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30 Life Changing Tips from World Travelers Under 30

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travel the world while you're young

Are you looking for the best way to tackle your fears and live your most desired dreams? Then grab a map and start planning your next travel destination. Traveling is the best way to expand your mind beyond what you already know and tap into the potential that is within you.

I left all of my doubts and fears at the door when I decided to travel around the world on a 6-month international performance and service tour with Up with People. I traveled to cities in the USA, Mexico, Bermuda, and Europe, where I had the chance to network with influential leaders from all over the world and deliver over 100 hours of service by volunteering at schools and community organizations.

What surprised me the most was the courage and commitment that I witnessed from world travelers under the age of 30, who were fired up about their future and willing to do what it took to pursue and share this traveling opportunity.

Here are inspirational thoughts from 30 world travelers under 30 who took the leap to live their travel dreams and use their gifts to impact the world:

1. Seize the opportunities. Not just the ones that are in your face and those that are presented to you in a nicely wrapped bow, but watch out for the smaller opportunities that are hiding in between each moment.   – Tess Zondervan, Netherlands

2. No matter what your aspirations or interests are, perspective is your most valuable asset. You have to pursue that, regardless of fear or anxiety, because you can’t know the things that are on the other side of them. Step out on faith and travel the world. –Cameron Wright, USA

3. You need to get over your fear of failure if you want to travel. I think ANYONE can travel. It doesn’t have to be scary or a huge commitment. The worst thing that can happen is that you quit your job and have to start over. People make things so serious when they don’t have to be. –Katie Walter, Sweden

4. Prepare yourself for your next adventure by practicing spontaneity. Let’s keep that kid within us who isn’t afraid to try something new. Your inner child is waiting on you to say YES to all the things that your conditioned mind thinks are too irrational. –Charles-Guerin Valtille, France/Belgium

5. The hardest part about trying something new is that you question everything you do before you do it. Stop wondering if you are making the wrong decision and start acknowledging everything that is right in that moment. Be present. –Vicky He, China

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine

6. If you want to travel, don’t look at all the roadblocks. Clearly set your intentions, and you will get everything you asked for. You will be better qualified for what you want to do next, and you’ll discover things you didn’t know you were interested in. –Melanie Jean, USA

7. Be very clear about what type of life that you want to live. If you want to experience a different type of life and meet people outside of your social circle, you have to be willing to step beyond what you know now so that you can gain something better later. Traveling around the world is a great way to experience a new type of life. –Ou Lu, China

8. When you surround yourself with the same people, it’s hard to find something new. Stepping beyond your comfort zone allows you to meet people who inspire you in a different way. –Pepa Ul, Germany

9. Don’t get so hung up on hypothetical situations before you execute your plans. You don’t need to overthink everything. Just do it! Traveling can bring you something more than you expected. I think people need to travel in order to find themselves. –Mike Johnsen, USA

10. If you are seeking a career as a credible business professional, you have to be open to new cultures and new ways of operating in order to remain relevant and maintain a sustainable enterprise. Traveling allows you to enhance these relationship-building skills that are crucial to your success. –Jialu Pang, China

11. If you are not finding the answers to what you want to do in life, travel the world! Traveling opens your mind to new experiences. You start to think about things that you would have never thought about before. –Marie Englebert, Belgium

12. Whether you meet individuals who are 10 or 100, everyone has a different experience that can teach you something. When you are traveling, you have a unique opportunity to encounter a teacher everywhere you go. –Sophia Berntzen, Norway

13. Nothing can boost your confidence faster than doing something that you didn’t think you could do. Taking the leap to travel is truly empowering. You can gain back your self-confidence by increasing your understanding of the people around you, becoming a world citizen, and stepping outside of your safe zone. –Paulina Ramos, Mexico

14. If you have a little bit of urge to do something, don’t second-guess yourself. Just do it! Don’t fixate on the money. Your experiences may connect you to the passion and power that is within you, and that discovery is priceless. –Chelsea Henak, USA

15. When you learn about new places and cultures, you learn more about yourself. This is one of the best investments you can make. Most people only invest in education and things that bring temporary satisfaction. Invest in experiences, and you will receive rewards that will enrich you as a person. –Jennifer Brown, Sweden

16. We have been conditioned to follow the rules of society. Now it’s time to follow our hearts. We need to find what sets our soul on fire and pursue that. Amazing things only happen outside of your comfort zone. –Lenize Dos Santos, Cape Verde

17. Don’t be afraid of the challenge zone. Enjoy the challenge zone! Traveling allows you to take on experiences that expand your capacity to stretch yourself beyond what you think you are capable of. If there were no challenges, life would be boring. –Glenn De Kemel, Belgium

18. So often we learn the grammar rules of a foreign language at school, but we are hesitant to use what we learned in real life. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. People will be inspired by your willingness to learn another language, and you may inspire someone else to learn something new. –Margaux de Boeck, Belgium

19. If you think something is impossible, you are just limiting yourself to your safe zone. You have to be willing to invest in yourself outside of a classroom. Traveling exposes you to so many opportunities that will help you learn more about yourself and the world around you. –Timo Bossema, Netherlands

20. You will be surprised by how much you can learn while traveling. You can start learning a different language in one week! Immerse yourself in the language by taking advantage of cultural activities, host-family living, language buddies, and cell-phone apps in order to accelerate your learning. –Roxane Blondel, Belgium

“Travel while you’re young and able. Don’t worry about the money, just make it work. Experience is far more valuable than money will ever be.” – Unknown

21. Traveling can help you become a global instrument. The more you discover about yourself, the more in-touch you are with those around you. You learn how to be the best person that you can by embarking upon different cultural experiences.–Nikki Smith, Philippines

22. If you have a dream, traveling won’t make that dream go away. In fact, the insights you receive while traveling will only magnify your dream if that is something that you truly want to do. –Alexandra Bungum, Denmark

23. Business students often wonder if they should take advantage of more internships or study-abroad opportunities. I think that you should travel as often as you can, whenever you can. The job will always be there. Traveling fosters new ideas and allows you to expand your mind in ways that will heighten your impact in the job market. –Tiki Shou, China

24. Don’t have doubts. Just jump in. It’s not as bad as you think. Traveling is the path to freedom and independence, because it’s up to you to figure out how to manage your money, allocate your time, and develop relationships. If you want to gain the confidence you need to follow your own path in life, travel to a new place alone. –Lauren Reed, USA

25. The more you get out there and just do stuff, the more your comfort zone expands. You will feel like you can do anything. That is the best feeling. Traveling allows you to tap into this feeling and will move you in ways that you never imagined. –Violette Defourt, Belgium

26. Sometimes you think you have to gain access to a certain key in order to gain happiness. When you travel, you realize that happiness is not a key but a puzzle. Each key is a part of the puzzle. Every experience may not give you exactly what you wanted, but it gives you exactly what you needed in order to complete your puzzle.  –Xavier Rosales, Mexico

27. Take advantage of opportunities that allow you to do things you have never done before. Every new experience that you take on can be used to propel your future goals. Whether it’s singing or dancing or acting, you need to see the full picture and how everything comes together — that’s with anything in life. –Caity Cecio, USA

28. You have to tap into your creative bones when you travel in order to make the most of situations that come your way. Traveling teaches you how to use your gifts more intentionally in order to achieve certain results and connect with people from all walks of life. –Raymond Mulangu Gieskes, Netherlands

29. Things will work out the way they are supposed to be. Be vulnerable to everything that comes your way. Through vulnerability, you can fall easily, but through vulnerability, you can fall softer. Traveling experiences will show you how to jump in and be vulnerable. –Andrew Erusha, USA

30. Every day you have to choose to say yes to what you are doing, because it may be your last day. What you are doing now may not be your dream job, but look at it as a way of prepping you for something else. Traveling opens your mind to being flexible in your career and taking advantage of the NOW. –Alicen Schade, USA

What do you need in order to make the leap towards your dreams? Have you learned any new skills while traveling? Let me know in the comments section below!

After 7 years of working in Corporate America as a Certified Public Accountant, Charlene left her job in April 2015 and decided to travel around the world with a non-profit international education organization called Up with People. She has traveled around the world with 100 individuals from 20 different countries. You can visit her www.careergoddessacademy.com or connect with her through Twitter.

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17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Michael Williams

    Jun 24, 2016 at 5:33 am

    Thank you for the motivational words! It given me the drive to want to do greater things in my life. Completely awesome!

    • Charlene Rhinehart

      Jun 26, 2016 at 6:57 am

      Hi Michael, I’m glad that this post motivated you. Start creating your travel goal list and make it happen. Anything is possible!

  2. Michael

    Jun 24, 2016 at 5:05 am

    Thank you for the motivational words! It really help to drive me more to go out and achieve greater goals.

  3. Gerald

    Jun 21, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    Great post Char,
    I believe in designing your life. It can make such a difference in your entire experience.
    Stepping outside of your comfort zone allows you to change and grow. I’m always looking for the next challenge to change and I know that travel would be a great way to experience growth.
    Appreciate your point of view and sharing your experiences.
    You are a rock star Char!

    • Charlene Rhinehart

      Jun 22, 2016 at 8:46 am

      Great insights, Gerald! It’s important that we take 100% responsibility for our lives and design a life that makes us excited to get out of bed every morning. We must always be willing to go beyond what we already know in order to discover untapped potential. Thanks for sharing your words of wisdom!

  4. SUDARSHAN RAI

    Jun 20, 2016 at 4:37 am

    Thank you Charlene for sharing and wonderful write up . inspiring quotes and very well articulated content. The moment we step out of our comfort zone and open up ourselves to a new world through travel, innovation and by showing interest, we get to learn lot of things.Traveling not only enhances our experience but also establishes a gateway to different cultures, language, ethinic customs which truly makes the concept of global village and small world true.
    Look forward seeing more such articles from your experience and best wishes for your further journey.

    Regards,
    Sudarshan Rai

    • Charlene Rhinehart

      Jun 21, 2016 at 8:58 am

      Thanks for sharing your insights, Sudarshan! Traveling is a great way to gain exposure to different cultures, languages, and ethnic customs that we may not immerse ourselves in if we stay in the comforts of our home. I think it’s awesome that you decided to venture outside of your home country and immerse yourself in the business culture of the U.S.

  5. Toño

    Jun 14, 2016 at 6:57 am

    Thank you so much for this article, Charlene, it was very inspiring read and I must say how law of attraction actually works out. Last few weeks been all tough, raw, learning journey for me which helped me realized some important things. I started to look into travelling more and there you go, your wonderful experience, yours and all of that beautiful people. Some of the quotes are simple amazing and life changing!

    I started my boring Sunday at work with it and my day got muchly better!

    Looking forward for more, appreciate your time!

    • Charlene Rhinehart

      Jun 15, 2016 at 4:27 am

      Hi Toño! Thanks for reading and for sharing your story. The law of attraction works FAST! Now you will start to see more articles like this and everything you see will get you closer to the lifestyle that you want. Sending positive vibes your way as you tap into more of what you want and travel on a journey that will expose you to the best days of your life!

  6. Charlene Rhinehart

    Jun 12, 2016 at 10:08 pm

    Tim, your articles ignited a fire within me to write and travel more! I can’t thank you enough for your insights. The last 6 months have been my most adventurous moments of my life thanks to your inspiration. I want to inspire and open doors of opportunities for others like you have done for me. More travel motivation will be coming soon;)

    • Tim Denning

      Jun 13, 2016 at 2:08 am

      Wow thanks for the kind words Charlene I am glad I was able to inspire you. Best of luck with your travels!

  7. Charlene Rhinehart

    Jun 12, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    Thanks for sharing your insights, Garrick! Embracing the inner child within us who isn’t afraid to dream big and try something new will take us further than we imagined. You are right about incorporating fun into our lives. We only have one life so we might as well enjoy the journey!

  8. Sue Dunlevie

    Jun 12, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    Super post, Charlene! Love hearing all these ideas.

    Thanks,
    Sue

    • Charlene Rhinehart

      Jun 15, 2016 at 4:20 am

      Thanks for reading and sharing Sue! It’s amazing what young leaders around the world can teach us.

  9. Tim Denning

    Jun 11, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    Charlene thank you for this article, this is my kind of topic. Travelling has taught me that the rules of life are the same no matter where you go. While the cultures vary, the problems remain the same. Looking forward to your next post Charlene 🙂

  10. Garrick Bradley II

    Jun 11, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    What I love most about this post are the points unleashing your inner child. I think that will take you so much further in life and you will always have fun. No matter what you do! Always keep that inner child going. Because once you lose it you get old!

  11. Young Wealth Builders

    Jun 11, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    My favorite point of this post is the importance of releasing your inner child. So many people feel as they get older they have to “act their age”. When you unlock your inner child, life is so much fun and exciting. You become more daring and want to try new things. The power of yes can take you anywhere!

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Life

10 Things You Must Do More Often in Order to Build an Enjoyable Life

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how to enjoy life

Most of us constantly look for ways to improve our lives. We want to make more money, be more attractive, and be regarded more highly by our friends and our colleagues. We are on a mission to achieve more, earn more, and learn more. More often than not, we are in a hurry to do all of it.

Unfortunately, this mindset misses the point. Think about it, what do all the things mentioned above have in common?  They’re all about ME. We’re all busy, we’ve all stretched out our limits and we’ve all got too much to do.

In the rush to improve our lives, we end up focusing too much on ourselves, which leads to disappointment and frustration when things don’t go as planned. But there are small actions we can take which help ground us in reality and make us remember what is most important about our lives.

Here are 10 things that you should do more often if you want to build a life that you truly enjoy:

1. Wake up before everyone else

Waking up early may not be your cup of tea, but I would urge even the most stalwart night owl to try this trick at least once over the course of the next few weeks. Set your alarm for an ungodly hour (like 5am) and make a concerted effort to get out of bed when your alarm goes off.

The brain functions differently in the early hours of the morning. Things may seem sharper, and ideas may come to you in different ways. On top of that, there is a subtle motivating factor that comes from the knowledge that you are up being productive while everyone else is still asleep in bed.

2. Spend a day doing anything you want to do

Many of us are shackled to our jobs, or studies and our personal commitments. We have become so overbooked that we rarely have a night off just to sit and relax. Even if we have that time, our minds typically wander to what we have to be doing the next day or later in the week.

Due to the above reason, I urge you to schedule one day a month where you actively schedule a full day of doing nothing but what you want to do. Not something for your business or your side project. Not something for someone else. Be selfish.

3. Reach out to old friends

The power of a network grows stronger based on how strong the connections are between each piece. Reach out to an old friend (or friends) and start the process of catching up and rebuilding relationships that have faded. You never know what opportunities may develop from these connections, so it is always a good idea to maintain these open channels.

“Remember that the most valuable antiques are dear old friends.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

4. Ask someone to do something for you which you could do yourself

You may have the time or skill necessary to do something, but delegating will be invaluable to you as you continue to move through life. The practice of delegating is a subtle art that few of us are comfortable with, but almost all of us would benefit from.

Delegating requires you to plan exactly what you want to happen, and it also requires that you set clear expectations for what you expect from others. You can practice this by hiring someone from Fiverr or Upwork to help you with your job or a random task of some kind.

5. Say thank you to someone that made a difference in your life in the last year

You have no idea what a difference a gesture of this kind can make to someone. Reach out to a stranger, a colleague, a family member, or a long lost friend. Tell them why you appreciate them, and say thank you for what they’ve done for you. You don’t need to tell them it was because I told you so… just go for it. You won’t regret it, and you’ll make their day.

6. Give your opinion about what someone should do in their life or in their work

This is nearly as hard as asking someone to do something for you. As humans, we tend to avoid potential conflicts, and telling someone to change something about their lives has a huge potential for conflict or argument. Still, if you are able to share your opinion in a clear and thought through manner, that person will not only appreciate your advice, they will respect you moving forward.

7. Give a compliment to someone without expecting anything in return

Similar to saying thank you to someone, giving a compliment allows you to strengthen your relationship with others in and outside of your network while helping you build the self confidence to share your opinions openly and without self-judgement. If possible, focus on giving “growth mindset” compliments rather than “fixed mindset” compliments.

Growth mindset compliments are those relating to skills or traits which can be learned and improved upon (i.e. you did such a good job with that presentation), whereas fixed mindset compliments are those which relate to fixed attributes related to physical appearance, intellect, etc (you’re so smart).

“Everybody likes a compliment.” – Abraham Lincoln

8. Make something and share it with the world

Often we are told to create widgets for our employers or to churn out content for individuals that pay us. However, real creativity requires tapping into our inner passions and ideas about how the world works. Being creative in this way is a great way to reconnect with your true nature and ground yourself in the present moment.

9. Go to a free event and see something you’ve not experienced before

Always keep on learning! If you live in or near a big city, chances are there are a ton of free events being advertised online which you can attend. Look for new museum exhibitions, street fairs, musical concerts, talks, etc. and try to attend something new every month. Even networking events can lead to future job prospects or business opportunities.

10. Cook a meal for someone (or a group of people)

Some of the strongest bonds between human beings are formed around food. Since the discovery of fire, humans have been gathering around and feeding one another, sharing memories, advice, opinions and accolades. Even if you’re not a good cook, throw a few pizzas in the oven and invite a few friends over for a drink.

Now I know what you’re thinking right now. I don’t have time to do all that every week, or even every month. Heck, maybe even every year is asking too much. But I assure you, you do have time for these activities. Some of them let you reconnect with yourself at a deeper level, while others require you to connect with the ones around you in an empathetic and emotionally engaged way.

Remember that this life is not just about you, it’s about everyone you come in contact with. Every small action you take will have a butterfly effect which changes the hearts and minds of those you come in contact with.

How are you making sure you’re building the life you truly want to live? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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Life

The 4 Agreements You’ll Need to Make With Yourself to Live a Happier Life

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Here’s something we can all agree on: Life is hard. And if this wasn’t enough, caring about other people’s opinion only makes it harder. You have a good job but you’re too scared to run your own business. You have a good relationship with your partner, but you’re too scared to get married. And you live an interesting life but you’re too scared to share it on social media.

In other words, fear is taking over your life. The problem is that changing your perspective isn’t easy. But here’s the big secret…You can unlearn your previous beliefs and adopt new ones that will help set you free from your fears.

It won’t be easy but if you’re hungry for positive change, here are the four agreements based on the book “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz you’ll need to make with yourself:

1. Always Be True To Your Word

Do you know the power of your word? Most people don’t stop to appreciate the power they possess in their word. Your word has the power to kill millions of people or to change someone’s life forever. Think back when Martin Luther King managed to change millions of lives with his “I Have A Dream” speech.

The problem is most people fail to use the power of their word, or worse they use it to unintentionally hurt others. However, the trick is to say only what you truly mean. Don’t speak badly about yourself or others. And speak about truth and love.

Negative feedback can act as poison to other people. Start taking the power of your word seriously by speaking only positive things. Instead of gossiping behind your co-worker’s back, try to say positive things or don’t say anything at all.

“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” – Abraham Lincoln

2. Free Yourself From People’s Ideas

Chances are that other people’s words closely relate to your own perception. So what happens? You believe your friend who calls you ugly when you’re having a bad hair day. You believe your boss who states you’re an incompetent worker when you’re experiencing a bad breakup. And you believe your family when they provide you with many reasons of why you won’t be able to run a successful business.

The list goes on and on. Repeat this for years and it’s no wonder why you take other people’s criticism personally. What you have to understand is that other people’s opinions aren’t about you, it’s a reflection of themselves. For example, if someone tells you that you’ll never launch a successful business it’s screaming what they believe is possible.

You shouldn’t even take your own comments personally. Sometimes your own words cause self-inflicting damage. So what’s the solution? Start by listing your beliefs that make you fearful or unhappy. Then work on your smallest beliefs and begin replacing them with positive beliefs.

3. Stop Making Assumptions About Everything

Be bold and ask questions. The next time someone explains something to you, repeat what they’ve said to confirm if their statement was correct. Rinse and repeat until you’re confident that you understand the other person. Will it be easy? Of course not. There will be times when you’ll be scared to ask questions or people will look annoyed. However, you can’t let fear hold you back.

Here are the two questions to ask yourself when you’re facing tough times: 1. If today was my last day would this problem be significant? 2. How do you want to live? Be curious and become confident in asking questions so you’ll never have to assume anything.

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” – Dalai Lama XIV

4. Consistently Do Your Best

Don’t strive to be perfect, strive to do your best. You’ll regret more the chances we didn’t take vs the times you’ve failed. If you’re always performing at your best you’ll be less likely to feel disappointed. Your best will vary from time to time but as long as you’re always putting your best effort you’ll be at peace.

Why does this work? As humans, we punish ourselves multiple times for a single mistake. That’s because we tend to live in the future or past replaying old mistakes and punishing ourselves further. By always doing our best you eliminate the possibility for regret and self-judgment. Don’t forget to do your best with the little things as well.

Here’s what I mean: The moment you wake put your best effort to make your bed. When you’re feeling off, put your best effort going to go to the gym to lift weights. Stop waiting for those rare days when you wake up feeling amazing. Get up each morning with the intent to do your best at everything you do!

Start Living A Happy Life

Picture this, it’s 5 am and you’re starting your morning ritual. At the end of your ritual, you’re ready to have an amazing day despite it being Monday. But that’s not all. You’ve found the courage to leave your job to go all in with your business. You’ve found the courage to get married and take your relationship to the next level. You’ve even found the courage to share silly pictures of yourself on social media.

Life is good. Most people wish for these types of day, but not you. Ever since you’ve adopted these 4 agreements your life has transformed for the better. You’re no longer a victim to what happens in your life.

Amazing isn’t it? This can be your reality if you begin adopting these 4 agreements into your life today. You’ve only got one life to live, are you going to let fear hold you back from being happy?

What have you discovered about yourself? Comment below!

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Life

5 Actionable Tips to Master Your Mental Illness and Be Successful

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With May being Mental Illness Awareness Month, it’s imperative to know what actions we can take to develop more successful emotions. Emotional pain is one of the worst things that can happen to an individual. After attempting suicide twice and checking myself into countless mental health clinics, I was able to finally to become the master of my world. Reaching rock bottom twice, I’ve learned how to become successful in both my personal and professional life.  With a little bit of effort, this is something you can do too.

Even if you’re not battling a mental illness, these techniques can work wonders for improving every part of life:

1. Reading For Personal Growth

With so much negative material in this world of the internet, one must take the time to purposefully install positive material that’ll help you grow. Just by being on Addicted2Success, you’re on the right path.

Reading also is another way to exercise your mind. By exercising the mind and inserting positive information into it on a consistent basis, it’s inevitable that your thoughts, actions, and results will begin to change. What I did, and still do, is read books from the genres of Self-Help, Self-Improvement, Personal Development, and Psychology.

2. Writing To Vent

Even after speaking to therapists and psychologists, what I have found to work wonders is to simply write. What’s great about this is you can get everything off of your chest and then destroy the evidence by shredding it once you’re done. By bottling everything up inside, it begins to eat away at us, stacks up with other negative emotions, and then comes back with a vengeance.

Start a daily journal to vent about everything that’s bothering you and then shred it if you choose. I personally shred everything all at once rather than one day at a time.

“The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.” – Gustave Flaubert

3. Changing Environments

Jim Rohn said, “You’re the average of the five people you hang out with most.” This is true for success, finances, health, mentality, and all other areas of life. If you want to become successful, if you want to pull yourself out of an emotional slump, change the stimuli you’re currently in. This can include your friends, work, tv shows, news, movies, music, social media, unorganized office/home, and more.

If you feel like something is dragging you down, it is. Do what successful people do and change it! I personally went for months without a friend because they were the biggest source of negativity in my life…and I’d do it again!

4. Controlling Your Thoughts

This is easier said than done, but it’s extremely possible. On average, we have about 60,000 thoughts running through our minds every day, more than half of those are negative.

One thing you can try is to make a tally mark every time you notice a negative thought. Doing this will help you become more aware of this and you’ll notice over time, those tally marks will slowly dwindle. The key here is to have a predetermined affirmation or mantra to replace that negative thought with. I personally have a go-to affirmation which I repeat over-and-over again while forcing the biggest smile I can muster at the time.

“I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.” – Mark Twain

5. Taking Action On Ideas

Ideas are a dime-a-dozen because too many are stillborn, most never take action on any idea they have. By taking action in any capacity on an idea that you come up with, it’ll help boost self-esteem and confidence. It also sends a signal to your subconscious mind that you’re becoming a different person who has a purpose in life. Start small at first, then go as big as your imagination can dream. I use to ignore my ideas because everyone told me how stupid I was, yet now I receive praise for being a innovative visionary with determination.

It took me nearly ten years without medication or therapy to completely reverse my life for the better. Now that I am where I am, I still practice all of this and more! You can be successful in whatever it is that you desire, but it all starts in the mind and your actions.

If you or anyone you know is battling any type of mental illness, know that it is only temporary if you choose for it to be. Take the advice Bob Proctor told me and implement it immediately: “The mind is the most powerful force in all of creation, hold the image of what you want, and surprise the whole world.”

What tricks do you have for controlling your mind and making sure your brain helps you achieve success throughout your day? Let us know in the comments below!

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Life

Why I Drastically Reduced My Social Media Consumption (And I Work in Social Media!)

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Recently, I’ve been experimenting with the way I consume, create and connect using social media.

What started out as a tool that was supposed to bring us together has turned into something we didn’t expect. Now, I’m the biggest advocate of all when it comes to social media. So much so, that I’ve dedicated most of my career to it.

This post is not designed to get you to delete social media and go and live off-grid, away from the Internet, on a farm, with no car and no connection to the community around you.

The point is to get you to rethink your social media usage.

These are the 4 burdens of social media:

 

Responding to comments

One of my coaching clients said to me the other day “How do you find time to respond to all of the comments you get online?”

I told him “I don’t.”

This is a new thing for me. If I go back six months, I was responding to every comment I got. It’s no secret that by responding to comments on social media in real-time, you get more engagement on your posts.

So yes, commenting is good if you are building an audience and want more people to see your work, but on the downside, you become a slave to comments.

The other challenge with comments is that you will get trolls and people that say nasty stuff. No matter how hard you try, some of them will affect your mindset, motivation or even your mood.

This is why I have drastically reduced the comments I respond to. I still engage and support people that like my work, I just do it less.

This leaves me more time to create, which ultimately provides more value than a reply to a comment.

 

Liking people’s posts

Social media also brings on the expectation that you’re supposed to like people’s posts who supported you, are your family or maybe even your work colleagues or friends.

I always like to support other people’s work, but I disagree with people expecting me to. Some posts just don’t resonate with me and that’s why I don’t reshare them even if they are my friends, colleagues or even super fans of my work.

 

Responding to direct messages

“Instant messaging has been the bane of my existence. It’s like a meeting that never ends”

Now everyone can reach me. This might seem like it makes us more connected but I don’t feel it does. Instead, it takes up huge amounts of time to respond to direct messages. A lot of the ones I get have ‘asks’ attached to them.

There’s nothing wrong with an ‘ask’ through social media but if you don’t know someone at all, it gets annoying quickly.

 

Having to check notifications

When I see 150 new notifications on LinkedIn (or any social network) as much as I hate to admit it, it feels good. I end up checking my notifications in meetings, while out for dinner with my significant other and even in the car (dangerous).

“Most of what these notifications are telling me are unimportant but my dopamine addicted brain can’t resist. The need for validation that I am growing or becoming somebody is too great”

<<<>>>>>

It’s for these four reasons that I recently severely limited by social media usage.

This may seem like the action of a crazy person given that I work in social media. I promise you it’s not. I can still have a career in social media or as a blogger without checking apps 100 times a day.

My time is now focused on something far more important:

Maximizing my time creating content that serves my purpose instead of consuming which is what the social media platforms want me to do (I never did like following rules).

<<<>>>

Here are the benefits I got by drastically reducing my social media usage:

 

Less stress

The recent test I took to measure my cortisol levels shows that I’m currently at 800 on the cortisol scale and the normal range is between 0-400.

I’ve been looking for any way I can to reduce stress. My experimentation with reducing social media has helped significantly.

“I find myself living in flight mode more often and enjoying right now”

One of the biggest flaws with the 24/7 social media model is the increase in stress if nothing else. The need for instant validation is making our stress levels soar. It’s time to fight back!

 

It’s made me more creative

I’m now being inspired more by things I witness in real life as opposed to the sometimes made-up, perfect world of social media. Creativity fuels our passions and even our businesses.

It takes empty space and free time to be creative. Social media was sucking up all my spare time after work and on the weekend. By consuming less, I had blocks of spare time to create.

That also gave me time to be inspired by books that fuel my imagination like Harry Potter (strangely enough).

 

I feel freer

Being tied to my phone and glued to social media is like having chains around my arms.

“It’s been nice to be free of advice, funny videos, opinions, politics and everything else that is like a fire hose in your face”

 

More present

Meditation has been something I’ve sucked at for a long time. I find it hard to be present and observe the now. Part of the reason, I’ve discovered, is that I was thinking about what was happening on social media.

Having time away from social media has made being present easier for me. I’m thinking less about how many views I got on LinkedIn today and more about the meaning of life and the people I care about.

It’s not perfect though. I still spend time on social media (obviously) and so I have to balance the benefits, with the negatives like being less present.

 

Fewer distractions

All the way back to high school, my teachers told me “Tim, you’re easily distracted.”

Even on my report cards, it says it. My teachers put it down to my appreciation of the opposite sex (this is what they said!) but I disagree. I put it down to my need for human interaction which is what has made me love selling in the business world.

None the less, I am easily distracted -  that’s a fact. Social media has forced me to check my notifications consistently. Since reducing my social media consumption, I’ve put into action a new strategy.

What I do now is turn off all notifications on my phone, computer, iPad and laptop. I only have SMS and phone call notifications turned on.

This setup allows me to time-box when I check my social media and only look at certain times of the day. By batching similar tasks like checking notifications together, I spend less time overall on social media.

Not only do I have my notifications for social media turned off, but I also do most of the commenting and responding to messages on my iMac. The screen of my phone is small and it makes the process longer, more stressful and it’s a burden on my eyes.

 

It’s increased my real-world interactions with people

By being less social without the need for social media and online communities, my hunger for connection has not disappeared. If anything, it’s increased.

The only way to get my fix is to attend a social catchup, hang out with workmates, have more meetings with clients and say hi to strangers.

This has improved my confidence, got me out of my comfort-zone and even helped me with my public speaking ability.

 

Final thought

Social media doesn’t have to be a burden but until you learn to control it, it will wreak havoc on your life. Working in social media makes me a big advocate of the upside, but the downside is not so obvious.

I hope, through my own reduction in social media, you’ve got a new perspective – or at least a different view of social media.

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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Success Advice

One Question You Must Answer to Ensure Personal Success

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Image Credit: Twenty20.com

I don’t believe in quick fixes, in get-rich-quick schemes, or any other system that guarantees instant success with only a modicum of effort. But, I do believe it’s possible to condense great strings of logical thought and intellectual algorithms into basics. I like to keep things simple! Many of my clients love the fact that I don’t overly complete things, and frankly, so do I! I like to ask simple questions whose answers can be had quickly but require some focus in obtaining the outcome. (more…)

Biagio Sciacca, known to his friends as Bill, was a lifelong resident of Pittston, PA. He is the owner of Intelligent Motivation, Inc. a global consulting and training firm specializing in management and leadership training as well as psychological assessment for hiring and staff development. He is the author of several books relating to goal setting, and his third book, Provocative Leadership, is publishing soon. Now residing in Tamarindo, Costa Rica, he divides his time between his international coaching and training clients, writing his next book and wandering aimlessly on the beach. Feel free to contact Bill at bill@intelligentmotivationinc.com or schedule a call with him by going to www.intelligentmotivationinc.com and clicking on the “set up a call” tab.

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17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Michael Williams

    Jun 24, 2016 at 5:33 am

    Thank you for the motivational words! It given me the drive to want to do greater things in my life. Completely awesome!

    • Charlene Rhinehart

      Jun 26, 2016 at 6:57 am

      Hi Michael, I’m glad that this post motivated you. Start creating your travel goal list and make it happen. Anything is possible!

  2. Michael

    Jun 24, 2016 at 5:05 am

    Thank you for the motivational words! It really help to drive me more to go out and achieve greater goals.

  3. Gerald

    Jun 21, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    Great post Char,
    I believe in designing your life. It can make such a difference in your entire experience.
    Stepping outside of your comfort zone allows you to change and grow. I’m always looking for the next challenge to change and I know that travel would be a great way to experience growth.
    Appreciate your point of view and sharing your experiences.
    You are a rock star Char!

    • Charlene Rhinehart

      Jun 22, 2016 at 8:46 am

      Great insights, Gerald! It’s important that we take 100% responsibility for our lives and design a life that makes us excited to get out of bed every morning. We must always be willing to go beyond what we already know in order to discover untapped potential. Thanks for sharing your words of wisdom!

  4. SUDARSHAN RAI

    Jun 20, 2016 at 4:37 am

    Thank you Charlene for sharing and wonderful write up . inspiring quotes and very well articulated content. The moment we step out of our comfort zone and open up ourselves to a new world through travel, innovation and by showing interest, we get to learn lot of things.Traveling not only enhances our experience but also establishes a gateway to different cultures, language, ethinic customs which truly makes the concept of global village and small world true.
    Look forward seeing more such articles from your experience and best wishes for your further journey.

    Regards,
    Sudarshan Rai

    • Charlene Rhinehart

      Jun 21, 2016 at 8:58 am

      Thanks for sharing your insights, Sudarshan! Traveling is a great way to gain exposure to different cultures, languages, and ethnic customs that we may not immerse ourselves in if we stay in the comforts of our home. I think it’s awesome that you decided to venture outside of your home country and immerse yourself in the business culture of the U.S.

  5. Toño

    Jun 14, 2016 at 6:57 am

    Thank you so much for this article, Charlene, it was very inspiring read and I must say how law of attraction actually works out. Last few weeks been all tough, raw, learning journey for me which helped me realized some important things. I started to look into travelling more and there you go, your wonderful experience, yours and all of that beautiful people. Some of the quotes are simple amazing and life changing!

    I started my boring Sunday at work with it and my day got muchly better!

    Looking forward for more, appreciate your time!

    • Charlene Rhinehart

      Jun 15, 2016 at 4:27 am

      Hi Toño! Thanks for reading and for sharing your story. The law of attraction works FAST! Now you will start to see more articles like this and everything you see will get you closer to the lifestyle that you want. Sending positive vibes your way as you tap into more of what you want and travel on a journey that will expose you to the best days of your life!

  6. Charlene Rhinehart

    Jun 12, 2016 at 10:08 pm

    Tim, your articles ignited a fire within me to write and travel more! I can’t thank you enough for your insights. The last 6 months have been my most adventurous moments of my life thanks to your inspiration. I want to inspire and open doors of opportunities for others like you have done for me. More travel motivation will be coming soon;)

    • Tim Denning

      Jun 13, 2016 at 2:08 am

      Wow thanks for the kind words Charlene I am glad I was able to inspire you. Best of luck with your travels!

  7. Charlene Rhinehart

    Jun 12, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    Thanks for sharing your insights, Garrick! Embracing the inner child within us who isn’t afraid to dream big and try something new will take us further than we imagined. You are right about incorporating fun into our lives. We only have one life so we might as well enjoy the journey!

  8. Sue Dunlevie

    Jun 12, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    Super post, Charlene! Love hearing all these ideas.

    Thanks,
    Sue

    • Charlene Rhinehart

      Jun 15, 2016 at 4:20 am

      Thanks for reading and sharing Sue! It’s amazing what young leaders around the world can teach us.

  9. Tim Denning

    Jun 11, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    Charlene thank you for this article, this is my kind of topic. Travelling has taught me that the rules of life are the same no matter where you go. While the cultures vary, the problems remain the same. Looking forward to your next post Charlene 🙂

  10. Garrick Bradley II

    Jun 11, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    What I love most about this post are the points unleashing your inner child. I think that will take you so much further in life and you will always have fun. No matter what you do! Always keep that inner child going. Because once you lose it you get old!

  11. Young Wealth Builders

    Jun 11, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    My favorite point of this post is the importance of releasing your inner child. So many people feel as they get older they have to “act their age”. When you unlock your inner child, life is so much fun and exciting. You become more daring and want to try new things. The power of yes can take you anywhere!

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Life

10 Things You Must Do More Often in Order to Build an Enjoyable Life

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how to enjoy life

Most of us constantly look for ways to improve our lives. We want to make more money, be more attractive, and be regarded more highly by our friends and our colleagues. We are on a mission to achieve more, earn more, and learn more. More often than not, we are in a hurry to do all of it.

Unfortunately, this mindset misses the point. Think about it, what do all the things mentioned above have in common?  They’re all about ME. We’re all busy, we’ve all stretched out our limits and we’ve all got too much to do.

In the rush to improve our lives, we end up focusing too much on ourselves, which leads to disappointment and frustration when things don’t go as planned. But there are small actions we can take which help ground us in reality and make us remember what is most important about our lives.

Here are 10 things that you should do more often if you want to build a life that you truly enjoy:

1. Wake up before everyone else

Waking up early may not be your cup of tea, but I would urge even the most stalwart night owl to try this trick at least once over the course of the next few weeks. Set your alarm for an ungodly hour (like 5am) and make a concerted effort to get out of bed when your alarm goes off.

The brain functions differently in the early hours of the morning. Things may seem sharper, and ideas may come to you in different ways. On top of that, there is a subtle motivating factor that comes from the knowledge that you are up being productive while everyone else is still asleep in bed.

2. Spend a day doing anything you want to do

Many of us are shackled to our jobs, or studies and our personal commitments. We have become so overbooked that we rarely have a night off just to sit and relax. Even if we have that time, our minds typically wander to what we have to be doing the next day or later in the week.

Due to the above reason, I urge you to schedule one day a month where you actively schedule a full day of doing nothing but what you want to do. Not something for your business or your side project. Not something for someone else. Be selfish.

3. Reach out to old friends

The power of a network grows stronger based on how strong the connections are between each piece. Reach out to an old friend (or friends) and start the process of catching up and rebuilding relationships that have faded. You never know what opportunities may develop from these connections, so it is always a good idea to maintain these open channels.

“Remember that the most valuable antiques are dear old friends.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

4. Ask someone to do something for you which you could do yourself

You may have the time or skill necessary to do something, but delegating will be invaluable to you as you continue to move through life. The practice of delegating is a subtle art that few of us are comfortable with, but almost all of us would benefit from.

Delegating requires you to plan exactly what you want to happen, and it also requires that you set clear expectations for what you expect from others. You can practice this by hiring someone from Fiverr or Upwork to help you with your job or a random task of some kind.

5. Say thank you to someone that made a difference in your life in the last year

You have no idea what a difference a gesture of this kind can make to someone. Reach out to a stranger, a colleague, a family member, or a long lost friend. Tell them why you appreciate them, and say thank you for what they’ve done for you. You don’t need to tell them it was because I told you so… just go for it. You won’t regret it, and you’ll make their day.

6. Give your opinion about what someone should do in their life or in their work

This is nearly as hard as asking someone to do something for you. As humans, we tend to avoid potential conflicts, and telling someone to change something about their lives has a huge potential for conflict or argument. Still, if you are able to share your opinion in a clear and thought through manner, that person will not only appreciate your advice, they will respect you moving forward.

7. Give a compliment to someone without expecting anything in return

Similar to saying thank you to someone, giving a compliment allows you to strengthen your relationship with others in and outside of your network while helping you build the self confidence to share your opinions openly and without self-judgement. If possible, focus on giving “growth mindset” compliments rather than “fixed mindset” compliments.

Growth mindset compliments are those relating to skills or traits which can be learned and improved upon (i.e. you did such a good job with that presentation), whereas fixed mindset compliments are those which relate to fixed attributes related to physical appearance, intellect, etc (you’re so smart).

“Everybody likes a compliment.” – Abraham Lincoln

8. Make something and share it with the world

Often we are told to create widgets for our employers or to churn out content for individuals that pay us. However, real creativity requires tapping into our inner passions and ideas about how the world works. Being creative in this way is a great way to reconnect with your true nature and ground yourself in the present moment.

9. Go to a free event and see something you’ve not experienced before

Always keep on learning! If you live in or near a big city, chances are there are a ton of free events being advertised online which you can attend. Look for new museum exhibitions, street fairs, musical concerts, talks, etc. and try to attend something new every month. Even networking events can lead to future job prospects or business opportunities.

10. Cook a meal for someone (or a group of people)

Some of the strongest bonds between human beings are formed around food. Since the discovery of fire, humans have been gathering around and feeding one another, sharing memories, advice, opinions and accolades. Even if you’re not a good cook, throw a few pizzas in the oven and invite a few friends over for a drink.

Now I know what you’re thinking right now. I don’t have time to do all that every week, or even every month. Heck, maybe even every year is asking too much. But I assure you, you do have time for these activities. Some of them let you reconnect with yourself at a deeper level, while others require you to connect with the ones around you in an empathetic and emotionally engaged way.

Remember that this life is not just about you, it’s about everyone you come in contact with. Every small action you take will have a butterfly effect which changes the hearts and minds of those you come in contact with.

How are you making sure you’re building the life you truly want to live? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Life

The 4 Agreements You’ll Need to Make With Yourself to Live a Happier Life

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Here’s something we can all agree on: Life is hard. And if this wasn’t enough, caring about other people’s opinion only makes it harder. You have a good job but you’re too scared to run your own business. You have a good relationship with your partner, but you’re too scared to get married. And you live an interesting life but you’re too scared to share it on social media.

In other words, fear is taking over your life. The problem is that changing your perspective isn’t easy. But here’s the big secret…You can unlearn your previous beliefs and adopt new ones that will help set you free from your fears.

It won’t be easy but if you’re hungry for positive change, here are the four agreements based on the book “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz you’ll need to make with yourself:

1. Always Be True To Your Word

Do you know the power of your word? Most people don’t stop to appreciate the power they possess in their word. Your word has the power to kill millions of people or to change someone’s life forever. Think back when Martin Luther King managed to change millions of lives with his “I Have A Dream” speech.

The problem is most people fail to use the power of their word, or worse they use it to unintentionally hurt others. However, the trick is to say only what you truly mean. Don’t speak badly about yourself or others. And speak about truth and love.

Negative feedback can act as poison to other people. Start taking the power of your word seriously by speaking only positive things. Instead of gossiping behind your co-worker’s back, try to say positive things or don’t say anything at all.

“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” – Abraham Lincoln

2. Free Yourself From People’s Ideas

Chances are that other people’s words closely relate to your own perception. So what happens? You believe your friend who calls you ugly when you’re having a bad hair day. You believe your boss who states you’re an incompetent worker when you’re experiencing a bad breakup. And you believe your family when they provide you with many reasons of why you won’t be able to run a successful business.

The list goes on and on. Repeat this for years and it’s no wonder why you take other people’s criticism personally. What you have to understand is that other people’s opinions aren’t about you, it’s a reflection of themselves. For example, if someone tells you that you’ll never launch a successful business it’s screaming what they believe is possible.

You shouldn’t even take your own comments personally. Sometimes your own words cause self-inflicting damage. So what’s the solution? Start by listing your beliefs that make you fearful or unhappy. Then work on your smallest beliefs and begin replacing them with positive beliefs.

3. Stop Making Assumptions About Everything

Be bold and ask questions. The next time someone explains something to you, repeat what they’ve said to confirm if their statement was correct. Rinse and repeat until you’re confident that you understand the other person. Will it be easy? Of course not. There will be times when you’ll be scared to ask questions or people will look annoyed. However, you can’t let fear hold you back.

Here are the two questions to ask yourself when you’re facing tough times: 1. If today was my last day would this problem be significant? 2. How do you want to live? Be curious and become confident in asking questions so you’ll never have to assume anything.

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” – Dalai Lama XIV

4. Consistently Do Your Best

Don’t strive to be perfect, strive to do your best. You’ll regret more the chances we didn’t take vs the times you’ve failed. If you’re always performing at your best you’ll be less likely to feel disappointed. Your best will vary from time to time but as long as you’re always putting your best effort you’ll be at peace.

Why does this work? As humans, we punish ourselves multiple times for a single mistake. That’s because we tend to live in the future or past replaying old mistakes and punishing ourselves further. By always doing our best you eliminate the possibility for regret and self-judgment. Don’t forget to do your best with the little things as well.

Here’s what I mean: The moment you wake put your best effort to make your bed. When you’re feeling off, put your best effort going to go to the gym to lift weights. Stop waiting for those rare days when you wake up feeling amazing. Get up each morning with the intent to do your best at everything you do!

Start Living A Happy Life

Picture this, it’s 5 am and you’re starting your morning ritual. At the end of your ritual, you’re ready to have an amazing day despite it being Monday. But that’s not all. You’ve found the courage to leave your job to go all in with your business. You’ve found the courage to get married and take your relationship to the next level. You’ve even found the courage to share silly pictures of yourself on social media.

Life is good. Most people wish for these types of day, but not you. Ever since you’ve adopted these 4 agreements your life has transformed for the better. You’re no longer a victim to what happens in your life.

Amazing isn’t it? This can be your reality if you begin adopting these 4 agreements into your life today. You’ve only got one life to live, are you going to let fear hold you back from being happy?

What have you discovered about yourself? Comment below!

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Life

5 Actionable Tips to Master Your Mental Illness and Be Successful

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With May being Mental Illness Awareness Month, it’s imperative to know what actions we can take to develop more successful emotions. Emotional pain is one of the worst things that can happen to an individual. After attempting suicide twice and checking myself into countless mental health clinics, I was able to finally to become the master of my world. Reaching rock bottom twice, I’ve learned how to become successful in both my personal and professional life.  With a little bit of effort, this is something you can do too.

Even if you’re not battling a mental illness, these techniques can work wonders for improving every part of life:

1. Reading For Personal Growth

With so much negative material in this world of the internet, one must take the time to purposefully install positive material that’ll help you grow. Just by being on Addicted2Success, you’re on the right path.

Reading also is another way to exercise your mind. By exercising the mind and inserting positive information into it on a consistent basis, it’s inevitable that your thoughts, actions, and results will begin to change. What I did, and still do, is read books from the genres of Self-Help, Self-Improvement, Personal Development, and Psychology.

2. Writing To Vent

Even after speaking to therapists and psychologists, what I have found to work wonders is to simply write. What’s great about this is you can get everything off of your chest and then destroy the evidence by shredding it once you’re done. By bottling everything up inside, it begins to eat away at us, stacks up with other negative emotions, and then comes back with a vengeance.

Start a daily journal to vent about everything that’s bothering you and then shred it if you choose. I personally shred everything all at once rather than one day at a time.

“The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.” – Gustave Flaubert

3. Changing Environments

Jim Rohn said, “You’re the average of the five people you hang out with most.” This is true for success, finances, health, mentality, and all other areas of life. If you want to become successful, if you want to pull yourself out of an emotional slump, change the stimuli you’re currently in. This can include your friends, work, tv shows, news, movies, music, social media, unorganized office/home, and more.

If you feel like something is dragging you down, it is. Do what successful people do and change it! I personally went for months without a friend because they were the biggest source of negativity in my life…and I’d do it again!

4. Controlling Your Thoughts

This is easier said than done, but it’s extremely possible. On average, we have about 60,000 thoughts running through our minds every day, more than half of those are negative.

One thing you can try is to make a tally mark every time you notice a negative thought. Doing this will help you become more aware of this and you’ll notice over time, those tally marks will slowly dwindle. The key here is to have a predetermined affirmation or mantra to replace that negative thought with. I personally have a go-to affirmation which I repeat over-and-over again while forcing the biggest smile I can muster at the time.

“I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.” – Mark Twain

5. Taking Action On Ideas

Ideas are a dime-a-dozen because too many are stillborn, most never take action on any idea they have. By taking action in any capacity on an idea that you come up with, it’ll help boost self-esteem and confidence. It also sends a signal to your subconscious mind that you’re becoming a different person who has a purpose in life. Start small at first, then go as big as your imagination can dream. I use to ignore my ideas because everyone told me how stupid I was, yet now I receive praise for being a innovative visionary with determination.

It took me nearly ten years without medication or therapy to completely reverse my life for the better. Now that I am where I am, I still practice all of this and more! You can be successful in whatever it is that you desire, but it all starts in the mind and your actions.

If you or anyone you know is battling any type of mental illness, know that it is only temporary if you choose for it to be. Take the advice Bob Proctor told me and implement it immediately: “The mind is the most powerful force in all of creation, hold the image of what you want, and surprise the whole world.”

What tricks do you have for controlling your mind and making sure your brain helps you achieve success throughout your day? Let us know in the comments below!

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Life

Why I Drastically Reduced My Social Media Consumption (And I Work in Social Media!)

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Recently, I’ve been experimenting with the way I consume, create and connect using social media.

What started out as a tool that was supposed to bring us together has turned into something we didn’t expect. Now, I’m the biggest advocate of all when it comes to social media. So much so, that I’ve dedicated most of my career to it.

This post is not designed to get you to delete social media and go and live off-grid, away from the Internet, on a farm, with no car and no connection to the community around you.

The point is to get you to rethink your social media usage.

These are the 4 burdens of social media:

 

Responding to comments

One of my coaching clients said to me the other day “How do you find time to respond to all of the comments you get online?”

I told him “I don’t.”

This is a new thing for me. If I go back six months, I was responding to every comment I got. It’s no secret that by responding to comments on social media in real-time, you get more engagement on your posts.

So yes, commenting is good if you are building an audience and want more people to see your work, but on the downside, you become a slave to comments.

The other challenge with comments is that you will get trolls and people that say nasty stuff. No matter how hard you try, some of them will affect your mindset, motivation or even your mood.

This is why I have drastically reduced the comments I respond to. I still engage and support people that like my work, I just do it less.

This leaves me more time to create, which ultimately provides more value than a reply to a comment.

 

Liking people’s posts

Social media also brings on the expectation that you’re supposed to like people’s posts who supported you, are your family or maybe even your work colleagues or friends.

I always like to support other people’s work, but I disagree with people expecting me to. Some posts just don’t resonate with me and that’s why I don’t reshare them even if they are my friends, colleagues or even super fans of my work.

 

Responding to direct messages

“Instant messaging has been the bane of my existence. It’s like a meeting that never ends”

Now everyone can reach me. This might seem like it makes us more connected but I don’t feel it does. Instead, it takes up huge amounts of time to respond to direct messages. A lot of the ones I get have ‘asks’ attached to them.

There’s nothing wrong with an ‘ask’ through social media but if you don’t know someone at all, it gets annoying quickly.

 

Having to check notifications

When I see 150 new notifications on LinkedIn (or any social network) as much as I hate to admit it, it feels good. I end up checking my notifications in meetings, while out for dinner with my significant other and even in the car (dangerous).

“Most of what these notifications are telling me are unimportant but my dopamine addicted brain can’t resist. The need for validation that I am growing or becoming somebody is too great”

<<<>>>>>

It’s for these four reasons that I recently severely limited by social media usage.

This may seem like the action of a crazy person given that I work in social media. I promise you it’s not. I can still have a career in social media or as a blogger without checking apps 100 times a day.

My time is now focused on something far more important:

Maximizing my time creating content that serves my purpose instead of consuming which is what the social media platforms want me to do (I never did like following rules).

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Here are the benefits I got by drastically reducing my social media usage:

 

Less stress

The recent test I took to measure my cortisol levels shows that I’m currently at 800 on the cortisol scale and the normal range is between 0-400.

I’ve been looking for any way I can to reduce stress. My experimentation with reducing social media has helped significantly.

“I find myself living in flight mode more often and enjoying right now”

One of the biggest flaws with the 24/7 social media model is the increase in stress if nothing else. The need for instant validation is making our stress levels soar. It’s time to fight back!

 

It’s made me more creative

I’m now being inspired more by things I witness in real life as opposed to the sometimes made-up, perfect world of social media. Creativity fuels our passions and even our businesses.

It takes empty space and free time to be creative. Social media was sucking up all my spare time after work and on the weekend. By consuming less, I had blocks of spare time to create.

That also gave me time to be inspired by books that fuel my imagination like Harry Potter (strangely enough).

 

I feel freer

Being tied to my phone and glued to social media is like having chains around my arms.

“It’s been nice to be free of advice, funny videos, opinions, politics and everything else that is like a fire hose in your face”

 

More present

Meditation has been something I’ve sucked at for a long time. I find it hard to be present and observe the now. Part of the reason, I’ve discovered, is that I was thinking about what was happening on social media.

Having time away from social media has made being present easier for me. I’m thinking less about how many views I got on LinkedIn today and more about the meaning of life and the people I care about.

It’s not perfect though. I still spend time on social media (obviously) and so I have to balance the benefits, with the negatives like being less present.

 

Fewer distractions

All the way back to high school, my teachers told me “Tim, you’re easily distracted.”

Even on my report cards, it says it. My teachers put it down to my appreciation of the opposite sex (this is what they said!) but I disagree. I put it down to my need for human interaction which is what has made me love selling in the business world.

None the less, I am easily distracted -  that’s a fact. Social media has forced me to check my notifications consistently. Since reducing my social media consumption, I’ve put into action a new strategy.

What I do now is turn off all notifications on my phone, computer, iPad and laptop. I only have SMS and phone call notifications turned on.

This setup allows me to time-box when I check my social media and only look at certain times of the day. By batching similar tasks like checking notifications together, I spend less time overall on social media.

Not only do I have my notifications for social media turned off, but I also do most of the commenting and responding to messages on my iMac. The screen of my phone is small and it makes the process longer, more stressful and it’s a burden on my eyes.

 

It’s increased my real-world interactions with people

By being less social without the need for social media and online communities, my hunger for connection has not disappeared. If anything, it’s increased.

The only way to get my fix is to attend a social catchup, hang out with workmates, have more meetings with clients and say hi to strangers.

This has improved my confidence, got me out of my comfort-zone and even helped me with my public speaking ability.

 

Final thought

Social media doesn’t have to be a burden but until you learn to control it, it will wreak havoc on your life. Working in social media makes me a big advocate of the upside, but the downside is not so obvious.

I hope, through my own reduction in social media, you’ve got a new perspective – or at least a different view of social media.

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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