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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

50 Cent Scored Half a Billion Dollars – How 50 Made a Killing Off Water

Joel Brown (Founder of Addicted2Success.com)

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Image Credit | The Source

In “The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop,” author Dan Charnas traces how rap grew from its obscure roots in the ghettos of 1970s New York to its culmination as the world’s predominant youth pop culture and a multibillion-dollar industry.

The event that epitomized just how far hip-hop had come was the headline-grabbing partnership between the rapper 50 Cent and the upstart beverage company Glaceau, the maker of VitaminWater. It may well have been the biggest deal in hip-hop history, propelling 50 Cent’s personal net worth toward a half-billion dollars.

In this excerpt, Charnas outlines how it happened.

By the summer of 2003, 50 Cent’s debut album, “Get Rich or Die Tryin’,” had sold more than 5 million copies, and he was easily on his way to becoming a multimillionaire on these sales alone.

Nonetheless, the rapper from Queens, who was born Curtis Jackson and had begun his career on the reputation of being shot nine times (a bullet was still lodged in his tongue), wasn’t content to remain a recording artist.

His young manager, Chris Lighty, himself a Bronx street kid turned businessman, was well-positioned to exploit 50’s stardom by creating multiple income streams. Lighty had come out of the Def Jam fold and managed such stars as Missy Elliott and LL Cool J.

With Lighty, 50 Cent created the “G-Unit” brand, including a record company, a clothing company, and a sneaker deal with Reebok’s RBK line. The G-Unit Clothing Company was a joint-venture deal, with hip-hop-influenced designer Marc Ecko fronting the money, handling the manufacturing and distribution, and splitting the profits fifty-fifty with 50.

At his Violator management company (named after a rough crew that Lighty ran with as a kid), Lighty helped pioneer the use of 900 numbers for his artists.

Over a decade later, he negotiated a different kind of phone deal: 50 Cent cellular ringtones to be sold for up to $2.99 per download. Lighty inked other agreements, too: a video game and a biopic with MTV Films and Paramount Pictures. When the agency that represented Lighty, CAA, balked at representing a rapper so closely associated with violence, Lighty secured a deal with an eager William Morris.

One of Lighty’s business acquaintances was Rohan Oza, a marketing executive who has just moved from Coca-Cola to a small Queens, N.Y., beverage company called Glaceau. Oza considered himself not a brand manager, but a brand messiah. He believed that passionate proselytizing of his products could transcend costly corporate ad campaigns.

Oza’s Vitamin Water brand was doing well at more than $100 million in sales, second only to Pepsi’s Propel brand in the $245 million “enhanced-water” market. He knew how to take them out.

Stealing a page from the hip-hop street-team and word-of-mouth ethos, Oza created a fleet of 10 “Glaceau Vitamin Water Tasting Vehicles,” staffed by 200 “hydrologists,” to cross the country and spread the gospel of Vitamin Water’s growing line. But hydrologists working one-on-one with consumers wouldn’t break Vitamin Water out of the gourmet-deli and new-age-health-food market.

Oza needed more than brand messiahs to convert individuals. He needed brand ambassadors to influence millions. That’s when Oza saw a commercial for RBK sneakers in which Lighty, rather sneakily, had his artist, 50 Cent, chug a bottle of Vitamin Water.

In a phone call soon thereafter, Lighty told Oza that he wanted to find a way to work together to make Vitamin Water huge. It turned out that 50 Cent  had a true love of the product. He had grown up around alcoholics, so he didn’t drink. Instead, he spent hours a day working out and ate healthy. Like Oza who got bored with imbibing the recommended eight glasses of plain water a day, 50 had found Vitamin Water a more pleasurable way to hydrate.

On Oza’s desk in his New York office, at that very moment, was a test bottle of a new Vitamin Water flavor, recently formulated by Glaceau’s head of product development, Carol Dollard, who had worked hard to get more vitamins and nutrients into their drinks – much more than the 2 to 3 percent of the recommended daily allowance in other “enhanced” waters.

Recently, Oza had asked Dollard for a product that would make it easy to highlight this difference. She had returned with a flavor that contained 50 percent of the RDA of seven different vitamins and minerals. Oza’s marketing team responded with a great name for the new variety: Formula 50.

What better way to collaborate, Oza suggested, than to have 50 Cent endorse this new product? But Lighty didn’t want an endorsement deal. He didn’t want cash. “We want to invest,” Lighty said.

By 2004, 50 Cent was undoubtedly one of the world’s biggest pop stars. But it took some amount of convincing on Oza’s part to overcome the trepidation of Glaceau CEO Darius Bikoff and president Mike Repole. 50 Cent’s association with gunplay presented a problem: What if their chief spokesperson ended up dead in a rap beef?

But the 50 Cent who showed up for his first meeting with Bikoff was surprisingly different from the rapper’s public image: calm, respectful and deliberate, without too many flamboyant flourishes. Lighty was the rapper’s perfect business complement.

In the weeks and months thereafter, Lighty and Oza hammered out the terms of a deal. 50 Cent would take a stake in the privately owned company, one that would graduate over time and escalate if the company hit certain numbers.

The two entities – 50 Cent on one hand and Glaceau on the other – signed an agreement of mutual confidentiality. Still, word got around that Lighty had negotiated something close to, but not more than, 10 percent of the value of the company. During these discussions, Lighty and 50 deliberated the attributes of their new product. Oza presented the pair with several flavor options for Formula 50. For Chris Lighty, the choice was simple.

Despite the high-minded science of Glaceau, their product was basically a smarter, more upscale, more aspirational version of the ultimate ghetto beverage on which Lighty and 50 had grown up: the “quarter-waters” sold in every bodega, deli and convenience store from Queens to Compton.

The quarter-waters (so named because they once cost 25 cents) were just like the Kool-Aid everybody drank at home. However, nobody drank wild flavors like strawberry and kiwi in the ‘hood, because they drank grape. Formula 50 had to be grape. Oza hated the comparison to such base beverages, but he had to admire the thought process of his new partners.

vitamin water 50 centThe 50 Cent-Vitamin Water deal was announced in October 2004. Behind the scenes, the relationship between the two parties wasn’t always smooth. When Lighty, in one of his first interviews about the deal, spoke of building the brand with the ultimate goal of selling it, Darius Bikoff phoned Lighty, screaming at him for disclosing the strategy. Within a few hours, Bikoff looked up to find a livid Lighty in his office, glowering at him. Lighty had driven from Manhattan to Queens to tell Bikoff one thing. “Don’t curse at me,” Lighty said, a heartbeat away from becoming a Violator once more.

Once they understood each other, Bikoff and Lighty, Vitamin Water and 50 Cent built a strong alliance. Soon billboards and bus stops across the country linked the images and joined the fates of two upstarts from Queens – one a scrappy, new-age beverage company; the other a pugnacious, provocative rapper with an eye for opportunity and a history of hitching himself to winners.

In March 2007, Chris Lighty and his friend Sean Combs were riding together from Heathrow airport to a London hotel in the back of a Maybach when Combs got some news over the phone. Fellow rap superstar Jay-Z and his two fashion-entrepreneur partners, Alex Bize and Norton Cher, had just sold the rights to their Rocawear trademark to a public company, the Iconix Brand Group.

Lighty could not stop repeating the number he heard, as he stared at Combs in disbelief. “Two hundred million? Two hundred million?” Actually, at $219 million, the sale of the Rocawear brand name was, at the time, the biggest deal in hip-hop history. Combs responded in the only way he knew how. “I need a billion for mine,” he huffed. But of those two men, it would be Lighty who reached that symbolic mark first.

Just two month later, in May 2007, the Coca-Cola Company purchased Glaceau for $4.1 billion. In the media, initial reports put 50 Cent’s cashout at $400 million, calculated by dividing the purchase amount by 50 Cent’s reputed 10 percent share. But in reality, 50 Cent’s take was much less. Another stakeholder needed to be paid off first – the diversified Indian conglomerate Tata had invested $677 million for 30 percent of Glaceau in 2006, and got $1.2 billion when Coca-Cola bought them out.

When all the other costs had been deducted, 50 Cent was thought to have walked away with a figure somewhere between $60 million and $100 million, putting his net worth at nearly a half billion dollars.

On his next album, 50 Cent could barely contain his own incredulity at the power of the dollar. “I took quarter-water, sold it in bottles for two bucks,” he rapped. “Coca-Cola came and bought it for billions. What the [f#!k]?” But Lighty silently pocketed his 15 percent and kept it moving.

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Motivation

8 Powerful and Inspiring Words of Encouragement to Help Lift You Up

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encouragement
Image Credit: Twenty20.com

When you’re going through tough times, all you need is sympathy. You just need someone to tell you how strong you are and how you can cope with the situation. Essentially, you’re waiting for a soothing voice that can calm your inner storm and genuinely help with your troubles.

If you’re in a situation like this, then know you’re not alone. You might be feeling down due to a reason like failing at something, breaking up with someone you dearly loved, losing your loved one, not getting a good job, or being betrayed by the person you trusted the most or anything along those lines.

Remember this; there is hope for everyone including you. You are going to come back from all of this no matter what. That’s why there is a saying, “Every dark cloud has a silver lining.”

Here are 7 powerful quotes to help lift you up in your time of need:

1. “There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday, and the other one is called tomorrow. Today is the right day to Love, Believe, Do and mostly Live.” – Dalai Lama

This quote said by his holy highness Dalai Lama is so compelling about life. You live in the present, neither in the past nor the future.

Think about it this way, can you change what is already done or can you change what is going to be done? The answer is, no, you can’t because nobody can. It’s wise to forget the bad things from the past and do something in the present that will help improve your future.

2. “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein

Have you ever thought of these beautiful words of encouragement from Sir Albert Einstein? It is so profound and practical. Sometimes we are miserable because people try to fit us into a mold where we don’t belong, and thus we too start feeling that we are useless. However, that’s not the case.

We all are gifted with abilities that we overlook only because of the fear of being rejected or neglected. You are not supposed to rely on people’s perspective about you if you know what your real potential is.

3. “Every time you state what you want or believe, you’re the first to hear it. It’s a message to both you and others about what you think is possible. Don’t put a ceiling on yourself.” – Oprah Winfrey

These words of encouragement from Oprah Winfrey gave me so much strength that I couldn’t resist to quote it here.

Many times we give up on our dreams and wishes only because we think it is impossible. We must believe in ourselves and tell ourselves that we can do it and it is possible. You shouldn’t be afraid of failures and setbacks but instead welcome them.

4. “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” – Will Rogers

Think about this, still water is stagnant water. Because of this, even water has to keep flowing to remain useful. If you want to become successful, you must keep lifting yourself up and keep moving.

Always remember to not let the hardships hold you down and wait for a miracle to happen. You’re already on the right track so nothing should stop you from going further in your life.

5. “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.” – Mahatma Gandhi

All our activities, throughout this life, are controlled by our mind. Believe it or not, it’s true. It is correctly said that what you think you become.

People around you are not always going to pull you up, and you might meet people who are going to supply negativity to your mind. However, it is up to you whom to let in your mind and whom you should never. When you are in control of your thoughts and mind, nothing and nobody can distract you.

6. “What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.” – Oscar Wilde

Difficult times are very tricky, because they can make you believe that there is no light at the end of the tunnel. We don’t realize that today’s struggles are for a better tomorrow.

They’re not permanent, and they’re not going to last forever. Once you are determined to change your situation then even God will help you with that. Just remember the saying, “God helps those who help themselves.”

7. “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

We are influenced by our environment, friends, family, and work, yet it’s up to us to make what we want of our life.

For example, if you want to be a writer, do everything you possibly can to do it. Surround yourself with people who truly want to write, and make sure to write every single day. You’re the only one who can make your dreams a reality, so make sure you do whatever it takes to keep pushing your limits.

8. “In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.”  – Deepak Chopra

This quote is too profound and subtle that summarizes this whole article. It might change the way you look at your problems right now.

There are circumstances to knock you down, issues you are not able to solve, and they seem completely out of your control. It is not at all easy to keep calm at this point, however, if you learn how to be still in the midst of all the chaos, you are a winner. You have won half the battle just by doing this.

Winning and losing is just a part of life. No matter in which phase of your life you are, remember that there is a purpose behind it and you will know what that purpose is at the right time.

One day you will be grateful for all the struggles and mistakes because they will make you a stronger, better, and a more beautiful human being.

Which one of these quotes inspired you the most and why? Let us know in the comments below!

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Motivation

Music Motivation: Every Superhero Needs Theme Music and That Includes You

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Image Credit: Twenty20.com

Every superhero, fictional or real, needs theme music. And every one of us underdogs needs theme music too! The unmistakable sound of the intro beat starts, your energy level rises, you hear “…the eye of the tiger,  it’s the thrill of the fight…”, instantly you are ready to take on your next challenge as if Creed or Rocky, or some old school Wu-Tang song comes on and suddenly you’re reminded of Marvel’s Luke Cage action scenes and are now ready to, figuratively, save Harlem, your neighborhood, and the world!

Music is part of our daily lives. It’s often around us, even when we don’t mean for it to be. To reach peak performance in our day-to-day routine, it’s crucial to be aware of the music around us and work to consciously choose the music we are around.

Music moves us in more ways than you might think, and just like our friends, our hobbies, our meals and anything else which gives us that extra swagger, music is a powerful tool that can create all the difference in our mood, our productivity, and our results. Whether you are on the come up, the comeback, or fighting to keep what you hustled so hard to create, the journey is a daily grind and music can help you keep that grind going, and going strong.

Groovy Science

Your daily hustle can be stressful. Listening to music, according to Medical News Today, has many health benefits. Music can reduce your stress and anxiety, ramp up your memory and improve medical conditions such as seizures or brain damage caused from strokes.

Music can even help you ideate differently because it makes you more creative overall, according to a team of researchers at the University of Technology Sydney and Radboud University in Nijmegen. So, cue up some music and get your creative juices flowing. Your stress will go down and your creativity will go up, leading you to feel happier about yourself and your life overall.

“Whenever humans come together for any reason, music is there… weddings, funerals, graduation from college, men marching off to war, stadium sporting events, a night on the town, prayer, a romantic dinner, mothers rocking their infants to sleep and college students studying with music as a background… music is and was [always] part of the fabric of everyday life.” – Daniel Levitin

Sometimes when you’re on the long road to success you start losing motivation for your goals. Eventually, many of us come to a crossroads of moving forward or turning back, and sometimes all it takes is a quick motivational activity to get your energy back. You could make a vision board, refine your core value, update your bucket list, create a to-do list, and so on.

I’m all for each of those as ways to get your swagger back and keep it, but at the same time, sometimes daily motivation calls for new approaches too. Especially approaches that are easily accessible at any moment and don’t require a huge investment of time, money or other resources you may or may not have.

An intentional use of music could be the new approach that you take to help you get through those days when you feel like giving up. Time for you to have your “Eye of the Tiger” and make a comeback. And “Protect ‘Yo Neck” and others to save the day like Luke Cage. Then “Cheers” with everybody that knows your name and always glad you came. Let’s create our own theme music and intentionally enjoy the health benefits and swagger of music.

Your Theme Music

Here’s how to create your personal soundtrack so you can have something to motivate you anytime you need it, no matter where you’re at. Begin with a playlist of about five songs. Pick songs that will raise your energy level and remind you of your purpose, important goals, and/or your core values.

Then create a name for your playlist and a nickname for yourself. You can refresh your personal soundtrack as your priorities and goals change. And for us underdog music junkies already bothered by the five song limit, you can create an additional playlist called “The B-Side” for all other songs.

Here’s an example (You’ll get to see mine!):

Playlist NameThe Voice of the Underdog!

Your NicknameThe O.G. aka The Original Gregory aka Mr. Reset Button

Five Songs Playlist:

1: “The People” by Common. – I do what I do for the people aka the Underdogs!

2: “The Point of It All” by Anthony Hamilton – …because a healthy love life is part of a healthy life.

3: “Reach” by Robyn Hood – I’m gonna keep reaching and hustling hard.

4: “Sky’s The Limit” by Biggie Smalls – I mean, the title says it all, right?!  

5: “Hate It or Love It” by The Game, 50 Cent – Hate it or love it Underdogs will be on top!

Bonus Track: “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” by Gil Scott-Heron – All of the turnaround won’t be televised, but it will happen. Keep pushin!

Playlist Playful Description:

I do it for “The People” and the people I love, that’s “The Point of It All.” Now is the time I “Reach” even higher because “The Sky’s The Limit.” “Hate It or Love It” Underdogs are gonna be on top. “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” but there will be music playing and I will make it happen!

“Music can change the world because it can change people.” – Bono

Press Play Daily

Well, what ya waiting for!? Music helps with creativity so turn on some of your favorite music right now and start brainstorming the songs that have meaning to you, will motivate you and inspire your daily hustle.

When you’re done creating your personal soundtrack, you’ll have mobile motivation that is only a press of the play button away. What will be your theme music? Really, what will it be? Because every one of us underdogs needs theme music so we can get and stay motivated to get from Front Street to Swaggerback Boulevard.

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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The One Crucial Ingredient for Success That Motivation Can’t Give You

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Some people say motivation is literally the only thing you need to be successful. They say it is the crucial element in setting and attaining goals. But is that really true? A lot of content is produced online that’s aimed to motivate and move you into massive action in the hopes that you’ll finally become successful.

While I do think the intentions behind such claims are noble, most people totally misunderstand how motivation works. More importantly, they’re totally unaware of the real determining factor behind an individual’s success.

Let me start off by debunking a colossal myth about motivation: Motivation equals success. This is not true. Here’s the truth: Motivation does not equal success for you. The only thing that equals success for you is you and the way you develop and rearrange your mind.

You can spend as much time as you like watching, following and investing your money on motivational courses or seminars but there’s no guarantee your life will transform. It’s a great marketing line, but certainly not the way success works.

Yes, your guru knows just how to press the right buttons. Each time he or she speaks and shares a rags to riches story, you feel yourself rising from that pit of despair threatening your very existence. Nonetheless, just writing down those goals or visualizing success is not how results are created in your life. If you’ve been an avid personal development student, this has probably started sinking in.

So am I saying you should abandon your current craving for watching Abraham Hicks and Tony Robbins or those well crafted Goalcast videos? Heck no. These videos and seminars pump you up and keep your fire burning. It’s awesome! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with strategically setting aside some time to regularly feed yourself content that raises your spirits. The problem is when that’s all you do.

“Don’t think, just do.” – Horace

As it so happens, most people are stuck at this point, which is why they see no results even after reading the books, watching the videos and attending the seminars. Sure, a few things may change here and there, but true and permanent transformation – that’s something not enough people are experiencing. And here’s why.

Most people are still missing this crucial ingredient that is fundamental to both permanent transformation and success: True conviction and habit formation. In other words, they lack the belief which forms the habit that results in success.

Your results are determined by your actions. The actions you take are determined by your behavior which is under the direct influence of your habits and as we all know, your habits are not formed through intellectual reasoning or applied force. In fact, your habits and beliefs can’t even be formed instantly.

In other words, it doesn’t matter what anyone else says or does, if your creative mind and powerhouse does not get impressed upon with that idea of riches and success, no physical result will appear.

This is perhaps the one thing most motivational gurus don’t emphasize enough. If they did, we’d see more people invested  in doing “inner work” instead of scrolling through Instagram feeds hungry for another motivational quote.

“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.” – Pele

The point to take home is simply this: Your inner convictions and the habits you form constitute your ruling mental state. After that motivational video is over, and the shot of adrenaline dies out, you’ll jump back into whatever ruling state your mind has set as the default pattern.

Therefore if you truly want to experience the success your gurus are painting for you as a possibility, master the skill of habit formation.

Get good at creating habits that prompt actions that lead to success; develop deep beliefs that serve you and consistently impress your creative powerhouse with the right feeling and the end result will inevitably be success.

Everything else you find externally is at best a clue and at worst a distraction but definitely not “the magical ingredient.” If at all there is such a thing as a magical ingredient to fast track your success, it will only be found by looking within.

So take an honest self-inventory right now. How much time each day goes into feeding your motivational craving, and how much real inner work and habit formation are you invested in?

What is one goal you’d like to succeed in accomplishing before the end of the year? Share with us below!

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Are Your SMART Goals Keeping You Stuck in Mediocrity?

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SMART Goals – they are often seen as the gospel in the personal and professional development industry for goal setting, but are they doing more harm than good? For the most part, I can appreciate the motivation behind setting SMART goals. Do we need goals that are specific, measurable, actionable and time based? Absolutely! My sticking point, however, comes to the “realistic” part. (more…)

Tiffany Toombs is a mindset coach, trainer, and presenter that specializes in helping people rewire their brains to overcome self-sabotage and limiting beliefs that stop them from finding success. Tiffany runs courses and workshops all over the world to empower people to take control of their lives and their minds so they can achieve their true potential in life. She believes that everyone has a message to share and helps her clients reconnect with themselves to find their passion and purpose. Tiffany has a range of valuable resources for people to understand their minds and how to access the power of their unconscious minds on YouTube or in her eBook “Unlocking The Secrets To The Unconscious Mind”.

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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

50 Cent Scored Half a Billion Dollars – How 50 Made a Killing Off Water

Joel Brown (Founder of Addicted2Success.com)

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Image Credit | The Source

In “The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop,” author Dan Charnas traces how rap grew from its obscure roots in the ghettos of 1970s New York to its culmination as the world’s predominant youth pop culture and a multibillion-dollar industry.

The event that epitomized just how far hip-hop had come was the headline-grabbing partnership between the rapper 50 Cent and the upstart beverage company Glaceau, the maker of VitaminWater. It may well have been the biggest deal in hip-hop history, propelling 50 Cent’s personal net worth toward a half-billion dollars.

In this excerpt, Charnas outlines how it happened.

By the summer of 2003, 50 Cent’s debut album, “Get Rich or Die Tryin’,” had sold more than 5 million copies, and he was easily on his way to becoming a multimillionaire on these sales alone.

Nonetheless, the rapper from Queens, who was born Curtis Jackson and had begun his career on the reputation of being shot nine times (a bullet was still lodged in his tongue), wasn’t content to remain a recording artist.

His young manager, Chris Lighty, himself a Bronx street kid turned businessman, was well-positioned to exploit 50’s stardom by creating multiple income streams. Lighty had come out of the Def Jam fold and managed such stars as Missy Elliott and LL Cool J.

With Lighty, 50 Cent created the “G-Unit” brand, including a record company, a clothing company, and a sneaker deal with Reebok’s RBK line. The G-Unit Clothing Company was a joint-venture deal, with hip-hop-influenced designer Marc Ecko fronting the money, handling the manufacturing and distribution, and splitting the profits fifty-fifty with 50.

At his Violator management company (named after a rough crew that Lighty ran with as a kid), Lighty helped pioneer the use of 900 numbers for his artists.

Over a decade later, he negotiated a different kind of phone deal: 50 Cent cellular ringtones to be sold for up to $2.99 per download. Lighty inked other agreements, too: a video game and a biopic with MTV Films and Paramount Pictures. When the agency that represented Lighty, CAA, balked at representing a rapper so closely associated with violence, Lighty secured a deal with an eager William Morris.

One of Lighty’s business acquaintances was Rohan Oza, a marketing executive who has just moved from Coca-Cola to a small Queens, N.Y., beverage company called Glaceau. Oza considered himself not a brand manager, but a brand messiah. He believed that passionate proselytizing of his products could transcend costly corporate ad campaigns.

Oza’s Vitamin Water brand was doing well at more than $100 million in sales, second only to Pepsi’s Propel brand in the $245 million “enhanced-water” market. He knew how to take them out.

Stealing a page from the hip-hop street-team and word-of-mouth ethos, Oza created a fleet of 10 “Glaceau Vitamin Water Tasting Vehicles,” staffed by 200 “hydrologists,” to cross the country and spread the gospel of Vitamin Water’s growing line. But hydrologists working one-on-one with consumers wouldn’t break Vitamin Water out of the gourmet-deli and new-age-health-food market.

Oza needed more than brand messiahs to convert individuals. He needed brand ambassadors to influence millions. That’s when Oza saw a commercial for RBK sneakers in which Lighty, rather sneakily, had his artist, 50 Cent, chug a bottle of Vitamin Water.

In a phone call soon thereafter, Lighty told Oza that he wanted to find a way to work together to make Vitamin Water huge. It turned out that 50 Cent  had a true love of the product. He had grown up around alcoholics, so he didn’t drink. Instead, he spent hours a day working out and ate healthy. Like Oza who got bored with imbibing the recommended eight glasses of plain water a day, 50 had found Vitamin Water a more pleasurable way to hydrate.

On Oza’s desk in his New York office, at that very moment, was a test bottle of a new Vitamin Water flavor, recently formulated by Glaceau’s head of product development, Carol Dollard, who had worked hard to get more vitamins and nutrients into their drinks – much more than the 2 to 3 percent of the recommended daily allowance in other “enhanced” waters.

Recently, Oza had asked Dollard for a product that would make it easy to highlight this difference. She had returned with a flavor that contained 50 percent of the RDA of seven different vitamins and minerals. Oza’s marketing team responded with a great name for the new variety: Formula 50.

What better way to collaborate, Oza suggested, than to have 50 Cent endorse this new product? But Lighty didn’t want an endorsement deal. He didn’t want cash. “We want to invest,” Lighty said.

By 2004, 50 Cent was undoubtedly one of the world’s biggest pop stars. But it took some amount of convincing on Oza’s part to overcome the trepidation of Glaceau CEO Darius Bikoff and president Mike Repole. 50 Cent’s association with gunplay presented a problem: What if their chief spokesperson ended up dead in a rap beef?

But the 50 Cent who showed up for his first meeting with Bikoff was surprisingly different from the rapper’s public image: calm, respectful and deliberate, without too many flamboyant flourishes. Lighty was the rapper’s perfect business complement.

In the weeks and months thereafter, Lighty and Oza hammered out the terms of a deal. 50 Cent would take a stake in the privately owned company, one that would graduate over time and escalate if the company hit certain numbers.

The two entities – 50 Cent on one hand and Glaceau on the other – signed an agreement of mutual confidentiality. Still, word got around that Lighty had negotiated something close to, but not more than, 10 percent of the value of the company. During these discussions, Lighty and 50 deliberated the attributes of their new product. Oza presented the pair with several flavor options for Formula 50. For Chris Lighty, the choice was simple.

Despite the high-minded science of Glaceau, their product was basically a smarter, more upscale, more aspirational version of the ultimate ghetto beverage on which Lighty and 50 had grown up: the “quarter-waters” sold in every bodega, deli and convenience store from Queens to Compton.

The quarter-waters (so named because they once cost 25 cents) were just like the Kool-Aid everybody drank at home. However, nobody drank wild flavors like strawberry and kiwi in the ‘hood, because they drank grape. Formula 50 had to be grape. Oza hated the comparison to such base beverages, but he had to admire the thought process of his new partners.

vitamin water 50 centThe 50 Cent-Vitamin Water deal was announced in October 2004. Behind the scenes, the relationship between the two parties wasn’t always smooth. When Lighty, in one of his first interviews about the deal, spoke of building the brand with the ultimate goal of selling it, Darius Bikoff phoned Lighty, screaming at him for disclosing the strategy. Within a few hours, Bikoff looked up to find a livid Lighty in his office, glowering at him. Lighty had driven from Manhattan to Queens to tell Bikoff one thing. “Don’t curse at me,” Lighty said, a heartbeat away from becoming a Violator once more.

Once they understood each other, Bikoff and Lighty, Vitamin Water and 50 Cent built a strong alliance. Soon billboards and bus stops across the country linked the images and joined the fates of two upstarts from Queens – one a scrappy, new-age beverage company; the other a pugnacious, provocative rapper with an eye for opportunity and a history of hitching himself to winners.

In March 2007, Chris Lighty and his friend Sean Combs were riding together from Heathrow airport to a London hotel in the back of a Maybach when Combs got some news over the phone. Fellow rap superstar Jay-Z and his two fashion-entrepreneur partners, Alex Bize and Norton Cher, had just sold the rights to their Rocawear trademark to a public company, the Iconix Brand Group.

Lighty could not stop repeating the number he heard, as he stared at Combs in disbelief. “Two hundred million? Two hundred million?” Actually, at $219 million, the sale of the Rocawear brand name was, at the time, the biggest deal in hip-hop history. Combs responded in the only way he knew how. “I need a billion for mine,” he huffed. But of those two men, it would be Lighty who reached that symbolic mark first.

Just two month later, in May 2007, the Coca-Cola Company purchased Glaceau for $4.1 billion. In the media, initial reports put 50 Cent’s cashout at $400 million, calculated by dividing the purchase amount by 50 Cent’s reputed 10 percent share. But in reality, 50 Cent’s take was much less. Another stakeholder needed to be paid off first – the diversified Indian conglomerate Tata had invested $677 million for 30 percent of Glaceau in 2006, and got $1.2 billion when Coca-Cola bought them out.

When all the other costs had been deducted, 50 Cent was thought to have walked away with a figure somewhere between $60 million and $100 million, putting his net worth at nearly a half billion dollars.

On his next album, 50 Cent could barely contain his own incredulity at the power of the dollar. “I took quarter-water, sold it in bottles for two bucks,” he rapped. “Coca-Cola came and bought it for billions. What the [f#!k]?” But Lighty silently pocketed his 15 percent and kept it moving.

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8 Powerful and Inspiring Words of Encouragement to Help Lift You Up

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When you’re going through tough times, all you need is sympathy. You just need someone to tell you how strong you are and how you can cope with the situation. Essentially, you’re waiting for a soothing voice that can calm your inner storm and genuinely help with your troubles.

If you’re in a situation like this, then know you’re not alone. You might be feeling down due to a reason like failing at something, breaking up with someone you dearly loved, losing your loved one, not getting a good job, or being betrayed by the person you trusted the most or anything along those lines.

Remember this; there is hope for everyone including you. You are going to come back from all of this no matter what. That’s why there is a saying, “Every dark cloud has a silver lining.”

Here are 7 powerful quotes to help lift you up in your time of need:

1. “There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday, and the other one is called tomorrow. Today is the right day to Love, Believe, Do and mostly Live.” – Dalai Lama

This quote said by his holy highness Dalai Lama is so compelling about life. You live in the present, neither in the past nor the future.

Think about it this way, can you change what is already done or can you change what is going to be done? The answer is, no, you can’t because nobody can. It’s wise to forget the bad things from the past and do something in the present that will help improve your future.

2. “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein

Have you ever thought of these beautiful words of encouragement from Sir Albert Einstein? It is so profound and practical. Sometimes we are miserable because people try to fit us into a mold where we don’t belong, and thus we too start feeling that we are useless. However, that’s not the case.

We all are gifted with abilities that we overlook only because of the fear of being rejected or neglected. You are not supposed to rely on people’s perspective about you if you know what your real potential is.

3. “Every time you state what you want or believe, you’re the first to hear it. It’s a message to both you and others about what you think is possible. Don’t put a ceiling on yourself.” – Oprah Winfrey

These words of encouragement from Oprah Winfrey gave me so much strength that I couldn’t resist to quote it here.

Many times we give up on our dreams and wishes only because we think it is impossible. We must believe in ourselves and tell ourselves that we can do it and it is possible. You shouldn’t be afraid of failures and setbacks but instead welcome them.

4. “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” – Will Rogers

Think about this, still water is stagnant water. Because of this, even water has to keep flowing to remain useful. If you want to become successful, you must keep lifting yourself up and keep moving.

Always remember to not let the hardships hold you down and wait for a miracle to happen. You’re already on the right track so nothing should stop you from going further in your life.

5. “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.” – Mahatma Gandhi

All our activities, throughout this life, are controlled by our mind. Believe it or not, it’s true. It is correctly said that what you think you become.

People around you are not always going to pull you up, and you might meet people who are going to supply negativity to your mind. However, it is up to you whom to let in your mind and whom you should never. When you are in control of your thoughts and mind, nothing and nobody can distract you.

6. “What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.” – Oscar Wilde

Difficult times are very tricky, because they can make you believe that there is no light at the end of the tunnel. We don’t realize that today’s struggles are for a better tomorrow.

They’re not permanent, and they’re not going to last forever. Once you are determined to change your situation then even God will help you with that. Just remember the saying, “God helps those who help themselves.”

7. “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

We are influenced by our environment, friends, family, and work, yet it’s up to us to make what we want of our life.

For example, if you want to be a writer, do everything you possibly can to do it. Surround yourself with people who truly want to write, and make sure to write every single day. You’re the only one who can make your dreams a reality, so make sure you do whatever it takes to keep pushing your limits.

8. “In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.”  – Deepak Chopra

This quote is too profound and subtle that summarizes this whole article. It might change the way you look at your problems right now.

There are circumstances to knock you down, issues you are not able to solve, and they seem completely out of your control. It is not at all easy to keep calm at this point, however, if you learn how to be still in the midst of all the chaos, you are a winner. You have won half the battle just by doing this.

Winning and losing is just a part of life. No matter in which phase of your life you are, remember that there is a purpose behind it and you will know what that purpose is at the right time.

One day you will be grateful for all the struggles and mistakes because they will make you a stronger, better, and a more beautiful human being.

Which one of these quotes inspired you the most and why? Let us know in the comments below!

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Music Motivation: Every Superhero Needs Theme Music and That Includes You

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Image Credit: Twenty20.com

Every superhero, fictional or real, needs theme music. And every one of us underdogs needs theme music too! The unmistakable sound of the intro beat starts, your energy level rises, you hear “…the eye of the tiger,  it’s the thrill of the fight…”, instantly you are ready to take on your next challenge as if Creed or Rocky, or some old school Wu-Tang song comes on and suddenly you’re reminded of Marvel’s Luke Cage action scenes and are now ready to, figuratively, save Harlem, your neighborhood, and the world!

Music is part of our daily lives. It’s often around us, even when we don’t mean for it to be. To reach peak performance in our day-to-day routine, it’s crucial to be aware of the music around us and work to consciously choose the music we are around.

Music moves us in more ways than you might think, and just like our friends, our hobbies, our meals and anything else which gives us that extra swagger, music is a powerful tool that can create all the difference in our mood, our productivity, and our results. Whether you are on the come up, the comeback, or fighting to keep what you hustled so hard to create, the journey is a daily grind and music can help you keep that grind going, and going strong.

Groovy Science

Your daily hustle can be stressful. Listening to music, according to Medical News Today, has many health benefits. Music can reduce your stress and anxiety, ramp up your memory and improve medical conditions such as seizures or brain damage caused from strokes.

Music can even help you ideate differently because it makes you more creative overall, according to a team of researchers at the University of Technology Sydney and Radboud University in Nijmegen. So, cue up some music and get your creative juices flowing. Your stress will go down and your creativity will go up, leading you to feel happier about yourself and your life overall.

“Whenever humans come together for any reason, music is there… weddings, funerals, graduation from college, men marching off to war, stadium sporting events, a night on the town, prayer, a romantic dinner, mothers rocking their infants to sleep and college students studying with music as a background… music is and was [always] part of the fabric of everyday life.” – Daniel Levitin

Sometimes when you’re on the long road to success you start losing motivation for your goals. Eventually, many of us come to a crossroads of moving forward or turning back, and sometimes all it takes is a quick motivational activity to get your energy back. You could make a vision board, refine your core value, update your bucket list, create a to-do list, and so on.

I’m all for each of those as ways to get your swagger back and keep it, but at the same time, sometimes daily motivation calls for new approaches too. Especially approaches that are easily accessible at any moment and don’t require a huge investment of time, money or other resources you may or may not have.

An intentional use of music could be the new approach that you take to help you get through those days when you feel like giving up. Time for you to have your “Eye of the Tiger” and make a comeback. And “Protect ‘Yo Neck” and others to save the day like Luke Cage. Then “Cheers” with everybody that knows your name and always glad you came. Let’s create our own theme music and intentionally enjoy the health benefits and swagger of music.

Your Theme Music

Here’s how to create your personal soundtrack so you can have something to motivate you anytime you need it, no matter where you’re at. Begin with a playlist of about five songs. Pick songs that will raise your energy level and remind you of your purpose, important goals, and/or your core values.

Then create a name for your playlist and a nickname for yourself. You can refresh your personal soundtrack as your priorities and goals change. And for us underdog music junkies already bothered by the five song limit, you can create an additional playlist called “The B-Side” for all other songs.

Here’s an example (You’ll get to see mine!):

Playlist NameThe Voice of the Underdog!

Your NicknameThe O.G. aka The Original Gregory aka Mr. Reset Button

Five Songs Playlist:

1: “The People” by Common. – I do what I do for the people aka the Underdogs!

2: “The Point of It All” by Anthony Hamilton – …because a healthy love life is part of a healthy life.

3: “Reach” by Robyn Hood – I’m gonna keep reaching and hustling hard.

4: “Sky’s The Limit” by Biggie Smalls – I mean, the title says it all, right?!  

5: “Hate It or Love It” by The Game, 50 Cent – Hate it or love it Underdogs will be on top!

Bonus Track: “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” by Gil Scott-Heron – All of the turnaround won’t be televised, but it will happen. Keep pushin!

Playlist Playful Description:

I do it for “The People” and the people I love, that’s “The Point of It All.” Now is the time I “Reach” even higher because “The Sky’s The Limit.” “Hate It or Love It” Underdogs are gonna be on top. “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” but there will be music playing and I will make it happen!

“Music can change the world because it can change people.” – Bono

Press Play Daily

Well, what ya waiting for!? Music helps with creativity so turn on some of your favorite music right now and start brainstorming the songs that have meaning to you, will motivate you and inspire your daily hustle.

When you’re done creating your personal soundtrack, you’ll have mobile motivation that is only a press of the play button away. What will be your theme music? Really, what will it be? Because every one of us underdogs needs theme music so we can get and stay motivated to get from Front Street to Swaggerback Boulevard.

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Motivation

The One Crucial Ingredient for Success That Motivation Can’t Give You

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Image Credit: Unsplash

Some people say motivation is literally the only thing you need to be successful. They say it is the crucial element in setting and attaining goals. But is that really true? A lot of content is produced online that’s aimed to motivate and move you into massive action in the hopes that you’ll finally become successful.

While I do think the intentions behind such claims are noble, most people totally misunderstand how motivation works. More importantly, they’re totally unaware of the real determining factor behind an individual’s success.

Let me start off by debunking a colossal myth about motivation: Motivation equals success. This is not true. Here’s the truth: Motivation does not equal success for you. The only thing that equals success for you is you and the way you develop and rearrange your mind.

You can spend as much time as you like watching, following and investing your money on motivational courses or seminars but there’s no guarantee your life will transform. It’s a great marketing line, but certainly not the way success works.

Yes, your guru knows just how to press the right buttons. Each time he or she speaks and shares a rags to riches story, you feel yourself rising from that pit of despair threatening your very existence. Nonetheless, just writing down those goals or visualizing success is not how results are created in your life. If you’ve been an avid personal development student, this has probably started sinking in.

So am I saying you should abandon your current craving for watching Abraham Hicks and Tony Robbins or those well crafted Goalcast videos? Heck no. These videos and seminars pump you up and keep your fire burning. It’s awesome! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with strategically setting aside some time to regularly feed yourself content that raises your spirits. The problem is when that’s all you do.

“Don’t think, just do.” – Horace

As it so happens, most people are stuck at this point, which is why they see no results even after reading the books, watching the videos and attending the seminars. Sure, a few things may change here and there, but true and permanent transformation – that’s something not enough people are experiencing. And here’s why.

Most people are still missing this crucial ingredient that is fundamental to both permanent transformation and success: True conviction and habit formation. In other words, they lack the belief which forms the habit that results in success.

Your results are determined by your actions. The actions you take are determined by your behavior which is under the direct influence of your habits and as we all know, your habits are not formed through intellectual reasoning or applied force. In fact, your habits and beliefs can’t even be formed instantly.

In other words, it doesn’t matter what anyone else says or does, if your creative mind and powerhouse does not get impressed upon with that idea of riches and success, no physical result will appear.

This is perhaps the one thing most motivational gurus don’t emphasize enough. If they did, we’d see more people invested  in doing “inner work” instead of scrolling through Instagram feeds hungry for another motivational quote.

“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.” – Pele

The point to take home is simply this: Your inner convictions and the habits you form constitute your ruling mental state. After that motivational video is over, and the shot of adrenaline dies out, you’ll jump back into whatever ruling state your mind has set as the default pattern.

Therefore if you truly want to experience the success your gurus are painting for you as a possibility, master the skill of habit formation.

Get good at creating habits that prompt actions that lead to success; develop deep beliefs that serve you and consistently impress your creative powerhouse with the right feeling and the end result will inevitably be success.

Everything else you find externally is at best a clue and at worst a distraction but definitely not “the magical ingredient.” If at all there is such a thing as a magical ingredient to fast track your success, it will only be found by looking within.

So take an honest self-inventory right now. How much time each day goes into feeding your motivational craving, and how much real inner work and habit formation are you invested in?

What is one goal you’d like to succeed in accomplishing before the end of the year? Share with us below!

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