An Excerpt from It’s Not Rocket Science: The Game Changer’s Formula for Success

The people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones who do.
—Apple Inc.

I come from very humble beginnings. As a child, I ran around barefoot, looking like a poster child for Feed the Children, playing with my only toy—a stick. I didn’t see my first computer until I was seventeen. Yet within a decade, I was working on a NASA Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) project and, shortly after, designing and launching satellites into space as a deep space scientist. By age twenty-nine, I was head of a satellite communications team that pioneered digital cinema technology that changed the motion picture industry. Since then, I’ve launched an award-winning magazine, despite the fact that I don’t have a degree in journalism or any publishing industry experience. I’ve also founded two multimillion-dollar companies and worked with clients such as Microsoft Xbox and the Coca-Cola Company.

When people hear what I’ve been able to do, they assume I have some kind of special skills, maybe an extra twist on my DNA, massive frontal lobes in my brain or perhaps influential friends who pulled a few strings. That couldn’t be further from the truth. What I have achieved is a testament to the opportunities and possibilities that abound for those who have a dream, are willing to work tirelessly and are crazy enough to believe they can change their corner of the world. So just how did I go from being a hungry child growing up in Ghana, West Africa, to deep space engineer, entrepreneur and Game Changer?

You Are A Game Changer

If you have a vision, a passion or a dream within your heart, you are no different from Albert Einstein, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg or anyone else who has ever changed the game and achieved uncommon success. You may not have a vision to change the world, but neither did they in the beginning. They simply had a vision to change their little corner of the world. We all hold different keys for moving our world forward, and the beautiful thing is we do not know who holds which keys. Each and every one of us is a Game Changer in the making; we just may not realize it yet.

What piece of the world or part of your circumstances do you want to change? The “game” is different for each person. Perhaps you want to be the first in your family to go to college. Or maybe you want to lose weight or live a healthier lifestyle. Do you want to break familial patterns of alcoholism or addiction or improve the relationships in your life? Do you have a big idea that could change the way business operates, or an initiative that will make a positive difference in your community? Maybe you just want to live life on your own terms. The game is whatever you want it to be, and you are the one who can change it. In fact, you may be the only one who can change it, and that is why the world needs you to step up and become a Game Changer.

My father used to tell me, “Small hinges swing big doors.” The smallest act, the smallest change, can start a chain reaction that eventually impacts the world. Almost every Game Changer started with the tiniest seed of an idea that grew into something big. I didn’t set out to change anything except my circumstances. But in changing my circumstances, I eventually changed the movie distribution industry. You are one hinge that has the power to open big doors. You can break through to uncommon success and a limitless life. You are a Game Changer.

7 Key Traits That Fuel Game Changers’ Success

Many people think Game Changers have some kind of advantage, luck, extraordinary talent or privilege that separates them from the rest. There is, in fact, something that separates them from the rest, but it’s not any of these things. As I’ve studied the highest achievers over the last twenty years, I’ve searched for the Game Changers’ formula for success. As a scientist, I am intrigued by the lawfulness of the universe. Every phenomenon has a traceable formula for its existence and its duplication. My aim has been to come close to a formula for this uncommon achievement that could be duplicated by anyone, anywhere. Uncommon success is not reserved for the rich or the famous or the intellectuals. Uncommon success can be achieved by each of us.

I believe the secret to becoming a Game Changer is a two-part formula. First, Game Changers possess certain characteristics that are the foundation of their success. The second part of the formula for game-changing success is to discover your greatness and live a life of design by working in the center of your passion, potential and purpose. In Part I, you will discover the seven key traits for achieving uncommon success:

• Unbridled Creativity
• Radical Passion
• Active Compassion
• Obsessive Focus
• Relentless Hustle
• Extreme Audacity
• Pit Bull Tenacity

Although we are not necessarily born with all of these traits, each of us has the ability to cultivate them. The real capital for greatness is not money, but developing these traits. In the following chapters, we will take a closer look at each trait. You will meet inspiring Game Changers who exemplify that trait and learn practical tips for how you can enhance that trait within yourself. Cultivate these Game Changer traits by design, and soon they will become your default.

Adapted from IT’S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE: 7 Game-Changing Traits for Uncommon Success by Mary Spio. © Mary Spio 2016. A TarcherPerigee book, Penguin Group USA.


Photo Credit: Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock


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