How to Make the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life


Author: Brian Tracy
Pub Date: January 2009
Print Edition: $14.95
Print ISBN: 9780814437544
Page Count: 224
Format: Paper or Softback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814413470

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Your World in Transition

‘‘Wherever we are, it is but a stage on the way to

somewhere else, and whatever we do, however well we

do it, it is only a preparation to do something else that

shall be different.’’



The future may be uncertain, but as you read this

book, one thing I can assure you of is that the rest of your

life is going to be the best of your life. Whatever you have

accomplished up to now is merely a shadow of what you

will be able to achieve in the exciting months and years

ahead. Understand and take comfort in knowing that whatever

changes are taking place in your life today, they are

part of a larger plan to lead you onward and upward to fulfilling

your potential.

ALBERT EINSTEIN was teaching at Princeton University and

had just administered an exam to an advanced class of physics

students. On the way back to his office, the teaching assistant

carrying the exams asked him, ‘‘Dr. Einstein, wasn’t

this the same exam that you gave to this same class last


Dr. Einstein responded, ‘‘Yes, it was.’’

The teaching assistant, in awe of perhaps the greatest

physicist of the twentieth century, then asked, ‘‘Excuse me

for asking, Dr. Einstein. But how could you give the same

exam to the same class two years in a row?’’

Einstein replied simply, ‘‘The answers have changed.’’

At that time, in the world of physics, with new

breakthroughs and discoveries, the answers were changing

at such a rapid rate that the same exam could be given two

years in a row and have different answers.

How does this relate to you? The answers in your

own life are changing more rapidly today than ever before.

If someone were to ask, ‘‘What was your biggest problem

or goal a year ago?’’ you probably wouldn’t even know the

answer. The answers have changed so completely.

Researchers at Harvard University once made three

predictions about the future. First, they said, there will be

more change in the coming year than ever before. Second,

there will be more competition in the coming year than ever

before. And third, there will be more opportunities in the

coming year in your field, whatever it is, than ever before.

But the opportunities will be different than the opportunities

and activities of today.

Those Harvard researchers made these predictions

in 1952. They are as true today as they were then. And

today, once again, the answers have changed.

Here is another prediction: Within the next two

years, 72 percent of people working today will be in different

jobs in the same or different companies and have different

responsibilities requiring different talents and skills to

achieve different results. And those people who fail to respond

to the challenges of change will be most affected by


Because of our fast-moving society, almost everyone

is in a state of transition in one or more areas of life all the

time. This rapid rate of change is inevitable, unavoidable,

and unstoppable. Knowing how to deal with change effectively

is a primary requirement for living successfully in

perhaps the most exciting time in all of human history.


Perhaps the most common form of change is the loss or

change of a job. Because of the dynamism of the American

economy, fully 20 million jobs are lost or restructured each

year. The good news is that 22 million more jobs are created

each year as well.

No matter how many hundreds of thousands of new

workers flood into the job market each year, the economy

continues to create opportunities for them. According to the

Department of Labor, there are now more than 100,000 job

categories in the United States and many subcategories

within that number.

You could be in transition today because of a career

change. After all, the average person starting work today

will have an average of 11 full-time jobs lasting two years or

more, and five or more multiyear careers in different fields.

It is quite common for people to move from one industry

to another and from one part of the country to another,

to enter a new job. Many people are changing their

professions completely. Perhaps the fun or thrill of a particular

job, career, or profession has gone and the individual

decides to make a major change. Often, because of changing

economic conditions, consumer tastes, and national or international

competition, entire industries are downsized or

eliminated. The demand for people within a particular job

classification or career may decline or even disappear within

a few short years.



At the beginning of the twentieth century, buggy manufacturing

and horse care were major industries employing hundreds

of thousands of people. When the automobile was

first invented, it was seen as a passing fad. But within a few

years, the horse and buggy, and all the jobs associated with

those industries, faded into history. Meanwhile, hundreds

of thousands—and eventually millions—of new jobs were

created in the automobile manufacturing and parts indus-

tries. Those jobs were cleaner, higher paying, and offered

greater opportunities for advancement and higher standards

of living than ever before.

In 1990, one of the largest workforces in America

was bank employees. But with the dawn of the computer

and Internet age, and the advent of the ATM, fewer and

fewer bank employees were required. Millions were laid off

and made available to work at more interesting, higher-paying

jobs in other industries.

During the real estate boom of 2004–2007, hundreds

of thousands of people poured into the real estate, mortgage,

and title insurance businesses, many of them earning a lot

of money in a short amount of time.

But as always happens, the economy changed. The

number of attractive long-term jobs full of opportunities to

earn high incomes declined precipitously, leaving many

people shaking their heads, worse off than before, and wondering

what had happened.


Many people go through dramatic changes in the different

stages of family formation. Getting married, especially for

the first time, requires a major shift in priorities in many

areas of life. Getting divorced, especially when children are

involved, can require another major set of transitions. The

death of a spouse, unexpected or not, often requires that a

person change many other aspects of his or her life.

The birth of children and the entry into family life

requires a transition as well. At each stage of a child’s

growth and development, parents have to adjust and adapt

to new pressures and responsibilities. Later in life, when

children grow up and leave home, even more transitions are

necessary. Sometimes, empty nesters decide that this is an

opportunity to change their lives completely, and they do.

Throughout your life, financial changes—especially

reversals and even bankruptcy—can require you to change

your life in major and minor ways. Sometimes, a major financial

loss will require you to completely reevaluate almost

every other part of your life.

The rate of change, driven by information explosion,

new technologies, and competition of all kinds, is not going

to slow down. Knowledge, technology, and competition

seem to multiply, increasing the speed of change to almost

breathtaking levels.

To ensure that your life stays on a trajectory of increasing

success, your goal should be to become a master of

change rather than a victim of change. Use these unavoidable

and inevitable transition periods in your life to step

back and reinvent yourself for the months and years ahead.


One characteristic of the most successful and happy people

is that they are intensely future-oriented. They think about

the future most of the time. They refuse to dwell on what

has happened and things that cannot be changed. Instead

they focus on factors that are under their control and actions

they can take to create the kind of future they desire.

Future-oriented people have a special attitude. They

believe that their happiest moments and most satisfying experiences

lie in the future, waiting to be created or enjoyed.

They look forward to the future like a child looks forward

to Christmas: ‘‘I can hardly wait!’’

We are living in the very best time in all of human

history. It has never been more possible for more people to

earn more money, enjoy higher standards of living, and live

longer, healthier lives than it is today. And if anything,

these conditions will only improve in the years ahead.

The average life span in America today is about 80

years. As people become more knowledgeable and sensible

about health habits, diet, nutrition, and exercise, they can

comfortably expect to beat the averages and live to be 90 or

even 100 years old in good health.

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