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The 5 Hidden Warning Signs That You Have Low Self Confidence (And HOW to Fix It!!)

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I became a Confidence Coach for two reasons: firstly, I feel completely alive when I coach people because I am living my purpose, and secondly, I don’t want others to have to suffer through low self-confidence like I did. Like myself, many people are not even aware that they have major confidence issues, but they are aware that ‘something is wrong’.

If you have core beliefs that undermine your self-confidence, you have probably felt like something has been missing your entire life. It’s a feeling that takes the sweetness out of success, and emphasises the heartbreak of failure. It’s a vague, guilty doubt, always there in the back of your mind, and sometimes in the front when you lie awake at night.

I’ve come to believe that this feeling is the small remaining part inside of you which knows you could be confident. It’s the part of you which smacks its head in despair every time you avoid something, or make excuses, or pretend you don’t want something you secretly desire.

For years I searched for confidence without even knowing that’s what I was searching for. All I knew was that I wanted better from myself and I was sick of being held back by fear. It was only a few years ago that I realised the issue was all to do with self-confidence.

The warning signs were always there – I just didn’t see them because I thought they were normal. I figured everyone either felt the same or else they were simply born differently and weren’t afraid. In a way I was both right and wrong. Yes some people felt the same as me, but that didn’t mean it had to be this way.

So if you are feeling like something is holding you back in life, if you’re frustrated by the sense of missing out, then have a read through this list of warning signs you could be overlooking. Then consider my solutions to these, as tried and tested methods on how to overcome these barriers to inner confidence.

 

1. You feel compelled to check your phone when left alone in social situations

I see this all the time. Two people are at a bar, restaurant or shopping mall and one needs to go to the toilet. The other person quickly comes to the realisation that they are now alone in a public setting. The first instinct is to go to the phone… checking for non-existent text messages or scrolling through Facebook. This is simply to alleviate boredom until the other person returns, right?

Wrong!

I guarantee the reason most people do this is because they feel like they are being judged by the public when they are out in a social situation by themselves. We are terrified by the thought that other people can see that we are by ourselves without a good excuse. This relates, in my experience, to a basic fear of disapproval by others. While in reality nobody even barely cares that you’re by yourself (they’ve got their own fears to deal with!), you feel as if you are the centre of attention.

 

Solution:

You need to prove to yourself that being alone in a social situation does not have any negative consequences. You can only achieve this by actually going out alone. Start small, like having a latte at a busy café by yourself. No checking the phone, no reading magazines, just no distractions whatsoever. Take your time, hey people-watching can be great fun! Once this harmless event is conquered, move up to dining, shopping, movies and bar-hopping alone. Being able to do these things despite the fear will make you more socially confident than 80% of people out there.

 

Super Challenge:

For those of you with mighty balls/ovaries, try going to a party, concert or nightclub alone, and initiate conversations with at least 5 strangers. I predict only about 1-5% of the total human population can do this without alcohol or a firearm pointed at them, so here’s an opportunity to place yourself among the elite of self-confident.

 

2. You’re unable to leave the house looking like crap

This one also relates to being judged by others, but is more specific to our fear of looking unattractive. I was recently in the Gold Coast in Australia and was saddened by the materialistic focus of the locals. Everyone seemed to be as polished and perfect as they could be. They obviously spend hours getting ready, even just to walk to the shops. Must be exhausting!

Looking good for yourself and looking good for others are two completely different concepts. Trying to win the approval of the fickle public with your appearance is a race you are always going to lose, because everyone has different tastes and eventually you will get old and ugly, no matter what. Wouldn’t it be better to not care what others thought of your appearance before that happens?

 

Solution:

In brief, discover your identity and match your ‘look’ to that. Focus on pleasing yourself with your ideal view of what you wish you were, rather than what other people think you should look like. I see myself as leader and an artist, so I like to combine business-wear with tattoos and jewellery. I can look at myself in the mirror and think “You’re looking badass my friend” without caring how others perceive me. I used to wear what people I envied wore!

 

Super Challenge:

Want to end your fear of public humiliation based on appearance for life? Don’t shower or groom yourself for a week. Do not use a mirror or allow yourself to see your reflection for the whole week. Go out in public at least once a day, wearing your worst clothes, such as tacky gym-clothes or mismatching items on purpose. No make-up, accessories, hats or shades (unless they are embarrassing). Yes, you will be judged, but nothing bad will happen. After a week like that, a quick trip to the shops in your PJ’s won’t seem like a big deal.

 

3. You tell ‘white lies’ to keep the peace, avoid conflict, or keep your job

Fear of conflict keeps many people from making improvements in their lives, because it robs them of integrity. Try to imagine being in a position where you have absolutely no secrets and nothing to hide. How would that feel? At first this concept terrified me. Now, I can’t see any other option, because total truth is pure freedom. You’d be amazed at how accepting good people are.

Trying to maintain a conflict-free environment can only be done through dishonesty for most people. It’s hard to build self-confidence when part of you constantly feels guilty about manipulating and lying. Yes, a small white lie to avoid conflict is a manipulative deception, don’t kid yourself about that! Self-confidence and self-belief requires the basic view of yourself as being a ‘good’ person. You need integrity to achieve this state.

 

Solution:

This one is a tricky one isn’t it?! It can seem impossible to be completely honest. The secret is to start small and learn how to deliver the truth safely. In one of my previous articles, I talk about using the BEID model for delivering feedback (see my addicted2success article on Living With Integrity). Using models to safely deliver messages will work as training wheels helping you build up to full disclosure. So start by making a commitment to catch yourself out when you’re about to lie to avoid conflict, and instead try to state your truth in a non-confrontational way.

 

Super Challenge:

Letting people see your weaknesses is the key to overcoming your fear that people will abandon you if you don’t play nice. That fear is what this ‘avoiding conflict’ is really about: wanting people to like you. If you really want to let go of your fear of conflict, you first need to let go of your fear that people will react negatively to the Real You, with all your flaws and vulnerability. If you want to flood this fear through exposure, try telling a safe person your biggest darkest secrets. Leave nothing out, including the things about yourself which shame you. If that goes ok, do it again with someone else. I’ve heard support groups are fantastic for this process.

 

4. Stressful situations have you reaching for substances or sex

How you cope with stress is a great measure of self-confidence. Those who face it head on and fight through the battle build confidence quickly. Those who use the distractions of mind and body are just avoiding conflict, pain and failure due to fear. The most common ‘crutches’ I’ve seen for avoiding facing fear are nicotine, alcohol, illicit drugs, shopping, and compulsive sexual behaviour.

There is a huge difference between blowing off steam vs. hiding from your demons. When you reach for a pleasure-enhancing tool to avoid the pain of a situation, you are confirming to yourself that you cannot handle it. That’s hardly going to build your confidence is it?

 

Solution:

The simple truth is that you CAN handle it. But like the social isolation fear discussed earlier, the only way you will believe you can handle stressful situations is by handling stressful situations! Even when it doesn’t work out in your favour you can still say ‘I survived’, and that’s the key to self-confidence: ability to rely on yourself. So next time you are feeling particularly down or anxious about a situation, make a promise to yourself that you will not use any ‘crutch’ to get through it; you will face it on its own terms until it’s done. Then just note how easy and pain-free it actually was compared to how you predicted it going.

 

Super Challenge:

Forsake all coping crutches for two whole months. No substances, no sex or masturbation as a coping mechanism (positive sexual experiences based on good emotions are fine), no hitting the boxing bag to ‘work out’ your anger. Just clean living and facing your issues head-on without flinching or needing anything. Using other people for support is fine, the more the merrier, but you should be able to do it without them too if needed.

 

5. You mind-read

Is there anyone out there who doesn’t do this? I doubt it. ‘Mind-reading’ is when you try to guess or assume what a person is thinking. This mostly comes from a negative place, where you are trying to avoid their disapproval, conflict, or you are hateful towards them and need to justify it. All of these reasons are fear-based. A truly confident person does not mind-read because if they want to know what someone is thinking, they will ask. If they don’t ask, it’s because they don’t care. Simple life right?

Mind-reading causes huge problems. You can spend a whole night lying awake, fretting over why your crush was so cold to you at work, without realising that they were simply distracted by a family crisis and didn’t even notice you. Or you can develop a raw hatred towards someone because you think they are condescending towards you, when really they just have a facial bone-structure that makes them appear haughty and they’re actually shy around you because you intimidate them.

 

Solution:

Stop mind reading! It really is that simple. But of course to get out of this habit, you can follow a process. Try this for a week: every time you catch yourself assuming what another person is thinking, try to imagine an alternative and opposite explanation. For example, if you think someone is judging you for being shy, try imagining that they are actually admiring you for staying calm.

Force yourself to keep doing this until you really start questioning your ability to read minds, because I have a newsflash for you: YOU SUCK AT IT! We all do. I’m a coach with a psych degree and more than 7 years’ experience in rehabilitating offenders, and I still don’t have the slightest clue what people are thinking most of the time. That’s why I ask and reflect.

 

Super Challenge:

Ask people what they are thinking every time you find yourself mind-reading. Be really honest with your assumptions and even tell them you are trying to break a mind-reading habit (they will totally identify with the problem because they do it too, guaranteed). You might say something like ‘Hey John, I noticed you look a bit down today, I’m starting to feel nervous that you’re mad at me about something’. Yes, this can occasionally cause conflict, but at least it will end in truth rather than miscommunication, bitterness and lost opportunities.

 

Conclusion

I have done all of these super challenges myself, some of which I live with to this day (like the last one). I would not recommend them unless I was sure they work. They’ve worked for me and my clients alike, some of whom gave me these ideas. If you really want that nagging voice of guilt and low self-esteem to go away for good, then working on building your confidence and facing your fears is the path you need to take. You could spend 10 years searching for it, like I did, or you can try to chip away at these warning signs and make much quicker progress.

The choice is yours. Try asking yourself:

“What do I want to think of myself in 10 years from now? How much longer will I wait to put an end to my confidence issues?”

 

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

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42 Comments

42 Comments

  1. Viky

    Jul 23, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    Hey Dan, Thanks for the tips.I am very motivated to apply these tips in my daily lifestyle. I am 20 years old and think I am in this condition from 2 to 3 years. And it has affected me in a lot of bad ways. I am strting this with commenting this time

  2. akhil satheesh

    Aug 11, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    Great read sir. Could see myself in there, in all the examples u used.

  3. Justin

    Apr 20, 2015 at 6:45 am

    I’m 35 and all my life I’ve had severe confidence problems along with no friends and extreme isolation. Work has gotten unusually stressful lately and I keep thinking management is trying to put me in a situation where they can disempower me first and then fire me. This brings me down, so far down I feel like contemplating suicide because I have no one I can turn to for support when things get really tough. There’s no one out there I can confide in, and as always i am forced to just sleep it off and hope these manic polarizing feelings just go away.

    • Christopher

      Nov 29, 2017 at 10:40 pm

      Justin I feel the same way in my work place. Its over 2 years since you made that post. I truly hope you’ve made changes in your life for the good, either confronting the problems at work or moving to a better workplace. Remember always try to change the problem in any way possible, even if it means quitting your job, before you consider suicide, before that option lots of change! This is coming from someone who has planned for the end and in many different ways.

      Myself I’m not sure what will happen, I think some people have different ‘End Dates’ and like you we feel there isn’t much left in the world after a certain point.

  4. fhdfh

    Feb 23, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    i did what u said in my own life actually. i went ahead and did all these things i was afraid of and i ended up losing all my friends, all respect and the little confidence i had left in me. i guess i am the biggest freak anyone’s ever met. my fear of abandonment were confirmed over and over. i don’t think these are good ideas. there is a reason a human brain feels like it should be a certain way in cirtain situations and people. i still regret what happened till this day. if i knew the outcome, i would of never done these things and would of still had friends. i was afraid of this- of dying alone and when i went ahead and been honest with others, thats exactly what ended up happening.

    • Milan

      Dec 2, 2016 at 6:56 am

      I had the same problem. People started getting intimidated by the amount of confidence that I had. I lost one friend. I always had that “what if?” gut feeling. SO, MY CONFIDENCE IS UNABLE TO PRESENT IT SELF. It had been quite tough for me to expose my confidence because I feel like people will think I am projecting too much. The last time I had confidence people stared at me awfully and started whispering to each other.

      • Angus

        May 10, 2017 at 8:50 am

        But if you were confident, you wouldn’t care what they were whispering about

  5. Omo

    Jan 13, 2015 at 9:35 am

    I was searching related to the topic self confidence because i have issues regarding this one and I found this and I think all of these warning signs applies to me, especially that mind reading one and constantly checking my phone. I’m a graduating student, high school and I always feel like I’m being judged inside the classroom as in ALL THE TIME. I always assume people are looking at me that’s why my movements are limited and I try to becareful of what I do. I sit in front and I don’t look back because I’m too shy to do so. I’m a person who looks around and when me and someone make eye contact, I always assume that maybe he or she thinks im weird because he or she thinks i always look at him or her. Plus i’m always the target when me and my friends bully each other. Not in a bad way but I think it’s because I don’t stand up for myself. I’m always looking down when inside the classroom that’s why i didnt get to concentrate in class because I’m always assuming someone is judging and looking at me in class…. I don’t even know what to do anymore and I sometimes cry because of this confidence issue..

  6. Jo

    May 8, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    Hi Dan
    I have just read your post, most of the time went I am alone in the party I try to take a look at my phone and try to distract my self and I really feel low most of the time even when I am out with my friends most the time. Feels like et I don’t care about look

    • Desmond

      Jul 10, 2014 at 5:46 pm

      Hi Dan,
      How would you suggest I apply some of these tactics to deal with a narcissistic father who will take every bit of opportunity to bring me down? I am talking about the kind who is successful and status oriented. The kind who will discourage you to dream Big and become ambitious, while he himself made it Big in his profession.

      Kind Regards,
      Desmond

      • Dan Munro

        Jul 20, 2014 at 5:15 am

        Hey Desmond, I’d need to know more about you. But one thing I can say for sure is that status is something we give to other people. He can only bring you down if YOU see him as being above you.

        Try imagining that he is lashing out at you because of his own fears. What might those fears be? What caused them? Do they actually have anything to do with you, or is it his problem? What would life be like if you saw him as someone who is scared rather than intimidating?

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Life

5 Subtle Things You Do When You Lack Confidence

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Confidence is a belief in one’s abilities and sense of competence. There are certain subtle things we do when we lack or have low confidence, and you need to be aware of these actions as they are quite subtle and can be easily skipped over. Even worse, we don’t identify the root cause of the problem and then spend years trying to fix something without any effect.

To prevent that, here is a list of 5 subtle things you do when you lack confidence:

1. You begin settling

You have it good enough in life so you settle for less because you think you don’t deserve it. The quote Jim Collins said about good being the enemy of great was focused on companies, but that can also apply to your life, your job and your relationship.

You got a job that you kind of hate. The job itself is okay but the boss is horrible and promotion/growth is not possible, but the salary is okay and the job is “just good.” When you lack confidence in your ability, you settle down. There are always other opportunities out there, so push forward.

The only thing worse than this is if the situation becomes permanent. Evaluate your life now and figure out where you are just floating by in. Believe in your ability to do better and take the risk. Learn new stuff and improve your life.

2. You avoid exposure

You think your ideas are not good or that your personality is not good enough. This is only fueled by your lack of confidence. You stand near the walls at a party to feel protected. The center of attention and the room is 2 meters away, but in your head, it’s a million miles.

Exposing yourself means showing other people who you are. To do that, we need to accept and love who we were. If we can’t, who can? For you to accept yourself continuously, do an exercise called “The Wheel of Change.” The exercise has 4 simple questions you need to answer for yourself giving you the building block of your confidence.

  1. What do I eliminate from my life?
  2. What do I create in my life?
  3. What do I accept in my life?
  4. What do I preserve in my life?

“With confidence, you have won before you have started.” – Marcus Garvey

3. You use distractions instead of solutions

The difference here is the belief. Zorro played by Antonio Banderas, couldn’t defeat his arch-enemy, Captain Harrison Love, because he just didn’t have the skills or knowledge at the time to do it. Due to this, he started drinking.

The drinking led him to despair and he almost gave up, yet a mentor played by Anthony Hopkins taught Zorro how to gain his confidence back and take out his enemies. The main thing was to master things in “The Zorro Circle.” That circle is small, but it’s a place where you have full control. When you master that circle, you expand it. The same things happen with your confidence.

You indulge in distractions, get overwhelmed and then quit. Nonetheless,  the main thing here is to do small things which are in your control. Use solutions instead of distractions and at some point, you will be able to solve problems which were out of your control when you started.

Don’t fall into the trap of rationalization, explaining why you are where you are in life. Just start working small, use solutions instead of distractions and you will get there.

4. You are a one-trick pony

A man came to see a psychologist and told him: “Doctor, I’m always depressed. I tried everything but nothing works. Please, help me out.” The psychologist told him to stand up and come to the window with him. “You see that tent over there?. That is the circus and they are really good. There is this one clown in particular who is really funny. He makes everyone laugh so hard. You should go and see him and you won’t have any reason to be depressed.”

The man turned to the psychologist and said, “Doctor, I am that clown!” You are not a one-trick pony but your friends perceive you like that. You are the funny one that cracks jokes or the trivia guy who has interesting facts around the water cooler.

At a certain point, this becomes who you are, and then, you are scared to show anything else to people around you. At some point, it becomes unbearable and you crack. To prevent this, you need to know that it’s okay to show your full personality.

You are not a one-trick pony. You are a human being with a full range of emotions, character-traits and personalities that must be shown to the world. This is the way to confidence. The other way brings you to the story of Robin Williams who tragically ended his life, so show yourself fully.

“Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.” – Bruce Lee

5. You lack tears in your eyes

It’s when you are aligned with emotions – when you respect how you feel – that you are truly free to feel the freedom of your emotions. You must love and cherish them when they occur by shedding happy yet sad tears as well.

When you acknowledge what you feel and own it to your deepest level, that’s when you’ll feel the biggest confidence. Don’t run away from your emotions, but own them. Let them go through your body and mind and acknowledge what’s happening in you. Feel it. They are sometimes pleasant and sometimes not, yet they are yours. It’s not how you feel, it’s how you feel about how you feel.

What do you do when you lack confidence? Let us know in the comments below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Life

22 Incredibly Weird But Profound Life Lessons.

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We’ve all read loads of articles that talk about life lessons, and after a while, they all sound the same.

I wanted to address the unknown, simple and incredibly profound life lessons that I’ve learned. These lessons have come from the strangest of places and many of them are weird.

I like to think that hidden in the weirdness and strangeness of life is where the golden nuggets of wisdom lie.

Here are 22 incredibly weird life lessons I’ve learned:

 

1. Glass bottles, teapots and lava lamps hold beauty.

That’s why I have them around me when I write. They help me peer into another universe and see things up close. They are fully transparent and leave you with more questions than answers.

“Beauty exists in glass just like it exists in many other simple things you currently take for granted”

 

2. Watering pot plants helps you care for others.

I’ve never had kids but pot plants show me that I can care for something other than myself and do a good job. They’re green and feel good to look at. Pot plants also clean the air which is a must in any space where you do creative work and need to feel good.

 

3. That one sentence text message means so much.

“Congrats on the new job”
“Hope you sell your house for a good price”
“Thanks for being my mentor”
“Let me know if you need anything”
“I believe you can do it”
“I’m cheering on the sidelines for you”

You’ve probably never thought these very brief messages would mean much. You probably took these short messages for granted. Next time you’re at rock bottom though, see how these short messages can completely change everything.

That’s why I send messages like this all the time because you never know when someone is at rock bottom or may need a few words to change their perspective.

 

4. An immaculate desk makes your content better.

I’ve A/B tested content written with a messy desk and content written on a desk full of clutter. A clean desk always creates clearer thoughts that sound less distracted.

“Your environment does affect the content you create whether that’s blog posts, videos or audio”

 

5. One block of dark chocolate is all it takes.

That’s all it took for me to get addicted to sugar again. Those small temptations always lead to bigger problems if you don’t remain disciplined. Once you’re rekindled with your temptations, your body demands more.

Don’t let a quick decision ruin everything you’ve built for yourself. Keep saying no to things that don’t serve you.

 

6. That one insult will ruin everything.

Saying nasty stuff only brings more of that into your life. Watch how good a smile can be in even the toughest situation, and you’ll see why you should never insult someone again.

 

7. One beep of your car horn.

It breaks your thought pattern and creates anxiety. People will cut you off and make mistakes when you’re driving. I’ve learned to stop reacting so much which has made me calmer. Avoid the temptation to toot people. It hurts you more than it hurts them.

 

8. You’re one book away from a breakthrough.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah Tim, I get it – read books!”

Well yes, you’ve been told a hundred times to read more. I read heaps and sometimes it does feel pointless. The thing is that all it takes is one idea from a book to create a breakthrough. Most of the advice you read in books you’ve heard before.

Sometimes it’s that one bit of advice, told in such a way, that creates a change in you. You could be one book away from changing your career, starting a new relationship or discovering a new passion.

 

9. Old clothes around the house will remind you of your former self.

I had an old pair of pyjamas that always put me in a bad mood. I realized it was because these pyjamas used to be my gym clothes when I was at the top of my fitness game. If something brings you no joy, get rid of it. Try replacing old clothes with ones that you can create new memories in as your future self.

 

10. You’re one or two connections away from anyone.

Okay, hear me out. I did a diagram the other day and realized that even a simple kid from Australia with a relatively small network (I’m talking about me) is only one or two connections away from Gary Vaynerchuk, Richard Branson, Tim Ferriss, and the founders of Uber and Airbnb.

I’m not kidding. You’re closer to your heroes than you think. Everyone knows everyone which is a big advantage providing you don’t abuse it.

 

11. A car is a distraction whether you like it or not.

Washing it.
Scratches.
Petrol.
Storing it.

The same goes for many material possessions which suck up time that you could be using to crush your goals. I look forward to the day where we can all easily access a shared electric car. Cars are a distraction that rarely bring joy.

 

12. Complex investments subtract from your passion.

Investment properties.
Share trading.
Buying crypto.

These are all investments I’ve made which have eaten up my free time that should have been used for blogging. The temptation to keep making more and more money that I’ll probably never get to spend seems alluring in the moment. Stick to simple investments unless investing is your passion.

Investments such as index funds typically beat the full-time investor and require little work to maintain. This leaves you more time and space in your brain to use on your passions in life.

 

13. The local park does change how you feel.

There’s something about fresh air and trees that takes you out of your head. Greenery is what’s needed when you’ve been working hard and need an escape. You don’t have to spend thousands and go overseas to have this simple escape. The local park can often be far enough.

 

14. The time you need does exist.

That’s why I stopped the following:

– Replying to every social media comment
– Checking emails fifty times a day
– Taking calls from unknown numbers
– Streaming TV shows
– Talking to people on the phone that piss me off
– Going to events to “make an appearance”

 

15. One minute activities are worth their weight in gold.

Spending sixty seconds on something is how new habits can often be formed. I tried bouncing on a trampoline for sixty seconds and loved it; I tried eating sardines for sixty seconds and saw the benefits straight away; I tried smiling for no good reason for sixty seconds and saw the impact.

 

16. The next conversation could be your soul mate.

That next encounter could be the love of your life. If you are determined to live life with the right positive attitude, then someone will find that attractive. If you tell everybody that you’ll never find someone, then that’s what life will deliver because you asked for it.

 

17. A comment on social media can become something.

I’ve had some followers read my stuff for years. One of them the other day introduced me to a highly lucrative new business. Always be nice to everyone on social media. You never know where your next opportunity could come from.

 

18. Keeping the toilet bowl clean is a must.

Always leave the world better than you found it. You would also like to find the toilet clean when nature calls.

 

19. Showing one person, one thing, makes you a coach.

That’s how I started my business by offering advice to a young man for free. Once you can add value to one person’s life, you can be a coach. Through coaching, you can help pass on your knowledge and wisdom to others who can use it towards their goals.

We all have it within us to be a coach.

Becoming a coach is the first step to leadership. Leaders create change.

 

20. Please and thank you does make you smile.

Say it and then watch what it does. You’ll feel good when you say it like you mean it. No one’s here to be your butler so be nice to everyone. Say thank you and please with passion and gratitude.

 

21. You’re being referenced checked 100% of the time.

That’s why lying will kill your success. Everything you do is being shared with your network so give people something inspiring, happy and positive to say about you. That’s how you attract more of what you want into your life.

 

22. A five-dollar donation is enough.

I was sitting at a restaurant with a friend last week and a man who had very little was selling a magazine to feed himself. My friend gave him 5-dollars and told him to keep the magazine. That five dollars changed the man’s day and he was so very happy that someone showed him kindness.

My friend also felt great after the encounter. It doesn’t take much to bring happiness to the world. It’s not the money or things that creates happiness; it’s the kindness you show when you do something without expecting anything in return.

It’s easier to be happy than you think.

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

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Life

13 Life Changing Principles From Benjamin Franklin

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How do you decide what’s important to you on a day to day basis? How do you decide what principles to stand by and what moral code to uphold?

Today we are constantly bombarded by news and social media messages from all around the world. This 24-hour news cycle has changed the way we absorb information, and it has shifted the way we identify reliable content. In fact, it has even changed the way that we think about what is important and how we envision success.

If you’re like me, you find it difficult to cut through the noise and develop a clear understanding of what is truly important to you. The challenge of cutting through the noise has led me to go back in time to explore the writings of some of the leading thinkers and professionals of the past.

Here are Benjamin Franklin’s 13 principles he believed led to success:

1. Temperance

Eat not to dullness, drink not to elevation. Temperance is not a trait that comes easily to many people. We live in a world driven by consumerism and excess, and we are constantly being sold on bottomless brunches or all you can eat buffets. Still, there is a growing movement of temperance and minimalism, especially among young people. The growth of this movement is something to watch out for moving forward.

2. Silence

Speak not what may benefit others or yourself, and avoid trifling conversation. We live in an age of connectivity and “always on” engagement. Too often we’re caught up reading our Facebook News Feed and updating people on our every thought and action. Interestingly, we are seeing a push away from this hyper connectivity towards “digital detoxes” and the growing popularity of silent retreats.

3. Order

Let all your things have their places. With more information comes a greater need for order. If Benjamin Franklin were alive today, he would be blown away by the number of organisations, apps, and programs available to people looking to streamline their lives.

4. Resolution

Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve. Goal setting is a top priority for most millennials and young people, yet people still struggle to follow through on their resolutions. Once you make a decision about something you want to accomplish, try your best to stick to it by setting out a definite plan for accomplishing it.

“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” – Benjamin Franklin

5. Frugality

Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself. For example, waste nothing. Frugality isn’t sexy, but it is seductively addictive. While most people would prefer to live a life of luxury and drive luxury sports cars all day, the skill required to live frugally and within your means translates into an amazing strength of will and character.

Plus, it can actually be fun. Living within (or below) your means during good times is one way to ensure that you can survive when times are tough. There are a number of resources available online that provide advice on how to save money on everything from rent to food to transportation and leisure travel.

6. Industry

Lose no time. Always be employed in something useful, and cut off all unnecessary actions. Being busy for the sake of business is not helpful. Rather, being productive by doing only that which is useful to you or someone else is key to success. Always be looking for ways to cut out unnecessary actions.

7. Sincerity

Use no hurtful deceit. Think innocently and justly, and if you speak, speak accordingly. Being truthful and sincere in your thoughts, words, and deeds is one of the best ways to achieve happiness and develop stronger relationships with those around you. While you may look for ways to avoid telling the truth because it might be hurtful or damaging, consider what affect it will have on you if you constantly have to hide how you truly feel.

8. Justice

Wrong none by doing injuries or omitting the benefits that are your duty. Effectively, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Don’t be rude.

9. Moderation

Avoid extremes. Forbear resenting injuries so much you think they deserve. Avoid becoming overly obsessive about any one thing or idea. Live a life of balance and moderation and you will be much better at making challenging decisions.

“Some people die at 25 and aren’t buried until 75.” – Benjamin Franklin

10. Cleanliness

Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation. Pretty straight forward, don’t be a slob.

11. Tranquillity

Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable. Try your best, then don’t worry, be happy. If you aren’t able to accomplish a goal but you’ve still tried your very best, there is no use worrying.

12. Chastity

Rarely use venery (sex) but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation. While this may seem like a rather antiquated principle, the power of chastity is not to be underestimated. There is a growing population of people who are self-diagnosed sex addicts or porn addicts. Addiction to pornography and sex can affect productivity and the ability to focus on long term goals.

13. Humility

Imitate Jesus and Socrates. Again, while this may seem rather dated, there is much to be said for emulating the lives of those who have lived simple and influential lives. Clearly, some of these virtues are more relevant than others, but most of the principles mentioned represent areas of personal development that nearly everyone on earth struggles with in one way or another.

Benjamin Franklin suggests that in order to develop yourself properly, you should focus on improving one quality at a time rather than trying to tackle all thirteen points at once. It is with this in mind that I urge you to take a look at your own habits and areas of interest and to choose one principle to focus on improving over the next week.

Which one of these habits will you implement first into your life and why? Comment below!

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Life

Getting Your First Grey Hair – What It Means.

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Recently I got my first grey hair. It’s on the side of my head and it’s very obvious. I’ve never had a grey hair before. I sat down and tried to think how my first grey hair made me feel. If the truth be told, it made me feel a bit fearful. Does this mean I’m getting old? What does old age mean?

These are the questions my first grey hair raised amongst many others. And guess what, if it’s not grey hair, then it will be baldness or wrinkles, or the triple McChicken Combo of all three.

Here’s what it all means:

 

You always think you’ll never get a grey hair.

When I was 21, I never thought I’d get grey hair. You know how it is. In your younger years, you think you’ll live forever. The concept of death seems so far away, and very unlikely. That’s why I smoked cigarettes and drank a lot when I was young and you probably did too.

The day you get your first grey hair, you realize you have been lying to yourself. It sort of reminds me of what it was like to take a sip of soy milk a few months ago that was full of mold. It should have been delicious until that disgusting taste hit the back of my throat.

Lying to yourself is the same. Figuring out that you misled yourself for short-term gain is not pleasant. In the end though, as Tim Ferriss says, you have to forgive yourself.

We all do dumb stuff before we get grey hair and even lie to ourselves. Your first grey hair is the realization that lying to yourself must stop. We’re all getting grey hair and we all will die at some point. That can be an awesome reality as you’ll see if you read on.

 

The “young indicator” keeps moving.

At eighteen, I thought I was old. At twenty-one, I thought I was older. At thirty, I thought I was an old man. The word “young” keeps changing its meaning as we age. My mentor is forty and he still thinks that’s young. My parents have friends that are in their fifties which they still call young.

The first grey hair brings to light the fact that young is just a label that we give meaning too.

“We can be forever young if that’s how we chose to live”

 

Grey hair doesn’t define you.

Why? Because you can get it at any age. In fact, you can even be born with it in some rare circumstances. The term “Silver Back” is cool ladies and gentlemen. The real point to address is that the color of your hair doesn’t define you.

Just like the color of your skin, the place you were born, your sexuality or the color of your phone cover doesn’t define you. Your grey hair can mean the best change in your life if you let it.

 

You’re no less of a man or woman.

Having grey hair doesn’t take away any of what you’ve created.

“You can change the world, be happy, be grateful and be successful with or without grey hair”

Grey hair doesn’t rob you of your freedom or take away your dignity.

 

Grey hair should remind you of time.

Whether we know it or not, grey hair reminds us of time. We associate grey hair with age even if it has nothing to do with it. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Being reminded about time and how short life is can help take you out of your routine.

That routine that makes you grind out each day the same way, while simultaneously forgetting who you are, who you want to become and the vision for your life.

Time is limited. Grey hair does not contain the same limitation.

 

With grey hair comes wisdom.

I only became the so-called Yoda of blogging (not my label) in the last year. The same year I got my first grey hair. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

Usually, by the time you get a grey hair or two, you’ve lived a bit of life. You’ve seen things. For example, I’ve seen loved ones die, people get stabbed, people lose their lives to drugs, people go to work and hate their jobs and so much more.

These experiences that you rack up by the time you get your first grey hair give you wisdom. That wisdom is designed to be shared so you can help others avoid these same pitfalls.

Grey hair should be a reminder of how wise you’ve become and what you want to do with the rest of your life while you continue to get grey.

Cheers to the second grey hair and the next one after that.

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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Motivation

Embrace The Suck.

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Embrace the Suck

I suck at spreadsheets.
I suck at maths because numbers do my head in.
I suck at attending meetings because I just want action.

You will suck at your first blog post.
You will suck at your first startup, and the one after that, and so on.
You will suck at giving your first speech.

We all suck 24/7.

None of us are 100% motivated all the time.
None of us get anything right the first time – unless it’s a fluke.

We all have nightmares of our failures.
We all secretly want to be perfect – even me.

 

It’s time to embrace the suck.

A lot about life F*cking sucks hard.

My #EmbraceTheSuck story (thanks Sina Fak for the idea) was failing at high school and dropping out. After a break, I went back and finished high school, and the only subjects I excelled at were music and English.

Even though the headmaster told me I’d always be a no good, punk a$$, drop out, I proved him wrong.

I used my expertise in English to become a blogger and that’s why I’m writing these words to you right now.

I failed in the short-term, but by persevering at school, it eventually led me to right now. I could have done nothing and become a bum. I could have listened to my headmaster and agreed with him.

I knew that I was destined to do something big and I believe the movement I’m creating right now is part of my crazy goal to change the world.

All of us can succeed when we embrace the suck and persevere.

“We can listen to our critics or we can lift the middle finger at them and keep going”

Making it through the suck made me smarter, more courageous and it helped me build a newfound resilience.

 

How do we embrace the suck?

1. Be prepared to fail.
2. Look like an idiot.
3. Be willing to start at the bottom
4. Persevere
5. Challenge the critics

When everything sucks, get back up.
Have a second go even if there’s no reason too.
Back yourself and believe you can push through the suck.

 

Embrace the suck is a call to action.

It’s about being prepared to eat sh*t because the upside makes it worth it. It’s about doing what so many are not prepared to do because you believe in yourself.

It’s about taking action and executing instead of being a daydreamer and being stuck in a foreplay of ideas, dreams, goals that never happen.

Starting at the bottom and sucking harder is how you get to the top.

Once you arrive at the top, make sure you help other people who are embracing the suck.

Let’s all commit to doing more things that suck and being okay with it. Let’s challenge each other to be courageous.

If I can go from being a high school dropout to making something of myself, then why the heck can’t you?

Embrace the suck because that’s what the people you idolize and anyone you’ve ever looked up to did.

Embracing the suck is part of life.

“Hello, adversity. Come at me!”

 

One day you’ll look back on all the sucky moments and be proud.

That’s the cherry on top of the cake right there.

That is all the motivation you need to embrace the suck.

 

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

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

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42 Comments

42 Comments

  1. Viky

    Jul 23, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    Hey Dan, Thanks for the tips.I am very motivated to apply these tips in my daily lifestyle. I am 20 years old and think I am in this condition from 2 to 3 years. And it has affected me in a lot of bad ways. I am strting this with commenting this time

  2. akhil satheesh

    Aug 11, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    Great read sir. Could see myself in there, in all the examples u used.

  3. Justin

    Apr 20, 2015 at 6:45 am

    I’m 35 and all my life I’ve had severe confidence problems along with no friends and extreme isolation. Work has gotten unusually stressful lately and I keep thinking management is trying to put me in a situation where they can disempower me first and then fire me. This brings me down, so far down I feel like contemplating suicide because I have no one I can turn to for support when things get really tough. There’s no one out there I can confide in, and as always i am forced to just sleep it off and hope these manic polarizing feelings just go away.

    • Christopher

      Nov 29, 2017 at 10:40 pm

      Justin I feel the same way in my work place. Its over 2 years since you made that post. I truly hope you’ve made changes in your life for the good, either confronting the problems at work or moving to a better workplace. Remember always try to change the problem in any way possible, even if it means quitting your job, before you consider suicide, before that option lots of change! This is coming from someone who has planned for the end and in many different ways.

      Myself I’m not sure what will happen, I think some people have different ‘End Dates’ and like you we feel there isn’t much left in the world after a certain point.

  4. fhdfh

    Feb 23, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    i did what u said in my own life actually. i went ahead and did all these things i was afraid of and i ended up losing all my friends, all respect and the little confidence i had left in me. i guess i am the biggest freak anyone’s ever met. my fear of abandonment were confirmed over and over. i don’t think these are good ideas. there is a reason a human brain feels like it should be a certain way in cirtain situations and people. i still regret what happened till this day. if i knew the outcome, i would of never done these things and would of still had friends. i was afraid of this- of dying alone and when i went ahead and been honest with others, thats exactly what ended up happening.

    • Milan

      Dec 2, 2016 at 6:56 am

      I had the same problem. People started getting intimidated by the amount of confidence that I had. I lost one friend. I always had that “what if?” gut feeling. SO, MY CONFIDENCE IS UNABLE TO PRESENT IT SELF. It had been quite tough for me to expose my confidence because I feel like people will think I am projecting too much. The last time I had confidence people stared at me awfully and started whispering to each other.

      • Angus

        May 10, 2017 at 8:50 am

        But if you were confident, you wouldn’t care what they were whispering about

  5. Omo

    Jan 13, 2015 at 9:35 am

    I was searching related to the topic self confidence because i have issues regarding this one and I found this and I think all of these warning signs applies to me, especially that mind reading one and constantly checking my phone. I’m a graduating student, high school and I always feel like I’m being judged inside the classroom as in ALL THE TIME. I always assume people are looking at me that’s why my movements are limited and I try to becareful of what I do. I sit in front and I don’t look back because I’m too shy to do so. I’m a person who looks around and when me and someone make eye contact, I always assume that maybe he or she thinks im weird because he or she thinks i always look at him or her. Plus i’m always the target when me and my friends bully each other. Not in a bad way but I think it’s because I don’t stand up for myself. I’m always looking down when inside the classroom that’s why i didnt get to concentrate in class because I’m always assuming someone is judging and looking at me in class…. I don’t even know what to do anymore and I sometimes cry because of this confidence issue..

  6. Jo

    May 8, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    Hi Dan
    I have just read your post, most of the time went I am alone in the party I try to take a look at my phone and try to distract my self and I really feel low most of the time even when I am out with my friends most the time. Feels like et I don’t care about look

    • Desmond

      Jul 10, 2014 at 5:46 pm

      Hi Dan,
      How would you suggest I apply some of these tactics to deal with a narcissistic father who will take every bit of opportunity to bring me down? I am talking about the kind who is successful and status oriented. The kind who will discourage you to dream Big and become ambitious, while he himself made it Big in his profession.

      Kind Regards,
      Desmond

      • Dan Munro

        Jul 20, 2014 at 5:15 am

        Hey Desmond, I’d need to know more about you. But one thing I can say for sure is that status is something we give to other people. He can only bring you down if YOU see him as being above you.

        Try imagining that he is lashing out at you because of his own fears. What might those fears be? What caused them? Do they actually have anything to do with you, or is it his problem? What would life be like if you saw him as someone who is scared rather than intimidating?

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Life

5 Subtle Things You Do When You Lack Confidence

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Confidence is a belief in one’s abilities and sense of competence. There are certain subtle things we do when we lack or have low confidence, and you need to be aware of these actions as they are quite subtle and can be easily skipped over. Even worse, we don’t identify the root cause of the problem and then spend years trying to fix something without any effect.

To prevent that, here is a list of 5 subtle things you do when you lack confidence:

1. You begin settling

You have it good enough in life so you settle for less because you think you don’t deserve it. The quote Jim Collins said about good being the enemy of great was focused on companies, but that can also apply to your life, your job and your relationship.

You got a job that you kind of hate. The job itself is okay but the boss is horrible and promotion/growth is not possible, but the salary is okay and the job is “just good.” When you lack confidence in your ability, you settle down. There are always other opportunities out there, so push forward.

The only thing worse than this is if the situation becomes permanent. Evaluate your life now and figure out where you are just floating by in. Believe in your ability to do better and take the risk. Learn new stuff and improve your life.

2. You avoid exposure

You think your ideas are not good or that your personality is not good enough. This is only fueled by your lack of confidence. You stand near the walls at a party to feel protected. The center of attention and the room is 2 meters away, but in your head, it’s a million miles.

Exposing yourself means showing other people who you are. To do that, we need to accept and love who we were. If we can’t, who can? For you to accept yourself continuously, do an exercise called “The Wheel of Change.” The exercise has 4 simple questions you need to answer for yourself giving you the building block of your confidence.

  1. What do I eliminate from my life?
  2. What do I create in my life?
  3. What do I accept in my life?
  4. What do I preserve in my life?

“With confidence, you have won before you have started.” – Marcus Garvey

3. You use distractions instead of solutions

The difference here is the belief. Zorro played by Antonio Banderas, couldn’t defeat his arch-enemy, Captain Harrison Love, because he just didn’t have the skills or knowledge at the time to do it. Due to this, he started drinking.

The drinking led him to despair and he almost gave up, yet a mentor played by Anthony Hopkins taught Zorro how to gain his confidence back and take out his enemies. The main thing was to master things in “The Zorro Circle.” That circle is small, but it’s a place where you have full control. When you master that circle, you expand it. The same things happen with your confidence.

You indulge in distractions, get overwhelmed and then quit. Nonetheless,  the main thing here is to do small things which are in your control. Use solutions instead of distractions and at some point, you will be able to solve problems which were out of your control when you started.

Don’t fall into the trap of rationalization, explaining why you are where you are in life. Just start working small, use solutions instead of distractions and you will get there.

4. You are a one-trick pony

A man came to see a psychologist and told him: “Doctor, I’m always depressed. I tried everything but nothing works. Please, help me out.” The psychologist told him to stand up and come to the window with him. “You see that tent over there?. That is the circus and they are really good. There is this one clown in particular who is really funny. He makes everyone laugh so hard. You should go and see him and you won’t have any reason to be depressed.”

The man turned to the psychologist and said, “Doctor, I am that clown!” You are not a one-trick pony but your friends perceive you like that. You are the funny one that cracks jokes or the trivia guy who has interesting facts around the water cooler.

At a certain point, this becomes who you are, and then, you are scared to show anything else to people around you. At some point, it becomes unbearable and you crack. To prevent this, you need to know that it’s okay to show your full personality.

You are not a one-trick pony. You are a human being with a full range of emotions, character-traits and personalities that must be shown to the world. This is the way to confidence. The other way brings you to the story of Robin Williams who tragically ended his life, so show yourself fully.

“Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.” – Bruce Lee

5. You lack tears in your eyes

It’s when you are aligned with emotions – when you respect how you feel – that you are truly free to feel the freedom of your emotions. You must love and cherish them when they occur by shedding happy yet sad tears as well.

When you acknowledge what you feel and own it to your deepest level, that’s when you’ll feel the biggest confidence. Don’t run away from your emotions, but own them. Let them go through your body and mind and acknowledge what’s happening in you. Feel it. They are sometimes pleasant and sometimes not, yet they are yours. It’s not how you feel, it’s how you feel about how you feel.

What do you do when you lack confidence? Let us know in the comments below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Life

22 Incredibly Weird But Profound Life Lessons.

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We’ve all read loads of articles that talk about life lessons, and after a while, they all sound the same.

I wanted to address the unknown, simple and incredibly profound life lessons that I’ve learned. These lessons have come from the strangest of places and many of them are weird.

I like to think that hidden in the weirdness and strangeness of life is where the golden nuggets of wisdom lie.

Here are 22 incredibly weird life lessons I’ve learned:

 

1. Glass bottles, teapots and lava lamps hold beauty.

That’s why I have them around me when I write. They help me peer into another universe and see things up close. They are fully transparent and leave you with more questions than answers.

“Beauty exists in glass just like it exists in many other simple things you currently take for granted”

 

2. Watering pot plants helps you care for others.

I’ve never had kids but pot plants show me that I can care for something other than myself and do a good job. They’re green and feel good to look at. Pot plants also clean the air which is a must in any space where you do creative work and need to feel good.

 

3. That one sentence text message means so much.

“Congrats on the new job”
“Hope you sell your house for a good price”
“Thanks for being my mentor”
“Let me know if you need anything”
“I believe you can do it”
“I’m cheering on the sidelines for you”

You’ve probably never thought these very brief messages would mean much. You probably took these short messages for granted. Next time you’re at rock bottom though, see how these short messages can completely change everything.

That’s why I send messages like this all the time because you never know when someone is at rock bottom or may need a few words to change their perspective.

 

4. An immaculate desk makes your content better.

I’ve A/B tested content written with a messy desk and content written on a desk full of clutter. A clean desk always creates clearer thoughts that sound less distracted.

“Your environment does affect the content you create whether that’s blog posts, videos or audio”

 

5. One block of dark chocolate is all it takes.

That’s all it took for me to get addicted to sugar again. Those small temptations always lead to bigger problems if you don’t remain disciplined. Once you’re rekindled with your temptations, your body demands more.

Don’t let a quick decision ruin everything you’ve built for yourself. Keep saying no to things that don’t serve you.

 

6. That one insult will ruin everything.

Saying nasty stuff only brings more of that into your life. Watch how good a smile can be in even the toughest situation, and you’ll see why you should never insult someone again.

 

7. One beep of your car horn.

It breaks your thought pattern and creates anxiety. People will cut you off and make mistakes when you’re driving. I’ve learned to stop reacting so much which has made me calmer. Avoid the temptation to toot people. It hurts you more than it hurts them.

 

8. You’re one book away from a breakthrough.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah Tim, I get it – read books!”

Well yes, you’ve been told a hundred times to read more. I read heaps and sometimes it does feel pointless. The thing is that all it takes is one idea from a book to create a breakthrough. Most of the advice you read in books you’ve heard before.

Sometimes it’s that one bit of advice, told in such a way, that creates a change in you. You could be one book away from changing your career, starting a new relationship or discovering a new passion.

 

9. Old clothes around the house will remind you of your former self.

I had an old pair of pyjamas that always put me in a bad mood. I realized it was because these pyjamas used to be my gym clothes when I was at the top of my fitness game. If something brings you no joy, get rid of it. Try replacing old clothes with ones that you can create new memories in as your future self.

 

10. You’re one or two connections away from anyone.

Okay, hear me out. I did a diagram the other day and realized that even a simple kid from Australia with a relatively small network (I’m talking about me) is only one or two connections away from Gary Vaynerchuk, Richard Branson, Tim Ferriss, and the founders of Uber and Airbnb.

I’m not kidding. You’re closer to your heroes than you think. Everyone knows everyone which is a big advantage providing you don’t abuse it.

 

11. A car is a distraction whether you like it or not.

Washing it.
Scratches.
Petrol.
Storing it.

The same goes for many material possessions which suck up time that you could be using to crush your goals. I look forward to the day where we can all easily access a shared electric car. Cars are a distraction that rarely bring joy.

 

12. Complex investments subtract from your passion.

Investment properties.
Share trading.
Buying crypto.

These are all investments I’ve made which have eaten up my free time that should have been used for blogging. The temptation to keep making more and more money that I’ll probably never get to spend seems alluring in the moment. Stick to simple investments unless investing is your passion.

Investments such as index funds typically beat the full-time investor and require little work to maintain. This leaves you more time and space in your brain to use on your passions in life.

 

13. The local park does change how you feel.

There’s something about fresh air and trees that takes you out of your head. Greenery is what’s needed when you’ve been working hard and need an escape. You don’t have to spend thousands and go overseas to have this simple escape. The local park can often be far enough.

 

14. The time you need does exist.

That’s why I stopped the following:

– Replying to every social media comment
– Checking emails fifty times a day
– Taking calls from unknown numbers
– Streaming TV shows
– Talking to people on the phone that piss me off
– Going to events to “make an appearance”

 

15. One minute activities are worth their weight in gold.

Spending sixty seconds on something is how new habits can often be formed. I tried bouncing on a trampoline for sixty seconds and loved it; I tried eating sardines for sixty seconds and saw the benefits straight away; I tried smiling for no good reason for sixty seconds and saw the impact.

 

16. The next conversation could be your soul mate.

That next encounter could be the love of your life. If you are determined to live life with the right positive attitude, then someone will find that attractive. If you tell everybody that you’ll never find someone, then that’s what life will deliver because you asked for it.

 

17. A comment on social media can become something.

I’ve had some followers read my stuff for years. One of them the other day introduced me to a highly lucrative new business. Always be nice to everyone on social media. You never know where your next opportunity could come from.

 

18. Keeping the toilet bowl clean is a must.

Always leave the world better than you found it. You would also like to find the toilet clean when nature calls.

 

19. Showing one person, one thing, makes you a coach.

That’s how I started my business by offering advice to a young man for free. Once you can add value to one person’s life, you can be a coach. Through coaching, you can help pass on your knowledge and wisdom to others who can use it towards their goals.

We all have it within us to be a coach.

Becoming a coach is the first step to leadership. Leaders create change.

 

20. Please and thank you does make you smile.

Say it and then watch what it does. You’ll feel good when you say it like you mean it. No one’s here to be your butler so be nice to everyone. Say thank you and please with passion and gratitude.

 

21. You’re being referenced checked 100% of the time.

That’s why lying will kill your success. Everything you do is being shared with your network so give people something inspiring, happy and positive to say about you. That’s how you attract more of what you want into your life.

 

22. A five-dollar donation is enough.

I was sitting at a restaurant with a friend last week and a man who had very little was selling a magazine to feed himself. My friend gave him 5-dollars and told him to keep the magazine. That five dollars changed the man’s day and he was so very happy that someone showed him kindness.

My friend also felt great after the encounter. It doesn’t take much to bring happiness to the world. It’s not the money or things that creates happiness; it’s the kindness you show when you do something without expecting anything in return.

It’s easier to be happy than you think.

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

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Life

13 Life Changing Principles From Benjamin Franklin

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benjamin franklin autobiography

How do you decide what’s important to you on a day to day basis? How do you decide what principles to stand by and what moral code to uphold?

Today we are constantly bombarded by news and social media messages from all around the world. This 24-hour news cycle has changed the way we absorb information, and it has shifted the way we identify reliable content. In fact, it has even changed the way that we think about what is important and how we envision success.

If you’re like me, you find it difficult to cut through the noise and develop a clear understanding of what is truly important to you. The challenge of cutting through the noise has led me to go back in time to explore the writings of some of the leading thinkers and professionals of the past.

Here are Benjamin Franklin’s 13 principles he believed led to success:

1. Temperance

Eat not to dullness, drink not to elevation. Temperance is not a trait that comes easily to many people. We live in a world driven by consumerism and excess, and we are constantly being sold on bottomless brunches or all you can eat buffets. Still, there is a growing movement of temperance and minimalism, especially among young people. The growth of this movement is something to watch out for moving forward.

2. Silence

Speak not what may benefit others or yourself, and avoid trifling conversation. We live in an age of connectivity and “always on” engagement. Too often we’re caught up reading our Facebook News Feed and updating people on our every thought and action. Interestingly, we are seeing a push away from this hyper connectivity towards “digital detoxes” and the growing popularity of silent retreats.

3. Order

Let all your things have their places. With more information comes a greater need for order. If Benjamin Franklin were alive today, he would be blown away by the number of organisations, apps, and programs available to people looking to streamline their lives.

4. Resolution

Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve. Goal setting is a top priority for most millennials and young people, yet people still struggle to follow through on their resolutions. Once you make a decision about something you want to accomplish, try your best to stick to it by setting out a definite plan for accomplishing it.

“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” – Benjamin Franklin

5. Frugality

Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself. For example, waste nothing. Frugality isn’t sexy, but it is seductively addictive. While most people would prefer to live a life of luxury and drive luxury sports cars all day, the skill required to live frugally and within your means translates into an amazing strength of will and character.

Plus, it can actually be fun. Living within (or below) your means during good times is one way to ensure that you can survive when times are tough. There are a number of resources available online that provide advice on how to save money on everything from rent to food to transportation and leisure travel.

6. Industry

Lose no time. Always be employed in something useful, and cut off all unnecessary actions. Being busy for the sake of business is not helpful. Rather, being productive by doing only that which is useful to you or someone else is key to success. Always be looking for ways to cut out unnecessary actions.

7. Sincerity

Use no hurtful deceit. Think innocently and justly, and if you speak, speak accordingly. Being truthful and sincere in your thoughts, words, and deeds is one of the best ways to achieve happiness and develop stronger relationships with those around you. While you may look for ways to avoid telling the truth because it might be hurtful or damaging, consider what affect it will have on you if you constantly have to hide how you truly feel.

8. Justice

Wrong none by doing injuries or omitting the benefits that are your duty. Effectively, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Don’t be rude.

9. Moderation

Avoid extremes. Forbear resenting injuries so much you think they deserve. Avoid becoming overly obsessive about any one thing or idea. Live a life of balance and moderation and you will be much better at making challenging decisions.

“Some people die at 25 and aren’t buried until 75.” – Benjamin Franklin

10. Cleanliness

Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation. Pretty straight forward, don’t be a slob.

11. Tranquillity

Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable. Try your best, then don’t worry, be happy. If you aren’t able to accomplish a goal but you’ve still tried your very best, there is no use worrying.

12. Chastity

Rarely use venery (sex) but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation. While this may seem like a rather antiquated principle, the power of chastity is not to be underestimated. There is a growing population of people who are self-diagnosed sex addicts or porn addicts. Addiction to pornography and sex can affect productivity and the ability to focus on long term goals.

13. Humility

Imitate Jesus and Socrates. Again, while this may seem rather dated, there is much to be said for emulating the lives of those who have lived simple and influential lives. Clearly, some of these virtues are more relevant than others, but most of the principles mentioned represent areas of personal development that nearly everyone on earth struggles with in one way or another.

Benjamin Franklin suggests that in order to develop yourself properly, you should focus on improving one quality at a time rather than trying to tackle all thirteen points at once. It is with this in mind that I urge you to take a look at your own habits and areas of interest and to choose one principle to focus on improving over the next week.

Which one of these habits will you implement first into your life and why? Comment below!

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Life

Getting Your First Grey Hair – What It Means.

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Recently I got my first grey hair. It’s on the side of my head and it’s very obvious. I’ve never had a grey hair before. I sat down and tried to think how my first grey hair made me feel. If the truth be told, it made me feel a bit fearful. Does this mean I’m getting old? What does old age mean?

These are the questions my first grey hair raised amongst many others. And guess what, if it’s not grey hair, then it will be baldness or wrinkles, or the triple McChicken Combo of all three.

Here’s what it all means:

 

You always think you’ll never get a grey hair.

When I was 21, I never thought I’d get grey hair. You know how it is. In your younger years, you think you’ll live forever. The concept of death seems so far away, and very unlikely. That’s why I smoked cigarettes and drank a lot when I was young and you probably did too.

The day you get your first grey hair, you realize you have been lying to yourself. It sort of reminds me of what it was like to take a sip of soy milk a few months ago that was full of mold. It should have been delicious until that disgusting taste hit the back of my throat.

Lying to yourself is the same. Figuring out that you misled yourself for short-term gain is not pleasant. In the end though, as Tim Ferriss says, you have to forgive yourself.

We all do dumb stuff before we get grey hair and even lie to ourselves. Your first grey hair is the realization that lying to yourself must stop. We’re all getting grey hair and we all will die at some point. That can be an awesome reality as you’ll see if you read on.

 

The “young indicator” keeps moving.

At eighteen, I thought I was old. At twenty-one, I thought I was older. At thirty, I thought I was an old man. The word “young” keeps changing its meaning as we age. My mentor is forty and he still thinks that’s young. My parents have friends that are in their fifties which they still call young.

The first grey hair brings to light the fact that young is just a label that we give meaning too.

“We can be forever young if that’s how we chose to live”

 

Grey hair doesn’t define you.

Why? Because you can get it at any age. In fact, you can even be born with it in some rare circumstances. The term “Silver Back” is cool ladies and gentlemen. The real point to address is that the color of your hair doesn’t define you.

Just like the color of your skin, the place you were born, your sexuality or the color of your phone cover doesn’t define you. Your grey hair can mean the best change in your life if you let it.

 

You’re no less of a man or woman.

Having grey hair doesn’t take away any of what you’ve created.

“You can change the world, be happy, be grateful and be successful with or without grey hair”

Grey hair doesn’t rob you of your freedom or take away your dignity.

 

Grey hair should remind you of time.

Whether we know it or not, grey hair reminds us of time. We associate grey hair with age even if it has nothing to do with it. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Being reminded about time and how short life is can help take you out of your routine.

That routine that makes you grind out each day the same way, while simultaneously forgetting who you are, who you want to become and the vision for your life.

Time is limited. Grey hair does not contain the same limitation.

 

With grey hair comes wisdom.

I only became the so-called Yoda of blogging (not my label) in the last year. The same year I got my first grey hair. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

Usually, by the time you get a grey hair or two, you’ve lived a bit of life. You’ve seen things. For example, I’ve seen loved ones die, people get stabbed, people lose their lives to drugs, people go to work and hate their jobs and so much more.

These experiences that you rack up by the time you get your first grey hair give you wisdom. That wisdom is designed to be shared so you can help others avoid these same pitfalls.

Grey hair should be a reminder of how wise you’ve become and what you want to do with the rest of your life while you continue to get grey.

Cheers to the second grey hair and the next one after that.

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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