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50 Famously Successful People Who Failed At First

Joel Brown (Founder of Addicted2Success.com)

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Michael Jordan


Not everyone who’s on top today got there with success after success. More often than not, those who history best remembers were faced with numerous obstacles that forced them to work harder and show more determination than others.

Next time you’re feeling down about your failures in college or in a career, keep these fifty famous people in mind and remind yourself that sometimes failure is just the first step towards success.

 

Successful People Who Failed At First

 

Business Gurus

These businessmen and the companies they founded are today known around the world, but as these stories show, their beginnings weren’t always smooth.

  1. Henry Ford: While Ford is today known for his innovative assembly line and American-made cars, he wasn’t an instant success. In fact, his early businesses failed and left him broke five time before he founded the successful Ford Motor Company.
  2. R. H. Macy: Most people are familiar with this large department store chain, but Macy didn’t always have it easy. Macy started seven failed business before finally hitting big with his store in New York City.
  3. F. W. Woolworth: Some may not know this name today, but Woolworth was once one of the biggest names in department stores in the U.S. Before starting his own business, young Woolworth worked at a dry goods store and was not allowed to wait on customers because his boss said he lacked the sense needed to do so.
  4. Soichiro Honda: The billion-dollar business that is Honda began with a series of failures and fortunate turns of luck. Honda was turned down by Toyota Motor Corporation for a job after interviewing for a job as an engineer, leaving him jobless for quite some time. He started making scooters of his own at home, and spurred on by his neighbors, finally started his own business.
  5. Akio Morita: You may not have heard of Morita but you’ve undoubtedly heard of his company, Sony. Sony’s first product was a rice cooker that unfortunately didn’t cook rice so much as burn it, selling less than 100 units. This first setback didn’t stop Morita and his partners as they pushed forward to create a multi-billion dollar company.
  6. Bill Gates: Gates didn’t seem like a shoe-in for success after dropping out of Harvard and starting a failed first business with Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen called Traf-O-Data. While this early idea didn’t work, Gates’ later work did, creating the global empire that is Microsoft.
  7. Harland David Sanders: Perhaps better known as Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame, Sanders had a hard time selling his chicken at first. In fact, his famous secret chicken recipe was rejected 1,009 times before a restaurant accepted it.
  8. Walt Disney: Today Disney rakes in billions from merchandise, movies and theme parks around the world, but Walt Disney himself had a bit of a rough start. He was fired by a newspaper editor because, “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” After that, Disney started a number of businesses that didn’t last too long and ended with bankruptcy and failure. He kept plugging along, however, and eventually found a recipe for success that worked.

Scientists and Thinkers

These people are often regarded as some of the greatest minds of our century, but they often had to face great obstacles, the ridicule of their peers and the animosity of society.

  1. Albert Einstein: Most of us take Einstein’s name as synonymous with genius, but he didn’t always show such promise. Einstein did not speak until he was four and did not read until he was seven, causing his teachers and parents to think he was mentally handicapped, slow and anti-social. Eventually, he was expelled from school and was refused admittance to the Zurich Polytechnic School. It might have taken him a bit longer, but most people would agree that he caught on pretty well in the end, winning the Nobel Prize and changing the face of modern physics.
  2. Charles Darwin: In his early years, Darwin gave up on having a medical career and was often chastised by his father for being lazy and too dreamy. Darwin himself wrote, “I was considered by all my masters and my father, a very ordinary boy, rather below the common standard of intellect.” Perhaps they judged too soon, as Darwin today is well-known for his scientific studies.
  3. Robert Goddard: Goddard today is hailed for his research and experimentation with liquid-fueled rockets, but during his lifetime his ideas were often rejected and mocked by his scientific peers who thought they were outrageous and impossible. Today rockets and space travel don’t seem far-fetched at all, due largely in part to the work of this scientist who worked against the feelings of the time.
  4. Isaac Newton: Newton was undoubtedly a genius when it came to math, but he had some failings early on. He never did particularly well in school and when put in charge of running the family farm, he failed miserably, so poorly in fact that an uncle took charge and sent him off to Cambridge where he finally blossomed into the scholar we know today.
  5. Socrates: Despite leaving no written records behind, Socrates is regarded as one of the greatest philosophers of the Classical era. Because of his new ideas, in his own time he was called “an immoral corrupter of youth” and was sentenced to death. Socrates didn’t let this stop him and kept right on, teaching up until he was forced to poison himself.
  6. Robert Sternberg: This big name in psychology received a C in his first college introductory psychology class with his teacher telling him that, “there was already a famous Sternberg in psychology and it was obvious there would not be another.” Sternberg showed him, however, graduating from Stanford with exceptional distinction in psychology, summa cum laude, and Phi Beta Kappa and eventually becoming the President of the American Psychological Association.

Inventors

These inventors changed the face of the modern world, but not without a few failed prototypes along the way.

  1. Thomas Edison: In his early years, teachers told Edison he was “too stupid to learn anything.” Work was no better, as he was fired from his first two jobs for not being productive enough. Even as an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. Of course, all those unsuccessful attempts finally resulted in the design that worked.
  2. Orville and Wilbur Wright: These brothers battled depression and family illness before starting the bicycle shop that would lead them to experimenting with flight. After numerous attempts at creating flying machines, several years of hard work, and tons of failed prototypes, the brothers finally created a plane that could get airborne and stay there.

Public Figures

From politicians to talk show hosts, these figures had a few failures before they came out on top.

  1. Winston Churchill: This Nobel Prize-winning, twice-elected Prime Minster of the United Kingdom wasn’t always as well regarded as he is today. Churchill struggled in school and failed the sixth grade. After school he faced many years of political failures, as he was defeated in every election for public office until he finally became the Prime Minister at the ripe old age of 62.
  2. Abraham Lincoln: While today he is remembered as one of the greatest leaders of our nation, Lincoln’s life wasn’t so easy. In his youth he went to war a captain and returned a private (if you’re not familiar with military ranks, just know that private is as low as it goes.) Lincoln didn’t stop failing there, however. He started numerous failed business and was defeated in numerous runs he made for public office.
  3. Oprah Winfrey: Most people know Oprah as one of the most iconic faces on TV as well as one of the richest and most successful women in the world. Oprah faced a hard road to get to that position, however, enduring a rough and often abusive childhood as well as numerous career setbacks including being fired from her job as a television reporter because she was “unfit for tv.”
  4. Harry S. Truman: This WWI vet, Senator, Vice President and eventual President eventually found success in his life, but not without a few missteps along the way. Truman started a store that sold silk shirts and other clothing–seemingly a success at first–only go bankrupt a few years later.
  5. Dick Cheney: This recent Vice President and businessman made his way to the White House but managed to flunk out of Yale University, not once, but twice. Former President George W. Bush joked with Cheney about this fact, stating, “So now we know –if you graduate from Yale, you become president. If you drop out, you get to be vice president.”

Hollywood Types

These faces ought to be familiar from the big screen, but these actors, actresses and directors saw their fair share of rejection and failure before they made it big.

  1. Jerry Seinfeld: Just about everybody knows who Seinfeld is, but the first time the young comedian walked on stage at a comedy club, he looked out at the audience, froze and was eventually jeered and booed off of the stage. Seinfeld knew he could do it, so he went back the next night, completed his set to laughter and applause, and the rest is history.
  2. Fred Astaire: In his first screen test, the testing director of MGM noted that Astaire, “Can’t act. Can’t sing. Slightly bald. Can dance a little.” Astaire went on to become an incredibly successful actor, singer and dancer and kept that note in his Beverly Hills home to remind him of where he came from.
  3. Sidney Poitier: After his first audition, Poitier was told by the casting director, “Why don’t you stop wasting people’s time and go out and become a dishwasher or something?” Poitier vowed to show him that he could make it, going on to win an Oscar and become one of the most well-regarded actors in the business.
  4. Jeanne Moreau: As a young actress just starting out, this French actress was told by a casting director that she was simply not pretty enough to make it in films. He couldn’t have been more wrong as Moreau when on to star in nearly 100 films and win numerous awards for her performances.
  5. Charlie Chaplin: It’s hard to imagine film without the iconic Charlie Chaplin, but his act was initially rejected by Hollywood studio chiefs because they felt it was a little too nonsensical to ever sell.
  6. Lucille Ball: During her career, Ball had thirteen Emmy nominations and four wins, also earning the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kennedy Center Honors. Before starring in I Love Lucy, Ball was widely regarded as a failed actress and a B movie star. Even her drama instructors didn’t feel she could make it, telling her to try another profession. She, of course, proved them all wrong.
  7. Harrison Ford: In his first film, Ford was told by the movie execs that he simply didn’t have what it takes to be a star. Today, with numerous hits under his belt, iconic portrayals of characters like Han Solo and Indiana Jones, and a career that stretches decades, Ford can proudly show that he does, in fact, have what it takes.
  8. Marilyn Monroe: While Monroe’s star burned out early, she did have a period of great success in her life. Despite a rough upbringing and being told by modeling agents that she should instead consider being a secretary, Monroe became a pin-up, model and actress that still strikes a chord with people today.
  9. Oliver Stone: This Oscar-winning filmmaker began his first novel while at Yale, a project that eventually caused him to fail out of school. This would turn out to be a poor decision as the the text was rejected by publishers and was not published until 1998, at which time it was not well-received. After dropping out of school, Stone moved to Vietnam to teach English, later enlisting in the army and fighting in the war, a battle that earning two Purple Hearts and helped him find the inspiration for his later work that often center around war.

Writers and Artists

We’ve all heard about starving artists and struggling writers, but these stories show that sometimes all that work really does pay off with success in the long run.

  1. Vincent Van Gogh: During his lifetime, Van Gogh sold only one painting, and this was to a friend and only for a very small amount of money. While Van Gogh was never a success during his life, he plugged on with painting, sometimes starving to complete his over 800 known works. Today, they bring in hundreds of millions.
  2. Emily Dickinson: Recluse and poet Emily Dickinson is a commonly read and loved writer. Yet in her lifetime she was all but ignored, having fewer than a dozen poems published out of her almost 1,800 completed works.
  3. Theodor Seuss Giesel: Today nearly every child has read The Cat in the Hat or Green Eggs and Ham, yet 27 different publishers rejected Dr. Seuss’s first book To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street.
  4. Charles Schultz: Schultz’s Peanuts comic strip has had enduring fame, yet this cartoonist had every cartoon he submitted rejected by his high school yearbook staff. Even after high school, Schultz didn’t have it easy, applying and being rejected for a position working with Walt Disney.
  5. Steven Spielberg: While today Spielberg’s name is synonymous with big budget, he was rejected from the University of Southern California School of Theater, Film and Television three times. He eventually attended school at another location, only to drop out to become a director before finishing. Thirty-five years after starting his degree, Spielberg returned to school in 2002 to finally complete his work and earn his BA.
  6. Stephen King: The first book by this author, the iconic thriller Carrie, received 30 rejections, finally causing King to give up and throw it in the trash. His wife fished it out and encouraged him to resubmit it, and the rest is history, with King now having hundreds of books published the distinction of being one of the best-selling authors of all time.
  7. Zane Grey: Incredibly popular in the early 20th century, this adventure book writer began his career as a dentist, something he quickly began to hate. So, he began to write, only to see rejection after rejection for his works, being told eventually that he had no business being a writer and should given up. It took him years, but at 40, Zane finally got his first work published, leaving him with almost 90 books to his name and selling over 50 million copies worldwide.
  8. J. K. Rowling: Rowling may be rolling in a lot of Harry Potter dough today, but before she published the series of novels she was nearly penniless, severely depressed, divorced, trying to raise a child on her own while attending school and writing a novel. Rowling went from depending on welfare to survive to being one of the richest women in the world in a span of only five years through her hard work and determination.
  9. Monet: Today Monet’s work sells for millions of dollars and hangs in some of the most prestigious institutions in the world. Yet during his own time, it was mocked and rejected by the artistic elite, the Paris Salon. Monet kept at his impressionist style, which caught on and in many ways was a starting point for some major changes to art that ushered in the modern era.
  10. Jack London: This well-known American author wasn’t always such a success. While he would go on to publish popular novels like White Fang and The Call of the Wild, his first story received six hundred rejection slips before finally being accepted.
  11. Louisa May Alcott: Most people are familiar with Alcott’s most famous work, Little Women. Yet Alcott faced a bit of a battle to get her work out there and was was encouraged to find work as a servant by her family to make ends meet. It was her letters back home during her experience as a nurse in the Civil War that gave her the first big break she needed.

Musicians

While their music is some of the best selling, best loved and most popular around the world today, these musicians show that it takes a whole lot of determination to achieve success.

  1. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Mozart began composing at the age of five, writing over 600 pieces of music that today are lauded as some of the best ever created. Yet during his lifetime, Mozart didn’t have such an easy time, and was often restless, leading to his dismissal from a position as a court musician in Salzberg. He struggled to keep the support of the aristocracy and died with little to his name.
  2. Elvis Presley: As one of the best-selling artists of all time, Elvis has become a household name even years after his death. But back in 1954, Elvis was still a nobody, and Jimmy Denny, manager of the Grand Ole Opry, fired Elvis Presley after just one performance telling him, “You ain’t goin’ nowhere, son. You ought to go back to drivin’ a truck.”
  3. Igor Stravinsky: In 1913 when Stravinsky debuted his now famous Rite of Spring, audiences rioted, running the composer out of town. Yet it was this very work that changed the way composers in the 19th century thought about music and cemented his place in musical history.
  4. The Beatles: Few people can deny the lasting power of this super group, still popular with listeners around the world today. Yet when they were just starting out, a recording company told them no. The were told “we don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out,” two things the rest of the world couldn’t have disagreed with more.
  5. Ludwig van Beethoven: In his formative years, young Beethoven was incredibly awkward on the violin and was often so busy working on his own compositions that he neglected to practice. Despite his love of composing, his teachers felt he was hopeless at it and would never succeed with the violin or in composing. Beethoven kept plugging along, however, and composed some of the best-loved symphonies of all time–five of them while he was completely deaf.

Athletes

While some athletes rocket to fame, others endure a path fraught with a little more adversity, like those listed here.

  1. Michael Jordan: Most people wouldn’t believe that a man often lauded as the best basketball player of all time was actually cut from his high school basketball team. Luckily, Jordan didn’t let this setback stop him from playing the game and he has stated, “I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
  2. Stan Smith: This tennis player was rejected from even being a lowly ball boy for a Davis Cup tennis match because event organizers felt he was too clumsy and uncoordinated. Smith went on to prove them wrong, showcasing his not-so-clumsy skills by winning Wimbledon, U. S. Open and eight Davis Cups.
  3. Babe Ruth: You probably know Babe Ruth because of his home run record (714 during his career), but along with all those home runs came a pretty hefty amount of strikeouts as well (1,330 in all). In fact, for decades he held the record for strikeouts. When asked about this he simply said, “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.”
  4. Tom Landry: As the coach of the Dallas Cowboys, Landry brought the team two Super Bowl victories, five NFC Championship victories and holds the records for the record for the most career wins. He also has the distinction of having one of the worst first seasons on record (winning no games) and winning five or fewer over the next four seasons.

I am the the Founder of Addicted2Success.com and I am so grateful you're here to be part of this awesome community. I love connecting with people who have a passion for Entrepreneurship, Self Development & Achieving Success. I started this website with the intention of educating and inspiring likeminded people to always strive for success no matter what their circumstances. I'm proud to say through my podcast and through this website we have impacted over 100 million lives in the last 6 and a half years.

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Rachna

    Jul 13, 2016 at 11:06 am

    Very very nice site..

  2. pro football picks

    Mar 10, 2016 at 2:04 am

    Spot on with this write-up. I truly feel this website needs a great deal more of my attention. I’ll probably be back again to see more.
    Thanks for the information!

  3. Dr ani nnenna

    Oct 6, 2015 at 3:27 am

    Very inspiring listed. A thought activating list.

  4. Laura

    Apr 30, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    I wish there are more details about how these people failed, how they restarted and grabbed new opportunities and finally succeeded. That will make the stories more convincing, and related to ordinary people.

  5. Trey

    Nov 2, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    Inspiring. Infact, I will have to save this page. Thank you for this post

  6. Jam

    Feb 6, 2014 at 6:58 am

    Very Inspiring indeed!!!

  7. lisa o brien

    Sep 13, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    Thanks guy’s. You just saved my butt from a lot of thinking on my essay

  8. Bob Scorey

    Feb 3, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    bill lear

  9. dniel

    Oct 29, 2012 at 7:06 am

    I did not see Steve Jobs?

  10. Suchismita Pai

    Oct 28, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    What a lot of big names. We most often see these names on a success list. To see them as people who failed first.. it is inspiring in a very different way. Nice post.

    • Joel

      Joel

      Oct 28, 2012 at 4:43 pm

      Agreed Suchismita, it is great to see that these achievers are all just human like the rest of us and that we do fail and make mistakes on the way to the top sometimes.

  11. Kellie Hosaka

    Mar 20, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    Aloha!

    Wow! That is an incredible list! Thank you so much for posting all of these 50 successful people and their “failure” along the way.

    They key to success is consistency and persistancy… over & over & over.

    Much aloha & thank you,
    Kellie 🙂

  12. Aamir Musharraf

    Mar 6, 2012 at 5:50 am

    “He is foolish to blame the sea who is shipwrecked twice.”
    — Publilius Syrus

  13. Paul Foster

    Feb 16, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Quite a large list! Very inspiring. Is it fair to conclude that a willingness to fail and not give up when you do fail, is a major key to success?

    • vivid

      Nov 18, 2012 at 12:27 pm

      there is no single key to the success. Success is not a simple lock with a single key. There is a combination to it. You get all combinations right, you will be able to open it. 🙂

  14. mikerosss

    May 3, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    Nice site, nice and easy on the eyes and great content too.

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Motivation

All I Want Is For You To Give It Everything You Got.

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It’s the simplest ask I’ve ever put out into the world. It’s my one wish for everyone reading.

All I want is for you to give your life everything you’ve got. Seeing what you are capable of is my one goal. Seeing how you lived instead of how you feared your challenges is beautiful. I know it’s easier said than done but I know you have more in the tank.

I know it seems like there’s always another email, another person to influence, another competitor, another threat that could tear down everything you’ve built.

I get that there are risks and you’re scared (whether you admit it or not). That doesn’t change a thing in my book. I still want you to give it everything you’ve got.

 

I want to see your raw emotion.

When I watch you do your thing, I want to see you display raw emotion. I want you to be vulnerable and show me all of the beauty you have to offer through your wide range of emotions.

I don’t want you to cover up what you’re thinking and feeling out of fear that you’ll be judged. Those who judge you are only making up for their own inadequacies, so there’s nothing to be afraid of.

 

I want to see your raw passion.

Passion equals commitment. It’s that look in your eye. It’s how you take your first step. It’s how you stare fear in the face and say “I’m going to win today no matter what. Nothing will stop me!”

It’s the way your shoulders are slightly back and you stare into everyone’s eyes. It’s the way you look fearless even though you’re as scared as the rest of us watching. It’s the way you commit to the outcome even though you don’t know the exact strategy.

Showing us your raw passion by doing what you love is one of the best gifts you have to offer. Don’t hold back on your level of passion. Commit to what it is you love and don’t spend a waking moment not coming up with your next move. Through your passion, we get to see the potential we have in our own passion.

Seeing you fulfill your passion inspires us all to do the same. You can be a guiding light and you know you can. Make your move!

 

I want to feel what it is that you do.

Don’t show me, make me feel it. Show us all what courage looks like and what you’ve had to overcome to get to this point, right here, right now. I want your actions to show us why we all chase feelings. I want you to show us the power of feelings and why they drive us to create human life and fall in love.

 

I want you to take the long road.

Not the shortcut. Not by using that one life hack. Not by bringing down others. Not by stomping over your competition and showing us that you have a higher power. I want you to take the long road and put in the work. I want you to reach mastery instead of a basic understanding.

“When everybody else thinks that you’ve given all you’ve got, I want you to keep walking down that long, windy road in your jocks while freezing your tits off!”

The idea of a shortcut is a myth. No one that is going to do what you’re capable of got there by putting in less or looking for a way to be lazy. Laziness is not the answer.

Commitment and an endless pursuit to find a path and walk down it with your own two feet is where you’ll find the energy you need.

 

I want you to be kind along the way.

Yes, going into overdrive is about you and your capability, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it by being nasty to everyone watching. How you treat people is more important than anything else. It’s what you’ll be remembered for and not the outcome.

Treating people with kindness is how you discover your true self and find that extra something that you didn’t know you had. Kindness will be returned with more kindness. Sometimes it will go unnoticed and that’s cool as well.

 

I want you to be the greatest in your field.

Not second best. Not top ten, but the greatest. Even if you don’t reach the top, you’ll still end up pushing beyond what you ever thought was possible. You’ll be glad you went for the top position rather than settling for the bottom where you know you had more to give.

 

I want you to push through the pain.

Pain hurts like hell. It’s that one ingredient that none of us can avoid. Pain is guaranteed whether you decide to listen to my advice or not.

“So if you’re going to get pain no matter what, you may as well learn to push through it and use it for good, not evil”

 

Pain is the red light indicator that says you’re pushing your limits and you’re creating momentum. Pain doesn’t mean stop. Pain means you’re just getting started. You’ve avoided pain until this point and now it’s time to discover what pain can do for you.

“Pain can either be the devil on your shoulder or the angel that guides you from darkness into the light”

 

I want you to bring others on the journey.

It’s not just about you. I say this all the time because I mean it. A journey on your own is boring and you’ll give up at some point because you’re a social being. Helping others while helping yourself is how you give more. If it’s all about you and your big fat dream, then you’re not giving it all you’ve got.

Just meeting your own needs is never going to be enough. You will never be enough if all you do is sit down and focus on your own selfish desires. Even if you feel no one is listening, keep going. People may not listen at the start, but they’ll eventually listen if you stay committed.

We all need to see you’re dedicated to your vision first before we decide to join you on your journey.

 

I want you to inspire us.

Make us all feel like we can achieve the impossible through your actions. Don’t tell us, show us. We’re inspired by your actions and your commitment to them, not your words. Take the lessons you learn and use them to show us how we can do immensely difficult things in our life.

The leaders you are obsessed with are that way in your head because at some point they inspired you. They questioned your idea of the world and made you think differently. They inspired you to consider or to commit to a new decision.

They broke the pattern in your head and made you see what to focus on. That’s what inspiration has done for you and now you must inspire us and give us everything you have in the process.

 

I want you to remember who you were before.

When you do finally arrive at that position you’ve worked so hard to get to, I never want you to forget who you started off as. Seeing the transformation from your former self to your current self will ensure you don’t get complacent.

Your former self will remind your current self just how far you can push. Your former self will remind you what can help when you give it everything you’ve got. I don’t ever want to see you settle for less than who you can be.

 

If I achieved all of that, then I’ve succeeded.

Everything I’ve just told you is me giving you everything I have. If you follow these guiding principles, suggestions (whatever you want to call them, I don’t care), then I have succeeded. I will no longer need to look for success because you will have shown it to me through your example.

My vision for success is helping you find yours. So if you achieve nothing else, then you’ve helped me fulfill a major goal in my life.

 

The world needs more people like you.

Not only that. Society needs more people who are willing to think bigger, go bigger and be bigger. We all need more people like you. People who are going to act, which is why you’re reading this. You didn’t read these words for nothing so get back to work and be the best you can be.

Give it everything you’ve got.
Don’t let your current challenges stop you.
Kick ass and go all out.
Demonstrate emotion, passion and kindness.

Most of all, never let your circumstances or negative people think you can’t go all out. You can do whatever you put your mind to. Make a decision and then act.

Go all out.

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

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Motivation

Focus On One Thing At A Time: Here’s Why.

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The problem you have, above all, is you’re trying to do too much all at once.

I should no because I have a cluster bomb of goals I’m trying to achieve right now. What ends up happening is you achieve nothing. You go to narrow and so wide that nothing gets done. Nothing gets traction. Then you get pissed off and give up.

Giving up is not the answer. Focusing on one thing is.

I’d love to be the worlds best blogger, speaker, author and lover all at once. It’s not going to happen like that. That’s not how the game of life works.

Here’s why you should focus on one thing at a time:

 

Your memory sucks.

We now have so much information to store in our mind that we end up forgetting most things whether we want to admit that or not. Focusing on one thing frees up space in your mind to store all the knowledge associated with your one goal.

Get used to ignoring information that you don’t feel is needed. I do this all the time. When I check emails, most of them are deleted before they are even read. If an email is not aligned with my two-line purpose or my current goal, then it’s gone. Never to be seen again.

What you want to do instead is use the virtual memory in your mind to do the same habits associated with your goal over and over. This carves a deep path in your mind for the tasks and habits you need to be awesome at to hit your current goal.

 

Go for one big goal.

Instead of having lots of small goals that are mostly meaningless, go for the big goals. Try knocking off one every few months or even one a year if you have to. My current goal is to pivot my career in a new direction. Then straight after that, I’m going to knock off some big speeches to up my public speaking game. Other than those two items, that’s about it.

Nice and easy to remember. This strategy puts large amounts of focus on only one or two goals meaning you get results faster. I find that as I gain momentum and see results quickly, my one big goal doesn’t require motivation. Your results should become your motivation and that requires all your energy and focus.

I had another big goal this year to sort out my love life. People laughed at how crazy and deep I went on this goal. Within five months and after more than fifty dates, I got my goal. There’s a lot that you can get from focusing on one big goal. Try it for yourself.

 

Keeps fear from destroying your action.

Fear is a constant battle – even for me. Having too many goals means that you’ll get a small slice of fear with each one. Once you add up all of that fear, you can easily become crippled by it. By focusing on one big goal, you only have one slice of fear to deal with.

For me, changing career and nailing public speaking at the same time is just too much fear. It’s way easier to tackle one at a time. You can’t just block fear out and pretend it doesn’t exist. You have to work through the fear that comes with your goals and this requires smaller doses.

 

Your conversations become simpler.

We all get asked to join 101 meetings and do lots of coffee catch ups. These two things already annoy me enough. What having one goal has done for me is make my conversations simpler. If someone wants to talk about something, if it doesn’t align with my current big goal, I decline.

I explain that I’m working towards one big goal and anything that’s not part of that goal is on hold for the moment. By saying it in this manner, you avoid sounding like a smart ass and your no is delivered in a respectful way.

 

To-Do lists become a thing of the past.

These problematic lists become near irrelevant because when you have one big goal, you don’t have as many tasks to manage. Right now, when I wake up, I work on my career goal and then get to work. I don’t need a to-do list because there’s only one goal to think about.

 

Deep thinking sessions deliver more value.

I tell everybody to spend a bit of time every day doing some deep thinking. When you have too many goals, these sessions are wasted. By having one big goal, I’ve been able to use my deep thinking time to really reflect on what it’s going to take to achieve my goal.

The progress I get from these deep thinking sessions has tripled. I’m no longer trying to fix all of the world’s problems every time I go into deep thinking. I’ve found that I’m becoming much better at solving my own problems because I can deeply think about what’s standing in my way.

 

Answers are much less challenging to find.

My mind has become a beacon for the information I need to achieve my one big goal. When you have lots of goals, all the information you consume get’s lost. Having one big goal makes your mind focused on what bits of knowledge you need.

“All the answers you seek have already been presented to you in one form or another. The problem is that you can’t hear the answers because there are too many goals which have created a lack of focus for your very busy mind”

For example, my public speaking goal is something I always thought would be near impossible to solve. As I practice my habit of listening to podcasts, I’ve found that all the good tips for crushing fear when it comes to public speaking have been there all along.

People like Tim Ferriss and Gary Vee have been sharing the wisdom needed for good public speaking for a long time. The problem was I had too many goals, so I didn’t hear their golden nuggets of advice. With more focus, I do not only hear their tips, I’m meditating and doing deep thinking on their ideas.

 

You can’t be known for everything.

Ever been to someone’s LinkedIn page and it says something like this:

“Kimbo is an entrepreneur, blogger, speaker, coach, finance professional, investor, advisor, avid reader, professional hockey player and lover of cars.”

I mean you can’t be known for all of that. When all of us see profiles of people like this, we end up switching off. Focus on being a world-class blogger, or an accomplished author.

“There’s no point trying to be A-grade at everything because you never will be, and your personal message will get lost”

 

Simple is always better.

Whether it’s your goals, fitness routine, business, etc, simpler is always better. Simpler equals focus. Focus equals power. Power equals energy and motivation towards your one big goal that will make you unstoppable.

Stop trying to do so much because you’re not fooling anyone, least of all yourself. Chunk things down, go for simple and be incredible at fewer goals.

You can be a standout person when you go for one big goal rather than a huge lists of goals that never get actioned.

What do you really want more than anything? That’s your big goal.

Now go execute on your goal.

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

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Motivation

Raw Emotion Is The Only Thing That Matters: Here’s What To Do.

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I’ve been on the road this week talking about the power of creating content and sharing your story with the world.

I’ve been consistently asked how I am able to reach millions of people every single month. I’ve seen my audience triple this year.

It all comes down to this:

It’s raw emotion.

That’s it.

People go crazy for what I do because I express my raw emotion about life and about business. I don’t allow anyone to tell me what to say or how to behave. No matter what the feedback is on my content, I always treat people with respect.

 

Respecting the game is crucial.

We all take success and online engagement for granted. As soon as people get a few thousand followers, their success goes to their head.

They stop responding to comments.
They stop responding to emails.
They stop answering phone calls.

Not me – ever! Replying to comments, emails and taking a phone call here and there, is how you respect the people who have given you their time (their most valuable asset).

“Respect combined with putting raw emotion into everything you do will see your life transform”

 

How do you unleash raw emotion?

Simple: you have to get into state.

You have to get yourself into a frame of mind where you come face to face with the fact that your life is short. Tim Ferriss introduced me to a cool tool for your internet browser called the Death Clock.

Every time you open a new tab, it shows you on average, based on your age, how long you have left to live.

 

Don’t hold back any longer.

Once you come face to face with your mortality, you stop holding back. People’s opinions go out the window and all you focus on is giving everything you have. From this place, you can deliver raw emotion.

I walked out of the gym yesterday and someone died right in front of me. That could have been me if I left just a few seconds earlier. So if I wasn’t here to type these words, would I be satisfied? The answer is no freaking way.

I still have so much more to give and that’s what motivates me to go all in and deliver raw emotion with everything I do.

12 months ago, a leader I used to work with asked me to give a motivational speech to her team and share my story. I said no because my public speaking skills sucked. Now I’ve started to get much better at speaking. On Monday morning, I’m emailing her to say that I will give that speech.

No more holding back. The game of life is real.

 

It takes courage to deliver raw emotion.

Standing up on stage and sharing your story, or writing a blog post about your deepest, darkest fears is tough. Delivering raw emotion requires you to be incredibly vulnerable. You have to be okay with having 50% of people dislike you or ignore what you have to say.

“Delivering raw emotion is not about reaching everyone; it’s about reaching a few people who can then be inspired by what you do”

 

Raw emotion without action is useless.

The only reason you want to deliver raw emotion is so you can inspire people. By inspiring people, you can get them to trust you and take action. Raw emotion allows you to get people to do stuff they never thought was possible.

Tony Robbins got in my face when I went to his seminar four years ago and he did that through raw emotion. He told his very personal family story and then showed me how anyone, from anywhere, can take their life to the next level.

If Tony didn’t share the full story or shared someone else’s story, I’m not sure the message would have stuck in my distracted little brain. It took raw emotion to get me out of my head and help me see my life for what it was. That life, by the way, was garbage and was based on my own selfish desires and an endless pursuit of money.

 

You feel different when you deliver raw emotion.

When I deliver a piece of content in words, video or speech that has raw emotion, I feel different. I feel that I have given it my all and I know I’ve pushed myself beyond my comfort zone. That’s because delivering raw emotion is uncomfortable no matter how many times you do it.

The thing is that when you don’t deliver raw emotion, you fall for one of the following:

– Copying someone else
– Holding back
– Being overcome by fear
– Feeling you didn’t give 110%

These feelings suck big time. You may as well do nothing if you aren’t going to give your pursuits in life a good crack. Go big, or stay home and think about your life properly.

 

Raw emotion is infectious. Stop working so damn hard!

I feel like right now, for the first time in my life, I’ve become a magnet for all the people I want to have in my life. I no longer have to work my ass off to influence people or pitch them my ideas. People come to me.

Not because I’m so special but because I deliver raw emotion. I tell the whole story and I don’t hold back. I used to have to reach out to people a lot and have these big paragraphs in my emails about all my achievements and the people I know.

Now I just link to my work that has raw emotion and what I say does the convincing / selling for me.

“This is me, and if you like it, then we should talk.”

That’s what I say in my head. There’s no BS sales pages or template emails. You can’t grab another one of me off the shelf and then copy and paste me.

The raw emotion I deliver is inside of me. You can see it in my eyes. You can see it in the way I stand. You can even see it in the words I type.

 

So what now Mr. Tim?

Well, I’ve told you the power of raw emotion. I’ve made it clear what it’s done to my life. I’ve explained how you can do the same.

Now it comes down to action. Action is the thing that people always tell themselves they will do but often never do. If you like the sound of what I’ve said about raw emotion sailor, then you need to try it for yourself. Test it out for a week and see what I mean.

Watch people look at you as an authority figure. See people’s reactions. Most of all, notice how you feel differently. Your whole life is put into perspective when you stop holding back and deliver the value you have inside of you with raw emotion.

If you want to stand out from the crowd, then build up the courage inside of you to deliver raw emotion.

Raw emotion is where it’s at. It’s the secret to how all of the people you are inspired by get to do what they love and reach lots of people.

Now it’s action time.

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

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Motivation

10 Simple Steps for Self-Motivation

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self-motivation

Renowned American motivational speaker and author, Dr. Stephen R. Covey once remarked: “Motivation is a fire from within. If someone else tries to light that fire under you, chances are it will burn very briefly.” How do you define motivation?

There are two distinct types of motivation:

  • Intrinsic: Motivation that comes from within ourselves.
  • Extrinsic: Motivation that is derived from outside source such as a friend, colleagues, seniors at workplace, religious or spiritual leaders, spouse, kids and lots more.

Briefly, motivation can be described as a reason or cause by which a person or a group of people behave in a certain manner. The cause or the reason has to be extremely strong, and it often involves self interest.

Considering you have good and healthy plans that do not conflict with any laws, rules and regulations, staying motivated is quite easy. Basically, motivation is merely a state of mind. Utilized properly, it can take you to heights you may have never dreamed of.

However, our simple steps below will guide you on how to remain motivated at all times, despite any adversities you may encounter:

1. Goal Setting

Setting a goal for yourself is a time-tested and proven method to remain motivated. However, it is important to set realistic and achievable goals. Set yourself a deadline by which you intend to achieve these goals.

There are three types of goals:

  • Short term goals: These may be achieved in a few weeks or a couple of months.
  • Mid-term goals: These usually take a year or two to achieve.
  • Long-term goals: Here you can include your career options, plans for marriage, buying a home or anything that takes a longer span of time.

2. Money matters

Regardless whether we like it or not, money does matter in remaining motivated. Here, we are not speaking about millions of dollars. We are saying that having sufficient funds to lead a decent life is a great motivator by itself. You can start by saving a healthy portion of your income daily or monthly.

3. Shun any loans

Undoubtedly, people encumbered with loans exhibit a tendency to lose motivation. The reason is simple:  A considerable portion of your earnings will go towards servicing whatever loans or credit card dues you have. Avoid getting into loans as much as possible, unless it is for some genuine and strong reason such as buying a home.

4. Stay with positive people

Generally, people with a positive mindset and attitude are the best motivators. Regardless of your situation, they will always try and uplift your state of mind. Such positive minded people will motivate you even if you are feeling low and beaten. Further, whenever you encounter negative thoughts, speak with such people by either meeting them or on phone.

5. Appreciate yourself first

Whenever you lose motivation, think of all the positive stuff you have done in the past and reflect on great experiences you have had. Also, remember all the adverse times you have been through and how you sailed out of them unharmed. Appreciating yourself for your achievements is a great motivational tool.

“When you’re trying to motivate yourself, appreciate the fact that you’re even thinking about making a change. And as you move forward, allow yourself to be good enough.” – Alice Domar

6. Use mistakes as experiences

This means learning from your past mistakes, because as humans we are all prone to mistakes due to inherent defects or flaws in our character. Remember, mistakes are not final. They hold vital lessons for us. Most people tend to lose motivation when things go awry and desired results are not forthcoming.

7. Examine your motive

Once again, as Dr. Stephen R. Covey puts it, the key to motivation lies in the motive itself. Should your motives be good and in conformity with laws, motivation follows automatically. But beware, wrong motives can lead to misplaced motivation which can land even the most stable and sober person into deep trouble. Once your motives are positive and clear, motivation follows automatically.

8. Avoid getting over-stressed

Stress can be divided into two different categories:

  1. Negative stress: That arises out of negative actions, interacting with obnoxious people and lethargy or laziness, continuing exposure to painful or unpleasant situations and loneliness.
  2. Positive stress: Accrues by solving work related or domestic problems. Positive stress usually leaves you satisfied and happy once the issue has been resolved or after a hard day’s work.

Stress in daily life is imminent. Staying motivated helps you to remain motivated.

9. Choose to be happy

Now this may sound like a tall order for anyone encountering adverse situations. However, it is worthwhile to note, every bad situation always passes. Be aware that every bad circumstance will eventually vanish. Losing motivation will not help solve any problem and neither will worrying about something. You can maintain your motivation with the sheer thought that every problem is temporary.

10. Chart your map

Sadly, most people embark on a project or endeavor without much heed to the end result. Instead, you can chart your own roadmap. Take an inventory about how you want to begin and why. This in itself is a great motivational factor. Simultaneously, bear in mind what is the exact objective or the end where your endeavor should culminate. Be fearless in your pursuit of your dreams and goals.

“I am happy because I’m grateful. I choose to be grateful. That gratitude allows me to be happy.” – Will Arnett

It is worthwhile to remember, we all lose motivation at some point of life. This is perfectly normal and nothing to be alarmed about. Analyzing cause of losing motivation, understanding and finding ways and means to counter it, works miracles indeed. Lack of motivation, left untreated, can lead to mental ailments.

How do you remain self-motivated? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

7 Steps to Building Real Relationships With Influencers

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building relationships with influencers

They say your net worth is equivalent to the five closest people in your network. This is also true for your level of influence, where your “net influence” is equivalent to the five closest people in your network. So how do you build a network of influential people and start becoming an influencer yourself? (more…)

I’m Sina Fak. I believe the greatest businesses in the world are creating something more than just a product or service. My mission is to understand the motivations behind human decision and work with people and organizations who are out to make the world a better place.  You can learn more about me on my website and connect with me on LinkedIn.

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Rachna

    Jul 13, 2016 at 11:06 am

    Very very nice site..

  2. pro football picks

    Mar 10, 2016 at 2:04 am

    Spot on with this write-up. I truly feel this website needs a great deal more of my attention. I’ll probably be back again to see more.
    Thanks for the information!

  3. Dr ani nnenna

    Oct 6, 2015 at 3:27 am

    Very inspiring listed. A thought activating list.

  4. Laura

    Apr 30, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    I wish there are more details about how these people failed, how they restarted and grabbed new opportunities and finally succeeded. That will make the stories more convincing, and related to ordinary people.

  5. Trey

    Nov 2, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    Inspiring. Infact, I will have to save this page. Thank you for this post

  6. Jam

    Feb 6, 2014 at 6:58 am

    Very Inspiring indeed!!!

  7. lisa o brien

    Sep 13, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    Thanks guy’s. You just saved my butt from a lot of thinking on my essay

  8. Bob Scorey

    Feb 3, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    bill lear

  9. dniel

    Oct 29, 2012 at 7:06 am

    I did not see Steve Jobs?

  10. Suchismita Pai

    Oct 28, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    What a lot of big names. We most often see these names on a success list. To see them as people who failed first.. it is inspiring in a very different way. Nice post.

    • Joel

      Joel

      Oct 28, 2012 at 4:43 pm

      Agreed Suchismita, it is great to see that these achievers are all just human like the rest of us and that we do fail and make mistakes on the way to the top sometimes.

  11. Kellie Hosaka

    Mar 20, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    Aloha!

    Wow! That is an incredible list! Thank you so much for posting all of these 50 successful people and their “failure” along the way.

    They key to success is consistency and persistancy… over & over & over.

    Much aloha & thank you,
    Kellie 🙂

  12. Aamir Musharraf

    Mar 6, 2012 at 5:50 am

    “He is foolish to blame the sea who is shipwrecked twice.”
    — Publilius Syrus

  13. Paul Foster

    Feb 16, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Quite a large list! Very inspiring. Is it fair to conclude that a willingness to fail and not give up when you do fail, is a major key to success?

    • vivid

      Nov 18, 2012 at 12:27 pm

      there is no single key to the success. Success is not a simple lock with a single key. There is a combination to it. You get all combinations right, you will be able to open it. 🙂

  14. mikerosss

    May 3, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    Nice site, nice and easy on the eyes and great content too.

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Motivation

All I Want Is For You To Give It Everything You Got.

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It’s the simplest ask I’ve ever put out into the world. It’s my one wish for everyone reading.

All I want is for you to give your life everything you’ve got. Seeing what you are capable of is my one goal. Seeing how you lived instead of how you feared your challenges is beautiful. I know it’s easier said than done but I know you have more in the tank.

I know it seems like there’s always another email, another person to influence, another competitor, another threat that could tear down everything you’ve built.

I get that there are risks and you’re scared (whether you admit it or not). That doesn’t change a thing in my book. I still want you to give it everything you’ve got.

 

I want to see your raw emotion.

When I watch you do your thing, I want to see you display raw emotion. I want you to be vulnerable and show me all of the beauty you have to offer through your wide range of emotions.

I don’t want you to cover up what you’re thinking and feeling out of fear that you’ll be judged. Those who judge you are only making up for their own inadequacies, so there’s nothing to be afraid of.

 

I want to see your raw passion.

Passion equals commitment. It’s that look in your eye. It’s how you take your first step. It’s how you stare fear in the face and say “I’m going to win today no matter what. Nothing will stop me!”

It’s the way your shoulders are slightly back and you stare into everyone’s eyes. It’s the way you look fearless even though you’re as scared as the rest of us watching. It’s the way you commit to the outcome even though you don’t know the exact strategy.

Showing us your raw passion by doing what you love is one of the best gifts you have to offer. Don’t hold back on your level of passion. Commit to what it is you love and don’t spend a waking moment not coming up with your next move. Through your passion, we get to see the potential we have in our own passion.

Seeing you fulfill your passion inspires us all to do the same. You can be a guiding light and you know you can. Make your move!

 

I want to feel what it is that you do.

Don’t show me, make me feel it. Show us all what courage looks like and what you’ve had to overcome to get to this point, right here, right now. I want your actions to show us why we all chase feelings. I want you to show us the power of feelings and why they drive us to create human life and fall in love.

 

I want you to take the long road.

Not the shortcut. Not by using that one life hack. Not by bringing down others. Not by stomping over your competition and showing us that you have a higher power. I want you to take the long road and put in the work. I want you to reach mastery instead of a basic understanding.

“When everybody else thinks that you’ve given all you’ve got, I want you to keep walking down that long, windy road in your jocks while freezing your tits off!”

The idea of a shortcut is a myth. No one that is going to do what you’re capable of got there by putting in less or looking for a way to be lazy. Laziness is not the answer.

Commitment and an endless pursuit to find a path and walk down it with your own two feet is where you’ll find the energy you need.

 

I want you to be kind along the way.

Yes, going into overdrive is about you and your capability, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it by being nasty to everyone watching. How you treat people is more important than anything else. It’s what you’ll be remembered for and not the outcome.

Treating people with kindness is how you discover your true self and find that extra something that you didn’t know you had. Kindness will be returned with more kindness. Sometimes it will go unnoticed and that’s cool as well.

 

I want you to be the greatest in your field.

Not second best. Not top ten, but the greatest. Even if you don’t reach the top, you’ll still end up pushing beyond what you ever thought was possible. You’ll be glad you went for the top position rather than settling for the bottom where you know you had more to give.

 

I want you to push through the pain.

Pain hurts like hell. It’s that one ingredient that none of us can avoid. Pain is guaranteed whether you decide to listen to my advice or not.

“So if you’re going to get pain no matter what, you may as well learn to push through it and use it for good, not evil”

 

Pain is the red light indicator that says you’re pushing your limits and you’re creating momentum. Pain doesn’t mean stop. Pain means you’re just getting started. You’ve avoided pain until this point and now it’s time to discover what pain can do for you.

“Pain can either be the devil on your shoulder or the angel that guides you from darkness into the light”

 

I want you to bring others on the journey.

It’s not just about you. I say this all the time because I mean it. A journey on your own is boring and you’ll give up at some point because you’re a social being. Helping others while helping yourself is how you give more. If it’s all about you and your big fat dream, then you’re not giving it all you’ve got.

Just meeting your own needs is never going to be enough. You will never be enough if all you do is sit down and focus on your own selfish desires. Even if you feel no one is listening, keep going. People may not listen at the start, but they’ll eventually listen if you stay committed.

We all need to see you’re dedicated to your vision first before we decide to join you on your journey.

 

I want you to inspire us.

Make us all feel like we can achieve the impossible through your actions. Don’t tell us, show us. We’re inspired by your actions and your commitment to them, not your words. Take the lessons you learn and use them to show us how we can do immensely difficult things in our life.

The leaders you are obsessed with are that way in your head because at some point they inspired you. They questioned your idea of the world and made you think differently. They inspired you to consider or to commit to a new decision.

They broke the pattern in your head and made you see what to focus on. That’s what inspiration has done for you and now you must inspire us and give us everything you have in the process.

 

I want you to remember who you were before.

When you do finally arrive at that position you’ve worked so hard to get to, I never want you to forget who you started off as. Seeing the transformation from your former self to your current self will ensure you don’t get complacent.

Your former self will remind your current self just how far you can push. Your former self will remind you what can help when you give it everything you’ve got. I don’t ever want to see you settle for less than who you can be.

 

If I achieved all of that, then I’ve succeeded.

Everything I’ve just told you is me giving you everything I have. If you follow these guiding principles, suggestions (whatever you want to call them, I don’t care), then I have succeeded. I will no longer need to look for success because you will have shown it to me through your example.

My vision for success is helping you find yours. So if you achieve nothing else, then you’ve helped me fulfill a major goal in my life.

 

The world needs more people like you.

Not only that. Society needs more people who are willing to think bigger, go bigger and be bigger. We all need more people like you. People who are going to act, which is why you’re reading this. You didn’t read these words for nothing so get back to work and be the best you can be.

Give it everything you’ve got.
Don’t let your current challenges stop you.
Kick ass and go all out.
Demonstrate emotion, passion and kindness.

Most of all, never let your circumstances or negative people think you can’t go all out. You can do whatever you put your mind to. Make a decision and then act.

Go all out.

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

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Motivation

Focus On One Thing At A Time: Here’s Why.

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The problem you have, above all, is you’re trying to do too much all at once.

I should no because I have a cluster bomb of goals I’m trying to achieve right now. What ends up happening is you achieve nothing. You go to narrow and so wide that nothing gets done. Nothing gets traction. Then you get pissed off and give up.

Giving up is not the answer. Focusing on one thing is.

I’d love to be the worlds best blogger, speaker, author and lover all at once. It’s not going to happen like that. That’s not how the game of life works.

Here’s why you should focus on one thing at a time:

 

Your memory sucks.

We now have so much information to store in our mind that we end up forgetting most things whether we want to admit that or not. Focusing on one thing frees up space in your mind to store all the knowledge associated with your one goal.

Get used to ignoring information that you don’t feel is needed. I do this all the time. When I check emails, most of them are deleted before they are even read. If an email is not aligned with my two-line purpose or my current goal, then it’s gone. Never to be seen again.

What you want to do instead is use the virtual memory in your mind to do the same habits associated with your goal over and over. This carves a deep path in your mind for the tasks and habits you need to be awesome at to hit your current goal.

 

Go for one big goal.

Instead of having lots of small goals that are mostly meaningless, go for the big goals. Try knocking off one every few months or even one a year if you have to. My current goal is to pivot my career in a new direction. Then straight after that, I’m going to knock off some big speeches to up my public speaking game. Other than those two items, that’s about it.

Nice and easy to remember. This strategy puts large amounts of focus on only one or two goals meaning you get results faster. I find that as I gain momentum and see results quickly, my one big goal doesn’t require motivation. Your results should become your motivation and that requires all your energy and focus.

I had another big goal this year to sort out my love life. People laughed at how crazy and deep I went on this goal. Within five months and after more than fifty dates, I got my goal. There’s a lot that you can get from focusing on one big goal. Try it for yourself.

 

Keeps fear from destroying your action.

Fear is a constant battle – even for me. Having too many goals means that you’ll get a small slice of fear with each one. Once you add up all of that fear, you can easily become crippled by it. By focusing on one big goal, you only have one slice of fear to deal with.

For me, changing career and nailing public speaking at the same time is just too much fear. It’s way easier to tackle one at a time. You can’t just block fear out and pretend it doesn’t exist. You have to work through the fear that comes with your goals and this requires smaller doses.

 

Your conversations become simpler.

We all get asked to join 101 meetings and do lots of coffee catch ups. These two things already annoy me enough. What having one goal has done for me is make my conversations simpler. If someone wants to talk about something, if it doesn’t align with my current big goal, I decline.

I explain that I’m working towards one big goal and anything that’s not part of that goal is on hold for the moment. By saying it in this manner, you avoid sounding like a smart ass and your no is delivered in a respectful way.

 

To-Do lists become a thing of the past.

These problematic lists become near irrelevant because when you have one big goal, you don’t have as many tasks to manage. Right now, when I wake up, I work on my career goal and then get to work. I don’t need a to-do list because there’s only one goal to think about.

 

Deep thinking sessions deliver more value.

I tell everybody to spend a bit of time every day doing some deep thinking. When you have too many goals, these sessions are wasted. By having one big goal, I’ve been able to use my deep thinking time to really reflect on what it’s going to take to achieve my goal.

The progress I get from these deep thinking sessions has tripled. I’m no longer trying to fix all of the world’s problems every time I go into deep thinking. I’ve found that I’m becoming much better at solving my own problems because I can deeply think about what’s standing in my way.

 

Answers are much less challenging to find.

My mind has become a beacon for the information I need to achieve my one big goal. When you have lots of goals, all the information you consume get’s lost. Having one big goal makes your mind focused on what bits of knowledge you need.

“All the answers you seek have already been presented to you in one form or another. The problem is that you can’t hear the answers because there are too many goals which have created a lack of focus for your very busy mind”

For example, my public speaking goal is something I always thought would be near impossible to solve. As I practice my habit of listening to podcasts, I’ve found that all the good tips for crushing fear when it comes to public speaking have been there all along.

People like Tim Ferriss and Gary Vee have been sharing the wisdom needed for good public speaking for a long time. The problem was I had too many goals, so I didn’t hear their golden nuggets of advice. With more focus, I do not only hear their tips, I’m meditating and doing deep thinking on their ideas.

 

You can’t be known for everything.

Ever been to someone’s LinkedIn page and it says something like this:

“Kimbo is an entrepreneur, blogger, speaker, coach, finance professional, investor, advisor, avid reader, professional hockey player and lover of cars.”

I mean you can’t be known for all of that. When all of us see profiles of people like this, we end up switching off. Focus on being a world-class blogger, or an accomplished author.

“There’s no point trying to be A-grade at everything because you never will be, and your personal message will get lost”

 

Simple is always better.

Whether it’s your goals, fitness routine, business, etc, simpler is always better. Simpler equals focus. Focus equals power. Power equals energy and motivation towards your one big goal that will make you unstoppable.

Stop trying to do so much because you’re not fooling anyone, least of all yourself. Chunk things down, go for simple and be incredible at fewer goals.

You can be a standout person when you go for one big goal rather than a huge lists of goals that never get actioned.

What do you really want more than anything? That’s your big goal.

Now go execute on your goal.

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

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Motivation

Raw Emotion Is The Only Thing That Matters: Here’s What To Do.

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I’ve been on the road this week talking about the power of creating content and sharing your story with the world.

I’ve been consistently asked how I am able to reach millions of people every single month. I’ve seen my audience triple this year.

It all comes down to this:

It’s raw emotion.

That’s it.

People go crazy for what I do because I express my raw emotion about life and about business. I don’t allow anyone to tell me what to say or how to behave. No matter what the feedback is on my content, I always treat people with respect.

 

Respecting the game is crucial.

We all take success and online engagement for granted. As soon as people get a few thousand followers, their success goes to their head.

They stop responding to comments.
They stop responding to emails.
They stop answering phone calls.

Not me – ever! Replying to comments, emails and taking a phone call here and there, is how you respect the people who have given you their time (their most valuable asset).

“Respect combined with putting raw emotion into everything you do will see your life transform”

 

How do you unleash raw emotion?

Simple: you have to get into state.

You have to get yourself into a frame of mind where you come face to face with the fact that your life is short. Tim Ferriss introduced me to a cool tool for your internet browser called the Death Clock.

Every time you open a new tab, it shows you on average, based on your age, how long you have left to live.

 

Don’t hold back any longer.

Once you come face to face with your mortality, you stop holding back. People’s opinions go out the window and all you focus on is giving everything you have. From this place, you can deliver raw emotion.

I walked out of the gym yesterday and someone died right in front of me. That could have been me if I left just a few seconds earlier. So if I wasn’t here to type these words, would I be satisfied? The answer is no freaking way.

I still have so much more to give and that’s what motivates me to go all in and deliver raw emotion with everything I do.

12 months ago, a leader I used to work with asked me to give a motivational speech to her team and share my story. I said no because my public speaking skills sucked. Now I’ve started to get much better at speaking. On Monday morning, I’m emailing her to say that I will give that speech.

No more holding back. The game of life is real.

 

It takes courage to deliver raw emotion.

Standing up on stage and sharing your story, or writing a blog post about your deepest, darkest fears is tough. Delivering raw emotion requires you to be incredibly vulnerable. You have to be okay with having 50% of people dislike you or ignore what you have to say.

“Delivering raw emotion is not about reaching everyone; it’s about reaching a few people who can then be inspired by what you do”

 

Raw emotion without action is useless.

The only reason you want to deliver raw emotion is so you can inspire people. By inspiring people, you can get them to trust you and take action. Raw emotion allows you to get people to do stuff they never thought was possible.

Tony Robbins got in my face when I went to his seminar four years ago and he did that through raw emotion. He told his very personal family story and then showed me how anyone, from anywhere, can take their life to the next level.

If Tony didn’t share the full story or shared someone else’s story, I’m not sure the message would have stuck in my distracted little brain. It took raw emotion to get me out of my head and help me see my life for what it was. That life, by the way, was garbage and was based on my own selfish desires and an endless pursuit of money.

 

You feel different when you deliver raw emotion.

When I deliver a piece of content in words, video or speech that has raw emotion, I feel different. I feel that I have given it my all and I know I’ve pushed myself beyond my comfort zone. That’s because delivering raw emotion is uncomfortable no matter how many times you do it.

The thing is that when you don’t deliver raw emotion, you fall for one of the following:

– Copying someone else
– Holding back
– Being overcome by fear
– Feeling you didn’t give 110%

These feelings suck big time. You may as well do nothing if you aren’t going to give your pursuits in life a good crack. Go big, or stay home and think about your life properly.

 

Raw emotion is infectious. Stop working so damn hard!

I feel like right now, for the first time in my life, I’ve become a magnet for all the people I want to have in my life. I no longer have to work my ass off to influence people or pitch them my ideas. People come to me.

Not because I’m so special but because I deliver raw emotion. I tell the whole story and I don’t hold back. I used to have to reach out to people a lot and have these big paragraphs in my emails about all my achievements and the people I know.

Now I just link to my work that has raw emotion and what I say does the convincing / selling for me.

“This is me, and if you like it, then we should talk.”

That’s what I say in my head. There’s no BS sales pages or template emails. You can’t grab another one of me off the shelf and then copy and paste me.

The raw emotion I deliver is inside of me. You can see it in my eyes. You can see it in the way I stand. You can even see it in the words I type.

 

So what now Mr. Tim?

Well, I’ve told you the power of raw emotion. I’ve made it clear what it’s done to my life. I’ve explained how you can do the same.

Now it comes down to action. Action is the thing that people always tell themselves they will do but often never do. If you like the sound of what I’ve said about raw emotion sailor, then you need to try it for yourself. Test it out for a week and see what I mean.

Watch people look at you as an authority figure. See people’s reactions. Most of all, notice how you feel differently. Your whole life is put into perspective when you stop holding back and deliver the value you have inside of you with raw emotion.

If you want to stand out from the crowd, then build up the courage inside of you to deliver raw emotion.

Raw emotion is where it’s at. It’s the secret to how all of the people you are inspired by get to do what they love and reach lots of people.

Now it’s action time.

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

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Motivation

10 Simple Steps for Self-Motivation

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self-motivation

Renowned American motivational speaker and author, Dr. Stephen R. Covey once remarked: “Motivation is a fire from within. If someone else tries to light that fire under you, chances are it will burn very briefly.” How do you define motivation?

There are two distinct types of motivation:

  • Intrinsic: Motivation that comes from within ourselves.
  • Extrinsic: Motivation that is derived from outside source such as a friend, colleagues, seniors at workplace, religious or spiritual leaders, spouse, kids and lots more.

Briefly, motivation can be described as a reason or cause by which a person or a group of people behave in a certain manner. The cause or the reason has to be extremely strong, and it often involves self interest.

Considering you have good and healthy plans that do not conflict with any laws, rules and regulations, staying motivated is quite easy. Basically, motivation is merely a state of mind. Utilized properly, it can take you to heights you may have never dreamed of.

However, our simple steps below will guide you on how to remain motivated at all times, despite any adversities you may encounter:

1. Goal Setting

Setting a goal for yourself is a time-tested and proven method to remain motivated. However, it is important to set realistic and achievable goals. Set yourself a deadline by which you intend to achieve these goals.

There are three types of goals:

  • Short term goals: These may be achieved in a few weeks or a couple of months.
  • Mid-term goals: These usually take a year or two to achieve.
  • Long-term goals: Here you can include your career options, plans for marriage, buying a home or anything that takes a longer span of time.

2. Money matters

Regardless whether we like it or not, money does matter in remaining motivated. Here, we are not speaking about millions of dollars. We are saying that having sufficient funds to lead a decent life is a great motivator by itself. You can start by saving a healthy portion of your income daily or monthly.

3. Shun any loans

Undoubtedly, people encumbered with loans exhibit a tendency to lose motivation. The reason is simple:  A considerable portion of your earnings will go towards servicing whatever loans or credit card dues you have. Avoid getting into loans as much as possible, unless it is for some genuine and strong reason such as buying a home.

4. Stay with positive people

Generally, people with a positive mindset and attitude are the best motivators. Regardless of your situation, they will always try and uplift your state of mind. Such positive minded people will motivate you even if you are feeling low and beaten. Further, whenever you encounter negative thoughts, speak with such people by either meeting them or on phone.

5. Appreciate yourself first

Whenever you lose motivation, think of all the positive stuff you have done in the past and reflect on great experiences you have had. Also, remember all the adverse times you have been through and how you sailed out of them unharmed. Appreciating yourself for your achievements is a great motivational tool.

“When you’re trying to motivate yourself, appreciate the fact that you’re even thinking about making a change. And as you move forward, allow yourself to be good enough.” – Alice Domar

6. Use mistakes as experiences

This means learning from your past mistakes, because as humans we are all prone to mistakes due to inherent defects or flaws in our character. Remember, mistakes are not final. They hold vital lessons for us. Most people tend to lose motivation when things go awry and desired results are not forthcoming.

7. Examine your motive

Once again, as Dr. Stephen R. Covey puts it, the key to motivation lies in the motive itself. Should your motives be good and in conformity with laws, motivation follows automatically. But beware, wrong motives can lead to misplaced motivation which can land even the most stable and sober person into deep trouble. Once your motives are positive and clear, motivation follows automatically.

8. Avoid getting over-stressed

Stress can be divided into two different categories:

  1. Negative stress: That arises out of negative actions, interacting with obnoxious people and lethargy or laziness, continuing exposure to painful or unpleasant situations and loneliness.
  2. Positive stress: Accrues by solving work related or domestic problems. Positive stress usually leaves you satisfied and happy once the issue has been resolved or after a hard day’s work.

Stress in daily life is imminent. Staying motivated helps you to remain motivated.

9. Choose to be happy

Now this may sound like a tall order for anyone encountering adverse situations. However, it is worthwhile to note, every bad situation always passes. Be aware that every bad circumstance will eventually vanish. Losing motivation will not help solve any problem and neither will worrying about something. You can maintain your motivation with the sheer thought that every problem is temporary.

10. Chart your map

Sadly, most people embark on a project or endeavor without much heed to the end result. Instead, you can chart your own roadmap. Take an inventory about how you want to begin and why. This in itself is a great motivational factor. Simultaneously, bear in mind what is the exact objective or the end where your endeavor should culminate. Be fearless in your pursuit of your dreams and goals.

“I am happy because I’m grateful. I choose to be grateful. That gratitude allows me to be happy.” – Will Arnett

It is worthwhile to remember, we all lose motivation at some point of life. This is perfectly normal and nothing to be alarmed about. Analyzing cause of losing motivation, understanding and finding ways and means to counter it, works miracles indeed. Lack of motivation, left untreated, can lead to mental ailments.

How do you remain self-motivated? Let us know in the comments below!

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