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12 Lessons Explorers Can Teach You From Their Impossible Expeditions

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Cas And Jonesy - Addicted2Success Interview With Tim Denning

If your weeks flat and you think you got it bad, you don’t. Imagine paddling 3318km from start to finish or skiing for 89 days to the South Pole and back – most of us would be lucky to last a day. It’s time to get off your couch and listen to one of the world’s most inspiring stories with a ton of life lessons for you to take in and apply in your own life.

The story of Cas and Jonesy, two Aussie explorers, has everything from human courage, mateship, camaraderie, to sportsmanship. The two of them spend their days making the impossible, possible and then sharing how they did it with the world.

Cas and Jonesy are most famous for completing two phenomenal outdoor expeditions:

– The first successful kayak crossing of the Tasman Sea (Australia to New Zealand) taking 62 days to complete. This makes them the Guinness World Record Holder for the longest trans-oceanic kayak trip.

– Being the first to ski from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole and back unsupported, and unassisted (alongside Norwegian Aleksander Gamme).

The pair is also well known for the two documentaries they made about their expeditions that have now won a combined seventeen International Film Festival Awards

When I sat down with Jonesy, I was humbled by the way he lives his life’s and the lessons that he teaches without often realising that he is changing the way people think, through something as simple as sport.

Below are the twelve lessons you can learn from their expeditions.

 

1. Having a sense of purpose, even for a moment, is bliss

The reason Jonesy decided to do these daring adventures was because he didn’t want to have regret in his life and he wanted to feel like he had really lived. He says that when you escape to the outdoors it allows you to dream, have a vision and it makes you think about things from a different perspective – it provides an amazing crucible to find a lot out about yourself.

There is a certain clarity and purpose about being on an expedition that is slightly addictive Jonesy says. “Everything is so simple; for that moment in time all you need to do is eat, sleep, paddle, survive.”

As Jonesy headed off on the kayak trip, he told me that the purpose and focus he experienced was amazing, and his life had never felt more complete.

One night, as Jonesy was paddling through the sea, he realised that he was doing what he was supposed to be doing at that point in his life. He described the feeling as something that has stuck with him forever.

The moment when you feel a sense of purpose that you have been longing for is a true moment of pure bliss, and the feeling is hard to beat. We all should try and find a moment like this. It’s what makes us happy and fulfilled in life.

“It’s only at the very edge does the view become crystal clear” – Unknown

 

2. Do what you have always wanted to do

I asked Jonesy what the message is that he is trying to deliver to the world. His response was that too often in life you are told you can’t do things, or you shouldn’t do things. He believes there was an issue with education when he went to school where he was told to take the safe path in life and there were a lot of naysayers.

So Jonesy says that taking responsible risks is a good thing. Kids should be able to go out there and dream and chase their goals. He says that if he can get people to do one thing it’s to go out there and do something you have always wanted to do – in other words, follow your passion.

 

3. Life is about taking educated risks

So when you have completed the goal that you have set out to do which may be crazy (like kayaking the Tasman), you need to be mindful not to try and take even more risk and continually feel the need to outdo yourself. For Jonesy, this was a big part of staying alive in his adventures.

What I found bizarre was that Jonesy is actually quite a risk adverse person and so is his partner Cas. What I learnt from this is that doing dangerous things is safer if you do everything you can to have solutions to the potential risks.

Jonesy said that when doing a risky activity you need to decide what a comfortable level of risk is – this is different for everyone. He says that the more you plan, the more you can diminish the risk.

 

4. Learn a new skill (it’s addictive)

Jonesy managed to surprise me multiple times in our interview, but the biggest surprise was that he and Cas had never skied before preparing for the Antarctica trip, and had never kayaked offshore before preparing for the trans-tasman trip.

Kayak Tasman Sea - Cas And JonesyMost people that do what they have achieved have done these sports as their hobby, their whole life. I asked Jonesy what made him and Cas want to take these bold risks, and his response was that they found it oddly addictive to learn a skill for the first time.

Cas and Jonesy are not the kind of guys that will let a lack of skill get in the way of a dream. For them, it’s about taking progressive steps and having the belief that you can do something amazing. It’s about isolating the path you will need to take in order to have the skills that you will require by a certain point, and then reverse engineering that and working out what you need to do to get there.

Imagine we were all kids again and went out of our way to learn new skills. Too many adults don’t take the time to go off and learn new skills. They do the same things over and over again that they are good at rather than taking the time to learn a new passion – no wonder we get bored and watch TV.

 

5. Get motivated and be in it for the long haul

Before doing the trans-tasman kayak adventure, it took the guys two years from having the original idea to doing anything about it. Jonesy remembers writing out a big list of pros and cons to doing the expedition – the con’s far outweighed the pro’s.

Jonesy asked himself, “could I live with myself if I just sat on the sidelines and didn’t even give this a go?” That’s what really motivated him to do the first adventure. He decided to go out there and do all the research and find out if it was even possible.

Twelve months later Cas & Jonesy came up with a seventy-page risk management document.  Once they had this document, they realised that their goal was possible and that they would have to commit to it straight away.

 

6. Learn to deal with adversity

Andrew McAuley went missing nine months before Cas & Jonesy headed out doing the exact same kayak trip that they were about to embark on. They had been planning the expedition for three and a half years and when they commenced planning they even knew that Andrew was contemplating the idea.

“The peril was there, and we knew what the consequences were, but, unfortunately, Andrew going missing really made it real”

People said to them “you can’t honestly be doing this expedition still, someone’s gone missing and died.”

Emotionally this hit them hard but at the same token they looked at the risk management work they had done and thought if they stuck to their strategy, and took emotions out of it then they could still do the expedition.

 

7. Prepare yourself and bring in world experts

At first, Cas & Jonesy asked all the questions that they had about the expedition and answered those. They realised pretty quickly that they were not the best at any of the tasks that needed to be done. The key for the guys was to work out who had the world’s best practices in different facets of the expedition and then get them on board to mentor them through the issues they had.

The team they put together ended up spanning seventeen different countries. Jonesy explained to me that they found it empowering to approach someone about their expedition, and then have that person give them a bunch of reasons why they were idiots.

When they were able to address these reasons and turn the naysayers into advocates, they found it to be very motivating, and it helped them keep going.

These world experts were attracted to take part in the expedition because of Cas and Jonesy’s passion. Jonesy remembers calling up experts and sponsors in the beginning and not taking ownership for what they were doing and pretending to talk about themselves in the third person.

It was only when they started saying to people, “this is what we are doing, and we are not going to let anything stop us,” that people began being attracted to their journey. “It’s the conviction that people get attracted too,” says Jonesy.

“If you’re that passionate about something there is a certain energy and chemistry that happens and draws people closer”

Looking back at the video’s they shot of themselves pitching their idea, Jonesy says, “it was obvious that we didn’t know what we were doing, but it was the passion that got us over the line.”

The seventy-page risk management document was a key component to their success in attracting world experts to their cause. To have people say they were worried about something, and then Jonesy be able to point out the solution in their document, was very helpful. The risk document showed they were prepared for the journey they were about to embark on.

In preparing for their kayak trip, the guys realised that the weakest point in their expedition was going to be themselves. Thinking outside of the box, they approached the Australian Army and got soldiers to put them through sleep and food deprivation.

During this process, they were forced to learn new skills like morse code in a tired state. Jonesy found this experience very beneficial because it allowed him to see how he would act under stress. It was also important for him to experience sensations like hallucinations so that if it happened on the expedition it wouldn’t be for the first time – again, preparation is key to achieving the impossible.

“The expeditions were a logistical nightmare to put together and like a phenomenal puzzle”

 

8. Control the fear

Not only did Cas and Jonesy have limited skills during their expeditions, but Cas suffers from sea sickness, and Jonesy get’s claustrophobic (these guys are the true definition of greatness). To top it off, they had a well-publicised encounter with two very large sharks on their kayak trip.

Surprisingly, while they slept and the sharks made contact with the side of their kayak cabin, the two felt quite comfortable. The time that sharks made them feel a bit more afraid was when they were paddling out in the ocean with their hands touching the top of the water, and there were sharks around.

Jonesy explained to me that fear is not a rational thing and in situations like the shark encounters it can take a hold of you. They learned on their expedition that to break through fear they needed to rationalise it.

Justin Jones Fear Quote - Addicted2Success Interview
 

For Cas, to overcome the sea sickness he experienced he had to take drugs that they give chemotherapy patients, acupuncture himself, and use self-hypnosis to be able to complete the kayak expedition.

Cas used a self-hypnosis track on his iPod to anchor the cabin as a safe environment for him. Jonesy said It’s about accepting the situation. The biggest thing that needs to run through your head is “it’s not good, it’s not bad, it just is.”

While discussing fear with Jonesy, he gave me a great example of a Qantas pilot Richard de Crespigny. Richard was piloting a plane a few years back when everything started to go horribly wrong. In mid air, he began getting computer readouts of all the things that were broken.

In normal situations, a pilot would go through each of the issues and attempt to fix each one. By doing a basic calculation, Richard figured out that he would run out of fuel if he went through every single warning light one by one.

Instead, ignoring all his training, he reframed the situation to “what actually is working.” This personal development technique allowed him to win his battle and land the plane safely – what a great way to deal with a fearful situation.

 

9. Failure happens when you least expect it

A year before Cas & Jonesy started their Kayak journey they put the kayak in the water for the very first time and it flopped over on its side. At this point, they had both put in two and a half years of their lives, spent every dollar they had, and given up their jobs.

Again, showing incredible willpower, Cas & Jonesy delayed the expedition by a year and redesigned their kayak. Getting Jonesy to describe this moment brought back the powerful emotions of frustration, but he tried not to dwell on it.

As if their kayak not floating wasn’t enough, during this expedition they managed to get stuck in strong winds and currents that forced them in circles for two extra weeks. While not ideal, the guys managed to stay strong and push through the failure so that they could complete their trip.

Jonesy says, “you can’t force a situation to work, you have to come down to the crux of it and work out what you need to do”– willpower alone and force is just not enough.

“Failure is never quite so frightening as regret”

 

10. Success can be lonely (but it doesn’t have to be)

As Jonesy explained his definition of success he told me that the journey is the more important thing rather than the sole outcome at the end. Jonesy says, “if you blindly go out there, and you want to win regardless of anything else, chances are you will, but what costs are you willing to pay on the way?”

On Cas & Jonesy’s kayak expedition, they pushed away a lot of people that were close to them because they had to have such a singular drive and focus.

The key for guys was to try and work out how to take those close to them along the journey and not alienate everyone around them. Success can be a very lonely thing, but you don’t have to make it that way.

 

11. Come down from a major high with another goal

So, like the Kieren Perkins interview, the question I wanted to know from Jonesy was how he came down from such a major high. I asked Jonesy, and he told me that after their first expedition he was on a buzz for about a week.

Then he told me that it hits you all of a sudden and for Cas & Jonesy, they realised that they had spent three and a half years of their life working on a goal with a singled minded focus. In the meantime, other parts of their life like their career and relationships hadn’t progressed at all.

Once you achieve a major goal, it’s easy to wonder what you do with your life afterwards. Jonesy says the best way to come down from a major high is to follow it up with another goal of some type. Idle time can really cripple you and make it harder to move; it’s easier to bounce from one thing to another rather than sit in stagnancy and try and get yourself going again.

 

12. You have the power to inspire others

Back at school Jonesy says they were just “two fat kids” and for them it was about taking those progressive steps, following their passion, which allowed them to do their expeditions. Jonesy says everyone has got this capability inside them, and it’s about building that mental strength.

Once you have found that mental strength inside yourself, you have the power to unlock it in others. Jonesy told me that he loves it when he gives a corporate speech, and he starts to see that spark in people’s eyes.

After his speech, people will come up to him to chat, and he can tell that they are going to go away and do something about their dream. This is usually a direct result of him sharing his amazing stories with them, and he knows they have taken away something that they can use.

Jonesy explained to me that it’s often just a little bit of belief that these audience members lack and he feels that he is helping to enable them to find it through his presentations.

On the other hand, it can be frustrating when people don’t believe in something, and they are just happy to drift by in life, but that’s their choice, and all you can do is try and help them on their journey.

Surround yourself with the right people and the one’s who are going to push you even harder. If people are self-motivated, then they will want to learn the skills and tasks required to get the job done.

Cas And Jonesy Adventure Quote - Addicted2Success copy
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***Final Note***

Belief has got to come from inside. By setting yourself a big goal like climbing a mountain against adverse conditions, you can empower yourself a lot more than someone telling you how to do things. Knowing how to do things will give you the tools, but you can have all the tools in the world, what you really need is to have the belief in yourself to want to go out there and do something.

Jonesy’s favourite quotes:

“Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go”

“A ship in harbour is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for”

If you are keen to hear more about Jonesy’s adventures then support him by going to justinjonesyspeaking.com.au and follow his next adventure where he walks from the Geographical Centre of Australia down toThe Great Australian Bight.

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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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Stephen Osoko

    Jan 10, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    Great Post Tim,
    I loved this “Belief has got to come from inside.”
    This was a really awesome post man keep it up.

  2. Tim Hirtle

    Dec 15, 2015 at 11:57 am

    A very inspiring post, and an interesting way to present the lessons. I enjoyed reading about these adventures.

    • Tim Denning

      Dec 18, 2015 at 8:48 pm

      Thanks Tim. Jonesy was a very inspiring man and he had lots of great advice to offer. I only wish I had the courage to complete some of his adventures…lol

  3. Evan

    Dec 5, 2015 at 1:50 am

    Tim,

    I always like seeing your articles here on A2S.

    This one was a great one, and I believe it’s very important to do whatever you want since you’re only here for under 100 years.

    Many people are caught up in doing things they don’t want, while others are achieving exactly what they do want. Why is this? It’s just a simple choice to decide that you will get whatever you choose and focus on daily.

    Keep up the good work

    – Evan

    • Tim Denning

      Dec 7, 2015 at 9:43 am

      Thanks Evan and I totally echo your thoughts. Don’t just do something though, do something great that people will remember you for like the impossible expeditions mentioned in this article.

  4. Lawrence Berry

    Dec 3, 2015 at 8:28 pm

    This is a very inspiring article. Reading about these two went after what they wanted in life and let nothing get in their way is very inspiring. Living their lives through this expedition is the true definition of living your life on your own terms. I have not completed any major seemingly impossible expeditions in my life, but I can relate to alot of the points here by choosing to go down the career path that I ultimately wanted to go down, instead of letting the fear of failing control my life. As said in the article, I truly believe that the journey is the most important part and the character that you build. Great post!

    • Tim Denning

      Dec 3, 2015 at 8:42 pm

      Thanks Larence. I fell like I have achieved nothing compared to these guys. I have never put myself so far out of my comfort zone that I have the possibility to achieve a similar greatness. Their story really makes me want to push harder.

  5. Toño

    Dec 3, 2015 at 2:43 am

    I am very grateful for your effort and passion, Tim, it was a great read! Thank you very much, I’ve always liked your articles and for some reason, once I saw the title, waking up in the morning, I somehow knew it gonna be your post!

    I love this line: ‘Too many adults don’t take the time to go off and learn new skills. They do the same things over and over again that they are good at rather than taking the time to learn a new passion – no wonder we get bored and watch TV.’
    This is inevitable truth, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting something new and exciting will happen.. (unless you are grinding for your goal on purpose). New habbits, skills, actions and changes are always the most scariest things in our life and usually it is exactly what stops us from chasing the dream!

    Thank you once again, I was needed this! Take care and stay well!

    • Tim Denning

      Dec 3, 2015 at 8:39 pm

      Hey Toño glad you like the articles. The points about adults trying a new skill is powerful. When we are children we always want to try new things but for some reason when we get older we stop trying new things. Thanks for reading!

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Motivation

You Snooze, You Lose! 4 Hacks to Get Out of Bed When That Alarm Goes Off

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Did you know that more than 57% of Americans hit the snooze button? That adds up to 3.5 months of our lives just snoozing! Why would we waste time snoozing when the intention is to actually get up to get things done? Is it laziness, a lack of discipline, motivation, or commitment? It doesn’t actually matter.

The fact is, you can’t be as productive as you want when you are getting out of bed late!  That is the obvious part. The not so obvious part is how to actually get of bed, when every part of you is screaming to sleep a bit longer. Let’s create a bit of pain first, because I’m assuming you actually don’t see the downsides to snoozing, or you are being ignorant and ignorance will never get you the results you want.

Sabotaging Success

Did you know that every time you set yourself an intention to wake up early and you don’t follow through with it, you dramatically lower your confidence and belief in yourself? Your word to yourself start to mean less and less. You can say to yourself, I will do this, but you know you probably won’t.

Nothing will sabotage your success more than losing faith in your own word. You need confidence to get results in life! Are you somebody who follows through with their word or not? You either are or you aren’t.

The second consequence, is that you are losing income and awesome results you could be having sooner. Why choose the easier things now and have a harder life later on, when you can choose the harder things now and have an easier life later on?  Don’t settle in life, this will never ever fulfill you.

4 Hacks to get out of bed when that alarm goes off:

1. Don’t negotiate with your brain 

If you start negotiating with your brain, you will always lose. So don’t go there, don’t even start that conversation in your mind! If you have decided to get out of bed, then do it, follow through with your word. Why change your mind in the morning? 

The ‘pleasure seeking’ part of your brain is always on automatic and it’s so strong, your ‘pre-fontal’ cortex doesn’t have much chance of winning this battle when you are half asleep in bed. Once you are out of bed, habit stack. It’s the 5 second rule – you are up already – don’t you dare go back.  Do exactly what you would do habitually. Do you go straight for the shower or do you get a glass of lemon juice? Know what you are going to do already to take any thinking out of it!

“Lose an hour in the morning and you will spend all day looking for it.” – Richard Whately

2. Look at your identity 

You behave according to what you believe. You believe what you repeat. Look at your own language, what do you say to yourself about getting up? Do you say things like; “It’s so hard to get out of bed in the morning” or “I’ve never been a morning person.” What you say becomes your reality of yourself and either motivates or demotivates you.

What you want to be saying to yourself is: “Just get out of bed. It’s easy, just get up. I can do this because I want to, I decide and control my actions. I am in control.” I can almost guarantee, if you struggle to get up when your alarm goes off, there is a part of your identity that believes this is who you are. If you change how you talk to yourself, about who you are, and tell yourself you can do anything, because you said so, your actions will be completely different.

3. Leaping out of bed

Unless I have a very compelling reason, I know it would be hard to get out of bed. We need to use our minds to motivate us into action, and the best way to do this, is to get excited the day before. Write down at least 5 reasons on a piece of paper; list why you want to leap out of bed tomorrow. This can take 2 minutes! The next morning, when your alarm goes off, look at that piece of paper, immediately so you know what awaits you and get up.

4. Use accountability and peer pressure

Create a game with your friends, family members, coach, colleagues, or business partner, I don’t care who it is, as long as you know that person will hold you accountable. Have fun with it, take a picture fully dressed and showered and send to your accountability partner, or call a ‘penalty’ if you don’t, like taking your friend out for dinner or spouse every time you sleep in. Get creative and use your support system.  The point is, it doesn’t matter what system you set up, how crazy it might seem, what matters is if it works!

Remember, you don’t need to make big changes from the outset, if you feel like an hour or 30 minute change is too much, start with 5 minutes earlier each day or 10 minutes earlier each week. You must be getting enough sleep and not over sleeping either. You have one life and if you are a business owner, I know you are missing out on results and lowering your confidence indirectly too.

“Life is getting up an hour early to live an hour more.”

You can have the best intentions to get up earlier every day, but if you let that snooze button control you, you will never follow through with your intentions or get your results! It is the small changes that can give us the biggest results. Try one these hacks to finally get out of that bed in the morning and finally take back your time! Don’t allow it to be more powerful than you.

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Motivation

Why It’s a Great Thing for Adversity to Push You to Your Breaking Point

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If you are not finding challenges that knock you flat on your back then you are missing out. A darker side of success that some have touched on is that you need to fail more. In addition to this, we should consider finding the challenges that punch us in the mouth and knock us unconscious.

The easiest place to be in life is one of comfort and knowing what tomorrow will bring. This brings little growth and requires very little effort because it’s safe. However, if we look at our role models who have done great things, then we will surely see that they have failed spectacularly.

Michael Jordan locked himself in his room and cried after he didn’t make his varsity basketball team as a sophomore. Walt Disney’s second business that failed miserably was called Laugh-O-Gram. JK Rowling was rejected by 12 literary publishers before she found any success.

Most likely you can think of some challenges that you rose up to beat in your own life. I would venture to say that the most difficult challenges that meant the most to you knocked you on your back right before you conquered them.

“Every adversity, every failure, and every heartache, carries with it the Seed of an equivalent or greater Benefit.” – Napoleon Hill

These obstacles are there for a reason. They are an important part of the puzzle for you. So if you find yourself in a place where you feel stuck or overwhelmed by a burden that seems insurmountable then this is a very good thing.

Life gives you everything you need

Life will give us everything we need, including the message that you have to get back up and go back at it with more determination, more will, and more fight than what you had before. Sometimes the moment we are down and out is the moment we have to regroup, reorganize, and come up with a new strategy to overcome those impending obstacles.

The reason the challenge knocks us down is because we need it. Just like an ocean wave knocks down an inexperienced surfer, it’s just a sign that the young surfer has to grow and become better.

Just like a surfer, the same is true for you and wherever you are at now. You have faced many things in your life which force you to become stronger for what is now in front of you.

However, what is most important in all this is having a challenge that can move you. For the surfer, the thrill of riding that perfect wave is worth the cost of getting beaten down by ocean waves again and again. For the man creating a business and putting his heart and soul into it, the reward of being a success and changing lives is worth battling each and everyday to get his enterprise up and off the ground.

For the woman who runs a marathon, the thrill of running across the finish line and having that experience was worth all the training and the grueling exhaustion she had to endure so that she could get to that point.

These experiences are the ones that can move you, but if your goal can have such a positive affect on you, then it can also have a dramatically negative affect as well. This is why you need challenges that can break you.

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.” – J. K. Rowling

Why you need failure

The surfer is devastated after breaking his arm and having to spend time away from his passion, but after his recovery he is reinvigorated. The business fails and the man is crushed, but he comes back stronger and more experienced with another business. The runner fails at finishing her marathon, but trains harder and comes back even better.

For this reason, failure is only feedback and something to be used as a positive for getting to where you want to go. If you get knocked down you might just need to rest and try again. Or it could mean that you should go get some help and try again.

Remember, failure isn’t final and success within failure is having the opportunity to try again.

You should only be alarmed when you have failed challenges that aren’t breaking you. This means that you are playing it safe and need something more compelling to propel you forward.

If the challenge breaks you then you know it means something to you. Even more importantly, you have the opportunity to go again, harder and even more determined.

How do you handle failure? Let us know in the comments below!

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Motivation

What To Tell Yourself During A Tough Time.

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We all go through tough times.

A few examples of mine are:

  • Multiple consecutive breakups
  • Walking away from a business that could have made me a lot of money
  • Having my career come to a grinding halt
  • Dealing with mental illness

The list is very long and I’m sure yours is similar. It’s not about the tough times we go through though because they are guaranteed and you already knew that before you clicked this article.

What matters during tough times is what you tell yourself.

This is what I say to myself during tough times — well there’s actually four things I say to myself depending on the tough time I’m facing:


“This will pass”

No event in your life lasts forever. Today may be a really tough day, but that won’t last forever. We delude ourselves at times by saying in our head “I’m always going to be like this.”

“Why does this always happen to me?”

“Here we go again.”

These negative phrases tell our brain that things are never going to get better. When we say these phrases to ourselves enough, we start to believe them. During a difficult period in your life, in that moment, things will suck.

The way to get out of your head is to see the truth: this will pass. In one day, one month, or one year this tough situation will have passed and you’ll be onto the next part of your life.

Nothing lasts forever unless you allow your mind to trap you in the moment and believe a lie which is that this moment won’t pass. It will. You will come out the other side.


I’ll be stronger having dealt with this situation

When you reframe your tough times into strength building exercises, they take a whole new meaning.

All of a sudden, your current situation that may be wearing you down becomes like reps at the gym. The reps are a struggle and it hurts, but if you keep moving forward, you end up with mental toughness and strength.

“Exchange your tough times for mental toughness”

See this challenging situation for what it is. It’s the chance to come out the other end stronger.

Stack your tough times up like gold medals.

Have you dealt with cancer? Good, then you won’t take your health for granted ever again.

Have you lost a loved one? Then you’ll never take the rest of your family for granted and care for them more than you did before.

Did you lose your job? Amazing! Now you can work somewhere else and discover more of your hidden talents!

Without tough times, you won’t have the strategies you need to deal with the impossible. Your heroes are your heroes because they’ve used their tough times to become stronger.

Failure and rejection are the building blocks to whatever your definition of success is. Tough times make you hungryand that’s a good thing.


Keep taking baby steps forward

Tough times can feel like quicksand sometimes.

If you don’t keep moving forward though, you’ll eventually sink into the quicksand. The best thing you can do during the toughest of challenges is take baby steps.

When I battled severe anxiety, I took baby steps such as these:

  • Walked 15 minutes a day
  • Drank an extra glass of water each day to hydrate my body
  • Read one book a month on anxiety
  • Exposed myself to one small fear each day. It started with going two levels in a lift (something I couldn’t do before). Then I’d go three levels the next day and so on.

That last dot point is critical. Overcoming tough times requires you to take baby steps in the form of being uncomfortable. When you’re growing each day, you don’t have time to be too concerned about a particular tough time.

My battle with anxiety eventually led me to flying long distances (another thing I couldn’t do before) and then speaking on stages in front of a lot of people.

As you can see, the first few steps — like going two floors in a lift — are quite small. Then the steps get bigger and bigger until what used to seem impossible becomes a piece of cake.

Take baby steps.


“It only takes one person”

Tough times often require someone to believe in you. From my experience, you only need one person.

One person to believe in your idea.
One person to love you.
One person who has gone through the same tough times as you.

This one person exists. You have to go out there and find them. That one person for me was a team leader when I was working in a call center. He believed in me enough to take me aside and coach me one on one.

He believed I was going to go on and change the world through personal development. He was right and I did!

Don’t give up. Your one person exists as well.

<<<>>>

These four things are what I tell myself during a tough time. One of these phrases will always be the right one depending on the circumstance.

Believe that there is a way out and you’ll find one. It’s during the tough times that you’ll develop the skills and experience to help others.

What I’ve learned is that to get through the tough times, one of the best hacks is to focus on helping others. When you’re focusing on how you can serve, your own selfish problems become insignificant.

Seek out people who have even bigger problems than you do and listen to them. See if you can help them.

That’s how you deal with the tough times.

Tell yourself the truth. You deserve to hear it.

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

This Can Be Your Life If You Choose It.

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I was sitting down last week with a friend for lemongrass and ginger teas — because that’s how we roll in Melbourne.

My friend was telling me his recent life challenges and why he’d stopped replying to everybody’s messages.

I’ll get to the point: he’d got stuck in the daily grind.

Your life is not this:

  • Wake up
  • Eat breakfast
  • Go to work
  • Have lunch
  • Come home
  • Ask your partner how their day was
  • Play with kids (if you have them)
  • Look forward to the weekend
  • Go to bed
  • Rinse and repeat

If this is how your life is, chances are you’re going to have challenges. Not because these daily activities are a problem but because there’s so much more to life.

When every day is the same, and you don’t know why, you become lost.


What do I mean by lost?

You go back to old ways. In my friend’s case, his mental health issues kicked in again. He started feeling sorry for himself. He lost his way.

For me, getting lost looks like going back to a state of negativity. A state where the world is against me and everything feels impossible.


Your life can be different if you choose it to be.

This is not hyperbole. Your life can be different.

How?

By not getting stuck in the daily grind. The way you do this is by being present. Noticing right now instead of looking down at your phone.

You can also break your routine. Don’t do the same thing every dayAdd some small twists and turns to how you do things.

Your life doesn’t have to be boring and full of routines. Habits are good to have as long as they don’t become 99.9% of your day. Having nothing but habits takes the variety out of your day.

You end up thinking the same way day in and day out. This stops you from seeing the endless opportunities that are available to you if you can only see them.


There has to be meaning.

No matter how big or how small, meaning gives you a reason to wake up outside of just following some pre-defined routine.

My friend that was going through issues last week didn’t have a meaning. He’d forgotten why he came to work. To shake up his reality, I told him about the day before where I’d volunteered at the local homeless shelter.

He asked me why I did it.

I told him It gets you out of your head. It makes you think and feel completely different. You stop feeling sorry for yourself. It reminds you of what it’s like to have a meaning.


We make the mistake of thinking everyone’s life is perfect except ours.

“I get this all the time. People think I live some rockstar blogging lifestyle full of free lunches, endless high-fives, smiles and opportunities. The reality couldn’t be further from this fake idea”

I have the same battles and challenges.
I get stuck in routines too.
I sometimes chase productivity over meaning as well.

No one has a straight flush of perfect days where all their hopes and dreams come true. Rejection, punches to the face, and disappointment affect us all.

The way you choose the good life is to acknowledge and push through the difficult parts of life.

As hard as I try, some days just suck. Some days I don’t feel like writing or my career is in the dumps.

The only difference is what you choose.

For me, I choose to keep moving forward. I choose optimism even when nothing makes sense and all the chips are stacked against me.

There’s no secret hack other than choosing to not settle for a life of routine and one that contains no variety.

You get to make that choice. That’s the difference.

The life you want is your choice. It’s not made for you.

Choose to change things up.

<<<>>>

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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Entrepreneurs

4 Ways to Overcome Entrepreneurial Anxiety

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It’s natural to feel nervous about your business when you’ve poured everything into it, including time, money, and other resources. Your nerves, however, can escalate into crippling anxiety if not managed effectively. (more…)

Sania Khiljee is a serial entrepreneur and social media expert that has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc, Huffington Post, and more. Sania is the co-owner of a private school Kids R Kids in Katy, TX and is the founder of a subscription box called Bumble Brain Box, which she sold in 2017. She also owns Losers to Legends, which is a social media agency and training company. Losers to Legends started as a motivational movement on social media and has grown to over 1.4 million followers. Her blog saniakhiljee.com also covers topics such as motivation, entrepreneurship, and social media.

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Stephen Osoko

    Jan 10, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    Great Post Tim,
    I loved this “Belief has got to come from inside.”
    This was a really awesome post man keep it up.

  2. Tim Hirtle

    Dec 15, 2015 at 11:57 am

    A very inspiring post, and an interesting way to present the lessons. I enjoyed reading about these adventures.

    • Tim Denning

      Dec 18, 2015 at 8:48 pm

      Thanks Tim. Jonesy was a very inspiring man and he had lots of great advice to offer. I only wish I had the courage to complete some of his adventures…lol

  3. Evan

    Dec 5, 2015 at 1:50 am

    Tim,

    I always like seeing your articles here on A2S.

    This one was a great one, and I believe it’s very important to do whatever you want since you’re only here for under 100 years.

    Many people are caught up in doing things they don’t want, while others are achieving exactly what they do want. Why is this? It’s just a simple choice to decide that you will get whatever you choose and focus on daily.

    Keep up the good work

    – Evan

    • Tim Denning

      Dec 7, 2015 at 9:43 am

      Thanks Evan and I totally echo your thoughts. Don’t just do something though, do something great that people will remember you for like the impossible expeditions mentioned in this article.

  4. Lawrence Berry

    Dec 3, 2015 at 8:28 pm

    This is a very inspiring article. Reading about these two went after what they wanted in life and let nothing get in their way is very inspiring. Living their lives through this expedition is the true definition of living your life on your own terms. I have not completed any major seemingly impossible expeditions in my life, but I can relate to alot of the points here by choosing to go down the career path that I ultimately wanted to go down, instead of letting the fear of failing control my life. As said in the article, I truly believe that the journey is the most important part and the character that you build. Great post!

    • Tim Denning

      Dec 3, 2015 at 8:42 pm

      Thanks Larence. I fell like I have achieved nothing compared to these guys. I have never put myself so far out of my comfort zone that I have the possibility to achieve a similar greatness. Their story really makes me want to push harder.

  5. Toño

    Dec 3, 2015 at 2:43 am

    I am very grateful for your effort and passion, Tim, it was a great read! Thank you very much, I’ve always liked your articles and for some reason, once I saw the title, waking up in the morning, I somehow knew it gonna be your post!

    I love this line: ‘Too many adults don’t take the time to go off and learn new skills. They do the same things over and over again that they are good at rather than taking the time to learn a new passion – no wonder we get bored and watch TV.’
    This is inevitable truth, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting something new and exciting will happen.. (unless you are grinding for your goal on purpose). New habbits, skills, actions and changes are always the most scariest things in our life and usually it is exactly what stops us from chasing the dream!

    Thank you once again, I was needed this! Take care and stay well!

    • Tim Denning

      Dec 3, 2015 at 8:39 pm

      Hey Toño glad you like the articles. The points about adults trying a new skill is powerful. When we are children we always want to try new things but for some reason when we get older we stop trying new things. Thanks for reading!

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Motivation

You Snooze, You Lose! 4 Hacks to Get Out of Bed When That Alarm Goes Off

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Did you know that more than 57% of Americans hit the snooze button? That adds up to 3.5 months of our lives just snoozing! Why would we waste time snoozing when the intention is to actually get up to get things done? Is it laziness, a lack of discipline, motivation, or commitment? It doesn’t actually matter.

The fact is, you can’t be as productive as you want when you are getting out of bed late!  That is the obvious part. The not so obvious part is how to actually get of bed, when every part of you is screaming to sleep a bit longer. Let’s create a bit of pain first, because I’m assuming you actually don’t see the downsides to snoozing, or you are being ignorant and ignorance will never get you the results you want.

Sabotaging Success

Did you know that every time you set yourself an intention to wake up early and you don’t follow through with it, you dramatically lower your confidence and belief in yourself? Your word to yourself start to mean less and less. You can say to yourself, I will do this, but you know you probably won’t.

Nothing will sabotage your success more than losing faith in your own word. You need confidence to get results in life! Are you somebody who follows through with their word or not? You either are or you aren’t.

The second consequence, is that you are losing income and awesome results you could be having sooner. Why choose the easier things now and have a harder life later on, when you can choose the harder things now and have an easier life later on?  Don’t settle in life, this will never ever fulfill you.

4 Hacks to get out of bed when that alarm goes off:

1. Don’t negotiate with your brain 

If you start negotiating with your brain, you will always lose. So don’t go there, don’t even start that conversation in your mind! If you have decided to get out of bed, then do it, follow through with your word. Why change your mind in the morning? 

The ‘pleasure seeking’ part of your brain is always on automatic and it’s so strong, your ‘pre-fontal’ cortex doesn’t have much chance of winning this battle when you are half asleep in bed. Once you are out of bed, habit stack. It’s the 5 second rule – you are up already – don’t you dare go back.  Do exactly what you would do habitually. Do you go straight for the shower or do you get a glass of lemon juice? Know what you are going to do already to take any thinking out of it!

“Lose an hour in the morning and you will spend all day looking for it.” – Richard Whately

2. Look at your identity 

You behave according to what you believe. You believe what you repeat. Look at your own language, what do you say to yourself about getting up? Do you say things like; “It’s so hard to get out of bed in the morning” or “I’ve never been a morning person.” What you say becomes your reality of yourself and either motivates or demotivates you.

What you want to be saying to yourself is: “Just get out of bed. It’s easy, just get up. I can do this because I want to, I decide and control my actions. I am in control.” I can almost guarantee, if you struggle to get up when your alarm goes off, there is a part of your identity that believes this is who you are. If you change how you talk to yourself, about who you are, and tell yourself you can do anything, because you said so, your actions will be completely different.

3. Leaping out of bed

Unless I have a very compelling reason, I know it would be hard to get out of bed. We need to use our minds to motivate us into action, and the best way to do this, is to get excited the day before. Write down at least 5 reasons on a piece of paper; list why you want to leap out of bed tomorrow. This can take 2 minutes! The next morning, when your alarm goes off, look at that piece of paper, immediately so you know what awaits you and get up.

4. Use accountability and peer pressure

Create a game with your friends, family members, coach, colleagues, or business partner, I don’t care who it is, as long as you know that person will hold you accountable. Have fun with it, take a picture fully dressed and showered and send to your accountability partner, or call a ‘penalty’ if you don’t, like taking your friend out for dinner or spouse every time you sleep in. Get creative and use your support system.  The point is, it doesn’t matter what system you set up, how crazy it might seem, what matters is if it works!

Remember, you don’t need to make big changes from the outset, if you feel like an hour or 30 minute change is too much, start with 5 minutes earlier each day or 10 minutes earlier each week. You must be getting enough sleep and not over sleeping either. You have one life and if you are a business owner, I know you are missing out on results and lowering your confidence indirectly too.

“Life is getting up an hour early to live an hour more.”

You can have the best intentions to get up earlier every day, but if you let that snooze button control you, you will never follow through with your intentions or get your results! It is the small changes that can give us the biggest results. Try one these hacks to finally get out of that bed in the morning and finally take back your time! Don’t allow it to be more powerful than you.

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Motivation

Why It’s a Great Thing for Adversity to Push You to Your Breaking Point

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If you are not finding challenges that knock you flat on your back then you are missing out. A darker side of success that some have touched on is that you need to fail more. In addition to this, we should consider finding the challenges that punch us in the mouth and knock us unconscious.

The easiest place to be in life is one of comfort and knowing what tomorrow will bring. This brings little growth and requires very little effort because it’s safe. However, if we look at our role models who have done great things, then we will surely see that they have failed spectacularly.

Michael Jordan locked himself in his room and cried after he didn’t make his varsity basketball team as a sophomore. Walt Disney’s second business that failed miserably was called Laugh-O-Gram. JK Rowling was rejected by 12 literary publishers before she found any success.

Most likely you can think of some challenges that you rose up to beat in your own life. I would venture to say that the most difficult challenges that meant the most to you knocked you on your back right before you conquered them.

“Every adversity, every failure, and every heartache, carries with it the Seed of an equivalent or greater Benefit.” – Napoleon Hill

These obstacles are there for a reason. They are an important part of the puzzle for you. So if you find yourself in a place where you feel stuck or overwhelmed by a burden that seems insurmountable then this is a very good thing.

Life gives you everything you need

Life will give us everything we need, including the message that you have to get back up and go back at it with more determination, more will, and more fight than what you had before. Sometimes the moment we are down and out is the moment we have to regroup, reorganize, and come up with a new strategy to overcome those impending obstacles.

The reason the challenge knocks us down is because we need it. Just like an ocean wave knocks down an inexperienced surfer, it’s just a sign that the young surfer has to grow and become better.

Just like a surfer, the same is true for you and wherever you are at now. You have faced many things in your life which force you to become stronger for what is now in front of you.

However, what is most important in all this is having a challenge that can move you. For the surfer, the thrill of riding that perfect wave is worth the cost of getting beaten down by ocean waves again and again. For the man creating a business and putting his heart and soul into it, the reward of being a success and changing lives is worth battling each and everyday to get his enterprise up and off the ground.

For the woman who runs a marathon, the thrill of running across the finish line and having that experience was worth all the training and the grueling exhaustion she had to endure so that she could get to that point.

These experiences are the ones that can move you, but if your goal can have such a positive affect on you, then it can also have a dramatically negative affect as well. This is why you need challenges that can break you.

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.” – J. K. Rowling

Why you need failure

The surfer is devastated after breaking his arm and having to spend time away from his passion, but after his recovery he is reinvigorated. The business fails and the man is crushed, but he comes back stronger and more experienced with another business. The runner fails at finishing her marathon, but trains harder and comes back even better.

For this reason, failure is only feedback and something to be used as a positive for getting to where you want to go. If you get knocked down you might just need to rest and try again. Or it could mean that you should go get some help and try again.

Remember, failure isn’t final and success within failure is having the opportunity to try again.

You should only be alarmed when you have failed challenges that aren’t breaking you. This means that you are playing it safe and need something more compelling to propel you forward.

If the challenge breaks you then you know it means something to you. Even more importantly, you have the opportunity to go again, harder and even more determined.

How do you handle failure? Let us know in the comments below!

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Motivation

What To Tell Yourself During A Tough Time.

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We all go through tough times.

A few examples of mine are:

  • Multiple consecutive breakups
  • Walking away from a business that could have made me a lot of money
  • Having my career come to a grinding halt
  • Dealing with mental illness

The list is very long and I’m sure yours is similar. It’s not about the tough times we go through though because they are guaranteed and you already knew that before you clicked this article.

What matters during tough times is what you tell yourself.

This is what I say to myself during tough times — well there’s actually four things I say to myself depending on the tough time I’m facing:


“This will pass”

No event in your life lasts forever. Today may be a really tough day, but that won’t last forever. We delude ourselves at times by saying in our head “I’m always going to be like this.”

“Why does this always happen to me?”

“Here we go again.”

These negative phrases tell our brain that things are never going to get better. When we say these phrases to ourselves enough, we start to believe them. During a difficult period in your life, in that moment, things will suck.

The way to get out of your head is to see the truth: this will pass. In one day, one month, or one year this tough situation will have passed and you’ll be onto the next part of your life.

Nothing lasts forever unless you allow your mind to trap you in the moment and believe a lie which is that this moment won’t pass. It will. You will come out the other side.


I’ll be stronger having dealt with this situation

When you reframe your tough times into strength building exercises, they take a whole new meaning.

All of a sudden, your current situation that may be wearing you down becomes like reps at the gym. The reps are a struggle and it hurts, but if you keep moving forward, you end up with mental toughness and strength.

“Exchange your tough times for mental toughness”

See this challenging situation for what it is. It’s the chance to come out the other end stronger.

Stack your tough times up like gold medals.

Have you dealt with cancer? Good, then you won’t take your health for granted ever again.

Have you lost a loved one? Then you’ll never take the rest of your family for granted and care for them more than you did before.

Did you lose your job? Amazing! Now you can work somewhere else and discover more of your hidden talents!

Without tough times, you won’t have the strategies you need to deal with the impossible. Your heroes are your heroes because they’ve used their tough times to become stronger.

Failure and rejection are the building blocks to whatever your definition of success is. Tough times make you hungryand that’s a good thing.


Keep taking baby steps forward

Tough times can feel like quicksand sometimes.

If you don’t keep moving forward though, you’ll eventually sink into the quicksand. The best thing you can do during the toughest of challenges is take baby steps.

When I battled severe anxiety, I took baby steps such as these:

  • Walked 15 minutes a day
  • Drank an extra glass of water each day to hydrate my body
  • Read one book a month on anxiety
  • Exposed myself to one small fear each day. It started with going two levels in a lift (something I couldn’t do before). Then I’d go three levels the next day and so on.

That last dot point is critical. Overcoming tough times requires you to take baby steps in the form of being uncomfortable. When you’re growing each day, you don’t have time to be too concerned about a particular tough time.

My battle with anxiety eventually led me to flying long distances (another thing I couldn’t do before) and then speaking on stages in front of a lot of people.

As you can see, the first few steps — like going two floors in a lift — are quite small. Then the steps get bigger and bigger until what used to seem impossible becomes a piece of cake.

Take baby steps.


“It only takes one person”

Tough times often require someone to believe in you. From my experience, you only need one person.

One person to believe in your idea.
One person to love you.
One person who has gone through the same tough times as you.

This one person exists. You have to go out there and find them. That one person for me was a team leader when I was working in a call center. He believed in me enough to take me aside and coach me one on one.

He believed I was going to go on and change the world through personal development. He was right and I did!

Don’t give up. Your one person exists as well.

<<<>>>

These four things are what I tell myself during a tough time. One of these phrases will always be the right one depending on the circumstance.

Believe that there is a way out and you’ll find one. It’s during the tough times that you’ll develop the skills and experience to help others.

What I’ve learned is that to get through the tough times, one of the best hacks is to focus on helping others. When you’re focusing on how you can serve, your own selfish problems become insignificant.

Seek out people who have even bigger problems than you do and listen to them. See if you can help them.

That’s how you deal with the tough times.

Tell yourself the truth. You deserve to hear it.

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

This Can Be Your Life If You Choose It.

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Image Credit: Unsplash

I was sitting down last week with a friend for lemongrass and ginger teas — because that’s how we roll in Melbourne.

My friend was telling me his recent life challenges and why he’d stopped replying to everybody’s messages.

I’ll get to the point: he’d got stuck in the daily grind.

Your life is not this:

  • Wake up
  • Eat breakfast
  • Go to work
  • Have lunch
  • Come home
  • Ask your partner how their day was
  • Play with kids (if you have them)
  • Look forward to the weekend
  • Go to bed
  • Rinse and repeat

If this is how your life is, chances are you’re going to have challenges. Not because these daily activities are a problem but because there’s so much more to life.

When every day is the same, and you don’t know why, you become lost.


What do I mean by lost?

You go back to old ways. In my friend’s case, his mental health issues kicked in again. He started feeling sorry for himself. He lost his way.

For me, getting lost looks like going back to a state of negativity. A state where the world is against me and everything feels impossible.


Your life can be different if you choose it to be.

This is not hyperbole. Your life can be different.

How?

By not getting stuck in the daily grind. The way you do this is by being present. Noticing right now instead of looking down at your phone.

You can also break your routine. Don’t do the same thing every dayAdd some small twists and turns to how you do things.

Your life doesn’t have to be boring and full of routines. Habits are good to have as long as they don’t become 99.9% of your day. Having nothing but habits takes the variety out of your day.

You end up thinking the same way day in and day out. This stops you from seeing the endless opportunities that are available to you if you can only see them.


There has to be meaning.

No matter how big or how small, meaning gives you a reason to wake up outside of just following some pre-defined routine.

My friend that was going through issues last week didn’t have a meaning. He’d forgotten why he came to work. To shake up his reality, I told him about the day before where I’d volunteered at the local homeless shelter.

He asked me why I did it.

I told him It gets you out of your head. It makes you think and feel completely different. You stop feeling sorry for yourself. It reminds you of what it’s like to have a meaning.


We make the mistake of thinking everyone’s life is perfect except ours.

“I get this all the time. People think I live some rockstar blogging lifestyle full of free lunches, endless high-fives, smiles and opportunities. The reality couldn’t be further from this fake idea”

I have the same battles and challenges.
I get stuck in routines too.
I sometimes chase productivity over meaning as well.

No one has a straight flush of perfect days where all their hopes and dreams come true. Rejection, punches to the face, and disappointment affect us all.

The way you choose the good life is to acknowledge and push through the difficult parts of life.

As hard as I try, some days just suck. Some days I don’t feel like writing or my career is in the dumps.

The only difference is what you choose.

For me, I choose to keep moving forward. I choose optimism even when nothing makes sense and all the chips are stacked against me.

There’s no secret hack other than choosing to not settle for a life of routine and one that contains no variety.

You get to make that choice. That’s the difference.

The life you want is your choice. It’s not made for you.

Choose to change things up.

<<<>>>

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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