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A friend called me at 6am this morning. He is away and clearly doesn’t understand the concept of time zones. My voice came out in a whisper, as though I had his wife in bed next to me.

It turned out he wanted me to remind him of the title of the Perfume Genius album I’ve been raving about all year.

Of course I had no idea. Us blind folks never see anything written down, so we don’t take a photo to remember.

It’s the same with keys. When you leave your keys on the table, your brain takes a photo of the keys on the table. When you next want them, your brain quickly goes through a file of photos until it finds the one with the keys you took earlier. Great!

I can get around this by chanting. If I repeat something over and over, it will get lodged in my brain. So I recite my shopping list all the way to the chemist. Locals are now familiar with the guy with the cane who mumbles “suppositories, prep H and emery boards; suppositories, prep H and emery boards…” standing at the pelican crossing.

At college, I wanted to know how to remember stuff in books. I went to a guru, as you do. She told me ‘just read the book three times, without trying to remember anything. All the info will stay in your brain’. This was completely correct, to the point I can still recite obscure law reports from fifty years ago – especially Mr Bourne the duck shagger. I find this irritating now because I’ve got a feeling my filing cabinet is getting too full after so long remembering so much. Is there a way of reversing this and unremembering stuff? I need a different guru for that.

Anyway, I was awake by then and realised I was wrapped up in my duvet like Cleopatra ready for presentation to Caesar. I had no recollection of a dream involving rotating clockwise.

I reversed the action, which for anyone else reading this who suffers from OCD, will know at once this was nightmarish at that time of the morning.

Coffee please!

Eating sugar is not conducive to successful life strategies but it is what the brain tells us to do. Isn’t that pretty strange? Every human I have ever met likes sugar. Every human I ever met likes chocolate. Yet we are told we aren’t supposed to eat it. So who messed up? God? Nature? Everyone on the planet’s mum?

Anyway, I’m here now. 7.20, wide awake, showered, coffee with three sugars [I don’t believe in father Christmas, fairies at the bottom of the garden or that God, my late mother or Nature is actually watching me right now] and absolutely nothing to do except write to all of you.

So I’m going to tell you a story. Well actually a secret. We are all on pause and wondering when we can get on with our lives … and in fact, what will we do with that life? Are you sitting comfortably?

THE CARNEGIE SECRET

1.Have A Definite Major Purpose

What is the most important thing you would like to accomplish in your lifetime? Try to define it in one paragraph, even if you have to keep rewriting it a hundred times until it gets as clear as possible. It has to be the most important thing in your life. Mahatma Gandhi’s definite major purpose was to win independence for India from their British rulers. He succeeded. Dr. Martin Luther King’s was equality and the end of oppression for black people. Doctor Jonas Salk’s was to find the cure and end for polio. Thomas Edison’s was the incandescent light bulb. What is yours?

If you don’t currently have what you feel is a definite major purpose, then have a definite major purpose to find your definite major purpose.

It has to be something you want so bad that you think about it all of the time.

2. Be Willing To Stake Your Entire Existence On Achieving It

Don’t Quit. There Are Many Starters In Life, But Very Few Finishers – When The Going Gets Tough They Quit. A person with a definite major purpose never gives up – no matter how long and tough the road is; instead, they become more determined. Jack London was rejected over 600 times before he finally sold his first piece of writing. Thomas Edison actually failed over 9,999 times before he perfected the incandescent light bulb, and over 5,000 times before he perfected the world’s first phonograph record player. There will be times when everything in you will tell you to quit, to stop trying – but if you hang in there, eventually, you will – you must – succeed. Quitters never win and winners never quit.

Persistence is the power to hold on in spite of everything – to endure. It’s the ability to face defeat repeatedly without giving up-to push on even in the face of great difficulty or danger. Persistence means taking pains to overcome every obstacle, to do all that is necessary to reach your goals. You win, because you refuse to become discouraged by your defeats. Those who conquer are those who endure.

3. Keep Intensifying Your Desire

There are many “firemen” in life that will come along and try to put your fire of desire out. They will give you all kinds of reasons why your idea or goal won’t work and tell you to give it up, forget it, or tell you ‘You can’t do it’. You have to become an Arsonist. An arsonist sets fires.

Every morning when you wake up you have to re-light and re-build the intensity of your fire of desire. You have to eat it, sleep it, walk it, talk it, and concentrate on it until it becomes a red-hot flaming, burning, obsessional desire that will eventually mow down all of the opposition you will face throughout each day. If you don’t, your Sizzle of Desire will fizzle down to nothing. I’m not suggesting that you stop talking to or seeing your family and friends – what I’m saying is to keep focused day and night, seven days a week. This will bring into play: THE LAW OF HARMONIOUS ATTRACTION. Your burning desire becomes a magnet. You will attract that which you need; the ideas and plans, the money you need, and the people you need to help you. They will eventually gravitate toward your desire.

4. Have Bulldog Determination And Perseverance That Will Eventually get past all Opposition

Expect lots of problems, adversities, and discouragement along the way. Go around it – go over it – go under it – or dig a hole through it – but don’t ever turn back. Make your Definite Major Purpose the dominating thought in your mind. It is a known fact that people who have had great achievement formed the habit of making an “obsession” of their Definite Major Purpose. Andrew Carnegie said to put all of your eggs in one basket and then watch the basket.

Andrew Carnegie’s definite major purpose, which he wrote down at an early age and kept in his desk, was to earn as much money as he can in life and then, in the end, to set up the Carnegie Foundation to give it all away to worthy causes. Even after his death long ago, the Carnegie Foundation is still giving away millions every year to help mankind.

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