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10 Life Lessons You Can Learn From The “I Am Not Your Guru” Documentary

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Tony Robbins - I Am Not Your Guru Movie

Most of us never take the time to design our life. In a documentary called “I Am Not Your Guru,” we get a look behind the scenes at Tony Robbins event called ‘Date With Destiny.” The long and short of this event is that you need to take time out to decide what your life is about.

The movie is shown through multiple interventions where Tony attempts to hear a problem that someone is having and then help them to change in the moment. These series of interventions that are a main part of the movie create a powerful story about how we can all change our life. Outside of the interventions, we get an inside look into Tony’s private life.

What’s ironic is that he was once in the same position as the subjects displayed throughout the movie. It’s this familiarity that has given him the tools to help people. The message the documentary delivers is that once you know what beliefs and values control you, you can literally redesign you.

Below are 10 life lessons we can learn from I Am Not Your Guru:

 

1. Your body language and tone of voice tells us everything

During the movie, we meet two characters that show their true colors through their body language. Before they have even begun to answer Tony’s question, the audience quickly figures out that they are not sincere.

It wasn’t the words these two characters Lance and Hali said, it was their body language and tone of voice that was a dead give away. In the scene with Hali, Tony teaches us that when something is honest and painful, then the right decision must be made no matter what.

As a result, Tony shocks everyone by telling Hali to call her boyfriend and dump him. He doesn’t make the decision for her but uses her body language to help her see the real situation.

In your own life, are you avoiding making the tough decision and lying to yourself about anything? If you are, it’s time to stop living with a lack of passion and make the tough decisions.

 

2. The best teachers come from the darkest places

By far, the best part of the entire movie is the intervention done with a young woman named Dawn. She stands up to tell everyone at the event that she is suicidal. Tony immediately tries to break her pattern with a joke. When she begins to share her story of being raped every day from the age of six, and watching the same thing happen to her family, you can’t help but cry your eyes out.

Tony Robbins Movie With DawnThe look on Tony’s face as Dawn tells her story is unlike anything I’ve seen from Tony before. He is greatly disturbed, shocked, and for the first time in his career, struggling to find the answer initially to her problem.

The solution is found when Tony reflects with the audience about how his mum beat him up when he was a kid. He looked at what he did in his own life and then decided to do the same for her. Tony realised one thing; the best teachers come from the darkest places.

He had come from the same dark place as Dawn. Out of her horrible story of rape and the immense pain she carried on her back from her suicidal family, a teacher was born. The situation that Dawn went through makes no sense which is what made her crazy.

Tony tells her that the way to make sense of the situation is to make sure it stops with her – to become a teacher to others. To reshape Dawn’s identity, Tony calls her a miracle and within a single moment, she realises that she has a purpose and she was put on this Earth to do good.

The situation doesn’t stop there; Tony then agrees to give Dawn all the training that he’s got so that she can help people. The giving doesn’t stop there, by the end of the event Dawn is given more than $100k USD to help other people in her situation.

“When you’ve gone to the deepest darkest places you can lift people to the highest places” – Tony Robbins

 

3. Our entire lifetime changes in a moment

When someone says it took ten years to make a change, what you find out is that change happened in a moment. It took you ten years to get to the moment where they said never again. Our entire life changes in a Life Changing Moment - Tony Robbinsmoment. This is called a breakthrough, and you can do it multiple times.

Change is temporary until you deal with the thing that created the problem in the first place. For the change to work you have to be energy rich. Use your voice and body to keep finding a way to increase your energy level. At a high energy level, you will get entirely different insights.

 

4. Our minor problems are masking our massive problems

We all have small problems in our life that we want to get rid of. In the movie, a young girl called Sienna tells us about her problem with her diet and eating at the right times. In the beginning, this challenge seems quite small, but as Tony digs a little deeper, we learn how small problems are often masking much bigger problems.

When Tony asks why she is doing all of this for and keeps drilling down to what is creating her world, Sienna reveals that it’s her dad’s drug problem that has affected her the most. Tony points out that we all have problems except we think we shouldn’t have them.

Without problems, there is nowhere to grow from and nothing to drive us forward to make better decisions that will change our model of the world. What this story in the movie shows us quite clearly is that we focus on the little problems like diet so that we can stay away from the big scary problems.

 

5. Blame people for the good and the bad things

It’s not hard to blame people for all the things they do wrong, but as Tony says in the movie, “you have to blame them for all the good as well.” This sentence carries with it so much power to overcome almost any conflict with another person.

At the seed of the idea is that the bad things people do to us have a positive effect. For Tony, his mum beat him when he was a child, and he blames her in a good way for this because it allowed him to become who he is today. Without the child abuse, he may not have had the drive to change the world in the way he has.

His hunger to end suffering for other people comes from his own internal suffering that he endured. This idea is a reframing technique that you can use to look for the good in every person. So, how can you start blaming people more for all the good they’ve done?”

“If you’re going to blame people for all of the #@!& then you better blame them for all the good too”

 

6. Going deep with people is what engages them because it’s rare

When something is true, your whole nervous system responds. We think that our Facebook friends are our friends, but there is no depth to these relationships. When people are taken deep, they are so riveted because it’s so rare.

“Most of us are unaware of the patterns that are controlling us”

 

7. Your relationship with your parents is the seed of everything

During multiple times throughout the movie, there is a recurring theme that I picked up on. This theme is that in almost every situation, a person’s parents have had a significant contribution to their view of the world.

Almost all challenges start with something that we have learned from our parents – both good and bad. Once we challenge these views we get from our parents, the change starts to begin.

 

8. Once you figure out your primary question, everything changes for the better

Out of all the lessons I got from the movie, this one was something that clicked with me straight away. Everyone has a primary question, and it’s the question that we ask more often than anything else. Tony’s original question was “How can I make it better?”

My primary question is: “how can I inspire people?” I’ve tried to inspire people through music, business and now, blogging. It’s all I care about, and it drives my entire life and every activity I engage in. Until now, I didn’t realise how much this question had driven everything I do.

During one scene, attendees at the Date With Destiny Seminar are asked to do an exercise where they add the words “I AM” in front of words that describe them the most. My new story after seeing this scene can be summed up in three words I AM INSPIRATION!!!

I Tim, see hear, feel, and know that I am inspiration, and I am passion.

Finding Your Primary QuestionI once did this exercise back in 2013 at Tony’s Unleash The Power Within Seminar, and I didn’t quite find my primary question. After revisiting the exercise while watching Tony’s movie, I finally figured it out. Whatever you do, try as hard as you can to uncover the question you consistently ask yourself.

For me, it’s never been about followers or fame because that never felt right. Yet, I always wanted to reach more people and couldn’t figure out where this thirst came from. Now I know. It comes from my primary question of wanting to inspire people. This was a real highlight of the film.

 

9. You have to visit the past before you can move forward

At any of Tony’s events, you can almost always expect an emotional “flood exercise” to occur. The point of this exercise is to look back at the past on events that carry a lot of pain. There are moments in our past that are holding us back, and in the movie, we discover that when we revisit them, we can make new decisions about what these moments mean.

Once you can let go of the past and find new meaning in painful events, you can move forward with a new found passion. To create these serious moments of change, you must flood your body with emotions.

This is done in the movie through Tony’s words, inspirational music, the lighting in the room, and the collective energy that is created when everyone at the event does this exercise at the same time.

To complete this moment, everyone put’s their hand on their heart. Having done this exercise at one of Tony’s events, I found that having your hand on your heart is incredibly powerful. It’s the beating force of our entire life, and it’s thumping changes tempo based on how we feel. Try it out!

 

10. Everything you seek can happen once you let it all out

The end of the movie is incredible as people release everything that has been holding them back such as; their fear, limitations, and their past. All the tears and the emotions are let out, and it becomes a time to celebrate. You see life differently, and you will never be the same again having watched this movie.

You live your new life through the stories and pain that transcended from the movie to your being. A movie has never done this to me before. Even though I knew the content well, the stories and the way images and sound were used, took me to a whole new place.

“Sometimes we have to go to the darkest places to find the light that is hidden – the light that’s always been there” – Tim Denning

 

***Final Thought***

It’s as if you are at the event in its entirety even though the movie is only two hours long. I have never had a documentary give me this feeling of being at an event before. It’s easy from the outside to think Tony Robbins is some gimmicky Guru, and this movie proves this theory completely wrong.

It shows Tony as a real person that genuinely wants to help and support people in their battles in life. Tony is

Tony Robbins Interview

Image Credit: Jessie English

no stranger to struggle himself, and he shares this throughout the movie. He’s been through a divorce, he’s been through poverty, and he’s had his own family problems; the difference is that he is obsessed with using these challenges to help others through there’s.

Tony has had more success than any of us could ever dream of because he has removed himself from every single equation. He doesn’t need to promote his $5000 per ticket events because what he gives is worth far more than that.

Having been to a few of Tony’s events, I’ve seen first hand how the movie “I Am Not Your Guru,” can benefit everybody that is reading this blog post. As Tony says, “he’d have to be literally stupid after all of these years to not notice patterns of struggle and how to overcome them.”

Do yourself a favour and watch Tony’s movie with an open mind. Be prepared for massive lows and then for highs that you never thought were possible through a documentary. It’s time to see what’s next for you and shake off the cobwebs of the past. You’re incredible. I know it, and you know it. Anything is possible!

What do you think of the movie or of Tony Robbins? Let me know in the comments section below or on my website timdenning.net and 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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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Ray

    Sep 11, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    Fantastic documentary that everyone should watch. Tony is awesome and ALWAYS delivers!

  2. Stefanie

    Jul 28, 2016 at 6:59 am

    Finally, I couldn’t wait and watched the movie yesterday 🙂 I would add one lesson which I think is very important to understand.
    Your biggest problem is your greatest gift. Life doesn’t happen TO you, it happens FOR you.
    This fits in “the best teachers come from the darkest places”. I love this interpretation, as it’s a reframing for what most used to hurt you. This interpretation gets you into a powerful and resourceful state, if you let it.

    • Tim Denning

      Jul 28, 2016 at 10:22 am

      I’m glad you watched it Stefanie. Thanks for sharing your insight and opinion of the movie.

  3. Stefanie

    Jul 27, 2016 at 6:58 am

    That was another great one, Tim! Thanks for sharing. I will definitely check out the movie this weekend, I think it’s also on Netflix.
    I went last year to an event from Tony, which was really amazing. Beside all the valuable content, the crucial point I took away with me was: Our physical state has more power than we often think. It really makes a difference. Creating a high performance outcome is impossible, if you’re not in a resourceful and powerful state.
    There are many speakers, and I believe that the significant topics are similar – but each one has different strategies and methods. Tony is authentic and what he says, comes from his heart. I also appreciate that he doesn’t, whereas others do, create pressure with sales pitches. He doesn’t have to.
    Thanks again for the review, I’d love more articles about inspirational movies!
    One movie I took great lessons out from, is Walt Before Mickey. Have you seen it?

    • Tim Denning

      Jul 27, 2016 at 8:31 pm

      Thanks Stefanie. The movie is only on Netflix but it’s worth watching for sure! I haven;t seen the Walt Before Mickey movie but I will now go and watch it. I have read a few books on Walt Disney and he was one of a kind. I have never seen a man with such a big vision. Thanks for the tip Stefanie!

  4. Toño

    Jul 27, 2016 at 4:14 am

    Fantastic article! I have to be honest with you Tim, yesterday I was asking myself some questions about my life and what to do and how to avoid everyday pain I am experiencing right now, after every day off the single thought of attending my job gives me shouting pain and makes me feel down. I feel like wasting my time and I realized for me boredom is one of the worst things in the world. I can hardly stand it.

    What I’m going through, long story short, it is all about being unfulfilled with my job and living in the constant pain of doing what I dislike so very much. The result is simple – quit the place and start to do what I love, enjoy and feel passionate about. Thing is, right now I feel so morally exhausted I don’t even work anymore, at least for somebody, as basically, all the corporate jobs are the basic slavery system with the only difference we get paid pennies so we can depend your lives on them.

    Back to the subject, yesterday, after another day off I was deeply contemplating about my life and started to look for many motivational videos on youtube, got myself involved with a conversation with my sister and I am in search for my primary question, it is! I realized it now after reading your article. Funny how synchronicity works as of just day ago I was looking for answers and today I got the full load of energy Tony Robbins’ read by you 🙂 I certainly need to watch it, however, I don’t have Netflix in the place I live, so I have to figure out where to purchase it separately, on blu-ray or digital download. I’ll figure it out as I always did. Movies always played a big part of inner power so this is no brainer for me.

    I like the #3 point where you speak how our life changes in a moment, and it is so deep, man. We make ourselves prepare for that moment, for the big breakthrough, but truth is, we make a decision and change our lives in just one pure moment, which may take a few seconds only, and this is incredible. I love it!

    The whole article got me on fire, to be honest, gonna send the message to my sister right now, even though she’s asleep I cannot wait haha! I was actually kind of low od energy despite the fact it’s early morning and was thinking it’s gonna be a long day, my hot water will be off for two days, this and that, etc.. Complaining my heart off, so to speak. While meditating, however, I realized I can recharge myself and make my day different if I will speak to myself in a different tone and attitude. I am the owner of my day and I can change the definition of the daily events if I desire to. That was a relief, and now I think how you had helped me in many ways to get there, with your advice, including this meditation tip, books and movies. I even quit drinking coffee, since like February I think because of you. Green organic tea now is my new addiction haha 😀

    So yeah man, just want to express my gratitude towards everything you’ve done to guide all of us through our dark and bright times as well. You’re an amazing person, thank you so very much! Enjoyed this read, top quality. Much love and appreciation!

    Have a wonderful day, stay well and healthy, Tim!

    • Tim Denning

      Jul 27, 2016 at 8:35 pm

      Toño thank you so much! If your job is giving you so much pain I think it’s time to find something else. The difference between your job and your personal life should be as close as possible. It’s not that way for everyone but it should become your goal. I’m sorry to hear there are tough times for you right now. Remember that winter doesn’t last forever and soon it will be summer again my friend.

      If you are keen to watch the movie you can sign up for Netflix and watch over the internet. It’s less than $10 per month and worth every cent. You could always cancel the subscription after one month. There’s always a way if you have the will.

  5. Muhammad Amir Iqbal

    Jul 26, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    Thanks for sharing such a valuable information….Wonderful documentry…

    • Tim Denning

      Aug 4, 2016 at 9:34 pm

      Not a problem Muhammad and I’m glad you liked the documentary!

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Life

How to Prevent Social Media From Stunting Your Personal Growth

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Over the years, social media has taken over our lives. Our society has become so addicted to social media to where we’re not only missing out on enjoying some of life’s most precious moments, but we’re also losing valuable interpersonal skills. The introverts have become more introverted, and the extroverts are becoming more recluse.

Social media has made “Netflix & Chill” the ideal date night, replacing the traditional “dinner and a movie” where you’re getting to know each other amongst others. If people were to go out, they have a constant need to document their every move on social media instead of being truly present and enjoying themselves. What’s also worse is that I see this social media dynamic being passed on to the younger generation. More and more kids are becoming hooked on social media, causing them to place their own personal value in the hands of strangers through a “like”.

Luckily, we don’t have to allow social media to ruin our lives. Despite how addicting social media is, we have complete control on how it’s used. Here’s how I prevent social media from stunting my own personal growth.

1. Limit Your Time On Social Media

Scrolling your timeline is like diving into a black hole. Once you start scrolling on Instagram, Facebook, or even Twitter, it’s hard to stop. Even for me, I struggle putting my phone down, thus getting sucked into the “social media matrix”.

What I found to be extremely helpful is limiting my time on social media. I literally allow myself a certain amount of minutes of “scroll time” before I put my phone away to focus on something else. Because my business revolves around social media, I check my phone approximately 4 times a day, for 15 minutes at a time. During those short periods, I’m responding to any comments or DMs, and engaging with other people’s posts to keep my own personal engagement high on my profile.

“Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

2. Find New Hobbies

There was a period of time where I was very conscious of when and why I randomly start scrolling social media. What I discovered was that I was more prone to fall into the black hole of social media when I was bored.

I’m a part of the last generation to have experienced life without the internet and social media. I recall days being spent reading, wrestling with my dad, walking or riding bikes at the local park, playing sports outside with the neighborhood kids, or building small LEGO communities (remember those?). There was never a dull moment because our days were filled with hobbies.

If you let the demands of being an adult consume you, don’t be afraid to re-introduce your old hobbies back into your life.

3. Unplug With Family & Friends

There are more and more people who are spending time on social media in the company of their family and friends. Family dinners and time spent with your friends are now being interrupted by social media. As I mentioned earlier, this is typically a sign of boredom that comes across as rude to those in your presence. By not being in the moment, you could be missing out on valuable information and vital conversations that could strengthen your personal growth and interpersonal skills.

One thing I found to be helpful when in the presence of your friends and family is to designate one spot where everyone can dump their phones so that everyone is now forced to be in the moment and enjoy the company of those around them. At family dinner, I make everyone leave their phones in their room, and when my friends get together, I make them turn their phones off and place them in a small bag that I bring. It’s imperative that we unplug. You’ll find that the time spent was much more enjoyable when you’re focused on being mentally present.

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” – Oscar Wilde

4. Don’t Go To Bed With Your Phone

We’re all guilty of going to bed and falling asleep with our phones in our hand. There were times where I literally fell asleep looking at my phone in the air, and it dropped and popped me in the face. That was a “wake-up call”, literally, that I needed to change my ways. Not to mention, I also noticed that I was experiencing weird dreams and sometimes nightmares because of what I was consuming before I went to sleep. All of which is not good for your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.

Rather than charge my phone overnight using a power outlet close to the bed, I now charge my phone overnight on the other side of the room. The first few days of doing this was rough. I was so used to falling asleep scrolling social media that it was hard to fall asleep without it. Now, I lie down and meditate until I fall asleep. After a week of light meditation prior to sleep, I noticed that I woke up feeling energized and well rested. My mind wasn’t mentally fatigued like before, and my days were much more productive. As a result, I highly recommend everyone to go to bed without their phone by their side.

Conclusion

Moderation is key when it comes to social media consumption. Social media is not bad however, like anything, too much of something can have a reverse effect. Social media is a very valuable tool, one that allowed me to connect with people of all walks of life across the world and earn a living. We don’t have to let social media take over and ruin our lives. What we can do is find balance.

How do you stay balanced? Comment below!

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Life

5 Mindset Shifts You Can Steal From the Movies to Have Blockbuster Success

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If only our clients had the passion of Potterheads. Remember the midnight premiers? Potterheads lined up for hours, dressed in full costume, wands a-blazin’. When the doors finally opened, they couldn’t throw their money at the ticket booth fast enough. How do you create that kind of enthusiasm for your own business?

I’m going to share five mindset shifts straight out of the movie business that you can use to fuel lifelong fanatics. Some of it is going to be tough love, but hey, nobody said getting your own fan club was easy.

1. Stay humble, stay hungry

Working actors audition an average of 67 times before booking a gig. 67 times! And that’s working actors—people who earn their entire livelihood from acting. Most entrepreneurs will hear this stat and say, “I get it. I need to accept failure 66 times.” But this isn’t about that. It’s about showing up 67.

Accepting failure is passive. You can accept failure from your couch. Showing up and trying, however, is active. When you show up, you commit to taking a step forward. And 66 times, you’ll get knocked down. It’s humbling. But on attempt 67, that step forward might finally stick.

Mindset shift: You have an insatiable appetite for success. You know that every failure is one failure down and that, soon, you’ll knock it out of the park.

“Don’t let the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning.” – Robert Kiyosaki

2. Treat your audience as kings

The box office doesn’t care what the director’s intentions were, how cool the writer is, or if the lead actor was featured in some fancy magazine, it cares about people in seats. And when thematic costumes clothe them (ala Potterheads), there are more of them.

In movies and entrepreneurship, your most critical metrics depend on your audience’s choices. So, the sooner you start treating your audience as kings and making everything about them, the sooner your metrics will start climbing.

How does the Harry Potter franchise treat Potterheads as kings? Movie premiers are 100% about the fans. They get to feel cool in costume, show off to friends, be among the first, hang out with other super-fans, and more. No matter what, putting your audience’s desire ahead of your own will always pay off in the long run.

Mindset shifts: Other entrepreneurs pursue immediate recognition. But you know that the more special you make your audience feel, the more success you’ll have down the road.

3. Depict compelling transformations

Humans have a fundamental desire for transformation. We love watching movies about redemption, growing up, settling down, overcoming adversity, underdogs, and more. Harry Potter is full of that stuff. Heck, the series even allowed a generation of readers to transform into adults alongside Harry.

This is why Before and After pictures are so incredibly persuasive. They help us to visualize the change we crave. And every single product or service on the market offers some form of transformation. All you have to do is call it out.  

Mindset shift: Bad entrepreneurs sell products. Good entrepreneurs sell solutions. Entrepreneurs who create rabid fans sell transformation.

4. Trust the fundamentals

When I took my first screenwriting class, the number of hyper-specific rules shocked me. Did you know that about 20 minutes into every movie, something dramatic changes in the protagonist’s life and propels them into a new world?

Don’t believe me? Time it. Unsurprisingly, one kid in my class completely ignored the rules. Even more unsurprisingly, his scripts sucked. When my professor called him out, the kid blubbered, “But Tarantino—” To which my professor replied, “Are you Tarantino?” No. No, he was not Tarantino.

The difference between you, me, that kid, and Tarantino is that Tarantino paid his dues. It’s extremely rare to find someone who became successful by completely ignoring the conventions of their craft. And the same is true for entrepreneurship.

Mindset shift: Nobody is “above” learning the fundamentals. You know that by appreciating the current structures and systems, you will be better poised to disrupt them in the future.

“If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.” – Steve Jobs

5. Kill your darlings

Once upon a time, an animation studio was four years into creating a film about the ocean. They had sunk thousands of hours, hundreds of thousands of dollars, and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into the project. Then, the unthinkable happened… Finding Nemo. You know what the studio did with their ocean movie? They scrapped it.

As entrepreneurs, once we invest a lot of time and energy into something, we’re afraid to abandon it—even if the circumstances that made it worth pursuing in the first place don’t exist anymore. It’s the sunk cost fallacy. It’s important to remember that regardless of if you keep chugging along, the investment you made is unrecoverable. On the flip side, the gains you made are still valuable. The only choice you have is how you move forward—and sometimes, that means changing course.

Mindset shift: No effort goes to waste, even if the resulting work becomes irrelevant. Instead of letting your ego rule your decisions, you choose the best course of action and move on.

Building enthusiasm for your business is a slow but crucial process. What techniques have you pulled from other fields to help connect with your audience?

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Life

How Stress Can Actually Improve the Quality of Your Life

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Naturally, those of us who experience less stress in our lives are more likely to succeed. So, it’s important that you learn how to reduce your daily level of stress, right? Maybe not. Recent research has shown the common wisdom about stress might be dangerously inaccurate. Psychologists tracked the health of 30,000 adults in the United States over an 8-year period. Participants were asked two important questions:

1.    “How much stress have you experienced in the last year?”
2.    “Do you believe stress is harmful to your health?”

The researchers found that people who experienced high levels of stress were 43% more likely to die in the study’s 8-year period. Doesn’t that prove stress is in fact bad for your health? Not exactly, stress was only harmful to the people who believed stress was harmful.

Those people who experienced high amounts of stress but didn’t believe it was harmful to their health were less likely to die than all other groups in the study. They were even less likely to die than the people who experienced low levels of stress (but believed stress is harmful.)

Put simply, people who believe that stress is not harmful live longer lives than those who believe it is. This study showed that it might not be stress that damages our health, but our beliefs about stress that damages our health.

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.” – Elbert Hubbard

Breakthroughs In Stress Research

At first, this might be hard to believe. Kelly McGonigal elegantly explains this phenomenon in The Upside of Stress, “Stress mindsets are powerful because they affect not just how you think but also how you act. When you view stress as harmful, it is something to be avoided. Feeling stressed becomes a signal to try to escape or reduce the stress. And indeed, people who endorse a stress-is-harmful mindset are more likely to say that they cope with stress by trying to avoid it.”

People who believe stress is negative are more likely to avoid it by smoking, binge-eating, or watching too much TV. Afterwards, their physical health pays the price. Fortunately, research has shown that your beliefs about stress can be changed – and changing them has powerful benefits.

A study by Jeremy Jameson and colleagues had people endure a grueling social stress test. Participants were asked to give a 5-minute impromptu speech about their personal weaknesses to a panel of judges. To make this situation even more stressful, the judges were instructed to give negative feedback to the participant giving the speech. This study wasn’t just about sadistically putting people through social pressure, it was testing whether a mindset intervention could change how people react to stress.

Before giving the impromptu speech, participants were shown one of two videos:

  • The first video opened with the message, “Most people think that stress is negative… but research shows that stress is even more debilitating than you expect.”
  • The second video opened with, “Most people think that stress is negative… but actually research shows that it is enhancing.”

Participants who were shown the video that gave examples of how stress can be enhancing were less stressed out during the interview, felt more confident while speaking, and gave better interviews (as rated both by themselves and the judges). Even more impressively, although normally a stress response causes a person’s blood vessels to constrict, the blood vessels of participants who saw the pro-stress video remained relaxed.

“Much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they’ve started.” – David Allen

The Power Of Your Stress Mindset

So, a 3-minute video was able to change the way people responded to a stressful situation, not just psychologically, but physiologically. When we think stress is something we must avoid, stress becomes a negative feedback loop. We experience stress, we think it’s a bad thing, and then our stress makes us even more stressed (and on and on).

But, when we think stress is just a natural part of life, or even a good thing, we are able to embrace it instead of being controlled by it. This not only allows us to perform better in stressful situations, it also enables us to make healthier decisions (because we won’t attempt to avoid stress with unhealthy coping behaviors).

How do you handle stress? Comment below!

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Life

One Piece Of Simple Advice That Changed My Life.

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“Stay positive no matter what happens.”

That’s one simple piece of advice that changed my life.

I learned the importance of this advice the hard way when my life was traveling along just nicely. I had a high paying job, a booming blogging career, a partner who loved me, and enough money to live and enjoy a few simple pleasures.

I got to travel overseas to exotic locations and work even allowed me to have some pretty unique experiences like sleeping on a yacht and going surfing with a crazy bunch of entrepreneurs.

I thought I had it all.

People looked at my life and thought it was spectacular.


Deep inside of me, I knew something was not quite right.

I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Something about this so-called perfect life felt wrong.

Before I knew it, I broke up with my girlfriend, lost all of my work colleagues to competitors and found myself staring into a glass half full of instant coffee.

When I hit challenges, I found myself getting pissed off. I’d say to myself “Why me?” and “Get out of my way idiot, you’re blocking the path in front of me.”

How could an internet proclaimed self-help blogger have these crazy, messed up thoughts?

What was wrong was I’d forgotten how to stay positive. I thought that I was past the point of having to deal with challenges and I’d reached a level that I could never go back from.

“Personal development and inspirational content can make you feel invincible — especially when you’re the one creating it”

Sometimes the very thing you preach can be the one thing that is your own downfall.

As I analyzed the situation, I saw that I’d forgotten how to practice positivity.


How does one practice positivity?

By deciding to. Positivity is a choice.

Positivity is like going on an adventure and forcing yourself to see at least one good thing about the journey.

One little hack I used was writing down three things each day I was grateful for. I forced myself to do it at work and locked it into my diary for 9 am every morning.

During the career challenges I mentioned earlier, the lady that sits a few desks away from me described my situation as like being on the Titanic. She called my business unit the “Sinking Ship.”

Outside forces are going to have an effect on you if you let them. I chose to see positivity in what she was saying. I wrote down notes of how this could be positive.

It took a while, but eventually, I got the answer: The Titanic she described was a forced career change into something I liked even more. I’d become comfortable and that was the issue.

At that moment, I realized that I had the power within me to always see positivity if I wanted to.


It’s not about getting rid of negative thoughts necessarily.

It takes a lot of energy to remove or block negative thoughts. Choosing positivity is a much easier process to go through and it takes less energy.

Committing to yourself that there is at least one good outcome from every situation, forces your mind into positivity. It can be done.

You’re supposed to have negative thoughts. They keep you alive. Having zero negative thoughts is impossible. What helped me was balancing my thoughts to be more of the positive variety.


Gossiping and complaining breeds the opposite outcome.

Trying to stay positive no matter what is extremely difficult when you’re in conversations with people who are egging you on to complain, or gossip about someone or something.

The temptation is huge because whether we like it or not, it feels good.

The trouble with complaining or gossiping is that it only breeds more negativity.

You’re asking your brain to dish up negative possibilities and recall negative situations. The other person’s reaction to your negativity only rewards your brain for its hard work.

You can’t focus on being positive if you deliberately hijack your brain every time with gossip talk and picking faults with your co-workers.

People stuff up; they have different beliefs to you; they have other priorities.

Gossiping and complaining doesn’t make anyone else wrong. It does make you practice negativity though and that’s not going to change your life.


Take a long hard look at yourself.

Are you being positive most of the time? When I asked myself this question, I could see clearly that I was not.

I’d fallen into bad habits and allowed outside forces to manipulate my thoughts and turn them toxic.

My life started to change when I acknowledged what was going on and took ownership for it.

“It’s damn hard to admit as a self-help blogger that you’re being extremely negative and ruining your own success. It’s somewhat counter-intuitive. Either way, this reality was my truth and I owned it!”

Ignoring the problem is not going to make it magically disappear.

So, what did I do?

  • Stayed clear of the people who were fuelling my negativity
  • Focused on the positivity that already existed in my life like blogging, love and family
  • Chose a new career path that was closer to what I loved
  • Spent more time with other bloggers to learn how they dealt with negativity
  • Took accountability and stopped focusing on outside interference
  • Doubled down on my blogging so I could spread more positivity
  • Spent lots of time watching videos on a Facebook page called Human Kindness

Above all else, one thing that helped was being more kind.

When you’re kind to everyone you encounter, positivity comes at you a hundred miles an hour.

People will make you feel positive when you are kind towards them. You don’t have to hand out millions of dollars in donations or build an orphanage either.

Simple acts of kindness like holding the door open, complimenting someone, or letting a driver into your lane is all it takes.


Tragedy will strike everyone.

That’s not something to be sad about it’s just a fact of life. When you can go through any event and always find a way to be positive, you’re able to recover much quicker. This allows you to support others during these tough times.


Positivity can make you see another way.

By seeing positivity, you’ll discover other options that those around you can’t see.

“Positivity is closely linked to creativity”

Seeing hidden opportunities doesn’t happen when you’re pissed off and want to kill your neighbor because of their dog that always barks when you’re sleeping.

Positivity sparks possibility and that’s where your next opportunity will come from.


Final thought.

Positivity really is the simple advice that will change your life. We can all use more of it and it’s missing in so many souls around the world. Find another way to move forward and don’t be afraid to take a step back once in a while.

Choose positivity in every situation and your life will change. You’ll see a brighter future, and better yet, you’ll create that future for yourself.

You deserve to be fulfilled and do what you love. Let positivity get you there faster.

<<<>>>

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Motivation

7 Powerful and Inspiring Words of Encouragement to Help Lift You Up

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Image Credit: Twenty20.com

When you’re going through tough times, all you need is sympathy. You just need someone to tell you how strong you are and how you can cope with the situation. Essentially, you’re waiting for a soothing voice that can calm your inner storm and genuinely help with your troubles. (more…)

I am Eliana Jags, Co-Founder & Author at beinginsightful.com. I'm passionate about writing motivational and inspirational articles. Before I became a full-time blogger, I was a Software Engineer but left the job to fulfill my dream of becoming a writer and thus I've committed myself completely to my passion of writing. You can connect with me on my Facebook page here.

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Ray

    Sep 11, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    Fantastic documentary that everyone should watch. Tony is awesome and ALWAYS delivers!

  2. Stefanie

    Jul 28, 2016 at 6:59 am

    Finally, I couldn’t wait and watched the movie yesterday 🙂 I would add one lesson which I think is very important to understand.
    Your biggest problem is your greatest gift. Life doesn’t happen TO you, it happens FOR you.
    This fits in “the best teachers come from the darkest places”. I love this interpretation, as it’s a reframing for what most used to hurt you. This interpretation gets you into a powerful and resourceful state, if you let it.

    • Tim Denning

      Jul 28, 2016 at 10:22 am

      I’m glad you watched it Stefanie. Thanks for sharing your insight and opinion of the movie.

  3. Stefanie

    Jul 27, 2016 at 6:58 am

    That was another great one, Tim! Thanks for sharing. I will definitely check out the movie this weekend, I think it’s also on Netflix.
    I went last year to an event from Tony, which was really amazing. Beside all the valuable content, the crucial point I took away with me was: Our physical state has more power than we often think. It really makes a difference. Creating a high performance outcome is impossible, if you’re not in a resourceful and powerful state.
    There are many speakers, and I believe that the significant topics are similar – but each one has different strategies and methods. Tony is authentic and what he says, comes from his heart. I also appreciate that he doesn’t, whereas others do, create pressure with sales pitches. He doesn’t have to.
    Thanks again for the review, I’d love more articles about inspirational movies!
    One movie I took great lessons out from, is Walt Before Mickey. Have you seen it?

    • Tim Denning

      Jul 27, 2016 at 8:31 pm

      Thanks Stefanie. The movie is only on Netflix but it’s worth watching for sure! I haven;t seen the Walt Before Mickey movie but I will now go and watch it. I have read a few books on Walt Disney and he was one of a kind. I have never seen a man with such a big vision. Thanks for the tip Stefanie!

  4. Toño

    Jul 27, 2016 at 4:14 am

    Fantastic article! I have to be honest with you Tim, yesterday I was asking myself some questions about my life and what to do and how to avoid everyday pain I am experiencing right now, after every day off the single thought of attending my job gives me shouting pain and makes me feel down. I feel like wasting my time and I realized for me boredom is one of the worst things in the world. I can hardly stand it.

    What I’m going through, long story short, it is all about being unfulfilled with my job and living in the constant pain of doing what I dislike so very much. The result is simple – quit the place and start to do what I love, enjoy and feel passionate about. Thing is, right now I feel so morally exhausted I don’t even work anymore, at least for somebody, as basically, all the corporate jobs are the basic slavery system with the only difference we get paid pennies so we can depend your lives on them.

    Back to the subject, yesterday, after another day off I was deeply contemplating about my life and started to look for many motivational videos on youtube, got myself involved with a conversation with my sister and I am in search for my primary question, it is! I realized it now after reading your article. Funny how synchronicity works as of just day ago I was looking for answers and today I got the full load of energy Tony Robbins’ read by you 🙂 I certainly need to watch it, however, I don’t have Netflix in the place I live, so I have to figure out where to purchase it separately, on blu-ray or digital download. I’ll figure it out as I always did. Movies always played a big part of inner power so this is no brainer for me.

    I like the #3 point where you speak how our life changes in a moment, and it is so deep, man. We make ourselves prepare for that moment, for the big breakthrough, but truth is, we make a decision and change our lives in just one pure moment, which may take a few seconds only, and this is incredible. I love it!

    The whole article got me on fire, to be honest, gonna send the message to my sister right now, even though she’s asleep I cannot wait haha! I was actually kind of low od energy despite the fact it’s early morning and was thinking it’s gonna be a long day, my hot water will be off for two days, this and that, etc.. Complaining my heart off, so to speak. While meditating, however, I realized I can recharge myself and make my day different if I will speak to myself in a different tone and attitude. I am the owner of my day and I can change the definition of the daily events if I desire to. That was a relief, and now I think how you had helped me in many ways to get there, with your advice, including this meditation tip, books and movies. I even quit drinking coffee, since like February I think because of you. Green organic tea now is my new addiction haha 😀

    So yeah man, just want to express my gratitude towards everything you’ve done to guide all of us through our dark and bright times as well. You’re an amazing person, thank you so very much! Enjoyed this read, top quality. Much love and appreciation!

    Have a wonderful day, stay well and healthy, Tim!

    • Tim Denning

      Jul 27, 2016 at 8:35 pm

      Toño thank you so much! If your job is giving you so much pain I think it’s time to find something else. The difference between your job and your personal life should be as close as possible. It’s not that way for everyone but it should become your goal. I’m sorry to hear there are tough times for you right now. Remember that winter doesn’t last forever and soon it will be summer again my friend.

      If you are keen to watch the movie you can sign up for Netflix and watch over the internet. It’s less than $10 per month and worth every cent. You could always cancel the subscription after one month. There’s always a way if you have the will.

  5. Muhammad Amir Iqbal

    Jul 26, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    Thanks for sharing such a valuable information….Wonderful documentry…

    • Tim Denning

      Aug 4, 2016 at 9:34 pm

      Not a problem Muhammad and I’m glad you liked the documentary!

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Life

How to Prevent Social Media From Stunting Your Personal Growth

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Over the years, social media has taken over our lives. Our society has become so addicted to social media to where we’re not only missing out on enjoying some of life’s most precious moments, but we’re also losing valuable interpersonal skills. The introverts have become more introverted, and the extroverts are becoming more recluse.

Social media has made “Netflix & Chill” the ideal date night, replacing the traditional “dinner and a movie” where you’re getting to know each other amongst others. If people were to go out, they have a constant need to document their every move on social media instead of being truly present and enjoying themselves. What’s also worse is that I see this social media dynamic being passed on to the younger generation. More and more kids are becoming hooked on social media, causing them to place their own personal value in the hands of strangers through a “like”.

Luckily, we don’t have to allow social media to ruin our lives. Despite how addicting social media is, we have complete control on how it’s used. Here’s how I prevent social media from stunting my own personal growth.

1. Limit Your Time On Social Media

Scrolling your timeline is like diving into a black hole. Once you start scrolling on Instagram, Facebook, or even Twitter, it’s hard to stop. Even for me, I struggle putting my phone down, thus getting sucked into the “social media matrix”.

What I found to be extremely helpful is limiting my time on social media. I literally allow myself a certain amount of minutes of “scroll time” before I put my phone away to focus on something else. Because my business revolves around social media, I check my phone approximately 4 times a day, for 15 minutes at a time. During those short periods, I’m responding to any comments or DMs, and engaging with other people’s posts to keep my own personal engagement high on my profile.

“Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

2. Find New Hobbies

There was a period of time where I was very conscious of when and why I randomly start scrolling social media. What I discovered was that I was more prone to fall into the black hole of social media when I was bored.

I’m a part of the last generation to have experienced life without the internet and social media. I recall days being spent reading, wrestling with my dad, walking or riding bikes at the local park, playing sports outside with the neighborhood kids, or building small LEGO communities (remember those?). There was never a dull moment because our days were filled with hobbies.

If you let the demands of being an adult consume you, don’t be afraid to re-introduce your old hobbies back into your life.

3. Unplug With Family & Friends

There are more and more people who are spending time on social media in the company of their family and friends. Family dinners and time spent with your friends are now being interrupted by social media. As I mentioned earlier, this is typically a sign of boredom that comes across as rude to those in your presence. By not being in the moment, you could be missing out on valuable information and vital conversations that could strengthen your personal growth and interpersonal skills.

One thing I found to be helpful when in the presence of your friends and family is to designate one spot where everyone can dump their phones so that everyone is now forced to be in the moment and enjoy the company of those around them. At family dinner, I make everyone leave their phones in their room, and when my friends get together, I make them turn their phones off and place them in a small bag that I bring. It’s imperative that we unplug. You’ll find that the time spent was much more enjoyable when you’re focused on being mentally present.

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” – Oscar Wilde

4. Don’t Go To Bed With Your Phone

We’re all guilty of going to bed and falling asleep with our phones in our hand. There were times where I literally fell asleep looking at my phone in the air, and it dropped and popped me in the face. That was a “wake-up call”, literally, that I needed to change my ways. Not to mention, I also noticed that I was experiencing weird dreams and sometimes nightmares because of what I was consuming before I went to sleep. All of which is not good for your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.

Rather than charge my phone overnight using a power outlet close to the bed, I now charge my phone overnight on the other side of the room. The first few days of doing this was rough. I was so used to falling asleep scrolling social media that it was hard to fall asleep without it. Now, I lie down and meditate until I fall asleep. After a week of light meditation prior to sleep, I noticed that I woke up feeling energized and well rested. My mind wasn’t mentally fatigued like before, and my days were much more productive. As a result, I highly recommend everyone to go to bed without their phone by their side.

Conclusion

Moderation is key when it comes to social media consumption. Social media is not bad however, like anything, too much of something can have a reverse effect. Social media is a very valuable tool, one that allowed me to connect with people of all walks of life across the world and earn a living. We don’t have to let social media take over and ruin our lives. What we can do is find balance.

How do you stay balanced? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Life

5 Mindset Shifts You Can Steal From the Movies to Have Blockbuster Success

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If only our clients had the passion of Potterheads. Remember the midnight premiers? Potterheads lined up for hours, dressed in full costume, wands a-blazin’. When the doors finally opened, they couldn’t throw their money at the ticket booth fast enough. How do you create that kind of enthusiasm for your own business?

I’m going to share five mindset shifts straight out of the movie business that you can use to fuel lifelong fanatics. Some of it is going to be tough love, but hey, nobody said getting your own fan club was easy.

1. Stay humble, stay hungry

Working actors audition an average of 67 times before booking a gig. 67 times! And that’s working actors—people who earn their entire livelihood from acting. Most entrepreneurs will hear this stat and say, “I get it. I need to accept failure 66 times.” But this isn’t about that. It’s about showing up 67.

Accepting failure is passive. You can accept failure from your couch. Showing up and trying, however, is active. When you show up, you commit to taking a step forward. And 66 times, you’ll get knocked down. It’s humbling. But on attempt 67, that step forward might finally stick.

Mindset shift: You have an insatiable appetite for success. You know that every failure is one failure down and that, soon, you’ll knock it out of the park.

“Don’t let the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning.” – Robert Kiyosaki

2. Treat your audience as kings

The box office doesn’t care what the director’s intentions were, how cool the writer is, or if the lead actor was featured in some fancy magazine, it cares about people in seats. And when thematic costumes clothe them (ala Potterheads), there are more of them.

In movies and entrepreneurship, your most critical metrics depend on your audience’s choices. So, the sooner you start treating your audience as kings and making everything about them, the sooner your metrics will start climbing.

How does the Harry Potter franchise treat Potterheads as kings? Movie premiers are 100% about the fans. They get to feel cool in costume, show off to friends, be among the first, hang out with other super-fans, and more. No matter what, putting your audience’s desire ahead of your own will always pay off in the long run.

Mindset shifts: Other entrepreneurs pursue immediate recognition. But you know that the more special you make your audience feel, the more success you’ll have down the road.

3. Depict compelling transformations

Humans have a fundamental desire for transformation. We love watching movies about redemption, growing up, settling down, overcoming adversity, underdogs, and more. Harry Potter is full of that stuff. Heck, the series even allowed a generation of readers to transform into adults alongside Harry.

This is why Before and After pictures are so incredibly persuasive. They help us to visualize the change we crave. And every single product or service on the market offers some form of transformation. All you have to do is call it out.  

Mindset shift: Bad entrepreneurs sell products. Good entrepreneurs sell solutions. Entrepreneurs who create rabid fans sell transformation.

4. Trust the fundamentals

When I took my first screenwriting class, the number of hyper-specific rules shocked me. Did you know that about 20 minutes into every movie, something dramatic changes in the protagonist’s life and propels them into a new world?

Don’t believe me? Time it. Unsurprisingly, one kid in my class completely ignored the rules. Even more unsurprisingly, his scripts sucked. When my professor called him out, the kid blubbered, “But Tarantino—” To which my professor replied, “Are you Tarantino?” No. No, he was not Tarantino.

The difference between you, me, that kid, and Tarantino is that Tarantino paid his dues. It’s extremely rare to find someone who became successful by completely ignoring the conventions of their craft. And the same is true for entrepreneurship.

Mindset shift: Nobody is “above” learning the fundamentals. You know that by appreciating the current structures and systems, you will be better poised to disrupt them in the future.

“If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.” – Steve Jobs

5. Kill your darlings

Once upon a time, an animation studio was four years into creating a film about the ocean. They had sunk thousands of hours, hundreds of thousands of dollars, and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into the project. Then, the unthinkable happened… Finding Nemo. You know what the studio did with their ocean movie? They scrapped it.

As entrepreneurs, once we invest a lot of time and energy into something, we’re afraid to abandon it—even if the circumstances that made it worth pursuing in the first place don’t exist anymore. It’s the sunk cost fallacy. It’s important to remember that regardless of if you keep chugging along, the investment you made is unrecoverable. On the flip side, the gains you made are still valuable. The only choice you have is how you move forward—and sometimes, that means changing course.

Mindset shift: No effort goes to waste, even if the resulting work becomes irrelevant. Instead of letting your ego rule your decisions, you choose the best course of action and move on.

Building enthusiasm for your business is a slow but crucial process. What techniques have you pulled from other fields to help connect with your audience?

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Life

How Stress Can Actually Improve the Quality of Your Life

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Naturally, those of us who experience less stress in our lives are more likely to succeed. So, it’s important that you learn how to reduce your daily level of stress, right? Maybe not. Recent research has shown the common wisdom about stress might be dangerously inaccurate. Psychologists tracked the health of 30,000 adults in the United States over an 8-year period. Participants were asked two important questions:

1.    “How much stress have you experienced in the last year?”
2.    “Do you believe stress is harmful to your health?”

The researchers found that people who experienced high levels of stress were 43% more likely to die in the study’s 8-year period. Doesn’t that prove stress is in fact bad for your health? Not exactly, stress was only harmful to the people who believed stress was harmful.

Those people who experienced high amounts of stress but didn’t believe it was harmful to their health were less likely to die than all other groups in the study. They were even less likely to die than the people who experienced low levels of stress (but believed stress is harmful.)

Put simply, people who believe that stress is not harmful live longer lives than those who believe it is. This study showed that it might not be stress that damages our health, but our beliefs about stress that damages our health.

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.” – Elbert Hubbard

Breakthroughs In Stress Research

At first, this might be hard to believe. Kelly McGonigal elegantly explains this phenomenon in The Upside of Stress, “Stress mindsets are powerful because they affect not just how you think but also how you act. When you view stress as harmful, it is something to be avoided. Feeling stressed becomes a signal to try to escape or reduce the stress. And indeed, people who endorse a stress-is-harmful mindset are more likely to say that they cope with stress by trying to avoid it.”

People who believe stress is negative are more likely to avoid it by smoking, binge-eating, or watching too much TV. Afterwards, their physical health pays the price. Fortunately, research has shown that your beliefs about stress can be changed – and changing them has powerful benefits.

A study by Jeremy Jameson and colleagues had people endure a grueling social stress test. Participants were asked to give a 5-minute impromptu speech about their personal weaknesses to a panel of judges. To make this situation even more stressful, the judges were instructed to give negative feedback to the participant giving the speech. This study wasn’t just about sadistically putting people through social pressure, it was testing whether a mindset intervention could change how people react to stress.

Before giving the impromptu speech, participants were shown one of two videos:

  • The first video opened with the message, “Most people think that stress is negative… but research shows that stress is even more debilitating than you expect.”
  • The second video opened with, “Most people think that stress is negative… but actually research shows that it is enhancing.”

Participants who were shown the video that gave examples of how stress can be enhancing were less stressed out during the interview, felt more confident while speaking, and gave better interviews (as rated both by themselves and the judges). Even more impressively, although normally a stress response causes a person’s blood vessels to constrict, the blood vessels of participants who saw the pro-stress video remained relaxed.

“Much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they’ve started.” – David Allen

The Power Of Your Stress Mindset

So, a 3-minute video was able to change the way people responded to a stressful situation, not just psychologically, but physiologically. When we think stress is something we must avoid, stress becomes a negative feedback loop. We experience stress, we think it’s a bad thing, and then our stress makes us even more stressed (and on and on).

But, when we think stress is just a natural part of life, or even a good thing, we are able to embrace it instead of being controlled by it. This not only allows us to perform better in stressful situations, it also enables us to make healthier decisions (because we won’t attempt to avoid stress with unhealthy coping behaviors).

How do you handle stress? Comment below!

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Life

One Piece Of Simple Advice That Changed My Life.

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“Stay positive no matter what happens.”

That’s one simple piece of advice that changed my life.

I learned the importance of this advice the hard way when my life was traveling along just nicely. I had a high paying job, a booming blogging career, a partner who loved me, and enough money to live and enjoy a few simple pleasures.

I got to travel overseas to exotic locations and work even allowed me to have some pretty unique experiences like sleeping on a yacht and going surfing with a crazy bunch of entrepreneurs.

I thought I had it all.

People looked at my life and thought it was spectacular.


Deep inside of me, I knew something was not quite right.

I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Something about this so-called perfect life felt wrong.

Before I knew it, I broke up with my girlfriend, lost all of my work colleagues to competitors and found myself staring into a glass half full of instant coffee.

When I hit challenges, I found myself getting pissed off. I’d say to myself “Why me?” and “Get out of my way idiot, you’re blocking the path in front of me.”

How could an internet proclaimed self-help blogger have these crazy, messed up thoughts?

What was wrong was I’d forgotten how to stay positive. I thought that I was past the point of having to deal with challenges and I’d reached a level that I could never go back from.

“Personal development and inspirational content can make you feel invincible — especially when you’re the one creating it”

Sometimes the very thing you preach can be the one thing that is your own downfall.

As I analyzed the situation, I saw that I’d forgotten how to practice positivity.


How does one practice positivity?

By deciding to. Positivity is a choice.

Positivity is like going on an adventure and forcing yourself to see at least one good thing about the journey.

One little hack I used was writing down three things each day I was grateful for. I forced myself to do it at work and locked it into my diary for 9 am every morning.

During the career challenges I mentioned earlier, the lady that sits a few desks away from me described my situation as like being on the Titanic. She called my business unit the “Sinking Ship.”

Outside forces are going to have an effect on you if you let them. I chose to see positivity in what she was saying. I wrote down notes of how this could be positive.

It took a while, but eventually, I got the answer: The Titanic she described was a forced career change into something I liked even more. I’d become comfortable and that was the issue.

At that moment, I realized that I had the power within me to always see positivity if I wanted to.


It’s not about getting rid of negative thoughts necessarily.

It takes a lot of energy to remove or block negative thoughts. Choosing positivity is a much easier process to go through and it takes less energy.

Committing to yourself that there is at least one good outcome from every situation, forces your mind into positivity. It can be done.

You’re supposed to have negative thoughts. They keep you alive. Having zero negative thoughts is impossible. What helped me was balancing my thoughts to be more of the positive variety.


Gossiping and complaining breeds the opposite outcome.

Trying to stay positive no matter what is extremely difficult when you’re in conversations with people who are egging you on to complain, or gossip about someone or something.

The temptation is huge because whether we like it or not, it feels good.

The trouble with complaining or gossiping is that it only breeds more negativity.

You’re asking your brain to dish up negative possibilities and recall negative situations. The other person’s reaction to your negativity only rewards your brain for its hard work.

You can’t focus on being positive if you deliberately hijack your brain every time with gossip talk and picking faults with your co-workers.

People stuff up; they have different beliefs to you; they have other priorities.

Gossiping and complaining doesn’t make anyone else wrong. It does make you practice negativity though and that’s not going to change your life.


Take a long hard look at yourself.

Are you being positive most of the time? When I asked myself this question, I could see clearly that I was not.

I’d fallen into bad habits and allowed outside forces to manipulate my thoughts and turn them toxic.

My life started to change when I acknowledged what was going on and took ownership for it.

“It’s damn hard to admit as a self-help blogger that you’re being extremely negative and ruining your own success. It’s somewhat counter-intuitive. Either way, this reality was my truth and I owned it!”

Ignoring the problem is not going to make it magically disappear.

So, what did I do?

  • Stayed clear of the people who were fuelling my negativity
  • Focused on the positivity that already existed in my life like blogging, love and family
  • Chose a new career path that was closer to what I loved
  • Spent more time with other bloggers to learn how they dealt with negativity
  • Took accountability and stopped focusing on outside interference
  • Doubled down on my blogging so I could spread more positivity
  • Spent lots of time watching videos on a Facebook page called Human Kindness

Above all else, one thing that helped was being more kind.

When you’re kind to everyone you encounter, positivity comes at you a hundred miles an hour.

People will make you feel positive when you are kind towards them. You don’t have to hand out millions of dollars in donations or build an orphanage either.

Simple acts of kindness like holding the door open, complimenting someone, or letting a driver into your lane is all it takes.


Tragedy will strike everyone.

That’s not something to be sad about it’s just a fact of life. When you can go through any event and always find a way to be positive, you’re able to recover much quicker. This allows you to support others during these tough times.


Positivity can make you see another way.

By seeing positivity, you’ll discover other options that those around you can’t see.

“Positivity is closely linked to creativity”

Seeing hidden opportunities doesn’t happen when you’re pissed off and want to kill your neighbor because of their dog that always barks when you’re sleeping.

Positivity sparks possibility and that’s where your next opportunity will come from.


Final thought.

Positivity really is the simple advice that will change your life. We can all use more of it and it’s missing in so many souls around the world. Find another way to move forward and don’t be afraid to take a step back once in a while.

Choose positivity in every situation and your life will change. You’ll see a brighter future, and better yet, you’ll create that future for yourself.

You deserve to be fulfilled and do what you love. Let positivity get you there faster.

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