Tattoo—Yes, Tattoo—Your Brain for Success

The other day, I got an email from Robin Sharma, a guy selling online success courses. In it, he talked about something he calls “brain tattoos.” Once I got by the painful imagery of a brain tattoo, I decided that I really like this concept. Robin defines brain tattoos as “deep beliefs” that you reflect on daily, write about in your journal and talk about consistently.

He lists four brain tattoos that he says create exceptional results for students in his online courses:

  • No idea works unless you do the work.
  • All change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end.
  • The best way to get respect is to give respect.
  • To have what few have, do what few do.

These are all pretty good ideas when it comes to building a successful career. But they may not be the best brain tattoos for you. So how do you figure out the most important brain tattoos that will result in a successful pharma marketing career for you?

Start with what’s important to you in your life. Look deep inside. These principles will become your anchor—guides to decision making in ambiguous situations. They should be solid, unshakeable principals—they will guide your life and your decision making. They should be fad-proof; ideas on which you can rely in the long run.

If you read this column with any regularity, you know that helping people create the life and career success they deserve is really important to me. It’s so important to me that I have done extensive study and research on success. This study and research led me to define four steps for career success:

1. Get clear on your personal definition of career success.

2. Get committed to doing whatever you have to do to achieve that success.

3. Get confident in your ability to do what you need to do to achieve success.

4. Get competent. Develop the necessary skills for success.

These are my brain tattoos: Clarity, Commitment, Confidence and Competence. I value them. I think about them, write about them and talk about them daily. They are deeply ingrained in my being. They guide my daily behavior.

If you think about what’s important to you—break it down into three to five simple ideas—write about it in your journal and speak about it constantly, it will become a part of your life.

But you can’t do this once—you have to work at it. A study by Phillippa Lally at University College London found that on average, it takes 66 days to create a new habit. That means that you need to do all of the above for at least 66 days for it to become a part of your deepest beliefs.

So get to it. Figure out what your personal brain tattoos need to be. Then tattoo them onto your brain by thinking, writing and talking about them every

  • Bud Bilanich

    Bud Bilanich, The Common Sense Guy, is a success coach, motivational speaker, author and blogger. He is a faculty member at the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver where he teaches courses in Organizational Dynamics and Human Capital Management. Bud has written five books on career and life success, which are the basis of his Common Sense Success System.


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