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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 hundreds of thousands of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around success, personal development, motivation, and entrepreneurship. During the day Tim works with the most iconic tech companies in the world, as an adviser, to assist them in expanding into Australia. By night, Tim coaches his students on the principles of personal development and the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net or through his Facebook.

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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

My Incredibly Simple Guide To Stoicism – Learn Practical Wisdom You Can Use

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I’ve been inspired to learn about Stoicism for a while.

The problem I’ve had is that it’s one of those topics that people love to complicate. The reason for the complication is that many of the teachings that come from Stoicism are spoken in English from a long time ago. I personally don’t have the patience to read this type of writing for long periods.

That’s why I’m going to debunk Stoicism for you in stupidly simple terms. The wisdom you get will transform you. You’ll gain a different perspective that will help you in all aspects of life.

“Everyone is preaching advice, but no one is sharing wisdom – that’s what Stoicism is”

 

What is Stoicism?

It’s an ancient form of philosophy. It was made famous in recent years again by Tim Ferriss and Ryan Holiday from the USA. These two gentleman credit a lot of their success to the wisdom that Stoicism taught them.

Stoicism began on a stoa which means porch to you and I. A stoa is where the early teachings of Stoicism started.

Here is Stoicism broken down into insanely simple dot points:

– Stoicism is focused on uncomplicated theories of life
– Stoicism is so clear that you can take action from the advice immediately
– Study is not required to understand Stoicism
– The most read Stoic is Lucius Seneca. Marcus Aurelius is also very popular

Stoicism doesn’t focus on the negative like modern-day self-help advice does. Stoicism is more a meditative practice that allows us to take the negative feelings we experience, and turn them into thoughts that give us peacefulness and perspective on life.

The most important part of learning Stoicism is having the right state of mind. Just like in life, the right state of mind can help us look at challenges in the best possible way.

At the crux of Stoicism is a list of reminders and words of wisdom that show how to live a good life. It’s not an argument about what is right and what is wrong. The Stoics had no time for this way of thinking.

Okay so now let’s skip ahead to the best lessons you can learn from Stoicism:

 

We don’t control events, but we do control what they mean.

This is a famous teaching from a lot of Tony Robbins work too. Everything that happens in your life can be controlled by your own mind to be good or bad. Once you understand this teaching, you can take back the power. You become less reactive and a lot calmer. You have the upper hand.

 

Disruptions to serenity cannot be avoided.

Tranquillity can never be reached by avoiding or blocking out distractions or horrible events. The way to get to that tranquil place is through your choices and judgment about those events and situations.

 

You must disrupt yourself.

Doing things the way they’ve always been done will lead you to be disrupted by someone or something who changes with the environment. Operating out of habit means you’ve stopped thinking and are mindlessly drifting through life. This means you’re not in control.

“When you lose control, your environment determines your results”

There’s a good chance that you’re going to think these results suck. The lesson here is break your habits, get out of your comfort zone and disrupt yourself like a cool, hip startup from Silicon Valley.

 

In good and bad times we have a choice.

Whether you’re in jail or an entrepreneur running the most successful startup on the planet, you have a choice. We all come from different backgrounds and we’ll all go through major highs, and painstaking lows. Through all of these different circumstances, we have a choice.

It’s having the freedom of choice that will set us free in the long run. It’s that freedom of choice that will ensure you don’t waste your life away thinking about stuff you can’t control. You’ll always feel the power of freedom when you control your choices, no matter what life throws at you.

 

Make it a habit of looking inward.

Stoics are obsessed with taking time to look inward. It’s something they advocate above all of their other teachings. They suggest spending time in the morning to ask yourself questions about your life. As you do this, you’ll find the answers to life’s biggest questions become clearer in the context of your own life.

Looking inward helps you find the answers that you knew all along and thought were hidden inside of someone else, or something else. This practice will only work if you’re honest with yourself. Don’t be too brutal on yourself either. Realize that we all start somewhere and it’s where we can go that is the greatest gift we can enjoy.

 

Being paranoid and fearful will destroy you.

The antidote to fear and paranoia is self-control. Learn to control your impulses. If you become fearful that others will sabotage your success and you don’t remain in control over these fearful thoughts, you’ll lose sight of reality. These fearful thoughts will cause you to project your fears onto other people and they’ll give you exactly what you fear.

In simple terms, fear is a self-fulfilling prophecy. What you put out comes right back at you.

 

Anger will not help you.

The Stoics believe that getting angry never gives you anything in return. Anger wastes your precious energy and resources, and provides no tangible benefit. This is why it’s better to practice non-reactivity rather than being pissed off at something you can’t control anyway.

Anger is like a contagious virus that spreads if you let it. Don’t let anger control you. Projecting anger on people can only result in you projecting anger on yourself. That’s why anger is also another self-fulfilling prophecy.

 

Everything takes up space.

Seneca wrote many times that even things you get for free have a cost. That cost is space – space in your garage or even space in your mind.

“Learning to live with less will create space in your life for the things that truly matter to you”

The aim of the game is to look at your material possession and be honest with yourself: do you really need that object? If the answer is no, free some space up in your life. What Seneca says here is the reason I have personally given away and sold most of my possessions. I’ve never been happier.

 

Practice poverty.

Especially during prosperous times in your life, the Stoics believe you should practice poverty. This is how you prepare for hardship and become an expert in dealing with the ups and downs of life. Comfort can become a form of slavery because you consistently start to think that someone could take away what you have.

When you’re familiar with what you fear, it no longer controls you. The worst can happen and you go through it with a sense of calmness and ease. People think you’re resilient but actually, you’ve just practiced the hard times as preparation.

Quick tip: try eating a really cheap meal for a whole week every two months. Eat like you have almost no money. This will teach you to not only appreciate the nice meals but to be okay if you ever face poverty and have to live on very little money for a while. I know a few people that do a beans and rice meal for this week of living it rough. Try it!

 

You protect everything you have, why not your mind?

You don’t give away your wallet to a stranger on the street. You don’t hand the keys to your car over to a budding thief. You wouldn’t let your house be demolished by the council without a fight. So why would you hand over the keys to your mind so easily to any stranger who wants them?

You have to become aware of who you are unconsciously giving your mind over to. You need to realize who is influencing you in a negative way without knowing it.

“Your mind can create all the abundance you could ever imagine, so you need to protect it like it’s the only possession you have”

 

Don’t wreck the purpose of your life by trying to impress others.

The Stoics teach that the opinions of people you seek our to impress are not that great themselves. These people you seek to impress have addictions, their own problems, and are no wiser than the next person. The purpose of your life is not to impress people and doing so will have the opposite effect.

Focus on impressing yourself through personal growth and wisdom from people who serve the greater good. Go beyond yourself and avoid the need to seek approval. Take action and seek forgiveness later if you must.

 

Without proper training, you’re a fool.

If you seek to master a skill, then without proper training you will (by default) rely on ignorance, and you’ll act in a way that lacks discipline and requires chance.

“An investor without discipline is not an investor – he’s a gambler” – Ryan Holiday

 

Your mind becomes what you think consistently.

Whether you think mostly negative thoughts or positive thoughts will determine your default response to any situation. The more we practice negative thinking, the more likely we are to see the world as negative.

If we choose to practice nothing, then we also get the same outcome of an influx of negative thoughts. The only wise choice then is to practice seeing the good in everything. Start with being grateful

 

You don’t know everything.

This is a thought that many people secretly have when they claim they want to learn something new. The harsh reality is that many of us walk around as though we know everything. We know nothing of the infinite knowledge there is to acquire.

That sort of humbleness is where all the best learning starts from. Thinking less of yourself is the ultimate power: it’s where you can grow from and serve others. It’s this way of thinking that births leaders.

 

Think of your problems in relation to the sky.

Marcus Aurelius says that the stars wash away the dust of earthly life. This Stoic concept is a way for you to clear your mind of all the troubles you encounter day-to-day. In comparison, your problems are so small compared to the immense size of the universe.

Your problems don’t matter in the grand scheme of things so don’t fool yourself into believing they do. Look at the stars once in a while. Remember how lucky we are even to experience this planet we call Earth.

 

Forget stereotypes and labels: concentrate on character.

Stoics believe your character should be your most prominent feature. Outward traits such as skin color and clothing should be insignificant. Your character is defined by the work you do on yourself each day and the person you become.

Your character is what sells you as a person better than any other external force. Your character is your legacy. Your character is what you want to be known for.

 

Don’t sit on the sidelines. Do something inspirational yourself.

You can sit here all day and listen to me inspire you. You can watch all the inspirational videos that Youtube has to offer. What would be far better is to go out there and inspire people yourself rather than being inspired.

Take the inspiration you’ve gathered in your life and do something with it so you can allow others to create their own inspirational journey. Be the example rather than only listening to the example and saying “One day I’ll do that.”

 

There is never an end to the personal development journey.

You never reach mastery. The student never stops being a student. Even the teacher is still a student at heart. Stoicism is something you apply consistently, and it never ends. You apply it until the day you die and that’s how you gain the infinite wisdom it offers.

“You’ll never drink all the water in the ocean, just like you’ll never learn everything there is to know about Stoic philosophy and that’s fine too”

 

Work is good for you.

Ever heard that when people retire, they are statistically more likely to die within a few years of achieving this milestone in their life? That’s because work gives us a sense of purpose. Work gives us a reason to get up in the morning. Making progress through doing meaningful work feels good.

Too much idle time and the delusion that you can get rich and sit on a beach is what can cause you to feel empty inside. This feeling can cause you to have self-destructive thoughts that lead to an immense focus on one’s selfish desires and need for significance. In other words, work is good.

 

Don’t make life harder than it is. It’s your choice.

Choices are what stoics believe are the way to take a shortcut in life. They believe we can choose whatever we want including happiness, freedom, respect and feelings of being wealthy. The reoccurring theme here again is that we are in control of everything that happens and how we feel.

 

How you handle disaster is everything.

The way you deal with problematic situations is a true test of your character. Character in stoicism is not formed when everything is going right; character is formed when everything is going wrong. Don’t let problems spoil your mindset. Let optimism guide you in all situations.

 

Seek out obstacles.

Obstacles are a way for you to take a challenge that you may not like and use it as a lesson that can help you for the rest of your life. You learn from hardships above all else. Lessons from hardships make you smarter, stronger and better prepared for when adversity strikes again.

 

You have one job and only one job.

The Stoics have a core belief that all of us have only one job on Planet Earth: to be a good human being. If you learned nothing else about stoicism from this blog post, then I’ve succeeded.

Practice being a good human being and you’ll have one hell of a life.

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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Life

Why Choosing the Right Romantic Partner Is Crucial to Your Success

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business couple

There are lots of things which can affect your success at work. Your drive and ambition, how well you work with the rest of your team, how you are perceived by your boss, and of course, how good you are at your job. Nevertheless, did you ever think your partner’s personality could be a contributing factor, too?

Most people don’t think about their partner’s personality in terms of affecting their career success, but in fact, here are 5 reasons why your success at work lies in your partner’s personality:

1. You’re Independent – But You’re Not An Island

Some people are naturally resistant to the idea that their partner’s personality has an impact on their career success. It’s understandable. After all, aren’t we all sovereign beings who have sole responsibility for our lives and success?

But, think about it this way – are you more likely to perform well at work if you’re struggling with a lot of drama at home, or if your home life is running smoothly?

Imagine trying to get through an important meeting with your energy and focus intact, after a rough night fighting with your partner. When you think of it that way, it’s clear that your home life can and does impact your work life.

2. It Goes Beyond Whether You Fight Or Not

It’s obvious that having drama at home bleeds over into the workplace and impacts your performance. However, the effect of your partner’s personality on your career success goes beyond whether your relationship is drama-free or not.

Recent research from Washington University in St Louis shows that your partner’s personality has an effect on your working success. The study showed that the impact goes far beyond whether your partner is supportive during the big moments such as going for a promotion or a pay raise. In fact, your partner’s everyday behavior and attitude have a noticeable effect on your work life.

“It’s getting the right person that’s the challenge.” – Bob Schieffer

3. Why A Conscientious Partner Contributes To Work Success

Specifically, the study showed people who have a conscientious partner do better at work. If you have a conscientious partner, you know that you can trust them to do what they say they will do and have a strong sense of responsibility towards household tasks and chores.

People who have a conscientious partner feel more comfortable “outsourcing” to them. That means that if they’re busy at work, or caught up in a big project, they can put more attention and focus on it, because they know things at home will be taken care of in their absence. This increased focus makes it easier for them to succeed at work.

4. What If Your Partner Isn’t Conscientious?

Some of you might be reading this thinking “that’s great, but my partner isn’t that conscientious!” In that case, don’t despair. It’s time for some honest and open communication with your partner.

Sit down with your partner and talk honestly about how much their support means to you. Don’t accuse – that won’t help – but simply be honest about how their support at home contributes to your work life. Take the time to reassure them you want to offer them similar support when they need it.

5. It’s Time To Be Each Other’s Best Teammate

Whether it’s you who’s employed or your partner or the both of you, it’s time for you to be each other’s best teammate. Sit down with your partner and have an honest discussion about division of labor at home. Figure out who is responsible for which chores and household tasks, and talk about what happens when one of you is busy at work.

Being a good team goes beyond collaborating when it comes to housework and childcare, and into recognizing the way you impact each other’s work life and success. After all, success for one of you at work equals success for your household as a whole in terms of better cashflow and more stability.

“When I find the right person, nothing else will matter, but I’m prepared to kiss a lot of frogs.” – Sam Smith

Make time to talk with your partner about what is going on at their workplace, and share what is happening in your own career. Be aware of the times when your partner needs extra support because work is busy, and share honestly with them when you need some extra support.

Your home life has a direct impact on your working success. Stay aware of the effects so you can keep open communication with your partner and work towards greater success for both of you.

What does your partner do that makes you feel like they support you? Let us know by commenting below!

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Life

5 Ways to Kickstart Your Morning and Dominate Your Day

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morning routine

For many years, I dreaded Monday mornings and felt extremely excited for Friday mornings. I lived with this mindset for years until I realized that this was not a way to live a happy life. Why did I let these emotions dictate my days, I thought? Since I had seen this mindset all around me, I eventually thought this mindset was normal.

It wasn’t until I started reading various books on personal development that I finally made this shift. One common theme that I noticed was that regardless of the day, successful people living in a state of joy are this way because of how they start off each and every day. Once I started to implement some new ways to live, my outlook on each day and in life drastically changed.

Here are 5 ways to begin each morning to dominate your day:

1. Wake up with an intention

Many times, when we wake up, we immediately check our emails, Facebook, Instagram, press the snooze button multiple times, and rush off to start the coffee maker before going to work. What about setting an intention to have a positive and productive day? This can be in the form of writing in a daily journal or even visualizing for 5 minutes on having a phenomenal day. When we do this, we immediately shift our minds to a place that makes us happy and excited to experience a great day. This is a quick tool and can take anywhere from 5-10 minutes.

2. Prepare your day in advance

When we are able to prepare our days ahead of time, we have a way of having a happy and joyful day. This can include scheduling out our productivity for the following day, doing tedious tasks when needed, and eliminating any procrastination. I have found when we bring over tasks that should have been completed the day before, we are only filling up our schedules with unnecessary things. This can also eliminate any stress that can also be avoided.

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” – Alexander Graham Bell

3. Spend time alone

There is nothing more liberating than being able to spend time alone in the morning before starting your day. Two of my favorite activities include meditation and reading for 30 minutes. These activities also tie into setting an intention for the day. They assist in setting a clear, calm, and amazing tone for the day. Also, when you are able to do things you absolutely love, this happiness stays with you throughout the day and also increases your energy for yourself and those around you.

4. Learn something new that excites you

Have you ever learned a new skill and felt so excited about it that you weren’t able to sleep? If you have, congratulations! This usually signifies that you have found your calling and are closer to fulfilling your purpose on earth. Think of a skill you have been wanting to learn that absolutely excites you. When you do this, you will find yourself waking up with more excitement because of this new skill set has set your soul on fire to learn. Be excited about this and include this new skillset as part of your morning routine.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” – Mahatma Gandhi

5. Each day is a new opportunity

How many times have you heard someone say “I cannot do that, I am not a morning person.” Well, when we tell ourselves this, our subconscious mind takes this as being true and will make you believe this. However, if we change our mindsets and tell ourselves every day is another opportunity to make a difference, add more value to the lives around us, and achieve our dreams and goals, our day will be better off.

This is very exciting to think about. If you are someone who is still looking for exciting days ahead, take some time to reflect on what excites you. Maybe it is a new skill set or just a new routine to start off your days ahead. Every morning sets the tone for the day. Set a tone of joy and bliss and let that carry you out throughout the day!

One of the easiest ways to implement these steps is to pick out a few you feel really good about. These will be the easier ones to work with and then move on to the other steps that may take you out of your comfort zone. It may be difficult at first, but it always becomes easier and even more rewarding. Make each day count. You totally deserve it!

How do you live each day purposefully? Let us know by commenting below!

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Life

8 Simple Methods to Boost Your Willpower and Self Control

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willpower

Surely if you’ve ever tried helping someone quit smoking, odds are that you will hear the word “will” spoken in the first 5 minutes. Aside from the popular procrastinating sentence: “I will quit smoking next year”, you might hear a smoker say: “It takes a lot of willpower to give up on cigarettes”. What do you think is the reason that most people quit smoking? Is it because they don’t have enough willpower?

At the beginning of every year, you will hear a lot of discussion about New Year’s resolutions. These tend to be high hopes for the year lying ahead in the form of a list of objectives. Let’s face it, most of us feel the need to start fresh, with a new chapter in the book of our life in which we’ve learned from our past mistakes and feel ready to move on.

These thoughts can take the form of: “I’m going to stop eating fast-food” or “Next year I promise I’ll hit the gym every other day” or “By the end of next year, I’ll have learnt a new language”. The list can go on and on because, after all, setting objectives is the easiest step. However, abandoning them is also easy. So, does willpower have anything to do with it?

First, let’s examine the relationship between willpower and self-control. Roy Baumeister conducted a study in which he wanted to test the effects of forced actions (or doing something that one doesn’t enjoy) on self-control. People have a limited amount of energy dedicated to self-control. The more one consumes that energy, the harder it becomes to maintain self-control and be productive.

Baumeister pinned the term “ego-depletion” to describe the loss of self-control due to mental effort.

Willpower is the fuel that drives self-control and both could be looked at as a muscle that loses tone if you don’t exercise.

Below, are 8 things you can practice to boost your will-power and self-control:

1. Control the context in which you live

For example: You decide to quit smoking but you continue meeting your smoker friends in places where people generally smoke. With the help of your own willpower, you manage to refrain from smoking for a while. Unfortunately, refraining from smoking drains you.

You then give in to your impulses, light up a cigarette and think to yourself: “Gosh, it’s so difficult to quit smoking. I might do it someday, though.” In this scenario, if you know yourself and you’re determined to quit smoking, it’s OK to admit that you aren’t capable (yet) to meet up with people in places that you know that your willpower will be drained.

2. Build good habits

Most of the things that we do every day are done on auto-pilot, according to our habits. It may not be obvious, but if you look back, you’ll notice the things you do now are more or less the same things you did yesterday, a month or a year before.

The good news is once a habit has been formed, the new actions you take will begin forming a better more productive habit. The bad news is that when you’re stressed or run out of willpower, you turn to bad habits or actions that bring you instant gratification such as drinking alcohol or playing computer games.

3. Sleep well

Going to the gym isn’t all about exercise. You need enough sleep and nutrients to see the best results. The same goes with your willpower-muscle: if you don’t get enough sleep, your brain won’t function at optimum levels and you will find it more difficult to do what needs to be done.

4. Start early on the most difficult tasks

Willpower is a limited resource and is consumed over the course of a day. Mornings are the best part of the day to get the really boring or difficult tasks done because your energy and willpower levels are at the top.

“The early morning has gold in its mouth.” – Benjamin Franklin

5. Keep your glucose levels under control

Another experiment conducted by Dr. Baumeister identified the fact that each act of self-control causes glucose levels to drop. You can counteract loss of self-control and willpower by making sure that your blood glucose levels are optimum.

6. Take breaks often

The best way to refresh your self-control is to split your workload into small tasks. A famous method called the Pomodoro technique works wonders for a lot of people. You work for 25 minutes, take a 5-minute break to recharge and repeat the process. That way, you’ll stay focused, knowing you have a limited amount of time to complete tasks you won’t be in danger of information overload.

7. Exercise

It’s no mystery that so many successful people mention exercise as one of their top daily priorities. Any type of physical activity that requires self-control and discipline is beneficial for your mental and physical health. It will also make it easier for you to be disciplined in other areas of your life.

8. Prioritize and minimize

The fewer decisions you need to make, the more willpower you will have in your “reservoir” for the activities that are truly important to you. Steve Jobs, for example, was renowned for always wearing the same clothes. When asked why he did this, he simply replied that it’s one less decision to make every day.

“Sometimes it’s the smallest decisions that can change your life forever.” – Keri Russell

Habits take time, effort and discipline to form. One of the most common mistakes people make when trying to change their habits is to be overly proud of the “battles” they’ve won against their will and comfort. It’s important to know that if you want to be a winner in the game of life, you have to maintain balance, so you will be as ready as you can for all of life’s challenges.  

What tips do you have for managing your self-control? Let us know by commenting below!

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How to Build an Unstoppable Mindset According to These 5 Popular Entrepreneurs

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mental toughness

If you ask any of the top entrepreneurs, or any entrepreneur for that matter, they’ll tell you that the one quality you need to become successful is mental toughness. Becoming mentally tough is probably something you’ve already heard about before in your life. It’s something that seems easy, yet most people take it granted. They’d rather think about it than become it. (more…)

Trevor Oldham is a 19-year-old entrepreneur who’s had eleutheromania ever since he can remember. When he’s not working or studying, you can catch him by the ocean taking photos of the world in which surrounds us. Trevor is the co-founder of Become The Lion and founder of Trevor James Products.

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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

My Incredibly Simple Guide To Stoicism – Learn Practical Wisdom You Can Use

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I’ve been inspired to learn about Stoicism for a while.

The problem I’ve had is that it’s one of those topics that people love to complicate. The reason for the complication is that many of the teachings that come from Stoicism are spoken in English from a long time ago. I personally don’t have the patience to read this type of writing for long periods.

That’s why I’m going to debunk Stoicism for you in stupidly simple terms. The wisdom you get will transform you. You’ll gain a different perspective that will help you in all aspects of life.

“Everyone is preaching advice, but no one is sharing wisdom – that’s what Stoicism is”

 

What is Stoicism?

It’s an ancient form of philosophy. It was made famous in recent years again by Tim Ferriss and Ryan Holiday from the USA. These two gentleman credit a lot of their success to the wisdom that Stoicism taught them.

Stoicism began on a stoa which means porch to you and I. A stoa is where the early teachings of Stoicism started.

Here is Stoicism broken down into insanely simple dot points:

– Stoicism is focused on uncomplicated theories of life
– Stoicism is so clear that you can take action from the advice immediately
– Study is not required to understand Stoicism
– The most read Stoic is Lucius Seneca. Marcus Aurelius is also very popular

Stoicism doesn’t focus on the negative like modern-day self-help advice does. Stoicism is more a meditative practice that allows us to take the negative feelings we experience, and turn them into thoughts that give us peacefulness and perspective on life.

The most important part of learning Stoicism is having the right state of mind. Just like in life, the right state of mind can help us look at challenges in the best possible way.

At the crux of Stoicism is a list of reminders and words of wisdom that show how to live a good life. It’s not an argument about what is right and what is wrong. The Stoics had no time for this way of thinking.

Okay so now let’s skip ahead to the best lessons you can learn from Stoicism:

 

We don’t control events, but we do control what they mean.

This is a famous teaching from a lot of Tony Robbins work too. Everything that happens in your life can be controlled by your own mind to be good or bad. Once you understand this teaching, you can take back the power. You become less reactive and a lot calmer. You have the upper hand.

 

Disruptions to serenity cannot be avoided.

Tranquillity can never be reached by avoiding or blocking out distractions or horrible events. The way to get to that tranquil place is through your choices and judgment about those events and situations.

 

You must disrupt yourself.

Doing things the way they’ve always been done will lead you to be disrupted by someone or something who changes with the environment. Operating out of habit means you’ve stopped thinking and are mindlessly drifting through life. This means you’re not in control.

“When you lose control, your environment determines your results”

There’s a good chance that you’re going to think these results suck. The lesson here is break your habits, get out of your comfort zone and disrupt yourself like a cool, hip startup from Silicon Valley.

 

In good and bad times we have a choice.

Whether you’re in jail or an entrepreneur running the most successful startup on the planet, you have a choice. We all come from different backgrounds and we’ll all go through major highs, and painstaking lows. Through all of these different circumstances, we have a choice.

It’s having the freedom of choice that will set us free in the long run. It’s that freedom of choice that will ensure you don’t waste your life away thinking about stuff you can’t control. You’ll always feel the power of freedom when you control your choices, no matter what life throws at you.

 

Make it a habit of looking inward.

Stoics are obsessed with taking time to look inward. It’s something they advocate above all of their other teachings. They suggest spending time in the morning to ask yourself questions about your life. As you do this, you’ll find the answers to life’s biggest questions become clearer in the context of your own life.

Looking inward helps you find the answers that you knew all along and thought were hidden inside of someone else, or something else. This practice will only work if you’re honest with yourself. Don’t be too brutal on yourself either. Realize that we all start somewhere and it’s where we can go that is the greatest gift we can enjoy.

 

Being paranoid and fearful will destroy you.

The antidote to fear and paranoia is self-control. Learn to control your impulses. If you become fearful that others will sabotage your success and you don’t remain in control over these fearful thoughts, you’ll lose sight of reality. These fearful thoughts will cause you to project your fears onto other people and they’ll give you exactly what you fear.

In simple terms, fear is a self-fulfilling prophecy. What you put out comes right back at you.

 

Anger will not help you.

The Stoics believe that getting angry never gives you anything in return. Anger wastes your precious energy and resources, and provides no tangible benefit. This is why it’s better to practice non-reactivity rather than being pissed off at something you can’t control anyway.

Anger is like a contagious virus that spreads if you let it. Don’t let anger control you. Projecting anger on people can only result in you projecting anger on yourself. That’s why anger is also another self-fulfilling prophecy.

 

Everything takes up space.

Seneca wrote many times that even things you get for free have a cost. That cost is space – space in your garage or even space in your mind.

“Learning to live with less will create space in your life for the things that truly matter to you”

The aim of the game is to look at your material possession and be honest with yourself: do you really need that object? If the answer is no, free some space up in your life. What Seneca says here is the reason I have personally given away and sold most of my possessions. I’ve never been happier.

 

Practice poverty.

Especially during prosperous times in your life, the Stoics believe you should practice poverty. This is how you prepare for hardship and become an expert in dealing with the ups and downs of life. Comfort can become a form of slavery because you consistently start to think that someone could take away what you have.

When you’re familiar with what you fear, it no longer controls you. The worst can happen and you go through it with a sense of calmness and ease. People think you’re resilient but actually, you’ve just practiced the hard times as preparation.

Quick tip: try eating a really cheap meal for a whole week every two months. Eat like you have almost no money. This will teach you to not only appreciate the nice meals but to be okay if you ever face poverty and have to live on very little money for a while. I know a few people that do a beans and rice meal for this week of living it rough. Try it!

 

You protect everything you have, why not your mind?

You don’t give away your wallet to a stranger on the street. You don’t hand the keys to your car over to a budding thief. You wouldn’t let your house be demolished by the council without a fight. So why would you hand over the keys to your mind so easily to any stranger who wants them?

You have to become aware of who you are unconsciously giving your mind over to. You need to realize who is influencing you in a negative way without knowing it.

“Your mind can create all the abundance you could ever imagine, so you need to protect it like it’s the only possession you have”

 

Don’t wreck the purpose of your life by trying to impress others.

The Stoics teach that the opinions of people you seek our to impress are not that great themselves. These people you seek to impress have addictions, their own problems, and are no wiser than the next person. The purpose of your life is not to impress people and doing so will have the opposite effect.

Focus on impressing yourself through personal growth and wisdom from people who serve the greater good. Go beyond yourself and avoid the need to seek approval. Take action and seek forgiveness later if you must.

 

Without proper training, you’re a fool.

If you seek to master a skill, then without proper training you will (by default) rely on ignorance, and you’ll act in a way that lacks discipline and requires chance.

“An investor without discipline is not an investor – he’s a gambler” – Ryan Holiday

 

Your mind becomes what you think consistently.

Whether you think mostly negative thoughts or positive thoughts will determine your default response to any situation. The more we practice negative thinking, the more likely we are to see the world as negative.

If we choose to practice nothing, then we also get the same outcome of an influx of negative thoughts. The only wise choice then is to practice seeing the good in everything. Start with being grateful

 

You don’t know everything.

This is a thought that many people secretly have when they claim they want to learn something new. The harsh reality is that many of us walk around as though we know everything. We know nothing of the infinite knowledge there is to acquire.

That sort of humbleness is where all the best learning starts from. Thinking less of yourself is the ultimate power: it’s where you can grow from and serve others. It’s this way of thinking that births leaders.

 

Think of your problems in relation to the sky.

Marcus Aurelius says that the stars wash away the dust of earthly life. This Stoic concept is a way for you to clear your mind of all the troubles you encounter day-to-day. In comparison, your problems are so small compared to the immense size of the universe.

Your problems don’t matter in the grand scheme of things so don’t fool yourself into believing they do. Look at the stars once in a while. Remember how lucky we are even to experience this planet we call Earth.

 

Forget stereotypes and labels: concentrate on character.

Stoics believe your character should be your most prominent feature. Outward traits such as skin color and clothing should be insignificant. Your character is defined by the work you do on yourself each day and the person you become.

Your character is what sells you as a person better than any other external force. Your character is your legacy. Your character is what you want to be known for.

 

Don’t sit on the sidelines. Do something inspirational yourself.

You can sit here all day and listen to me inspire you. You can watch all the inspirational videos that Youtube has to offer. What would be far better is to go out there and inspire people yourself rather than being inspired.

Take the inspiration you’ve gathered in your life and do something with it so you can allow others to create their own inspirational journey. Be the example rather than only listening to the example and saying “One day I’ll do that.”

 

There is never an end to the personal development journey.

You never reach mastery. The student never stops being a student. Even the teacher is still a student at heart. Stoicism is something you apply consistently, and it never ends. You apply it until the day you die and that’s how you gain the infinite wisdom it offers.

“You’ll never drink all the water in the ocean, just like you’ll never learn everything there is to know about Stoic philosophy and that’s fine too”

 

Work is good for you.

Ever heard that when people retire, they are statistically more likely to die within a few years of achieving this milestone in their life? That’s because work gives us a sense of purpose. Work gives us a reason to get up in the morning. Making progress through doing meaningful work feels good.

Too much idle time and the delusion that you can get rich and sit on a beach is what can cause you to feel empty inside. This feeling can cause you to have self-destructive thoughts that lead to an immense focus on one’s selfish desires and need for significance. In other words, work is good.

 

Don’t make life harder than it is. It’s your choice.

Choices are what stoics believe are the way to take a shortcut in life. They believe we can choose whatever we want including happiness, freedom, respect and feelings of being wealthy. The reoccurring theme here again is that we are in control of everything that happens and how we feel.

 

How you handle disaster is everything.

The way you deal with problematic situations is a true test of your character. Character in stoicism is not formed when everything is going right; character is formed when everything is going wrong. Don’t let problems spoil your mindset. Let optimism guide you in all situations.

 

Seek out obstacles.

Obstacles are a way for you to take a challenge that you may not like and use it as a lesson that can help you for the rest of your life. You learn from hardships above all else. Lessons from hardships make you smarter, stronger and better prepared for when adversity strikes again.

 

You have one job and only one job.

The Stoics have a core belief that all of us have only one job on Planet Earth: to be a good human being. If you learned nothing else about stoicism from this blog post, then I’ve succeeded.

Practice being a good human being and you’ll have one hell of a life.

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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Life

Why Choosing the Right Romantic Partner Is Crucial to Your Success

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business couple

There are lots of things which can affect your success at work. Your drive and ambition, how well you work with the rest of your team, how you are perceived by your boss, and of course, how good you are at your job. Nevertheless, did you ever think your partner’s personality could be a contributing factor, too?

Most people don’t think about their partner’s personality in terms of affecting their career success, but in fact, here are 5 reasons why your success at work lies in your partner’s personality:

1. You’re Independent – But You’re Not An Island

Some people are naturally resistant to the idea that their partner’s personality has an impact on their career success. It’s understandable. After all, aren’t we all sovereign beings who have sole responsibility for our lives and success?

But, think about it this way – are you more likely to perform well at work if you’re struggling with a lot of drama at home, or if your home life is running smoothly?

Imagine trying to get through an important meeting with your energy and focus intact, after a rough night fighting with your partner. When you think of it that way, it’s clear that your home life can and does impact your work life.

2. It Goes Beyond Whether You Fight Or Not

It’s obvious that having drama at home bleeds over into the workplace and impacts your performance. However, the effect of your partner’s personality on your career success goes beyond whether your relationship is drama-free or not.

Recent research from Washington University in St Louis shows that your partner’s personality has an effect on your working success. The study showed that the impact goes far beyond whether your partner is supportive during the big moments such as going for a promotion or a pay raise. In fact, your partner’s everyday behavior and attitude have a noticeable effect on your work life.

“It’s getting the right person that’s the challenge.” – Bob Schieffer

3. Why A Conscientious Partner Contributes To Work Success

Specifically, the study showed people who have a conscientious partner do better at work. If you have a conscientious partner, you know that you can trust them to do what they say they will do and have a strong sense of responsibility towards household tasks and chores.

People who have a conscientious partner feel more comfortable “outsourcing” to them. That means that if they’re busy at work, or caught up in a big project, they can put more attention and focus on it, because they know things at home will be taken care of in their absence. This increased focus makes it easier for them to succeed at work.

4. What If Your Partner Isn’t Conscientious?

Some of you might be reading this thinking “that’s great, but my partner isn’t that conscientious!” In that case, don’t despair. It’s time for some honest and open communication with your partner.

Sit down with your partner and talk honestly about how much their support means to you. Don’t accuse – that won’t help – but simply be honest about how their support at home contributes to your work life. Take the time to reassure them you want to offer them similar support when they need it.

5. It’s Time To Be Each Other’s Best Teammate

Whether it’s you who’s employed or your partner or the both of you, it’s time for you to be each other’s best teammate. Sit down with your partner and have an honest discussion about division of labor at home. Figure out who is responsible for which chores and household tasks, and talk about what happens when one of you is busy at work.

Being a good team goes beyond collaborating when it comes to housework and childcare, and into recognizing the way you impact each other’s work life and success. After all, success for one of you at work equals success for your household as a whole in terms of better cashflow and more stability.

“When I find the right person, nothing else will matter, but I’m prepared to kiss a lot of frogs.” – Sam Smith

Make time to talk with your partner about what is going on at their workplace, and share what is happening in your own career. Be aware of the times when your partner needs extra support because work is busy, and share honestly with them when you need some extra support.

Your home life has a direct impact on your working success. Stay aware of the effects so you can keep open communication with your partner and work towards greater success for both of you.

What does your partner do that makes you feel like they support you? Let us know by commenting below!

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5 Ways to Kickstart Your Morning and Dominate Your Day

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For many years, I dreaded Monday mornings and felt extremely excited for Friday mornings. I lived with this mindset for years until I realized that this was not a way to live a happy life. Why did I let these emotions dictate my days, I thought? Since I had seen this mindset all around me, I eventually thought this mindset was normal.

It wasn’t until I started reading various books on personal development that I finally made this shift. One common theme that I noticed was that regardless of the day, successful people living in a state of joy are this way because of how they start off each and every day. Once I started to implement some new ways to live, my outlook on each day and in life drastically changed.

Here are 5 ways to begin each morning to dominate your day:

1. Wake up with an intention

Many times, when we wake up, we immediately check our emails, Facebook, Instagram, press the snooze button multiple times, and rush off to start the coffee maker before going to work. What about setting an intention to have a positive and productive day? This can be in the form of writing in a daily journal or even visualizing for 5 minutes on having a phenomenal day. When we do this, we immediately shift our minds to a place that makes us happy and excited to experience a great day. This is a quick tool and can take anywhere from 5-10 minutes.

2. Prepare your day in advance

When we are able to prepare our days ahead of time, we have a way of having a happy and joyful day. This can include scheduling out our productivity for the following day, doing tedious tasks when needed, and eliminating any procrastination. I have found when we bring over tasks that should have been completed the day before, we are only filling up our schedules with unnecessary things. This can also eliminate any stress that can also be avoided.

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” – Alexander Graham Bell

3. Spend time alone

There is nothing more liberating than being able to spend time alone in the morning before starting your day. Two of my favorite activities include meditation and reading for 30 minutes. These activities also tie into setting an intention for the day. They assist in setting a clear, calm, and amazing tone for the day. Also, when you are able to do things you absolutely love, this happiness stays with you throughout the day and also increases your energy for yourself and those around you.

4. Learn something new that excites you

Have you ever learned a new skill and felt so excited about it that you weren’t able to sleep? If you have, congratulations! This usually signifies that you have found your calling and are closer to fulfilling your purpose on earth. Think of a skill you have been wanting to learn that absolutely excites you. When you do this, you will find yourself waking up with more excitement because of this new skill set has set your soul on fire to learn. Be excited about this and include this new skillset as part of your morning routine.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” – Mahatma Gandhi

5. Each day is a new opportunity

How many times have you heard someone say “I cannot do that, I am not a morning person.” Well, when we tell ourselves this, our subconscious mind takes this as being true and will make you believe this. However, if we change our mindsets and tell ourselves every day is another opportunity to make a difference, add more value to the lives around us, and achieve our dreams and goals, our day will be better off.

This is very exciting to think about. If you are someone who is still looking for exciting days ahead, take some time to reflect on what excites you. Maybe it is a new skill set or just a new routine to start off your days ahead. Every morning sets the tone for the day. Set a tone of joy and bliss and let that carry you out throughout the day!

One of the easiest ways to implement these steps is to pick out a few you feel really good about. These will be the easier ones to work with and then move on to the other steps that may take you out of your comfort zone. It may be difficult at first, but it always becomes easier and even more rewarding. Make each day count. You totally deserve it!

How do you live each day purposefully? Let us know by commenting below!

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8 Simple Methods to Boost Your Willpower and Self Control

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Surely if you’ve ever tried helping someone quit smoking, odds are that you will hear the word “will” spoken in the first 5 minutes. Aside from the popular procrastinating sentence: “I will quit smoking next year”, you might hear a smoker say: “It takes a lot of willpower to give up on cigarettes”. What do you think is the reason that most people quit smoking? Is it because they don’t have enough willpower?

At the beginning of every year, you will hear a lot of discussion about New Year’s resolutions. These tend to be high hopes for the year lying ahead in the form of a list of objectives. Let’s face it, most of us feel the need to start fresh, with a new chapter in the book of our life in which we’ve learned from our past mistakes and feel ready to move on.

These thoughts can take the form of: “I’m going to stop eating fast-food” or “Next year I promise I’ll hit the gym every other day” or “By the end of next year, I’ll have learnt a new language”. The list can go on and on because, after all, setting objectives is the easiest step. However, abandoning them is also easy. So, does willpower have anything to do with it?

First, let’s examine the relationship between willpower and self-control. Roy Baumeister conducted a study in which he wanted to test the effects of forced actions (or doing something that one doesn’t enjoy) on self-control. People have a limited amount of energy dedicated to self-control. The more one consumes that energy, the harder it becomes to maintain self-control and be productive.

Baumeister pinned the term “ego-depletion” to describe the loss of self-control due to mental effort.

Willpower is the fuel that drives self-control and both could be looked at as a muscle that loses tone if you don’t exercise.

Below, are 8 things you can practice to boost your will-power and self-control:

1. Control the context in which you live

For example: You decide to quit smoking but you continue meeting your smoker friends in places where people generally smoke. With the help of your own willpower, you manage to refrain from smoking for a while. Unfortunately, refraining from smoking drains you.

You then give in to your impulses, light up a cigarette and think to yourself: “Gosh, it’s so difficult to quit smoking. I might do it someday, though.” In this scenario, if you know yourself and you’re determined to quit smoking, it’s OK to admit that you aren’t capable (yet) to meet up with people in places that you know that your willpower will be drained.

2. Build good habits

Most of the things that we do every day are done on auto-pilot, according to our habits. It may not be obvious, but if you look back, you’ll notice the things you do now are more or less the same things you did yesterday, a month or a year before.

The good news is once a habit has been formed, the new actions you take will begin forming a better more productive habit. The bad news is that when you’re stressed or run out of willpower, you turn to bad habits or actions that bring you instant gratification such as drinking alcohol or playing computer games.

3. Sleep well

Going to the gym isn’t all about exercise. You need enough sleep and nutrients to see the best results. The same goes with your willpower-muscle: if you don’t get enough sleep, your brain won’t function at optimum levels and you will find it more difficult to do what needs to be done.

4. Start early on the most difficult tasks

Willpower is a limited resource and is consumed over the course of a day. Mornings are the best part of the day to get the really boring or difficult tasks done because your energy and willpower levels are at the top.

“The early morning has gold in its mouth.” – Benjamin Franklin

5. Keep your glucose levels under control

Another experiment conducted by Dr. Baumeister identified the fact that each act of self-control causes glucose levels to drop. You can counteract loss of self-control and willpower by making sure that your blood glucose levels are optimum.

6. Take breaks often

The best way to refresh your self-control is to split your workload into small tasks. A famous method called the Pomodoro technique works wonders for a lot of people. You work for 25 minutes, take a 5-minute break to recharge and repeat the process. That way, you’ll stay focused, knowing you have a limited amount of time to complete tasks you won’t be in danger of information overload.

7. Exercise

It’s no mystery that so many successful people mention exercise as one of their top daily priorities. Any type of physical activity that requires self-control and discipline is beneficial for your mental and physical health. It will also make it easier for you to be disciplined in other areas of your life.

8. Prioritize and minimize

The fewer decisions you need to make, the more willpower you will have in your “reservoir” for the activities that are truly important to you. Steve Jobs, for example, was renowned for always wearing the same clothes. When asked why he did this, he simply replied that it’s one less decision to make every day.

“Sometimes it’s the smallest decisions that can change your life forever.” – Keri Russell

Habits take time, effort and discipline to form. One of the most common mistakes people make when trying to change their habits is to be overly proud of the “battles” they’ve won against their will and comfort. It’s important to know that if you want to be a winner in the game of life, you have to maintain balance, so you will be as ready as you can for all of life’s challenges.  

What tips do you have for managing your self-control? Let us know by commenting below!

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