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7 Surprising Tips For Breaking Out Of Procrastination Prison

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Okay, let’s be honest here. There’s probably something else you should be doing right now.

You should fix that leaky tap, or kick off your Spanish learning project, or start on that university assignment. You know, the one that’s due tomorrow.  At 9:00 am.

Heck, I’ve even been procrastinating on writing this blog post.  Pretty ironic, I know.

You’ve probably already tried things like “starting simple,” “breaking it down,” and “keeping yourself accountable” to take down procrastination.

But what you probably don’t know is that many counterintuitive tricks are out there that are even more effective at fighting the problem. So stay with me and procrastinate just a little while longer.

Let’s review seven surprising ways you can break out of procrastination prison.

1. Keep your goals top secret

So you’ve decided to start an exciting new project, something that will truly make your life better, and maybe make other people’s lives better too. Maybe you’re taking on Arabic, learning how to code in Java, or setting up a charity.

What’s the very next thing you want to do after making that decision? You want to tell someone about it.

It seems to make perfect sense.  You get to share your excitement with somebody else, and having others in on your plan is sure to keep you accountable, right?

Actually, research has shown that you are less likely to reach your goals if you first broadcast your intentions to other people.

Talking about your goals tricks your brain into thinking that you’ve already accomplished them and reduces the motivation required to actually execute. You get left in a state of procrastination limbo where you feel great about your goals but aren’t actually doing anything about them.  The same thing happens when you try visualizing success in your head too.

So keep your goals to yourself, put your head down, and get to it!

 

2. Don’t make a plan

You’ve probably heard the phrase “fail to plan, plan to fail.”

It sounds very logical.  Draw up a nice big roadmap, and it’ll help you navigate your way to success more easily, right? Not quite.  Because planning isn’t progress.  It’s all too easy to get stuck in the planning stage of a project and never actually get anywhere.

What you want to do instead is simply break into your project.  Start somewhere, anywhere.

Pick an entry point and decide on the first task for your project.  Break that task down until you have an action you can do right now in under two minutes. Then do it.

When I started learning Mandarin Chinese at the end of last year, I spent ages reading various blog posts, trying to discover the perfect way to learn a language.  I’ve actually done this two or three times over the last few years as I’ve started and stopped different language projects.

Even though it might seem like I was making progress and moving toward my goal, I was really just procrastinating by avoiding the important work — actually learning Chinese.

Once I realized this, I stopped and picked whatever method I happened to have on my screen at the time and ran with it.

There is no such thing as a perfect plan.  Luckily, you don’t need one.  Just find a way in, commit to it, and the rest will follow.

 

3. Begin your day with something unimportant

A common piece of productivity advice is to start your day with your most important, most urgent, or most difficult task. The rationale is that the rest of your day will feel like a breeze once you get the tough stuff out of the way first. But if you’re anything like me, seeing that big hairy task first up on your to-do list is a little, well, frightening.

So I like to take a different approach.

First, pick off some of the low-hanging fruit from your to-do list. Maybe start by doing some light fiction reading, vacuuming the house, dashing to the bank, and then taking a break by jumping onto Twitter for ten minutes.

At this stage, you’ll feel much more energized and accomplished, and you’ll be able to attack that big scary task with more confidence.

Get some easy wins under your belt first thing.  It’ll make the difficult stuff much easier to handle.

 

4. Focus on having fun first

It’s important to strike a balance in your life where you’re getting stuff done but still having fun.  After all:

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  All play and no work makes Jack a mere toy.”

Here’s an unconventional way to accomplish this.

First, stick all your leisure and social activities into your to-do list and spread those out throughout your day.  Then take a break from the fun stuff by doing some work in the middle. For example, I check in with my favorite YouTube channels as a daily leisure checkpoint that I work around during my day.

This is an exciting way of rethinking productivity.  You’re less likely to procrastinate because you know your day contains things you enjoy. In addition, you don’t have to feel guilty about having fun because you’ve carefully structured your day to include both work and play.

You can even take this a little further and try something you might not have done before: start your day off with a quick leisure activity to get you going (maybe a 15-minute walk at sunrise or 15 minutes of video gaming) prior to jumping into something unimportant.

 

Dream-Motivation-Picture-Quote
 

5. Make a weekly escape

One of the most common productivity tips you hear is that you should work a little bit on your goals every day. Now, this is certainly not bad advice.  Small, consistent action toward your goals is the best path to success.

But you also want to avoid burnout, something not particularly ideal to have if you’re trying to beat procrastination. Luckily, there’s an easy way to do this that I’m sure you’ll love. Take a day off each week.

Choose one day where you’re allowed to do absolutely nothing (mine is Sunday).

Keep those days as clear as possible, and cut yourself away from your projects.  It’ll give you time to recharge your batteries and mentally refresh yourself.

This is the perfect day to sleep in, catch up on that novel you’ve been meaning to read, go on a date with your partner, and watch romantic comedies together after dinner.

You’ll start looking forward to your escape day every week, pushing you to perform better, be more efficient, and procrastinate less during the other six days.

 

6. Be ruthless with your time and energy

A common cause of procrastination is sheer overwhelm.

Many of us are simply trying to juggle too many balls at once.  And the inevitable result is that we’ll drop them all. If you have a lot to do, and you simply can’t motivate yourself to do any of it, that’s a sure-fire sign you’re doing too much.

Set boundaries for your time and energy.  Re-evaluate all your commitments, and find out which ones you can eliminate. Then pull the trigger and cancel them.  It’s scary, and it’s difficult, but it’s oh so liberating.

Nowadays, it’s almost socially unacceptable to say no.  I find this really bizarre.

The result is that we say yes to everything to make everyone else happy, and make ourselves miserable in the process. Stop trying to please everyone.  It’s an impossible task.  You must make yourself happy too.

Be ruthless and start saying no to time-sucking, energy-sapping commitments, and free yourself for more important things.

 

7. Forgive yourself

Everyone procrastinates.  It’s unavoidable. You’ll have times when you just don’t feel like doing anything. And that’s okay. The worst thing you can do is beat yourself up about it.

Research has shown that people who are kind to themselves after a bout of procrastination are less likely to procrastinate again the next time. I used to be extremely hard on myself when it came to procrastinating.

I’d start the day knowing I needed to do my workout, but I’d keep pushing it off as the day progressed by doing crossword puzzles or watching cat videos instead. I’d get to the end of the day and only start working out at 11:00 pm, or not do it at all.  And I’d hate myself for it.

The next day, I’d still feel guilty about it and wouldn’t feel good at all about anything else I was doing.  It was a vicious cycle. Take a breath.  Let it go.  The past is in the past.

Forgive yourself and trust that you’ll do better next time.

 

Darren-Hardy-Picture-Quote
 

 

It’s time to break free

Procrastination is a difficult problem that everyone faces in their lives.  And busting out of procrastination prison isn’t easy.

But think about what happens if you don’t.  Think about what happens if you stayed stuck in there forever without making that daring prison escape.

Think about how you’d be feeling a month, a year, five years from now. You’d wish that you’d done the hard yards today so you could be that much closer to your goals tomorrow.

Get out there, get things done, and achieve the things you want to achieve. The world is waiting for you to do amazing things.

Don’t let everyone down.  And most importantly, don’t let yourself down.

 

Zen Dexter helps big dreamers to get unstuck, achieve their goals, and live the life they’ve always wanted. Download his free report Steer Your Ship to discover 30 questions that will navigate you towards your life's purpose.

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Rashmi

    May 11, 2015 at 10:57 am

    This is definitely the most practical and best article on procrastination I had ever read. Great job!! I loved the ending lines..Dont let anyone down and yourself down.It was as if my best friend was advising me.totally awesome. I am gonna start implementing your ideas without further procrastination!

    • Zen Dexter

      May 15, 2015 at 12:22 pm

      That’s fantastic Rashmi, and thank you so much for your kind words. All the best to you on the journey ahead 🙂

  2. Mael

    Apr 16, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    This is by far the best blog about procrastination..helped me clear off my mind on some things..i do believe that over thinking has something to do with it..this is a simple and unconventional way of breaking this bad habit..thank you. ♡

    • Zen Dexter

      Apr 20, 2015 at 4:37 am

      Hello Mael, you’re welcome, thank you very much for reading!

      Overthinking can definitely make us procrastinate. Sometimes you think that a task will be long and difficult so you procrastinate. Point #2 is handy here: just find somewhere to start and do it for two minutes. Often you’ll find that it isn’t that bad after all, and by that stage you have some momentum to keep going 🙂

  3. Arjun Haridas

    Mar 22, 2015 at 6:45 am

    Hello 🙂
    First of all, the article was mind blowing,
    Not following the conventional methods
    Congrats and thank u 🙂
    One question which i would like to ask is “Do you think visualizing your goals daily is an obstacle in the pursuit of achieving them “?????

    So does that mean visualizing is an ineffective method?????

    Please share your thoughts
    Thank you in advance 🙂

    • Zen Dexter

      Mar 22, 2015 at 10:04 am

      Hello Arjun, thank you! Very happy to hear that and I’m glad you found the post useful.

      Visualizing success (‘positive visualization’) has the same sort of effect as sharing your goals with other people, robbing you of motivation and increasing procrastination. But that doesn’t mean that visualizing is completely ineffective. You can use ‘critical visualization’, where you consider failure, obstacles and all the negative things as well as the positive things. It sounds counterintuitive, but it is much more conducive to success. There is a nice Forbes article that covered this point in more detail: http://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddisalvo/2011/06/08/visualize-success-if-you-want-to-fail/

      Hope this helps 🙂

  4. Kamma Anne Dunning

    Mar 19, 2015 at 8:42 am

    Most of these articles make me roll my eyes. Tip #1 stop procrastinating! (If I could do that I wouldn’t be reading this.) The other articles also make me feel worse because this is the advice and it doesn’t work for me. If I have to do my most important/hardest thing first, then I’m going to spend my whole day watching tv. That’s the reality of the situation. I found this article refreshing because I feel like it was written by someone who actually gets this self-defeating, ridiculous habit. The strongest words for me were: “Think how you’ll feel in a month.” Ouch. That’s some real truth there. I may think I’m getting away with something by doing nothing, but I’m going to feel like a real asshole a month from now; that is a real, true statement I find motivating.

    • Zen Dexter

      Mar 20, 2015 at 6:36 am

      Hi Kamma Anne, thank you for reading, I’m glad the article’s been helpful for you! Procrastination is, like you say, a self-defeating habit, but it’s important to remember point #7 and forgive yourself for what’s happened in the past. The past is already set in stone, but you do have the power to shape your future. And that’s where doing this ‘time travel’ exercise to check how you’ll feel in a month, a year etc. can really give you a good push in the right direction. All the best to you in your endeavours!

  5. Zen Dexter

    Mar 19, 2015 at 1:43 am

    Hi Tara, thank you for reading, I’m glad you enjoyed the article! If you find that telling others about your goal helps to reduce anxiety for you, then I would recommend still doing that. But be selective with who you share it with, ideally it’ll be a small group who’ll be there to listen and support you through both the highs and lows. It’s important to discuss both highs and lows to help offset the ‘limbo effect’.

  6. Absolutely Tara

    Mar 18, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    I thought this take on procrastination was so refreshing. I thought the idea that telling people about your goal takes away the creative anxiety created by wanting the goal. I have experienced that many times. Great post. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Arslan

    Mar 18, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    Very Beautiful Article after a long time on Addicted2Success. Worth it to Read this

  8. King Lee

    Mar 18, 2015 at 11:06 am

    Comment:
    great article !

  9. Bhuvana

    Mar 18, 2015 at 7:18 am

    Nice article n different from the usual ones on Procrastination.. Its so true!! the first 2.. Everything just doesnt go the way its planned .. Getting started is more important than just stuck with planning 🙂

    • Zen Dexter

      Mar 19, 2015 at 4:32 am

      Hi Bhuvana, thank you, I’m glad you liked the article! You’re absolutely right, things often don’t go the way they’re planned. So might as well cut down on the planning, jump straight into the project, and find your way as you go!

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Motivation

12 Tips to Propel Your Self-Motivation to It’s Highest Peak

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Motivation plays a significant role in your performance as well as the success of your career. There are many ways for you to get the motivation to do your job well and achieve the goals you have set for yourself. People derive motivation to work well from diverse sources including fear, rewards, growth, and development as well as from social influences.
Nonetheless, the best incentive to perform your duties comes from within you. Self-motivation is the drive to achieve goals without the supervision and the influence of other people. When it comes to meeting your desired results motivation and ability are paramount. They make things happen.

Use the following 12 tips to keep yourself motivated:

1. Set high but real goals

Set a real goal, dentify what you want to achieve and determine ways to go about attaining it. Divide your goal into various subgoals to make it easier for you. Setting personal goals keeps you focused on what you want to achieve both in the long-term and short-term. Whenever you face challenges, remind yourself why you are doing that task in the first place. Understand your abilities and do not set unrealistically high goals as doing so will set you up for failure and demoralize you. Clearly defined real goals are easier to focus on and monitor. They make it easier for you to measure your achievements as well as progress.

2. Seek feedback

Be open to any feedback, whether positive or negative as it is right for your motivation. Positive feedback makes you want to keep up with the excellent performance and even causes you to have the incentive to work even harder. Negative feedback might lead you to stress. And if it happens on a regular basis it most likely will lead to a depression. The key is how you treat your stress and depression. Take it as your best advisors to go forward. Take the negative feedback positively and let it give you the drive to want to improve your performance and surpass the expectations of your reviewer.

3. Get rid of unnecessary habits

Quite often you will find yourself doing things that get in the way of you achieving your goals. Maybe you have the habit of going to work with a hangover on Monday mornings after partying during the weekend. If you know that is what gets you down and makes you unmotivated, get rid of that habit. Minimize the things that distract you from working in top condition. Whenever you find yourself craving that beer, drink a glass of water instead. It is good for your health.

“Never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.” – Winston Churchill

4. Continue learning

Just because you are out of school does not mean you stop learning and adding to your knowledge. Surf the internet or take courses that can increase your expertise. The more informed you are, the more you boost the development of your brain. You are exposed to new ideas, gain new skills and you can reason better based on facts. Consider setbacks as an opportunity to learn. Never stop learning.

5. Celebrate all your achievements

Winning, no matter how small, deserves to be rewarded. Whenever you achieve your desired aim, get yourself a present. It could be that beautiful new dress you have been salivating for at the mall or even something big like a car. Rewarding yourself keeps you motivated to achieve the next big thing.

6. Take risks

You can never achieve something extraordinary if you stay in your comfort zone or keep doing regular stuff and not taking risks. Fear of taking chances limits your potential for growth and the rewards you could get by doing so. Not being sure what will happen next keeps you motivated to work on the task to achieve your desired results. Taking risks involves evaluating the rewards and losses you might encounter by taking on a particular challenge.

7. Take regular breaks

You are not superhuman. The only way for you to perform at the top of your game is to take a moment and rest. Studies have shown that working continuously with no rest may result in a decline in your productivity. Take a vacation and enjoy yourself without the pressure of work every once in a while. When you go back to the office you will come with renewed enthusiasm for work.

8. Treat yourself gently

Your friend bought that new house and you are still living in a rental. So what? Don’t compare your achievements with other people’s. We all have different goals and priorities. Accept the notion that there are people who are more affluent or smarter than you are. People are different. Accepting leaves you the space to explore other opportunities that are suited for you and focus on yourself.

9. Deal with your setbacks

Success is not a smooth path. On your journey to achieve your goals, it is nearly impossible not to encounter failure or other setbacks. Develop resilience. Resilience is the ability to bounce back from unfavorable situations. Develop the skill to cope with challenges. Admitting your failures help you keep motivated to rise above the challenge.

“All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.” – Michael John Bobak

10. Set deadlines

Self-imposed deadlines keep you focused on your goals. You need to set realistic timeframes for each subgoal to push yourself to focus and achieve it without becoming overwhelmed. Once you accomplish a subgoal, you get even more motivated to meet your larger goal. Set dates to complete tasks and stick to them.

11. Procrastination is a motivation killer

Distractions and fear of failure are the main reasons we procrastinate. Face your challenges head-on. By putting things off until later, you might be delaying your success. Keep yourself motivated by doing things in time.

12. Impress yourself

You know who is the hardest to impress? Yourself. There are times when you doubt your ability to meet a particular objective. But with the right mentality and attitude, you can do things that can leave you wondering how you did it. Love what you do and have the passion for achieving your goals that does not depend on the bar set by other people. Doing impressive things builds your self-confidence and motivates you to do even greater things.

A self-motivated person is a good performer at his/her job. The above tips will help you focus on your work and stay motivated to be more productive at what you do and in so doing enable you to earn that promotion you have been yearning to get.

How do you motivate yourself? Comment below!

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Motivation

The Real Hack Is In The Doing.

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I had a coaching call with a client recently and it was a trainwreck. I’m trying to get them to create content and they keep peering into the future. Instead of creating content they’re obsessed with:

  • Sales Funnels
  • When to monetize
  • How to convert inquiries into customers
  • What camera to use when filming videos
  • Writing a whitepaper

I told them this:

“Screw all of that. The key to success is in the doing.”

 

Your Ideas change over time.

When I first started blogging in 2014, I was doing interviews with entrepreneurs and turning them into blog posts. I had no idea what I was doing or even why I was doing it.

The blog posts sucked and sounded like press releases.

I hated the process.

None of the blog posts got any engagement at all. Hearing entrepreneurs talk about raising money and selling widgets was boring to me.

Then, one night at around 8 pm I wrote a blog post about changing my life. It was all the lessons I learned from studying personal development and it was nothing more than a brain fart.

It took about 45 minutes to write and was published with spelling and grammar errors all the way through it. This post got shared 84,000 times on Facebook alone.

All of a sudden, through focusing on the doing, I found something I liked.

“What starts as an idea changes over time and you’ll never predict where things will end up. Trust in the process”

 

Your beliefs change too.

I told my coaching client that his beliefs would change too. What he believes right now will change in the future. This will shape his creative side and his content most of all.

“Trying to predict where you’ll be in the future is like trying to predict when you’re going to die - it’s impossible to know”

My beliefs initially about what I was doing came from a very self-centered view of the world that was all about the cliché version of success.

I thought the nice car, suit, house and bikini babe was what mattered. Pretty quickly, as I produced lots of content and began reading, after not touching a book for more than ten years, I saw a different side.

My beliefs about the world changed and the idea of money went to last place. Add on a couple of near-death experiences like a cancer scare and my beliefs are now completely different.

I’m no longer trying to figure out how to suck out as much value from the world as I can for my own benefit. What I do daily is about a purpose far bigger than myself.

I told my coaching client this story because I believed the same was true for him. He’s trying to impact people’s lives by getting them to fall in love with the work they do.

Whenever he starts talking about this topic, I feel inspired. I told him that I say no to so many clients because I don’t believe in what they do.

I believe in what he does and that’s why I’m obsessed with getting him to focus on the doing.

 

You learn as you go.

People have this obsession with the idea that you have to do a course, be mentored, study for years (insert excuse) before you can start doing what you love.

This is a ridiculous idea and I challenge you to a duel if you think this way. As you continue the doing aspect of what you love, you’ll learn at the same time.

Even if you’re not conscious about the learning side, the doing will reveal way more than waiting for accreditation, permission or a mentor’s approval to proceed ever will.

Everything I know about social media, blogging, inspiring people and entrepreneurship came from the doing. Yes, there was deliberate learning along the way but that was always a distant second to the doing itself.

 

Consuming vs. creating.

My coaching client also suffered from the battle that is consuming vs. creating. He spent too much time watching what everyone else was doing and he didn’t spend enough time creating his own art.

He’s currently posting one video a week and I told him that’s not enough. He has it within him to do at least one video a day if he quits consuming everybody else’s content.

He also told me that he feels the need to respond to every comment he gets on social media. I told him this is nuts!!!

You cannot respond to every comment or email you get online. This time is better spent creating than it is pumping up your ego with “thank you’s” and “yes I know I’m so smart.”

 

The tools change.

I started blogging on WordPress and now I do most things on Medium and LinkedIn. If I’d become too obsessed with the tools, then I would have wasted the time I could have been spending refining my craft.

All the tools you use to execute on doing what you love will change, so treat them secondary to creating your unique art.

 

You can’t preplan the doing 9 times out of 10.

Your best work is often done when you’re spontaneous. For example, today is a public holiday in Australia and I wouldn’t normally write on a Wednesday.

I felt inspired this morning though, so I decided to jump on the computer and do some creating. Some of my best work (if I look at the stats) has been done on public days and times when I didn’t plan to create anything.

Over planning is a trap you need to avoid if you want to get down to the doing which produces results.

 

The doing is the hardest part.

The reason why many of you reading this are so obsessed with mentors, education, online courses and consuming someone else’s content is because all of these things are easy.

The doing is the hardest part. Being creative takes up all of your energy and putting your work out there to be judged is hard on your ego.

“Creating truly inspiring work takes every ounce of your emotions. You need flow states, time, resources and the belief that you’re enough to do the doing”

What stops us from the doing is either procrastination or fear. These two evils prevent you from the doing without you often realizing.

My coaching client wants to make a massive impact and he’s scared that he doesn’t have the ability. As his coach, I know he does and I’ve seen it.

The battle that exists in your mind daily is whether you should be doing the doing or settling for something easier (often this looks like the same thing but it’s not!).

Spending time doing the very thing that is hard, is how you leapfrog everyone else that never gets what they want and never lives a fulfilled life.

 

How do you win so frequently?

That’s what my coaching client asked me. He wanted to know how I produce so much content and have so many people watching online.

I told him the truth: I just spend as much time as I can doing the doing.

Everything else seems to take care of itself when I embrace this simple hack. You must become obsessed with the doing.

Spend a disproportionate amount of time doing the doing and you’ll produce the results that are 10X of what you think you’re capable of.

Are you ready to win?

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

How To See What You’re Truly Capable Of Becoming And Then Becoming It.

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I have an opportunity right now to do something that will propel my life and career to a whole new level. It will take me from behind the keyboard and into the spotlight of critics, people with a lot of power, people I admire and the masses.

It’s a dangerous crossroads in a lot of ways. There’s a lot that could go wrong. Normally I am full of belief, but in the last few days, I’ve had my doubts.

Maybe I shouldn’t aim so high so quickly. Maybe I will get distracted from what I really love doing. Maybe I don’t have the skills just yet.

What you’re hearing here is the thoughts of a stock standard, off the shelf, pink brain that was designed hundreds of years ago for a different purpose.

None of these thoughts are valid unless I accept they are.

Seeing what you are capable of becoming requires a few key steps. Then becoming it is the hardest part.

Here’s how to see what you can become and then actually become it:

 

Believe first.

“This is not gospel talk. I didn’t pull this one out of the pages of a hymn book. Until you can see what you are able to become, no one else can see it”

There’s an element of visualization required here. Ask yourself the question “What if there were no barriers and I could achieve anything?”

I want you to assume this is the case. To see what you are able to become you must see it first without barriers, negative thinking and outside opinions.

Once you can see what you can become, you then have to start believing. That requires you to see a positive outcome and have the courage to dare to do something phenomenal.

Believing first requires a degree of ignorance. In a way, I suppose you are ignoring logic. You are being somewhat irrational and not using common sense. You’re using belief to see a future version of yourself that achieves something meaningful to you, and to those who are inspired by your work.

 

Make it really big.

The next step is to dream really big. Our mind often constrains us and forces us to focus on what we’ve done in the past as the basis for what we can become in the future.

The stupid thing is that past results don’t necessarily predict the future. If that were true, we’d all bet on the stock market based on what has happened before and we’d be millionaires sipping mojitos off the bar of our luxury yachts.

Making your dream really big is an art. Your imagination that has been mostly switched off since you were a child and the creativity that has been sucked out of you by society needs to be reignited for the dreaming element of your mind to be turned on again and lit on fire baby!

If you aim really high and think you can deliver a speech in front of 50,000 people and then you fall short and deliver an inspiring speech in front of 2000 people, have you really failed?

The obvious answer is no. At least you got out of your warm bed and took a chance. Maybe there were a lot of seats empty but you at least influenced one person in a positive way.

“Giving it a shot is half the game of life”

 

Disconnect from the result.

Being fixated on the result stops you from ever taking the first step. I’ve been so focused in the last week on whether I can deliver and whether I have the experience to do something audaciously big that I didn’t take action.

I was blindsided by fear even though I know fear better than my own body.

Fear has been the thing that nearly ruined my life and prevented me from typing these very words. In some ways, it’s because I can smell the perfume of fear and see it a mile away with my Superman eyes, that I’m able to see what’s really going on, not only in my life, but the lives of others.

Never giving it a go is a far bigger failure than trying something and not succeeding. Not taking a chance and not risking it all for the person you’ve always wanted to become is something you’ll regret for the rest of your life.

Right up until the day of your death you’ll regret not knowing what could have happened if you saw what you were capable off, took a moon-shot opportunity and became that person.

“Regret is far worse than failure will ever be”

 

Be okay with not knowing a hell of a lot.

Part of the battle of seeing what you can become and then becoming it is that there is a lot you won’t know. The person I want to become in the coming weeks and months, and the opportunity I’m scared to say yes to has a lot to do with the core issue: I have no idea whether I can deliver on my promise.

I have no clue if I am this person that people think I am on the internet. Do I really inspire people? Or do I get inspired by other people and use that as fuel to pass it on?

We’ll never know the answers to these questions. We all have doubts and pieces to the puzzle of life that we can’t figure out.

In the end, there’s only a few harsh truths:

–    You must say yes to big opportunities

–    You must not overthink every decision

–    You must not try to have all the answers

–    You must not continually play out every scenario in your head thus draining your energy

All you can do is have guts, believe in yourself, have the courage and become who you’re truly capable of becoming through relentless action.

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

You Can’t Be 100% Motivated And On Fire All The Time So Stop Trying To Be.

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Right now, I’m not feeling that motivated. In fact, I haven’t felt very inspired or motivated all week. Given that motivating and inspiring others is my passion and it’s what I do every day, you’d think my career was over. You’d think maybe I have no more positivity left in me.

Even the most inspirational people in the world have times when nothing happens.

I recently watched Gary Vaynerchuk give advice to a young teenager. The teenager said:

“Gary, my girlfriend broke up with me and a relative just died. The last two weeks are hell.”

Gary took a few deep breaths and you just knew he was going to say something epic – and he did.

He said to the boy “Two weeks of lows doesn’t define the rest of your life.”

 

We’re all entitled to be down for a bit.

What I learned from Gary is that we are all going to have times during our life where nothing sticks. In the last few weeks, I’ve missed several great career opportunities, had a lot of rejection, seen a slump in shares/likes on some social media platforms and had some personal challenges.

All of this is normal.

 

What’s not normal is what you see online.

That’s the real point here. What is normal has been overshadowed by all the self-help, success talk that happens online 24/7. We’re being bombarded by it and we think we have to be motivated 100% of the time.

If we have a day when we’re not inspired, we think something is wrong. In my case, given my profession, it’s even harder. There’s this stigma that I have to be some perfect human being to do what I do. That’s BS.

It’s normal for anyone you admire and even your heroes to have low points or long periods of nothing – that’s the actual norm. The highlight reel you see online of the people you follow is what’s not normal. No one lives life like how we see people living online.

The cameras are only with these people of influence some of the time. What you didn’t see was them taking a dump or having an argument with their partner.

All you saw was a highly edited success reel of what they wanted you to see so they could send you to a landing page, put up a payment wall and monetize you. That’s what being motivated 100% of the time told them to do.

You can’t blame them entirely.

What the internet really needs is more of the truth. That is, more people talking about what goes wrong, more people documenting what’s really happening.

In simple terms, the internet needs less perceived perfection and success, and more of what’s real like disappointment, f*ck ups and challenges.

 

Not being motivated is where it all happens.

The opposite of what we’re led to believe is true. It’s during the moments of zero inspiration, bugger all motivation and low points that we discover who we are. It’s in our weakest moments that our strength, resilience and courage is built.

What I’ve learned during my recent low moments is that if I can handle this sh*t, then I can handle anything.

“Motivation comes from eating crap for dinner every day of the week and still persisting with your goals”

I’m writing these words today and not really feeling like it. It’s the art of doing even through the tough times that allows me to have a 60-second highlight reel on social media that makes me look like a freaking god that goes viral all over the internet hourly.

My success highlight reel looks very impressive and it sounds fantastic during one of the speeches I give. In job interviews, it really helps. When I pitch for business, it gives me credibility.

Our success highlight reels look freaking phenomenal but it’s 0.99% of the actual story.

If humans are motivated by storytelling, then let’s start telling the real story.

We’re not f*cking motivated 100% of the time so let’s stop pretending we are. Cheers to the moments when we feel like dirt and keep going.

 

Then everything changes.

What do I mean? This week I have no motivation but I already sense that next week is shaping up to be a big one. I find out about a number of life-changing opportunities. Knowing I could get through a tough week and be cool to keep inspiring gives me hope. That hope translates into strength.

Next week could be a disaster and these so-called life-changing opportunities could all amount to a mound of dust and broken dreams. But because I survived the tough times I know I can excel during times when I plateau, go backwards or even experience massive growth.

“It only takes one moment for everything to change and before you know it you’re 100 steps ahead of where you thought you’d be”

 

Quit the game.

The game of endless success. The rat race that is showing how perfect you are.

Show up with your best self. If that best self is 1% motivated or 100% motivated it doesn’t matter. The fact you showed up and got through the quicksand of life is all that counts. Sometimes that struggle will look like winning an Oscar and other times that struggle will look like pissing your pants.

Take a step back and see the bigger picture.

No one (including me) needs to, or is, motivated 100% of the time.

You don’t need to be either.

<<<>>>

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Success Advice

Setting Up Your Mindset to Win: How to Achieve Success in Your Life and Career

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mindset
Image Credit: Twenty20.com

How did Usain Bolt become so successful? He seems superhuman, doesn’t he? Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Paul Bocuse… all these people have something special in them. They became the stars in their niche. Have you ever wondered why? No, they do not have any superhuman capacity. They are simple people, just like you and I. They, too, had flaws. Their mindset, however, is what set them apart. If you want to win in your career and in life, generally, you need the mindset of a winner. You have to think like a true champion, so you’ll overcome your flaws and emphasize your strengths. (more…)

Warren Fowler is a marketing enthusiast and a blogger at UKBestEssays.com, who loves music. If he doesn’t have a guitar in his hands, he’s probably embracing new technologies and marketing techniques online! You can meet him on Twitter and Facebook.

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Rashmi

    May 11, 2015 at 10:57 am

    This is definitely the most practical and best article on procrastination I had ever read. Great job!! I loved the ending lines..Dont let anyone down and yourself down.It was as if my best friend was advising me.totally awesome. I am gonna start implementing your ideas without further procrastination!

    • Zen Dexter

      May 15, 2015 at 12:22 pm

      That’s fantastic Rashmi, and thank you so much for your kind words. All the best to you on the journey ahead 🙂

  2. Mael

    Apr 16, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    This is by far the best blog about procrastination..helped me clear off my mind on some things..i do believe that over thinking has something to do with it..this is a simple and unconventional way of breaking this bad habit..thank you. ♡

    • Zen Dexter

      Apr 20, 2015 at 4:37 am

      Hello Mael, you’re welcome, thank you very much for reading!

      Overthinking can definitely make us procrastinate. Sometimes you think that a task will be long and difficult so you procrastinate. Point #2 is handy here: just find somewhere to start and do it for two minutes. Often you’ll find that it isn’t that bad after all, and by that stage you have some momentum to keep going 🙂

  3. Arjun Haridas

    Mar 22, 2015 at 6:45 am

    Hello 🙂
    First of all, the article was mind blowing,
    Not following the conventional methods
    Congrats and thank u 🙂
    One question which i would like to ask is “Do you think visualizing your goals daily is an obstacle in the pursuit of achieving them “?????

    So does that mean visualizing is an ineffective method?????

    Please share your thoughts
    Thank you in advance 🙂

    • Zen Dexter

      Mar 22, 2015 at 10:04 am

      Hello Arjun, thank you! Very happy to hear that and I’m glad you found the post useful.

      Visualizing success (‘positive visualization’) has the same sort of effect as sharing your goals with other people, robbing you of motivation and increasing procrastination. But that doesn’t mean that visualizing is completely ineffective. You can use ‘critical visualization’, where you consider failure, obstacles and all the negative things as well as the positive things. It sounds counterintuitive, but it is much more conducive to success. There is a nice Forbes article that covered this point in more detail: http://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddisalvo/2011/06/08/visualize-success-if-you-want-to-fail/

      Hope this helps 🙂

  4. Kamma Anne Dunning

    Mar 19, 2015 at 8:42 am

    Most of these articles make me roll my eyes. Tip #1 stop procrastinating! (If I could do that I wouldn’t be reading this.) The other articles also make me feel worse because this is the advice and it doesn’t work for me. If I have to do my most important/hardest thing first, then I’m going to spend my whole day watching tv. That’s the reality of the situation. I found this article refreshing because I feel like it was written by someone who actually gets this self-defeating, ridiculous habit. The strongest words for me were: “Think how you’ll feel in a month.” Ouch. That’s some real truth there. I may think I’m getting away with something by doing nothing, but I’m going to feel like a real asshole a month from now; that is a real, true statement I find motivating.

    • Zen Dexter

      Mar 20, 2015 at 6:36 am

      Hi Kamma Anne, thank you for reading, I’m glad the article’s been helpful for you! Procrastination is, like you say, a self-defeating habit, but it’s important to remember point #7 and forgive yourself for what’s happened in the past. The past is already set in stone, but you do have the power to shape your future. And that’s where doing this ‘time travel’ exercise to check how you’ll feel in a month, a year etc. can really give you a good push in the right direction. All the best to you in your endeavours!

  5. Zen Dexter

    Mar 19, 2015 at 1:43 am

    Hi Tara, thank you for reading, I’m glad you enjoyed the article! If you find that telling others about your goal helps to reduce anxiety for you, then I would recommend still doing that. But be selective with who you share it with, ideally it’ll be a small group who’ll be there to listen and support you through both the highs and lows. It’s important to discuss both highs and lows to help offset the ‘limbo effect’.

  6. Absolutely Tara

    Mar 18, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    I thought this take on procrastination was so refreshing. I thought the idea that telling people about your goal takes away the creative anxiety created by wanting the goal. I have experienced that many times. Great post. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Arslan

    Mar 18, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    Very Beautiful Article after a long time on Addicted2Success. Worth it to Read this

  8. King Lee

    Mar 18, 2015 at 11:06 am

    Comment:
    great article !

  9. Bhuvana

    Mar 18, 2015 at 7:18 am

    Nice article n different from the usual ones on Procrastination.. Its so true!! the first 2.. Everything just doesnt go the way its planned .. Getting started is more important than just stuck with planning 🙂

    • Zen Dexter

      Mar 19, 2015 at 4:32 am

      Hi Bhuvana, thank you, I’m glad you liked the article! You’re absolutely right, things often don’t go the way they’re planned. So might as well cut down on the planning, jump straight into the project, and find your way as you go!

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Motivation

12 Tips to Propel Your Self-Motivation to It’s Highest Peak

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Motivation plays a significant role in your performance as well as the success of your career. There are many ways for you to get the motivation to do your job well and achieve the goals you have set for yourself. People derive motivation to work well from diverse sources including fear, rewards, growth, and development as well as from social influences.
Nonetheless, the best incentive to perform your duties comes from within you. Self-motivation is the drive to achieve goals without the supervision and the influence of other people. When it comes to meeting your desired results motivation and ability are paramount. They make things happen.

Use the following 12 tips to keep yourself motivated:

1. Set high but real goals

Set a real goal, dentify what you want to achieve and determine ways to go about attaining it. Divide your goal into various subgoals to make it easier for you. Setting personal goals keeps you focused on what you want to achieve both in the long-term and short-term. Whenever you face challenges, remind yourself why you are doing that task in the first place. Understand your abilities and do not set unrealistically high goals as doing so will set you up for failure and demoralize you. Clearly defined real goals are easier to focus on and monitor. They make it easier for you to measure your achievements as well as progress.

2. Seek feedback

Be open to any feedback, whether positive or negative as it is right for your motivation. Positive feedback makes you want to keep up with the excellent performance and even causes you to have the incentive to work even harder. Negative feedback might lead you to stress. And if it happens on a regular basis it most likely will lead to a depression. The key is how you treat your stress and depression. Take it as your best advisors to go forward. Take the negative feedback positively and let it give you the drive to want to improve your performance and surpass the expectations of your reviewer.

3. Get rid of unnecessary habits

Quite often you will find yourself doing things that get in the way of you achieving your goals. Maybe you have the habit of going to work with a hangover on Monday mornings after partying during the weekend. If you know that is what gets you down and makes you unmotivated, get rid of that habit. Minimize the things that distract you from working in top condition. Whenever you find yourself craving that beer, drink a glass of water instead. It is good for your health.

“Never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.” – Winston Churchill

4. Continue learning

Just because you are out of school does not mean you stop learning and adding to your knowledge. Surf the internet or take courses that can increase your expertise. The more informed you are, the more you boost the development of your brain. You are exposed to new ideas, gain new skills and you can reason better based on facts. Consider setbacks as an opportunity to learn. Never stop learning.

5. Celebrate all your achievements

Winning, no matter how small, deserves to be rewarded. Whenever you achieve your desired aim, get yourself a present. It could be that beautiful new dress you have been salivating for at the mall or even something big like a car. Rewarding yourself keeps you motivated to achieve the next big thing.

6. Take risks

You can never achieve something extraordinary if you stay in your comfort zone or keep doing regular stuff and not taking risks. Fear of taking chances limits your potential for growth and the rewards you could get by doing so. Not being sure what will happen next keeps you motivated to work on the task to achieve your desired results. Taking risks involves evaluating the rewards and losses you might encounter by taking on a particular challenge.

7. Take regular breaks

You are not superhuman. The only way for you to perform at the top of your game is to take a moment and rest. Studies have shown that working continuously with no rest may result in a decline in your productivity. Take a vacation and enjoy yourself without the pressure of work every once in a while. When you go back to the office you will come with renewed enthusiasm for work.

8. Treat yourself gently

Your friend bought that new house and you are still living in a rental. So what? Don’t compare your achievements with other people’s. We all have different goals and priorities. Accept the notion that there are people who are more affluent or smarter than you are. People are different. Accepting leaves you the space to explore other opportunities that are suited for you and focus on yourself.

9. Deal with your setbacks

Success is not a smooth path. On your journey to achieve your goals, it is nearly impossible not to encounter failure or other setbacks. Develop resilience. Resilience is the ability to bounce back from unfavorable situations. Develop the skill to cope with challenges. Admitting your failures help you keep motivated to rise above the challenge.

“All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.” – Michael John Bobak

10. Set deadlines

Self-imposed deadlines keep you focused on your goals. You need to set realistic timeframes for each subgoal to push yourself to focus and achieve it without becoming overwhelmed. Once you accomplish a subgoal, you get even more motivated to meet your larger goal. Set dates to complete tasks and stick to them.

11. Procrastination is a motivation killer

Distractions and fear of failure are the main reasons we procrastinate. Face your challenges head-on. By putting things off until later, you might be delaying your success. Keep yourself motivated by doing things in time.

12. Impress yourself

You know who is the hardest to impress? Yourself. There are times when you doubt your ability to meet a particular objective. But with the right mentality and attitude, you can do things that can leave you wondering how you did it. Love what you do and have the passion for achieving your goals that does not depend on the bar set by other people. Doing impressive things builds your self-confidence and motivates you to do even greater things.

A self-motivated person is a good performer at his/her job. The above tips will help you focus on your work and stay motivated to be more productive at what you do and in so doing enable you to earn that promotion you have been yearning to get.

How do you motivate yourself? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Motivation

The Real Hack Is In The Doing.

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I had a coaching call with a client recently and it was a trainwreck. I’m trying to get them to create content and they keep peering into the future. Instead of creating content they’re obsessed with:

  • Sales Funnels
  • When to monetize
  • How to convert inquiries into customers
  • What camera to use when filming videos
  • Writing a whitepaper

I told them this:

“Screw all of that. The key to success is in the doing.”

 

Your Ideas change over time.

When I first started blogging in 2014, I was doing interviews with entrepreneurs and turning them into blog posts. I had no idea what I was doing or even why I was doing it.

The blog posts sucked and sounded like press releases.

I hated the process.

None of the blog posts got any engagement at all. Hearing entrepreneurs talk about raising money and selling widgets was boring to me.

Then, one night at around 8 pm I wrote a blog post about changing my life. It was all the lessons I learned from studying personal development and it was nothing more than a brain fart.

It took about 45 minutes to write and was published with spelling and grammar errors all the way through it. This post got shared 84,000 times on Facebook alone.

All of a sudden, through focusing on the doing, I found something I liked.

“What starts as an idea changes over time and you’ll never predict where things will end up. Trust in the process”

 

Your beliefs change too.

I told my coaching client that his beliefs would change too. What he believes right now will change in the future. This will shape his creative side and his content most of all.

“Trying to predict where you’ll be in the future is like trying to predict when you’re going to die - it’s impossible to know”

My beliefs initially about what I was doing came from a very self-centered view of the world that was all about the cliché version of success.

I thought the nice car, suit, house and bikini babe was what mattered. Pretty quickly, as I produced lots of content and began reading, after not touching a book for more than ten years, I saw a different side.

My beliefs about the world changed and the idea of money went to last place. Add on a couple of near-death experiences like a cancer scare and my beliefs are now completely different.

I’m no longer trying to figure out how to suck out as much value from the world as I can for my own benefit. What I do daily is about a purpose far bigger than myself.

I told my coaching client this story because I believed the same was true for him. He’s trying to impact people’s lives by getting them to fall in love with the work they do.

Whenever he starts talking about this topic, I feel inspired. I told him that I say no to so many clients because I don’t believe in what they do.

I believe in what he does and that’s why I’m obsessed with getting him to focus on the doing.

 

You learn as you go.

People have this obsession with the idea that you have to do a course, be mentored, study for years (insert excuse) before you can start doing what you love.

This is a ridiculous idea and I challenge you to a duel if you think this way. As you continue the doing aspect of what you love, you’ll learn at the same time.

Even if you’re not conscious about the learning side, the doing will reveal way more than waiting for accreditation, permission or a mentor’s approval to proceed ever will.

Everything I know about social media, blogging, inspiring people and entrepreneurship came from the doing. Yes, there was deliberate learning along the way but that was always a distant second to the doing itself.

 

Consuming vs. creating.

My coaching client also suffered from the battle that is consuming vs. creating. He spent too much time watching what everyone else was doing and he didn’t spend enough time creating his own art.

He’s currently posting one video a week and I told him that’s not enough. He has it within him to do at least one video a day if he quits consuming everybody else’s content.

He also told me that he feels the need to respond to every comment he gets on social media. I told him this is nuts!!!

You cannot respond to every comment or email you get online. This time is better spent creating than it is pumping up your ego with “thank you’s” and “yes I know I’m so smart.”

 

The tools change.

I started blogging on WordPress and now I do most things on Medium and LinkedIn. If I’d become too obsessed with the tools, then I would have wasted the time I could have been spending refining my craft.

All the tools you use to execute on doing what you love will change, so treat them secondary to creating your unique art.

 

You can’t preplan the doing 9 times out of 10.

Your best work is often done when you’re spontaneous. For example, today is a public holiday in Australia and I wouldn’t normally write on a Wednesday.

I felt inspired this morning though, so I decided to jump on the computer and do some creating. Some of my best work (if I look at the stats) has been done on public days and times when I didn’t plan to create anything.

Over planning is a trap you need to avoid if you want to get down to the doing which produces results.

 

The doing is the hardest part.

The reason why many of you reading this are so obsessed with mentors, education, online courses and consuming someone else’s content is because all of these things are easy.

The doing is the hardest part. Being creative takes up all of your energy and putting your work out there to be judged is hard on your ego.

“Creating truly inspiring work takes every ounce of your emotions. You need flow states, time, resources and the belief that you’re enough to do the doing”

What stops us from the doing is either procrastination or fear. These two evils prevent you from the doing without you often realizing.

My coaching client wants to make a massive impact and he’s scared that he doesn’t have the ability. As his coach, I know he does and I’ve seen it.

The battle that exists in your mind daily is whether you should be doing the doing or settling for something easier (often this looks like the same thing but it’s not!).

Spending time doing the very thing that is hard, is how you leapfrog everyone else that never gets what they want and never lives a fulfilled life.

 

How do you win so frequently?

That’s what my coaching client asked me. He wanted to know how I produce so much content and have so many people watching online.

I told him the truth: I just spend as much time as I can doing the doing.

Everything else seems to take care of itself when I embrace this simple hack. You must become obsessed with the doing.

Spend a disproportionate amount of time doing the doing and you’ll produce the results that are 10X of what you think you’re capable of.

Are you ready to win?

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Motivation

How To See What You’re Truly Capable Of Becoming And Then Becoming It.

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I have an opportunity right now to do something that will propel my life and career to a whole new level. It will take me from behind the keyboard and into the spotlight of critics, people with a lot of power, people I admire and the masses.

It’s a dangerous crossroads in a lot of ways. There’s a lot that could go wrong. Normally I am full of belief, but in the last few days, I’ve had my doubts.

Maybe I shouldn’t aim so high so quickly. Maybe I will get distracted from what I really love doing. Maybe I don’t have the skills just yet.

What you’re hearing here is the thoughts of a stock standard, off the shelf, pink brain that was designed hundreds of years ago for a different purpose.

None of these thoughts are valid unless I accept they are.

Seeing what you are capable of becoming requires a few key steps. Then becoming it is the hardest part.

Here’s how to see what you can become and then actually become it:

 

Believe first.

“This is not gospel talk. I didn’t pull this one out of the pages of a hymn book. Until you can see what you are able to become, no one else can see it”

There’s an element of visualization required here. Ask yourself the question “What if there were no barriers and I could achieve anything?”

I want you to assume this is the case. To see what you are able to become you must see it first without barriers, negative thinking and outside opinions.

Once you can see what you can become, you then have to start believing. That requires you to see a positive outcome and have the courage to dare to do something phenomenal.

Believing first requires a degree of ignorance. In a way, I suppose you are ignoring logic. You are being somewhat irrational and not using common sense. You’re using belief to see a future version of yourself that achieves something meaningful to you, and to those who are inspired by your work.

 

Make it really big.

The next step is to dream really big. Our mind often constrains us and forces us to focus on what we’ve done in the past as the basis for what we can become in the future.

The stupid thing is that past results don’t necessarily predict the future. If that were true, we’d all bet on the stock market based on what has happened before and we’d be millionaires sipping mojitos off the bar of our luxury yachts.

Making your dream really big is an art. Your imagination that has been mostly switched off since you were a child and the creativity that has been sucked out of you by society needs to be reignited for the dreaming element of your mind to be turned on again and lit on fire baby!

If you aim really high and think you can deliver a speech in front of 50,000 people and then you fall short and deliver an inspiring speech in front of 2000 people, have you really failed?

The obvious answer is no. At least you got out of your warm bed and took a chance. Maybe there were a lot of seats empty but you at least influenced one person in a positive way.

“Giving it a shot is half the game of life”

 

Disconnect from the result.

Being fixated on the result stops you from ever taking the first step. I’ve been so focused in the last week on whether I can deliver and whether I have the experience to do something audaciously big that I didn’t take action.

I was blindsided by fear even though I know fear better than my own body.

Fear has been the thing that nearly ruined my life and prevented me from typing these very words. In some ways, it’s because I can smell the perfume of fear and see it a mile away with my Superman eyes, that I’m able to see what’s really going on, not only in my life, but the lives of others.

Never giving it a go is a far bigger failure than trying something and not succeeding. Not taking a chance and not risking it all for the person you’ve always wanted to become is something you’ll regret for the rest of your life.

Right up until the day of your death you’ll regret not knowing what could have happened if you saw what you were capable off, took a moon-shot opportunity and became that person.

“Regret is far worse than failure will ever be”

 

Be okay with not knowing a hell of a lot.

Part of the battle of seeing what you can become and then becoming it is that there is a lot you won’t know. The person I want to become in the coming weeks and months, and the opportunity I’m scared to say yes to has a lot to do with the core issue: I have no idea whether I can deliver on my promise.

I have no clue if I am this person that people think I am on the internet. Do I really inspire people? Or do I get inspired by other people and use that as fuel to pass it on?

We’ll never know the answers to these questions. We all have doubts and pieces to the puzzle of life that we can’t figure out.

In the end, there’s only a few harsh truths:

–    You must say yes to big opportunities

–    You must not overthink every decision

–    You must not try to have all the answers

–    You must not continually play out every scenario in your head thus draining your energy

All you can do is have guts, believe in yourself, have the courage and become who you’re truly capable of becoming through relentless action.

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

You Can’t Be 100% Motivated And On Fire All The Time So Stop Trying To Be.

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Right now, I’m not feeling that motivated. In fact, I haven’t felt very inspired or motivated all week. Given that motivating and inspiring others is my passion and it’s what I do every day, you’d think my career was over. You’d think maybe I have no more positivity left in me.

Even the most inspirational people in the world have times when nothing happens.

I recently watched Gary Vaynerchuk give advice to a young teenager. The teenager said:

“Gary, my girlfriend broke up with me and a relative just died. The last two weeks are hell.”

Gary took a few deep breaths and you just knew he was going to say something epic – and he did.

He said to the boy “Two weeks of lows doesn’t define the rest of your life.”

 

We’re all entitled to be down for a bit.

What I learned from Gary is that we are all going to have times during our life where nothing sticks. In the last few weeks, I’ve missed several great career opportunities, had a lot of rejection, seen a slump in shares/likes on some social media platforms and had some personal challenges.

All of this is normal.

 

What’s not normal is what you see online.

That’s the real point here. What is normal has been overshadowed by all the self-help, success talk that happens online 24/7. We’re being bombarded by it and we think we have to be motivated 100% of the time.

If we have a day when we’re not inspired, we think something is wrong. In my case, given my profession, it’s even harder. There’s this stigma that I have to be some perfect human being to do what I do. That’s BS.

It’s normal for anyone you admire and even your heroes to have low points or long periods of nothing – that’s the actual norm. The highlight reel you see online of the people you follow is what’s not normal. No one lives life like how we see people living online.

The cameras are only with these people of influence some of the time. What you didn’t see was them taking a dump or having an argument with their partner.

All you saw was a highly edited success reel of what they wanted you to see so they could send you to a landing page, put up a payment wall and monetize you. That’s what being motivated 100% of the time told them to do.

You can’t blame them entirely.

What the internet really needs is more of the truth. That is, more people talking about what goes wrong, more people documenting what’s really happening.

In simple terms, the internet needs less perceived perfection and success, and more of what’s real like disappointment, f*ck ups and challenges.

 

Not being motivated is where it all happens.

The opposite of what we’re led to believe is true. It’s during the moments of zero inspiration, bugger all motivation and low points that we discover who we are. It’s in our weakest moments that our strength, resilience and courage is built.

What I’ve learned during my recent low moments is that if I can handle this sh*t, then I can handle anything.

“Motivation comes from eating crap for dinner every day of the week and still persisting with your goals”

I’m writing these words today and not really feeling like it. It’s the art of doing even through the tough times that allows me to have a 60-second highlight reel on social media that makes me look like a freaking god that goes viral all over the internet hourly.

My success highlight reel looks very impressive and it sounds fantastic during one of the speeches I give. In job interviews, it really helps. When I pitch for business, it gives me credibility.

Our success highlight reels look freaking phenomenal but it’s 0.99% of the actual story.

If humans are motivated by storytelling, then let’s start telling the real story.

We’re not f*cking motivated 100% of the time so let’s stop pretending we are. Cheers to the moments when we feel like dirt and keep going.

 

Then everything changes.

What do I mean? This week I have no motivation but I already sense that next week is shaping up to be a big one. I find out about a number of life-changing opportunities. Knowing I could get through a tough week and be cool to keep inspiring gives me hope. That hope translates into strength.

Next week could be a disaster and these so-called life-changing opportunities could all amount to a mound of dust and broken dreams. But because I survived the tough times I know I can excel during times when I plateau, go backwards or even experience massive growth.

“It only takes one moment for everything to change and before you know it you’re 100 steps ahead of where you thought you’d be”

 

Quit the game.

The game of endless success. The rat race that is showing how perfect you are.

Show up with your best self. If that best self is 1% motivated or 100% motivated it doesn’t matter. The fact you showed up and got through the quicksand of life is all that counts. Sometimes that struggle will look like winning an Oscar and other times that struggle will look like pissing your pants.

Take a step back and see the bigger picture.

No one (including me) needs to, or is, motivated 100% of the time.

You don’t need to be either.

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