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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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17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Rachna

    Jul 13, 2016 at 11:06 am

    Very very nice site..

    • Parul

      Mar 28, 2018 at 12:14 pm

      This is very motivational article on success thank you for sharing this.

  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

8 Brutal Lessons From Maturing As An Adult - Not What You’d Expect From A Banker.

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Image Credit: Unsplash / Heng Films

I’m an average Joe, working as a banker, from a small island called Australia. I have a confession to make as well: I don’t own a Ferrari or a fancy suit. That’s why this advice I’m about to give you will unexpectedly change your life.

I’m the least likely guy you’d expect to be mature. Against all the odds, I found a mature meaning for my life that has helped a lot of people online.

That’s not bragging rights it’s just what happens when you understand what’s real and what’s not.

Here are my brutal lessons:


1. Maturity comes from failure.

Age plays no part in maturity.

What makes you mature is when you’ve made enough fuck ups in life that you’re able to see life for what it is: a freaking miracle that you shouldn’t take for granted.

With every stupidly, ridiculous cock up in my life, I’ve matured. I’ve learned what works by experiencing what doesn’t work.


2. The best advice doesn’t have the most likes.

One piece of advice I gave stopped a young 21 year old from committing suicide. It wasn’t a viral piece of content yet it’s probably one of the pieces I’m thrilled I wrote.

Saving a life is more important than gaining likes on social media.


3. Beauty is not what you think.

Fat, skinny, tall, athletic — none of that equals beauty. Who defines what beauty is?

The truth I’ve learned, through maturing as an adult, is that the beauty inside is the most important criteria.

Let me remove the BS catchphrase I just said and explain it in simple terms: beauty is the way someone acts and how they make you feel.

Beauty is a by-product of working on yourself and the way you think. Eat that INSTAGRAM!


4. It’s not about ‘one’s self.’

Take the focus off yourself and you’ll see just how easy it is to get everything you could ever want.

Progressing your own selfish desires only leaves you feeling empty. You’ll always be asking “Is this all there is?”

I’ve been that guy. I was obsessed with ‘my business’ and ‘my car’ and ‘my money.”

None of the cliché things that a lot of us aim for ever move the dial on your happiness meter. It’s not about you.


5. No one’s reached the pinnacle.

Not Elon. Not Zuck’s. Not Gates. Not Jay Z. Everyone’s just getting started.

One area of our life could look amazing; we may even be famous for it. That’s not the pinnacle. There’s always another goal or another passion to pursue.

None of us know the true limit of human potential. We’ll never know if we’ve reached the pinnacle. There’s always more to do. There’s always another goal.

When you see success as temporary and see fame for what it is, you stop chasing it.

“Chase meaning instead and quit falling in love with idols who you’ll never be and probably never want to be if you got to live a day in their shoes”


6. Focus on the essentials when it comes to owning stuff.

Even then you’ll probably get carried away, let’s face it.

The need to have more won’t take you further along the Yellow Brick Road. In fact, the reality is quite the opposite.

Having more stuff is only going to make you more stressed and want more, thus resulting in an empty feeling that is hard to explain to almost any mature adult.

“Less will always be more because less is how you get more of the good things in life — happiness, love, meaning, etc”


7. Men cry too and so do leaders.

Everyone has a rough day or a situation that brings us to tears. It’s okay not to be okay.

Crying is how we know what matters to us. Every time we cry, we gain another piece of the puzzle to the jigsaw that is our life.

There’s no point pretending you don’t cry. We all cry because we’re all human. Emotion is what connects us together and makes us united.

It’s the one feeling we can’t stop no matter how hard we might try, so we can look #normal. Screw normal.


8. The hardest work is working on yourself.

Not hustle till you die.
Not grinding after midnight.
Not working seven days.

We can all work hard like a machine but working on ourselves is what defines us as being human. It’s one of the hardest things in life to look at yourself in the mirror and say “I’m an asshole.”

That’s the conversation I had with myself five years back. I was a rude, arrogant, sick, twisted individual that had let greed take over from everything that makes logical sense.

Figuring out my own mind and using it to help others is the hardest work I’ve ever done. In the early stages, working on myself felt like being in prison. I had to get really good at seeing the stuff I didn’t want to see.

Numbers of hours, revenue generated and how good you are at ‘hustling’ don’t matter. What matters is what you work on you.

<<<>>>

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 Reasons You Need to Write That Book You’ve Always Thought About

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writing a book
Image Credit: Unsplash

I’m willing to bet that many of you out there have thought about writing a book. You may have even started jotting down a few ideas. Perhaps it’s a fiction book, the next 50 Shades of Grey, or maybe you want to write the next tell-all expose on the life and times of Donald Trump. You might even consider writing the next great self-help book, akin to “The Secret” or “How to Make Friends and Influence People”.

According to a study done nearly two decades ago in 2002, 81% of Americans feel that they had a book in them. This means that nearly 260 million people want to write books in the US alone. Approximately 600,000 books are published in the US each year, and many of those are self-published. Few sell more than a few copies (the average is around 250 copies sold).  Yet I’m here today to tell you to write that book that you’ve had on your mind, and to dive into the realm of self-publishing.

Here are 10 reasons you should take that leap and write a book already:

1. It makes you think more clearly

When you first think about writing a book, it may seem like a daunting task. It is an exciting idea, sure, but the more you consider how to actually get started, the harder it becomes. When you actually pick up the pen (or the laptop) and start typing, you will come to realise just what a clarifying effect the writing process can have on your mind.

2. It helps you channel your creativity

Writing is perhaps one of the purest forms of self expression and creativity accessible to humans. We all learn to write from an early age, yet few of us cultivate the skill of self-expression through writing long past our early childhood. Good books, nonfiction or fiction, tap into the reader’s minds by telling creative stories and tapping into psychological forces related to specific emotions. The book you write need not be dry or boring. Think about how you can make it interesting and then go full-steam ahead.

“The obstacle in the path becomes the path. Never forget, within every obstacle is an opportunity to improve our condition.” – Ryan Holiday

3. It gives you a sense of purpose

Every November, nearly half a million people take on the challenge of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). The challenge is for writers of all ages, talents, and skill levels to set aside time out of their busy schedules to write like mad over the course of the month. The goal is to reach a ridiculous number of words (50,000) in as few days as possible. Taking on a challenge of this magnitude, or just setting a deadline for yourself in your head on a certain number of pages to write in a certain amount of time, can provide you with an incredible sense of purpose and drive.

4. It forces you to plan ahead

Most people who write books don’t do so as part of their full-time job. They don’t have large advances or massive budgets to spend on marketing and PR. Instead, they have to work on their writing, promoting and planning around their already busy lives. Deciding to write a book requires careful planning and attention to detail. It also forces you to outline a plan for when to publish your book and when to start marketing.

5. It motivates you

Once you have an outline in place for your book and a schedule for how many words you need to finish each day (or how many sections of your book you need to complete) you will be surprised by how motivated you become. Just having a set of tasks to complete which align so closely with a creative endeavour is incredibly fulfilling, and will be very motivating over the course of your writing.

6. It creates good habits

The creation of good habits is a positive byproduct of outlining, planning, and writing a book. By planning out your activities, you develop a deeper appreciation for time and the time you spend on certain tasks. You will make an effort to be more productive, to cut out things that are of less value to you, and to prioritise those things which will help you achieve your next goal or task. All positive things which lead to the development of good habits.

7. It develops new connections

Don’t mistake the process of writing a book with the process of editing a book. When you write on a schedule, you may not feel like writing, but the sheer force of will you employ to get the words out on a daily basis will be a powerful motivating force. Not only that, the more you write, the more likely it becomes that you will develop new connections, thoughts, or ideas that you’ve never had before. As you write, something may become clear to you which has been shrouded in mystery for years or decades of your life. By writing, you will uncover these new connections and change your whole way of thinking.

“The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are: Hard work, Stick-to-itiveness, and Common sense.” – Thomas A. Edison

8. It makes you more interesting

Writing a book will make you more interesting. Not only will it give you something to talk about at parties, it will help you understand the challenges that many people face when it comes to motivation or challenges at work or in their personal lives. By writing a book, I would argue that you will become both more empathetic and energetic in your interactions with others.

9. It opens up more doors

When you spend a significant amount of time writing something, chances are that you are a dedicated and trustworthy individual. You are labelled a self-starter and someone who can be self-motivated to reach large goals. By telling people you’ve written a book, you will open doors you didn’t even know were doors in the first place. People will want to speak with you, have lunch with you, pick your brain, learn from you. The sky’s the limit.

10. It drives deeper understanding

Ultimately, writing a book allows you to develop a deeper understanding of yourself, of others and of the world around you. I would argue that writing a book is both a selfless and a selfish act in that it allows you to pour your heart and soul into something which may benefit the world as a whole.

In 2002, an author and professor at Northwestern University by the name of Joseph Epstein told readers in an Op-Ed in the New York Times that they should never write that book. A lot has changed since 2002, and looking at the world now I would argue strongly for the opposite. People should be spending more time thinking about, and writing the books they have buried inside. Only then will we be able to develop a truly complete view of the world and of humanity.

What book is on your mind that you haven’t started yet? Comment below!

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Motivation

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

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Image Credit: Twenty20.com

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

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

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

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

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

This quote said by his holy highness Dalai Lama is so compelling about life. You live in the present, neither in the past nor the future. Think about it this way, can you change what is already done or can you change what is going to be done? The answer is, no, you can’t because nobody can. It’s wise to forget the bad things from the past and do something in the present that will help improve your future.

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

Have you ever thought of these beautiful words of encouragement from Sir Albert Einstein? It is so profound and practical. Sometimes we are miserable because people try to fit us into a mold where we don’t belong, and thus we too start feeling that we are useless. However, that’s not the case. We all are gifted with abilities that we overlook only because of the fear of being rejected or neglected. You are not supposed to rely on people’s perspective about you if you know what your real potential is.

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

These words of encouragement from Oprah Winfrey gave me so much strength that I couldn’t resist to quote it here. Many times we give up on our dreams and wishes only because we think it is impossible. We must believe in ourselves and tell ourselves that we CAN do it and it is possible. You shouldn’t be afraid of failures and setbacks but instead welcome them.

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

Think about this, still water is stagnant water. Even the water has to keep flowing to remain useful. If you want to become successful, you must keep lifting yourself up and keep moving. Do not let the hardships hold you down and wait for a miracle to happen. You’re already on the right track so nothing should stop you from going further in your life.

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

All our activities, throughout this life, are controlled by our mind. Believe it or not, it’s true. It is correctly said that what you think you become. People around us are not always going to pull you up, and you might meet people who are going to supply negativity to your mind. However, it is up to you whom to let in your mind and whom you should never. When you are in control of your thoughts and mind, nothing and nobody can distract you.

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

Difficult times are very tricky. It makes you believe that there is no light at the end of the tunnel. We don’t realize that today’s struggles are for a better tomorrow. They’re not permanent, and they’re not going to last forever. Once you are determined to change your situation then even God will help you with that. Just remember the saying, “God helps those who help themselves.”

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

This quote is too profound and subtle that summarizes this whole article. It might change the way you look at your problems right now. There are circumstances to knock you down, there are issues you are not able to solve, and they seem completely out of your control. It is not at all easy to keep calm at this point, however, if you learn how to be still in the midst of all the chaos, you are a winner. You have won half the battle just by doing this.

Winning and losing is just a part of life. No matter in which phase of your life you are, remember that there is a purpose behind it and you will know what that purpose is at the right time. Moreover, one day you will be grateful for all the struggles and mistakes because they will make you a stronger, better and a more beautiful human being.

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

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Motivation

Sometimes We Have To Eat Garbage For A While Before We Can Rise Up Again.

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A month ago, I received an email titled “I am giving up” from a young woman. She was an aspiring life coach and had a huge money problem she was dealing with.

The young lady tried everything to get out of the situation and was even prepared to sleep in her car. There was one problem though: she had a daughter.

Things got so bad that she was even considering becoming a stripper to make some money fast but it was eating away at her on the inside because this very idea went against her ethics and values.

She felt she could never be a life coach again if she became a stripper, because the thought of helping other women after she had put her ass in lots of guys’ faces (this is what she actually said) was far too painful for her.

Becoming a stripper to fix her money problem would simultaneously kill her dream of becoming a life coach.

After she told me this story, she wanted my advice. ‘What should I do Tim?” she said to me in the email.

I really wanted to help her.

I gave her this advice even though it sounds brutal and somewhat harsh:

I told her “Sometimes We Have To Eat Garbage For A While Before We Can Rise Up Again.”

Here’s how to eat garbage for a while so that you can rise up again:


Take a job you may not love.

Life is not all rainbows and butterflies (forgot who said that but it’s true). There will be times when your life goes off track and you could lose your job, all your money or even your partner. It’s messed up and we all go through it.

The answer is not to go against all of your values, so you feel even more worthless. The advice I gave though goes against every self-help book and motivational quote you’ve ever read including #LoveYourWork

If you fall down, sometimes you have to eat garbage for a while and if it’s a financial crisis, then that could mean doing a job or work you hate.

When my business dreams collapsed in 2011, I took a call center job that I hated with every bone in my body. I took the job because it rebuilt my confidence and taught me how to sell again.

I learned how the big bad corporate world worked and I became incredibly disciplined. I even learned how to love a woman again which sounds corny, but it’s true.

I ate the worst kind of garbage you could possibly eat and I tried to enjoy every moment of it. I then saved up enough money to attend a Tony Robbins event and that was the catalyst for my transformation.

Superman didn’t come and save me like you see in the movies. I had to save myself and that involved doing something I didn’t like. There are more lessons in the stuff you hate than you may realize. Embrace it.


Work on a side hustle at the same time.

The first point is horribly wrong unless you couple it with a side hustle. Eating garbage and having no way out of it is putting yourself through unnecessary torture that you may not recover from.

The rope marks could scar you for life without a side hustle.

My side hustle started out as personal development which eventually led me to begin blogging. Without this side hustle, the time where I had to eat garbage would have been unbearable.

Every day while I worked a job I hated, I looked forward to the small amounts of spare time I had so that I could work on my side hustle. In the first week of this difficult job, I outsold the other staff and hit 200% of my sales target.

“I achieved 200% of my sales target because I was determined to outperform so I could gain the privileges that came with it — more time and more freedom”

Instead of being micromanaged, I got the chance to watch Ted Talks with my people leader and strategize about the future of the business.

The side hustle then became much bigger later on and now it fuels everything I do. I’m obsessed with everyone finding a side hustle, so they have something to motivate them at least some of the time.


Eating garbage is where GRIT is built.

I never used to have an “anything is possible” mindset. The grit I have was built from having to eat garbage for a while.

“I knew that if I could make it through the muddy waters of not following my passion, I could do anything”

The harsh part of life taught me how to fend for myself and overcome my own demons, so I could rise up again out of the ashes. Grit does not come from your comfort zone.

Grit is found in the biggest and boldest of challenges where you have to use every ounce of your strength to come out alive.

The young woman that emailed me is working on developing the same personality trait. This work is what will make her an exceptional life coach.


You’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do.

Eating garbage is short term and if you have a financial problem or something that just won’t go away, you’ve got to tackle it head on. Complaining about your situation and telling yourself the odds are stacked against you won’t help.

When you see eating garbage as short term, you develop the mindset that will help you break through.

There’s no magic cure.

I told the young lady that emailed me to eat garbage for a while (I was nicer than that, don’t worry) and do what she has to do to earn some money (without breaking her values). This battle is short-term and that’s how we all have to see it.


Think about a situation that is worse than yours.

Speaking of eating garbage, one of my mentors reached out to me and told me they had been demoted. They no longer had people underneath them and they were forced into something they didn’t love as much.

I told my mentor the same thing: we all have to eat garbage sometimes.

That advice was then followed up with my story of going from business owner to a call center operator. I then told him the story of a mutual friend who had gone from a high flying job to a nobody that was ignored.

He put up with that for three years and then eventually someone saw what I saw in him, and he was given a very senior role in another company.

Your situation may suck big time but getting some perspective and hearing about others who’ve had to eat garbage is a refreshing way (refreshing and brown stuff in the same sentence?) to overcome the negativity you’ll experience .


Understand that no one stays at the top of anything forever.

You could be the richest person in the world today. Eventually, you’ll be knocked off the top spot.

You could be the fastest 100m sprinter in the world. Tomorrow, or eventually, someone will be faster than you. The simple fact is that no one is permanently at the top of their game.

“All of us will fall from grace at some point”

What I’ve learned is that falling from grace and eating garbage for a while is how you rise up again. You can’t rise up if you haven’t fallen down before.

The deep, dark problem you think you’re facing will pass- it always does eventually. This is not the time to make a dumb decision, ask for sympathy or complain.

It’s time to eat garbage for a while and put in the work. Earn the right to get what you want by starting again at the bottom. That’s how you rise up again.

<<<>>>

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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Life

15 Typical Life Problems And How To Solve Them.

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All of our problems are the same. This is the 156th time I’ve written this fact (for those of you counting).

Problems are forever and we can’t avoid them. You’ll wake up tomorrow and have problems for breakfast. You’ll jump on the train and read a problem in your email inbox.

You’ll get to the office and get a problem smack bang in your pretty face!

The typical problems we face can be solved.

Here are 15 typical life problems and how to solve them:


You didn’t reach your goal.

Just because you set a goal, doesn’t mean you’re going to get it. Many of life’s toughest goals take lots of attempts. Some of the goals I missed are:

• Dream careers

• Girls I wanted to date

• Saving enough money to build a school in Laos

• Reaching 100k followers on LinkedIn

People who talk about success and personal development (and even write for a site called Addicted2Success like me) also don’t reach their goals.

The best feeling about reaching a goal is the journey it took to get there. If all your goals were easy, then you’d feel nothing at the end of the process.

Solution:

Take the goal you didn’t achieve and try a different approach. Doing the same thing over and over to achieve your goal is the definition of insanity.

Your heroes miss their goals tooWhat makes them stand out is that they don’t give up. The fun of goal-setting is knowing that you’ll fail.


Someone criticized you.

If you want to make a dent in this world, then the critics will come out of the closet. The bigger your aspirations are, the more you’ll be criticized.

The number of critics you have is in direct proportion to your success.

“I had an entire blog post written about me saying how stupid I was. It felt like crap on day one. By day seven I’d made peace with the criticism and kept writing”

Solution:

You can’t please everybody that you meet in life.

When you speak on a stage, for example, 25% of people will like you, 25% won’t know who you are and 50% of people will think you’re an asshole even though you’ve probably done nothing wrong.

Critics are not all bad. You can learn things about yourself from them too. The solution is to learn from criticism, not be afraid of it.


Your career got messed up.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur or a happy-go-lucky office worker, your career is going to get messed up at some point.

The definition of business is this: Moving from one problem to another and making money in the meantime to fuel your mission. Business is really just problem-solving.

  • Redundancy could right hook you in the face.
  • The business you founded could go backwards and even bankrupt.
  • Your career skills could become outdated.
  • You could get fired for making a mistake.

Your career is going to get messed upThings you can never predict in your career are going to happen.

Solution:

See career challenges for what they are: an opportunity to try something different. If your career never got messed up, then you’d probably stay in your comfort-zone for your entire life and never try something different.

The solution is to see your career getting messed up as chance to grow.Getting made redundant could be the one reality that makes you want to create your own startup.

Having a customer leave could decrease your workload and create space for clients who won’t drain your time and make you no money.


You have financial troubles.

That crazy little thing called money will let you down at some point.

I’ve personally been rich and poor multiple times”

Upon reflection, the time I’ve been the happiest has been when I’ve had the least amount of money.

Countless studies have shown that money isn’t what your life’s about. As humans, we seek meaning, love and our own version of happiness.

Money won’t give you any of those human needs.

That doesn’t mean money doesn’t matter; it just means that it shouldn’t be your main focus or something you obsess over.

Solution:

Lack of money is a gift. When you don’t have money, you become resourceful and creative at the same time.

Lack of money helps you decide on what matters and what doesn’t.

If things get really bad, then you’ll likely prioritize feeding your family over buying another useless car that will never make you happy. You’ll take joy in the simple things in life.

The solution to financial problems is to see them as a gift and choose a meaning for your life instead.


You’re unhealthy.

Our health has become a real problem. We wonder why we feel tired, sick and get headaches. We’ll all experience health challenges at some point in our life.

How many health challenges we experience in our younger years will come down to food and exercise. The strategies for being healthy haven’t changed.

There’s no mystery around being healthy it’s just that we’ve become lazy.

Convenience powered by apps has overtaken our ability to do basic tasks and not binge watch Netflix every night.

Solution:

Take ownership. Quit feeling sick and do something about itHave some blood tests. Change your diet to be more plant-based.

Drink more water. Get your lazy ass to the gym 3 times a week for 30 minutes. Stand up from your desk every now and then so you’re not sitting for the whole day and messing your spine/neck up.

Whatever you do, take ownership of your health and quit being ignorant.


A relationship ended.

There’s less than 1% of people who met ‘The One,’ lived happily ever after, and never experience a breakup.

Even that 1% will have that relationship end at some point when either side passes away.

For the majority of us who don’t strike gold the first time around, we’re going to have to deal with breakups and the trials and tribulations of romance.

We’ll probably find ourselves in a toxic relationship for too long.

We’ll probably get cheated on at least once.

We’ll probably have our hearts smashed into a million pieces when we discover that someone ‘No longer loves us anymore.’

These are the realities of the human condition and our need to reproduce and keep our species alive.

Solution:

Finding love is about understanding what love is not. You need relationships to end to find out what love really is. All breakups suck in the beginning until you grow and move on. Then, the solution to this problem is to find yourself.

Once you find yourself, the heart will be ready for love again. How you move forward from there is up to you.

You can try the good old fashion nightclub scene. You could go to Meetups. Or, you could start swiping left and right on a few dating apps.

Have your heart broken just don’t let it stay that way


You made a dick of yourself.

Geez, this one is an ugly truth for me.

I’ve made an ass of myself more times than I’ve had protein and veggies for dinner. Here’s a few just for laughs (and your entertainment).

• There was the time I tried to pretend I could be the Wolf of Wall Street and got laughed out of the interview due to not being able to explain derivatives

• There was the time I thought this girl liked me and tried to hug her while we were walking only to have her hate my guts

• There was the time I went out with friends and threw up on my friend’s couch after having a single shot of Tequila

• There was the time I did my first public speaking gig and messed up a speech about my own life which I’d rehearsed over 100 times

We could talk for days about how I’ve embarrassed myself over the years. We could even compare epic fails to see who’s are worse. This is not a game though.

We’re all going to go into situations with the best of intentions or all the experience in the world and still screw up.

Solution:

Making a dick of yourself is a sign of courage. Courage is what is found in leaders and those who are doers.

Making a dick of yourself is an acceptance that you might fail in the short-term.

Those who fail in the short-term will eventually win in the long-term with practice.

The opposite of making a dick of yourself is perfection.That’s a life where you think your shit doesn’t stink and you spend your entire day trying to impress everybody to eventually impress nobody

Making an idiot of yourself is perfectly fine. What’s not fine is being perfect


Someone messed your *shit* up.

Car, home or insert other material possession that doesn’t matter. None of these material things that got messed up are joining you in the afterlife.

You can’t bury the Bentley with you (although someone tried) so you can drive around with your great, great, great grandpa and do burnouts in the afterlife.

The stuff that is going to get messed up doesn’t matter.

Solution:

What matters is that you don’t get messed up. What matters is that you take care of yourself so you can take care of others. Maybe when your junk gets messed up, you’ll realize that you didn’t need it in the first place.


You feel like your life has no meaning.

These moments where nothing makes sense is where you get to explore. We’re not born with a meaning for our life. Meaning comes from learning who we are and growing as a person.

The meaning for your life when you’re 19 will probably change from when you’re 51 and got three grown-up kids.

The quickest way to destroy your life is to believe that life has no meaning. A lack of meaning leads to depression, carelessness, drug taking and even crime at an extreme level.

Solution:

If you feel like your life has no meaning, then it’s time to experiment.Standing still is not how you find the answer.

Being intensely focused on one’s self only leads to more suffering

A short-term solution to this problem is to experiment with helping those who have nothing. Spend time with people who’d kill to be in your position and get some perspective.

I’ve found in my life that the greatest meaning for your life is normally tied to finding something you’d be happy to do for free that helps others.


You feel like you can’t go on.

We’ve all had those days. Those deep and sometimes dark thoughts can lead to a place you’ve never visited.

Some failures in life hurt more than others. Some failures can’t be solved through a listicle post such as this one with a dose of inspiration.

If you truly feel like you can’t go on, then there’s another way.

Solution:

Seek real help. These dark thoughts must be treated and sometimes the best medicine is to seek professional help through counseling, or for an extreme case, by calling Lifeline.

While I’ve never had suicidal thoughts personally, I have dealt with mental illness.

There is a way to come out the other side, but you have to put aside your pride and seek help

Please don’t become another victim of suicide by doing nothing.


Every day feels the same.

You wake up. You eat. You go to work. You eat. You come home. You eat. You go to bed.

Life can feel the same if you do nothing. It’s up to you to create variety and shape your habits into something more than a fixed schedule which makes you feel bored.

Days feel the same when there’s no purpose behind anything you’re doing.

Solution:

You must find joy in the repetition. You do that by taking those reps and making them mean something. Add some variety in by breaking your comfort zone. Set a goal to do something wild during your day every so often.

• Travel to another country

• Talk to someone new

• Try learning a new skill

Even after trying something new, you have to get used to some level of repetition. Let that repetition become habits that serve something which can help others.


Your friends are screwing your life up.

Dump them. Divorce them. Delete their number.

Every relationship you have in your life is a choice. The people around us often hold us back. They fill our minds with limiting beliefs, stories and goals that give us no sense of meaning.

Friends can kill our dreams or make us believe something we never thought was possible.

Solution:

Everyone deserves a second chance. Start by telling your toxic friends how you feel. Give them a chance to change with the new you.

If they refuse, take a break from them for a while. Ask yourself whether you want them in your life long-term.

‘Fitting in’ is what we’re taught to do. What I’d advise you to do is be you instead and that will attract the right people into your life.


You feel stressed.

77% of people in the US alone experience regular stress.

This young, previously blonde blogger has also recently learned about the effects of stress. I had a cortisol test and the doctor found the levels to be twice the normal range.

This stress led to brain fog, tiredness and a lack of mental clarity. Stress is also caused by what you let into your life. Having options can be a bad thing.

Solution:

We don’t need more; we need less to destress

• Declutter your home and office

• Say no to more meetings

• Say yes to invites from people that make you feel like saying “Hell Yes!”

• Buy less material things

• Have fewer people in your life

• Listen to one podcast instead of many

• Read fewer books instead of every one that’s recommended on a podcast

• Have less recurring subscriptions

• Invest and save more money so you can stress less about unexpected bills

• Take regular breaks (quarterly has worked for me)


A fear is standing in your way.

There are so many common fears — fear of spiders, flying, public speaking, dying, career change, heights and maybe even a fear of expressing yourself.

Fear is a concept of the mind. Nothing is scary or not scary. Our mind makes that choice for us and provides meaning to everything.

Fear can be overcome and that’s why we love stories of battling with fear. I’ve famously spoken about creating fear lists and then knocking them off one at a time.

Solution:

Smash the fear into tiny little pieces. Don’t avoid it. Don’t let it stand in your way any longer. Make a decision to overcome each fear you have and you’ll be unstoppable by the end.

Don’t let nerves trick you into thinking you’re fearful. We all get nerves, but we can still keep moving forward with nerves — I’ve even learned to use nerves to my advantage by using them as an extra energy source.

Nerves tell me I’m on the right track.

I’ve overcome my fear of public speaking and my fear of flying — my fear of spiders remains, but I’m working on that one 🙂

Real fear can be overcome through deliberate practice.


Dealing with the concept of death.

Last but not least, the old chestnut of death. Death is the one life problem we all have in common and can’t solve. Sorry for the bad news.

Death is going to take us eventually and it will take people you love through your life too.

The solution to dealing with death is not to overcome it but to accept it

Death can be our greatest motivator if we let it. Once you understand what death means in all of its darkness, you’ll understand life.

You’ll see death, not as a problem but a fact. That fact will change the way you see everything going forward. For me, it took several near-death experiences (almost being murdered and a cancer scare) to see death for what it is.

Death is not an easy pill to swallow. No short blog post like this is going to give you all the answers you’re probably wanting to know.

The only way I see of dealing with the reality of death is to go out there and live the best damn life you can, while you can!

Use your life to do something that gives you meaning and then you’ll no longer see death as a problem when it comes upon you.

Peace, love and respect — thanks for reading.

<<<>>>

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

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

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17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Rachna

    Jul 13, 2016 at 11:06 am

    Very very nice site..

    • Parul

      Mar 28, 2018 at 12:14 pm

      This is very motivational article on success thank you for sharing this.

  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

8 Brutal Lessons From Maturing As An Adult - Not What You’d Expect From A Banker.

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I’m an average Joe, working as a banker, from a small island called Australia. I have a confession to make as well: I don’t own a Ferrari or a fancy suit. That’s why this advice I’m about to give you will unexpectedly change your life.

I’m the least likely guy you’d expect to be mature. Against all the odds, I found a mature meaning for my life that has helped a lot of people online.

That’s not bragging rights it’s just what happens when you understand what’s real and what’s not.

Here are my brutal lessons:


1. Maturity comes from failure.

Age plays no part in maturity.

What makes you mature is when you’ve made enough fuck ups in life that you’re able to see life for what it is: a freaking miracle that you shouldn’t take for granted.

With every stupidly, ridiculous cock up in my life, I’ve matured. I’ve learned what works by experiencing what doesn’t work.


2. The best advice doesn’t have the most likes.

One piece of advice I gave stopped a young 21 year old from committing suicide. It wasn’t a viral piece of content yet it’s probably one of the pieces I’m thrilled I wrote.

Saving a life is more important than gaining likes on social media.


3. Beauty is not what you think.

Fat, skinny, tall, athletic — none of that equals beauty. Who defines what beauty is?

The truth I’ve learned, through maturing as an adult, is that the beauty inside is the most important criteria.

Let me remove the BS catchphrase I just said and explain it in simple terms: beauty is the way someone acts and how they make you feel.

Beauty is a by-product of working on yourself and the way you think. Eat that INSTAGRAM!


4. It’s not about ‘one’s self.’

Take the focus off yourself and you’ll see just how easy it is to get everything you could ever want.

Progressing your own selfish desires only leaves you feeling empty. You’ll always be asking “Is this all there is?”

I’ve been that guy. I was obsessed with ‘my business’ and ‘my car’ and ‘my money.”

None of the cliché things that a lot of us aim for ever move the dial on your happiness meter. It’s not about you.


5. No one’s reached the pinnacle.

Not Elon. Not Zuck’s. Not Gates. Not Jay Z. Everyone’s just getting started.

One area of our life could look amazing; we may even be famous for it. That’s not the pinnacle. There’s always another goal or another passion to pursue.

None of us know the true limit of human potential. We’ll never know if we’ve reached the pinnacle. There’s always more to do. There’s always another goal.

When you see success as temporary and see fame for what it is, you stop chasing it.

“Chase meaning instead and quit falling in love with idols who you’ll never be and probably never want to be if you got to live a day in their shoes”


6. Focus on the essentials when it comes to owning stuff.

Even then you’ll probably get carried away, let’s face it.

The need to have more won’t take you further along the Yellow Brick Road. In fact, the reality is quite the opposite.

Having more stuff is only going to make you more stressed and want more, thus resulting in an empty feeling that is hard to explain to almost any mature adult.

“Less will always be more because less is how you get more of the good things in life — happiness, love, meaning, etc”


7. Men cry too and so do leaders.

Everyone has a rough day or a situation that brings us to tears. It’s okay not to be okay.

Crying is how we know what matters to us. Every time we cry, we gain another piece of the puzzle to the jigsaw that is our life.

There’s no point pretending you don’t cry. We all cry because we’re all human. Emotion is what connects us together and makes us united.

It’s the one feeling we can’t stop no matter how hard we might try, so we can look #normal. Screw normal.


8. The hardest work is working on yourself.

Not hustle till you die.
Not grinding after midnight.
Not working seven days.

We can all work hard like a machine but working on ourselves is what defines us as being human. It’s one of the hardest things in life to look at yourself in the mirror and say “I’m an asshole.”

That’s the conversation I had with myself five years back. I was a rude, arrogant, sick, twisted individual that had let greed take over from everything that makes logical sense.

Figuring out my own mind and using it to help others is the hardest work I’ve ever done. In the early stages, working on myself felt like being in prison. I had to get really good at seeing the stuff I didn’t want to see.

Numbers of hours, revenue generated and how good you are at ‘hustling’ don’t matter. What matters is what you work on you.

<<<>>>

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 Reasons You Need to Write That Book You’ve Always Thought About

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I’m willing to bet that many of you out there have thought about writing a book. You may have even started jotting down a few ideas. Perhaps it’s a fiction book, the next 50 Shades of Grey, or maybe you want to write the next tell-all expose on the life and times of Donald Trump. You might even consider writing the next great self-help book, akin to “The Secret” or “How to Make Friends and Influence People”.

According to a study done nearly two decades ago in 2002, 81% of Americans feel that they had a book in them. This means that nearly 260 million people want to write books in the US alone. Approximately 600,000 books are published in the US each year, and many of those are self-published. Few sell more than a few copies (the average is around 250 copies sold).  Yet I’m here today to tell you to write that book that you’ve had on your mind, and to dive into the realm of self-publishing.

Here are 10 reasons you should take that leap and write a book already:

1. It makes you think more clearly

When you first think about writing a book, it may seem like a daunting task. It is an exciting idea, sure, but the more you consider how to actually get started, the harder it becomes. When you actually pick up the pen (or the laptop) and start typing, you will come to realise just what a clarifying effect the writing process can have on your mind.

2. It helps you channel your creativity

Writing is perhaps one of the purest forms of self expression and creativity accessible to humans. We all learn to write from an early age, yet few of us cultivate the skill of self-expression through writing long past our early childhood. Good books, nonfiction or fiction, tap into the reader’s minds by telling creative stories and tapping into psychological forces related to specific emotions. The book you write need not be dry or boring. Think about how you can make it interesting and then go full-steam ahead.

“The obstacle in the path becomes the path. Never forget, within every obstacle is an opportunity to improve our condition.” – Ryan Holiday

3. It gives you a sense of purpose

Every November, nearly half a million people take on the challenge of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). The challenge is for writers of all ages, talents, and skill levels to set aside time out of their busy schedules to write like mad over the course of the month. The goal is to reach a ridiculous number of words (50,000) in as few days as possible. Taking on a challenge of this magnitude, or just setting a deadline for yourself in your head on a certain number of pages to write in a certain amount of time, can provide you with an incredible sense of purpose and drive.

4. It forces you to plan ahead

Most people who write books don’t do so as part of their full-time job. They don’t have large advances or massive budgets to spend on marketing and PR. Instead, they have to work on their writing, promoting and planning around their already busy lives. Deciding to write a book requires careful planning and attention to detail. It also forces you to outline a plan for when to publish your book and when to start marketing.

5. It motivates you

Once you have an outline in place for your book and a schedule for how many words you need to finish each day (or how many sections of your book you need to complete) you will be surprised by how motivated you become. Just having a set of tasks to complete which align so closely with a creative endeavour is incredibly fulfilling, and will be very motivating over the course of your writing.

6. It creates good habits

The creation of good habits is a positive byproduct of outlining, planning, and writing a book. By planning out your activities, you develop a deeper appreciation for time and the time you spend on certain tasks. You will make an effort to be more productive, to cut out things that are of less value to you, and to prioritise those things which will help you achieve your next goal or task. All positive things which lead to the development of good habits.

7. It develops new connections

Don’t mistake the process of writing a book with the process of editing a book. When you write on a schedule, you may not feel like writing, but the sheer force of will you employ to get the words out on a daily basis will be a powerful motivating force. Not only that, the more you write, the more likely it becomes that you will develop new connections, thoughts, or ideas that you’ve never had before. As you write, something may become clear to you which has been shrouded in mystery for years or decades of your life. By writing, you will uncover these new connections and change your whole way of thinking.

“The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are: Hard work, Stick-to-itiveness, and Common sense.” – Thomas A. Edison

8. It makes you more interesting

Writing a book will make you more interesting. Not only will it give you something to talk about at parties, it will help you understand the challenges that many people face when it comes to motivation or challenges at work or in their personal lives. By writing a book, I would argue that you will become both more empathetic and energetic in your interactions with others.

9. It opens up more doors

When you spend a significant amount of time writing something, chances are that you are a dedicated and trustworthy individual. You are labelled a self-starter and someone who can be self-motivated to reach large goals. By telling people you’ve written a book, you will open doors you didn’t even know were doors in the first place. People will want to speak with you, have lunch with you, pick your brain, learn from you. The sky’s the limit.

10. It drives deeper understanding

Ultimately, writing a book allows you to develop a deeper understanding of yourself, of others and of the world around you. I would argue that writing a book is both a selfless and a selfish act in that it allows you to pour your heart and soul into something which may benefit the world as a whole.

In 2002, an author and professor at Northwestern University by the name of Joseph Epstein told readers in an Op-Ed in the New York Times that they should never write that book. A lot has changed since 2002, and looking at the world now I would argue strongly for the opposite. People should be spending more time thinking about, and writing the books they have buried inside. Only then will we be able to develop a truly complete view of the world and of humanity.

What book is on your mind that you haven’t started yet? Comment below!

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Motivation

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

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

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

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

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

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

This quote said by his holy highness Dalai Lama is so compelling about life. You live in the present, neither in the past nor the future. Think about it this way, can you change what is already done or can you change what is going to be done? The answer is, no, you can’t because nobody can. It’s wise to forget the bad things from the past and do something in the present that will help improve your future.

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

Have you ever thought of these beautiful words of encouragement from Sir Albert Einstein? It is so profound and practical. Sometimes we are miserable because people try to fit us into a mold where we don’t belong, and thus we too start feeling that we are useless. However, that’s not the case. We all are gifted with abilities that we overlook only because of the fear of being rejected or neglected. You are not supposed to rely on people’s perspective about you if you know what your real potential is.

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

These words of encouragement from Oprah Winfrey gave me so much strength that I couldn’t resist to quote it here. Many times we give up on our dreams and wishes only because we think it is impossible. We must believe in ourselves and tell ourselves that we CAN do it and it is possible. You shouldn’t be afraid of failures and setbacks but instead welcome them.

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

Think about this, still water is stagnant water. Even the water has to keep flowing to remain useful. If you want to become successful, you must keep lifting yourself up and keep moving. Do not let the hardships hold you down and wait for a miracle to happen. You’re already on the right track so nothing should stop you from going further in your life.

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

All our activities, throughout this life, are controlled by our mind. Believe it or not, it’s true. It is correctly said that what you think you become. People around us are not always going to pull you up, and you might meet people who are going to supply negativity to your mind. However, it is up to you whom to let in your mind and whom you should never. When you are in control of your thoughts and mind, nothing and nobody can distract you.

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

Difficult times are very tricky. It makes you believe that there is no light at the end of the tunnel. We don’t realize that today’s struggles are for a better tomorrow. They’re not permanent, and they’re not going to last forever. Once you are determined to change your situation then even God will help you with that. Just remember the saying, “God helps those who help themselves.”

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

This quote is too profound and subtle that summarizes this whole article. It might change the way you look at your problems right now. There are circumstances to knock you down, there are issues you are not able to solve, and they seem completely out of your control. It is not at all easy to keep calm at this point, however, if you learn how to be still in the midst of all the chaos, you are a winner. You have won half the battle just by doing this.

Winning and losing is just a part of life. No matter in which phase of your life you are, remember that there is a purpose behind it and you will know what that purpose is at the right time. Moreover, one day you will be grateful for all the struggles and mistakes because they will make you a stronger, better and a more beautiful human being.

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

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Motivation

Sometimes We Have To Eat Garbage For A While Before We Can Rise Up Again.

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A month ago, I received an email titled “I am giving up” from a young woman. She was an aspiring life coach and had a huge money problem she was dealing with.

The young lady tried everything to get out of the situation and was even prepared to sleep in her car. There was one problem though: she had a daughter.

Things got so bad that she was even considering becoming a stripper to make some money fast but it was eating away at her on the inside because this very idea went against her ethics and values.

She felt she could never be a life coach again if she became a stripper, because the thought of helping other women after she had put her ass in lots of guys’ faces (this is what she actually said) was far too painful for her.

Becoming a stripper to fix her money problem would simultaneously kill her dream of becoming a life coach.

After she told me this story, she wanted my advice. ‘What should I do Tim?” she said to me in the email.

I really wanted to help her.

I gave her this advice even though it sounds brutal and somewhat harsh:

I told her “Sometimes We Have To Eat Garbage For A While Before We Can Rise Up Again.”

Here’s how to eat garbage for a while so that you can rise up again:


Take a job you may not love.

Life is not all rainbows and butterflies (forgot who said that but it’s true). There will be times when your life goes off track and you could lose your job, all your money or even your partner. It’s messed up and we all go through it.

The answer is not to go against all of your values, so you feel even more worthless. The advice I gave though goes against every self-help book and motivational quote you’ve ever read including #LoveYourWork

If you fall down, sometimes you have to eat garbage for a while and if it’s a financial crisis, then that could mean doing a job or work you hate.

When my business dreams collapsed in 2011, I took a call center job that I hated with every bone in my body. I took the job because it rebuilt my confidence and taught me how to sell again.

I learned how the big bad corporate world worked and I became incredibly disciplined. I even learned how to love a woman again which sounds corny, but it’s true.

I ate the worst kind of garbage you could possibly eat and I tried to enjoy every moment of it. I then saved up enough money to attend a Tony Robbins event and that was the catalyst for my transformation.

Superman didn’t come and save me like you see in the movies. I had to save myself and that involved doing something I didn’t like. There are more lessons in the stuff you hate than you may realize. Embrace it.


Work on a side hustle at the same time.

The first point is horribly wrong unless you couple it with a side hustle. Eating garbage and having no way out of it is putting yourself through unnecessary torture that you may not recover from.

The rope marks could scar you for life without a side hustle.

My side hustle started out as personal development which eventually led me to begin blogging. Without this side hustle, the time where I had to eat garbage would have been unbearable.

Every day while I worked a job I hated, I looked forward to the small amounts of spare time I had so that I could work on my side hustle. In the first week of this difficult job, I outsold the other staff and hit 200% of my sales target.

“I achieved 200% of my sales target because I was determined to outperform so I could gain the privileges that came with it — more time and more freedom”

Instead of being micromanaged, I got the chance to watch Ted Talks with my people leader and strategize about the future of the business.

The side hustle then became much bigger later on and now it fuels everything I do. I’m obsessed with everyone finding a side hustle, so they have something to motivate them at least some of the time.


Eating garbage is where GRIT is built.

I never used to have an “anything is possible” mindset. The grit I have was built from having to eat garbage for a while.

“I knew that if I could make it through the muddy waters of not following my passion, I could do anything”

The harsh part of life taught me how to fend for myself and overcome my own demons, so I could rise up again out of the ashes. Grit does not come from your comfort zone.

Grit is found in the biggest and boldest of challenges where you have to use every ounce of your strength to come out alive.

The young woman that emailed me is working on developing the same personality trait. This work is what will make her an exceptional life coach.


You’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do.

Eating garbage is short term and if you have a financial problem or something that just won’t go away, you’ve got to tackle it head on. Complaining about your situation and telling yourself the odds are stacked against you won’t help.

When you see eating garbage as short term, you develop the mindset that will help you break through.

There’s no magic cure.

I told the young lady that emailed me to eat garbage for a while (I was nicer than that, don’t worry) and do what she has to do to earn some money (without breaking her values). This battle is short-term and that’s how we all have to see it.


Think about a situation that is worse than yours.

Speaking of eating garbage, one of my mentors reached out to me and told me they had been demoted. They no longer had people underneath them and they were forced into something they didn’t love as much.

I told my mentor the same thing: we all have to eat garbage sometimes.

That advice was then followed up with my story of going from business owner to a call center operator. I then told him the story of a mutual friend who had gone from a high flying job to a nobody that was ignored.

He put up with that for three years and then eventually someone saw what I saw in him, and he was given a very senior role in another company.

Your situation may suck big time but getting some perspective and hearing about others who’ve had to eat garbage is a refreshing way (refreshing and brown stuff in the same sentence?) to overcome the negativity you’ll experience .


Understand that no one stays at the top of anything forever.

You could be the richest person in the world today. Eventually, you’ll be knocked off the top spot.

You could be the fastest 100m sprinter in the world. Tomorrow, or eventually, someone will be faster than you. The simple fact is that no one is permanently at the top of their game.

“All of us will fall from grace at some point”

What I’ve learned is that falling from grace and eating garbage for a while is how you rise up again. You can’t rise up if you haven’t fallen down before.

The deep, dark problem you think you’re facing will pass- it always does eventually. This is not the time to make a dumb decision, ask for sympathy or complain.

It’s time to eat garbage for a while and put in the work. Earn the right to get what you want by starting again at the bottom. That’s how you rise up again.

<<<>>>

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