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4 Steps To Live Your Life Fearlessly Beyond Approval

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Fearless!

Each one of us was born with something unique and powerful to contribute to the world. And it’s living this deepest essence of our self that leads us to the outrageous levels of spiritual and material success so many seek. This electric sense of purpose is something we can all access and live out in the world.

But sometimes it feels as if the cards are stacked against us. Whether you become anxious the closer you reach these little nuggets of success, or hesitant to cultivate and manifest your dreams into reality, the fear and desire of approval can be a stifling force on your creative existence.

It’s not only liberating but also euphoric to live life without the stresses of wondering what other people think. A life where you are free to act, do, experiment, and execute in just the way that is unique to you, is a life that is not only worth living, but worth crushing all self-doubt for.

Here are the 4 steps to live your life beyond the need for approval:

1. Collapse All Hierarchies

It’s a default reflex. We constantly create hierarchies. Put some people above us and others below us, out of fear and self-preservation. These hierarchies are not real, they exist only in our minds. Yet most people never question them and subordinate their existence, their sense of self and level of freedom to those they place above themselves.

And this not only gives other people’s opinion power over you, it makes you diminish yourself in order not to upset anyone who has that power.

Become aware of the unconscious hierarchies you create and collapse them in your mind. This will free you from the fear and desire of approval by stripping those you’ve unwittingly given that power over you and claim back for yourself.

“So rather than be frustrated with what you can’t control, try to fix the things you can.” – Kevin Garnett

2. Collapse Your Equations

Most of our reality is a reality created by language. And language has a binary structure. This leads to usual black and white thinking. The biggest fear we have is not the lack of success, but the opposite of it.

As you go through life, you are in a constant negotiation with your objects of desires and your objects of avoidance. Because of the distortions in our thinking, we mistakenly believe that that our objects of avoidance and our objects of desire are mutually exclusive.

Put differently, sometimes we are so attached to success and afraid of failure that we put more energy into preventing failure than pursuing success. When you realize that your equations are just assumptions, you break out of the box and learn to act with a wider scope of effortlessness and possibilities.

3. Forget Yourself

Most people in the personal development world like to speak of our limiting beliefs and presumed obstacles. But we tend to forget the biggest obstacle of all. The idea we have of ourselves.

The more rigid our self-concept the more restricted our world. Things can only affect you if you cannot suspend your idea of yourself and adapt it to the situation. When your identity is rigid it becomes brittle, when it is flexible it is fluid, and things that used to unsettle you cease to do so. Why? Because if you have no fixed idea of yourself, nothing can break you.

Challenges just become a learning experience. Everything turns into feedback to integrate. And this flexibility dissolves the anxieties that you may not be good enough, because you are on the fast lane to growth.

“We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.” – May Sarton

4. Focus On Your Values, Embody Your Vision

When we are disconnected from our deepest values we are easily swayed to follow the hive mind. Your existential value is what you would readily sacrifice and give up anything for. Knowing this value, and remembering it in any moment gives you tremendous power.

And if you have a vision that resonates with it, the daily discomforts will barely register on your radar. Because when you play the biggest game possible by knowing exactly what you want on the highest level, the desire for approval disappears completely.

You become what you focus on. And focusing on your deepest values and vision, eventually turns you and your life into them. The freedom you will experience from the powerful clarity of not only knowing exactly what you want, but embodying it, leads to a profound sense of purposeful freedom.

This is the freedom from fear; the ability to be beyond approval that lends an effortlessness to all your actions to make your unique impact on the world.

How have you been able to get past the approval of others on your journey? Please leave your thoughts below!

Art Von Sy is an expert on effortless peak performance. He is a disruptive innovator in the mind sciences as the creator of Vast. He shows people how to bypass their minds to directly access flow states, creative clarity, and effortless confidence. Find out more here. You can also sign up for his free email course to increase your level of focus and flow here.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Brie

    May 11, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    This article has definitely given me some topics for reflection. I appreciate it. My conquest for approval has hampered me so many times throughout the years that I have got to break through.

  2. Boldwinner

    Nov 25, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    This is a great post Von. One of the best things I read today. Everyone should at least try to apply these four things.

  3. Ewen Munro

    Nov 25, 2016 at 4:44 am

    Really loved this, especially the line “you become what you focus on”, since “we are what we think about and ultimately believe” and really to succeed in anything we just have to change what we “believe”, or in the way the article has been expressed, change what we “focus on”. Great job! 😉

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Life

3 Ingredients to Create the Life of Your Dreams

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Let’s bake a cake! This recipe calls for three simple ingredients: one cup of Courage, two tablespoons of Initiative, and three teaspoons of Will. You can put the money, education, and physical attractiveness back in the refrigerator. They can help improve the taste or quality, but they are not required to bake this cake. The cake is a metaphor for the life of your dreams. If you want to create massive achievement in your life, you will need to obtain courage, initiative, and will.

The main ingredients of courage, initiative, and will are fundamental to long term-achievement. You need the courage to start. The initiative is necessary to think outside the box. Will is required to continue when it gets tough.

Whether we are talking about achieving long-term happiness via a personal relationship or individual experiences, the ingredients mentioned above can significantly increase your chances of obtaining the life of your dreams. You aren’t born with courage, initiative, or will. In fact, you are born with fear, reluctance, and other mechanisms designed to keep you safe. However, with an intentional mindset guided by positive optimism, these characteristics can be grown and cultivated in a garden of possibilities for your life!  

How can you acquire courage, initiative, and will? Check out my 3 tips below:

1. Travel or better yet move out of the country

Yes, I will give you a moment to reread the line above. My first recommendation is for you to travel or ideally move out of the country! Travel and undeniably relocating outside of the country you were born in, requires courage. You must be brave to face the unknown, and there is no better way to do this other than to get out of your comfortable home environment and see the world. The experiences with traveling or moving will automatically build the courage within you to reach toward the achievements that you desire in life.  

“Dare to live the life you’ve always wanted.”

2. Learn a new language

Ideally, with the recommendation from number one, you will choose a location where a language other than your native tongue is spoken. With language acquisition, the learner must develop a spirit of initiative to do something that is not required. You can live your entire life and only communicate in one language, or you can expand your horizon and do something different. To become fluent in a new language will not be easy; the life of your dreams is worth the fight. The process of learning a language will attract the necessary skill set that accompanies initiative and ties in within my final recommendation.

3. Fail as often as possible

In traveling and undeniably with learning a new language, you will make mistakes. If you are not failing in the process of adjusting to a different culture, which will occur in traveling and language acquisition, you are doing something wrong! You must fail to adapt and ideally this will happen as frequent as possible. This does not mean that you look to fail. It does mean that you understand failure as an opportunity to learn. Failure builds your ability to develop the power of will. Possessing will can enable you to learn from your mistakes, improve, and keep pushing toward the achievements that can create the life of your dreams.  

“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching.” – Gerard Way

If you put courage, initiative, and will into the oven responsible for making your dreams become a reality, you will be successful. It will not be easy. Occasionally you will become frustrated and want to open the door and see what’s taking so long for the cake or the life you desire. However, just stay the course and allow courage, initiative, and will to blend and bring into fruition the life of your dreams.

What other ingredients would you add?  Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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5 Skills You and Your Partner Need to Master to Become an Unstoppable Power Couple

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Power Couples: Those two words have to be the sexiest two words in the business world when placed together. What’s even sexier is when OTHERS label you and your significant other as a power couple.

I pride myself on being able to call my girlfriend and I a power couple. We are always on the same wavelength when it comes to goals, ambitions, and our vision. While we weren’t always such a strong couple, what it took to get to that point was a long journey of daily commitment and consistency.

In this article, I am going to share with you what has worked for our relationship over the past 6 years. While most of us feel we can run our business on our own, there are many that wish their significant other were just as involved and passionate about entrepreneurship as we are.

Stay focused on these five power couple truths and watch your relationship and businesses thrive:

1. Shared Vision & Goals

A couple should share a similar vision. Two people with a shared vision is so powerful because both people can always hold each other accountable for their goals in order to achieve that shared vision. If one person cannot buy into the other person’s vision, there won’t be the full support of the actions steps and the process it takes to achieve those goals. I personally love the fact that my girlfriend and I share a similar vision.

“The more people you help become successful the more successful you become.” – Steve Harvey

2. Effective Communication

Business or not, people need to be able to communicate effectively, which was extremely difficult to me when I first got into business. I mean, come on; up until I was 28 years old, I never even knew what “networking” was. However, over time within the business community I learned that communication in relationships is just as paramount as in business. Through solid and effective communication we have been able to understand each other’s struggles more, which has led us to daily masterminding sessions and a growth in our shared vision, mindset, and businesses.

3. Personal Development

Personal development is crucial in business and as a power couple. Being able to grow together professionally and intellectually is such an awarding feeling in my relationship. If you are both learning and growing together, imagine how strong your two minds are together. It’s a proven fact amongst entrepreneurs that focusing on personal growth builds confidence and a strong mindset. Multiply that strong mindset by two and you have one hell of a  power couple, ready to take over the world.

4. Quality Time

If you’re in an entrepreneurial relationship, chances are you have had challenges at times when it comes to quality time with your significant other. Hey, I understand. We all have a “Love for the Hustle,” and so does my significant other. She comes from an entrepreneur household and can hustle with the best of us. So the key to making sure we have our quality time is all based on time management. Remember folks, priorities first.

Although you may be supportive and you are okay with less quality time or cancelled dates, always stick to your values to each other and what’s most important to you both and your shared vision and goals. A power couple is only a power couple because of how strong and committed the two are to their relationship just as much as their business.

They know when to turn off the phone and make time for each other genuinely. Remember, with that also includes effective communication to get schedules aligned.

“The quality of your life is the quality of your relationships.” – Tony Robbins

5. Endless Support & Encouragement

A true power couple cannot stress how much support and understanding there has to be in their relationship. When you’re on the grind and you hit those roadblocks, not too many people are in your corner. As for me though, when I hit those rough chapters in business, other than my mastermind group, I know there is always one person I can count on to always have my back and bring me back into high spirits and push me further than the day before.

Bottom line, a power couple is a couple that are truly confident in their relationship and in business. Two people in a relationship with a shared goal, vision, and mindset are more powerful than business partners. You both know more about each other than you would even care to know about your business partner and accept each other through all the flaws and mistakes.

There is an unspoken commitment that goes beyond business or friendships. In my experience, being with someone who has just as much hustle as me has been a blessing. There aren’t questions about what time I will be home or who I am meeting. We know we are committed to one another and also hustling for a shared vision or our future.

What are some relationship goals every power couple should have?  Comment below!

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4 Research-Backed Ways to Improve Your Productivity Today

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We are always looking for how we can fit more into our days and weeks, eager to try the newest productivity tip that comes our way, just like the newest fad diet. The pomodoro technique? Check. Waking up at 4am like Apple CEO Tim Cook? Tried it. The ‘throw out your to-do list’ productivity tip? Tried that one, too.

And yet we’re still looking for the productivity hack, that magic pill promising to will us into action toward the goal of checking everything off our to-do list by the day’s end.

But, here’s the thing. Before you can even think about trying the latest tips and tricks on the productivity front, you have to change your thinking about productivity. In other words, you have to start thinking of managing your energy first – not time itself.

The forces that provide energy – namely, your body and your mind, need to be the starting points. It’s the number one most overlooked productivity tip out there.

The Links Between Energy and Productivity

The links between productivity, sleep, healthy food, exercise and mental health are well-documented and yet they are among the most overlooked productivity boosters out there.  The link between sleep and productivity is well-known, but it can be difficult to stop burning the midnight oil, even though it’s so counterintuitive.

One study found that insomniacs and those with insufficient sleep syndrome (those who fail to get enough sleep at night and are sleep deprived) had significantly worse productivity levels and overall performance compared to those who got more sleep.

And then there’s all of the studies linking certain foods and energy levels. According to the World Health Organization, healthy eating can increase your productivity levels by 20 percent. Although drive-thrus were designed to be efficient, they are backfiring when it comes to productivity.

And, of course, the dreaded topic of exercise. This study compared 200 employees on the days they exercised and the days they didn’t. The results were impressive. 72% reported improvements in time management, while 74% reported better workload management. The scores were also 41% higher on feeling motivated to work, 22% higher for finishing work on time and 21% higher in concentration.

There’s also mental energy that comes into play when it comes to productivity, with studies showing that people only have a limited amount of energy to spend during the day. Once that’s depleted, productivity decreases.

“Manage your energy, not your time.” – Paul Dickey

How to Manage Your Energy Levels

When it comes to getting more sleep, eating healthier and getting more exercise in, you’re likely familiar with the old classics: avoid digital screens an hour or two before going to bed, swap out white carbs for brown carbs, nix the sugar and so on.

Keep in mind many of these elements are interconnected. So, carving out a little bit of time for exercise can help you sleep better at night.

But here is what some of the latest research on the topic has to say.

1. Sleep

Do you have trouble falling asleep once your head hits the pillow? A cognitive scientist has offered a new, drug-free sleep hack called cognitive shuffling that promises to make you fall asleep in mere seconds. The idea is that it lulls you into that foggy state that comes before actual sleep where things stop making sense.

This is how it works: Instead of counting sheep, choose a random word like ‘Productivity.’ Next, come up with new words based on each letter and imagine those words vividly.  By focusing on random words and images, it lulls the brain into that foggy state.

Are you getting enough sunlight exposure in the morning? Sunlight has been linked with better sleep. This helps regulate circadian rhythms. Try taking the dog out for a brisk walk around the block in the morning or drinking your morning cup of coffee on the patio.

2. Diet

The best diet for energy? According to a new study published by American Academy of Neurology, the answer lies in the Mediterranean diet – a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, beans, cereal grains and olive oil and fewer animal products like dairy and fish.

The study, while using a population of older adults, found that they retained more brain volume over three years than those who did not follow the diet as closely. If you can swap out processed foods throughout your work week, your brain will thank you with more brain power throughout the day.

3. Exercise

When we want to get more accomplished in the day, it seems counterintuitive to try to fit in exercise. Nonetheless, new research on the topic is showing you don’t need to spend hours on the treadmill or at the gym in order to unleash the brain-boosting benefits of exercise.

The best kind of exercise for people that don’t have a lot of time? Short bouts of intense exercise. A new study has found that even one minute of exercise – one minute! – has similar health effects to longer endurance training.

If you’re resistant to exercise, a more gentle form of exercise like Hatha yoga has been found to improve brain function and energy levels. The same was true for mindfulness meditation. The study found that all you needed was 25 minutes.

Using your lunch break to do a little bit of mindfulness meditation can help see you through that classic afternoon slump and reach for the coffee pot.

“Exercise should be regarded as tribute to the heart.” – Gene Tunney

4. Mental Health

When it comes to mental energy, it is important to prioritize mental health. A surprising way to boost energy is watching cat videos. One study has found that watching cat videos at your desk improves energy and boosts positive emotions.

The benefits of green space on mental health, including the ability to reduce stress, have been well documented. Whether you add a couple of plants to your desk at work or you walk over to the park on your lunch break, you will leave feeling calmer and ready to take on the rest of your day.

The Takeaway

Before you read the latest and greatest productivity hack, or before you question why you’re not accomplishing enough, ensure that you are managing your physical and mental energy first. This is the number one most overlooked productivity tip out there.

How are you managing your energy throughout the day? Let us know anything you do which you believe can be beneficial to all of us.

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15 Secrets to Creating the Best Version of Yourself

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You have reached the point in your life where you want to change many things and become a better version of yourself. You are not completely satisfied with how things are going at this particular moment and you know that you can be much better. What can be done to make sure that you are becoming the better version of yourself?

Here are 15 ways to create an improved version of you:

1. Ready to start

When you decide to make changes in any sphere of your life, starting usually is one of the most difficult stages. However, to begin doing something means that the job is half done, no matter how difficult the task may be.

2. Be prepared for hard work

Yes, changing your outlook and habits that were forming for many years will not be easy. But if we do want to improve ourselves, we need to realize that a significant amount of effort will be required for a successful outcome.

3. Don’t get overwhelmed

It is great to make a decision to work on yourself and improve your life. However, the idea of doing so might be quite daunting and even seem impossible. The secret is to move in small steps in a determined direction. Along the way, you will get more experience, so you will move faster and more confidently.

4. No fear of failure

The realization that you have made a mistake sometimes is hard to accept and can be devastating. However, you must understand that a mistake is actually a good thing, as it gives you a great opportunity to shine next time, as you already know how to do it right.

5. Give up your pride

If someone is telling you that you’ve done something wrong, it might be difficult to accept those negative comments. Obviously, you want to be viewed as invincible and someone who never makes mistakes. Nonetheless, refusing to accept criticism very often means losing a chance to improve your work.

6. Get rid of unhealthy perfectionism

Striving for excellence in everything is great, but it may become an obstacle. The obsession of being the best in everything is meaningless, as we are all imperfect and sometimes good is more than enough in reaching your goal.

“I made decisions that I regret, and I took them as learning experiences… I’m human, not perfect, like anybody else.” – Queen Latifah

7. Leave the job you hate

The idea of leaving a job for many might sound insane, as a refusal from a stable income seems like an unreasonable thing to do. In fact, what is unreasonable is to stick with the job you hate because of money, as time is actually the most precious currency.

8. Get rid of the toxic environment

Your decision to change yourself for the better will inevitably lead to conflicts with people from your surroundings. There might be many of those who are unhappy with you changing. They will try to drag you down to the previous state of things, so you might need to cease contact with such toxic people.

9. Take time to deal with addictions

If you want to become a better version of yourself, addiction is something that will be one of the biggest obstacles in your way. It deprives you of energy and completely changes the focus of your life. You must deal with it if you are determined to see a better you.

10. Move away from your comfort zone

The feeling of stability and security is great, but moving away from your comfort zone can bring you an immense satisfaction, as you will be able to see yourself from the unknown side. It is obviously frightening and uncomfortable, but you might unleash many amazing traits you never expected to be within you.

11. Start exercising

Yes, we all have heard it for a million times, but exercising is so important that it must be in the list of actions that can make you a better version of yourself. Regular physical activity is one of the factors that changes your mindset and makes your body healthier.

12. Do not wait for the perfect moment

Waiting for the stars to be perfectly aligned is a destructive habit. Time is finite and too precious to waste. There is a chance when you think it is the right moment that it might be too late. Do not hesitate for too long. Act.

13. Take responsibility

We might blame our surroundings and circumstances for what happens in our life. Sometimes we might be inclined to feel that someone can come and make us happy. However, it is important to realize that it is all up to us. We are in charge of our destiny and our happiness depends only on ourselves.

“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” – Abraham Lincoln

14. Ditch the habit of trying to be in control all the time

If you have the habit as trying to control everything and everyone, you will need to get rid of it. Life is too unpredictable, so trying to be in charge of everything is meaningless and will only get in the way of your personal development.

15. Learn to be positive

Staying upbeat is by far one of the most precious habits you could ever have. Hard times might be inevitable, but the greatest solutions to a problem usually arise when you are looking at a it with a smile.

It is scary to let go of your previous habits and routines which you have become used to over the years. However, if you made a firm decision to change yourself for the better and turn your life around, nothing will stop you. We hope that with the listed ways of improving yourself you will be able to reach your goal and become the best you can be.

Which one of the 15 secrets above will you now implement everyday? Let us know in the comments below!

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37 Joe Rogan Quotes That Will Motivate You to Greatness

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Joe Rogan is a stand-up comedian, a figure in the MMA space, and former host of Fear Factor.  But Rogan is more recognized his famous podcast The Joe Rogan Experience which is at the top of many iTunes charts.  Each week, Joe Rogan sits down with a public figure to have a raw conversation to discuss their story, passions, and life in general.  These people range from actors & scientists, to controversial figures in the news.  Rogan is well known for dropping knowledge bombs in his show and is respected & looked up to by people in a variety of spaces as a motivational & inspirational figure. (more…)

Joe Kleckner has a passion for all things motivation & self-development.  From blogs such as Addicted2Success, to the videos of Eric Thomas and Elliott Hulse, to the lectures of legends such as Tony Robbins.  This passion has landed him an internship with Addicted2Success. Follow him on Twitter & Snapchat as he journeys towards greatness, one day at a time.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Brie

    May 11, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    This article has definitely given me some topics for reflection. I appreciate it. My conquest for approval has hampered me so many times throughout the years that I have got to break through.

  2. Boldwinner

    Nov 25, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    This is a great post Von. One of the best things I read today. Everyone should at least try to apply these four things.

  3. Ewen Munro

    Nov 25, 2016 at 4:44 am

    Really loved this, especially the line “you become what you focus on”, since “we are what we think about and ultimately believe” and really to succeed in anything we just have to change what we “believe”, or in the way the article has been expressed, change what we “focus on”. Great job! 😉

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Life

3 Ingredients to Create the Life of Your Dreams

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Let’s bake a cake! This recipe calls for three simple ingredients: one cup of Courage, two tablespoons of Initiative, and three teaspoons of Will. You can put the money, education, and physical attractiveness back in the refrigerator. They can help improve the taste or quality, but they are not required to bake this cake. The cake is a metaphor for the life of your dreams. If you want to create massive achievement in your life, you will need to obtain courage, initiative, and will.

The main ingredients of courage, initiative, and will are fundamental to long term-achievement. You need the courage to start. The initiative is necessary to think outside the box. Will is required to continue when it gets tough.

Whether we are talking about achieving long-term happiness via a personal relationship or individual experiences, the ingredients mentioned above can significantly increase your chances of obtaining the life of your dreams. You aren’t born with courage, initiative, or will. In fact, you are born with fear, reluctance, and other mechanisms designed to keep you safe. However, with an intentional mindset guided by positive optimism, these characteristics can be grown and cultivated in a garden of possibilities for your life!  

How can you acquire courage, initiative, and will? Check out my 3 tips below:

1. Travel or better yet move out of the country

Yes, I will give you a moment to reread the line above. My first recommendation is for you to travel or ideally move out of the country! Travel and undeniably relocating outside of the country you were born in, requires courage. You must be brave to face the unknown, and there is no better way to do this other than to get out of your comfortable home environment and see the world. The experiences with traveling or moving will automatically build the courage within you to reach toward the achievements that you desire in life.  

“Dare to live the life you’ve always wanted.”

2. Learn a new language

Ideally, with the recommendation from number one, you will choose a location where a language other than your native tongue is spoken. With language acquisition, the learner must develop a spirit of initiative to do something that is not required. You can live your entire life and only communicate in one language, or you can expand your horizon and do something different. To become fluent in a new language will not be easy; the life of your dreams is worth the fight. The process of learning a language will attract the necessary skill set that accompanies initiative and ties in within my final recommendation.

3. Fail as often as possible

In traveling and undeniably with learning a new language, you will make mistakes. If you are not failing in the process of adjusting to a different culture, which will occur in traveling and language acquisition, you are doing something wrong! You must fail to adapt and ideally this will happen as frequent as possible. This does not mean that you look to fail. It does mean that you understand failure as an opportunity to learn. Failure builds your ability to develop the power of will. Possessing will can enable you to learn from your mistakes, improve, and keep pushing toward the achievements that can create the life of your dreams.  

“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching.” – Gerard Way

If you put courage, initiative, and will into the oven responsible for making your dreams become a reality, you will be successful. It will not be easy. Occasionally you will become frustrated and want to open the door and see what’s taking so long for the cake or the life you desire. However, just stay the course and allow courage, initiative, and will to blend and bring into fruition the life of your dreams.

What other ingredients would you add?  Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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5 Skills You and Your Partner Need to Master to Become an Unstoppable Power Couple

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Power Couples: Those two words have to be the sexiest two words in the business world when placed together. What’s even sexier is when OTHERS label you and your significant other as a power couple.

I pride myself on being able to call my girlfriend and I a power couple. We are always on the same wavelength when it comes to goals, ambitions, and our vision. While we weren’t always such a strong couple, what it took to get to that point was a long journey of daily commitment and consistency.

In this article, I am going to share with you what has worked for our relationship over the past 6 years. While most of us feel we can run our business on our own, there are many that wish their significant other were just as involved and passionate about entrepreneurship as we are.

Stay focused on these five power couple truths and watch your relationship and businesses thrive:

1. Shared Vision & Goals

A couple should share a similar vision. Two people with a shared vision is so powerful because both people can always hold each other accountable for their goals in order to achieve that shared vision. If one person cannot buy into the other person’s vision, there won’t be the full support of the actions steps and the process it takes to achieve those goals. I personally love the fact that my girlfriend and I share a similar vision.

“The more people you help become successful the more successful you become.” – Steve Harvey

2. Effective Communication

Business or not, people need to be able to communicate effectively, which was extremely difficult to me when I first got into business. I mean, come on; up until I was 28 years old, I never even knew what “networking” was. However, over time within the business community I learned that communication in relationships is just as paramount as in business. Through solid and effective communication we have been able to understand each other’s struggles more, which has led us to daily masterminding sessions and a growth in our shared vision, mindset, and businesses.

3. Personal Development

Personal development is crucial in business and as a power couple. Being able to grow together professionally and intellectually is such an awarding feeling in my relationship. If you are both learning and growing together, imagine how strong your two minds are together. It’s a proven fact amongst entrepreneurs that focusing on personal growth builds confidence and a strong mindset. Multiply that strong mindset by two and you have one hell of a  power couple, ready to take over the world.

4. Quality Time

If you’re in an entrepreneurial relationship, chances are you have had challenges at times when it comes to quality time with your significant other. Hey, I understand. We all have a “Love for the Hustle,” and so does my significant other. She comes from an entrepreneur household and can hustle with the best of us. So the key to making sure we have our quality time is all based on time management. Remember folks, priorities first.

Although you may be supportive and you are okay with less quality time or cancelled dates, always stick to your values to each other and what’s most important to you both and your shared vision and goals. A power couple is only a power couple because of how strong and committed the two are to their relationship just as much as their business.

They know when to turn off the phone and make time for each other genuinely. Remember, with that also includes effective communication to get schedules aligned.

“The quality of your life is the quality of your relationships.” – Tony Robbins

5. Endless Support & Encouragement

A true power couple cannot stress how much support and understanding there has to be in their relationship. When you’re on the grind and you hit those roadblocks, not too many people are in your corner. As for me though, when I hit those rough chapters in business, other than my mastermind group, I know there is always one person I can count on to always have my back and bring me back into high spirits and push me further than the day before.

Bottom line, a power couple is a couple that are truly confident in their relationship and in business. Two people in a relationship with a shared goal, vision, and mindset are more powerful than business partners. You both know more about each other than you would even care to know about your business partner and accept each other through all the flaws and mistakes.

There is an unspoken commitment that goes beyond business or friendships. In my experience, being with someone who has just as much hustle as me has been a blessing. There aren’t questions about what time I will be home or who I am meeting. We know we are committed to one another and also hustling for a shared vision or our future.

What are some relationship goals every power couple should have?  Comment below!

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4 Research-Backed Ways to Improve Your Productivity Today

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We are always looking for how we can fit more into our days and weeks, eager to try the newest productivity tip that comes our way, just like the newest fad diet. The pomodoro technique? Check. Waking up at 4am like Apple CEO Tim Cook? Tried it. The ‘throw out your to-do list’ productivity tip? Tried that one, too.

And yet we’re still looking for the productivity hack, that magic pill promising to will us into action toward the goal of checking everything off our to-do list by the day’s end.

But, here’s the thing. Before you can even think about trying the latest tips and tricks on the productivity front, you have to change your thinking about productivity. In other words, you have to start thinking of managing your energy first – not time itself.

The forces that provide energy – namely, your body and your mind, need to be the starting points. It’s the number one most overlooked productivity tip out there.

The Links Between Energy and Productivity

The links between productivity, sleep, healthy food, exercise and mental health are well-documented and yet they are among the most overlooked productivity boosters out there.  The link between sleep and productivity is well-known, but it can be difficult to stop burning the midnight oil, even though it’s so counterintuitive.

One study found that insomniacs and those with insufficient sleep syndrome (those who fail to get enough sleep at night and are sleep deprived) had significantly worse productivity levels and overall performance compared to those who got more sleep.

And then there’s all of the studies linking certain foods and energy levels. According to the World Health Organization, healthy eating can increase your productivity levels by 20 percent. Although drive-thrus were designed to be efficient, they are backfiring when it comes to productivity.

And, of course, the dreaded topic of exercise. This study compared 200 employees on the days they exercised and the days they didn’t. The results were impressive. 72% reported improvements in time management, while 74% reported better workload management. The scores were also 41% higher on feeling motivated to work, 22% higher for finishing work on time and 21% higher in concentration.

There’s also mental energy that comes into play when it comes to productivity, with studies showing that people only have a limited amount of energy to spend during the day. Once that’s depleted, productivity decreases.

“Manage your energy, not your time.” – Paul Dickey

How to Manage Your Energy Levels

When it comes to getting more sleep, eating healthier and getting more exercise in, you’re likely familiar with the old classics: avoid digital screens an hour or two before going to bed, swap out white carbs for brown carbs, nix the sugar and so on.

Keep in mind many of these elements are interconnected. So, carving out a little bit of time for exercise can help you sleep better at night.

But here is what some of the latest research on the topic has to say.

1. Sleep

Do you have trouble falling asleep once your head hits the pillow? A cognitive scientist has offered a new, drug-free sleep hack called cognitive shuffling that promises to make you fall asleep in mere seconds. The idea is that it lulls you into that foggy state that comes before actual sleep where things stop making sense.

This is how it works: Instead of counting sheep, choose a random word like ‘Productivity.’ Next, come up with new words based on each letter and imagine those words vividly.  By focusing on random words and images, it lulls the brain into that foggy state.

Are you getting enough sunlight exposure in the morning? Sunlight has been linked with better sleep. This helps regulate circadian rhythms. Try taking the dog out for a brisk walk around the block in the morning or drinking your morning cup of coffee on the patio.

2. Diet

The best diet for energy? According to a new study published by American Academy of Neurology, the answer lies in the Mediterranean diet – a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, beans, cereal grains and olive oil and fewer animal products like dairy and fish.

The study, while using a population of older adults, found that they retained more brain volume over three years than those who did not follow the diet as closely. If you can swap out processed foods throughout your work week, your brain will thank you with more brain power throughout the day.

3. Exercise

When we want to get more accomplished in the day, it seems counterintuitive to try to fit in exercise. Nonetheless, new research on the topic is showing you don’t need to spend hours on the treadmill or at the gym in order to unleash the brain-boosting benefits of exercise.

The best kind of exercise for people that don’t have a lot of time? Short bouts of intense exercise. A new study has found that even one minute of exercise – one minute! – has similar health effects to longer endurance training.

If you’re resistant to exercise, a more gentle form of exercise like Hatha yoga has been found to improve brain function and energy levels. The same was true for mindfulness meditation. The study found that all you needed was 25 minutes.

Using your lunch break to do a little bit of mindfulness meditation can help see you through that classic afternoon slump and reach for the coffee pot.

“Exercise should be regarded as tribute to the heart.” – Gene Tunney

4. Mental Health

When it comes to mental energy, it is important to prioritize mental health. A surprising way to boost energy is watching cat videos. One study has found that watching cat videos at your desk improves energy and boosts positive emotions.

The benefits of green space on mental health, including the ability to reduce stress, have been well documented. Whether you add a couple of plants to your desk at work or you walk over to the park on your lunch break, you will leave feeling calmer and ready to take on the rest of your day.

The Takeaway

Before you read the latest and greatest productivity hack, or before you question why you’re not accomplishing enough, ensure that you are managing your physical and mental energy first. This is the number one most overlooked productivity tip out there.

How are you managing your energy throughout the day? Let us know anything you do which you believe can be beneficial to all of us.

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15 Secrets to Creating the Best Version of Yourself

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You have reached the point in your life where you want to change many things and become a better version of yourself. You are not completely satisfied with how things are going at this particular moment and you know that you can be much better. What can be done to make sure that you are becoming the better version of yourself?

Here are 15 ways to create an improved version of you:

1. Ready to start

When you decide to make changes in any sphere of your life, starting usually is one of the most difficult stages. However, to begin doing something means that the job is half done, no matter how difficult the task may be.

2. Be prepared for hard work

Yes, changing your outlook and habits that were forming for many years will not be easy. But if we do want to improve ourselves, we need to realize that a significant amount of effort will be required for a successful outcome.

3. Don’t get overwhelmed

It is great to make a decision to work on yourself and improve your life. However, the idea of doing so might be quite daunting and even seem impossible. The secret is to move in small steps in a determined direction. Along the way, you will get more experience, so you will move faster and more confidently.

4. No fear of failure

The realization that you have made a mistake sometimes is hard to accept and can be devastating. However, you must understand that a mistake is actually a good thing, as it gives you a great opportunity to shine next time, as you already know how to do it right.

5. Give up your pride

If someone is telling you that you’ve done something wrong, it might be difficult to accept those negative comments. Obviously, you want to be viewed as invincible and someone who never makes mistakes. Nonetheless, refusing to accept criticism very often means losing a chance to improve your work.

6. Get rid of unhealthy perfectionism

Striving for excellence in everything is great, but it may become an obstacle. The obsession of being the best in everything is meaningless, as we are all imperfect and sometimes good is more than enough in reaching your goal.

“I made decisions that I regret, and I took them as learning experiences… I’m human, not perfect, like anybody else.” – Queen Latifah

7. Leave the job you hate

The idea of leaving a job for many might sound insane, as a refusal from a stable income seems like an unreasonable thing to do. In fact, what is unreasonable is to stick with the job you hate because of money, as time is actually the most precious currency.

8. Get rid of the toxic environment

Your decision to change yourself for the better will inevitably lead to conflicts with people from your surroundings. There might be many of those who are unhappy with you changing. They will try to drag you down to the previous state of things, so you might need to cease contact with such toxic people.

9. Take time to deal with addictions

If you want to become a better version of yourself, addiction is something that will be one of the biggest obstacles in your way. It deprives you of energy and completely changes the focus of your life. You must deal with it if you are determined to see a better you.

10. Move away from your comfort zone

The feeling of stability and security is great, but moving away from your comfort zone can bring you an immense satisfaction, as you will be able to see yourself from the unknown side. It is obviously frightening and uncomfortable, but you might unleash many amazing traits you never expected to be within you.

11. Start exercising

Yes, we all have heard it for a million times, but exercising is so important that it must be in the list of actions that can make you a better version of yourself. Regular physical activity is one of the factors that changes your mindset and makes your body healthier.

12. Do not wait for the perfect moment

Waiting for the stars to be perfectly aligned is a destructive habit. Time is finite and too precious to waste. There is a chance when you think it is the right moment that it might be too late. Do not hesitate for too long. Act.

13. Take responsibility

We might blame our surroundings and circumstances for what happens in our life. Sometimes we might be inclined to feel that someone can come and make us happy. However, it is important to realize that it is all up to us. We are in charge of our destiny and our happiness depends only on ourselves.

“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” – Abraham Lincoln

14. Ditch the habit of trying to be in control all the time

If you have the habit as trying to control everything and everyone, you will need to get rid of it. Life is too unpredictable, so trying to be in charge of everything is meaningless and will only get in the way of your personal development.

15. Learn to be positive

Staying upbeat is by far one of the most precious habits you could ever have. Hard times might be inevitable, but the greatest solutions to a problem usually arise when you are looking at a it with a smile.

It is scary to let go of your previous habits and routines which you have become used to over the years. However, if you made a firm decision to change yourself for the better and turn your life around, nothing will stop you. We hope that with the listed ways of improving yourself you will be able to reach your goal and become the best you can be.

Which one of the 15 secrets above will you now implement everyday? Let us know in the comments below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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