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How a hardcore prisoner taught me the cycle of change…

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Wish there was a guide for motivation that told you what to do and when?

There is, and it’s called the Cycle Of Change.

Originally designed to assess and treat substance abuse, the cycle of change describes the process you will go through to change your behavior, and how your level of motivation fluctuates throughout that process.

Precontemplative – not even thinking about changing

Contemplative – realising something might need to change

Planning – figuring out how to change

Action – making the changes

Maintenance – making the changes consistent over time

Lapse – having thoughts that put you at risk of going backwards

Relapse – giving up and reverting back to your old behavior

 

By determining where you are in the cycle you can figure out what the most effective actions are for you to take.

Motivation fluctuates over time. You may assess yourself as being at a certain stage one day, only to then move forward or backwards to a different stage shortly after that. This most often happens when something in your environment presents either a new challenge or more inspiration.

 

THE CYCLE OF CHANGE IN ACTION

Any of you can research the cycle of change, so today I’ll do something different. I’m going to share a true-life story of someone I worked with as she travelled through the entire cycle.

To ensure privacy, let’s just call her “Joan”.

Joan was a high risk offender I worked with for a number of years and, sadly, is not one of my success stories. However her journey will allow us to go through the entire cycle of change model, from pre-contemplative through to relapse.

When Joan was first released from prison she was tough to work with. The many years of ingrained gang-mentality, combined with a long-standing hatred for “the system”, meant I needed to bring out the big guns in order to motivate her.

What was complex in this case was that she actually made a lot of money from crime, which financed her fun-filled and hedonistic lifestyle.

When she first came in it was obvious that she did not see herself as having any issues. This was a woman with “F*** the Police” tattooed on her face.

Joan had been running a highly profitable car theft ring, and had such a great underworld reputation that prison was actually a pretty enjoyable experience for her. Therefore, the idea that she needed to change had genuinely never occurred to her.

This placed her in the pre-contemplative stage.

 

PRECONTEMPLATIVE STAGE

Action required: Get uncomfortable about staying the same.

After a few sessions it was obvious there was no “ammunition” for me to work with regarding the costs and benefits of crime for her. She loved crime! But as time went on and we built a rapport, I learned that she had four children.

One thing that is almost universal about the offenders I have worked with is they almost never want the same life for their children (yes ok, there are some very shocking exceptions). I decided to work on this new angle.

I had assisted her to find housing and employment, and had given her some solid support for solving problems. We also had a frank discussion, where we “unpacked” her history with government agencies and the justice system. I acknowledged how she felt.

After all of this she started to trust me a little. This allowed me to introduce the concept of completing exercises to examine her life, to see if anything could be better.

Together we predicted the path that her eldest son would take in life. On one side, I got Joan to predict what would happen to him if she kept up her life of crime.

Joan was quite straightforward and it was easy to see that her boy would get involved in drugs, end up in gangs, and quite likely go to prison.

On the other side we predicted what would happen to him if she quit offending immediately. It was touching to see that she had quite high hopes for her son, with him completing school, getting a university qualification, and supporting his sisters by starting his own business.

I left Joan to mull over our discussion for a week. When she came back, she said that she was starting to see that she needed to do something to at least plan for the future of her children. She was now in the contemplative stage.

 

CONTEMPLATIVE STAGE

Action required: Motivational work; take advantage of this opportunity and create hope in change.

Focusing on her son, we went through and listed everything he would need from Joan to achieve the lifestyle she wanted him to have. This was tricky ground, because a lot of his financial needs could be supported through crime. We might have ended up coming to the conclusion that she had to keep offending to support her son.

Instead I had her look at other types of support he would need. Joan came up with ideas like transport to extra-curricular activities, helping with his homework, backing for a business loan, and so on.

I think at that stage she didn’t even realize we had basically agreed that she needed to stay out of prison, i.e. she had to stop offending. As you’ll soon see, I made some false assumptions here that ended up costing us both.

We had now moved tentatively into the planning stage.

 

PLANNING STAGE

Action required: Figure out how to make the change possible and achievable.

Whether Joan was aware of it or not, she had now completed the foundation of the plan for her to stop offending and stay out of prison. In order for her to take action on this plan, I needed to motivate her.

We dedicated the next few sessions to motivational interviewing and exercises, where I slowly increased her confidence so she could write her goals. Eventually the plan was clear:

  • I will complete the Better Start [name changed] parenting course by end of July
  • I will complete a certified course in catering, starting July 15th, so that I can get better employment
  • I will spend 1 hour every night helping my children with their homework and talking with them about their school life

Once she became more motivated we went about the practical aspects of putting these goals into action.

 

ACTION STAGE

Action required: Encourage continued action through praise and support, and build on results.

Joan did well, was soon gainfully employed and began enthusiastically sharing stories about the increasing quality of her family time. She even bought her son in to tell me about what he had been learning at school.

 

MAINTENANCE PHASE

Action required: Overcome obstacles while embedding change through new routines.

While there were a few small hiccups here and there, Joan kept this helpful behavior going for quite a few months and moved into the maintenance phase. Even the Police commented on her improvements.

If only the story ended there…

LAPSE
Action required: Stop and figure out what caused lapse thinking. Implement strategies to get back on track.

Joan had her first lapse. She had been at a friend’s place when an argument occurred. Her friend had some unhelpful things to say about Joan’s new outlook on life. Given that Joan was known for assaulting Police severely enough to hospitalize them, this friend must have been intoxicated, reckless or plain old crazy.

Joan managed to remove herself from the situation, but the next time she reported in to me I could see the dark storm-cloud over her head. She was cursing more than usual, and her body language was tense and menacing.

After some gentle questioning, Joan disclosed the incident and admitted that she had been contemplating ordering others to commit serious violence against her new enemy. This was a serious lapse which thankfully had not resulted in action.

We did some exercises on managing high risk situations, and Joan left with a clear “relapse prevention” plan, which detailed how to avoid the friend as well as how to deal with the situation should Joan accidentally run into her.

Unfortunately, I had misjudged the situation.

I had thought that by dealing with the specific threat to her success I helped neutralize the problem. What I missed was the core issue in the lapse: Joan was back to using crime to solve problems.

I had not even contemplated that she might be applying this negative style of thinking to other problems in her life. Sure enough, one week later she failed to report in to me, because she had relapsed.

 

RELAPSE

Action required: Start over again, learning from the last attempt’s mistakes.

I checked her up on the computer-system and found out she had been remanded in custody with active theft charges. Turns out she re-engaged her old criminal network and started stealing again.

Even though I had trained myself not to get emotionally attached to the outcomes with clients, I felt disappointed. It’s hard to see months of hard work go down the drain, but at least I learned a very valuable lesson:

Problem-thinking always affects more than one area of your life!

Dan is a lifestyle and success coach, with his own company The Inspirational Lifestyle Ltd. He lives in Auckland, New Zealand, and loves to share his advice and opinions on how to attain success. Make sure you checkout more of Dans articles at: TheInspirationalLifestyle.com

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Sheila Makena

    Jun 3, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    This is incredibly powerful stuff right here. Thanks so much for this article. It seems, for this particular individual, that she jumped right into the solution. What could have been dealt with first is her addiction to her story/experiences of her past that shaped her present, break away from the shackles of that shame and then go from there. All in all, a powerful article. Thank you!

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Life

Extraordinary Money Hacks So You Can Save For Your Dream.

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I’ve had several times in my life with almost no money. During these times, I learned a few money hacks. It’s cool how having no money can actually teach you so much.

It’s not about being a tight ass either. Money is about understanding what business does to take money out of your pocket and it’s also a journey in understanding temptation.

 

Why save money?

Saving money is how you fund your dream. No matter what you want to achieve, you need to have some money put aside to make it happen. Having a small amount of money saved can do the following:

1. Help you deal with emergencies
2. Give you surplus cash to put towards your dream
3. Make you less stressed
4. Allow you to take a break

Here are the money hacks I’ve learned from going through hard times:

 

Rethink subscriptions.

Recurring revenue is the best source of income for your business. On the flipside, subscriptions will make you broke. The whole subscription model is designed to take advantage of you being lazy. Most of the subscriptions you have, you don’t need.

I find that one time purchases for things I don’t use a lot is actually better. Make a note of all of your subscriptions and then cull as many as you can.

 

Books instead of Netflix and movies.

Netflix and movies can use up your capital and they generally give you nothing. Replace these two media forms for books. Books are cheaper in the long run and if you focus on reading biographies and books that provide real strategies, you’ll become smarter too.

 

Go to the supermarket instead of the shopping mall.

Walking into a giant shopping center with all of your favorite brands is a disaster. You’re guaranteed to buy stuff you don’t need and temptation is likely to take over. The only shopping you have to do every week is your grocery shopping.

Visit the supermarket that’s not in a shopping mall and then you’ll be focused on buying things to fill your stomach, instead of your wardrobe.

 

People won’t remember what you’re wearing.

There’s this myth that we have to wear something new all of the time. The harsh reality is that most people won’t remember what you’re wearing anyway because they’re so focused on their own appearance and problems.

None of us need as many clothes as we have. Culling the size of your wardrobe will save you lots of money.

 

Buying petrol.

There are cheap times to get petrol and expensive times to get petrol. In my area, I find that every four weeks, petrol is cheaper than the other weeks. So, being smart about when you fill up can save you lots of money. Obviously, aim for the times when petrol is low.

 

Going out to restaurants.

Those of us who have worked in restaurants know that most of the profit is made on drinks, not the food. Most of the drinks you buy when you’re out for dinner are not good for you. The only real liquid you need is water. So, when going to restaurants, skip the drinks and focus on the food.

 

Getting around.

Driving everywhere is expensive. Try sharing an Uber with friends or taking public transport.

Parking is expensive and most of the time the car takes longer.

Use the frequent car trips you make to have someone else do the driving and then download some podcasts so you can educate yourself.

 

Car servicing.

This whole industry is a bit of a scam. The idea is to make you think that everything needs to be consistently maintained and replaced otherwise you’ll end up lost in the desert with no way home, and you may even die of starvation.

The only two things you must do on a car every year is changing the oil and the oil filter. Watch some Youtube videos on when to change your tires and brakes because most mechanic shops will tell you that you need to change them when you don’t.

 

Credit cards.

They’re evil. You don’t need the reward points and the benefits of not having one are far greater. Get a debit card instead. Credit cards give you a false sense of your true financial position. You will mess up. That’s how the credit card game is designed.

 

Book holidays in advance.

We all need to take a break at least a few times a year. The cheapest way to do this is to book in advance. Plan when your holidays are going to be and then book them, so you get more choice, and more chances to spot a deal.

I’ve recently used Airbnb a lot more and that’s halved my accommodation costs. The only challenge with the platform is that the good properties sell out early so you must book in advance.

Also, consider whether you are going to stay local or go overseas. In my country, it’s cheaper to go overseas than it is to travel within Australia.

 


Don’t join mailing lists for deals.

An IT guy told me the other day to sign up for all of the retailers mailing lists because then I will see more deals. This is the worst advice ever! These mailing lists will make you develop a habit of making impulse purchases and looking for things you don’t need.

“You don’t need access to more deals; what you need is to spend less and avoid temptation”

 

Let loose one day a month.

If you’re a scrooge every day of the week, you’ll get tired of it and eventually quit. The best way to be good with money is to have one day a month where you can let loose a bit and indulge on one or two things. Just don’t undo all of your hard work by going out of control.

 

Donate or volunteer.

Puts your BS money problems into perspective. The best way I’ve found to save money towards my dream is to meet people who have nothing.

“Once you put your finances into perspective by being around the homeless and people that are going through terrible tragedies, you’ll know why you are saving in the first place”

More importantly, being exposed to people in rough places will make you want to give some money away. This charitable act will make you a better person which is far more important than how much money you have.

 


***Final Thought***

So that’s what I did folks when I had no money. That’s how I saved money towards my dream which I’m now living.

Be smarter with your money.
Save for your dream.
Be a good human and give money or time to people who need your help.

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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4 Scientifically Proven Habits That Will Give You the Edge You Need

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For me, outstanding success and prosperity that remains stable in a fast-evolving world is the only kind of success I care about. Not enough success gurus and motivational coaches are good at sharing principles and practices that can actually help anyone anywhere achieve long-term success.

Due to the fact that most people are only interested in “quick fixes,” the marketplace, especially in personal and professional growth, has focused on selling the idea of magic bullets and instant productivity spells aimed at luring you into whatever product they want you to buy.

However, there are those who seem to be focused on the long game, the grand vision. I spent a significant amount of time and money several years ago learning from one of the world’s leading high-performance coach, Brendon Burchard.

At a time when the highway to online success seemed grim and too advanced for me to tackle on my own, Brendon Burchard’s weekly mentoring, encouragement and training on how to speak my voice regardless of my past played a major role in the birth of my business. 

In fact, to a great extent, his ideas still continue to positively impact my life which is why the scientifically based research he revealed on habits helping shape world-class individuals resonates with me tremendously. 

If you haven’t taken the time to figure out the kind of habits you need in order to achieve significant success in any area of life – now is the best time to do so. 

As this year ripens into full maturity you need to make sure you end it bigger and better than it started. More importantly, you need to make sure the coming year is already primed for even greater growth and success.

How do you do this without driving yourself insane? How do you become extraordinary at whatever it is you desire to accomplish? What are the specific habits you can deploy today to become a high performer?

After three years of extensive data and research from dozens of countries, here are a few of the success producing habits now being backed by science:

1. Seek more clarity

This is a habit few ever consciously develop. No wonder overwhelm and confusion are considered normal. Start asking yourself high-quality questions on a daily basis enabling you to discern truth in your life. Approach your daily activities with greater intention and razor-sharp focus.

There are few things more powerful than a life lived with passionate clarity.” – Erwin McManus

2. Learn to generate energy

If you want to enjoy sustainable success and ever increasing prosperity, you can’t afford to be bogged down by fatigue, loss of enthusiasm and lethargy. When was the last time you went seven straight days feeling energized, enthusiastic and ready to crush it in your personal and professional life?

Mental, emotional, and physical energy is something you must deliberately and consciously learn to create and imbue into the world if you don’t want to burn out. This is how you’ll learn to cultivate and generate more positive emotions and interactions with other people as well as your daily activities.

3. Raise your standards and expectations

Setting the right expectations for your life and business is a must. Most people have big dreams but very low standards and even lower expectations for themselves. There’s a mindset shift that’s required here because your results will never outperform the standards you’ve set for yourself.

To be a high performing individual in your chosen field, you will have to make excellence your new norm. Brendon Burchard frames it differently, he teaches it as increasing your performance necessity levels. Why is this important?

Unless your brain and entire being perceive it as your normal standard, unleashing the leader within you and becoming your best self will feel more like forced labor which will not be sustainable.

Raise your standards to exceed your expectations.” – Cecily Morgan

4. Increase your productivity

Productivity is a hot topic with almost every motivational speaker. But do you really know what you need to do to increase your productivity? Or are you just running through the motions of listening to outside opinions trying to imitate what works for others, in the hopes that it’ll work for you too?

Every ambitious success seeker understands the importance of being productive. Few are actually able to do it effectively, consistently and toward meaningful work. As you learn to integrate the first three habits into your life, it will feel more natural and effortless to increase output and do work that matters.

If you want to crush it day in day out, week after week in your primary field of interest then it is time to learn effective strategies and tactics that align with your goals, your values and simultaneously make you more productive. Thanks to technology, this is not only possible, it’s doable.

While this isn’t the comprehensive list of habits that can make you “get the edge” in life and finally out-perform others in your space, you now have a solid starting ground for simple things you can start doing today to become a high performer.

Now I would love to hear from you, did any of these habits resonate with you? Do you have any suggestion of your own that has proven effective? Comment below!

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3 Steps to Increasing Your Confidence for Good

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As an ambitious person on the road to success, you know first hand how challenging it is to achieve your lofty goals. Let’s be honest, the road to success is littered with potholes and unexpected curves.

You need a consistent feeling of confidence if you want to make it to the finish line and rise victoriously. That’s why in this article, you’re going to learn the most simple and effective 3-step sequence to help you increase your confidence for good.

1. Learn One Thing

As an informed reader here, we’re skipping past the part where we harp on the importance of taking action for building confidence. You already took action by reading this article with the desire to get better. Perhaps, you made the sales call, pressed publish on your new post, did the interview, or pitched your idea.

But now it’s time to immediately learn one thing from the action you just took. The second after you take action, ask yourself, “What’s the one thing I can learn from this, to ensure I get a better result next time?”

If you’ve read Gary Keller’s powerful book, The One Thing, you know success isn’t about trying to do a million things. It’s about doing one thing — exceptionally. Similarly, instead of trying to derive 86 lessons from that sales call you just finished, start learning simply the number one best thing you can.

Here in step one, you do so by asking yourself the aforementioned question. It works like magic. When you ask yourself a question, your brain outputs an answer. This only happens if you start this sequence immediately after you take action — regardless of the result.

Extraordinary results happen only when you give the best you have to become the best you can be at your most important work.” – Gary Keller

2. Validate Yourself

In step two, take the time to validate yourself with positive self talk. Tell yourself, “Nice job. That took courage. Let’s keep going, baby. I’m going to do this. I’ve got this.” The key here is to speak to yourself positively and authentically. Speak to yourself the way a great mentor, coach, or friend would. Remember too, in this step, you are not pumping yourself up with empty affirmations or false hope.

You are validating yourself because you took action and you learned from that action. This deserves credit. By practicing the act of self validation here in step two, you train yourself to remain confident regardless of whether or not you achieved or came up short.

Validate yourself whether you land the client or fail to do so. Most don’t do this, it’s why they lack confidence. But you? You act, learn, then validate yourself, regardless of the external result. This trains you to feel good about yourself no matter what people say about you.

While most people crumble when they don’t get the results they desired, you feel confident even when you lose this battle. You know that the campaign is long, and, if you keep learning, you’ll get accomplish the goals you desire in the end.

3. Repeat the Action

Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit home and think about it.” Carnegie said it best and it’s why step three is a simple call to action — to repeat the action you just took. By repeating the action as soon as possible, you don’t give yourself time to ruminate or overthink.

In step one, you learned one important, personalized nugget of wisdom that’ll help you perform better from now on. Then in step two, you validated yourself with positive self talk — reminding yourself that by continuing to take persistent action, success is inevitable.

Now? There’s nothing left to say. Without delay, it’s time to get back on the horse and take another crack at it! Your confidence continues to grow as you take more actions, learn more from those actions, and remind yourself that you’re a champ for taking all these actions!

“Don’t let small thinking cut your life down to size. Think big, aim high, act bold. And see just how big you can blow up your life.” – Gary Keller

Why This 3-Step Sequence Increases Your Confidence for Good

By repeating this sequence, you gain important knowledge, continuously remind yourself of your positive traits, and most importantly — you desensitize yourself to any fears you once had.

You’re going to fall in love with this process of taking action. Whether that action for you is making sales calls, pitching your startup to investors, interviewing for competitive positions, or publishing new content online, the more you act using these 3-steps, the more confident you’ll become.

A key side benefit of using this sequence is you quickly enter a massive, perpetual state of action. This all but guarantees you increased real world results. These improved results become the cherry on top to your core confidence.

When you lack confidence, how do you find the confidence you need again? Let us know by commenting below!

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Life

3 Ingredients to Create the Life of Your Dreams

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Let’s bake a cake! This recipe calls for three simple ingredients: one cup of Courage, two tablespoons of Initiative, and three teaspoons of Will. You can put the money, education, and physical attractiveness back in the refrigerator. They can help improve the taste or quality, but they are not required to bake this cake. The cake is a metaphor for the life of your dreams. If you want to create massive achievement in your life, you will need to obtain courage, initiative, and will.

The main ingredients of courage, initiative, and will are fundamental to long term-achievement. You need the courage to start. The initiative is necessary to think outside the box. Will is required to continue when it gets tough.

Whether we are talking about achieving long-term happiness via a personal relationship or individual experiences, the ingredients mentioned above can significantly increase your chances of obtaining the life of your dreams. You aren’t born with courage, initiative, or will. In fact, you are born with fear, reluctance, and other mechanisms designed to keep you safe. However, with an intentional mindset guided by positive optimism, these characteristics can be grown and cultivated in a garden of possibilities for your life!  

How can you acquire courage, initiative, and will? Check out my 3 tips below:

1. Travel or better yet move out of the country

Yes, I will give you a moment to reread the line above. My first recommendation is for you to travel or ideally move out of the country! Travel and undeniably relocating outside of the country you were born in, requires courage. You must be brave to face the unknown, and there is no better way to do this other than to get out of your comfortable home environment and see the world. The experiences with traveling or moving will automatically build the courage within you to reach toward the achievements that you desire in life.  

“Dare to live the life you’ve always wanted.”

2. Learn a new language

Ideally, with the recommendation from number one, you will choose a location where a language other than your native tongue is spoken. With language acquisition, the learner must develop a spirit of initiative to do something that is not required. You can live your entire life and only communicate in one language, or you can expand your horizon and do something different. To become fluent in a new language will not be easy; the life of your dreams is worth the fight. The process of learning a language will attract the necessary skill set that accompanies initiative and ties in within my final recommendation.

3. Fail as often as possible

In traveling and undeniably with learning a new language, you will make mistakes. If you are not failing in the process of adjusting to a different culture, which will occur in traveling and language acquisition, you are doing something wrong! You must fail to adapt and ideally this will happen as frequent as possible. This does not mean that you look to fail. It does mean that you understand failure as an opportunity to learn. Failure builds your ability to develop the power of will. Possessing will can enable you to learn from your mistakes, improve, and keep pushing toward the achievements that can create the life of your dreams.  

“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching.” – Gerard Way

If you put courage, initiative, and will into the oven responsible for making your dreams become a reality, you will be successful. It will not be easy. Occasionally you will become frustrated and want to open the door and see what’s taking so long for the cake or the life you desire. However, just stay the course and allow courage, initiative, and will to blend and bring into fruition the life of your dreams.

What other ingredients would you add?  Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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We Are Our Minds: How To Train Your Mind.

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I didn’t achieve a lot this year without my best tool: my mind.

This complex maze of nerves and pink stuff (I know jack about medicine) has helped me overcome: a fear of public speaking, a fear of flying, relationship challenges and most of all; it’s helped me to write hundreds of blog posts that have given me more opportunities that you could ever imagine.

Through mastering my mind, I became the person I am today. I gave my mind inputs that I knew would strengthen it.

I stopped my mind from consuming the negative news.
I fed my mind it’s favorite flavor of food: books.
I told my mind that failure was not an option.
I taught my mind discipline.

Ultimately, I transformed my mind and it shaped who I’ve become today.

The person you’re seeing today is a direct result of my mind. We are our minds, so it’s time to dig a little deeper into the universe that is our mind. It’s time to take back control through your mind.

 

Our minds become weak in slow incremental ways.

Missed the gym for a week?
Ate chocolate having had none for the last two years?

Your mind doesn’t let you down after one major mishap: your mind becomes weak slowly. This slow pace of demise can easily go unnoticed if you’re not careful. The little decisions you make contribute in a big way to the slow demise of your willpower.

“Without willpower, your mind will take the road of least resistance. Practice teaching your mind discipline”

 

It’s the opposite for strengthening our mind.

Try doing big crazy stuff to get you out of your comfort zone. You can try taking small steps to strengthen your mind but you’ll find your willpower starts off at a very low base. The moment your mind feels like it’s not having any major wins, it will tempt you to give into doing things you want to avoid doing.

 

You are a reflection of your mind.

Everything you do reflects how your mind thinks and behaves. That may sound all scientific – and I’m not meaning it to. You control your mind. We become what our minds think when we control it. If you want something, then you have to start telling your mind to do it.

Tell your mind you want to wake up early. Tell your mind you want to stop being afraid. Tell your mind that you have the capacity to make a million dollars. Your mind will believe what you tell it to, followed by the actions you take that backup the thoughts you place in your mind.

 

Make your mind do this.

Be more disciplined.
Be powerful.
Be more positive.

Filter out anything that goes against these three rules that you just created for yourself because I told you to. These three rules will make your mind become exactly what you want it to be. With this new mind, you can use it to become the person you’ve always dreamed of being.

Now that’s a Jedi mind trick right there!

 

A bit of fear in your mind is good.

Fear tells our mind to keep practicing and pre-planning so that we don’t fail. It’s these hours of preparation that help mold our mind into the perfect machine that can help us win at any task we ask of it.

“A bit of fear in our mind is like adding a bit of nitrous oxide to our goal”

It gives us another source of energy to power us forward when the inevitable obstacles show up – and they will!

 

When your mind lets you down, it’s good!

Tried to get your mind to convince you to crush your fear of public speaking and failed? Brilliant. Tried to run a marathon and passed out right before the finish line? Excellent Smithers.

Every bad experience your mind has allows more good to come in.

Didn’t get the car you wanted? Good, you just saved some money that you can invest.
Invested in cryptocurrency and lost a bucket load of cashola? Good, now you won’t make dumb decisions again and listen to friends who have no clue about investing.

Not getting your goal is part of the plan. When your mind lets you down, it gives you more energy and more willpower to try again. Your mind stuffing up gives you the opportunity to try again and use a different strategy. Maybe having your mind fail you a bunch of times will cause you to find the way to create something genius like a light bulb – I know there is an Einstein analogy here but CBF.

 

The adversity your mind faces will define you.

Your mind can spend a lot of time going in circles when you endure adversity. I had a pissed off customer recently that wasted a lot of my thinking time. The beauty of having your mind endure such pain is that today’s challenges can make your mind stronger for tomorrow.

Adversity is like muscle memory: it teaches your mind to get used to struggle and pain. That way, next time around, you’ll have experienced it before and your mind won’t freak out and sabotage you.

Don’t let your mind get used to giving up and being comfortable. Teach your mind that some days are going to hurt like hell. The best way to teach your mind anything is through experience.

 

Our minds become what we want through experience.

The whole “think about it, and it will happen” is BS.

Think about it, then experience it, and then it will happen.

I believe consciousness is based on experience. We become conscious of the things we try, and the things we understand through experience.

We become conscious and mindful, through experience and doing. Our mind uses experiences to filter what we see. If we want to become more then we must let our mind experience more.

Allowing your mind to experience is the superpower.

 

Give your mind a rest too.

Okay if you do all of the previous points and then forget this one, you’ll burn out. What I’m telling you to do is going to require your mind to be constantly working. Your mind needs rest though. You’ll need to allow your mind thinking space once in a while to absorb all you’ve taught it and have some alone time.

Nature is good for your mind. Your minds favorite delicacy other than avocado is holidays. Go to a beach. Visit an ancient city. Do a silent meditation retreat if you must. The message here is to give your mind a rest or it will fail you.

 

***Final Thought***

If you don’t like the person you are then take a long, hard look at your mind. Your mind is shaping the person you become everyday. You can consciously teach your mind to win, or unconsciously program your mind to defeat your goals on its own without any external forces.

You’re winning or losing based on your mind.

Treat your mind well. Respect your mind. Train your mind for battle.

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. Sheila Makena

    Jun 3, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    This is incredibly powerful stuff right here. Thanks so much for this article. It seems, for this particular individual, that she jumped right into the solution. What could have been dealt with first is her addiction to her story/experiences of her past that shaped her present, break away from the shackles of that shame and then go from there. All in all, a powerful article. Thank you!

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Life

Extraordinary Money Hacks So You Can Save For Your Dream.

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I’ve had several times in my life with almost no money. During these times, I learned a few money hacks. It’s cool how having no money can actually teach you so much.

It’s not about being a tight ass either. Money is about understanding what business does to take money out of your pocket and it’s also a journey in understanding temptation.

 

Why save money?

Saving money is how you fund your dream. No matter what you want to achieve, you need to have some money put aside to make it happen. Having a small amount of money saved can do the following:

1. Help you deal with emergencies
2. Give you surplus cash to put towards your dream
3. Make you less stressed
4. Allow you to take a break

Here are the money hacks I’ve learned from going through hard times:

 

Rethink subscriptions.

Recurring revenue is the best source of income for your business. On the flipside, subscriptions will make you broke. The whole subscription model is designed to take advantage of you being lazy. Most of the subscriptions you have, you don’t need.

I find that one time purchases for things I don’t use a lot is actually better. Make a note of all of your subscriptions and then cull as many as you can.

 

Books instead of Netflix and movies.

Netflix and movies can use up your capital and they generally give you nothing. Replace these two media forms for books. Books are cheaper in the long run and if you focus on reading biographies and books that provide real strategies, you’ll become smarter too.

 

Go to the supermarket instead of the shopping mall.

Walking into a giant shopping center with all of your favorite brands is a disaster. You’re guaranteed to buy stuff you don’t need and temptation is likely to take over. The only shopping you have to do every week is your grocery shopping.

Visit the supermarket that’s not in a shopping mall and then you’ll be focused on buying things to fill your stomach, instead of your wardrobe.

 

People won’t remember what you’re wearing.

There’s this myth that we have to wear something new all of the time. The harsh reality is that most people won’t remember what you’re wearing anyway because they’re so focused on their own appearance and problems.

None of us need as many clothes as we have. Culling the size of your wardrobe will save you lots of money.

 

Buying petrol.

There are cheap times to get petrol and expensive times to get petrol. In my area, I find that every four weeks, petrol is cheaper than the other weeks. So, being smart about when you fill up can save you lots of money. Obviously, aim for the times when petrol is low.

 

Going out to restaurants.

Those of us who have worked in restaurants know that most of the profit is made on drinks, not the food. Most of the drinks you buy when you’re out for dinner are not good for you. The only real liquid you need is water. So, when going to restaurants, skip the drinks and focus on the food.

 

Getting around.

Driving everywhere is expensive. Try sharing an Uber with friends or taking public transport.

Parking is expensive and most of the time the car takes longer.

Use the frequent car trips you make to have someone else do the driving and then download some podcasts so you can educate yourself.

 

Car servicing.

This whole industry is a bit of a scam. The idea is to make you think that everything needs to be consistently maintained and replaced otherwise you’ll end up lost in the desert with no way home, and you may even die of starvation.

The only two things you must do on a car every year is changing the oil and the oil filter. Watch some Youtube videos on when to change your tires and brakes because most mechanic shops will tell you that you need to change them when you don’t.

 

Credit cards.

They’re evil. You don’t need the reward points and the benefits of not having one are far greater. Get a debit card instead. Credit cards give you a false sense of your true financial position. You will mess up. That’s how the credit card game is designed.

 

Book holidays in advance.

We all need to take a break at least a few times a year. The cheapest way to do this is to book in advance. Plan when your holidays are going to be and then book them, so you get more choice, and more chances to spot a deal.

I’ve recently used Airbnb a lot more and that’s halved my accommodation costs. The only challenge with the platform is that the good properties sell out early so you must book in advance.

Also, consider whether you are going to stay local or go overseas. In my country, it’s cheaper to go overseas than it is to travel within Australia.

 


Don’t join mailing lists for deals.

An IT guy told me the other day to sign up for all of the retailers mailing lists because then I will see more deals. This is the worst advice ever! These mailing lists will make you develop a habit of making impulse purchases and looking for things you don’t need.

“You don’t need access to more deals; what you need is to spend less and avoid temptation”

 

Let loose one day a month.

If you’re a scrooge every day of the week, you’ll get tired of it and eventually quit. The best way to be good with money is to have one day a month where you can let loose a bit and indulge on one or two things. Just don’t undo all of your hard work by going out of control.

 

Donate or volunteer.

Puts your BS money problems into perspective. The best way I’ve found to save money towards my dream is to meet people who have nothing.

“Once you put your finances into perspective by being around the homeless and people that are going through terrible tragedies, you’ll know why you are saving in the first place”

More importantly, being exposed to people in rough places will make you want to give some money away. This charitable act will make you a better person which is far more important than how much money you have.

 


***Final Thought***

So that’s what I did folks when I had no money. That’s how I saved money towards my dream which I’m now living.

Be smarter with your money.
Save for your dream.
Be a good human and give money or time to people who need your help.

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

4 Scientifically Proven Habits That Will Give You the Edge You Need

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For me, outstanding success and prosperity that remains stable in a fast-evolving world is the only kind of success I care about. Not enough success gurus and motivational coaches are good at sharing principles and practices that can actually help anyone anywhere achieve long-term success.

Due to the fact that most people are only interested in “quick fixes,” the marketplace, especially in personal and professional growth, has focused on selling the idea of magic bullets and instant productivity spells aimed at luring you into whatever product they want you to buy.

However, there are those who seem to be focused on the long game, the grand vision. I spent a significant amount of time and money several years ago learning from one of the world’s leading high-performance coach, Brendon Burchard.

At a time when the highway to online success seemed grim and too advanced for me to tackle on my own, Brendon Burchard’s weekly mentoring, encouragement and training on how to speak my voice regardless of my past played a major role in the birth of my business. 

In fact, to a great extent, his ideas still continue to positively impact my life which is why the scientifically based research he revealed on habits helping shape world-class individuals resonates with me tremendously. 

If you haven’t taken the time to figure out the kind of habits you need in order to achieve significant success in any area of life – now is the best time to do so. 

As this year ripens into full maturity you need to make sure you end it bigger and better than it started. More importantly, you need to make sure the coming year is already primed for even greater growth and success.

How do you do this without driving yourself insane? How do you become extraordinary at whatever it is you desire to accomplish? What are the specific habits you can deploy today to become a high performer?

After three years of extensive data and research from dozens of countries, here are a few of the success producing habits now being backed by science:

1. Seek more clarity

This is a habit few ever consciously develop. No wonder overwhelm and confusion are considered normal. Start asking yourself high-quality questions on a daily basis enabling you to discern truth in your life. Approach your daily activities with greater intention and razor-sharp focus.

There are few things more powerful than a life lived with passionate clarity.” – Erwin McManus

2. Learn to generate energy

If you want to enjoy sustainable success and ever increasing prosperity, you can’t afford to be bogged down by fatigue, loss of enthusiasm and lethargy. When was the last time you went seven straight days feeling energized, enthusiastic and ready to crush it in your personal and professional life?

Mental, emotional, and physical energy is something you must deliberately and consciously learn to create and imbue into the world if you don’t want to burn out. This is how you’ll learn to cultivate and generate more positive emotions and interactions with other people as well as your daily activities.

3. Raise your standards and expectations

Setting the right expectations for your life and business is a must. Most people have big dreams but very low standards and even lower expectations for themselves. There’s a mindset shift that’s required here because your results will never outperform the standards you’ve set for yourself.

To be a high performing individual in your chosen field, you will have to make excellence your new norm. Brendon Burchard frames it differently, he teaches it as increasing your performance necessity levels. Why is this important?

Unless your brain and entire being perceive it as your normal standard, unleashing the leader within you and becoming your best self will feel more like forced labor which will not be sustainable.

Raise your standards to exceed your expectations.” – Cecily Morgan

4. Increase your productivity

Productivity is a hot topic with almost every motivational speaker. But do you really know what you need to do to increase your productivity? Or are you just running through the motions of listening to outside opinions trying to imitate what works for others, in the hopes that it’ll work for you too?

Every ambitious success seeker understands the importance of being productive. Few are actually able to do it effectively, consistently and toward meaningful work. As you learn to integrate the first three habits into your life, it will feel more natural and effortless to increase output and do work that matters.

If you want to crush it day in day out, week after week in your primary field of interest then it is time to learn effective strategies and tactics that align with your goals, your values and simultaneously make you more productive. Thanks to technology, this is not only possible, it’s doable.

While this isn’t the comprehensive list of habits that can make you “get the edge” in life and finally out-perform others in your space, you now have a solid starting ground for simple things you can start doing today to become a high performer.

Now I would love to hear from you, did any of these habits resonate with you? Do you have any suggestion of your own that has proven effective? Comment below!

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Life

3 Steps to Increasing Your Confidence for Good

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As an ambitious person on the road to success, you know first hand how challenging it is to achieve your lofty goals. Let’s be honest, the road to success is littered with potholes and unexpected curves.

You need a consistent feeling of confidence if you want to make it to the finish line and rise victoriously. That’s why in this article, you’re going to learn the most simple and effective 3-step sequence to help you increase your confidence for good.

1. Learn One Thing

As an informed reader here, we’re skipping past the part where we harp on the importance of taking action for building confidence. You already took action by reading this article with the desire to get better. Perhaps, you made the sales call, pressed publish on your new post, did the interview, or pitched your idea.

But now it’s time to immediately learn one thing from the action you just took. The second after you take action, ask yourself, “What’s the one thing I can learn from this, to ensure I get a better result next time?”

If you’ve read Gary Keller’s powerful book, The One Thing, you know success isn’t about trying to do a million things. It’s about doing one thing — exceptionally. Similarly, instead of trying to derive 86 lessons from that sales call you just finished, start learning simply the number one best thing you can.

Here in step one, you do so by asking yourself the aforementioned question. It works like magic. When you ask yourself a question, your brain outputs an answer. This only happens if you start this sequence immediately after you take action — regardless of the result.

Extraordinary results happen only when you give the best you have to become the best you can be at your most important work.” – Gary Keller

2. Validate Yourself

In step two, take the time to validate yourself with positive self talk. Tell yourself, “Nice job. That took courage. Let’s keep going, baby. I’m going to do this. I’ve got this.” The key here is to speak to yourself positively and authentically. Speak to yourself the way a great mentor, coach, or friend would. Remember too, in this step, you are not pumping yourself up with empty affirmations or false hope.

You are validating yourself because you took action and you learned from that action. This deserves credit. By practicing the act of self validation here in step two, you train yourself to remain confident regardless of whether or not you achieved or came up short.

Validate yourself whether you land the client or fail to do so. Most don’t do this, it’s why they lack confidence. But you? You act, learn, then validate yourself, regardless of the external result. This trains you to feel good about yourself no matter what people say about you.

While most people crumble when they don’t get the results they desired, you feel confident even when you lose this battle. You know that the campaign is long, and, if you keep learning, you’ll get accomplish the goals you desire in the end.

3. Repeat the Action

Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit home and think about it.” Carnegie said it best and it’s why step three is a simple call to action — to repeat the action you just took. By repeating the action as soon as possible, you don’t give yourself time to ruminate or overthink.

In step one, you learned one important, personalized nugget of wisdom that’ll help you perform better from now on. Then in step two, you validated yourself with positive self talk — reminding yourself that by continuing to take persistent action, success is inevitable.

Now? There’s nothing left to say. Without delay, it’s time to get back on the horse and take another crack at it! Your confidence continues to grow as you take more actions, learn more from those actions, and remind yourself that you’re a champ for taking all these actions!

“Don’t let small thinking cut your life down to size. Think big, aim high, act bold. And see just how big you can blow up your life.” – Gary Keller

Why This 3-Step Sequence Increases Your Confidence for Good

By repeating this sequence, you gain important knowledge, continuously remind yourself of your positive traits, and most importantly — you desensitize yourself to any fears you once had.

You’re going to fall in love with this process of taking action. Whether that action for you is making sales calls, pitching your startup to investors, interviewing for competitive positions, or publishing new content online, the more you act using these 3-steps, the more confident you’ll become.

A key side benefit of using this sequence is you quickly enter a massive, perpetual state of action. This all but guarantees you increased real world results. These improved results become the cherry on top to your core confidence.

When you lack confidence, how do you find the confidence you need again? Let us know by commenting below!

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Life

3 Ingredients to Create the Life of Your Dreams

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Let’s bake a cake! This recipe calls for three simple ingredients: one cup of Courage, two tablespoons of Initiative, and three teaspoons of Will. You can put the money, education, and physical attractiveness back in the refrigerator. They can help improve the taste or quality, but they are not required to bake this cake. The cake is a metaphor for the life of your dreams. If you want to create massive achievement in your life, you will need to obtain courage, initiative, and will.

The main ingredients of courage, initiative, and will are fundamental to long term-achievement. You need the courage to start. The initiative is necessary to think outside the box. Will is required to continue when it gets tough.

Whether we are talking about achieving long-term happiness via a personal relationship or individual experiences, the ingredients mentioned above can significantly increase your chances of obtaining the life of your dreams. You aren’t born with courage, initiative, or will. In fact, you are born with fear, reluctance, and other mechanisms designed to keep you safe. However, with an intentional mindset guided by positive optimism, these characteristics can be grown and cultivated in a garden of possibilities for your life!  

How can you acquire courage, initiative, and will? Check out my 3 tips below:

1. Travel or better yet move out of the country

Yes, I will give you a moment to reread the line above. My first recommendation is for you to travel or ideally move out of the country! Travel and undeniably relocating outside of the country you were born in, requires courage. You must be brave to face the unknown, and there is no better way to do this other than to get out of your comfortable home environment and see the world. The experiences with traveling or moving will automatically build the courage within you to reach toward the achievements that you desire in life.  

“Dare to live the life you’ve always wanted.”

2. Learn a new language

Ideally, with the recommendation from number one, you will choose a location where a language other than your native tongue is spoken. With language acquisition, the learner must develop a spirit of initiative to do something that is not required. You can live your entire life and only communicate in one language, or you can expand your horizon and do something different. To become fluent in a new language will not be easy; the life of your dreams is worth the fight. The process of learning a language will attract the necessary skill set that accompanies initiative and ties in within my final recommendation.

3. Fail as often as possible

In traveling and undeniably with learning a new language, you will make mistakes. If you are not failing in the process of adjusting to a different culture, which will occur in traveling and language acquisition, you are doing something wrong! You must fail to adapt and ideally this will happen as frequent as possible. This does not mean that you look to fail. It does mean that you understand failure as an opportunity to learn. Failure builds your ability to develop the power of will. Possessing will can enable you to learn from your mistakes, improve, and keep pushing toward the achievements that can create the life of your dreams.  

“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching.” – Gerard Way

If you put courage, initiative, and will into the oven responsible for making your dreams become a reality, you will be successful. It will not be easy. Occasionally you will become frustrated and want to open the door and see what’s taking so long for the cake or the life you desire. However, just stay the course and allow courage, initiative, and will to blend and bring into fruition the life of your dreams.

What other ingredients would you add?  Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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