The Incredible Powers of the Human Mind


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Hardly anyone thinks about their legacy – the impact of the life they leave behind. We really only give it some thought when we read an obituary of someone we know.

In May of 2000, I read an obituary about a friend’s father that left me in awe of the man. There were numerous non-profit organizations he devoted time and money to.

The obituary also listed all of his impressive achievements, as well.

I remember thinking to myself, how could one person do so much in one life?

Then, I tried writing my own obituary, that May of 2000. I did not like how it read. Not much of a legacy, I thought. I was even somewhat embarrassed.

So, I decided to write a fictitious obituary about my ideal life. I still have that obituary, to this day.

In that bogus obituary, I listed all of my fictitious achievements:

  • Self-made millionaire
  • Famous author
  • The numerous charitable organizations I was involved with during my life
  • How I helped add value to the lives of many people in my business endeavors
  • Amazing husband and father…

My fictitious obituary, written in May of 2000, went on for a full page, front and back.

What’s strange about my fake obituary is that, for some reason, I had listed “famous author” as one of my many achievements.

I liked to write, but I had never before published a book; had never really seriously thought about publishing a book. I had no industry knowledge about what it took to publish a book.

So, why did I write down “famous author” on my make believe obituary? I’m still scratching my head on that one to this day.

Nonetheless, that obituary planted a seed in my mind that, years later, led to my becoming an author.

My first book, Rich Habits, was released in March 2010 and went on to become a legitimate bestseller on Amazon and is now translated into many languages around the world. I’ve since written four other books and will probably be writing books until the day I die.

I also helped organize and grow three non-profits since May 2000 and that makes me proud.

That obituary literally changed my life and it’s still changing my life, as my author business has given birth to a growing speaker business. And I just started developing plans for various Rich Habits training events – another future line of business.

Despite our impressive advances in technology, medicine and science, we still do not yet fully comprehend the mysterious powers of the human mind. My May of 2000 make-believe obituary activated some very powerful, dormant forces within my brain which unconsciously directed me onto the path I now find myself on, so many years later.

If you are struggling in life, as I was back in May of 2000, I suggest you write two obituaries.

The first obituary should depict your current life – what your obituary would say if you died tomorrow.

How will it read? Does it make you proud or does it bring you down?

Let your real-life obituary swim in your mind for a few days. Then, write a second, fictitious obituary. This time paint a picture with words of a life so incredible that it leaves you in awe of yourself.

Somewhere in your make-believe obituary, a seed will be planted. That seed will grow inside your mind. In time, through intuition, you will find yourself being nudged onto certain paths. Paths, you feel compelled to walk but really don’t know why.

Your made believe obituary will act like a GPS, directing your behavior, in an effort to create a legacy that will make you proud.

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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a master’s degree in taxation and is President of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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