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Why Travelling Can Wake You The Hell Up From Your Reality

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Spending some time traveling the world can change your current perspective on life. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut and then not be able to see a clear way out. The way out can often be blinded by your own thinking.

Travel is something that can wake you the help up from the day-to-day grind and help you to realise an abundance of things that you either didn’t know or have forgotten about. We live our lives so numb to what else exists or what could be happening on the other side of the world right now.

Hong Kong View From Sky100There are certain triggers that we all need to bring us back to the present and realise what is important to us individually. There are few things that have the immense power required to catapult you out of your current reality, but traveling is definitely one of them.

What I have just described to you is exactly what happened to me on two recent trips to China and Hong Kong. To be honest, I haven’t had the pleasure of doing a lot of travel in my life and made the mistake of thinking that seeing the world isn’t as important as the daily entrepreneur grind.

We’re taught by social media that we should never sleep, never take a break, and work on our passion 24/7. This is a recipe for disaster, and it’s a reality I have unfortunately lived many times over.

Thanks to my China trips, I would like to share with you the seven ways traveling can wake you the hell up:

 

1. Remind you of the world’s problems

The catch phrase “first world problems” is something that many millennials use to describe their problems. The phrase is considered by many to be a joke towards just how little our problems are compared to developing countries, but I feel that many young people don’t quite understand the problems that exist.

The benefit of travel is that it allows all of us to wake up and see what other countries are like. No matter Tim Denning Wondering Chengdou Chinahow bad you think you have it, there is always somewhere else in the world that has it worse. Travelling shows us that we need to put our problems into perspective and not think that everything in our life is so bad after all.

The more that you travel, the more you will see that other countries problems are very similar to your own and that on the surface they may appear different, when in reality they’re the same.

As I visited parts of China, I saw people that were immensely happy, yet they had hardly anything. I found that the more I trekked into country villages, the happier the people seemed to be. There was a place in Shanghai that I went to called “The Bund” which is where a lot of the wealthy business people of China work.

The place was filled with the successful business type, and the shops were flooded with luxury brands like Hugo Boss, yet the people didn’t come across as happy. Many worked twelve hour days hustling for the dollar and were never given the time to travel out of fear that they might lose their illustrious position at the top of the corporate ladder.

Travelling makes you see that the corporate ladder can be an illusion of happiness in some ways and that the so-called “first world problems,” are often the problem in itself because these challenges are so minor in the scheme of what’s important in the universe.

 

2. Rediscover the beauty in the world

Tim Denning - Great Wall Of ChinaWhen you transform into a traveler for an escape, you wake up to the fact that there is so much beauty in the world outside of the usual office building. The typical places we all visit in a week are very dull compared to places like The Great Wall Of China.

“By not traveling, you get stuck in a slumber of nothingness and your goals get left behind in the world’s rear vision mirror” – Tim Denning

Beauty can often be hard to see when you haven’t witnessed enough of it. Coming back from traveling the globe can often help you to see the beauty in the small things. In your day-to-day life, you walk past amazing flowers and trees all the time, yet you probably don’t notice them.

How is it, though, that when you’re traveling, even something as bland as a rubbish bin can seem so spectacular? It’s because traveling helps us to become present again and assist us in waking the hell up!

 

3. Remember how short your time is

It’s a fact that our time is short on planet Earth, but it’s so easy to forget this simple truth. Traveling around the world helps to wake you up and make you realise that time is short. You start to think to yourself, why didn’t I visit this country much sooner? What if I never get to see all the beautiful places in the world?

These questions are a normal response for any traveller returning from their latest adventure.

“The key is to use your travelling experience to come back to your daily life with a sense of inspiration and urgency about your mission or purpose” – Tim Denning

Don’t have regrets about your lack of travel, just get up off the couch, book some flights, and go out into the world and explore!

 

4. Make you realise if you miss work

It’s easy to get stuck in a career and never live your dream of being an entrepreneur. Travelling can help wake you up by giving you some time away from work. When you spend time away from work and travel the world, the new places can give you some thinking time.

As you return from travelling, you will notice whether you missed the excitement of work or not. If you find that you didn’t miss work, and you’re even dreading your return, then you are most likely in the wrong line of work. That’s okay because travel has done you a favour and given you a moment of decision.

This moment of decision is a chance for you to go on a new path and find success in another direction. Sometimes knowing what you don’t like doing is the best gift you can get in life!

Tim Denning In The Muslim City Of China
 

5. Show you what entrepreneurship can do

It’s no secret that one of the benefits of being an entrepreneur is that you are not chained to one particular location. You can typically travel and work at the same time. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that this means entrepreneurship is for everyone because it’s still bloody hard work.

What travel does though is show you what it can be like to be in a different location constantly. If your field of work is flexible, try and work from another country with your laptop and see how it goes. It may be the best thing you ever experiment with, and it could become a new standard for your life.

 

6. Remind You Of Freedom

I’m sure if I asked the average person whether they thought they had loads of freedom they would say no. As you travel the world, you realise that you have more freedom than you think you have. There are people that are much worse off from you who are enslaved each day just so they can buy very basic food supplies. Many of these same people live a very hard life.

Travelling showed me that I have plenty of freedom including the very thing that I had forgotten; I had the freedom to get on a plane and travel in the first place. The simple act of travelling is a demonstration of freedom right there in front of our eyes, we are just so blind sometimes and need a good wake up call like travel to remind us.

 

7. Relax your mind

By choosing to travel somewhere in nature, we can escape the daily grind. When we travel, we have an excuse to be uncontactable and escape our mobile phone. We no longer become on call to anyone, and we can just be with our own thoughts.

Leshan Grand Buddha ChinaAs you spend time apart from life’s challenges, travel helps you to see them in a new way. It gives your mind clarity on what the decision is that you might need to make to get back towards success again. Travelling allows us to have an excuse to do some meditation because we should have plenty of time to do so.

Meditating in another country is a whole new experience, and it takes you to an even higher level of calmness. I’m someone who used to find certain parts of travel as stressful, but through meditation, I have been able to enjoy my travels much more.

In China, I visited a mountain that was carved into the shape of a Buddha. Once I climbed to the top of the mountain, I entered a Buddhist temple and was blown away by the sense of calm I felt. There is nothing like this in Australia where I come from, and that’s why you have to wake up from reality and travel sometimes!

What do you find are the best things about travel? What’s the most magnificent place you have been too that I should visit? Let me know in the comments section below or on my website timdenning.net or my Facebook.

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared millions of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around personal development and entrepreneurship. You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Arlene

    Jun 16, 2016 at 1:31 am

    Great article! I’ve become addicted to travel and try and see a new part of the world any chance I get, I love all the places I have seen but I would recommend going to Colombia in particular Medellin and Cartagena ☺️!

  2. Yasmeen

    May 31, 2016 at 7:20 am

    Thanks for the Article, Tim!!!!. I have a question to ask you. Its been my dream to travel to Tokyo, Japan since I was 19 but unfortunately I could not due to my financial conditions.

    So, Tim I want you to give my an advice on how can I improve my financial condition in order to accomplish my dream.

    Appreciate your time, Tim!!!!

    • Tim Denning

      Jun 4, 2016 at 11:06 pm

      Yasmeen thanks so much for reading. Like anything, there is no easy fix. I would suggest that you ensure you are saving at least 30% of what you earn. This means every week when you get paid you automatically transfer money into your savings account. You have to make saving a habit. I would also look at what passive income you can create through either an online business or maybe even dabbling with network marketing.

      Rich Dad, Poor Dad is also an excellent book that will give you more detailed info towards how to manage finances. It’s a timeless classic for a reason. Hope this info helps you and all the best with your travelling dream!

  3. Toño

    May 31, 2016 at 4:27 am

    As you already know, travelling the world is one of my biggest dreams and diving deep into your article I can feel the itching to just let it all go, book a ticket and never come back 🙂 You nailed it, Tim, by saying that social media taught us ‘we should never sleep, never take a break, and work on our passion 24/7’. I can see those messages everywhere, including Foundr Instagram as well. I kind of agree with, and kind of don’t. While there is nothing wrong to work on your passion and grind to success, it, on the other side, may very much feels like pressure, tension and routine. You can just burn yourself out and never desire to work again. Recently I have been reading and studying more about about spirit and soul, and meditate more so I can feel deeper connection to the source. I feel that need to be more in nature and live in balance and that appears to me more important than any material goodies and success. Well, you may think IT IS the success, to be comfortable and be in nature, right?

    Your very first point is right about it. Travelling can show you different perspectives and you may want to review your ‘problems’. Usually I use movies to recharge my brain that way where I can see and appreciate my life more. Of course, travelling will give you much more that few hour film, providing rich experience and raw emotions.

    This is well connected to your next point, where we can rediscover the beautie of the world or discover it for the first time. Fresh new places will help to be more concious about things you observe and funny you mentioned the rubbish bin, as I have few photos from my last year vacation to the ocean where there’s a trash bin in the middle of it anf it is indeed look so spectacular haha!

    You know, I foten think about what for do we work and actualy live? We always fear to lose something, lik eour home, job or whatever it may be, never really realizing that life may be very short and to be stuck in one place for eternity never a good idea. And that way you may understand that your daily job, your environment, your ‘friends’ and your life is not what you actually enjoy and it will hugely benefits you in the long term.

    Oh, and relaxation! It’s huge thing I strive for every day and when I have the ability to just relax after some productive activity I simply feel amazing. You spoke about that Buddhist temple (which is awesome by the way!) and how you felt calm and I can relate to this as when I was visiting Paris I entered the Notre Dame Cathedral and had the similar feelings. I remember was sitting there for a good amount of time and felt so calm and relaxed. We stayed in Paris for a week while travelling to Spain and I’ve visited Notre Dame few more times as it was very peaceful and inspirational experience for me.

    All what you said here, Tim, is so right and I am very happy you experienced this for yourself. China seems like an amazing place and I love these photos, you looks very happy on ’em 🙂 Thank you so much bringing this topic and diving so deep into it, my friend, it means alot to me! Would love to read/hear more from you on such matter in the future.

    Much love and appreciation, stay well and helathy!

    • Tim Denning

      May 31, 2016 at 9:04 am

      Toño you should scratch that travel itch and go and do a trip asap….don’t wait. Movies are okay to recharge with but travel is much more long-lasting. Being in nature and doing what you want everyday because you love it and not because you have to do it is the ultimate success in my mind. Paying bills and doing stuff you hate is failure.

      Always happy to share my experiences Toño and glad it sparked something within you. Speak soon mate.

  4. Vikash Sharma

    May 30, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    Hi Tim,
    An Awesome Article!
    I completely agree with you. Travel really wakes you up. It’s not only a good way to relax but also gives you energy to do better, It gives you new thoughts, It improves your confidence. I have personally experienced it.
    I have stuck several times in life, and the best thing I do to get out of it is travel. I get Solution while travelling.
    Overall a Nice Article! Thank you for sharing it with us.

    • Tim Denning

      May 30, 2016 at 6:44 pm

      Vikesh thank you so much! Travel is a great way to solve your problems and allow you to reflect on them. When you’re too close to the problem you often can’t see the solution. Travel helps to break that vicious cycle. Thanks again for reading.

  5. Angelo Drake

    May 26, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    Nice article Tim.

    As a traveller I would say that the greatest thing about travelling is that it can allow you the time to figure out what you really want in life. You have the space to look at what really drives you, what really makes you happy.

    In a world in which we are constantly beeping, buzzing and zooming, travelling to distant, remote places, offers the opportunity to decompress from the hustle and let life present it’s wonders to you. When you see this magic, it might just make you realize that you weren’t supposed to be an accountant, you were supposed to be a magician.

    • Tim Denning

      May 26, 2016 at 8:38 pm

      Thanks for your perspective Angelo. The buzzing and the beeping can really exhaust you after a while. I think we all need to just decompress sometime and realise what’s important.

  6. Ryan Lotze

    May 26, 2016 at 7:48 am

    I was literally just in Mexico yesterday for the whole day. I got to see a new area of the world I had never been to before. The past few years I have been so dedicated to delaying the gratification of traveling later. But that mini-vacation opened my mind and eyes up to the reality, that even though I am working on my own business from the comfort of my laptop, that I can take a spur in the moment or even planned trip to experience other parts of the world.

    Wow, this was definitely an eye opener for me! Thank you Tim! Great post!

    • Tim Denning

      May 26, 2016 at 8:40 pm

      Ryan that’s awesome! I have always wanted to go to Mexico so I must make it happen. Best of luck with your future travels and don’t delay them any longer. Thanks for reading.

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Life

How You Can Effectively Achieve Your Goals by Using the Puzzle Analogy

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I was building a 500 piece puzzle the other day with many tiny little pieces. When I opened the box, I was completely overwhelmed. There were so many pieces and many of them were very similar in color. I took a breath and thought “just do one piece at a time”. I knew that I had to come up with a plan and organize the pieces into groups before I got started. This helped me to focus and take away some of the overwhelming feelings that were coming up. I came up with a plan and executed that plan.

However, like anything in life, our plans don’t always go the way we think they will. If you can treat anything you are trying to achieve in life like a puzzle, it will help you get through the confusion and come up with a plan to achieve your goals.

Take Your Goals One Step at a Time

Putting a puzzle together is the perfect analogy for anything you are trying to achieve in life. You won’t know all the steps to take to achieve your goal until you are in the middle of it. Each step comes up when it needs to and you complete it as it comes up. Some of the pieces might need to be moved around but that is ok. It is ok if the first piece doesn’t fit, you make adjustments and move forward.

It is much less overwhelming to take it piece by piece instead of trying to figure out the whole picture before you even get started. Many things will come up that you didn’t expect and that is why you cannot see the whole picture until it is done. It is good to remain flexible and take it step by step as new things come up.

“Set your target and keep trying until you reach it.” – Napoleon Hill

Starting is the First Step to Achieve Any Goal You Want in Life

The most important thing is to start! You won’t know how it’s all going to go and you may need to change some things around in the middle. But in the end, you will have the complete picture. If you look at your goal with anxiety and think it is too hard in the beginning, then you may not even start. You only need to know the first step, get organized and all the pieces will fit into place.

I was overwhelmed when I first looked at the puzzle and I thought “maybe I won’t even do it. Is it worth it?” But I decided that I’d start, even if I didn’t finish it at least I’d try. But you know what? Once I got into the puzzle, it wasn’t so bad. It was way less overwhelming when I was in the middle of it then it was before I started.

You have time on your side. You don’t have to do it all in one day or one week or one year. You have plenty of time. That is something that helped me. There was no pressure to get it done in one day which was my original goal; the only pressure I had was that which I put upon myself.

Get Organized and Start With a Solid Plan

If you are starting out on a goal, it is important to get organized first. Yes, you won’t know everything that is going to happen but at least you will be organized enough that when things do come up, you will know how to incorporate them into your plan. Being organized will make it much easier to see where all the pieces go and save you a lot of time in the long run.

I got organized and sorted the puzzle pieces by colors as well as outside and inside pieces to make it easier to see where the pieces would fit. If I left them all in one big pile, I’d constantly have to sort through the pile to find what I was looking for and waste a ton of time. By having them broken out into smaller piles, I was able to find what I was looking for much faster and saved a lot of time.

This works with whatever it is you are trying to achieve in life. Get organized and make a plan. You will save yourself a lot of time and frustration. It is so much easier to go through little organized piles of items than one big, disorganized pile.

“Goals give you more than a reason to get up in the morning; they are an incentive to keep you going all day.” – Harvey MacKay

Get Through the Tough Times When Going for Your Goals

Before I dove into the puzzle, I was confused and a bit frustrated but determined to make it work. In the end all the pieces fit together perfectly and made a beautiful picture. It’s interesting to think of a project or a goal you want to achieve like a big puzzle with many pieces. When you first dump out the pieces, it is a mess. They just look like pieces, nothing is created yet. But as you go through the process and move things around it starts to come together.

You may hit some speed bumps along the way and get a bit frustrated, but if you are organized and take it one step at a time it will form a lovely picture in the end. So, keep going as determined as ever by moving one piece at a time.

Sometimes the piece will fit and other times you’ll need to find a different puzzle piece to go in that spot. Before you know it, you have a beautiful picture created that you never thought you’d be able to do before you started. It may be an interesting, messy, confusing, fun, bumpy ride but in the end all the pieces will form the beautiful picture that you set out to achieve.

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Life

Self-Compassion Vs. Self-Esteem: How You Can Build Both

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Self-esteem can be defined as the confidence in your own abilities or worth. Self-compassion, however, can be defined by the ability to be gentle with yourself, even if you have misjudged or made a mistake.

You ask yourself from time to time, how is self esteem related to success? Having a sense of low self-esteem can really become a barrier for building your career and ultimately, living the life you want.

You may be completely competent in your skills and abilities but be too afraid to show the world your talents or too hesitant to apply for that job. Low self-esteem may hinder you in your personal life by leaving you with feelings of inadequacy or you may always be comparing yourself to someone else.

Self-esteem is not something that can be instantly repaired overnight. Building your self-esteem can take time and, most importantly, self-compassion. It is most important to be kind to yourself and accept that from time to time, you will make mistakes.

Creating a strong sense of self-compassion can ultimately bring more to your life than just a newfound sense of self-love.

Self-Compassion Vs. Self-Esteem

When looking at self compassion vs self esteem, which is more important? Self-esteem can be volatile and emotional, while self-compassion can allow you to remove your self-esteem from your value judgments of yourself.

Knowing this will allow you to look at your decisions and actions from a non-judgmental mindset. You will be able to look at your traits, both good and bad, and accept that all of them are a part of human nature.

New studies suggest that self-compassion, rather than self-esteem, may be the key that allows you to achieve more growth because you can take your best traits and cultivate them while look at your worst traits objectively.

It can be argued that improving self-compassion will ultimately serve you better in the long run than improving your self-esteem. Even if self-compassion is more important, you can still have room to improve your self-esteem while you are at it.

Here are some tips to tell you how to work on self esteem and self compassion:

1. Be Gentle with Yourself

No one is perfect and, as humans, we will all make mistakes. It is important to recognize and accept our flaws and mistakes as imperfect. Embrace that there are people that care about you, despite your flaws.

“Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.” – Bruce Lee

2. Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness has many reported benefits for improving your mental health. You can use mindfulness by becoming aware and present in the current moment. Using mindfulness can help you look at your thoughts objectively and decide “Is this a fact about myself or a judgement?”

By staying mindful of how you are speaking to yourself, you can identify where your thoughts are becoming negative and redirect your thinking to more positive thoughts.

Practicing mindfulness will help you look at the current moment without judgements or preconceived ideas about yourself and allow room for growth.

3. Allow Room to Grow

We all inherently have traits that can be seen as undesirable, yet it’s what we do with those traits that decide whether we grow or remain where we’re at in life. By looking objectively at your flaws with a growth mindset, you can transform your life.

Allow yourself to take the things about yourself that you are uncomfortable with and learn from them on how to better yourself. The takeaways would be to focus on one thing at a time and take baby steps.

4. Be Grateful

It is easy to compare ourselves and what we have, or don’t have, to those around us.

Everyone around us is putting the greatest highlights of their lives on social media, and we end up making comparisons that we shouldn’t. It is important to remember to be grateful for what you do have such as the ability to be a great writer or excel in mathematics.

“Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.” – John Wooden

Secondly, we need to be mindful of our positive traits, and how they can benefit the world. Think about how your specific skills have served you in the past. Perhaps, you are great at taking the lead and because of that, you’re the main leader on work projects. Remember that your positive traits deserve acknowledgement and praise.

5. Do Good

It has been proven that participating in improving the well-being of those around you will aid in improving your own well-being. Doing good and helping those around you will only have a positive effect in your life.

It is not beneficial to tear others down in an effort to build yourself up. Saying and doing helpful things for others around you will not only improve their self-esteem but yours as well.

6. Practice Makes Perfect

It will take some time and commitment to truly work on your self-esteem and self-compassion. This is not a commitment to yourself that you should take lightly. Decide that now is the time for action and truly commit to remaining consistent in bettering yourself.

You may see the successful people around you and how they seem to be so confident in themselves and wonder to yourself, is self-esteem the key to success? Truthfully, the answer would be no.

The key to success lies within many factors, and self-esteem and self-compassion are only two of the factors. As far as building both areas, practicing these strategies listed will help you learn how to get better in self-esteem and self-compassion.

Which one of the above factors resonated most with you in your pursuit of building your self-compassion and self-esteem? Let us know below!

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Life

7 Strategies to Get Anything You Want From Life

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Success is tricky. There is no shortage of information about what creates success, but there are secret saboteurs in your thoughts and beliefs that may be sacking your accomplishments.

If you aren’t where you want to be in life, consider the following:

1. Choose accuracy over history

Your beliefs are not necessarily accurate. Your perception of the world is based on your personality traits, such as neuroticism, conscientiousness, agreeableness, or openness. In addition, what you learned in your early childhood environment and what was role modeled for you play another part.

Your views are more about your history than accuracy. Not to say that everything you set store by is wrong, but just because you think it, doesn’t make it so. Look for proof.

2. Be aware of your biases

Your brain uses mental shortcuts to evaluate new information out of necessity. Those shortcuts, however, influence how you perceive the world. Though there are hundreds of proven biases, here are a few more commonly known ones that impact what you believe.

Confirmation bias makes you more likely to accept new information that supports beliefs you currently hold about the world. This one makes you unlikely to change your mind once it’s made up.

Availability heuristic makes you more likely to overestimate the importance of information that is easy to remember. Lastly, there’s conformity bias which makes you want to conform with other people.

A 2015 article in Business Insider cited 58 biases that screw up the way we think and subsequently, what we do! Being aware that your brain may be limiting you and having some idea what the most common biases are can help you be more critical of information you take in and help you to be open to ideas and knowledge different from your beliefs.

3. Recognize, refute and replace negative self-talk

You have 50,000 to 80,000 conversations in your head per day on average, and some percentage of them are negative self-talk. For many people, that percentage is less than 50%. I’m not good enough, I’m too fat, or I can’t are all examples of negative self-talk.

Begin to recognize these thoughts and refute them by stating reasons why they’re not true. Lastly, replace them with something better such as “I have what it takes to do what I am meant to do,” or, change your “I can’t” to “I can.”

“Your smile will give you a positive countenance that will make people feel comfortable around you.” – Les Brown

4. Choose optimism

Optimism is defined by Merriam Webster online as, ”an inclination to put the most favorable construction upon actions and events or to anticipate the best possible outcome.” In short, it means to be hopeful which does not preclude healthy skepticism.

Martin Seligman is one of the founders of positive psychology, and in his book, Learned Optimism, shares strategies to grow your optimism. In the book, Dr. Seligman shares that “most people catastrophize. Learned optimism is about accuracy, and works not through an unjustifiable positivity about the world but through the power of ‘non-negative’ thinking.”

5. Rely on grit over talent and passion

Psychologist Angela Duckworth in her book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, states that “Enthusiasm is common. Endurance is rare.” She talks about how it’s easy to be in love with what you do but more challenging to stay in love with it. That takes grit. Pursuing something because you have a passion for it is not enough to keep you going.

You must be willing to hone your skills, develop your creativity and grow what you do. Discover, develop, deepen. Moreover, don’t expect talent and innate ability to do more than open doors and create opportunities. These are little more than clues to your passion. Grit is what creates success.

6. You figure out what you love over time not overnight

You also figure it out by trying many things and getting out of your head. Most people are not born knowing what their soul’s purpose and passion are. To figure out what you love, try different jobs, volunteer with different organizations, look for clues, and look for mentors to help you.

Knowing what you don’t like is important to the process of figuring out what you love. Dr. Duckworth shares, “most grit paragons I’ve interviewed told me they spent years exploring several different interests, and the one that eventually came to occupy all of their waking (and some sleeping) thoughts wasn’t recognizably their life’s destiny on first acquaintance.”

As someone who studied classical ballet, accounting, finance, international business, French, fashion and psychology in college, followed by positive psychology, coaching, and writing, I can vouch for it taking years, and thousands of dollars to find what I enduringly love doing.

“Entrepreneurs average 3.8 failures before final success. What sets the successful ones apart is their amazing persistence.” – Lisa M. Amos

7. A growth mindset wins over a fixed mindset

You will be more successful if you believe, not that you are ready, but that you aren’t. If you have a growth mindset, you know that to be successful you will have to learn new things, face challenges, and adapt.

In her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Dr. Carol Dweck shares that, “in the growth mindset, you don’t always need confidence…even when you think you’re not good at something, you can still plunge into it wholeheartedly and stick to it.”

When you are open to new information, whether it is consistent with your current beliefs or not, you have the opportunity to grow.

Whether you are cultivating optimism, finding or deepening your passion, or dialing down the influence of biases, having an open mind and expanding it can turn you into a high performer. If you feel stuck, try something new.

Tony Robbins says, “Don’t quit. Try a new approach.” You may be holding yourself back either by negative self-talk or old programming. If doing what you always did hasn’t gotten you where you want to be, try something new.  Start by challenging your thoughts and beliefs.

Which one of these points resonated most with you? Let us know your thoughts below!

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Life

The Power of 7 Day Goals: 5 Behaviors to Make Them Successful

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When most people think of the goal setting process, they think of large auspicious goals that tend to occupy a lot of mental and behavioral space. Most of us, when we think of goal setting, think of bigger and more commodious housing, sexier automobiles, vacations, relationships, and any of the other bigger chunks of our lives that we would like to make changes in.

While larger goals are fine and help keep us focused in the direction of our lives’ objective, it really doesn’t hurt to focus on smaller goals; goals that can be accomplished quickly, maybe even in a week.

The two types of 7 day goals you need to set

There are two types of seven day goals that we should set: one is a larger goal broken down into a behavioral step that we can finish this week. By that I mean, if your goal was to lose 50 pounds, your goal this week might be to research gyms. You see what we’ve done here,  we took a larger goal, that of losing 50 pounds, and broken it into actionable steps; the first being to go to several gyms, trying them out and seeing which one we like the best.

The second type of seven day goals is very simple; it revolves around doing something that we know we should do. Let me give you an example. In my face-to-face, multi-week trainings, I asked participants to set a seven-day personal goal. Something small. Something that was bothering them and that they know they can accomplish in seven days. Perhaps it was a disorganized closet or washing the car. The whole idea was to practice the goal setting process, seeing results, and then celebrating your accomplishments.

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

While going around the room and debriefing, one woman in the class said that she did in fact accomplish her goal; it was to remove her Christmas decorations from her ironing board and put them in the closet where they would be stored until next Christmas. I found this to be somewhat amusing since the class was being held April. I asked her where did she do her ironing? She said that she put her clothes in a basket and took them upstairs to the kitchen where she proceeded to iron on the kitchen counter.

I asked her how she felt about looking at that ironing board with the Christmas decorations on it and she said that when she viewed the ironing board, now Christmas decoration storage container, it made her mad or depressed. I asked her a second level question, how long did it take you to put those Christmas decorations in the closet, where they should’ve been for the last four months? She said about 10 minutes. 10 minutes to stop feeling angry or depressed!

Think about the power of goal setting. For four months this woman was feeling emotional overhead every time the visual anchor of the Christmas decorated ironing board was observed. She set a goal to remove the obstacle and in 10 minutes was able to clean her ironing and store it in the necessary location. I asked her how she felt after the ironing board was cleared. With a smile on her face she said, “delighted!” So, a 10 minute behavior, based upon a 7-day goal, transformed her anger/depression into feeling delighted!

As you can see, the power of the whole process is not only apparent in those gigantic chunks of achievement that we want to accomplish, but can also be evidenced in smaller, actionable steps that we can do quickly.

Here’s a couple ideas to move you in the direction of positive goal setting and successful behavior:

1. Set a seven-day business goal and a seven-day personal goal

Everyone has something in their business that they would like to accomplish. Perhaps it’s cleaning out a desk drawer that has for years been a black hole. Perhaps, it’s sorting through the file cabinet purging unnecessary files. Regardless, there is something at work that is most likely anchoring you negative emotional overhead and can be resolved quickly with setting the seven-day goal to change whatever it is. The same thing applies to home. Is there a closet that you’ve been meaning to clean (for several years)? How about that corner of the garage? A room that needs to be painted? Instead of rationalizing why you can’t do it, why not do it?

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

2. Don’t only set the goal, schedule it

Put it in your calendar and make it an appointment. That way at the appropriate time you will naturally fall in the habit of action.

3. Stay enthusiastic

Don’t accomplish your goal with drudgery. If you do, you will most likely not set any more goals. Instead, attack your goals with enthusiasm and unbridled abandoned. Because it is that very action that is instilling in you the success attribute of positive goalsetting, one of the strongest behavior modifiers human kind has ever known.

4. At the end of the week analyze your results

What behaviors did you modify to accomplish your goals? What rationalizations did you hold dear that perhaps kept you from accomplishing your goals? Be honest with yourself! Add more of what you should, and delete that which was not helpful.

5. Celebrate your victories

Each small goal is an accomplishment. Each one is a celebration of your successes. While I’m not suggesting a two-week Caribbean cruise for cleaning out your closet, perhaps a pizza for dinner instead of cooking might be in order.

So, there you have it. The idea that all goals do not have to be gigantic, and that small goals are just as important. Success has been defined as the progressive, realization, of worthwhile, predetermined, personal goals. That means that success is based on goal setting and that success is a habit.

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How You Can Effectively Achieve Your Goals by Using the Puzzle Analogy

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I was building a 500 piece puzzle the other day with many tiny little pieces. When I opened the box, I was completely overwhelmed. There were so many pieces and many of them were very similar in color. I took a breath and thought “just do one piece at a time”. I knew that I had to come up with a plan and organize the pieces into groups before I got started. This helped me to focus and take away some of the overwhelming feelings that were coming up. I came up with a plan and executed that plan. (more…)

Meghan Olsgard is the creator and writer of www.infinitesoulblueprint.com where she writes articles about self-empowerment and creating a fulfilling life. She shares her personal experiences and the obstacles she has overcame to help and inspire others to do the same. You can get more information at her website or follow her on Facebook.

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Arlene

    Jun 16, 2016 at 1:31 am

    Great article! I’ve become addicted to travel and try and see a new part of the world any chance I get, I love all the places I have seen but I would recommend going to Colombia in particular Medellin and Cartagena ☺️!

  2. Yasmeen

    May 31, 2016 at 7:20 am

    Thanks for the Article, Tim!!!!. I have a question to ask you. Its been my dream to travel to Tokyo, Japan since I was 19 but unfortunately I could not due to my financial conditions.

    So, Tim I want you to give my an advice on how can I improve my financial condition in order to accomplish my dream.

    Appreciate your time, Tim!!!!

    • Tim Denning

      Jun 4, 2016 at 11:06 pm

      Yasmeen thanks so much for reading. Like anything, there is no easy fix. I would suggest that you ensure you are saving at least 30% of what you earn. This means every week when you get paid you automatically transfer money into your savings account. You have to make saving a habit. I would also look at what passive income you can create through either an online business or maybe even dabbling with network marketing.

      Rich Dad, Poor Dad is also an excellent book that will give you more detailed info towards how to manage finances. It’s a timeless classic for a reason. Hope this info helps you and all the best with your travelling dream!

  3. Toño

    May 31, 2016 at 4:27 am

    As you already know, travelling the world is one of my biggest dreams and diving deep into your article I can feel the itching to just let it all go, book a ticket and never come back 🙂 You nailed it, Tim, by saying that social media taught us ‘we should never sleep, never take a break, and work on our passion 24/7’. I can see those messages everywhere, including Foundr Instagram as well. I kind of agree with, and kind of don’t. While there is nothing wrong to work on your passion and grind to success, it, on the other side, may very much feels like pressure, tension and routine. You can just burn yourself out and never desire to work again. Recently I have been reading and studying more about about spirit and soul, and meditate more so I can feel deeper connection to the source. I feel that need to be more in nature and live in balance and that appears to me more important than any material goodies and success. Well, you may think IT IS the success, to be comfortable and be in nature, right?

    Your very first point is right about it. Travelling can show you different perspectives and you may want to review your ‘problems’. Usually I use movies to recharge my brain that way where I can see and appreciate my life more. Of course, travelling will give you much more that few hour film, providing rich experience and raw emotions.

    This is well connected to your next point, where we can rediscover the beautie of the world or discover it for the first time. Fresh new places will help to be more concious about things you observe and funny you mentioned the rubbish bin, as I have few photos from my last year vacation to the ocean where there’s a trash bin in the middle of it anf it is indeed look so spectacular haha!

    You know, I foten think about what for do we work and actualy live? We always fear to lose something, lik eour home, job or whatever it may be, never really realizing that life may be very short and to be stuck in one place for eternity never a good idea. And that way you may understand that your daily job, your environment, your ‘friends’ and your life is not what you actually enjoy and it will hugely benefits you in the long term.

    Oh, and relaxation! It’s huge thing I strive for every day and when I have the ability to just relax after some productive activity I simply feel amazing. You spoke about that Buddhist temple (which is awesome by the way!) and how you felt calm and I can relate to this as when I was visiting Paris I entered the Notre Dame Cathedral and had the similar feelings. I remember was sitting there for a good amount of time and felt so calm and relaxed. We stayed in Paris for a week while travelling to Spain and I’ve visited Notre Dame few more times as it was very peaceful and inspirational experience for me.

    All what you said here, Tim, is so right and I am very happy you experienced this for yourself. China seems like an amazing place and I love these photos, you looks very happy on ’em 🙂 Thank you so much bringing this topic and diving so deep into it, my friend, it means alot to me! Would love to read/hear more from you on such matter in the future.

    Much love and appreciation, stay well and helathy!

    • Tim Denning

      May 31, 2016 at 9:04 am

      Toño you should scratch that travel itch and go and do a trip asap….don’t wait. Movies are okay to recharge with but travel is much more long-lasting. Being in nature and doing what you want everyday because you love it and not because you have to do it is the ultimate success in my mind. Paying bills and doing stuff you hate is failure.

      Always happy to share my experiences Toño and glad it sparked something within you. Speak soon mate.

  4. Vikash Sharma

    May 30, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    Hi Tim,
    An Awesome Article!
    I completely agree with you. Travel really wakes you up. It’s not only a good way to relax but also gives you energy to do better, It gives you new thoughts, It improves your confidence. I have personally experienced it.
    I have stuck several times in life, and the best thing I do to get out of it is travel. I get Solution while travelling.
    Overall a Nice Article! Thank you for sharing it with us.

    • Tim Denning

      May 30, 2016 at 6:44 pm

      Vikesh thank you so much! Travel is a great way to solve your problems and allow you to reflect on them. When you’re too close to the problem you often can’t see the solution. Travel helps to break that vicious cycle. Thanks again for reading.

  5. Angelo Drake

    May 26, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    Nice article Tim.

    As a traveller I would say that the greatest thing about travelling is that it can allow you the time to figure out what you really want in life. You have the space to look at what really drives you, what really makes you happy.

    In a world in which we are constantly beeping, buzzing and zooming, travelling to distant, remote places, offers the opportunity to decompress from the hustle and let life present it’s wonders to you. When you see this magic, it might just make you realize that you weren’t supposed to be an accountant, you were supposed to be a magician.

    • Tim Denning

      May 26, 2016 at 8:38 pm

      Thanks for your perspective Angelo. The buzzing and the beeping can really exhaust you after a while. I think we all need to just decompress sometime and realise what’s important.

  6. Ryan Lotze

    May 26, 2016 at 7:48 am

    I was literally just in Mexico yesterday for the whole day. I got to see a new area of the world I had never been to before. The past few years I have been so dedicated to delaying the gratification of traveling later. But that mini-vacation opened my mind and eyes up to the reality, that even though I am working on my own business from the comfort of my laptop, that I can take a spur in the moment or even planned trip to experience other parts of the world.

    Wow, this was definitely an eye opener for me! Thank you Tim! Great post!

    • Tim Denning

      May 26, 2016 at 8:40 pm

      Ryan that’s awesome! I have always wanted to go to Mexico so I must make it happen. Best of luck with your future travels and don’t delay them any longer. Thanks for reading.

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Life

How You Can Effectively Achieve Your Goals by Using the Puzzle Analogy

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I was building a 500 piece puzzle the other day with many tiny little pieces. When I opened the box, I was completely overwhelmed. There were so many pieces and many of them were very similar in color. I took a breath and thought “just do one piece at a time”. I knew that I had to come up with a plan and organize the pieces into groups before I got started. This helped me to focus and take away some of the overwhelming feelings that were coming up. I came up with a plan and executed that plan.

However, like anything in life, our plans don’t always go the way we think they will. If you can treat anything you are trying to achieve in life like a puzzle, it will help you get through the confusion and come up with a plan to achieve your goals.

Take Your Goals One Step at a Time

Putting a puzzle together is the perfect analogy for anything you are trying to achieve in life. You won’t know all the steps to take to achieve your goal until you are in the middle of it. Each step comes up when it needs to and you complete it as it comes up. Some of the pieces might need to be moved around but that is ok. It is ok if the first piece doesn’t fit, you make adjustments and move forward.

It is much less overwhelming to take it piece by piece instead of trying to figure out the whole picture before you even get started. Many things will come up that you didn’t expect and that is why you cannot see the whole picture until it is done. It is good to remain flexible and take it step by step as new things come up.

“Set your target and keep trying until you reach it.” – Napoleon Hill

Starting is the First Step to Achieve Any Goal You Want in Life

The most important thing is to start! You won’t know how it’s all going to go and you may need to change some things around in the middle. But in the end, you will have the complete picture. If you look at your goal with anxiety and think it is too hard in the beginning, then you may not even start. You only need to know the first step, get organized and all the pieces will fit into place.

I was overwhelmed when I first looked at the puzzle and I thought “maybe I won’t even do it. Is it worth it?” But I decided that I’d start, even if I didn’t finish it at least I’d try. But you know what? Once I got into the puzzle, it wasn’t so bad. It was way less overwhelming when I was in the middle of it then it was before I started.

You have time on your side. You don’t have to do it all in one day or one week or one year. You have plenty of time. That is something that helped me. There was no pressure to get it done in one day which was my original goal; the only pressure I had was that which I put upon myself.

Get Organized and Start With a Solid Plan

If you are starting out on a goal, it is important to get organized first. Yes, you won’t know everything that is going to happen but at least you will be organized enough that when things do come up, you will know how to incorporate them into your plan. Being organized will make it much easier to see where all the pieces go and save you a lot of time in the long run.

I got organized and sorted the puzzle pieces by colors as well as outside and inside pieces to make it easier to see where the pieces would fit. If I left them all in one big pile, I’d constantly have to sort through the pile to find what I was looking for and waste a ton of time. By having them broken out into smaller piles, I was able to find what I was looking for much faster and saved a lot of time.

This works with whatever it is you are trying to achieve in life. Get organized and make a plan. You will save yourself a lot of time and frustration. It is so much easier to go through little organized piles of items than one big, disorganized pile.

“Goals give you more than a reason to get up in the morning; they are an incentive to keep you going all day.” – Harvey MacKay

Get Through the Tough Times When Going for Your Goals

Before I dove into the puzzle, I was confused and a bit frustrated but determined to make it work. In the end all the pieces fit together perfectly and made a beautiful picture. It’s interesting to think of a project or a goal you want to achieve like a big puzzle with many pieces. When you first dump out the pieces, it is a mess. They just look like pieces, nothing is created yet. But as you go through the process and move things around it starts to come together.

You may hit some speed bumps along the way and get a bit frustrated, but if you are organized and take it one step at a time it will form a lovely picture in the end. So, keep going as determined as ever by moving one piece at a time.

Sometimes the piece will fit and other times you’ll need to find a different puzzle piece to go in that spot. Before you know it, you have a beautiful picture created that you never thought you’d be able to do before you started. It may be an interesting, messy, confusing, fun, bumpy ride but in the end all the pieces will form the beautiful picture that you set out to achieve.

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Self-Compassion Vs. Self-Esteem: How You Can Build Both

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Self-esteem can be defined as the confidence in your own abilities or worth. Self-compassion, however, can be defined by the ability to be gentle with yourself, even if you have misjudged or made a mistake.

You ask yourself from time to time, how is self esteem related to success? Having a sense of low self-esteem can really become a barrier for building your career and ultimately, living the life you want.

You may be completely competent in your skills and abilities but be too afraid to show the world your talents or too hesitant to apply for that job. Low self-esteem may hinder you in your personal life by leaving you with feelings of inadequacy or you may always be comparing yourself to someone else.

Self-esteem is not something that can be instantly repaired overnight. Building your self-esteem can take time and, most importantly, self-compassion. It is most important to be kind to yourself and accept that from time to time, you will make mistakes.

Creating a strong sense of self-compassion can ultimately bring more to your life than just a newfound sense of self-love.

Self-Compassion Vs. Self-Esteem

When looking at self compassion vs self esteem, which is more important? Self-esteem can be volatile and emotional, while self-compassion can allow you to remove your self-esteem from your value judgments of yourself.

Knowing this will allow you to look at your decisions and actions from a non-judgmental mindset. You will be able to look at your traits, both good and bad, and accept that all of them are a part of human nature.

New studies suggest that self-compassion, rather than self-esteem, may be the key that allows you to achieve more growth because you can take your best traits and cultivate them while look at your worst traits objectively.

It can be argued that improving self-compassion will ultimately serve you better in the long run than improving your self-esteem. Even if self-compassion is more important, you can still have room to improve your self-esteem while you are at it.

Here are some tips to tell you how to work on self esteem and self compassion:

1. Be Gentle with Yourself

No one is perfect and, as humans, we will all make mistakes. It is important to recognize and accept our flaws and mistakes as imperfect. Embrace that there are people that care about you, despite your flaws.

“Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.” – Bruce Lee

2. Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness has many reported benefits for improving your mental health. You can use mindfulness by becoming aware and present in the current moment. Using mindfulness can help you look at your thoughts objectively and decide “Is this a fact about myself or a judgement?”

By staying mindful of how you are speaking to yourself, you can identify where your thoughts are becoming negative and redirect your thinking to more positive thoughts.

Practicing mindfulness will help you look at the current moment without judgements or preconceived ideas about yourself and allow room for growth.

3. Allow Room to Grow

We all inherently have traits that can be seen as undesirable, yet it’s what we do with those traits that decide whether we grow or remain where we’re at in life. By looking objectively at your flaws with a growth mindset, you can transform your life.

Allow yourself to take the things about yourself that you are uncomfortable with and learn from them on how to better yourself. The takeaways would be to focus on one thing at a time and take baby steps.

4. Be Grateful

It is easy to compare ourselves and what we have, or don’t have, to those around us.

Everyone around us is putting the greatest highlights of their lives on social media, and we end up making comparisons that we shouldn’t. It is important to remember to be grateful for what you do have such as the ability to be a great writer or excel in mathematics.

“Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.” – John Wooden

Secondly, we need to be mindful of our positive traits, and how they can benefit the world. Think about how your specific skills have served you in the past. Perhaps, you are great at taking the lead and because of that, you’re the main leader on work projects. Remember that your positive traits deserve acknowledgement and praise.

5. Do Good

It has been proven that participating in improving the well-being of those around you will aid in improving your own well-being. Doing good and helping those around you will only have a positive effect in your life.

It is not beneficial to tear others down in an effort to build yourself up. Saying and doing helpful things for others around you will not only improve their self-esteem but yours as well.

6. Practice Makes Perfect

It will take some time and commitment to truly work on your self-esteem and self-compassion. This is not a commitment to yourself that you should take lightly. Decide that now is the time for action and truly commit to remaining consistent in bettering yourself.

You may see the successful people around you and how they seem to be so confident in themselves and wonder to yourself, is self-esteem the key to success? Truthfully, the answer would be no.

The key to success lies within many factors, and self-esteem and self-compassion are only two of the factors. As far as building both areas, practicing these strategies listed will help you learn how to get better in self-esteem and self-compassion.

Which one of the above factors resonated most with you in your pursuit of building your self-compassion and self-esteem? Let us know below!

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7 Strategies to Get Anything You Want From Life

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Success is tricky. There is no shortage of information about what creates success, but there are secret saboteurs in your thoughts and beliefs that may be sacking your accomplishments.

If you aren’t where you want to be in life, consider the following:

1. Choose accuracy over history

Your beliefs are not necessarily accurate. Your perception of the world is based on your personality traits, such as neuroticism, conscientiousness, agreeableness, or openness. In addition, what you learned in your early childhood environment and what was role modeled for you play another part.

Your views are more about your history than accuracy. Not to say that everything you set store by is wrong, but just because you think it, doesn’t make it so. Look for proof.

2. Be aware of your biases

Your brain uses mental shortcuts to evaluate new information out of necessity. Those shortcuts, however, influence how you perceive the world. Though there are hundreds of proven biases, here are a few more commonly known ones that impact what you believe.

Confirmation bias makes you more likely to accept new information that supports beliefs you currently hold about the world. This one makes you unlikely to change your mind once it’s made up.

Availability heuristic makes you more likely to overestimate the importance of information that is easy to remember. Lastly, there’s conformity bias which makes you want to conform with other people.

A 2015 article in Business Insider cited 58 biases that screw up the way we think and subsequently, what we do! Being aware that your brain may be limiting you and having some idea what the most common biases are can help you be more critical of information you take in and help you to be open to ideas and knowledge different from your beliefs.

3. Recognize, refute and replace negative self-talk

You have 50,000 to 80,000 conversations in your head per day on average, and some percentage of them are negative self-talk. For many people, that percentage is less than 50%. I’m not good enough, I’m too fat, or I can’t are all examples of negative self-talk.

Begin to recognize these thoughts and refute them by stating reasons why they’re not true. Lastly, replace them with something better such as “I have what it takes to do what I am meant to do,” or, change your “I can’t” to “I can.”

“Your smile will give you a positive countenance that will make people feel comfortable around you.” – Les Brown

4. Choose optimism

Optimism is defined by Merriam Webster online as, ”an inclination to put the most favorable construction upon actions and events or to anticipate the best possible outcome.” In short, it means to be hopeful which does not preclude healthy skepticism.

Martin Seligman is one of the founders of positive psychology, and in his book, Learned Optimism, shares strategies to grow your optimism. In the book, Dr. Seligman shares that “most people catastrophize. Learned optimism is about accuracy, and works not through an unjustifiable positivity about the world but through the power of ‘non-negative’ thinking.”

5. Rely on grit over talent and passion

Psychologist Angela Duckworth in her book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, states that “Enthusiasm is common. Endurance is rare.” She talks about how it’s easy to be in love with what you do but more challenging to stay in love with it. That takes grit. Pursuing something because you have a passion for it is not enough to keep you going.

You must be willing to hone your skills, develop your creativity and grow what you do. Discover, develop, deepen. Moreover, don’t expect talent and innate ability to do more than open doors and create opportunities. These are little more than clues to your passion. Grit is what creates success.

6. You figure out what you love over time not overnight

You also figure it out by trying many things and getting out of your head. Most people are not born knowing what their soul’s purpose and passion are. To figure out what you love, try different jobs, volunteer with different organizations, look for clues, and look for mentors to help you.

Knowing what you don’t like is important to the process of figuring out what you love. Dr. Duckworth shares, “most grit paragons I’ve interviewed told me they spent years exploring several different interests, and the one that eventually came to occupy all of their waking (and some sleeping) thoughts wasn’t recognizably their life’s destiny on first acquaintance.”

As someone who studied classical ballet, accounting, finance, international business, French, fashion and psychology in college, followed by positive psychology, coaching, and writing, I can vouch for it taking years, and thousands of dollars to find what I enduringly love doing.

“Entrepreneurs average 3.8 failures before final success. What sets the successful ones apart is their amazing persistence.” – Lisa M. Amos

7. A growth mindset wins over a fixed mindset

You will be more successful if you believe, not that you are ready, but that you aren’t. If you have a growth mindset, you know that to be successful you will have to learn new things, face challenges, and adapt.

In her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Dr. Carol Dweck shares that, “in the growth mindset, you don’t always need confidence…even when you think you’re not good at something, you can still plunge into it wholeheartedly and stick to it.”

When you are open to new information, whether it is consistent with your current beliefs or not, you have the opportunity to grow.

Whether you are cultivating optimism, finding or deepening your passion, or dialing down the influence of biases, having an open mind and expanding it can turn you into a high performer. If you feel stuck, try something new.

Tony Robbins says, “Don’t quit. Try a new approach.” You may be holding yourself back either by negative self-talk or old programming. If doing what you always did hasn’t gotten you where you want to be, try something new.  Start by challenging your thoughts and beliefs.

Which one of these points resonated most with you? Let us know your thoughts below!

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Life

The Power of 7 Day Goals: 5 Behaviors to Make Them Successful

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When most people think of the goal setting process, they think of large auspicious goals that tend to occupy a lot of mental and behavioral space. Most of us, when we think of goal setting, think of bigger and more commodious housing, sexier automobiles, vacations, relationships, and any of the other bigger chunks of our lives that we would like to make changes in.

While larger goals are fine and help keep us focused in the direction of our lives’ objective, it really doesn’t hurt to focus on smaller goals; goals that can be accomplished quickly, maybe even in a week.

The two types of 7 day goals you need to set

There are two types of seven day goals that we should set: one is a larger goal broken down into a behavioral step that we can finish this week. By that I mean, if your goal was to lose 50 pounds, your goal this week might be to research gyms. You see what we’ve done here,  we took a larger goal, that of losing 50 pounds, and broken it into actionable steps; the first being to go to several gyms, trying them out and seeing which one we like the best.

The second type of seven day goals is very simple; it revolves around doing something that we know we should do. Let me give you an example. In my face-to-face, multi-week trainings, I asked participants to set a seven-day personal goal. Something small. Something that was bothering them and that they know they can accomplish in seven days. Perhaps it was a disorganized closet or washing the car. The whole idea was to practice the goal setting process, seeing results, and then celebrating your accomplishments.

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

While going around the room and debriefing, one woman in the class said that she did in fact accomplish her goal; it was to remove her Christmas decorations from her ironing board and put them in the closet where they would be stored until next Christmas. I found this to be somewhat amusing since the class was being held April. I asked her where did she do her ironing? She said that she put her clothes in a basket and took them upstairs to the kitchen where she proceeded to iron on the kitchen counter.

I asked her how she felt about looking at that ironing board with the Christmas decorations on it and she said that when she viewed the ironing board, now Christmas decoration storage container, it made her mad or depressed. I asked her a second level question, how long did it take you to put those Christmas decorations in the closet, where they should’ve been for the last four months? She said about 10 minutes. 10 minutes to stop feeling angry or depressed!

Think about the power of goal setting. For four months this woman was feeling emotional overhead every time the visual anchor of the Christmas decorated ironing board was observed. She set a goal to remove the obstacle and in 10 minutes was able to clean her ironing and store it in the necessary location. I asked her how she felt after the ironing board was cleared. With a smile on her face she said, “delighted!” So, a 10 minute behavior, based upon a 7-day goal, transformed her anger/depression into feeling delighted!

As you can see, the power of the whole process is not only apparent in those gigantic chunks of achievement that we want to accomplish, but can also be evidenced in smaller, actionable steps that we can do quickly.

Here’s a couple ideas to move you in the direction of positive goal setting and successful behavior:

1. Set a seven-day business goal and a seven-day personal goal

Everyone has something in their business that they would like to accomplish. Perhaps it’s cleaning out a desk drawer that has for years been a black hole. Perhaps, it’s sorting through the file cabinet purging unnecessary files. Regardless, there is something at work that is most likely anchoring you negative emotional overhead and can be resolved quickly with setting the seven-day goal to change whatever it is. The same thing applies to home. Is there a closet that you’ve been meaning to clean (for several years)? How about that corner of the garage? A room that needs to be painted? Instead of rationalizing why you can’t do it, why not do it?

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

2. Don’t only set the goal, schedule it

Put it in your calendar and make it an appointment. That way at the appropriate time you will naturally fall in the habit of action.

3. Stay enthusiastic

Don’t accomplish your goal with drudgery. If you do, you will most likely not set any more goals. Instead, attack your goals with enthusiasm and unbridled abandoned. Because it is that very action that is instilling in you the success attribute of positive goalsetting, one of the strongest behavior modifiers human kind has ever known.

4. At the end of the week analyze your results

What behaviors did you modify to accomplish your goals? What rationalizations did you hold dear that perhaps kept you from accomplishing your goals? Be honest with yourself! Add more of what you should, and delete that which was not helpful.

5. Celebrate your victories

Each small goal is an accomplishment. Each one is a celebration of your successes. While I’m not suggesting a two-week Caribbean cruise for cleaning out your closet, perhaps a pizza for dinner instead of cooking might be in order.

So, there you have it. The idea that all goals do not have to be gigantic, and that small goals are just as important. Success has been defined as the progressive, realization, of worthwhile, predetermined, personal goals. That means that success is based on goal setting and that success is a habit.

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