I REMEMBER TURNING 9. MY DAD MADE A BIG DEAL ABOUT THAT BEING THE LAST YEAR I’D BE IN ‘SINGLE DIGITS’ AND I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW WHAT THAT MEANT. I MEAN, WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL ABOUT BEING ONE LESS THAN 10?

And I remember the first time I started making $9 hour at Kroger Grocery Stores as a teenager. It came after a year of making $6.50 an hour and my determination to make assistant manager pay. When it came, I felt I had hit the big time. I also remember my 9th anniversary, wondering what grand surprises I would do for the big 10th anniversary. That was a lot of pressure. But I’ll never forget sneaking a baby grand piano into our empty formal room in our first home while Marlo and I were out for the afternoon. I couldn’t wait to get home to see how long it took her to find that little surprise. It took about three hours before she finally walked by that room and exclaimed, “Oh my gosh?!” That was a good day.

For some reason there has been something ‘big’ about the number 9 in my life that spurs me on to accomplishment before I hit 10. It can be as simple as pushing myself to knock off as many daily to-do’s before 10:00 AM, trying to swish 9 of 10 free-throws in my driveway with Keaton, or trying to focus on my slowly improving lefty golf-game and stay only 9 over par. Goals, baby.

This little rule of 9 has taught me the subtlety of thought and the power of suggestion. I found that when I start thinking and saying what I really want then my mind actually pulls me in that direction. And sometimes it can be that simple, just a little twist in vocabulary that illustrates my attitude and philosophy.

My thought shifts also affect how others perform and behave around me. My son says, “I need $10.” I’ve learned to smile and say, “No comprende. That kind of thinking doesn’t work here. We’ve got plenty of money, but that’s not how you get $10.” Then he remembers to ask, “How can I earn $10?”

There is power in attitude and words. There is abundance available to all who learn the magic words to get them, if you just learn the philosophy—How can I earn $10?

Jim Rohn writes, “You can’t go to the soil and say, “Give me a harvest.” You know the soil smiles and says, “Who is this clown that brings me his need and brings me no seed.” And if you said to the soil, “I’ve got this seed and if I planted and watered it, would you work while I sleep?” Then the soil says, “No problem. Give me the seed. Go to sleep and I’ll be working while you’re sleeping.”

It’s important to understand these simple principles, and sometimes just a matter of language. It’s like an investment account instead of a savings account. Simple language, but so important. If you think of what you can accomplish in the 9 0’clock hour then perhaps you won’t have to put up with all the lack and all the challenges that don’t work out simply from not reading that book, not listening to that tape, not sitting in the class, not studying your language and not being willing to search so you can then find.

But here is the great news. You can change your life, your behavior, your overall attitude in an hour a day. I love the magic of the 9 0’clock hour in the morning and evening. It’s when I try to get things done at work and then for myself personally. It might be a different hour for you, but pick an hour and focus on it—focus on self improvement and accomplishment during that time. Go on an intensive, accelerated personal development curve, learning curve, application curve, and learning the disciplines. I’m telling you, the same changes and the same rewards in some different fashion are available for those who pay the daily price. And you might find that whether it’s in the beginning to help get you started, or in the middle to keep you on track, that your language can have a great impact on your attitude, actions and results. Remember, it’s 9 0’clock somewhere.

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John is the Editor in Chief of Healthy Magazine. With a love of life, learning and laughter, John revels in the world of creativity, concepts and design. Guess that's what you'd expect from an English Major-MBA with a Master of Health Organization Management—forever the student.

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