Step 8: Keep the particulars to yourself! Philip tells us that, because of the competition that we face in just about every aspect of our lives, we should be discrete about the things we are doing, or, are planning to do. Sometimes you just don’t want to say anything to anyone unless you trust someone one-hundred percent. He reminds us of the old saying, “Predictability breeds contempt,” and that maintaining a certain amount of mystery is to our advantage. This is because it makes people come to us in order to find out what we’re thinking. If we are predictable people wouldn’t need to know our thoughts. They’d have plenty of history to go on in order to determine what our next moves are going to be. Also, if people don’t know about what we’re thinking or even planning they can’t get in our way.
Step 9: Be in Private Investigation mode! Gather information that will help you to honestly achieve your goals. Baiters do the same thing but their motives are not, “Honest!” They get information to abuse it. You, on the other hand, want information so that you can use it for legitimate reasons. Does this mean you should profile people, too? “Yes!” Noting who hangs out with whom and how they behave around different people can tell you quite a lot about them as an individual, “Right down to their true agenda,” especially if you suspect they have an ulterior motive for being around you. Dr. Phil repeatedly reminds us in this section of his book that even if we don’t like to think of it as such, “Life is a competition!”
Step 10: Grow your way into success! In other words; stretch into new opportunities. Don’t let your doubt and lack of self-confidence hold you back. Sure! Things might come up that force you to learn. But have a little confidence in your abilities and Dr. Phil tells us that the keys to the kingdom will keep getting closer to being in the palm of your hand. Does this mean that you should attempt to step into situations that you are totally unqualified to handle? “No!” You should avoid doing anything like that, especially if lives hang in the balance. However, being willing to accept a new job or roll in life that you have to fill in a few blanks in your skillsets to fulfill is not a bad thing. Taking up something new, which is a little challenging to you at first, will help you grow positively and can often lead to greater rewards in the end.
Step 11: Always keep your options open! If you tell folks all of what you are thinking, are in the habit of giving ultimatums and regularly resort to dispensing dire consequences against others because they’ve done things you don’t like, “You’ve just backed yourself into a corner you cannot get out of without making a mess of things!” If your boss hires someone you don’t approve of and think you might be heading for the door, “You don’t have to tell them!” Sometimes telling too much to others can limit our options if we should find ourselves in a position down the line where we need, or decide, to change our stance on things. Telegraphing our next move takes our leverage away, too, in certain situations where a positive outcome for everyone could have been effected if we’d just kept our mouth shut.
Step 12: Make sure you know the systems you are using and make them work for you! This is pretty straight forward and does not at all imply that you should game or cheat the system. It simply means (according to Dr. Phil’s book) that you need to know all the rules so that you can make the system work for you, rather than you working for it. Yes! This means extra work! Everything talked about here in this book is going to require extra work for you. However, if you truly want to turn your life around, “The payoff in the end will be huge!”