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6 Important Keys To Staying Motivated For Life

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6 Important Keys To Staying Motivated For Life

Staying motivated is a combination of internal and external factors that stimulate a desire to be continually interested and committed to attain a goal.

No matter what your situation is, staying motivated and hungry for success is perhaps one of the biggest challenges ever. To me motivation is considered as a form of behaviour and the impulse to react towards challenging situations.

The winners are the ones who have relentless power so great, that they make sure they don’t miss a day of motivation. In the end you’ll realise that motivation is a sense of freedom created by making key decisions for a better tomorrow.

Below are the 6 keys to staying motivated:

 

1. What’s your why?

The purpose, cause, or belief that inspires you to do what you do! Knowing your why is an important first step in creating a life you enjoy living. Quite often it is a discovery in finding out who you really are by gaining a much deeper insight into your talents, skills, passion and values.

Questions to help you discover your why:

  1. What makes you come alive? What is your passion? A passion so powerful that makes you touch and inspire others bringing you satisfaction and fulfilment.
  2. What are your strengths? This should be a reflex response; an innate ability that helps you adapt in any challenging situation. Skills are developed by hours and hours of beating on your craft.
  3. How do you measure life?  All the success you have gained. Is it just accumulation? How do you bring value to life? do you use your success to help others or help change the world?

What then is the ultimate why? Is it to be the best human being? How do you want to be remembered to the future generation?

 

What's-your-why-
 

2. A vision

A vision helps us create what does not exist and seeing beyond the present reality. When we’re looking to define a vision, we conjure a bold statement that inspires us and drives us to want to get up every day to achieve it. Many successful organizations have been built on a vision or idea enabling them to incorporate strategies to achieve their goals.

Therefore having a vision is like a compass providing you with initiative in which direction to go. Your vision will therefore open doors of opportunities to a brighter future. If you really want a life that is better, happier you will intuitively make changes that are necessary for you to reach that life. Without clarity you will find yourself drifting aimlessly from task to task without an understanding of what bonds the individuals actions together and or the value created by the individual actions.

When you go through tough times your vision will help you overcome obstacles in life and will help you explain why you began in the first place. Therefore a vision is a powerful driving force giving you momentum to push away at resisting factors. Ask yourself where you see yourself in 5 years. How confidently would you be able to answer that question or how true to your statement will you be? Why then does it become difficult to answer this question?

The reason is because the lack of a well-defined vision and setting limits on ourselves. Anything is possible within a vision. When you construct your vision, why not vision big? Be creative and inventive in your vision. The sooner you take action the quicker you’ll be living your vision. Your vision maybe blurred at first but in time it becomes clearer as you work to make it come together.

 

Vision quotes
 

3. Be positive

Our perceptions of reality, how we think about ourselves and the world around us, what we look for and what we take to be true are determined by our beliefs. What you think is what you become. Throughout life we have all faced setbacks and challenges having received advice from that close friend who often says “stay positive.” There are times where I’ve been upset that things aren’t working the way I want them to and it became hard to bear.

Therefore the first thing I ever did was to constantly work on self-development step by step enabling me to be more confident in acquiring my goals even during the rough times.  Everything happens for a reason and this is one of the simplest ways to acknowledge a negative situation and to move forward from it. Of course it takes time to process thoughts before you can move on. Believe in yourself and be brave enough to ask yourself what is the one good thing about this situation and what opportunity does this situation provide.

This will enable you to face failures and to look for solutions thus stimulating change from within. Choose positive affirmations such as “I am going to handle whatever comes my way”, “I’m getting better every day”, and “I am going to get there no matter what”. Whilst everybody is wishing, hoping, waiting, you’re fighting for what you want. Remind yourself of the countless blessings because there are so many beautiful reasons to be happy; your family, friends, your faith, your work. This cycle of reminding yourself in times of hardship will help you see the world in a different way and keep you going.

 

4. The right people

Why do we need them or what do we search for when surrounding ourselves with the “right people?” Ultimately we look for guidance and help in achieving our goals. As humans we constantly give and receive energy so it is important to be free of negative energy. Spending time with family, friends and successful, like-minded people, revitalises you and recharges your batteries.

Every time you spend time with the right people, explore their mind-set by engaging in stimulating conversations; extract valuable information that you can take away. As I progressed in life I took on positive traits of my role models making me the strong person I am today. I admired my role models for their professionalism and work ethic gathering words of advice. Visualizing them as a template for my success, translating their words into action. So begin with asking the right questions making you feel more confident and motivated in going further than you could of have imagined.

Staying committed to the ones who support and encourage us to reach our goals is a special relationship key to your motivation that often breaks when we feel that we have not spent time with people who matter to us most. Now the nightmarish people: filter out the negative energy from people who cannot seem to accept your ambition. I simply stay away as far as I can from negative people because I am allergic to them. I don’t despise negative and miserable people; I see them as people who I do not want to be; in fact they push me to be a better person.

 

Les Brown quotes
 

5. The plan

In reality we cannot foresee everything and sometimes we strain ourselves by trying to achieve perfection in planning for a desired result. You can’t plan for every possible turn of events, but you can be well prepared to handle the majority of them. Therefore one must remain flexible and work to adapt to unexpected situations. Eliminate the doubts in your mind because manifesting your vision is based on plan that takes time and patience.

Challenge yourself in applying a consistent and controlled approach to your goals even on a daily routine. This trains your mind in figuring out ways to make adjustments that will eventually pay off.  If the plan does not work, don’t change the goal because it doesn’t mean that you are not worthy of it so alter the plan. A plan is useless without action, so develop the impetus to push yourself mentally and use all tools at hand to develop a strategy to break down both short term and long term goals into manageable tasks.

 

6. The promise

No one can do it but you, this is the reality now. Looking at yourself in the mirror and making it your personal responsibility to live to the best of your potential. You must have the urge to constantly believe that there is something out there better for you and you must work towards that dream. Don’t be too hard on yourself just because you have made bad decisions thus it is important to teach yourself to learn from mistakes and make the effort to grow.

Be in pursuit of a new meaning; that is the key to staying motivated! Thank you for reading my article!

Besides working in the field of science; helping patients through genetic testing, my purpose is to empower and inspire people in life with motivational videos, messages, articles and stories from around the world. I love to engage creative and ambitious minds on my Facebook page www.facebook.com/motivationwithusman.

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. TJ Olonilua

    Feb 28, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    Beautifully written, each step resonates deeply with me especially staying positive and surrounding yourself with people who fuel your drive. I believe all can achieve whatever success we desire with persistence, positivity, and support.

  2. Tina

    Jan 12, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    Thanks for this article.. I just completed it on my commute home. It was very inspiring and pass this along!

  3. Shareef A'quil Hood

    Sep 8, 2015 at 9:47 am

    Up at 5:32 a.m., and I just finished reading this article from my phone. First of all it is very focused and definitely contains key points which I believe so many people find themselves in continuous cycles searching for. Staying motivated is not necessarily the easiest thing to do, fact of the matter is most of us don’t recognize that it’s not a one time thing, it takes cultivation, but once you realize how to maintain motivation it can snowball into so much good! I’ve had my best summer in terms of growth in 2015, and I am reaping the benefits of forward thinking, thanks for the good read, Peace and Blessings •

    • Usman Mahmood

      Sep 12, 2015 at 12:55 pm

      Thank you for the comment and reading my article; motivation; definitely not a one time thing and it takes years to maintain; with effort and faith success will come at the right time; everyone will have that moment; a moment to be in awe.

      Peace and blessings to you too.

  4. Usman Mahmood

    Sep 4, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    Thank you for the comment and my next article will be linked to this.

    Yes FOCUS is also a key word. Asking yourself questions and reminding yourself of positive affirmations does drive away negativity and helps you channel positive energy into your life. I am surprised to find out that not many people note down their goals or positive things. It actually helps so much to write in your diary a motivational quote or talking to people; a contact list for advice; future goals. Talking to people and asking the right questions definitely takes a lot of weight of ones shoulders.

  5. Lawrence Berry

    Sep 4, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    Love this well-written article. Finding your purpose in life, something that is bigger than your own self-interest is a great way to stay motivated. Also, having a vision for your future is also important in helping you stay motivated and determined. You have to find the little things that will keep you motivated because every road to success will have its down days. Staying determined enough to push past those down days is the key to achievement.

    • Usman Mahmood

      Sep 4, 2015 at 6:22 pm

      Thank you for the comment; my next article will be even better. It is really great to get feedback or comments. That in itself is motivation for me too.

  6. Tufail Cheema

    Sep 4, 2015 at 4:18 am

    All the six points are important and good enough to succeed in any field of life. I am trapped in the company of negative persons who are my tennis player colleagues. I can not get rid of them although I am trying my best for the last one year. I do not know what to do ?

    • Usman Mahmood

      Sep 4, 2015 at 6:34 pm

      In regards to negative people… The most important thing to do is not respond in a negative way otherwise you throw away your character; resolve things in a positive way…. step by step. Furthermore one must gain the respect of people who try to bring you down and how do you do that ?; one way that worked for me is always be kind and gentle; even smile; a bit like reverse psychology; don’t be negative; if they show you negativity; neutralise that negativity with positivity; smile; show that it does not affect you; be happy; (negative people don’t want to see you happy); slowly but surely they will be VERY surprised and won’t treat you in a bad way; and look to build positive relationships with others if they continue to bring your ambitions or dreams down . Show them your efforts through your work; let your success speak for itself and your hard work; ethic. WORK HARD IN SILENCE AND LET SUCCESS MAKE THE NOISE.

      • Usman Mahmood

        Sep 4, 2015 at 6:35 pm

        Thank you for the comment. Be free of negativity.

  7. denny

    Sep 4, 2015 at 1:02 am

    Great advice…thanks!

    I struggle with #3 Be Positive. Often my patience wears thin waiting for results to appear innresponse to my effort. I take setbacks pretty hard, too.

    I recently heard some advice to help me cope with major setbacks – I was advised to ask myself ‘what does this event make possible?’ The question directs me to focus on the positive side of the situation instead of dwelling on the more obvious negative aspects.

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Motivation

5 Bulletproof Ways Leaders Can Motivate Their Teams

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We all dream of a perfect, self-motivated team that is constantly putting their best foot forward and embracing each challenge they are given. In reality, as much as you’d like to encourage and motivate even more active contribution from your team members, it is often easier said than done.

Using external motivators, such as promotions or raises, is rarely a permanent solution for motivating your employees to do the very best for the company. Motivation simply cannot be forced on anyone but has to come from within, which is why it’s extremely important to understand the unique sources of employee motivation. There are, however, some solid ways for leaders to self-motivate and encourage active participation in a team.

Here are five bulletproof ways to help your employees find motivation and stay motivated:

1. Communicate purpose

Communicating purpose is the first step towards enhancing motivation and engagement within a team. Like Simon Sinek advises in his best-selling book, if you want your team to act with purpose, you should start with why. If your team isn’t aware of why they are doing what they’re supposed to do, they’re less likely to find their work meaningful and less likely to care.

This, however, doesn’t mean that you’re forced to have a motivational speech. In my opinion, motivational rants are like throwing boiled spaghetti on the wall – it’s not going to stick for long. Instead, to create a fulfilling and motivating work-environment, engage and encourage your team members to participate in clarifying your vision. Be open about where you’re heading and what’s your driving force.

Leaders who aim for providing direction and clarity, are the ones who are really able to take their businesses to the next level as well as to help their team members to pursue both their professional and personal hopes and dreams.

“The very essence of leadership is that you have to have a vision. It’s got to be a vision you articulate clearly and forcefully on every occasion. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.” – Reverend Theodore Hesburgh

2. Set clear goals

One of the most common de-motivating factors in a workplace is lack of focus. If you find your team constantly busy, but don’t quite know with what, it might be a sign of confusion due to unclear goals. Also, if your team is constantly underperforming, you might want to revisit your goals.

Without specific and transparent goals, your team may have a difficult time to know what to prioritize. This easily results in uncertainty, decreased motivation and a constant debate of whether they’re working enough or not.

Clear goals can help your team avoid unnecessary stress and make smarter decisions. To retrieve motivation, start by revisiting your goals to make sure they are ambitious enough to be meaningful. However, don’t make the mistake of stretching your workers too much outside of their comfort zone but aim for finding a good balance between these two.

A solid starting point is to define your “common grand goal” towards which you work as a team. When you have defined that, it’s much easier to start planning your journey there by setting smaller individual goals.

3. Encourage ownership

Sometimes, employees may feel they don’t have enough power to make decisions. This might be a sign of too strict processes or the fact that you’re micromanaging your employees.

To encourage your team to take ownership, set clear expectations and standards but give them enough freedom to come up with their own ideas. Enhance trust by asking for feedback to show that you really value their opinion.

Also, make sure your team members are aware of how their contribution links to the big picture. When your team feels that what they’re doing is important and they’re contributing to something with real value, they’re more likely to take ownership and be proud of their work.

4. Hold your team accountable

Accountability is one of the most overlooked aspects by leaders who want to create an effective and motivated team environment. In general, people are motivated by positive feedback and exceeding expectations. According to a study, nearly 78% of employees are highly engaged when they experience strong recognition, which is why positive feedback is encouraged.

However, there should also be consequences when things don’t go as planned. Accountability becomes sustainable with constant reinforcement, which is why continuity is the key. Holding your team accountable shows that you care and helps your team to maintain quality.

“Accountability is the glue that ties commitment to the result.” – Bob Proctor

5. Support self-development and provide opportunities for growth

One of the best ways to motivate your team is to encourage each individual to become better by finding ways to support their professional growth and encouraging personal leadership. In practice, this can mean for example training sessions, book clubs, mentoring or other tactics that support personal leadership.

Take a few self-development tactics as a part of your goal-setting process by aligning individual KPIs with your company goals. To get the best possible outcome, this should be done systematically.  

Another way to provide opportunities for growth while linking this with work is to launch a Growth Model, where you first define different areas of improvement. Start by evaluating where your team stands at the moment in each of the areas and plan the following steps according to your findings.

Choose one focus area at a time as well as clear action points and a timeline to improve that specific area. Make it tangible by keeping track of the progress – this helps motivating your employees as they can instantly see their level of improvement. If you want to take motivating your team to the next level, find out what their personal and career-related goals are and try to think of ways you can help them to pursue these goals.

How do you keep your team motivated? Comment below!

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Motivation

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

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

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

Sabotaging Success

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

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

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

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

1. Don’t negotiate with your brain 

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

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

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

2. Look at your identity 

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

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

3. Leaping out of bed

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

4. Use accountability and peer pressure

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

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

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

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

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Motivation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Life gives you everything you need

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why you need failure

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Motivation

What To Tell Yourself During A Tough Time.

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We all go through tough times.

A few examples of mine are:

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

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

What matters during tough times is what you tell yourself.

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


“This will pass”

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

“Why does this always happen to me?”

“Here we go again.”

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

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

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


I’ll be stronger having dealt with this situation

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

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

“Exchange your tough times for mental toughness”

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

Stack your tough times up like gold medals.

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

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

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

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

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


Keep taking baby steps forward

Tough times can feel like quicksand sometimes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Take baby steps.


“It only takes one person”

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

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

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

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

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

<<<>>>

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

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

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

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

That’s how you deal with the tough times.

Tell yourself the truth. You deserve to hear it.

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

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Positivity & Self-Ownership: Your #1 Factor for Success

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Leaving a reliable 9-5 job and risking a steady, biweekly paycheck to live out a dream and pursue a totally different lifestyle can be terrifying. However, there is no reason to fear, aspiring entrepreneur! (more…)

Cory Young is the founder of BCC Interactive, a Philadelphia digital marketing agency with expertise in expanding businesses through search engine marketing. Cory has 10+ years experience crafting successful customized digital marketing strategies for Fortune 500 companies and small businesses alike.

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. TJ Olonilua

    Feb 28, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    Beautifully written, each step resonates deeply with me especially staying positive and surrounding yourself with people who fuel your drive. I believe all can achieve whatever success we desire with persistence, positivity, and support.

  2. Tina

    Jan 12, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    Thanks for this article.. I just completed it on my commute home. It was very inspiring and pass this along!

  3. Shareef A'quil Hood

    Sep 8, 2015 at 9:47 am

    Up at 5:32 a.m., and I just finished reading this article from my phone. First of all it is very focused and definitely contains key points which I believe so many people find themselves in continuous cycles searching for. Staying motivated is not necessarily the easiest thing to do, fact of the matter is most of us don’t recognize that it’s not a one time thing, it takes cultivation, but once you realize how to maintain motivation it can snowball into so much good! I’ve had my best summer in terms of growth in 2015, and I am reaping the benefits of forward thinking, thanks for the good read, Peace and Blessings •

    • Usman Mahmood

      Sep 12, 2015 at 12:55 pm

      Thank you for the comment and reading my article; motivation; definitely not a one time thing and it takes years to maintain; with effort and faith success will come at the right time; everyone will have that moment; a moment to be in awe.

      Peace and blessings to you too.

  4. Usman Mahmood

    Sep 4, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    Thank you for the comment and my next article will be linked to this.

    Yes FOCUS is also a key word. Asking yourself questions and reminding yourself of positive affirmations does drive away negativity and helps you channel positive energy into your life. I am surprised to find out that not many people note down their goals or positive things. It actually helps so much to write in your diary a motivational quote or talking to people; a contact list for advice; future goals. Talking to people and asking the right questions definitely takes a lot of weight of ones shoulders.

  5. Lawrence Berry

    Sep 4, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    Love this well-written article. Finding your purpose in life, something that is bigger than your own self-interest is a great way to stay motivated. Also, having a vision for your future is also important in helping you stay motivated and determined. You have to find the little things that will keep you motivated because every road to success will have its down days. Staying determined enough to push past those down days is the key to achievement.

    • Usman Mahmood

      Sep 4, 2015 at 6:22 pm

      Thank you for the comment; my next article will be even better. It is really great to get feedback or comments. That in itself is motivation for me too.

  6. Tufail Cheema

    Sep 4, 2015 at 4:18 am

    All the six points are important and good enough to succeed in any field of life. I am trapped in the company of negative persons who are my tennis player colleagues. I can not get rid of them although I am trying my best for the last one year. I do not know what to do ?

    • Usman Mahmood

      Sep 4, 2015 at 6:34 pm

      In regards to negative people… The most important thing to do is not respond in a negative way otherwise you throw away your character; resolve things in a positive way…. step by step. Furthermore one must gain the respect of people who try to bring you down and how do you do that ?; one way that worked for me is always be kind and gentle; even smile; a bit like reverse psychology; don’t be negative; if they show you negativity; neutralise that negativity with positivity; smile; show that it does not affect you; be happy; (negative people don’t want to see you happy); slowly but surely they will be VERY surprised and won’t treat you in a bad way; and look to build positive relationships with others if they continue to bring your ambitions or dreams down . Show them your efforts through your work; let your success speak for itself and your hard work; ethic. WORK HARD IN SILENCE AND LET SUCCESS MAKE THE NOISE.

      • Usman Mahmood

        Sep 4, 2015 at 6:35 pm

        Thank you for the comment. Be free of negativity.

  7. denny

    Sep 4, 2015 at 1:02 am

    Great advice…thanks!

    I struggle with #3 Be Positive. Often my patience wears thin waiting for results to appear innresponse to my effort. I take setbacks pretty hard, too.

    I recently heard some advice to help me cope with major setbacks – I was advised to ask myself ‘what does this event make possible?’ The question directs me to focus on the positive side of the situation instead of dwelling on the more obvious negative aspects.

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Motivation

5 Bulletproof Ways Leaders Can Motivate Their Teams

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We all dream of a perfect, self-motivated team that is constantly putting their best foot forward and embracing each challenge they are given. In reality, as much as you’d like to encourage and motivate even more active contribution from your team members, it is often easier said than done.

Using external motivators, such as promotions or raises, is rarely a permanent solution for motivating your employees to do the very best for the company. Motivation simply cannot be forced on anyone but has to come from within, which is why it’s extremely important to understand the unique sources of employee motivation. There are, however, some solid ways for leaders to self-motivate and encourage active participation in a team.

Here are five bulletproof ways to help your employees find motivation and stay motivated:

1. Communicate purpose

Communicating purpose is the first step towards enhancing motivation and engagement within a team. Like Simon Sinek advises in his best-selling book, if you want your team to act with purpose, you should start with why. If your team isn’t aware of why they are doing what they’re supposed to do, they’re less likely to find their work meaningful and less likely to care.

This, however, doesn’t mean that you’re forced to have a motivational speech. In my opinion, motivational rants are like throwing boiled spaghetti on the wall – it’s not going to stick for long. Instead, to create a fulfilling and motivating work-environment, engage and encourage your team members to participate in clarifying your vision. Be open about where you’re heading and what’s your driving force.

Leaders who aim for providing direction and clarity, are the ones who are really able to take their businesses to the next level as well as to help their team members to pursue both their professional and personal hopes and dreams.

“The very essence of leadership is that you have to have a vision. It’s got to be a vision you articulate clearly and forcefully on every occasion. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.” – Reverend Theodore Hesburgh

2. Set clear goals

One of the most common de-motivating factors in a workplace is lack of focus. If you find your team constantly busy, but don’t quite know with what, it might be a sign of confusion due to unclear goals. Also, if your team is constantly underperforming, you might want to revisit your goals.

Without specific and transparent goals, your team may have a difficult time to know what to prioritize. This easily results in uncertainty, decreased motivation and a constant debate of whether they’re working enough or not.

Clear goals can help your team avoid unnecessary stress and make smarter decisions. To retrieve motivation, start by revisiting your goals to make sure they are ambitious enough to be meaningful. However, don’t make the mistake of stretching your workers too much outside of their comfort zone but aim for finding a good balance between these two.

A solid starting point is to define your “common grand goal” towards which you work as a team. When you have defined that, it’s much easier to start planning your journey there by setting smaller individual goals.

3. Encourage ownership

Sometimes, employees may feel they don’t have enough power to make decisions. This might be a sign of too strict processes or the fact that you’re micromanaging your employees.

To encourage your team to take ownership, set clear expectations and standards but give them enough freedom to come up with their own ideas. Enhance trust by asking for feedback to show that you really value their opinion.

Also, make sure your team members are aware of how their contribution links to the big picture. When your team feels that what they’re doing is important and they’re contributing to something with real value, they’re more likely to take ownership and be proud of their work.

4. Hold your team accountable

Accountability is one of the most overlooked aspects by leaders who want to create an effective and motivated team environment. In general, people are motivated by positive feedback and exceeding expectations. According to a study, nearly 78% of employees are highly engaged when they experience strong recognition, which is why positive feedback is encouraged.

However, there should also be consequences when things don’t go as planned. Accountability becomes sustainable with constant reinforcement, which is why continuity is the key. Holding your team accountable shows that you care and helps your team to maintain quality.

“Accountability is the glue that ties commitment to the result.” – Bob Proctor

5. Support self-development and provide opportunities for growth

One of the best ways to motivate your team is to encourage each individual to become better by finding ways to support their professional growth and encouraging personal leadership. In practice, this can mean for example training sessions, book clubs, mentoring or other tactics that support personal leadership.

Take a few self-development tactics as a part of your goal-setting process by aligning individual KPIs with your company goals. To get the best possible outcome, this should be done systematically.  

Another way to provide opportunities for growth while linking this with work is to launch a Growth Model, where you first define different areas of improvement. Start by evaluating where your team stands at the moment in each of the areas and plan the following steps according to your findings.

Choose one focus area at a time as well as clear action points and a timeline to improve that specific area. Make it tangible by keeping track of the progress – this helps motivating your employees as they can instantly see their level of improvement. If you want to take motivating your team to the next level, find out what their personal and career-related goals are and try to think of ways you can help them to pursue these goals.

How do you keep your team motivated? Comment below!

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Motivation

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

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

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

Sabotaging Success

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

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

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

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

1. Don’t negotiate with your brain 

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

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

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

2. Look at your identity 

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

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

3. Leaping out of bed

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

4. Use accountability and peer pressure

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

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

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

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

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Motivation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Life gives you everything you need

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why you need failure

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Motivation

What To Tell Yourself During A Tough Time.

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We all go through tough times.

A few examples of mine are:

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

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

What matters during tough times is what you tell yourself.

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


“This will pass”

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

“Why does this always happen to me?”

“Here we go again.”

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

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

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


I’ll be stronger having dealt with this situation

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

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

“Exchange your tough times for mental toughness”

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

Stack your tough times up like gold medals.

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

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

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

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

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


Keep taking baby steps forward

Tough times can feel like quicksand sometimes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Take baby steps.


“It only takes one person”

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

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

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

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

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

<<<>>>

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

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

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

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

That’s how you deal with the tough times.

Tell yourself the truth. You deserve to hear it.

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

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