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7 Essential Steps for Setting Powerful Intentions

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Setting Powerful Intentions through goal setting

If you’re an ambitious and driven person, chances are you’ve heard the word intention thrown about:

Set your intentions…Be mindful of your intentions…Create powerful intentions…

But the term can be vague and convoluted. Is it a belief? A prayer? Is it having faith?

In simple form, your intentions are your thoughts directed toward a desired outcome. To be more complex, it’s the realization that our consciousness has the ability to create our reality.

It’s often ridiculed and passed off as Abracadabra BS, but scientific research on how the mind affects reality is growing.

Most common is the placebo effect, from sugar pills having the same effect as prozac, to non-alcoholic beer causing drunkenness, and fake surgeries improving health—our beliefs defy logic.

Mind over matter feats have been documented by monks draped in cold wet sheets, then used mediation to increase their body heat and dry the sheets.

The extent of our influence on matter and reality is taken further with the famous double slit experiment in quantum mechanics: showing that light/energy behaved differently—as waves or particles with the presence of an observer—as if the photons knew they were being monitored.

Physicists call it the Observer Effect, NASA scientists have commented, “The results of any observation seemed to be determined in part by actual choices made by the observer.”

Mind-blowing stuff. If we’e able to influence reality at a subatomic level, what’s the extent of the Observer Effect? What is the extent of the power of our intentions?

Ancient wisdom has told us:

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.”
– Buddha.

“You are what your deep driving desire is;
As your deep driving desire is, so is your will;
As your will is so is your deed;
As your deed is so is your destiny.”
– The Upanishads

“Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
– Jesus.

More recently, Jim Carrey boils down his whole career to the power of intention:

“Our intention is everything. Nothing happens on this planet without it. Not one single thing has ever been accomplished without intention.”

When it comes to setting intentions toward your goals, here are 7 essential steps:

 

1. Let go of limiting beliefs.

We’ve seen how powerful the mind is—don’t put a limit on the extent that it can change reality. Believe big, see the world for it’s abundance rather than limitations. See your personal potential as limitless rather than limited.

When doubt creeps into your mind, remember it’s only as valid as the among of attention you give it.

 

2. Be clear, but flexible.

Seneca said,

“If one does not know to which port they sail, no wind is favorable.”

Be clear and specific with the intentions you set: when do you want it to happen by, where will it take place, who you will you be with? But as you move ahead with it, be flexible with the journey, and how you get there.

A detour may be a hidden blessing steering you in the right direction. The intention will manifest to the person who keeps showing up.

 

3. Bring in all your senses.

Psychologists and therapists highlight the importance of VAK—visuals, audio, and kinesthetic modalities in shaping our mind.

When visualizing your intentions, use these modalities to make it as real in your mind as it’ll be in reality; turn up the volume on the the people you’re with, the color of the suit or dress you’re rockin,’ your bodily sensations and emotions as you celebrate.

You’re not just dreaming and imagining, you’re actually planning and setting the blueprint.

 

4. Take action.

Like a horse and carriage, visualization needs to connect with hard work. Eat the elephant one bite at a time. Reverse engineer—start with the end in mind, and break your goal down to pieces.

Then, don’t hesitate or let fear hold you back from doing the most immediate action toward your goal. Do something daily that will bring you closer to your goal.

Every time you take action, fear weakens, and confidence grows.

 

5. Celebrate the synchronicity.

There’ll be times when things are too coincidental to be mere coincidence. Things fall into place and your intention becomes tangible. Celebrate these affirmations that you’re on the right track. Use them as markers to go back to when you’re feeling down, and keep moving forward with an eye open for the next synchronistic event.

Synchronicity is a teacher, telling us to keep moving ahead, or change direction. If it’s been a while between meetings, it may mean you need to try something different.

 

6. Bring in some backup.

With your close inner circle of friends, ask them to also set intentions for you. If one consciousness can alter reality, a community of combined consciousness no doubt will help you move mountains.

Connect with someone who’s achieved what you’re attempting, pick their brain to strengthen your intentions. Continue to grow your knowledge on the power of intentions—seek out articles, read books, watch videos.

Knowledge is power.

 

7. Exercise daily.

Just like a muscle, exercise your intention. Write it out daily—be detailed with your dream and set yourself deadlines; create a vision board.

Make your intentions so ingrained that you’re beyond confident and your actions become autopilot toward manifesting it. Burn your ship and take the island.

Your intention will be the tool that turns your passion into reality.

Science continues to affirm there’s much more beyond our empirical understanding—and indeed, our minds are more powerful than we realize.

Tap into the power of intention, and live your potential.

A refugee from Vietnam, raised in Australia, with a BA from Texas, Thai writes for many publications including The Huffington Post, Entrepreneur.com, and Addicted2Success. A professional chef, international kickboxer, and spiritual teacher, Thai is passionate about helping people become the best version of themselves. Signup for his free weekly Infographics at TheUtopianLife.com | Connect @ThaiWins | On Facebook 

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Sameer

    Dec 22, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    Very intentional.:-)
    Amazing post. Just reading it made me continue on my path to keep going on.

  2. Rose Costas

    Nov 20, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    Thanks again Thai for another very intriguing post. I think as humans we totally under estimate the power of the mind. If Jesus can say in his word that whatever we want and believe or have in our intention we shall receive, should give us all the more reason to trust our intentions and hand on to them no matter what is happen. But we are people who want instant results and if we cannot see things immediately tend to abandon our dreams.

    It takes a lot to believe in something that you cannot see but I believe if you put in the work and believe it will come to fruition.
    Thanks again

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Life

3 Necessities That Will Help You Think Big and Stay Positive

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think big, stay positive

To think big and keep hope during difficult times is not easy. When you can’t afford to pay your bills, you haven’t had more than two hours of sleep in a few nights, and you are experiencing some relationship challenges, it can be tough to believe that things will ultimately work out. The ability to see beyond your current circumstances and understand that everything will eventually come together is the life of an entrepreneur.

When you think of a business owner, you frequently also picture the status symbols of success such as money, cars, homes, and other material possessions. However, there is another side to the entrepreneurial lifestyle that deserves attention. Gary Vaynerchuk talks about the 7pm -2 am dream shift, where you dedicate time to work on your business outside of other work and family responsibilities. Committing to a schedule like this is extremely hard.

According to a Fast Company article, businesses that survive past the first year have dropped from 569,419 in 1994 to 106,789 in 2016.  The challenges that often accompany the triumphs of working for yourself can feel insurmountable.

What are three necessities for you to think big and remain positive?

1. Surround yourself with good people

For many of us, it is common to hear and read about the importance of surrounding yourself with positive and productive people. My mother has stressed the importance of this trait since I was at least in kindergarten. When it comes to business, this is extremely important because others can expose you to different levels and types of success. Good people can push you to perform at your best and confirm your sanity when you are at your worst.  

“Choose your friends wisely, and also choose friends that you can trust.” –Elyn Saks

2. Commit to lifelong learning

In this competitive age, you must be willing to grow through a consistent effort of learning new talents and developing skills. As Tim Denning states “without willpower, your mind will take the road of least resistance. Practice teaching your mind discipline.” Reading books, learning new skills and techniques are essential habits of the entrepreneur. They can enable you to develop the ability to think beyond your current personal or business position.  

3. Go within to discover what’s out there

As an entrepreneur, you will need to have a reason for your business that digs deep into your soul. That’s a massive concept, and it is true. In the introduction, I mentioned that the lifestyle of an entrepreneur is not easy. Often times, a daily dosage of meditation or prayer is necessary to make it to the end of the day.

Without something within you like a burning desire to make an impact or the feeling that you work is part of a higher calling, the temptation to quit will be too strong. My recommendation is prayer and meditation to identify your purpose for business and to empower you through the difficult times.

“Discipline is the bridge between goal and accomplishment” – Jim Rohn

So, what are the practical steps to big thinking and positivity? The details of the process will be different for everyone, but universally it begins with the creation of daily goals and ends with consistent execution. The small steps lead to larger victories.

Once you have the right people in your circle, the self-discipline to continue learning, and a profound reason to succeed, the next step is to make things happen. You can have all the resources and mindsets in place, but if you are not willing to take action, it is useless. Use today as an opportunity to make progress on transforming your dream into a reality.

How do you stay positive? Comment below!

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6 Simple Steps to Setting Goals Without Feeling Overwhelmed

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goal setting

Years ago I found myself caught up in conventional wisdom (or wisdumb as I call it). I was trying to set goals in every area of my life. I had three goals for each of my five key areas: faith, family, friends, finances and fun. I added that last category only because it started with an “F” and my OCD told me five categories was a better number than four. That’s how scientific my goal-setting process was.

By the last week of December, I had designed them with beautiful checkboxes, and I permanently inserted the sheet into my planner. It made me feel great to “have it all together.” I was, after all, part of the 3% who set goals. This was going to be the most comprehensive goal-setting method ever!

Rather than becoming an overnight success, I became an overnight statistic: I was one of the 93% of people who give up on their resolutions by February. The rest of my year was spent feeling guilty every time I noticed my goal sheet in the back of my planner.

“I should do one of these.” But which one? And, how? Where do I start? Then, “Squirrel!” After trying this for a few Decembers (I’m a slow learner), I discovered a lesson in life I will never forget: if you try to focus on 15 targets at once, you will hit exactly zero of them.

I can’t remember where this system came from but I can tell you it’s a great way to overwhelm yourself. However, these types of ideas are out there in the world of goal-setting. Apparently, people even pay money to overwhelm themselves!

Since that time, I’ve learned a lot such as studying from some of the world’s greatest achievers, and putting principles and tactics to the test. I came out on the other side with a few key insights about the correct way to set goals.

So if you’re one of the small percentage of folks who set goals, especially for the new year, let me help you avoid a few years of banging your head against the wall:

1. Define your core

When most people think of setting goals, they sit down and start writing them out without having answered some fundamental questions. People who build homes don’t start with a 2×4. They pour through stacks of blueprints and renderings before picking up a shovel so they know exactly where they are going and what it will take to get there.

It’s worth an hour or two of your time. Sit down, clear any distractions and ask yourself some fundamental questions: Who are you? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Your assets? What do you want? Why do you want that? Explore all your possibilities and rule nothing out. You can always clean it up later.

2. Write a lifeplan statement

Start by identifying the single most important target. If other things you are doing in your life do not align perfectly with your plan, then do not include them in your statement. When you come across new ideas and opportunities, use your lifeplan statement as your barometer to keep you on track. There can be only one most important goal at a time. In fact, when you “focus” on more than one goal at a time, it defeats the whole idea of “focus.” If you don’t believe me, try multitasking two important tasks at the same time.

Next, break out your goals into as many action items as you can. Make sure you include things you still need to learn because the odds are you don’t know how to get there (because you’ve never been there before). Categorize these notes into monthly, weekly and daily action items.

After writing your goals, determine the sacrifices you are willing to make to achieve it. Finish your lifeplan statement with your purpose, vision and values. Go deep and write honestly, clearly, and powerfully in the first-person, present tense. Keep in mind, this is a living, breathing document you will update and modify as needed. Keep it handy as this will become one of the most important documents of your life.

“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” – Warren Bennis

3. Write a dayplan on a 3×5 card

Index cards are inexpensive and just the right size. On one side, write your top five most important items, with the most important at the top. The other side is reserved for ideas so you can get them out of your head and keep you focused. Write down anything that strikes you as interesting: ideas, headlines, quotes, funny stories, etc. Carry this card around with you everywhere you go and leave it out where you can see it. Check off items as you complete them.

4. End your day holding a five-minute meeting with yourself

Look through the list and see what did not get done. Ask yourself: is it truly important? If the answer is yes, transfer it to tomorrow’s card. If the answer is no, cross it off and forget it. Finally, finish filling out tomorrow’s plan on a new card so you wake up to it the next morning.

End your meeting by filing away today’s card. Every few weeks, go through your stack of goal cards and transfer the ideas from paper to an online journaling system (Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, etc.). You’ll be amazed at the ideas your brain will produce when you give it a chance.

5. Develop and religiously follow a meaningful morning routine

I can’t tell you how consistently this one habit is among high achievers. I see it again and again- it’s almost comical. Nearly without exception, successful people follow some kind of daily routine. I recommend early mornings but take your pick because how you start your day is generally how your day will tend to go. It’s more important that you do it, not when.

There are dozens of activities you could do, and there are no right or wrong answers. Whatever you chose, incorporate two things. First, exercise- the benefits are endless. Second, incorporate your LifePlan Statement by reading, feeling, and visualizing it every morning.

“Be pleasant until ten o’clock in the morning and the rest of the day will take care of itself.”- Elbert Hubbard

6. Reward yourself and celebrate your wins

Take time to recognize what you did right and don’t feel guilty for giving yourself a reward for it. As you implement this system, be patient and don’t expect everything to change overnight. It’s simple, but not easy. However, when done right, this system is powerful and will change your life. If you mess up, don’t let yourself have two in a row. Regardless of how some make it seem, success is a marathon, not a sprint. You’re in this for the long haul.

How are you making sure you achieve the goals you set for yourself this upcoming year? Let us know your plans below!

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2 Shifts In Thinking That Can Change Your Life Forever

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During the first two years of building my previous company, my income was less than that of a McDonald’s employee. I was regularly discouraged by family members to “get a real job” and “pursue a different direction”.

Fortunately, I ignored this advice. It wasn’t until my company’s third year that we exploded in revenue and grossed millions of dollars in sales. So… what kept me going? Two major shifts in my thinking. Both of which come from Darren Hardy’s books (publisher of SUCCESS Magazine) The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster and The Compound Effect.

Thought shift #1: Imagine a hand-pumped water well, which uses a lever and a pipe to extract water from beneath the ground using suction.

To successfully bring the water to the surface, you have to pump the lever consistently. If you only pump the lever for a few minutes and stop, you won’t see any water. On the contrary, if you continue to pump the lever, you’ll eventually begin to see small drops of water.

Unfortunately, despite realizing some progress, this is the point where most wantrepreneurs give-up and exclaim: “Only a few drops of water!? You’ve got to be kidding me! Why did I put in so much hard work for so long for this tiny amount of progress?

But as Darren explains, wise people persist. The wise person who persists by continuing to pump the water lever , in spite of only seeing a few drops of water , eventually break through and get a steady stream of water (results).

“Don’t follow your dreams. Chase them down with aggressive pursuit.” – Darren Hardy

Don’t be the person who starts a business, works hard for a few months (aggressively pumping the water lever) and quits after seeing little-to-no progress (small drops of water). Don’t be the blogger who writes a few posts and quits after only two people read your amazing content.

Don’t be the unhealthy person who gives up on their weight-loss program after not seeing immediate results by the end of five workouts. The bottom line is this: You must persist and remain consistent. It takes time for meaningful progress to materialize. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Thought Shift #2: The “Life, Growth, and Achievement Pendulum.”

The second major thought shift that changed the trajectory of my life forever is the concept of the Life, Growth, and Achievement Pendulum.

Here’s how it works:

On one side of the life pendulum, you have failure, rejection, defeat, pain, and sadness. And on the other side of the life pendulum, you have success, victory, joy, and happiness. With this pendulum, you can’t directly control the positive side.

“The difference between average people and achieving people is their reception and response to failure” – John C. Maxwell

But what you can fully control is the pushing of the pendulum to the side of failure, rejection, sadness, and all the other painful things that are required to be endured for success to be achieved. Only pushing the pendulum to the side of great pain is what will yield great success.

No wonder why average people (who only allow their life pendulum to swing a small distance into the side of pain) experience the equivalent small degree of success! Extraordinary success requires extraordinary pain.

Just like exercising at the gym, big muscles aren’t built by enduring small levels of pain. There isn’t a single bodybuilder on planet earth who didn’t first go through massive amounts of pain to build their physique. Not one!

What are your plans for integrating these concepts in your life? Let me know in the comments below.

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Life

What I Do When I Have To Make Lots Of Big Decisions.

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I have to make lots of big decisions right now.

I’m suffering decision fatigue.

There’s an element of fear at play as much as I pretend there isn’t.

Most of the time my decision-making ability is at a very high level. Like anything, sometimes it slips (especially when I drink coffee because it makes me anxious). The key is to understand that you can’t always be amazing at making the right decisions.

 

There will be wrong decisions.

You’ll make dumb ass decisions sometimes and then wonder “How the F did I do that?” You won’t always know. The secret to success, if you haven’t learned it by now, is to stop being perfect. Doing is the key because everything else requires thinking.

 

Thinking becomes overthinking.

That’s why I have been able to have a crazy year of blowing my goals out of the water.

I’ve used the 5-Second Rule and focused on making quick decisions that use my instincts and allow me to follow my heart. My brain is just too used to overthinking and going into its default mode – being fearful.

 

How do we deal with the fear?

You make sure you tell yourself that fear is always going to be present. Then, you use fear to push you forward. Something I do is this:

I tell myself that nerves, fear and anxiety are all just signs that I’m breaking my comfort zone. Knowing the power of breaking my comfort zone is rewarding and so I do a victory lap.

Whenever you experience these three sensations, do a victory lap because you are going to the next level of life. You’re doing what so few are prepared to do.

 

Caution: making decisions is addictive.

When you get to a point where I’m at now and you’re able to make fast decisions, it becomes addictive. You figure out that you can do pretty much anything when you cut out overthinking. With every decision comes more growth.

I’ve found that continuous growth is recommended and it turns out I’m not the only one. Many of my friends have become success addicts and tripled their value in less than a year.

“Once we know we can be unstoppable, all of the right doors open up”

Opportunities that were previously hidden now become so clear like a deer in the headlights of your car. A sense of clarity takes over and you know what you must do.

 

So what do we do when we have to make a big decision?

1. You put on your big boy/girl pants and accept what you’re currently feeling.
2. You think about the decision and make the choice that feels right at the time.
3. You ignore how hard or easy the decision is and concentrate on reaching an end outcome.

Right now I’m faced with some monster decisions. I’ve made certain promises that I must keep. I need to look at my career roadmap as well and there’s a lot of uncertainty in this area of my life. At the same time, I also need to nurture my side hustles more and monetize some of them.

For the curious bunch out there, you need to have multiple sources of income and ideally at least one passive income source. This one idea will change your life and give you more time and freedom to take breaks. It sounds easy in practice but it’s actually challenging.

We all want to turn our passions into passive income and sometimes when we haven’t been down this path, we’re uncertain even though Google can tell us 101 ways to make money.

“It’s like we have the strategies but we’re too caught up in our head to pick one and launch it finally”

Recently, I’ve also had to make big decisions about my priorities. I’ve become a slave to too many tasks and I need to cull a few things. Using the decision-making process above, I’ve narrowed my life down to family, my girlfriend, blogging, public speaking and my career. Everything else I’ve decided to ignore for right now.

Getting to this final list of priorities has required me to make lots of decisions. Some big and some small. I’m glad I have made those decisions though because otherwise, I’d end up being busy like so many people I know.

“Busy often occurs when you hold off making the decision you know you must”

 

Making decisions sets you free.

Until you make those big decisions, you become a prisoner of your own life. That prison cell exists in your mind and you find yourself trying to ignore the decision you must make. The hardest part I’ve found is concentrating on making the decision and what can go wrong.

I constantly find myself saying “What happens if I can’t go back to how things were?”

The truth is that how things were is boring. You can’t progress from this place. Nothing stays the same and you have to make the big decisions to enter a world you never thought was possible. This new world will make you feel phenomenal though once you make the big decisions.

These big decisions will set you free and you’ll feel a sense of achievement.

 

Bad news: the big decisions never stop.

That’s why you have to make big decisions and turn this skill into an art form. Exercise your decision-making ability. Know that no matter what happens, everything is going to work out for the best. Big decisions must be made and you can make them.

My next round of big decisions is right in front of me. I have to focus on my career for a bit and I have zero idea what that looks like.

“All I can do is trek into the abyss and make one big decision at a time”

 

***Parting Advice***

Consciously you know that there are big decisions that have to be made. Instead of avoiding them or putting them off, start following the above process and get clarity on what you want. Unless you make big decisions, you’ll always feel like you’re being held back.

You can do big things in this world.
You can be extraordinary.
It all starts with one big decision at a time.

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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The Absolute No No’s Of Social Media: Break These And Everybody Tunes Out.

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Everyone talks about what to do on social media. No one talks about the things that don’t work. What not to do is where the recipe for success on social media lies.

I’ve spent the last 12 months getting more engagement on social media than ever so that I can spread more good in the world.

Here is my absolute list of no no’s for social media:

 

Too much self-promotion.

“Here’s a selfie with the Alibaba founder.”

“Here’s me at blah blah blah exhibition.”

“Here’s me taking a break after working so hard.”

This nonsense doesn’t work. It’s all about you and it comes across as self-promotion. I still want you to share photos of inspirational people you met. I still want you to talk about taking a break and the places you’ve visited. I still want you to share events you attend.

There’s a subtle difference though – share the lessons and value these experiences gave you rather than sharing your ego’s proximity to them.

“Make your social media posts about how you can help and add value rather than putting your name on everything and trying to sound important”

 

Tagging people without permission.

Ever seen one of those posts where there are twenty names at the bottom that are tagged?

Ever wondered why you’re tagged in someone’s post who you’ve never met?

This careless tagging occurs because the originator wants to reach more people. They think by tagging strangers with lots of followers, they’ll reach more people and get more attention for their ego.

“Tagging without permission is rude and doesn’t work”

I want you to tag people and reach more people. I want you to do it with respect. How?

Reach out and tell the person you’re going to tag them first and why the post is relevant to their audience. Don’t be lazy and tag them because they’ll do nothing and most likely unfollow you. Also, don’t overdo it. Aim to tag three people or so instead of twenty. Less is more.

 

Linking out.

If I only teach you one thing it’s this: Don’t link out.

In plain English, this means that you should avoid posting a link that takes people off the social media platform they are viewing your post on. For example, if you’re on Facebook, don’t put a link in your post that takes me to YouTube.

Always post natively.

In plain English again, post your content directly on the platform. Instead of linking to YouTube, upload the video to Facebook directly.

 

Scheduling doesn’t work as well. It’s all about live.

We’ve all used software like Buffer to schedule posts and make people think that we are content machines that write something new every 2.5 hours and then upload it at peak times of the day.

The algorithm that runs a lot of these social media platforms and decides who see’s your content has figured out the game. Live, original content that is unplanned will always get priority. Try doing things on the fly. Upload your content in real time. Better yet, create your content in real time.

 

Polished is getting old.

Joel Brown taught me this lesson. One day, he was getting ready to shoot a video in the park. He was going to get a haircut beforehand, so he looked good for the camera. Laziness took over and he decided to shoot the video on his iPhone, with messy bed hair.

This video got lots of engagement because he shot it in a moment of passion and it was unpolished.

We’ve all seen the polished YouTube videos with perfectly positioned product placement, special lighting and high definition cameras. All of this pre-preparation kills the idea and the creativity that is attached to it.

Try being raw.
Try being authentic.
Try keeping it simple.
Try to avoid the temptation of becoming a gear/technology junkie.

 

Be original (thoughts on resharing).

I get people I work with all the time saying “How do you get so many people to engage with your posts?” I then click their social media profiles and look at their own posts. Every one of them is a reshare of someone else’s content.

At least 70% of the posts you put up should be original. Just resharing someone else’s stuff is boring. Create original pieces. When you reshare, put some detail around why you liked the content and how it helped you. Make your resharing personal.

You can’t just regurgitate other people’s content and then expect to get noticed.

 

Don’t post the same piece on every social platform.

Every social platform has a different voice and different functionality. Creating one piece of content and then sharing it on every social platform doesn’t work.

For starters, focus your attention on one or two platforms. Go deep on a few social channels rather than going wide and posting on many.

 

The time of day.

Consider the time of day when you post but don’t be obsessed with it. Good content will get people sharing it regardless of when it’s posted. Great is great and the time of the day won’t change that.

With that said, early shares of your posts is important for gaining traction and getting the social platforms algorithm to let you be seen by more people. Consider avoiding times like Sunday nights when people are having family dinners and not on social media.

 

What you’re forgetting is what not to do.

So to wrap all this up, it’s what you don’t do on social media that will elevate your success to the next level. Breaking this list of no no’s will see the social media platforms you’re posting to limit your audience. Play by these rules, and you’ll have more engagement than you can poke a stick at it.

Use this engagement to do good in the world.

 

PS.

I don’t shoot videos of me driving in a Lamborghini or taking selfies with Oprah. I’m just a humble guy from Australia who’s living the dream, working hard and trying to inspire all of you to do big things, and use social media to elevate your message.

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

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared hundreds of thousands of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around success, personal development, motivation, and entrepreneurship. During the day Tim works with the most iconic tech companies in the world, as an adviser, to assist them in expanding into Australia. By night, Tim coaches his students on the principles of personal development and the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net or through his Facebook.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Sameer

    Dec 22, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    Very intentional.:-)
    Amazing post. Just reading it made me continue on my path to keep going on.

  2. Rose Costas

    Nov 20, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    Thanks again Thai for another very intriguing post. I think as humans we totally under estimate the power of the mind. If Jesus can say in his word that whatever we want and believe or have in our intention we shall receive, should give us all the more reason to trust our intentions and hand on to them no matter what is happen. But we are people who want instant results and if we cannot see things immediately tend to abandon our dreams.

    It takes a lot to believe in something that you cannot see but I believe if you put in the work and believe it will come to fruition.
    Thanks again

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Life

3 Necessities That Will Help You Think Big and Stay Positive

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think big, stay positive

To think big and keep hope during difficult times is not easy. When you can’t afford to pay your bills, you haven’t had more than two hours of sleep in a few nights, and you are experiencing some relationship challenges, it can be tough to believe that things will ultimately work out. The ability to see beyond your current circumstances and understand that everything will eventually come together is the life of an entrepreneur.

When you think of a business owner, you frequently also picture the status symbols of success such as money, cars, homes, and other material possessions. However, there is another side to the entrepreneurial lifestyle that deserves attention. Gary Vaynerchuk talks about the 7pm -2 am dream shift, where you dedicate time to work on your business outside of other work and family responsibilities. Committing to a schedule like this is extremely hard.

According to a Fast Company article, businesses that survive past the first year have dropped from 569,419 in 1994 to 106,789 in 2016.  The challenges that often accompany the triumphs of working for yourself can feel insurmountable.

What are three necessities for you to think big and remain positive?

1. Surround yourself with good people

For many of us, it is common to hear and read about the importance of surrounding yourself with positive and productive people. My mother has stressed the importance of this trait since I was at least in kindergarten. When it comes to business, this is extremely important because others can expose you to different levels and types of success. Good people can push you to perform at your best and confirm your sanity when you are at your worst.  

“Choose your friends wisely, and also choose friends that you can trust.” –Elyn Saks

2. Commit to lifelong learning

In this competitive age, you must be willing to grow through a consistent effort of learning new talents and developing skills. As Tim Denning states “without willpower, your mind will take the road of least resistance. Practice teaching your mind discipline.” Reading books, learning new skills and techniques are essential habits of the entrepreneur. They can enable you to develop the ability to think beyond your current personal or business position.  

3. Go within to discover what’s out there

As an entrepreneur, you will need to have a reason for your business that digs deep into your soul. That’s a massive concept, and it is true. In the introduction, I mentioned that the lifestyle of an entrepreneur is not easy. Often times, a daily dosage of meditation or prayer is necessary to make it to the end of the day.

Without something within you like a burning desire to make an impact or the feeling that you work is part of a higher calling, the temptation to quit will be too strong. My recommendation is prayer and meditation to identify your purpose for business and to empower you through the difficult times.

“Discipline is the bridge between goal and accomplishment” – Jim Rohn

So, what are the practical steps to big thinking and positivity? The details of the process will be different for everyone, but universally it begins with the creation of daily goals and ends with consistent execution. The small steps lead to larger victories.

Once you have the right people in your circle, the self-discipline to continue learning, and a profound reason to succeed, the next step is to make things happen. You can have all the resources and mindsets in place, but if you are not willing to take action, it is useless. Use today as an opportunity to make progress on transforming your dream into a reality.

How do you stay positive? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Life

6 Simple Steps to Setting Goals Without Feeling Overwhelmed

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goal setting

Years ago I found myself caught up in conventional wisdom (or wisdumb as I call it). I was trying to set goals in every area of my life. I had three goals for each of my five key areas: faith, family, friends, finances and fun. I added that last category only because it started with an “F” and my OCD told me five categories was a better number than four. That’s how scientific my goal-setting process was.

By the last week of December, I had designed them with beautiful checkboxes, and I permanently inserted the sheet into my planner. It made me feel great to “have it all together.” I was, after all, part of the 3% who set goals. This was going to be the most comprehensive goal-setting method ever!

Rather than becoming an overnight success, I became an overnight statistic: I was one of the 93% of people who give up on their resolutions by February. The rest of my year was spent feeling guilty every time I noticed my goal sheet in the back of my planner.

“I should do one of these.” But which one? And, how? Where do I start? Then, “Squirrel!” After trying this for a few Decembers (I’m a slow learner), I discovered a lesson in life I will never forget: if you try to focus on 15 targets at once, you will hit exactly zero of them.

I can’t remember where this system came from but I can tell you it’s a great way to overwhelm yourself. However, these types of ideas are out there in the world of goal-setting. Apparently, people even pay money to overwhelm themselves!

Since that time, I’ve learned a lot such as studying from some of the world’s greatest achievers, and putting principles and tactics to the test. I came out on the other side with a few key insights about the correct way to set goals.

So if you’re one of the small percentage of folks who set goals, especially for the new year, let me help you avoid a few years of banging your head against the wall:

1. Define your core

When most people think of setting goals, they sit down and start writing them out without having answered some fundamental questions. People who build homes don’t start with a 2×4. They pour through stacks of blueprints and renderings before picking up a shovel so they know exactly where they are going and what it will take to get there.

It’s worth an hour or two of your time. Sit down, clear any distractions and ask yourself some fundamental questions: Who are you? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Your assets? What do you want? Why do you want that? Explore all your possibilities and rule nothing out. You can always clean it up later.

2. Write a lifeplan statement

Start by identifying the single most important target. If other things you are doing in your life do not align perfectly with your plan, then do not include them in your statement. When you come across new ideas and opportunities, use your lifeplan statement as your barometer to keep you on track. There can be only one most important goal at a time. In fact, when you “focus” on more than one goal at a time, it defeats the whole idea of “focus.” If you don’t believe me, try multitasking two important tasks at the same time.

Next, break out your goals into as many action items as you can. Make sure you include things you still need to learn because the odds are you don’t know how to get there (because you’ve never been there before). Categorize these notes into monthly, weekly and daily action items.

After writing your goals, determine the sacrifices you are willing to make to achieve it. Finish your lifeplan statement with your purpose, vision and values. Go deep and write honestly, clearly, and powerfully in the first-person, present tense. Keep in mind, this is a living, breathing document you will update and modify as needed. Keep it handy as this will become one of the most important documents of your life.

“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” – Warren Bennis

3. Write a dayplan on a 3×5 card

Index cards are inexpensive and just the right size. On one side, write your top five most important items, with the most important at the top. The other side is reserved for ideas so you can get them out of your head and keep you focused. Write down anything that strikes you as interesting: ideas, headlines, quotes, funny stories, etc. Carry this card around with you everywhere you go and leave it out where you can see it. Check off items as you complete them.

4. End your day holding a five-minute meeting with yourself

Look through the list and see what did not get done. Ask yourself: is it truly important? If the answer is yes, transfer it to tomorrow’s card. If the answer is no, cross it off and forget it. Finally, finish filling out tomorrow’s plan on a new card so you wake up to it the next morning.

End your meeting by filing away today’s card. Every few weeks, go through your stack of goal cards and transfer the ideas from paper to an online journaling system (Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, etc.). You’ll be amazed at the ideas your brain will produce when you give it a chance.

5. Develop and religiously follow a meaningful morning routine

I can’t tell you how consistently this one habit is among high achievers. I see it again and again- it’s almost comical. Nearly without exception, successful people follow some kind of daily routine. I recommend early mornings but take your pick because how you start your day is generally how your day will tend to go. It’s more important that you do it, not when.

There are dozens of activities you could do, and there are no right or wrong answers. Whatever you chose, incorporate two things. First, exercise- the benefits are endless. Second, incorporate your LifePlan Statement by reading, feeling, and visualizing it every morning.

“Be pleasant until ten o’clock in the morning and the rest of the day will take care of itself.”- Elbert Hubbard

6. Reward yourself and celebrate your wins

Take time to recognize what you did right and don’t feel guilty for giving yourself a reward for it. As you implement this system, be patient and don’t expect everything to change overnight. It’s simple, but not easy. However, when done right, this system is powerful and will change your life. If you mess up, don’t let yourself have two in a row. Regardless of how some make it seem, success is a marathon, not a sprint. You’re in this for the long haul.

How are you making sure you achieve the goals you set for yourself this upcoming year? Let us know your plans below!

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Life

2 Shifts In Thinking That Can Change Your Life Forever

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mindset shift

During the first two years of building my previous company, my income was less than that of a McDonald’s employee. I was regularly discouraged by family members to “get a real job” and “pursue a different direction”.

Fortunately, I ignored this advice. It wasn’t until my company’s third year that we exploded in revenue and grossed millions of dollars in sales. So… what kept me going? Two major shifts in my thinking. Both of which come from Darren Hardy’s books (publisher of SUCCESS Magazine) The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster and The Compound Effect.

Thought shift #1: Imagine a hand-pumped water well, which uses a lever and a pipe to extract water from beneath the ground using suction.

To successfully bring the water to the surface, you have to pump the lever consistently. If you only pump the lever for a few minutes and stop, you won’t see any water. On the contrary, if you continue to pump the lever, you’ll eventually begin to see small drops of water.

Unfortunately, despite realizing some progress, this is the point where most wantrepreneurs give-up and exclaim: “Only a few drops of water!? You’ve got to be kidding me! Why did I put in so much hard work for so long for this tiny amount of progress?

But as Darren explains, wise people persist. The wise person who persists by continuing to pump the water lever , in spite of only seeing a few drops of water , eventually break through and get a steady stream of water (results).

“Don’t follow your dreams. Chase them down with aggressive pursuit.” – Darren Hardy

Don’t be the person who starts a business, works hard for a few months (aggressively pumping the water lever) and quits after seeing little-to-no progress (small drops of water). Don’t be the blogger who writes a few posts and quits after only two people read your amazing content.

Don’t be the unhealthy person who gives up on their weight-loss program after not seeing immediate results by the end of five workouts. The bottom line is this: You must persist and remain consistent. It takes time for meaningful progress to materialize. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Thought Shift #2: The “Life, Growth, and Achievement Pendulum.”

The second major thought shift that changed the trajectory of my life forever is the concept of the Life, Growth, and Achievement Pendulum.

Here’s how it works:

On one side of the life pendulum, you have failure, rejection, defeat, pain, and sadness. And on the other side of the life pendulum, you have success, victory, joy, and happiness. With this pendulum, you can’t directly control the positive side.

“The difference between average people and achieving people is their reception and response to failure” – John C. Maxwell

But what you can fully control is the pushing of the pendulum to the side of failure, rejection, sadness, and all the other painful things that are required to be endured for success to be achieved. Only pushing the pendulum to the side of great pain is what will yield great success.

No wonder why average people (who only allow their life pendulum to swing a small distance into the side of pain) experience the equivalent small degree of success! Extraordinary success requires extraordinary pain.

Just like exercising at the gym, big muscles aren’t built by enduring small levels of pain. There isn’t a single bodybuilder on planet earth who didn’t first go through massive amounts of pain to build their physique. Not one!

What are your plans for integrating these concepts in your life? Let me know in the comments below.

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Life

What I Do When I Have To Make Lots Of Big Decisions.

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I have to make lots of big decisions right now.

I’m suffering decision fatigue.

There’s an element of fear at play as much as I pretend there isn’t.

Most of the time my decision-making ability is at a very high level. Like anything, sometimes it slips (especially when I drink coffee because it makes me anxious). The key is to understand that you can’t always be amazing at making the right decisions.

 

There will be wrong decisions.

You’ll make dumb ass decisions sometimes and then wonder “How the F did I do that?” You won’t always know. The secret to success, if you haven’t learned it by now, is to stop being perfect. Doing is the key because everything else requires thinking.

 

Thinking becomes overthinking.

That’s why I have been able to have a crazy year of blowing my goals out of the water.

I’ve used the 5-Second Rule and focused on making quick decisions that use my instincts and allow me to follow my heart. My brain is just too used to overthinking and going into its default mode – being fearful.

 

How do we deal with the fear?

You make sure you tell yourself that fear is always going to be present. Then, you use fear to push you forward. Something I do is this:

I tell myself that nerves, fear and anxiety are all just signs that I’m breaking my comfort zone. Knowing the power of breaking my comfort zone is rewarding and so I do a victory lap.

Whenever you experience these three sensations, do a victory lap because you are going to the next level of life. You’re doing what so few are prepared to do.

 

Caution: making decisions is addictive.

When you get to a point where I’m at now and you’re able to make fast decisions, it becomes addictive. You figure out that you can do pretty much anything when you cut out overthinking. With every decision comes more growth.

I’ve found that continuous growth is recommended and it turns out I’m not the only one. Many of my friends have become success addicts and tripled their value in less than a year.

“Once we know we can be unstoppable, all of the right doors open up”

Opportunities that were previously hidden now become so clear like a deer in the headlights of your car. A sense of clarity takes over and you know what you must do.

 

So what do we do when we have to make a big decision?

1. You put on your big boy/girl pants and accept what you’re currently feeling.
2. You think about the decision and make the choice that feels right at the time.
3. You ignore how hard or easy the decision is and concentrate on reaching an end outcome.

Right now I’m faced with some monster decisions. I’ve made certain promises that I must keep. I need to look at my career roadmap as well and there’s a lot of uncertainty in this area of my life. At the same time, I also need to nurture my side hustles more and monetize some of them.

For the curious bunch out there, you need to have multiple sources of income and ideally at least one passive income source. This one idea will change your life and give you more time and freedom to take breaks. It sounds easy in practice but it’s actually challenging.

We all want to turn our passions into passive income and sometimes when we haven’t been down this path, we’re uncertain even though Google can tell us 101 ways to make money.

“It’s like we have the strategies but we’re too caught up in our head to pick one and launch it finally”

Recently, I’ve also had to make big decisions about my priorities. I’ve become a slave to too many tasks and I need to cull a few things. Using the decision-making process above, I’ve narrowed my life down to family, my girlfriend, blogging, public speaking and my career. Everything else I’ve decided to ignore for right now.

Getting to this final list of priorities has required me to make lots of decisions. Some big and some small. I’m glad I have made those decisions though because otherwise, I’d end up being busy like so many people I know.

“Busy often occurs when you hold off making the decision you know you must”

 

Making decisions sets you free.

Until you make those big decisions, you become a prisoner of your own life. That prison cell exists in your mind and you find yourself trying to ignore the decision you must make. The hardest part I’ve found is concentrating on making the decision and what can go wrong.

I constantly find myself saying “What happens if I can’t go back to how things were?”

The truth is that how things were is boring. You can’t progress from this place. Nothing stays the same and you have to make the big decisions to enter a world you never thought was possible. This new world will make you feel phenomenal though once you make the big decisions.

These big decisions will set you free and you’ll feel a sense of achievement.

 

Bad news: the big decisions never stop.

That’s why you have to make big decisions and turn this skill into an art form. Exercise your decision-making ability. Know that no matter what happens, everything is going to work out for the best. Big decisions must be made and you can make them.

My next round of big decisions is right in front of me. I have to focus on my career for a bit and I have zero idea what that looks like.

“All I can do is trek into the abyss and make one big decision at a time”

 

***Parting Advice***

Consciously you know that there are big decisions that have to be made. Instead of avoiding them or putting them off, start following the above process and get clarity on what you want. Unless you make big decisions, you’ll always feel like you’re being held back.

You can do big things in this world.
You can be extraordinary.
It all starts with one big decision at a time.

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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