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How To Think Your Way To Success: What I learned from John Assaraf about succeeding

In October 2016 I had the extremely fortunate opportunity of attending the Thrive conference organised by Cole Hatter and his family, with much thanks to Thinkific who made me aware of the event.

I had already booked my tickets before even getting to the 5th speaker in the lineup overview.

I knew that it was going to be life changing but I never knew just quite how much.

All of the talks fundamentally shifted my thinking.  Not necessarily about how I’m running my business, but how I’m running my life.  One of the most powerful talks for me was that which was delivered by John Assaraf one of the first speakers.

You may have heard of John Assaraf if you have watched or read ‘The Secret’.

An all round genius, John’s specialisation is in how our brain functions, and importantly how that brain function relates to achieving success, desired results and accomplishing your goals.

As I was listening to many of the fascinating lessons that John was teaching us about how our brain works and how we ultimately have power over the function of our brains to subsequently help us achieve our desired results; it got me thinking very deeply about how I am managing my own mind.


I felt that the lessons that John took us through and what they got me thinking about was worth writing down and sharing with the world.

Some of what you see below is John’s own IP slightly adapted and some is purely my own ideas and thoughts that transpired as a result of John’s teachings.

A natural educator I have also included some self exploratory exercises that you can journal your way through which are mostly my own questions to self that raised as John was speaking.


Grab a pen, a notepad, a nice cup of coffee and enjoy…..


The first concept that John presented to us was his idea of ‘moonshot thinking’.

Moonshot thinking –  is about choosing to chase after things that you don’t understand or that seem impossible

  • John told us that we must have the courage to do our crazy things
  • He said that when we stop doing big things, we stop inspiring people and when we’re not inspiring people we cannot inspire ourselves -> because the feedback we get from them also stops
  • Every moment of every day we are trading our time and therefore our life for whatever it is that we’re doing.

The biggest question John asked us at this point was:

“What are you trading your life for??”

This question was huge for me.




  • How do I ‘show up’ in life?





  • What are the dreams and goals I have for my life?





  • What do I want to trade My Life for?



    • income
    • health
    • relationships
    • charitable contributions
    • Etc  (but list the actual activities you want to trade your life for)






The next major point that really stood out for me that John made was when he asked us the following question:

“Are you interested in achieving your goals or COMMITTED to achieving them?”

In my own words, this is how he explained the difference between being ‘interested’ or ‘committed’ to our goals:

  • Interested = Excuses, stories, reasons why you ‘can’t’.
  • Interested is only surface level, so the goals stay within the realm of our protective reptilian brain which is designed to protect us and keep us safe from any kind of danger.   therefore it means that it limits our goals and opportunities to achieve our potential if we are only interested in our goal –  our very nature itself will otherwise protect us from the fear and dangers of pushing outside of our comfort zones.

In John’s words he said that:

being committed means that there is no other option” other than to succeed.


  • Committed means that is no option whatsoever other than to go for it and make it happen.




Affirmation: I AM COMMITTED


The key points that John presented to us at this stage was:

  • Your choices shape your destiny —>> At any moment in time you can make a choice
  • ELIMINATE everything in your life that does not inspire you
  • The ‘inner game’ determines the ‘outter game’ -> my interpretation of this is that we need to make sure that we are thinking in the same way we want to be living


How to achieve your ‘moonshot’ goals:

  • Achieving a goal comes after you’ve set the goal
  • Our default setting in our brain is safety, and so the brain will often stop us from achieving our goal to keep us away from possible negative consequences
  • Thinking about the negative consequences is our brain’s default position and the risks are always highlighted in our brain first
  • If we shift what our brain is thinking about then we can actually change how our brain is working



  • The ‘why’ activates the spiritual circuit in the brain
  • The ‘why’ is powerful because it connects the outcome to an emotion



What is my BIG why?



  • If your ‘why’ is big enough, then your TRY can be big enough
  • If you don’t have the patterns in your brain then you cannot visualise it or make it happen
  • When you have the goal in your head – that creates the pattern – then your brain searches for things in the physical world that match the pattern in the brain
  • You don’t need to know how you will achieve the goals, as your brain will help you find the how, but you must at least have the vision very clearly in your mind along with your why.
  • Our ‘why’ needs to be much deeper than vague statements like ‘to make the world a better place
    • Instead we must ask ourselves → WHY do you want to make the world a better place? → keep going until you get to the CORE of why something is important to you.



  • What is my BIG vision?



  • What specific goals do I need to achieve to make the big vision happen?

42% more goals are achieved simply by writing them down……..



  • Why do i want to achieve these goals?  Why is this vision important to me?




Activate Your Motivational Circuit:

  • Focus on my vision, goals and my big why
  • Run your finger over the goal and say it out loud as this reinforces the electrical signals in the brain pattern which helps make the goal happen
  • Reinforce the neural patterns in your brain by saying your goals out loud every single day
  • Your brain creates the desire and motivation to obtain the results the more it understands what the result will bring




  • Experience the joy of achieving my vision and my goals in the present moment
  • Focus on overcoming my obstacles –  teach your brain how to overcome the challenges in your mind as this will actually teach your brain resilience and skills to overcome them in real life.
  • ‘Emotionalise’ your goals
  • Visualise your goals


Use the Fear Circuit to your advantage:

  • The reptilian brain puts safety first – whether this is real or imagined – then it brings in the feelings that will control our behaviour response
  • Our job is to rise above the feelings as they are only there to protect us
  • Be aware of our feelings and ask “is this real danger? yes or no?”
  • then teach ourselves how to respond above the feelings based on whether the danger is real or not



  • what is it that I am afraid of or in fear of when it comes to my big goal?







  • You have to truly believe that you can achieve the goal or your brain will not be able to help you make it happen
  • Habits and rituals lead to predictable results and behaviours and are therefore a critical part of our goal creation process
  • The how is not our problem as the information is already there for our brain to find
  • We live in a world of effects and therefore, the outcomes of the causes.  Become aware of the fact that everything we do is one of the causes to our situations in our lives
  • We have a thermostat ‘set point’ for everything and whatever the set point is set to, is ultimately our limit



What is my financial ‘set point’?




Deciding what I am going to trade my life for and believing that it is possible is the only thing that I need to do


Gain Total Alignment:

Spiritual – connect to the source of energy via meditation

Emotional – these are the tools that help us know when to move towards or away from anything in our life

Mental – Focus.  Like a magnifying glass in the sun.

Physical – Behaviour, actions and reactions


Daily Rituals:

1.Activate your motivational circuits

    1. create, go through or read out your gratitude list
    2. think clearly about and visualise your goals, your vision and your why
  1. Reinforce new beliefs and habits, as our belief drives our behaviour
  2.  Manage emotions  – stress is fear – Stress and fear halt progress as per the protection of our reptilian brain
  3.  Celebrate your wins –  when you celebrate, you release dopamine and good energy that helps you achieve yet more results



What will my daily rituals be? Write a detailed script of exactly what I will do:










Although much of this article is written in my own words, I cannot express enough gratitude, honour and credit to Mr John Assaraf for his teachings from which all of this content was inspired by and was ultimately sourced from.

I learned a great deal from his talk and the ultimate moments of epiphany that came to me only could come from being with him in that room in person – there is nothing quite like living the experience with the expert himself.  If you ever get a chance to see John in action, grab it without hesitation!


About John Assaraf

John is one of the leading behavioral and mindset experts in the world with a unique ability for helping people release the mental and emotional obstacles that prevent them from achieving their very best in life and business.

In the last 10 years, he has written 2 New York Times Bestselling books that have been translated to 35 languages. John has appeared on Larry King Live 8 times, and featured in 8 movies including the Blockbuster smash hit movie “The Secret” and “Quest for Success” with Richard Branson and the Dalai Lama.

John has built 5 multi-million dollar companies including growing Re/Max of Indiana to 1500 salespeople and $4.5 billion a year in sales.

As a founder, grew from inception to $10 million a month in revenues within the first 12 months and achieved a highly successful IPO on Wall Street.

Today he is CEO of NeuroGym, which develops some of the most advanced neuroscience-based brain training programs in the world helping individuals and corporations maximize their fullest human potential.


About – Sarah Cordiner

CEO MainTraining

Huffington Posts’ ‘Top 50 Must-Follow Female Entrepreneur for 2017′. 11 years in business & education, over 6,000 students in 121 countries and multiple awards – Sarah combines education and entrepreneurship as the EDUpreneur’s internationally acclaimed leader in ‘profitably educating your marketplace’.  A two-times international number 1 best-selling author, TV host, qualified educator and professional speaker.’




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