I don’t subscribe to many personal development blogs these days but do catch the odd posts which are passed on to me by friends. One that caught my eye recently was about the authors daily habits, with one of them involving reading a daily “scroll” from the book The Greatest Salesman in the World.
It sounded quite strange to me at the time and I had totally forgotten about it until I saw the book again when browsing around the mall. The cover claimed there were over 2 million copies sold which was enough social proof for me to pick up a copy. I’m glad I did.
This post isn’t a review of the book; in fact it’s far from it. This post is about an idea which spurned from reading most of the book and stopping to get this out there. The idea behind the 10 scrolls contained – which help the main “character” in the book become a better salesman – is that you read each of them, day and night, for 30 days.
As taught in NLP, your mind works with whatever you give it (input), so reading and then re-reading these scrolls regularly will allow their messages to really sink into your subconscious. This is similar to my post I wrote on The 21 Day Challenge which was the most popular ever on this blog. If you give your mind enough of something to work with, you’ll eventually start operating through that mode on auto-pilot.
It is claimed that it takes 21 days to pick up a new habit, so I think the 21 to 30 day rule is a good figure to follow when it comes to really living the messages that these scrolls teach. Instead of picking my favourite from the book, I thought it would be far more effective if I wrote my own and used that to help me internalise some important teachings.
Writing Your Own Scroll
Your scroll – which is just really a long message to yourself about the kind of things you want to work on – can be focused around anything you want. You can use it to help you become more productive, more peaceful, more giving and even more focused. I won’t share my full scroll with you, but here’s part of mine:
From today and each day forward I will start my endeavours with a simple goal in mind: To live simply, focus on the essential, and eliminate any distractions. I was put on this earth to achieve whatever I want to achieve, and with this laser-like focus on goal-achievement I enable myself to do exactly that. I understand that the most effective and efficient way to get what you want out of life is to choose and work on tasks which help you to attain your dreams, and then continue with each until it is complete.
I will select only actionable-tasks that I can achieve each day and give my attention to just one action at a time. I will declutter all aspects of my life for things are merely a distraction if they do not align with my path of success in wealth, simplicity, health and happiness. I will attempt to eliminate all things from my day which deter or halt my progress on my life mission.
If you haven’t read The Worlds Greatest Salesman then this style of writing may seem strange, which I mimicked from the book. Also in keeping with the style of the scrolls in the book, my scroll is around five times as long as this.
From mine you can clearly see I have something I want to work towards: simple productivity. I’m only a few days into reading this but I already find myself living more aligned with the messages that I wrote for myself.
This is the fifth article I’ve written in three days. It has been months since I’ve been able to say anything like that.
I have three recommendations to give you for when you write your own scroll:
- Write with Focus and Clarity – You’re probably not going to see any benefit from this practice if you use words like ‘try’, ‘hope’ or ‘might’. Notice that I say things like ‘I will’ and I speak in a very positive language. Make the messages you want to internalise simple and clear.
- Stick to One Message – The rest of my scroll covers some aspects of life, but mostly it’s still in keeping with the idea of being productive and not lettingÂ life’sÂ distractions affect me. Just like with the 21 day challenge post I previously wrote, I think it’s better to stick to one core thing that you want to change to make this effective.
- Be Personal – In my scroll you can see I write things like “I understand” and that’s because…I really do understand this. Write things which you believe to be true for you and I believe that this will help you much more. If you can’t connect to the words when you re-read them then this probably isn’t going to be as useful as it could.
Once you have it written down, print it out and leave it next to your bed. This way it’s easy to remember to read it just after you wake up and just before you go to sleep. This may seem a little crazy to some people but it links closely with my readings on NLP and the science behind the 21 day challenge which is why I think it’s working well for me.
Try it out for yourself and let me know what you think.
Glen Allsopp is the founder and ex-owner of PluginID. He now writes for ViperChill, a blog on viral marketing.