Curly’s Law: How the Mega-Successful Use This Rule To Achieve Greatness and How You Can Too.

By Seamus Anthony

3rd post in the three part Curly’s Law series by Seamus Anthony (here’s the first and the second)

This is a bit of a long post with two parts: 1) How the Mega Successful Use Curly’s Law To Achieve Greatness and 2) How To Discover Your True Life Purpose.

How the Mega-Successful Use Curly’s Law To Achieve Greatness

The great over-achievers of this world don’t just use wishful thinking or hard work to get to the top, they use the ‘real’ secret which is Curly’s Law. Curly’s Law states “Do One Thing” and is essentially the act of having laser-like focus on what you want. It is about identifying your One Thing and just going for that at the expense of other areas of interest. It’s about the power of mono-maniacal obsession, and if you want to achieve great things, then you can use this trick to get ahead in leaps and bounds.

The Richest Man in the World and His Great Secret for Success.

Long before Billy Crystal and his mates saddled up and rode of into the the sunset, Curly’s Law was known by some as ‘Carnegie’s secret’, after Andrew Carnegie, the old-world steel tycoon and philanthropist who advised people to ‘put your eggs in one basket – and then watch the basket’.

Carnegie, at one time the richest man in the world, and a self-made man, was said to have a ‘great secret’ about how to become rich. This was popularised by Napoleon Hill in his famous book “Think and Grow Rich”. The secret was not explicitly revealed in the book but was rather hinted at and the author said it was important that you figure it out yourself. People have since thrown a bunch of guesses around as to what the secret was, from the whole Law of Attraction thing to the less glamorous suggestion that you just need to get on with it and work hard. Searching around I found this quote, and as far as I am concerned it puts the stamp of authenticity on the worthiness of Curly’s Law and also puts an end to the speculation about what Carnegie’s secret was:

“Here is the prime condition of success, the great secret. Concentrate your energy, thought and capital exclusively upon the business in which you are engaged. Having begun in one line, resolve to fight it out on that line, to lead in it: adopt every improvement, have the best machinery, and know the most about it. This is the great secret…” Andrew Carnegie

I don’t understand the conjecture myself. the man’s exact words were “This is the great secret”. End of story.

All Great Achievers Use Curly’s Law to Make it Big

Whether they know it or not, I propose that all of the mega-successful use the Law of One Thing to get to the top of their chosen field.

Here’s an exercise: choose one of your greatest heroes and ask yourself this – do they have what you would describe as obsessive single minded determination, laser-like focus on what it is that they do?

I would be willing to place a bet that the answer would have to be ‘Yes’. Let’s take a few of my personal heroes as examples (in no particular order – and you may wonder why these people are my heroes but all I can say is, each to their own!).

  • Jerry Seinfeld – obsessively cared only about and worked only towards being a stand up comedian for his entire life until he became the most successful stand up in the US and went on to become the wealthiest comedian ever.
  • Steve Jobs (Apple Computers) – obsessively strove to achieve innovation in the world of computer design until he finally got it right and made Apple what it is today. (And tell me he didn’t lie up all night scheming about how to win Apple back when he got kicked out for a while!)
  • Nick Cave – this guy has pursued a singular artistic vision relentlessly for his entire adult life and I’d be willing to bet that he’s artistically satisfied (although I doubt he’d admit it) and probably doesn’t get too stressed out about paying the mortgage off either.

Now these are just three of my heroes, and despite the twists and turns in their journeys, all three of them have always returned like a heat-seeking missile to their One Thing. They knew what it was – and they sure as hell weren’t about to let anything trivial stand in their way.

I challenge you to come up with a list of ten mega-successful people who achieved greatness by being wishy-washy, choppin’ and changin’, unfocussed, undetermined, people who could never make up their minds about what it was they wanted to do. I’ve never tried to do this, but I am willing to take a punt that it wouldn’t work.

Madonna: was obsessed with becoming the number one female pop star. Stephen King: wrote compulsively his whole life and only ever wanted to be a novelist. Bob Hawke: gave up alcohol so it wouldn’t get in the way of becoming Prime Minister of Australia. Abraham Lincoln, lost something like 8 elections before he went on to be President of the United States. The list goes on…

How To Discover Your True Life Purpose

But I can hear some of you already thinking “But I don’t KNOW what my One Thing is! That’s the whole problem!” and I don’t know either. But I have been through all of this and have some suggestions that may help you.

First get yourself into a contemplative, relaxed frame of mind. Have a bath, turn the lights down low and stare at the fire or go for a walk in the woods by yourself. If you know how to meditate, do some before you start this process.

There are a lot of techniques out there for discovering your true life purpose, but here is the one I used. It is deceptively simple but the key is not to move on to the next question until you have answered the one before it to your full satisfaction.

  1. What do I want to be?

A very simple, short and open question. If you are in a relaxed, contemplative mood, the answer may come to you directly. Just like that. Your own voice in your head may just serve up the answer like a piece of pie on a plate.

Or it may not come for a while. If you don’t manage to hear your True Self straight away then it is up to you to simply wait. Wait for the answer. Wait for a number of days in need be but be sure to find quite time to contemplate this answer. Or talk to somebody you can be open with as this often helps you to unlock the inner workings of your own mind. Tarot cards or other oracles are also great for this kind of thing. They don’t tell you the answer they help your mind expand, provide the catalyst for the expansion of your consciousness.

When the answer comes you will know.

And here’s a hint. It won’t be about your career. By asking yourself what you want to be, the only honest answer lies much much deeper than that. We are talking about the true meaning behind your life, behind all of our lives.

I have to admit, my process was backed up by years of spiritual and personal development – reading, meditating and inner work – so if you’ve never gone this deep before, give it some time. Who knows, it could take years for the answer to come.

But listen very carefully to your inner voice when you first ask the question because it will without a doubt answer you straight away, without a doubt, but the question is whether you can be quiet enough inside your mind to hear what your true-self wants.

Once you know what you want to be, then ask…

2. “Why do I want to be what I want to be? Why have I chosen this as my main sub-conscious motivator?”

Here is where you will get into your own psyche and discover why you are who are why you behave like you do and why you want to be the person you want to be. Again, make sure you are quiet inside before you ask and then listen very carefully to the answer that will come directly from your True Self.

When you listen to the quiet voice of your True Self, you will not only know WHAT you want to be but WHY and this will be a great liberation to you.

If you listen softly enough, you just might be lucky enough to hear your own voice identify your true purpose in life. Good luck!

And remember what Curly the Cowboy said:

“Do One Thing … you stick to that and the rest don’t mean shit”.

Hi, I'm Seamus Anthony. I am an author, artist and musician from Australia. Here at Rebel Zen, I document my journey as an creative artist and human and in doing so, hopefully help you in your own progress through your life of creativity. Go get your free E-book by me: "Taming The Monkey Mind".

19 comments Write a comment

  1. This is a FANTASTIC post. It says so much! I think it is one of the most important aspects of this whole thing which so many people miss. I have heard some of the most successful Internet Marketers say the same, if in other words. But it is still overlooked as to its importance. Our emails help us over look it sometimes … “you can do this! and you can do this! and what about this! and this is the answer you have been looking for! drop everything and try this!”

    I have been starting to apply this myself recently. In fact I have been spending all of my time online on one single campaign for the last few days, which is normally unheard of for me. Every time I see a new idea and get tempted to diverge, I FORCE myself to just write it down on a list and continue on my current campaign.

  2. Thanks for the feedback Anna. Believe me, Steve and I both have this issue of having too many ideas but if you A) focus on one thing at a time and B) relate all your tasks back to your overall One Thing then you can really start to rock n roll. The other side to this particular coin is to say “I am ONLY going to do career X” and that’s it. I am JUST going to be a novelist/builder/astronaut and ignore every other idea or path that appears to me. I think this works very well on the career level but it is unwise to forget about the other aspects of your life.

  3. “This is the great secret”…

    Just be.

    It’s that simple… why make it more complicated which means more can go wrong.

    you can then add labels etc.

    people expected techniques,tricks, maps etc… what techniques or tricks do you ever truly need to “just be”?

    That’s the true secret to surety of self, presence, etc what ever you want to call: just truly being oneself.

  4. There really is the misconception out there that for something to be true and profound that it must be complicated.

    Truly being oneself and learning how to walk your own unique path is all you need to do.

    Thanks for the great comments everyone!

    Steve Mills

  5. Hi Chris, it is the old conundrum, about he who knows does not speak etc etc and it is true that the part of us inside that “knows” is silent and the outer-us is forever trying to explain what that feels like. But this is Yin and Yang in action yet again 🙂

  6. I read a lot of bullshit online masquerading as good advice.

    But this… This has to be one of the biggest examples of:

    Just the OPPOSITE! i.e. really, really awesome truth.

    Great blog. Please welcome me as your newest subscriber.

  7. Great post Seamus, I wasn’t aware of “Curly’s Law” until now. I’m sure there are examples to this rule (aren’t there for every?) but I could pick out a lot of people who have followed this one-laser focus and became successful.


    Glen Allsopps last blog post..PluginID August Update

  8. Such a good point you make. In spite of the fact that I can answer those questions about myself quite easily, I never thought about how successful people are so single-minded and persistent with their purpose. No wonder I am too even after giving up on it about once a week. Thanks for the clarity.

    Hilarys last blog post..The art of doing practically nothing

  9. Simply beautiful. The details aren’t very practical, but the general point is! If you’re trying to find the answer and you can’t, simply focus on how to find the answer first, then find it and eventually use it. You can’t get anywhere except where you really want to be.

  10. Pingback: Warning: Self-Indulgent Post About ‘Me’ Not ‘You’! | Rebel Zen

  11. This is an awesome post! I’ve never seen “it” put so simply and elegantly before! I am still trying to find my “one thing”, but I believe that the steps you outlined here will help me tremendously! Thank you!

  12. Pingback: How to Be Amazingly Original and Blow People's Puny Minds | Rebel Zen

  13. Good morning Seamus. For everyone who’s tried and tried to hear their inner voice, and has yet to have their life’s passion emerge, I’d like to throw this out. Imagine at the “center” of each of us is a great ocean of potential. In this inner place lives our “true self” and the answer to the questions “who am I?” and “what should I be doing with my life?”. So far so good…right? Many people will probably recognize this as a form of ancient wisdom, and aspire to “looking within” to Know Thyself. Here’s where the trouble begins….and you alluded to it in your post. It’s not possible to “look within” or go to that place where our true selves live. This place is completely out of bounds. No one has ever gone there. But it CAN come to us. You spoke of listening for that “ONE(passionate)THING”. Now we get to a tricky part. From each of us, going down into that “inner ocean of potential” is a kind of pipe…with a tap on top. To let our life’s passions, true selves, or reason for being….call it what you will…come to us, we must open that tap. This inhibiting force or “tap” is fear of being ourselves. Fear of being judged to be exact. Impossible as it may sound, if we learn all about this fear and how to remove it from our lives…..our very own Life-Mission comes flooding back to us like a Niagara river. Our hearts are heard singing loudly and clearly. On the other hand, If we don’t learn where the tap is and how to open it, no heartsong will ever be heard. Ciao Seamus. John Duffield

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