Welcome back to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast. If you’ve been listening to our podcast and wonder what exactly we do at Achieveit360.com, go to our website and take a look.[i] We provide courses, books and tools for teachers to implement Character and SEL programs in the classroom along with other consulting services that can be used in the corporate workplace. You can watch this interview on YouTube, but you won't be able to hear the backstory, unless you listen through your favorite podcast channel. Listen to all past episodes here.
Here’s the Back Story behind the programs and services that were inspired by our guest today, Bob Proctor. You can go to our website’s About Us[ii] section to see an outline of the last 20 years, and you will see a picture of him at the top of the page, but first let me explain who he is.
In 1961, Bob Proctor started studying the book, Think and Grow Rich[iii] (right now it’s showing as #1 in Entrepreneurship Books on Amazon) and this book transformed his life. If you’ve been lucky enough to see Bob Proctor speak live, you’ll see this book and one look at it, you’ll know he’s been reading it every day.
He listened to Earl Nightingale’s condensed recording of the book thousands of times, he said he would put this record player in his car and listen to it (back in the days that I can still remember when we had vinyl records before music and audio recordings became available online). He then created his own position that allowed him to work shoulder-to-shoulder with Earl Nightingale at Nightingale-Conant (that at the time was the largest distribution house for personal development programs). He worked there until 1973, before leaving to start his own personal development company where he’s been training people around the world ever since. Today, Bob has studied thousands of books, continues to read Think and Grow Rich every day, and is considered the world’s foremost expert on the human mind.
I can personally say that Bob Proctor is one of the rare speakers out there who truly lives and breathes what he teaches, with full integrity—he walks his talk and inspires those around him to do the same. I was fortunate enough to cross paths with Bob in the late 1990s when I was a school teacher in Toronto, when I asked my neighbor, Mark Low, what he did for a living, and he didn’t say much, but he handed me Bob’s You Were Born Rich[iv] book that I read the next day in a staff meeting (hiding it behind my binder as I pretended I was listening to the meeting) and my life was never the same after that day. The book was not just about being rich financially, but was about being rich in potential, saying that we all have deep reservoirs of talent within ourselves, and that we have greatness locked up inside ourselves...everyone has reservoirs of great talent and ability within us and if we can bring it to the surface we can accomplish anything we want. I really liked that idea.
That was 24 years ago, and it’s definitely been a journey that started when I quit my job as a teacher and went to work in his offices selling seminars. I want to share some of the top lessons learned from Bob, before we go into the interview. I will definitely do a deep dive into his content after this episode, as it’s so valuable, but looking back to the day I met him, here are my biggest take-aways. If you have some that you want to share, please tag me on social media when I post this interview and share some of yours.
Lesson 1: I learned how to set huge goals that most people would say were crazy when Bob asked me “what do you really want?” When I told him, he told me that there were certain steps I needed to follow, that started with writing my goals down on this card he gave me, and if I did all the things he suggested, and believed in what I was doing, I could have what I wanted. I really believed him and followed what he told me to do.
Lesson 2: I learned how to be resourceful and make money based on my natural talents and skills. When Sept 11th happened, I had just moved to the US and had big plans of what I was doing...all of them halted just like many peoples plans halted or changed during the pandemic, but I knew I was great with children, and ended up getting a job as a nanny through one of the local resorts, eventually being the most requested nanny’s there. I also always valued keeping a clean and tidy house, so when I needed to make more money, I found work cleaning houses that was great money, and also very humbling, and not far from the work that Bob did in his early days...he would talk about it all the time, how he made great money cleaning offices, and it kept me on track with my goals.
Lesson 3: I learned the basics of sales, which came in handy when I worked in the publishing industry. It was this skill, along with persistence, that allowed me to earn enough money to buy my first home in AZ and start living the life that I described when he first met me, and asked me “what do you really want?”
Lesson 4: Was on how to generate energy so that I could accomplish more in less time. There was this one time that I was going to an event at 5am and this was years before I was an early riser. I was not like this when I lived in Toronto. When the car arrived at my house one morning to take me to an event, Bob was in it, and when I jumped in...he asked me how I was. And this at 5am it was pitch black, and I was probably still sleeping...and I said I was tired...and Bob said...pardon? I thought he was losing his hearing so I leaned forward and told him again, I’m tired Bob...and then he said something I never forget to this day.
He said, “I thought you knew that we can create our own energy.”
I was quiet for a minute and realized that he was expected me to integrate what he was teaching at these seminars...into my daily life.
"Ahhh"...I said...and I never told him I was tired again. And when anyone ever asked me how I was, and I was tired, I never admitted that…ever again.
I learned how to generate my own energy through diet and exercise that ensures I can accomplish more, but it started that early morning, when bob asked me “how are you?”
Bob has always surpassed me with energy. He’s got more energy than anyone I’ve ever seen. He starts his seminars on a Thursday or Friday night, and runs straight through till late Sunday night, never sitting down, taking a break, or saying, phew, I’m tired.
Lesson 5: Is about the impression of increase or to put in more effort than you expect back. Well, that came from the SGR seminar and is a concept that has stuck with me to always do my best, without expecting any gain.
Lesson 6: is about integrating your beliefs with your behavior. If you look at your goals, and what you believe, then look at whether the actions you are taking line up and ask “is by behavior consistent to what I want?” I learned that Bob really does do ALL of the things he says he does.
There was one day about a month after Sept 11th happened and I was in the same place he was staying at for a few days, and I knew things were up in the air with his company as no one was getting on airplanes to travel to the seminars. Things had changed overnight just like that. When I looked over at where he was sitting, I saw that he was reading Wayne Dyer’s There’s a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem[v] and I knew right then and there that Bob was looking for answers on where to pivot to next. He’s always reading something to gather new ideas and strategies and of course I bought that book immediately not wanting to miss out on some important knowledge.
Lesson 7: To live every day like it’s your last. He’s the one who told me the idea that when you really want something, you are trading your life for that goal. That didn’t make sense until recently, I see the work that went into where I am today, and yes, I traded my life for that. The daily repetitive work towards the goal I always wanted, until I got to one level, then to next, and I can see how I traded each day for that goal I wanted and am grateful that I picked a worthy goal to trade my life for.
Lesson 8: Excellence is a commitment to completion. I learned to complete what I start early on, not that I’ve always done this, but I know how important it is to see a project through until it’s completed. Whether it’s a project, or something as simple as saying, I’m going to the gym and actually taking the action to go, when we say we are going to do something, I believe in the importance of doing it.
Lesson 9: when stuck with your direction, I learned how to write out on a piece of paper on the left side what I don’t want, let’s say you are not happy with your work, you’ll want to get a clear picture of what will make you happy, and seeing it on paper will open your eyes. Once you know what you don’t want, it’s easy to go to the right side and write the polar opposite on the paper....so you know what you can work towards. This is a huge lesson in self-awareness. You’ll get to know yourself better after you do this and then you need to honor the things that make you happy.
Lesson 10: I learned that success really is possible if you really want it, but there will be work involved. If I am willing to do that work that involves daily reading, studying and then taking action on the ideas I want to create, that “strange and marvelous things will happen with constant regularity as you alter your life.”
I would love to hear any thoughts or take-aways as you listen to the interview.
Let’s get straight to the interview…and hear directly from Bob Proctor himself.
This is episode #66 with world renowned speaker, motivation and success coach, author of best-selling books, and my mentor, Bob Proctor[vi].
Welcome Bob, thank you so much for taking the time to come on this podcast that really is here because of you, for inspiring me 24 years ago to take action with these ideas. You asked me “what do you really want?” and I told you. Then you showed me how to get it and here we are today. Thank you so much for helping me to create the life that I saw all those years ago.
I’ve had a chance to thank pretty much everyone who’s helped me along the way, kept in touch with Greg Link from the Covey Organization and he always asks how you are doing, so along with thanking you, I wanted to be sure to pass on a few of the people along the way who have always asked about you because you’ve made such an impact on their world as well. Another person was Joe Gray, from Sunlife’s Scarborough Branch. My Mom worked there, and she still keeps in touch with him, and he’s always asking about you because of the impact you made with those guys selling life insurance back in the day. The last time I was there, they all still carried their goal cards in their shirt pockets. Thanks for all you’ve done to wake so many of us up to take action and create a life that we wouldn’t have thought was possible without you pushing us to think of the limitless possibilities.
INTRO: Bob, the reason I wanted to reach out to you, and have you on this podcast is because I discovered social and emotional learning skills that are making inroads in our schools today, with plenty of research to back up the results that occur with students who study these skills—I discovered them, by chance through you and we are a year into this podcast now, and are experiencing incredible results, showing me that people are looking for ways to learn new strategies and tools to improve their results, using the most current neuroscience, while also tapping into their own social and emotional skills…and you knew this YEARS AGO…Can I take you back to when I had this HUGE AHA moment?
It was one of those unforgettable moments, you know, one of those moments in our life when we know things will never be the same again—a clear moment of truth. Like when I think back to it, there could have fancy orchestra music playing as if to say, “Pay Attention Andrea!” You were working with a group of teens we called them YMI or Youth Mentor International (I think we were in New Orleans at the Superdome) with skills that developed their attitude, mindset, confidence and goal-setting abilities, (what we used to call soft skills) and it skyrocketed their results.
I know you’ll remember Brian Johnson, but not sure if you would know that at the time you were showcasing these students, I was in the audience of at least 8,000 people, and Brian had just started to speak his part and share what he was learning from you, and he started to stutter, and we’ve all been there, public speaking at any age is stressful, let alone at the Louisiana Superdome and you stood behind this teen and rubbed his back in such a way that he calmed down and was able to speak without any problems, and I was blown away, on so many levels. As a teacher, I had really struggled to make an impact on the students in my classroom, and then here were these 12 teens talking about their unusual results after only a few months of working with lessons that mirrored what we now know to be called growth mindset, self-awareness and self-regulated learning that are now evidence-based strategies being implemented in schools (and workplaces) around the world. I just remember it felt like a brick hit me in stomach, and I seriously couldn’t breathe, I just started crying, my face went all red and blotchy, because I knew at that moment that this was it—this is what I was meant to be doing for the rest of my life, and then I had to go and help Gina with back of the room sales and then Milt Campbell who was up on stage that day, was there and came over to introduce himself to me—and I knew I needed to learn what you were teaching these kids more than anyone.
Q1: Thinking back to those 12 YMI teens you started working with (and then the hundreds of them who followed working with the tape program) Why do you think these teens had such incredible results after just a few months of working with you and these lessons? What were they missing?
Q2: You’ve been studying for almost 60 years now—if we count back to when you started reading Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich book and I wonder what you think are some common reasons that people don’t reach their full potential? I think it’s something that I learned from your You Were Born Rich Book, to recognize the potential in ourselves and other people (and I know that we all have this potential) I see it especially with young people—some of them shine like a bright light—but only the rare few actually develop their talents and abilities to their fullest. I wrote down this quote in 1999 (I think from the SGR Seminar). You said “the person who is certain to advance is one who is too big for his place and has a clear concept of what he wants to be—who knows that he can become what he wants to be and is determined to be what he wants to be.” It makes sense to me that schools are now teaching self-awareness to students to help them to uncover their strengths but what do you think is the formula that we should all know on how to develop an unwavering belief in our abilities so we don’t default back to doubt/worry/ anxiety and fear that sabotages our results?
Q3: Back when I worked with your offices, I was always looking for something to study and I found this old video program, called “The Journey of the Mind” where you were walking through this set that has large stones, and you covered topics like responsibility, paradigms, goals, attitude, persistence, and decision. This program became the outline of my first book, The Secret for Teens Revealed[vii] and you wrote the foreword and it became the backbone for the courses that I’ve created for the school market. I don’t know what ever happened to that course you created, but I think it’s crazy to think that years later, Carol Dweck published her book Mindset: The Psychology of Success[viii] (that changed millions of lives with its insights into growth mindset). You didn’t call it growth mindset but were teaching this all along with your programs when you were teaching about changing results by changing our beliefs. What about YOUR belief Bob? When you were creating some of these programs that didn’t take off (I think the one I saw was never produced into a film like it was supposed to) did you ever lose belief in what you were doing? How did you stay on track until your programs took off the way you envisioned?
Q4: I know when things really changed for your organization, and it was when Rhonda Byrne contacted you about appearing in this movie, The Secret,[ix] that accelerated your work around the world, along with many others. For those who have never heard this story, can you share how you just happened to be in the right place, at the right time, to meet her? Why do you think we meet certain people at certain times in our life who accelerate us/take us to our next level and what can we do to prepare ourselves to be ready when this happens?
Q5: This is the only science-based question, but I have to ask it because it ties directly to your work. I’ve been studying Dr. Daniel Siegel[x] (do you know Dan?) He’s a clinical professor of psychiatry from UCLA’s School of Medicine and executive director of The Mindsight Institute[xi] who did episode 28 on “Mindsight: The Basis for Social and Emotional Intelligence”[xii] and he has spent years showing the scientific connection between the mind and the brain. Dan talks about that “science clearly demonstrates that we have 2 realms in our physical universe—and this is not commonly known.” He asked 3,000 tech experts and 3,000 therapists and only 5% had ever heard of this. That reminded me of when you asked all those schoolteachers if they knew what the faculties of their mind were, and none of them could tell you. Well, Dan shows how there is one world where time/space exist, and the other world, the quantum world, is timeless and full of possibilities.
To me, this is what Wallace D. Wattles speaks about in The Science of Getting Rich[xiii] book that inspired half a billion people since the movie The Secret was inspired by this book and all the possibilities that exist in this other realm. Can you talk a bit about what you know about this second realm as it pertains to not only making money, but the place we go in our mind when we pray, or say our affirmations, or reach during meditation, because science shows that there is this plane of possibility or the “formless source” where anything is possible.
Q6: I listened to the podcast you did with Lewis Howe’s[xiv] this weekend. I love that guy and his podcast and learning from those who are doing well within industry, and it made me think of something else I wanted to ask you. Do you have time to cover one last Q? If so, what do you think is important for all of us to be thinking and doing during these strange times?
Thank you, Bob, I want to let people know about your upcoming programs, and how they can learn more about you. Just go to https://www.proctorgallagherinstitute.com/ and you can see your next virtual seminar coming up called Paradigm Shift[xv] they can easily download the book that inspired me, You Were Born Rich,[xvi] for free on your site and find you on social media @bobproctorlive on Twitter, and search for you on Facebook.