Meeting with someone who has an unstoppable life makes you think twice about yours. I meet people like this every day, and I use their strategies to help all of you with your own lives. The advice I am about to share is not the sort of advice you may have heard before, but I have tried each strategy.
What I’ve learned and what you will see is that life can be so much easier when you simplify things down and take the time to pick up a few quick tips along the way. As you add more tools to your toolbox, you become a master of your own trade.
None of you reading this require motivation: what you require is basic tips and advice that can allow you to become just a little bit better each day. That said, advice and tips are not enough. You need to unlock something within you that makes you look and feel unstoppable.
Below are the eight things that I know for sure which will catapult you towards having an unstoppable life:
1. Passion trumps all
If you watch a reality TV show about cooking or singing you will notice one thing about all the winners; they have this look about them that pours out of their eyes. Every activity they engage in and every song they sing, there is something driving them that the other contestants don’t have.
There is an inner tragedy or an emotional event that is creating a drive of motivation that the other contestants are lacking. Their reason for being there is part of a much bigger vision. The winners of these shows have visualised themselves standing on the stage at the finale.
These contestants believe in themselves even though they have no reason to do so. They’re the underdogs and the one’s who will keep going when everybody else doesn’t see the point. They’re the ones that care about the other contestants and go to bed before everyone else.
So I ask you, are you one of these contestants in your own life? Do you believe that your passion is fundamental for everything you achieve? If you didn’t answer yes then that’s okay; it just means you’re not at that level yet, and now you have something to strive for.
The truth is, you have to be that contestant, and you have to find a level of passion that is going to outweigh everyone else. If you don’t, you will just be second best and unfortunately, as hard as this is to say, no one remembers second best. Second best is just not good enough.
2. Give 30% of something
Whatever resources you have, you must give at least 30% of them away. Whether that’s your own time, your own money or even your knowledge, this is crucial to having an unstoppable life. It’s not the resources themselves, but the habit of giving that is the message you need to get.
You don’t give stuff away because you want anything in return, or you want people to think you’re cool, you do it because this Earth relies on sustainability to regenerate everything that we love. Your act of giving is a way for our human existence to carry on long after you have left this world.
You must find a way to give because it’s in your human nature – it’s who you are. Giving is what got you here in the first place, and it’s what will create the generations that supersede you. It’s not about you it’s about something much bigger than that.
I believe you have the power to be a magnet for everything you have ever wanted. I believe you can be a New York Times Best Selling Author or an Olympic Champion – but, it doesn’t start with what you must do, it starts with what you must give.
You must inspire people to find their true passion and to find belief, and their own dreams in what you do. There are so many ways you can give so find the one that works for you and allows you to give the most. That’s just another way you can live an unstoppable life.
3. Reframe from one negative thought per day
Your life will start to transform when you experience more positive thoughts than negative thoughts each day. Moving the scales in favour of the positive thoughts is challenging. Like any challenge, though, you have to start small.
When I first started trying to achieve this goal I consistently failed because I got mad at how many negative thoughts I had per day. The good news was that at least I was noticing now how many negative thoughts I was having.
The goal for you is to start by stopping yourself from having or executing on one negative thought per day. It’s so easy for you to shoot your mouth off and then think about it or be upset by your actions later on. Developing self-control is where you need to be at.
So let’s not over complicate this. Aim to catch one negative thought per day and then do this very easy trick: decide not to take action and focus on the next thing. If you find this hard initially then try this more advanced tip: tell yourself that you will act on this negative thought tomorrow.
It’s the best lie ever because this thought will hold nowhere near as much power tomorrow. If the thought does still exist even after all of that, and you still want to take action, then talk with a rational colleague or friend and tell them what you are going to do.
There’s a good chance they will talk you out of it. Positive thoughts are what have the power to catapult you towards having an unstoppable life. There’s nothing hard about it.
One tip: go for one thought a day and no more otherwise you will do what I did and consistently lose. Losing hurts and losing will probably make you give up.
“By taking the power out of your negative thoughts and using procrastination in your favor, you can start to have more positive thoughts”
4. Sacrifice nothing to be you
Set a new standard in your life that no matter what events transpire and who you spend time with, you will be happy and proud to always be you. I found in my life that I stopped being me for a while and tried to be the person I thought everyone else wanted me to be.
The more I became like other people, the less I stood out and the more boring I became. What’s great about each of us is we are so very different, yet our human blueprint is the same. When faced with a decision to be anything but you, you have to take drastic action and sacrifice everything you have to maintain the luxury of being you.
That’s right; it’s a luxury to be you! Take all the fear about what you have done and the flaws of your family, and just let it all out. Tell people your story and don’t be embarrassed by it.
“Your weaknesses are what draw others closer to you. Your story is what is compelling about you nothing else”
5. Celebrate fear
As Joel Brown would say “take your fear and punch it in the face.” Celebrate every fear you have because fear represents progress. You know what your fears are and so do I. They are the things you avoid or try to put off.
Don’t. Celebrate them because they are the inevitable life challenges that you have to face one day. You cannot catapult your life in the direction you want without them. Understand them, be passionate about them, and tell others about them.
6. Freakin’ smile man
We don’t smile enough. That includes me. See, when we smile we create a positive energy that helps break the pattern of our day and the things that may have gone against us. Unless you start giving off good vibes to other people, it’s going to be very hard to master your life.
“You need other people to succeed at your mission, and you’ll need some fishing line to reel these people in. Smiling is something we can all do to attract the soldiers we need for our battle”
7. Be happy when others succeed
Jealousy is pathetic and you know it is – so do I. What I know for sure is that you have to celebrate when others succeed. If you do this enough, you will find that these successful celebrators will want you around more, and they may even give you reasons to celebrate yourself.
The act of celebrating helps you see the world in a different way, and while you are technically giving a piece of yourself to that moment of celebration, you are in a way, aligning yourself with the same path that the victor is on.
There is nothing I want more for everyone reading this than to enjoy celebrating other people’s victories. Hell, do a victory dance too while you’re at it. Why not? What have you got to lose pal?
8. Set up the game so you can win
Life is a game, and you create the rules. So given the power you have, why not make the rules so easy that you can always win? Let me demonstrate what I mean by this. I created a habit that said I can only be happy if I meditate using an app every single day for twenty minutes.
Guess what? I failed man, badly. The reason is that I tried to go from nothing to something because I am the sort of person that wants massive results quickly. So, what happened was I was not able to maintain the habit and had extended periods of time where I did zero meditation.
The way I solved the issue is I changed the rules of the game. I made the new rule that I have to meditate for five minutes a day no matter what and anything more is a bonus. The result, I am now meditating again every day.
This very clear example should demonstrate to you that you have to start small and make a goal that is achievable. Trying to go too fast can often be a curse. What I know for sure is that you can setup the rules of any game (goal) in your life to be smaller.
My advice to you would be to make brand new goals much smaller. If you aim to write 2000 words per week, change it to 200 words. If you aim to post on social media every day, then make it once a week. If you aim to lose 100kgs, make it 1kg.
The reason why this strategy will help you master your life is that once you achieve just a small bit of success, you feel good. When you feel good, it becomes like a drug that you want more of. Smaller, bite-sized challenges create intrinsic motivation without you even trying.
Next time you’re trying to achieve something make the start of the goal so easy that even an idiot can win the game. The rest of what is required to win the game will take care of itself.
Which point do you agree with and why? What do you know for sure? Let me know in the comments section below or on my website timdennng.net or my Facebook.
Why Do We Have An Unconscious Bias and How Can We Manage It?
When I hear someone using my name once in a while throughout the conversation we are having, I cannot stop myself thinking “this person must have read Dale Carnegie’s books or must have been influenced by someone who read them…” Have you just recalled a similar moment and it felt nice?
As Dale Carnegie famously said, “Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and the most important sound in any language”. Why did Dale Carnegie highlight the importance of an individual’s name to that person in his “How to Win Friends and Influence People” book published in 1936?
Each and every one of us wants to feel special and unique. I guess he recommends using the person’s name in the conversation because that is one of the easiest ways to grab that person’s attention so that we can enhance the chances of getting our point across. However, I am more interested in this from the other side; hearing our names directly addresses our individuality, our need or desire to feel special and unique.
Let’s park this one for now and we will come back.
Categorization is essential to our survival
There is countless scientific research telling us about how our brains recognize similarities and put things into categories, which has been crucial to our survival in evolution and still helps us with a lot of things from learning new things to coping with the continuous influx of massive amounts of information through our senses.
The continuous influx of information is mostly handled by our subconscious mind rather than conscious. It is estimated that our brains receive about 11 million bits of information every second through our senses, of which only 40-50 bits can be processed by our conscious mind. We process more information than we are aware of. The magic here is the subconscious mind.
An example is when you are at a very loud party where you hear a lot of words flying around without you recognizing each one of them, then suddenly, you immediately catch it when you hear your name. Your subconscious had been processing all of those words, without your awareness, but informed your conscious mind when your name was out there because it was relevant to you.
In order to most effectively process this much information and inform the conscious mind with only the relevant ones, our subconscious employs categorization as one of its strategies.
When our ancestors encountered some deadly predators in the African savanna, their subconscious prompted their conscious mind to immediately fight or flight by categorizing the information gathered through their senses into “predator / life threat / take action”. Most probably we are not descendants of the ones that were frozen rather than fighting or flighting!
Although it is a completely different situation, the same strategy applied in remembering lists. Let’s look at the below two lists.
- lion, eagle, shark, leopard, hawk, whale, panther, falcon and dolphin
- lion, leopard, panther, eagle, hawk, falcon, shark, whale and dolphin
The second list is easy to remember because it is reordered into relevant groups even though the content of the both lists are identical.
Subconsciousness is the magic and categorization is one of its key strategies. It is essential to our survival, learning new skills and processing information as well as bringing back the information we had processed and stored.
This amazing skill has its drawbacks
As a result of our brains’ categorization strategy, we also categorize people, especially if we don’t know them as well as our closest ones.
Imagine I am sitting at the table next to yours while you are having your favorite coffee and working on your computer or reading your novel at your neighborhood coffee shop. I stand up, very calmly grab your bag, and start walking away. Your reaction might be quite different depending on my outfit. It could be much more vocal and harsh if I have a dirty T-Shirt and a pair of torn jeans on. However, if I have some navy colored, 3-piece suit and well-pressed white button up shirt on, you might even say something like “Excuse me, you might have picked up my bag by mistake”. (There is an experiment done by social psychologists which reported similar results)
Similarly, I would not be surprised to hear that my co-worker’s spouse is very skilled and knowledgeable in English grammar and literature because he is an English teacher. However, I would not expect it from my co-worker herself because she is an outstanding chemical engineer.
This is defined as unconscious bias or stereotyping, as a result of our subconscious brain’s categorization strategy. The outfit I have at the coffee shop impacts your response to my action, because it puts me into a different category in your mind depending on my outfit. My co-worker’s and her spouse’s backgrounds make me put them into different categories, which might mislead me sometimes.
Just like we categorize things, it is very natural that we categorize people.
The key question here for me is; how do we truly treat people as individuals so that they feel unique, just like as they would want, while we know that our brains categorize people?
We can overcome unconscious bias
Leonard Mlodinow, in his enlightening book “Subliminal”, suggests that “if we are aware of our bias and motivated to overcome it, we can.” That doesn’t mean that we need to fight our brain’s categorization strategy. We just need to employ our conscious mind more when we are working or dealing with individuals.
Our unconscious bias might tell us scientists are bunch of technical nerds who cannot understand abstract concepts that marketers are talking about or it might say that marketers are some daydreamers who need to be grounded by scientists to the real world all the time. I am an engineer and I love thinking in abstract terms and I worked with quite a lot of marketers who thought primarily in factual and concrete terms.
Spending some effort to learn more about individuals will help overcome unconscious bias. Gathering more information and qualities about them will make it easier for us to treat them as individuals rather than a member of the category we put them in our minds.
The moral of the story here is to recognize the fact that our brains do categorize, and it is essential; but also, to recognize that every individual wants to feel unique. When we appreciate these two and keep reminding them to ourselves, we are one step closer to figuring out our own way to overcome unconscious bias and treat people more like individuals.
What was the most interesting part of this article for you? Share your thoughts below!
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