I’m an average Joe, working as a banker, from a small island called Australia. I have a confession to make as well: I don’t own a Ferrari or a fancy suit. That’s why this advice I’m about to give you will unexpectedly change your life.
I’m the least likely guy you’d expect to be mature. Against all the odds, I found a mature meaning for my life that has helped a lot of people online.
That’s not bragging rights it’s just what happens when you understand what’s real and what’s not.
Here are my brutal lessons:
1. Maturity comes from failure.
Age plays no part in maturity.
What makes you mature is when you’ve made enough fuck ups in life that you’re able to see life for what it is: a freaking miracle that you shouldn’t take for granted.
With every stupidly, ridiculous cock up in my life, I’ve matured. I’ve learned what works by experiencing what doesn’t work.
2. The best advice doesn’t have the most likes.
One piece of advice I gave stopped a young 21 year old from committing suicide. It wasn’t a viral piece of content yet it’s probably one of the pieces I’m thrilled I wrote.
Saving a life is more important than gaining likes on social media.
3. Beauty is not what you think.
Fat, skinny, tall, athletic — none of that equals beauty. Who defines what beauty is?
The truth I’ve learned, through maturing as an adult, is that the beauty inside is the most important criteria.
Let me remove the BS catchphrase I just said and explain it in simple terms: beauty is the way someone acts and how they make you feel.
Beauty is a by-product of working on yourself and the way you think. Eat that INSTAGRAM!
4. It’s not about ‘one’s self.’
Take the focus off yourself and you’ll see just how easy it is to get everything you could ever want.
Progressing your own selfish desires only leaves you feeling empty. You’ll always be asking “Is this all there is?”
I’ve been that guy. I was obsessed with ‘my business’ and ‘my car’ and ‘my money.”
None of the cliché things that a lot of us aim for ever move the dial on your happiness meter. It’s not about you.
5. No one’s reached the pinnacle.
Not Elon. Not Zuck’s. Not Gates. Not Jay Z. Everyone’s just getting started.
One area of our life could look amazing; we may even be famous for it. That’s not the pinnacle. There’s always another goal or another passion to pursue.
None of us know the true limit of human potential. We’ll never know if we’ve reached the pinnacle. There’s always more to do. There’s always another goal.
When you see success as temporary and see fame for what it is, you stop chasing it.
“Chase meaning instead and quit falling in love with idols who you’ll never be and probably never want to be if you got to live a day in their shoes”
6. Focus on the essentials when it comes to owning stuff.
Even then you’ll probably get carried away, let’s face it.
The need to have more won’t take you further along the Yellow Brick Road. In fact, the reality is quite the opposite.
Having more stuff is only going to make you more stressed and want more, thus resulting in an empty feeling that is hard to explain to almost any mature adult.
“Less will always be more because less is how you get more of the good things in life — happiness, love, meaning, etc”
7. Men cry too and so do leaders.
Everyone has a rough day or a situation that brings us to tears. It’s okay not to be okay.
Crying is how we know what matters to us. Every time we cry, we gain another piece of the puzzle to the jigsaw that is our life.
There’s no point pretending you don’t cry. We all cry because we’re all human. Emotion is what connects us together and makes us united.
It’s the one feeling we can’t stop no matter how hard we might try, so we can look #normal. Screw normal.
8. The hardest work is working on yourself.
Not hustle till you die.
Not grinding after midnight.
Not working seven days.
We can all work hard like a machine but working on ourselves is what defines us as being human. It’s one of the hardest things in life to look at yourself in the mirror and say “I’m an asshole.”
That’s the conversation I had with myself five years back. I was a rude, arrogant, sick, twisted individual that had let greed take over from everything that makes logical sense.
Figuring out my own mind and using it to help others is the hardest work I’ve ever done. In the early stages, working on myself felt like being in prison. I had to get really good at seeing the stuff I didn’t want to see.
Numbers of hours, revenue generated and how good you are at ‘hustling’ don’t matter. What matters is what you work on you.
If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net
How to Stay Motivated to Achieve Your Goals
Time is the raw material of our lives. How we choose to spend it, shapes our life accordingly. So having the motivation to spend it on achieving goals is crucial to creating a life we want.
What is Motivation?
The Oxford dictionary defines motivation as the desire or willingness to do something – our drive to take action.
Scientifically, motivation has its roots in the dopamine pathways of our brains. When we do something that feels good, that’s dopamine kicking in. Our actions are driven by the desire for that reward (the good feeling).
Author Steven Pressfield describes motivation more practically. He says we hit a point where the pain of not doing something becomes greater than the pain of doing it. He sees motivation as crossing the threshold where it’s easier to take action than it is to be idle. Like choosing to feel awkward while making sales calls over feeling disappointed about a diminishing bank account.
However you choose to think about it, we all want to harness motivation to achieve our goals.
How to Get Motivated
James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, says that most people misunderstand motivation. They think that motivation is what gets us to take action. In reality, motivation is often the result of action, not the cause of it. Once we start a task, it’s easier to continue making progress. Like Isaac Newton’s first law: objects in motion stay in motion.
This means most of the resistance when working on your goals comes right before we start. Since motivation naturally occurs after we start, we need to focus on making starting easier.
4 Ways to Make Starting Easier
1. Schedule it
One reason people can’t get started on things is that they haven’t planned when to do it.
When things aren’t scheduled it’s easier for them to fall by the wayside. You’ll end up hoping motivation falls in your lap or hoping that you’ll muster enough willpower to get it done.
An article in the Guardian said, “If you waste resources trying to decide when or where to work, you’ll impede your capacity to do the work.”
2. Measure something
It’s easy to feel uninspired when you don’t know if you’re making progress or what you’re even working towards. That’s why you need to make your success measurable in some way. Starting is easy when you know exactly how much closer your current actions will bring you to achieving your goal.
3. Extrinsic motivation
This type of motivation is from external factors. It can be either positive or negative. Positive motivation consists of incentives like money, prizes, and grades. Negative motivation consists of deterrents like being fired, having a fight, or being fined. Extrinsic motivation doesn’t work effectively long-term, but it can work well in the short term to get you started on something.
4. Make it public
Keep yourself accountable by telling friends and family your goals, or even sharing them on social media. This makes it easier to start something because you’re pressured to not let others down.
How to Stay Motivated Long Term
When we say we want to feel motivated to do something, we don’t want to be pushed or guilted into doing a task. We want to be so attracted and drawn to the idea that we can’t resist not taking action. That’s why it’s important to build a foundation that will set you up for consistency.
These are 5 techniques that will help you do just that:
1. Stay in your goldilocks zone
The goldilocks zone is when a task is the perfect level of difficulty—not too hard and not too easy. In this zone, we reach peak motivation and focus.
For example, let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match against a 4-year-old. On this level of difficulty, you’ll quickly become bored and not want to play. Now let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match against Serena Williams. On this level of difficulty, you’ll quickly become demotivated because the match is too challenging.
The Goldilocks zone is in the middle of that spectrum. You want to face someone with equal skill as you. That way you have a chance to win, but you have to focus and try for it. Adjusting your workload and goals over time to stay within your Goldilocks zone keeps you engaged and motivated long-term.
2. Pursue intrinsically motivated goals
Being intrinsically motivated to achieve a goal is when you want to achieve it for what it is. There are no external factors like a reward or the risk of being fired. The drive behind your actions is coming from within.
For most intrinsic goals we pursue them because they will enrich our lives or bring us closer to fulfillment. That makes these goals extremely sustainable long-term because they directly affect our quality of life and the things we care about.
3. Use “chunking”
Chunking is the technique of breaking down a goal into smaller short-term targets. By doing this you achieve multiple successes in your pursuit of the main goal. This triggers the brain’s reward system and drives you to keep going.
Traditionally, you may set a goal that you expect to achieve in one year. That’s a long time to commit without seeing any results along the way. By chunking your goals into monthly or quarterly targets, you get the consistent positive reinforcement you need to stay motivated long-term.
For example, instead of trying to lose 50 pounds in one year, try to lose 4 pounds every month for 12 months.
4. Be flexible
We’re all victims of circumstance. Things happen along our journey that we can either adjust to or quit because of. That’s why it’s important to have leeway and flexibility when you’re pursuing a goal. If you expect everything to go perfectly, the inevitable failure can make you disengaged and desireless. When you plan for things to go wrong, you make sure you can keep up for the long haul.
5. Pursue your goals in a sustainable fashion
Don’t lose hope when you’re not an overnight success. Overnight successes are the 1%—for the most part, they don’t exist. What we see as an “overnight success” is actually countless hours of work behind the scenes finally hitting a tipping point. Pursuing goals is a story of patience, persistence, and unseen effort.
Don’t compare yourself to others. Comparison is a recipe for a drop in self-confidence and satisfaction. It also cultivates a mindset where you think you haven’t done enough. As a result, you may raise your expectations and put more pressure on yourself.
This is pointless because things worth achieving take time. So we obviously won’t compare to the things around us when starting.
Mastering motivation is a superpower. With that ability at your fingertips, you can accomplish your goals and shape a life you want to live in.
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