By: Stefan Aarnio

Everyone knows the children’s story of “Jack and the beanstalk”. In the story, Jack as a young man takes his mother’s last cow to market and trades it in for a handful of magic beans.

When Jack returns home to his mother, she is horrified to learn that her one and only cow was traded in for a handful of magic beans and she hits jack over the head, tosses the beans out the window and sends Jack to bed without any supper.

The next morning, Jack wakes up to find a massive beanstalk growing in the very spot where his mother tossed the beans. Jack climbs the beanstalk and finds a castle in the sky with a giant inside.

To make a long story short, Jack slays the giant, claims a maiden in distress, plunders a golden goose and takes home a magic harp. Through the process of climbing the beanstalk, Jack transforms from a boy into a man and gains 3 very important things:

1) The maiden or princess represents the love of his life
2) The golden goose represents his ability to make money and create his fortune
3) The singing harp represents his calling in life

If only real life were that easy, plant the magic beans, climb the beanstalk and win at the game of life!

Of course, real life isn’t a fairy tale and nothing is as easy as it looks. In the fairy tales there is such a thing as “happily ever after” when the princess meets her prince, while in reality at least 50% of princesses get divorced!

How can we apply the principles of Jack and the beanstalk to real life and claim our princess (or prince), golden goose and singing harp?

In real life, small daily actions win over large infrequent efforts. Six months ago I dissected and analyzed my daily actions and the cause and effect of success. Success comes down to small actions repeated over and over again. Much like compound interest on a bank account. According to Einstein, compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe.

To track my life and my success, I bought 7 glass jars and a large bag of jelly beans (magic beans perhaps?) and I labeled the jars. The 7 categories I chose to track were:

1) Physical activity
2) Celibacy (See the chapter on “Sex Transmutation” in Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich for a further explanation)
3) Clean eating
4) Reading
5) Writing
6) Gratitude
7) Affirmations

Each day I would place a bean in each jar and I would then have to commit to accomplishing the minimum requirement in each category.

For many days I succeeded in filling every jar, and some days I would miss my category and have to dump the magic beans out and start over.

I did well on this system and saw great results for a long time until I became complacent and gave up on it all together. After giving up on my system, the jars ran empty and my life started to slip into a rut. Rather than seeing success in all of my chosen categories, I began to see average results in every part of my life.

I started to wonder why I was in a rut and why things weren’t moving forward and then I saw my 7 empty jars and my bag of magic beans sitting next to them. I decided to make a choice and make a change.

This morning I woke up at 5am, put one bean in each Jar and make a commitment to filling the jars again every day.

Just like the ancient wisdom says: we reap what we sow.

Sow the magic (jelly) beans and reap magic results.

It sounds like magic, but in reality, there is no magic when it comes to success.

Respect The Grind,
Stefan Aarnio

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