During the last 3-days, I’ve had the pleasure to attend one of the most well run and value driven events I’ve ever been to in San Diego, CA called Thrive: Make Money Matter.
I’ve been to tons of events since the ripe age of 20, always seeking alternative ways of educating myself and growing — whether it was fitness oriented, entrepreneurship, spiritual and everything in between.
Hands down, I can say Thrive is one of the best events I’ve been to and although it’s hard to describe why, I can sum it up with one word: Integrity.
Integrity seeps as a core value from the creator of the event, Cole Hatter, to the 26 speakers — the vendors and every attendee. You can both see and feel it, and these days — real, authentic integrity is hard to come by.
NOTE: While there were 26 speakers, I won’t be referencing each speaker, rather — a collection of what I learned throughout the event.
Here are 26 takeaways that I took from the event:
1. Make Money Matter
When I heard the theme of the event, I thought it was original yet didn’t understand the scope of what it truly meant.
Thrive is about creating the success and freedom in our lives and businesses so we have the capacity, resources, time and energy to give back.
This starts from the top with Cole Hatter and his unquenchable thirst for creating a meaningful impact on the world and trickles all the way down to every attendee.
I’ve never been to an event that was so intently focused on giving back, in fact — we were able to fund a school for Pencils of Promise to the tune of $35,000 during the event.
2. Create An Impact Right Now
While the above is powerful in its own right, many people, including myself will say…
“Well, let me hit my financial target of [Insert Financial Or Business Goal] and then I’ll give back.”
That’s not how this works, and you and I have an ability to give back right now and make it part of our current business model, even if we are light years from our targets.
3. Saying Yes To Something Always Means Saying No To Something Else
In life, we often say yes to things we don’t really want to do — usually based on social conditioning patterns to seek approval and be liked.
Yet, when we say yes, we’re automatically saying “no” to something else, many times — ourselves.
Imagine for a moment you added up all the times you said yes to please others, yet during the process were letting down the most important person in your life — yes, that’s you.
That doesn’t feel quite as good, does it?
4. Schedule Play Time
As entrepreneurs, we can get super serious about the tasks we have to do and forget to you know, live life.
I know this from experience when I was a young business owner and thought “more time working” meant more income and success, yet realized I was missing out on life.
The paradox they discussed was that when you schedule more play time, you come back to your work more focused, more creative and with an even better perspective — win, win!
5. What Bores You Can Be A World Class Solution For Others
JJ Virgin dropped a knowledge bomb that few noticed when she spoke about how what bores us can be a world class solution, business or service that helps countless others.
She was discussing her book on food intolerances and how she didn’t think it was a big deal — yet she had an incredible bestseller that shifted her career and helped countless others across the world.
We all have these areas of life where we’ve pursued mastery level knowledge, yet brush it off because it’s so embedded into us that we forget how powerful it can be to others.
6. Train Your Brain For Peak Performance
John Assaraf brought the heat to the stage and reminded us why we do what we do — combining psychology, human behavior and neuroscience to determine our actions and ultimately, our fulfillment in life.
The truth is, our brains are designed to save as much energy as they are able to, so it can focus on you know — the important stuff. We can either use this in ways that serve us (bring us closer to what we want to be, do and have) or push us further away.
Which are you choosing?
7. Help Others And Give Without Expectation
So many times in life we feel entitled when we give and always expect something in return.
You and I have done this before, whether it’s holding a door open for someone and expecting a thank you or going out of our way for an employee and feeling like they didn’t acknowledge it enough.
When we feel entitled to receive back, we become selfish instead of the original, abundant point of giving: being selfless.
8. Success Is A Decision
You and I can choose to be successful today — first, we have to examine and truly ask ourselves what our definition of success looks like.
Then, we can simply decide to operate in this space and live a life based on design around this vision, not default to what others think success is.
9. Have The Balls To Be Yourself
You’ve heard this before, but how often do you walk into a room and dim who you are?
There’s only one you — stop trying to fit in, or to cater to your perception of what other people may be thinking about you.
Be loud and proud of who you are and never apologize for your fire, intensity and uniqueness (embrace your weird, as Pat Flynn said.)
10. Write A Letter To Yourself
Nick Unsworth spoke about how when he finally committed to deep and long lasting change, he wrote a letter to himself and now uses it as a practice every month.
This letter is written in the future tense coming from the end in mind, as if he has achieved his goals, which he calls “future pacing” and he reads it every day until the goal is accomplished.
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” – Neale Donald Walsh
11. So, What? Vs. Me Too
I forget who spoke about this, but when we’re telling our story or connecting with others — we want to be relatable because that’s when a connection happens.
And that’s why we want to make sure we craft our message in a way that allows our audience to say “me too” instead of looking at us and saying “so, what?”
12. The Power Of Moonshot Thinking
You can spend all your time and energy trying to create incremental progress to the tune of 10%…
Or you can take this energy and shoot for 10X the growth, results and impact in your life and business.
The key distinction: going for 10x isn’t that much more work than going for 10%, so you might as well go all in.
13. Redefining The Definition Of Conventional Risk
Grant Cardone brought the house down with his energy, enthusiasm and hilarious delivery, yet flipped conventional wisdom upside down time and time again.
Staying at your current job instead of quitting? Risky. Buying a home with a 30-year mortgage? Risky. Not pursing your dreams, no matter how crazy they seem? Risky.
14. Success Is Not About The Volume Of Tasks
Productivity and time management are illusions and quite a paradox — doing more today actually means we have more to do tomorrow, not less.
With that said, it’s easy to focus on the volume of tasks which are usually urgent, yet not important.
The real visionary delegates these tasks and focuses on the big drivers of business that are important, yet far from urgent but will truly create an impact in business and life.
15. The 30X Rule
Rory Vaden spoke deeply about outsourcing the tasks that make no sense for us to do as entrepreneurs and hold us back from achieving the results and freedom we’re aiming for.
The 30X rule says you should spend 30X the amount of time training someone to do a task as it would take you to do that same task one time.
When you add up these tasks over a year, the time you’ve delegated away is absolutely mind-blowing.
16. Create Raving Fans
Pat Flynn broke down the way our audiences connect with us and how he’s been able to create raving fans by delivering endless value, being himself and getting feedback from his most loyal members of his tribe.
We’ve all heard the 1,000 true fans rule and finding easy ways to escalate the casual fans in our audience all the way up to raving fans can be strategically created no matter what business we’re in.
17. Be Open To New Experiences
Openness is powerful in life, yet we place ourselves in boxes and so often close off from new perspectives that could directly impact our results, fulfillment and joy of seeing the world through new lenses.
Being open involves dropping our ego and choosing to view life from someone else’s point of view and becoming a life long learner.
“You cannot create experience. You must undergo it.” – Albert Camus
18. Be Ruthless With The Caliber Of People Around You
Tai Lopez talked about if we’re not being absolutely ruthless about the caliber of standard and values we use to filter the people around us — that’s our fault.
So many people complain of negativity and scarcity thinking in their lives, yet act like they haven’t chosen these relationships or even acknowledged the benefits they’re receiving from holding on to them.
We’ve heard this before but the quality of information and mindsets are largely determined by who we surround ourselves by and knowing we have the power to choose who we let in is crucial.
19. Stop Being Selfish
Living in our own cloud of doubt and insecurity and not sharing our gifts to the world is a selfish act, because if we have a deeply rooted why then it becomes our ethical duty to get it out to the world.
20. Shine Brighter
So often when we meet others, we’re amazed at what they’re doing and then play small when it’s our turn to shine.
We change our language, our tone of voice and act like we’re not doing something mind blowing or life changing, and that begins to create our reality.
21. Ask Better Questions
One of the best parts of the conference was the time in between speakers, at lunch or dinner making connections.
Instead of asking the cringe-worthy “what do you do?”, ask: What inspires you? What are you passionate about?What gets you fired up?
This creates instant connection and allows you to go a few levels deeper out of the gate, differentiate yourself and cut through the fluff that no one really wants to answer.
22. Uncover Your Deeper Why
Our why is what drives us to continue to take the actions required to achieve our visions and goals long after the high of setting or declaring them has worn off.
Knowing this why and revisiting every day is the key to long term consistency when most others would have given up.
Know your why and put triggers all over your environment to remind you of it.
23. Be The Student And The Teacher
You and I can learn something from every single person on this planet because we all have a unique perspective and an innate wisdom to share.
When you’ve woken up one day and thought you’ve known everything you need to know, or only listen to those with a similar or higher “status” than you, you’ve killed off a part of yourself.
24. Be Here Now
You’ve heard this a million times, but so often we live our lives being two places at once.
We’re on vacation with our family, yet in our heads we’re at work. We’re at a Thrive conference, yet in our heads we’re comparing ourselves to others. We’re in a workout or yoga class, yet in our heads we’re thinking about what we haven’t done.
Inhale…exhale…be here now.
25. Your Journey Is Going To Be Messed Up
Story after story during Thrive was about life’s unexpected surprises, curveballs and challenges that brought people to a point where they could have easily chosen victimhood.
They could have easily given up, stopped and completely rationalized why they couldn’t keep going.
Yet, the resilience shown across the board in the pursuit of their dreams is a reminder that our journey is going to have ups and downs, periods of darkness and we’ll be questioning the whole damn thing.
26. Thrive, Baby
The last and final nugget goes back to the event name and it’s simply:
In life, most people are walking around like zombies wishing, waiting, prayingor rationalizing for “some day.”
Be the beacon, stand up and declare what you want and never apologize for being loud and proud of the life you’ve created no matter what others may be saying to your face or behind your back.
Have you ever been to an event like Thrive? What are some thing you would like to learn from your mentors? Leave a comment below!
It’s What You Do On A ‘Bad Day’ That Matters.
Last Friday was a bad day for me. I woke up late, missed the gym and didn’t meditate.
None of this was intentional.
I then turned my computer on to do what I do every day: blog. I was not prepared for the whirlwind that followed.
As I opened up my social media channels, there were a lot more than usual, direct messages. I started reading each one and they were from colleagues and friends who wanted to warn me that I had a large amount of hate-fuelled comments on social media. I’m usually pretty good at dealing with hate comments. Not on that day, though — I was having a ‘bad day.’
I turned off the computer and didn’t respond to anybody. In the same week, I’d been told I was now a LinkedIn Top Voice for 2018.
I should have been celebrating and I didn’t because I didn’t feel worthy. If anything, I wanted to give up there and then. Luckily I didn’t follow through with any of these ideas. I knew it was just noise in my awful day.
I went away to sit on the couch and think about what I’d just read. Without really thinking about what I was going to do for the rest of the day, I began thinking about my team at work. There were several leadership challenges that I had to solve.
One was from a customer that was being abusive to female staff. Another was a rejection I had to deliver to someone that wanted to work with us. The hardest part about delivering the rejection was that I’d already said yes.
Despite the day being bad, I made a fundamental decision — to keep doing what I do and not stop. I said to myself “How can I inspire people while simultaneously solving both these challenges?”
I’m a big believer that it’s not what you say that matters; it’s what you do. Talk is cheap. I came up with a bold plan to address both challenges.
I was going to do something that made me see the good in the people involved.
Even if the people in both situations had let me down, I was going to assume they were still good.
I concocted a plan to help both people and try and show them a more positive way to move forward. If I break down the plan, it was about being an inspiration in both situations.
I didn’t feel like being inspiring.
It was not the day to be inspiring.
But it was the only way I could motivate myself to finish off this bad day and wake up the next morning fresh. It’s funny how a good nights sleep takes away all the pain and negativity from the day before.
So, by the end of the day, I enabled both plans. I set out to release inspiration in both scenarios and that was my only focus. I didn’t look at anymore hate fuelled comments or go near social media.
On that bad day last Friday, my actions helped me keep moving forward and not give up.
It’s not about necessarily seeing the good in your bad day.
I’ve read this sort of advice heaps, but it requires a lot of willpower.
“Using your actions to make the day better rather than trying to think your way out of your bad day seems to be a lot easier to implement”
It’s not about the bad day.
Bad days will happen.
It’s what you do on a bad day that determines if you’ll feel the full effect of all the negativity that can potentially knock you out like a Tsunami that comes your way when all you wanted to do was lay on the beach and soak up some sun.
I’ve learned to find situations during a day that’s not working out well for me, to do something good, and often that’s not something that benefits me. If I was to look at it another way it would be “How do I not focus on my own bad day?”
Trying to make someone else’s day good distracts you from your own bad day.
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This Is How An Ordinary Person Can Make Their Country Better.
Someone asked on the internet how they can make their country better.
They considered themselves ordinary and felt that they had to be someone special to make a difference in their country, India.
Their question made me feel a bit emotional because I can relate. I too have also dreamt of making my country better.
The most common answer to this question is to get involved in politics.
Many of you reading this find politics really boring including me. I’ve learned through my own experience that politics is not the only way you can make your country better.
Here’s how you can make your country better:
Use your voice
When I was faced with the question “How do I make my country better?” I decided to use my voice.
It was this decision that changed everything. I spent every day using my voice to stand for something. I wanted to inspire the world through entrepreneurship and personal development.
So, I started using my voice by posting on LinkedIn. I used my voice and transcribed it into words to tell the citizens of my country what I think they needed to hear.
Using your voice is incredibly scary at first. As soon as you start sharing your thoughts, many people will say nothing. You’ll get almost no feedback. As your voice starts to get louder over time (probably years) the opposite will happen and you’ll attract trolls and critics.
The hardest part about using your voice is having the courage every day to use it and not being obsessed with the outcome.
By using my voice online through blogging and LinkedIn, I managed to get a 35,000 person bank to start talking about my ideas with staff and customers, and I was voted LinkedIn Australia’s Top Voice that year.
Using the power of your voice is the number one way you can change your country.
It’s in your experiences, ideas and thoughts that you can find what it is that can help your country.
In my country, Australia, we are quite well off, but we still lack a positive mindset. Some of us work jobs we hate and we like things that only money can buy. There’s a competition to get the biggest house or the most expensive car.
It’s not a problem everyone in Australia suffers from, but it’s widespread. I believe by using my own voice to inspire people to seek alternatives, I can change my country.
The results thus far suggest I’m well on the way to changing my country.
Changing your country seems like a huge task. It sounds like something only a Nelson Mandela sort of fella can achieve. That’s not true.
A simple understanding of the power of kindness can change your country.
There was this guy I read about online that changed his country by giving out free hugs because he couldn’t run in the local marathon. He embraced his kind nature and ended up impacting millions of people in his country.
Being kind is infectious because we’re wired to do it. When we see one person be kind, we want to do the same.
The problem in my country (and many others) is that we’ve sacrificed kindness for greed.
We’ve let our country’s economy become the most important factor instead of measuring the way we treat people and the ability of a country’s nation to overcome adversity together.
Kindness is so important because every one of our countries will face adversity, and kindness is the solution to that inevitable problem.
Pick up the trash
This one seems even smaller in impact. It’s not.
I found that by picking up the rubbish I saw in places like my apartment lobby, I was able to show myself that I care about my country.
When we care about our country, we choose to make it look beautiful so others can enjoy it. Something simple like picking up the trash can take you a long way towards helping your country.
Every country has an environmental problem and picking up rubbish can help solve it. If we all picked up one piece of trash, then each of our country’s would be a hell of a lot cleaner.
Don’t think you can’t make your country better
A lot of what I’ve learned, by trying to make my own country better, has come from the belief that I can have an impact.
There are so many people who want to do nothing more than complain which wastes time and energy and doesn’t make anyone’s country better.
The way you make your country better is by believing you can and taking one or two small actions to start the process.
The people that change their country believe they can.
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