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The Art of Living Paperback – December 29, 2015
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About the Author
A speaker, author, consultant, coach, and mentor, Bob Proctor was already a legendary figure in the world of personal development long before his appearance in the hit film The Secret. For more than forty years, Proctor has been one of the biggest names in prosperity and personal development, delivering talks throughout the world that help people achieve success and prosperity. Through his work with the Proctor Gallagher Institute, which he cofounded, he has transformed countless lives with his message of prosperity.
Sandy Gallagher—as an esteemed attorney with a successful career in banking law—regularly handled billions of dollars in merger and acquisitions, IPOs, and other big-ticket transactions, and was an adviser to boards and top executives of Fortune 500 firms. Yet an encounter with Bob Proctor set Sandy on an extraordinary new path—one that would ultimately change nor only her life, but the lives of countless others. Today, as the cofounder, CEO, and president of the Proctor Gallagher Institute, Sandy shares international speaking stages with Bob and works closely with him and their team of professionals to provide coaching, training, and consulting on the most profound, powerful, and transformative concepts and strategies humankind has ever known.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
As far as I know, Bob Proctor is the only person who has been studying personal development every day for more than half a century. His work conveys the most valuable kind of information—how to get out of your own way so you can have a happy, healthy and massively wealthy life. He has done phenomenal work around the world, helping millions of people and countless organizations reach their biggest goals.
Bob is the last living teacher with a direct link to the great lineage of Andrew Carnegie, Napoleon Hill and Earl Nightingale. There is no one on the planet like this man and his life-transforming teachings. And he doesn’t just teach it, he lives it! Bob is in his early eighties and he has more energy and enthusiasm for life than anyone I know. He acts like he is just getting started as his life’s mission continues to be what it has been for the past fifty-plus years—to help as many people as possible master the art of living with no limits.
The most extraordinary aspect of Bob Proctor and his teachings is that he is a true conscious competent. In other words, he does extremely well, and he is consciously aware of why he does extremely well so he can share it with others in a way they can immediately put to use. It took him nine and a half years of serious searching, working with great mentors, teachers and books, to find out how and why his life changed. When he realized the truth of what had happened, all he wanted to do was teach it to others. To his amazement he found that almost all highly successful people are unable to articulate why they are so successful. They or their superiors satisfy themselves with the idea they are smart or have a good education or had good teachers. But there are a lot of smart people who had a great education and had smart teachers who are not doing well at all. When a person is highly successful in an endeavor and they cannot articulate why they are, they have something very powerful going for them that they are unable to give to another. Proctor is not only successful, he knows why he is and therefore he has the most valuable kind of information and it is transferable.
Bob Proctor truly believes we are all God’s highest form of creation, that we have been blessed with magnificent mental faculties, and that the only thing missing is what wise King Solomon urged us to develop, and that is our understanding. We must understand who we are, why we are doing what we are doing and how to change what we are doing if we are not satisfied with our results. Proctor is a master at teaching just that.
I am grateful for the invaluable contribution he has made to my life. His teachings have empowered me to find my purpose and have the courage to pursue it. I feel incredibly privileged to be his friend, and I am so grateful to be his business partner at our company, the Proctor Gallagher Institute.
The lessons that you require to achieve any result you want are locked up between the covers of this book. What he shares is truly the art of living. As you turn the page imagine that you are walking right into one of Bob Proctor’s classes.
WHATEVER IT IS, YOU CAN GET IT
Reclaiming the Power of Your Mind
I was on a coaching call yesterday, and at one point I said, “You know, one hundred years from now, maybe even sooner than that, people are going to look back and consider what we do with children to be a criminal activity. They really will. It will be a criminal activity!”
Stop and think of the freedom a child has when he is small, just a little tiny baby. His imagination takes him wherever he wants to go. Children live in a phenomenal world where they can do anything they want. They can become pilots; they can be tightrope walkers; they can walk straight across Niagara Falls and have no problem at all. It’s done right there in their marvelous mind.
Then we send kids to school and that fantastic creative process is suddenly a bad thing. The child’s imagination is called “not paying attention.” Drifting off into the glorious realm of the imagination for a few moments elicits a swift “What are you doing?!” from a teacher. It’s a punishable offense! And those punishments are very effective. You beat a little kid up a couple of times for doing something and guess what? They’ll stop doing it. So instead of being praised and encouraged to develop their imagination—an incredible mental faculty—they’re made to virtually shut it down completely.
The late Stella Adler, a fantastic acting coach, said, “Grownups take the life out of things. It’s better to make things up, to use the imagination, than to kill them.” I couldn’t agree more.
So now, here we are as adults, paying thousands of dollars, taking days off work or away from home, just to learn how to use our imagination again. But we have to. We have to all get back to a place of being able to access that phenomenal power because everything made by man that you see is nothing but the physical manifestation of somebody’s imagination. That’s what everything in your field of view inside this room right now is.
I used to have an office on Bayview Avenue in Toronto. We had a cleaning business where we cleaned offices. That’s how I started washing floors. One day I thought, We should get a car phone! So we got a car phone and we put a supervisor on the road, and he would go around supervising all the cleaners, and I could get him on the phone. We had to mount ski racks on the top of his car to hold the aerial up so that we might be able to get him because there were only half a dozen channels on the phone and it didn’t work very well. Today, of course, there are millions of lines open—millions. We all have one. And we can communicate with another person on their frequency. How did this happen? Someone imagined it, that’s how.
If I took your picture right now, I could send it to anyone anywhere in the world. All I have to do is hit send and bang!, it is immediately 100 percent present in all places at the same time. If you were in São Paulo, you’d get the picture. If you were in San Francisco, you’d get the picture. If you were in Shanghai, you’d get the picture. If you were in Chicago, you’d get the picture. Why? Because the picture is everywhere. The only thing that makes it materialize is something that resonates with it: your number. Boom!, you’ve got it!
A thought is just the same as that picture. The only thing that stops a thought is that which resonates with the thought.
We can communicate telepathically with anyone, anywhere in the world, and we’re doing it all the time. We just don’t know what we’re doing. Why? Because nobody taught us what we’re doing, and so we grow up ignorant.
Think about this. When a little squirrel is born, nobody has to fend for it. That little squirrel runs up and down trees right away. It will look for nuts. It’ll find something. It feeds itself. A little human baby, on the other hand, will die if you don’t look after him or her. You see, the little squirrel operates by instinct, which is perfect. The squirrel is totally at home in its environment. We are totally disoriented in ours. Why? Because even though we’ve been given the mental faculty to create our own environment, we don’t do it. Why don’t we do it? Because we’re told, “That’s silly” . . . “Grow up!” . . . “That’s not realistic!” . . . “Who do you think you are?” . . . all that jazz.
So here we’ve got human beings, with marvelous minds, and they’re struggling, thinking they are stuck with the conditions or circumstances they’re surrounded by. I’d like to do it but I can’t because . . . Whatever follows “because” is the circumstance, and they become subservient to the circumstance. The circumstance becomes their version of God . . . and they do what their perception of the circumstance dictates. They don’t even try to come up with a better way.
You’re here to learn how to create multiple sources of income so that you can have financial freedom. Now I know you may be thinking, Oh, I couldn’t do that. Why couldn’t you do that? Because I’ve never done that. Can you imagine if you didn’t learn to do things that you’d never done? You’d still be lying in your crib, playing with your toes. You would!
But you had to get up and put one foot in front of the other. You had to be taught to do that. They’d hold your hand—“He took a step on his own! Did you see that? He took a step on his own! He’s walking! Oh, he just fell over. Oh, he’s hurt himself!” You tottered, you stumbled, and it took you some time. But sure enough, you learned to walk.
Whatever “it” is, you can do it. You simply have to learn how.
I once read that the Wright brothers’ father, who was a bishop in a reform church, told them they were going to burn in hell for suggesting they could fly; that if God had intended us to fly, we’d have wings.
Of course, that was believed for centuries. It was also believed that the world was flat. We really bought into it, we really believed it—and not that long ago! According to the prevailing wisdom of the time, how could the world possibly be round?! How would you live on the side?! Forget the bottom. And when you watched a ship disappear, it looked like it fell off! See, logic dictated that the world couldn’t possibly be round, so that’s what was believed.
Do you suppose that people were thinking when they bought into that idea? Do you think they were using their marvelous imagination when they insisted that we couldn’t fly? I don’t think so.
Earl Nightingale was a mentor of mine, and I learned so much from him. I remember him saying, “If most people said what they were thinking, they would be speechless.”
You’ll find people competing with people. There’s somebody they don’t even like and they’re competing. “I’m going to beat her!” What for? Why would you spend any time thinking of her? She’s not even a nice person. Why would you spend any time thinking about that person? And if you’re going to think about her, just see the good qualities in her. Because if you don’t, you’re putting yourself in a bad vibration.
A lot of people are nervous when meeting me. I find that amusing. I remember one time, years ago, I was working at a convention for Metropolitan Life in Toronto. There were many people at this convention. I saw this one guy—he would walk toward me and then he’d go away, walk toward me, go away. He was nervous about meeting me. It was fairly obvious.
Finally, his manager brought him over and said, “Bob, I want you to meet Harry.” The guy’s hand was soaking wet. He was shaking. The manager said, “He’s nervous meeting you.” I started laughing, then I quickly said, “I’m not laughing at you, but if I said I was nervous meeting you, wouldn’t you think that was funny? I mean, why would anyone be nervous meeting me? I know you think, Why would anyone be nervous meeting me? You’d think that. So do I.”
Why would we do that? Why would we let another person’s presence, a person we don’t even know, intimidate us? Why would we feel like we are less than he or she is? Why would we shrink mentally? We have to be trained to do that. We weren’t born with that.
But listen: We’re big boys and girls now. We have the ability to think. So let’s start thinking of what we really want to do. Let’s get rid of the idea of what we have to do. You don’t have to do anything. You’ll say, “Well, you have to breathe.” No, you could put a plastic bag over your head and finish it. You could. “Well, you have to pay taxes.” No, you don’t. You don’t! You could go to jail or go to a tax-free zone. You don’t have to pay taxes. You don’t have to do anything.
You know what we’ve got to get straight in our head? We choose to do everything we do.
Viktor Frankl, the Viennese Jewish psychiatrist who was sent to a German concentration camp during the Second World War, wrote a book called Man’s Search for Meaning. Quite a good book. In it, he said that regardless of the intellectual or psychological abuse he was subjected to in the camp, no one could cause him to think something he didn’t want to think.
The same is true of your actions. We choose to do everything that we do. “She made me do it!” Oh no, no, no, no, no. She didn’t make you do it. There might have been a little war if you’d decided not to do it. The alternative might have been uncomfortable. But she didn’t make you do it—you chose to. We’ve got to take responsibility for what we’re doing. We’ve got to take responsibility for our life!
Here’s the point: When you go to do something that you have never done, there are going to be all kinds of crazy things going on inside of you. There’s going to be that little voice inside that talks to you and says, “Who do you think you are? You can’t do that. You couldn’t possibly be there at nine a.m.! You’ve got to be here at nine, you’ve got to do this.” And that little voice inside frequently wins the conversation. It turns into a battle, and more often than not, that little voice inside wins it.
So when a person doesn’t make the call, they don’t ask anyone to buy the $100,000 policy. Then down the road they say, “Well, it wouldn’t have worked, anyway. That’s not going to make a difference. Some people can’t afford that!”
Nonsense. People can afford whatever they want. If you go home and go through your house, you’ll see it’s full of stuff you don’t need. You bought it because you wanted it. And when you really want something, you will always get whatever is required to have it . . . always. That is an absolute law of your being. When you make a decision, you flip your brain onto a different frequency. You begin to attract whatever is on that frequency. Now if you understand this, it makes everything a little easier. It makes it a lot better. If you don’t understand it, it becomes fairly difficult. So we’re going to try and understand it.
To do that I think it would be helpful for you to know where I come from. I want to share with you how this all started.
DO EXACTLY WHAT I TELL YOU TO DO
The Infallible Recipe for Success
There’s a book I love—absolutely love—called Think and Grow Rich. It’s by Napoleon Hill. This book had a huge impact on the direction my life took. I started reading it in 1961, and everything in my life started to change. And I’ve never stopped reading it. It’s not that I’m such a slow reader, it’s that there’s so much in this book.
How it came into my life is quite a story. All these years later, it still amazes me.
At the time, I was working for the East York Fire Department, in the East York suburb of Toronto. It was the best job that I ever had, up to that point. I really shouldn’t have been there. I should not have gotten that job. There were hundreds, maybe even a few thousand people who applied for that job. There’s a certain element of society who all want to be firemen or police officers because firemen and police officers earn a little bit better than factory workers or waiters. I always thought being a fireman was better than being a police officer because we got to go to bed when we were on duty at night and the police officers couldn’t.
Anyway, there was an advertisement in the newspaper—they were going to hire twenty-one firemen in East York. We had just moved to East York. I grew up in the Beaches area of Toronto, and I thought, Wow, that would be something.
At the time, I was working at a gas station. I would change tires, change oil, lubricate cars, wash cars . . . I was doing it for a dollar an hour, forty-eight hours a week, six days a week. One week a month I worked seven days, so I got three days off a month, and I was earning about $50 a week.
There was a magistrate who lived two doors up from my mother: Magistrate Lynn. I did not know him. I didn’t know what the man looked like. But I knew he was a magistrate. So I went and knocked on his door, and I said, “You don’t know me, sir, but my mother lives a couple doors from here. They’re hiring firemen here in East York and I was going to put in an application, and I wonder if there’s anything you could do to help me.”
I think he was impressed that I asked him. “Oh,” he said, “Come on in, son.” He got on the phone, called the mayor and said, “I’ve got a young guy here who I’d sort of like to get on the fire department.” And whoosh—I was on the fire department!
Now, you had to weigh 160 pounds. I had never weighed 160 pounds in my life. I was going to a gym, trying to put on weight, because I knew I had to have a physical. I was drinking Weight On—concentrated fat—attempting to gain weight, and I had to drink orange juice with it so I wouldn’t gag. I was trying desperately to put weight on, but I still weighed 135 pounds!
So off I go for my physical in the township office and this old doctor said, “So you’re going to be a fireman, are you, son?”
And I said, “Yes sir, yes sir.”
He said, “Well, go over there and weigh yourself.”
I got on the scale and he asked, “What’s it say?”
I say, “160 pounds.”
He stopped for a second and then he said, “Well, we’ll leave it at that,” and wrote it down. And there I was, on the fire department!
I worked seven days and seven nights a month. When you got on the night shift you’d go in the kitchen, make something to eat, maybe make a cup of tea, watch some TV, and when it got late, you’d make your bed and go to sleep. It was a real imposition if someone started a fire in the middle of the night and you had to get up and go put it out!
No one had ever quit that job. Not one person had quit since 1934. I’d go to sleep at night, get up in the morning from the firehouse, go and play golf. Go and shoot pool. I had doubled my income, and I hardly had to work! I was virtually retired. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.
Then one day, I was sitting in the kitchen and a man who lived near the firehouse, whose name was Ray Stanford, came up and sat down with his cup of coffee. Ray was an incredible man who spent most of his time trying to wake people up.
Ray asked, “Bob, what would you rather be doing?”
I said, “I wouldn’t rather be doing anything than what I’m doing, I love it here! Why wouldn’t I like it?”
But Ray knew something that I didn’t know. He knew that my past wasn’t who I was. He knew that my report cards weren’t who I was. He knew that the results that I was getting in my paycheck weren’t who I really was.
He asked, “What do you really want?”
I said, “I want some money.”
Money really was all I wanted then. You see, I was earning $4,000 a year, but I owed $6,000. If I took everything I earned for eighteen months to pay off my debt, with nothing left to live on, I would have just broken even.
Ray pulled a wad of cash out of his pocket and said, “This stuff can’t talk but it can hear, and if you call it, it will come. How much do you want?”
Top customer reviews
Not only has he impacted countless millions with his work over the course of his career, but he continues to do the same well into the later stages of life.
There's myriad of lessons that I could talk about and pull from this book. However the one that stands out to me is how living truly is an art and you are the creator, the master, and the architect from the day you arrive until the day you leave this world.
Bob is an example to us all old and young that life is meant to be lived to the fullest. That said do yourself a favor and grab a copy. Then, be sure to pick up some of his other work that literally will transform the trajectory of your life.
And don't forget to leave your own review after you grab your own copy. ;-)
- Kyle, Digital Conversion Labs Founder & Chief Experiment Officer
He is on a mission to help you become a better person, and the Art of Living does a fantastic job at helping you on your way.
What I liked most was that it wasn't just about getting rich, though it'll certainly help. But it's about being a better human being in every aspect of your life.
Of course I love how he clarified things he mentioned in the secret, and how the Law of Attraction is really secondary to the Law of Vibration! And what in the world that means for us.
Bob is truly a master, and the last remaining direct line of teachers from Andrew Carnegie, Napoleon hill and Earl Nightingale. I can't recommend it enough, to me it's a must-read, and re-read, and re-re-read book. What a primer for life!