You’re never too young – or too old – to start dreaming
Posted by Trevor on 25 October 2012 | Post a Comment
I recently received this feedback from a reader of my blog site:
I am 15 and I recently got this book and read it. I have understood every last word of it and have been looking for a book like this but could not find one that adds as much useful
The only question I have is that I don’t think most people my age would understand this book as much as I do so I was wondering if you know of people my age that did understand everything about it and if you had any further advice for a 15 year old?
What a great question.
On a few radio shows I have been asked who I think the target audience is for Three Simple Steps. I struggle with the question because it sounds crass to say “well… everyone.” My publisher asked me the same question in 2011, and it was easy to paint a picture of the road warrior and the stay-at-home parent who feel stuck in their lives. The truth is that Three Simple Steps is for anyone who is ready to hear the message. Whoever you are, whatever age, whatever circumstances, you have all you need already to create the life of your dreams.
I answered this blog question by explaining that I was about 15 when I first realized that the life I wanted to live was in my own hands. At the time my foreign accent and shabby clothes made me a target for severe sectarian bullying. Three Simple Steps comments on one incident to make a point, but at different times I was beaten up by a gang, urinated on, set on fire and shot at (I ducked and the bullet hit my brother in the leg. I never did apologize for ducking so here it is finally in public.) The one place I knew the idiots would not follow me was the public library. I hung out there and started reading the life stories of the self-made. I was inspired that they had all suffered such torment, but found a way out. At 15 I got the message.
My point is that you are never too young or too old to take control of your destiny, and I hope many more 15 year-olds learn of their potential through Three Simple Steps. There are plenty of 15 year-olds who don’t need the advice.
One such person is Arran, a15-year-old mathematics prodigy who just became the youngest undergraduate at the University of Cambridge for more than two centuries. Two centuries! Cambridge has not accepted anyone his age since the 14-year-old William Pitt the Younger was offered a place in 1773. William Pitt the Younger became the youngest English Prime Minister ever at the tender age of 24. In step one of Three Simple Steps I encourage everyone to find their individualism. It is hard to be all you can be if the decisions you make for yourself are based on other’s opinions and beliefs about you. Arran stated it this way: “It isn’t the youngest bit that is so important to me – I’m more interested in actually going to Cambridge than comparing myself with other people who go there.”
Meanwhile 7-year-old Alma has just composed her first opera. Yes, you read that right. For most 7-year-olds, visiting the opera – or listening to one – is not on their to-do-list. In a recent interview on TV (she is on TV at 7… I get nervous doing it at 50!) she was asked how she comes up with the ideas for her opera. “It comes to me when I improvise,” she says, “when I try it doesn’t come.” Alma certainly does not need to read step two of Three Simple Steps. She gets it already.
Step three of Three Simple Steps is all about taking an idea and turning it into an experience though controlled imagination. This gets you to a sense of knowing, and then what you imagined shows up. Some people close to me are said to call me, with tongue in cheek perhaps, “goldenboy,” because everything I have touched since being 15 has worked out. They think it luck or happenstance even though it keeps on happening. They have not read the book and don’t get the importance of imagining success as already achieved instead of something hoped for. One young man who never needs to read the book is 9 year old Kieron Williamson. Already a world-renowned painter, he just became a millionaire. But does he even think about the money? “No,” says Kieron, rather abruptly for such a shy boy, “but I like it a little bit”. In a recent BBC interview he was asked; “Have you got a picture in your head of what you’re going to do?”
“Yep,” Kieron nods. “A snow scene.”
“Because it is winter at the moment?” I ask.
Do you know how you want it to come out?
A man of few words is Kieron, but there is not much doubt is there? He imagines it, he knows it, he does it. Oh to be 9 and have no self-doubt.
Of course, he also shows the strengths of discipline and determination needed to succeed. He wishes his mother would let him get up earlier than 6 am so he could paint more before going to school. She doesn’t let him because it disrupts the household. His mother said “As a toddler he said he’s going to be world famous. It is bizarre because I wouldn’t have expected it from him to be honest. Kieron’s got a lot of his dad’s characteristics which serve him well. He’s got sheer grit and determination and you see that on the sports field – he just will give everything 200%. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-18902013
By now you may be forgiven for thinking that this article is contrived. Perhaps you think I had to search far and wide to find three such prodigies to make my point. These three stories, however, were all on the same page of BBC’s entertainment and arts page yesterday. One does not have to search for inspirational stories because they are everywhere. Everyone, whether 5 or 95 has the potential to create anything they want. But don’t take my word for it. I’ll leave the last word to a man called Leland.
Leland sent an email to firstname.lastname@example.org outlining how the advice in Three Simple Steps had changed his life. He no longer reacted negatively to the complainers and bad drivers in his life, and he had gained renewed confidence to start a new project. Then he mentioned in passing that he was 88 years-old.
Never stop dreaming.