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How Helen Hadsell Used Her Mind To Win A 1000 Contests
A meeting with Art Linkletter, a trip to Paris and lord knows what else. Helen created her own external stimuli to pan her future out.
In a battle between environment and genetics, the former always emerges victorious. Case in point, if you were a native of France but raised in America, you’re more likely to be American, in values, beliefs and fries, than French; and you’ll be missing out on the third sexiest accent in the world.
We’ve said this time and time again—we’re social creatures who want to belong. We want to be accepted, acknowledged and respected. Your surrounding, your external stimulus shapes who you eventually become and the only factor you control is who you choose to belong with. This phrase might ring a bell:
Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.
Well, it’s true, to some degree. A group of stellar individuals were responsible for creating companies like Tesla, LinkedIn, YouTube, Yelp, Yammer, SpaceX, Founders Fund and many more. All of them had one thing in common—they were ex-employees of PayPal. The PayPal mafia, as they’re prominently known today, have a combined net worth of $310 billion and it’s bizarre to even think about what must have ensued at PayPal for it to produce billionaires with such ease. It’s safe to say, they had beside them, the right company.
Now, we’re not here to laud a once-in-a-lifetime gathering of brilliant people because them building great companies might not have been luck but them being in the right place at the right time, i.e. PayPal, definitely needed certain stars aligning. It could’ve happened to anyone but alas, they were the chosen few. No, we’re here to build on the topic of our environment and its influence on our future.
Granted, we’re not always able to choose the household we grow up in or select gifted friends that we’ll learn from or love the person voted most likely to succeed. But what if, to a certain extent, we can control the creation of external stimuli, i.e. build our surroundings according to what we want, but in our minds.
And before you label this as hocus-pocus, we’re here to tell you that it’s not only possible… it’s been done before.
A Story For You
The year was 1948 when 24-year-old Helen Barbara Daeschel (Hadsell post-marriage), started participating in sweepstakes, lotteries and consumer skill contests (known today as giveaways), as a family hobby. The winner of these competitions was chosen at random but some of these contests required entrants to submit a reason for their participation in the first place—extolling the product being offered in ‘25 words or less’.
Needless to say, luck didn’t favor Helen all that much during the initial years of participations. The odds are almost always stacked up against you in such cases—it’s you against thousands of others, competing for the same thing. It started as a family hobby for the Hadsell household and would’ve remained one, had Helen not stumbled upon Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking.
Things took a turn after that. During her lifetime, it is reported that Helen Hadsell won more than 5000 contests. And this is what she did.
In Norman Peale’s book, the mind is described to be a powerful tool that has the ability to produce results with the power of thought alone.
You can have anything you want, provided you’re crystal clear about what it is and see yourself having it.
Helen used that thought and devised a technique that allowed her to attain everything she ever wanted. This is just one of her crazy stories.
Helene wanted to meet Art Linkletter, a popular television personality at the time. She was in line, waiting to enter the studio where Art Linkletter’s show was being filmed, but she was the last person to reach.
There was only so much room so the seats were limited. The young man in charge of the seat allocation closed the door after the venue reached capacity.
He started offering tickets to another show, to the people that couldn’t get a seat at Art Linkletter’s, which included Helen. Helen refused the tickets, stating that she wanted to meet Art Linkletter.
He apologized and closed the door as the rest of the people proceeded to the other show. Helen neither yielded, nor budged. She stayed put until 10 minutes later, the young man came out once again, surprised to still see her waiting.
“You’re still here?” He asked.
“Well, I’m here to meet Art Linkletter.”
He told her to wait and checked if there were any seats available. He found one but it was all the way up in the balcony. She didn’t mind.
Art Linkletter made a grand entrance and said, “Today is our Christmas show and somebody in the audience is going to win a fabulous prize.”
He greeted a few people as he looked around and after walking past a bunch of men and women, he stopped, looked at Helen and squinted his eyes.
“Do I know you?” He asked, clearly perplexed.
“No, I’ve never been here.” She replied.
“Are you sure?”
Linkletter held her hand and charmingly said, “Well, you’re the one who’s going to win the grand prize.”
He gave her the $1500 LeCoultre diamond watch. Helen, who’d already won several prizes before, kept watching the show, unfazed.
During the break, Art Linkletter walked up to Helen and asked her again, “Do I know you from somewhere?”
She politely refused because she didn’t think he would believe her.
The night before she walked up to Art Linkletter’s studio, she profusely thought and repeated the same statement to herself.
“Art Linkletter, I’m going to be on your show and when you see me, you’ll know me.”
Luck. Fate. Fortune. Kismet. Magic. It’s beyond all that.
Inspired by The Power of Positive Thinking, Helen coined the S.P.E.C formula and later, wrote several books about it, including ‘Contesting: The Name It & Claim It Game.’ The S.P.E.C technique may fool you with how easy it sounds but its implementation is key to be able to milk the most out of it.
We are diligently using the S.P.E.C formula for this little box down below to overflow with emails. We’ll keep you updated on the results.
Select It - It is imperative to know what it is you exactly want. There must be no doubt in your mind whatsoever about your requirement. Define it, date it and make sure there is no ambiguity.
Project It - Now that you have chosen what it is you’re after, best believe you already have it. It may feel silly but you must behave like it’s already in your possession. A new car—start visualizing its interiors, how the new car leather smells like, the feeling you have when you’re driving it. $100,000 in your account—walk with security, start spending time in places where you would want to feel like you’re arrived, believe that the amount is already in your account. You’re creating it as you think more about it.
Expect It - You’ve ordered something on an online marketplace and you’re anticipating its arrival at any moment—use that feeling and anticipate your desire’s arrival. It’s on the way, you’re just expecting it to reach any second.
Collect It - Be ready when it arrives. You may expect some action to be taken for it to truly arrive and now that you’ve come all this way, what’s a little action to stop you? Take what’s yours and don’t budge till you do.
Helen wasn’t born with a silver spoon. She neither had the environment nor the upbringing to be able to win so many contests, based purely on intelligence or personality. She didn’t have the connections to collude or bribe the decision-makers. All she did was create her own surrounding—her external stimulus. She visualized what she truly wanted and behaved like it was already in her possession. A toaster, a new apartment, a trip to Paris, yes, even a trip to Paris!
Helen was about to turn 40 when she wanted to go to Paris with her husband. She had read that Paris was a city filled with light, love and a child-like excitement. She started imagining herself spending her 40th birthday there.
She imagined sitting in a café right by a sidewalk, drinking wine and taking in everything that the city of love had to offer. She started entering contests that were offering trips to Europe.
The 25 words she wrote for those contests were always the same: “I’m a pooped couple, with three kiddos, and I’d like to go to Paris, France to recapture the rapture of Springtime ecstasy in my fat, forty frustrated years.”
She won 3rd place in a contest that had a trip to Paris as the grand prize but she did not get the trip to Paris.
After that, she won tickets to Venice but she told the representative that she wanted to go to Paris. The first-class tickets were changed to Paris.
Shortly after, Helen and her husband, Pat, left for France. She was sitting in a café right by a sidewalk, drinking wine with her beloved husband, taking in everything that the city of love had to offer.
It is a perfect story, if you read it again. The one thing Helen didn’t have is doubt. She always believed in the end result, and never let pessimism get the better of her. Even in her book, she revealed that results were always guaranteed—the sole factor that wasn’t in her control was the time it took for the results to come by and like everything in life, you can expect just a bit of delay for things to eventually work out.
A Story From You
Helen Hadsell was named the legendary contest queen.
But you take the power of her mind out of the equation, and she’s just another person who participated in these silly contests.
The mind is a powerful organ, that stands unrivaled in its ability to do more than its descriptions in Biology books.
Do you have a desire, a goal, a product, a vision that you’re aiming to achieve? And if yes, what’s your timeframe?
Creating an external stimuli,