Over the years, I have heard various studies that detail how we end up becoming just like our closest friends.

* If you’re closest friends are heavy drinkers, chances are you’ll be a heavy drinker
* If you’re friends are overweight, chances are you’ll be overweight
* If you’re friends are doing well financially, chances are you’ll have financial problems
* If the real estate agents you hang out with aren’t selling many homes, chances are you won’t sell many homes

I’ve thought about this theory for many years and I believe it’s true. The reason why is because the people we spend the most time with impact how we think and what we do. This is one of the reasons why high-level mastermind groups are so powerful.  You have instant access to a new group of people who think and live differently. You get to hear what they are doing, what is working and what isn’t working. You get to hear about their challenges and how they are overcoming them. You get to “see” things from a different perspective and this change in perspective has a massive impact on what you think and do.

Over the years, I have participated in many high-level mastermind meetings and I can honestly say they have changed my life.  The bad news is many of these high-level mastermind groups have large financial investments to participate. The investment has always been returned 10-fold, but if you’re slugging it out in a flat real estate market, a large investment may not be an option.

Another way to change how you think is to read a biography.

Some of the biographies I’ve read over the years include: Andrew Carnegie, John Rockefeller, Warren Buffett, John Jacob Astor,  Donald Trump, Walt Disney, Sam Walton, David Ogilvy, Henry Singleton, Richard Branson, and Steve Jobs.

Here is what I have come to learn…

Biographies change how we think and when we change how we think, we automatically change what  we do.

This is the same process occurs in a high-level mastermind groups.  In a biography, we get to “see” how these men handled adversity. We get to “see” how these men pursued their goals. We get to “see” how these men thought. We get to “see” how these men lived their lives.

Right now I am reading “The First Tycoon” by T.J. Styles. This biography is on Cornelius Vanderbilt and how we became the richest man in the world. I am only partially through the book and I can tell you that he lived through many “disasters” throughout his life. These disasters included personal tragedy, near-death accidents, and many economic financial panics that spread through the economy including currency failures; stock fraud and several market crashes.

It is virtually impossible to read this book and not “see” our challenges differently. It’s also virtually impossible to read this book and not “do” things differently, because you automatically look at your life and your challenges from Vanderbilt’s eyes.  How would Vanderbilt handle this situation?

So…. if you’re going through a rough period now or in the future, I highly recommend making time for a biography. In fact, I actually recommend that you create your own mastermind group through multiple biographies. Don’t borrow these books from the library. Buy them. Highlight them. Make notes in them. Fold down page corners so you can refer back to important lessons. Read one biography a month for one year and I promise you’ll change your life.

Further Reading:

How Steve Jobs Transformed Apple

Andrew Carnegie’s Business Strategy

A Page from John Rockefeller’s Play Book

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