These 11 Letters Will Make You Miserable

I always wanted to be more successful

As a kid growing up poor in a rich neighborhood, I read every book I could find about how to be more successful.

And I tried everything those books told me to do. But somehow, things never quite worked out the way they said it would.

Those books often suggested that going after what you want with a full head of steam will make people “bend to your will.” Now I don’t know about you, but I have never found that to be the case.

In nearly every case where I tried that, I ended up burning bridges, alienating people, and certainly NOT getting what I wanted from the situation. And, even if I did “win” or succeed, it was only at the cost of relationships, happiness, peace of mind, and personal health — a “Pyrrhic victory”: a victory won at a staggering cost, which is really no victory at all.

I have often said that during this time in my life, I didn’t merely burn bridges. I blew them up.

The years went by. I kept reading more and more books, doing what “they” said, and trying my darndest to make the information work. But things never seemed to work out the way they said it would.

Finally, one day, I said, “I’ve had it! Maybe it’s not me. Maybe all these $#&% ‘experts’ are wrong!”

So I threw away the books and did something I’d never done before…

I started being myself.

I began saying, “I don’t know” and “Can you help me?”

I began to be more open, more honest, have higher integrity.

I stopped expecting people to be interested in what I was doing…

And instead, took a genuine interest in what THEY were doing.

Then a funny thing happened…

People started to be ATTRACTED to me.

People began to actually WANT to do things for me — without my even asking or expecting them to do so.

I noticed that people started feeling more comfortable around me…

But then something even MORE important began to happen…

For the first time in my life, I started to genuinely enjoy MY OWN COMPANY.

For the first time, I began to find things about me that I actually LIKED.

I began to feel CONFIDENCE — actual, true self-confidence, not the fake or puffed-up kind that I had tried to put on like an ill-fitting suit of clothes.

This had never come close to happening when I was following the advice from all those “experts” that purported to know how to succeed with people.

Then, one day, I finally realized that there was ONE SINGLE DIFFERENCE between what I was now doing, and what “they” had told me to do.

And I realized that that ONE SINGLE DIFFERENCE could be stated in a phrase consisting of just 11 letters.

It was a bright summer morning. I startled awake with the sudden realization that had eluded me all those long, painful, frustrating years….

And it came to me in the form of a question:

“What is the SINGLE reason why a person or business fails?”

As soon as I asked the question, I knew the answer.

And here it is:

“The single reason a person or business FAILS is FOCUS ON SELF.

That is what I had been doing throughout all those arduous years of frustration and non-success: Focusing all of my energies on what I wanted, MY needs, MY wants, and my petty concerns.

Now, let’s be honest: we all want something.

Most of us want things like… More money, a nice house, a comfortable living, friends and family around us, peace of mind, good health, and so on.

Well, think for a moment about what most people are doing to try to fulfill those desires – e.g., get what we want.

What do most of us spend most of our lives doing?

Trying to get everyone else to see things the way WE see them.

In other words, trying to get others to agree with, like, or buy from us, so we can get what we want.


Let me pause for a moment to relate something that one of my mentors once brought to my attention:

People who are 100 times more successful than you are, are NOT 100 times smarter than you. That’s not humanly possible.

People who are 100 times more successful than you are, don’t work 100 times HARDER or 100 times LONGER you do. That’s not possible either.

They aren’t 100 times more EDUCATED; nor, in the vast majority of cases, did they start with 100 times more MONEY than you had when you started.

Therefore, if the single major difference in success is NOT dependent upon those things to which we usually ascribe success, what IS it dependent upon?

The answer is, a change in results can only be dependent upon one thing: A change in STRATEGY. (Meaning: doing something differently than you’re doing right now.)

And – and this is really important – a change in STRATEGY (doing something differently) can only happen because of a change in PERSPECTIVE (that is, you suddenly seeing your situation differently).

That simply means, we human beings cannot and WILL NOT do something differently, until and unless we SEE the situation we’re in, in a different way.

The question, then, is: Will FOCUS ON SELF ever work?

And the answer – which we really already know in our hearts – is…


So, I was left with the question: “Okay, if ‘FOCUS ON SELF’ doesn’t work, then what doeswork?”

“If ‘FOCUS ON SELF’ is the single reason why a person or business fails, then what’s the single reason why a person or business SUCCEEDS?”

That answer also came to me that wonderful summer morning.

Conveniently, that answer is also 11 letters long.

And the answer that came to me was…

“The single reason why a person or business SUCCEEDS is FOCUS OF SELF.

The difference between “Focus ON Self” and “Focus OF Self” is just one tiny letter. And yet, it’s all the difference in the world.

Let me explain…

Each of us has unique gifts, talents, skills, knowledge, and abilities that we’re rarely aware of, use, or appreciate.

If we happen to be one of the fortunate few who are even aware of them, we almost never realize how or that others might find our talents, skills, and abilities of extremely high value.

In short, most of us think we don’t know much, don’t have much, and can’t do much to be of much value to other people.

Is it any wonder why we “Focus ON Self”?

We’re just trying to get some modicum of self-esteem here! (Plus, that’s what those “gurus” have been telling us will work.)

What they never told us, though, is how painful “Focus ON Self” actually is.

They also don’t tell us about Focus OF Self for a number of reasons, which we’ll talk about later.

What’s my point?

You have uniquely special gifts that are just aching to be expressed.

And what’s truly sad is that YOU may not realize how many other people would truly value, welcome, and appreciate receiving the gifts you have to share.

PLUS – and this is the really cool part – there are masses of people who will gladly pay money to receive the gifts you have.

The difference between happiness and unhappiness, between success and failure, between being miserable and being blissful, then, lies in these two simple phrases I’ve just given you, each just 11 letters long.

I hope this information helps you in some way today.

To your freedom,

Yes, it’s true: You CAN live your dreams and you CAN have the time freedom and financial freedom you really want.

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About Noah St. John

NOAH ST. JOHN is the founder of, an international success training company. Noah helps people make money: Since 2009, Noah’s coaching clients have added more than $2 billion dollars in sales using his methods.

As the #1 bestselling author of 14 books published in 18 languages, Noah is the only author in history to have works published by HarperCollins, Hay House, Simon & Schuster, Mindvalley, Nightingale-Conant, and the Chicken Soup for the Soul publisher.

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