GCM 134 | How Thoughts Become Things


In everything you do, you have a choice. In this episode, producer and director, Douglas Vermeeren, joins Rodney Flowers to talk about his film, How Thoughts Become Things. Douglas and Rodney dive into people’s thoughts and dreams, and why people tend to think too small and are compelled to think pristine thoughts. Douglas talks about the programming that people are born into, why that is not the end result, and why you need to expand yourself. Learn the importance of surrounding yourself with a great support network to change your mindset and take control of your destiny. When you think bigger, you achieve greater things. 

Listen to the podcast here:

Achieving Greatness: How Thoughts Become Things With Douglas Vermeeren

How many of you know that thoughts become things? If you have a thought that’s in your mind, if you’re having some not so certain ideas about what I’ve said, then you’re going to want to check out this show. I have the producer of the movie How Thoughts Become Things. Douglas Vermeeren is the producer and director of 3 out of the top 10 personal development movies ever made, The Opus, The Gratitude Experiment, and The Treasure Map. Now he’s revealing his new hit film, How Thoughts Become Things. It goes deeply into the nuances of personal reality creation content that has yet to be committed to film.  

He’s brought along a few friends such as Bob Proctor, Denis Waitley, John Demartini, Joe Vitale, John Assaraf, Marie Diamond, Travis Fox, and Dr. Karen Perkins to explore the how of How Thoughts Become Things. Douglas has also researched the successful strategies from business leaders and companies like Nike, Reebok, Fruit of the Loom, FedEx, American Airlines, UGG Boots, Uber, KFC, McDonalds, Disney, United Airlines, Microsoft, and others to share their success secrets on the film and his books. ABC television and Fox business referred to him as the modernday Napoleon Hill. Help me welcome Douglas Vermeeren to the show. Welcome to the show, Douglas. 

It’s good to be with you. I’m so excited. We had a good chat before so I feel like we’re old friends.  

We have so much in common especially by the way we think about things and how our thoughts become things. We have a lot in common when it comes to that. What I want to talk about with you is, why did you make this film? People have different ideas or thoughts about how thoughts become things. It’s not one of the most common things that’s accepted by individuals. Why did you want to make a film like this?  

That’s exactly right what you said. There are a lot of misconceptions around how our thoughts become things. On a level, we know that the things that we think about come about. The things that we dwell on that we spend a lot of tempting about, they will arrive. Most people aren’t aware of how. One of the biggest problems that I find is number one, we think too small. Number two, we also feel like we have to think pristine thoughts. Meaning that always be positive, hopeful, and dialed in. The truth of the matter is that’s not the way thoughts work. In fact, we’re human so we do have negative and challenging thoughts from time-to-time. I wanted to get the reality of that out there.  

What are some takeaways or what do you want people to gain from watching this movie? What are some things you want to change from people watching this?  

One of the first things is that the programming that we’re born into isn’t the end of the programming. In other words, the beginning might have been your family, your parents, where you arrived. They were programmed by their parents and so on and so forth, but the truth is your programming is continuing even right now, even as you read this. You probably heard it said before that we become the five people we spend the most time with. Not spent because that was our family that we grew up in, but spend, the people that we are with now. The other thing that is interesting to point out about that is you’ve heard the same that says, “Your network equals your net worth. Everybody thinks that has to do with money.  

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It does to some extent, but if we look at the word net worth, let’s take the net off and talk about worth. What does the group you hang out with find worthwhile? What do they value? What are their most treasured possessions in terms of how they spend their time, how they look at life and the thoughts that they have, and the things that they think? You talked a little bit about when I was a young man, I went out and I interviewed 400 of the world’s top achievers. What we didn’t talk about is before I got to those achievers, my family was stuck in what I call the poverty pattern. What I mean by that is the rat race. My dad worked hourly for money.  

If you wanted more money, his answer was overtime. That was it. Not only was there that mindset, but there was no real entrepreneurial ideas and no real innovative ideas. We’re slaves to the system. As soon as I started changing the people I hung out with and where I was getting my values and my information, I’m going to hang out with top achievers. Not only entrepreneurs that had built multibillion-dollar companies and business leaders, but also people who were involved in athletics. You and I were talking about football. It’s a different mindset to be a player on a team. You’re now engaged in a different mindset that we all work together towards something greater and we believe we can do it.  

As soon as I started hanging around with those people, I noticed my mindset changed. I was able to take control of my destiny. What do we say? If you own it, you can change it. I decided I wanted to be someone different than who I was and that was the beginning of everything for me. You ask, “What’s the big thing that we want to teach in this film? It’s you have a choice, that’s it. You can start thinking bigger immediately and if you surround yourself with people who will encourage and support that structure of thinking bigger, you can’t help but create big things. That’s the bottom line.  

I want to go deeper on that because there’s this thing called co-creation. People miss the fact that they play a part in creation and it has a major role in how they think. Regardless of what you’re thinking, you’re still creating. It’s the ingredients and the thoughts that you are thinking that’s dictating what your outcome is.  

You said something super brilliant. I want to underline that. I don’t know if you realize how hot what you said was. This idea of co-creation. Let me give you a bit of a story here that will be cool. I started my interviews with successful top achievers when I was nineteen. In my first six months under their mentorship and support, I did $1.6 million. In other words, surround yourself with good friends. It will make a difference for you, I promise. Here’s the deal. When I was about twenty, I have this idea to start a business. I was sitting with a friend of mine at lunch who is a multimulti-millionaire. At that time, he was worth about $300 million.  

It’s not bad. You can live on that. I was sitting with this guy and I started sharing with him my business ideas. I said, “What I need to learn is this. How I’m going to do this will be this way. What I need to figure out is my, and I fill in the blank, marketing, distribution, customersIt’s “What I, what I.” Do you know what he said to me? This offended me at that time but I get it now. He said, “I can see that you’re going to be starting a very small company.” I said, “What the heck? I’m going to be big time.” He was like, “No, you won’t.” I said, “What are you talking about?” He goes, “You’re asking selfish questions. That means that you’re going to be a very small company.”  

I said to him, “What do you mean? I’ve never heard that before, selfish questions.” He says, “As soon as you ask the questions that say, what can I do? How will I do this? You’re asking selfish questions. If you want to scale a company to be big, the questions you need to ask aren’t, what can I or how can I? Instead, who will help me? Who can open the doors for this? Who can teach me this? Who will help me find my customers? It’s all about other people, not you.” I love that idea of co-creation. He said that all wealth, success, and amazing things are always accomplished by a team, not an individual. As soon as we start thinking differently that it’s got to be me, even not saying, it’s totally wrong. 

GCM 134 | How Thoughts Become Things

How Thoughts Become Things: The programming that we’re born into isn’t the end of the programming.


If it’s meant to be, it’s up to me. That’s bullcrap. If it’s up to you, you’re going to be very small because we all have limitations. There are things I don’t know, things I don’t have, the connections I don’t haveyou fill in the blank. There are things that I just don’t have because I’m me. He said, “The minute you start thinking as a team, everything is possible.” He then pointed out that for example, Sir Edmund Hillary, who climbed Mount Everest. He didn’t do it by himself. He didn’t carry his stuff up to the top of the mountain. He had people helping him. He had navigators, people and all these things. Neil Armstrong, when he climbed on the moon there, he didn’t do it by himself. He had people back in Houston guiding the spaceships. He didn’t build it in his garage.  

People who win Olympic gold medals, even though they’re the guy standing on the podium getting the medal, they’ve got coaches, trainers, nutritionists, all these kinds of people behind them. When you received the Academy Award, it’s not like you’re up there by yourself. You made the movie all by yourself, you ran the camera, set up the lighting, did your own makeup, wrote the story, and then all of a sudden, you put yourself there. It’s always by a team. The more that we can realize that we need other people to create our success and then swallow our pride enough to be helped and to be teachable. As soon as we start doing that a little bit more, success comes a little easier. I love your idea of co-creation. That’s absolutely brilliant but it’s a big hidden secret. That’s the other thing too, everybody talks in personal development.  

I’m not trying to sound negative, but I learned that a lot of this stuff that a lot of the gurus teach now is absolutely BS. When I interviewed 400 of the world’s top achievers, I started noticing success markers that’s like a coach, if they’ve read someone else’s book and they’re teaching it, you’re getting a photocopy of a photocopy of someone else’s ideas. Most of these guys who are life coaches or business coaches so they say, they’ve never done business over $1 million. They’ve never created massive success. Many of them have not won the gold medal. The stuff they’re teaching to you is their opinion, it’s not how top achievers create success. When I went up to 400, you start finding some common things. Here’s one of them. You’ve heard the idea that you need to step out of your comfort zone.  

It’s not true. You need to step into your brilliance zone. What are you good at? What is your skillset? What are you better at than anyone else? All the stuff you’re uncomfortable with, you get your team to do that. You delegate those things to other people where it’s their skillset. They’re good at those things so you get them to do it. For example, I don’t build websites but I do have a team that does. I don’t do my own taxes, but I’ve got a good accountant that knows that stuff. I don’t do my own dental work. Thank goodness I have a dentist that knows how to do that. If we try to do everything, we’re going to find soon that we’re completely diluted. In life, we’ve got a room full of plants and one glass of water. If you try to hit everything, it’s all going to die but if you pick three, you’re going to be pretty good and then get somebody else to help you water it.  

I love this and I want you to address the critic because I can hear people reading this, “It doesn’t take all that for me. I don’t want $1 billion. I don’t want $1 million company. I don’t want to go that big. I don’t have $1 million to hire somebody to do my website.  

You don’t need $1 million to hire anybody. Two things I’ll say about that. Number one, resources follows resourcefulness. First of all, if you’ve got big ideas, big things can happen. Everything is attracted to the idea. Money is attracted to a big idea. People with their skillsets, they’ll come and collaborate with you if the idea is big. Look at this movie that I created. How did I get guys like Bob Proctor and Joe Vitale and all these guys to come in and support this? Because the idea is powerful. They’re friends of mine so that helps. Why are they my friends? It’s because together, we have lots of big ideas. Start thinking bigger and you’re going to see that your support network grows.  

By the way, that idea of network equals net worth. What most people also don’t realize is network equals a safety net. Meaning that I can solve bigger problems. My network, when I get bigger people in it and bigger thinking, I can solve bigger problems. It becomes my safety net, so get a bigger network. That’s what I’m going to tell you. Start thinking big in general. Here’s this other thing that you talked about, I don’t want $1 million. I’m not meaning to criticize but most people who say that, the reason why is because they’re afraid of $1 million. They think that when big things come, big responsibility comes with it. To some extent, that’s a little bit true but you need to expand who you are before you can expand what you have. Don’t be afraid, just get better help.  

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You don’t have to solve all the problems. This is what I’m trying to say. In fact, I don’t even like the word problem. I don’t think it exists. Everything is a puzzle. It’s not a problem, it’s a puzzle. If you approach it that way, there are always solutions but the problem is most people play solo. They think all the solutions need to come from them rather than their team. Let me share this idea around wealth. It’s important. One of my best friends is John Demartini who you see in my film, but he was also in all my other films. He’s also in The Secret. He said something very profound in our movie, The Treasure Map which is about money. He said, “Everyone is wealthy. It just appears in the form that they value the most.”  

For some people, that’s lots of money in the bank account. Other people, no kidding, I’m not trying to criticize women out there, but sometimes their value appears in their shoe collection. It’s okay, that’s their choice. I know other people whose value appears in their children and every dime that they get in, they give to their kids. They put their kids through school with everything and they make sure the kids have the best. There’s nothing wrong with that but that’s what they value. I’ve got another friend, quite frankly, he collects exotic cars. He’s got a McLaren, two Lambos and three Ferraris. He’s got a garage that’s stacked, but there are other things that he doesn’t have because he doesn’t value those.  

You need to decide what’s authentically valuable to you and it doesn’t have to be money. That’s just one example. I believe that there are what we call five pillars. We won’t get into too much of this but one of them is things like our relationship, our health, abundance including time, freedom, and our ability to choose, spirituality, our connection to self. Some people value spirituality. Therefore, the money is nothing. They get money in and they give it right away to good causes. That’s wonderful. I admire that. I honor that. I try to do some of that myself, but some people would consider it extreme. Every dime that comes in goes directly out to a charity. That’s not wrong. That’s what they value. We need to respect that.  

You mentioned people would need to expand themselves. How exactly does a person expand themselves?  

Let’s talk about the expansion part. If you think about it ever since the big bang at the beginning that put everything into existence in this universe, everything’s been in expansion mode. The thing that we need to remember is anytime that we think small about ourselves, hold back, contract, jealous, negative, compare, we even speak ill of another person, or we hold someone else back, or we diminish who they are, we’re working against the expansion of the universe. We’re working against the entire universe. The thing to remember is that the universe is an echo chamber. How you show up determines what shows up for you. If you show up and you’re somebody who’s negative, you’re hurtful, you’re mean, you’re cruel, and you say negative things to other people, or you think you’re better than someone else from an egotistical point of view or whatever it could be. You fill in the blank.  

Anytime you show up with that crap, that’s what shows up for you. It may not be instant and immediate, but it will always return. Life is like a boomerang. What you throw up is exactly what comes back. At the same time, if you show up in the universe with positivity, excitement, enthusiasm, commitment, desire to see things better, not only for yourself but for other people, you give back, and you open doors of possibility wherever you go, that’s what’s going to happen for you. That’s how you expand. That’s how you do it. I’m not talking about money, I’m talking about all abundance. If you want abundance but you’ve got one foot in scarcity and one foot in abundance, you’ll never be able to attract abundance because this will always close the door for you.  

That’s an important thing. How do I say this without drawing the wrong conclusion? There’s a lot of talk about equality. That’s the wrong thing that we’re all seeking. I don’t want to be equal. I want us all to be great. There’s a difference. I don’t seek equality, I seek greatness because equality means that we take great people, we pull them down to a certain level and then we take bad people or people that aren’t thriving and we bring them to a certain level. Everyone is equal and then we all become the same and we’re stagnant. The truth is I believe we’ve got a lot more to celebrate than that. There are a lot more goodness and more power than that. Rather than having us all meet in the middle, we should all meet at the top.  

GCM 134 | How Thoughts Become Things

How Thoughts Become Things: All amazing things are always accomplished by a team, not an individual.


That’s what I say. What is it that Abraham Lincoln once said? He said, “You never make someone great by lowering everyone to their level. You make everyone great by everyone rising to their highest potential of themselves.” It’s not even a matter of race or color because I know that’s a big issue right now. It’s a matter of how people feel about themselves regardless of how the world sees them or other people sees them. They can’t be amazing until they see something great within themselves to start with. That’s the catalyst. When we see something great, outside opinions have very little to do with who we become.  

I don’t want this interview to go in the wrong way because I want to highlight you and your show. At the same time, I completely agree with your statement. Everyone has to have the intention for everyone to be great.  

It’s a small mind that thinks small about other people. Unfortunately, there are those that do that. Sometimes there’s not much we can do about these haters. I even got haters for the film, for my life, and people that think I’m an idiot. That’s cool. They’re entitled to that opinion. It doesn’t mean I have to embrace it. I’ve got lots of people that think that the stuff that I share is fluff and isn’t realistic. We live in this world that won’t allow people to think greatness of themselves. It’s a naive point of view. I’m here to tell you, you’re entitled to your opinion. I’ll be working with people who want to become great while everyone else is lacking in that.  

Let’s talk about that because you have some scientific backing that supports your theory about this. What is that for us? Could you explain a little bit about what that is? 

There’s a lot of scientific theory that presents this idea of How Thoughts Become Things. We can literally go into psychosomatic studies which means the body and the mind. We’ve all heard the experiments where people have been given a placebo type of pill and then they’ve healed themselves and these kinds of things. It goes even bigger than that. How we see ourselves determines how we show up. Not just how we see ourselves, but also how we see the world around us. Let’s be honest, we’ve been in a room sometimes where someone across the room that you can tell they’ve got negative feelings to us. That affects us too. I had an event one time where there was a lady who had come to see another speaker and she paid quite a high price to be here.  

As soon as I was going to be taking the stage, I didn’t pay to hear that guy. Thank goodness, we connected and she had a change of heart, but that doesn’t always happen. It’s funny because in the film Marie Diamond talks about at a wedding. If half of the group thinks they’re not going to make it, that’s not a good way to start. We’ve got to recognize that there is a lot that’s within our power, but we also have to make a conscious decision at the beginning that we will not be reactive to the negative thinking or negative situations of other people. First of all, let us be clear about who we believe we are.  

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A good way to say that is a goal that’s specific and clear becomes attainable and near. As soon as we become clear, we can start also building boundaries. There are certain things that we don’t tolerate. We teach people how to treat us and we will allow certain things. As soon as we do, people can walk all over us or we can say, “No, I am destined for greatness. I don’t have to endorse, like, subscribe or follow what you’re saying.” We’ve got to be careful about what we insert in our lives as truth. We have the ability to label stories that come to us as either that’s part of us or it’s not part of us. The only way you can get it right is if you decide before you encountered those stories who you want to be.  

I believe that’s the power in all of this because a lot of times, people feel that they don’t have control and they don’t have any power to change things so they just accept it. It is the way it is. I would like to be great but I don’t have the ability to be great. I don’t have the power. The system is designed for me to stay where I am and that’s it. I don’t subscribe to that. I feel that regardless of what’s going on in the world, there’s a world within you. You are your better entity and you can control that. As a matter of fact, your vibration could help change the bigger and greater world. 

Even this idea of the system, the system is changing and waking up. People are beginning to realize that that oldfashioned belief of this is the way that it is, it’s not the reality. We get to create our own reality. One of the things that’s cool is I’ve got a friend that’s also a speaker and he talks about the principle of convergence. What does he mean? An example he uses which is cool is he talks about a smartphone. He says that everything is now coming. Your smartphone got a camera. It’s got connection to the internet. It’s got access to this, that and the other. Literally, the world is converging all the ideas that ever work accessible at a fingertip and everything else.  

It’s no longer as easy to hide darkness. It’s no longer as easy to keep people held back because we all have access to more tools. Even a government or a group that says, “This is the way that it is.” People with opinions can talkback which is an important thing because some of the crap we’ve been told is not accurate, not fair, and not right. Whether that’s against us as individuals or even against our society. There are stuff that we’ve been told that holds us back but it’s time to get out of the matrix. If that’s the way to look at it. Here’s the thing that is interesting, until we decide as individuals, what we want and what we’ll accept, this is the beginning.   

We need to decide what we will embrace. These thoughts that become things, we get to have those thoughts. No one can control those for us. The problem is most people think in limiting ways, they think in terms of hesitation and smallness, will this be acceptable? Even my family, will they support me? Who will stand behind my beliefs? The truth is that these are our thoughts. We need to start with what we feel and we believe and what’s authentically true for us. I’m not suggesting that anybody should go out there and bust the law if they don’t agree with it because of my thoughts or I’m entitled to this, that, and the other. No. Back to this idea of a team and our network being our values, we need to align with people who have the same values with us. 

We need to recognize that here’s a cool way to say it. I had a chance to hung out with Bob Proctor when we’re doing this movie. Bob and I have been friends forever. He’s like a grandpa to me. He wrote the foreword on my last three books. He was in our other movie, The Gratitude Experiment. He’s Canadian too like me. I should clear this up. I’m a dual citizen so I’m happy to also be an American. We’re sitting in his hotel room and we’re chatting about things. We’re talking about this idea in The Secret. You remember that everything vibrates at a frequency. You’ve heard that before. We got into this deep discussion. What is it that’s vibrating? What is the physical matter? We could look in chemistry and the periodic tables and say, “It’s maybe a bit of this, a bit of that. That’s what’s vibrating.” We felt it went deeper than that. Pick an element on the periodic table, carbon, iron, helium, or all these different things. What is that made out of? Energy. What is energy made out of?  

We came up with the idea and I don’t know if we’re scientifically right but this is my theory and I’m going with it. Everything is made up of different manifestations of either love or gratitude. That’s it. The whole universe is made up of different expressions of love or gratitude. If you think in the Bible that says God is love. Everything has that. If you think about it, when you’re vibrating at a low, slow, or no level, you have very little love or gratitude. The stuff that you’re attracting is going to be full of challenges, difficulties and crap. It’s true. When we vibrate at a high level, we have more love, gratitude, inclusion, and expansion. We understand better. We can connect with more in the universe when we’re willing to connect, to embrace, especially people, but not just people, all things, all situations, circumstances and things that appear. We’re looking for the love and the gratitude in it.  

How Thoughts Become Things: Everyone is wealthy. It just appears in the form that they value most.


It was interesting when I did the movie, The Gratitude Experiment, there were two kinds of gratitude that we discovered. Most people only practice one and that’s what we call gratitude for. In other words, I’m grateful for my family, car, money, relationships, and house. It’s all grateful for. If that stuff was taken away, then we’d be in despair. We’d have a hard time with it. The truth is the true gratitude comes when we experience gratitude in. Meaning whatever circumstance we’re placed in, we’re no longer reactive to it, we’ve already decided within regardless of what happens outside that we will have gratitude. That’s obviously easier said than done because you know from your situation with your accident that there were moments you were like, “I am not grateful for this at all.” If we can learn to find gratitude in these things, the healing power is stronger there. For what it’s worth it, it’s an uphill battle to do that but that’s the goal.  

Let’s talk about it because I believe that that’s a great goal, a wonderful target. There are some things that need to be removed in order for people to get there. You headed on it when you talked about all the things that’s going in that you may believe about, that you’ve been told and you see in social media, you start comparing, and these stories come up. That’s called programming. First of all, help the audience understand that programming and how it could be affecting them. How can we begin to remove that in order to get to this target that you’re talking about?  

We’ve all arrived into what I call the programming soup. When you were born, you arrived already into a set of something going on. Your family was programmed by their family back to the day, the culture, the community. Everything has been a form of that programming. When you arrived, it’s like you arrived in the middle of the movie. It’s been going on for a long time. You’re not here with the story. You’ve arrived in the middle of it. That’s it. You’re in the middle of act two. If you remember act two in any movie, we’ve seen the beginning, act two is when all of a sudden the crap hits the fan. All the biggest plot, twists, and the challenges unfold there.  

The interesting thing now, let’s take this idea of thoughts. Everybody thinks thoughts become things, I’m going to think positive thoughts. Thoughts never arrive by themselves. What I mean by that is they always come in pairs. Every time you have powerful thoughts and, I could do this. I could get to the highest level of this. All of a sudden, right behind it is another one that says, “This is why not. This is who you are. This is the reason why you can’t. This is the things that you lack.” Those two thoughts together, those are what arrives into this situation of the programming. If you are in a programming environment where they’ve told you, “You can’t do that stuff. This is the way that our family does it. This is the way we believe. This is our religious background. This is our community. This is who you are because of one thing or another.”  

If those two thoughts arrived and immediately, this one might have a bias. It might have this idea of negative, “No, I can’t do it. My parents had never done it.” As I said, no one in my family was an entrepreneur. When I had this idea of, “I should start a business.” That arrives in the middle of this negative being very high. No one’s been an entrepreneur, not you. This idea of being successful, that’s other families. That’s not our family. We don’t do that kind of thing around here. When we’ve got those, the next part of the question is, how do we deal with these when it comes into the programming?  

The first thing is awareness. We need to be aware when those situations arrive that our programming may paint one or the other a certain way because of who we’d been with. That programming does not make one or the other right. Sometimes this idea of you can succeed. That is the true answer for you. You’ll feel it in your heart. You’ll know your brilliance. It holds you to that idea and says, “This is exciting.” I’ve got a friend in California who wants to be an actor. His whole family said, “That is the worst idea ever. There’s no way that you’re going to ever succeed. Do you know how many people want to be actors and the chances of you being successful?” They give him all the stats and they tell him all the woes. You’re going to be waiting tables forever. 

His family has that bias but in his heart he knows, “This is what I want to do. Even if I’m not going to be the next Academy award-winning guy that everybody recognized, I’m still going to do this because it’s who I am.” That intuition is something we need to listen to. Let’s do something interesting here. I have a whiteboard behind me. There are five things that your brain goes through when it sorts information. I’ve never shared this in another show. This is an exclusive. There are five ways that our brain goes through when it sorts information and everything starts in this one. The first one is intuition. That’s where in your gut you know, “This is who I’m destined to be. I’m so excited. This is the power that I have. This is what I was born to do.  

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All of a sudden, these other ones kick in. If we can’t find answers there, this one dies. The first one is what we call factual learning. Our brain sorts information factually. If you think about it, when you say 1 plus 1 equals 2, you put that somewhere in your brain, you take it as truth. It’s indisputable. That’s the way it’s going to be from the beginning of time. The truth is everything we take as fact isn’t always correct. If you don’t believe me, any of you who are reading this that are married, remember how often you had a certain set of facts and your wife had a certain set of facts. Do they always match up? No. Just because you believe something is a fact, does not make it real. It’s a fact to you.  

There are certain things that are facts, 1 plus 1 equals 2. The second that is interesting is what we call experiential learning. Let’s say you want to learn how to ride a bike, play musical instrument or a sport. For example, you have background in football. I don’t care how many books you read about football. You can’t experience or gain that knowledge until you’re on the field. You read a book about playing the guitar. I don’t care how many books you read about playing guitar until you pick one up and start plucking at it, you’re not going to know what’s going on. There are some things that we must learn experientially. The next learning that we do is what we call social learning. This comes from our families, our communities, those that we value.  

Our network that holds the values that we do. Those people in our community. We become like the five we spend the most time with. The next is what we call spatial learning. The easiest way to describe this is think of the last time you played Tetris or made a puzzle or hung a picture. You are orienting things in regards to how they look to you versus the other things that are going on around it. With Tetris, a little piece comes down, we put it where it fits based on what’s already there. The interesting thing is this occurs outside so what’s happening around us, but it also occurs inside our brain. Let me use a cool example for your audience. Think of a dog. You’ve got a picture of the dog. You know the size, the color, the kind of dog it is, the style, everything. Rodney, what kind of dog did you think about? 


I was thinking of German Shepherd. We’ve got the same word but we both think of it differently. How you sort that in your brain, it depends on the context of what’s going on. It’s interesting. I train a lot of salespeople on this stuff. When you say the word contract, some people feel safe about that. That means I’m going to be protected. Other people think, “I’m locked into a contract for myself. It’s going to suck. I’ll be there with the next three years with a contract money. We’ve got to also understand when dealing with people, we need to understand the context of how they interpret certain information before sharing it.  

Sometimes, our idea of a good idea is the worst. We said every great idea starts with intuition. Let’s say my friend who wants to be a movie actor. This is his heart so those ideas landed in his programming and he wants to be this actor but immediately, he starts looking at the facts. He looks, “It’s true. I got a stat that 3 out of the 5 billion make it into this industry.” I don’t think those are the correct facts or the correct stats. He looks at that and he begins to doubt. Experientially, he recognizes that, “I’ve never been to an audition like that. I’ve never acted in the big movies.” He begins to doubt it again. His family, and this is the powerful one, says, “You should go back to law school. That’s where you belong.” There’s a pressure that’s there especially this is a lot to do with network context.  

GCM 134 | How Thoughts Become Things

How Thoughts Become Things: You never make someone great by lowering everyone to their level. You make everyone great by everyone rising to their highest potential themselves.


How do I bring that outside into where I am? This is a powerful one because your brain wants to know what to do next. What is the step that I can do? What is that I can do? Your brain doesn’t care so much about what it could do. It cares about what it can do in the immediate. If we can’t answer a step like step one, go and get a headshot done, or go and talk to an agent. If we don’t realize those things, we won’t do it. The cool thing is if we can answer yes on all of these in a positive way. We can make them happen. What happens is the intuition then gets strengthened and it says, “I know what to do.”  

“I’ve done a few things where I’m getting training to do it, or “My family, I get where they come from. I’ve got an uncle that was an actor once. He can do it. He’s now in my support group.” You build new support groups and especially, “This is what I do next. This answer often comes from who we hung out with if we‘ve got the right answer. The thing that’s interesting about all of this is this applies into anything we’re trying to convince our mind to do. It also applies to anything we’re trying to persuade other people to do. I do a lot of training also for network marketing companies.  

Let’s say you’re meeting with a client. They get excited and jazzed. They want to go and sell whatever product it is that you are. The best thing that you can do now that they are converted to this idea is go through and give them correct expectations of what’s going to happen next and they feel it. You tell them, “Here are the scientific facts. This is what it is.” You show them experiential. I’m going to help you be successful in selling it and sharing it. Socially guaranteed. When you get home, your mom and dad are going to tell you, “You made the worst choice ever. They’re going to tell you about your lazy uncle Henry. He tried to sell Amway and it never worked for him. Don’t worry. When that shows up, it will show you your own right track and here’s the first thing you need to do.  

They leave the room and somebody hits all these things like that. They’re going to say, “I was expecting this. This is exactly the way it’s unfolding. Therefore, that person that taught me, educating me, or sold me, they were right. They knew what the future would be. When they also told me that I’m going to be pretty good at this and I’ve got a skillset that will serve me, that is true too.” This is a neat thing, but much more on the psychology of that. When I discovered that and outlined work, the details through that from a psych point of view, it’s been very helpful for myself and other students.  

I’m sure, they’re excited about the film. They’re going to go out and check it out. What are some things they should look for when they’re watching the film?  

First of all, I’m going to suggest this. This is the first film that we’ve never built a workbook to use while watching the film. Most people that we’ve talked to already, they’ve decided to watch the film more than once. The first time I encourage you to watch it for the sake of watching it. The second time, take the notebook and literally answer the questions. Don’t be afraid to stop and pause and think through some of these ideas. What is it you want? Who are you as a person? Who do you want to become? What does your future look like for you? What are you drawn to in terms of your destiny? I’m going to encourage you to listen to your intuition because your intuition and your imagination are two of your strongest tools if they’re used correctly.  

Intuition, as I said, thoughts arrive in twos. Sometimes our intuition can create fear and our imagination certainly can create fear. Make sure you’re understanding what it is you want in the long-term. Recognize that you have choices and also recognize that every choice based on immediate gratification is generally wrong. Look for the long-term, look for what you want, the legacy that you want to create, and who you’re going to be remembered from your family, your friends, and your network. If your network isn’t the right network now, make some changes. I’m going to suggest that that’s the best starting point for the move for people. Go out and have a game plan when you’re going to learn. Be clear what you want from the movie before going into the movie. Who do you want to become? That will give you the tools to do so.  

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Where can they find a movie? Where can they connect with you if they want to learn more about you?  

You see the name, How Thoughts Become Things. The easiest place to find the movie is www.HowThoughtsBecomeThings.com. If they want to connect with me, we’ve got a lot of free resources that I put online. The bottom line is I’m not one of these guys who’s all about hard selling a program. If you get our vibe, you’ll become my tribe. That’s it. We’ve put out a lot of free stuff. You can find it on YouTube and Instagram, just type in my name. My favorite things to teach, as you can imagine. When I went out and I met with the 400 top achievers, I’d love to talk about the psychology and mindset around success.  

If you want to learn what it takes, the real success markers that are utilized, we have lots of tools on that. Also, how to level up your networks? How did I get to 400 of the world’s top achievers? How did I get to Oprah? I didn’t just knock on her door and said, “I’m here.” I had to do certain things to go through that. If you want to level up your network, which will change everything for you, I teach a lot of that. Lastly, one of the things I appreciate, I know we talked about some people don’t do it for the money, but you’ve got to have money. It’s like what Zig Ziglar said. He said, “Some people think money isn’t important. For me, it ranks right up there with oxygen.”  

All of us have potential in life, but the truth is the way that our world is built is everything almost has an admission ticket that you need to buy. If your life as an artist or if you want to explore as an athlete, money opens a lot of doors. I agree with the saying that says money isn’t happiness, but what is happiness? Happiness is living a life so that you can make more choices and then we create consequences from those choices that we’re pleased with. When we have access to financial resources, we can make more choices than someone who is stuck. Don’t be ashamed about money. I know people say, “We never want to talk about politics, religion or money.”  

The truth is some of those things we do need to talk about. Some of them are important issues and they have a lot to do with who we can become. I’m going to encourage you. Don’t be afraid to have the money conversation and don’t be afraid of abundance. It’s there for you. Everyone is entitled to it. One of my mentors said it this way and this was amazing. He said, “Remember that at the mint, where they print money, they’re printing it every day. You get to decide how much of it will come back to you.” There are systems that you can do that will allow that to happen easier. It’s more accessible than you would ever believe. When I was nineteen, I did my first million and I was not a smart kid. I’m not a smart adult either but I’m having fun. That’s the key.  

It’s been great speaking with you. I want to say thank you for coming on the show. Before we go, one last question and that is, how can we bounce back from adversity, dominate challenge, and consistently win in the game of life?  

The one big thing to remember is that all challenges are temporary. Things that occur in our life are preparing us for the next thing. One of my friends also said it this way, “Anytime in life, you’re either going into a problem, you’re in the problem, or you’re coming from a problem so don’t run from it.” As I went out and I interviewed the 400 top achievers, the thing that made them successful is they decided first and foremost that they’re bigger than any problem. Any problem that comes along, they’re bigger than it. Remember Einstein said that a problem well defined is half solved. Any problem we encounter will never be solved on the same line of thinking of where it was created.  

The thing that is important about that is remember, you don’t have to ever solve a problem by yourself. Your network, those that you associate with often have the best answers because their thinking is different than you getting yourself into the mess. One of the things that I have found to be very successful for me personally, especially from a self-esteem point of view, is if ever you’re stuck with a problem, don’t try to solve it right away. If it’s a challenging problem, here’s what you do. Go out and do something nice for someone else. Forget your problem. Go out and serve someone else. Do something. If it’s anonymous, this works even faster but the minute that you’re solving a problem for someone else is the minute your problem finds its own answers.  

Not only were you feeling some self-confidence, self-worth, self-appreciation, all those things will appear, but you’ll see that many of the problems that you feel like you’re experiencing, what did they say? I thought that I had it bad with no shoes until I found the man with no feet. We can go and serve someone. We’ll find that immediately, the universe starts to bless us with abundance and answers. It’s the people that sit still with their problems, it’s the people that hang on to that and stand in despair and look at, “Why did this have to be me? They’re the guys that get more. Remember, universe is the echo chamber. You show up with complaints, concerns, and criticisms, you’re going to get a lot more of that. Forget yourself. Get started helping someone else, and everything will start shaping up better for you.  

Thank you for coming on the show. It’s been a blast.  

You’re awesome. We’ll do this again. You and I talked before, we’ve got other plans. You haven’t seen the last of Rodney, that’s for sure.  

There you have another successful episode. I encourage you, go out and watch this movie. I’ve already watched it once. I’m going to watch it again. Thank you for giving me the tip about the workbook. I’m going to have to go to watch it with the workbook. You don’t want to miss this, especially at a time like this. The universe is calling us to be better version of ourselves. Take this opportunity. Now that we’re in quarantine and a lot of us are experiencing a level of stillness that we haven’t ever experienced in our lives. Use this opportunity to better yourself, to find a deeper meaning about who you are, and what your contribution is.  

It’s the big reset. Now is the time.  

Until next time. Peace and love.  

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About Douglas Vermeeren

GCM 134 | How Thoughts Become ThingsDouglas Vermeeren has researched the success strategies from business leaders and companies like Nike, Reebok, Fruit of the Loom, FedEx, American Airlines, UGG boots, Uber, KFC, McDonalds, Disney, United Airlines, Microsoft and others to share their success secrets with you. ABC television and FOX Business refer to him as the modern-day Napoleon Hill. He is also the producer and director of three out of the top ten personal development movies ever made. And now the new hit film How Thoughts Become Things! Douglas has authored three books in the Guerrilla Marketing series. He is a regular featured expert on FOX, CNN, ABC, NBC, CTV and CBC and others. If you want to create more personal or business success then Vermeeren is the name you need to become familiar with. His trainings are jam-packed with practical tools and strategies that will take you to the top faster than you ever thought possible. Currently his program Personal Power Mastery is rated as number three in the world for the most powerful personal development seminars.

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