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6 Valuable Lessons You Can Learn From The Martian

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The martian

There may be times on your journey toward your goals when the situation seems hopeless. When you look toward your vision and can’t see any path that will lead you there. What do you do then?

Imagine you were presumed dead and left behind on a mission to Mars, with only minimal support equipment. That is the premise of The Martian, a novel by Andy Weir, which was made into a major motion picture.

Would you curl up and die? Or would you, as protagonist Mark Watney does, proceed to do everything in your power to ensure your survival and ultimate rescue?

Here are 6 lessons we can learn from the character Mark Watney as he faces a hopeless situation:

1. Focus on the moment

When Mark discovered that he had been left for dead on Mars, he knew he was desperately out of luck. But he didn’t want to die on the surface, so he made his way into the Hab, the self-sustaining habitation unit, and tended to his wounds.

Even the knowledge that the situation was hopeless didn’t stop Mark from taking the immediate actions
necessary to ensure his short term survival.

“The power for creating a better future is contained in the present moment: You create a good future by creating a good present.” – Eckhart Tolle

2. Try anyway

When Mark was left behind, his first reaction was to think that the situation was impossible. But, although he “knew it was hopeless”, he “tried firing up the communications array”.

If you haven’t tried yet, you don’t know with certainty that an action will fail. Although not everything that you try will succeed, 100% of the things you don’t try will fail, simply through lack of trying.

 

3. Take stock of your situation

After a good night’s sleep, Mark was feeling a little more hopeful. He took stock of his supplies, and found that there was food to last him for 300 days. The Hab was intact, and the oxygenator was working. He found the Rovers buried in sand, but otherwise functional; same with the solar cell arrays. The water reclaimer was working too, but there was no backup.

Although there was no solution to help him get rescued and back to earth, he knew what he had to work with, and how he could meet his short-term survival needs.

 

4. Make a short-term plan

Mark knew that the next mission to Mars, Mars 4, would arrive in about four years. The planned landing location for Mars 4 wasn’t in the same location where he was, but he thought that if he could somehow work out a way to communicate with Earth, they might be able to arrange a rescue.

Even though he didn’t know how he could survive four years, he made a plan to fix the radio, so that he could attempt to communicate with earth.

Mark didn’t have answers to everything, and he only had imperfect answers to what he did know, but he went ahead with a plan and a purpose. He took action, doing the best that he could for the moment, and figured he would solve the other problems as he went along.

 

5. Solutions don’t have to be sophisticated

Throughout the book, Mark is ingenious at solving many engineering problems. But much of what he does only requires common sense or practical knowledge. He even uses plain old duct tape for some of his solutions.

He doesn’t get stuck into thinking that there is only one way to solve a problem, or that you can only do something if you have the proper tools. He doesn’t just play by the rules; he makes up rules as he goes along.

He creates practical solutions to many of the problems that he encounters.  The results may not be pretty, but they often work. He does the best that he can with the materials that he has at his disposal.

 

6. Don’t give up

One defining characteristic of Mark is his dogged refusal to quit. Sometimes he gets depressed, but then he rallies himself and tries something. No matter how dire the situation gets, he refuses to just lay down and die.

At one point he says, “Things weren’t 100 percent successful. They say no plan survives first contact with implementation. I’d have to agree.”

Marks accepts bumps in the road, even dreadful setbacks, and just gets on with business. There is always a next problem to solve, and he always pulls himself together to focus on solving it.

“Never give up, and be confident in what you do. There may be tough times, but the difficulties which you face will make you more determined to achieve your objectives and to win against all the odds.” – Marta

Mark Watney may be a fictional character, but the lessons we learned can be put to good use in the real world. When you find yourself stalled when working toward a vision or goal, think to yourself, “How can I be like Mark?”

What one thing can you do or try, even though the situation may seem hopeless? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Susan de Jong is an app entrepreneur who loves to write software. Her apps include Lucidate, a brainstorming app that helps you explore your innermost thoughts, and Insight Personality Tests, a fun and motivational app. Download the apps today for free.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Mod Molefhi

    Oct 2, 2016 at 10:28 pm

    I just watched the Martian 3 hours ago,for the second time i might add. That is one movie that gets you thinking”what is he gonna do now” a 100 times and like you put it,focusing on the moment,short term planning,not giving up and simple unsophisticated solutions got him home. HE got to close the shortfall of 240m between him and the rescuer. I would have given up all hope with all that pressurised air in my suit!!!and floated in space for eternity.

  2. Susan

    May 16, 2016 at 3:59 am

    Hi Tim – I agree, have faith and keep going, no matter what.

  3. Thea Dunlap

    May 16, 2016 at 2:28 am

    One of my favorite movies. Thanks for pinpointing out these valuable lessons. We can sometimes overlook the lessons that we can learn from good movies nowadays.

    • Susan

      May 16, 2016 at 4:01 am

      Hi Thea, It was a good movie, and I enjoyed the book too. I found it very inspiring.

  4. Tim Denning

    May 15, 2016 at 10:30 am

    Susan this is one of my favourite movies of recent times. Thank you for taking the time to remind me of the lessons you learned from the movie. The message I get from the movie is just to have faith and keep going no matter what.

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Motivation

There’s Nothing Better Than A Deadline (Literally Nothing!)

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Anyone who has worked in the business of sales or has been around it would have been beaten over the head with the power of deadlines.

Or if you’ve read a blog post on productivity or goal-setting, you would have seen deadlines as well.

I’ve fallen in love with deadlines and it’s how I stay productive.


Without a deadline you’re useless.

Let me give you an example. If I have a deadline, I produce twice as many blog posts.

Right now I’m seven days away from going to Europe which means everything I’m currently doing has to be finished quick smart.

Last week I had a day where I had nothing booked, no meetings and no phone calls. I put aside the whole day to write. Instead, what ended up happening was I sat there and watched YouTube, binged on Facebook and read a few articles.

In other words, I pissed the entire day up the wall and had nothing to show for it (nice one Timbo).

If you think about people on the brink of retirement, they suffer from the same problem. They think that when they retire, they can finally travel or learn the piano or spend time with their kids.

When these fun-loving folk finally reach retirement, they don’t do half of what they said they would. They waited their entire life to do the things they love and they don’t do it.

Saving up tasks to complete in the future is a complete waste of time. You need a deadline otherwise you’ll never get to your goals/tasks/dreams.


I make up deadlines.

A little hack I use is to make up deadlines.

Every Saturday is my writing day. It’s when I bust my chops to deliver you as many helpful articles I can, for free, with the most beautiful imagery I can find on the internet, that will inspire you and make you take action.

It’s bloody hard work.

To achieve this enormous weekly task that sucks up all my energy, I put a deadline at the end of the day.

I promise my girlfriend dinner at 6 pm every Saturday which means I have to be done by 5 pm. Failure to meet this deadline involves a slow and torturous death by my girlfriend who will never let me hear the end of being late to a romantic dinner date.

This deadline not only gives me a hard stop to be done writing by, but it also gives me something to look forward to. It makes all the pain and sweat of writing worth it. It’s how I celebrate.

If you struggle with deadlines, then try making up your own one.

Purposely place an event in your calendar right after the goal you want to achieve. Make it something you can’t get out of without experiencing a lot of pain (or in my case ‘death by girlfriend’).


The illusion of free time.

The best habit you can cultivate is to focus on ‘the doing’ no matter what day, time or month of the year we’re in.

The moment you need to set aside time is the moment nothing will happenand you’ll find your long lost friend called procrastination.

When you don’t feel like it is the best time to work on your goals”

Whenever we have free time, we think we have all day when we don’t. Digital distractions can rob you of an entire day faster than I can drink a Matcha Latte.

Next time you hear yourself saying “I’ll do it during this block of free time” be suspicious of yourself. See through your own BS.


It’s all in the mind.

The battle of achieving your goals takes place in the mind mostly.

Deadlines are just a way to sort of trick your brain into working with you rather than against you”

We’re wired to be fat, lazy bastards who should be scared of the big, bad world we live in.

Using reframe techniques like deadlines helps our mind think clearly and focus on what we want.

Our million-year-old brain is not there to make us win and so using deadlines is how we can program it to help us win big.


Deadlines are beautiful.

Until you’ve played around with deadlines, you won’t see the beauty in them like I do.

The reason I love deadlines is because they are such a simple hack.

Simplicity is beauty in disguise.

“We’re often led to believe that whatever we dream of in life is incredibly difficult and our chance of success is almost zero. When you discover 2–3 little life hacks like deadlines, you start to see the impossible becoming possible”

I never thought I’d have the time, creativity, stories or knowledge to ever be a blogger. It always sounded really hard.

I then used deadlines, habits, and energy from a clean diet to blog my way to my goals. It’s a beautiful thing when you can see how the world really works through tools like deadlines.


Deadlines work.

You can win at life.

All you need to do is pick a goal and whack a nice deadline activity at the end of it that gives you leverage against yourself to defeat procrastination.

Give deadlines a shot!

<<<>>>

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

Why You Should Use These 3 Types of Internal Motivation to Achieve Everything You’ve Ever Wanted

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internal motivation
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It’s no secret that the more motivation you have for your goals, the faster you’ll reach them in addition to achieving substantially more success in the long term. However, the problem is the majority of people have a really hard time waking up early, working harder than everyone else, and reaching their goals much faster.

Understand, these aren’t special skills only the select few are born with. Anyone can get into a routine of getting up at 5am if they really want to. Anyone can go from an average worker to a high performer in a relatively short period of time. The problem is the majority of people don’t have that level of desire to do these difficult things.

The problem of “desire” leads us into the issue of external motivation. External motivation is you working for just money to get a car you’ve dreamed of or any kind of materialistic item you’ve set your heart on.

To clarify, I’m not saying materialism is bad. What I’m saying is it’s not wise to put external motivators as your main source of motivation for this very simple reason, it’s not a good long term source of motivation.

Once you have that car, house or financial income you wanted, then what’s next? Often times it leaves you with a feeling of emptiness because the satisfaction of getting your new car or house only lasts for a very short period of time. Then once you’ve achieved it, it becomes harder and harder to push for something new because there’s little to no inner drive to get up and achieve more.

Internal motivation changes this dynamic because the internal reward of mastery or purpose isn’t tangible. Instead it’s never ending and when something is never ending you just want to keep working more and more.

Below are the 3 different types of internal motivation you can start using today:

1. The Desire to Win

This comes from the legendary Tim Grover in his book Relentless where he talks about the unrelenting and never ending drive of his clients to win such as Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. All these guys wanted to do was win. The millions of dollars they earned were simply a bi product of their constant desire to win.

To work this hard and for this many hours requires much greater motivation than simply money. On top of which, almost every single billionaire including Donald Trump, has said they’re not motivated by the money. Money is just a way of keeping score. It’s not the actual motivator.

“The starting point of all achievement is desire.” – Napoleon Hill

2. Purpose

This one is arguably the most important. Almost every single successful entrepreneur has some kind of bigger purpose motivating them. Take Elon Musk and Steve Jobs for example.

The main difference between these two isn’t just their work ethic but the individual purpose each one of them has to work hard. You could argue these two entrepreneurs have had the biggest impact on the world we live in.

When you find a bigger purpose for your work you’ll surprise yourself at how much you start to enjoy what you’re doing. You may get external things as a result of your success but they’re not the driving force of why you wake up early everyday and get to work.

3. Mastery

The reason mastery of a specific craft or multiple skills is so important is because once again, it’s never ending. There isn’t a point in your journey where you can completely master something because there’s always another level to reach. This is one of the reasons video games are so popular because there’s always a higher level to get to. You don’t want to stop playing until you’ve reached that next level.

With all of the internal motivators especially mastery, it becomes difficult for other people around you to understand why you work so hard. Everyone around you is after the next pay check to buy a house or buy a new watch which they can show off to their friends.

Nonetheless, being motivated this way typically means the person has no real love for what they do because if they did love what they do, the real satisfaction would come from some internal driver like winning, getting better at their craft or working on towards their purpose every single day.

“If you want to learn something, read about it. If you want to understand something, write about it. If you want to master something, teach it.” – Yogi Bhajan

It’s very easy to see a very wealthy person and see all the cars, glamour and big houses and think, they’re materialistic. But in almost every single case, these external things were simply a bi product of their success. They weren’t the motivator to be successful in the first place.

Once you change not only your level of desire but also the kind of desire, you completely change the game of success for yourself because now you’re in a position where you actually want to work hard.

You don’t have to feel like working hard or getting up early is a chore and I guarantee once you start to find powerful internal motivators, you’ll be surprised how much and how hard you want to work towards achieving your goals.

How do you motivate yourself? Let us know in the comments below!

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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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8 Tips for Launching a Business on Amazon

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Launching a business on Amazon can either seem like a breeze or the most daunting goal you’ve ever set for yourself. Neither is entirely true, but it’s safer to think the latter than the former. The market is indeed very competitive, but it’s by no means a gargantuan task to get you started. While there are comprehensive guides available that’ll walk you through each step (see below), there are a few things you should be aware of before you take the plunge. (more…)

Brandon Stapper is the Chief Executive Officer of www.NonstopSigns.com, a Los Angeles Printing Company.  At 20 years old, with no formal education and only a few hundred dollars, Stapper turned a $400 custom decal machine in a garage into a printing powerhouse. Nonstop Signs & Graphics has made the Forbes Fastest Growing Companies Award 4 years in a row and services 10,000 clients yearly.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Mod Molefhi

    Oct 2, 2016 at 10:28 pm

    I just watched the Martian 3 hours ago,for the second time i might add. That is one movie that gets you thinking”what is he gonna do now” a 100 times and like you put it,focusing on the moment,short term planning,not giving up and simple unsophisticated solutions got him home. HE got to close the shortfall of 240m between him and the rescuer. I would have given up all hope with all that pressurised air in my suit!!!and floated in space for eternity.

  2. Susan

    May 16, 2016 at 3:59 am

    Hi Tim – I agree, have faith and keep going, no matter what.

  3. Thea Dunlap

    May 16, 2016 at 2:28 am

    One of my favorite movies. Thanks for pinpointing out these valuable lessons. We can sometimes overlook the lessons that we can learn from good movies nowadays.

    • Susan

      May 16, 2016 at 4:01 am

      Hi Thea, It was a good movie, and I enjoyed the book too. I found it very inspiring.

  4. Tim Denning

    May 15, 2016 at 10:30 am

    Susan this is one of my favourite movies of recent times. Thank you for taking the time to remind me of the lessons you learned from the movie. The message I get from the movie is just to have faith and keep going no matter what.

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Motivation

There’s Nothing Better Than A Deadline (Literally Nothing!)

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Image Credit: Unsplash

Anyone who has worked in the business of sales or has been around it would have been beaten over the head with the power of deadlines.

Or if you’ve read a blog post on productivity or goal-setting, you would have seen deadlines as well.

I’ve fallen in love with deadlines and it’s how I stay productive.


Without a deadline you’re useless.

Let me give you an example. If I have a deadline, I produce twice as many blog posts.

Right now I’m seven days away from going to Europe which means everything I’m currently doing has to be finished quick smart.

Last week I had a day where I had nothing booked, no meetings and no phone calls. I put aside the whole day to write. Instead, what ended up happening was I sat there and watched YouTube, binged on Facebook and read a few articles.

In other words, I pissed the entire day up the wall and had nothing to show for it (nice one Timbo).

If you think about people on the brink of retirement, they suffer from the same problem. They think that when they retire, they can finally travel or learn the piano or spend time with their kids.

When these fun-loving folk finally reach retirement, they don’t do half of what they said they would. They waited their entire life to do the things they love and they don’t do it.

Saving up tasks to complete in the future is a complete waste of time. You need a deadline otherwise you’ll never get to your goals/tasks/dreams.


I make up deadlines.

A little hack I use is to make up deadlines.

Every Saturday is my writing day. It’s when I bust my chops to deliver you as many helpful articles I can, for free, with the most beautiful imagery I can find on the internet, that will inspire you and make you take action.

It’s bloody hard work.

To achieve this enormous weekly task that sucks up all my energy, I put a deadline at the end of the day.

I promise my girlfriend dinner at 6 pm every Saturday which means I have to be done by 5 pm. Failure to meet this deadline involves a slow and torturous death by my girlfriend who will never let me hear the end of being late to a romantic dinner date.

This deadline not only gives me a hard stop to be done writing by, but it also gives me something to look forward to. It makes all the pain and sweat of writing worth it. It’s how I celebrate.

If you struggle with deadlines, then try making up your own one.

Purposely place an event in your calendar right after the goal you want to achieve. Make it something you can’t get out of without experiencing a lot of pain (or in my case ‘death by girlfriend’).


The illusion of free time.

The best habit you can cultivate is to focus on ‘the doing’ no matter what day, time or month of the year we’re in.

The moment you need to set aside time is the moment nothing will happenand you’ll find your long lost friend called procrastination.

When you don’t feel like it is the best time to work on your goals”

Whenever we have free time, we think we have all day when we don’t. Digital distractions can rob you of an entire day faster than I can drink a Matcha Latte.

Next time you hear yourself saying “I’ll do it during this block of free time” be suspicious of yourself. See through your own BS.


It’s all in the mind.

The battle of achieving your goals takes place in the mind mostly.

Deadlines are just a way to sort of trick your brain into working with you rather than against you”

We’re wired to be fat, lazy bastards who should be scared of the big, bad world we live in.

Using reframe techniques like deadlines helps our mind think clearly and focus on what we want.

Our million-year-old brain is not there to make us win and so using deadlines is how we can program it to help us win big.


Deadlines are beautiful.

Until you’ve played around with deadlines, you won’t see the beauty in them like I do.

The reason I love deadlines is because they are such a simple hack.

Simplicity is beauty in disguise.

“We’re often led to believe that whatever we dream of in life is incredibly difficult and our chance of success is almost zero. When you discover 2–3 little life hacks like deadlines, you start to see the impossible becoming possible”

I never thought I’d have the time, creativity, stories or knowledge to ever be a blogger. It always sounded really hard.

I then used deadlines, habits, and energy from a clean diet to blog my way to my goals. It’s a beautiful thing when you can see how the world really works through tools like deadlines.


Deadlines work.

You can win at life.

All you need to do is pick a goal and whack a nice deadline activity at the end of it that gives you leverage against yourself to defeat procrastination.

Give deadlines a shot!

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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

Why You Should Use These 3 Types of Internal Motivation to Achieve Everything You’ve Ever Wanted

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It’s no secret that the more motivation you have for your goals, the faster you’ll reach them in addition to achieving substantially more success in the long term. However, the problem is the majority of people have a really hard time waking up early, working harder than everyone else, and reaching their goals much faster.

Understand, these aren’t special skills only the select few are born with. Anyone can get into a routine of getting up at 5am if they really want to. Anyone can go from an average worker to a high performer in a relatively short period of time. The problem is the majority of people don’t have that level of desire to do these difficult things.

The problem of “desire” leads us into the issue of external motivation. External motivation is you working for just money to get a car you’ve dreamed of or any kind of materialistic item you’ve set your heart on.

To clarify, I’m not saying materialism is bad. What I’m saying is it’s not wise to put external motivators as your main source of motivation for this very simple reason, it’s not a good long term source of motivation.

Once you have that car, house or financial income you wanted, then what’s next? Often times it leaves you with a feeling of emptiness because the satisfaction of getting your new car or house only lasts for a very short period of time. Then once you’ve achieved it, it becomes harder and harder to push for something new because there’s little to no inner drive to get up and achieve more.

Internal motivation changes this dynamic because the internal reward of mastery or purpose isn’t tangible. Instead it’s never ending and when something is never ending you just want to keep working more and more.

Below are the 3 different types of internal motivation you can start using today:

1. The Desire to Win

This comes from the legendary Tim Grover in his book Relentless where he talks about the unrelenting and never ending drive of his clients to win such as Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. All these guys wanted to do was win. The millions of dollars they earned were simply a bi product of their constant desire to win.

To work this hard and for this many hours requires much greater motivation than simply money. On top of which, almost every single billionaire including Donald Trump, has said they’re not motivated by the money. Money is just a way of keeping score. It’s not the actual motivator.

“The starting point of all achievement is desire.” – Napoleon Hill

2. Purpose

This one is arguably the most important. Almost every single successful entrepreneur has some kind of bigger purpose motivating them. Take Elon Musk and Steve Jobs for example.

The main difference between these two isn’t just their work ethic but the individual purpose each one of them has to work hard. You could argue these two entrepreneurs have had the biggest impact on the world we live in.

When you find a bigger purpose for your work you’ll surprise yourself at how much you start to enjoy what you’re doing. You may get external things as a result of your success but they’re not the driving force of why you wake up early everyday and get to work.

3. Mastery

The reason mastery of a specific craft or multiple skills is so important is because once again, it’s never ending. There isn’t a point in your journey where you can completely master something because there’s always another level to reach. This is one of the reasons video games are so popular because there’s always a higher level to get to. You don’t want to stop playing until you’ve reached that next level.

With all of the internal motivators especially mastery, it becomes difficult for other people around you to understand why you work so hard. Everyone around you is after the next pay check to buy a house or buy a new watch which they can show off to their friends.

Nonetheless, being motivated this way typically means the person has no real love for what they do because if they did love what they do, the real satisfaction would come from some internal driver like winning, getting better at their craft or working on towards their purpose every single day.

“If you want to learn something, read about it. If you want to understand something, write about it. If you want to master something, teach it.” – Yogi Bhajan

It’s very easy to see a very wealthy person and see all the cars, glamour and big houses and think, they’re materialistic. But in almost every single case, these external things were simply a bi product of their success. They weren’t the motivator to be successful in the first place.

Once you change not only your level of desire but also the kind of desire, you completely change the game of success for yourself because now you’re in a position where you actually want to work hard.

You don’t have to feel like working hard or getting up early is a chore and I guarantee once you start to find powerful internal motivators, you’ll be surprised how much and how hard you want to work towards achieving your goals.

How do you motivate yourself? Let us know in the comments below!

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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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