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5 Life Lessons That You Won’t Learn In College

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I’ve never been a fan of post-secondary formal education. Not because of the skyrocketing tuition prices or the fact that most college students enter school without a solid idea of what job they want. It’s the fact that going to college doesn’t properly prepare you for being a successful adult in the real world.

1. To be successful, you need to be specific about what you want

In college, you can slip by for a few semesters with only a sliver of an idea of what you want to do for a living but when entering the real world, you need to be a little more specific. You need to know exactly what you want from the world so you can create a plan of action and attack your aspirations head on.

 

2. In most job markets, formal education will always be second to experience

When it comes to hiring, employers value one thing above all else: experience.All the degrees, certifications, letters of recommendation and references in the world are outweighed by the simple sentence:

“Ten years experience with a proven track record of success in the industry.”

To that end, if you like doing something and want to turn it into a career, simply do it.

Do it, practice it, become good at it and, in the end, you’ll land the job you want.

 

3. The most important relationship is the one you have with yourself

You may know the proper way to file end-of-year earnings reports and how many creamers the boss likes in his coffee but, really, what does any of it matter if you don’t know who you are? The average 9-to-5 job pits an individual against themselves and floods them with an overflow of useless knowledge that inhibits their ability to get up-close and personal with their own identities.

To get the most out of your career, you need to find a job, or business, that pushes you to explore your secret talents, and hidden abilities.

 

4. Enjoying life and having fun is far more important than holding down a steady 9-to-5

Would you spend 40 hours of your free time every week doing something unrewarding? Probably not, right? In a very real sense, every single hour of your life is free time… so why not take advantage of every second of it? If your job doesn’t excite you, and if it isn’t something you would do for free in your spare time… search for a new career.

There’s more to life than a suit and tie, and it’s up to you to find that perfect job — conventional or not — that provides you with the room you need to satisfy your bold and adventurous impulses.

 

5. If you do happen to take on a 9-to-5, you need to take care of yourself

If you’re making a choice to pursue a steady 9-to-5, go on at least 4 vacations a year. When monotony is running high, your boss is calling you for that expense report for the 7th time in a row and you feel like your head is going to explode… don’t take the afternoon or the next few days to blow things off, fly to Jamaica. Relax under the Caribbean sun, play hooky, and flirt with some locals until you feel like heading back. That down time will do wonders for your mental health and your productivity; you’ll be much happier and able to do your job effectively.

And if your cookie-cutter job doesn’t come with enough off time? Feel no shame in mercilessly negotiating your way into a few extra “sick” days.

Over the years, I’ve learned that happiness doesn’t come from locking yourself into a lifelong career at the age of eighteen. It comes from liberally experimenting with your life’s direction, and having a rather flexible existence.

 

Ultimately, while college can prepare you for a job that seems interesting at the moment it can’t prepare you for the inevitable changes that you go through in life. In order to truly experience all that life has to offer, you’ve got to define what you want, devote yourself to practicing it, remain true to yourself and pursue your dreams with an open mind.

Like this post? Check out: 10 Reasons Why Entrepreneurs Should Never Enroll In College

Author bio:  Nonconformist, freedom enthusiast, and part-time Trekkie, Trent is a professional life coach that helps free-thinkers live amazing lives, and encourages everyone to challenge the status quo, and think outside the box when it comes to: Work, success, love, and freedom. Drive by helloimtrent.com sometime, or follow Trent on Twitter.

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Megan Hicks

    May 23, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    Thank you Trent! This is a really useful article for young people just starting their adult life. I write a blog for students and cover the issues that might arise on the start of their careers. And I totally agree that as long as you are not entirely sure what you want to do in life this 9-to-5 job is just going to make you miserable.

    I myself was a perfect example of a student you described in the first two points: I studied Economics in college without even thinking of how I will use this education in the future and what exactly I want to become. This was a huge mistake – choosing a major without thinking it all through. I have now found what I like to do. And it’s not connected with economics at all. Now that I think of it – I wasted 5 years of college studying something I never liked.

    Anyway, thanks again for this article!

  2. Jithin Mathew Joseph

    Sep 2, 2014 at 7:57 am

    I want to know how can I find which is my dream carrer. And how to figure out my talents.

  3. Phil Janecic

    Aug 26, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    Nice points, I love how you covered both sides of the spectrum (job-life balance).

    • Granville Louw

      Aug 26, 2014 at 5:20 pm

      Well said….the most important relationship you is the one you have with yourself.

      I always say….

      Whether you’re about to graduate from college, or are 15 years into your career, how do you decide when and what will determine that you’re a success? I see incredibly impressive(graduates) people struggle with this question all of the time.
      The hardest part is that it is undefined and it has to come from you. To me, success means understanding three things: what you want, why you want it and how you’re going to get it.

      “formal education will -always- be second to experience”……I tend to this disagree with this. Where I come from, formal education serves as priority one when applying for Jobs. Somehow many of the baby boomers places a high value on someone with a degree, instead of someone who worked for a Google for years.
      I always say, it is all based on critical factor: Paradigms.

      • Trent W. Nelson

        Aug 27, 2014 at 12:50 am

        “Whether you’re about to graduate from college, or are 15 years into your career, how do you decide when and what will determine that you’re a success? I see incredibly impressive(graduates) people struggle with this question all of the time.”

        I think it’s a common conundrum because, as you said, they dont realize that it is up to them to define success for themselves. Whether you are an entrepreneur, or an employee, you will always have trouble feeling as if you’ve accomplished a great deal, if the definition of success is contrived from another person, or institution.

        I find that most degrees are quite useless because they dont inform prospective employers of the individual’s ability to practically apply the knowledge they have acquired through attending college; it simply displays that the candidate is able to memorize information, and regurgitate it on command.

        This is why doctoral degrees hold so much weight; in order to get one, you have to do your own research, and defend your findings to a board of experts.

        And the comment about formal education being second to experience, it honestly just depends on who you plan on working for. Personally, as an ambitious 20-something entrepreneur, I would never get into business with someone that valued a piece of paper over actual experience.

        I find it rather insulting to work for or with people that you don’t respect, so I choose not to go down that road in my career.

  4. Liv

    Aug 26, 2014 at 1:41 am

    i feel a lot of people loose track of life and get overwhelmed working a job based solely on financial gain. Society has taught people to take the traditional route or the route that guarantees the most money and security. security and money is fine but not living the life you want to live drains you mentally and physically.

    • Trent W. Nelson

      Aug 26, 2014 at 10:04 am

      I agree wholeheartedly.

      Financial gain is probably one of the biggest reasons why people choose certain college majors over others. I’ve met many people that refuse to get a psych degree because they think there’s no money in it, and while I happen to agree with them, I dont think it’s best to choose a career path based solely on it’s money-making potential.

      But the bigger problem is people not negotiating their worth. You can get into a great school, and pursue a field of study that has potential, but if you’re not sure of your worth, you will never be truly happy with your work. If you cant negotiate your way into a few perks, and creature comforts that make your work environment fun, and engaging, jumping the hurdle of formal education seems futile.

    • Gabriel

      Aug 26, 2014 at 12:17 pm

      I agree with Liv.

      Unfortunately, today school trains people to become employees and work a job they hate, for the rest of their lives. Self Education, on the other hand is what all successful people focus on and hence the creation of this amazing site

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Life

2 Simple Steps to Help You Break Through Your Fears

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If you are addicted to success you most certainly are addicted to fear too. Why? Because they are a direct consequence of each other. When you achieve success, it’s because you have taken actions and broken through fears that were holding you back. Every success you have comes from breaking a fear you held onto.

It is incredible to think how much energy and time entrepreneurs waste looking after their fears, making sure they are listened to. It is much harder to feed the energy of fear than feed the energy of success. I want you to think about the mental dilemma you face every single day, the battle you will probably have in your mind when it comes to taking certain actions in your business.

Shall I take that risk?

What if I’m rejected? What if I’m not good enough? What if I’ll be ridiculed in front of others? What if I fail? Just think of how hard it is to constantly listen and obey these thoughts.

The battle in your head is real and challenging. The good thing is you can win it, and the bad thing is there will always be a battle going on in your head. However, you can become a more consistent winner.

Success will always require a new level of expansion which will result in a new level of fears needed to be broken. Imagine this like an elastic band. Every time you face a fear, the elastic will stretch more and more, and the tension will be greater. When you become brave and take the action, the tension will be released and the elastic band will fly further creating a bigger expansion.

“The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” – Mark Zuckerberg

Fears are normal and essentials to your success

If there are no fears, there’ll be no stretch and no expansion from you. If you want to succeed, you must break through some fears, and this is obvious. But how can you break through fears with ease? I personally used all the possible solutions available in the world to win my fears: meditation, counseling, talking therapies, exercises and many more.

Although those helped, the ultimate way to conquer your fears is to go straight through them. I won some of my biggest fears since starting my entrepreneurial journey that no one else and nothing could help me break. This seems better said than done, but by following a few simple steps, you can do it too.

Here are 2 simple steps to help you breakthrough those fears:

1. Becoming aware of what your fears are

Often they’re very well camouflaged, and they’ll appear in your life as if on autopilot, in the same way electricity comes when you flip a light switch. They’re often triggered by someone else’s actions or words, or by your idea on what the consequence of a certain action will bring to you.

Fears contain so much energy on their own, so imagine what you could do with that energy if you could use it to your advantage. Imagine fear being a close wrist. Every time you activate the fear, you give more energy to it. Every time you think of the fear, you feed the wrist with more power.

As you live your life controlled by fears, the wrists will get more and more powerful. Picture that. Then you try to take certain actions in your business like going live for the first time, proposing a deal to a certain client, writing an article where you express your very own controversial opinion about something, or invest money you currently do not have.

Fears will come in, fully charged. You try to win by punching towards the wall of action. You want to break through, and you know that on the other side of the wall there’s success.

You punch and keep punching but nothing happens. Then, imagine you taking the leap, pointing the wrist towards the wall and BANG! You break through.

Now, the energy of fear has been released and is now ready to be used to your advantage.

The energy will disperse and free itself and it will transmute into freedom and power to take further actions.

“If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.” – Jim Rohn

2. Figure out why you fear that certain thing

After you realise what the fear is, ask yourself, “Why do I fear to take this action?” Explore the consequences that breaking that specific fear will bring you. “What will happen if I break this and I achieve the results I desire?

These questions are vital, as you’ll realize your fears are just trying to keep you safe. Humans are not wired for success, they are wired for survival. So anything to do with success will be filtered through your lens of fear.

Once you realize WHAT will happen if you achieve the success you desire, which usually are negative scenarios, calm your mind and imagine a positive scenario instead. Write this down for each negative scenario your mind will create.

One of my biggest fears is the fear of being successful as I believe (my scenario) that people won’t like me anymore, and that I won’t be able to spend time with my family. So once I detected the fear, I changed the scenario. Instead of thinking people will not like me anymore, I create a new reality I desire which could look something like this: I will be able to help and impact more people and I will make sure I take lots of days off and delegate stuff to my team so to spend time with my family.

It is that simple. Once your subconscious mind is reassured with the new positive outcome, it will become easier for you to take action. In the end, always remember you’re in charge of your life, no one else, let alone your fears.

How do you conquer your fears? Let us know your advice and thoughts below!

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Being Alone With Yourself Is the Most Important Skill We Have Lost

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We live in a world where we’re always around people either at work, in the store, and on our phones through social media. In fact, our society tends to label anybody who wants to be or is alone, as a lonely person or even more terribly, a depressed person. We have forgotten how to enjoy our own company.

This is particularly surprising since some of the admired and highly celebrated icons in human history are well known to be “loners.” We have mastered a lot of skills from society, but perhaps we have neglected the most important skill of all. The ability to learn alone, to learn about your strengths and weaknesses, to reflect on the way forward in life, to just sit and appreciate nature, is invaluable.

Here are 4 ways to make being alone fun and productive:

1. Change scenery

You don’t have to do this all the time, but one way to enjoy your time alone is to take a trip or a very long drive or run. It can be difficult to spend time alone when you’re around familiar faces. It’s one of the reasons why people go on vacations away from home. Just get out and spend some time alone reflecting and enjoying your own company.

2. Switch off everything

We live in a world of digital communication. If you truly want to be alone for a while, it would be better if you didn’t login to Facebook and Twitter at all. Better yet, turn off your phone.

3. Reflect

Now that you are alone, it is time to reflect on what you want, what you have done, what you want to be doing. Silence or cool music might be good here. Whichever way, one of the things that make being alone rewarding is the fact that it affords you the opportunity to reflect.

“I’m reflective only in the sense that I learn to move forward. I reflect with a purpose.” – Kobe Bryant

4. Give yourself a treat

Go see a movie, buy a plate of food or a cup of ice-cream. Being alone is not only a time to think, it is also a time to pamper yourself. Treat yourself to the best things that you can afford and be happy and proud about it.

Now that you know how to make being alone fun and productive, it’s time to see the benefits of being alone. Here are 6 benefits you can expect from embracing being alone:

1. It aids personal growth

Apart from all the skills we get from self-development books, being alone helps build us. Through it, we are able to make plans, to ask critical questions and put our lives in the proper perspective. To grow, it is important that you take yourself out and properly assess your life alone, away from friends, families and colleagues.

2. It energizes

There are times when we’re stressed out by work, family, and friends, so being alone is a wonderful way to renew yourself with extra energy. This is the time to give yourself treats and plenty of rest and leisure, away from the stress of the world.

3. It increases the value you place on relationship

When you come to a point where you love being alone, it makes it so that you’re very intentional about your relationship with others. Being alone can also help you properly evaluate and see all there is to love and enjoy about your relationship with others.

4. It increases self-confidence

Another wonderful benefit of being alone is that it helps to boost your self- confidence and self esteem. The more time you spend alone with yourself, the more comfortable you are with your skill and with your strengths and weaknesses.

“You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.” – Michael Jordan

5. It helps you become more empathetic

One thing about having friends and those we relate with very often is that we unconsciously develop a mentality that makes us empathetic towards them rather than others. Findings have shown that the more time you spend alone, the more compassion you’re able to show to a wider range of people.

6. The difference between being alone and being lonely

The desire to be alone is quite different from loneliness and sometimes, we do not take the required time to be alone because we don’t want to be perceived as “lonely” by others. To be lonely is to deeply want to relate and have communication with someone or some people but to be unable to.

It’s an ache that you carry around throughout the day, and it seriously affects all you do. It could make the entire world seem frustrating. The death of a loved one can lead to loneliness after a while.

Being alone on the other hand, as seen earlier, is intentionally deciding to get away from everybody and enjoying being with yourself as you reflect on your life and all that’s to come.

Taking time to be alone is very productive and it can be a wonderful thing for you. Take time away from social media and friends and find a nice spot to relax with yourself and analyze your habits and see how they affect your life.

Do you enjoy spending time by yourself? Share your thoughts below on if you think it benefits you and helps you recharge!

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Simple Meditation Techniques To Enhance Your Productivity

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At times, the workplace can be a stressful place to be. Whether you are faced with demanding clients, even more demanding colleagues, or just the incessant activity of the environment itself, the workplace can at times feel like it is exerting a pressure down upon your shoulders that is difficult to extricate yourself from.

Not only is this unhealthy and detrimental to your wellbeing, it is also highly counterproductive for your organization. A stressed or unhappy employee is, for the most part, an unproductive employee who you do not necessarily want interacting with valuable clients, while its difficult to forge fruitful relationships with co-workers.

However, with these easy-to-use techniques, you can help turn your business space into an oasis of calm, boosting your work productivity at the same time.

At-desk meditations

It may be that you want to invoke some form of meditative state, but the last thing you want to do is draw attention to yourself from wide-eyed colleagues. If this sounds like you, then there are a number of at-desk meditations you can perform which will not only assist in destressing and boosting performance, but will do so without attracting unwelcome glances.

Here are a few of the most easy to use:

1. Tap your fingers to the rhythm of time

Put both of your hands on your thighs or on your desk, and proceed to start tapping each finger individually, starting with your pinky finger. It is important that you use a sequence, and time it effectively to a slow rhythm. The last part is to then recite a five-word mantra that relates to time.

There is an infinity of options here, but you could go with ‘I do have enough time’ or ‘Time is my best friend’. The idea is to create a zen-like state where you are breathing regularly and focussing on the small activity at hand (literally). Continue until your breathing has become regular and the repeated-mantra has eased though you to your core.

This is an immensely achievable meditative process that I love to utilize in any number of situations because it is so private.

“Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

2. Shake it off

Now is the time to focus on exactly what or who is causing your stress. Take some time out, sit quietly on your chair, and take a few deep breaths while you think about the origin of your stress. Next, start to recite to yourself a mantra along the lines of ‘It’s OK and I can move on from this.’ Then, start to take a few deeper breaths and use the time you breathe out to really sigh away your frustration.

Finally, shake your body to release the tension from you. There is no need to make any deep noises or draw unwanted attention to yourself, but that really shouldn’t be a consideration anyway, and will only exacerbate your stress in the process. This is about breathing and release.

3. Eyes to the flame

If you are feeling a little braver, and you understand that an open flame will not cause any undue disquiet in the workplace around you (or that you are breaking any health and safety regulations), using a candle can be a wonderful tool to help create a meditative state. Start by switching off your computer. In fact, this is a good place to begin with any meditative activity as the glare from the screen will distract your attention.

Light the candle and then bring the flame towards your eye level, holding it approximately 20 inches away, or into a position that is comfortable. Then, stare into the flame for up to 2 minutes, remembering to breathe regularly as you do so.

“Calm mind brings inner strength and self-confidence, so that’s very important for good health.” – Dalai Lama

Meditations for a private space

If you have access to a private space in the workplace, there are other types of meditative positions which you can undertake, including, lying on the floor. Lying down immediately helps to put you in an unfamiliar position for work, which is helpful in itself, but a familiar position for feeling comforted and relaxed.

Close your eyes and then once again, start to breathe in a rhythmic manner. It is essential that your breathing becomes your primary focus, so you breathe in and out with a deep concentration on what you are doing.

When starting out, five minutes is more than apt, as long as that’s five minutes of a concentrated nature. You can then start to push out those times, and there is no reason why before long you shouldn’t be able to manage 20 minutes of perfect meditative calm. This can easily be done during a lunch break or even a mid-morning break.

There are also walking meditations for more adventurous types, which involves focusing on your steps and breaths simultaneously, concentrating always on a forward motion, both literally and figuratively. Emotional calmness and wellbeing in the workplace is just around the corner.

Have you tried meditation? If so, do you like it? Let us know your thoughts about meditation below!

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Life

5 Areas of Your Life That Need Improvement to Become the Strongest Version of Yourself

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We live in a time of abundance. Despite what you see in the news daily, beauty and opportunity are all around us. We have the ability to create success in every area of our life if we’re willing to do the work. That work is the things that help you become more self-aware and help you implement true self-love.

The work is hard. It’s the reason that too many people quit somewhere along the way. Then, years later, they look at the life that has passed them by wondering where it all went wrong. That doesn’t have to be you.

Become the strongest you and create success by doing the work in these five important areas of your life:

1. Become a Jedi mind master

Mindset gets thrown around like a dirty personal development buzzword. While there are those teaching about it that shouldn’t be, mastering your mind is a skill and important part of the success equation.

Your thoughts have a direct effect on your feelings, emotions, and the action you take. When you can focus your thoughts on gratitude, on what’s possible in your life, and on your goals, you’re putting yourself in the best place to take the necessary steps to create success. Train your mind. Learn to get into peak state, as Tony Robbins often talks about.

When you feel off or a negative emotion, feel it through. Acknowledge what you feel in that moment but then get your mind back into peak state as quickly as possible. Listen to music, watch a motivational video, listen to great podcasts like Addicted 2 Success’, change your state. Master your mind and you’ll change your life.

“The mind is the limit. As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it. As long as you really believe 100 percent.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger

2. Treat your health like it’s your only job

Physical fitness and movement have a direct impact on creating success. You’ll need energy and focus to accomplish your major goals. You’ve heard Les Brown say, “your health is your wealth” for good reason. True self-love means you refuse to do anything to your body that doesn’t honor it. That includes what you eat and how you move.

You know how to get and stay fit—there’s a wealth of information online about the tactics. Get there in your mind. Tell yourself a different story in regards to your wellness and commit to doing the work.

There’s a lot of research on the benefits of starting your day with physical movement. It teaches you discipline, gives you an opportunity to release stress, and builds your endurance in many ways.

3. Fire people out of your life that you know need to go

You know that you become who you hang around but it’s deeper than that. You need to fire and cut people out of your life that aren’t aligned with where you are and where you’re going. It’s hard enough to create success and do the work. It gets unbearable when you’re trying to take action while the negative energy of others is holding you back.

This means cutting people out of your life on social media, at work, in your business life, and any other place that needs cutting. Your intuition is speaking to you—listen. Surround yourself with people and the opportunity to challenge your self-limiting beliefs. Model success by surrounding yourself with it.

4. Make more money in a way that brings a smile to your face

We do live in a different time. Today, you can make a living by doing what you love and doing it all over the world. The “laptop lifestyle” doesn’t have to be a cheesy Facebook ad. You can build income teaching on the things that light your soul up. Whether that’s through an online business, a brick and mortar business, a remote job, or a job that you enjoy, we’re surrounded by opportunity.

What you do for “work” will take up a large part of your week. That time could be spent helping you move closer to your goals or it could be spent derailing and depressing you. You can find or create work or a business that you love and that helps you become a better version of yourself.

Use today’s tools, software, technology, and access to knowledge to create work that pays your bills and gives you true freedom. There is no shortage of information online that can teach you how to do that. Don’t settle for “good enough” or worse.

“There’s no shortage of money in this world. Start hustling.” – Grant Cardone

5. Love a person that craves growth as much as you

The romantic relationship in your life is one of the most influential parts of creating success and a better you. You need a partner in crime that understands and craves growth may be even more than you.

A healthy relationship is two complete people coming together and agreeing to support each other as you become better versions of yourself. It’s a partnership in which you come together to build an empire through love.

To get there, you should be with someone who shares your vision and values. Settling in your romantic life is a recipe for failure. This is the person you’ll spend a large amount of time with. Choose wisely and from a place of self-love.

You can accomplish anything if you’re willing to work for it. You can create success and true freedom in every area of your life. You have to believe this is possible for you and take the necessary steps. Work on these five areas and watch magic happen in your life.

What area of your life do you need to work on this week?

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