Part 12: Your FUEL for Growth

Review: INTRO, GETTING READY & Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

In the previous installment, we reassessed and realigned our “reference group,” or the associations that can help or hurt us in achieving our goals.

Now we need to talk about the most powerful influence in your life: the information or input you feed your mind.

If we want to produce different results in life, we have to think differently, to nurture a different mindset. As Einstein said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

If your thinking is stinking so will your results. What you think about, you create. This is why all the monumental classic personal-achievement books have focused on how you think: Think and Grow Rich, As a Man Thinketh, The Power of Positive Thinking, The Magic of Thinking Big, etc.

You are not what you think you are, but what you think… you are!

The most constant influence of conditioning that affects our lives, our results and our ability to achieve is the information we feed our mind.

Our minds operate as simply as a computer. Computers are complex systems, but how they work is rather simple. What you input is what it outputs. It doesn’t judge or discriminate; it simply acts on the input. That is also how your mind works. It does not judge or discriminate the information you feed it; it simply acts on the input. I am sure you have heard the axiom “Garbage in, garbage out.” This is true for computer programming, and for the information you allow to program your mind.

This is why it is crucial that you are careful what you feed your mind.

Stand guard at the doorway of your mind. We are constantly surrounded with negative, fearful, worrisome and sensational news, and even entertainment. Every input matters. All input is processed and shapes your view of the world and yourself in it. Be vigilant about what you expose yourself to.

Here are four suggestions to get in control of the information you allow into your head:

1: Cut the Cord. The average estimated hours a person (12 years or older) will spend watching TV this year is 1,704 (4.7 per day). When you consider an average of eight hours of sleep per day, this means the average person spends almost 30 percent of their day watching TV. This is 32.9 hours per week, meaning more than one day every week is spent in front of the TV. If you calculate this over the course of a year, the average person spends 1,710 hours per year in front of a TV—the equivalent of more than two months out of every year. Wow! And people wonder why they can’t get ahead in life!

Personally, I don’t watch any broadcast TV. I don’t read any newspapers, and I don’t listen to news radio. Negative, sensationalistic, appalling news that has no contribution to my personal goals in life makes up about 99.99 percent of what’s out there. I can tell you this practice has not limited my intellectual capacity, my social banter or my financial opportunities. In fact, it has benefited me immensely in all those areas. If you don’t have the stomach for the kind of cold-turkey cord cutting, consider the next suggestion.

More info on the utter madness of the media, watch this video: HERE

2: Selective Listening. I set up RSS feeds to pull information specifically on what I need to stay on my productive purpose. I register for newsletters or blog updates on topics and subjects that are relevant to my objective. Once they become unproductive, I unsubscribe. Does this make you less well-rounded? There is no such thing. We are always scanning the world for what is relevant to us. I just don’t think it is necessary to pick through the trash can looking for a crust of bread when I can have the bread I want delivered to my doorstep. I also don’t want to get the trash on me… or in my head.

3: Low-Information Diet. If you aren’t comfortable getting only the most productive and relevant information you need to be more successful, then at least put yourself on a low-information diet. Limit your intake of news and information. You don’t need a text update on every Wall Street Journal financial crisis. You don’t have to be informed of all the local news crime stats. Find 15 minutes a day to catch up on all the national and world news updates, whether through a favorite news aggregator online, newspaper or single radio program, but don’t overconsume.

4: Mind Your E2E Ratio. When I interviewed Brian Tracy  he had a great equation I’d like to share with you. What is the primary difference between the 5 percent of people who are wealthy and those who are not? The 95 percent focus their attention and extra time on entertainment, while the wealthy 5 percent invest their extra time in education. Evaluate yourself: How much time do you spend on entertainment and how much on education? The imbalance of this equation could be the reason your life isn’t where you want it to be.

Unsuccessful people think about what they don’t want most of the time. They talk about problems, listen to news and gossip, and spend their time blaming circumstances, situations and others.

Successful people think about what they want and how they will get it. They are intensely focused on their goals and the information needed to help obtain them.

Now, if you want to think differently, you have to constantly and continually feed your mind the thoughts, ideas and inspiration it needs to help you achieve your ambitious goals. Your mind needs a regular diet of nutrient-rich food—“bread for the head,” as Jim Rohn called it.

My car won’t move without two things: gasoline and an ever-present library of instructional CDs I listen to as I drive around. We average 12,000 miles a year; that’s 300 hours of feeding time. Brian Tracy taught me early in life to turn my car into a mobile classroom. He explained that if you listen to instructional CDs as you drive, each year is the equivalent of two semesters of an advanced degree in college. Think about it: In the time you spend driving, you could obtain a Ph.D. in leadership, sales success, wealth building, relationship excellence—whatever course (CD program) you sign up for. Combine this with a reading routine, and you can separate yourself from the herd of average—CD by CD, book by book!

Certainly, I recommend the CD that comes free inside every issue of SUCCESS magazine. Could I be the ambassador for SUCCESS and not passionately recommend you read it? Of course not! Additionally, we offer SUCCESS Book Summaries, which cull the best ideas from three of the top books in the area of accelerated personal achievement. Each edition is also delivered in audio format so you can listen to it in your car.
Since I have seen, heard or read almost everything and by everybody in the area of personal development, I am often asked who I personally recommend, what my all-time favorite programs are. To answer that question, we organized my four favorite programs into the Mentor Package.

These resources are a few of the many available to you. The key is to choose your input wisely. Maximize your time, education and, ultimately, your success, by feeding your brain the information it needs to help you achieve your goals.

Download and complete the FUEL SYSTEM Worksheets. (NOTE: Sent via the e-mail feed. If you are just registering now, it will go out again with the next feed. E-mail feeds typically go out in the evening following the published post.)

How are you going to limit the negative input you feed your mind? What are you going to do differently now to properly care and feed your mind? Tell us in the comments below.



52 responses to “Part 12: Your FUEL for Growth”

  1. I love when I have free time to check out blogs online. I learn a lot from then and many are very funny. Keeping a smile on my face while relaxing is always a pleasure! Thanks for sharing yours.

  2. Perfect, I admire this article and look forward to see few more
    Take care and Thanks for valuatble guidance for me.
    I will share this information with my friends.

  3. Thanks to Darren Hardy for your excellent guidance. You have given me the courage to evaluate and organized my associations without felling guilty about it. To properly care and feed my mind the first step I am taking is to follow your Mentor Package program. I can not Thank God enough for putting me in the right place at the right time the moment I found you. God Bless! Teresa

    [DARREN HARDY] Thank you for the kinds words and for following my Mentor Package as well, Teresa! All my best to you on this journey! :)

  4. Someone in one of the comments above asked how they will know what is going on in the world if they don’t watch the news. I have found that by asking myself, after reading (or listening to – if it’s TV news) each headline, the question, “Does this information have any real use for me?”, I can skip over most stories. I don’t need to know the gory details of every murder that takes place or every building that was burned. But, a headline like “100 lb women fights off 200 lb male attacker” might mean it’s an article that can educate me on defending myself, should I ever need to.
    I watch TV news with my hand on the remote & read the local paper standing up, to encourage myself to bypass timewasting “information”.

    [DARREN HARDY] Great tip, Suzanne! Thanks! :)

  5. Darren,

    I know you are familiar with the verse in Proverbs, “As a man thinketh in his heart so is he”. Did you know the word “thinketh” acutally means Gatekeeper? We truly do need to protect what does enter in our hearts. Why? For out of the abundance of heart our mouth speaks. You can definitely tell whats its the heart of others simply by listening to what they say.

    [DARREN HARDY] Great reference, Jeffrey! And so very true. Thanks so much for sharing! :)

  6. Hi Darren,

    Your magazines and the last few weeks have been inspiring and transformational. Thank You. I’m certainly now understand my SWOT, how to set goals and implement them. However I’m currently switching jobs and it’s difficult to find out exactly what exactly I should be looking for. I’m interested in so many things (i.e., sales, speaking, researching, teaching/helping, personal and professional development, etc) that I’m not sure where I should look to find that job. I’m starting my real estate investment career on the side but need a good income to support it and I’m just trying to find a job that is interesting, challenging so that I can bring passion to what I do, as I’ve realized if I’m not interested, i won’t be able to give it my all. So the question is, how can I find out what job/professional I’m suitable for based on my interest and aptitude.

    [DARREN HARDY] Great question, Chung! Match the job/profession with the strengths and passions you should have discovered in yourself by now going through this process. Be sure it doesn’t center on what you also discovered are your weaknesses. Make sure it is a business that fits the LIFE you want to lead as well – something else we have covered. You want to find a bridge – from your existing strengths, attributes, experience, interests, connections, knowledge, etc. to what you really want to do so you can figure out how to be successful at it.

  7. I love the idea of making your car a mobile university. A friend recently gave me a motivational/self help book written in story format and I told my 16 year old daughter that if she read it to me while I drove her to school each day, ( one hour to her school!!) that I would buy her a Starbucks when she finished it. We finished…she loved it, I loved it, and we are now working on book number two. We are planning to make this a regular practice. And the bonus is that my 14 year old son is listening. Three of us being motivated and inspired to achieve our goals at once! Why didn’t I think of this sooner.

    [DARREN HARDY] Amazing idea, Jennifer! Such a great way to spend otherwise wasted time with your kids. Kudos!

  8. Hi Darren,
    Thank you so much for pouring out your BEST to us all.
    I can’t begin to express how much this journey has impacted and enriched my life.
    At this stage when I am learning that what we feed our minds will directly determine our output and contribution to the world, I am almost desperate to subscribe to the SUCESS magazine. The problem is that I am based in the UK, is there a way that I could subscribe as well ?

    [DARREN HARDY] Of course, Julie! You can subscribe here: or call (800) 570-6414 to talk to someone.

  9. I agree 100% I always have something developmental playing in my car! I even found myself waiting for my Success issue after
    Reading the current issue twice. I was even upset this month when I found the latest issue at the newstand before I got my subscription
    Issue. Keep up the good work!! 5arren I look forward to my interview of you one day.

    [DARREN HARDY] Looking forward to it too, Richard! :)

  10. Darren,
    This is definitely the most amazing course, reading, anything that I have ever done. I heard you speak at a Team National convention last year and your speech was life changing. It changed my relationship with my boyfriend and life for the best, perfect timing to hear you.

    One assignmet you gave was to list someone we would love to meet-my answer is YOU. One day I will personally meet and thank you.

    2 questions:

    Give to Get-I choose to give leadership qualities to my host in my business and she really doesnt deserve it or appreciate it, should it be someone who does?

    all 3 of my top goals ended up being related to having enough money to do them so can my daily, monthly goals be the same?

  11. Hi Darren,

    Would you suggest the use of a Vision Board and I am Statement Board for this step?


    [DARREN HARDY] If that works for you, yes. Associating your goals with images can work great.

  12. one of the hardest descisions i made was disassociating from my parents,there in their 70`s broke,in debt,living in a public housing comission them the world and me is to blame for where they father used to belittle every i did until one day i gave him a hideing.
    the scars of the past still haunt me but with succes magazine,this goal plan and my mentors, jim rohn,paul j meyer constantly talking to my through cd`s i finding peace,purpose and happiness

  13. Janet I hope I can help you. I work in Public Relations and it is very important to keep up with
    what is going on and network with colleagues who are also in the know.
    I believe Darren did mention for us to limit the information that we take
    in if we have to access it and I suppose that if we know how to process it for business purposes
    it’s not that bad. Kind of like making the opposition work for you.
    I know I am a facebook junkie sometimes (and I am seeking help, lol) but a large part of my
    network is on there so I have to be careful and sift through the information to
    stay on top of pertinent information. Darren I hope I explained this similar to how
    you projected the lesson. Janet I hope this helps. Cheers!

  14. woooooooooot! This was a good exercise for me to do. Although I thought I did a pretty good job in this area, having to actually assess the input was an eye-opener. There was definite area for improvement. My biggest elimination is going to be watching the 11pm news before I go to bed. Way too negative and I don’t want or need that to be the last thing in my mind before going to sleep. I am instead going to read/listen to something positive before going to bed. That’s what I need in my brain all night, not the horror in the world. Thanks Darren!

    [DARREN HARDY] Let us know how it goes, April. I would definitely love to read your feedback on eliminating the negativity of the 11pm news before sleep. Thanks!

  15. I have RS feeds set up to my inbox, I limit TV, I listen to CD’s in the car, and most importantly, I read SUCCESS magazine. I even buy gift subscriptions to those who need it most.
    I loved the comments from Eva Longorio in the most recent issue of SUCCESS about time. She talks about how many people waste so much time. She is a dynamo! There truly is enough time in the day if plan for it and use it strategically. Time is precious. We can make more money, but we cannot make more time…
    Thanks Darren!

  16. Darren, Thanks for all the new information and the reminders you have shared, which has tapped on my should and has awakened the sleeping giant inside me.

  17. Some people says that I am a bad or strange person because I don’t like to read I any newspapers, and I don’t listen to news radio. Negative, sensationalistic TV Shows or news, what you said is true, that kind of information is like water for a car nothing.

    Thank you Darren for this valuable INFO

    [DARREN HARDY] Others can say all they want, Jonathan, but you will be the empowered one at the end of the day. Surround yourself with like-minded individuals and you will get rid of this problem in a heartbeat!

  18. Greetings. This course is amazing.
    I have 2 questions.

    1. Are you planning to publish this course? I think it would be great to see this course on the bookshelves in the stores. I think it would be great to have two books. One would be the text portion with your teachings and comments from users. The second book will be a workbook.

    2. If one cuts off the newspapers and TV watching, how does one keep up with what is happening in the world? I’ve always had this image that if I want to be part of the business world, I need to know what is happening. Is this true? For those of you who have cut the newspapers and TV, do you find that it’s hard to make conversation with your friends and coworkers?


    [DARREN HARDY] 1. Maybe at some point. 2. I don’t watch, read or listen to news – life is working out just fine for me. You can have conversations by asking your friends what the top news stories of the day are. Most of the time they won’t be able to recall even though they spent 2 hours of their day watching, reading and listening to sensational news coverage.

  19. So nervous and excited about
    meeting with an old boss to see if she will mentor me.

    [DARREN HARDY] Good luck! And remember, it never hurts to ask!!!

  20. I am slowly getting my husband to limit the television watching. I read, write in my journal or work on my hobby if he just has to watch television. I am getting real good at tuning it out. It helps that he doesn’t mind watching with closed captioning on so I don’t have to hear it. But he does have to listen to me telling him about what I am learning and I do think it is slowly rubbing off on him. I read Success magazine, the book summaries and listen to the cd’s to and from work. I kind of miss the dual disc with the video’s I hope you have that again.

    Thanks Darren!


  21. Darren Thanks for the wisdom you shared with me, as pondered your suggestion I got the Big picture! Charity begins at home. The one question I have is how do I project 1 year and 10 year goals that require my wife and I efforts, w/o her feeling squeezed? thanks for all you are doing to guide me and others into true abudance in this life!!

    [DARREN HARDY] Same answer as I gave Dolores: To add something you have to delete something else. Figure out what’s your highest priorities and stop doing somethings in order to make room for more important priorities.

  22. Greetings of the day, Darren and everyone who is following him in his mentoring programme, this is turning out to be great. I always believed in Charlie ‘Tremendous’ Jones words, you are result of whom you are with, what you read in five year period. I have realised now after the last 2 worksheets, about the association i had for the last decade. Now i feel to be in safe guidance of Darren. HAVE AS GREAT DAY AHEAD. MANOJ, MUMBAI, INDIA

  23. Hello I have been trying to access the archives for the previous worksheets but the system doesn’t recognize my password. Can anyone help me?

    [MAGGIE SCOTT] Hi Dyarl! The password is located at the bottom of the recent email installments. But I’ll email you with instructions as well.

  24. Darren, I hope to one day “Thank You” personally for your generous gift. Two years ago my 13 year old son subscribed to Success Magazine. Now, my husband and I receive our own subscription as well. The magazine is amazing and because of your weekly emails, I signed up for Designing the Best 10 Years of Your Life.
    This entire process has been nothing short of amazing for me. I thought I was “living” my best life. Through this process I see how I have settled and/or developed the sinking/thinking habit in my life. The first eye opening experience was writing my obituary. I read it to my husband and we suddenly realize how far off the path I/we had traveled. I am the person I wrote about in the obituary and NOW I am using the tools you have so graciously given to “all of us” to be, have and achieve my best life.
    Tuesday Part 11, worksheet 14 was very revealing, the associations I have outside of work and my immediate family is my mother, parents at my children’s sports events, community Leaders that I serve with on various boards and committees and neighbors I attend church with. I realize that I have not done my part to develop any of these relationships, other than my mother. I realized what great people I know and I haven’t made any effort to include them in my life because I “never thought about it” This has changed already. I completed my worksheet and have been in contact with those that I would like to include in my life or be included in theirs.
    I could list several improvements I have achieved implementing Darren’s techniques these past six weeks, however, I want to share one that I believe has the ability to turn your life around in 48 hours if you implement in your own lives immediately. For the past few weeks I have had more peace and energy than I have in a long time. This technique has had a powerful impact in my life and the life of my family and staff at work. I call it my “Success Hour” others have named it “Hour of Power” (yes, it is a little more than an hour)
    Simply put, you wake up earlier; take 30 minutes to exercise, 30 minutes to write, 30 minutes to read and of course 30 minutes to listen to Success CD’s(this I do in my car) Doing this for myself has translated into me giving more to my family, staff at work and clients. When you do this you will experience success. Guaranteed! I have.
    Darren, Thank you, I look forward to the day I can tell you this in person. You are a great mentor for me and my family.

    [DARREN HARDY] LOVE your “Success Hour+” Symone! Thanks so much for sharing it with us. Hopefully others will benefit from this initiative as well. :)

  25. This is GREAT STUFF… We are the results of 4 simple things (inputs):

    1. What we listen
    2. What we watch
    3. What we read
    4. With who we associate (the most critical & important)

    Darren, what you are saying about listening inspirational or personal development audios while you are driven will make the difference in our lives. It’s so Truth. Think about it…If you listen PD audios every day for 1 yr for only 20min…That will be an equivalent of 121.67 hr per year. That’s 3 (40hr workweeks) extra that we can use to develop our mind and really sharpen who we want to become.

    Only 20 min…

    Thanks for everything,


    [DARREN HARDY] Excellent breakdown, Anastacio! Thanks so much for making it so simple for all of us. Truly eye opening when you discover how only 20 minutes a day can change your life!

  26. Iam a news junkie.I never really thought about the amount of hegativity.Iam definitely going to cut back. However the Agenda on TVO andGPS with Fareed Zakaria are two of the most intelligent programs on TV and willstill be part of my weekly education.

  27. What I do now – limit my TV to 1 hour a night – love comedy. I do not watch war movies ever – I watch movies that offer provocative thoughts and are based on interesting stories – Amelia Earhart was a recent pleasure. I tweet & linked-in – reading interesting stories from interesting people. In the summer I shut off my TV service, I read success, I listen to the CD in the car, and I only listen to a jazz station or CD’s I buy. I read each night a book every month. I do not gossip.

    What will I do since the course – read more, I have increased my book selections, journals and writing. I read your course when I am hit with challenges. I highlight thoughts and passages now – I use to give my books away – now I understand why the library of knowledge is needed. I cancelled the paper, stopped reading OPRAH (like her magazine but I want richer content and less advertising) I stopped watching the news completely, I try to start conversations with thank you or from a place of appreciation. I plan my day each night so I know what I want to do. I go to bed writing thanks and appreciating. I call people who I know are reading what I am- listening and who are like minded, and I have politely said good-bye to a huge group of people that I just do not understand their negativity. I am more humble.

  28. Whoa…I just saw how long my comment was. Sorry! I was just so excited! Pam

    [DARREN HARDY] No worries, Pam! Lovin’ the enthusiasm!!! :)

  29. Years ago when I jumped into the world of the self-employed, I too eliminated TV news, newspapers and the radio. I also curbed my TV watching in general. Today I don’t even have cable for TV and don’t miss it one bit. Doing this was one of the most important steps towards keeping my attitude and outlook positive. And when my car became Automobile University, even better! The Success CD fit right in!
    What was most fascinating to me is how consistently optimistic and “cup half-full” my perspective was, despite my circumstances (and there have been some tough roads along the way). Of course, my faith plays an important part in that too…but along those same lines, I am responsible for what I FEED my mind. One week last summer I got caught up reading comments to a blog and it was SO critical and judgmental, by the end of the week, I was actually feeling blue and dragged down from it. Now I’m even careful what I read in that way too. If it doesn’t add value to my life or takes value away from the lives of others, why bother wasting the time on it? That’s what is so great about this course and the blog. Everyone is so positive and excited when they comment. And even when there’s concern or a challenge with a particular assignment, there’s still a hope that comes through, an eagerness.
    So many of my friends just didn’t understand how watching and listening to so much negativity …even the humor in most television shows is negative…could affect the way they think. The ones that did are my close friends today. And the ones that didn’t…well…
    Darren, your suggestion to RSS feed exactly what you want to read is great. Until now, I found my RSS feeds to be “too much” because I was treating them as extra on top of the other news sources I’d read. But if I streamline it and RSS feed just what I want and let go of the rest, it will actually take less time and be the experience I want. Unsubscribe when they are no longer relevant..well, duh, of course that makes sense! And because I can read the feeds in my email and not even have to get drawn into the whole internet via a home page news feed and the clicks that follow… it’s so easy to waste time and energy on “internet journeys” if I’m not careful. Thank you for that tip! A simple idea that will make a huge difference!



  30. I love the Success CD! I add it to all the other trainings. Since 9/11/2001, I’ve been detached from all Broadcast media, including newspapers and I don’t participate in those conversations or gossip. I love the freedom from it all and I do stay informed on issues that pertain to my life and/or people I am helping. Thanks for this program, Darren.

  31. Excellent information and guidance. Since I have started to read Success Magazine I am a much more positive, successful person. My favorite articles go into a binder for easy review.

    [DARREN HARDY] Great idea with the binder, Jeff! Kudos for the awesome organization of resources. :)

  32. One of my favorite tools is Success Magazine. I end up reading just about every page of each issue. I enjoy the diversity and exposure to new ideas and new leaders.

    That reading is in addition to the books and cd’s.