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How To Create Positivity In Your Life When All Hope Seems Lost

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Creating Positivity When All Hope Seems Lost

Dealing with dark times can be hard. Sometimes there is no simple way out, and it can at times seem like all hope is lost. There is always a solution to every problem, and it’s entirely possible to get out of a hopeless situation.

I am going through a tough time at the moment after a breakup and a few other challenges have arisen all at the same time. I feel lucky that I have spent a substantial amount of time on personal growth over the last few years, so my tool belt to deal with these issues is fully packed.

With that said, it doesn’t always make it any easier. Whether you experience pain or not is entirely up to you. Pain is a decision, and I personally choose not to go down that road. It’s not easy to avoid though because it can often be our minds default position if we don’t practice self-control.

Life is an amazing gift and when we sit back and remember that, the dark cloud start to clear even if it’s only for a moment.

Below are 7 ways to create positivity in your life when it feels like all hope seems lost and I am successfully using all of these strategies as I write this blog post:

 

1. Send out gratitude SMS’s

When times are tough, and your chips are down, a creative way to bring positivity in your life is to send out gratitude SMS’s to everyone that you are close with. Personalise each message and tell your friends why you appreciate them in your life. Don’t make it war and peace but truly express what they mean to you.Gratitude SMS

If done correctly, you should get a flood of SMS’s back with words of encouragement. I did this recently, and it really helped me see the positivity in my life. It showed me that people do care just as much as I care about them.

Some of the SMS’s can even spark up conversations with people you haven’t spoken to in a while. You’ll quickly realise that you are more successful and more cared for than you think.

 

2. Foster the belief

Belief is one of the cornerstones of our life. What we believe shapes who we are. To create positivity during a dark period of your life, you have to believe that the season will pass and that you are destined for greater things.

For the last few weeks, I have focused on the belief that my current circumstances will change because I am cultivating the proper beliefs that I can be something special no matter what anyone else may think about me.

All of this advice, all of the entrepreneur friends I have, all of the healthy eating I’ve committed to, is meant to help me be something bigger. It will become apparent as long as I’m patient and believe that a higher purpose is the only way forward.

Concentrate on the present and the daily habits that will help get you back on track. Creating positive thoughts and living in a positive way can only equal one thing: positive results.

“Believe in yourself no matter what and don’t stay in the past”

 

3. Meditate like crazy

When all hope seems lost your mind becomes even busier than usual. Your head fills with destructive thoughts that have the energy and power to destroy everything you have worked for. Again, exercising self-control, through meditating like crazy is a great way to reign in those stray thoughts.

131284661 (1)Start with five minutes which is a goal you can definitely achieve. Then, try doing this multiple times through the day. As the momentum starts to build, crank up the sessions to 15-20 minutes at a time. Don’t let anything stop you and enjoy the calm feeling that you will get from your sessions.

Meditation is the number one way to calm your mind so that it can be a breeding ground for new, positive thoughts.

 

4. Write an Ebook

Using a mindset of abundance you can take a difficult situation and use it to create value for other people. Nothing but positive things can happen to you when you give for no reason at all. An Ebook of advice is the Small Ebook Cover - How To Become A Game Changing Influencer Online And Inspire Millionsantidote to your pain.

I have just completed a new Ebook called “How To Become A Game Changing Influencer Online And Inspire Millions.” This is not a shameless plug but a free Ebook I am giving to all of the readers of Addicted2Success to say thank you for all the support.

Again, nothing but positivity can come from giving value to others and trying to do good in the world through a positive message. Focus on what you can do for others and what value you bring to the table. Your mind will have no choice other than to cultivate positive thoughts.

 

5. Visit a homeless shelter

Similar to the previous point, an excellent way to get through a tough time is to remove yourself from the equation and go and visit a homeless shelter. In a homeless shelter, your dreams and goals can be actualised without you even realising it.

Going beyond yourself and helping those who are in a much tougher situation than you creates positivity. It will show you that even when you think your story is bad and that no one could be as unlucky as you, you’re wrong.

Little old you has the power to change someone’s entire day through the act of handing out a meal to someone that can’t afford their own. Your presence even has the power to change that homeless person’s day to where they make the decision to change their circumstances forever.

Now isn’t that a great way to forget about your troubles and cultivate positivity in the world?

 

6. Read “The Pursuit Of Happyness”

This book is the first one you should read if you are going through a culmination of negative events in your life. The story of Chris Gardner growing up in a violent home and then raising a child while being homeless will change your perspective.

Stories of struggle and then ultimately triumph will build your confidence and show you that all it takes is a little positivity to get up off the ground, dust yourself off, and have another go at your dream. No one is going to judge you because they have their own challenges to worry about.

 

7. Call those who have the dream life

We all have people around us that have the life we dream of. When all hope seems lost, these people are the one’s you should call. Don’t scare them off with negative vibes, rather, have a conversation with them about what they did to be successful.

Find out the strategies and most importantly, find out what they thought when they had to overcome challenges. Through these people, you can learn so much about how to deal with your own situation.

Johnny Depp Smoking A CigaretteI did this very exercise and one of the calls I had revealed something that I never knew. The person who I thought had an awesome life actually came from a very dark place. They admitted to sleeping with prostitutes, double dropping ecstasy pills, and smoking crack cocaine.

This person went from what seemed like the habits of a suicidal person, to being an inspirational entrepreneur and living a dream lifestyle. You have to get good at looking beyond the colorful Instagram photos of all the people that will sell you the false idea that they’re life is perfect and go behind the scenes.

Being good at asking questions will give you the only tool you need to start digging and understanding more about the people you admire. Through other people’s dreams, you get to see a glimpse of your own. Your dream is only possible when you foster positivity in your life.

Go beyond your story and use it to bring happiness to everyone around you. Get on this thing we call the Internet and start sharing. Inspire the world through what you do and never spend a moment bringing people down. As you build up other people, you will build up yourself.

“Positive results come from positive actions. Get off the couch, turn off Game Of Thrones, and go do something that will create positivity. Like attracts like. Positive thoughts attract positive results” – Tim Denning

How have you created positivity in your own life? Let me know on my website timdenning.net or my Facebook.

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

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Shaleza Aise

    Aug 28, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    Hey, Tim.
    Thanks for writing such a great article. I’ve had dark periods in the past and I’ve learnt to keep happy and positive, due to my long term interest in personal development.
    However, we are all human and even small or temporary setback can leave you feeling jaded. I was having a ‘sad day’ and I started to feel better, when I came across your article and it catapulted me right back to my usual grateful self.
    I use many of the strategies you talked about, but I think I need to write more on my blog. I used to in the past, but now I find it harder to sit and write, for fear the flood gates will open. Maybe that would not be a bad thing.
    I find meditation to be an amazing help. It quietens the mind and gives me much peace.
    Thank you so much for sharing and I hope you pass through your difficult time/ circumstances speedily. We are all connected in this great universe of ours and I send you my best wishes.

    Shaleza

  2. The Broke Dad

    Aug 13, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    Well said. I have been in those dark places before and though I have never done all of the steps you have listed I have used several of them. Writing is a big thing for me. When I was down, in that dark place, and feeling like things would never improve I started to write. It was difficult, I had to force myself to do it, but once I started I could not stop my thoughts from flooding out of me and onto the screen in front of me. It was an amazing type of therapy and it cost me nothing. Now reading your post I wish I would have known what an e-book was so I could have saved all of those thoughts and put it into a book to help others.
    Thanks again for a great post. Enjoyed it

    • Tim Denning

      Aug 14, 2016 at 11:09 pm

      Broke Dad I love your blog and thanks for sharing your insight! Writing can help all of us get our thoughts out of our head and onto paper. When we see our thoughts in the physical form we start to see them differently and all of a sudden the BS we are telling ourselves becomes clear.

  3. Adebayo

    Aug 11, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    I am always inspired around here 2b sincere Tim keep it up.
    Raising capital is my issue but with time it will b past.
    Keep it up.

    • Tim Denning

      Aug 12, 2016 at 10:26 am

      Adebayo thanks for spreading the love. Raising capital is a tough one. What’s most important is that you have a team behind you that investors will want to back. Have confidence and know that you may have to try over one hundred options for finance before you find the right one.

  4. Charlene Rhinehart

    Aug 11, 2016 at 9:17 am

    Another great article! Thanks for sharing, Tim! I needed an extra dose of motivation in order to recover from a few no responses that I received today so I started to peruse this site for inspiration. This was the first article I saw and it immediately drew me in. Just what I needed to give me an energy boost! Thanks Tim!

    • Tim Denning

      Aug 11, 2016 at 7:53 pm

      Thanks Charlene. We all need a bit og motivation to get us going again. I’ve also received a few no responses recently from certain people I’ve reached out to. My advice is to just keep trying to reach them. I tried for one year to get to a celebrity entrepreneur recently and finally got a hold of him. It takes real patience.

  5. Chris Targett

    Aug 11, 2016 at 5:47 am

    Everyone can use more positivity in their lives, it’s infectious. I think it’s great that you spoke to someone successful and found out that they’ve had struggles in their life, we look at successful people and think they have always been successful, but with digging deeper we find that they are human after all.

    That is going to be my task, find someone who has been successful, sit down with them and see what they have done in their life to get where they are now.

    Thanks for the article Tim

    • Tim Denning

      Aug 11, 2016 at 6:01 am

      Chris thanks for your comments and for sharing your opinion. Successful people are often not who people think they are. I’ve learned this many times over the years.

  6. Ram Vijay

    Aug 11, 2016 at 5:45 am

    Tim, You are doing wonderful work by creating and sharing most needed articles . I am reading all of your articles and trying to follow it. Keep up the good work man!!!

    • Tim Denning

      Aug 11, 2016 at 5:58 am

      Wow thanks Ram for the very kind words and I’m glad you are reading all the articles!

  7. Toño

    Aug 11, 2016 at 2:20 am

    I wanted to get back to this article when I’ll return home from work, but could not help and read it now. During my morning meditation, I contemplated on the reply, barely concentrating on the practice haha.

    You always seem to find such a great pictures for your writing, Tim. They are eye-catching and fit so well to what you say.

    I really enjoyed the article, basically you don’t need any coffe to make your morning as this is what will feel you awake and aware! Meditate like crazy? Hah, I loved it! Will certainly do, my friend.

    I also would like to add daily motivation to this list as it becomes highly important ingredient in my life right now. After so many hours of practicing it I feel like something changing inside of me and to keep this change you should motivate yourself every single day. I realized quite a long time ago that process of going to sleep and them waking up is like a mini-born process and that you start your life every time you wake up. It may sound a bit crazy, but in my early ages, I was afraid to go to bed because I was feeling so good and did not want to lose my good mood and attitude. It is extremely vital to go to bed motivated to make sure your mind is in the right state, and when you wake up, start immediately to motivate yourself again. Work on yourself and never stop. You may require doing so few times a day, because we all know, motivation won’t last much long. At first, it will feel unnatural, heavy routine and the longer you stayed hopeless or depressed the harder to get started, but you will thank yourself later.

    Again, practice it daily and do not let it slip. The longer you procrastinate the worse you may feel. Eventually, you WILL feel better as nothing lasts forever, but as you are in control of your life and do not want circumstances control your mind, you should get back to motivation few times per day, or at the very least on your mornings and evenings. I usually do few different activities so my brain does not get bored. You can start your day with meditation, reading a good article on a2s, watching motivational video on youtube, write a letter of appreciation to Tim Denning :D, workout, jogging, listen to uplifting music or simple walk your beloved dog who is your best friend.

    I started today with meditation, this article, short video of one man doing his journey in the beautiful Hawaii, and about to listen to Preston Smiles’ audiobook and then some good vibe music. I know my day is gonna be awesome because I made my intention work and brought them to life. I decided to be aware and be happy.

    Loss of hope, depression or happiness, those are all state of your conditioned mind as everything on this Earth is neutral and you color your experience whatever you want. So choose wisely what you can shape your mind in.

    I meditated recently on why even though we work so hard to be happy, many of us tend to get back to the state of depression or simply feel not good so very often, and I realized it because of training. We train ourselves so very hard, with the passion and desire to feel bad that when we finally decide to feel good we struggle. Even when we succeed eventually, our brain will try to lure you into the grim state because it is so natural for it to indulge in our heavy thoughts. You trained it for years and of course, it will come back to familiar grounds. So now you can train to feel good, and when eventual downtime will hit you, it’s just the habit you can overcome.

    Thank you so much again Tim for getting me ready for the day, for the journey and amazing feelings, appreciate it highly! Much love to you, keep yourself healthy and have a wonderful day!

    Peace!

    • Tim Denning

      Aug 11, 2016 at 5:54 am

      Toño thanks for introducing me to the idea of a mini born again after sleeping. It’s a very interesting idea that I have thought of many times before and wondered to myself “what if this really was the case.”

      So glad the meditation is working out for you and the daily motivation suggestion is a good one. I also loved your quote that says we color our own world. I loved that!

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Life

4 Steps to Take Right Now to Snap Out of Your Funk

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How to get out of a funk

Maybe you’re spending sleepless nights tossing and turning in bed, or perhaps you’re sleeping in until noon. Maybe all you hear are the sad songs, and all you think of are the terrible things that are happening.

You’re in a funk. Everyone goes through their funk sometime in their life. You could feel helpless in a business or career you’re trying to build, from losing your job, or having a broken heart. Whatever it is, you just need some help to get out of your funk.

From my experience as a life coach seeing thousands of people get out of their funk, the steps described below have helped CEO’s, entrepreneurs, parents and all sorts of people go and conquer what they wanted.

This works for a variety of people in different situations. If you want to get out of your funk, you’ve got to give this visualization exercise a go.

Before we go into it, you’ll need to prepare these three ingredients:

  • The Map – There’s a situation or experience in your life that is related to this funk. Whatever situation or experience this is, let’s refer to it as your current map of your world.
  • A Navigator – You’re going to go into an imaginary “flight”. And you’ll need someone with good eyes, good sense of humor and a good heart to guide you in your flight. Your co-pilot needs to be someone you respect. Identify your navigator.
  • A Treasure – This is something that is valuable and will be useful for the person who will use it.

Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same.” – Francesca Reigler

Now, are you ready to get out of your funk? Here are the four steps you need to follow today:

1. Size up

Get into the map. See yourself inside the map, whether it’s the situation that triggered your funk, or the resulting funk that you might be in. You must size up the situation and acknowledge whatever it is that you’re feeling when you’re in the situation. Describe what it’s like to be inside this map. Acknowledge it as it is, then take full responsibility for whatever it is that’s in your funk.

2. Step Out

Get outside of the map, get outside of the funk. Now, in your mind, see the map from afar. Let’s take it to another level. Imagine that you’re stepping into the point of view of a flying drone and a camera. Imagine yourself hovering above the situation that put you in this funk. You have full control of the drone, so go ahead and go around the situation from the perspective of the drone. Describe what you see from outside the map as you are flying over the map.

3. See differently

Now, you’re going to call in your co-pilot. When your co-pilot joins your flight above the map, they will advise you on which aspects of the map you will want to look at differently. Go ahead, look at things from a different point of view as advised to you by your co-pilot. Describe what you see from the different points of view your co-pilot is guiding you through.

“What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies.” – Aristotle

4. Search for Treasure

Being in full control of what you choose to see and with the help of your navigator’s guidance, go ahead and navigate around the map searching for treasure. Somewhere in there is something valuable you might have missed before. What has the experience taught you to be? What has the experienced given you? What has the situation brought out from you?

This is like a treasure hunt. From amidst the flurry that’s happening in the funk, there is a treasure that you and your navigator can find for yourself. Your treasure can be a new perspective, new insight, new feeling, or renewed courage. It could be anything that is useful for you, a treasure that you will use to get out of the funk.

Now that you’ve found some treasures, go ahead and go back into the map and get your treasures. It’s been there all along, as you must find it. You just have to claim it for yourself. The treasure you found is all within you for the taking so own it. Whatever the treasure is, make sure you take action and make it real.

What action can you start doing differently today in order to make a difference n your life? Comment below and let us know!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Life

Social Media Is Killing Your Success: 3 Ways You Can Use it to Your Advantage

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Social media success

I love social media. It can help you make friends, share your life, build a network, and even build a business. In the same token, social media can easily become an enemy of success as a hindrance and consumer of attention.

On countless occasions I’ve found myself lost on YouTube, scrolling Facebook, clicking on tweets, watching funny snaps…and realized it’s hurting my success. As someone who is ambitious, you don’t want social media to kill your time, rob you of precious hours, and steal your success.

If you want social media to work for you, here are three ways to assure that you’re the one in control:

1. Limit your time on social media channels

If you want social media to work for you, and not against you, limiting your time on it will help you immensely. One great tool that helps me limit my time on social media is a simple Chrome extension: StayFocused. It’s a free, no hassle chrome extension that allows you to limit your time on different websites.

Just simply plug in the URL of the website you want to limit your time on and the tool will do the rest. This handy little tool will help you see how fast time on social media goes by and will ensure you prioritize your tasks.

If you are going to follow any of these tips, follow this one. Limiting your time on social media alone could save you hundreds of hours of your precious time. Those hours can then be used to get things done, set goals, and go after them.

“If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.” – Bruce Lee

2. Have clear goals on social media

When you log in, know what matters most and what doesn’t. If you have clear intentions before logging in, assure yourself that social media isn’t the one in control.

All social media channels were built to help kill time, keep you engaged, and make you addicted to their platforms. In fact, one of the leading experts on ‘Brain Hacking,’ Tristan Harris, left his job at Google because of the manipulative strategies internet giants use to keep users hooked.

During his interview on 60 Minutes, Tristan talks about the ways social media rigs its platforms to keep users addicted. It’s astonishing to realize that social media is an endless arsenal of tools to keep us absorbed.

When asked about how people could curb their addiction, Tristan admitted that the cards are stacked against the user’s. Billions of dollars are being invested in making you stay hooked in. This is why social media experts like myself advise users to have clear goals.  When you have a timer and a goal before you log in, it assures you are playing the game in a way that favors you.

Some clear goals which will help you on social media are limiting who you follow, having a clear plan of what you’ll be doing before you log in, and having well laid out intentions of what social media does for you. When you limit who you follow, you assure you only read and watch content that feeds, inspires, and helps you.

It’s all too easy to follow an endless amount of silly channels and people. If you know what you’ll post before you log in, you’ll set yourself to use social media in your favor. This simple plan of action will help keep your mind focused and on task.

3. Have a mastermind online

Social media can either support you or hurt you. It’s either a tool to help you move forward or a hindrance setting you back. For most people, it’s hurtful. In my case, it’s a tool that helps me immensely. Inside social media, I’ve made friends with authors, speakers, world renowned coaches, and multi-millionaires who constantly inspire me.

One way to assure social media helps you is a mastermind. If done properly, social media can be an explosive growth tool. By having a mastermind online, you assure that social media works for you.

A great way to have a mastermind online is through Facebook. There are hundreds of thousands of Facebook groups that can help you stay focused and well supported. Each group is a virtual meetup. Some of these groups include some of the greatest minds in their areas. Some groups are public, and you can join just by requesting to join.

One way to assure a group is solid is by checking to see how many people are in the group. Who’s in the group? How often are members active? Is the group focused? When you find a group that has the right mix of people, activity, and attention, it can change your life. It turns Facebook into a tool. You log in, go check in with the group, ask questions, and keep yourself reminded of your goals.

“Each person holds so much power within themselves that needs to be let out. Sometimes they just need a little nudge, a little direction, a little support, a little coaching, and the greatest things can happen.” – Pete Carroll

By following these three simple pieces of advice, you can make sure that social media ‘Brain Hackers’ are not hacking you, but instead, you are leveraging the tool in a way that supports your success.

What is your favorite part about social media? Let us know by commenting below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Life

Success Has Nothing To Do With Your iPhone Model Number.

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Success Has Nothing To Do With Your iPhone Model Number.

Recently, another new iPhone model was announced. Working in tech, people asked me when I’d be buying it. I told them probably not anytime soon, if at all.

“A piece of metal is never going to define my level of success and it shouldn’t define your success either”

Before you buy anything, think about why you’re making the purchase. We often make dumb decisions about buying stuff because we don’t think it through properly.

 

It’s a piece of metal

Before you have a giant orgasm over the new iPhone, remember that it’s just a chunk of metal. You’ve been using a chunk of metal as a phone for over a decade now. It’s not going to get your rocks off any more than the last phone you bought.

The new iPhone is not going to make love to you although it might remember your name and say it in some sexy, fake voice, so you feel like it’s your friend.

The iPhone is not your friend; it’s your enemy. A chunk of metal doesn’t define your success.

 

It doesn’t make your life better

If this chunk of metal – called an iPhone – really made our lives better then why are we more depressed than ever? A new phone is going to make you happy for about 3.1 seconds and then like a goldfish, you’ll have forgotten how privileged you are even to own one, as well as afford one, shortly after that.

Only you can make your life better by making better decisions. Choosing not to let material possessions own your life and your time is one way to make your life better. Say no to a new chunk of metal because it’s not making your life better.

 

Has anything really changed?

Between each of the iPhone models, it’s basically the same phone. Each time they change the screen size to indulge our ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) minds, but that’s about it. Think about it carefully.

 

That money, compounded, is more valuable

Read any of Warren Buffet’s or Tony Robbins books and you’ll see that the $1000 you shell out for a new iPhone is far better put towards investing. Invest in an index fund, invest in yourself, or use that $1000 to book a holiday so that you have something to look forward to and motivate you for the next six months.

The longer your money stays invested in one of the above, the more it compounds your results. Whether that is financially, personally or from a health point of you. Compounding wins every time.

“You don’t need a new chunk of metal; you need to invest instead”

 

Never follow the trends – create your own trend

Trends often fade away and a new iPhone is no different. Create your own trend. If everyone else is buying a new iPhone, then do the opposite. Don’t let marketers and technology companies tell you how to live your life. Live your life how you want to.

 

Are we more productive?

No freaking way. We’re more unproductive than ever and we consider way too many things because our ugly chunk of metal gives us unlimited opportunities to say yes to. Right now, your phone will allow you to book a tantric sex class that begins at 6 am somewhere near you if you really want.

You can literally learn anything at any time if you really want. My question to you is, does it really matter?

Even though you have unlimited options to be productive, you still procrastinate more than ever and so do I. We could be hyper-productive but we’re not and that’s okay. No chunk of metal is going to run your life for you and make you successful.

 

We don’t need even more distractions

My life already sucks because I get 101 notifications from WeChat, WhatsApp, Messenger and my three email addresses. It’s a full-time job managing all of this and I don’t buy into it. I don’t need to be always contactable – I need a life.

I’m not a robot and I’m not answerable to anyone. Think about this: Are you a free human soul or do you need to be told what to do by your phone?

I’m seeing more human disconnection than ever. At work, it’s easier to call people that are sitting next to me than it is to have a face-to-face conversation. Face-to-face conversations have become a battle between the other person looking down at their phone and occasionally glancing up to look you in the eye.

“All of us are sexier than an ugly piece of metal and we deserved to be looked at!”

 

Will I also be adding a new Apple Watch to my setup as well?

Not in a million years amigo. A watch is strapped to me and tells me everything via a tiny little screen. Can you imagine being in an intimate moment with your significant other and the watch is flashing and beeping at you? It’s enough to ruin anyone’s romance time.

The Apple Watch reminds me of a bracelet that future prisoners will wear to track their movements. I don’t intend on wearing an Apple Watch so I can be a prisoner in my own life. Life is hard enough already without having to be chained to technology.

 

Lastly, I’m enjoying aeroplane mode a lot these days

I could buy a new iPhone but I just love aeroplane mode way too much these days. Having the world of social media switched off and not being “ONLINE” all the time has given me space to think. In these brief moments of thinking I’ve been able to:

– Write inspiring blog posts that have gone viral
– Fall in love again
– Work on my health
– Read books and gain new skills
– Socialise with friends
– Mentor young entrepreneurs in a startup accelerator

Through these list of activities, I’ve been able to create more success than I could ever have imagined on my useless chunk of metal called an iPhone.

So honestly guys and girls, when people ask me if I’m buying a new iPhone, all I can say is “No I’m not buying a new iPhone because my life is more important. The human race and changing the world is more important.”

I need time to change the world and space to think; the new iPhone can’t do this for me and it never will.

No chunk of metal should ever define you and your success.

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

My Incredibly Simple Guide To Stoicism – Learn Practical Wisdom You Can Use

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I’ve been inspired to learn about Stoicism for a while.

The problem I’ve had is that it’s one of those topics that people love to complicate. The reason for the complication is that many of the teachings that come from Stoicism are spoken in English from a long time ago. I personally don’t have the patience to read this type of writing for long periods.

That’s why I’m going to debunk Stoicism for you in stupidly simple terms. The wisdom you get will transform you. You’ll gain a different perspective that will help you in all aspects of life.

“Everyone is preaching advice, but no one is sharing wisdom – that’s what Stoicism is”

 

What is Stoicism?

It’s an ancient form of philosophy. It was made famous in recent years again by Tim Ferriss and Ryan Holiday from the USA. These two gentleman credit a lot of their success to the wisdom that Stoicism taught them.

Stoicism began on a stoa which means porch to you and I. A stoa is where the early teachings of Stoicism started.

Here is Stoicism broken down into insanely simple dot points:

– Stoicism is focused on uncomplicated theories of life
– Stoicism is so clear that you can take action from the advice immediately
– Study is not required to understand Stoicism
– The most read Stoic is Lucius Seneca. Marcus Aurelius is also very popular

Stoicism doesn’t focus on the negative like modern-day self-help advice does. Stoicism is more a meditative practice that allows us to take the negative feelings we experience, and turn them into thoughts that give us peacefulness and perspective on life.

The most important part of learning Stoicism is having the right state of mind. Just like in life, the right state of mind can help us look at challenges in the best possible way.

At the crux of Stoicism is a list of reminders and words of wisdom that show how to live a good life. It’s not an argument about what is right and what is wrong. The Stoics had no time for this way of thinking.

Okay so now let’s skip ahead to the best lessons you can learn from Stoicism:

 

We don’t control events, but we do control what they mean.

This is a famous teaching from a lot of Tony Robbins work too. Everything that happens in your life can be controlled by your own mind to be good or bad. Once you understand this teaching, you can take back the power. You become less reactive and a lot calmer. You have the upper hand.

 

Disruptions to serenity cannot be avoided.

Tranquillity can never be reached by avoiding or blocking out distractions or horrible events. The way to get to that tranquil place is through your choices and judgment about those events and situations.

 

You must disrupt yourself.

Doing things the way they’ve always been done will lead you to be disrupted by someone or something who changes with the environment. Operating out of habit means you’ve stopped thinking and are mindlessly drifting through life. This means you’re not in control.

“When you lose control, your environment determines your results”

There’s a good chance that you’re going to think these results suck. The lesson here is break your habits, get out of your comfort zone and disrupt yourself like a cool, hip startup from Silicon Valley.

 

In good and bad times we have a choice.

Whether you’re in jail or an entrepreneur running the most successful startup on the planet, you have a choice. We all come from different backgrounds and we’ll all go through major highs, and painstaking lows. Through all of these different circumstances, we have a choice.

It’s having the freedom of choice that will set us free in the long run. It’s that freedom of choice that will ensure you don’t waste your life away thinking about stuff you can’t control. You’ll always feel the power of freedom when you control your choices, no matter what life throws at you.

 

Make it a habit of looking inward.

Stoics are obsessed with taking time to look inward. It’s something they advocate above all of their other teachings. They suggest spending time in the morning to ask yourself questions about your life. As you do this, you’ll find the answers to life’s biggest questions become clearer in the context of your own life.

Looking inward helps you find the answers that you knew all along and thought were hidden inside of someone else, or something else. This practice will only work if you’re honest with yourself. Don’t be too brutal on yourself either. Realize that we all start somewhere and it’s where we can go that is the greatest gift we can enjoy.

 

Being paranoid and fearful will destroy you.

The antidote to fear and paranoia is self-control. Learn to control your impulses. If you become fearful that others will sabotage your success and you don’t remain in control over these fearful thoughts, you’ll lose sight of reality. These fearful thoughts will cause you to project your fears onto other people and they’ll give you exactly what you fear.

In simple terms, fear is a self-fulfilling prophecy. What you put out comes right back at you.

 

Anger will not help you.

The Stoics believe that getting angry never gives you anything in return. Anger wastes your precious energy and resources, and provides no tangible benefit. This is why it’s better to practice non-reactivity rather than being pissed off at something you can’t control anyway.

Anger is like a contagious virus that spreads if you let it. Don’t let anger control you. Projecting anger on people can only result in you projecting anger on yourself. That’s why anger is also another self-fulfilling prophecy.

 

Everything takes up space.

Seneca wrote many times that even things you get for free have a cost. That cost is space – space in your garage or even space in your mind.

“Learning to live with less will create space in your life for the things that truly matter to you”

The aim of the game is to look at your material possession and be honest with yourself: do you really need that object? If the answer is no, free some space up in your life. What Seneca says here is the reason I have personally given away and sold most of my possessions. I’ve never been happier.

 

Practice poverty.

Especially during prosperous times in your life, the Stoics believe you should practice poverty. This is how you prepare for hardship and become an expert in dealing with the ups and downs of life. Comfort can become a form of slavery because you consistently start to think that someone could take away what you have.

When you’re familiar with what you fear, it no longer controls you. The worst can happen and you go through it with a sense of calmness and ease. People think you’re resilient but actually, you’ve just practiced the hard times as preparation.

Quick tip: try eating a really cheap meal for a whole week every two months. Eat like you have almost no money. This will teach you to not only appreciate the nice meals but to be okay if you ever face poverty and have to live on very little money for a while. I know a few people that do a beans and rice meal for this week of living it rough. Try it!

 

You protect everything you have, why not your mind?

You don’t give away your wallet to a stranger on the street. You don’t hand the keys to your car over to a budding thief. You wouldn’t let your house be demolished by the council without a fight. So why would you hand over the keys to your mind so easily to any stranger who wants them?

You have to become aware of who you are unconsciously giving your mind over to. You need to realize who is influencing you in a negative way without knowing it.

“Your mind can create all the abundance you could ever imagine, so you need to protect it like it’s the only possession you have”

 

Don’t wreck the purpose of your life by trying to impress others.

The Stoics teach that the opinions of people you seek our to impress are not that great themselves. These people you seek to impress have addictions, their own problems, and are no wiser than the next person. The purpose of your life is not to impress people and doing so will have the opposite effect.

Focus on impressing yourself through personal growth and wisdom from people who serve the greater good. Go beyond yourself and avoid the need to seek approval. Take action and seek forgiveness later if you must.

 

Without proper training, you’re a fool.

If you seek to master a skill, then without proper training you will (by default) rely on ignorance, and you’ll act in a way that lacks discipline and requires chance.

“An investor without discipline is not an investor – he’s a gambler” – Ryan Holiday

 

Your mind becomes what you think consistently.

Whether you think mostly negative thoughts or positive thoughts will determine your default response to any situation. The more we practice negative thinking, the more likely we are to see the world as negative.

If we choose to practice nothing, then we also get the same outcome of an influx of negative thoughts. The only wise choice then is to practice seeing the good in everything. Start with being grateful

 

You don’t know everything.

This is a thought that many people secretly have when they claim they want to learn something new. The harsh reality is that many of us walk around as though we know everything. We know nothing of the infinite knowledge there is to acquire.

That sort of humbleness is where all the best learning starts from. Thinking less of yourself is the ultimate power: it’s where you can grow from and serve others. It’s this way of thinking that births leaders.

 

Think of your problems in relation to the sky.

Marcus Aurelius says that the stars wash away the dust of earthly life. This Stoic concept is a way for you to clear your mind of all the troubles you encounter day-to-day. In comparison, your problems are so small compared to the immense size of the universe.

Your problems don’t matter in the grand scheme of things so don’t fool yourself into believing they do. Look at the stars once in a while. Remember how lucky we are even to experience this planet we call Earth.

 

Forget stereotypes and labels: concentrate on character.

Stoics believe your character should be your most prominent feature. Outward traits such as skin color and clothing should be insignificant. Your character is defined by the work you do on yourself each day and the person you become.

Your character is what sells you as a person better than any other external force. Your character is your legacy. Your character is what you want to be known for.

 

Don’t sit on the sidelines. Do something inspirational yourself.

You can sit here all day and listen to me inspire you. You can watch all the inspirational videos that Youtube has to offer. What would be far better is to go out there and inspire people yourself rather than being inspired.

Take the inspiration you’ve gathered in your life and do something with it so you can allow others to create their own inspirational journey. Be the example rather than only listening to the example and saying “One day I’ll do that.”

 

There is never an end to the personal development journey.

You never reach mastery. The student never stops being a student. Even the teacher is still a student at heart. Stoicism is something you apply consistently, and it never ends. You apply it until the day you die and that’s how you gain the infinite wisdom it offers.

“You’ll never drink all the water in the ocean, just like you’ll never learn everything there is to know about Stoic philosophy and that’s fine too”

 

Work is good for you.

Ever heard that when people retire, they are statistically more likely to die within a few years of achieving this milestone in their life? That’s because work gives us a sense of purpose. Work gives us a reason to get up in the morning. Making progress through doing meaningful work feels good.

Too much idle time and the delusion that you can get rich and sit on a beach is what can cause you to feel empty inside. This feeling can cause you to have self-destructive thoughts that lead to an immense focus on one’s selfish desires and need for significance. In other words, work is good.

 

Don’t make life harder than it is. It’s your choice.

Choices are what stoics believe are the way to take a shortcut in life. They believe we can choose whatever we want including happiness, freedom, respect and feelings of being wealthy. The reoccurring theme here again is that we are in control of everything that happens and how we feel.

 

How you handle disaster is everything.

The way you deal with problematic situations is a true test of your character. Character in stoicism is not formed when everything is going right; character is formed when everything is going wrong. Don’t let problems spoil your mindset. Let optimism guide you in all situations.

 

Seek out obstacles.

Obstacles are a way for you to take a challenge that you may not like and use it as a lesson that can help you for the rest of your life. You learn from hardships above all else. Lessons from hardships make you smarter, stronger and better prepared for when adversity strikes again.

 

You have one job and only one job.

The Stoics have a core belief that all of us have only one job on Planet Earth: to be a good human being. If you learned nothing else about stoicism from this blog post, then I’ve succeeded.

Practice being a good human being and you’ll have one hell of a life.

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 Steps to Take Right Now to Snap Out of Your Funk

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How to get out of a funk

Maybe you’re spending sleepless nights tossing and turning in bed, or perhaps you’re sleeping in until noon. Maybe all you hear are the sad songs, and all you think of are the terrible things that are happening. (more…)

Edwin S. Soriano, Executive Life Coach, Trainer, Author of "You Can Be Happy Again" book. Over the past ten years, I've helped thousands of people create positive change,  permanent transformations in their life. We do this through life coaching, training, books and online content. I help CEOs, Entrepreneurs and business leaders develop their people as a key strategy for growing their business. Learn more at www.edwinsoriano.com and www.winningcoaching.net .

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Shaleza Aise

    Aug 28, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    Hey, Tim.
    Thanks for writing such a great article. I’ve had dark periods in the past and I’ve learnt to keep happy and positive, due to my long term interest in personal development.
    However, we are all human and even small or temporary setback can leave you feeling jaded. I was having a ‘sad day’ and I started to feel better, when I came across your article and it catapulted me right back to my usual grateful self.
    I use many of the strategies you talked about, but I think I need to write more on my blog. I used to in the past, but now I find it harder to sit and write, for fear the flood gates will open. Maybe that would not be a bad thing.
    I find meditation to be an amazing help. It quietens the mind and gives me much peace.
    Thank you so much for sharing and I hope you pass through your difficult time/ circumstances speedily. We are all connected in this great universe of ours and I send you my best wishes.

    Shaleza

  2. The Broke Dad

    Aug 13, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    Well said. I have been in those dark places before and though I have never done all of the steps you have listed I have used several of them. Writing is a big thing for me. When I was down, in that dark place, and feeling like things would never improve I started to write. It was difficult, I had to force myself to do it, but once I started I could not stop my thoughts from flooding out of me and onto the screen in front of me. It was an amazing type of therapy and it cost me nothing. Now reading your post I wish I would have known what an e-book was so I could have saved all of those thoughts and put it into a book to help others.
    Thanks again for a great post. Enjoyed it

    • Tim Denning

      Aug 14, 2016 at 11:09 pm

      Broke Dad I love your blog and thanks for sharing your insight! Writing can help all of us get our thoughts out of our head and onto paper. When we see our thoughts in the physical form we start to see them differently and all of a sudden the BS we are telling ourselves becomes clear.

  3. Adebayo

    Aug 11, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    I am always inspired around here 2b sincere Tim keep it up.
    Raising capital is my issue but with time it will b past.
    Keep it up.

    • Tim Denning

      Aug 12, 2016 at 10:26 am

      Adebayo thanks for spreading the love. Raising capital is a tough one. What’s most important is that you have a team behind you that investors will want to back. Have confidence and know that you may have to try over one hundred options for finance before you find the right one.

  4. Charlene Rhinehart

    Aug 11, 2016 at 9:17 am

    Another great article! Thanks for sharing, Tim! I needed an extra dose of motivation in order to recover from a few no responses that I received today so I started to peruse this site for inspiration. This was the first article I saw and it immediately drew me in. Just what I needed to give me an energy boost! Thanks Tim!

    • Tim Denning

      Aug 11, 2016 at 7:53 pm

      Thanks Charlene. We all need a bit og motivation to get us going again. I’ve also received a few no responses recently from certain people I’ve reached out to. My advice is to just keep trying to reach them. I tried for one year to get to a celebrity entrepreneur recently and finally got a hold of him. It takes real patience.

  5. Chris Targett

    Aug 11, 2016 at 5:47 am

    Everyone can use more positivity in their lives, it’s infectious. I think it’s great that you spoke to someone successful and found out that they’ve had struggles in their life, we look at successful people and think they have always been successful, but with digging deeper we find that they are human after all.

    That is going to be my task, find someone who has been successful, sit down with them and see what they have done in their life to get where they are now.

    Thanks for the article Tim

    • Tim Denning

      Aug 11, 2016 at 6:01 am

      Chris thanks for your comments and for sharing your opinion. Successful people are often not who people think they are. I’ve learned this many times over the years.

  6. Ram Vijay

    Aug 11, 2016 at 5:45 am

    Tim, You are doing wonderful work by creating and sharing most needed articles . I am reading all of your articles and trying to follow it. Keep up the good work man!!!

    • Tim Denning

      Aug 11, 2016 at 5:58 am

      Wow thanks Ram for the very kind words and I’m glad you are reading all the articles!

  7. Toño

    Aug 11, 2016 at 2:20 am

    I wanted to get back to this article when I’ll return home from work, but could not help and read it now. During my morning meditation, I contemplated on the reply, barely concentrating on the practice haha.

    You always seem to find such a great pictures for your writing, Tim. They are eye-catching and fit so well to what you say.

    I really enjoyed the article, basically you don’t need any coffe to make your morning as this is what will feel you awake and aware! Meditate like crazy? Hah, I loved it! Will certainly do, my friend.

    I also would like to add daily motivation to this list as it becomes highly important ingredient in my life right now. After so many hours of practicing it I feel like something changing inside of me and to keep this change you should motivate yourself every single day. I realized quite a long time ago that process of going to sleep and them waking up is like a mini-born process and that you start your life every time you wake up. It may sound a bit crazy, but in my early ages, I was afraid to go to bed because I was feeling so good and did not want to lose my good mood and attitude. It is extremely vital to go to bed motivated to make sure your mind is in the right state, and when you wake up, start immediately to motivate yourself again. Work on yourself and never stop. You may require doing so few times a day, because we all know, motivation won’t last much long. At first, it will feel unnatural, heavy routine and the longer you stayed hopeless or depressed the harder to get started, but you will thank yourself later.

    Again, practice it daily and do not let it slip. The longer you procrastinate the worse you may feel. Eventually, you WILL feel better as nothing lasts forever, but as you are in control of your life and do not want circumstances control your mind, you should get back to motivation few times per day, or at the very least on your mornings and evenings. I usually do few different activities so my brain does not get bored. You can start your day with meditation, reading a good article on a2s, watching motivational video on youtube, write a letter of appreciation to Tim Denning :D, workout, jogging, listen to uplifting music or simple walk your beloved dog who is your best friend.

    I started today with meditation, this article, short video of one man doing his journey in the beautiful Hawaii, and about to listen to Preston Smiles’ audiobook and then some good vibe music. I know my day is gonna be awesome because I made my intention work and brought them to life. I decided to be aware and be happy.

    Loss of hope, depression or happiness, those are all state of your conditioned mind as everything on this Earth is neutral and you color your experience whatever you want. So choose wisely what you can shape your mind in.

    I meditated recently on why even though we work so hard to be happy, many of us tend to get back to the state of depression or simply feel not good so very often, and I realized it because of training. We train ourselves so very hard, with the passion and desire to feel bad that when we finally decide to feel good we struggle. Even when we succeed eventually, our brain will try to lure you into the grim state because it is so natural for it to indulge in our heavy thoughts. You trained it for years and of course, it will come back to familiar grounds. So now you can train to feel good, and when eventual downtime will hit you, it’s just the habit you can overcome.

    Thank you so much again Tim for getting me ready for the day, for the journey and amazing feelings, appreciate it highly! Much love to you, keep yourself healthy and have a wonderful day!

    Peace!

    • Tim Denning

      Aug 11, 2016 at 5:54 am

      Toño thanks for introducing me to the idea of a mini born again after sleeping. It’s a very interesting idea that I have thought of many times before and wondered to myself “what if this really was the case.”

      So glad the meditation is working out for you and the daily motivation suggestion is a good one. I also loved your quote that says we color our own world. I loved that!

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Life

4 Steps to Take Right Now to Snap Out of Your Funk

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How to get out of a funk

Maybe you’re spending sleepless nights tossing and turning in bed, or perhaps you’re sleeping in until noon. Maybe all you hear are the sad songs, and all you think of are the terrible things that are happening.

You’re in a funk. Everyone goes through their funk sometime in their life. You could feel helpless in a business or career you’re trying to build, from losing your job, or having a broken heart. Whatever it is, you just need some help to get out of your funk.

From my experience as a life coach seeing thousands of people get out of their funk, the steps described below have helped CEO’s, entrepreneurs, parents and all sorts of people go and conquer what they wanted.

This works for a variety of people in different situations. If you want to get out of your funk, you’ve got to give this visualization exercise a go.

Before we go into it, you’ll need to prepare these three ingredients:

  • The Map – There’s a situation or experience in your life that is related to this funk. Whatever situation or experience this is, let’s refer to it as your current map of your world.
  • A Navigator – You’re going to go into an imaginary “flight”. And you’ll need someone with good eyes, good sense of humor and a good heart to guide you in your flight. Your co-pilot needs to be someone you respect. Identify your navigator.
  • A Treasure – This is something that is valuable and will be useful for the person who will use it.

Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same.” – Francesca Reigler

Now, are you ready to get out of your funk? Here are the four steps you need to follow today:

1. Size up

Get into the map. See yourself inside the map, whether it’s the situation that triggered your funk, or the resulting funk that you might be in. You must size up the situation and acknowledge whatever it is that you’re feeling when you’re in the situation. Describe what it’s like to be inside this map. Acknowledge it as it is, then take full responsibility for whatever it is that’s in your funk.

2. Step Out

Get outside of the map, get outside of the funk. Now, in your mind, see the map from afar. Let’s take it to another level. Imagine that you’re stepping into the point of view of a flying drone and a camera. Imagine yourself hovering above the situation that put you in this funk. You have full control of the drone, so go ahead and go around the situation from the perspective of the drone. Describe what you see from outside the map as you are flying over the map.

3. See differently

Now, you’re going to call in your co-pilot. When your co-pilot joins your flight above the map, they will advise you on which aspects of the map you will want to look at differently. Go ahead, look at things from a different point of view as advised to you by your co-pilot. Describe what you see from the different points of view your co-pilot is guiding you through.

“What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies.” – Aristotle

4. Search for Treasure

Being in full control of what you choose to see and with the help of your navigator’s guidance, go ahead and navigate around the map searching for treasure. Somewhere in there is something valuable you might have missed before. What has the experience taught you to be? What has the experienced given you? What has the situation brought out from you?

This is like a treasure hunt. From amidst the flurry that’s happening in the funk, there is a treasure that you and your navigator can find for yourself. Your treasure can be a new perspective, new insight, new feeling, or renewed courage. It could be anything that is useful for you, a treasure that you will use to get out of the funk.

Now that you’ve found some treasures, go ahead and go back into the map and get your treasures. It’s been there all along, as you must find it. You just have to claim it for yourself. The treasure you found is all within you for the taking so own it. Whatever the treasure is, make sure you take action and make it real.

What action can you start doing differently today in order to make a difference n your life? Comment below and let us know!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Life

Social Media Is Killing Your Success: 3 Ways You Can Use it to Your Advantage

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Social media success

I love social media. It can help you make friends, share your life, build a network, and even build a business. In the same token, social media can easily become an enemy of success as a hindrance and consumer of attention.

On countless occasions I’ve found myself lost on YouTube, scrolling Facebook, clicking on tweets, watching funny snaps…and realized it’s hurting my success. As someone who is ambitious, you don’t want social media to kill your time, rob you of precious hours, and steal your success.

If you want social media to work for you, here are three ways to assure that you’re the one in control:

1. Limit your time on social media channels

If you want social media to work for you, and not against you, limiting your time on it will help you immensely. One great tool that helps me limit my time on social media is a simple Chrome extension: StayFocused. It’s a free, no hassle chrome extension that allows you to limit your time on different websites.

Just simply plug in the URL of the website you want to limit your time on and the tool will do the rest. This handy little tool will help you see how fast time on social media goes by and will ensure you prioritize your tasks.

If you are going to follow any of these tips, follow this one. Limiting your time on social media alone could save you hundreds of hours of your precious time. Those hours can then be used to get things done, set goals, and go after them.

“If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.” – Bruce Lee

2. Have clear goals on social media

When you log in, know what matters most and what doesn’t. If you have clear intentions before logging in, assure yourself that social media isn’t the one in control.

All social media channels were built to help kill time, keep you engaged, and make you addicted to their platforms. In fact, one of the leading experts on ‘Brain Hacking,’ Tristan Harris, left his job at Google because of the manipulative strategies internet giants use to keep users hooked.

During his interview on 60 Minutes, Tristan talks about the ways social media rigs its platforms to keep users addicted. It’s astonishing to realize that social media is an endless arsenal of tools to keep us absorbed.

When asked about how people could curb their addiction, Tristan admitted that the cards are stacked against the user’s. Billions of dollars are being invested in making you stay hooked in. This is why social media experts like myself advise users to have clear goals.  When you have a timer and a goal before you log in, it assures you are playing the game in a way that favors you.

Some clear goals which will help you on social media are limiting who you follow, having a clear plan of what you’ll be doing before you log in, and having well laid out intentions of what social media does for you. When you limit who you follow, you assure you only read and watch content that feeds, inspires, and helps you.

It’s all too easy to follow an endless amount of silly channels and people. If you know what you’ll post before you log in, you’ll set yourself to use social media in your favor. This simple plan of action will help keep your mind focused and on task.

3. Have a mastermind online

Social media can either support you or hurt you. It’s either a tool to help you move forward or a hindrance setting you back. For most people, it’s hurtful. In my case, it’s a tool that helps me immensely. Inside social media, I’ve made friends with authors, speakers, world renowned coaches, and multi-millionaires who constantly inspire me.

One way to assure social media helps you is a mastermind. If done properly, social media can be an explosive growth tool. By having a mastermind online, you assure that social media works for you.

A great way to have a mastermind online is through Facebook. There are hundreds of thousands of Facebook groups that can help you stay focused and well supported. Each group is a virtual meetup. Some of these groups include some of the greatest minds in their areas. Some groups are public, and you can join just by requesting to join.

One way to assure a group is solid is by checking to see how many people are in the group. Who’s in the group? How often are members active? Is the group focused? When you find a group that has the right mix of people, activity, and attention, it can change your life. It turns Facebook into a tool. You log in, go check in with the group, ask questions, and keep yourself reminded of your goals.

“Each person holds so much power within themselves that needs to be let out. Sometimes they just need a little nudge, a little direction, a little support, a little coaching, and the greatest things can happen.” – Pete Carroll

By following these three simple pieces of advice, you can make sure that social media ‘Brain Hackers’ are not hacking you, but instead, you are leveraging the tool in a way that supports your success.

What is your favorite part about social media? Let us know by commenting below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Life

Success Has Nothing To Do With Your iPhone Model Number.

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Success Has Nothing To Do With Your iPhone Model Number.

Recently, another new iPhone model was announced. Working in tech, people asked me when I’d be buying it. I told them probably not anytime soon, if at all.

“A piece of metal is never going to define my level of success and it shouldn’t define your success either”

Before you buy anything, think about why you’re making the purchase. We often make dumb decisions about buying stuff because we don’t think it through properly.

 

It’s a piece of metal

Before you have a giant orgasm over the new iPhone, remember that it’s just a chunk of metal. You’ve been using a chunk of metal as a phone for over a decade now. It’s not going to get your rocks off any more than the last phone you bought.

The new iPhone is not going to make love to you although it might remember your name and say it in some sexy, fake voice, so you feel like it’s your friend.

The iPhone is not your friend; it’s your enemy. A chunk of metal doesn’t define your success.

 

It doesn’t make your life better

If this chunk of metal – called an iPhone – really made our lives better then why are we more depressed than ever? A new phone is going to make you happy for about 3.1 seconds and then like a goldfish, you’ll have forgotten how privileged you are even to own one, as well as afford one, shortly after that.

Only you can make your life better by making better decisions. Choosing not to let material possessions own your life and your time is one way to make your life better. Say no to a new chunk of metal because it’s not making your life better.

 

Has anything really changed?

Between each of the iPhone models, it’s basically the same phone. Each time they change the screen size to indulge our ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) minds, but that’s about it. Think about it carefully.

 

That money, compounded, is more valuable

Read any of Warren Buffet’s or Tony Robbins books and you’ll see that the $1000 you shell out for a new iPhone is far better put towards investing. Invest in an index fund, invest in yourself, or use that $1000 to book a holiday so that you have something to look forward to and motivate you for the next six months.

The longer your money stays invested in one of the above, the more it compounds your results. Whether that is financially, personally or from a health point of you. Compounding wins every time.

“You don’t need a new chunk of metal; you need to invest instead”

 

Never follow the trends – create your own trend

Trends often fade away and a new iPhone is no different. Create your own trend. If everyone else is buying a new iPhone, then do the opposite. Don’t let marketers and technology companies tell you how to live your life. Live your life how you want to.

 

Are we more productive?

No freaking way. We’re more unproductive than ever and we consider way too many things because our ugly chunk of metal gives us unlimited opportunities to say yes to. Right now, your phone will allow you to book a tantric sex class that begins at 6 am somewhere near you if you really want.

You can literally learn anything at any time if you really want. My question to you is, does it really matter?

Even though you have unlimited options to be productive, you still procrastinate more than ever and so do I. We could be hyper-productive but we’re not and that’s okay. No chunk of metal is going to run your life for you and make you successful.

 

We don’t need even more distractions

My life already sucks because I get 101 notifications from WeChat, WhatsApp, Messenger and my three email addresses. It’s a full-time job managing all of this and I don’t buy into it. I don’t need to be always contactable – I need a life.

I’m not a robot and I’m not answerable to anyone. Think about this: Are you a free human soul or do you need to be told what to do by your phone?

I’m seeing more human disconnection than ever. At work, it’s easier to call people that are sitting next to me than it is to have a face-to-face conversation. Face-to-face conversations have become a battle between the other person looking down at their phone and occasionally glancing up to look you in the eye.

“All of us are sexier than an ugly piece of metal and we deserved to be looked at!”

 

Will I also be adding a new Apple Watch to my setup as well?

Not in a million years amigo. A watch is strapped to me and tells me everything via a tiny little screen. Can you imagine being in an intimate moment with your significant other and the watch is flashing and beeping at you? It’s enough to ruin anyone’s romance time.

The Apple Watch reminds me of a bracelet that future prisoners will wear to track their movements. I don’t intend on wearing an Apple Watch so I can be a prisoner in my own life. Life is hard enough already without having to be chained to technology.

 

Lastly, I’m enjoying aeroplane mode a lot these days

I could buy a new iPhone but I just love aeroplane mode way too much these days. Having the world of social media switched off and not being “ONLINE” all the time has given me space to think. In these brief moments of thinking I’ve been able to:

– Write inspiring blog posts that have gone viral
– Fall in love again
– Work on my health
– Read books and gain new skills
– Socialise with friends
– Mentor young entrepreneurs in a startup accelerator

Through these list of activities, I’ve been able to create more success than I could ever have imagined on my useless chunk of metal called an iPhone.

So honestly guys and girls, when people ask me if I’m buying a new iPhone, all I can say is “No I’m not buying a new iPhone because my life is more important. The human race and changing the world is more important.”

I need time to change the world and space to think; the new iPhone can’t do this for me and it never will.

No chunk of metal should ever define you and your success.

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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My Incredibly Simple Guide To Stoicism – Learn Practical Wisdom You Can Use

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I’ve been inspired to learn about Stoicism for a while.

The problem I’ve had is that it’s one of those topics that people love to complicate. The reason for the complication is that many of the teachings that come from Stoicism are spoken in English from a long time ago. I personally don’t have the patience to read this type of writing for long periods.

That’s why I’m going to debunk Stoicism for you in stupidly simple terms. The wisdom you get will transform you. You’ll gain a different perspective that will help you in all aspects of life.

“Everyone is preaching advice, but no one is sharing wisdom – that’s what Stoicism is”

 

What is Stoicism?

It’s an ancient form of philosophy. It was made famous in recent years again by Tim Ferriss and Ryan Holiday from the USA. These two gentleman credit a lot of their success to the wisdom that Stoicism taught them.

Stoicism began on a stoa which means porch to you and I. A stoa is where the early teachings of Stoicism started.

Here is Stoicism broken down into insanely simple dot points:

– Stoicism is focused on uncomplicated theories of life
– Stoicism is so clear that you can take action from the advice immediately
– Study is not required to understand Stoicism
– The most read Stoic is Lucius Seneca. Marcus Aurelius is also very popular

Stoicism doesn’t focus on the negative like modern-day self-help advice does. Stoicism is more a meditative practice that allows us to take the negative feelings we experience, and turn them into thoughts that give us peacefulness and perspective on life.

The most important part of learning Stoicism is having the right state of mind. Just like in life, the right state of mind can help us look at challenges in the best possible way.

At the crux of Stoicism is a list of reminders and words of wisdom that show how to live a good life. It’s not an argument about what is right and what is wrong. The Stoics had no time for this way of thinking.

Okay so now let’s skip ahead to the best lessons you can learn from Stoicism:

 

We don’t control events, but we do control what they mean.

This is a famous teaching from a lot of Tony Robbins work too. Everything that happens in your life can be controlled by your own mind to be good or bad. Once you understand this teaching, you can take back the power. You become less reactive and a lot calmer. You have the upper hand.

 

Disruptions to serenity cannot be avoided.

Tranquillity can never be reached by avoiding or blocking out distractions or horrible events. The way to get to that tranquil place is through your choices and judgment about those events and situations.

 

You must disrupt yourself.

Doing things the way they’ve always been done will lead you to be disrupted by someone or something who changes with the environment. Operating out of habit means you’ve stopped thinking and are mindlessly drifting through life. This means you’re not in control.

“When you lose control, your environment determines your results”

There’s a good chance that you’re going to think these results suck. The lesson here is break your habits, get out of your comfort zone and disrupt yourself like a cool, hip startup from Silicon Valley.

 

In good and bad times we have a choice.

Whether you’re in jail or an entrepreneur running the most successful startup on the planet, you have a choice. We all come from different backgrounds and we’ll all go through major highs, and painstaking lows. Through all of these different circumstances, we have a choice.

It’s having the freedom of choice that will set us free in the long run. It’s that freedom of choice that will ensure you don’t waste your life away thinking about stuff you can’t control. You’ll always feel the power of freedom when you control your choices, no matter what life throws at you.

 

Make it a habit of looking inward.

Stoics are obsessed with taking time to look inward. It’s something they advocate above all of their other teachings. They suggest spending time in the morning to ask yourself questions about your life. As you do this, you’ll find the answers to life’s biggest questions become clearer in the context of your own life.

Looking inward helps you find the answers that you knew all along and thought were hidden inside of someone else, or something else. This practice will only work if you’re honest with yourself. Don’t be too brutal on yourself either. Realize that we all start somewhere and it’s where we can go that is the greatest gift we can enjoy.

 

Being paranoid and fearful will destroy you.

The antidote to fear and paranoia is self-control. Learn to control your impulses. If you become fearful that others will sabotage your success and you don’t remain in control over these fearful thoughts, you’ll lose sight of reality. These fearful thoughts will cause you to project your fears onto other people and they’ll give you exactly what you fear.

In simple terms, fear is a self-fulfilling prophecy. What you put out comes right back at you.

 

Anger will not help you.

The Stoics believe that getting angry never gives you anything in return. Anger wastes your precious energy and resources, and provides no tangible benefit. This is why it’s better to practice non-reactivity rather than being pissed off at something you can’t control anyway.

Anger is like a contagious virus that spreads if you let it. Don’t let anger control you. Projecting anger on people can only result in you projecting anger on yourself. That’s why anger is also another self-fulfilling prophecy.

 

Everything takes up space.

Seneca wrote many times that even things you get for free have a cost. That cost is space – space in your garage or even space in your mind.

“Learning to live with less will create space in your life for the things that truly matter to you”

The aim of the game is to look at your material possession and be honest with yourself: do you really need that object? If the answer is no, free some space up in your life. What Seneca says here is the reason I have personally given away and sold most of my possessions. I’ve never been happier.

 

Practice poverty.

Especially during prosperous times in your life, the Stoics believe you should practice poverty. This is how you prepare for hardship and become an expert in dealing with the ups and downs of life. Comfort can become a form of slavery because you consistently start to think that someone could take away what you have.

When you’re familiar with what you fear, it no longer controls you. The worst can happen and you go through it with a sense of calmness and ease. People think you’re resilient but actually, you’ve just practiced the hard times as preparation.

Quick tip: try eating a really cheap meal for a whole week every two months. Eat like you have almost no money. This will teach you to not only appreciate the nice meals but to be okay if you ever face poverty and have to live on very little money for a while. I know a few people that do a beans and rice meal for this week of living it rough. Try it!

 

You protect everything you have, why not your mind?

You don’t give away your wallet to a stranger on the street. You don’t hand the keys to your car over to a budding thief. You wouldn’t let your house be demolished by the council without a fight. So why would you hand over the keys to your mind so easily to any stranger who wants them?

You have to become aware of who you are unconsciously giving your mind over to. You need to realize who is influencing you in a negative way without knowing it.

“Your mind can create all the abundance you could ever imagine, so you need to protect it like it’s the only possession you have”

 

Don’t wreck the purpose of your life by trying to impress others.

The Stoics teach that the opinions of people you seek our to impress are not that great themselves. These people you seek to impress have addictions, their own problems, and are no wiser than the next person. The purpose of your life is not to impress people and doing so will have the opposite effect.

Focus on impressing yourself through personal growth and wisdom from people who serve the greater good. Go beyond yourself and avoid the need to seek approval. Take action and seek forgiveness later if you must.

 

Without proper training, you’re a fool.

If you seek to master a skill, then without proper training you will (by default) rely on ignorance, and you’ll act in a way that lacks discipline and requires chance.

“An investor without discipline is not an investor – he’s a gambler” – Ryan Holiday

 

Your mind becomes what you think consistently.

Whether you think mostly negative thoughts or positive thoughts will determine your default response to any situation. The more we practice negative thinking, the more likely we are to see the world as negative.

If we choose to practice nothing, then we also get the same outcome of an influx of negative thoughts. The only wise choice then is to practice seeing the good in everything. Start with being grateful

 

You don’t know everything.

This is a thought that many people secretly have when they claim they want to learn something new. The harsh reality is that many of us walk around as though we know everything. We know nothing of the infinite knowledge there is to acquire.

That sort of humbleness is where all the best learning starts from. Thinking less of yourself is the ultimate power: it’s where you can grow from and serve others. It’s this way of thinking that births leaders.

 

Think of your problems in relation to the sky.

Marcus Aurelius says that the stars wash away the dust of earthly life. This Stoic concept is a way for you to clear your mind of all the troubles you encounter day-to-day. In comparison, your problems are so small compared to the immense size of the universe.

Your problems don’t matter in the grand scheme of things so don’t fool yourself into believing they do. Look at the stars once in a while. Remember how lucky we are even to experience this planet we call Earth.

 

Forget stereotypes and labels: concentrate on character.

Stoics believe your character should be your most prominent feature. Outward traits such as skin color and clothing should be insignificant. Your character is defined by the work you do on yourself each day and the person you become.

Your character is what sells you as a person better than any other external force. Your character is your legacy. Your character is what you want to be known for.

 

Don’t sit on the sidelines. Do something inspirational yourself.

You can sit here all day and listen to me inspire you. You can watch all the inspirational videos that Youtube has to offer. What would be far better is to go out there and inspire people yourself rather than being inspired.

Take the inspiration you’ve gathered in your life and do something with it so you can allow others to create their own inspirational journey. Be the example rather than only listening to the example and saying “One day I’ll do that.”

 

There is never an end to the personal development journey.

You never reach mastery. The student never stops being a student. Even the teacher is still a student at heart. Stoicism is something you apply consistently, and it never ends. You apply it until the day you die and that’s how you gain the infinite wisdom it offers.

“You’ll never drink all the water in the ocean, just like you’ll never learn everything there is to know about Stoic philosophy and that’s fine too”

 

Work is good for you.

Ever heard that when people retire, they are statistically more likely to die within a few years of achieving this milestone in their life? That’s because work gives us a sense of purpose. Work gives us a reason to get up in the morning. Making progress through doing meaningful work feels good.

Too much idle time and the delusion that you can get rich and sit on a beach is what can cause you to feel empty inside. This feeling can cause you to have self-destructive thoughts that lead to an immense focus on one’s selfish desires and need for significance. In other words, work is good.

 

Don’t make life harder than it is. It’s your choice.

Choices are what stoics believe are the way to take a shortcut in life. They believe we can choose whatever we want including happiness, freedom, respect and feelings of being wealthy. The reoccurring theme here again is that we are in control of everything that happens and how we feel.

 

How you handle disaster is everything.

The way you deal with problematic situations is a true test of your character. Character in stoicism is not formed when everything is going right; character is formed when everything is going wrong. Don’t let problems spoil your mindset. Let optimism guide you in all situations.

 

Seek out obstacles.

Obstacles are a way for you to take a challenge that you may not like and use it as a lesson that can help you for the rest of your life. You learn from hardships above all else. Lessons from hardships make you smarter, stronger and better prepared for when adversity strikes again.

 

You have one job and only one job.

The Stoics have a core belief that all of us have only one job on Planet Earth: to be a good human being. If you learned nothing else about stoicism from this blog post, then I’ve succeeded.

Practice being a good human being and you’ll have one hell of a life.

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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