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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

10 Tips to Create Time and Space for Both Your Goals and Your Loved Ones

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Let’s face it, there are only 24 hours in a day and we all have the same 24 hours. How we spend those 24 hours will determine how much we have to show for them. Whether you are just starting out on a new venture, or perhaps you are taking an existing project or business to the next level, it takes a lot of time, energy and commitment to make it happen. But our personal relationships take the same components to function happily as well.

Here are some helpful tips to help you focus and plan ahead so that you can be your best self in all  areas of your life, without feeling depleted or guilty:

1. Write down your top 3 goals/priorities that you want to focus on this year

Do not list more than 3 – if you have more than 3 major goals then you may be overwhelming yourself and spreading your energy and time too thin.

2. Make 2 lists: Personal and professional goal-related activities

List all the things that you do in each category, so that you can see exactly what tasks you are currently handling in each category. For example, you may be married and also starting a business as a holistic coach. In the personal column, you may list that your spouse expects you to make dinner, and the grocery shopping – as well as have quality time to relax together after dinner.

In the professional column, your list of activities and tasks may include scheduling client appointments, attending networking events, bookkeeping, making sales calls, etc. When you put these lists next to each other, you quickly see that you have way too much on your plate, and that some of these tasks need to be delegated or eliminated.

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

3. Go through each list and mark each task in order of importance

Use the hospital triage system: indicate which activities are most urgent and important by putting a #1 next to them and a #2 next to the tasks that are vital but not urgent, and a #3 next to the ones that need to be handled, but are easy to reschedule. Place the letter D next to all tasks that can be handed over, and simply cross out the tasks that you need to stop doing because they are no longer in alignment with your goals.

4. Use a calendar or day planner

It can be an electronic calendar, or a paper one. Do not use pen – you will need to erase things and move them around to honor your need for flexibility and the ever-changing nature of life.

5. In your calendar, make actual appointments that include start and end times to accomplish your #1 tasks

For example, if your business relies on you making sales calls, then that would be a #1 task that needs to have a home in your schedule with actual times allotted for it. Once you have scheduled all of your #1 tasks (both personal and professional), then proceed to entering in the #2 and #3 tasks.

6. Make your time with loved ones a #1 priority and schedule it in!

If it’s not written down or entered on your calendar, then it is just a good intention…it’s not real unless it’s on the books! For example, you could plan your schedule so that your work is completed most days by 6pm, and that all the time after that hour is designated time with your loved ones. Guard this time carefully.

7. Be in communication

Let your colleagues, clients, friends and family know what you are trying to accomplish and that you intend to be present to everyone – including yourself. Be honest about your challenges and stay focused on the goals rather than distracted by the obstacles.

There will be times when your schedule will need to change or you will have to cancel something. Don’t make it wrong, just clean it up and explain to all parties. Also, ask the people in your life what they need and expect from you as well. Don’t feel pressured to be a mind-reader or a people-pleaser.

“People with clear, written goals, accomplish far more in a shorter period of time than people without them could ever imagine.” – Brian Tracy

8. Be flexible

Life is constantly moving, changing and growing. Stuff happens. Don’t schedule yourself so tightly that you can’t make adjustments when life throws you a curve ball. Give yourself the gift of structure and discipline so that you may experience the freedom it creates for you. But don’t become a task-master, where your schedule becomes a slave driver. Instead, master your tasks so that you can work smarter, not harder.

9. Be realistic and ask for help when you need it

If your goals are quite lofty, then you may need to let go of a lot of extraneous activity in order to accomplish them. Also, you may simply not have a lot of free time! Continuously check in with yourself to see if you are willing to be, do and have all that will be demanded of you in order to achieve your goals. You don’t have to give up just because it’s hard, but you may need to course-correct from time to time to stay in alignment with your authentic desires.

10. Keep an open mind and your eye on the prize

You really can have it all – but maybe not all at the same time. By choosing what you wish to focus on and giving each task a home in your calendar, you will begin to get more done in less time because you are focusing your energy on very specific types of activity.

Prioritizing goals, organizing your time and writing things down so that you can see it all in front of you is a great way to get clear, efficient and effective. Being in communication with the people in your life is the key to things working more smoothly.

And remember, it’s not about perfection. Focus on your sense of purpose and your progress instead, and you will create more space in your mind for new possibilities.

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Life

Are Your SMART Goals Keeping You Stuck in Mediocrity?

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SMART Goals – they are often seen as the gospel in the personal and professional development industry for goal setting, but are they doing more harm than good? For the most part, I can appreciate the motivation behind setting SMART goals. Do we need goals that are specific, measurable, actionable and time based? Absolutely! My sticking point, however, comes to the “realistic” part.

I don’t like the word realistic. To be realistic means to create a glass ceiling on our capabilities. “Realistic” says that there is a limit to what we can achieve. And yet time and again throughout history, we’ve watched human beings achieve feats that aren’t realistic.

It certainly wasn’t realistic to think that, in the midst of the Great Depression, that a man could build a now multi-billion-dollar company from an animated mouse. It’s not realistic to think that a single mother, who could only write her stories on the bus to and from work each day, would go on to create a billion-dollar empire in Harry Potter. And it certainly isn’t realistic to think that a boy who dropped out of school at 16 because of his struggle with dyslexia could go on to be one of the world’s biggest business moguls today – owning planes, building spaceships and a slew of other companies.

And yet, Walt Disney, JK Rowling and Sir Richard Branson have all created these legacies. All because they dared to be unrealistic, and to believe in their vision. I’ve heard coaches tell their clients that a goal isn’t realistic. I’ve had coaches tell me the same. I’ve listened as my clients tell me their dreams, only to follow it up with “…but I don’t think that’s realistic.” Who am I, and who are you, to say whether a goal is realistic or not?

So, if we’re not completely following SMART goals, how should our goal setting look instead? See below for the 3 step process that will change your life!

1. Follow Stephen Covey’s advice and begin with the end in mind

What is your vision? Write it down, draw it if you need. Be specific. Give as much of the minute detail as possible. Define vague terms like “successful”, “wealthy” or “freedom”. Still give these terms a measure – is successful making a $100,000 or $1 million? Is that before tax or after?

“Goals. There’s no telling what you can do when you get inspired by them. There’s no telling what you can do when you believe in them. And there’s no telling what will happen when you act upon them.” – Jim Rohn

2. Now, break it down

Having worked in the fitness industry for a long time, I know that one of the main issues in goal setting is that people focus on the wrong thing. They tend to look at the big goal they’ve set, not the next step. Think about it, when you climb a mountain, do you stare at the top, or do you look at where your next step needs to be?

Looking at the summit makes the entire climb daunting. It can seem so far away and out of reach. The same is true for our goals. If we’re looking at the “top” – say having a million dollars in the bank while we’re still at the bottom with $100 to our name, or an internationally run business while still working out of our parent’s garage – that gap can seem impossible to overcome.

Once you know where you’re heading, you need to break the vision down into small, actionable, mini-goals. This allows us to create the “steps” we need to climb the proverbial mountain.

Here’s an example, say my goal is to have a successful wellness retreat (successful defined as a profit of $1 million a year). Now that I have a specific and measureable vision, I break it down. What came just before that? Well, I would open the wellness retreat and run my first program. And just before that? I would email confirmation of the first program, with program details, to my registrants.

And before that? I would be marketing the program. Before that I would finish construction on the retreat facilities. Staff training, creating blueprints, finding financing, buying the land – these would all be steps that would need to occur on the way up to my vision being achieved.

Use this question to work all the way back until you reach where you are in life now. You now have a roadmap to show you how to get to your vision. It doesn’t matter if there are 10 steps or 1,000 steps that lie between you and reaching the vision. All you need to focus on is the step that lies just in front of you.

3. Become the person who achieves that vision

John Demartini, a human behavioural specialist, has said that humans cannot become what they don’t already think they are. So many times, I have my clients say to me “Once I achieve x, then I’ll be successful”.

Well, successful people become successful because they already believe they are. championship athletes win because for years prior they’ve been treating their bodies and training like they are a championship athlete. Successful entrepreneurs face each day with a mindset of success.

How do you embed the mindset of the person who has your vision? I love to use this lateral thinking activity: ask yourself “how will having (the vision) make me feel? What mindset will I have when I achieve it?”

Let’s use the wellness retreat example again. Having that retreat would allow me to feel healthy, like I was making a difference to others and I would feel at peace in myself. Then ask – “What other activities would allow me to feel this way?”. To feel healthy, I could attend the gym and yoga classes regularly, and eat whole organic foods. I would ensure I get plenty of sleep.

Other activities that would make me feel like I was helping others would be to have clients and help them work on their health, fitness and mindfulness goals. I could run meditation or yoga classes in my local area. And to feel at peace in myself I could schedule in time to go hiking or to be out in nature regularly. I would also make sure I had my own regular meditation practice.

“If you set goals and go after them with all the determination you can muster, your gifts will take you places that will amaze you.” – Les Brown

Can you see how it makes sense that someone who is already actively engaging in all those activities would then own a successful wellness retreat? Engaging in these activities, while we’re taking action towards our vision allows our unconscious beliefs about ourselves to shift into alignment with who we need to be to reach that vision. When we change what we believe to be true about ourselves now, we shatter any glass ceilings that have been keeping us stuck.

Using this three-step goal setting system, you now know the destination you’re travelling to, you have a roadmap to get you there, and the belief that you can. All that’s left to do is now is put one foot in front of the other.

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Life

Lacking Self-Discipline? Do This One Thing Everyday to Change Your Life

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What’s holding you back? This is the question that I asked myself after repeatedly falling short of my goals. In my mind, I had these crazy hopes and aspirations, but in reality, there was a gap between my intentions and my actions. Having read dozens of personal development and business books, I already had the knowledge. I already knew what I needed to do. The problem? A lack of follow through.

A couple years back, I had difficulty crawling out of bed in the morning. I was always tired and could barely muster out the energy to stay awake, let alone go to the gym, foster new relationships, or build my business. I was caught in a spiral of downward momentum, breaking out of which required a massive amount of willpower. The root cause of my problems, I came to realize, was a lack of self-discipline.

I define self-discipline as the ability to do what needs to get done regardless of whether you feel like it or not. I believe that self-discipline is the one thing that separates everything you are from everything you’re capable of being. In this article, I’ll reveal the #1 habit I’ve developed to skyrocket my self-discipline and rapidly elevate my mood, energy levels, and focus in the process.

The Secret To Sending Your Self-Discipline Through The Roof

Picture this: You finally decide to start waking up early and set an alarm for 5am the next day. The next morning you groggily open your eyes to the sound of your alarm buzzing, and a part of you whispers to hit the snooze. Your decision in that moment, on whether to hit the snooze or not, is what makes all the difference.

When you get out of bed at 5am, even though you don’t feel like it, you have effectively overcome your emotions and shown your brain who’s in charge. You have built momentum towards doing the right thing over the easy thing.

In every moment you have a choice. A choice to step forward into growth or back into comfort. The secret to developing warrior-like self-discipline is consistently making the decisions that move you forward into growth. And the #1 habit I’ve developed to build this muscle is starting my days with a cold shower.

“Self-discipline is the number one delineating factor between the rich, the middle class, and the poor.” – Robert Kiyosaki

Why I Take Cold Showers Everyday (And Maybe You Should To)

Cold showers have been a regular part of my daily routine for a couple of years now and if there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s this: The days that I start with a cold shower always go more productive than the days that I don’t.

Taking cold showers provides an opportunity to exercise your willpower in overcoming the little voice in your head that doesn’t want to do it. This is the same voice that tries to talk you into  skipping your workouts, hitting the snooze, and reaching for that ice cream when you’re trying to avoid sugar.

Even after years of taking cold showers, I hear this little voice. But turning the knob to “C,” in spite of this voice, has been a great way to overcome my lower self and build momentum towards taking right action.

What’s more is that cold showers provide an incredible boost in energy and mood. So much so that cold showers are currently being studied as a possible measure against depression. What are the mechanisms behind this? Well, cold water exposure stimulates your body’s fight-or-flight response to which your sympathetic nervous system responds by rapidly elevating norepinephrine production.

Norepinephrine is a hormone that functions as a neurotransmitter to enhance focus, mood, and attention. In this study, 1-hour of cold water exposure increased norepinephrine production in subjects by as much as 530%.

“With self-discipline most anything is possible.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Another reason to take cold showers is for the immune system benefits. As a high achiever, I’m sure you’ve found it frustrating when you’re unable to function optimally due to illness. We’ve all been there. How much better would it be if you could radically decrease your chances of getting sick by simply taking a cold shower everyday? Because in this study, subjects that took cold showers had a 29% reduced likelihood of illness from work compared to the subjects that did not take cold showers.

All-in-all, taking cold showers has been a game changer not only in strengthening my mental resolve but in helping my body function more optimally as well. I don’t remember the last time I was sick and I no longer need an espresso to get my day going.

With access to a smartphone, you have access to more information and more computing power than the president of the United States had a mere twenty years ago. In the age of information, ignorance is a choice. Everything you could ever need to know or learn about success is literally at your fingertips.

As such, specialized knowledge is no longer a barrier towards achieving your goals. The only missing link between where you are and where you want to be is the ability to do the things you already know you should be doing.

I’ve come to believe that self-discipline is the only difference between success and failure. Starting your days with a cold shower is a cheap, proven, and effective method to exercise your willpower and build momentum towards becoming the person you were meant to be.

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Life

Here Is Everything You Need to Know About Your Comfort Zone

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Although, a comfort zone can be defined as a state of mind in which people are at ease, in control of their environment and experiencing low level of anxiety and stress, this does not actually sum up the full meaning of a comfort zone. This is because different people have different anxiety and stress levels and the anxiety level of one man or woman might be above or below that of another. Therefore, comfort zones vary from person to person.

Therefore, the best way I can define a comfort zone would be a state of mind where a person’s anxiety and vulnerability are minimized to manageable levels. It is that area of your life in which you feel familiar with and in control of.

For example, some people love to go to work every morning and are used to the routine of going to work daily such that their work place becomes their comfort zone and leaving this comfort zone to become a freelancer or start a business can be every challenging for them. Of course, for others, a comfort zone could be the time they take their meals or that time after work when they relax in front of their television or with social media after a hectic day at work. Of course, comfort zones are not static because they change based on the areas of your life you feel most comfortable with.

When are you out of your comfort zone? What is outside your comfort zone? When you begin to feel vulnerable, anxious, stressed, uncomfortable about doing something, then you’re stepping out of your comfort zone or you’re faced with the threat of stepping outside your comfort zone. Therefore, what is outside your comfort zone is something that scares or threatens you, and, not necessarily with bodily harm.

“A comfort zone is a beautiful place but nothing grows there.”

The Psychological States

According to White Alasdair, there are three psychological states: the comfort zone, optimal performance zone and the danger zone. Where the comfort zone is the stress-free zone which you’re familiar with. The optimal performance zone is the zone just outside your comfort zone where your performance is enhanced by some amount of stress. The danger zone, which is beyond the optimal performance zone, is where you feel great anxiety and your performance is below the performance you can attain in your comfort zone.

However, the problem is making distinctions between these psychological states and knowing when and how far you are willing to leave your comfort zone and when to stay in its confines.

Why do you need to leave your comfort zone? See the 4 reason below:

1. Stunted Growth

If you insist on staying in your comfort zone, you will probably never grow to be more than you are. That means you will always be stuck, never moving forward and never growing. Most people who become addicted to their comfort zones usually end up unable to achieve their goals because they’re somewhat obsessed with doing things the same way they’ve always done them even when it’s not producing results. As a result, you can never really explore what you’re capable of doing and what you can accomplish if you stick to your comfort zone

2. To find your Passion

Not moving out of your comfort zone makes it harder for you to discover your passion because no passion can ever be found in the shadows of your comfort zone, it can only be found by stepping away from your comfort zone.

3. To make sure you don’t settle for less

Even though you’ve not found that thing that makes your heart beat very fast (like love or passion), your comfort zone might push you to settle for less than what you could have if you just stepped out of it.

4. So you don’t get left behind

When you stay in your comfort zone, you will be left behind. Colleagues will leave you behind and people who were previously behind you in terms of life or career progress would meet up with you and leave you behind as well.

Why Your Comfort Zone is Good Sometimes

Although, many times, people focus more on the cons of not leaving your comfort zones, people sometimes forget that it might not be the best idea for you to move out of your comfort zone.

Here are some reasons why you might need to stay in your comfort zone:

1. You are not prepared to leave it yet

Sometimes, you might need to stay in your comfort zone a little while because you’re not yet prepared to step out of it and you may face dire consequences. So, you might need to make sure that you’re actually prepared to leave your comfort zone before you leave it.

2. Are you going too far away from your comfort zone?

It is true that without leaving our comfort zones, we might never know what we are capable of and what we can do. However, that does not mean that you should take giant leaps away from your comfort zone. Start with baby steps and move to strides as you leave your comfort zone.

3. Assess yourself

It is very important for you to assess yourself before leaving your comfort zone to see if it is the best choice for you to leave your comfort zone or If what is bothering you is just fear to leave it.

How to Leave or Expand Your Comfort Zone

First of all, you have to understand how the varying influences (Like parents, peers, siblings, etc.) in your life have contributed to shaping and conditioning your comfort zone. You have to overcome these influences and the conditions that have shaped the boundaries of your comfort zone. You will also have to change your habits, routines and behaviors that relate to your comfort zone and its boundaries.

But you can’t just do these overnight, you have to slowly push yourself out of your comfort zone and expand it. Here are few ways you can leave or expand your comfort zone:

  • Expose yourself to new environments that are just outside your comfort zone
  • Don’t overthink your decisions
  • Try new and different things like going somewhere new to eat, going to a different park to read, etc.
  • Don’t rely on your limited point of view, try to see things the way others do.
  • Do volunteer work
  • Challenge yourself from time to time

“To move to a new level in your life, you must break through your comfort zone and do things that are not comfortable.” – T. Harv Eker

Conclusion

Although your comfort zone might be the most comfortable part of your life, it isn’t wise to stay locked in it as it will not allow you to be who you are capable of being. And, most certainly, your big dreams and goals won’t come to pass so you need to work for them, and you can’t do that from your comfort zone.

Do you think there are sometimes people should stay in their comfort zone or should people always push at the boundaries of their comfort zone relentlessly? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Success Advice

Stop Replying To Everyone.

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Many of you are running around like mad trying to manage your time. You’re reading productivity hacks, taking cold showers and waking up at 5 am.

You’re doing all of this because you want more time to do what you love.

Let me hit you in the face with one technique that has allowed me to win back time, so I can do what I love.

Stop replying to everyone…

You get emails asking you to do stuff.
You get asked to do an intro.
You get asked to speak at an event for free about your area of expertise.

Here’s the problem:
YOU KEEP RESPONDING TO EVERY REQUEST OF YOUR TIME.


What’s the answer?

The answer is really simple like everything I write. Are you ready?
Stop replying to everyone.

I learned this technique the hard way. When I was looking to interview entrepreneurs in 2014 about their story and share it in the form of a blog post, I didn’t get many replies.

I’d email very successful people who have achieved the impossible and get nothing.

Radio silence.
Donuts.


Why don’t your idols respond to requests for their time?

There’s many reasons.

  1. They have too many requests and could never humanly answer every single one.
  2. They have limited time and can’t fit everybody into their schedule.

The second reason is the most important. Your idols don’t respond because that’s their way of saying no.


No response is the best response.

By responding to every request of your time, you go down the rabbit hole of endless back and forth conversations.

Let me illustrate this point with a short story.

A US startup approached me on LinkedIn and asked me to advise them on their social media strategy. They offered me equity in return for my expertise.

The product was not something that aligned with who I am, and I was heading off to Europe on holidays and had no time to draft a proper reply.

I sent no response to their request.
They messaged me a second time.
I sent no response to their request.

Then, I got sucked into responding. I felt my moral compass telling me to reply and tell them no. On top of that, the startup had a very well known person in the social media industry join them. FOMO kicked in.

I replied and that’s where everything went wrong.

Once I replied to the request I got daily reminders and emails with pitch decks trying to convince me why they were the one startup who could beat Instagram. The claims of how much traction they had got more and more ridiculous.

“Eventually, a simple request of my time turned into a daily debate”

They wouldn’t leave me alone. I began to regret my stupidity for responding in the first place.

If a request of your time doesn’t resonate with you, and you don’t feel like saying “Fuck Yes” when presented with an opportunity, say NO.

Don’t be tempted by a request of your time. 
Say no.


Not replying is what works.

People generally give up after one email or direct message asking for your time. I’ve tested this theory a lot and it has almost always turned out to be true.

As soon as you reply, you become like a lawyer in the High Court trying to defend someone who is accused of murder. Your time is yours. You only get one life.

“You don’t need to justify yourself, your time, or your goals to anybody”

YOU HEAR ME? NOBODY!

The way you win back time and make room for what’s important to you is to fight the temptation to reply to every request that comes your way.

Quit giving away your time like free balloons at a car expo.


You end up making up lies.

The problem with replying to every request of your time is you can end up making up lies to get out of doing something. Or you may end up exaggerating or putting forward excuses that aren’t entirely true.

This causes even more problems for you because if the requester knows people within your network, they may find out you’re not being honest.

Why construct a grand plan that takes more of your time to respond to a request?

It’s easier to say nothing at all.


Silence says it all.

Smart people who ask you for stuff will know that after a week, if you haven’t responded, you’re probably not interested.

Silence is the best response. After all, if someone really wants you to do something they’ll chase you, they’ll follow you up and they may get a mutual connection to intro them to you.

Many pitches and requests are poorly written or incredibly selfish.

Fight back with silence. Don’t reply. Stop replying.


You’re not missing anything.

The temptation to respond can also be caused by the fear that you’re missing out.

Maybe someone is contacting you to fund your idea.
Maybe something you wrote is going to be published in the New York Times.
Maybe the request will lead you to direct a Hollywood Movie.

All of these false ideas are what’s causing you to respond to everybody.You’re worried you could miss the jackpot or your lucky break.

The harsh truth is that these opportunities are earned through hard work.Genuine opportunities that will excite you are clearly articulated and your gut feeling will guide you better than you think.

You’re not going to miss out on winning an Oscar for a movie you made because you didn’t reply to an email”


Not replying isn’t rude.

We feel we must reply to every request of our time. We have a fear that we will be accused of being rude.

This belief is false also. There’s nothing rude about not replying. We all get lots of emails and messages online and we can’t answer them all. People will understand when you don’t reply. If they don’t understand then that’s a problem with them, not you.

Don’t feel you have to reply out of politeness.

<<<>>>

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

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

10 Tips to Create Time and Space for Both Your Goals and Your Loved Ones

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Let’s face it, there are only 24 hours in a day and we all have the same 24 hours. How we spend those 24 hours will determine how much we have to show for them. Whether you are just starting out on a new venture, or perhaps you are taking an existing project or business to the next level, it takes a lot of time, energy and commitment to make it happen. But our personal relationships take the same components to function happily as well.

Here are some helpful tips to help you focus and plan ahead so that you can be your best self in all  areas of your life, without feeling depleted or guilty:

1. Write down your top 3 goals/priorities that you want to focus on this year

Do not list more than 3 – if you have more than 3 major goals then you may be overwhelming yourself and spreading your energy and time too thin.

2. Make 2 lists: Personal and professional goal-related activities

List all the things that you do in each category, so that you can see exactly what tasks you are currently handling in each category. For example, you may be married and also starting a business as a holistic coach. In the personal column, you may list that your spouse expects you to make dinner, and the grocery shopping – as well as have quality time to relax together after dinner.

In the professional column, your list of activities and tasks may include scheduling client appointments, attending networking events, bookkeeping, making sales calls, etc. When you put these lists next to each other, you quickly see that you have way too much on your plate, and that some of these tasks need to be delegated or eliminated.

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

3. Go through each list and mark each task in order of importance

Use the hospital triage system: indicate which activities are most urgent and important by putting a #1 next to them and a #2 next to the tasks that are vital but not urgent, and a #3 next to the ones that need to be handled, but are easy to reschedule. Place the letter D next to all tasks that can be handed over, and simply cross out the tasks that you need to stop doing because they are no longer in alignment with your goals.

4. Use a calendar or day planner

It can be an electronic calendar, or a paper one. Do not use pen – you will need to erase things and move them around to honor your need for flexibility and the ever-changing nature of life.

5. In your calendar, make actual appointments that include start and end times to accomplish your #1 tasks

For example, if your business relies on you making sales calls, then that would be a #1 task that needs to have a home in your schedule with actual times allotted for it. Once you have scheduled all of your #1 tasks (both personal and professional), then proceed to entering in the #2 and #3 tasks.

6. Make your time with loved ones a #1 priority and schedule it in!

If it’s not written down or entered on your calendar, then it is just a good intention…it’s not real unless it’s on the books! For example, you could plan your schedule so that your work is completed most days by 6pm, and that all the time after that hour is designated time with your loved ones. Guard this time carefully.

7. Be in communication

Let your colleagues, clients, friends and family know what you are trying to accomplish and that you intend to be present to everyone – including yourself. Be honest about your challenges and stay focused on the goals rather than distracted by the obstacles.

There will be times when your schedule will need to change or you will have to cancel something. Don’t make it wrong, just clean it up and explain to all parties. Also, ask the people in your life what they need and expect from you as well. Don’t feel pressured to be a mind-reader or a people-pleaser.

“People with clear, written goals, accomplish far more in a shorter period of time than people without them could ever imagine.” – Brian Tracy

8. Be flexible

Life is constantly moving, changing and growing. Stuff happens. Don’t schedule yourself so tightly that you can’t make adjustments when life throws you a curve ball. Give yourself the gift of structure and discipline so that you may experience the freedom it creates for you. But don’t become a task-master, where your schedule becomes a slave driver. Instead, master your tasks so that you can work smarter, not harder.

9. Be realistic and ask for help when you need it

If your goals are quite lofty, then you may need to let go of a lot of extraneous activity in order to accomplish them. Also, you may simply not have a lot of free time! Continuously check in with yourself to see if you are willing to be, do and have all that will be demanded of you in order to achieve your goals. You don’t have to give up just because it’s hard, but you may need to course-correct from time to time to stay in alignment with your authentic desires.

10. Keep an open mind and your eye on the prize

You really can have it all – but maybe not all at the same time. By choosing what you wish to focus on and giving each task a home in your calendar, you will begin to get more done in less time because you are focusing your energy on very specific types of activity.

Prioritizing goals, organizing your time and writing things down so that you can see it all in front of you is a great way to get clear, efficient and effective. Being in communication with the people in your life is the key to things working more smoothly.

And remember, it’s not about perfection. Focus on your sense of purpose and your progress instead, and you will create more space in your mind for new possibilities.

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Life

Are Your SMART Goals Keeping You Stuck in Mediocrity?

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SMART Goals – they are often seen as the gospel in the personal and professional development industry for goal setting, but are they doing more harm than good? For the most part, I can appreciate the motivation behind setting SMART goals. Do we need goals that are specific, measurable, actionable and time based? Absolutely! My sticking point, however, comes to the “realistic” part.

I don’t like the word realistic. To be realistic means to create a glass ceiling on our capabilities. “Realistic” says that there is a limit to what we can achieve. And yet time and again throughout history, we’ve watched human beings achieve feats that aren’t realistic.

It certainly wasn’t realistic to think that, in the midst of the Great Depression, that a man could build a now multi-billion-dollar company from an animated mouse. It’s not realistic to think that a single mother, who could only write her stories on the bus to and from work each day, would go on to create a billion-dollar empire in Harry Potter. And it certainly isn’t realistic to think that a boy who dropped out of school at 16 because of his struggle with dyslexia could go on to be one of the world’s biggest business moguls today – owning planes, building spaceships and a slew of other companies.

And yet, Walt Disney, JK Rowling and Sir Richard Branson have all created these legacies. All because they dared to be unrealistic, and to believe in their vision. I’ve heard coaches tell their clients that a goal isn’t realistic. I’ve had coaches tell me the same. I’ve listened as my clients tell me their dreams, only to follow it up with “…but I don’t think that’s realistic.” Who am I, and who are you, to say whether a goal is realistic or not?

So, if we’re not completely following SMART goals, how should our goal setting look instead? See below for the 3 step process that will change your life!

1. Follow Stephen Covey’s advice and begin with the end in mind

What is your vision? Write it down, draw it if you need. Be specific. Give as much of the minute detail as possible. Define vague terms like “successful”, “wealthy” or “freedom”. Still give these terms a measure – is successful making a $100,000 or $1 million? Is that before tax or after?

“Goals. There’s no telling what you can do when you get inspired by them. There’s no telling what you can do when you believe in them. And there’s no telling what will happen when you act upon them.” – Jim Rohn

2. Now, break it down

Having worked in the fitness industry for a long time, I know that one of the main issues in goal setting is that people focus on the wrong thing. They tend to look at the big goal they’ve set, not the next step. Think about it, when you climb a mountain, do you stare at the top, or do you look at where your next step needs to be?

Looking at the summit makes the entire climb daunting. It can seem so far away and out of reach. The same is true for our goals. If we’re looking at the “top” – say having a million dollars in the bank while we’re still at the bottom with $100 to our name, or an internationally run business while still working out of our parent’s garage – that gap can seem impossible to overcome.

Once you know where you’re heading, you need to break the vision down into small, actionable, mini-goals. This allows us to create the “steps” we need to climb the proverbial mountain.

Here’s an example, say my goal is to have a successful wellness retreat (successful defined as a profit of $1 million a year). Now that I have a specific and measureable vision, I break it down. What came just before that? Well, I would open the wellness retreat and run my first program. And just before that? I would email confirmation of the first program, with program details, to my registrants.

And before that? I would be marketing the program. Before that I would finish construction on the retreat facilities. Staff training, creating blueprints, finding financing, buying the land – these would all be steps that would need to occur on the way up to my vision being achieved.

Use this question to work all the way back until you reach where you are in life now. You now have a roadmap to show you how to get to your vision. It doesn’t matter if there are 10 steps or 1,000 steps that lie between you and reaching the vision. All you need to focus on is the step that lies just in front of you.

3. Become the person who achieves that vision

John Demartini, a human behavioural specialist, has said that humans cannot become what they don’t already think they are. So many times, I have my clients say to me “Once I achieve x, then I’ll be successful”.

Well, successful people become successful because they already believe they are. championship athletes win because for years prior they’ve been treating their bodies and training like they are a championship athlete. Successful entrepreneurs face each day with a mindset of success.

How do you embed the mindset of the person who has your vision? I love to use this lateral thinking activity: ask yourself “how will having (the vision) make me feel? What mindset will I have when I achieve it?”

Let’s use the wellness retreat example again. Having that retreat would allow me to feel healthy, like I was making a difference to others and I would feel at peace in myself. Then ask – “What other activities would allow me to feel this way?”. To feel healthy, I could attend the gym and yoga classes regularly, and eat whole organic foods. I would ensure I get plenty of sleep.

Other activities that would make me feel like I was helping others would be to have clients and help them work on their health, fitness and mindfulness goals. I could run meditation or yoga classes in my local area. And to feel at peace in myself I could schedule in time to go hiking or to be out in nature regularly. I would also make sure I had my own regular meditation practice.

“If you set goals and go after them with all the determination you can muster, your gifts will take you places that will amaze you.” – Les Brown

Can you see how it makes sense that someone who is already actively engaging in all those activities would then own a successful wellness retreat? Engaging in these activities, while we’re taking action towards our vision allows our unconscious beliefs about ourselves to shift into alignment with who we need to be to reach that vision. When we change what we believe to be true about ourselves now, we shatter any glass ceilings that have been keeping us stuck.

Using this three-step goal setting system, you now know the destination you’re travelling to, you have a roadmap to get you there, and the belief that you can. All that’s left to do is now is put one foot in front of the other.

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Lacking Self-Discipline? Do This One Thing Everyday to Change Your Life

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What’s holding you back? This is the question that I asked myself after repeatedly falling short of my goals. In my mind, I had these crazy hopes and aspirations, but in reality, there was a gap between my intentions and my actions. Having read dozens of personal development and business books, I already had the knowledge. I already knew what I needed to do. The problem? A lack of follow through.

A couple years back, I had difficulty crawling out of bed in the morning. I was always tired and could barely muster out the energy to stay awake, let alone go to the gym, foster new relationships, or build my business. I was caught in a spiral of downward momentum, breaking out of which required a massive amount of willpower. The root cause of my problems, I came to realize, was a lack of self-discipline.

I define self-discipline as the ability to do what needs to get done regardless of whether you feel like it or not. I believe that self-discipline is the one thing that separates everything you are from everything you’re capable of being. In this article, I’ll reveal the #1 habit I’ve developed to skyrocket my self-discipline and rapidly elevate my mood, energy levels, and focus in the process.

The Secret To Sending Your Self-Discipline Through The Roof

Picture this: You finally decide to start waking up early and set an alarm for 5am the next day. The next morning you groggily open your eyes to the sound of your alarm buzzing, and a part of you whispers to hit the snooze. Your decision in that moment, on whether to hit the snooze or not, is what makes all the difference.

When you get out of bed at 5am, even though you don’t feel like it, you have effectively overcome your emotions and shown your brain who’s in charge. You have built momentum towards doing the right thing over the easy thing.

In every moment you have a choice. A choice to step forward into growth or back into comfort. The secret to developing warrior-like self-discipline is consistently making the decisions that move you forward into growth. And the #1 habit I’ve developed to build this muscle is starting my days with a cold shower.

“Self-discipline is the number one delineating factor between the rich, the middle class, and the poor.” – Robert Kiyosaki

Why I Take Cold Showers Everyday (And Maybe You Should To)

Cold showers have been a regular part of my daily routine for a couple of years now and if there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s this: The days that I start with a cold shower always go more productive than the days that I don’t.

Taking cold showers provides an opportunity to exercise your willpower in overcoming the little voice in your head that doesn’t want to do it. This is the same voice that tries to talk you into  skipping your workouts, hitting the snooze, and reaching for that ice cream when you’re trying to avoid sugar.

Even after years of taking cold showers, I hear this little voice. But turning the knob to “C,” in spite of this voice, has been a great way to overcome my lower self and build momentum towards taking right action.

What’s more is that cold showers provide an incredible boost in energy and mood. So much so that cold showers are currently being studied as a possible measure against depression. What are the mechanisms behind this? Well, cold water exposure stimulates your body’s fight-or-flight response to which your sympathetic nervous system responds by rapidly elevating norepinephrine production.

Norepinephrine is a hormone that functions as a neurotransmitter to enhance focus, mood, and attention. In this study, 1-hour of cold water exposure increased norepinephrine production in subjects by as much as 530%.

“With self-discipline most anything is possible.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Another reason to take cold showers is for the immune system benefits. As a high achiever, I’m sure you’ve found it frustrating when you’re unable to function optimally due to illness. We’ve all been there. How much better would it be if you could radically decrease your chances of getting sick by simply taking a cold shower everyday? Because in this study, subjects that took cold showers had a 29% reduced likelihood of illness from work compared to the subjects that did not take cold showers.

All-in-all, taking cold showers has been a game changer not only in strengthening my mental resolve but in helping my body function more optimally as well. I don’t remember the last time I was sick and I no longer need an espresso to get my day going.

With access to a smartphone, you have access to more information and more computing power than the president of the United States had a mere twenty years ago. In the age of information, ignorance is a choice. Everything you could ever need to know or learn about success is literally at your fingertips.

As such, specialized knowledge is no longer a barrier towards achieving your goals. The only missing link between where you are and where you want to be is the ability to do the things you already know you should be doing.

I’ve come to believe that self-discipline is the only difference between success and failure. Starting your days with a cold shower is a cheap, proven, and effective method to exercise your willpower and build momentum towards becoming the person you were meant to be.

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Here Is Everything You Need to Know About Your Comfort Zone

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Although, a comfort zone can be defined as a state of mind in which people are at ease, in control of their environment and experiencing low level of anxiety and stress, this does not actually sum up the full meaning of a comfort zone. This is because different people have different anxiety and stress levels and the anxiety level of one man or woman might be above or below that of another. Therefore, comfort zones vary from person to person.

Therefore, the best way I can define a comfort zone would be a state of mind where a person’s anxiety and vulnerability are minimized to manageable levels. It is that area of your life in which you feel familiar with and in control of.

For example, some people love to go to work every morning and are used to the routine of going to work daily such that their work place becomes their comfort zone and leaving this comfort zone to become a freelancer or start a business can be every challenging for them. Of course, for others, a comfort zone could be the time they take their meals or that time after work when they relax in front of their television or with social media after a hectic day at work. Of course, comfort zones are not static because they change based on the areas of your life you feel most comfortable with.

When are you out of your comfort zone? What is outside your comfort zone? When you begin to feel vulnerable, anxious, stressed, uncomfortable about doing something, then you’re stepping out of your comfort zone or you’re faced with the threat of stepping outside your comfort zone. Therefore, what is outside your comfort zone is something that scares or threatens you, and, not necessarily with bodily harm.

“A comfort zone is a beautiful place but nothing grows there.”

The Psychological States

According to White Alasdair, there are three psychological states: the comfort zone, optimal performance zone and the danger zone. Where the comfort zone is the stress-free zone which you’re familiar with. The optimal performance zone is the zone just outside your comfort zone where your performance is enhanced by some amount of stress. The danger zone, which is beyond the optimal performance zone, is where you feel great anxiety and your performance is below the performance you can attain in your comfort zone.

However, the problem is making distinctions between these psychological states and knowing when and how far you are willing to leave your comfort zone and when to stay in its confines.

Why do you need to leave your comfort zone? See the 4 reason below:

1. Stunted Growth

If you insist on staying in your comfort zone, you will probably never grow to be more than you are. That means you will always be stuck, never moving forward and never growing. Most people who become addicted to their comfort zones usually end up unable to achieve their goals because they’re somewhat obsessed with doing things the same way they’ve always done them even when it’s not producing results. As a result, you can never really explore what you’re capable of doing and what you can accomplish if you stick to your comfort zone

2. To find your Passion

Not moving out of your comfort zone makes it harder for you to discover your passion because no passion can ever be found in the shadows of your comfort zone, it can only be found by stepping away from your comfort zone.

3. To make sure you don’t settle for less

Even though you’ve not found that thing that makes your heart beat very fast (like love or passion), your comfort zone might push you to settle for less than what you could have if you just stepped out of it.

4. So you don’t get left behind

When you stay in your comfort zone, you will be left behind. Colleagues will leave you behind and people who were previously behind you in terms of life or career progress would meet up with you and leave you behind as well.

Why Your Comfort Zone is Good Sometimes

Although, many times, people focus more on the cons of not leaving your comfort zones, people sometimes forget that it might not be the best idea for you to move out of your comfort zone.

Here are some reasons why you might need to stay in your comfort zone:

1. You are not prepared to leave it yet

Sometimes, you might need to stay in your comfort zone a little while because you’re not yet prepared to step out of it and you may face dire consequences. So, you might need to make sure that you’re actually prepared to leave your comfort zone before you leave it.

2. Are you going too far away from your comfort zone?

It is true that without leaving our comfort zones, we might never know what we are capable of and what we can do. However, that does not mean that you should take giant leaps away from your comfort zone. Start with baby steps and move to strides as you leave your comfort zone.

3. Assess yourself

It is very important for you to assess yourself before leaving your comfort zone to see if it is the best choice for you to leave your comfort zone or If what is bothering you is just fear to leave it.

How to Leave or Expand Your Comfort Zone

First of all, you have to understand how the varying influences (Like parents, peers, siblings, etc.) in your life have contributed to shaping and conditioning your comfort zone. You have to overcome these influences and the conditions that have shaped the boundaries of your comfort zone. You will also have to change your habits, routines and behaviors that relate to your comfort zone and its boundaries.

But you can’t just do these overnight, you have to slowly push yourself out of your comfort zone and expand it. Here are few ways you can leave or expand your comfort zone:

  • Expose yourself to new environments that are just outside your comfort zone
  • Don’t overthink your decisions
  • Try new and different things like going somewhere new to eat, going to a different park to read, etc.
  • Don’t rely on your limited point of view, try to see things the way others do.
  • Do volunteer work
  • Challenge yourself from time to time

“To move to a new level in your life, you must break through your comfort zone and do things that are not comfortable.” – T. Harv Eker

Conclusion

Although your comfort zone might be the most comfortable part of your life, it isn’t wise to stay locked in it as it will not allow you to be who you are capable of being. And, most certainly, your big dreams and goals won’t come to pass so you need to work for them, and you can’t do that from your comfort zone.

Do you think there are sometimes people should stay in their comfort zone or should people always push at the boundaries of their comfort zone relentlessly? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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