'Shark Tank' investor Daymond John says this daily ritual changed his life

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When Daymond John was 14 years old, his dyslexia had yet to be diagnosed, and he only knew that he struggled with reading. But there was one book, Napoleon Hill's 1937 massive bestseller "Think and Grow Rich," that he not only happily read, but decided to re-read every year.

The main takeaway he had as a kid, the "Shark Tank" investor writes in his own book, "The Power of Broke," was to stop telling himself everything he didn't want to be, and instead focus on what he did want. He sustained this mindset through the practice of regularly writing down and reviewing his goals.

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It was simple but profound, John says, and helped give him the drive in his early 20s to turn FUBU from a project with friends into a multimillion-dollar business. "I would write something down, think about it, visualize it, and work my way toward it."

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'Shark Tank' investor Daymond John says this daily ritual changed his life
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 10: Daymond John of 'Shark Tank' speaks onstage during the ABC portion of the 2013 Winter TCA Tour at Langham Hotel on January 10, 2013 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 10: (L-R) Hosts Robert Herjavec, Lori Greiner, Daymond John, Kevin O'Leary and Executive Producer Clay Newbill of 'Shark Tank' speak onstage during the ABC portion of the 2013 Winter TCA Tour at Langham Hotel on January 10, 2013 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 10: (L-R) Hosts Robert Herjavec, Lori Greiner and Daymond John of 'Shark Tank' speak onstage during the ABC portion of the 2013 Winter TCA Tour at Langham Hotel on January 10, 2013 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 23: Businessmen/'Shark Tank' cast members Mark Cuban, Daymond John, Robert Herjavec, and Kevin O'Leary speak onstage at the 2014 American Music Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on November 23, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - JANUARY 20: Daymond John attends NATPE Reality: Case Study: SHARK TANK at NATPE 2015 at Fontainebleau Miami Beach on January 20, 2015 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Aaron Davidson/Getty Images)
Daymond John, second right, of Shark Tank and FUBU, joins Bill and Tani Austin, founders of the Starkey Hearing Foundation, as they fit Jayden Orlang, 10, of New York, with free hearing aids at the Foundation's hearing mission, Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, at Yankee Stadium in New York.(Photo by Diane Bondareff/Invision for Starkey Hearing Foundation/AP Images)
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As an adult, he added more layers to the process and made it a ritual that he does five days a week:

  • John keeps a running list of about seven goals at a time, which he writes on a piece of paper. Each goal has an expiration date and a couple lines detailing how he'll achieve the goal.

  • They will always include a health goal, family goal, business goal, relationship goal, and philanthropy goal. The other two often involve another business project or his personal finances.

  • Each goal is specific and worded in positive language. For example, John writes that he currently has a goal of getting down to 170 pounds by July 4; rather than add that he will do this by avoiding fried foods, meat, and alcohol, he adds that he will be doing this by regularly eating fish, drinking eight glasses of water each day, and exercising twice daily.

  • John reads through his list when he wakes up and before he goes to sleep so that his goals are the first and last things he thinks about.

  • He reads his goals an average of five days a week, giving himself some time to step back.

"When you've got a tangible, accessible goal, you've put it within reach," John writes.

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