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12 Inspiring Ways My Anxiety Elevated My Life

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Anxiety Can Be Inspiring - Addicted2Success

As I opened the door to the shrink’s office both my hands were shaking non-stop (this was an everyday occurrence). It was one of the darkest times of my life, and I couldn’t see where I would end up. I thought to myself in this moment, “am I going mental? Isn’t this where crazy people end up?”

The doctor told me I was very sick, and struggling from a whole host of self-inflicted medical issues of which anxiety was the strongest. I took the last of the money I had at the time to pay for five sessions with the shrink.

It was now session number five and all I had done so far was talk about myself and have him shake his head. I started thinking that it was all a waste of money. In this last session, it was time for the shrink to give me his verdict and send me on my way.

He said one paragraph that changed my life forever. He said, “Tim my diagnosis is that you have all the tools already to overcome your anxiety issues. You have already taken significant steps, and I didn’t instigate any of it. “

He then continued to say “everything you need to turn your life around is already in your own head, and you are one of the smartest young men that has ever walked into this office. Stop second-guessing yourself and keep taking the small steps towards reducing your anxiety. I see great things ahead for you, young man!”

His words were so powerful, yet all he really did was reconfirm the action I was already taking and believe in me. It was nice that someone other than myself saw what I was capable of. This one idea is something that can transform almost anyone’s current level of success.

Tim Denning - Seeds Of Success
 

The story above occurred before my personal transformation a few years ago when I used to suffer from severe anxiety. It involved predominantly experiencing daily anxiety followed by depression and any other mental disorder you can think of. It was fuelled by my ever-increasing stress levels caused by my obsession with business, family issues, and my life heading in the wrong direction.

In this article, I am going to explain to you how this anxiety elevated my entire life to the next level. Now that you have read a bit about the anxiety I used to suffer I want you to understand that this is very normal, and lots of people have the same thing. Anxiety is nothing to be afraid of.

I am now in a fortunate stage of my life where I don’t experience the effects of anxiety anymore, and I believe any mental illness can be unlearned and used to motivate you.

Below are the twelve inspiring ways my anxiety elevated my life.

 

1. It made me get involved in personal development

Without my previous anxiety disorder, I would never have taken up a commitment to personal development. The way to overcome anxiety (and any mental disorder) is through constant personal development each day.

Back then, I realised that I needed to change my state of mind, so I began listening to Tony Robbins and then that led to a whole host of others like Zig Ziglar, Eric Thomas, The Wolf Of Wall Street, Jim Rohn, etc.

Most of my life, while listening to mp3’s and for the entire day, I would always have the curtains shut, and my office and bedroom were usually in total darkness.

Tim Denning - Stepping Out Of The Shadow
 

Around the same time that I took up personal development, a strange thing happened: the curtain in my bedroom broke. This seemingly insignificant event meant that in the short term I had to keep the curtain open continuously. This changed my sleep pattern and had a real effect on me.

Shortly after, the curtain in my office broke. It was like it was supposed to happen and was a divine moment. To this day, both curtains are still broken and have to be kept open at all times. This small reminder each day serves as an anchor for where I am taking my life and how anxiety has helped me.

Anxiety can inspire you to do lots of things, but the best thing I have found it can do in my life is to inspire you to take up personal development.

 

2. It can teach you to think in the now

As I researched what anxiety was and how I could overcome it I figured out a simple concept; anxiety is thinking too much into the future and depression is thinking too much in the past. When I carefully analysed each day I realised that I was thinking about events that were way into the future and hadn’t even occurred yet.

Once I started thinking of these future events, I would then begin to stress about them in advance. The key to overcoming anxiety and using it to inspire you going forward is to stop the habit of stressing about things in the future.

Learn to think in the now and not try and control things that haven’t even occurred. Most of the time the events I was stressing about never ended up happening or turned out in an entirely different way. All of this time spent stressing on the future was wasted and made me tired constantly.

 

3. It got me reading books

Anxiety has inspired me to do lots of things but one way it elevated my life was to encourage me to take up reading. For many years, I never read any books because reading small words hurt my eyes and I didn’t have the concentration or focus (probably due to all the sugar).

After my experience with anxiety, I discovered that reading was a great way to heal my mind, and so I began reading books on an iPad which didn’t hurt my eyes. I mostly read motivational books and autobiographies of people who had done amazing things in their life.

This simple act started to rewire my brain, and it became the foundation for the success trajectory I am still on. It was a calming way to go to sleep each night rather than stressing about future events or having the TV yell at me about how bad the world was, and how horrible people could be.

 

4. It helped me quit coffee and alcohol

During my anxiety period, I learned to wake up with two or three coffees in the morning, have a soft drink for lunch, and then bring myself back down again with alcohol at night. Up until this point, all the references society had given me made me think this way of life was normal.

Through reading, I quickly figured out that these things were fuelling my anxiety even further and that I had to give them up. As I slowly kicked these bad habits, my state of mind shifted. I stopped making poor decisions and behaving badly as a reaction to my lack of energy and lethargicness.

 

5. It made me start tracking my success

Often when you try and overcome anxiety, it feels like you are making no progress. One thing that anxiety taught me was that it’s important to track your success. In the short term, I began to keep a note on my iPad of all the times I had successfully conquered anxiety.

Within a few weeks, I realised I was making a lot more progress than I had previously thought. Unless you write down your win’s, you will never know just how good you are!

 

6. It taught me to gamify my life

A cool outcome from the anxiety crushing process was that it taught me to play games with myself. As I kept a list of wins, I started to think of ways to increase my winning score and have even more successful situations.

I have later used this same technique to inspire me to write articles by keeping score of my progress and how well I’m doing. The concept of gamification is a great way to fast track any component of self-development. Gamifying your life is much better than wasting your time on computer or smartphone games.

 

7. It helped me to take control

Through the anxiety process, I discovered that the major driver behind anxiety is control. Anxiety is something that can take control of your human operating system and leave you without the power to make decisions yourself.

This concept empowered me to take back control and not let anything control my destiny. Instead of letting others make decisions about what I was going to do each day, I became stubborn and insisted on taking back control on even the smallest decisions.

Until you take back control of your own decision-making ability, you will never reach the pinnacle of success.

 

8. It reconnected me to the habit of learning and sales

Anxiety showed me that learning is so important, and it can help us to achieve anything and even overcome mental illness. The way I overcame anxiety, if you break it down, is through learning new ideas, unlearning bad habits, and relearning what made me successful in the first place.

You need to learn new ideas from inspiring individuals around you (or blogs like this), have the discipline to acknowledge your current bad habits and beliefs, and relearn the things that you have forgotten.

So in my personal transformation I used self-help content to learn new ideas, I wrote down all my bad habits and conquered them one by one, and I relearned how to sell by taking an entry level job in sales for a short time. I want to focus on the relearn component for a minute because this was something that had the biggest impact on me.

When people ask me what made me successful as an entrepreneur, for a long time I had no idea. Through overcoming anxiety, I learned that sales is where all my success started from. I learned that sales equals confidence, and confidence drowns out anxiety.

Do you see the benefit of severe anxiety and what it can do for you yet?

 

9. It showed me the power of meditation

I didn’t actually discover meditation until after I cured the majority of my anxiety but it’s a great way to relax. Meditating, as part of the cure for anxiety, is now common practice although a few years ago it wasn’t that well known when I was going through my own treatment.

Essentially, meditation helps bring your mind back to the present and allows you to re-focus. The easiest way to try it is using an app like the one I have called “Calm.” I find that when I am required to produce moments of inspiration, meditation allows me to settle the mind and prepare for greatness.

Part of my new found inspiration has a lot to do with what anxiety did to my mind and how meditation helped to remove those mental roadblocks. I’m sure it can help you too.

 

10. It changed my work life

Anxiety helped me to elevate my life by first of all crippling everything I had, and then allowing me to come to the decision that my day-to-day work life had to change drastically. If it weren’t for anxiety I would still be stuck in the same work that I hated, with the same people that brought me down, and the same old beliefs that weren’t serving me.

What you do to earn a living each day has a lot to do with how inspired you are and where your life is heading. It can be tough to change your work life unless you have an event that forces you to quit and start again. Hopefully, if you’re lucky, that event may lead you down the path of entrepreneurship.

If not, that’s okay; there are still many wonderful things you can do to contribute to mankind and discover your purpose for being on earth. After all, you only get one chance at life so use it wisely ☺

Severe mental illness can be the trigger for something new, and all success starts with some sort of challenge or pain first. Anxiety was very much the seed of greatness in my life, and it can do wonders for you if you get the lessons from it.

 

11. It made me realise everyone suffers from a degree of anxiety

Have you ever seen someone toot their horn or swear at another person? The chances are that they probably suffer from anxiety to some degree. Anxiety can make you very frustrated and cause you to take this frustration out on other people.

During my anxiety days, I was often angry at the fact that I had to deal with this issue and thought I was one of the only ones. What I now know is that lots of people have this mental illness and that it’s what fuels most of the negative people you engage with on a daily basis.

Once I learned to identify anxiety and crush it, I found myself being much nicer to people and less frustrated. This resulted in lower levels of stress, more happiness, and a sharp increase in my overall mental and physical health.

“We are all infected with anxiety, but we have the vaccine already inside of us” – Tim Denning

 

12. It taught me to be more vulnerable

The biggest lesson I got from my dance with anxiety was that it can help you elevate your life further by teaching you to be more vulnerable. The only way to overcome anxiety is first to admit to yourself that you have it, and then to seek advice by being vulnerable enough to talk to another person about it.

Without courage, you will never elevate your life to the next level. Courage involves you accepting that you need to get vulnerable on a regular basis.

You need to do things that are difficult, and produce the good kind of anxiety, all with the acceptance that you could fail and learn a great lesson at the end of it – what a horrible thing that would be ☺

What major event (like severe anxiety) has helped you elevate your life? Let me know in the comment section below or on my personal Facebook and Twitter Pages.

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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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Jackie

    Oct 28, 2016 at 1:50 am

    Do you take medication now for anxiety?

  2. Nick Scuderi

    Feb 24, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    A lot of these ways really related to me and how I changed in my own life. I used to only focus on school or work and didn’t see life for what it really was. Since then, I opened my mind and now see life in a new way. We need to focus on important things in our lives, but we need to live life at the same time. The one thing I fear is to never try something and regret it later. I’m glad I finally “woke up”.

    • Tim Denning

      Feb 24, 2016 at 7:00 pm

      Thanks for sharing your point of view Nick. I think we all suffer the same fear if not getting to do everything we want to do in our lifetime. Time is limited so we must use it wisely and plan out what we want to achieve rather than being on auto-pilot.

  3. Toño

    Feb 18, 2016 at 7:49 am

    Perfect and right on time atricle for me (as always should I say), as I am stuck at home for a 4 days due my eye illness, not to mention my level of anxiety rised up because I missed my job, gym & swimming pool.. I was needed that portion of healthy read!

    Have to say, you did a lot of self-development work, and I mean A LOT! While reading your ways, one by one, I started to realise that behind inspiration and a prime example for us, readers, you came through so many things and re-shaped your life, did the massive upgrade to a whole new level. Sugar, coffee, alcohol adds much to level of stress and affects our body, leave alone, being up onto those things you will have a constant brain fog and yes, you named it, looking on how society defines this way of life you may think it is normal. When it’s actually not. Reading books is amazing and agree with you it definitely helps rewire your mind and change the way you look at things. It helped me throughout my journey overcome my OCD. You certainly need good focus and concentration to read.
    Oh, and I think I learned new word today – gamify! Sounds pretty awesome, gotta use it as well 🙂

    I also would like to know how to meditate. Or how to do it properly. It is hard for me to find time and quiet place where I can just sit and relax and reflect on everything, but sometimes I just feel like it.

    Thank you so much Tim, for inspiration and honest story, again I appreciate it greatly and looking forward to your future work! By the way, how’s your public speaking experience going? Did you have any chance to practice it ?

    • Tim Denning

      Feb 18, 2016 at 9:44 am

      Toño your commentary is always just what I need. Thanks for taking the time to leave such detailed comments. Hope you get better soon from your eye illness. You are spot on, I have done loads of self-development and it’s what has made me successful.

      Meditation is something I am still trying to master. I recommend doing it for 5 minutes per day, when you wake up using an iphone app like calm It gets easier as you practice it but the room you are in must be quiet.

      Did my first public speaking practice with a group today. My speech was only 90 seconds and it was a topic that was chosen for me on loneliness. I said that coming back from holidays makes me feel a bit lonely and explained it in further detail. I strongly recommend public speaking practice if you can get it. I have a long way to go though….lol

      • Toño

        Feb 18, 2016 at 10:41 am

        I’m glad you like my commentary, as sometimes I feel I just overwhelm you (or any other) with my rambling.. So it’s good to know.

        Also amazing to know you did your first public speaking today, yay! Congratulations and that was actually quite cool theme to discuss. How does it feel? I feel exactly the same when I get back from my holidays btw, partly I have to leave my family and also beautiful country of my origins. First week is tough and lonely indeed.

        Because of my job I do some practice of public speaking, sort of. Even though not much audience. But I really want to improve my skills there, would love to get more confidence as this is my main priority right now, what I am work on daily.

        As for meditation, I’ve read for beginners you need some object to concentrate your attention on, like some kind of a flower (yeah, got this from Robin Sharma book). I have a little bamboo growing so it might be a good choice.

        • Tim Denning

          Feb 20, 2016 at 2:23 am

          Toño the speech felt good. I have spoken in public many times but never really done speeches as such. If you want to improve your skills the cheapest way is through Toastmasters. If you have a bit more money to spend then there are some great short courses you can do that will get you results faster than Toastmasters.

          Best of luck with the meditation. Try to focus on the breathe if you are new to it rather than an object and definitely use a meditation app like Calm.

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Life

4 Steps to Take Right Now to Snap Out of Your Funk

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How to get out of a funk

Maybe you’re spending sleepless nights tossing and turning in bed, or perhaps you’re sleeping in until noon. Maybe all you hear are the sad songs, and all you think of are the terrible things that are happening.

You’re in a funk. Everyone goes through their funk sometime in their life. You could feel helpless in a business or career you’re trying to build, from losing your job, or having a broken heart. Whatever it is, you just need some help to get out of your funk.

From my experience as a life coach seeing thousands of people get out of their funk, the steps described below have helped CEO’s, entrepreneurs, parents and all sorts of people go and conquer what they wanted.

This works for a variety of people in different situations. If you want to get out of your funk, you’ve got to give this visualization exercise a go.

Before we go into it, you’ll need to prepare these three ingredients:

  • The Map – There’s a situation or experience in your life that is related to this funk. Whatever situation or experience this is, let’s refer to it as your current map of your world.
  • A Navigator – You’re going to go into an imaginary “flight”. And you’ll need someone with good eyes, good sense of humor and a good heart to guide you in your flight. Your co-pilot needs to be someone you respect. Identify your navigator.
  • A Treasure – This is something that is valuable and will be useful for the person who will use it.

Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same.” – Francesca Reigler

Now, are you ready to get out of your funk? Here are the four steps you need to follow today:

1. Size up

Get into the map. See yourself inside the map, whether it’s the situation that triggered your funk, or the resulting funk that you might be in. You must size up the situation and acknowledge whatever it is that you’re feeling when you’re in the situation. Describe what it’s like to be inside this map. Acknowledge it as it is, then take full responsibility for whatever it is that’s in your funk.

2. Step Out

Get outside of the map, get outside of the funk. Now, in your mind, see the map from afar. Let’s take it to another level. Imagine that you’re stepping into the point of view of a flying drone and a camera. Imagine yourself hovering above the situation that put you in this funk. You have full control of the drone, so go ahead and go around the situation from the perspective of the drone. Describe what you see from outside the map as you are flying over the map.

3. See differently

Now, you’re going to call in your co-pilot. When your co-pilot joins your flight above the map, they will advise you on which aspects of the map you will want to look at differently. Go ahead, look at things from a different point of view as advised to you by your co-pilot. Describe what you see from the different points of view your co-pilot is guiding you through.

“What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies.” – Aristotle

4. Search for Treasure

Being in full control of what you choose to see and with the help of your navigator’s guidance, go ahead and navigate around the map searching for treasure. Somewhere in there is something valuable you might have missed before. What has the experience taught you to be? What has the experienced given you? What has the situation brought out from you?

This is like a treasure hunt. From amidst the flurry that’s happening in the funk, there is a treasure that you and your navigator can find for yourself. Your treasure can be a new perspective, new insight, new feeling, or renewed courage. It could be anything that is useful for you, a treasure that you will use to get out of the funk.

Now that you’ve found some treasures, go ahead and go back into the map and get your treasures. It’s been there all along, as you must find it. You just have to claim it for yourself. The treasure you found is all within you for the taking so own it. Whatever the treasure is, make sure you take action and make it real.

What action can you start doing differently today in order to make a difference n your life? Comment below and let us know!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Life

Social Media Is Killing Your Success: 3 Ways You Can Use it to Your Advantage

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Social media success

I love social media. It can help you make friends, share your life, build a network, and even build a business. In the same token, social media can easily become an enemy of success as a hindrance and consumer of attention.

On countless occasions I’ve found myself lost on YouTube, scrolling Facebook, clicking on tweets, watching funny snaps…and realized it’s hurting my success. As someone who is ambitious, you don’t want social media to kill your time, rob you of precious hours, and steal your success.

If you want social media to work for you, here are three ways to assure that you’re the one in control:

1. Limit your time on social media channels

If you want social media to work for you, and not against you, limiting your time on it will help you immensely. One great tool that helps me limit my time on social media is a simple Chrome extension: StayFocused. It’s a free, no hassle chrome extension that allows you to limit your time on different websites.

Just simply plug in the URL of the website you want to limit your time on and the tool will do the rest. This handy little tool will help you see how fast time on social media goes by and will ensure you prioritize your tasks.

If you are going to follow any of these tips, follow this one. Limiting your time on social media alone could save you hundreds of hours of your precious time. Those hours can then be used to get things done, set goals, and go after them.

“If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.” – Bruce Lee

2. Have clear goals on social media

When you log in, know what matters most and what doesn’t. If you have clear intentions before logging in, assure yourself that social media isn’t the one in control.

All social media channels were built to help kill time, keep you engaged, and make you addicted to their platforms. In fact, one of the leading experts on ‘Brain Hacking,’ Tristan Harris, left his job at Google because of the manipulative strategies internet giants use to keep users hooked.

During his interview on 60 Minutes, Tristan talks about the ways social media rigs its platforms to keep users addicted. It’s astonishing to realize that social media is an endless arsenal of tools to keep us absorbed.

When asked about how people could curb their addiction, Tristan admitted that the cards are stacked against the user’s. Billions of dollars are being invested in making you stay hooked in. This is why social media experts like myself advise users to have clear goals.  When you have a timer and a goal before you log in, it assures you are playing the game in a way that favors you.

Some clear goals which will help you on social media are limiting who you follow, having a clear plan of what you’ll be doing before you log in, and having well laid out intentions of what social media does for you. When you limit who you follow, you assure you only read and watch content that feeds, inspires, and helps you.

It’s all too easy to follow an endless amount of silly channels and people. If you know what you’ll post before you log in, you’ll set yourself to use social media in your favor. This simple plan of action will help keep your mind focused and on task.

3. Have a mastermind online

Social media can either support you or hurt you. It’s either a tool to help you move forward or a hindrance setting you back. For most people, it’s hurtful. In my case, it’s a tool that helps me immensely. Inside social media, I’ve made friends with authors, speakers, world renowned coaches, and multi-millionaires who constantly inspire me.

One way to assure social media helps you is a mastermind. If done properly, social media can be an explosive growth tool. By having a mastermind online, you assure that social media works for you.

A great way to have a mastermind online is through Facebook. There are hundreds of thousands of Facebook groups that can help you stay focused and well supported. Each group is a virtual meetup. Some of these groups include some of the greatest minds in their areas. Some groups are public, and you can join just by requesting to join.

One way to assure a group is solid is by checking to see how many people are in the group. Who’s in the group? How often are members active? Is the group focused? When you find a group that has the right mix of people, activity, and attention, it can change your life. It turns Facebook into a tool. You log in, go check in with the group, ask questions, and keep yourself reminded of your goals.

“Each person holds so much power within themselves that needs to be let out. Sometimes they just need a little nudge, a little direction, a little support, a little coaching, and the greatest things can happen.” – Pete Carroll

By following these three simple pieces of advice, you can make sure that social media ‘Brain Hackers’ are not hacking you, but instead, you are leveraging the tool in a way that supports your success.

What is your favorite part about social media? Let us know by commenting below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Life

Success Has Nothing To Do With Your iPhone Model Number.

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Success Has Nothing To Do With Your iPhone Model Number.

Recently, another new iPhone model was announced. Working in tech, people asked me when I’d be buying it. I told them probably not anytime soon, if at all.

“A piece of metal is never going to define my level of success and it shouldn’t define your success either”

Before you buy anything, think about why you’re making the purchase. We often make dumb decisions about buying stuff because we don’t think it through properly.

 

It’s a piece of metal

Before you have a giant orgasm over the new iPhone, remember that it’s just a chunk of metal. You’ve been using a chunk of metal as a phone for over a decade now. It’s not going to get your rocks off any more than the last phone you bought.

The new iPhone is not going to make love to you although it might remember your name and say it in some sexy, fake voice, so you feel like it’s your friend.

The iPhone is not your friend; it’s your enemy. A chunk of metal doesn’t define your success.

 

It doesn’t make your life better

If this chunk of metal – called an iPhone – really made our lives better then why are we more depressed than ever? A new phone is going to make you happy for about 3.1 seconds and then like a goldfish, you’ll have forgotten how privileged you are even to own one, as well as afford one, shortly after that.

Only you can make your life better by making better decisions. Choosing not to let material possessions own your life and your time is one way to make your life better. Say no to a new chunk of metal because it’s not making your life better.

 

Has anything really changed?

Between each of the iPhone models, it’s basically the same phone. Each time they change the screen size to indulge our ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) minds, but that’s about it. Think about it carefully.

 

That money, compounded, is more valuable

Read any of Warren Buffet’s or Tony Robbins books and you’ll see that the $1000 you shell out for a new iPhone is far better put towards investing. Invest in an index fund, invest in yourself, or use that $1000 to book a holiday so that you have something to look forward to and motivate you for the next six months.

The longer your money stays invested in one of the above, the more it compounds your results. Whether that is financially, personally or from a health point of you. Compounding wins every time.

“You don’t need a new chunk of metal; you need to invest instead”

 

Never follow the trends – create your own trend

Trends often fade away and a new iPhone is no different. Create your own trend. If everyone else is buying a new iPhone, then do the opposite. Don’t let marketers and technology companies tell you how to live your life. Live your life how you want to.

 

Are we more productive?

No freaking way. We’re more unproductive than ever and we consider way too many things because our ugly chunk of metal gives us unlimited opportunities to say yes to. Right now, your phone will allow you to book a tantric sex class that begins at 6 am somewhere near you if you really want.

You can literally learn anything at any time if you really want. My question to you is, does it really matter?

Even though you have unlimited options to be productive, you still procrastinate more than ever and so do I. We could be hyper-productive but we’re not and that’s okay. No chunk of metal is going to run your life for you and make you successful.

 

We don’t need even more distractions

My life already sucks because I get 101 notifications from WeChat, WhatsApp, Messenger and my three email addresses. It’s a full-time job managing all of this and I don’t buy into it. I don’t need to be always contactable – I need a life.

I’m not a robot and I’m not answerable to anyone. Think about this: Are you a free human soul or do you need to be told what to do by your phone?

I’m seeing more human disconnection than ever. At work, it’s easier to call people that are sitting next to me than it is to have a face-to-face conversation. Face-to-face conversations have become a battle between the other person looking down at their phone and occasionally glancing up to look you in the eye.

“All of us are sexier than an ugly piece of metal and we deserved to be looked at!”

 

Will I also be adding a new Apple Watch to my setup as well?

Not in a million years amigo. A watch is strapped to me and tells me everything via a tiny little screen. Can you imagine being in an intimate moment with your significant other and the watch is flashing and beeping at you? It’s enough to ruin anyone’s romance time.

The Apple Watch reminds me of a bracelet that future prisoners will wear to track their movements. I don’t intend on wearing an Apple Watch so I can be a prisoner in my own life. Life is hard enough already without having to be chained to technology.

 

Lastly, I’m enjoying aeroplane mode a lot these days

I could buy a new iPhone but I just love aeroplane mode way too much these days. Having the world of social media switched off and not being “ONLINE” all the time has given me space to think. In these brief moments of thinking I’ve been able to:

– Write inspiring blog posts that have gone viral
– Fall in love again
– Work on my health
– Read books and gain new skills
– Socialise with friends
– Mentor young entrepreneurs in a startup accelerator

Through these list of activities, I’ve been able to create more success than I could ever have imagined on my useless chunk of metal called an iPhone.

So honestly guys and girls, when people ask me if I’m buying a new iPhone, all I can say is “No I’m not buying a new iPhone because my life is more important. The human race and changing the world is more important.”

I need time to change the world and space to think; the new iPhone can’t do this for me and it never will.

No chunk of metal should ever define you and your success.

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

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

4 Steps to Take Right Now to Snap Out of Your Funk

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How to get out of a funk

Maybe you’re spending sleepless nights tossing and turning in bed, or perhaps you’re sleeping in until noon. Maybe all you hear are the sad songs, and all you think of are the terrible things that are happening. (more…)

Edwin S. Soriano, Executive Life Coach, Trainer, Author of "You Can Be Happy Again" book. Over the past ten years, I've helped thousands of people create positive change,  permanent transformations in their life. We do this through life coaching, training, books and online content. I help CEOs, Entrepreneurs and business leaders develop their people as a key strategy for growing their business. Learn more at www.edwinsoriano.com and www.winningcoaching.net .

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Jackie

    Oct 28, 2016 at 1:50 am

    Do you take medication now for anxiety?

  2. Nick Scuderi

    Feb 24, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    A lot of these ways really related to me and how I changed in my own life. I used to only focus on school or work and didn’t see life for what it really was. Since then, I opened my mind and now see life in a new way. We need to focus on important things in our lives, but we need to live life at the same time. The one thing I fear is to never try something and regret it later. I’m glad I finally “woke up”.

    • Tim Denning

      Feb 24, 2016 at 7:00 pm

      Thanks for sharing your point of view Nick. I think we all suffer the same fear if not getting to do everything we want to do in our lifetime. Time is limited so we must use it wisely and plan out what we want to achieve rather than being on auto-pilot.

  3. Toño

    Feb 18, 2016 at 7:49 am

    Perfect and right on time atricle for me (as always should I say), as I am stuck at home for a 4 days due my eye illness, not to mention my level of anxiety rised up because I missed my job, gym & swimming pool.. I was needed that portion of healthy read!

    Have to say, you did a lot of self-development work, and I mean A LOT! While reading your ways, one by one, I started to realise that behind inspiration and a prime example for us, readers, you came through so many things and re-shaped your life, did the massive upgrade to a whole new level. Sugar, coffee, alcohol adds much to level of stress and affects our body, leave alone, being up onto those things you will have a constant brain fog and yes, you named it, looking on how society defines this way of life you may think it is normal. When it’s actually not. Reading books is amazing and agree with you it definitely helps rewire your mind and change the way you look at things. It helped me throughout my journey overcome my OCD. You certainly need good focus and concentration to read.
    Oh, and I think I learned new word today – gamify! Sounds pretty awesome, gotta use it as well 🙂

    I also would like to know how to meditate. Or how to do it properly. It is hard for me to find time and quiet place where I can just sit and relax and reflect on everything, but sometimes I just feel like it.

    Thank you so much Tim, for inspiration and honest story, again I appreciate it greatly and looking forward to your future work! By the way, how’s your public speaking experience going? Did you have any chance to practice it ?

    • Tim Denning

      Feb 18, 2016 at 9:44 am

      Toño your commentary is always just what I need. Thanks for taking the time to leave such detailed comments. Hope you get better soon from your eye illness. You are spot on, I have done loads of self-development and it’s what has made me successful.

      Meditation is something I am still trying to master. I recommend doing it for 5 minutes per day, when you wake up using an iphone app like calm It gets easier as you practice it but the room you are in must be quiet.

      Did my first public speaking practice with a group today. My speech was only 90 seconds and it was a topic that was chosen for me on loneliness. I said that coming back from holidays makes me feel a bit lonely and explained it in further detail. I strongly recommend public speaking practice if you can get it. I have a long way to go though….lol

      • Toño

        Feb 18, 2016 at 10:41 am

        I’m glad you like my commentary, as sometimes I feel I just overwhelm you (or any other) with my rambling.. So it’s good to know.

        Also amazing to know you did your first public speaking today, yay! Congratulations and that was actually quite cool theme to discuss. How does it feel? I feel exactly the same when I get back from my holidays btw, partly I have to leave my family and also beautiful country of my origins. First week is tough and lonely indeed.

        Because of my job I do some practice of public speaking, sort of. Even though not much audience. But I really want to improve my skills there, would love to get more confidence as this is my main priority right now, what I am work on daily.

        As for meditation, I’ve read for beginners you need some object to concentrate your attention on, like some kind of a flower (yeah, got this from Robin Sharma book). I have a little bamboo growing so it might be a good choice.

        • Tim Denning

          Feb 20, 2016 at 2:23 am

          Toño the speech felt good. I have spoken in public many times but never really done speeches as such. If you want to improve your skills the cheapest way is through Toastmasters. If you have a bit more money to spend then there are some great short courses you can do that will get you results faster than Toastmasters.

          Best of luck with the meditation. Try to focus on the breathe if you are new to it rather than an object and definitely use a meditation app like Calm.

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Life

4 Steps to Take Right Now to Snap Out of Your Funk

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How to get out of a funk

Maybe you’re spending sleepless nights tossing and turning in bed, or perhaps you’re sleeping in until noon. Maybe all you hear are the sad songs, and all you think of are the terrible things that are happening.

You’re in a funk. Everyone goes through their funk sometime in their life. You could feel helpless in a business or career you’re trying to build, from losing your job, or having a broken heart. Whatever it is, you just need some help to get out of your funk.

From my experience as a life coach seeing thousands of people get out of their funk, the steps described below have helped CEO’s, entrepreneurs, parents and all sorts of people go and conquer what they wanted.

This works for a variety of people in different situations. If you want to get out of your funk, you’ve got to give this visualization exercise a go.

Before we go into it, you’ll need to prepare these three ingredients:

  • The Map – There’s a situation or experience in your life that is related to this funk. Whatever situation or experience this is, let’s refer to it as your current map of your world.
  • A Navigator – You’re going to go into an imaginary “flight”. And you’ll need someone with good eyes, good sense of humor and a good heart to guide you in your flight. Your co-pilot needs to be someone you respect. Identify your navigator.
  • A Treasure – This is something that is valuable and will be useful for the person who will use it.

Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same.” – Francesca Reigler

Now, are you ready to get out of your funk? Here are the four steps you need to follow today:

1. Size up

Get into the map. See yourself inside the map, whether it’s the situation that triggered your funk, or the resulting funk that you might be in. You must size up the situation and acknowledge whatever it is that you’re feeling when you’re in the situation. Describe what it’s like to be inside this map. Acknowledge it as it is, then take full responsibility for whatever it is that’s in your funk.

2. Step Out

Get outside of the map, get outside of the funk. Now, in your mind, see the map from afar. Let’s take it to another level. Imagine that you’re stepping into the point of view of a flying drone and a camera. Imagine yourself hovering above the situation that put you in this funk. You have full control of the drone, so go ahead and go around the situation from the perspective of the drone. Describe what you see from outside the map as you are flying over the map.

3. See differently

Now, you’re going to call in your co-pilot. When your co-pilot joins your flight above the map, they will advise you on which aspects of the map you will want to look at differently. Go ahead, look at things from a different point of view as advised to you by your co-pilot. Describe what you see from the different points of view your co-pilot is guiding you through.

“What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies.” – Aristotle

4. Search for Treasure

Being in full control of what you choose to see and with the help of your navigator’s guidance, go ahead and navigate around the map searching for treasure. Somewhere in there is something valuable you might have missed before. What has the experience taught you to be? What has the experienced given you? What has the situation brought out from you?

This is like a treasure hunt. From amidst the flurry that’s happening in the funk, there is a treasure that you and your navigator can find for yourself. Your treasure can be a new perspective, new insight, new feeling, or renewed courage. It could be anything that is useful for you, a treasure that you will use to get out of the funk.

Now that you’ve found some treasures, go ahead and go back into the map and get your treasures. It’s been there all along, as you must find it. You just have to claim it for yourself. The treasure you found is all within you for the taking so own it. Whatever the treasure is, make sure you take action and make it real.

What action can you start doing differently today in order to make a difference n your life? Comment below and let us know!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Social Media Is Killing Your Success: 3 Ways You Can Use it to Your Advantage

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Social media success

I love social media. It can help you make friends, share your life, build a network, and even build a business. In the same token, social media can easily become an enemy of success as a hindrance and consumer of attention.

On countless occasions I’ve found myself lost on YouTube, scrolling Facebook, clicking on tweets, watching funny snaps…and realized it’s hurting my success. As someone who is ambitious, you don’t want social media to kill your time, rob you of precious hours, and steal your success.

If you want social media to work for you, here are three ways to assure that you’re the one in control:

1. Limit your time on social media channels

If you want social media to work for you, and not against you, limiting your time on it will help you immensely. One great tool that helps me limit my time on social media is a simple Chrome extension: StayFocused. It’s a free, no hassle chrome extension that allows you to limit your time on different websites.

Just simply plug in the URL of the website you want to limit your time on and the tool will do the rest. This handy little tool will help you see how fast time on social media goes by and will ensure you prioritize your tasks.

If you are going to follow any of these tips, follow this one. Limiting your time on social media alone could save you hundreds of hours of your precious time. Those hours can then be used to get things done, set goals, and go after them.

“If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.” – Bruce Lee

2. Have clear goals on social media

When you log in, know what matters most and what doesn’t. If you have clear intentions before logging in, assure yourself that social media isn’t the one in control.

All social media channels were built to help kill time, keep you engaged, and make you addicted to their platforms. In fact, one of the leading experts on ‘Brain Hacking,’ Tristan Harris, left his job at Google because of the manipulative strategies internet giants use to keep users hooked.

During his interview on 60 Minutes, Tristan talks about the ways social media rigs its platforms to keep users addicted. It’s astonishing to realize that social media is an endless arsenal of tools to keep us absorbed.

When asked about how people could curb their addiction, Tristan admitted that the cards are stacked against the user’s. Billions of dollars are being invested in making you stay hooked in. This is why social media experts like myself advise users to have clear goals.  When you have a timer and a goal before you log in, it assures you are playing the game in a way that favors you.

Some clear goals which will help you on social media are limiting who you follow, having a clear plan of what you’ll be doing before you log in, and having well laid out intentions of what social media does for you. When you limit who you follow, you assure you only read and watch content that feeds, inspires, and helps you.

It’s all too easy to follow an endless amount of silly channels and people. If you know what you’ll post before you log in, you’ll set yourself to use social media in your favor. This simple plan of action will help keep your mind focused and on task.

3. Have a mastermind online

Social media can either support you or hurt you. It’s either a tool to help you move forward or a hindrance setting you back. For most people, it’s hurtful. In my case, it’s a tool that helps me immensely. Inside social media, I’ve made friends with authors, speakers, world renowned coaches, and multi-millionaires who constantly inspire me.

One way to assure social media helps you is a mastermind. If done properly, social media can be an explosive growth tool. By having a mastermind online, you assure that social media works for you.

A great way to have a mastermind online is through Facebook. There are hundreds of thousands of Facebook groups that can help you stay focused and well supported. Each group is a virtual meetup. Some of these groups include some of the greatest minds in their areas. Some groups are public, and you can join just by requesting to join.

One way to assure a group is solid is by checking to see how many people are in the group. Who’s in the group? How often are members active? Is the group focused? When you find a group that has the right mix of people, activity, and attention, it can change your life. It turns Facebook into a tool. You log in, go check in with the group, ask questions, and keep yourself reminded of your goals.

“Each person holds so much power within themselves that needs to be let out. Sometimes they just need a little nudge, a little direction, a little support, a little coaching, and the greatest things can happen.” – Pete Carroll

By following these three simple pieces of advice, you can make sure that social media ‘Brain Hackers’ are not hacking you, but instead, you are leveraging the tool in a way that supports your success.

What is your favorite part about social media? Let us know by commenting below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Success Has Nothing To Do With Your iPhone Model Number.

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Success Has Nothing To Do With Your iPhone Model Number.

Recently, another new iPhone model was announced. Working in tech, people asked me when I’d be buying it. I told them probably not anytime soon, if at all.

“A piece of metal is never going to define my level of success and it shouldn’t define your success either”

Before you buy anything, think about why you’re making the purchase. We often make dumb decisions about buying stuff because we don’t think it through properly.

 

It’s a piece of metal

Before you have a giant orgasm over the new iPhone, remember that it’s just a chunk of metal. You’ve been using a chunk of metal as a phone for over a decade now. It’s not going to get your rocks off any more than the last phone you bought.

The new iPhone is not going to make love to you although it might remember your name and say it in some sexy, fake voice, so you feel like it’s your friend.

The iPhone is not your friend; it’s your enemy. A chunk of metal doesn’t define your success.

 

It doesn’t make your life better

If this chunk of metal – called an iPhone – really made our lives better then why are we more depressed than ever? A new phone is going to make you happy for about 3.1 seconds and then like a goldfish, you’ll have forgotten how privileged you are even to own one, as well as afford one, shortly after that.

Only you can make your life better by making better decisions. Choosing not to let material possessions own your life and your time is one way to make your life better. Say no to a new chunk of metal because it’s not making your life better.

 

Has anything really changed?

Between each of the iPhone models, it’s basically the same phone. Each time they change the screen size to indulge our ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) minds, but that’s about it. Think about it carefully.

 

That money, compounded, is more valuable

Read any of Warren Buffet’s or Tony Robbins books and you’ll see that the $1000 you shell out for a new iPhone is far better put towards investing. Invest in an index fund, invest in yourself, or use that $1000 to book a holiday so that you have something to look forward to and motivate you for the next six months.

The longer your money stays invested in one of the above, the more it compounds your results. Whether that is financially, personally or from a health point of you. Compounding wins every time.

“You don’t need a new chunk of metal; you need to invest instead”

 

Never follow the trends – create your own trend

Trends often fade away and a new iPhone is no different. Create your own trend. If everyone else is buying a new iPhone, then do the opposite. Don’t let marketers and technology companies tell you how to live your life. Live your life how you want to.

 

Are we more productive?

No freaking way. We’re more unproductive than ever and we consider way too many things because our ugly chunk of metal gives us unlimited opportunities to say yes to. Right now, your phone will allow you to book a tantric sex class that begins at 6 am somewhere near you if you really want.

You can literally learn anything at any time if you really want. My question to you is, does it really matter?

Even though you have unlimited options to be productive, you still procrastinate more than ever and so do I. We could be hyper-productive but we’re not and that’s okay. No chunk of metal is going to run your life for you and make you successful.

 

We don’t need even more distractions

My life already sucks because I get 101 notifications from WeChat, WhatsApp, Messenger and my three email addresses. It’s a full-time job managing all of this and I don’t buy into it. I don’t need to be always contactable – I need a life.

I’m not a robot and I’m not answerable to anyone. Think about this: Are you a free human soul or do you need to be told what to do by your phone?

I’m seeing more human disconnection than ever. At work, it’s easier to call people that are sitting next to me than it is to have a face-to-face conversation. Face-to-face conversations have become a battle between the other person looking down at their phone and occasionally glancing up to look you in the eye.

“All of us are sexier than an ugly piece of metal and we deserved to be looked at!”

 

Will I also be adding a new Apple Watch to my setup as well?

Not in a million years amigo. A watch is strapped to me and tells me everything via a tiny little screen. Can you imagine being in an intimate moment with your significant other and the watch is flashing and beeping at you? It’s enough to ruin anyone’s romance time.

The Apple Watch reminds me of a bracelet that future prisoners will wear to track their movements. I don’t intend on wearing an Apple Watch so I can be a prisoner in my own life. Life is hard enough already without having to be chained to technology.

 

Lastly, I’m enjoying aeroplane mode a lot these days

I could buy a new iPhone but I just love aeroplane mode way too much these days. Having the world of social media switched off and not being “ONLINE” all the time has given me space to think. In these brief moments of thinking I’ve been able to:

– Write inspiring blog posts that have gone viral
– Fall in love again
– Work on my health
– Read books and gain new skills
– Socialise with friends
– Mentor young entrepreneurs in a startup accelerator

Through these list of activities, I’ve been able to create more success than I could ever have imagined on my useless chunk of metal called an iPhone.

So honestly guys and girls, when people ask me if I’m buying a new iPhone, all I can say is “No I’m not buying a new iPhone because my life is more important. The human race and changing the world is more important.”

I need time to change the world and space to think; the new iPhone can’t do this for me and it never will.

No chunk of metal should ever define you and your success.

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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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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