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How to Make an Impactful Impression in the First 7 Seconds

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how to make a good first impression

Innocently making a bad first impression has happened to many of us. Not coming across as you intended can create challenges in your personal and professional life. People may mistrust you, dislike you or not even notice you. Sometimes, the fault is yours.

You know what you are feeling, what you are thinking, and you tend to believe those thoughts and emotions leaking out of every orifice of your body. You overestimate how obvious what you truly think must be and fail to recognize other people in your life are in their own bubbles, thinking the same thing about their inner worlds. This is the illusion of transparency.

Your words and behaviors are subject to interpretation. Imagine you are sitting in as an audience member and you begin staring off into space while your colleague is speaking in the meeting. Are you thinking about whether you blew the candle out before you left your house? The harsh words that you mouthed to your partner when he left you with no petrol in the car or maybe you were in deep thought about the valid example of how things need to improve in the workplace. Your colleague has no way of knowing what you are thinking in fact no one knows why you are behaving the way you are but the people around you will come to some perceived conclusion.

Rightly or wrongly, our brains are wired to respond in this way. Even more than that, people make assessments all the time unconsciously relying on your appearance, status, role and body language. Prematurely or not, the person takes it further by gathering data to make a judgement about you. The rose water colored glasses provide a lens of perception that shapes their view of you. Can they like, know and trust you?

Let me share with you 7 ways to help others draw the correct impression:

1. Project warmth

Giving the right signals early in the relationship is important. Making eye contact, smiling when appropriate and acknowledging comments, being present in conversation and listening without interruption. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Being a person of your word creates a foundation of where trust is fostered, and collaborative partnerships are formed.

“It’s pretty simple, pretty obvious: that people’s first impressions of people are really a big mistake.” – Vincent D’Onofrio

2. Overdeliver

Demonstrating how instrumental you are every opportunity is gold. Go beyond any expectation, give without being asked and detach from the outcome or wanting something in return. Have a servant’s heart.

3. We-centric culture

Building an environment where we nurture an inclusive culture, creates a strong sense of ‘us’. Celebrate the strengths and achievements of others, acknowledge the values you see in others and how the shared vision belongs to you all.

4. Revise your opinion of others

Have you ever misjudged someone by letting some kind of bias get in the way? Creating stories about why someone is behaving in a way, how wronged you have been by someone or making assumptions based on the clothes someone is wearing and where they fit in the workplace. Maybe it’s time to hit the pause button as we know that there can be a wide gap between intent and impact. Adopt a curiosity lens and come with good intentions.

5. Have proper etiquette

Your body language tells a lot about you. Sloppy time keeping, or scruffiness can be taken as signs that you are not bothered and may raise questions about your general level of commitment. Be conscientious, exude professionalism and remember you are being paid to behave in a certain way.

Handling simple expectations such as punctuality, demonstrates a level of simple responsibility. Asking quality questions and putting your hand up first to offer assistance without being asked and proposing ideas allows you to start adding value right away.

6. Show kindness

Saying thank you is so underrated. It is so important to show your colleagues appreciation when they help you out. Showing gratitude lets people know that you value their time and energy.

“We don’t know where our first impressions come from or precisely what they mean, so we don’t always appreciate their fragility.” – Malcolm Gladwell

7. 360 feedback

It is not easy to understand how other people perceive us. We are often uncertain, confused or even oblivious of what we project. In the workplace, the lack of self-awareness can be limiting. A narrative can emerge and is often shared as advice or gossip. Getting feedback how people perceive you can be a starting point. One way can be to identify 3 key people you see you repeatedly in work situations and you know will tell it to you straight.  

Ask them directly what their general perception of you is and what could you do differently that would make a difference in the workplace. Whilst receiving feedback, manage your emotions and resist the temptation to explain, defend or justify your actions. Gathering information provides an opportunity to close the gap between how people perceive you and how you want to be perceived. The choice is yours if you want to make the commitment to change.

How do you leave a great first impression? Comment below!

Angela Kambouris used to work with high risk kids in the streets of Melbourne, now she has her own consultancy business and writes for large publications. As a leadership coach and business leader having spent over 20 years in the field of vulnerability and trauma, she has built a high-level career as an executive and transitioned into a business owner. She has spoken on stages and worked with thousands of people in self-development, leadership, mindset, human behavior and business. Love to travel, experience difference cultures and mastermind with leaders and expert authorities in personal development and business all over the world. Connect with her through her website http://angelakambouris.com/ or through her Facebook.

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Life

The Inspiration Imperative: Finding Your Recipe to Inspire the World

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inspire the world

An undeniably beautiful facet of the human condition is the responsibility we all share to make each other’s lives better. Inspiring others can be an incredibly rewarding and efficient means to that end. After all, helping others is the spice of life and inspiration allows us to exponentially increase our output of “help”, residually, long after we move on to something else.

The amazing thing about inspiration is that it isn’t a zero-sum game; we can give as much as we desire and take as much as we desire – or even do both in the same act. Even better, being inspirational and taking in inspiration are both behavioral skills we can work at and develop. But what does it really mean to inspire others?

The one thing all inspirational moments have in common is how they make us feel; not the specifics of what they tell us, show us or even what they teach us. They leave us with a feeling we can’t let go of, and a seed is planted.

The inspiration we as humans impart on one another often comes through sharing our life experience and future vision in a way that catalyzes a change in mindset or behavior in someone else. Sometimes this happens without intention, but this piece focuses on how we can intentionally inspire by way of our vision.   

With that in mind here are some considerations as you embark on your personal journey of inspiration, broken into two sections: Building a deep reservoir of self-belief and Crafting your vision and living it authentically.

Building a deep reservoir of self-belief

The first step to inspiring others is conditioning belief in yourself. Self-belief can be built through habituation of behavior – think of this like working out a muscle. The process of opening yourself up to inspiration, identifying and utilizing your strengths and practicing self-affirmation are fail safe ways to build out self-belief as a resource you can call on as you inspire the world around you.

Here are 3 things you can do to build your self belief to new levels:

1. Put yourself in positions of vulnerability daily

Make it a habit to leave your comfort zone both physically and mentally on a regular basis; doing so will increase your rate of learning and the inspiration you take in, dramatically. As you leave what makes you comfortable, open your mind so that others can feed you with inspiration.

2. Know your strengths and own them  

In his famous book, Strengths Finder 2.0, Tom Rath explains our tendency to focus on our weakness and the power each of us can unlock if we acknowledge and build on our strengths. As you enjoy successes, it is crucial to reflect on how you arrived at them, how they correlate to your strengths, and how you use your strengths to replicate them in the future.

“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger

3. Regularly practice self-affirmation

Practicing self-affirmation goes hand-in-hand with owning your strengths and is an important habit which helps you build a foundation by which to inspire others. Ronald Alexander, PHD, provides some practical ways to make these effective in this Psychology Today article.

Crafting your vision and living it authentically

After you’ve built your foundation of self-belief you must have a vision. Visions come in all shapes and sizes. Whatever your goal may be, the vision must be clear; wavering and being wishy-washy about your goal will have the opposite effect. Remember, inspiring is not about telling people what they must do; it’s about instilling a feeling.

It’s also very important to remember that vision is nothing more than a wish for the future – until you build a narrative around it and make it real. A proven method to get there is by writing down your vision, being authentic in how you communicate it, and repeating it often to yourself and others.

Below are 3 things you should be doing with your vision:

1. Write down your vision and vision actualization statement

The first step to creating and executing on a vision is writing it down somewhere where you can refer to it regularly. All the rest follows. As Benjamin P Hardy notes, “if you read your long term goals every day you will think about them every day. If you think about them every day, and spend your days working toward them, they’ll manifest. Achieving goals is a science. There’s no confusion or ambiguity to it.”

Another great tip is to write a vision actualization statement as your future self (a year out) and then revisit it in a year. This is a description of what has manifested based on the realization of your vision and can be a couple paragraphs or pages. The key is to make it tangible; use numbers and specifics.

Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world” – Joel L. Barker

2. Hold yourself accountable to authenticity, as you share your vision  

As you spread your vision you must do so from an authentic place. If you are not authentic through this process, people will quickly see through it and the lost trust can have lasting effects. One way to hold yourself accountable to this is noting every day what you did that day that “wasn’t you.” How many times that day did you compromise or mislead your beliefs?

3. Repeat, repeat, repeat

The greatest key to executing a vision, once built, is repeating its tenets to yourself and those around you as often as you can. This may take the form of morning affirmation, posting your vision to your community, chatting about it on your bus ride, or frequently re-reading what you’ve written down of it. Become known as the [insert your personal vision] gal or guy.

Well that should give you a start. Now get out there and inspire the world!

How do you aim to inspire others? Please comment below and share with us!

Continue Reading

Life

The Power Of Doing Only One Thing.

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This idea of doing only one thing was sparked by an event that happened this week. I decided to delete all podcasts on my phone and only keep the Tim Ferriss Show. In other areas of my life, I’ve done the same.

“I’ve selectively gone into each area and chosen one thing”

All the other things in the same category have been discarded. Here are some examples:

–    I had two pairs of earphones and now I have one

–    I’d read multiple books at the same time – now I do one at a time

–    I had multiple tools to cure stress and now I have one – meditation

I then took this minimalistic approach from how I handled material possessions and applied it to what I do each day.

Here are some examples:

–    I only pursue one passion now instead of many

–    I only execute on one vision instead of many

–    I only use my free time for one activity instead of many

 

Assess what you do and you’ll see one thing.

If you look at each category of your life, you’ll see that you spend a disproportionate amount of time in one area. I’ve normally had a few passions but if I evaluate the last five years, most of my efforts have been put towards blogging.

I had a few other passions but I didn’t spend a lot of time doing them. When I committed to doing one thing, I made a decision to stop pretending I cared about my other passions.

 

I listened to lots of podcasts until recently and I was constantly trying to keep up with the latest episodes. I found many of the podcasts shared similar messages and only one of them was life-changing in my eyes (The Tim Ferriss Podcast).

Now that I only listen to one podcast I can finally enjoy it, quit rushing and even playback episodes I’ve listened to already. Seeing the podcast screen with only one show on there is so refreshing!

Look at your life and you’ll see similar patterns.

 

It creates focus.

Doing one thing gives you extreme focus. This focus can be channelled towards tasks that lead to mastery instead of trying to dabble in lots of unrelated passions.

Focus is how you reach states of flow and achieve results that look impossible.

Doing one thing causes you to focus and practice more. Through this process, you can see your failures, areas of improvement and areas that you’re good at. This form of reflection gives you real-time feedback that can further compound your results.

“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing” – Stephen Covey

 

It avoids overwhelm.

We can’t compute too many things at once. The power of doing one thing is that you avoid overwhelm. We can all manage one thing in each area of our life. The moment we introduce too many choices we end up with decision fatigue.

Overwhelm is selling yourself the false reality that you have to do everything to be successful. I’ve learned it’s the complete opposite.

To be successful, you have to focus and do one thing. Being successful is about not giving up and if you consistently put yourself into a state of overwhelm then you’ll simultaneously increase your negative thought patterns.

This milkshake of negativity will mix together and end up in failure if you let it.

Overwhelm is the enemy of passion and energy. Passion and energy become hyper-focused when you focus on one thing.

One podcast.

One business.

One romantic partner.

One vision.

One passion.

Embrace the power of doing one thing. 

<<<>>>

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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3 Mind-Blowing Facts No One Told You About Vulnerability

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vulnerability

Vulnerability; A scary word which was hunting me down for 13 years until I faced one of my biggest emotional breakthroughs. It was the day when my idea of a tough woman fell apart and I was forced to reconsider everything I believed about mental toughness. Before I dive into the 3 important takeaways I learned from this process, I have a confession to make. I was convinced, for 13 years, that vulnerability was one of the biggest weaknesses and anyone who admitted it was a coward. I know, sounds terrifying.

That’s why I developed a strong belief that constant toughness was the only way we could maintain our strength and protect ourselves from hurt. Showing emotions or talking about them became taboo because I believed that’s what the “weak” do. Because of this misconception, my emotional pain was becoming more intense since I wasn’t facing it, I was numbing it.

“To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength.” – Crissi Jami

When I admitted for the very first time that I may be a vulnerable person, I almost had a heart attack. I felt a mix of stress, fear and an overwhelming excitement and freedom that I finally let it out. It helped me tremendously in my work as well as my personal life.

Here are the 3 important takeaways I learned from this powerful journey which made me understood the true strength of a human being:

1. Vulnerability is hidden strength and courage

We are living in a society where being perfect and not being “too emotional” works just fine. And this is the place where many of us miss the point of what the real strength represents. One thing we fail to realize is that keeping all of our painful feelings under control and playing a part of a tough cookie isn’t going to last for a long time. It is an illusion which tricks us into believing that we are strong and untouchable and that becomes our weakness.

The moment we accept the fact that vulnerability is a part of a courageous life, we allow ourselves to be real. Realness brings self-respect. Think about it this way, pretending is easy and convenient, but being able to admit vulnerability, that’s what takes guts because we are putting ourselves at the risk of judgment and misunderstanding.

2. Facing your vulnerable state empowers you

Isn’t this ironic? The moment when we start accepting our pain as something that actually exists, we feel stronger even in the weakest moments and here is how I came to this crazy conclusion.

Dealing with vulnerable feelings is something we don’t want to do. So we take that burden and decide that we will deal with it on Monday. 5 years later there is just another Monday. However, when we choose to face our pains, we put ourselves in the process of working on them, analyzing them and learning from them.

Can you imagine that each time when you feel vulnerable, instead of running away from it, you will put up with it? Can you imagine that each time you are faced with something hurtful instead of asking yourself “Why this has to happen to me?” you ask yourself “What’s in it for me?”

Power of any vulnerable state is in facing and learning about who we are, what we feel or why we feel it. It helps us in practicing our self-awareness where we better understand how our feelings work and how to deal with them more effectively.

“Courage is vulnerability. Vulnerability is courage. Like shadow and light, neither one can exist without the other.” – Wai Lan Yuen

3. Embracing vulnerability leads to authenticity

The minute we face those real, uncomfortable emotions, we are being honest with ourselves. I found this as one of the most transforming parts of being vulnerable. We are letting go of pretending or playing it strong all the time. We are letting go of this military approach to life and perfectionism which, by the way, doesn’t exist.

In today’s world, embracing authenticity is a bold and brave decision. If you are anything like me, you know that choosing authenticity over impressing the world around you is a challenging process. It means standing in front of the world, emotionally naked and ready to face any feedback, whether pleasant or unpleasant. But, isn’t this a chance we all want to take?

Conclusion

Accepting vulnerability is one of the most courageous acts we can ever undertake. It’s risky, it’s scary, even terrifying in some cases because people don’t want to “do” vulnerability. Playing who is a bigger badass seems cooler.

But once we step up and decide to speak up about this issue, we open the door for others who are living in this emotional prison without knowing what to do or how to handle it. We give them the opportunity to say two of the most powerful words which stand behind real toughness and those are  “ME TOO.”

How do you handle vulnerability? Comment below!

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Break Up With Doubt to Better Your Relationship With Fear

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As I’ve gone through life, I’ve spent a great deal of my energy working to overcome my fears. From everyday fears like rejection and judgment to more morbid fears like ill health and my demise, I avoided these possibilities like the plague. Unfortunately, my short-sightedness often kept me from starting anything, developing a life of caution and resignation.

I had to make a change and start leaning into my fears. I began to wrap my head around the fact that my fears weren’t real, they were simply creations of the mind. I got better results—acts of courage began piecing my confidence back together one brick at a time. But I was still getting stopped.

Despite being empowered by my own courage, something even more crippling began showing up as a result. I realized this was at the root of most of my fears, harnessing even more power than fear itself. It berated the belief I had in myself, bringing everything else important to me into question.

This feeling was doubt. I was disabled despite the understanding that my fears were simply constructs of my mind. Why couldn’t I shake this?

Fear is objective; doubt is personal

I like to think that fear exists in space. It will always be lurking in some capacity and we have the opportunity to focus on it if we choose. Fear is definitely scary, but it doesn’t have that much to do with us individually. It exists outside of ourselves. We can step up and face it (courage) or refrain from even acknowledging it (boldness) if we so choose.

Doubt is a little more complex. Doubt exists inside of us, challenging the very pillars we constructed to get to where we are today. Doubt has nothing but pessimism to offer about the future, constantly reminding us of our past mistakes.

The reason why doubt is so paralyzing is because we automatically identify with it. We assume because it’s referencing previous shortcomings or falters, that it’s the real us talking to ourselves. The reality is however, that everyone deals with this same thing. By understanding that doubt is simply trash talk at a sporting event, we stop associating with it directly. We tune out the noise and remember who we are. What we’re up to steps to the forefront, toppling over doubt without noticing.

Fear is going to hang around and show up from time to time, which we shouldn’t resist. We can simply acknowledge it and move forward with our original plans in spite of it. By strengthening our belief, hope and faith, doubt can disappear. Doubt only exists within the deficiency of character, which we have full control over developing.

“Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother.” – Khalil Gibran

Doubt is the source of our everyday fears

We have hundreds of opportunities each day to make an impact on others. Authentic interactions are more sought-after than ever before. People are really beginning to appreciate what it takes to step into their fears and share from the heart.

But it doesn’t always unfold that way, does it? We often get stopped. In this figurative straightjacket known as doubt, we’re helpless. We try to deal with it but instead end up saying something designed to protect us from showcasing who we really are and what we really feel. Doubt tells us we aren’t inspiring enough. It says we’re full of crap right before we bare our soul. By listening to it, we handcuff ourselves.

Actions equal outcomes. But buried underneath the actions are the beliefs about them, doubt being one of them. Doubt can put a filter on the action if we’re not careful, effectively diminishing the potential for powerful results. Adopting a one-track mind for that particular moment and staying focused on the action will keep us grounded from being influenced by doubt.

With doubt absent, fear becomes healthy

Ever prepare to ask out a member of the opposite (or same) sex and feel your heartbeat increase? How about stepping on stage to deliver a public presentation and instantly feel your face flush? Fear is present, yes, but you’re alive. There’s no more direct notification.

From a third person perspective, my fears didn’t possess nearly as much strength without doubt serving as a foundation. With doubt absent, fear was a diesel engine powered by unleaded gasoline. Like a frightened dog, it was all bark and no bite.

“When in doubt, don’t.” – Benjamin Franklin

People go skydiving for a reason. This dose of healthy fear allows for a broader perspective. It shapes and colors the way we look at life. The little things that we once allowed to ruin our day no longer have the staying power. Fear in itself is not the problem. Fear rooted in doubt is the dream-killer.

By ending your relationship with doubt and getting comfortable with your relationship with fear, what would you finally do that you’ve been held back by? Comment below!

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Life

The Inspiration Imperative: Finding Your Recipe to Inspire the World

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inspire the world

An undeniably beautiful facet of the human condition is the responsibility we all share to make each other’s lives better. Inspiring others can be an incredibly rewarding and efficient means to that end. After all, helping others is the spice of life and inspiration allows us to exponentially increase our output of “help”, residually, long after we move on to something else. (more…)

Prem Kumar is the Director of Product at TINYpulse.com, an employee engagement company that empowers organizations to build world class cultures with real-time people data. Prior to TINYpulse, Prem spent 10 years at Microsoft working in a variety of product capacities in areas such as HR Technology, New Ventures, Dynamics 365 and Office 365 bringing countless products to market and being honored as a "Key Talent" at the company. Follow me on Twitter @premkumartweets.

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Life

The Inspiration Imperative: Finding Your Recipe to Inspire the World

Published

on

inspire the world

An undeniably beautiful facet of the human condition is the responsibility we all share to make each other’s lives better. Inspiring others can be an incredibly rewarding and efficient means to that end. After all, helping others is the spice of life and inspiration allows us to exponentially increase our output of “help”, residually, long after we move on to something else.

The amazing thing about inspiration is that it isn’t a zero-sum game; we can give as much as we desire and take as much as we desire – or even do both in the same act. Even better, being inspirational and taking in inspiration are both behavioral skills we can work at and develop. But what does it really mean to inspire others?

The one thing all inspirational moments have in common is how they make us feel; not the specifics of what they tell us, show us or even what they teach us. They leave us with a feeling we can’t let go of, and a seed is planted.

The inspiration we as humans impart on one another often comes through sharing our life experience and future vision in a way that catalyzes a change in mindset or behavior in someone else. Sometimes this happens without intention, but this piece focuses on how we can intentionally inspire by way of our vision.   

With that in mind here are some considerations as you embark on your personal journey of inspiration, broken into two sections: Building a deep reservoir of self-belief and Crafting your vision and living it authentically.

Building a deep reservoir of self-belief

The first step to inspiring others is conditioning belief in yourself. Self-belief can be built through habituation of behavior – think of this like working out a muscle. The process of opening yourself up to inspiration, identifying and utilizing your strengths and practicing self-affirmation are fail safe ways to build out self-belief as a resource you can call on as you inspire the world around you.

Here are 3 things you can do to build your self belief to new levels:

1. Put yourself in positions of vulnerability daily

Make it a habit to leave your comfort zone both physically and mentally on a regular basis; doing so will increase your rate of learning and the inspiration you take in, dramatically. As you leave what makes you comfortable, open your mind so that others can feed you with inspiration.

2. Know your strengths and own them  

In his famous book, Strengths Finder 2.0, Tom Rath explains our tendency to focus on our weakness and the power each of us can unlock if we acknowledge and build on our strengths. As you enjoy successes, it is crucial to reflect on how you arrived at them, how they correlate to your strengths, and how you use your strengths to replicate them in the future.

“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger

3. Regularly practice self-affirmation

Practicing self-affirmation goes hand-in-hand with owning your strengths and is an important habit which helps you build a foundation by which to inspire others. Ronald Alexander, PHD, provides some practical ways to make these effective in this Psychology Today article.

Crafting your vision and living it authentically

After you’ve built your foundation of self-belief you must have a vision. Visions come in all shapes and sizes. Whatever your goal may be, the vision must be clear; wavering and being wishy-washy about your goal will have the opposite effect. Remember, inspiring is not about telling people what they must do; it’s about instilling a feeling.

It’s also very important to remember that vision is nothing more than a wish for the future – until you build a narrative around it and make it real. A proven method to get there is by writing down your vision, being authentic in how you communicate it, and repeating it often to yourself and others.

Below are 3 things you should be doing with your vision:

1. Write down your vision and vision actualization statement

The first step to creating and executing on a vision is writing it down somewhere where you can refer to it regularly. All the rest follows. As Benjamin P Hardy notes, “if you read your long term goals every day you will think about them every day. If you think about them every day, and spend your days working toward them, they’ll manifest. Achieving goals is a science. There’s no confusion or ambiguity to it.”

Another great tip is to write a vision actualization statement as your future self (a year out) and then revisit it in a year. This is a description of what has manifested based on the realization of your vision and can be a couple paragraphs or pages. The key is to make it tangible; use numbers and specifics.

Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world” – Joel L. Barker

2. Hold yourself accountable to authenticity, as you share your vision  

As you spread your vision you must do so from an authentic place. If you are not authentic through this process, people will quickly see through it and the lost trust can have lasting effects. One way to hold yourself accountable to this is noting every day what you did that day that “wasn’t you.” How many times that day did you compromise or mislead your beliefs?

3. Repeat, repeat, repeat

The greatest key to executing a vision, once built, is repeating its tenets to yourself and those around you as often as you can. This may take the form of morning affirmation, posting your vision to your community, chatting about it on your bus ride, or frequently re-reading what you’ve written down of it. Become known as the [insert your personal vision] gal or guy.

Well that should give you a start. Now get out there and inspire the world!

How do you aim to inspire others? Please comment below and share with us!

Continue Reading

Life

The Power Of Doing Only One Thing.

Published

on

This idea of doing only one thing was sparked by an event that happened this week. I decided to delete all podcasts on my phone and only keep the Tim Ferriss Show. In other areas of my life, I’ve done the same.

“I’ve selectively gone into each area and chosen one thing”

All the other things in the same category have been discarded. Here are some examples:

–    I had two pairs of earphones and now I have one

–    I’d read multiple books at the same time – now I do one at a time

–    I had multiple tools to cure stress and now I have one – meditation

I then took this minimalistic approach from how I handled material possessions and applied it to what I do each day.

Here are some examples:

–    I only pursue one passion now instead of many

–    I only execute on one vision instead of many

–    I only use my free time for one activity instead of many

 

Assess what you do and you’ll see one thing.

If you look at each category of your life, you’ll see that you spend a disproportionate amount of time in one area. I’ve normally had a few passions but if I evaluate the last five years, most of my efforts have been put towards blogging.

I had a few other passions but I didn’t spend a lot of time doing them. When I committed to doing one thing, I made a decision to stop pretending I cared about my other passions.

 

I listened to lots of podcasts until recently and I was constantly trying to keep up with the latest episodes. I found many of the podcasts shared similar messages and only one of them was life-changing in my eyes (The Tim Ferriss Podcast).

Now that I only listen to one podcast I can finally enjoy it, quit rushing and even playback episodes I’ve listened to already. Seeing the podcast screen with only one show on there is so refreshing!

Look at your life and you’ll see similar patterns.

 

It creates focus.

Doing one thing gives you extreme focus. This focus can be channelled towards tasks that lead to mastery instead of trying to dabble in lots of unrelated passions.

Focus is how you reach states of flow and achieve results that look impossible.

Doing one thing causes you to focus and practice more. Through this process, you can see your failures, areas of improvement and areas that you’re good at. This form of reflection gives you real-time feedback that can further compound your results.

“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing” – Stephen Covey

 

It avoids overwhelm.

We can’t compute too many things at once. The power of doing one thing is that you avoid overwhelm. We can all manage one thing in each area of our life. The moment we introduce too many choices we end up with decision fatigue.

Overwhelm is selling yourself the false reality that you have to do everything to be successful. I’ve learned it’s the complete opposite.

To be successful, you have to focus and do one thing. Being successful is about not giving up and if you consistently put yourself into a state of overwhelm then you’ll simultaneously increase your negative thought patterns.

This milkshake of negativity will mix together and end up in failure if you let it.

Overwhelm is the enemy of passion and energy. Passion and energy become hyper-focused when you focus on one thing.

One podcast.

One business.

One romantic partner.

One vision.

One passion.

Embrace the power of doing one thing. 

<<<>>>

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

Continue Reading

Life

3 Mind-Blowing Facts No One Told You About Vulnerability

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vulnerability

Vulnerability; A scary word which was hunting me down for 13 years until I faced one of my biggest emotional breakthroughs. It was the day when my idea of a tough woman fell apart and I was forced to reconsider everything I believed about mental toughness. Before I dive into the 3 important takeaways I learned from this process, I have a confession to make. I was convinced, for 13 years, that vulnerability was one of the biggest weaknesses and anyone who admitted it was a coward. I know, sounds terrifying.

That’s why I developed a strong belief that constant toughness was the only way we could maintain our strength and protect ourselves from hurt. Showing emotions or talking about them became taboo because I believed that’s what the “weak” do. Because of this misconception, my emotional pain was becoming more intense since I wasn’t facing it, I was numbing it.

“To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength.” – Crissi Jami

When I admitted for the very first time that I may be a vulnerable person, I almost had a heart attack. I felt a mix of stress, fear and an overwhelming excitement and freedom that I finally let it out. It helped me tremendously in my work as well as my personal life.

Here are the 3 important takeaways I learned from this powerful journey which made me understood the true strength of a human being:

1. Vulnerability is hidden strength and courage

We are living in a society where being perfect and not being “too emotional” works just fine. And this is the place where many of us miss the point of what the real strength represents. One thing we fail to realize is that keeping all of our painful feelings under control and playing a part of a tough cookie isn’t going to last for a long time. It is an illusion which tricks us into believing that we are strong and untouchable and that becomes our weakness.

The moment we accept the fact that vulnerability is a part of a courageous life, we allow ourselves to be real. Realness brings self-respect. Think about it this way, pretending is easy and convenient, but being able to admit vulnerability, that’s what takes guts because we are putting ourselves at the risk of judgment and misunderstanding.

2. Facing your vulnerable state empowers you

Isn’t this ironic? The moment when we start accepting our pain as something that actually exists, we feel stronger even in the weakest moments and here is how I came to this crazy conclusion.

Dealing with vulnerable feelings is something we don’t want to do. So we take that burden and decide that we will deal with it on Monday. 5 years later there is just another Monday. However, when we choose to face our pains, we put ourselves in the process of working on them, analyzing them and learning from them.

Can you imagine that each time when you feel vulnerable, instead of running away from it, you will put up with it? Can you imagine that each time you are faced with something hurtful instead of asking yourself “Why this has to happen to me?” you ask yourself “What’s in it for me?”

Power of any vulnerable state is in facing and learning about who we are, what we feel or why we feel it. It helps us in practicing our self-awareness where we better understand how our feelings work and how to deal with them more effectively.

“Courage is vulnerability. Vulnerability is courage. Like shadow and light, neither one can exist without the other.” – Wai Lan Yuen

3. Embracing vulnerability leads to authenticity

The minute we face those real, uncomfortable emotions, we are being honest with ourselves. I found this as one of the most transforming parts of being vulnerable. We are letting go of pretending or playing it strong all the time. We are letting go of this military approach to life and perfectionism which, by the way, doesn’t exist.

In today’s world, embracing authenticity is a bold and brave decision. If you are anything like me, you know that choosing authenticity over impressing the world around you is a challenging process. It means standing in front of the world, emotionally naked and ready to face any feedback, whether pleasant or unpleasant. But, isn’t this a chance we all want to take?

Conclusion

Accepting vulnerability is one of the most courageous acts we can ever undertake. It’s risky, it’s scary, even terrifying in some cases because people don’t want to “do” vulnerability. Playing who is a bigger badass seems cooler.

But once we step up and decide to speak up about this issue, we open the door for others who are living in this emotional prison without knowing what to do or how to handle it. We give them the opportunity to say two of the most powerful words which stand behind real toughness and those are  “ME TOO.”

How do you handle vulnerability? Comment below!

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Life

Break Up With Doubt to Better Your Relationship With Fear

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doubt

As I’ve gone through life, I’ve spent a great deal of my energy working to overcome my fears. From everyday fears like rejection and judgment to more morbid fears like ill health and my demise, I avoided these possibilities like the plague. Unfortunately, my short-sightedness often kept me from starting anything, developing a life of caution and resignation.

I had to make a change and start leaning into my fears. I began to wrap my head around the fact that my fears weren’t real, they were simply creations of the mind. I got better results—acts of courage began piecing my confidence back together one brick at a time. But I was still getting stopped.

Despite being empowered by my own courage, something even more crippling began showing up as a result. I realized this was at the root of most of my fears, harnessing even more power than fear itself. It berated the belief I had in myself, bringing everything else important to me into question.

This feeling was doubt. I was disabled despite the understanding that my fears were simply constructs of my mind. Why couldn’t I shake this?

Fear is objective; doubt is personal

I like to think that fear exists in space. It will always be lurking in some capacity and we have the opportunity to focus on it if we choose. Fear is definitely scary, but it doesn’t have that much to do with us individually. It exists outside of ourselves. We can step up and face it (courage) or refrain from even acknowledging it (boldness) if we so choose.

Doubt is a little more complex. Doubt exists inside of us, challenging the very pillars we constructed to get to where we are today. Doubt has nothing but pessimism to offer about the future, constantly reminding us of our past mistakes.

The reason why doubt is so paralyzing is because we automatically identify with it. We assume because it’s referencing previous shortcomings or falters, that it’s the real us talking to ourselves. The reality is however, that everyone deals with this same thing. By understanding that doubt is simply trash talk at a sporting event, we stop associating with it directly. We tune out the noise and remember who we are. What we’re up to steps to the forefront, toppling over doubt without noticing.

Fear is going to hang around and show up from time to time, which we shouldn’t resist. We can simply acknowledge it and move forward with our original plans in spite of it. By strengthening our belief, hope and faith, doubt can disappear. Doubt only exists within the deficiency of character, which we have full control over developing.

“Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother.” – Khalil Gibran

Doubt is the source of our everyday fears

We have hundreds of opportunities each day to make an impact on others. Authentic interactions are more sought-after than ever before. People are really beginning to appreciate what it takes to step into their fears and share from the heart.

But it doesn’t always unfold that way, does it? We often get stopped. In this figurative straightjacket known as doubt, we’re helpless. We try to deal with it but instead end up saying something designed to protect us from showcasing who we really are and what we really feel. Doubt tells us we aren’t inspiring enough. It says we’re full of crap right before we bare our soul. By listening to it, we handcuff ourselves.

Actions equal outcomes. But buried underneath the actions are the beliefs about them, doubt being one of them. Doubt can put a filter on the action if we’re not careful, effectively diminishing the potential for powerful results. Adopting a one-track mind for that particular moment and staying focused on the action will keep us grounded from being influenced by doubt.

With doubt absent, fear becomes healthy

Ever prepare to ask out a member of the opposite (or same) sex and feel your heartbeat increase? How about stepping on stage to deliver a public presentation and instantly feel your face flush? Fear is present, yes, but you’re alive. There’s no more direct notification.

From a third person perspective, my fears didn’t possess nearly as much strength without doubt serving as a foundation. With doubt absent, fear was a diesel engine powered by unleaded gasoline. Like a frightened dog, it was all bark and no bite.

“When in doubt, don’t.” – Benjamin Franklin

People go skydiving for a reason. This dose of healthy fear allows for a broader perspective. It shapes and colors the way we look at life. The little things that we once allowed to ruin our day no longer have the staying power. Fear in itself is not the problem. Fear rooted in doubt is the dream-killer.

By ending your relationship with doubt and getting comfortable with your relationship with fear, what would you finally do that you’ve been held back by? Comment below!

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