In personal development we talk a lot about beliefs, but the truth is beliefs are often rooted in our core philosophy. Many of us adopt the philosophy of our parents, teachers, religious leaders, coaches and others of influence in childhood. Sometimes this is good but more often it’s limiting. Watch this short video on tracking your philosophical influence and I’ll look forward to your comments. Steve Siebold (2:14)

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Steve Siebold
Author and Professional Speaker since 1997. Past Chairman of the National Speakers Association's Million Dollar Speakers Group. Author of 11 books with 1.4 million copies in print.

27 thoughts on “Your Success Philosophy”

  1. It would be an interesting experiment, Mike.

    I probably have enough expertise and cash to be able to personally check if the food I buy is safe for my family to consume or not.

    Food labelling would disappear – it is only there because of regulations and bodies existing to enforce it. Without regulation, some bright spark would realise they could save a few cents by printing labels without it. Others would realise that without the ingredients or nutritional information – they could basically put what they like in the product. Those of us who might prefer to buy organic ingredients, like fruit and vegetables to make our own would basically have that choice removed. Anyone could label anything as organic as well as spray whatever chemicals they liked on it.

    For those of you without a detailed knowledge of biochemistry and laboratory analysis – well I guess it was your choice not to learn how to detect harmful bacteria or contaminants that dodgy companies might introduce. Sure it does happen even now – but if you read victorian literature written before any kind of regulation, you’d be mightly impressed about what you can introduce into common foodstuffs like flour and milk to make it go that little bit further.

    For medicines, I would begin to be out of my depth (I didn’t chose to become an expert in this area). Since no regulations would exist – it would be hard for me to say with certainty what a tablet actually contained, let alone its side effects or what it was supposed to do. Similarly, I’d have no idea whether the doctor prescribing it was actually genuine or not. I would probably fall back on traditional cures (at least I would know what went into them). Heck, even the doctors wouldn’t know what was likely to work or not – since they’d be no regulations around universities, text books, science publications or drugs.

    No-one wants unnecessary regulation but perhaps some of it is quite useful? It might protect us from those who would do us harm? It even allows those of us who want to make something like an informed choice between one food stuff and another to make that choice.

    1. Chris,
      I agree that the government can help through education and safety regulation. But after that the free market will correct everything else. Competition is the best form of keeping companies honest. They either comply or go out of business. Thanks for your comments!

  2. Dear Steve,

    I personally feel like you when it comes to the government telling me or anyone period what I should and shouldn’t be eating. Now if I am seeking advice like some of my patients may with me that’s diferent but this know-it-all dietary authoritative approach is absolute arrogrance at its highest form! If a politician can eat cake then so can I, if a politician in DC can smoke whatever then I should be able to as well.
    Dietary information should be availible and I know that they the government is trying to fight an obesity epidemic but if you try to fight a fire don’t just spit on it as that will do nothing to change the emotional over eating of the millions of over weight eaters! Remove all emotions such as pleasure and love and now you are fighting the fire with a water cannon!
    Thanks I will buy your book on this subject as it may be helpful to be as a medical professional who give advice constantly on emotional eating!

  3. Hi Steve, this is an interesting question. I would say my parents then Jesus and his teachings and later, speakers from AMWAY who helped me kick anti-depressants forever. (no longer in AMWAY btw) Then Zig Ziglar, the books Storms of perfection, and finally you. It’s taken me years to overcome the words I took on as a child “you can never do anything properly”. I would say that it was one of the main things for my lack of belief in the diets I have tried for 34 years. Having you tell me that it was my fault that I was fat was the most freeing thing for me. I realised that for 34 years I had been lying to myself and that the words of my father I could choose to believe or not. For the first time in my life I am no longer the victim, I take control of my life. I am 28 days into my diet and exercise programme and finding that I am questioning everything I eat, I have had some slip ups but I am not giving up and I am being vigilant when I am thinking in ways that are not conducive to my diet. So far I have lost 12 pounds I have another 148 pounds to lose but I am in for the long haul.

  4. Thanks for another thoughtful post, Steve. Ayn Rand’s ideas come through strongly in your work. I wonder what you think about Adam Curtis’ recent documentary – Watched over by machines of loving grace? The first episode covers Ayn Rand’s influence over the political and tech elite in the late 20th century – and comes to some not entirely positive conclusions. Would be fascinating to hear your thoughts on it.

    For me, the teachers and influencers have been many and broad. It’s hard to pull out just one key influencer as you have done. Even as an atheist – I’d include Jesus as well as Aurelis, Engels, Carnegie, Tracey, Covey, Plato, Hesse, Dawkins, Asimov, Bester, Clarke, Feynman, Rosseau to name but a few as well numerous other less famous individuals. Each has brought a little piece to the mix.

  5. The book that has had the most impact on me is the Bible. In it I have discovered many secrets to success and living a life of fulfillment. Jesus has tremendously changed my life. Frankly I have noticed many of the thought leaders today knowingly or unknowingly get some of their material from the Bible.

  6. There have been three great influences for me:

    Charlie “Tremendous” Jones had a great influence on my attitudes toward life and business. I heard his recordings (on vinyl) when I was just a wet-behind-the-ears insurance salesman. To be “tremendous” even when times are hard is a core philosophy I learned from Charlie.

    At one of the roughest periods of my life, Tony Robbins’ book, “Awaken the Giant Within” totally changed the course of events.

    More recently, Don Hutson has been an inspiration and role model for me as an author and speaker.

  7. Great question as usual Steve. I would have to say Deepak Chopra’s 7 Spiritual Laws of Success was the book that turned my whole world view philosophy upside down when i read it for the first time about 10 years ago. It started me on my personal development journey and I haven’t looked back since. 177 Mental Toughness Secrets is another one that blew me away also… I have you to thank for that!!! Keep up the good work!!!


  8. In this life time there have been so many great influences .Reading has been a great habit of mine since the sixties.They are Napolen Hill, St.Francis of Assisi,Thoreau,Kahil Gibran,Og Madino, Wayne Dyer ,Ernest Holmes, Buckminister Fuller.I have been blessed to read, study and use this philosphy.
    We have the wisdom of all ages.

  9. My “greatest” thought leader is Dr. Stephen R. Covey without question. My passionate professional pursuit to improve the skill sets and competencies of Managers and Leaders have relied heavily upon his work. His work “The 8th Habit” has proven to be the greatest influence on the “most” effective & efficient Managers and Leaders, and in my estimate, one of the most important tools in today’s Knowledge/Creative Economy.

    Daniel Herman, M.M.
    Management Consultant
    Motto:”To Serve…To Learn…To Teach”

  10. Hi Steve,

    Great question. The first person/teacher/mentor who truly changed the course of my life would be Baba Ram Das (aka Dr. Richard Alpert). He and Timothy Leary conducted unauthorized experiments with psychedelic drugs on students at Harvard in the early ’60’s.

    Later Ram Das gave up drugs, went to India, found a mentor and studied many of the world’s religions and spiritual philosophies. He wrote the book “Be Here Now”. After reading it, I was fortunate enough to study with him personally for 11 months.

    One of his main teachings… non-attachment to material possesions and outcomes (don’t take things personally) still serves me well, but his take on ‘desire as the cause of all human suffering’ has caused conflict and become a limiting factor in my desire for success.

    Thanks for making me think about this Steve.

    Be Well,


    1. Jaroslav,
      Did you follow any of the float tank experiments done by Timothy Leary in the 60’s? Great stuff. He runied his credibility by adding LSD to the experiments, but it was still amazing.

  11. Hi Steve, I would say that Jesus, my mother, teachings received from my pastor, life experiences as a child (not necessarily from one person because I was a foster child), my social worker (she was truly interested in me as a person and not just another case), my children and fast forwarding, you, have been integral in my life. Your free speaking course gave me the information that I needed and has taken me to my next level as a result. I don’t even recall what I was searching for when this information came up and I decided to take the course. Thank you sharing that important information for free. You are helping many people and thank you for helping me.

    1. Beverly,
      Jesus was a great leader. It’s too bad his so many terrible things have been done in his name.
      Thanks for your comments.

  12. I really can not trace back who or what has really impacted my philosophy. There have been many, good and bad. The obvious is my parents, spme their philosophies were good, but for money, not so good. Tony Robbins is probably the most influential in my life, but I cannot say I have adopted his philosphies either. Napoleon Hill would be the other and I am working real hard on his philosophies.

  13. The thing/book that has made the greatest identifiable impact on my thoughts is Scott A. Shane’s “The Illusions of Entrepreneurship: The Costly Myths That Entrepreneurs, Investors, and Policy Makers Live By.” Otherwise it’s difficult to point to individual sources. There have been countless other people and sources who have contributed additional concepts that I’ve captured and repurposed.

  14. Alright Stevie, here ya go.

    Mine was Og Mandino–traced back to 1980. I made miracles happen in my life & I wrote him to tell him so some years after that. He wrote me back and I have his letter framed on my office wall.

    Since February in Orlando of this year, why heck it’s you. And a bit of Bill Gove.

    I watch your every move, man. And I’m gonna spend the rest of my life with a microphone in my hand. One day remind me I said this. If you do, lunch is on me that day. Mmkay?

    Great thought leading on this one my friend. You rock.

    Ken out in ol’ Utah.

  15. Steve,

    Great blog post. Really made me think. So I sat down with paper and pen and listed people in my life who I can hear talking in my head.

    My track coach in high school. Some teachers I had, academic advisors etc.
    After each person I listed helping or hurting. So the ones that are helping I will keep, the hurting ones…….you figure it out.

    Then i listed who do I want to have influence me know. I listed you, Napoleon Hill, Trump, Jefferson, a couple guys from my company who have been good to me.
    So now I am going to reprogram myself with CD’s, pod casts,books etc. so that the person who is my thought leader is the person who I respect and admire and that I want to follow.
    Of course I realized, I need to be my own thought leader. I need to trust myself, and stop looking outside my self for the answers and for approval.

    Way to go Steve, blog was a huge help to me tonight.

    BTW, I’ve been doing 21 Day fat looser, your words about being 100% compliant with my diet are really kicking me in the ass. I think about everything I am eating and if it’s moving toward my goal, or away from my goal.

    You’re the best, thanks Steve.

    Your mental toughness student,

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