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6 Ways To Make The Story Of Your Life Impactful

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Make Your Life Impactful To Reach Success

All of us dream of having a life that is impactful and forms a story that may one day be turned into a book or movie. The story of your life is made up of many elements that are also the fundamentals of success.

Unless your life is impactful, no one is ever going to care greatly about your story. Your story is owned by you, and only you can create and determine how much impact it will have. Ask yourself the question right now, does your life have a significant impact? If it doesn’t, then it’s time to change it.

It’s time for you to create something that everyone will remember you for. It’s time to turn that dream that you have always had into a reality. This all starts with a decision and often you need some major, painful event to trigger this desire.

Think about the emotions you would feel if the majority of people respected you and were inspired by you. You would be on top of the world, and your life would have meant something. Your name will forever live on, and generations of people will live their lives in dedication to what you stood for.

That sounds like a real vision, and that sounds like a common goal that we should all strive for.

Below are the six ways to make the story of your life impactful.

 

1. Do something outstanding

Life stories that have a major impact all involve someone doing something outstanding; something that no one thought was possible or that would ever be done. Have you done something outstanding already?

If you haven’t, that’s okay, but start thinking about what major task you could achieve that would be outstanding. Start thinking about what you’re great at or what you could be great at.
This first step is the most crucial and you need to decide on it before you proceed.

There are so many people that never realise that they need to do something outstanding, so just this realisation alone can be empowering in itself. Given the size of this task, it’s not going to happen overnight.

When you come to terms with what you are going to do, it will begin to manifest itself in your life. Doing something outstanding ties together passion, giving back, purpose, fulfillment, and many more success attributes that we have all heard before.

The fact that doing something outstanding covers so many of these attributes is the reason why you should dedicate your life to this one task. Once you achieve it, then you have the very rare task of doing it all over again with a new task.

Tim Denning Quote - One Defining Moment
 

2. Teach Others

Any great story involves some form of learning. Before you can teach other people something, though, you need to teach yourself first. I like to begin with lots of reading across a broad range of topics. This will give you the foundations of what you can teach others.

For me, what I want to teach other people is all about self-development, entrepreneurship and how to reach success. This is no easy task for me but I have devoted a large amount of time to it, and I can see progress every week now.

In the beginning, I didn’t see any progress but my mentors told me that eventually I would, and they were right. At the start, I was the student, but now I am becoming the teacher. Each day I get to teach people ideas I have learned myself and translate it into my own language.

Google has meant that education and information is easy to find, but the real task now is for someone to curate and translate the information.

It’s this translation of the learning I have done that allows me to create value. The language I speak in is unique, and the ideas are curated by my own mind. When you can begin to do the same thing, then you two can teach others (if you’re not already).

I recently got the opportunity to work with a graduate. Initially, I wasn’t that excited about the task, but as things progressed, I realised that I had the chance to completely shape his career, which in turn, would shape his life. Anyone can do this and even if it starts with just one graduate, you have the chance to begin to make an impact.

 

3. Share your story

Once you establish your story and start to create an impact, it’s time to share it with others. This doesn’t just mean that you share the good moments with some happy Instagram photos – there is much more to it.

The key to sharing your story is that it’s about being vulnerable, and sharing the negative moments and failures, and then balancing these out with the positive successes. As you share your story in this way, you will begin to compound the impact your story has on the world.

There are many ways to share your story and I have found the easiest way is online first. As you become more comfortable in sharing your story, you can then start sharing it through video, and then later in person.

With my own story, I am about to start sharing it on video, and then the next step will be through public speaking. I am happy to tell you though that I am not great at public speaking so expect to see me at a local Toastmasters shortly. If you are an expert in public speaking and can help, then feel free to reach out to me.

 

4. Live your dream at all costs

The only way your story will have any impact is if it is directly hardwired to your dream. You will need to move every obstacle out of the pathway of your life and agree to live this dream no matter what.

Even when all your close friends are out having dinner, there will be times when you will be required to not take the easy route, and not attend so that you can work on your dream. The temptation in these situations will be great which is why your own individual dream needs to be something you have thought about and truly care about.

Your dream is linked to your passion, and when you are in a state of mind where you are doing something you love, you experience high levels of happiness. Happiness then becomes a fuel for your mind, and you subconsciously start to create your story and make an impact without even thinking about it.

 

5. Show some emotion

To make the story of your life impactful, it needs to contain some emotion. Emotion is what draws people in, and it’s what makes it your story. When it comes to the story of your life, the word impact really just means emotion.

You can’t fake emotion in your own story. The more real and the rawer the emotion is, the more people will be drawn to it. If your story is full of made up elements, then people can spot the fakeness a mile away.

As I have said before, your pain becomes your success, and your success is often determined by the impact you are having. There is nothing like seeing someone give it all they have got and sharing every amount of emotion they have with you.

You get tingles down your spine; you feel unstoppable, and you want to spend more time with them. These are all things that our brains think about subconsciously all the time. If a thought pops into your head about something you are going to do, and you start thinking about what people will think of that action, just do it and don’t think twice.

The chances are that if that action is something that you are worried what others will say about it, it’s probably because it has some form of emotion attached to it that requires you to be vulnerable. It’s these actions that you should commit to doing if you want to have an impact.

 

6. Learn to control your mind

The one element you have 100% control over when it comes to the impact of your life story is your mind (assuming you learn to control it). This is no easy task and so many people never master this art. It requires you to study some basic elements of psychology and really understand yourself.

You need to work out what you love, what you hate, what motivates you and what stops you. If you practice this art form every single day, your brain becomes like a muscle and starts to grow. Your ability to make tough decisions becomes easier, and you’re drawn closer to your purpose.

“Once the human mind is understood and put to proper use, your impact can become more widespread. You can begin to move closer to the things that you care about most and stay clear of the things you have no interest in” – Tim Denning

The people who have controlled their mind the best usually go on to become leaders in their field. From Warren Buffett, to Tony Robbins to the Dalai Lama; all of them live their life at the highest level.

People from the outside will observe the way you control your mind and begin to be drawn to you because it’s such a rarity to have your mind under control and working for you, instead of against you.

Everything I have just mentioned starts with a decision: a decision to be great, a decision to be the example for others rather than let your life waste away to something that no one will remember.

Will you be the person who has the funeral that the whole world stops for, or the person whose funeral has less than twenty close family members there to see you off?

How are you going to make the story of your life impactful? Let me know in the comments section below or on Twitter and Facebook.

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

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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Vanessa LeMaistre

    Dec 19, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    Hello Tim,
    I absolutely love your article. I can tell from the way you write, you will be an impactful speaker. I have been in Toastmasters for a few years as well and one of the biggest tools I took with me is to use emotion in your speeches because it is the most impactful thing you can do. I am moved by your story as I had been writing a self help book about overcoming things. I overcame pretty big adversities and my goal with my book is to then become a motivational speaker. I feel like I need the message first; then I can deliver. Sometimes though, I wish there was a school for how to be a motivational speaker. Instead, you have to create your own path. I guess that’s the beauty of it. Any pointers on how I can be even more impactful than that? That is so black and white and I want to do as much possible to reach my highest potential. I’ve got all that it takes, and a powerful story to go along with it. I just need some more direction sometimes or more tips on different ways I can impact the world.

  2. Joyce L. Moore

    Apr 20, 2016 at 7:28 am

    I recently discovered that telling your story, a good story is empowerment. I always told my three sons, when you find your passion you will find success and then, over the years, encouraged each of them to use their talents and develop their passion and success would come. Knowing their back story, their history is an important part of that discovery of achieving a life of meaning and success and, working as a family, we were able to start making positive change and impact. We have just started. We want to be the example of how everyday people can make impact full change.

    Your article fills in some of the holes that I feel is necessary to take it to the next level. Thank you.

  3. Kerry-Anne Minns

    Jan 5, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    Hi Tim,
    I find this article fascinating as it something i’ve been thinking about and discussing for many years. You’ll see by the holding page on my website that I haven’t quite got there. Friends and family tell me that I have an impactful story but I haven’t worked out how to translate that into something yet. I’m going to spend sometime going through these points and see if it will help me move it forward.
    Also, I would highly recommend Toastmaters i’ve been a member for about 4-5 years I’m currently President of the Bicester Speakers club in UK. I really enjoy public speaking and am always happy to volunteer to speak in public even if its on the spot. The skills i’ve learnt at toastmasters has contributed to me getting jobs and progressing in my career.
    Thanks

    • Tim Denning

      Jan 11, 2016 at 7:02 pm

      Thanks for reading Kerry-Anne and for your comments. I am very keen to see how Toastmasters goes for me and congrats on all your success so far. I look forward to seeing the holding page turn into your website 🙂

  4. Jody McPhearson

    Dec 31, 2015 at 11:55 am

    Tim,

    Thanks for this article. And thank you for having an impact on my life! As I am on this journey it is good to know that others are there to help. Your words about pain becoming success are powerful! Forgive me, your first success principle is powerful! I have recently embraced this idea of failure and it is amazing what impact it is having on my life. My writing is clearer and my goals are more defined. I can not wait for the new year to take the next steps to help others and be impactful in a major way.

    Thank you!

    • Tim Denning

      Dec 31, 2015 at 10:47 pm

      Jodie thanks for the feedback. Tip number one is also my favourite because unless we do something outstanding, then not much else can happen in our life that will shape our overall story. I will make sure I check out your writing and thanks for reading!

  5. Addicted 2 The Grind

    Dec 29, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    Tim, Thanks for the follow on twitter! Great post.

    The point that really sticks out to me is #4. Not giving in to temptation is very hard to do, but once you can control that temptation you can get a lot of stuff done.

    In order to be successful you have to make sacrifices and if that means not hanging out with friends or not catching up on your favorite tv shows then you do what it takes.

    • Tim Denning

      Dec 29, 2015 at 11:27 pm

      Not a problem guys I love what you are doing and regularly read your Twitter posts. I have just sent you a tweet 🙂

  6. Peter

    Dec 29, 2015 at 8:50 am

    Thank you for your work. You write good articles and I enjoy reading them. They’re very thought-provoking. However, I don’t think that making an impact on the world to achieve fame and glory is what life is or should be all about. I’d rather have no one show up for my funeral than not be true to myself. I think it is written in Christian scripture that “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?” There can be more important things in life than making an impact on others or on the whole world.

    • Addicted 2 The Grind

      Dec 29, 2015 at 6:09 pm

      Hey Peter, Good point.

      Its all about what you feel and what your want to be known for.( not a general thing) If you want to impact people without the fame thats fine. But I also believe you can impact way more people if you have a bigger audience or platform.

      At the end of the day impacting anyone to do positive things is great.

    • Tim Denning

      Dec 29, 2015 at 11:17 pm

      Peter thanks for leaving your view and I appreciate where you are coming from. My viewpoint was more about having a positive impact than fame. I agree though that you need to remain true to yourself.

  7. Toño

    Dec 29, 2015 at 6:26 am

    Impactful story of your life, a dream for many and reality for so little. Packing my things now and moving into new place, I cannot help but think how I want and enjoy to travel and love to see different environment as often as possible. Going through isolation at my job has helped me to see and better inderstand my faults and work on them, transform them. I love that point about vulnerability, as in the past I usually wanted to avoid it at any cost and show everyone how strong I can be mentally. But again, was I living my own life or someone else’s ?

    Oh, and emotions. I am quite curious about them as well. Recently my emotional attitude lead me to big mistake. Fortunately, I took my time to relax and meditate and then ‘sleep with it’ thus in the morning I realized the solution I knew was the right one, and by taking the immediate action, that puzzle was solved. It was a good lesson your emotions may cost you big deal and that clear mind and confidence is your better ally.

    I understand the power of emotional story but I think you should find a balance. Right now I still have some emotions over my head and not sure what to with them. But I’ll get there one day.

    Once again, thank you so much Tim for you time and attitude for providing great food for our minds. I’ve rarely comment on somenthing but your articles gives me the drive to communicate and give back some feedback. Also, your response means a lot for me and gives me additional motivation to keep going. I appreciate it!

    Have a wonderful day and stay well!

    • Tim Denning

      Dec 29, 2015 at 6:46 am

      Toño you always share great insights and take the time to be bold and share your story. I would love to connect with you on Facebook to hear more.

      Your feedback is very much appreciated!

    • Reuben

      Jan 4, 2016 at 2:56 am

      Toño can I send you a message and chat sometime? The way you just portrayed yourself in this comment above is really well illustrated, quite similar to my own pursuit of success and I was hoping we could share stories sometime and maybe help each other?

  8. Rhonda

    Dec 29, 2015 at 4:25 am

    Awesome!

    • Tim Denning

      Dec 29, 2015 at 6:43 am

      Thanks Rhonda 🙂

  9. Fred

    Dec 29, 2015 at 1:50 am

    Having traveled the world, worked in the outdoors, and now am able to work from my laptop from anywhere I choose , I can say that I have an impactful story. Now, I just have to tell it! 😛

    • Tim Denning

      Dec 29, 2015 at 6:43 am

      Would love to hear your story Fred. Thanks for taking the time to read the article.

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Life

10 Things You Must Do More Often in Order to Build an Enjoyable Life

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how to enjoy life

Most of us constantly look for ways to improve our lives. We want to make more money, be more attractive, and be regarded more highly by our friends and our colleagues. We are on a mission to achieve more, earn more, and learn more. More often than not, we are in a hurry to do all of it.

Unfortunately, this mindset misses the point. Think about it, what do all the things mentioned above have in common?  They’re all about ME. We’re all busy, we’ve all stretched out our limits and we’ve all got too much to do.

In the rush to improve our lives, we end up focusing too much on ourselves, which leads to disappointment and frustration when things don’t go as planned. But there are small actions we can take which help ground us in reality and make us remember what is most important about our lives.

Here are 10 things that you should do more often if you want to build a life that you truly enjoy:

1. Wake up before everyone else

Waking up early may not be your cup of tea, but I would urge even the most stalwart night owl to try this trick at least once over the course of the next few weeks. Set your alarm for an ungodly hour (like 5am) and make a concerted effort to get out of bed when your alarm goes off.

The brain functions differently in the early hours of the morning. Things may seem sharper, and ideas may come to you in different ways. On top of that, there is a subtle motivating factor that comes from the knowledge that you are up being productive while everyone else is still asleep in bed.

2. Spend a day doing anything you want to do

Many of us are shackled to our jobs, or studies and our personal commitments. We have become so overbooked that we rarely have a night off just to sit and relax. Even if we have that time, our minds typically wander to what we have to be doing the next day or later in the week.

Due to the above reason, I urge you to schedule one day a month where you actively schedule a full day of doing nothing but what you want to do. Not something for your business or your side project. Not something for someone else. Be selfish.

3. Reach out to old friends

The power of a network grows stronger based on how strong the connections are between each piece. Reach out to an old friend (or friends) and start the process of catching up and rebuilding relationships that have faded. You never know what opportunities may develop from these connections, so it is always a good idea to maintain these open channels.

“Remember that the most valuable antiques are dear old friends.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

4. Ask someone to do something for you which you could do yourself

You may have the time or skill necessary to do something, but delegating will be invaluable to you as you continue to move through life. The practice of delegating is a subtle art that few of us are comfortable with, but almost all of us would benefit from.

Delegating requires you to plan exactly what you want to happen, and it also requires that you set clear expectations for what you expect from others. You can practice this by hiring someone from Fiverr or Upwork to help you with your job or a random task of some kind.

5. Say thank you to someone that made a difference in your life in the last year

You have no idea what a difference a gesture of this kind can make to someone. Reach out to a stranger, a colleague, a family member, or a long lost friend. Tell them why you appreciate them, and say thank you for what they’ve done for you. You don’t need to tell them it was because I told you so… just go for it. You won’t regret it, and you’ll make their day.

6. Give your opinion about what someone should do in their life or in their work

This is nearly as hard as asking someone to do something for you. As humans, we tend to avoid potential conflicts, and telling someone to change something about their lives has a huge potential for conflict or argument. Still, if you are able to share your opinion in a clear and thought through manner, that person will not only appreciate your advice, they will respect you moving forward.

7. Give a compliment to someone without expecting anything in return

Similar to saying thank you to someone, giving a compliment allows you to strengthen your relationship with others in and outside of your network while helping you build the self confidence to share your opinions openly and without self-judgement. If possible, focus on giving “growth mindset” compliments rather than “fixed mindset” compliments.

Growth mindset compliments are those relating to skills or traits which can be learned and improved upon (i.e. you did such a good job with that presentation), whereas fixed mindset compliments are those which relate to fixed attributes related to physical appearance, intellect, etc (you’re so smart).

“Everybody likes a compliment.” – Abraham Lincoln

8. Make something and share it with the world

Often we are told to create widgets for our employers or to churn out content for individuals that pay us. However, real creativity requires tapping into our inner passions and ideas about how the world works. Being creative in this way is a great way to reconnect with your true nature and ground yourself in the present moment.

9. Go to a free event and see something you’ve not experienced before

Always keep on learning! If you live in or near a big city, chances are there are a ton of free events being advertised online which you can attend. Look for new museum exhibitions, street fairs, musical concerts, talks, etc. and try to attend something new every month. Even networking events can lead to future job prospects or business opportunities.

10. Cook a meal for someone (or a group of people)

Some of the strongest bonds between human beings are formed around food. Since the discovery of fire, humans have been gathering around and feeding one another, sharing memories, advice, opinions and accolades. Even if you’re not a good cook, throw a few pizzas in the oven and invite a few friends over for a drink.

Now I know what you’re thinking right now. I don’t have time to do all that every week, or even every month. Heck, maybe even every year is asking too much. But I assure you, you do have time for these activities. Some of them let you reconnect with yourself at a deeper level, while others require you to connect with the ones around you in an empathetic and emotionally engaged way.

Remember that this life is not just about you, it’s about everyone you come in contact with. Every small action you take will have a butterfly effect which changes the hearts and minds of those you come in contact with.

How are you making sure you’re building the life you truly want to live? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Life

The 4 Agreements You’ll Need to Make With Yourself to Live a Happier Life

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live a happier life

Here’s something we can all agree on: Life is hard. And if this wasn’t enough, caring about other people’s opinion only makes it harder. You have a good job but you’re too scared to run your own business. You have a good relationship with your partner, but you’re too scared to get married. And you live an interesting life but you’re too scared to share it on social media.

In other words, fear is taking over your life. The problem is that changing your perspective isn’t easy. But here’s the big secret…You can unlearn your previous beliefs and adopt new ones that will help set you free from your fears.

It won’t be easy but if you’re hungry for positive change, here are the four agreements based on the book “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz you’ll need to make with yourself:

1. Always Be True To Your Word

Do you know the power of your word? Most people don’t stop to appreciate the power they possess in their word. Your word has the power to kill millions of people or to change someone’s life forever. Think back when Martin Luther King managed to change millions of lives with his “I Have A Dream” speech.

The problem is most people fail to use the power of their word, or worse they use it to unintentionally hurt others. However, the trick is to say only what you truly mean. Don’t speak badly about yourself or others. And speak about truth and love.

Negative feedback can act as poison to other people. Start taking the power of your word seriously by speaking only positive things. Instead of gossiping behind your co-worker’s back, try to say positive things or don’t say anything at all.

“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” – Abraham Lincoln

2. Free Yourself From People’s Ideas

Chances are that other people’s words closely relate to your own perception. So what happens? You believe your friend who calls you ugly when you’re having a bad hair day. You believe your boss who states you’re an incompetent worker when you’re experiencing a bad breakup. And you believe your family when they provide you with many reasons of why you won’t be able to run a successful business.

The list goes on and on. Repeat this for years and it’s no wonder why you take other people’s criticism personally. What you have to understand is that other people’s opinions aren’t about you, it’s a reflection of themselves. For example, if someone tells you that you’ll never launch a successful business it’s screaming what they believe is possible.

You shouldn’t even take your own comments personally. Sometimes your own words cause self-inflicting damage. So what’s the solution? Start by listing your beliefs that make you fearful or unhappy. Then work on your smallest beliefs and begin replacing them with positive beliefs.

3. Stop Making Assumptions About Everything

Be bold and ask questions. The next time someone explains something to you, repeat what they’ve said to confirm if their statement was correct. Rinse and repeat until you’re confident that you understand the other person. Will it be easy? Of course not. There will be times when you’ll be scared to ask questions or people will look annoyed. However, you can’t let fear hold you back.

Here are the two questions to ask yourself when you’re facing tough times: 1. If today was my last day would this problem be significant? 2. How do you want to live? Be curious and become confident in asking questions so you’ll never have to assume anything.

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” – Dalai Lama XIV

4. Consistently Do Your Best

Don’t strive to be perfect, strive to do your best. You’ll regret more the chances we didn’t take vs the times you’ve failed. If you’re always performing at your best you’ll be less likely to feel disappointed. Your best will vary from time to time but as long as you’re always putting your best effort you’ll be at peace.

Why does this work? As humans, we punish ourselves multiple times for a single mistake. That’s because we tend to live in the future or past replaying old mistakes and punishing ourselves further. By always doing our best you eliminate the possibility for regret and self-judgment. Don’t forget to do your best with the little things as well.

Here’s what I mean: The moment you wake put your best effort to make your bed. When you’re feeling off, put your best effort going to go to the gym to lift weights. Stop waiting for those rare days when you wake up feeling amazing. Get up each morning with the intent to do your best at everything you do!

Start Living A Happy Life

Picture this, it’s 5 am and you’re starting your morning ritual. At the end of your ritual, you’re ready to have an amazing day despite it being Monday. But that’s not all. You’ve found the courage to leave your job to go all in with your business. You’ve found the courage to get married and take your relationship to the next level. You’ve even found the courage to share silly pictures of yourself on social media.

Life is good. Most people wish for these types of day, but not you. Ever since you’ve adopted these 4 agreements your life has transformed for the better. You’re no longer a victim to what happens in your life.

Amazing isn’t it? This can be your reality if you begin adopting these 4 agreements into your life today. You’ve only got one life to live, are you going to let fear hold you back from being happy?

What have you discovered about yourself? Comment below!

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Life

5 Actionable Tips to Master Your Mental Illness and Be Successful

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With May being Mental Illness Awareness Month, it’s imperative to know what actions we can take to develop more successful emotions. Emotional pain is one of the worst things that can happen to an individual. After attempting suicide twice and checking myself into countless mental health clinics, I was able to finally to become the master of my world. Reaching rock bottom twice, I’ve learned how to become successful in both my personal and professional life.  With a little bit of effort, this is something you can do too.

Even if you’re not battling a mental illness, these techniques can work wonders for improving every part of life:

1. Reading For Personal Growth

With so much negative material in this world of the internet, one must take the time to purposefully install positive material that’ll help you grow. Just by being on Addicted2Success, you’re on the right path.

Reading also is another way to exercise your mind. By exercising the mind and inserting positive information into it on a consistent basis, it’s inevitable that your thoughts, actions, and results will begin to change. What I did, and still do, is read books from the genres of Self-Help, Self-Improvement, Personal Development, and Psychology.

2. Writing To Vent

Even after speaking to therapists and psychologists, what I have found to work wonders is to simply write. What’s great about this is you can get everything off of your chest and then destroy the evidence by shredding it once you’re done. By bottling everything up inside, it begins to eat away at us, stacks up with other negative emotions, and then comes back with a vengeance.

Start a daily journal to vent about everything that’s bothering you and then shred it if you choose. I personally shred everything all at once rather than one day at a time.

“The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.” – Gustave Flaubert

3. Changing Environments

Jim Rohn said, “You’re the average of the five people you hang out with most.” This is true for success, finances, health, mentality, and all other areas of life. If you want to become successful, if you want to pull yourself out of an emotional slump, change the stimuli you’re currently in. This can include your friends, work, tv shows, news, movies, music, social media, unorganized office/home, and more.

If you feel like something is dragging you down, it is. Do what successful people do and change it! I personally went for months without a friend because they were the biggest source of negativity in my life…and I’d do it again!

4. Controlling Your Thoughts

This is easier said than done, but it’s extremely possible. On average, we have about 60,000 thoughts running through our minds every day, more than half of those are negative.

One thing you can try is to make a tally mark every time you notice a negative thought. Doing this will help you become more aware of this and you’ll notice over time, those tally marks will slowly dwindle. The key here is to have a predetermined affirmation or mantra to replace that negative thought with. I personally have a go-to affirmation which I repeat over-and-over again while forcing the biggest smile I can muster at the time.

“I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.” – Mark Twain

5. Taking Action On Ideas

Ideas are a dime-a-dozen because too many are stillborn, most never take action on any idea they have. By taking action in any capacity on an idea that you come up with, it’ll help boost self-esteem and confidence. It also sends a signal to your subconscious mind that you’re becoming a different person who has a purpose in life. Start small at first, then go as big as your imagination can dream. I use to ignore my ideas because everyone told me how stupid I was, yet now I receive praise for being a innovative visionary with determination.

It took me nearly ten years without medication or therapy to completely reverse my life for the better. Now that I am where I am, I still practice all of this and more! You can be successful in whatever it is that you desire, but it all starts in the mind and your actions.

If you or anyone you know is battling any type of mental illness, know that it is only temporary if you choose for it to be. Take the advice Bob Proctor told me and implement it immediately: “The mind is the most powerful force in all of creation, hold the image of what you want, and surprise the whole world.”

What tricks do you have for controlling your mind and making sure your brain helps you achieve success throughout your day? Let us know in the comments below!

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Life

Why I Drastically Reduced My Social Media Consumption (And I Work in Social Media!)

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Recently, I’ve been experimenting with the way I consume, create and connect using social media.

What started out as a tool that was supposed to bring us together has turned into something we didn’t expect. Now, I’m the biggest advocate of all when it comes to social media. So much so, that I’ve dedicated most of my career to it.

This post is not designed to get you to delete social media and go and live off-grid, away from the Internet, on a farm, with no car and no connection to the community around you.

The point is to get you to rethink your social media usage.

These are the 4 burdens of social media:

 

Responding to comments

One of my coaching clients said to me the other day “How do you find time to respond to all of the comments you get online?”

I told him “I don’t.”

This is a new thing for me. If I go back six months, I was responding to every comment I got. It’s no secret that by responding to comments on social media in real-time, you get more engagement on your posts.

So yes, commenting is good if you are building an audience and want more people to see your work, but on the downside, you become a slave to comments.

The other challenge with comments is that you will get trolls and people that say nasty stuff. No matter how hard you try, some of them will affect your mindset, motivation or even your mood.

This is why I have drastically reduced the comments I respond to. I still engage and support people that like my work, I just do it less.

This leaves me more time to create, which ultimately provides more value than a reply to a comment.

 

Liking people’s posts

Social media also brings on the expectation that you’re supposed to like people’s posts who supported you, are your family or maybe even your work colleagues or friends.

I always like to support other people’s work, but I disagree with people expecting me to. Some posts just don’t resonate with me and that’s why I don’t reshare them even if they are my friends, colleagues or even super fans of my work.

 

Responding to direct messages

“Instant messaging has been the bane of my existence. It’s like a meeting that never ends”

Now everyone can reach me. This might seem like it makes us more connected but I don’t feel it does. Instead, it takes up huge amounts of time to respond to direct messages. A lot of the ones I get have ‘asks’ attached to them.

There’s nothing wrong with an ‘ask’ through social media but if you don’t know someone at all, it gets annoying quickly.

 

Having to check notifications

When I see 150 new notifications on LinkedIn (or any social network) as much as I hate to admit it, it feels good. I end up checking my notifications in meetings, while out for dinner with my significant other and even in the car (dangerous).

“Most of what these notifications are telling me are unimportant but my dopamine addicted brain can’t resist. The need for validation that I am growing or becoming somebody is too great”

<<<>>>>>

It’s for these four reasons that I recently severely limited by social media usage.

This may seem like the action of a crazy person given that I work in social media. I promise you it’s not. I can still have a career in social media or as a blogger without checking apps 100 times a day.

My time is now focused on something far more important:

Maximizing my time creating content that serves my purpose instead of consuming which is what the social media platforms want me to do (I never did like following rules).

<<<>>>

Here are the benefits I got by drastically reducing my social media usage:

 

Less stress

The recent test I took to measure my cortisol levels shows that I’m currently at 800 on the cortisol scale and the normal range is between 0-400.

I’ve been looking for any way I can to reduce stress. My experimentation with reducing social media has helped significantly.

“I find myself living in flight mode more often and enjoying right now”

One of the biggest flaws with the 24/7 social media model is the increase in stress if nothing else. The need for instant validation is making our stress levels soar. It’s time to fight back!

 

It’s made me more creative

I’m now being inspired more by things I witness in real life as opposed to the sometimes made-up, perfect world of social media. Creativity fuels our passions and even our businesses.

It takes empty space and free time to be creative. Social media was sucking up all my spare time after work and on the weekend. By consuming less, I had blocks of spare time to create.

That also gave me time to be inspired by books that fuel my imagination like Harry Potter (strangely enough).

 

I feel freer

Being tied to my phone and glued to social media is like having chains around my arms.

“It’s been nice to be free of advice, funny videos, opinions, politics and everything else that is like a fire hose in your face”

 

More present

Meditation has been something I’ve sucked at for a long time. I find it hard to be present and observe the now. Part of the reason, I’ve discovered, is that I was thinking about what was happening on social media.

Having time away from social media has made being present easier for me. I’m thinking less about how many views I got on LinkedIn today and more about the meaning of life and the people I care about.

It’s not perfect though. I still spend time on social media (obviously) and so I have to balance the benefits, with the negatives like being less present.

 

Fewer distractions

All the way back to high school, my teachers told me “Tim, you’re easily distracted.”

Even on my report cards, it says it. My teachers put it down to my appreciation of the opposite sex (this is what they said!) but I disagree. I put it down to my need for human interaction which is what has made me love selling in the business world.

None the less, I am easily distracted -  that’s a fact. Social media has forced me to check my notifications consistently. Since reducing my social media consumption, I’ve put into action a new strategy.

What I do now is turn off all notifications on my phone, computer, iPad and laptop. I only have SMS and phone call notifications turned on.

This setup allows me to time-box when I check my social media and only look at certain times of the day. By batching similar tasks like checking notifications together, I spend less time overall on social media.

Not only do I have my notifications for social media turned off, but I also do most of the commenting and responding to messages on my iMac. The screen of my phone is small and it makes the process longer, more stressful and it’s a burden on my eyes.

 

It’s increased my real-world interactions with people

By being less social without the need for social media and online communities, my hunger for connection has not disappeared. If anything, it’s increased.

The only way to get my fix is to attend a social catchup, hang out with workmates, have more meetings with clients and say hi to strangers.

This has improved my confidence, got me out of my comfort-zone and even helped me with my public speaking ability.

 

Final thought

Social media doesn’t have to be a burden but until you learn to control it, it will wreak havoc on your life. Working in social media makes me a big advocate of the upside, but the downside is not so obvious.

I hope, through my own reduction in social media, you’ve got a new perspective – or at least a different view of social media.

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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Success Advice

One Question You Must Answer to Ensure Personal Success

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Image Credit: Twenty20.com

I don’t believe in quick fixes, in get-rich-quick schemes, or any other system that guarantees instant success with only a modicum of effort. But, I do believe it’s possible to condense great strings of logical thought and intellectual algorithms into basics. I like to keep things simple! Many of my clients love the fact that I don’t overly complete things, and frankly, so do I! I like to ask simple questions whose answers can be had quickly but require some focus in obtaining the outcome. (more…)

Biagio Sciacca, known to his friends as Bill, was a lifelong resident of Pittston, PA. He is the owner of Intelligent Motivation, Inc. a global consulting and training firm specializing in management and leadership training as well as psychological assessment for hiring and staff development. He is the author of several books relating to goal setting, and his third book, Provocative Leadership, is publishing soon. Now residing in Tamarindo, Costa Rica, he divides his time between his international coaching and training clients, writing his next book and wandering aimlessly on the beach. Feel free to contact Bill at bill@intelligentmotivationinc.com or schedule a call with him by going to www.intelligentmotivationinc.com and clicking on the “set up a call” tab.

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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Vanessa LeMaistre

    Dec 19, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    Hello Tim,
    I absolutely love your article. I can tell from the way you write, you will be an impactful speaker. I have been in Toastmasters for a few years as well and one of the biggest tools I took with me is to use emotion in your speeches because it is the most impactful thing you can do. I am moved by your story as I had been writing a self help book about overcoming things. I overcame pretty big adversities and my goal with my book is to then become a motivational speaker. I feel like I need the message first; then I can deliver. Sometimes though, I wish there was a school for how to be a motivational speaker. Instead, you have to create your own path. I guess that’s the beauty of it. Any pointers on how I can be even more impactful than that? That is so black and white and I want to do as much possible to reach my highest potential. I’ve got all that it takes, and a powerful story to go along with it. I just need some more direction sometimes or more tips on different ways I can impact the world.

  2. Joyce L. Moore

    Apr 20, 2016 at 7:28 am

    I recently discovered that telling your story, a good story is empowerment. I always told my three sons, when you find your passion you will find success and then, over the years, encouraged each of them to use their talents and develop their passion and success would come. Knowing their back story, their history is an important part of that discovery of achieving a life of meaning and success and, working as a family, we were able to start making positive change and impact. We have just started. We want to be the example of how everyday people can make impact full change.

    Your article fills in some of the holes that I feel is necessary to take it to the next level. Thank you.

  3. Kerry-Anne Minns

    Jan 5, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    Hi Tim,
    I find this article fascinating as it something i’ve been thinking about and discussing for many years. You’ll see by the holding page on my website that I haven’t quite got there. Friends and family tell me that I have an impactful story but I haven’t worked out how to translate that into something yet. I’m going to spend sometime going through these points and see if it will help me move it forward.
    Also, I would highly recommend Toastmaters i’ve been a member for about 4-5 years I’m currently President of the Bicester Speakers club in UK. I really enjoy public speaking and am always happy to volunteer to speak in public even if its on the spot. The skills i’ve learnt at toastmasters has contributed to me getting jobs and progressing in my career.
    Thanks

    • Tim Denning

      Jan 11, 2016 at 7:02 pm

      Thanks for reading Kerry-Anne and for your comments. I am very keen to see how Toastmasters goes for me and congrats on all your success so far. I look forward to seeing the holding page turn into your website 🙂

  4. Jody McPhearson

    Dec 31, 2015 at 11:55 am

    Tim,

    Thanks for this article. And thank you for having an impact on my life! As I am on this journey it is good to know that others are there to help. Your words about pain becoming success are powerful! Forgive me, your first success principle is powerful! I have recently embraced this idea of failure and it is amazing what impact it is having on my life. My writing is clearer and my goals are more defined. I can not wait for the new year to take the next steps to help others and be impactful in a major way.

    Thank you!

    • Tim Denning

      Dec 31, 2015 at 10:47 pm

      Jodie thanks for the feedback. Tip number one is also my favourite because unless we do something outstanding, then not much else can happen in our life that will shape our overall story. I will make sure I check out your writing and thanks for reading!

  5. Addicted 2 The Grind

    Dec 29, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    Tim, Thanks for the follow on twitter! Great post.

    The point that really sticks out to me is #4. Not giving in to temptation is very hard to do, but once you can control that temptation you can get a lot of stuff done.

    In order to be successful you have to make sacrifices and if that means not hanging out with friends or not catching up on your favorite tv shows then you do what it takes.

    • Tim Denning

      Dec 29, 2015 at 11:27 pm

      Not a problem guys I love what you are doing and regularly read your Twitter posts. I have just sent you a tweet 🙂

  6. Peter

    Dec 29, 2015 at 8:50 am

    Thank you for your work. You write good articles and I enjoy reading them. They’re very thought-provoking. However, I don’t think that making an impact on the world to achieve fame and glory is what life is or should be all about. I’d rather have no one show up for my funeral than not be true to myself. I think it is written in Christian scripture that “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?” There can be more important things in life than making an impact on others or on the whole world.

    • Addicted 2 The Grind

      Dec 29, 2015 at 6:09 pm

      Hey Peter, Good point.

      Its all about what you feel and what your want to be known for.( not a general thing) If you want to impact people without the fame thats fine. But I also believe you can impact way more people if you have a bigger audience or platform.

      At the end of the day impacting anyone to do positive things is great.

    • Tim Denning

      Dec 29, 2015 at 11:17 pm

      Peter thanks for leaving your view and I appreciate where you are coming from. My viewpoint was more about having a positive impact than fame. I agree though that you need to remain true to yourself.

  7. Toño

    Dec 29, 2015 at 6:26 am

    Impactful story of your life, a dream for many and reality for so little. Packing my things now and moving into new place, I cannot help but think how I want and enjoy to travel and love to see different environment as often as possible. Going through isolation at my job has helped me to see and better inderstand my faults and work on them, transform them. I love that point about vulnerability, as in the past I usually wanted to avoid it at any cost and show everyone how strong I can be mentally. But again, was I living my own life or someone else’s ?

    Oh, and emotions. I am quite curious about them as well. Recently my emotional attitude lead me to big mistake. Fortunately, I took my time to relax and meditate and then ‘sleep with it’ thus in the morning I realized the solution I knew was the right one, and by taking the immediate action, that puzzle was solved. It was a good lesson your emotions may cost you big deal and that clear mind and confidence is your better ally.

    I understand the power of emotional story but I think you should find a balance. Right now I still have some emotions over my head and not sure what to with them. But I’ll get there one day.

    Once again, thank you so much Tim for you time and attitude for providing great food for our minds. I’ve rarely comment on somenthing but your articles gives me the drive to communicate and give back some feedback. Also, your response means a lot for me and gives me additional motivation to keep going. I appreciate it!

    Have a wonderful day and stay well!

    • Tim Denning

      Dec 29, 2015 at 6:46 am

      Toño you always share great insights and take the time to be bold and share your story. I would love to connect with you on Facebook to hear more.

      Your feedback is very much appreciated!

    • Reuben

      Jan 4, 2016 at 2:56 am

      Toño can I send you a message and chat sometime? The way you just portrayed yourself in this comment above is really well illustrated, quite similar to my own pursuit of success and I was hoping we could share stories sometime and maybe help each other?

  8. Rhonda

    Dec 29, 2015 at 4:25 am

    Awesome!

    • Tim Denning

      Dec 29, 2015 at 6:43 am

      Thanks Rhonda 🙂

  9. Fred

    Dec 29, 2015 at 1:50 am

    Having traveled the world, worked in the outdoors, and now am able to work from my laptop from anywhere I choose , I can say that I have an impactful story. Now, I just have to tell it! 😛

    • Tim Denning

      Dec 29, 2015 at 6:43 am

      Would love to hear your story Fred. Thanks for taking the time to read the article.

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Life

10 Things You Must Do More Often in Order to Build an Enjoyable Life

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how to enjoy life

Most of us constantly look for ways to improve our lives. We want to make more money, be more attractive, and be regarded more highly by our friends and our colleagues. We are on a mission to achieve more, earn more, and learn more. More often than not, we are in a hurry to do all of it.

Unfortunately, this mindset misses the point. Think about it, what do all the things mentioned above have in common?  They’re all about ME. We’re all busy, we’ve all stretched out our limits and we’ve all got too much to do.

In the rush to improve our lives, we end up focusing too much on ourselves, which leads to disappointment and frustration when things don’t go as planned. But there are small actions we can take which help ground us in reality and make us remember what is most important about our lives.

Here are 10 things that you should do more often if you want to build a life that you truly enjoy:

1. Wake up before everyone else

Waking up early may not be your cup of tea, but I would urge even the most stalwart night owl to try this trick at least once over the course of the next few weeks. Set your alarm for an ungodly hour (like 5am) and make a concerted effort to get out of bed when your alarm goes off.

The brain functions differently in the early hours of the morning. Things may seem sharper, and ideas may come to you in different ways. On top of that, there is a subtle motivating factor that comes from the knowledge that you are up being productive while everyone else is still asleep in bed.

2. Spend a day doing anything you want to do

Many of us are shackled to our jobs, or studies and our personal commitments. We have become so overbooked that we rarely have a night off just to sit and relax. Even if we have that time, our minds typically wander to what we have to be doing the next day or later in the week.

Due to the above reason, I urge you to schedule one day a month where you actively schedule a full day of doing nothing but what you want to do. Not something for your business or your side project. Not something for someone else. Be selfish.

3. Reach out to old friends

The power of a network grows stronger based on how strong the connections are between each piece. Reach out to an old friend (or friends) and start the process of catching up and rebuilding relationships that have faded. You never know what opportunities may develop from these connections, so it is always a good idea to maintain these open channels.

“Remember that the most valuable antiques are dear old friends.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

4. Ask someone to do something for you which you could do yourself

You may have the time or skill necessary to do something, but delegating will be invaluable to you as you continue to move through life. The practice of delegating is a subtle art that few of us are comfortable with, but almost all of us would benefit from.

Delegating requires you to plan exactly what you want to happen, and it also requires that you set clear expectations for what you expect from others. You can practice this by hiring someone from Fiverr or Upwork to help you with your job or a random task of some kind.

5. Say thank you to someone that made a difference in your life in the last year

You have no idea what a difference a gesture of this kind can make to someone. Reach out to a stranger, a colleague, a family member, or a long lost friend. Tell them why you appreciate them, and say thank you for what they’ve done for you. You don’t need to tell them it was because I told you so… just go for it. You won’t regret it, and you’ll make their day.

6. Give your opinion about what someone should do in their life or in their work

This is nearly as hard as asking someone to do something for you. As humans, we tend to avoid potential conflicts, and telling someone to change something about their lives has a huge potential for conflict or argument. Still, if you are able to share your opinion in a clear and thought through manner, that person will not only appreciate your advice, they will respect you moving forward.

7. Give a compliment to someone without expecting anything in return

Similar to saying thank you to someone, giving a compliment allows you to strengthen your relationship with others in and outside of your network while helping you build the self confidence to share your opinions openly and without self-judgement. If possible, focus on giving “growth mindset” compliments rather than “fixed mindset” compliments.

Growth mindset compliments are those relating to skills or traits which can be learned and improved upon (i.e. you did such a good job with that presentation), whereas fixed mindset compliments are those which relate to fixed attributes related to physical appearance, intellect, etc (you’re so smart).

“Everybody likes a compliment.” – Abraham Lincoln

8. Make something and share it with the world

Often we are told to create widgets for our employers or to churn out content for individuals that pay us. However, real creativity requires tapping into our inner passions and ideas about how the world works. Being creative in this way is a great way to reconnect with your true nature and ground yourself in the present moment.

9. Go to a free event and see something you’ve not experienced before

Always keep on learning! If you live in or near a big city, chances are there are a ton of free events being advertised online which you can attend. Look for new museum exhibitions, street fairs, musical concerts, talks, etc. and try to attend something new every month. Even networking events can lead to future job prospects or business opportunities.

10. Cook a meal for someone (or a group of people)

Some of the strongest bonds between human beings are formed around food. Since the discovery of fire, humans have been gathering around and feeding one another, sharing memories, advice, opinions and accolades. Even if you’re not a good cook, throw a few pizzas in the oven and invite a few friends over for a drink.

Now I know what you’re thinking right now. I don’t have time to do all that every week, or even every month. Heck, maybe even every year is asking too much. But I assure you, you do have time for these activities. Some of them let you reconnect with yourself at a deeper level, while others require you to connect with the ones around you in an empathetic and emotionally engaged way.

Remember that this life is not just about you, it’s about everyone you come in contact with. Every small action you take will have a butterfly effect which changes the hearts and minds of those you come in contact with.

How are you making sure you’re building the life you truly want to live? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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Life

The 4 Agreements You’ll Need to Make With Yourself to Live a Happier Life

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Here’s something we can all agree on: Life is hard. And if this wasn’t enough, caring about other people’s opinion only makes it harder. You have a good job but you’re too scared to run your own business. You have a good relationship with your partner, but you’re too scared to get married. And you live an interesting life but you’re too scared to share it on social media.

In other words, fear is taking over your life. The problem is that changing your perspective isn’t easy. But here’s the big secret…You can unlearn your previous beliefs and adopt new ones that will help set you free from your fears.

It won’t be easy but if you’re hungry for positive change, here are the four agreements based on the book “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz you’ll need to make with yourself:

1. Always Be True To Your Word

Do you know the power of your word? Most people don’t stop to appreciate the power they possess in their word. Your word has the power to kill millions of people or to change someone’s life forever. Think back when Martin Luther King managed to change millions of lives with his “I Have A Dream” speech.

The problem is most people fail to use the power of their word, or worse they use it to unintentionally hurt others. However, the trick is to say only what you truly mean. Don’t speak badly about yourself or others. And speak about truth and love.

Negative feedback can act as poison to other people. Start taking the power of your word seriously by speaking only positive things. Instead of gossiping behind your co-worker’s back, try to say positive things or don’t say anything at all.

“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” – Abraham Lincoln

2. Free Yourself From People’s Ideas

Chances are that other people’s words closely relate to your own perception. So what happens? You believe your friend who calls you ugly when you’re having a bad hair day. You believe your boss who states you’re an incompetent worker when you’re experiencing a bad breakup. And you believe your family when they provide you with many reasons of why you won’t be able to run a successful business.

The list goes on and on. Repeat this for years and it’s no wonder why you take other people’s criticism personally. What you have to understand is that other people’s opinions aren’t about you, it’s a reflection of themselves. For example, if someone tells you that you’ll never launch a successful business it’s screaming what they believe is possible.

You shouldn’t even take your own comments personally. Sometimes your own words cause self-inflicting damage. So what’s the solution? Start by listing your beliefs that make you fearful or unhappy. Then work on your smallest beliefs and begin replacing them with positive beliefs.

3. Stop Making Assumptions About Everything

Be bold and ask questions. The next time someone explains something to you, repeat what they’ve said to confirm if their statement was correct. Rinse and repeat until you’re confident that you understand the other person. Will it be easy? Of course not. There will be times when you’ll be scared to ask questions or people will look annoyed. However, you can’t let fear hold you back.

Here are the two questions to ask yourself when you’re facing tough times: 1. If today was my last day would this problem be significant? 2. How do you want to live? Be curious and become confident in asking questions so you’ll never have to assume anything.

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” – Dalai Lama XIV

4. Consistently Do Your Best

Don’t strive to be perfect, strive to do your best. You’ll regret more the chances we didn’t take vs the times you’ve failed. If you’re always performing at your best you’ll be less likely to feel disappointed. Your best will vary from time to time but as long as you’re always putting your best effort you’ll be at peace.

Why does this work? As humans, we punish ourselves multiple times for a single mistake. That’s because we tend to live in the future or past replaying old mistakes and punishing ourselves further. By always doing our best you eliminate the possibility for regret and self-judgment. Don’t forget to do your best with the little things as well.

Here’s what I mean: The moment you wake put your best effort to make your bed. When you’re feeling off, put your best effort going to go to the gym to lift weights. Stop waiting for those rare days when you wake up feeling amazing. Get up each morning with the intent to do your best at everything you do!

Start Living A Happy Life

Picture this, it’s 5 am and you’re starting your morning ritual. At the end of your ritual, you’re ready to have an amazing day despite it being Monday. But that’s not all. You’ve found the courage to leave your job to go all in with your business. You’ve found the courage to get married and take your relationship to the next level. You’ve even found the courage to share silly pictures of yourself on social media.

Life is good. Most people wish for these types of day, but not you. Ever since you’ve adopted these 4 agreements your life has transformed for the better. You’re no longer a victim to what happens in your life.

Amazing isn’t it? This can be your reality if you begin adopting these 4 agreements into your life today. You’ve only got one life to live, are you going to let fear hold you back from being happy?

What have you discovered about yourself? Comment below!

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Life

5 Actionable Tips to Master Your Mental Illness and Be Successful

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With May being Mental Illness Awareness Month, it’s imperative to know what actions we can take to develop more successful emotions. Emotional pain is one of the worst things that can happen to an individual. After attempting suicide twice and checking myself into countless mental health clinics, I was able to finally to become the master of my world. Reaching rock bottom twice, I’ve learned how to become successful in both my personal and professional life.  With a little bit of effort, this is something you can do too.

Even if you’re not battling a mental illness, these techniques can work wonders for improving every part of life:

1. Reading For Personal Growth

With so much negative material in this world of the internet, one must take the time to purposefully install positive material that’ll help you grow. Just by being on Addicted2Success, you’re on the right path.

Reading also is another way to exercise your mind. By exercising the mind and inserting positive information into it on a consistent basis, it’s inevitable that your thoughts, actions, and results will begin to change. What I did, and still do, is read books from the genres of Self-Help, Self-Improvement, Personal Development, and Psychology.

2. Writing To Vent

Even after speaking to therapists and psychologists, what I have found to work wonders is to simply write. What’s great about this is you can get everything off of your chest and then destroy the evidence by shredding it once you’re done. By bottling everything up inside, it begins to eat away at us, stacks up with other negative emotions, and then comes back with a vengeance.

Start a daily journal to vent about everything that’s bothering you and then shred it if you choose. I personally shred everything all at once rather than one day at a time.

“The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.” – Gustave Flaubert

3. Changing Environments

Jim Rohn said, “You’re the average of the five people you hang out with most.” This is true for success, finances, health, mentality, and all other areas of life. If you want to become successful, if you want to pull yourself out of an emotional slump, change the stimuli you’re currently in. This can include your friends, work, tv shows, news, movies, music, social media, unorganized office/home, and more.

If you feel like something is dragging you down, it is. Do what successful people do and change it! I personally went for months without a friend because they were the biggest source of negativity in my life…and I’d do it again!

4. Controlling Your Thoughts

This is easier said than done, but it’s extremely possible. On average, we have about 60,000 thoughts running through our minds every day, more than half of those are negative.

One thing you can try is to make a tally mark every time you notice a negative thought. Doing this will help you become more aware of this and you’ll notice over time, those tally marks will slowly dwindle. The key here is to have a predetermined affirmation or mantra to replace that negative thought with. I personally have a go-to affirmation which I repeat over-and-over again while forcing the biggest smile I can muster at the time.

“I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.” – Mark Twain

5. Taking Action On Ideas

Ideas are a dime-a-dozen because too many are stillborn, most never take action on any idea they have. By taking action in any capacity on an idea that you come up with, it’ll help boost self-esteem and confidence. It also sends a signal to your subconscious mind that you’re becoming a different person who has a purpose in life. Start small at first, then go as big as your imagination can dream. I use to ignore my ideas because everyone told me how stupid I was, yet now I receive praise for being a innovative visionary with determination.

It took me nearly ten years without medication or therapy to completely reverse my life for the better. Now that I am where I am, I still practice all of this and more! You can be successful in whatever it is that you desire, but it all starts in the mind and your actions.

If you or anyone you know is battling any type of mental illness, know that it is only temporary if you choose for it to be. Take the advice Bob Proctor told me and implement it immediately: “The mind is the most powerful force in all of creation, hold the image of what you want, and surprise the whole world.”

What tricks do you have for controlling your mind and making sure your brain helps you achieve success throughout your day? Let us know in the comments below!

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Life

Why I Drastically Reduced My Social Media Consumption (And I Work in Social Media!)

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Recently, I’ve been experimenting with the way I consume, create and connect using social media.

What started out as a tool that was supposed to bring us together has turned into something we didn’t expect. Now, I’m the biggest advocate of all when it comes to social media. So much so, that I’ve dedicated most of my career to it.

This post is not designed to get you to delete social media and go and live off-grid, away from the Internet, on a farm, with no car and no connection to the community around you.

The point is to get you to rethink your social media usage.

These are the 4 burdens of social media:

 

Responding to comments

One of my coaching clients said to me the other day “How do you find time to respond to all of the comments you get online?”

I told him “I don’t.”

This is a new thing for me. If I go back six months, I was responding to every comment I got. It’s no secret that by responding to comments on social media in real-time, you get more engagement on your posts.

So yes, commenting is good if you are building an audience and want more people to see your work, but on the downside, you become a slave to comments.

The other challenge with comments is that you will get trolls and people that say nasty stuff. No matter how hard you try, some of them will affect your mindset, motivation or even your mood.

This is why I have drastically reduced the comments I respond to. I still engage and support people that like my work, I just do it less.

This leaves me more time to create, which ultimately provides more value than a reply to a comment.

 

Liking people’s posts

Social media also brings on the expectation that you’re supposed to like people’s posts who supported you, are your family or maybe even your work colleagues or friends.

I always like to support other people’s work, but I disagree with people expecting me to. Some posts just don’t resonate with me and that’s why I don’t reshare them even if they are my friends, colleagues or even super fans of my work.

 

Responding to direct messages

“Instant messaging has been the bane of my existence. It’s like a meeting that never ends”

Now everyone can reach me. This might seem like it makes us more connected but I don’t feel it does. Instead, it takes up huge amounts of time to respond to direct messages. A lot of the ones I get have ‘asks’ attached to them.

There’s nothing wrong with an ‘ask’ through social media but if you don’t know someone at all, it gets annoying quickly.

 

Having to check notifications

When I see 150 new notifications on LinkedIn (or any social network) as much as I hate to admit it, it feels good. I end up checking my notifications in meetings, while out for dinner with my significant other and even in the car (dangerous).

“Most of what these notifications are telling me are unimportant but my dopamine addicted brain can’t resist. The need for validation that I am growing or becoming somebody is too great”

<<<>>>>>

It’s for these four reasons that I recently severely limited by social media usage.

This may seem like the action of a crazy person given that I work in social media. I promise you it’s not. I can still have a career in social media or as a blogger without checking apps 100 times a day.

My time is now focused on something far more important:

Maximizing my time creating content that serves my purpose instead of consuming which is what the social media platforms want me to do (I never did like following rules).

<<<>>>

Here are the benefits I got by drastically reducing my social media usage:

 

Less stress

The recent test I took to measure my cortisol levels shows that I’m currently at 800 on the cortisol scale and the normal range is between 0-400.

I’ve been looking for any way I can to reduce stress. My experimentation with reducing social media has helped significantly.

“I find myself living in flight mode more often and enjoying right now”

One of the biggest flaws with the 24/7 social media model is the increase in stress if nothing else. The need for instant validation is making our stress levels soar. It’s time to fight back!

 

It’s made me more creative

I’m now being inspired more by things I witness in real life as opposed to the sometimes made-up, perfect world of social media. Creativity fuels our passions and even our businesses.

It takes empty space and free time to be creative. Social media was sucking up all my spare time after work and on the weekend. By consuming less, I had blocks of spare time to create.

That also gave me time to be inspired by books that fuel my imagination like Harry Potter (strangely enough).

 

I feel freer

Being tied to my phone and glued to social media is like having chains around my arms.

“It’s been nice to be free of advice, funny videos, opinions, politics and everything else that is like a fire hose in your face”

 

More present

Meditation has been something I’ve sucked at for a long time. I find it hard to be present and observe the now. Part of the reason, I’ve discovered, is that I was thinking about what was happening on social media.

Having time away from social media has made being present easier for me. I’m thinking less about how many views I got on LinkedIn today and more about the meaning of life and the people I care about.

It’s not perfect though. I still spend time on social media (obviously) and so I have to balance the benefits, with the negatives like being less present.

 

Fewer distractions

All the way back to high school, my teachers told me “Tim, you’re easily distracted.”

Even on my report cards, it says it. My teachers put it down to my appreciation of the opposite sex (this is what they said!) but I disagree. I put it down to my need for human interaction which is what has made me love selling in the business world.

None the less, I am easily distracted -  that’s a fact. Social media has forced me to check my notifications consistently. Since reducing my social media consumption, I’ve put into action a new strategy.

What I do now is turn off all notifications on my phone, computer, iPad and laptop. I only have SMS and phone call notifications turned on.

This setup allows me to time-box when I check my social media and only look at certain times of the day. By batching similar tasks like checking notifications together, I spend less time overall on social media.

Not only do I have my notifications for social media turned off, but I also do most of the commenting and responding to messages on my iMac. The screen of my phone is small and it makes the process longer, more stressful and it’s a burden on my eyes.

 

It’s increased my real-world interactions with people

By being less social without the need for social media and online communities, my hunger for connection has not disappeared. If anything, it’s increased.

The only way to get my fix is to attend a social catchup, hang out with workmates, have more meetings with clients and say hi to strangers.

This has improved my confidence, got me out of my comfort-zone and even helped me with my public speaking ability.

 

Final thought

Social media doesn’t have to be a burden but until you learn to control it, it will wreak havoc on your life. Working in social media makes me a big advocate of the upside, but the downside is not so obvious.

I hope, through my own reduction in social media, you’ve got a new perspective – or at least a different view of social media.

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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