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7 Steps On How To Stay Motivated For The Long Haul

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There is excitement as we make a decision to do something big – help the homeless, start a business, run a marathon. But all too often these big dreams fall to the wayside. How do we keep the motivation to see a big goal through to the end?

Some people have called me “goal driven” because I persevere on projects that may take months or even years to accomplish. So I got thinking, what is it that helps me to keep going day after day while the end goal is still out of sight? Perhaps my experience can help other people to persist on their goals.

Here are the seven steps to help you stay motivated and stick to a big project:

1Make sure you have control over your goal

When you formulate your goal make sure that it is something under your power to achieve. For example, say “Apply to three graduate schools”, as opposed to saying “Get accepted to graduate school”. When your goal is stated as something that is under your control you are more likely to think of ways to make it happen.

“Everybody has goals, aspirations or whatever, and everybody has been at a point in their life where nobody believed in them.” – Eminem

2. Find subgoals that can be accomplished in 4 hours or less

It can be daunting to look at the big goal. You don’t know where to start. So first make a list of the steps that are required to accomplish a big goal. For example, the goal of writing an app can be broken down into large steps of design, coding, testing, submission, and marketing.

Each day I look at the step that I am working on and choose a small goal that should take four hours or less to achieve. By concentrating on the small goal I can stay focused and not worry about everything else that needs to be done. And, each time I accomplish the small goal I feel good about myself.

I chose four hours as the magic number because frequently tasks have a habit of expanding. Often a four hour goal turns into a three day goal, but that is still a short enough time horizon that I can keep the end in sight.

 

3. Each morning write down the single most important thing to do that day

It really helps me to have the goal for that day in writing.  Then, if I wander off topic, as I sometimes do, I can look at it and pull myself back on course. I know that if I do enough of the mini 4-hour goals that eventually I will accomplish something significant toward my big goal, so I don’t need to think about the big goal that day.

 

4. Live the dream

I can’t postpone good feelings until I have achieved the final result. What I am actually doing each day has to be the life that I want. If it isn’t, I have picked the wrong goal. For example, you will never achieve a goal of running a marathon if you detest having to run three or four times a week.

Having mini goals helps me to live the dream. Every day or two I am celebrating some small milestone that I have reached. When I reach a major milestone I generally take a day off and go do something fun to celebrate.

“If you can dream it, you can do it.” – Walt Disney

5. Take breaks for planning

Since I work towards a series of mini goals I need to have confidence that they are adding up to the intended target. Every now and then, perhaps every couple of months, I take time off from achieving a mini goal that day, and instead spend the day on planning. I consider whether there is a major step that I may have missed, and if so, add that to my list. I think about the major step that I am working on, and whether the activities I have been doing are actually bringing me closer to that goal.

If it feels helpful, I make a list of sub-tasks for the major steps. I like to get these things down on paper so that when I am working on a mini goal I am not constantly sidetracked by trying to think about other steps. Doing this planning step allows me to get it all out of my mind so that I can focus.

 

6. Decide where and when you are going to do your work

Studies have shown that if you decide on where and when you will do something that you are more likely to do it. I sit down each morning after breakfast at my computer and write down my goal for that day. That helps me to get started, and once I am started I generally find it easy to continue.

 

7. Don’t give up

Everybody has bad days, and some things take time to become fun. For example, the first time a person runs can hardly be called fun. It is difficult and tiring and sweaty. But after a couple of weeks, as your body toughens up, it can actually be exhilarating.

So hang in there when things are tough. Face the fact that it is no fun, but do it anyway. You should be back on track in a few days.

What can you do today to take a small step toward your big goal? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Susan de Jong is an app entrepreneur who loves to write software. Her apps include Lucidate, a brainstorming app that helps you explore your innermost thoughts, and Insight Personality Tests, a fun and motivational app. Download the apps today for free.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Sija

    Jan 8, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    Thank u Susan. I agree with your points

  2. Siew

    Dec 7, 2015 at 3:59 am

    A very precise, easy to follow and inspirational article. Good job, Susan!
    It conveys the need to set goals with sub-goals identified so as be able to cherish the accomplishment frequently. The message is also be pragmatic in warning the readers that there will be times when it may take more time and effort to achieve the goal, but not to be discouraged. The message is valuable to people in all walks of life!

  3. Ly

    Dec 5, 2015 at 4:35 am

    Thank you, Susan, for this solid article. I like the step to create subgoals that can be done in 4 hours. Sometimes, I get overwhelmed with my goals for the day. Focusing a subgoals into a 4 hour spot will help me improve my time management and help me feel productive.

  4. Evan

    Dec 5, 2015 at 1:47 am

    Susan,

    Nice article you have here! I love taking breaks for planning and am using this to my advantage better now. I used to get caught up in 16 hour days but realized it’s not sustainable…

    I always take Sundays off, no matter what I have going on that week. Sometimes it’s hard but after enough time passes of doing it, I easily and guiltlessly wake up anytime on Sunday and keep my goals ahead of me.

    – Evan

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

Life

5 Powerful Reasons Why You Should Commit to Lifelong Learning

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Education is commonly equated to an experience for children and young adults, but the reality is that lifelong learning can benefit you in many ways. The world is constantly changing, and this means that you must be open to absorbing and actively seeking new information to stay up-to-date. This, of course, expands far beyond education in your area of professional expertise.

You can enjoy both personal and professional benefits when you make education a lifelong priority, and these are five very powerful factors to consider:

1. Wider Knowledge, More Skills

As you expand your knowledge base in different ways, you can increase your skill set tremendously. Formal education remains important, but it is not fully sufficient because of how rapidly the world around us is evolving. Therefore, you should regularly work to improve your professional skills and to explore new interests and hobbies as well.

For example, you may consider learning a new language which can help you with your professional career, but also assist you in exploring different cultures more easily while traveling. You can widen your computer skills or learn how to play an instrument.

Whatever you choose to pursue, there are many ways to widen your knowledge base: taking up a class, attending a seminar, listening to audio tapes, etc. You can also leverage online educational opportunities, and these include apps and educational websites. Reading books, visiting museums and watching educational programming on television are a few other thoughtful ideas to consider.

2. New Career Opportunities

The job market is increasingly competitive and many employers are focused on finding well-rounded workers to join their team. They want to find people who have expertise in many areas rather than one, so they will be drawn to individuals with various skills and interests.

Education will, therefore, definitely augment your potential of getting promoted or finding a new job: learning that new language may open up job opportunities in a different part of the world. When you improve your skillset, you may even gain knowledge that can help you start your own business or become a consultant. Such opportunities can improve your quality of life and potentially lead to a higher income level. So, if you are unhappy with your job, don’t wait, start honing your skills now!

“Stay positive and happy. Work hard and don’t give up hope. Be open to criticism and keep learning. Surround yourself with happy, warm and genuine people.” – Tena Desae

3. Open-Mindedness

In the words of Malcolm Forbes, “Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.” The reality is that constantly seeking knowledge can help you to better understand the world around you, and this includes getting to know new cultures, concepts, and customs. Ultimately, this will make you less prejudice and more open-minded. Your horizons will be expanded and you will start exploring things you were previously unaware of.

Furthermore, education can change your entire outlook on certain topics and help you become a well-rounded and informed citizen. More than that, it can help you to carry on intelligent conversations and make you become an interesting person in the eyes of other people. Overall, your broad world view will help you enjoy a more successful career and foster great personal relationships with friends and colleagues alike.

4. Self-Esteem and Health Benefits

By regularly expanding your knowledge in different areas, you may inadvertently be promoting a healthy level of self-esteem and improving your mental and physical well-being. Educated people naturally feel more confident, and this level of self-esteem can exude from you. It can also boost your productivity and lead to a better overall quality of life with ample happiness.

Constantly seeking knowledge may also ward off the development of dementia and other degenerative memory conditions. You may also learn more about dietary and exercise habits, so you can improve your lifestyle and physical health in different ways.

5. Having a Great Time

Many people struggle to find happiness and a sense of fulfillment in life because they lack balance. Simply working all of the time will not lead to contentment with life, and you need to have fun as well if you want to feel fulfilled on a regular basis.

Learning can actually be enjoyable and even fun, which happens when you explore topics that interest you. While some topics may specifically be explored to boost your professional expertise in your field, you can also spend time learning more about religions, locations, cultures and concepts that have fascinated you on a more personal level.

“A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning.” – Brad Henry

Acquiring new knowledge and learning new skills should be a lifelong endeavor. It can help you to improve both your professional and private life, leading to increased happiness and fulfillment as well as to an increased money-making potential over the years.

Mahatma Gandhi eloquently stated, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” Adopting this philosophy can improve your life tremendously in the years to come.

How do you make sure to always stay open-minded in order to never stop learning? Let us know by commenting below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Life

I Want To Be Happy – Only With You

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I only want to be happy with you.

I want you to find love and not be single for the rest of your life because you’ve told me how much you want to settle down and have a family one-day. I know how much you enjoy the company of an intelligent partner who knows how to have a proper conversation. I want to be that partner.

I want you to have time to talk before breakfast and enjoy a healthy meal with me, so you have loads of energy to live your day with passion. I want you to have time to tell me about your workday and what inspired you. I want to hear about how you’ve empowered others to chase their dreams.

I want you to tell me about how you went for drinks after work and had way too many red wines. To tell me the smallest detail about your day knowing that I will still be fascinated because of how much I care about you.

I want to smile when I get a message from you knowing that you inserted the maximum amount of emoji’s and that I will do my best to compete and add in more with my own reply. I’ll try my best to add in even more crazy emoji’s so that you have to think very carefully about what I am trying to say and what each emoji means. Our emoji game can be like a never-ending puzzle that we spend the rest of our lives trying to solve.

I want us to travel all around the world and experience new cultures together. I want us to go to places that scare the hell out of us and defy the ridiculous terrorism warnings that stop people going to beautiful cities like Paris.

“I don’t want us to live in fear; I want us to live with passion”

As part of that travel dream, I want to whisk you away when you least expect it and take you somewhere that will help you remember me forever, even after I’m gone. I want you to have one special place where you can remember me for a single moment and know that I will always be with you. I want that place to make us both smile when we think of it. I want to make these crazy dreams with you.

I want you to feel like you can do whatever you want and there is nothing holding you back. I want you to feel as free as a bird flying over the sea without a care in the world. I want you to know that I will always move obstacles out of your way so you can feel that sense of freedom.

I want to stay home from work when you have the flu and make you yummy soup, even if it means I get sick with you, and we both have to stay home. I want to take you to the doctor’s office when you’re unwell and conquer any medical issue with you. I want us always to believe in hope if the worst happens.

I want to be there for you no matter what.

When our parents are eventually gone one day, I want us both to never forget them. To never forget the dreams they had for our lives and the difference they made. While they may not have got everything always right, they did their best. We’ve both had struggles with a difficult sibling, but that’s not their fault. For their sake, we will do our best to have a relationship with our siblings even if it’s hard. The result of that struggle is the one thing that would make both of our parents proud and we owe them that at the very least.

I may be still single right now, but one day I will find you and we will live happily ever after. That’s a promise to you and to my future self.

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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3 Ways You Can Awaken Your Positive Spirit

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It’s 5:30 in the morning, your alarm rings. Do you feel like waking up? Heck no! The pillow is your best friend and at this moment, you wouldn’t mind breaking your phone to shut it up. Nonetheless, responsibilities are calling you. You roll out of bed, making it all the way to the bathroom. It takes you one shower and a giant cup of coffee to wake up.

You hit the road. No gas in the car and you are already running late. You stop at the gas station, rush in the door when you realize you forgot your wallet at home. Current mood: the bomb before the explosion approached by the mental breakdown. Can you resonate?

So, here comes the question. What do you do when nothing seems to go right? Do you bow your head down and get into “Why is this happening to me” mindset? Or do you step up and look at the bright side even when it is hard to spot it?

A positive attitude is a heartwarming topic for me because, for many years, I lived on the negative side. Only by experiencing pain and emptiness, did I start to understand the power of positive thinking in life. The best part is, you can make this switch too.

Here are 3 ways you can awaken your positive spirit in any negative moment:

1. Motion Creates Emotion

Imagine your regular day. You wake up, get ready and head to work. Throughout the day, you deal with all kinds of problems and challenges. Deadlines for your big projects are catching up and your mom just called you, crying that her dog is sick and it doesn’t look good. You work your butt off and by 5pm you are in something that I call exhaustion state. But wait, there is a gym hang out tonight at 7 pm. You already promised your buddy John that you will be there so you show up.

You grab your headset and step on the running belt while playing your favorite song or compilation of motivational speeches. Within 15 minutes of motion, you are feeling better. Your pulse is rising and you start running faster. After 30 minutes of motion and intense exercise, the entire exhaustion is gone and you feel great. Suddenly, the day doesn’t seem so bad and you feel pretty good about yourself. How come? Because of motion.

Every motion creates emotion. One of the things I started to do when I felt under the weather was to exercise or jump and say YES for 60 seconds. I put my hands up like a champ who just won the gold cup and smile. Of course, it looks totally crazy so you won’t see me doing it but the change of my mental state happens in an instant.

“I’m not going to get somewhere and say, ‘OK, I’m done.’ Success is never final; I’ll just keep on going. The same way as failure never being fatal. Just keep going. I’m going to the stars and then past them.” – Conor McGregor

2. Positivity Focus

Let’s take a look at this scenario. One day, two big events. The first is good. You finally closed that deal with a very important client which you were focusing on for months. Great success. But then, you receive an email. It’s from the car company where you applied for your dream car. Unfortunately, your credit score is just a few numbers below their required limit so your application is denied. The question is: Which one are you going to focus on?

The art of happiness isn’t in not having problems or not experiencing losses along the way, it’s all about perspective and your ability to focus on the gains. Life balances itself. I can tell you right now, with solid confidence that you won’t always get what you want or when you want it. Life will often welcome you with re-battles. If you can see your glass half full when things don’t go your way, your positive attitude will save you each and every time.

3. Contribution

Okay, now you may be thinking “What’s up with contribution in this article when we talk about the positive attitude?” I get it so let me explain. Contribution has a highly positive impact on your mental health.

When you give and share, more than likely you’ll receive gratitude from the other person. It makes you feel useful, important and grateful as well. Why? Because there comes the time when you’ll recognize all those things you are taking for granted while others are dying to have or experience them. That’s why we tend to feel more grateful when we contribute.

Gratitude activates positive emotions and directs your focus on the good things. You give and receive at the same time. I call this a double victory.

A positive attitude is both, a corny and classy topic. It becomes corny since we hear it all the time but it stays classy because it always works and definitely saves you from living in misery. Even when you don’t always get what you want, with a positive spirit it will feel like you do.

“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” – Mother Teresa

How do you stay upbeat in moments where nothing seems to be going your way? Please let us know by commenting below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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3 Things to Pay Attention to When Building Your Own Personal Brand

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Who are you? Not your name or your business or even what your ethics are, but who are you in the sense of what people see when they look at you? Does your name and your business bring happiness to the minds of people who hear it? Does it bring anger? Does it bring peace and joy? Does it bring sadness?

How people feel when they think of you is your personal brand. We all know who Gary Vaynerchuk, Tony Robbins, and Robert Kiyosaki are. These people have built huge reputations for themselves. We also know who Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-un, and Adolf Hitler are. These people have also build reputations for themselves; very different reputations than the first names I listed.

When you read these names, a different feeling comes to mind, so below are 3 ways on how to evoke positive emotions when people hear your name:

1. Envoke the senses

First lets understand what a brand is. A brand is a product or service that invokes a feeling or emotion. Building a brand is all about invoking the senses of your Customers, you don’t want people to think of your brand and only think of the logo. We want people to have a scent that reminds them of you, a sight like a logo, and a feel that reminds them of not only your brand, but of you as well.

When people think of your company, what do you want them to think of? What emotion do you want to inspire in your customer base, and what can help you inspire that emotion? When creating your personal brand, you want to invoke all five senses of your target audience. If you own a coffee shop, when people walk in you want them to smell coffee, their mouth to water when they think of fresh pastries, their ears to perk up when they hear the beans being ground up.

“I force people to have coffee with me, just because I don’t trust that a friendship can be maintained without any other senses besides a computer or cellphone screen.” – John Cusack

To create your brand you can’t only think about what you want associated with your business, but also what you don’t want associated with it. Think back to the coffee instead of smelling coffee and pastries, how would you feel about walking in and smelling bleach? Would you rather go to the first coffee shop or the second one?

Think of ways to create a positive experience when a customer walks in by bringing a scent to people, or an interesting sight as they walk through the door. These things will all eventually become part of your brand in the sense that when people think of them, they will think of you.

2. Attractive marketing

Marketing is an amazing way to help boost your company’s sales. But marketing can also hurt your business if it isn’t done correctly. Have you ever given someone your email or phone number and had him or her relentlessly spam you trying to get your business? When someone does that, do you want to use their service, or do you want to throw your phone at the wall every time they message you? When building a brand you also want to think of ways to make your business, and marketing plans more attractive.  

This goes back to what you want people to think of when they think of your brand. Small things can go a long way in creating an attractive image for you and your company. Attractive marketing doesn’t stop at just ads, and endorsement. Thinking of ways to portray yourself in a positive light will help as well. It’s natural to think a person would be doing business with a company, but each customer is doing business with you directly. Now think back to a time you were in a store and had terrible customer service. How likely are you to go back to that store?

Even if that company employs thousands of people, the one bad experience you had with one employee could actually prevent you from going back. People are more likely to go somewhere they think of in a positive light, some place that reminds them of a good experience. A personal brand is not only a brand for your company or product, but it is also a way of branding yourself. The goal of marketing and creating a personal brand should be, to get your customer base to feel like they know you personally.

3. Build with social media

Social media is a great way to get your clients to feel like they know you personally. When a client feels like they know you, like you, and can trust you, they are more likely to buy whatever you are selling. People buy based off of person, product and price. So having that personal relationship with a client can go a long way, especially if they don’t know a lot about the product or price. There are tons of social media platforms to reach your customer base, but what platform gives the most personal, and honest form of your business?

One of the most surprising ways to build fans of your brand is podcasts. A podcast lets your audience hear your voice and speaking your opinions exactly how you meant them to be said. The more a person feels like they know you, the more likely they are to feel like they can trust you, your recommendations on products, and investments.

“Social media is not just an activity; it is an investment of valuable time and resources. Surround yourself with people who not just support you and stay with you, but inform your thinking about ways to WOW your online presence” – Sean Gardner

Unlike most social media platforms, podcasts don’t require someone to scroll through an endless feed, or pay attention to their phone or computer. For a podcast all you have to do is throw on a playlist and listen away while you are driving, cleaning, or just doing day-to-day tasks. The main goal is once you have a playlist of podcasts, someone only needs to hear one, let the playlist go, and suddenly be hooked on your opinions and advice.

You have the power to evoke emotions and feelings from people. In every moment of your life you are building your personal brand. Every time you interact with people and every thing you say makes up how people think and feel about both you and your products/services. When it comes to building your brand, the opportunities are endless but what I stated above is the perfect place to begin that journey. Always remember to create a brand to help your company speak for itself.

How do you make sure people understand who you are and follow you? Let us know by commenting below!
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Motivation

The Letter I Wrote To A Broken Man

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Every day I get lots of emails from readers asking me how to solve a major life issue.

I got one last week and realized that my advice is often the same. I thought that it might be easier to write my advice about how to stop being so broken. That way, every time I get one of these emails I can point people to it.

Here’s the advice I gave this broken man that wrote to me:

 

1. Find someone who is going to change your thinking

This man had a whole list of problems that he tried to tell me were impossible to solve. He listed them in such detail and made each one sound beyond impossible to solve. He was hoping that he would bamboozle me and that I’d reply and say “Mate you’re right, those problems are impossible to solve and I can’t help you.”

The first step I always tell these so called “broken people” is that they need to get out of their head. They’ve become obsessed with their challenges and they need to interrupt their thinking. The easiest and quickest way to do this is to find someone to change your thinking.

To make this broken man’s life easy, I gave him the answer of who to start with. He needed a rapid change of thinking and the best person I know to do this is Tony Robbins. Now I could have let him find his own person to assist, but it would have ended up becoming another excuse.

What he needed to hear was something radically different to the story that he’d memorized and become an expert narrator in. Tony sure knows how to change the way you think and slap you in the face when you need it. This is always the beginning.

 

2. Quit your job

This broken man blamed a lot of his problems on his job. This is common in all the letters I get from people who think they’re broken. They all have an issue that stems from what they do for a living.

What’s crazy is that your job or business is your decision. If you don’t like the result, then quit. It’s not rocket science; it’s just the reality.

“Quitting something you hate is the best decision you’ll ever make”

You can always find another source of income. The best thing about quitting is that you’ll be forced to find a new way to make a living pretty quickly so you can pay your bills.

Make it a slow transition if you need to, but just know that you must quit. Don’t let anything piss you off anymore. Stop doing what you don’t love. If your work doesn’t light you up, then quit!

 

3. Failing a lot is good. Stop being afraid.

My friend, the broken man, tried to tell me that he was failing a lot. I stood up in my seat and gave him a metaphorical round of applause (he obviously couldn’t see me do this). If you’re failing a lot, then that’s the best bloody news I’ve ever heard! Don’t be down about it; be excited about it.

This means your giving it a go and taking action. That’s better than 99% of other people who are doing nothing and sitting on the couch hoping to get lucky. You’ll eventually find a way if you keep failing. It’s inevitable.

Being afraid is unnecessary and it’s delusional. You’re not supposed to know exactly what to do and no one who is successful does.

“You’re supposed to take action, and then learn from the outcomes and adjust the sails of your ship as you go”

 

4. Go and volunteer at a homeless shelter

I’ve said this one a lot because I’ve personally found it very effective – In fact, I was just at the homeless shelter again last week. It’s the idea that you need to see problems far bigger than your own. I’ve never seen anyone walk into a homeless shelter and spend a day there, who hasn’t come out the other side with a new way of looking at life.

You’re forced into helping others and you do whatever you can because many of the people you’ll meet are beyond desperate. In reality, your problems are not desperate where as there’s is. Once you’ve seen the worst there is to see, then you’ll be able to break your pattern of misery.

 

5. Your problems are the same

This broken man was so stuck in his circumstances that he couldn’t see the rest of the world. He stopped seeing the hardships that others are going through and he somehow believed the lie that he was the only one facing these problems. I told him something he didn’t expect: “Your problems are the same as every other email I get.”

This was true. Every email I get with these so-called “impossible challenges” is the same. It’s the same issue with a different character playing the lead role of the story. Your problems are not unique or special. Your problems yesterday were vanilla and my problems today are strawberry. They’re all flavors of the same milkshake.

 

6. You’re being selfish

The last very blunt thing I said to this broken man (out of love and respect) was: “You’re being selfish.” I told him that his entire story was about him and his own selfish desires.

Nowhere in the story was there room for anybody else. Nowhere in the story was there a purpose to unite people, or serve people or give something to someone. It was all just about him and how important he was and how he must have all the answers.

“The way you become broken in the first place is when you’re 100% focused on yourself”

Selfishness is at the heart of so many life problems. It’s not all about you, you know. I’d go as far as saying that you should make your life about much more than you.

Once you move away from being entirely selfish, new opportunities start to find their way to you. These opportunities are not luck; these opportunities are the result of you moving beyond just caring about yourself. Until you give a damn about other people, you’re going to continue to be broken.

You started to become broken in the first place when you forgot about everyone else and became obsessed with yourself. Kill the obsession and you’ll find the answer to your dreams.

These are the things I told this young man. These are the same tools you can use if you feel broken.

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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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Sija

    Jan 8, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    Thank u Susan. I agree with your points

  2. Siew

    Dec 7, 2015 at 3:59 am

    A very precise, easy to follow and inspirational article. Good job, Susan!
    It conveys the need to set goals with sub-goals identified so as be able to cherish the accomplishment frequently. The message is also be pragmatic in warning the readers that there will be times when it may take more time and effort to achieve the goal, but not to be discouraged. The message is valuable to people in all walks of life!

  3. Ly

    Dec 5, 2015 at 4:35 am

    Thank you, Susan, for this solid article. I like the step to create subgoals that can be done in 4 hours. Sometimes, I get overwhelmed with my goals for the day. Focusing a subgoals into a 4 hour spot will help me improve my time management and help me feel productive.

  4. Evan

    Dec 5, 2015 at 1:47 am

    Susan,

    Nice article you have here! I love taking breaks for planning and am using this to my advantage better now. I used to get caught up in 16 hour days but realized it’s not sustainable…

    I always take Sundays off, no matter what I have going on that week. Sometimes it’s hard but after enough time passes of doing it, I easily and guiltlessly wake up anytime on Sunday and keep my goals ahead of me.

    – Evan

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

Life

5 Powerful Reasons Why You Should Commit to Lifelong Learning

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learning

Education is commonly equated to an experience for children and young adults, but the reality is that lifelong learning can benefit you in many ways. The world is constantly changing, and this means that you must be open to absorbing and actively seeking new information to stay up-to-date. This, of course, expands far beyond education in your area of professional expertise.

You can enjoy both personal and professional benefits when you make education a lifelong priority, and these are five very powerful factors to consider:

1. Wider Knowledge, More Skills

As you expand your knowledge base in different ways, you can increase your skill set tremendously. Formal education remains important, but it is not fully sufficient because of how rapidly the world around us is evolving. Therefore, you should regularly work to improve your professional skills and to explore new interests and hobbies as well.

For example, you may consider learning a new language which can help you with your professional career, but also assist you in exploring different cultures more easily while traveling. You can widen your computer skills or learn how to play an instrument.

Whatever you choose to pursue, there are many ways to widen your knowledge base: taking up a class, attending a seminar, listening to audio tapes, etc. You can also leverage online educational opportunities, and these include apps and educational websites. Reading books, visiting museums and watching educational programming on television are a few other thoughtful ideas to consider.

2. New Career Opportunities

The job market is increasingly competitive and many employers are focused on finding well-rounded workers to join their team. They want to find people who have expertise in many areas rather than one, so they will be drawn to individuals with various skills and interests.

Education will, therefore, definitely augment your potential of getting promoted or finding a new job: learning that new language may open up job opportunities in a different part of the world. When you improve your skillset, you may even gain knowledge that can help you start your own business or become a consultant. Such opportunities can improve your quality of life and potentially lead to a higher income level. So, if you are unhappy with your job, don’t wait, start honing your skills now!

“Stay positive and happy. Work hard and don’t give up hope. Be open to criticism and keep learning. Surround yourself with happy, warm and genuine people.” – Tena Desae

3. Open-Mindedness

In the words of Malcolm Forbes, “Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.” The reality is that constantly seeking knowledge can help you to better understand the world around you, and this includes getting to know new cultures, concepts, and customs. Ultimately, this will make you less prejudice and more open-minded. Your horizons will be expanded and you will start exploring things you were previously unaware of.

Furthermore, education can change your entire outlook on certain topics and help you become a well-rounded and informed citizen. More than that, it can help you to carry on intelligent conversations and make you become an interesting person in the eyes of other people. Overall, your broad world view will help you enjoy a more successful career and foster great personal relationships with friends and colleagues alike.

4. Self-Esteem and Health Benefits

By regularly expanding your knowledge in different areas, you may inadvertently be promoting a healthy level of self-esteem and improving your mental and physical well-being. Educated people naturally feel more confident, and this level of self-esteem can exude from you. It can also boost your productivity and lead to a better overall quality of life with ample happiness.

Constantly seeking knowledge may also ward off the development of dementia and other degenerative memory conditions. You may also learn more about dietary and exercise habits, so you can improve your lifestyle and physical health in different ways.

5. Having a Great Time

Many people struggle to find happiness and a sense of fulfillment in life because they lack balance. Simply working all of the time will not lead to contentment with life, and you need to have fun as well if you want to feel fulfilled on a regular basis.

Learning can actually be enjoyable and even fun, which happens when you explore topics that interest you. While some topics may specifically be explored to boost your professional expertise in your field, you can also spend time learning more about religions, locations, cultures and concepts that have fascinated you on a more personal level.

“A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning.” – Brad Henry

Acquiring new knowledge and learning new skills should be a lifelong endeavor. It can help you to improve both your professional and private life, leading to increased happiness and fulfillment as well as to an increased money-making potential over the years.

Mahatma Gandhi eloquently stated, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” Adopting this philosophy can improve your life tremendously in the years to come.

How do you make sure to always stay open-minded in order to never stop learning? Let us know by commenting below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Life

I Want To Be Happy – Only With You

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I only want to be happy with you.

I want you to find love and not be single for the rest of your life because you’ve told me how much you want to settle down and have a family one-day. I know how much you enjoy the company of an intelligent partner who knows how to have a proper conversation. I want to be that partner.

I want you to have time to talk before breakfast and enjoy a healthy meal with me, so you have loads of energy to live your day with passion. I want you to have time to tell me about your workday and what inspired you. I want to hear about how you’ve empowered others to chase their dreams.

I want you to tell me about how you went for drinks after work and had way too many red wines. To tell me the smallest detail about your day knowing that I will still be fascinated because of how much I care about you.

I want to smile when I get a message from you knowing that you inserted the maximum amount of emoji’s and that I will do my best to compete and add in more with my own reply. I’ll try my best to add in even more crazy emoji’s so that you have to think very carefully about what I am trying to say and what each emoji means. Our emoji game can be like a never-ending puzzle that we spend the rest of our lives trying to solve.

I want us to travel all around the world and experience new cultures together. I want us to go to places that scare the hell out of us and defy the ridiculous terrorism warnings that stop people going to beautiful cities like Paris.

“I don’t want us to live in fear; I want us to live with passion”

As part of that travel dream, I want to whisk you away when you least expect it and take you somewhere that will help you remember me forever, even after I’m gone. I want you to have one special place where you can remember me for a single moment and know that I will always be with you. I want that place to make us both smile when we think of it. I want to make these crazy dreams with you.

I want you to feel like you can do whatever you want and there is nothing holding you back. I want you to feel as free as a bird flying over the sea without a care in the world. I want you to know that I will always move obstacles out of your way so you can feel that sense of freedom.

I want to stay home from work when you have the flu and make you yummy soup, even if it means I get sick with you, and we both have to stay home. I want to take you to the doctor’s office when you’re unwell and conquer any medical issue with you. I want us always to believe in hope if the worst happens.

I want to be there for you no matter what.

When our parents are eventually gone one day, I want us both to never forget them. To never forget the dreams they had for our lives and the difference they made. While they may not have got everything always right, they did their best. We’ve both had struggles with a difficult sibling, but that’s not their fault. For their sake, we will do our best to have a relationship with our siblings even if it’s hard. The result of that struggle is the one thing that would make both of our parents proud and we owe them that at the very least.

I may be still single right now, but one day I will find you and we will live happily ever after. That’s a promise to you and to my future self.

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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Life

3 Ways You Can Awaken Your Positive Spirit

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positivity

It’s 5:30 in the morning, your alarm rings. Do you feel like waking up? Heck no! The pillow is your best friend and at this moment, you wouldn’t mind breaking your phone to shut it up. Nonetheless, responsibilities are calling you. You roll out of bed, making it all the way to the bathroom. It takes you one shower and a giant cup of coffee to wake up.

You hit the road. No gas in the car and you are already running late. You stop at the gas station, rush in the door when you realize you forgot your wallet at home. Current mood: the bomb before the explosion approached by the mental breakdown. Can you resonate?

So, here comes the question. What do you do when nothing seems to go right? Do you bow your head down and get into “Why is this happening to me” mindset? Or do you step up and look at the bright side even when it is hard to spot it?

A positive attitude is a heartwarming topic for me because, for many years, I lived on the negative side. Only by experiencing pain and emptiness, did I start to understand the power of positive thinking in life. The best part is, you can make this switch too.

Here are 3 ways you can awaken your positive spirit in any negative moment:

1. Motion Creates Emotion

Imagine your regular day. You wake up, get ready and head to work. Throughout the day, you deal with all kinds of problems and challenges. Deadlines for your big projects are catching up and your mom just called you, crying that her dog is sick and it doesn’t look good. You work your butt off and by 5pm you are in something that I call exhaustion state. But wait, there is a gym hang out tonight at 7 pm. You already promised your buddy John that you will be there so you show up.

You grab your headset and step on the running belt while playing your favorite song or compilation of motivational speeches. Within 15 minutes of motion, you are feeling better. Your pulse is rising and you start running faster. After 30 minutes of motion and intense exercise, the entire exhaustion is gone and you feel great. Suddenly, the day doesn’t seem so bad and you feel pretty good about yourself. How come? Because of motion.

Every motion creates emotion. One of the things I started to do when I felt under the weather was to exercise or jump and say YES for 60 seconds. I put my hands up like a champ who just won the gold cup and smile. Of course, it looks totally crazy so you won’t see me doing it but the change of my mental state happens in an instant.

“I’m not going to get somewhere and say, ‘OK, I’m done.’ Success is never final; I’ll just keep on going. The same way as failure never being fatal. Just keep going. I’m going to the stars and then past them.” – Conor McGregor

2. Positivity Focus

Let’s take a look at this scenario. One day, two big events. The first is good. You finally closed that deal with a very important client which you were focusing on for months. Great success. But then, you receive an email. It’s from the car company where you applied for your dream car. Unfortunately, your credit score is just a few numbers below their required limit so your application is denied. The question is: Which one are you going to focus on?

The art of happiness isn’t in not having problems or not experiencing losses along the way, it’s all about perspective and your ability to focus on the gains. Life balances itself. I can tell you right now, with solid confidence that you won’t always get what you want or when you want it. Life will often welcome you with re-battles. If you can see your glass half full when things don’t go your way, your positive attitude will save you each and every time.

3. Contribution

Okay, now you may be thinking “What’s up with contribution in this article when we talk about the positive attitude?” I get it so let me explain. Contribution has a highly positive impact on your mental health.

When you give and share, more than likely you’ll receive gratitude from the other person. It makes you feel useful, important and grateful as well. Why? Because there comes the time when you’ll recognize all those things you are taking for granted while others are dying to have or experience them. That’s why we tend to feel more grateful when we contribute.

Gratitude activates positive emotions and directs your focus on the good things. You give and receive at the same time. I call this a double victory.

A positive attitude is both, a corny and classy topic. It becomes corny since we hear it all the time but it stays classy because it always works and definitely saves you from living in misery. Even when you don’t always get what you want, with a positive spirit it will feel like you do.

“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” – Mother Teresa

How do you stay upbeat in moments where nothing seems to be going your way? Please let us know by commenting below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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3 Things to Pay Attention to When Building Your Own Personal Brand

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building a brand

Who are you? Not your name or your business or even what your ethics are, but who are you in the sense of what people see when they look at you? Does your name and your business bring happiness to the minds of people who hear it? Does it bring anger? Does it bring peace and joy? Does it bring sadness?

How people feel when they think of you is your personal brand. We all know who Gary Vaynerchuk, Tony Robbins, and Robert Kiyosaki are. These people have built huge reputations for themselves. We also know who Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-un, and Adolf Hitler are. These people have also build reputations for themselves; very different reputations than the first names I listed.

When you read these names, a different feeling comes to mind, so below are 3 ways on how to evoke positive emotions when people hear your name:

1. Envoke the senses

First lets understand what a brand is. A brand is a product or service that invokes a feeling or emotion. Building a brand is all about invoking the senses of your Customers, you don’t want people to think of your brand and only think of the logo. We want people to have a scent that reminds them of you, a sight like a logo, and a feel that reminds them of not only your brand, but of you as well.

When people think of your company, what do you want them to think of? What emotion do you want to inspire in your customer base, and what can help you inspire that emotion? When creating your personal brand, you want to invoke all five senses of your target audience. If you own a coffee shop, when people walk in you want them to smell coffee, their mouth to water when they think of fresh pastries, their ears to perk up when they hear the beans being ground up.

“I force people to have coffee with me, just because I don’t trust that a friendship can be maintained without any other senses besides a computer or cellphone screen.” – John Cusack

To create your brand you can’t only think about what you want associated with your business, but also what you don’t want associated with it. Think back to the coffee instead of smelling coffee and pastries, how would you feel about walking in and smelling bleach? Would you rather go to the first coffee shop or the second one?

Think of ways to create a positive experience when a customer walks in by bringing a scent to people, or an interesting sight as they walk through the door. These things will all eventually become part of your brand in the sense that when people think of them, they will think of you.

2. Attractive marketing

Marketing is an amazing way to help boost your company’s sales. But marketing can also hurt your business if it isn’t done correctly. Have you ever given someone your email or phone number and had him or her relentlessly spam you trying to get your business? When someone does that, do you want to use their service, or do you want to throw your phone at the wall every time they message you? When building a brand you also want to think of ways to make your business, and marketing plans more attractive.  

This goes back to what you want people to think of when they think of your brand. Small things can go a long way in creating an attractive image for you and your company. Attractive marketing doesn’t stop at just ads, and endorsement. Thinking of ways to portray yourself in a positive light will help as well. It’s natural to think a person would be doing business with a company, but each customer is doing business with you directly. Now think back to a time you were in a store and had terrible customer service. How likely are you to go back to that store?

Even if that company employs thousands of people, the one bad experience you had with one employee could actually prevent you from going back. People are more likely to go somewhere they think of in a positive light, some place that reminds them of a good experience. A personal brand is not only a brand for your company or product, but it is also a way of branding yourself. The goal of marketing and creating a personal brand should be, to get your customer base to feel like they know you personally.

3. Build with social media

Social media is a great way to get your clients to feel like they know you personally. When a client feels like they know you, like you, and can trust you, they are more likely to buy whatever you are selling. People buy based off of person, product and price. So having that personal relationship with a client can go a long way, especially if they don’t know a lot about the product or price. There are tons of social media platforms to reach your customer base, but what platform gives the most personal, and honest form of your business?

One of the most surprising ways to build fans of your brand is podcasts. A podcast lets your audience hear your voice and speaking your opinions exactly how you meant them to be said. The more a person feels like they know you, the more likely they are to feel like they can trust you, your recommendations on products, and investments.

“Social media is not just an activity; it is an investment of valuable time and resources. Surround yourself with people who not just support you and stay with you, but inform your thinking about ways to WOW your online presence” – Sean Gardner

Unlike most social media platforms, podcasts don’t require someone to scroll through an endless feed, or pay attention to their phone or computer. For a podcast all you have to do is throw on a playlist and listen away while you are driving, cleaning, or just doing day-to-day tasks. The main goal is once you have a playlist of podcasts, someone only needs to hear one, let the playlist go, and suddenly be hooked on your opinions and advice.

You have the power to evoke emotions and feelings from people. In every moment of your life you are building your personal brand. Every time you interact with people and every thing you say makes up how people think and feel about both you and your products/services. When it comes to building your brand, the opportunities are endless but what I stated above is the perfect place to begin that journey. Always remember to create a brand to help your company speak for itself.

How do you make sure people understand who you are and follow you? Let us know by commenting below!
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