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I’m writing this list for you because I wish somebody had sent me this list years ago.

  1. Money is the root of all evil *
    Money isn’t good or evil. It’s a tool like a hammer or a saw. You can create with it or destroy with it. People use it to build infrastructure, to build research facilities, to find cleaner sources of energy, and to create timeless art and literature. If you use your money to create value for yourself and others, your money will grow – and you will have all the money you’ll ever need. However, if you hoard money selfishly or spend it frivolously, you will never have enough. Don’t you think you could contribute more to society, the world, and other people if you had great wealth? So what’s wrong with intending to be wealthy? Do you believe you have the capacity to create value in other people’s lives? Those that think and act create wealth, so if you intend to become wealthy, don’t wait around for a government grant or the winning lotto numbers, get out there and start creating value for other people today.
    Why People Believe Money is the Root of All Evil
  2. Getting a good job is the best way to earn money
    Ask any entrepreneur if she’d like to quit and get a job. Then ask most people with a job if they’d like to quit and work for themselves. Most wealthy people will tell you a job is the worst way to make money.
    Why Getting a Good Job isn’t the Best Way to Earn Money
  3. Emotional people are weak, vulnerable, and easily manipulated
    It’s the exact opposite. Strong emotions are a source of strength and power. The stronger your emotions and the better your ability to focus your emotion, the more creative and powerful you are. Denying your emotions creates weakness and vulnerability.
    The Secret Great Leaders Know About Emotions
  4. Admitting a mistake is a sign of weakness
    If you aren’t making mistakes you aren’t learning anything. Fearing mistakes is the real weakness. Denying your mistakes, repeating them, and expecting different results is insane.
    Success is 99% Failure
  5. You can’t be successful without a college degree
    This one was drilled into my head for years and I believed it. The results of this belief were devastating. I didn’t earn a decent living until I was able to squash the belief. 85% 76% of Americans do not have a degree. I want to be very clear about this – I know I am on dangerous ground – so here goes – All of you with college educations are valuable and you have tremendous ability to create value in the world. This is not a criticism of your achievements. But I also must say – if you are one of the 85% 76% that do not have a degree, you are equally valuable and you are not inferior. You have equal potential to create value in the world, even if you never get a degree. People with and without degrees create amazing results everyday. If you hate flipping burgers or ringing orders at Wal-Mart don’t continue just because our culture tells you it’s your lot in life. Don’t listen to the voice in your head that tells you what you can’t do. Tell it to shut-up. Then start to visualize what you desire to be and you will slowly become what you visualize.
    10 Tips to Secure a Management Position without a College Degree
  6. Your doctor is the best source of medical or psychiatric information
    Medical information is expanding so rapidly doctors are increasingly using Google to diagnose patients. According to studies, 30% of patients are misdiagnosed and treated for a condition they do not have. Obviously, if you have a medical or psychiatric problem you should see a doctor, but question what they tell you. Don’t accept it on blind faith. Use your critical thinking. Ask difficult questions. Many people are afraid to question their doctor. Don’t be afraid! I believe questioning my doctor saved my life (I plan to do a post on that experience). Do research online about your condition and you may find that you know more about the condition than your doctor. If that happens, it may be time to find a new doctor. Remember there is nothing special or magical about doctors, they’re people just like you and me. Many of them are extremely busy, and they make mistakes – lots of mistakes. So be your own advocate. See your doctor, but do your own research in the library and online. And if you need to make a big medical decision, get a second, third, or fourth opinion. Your health is in your hands. You make the final decision.
    Always Question Your Doctor – Three Stories Why
  7. School is the best place for kids to learn
    It’s probably the worst place for kids to learn. I wrote this in my last blog post:Bob Proctor said that the problem with education is that it teaches us what to think, not how to think. Bob is wrong. It’s much worse than that. Our schools teach us to think destructive thoughts, which produce negative results in our lives and in the world. I know this sounds crazy and defies conventional wisdom, but it isn’t an attack on teachers or intellectuals. They are victims of the same monolithic government system as the students. Most teachers know intuitively how screwed up the system is and they know they are powerless to change it. So instead of explaining my position, I’ll let the New York State Teacher of the Year John Taylor Gatto make the argument in his essay The Seven Lesson School Teacher and his interview in Fast CompanyRead my follow up: How the Public School System Crushes Souls

  8. Personal Development or Self-Help is a left-wing hippy thing
    You may have a preconceived notion about Self-Help, but if you look closely I think you’ll find it is an inaccurate stereotype. When some people think of a ‘hippy’, they think of a bunch of scruffy unshaven kids in tie-dye shirts tripping on acid at a Grateful Dead show. When they think of ‘left-wing’, they think of socialism, communism, and atheism. All the Personal Development gurus I’ve seen are clean cut, positive thinking, deeply spiritual, entrepreneurs awash in wealth. Hardly a bunch of scruffy, atheistic, drug abusing, socialists. I highly recommend a Personal Development program regardless of your political or religious beliefs. My program has created amazing positive results.
  9. I should ignore my feelings and make decisions with hard reason and logic
    This is a lie I used to tell myself. You buy the house you buy because of how it makes you feel. You bought the car you drive because of the way it makes you feel. You eat the food you eat because of the way it makes you feel. You choose the relationships you have because of the way you feel. You choose a career because of how it makes you feel. There is no such thing as an emotionless rational decision. All good marketers and sales people know this. Accept the role your feelings play in decision-making. So if you are getting lousy results in your life, it’s probably because of the decisions you are making. You can only change the way you make decisions by changing the way you feel. Hard reason won’t change anything. Trying to plan your life with hard reason and logic results in inertia.
    Give me 3 Minutes and I’ll Make You a Better Decision Maker
  10. That I Should Put Political Opinions on This List
    Big mistake on my part. See #4. I used to have a political opinion as #10 and it tainted this list. This isn’t a political blog. My goal is to help everybody, regardless of political opinions. I apologize to anyone I alienated. I’ll view it as an opportunity to learn.

Read the 10 part series on the 10 things I wish I had never believed:

#1 Why People Believe Money is the Root of All Evil
#2 Why Getting a Good Job isn’t the Best Way to Earn Money
#3 The Secret Great Leaders Know About Emotions
#4 Success is 99% Failure
#5 10 Tips to Secure a Management Position without a College Degree
#6 Always Question Your Doctor – Three Stories Why
#7 How the Public School System Crushes Souls
#9 Give Me 3 Minutes and I’ll Make you a Better Decision Maker
* I realize the original biblical quote is “The Love of Money is the Root of All Evil.” But many people, me included, misunderstood the quote, and that’s why I wrote it the way I did. The belief was rampant in my working class subculture. People looked down on you if you wanted to achieve wealth. Many people viewed you as a sellout or a crook. They believed in the virtue in being poor. They also believed that most wealthy people were unethical crooks that became wealthy on the backs of the working class. In some cases, this was true, but in most it wasn’t and the belief trapped the working class into a life of servitude. I plan to do more posts on working class culture.