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Learning from unconscious people

Let’s go back to our Three Percenters–the people who have what the rest of the world wants. Many of these Three Percenters realised that they could help people (and make alot of money) by teaching other people the so-called “secrets of success.” In other words, “how I got here.”

I am sure most of them do this because they really want to help people. There is only one problem…

When you are unconsciously competent at something, you often don’t know how you are really doing that thing.

For example, when I worked as a professional ballet dancer, I was good, but never the lead dancer. I sweated, worked my butt off, and tried harder than anyone else, but just wasn’t as proficient as the lead guys. Sometimes when I was having trouble with a particular step, I would notice who was doing it naturally and ask them to show me how to do it. And they would say something like, “Just do it…turn your head … just spin …” or something totally not helpful at all!

One day, I realized I wasn’t getting anywhere and asked one of the older members of the company to help me. He wasn’t tallest or strongest, but he was the best teacher, because he patiently showed me how to do the steps by breaking them down until I had mastered them. He was definitely not a Natural, and neither was I but while the Naturals were no help at all, this man helped me more than any of them, because he showed me step-by-step what I needed to do.

It is the same way with the phenomenon called Success. Almost all of the books, speeches and seminars you see on “how to succeed” are being given by Three Percenters–the Naturals at Success. I’m not suggesting that Naturals don’t work hard or haven’t made sacrifices to get where they are; Naturals have to work hard, just like the rest of us. But my point is this:

The true causes of success are often hidden and counter intuitive, even–specially!–to those who are Naturals at Success.

There is something the Naturals (the Three Percenters) are doing that they don’t know they are doing. And no matter how many times they tell you their “secrets of success,” they can’t tell you something they are not consciously aware of. It is like saying to a fish, “So, tell me about water!”

That is why it took a highly educated underachiever like me—and an unexpected twist of fate—to realise that the Three Percenters were living by a code they weren’t consciously aware of. If only the test of us could follow it…

From chapter 3, pg.40, The Secret Code of Success by Noah St. John.

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