I was sitting around socializing with some friends the other day when one of my guests told a story about how an acquaintance had driven off the highway and into a farmer’s field…

She followed the tractor path four and half kilometers into a wooded bog and eventually buried her car up to the axles in mud.

When asked by the police why she had chosen this particular route to her destination, she assured the officer it wasn’t her fault. Her GPS had guided her there.

Later the same day I received an e-mail from an organization called Internet Payment Bureau. That’s right, Internet Payment Bureau. The subject line read: Your auto-deposit is pending.

Inside was a friendly “hello” and a link to something called Auto-Depositing Clickbank Software. “Once you turn it on,” the e-mail assured me, “there is no other work required. You just turn it on and then collect your commissions.”

The fact that somebody would send an e-mail like this is proof positive that gullibility, sloth, and foolishness are soaring to epidemic proportions in the world today. I felt compelled to forward the e-mail to the young lady with the GPS.

Apparently, thinking and doing in our modern world are dead…

People today have become so reliant on gizmos, gadgets, doohickeys, and doodads that they’re becoming incredibly stupid and lazy… incapable of doing anything that demands thinking.

In school, kids are no longer taught how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide… or how to print, write, or spell. Text-to-Speech technology is now eliminating the inconvenience of having to read. Young people today expect instant results in any undertaking with no effort, no real skills, and no risk.

Nothing against the youth of today, but given a choice between hiring the typical young educated person… and a well-trained dog… I’d probably opt for the dog.

Have you heard the story of “Chaser” the Border Collie?

The wife of a retired university professor with time on his hands encouraged her husband to get a dog. So the professor went out and bought himself a puppy and started teaching it to recognize the names of a variety of different toys.

Every day, the professor would introduce a new toy or two to Chaser, repeat the name of the toy up to 40 times, and then hide it, telling the pup to go find and fetch.

Over the course of three years, Chaser was able to memorize the names of 1,022 different toys and also categorize them according to function and shape.

When a talk show host asked the retired professor whether he felt Chaser was a particularly intelligent dog, the answer was no. He chalked up her powers of recollection to the fierce work ethic of the Border Collie breed.

“She DEMANDS four to five hours of training a day,” the professor said. “I have to go to bed to get away from her.” He’s 82.

There’s a lesson here. It’s not the smartest people who succeed. The world is full of brainy failures and educated dimwits. The prize goes to the disciplined. To those who retain a single-minded focus on a given goal and invest themselves fully in its attainment.

Refuse to be deterred, add effort upon effort, and it is truly amazing what can be achieved. How do you gain that winning edge in today’s wacked out world that laughs at such old-fashioned ideals?

Here are a few crazy ideas…

Think Complete Thoughts: Just say “No” to anyone who insists on trying to communicate with you in the half-thought of tweets and texts, the sum total of which can never amount to more than precious little. These truncated mediums encourage triviality, mindless babble, and lazy thinking. Refuse to indulge.

It takes 10 to 20 minutes of focused concentration to dial into the flow state required to create anything of worth or value for your business. Every time you allow yourself to be distracted by inane social media twaddle, remember this: It’s costing you.

Stay focused on one thing at a time and you have an immediate advantage.

Beware the Free Lunch: Nothing of significant and enduring value can ever be free. It just doesn’t compute. No true skill or asset has ever been attained without the assumption of calculated risk and the investment of time, energy, and money in some clever and creative combination.

Human nature forbids the free lunch. If something appears too good to be true it probably is. Yet fools are rushing in today faster than ever. Use this to your advantage in business, but please, with a conscience.

Take Responsibility for Your Own Success: For the last couple of decades, it has been customary for teachers in schools to hand out ribbons to all of the kids in class competitions, win or lose. Ever since Barney the dinosaur, things have been rapidly going downhill.

Is this a symptom or a cause of the widespread disease of entitlement that exists in society today? I don’t know. But one thing is for sure: The minute you start placing the blame for your lack of success on anybody or anything outside of yourself, you’ve found your source of failure. Feel free to quote me on that.

Rejoice in the evolving stupidity of the world. It just means it’s easier than ever for people with common sense and a strong work ethic to strike it rich. I hope that means you.

[Ed. Note: Daniel Levis is a top marketing consultant, direct-response copywriter, and publisher of the highly acclaimed marketing periodical Persuasion Mastery Club. Get a full month of Persuasion Mastery Club (a $78 value) FREE! No credit card required. Just sign up here.

Listen in while Daniel grills one of the masterminds behind arguably the biggest info-product success story in the history of direct marketing – The Doctor’s Book of Home Remedies, for Rodale Press. Michael Fishman spills his most cherished secrets on everything from envisioning an info-product idea… to developing it through systematic research… to validating it with small-scale tests… and, ultimately, rolling it out for juicy profits!

Click here for free access to the mp3 and transcript of this priceless interview and a bonus edition of Daniel’s Persuasion Mastery Club premium e-letter.]

Daniel Levis is a highly sought after direct response copywriter, consultant, and info-marketer with a rabid following. Almost 20,000 subscribers eagerly await his marketing tips, articles, live training events, coaching programs, and home study courses.