News Ticker

BBH Feature: The Surprising Way to Finally Reach the Next Level


The Economics Professor’s Strange Test

I want to start today with a great story that I came across that Zig Ziglar once shared. It’s all about a strange test that a college professor once gave.

It was strange because, even though the student’s didn’t know it, the test wasn’t testing their knowledge. It was testing something even more important.

zig ziglar quotes

Listen to how Zig tells the story and you’ll see what he was testing…

“In a major university a professor of economics gave a test to his class. The test had several sections of questions, each of which contained three categories. He instructed the students to choose one question from one of the sections.

  • The first category in each section was the hardest and was worth 50 points.
  • The second category was not quite as hard and worth 40 points.
  • The third category, the easiest, was worth only 30 points.

“When the students had taken the test and turned in the papers, the students who had chosen the hardest questions, or the 50-point questions, were given As.

“The students who had chosen the 40-point questions were given Bs, and those who chose the 30-point questions, or the easiest questions, were given Cs.

“Whether or not their answers were correct was not considered. Understandably, the students were confused and asked the professor how he had graded the exam.

“The professor leaned back and with a smile explained, I wasn’t testing your knowledge. I was testing your aim.‘”


Many of us think that the reason we haven’t reached a certain level in life (or our business hasn’t achieved a certain level) is because we lack some knowledge.

But what if it’s not knowledge that we’re lacking?

All People Dream, But Not Equally

T.E. Lawrence

It was T.E. Lawrence who once said…

“All men dream but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds awake to the day to find it was all vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for the many act out their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible…”

Do you still think it’s knowledge that you’re lacking? 🙂

Maybe it’s because the goals you aim for and attempt are the “30 points” goals.
Maybe it’s because your dreaming is too tame and your only dream at night.

The Magic of Thinking Big

The Magic of Thinking Big

I don’t know if you’ve ever of it before, but there’s a book called “The Magic Of Thinking Big.”

It’s a classic book, that’s sold more than 6,000,000 copies. And it was written my man named David J. Schwartz.

The whole premise of the book “The Magic of Thinking Big” is that successful people aren’t successful because they’re smarter, luckier, work harder or have any other advantage like that.

Dr. Schwartz says that the reason they’re successful is just because they believe in themselves and because the aim higher! 

In other words, they have the confidence and belief to try something BIGGER than most people would.

Dr. Schwartz describes it like this…

“The size of your success is determined by the size of your belief. Think little goals and expect little achievements. Think big goals and win big success. Remember this, too! Big ideas and big plans are often easier~certainly no more difficult-than small ideas and small plans.”

Is a Lack of Knowledge Really Your Problem?

I don’t know you, so you MIGHT lack some important piece of knowledge that really has held you back in life or business. But I bet that it’s not just this lack of knowledge that has held you back. 

The safer guess is that you’ve done it to yourself. You’ve held yourself back.

Now don’t get upset! Please don’t feel judged by me. I’ve done the same thing in certain areas of my life!

Because of disappointment or failure:

  • I’ve stopped dreaming in some area of my life.
  • I’ve lowered my aim and settle for an easier target.
  • I’ve settled for little goals.

That’s the real reason why I’ve only achieved the level I have in certain areas of my life and/or business.

So what should we do about this?

Read on. You just might be surprised at my suggestion.

Why Raising Your Sights Just a Little Higher Is a Bad Idea

When we realize that we’ve been limiting ourselves – that we’ve dreamed small dreams and aimed too low in life, the temptation for us is to think…

“Well, I better raise my sights a little higher! I better set some slightly bigger goals and see if I can reach them!”

That seems like a realistic and good idea, doesn’t it? It might be realistic, but it’s not a good idea. Why?

Two reasons:

  1. Things go wrong. You might not reach the goal fully. And how much more will you have achieved if/when that happens? The end result will not look like that much of a difference from your normal results.
  2. You could’ve have made achieved more! If you aim much higher and things don’t work out, you will end up with results that are much better than your normal results. And that’s if you aim higher and it DOESN’T all work out. Imagine what results you’ll get if it DOES all work out!

A Better Plan: The 10X Rule

The 10X Rule

A better plan than raising our sights just a little bit more or picking slightly bigger goals is to instead pick a goal that is 10 TIMES what you were aiming for!

I learned this in a book called The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure by Grant Cardone.

In the book, Cardone gives us this warning…

“Average is a failing plan! Average doesn’t work in any area of life. Anything that you give only average amounts of attention to will start to subside and will eventually cease to exist.”
― Grant Cardone, The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure

And here’s a great piece of encouragement from “The 10X Rule”…

“Think about it: What’s the worst thing that can happen to you if you just totally go for it?”
― Grant Cardone, The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure

My Plan

So let me encourage you to do what I am going to do.

  1. Pick one area where you haven’t achieved what you think you should have – and where you think that limited thinking is the reason.
  2. Pick a 10X goal for that area.
  3. Come up with a plan that could actually help you to achieve that 10X result.
  4. Begin working that plan!

Come back and let me know what happens!

Image by Travis Isaacs

About Scott Aughtmon (1864 Articles)
I’m author of the book 51 Content Marketing Hacks. I am also a regular contributor to and I am the person behind the popular infographic 21 Types of Content We Crave. I’m a business strategist, consultant, content creation specialist, and speaker. I’ve been studying effective marketing and business methods (both online and offline) since 1999. ===> If you would like to see ways that we could work together, then please click here to learn more.