Did you wake up today hoping that today will be the day for your breakthrough? Everyday we see breakthroughs happen.The latest technology crashing into the market, a new overnight success story starring in a Hollywood movie, a business IPO that makes the founders billions in just a few hours.
Often we see these breakthroughs and wonder to ourselves – “when will it be my turn?” We deserve success as much as those people. We are just as smart, or talented, or determined as those people making the headlines, so surely it is just a matter of time.
The problem with this view of the breakthrough process is that we do not see what happened BEFORE the breakthrough. Before the tech launch, there were hundreds of hours of coding, testing and fixing before version 1 was even launched. The breakout technology is already at version 13.1.
Before the Hollywood blockbuster, there were hundreds of auditions, rejections and hours spent in front of the mirror mastering facial expressions. The 90-minute blockbuster is only the tip of that artist’s work.
Before the IPO, there was hustling for sales, funding rejections and moments where the business almost failed. The stock price doesn’t show the blood and sweat that the entire company invested to get to that point.
The reality is there are 5 steps that lead to every breakthrough. If you are waiting for your breakthrough to happen, you need to see where you are on this path.
1. Decide To Be In The Game
First off, you need to make a commitment to get started. Observing everything from the outside and commenting on how you would do it is never going to lead to your breakthrough. You need to have skin in the game. You can’t influence anything if you are only sitting on the bench. This first step is scary as you have to overcome a whole load of fear.
Also, there is no risk associated with being a critic. Theodore Roosevelt said in ‘Man In The Arena’ that critics are “those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat”. Instead, you know that to breakthrough, you have to leave that old mindset behind, get in the game and open yourself up to success.
“I wonder how many times people give up just before a breakthrough – when they are on the very brink of success.” – Joyce Meyer
2. Get Started
Start small rather than quitting your job and stating something full time. Think about developing a side hustle first, and growing that to the point that it can replace your salary. Ben & Jerry’s started with a $5 correspondence course in ice cream technology. Vivien Westwood invented the mini skirt but started her fashion career selling homemade jewellery at a market stall on Portobello Road on weekends. Check out books like Side Hustle by Chris Guillebeau or 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss for ideas on how to get started.
3. Get Better Every Day
Once you have begun your journey, you will find yourself surrounded by competitors and collaborators and a natural tendency will be to compare yourself with them. The problem with that is everyone is moving at different speeds and at different points in their journey. It can be easy to become deflated if you compare yourself to people much further ahead of you.
Likewise, you can get complacent if you look how much further you have come than people who have just started. Instead, focus on how you can improve yourself each day. The Law of Marginal Gains proves that lots of small improvements eventually turn into huge progress, so try and improve a specific area by 1% every day and see how quickly that all adds up.
4. Network & Connect
Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were introduced by a mutual contact. Harrison Ford got a huge break talking about his desire to be an actor when building cabinets for George Lucas. We don’t always know where the contacts we make when networking will take us, but without a strong network and group of contacts, your reach will always be limited.
When networking, think about specific groups of people you want to connect with. The cast of the original Ghostbusters movie all met doing Saturday Night Live. Ask yourself “what is the SNL of my industry?” and then find a way to get into that group of people.
“The richest people in the world look for and build networks, everyone else looks for work.” – Robert Kiyosaki
Players & Coaches Like Michael Jordan said, “talent wins games but teamwork wins championships”. The journey to success can be a long one, and we will need people around us to get all the way. Sometimes we need people to extend our bandwidth of what we can produce. Sometimes we need words of encouragement or someone to bounce ideas around with. Make sure you surround yourself with a team and coaches that will help you play at the level you deserve to be competing at.
So there you have it, these are the 5 steps to creating a breakthrough. There is no telling how long it will take for your breakthrough to arrive, so find a way to enjoy the journey. Ray Croc started McDonalds when he was 53. Vera Wang didn’t make wedding dresses until she was 39. Alan Rickman didn’t get a movie role until he was 28.
Take some small steps immediately after finishing this article. Commit to yourself today to take control of the breakthrough process, rather than waiting for it to happen to you. One day, and before too long, when you wake hoping that today will be the day for your breakthrough… it will be.
How do you create a breakthrough? Comment below!
Image courtesy of Twenty20.com
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3 Simple Hacks That Can Recharge Your Willpower and Help You Perform Better at Work
How many times did you wake up feeling like you could conquer the world? You set ambitious goals for the day, you put on your best attire and walked out the door with a big smile on your face but eventually, life took over. Traffic, emails, work, family, and everything else you have around slowly but steadily started to drain your energy and made you feel exhausted.
You run out of battery, and the only solution that seemed viable was to rely on more caffeine. When that stopped working, all the temptations around you started to look much more appealing, and that sense of drive and commitment you had before slowly faded away. This is you running out of willpower.
Willpower: what is it? Why is it limited?
The American Psychology Association describes willpower as “the ability to resist short-term temptations in order to meet long-term goals.” In the book “The Willpower Instinct”, Dr. Kelly McGonigal, explains how every person’s willpower is limited, and slowly depletes throughout the day. The more “willpower challenges” you face, the quicker your reserve drains. Dr. McGonigal divided the different types of willpower challenges you might encounter in three categories:
- I will: We face this type of challenge whenever we should do something, but we simply don’t feel like getting it done right now.
- I won’t: We face this challenge when we try to resist temptation, or we try to keep cool in stressful situations.
- I want: This is a particular type of challenge where we keep track of our long term goals, dreams, and desires. In this instance, we feel like we should take action right now to come one step closer to the goal.
It’s easy to recognize it when you face a willpower challenge because you literally “feel it in your body.” Imagine being really hungry and walking in front of a bakery. The sight and the smell of pastries quickly triggers an “I won’t” type of challenge, and it takes a severe amount of effort and energy to walk away.
Every time you manage to win one of those challenges, a little bit of your willpower reserve gets used. The more challenges you face daily, the harder it will be to stay true to your goals.
Can you train or recharge your willpower?
A growing body of research suggests that willpower should be considered a muscle. To strengthen it, you should exercise it regularly, but you should not overwork it. Therefore, we shouldn’t try to “be good” at all times. Instead, we should learn how to relax and recharge our willpower.
The general advice on how to improve willpower involves sleep, proper nutrition, and regular exercise. This broad and general recommendation is often not downright applicable by most, because it consists of changing various daily habits. Luckily, three very effective hacks have been discovered, that have an immediate effect on our willpower and take just a few minutes to apply.
Here are the 3 ways to refill your willpower reserves:
1. Focused breathing
Breathing, when done correctly, can stimulate the release of calming hormones while reducing the release of stress hormones like cortisol and catecholamines. To make this effective, you should deeply and slowly inhale through the nose for at least five seconds. Fill your belly with air first, then your chest, and when there’s no more space for air, still try to do tiny inhalations through the nose.
You should feel a pulling sensation around your neck and trapezius muscles. Once your lungs are full, try to hold the breath for five seconds, then slowly exhale through the mouth for at least five seconds. If you repeat this process ten to twenty times, you should feel dramatically more relaxed. Use this method several times a day, especially when you’re experiencing high levels of stress or anxiety.
2. Reward yourself when you accomplish a micro goal
According to a recent study, frequent instant rewards can boost motivation, and therefore, willpower. Creating your own reward system can help you to accomplish your to-do list, and also resist temptations. Since every individual has different tastes, you should come up with creative ideas about the small and frequent rewards you will give yourself upon winning any willpower challenge.
You can see this hack in practice in Apps like the popular Duolinguo, where after completing each lesson you get presented with a chance to open a treasure chest. This rewarding system seems to keep the users much more likely to keep learning new lessons.
Your body has an autonomic response to cold water. Getting into a cold shower is a difficult (but minor) willpower challenge on its own. As I previously mentioned, winning a willpower challenge strengthens your willpower muscle. Having a morning cold shower, on top of having multiple health benefits, will set you up for a positive winning streak of further challenges.
High performance is the sum of many small habits. Successful people don’t have an unlimited reserve of willpower, but they do have a set of daily rituals that made them succeed. These three hacks are some of the most effective techniques to develop willpower, but some of them may not fit every individual. You should try to find the perfect mix of daily practices that best fits your lifestyle and likes, so that you can strengthen your willpower muscle and perform better at work.
3 Inspiring Lessons We Can Learn From Jim Carrey About the Law of Attraction
You’ve more than likely heard of Jim Carrey before. Over the years, he has starred in many popular films including The Truman Show, The Mask, and Bruce Almighty (just to name a few.)
But his personality goes a lot deeper than just his comedic persona and movie star charisma. In fact, Jim Carrey is probably one of the most philosophical individuals on the planet!
Although he isn’t in the spotlight as much anymore, throughout the years, he has credited his success and fortunes by applying the Law of attraction into his life. What’s even more inspiring is that Jim Carrey, like you and I, came from humble beginnings. No silver spoon or easy ticket. In fact, his family was very poor throughout his childhood. So what made him so successful in attracting such an extravagant and self-fulfilling life?
Here are 3 lessons you can learn from Jim Carrey when it comes to manifesting your dreams into a reality:
1. You Have To Take Action
“You can’t just visualize then go eat a sandwich”, Jim Carrey says. It goes without saying that the law of attraction does require action. You cannot simply rely on visualizing and expect to see results, especially when it comes to manifesting desires that other people would like to achieve also. E.g. Careers, scholarships, competitions, anything that involves another individual.
Visualization and positive thinking are crucial when it comes to using the law of attraction, but you have to meet the universe halfway with the steps you take as well. We are physical beings that require physical steps to get physical results. The real key is to make daily plans/goals in order to get you closer towards achieving your desires. So after that sandwich, make sure start taking action toward your dreams!
This could be working on your hobbies or passion, applying for that dream job or studying to get better grades. As long as you are moving toward your goals then there’s no reason why it can’t happen. So get out there and kick some butt.
2. Double Down On What You Love
“My father could have been a great comedian but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him, and so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant and when I was 12 years old he was let go from that safe job, and our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father. Not the least of which was that: You can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”
If this story of Jim Carrey’s father doesn’t pull on your heartstrings and inspire you at the same time, nothing else will! This is such an undeniable life lesson that everyone needs to learn. A lesson to take risks, push comfort zones and go all-in on what you love doing. So if your dreams, hobbies or goals seem far fetched to the majority, then you are already beating the other 99%.
Be that 1% that’s willing to dream big and rise above the norm. Unfortunately, in today’s society, our ancestral instincts still rule our everyday life. Fear is one of them and controls the majority of our population. It’s scary to push comfort zones and try something new, the thought of failure is often paralyzing to many. But my question to you is, will you look back one day and regret the chances you didn’t take?
3. Keep Your Eye On The Prize
“As far as I can tell, it’s just about letting the universe know what you want and working toward it, while letting go of how it comes to pass.” Holding onto every little detail when it comes to manifesting, can conjure up more harm than good. The reason is that the universe will deliver in ways you might not expect.
If you are too busy wondering when your desires will manifest, comparing yourself to others, or ignoring every sign that doesn’t look like your detailed plan you’ve written down, then you may be missing out on opportunities that are right in front of you! Your visualizations don’t have to be perfect, in fact, it’s better to just let go altogether and focus on the result itself rather than dwelling on every little detail. This doesn’t mean to simply forget about what you want but instead having the confidence it will happen in time.
An example of this is when Jim Carrey wrote himself a check for 30 million dollars. The only detail he knew was that he would earn it through his acting career, and he did indeed achieve this goal! So make sure to tell the universe what you want, but try not to hold onto every little detail!
Jim Carrey is just another person like you and me, with his own personal ups and downs in his road to success. He is someone to look up to when applying the law of attraction in your life too. It doesn’t matter if your goals or desires are different because the core foundation will always stay the same. You can and will do this if you think, feel and act as if it will happen!
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