How often does this happen? You are leaving for work and you tell yourself, “Don’t forget your phone!” What happens? You leave it on the kitchen table.

OR …

You are on the golf green. It’s a simple putt. You tell yourself, “DON’T screw it up!” What happens?

OR …

You drive an old wreck for ten years and never even dent it. Finally, you buy a beautiful new Audi.

You tell yourself, “Don’t scratch it!”

Within three days you demolish the front end on the gate post … even though you kept telling yourself, “Don’t damage your new car!”

Is it bad luck?

Actually, there is a simple explanation. Here’s what you were never taught in school …

Your mind works on pictures.The Most important thing you Were Never Taught in School cartoon 2

When you tell yourself, “Don’t miss it!”, you create a mental picture – in fact, a program – of you MISSING it. So that is what you get.

When you say, “Don’t forget”, your mind has a PICTURE of you forgetting. So that is what you move towards.

Telling yourself NOT to do something DOESN’T WORK. Ever!

Unconvinced? What if I tell you, “Don’t think of a kangaroo.” What are you thinking of?

Telling yourself NOT to do something is worse than useless.


Why Confidence Matters

This explains why confidence is critical. When you are quietly confident, you focus on what you want. You picture yourself:

  • driving safely
  • putting truly
  • giving a great speech.

You automatically program your mind for success.

You say, “But telling myself, ‘I want to be slim’ and telling myself ‘I don’t want to be fat’” … aren’t they the same thing? NOT EVEN CLOSE!

You say, “Telling myself, ‘I want to be successful and “Telling myself, I don’t want be a failure’”aren’t they the same thing? NO!

They are a million miles apart. They are complete opposites, which is why some people succeed and others believe they were born to fail.

Who Else Knows This?The Most Important Thing You Were Never Taught in School cartoon 3

You say, “So does anyone know about this?” Absolutely.

All top performers, Wimbledon champions, Olympians, leading entrepreneurs and entertainers know this. Tight-rope walkers know this!

They focus on what they want. Always.

Your Best Chance

When you focus on what you DON’T WANT, you get more of what you DON’T WANT.

When you focus on what you WANT, you give yourself your best chance … in every relationship, interview, piano recital, soccer match, examination, speech. You drive more safely, you stay more healthy, you win more often.

Why is this the most important thing that you were never taught in school? Because this information is life-changing.

Want to learn more? Listen to my 15 minute podcast The Most Important Thing You Were Never Taught in School.

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Author: Andrew Matthews

Andrew Matthews empowers audiences in 25 countries to enjoy their life and work. Andrew’s books, including “Being Happy!” and “Follow Your Heart”, have sold over 7 million copies in 43 languages.