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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 millions of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around personal development and entrepreneurship. You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.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

10 Tips to Create Time and Space for Both Your Goals and Your Loved Ones

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family goals
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Let’s face it, there are only 24 hours in a day and we all have the same 24 hours. How we spend those 24 hours will determine how much we have to show for them. Whether you are just starting out on a new venture, or perhaps you are taking an existing project or business to the next level, it takes a lot of time, energy and commitment to make it happen. But our personal relationships take the same components to function happily as well.

Here are some helpful tips to help you focus and plan ahead so that you can be your best self in all  areas of your life, without feeling depleted or guilty:

1. Write down your top 3 goals/priorities that you want to focus on this year

Do not list more than 3 – if you have more than 3 major goals then you may be overwhelming yourself and spreading your energy and time too thin.

2. Make 2 lists: Personal and professional goal-related activities

List all the things that you do in each category, so that you can see exactly what tasks you are currently handling in each category. For example, you may be married and also starting a business as a holistic coach. In the personal column, you may list that your spouse expects you to make dinner, and the grocery shopping – as well as have quality time to relax together after dinner.

In the professional column, your list of activities and tasks may include scheduling client appointments, attending networking events, bookkeeping, making sales calls, etc. When you put these lists next to each other, you quickly see that you have way too much on your plate, and that some of these tasks need to be delegated or eliminated.

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Tony Robbins

3. Go through each list and mark each task in order of importance

Use the hospital triage system: indicate which activities are most urgent and important by putting a #1 next to them and a #2 next to the tasks that are vital but not urgent, and a #3 next to the ones that need to be handled, but are easy to reschedule. Place the letter D next to all tasks that can be handed over, and simply cross out the tasks that you need to stop doing because they are no longer in alignment with your goals.

4. Use a calendar or day planner

It can be an electronic calendar, or a paper one. Do not use pen – you will need to erase things and move them around to honor your need for flexibility and the ever-changing nature of life.

5. In your calendar, make actual appointments that include start and end times to accomplish your #1 tasks

For example, if your business relies on you making sales calls, then that would be a #1 task that needs to have a home in your schedule with actual times allotted for it. Once you have scheduled all of your #1 tasks (both personal and professional), then proceed to entering in the #2 and #3 tasks.

6. Make your time with loved ones a #1 priority and schedule it in!

If it’s not written down or entered on your calendar, then it is just a good intention…it’s not real unless it’s on the books! For example, you could plan your schedule so that your work is completed most days by 6pm, and that all the time after that hour is designated time with your loved ones. Guard this time carefully.

7. Be in communication

Let your colleagues, clients, friends and family know what you are trying to accomplish and that you intend to be present to everyone – including yourself. Be honest about your challenges and stay focused on the goals rather than distracted by the obstacles.

There will be times when your schedule will need to change or you will have to cancel something. Don’t make it wrong, just clean it up and explain to all parties. Also, ask the people in your life what they need and expect from you as well. Don’t feel pressured to be a mind-reader or a people-pleaser.

“People with clear, written goals, accomplish far more in a shorter period of time than people without them could ever imagine.” – Brian Tracy

8. Be flexible

Life is constantly moving, changing and growing. Stuff happens. Don’t schedule yourself so tightly that you can’t make adjustments when life throws you a curve ball. Give yourself the gift of structure and discipline so that you may experience the freedom it creates for you. But don’t become a task-master, where your schedule becomes a slave driver. Instead, master your tasks so that you can work smarter, not harder.

9. Be realistic and ask for help when you need it

If your goals are quite lofty, then you may need to let go of a lot of extraneous activity in order to accomplish them. Also, you may simply not have a lot of free time! Continuously check in with yourself to see if you are willing to be, do and have all that will be demanded of you in order to achieve your goals. You don’t have to give up just because it’s hard, but you may need to course-correct from time to time to stay in alignment with your authentic desires.

10. Keep an open mind and your eye on the prize

You really can have it all – but maybe not all at the same time. By choosing what you wish to focus on and giving each task a home in your calendar, you will begin to get more done in less time because you are focusing your energy on very specific types of activity.

Prioritizing goals, organizing your time and writing things down so that you can see it all in front of you is a great way to get clear, efficient and effective. Being in communication with the people in your life is the key to things working more smoothly.

And remember, it’s not about perfection. Focus on your sense of purpose and your progress instead, and you will create more space in your mind for new possibilities.

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Life

Are Your SMART Goals Keeping You Stuck in Mediocrity?

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SMART Goals – they are often seen as the gospel in the personal and professional development industry for goal setting, but are they doing more harm than good? For the most part, I can appreciate the motivation behind setting SMART goals. Do we need goals that are specific, measurable, actionable and time based? Absolutely! My sticking point, however, comes to the “realistic” part.

I don’t like the word realistic. To be realistic means to create a glass ceiling on our capabilities. “Realistic” says that there is a limit to what we can achieve. And yet time and again throughout history, we’ve watched human beings achieve feats that aren’t realistic.

It certainly wasn’t realistic to think that, in the midst of the Great Depression, that a man could build a now multi-billion-dollar company from an animated mouse. It’s not realistic to think that a single mother, who could only write her stories on the bus to and from work each day, would go on to create a billion-dollar empire in Harry Potter. And it certainly isn’t realistic to think that a boy who dropped out of school at 16 because of his struggle with dyslexia could go on to be one of the world’s biggest business moguls today – owning planes, building spaceships and a slew of other companies.

And yet, Walt Disney, JK Rowling and Sir Richard Branson have all created these legacies. All because they dared to be unrealistic, and to believe in their vision. I’ve heard coaches tell their clients that a goal isn’t realistic. I’ve had coaches tell me the same. I’ve listened as my clients tell me their dreams, only to follow it up with “…but I don’t think that’s realistic.” Who am I, and who are you, to say whether a goal is realistic or not?

So, if we’re not completely following SMART goals, how should our goal setting look instead? See below for the 3 step process that will change your life!

1. Follow Stephen Covey’s advice and begin with the end in mind

What is your vision? Write it down, draw it if you need. Be specific. Give as much of the minute detail as possible. Define vague terms like “successful”, “wealthy” or “freedom”. Still give these terms a measure – is successful making a $100,000 or $1 million? Is that before tax or after?

“Goals. There’s no telling what you can do when you get inspired by them. There’s no telling what you can do when you believe in them. And there’s no telling what will happen when you act upon them.” – Jim Rohn

2. Now, break it down

Having worked in the fitness industry for a long time, I know that one of the main issues in goal setting is that people focus on the wrong thing. They tend to look at the big goal they’ve set, not the next step. Think about it, when you climb a mountain, do you stare at the top, or do you look at where your next step needs to be?

Looking at the summit makes the entire climb daunting. It can seem so far away and out of reach. The same is true for our goals. If we’re looking at the “top” – say having a million dollars in the bank while we’re still at the bottom with $100 to our name, or an internationally run business while still working out of our parent’s garage – that gap can seem impossible to overcome.

Once you know where you’re heading, you need to break the vision down into small, actionable, mini-goals. This allows us to create the “steps” we need to climb the proverbial mountain.

Here’s an example, say my goal is to have a successful wellness retreat (successful defined as a profit of $1 million a year). Now that I have a specific and measureable vision, I break it down. What came just before that? Well, I would open the wellness retreat and run my first program. And just before that? I would email confirmation of the first program, with program details, to my registrants.

And before that? I would be marketing the program. Before that I would finish construction on the retreat facilities. Staff training, creating blueprints, finding financing, buying the land – these would all be steps that would need to occur on the way up to my vision being achieved.

Use this question to work all the way back until you reach where you are in life now. You now have a roadmap to show you how to get to your vision. It doesn’t matter if there are 10 steps or 1,000 steps that lie between you and reaching the vision. All you need to focus on is the step that lies just in front of you.

3. Become the person who achieves that vision

John Demartini, a human behavioural specialist, has said that humans cannot become what they don’t already think they are. So many times, I have my clients say to me “Once I achieve x, then I’ll be successful”.

Well, successful people become successful because they already believe they are. championship athletes win because for years prior they’ve been treating their bodies and training like they are a championship athlete. Successful entrepreneurs face each day with a mindset of success.

How do you embed the mindset of the person who has your vision? I love to use this lateral thinking activity: ask yourself “how will having (the vision) make me feel? What mindset will I have when I achieve it?”

Let’s use the wellness retreat example again. Having that retreat would allow me to feel healthy, like I was making a difference to others and I would feel at peace in myself. Then ask – “What other activities would allow me to feel this way?”. To feel healthy, I could attend the gym and yoga classes regularly, and eat whole organic foods. I would ensure I get plenty of sleep.

Other activities that would make me feel like I was helping others would be to have clients and help them work on their health, fitness and mindfulness goals. I could run meditation or yoga classes in my local area. And to feel at peace in myself I could schedule in time to go hiking or to be out in nature regularly. I would also make sure I had my own regular meditation practice.

“If you set goals and go after them with all the determination you can muster, your gifts will take you places that will amaze you.” – Les Brown

Can you see how it makes sense that someone who is already actively engaging in all those activities would then own a successful wellness retreat? Engaging in these activities, while we’re taking action towards our vision allows our unconscious beliefs about ourselves to shift into alignment with who we need to be to reach that vision. When we change what we believe to be true about ourselves now, we shatter any glass ceilings that have been keeping us stuck.

Using this three-step goal setting system, you now know the destination you’re travelling to, you have a roadmap to get you there, and the belief that you can. All that’s left to do is now is put one foot in front of the other.

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Life

Lacking Self-Discipline? Do This One Thing Everyday to Change Your Life

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What’s holding you back? This is the question that I asked myself after repeatedly falling short of my goals. In my mind, I had these crazy hopes and aspirations, but in reality, there was a gap between my intentions and my actions. Having read dozens of personal development and business books, I already had the knowledge. I already knew what I needed to do. The problem? A lack of follow through.

A couple years back, I had difficulty crawling out of bed in the morning. I was always tired and could barely muster out the energy to stay awake, let alone go to the gym, foster new relationships, or build my business. I was caught in a spiral of downward momentum, breaking out of which required a massive amount of willpower. The root cause of my problems, I came to realize, was a lack of self-discipline.

I define self-discipline as the ability to do what needs to get done regardless of whether you feel like it or not. I believe that self-discipline is the one thing that separates everything you are from everything you’re capable of being. In this article, I’ll reveal the #1 habit I’ve developed to skyrocket my self-discipline and rapidly elevate my mood, energy levels, and focus in the process.

The Secret To Sending Your Self-Discipline Through The Roof

Picture this: You finally decide to start waking up early and set an alarm for 5am the next day. The next morning you groggily open your eyes to the sound of your alarm buzzing, and a part of you whispers to hit the snooze. Your decision in that moment, on whether to hit the snooze or not, is what makes all the difference.

When you get out of bed at 5am, even though you don’t feel like it, you have effectively overcome your emotions and shown your brain who’s in charge. You have built momentum towards doing the right thing over the easy thing.

In every moment you have a choice. A choice to step forward into growth or back into comfort. The secret to developing warrior-like self-discipline is consistently making the decisions that move you forward into growth. And the #1 habit I’ve developed to build this muscle is starting my days with a cold shower.

“Self-discipline is the number one delineating factor between the rich, the middle class, and the poor.” – Robert Kiyosaki

Why I Take Cold Showers Everyday (And Maybe You Should To)

Cold showers have been a regular part of my daily routine for a couple of years now and if there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s this: The days that I start with a cold shower always go more productive than the days that I don’t.

Taking cold showers provides an opportunity to exercise your willpower in overcoming the little voice in your head that doesn’t want to do it. This is the same voice that tries to talk you into  skipping your workouts, hitting the snooze, and reaching for that ice cream when you’re trying to avoid sugar.

Even after years of taking cold showers, I hear this little voice. But turning the knob to “C,” in spite of this voice, has been a great way to overcome my lower self and build momentum towards taking right action.

What’s more is that cold showers provide an incredible boost in energy and mood. So much so that cold showers are currently being studied as a possible measure against depression. What are the mechanisms behind this? Well, cold water exposure stimulates your body’s fight-or-flight response to which your sympathetic nervous system responds by rapidly elevating norepinephrine production.

Norepinephrine is a hormone that functions as a neurotransmitter to enhance focus, mood, and attention. In this study, 1-hour of cold water exposure increased norepinephrine production in subjects by as much as 530%.

“With self-discipline most anything is possible.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Another reason to take cold showers is for the immune system benefits. As a high achiever, I’m sure you’ve found it frustrating when you’re unable to function optimally due to illness. We’ve all been there. How much better would it be if you could radically decrease your chances of getting sick by simply taking a cold shower everyday? Because in this study, subjects that took cold showers had a 29% reduced likelihood of illness from work compared to the subjects that did not take cold showers.

All-in-all, taking cold showers has been a game changer not only in strengthening my mental resolve but in helping my body function more optimally as well. I don’t remember the last time I was sick and I no longer need an espresso to get my day going.

With access to a smartphone, you have access to more information and more computing power than the president of the United States had a mere twenty years ago. In the age of information, ignorance is a choice. Everything you could ever need to know or learn about success is literally at your fingertips.

As such, specialized knowledge is no longer a barrier towards achieving your goals. The only missing link between where you are and where you want to be is the ability to do the things you already know you should be doing.

I’ve come to believe that self-discipline is the only difference between success and failure. Starting your days with a cold shower is a cheap, proven, and effective method to exercise your willpower and build momentum towards becoming the person you were meant to be.

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Life

Here Is Everything You Need to Know About Your Comfort Zone

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Although, a comfort zone can be defined as a state of mind in which people are at ease, in control of their environment and experiencing low level of anxiety and stress, this does not actually sum up the full meaning of a comfort zone. This is because different people have different anxiety and stress levels and the anxiety level of one man or woman might be above or below that of another. Therefore, comfort zones vary from person to person.

Therefore, the best way I can define a comfort zone would be a state of mind where a person’s anxiety and vulnerability are minimized to manageable levels. It is that area of your life in which you feel familiar with and in control of.

For example, some people love to go to work every morning and are used to the routine of going to work daily such that their work place becomes their comfort zone and leaving this comfort zone to become a freelancer or start a business can be every challenging for them. Of course, for others, a comfort zone could be the time they take their meals or that time after work when they relax in front of their television or with social media after a hectic day at work. Of course, comfort zones are not static because they change based on the areas of your life you feel most comfortable with.

When are you out of your comfort zone? What is outside your comfort zone? When you begin to feel vulnerable, anxious, stressed, uncomfortable about doing something, then you’re stepping out of your comfort zone or you’re faced with the threat of stepping outside your comfort zone. Therefore, what is outside your comfort zone is something that scares or threatens you, and, not necessarily with bodily harm.

“A comfort zone is a beautiful place but nothing grows there.”

The Psychological States

According to White Alasdair, there are three psychological states: the comfort zone, optimal performance zone and the danger zone. Where the comfort zone is the stress-free zone which you’re familiar with. The optimal performance zone is the zone just outside your comfort zone where your performance is enhanced by some amount of stress. The danger zone, which is beyond the optimal performance zone, is where you feel great anxiety and your performance is below the performance you can attain in your comfort zone.

However, the problem is making distinctions between these psychological states and knowing when and how far you are willing to leave your comfort zone and when to stay in its confines.

Why do you need to leave your comfort zone? See the 4 reason below:

1. Stunted Growth

If you insist on staying in your comfort zone, you will probably never grow to be more than you are. That means you will always be stuck, never moving forward and never growing. Most people who become addicted to their comfort zones usually end up unable to achieve their goals because they’re somewhat obsessed with doing things the same way they’ve always done them even when it’s not producing results. As a result, you can never really explore what you’re capable of doing and what you can accomplish if you stick to your comfort zone

2. To find your Passion

Not moving out of your comfort zone makes it harder for you to discover your passion because no passion can ever be found in the shadows of your comfort zone, it can only be found by stepping away from your comfort zone.

3. To make sure you don’t settle for less

Even though you’ve not found that thing that makes your heart beat very fast (like love or passion), your comfort zone might push you to settle for less than what you could have if you just stepped out of it.

4. So you don’t get left behind

When you stay in your comfort zone, you will be left behind. Colleagues will leave you behind and people who were previously behind you in terms of life or career progress would meet up with you and leave you behind as well.

Why Your Comfort Zone is Good Sometimes

Although, many times, people focus more on the cons of not leaving your comfort zones, people sometimes forget that it might not be the best idea for you to move out of your comfort zone.

Here are some reasons why you might need to stay in your comfort zone:

1. You are not prepared to leave it yet

Sometimes, you might need to stay in your comfort zone a little while because you’re not yet prepared to step out of it and you may face dire consequences. So, you might need to make sure that you’re actually prepared to leave your comfort zone before you leave it.

2. Are you going too far away from your comfort zone?

It is true that without leaving our comfort zones, we might never know what we are capable of and what we can do. However, that does not mean that you should take giant leaps away from your comfort zone. Start with baby steps and move to strides as you leave your comfort zone.

3. Assess yourself

It is very important for you to assess yourself before leaving your comfort zone to see if it is the best choice for you to leave your comfort zone or If what is bothering you is just fear to leave it.

How to Leave or Expand Your Comfort Zone

First of all, you have to understand how the varying influences (Like parents, peers, siblings, etc.) in your life have contributed to shaping and conditioning your comfort zone. You have to overcome these influences and the conditions that have shaped the boundaries of your comfort zone. You will also have to change your habits, routines and behaviors that relate to your comfort zone and its boundaries.

But you can’t just do these overnight, you have to slowly push yourself out of your comfort zone and expand it. Here are few ways you can leave or expand your comfort zone:

  • Expose yourself to new environments that are just outside your comfort zone
  • Don’t overthink your decisions
  • Try new and different things like going somewhere new to eat, going to a different park to read, etc.
  • Don’t rely on your limited point of view, try to see things the way others do.
  • Do volunteer work
  • Challenge yourself from time to time

“To move to a new level in your life, you must break through your comfort zone and do things that are not comfortable.” – T. Harv Eker

Conclusion

Although your comfort zone might be the most comfortable part of your life, it isn’t wise to stay locked in it as it will not allow you to be who you are capable of being. And, most certainly, your big dreams and goals won’t come to pass so you need to work for them, and you can’t do that from your comfort zone.

Do you think there are sometimes people should stay in their comfort zone or should people always push at the boundaries of their comfort zone relentlessly? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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50 Inspirational Walt Disney Quotes

Joel Brown (Founder of Addicted2Success.com)

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43 Walt Disney Quotes
Image Credit | MickeyBlog.com

Walt Disney was an American businessman, animator, voice actor, producer and cartoonist, creating the well-loved cartoon character – Micky Mouse.

Walt Disney has become the cultural icon for entertainment throughout the world.

(more…)

I am the the Founder of Addicted2Success.com and I am so grateful you're here to be part of this awesome community. I love connecting with people who have a passion for Entrepreneurship, Self Development & Achieving Success. I started this website with the intention of educating and inspiring likeminded people to always strive for success no matter what their circumstances. I'm proud to say through my podcast and through this website we have impacted over 100 million lives in the last 6 and a half years.

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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

10 Tips to Create Time and Space for Both Your Goals and Your Loved Ones

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family goals
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Let’s face it, there are only 24 hours in a day and we all have the same 24 hours. How we spend those 24 hours will determine how much we have to show for them. Whether you are just starting out on a new venture, or perhaps you are taking an existing project or business to the next level, it takes a lot of time, energy and commitment to make it happen. But our personal relationships take the same components to function happily as well.

Here are some helpful tips to help you focus and plan ahead so that you can be your best self in all  areas of your life, without feeling depleted or guilty:

1. Write down your top 3 goals/priorities that you want to focus on this year

Do not list more than 3 – if you have more than 3 major goals then you may be overwhelming yourself and spreading your energy and time too thin.

2. Make 2 lists: Personal and professional goal-related activities

List all the things that you do in each category, so that you can see exactly what tasks you are currently handling in each category. For example, you may be married and also starting a business as a holistic coach. In the personal column, you may list that your spouse expects you to make dinner, and the grocery shopping – as well as have quality time to relax together after dinner.

In the professional column, your list of activities and tasks may include scheduling client appointments, attending networking events, bookkeeping, making sales calls, etc. When you put these lists next to each other, you quickly see that you have way too much on your plate, and that some of these tasks need to be delegated or eliminated.

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Tony Robbins

3. Go through each list and mark each task in order of importance

Use the hospital triage system: indicate which activities are most urgent and important by putting a #1 next to them and a #2 next to the tasks that are vital but not urgent, and a #3 next to the ones that need to be handled, but are easy to reschedule. Place the letter D next to all tasks that can be handed over, and simply cross out the tasks that you need to stop doing because they are no longer in alignment with your goals.

4. Use a calendar or day planner

It can be an electronic calendar, or a paper one. Do not use pen – you will need to erase things and move them around to honor your need for flexibility and the ever-changing nature of life.

5. In your calendar, make actual appointments that include start and end times to accomplish your #1 tasks

For example, if your business relies on you making sales calls, then that would be a #1 task that needs to have a home in your schedule with actual times allotted for it. Once you have scheduled all of your #1 tasks (both personal and professional), then proceed to entering in the #2 and #3 tasks.

6. Make your time with loved ones a #1 priority and schedule it in!

If it’s not written down or entered on your calendar, then it is just a good intention…it’s not real unless it’s on the books! For example, you could plan your schedule so that your work is completed most days by 6pm, and that all the time after that hour is designated time with your loved ones. Guard this time carefully.

7. Be in communication

Let your colleagues, clients, friends and family know what you are trying to accomplish and that you intend to be present to everyone – including yourself. Be honest about your challenges and stay focused on the goals rather than distracted by the obstacles.

There will be times when your schedule will need to change or you will have to cancel something. Don’t make it wrong, just clean it up and explain to all parties. Also, ask the people in your life what they need and expect from you as well. Don’t feel pressured to be a mind-reader or a people-pleaser.

“People with clear, written goals, accomplish far more in a shorter period of time than people without them could ever imagine.” – Brian Tracy

8. Be flexible

Life is constantly moving, changing and growing. Stuff happens. Don’t schedule yourself so tightly that you can’t make adjustments when life throws you a curve ball. Give yourself the gift of structure and discipline so that you may experience the freedom it creates for you. But don’t become a task-master, where your schedule becomes a slave driver. Instead, master your tasks so that you can work smarter, not harder.

9. Be realistic and ask for help when you need it

If your goals are quite lofty, then you may need to let go of a lot of extraneous activity in order to accomplish them. Also, you may simply not have a lot of free time! Continuously check in with yourself to see if you are willing to be, do and have all that will be demanded of you in order to achieve your goals. You don’t have to give up just because it’s hard, but you may need to course-correct from time to time to stay in alignment with your authentic desires.

10. Keep an open mind and your eye on the prize

You really can have it all – but maybe not all at the same time. By choosing what you wish to focus on and giving each task a home in your calendar, you will begin to get more done in less time because you are focusing your energy on very specific types of activity.

Prioritizing goals, organizing your time and writing things down so that you can see it all in front of you is a great way to get clear, efficient and effective. Being in communication with the people in your life is the key to things working more smoothly.

And remember, it’s not about perfection. Focus on your sense of purpose and your progress instead, and you will create more space in your mind for new possibilities.

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Life

Are Your SMART Goals Keeping You Stuck in Mediocrity?

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SMART Goals – they are often seen as the gospel in the personal and professional development industry for goal setting, but are they doing more harm than good? For the most part, I can appreciate the motivation behind setting SMART goals. Do we need goals that are specific, measurable, actionable and time based? Absolutely! My sticking point, however, comes to the “realistic” part.

I don’t like the word realistic. To be realistic means to create a glass ceiling on our capabilities. “Realistic” says that there is a limit to what we can achieve. And yet time and again throughout history, we’ve watched human beings achieve feats that aren’t realistic.

It certainly wasn’t realistic to think that, in the midst of the Great Depression, that a man could build a now multi-billion-dollar company from an animated mouse. It’s not realistic to think that a single mother, who could only write her stories on the bus to and from work each day, would go on to create a billion-dollar empire in Harry Potter. And it certainly isn’t realistic to think that a boy who dropped out of school at 16 because of his struggle with dyslexia could go on to be one of the world’s biggest business moguls today – owning planes, building spaceships and a slew of other companies.

And yet, Walt Disney, JK Rowling and Sir Richard Branson have all created these legacies. All because they dared to be unrealistic, and to believe in their vision. I’ve heard coaches tell their clients that a goal isn’t realistic. I’ve had coaches tell me the same. I’ve listened as my clients tell me their dreams, only to follow it up with “…but I don’t think that’s realistic.” Who am I, and who are you, to say whether a goal is realistic or not?

So, if we’re not completely following SMART goals, how should our goal setting look instead? See below for the 3 step process that will change your life!

1. Follow Stephen Covey’s advice and begin with the end in mind

What is your vision? Write it down, draw it if you need. Be specific. Give as much of the minute detail as possible. Define vague terms like “successful”, “wealthy” or “freedom”. Still give these terms a measure – is successful making a $100,000 or $1 million? Is that before tax or after?

“Goals. There’s no telling what you can do when you get inspired by them. There’s no telling what you can do when you believe in them. And there’s no telling what will happen when you act upon them.” – Jim Rohn

2. Now, break it down

Having worked in the fitness industry for a long time, I know that one of the main issues in goal setting is that people focus on the wrong thing. They tend to look at the big goal they’ve set, not the next step. Think about it, when you climb a mountain, do you stare at the top, or do you look at where your next step needs to be?

Looking at the summit makes the entire climb daunting. It can seem so far away and out of reach. The same is true for our goals. If we’re looking at the “top” – say having a million dollars in the bank while we’re still at the bottom with $100 to our name, or an internationally run business while still working out of our parent’s garage – that gap can seem impossible to overcome.

Once you know where you’re heading, you need to break the vision down into small, actionable, mini-goals. This allows us to create the “steps” we need to climb the proverbial mountain.

Here’s an example, say my goal is to have a successful wellness retreat (successful defined as a profit of $1 million a year). Now that I have a specific and measureable vision, I break it down. What came just before that? Well, I would open the wellness retreat and run my first program. And just before that? I would email confirmation of the first program, with program details, to my registrants.

And before that? I would be marketing the program. Before that I would finish construction on the retreat facilities. Staff training, creating blueprints, finding financing, buying the land – these would all be steps that would need to occur on the way up to my vision being achieved.

Use this question to work all the way back until you reach where you are in life now. You now have a roadmap to show you how to get to your vision. It doesn’t matter if there are 10 steps or 1,000 steps that lie between you and reaching the vision. All you need to focus on is the step that lies just in front of you.

3. Become the person who achieves that vision

John Demartini, a human behavioural specialist, has said that humans cannot become what they don’t already think they are. So many times, I have my clients say to me “Once I achieve x, then I’ll be successful”.

Well, successful people become successful because they already believe they are. championship athletes win because for years prior they’ve been treating their bodies and training like they are a championship athlete. Successful entrepreneurs face each day with a mindset of success.

How do you embed the mindset of the person who has your vision? I love to use this lateral thinking activity: ask yourself “how will having (the vision) make me feel? What mindset will I have when I achieve it?”

Let’s use the wellness retreat example again. Having that retreat would allow me to feel healthy, like I was making a difference to others and I would feel at peace in myself. Then ask – “What other activities would allow me to feel this way?”. To feel healthy, I could attend the gym and yoga classes regularly, and eat whole organic foods. I would ensure I get plenty of sleep.

Other activities that would make me feel like I was helping others would be to have clients and help them work on their health, fitness and mindfulness goals. I could run meditation or yoga classes in my local area. And to feel at peace in myself I could schedule in time to go hiking or to be out in nature regularly. I would also make sure I had my own regular meditation practice.

“If you set goals and go after them with all the determination you can muster, your gifts will take you places that will amaze you.” – Les Brown

Can you see how it makes sense that someone who is already actively engaging in all those activities would then own a successful wellness retreat? Engaging in these activities, while we’re taking action towards our vision allows our unconscious beliefs about ourselves to shift into alignment with who we need to be to reach that vision. When we change what we believe to be true about ourselves now, we shatter any glass ceilings that have been keeping us stuck.

Using this three-step goal setting system, you now know the destination you’re travelling to, you have a roadmap to get you there, and the belief that you can. All that’s left to do is now is put one foot in front of the other.

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Life

Lacking Self-Discipline? Do This One Thing Everyday to Change Your Life

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What’s holding you back? This is the question that I asked myself after repeatedly falling short of my goals. In my mind, I had these crazy hopes and aspirations, but in reality, there was a gap between my intentions and my actions. Having read dozens of personal development and business books, I already had the knowledge. I already knew what I needed to do. The problem? A lack of follow through.

A couple years back, I had difficulty crawling out of bed in the morning. I was always tired and could barely muster out the energy to stay awake, let alone go to the gym, foster new relationships, or build my business. I was caught in a spiral of downward momentum, breaking out of which required a massive amount of willpower. The root cause of my problems, I came to realize, was a lack of self-discipline.

I define self-discipline as the ability to do what needs to get done regardless of whether you feel like it or not. I believe that self-discipline is the one thing that separates everything you are from everything you’re capable of being. In this article, I’ll reveal the #1 habit I’ve developed to skyrocket my self-discipline and rapidly elevate my mood, energy levels, and focus in the process.

The Secret To Sending Your Self-Discipline Through The Roof

Picture this: You finally decide to start waking up early and set an alarm for 5am the next day. The next morning you groggily open your eyes to the sound of your alarm buzzing, and a part of you whispers to hit the snooze. Your decision in that moment, on whether to hit the snooze or not, is what makes all the difference.

When you get out of bed at 5am, even though you don’t feel like it, you have effectively overcome your emotions and shown your brain who’s in charge. You have built momentum towards doing the right thing over the easy thing.

In every moment you have a choice. A choice to step forward into growth or back into comfort. The secret to developing warrior-like self-discipline is consistently making the decisions that move you forward into growth. And the #1 habit I’ve developed to build this muscle is starting my days with a cold shower.

“Self-discipline is the number one delineating factor between the rich, the middle class, and the poor.” – Robert Kiyosaki

Why I Take Cold Showers Everyday (And Maybe You Should To)

Cold showers have been a regular part of my daily routine for a couple of years now and if there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s this: The days that I start with a cold shower always go more productive than the days that I don’t.

Taking cold showers provides an opportunity to exercise your willpower in overcoming the little voice in your head that doesn’t want to do it. This is the same voice that tries to talk you into  skipping your workouts, hitting the snooze, and reaching for that ice cream when you’re trying to avoid sugar.

Even after years of taking cold showers, I hear this little voice. But turning the knob to “C,” in spite of this voice, has been a great way to overcome my lower self and build momentum towards taking right action.

What’s more is that cold showers provide an incredible boost in energy and mood. So much so that cold showers are currently being studied as a possible measure against depression. What are the mechanisms behind this? Well, cold water exposure stimulates your body’s fight-or-flight response to which your sympathetic nervous system responds by rapidly elevating norepinephrine production.

Norepinephrine is a hormone that functions as a neurotransmitter to enhance focus, mood, and attention. In this study, 1-hour of cold water exposure increased norepinephrine production in subjects by as much as 530%.

“With self-discipline most anything is possible.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Another reason to take cold showers is for the immune system benefits. As a high achiever, I’m sure you’ve found it frustrating when you’re unable to function optimally due to illness. We’ve all been there. How much better would it be if you could radically decrease your chances of getting sick by simply taking a cold shower everyday? Because in this study, subjects that took cold showers had a 29% reduced likelihood of illness from work compared to the subjects that did not take cold showers.

All-in-all, taking cold showers has been a game changer not only in strengthening my mental resolve but in helping my body function more optimally as well. I don’t remember the last time I was sick and I no longer need an espresso to get my day going.

With access to a smartphone, you have access to more information and more computing power than the president of the United States had a mere twenty years ago. In the age of information, ignorance is a choice. Everything you could ever need to know or learn about success is literally at your fingertips.

As such, specialized knowledge is no longer a barrier towards achieving your goals. The only missing link between where you are and where you want to be is the ability to do the things you already know you should be doing.

I’ve come to believe that self-discipline is the only difference between success and failure. Starting your days with a cold shower is a cheap, proven, and effective method to exercise your willpower and build momentum towards becoming the person you were meant to be.

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Life

Here Is Everything You Need to Know About Your Comfort Zone

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Image Credit: Twenty20.com

Although, a comfort zone can be defined as a state of mind in which people are at ease, in control of their environment and experiencing low level of anxiety and stress, this does not actually sum up the full meaning of a comfort zone. This is because different people have different anxiety and stress levels and the anxiety level of one man or woman might be above or below that of another. Therefore, comfort zones vary from person to person.

Therefore, the best way I can define a comfort zone would be a state of mind where a person’s anxiety and vulnerability are minimized to manageable levels. It is that area of your life in which you feel familiar with and in control of.

For example, some people love to go to work every morning and are used to the routine of going to work daily such that their work place becomes their comfort zone and leaving this comfort zone to become a freelancer or start a business can be every challenging for them. Of course, for others, a comfort zone could be the time they take their meals or that time after work when they relax in front of their television or with social media after a hectic day at work. Of course, comfort zones are not static because they change based on the areas of your life you feel most comfortable with.

When are you out of your comfort zone? What is outside your comfort zone? When you begin to feel vulnerable, anxious, stressed, uncomfortable about doing something, then you’re stepping out of your comfort zone or you’re faced with the threat of stepping outside your comfort zone. Therefore, what is outside your comfort zone is something that scares or threatens you, and, not necessarily with bodily harm.

“A comfort zone is a beautiful place but nothing grows there.”

The Psychological States

According to White Alasdair, there are three psychological states: the comfort zone, optimal performance zone and the danger zone. Where the comfort zone is the stress-free zone which you’re familiar with. The optimal performance zone is the zone just outside your comfort zone where your performance is enhanced by some amount of stress. The danger zone, which is beyond the optimal performance zone, is where you feel great anxiety and your performance is below the performance you can attain in your comfort zone.

However, the problem is making distinctions between these psychological states and knowing when and how far you are willing to leave your comfort zone and when to stay in its confines.

Why do you need to leave your comfort zone? See the 4 reason below:

1. Stunted Growth

If you insist on staying in your comfort zone, you will probably never grow to be more than you are. That means you will always be stuck, never moving forward and never growing. Most people who become addicted to their comfort zones usually end up unable to achieve their goals because they’re somewhat obsessed with doing things the same way they’ve always done them even when it’s not producing results. As a result, you can never really explore what you’re capable of doing and what you can accomplish if you stick to your comfort zone

2. To find your Passion

Not moving out of your comfort zone makes it harder for you to discover your passion because no passion can ever be found in the shadows of your comfort zone, it can only be found by stepping away from your comfort zone.

3. To make sure you don’t settle for less

Even though you’ve not found that thing that makes your heart beat very fast (like love or passion), your comfort zone might push you to settle for less than what you could have if you just stepped out of it.

4. So you don’t get left behind

When you stay in your comfort zone, you will be left behind. Colleagues will leave you behind and people who were previously behind you in terms of life or career progress would meet up with you and leave you behind as well.

Why Your Comfort Zone is Good Sometimes

Although, many times, people focus more on the cons of not leaving your comfort zones, people sometimes forget that it might not be the best idea for you to move out of your comfort zone.

Here are some reasons why you might need to stay in your comfort zone:

1. You are not prepared to leave it yet

Sometimes, you might need to stay in your comfort zone a little while because you’re not yet prepared to step out of it and you may face dire consequences. So, you might need to make sure that you’re actually prepared to leave your comfort zone before you leave it.

2. Are you going too far away from your comfort zone?

It is true that without leaving our comfort zones, we might never know what we are capable of and what we can do. However, that does not mean that you should take giant leaps away from your comfort zone. Start with baby steps and move to strides as you leave your comfort zone.

3. Assess yourself

It is very important for you to assess yourself before leaving your comfort zone to see if it is the best choice for you to leave your comfort zone or If what is bothering you is just fear to leave it.

How to Leave or Expand Your Comfort Zone

First of all, you have to understand how the varying influences (Like parents, peers, siblings, etc.) in your life have contributed to shaping and conditioning your comfort zone. You have to overcome these influences and the conditions that have shaped the boundaries of your comfort zone. You will also have to change your habits, routines and behaviors that relate to your comfort zone and its boundaries.

But you can’t just do these overnight, you have to slowly push yourself out of your comfort zone and expand it. Here are few ways you can leave or expand your comfort zone:

  • Expose yourself to new environments that are just outside your comfort zone
  • Don’t overthink your decisions
  • Try new and different things like going somewhere new to eat, going to a different park to read, etc.
  • Don’t rely on your limited point of view, try to see things the way others do.
  • Do volunteer work
  • Challenge yourself from time to time

“To move to a new level in your life, you must break through your comfort zone and do things that are not comfortable.” – T. Harv Eker

Conclusion

Although your comfort zone might be the most comfortable part of your life, it isn’t wise to stay locked in it as it will not allow you to be who you are capable of being. And, most certainly, your big dreams and goals won’t come to pass so you need to work for them, and you can’t do that from your comfort zone.

Do you think there are sometimes people should stay in their comfort zone or should people always push at the boundaries of their comfort zone relentlessly? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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