The Master Skill


At the request of a couple of people, they wanted me to summarize something I was reading. I have been keeping a notebook for recording thoughts and ideas of this “masterpiece” (no irony intended) upon my second read of the book, and here is an outline of the chapter I was speaking of.

(It was said):

The ability to set goals and make plans for their accomplishment is the master skill of success.”

BT says:

“Success is goals and all else is commentary.”

“Goals are the fuel in the furnace of achievement.”

–Everything mentioned before in the book was intended to bring us to the discussion about goals.

“…The clearing of the mind and the development of a calm, optimistic attitude toward yourself and your possibilities has been essential.”

The SUCCESS MECHANISM can override the failure mechanism—it is triggered by a GOAL!


–Two Requirements of Success–

  1. Decide what you want
  2. Determine the price you are willing to pay to get it—and then resolve to pay that price

The greatest enemy of human achievement: the comfort zone

“All growth, progress, and advancement requires change.”—Goals help control the direction of change

Sow goals —> Reap the results [bi’idhnillah]

“The primary cause of success in life is the ability to set and achieve goals.”

Goals trigger the principles of:

1. Belief

2. Expectation

3. Attraction

4. Correspondence

5. Sub-conconsious activity

6. Concentration

7. Substitution

“You can’t hit a target you can’t see.”


(Seven reasons are listed why people fail to set goals)

“It is impossible to succeed without failure.” (That is, the one who attempts to achieve will (almost) invariably face obstacles and setbacks—the key is to be patient and persistent.)

Vince Lombardi (famous football coach) responded when asked about a recent defeat:

“We didn’t lose; we just ran out of time.” (Maa-shaa’ Allah, that’s a winning attitude!)


1. Congruency: your goals must be in line with your highest values

2. Area of Excellence: find area of excellence and throw your heart into it (find your passion and make it happen–bi’idhnillah!)

3. Acre of Diamonds: don’t overlook the opportunities that are immediately available —Teddy Roosevelt said: “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

4. Balance: Need for a variety of goals in six critical areas of life

A. Mental                                   D. Financial

B. Personal development       E. Material

C. Material                                F. Spiritual

5. Major Purpose: You must have an overarching dominating goal


1. Harmonious: goals should not conflict with each other

2. Challenging: they must stretch you in a way that is not overwhelming (overwhelming goals can cause one to become discouraged [the root of discourage is COURAGE—you must be courageous in seeking your goals and realizing your potential (bi’idhnillah)])

3. Tangible/Quantitative also Intangible/Qualitative

4. Short-Term and Long-Term Goals

–Short-term goals = 90 days

–Long-term goals = 2-3 years

    • (Wow…) Major purpose —> breakdown into 90 day increments—> monthly—> weekly—> daily—> hourly

“The ideal life is focused, purposeful, positive, and organized, so that you are moving toward goals that are important to you every hour of the day. You always know what you are doing and why.”

“Your self-esteem increases as you progress toward your goals.”


1. What are your five most important values in life?

2. What are your three most important goals?

3. If you had six months to live, what you do?

4. If you were given a million dollars tomorrow, what would you do?

5. What have you been afraid to attempt?

6. What thing gives you the greatest satisfaction?

7. What great thing would you attempt?


It is important to be involved in continuous goal-setting—the habit of continuous goal-setting soon becomes a positive addiction

You must overcome inertia and the tendency to fall back into the comfort zone—KEEP UP THE MOMENTUM!!!

Character: “The ability to carry through on a resolution after the mood in which the resolution is made has past.”


“You come and become [bi’idhnillah] what you think about.”

1. Develop desire—intense, burning desire

2. Develop belief (that is, self-confidence/God-reliance)

3. Write it down!!!

4. Benefits of attaining your goals (think of the results—this will infuse you with burning desire)

5. Analyze your starting point

6. Set a deadline

7. Make a list of potential obstacles

8. What additional info is needed

9. List all the people whose help you will need

10. Make a plan

11. Use visualization (imagine the goal achieved beforehand)

12. Persistence: make the decision in advance that you will never give up


“A body in motion tends to remain in motion.”

“Nothing succeeds like success. You must develop the success habit by doing every single day something to move you toward your goals. Review them every morning and think about them every day. Always be looking for something you can do to contribute to their achievement.”

—“Become a perpetual-motion, goal-setting, and goal-achieving individual”—



When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill.
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh.

When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
Life is odd with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns.

And many a fellow turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow,
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man.
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor’s cup.

And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt.

And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar.
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit,
It’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit.

Goal-setting activates a Positive Mental Attitude (PMA), releases ‘creativity,’ various mental principle converge, and one’s consciousness begins to function far more efficiently (bi’idhnillah)

This du`aa' is reported to have been the one most commonly said by the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wasallam): Rabbanaa aatinaa fid-dunya Hasanah, wa fil- ‘aakhirati Hasanah, wa qinaa `adhaban-nar, which means: “O our Lord, grant us in this life and in the Hereafter the good, and protect us from the torture of the Hellfire”.

This du`aa’ is reported to have been the one most commonly said by the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wasallam): Rabbanaa aatinaa fid-dunya Hasanah, wa fil- ‘aakhirati Hasanah, wa qinaa `adhaban-nar, which means: “O our Lord, grant us in this life and in the Hereafter the good, and protect us from the torture of the Hellfire”.

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2 Responses to The Master Skill

  1. m says:

    What book are you reading? 🙂

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