Welcome to the College Prep Confidential Podcast
July 7, 2019

CPC Episode #10 - Don't Apply To College Until You Jot These 3 Letters Down

College Prep can be grueling. You need help, and this episode will show you how with tips like: The 3 letter word which simplifies college prep Carry this piece of paper around and read it twice a day to visualize your college prep goals...

College Prep can be grueling. You need help, and this episode will show you how with tips like:

  • The 3 letter word which simplifies college prep
  • Carry this piece of paper around and read it twice a day to visualize your college prep goals
  • What monks can teach you about college prep
  • The 2 reasons people give for doing anything. One is a lie, the other is truth
  • Ask these 5 questions to avoid lying to yourself
  • 2 success secrets a billionaire revealed to reduce college prep time

Thanks for tuning into the College Prep Confidential podcast. Join me for Episode 10, entitled, “Don't Apply To College Until You Jot These 3 letters Down”

In my office, I’m surrounded by books. They dominate the room. But on the wall, you’ll find a lone, 3x5 Index card on the wall. I also carry a duplicate card in my pocket. On both cards is a 3 letter word. I'll tell you what it has on it in a moment, but first, where I got the idea from and the reason for doing this. You may have heard of The book, Think and Grow Rich. The book is everywhere. young, old, everybody mentions the book, It's sold over 100 million copies. Napoleon Hill wrote this book from success secrets he learned through the steel billionaire (in today's money) Andrew Carnegie.

in the book, Hill talks about the 6 step plan to solidify a goal, While the book uses a financial goal the process applies to college prep as well, which I'm about to show you. In the 6 step process, Step 5 has you writing, not typing, but handwriting, as we talked about in a prior episode, your goal out on a 3 x 5 index card. You write How much money you want, when do you want it by, and what you plan to exchange in return for getting it. And Step 6 states, "Read your written statement aloud, once just before retiring at night, and once after waking up."

Now on my index card, I have my financial goal. But I took Napoleon Hill's exercise a step further. Above the dollar amount, I have a 3 letter word. This 3 letter word cuts through and clarifies my purpose for getting to this goal. And I'll get to the 3 letter word in a moment, but first, let's discuss the reason I recommend writing it on an index card.

The index card plays an important role in your college prep journey. And like all powerful concepts, it has deep historical roots. You see, the Monks of medieval times employed a hands-on system for marking a manuscript’s key words: they would use a symbol showing a finger pointing to the term. Which finger you ask? The indexfinger. The word Index traces its roots to Latin and the concept of informer, or pointer. 

Your life, like a book, has a table of contents. And one of the big chapters during your journey on this floating space rock, is going to college.  And your college journey needs an index pointer or a purpose. And the 3 letter pointer is the same word on my index card...


My index card has a big "Why?" at the top, Followed by my reasons for going after my goal.

You see, in any goal setting environment, whether it's financial, life, or college prep, Once you've got your "Why", the What, How, Where, When, and Who gets much easier to fill in. 

And this is the exercise I'd like you to do when you hear this episode. Whether you're a parent of a college bound student, or a college bound student, this goal will transform your life.

Get a blank, 3 x 5 index card. And on it, write "WHY". Followed by, "am I going to college?"

The answer your write after it becomes your map to chart your course. Now if you ask people why they went or should go to college, you'll get a few answers....

Why go to college?

  • Freedom (Dip your toe into a world with independence before making the full time jump)
  • Connections and networking
  • Identity - I'm a "boilermaker" or "I'm a seminole
  • Learn new skills
  • Time management
  • New experiences

But your "why" needs to be honest. In a strada/gallup poll, 58% of people stated "work outcome" or career goals as their driving force for going to college.

And what about post graduates? Not surprisingly, even more Americans (72 percent) with postgraduate education experiences identify career goals as their top motivation

But let's dig deeper...

When we say the words career, job, or opportunity, what we really mean is Money. Cash. Shekels. Benjamins. dough, moolah, cheddar, loot.


The Big reason is money/financial opportunity. So when you hear, or tell yourself silly reasons, be reminded of the famous quote...

John Pierpont Morgan, the JP Morgan of JP Morgan Chase, once said:

“A man always has two reasons for what he does—a good one, and the real one.”

Asking "Why" embraces Richard Feynmans idea on the first principle. Feynman said:

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool

Once you have your overarching "Why", then you work backwards to define the steps to get to college.

In fact, there's a neat little trick to dig down deep to get to the bottom of any "real reason" why. It's called the 5 Why's. And here's a college prep example....

  1. Q: Why am I studying for this ACT and SAT exam? A: To get better grades?
  2. Q: Why do I want better grades on the exam? A: So I rank higher above other students
  3. Q: Why do I want to rank higher above other students? A: Better chance for financial aid and scholarships
  4. Q: Why do you want financial aid and scholarships? A: So I can have a better chance at getting into a good college
  5. Q: Why do you want to get into a good college? So I can get a great job and make money

And it's this 3 letter word, on a plain index card, which will drive you forward. During the grueling study sessions, during the tedious financial aid applications process, during the college visits. The process drains you of energy. And without your "why", motivation slips through your fingers like a fistful of sand.

Like Nietczhe said:

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how

Your "why", written down on a 3 x 5 index card, gets carried around with you. When you change clothes, the index card gets removed and viewed. Twice a day when you read the card aloud, your index card gets viewed. When you pack your things to go somewhere, chances are, the index card gets viewed.

The physical act of writing out your "Why", and holding and reading the card, combined with the repetition of seeing it every day, rewires your brain. And you'll never achieve this by typing up notes in a document on your computer. The effect is not the same. 

When you take the index card out of your pocket, you hold your goals in your hand. The world belongs to you when you hold this index card. Nobody can take this away from you. And just like a signature, you've endorsed your future by physically writing down your "Why". It's a contractual agreement between you and the universe. 

Now that you have your why, let me help you with the "how". As in, how'll you pass the ACT and SAT exams with flying colors. And how to put more money in your pocket with college financial aid. I've put together two resources for you. The first is a platform built by expert ACT and SAT exam Takers. They had a "why" as well... to pass on their knowledge into a test prep platform to show you how to work smarter. And the second resource is a college prep training to show you what goes on behind the scenes for college prep. 

Why am I doing this? Because if you like the resources, maybe you'll choose to work with my company in the future for additional college prep help. You've got your "why", let me help you with the "how". And these resources are at cpcshow.com. That's c-p-c show dot com.