10 Famous People Past Or Present To Form Your Mastermind Team, Who would They Be And What would You Learn From Them. Part 1

I saw a great question asked in an interview recently and thought about adopting it for the life design in Thailand interviews I have been doing  and  it went ” if you had the chance to be any famous person in the world , who would you be and why”. After thinking about this I realised I would rather discover the secrets or the major strengths of a few of my favourite people.

In the book ”Think & grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill, he talks of the mastermind principle and forming a mastermind alliance for the realisation of worthy goals. It got me thinking that what if you could form a mastermind alliance of favourite famous people past and present that you could drop in on for advice now and again on a specialised subject.

So I re-phrased the question to ” 10 famous people past or present to form your mastermind team, who would they be and what would you learn from them?

This actually turned out to be quite an enjoyable exercise. This is my list of 10 famous people still living or passed away whose qualities have influenced me in some way or another or whose qualities I would love to have more of. I have done the qualities in the format of life lessons. Obviously this is my list of influences the names on every one’s list will be different, but it is more about the quality the individual brings to the table. So here is part one the first 5 and I apologise for perhaps a more sporting influence from part one.

1) George Best (Footballer, Manchester United, sadly no longer with us)

I think most knew that George liked a drink and I think most knew he was fond of the women also, but it was not any off the field antics that I admired about George it was his pure natural footballing ability. George was number one, my boyhood hero and in my opinion the greatest footballer I have ever seen bar none, you can include all the greats in that. I never enter in to debates on this one he simply was the best.  Unfortunately Northern Ireland did not qualify for world cup finals during George’s era so we never saw him in world cup finals , but he was doing his stuff all over Europe with Manchester United and helping them become the first English club to lift the European cup in 1968 scoring in a 4-1 win against Benfica.

With George it was all about living life in the moment. If he felt like beating 4 men instead of passing to a team-mate he would, if he wanted to try an audacious chip he would, if a date with a former Miss World seemed more inviting than training then that’s what he did. On or off the field George lived life to the full. I am certainly not promoting his lifestyle as a guide in life, but the spontaneity of the man contributed to his genius on the field. I cannot see him setting many goals in life, well maybe just two… to become the best footballer and live life to the full and I believe he achieved both.

My claim to fame was being patted on the head by George at a Southampton away game back in 1972. Those were the days you could go on the pitch at the end and I went to pat my hero on the back. I can tell you my mother had an awful job to get me to wash my hair for a long while afterwards.

I would want to know is the talent you had god given or can it be taught… basically the man was a footballing genius, but the first bit of advice  would be about…..

Lesson 1: Spontaneity  ” The art of living life to the full”

2) Muhammad Ali (Boxer)

In my book the greatest boxer of all time, but it was not just that he was a good boxer he was also very intelligent.  Very unfortunately Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson’s syndrome back in 1984. The qualities in Ali I loved the most were his confidence, most of it coming from belief in his own ability I would imagine. Next would be  his ability to market the fight on his own, the man was a one man marketing machine and finally the ability to get so far in to an opponents mind that he had him beat before the first bell went, yes the master of the mind games. The trick was to get his opponent so angry that by the time his opponent got in the ring focus and strategy were out the window as his anger was rife. Ali would  literally tell his opponent what round he was likely to be knocked out in. He would even make up poems and limericks detailing when the opponent would be a goner. Ali was known as brash and big – headed ” the Louisville lip”, but love him or loathe him he put bums on seats and on the canvas as he said.

I would want a slice of the man’s confidence. It is easy to talk the talk as they say (and he did that), but to walk the walk is harder, but he did that also. Most importantly from Ali would be ….

Lesson 2: The art of winning the battle , winning the mind games. This applies to  all situations in life and not just in a boxing ring, perhaps the term boxing clever could be used here.

3) Jim Rohn known as America’s foremost business philosopher (sadly no longer with us)

In the world of personal development, self growth and Personal & Business achievement one man in the industry stood out head and shoulders above the rest in my opinion and that man was Jim Rohn. I actually met Jim Rohn  a couple of times whilst he was in England doing seminars and class myself as extremely privileged, unfortunately I did not get to interview him.  I did however walk out with a book full of notes and ideas straight from the horse’s mouth and arm ache from my pencil being in constant use. The man was a legend who supplied many of those …ah ha… moments for me or penny dropping moments. From Jim I would want his A-Z book of wisdom, he in fact left it in part in the form of his book ”The Treasury Of Quotes”   Jim Rohn once said and I quote

” I now have one of the better libraries. I’ll admit that I haven’t read everything in my library, but I feel smarter just walking in it”.

I personally would like to spend a couple of months in Jim’s library that is for sure. From Jim it would be the whole personal development course .

Lesson 3: The art of life long learning (wisdom) from a Western perspective.  (The stuff they don’t teach you in schools)

4) The character that was ” Kwai Chang Caine”  also known as ”Grasshopper” in the 1970’s television series called Kung Fu played by David Carradine.  Kwai Chang Caine was a Shaolin warrior monk with expertise in martial arts, but it was not just the martial arts it was his life long wisdom learning also that put the character near the top of my list.  It was not so much that David Carradine was a hero of mine  although he played the part magnificently it was more about the stature of the character. Unfortunately David Carradine is no longer with us.

From Kwai Chang Caine I would want the amazing philosophy of the East and overall wisdom and the calmness in which he always delivered the wise words, truly amazing. Calmness was the watch word here backed up by knowledge and skills.Sometimes he would be delivering his thoughts and wisdom under much provocation but still stayed calm. However if that did not work and it did not defuse the situation he would just simply rely on his other skills under self-defence namely the martial arts and just calmly kick his ass. The viewing of the Kung Fu series as a child was probably the beginning of my love affair with the far east. So this mythical character for personal development from an eastern perspective would be number four.

Lesson 4: The art of life long learning (wisdom) from an Eastern perspective.

5) Sir Alex Ferguson ( Football Manager of Manchester United)

Manager of Manchester United football club for the past 25 years with a trophy haul as long as your arm, yes success and Sir Alex walk side by side. There are too many qualities to list about Sir Alex, but the one I would take above all others is the  ability to make those oh so difficult, but vitally important decisions.

Sentiment never enters the equation even if he is fond of the person on the wrong end of the decision, the decision is always made for the good of Manchester United football club and in the name of progress. In my opinion the ability to make decisions is a special one, far too many times I have pondered should I do this or should I do that. The truth about that is ” if you stay in the middle of the road long enough you will get ran over”. I have witnessed fewer better in the art of decision-making than Sir Alex, procrastination is certainly not a word in his vocabulary.

I would also want the drive and hunger that keeps the man going. Having collected trophies for fun and approaching 70 years old you would think it was time for the pipe and slippers, but not at all. At the beginning of each season he looks in to the players eyes to see if the hunger is still there, if it’s not you are on your bike. The ability to make decisions, the ferocious drive and hunger and a bit of siege mentality when required….. love it.

From Sir Alex there are too many qualities and he is another master on the art of winning battles and mind games, but for me the quality I would want from him would be …….

Lesson 5: The art of decision-making.

Watch this space for the final 5 of the mastermind team.

With the Engaging Thailand website being split in to articles, interviews and products about Thailand and articles, interviews and products about life design and personal development both from a Western and Eastern perspective, blog posts will follow suit. I will continue to post on Thai travel, Thai food, Thai language, other Thai related subjects, but will also now add life design and personal development posts occasionally. The website will be continually updated. I have and am still in the process of re-building the website with many organised and categorised articles, plus lots of guests input also. I am also in the process of adding great books to the website.

Engaging Thailand Website

For more information on Thailand in general and subjects to do with Life design in the form of articles,guest  interviews, products and  relevant links ,please visit   http://www.engagingthailand.com/  the site is constantly being updated with fresh information of mine and other people’s.

5 Links To Fantastic Book Products

1) Blessed: The Autobiography: George best

For anyone from outside of the UK, buy here.


For those in the UK,  buy here


2) GOAT: Greatest Of All Time : a Tribute To Muhammad Ali

For anyone from Outside of the UK, buy here


For those in the UK, buy here


3) The Treasury Of Quotes: Jim Rohn

For anyone from Outside of the UK, buy here


For those in the UK, buy here


4) Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life: living The Wisdom Of The Tao: Dr Wayne Dyer

For anyone from Outside of the UK, buy here


For those in the UK, buy here


5) Managing My Life: My Autobiography: Sir Alex Ferguson

For anyone from Outside of the UK, buy here


For those in the UK, buy here


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