wasn’t to become head of the lab so he could qualify for a pension. He set his sights on conquering polio.”
If you set your sights solely on climbing the corporate ladder, you are setting the stage for job envy and unfriendly competition among your peers. It is a lot nobler to just consistently do a good job and thus be recognized as inevitably destined for greatness without necessarily stepping on others’ toes. Doing work with this larger view in mind also offers the advantage of putting minor obstacles in their proper perspective.
Tom Hopkins’ book is just like the man himself – peppered with hundreds of practical advice yet modest in motivational hype. The Official Guide to Success is an unpretentious book, low in fanfare yet pungent and pointed in its wisdom.
The book is now two decades old and yet it is still worth buying and reading. It is a trusty manual for achieving what you want out of life.