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5 Benefits You Will Experience Once You Become Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable

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As human beings, we often view “stress” as a dirty word. We try to avoid it at all costs. But sometimes a little bit of healthy stress can push us forward out of our comfort zones and into extreme success.

One of the most detrimental things you can do for your career, business or life is stay too long in a place where you are comfortable. Personal and professional growth will inevitably make you uncomfortable, but that discomfort shouldn’t stop you. After all, a certain amount of stress and discomfort is required if you want to reach your full potential.

Here are five key benefits you will experience once you become comfortable being uncomfortable:

1. You will let go of perfection

No one is perfect. Once you embrace the power of feeling uncomfortable in life, you will let go of all the unnecessary pressure to be something you cannot be. You will lose the fear that has been holding you back from trying something new.

You will no longer be a prisoner to the fear of failure because you are ok with failing from time to time. Failure and rejection are a given, but once you accept and embrace it, you will welcome imperfection and all of the life lessons it brings with it.

“Beauty and ingenuity beat perfection hands down, every time.” – Nalo Hopkinson 

2. The risks you take will teach you about yourself

The more comfortable you are with feeling uncomfortable, the more aware you will become of what you are truly capable of. You never know how strong you actually are if you never try anything new.

You will want to reach new heights and will be more willing to take risks at something without knowing whether you will succeed. It will not matter if the result turns out good or bad. You will learn because you took the risk and bet on yourself, and you will improve for next time.

3. You will be more productive

When it comes to productivity, comfort is the enemy. Without a sense of discomfort, it is human nature to procrastinate or do the least amount we can to get by. Inside of our comfort zones, all of our drive and ambition is stalled. Pushing beyond personal boundaries will help you get more done in less time because it motivates you to succeed.

4. You will harness your creativity

Seeking new life experiences and learning new skills inspires us to learn more and challenge our old ideas. Creativity is intrinsically risky, but risks will no longer scare you. Uncomfortable experiences will push you to see problems from a new perspective and tackle challenges with a new and fresh energy.

5. Uncomfortable eventually becomes comfortable

Stepping out of your comfort zone and getting uncomfortable in life ultimately helps you deal with sudden and unexpected change. You will become accustomed to a certain level of productive discomfort, and it will become easier to challenge yourself because you now look at things differently.

Change will no longer frighten you. In fact, you will embrace change because you know that it improves you. Your comfort zone will expand, and the number of things that cause you fear will diminish.

How to get comfortable with being uncomfortable

If you continue to operate as you are right now, you will continue to get the same results you currently get. If you want more from life, the only solution is to do something you have never done. It is time to get uncomfortable. Here is how to start today:

1. Determine what makes you uncomfortable

What are the things that you are afraid to do because of a fear of failure? What is driving your fear of that situation? Identify the boundaries of your comfort zone so that you recognize situations that fall outside of it.

2. Set goals

In order to achieve goals, you have to step outside your comfort zone. Figure out what it is you want out of life. Visualize yourself there. How does it feel? What steps do you need to take to get to your end goal? What new skills will you require? Write it all down. Your goals are what will ultimately motivate you to take a chance on yourself.

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” – Zig Ziglar

3. Take steps towards the uncomfortable

Make a decision to never run away from discomfort again. Take steps to stay uncomfortable a little longer each time until eventually those uncomfortable situations become comfortable. The first step is always the toughest. As you continue taking steps, you will build momentum, and it will become easier to continue forward movement. So seek opportunities to reach out beyond your personal boundaries every day.

Everything amazing about life happens outside of your comfort zone. When you push yourself beyond that safety net, you can achieve goals in life that you never thought you were capable of.

Becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable can help you conquer your world and get everything you want in life. Refuse to settle for what you have and continuously push the limits in order to achieve immense success and happiness. The only thing standing in your way is yourself.

How do you stay positive about your business? We’d love to hear! Leave your thoughts and tips in the comments below!

Melissa Ricker is a nuclear engineer and content manager at JS PR Services specializing in career growth, digital marketing and online entrepreneurship. She offers career advice, productivity tips and time management hacks on her website, Engineered Motherhood.

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  1. Mahesh

    Jan 17, 2017 at 4:25 am

    Really useful article. Thanks

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Life

3 Necessities That Will Help You Think Big and Stay Positive

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think big, stay positive

To think big and keep hope during difficult times is not easy. When you can’t afford to pay your bills, you haven’t had more than two hours of sleep in a few nights, and you are experiencing some relationship challenges, it can be tough to believe that things will ultimately work out. The ability to see beyond your current circumstances and understand that everything will eventually come together is the life of an entrepreneur.

When you think of a business owner, you frequently also picture the status symbols of success such as money, cars, homes, and other material possessions. However, there is another side to the entrepreneurial lifestyle that deserves attention. Gary Vaynerchuk talks about the 7pm -2 am dream shift, where you dedicate time to work on your business outside of other work and family responsibilities. Committing to a schedule like this is extremely hard.

According to a Fast Company article, businesses that survive past the first year have dropped from 569,419 in 1994 to 106,789 in 2016.  The challenges that often accompany the triumphs of working for yourself can feel insurmountable.

What are three necessities for you to think big and remain positive?

1. Surround yourself with good people

For many of us, it is common to hear and read about the importance of surrounding yourself with positive and productive people. My mother has stressed the importance of this trait since I was at least in kindergarten. When it comes to business, this is extremely important because others can expose you to different levels and types of success. Good people can push you to perform at your best and confirm your sanity when you are at your worst.  

“Choose your friends wisely, and also choose friends that you can trust.” –Elyn Saks

2. Commit to lifelong learning

In this competitive age, you must be willing to grow through a consistent effort of learning new talents and developing skills. As Tim Denning states “without willpower, your mind will take the road of least resistance. Practice teaching your mind discipline.” Reading books, learning new skills and techniques are essential habits of the entrepreneur. They can enable you to develop the ability to think beyond your current personal or business position.  

3. Go within to discover what’s out there

As an entrepreneur, you will need to have a reason for your business that digs deep into your soul. That’s a massive concept, and it is true. In the introduction, I mentioned that the lifestyle of an entrepreneur is not easy. Often times, a daily dosage of meditation or prayer is necessary to make it to the end of the day.

Without something within you like a burning desire to make an impact or the feeling that you work is part of a higher calling, the temptation to quit will be too strong. My recommendation is prayer and meditation to identify your purpose for business and to empower you through the difficult times.

“Discipline is the bridge between goal and accomplishment” – Jim Rohn

So, what are the practical steps to big thinking and positivity? The details of the process will be different for everyone, but universally it begins with the creation of daily goals and ends with consistent execution. The small steps lead to larger victories.

Once you have the right people in your circle, the self-discipline to continue learning, and a profound reason to succeed, the next step is to make things happen. You can have all the resources and mindsets in place, but if you are not willing to take action, it is useless. Use today as an opportunity to make progress on transforming your dream into a reality.

How do you stay positive? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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6 Simple Steps to Setting Goals Without Feeling Overwhelmed

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Years ago I found myself caught up in conventional wisdom (or wisdumb as I call it). I was trying to set goals in every area of my life. I had three goals for each of my five key areas: faith, family, friends, finances and fun. I added that last category only because it started with an “F” and my OCD told me five categories was a better number than four. That’s how scientific my goal-setting process was.

By the last week of December, I had designed them with beautiful checkboxes, and I permanently inserted the sheet into my planner. It made me feel great to “have it all together.” I was, after all, part of the 3% who set goals. This was going to be the most comprehensive goal-setting method ever!

Rather than becoming an overnight success, I became an overnight statistic: I was one of the 93% of people who give up on their resolutions by February. The rest of my year was spent feeling guilty every time I noticed my goal sheet in the back of my planner.

“I should do one of these.” But which one? And, how? Where do I start? Then, “Squirrel!” After trying this for a few Decembers (I’m a slow learner), I discovered a lesson in life I will never forget: if you try to focus on 15 targets at once, you will hit exactly zero of them.

I can’t remember where this system came from but I can tell you it’s a great way to overwhelm yourself. However, these types of ideas are out there in the world of goal-setting. Apparently, people even pay money to overwhelm themselves!

Since that time, I’ve learned a lot such as studying from some of the world’s greatest achievers, and putting principles and tactics to the test. I came out on the other side with a few key insights about the correct way to set goals.

So if you’re one of the small percentage of folks who set goals, especially for the new year, let me help you avoid a few years of banging your head against the wall:

1. Define your core

When most people think of setting goals, they sit down and start writing them out without having answered some fundamental questions. People who build homes don’t start with a 2×4. They pour through stacks of blueprints and renderings before picking up a shovel so they know exactly where they are going and what it will take to get there.

It’s worth an hour or two of your time. Sit down, clear any distractions and ask yourself some fundamental questions: Who are you? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Your assets? What do you want? Why do you want that? Explore all your possibilities and rule nothing out. You can always clean it up later.

2. Write a lifeplan statement

Start by identifying the single most important target. If other things you are doing in your life do not align perfectly with your plan, then do not include them in your statement. When you come across new ideas and opportunities, use your lifeplan statement as your barometer to keep you on track. There can be only one most important goal at a time. In fact, when you “focus” on more than one goal at a time, it defeats the whole idea of “focus.” If you don’t believe me, try multitasking two important tasks at the same time.

Next, break out your goals into as many action items as you can. Make sure you include things you still need to learn because the odds are you don’t know how to get there (because you’ve never been there before). Categorize these notes into monthly, weekly and daily action items.

After writing your goals, determine the sacrifices you are willing to make to achieve it. Finish your lifeplan statement with your purpose, vision and values. Go deep and write honestly, clearly, and powerfully in the first-person, present tense. Keep in mind, this is a living, breathing document you will update and modify as needed. Keep it handy as this will become one of the most important documents of your life.

“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” – Warren Bennis

3. Write a dayplan on a 3×5 card

Index cards are inexpensive and just the right size. On one side, write your top five most important items, with the most important at the top. The other side is reserved for ideas so you can get them out of your head and keep you focused. Write down anything that strikes you as interesting: ideas, headlines, quotes, funny stories, etc. Carry this card around with you everywhere you go and leave it out where you can see it. Check off items as you complete them.

4. End your day holding a five-minute meeting with yourself

Look through the list and see what did not get done. Ask yourself: is it truly important? If the answer is yes, transfer it to tomorrow’s card. If the answer is no, cross it off and forget it. Finally, finish filling out tomorrow’s plan on a new card so you wake up to it the next morning.

End your meeting by filing away today’s card. Every few weeks, go through your stack of goal cards and transfer the ideas from paper to an online journaling system (Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, etc.). You’ll be amazed at the ideas your brain will produce when you give it a chance.

5. Develop and religiously follow a meaningful morning routine

I can’t tell you how consistently this one habit is among high achievers. I see it again and again- it’s almost comical. Nearly without exception, successful people follow some kind of daily routine. I recommend early mornings but take your pick because how you start your day is generally how your day will tend to go. It’s more important that you do it, not when.

There are dozens of activities you could do, and there are no right or wrong answers. Whatever you chose, incorporate two things. First, exercise- the benefits are endless. Second, incorporate your LifePlan Statement by reading, feeling, and visualizing it every morning.

“Be pleasant until ten o’clock in the morning and the rest of the day will take care of itself.”- Elbert Hubbard

6. Reward yourself and celebrate your wins

Take time to recognize what you did right and don’t feel guilty for giving yourself a reward for it. As you implement this system, be patient and don’t expect everything to change overnight. It’s simple, but not easy. However, when done right, this system is powerful and will change your life. If you mess up, don’t let yourself have two in a row. Regardless of how some make it seem, success is a marathon, not a sprint. You’re in this for the long haul.

How are you making sure you achieve the goals you set for yourself this upcoming year? Let us know your plans below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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2 Shifts In Thinking That Can Change Your Life Forever

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During the first two years of building my previous company, my income was less than that of a McDonald’s employee. I was regularly discouraged by family members to “get a real job” and “pursue a different direction”.

Fortunately, I ignored this advice. It wasn’t until my company’s third year that we exploded in revenue and grossed millions of dollars in sales. So… what kept me going? Two major shifts in my thinking. Both of which come from Darren Hardy’s books (publisher of SUCCESS Magazine) The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster and The Compound Effect.

Thought shift #1: Imagine a hand-pumped water well, which uses a lever and a pipe to extract water from beneath the ground using suction.

To successfully bring the water to the surface, you have to pump the lever consistently. If you only pump the lever for a few minutes and stop, you won’t see any water. On the contrary, if you continue to pump the lever, you’ll eventually begin to see small drops of water.

Unfortunately, despite realizing some progress, this is the point where most wantrepreneurs give-up and exclaim: “Only a few drops of water!? You’ve got to be kidding me! Why did I put in so much hard work for so long for this tiny amount of progress?

But as Darren explains, wise people persist. The wise person who persists by continuing to pump the water lever , in spite of only seeing a few drops of water , eventually break through and get a steady stream of water (results).

“Don’t follow your dreams. Chase them down with aggressive pursuit.” – Darren Hardy

Don’t be the person who starts a business, works hard for a few months (aggressively pumping the water lever) and quits after seeing little-to-no progress (small drops of water). Don’t be the blogger who writes a few posts and quits after only two people read your amazing content.

Don’t be the unhealthy person who gives up on their weight-loss program after not seeing immediate results by the end of five workouts. The bottom line is this: You must persist and remain consistent. It takes time for meaningful progress to materialize. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Thought Shift #2: The “Life, Growth, and Achievement Pendulum.”

The second major thought shift that changed the trajectory of my life forever is the concept of the Life, Growth, and Achievement Pendulum.

Here’s how it works:

On one side of the life pendulum, you have failure, rejection, defeat, pain, and sadness. And on the other side of the life pendulum, you have success, victory, joy, and happiness. With this pendulum, you can’t directly control the positive side.

“The difference between average people and achieving people is their reception and response to failure” – John C. Maxwell

But what you can fully control is the pushing of the pendulum to the side of failure, rejection, sadness, and all the other painful things that are required to be endured for success to be achieved. Only pushing the pendulum to the side of great pain is what will yield great success.

No wonder why average people (who only allow their life pendulum to swing a small distance into the side of pain) experience the equivalent small degree of success! Extraordinary success requires extraordinary pain.

Just like exercising at the gym, big muscles aren’t built by enduring small levels of pain. There isn’t a single bodybuilder on planet earth who didn’t first go through massive amounts of pain to build their physique. Not one!

What are your plans for integrating these concepts in your life? Let me know in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Life

What I Do When I Have To Make Lots Of Big Decisions.

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I have to make lots of big decisions right now.

I’m suffering decision fatigue.

There’s an element of fear at play as much as I pretend there isn’t.

Most of the time my decision-making ability is at a very high level. Like anything, sometimes it slips (especially when I drink coffee because it makes me anxious). The key is to understand that you can’t always be amazing at making the right decisions.

 

There will be wrong decisions.

You’ll make dumb ass decisions sometimes and then wonder “How the F did I do that?” You won’t always know. The secret to success, if you haven’t learned it by now, is to stop being perfect. Doing is the key because everything else requires thinking.

 

Thinking becomes overthinking.

That’s why I have been able to have a crazy year of blowing my goals out of the water.

I’ve used the 5-Second Rule and focused on making quick decisions that use my instincts and allow me to follow my heart. My brain is just too used to overthinking and going into its default mode – being fearful.

 

How do we deal with the fear?

You make sure you tell yourself that fear is always going to be present. Then, you use fear to push you forward. Something I do is this:

I tell myself that nerves, fear and anxiety are all just signs that I’m breaking my comfort zone. Knowing the power of breaking my comfort zone is rewarding and so I do a victory lap.

Whenever you experience these three sensations, do a victory lap because you are going to the next level of life. You’re doing what so few are prepared to do.

 

Caution: making decisions is addictive.

When you get to a point where I’m at now and you’re able to make fast decisions, it becomes addictive. You figure out that you can do pretty much anything when you cut out overthinking. With every decision comes more growth.

I’ve found that continuous growth is recommended and it turns out I’m not the only one. Many of my friends have become success addicts and tripled their value in less than a year.

“Once we know we can be unstoppable, all of the right doors open up”

Opportunities that were previously hidden now become so clear like a deer in the headlights of your car. A sense of clarity takes over and you know what you must do.

 

So what do we do when we have to make a big decision?

1. You put on your big boy/girl pants and accept what you’re currently feeling.
2. You think about the decision and make the choice that feels right at the time.
3. You ignore how hard or easy the decision is and concentrate on reaching an end outcome.

Right now I’m faced with some monster decisions. I’ve made certain promises that I must keep. I need to look at my career roadmap as well and there’s a lot of uncertainty in this area of my life. At the same time, I also need to nurture my side hustles more and monetize some of them.

For the curious bunch out there, you need to have multiple sources of income and ideally at least one passive income source. This one idea will change your life and give you more time and freedom to take breaks. It sounds easy in practice but it’s actually challenging.

We all want to turn our passions into passive income and sometimes when we haven’t been down this path, we’re uncertain even though Google can tell us 101 ways to make money.

“It’s like we have the strategies but we’re too caught up in our head to pick one and launch it finally”

Recently, I’ve also had to make big decisions about my priorities. I’ve become a slave to too many tasks and I need to cull a few things. Using the decision-making process above, I’ve narrowed my life down to family, my girlfriend, blogging, public speaking and my career. Everything else I’ve decided to ignore for right now.

Getting to this final list of priorities has required me to make lots of decisions. Some big and some small. I’m glad I have made those decisions though because otherwise, I’d end up being busy like so many people I know.

“Busy often occurs when you hold off making the decision you know you must”

 

Making decisions sets you free.

Until you make those big decisions, you become a prisoner of your own life. That prison cell exists in your mind and you find yourself trying to ignore the decision you must make. The hardest part I’ve found is concentrating on making the decision and what can go wrong.

I constantly find myself saying “What happens if I can’t go back to how things were?”

The truth is that how things were is boring. You can’t progress from this place. Nothing stays the same and you have to make the big decisions to enter a world you never thought was possible. This new world will make you feel phenomenal though once you make the big decisions.

These big decisions will set you free and you’ll feel a sense of achievement.

 

Bad news: the big decisions never stop.

That’s why you have to make big decisions and turn this skill into an art form. Exercise your decision-making ability. Know that no matter what happens, everything is going to work out for the best. Big decisions must be made and you can make them.

My next round of big decisions is right in front of me. I have to focus on my career for a bit and I have zero idea what that looks like.

“All I can do is trek into the abyss and make one big decision at a time”

 

***Parting Advice***

Consciously you know that there are big decisions that have to be made. Instead of avoiding them or putting them off, start following the above process and get clarity on what you want. Unless you make big decisions, you’ll always feel like you’re being held back.

You can do big things in this world.
You can be extraordinary.
It all starts with one big decision at a time.

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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The Absolute No No’s Of Social Media: Break These And Everybody Tunes Out.

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Everyone talks about what to do on social media. No one talks about the things that don’t work. What not to do is where the recipe for success on social media lies.

I’ve spent the last 12 months getting more engagement on social media than ever so that I can spread more good in the world.

Here is my absolute list of no no’s for social media:

 

Too much self-promotion.

“Here’s a selfie with the Alibaba founder.”

“Here’s me at blah blah blah exhibition.”

“Here’s me taking a break after working so hard.”

This nonsense doesn’t work. It’s all about you and it comes across as self-promotion. I still want you to share photos of inspirational people you met. I still want you to talk about taking a break and the places you’ve visited. I still want you to share events you attend.

There’s a subtle difference though – share the lessons and value these experiences gave you rather than sharing your ego’s proximity to them.

“Make your social media posts about how you can help and add value rather than putting your name on everything and trying to sound important”

 

Tagging people without permission.

Ever seen one of those posts where there are twenty names at the bottom that are tagged?

Ever wondered why you’re tagged in someone’s post who you’ve never met?

This careless tagging occurs because the originator wants to reach more people. They think by tagging strangers with lots of followers, they’ll reach more people and get more attention for their ego.

“Tagging without permission is rude and doesn’t work”

I want you to tag people and reach more people. I want you to do it with respect. How?

Reach out and tell the person you’re going to tag them first and why the post is relevant to their audience. Don’t be lazy and tag them because they’ll do nothing and most likely unfollow you. Also, don’t overdo it. Aim to tag three people or so instead of twenty. Less is more.

 

Linking out.

If I only teach you one thing it’s this: Don’t link out.

In plain English, this means that you should avoid posting a link that takes people off the social media platform they are viewing your post on. For example, if you’re on Facebook, don’t put a link in your post that takes me to YouTube.

Always post natively.

In plain English again, post your content directly on the platform. Instead of linking to YouTube, upload the video to Facebook directly.

 

Scheduling doesn’t work as well. It’s all about live.

We’ve all used software like Buffer to schedule posts and make people think that we are content machines that write something new every 2.5 hours and then upload it at peak times of the day.

The algorithm that runs a lot of these social media platforms and decides who see’s your content has figured out the game. Live, original content that is unplanned will always get priority. Try doing things on the fly. Upload your content in real time. Better yet, create your content in real time.

 

Polished is getting old.

Joel Brown taught me this lesson. One day, he was getting ready to shoot a video in the park. He was going to get a haircut beforehand, so he looked good for the camera. Laziness took over and he decided to shoot the video on his iPhone, with messy bed hair.

This video got lots of engagement because he shot it in a moment of passion and it was unpolished.

We’ve all seen the polished YouTube videos with perfectly positioned product placement, special lighting and high definition cameras. All of this pre-preparation kills the idea and the creativity that is attached to it.

Try being raw.
Try being authentic.
Try keeping it simple.
Try to avoid the temptation of becoming a gear/technology junkie.

 

Be original (thoughts on resharing).

I get people I work with all the time saying “How do you get so many people to engage with your posts?” I then click their social media profiles and look at their own posts. Every one of them is a reshare of someone else’s content.

At least 70% of the posts you put up should be original. Just resharing someone else’s stuff is boring. Create original pieces. When you reshare, put some detail around why you liked the content and how it helped you. Make your resharing personal.

You can’t just regurgitate other people’s content and then expect to get noticed.

 

Don’t post the same piece on every social platform.

Every social platform has a different voice and different functionality. Creating one piece of content and then sharing it on every social platform doesn’t work.

For starters, focus your attention on one or two platforms. Go deep on a few social channels rather than going wide and posting on many.

 

The time of day.

Consider the time of day when you post but don’t be obsessed with it. Good content will get people sharing it regardless of when it’s posted. Great is great and the time of the day won’t change that.

With that said, early shares of your posts is important for gaining traction and getting the social platforms algorithm to let you be seen by more people. Consider avoiding times like Sunday nights when people are having family dinners and not on social media.

 

What you’re forgetting is what not to do.

So to wrap all this up, it’s what you don’t do on social media that will elevate your success to the next level. Breaking this list of no no’s will see the social media platforms you’re posting to limit your audience. Play by these rules, and you’ll have more engagement than you can poke a stick at it.

Use this engagement to do good in the world.

 

PS.

I don’t shoot videos of me driving in a Lamborghini or taking selfies with Oprah. I’m just a humble guy from Australia who’s living the dream, working hard and trying to inspire all of you to do big things, and use social media to elevate your message.

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

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared hundreds of thousands of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around success, personal development, motivation, and entrepreneurship. During the day Tim works with the most iconic tech companies in the world, as an adviser, to assist them in expanding into Australia. By night, Tim coaches his students on the principles of personal development and the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net or through his Facebook.

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  1. Mahesh

    Jan 17, 2017 at 4:25 am

    Really useful article. Thanks

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Life

3 Necessities That Will Help You Think Big and Stay Positive

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think big, stay positive

To think big and keep hope during difficult times is not easy. When you can’t afford to pay your bills, you haven’t had more than two hours of sleep in a few nights, and you are experiencing some relationship challenges, it can be tough to believe that things will ultimately work out. The ability to see beyond your current circumstances and understand that everything will eventually come together is the life of an entrepreneur.

When you think of a business owner, you frequently also picture the status symbols of success such as money, cars, homes, and other material possessions. However, there is another side to the entrepreneurial lifestyle that deserves attention. Gary Vaynerchuk talks about the 7pm -2 am dream shift, where you dedicate time to work on your business outside of other work and family responsibilities. Committing to a schedule like this is extremely hard.

According to a Fast Company article, businesses that survive past the first year have dropped from 569,419 in 1994 to 106,789 in 2016.  The challenges that often accompany the triumphs of working for yourself can feel insurmountable.

What are three necessities for you to think big and remain positive?

1. Surround yourself with good people

For many of us, it is common to hear and read about the importance of surrounding yourself with positive and productive people. My mother has stressed the importance of this trait since I was at least in kindergarten. When it comes to business, this is extremely important because others can expose you to different levels and types of success. Good people can push you to perform at your best and confirm your sanity when you are at your worst.  

“Choose your friends wisely, and also choose friends that you can trust.” –Elyn Saks

2. Commit to lifelong learning

In this competitive age, you must be willing to grow through a consistent effort of learning new talents and developing skills. As Tim Denning states “without willpower, your mind will take the road of least resistance. Practice teaching your mind discipline.” Reading books, learning new skills and techniques are essential habits of the entrepreneur. They can enable you to develop the ability to think beyond your current personal or business position.  

3. Go within to discover what’s out there

As an entrepreneur, you will need to have a reason for your business that digs deep into your soul. That’s a massive concept, and it is true. In the introduction, I mentioned that the lifestyle of an entrepreneur is not easy. Often times, a daily dosage of meditation or prayer is necessary to make it to the end of the day.

Without something within you like a burning desire to make an impact or the feeling that you work is part of a higher calling, the temptation to quit will be too strong. My recommendation is prayer and meditation to identify your purpose for business and to empower you through the difficult times.

“Discipline is the bridge between goal and accomplishment” – Jim Rohn

So, what are the practical steps to big thinking and positivity? The details of the process will be different for everyone, but universally it begins with the creation of daily goals and ends with consistent execution. The small steps lead to larger victories.

Once you have the right people in your circle, the self-discipline to continue learning, and a profound reason to succeed, the next step is to make things happen. You can have all the resources and mindsets in place, but if you are not willing to take action, it is useless. Use today as an opportunity to make progress on transforming your dream into a reality.

How do you stay positive? Comment below!

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6 Simple Steps to Setting Goals Without Feeling Overwhelmed

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Years ago I found myself caught up in conventional wisdom (or wisdumb as I call it). I was trying to set goals in every area of my life. I had three goals for each of my five key areas: faith, family, friends, finances and fun. I added that last category only because it started with an “F” and my OCD told me five categories was a better number than four. That’s how scientific my goal-setting process was.

By the last week of December, I had designed them with beautiful checkboxes, and I permanently inserted the sheet into my planner. It made me feel great to “have it all together.” I was, after all, part of the 3% who set goals. This was going to be the most comprehensive goal-setting method ever!

Rather than becoming an overnight success, I became an overnight statistic: I was one of the 93% of people who give up on their resolutions by February. The rest of my year was spent feeling guilty every time I noticed my goal sheet in the back of my planner.

“I should do one of these.” But which one? And, how? Where do I start? Then, “Squirrel!” After trying this for a few Decembers (I’m a slow learner), I discovered a lesson in life I will never forget: if you try to focus on 15 targets at once, you will hit exactly zero of them.

I can’t remember where this system came from but I can tell you it’s a great way to overwhelm yourself. However, these types of ideas are out there in the world of goal-setting. Apparently, people even pay money to overwhelm themselves!

Since that time, I’ve learned a lot such as studying from some of the world’s greatest achievers, and putting principles and tactics to the test. I came out on the other side with a few key insights about the correct way to set goals.

So if you’re one of the small percentage of folks who set goals, especially for the new year, let me help you avoid a few years of banging your head against the wall:

1. Define your core

When most people think of setting goals, they sit down and start writing them out without having answered some fundamental questions. People who build homes don’t start with a 2×4. They pour through stacks of blueprints and renderings before picking up a shovel so they know exactly where they are going and what it will take to get there.

It’s worth an hour or two of your time. Sit down, clear any distractions and ask yourself some fundamental questions: Who are you? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Your assets? What do you want? Why do you want that? Explore all your possibilities and rule nothing out. You can always clean it up later.

2. Write a lifeplan statement

Start by identifying the single most important target. If other things you are doing in your life do not align perfectly with your plan, then do not include them in your statement. When you come across new ideas and opportunities, use your lifeplan statement as your barometer to keep you on track. There can be only one most important goal at a time. In fact, when you “focus” on more than one goal at a time, it defeats the whole idea of “focus.” If you don’t believe me, try multitasking two important tasks at the same time.

Next, break out your goals into as many action items as you can. Make sure you include things you still need to learn because the odds are you don’t know how to get there (because you’ve never been there before). Categorize these notes into monthly, weekly and daily action items.

After writing your goals, determine the sacrifices you are willing to make to achieve it. Finish your lifeplan statement with your purpose, vision and values. Go deep and write honestly, clearly, and powerfully in the first-person, present tense. Keep in mind, this is a living, breathing document you will update and modify as needed. Keep it handy as this will become one of the most important documents of your life.

“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” – Warren Bennis

3. Write a dayplan on a 3×5 card

Index cards are inexpensive and just the right size. On one side, write your top five most important items, with the most important at the top. The other side is reserved for ideas so you can get them out of your head and keep you focused. Write down anything that strikes you as interesting: ideas, headlines, quotes, funny stories, etc. Carry this card around with you everywhere you go and leave it out where you can see it. Check off items as you complete them.

4. End your day holding a five-minute meeting with yourself

Look through the list and see what did not get done. Ask yourself: is it truly important? If the answer is yes, transfer it to tomorrow’s card. If the answer is no, cross it off and forget it. Finally, finish filling out tomorrow’s plan on a new card so you wake up to it the next morning.

End your meeting by filing away today’s card. Every few weeks, go through your stack of goal cards and transfer the ideas from paper to an online journaling system (Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, etc.). You’ll be amazed at the ideas your brain will produce when you give it a chance.

5. Develop and religiously follow a meaningful morning routine

I can’t tell you how consistently this one habit is among high achievers. I see it again and again- it’s almost comical. Nearly without exception, successful people follow some kind of daily routine. I recommend early mornings but take your pick because how you start your day is generally how your day will tend to go. It’s more important that you do it, not when.

There are dozens of activities you could do, and there are no right or wrong answers. Whatever you chose, incorporate two things. First, exercise- the benefits are endless. Second, incorporate your LifePlan Statement by reading, feeling, and visualizing it every morning.

“Be pleasant until ten o’clock in the morning and the rest of the day will take care of itself.”- Elbert Hubbard

6. Reward yourself and celebrate your wins

Take time to recognize what you did right and don’t feel guilty for giving yourself a reward for it. As you implement this system, be patient and don’t expect everything to change overnight. It’s simple, but not easy. However, when done right, this system is powerful and will change your life. If you mess up, don’t let yourself have two in a row. Regardless of how some make it seem, success is a marathon, not a sprint. You’re in this for the long haul.

How are you making sure you achieve the goals you set for yourself this upcoming year? Let us know your plans below!

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2 Shifts In Thinking That Can Change Your Life Forever

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During the first two years of building my previous company, my income was less than that of a McDonald’s employee. I was regularly discouraged by family members to “get a real job” and “pursue a different direction”.

Fortunately, I ignored this advice. It wasn’t until my company’s third year that we exploded in revenue and grossed millions of dollars in sales. So… what kept me going? Two major shifts in my thinking. Both of which come from Darren Hardy’s books (publisher of SUCCESS Magazine) The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster and The Compound Effect.

Thought shift #1: Imagine a hand-pumped water well, which uses a lever and a pipe to extract water from beneath the ground using suction.

To successfully bring the water to the surface, you have to pump the lever consistently. If you only pump the lever for a few minutes and stop, you won’t see any water. On the contrary, if you continue to pump the lever, you’ll eventually begin to see small drops of water.

Unfortunately, despite realizing some progress, this is the point where most wantrepreneurs give-up and exclaim: “Only a few drops of water!? You’ve got to be kidding me! Why did I put in so much hard work for so long for this tiny amount of progress?

But as Darren explains, wise people persist. The wise person who persists by continuing to pump the water lever , in spite of only seeing a few drops of water , eventually break through and get a steady stream of water (results).

“Don’t follow your dreams. Chase them down with aggressive pursuit.” – Darren Hardy

Don’t be the person who starts a business, works hard for a few months (aggressively pumping the water lever) and quits after seeing little-to-no progress (small drops of water). Don’t be the blogger who writes a few posts and quits after only two people read your amazing content.

Don’t be the unhealthy person who gives up on their weight-loss program after not seeing immediate results by the end of five workouts. The bottom line is this: You must persist and remain consistent. It takes time for meaningful progress to materialize. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Thought Shift #2: The “Life, Growth, and Achievement Pendulum.”

The second major thought shift that changed the trajectory of my life forever is the concept of the Life, Growth, and Achievement Pendulum.

Here’s how it works:

On one side of the life pendulum, you have failure, rejection, defeat, pain, and sadness. And on the other side of the life pendulum, you have success, victory, joy, and happiness. With this pendulum, you can’t directly control the positive side.

“The difference between average people and achieving people is their reception and response to failure” – John C. Maxwell

But what you can fully control is the pushing of the pendulum to the side of failure, rejection, sadness, and all the other painful things that are required to be endured for success to be achieved. Only pushing the pendulum to the side of great pain is what will yield great success.

No wonder why average people (who only allow their life pendulum to swing a small distance into the side of pain) experience the equivalent small degree of success! Extraordinary success requires extraordinary pain.

Just like exercising at the gym, big muscles aren’t built by enduring small levels of pain. There isn’t a single bodybuilder on planet earth who didn’t first go through massive amounts of pain to build their physique. Not one!

What are your plans for integrating these concepts in your life? Let me know in the comments below.

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What I Do When I Have To Make Lots Of Big Decisions.

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I have to make lots of big decisions right now.

I’m suffering decision fatigue.

There’s an element of fear at play as much as I pretend there isn’t.

Most of the time my decision-making ability is at a very high level. Like anything, sometimes it slips (especially when I drink coffee because it makes me anxious). The key is to understand that you can’t always be amazing at making the right decisions.

 

There will be wrong decisions.

You’ll make dumb ass decisions sometimes and then wonder “How the F did I do that?” You won’t always know. The secret to success, if you haven’t learned it by now, is to stop being perfect. Doing is the key because everything else requires thinking.

 

Thinking becomes overthinking.

That’s why I have been able to have a crazy year of blowing my goals out of the water.

I’ve used the 5-Second Rule and focused on making quick decisions that use my instincts and allow me to follow my heart. My brain is just too used to overthinking and going into its default mode – being fearful.

 

How do we deal with the fear?

You make sure you tell yourself that fear is always going to be present. Then, you use fear to push you forward. Something I do is this:

I tell myself that nerves, fear and anxiety are all just signs that I’m breaking my comfort zone. Knowing the power of breaking my comfort zone is rewarding and so I do a victory lap.

Whenever you experience these three sensations, do a victory lap because you are going to the next level of life. You’re doing what so few are prepared to do.

 

Caution: making decisions is addictive.

When you get to a point where I’m at now and you’re able to make fast decisions, it becomes addictive. You figure out that you can do pretty much anything when you cut out overthinking. With every decision comes more growth.

I’ve found that continuous growth is recommended and it turns out I’m not the only one. Many of my friends have become success addicts and tripled their value in less than a year.

“Once we know we can be unstoppable, all of the right doors open up”

Opportunities that were previously hidden now become so clear like a deer in the headlights of your car. A sense of clarity takes over and you know what you must do.

 

So what do we do when we have to make a big decision?

1. You put on your big boy/girl pants and accept what you’re currently feeling.
2. You think about the decision and make the choice that feels right at the time.
3. You ignore how hard or easy the decision is and concentrate on reaching an end outcome.

Right now I’m faced with some monster decisions. I’ve made certain promises that I must keep. I need to look at my career roadmap as well and there’s a lot of uncertainty in this area of my life. At the same time, I also need to nurture my side hustles more and monetize some of them.

For the curious bunch out there, you need to have multiple sources of income and ideally at least one passive income source. This one idea will change your life and give you more time and freedom to take breaks. It sounds easy in practice but it’s actually challenging.

We all want to turn our passions into passive income and sometimes when we haven’t been down this path, we’re uncertain even though Google can tell us 101 ways to make money.

“It’s like we have the strategies but we’re too caught up in our head to pick one and launch it finally”

Recently, I’ve also had to make big decisions about my priorities. I’ve become a slave to too many tasks and I need to cull a few things. Using the decision-making process above, I’ve narrowed my life down to family, my girlfriend, blogging, public speaking and my career. Everything else I’ve decided to ignore for right now.

Getting to this final list of priorities has required me to make lots of decisions. Some big and some small. I’m glad I have made those decisions though because otherwise, I’d end up being busy like so many people I know.

“Busy often occurs when you hold off making the decision you know you must”

 

Making decisions sets you free.

Until you make those big decisions, you become a prisoner of your own life. That prison cell exists in your mind and you find yourself trying to ignore the decision you must make. The hardest part I’ve found is concentrating on making the decision and what can go wrong.

I constantly find myself saying “What happens if I can’t go back to how things were?”

The truth is that how things were is boring. You can’t progress from this place. Nothing stays the same and you have to make the big decisions to enter a world you never thought was possible. This new world will make you feel phenomenal though once you make the big decisions.

These big decisions will set you free and you’ll feel a sense of achievement.

 

Bad news: the big decisions never stop.

That’s why you have to make big decisions and turn this skill into an art form. Exercise your decision-making ability. Know that no matter what happens, everything is going to work out for the best. Big decisions must be made and you can make them.

My next round of big decisions is right in front of me. I have to focus on my career for a bit and I have zero idea what that looks like.

“All I can do is trek into the abyss and make one big decision at a time”

 

***Parting Advice***

Consciously you know that there are big decisions that have to be made. Instead of avoiding them or putting them off, start following the above process and get clarity on what you want. Unless you make big decisions, you’ll always feel like you’re being held back.

You can do big things in this world.
You can be extraordinary.
It all starts with one big decision at a time.

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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