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One Piece Of Simple Advice That Changed My Life.

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“Stay positive no matter what happens.”

That’s one simple piece of advice that changed my life.

I learned the importance of this advice the hard way when my life was traveling along just nicely. I had a high paying job, a booming blogging career, a partner who loved me, and enough money to live and enjoy a few simple pleasures.

I got to travel overseas to exotic locations and work even allowed me to have some pretty unique experiences like sleeping on a yacht and going surfing with a crazy bunch of entrepreneurs.

I thought I had it all.

People looked at my life and thought it was spectacular.


Deep inside of me, I knew something was not quite right.

I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Something about this so-called perfect life felt wrong.

Before I knew it, I broke up with my girlfriend, lost all of my work colleagues to competitors and found myself staring into a glass half full of instant coffee.

When I hit challenges, I found myself getting pissed off. I’d say to myself “Why me?” and “Get out of my way idiot, you’re blocking the path in front of me.”

How could an internet proclaimed self-help blogger have these crazy, messed up thoughts?

What was wrong was I’d forgotten how to stay positive. I thought that I was past the point of having to deal with challenges and I’d reached a level that I could never go back from.

“Personal development and inspirational content can make you feel invincible — especially when you’re the one creating it”

Sometimes the very thing you preach can be the one thing that is your own downfall.

As I analyzed the situation, I saw that I’d forgotten how to practice positivity.


How does one practice positivity?

By deciding to. Positivity is a choice.

Positivity is like going on an adventure and forcing yourself to see at least one good thing about the journey.

One little hack I used was writing down three things each day I was grateful for. I forced myself to do it at work and locked it into my diary for 9 am every morning.

During the career challenges I mentioned earlier, the lady that sits a few desks away from me described my situation as like being on the Titanic. She called my business unit the “Sinking Ship.”

Outside forces are going to have an effect on you if you let them. I chose to see positivity in what she was saying. I wrote down notes of how this could be positive.

It took a while, but eventually, I got the answer: The Titanic she described was a forced career change into something I liked even more. I’d become comfortable and that was the issue.

At that moment, I realized that I had the power within me to always see positivity if I wanted to.


It’s not about getting rid of negative thoughts necessarily.

It takes a lot of energy to remove or block negative thoughts. Choosing positivity is a much easier process to go through and it takes less energy.

Committing to yourself that there is at least one good outcome from every situation, forces your mind into positivity. It can be done.

You’re supposed to have negative thoughts. They keep you alive. Having zero negative thoughts is impossible. What helped me was balancing my thoughts to be more of the positive variety.


Gossiping and complaining breeds the opposite outcome.

Trying to stay positive no matter what is extremely difficult when you’re in conversations with people who are egging you on to complain, or gossip about someone or something.

The temptation is huge because whether we like it or not, it feels good.

The trouble with complaining or gossiping is that it only breeds more negativity.

You’re asking your brain to dish up negative possibilities and recall negative situations. The other person’s reaction to your negativity only rewards your brain for its hard work.

You can’t focus on being positive if you deliberately hijack your brain every time with gossip talk and picking faults with your co-workers.

People stuff up; they have different beliefs to you; they have other priorities.

Gossiping and complaining doesn’t make anyone else wrong. It does make you practice negativity though and that’s not going to change your life.


Take a long hard look at yourself.

Are you being positive most of the time? When I asked myself this question, I could see clearly that I was not.

I’d fallen into bad habits and allowed outside forces to manipulate my thoughts and turn them toxic.

My life started to change when I acknowledged what was going on and took ownership for it.

“It’s damn hard to admit as a self-help blogger that you’re being extremely negative and ruining your own success. It’s somewhat counter-intuitive. Either way, this reality was my truth and I owned it!”

Ignoring the problem is not going to make it magically disappear.

So, what did I do?

  • Stayed clear of the people who were fuelling my negativity
  • Focused on the positivity that already existed in my life like blogging, love and family
  • Chose a new career path that was closer to what I loved
  • Spent more time with other bloggers to learn how they dealt with negativity
  • Took accountability and stopped focusing on outside interference
  • Doubled down on my blogging so I could spread more positivity
  • Spent lots of time watching videos on a Facebook page called Human Kindness

Above all else, one thing that helped was being more kind.

When you’re kind to everyone you encounter, positivity comes at you a hundred miles an hour.

People will make you feel positive when you are kind towards them. You don’t have to hand out millions of dollars in donations or build an orphanage either.

Simple acts of kindness like holding the door open, complimenting someone, or letting a driver into your lane is all it takes.


Tragedy will strike everyone.

That’s not something to be sad about it’s just a fact of life. When you can go through any event and always find a way to be positive, you’re able to recover much quicker. This allows you to support others during these tough times.


Positivity can make you see another way.

By seeing positivity, you’ll discover other options that those around you can’t see.

“Positivity is closely linked to creativity”

Seeing hidden opportunities doesn’t happen when you’re pissed off and want to kill your neighbor because of their dog that always barks when you’re sleeping.

Positivity sparks possibility and that’s where your next opportunity will come from.


Final thought.

Positivity really is the simple advice that will change your life. We can all use more of it and it’s missing in so many souls around the world. Find another way to move forward and don’t be afraid to take a step back once in a while.

Choose positivity in every situation and your life will change. You’ll see a brighter future, and better yet, you’ll create that future for yourself.

You deserve to be fulfilled and do what you love. Let positivity get you there faster.

<<<>>>

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

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared 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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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Gianna LaMaina

    Jul 13, 2018 at 7:37 am

    This is a great blog! Thank you for sharing personal details, it makes the advice that much more relatable. I am currently in a similar situation where I need a career switch urgently, I think the unhappiness of being in a unwanted career takes a huge negative toll on your life. So the first step is to change your lifestyle. Thank you for sharing!

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Life

5 Mindset Shifts You Can Steal From the Movies to Have Blockbuster Success

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If only our clients had the passion of Potterheads. Remember the midnight premiers? Potterheads lined up for hours, dressed in full costume, wands a-blazin’. When the doors finally opened, they couldn’t throw their money at the ticket booth fast enough. How do you create that kind of enthusiasm for your own business?

I’m going to share five mindset shifts straight out of the movie business that you can use to fuel lifelong fanatics. Some of it is going to be tough love, but hey, nobody said getting your own fan club was easy.

1. Stay humble, stay hungry

Working actors audition an average of 67 times before booking a gig. 67 times! And that’s working actors—people who earn their entire livelihood from acting. Most entrepreneurs will hear this stat and say, “I get it. I need to accept failure 66 times.” But this isn’t about that. It’s about showing up 67.

Accepting failure is passive. You can accept failure from your couch. Showing up and trying, however, is active. When you show up, you commit to taking a step forward. And 66 times, you’ll get knocked down. It’s humbling. But on attempt 67, that step forward might finally stick.

Mindset shift: You have an insatiable appetite for success. You know that every failure is one failure down and that, soon, you’ll knock it out of the park.

“Don’t let the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning.” – Robert Kiyosaki

2. Treat your audience as kings

The box office doesn’t care what the director’s intentions were, how cool the writer is, or if the lead actor was featured in some fancy magazine, it cares about people in seats. And when thematic costumes clothe them (ala Potterheads), there are more of them.

In movies and entrepreneurship, your most critical metrics depend on your audience’s choices. So, the sooner you start treating your audience as kings and making everything about them, the sooner your metrics will start climbing.

How does the Harry Potter franchise treat Potterheads as kings? Movie premiers are 100% about the fans. They get to feel cool in costume, show off to friends, be among the first, hang out with other super-fans, and more. No matter what, putting your audience’s desire ahead of your own will always pay off in the long run.

Mindset shifts: Other entrepreneurs pursue immediate recognition. But you know that the more special you make your audience feel, the more success you’ll have down the road.

3. Depict compelling transformations

Humans have a fundamental desire for transformation. We love watching movies about redemption, growing up, settling down, overcoming adversity, underdogs, and more. Harry Potter is full of that stuff. Heck, the series even allowed a generation of readers to transform into adults alongside Harry.

This is why Before and After pictures are so incredibly persuasive. They help us to visualize the change we crave. And every single product or service on the market offers some form of transformation. All you have to do is call it out.  

Mindset shift: Bad entrepreneurs sell products. Good entrepreneurs sell solutions. Entrepreneurs who create rabid fans sell transformation.

4. Trust the fundamentals

When I took my first screenwriting class, the number of hyper-specific rules shocked me. Did you know that about 20 minutes into every movie, something dramatic changes in the protagonist’s life and propels them into a new world?

Don’t believe me? Time it. Unsurprisingly, one kid in my class completely ignored the rules. Even more unsurprisingly, his scripts sucked. When my professor called him out, the kid blubbered, “But Tarantino—” To which my professor replied, “Are you Tarantino?” No. No, he was not Tarantino.

The difference between you, me, that kid, and Tarantino is that Tarantino paid his dues. It’s extremely rare to find someone who became successful by completely ignoring the conventions of their craft. And the same is true for entrepreneurship.

Mindset shift: Nobody is “above” learning the fundamentals. You know that by appreciating the current structures and systems, you will be better poised to disrupt them in the future.

“If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.” – Steve Jobs

5. Kill your darlings

Once upon a time, an animation studio was four years into creating a film about the ocean. They had sunk thousands of hours, hundreds of thousands of dollars, and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into the project. Then, the unthinkable happened… Finding Nemo. You know what the studio did with their ocean movie? They scrapped it.

As entrepreneurs, once we invest a lot of time and energy into something, we’re afraid to abandon it—even if the circumstances that made it worth pursuing in the first place don’t exist anymore. It’s the sunk cost fallacy. It’s important to remember that regardless of if you keep chugging along, the investment you made is unrecoverable. On the flip side, the gains you made are still valuable. The only choice you have is how you move forward—and sometimes, that means changing course.

Mindset shift: No effort goes to waste, even if the resulting work becomes irrelevant. Instead of letting your ego rule your decisions, you choose the best course of action and move on.

Building enthusiasm for your business is a slow but crucial process. What techniques have you pulled from other fields to help connect with your audience?

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Life

How Stress Can Actually Improve the Quality of Your Life

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Naturally, those of us who experience less stress in our lives are more likely to succeed. So, it’s important that you learn how to reduce your daily level of stress, right? Maybe not. Recent research has shown the common wisdom about stress might be dangerously inaccurate. Psychologists tracked the health of 30,000 adults in the United States over an 8-year period. Participants were asked two important questions:

1.    “How much stress have you experienced in the last year?”
2.    “Do you believe stress is harmful to your health?”

The researchers found that people who experienced high levels of stress were 43% more likely to die in the study’s 8-year period. Doesn’t that prove stress is in fact bad for your health? Not exactly, stress was only harmful to the people who believed stress was harmful.

Those people who experienced high amounts of stress but didn’t believe it was harmful to their health were less likely to die than all other groups in the study. They were even less likely to die than the people who experienced low levels of stress (but believed stress is harmful.)

Put simply, people who believe that stress is not harmful live longer lives than those who believe it is. This study showed that it might not be stress that damages our health, but our beliefs about stress that damages our health.

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.” – Elbert Hubbard

Breakthroughs In Stress Research

At first, this might be hard to believe. Kelly McGonigal elegantly explains this phenomenon in The Upside of Stress, “Stress mindsets are powerful because they affect not just how you think but also how you act. When you view stress as harmful, it is something to be avoided. Feeling stressed becomes a signal to try to escape or reduce the stress. And indeed, people who endorse a stress-is-harmful mindset are more likely to say that they cope with stress by trying to avoid it.”

People who believe stress is negative are more likely to avoid it by smoking, binge-eating, or watching too much TV. Afterwards, their physical health pays the price. Fortunately, research has shown that your beliefs about stress can be changed – and changing them has powerful benefits.

A study by Jeremy Jameson and colleagues had people endure a grueling social stress test. Participants were asked to give a 5-minute impromptu speech about their personal weaknesses to a panel of judges. To make this situation even more stressful, the judges were instructed to give negative feedback to the participant giving the speech. This study wasn’t just about sadistically putting people through social pressure, it was testing whether a mindset intervention could change how people react to stress.

Before giving the impromptu speech, participants were shown one of two videos:

  • The first video opened with the message, “Most people think that stress is negative… but research shows that stress is even more debilitating than you expect.”
  • The second video opened with, “Most people think that stress is negative… but actually research shows that it is enhancing.”

Participants who were shown the video that gave examples of how stress can be enhancing were less stressed out during the interview, felt more confident while speaking, and gave better interviews (as rated both by themselves and the judges). Even more impressively, although normally a stress response causes a person’s blood vessels to constrict, the blood vessels of participants who saw the pro-stress video remained relaxed.

“Much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they’ve started.” – David Allen

The Power Of Your Stress Mindset

So, a 3-minute video was able to change the way people responded to a stressful situation, not just psychologically, but physiologically. When we think stress is something we must avoid, stress becomes a negative feedback loop. We experience stress, we think it’s a bad thing, and then our stress makes us even more stressed (and on and on).

But, when we think stress is just a natural part of life, or even a good thing, we are able to embrace it instead of being controlled by it. This not only allows us to perform better in stressful situations, it also enables us to make healthier decisions (because we won’t attempt to avoid stress with unhealthy coping behaviors).

How do you handle stress? Comment below!

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Life

4 Simple Things You Can Do Today to Change Your Life for the Better

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Change lies in our ability to create better decisions for ourselves, and we can only do this by establishing a healthy mindset. Learn how to create a better life for yourself by improving your state of mind. I am going to help you get a little closer to the satisfying life you deserve by giving you some simple tips that hav completely changed the way I think of life.

Here are 4 simple things you can do to change your life right now:

1. What is making you unhappy?

Go to a quiet place to sit and think about your life. Take as much time as you need to think about why your life is the way it is. What in your life is going wrong? Why are you feeling this way? If something could fix the way you are feeling, what would it be? Write down all the things that are hindering your quest to life satisfaction and be specific. Then, write down solutions to each problem. This part is critical because it shows that your pain can be solved and therefore is temporary. It also shows that it is up to you to start your journey to a better you.

“Motivation is what gets you started, habit is what keeps you going.” – Jim Rohn

2. Improve Your Self-Awareness

Intellectual dishonesty is the worst thing we can do to our psyche. It is important to move beyond that barrier to improve self-awareness, which will then improve our lives. Your self-awareness is the ability to evaluate your own actions, feeling, desires and the negative and positive impact they have had on you and your environment. Be honest with yourself and create a list of things you should improve on and work towards those goals. Your list can include things such as, less aggressiveness; more patience or being more open to other people.

3. Put Away Your Phone

It is so easy to check out because of our phones. That little device can do pretty much anything, and we are under its spell. When was the last time you were with your loved ones without your phone being present? Even when you put it away, you keep it on the table and the urge to check it continues to grow.

That is called an addiction. Addiction is not limited to drugs, they can extend to objects or people as well. This unhealthy behavior prevents you from experiencing the present. Learn how to step away from your phone and cultivate your life.

Learn a new language, read a book or indulge in some arts and crafts. Brainstorm some awesome ideas that could lead to great cash flow. You have a ton of other things that you could be doing that will help you in the long run. When you go out with friends and family, turn off your phone and put it away. If someone calls, and it is important, they can leave a voicemail. Texts are not urgent…. because it’s a text. That person could easily call and if they care, they’ll leave a voicemail too.

The bottom line is to not let your phone be you crutch. Let your mind wonder and embrace boredom. You’ll be surprised at how creative your mind can get. You can create whole worlds and destroy them all in your mind! That is fascinating on its own without the help of a device.

“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

4. Give

Give something to someone at least once a day. This shifts the mindset from, “what I don’t have” to “what do I have to give?” Offer to buy your co-worker’s lunch; help someone with their computer; hold the door open for someone. Trust me, you will feel better about yourself and help others feel lighter on their feet. You could also volunteer or donate some of your belongings that are in good condition. Trust me, someone out there needs them, and they don’t care if it is out of fashion.

To live a better life, we must create a healthier way of thinking. Once our mind is healed, only then we will be able to live our best life. The goal is to create a healthy mindset, so we can make high-quality decisions that will lead to a more satisfying life.   

How are you improving your life today? Comment below!

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Life

How I RE-ENGINEERED My Life: This Will Help You.

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Image Credit: Unsplash (Vladimir Proskurovskiy)

I can help you. I’m just a regular guy with a pretty stock standard upbringing.

I hit a massive brick wall and made the decision to take every piece of my life and put it back together in a way that works.

I call this process “Re-engineering your life.”

Yep, I like that description a lot.

Many of you have very similar challenges to what I faced and so I want to use storytelling and a few practical strategies to help you.

Here’s how I re-engineered my life and how you can do the same:


Dealt with mental health.

Mental health has always been a taboo subject. Last week, on LinkedIn, I came out of the closet. I shared a photo of me in primary school and told my lifelong battle with anxiety.

It wasn’t easy, but it was a must. A few years back I cured myself of my mental health issues.

You can do the same by using these strategies:

  • Admit to yourself that you have an issue (biggest one)
  • Seek professional advice to begin with
    Put together a list of fears and tackle them one by one
     (this builds confidence)
  • Attend a Tony Robbins Event and walk on fire (helps you see that anything is possible)
  • Practice meditation before high-stress events

Overcoming anxiety for me was not easy. It required me to break my comfort-zone and deliberately seek out strategies and practical things I could do.
Re-engineering your life is about getting your mind in order first.

You can’t get your mind in shape if you have mental health issues like anxiety weighing you down”

Deal with the issues of the mind and you’ll finally be able to see your future clearly and the possibilities that are available to you.


Believed in myself through persistence.

During the re-engineering process, I wrote down what I was saying to myself.There were lots of insults I was saying to myself. Every time there was a challenge, my mind was telling myself that I couldn’t do it. I had zero belief in myself. I was my own worst enemy. Acknowledgment of this fact changed everything.

I altered the conversation in my head to “I can do it and there’s no harm in trying.”

I deleted the “I can’t do it talk” and chose blind optimism and a default response that would set me up to win. Sure there was failures. I tried lots of challenges and failed at most of them.

I went for job interviews and then vomited afterwards from nerves.
I cried a few times when girls broke up with me.
I got a plane and nearly passed out from fear.

Through every situation though, I built an inner belief. This voice of positivity in my head got louder and louder.

The more challenges I tried, the more times I learned a few lessons. These lessons turned into goals that I was able to achieve.

It sounds cliche but believing in yourself is at the center of all transformation.You can’t re-engineer your life unless you believe in yourself.

I’d encourage you to go for blind optimism. It will allow you to fail more and gain much bigger wins. The choice is yours.


Let go of anger.

All of us are holding anger inside ourselves (except maybe Nelson Mandella — when he was alive). That guy was a legend, but we’re not all Mr. Mandela.

I was holding anger from past relationships, an ongoing family feud, neighbors that stole my car spot, the guy that mowed the lawn because he let grass flick up onto my car and even the person in front of me that was walking too slow.

Everyone was consciously my enemy. This was a fucked way to live.
The anger built up inside of me and it made mediating nearly impossible. The constant chatter in my mind from all the anger never stopped.

Every person I met was violating some BS rule I had in my head that they were supposed to adhere to without knowing what it was”

Many of us are living in denial. We think we’re not storing anger, but we are.
What did I do? What can you do? Start forgiving people who you’re angry at. Don’t do it to help them; do it to help yourself. Set yourself free from negativity by quitting the ‘Anger Games” (did I just turn a movie title into a catchphrase?)

Practically I did the following:

  • Gave the neighbor I was pissed at a lift when it was raining
  • Forgave BS family issues from 10 years ago that had nothing to do with me from the beginning
  • Stopped caring about the grass hitting my stupid car and washed it
  • Showed compassion to strangers rather than wondering why they walked so slow

Re-engineering your life is about forgiving more so you can clear your mind and make room for awesomeness.


Limiting beliefs about money.

The startup culture of wearing a t-shirt and jeans for the rest of my life and walking over everybody else in pursuit of the almighty dollar screwed up my ideas about what money really was. This #StartupLife made me become obsessed with money and the creation of it. I started to believe that I would never have enough money.

I thought the dream of owning a home was unlikely because my idea of home ownership was a mansion with six bedrooms in the best postcode in Australia.

These beliefs have since changed and I’m now not obsessed with mansions. I’d rather spend money on experiences and holidays. This challenge with money, if I’m being honest, is not entirely fixed and still needs work. Such is life.

With that said, what changed my beliefs about money was this the following:

  • Spending time with the homeless
  • Seeing what the regrets of the dying were
  • Watching about 50% of my relatives die in a short space of time
  • Looking back on when I had lots of money and seeing how unhappy I was
  • Working with successful entrepreneurs that sold their businesses and became chronically unhappy

It’s amazing what real-world situations can do to show you what’s real and what’s not.

Don’t believe everything Instagram tells you about life through photos. You don’t need all those shiny toys and the wanting of them is distracting you from what matters.


Felt sick and tired.

Our eating habits can often be forgotten. We’re trained through advertising to see cake, soda and deep fried food as okay.

What changed the game for me was when someone asked me the following:
“How do you feel Tim? Energy-wise that is.”

The real answer was tired and sick even though I didn’t want to admit it.Energy is a bonus but feeling sick is where the real problem lies.

You’re not supposed to walk around feeling unwell and having to take tablets from the chemist. Getting real about whether you feel tired is a big step. Once you acknowledge the truth, there are easy ways to fix the problem.

Imagine you felt high on energy every day. How would that make you feel?
It’s a question so many of us can’t answer because we’ve never experienced it. Once you do, you’ll never go back.

Re-engineering your life is about feeling good and having the energy to do what you love — and care for those you love”


Quit my boring career.

Lots of us are going to work and hating it. We keep doing it because the addiction to money that pays the mortgage on the oversize house we don’t need is too great.

Money can never replace a career where you wake up each day excited to go to work. I’ve left this nightmare of a life where work sucked. I’m sure you have too.

When I quit doing work I hated and got closer to my passion for social media, blogging and personal development, I saw a drastic change. Work became a driver for everything I did outside of work. I was able to marry my career and my passions together. They began to blend into one.

Job dissatisfaction is very common and getting rid of it will make you feel like a new person. It’s not easy though

I did tonnes of interviews.
Got a bunch of rejections.
Persisted for a long time.

Most of all, though, I kept taking small steps towards something that I loved. 
That last one was the defining moment for me.

Instantly transferring to your dream career is tough. Taking small steps towards it is much more practical and achievable in the long run.

Re-engineering your life involves doing work you love. Not for the money; for the love of it. Waking up will never be the same when you’ve got to do work you love.

<<<>>>

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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What You Can Learn From My Ultimate “I Am Screwed” Moment.

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When I was 16 years old, I had the ultimate “I am screwed moment.”

Everything from this point on happened in slow motion. What I’m about to describe probably happened in the space of thirty minutes but it felt like five hours.

I was walking down the street with my buddy one night, eating a paddle pop ice cream. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a group of about twenty teenagers running towards us, dressed in black.

I instantly knew that something was up and as they got closer, we both realized we were screwed and there was nowhere to run to.

Seconds later the gang of teenagers came straight towards us as fast as they could.

“I got lucky and copped a baseball bat to the head. My friend wasn’t so lucky. He was repeatedly stabbed by several different people and there was blood everywhere.”

As I saw what happened to my friend, I knew I’d be next. I was hit so many times with the baseball bat that I was numb from the pain. Everything started to go white.

Then I heard a faint voice. The voice was calling my name out.

I listened to what the young man was saying and realized he was saying that his little brother knew me. All of a sudden, he put out his hand, lifted me off the ground and told me to run in the other direction, or I’d end up like my friend.

I somehow managed to get on my feet and run, but I was not giving up on my friend. I ran around the back of the shopping center that we were standing outside of and entered the building. I ran to the first security guard I saw and told them I needed help.

In my search to get help, miraculously, my friend had made it into the shopping center and he was being treated by a number of bystanders for his massive knife wounds.

I went over and spoke to him. He was okay and things looked better than I expected. I had about sixty seconds of calmness. Then I looked to my left.

Through the glass doors, I could see the same gang of teenagers running into the shopping center. Everyone including the two security guards ran in opposite directions.

My friend with his multiple knife wounds also ran and there were bandages everywhere as he made a run for it (I’m not even sure how he was able to move).

This time I was the unlucky one. I ran into the part of the shopping center that was closed for the night and three of the youths followed me. I’d never been so afraid because I saw what they did to my friend.

I ended up in the shopping centers food court and I hid in the darkness. I tried to control my breathing, but it was hard to silence the fear inside of me. I still remember the white Nike pants I was wearing and the bright red Sean John jumper I had on (I later discarded them because of the memory they left).

Again, through some kind of miracle, the three boys did not see me. They ran off in another direction and I stayed under the table.

The pain of my wounds started to set in. I knew deep down I was safe and so the fight or flight response was turned off. All of a sudden, moving and walking felt very painful.

I could feel broken bits of teeth in my mouth.


The aftermath.

After some time had passed, I manage to reconnect with my friend. By that time there was an ambulance on the scene and he managed to get his knife wounds treated. He got lucky and no vital organs were affected.

The next day I went to school and people could see I had gone through one hell of an ordeal. One of my friends in the year level below, came and found me and explained to me that it was his older brother and friends that attacked me.

They had mistakenly thought that we had come from a party, because of the direction we came from, where he was beaten up. He told me that because they had recognized me, to some degree, I was spared.

The story doesn’t end here though (I wish it did). Even after the brutal event, one of the attackers was still upset with me. I didn’t know why and it made no sense. I had multiple times where he and his friends were waiting for me in certain places and I was told they would harm me.

Through a mutual friend, I was able to resolve the conflict and I found out that a few of them were close friends with a few of my friends. In the coming years, I got to know my attackers.

“They were not the horrible violent people I encountered on that night. They slowly changed their ways and one of them has gone on to do extraordinary kind acts all over the world.”


A revelation from this “I am screwed” moment.

After this horrible event had occurred, I tried to make sense of it. I was not a violent person in any way but in a way, I had created this path for myself.

During my teenage years, I let rap music and violence dominate my life. I thought they were both cool.

The revelation from all of this was that I knew I had to change my life. I knew that the path I was on had led me to this moment and only I could change things. The next time an attack like this happened, I may not be as lucky.

I gave up rap music, I changed my group of friends, I started a business with my brother, I quit smoking and I disengaged from anything that was violent. Looking back, an “I am screwed” moment can be extremely valuable. It’s during these difficult times that we learn about who we are and what we can do to change our lives.

I would never have become obsessed with legacy, giving back and personal development if I hadn’t had this life or death experience.

I’m now fully aware of my mortality and I’m never going to take another day for granted.

Everything can change in a split second for better or for worse. What you do in that moment is up to you.

Nothing happens randomly (even this attack). Everything happens for a reason and when you ensure you get the lesson from it, you can go on to do extraordinary things.

I’m typing these words and reaching millions of people with them, partly because of this “I am screwed” moment.


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

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared 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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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Gianna LaMaina

    Jul 13, 2018 at 7:37 am

    This is a great blog! Thank you for sharing personal details, it makes the advice that much more relatable. I am currently in a similar situation where I need a career switch urgently, I think the unhappiness of being in a unwanted career takes a huge negative toll on your life. So the first step is to change your lifestyle. Thank you for sharing!

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Life

5 Mindset Shifts You Can Steal From the Movies to Have Blockbuster Success

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If only our clients had the passion of Potterheads. Remember the midnight premiers? Potterheads lined up for hours, dressed in full costume, wands a-blazin’. When the doors finally opened, they couldn’t throw their money at the ticket booth fast enough. How do you create that kind of enthusiasm for your own business?

I’m going to share five mindset shifts straight out of the movie business that you can use to fuel lifelong fanatics. Some of it is going to be tough love, but hey, nobody said getting your own fan club was easy.

1. Stay humble, stay hungry

Working actors audition an average of 67 times before booking a gig. 67 times! And that’s working actors—people who earn their entire livelihood from acting. Most entrepreneurs will hear this stat and say, “I get it. I need to accept failure 66 times.” But this isn’t about that. It’s about showing up 67.

Accepting failure is passive. You can accept failure from your couch. Showing up and trying, however, is active. When you show up, you commit to taking a step forward. And 66 times, you’ll get knocked down. It’s humbling. But on attempt 67, that step forward might finally stick.

Mindset shift: You have an insatiable appetite for success. You know that every failure is one failure down and that, soon, you’ll knock it out of the park.

“Don’t let the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning.” – Robert Kiyosaki

2. Treat your audience as kings

The box office doesn’t care what the director’s intentions were, how cool the writer is, or if the lead actor was featured in some fancy magazine, it cares about people in seats. And when thematic costumes clothe them (ala Potterheads), there are more of them.

In movies and entrepreneurship, your most critical metrics depend on your audience’s choices. So, the sooner you start treating your audience as kings and making everything about them, the sooner your metrics will start climbing.

How does the Harry Potter franchise treat Potterheads as kings? Movie premiers are 100% about the fans. They get to feel cool in costume, show off to friends, be among the first, hang out with other super-fans, and more. No matter what, putting your audience’s desire ahead of your own will always pay off in the long run.

Mindset shifts: Other entrepreneurs pursue immediate recognition. But you know that the more special you make your audience feel, the more success you’ll have down the road.

3. Depict compelling transformations

Humans have a fundamental desire for transformation. We love watching movies about redemption, growing up, settling down, overcoming adversity, underdogs, and more. Harry Potter is full of that stuff. Heck, the series even allowed a generation of readers to transform into adults alongside Harry.

This is why Before and After pictures are so incredibly persuasive. They help us to visualize the change we crave. And every single product or service on the market offers some form of transformation. All you have to do is call it out.  

Mindset shift: Bad entrepreneurs sell products. Good entrepreneurs sell solutions. Entrepreneurs who create rabid fans sell transformation.

4. Trust the fundamentals

When I took my first screenwriting class, the number of hyper-specific rules shocked me. Did you know that about 20 minutes into every movie, something dramatic changes in the protagonist’s life and propels them into a new world?

Don’t believe me? Time it. Unsurprisingly, one kid in my class completely ignored the rules. Even more unsurprisingly, his scripts sucked. When my professor called him out, the kid blubbered, “But Tarantino—” To which my professor replied, “Are you Tarantino?” No. No, he was not Tarantino.

The difference between you, me, that kid, and Tarantino is that Tarantino paid his dues. It’s extremely rare to find someone who became successful by completely ignoring the conventions of their craft. And the same is true for entrepreneurship.

Mindset shift: Nobody is “above” learning the fundamentals. You know that by appreciating the current structures and systems, you will be better poised to disrupt them in the future.

“If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.” – Steve Jobs

5. Kill your darlings

Once upon a time, an animation studio was four years into creating a film about the ocean. They had sunk thousands of hours, hundreds of thousands of dollars, and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into the project. Then, the unthinkable happened… Finding Nemo. You know what the studio did with their ocean movie? They scrapped it.

As entrepreneurs, once we invest a lot of time and energy into something, we’re afraid to abandon it—even if the circumstances that made it worth pursuing in the first place don’t exist anymore. It’s the sunk cost fallacy. It’s important to remember that regardless of if you keep chugging along, the investment you made is unrecoverable. On the flip side, the gains you made are still valuable. The only choice you have is how you move forward—and sometimes, that means changing course.

Mindset shift: No effort goes to waste, even if the resulting work becomes irrelevant. Instead of letting your ego rule your decisions, you choose the best course of action and move on.

Building enthusiasm for your business is a slow but crucial process. What techniques have you pulled from other fields to help connect with your audience?

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Life

How Stress Can Actually Improve the Quality of Your Life

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Naturally, those of us who experience less stress in our lives are more likely to succeed. So, it’s important that you learn how to reduce your daily level of stress, right? Maybe not. Recent research has shown the common wisdom about stress might be dangerously inaccurate. Psychologists tracked the health of 30,000 adults in the United States over an 8-year period. Participants were asked two important questions:

1.    “How much stress have you experienced in the last year?”
2.    “Do you believe stress is harmful to your health?”

The researchers found that people who experienced high levels of stress were 43% more likely to die in the study’s 8-year period. Doesn’t that prove stress is in fact bad for your health? Not exactly, stress was only harmful to the people who believed stress was harmful.

Those people who experienced high amounts of stress but didn’t believe it was harmful to their health were less likely to die than all other groups in the study. They were even less likely to die than the people who experienced low levels of stress (but believed stress is harmful.)

Put simply, people who believe that stress is not harmful live longer lives than those who believe it is. This study showed that it might not be stress that damages our health, but our beliefs about stress that damages our health.

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.” – Elbert Hubbard

Breakthroughs In Stress Research

At first, this might be hard to believe. Kelly McGonigal elegantly explains this phenomenon in The Upside of Stress, “Stress mindsets are powerful because they affect not just how you think but also how you act. When you view stress as harmful, it is something to be avoided. Feeling stressed becomes a signal to try to escape or reduce the stress. And indeed, people who endorse a stress-is-harmful mindset are more likely to say that they cope with stress by trying to avoid it.”

People who believe stress is negative are more likely to avoid it by smoking, binge-eating, or watching too much TV. Afterwards, their physical health pays the price. Fortunately, research has shown that your beliefs about stress can be changed – and changing them has powerful benefits.

A study by Jeremy Jameson and colleagues had people endure a grueling social stress test. Participants were asked to give a 5-minute impromptu speech about their personal weaknesses to a panel of judges. To make this situation even more stressful, the judges were instructed to give negative feedback to the participant giving the speech. This study wasn’t just about sadistically putting people through social pressure, it was testing whether a mindset intervention could change how people react to stress.

Before giving the impromptu speech, participants were shown one of two videos:

  • The first video opened with the message, “Most people think that stress is negative… but research shows that stress is even more debilitating than you expect.”
  • The second video opened with, “Most people think that stress is negative… but actually research shows that it is enhancing.”

Participants who were shown the video that gave examples of how stress can be enhancing were less stressed out during the interview, felt more confident while speaking, and gave better interviews (as rated both by themselves and the judges). Even more impressively, although normally a stress response causes a person’s blood vessels to constrict, the blood vessels of participants who saw the pro-stress video remained relaxed.

“Much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they’ve started.” – David Allen

The Power Of Your Stress Mindset

So, a 3-minute video was able to change the way people responded to a stressful situation, not just psychologically, but physiologically. When we think stress is something we must avoid, stress becomes a negative feedback loop. We experience stress, we think it’s a bad thing, and then our stress makes us even more stressed (and on and on).

But, when we think stress is just a natural part of life, or even a good thing, we are able to embrace it instead of being controlled by it. This not only allows us to perform better in stressful situations, it also enables us to make healthier decisions (because we won’t attempt to avoid stress with unhealthy coping behaviors).

How do you handle stress? Comment below!

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Life

4 Simple Things You Can Do Today to Change Your Life for the Better

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Change lies in our ability to create better decisions for ourselves, and we can only do this by establishing a healthy mindset. Learn how to create a better life for yourself by improving your state of mind. I am going to help you get a little closer to the satisfying life you deserve by giving you some simple tips that hav completely changed the way I think of life.

Here are 4 simple things you can do to change your life right now:

1. What is making you unhappy?

Go to a quiet place to sit and think about your life. Take as much time as you need to think about why your life is the way it is. What in your life is going wrong? Why are you feeling this way? If something could fix the way you are feeling, what would it be? Write down all the things that are hindering your quest to life satisfaction and be specific. Then, write down solutions to each problem. This part is critical because it shows that your pain can be solved and therefore is temporary. It also shows that it is up to you to start your journey to a better you.

“Motivation is what gets you started, habit is what keeps you going.” – Jim Rohn

2. Improve Your Self-Awareness

Intellectual dishonesty is the worst thing we can do to our psyche. It is important to move beyond that barrier to improve self-awareness, which will then improve our lives. Your self-awareness is the ability to evaluate your own actions, feeling, desires and the negative and positive impact they have had on you and your environment. Be honest with yourself and create a list of things you should improve on and work towards those goals. Your list can include things such as, less aggressiveness; more patience or being more open to other people.

3. Put Away Your Phone

It is so easy to check out because of our phones. That little device can do pretty much anything, and we are under its spell. When was the last time you were with your loved ones without your phone being present? Even when you put it away, you keep it on the table and the urge to check it continues to grow.

That is called an addiction. Addiction is not limited to drugs, they can extend to objects or people as well. This unhealthy behavior prevents you from experiencing the present. Learn how to step away from your phone and cultivate your life.

Learn a new language, read a book or indulge in some arts and crafts. Brainstorm some awesome ideas that could lead to great cash flow. You have a ton of other things that you could be doing that will help you in the long run. When you go out with friends and family, turn off your phone and put it away. If someone calls, and it is important, they can leave a voicemail. Texts are not urgent…. because it’s a text. That person could easily call and if they care, they’ll leave a voicemail too.

The bottom line is to not let your phone be you crutch. Let your mind wonder and embrace boredom. You’ll be surprised at how creative your mind can get. You can create whole worlds and destroy them all in your mind! That is fascinating on its own without the help of a device.

“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

4. Give

Give something to someone at least once a day. This shifts the mindset from, “what I don’t have” to “what do I have to give?” Offer to buy your co-worker’s lunch; help someone with their computer; hold the door open for someone. Trust me, you will feel better about yourself and help others feel lighter on their feet. You could also volunteer or donate some of your belongings that are in good condition. Trust me, someone out there needs them, and they don’t care if it is out of fashion.

To live a better life, we must create a healthier way of thinking. Once our mind is healed, only then we will be able to live our best life. The goal is to create a healthy mindset, so we can make high-quality decisions that will lead to a more satisfying life.   

How are you improving your life today? Comment below!

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Life

How I RE-ENGINEERED My Life: This Will Help You.

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I can help you. I’m just a regular guy with a pretty stock standard upbringing.

I hit a massive brick wall and made the decision to take every piece of my life and put it back together in a way that works.

I call this process “Re-engineering your life.”

Yep, I like that description a lot.

Many of you have very similar challenges to what I faced and so I want to use storytelling and a few practical strategies to help you.

Here’s how I re-engineered my life and how you can do the same:


Dealt with mental health.

Mental health has always been a taboo subject. Last week, on LinkedIn, I came out of the closet. I shared a photo of me in primary school and told my lifelong battle with anxiety.

It wasn’t easy, but it was a must. A few years back I cured myself of my mental health issues.

You can do the same by using these strategies:

  • Admit to yourself that you have an issue (biggest one)
  • Seek professional advice to begin with
    Put together a list of fears and tackle them one by one
     (this builds confidence)
  • Attend a Tony Robbins Event and walk on fire (helps you see that anything is possible)
  • Practice meditation before high-stress events

Overcoming anxiety for me was not easy. It required me to break my comfort-zone and deliberately seek out strategies and practical things I could do.
Re-engineering your life is about getting your mind in order first.

You can’t get your mind in shape if you have mental health issues like anxiety weighing you down”

Deal with the issues of the mind and you’ll finally be able to see your future clearly and the possibilities that are available to you.


Believed in myself through persistence.

During the re-engineering process, I wrote down what I was saying to myself.There were lots of insults I was saying to myself. Every time there was a challenge, my mind was telling myself that I couldn’t do it. I had zero belief in myself. I was my own worst enemy. Acknowledgment of this fact changed everything.

I altered the conversation in my head to “I can do it and there’s no harm in trying.”

I deleted the “I can’t do it talk” and chose blind optimism and a default response that would set me up to win. Sure there was failures. I tried lots of challenges and failed at most of them.

I went for job interviews and then vomited afterwards from nerves.
I cried a few times when girls broke up with me.
I got a plane and nearly passed out from fear.

Through every situation though, I built an inner belief. This voice of positivity in my head got louder and louder.

The more challenges I tried, the more times I learned a few lessons. These lessons turned into goals that I was able to achieve.

It sounds cliche but believing in yourself is at the center of all transformation.You can’t re-engineer your life unless you believe in yourself.

I’d encourage you to go for blind optimism. It will allow you to fail more and gain much bigger wins. The choice is yours.


Let go of anger.

All of us are holding anger inside ourselves (except maybe Nelson Mandella — when he was alive). That guy was a legend, but we’re not all Mr. Mandela.

I was holding anger from past relationships, an ongoing family feud, neighbors that stole my car spot, the guy that mowed the lawn because he let grass flick up onto my car and even the person in front of me that was walking too slow.

Everyone was consciously my enemy. This was a fucked way to live.
The anger built up inside of me and it made mediating nearly impossible. The constant chatter in my mind from all the anger never stopped.

Every person I met was violating some BS rule I had in my head that they were supposed to adhere to without knowing what it was”

Many of us are living in denial. We think we’re not storing anger, but we are.
What did I do? What can you do? Start forgiving people who you’re angry at. Don’t do it to help them; do it to help yourself. Set yourself free from negativity by quitting the ‘Anger Games” (did I just turn a movie title into a catchphrase?)

Practically I did the following:

  • Gave the neighbor I was pissed at a lift when it was raining
  • Forgave BS family issues from 10 years ago that had nothing to do with me from the beginning
  • Stopped caring about the grass hitting my stupid car and washed it
  • Showed compassion to strangers rather than wondering why they walked so slow

Re-engineering your life is about forgiving more so you can clear your mind and make room for awesomeness.


Limiting beliefs about money.

The startup culture of wearing a t-shirt and jeans for the rest of my life and walking over everybody else in pursuit of the almighty dollar screwed up my ideas about what money really was. This #StartupLife made me become obsessed with money and the creation of it. I started to believe that I would never have enough money.

I thought the dream of owning a home was unlikely because my idea of home ownership was a mansion with six bedrooms in the best postcode in Australia.

These beliefs have since changed and I’m now not obsessed with mansions. I’d rather spend money on experiences and holidays. This challenge with money, if I’m being honest, is not entirely fixed and still needs work. Such is life.

With that said, what changed my beliefs about money was this the following:

  • Spending time with the homeless
  • Seeing what the regrets of the dying were
  • Watching about 50% of my relatives die in a short space of time
  • Looking back on when I had lots of money and seeing how unhappy I was
  • Working with successful entrepreneurs that sold their businesses and became chronically unhappy

It’s amazing what real-world situations can do to show you what’s real and what’s not.

Don’t believe everything Instagram tells you about life through photos. You don’t need all those shiny toys and the wanting of them is distracting you from what matters.


Felt sick and tired.

Our eating habits can often be forgotten. We’re trained through advertising to see cake, soda and deep fried food as okay.

What changed the game for me was when someone asked me the following:
“How do you feel Tim? Energy-wise that is.”

The real answer was tired and sick even though I didn’t want to admit it.Energy is a bonus but feeling sick is where the real problem lies.

You’re not supposed to walk around feeling unwell and having to take tablets from the chemist. Getting real about whether you feel tired is a big step. Once you acknowledge the truth, there are easy ways to fix the problem.

Imagine you felt high on energy every day. How would that make you feel?
It’s a question so many of us can’t answer because we’ve never experienced it. Once you do, you’ll never go back.

Re-engineering your life is about feeling good and having the energy to do what you love — and care for those you love”


Quit my boring career.

Lots of us are going to work and hating it. We keep doing it because the addiction to money that pays the mortgage on the oversize house we don’t need is too great.

Money can never replace a career where you wake up each day excited to go to work. I’ve left this nightmare of a life where work sucked. I’m sure you have too.

When I quit doing work I hated and got closer to my passion for social media, blogging and personal development, I saw a drastic change. Work became a driver for everything I did outside of work. I was able to marry my career and my passions together. They began to blend into one.

Job dissatisfaction is very common and getting rid of it will make you feel like a new person. It’s not easy though

I did tonnes of interviews.
Got a bunch of rejections.
Persisted for a long time.

Most of all, though, I kept taking small steps towards something that I loved. 
That last one was the defining moment for me.

Instantly transferring to your dream career is tough. Taking small steps towards it is much more practical and achievable in the long run.

Re-engineering your life involves doing work you love. Not for the money; for the love of it. Waking up will never be the same when you’ve got to do work you love.

<<<>>>

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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