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Motivation

8 Ways To Increase Your Mental Strength

Joel Brown (Founder of Addicted2Success.com)

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spartan strength and mental toughness

Editor’s Note: Wanha from Reddit, shares his advice on what it takes to increase mental toughness.

I’ve always been fascinated with mental toughness and athletes who possess it, and I’ve spent many years trying to understand this topic.

Much of our physical ability is determined by our body structure. I can train as much as I want, but I’ll never beat Usain Bolt in a footrace. Mental toughness, on the other hand, is something that can be learned and cultivated, it can be forged through practice and struggle. Naturally some people are born with a higher level of mental toughness than others, but on the whole it’s a skill that anyone can cultivate to a relatively high level.

Mental toughness is the ability to perform at an optimal level when the stakes are at their highest. Whether that means closing a huge sale or fighting back from the brink of defeat, mental toughness means we don’t allow the situation to overwhelm us emotionally.

One of the most respected NFL coaches, Bill Belichick, defines mental toughness as

“doing what’s right for the team regardless of how you might be feeling at the time.”

In other words, mental toughness is about sacrifice, doing something that’s difficult, pushing past your threshold, playing injured or playing a role you might not be comfortable playing. It’s about putting the team first.

But talking about mental toughness is easy. For every athlete that is mentally tough, there are probably ten athletes that aren’t.

So how do we improve our mental toughness?

Control Your Mind Or It Will Control You

Boiled down to its most basic elements, mental toughness comes down to two choices: to control your mind, or to let your mind control you.

When we don’t control our minds, we accept whatever programming that has been inputted earlier. You see, most of us never chose our current mental programming, we simply stumbled onto it, and now it’s the way we deal with life’s various challenges and situations.

For example, if your default reaction to high-stake moments is fear, anxiety or over-excitment, it’s because somewhere down the line you learned that that strategy works for you. That’s obviously not a particularly smart strategy, but at the time when you accepted it as part of your programming it was clearly good enough. And once we accept a programming, we usually stop thinking about it and it becomes our default reaction for similar situations.

So if we want to increase our mental toughness, we are going to have to do a little reprogramming of our minds first. From my experience, the key to being mentally tougher is to control your focus and eliminate the little voice of doubt and critique.

 

It’s All in Your Mind

Most articles you will find on this topic break mental toughness down into various subcategories, such as focus, poise, confidence, courage, and so forth. Although that may make sense from a scientific perspective, I’ve found that such an approach makes it difficult for the average person to put any of the advice to use.

So what follows is my attempt to provide an easier and more natural process to help you perform better when it really counts. I’ve successfully used these techniques myself over the past few years and I believe they can do the same for you.

Let’s get to them.

I. Be Positive. I Mean REALLY, REALLY POSITIVE

It’s easy to get down on yourself and let the inner critic run free when things aren’t going well, but that isn’t going to help you.

Instead, fight the urge to criticize and ask yourself if you can make a commitment that you will only bring forth positive energy for the remainder of the match. I’ve found that when you prioritize eliminating all negative thoughts, your focus automatically shifts to the positive ones, and that in turn makes you more likely to enjoy and excel in the big moment.

 

II. Focus Only On What You Control

Yes, we play to win, that’s why we keep score. But spending time thinking about the potential outcome just diverts your focus and fills your head with unimportant, distracting thoughts.

The remedy is to be present in the moment and let nature take its course. Focus only on the things you actually control: your approach and your attitude. What happens after the next point or after the match doesn’t matter. I’ve found this approach helps me relax, focus and play my best at the key moments.

 

III. Keep Your Emotional Level Steady

Some of us get more easily up and down that others. The more up and down you get, the more likely you are going to get over-excited or overwhelmed by the situation, and that puts you in a bad spot to win the big points consistently.

The key is to distance yourself from the game just enough so that you’re not swept away with the emotional tides. Don’t only focus on not getting down – also make sure you don’t get too high either, because that disrupts your focus also. Visualize remaining calm and composed in even the biggest situations. Act like you’ve been in those situations a hundred times, and eventually you’ll feel like it too.

 

IV. Enjoy The Big Moments

This is probably my favorite technique because it takes a moment that is stressful and intimidating and turns it into a moment that’s fun and exciting – something you actually look forward to.

The next time you find yourself in a big moment in a game (e.g. a tiebreak in tennis), remind yourself how exciting and fun these big moments are compared to a casual game with nothing at stake. These are the moments you’ll remember and what you’ll all discuss after the games – enjoy them, embrace them, and feel them with every cell in your body.

 

Mental Strength and physical pain quote

 

V. A Prepared Mind is a More Confident Mind

It’s been said that self confidence is ‘your ability to influence the world around you’. What better way to do that than through practice?

When you know you’ve practiced a single shot a thousands of times, you have a lot more faith in being able to rely on your training in a big moment. You don’t need to ‘will’ yourself to do something that has very little chance of succeeding. Remind yourself that all that sweat and sacrifice was a price you paid so you could be victorious today.

 

VI. Forget About How You Might Look

Sometimes we start thinking how bad we might appear to others if we lose this point – or how embarrassing it would be to blow a big lead. But the moment you start thinking from the outside in, you lose your focus and your ability to stay calm and composed.

Thinking from the outside in is toxic. You are not doing this to “look good” or win the admiration of onlookers, so put all thoughts about looking bad out of your mind and just focus on playing the game one point at a time. Win or loss – do it your way.

 

VII. Have a Short Memory

This is also one of my favorites. It’s so easy to get angry and criticize ourselves when we make a mistake, but all that usually does is turn one bad play into another.

If the previous point or play didn’t go your way, you need to forget it immediately and concentrate on the next one. Don’t let one bad play ruin the next one.

Just make a note and move on.

 

VIII. Don’t Expect Perfect Circumstances

It’s easy to say the conditions were poor, you had a little ailment or that nothing is going your way today. But these are all just excuses that tempt you down the road of surrender.

You only get the perfect circumstances so many times in life. Don’t dwell on what has gone against you. Don’t worry that the conditions favor your opponent. Ignore the pain you feel in your knee.

What you have is what you have. There will never be another chance to win this game.

Be like MacGyver and use everything that you have at your disposal to succeed right now.

Mental toughness is really just about approaching the game from the right perspective. The next time you step out onto the field, ignore the score, focus being in the moment and tell that little, criticizing and excuse-seeking voice in your head to shut the hell up. You’ll be glad you did.

 henry ford positive quote

 

I am the the Founder of Addicted2Success.com and I am so grateful you're here to be part of this awesome community. I love connecting with people who have a passion for Entrepreneurship, Self Development & Achieving Success. I started this website with the intention of educating and inspiring likeminded people to always strive for success no matter what their circumstances. I'm proud to say through my podcast and through this website we have impacted over 100 million lives in the last 6 and a half years.

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25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. Praveen

    Aug 31, 2016 at 9:00 am

    Hi Joel, this quote is inspiring ‘When you know you’ve practiced a single shot a thousands of times, you have a lot more faith in being able to rely on your training in a big moment. .’

    Your words really motivate the readers to cultivate this power I use meditation as a basis for developing mental strength but, the human psychogy cannot be denied which directly or indirectly subdued in it. it’s really interesting to come through such articles of great values.

Leave a Reply

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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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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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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Startups

10 Lessons for Bootstrapping Your Startup to $1M Annual Revenue

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In an entrepreneurial landscape dominated by headlines of unicorn startups and billion-dollar acquisitions, getting a company to $1 million in annual recurring revenue (ARR) may sound like small change. Let’s be real, though, hitting $1 million ARR is an aspirational milestone most young companies can relate to. And it’s not that easy, especially if you’ve secured modest investments or no investment at all. (more…)

Kenneth Burke is the Marketing Director at Text Request, a business texting software company.

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25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. Praveen

    Aug 31, 2016 at 9:00 am

    Hi Joel, this quote is inspiring ‘When you know you’ve practiced a single shot a thousands of times, you have a lot more faith in being able to rely on your training in a big moment. .’

    Your words really motivate the readers to cultivate this power I use meditation as a basis for developing mental strength but, the human psychogy cannot be denied which directly or indirectly subdued in it. it’s really interesting to come through such articles of great values.

Leave a Reply

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!

<<<>>>

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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