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10 Life Lessons To Learn From Andre Agassi’s Book “Open”

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As Andre Agassi walks onto the stage, I see a man that looks as though he has fought many battles. His spirit is unwavering. As he begins to talk, he comes across as one of the few sages of sport. He’s learned the lessons of success and failure the hard way.

Andre’s intelligence doesn’t appear to be of an intellectual kind but more of an emotional kind. Having read his book, it’s clear that Andre has had his fair share of adversity. What I loved though was that Andre said, “Adversity builds character.”

This sentence became clear because as Andre spoke, his exceptional character shone through brightly. The scoreboard of Andre’s life seems to have gone in his favor the more he has chosen to live the right way. When he was making poor choices, the scoreboard in tennis went against him.

Andre Agassi At Telstra Vantage

Andre Agassi At Telstra Vantage

The deeper the conversation became with Andre on stage, the more apparent it became that he believed that success was about how you went about life. The part of Andre’s interview that most resonated with the audience was when he said that, “we all live different experiences but our lives are the same.”

Andre’s life could easily be perceived as the ultimate experience. As it turns out, he suffered the same challenges as normal people do. In fact, it could be argued that his problems were even worse than the average person’s.

The final mantra that Andre described, which hit me in the face like a cold shower, was that “Instead of surviving, we should learn to thrive.” Why settle for mediocre? Everything we go through in life is our choice, and we can achieve whatever we want as long as we make fabulous choices.

Seeing Andre live seemed like a strange coincidence because I had only just finished reading his book “Open” a few weeks prior. Everything happens for a reason I guess.

Here are the 10 lessons I learned from Andre’s book that will forever change you:

 

1. You are playing yourself not your opponent

Life is not about winning against other people; it’s about winning against yourself. How do you do that? By trying to be just 1% better than you were the day before. The small steps are where the seemingly big steps of growth come from.

Your mind plays a big part in your life, and it can often be your invisible opponent until you see its importance. Use your minds weaknesses to leverage your strengths.

 

2. What you feel is not important, it’s what you do

We all feel a vast variety of emotions each day. The people that act on the negative one’s too often become the criminals and the people that can control the negative one’s become the champions like Andre. Feeling and thinking mean nothing.

It’s what you do with your thoughts and feelings that determine your success. The best way to live life at the highest level is to take more action in the direction you want to go. If your dream is to be phenomenal at sport, then take action towards achieving this goal.

While everyone else is out drinking, you need to be working towards your goal. When feelings arise, and they will, use them to your advantage and manipulate them towards your advantage. The worlds counting on you to do something courageous, extraordinary, and brave. That’s how champions like Andre are born.

 

3. We can learn to love the things we hate

The Only Opponent Is YourselfThroughout Andre’s book, he describes many times his hate for the sport of tennis. It’s clear by the end that he is able to deal with his hatred of tennis because he has learned to love it for the meaning it gives him, the income he earns which helps him do more good, and the sport’s ability for him to help others with their own struggles and injustices.

While I don’t think doing something you hate is to be advised, I do see through Andre’s eyes that any struggle can help construct your mindset. Without adversity, you won’t have the building blocks for success. You need a varied experience, with plenty of challenges, to have any chance of achieving the extraordinary.

Sitting at home thinking about what you want to do and talking about it will never make your dream come true. Go out there and pursue it despite what others tell you!

 

4. Bad feelings last longer than good one’s

In the book, Andre describes what it’s like to win and lose a major tennis game. While I would have thought that winning is something that he would focus on, Andre describes winning as very anti-climatic.

He explains that losing is the hardest part because it lasts ten times longer than the winning feeling. We’ve all experienced this in our lives where we reach a significant milestone and then think to ourselves, “Is this all there is?”

We expect the good feeling of winning and achieving to last a long time, but it never does. This fact always seems to surprise us every time like we didn’t already know it to be true. Remember that everything we do in life is typically to chase some positive feeling.

 

5. Perfectionism will kill you

One of Andre’s career challenges was that he was trying to hit a winning ball every time. Towards the end of his career, he learned that not winning every ball, and remaining steady and consistent was far more crucial to him winning.

In life, being perfect at everything you do is the same. Rather than win at every task you do, try to remain consistent and concentrate on getting just that little bit better with a solid routine of habits.

“Trying to be perfect is stacking the odds against yourself”

 

6. Winning is short-term

The odd lesson we get from Andre’s book is just how little becoming number one in the world at something changes your reality. When Andre describes becoming number one, he says that he feels nothing. Even when he wins some important games, he describes the feeling as only lasting a short time.

You can’t rely on winning to be your day-to-day motivation. You have to be able to live a fantastic day every day even if you haven’t won or achieved anything significant. If you become addicted to feeling that winning feeling, then you are certain to fail and fall off a cliff at some point.

“No matter how much you win, if you’re not the last one to win, you’re a loser” – Andre Agassi

 

7. Fighting our pain and relieving other people’s pain is why we’re here

fighting-our-painAndre’s trainer Gil in the book becomes very sick, and he learns a life-changing lesson. The lesson he learns is that fighting our pain and relieving other people’s pain is why we’re here. We’re put on this planet to help people with their struggles rather than just focusing on our own.

When we help people through their struggles, it helps us with our own. Fighting through the pain is the only thing we can do. If we surrender to it, then our progress goes backwards, and we run the risk of terminating our existence.

Once you discover how to end people’s pain you, unlock the infinite wisdom that Andre himself has tapped into. It’s not about you; it’s about others.

 

8. Fear is your fire

Fear never goes way, and it’s part of our genetic makeup. Without fear, we would lose the fire to succeed at our dream. When we become fearless, we become unmotivated and on the brink of failure. Let fear motivate you rather than stop you from getting where you want to go.

 

9. We see ourselves in other’s comebacks

1683549S1421_AusOpenThere’s nothing interesting about constant success. We all get excited when we see someone struggle and then get to experience their comeback. We’ve all fallen from grace at some stage in our life, and the journey back to the top is where all the growth and positive feelings lie.

We can all identify with struggle and it’s what glues us all together as one. We can all see a part of ourself in Andre’s comeback and struggles.

 

10. Don’t think, feel

As usual, the book finishes with some wise words from a woman (Andre’s wife, Stefanie). She explains that when we think too much, we block ourselves from achieving our goal. We have to learn to use our intuition and feel our way through challenges.

Over-thinking is the symptom for most of the time’s I’ve failed at something, and I’m sure you can relate. There’s a time for thinking, and there is a time for feeling.

“In the heat of the match of your life, you have to trust your thoughts and feel your way towards the outcome you so badly desire”

What did you take away from Andre’s teachings? Let me know on my website timdenning.net or my Facebook.

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared millions of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around personal development and entrepreneurship. You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Shrawan

    Feb 12, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    Liked it!!!

  2. Jerry V

    Feb 12, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    A very good post…!!! Incredible!!!

  3. johnmijo

    Oct 23, 2016 at 7:03 am

    good post

Leave a Reply

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Life

3 Simple Strategies to Fight Procrastination

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Sometimes, all it takes to beat procrastination is a few simple tweaks. You woke up fresh and energized, got your coffee, and have your tasks meticulously listed. Afterwards, you got your “working music” playing through your noise-canceling headphones, and you turn on your computer ready to begin working.

And then…it happens. You glance back and forth at your list and your computer screen. The earliest deadline will not be until later at the end of your workday. You still got time. You want to try out that new restaurant around the corner. So, you go on the Internet to learn more about it.

The next thing you know, half the work day is done, and you have finished nothing! Sound familiar? You are not alone. In fact, the truth is that procrastination is normal. In fact, a study done by Piers Steel, shows that 95% of people procrastinate. The other 5% are probably still in denial.

The dangers of procrastinating

While there are cases when procrastination can do some good at work, it does have its adverse effects. Just take a look at these stats:

  • People who procrastinate reported higher levels of stress and more prone to illness long-term.
  • Chronic procrastinators exhibited poor work performance and made significantly more mistakes.
  • 40% of people that procrastinate report a significant financial loss.

Below are 3 reasons why we procrastinate and how we can fight against procrastinating:

1. Lacking motivation

People crave comfort because it is less stressful and it makes us feel safe. That is why it is so easy to convince yourself to take a nap or go for a Netflix binge even if you got a looming deadline. On the other hand, it takes a whole lot more effort on your part to motivate yourself to get up from that couch and spend time finding your passion.

Why? Let’s be honest: making those sales calls, doing presentations, and writing up reports are hardly things that you would call “enjoyable.” In fact, it can be tiresome, overwhelming, and just plain difficult.

How to fight it: “Motivation has a lot to do with perspective,” says Jim Vernon, CEO of Rockher. “Instead of focusing on the actual task you need to do, shift your focus to what will you get when you accomplish it. Does it mean more time with your kids? Or perhaps a raise?”

One way to do this is by changing the way you write your to-do list. Instead of just listing down one task after another, try listing them down by using an action verb.

Entrepreneur Marie Forleo calls this process as verbalizing your to-do list. Sounds simple, but it is beneficial because as she explains, the presence of these action verbs at the start of each of the tasks on your to-do list serve as a trigger to motivate you to take action.

“Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.” – George Herbert

2. Fear

Fear can be very crippling. For many people, it is just enough for them to validate why they procrastinate. The fear of failure is the most common reason why people procrastinate, especially among perfectionists.

Perfectionists have the urge that everything should be perfect the first time around. There is always that little voice ringing in their head that keeps telling them, ‘what if you mess up?’ Eventually, they give in to that voice and end up setting projects aside.

How to fight it: Baddeley said that the way he overcame this was by accepting failure. A friend of mine gave me John Maxwell’s book, Failing Forward. In it, one of the principles that he taught was that it is perfectly okay to make mistakes. It is part of being normal. The moment I learned to accept this was when I slowly started beating the procrastination habit.

3. Rebellion

In some cases, procrastinating is one way for a person to show one’s disapproval about something. For students, it can be their way of getting back at a teacher who offended or hurt them. With employees, it can be their way of showing that their resentment after being passed for a promotion or frustration balancing their life at work and home.

How to fix it: The best way to help someone deal with this kind of procrastination is to talk with them.

“Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.” – Theodore Roosevelt

People who procrastinate as a way to rebel feel that they have been wronged, devalued, and short-changed, Having a heart-to-heart talk with them about their concern, I found, helps them let off steam and the shake off that resentment.

Give them some advice and even a challenge on how to reach their goal will help them break away from their procrastinating habit. In some cases, it can even transform them into becoming some of your most productive employees.

How do you fight procrastination? Let us know your tips and suggestions below!

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Life

3 Simple Self-Communication Tips to Ensure You Set Yourself Up to Achieve Your Goals

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Do you ever wonder why some people seem to hit every goal they set, while others struggle to even take the first step towards their goals? The difference may be in the finer details of how the goal is being set.

Communication, whether with ourselves or with others, is critical in today’s society. When we are setting goals, we are communicating our wants and desires with our unconscious mind. Yet despite the importance of being able to communicate effectively, rarely are we ever taught how to communicate or what the meaning of communication is.

The majority of the population choose their words carelessly and assume that the recipient of that communication will understand what they meant.

We’re typically even more careless when it comes to communicating with ourselves, because our own brains should understand what we mean…right? Wrong. This is why 95% of the population never achieve their goals. This is why New Year’s Resolutions have a shelf life of 3-4 weeks.

We don’t communicate in words. For everything we say, the person we’re speaking to (including ourselves) gets an image in their head. How they interpret that image determines how they interpret what has been said to them. Allow me to demonstrate.

“I want to travel to an isolated beach and stay in a hut over the water for a week”. What picture do you have in your head? I’m guessing a beach, with a hut over the water. Pretty cool right? Here’s the thing, if we’re choosing our words carelessly, then we lack control over the picture that is created. This is a FATAL goal setting mistake.

Within our unconscious mind (the part of our mind that drives behaviour) is our filtering system, the Reticular Activating System, or RAS.

The RAS is like our internal GPS. When we set a goal, the RAS holds onto a picture of that goal and becomes like a homing device towards making it happen. How do you know you’re putting the right image into your RAS?

Here are 3 simple self-communication tips to ensure you set yourself up for success in achieving your goals:

1. Watch Your Mouth!

No, I don’t mean no swearing. The words we use when setting goals are critical to our success. There are certain words the unconscious mind processes in a negative fashion. The first word we need to remove from our vocabulary is “not” or any derivative of not (ie. don’t, can’t, etc). The unconscious mind is unable to process negatives.

Here’s an example. “Don’t think of a purple frog” What picture do you have in your head? A purple frog! When we use negatives in our communication, the unconscious mind has to get a picture of what we’ve said, then the conscious mind comes in and gives a new directive to picture. If we set a goal like “Don’t have any debt” or “I don’t want a partner who cheats on me” then we give the RAS a picture of what we don’t want. The RAS then sets out to find us what we don’t want as quickly and easily as possible. Instead focus on what you do want!

Another word to eliminate from your goal setting (and your vocabulary in general) is “try.” To the unconscious mind, try means “this isn’t important enough to commit to so I have an excuse to fail.” Anyone who “tries” to do anything rarely succeeds. Instead, remove your excuses and commit!

“Aim higher. Stay focused.” – Brandon Adams

2. Be specific!

We’ve all heard of setting SMART goals (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and timely). Being specific when communicating your goals is particularly important to the unconscious mind.

If the goal or end result is too ambiguous, the unconscious mind won’t be able to create a picture to move towards. In the absence of a specific picture, it will continue to move towards whatever beliefs or programming is already installed in the unconscious.

For example, setting a goal to be “financially free” won’t move the RAS into action. Instead, set a specific dollar amount you want to see in the bank! Paint a clear picture for your unconscious mind to grasp. It’s worth spending time creating this picture so it’s as clear as possible. You can even print out pictures if you need to!

3. Get Emotional!

Emotions drive our unconscious minds into action. If the goals you set aren’t making you emotional (in a good way) then you’re unlikely to take action. At the same time, if your current situation isn’t making you experience negative emotions, you also won’t be motivated to act.

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Tony Robbins

There are two types of goals we can set – towards motivated goals and away from motivated goals.

Away from motivated goals are when the pain or discomfort of our current situation is so intense that we have to take action.

Think about people with unhealthy habits like smoking. When they witness someone close to them die, or they have a brush with death themselves, they can easily and quickly stop smoking. People who are overweight are typically spurred into action when they are unable to fit into their wardrobe anymore.

The problem with away from motivated goals is that the motivation only lasts while the pain or discomfort is present. It’s not uncommon for someone with a weight loss goal to completely lose motivation at the halfway point because the intensity of their situation no longer overwhelms them.

Towards motivated goals focus on a reward at the end creating a strong emotion such as pride, excitement or sheer bliss.

Examples include brides wanting to look slim in their wedding dress or people who reward themselves with cars or houses remain motivated to continue taking action towards their goal. This is because even once the pain of their current situation dissipates, they are still aiming for the emotion of the reward.

It’s ok to use pain to motivate you to take action, just make sure your goal also contains towards motivation and the emotions you’ll feel once you reach the goal.

Contrary to what Freud may have caused you to believe, our unconscious mind wants to help us get what we want! We just need to communicate effectively and give our GPS (aka the RAS) the proper information so it can find the fastest, easiest route to the future we truly want!

How do you set goals and make sure you hit them? Let us know your advice below!

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Life

Build Up Your Social Media Presence Using These Three Personal Powers

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Instead of being on defense when it comes to social media, show the world you mean business with respect, compassion and dignity. Ask anyone of your friends or online connections if they’ve found themselves going down a rabbit hole online and a bunch of them probably will say, “Yep, it happened just the other day.”

Everyone is trying to yank and pull for attention in the online space. People will go to great lengths for a few minutes of your precious time. Do you ever do an inventory of how much time you actually spend on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, and so on? I’d imagine for a lot of us, that the time inventory would be incredibly imbalanced.

There was a time many years ago where Facebook actually was all about staying connected to families and friends to hear about their successes and tough times. People shared births, anniversaries, new jobs, and deaths. These things were shared with others out of simply wanting to stay in touch.

Along the way, though, businesses and entrepreneurs found a way to get their products and services out through the use of social media. We’ve used it to launch programs, books, products, conferences…you name it. Yet, where did the honoring process for other human beings get lost in the shuffle? It got lost because a hunger for the almighty currency (money) took precedence.

Bringing back these three personal elements that are within every one of us back to the online world will go a long way toward changing its current state of crisis. ­

Here are three suggestions:

1. Show respect

Everyone wants to be heard and respected. It’s not going to happen all of the time because human beings have differences of opinions. Is it so hard to simply respect another person’s opinion or thought without totally eviscerating them through online comments? We all get triggered by other people, but there is a way to respectfully disagree with others.

In fact, one way you could actually show others respect is by not reacting and commenting out of that energy. You and I are not going to agree on every single topic all the time. That’s a given as we are human. I do believe a little more respect shown in the online space can change the landscape a bit more.

“Without feelings of respect, what is there to distinguish men from beasts?” – Confucius

2. Show compassion

Understand this point about compassion: We all have the capacity to share this emotion with others. It does not mean you have to roll over and just take someone’s abuse. That’s not what I am talking about. Online bullying and scathing words have led some teenagers and adults to committing suicide.

When online behavior reaches that level, then people need to take one giant step back and ask themselves, “What’s going on inside me that I react in that way?” Alas, though, we don’t all think before writing.

Businesses especially need to be careful about their own words and phrases. Case in point: Watch social media platforms during big sports days, like Sundays during the National Football League season.

It’s tough not to “tweet” something toward your favorite team when something goes awry. Do not think you can simply get away with whatever you say because you are a multi-billion-dollar company. One streak of bad news can turn a real sweet streak of success into a pool of failure and despair. Showing compassion to others online starts with you.

3. Show dignity

Where in the world has our dignity gone as a society? This is not about politics or religion in this space. It all comes down to personal accountability and honor. Dignity for corporations and large businesses is not too hot these days. A lot of them don’t know how to effectively communicate with employees or customers through their written and verbal words.

They lean on their historic past filled with pictures of profits soaring through the roof and being the darling of whatever sector they are in for business. A lot of people in high places of power totally forget where they came from, like the bottom of the barrel, and act like fools.

The more dignity you show others in business and life, the more it will be showed towards you. This kind of follows one of those universal laws around cause and effect. The action you take (the cause) leads to the response (the effect), so be dignified in your approach to business and life.

“All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

When you use all three of these elements in your social media presence, more people will become attracted to you and your business. These can become the foundation for your success both today and in the future.

Which one of these 3 elements do you think is lacking most in social media today? Share your thoughts below!

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Life

How You Can Effectively Achieve Your Goals by Using the Puzzle Analogy

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Image Credit: Twenty20.com

I was building a 500 piece puzzle the other day with many tiny little pieces. When I opened the box, I was completely overwhelmed. There were so many pieces and many of them were very similar in color. I took a breath and thought “just do one piece at a time”. I knew that I had to come up with a plan and organize the pieces into groups before I got started. This helped me to focus and take away some of the overwhelming feelings that were coming up. I came up with a plan and executed that plan.

However, like anything in life, our plans don’t always go the way we think they will. If you can treat anything you are trying to achieve in life like a puzzle, it will help you get through the confusion and come up with a plan to achieve your goals.

Take Your Goals One Step at a Time

Putting a puzzle together is the perfect analogy for anything you are trying to achieve in life. You won’t know all the steps to take to achieve your goal until you are in the middle of it. Each step comes up when it needs to and you complete it as it comes up. Some of the pieces might need to be moved around but that is ok. It is ok if the first piece doesn’t fit, you make adjustments and move forward.

It is much less overwhelming to take it piece by piece instead of trying to figure out the whole picture before you even get started. Many things will come up that you didn’t expect and that is why you cannot see the whole picture until it is done. It is good to remain flexible and take it step by step as new things come up.

“Set your target and keep trying until you reach it.” – Napoleon Hill

Starting is the First Step to Achieve Any Goal You Want in Life

The most important thing is to start! You won’t know how it’s all going to go and you may need to change some things around in the middle. But in the end, you will have the complete picture. If you look at your goal with anxiety and think it is too hard in the beginning, then you may not even start. You only need to know the first step, get organized and all the pieces will fit into place.

I was overwhelmed when I first looked at the puzzle and I thought “maybe I won’t even do it. Is it worth it?” But I decided that I’d start, even if I didn’t finish it at least I’d try. But you know what? Once I got into the puzzle, it wasn’t so bad. It was way less overwhelming when I was in the middle of it then it was before I started.

You have time on your side. You don’t have to do it all in one day or one week or one year. You have plenty of time. That is something that helped me. There was no pressure to get it done in one day which was my original goal; the only pressure I had was that which I put upon myself.

Get Organized and Start With a Solid Plan

If you are starting out on a goal, it is important to get organized first. Yes, you won’t know everything that is going to happen but at least you will be organized enough that when things do come up, you will know how to incorporate them into your plan. Being organized will make it much easier to see where all the pieces go and save you a lot of time in the long run.

I got organized and sorted the puzzle pieces by colors as well as outside and inside pieces to make it easier to see where the pieces would fit. If I left them all in one big pile, I’d constantly have to sort through the pile to find what I was looking for and waste a ton of time. By having them broken out into smaller piles, I was able to find what I was looking for much faster and saved a lot of time.

This works with whatever it is you are trying to achieve in life. Get organized and make a plan. You will save yourself a lot of time and frustration. It is so much easier to go through little organized piles of items than one big, disorganized pile.

“Goals give you more than a reason to get up in the morning; they are an incentive to keep you going all day.” – Harvey MacKay

Get Through the Tough Times When Going for Your Goals

Before I dove into the puzzle, I was confused and a bit frustrated but determined to make it work. In the end all the pieces fit together perfectly and made a beautiful picture. It’s interesting to think of a project or a goal you want to achieve like a big puzzle with many pieces. When you first dump out the pieces, it is a mess. They just look like pieces, nothing is created yet. But as you go through the process and move things around it starts to come together.

You may hit some speed bumps along the way and get a bit frustrated, but if you are organized and take it one step at a time it will form a lovely picture in the end. So, keep going as determined as ever by moving one piece at a time.

Sometimes the piece will fit and other times you’ll need to find a different puzzle piece to go in that spot. Before you know it, you have a beautiful picture created that you never thought you’d be able to do before you started. It may be an interesting, messy, confusing, fun, bumpy ride but in the end all the pieces will form the beautiful picture that you set out to achieve.

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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A Must-Read Guide for Avoiding Burnout

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Burnout. We’ve all been there. It happens to all “workaholic” entrepreneurs like you and me. But please allow me to provide a reality check: You’re not a machine. And regardless of how much you think you’re like Gary Vaynerchuk, you need to take breaks in order to function at maximum capacity. Non-stop hustle without ever taking a break is dumb. That’s why it’s called a “break”. Because if you don’t eventually stop, that’s exactly what will happen. You will break! (more…)

Alex Edson is a 19-year-old entrepreneur from Phoenix Arizona who has scaled two multi-million dollar companies from nothing. Alex began his entrepreneurial journey during his sophomore year of high school, founding a YouTube talent management agency from his apartment that would later grow to over 10 billion annual views. Today, Alex is the Founder and CEO of MailTag.io, a startup that helps sales and business people track their emails in real-time, for free. You can connect with Alex on his company’s blog https://blog.mailtag.io or by email Alex@MailTag.io.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Shrawan

    Feb 12, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    Liked it!!!

  2. Jerry V

    Feb 12, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    A very good post…!!! Incredible!!!

  3. johnmijo

    Oct 23, 2016 at 7:03 am

    good post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Life

3 Simple Strategies to Fight Procrastination

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Image Credit: Unsplash

Sometimes, all it takes to beat procrastination is a few simple tweaks. You woke up fresh and energized, got your coffee, and have your tasks meticulously listed. Afterwards, you got your “working music” playing through your noise-canceling headphones, and you turn on your computer ready to begin working.

And then…it happens. You glance back and forth at your list and your computer screen. The earliest deadline will not be until later at the end of your workday. You still got time. You want to try out that new restaurant around the corner. So, you go on the Internet to learn more about it.

The next thing you know, half the work day is done, and you have finished nothing! Sound familiar? You are not alone. In fact, the truth is that procrastination is normal. In fact, a study done by Piers Steel, shows that 95% of people procrastinate. The other 5% are probably still in denial.

The dangers of procrastinating

While there are cases when procrastination can do some good at work, it does have its adverse effects. Just take a look at these stats:

  • People who procrastinate reported higher levels of stress and more prone to illness long-term.
  • Chronic procrastinators exhibited poor work performance and made significantly more mistakes.
  • 40% of people that procrastinate report a significant financial loss.

Below are 3 reasons why we procrastinate and how we can fight against procrastinating:

1. Lacking motivation

People crave comfort because it is less stressful and it makes us feel safe. That is why it is so easy to convince yourself to take a nap or go for a Netflix binge even if you got a looming deadline. On the other hand, it takes a whole lot more effort on your part to motivate yourself to get up from that couch and spend time finding your passion.

Why? Let’s be honest: making those sales calls, doing presentations, and writing up reports are hardly things that you would call “enjoyable.” In fact, it can be tiresome, overwhelming, and just plain difficult.

How to fight it: “Motivation has a lot to do with perspective,” says Jim Vernon, CEO of Rockher. “Instead of focusing on the actual task you need to do, shift your focus to what will you get when you accomplish it. Does it mean more time with your kids? Or perhaps a raise?”

One way to do this is by changing the way you write your to-do list. Instead of just listing down one task after another, try listing them down by using an action verb.

Entrepreneur Marie Forleo calls this process as verbalizing your to-do list. Sounds simple, but it is beneficial because as she explains, the presence of these action verbs at the start of each of the tasks on your to-do list serve as a trigger to motivate you to take action.

“Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.” – George Herbert

2. Fear

Fear can be very crippling. For many people, it is just enough for them to validate why they procrastinate. The fear of failure is the most common reason why people procrastinate, especially among perfectionists.

Perfectionists have the urge that everything should be perfect the first time around. There is always that little voice ringing in their head that keeps telling them, ‘what if you mess up?’ Eventually, they give in to that voice and end up setting projects aside.

How to fight it: Baddeley said that the way he overcame this was by accepting failure. A friend of mine gave me John Maxwell’s book, Failing Forward. In it, one of the principles that he taught was that it is perfectly okay to make mistakes. It is part of being normal. The moment I learned to accept this was when I slowly started beating the procrastination habit.

3. Rebellion

In some cases, procrastinating is one way for a person to show one’s disapproval about something. For students, it can be their way of getting back at a teacher who offended or hurt them. With employees, it can be their way of showing that their resentment after being passed for a promotion or frustration balancing their life at work and home.

How to fix it: The best way to help someone deal with this kind of procrastination is to talk with them.

“Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.” – Theodore Roosevelt

People who procrastinate as a way to rebel feel that they have been wronged, devalued, and short-changed, Having a heart-to-heart talk with them about their concern, I found, helps them let off steam and the shake off that resentment.

Give them some advice and even a challenge on how to reach their goal will help them break away from their procrastinating habit. In some cases, it can even transform them into becoming some of your most productive employees.

How do you fight procrastination? Let us know your tips and suggestions below!

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3 Simple Self-Communication Tips to Ensure You Set Yourself Up to Achieve Your Goals

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Do you ever wonder why some people seem to hit every goal they set, while others struggle to even take the first step towards their goals? The difference may be in the finer details of how the goal is being set.

Communication, whether with ourselves or with others, is critical in today’s society. When we are setting goals, we are communicating our wants and desires with our unconscious mind. Yet despite the importance of being able to communicate effectively, rarely are we ever taught how to communicate or what the meaning of communication is.

The majority of the population choose their words carelessly and assume that the recipient of that communication will understand what they meant.

We’re typically even more careless when it comes to communicating with ourselves, because our own brains should understand what we mean…right? Wrong. This is why 95% of the population never achieve their goals. This is why New Year’s Resolutions have a shelf life of 3-4 weeks.

We don’t communicate in words. For everything we say, the person we’re speaking to (including ourselves) gets an image in their head. How they interpret that image determines how they interpret what has been said to them. Allow me to demonstrate.

“I want to travel to an isolated beach and stay in a hut over the water for a week”. What picture do you have in your head? I’m guessing a beach, with a hut over the water. Pretty cool right? Here’s the thing, if we’re choosing our words carelessly, then we lack control over the picture that is created. This is a FATAL goal setting mistake.

Within our unconscious mind (the part of our mind that drives behaviour) is our filtering system, the Reticular Activating System, or RAS.

The RAS is like our internal GPS. When we set a goal, the RAS holds onto a picture of that goal and becomes like a homing device towards making it happen. How do you know you’re putting the right image into your RAS?

Here are 3 simple self-communication tips to ensure you set yourself up for success in achieving your goals:

1. Watch Your Mouth!

No, I don’t mean no swearing. The words we use when setting goals are critical to our success. There are certain words the unconscious mind processes in a negative fashion. The first word we need to remove from our vocabulary is “not” or any derivative of not (ie. don’t, can’t, etc). The unconscious mind is unable to process negatives.

Here’s an example. “Don’t think of a purple frog” What picture do you have in your head? A purple frog! When we use negatives in our communication, the unconscious mind has to get a picture of what we’ve said, then the conscious mind comes in and gives a new directive to picture. If we set a goal like “Don’t have any debt” or “I don’t want a partner who cheats on me” then we give the RAS a picture of what we don’t want. The RAS then sets out to find us what we don’t want as quickly and easily as possible. Instead focus on what you do want!

Another word to eliminate from your goal setting (and your vocabulary in general) is “try.” To the unconscious mind, try means “this isn’t important enough to commit to so I have an excuse to fail.” Anyone who “tries” to do anything rarely succeeds. Instead, remove your excuses and commit!

“Aim higher. Stay focused.” – Brandon Adams

2. Be specific!

We’ve all heard of setting SMART goals (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and timely). Being specific when communicating your goals is particularly important to the unconscious mind.

If the goal or end result is too ambiguous, the unconscious mind won’t be able to create a picture to move towards. In the absence of a specific picture, it will continue to move towards whatever beliefs or programming is already installed in the unconscious.

For example, setting a goal to be “financially free” won’t move the RAS into action. Instead, set a specific dollar amount you want to see in the bank! Paint a clear picture for your unconscious mind to grasp. It’s worth spending time creating this picture so it’s as clear as possible. You can even print out pictures if you need to!

3. Get Emotional!

Emotions drive our unconscious minds into action. If the goals you set aren’t making you emotional (in a good way) then you’re unlikely to take action. At the same time, if your current situation isn’t making you experience negative emotions, you also won’t be motivated to act.

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Tony Robbins

There are two types of goals we can set – towards motivated goals and away from motivated goals.

Away from motivated goals are when the pain or discomfort of our current situation is so intense that we have to take action.

Think about people with unhealthy habits like smoking. When they witness someone close to them die, or they have a brush with death themselves, they can easily and quickly stop smoking. People who are overweight are typically spurred into action when they are unable to fit into their wardrobe anymore.

The problem with away from motivated goals is that the motivation only lasts while the pain or discomfort is present. It’s not uncommon for someone with a weight loss goal to completely lose motivation at the halfway point because the intensity of their situation no longer overwhelms them.

Towards motivated goals focus on a reward at the end creating a strong emotion such as pride, excitement or sheer bliss.

Examples include brides wanting to look slim in their wedding dress or people who reward themselves with cars or houses remain motivated to continue taking action towards their goal. This is because even once the pain of their current situation dissipates, they are still aiming for the emotion of the reward.

It’s ok to use pain to motivate you to take action, just make sure your goal also contains towards motivation and the emotions you’ll feel once you reach the goal.

Contrary to what Freud may have caused you to believe, our unconscious mind wants to help us get what we want! We just need to communicate effectively and give our GPS (aka the RAS) the proper information so it can find the fastest, easiest route to the future we truly want!

How do you set goals and make sure you hit them? Let us know your advice below!

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Build Up Your Social Media Presence Using These Three Personal Powers

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Instead of being on defense when it comes to social media, show the world you mean business with respect, compassion and dignity. Ask anyone of your friends or online connections if they’ve found themselves going down a rabbit hole online and a bunch of them probably will say, “Yep, it happened just the other day.”

Everyone is trying to yank and pull for attention in the online space. People will go to great lengths for a few minutes of your precious time. Do you ever do an inventory of how much time you actually spend on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, and so on? I’d imagine for a lot of us, that the time inventory would be incredibly imbalanced.

There was a time many years ago where Facebook actually was all about staying connected to families and friends to hear about their successes and tough times. People shared births, anniversaries, new jobs, and deaths. These things were shared with others out of simply wanting to stay in touch.

Along the way, though, businesses and entrepreneurs found a way to get their products and services out through the use of social media. We’ve used it to launch programs, books, products, conferences…you name it. Yet, where did the honoring process for other human beings get lost in the shuffle? It got lost because a hunger for the almighty currency (money) took precedence.

Bringing back these three personal elements that are within every one of us back to the online world will go a long way toward changing its current state of crisis. ­

Here are three suggestions:

1. Show respect

Everyone wants to be heard and respected. It’s not going to happen all of the time because human beings have differences of opinions. Is it so hard to simply respect another person’s opinion or thought without totally eviscerating them through online comments? We all get triggered by other people, but there is a way to respectfully disagree with others.

In fact, one way you could actually show others respect is by not reacting and commenting out of that energy. You and I are not going to agree on every single topic all the time. That’s a given as we are human. I do believe a little more respect shown in the online space can change the landscape a bit more.

“Without feelings of respect, what is there to distinguish men from beasts?” – Confucius

2. Show compassion

Understand this point about compassion: We all have the capacity to share this emotion with others. It does not mean you have to roll over and just take someone’s abuse. That’s not what I am talking about. Online bullying and scathing words have led some teenagers and adults to committing suicide.

When online behavior reaches that level, then people need to take one giant step back and ask themselves, “What’s going on inside me that I react in that way?” Alas, though, we don’t all think before writing.

Businesses especially need to be careful about their own words and phrases. Case in point: Watch social media platforms during big sports days, like Sundays during the National Football League season.

It’s tough not to “tweet” something toward your favorite team when something goes awry. Do not think you can simply get away with whatever you say because you are a multi-billion-dollar company. One streak of bad news can turn a real sweet streak of success into a pool of failure and despair. Showing compassion to others online starts with you.

3. Show dignity

Where in the world has our dignity gone as a society? This is not about politics or religion in this space. It all comes down to personal accountability and honor. Dignity for corporations and large businesses is not too hot these days. A lot of them don’t know how to effectively communicate with employees or customers through their written and verbal words.

They lean on their historic past filled with pictures of profits soaring through the roof and being the darling of whatever sector they are in for business. A lot of people in high places of power totally forget where they came from, like the bottom of the barrel, and act like fools.

The more dignity you show others in business and life, the more it will be showed towards you. This kind of follows one of those universal laws around cause and effect. The action you take (the cause) leads to the response (the effect), so be dignified in your approach to business and life.

“All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

When you use all three of these elements in your social media presence, more people will become attracted to you and your business. These can become the foundation for your success both today and in the future.

Which one of these 3 elements do you think is lacking most in social media today? Share your thoughts below!

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How You Can Effectively Achieve Your Goals by Using the Puzzle Analogy

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I was building a 500 piece puzzle the other day with many tiny little pieces. When I opened the box, I was completely overwhelmed. There were so many pieces and many of them were very similar in color. I took a breath and thought “just do one piece at a time”. I knew that I had to come up with a plan and organize the pieces into groups before I got started. This helped me to focus and take away some of the overwhelming feelings that were coming up. I came up with a plan and executed that plan.

However, like anything in life, our plans don’t always go the way we think they will. If you can treat anything you are trying to achieve in life like a puzzle, it will help you get through the confusion and come up with a plan to achieve your goals.

Take Your Goals One Step at a Time

Putting a puzzle together is the perfect analogy for anything you are trying to achieve in life. You won’t know all the steps to take to achieve your goal until you are in the middle of it. Each step comes up when it needs to and you complete it as it comes up. Some of the pieces might need to be moved around but that is ok. It is ok if the first piece doesn’t fit, you make adjustments and move forward.

It is much less overwhelming to take it piece by piece instead of trying to figure out the whole picture before you even get started. Many things will come up that you didn’t expect and that is why you cannot see the whole picture until it is done. It is good to remain flexible and take it step by step as new things come up.

“Set your target and keep trying until you reach it.” – Napoleon Hill

Starting is the First Step to Achieve Any Goal You Want in Life

The most important thing is to start! You won’t know how it’s all going to go and you may need to change some things around in the middle. But in the end, you will have the complete picture. If you look at your goal with anxiety and think it is too hard in the beginning, then you may not even start. You only need to know the first step, get organized and all the pieces will fit into place.

I was overwhelmed when I first looked at the puzzle and I thought “maybe I won’t even do it. Is it worth it?” But I decided that I’d start, even if I didn’t finish it at least I’d try. But you know what? Once I got into the puzzle, it wasn’t so bad. It was way less overwhelming when I was in the middle of it then it was before I started.

You have time on your side. You don’t have to do it all in one day or one week or one year. You have plenty of time. That is something that helped me. There was no pressure to get it done in one day which was my original goal; the only pressure I had was that which I put upon myself.

Get Organized and Start With a Solid Plan

If you are starting out on a goal, it is important to get organized first. Yes, you won’t know everything that is going to happen but at least you will be organized enough that when things do come up, you will know how to incorporate them into your plan. Being organized will make it much easier to see where all the pieces go and save you a lot of time in the long run.

I got organized and sorted the puzzle pieces by colors as well as outside and inside pieces to make it easier to see where the pieces would fit. If I left them all in one big pile, I’d constantly have to sort through the pile to find what I was looking for and waste a ton of time. By having them broken out into smaller piles, I was able to find what I was looking for much faster and saved a lot of time.

This works with whatever it is you are trying to achieve in life. Get organized and make a plan. You will save yourself a lot of time and frustration. It is so much easier to go through little organized piles of items than one big, disorganized pile.

“Goals give you more than a reason to get up in the morning; they are an incentive to keep you going all day.” – Harvey MacKay

Get Through the Tough Times When Going for Your Goals

Before I dove into the puzzle, I was confused and a bit frustrated but determined to make it work. In the end all the pieces fit together perfectly and made a beautiful picture. It’s interesting to think of a project or a goal you want to achieve like a big puzzle with many pieces. When you first dump out the pieces, it is a mess. They just look like pieces, nothing is created yet. But as you go through the process and move things around it starts to come together.

You may hit some speed bumps along the way and get a bit frustrated, but if you are organized and take it one step at a time it will form a lovely picture in the end. So, keep going as determined as ever by moving one piece at a time.

Sometimes the piece will fit and other times you’ll need to find a different puzzle piece to go in that spot. Before you know it, you have a beautiful picture created that you never thought you’d be able to do before you started. It may be an interesting, messy, confusing, fun, bumpy ride but in the end all the pieces will form the beautiful picture that you set out to achieve.

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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