Successful people look at other successful people as a means to motivate themselves. They see other successful people as models to learn from. They say to themselves, “If they can do it, I can do it.” As I mentioned earlier, modeling is one of the primary ways that people learn. Rich people are grateful that others have succeeded before them so that they now have a blueprint to follow that will make it easier to attain their own success. Why reinvent the wheel? There are proven methods for success that work for virtually everyone who applies them. Consequently, the fastest and easiest way to create wealth is to learn exactly how rich people, who are masters of money, play the game. The goal is to simply model their inner and outer strategies. It just makes sense: if you take the exact same actions and have the exact same mind-set, chances are good you will get the exact same results. That’s what I did and that’s what this entire book is about. Contrary to the rich, when poor people hear about other people’s success, they often judge them, criticize them, mock them, and try to pull them down to their own level. How many of you know people like this? How many of you know family members like this? The question is, how can you possibly learn from or be inspired by someone you put down? Whenever I’m introduced to an extremely rich person, I create a way to get together with them. I want to talk to them, learn how they think, exchange contacts, and if we have other things in common, possibly become personal friends with them. By the way, if you think I’m wrong for preferring to be friends with rich people, perhaps you’d rather I pick friends who are broke? I don’t think so! As I’ve mentioned before, energy is contagious, and I have no interest in subjecting myself to theirs! I was recently doing a radio interview and a woman called in with an excellent question: “What do I do if I’m positive and want to grow, but my husband is a downer? Do I leave him? Do I try and get him to change? What?” I hear this question at least a hundred times a week when I’m teaching our courses. Almost everyone asks the same question: “What if the people I’m closest to aren’t into personal growth and even put me down for it?” Here’s the answer I gave the woman on the call, what I tell people at our courses, and what I’m suggesting to you. First, don’t bother trying to get negative people to change or come to the course. That’s not your job. Your job is to use what you’ve learned to better yourself and your life. Be the model, be successful, be happy, then maybe—and I stress maybe—they’ll see the light (in you) and want some of it. Again, energy is contagious. Darkness dissipates in light. People actually have to work hard to stay “dark” when light is all around them. Your job is simply to be the best you can be. If they choose to ask you your secret, tell them. Second, keep in mind another principle that we feature in our Wizard Training, which is a course about manifesting what you want while staying calm, centered, and peaceful. It states, “Everything happens for a reason and that reason is there to assist me.” Yes, it’s much more difficult to be posi-tive and conscious around people and circumstances that are negative, but that’s your test! Just as steel is hardened in the fire, if you can remain true to your values while others around you are full of doubt and even condemnation, you’ll grow faster and stronger. Also remember that “nothing has meaning except for the meaning we give it.” Recall in Part I of this book, we discussed how we usually end up identifying with or rebelling against one or both of our parents, depending on how we “framed” their actions. From now on, I want you to practice reframing other people’s negativity as a reminder of how not to be. The more negative they are, the more reminders you have about how ugly that way of being really is. I’m not suggesting you tell them this. Just do it, without condemning them for how they are. For if you do begin to judge, criticize, and put them down for who they are and what they do, then you are no better than them. Worse comes to worst, if you just can’t handle their non- supportive energy anymore, if it’s bringing you down to a point where you’re not able to grow, you may have to make some courageous decisions about who you are and how you want to live the rest of your life. I’m not suggesting you do anything rash, but I for one would never live with a person who was negative and pooh-poohed my desire to learn and grow, be it personally, spiritually, or financially. I wouldn’t do that to myself because I respect myself and my life and I deserve to be as happy and successful as possible. The way I figure it, there are over 6.3 billion people in the world and there’s no way I’m going to saddle myself with a downer. Ei- ther they move up or I move on! Again, energy is contagious: either you affect people or infect people. The same holds true the opposite way around; either people affect or infect you. Let me ask you a question: Would you hug and hold a person you knew had a severe case of the measles? Most people would say, “No way, I don’t want to catch the measles.” Well, I believe negative thinking is like having measles of the mind. Instead of itching, you get bitching; instead of scratching, you get bashing; instead of irritation, you get frustration. Now, do you really want to be close to people like that? I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “Birds of a feather flock together.” Did you know that most people earn within 20 percent of the average income of their closest friends? That’s why you’d better watch whom you associate with and choose whom you spend your time with carefully. From my experience, rich people don’t just join the country club to play golf; they join to connect with other rich and successful people. There’s another saying that goes “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” As far as I’m concerned, you can take that to the bank. In short, “If you want to fly with the eagles, don’t swim with the ducks!” I make it a point to only associate with successful, positive people, and just as importantly, I disassociate from negative ones. I also make it a point to remove myself from toxic situa- tions. I see no reason for infecting myself with poisonous en- ergy. Among these I would include arguing, gossiping, and backstabbing. I would also include watching “mindless” television, unless you use it specifically as a relaxation strategy instead of your sole form of entertainment. When I watch TV, it’s usually sports. First, because I enjoy seeing masters at anything at work or in this case play, and second because I enjoy listening to the interviews after the games. I love listening to the mind-set of champions, and to me, any- one who has made it as far as the big leagues in any sport is a champion. Any athlete at that level has outcompeted tens of thousands of other players to get there at all, which makes each of them incredible to me. I love hearing their attitude when they win: “It was a great effort from the entire team. We did well but we still have improvements to make. It goes to show you that hard work pays off.” I also love listening to their attitude when they lose: “It’s only one game. We’ll be back, we’re just going to forget about this one and put our focus on the next game. We’ll go back and talk about where we can do better, and then do whatever it takes to win.” During the 2004 Olympic Games, Perdita Felicien, a Canadian and the reigning world champion in the hundred- meter hurdles, was heavily favored to win the gold medal. In the final race, she hit the first hurdle and fell hard. She wasn’t able to complete the race. Extremely upset, she had tears in her eyes as she lay there in bewilderment. She had prepared for this moment six hours a day, every day of the week, for the past four years. The next morning, I saw her news conference. I wish I had taped it. It was amazing to listen, to her perspective. She said something to the effect of “I don’t know why it happened but it did, and I’m going to use it. I’m going to focus even more and work even harder for the next four years. Who knows what my path would have been had I won? Maybe it would have dulled my desire. I don’t know, but I do know that now I’m hungrier than ever. I’ll be back even stronger.” As I heard her speak, all I could say was “Wow!” You can learn a lot from listening to champions. Rich people hang around with winners. Poor people hang around with losers. Why? It’s a matter of comfort. Rich peo-ple are comfortable with other successful people. They feel fully worthy of being with them. Poor people are uncom- fortable with highly successful people. They’re either afraid they’ll be rejected or feel as if they don’t belong. To protect itself, the ego then goes into judgment and criticism. If you want to get rich, you will have to change your inner blueprint to fully believe you are every bit as good as any millionaire or multimillionaire out there. I’m shocked in my seminars when people come up to me and ask if they can touch me. They say, “I’ve never touched a multimillionaire before.” I’m usually polite and smile, but in my mind I’m saying, “Get a frickin’ life! I’m no better or different from you, and unless you start to understand that, you’ll stay broke forever!” My friends, it’s not about “touching” millionaires, it’s about deciding that you are just as good and worthy as they are, and then acting like it. My best advice is this: if you really want to touch a millionaire, become one! I hope you get the point. Instead of mocking rich people, model them. Instead of shying away from rich people, get to know them. Instead of saying, “Wow, they’re so special,” say, “If they can do it, I can do it.” Eventually, if you want to touch a millionaire, you’ll be able to touch yourself, !