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Motivation

The 5 Step Process to Develop Life Long Motivation

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Motivation is often cited as the magical answer to everything you want. If you were motivated you would lose that weight, write that book, start the business and so on.

So how do we develop the habits and mind power needed to stay motivated on a daily basis?

Here is my 5 Step Process to Develop Life Long Motivation.

 

But, here’s a question:

What if motivation never strikes?

What are you going to do then?

 

Is Motivation The Solution?

I often hear people say “if I could just find the motivation to…

Within these words are an implication. The implication is that motivation is the solution to your problems.

If you were motivated you would pay off that debt, find a new job, and go back to school.

But what if that’s not the case?

What if motivation isn’t the solution?

What if motivation is a consequence of the actions you take?

 

What Came First: The Motivation or The Action?

I believe that there is a dance between motivation and action. The two of them work together to ignite each other.

Who makes the first move?

The first step?

Who leads the dance? 

 

Let’s get practical: What is easier to do in the next five minutes: find incredible motivation or take action?

Motivation isn’t something that can be summoned upon demand. But action… that’s a different beast.

Right now, can you take step 1 to get what you want in your life?

In case you don’t know the answer: It’s “yes”. You can take action right now.

Want to write a book? Write page 1.

Want to lose weight? Go on a run.

Want to find a new job? Send out your resume.

So we know that action is easier to take than to find motivation.

 

But within all of this another questions looms:

Is motivation a consequence of your actions, or are your actions a consequence of your motivation?

 

The Misunderstanding of Motivation

The unfortunate misunderstanding of motivation is that you must be motivated to achieve what you want.

Yes, motivation is wonderful. It feels good and gets us excited. But motivation can be fickle. It’s here one day and gone the next.

 

Dont-Give-Up-Motivation-Picture-Quote

 

I believe there are 2 types of motivation: 

There is short term motivation and long term motivation.

Short term motivation is shallow, fickle, and vulnerable to the ebbs and sways of daily life.

Long term motivation is not fickle nor shallow. It’s not vulnerable to the economy, the news, the “experts”, or anything in the outside world.

It’s a deep lasting motivation. It’s internal. You feel it deep in your soul.

I call this life long motivation.

 

Which brings us to a question:

How can you develop life long motivation?

 

 

The 5 Step Process to Develop Life Long Motivation

Below I share with you the 5 step process to develop life long motivation.

 

Step 1: Identify and Write Down Exactly What You Want

Above all else you must identify your purpose. You must know why you were put on this earth.

When you know exactly where you want to go, it plants the seed for life long motivation.

Here’s a great exercise to start gaining clarity on where you want to go in your life:

Take out a piece of paper and get ready to write. Imagine 5 years have passed. Everything you have wanted to accomplish has happened.

What is your day like?

What activities do you do?

What relationships do you have?

How do you make money?

How much money do you make?

How do you feel?

What are your hobbies? 

Write. Write. And write some more.

 

Step 2: Write Down Why You Want It

Knowing what you want is the first step, but knowing why you want it feeds your motivation.

Basically you’re establishing a purpose for your purpose.

So look over your 5 year vision. Then write down your response to this question:

Why do you want to achieve this vision? What impact will it have on your life if you fulfill this vision?

 

Step 3: Develop The Step by Step Plan

A killer of motivation is ambiguity, or a lack of knowledge.

Therefore to nurture motivation you need to gain knowledge and establish clarity.

A critical part of gaining clarity is to identify the specific steps you must take to fulfill your vision.

Look at your 5 year vision. Begin to write out the specific steps that you will need to take to fulfill that vision. Don’t make this difficult. You aren’t going to know all the steps. But you will know some of them.

Develop the plan. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it’s got to be something.

By creating this plan you have created a map to start working with.

 

Step 4: Take Action on Step 1

So you have put together the plan to fulfill your vision. Now is when the rubber hits the road.

You need to take action on step 1.

You have identified exactly where you want to go, why the vision matters, and the plan to fulfill the vision.

Now, take the first step to make it happen.

This brings an alignment between your daily actions and where you want to go over the longterm.

This brings meaning and purpose to each day… Which is fuel for lifelong motivation.

 

Step 5: Reflect Then Adjust

Motivation-and-Pride-Picture-QuoteAfter about 1 week take a look at the actions you have taken. Reflection allows you to learn from your experiences and to increase the rate at which you achieve what you want.

Basically, this allows you to constantly learn and grow as you move forward. As you learn and grow you will become the person you need to be to fulfill your vision.

Look at the actions you took over the course of the previous week and answer these 3 questions:

What actions are moving you towards your 5 year vision? Keep doing those.

What actions are preventing you from achieving your 5 year vision? Stop doing those.

 

What is 1 action you can start taking this week to accelerate you towards achieving your vision? Immediately implement this.

Remember: a huge killer of motivation is a lack of knowledge. When you feel like your just running on a treadmill it kills your motivation. By taking the time to step back and assess your actions and plans you are providing fuel for your motivation.

 

Above All Else Take Action

Here’s the simple reality, you can spend a lifetime waiting for motivation to strike… and it might never happen.

But right now, this moment, you can take action.

As you can see with the steps above when you take action, you give yourself the opportunity to gain motivation.

I’ll end this with a quote:

“You are much more likely to act your way into feeling, rather than feel your way into acting”.

 

Head over to The 30 Year Old Ninja to learn the critical mindset, steps, and principles to turn your dream into a reality. Izzy coaches people one on one and runs an online course to help you Achieve The Impossible. You can also follow him on Facebook to get daily inspiration.

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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Joey Tawadrous

    Oct 27, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    This post is incredibly motivational, words cannot describe. I’m always trying my best to find ways to keep motivated, but this post really does hit the nail on the head.

    Thanks you so much!

    – Joey

  2. Mia

    Oct 24, 2013 at 9:30 am

    a lifetime to master

  3. Nilishia

    Oct 18, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    Purpose- Sounds amazing , as if it makes u LIVE.. but how to find that thing you want so bad?? especially for people like me who find passion in everything(almost)?? thus making it impossible to decide THE purpose!!

  4. Shivam Pandey

    Sep 28, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    i really want to do great in life and no matter how many plans i make , i tend to overlook them after some days although i dont want to. the motivation is there but there is lack of perseverance. could you help me?

    • Colin

      Sep 28, 2013 at 11:29 pm

      Surround yourself in the environment of your goals. If it’s a business, put yourself around business people. If it’s welding, take welding classes. Most of all put yourself around the kind of people you want to be like or who are doing the same thing as you want to do. Perseverance is hard when your starving of the ideas you need. those people offer you the knowledge you need to keep you going.

  5. Sergey

    Sep 26, 2013 at 6:21 am

    Friends, the short term motivation is Hope, the long term motivation is Trust.

  6. Margarita Rara

    Sep 7, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    That’s a good one, thanks for reminding. I believe most of the people do some prep work but taking Action some times get difficult so, last point “Take Action” is most important.

  7. Praktikos

    Sep 6, 2013 at 4:43 am

    simple, easy , practical steps towards achieving greatness…NOW is the only time we have and ever will have, bless

  8. Onyeka Nchege

    Sep 4, 2013 at 2:16 am

    Great post Izzy. Absolutely agree with all…..especially step 2. You have to be crystal clear about why you are doing what you do because there will come a time when the going gets tough and you will need to remind yourself why you started down the path in the first place.

    Thanks for sharing.

  9. Donne Roma

    Sep 2, 2013 at 8:03 am

    Great article, and great advices!

  10. Ade

    Sep 2, 2013 at 1:48 am

    Just a question:
    How do I develop my own vision? Because right now I’m kinda working in line with my Dad’s vision (though awesome, cos he seems to know me even better than I know myself) and I’m also in tune with an Uncle who I have taken as my role model. Sometimes I feeling that I’m not autonomous in any way when it comes to career decisions especially. How do I overcome this and begin developing my own vision?
    Thank you.

    • Mohan Embar

      Sep 2, 2013 at 8:50 pm

      Hi Ade – for me the answer to that is to make sure that whatever path you’re taking is one you’re passionate about. My grandfather wanted me to become a doctor and offered to pay my full university tuition if I did that. The idea of becoming a doctor didn’t appeal to me at all, though.

      • Garry

        Sep 7, 2013 at 2:40 pm

        What if you find, while quickly moving through middle age, that you tend to merely like many things but are unable to pinpoint a passion?

        • Prashasti

          Sep 20, 2013 at 8:02 am

          It can be difficult, but if I was in your position I would probably list them down and evaluate on the basis of passion level, practicality and finance required. Hopefully, I’d get something which works in all ways for me. The idea needs to work in all spheres (at least, that’s what I think) 😉
          P.S : ‘liking’ things won’t be enough, you’ll need to be dying to do it 😛 come whatever may..

  11. Mohan Embar

    Sep 1, 2013 at 7:45 am

    Hi Izzy – first off, I totally agree with you that way too many people think that motivation is a prerequisite to achieving their lofty goals, despite Edison’s remark about genius being 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration. I’m tired of the Rah-Rah attitude that people think they need, so your article resonated with me. One additional point to consider is that successful people rarely go it completely alone. Sometimes a team, group, mentor, or buddy can inspire you in ways that simply willing yourself to take action can’t. (Just my $0.02 🙂 )

  12. Dionne

    Sep 1, 2013 at 6:53 am

    Motivation means nothing. It is temporary. You need to make doing the things that are going to make you succesful a habit.

  13. keithclarkeKeith

    Aug 31, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    Hey Izzy,

    Another excellent post, and… very motivating. The key thing that catches most of us is the sense of overwhelm we can encounter, so your line “Don’t make this difficult. You aren’t going to know all the steps. But you will know some of them.” is key 🙂 The only thing you haven’t mentioned is fear, which can stop the majority of us even acting on Step 1. So, I will end with a quote too, 😉

    “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”
    Dale Carnegie

  14. Monet Diamante

    Aug 31, 2013 at 4:41 am

    I like the list. I like to write down the goal and work backwards. Sometimes it’s easier for me to determine the first step when I have developed what the rest of the path will look like, as well as a “reasonable” time frame. Similarly to my short term goals–if I have somewhere to be at 6 pm, I work backwards: shower by 4:30, gym by 3, so on and so forth. Thanks for this article!

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Motivation

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

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

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

Sabotaging Success

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

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

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

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

1. Don’t negotiate with your brain 

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

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

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

2. Look at your identity 

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

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

3. Leaping out of bed

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

4. Use accountability and peer pressure

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

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

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

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

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Motivation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Life gives you everything you need

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why you need failure

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Motivation

What To Tell Yourself During A Tough Time.

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We all go through tough times.

A few examples of mine are:

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

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

What matters during tough times is what you tell yourself.

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


“This will pass”

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

“Why does this always happen to me?”

“Here we go again.”

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

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

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


I’ll be stronger having dealt with this situation

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

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

“Exchange your tough times for mental toughness”

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

Stack your tough times up like gold medals.

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

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

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

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

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


Keep taking baby steps forward

Tough times can feel like quicksand sometimes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Take baby steps.


“It only takes one person”

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

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

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

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

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

<<<>>>

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

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

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

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

That’s how you deal with the tough times.

Tell yourself the truth. You deserve to hear it.

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

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Motivation

This Can Be Your Life If You Choose It.

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I was sitting down last week with a friend for lemongrass and ginger teas — because that’s how we roll in Melbourne.

My friend was telling me his recent life challenges and why he’d stopped replying to everybody’s messages.

I’ll get to the point: he’d got stuck in the daily grind.

Your life is not this:

  • Wake up
  • Eat breakfast
  • Go to work
  • Have lunch
  • Come home
  • Ask your partner how their day was
  • Play with kids (if you have them)
  • Look forward to the weekend
  • Go to bed
  • Rinse and repeat

If this is how your life is, chances are you’re going to have challenges. Not because these daily activities are a problem but because there’s so much more to life.

When every day is the same, and you don’t know why, you become lost.


What do I mean by lost?

You go back to old ways. In my friend’s case, his mental health issues kicked in again. He started feeling sorry for himself. He lost his way.

For me, getting lost looks like going back to a state of negativity. A state where the world is against me and everything feels impossible.


Your life can be different if you choose it to be.

This is not hyperbole. Your life can be different.

How?

By not getting stuck in the daily grind. The way you do this is by being present. Noticing right now instead of looking down at your phone.

You can also break your routine. Don’t do the same thing every dayAdd some small twists and turns to how you do things.

Your life doesn’t have to be boring and full of routines. Habits are good to have as long as they don’t become 99.9% of your day. Having nothing but habits takes the variety out of your day.

You end up thinking the same way day in and day out. This stops you from seeing the endless opportunities that are available to you if you can only see them.


There has to be meaning.

No matter how big or how small, meaning gives you a reason to wake up outside of just following some pre-defined routine.

My friend that was going through issues last week didn’t have a meaning. He’d forgotten why he came to work. To shake up his reality, I told him about the day before where I’d volunteered at the local homeless shelter.

He asked me why I did it.

I told him It gets you out of your head. It makes you think and feel completely different. You stop feeling sorry for yourself. It reminds you of what it’s like to have a meaning.


We make the mistake of thinking everyone’s life is perfect except ours.

“I get this all the time. People think I live some rockstar blogging lifestyle full of free lunches, endless high-fives, smiles and opportunities. The reality couldn’t be further from this fake idea”

I have the same battles and challenges.
I get stuck in routines too.
I sometimes chase productivity over meaning as well.

No one has a straight flush of perfect days where all their hopes and dreams come true. Rejection, punches to the face, and disappointment affect us all.

The way you choose the good life is to acknowledge and push through the difficult parts of life.

As hard as I try, some days just suck. Some days I don’t feel like writing or my career is in the dumps.

The only difference is what you choose.

For me, I choose to keep moving forward. I choose optimism even when nothing makes sense and all the chips are stacked against me.

There’s no secret hack other than choosing to not settle for a life of routine and one that contains no variety.

You get to make that choice. That’s the difference.

The life you want is your choice. It’s not made for you.

Choose to change things up.

<<<>>>

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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Life

How You Can Effectively Achieve Your Goals by Using the Puzzle Analogy

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I was building a 500 piece puzzle the other day with many tiny little pieces. When I opened the box, I was completely overwhelmed. There were so many pieces and many of them were very similar in color. I took a breath and thought “just do one piece at a time”. I knew that I had to come up with a plan and organize the pieces into groups before I got started. This helped me to focus and take away some of the overwhelming feelings that were coming up. I came up with a plan and executed that plan. (more…)

Meghan Olsgard is the creator and writer of www.infinitesoulblueprint.com where she writes articles about self-empowerment and creating a fulfilling life. She shares her personal experiences and the obstacles she has overcame to help and inspire others to do the same. You can get more information at her website or follow her on Facebook.

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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Joey Tawadrous

    Oct 27, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    This post is incredibly motivational, words cannot describe. I’m always trying my best to find ways to keep motivated, but this post really does hit the nail on the head.

    Thanks you so much!

    – Joey

  2. Mia

    Oct 24, 2013 at 9:30 am

    a lifetime to master

  3. Nilishia

    Oct 18, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    Purpose- Sounds amazing , as if it makes u LIVE.. but how to find that thing you want so bad?? especially for people like me who find passion in everything(almost)?? thus making it impossible to decide THE purpose!!

  4. Shivam Pandey

    Sep 28, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    i really want to do great in life and no matter how many plans i make , i tend to overlook them after some days although i dont want to. the motivation is there but there is lack of perseverance. could you help me?

    • Colin

      Sep 28, 2013 at 11:29 pm

      Surround yourself in the environment of your goals. If it’s a business, put yourself around business people. If it’s welding, take welding classes. Most of all put yourself around the kind of people you want to be like or who are doing the same thing as you want to do. Perseverance is hard when your starving of the ideas you need. those people offer you the knowledge you need to keep you going.

  5. Sergey

    Sep 26, 2013 at 6:21 am

    Friends, the short term motivation is Hope, the long term motivation is Trust.

  6. Margarita Rara

    Sep 7, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    That’s a good one, thanks for reminding. I believe most of the people do some prep work but taking Action some times get difficult so, last point “Take Action” is most important.

  7. Praktikos

    Sep 6, 2013 at 4:43 am

    simple, easy , practical steps towards achieving greatness…NOW is the only time we have and ever will have, bless

  8. Onyeka Nchege

    Sep 4, 2013 at 2:16 am

    Great post Izzy. Absolutely agree with all…..especially step 2. You have to be crystal clear about why you are doing what you do because there will come a time when the going gets tough and you will need to remind yourself why you started down the path in the first place.

    Thanks for sharing.

  9. Donne Roma

    Sep 2, 2013 at 8:03 am

    Great article, and great advices!

  10. Ade

    Sep 2, 2013 at 1:48 am

    Just a question:
    How do I develop my own vision? Because right now I’m kinda working in line with my Dad’s vision (though awesome, cos he seems to know me even better than I know myself) and I’m also in tune with an Uncle who I have taken as my role model. Sometimes I feeling that I’m not autonomous in any way when it comes to career decisions especially. How do I overcome this and begin developing my own vision?
    Thank you.

    • Mohan Embar

      Sep 2, 2013 at 8:50 pm

      Hi Ade – for me the answer to that is to make sure that whatever path you’re taking is one you’re passionate about. My grandfather wanted me to become a doctor and offered to pay my full university tuition if I did that. The idea of becoming a doctor didn’t appeal to me at all, though.

      • Garry

        Sep 7, 2013 at 2:40 pm

        What if you find, while quickly moving through middle age, that you tend to merely like many things but are unable to pinpoint a passion?

        • Prashasti

          Sep 20, 2013 at 8:02 am

          It can be difficult, but if I was in your position I would probably list them down and evaluate on the basis of passion level, practicality and finance required. Hopefully, I’d get something which works in all ways for me. The idea needs to work in all spheres (at least, that’s what I think) 😉
          P.S : ‘liking’ things won’t be enough, you’ll need to be dying to do it 😛 come whatever may..

  11. Mohan Embar

    Sep 1, 2013 at 7:45 am

    Hi Izzy – first off, I totally agree with you that way too many people think that motivation is a prerequisite to achieving their lofty goals, despite Edison’s remark about genius being 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration. I’m tired of the Rah-Rah attitude that people think they need, so your article resonated with me. One additional point to consider is that successful people rarely go it completely alone. Sometimes a team, group, mentor, or buddy can inspire you in ways that simply willing yourself to take action can’t. (Just my $0.02 🙂 )

  12. Dionne

    Sep 1, 2013 at 6:53 am

    Motivation means nothing. It is temporary. You need to make doing the things that are going to make you succesful a habit.

  13. keithclarkeKeith

    Aug 31, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    Hey Izzy,

    Another excellent post, and… very motivating. The key thing that catches most of us is the sense of overwhelm we can encounter, so your line “Don’t make this difficult. You aren’t going to know all the steps. But you will know some of them.” is key 🙂 The only thing you haven’t mentioned is fear, which can stop the majority of us even acting on Step 1. So, I will end with a quote too, 😉

    “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”
    Dale Carnegie

  14. Monet Diamante

    Aug 31, 2013 at 4:41 am

    I like the list. I like to write down the goal and work backwards. Sometimes it’s easier for me to determine the first step when I have developed what the rest of the path will look like, as well as a “reasonable” time frame. Similarly to my short term goals–if I have somewhere to be at 6 pm, I work backwards: shower by 4:30, gym by 3, so on and so forth. Thanks for this article!

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Motivation

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

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

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

Sabotaging Success

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

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

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

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

1. Don’t negotiate with your brain 

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

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

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

2. Look at your identity 

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

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

3. Leaping out of bed

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

4. Use accountability and peer pressure

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

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

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

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

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Motivation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Life gives you everything you need

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why you need failure

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Motivation

What To Tell Yourself During A Tough Time.

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We all go through tough times.

A few examples of mine are:

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

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

What matters during tough times is what you tell yourself.

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


“This will pass”

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

“Why does this always happen to me?”

“Here we go again.”

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

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

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


I’ll be stronger having dealt with this situation

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

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

“Exchange your tough times for mental toughness”

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

Stack your tough times up like gold medals.

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

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

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

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

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


Keep taking baby steps forward

Tough times can feel like quicksand sometimes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Take baby steps.


“It only takes one person”

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

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

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

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

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

<<<>>>

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

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

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

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

That’s how you deal with the tough times.

Tell yourself the truth. You deserve to hear it.

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

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Motivation

This Can Be Your Life If You Choose It.

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I was sitting down last week with a friend for lemongrass and ginger teas — because that’s how we roll in Melbourne.

My friend was telling me his recent life challenges and why he’d stopped replying to everybody’s messages.

I’ll get to the point: he’d got stuck in the daily grind.

Your life is not this:

  • Wake up
  • Eat breakfast
  • Go to work
  • Have lunch
  • Come home
  • Ask your partner how their day was
  • Play with kids (if you have them)
  • Look forward to the weekend
  • Go to bed
  • Rinse and repeat

If this is how your life is, chances are you’re going to have challenges. Not because these daily activities are a problem but because there’s so much more to life.

When every day is the same, and you don’t know why, you become lost.


What do I mean by lost?

You go back to old ways. In my friend’s case, his mental health issues kicked in again. He started feeling sorry for himself. He lost his way.

For me, getting lost looks like going back to a state of negativity. A state where the world is against me and everything feels impossible.


Your life can be different if you choose it to be.

This is not hyperbole. Your life can be different.

How?

By not getting stuck in the daily grind. The way you do this is by being present. Noticing right now instead of looking down at your phone.

You can also break your routine. Don’t do the same thing every dayAdd some small twists and turns to how you do things.

Your life doesn’t have to be boring and full of routines. Habits are good to have as long as they don’t become 99.9% of your day. Having nothing but habits takes the variety out of your day.

You end up thinking the same way day in and day out. This stops you from seeing the endless opportunities that are available to you if you can only see them.


There has to be meaning.

No matter how big or how small, meaning gives you a reason to wake up outside of just following some pre-defined routine.

My friend that was going through issues last week didn’t have a meaning. He’d forgotten why he came to work. To shake up his reality, I told him about the day before where I’d volunteered at the local homeless shelter.

He asked me why I did it.

I told him It gets you out of your head. It makes you think and feel completely different. You stop feeling sorry for yourself. It reminds you of what it’s like to have a meaning.


We make the mistake of thinking everyone’s life is perfect except ours.

“I get this all the time. People think I live some rockstar blogging lifestyle full of free lunches, endless high-fives, smiles and opportunities. The reality couldn’t be further from this fake idea”

I have the same battles and challenges.
I get stuck in routines too.
I sometimes chase productivity over meaning as well.

No one has a straight flush of perfect days where all their hopes and dreams come true. Rejection, punches to the face, and disappointment affect us all.

The way you choose the good life is to acknowledge and push through the difficult parts of life.

As hard as I try, some days just suck. Some days I don’t feel like writing or my career is in the dumps.

The only difference is what you choose.

For me, I choose to keep moving forward. I choose optimism even when nothing makes sense and all the chips are stacked against me.

There’s no secret hack other than choosing to not settle for a life of routine and one that contains no variety.

You get to make that choice. That’s the difference.

The life you want is your choice. It’s not made for you.

Choose to change things up.

<<<>>>

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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