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5 Tactics to Stay Sharp in a Constantly Changing Environment

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I recently watched a compilation of SpaceX fails, and instantly came to the conclusion that the audacity of private space travel is both compelling and unsettling. I was a kid when the Challenger space shuttle exploded with a civilian on board and like most people at the time, I assumed space travel should be reserved for the government establishment.

Elon Musk, however, views the topic quite differently. Like other forward-thinkers, he adapts to a constantly changing landscape of political, financial, and technical dynamics that would overwhelm the vast majority of humanity. That same ability to adapt and remain sharp resides in you. You may not realize it, but by applying a few tactics, you can remain sharp in your arena of influence, no matter how much it shifts and changes.

Here are 5 tactics to make sure you stay sharp no matter what:

1. Fail Frequently

Every true expert in any field will tell you that failure is a major component to success. Thomas Edison took the sentiment a step further and said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” To stay sharp in a shifting environment, you must learn to fail frequently. In doing so, you maintain pace with changes in your environment and adjust your methods, thinking, and implementations to accommodate unpredictability, rather than avoid it. If you’re not willing to fail, you are incapable of success.

2. Embrace the Suck

I have a good friend who is an ultramarathon runner, and noticed she was wearing a hat that said, “Embrace The Suck.” Since I’m a former cross-country runner, I instantly understood the reference: “it’s gonna hurt, but go after it anyway.” How many of us embrace the lack of stability that comes with changing environments? Sadly, most of us do not. We complain, we blame, and we excuse the fact that we never stabilize.

What if we instead embraced the changes? What if we learned to accept the fact that business (and life) is always changing, and it’s a false reality to believe that anything is truly static? When we embrace the suck, we change our psychology. We come to grips with fluctuating terrain as a requisite component of growth. And when that happens, we are able to gain stability in the most uncertain environments. Sailors call it getting your sea legs.

“Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, only this time more wisely.” – Henry Ford

3. Read a Lot

People like Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Mark Cuban, as well as most CEOs, read about 50 books per year. In fact, when asked about how he learned to make rockets, Elon Musk claimed he learned from “reading books.” Innovation is always predicated on existing knowledge, and existing knowledge is most often solidified in books. If you want to learn to adapt to shifting environments, you must build a foundation of knowledge that comes from spending a lot of time reading.

Study after study affirms this point. Reading can be accomplished in many ways, and part of remaining sharp requires you to diversify your input. I read about 30 books last year, but I also read several hundred articles, studies, and blog posts. Books tend to provide structural or foundational information, while articles, studies, and blog posts tend to apply knowledge. You need both to succeed in uncertainty.

4. Practice the Uncertain

I remember my first few years practicing law and I often envied attorneys who did personal injury work. In my view, they learned one area of law really well, performed the same tasks every day, the same way, for the same reason, hoping for the same outcome. Then there was me, being asked to advise or draft contracts for situations that had no framework or precedent.

Most of the time, it felt like being dropped out of an airplane into the jungle each morning, having no idea who I would encounter, what they would need, or why they needed it. I learned to adapt by doing the work, which became my practice. There’s an interesting thing that happens when you face uncertainty on a consistent basis: you become comfortable with it.

To this day, I may not know what type of client will walk in my door, or what they will need from me, but I can guarantee that I have practiced enough to have my own framework of reference for how to help a person move forward in whatever circumstances they face. I do this daily in my legal and consulting practices, but you can do this wherever you’re situated.

“Be willing to be uncomfortable. Be comfortable being uncomfortable. It may get tough, but it’s a small price to pay for living a dream.” – Peter McWilliams

5. Visualize the Process

There are times when no panorama exists for what you are facing, and no amount of failing, reading, or embracing will prepare you for the uncertainty you need to conquer. In situations like that, visualization can be the key to progress. Visualization, however, can feel awkward and it’s important to visualize the process before the outcome.

Start where you first encounter the problem and how you might interact with it. Look around (within your visualization) and notice if there are people or other assets available to impact the situation. Visualize yourself dealing with the situation one way and then another. Try many approaches and see if any of them work within your visualization.

The goal here is for your brain to start developing mental pathways towards success, and by visualizing your encounters with uncertainty, your brain collects hypothetical experience. I’ve used this tool with my consulting clients many times to help them process through shifting circumstances.

As an entrepreneur, business owner, CEO, or other leader, you possess the ability to adapt. It may not always feel like it, but it’s innate and simply needs to be activated. When you find yourself troubled by shifting circumstances, take a deep breath and look forward, knowing you now have some tools to navigate.

How to you navigate through uncertainty? Let us know by commenting below!

Brock Shinen has been guiding entrepreneurs, business owners, executives, and creators for more than 13 years as an attorney, trainer, and strategic advisor. His passion is to see people and businesses transform by implementing smart, adaptable thinking leading towards economic and personal success. He is also the author of the Amazon #1 Bestseller, “Crush The Stops: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Finishing Things.” You can also visit his website.

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3 Ways to Take Better Care of Yourself and Live an Optimized Life

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The secret to happiness lies in the way you live your life. People think of happiness as some destination they’ll reach when they’ve accomplished the hundred things on their life to-do list. Happiness is often associated with money, material possessions, or even great relationships. (more…)

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These 7 Daily Resolutions Can Change Your Life

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We all strive to be better every day. Most of us want a new day to bring something new, and we plan for it as well. Of course, the execution is debatable as procrastination is real and it becomes an overwhelming feeling at times. Also, not to forget the customary practice of making resolutions on new year’s eve!  All of us are fascinated by the thought of preparing long lists of resolves to mark the beginning of a new year. Not sure how many people are able to translate these resolutions into functional realities. (more…)

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4 Reasons Why Content Is Pivotal For Mental Health Healing

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One of the most important things for an entrepreneur’s mental health is expressing their feelings, thoughts, and emotions. This is where content creation and writing becomes pivotal. Whether you read something that resonates with you or you write a compelling blog post, the act of expressing yourself through content can help to put a smile on your face and make you feel better about things.

Most entrepreneurs don’t spend as much time taking care of their mental health as they should. Over the course of your career, you will experience a lot of ups and downs; these emotions have the potential to take a toll on your mind and body if you don’t learn to manage them properly.

Here are four reasons why expression through content is pivotal for healing, slowing yourself down, and giving yourself grace when the going gets tough.

1. Content can be a form of self-expression

When you are an entrepreneur, you frequently face feelings of insecurity, doubt, fear, apathy, and exhaustion, just to name a few. Some days it feels like no one is on your business’s side and everyone else has it all figured out. On those days some of us try to look at our website’s analytics to cheer up. 

But an even more freeing task is creating content. You create content to improve your business and reach more people’s lives. But, there is something special that happens when you write with the intention of expressing your thoughts and feelings — you open a door to yourself. 

Content is inherently personal, which means content creators open themselves up when they share their thoughts on a platform. Everything from the title of the post, the keywords they choose to include, and even the content itself helps you to understand who the author of that post truly is. And as an entrepreneur, this can be an important experience because it allows others to empathize with you.

2. Self-reflection will lift you up

As you think through what to write about and how to express yourself, the process of self reflection is a valuable step you need to go through. You’re able to reflect on the blessings you have, assess what you learned from the negative experiences, and create a plan on how to maintain the positive experiences you’ve had. 

There are a few ways that self reflection can help you with mental health healing. The act of reflecting on your experiences helps to create clarity in feelings, thoughts and emotions which will eventually lead into acceptance for what has happened or is happening currently without feeling overwhelmed by it all. This process also leads people towards finding new things they enjoy doing. Self reflection is therapeutic and can be implemented anytime you feel the need to overcome overwhelm.

“Writing in a journal each day allows you to direct your focus to what you accomplished, what you’re grateful for and what you’re committed to doing better tomorrow. Thus, you more deeply enjoy your journey each day.” – Hal Elrod

3. A sense of belonging and camaraderie

It is important to have a support network of people who will listen and understand what you are going through. When you post a blog or upload a video on YouTube, there are others who feel the same way and experience a sense of connection with you.

When you put time, attention and thoughtfulness into your writing, it is amazing when someone reads what you’ve written and comments on it thanking you or expressing how they resonate with what you’re going through. It’s hard to put into words how powerful it feels when someone who has gone through the same experience and reads your words then reaches out.  There is power in expression but miracles happen when people bond over a similar experience.

4. Library of content to share with more people

It can be very difficult to know what content to share with people as the symptoms of mental health disorders (anxiety, depression, etc.) vary from person to person. But as you accumulate more and more content, this will increase the number of articles or videos available for readers to choose from depending on their specific purpose. It also builds your personal library of resources you’re able to share to different people you encounter or engage directly with.

As chaotic and distracting social media can be, it can also be a beacon of hope with the right content. Many people share viral posts, or content that interest them. Since your content is valuable and personal, the more you share it, the more likely it is to be shared with the right audience.

You never know who is watching (reading)

Your content is speaking to someone and even though they may not be actively engaged, their experiences with your work are impacting them. Think about the last time you watched TV: did everyone in the room have something entertaining to say? 

You never know who’s watching because there’s always somebody reading your posts or viewing your videos-even if they just skim through it briefly. This is why creating content worth consuming is critical, not only to get you out of your funk, but also to serve your audience.  Be authentic and stay true to yourself; make every post count as an opportunity for connection with your best self and for potential readers to bond with you.

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5 Ways To Invest In Yourself and Change Your Life

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Warren Buffett once said, the best investment you can ever make is in yourself. Time and money spent on bettering yourself are never considered a waste. Whether it’s through learning how to make money online, exploring new ways to increase your financial security, or watching TED talks to expand your knowledge. Do not be stingy when it comes to self-improvement because it will definitely pay off in the end. 

Need some ideas to get started on your journey to becoming a better you? Here are 5 ways to invest in yourself and transform your life. 

1. Change Your Self-Concept

Having a negative self-concept can have a tremendous impact on your life. Limiting beliefs and self-doubt are some of the main reasons why many never achieve or attempt to pursue their dreams. Take a moment and think about all the negative thoughts you have repeated to yourself throughout your life. How have these thoughts impacted the way you live life? From now on, create a new self-image by turning these negative thoughts into positive ones and appreciate your good qualities. 

2. Sign Up For An Online Course

If you’ve been wanting to brush up on your Photoshop skills or learn how to code professionally, this is the perfect time to get started. As long as you have a stable internet connection, you can access an endless amount of valuable information online. For example, sites like Coursera and Youtube are both awesome resources for online learning. With a few search strings and clicks, you can find all the information you need. 

“Investing in yourself is the best investment you can make. It will not only improve your life, it will improve the lives of all those around you.” – Robin Sharma

3. Learn From a Mentor

No matter which stage of your life you are currently in, working with a mentor can help you stay motivated and focused on your goals. Not only can they guide you in the right direction, but also transform your vision, provide you with new insights, and connect you with amazing resources. If you’re feeling unmotivated or unsure about what you want to do in life, consider finding a mentor to help you navigate this process. 

4. Start A Side Hustle

The salary from a 9-5 job would rarely allow you to reach your maximum income potential. Why not achieve financial success while pursuing your passion by starting a side hustle? Whether it’s through starting an ecommerce business, freelance writing on the side, or starting a Youtube channel. There are infinite numbers of ways to make money, and there is bound to be one out there that fits your passion and skills. 

5. Nourish Your Body

As many may say, “health is the new wealth”. Without a healthy and functioning body, living a fulfilling and comfortable life becomes difficult. To take care of your body and prioritize your wellbeing, start with small habits such as eating healthier foods and exercising regularly. Bike or walk to work instead of taking the car, and opt for a healthy protein bowl instead of greasy burgers at Burger King. With time, these small habits can make an incredible difference.

Check out the infographic below, to see more ways you can invest in yourself:

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