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5 Great Ways to Kickstart Your Morning

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good morning start

A good day starts with a great morning ritual. One that consists of healthy habits, some quiet time for yourself and successful routines.

How you spend your morning is how you spend the rest of the day, and basically how you spend your whole life, as it is a series of days.

And if you manage to start each one with a few of the following, you’re sure to have the life of the people you look up to – the great successful role models of our time that know how to be productive and are mindful of everything they do.

So here are the best things you can include in your morning ritual:

1. Get up early

wake upIt all starts here. It won’t really matter what you’re going to do first thing after getting up, if it’s already noon and everyone else has got so much stuff done.

That’s a keystone habit, a powerful one. It takes time, but it’s worth it. Once you implement this every day, it will affect other habits – you’ll have more energy, be more productive, go to bed earlier, find time for yourself, etc.

Also, there’s something magical about the early hours of the morning. So use them in the best way possible.

 

2. Meditate

meditateAll you need to do is try to empty your mind for a few minutes.

Don’t think too much about the position of your body, whether you’ve eaten before that or not, don’t try too hard or try to control your thoughts.

Just relax, breathe deeply, let go of all your worries and leave what happened yesterday or what might happen today behind. Your goal is to stand still, enjoy the silence and focus on your breathing.

Do that each morning and soon you’ll be able to keep that state for longer.

Meditation has a phenomenal effect on your mind and soul.

 

3. Write

writeWriting is a therapy. It’s a beautiful experience where the mind wonders and you get to follow its journey by writing down the thoughts it gives birth to.

Here, you also need to just go with the flow. Write whatever comes first in your head and don’t think about how it looks, whether you’ll share it on your blog later, or if it needs editing.

Write your problems out. Share your secrets, dreams, desires and fears with a piece of paper. This way you’ll get them out of your head and will clear your mind for the day.

Plus, you get to do that in the best time of the day – the early morning – when your mind is still not fully awake, and dares to think of unusual ideas and interesting scenarios.

 

change your life pic quote inspiration
 

4. Drink a glass of water with lemon

glass water lemonMost of the times our body just needs water, nothing else. And after sleeping for so many hours, it’s dehydrated.

Give your immune system a boost and get some vitamins by adding lemon juice to it.

Lemon also alkalines your body very well which serves as a great way to keep the inflammation down.

You can also drink it warm.

This way you’ll wake up the body pleasantly. It will feel great that you don’t burden it with the usual dose of caffeine and will celebrate that by being fresh all day.

 

5. Figure out your MIT’s.

check list MITAnother thing highly productive people do is to decide which their most important tasks are in the morning, and then start working on them right away.

Choose 3 of them and stick to them until they are completed.

If you work without any distractions and really commit to that, you’ll be proud to say that by noon you’ll have finished more things (essential ones) than most people do for a whole day.

It will also become the driving force that will get you motivated to keep yourself busy with other important stuff, and thus you can soon master productivity.

It’s not a coincidence that all successful people out there, who dare to follow their dreams and put effort into reaching their goals every single day, have habits like these.

It’s what really works. But nothing can convince you more than trying it out for yourself.

That’s the best way to kickstart your day, make the best of your morning and get ahead with what you want to achieve in life.

 

What other things can you add to this list?

Lidiya K. is a writer and blogger in the fields of self-improvement, life hacking, human potential and minimalism. She's the creator of Let's Reach Success, where her mission is to motivate and inspire and think of creative and unusual ways to overcome fear, procrastination, insecurity, clutter, failure, overthinking, discontent and much more.

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Rama Tadepalli

    Dec 20, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    Be cautious on Diet you take – it will have influence on the body & Mind

  2. James Sommers

    Mar 26, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    For me the “get up early” stuff drives me nuts because, many people work nights or LATE. Not everyone works 9-5. Millions don’t. And if you have a job where you come home at 1-2 AM getting up at 5 is unhealthy (3 hours of sleep!) I ran a martial arts school for years — I’d get home late every night. So my “5 PM” was really about 10 (when I’d eat dinner).

    There was a Ted Talk about sleep by a neurologist far smarter than me who said there’s NO difference economically between morning people and late people except morning people tend to be far more smug!

  3. EPIM

    Feb 14, 2015 at 3:29 am

    always feel sleepy in the mornings especially in winter. omg. compared with lemon, i prefer a glass of water with honey 😉

  4. Danilo

    Feb 7, 2015 at 10:57 am

    Good habits 🙂 i would add 5 minutes for laughs 🙂

    • Lidiya K

      Feb 13, 2015 at 11:15 am

      Thanks. Laughing is a good one, too.

  5. cheryl

    Feb 7, 2015 at 1:18 am

    I am up at four and out the door for a run, bike ride or swim (or yoga weights) before work (I leave my house at 6:15 to get to work by 7 and work with special needs preschoolers all day)-sometimes I do a second workout if I have a big race coming up. I read/meditate and get all my other stuff done after work/dinner. I am 61 and have been doing this for the last 44 years of my life…let’s just say I sleep well at night and have more energy than the young people I work with!

    • Lidiya K

      Feb 13, 2015 at 11:35 am

      Amen to that!

      You’ve got a solid morning and evening routine and definitely know how to stick to a habit. Let’s hope that more and more people will realize how beneficial that is to every area of our lives.

      Keep doing what you do!

  6. Gabriel DoCarmo

    Feb 3, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    Great article, very well written! I have to say these are some of the best morning rituals you can develop. I’ve been following Numbers 1-3 for awhile and I must say its the most productive I’ve ever been in my entire life. I agree the key to a good day is in your morning rituals. “The first hour of the day, determines the rest of it.”

    Cheers!
    Gabriel

    • Lidiya K

      Feb 4, 2015 at 10:51 am

      Thanks, Gabriel. Glad you too have felt the benefits of that habit.

  7. Gonzalo

    Feb 3, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    Great straight to the point post, like it! Thanks Lidiya!

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Life

5 Subtle Things You Do When You Lack Confidence

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lack of confidence

Confidence is a belief in one’s abilities and sense of competence. There are certain subtle things we do when we lack or have low confidence, and you need to be aware of these actions as they are quite subtle and can be easily skipped over. Even worse, we don’t identify the root cause of the problem and then spend years trying to fix something without any effect.

To prevent that, here is a list of 5 subtle things you do when you lack confidence:

1. You begin settling

You have it good enough in life so you settle for less because you think you don’t deserve it. The quote Jim Collins said about good being the enemy of great was focused on companies, but that can also apply to your life, your job and your relationship.

You got a job that you kind of hate. The job itself is okay but the boss is horrible and promotion/growth is not possible, but the salary is okay and the job is “just good.” When you lack confidence in your ability, you settle down. There are always other opportunities out there, so push forward.

The only thing worse than this is if the situation becomes permanent. Evaluate your life now and figure out where you are just floating by in. Believe in your ability to do better and take the risk. Learn new stuff and improve your life.

2. You avoid exposure

You think your ideas are not good or that your personality is not good enough. This is only fueled by your lack of confidence. You stand near the walls at a party to feel protected. The center of attention and the room is 2 meters away, but in your head, it’s a million miles.

Exposing yourself means showing other people who you are. To do that, we need to accept and love who we were. If we can’t, who can? For you to accept yourself continuously, do an exercise called “The Wheel of Change.” The exercise has 4 simple questions you need to answer for yourself giving you the building block of your confidence.

  1. What do I eliminate from my life?
  2. What do I create in my life?
  3. What do I accept in my life?
  4. What do I preserve in my life?

“With confidence, you have won before you have started.” – Marcus Garvey

3. You use distractions instead of solutions

The difference here is the belief. Zorro played by Antonio Banderas, couldn’t defeat his arch-enemy, Captain Harrison Love, because he just didn’t have the skills or knowledge at the time to do it. Due to this, he started drinking.

The drinking led him to despair and he almost gave up, yet a mentor played by Anthony Hopkins taught Zorro how to gain his confidence back and take out his enemies. The main thing was to master things in “The Zorro Circle.” That circle is small, but it’s a place where you have full control. When you master that circle, you expand it. The same things happen with your confidence.

You indulge in distractions, get overwhelmed and then quit. Nonetheless,  the main thing here is to do small things which are in your control. Use solutions instead of distractions and at some point, you will be able to solve problems which were out of your control when you started.

Don’t fall into the trap of rationalization, explaining why you are where you are in life. Just start working small, use solutions instead of distractions and you will get there.

4. You are a one-trick pony

A man came to see a psychologist and told him: “Doctor, I’m always depressed. I tried everything but nothing works. Please, help me out.” The psychologist told him to stand up and come to the window with him. “You see that tent over there?. That is the circus and they are really good. There is this one clown in particular who is really funny. He makes everyone laugh so hard. You should go and see him and you won’t have any reason to be depressed.”

The man turned to the psychologist and said, “Doctor, I am that clown!” You are not a one-trick pony but your friends perceive you like that. You are the funny one that cracks jokes or the trivia guy who has interesting facts around the water cooler.

At a certain point, this becomes who you are, and then, you are scared to show anything else to people around you. At some point, it becomes unbearable and you crack. To prevent this, you need to know that it’s okay to show your full personality.

You are not a one-trick pony. You are a human being with a full range of emotions, character-traits and personalities that must be shown to the world. This is the way to confidence. The other way brings you to the story of Robin Williams who tragically ended his life, so show yourself fully.

“Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.” – Bruce Lee

5. You lack tears in your eyes

It’s when you are aligned with emotions – when you respect how you feel – that you are truly free to feel the freedom of your emotions. You must love and cherish them when they occur by shedding happy yet sad tears as well.

When you acknowledge what you feel and own it to your deepest level, that’s when you’ll feel the biggest confidence. Don’t run away from your emotions, but own them. Let them go through your body and mind and acknowledge what’s happening in you. Feel it. They are sometimes pleasant and sometimes not, yet they are yours. It’s not how you feel, it’s how you feel about how you feel.

What do you do when you lack confidence? Let us know in the comments below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Life

22 Incredibly Weird But Profound Life Lessons.

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We’ve all read loads of articles that talk about life lessons, and after a while, they all sound the same.

I wanted to address the unknown, simple and incredibly profound life lessons that I’ve learned. These lessons have come from the strangest of places and many of them are weird.

I like to think that hidden in the weirdness and strangeness of life is where the golden nuggets of wisdom lie.

Here are 22 incredibly weird life lessons I’ve learned:

 

1. Glass bottles, teapots and lava lamps hold beauty.

That’s why I have them around me when I write. They help me peer into another universe and see things up close. They are fully transparent and leave you with more questions than answers.

“Beauty exists in glass just like it exists in many other simple things you currently take for granted”

 

2. Watering pot plants helps you care for others.

I’ve never had kids but pot plants show me that I can care for something other than myself and do a good job. They’re green and feel good to look at. Pot plants also clean the air which is a must in any space where you do creative work and need to feel good.

 

3. That one sentence text message means so much.

“Congrats on the new job”
“Hope you sell your house for a good price”
“Thanks for being my mentor”
“Let me know if you need anything”
“I believe you can do it”
“I’m cheering on the sidelines for you”

You’ve probably never thought these very brief messages would mean much. You probably took these short messages for granted. Next time you’re at rock bottom though, see how these short messages can completely change everything.

That’s why I send messages like this all the time because you never know when someone is at rock bottom or may need a few words to change their perspective.

 

4. An immaculate desk makes your content better.

I’ve A/B tested content written with a messy desk and content written on a desk full of clutter. A clean desk always creates clearer thoughts that sound less distracted.

“Your environment does affect the content you create whether that’s blog posts, videos or audio”

 

5. One block of dark chocolate is all it takes.

That’s all it took for me to get addicted to sugar again. Those small temptations always lead to bigger problems if you don’t remain disciplined. Once you’re rekindled with your temptations, your body demands more.

Don’t let a quick decision ruin everything you’ve built for yourself. Keep saying no to things that don’t serve you.

 

6. That one insult will ruin everything.

Saying nasty stuff only brings more of that into your life. Watch how good a smile can be in even the toughest situation, and you’ll see why you should never insult someone again.

 

7. One beep of your car horn.

It breaks your thought pattern and creates anxiety. People will cut you off and make mistakes when you’re driving. I’ve learned to stop reacting so much which has made me calmer. Avoid the temptation to toot people. It hurts you more than it hurts them.

 

8. You’re one book away from a breakthrough.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah Tim, I get it – read books!”

Well yes, you’ve been told a hundred times to read more. I read heaps and sometimes it does feel pointless. The thing is that all it takes is one idea from a book to create a breakthrough. Most of the advice you read in books you’ve heard before.

Sometimes it’s that one bit of advice, told in such a way, that creates a change in you. You could be one book away from changing your career, starting a new relationship or discovering a new passion.

 

9. Old clothes around the house will remind you of your former self.

I had an old pair of pyjamas that always put me in a bad mood. I realized it was because these pyjamas used to be my gym clothes when I was at the top of my fitness game. If something brings you no joy, get rid of it. Try replacing old clothes with ones that you can create new memories in as your future self.

 

10. You’re one or two connections away from anyone.

Okay, hear me out. I did a diagram the other day and realized that even a simple kid from Australia with a relatively small network (I’m talking about me) is only one or two connections away from Gary Vaynerchuk, Richard Branson, Tim Ferriss, and the founders of Uber and Airbnb.

I’m not kidding. You’re closer to your heroes than you think. Everyone knows everyone which is a big advantage providing you don’t abuse it.

 

11. A car is a distraction whether you like it or not.

Washing it.
Scratches.
Petrol.
Storing it.

The same goes for many material possessions which suck up time that you could be using to crush your goals. I look forward to the day where we can all easily access a shared electric car. Cars are a distraction that rarely bring joy.

 

12. Complex investments subtract from your passion.

Investment properties.
Share trading.
Buying crypto.

These are all investments I’ve made which have eaten up my free time that should have been used for blogging. The temptation to keep making more and more money that I’ll probably never get to spend seems alluring in the moment. Stick to simple investments unless investing is your passion.

Investments such as index funds typically beat the full-time investor and require little work to maintain. This leaves you more time and space in your brain to use on your passions in life.

 

13. The local park does change how you feel.

There’s something about fresh air and trees that takes you out of your head. Greenery is what’s needed when you’ve been working hard and need an escape. You don’t have to spend thousands and go overseas to have this simple escape. The local park can often be far enough.

 

14. The time you need does exist.

That’s why I stopped the following:

– Replying to every social media comment
– Checking emails fifty times a day
– Taking calls from unknown numbers
– Streaming TV shows
– Talking to people on the phone that piss me off
– Going to events to “make an appearance”

 

15. One minute activities are worth their weight in gold.

Spending sixty seconds on something is how new habits can often be formed. I tried bouncing on a trampoline for sixty seconds and loved it; I tried eating sardines for sixty seconds and saw the benefits straight away; I tried smiling for no good reason for sixty seconds and saw the impact.

 

16. The next conversation could be your soul mate.

That next encounter could be the love of your life. If you are determined to live life with the right positive attitude, then someone will find that attractive. If you tell everybody that you’ll never find someone, then that’s what life will deliver because you asked for it.

 

17. A comment on social media can become something.

I’ve had some followers read my stuff for years. One of them the other day introduced me to a highly lucrative new business. Always be nice to everyone on social media. You never know where your next opportunity could come from.

 

18. Keeping the toilet bowl clean is a must.

Always leave the world better than you found it. You would also like to find the toilet clean when nature calls.

 

19. Showing one person, one thing, makes you a coach.

That’s how I started my business by offering advice to a young man for free. Once you can add value to one person’s life, you can be a coach. Through coaching, you can help pass on your knowledge and wisdom to others who can use it towards their goals.

We all have it within us to be a coach.

Becoming a coach is the first step to leadership. Leaders create change.

 

20. Please and thank you does make you smile.

Say it and then watch what it does. You’ll feel good when you say it like you mean it. No one’s here to be your butler so be nice to everyone. Say thank you and please with passion and gratitude.

 

21. You’re being referenced checked 100% of the time.

That’s why lying will kill your success. Everything you do is being shared with your network so give people something inspiring, happy and positive to say about you. That’s how you attract more of what you want into your life.

 

22. A five-dollar donation is enough.

I was sitting at a restaurant with a friend last week and a man who had very little was selling a magazine to feed himself. My friend gave him 5-dollars and told him to keep the magazine. That five dollars changed the man’s day and he was so very happy that someone showed him kindness.

My friend also felt great after the encounter. It doesn’t take much to bring happiness to the world. It’s not the money or things that creates happiness; it’s the kindness you show when you do something without expecting anything in return.

It’s easier to be happy than you think.

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

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Life

13 Life Changing Principles From Benjamin Franklin

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benjamin franklin autobiography

How do you decide what’s important to you on a day to day basis? How do you decide what principles to stand by and what moral code to uphold?

Today we are constantly bombarded by news and social media messages from all around the world. This 24-hour news cycle has changed the way we absorb information, and it has shifted the way we identify reliable content. In fact, it has even changed the way that we think about what is important and how we envision success.

If you’re like me, you find it difficult to cut through the noise and develop a clear understanding of what is truly important to you. The challenge of cutting through the noise has led me to go back in time to explore the writings of some of the leading thinkers and professionals of the past.

Here are Benjamin Franklin’s 13 principles he believed led to success:

1. Temperance

Eat not to dullness, drink not to elevation. Temperance is not a trait that comes easily to many people. We live in a world driven by consumerism and excess, and we are constantly being sold on bottomless brunches or all you can eat buffets. Still, there is a growing movement of temperance and minimalism, especially among young people. The growth of this movement is something to watch out for moving forward.

2. Silence

Speak not what may benefit others or yourself, and avoid trifling conversation. We live in an age of connectivity and “always on” engagement. Too often we’re caught up reading our Facebook News Feed and updating people on our every thought and action. Interestingly, we are seeing a push away from this hyper connectivity towards “digital detoxes” and the growing popularity of silent retreats.

3. Order

Let all your things have their places. With more information comes a greater need for order. If Benjamin Franklin were alive today, he would be blown away by the number of organisations, apps, and programs available to people looking to streamline their lives.

4. Resolution

Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve. Goal setting is a top priority for most millennials and young people, yet people still struggle to follow through on their resolutions. Once you make a decision about something you want to accomplish, try your best to stick to it by setting out a definite plan for accomplishing it.

“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” – Benjamin Franklin

5. Frugality

Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself. For example, waste nothing. Frugality isn’t sexy, but it is seductively addictive. While most people would prefer to live a life of luxury and drive luxury sports cars all day, the skill required to live frugally and within your means translates into an amazing strength of will and character.

Plus, it can actually be fun. Living within (or below) your means during good times is one way to ensure that you can survive when times are tough. There are a number of resources available online that provide advice on how to save money on everything from rent to food to transportation and leisure travel.

6. Industry

Lose no time. Always be employed in something useful, and cut off all unnecessary actions. Being busy for the sake of business is not helpful. Rather, being productive by doing only that which is useful to you or someone else is key to success. Always be looking for ways to cut out unnecessary actions.

7. Sincerity

Use no hurtful deceit. Think innocently and justly, and if you speak, speak accordingly. Being truthful and sincere in your thoughts, words, and deeds is one of the best ways to achieve happiness and develop stronger relationships with those around you. While you may look for ways to avoid telling the truth because it might be hurtful or damaging, consider what affect it will have on you if you constantly have to hide how you truly feel.

8. Justice

Wrong none by doing injuries or omitting the benefits that are your duty. Effectively, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Don’t be rude.

9. Moderation

Avoid extremes. Forbear resenting injuries so much you think they deserve. Avoid becoming overly obsessive about any one thing or idea. Live a life of balance and moderation and you will be much better at making challenging decisions.

“Some people die at 25 and aren’t buried until 75.” – Benjamin Franklin

10. Cleanliness

Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation. Pretty straight forward, don’t be a slob.

11. Tranquillity

Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable. Try your best, then don’t worry, be happy. If you aren’t able to accomplish a goal but you’ve still tried your very best, there is no use worrying.

12. Chastity

Rarely use venery (sex) but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation. While this may seem like a rather antiquated principle, the power of chastity is not to be underestimated. There is a growing population of people who are self-diagnosed sex addicts or porn addicts. Addiction to pornography and sex can affect productivity and the ability to focus on long term goals.

13. Humility

Imitate Jesus and Socrates. Again, while this may seem rather dated, there is much to be said for emulating the lives of those who have lived simple and influential lives. Clearly, some of these virtues are more relevant than others, but most of the principles mentioned represent areas of personal development that nearly everyone on earth struggles with in one way or another.

Benjamin Franklin suggests that in order to develop yourself properly, you should focus on improving one quality at a time rather than trying to tackle all thirteen points at once. It is with this in mind that I urge you to take a look at your own habits and areas of interest and to choose one principle to focus on improving over the next week.

Which one of these habits will you implement first into your life and why? Comment below!

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Life

Getting Your First Grey Hair – What It Means.

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Recently I got my first grey hair. It’s on the side of my head and it’s very obvious. I’ve never had a grey hair before. I sat down and tried to think how my first grey hair made me feel. If the truth be told, it made me feel a bit fearful. Does this mean I’m getting old? What does old age mean?

These are the questions my first grey hair raised amongst many others. And guess what, if it’s not grey hair, then it will be baldness or wrinkles, or the triple McChicken Combo of all three.

Here’s what it all means:

 

You always think you’ll never get a grey hair.

When I was 21, I never thought I’d get grey hair. You know how it is. In your younger years, you think you’ll live forever. The concept of death seems so far away, and very unlikely. That’s why I smoked cigarettes and drank a lot when I was young and you probably did too.

The day you get your first grey hair, you realize you have been lying to yourself. It sort of reminds me of what it was like to take a sip of soy milk a few months ago that was full of mold. It should have been delicious until that disgusting taste hit the back of my throat.

Lying to yourself is the same. Figuring out that you misled yourself for short-term gain is not pleasant. In the end though, as Tim Ferriss says, you have to forgive yourself.

We all do dumb stuff before we get grey hair and even lie to ourselves. Your first grey hair is the realization that lying to yourself must stop. We’re all getting grey hair and we all will die at some point. That can be an awesome reality as you’ll see if you read on.

 

The “young indicator” keeps moving.

At eighteen, I thought I was old. At twenty-one, I thought I was older. At thirty, I thought I was an old man. The word “young” keeps changing its meaning as we age. My mentor is forty and he still thinks that’s young. My parents have friends that are in their fifties which they still call young.

The first grey hair brings to light the fact that young is just a label that we give meaning too.

“We can be forever young if that’s how we chose to live”

 

Grey hair doesn’t define you.

Why? Because you can get it at any age. In fact, you can even be born with it in some rare circumstances. The term “Silver Back” is cool ladies and gentlemen. The real point to address is that the color of your hair doesn’t define you.

Just like the color of your skin, the place you were born, your sexuality or the color of your phone cover doesn’t define you. Your grey hair can mean the best change in your life if you let it.

 

You’re no less of a man or woman.

Having grey hair doesn’t take away any of what you’ve created.

“You can change the world, be happy, be grateful and be successful with or without grey hair”

Grey hair doesn’t rob you of your freedom or take away your dignity.

 

Grey hair should remind you of time.

Whether we know it or not, grey hair reminds us of time. We associate grey hair with age even if it has nothing to do with it. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Being reminded about time and how short life is can help take you out of your routine.

That routine that makes you grind out each day the same way, while simultaneously forgetting who you are, who you want to become and the vision for your life.

Time is limited. Grey hair does not contain the same limitation.

 

With grey hair comes wisdom.

I only became the so-called Yoda of blogging (not my label) in the last year. The same year I got my first grey hair. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

Usually, by the time you get a grey hair or two, you’ve lived a bit of life. You’ve seen things. For example, I’ve seen loved ones die, people get stabbed, people lose their lives to drugs, people go to work and hate their jobs and so much more.

These experiences that you rack up by the time you get your first grey hair give you wisdom. That wisdom is designed to be shared so you can help others avoid these same pitfalls.

Grey hair should be a reminder of how wise you’ve become and what you want to do with the rest of your life while you continue to get grey.

Cheers to the second grey hair and the next one after that.

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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Motivation

Embrace The Suck.

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Embrace the Suck

I suck at spreadsheets.
I suck at maths because numbers do my head in.
I suck at attending meetings because I just want action.

You will suck at your first blog post.
You will suck at your first startup, and the one after that, and so on.
You will suck at giving your first speech.

We all suck 24/7.

None of us are 100% motivated all the time.
None of us get anything right the first time – unless it’s a fluke.

We all have nightmares of our failures.
We all secretly want to be perfect – even me.

 

It’s time to embrace the suck.

A lot about life F*cking sucks hard.

My #EmbraceTheSuck story (thanks Sina Fak for the idea) was failing at high school and dropping out. After a break, I went back and finished high school, and the only subjects I excelled at were music and English.

Even though the headmaster told me I’d always be a no good, punk a$$, drop out, I proved him wrong.

I used my expertise in English to become a blogger and that’s why I’m writing these words to you right now.

I failed in the short-term, but by persevering at school, it eventually led me to right now. I could have done nothing and become a bum. I could have listened to my headmaster and agreed with him.

I knew that I was destined to do something big and I believe the movement I’m creating right now is part of my crazy goal to change the world.

All of us can succeed when we embrace the suck and persevere.

“We can listen to our critics or we can lift the middle finger at them and keep going”

Making it through the suck made me smarter, more courageous and it helped me build a newfound resilience.

 

How do we embrace the suck?

1. Be prepared to fail.
2. Look like an idiot.
3. Be willing to start at the bottom
4. Persevere
5. Challenge the critics

When everything sucks, get back up.
Have a second go even if there’s no reason too.
Back yourself and believe you can push through the suck.

 

Embrace the suck is a call to action.

It’s about being prepared to eat sh*t because the upside makes it worth it. It’s about doing what so many are not prepared to do because you believe in yourself.

It’s about taking action and executing instead of being a daydreamer and being stuck in a foreplay of ideas, dreams, goals that never happen.

Starting at the bottom and sucking harder is how you get to the top.

Once you arrive at the top, make sure you help other people who are embracing the suck.

Let’s all commit to doing more things that suck and being okay with it. Let’s challenge each other to be courageous.

If I can go from being a high school dropout to making something of myself, then why the heck can’t you?

Embrace the suck because that’s what the people you idolize and anyone you’ve ever looked up to did.

Embracing the suck is part of life.

“Hello, adversity. Come at me!”

 

One day you’ll look back on all the sucky moments and be proud.

That’s the cherry on top of the cake right there.

That is all the motivation you need to embrace the suck.

 

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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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Rama Tadepalli

    Dec 20, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    Be cautious on Diet you take – it will have influence on the body & Mind

  2. James Sommers

    Mar 26, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    For me the “get up early” stuff drives me nuts because, many people work nights or LATE. Not everyone works 9-5. Millions don’t. And if you have a job where you come home at 1-2 AM getting up at 5 is unhealthy (3 hours of sleep!) I ran a martial arts school for years — I’d get home late every night. So my “5 PM” was really about 10 (when I’d eat dinner).

    There was a Ted Talk about sleep by a neurologist far smarter than me who said there’s NO difference economically between morning people and late people except morning people tend to be far more smug!

  3. EPIM

    Feb 14, 2015 at 3:29 am

    always feel sleepy in the mornings especially in winter. omg. compared with lemon, i prefer a glass of water with honey 😉

  4. Danilo

    Feb 7, 2015 at 10:57 am

    Good habits 🙂 i would add 5 minutes for laughs 🙂

    • Lidiya K

      Feb 13, 2015 at 11:15 am

      Thanks. Laughing is a good one, too.

  5. cheryl

    Feb 7, 2015 at 1:18 am

    I am up at four and out the door for a run, bike ride or swim (or yoga weights) before work (I leave my house at 6:15 to get to work by 7 and work with special needs preschoolers all day)-sometimes I do a second workout if I have a big race coming up. I read/meditate and get all my other stuff done after work/dinner. I am 61 and have been doing this for the last 44 years of my life…let’s just say I sleep well at night and have more energy than the young people I work with!

    • Lidiya K

      Feb 13, 2015 at 11:35 am

      Amen to that!

      You’ve got a solid morning and evening routine and definitely know how to stick to a habit. Let’s hope that more and more people will realize how beneficial that is to every area of our lives.

      Keep doing what you do!

  6. Gabriel DoCarmo

    Feb 3, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    Great article, very well written! I have to say these are some of the best morning rituals you can develop. I’ve been following Numbers 1-3 for awhile and I must say its the most productive I’ve ever been in my entire life. I agree the key to a good day is in your morning rituals. “The first hour of the day, determines the rest of it.”

    Cheers!
    Gabriel

    • Lidiya K

      Feb 4, 2015 at 10:51 am

      Thanks, Gabriel. Glad you too have felt the benefits of that habit.

  7. Gonzalo

    Feb 3, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    Great straight to the point post, like it! Thanks Lidiya!

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Life

5 Subtle Things You Do When You Lack Confidence

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Confidence is a belief in one’s abilities and sense of competence. There are certain subtle things we do when we lack or have low confidence, and you need to be aware of these actions as they are quite subtle and can be easily skipped over. Even worse, we don’t identify the root cause of the problem and then spend years trying to fix something without any effect.

To prevent that, here is a list of 5 subtle things you do when you lack confidence:

1. You begin settling

You have it good enough in life so you settle for less because you think you don’t deserve it. The quote Jim Collins said about good being the enemy of great was focused on companies, but that can also apply to your life, your job and your relationship.

You got a job that you kind of hate. The job itself is okay but the boss is horrible and promotion/growth is not possible, but the salary is okay and the job is “just good.” When you lack confidence in your ability, you settle down. There are always other opportunities out there, so push forward.

The only thing worse than this is if the situation becomes permanent. Evaluate your life now and figure out where you are just floating by in. Believe in your ability to do better and take the risk. Learn new stuff and improve your life.

2. You avoid exposure

You think your ideas are not good or that your personality is not good enough. This is only fueled by your lack of confidence. You stand near the walls at a party to feel protected. The center of attention and the room is 2 meters away, but in your head, it’s a million miles.

Exposing yourself means showing other people who you are. To do that, we need to accept and love who we were. If we can’t, who can? For you to accept yourself continuously, do an exercise called “The Wheel of Change.” The exercise has 4 simple questions you need to answer for yourself giving you the building block of your confidence.

  1. What do I eliminate from my life?
  2. What do I create in my life?
  3. What do I accept in my life?
  4. What do I preserve in my life?

“With confidence, you have won before you have started.” – Marcus Garvey

3. You use distractions instead of solutions

The difference here is the belief. Zorro played by Antonio Banderas, couldn’t defeat his arch-enemy, Captain Harrison Love, because he just didn’t have the skills or knowledge at the time to do it. Due to this, he started drinking.

The drinking led him to despair and he almost gave up, yet a mentor played by Anthony Hopkins taught Zorro how to gain his confidence back and take out his enemies. The main thing was to master things in “The Zorro Circle.” That circle is small, but it’s a place where you have full control. When you master that circle, you expand it. The same things happen with your confidence.

You indulge in distractions, get overwhelmed and then quit. Nonetheless,  the main thing here is to do small things which are in your control. Use solutions instead of distractions and at some point, you will be able to solve problems which were out of your control when you started.

Don’t fall into the trap of rationalization, explaining why you are where you are in life. Just start working small, use solutions instead of distractions and you will get there.

4. You are a one-trick pony

A man came to see a psychologist and told him: “Doctor, I’m always depressed. I tried everything but nothing works. Please, help me out.” The psychologist told him to stand up and come to the window with him. “You see that tent over there?. That is the circus and they are really good. There is this one clown in particular who is really funny. He makes everyone laugh so hard. You should go and see him and you won’t have any reason to be depressed.”

The man turned to the psychologist and said, “Doctor, I am that clown!” You are not a one-trick pony but your friends perceive you like that. You are the funny one that cracks jokes or the trivia guy who has interesting facts around the water cooler.

At a certain point, this becomes who you are, and then, you are scared to show anything else to people around you. At some point, it becomes unbearable and you crack. To prevent this, you need to know that it’s okay to show your full personality.

You are not a one-trick pony. You are a human being with a full range of emotions, character-traits and personalities that must be shown to the world. This is the way to confidence. The other way brings you to the story of Robin Williams who tragically ended his life, so show yourself fully.

“Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.” – Bruce Lee

5. You lack tears in your eyes

It’s when you are aligned with emotions – when you respect how you feel – that you are truly free to feel the freedom of your emotions. You must love and cherish them when they occur by shedding happy yet sad tears as well.

When you acknowledge what you feel and own it to your deepest level, that’s when you’ll feel the biggest confidence. Don’t run away from your emotions, but own them. Let them go through your body and mind and acknowledge what’s happening in you. Feel it. They are sometimes pleasant and sometimes not, yet they are yours. It’s not how you feel, it’s how you feel about how you feel.

What do you do when you lack confidence? Let us know in the comments below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Life

22 Incredibly Weird But Profound Life Lessons.

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We’ve all read loads of articles that talk about life lessons, and after a while, they all sound the same.

I wanted to address the unknown, simple and incredibly profound life lessons that I’ve learned. These lessons have come from the strangest of places and many of them are weird.

I like to think that hidden in the weirdness and strangeness of life is where the golden nuggets of wisdom lie.

Here are 22 incredibly weird life lessons I’ve learned:

 

1. Glass bottles, teapots and lava lamps hold beauty.

That’s why I have them around me when I write. They help me peer into another universe and see things up close. They are fully transparent and leave you with more questions than answers.

“Beauty exists in glass just like it exists in many other simple things you currently take for granted”

 

2. Watering pot plants helps you care for others.

I’ve never had kids but pot plants show me that I can care for something other than myself and do a good job. They’re green and feel good to look at. Pot plants also clean the air which is a must in any space where you do creative work and need to feel good.

 

3. That one sentence text message means so much.

“Congrats on the new job”
“Hope you sell your house for a good price”
“Thanks for being my mentor”
“Let me know if you need anything”
“I believe you can do it”
“I’m cheering on the sidelines for you”

You’ve probably never thought these very brief messages would mean much. You probably took these short messages for granted. Next time you’re at rock bottom though, see how these short messages can completely change everything.

That’s why I send messages like this all the time because you never know when someone is at rock bottom or may need a few words to change their perspective.

 

4. An immaculate desk makes your content better.

I’ve A/B tested content written with a messy desk and content written on a desk full of clutter. A clean desk always creates clearer thoughts that sound less distracted.

“Your environment does affect the content you create whether that’s blog posts, videos or audio”

 

5. One block of dark chocolate is all it takes.

That’s all it took for me to get addicted to sugar again. Those small temptations always lead to bigger problems if you don’t remain disciplined. Once you’re rekindled with your temptations, your body demands more.

Don’t let a quick decision ruin everything you’ve built for yourself. Keep saying no to things that don’t serve you.

 

6. That one insult will ruin everything.

Saying nasty stuff only brings more of that into your life. Watch how good a smile can be in even the toughest situation, and you’ll see why you should never insult someone again.

 

7. One beep of your car horn.

It breaks your thought pattern and creates anxiety. People will cut you off and make mistakes when you’re driving. I’ve learned to stop reacting so much which has made me calmer. Avoid the temptation to toot people. It hurts you more than it hurts them.

 

8. You’re one book away from a breakthrough.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah Tim, I get it – read books!”

Well yes, you’ve been told a hundred times to read more. I read heaps and sometimes it does feel pointless. The thing is that all it takes is one idea from a book to create a breakthrough. Most of the advice you read in books you’ve heard before.

Sometimes it’s that one bit of advice, told in such a way, that creates a change in you. You could be one book away from changing your career, starting a new relationship or discovering a new passion.

 

9. Old clothes around the house will remind you of your former self.

I had an old pair of pyjamas that always put me in a bad mood. I realized it was because these pyjamas used to be my gym clothes when I was at the top of my fitness game. If something brings you no joy, get rid of it. Try replacing old clothes with ones that you can create new memories in as your future self.

 

10. You’re one or two connections away from anyone.

Okay, hear me out. I did a diagram the other day and realized that even a simple kid from Australia with a relatively small network (I’m talking about me) is only one or two connections away from Gary Vaynerchuk, Richard Branson, Tim Ferriss, and the founders of Uber and Airbnb.

I’m not kidding. You’re closer to your heroes than you think. Everyone knows everyone which is a big advantage providing you don’t abuse it.

 

11. A car is a distraction whether you like it or not.

Washing it.
Scratches.
Petrol.
Storing it.

The same goes for many material possessions which suck up time that you could be using to crush your goals. I look forward to the day where we can all easily access a shared electric car. Cars are a distraction that rarely bring joy.

 

12. Complex investments subtract from your passion.

Investment properties.
Share trading.
Buying crypto.

These are all investments I’ve made which have eaten up my free time that should have been used for blogging. The temptation to keep making more and more money that I’ll probably never get to spend seems alluring in the moment. Stick to simple investments unless investing is your passion.

Investments such as index funds typically beat the full-time investor and require little work to maintain. This leaves you more time and space in your brain to use on your passions in life.

 

13. The local park does change how you feel.

There’s something about fresh air and trees that takes you out of your head. Greenery is what’s needed when you’ve been working hard and need an escape. You don’t have to spend thousands and go overseas to have this simple escape. The local park can often be far enough.

 

14. The time you need does exist.

That’s why I stopped the following:

– Replying to every social media comment
– Checking emails fifty times a day
– Taking calls from unknown numbers
– Streaming TV shows
– Talking to people on the phone that piss me off
– Going to events to “make an appearance”

 

15. One minute activities are worth their weight in gold.

Spending sixty seconds on something is how new habits can often be formed. I tried bouncing on a trampoline for sixty seconds and loved it; I tried eating sardines for sixty seconds and saw the benefits straight away; I tried smiling for no good reason for sixty seconds and saw the impact.

 

16. The next conversation could be your soul mate.

That next encounter could be the love of your life. If you are determined to live life with the right positive attitude, then someone will find that attractive. If you tell everybody that you’ll never find someone, then that’s what life will deliver because you asked for it.

 

17. A comment on social media can become something.

I’ve had some followers read my stuff for years. One of them the other day introduced me to a highly lucrative new business. Always be nice to everyone on social media. You never know where your next opportunity could come from.

 

18. Keeping the toilet bowl clean is a must.

Always leave the world better than you found it. You would also like to find the toilet clean when nature calls.

 

19. Showing one person, one thing, makes you a coach.

That’s how I started my business by offering advice to a young man for free. Once you can add value to one person’s life, you can be a coach. Through coaching, you can help pass on your knowledge and wisdom to others who can use it towards their goals.

We all have it within us to be a coach.

Becoming a coach is the first step to leadership. Leaders create change.

 

20. Please and thank you does make you smile.

Say it and then watch what it does. You’ll feel good when you say it like you mean it. No one’s here to be your butler so be nice to everyone. Say thank you and please with passion and gratitude.

 

21. You’re being referenced checked 100% of the time.

That’s why lying will kill your success. Everything you do is being shared with your network so give people something inspiring, happy and positive to say about you. That’s how you attract more of what you want into your life.

 

22. A five-dollar donation is enough.

I was sitting at a restaurant with a friend last week and a man who had very little was selling a magazine to feed himself. My friend gave him 5-dollars and told him to keep the magazine. That five dollars changed the man’s day and he was so very happy that someone showed him kindness.

My friend also felt great after the encounter. It doesn’t take much to bring happiness to the world. It’s not the money or things that creates happiness; it’s the kindness you show when you do something without expecting anything in return.

It’s easier to be happy than you think.

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

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Life

13 Life Changing Principles From Benjamin Franklin

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How do you decide what’s important to you on a day to day basis? How do you decide what principles to stand by and what moral code to uphold?

Today we are constantly bombarded by news and social media messages from all around the world. This 24-hour news cycle has changed the way we absorb information, and it has shifted the way we identify reliable content. In fact, it has even changed the way that we think about what is important and how we envision success.

If you’re like me, you find it difficult to cut through the noise and develop a clear understanding of what is truly important to you. The challenge of cutting through the noise has led me to go back in time to explore the writings of some of the leading thinkers and professionals of the past.

Here are Benjamin Franklin’s 13 principles he believed led to success:

1. Temperance

Eat not to dullness, drink not to elevation. Temperance is not a trait that comes easily to many people. We live in a world driven by consumerism and excess, and we are constantly being sold on bottomless brunches or all you can eat buffets. Still, there is a growing movement of temperance and minimalism, especially among young people. The growth of this movement is something to watch out for moving forward.

2. Silence

Speak not what may benefit others or yourself, and avoid trifling conversation. We live in an age of connectivity and “always on” engagement. Too often we’re caught up reading our Facebook News Feed and updating people on our every thought and action. Interestingly, we are seeing a push away from this hyper connectivity towards “digital detoxes” and the growing popularity of silent retreats.

3. Order

Let all your things have their places. With more information comes a greater need for order. If Benjamin Franklin were alive today, he would be blown away by the number of organisations, apps, and programs available to people looking to streamline their lives.

4. Resolution

Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve. Goal setting is a top priority for most millennials and young people, yet people still struggle to follow through on their resolutions. Once you make a decision about something you want to accomplish, try your best to stick to it by setting out a definite plan for accomplishing it.

“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” – Benjamin Franklin

5. Frugality

Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself. For example, waste nothing. Frugality isn’t sexy, but it is seductively addictive. While most people would prefer to live a life of luxury and drive luxury sports cars all day, the skill required to live frugally and within your means translates into an amazing strength of will and character.

Plus, it can actually be fun. Living within (or below) your means during good times is one way to ensure that you can survive when times are tough. There are a number of resources available online that provide advice on how to save money on everything from rent to food to transportation and leisure travel.

6. Industry

Lose no time. Always be employed in something useful, and cut off all unnecessary actions. Being busy for the sake of business is not helpful. Rather, being productive by doing only that which is useful to you or someone else is key to success. Always be looking for ways to cut out unnecessary actions.

7. Sincerity

Use no hurtful deceit. Think innocently and justly, and if you speak, speak accordingly. Being truthful and sincere in your thoughts, words, and deeds is one of the best ways to achieve happiness and develop stronger relationships with those around you. While you may look for ways to avoid telling the truth because it might be hurtful or damaging, consider what affect it will have on you if you constantly have to hide how you truly feel.

8. Justice

Wrong none by doing injuries or omitting the benefits that are your duty. Effectively, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Don’t be rude.

9. Moderation

Avoid extremes. Forbear resenting injuries so much you think they deserve. Avoid becoming overly obsessive about any one thing or idea. Live a life of balance and moderation and you will be much better at making challenging decisions.

“Some people die at 25 and aren’t buried until 75.” – Benjamin Franklin

10. Cleanliness

Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation. Pretty straight forward, don’t be a slob.

11. Tranquillity

Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable. Try your best, then don’t worry, be happy. If you aren’t able to accomplish a goal but you’ve still tried your very best, there is no use worrying.

12. Chastity

Rarely use venery (sex) but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation. While this may seem like a rather antiquated principle, the power of chastity is not to be underestimated. There is a growing population of people who are self-diagnosed sex addicts or porn addicts. Addiction to pornography and sex can affect productivity and the ability to focus on long term goals.

13. Humility

Imitate Jesus and Socrates. Again, while this may seem rather dated, there is much to be said for emulating the lives of those who have lived simple and influential lives. Clearly, some of these virtues are more relevant than others, but most of the principles mentioned represent areas of personal development that nearly everyone on earth struggles with in one way or another.

Benjamin Franklin suggests that in order to develop yourself properly, you should focus on improving one quality at a time rather than trying to tackle all thirteen points at once. It is with this in mind that I urge you to take a look at your own habits and areas of interest and to choose one principle to focus on improving over the next week.

Which one of these habits will you implement first into your life and why? Comment below!

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Life

Getting Your First Grey Hair – What It Means.

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Recently I got my first grey hair. It’s on the side of my head and it’s very obvious. I’ve never had a grey hair before. I sat down and tried to think how my first grey hair made me feel. If the truth be told, it made me feel a bit fearful. Does this mean I’m getting old? What does old age mean?

These are the questions my first grey hair raised amongst many others. And guess what, if it’s not grey hair, then it will be baldness or wrinkles, or the triple McChicken Combo of all three.

Here’s what it all means:

 

You always think you’ll never get a grey hair.

When I was 21, I never thought I’d get grey hair. You know how it is. In your younger years, you think you’ll live forever. The concept of death seems so far away, and very unlikely. That’s why I smoked cigarettes and drank a lot when I was young and you probably did too.

The day you get your first grey hair, you realize you have been lying to yourself. It sort of reminds me of what it was like to take a sip of soy milk a few months ago that was full of mold. It should have been delicious until that disgusting taste hit the back of my throat.

Lying to yourself is the same. Figuring out that you misled yourself for short-term gain is not pleasant. In the end though, as Tim Ferriss says, you have to forgive yourself.

We all do dumb stuff before we get grey hair and even lie to ourselves. Your first grey hair is the realization that lying to yourself must stop. We’re all getting grey hair and we all will die at some point. That can be an awesome reality as you’ll see if you read on.

 

The “young indicator” keeps moving.

At eighteen, I thought I was old. At twenty-one, I thought I was older. At thirty, I thought I was an old man. The word “young” keeps changing its meaning as we age. My mentor is forty and he still thinks that’s young. My parents have friends that are in their fifties which they still call young.

The first grey hair brings to light the fact that young is just a label that we give meaning too.

“We can be forever young if that’s how we chose to live”

 

Grey hair doesn’t define you.

Why? Because you can get it at any age. In fact, you can even be born with it in some rare circumstances. The term “Silver Back” is cool ladies and gentlemen. The real point to address is that the color of your hair doesn’t define you.

Just like the color of your skin, the place you were born, your sexuality or the color of your phone cover doesn’t define you. Your grey hair can mean the best change in your life if you let it.

 

You’re no less of a man or woman.

Having grey hair doesn’t take away any of what you’ve created.

“You can change the world, be happy, be grateful and be successful with or without grey hair”

Grey hair doesn’t rob you of your freedom or take away your dignity.

 

Grey hair should remind you of time.

Whether we know it or not, grey hair reminds us of time. We associate grey hair with age even if it has nothing to do with it. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Being reminded about time and how short life is can help take you out of your routine.

That routine that makes you grind out each day the same way, while simultaneously forgetting who you are, who you want to become and the vision for your life.

Time is limited. Grey hair does not contain the same limitation.

 

With grey hair comes wisdom.

I only became the so-called Yoda of blogging (not my label) in the last year. The same year I got my first grey hair. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

Usually, by the time you get a grey hair or two, you’ve lived a bit of life. You’ve seen things. For example, I’ve seen loved ones die, people get stabbed, people lose their lives to drugs, people go to work and hate their jobs and so much more.

These experiences that you rack up by the time you get your first grey hair give you wisdom. That wisdom is designed to be shared so you can help others avoid these same pitfalls.

Grey hair should be a reminder of how wise you’ve become and what you want to do with the rest of your life while you continue to get grey.

Cheers to the second grey hair and the next one after that.

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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