The Tools You Need to Put a Dent in the Universe
Steve Jobs famously said, “We’re here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise why else even be here?” Not only is this an incredibly inspirational quote, it is also completely true. You are not here to have the universe slap you around, you need to put a dent in it. You need to carve out a place for yourself and your dreams. The universe and other people need your ideas and for you to make an impact.
Most people who try to put a dent in the universe fail. Why is that? Did they not want it enough? Did they not try hard enough? Maybe. But, more likely than not they did not have the right tools for the job. After all, putting a dent in the universe is no simple task.
Right now you probably do not have the right tools either. You might not even know where to get them. Luckily, that can be fixed.
The Tools You Need
Perhaps the most overlooked tool for putting a dent in the universe is the tool of persuasion. Understanding persuasion will not only give you a leg up when it comes to negotiating and interpersonal interaction, it will also help you in other important ways.
One of the most important things understanding persuasion will do is help you to predict the future. If you understand persuasion and can pick out persuasive people, you will be able to see where the “puck is going to be, not… where it has been,” as Wayne Gretzsky once famously quipped.
Experts in persuasion were actually able to predict that Trump would win the election. They were able to predict this because, love him or hate him, Donald Trump himself is an extremely persuasive figure. Those that were able to pick up on this fact knew he was going to crush the competition which was filled with candidates who had very little to no persuasion skills.
Persuasion can also help you sell big ideas. Most people who try to sell big ideas do not have any persuasion skills. They achieve little success. A persuasive person will not only see their big ideas but they will also energize the people around them. Steve Jobs is a great example of this. He was able to sell people on the idea of mixing aesthetics and technology. Jobs not only sold the idea but he built a team around him that had passion for the idea. Jobs was able to motivate people who helped him grow his dream into a reality.
To get started adding this tool to your toolkit, you will need to get Robert Cialdini’s book, “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.” Also, study the way persuasive people behave like Steve Jobs, Donald Trump, Tony Robbins, Warren Buffett, Les Brown, and Mark Cuban. Try to emulate these people. Study them before, after, and during you time reading about persuasion. Try to pick out the things you are learning in the way these persuasive people behave. Then emulate these people.
Also try to pick out the persuasive people you already know. Then, get more books, read more, emulate more, repeat.
The next tool you will need to have in your toolbox is the skill of public speaking. You will need to have this tool whether you plan on speaking in public or not. This will not only help you to build up your persuasion skills, but will also help you to become better at interacting and communicating with others in general.
Warren Buffett, one of the best public speakers alive today, said he was once terrified of speaking in public. He saw an ad in the paper for a Dale Carnegie course for helping people to become better public speakers. He took the course and went from being scared to speak in public to being a public speaking master. Buffett said, “If I hadn’t done that, my whole life would have been different.” That’s quite a testament to mastering public speaking.
There are still Dale Carnegie courses available. Toastmasters is also another great way to grow your public speaking skills. There are also many great books on public speaking. However, you have to practice speaking in public to get better. If you are not practicing speaking in public, you are not adding this tool to your toolbox and you are decreasing your chances of putting a dent in the universe.
Having mentors is another extremely important tool. If you know people who have already put a dent in the universe, so much the better. If you do not, start looking for them.
Mentors can come in all shapes and sizes. Listen to the people around you and learn from them. Everyone has something to offer. Take the good and throw out the bad. Not everyone is full of good advice and might have only one important thing to say to you.
Mentors can also come in the form of books. Reading autobiographies of successful people is just like having a personal mentor that you can visit whenever you want. Just like listening to people, learn to throw away the bad ideas and keep the good ones.
Cultivate your ability to know the difference between good and bad ideas you receive from your mentors. This is even more important than finding the right mentor. In fact, good mentors can lead you down a bad path if you end up taking mostly bad ideas from them.
Also, start making a list of the things you are learning from your mentors. Examine those ideas. Make changes and modify them along the way. Again, throw out the bad and keep the good.
Starting Making A Dent
Equipped with just these three tools, you will already be able to start making a dent in the universe. If you put these tools in your toolbox and use them effectively, you will eventually make a large enough dent for others to notice. You will even start attracting people towards you asking you how you are able to do the things you do. You will be surprised at how having these tools will benefit you and those around you. Imagination and creativity is the only limit to what these tools are capable of and just how big of a dent you can make.