Here's something I found that I thought some of you might enjoy: VOCATION VOCATION VOCATION According to Websterâs dictionary, the term ace denotes one who excels at something. It is also a title given to combat pilots who have at least five in-air victories. World War II produced more fighter-pilot aces than any other conflict, with 1,285 pilots earning the title during this period (âThe Last Ace,â Wall Street Journal, January 29, 1999, p. W11). How did they accomplish this feat? Most did it the traditional way, in dogfights. Many were eventually shot down themselves. But at least two did it quite differently. Their unique method and rationale for its use have significance for people who want to become economically productive. Like the two aces, the majority of millionaires surveyed became economic successes because they learned to focus their energies and other resources in ways that maximized their output. But what drove them to this focused approach? Both of the pilots who âdid it differentlyâ were more than aces (see Raymond F. Toliver and Trevor J. Constable, The Blond Knight of Germany [Blue Ridge Summit, PA: Aero Books, 1970]). One, Major Erich Hartmann, is known in military literature as the Ace of Aces. He had 352 confirmed in-air victories. The other pilot who had the same unique strategy was Sergeant âPauleâ Rossmann, Hartmannâs mentor. He himself had more than 80 victories. It was Rossmann who invented the approach that ultimately led to Hartmannâs extraordinary success. Early in his career, Rossmann suffered an injury to his arm that never healed, and he was unable to dogfight. In a typical dogfight, victory goes to those with superior physical strength. Rossmann knew he could never survive this kind of battle, so he developed a compensating technique. Substituting a much more calculating method for the macho dogfighting strategy, he carefully planned each and every attack. He spent much more time analyzing various targets of opportunity than actually firing bullets at his quarry. He attacked only when he was in the best possible position to win. Then he would focus all his resources at the ideal target â the one that would give him the maximum return on his investment. Hartmann credits Rossmannâs approach, the âsee and decide prior to firingâ method, with his own success. It also explains how Hartmann survived 1,425 combat missions, yet he was never even wounded. What does all this have to do with becoming an economic success in America? Most millionaires understand that they have certain limitations, and they developed an understanding of their strengths and limitations before they even finished school. Like Rossmann, they realized that they had some type of âinjured arm,â some type of limitation. So they developed their own unique strategy for becoming economically productive. Most millionaires, for example, are not intellectually gifted in an analytical sense. They did not receive all As in school, nor were they in the 1400-and-above SAT club. Thatâs why they decided not to compete in macho dogfight environments where superior analytical intelligence is a requirement to succeed. These same people usually did not score high enough on the standardized test that are requirements for law school, medical school, or graduate school. Many millionaires did not have a high enough grade point average to be hired by major corporations. But they still wanted to become economically successful, so many chose to be self-employed. They hired themselves when other employers would not. Many millionaires who designated themselves as âother than intellectually giftedâ are, in fact, gifted in other ways. They have an abundance of common sense, and they have what some call creativity. How else can we explain their ability to discover economic opportunities that most so-called geniuses were unable to see? After studying millionaires for more than twenty years, I have concluded that if you make one major decision correctly, you can be economically productive. If you are creative enough to select the ideal vocation, you can win, win big-time. The really brilliant millionaires are those who selected a vocation that they love â one that has few competitors but generates high profits. Thomas J. Stanley, Ph.D., The Millionaire Mind, pp19-21 (Andrews McMeel Publishing, Kansas City, 2000).