TEL (Truly Epic Life)

Ted Turner’s a pretty amazing man…

—he founded CNN from nothing
—he started The Cartoon Network
—he’s won the America’s Cup
—he created Ted’s Montana Grill
—he launched The Goodwill Games
—he’s given away billions to great causes

So how did he build such a TEL (Truly Epic Life)?…

work hard

…In today’s message, I’m not going to get into his winning business choices

… I’m not going to rant about his daily success habits nor the rewards that his associations with the entrepreneurial elite brought to him

…And I’m not going to get into his strong relationship with his powerful father and the influence that connection had on him

This piece (that I’ve worked really hard to get right for you) is about something else…the root cause of all rare-air productive, financial, personal and global success…

…your psychology.

If you’re not thinking like the dominant star of your industry, your performance will never rise to match that expectation.

If you’re not thinking you can get your massive dreams done, your behavior will never be sufficient to get giant goals done.

If you’re not thinking like someone who’s the rockstar of their field, financially free, healthy as an athlete and happier than you could ever imagine, then there’s no way you’ll get there.

Why? Because your outcomes always reflect your self-identity (a.k.a. your psychology).

Researchers like Sonja Lyubomirsky have done some fascinating work on “the power of the self-fulfilling prophecy”. Definitely read her book The How of Happiness this week.

Bottom line: the hard-core psychologists confirm that your psychology and expectations for your performance determine your results.

You absolutely have to learn to think like the very best do to experience the rewards and lifestyle that the VERY best have.

So back to Ted Turner…

… even when he was the “new kid” going up against ABC, NBC and CBS–with nothing but the unreasonable idea for a 24 hour news network– he believed that he’d win because he surrounded himself with other visionaries and “industry disruptors” who modeled massive success. [The Law of Association].

… even when he was kicked out of the company that he founded, he started a new one (Ted’s Montana Grill) because his psychology was such that he had developed the “neural architecture” of resilience and radical confidence. [The Law of BounceBack].

[Btw: none of this is natural talent. It’s all the result of learning how to think like this and then practicing it until it becomes a habit].

… even when his beloved father died, he kept his fierce focus on his greatest dream alive by outworking, outinnovating and outproducing everyone around him because he got his psychology right. [The Law of Grit].

So what were the core beliefs that he practiced relentlessly until they hardwired in as his psychology of fantastic productivity, ingenuity, wealth, confidence, influence and impact?

I’ve identified 5 of them below and have observed the same ones in the industry titans and international superstars that I advise:

#1. Ted was Obsessed with Making Everything Better

In an interview with famed broadcaster Charlie Rose, Ted Turner said:

“I like to make things better. When I was in the news business, I was just trying to make things better. In the restaurant business, I’m just trying to make things better…

…When I was a boy my parents said ‘Do The Best You Can’. I’m just following orders.”

#2. Ted Focused on Producing Value vs. Making Money

This way of thinking is so contrarian to the way most businesspeople think (and that’s why most businesspeople never join the ranks of the financial and influential elite).

If your whole focus is on making money, it’s off delivering the staggering value that will create the fanatical followers who will pay you money.

Ted Turner was a Rotarian (as was my father and myself). The motto of Rotary is: “He profits most who serves the best.”

Of course, serve for the beauty and internal fulfillment of serving. But know that the inevitable by-product of phenomenal service to others (your customers, communities etc.) is material prosperity well-beyond anything you’ve yet to experience.

#3. Ted Played The Long Game

Some things never change as society changes. No matter what anyone tells you, traits like integrity and honesty will always yield success and victory. Yes–if you play the short game and cut ethical corners, you may win for a while.

But nothing is more valuable (and an industry differentiator) than the value of your good name. Making your reputation a priceless asset is a brilliant decision.

Turner was always honest. Always ethical. Always did his best to stay true to his word.

In his words:

“I wanted my Dad to think I was worthwhile, like every son. And I wanted to impress my mother. It was great to have her proud of me.”

#4. Ted Went for Uncommon Opportunities

Turner said that building a television network was actually easy. Why? Because the barriers to entry were so high that most people didn’t have the capital nor the stomach to get in.

He did. And so he made a fortune. And changed the world.

The belief worth wiring into your mindset: go for the opportunities very few believe they can realize. It’ll be a lot easier than you think to get traction as well as to lead the field because there’s so little competition.

#5. Ted Built Bridges

Turner and Rupert Murdoch had been fighting for years. But as Ted Turner matured, he realized that energy spent on conflict is energy stolen from “production”.

So when Rupert Murdoch “went green” (Turner is a passionate advocate for environmental causes), he reached out to him with sincere congratulations.

Murdoch replied with an invitation for lunch. And a truce was forged.

Ted’s psychology: pick your battles. And focus on getting great things done versus trivialities and pettiness.

Ok. There you go my friend. Ted Turner’s psychological foundations that allowed him to craft an iconic life.

And as always, THAT’S my greatest wish for you.

All green lights…your fan,

Robin Sharma

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