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The School Teacher Who Quit His Job To Become A Ninja – 6 Steps To Turn Your Dreams Into Reality

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Izmael Arkin, a middle school teacher quit his job to follow his childhood dream: To become a Ninja. Read on to see how Izmael went from a struggling life as a middle school teacher in california to becoming a Ninja in Japan.

Enjoy his 6 Steps to Turn Your Dreams Into a Reality.

 

October 2009

I looked at my hands.

They were shaking.

I pulled over to the side of the road. The questions ran through my mind:

What did you do wrong?

How did you get here?

What are you going to do with your life?

Then the tears started to fall…

 

The Depression

I was in my 4th year as a middle school science teacher in Los Angeles, California.

26 years old, getting a masters degree in education. I was moving up the ladder fast,  soon to be running my own school.

I was making more money every year. I drove a nice car. My resume looked fantastic. Everyone was impressed.

But there was a problem.

I hated my life.

I’d lie awake at 2am unable to fall asleep. Anxiety, fear,  and stress  overtook my thoughts.

Night after night the questions, voices, and thoughts kept coming.

 

What Are You Going To Do With Your Life? (The Million Dollar Question)

I thought I wanted to give my life to education. I thought this is what I was supposed to do.

I tried to use logic.

You have a good job.

You should be happy.

You’ve done everything you were told to do.

Logic is stupid… when it leads to depression, anxiety, and stress.

I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.

For months on end I battled with the million dollar question.

What are you going do with your life?

I made it my purpose to discover my purpose.

I talked with friends and family. I read books. I took personality tests. I tried new activities. I volunteered in my community.

Friends would ask “Izzy, if you aren’t going to be a teacher, what are you going to do with your life?

I’d smile and give a little laugh.

I want to be a ninja.

It was meant to lighten the mood, to bring some humor, to such a serious question.

But one day it clicked… I’m not kidding.

 

izzy eli ninja halloween big

 

What is a Ninja?

About 4 months after that fateful October day, I wrote my dream on paper.

“I want to be a ninja… But what is a ninja?”

It’s a good question, right?

As I explored this question I realized something. I didn’t want to be a traditional ninja. I wanted to be the ninja from my childhood imagination. It’s a childhood dream.

So then I asked the question: According to my 8 year old brain, what is a ninja?

The answer became very clear. A ninja does 3 things.

  1. Moves to a far away land
  2. Trains extensively in martial arts
  3. Challenges the traditional rules of work and life as we know it

As I wrote these down I sat back in my chair with a surge of emotion. It clicked.

This…is…possible…

 

I Quit My Job, I live In Japan, I Train 4 hours a Day in Martial Arts

Over the course of 4 years I would quit my career in education, save money, find work in Japan, and eventually train extensively in martial arts.

I now live in the historical capital of Kyoto in Japan. I train in Aikido (a martial art) 4 to 6 hours a day 5 days a week.

Am I a ninja? By technical definition, no… But that was never what I wanted to be. I wanted to be the ninja from my childhood dreams.

I have now lived in Japan for 2 years. I have given my life to Aikido.

4 years ago, I was a depressed, stressed, overwhelmed 26 year old middle school teacher. Now, I wake up with joy, purpose and meaning.

I share my story for one reason. I’m not magical nor special. My life is evidence that you can follow your dreams no matter how absurd they may initially seem.

Izzy getting thrown

 

 

6 Steps to Identify and Live Your Dream

Below I break down the process to 6 specific practical steps to turn your dream into a reality. I know this stuff works because my life is the evidence.

 

Step 1: Answer The Million Dollar Question

I believe there is nothing more important than to identify your purpose.

The million dollar question is as follows:

If you had a million dollars, what would you do with your life?

Many of us allow money to be our excuse.

We use it as a crutch to slow us from moving towards our dreams. In some cases we even use the money excuse as a dagger that rips right through the heart of our dreams.

Your job above all else, is to identify what you want to do. After that, then you can figure out how to make money doing it.

 

Step 2: Define Your Dream

Once you know what you want to do, create a clear succinct definition for your dream.

Take my dream for example: to become a ninja.

That sounds totally absurd, unrealistic, and crazy. But when I give you the definition (according to my 8 year old brain)

1) Moves to a far away land
2) Trains extensively in martial arts
3) Challenges the traditional rules of work and life as we know it

It all of a sudden becomes possible.

Defining your dream makes the ‘impossible’, possible.

 

Step 3: Determine The First Step

Once you know exactly where you want to go (your purpose) and you have a clear definition then you need to identify the first step.

Do not be concerned with step 9, step 29, or step 109. All you need to do is focus on the next step in the process.

 

Step 4: Take The First Step

Action is the great differentiator. This world rewards people that ‘do’, not people who ‘think about doing’.

Everything comes down to execution. You can have the greatest idea in the world, but it don’t mean a darn thing if you don’t take action on it.

 

Step 5: Start Saving Money

Yes, I mentioned above that you cannot use money as an excuse. And that is correct. But here is the other reality.

Money matters.

As soon as I identified my dream, I started saving money every month. I called it “my dream fund”.

By doing this I was gaining momentum on my dream. Every month it felt like I was getting closer.

How much you save isn’t near as important as saving. Choose an amount and start saving today.

 

Step 6: Reflect, Adjust, Act

As you take action, you’re going to learn incredible things about yourself. But here’s the simple reality: you’re going to make mistakes.

It’s critical that you learn from these mistakes. After you take action it’s important to set time aside at minimum weekly to reflect. There are 3 specific questions I always ask myself:

1)  What actions did you take in the last week that are moving you towards your dream? (keep doing those)

2)  What actions did you take in the last week that are preventing you from moving towards your dream? (stop doing those)

3)  What actions do you need to start doing to accelerate your progress towards your dream? (Choose one of these and do it).

 

Then based on your answers to these questions, adjust your plan and take action.

Repeat this “reflect, adjust, act” approach every week and you will be amazed by the impact it has on your life.

 

Izzy with students 

 

Identify Your Dream, Then Take The First Step

At the core of all of this are two very simple concepts.

To turn your dream into a reality all you need to do is know exactly where you want to go and then continuously take the next step.

This sounds simple because it is simple. But simple does not mean easy.

If some former middle school teacher can quit his job to become a ninja, you can follow your dream.

What actions are you going to take today to start turning your dream into a reality?

 

Izzy, The 30 Year Old Ninja

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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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Shunmuga

    Feb 10, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    Very much impressive article. Your article will inspire each and every person who doesnt like their PROFESSION and eagerly longing for their PASSION including me!!!

    You made us believe that if we follow out PASSION as our PROFESSION we will get satisfied in life.

    Thanks Izzy

  2. Elvis

    Nov 15, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    I am inspired every time i read such articles !!! Thank you for sharing it 🙂

  3. Cansu Nar

    Oct 22, 2013 at 3:45 am

    I am very impressed with your article…this article definitely gives motivation, especially for those who are depressed and stressed out from life…

  4. Elizabeth Perez

    Sep 15, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    Wow. .!!! Inspiring. .km 56 and cannot find my purpose. .!!:(

  5. Amit Rathi

    Sep 10, 2013 at 7:17 am

    Awesome article. You are a mad man! I
    I am also working towards finding my dream and this article is inspiring me a lot
    & i love this article.

  6. Shannon

    Aug 28, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    I’ve read and re-read this like five times now. You make achieving your dream sound so doable, I love it! I actually wrote about this piece TWICE on my own blog this week, and am implementing the steps you outlined for myself. Thanks for sharing your success and how you got there!

  7. Ryan

    Aug 27, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Izzy. Kudos to you my man. I quit a very well paid but dissatisfying job in London to move back to India as I simply couldn’t suffer that soul sucking crap any longer. I don’t have plans to become a ninja, but am working towards building a business and needed this motivation to keep me going…see you in Japan some day!

  8. Calvin Lee

    Aug 26, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    Hasn’t the ninja ship sailed a hundred years ago? Shouldn’t he be practicing Ninjutsu instead of Aikido?
    No matter what, someone who follows his/her dream is truly admirable 🙂

    • LOKI

      Aug 30, 2013 at 5:23 pm

      AGAIN… THE POINT WAS HE REALIZED HIS DREAM BY DELVING INTO HIS 8 YEAR OLD SELF’S DEFINITION OF WHAT A NINJA IS.

  9. John

    Aug 16, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    Awesome article. You are a crazy man! I completely envy you for your balls of steel to take action and completely change your life. My dream is become an actor, but drugs, alcohol, and anxiety got in the way. Now, 6 years sober, I am 3 years away from completing my degree in chemical engineering (my back up plan) and am then planning on moving to L.A. to delve into my acting dream.

    Keep up the good work Izzy!

    • Sankarshan

      Jan 31, 2014 at 10:16 pm

      You don’t need a to become a Chem. E. for that. I should know because I am a chemical engineering major about to graduate.

  10. Izzy

    Aug 15, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    Hi Betty (I’m assuming that’s your name).

    Teaching is darn hard work. I believe it can be one of the most fulfilling job if a person truly loves it. But on the flip side it can also be a very painful job if you don’t enjoy it. Kids are so darn honest. You have to be on your toes and ready at all times.

    I’m glad this story inspires you but I really hope it compels you to take action.

  11. bettybuttonsblog

    Aug 15, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    Love this article and can totally empathise as an out of work, unemployable and disengaged teacher.
    I am working towards finding my dream and this article is inspiring and will definitely help on the journey.

    How awesome to be a ninja : )

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Motivation

How I Spent The Last 3 Years Becoming Minimalist And Why You Should Too

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It started after a record few years of earning more money than I could spend.

I accumulated junk and things I didn’t need.

I’d buy ten pairs of black shoes, a new shirt for every birthday party I attended and every piece of audio software that some guy I didn’t know told me to get. It got out of hand quickly. It was a time in my life where I hadn’t begun working on myself and I was pretty down a lot of the time.

Buying useless junk numbed the pain but only for a short while. The lies I’d tell myself about my bad habit were incredible. I’ve been having a serious go at becoming minimalist for the last three years. I actually started a few years prior and ended up having a few false starts.

Here’s how I became minimalist (I’d suggest doing the same if you can):

 

Start with the big stuff.

That BMW had to go. It was taking up so much of my time and money to keep on the road. It was like a screaming child, always wanting something. Unlike a child, I had no passion or drive to take care of this European piece of crap that society told me I needed to be successful.

I put the car online for sale. It was a painful process and every person that came to see it found problems with what I thought was a spotless car.

It was a negotiation tactic and it was stopping me from beginning a new life with this whole minimalist dream.

I ended up selling the car for much less than it was worth. I did the numbers and no matter what, even losing a bit of money on it still made sense. Once the car was gone, the process of becoming minimalist began.

 

You can easily forget how out of control you are.

At the start of this minimalism process I had 4 computers, 5 microphones, 2 laptops, 5 mobile phones, 2 iPads, 2 soundcards, 2 large sized wardrobes of clothes, more than 20 pairs of shoes, multiple spare car stereos, and a whole pile of CDs and DVDs that were overflowing from my draws.

As I read back the list I just wrote, I now see how out of control I was. Oh and I even had an old VCR with heaps of old cassette tapes that I kept telling myself I’d watch one day even though I hate the idea of having to fast forward through in real-time to find out what’s on the tapes. I was delusional about my junk habit, to say the least.

 

Trying to give stuff away is useless.

The delusion that is giving stuff away is why you are still not a minimalist. The key lesson I had to learn time and time again was to stop trying to give stuff away, Some of the stuff I wanted to chuck out was valuable to someone, somewhere.

The trouble is that it’s hard to find the right person, at the right time who may have the space for your item. I thought about all the time wasted giving stuff away. I thought about the effort it took to deliver my junk to people’s homes. I thought about all the space my junk took up in my life.

 

It just wasn’t worth it. If you are serious about becoming minimalist and the benefits that come with this lifestyle, you’ve got to marry the idea that you’ll need to throw things away.

 

Not used it in 12 months? Chuck it.

This question sent my minimalist quest into hyperdrive. When I looked at how much stuff I had that in some cases hadn’t been used for more than 5 years, I figured out that these were things that I should discard. We tell ourselves that one day we’ll use a particular item.

That one day never comes and these items become a burden the longer we hold onto them.

 

Support charity where you can.

You may be reading this blog post thinking “Who is this a**hole who’s so disrespectful to the environment?”

Well, you’d be wrong. I did consider the environment and people less fortunate than me. Where possible, I gave away lots of clothes, shoes and electronic items to charity. If you want to be minimalist, then I’d strongly urge you to do the same.

The cool thing is you get to clear out your junk, feel good, and help someone in need. There are just so many good reasons to become minimalist. Jump on the bandwagon!

 

Get some external motivation.

While going through the journey of becoming minimalist, I coincidently interviewed a blogger named Joshua Becker. He runs a blog called Becoming Minimalist. Joshua taught me so many awesome little hacks to clear out junk and he changed the way I was thinking about material possessions.

 

It’s not just the physical junk.

I was trying to be the next big music producer before my minimalism quest started and so I kept buying more audio gear. I somehow thought that the more gear I had, the more cool sounds I could create. The trouble was I always had to learn how to use new gear, so I never mastered one instrument or audio effect.

Meanwhile, back in France, Daft Punk would brag about how old their computer was and how they always used the same small number of instruments. No wonder they had such cool music.

“Daft Punk went for minimalism that led to mastery, while I was dabbling in being a master of everything”

 

The other point to consider is that junk is not just your material things. We also collect digital garbage now as well. I still have more than 10 TB of data to sort through. This excess storage on our computers slows our operating system down, makes it hard to find stuff and requires us to keep buying more storage.

Having lots of data also makes it difficult to back stuff up because storing things in the cloud becomes an expensive pursuit for a data hoarder.

 

Some of us like the idea of becoming minimalist but never do.

Is that you? It was certainly me. Having dreams of taking action is what’s holding you back. It may be affecting more than just your goal to get rid of junk. Don’t think about taking action: commit to it.

Here’s how:

Aim to throw away one piece of junk every week.

I did this little hack and it’s how I’ve now been able to free up space in my life for things that matter.

 

Minimalism allows for more of the good stuff.

Once I had heaps of room from clearing out my junk, I noticed my mind was less busy. One of the key pieces of junk that was very hard to throw away was my old Mac Pro computer. I kept telling myself I may need it in the future even though my current Mac laptop is more than good enough.

I’m dumbfounded at how much time I would spend every day thinking about whether I should throw out my very old 2009 Mac. Finally, I got pissed off. The thinking time wasted on this idea could be used to do other stuff. Ultimately, what convinced me to throw it away was the time I’d get back to keep blogging for all of you.

Having space in your home and mind allows you room for the stuff and ideas you actually want in your life. You feel so free when you get to this point.

 

It’s a long journey.

Keeping junk out of your life becomes the next challenge once you are free of all of your garbage. Every holiday I go on I’m tempted to collect souvenirs I’ll never look at again.

“Every trip to the shopping centre makes me feel like a gambler trying not to place a bet”

The temptation at these giant concrete shopping centres is to buy more clothes, more shoes and more things that will supposedly make you happy.

I’ve learned through minimalism that less is more and that’s what leaves me space to be happy. I can’t be happy when I’m simultaneously pissed off with all of the junk in my life.

 

Junk sucks up our time and that’s the one thing we should never waste.

Do you want to waste time thinking about and maintaining your junk or would you prefer to live a life where you have room for what personally matters to you?

Not being minimalist is costing you more than you think. It’s leading you down a path that makes other people big profits while keeping you both broke and with a mind not focused on your goals.

Get a divorce from the material world. Marry the empty space of what you love instead.

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

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Motivation

How A 45 Year Old Co-worker Inspired Me To Date Again

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Wow, it sucks to go through another breakup, especially as it’s been less than a year since the last one! I thought I would never date again until a 45-year-old co-worker said this to me:

“If at 45 I can go on Tinder being massively overweight, and not the best to look at, and have lots of guys wanting to date me, then so can you.”

This co-worker had been single for over a decade. She smoked heavily and swore never to date again. That was until her slightly quirky family decided to create a dating profile for her on Tinder.

She met many men on Tinder. There was:

– Tony Soprano with his gambling addiction
– There was chef with his quirkiness
– There was “Tradie” with his 30-year-old model body and six pack
– There was “bikie” who attempted a forced kiss in the middle of a dark car park

All of this got me thinking: “If a 45-year-old who claims that they are not much to look at can have success in dating, then why can’t a young buck like me sort this stuff out?”

Seeing my co-worker’s success inspired me. I vowed to set myself a goal to get this area of my life sorted out. The only problem is I become like an assassin when there’s a goal I want to achieve.

I became obsessed with this whole dating game.

I had no idea what a dating app was.

I had never sent texts to girls that I had never met in person before.

I was terrified of the potential rejection.

What did I do? I just did it anyway and you can do the same.

The myth is that dating isn’t challenging for all of us. It is. We are all afraid to date after a major breakup because we fear that we might someday die lonely.

 

For the next 5 months, I became obsessed with this dating goal.

I figured if I were going to reach this goal of finding someone through online dating, I would have to put in the work to shorten the time it takes. Many of my friends have been single for more than 5 years and I decided that was not going to happen to me.

I signed up for dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, Coffee Meets Bagel, eHarmony and Happn.
I went on coffee dates before work.
I went on coffee dates during lunchtime.
I went on coffee dates after work.

 

And then I made sure I was in the zone.

No matter the day or time I was doing something to push my dating game further.

I bought new clothes.
I bought new shoes.
I bought new aftershave.

Not to impress the girls, but to make sure I was feeling good before each date. I wanted to put in the maximum effort I could so that if I failed, I knew that I had given it everything I could.

 

The start was full of fear.

The first date was horrible. It was a friend of a friend that had been crowdsourced via Facebook for me. I wasn’t ready and she was not really my type. She was into pole dancing and collecting these crystals that apparently heal you or something like that. It was sooooo not me.

I rolled up to the date one hour early to ensure I didn’t miss getting car parking. I waited around until 8 pm for her. She messaged at 8 pm and said she was leaving home now and would be late. I thought to myself, “Clearly this whole dating thing is going to be hard, especially given I am obsessed with productivity and don’t like having my time wasted.”

“Instead of being pissed off, I committed not to tell myself negative stories. I became committed to not getting upset easily like most people do in life”

She finally arrived and I felt quite sick for some bizarre reason. I ordered the drinks and then she paid without me getting a chance to stop her because she felt bad for being late. This was already a mini failure as letting the girl pay on the first date is usually seen as a very bad idea.

At the end of the date, I stupidly asked for a second date and she said yes. I never ended up getting the second date and thank god for that. It did hurt my ego a little.

 

I then went on more than 50 dates with 50 different women.

This might seem like freaking madness but I believe that to be successful at any goal you need to get really good at your chosen task. On the first date, I sucked big time at dating. After a few dates though, I became really good at it. I figured out quickly what I wanted which I had never done before.

The fear started to dissipate and before long I was completely comfortable. I’d check the apps throughout the day to get fresh leads, meet them, narrow down the list, and then attempt to close them by asking for a second date.

My process was a lot like managing a sales pipeline through a piece of software like Salesforce. It was methodical, intentional, unwavering and organized chaos.

 

You can date anyone if you believe you can. You can do anything.

The reason I had failed relationships in the past was that I never thought carefully about what I wanted. I somehow thought I wasn’t good enough. Because of this belief, I limited the parameters of my dating apps only to include girls who were no more than two years younger.

I secretly wanted a younger girlfriend but never thought they would go for me. I thought I was too old and that they wouldn’t be able to relate to me. I didn’t swipe right on the good-looking profile pictures because I thought they would never go for an average looking guy like me.

Somewhere along the way when I wasn’t succeeding at my goal, I revaluated what I was doing. I realized I was selling myself short.

I started swiping on stunners.
I opened the age range right up.

To my own disbelief, I was stunned.

Amazing looking models wanted to go on dates with me. Girls that were near geniuses wanted to go on dates with me. Girls who were a lot younger than me were throwing themselves at me. It turns out that I was limiting my chances, not the real world.

The lesson here is to be careful what you filter out. You may be filtering out exactly what you want.

 

My friends thought I was mad.

They told me it could take 5 years. They told me I may never find someone and I needed to potentially accept this concept. I told myself this was BS. I knew that if I kept trying and didn’t let all of the fear and failure defeat me, I’d be triumphant. I visualized the day I would get my goal.

“Being obsessed with a goal looks like madness to the average Joe; the truth is that it’s how you get stuff done and get what you want in life”

 

Watching Netflix and saying The universe will make it happen doesn’t work.

There’s a lot of this “Law Of Attraction,” praise a statue mumbo jumbo that’s floating around nowadays. People say that it will happen when it’s meant to happen. This mindset will destroy your goal and any chance of being successful at dating.

“Your goal will happen when you put in the work and make it happen”

The dating gods are not going to ride in on a rainbow unicorn and give you some drop-dead gorgeous person who’s got a perfectly tanned body, and an amazing ass, with an incredible personality.

Get to work and stop allowing wet dreams to ruin your life.

Sitting on the couch numbing your brain with Netflix doesn’t work either.

 

Don’t let desperation overcome you.

One of the girls I met decided to go for someone else. I was shortlisted and lost. She then messaged me to tell me that after a couple of days, her new man forced her head down to the bed and wouldn’t let her leave the room.

She asked me what she should do. Naturally, I told her to leave this horrible man as violence is never acceptable. This girl came across as desperate with every interaction I had with her. She also showed me that she would make other bad decisions and then blame the world.

All of this was due to desperation. Don’t let your need of finding someone allow you to make dumb decisions. You’ll regret it later.

 

Never be anyone’s Plan B.

This same girl then came back to me later after she dumped this violent man and tried to go on another date with me. I’ve learned over the years that it’s never a good idea to be someone’s Plan B. If you weren’t good enough from the start, then you never will be. I told this girl no and moved on.

 

What I didn’t do!

Use the apps as a way to randomly sleep with as many girls as possible. In the short term this will stroke your ego; in the long term, you’ll feel like garbage. Dating is not designed to boost your ego and is far better when you concentrate on your long-term happiness.

I also didn’t attempt to date multiple girls at the same time. This doesn’t work and you’ll get found out. Lying destroys all of your hopes and dreams except you never find out that it’s the true cause. Lying gets disguised in other people’s opinions about why you failed.

You will fail if you lie or become a whore.

 

The problem with online dating.

You start to believe there’s always someone better. You never settle for any prospect that comes your way. The slightest thing that annoys you about the other person can make you think you should keep looking through more profiles.

One girl told me that everything about me was good but she couldn’t deal with the fact I’m vegetarian. Being this trivial is stupid.

Every person you want to date has flaws including you.
You’ll learn to love their flaws in the long-term.
Having a shopping list of wants is great way to be disappointed and remain single.

 

How to avoid all the pitfalls of online dating and failing at any goal.

Be relentless.
Keep trying.
Believe in yourself.
Don’t settle for second best.
Don’t look for perfect – it doesn’t exist.
Be a really nice person and treat others nicely.
Don’t try and sleep with them too quickly – you’ll trick yourself into falling for them afterward.

 

So here’s what happened….

I got what I wanted. I found an intelligent, beautiful, elegant little gem. She’s funny, interesting, clever, successful and has good values.

It took some time and lot’s of dates but I got there. People look at me still like I got lucky although I don’t believe in luck. I gave it everything I could and it was an emotional rollercoaster. I showed the best of me and tried to be the best human being I could.

I practiced being kind, compassionate and humble. With forced intent and continued practice, I got my goal. You can do the same.

Before I go, I want to point out that I don’t tell this very personal story I’d rather not share to make myself look good, so don’t bother leaving comments to this effect. I tell you this very personal story to inspire you to greatness and learn from my foolish mistakes.

Don’t let this negative dating world beat you down. Fight back!

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

The Mentors That Dominate My Social Media Newsfeed And Why

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Scrolling through my LinkedIn feed, I saw the same three online mentors appear over and over again. It’s amazing what your social media can teach you about yourself. The pattern of who you become is determined by your external inputs.

To change your life, you need new inputs. Your social media is unconsciously defining you and it needs a cleanup.

Delete the Kardashians.
Delete all the negative news.
Remove fake people.
Remove toxic friends.

Once you have all of that beautiful space to play with, fill some of it up with some new mentors.

Here are the ones that dominate my social newsfeeds and teach me everything I know. I have never met any of them and only see them through social media.

 

Tony Robbins

From a guy that was physically abused by his mother to one of the most successful leaders on the planet, Tony has a personality that’s bigger than life. He takes really complex psychology concepts, rebadges them, and dumbs them down so average people like me can understand them.

Tony was the catalyst for me changing my life back in 2011 and I owe all of my success to him. He was the one person that made me see clearly the selfish, entitled, brat I’d become. If you don’t read another word of this article, make sure you look him up. I want you to have the same experience.

 

Gary Vaynerchuk

He started out as an online influencer with a very loud voice and more F-bombs than you and I would probably want to hear in a single video. As you get to know him better, you realize he’s nothing more than someone who wants to inspire people.

Below his seemingly thug like New York personality, he’s actually a very kind and innocent man that means well. He started out with a social media agency and preaching about the power of social media, and now he’s become a lot like Tony Robbins.

Gary spends a lot of time talking about why he’s not perfect and you’re not either. He preaches a few key ideas:

– Ideas are nothing and execution is everything
– Social media works when it’s not all about your ego
– Hard work pays off
– The best work is something you’re passionate about
– Disruption will happen whether you like it or not
– Everyone can be successful
– It doesn’t matter where you come from

There’s a lot of you that spend too much time planning and romanticising (borrowed that word off Gary) instead of getting to work. Many of you are seeking perfection or admiration rather than the truth. The truth is that adding value is the crux of business.

“The truth is that life is about more than zeroes on your Internet Banking screen”

 

Richard Branson

This guy’s been around for decades and I use him mainly for thoughts on work-life balance and business culture. Richard believes that instead of trying to be the best at everything, you need to find the right people and let them do the work. Having not met him, I actually think he probably doesn’t know that much (I mean that with a lot of respect by the way).

Richard focuses on the ideas and then he rallies together people to do the execution. He’ll teach you a lot about taking calculated risks as opposed to gambling, and he’s obsessed with disrupting the way things have always been done.

This way of thinking is fundamental to your social media newsfeed reinvention.

 

Manu Goswami (Swish)

I met this dude via Skype. His claim to fame was becoming a 19-Year-Old award-winning entrepreneur. He has businesses with people you and I could only dream of collaborating with. Beyond all of that, he was headhunted to go and work for Gary Vaynerchuk.

The kid has swag on top of swag multiplied by five. His main channel is LinkedIn and for such a young chappy he’s taught me a lot. Swish hasn’t just curated a tremendous social media newsfeed; he’s used social media to reach out to his mentors and become their friends.

He spent hours tagging his mentors and heroes on social media. He sent them messages. When he couldn’t get to his mentors like Gary Vaynerchuk, he made friends with their inner circles instead. Swish has taught me that age means nothing. I also love the way he tells stories.

Stories are a great way to achieve your goals and influence people. Suss this kid out.

 

Steve Jobs

I’m so simple and minimalistic that it’s crazy stupid. This wasn’t always the case though. Thanks to Steve Jobs and his creation that is Apple, he taught me how to strip back all of the layers. He’s taught me that a phone only needs one button.

Even though he’s passed now, his legacy lives on and there are still some incredible videos of him being released.

“Steve will teach you how to be succinct and how to be obsessed with your customer if you’re in business. By no means was he a perfect man or someone that treated everyone fairly”

Like any mentor, take the lessons of simplicity and minimalism from him and ignore other parts of his personality which may be less beneficial to your success.

 

Tim Ferriss

We share the same first name so it’s sort of a given that I’d be attracted to his work. I never really understood the Four Hour Work Week but what got me obsessed with Tim’s work was his podcast. The way he can extract wisdom from his guests and make them share things they’ve never shared is mind-blowing.

Tim will expose you to subjects like fasting and experimenting with various substances that you’d never find yourself normally being interested in. Through Tim’s work, I’ve learned that even with all of his success, at forty years of age, he’s still looking for the answers to life’s biggest questions.

We often think that people with Tim’s success have it all. Tim has taught me that’s not the case at all and his vulnerability, and honesty has become something I’ve replicated in my own life.

Your social media newsfeed needs the Ferris Wheel that is Timbo.

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

5 of The Best Motivational Speeches of All Time

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motivational speech

What could we possibly achieve by listening to motivational speeches? Isn’t that a waste of time? It’s not. A great motivational speech can be a trigger to action. It inspires you to do something. Powerful speeches make you realize you’re not just a useless individual in this world. Everyone matters. You matter, too.

Have you been feeling that inner drive to seek a higher purpose for a long time? If so, you need to take action. First, you need a trigger that will get you to that action. Try to think of an influential person. Let’s take an example: Jim Morrison. He was one of the most charismatic individuals of his time.

“Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.” That’s only one of the many pieces of wisdom he gave to humanity. These are not only words. They shrink deep inside you. They make you think. They make you act.

Jim Morrison said that during an interview. Back then, motivational speeches were not a big thing. Now, great individuals are trying to make a difference through that specific method. Are you ready to start exploring the best motivational speeches that will make you act?

Here’s a list of 5 of the best motivational speeches of all time:

1. Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address

This is one of the most emotional and inspiring speeches you’ll ever listen to. Although Jobs presented it way before TED talks became popular, you’ll notice it has a similar flow to an inspiring TED talk. It is relatively short, it has a theme, and it proves a point through a story.

Through this speech, Jobs tells us how we can find triumph through struggle. Jobs gave this speech one year after he was diagnosed with cancer. He had surgery and he was fine at that point. That’s the most important part of this speech: understanding our time here is limited. What are we going to do with it? That’s what matters.

2. Al Pacino’s Inch by Inch

Have you seen the movie Any Given Sunday? It’s a great one. The moment when Al Pacino gives one of the greatest speeches seen on the big screen is priceless. It’s not just a speech about football. It’s about winning. It’s about overcoming obstacles. It’s about becoming stronger. It’s about life in general!

“… In either game life or football the margin for error is so small. I mean one-half step too late or too early you don’t quite make it. One-half second too slow or too fast and you don’t quite catch it. The inches we need are everywhere around us. They are in every break of the game, every minute, every second.” That’s only a part of this great speech. Funny enough, it starts with “I don’t know what to say, really.”

3. J.K. Rowling’s Harvard Commencement Speech

This one will make you laugh at first. J.K Rowling has a rare talent to make the listeners laugh and think at the same time. At one point, the writer gets serious and gives out the main point of this speech: sharing things she wishes she had known at her own graduation, and the important lessons she has learned between that day and the day of the speech.

There’s one aspect of this speech that makes it different from most others on our list: the talk about poverty. The writer tells the truth about it. There’s no romanticizing of poverty. As she says, only fools do that. This situation entails fear, stress, and depression… “it means a thousand petty humiliations and hardships.” However, what she feared most for herself when she was young wasn’t poverty. It was a failure.

Essentially, this is a speech about the benefits of failure. Yes, there is such thing as a benefit from failure. J.K. Rowling is a living proof for that.

4. Bill Gates’ Harvard Commencement Address 2007

“I’ve been waiting more than 30 years to say this: ‘Dad, I always told you I’d come back and get my degree.’” That’s one of the funniest parts of this speech. Gates didn’t graduate. He is Harvard’s most successful dropout. He makes a big point, though: the fact that he dropped out doesn’t make academic life less of an important experience. Gates used to sit in on classes he hadn’t even signed up for.

As he says in his speech, one of his most precious memories of Harvard is being in the midst of so much energy and intelligence. Education is important, and it is a privilege. However, getting to know the wider world is also important, even though it’s shocking for the most part.

5. Jim Carrey’s Commencement Address at the 2014 MUM Graduation

You would expect a funny speech from one of the funniest men on Earth, wouldn’t you? Well, here is a surprise: Jim Carrey is deep. This speech is enlightening, to say the least. The main message is to choose love over fear.

And yes, the speech is funny. It’s Jim Carrey, after all. However, it’s also very, very serious. “I am here to plant a seed that will inspire you to move forward in life with enthusiastic hearts and a clear sense of wholeness.”

Even if you take the safe route through, life, you might fail. If you follow your dreams, you might fail, too. But, you might achieve them – and that’s what makes the difference. In the speech, Jim shares an example: his father. He could have been a great comedian, but he made a safe choice: accounting. When Kim was 12 years old, his father lost that job that was supposed to be safe. That was the point when the actor learned the most important lesson in life: “… You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”

If you’re in the middle of a crossroad and you’re wondering what road to choose, listen to this speech. It inspires you to choose the right thing. It inspires you to choose love over fear.

How do you pick yourself up from bad moments in the day? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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Motivation

How I Spent The Last 3 Years Becoming Minimalist And Why You Should Too

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It started after a record few years of earning more money than I could spend.

I accumulated junk and things I didn’t need.

I’d buy ten pairs of black shoes, a new shirt for every birthday party I attended and every piece of audio software that some guy I didn’t know told me to get. It got out of hand quickly. It was a time in my life where I hadn’t begun working on myself and I was pretty down a lot of the time.

Buying useless junk numbed the pain but only for a short while. The lies I’d tell myself about my bad habit were incredible. I’ve been having a serious go at becoming minimalist for the last three years. I actually started a few years prior and ended up having a few false starts.

Here’s how I became minimalist (I’d suggest doing the same if you can):

 

Start with the big stuff.

That BMW had to go. It was taking up so much of my time and money to keep on the road. It was like a screaming child, always wanting something. Unlike a child, I had no passion or drive to take care of this European piece of crap that society told me I needed to be successful.

I put the car online for sale. It was a painful process and every person that came to see it found problems with what I thought was a spotless car.

It was a negotiation tactic and it was stopping me from beginning a new life with this whole minimalist dream.

I ended up selling the car for much less than it was worth. I did the numbers and no matter what, even losing a bit of money on it still made sense. Once the car was gone, the process of becoming minimalist began.

 

You can easily forget how out of control you are.

At the start of this minimalism process I had 4 computers, 5 microphones, 2 laptops, 5 mobile phones, 2 iPads, 2 soundcards, 2 large sized wardrobes of clothes, more than 20 pairs of shoes, multiple spare car stereos, and a whole pile of CDs and DVDs that were overflowing from my draws.

As I read back the list I just wrote, I now see how out of control I was. Oh and I even had an old VCR with heaps of old cassette tapes that I kept telling myself I’d watch one day even though I hate the idea of having to fast forward through in real-time to find out what’s on the tapes. I was delusional about my junk habit, to say the least.

 

Trying to give stuff away is useless.

The delusion that is giving stuff away is why you are still not a minimalist. The key lesson I had to learn time and time again was to stop trying to give stuff away, Some of the stuff I wanted to chuck out was valuable to someone, somewhere.

The trouble is that it’s hard to find the right person, at the right time who may have the space for your item. I thought about all the time wasted giving stuff away. I thought about the effort it took to deliver my junk to people’s homes. I thought about all the space my junk took up in my life.

 

It just wasn’t worth it. If you are serious about becoming minimalist and the benefits that come with this lifestyle, you’ve got to marry the idea that you’ll need to throw things away.

 

Not used it in 12 months? Chuck it.

This question sent my minimalist quest into hyperdrive. When I looked at how much stuff I had that in some cases hadn’t been used for more than 5 years, I figured out that these were things that I should discard. We tell ourselves that one day we’ll use a particular item.

That one day never comes and these items become a burden the longer we hold onto them.

 

Support charity where you can.

You may be reading this blog post thinking “Who is this a**hole who’s so disrespectful to the environment?”

Well, you’d be wrong. I did consider the environment and people less fortunate than me. Where possible, I gave away lots of clothes, shoes and electronic items to charity. If you want to be minimalist, then I’d strongly urge you to do the same.

The cool thing is you get to clear out your junk, feel good, and help someone in need. There are just so many good reasons to become minimalist. Jump on the bandwagon!

 

Get some external motivation.

While going through the journey of becoming minimalist, I coincidently interviewed a blogger named Joshua Becker. He runs a blog called Becoming Minimalist. Joshua taught me so many awesome little hacks to clear out junk and he changed the way I was thinking about material possessions.

 

It’s not just the physical junk.

I was trying to be the next big music producer before my minimalism quest started and so I kept buying more audio gear. I somehow thought that the more gear I had, the more cool sounds I could create. The trouble was I always had to learn how to use new gear, so I never mastered one instrument or audio effect.

Meanwhile, back in France, Daft Punk would brag about how old their computer was and how they always used the same small number of instruments. No wonder they had such cool music.

“Daft Punk went for minimalism that led to mastery, while I was dabbling in being a master of everything”

 

The other point to consider is that junk is not just your material things. We also collect digital garbage now as well. I still have more than 10 TB of data to sort through. This excess storage on our computers slows our operating system down, makes it hard to find stuff and requires us to keep buying more storage.

Having lots of data also makes it difficult to back stuff up because storing things in the cloud becomes an expensive pursuit for a data hoarder.

 

Some of us like the idea of becoming minimalist but never do.

Is that you? It was certainly me. Having dreams of taking action is what’s holding you back. It may be affecting more than just your goal to get rid of junk. Don’t think about taking action: commit to it.

Here’s how:

Aim to throw away one piece of junk every week.

I did this little hack and it’s how I’ve now been able to free up space in my life for things that matter.

 

Minimalism allows for more of the good stuff.

Once I had heaps of room from clearing out my junk, I noticed my mind was less busy. One of the key pieces of junk that was very hard to throw away was my old Mac Pro computer. I kept telling myself I may need it in the future even though my current Mac laptop is more than good enough.

I’m dumbfounded at how much time I would spend every day thinking about whether I should throw out my very old 2009 Mac. Finally, I got pissed off. The thinking time wasted on this idea could be used to do other stuff. Ultimately, what convinced me to throw it away was the time I’d get back to keep blogging for all of you.

Having space in your home and mind allows you room for the stuff and ideas you actually want in your life. You feel so free when you get to this point.

 

It’s a long journey.

Keeping junk out of your life becomes the next challenge once you are free of all of your garbage. Every holiday I go on I’m tempted to collect souvenirs I’ll never look at again.

“Every trip to the shopping centre makes me feel like a gambler trying not to place a bet”

The temptation at these giant concrete shopping centres is to buy more clothes, more shoes and more things that will supposedly make you happy.

I’ve learned through minimalism that less is more and that’s what leaves me space to be happy. I can’t be happy when I’m simultaneously pissed off with all of the junk in my life.

 

Junk sucks up our time and that’s the one thing we should never waste.

Do you want to waste time thinking about and maintaining your junk or would you prefer to live a life where you have room for what personally matters to you?

Not being minimalist is costing you more than you think. It’s leading you down a path that makes other people big profits while keeping you both broke and with a mind not focused on your goals.

Get a divorce from the material world. Marry the empty space of what you love instead.

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

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared hundreds of thousands of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around success, personal development, motivation, and entrepreneurship. During the day Tim works with the most iconic tech companies in the world, as an adviser, to assist them in expanding into Australia. By night, Tim coaches his students on the principles of personal development and the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net or through his Facebook.

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Shunmuga

    Feb 10, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    Very much impressive article. Your article will inspire each and every person who doesnt like their PROFESSION and eagerly longing for their PASSION including me!!!

    You made us believe that if we follow out PASSION as our PROFESSION we will get satisfied in life.

    Thanks Izzy

  2. Elvis

    Nov 15, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    I am inspired every time i read such articles !!! Thank you for sharing it 🙂

  3. Cansu Nar

    Oct 22, 2013 at 3:45 am

    I am very impressed with your article…this article definitely gives motivation, especially for those who are depressed and stressed out from life…

  4. Elizabeth Perez

    Sep 15, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    Wow. .!!! Inspiring. .km 56 and cannot find my purpose. .!!:(

  5. Amit Rathi

    Sep 10, 2013 at 7:17 am

    Awesome article. You are a mad man! I
    I am also working towards finding my dream and this article is inspiring me a lot
    & i love this article.

  6. Shannon

    Aug 28, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    I’ve read and re-read this like five times now. You make achieving your dream sound so doable, I love it! I actually wrote about this piece TWICE on my own blog this week, and am implementing the steps you outlined for myself. Thanks for sharing your success and how you got there!

  7. Ryan

    Aug 27, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Izzy. Kudos to you my man. I quit a very well paid but dissatisfying job in London to move back to India as I simply couldn’t suffer that soul sucking crap any longer. I don’t have plans to become a ninja, but am working towards building a business and needed this motivation to keep me going…see you in Japan some day!

  8. Calvin Lee

    Aug 26, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    Hasn’t the ninja ship sailed a hundred years ago? Shouldn’t he be practicing Ninjutsu instead of Aikido?
    No matter what, someone who follows his/her dream is truly admirable 🙂

    • LOKI

      Aug 30, 2013 at 5:23 pm

      AGAIN… THE POINT WAS HE REALIZED HIS DREAM BY DELVING INTO HIS 8 YEAR OLD SELF’S DEFINITION OF WHAT A NINJA IS.

  9. John

    Aug 16, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    Awesome article. You are a crazy man! I completely envy you for your balls of steel to take action and completely change your life. My dream is become an actor, but drugs, alcohol, and anxiety got in the way. Now, 6 years sober, I am 3 years away from completing my degree in chemical engineering (my back up plan) and am then planning on moving to L.A. to delve into my acting dream.

    Keep up the good work Izzy!

    • Sankarshan

      Jan 31, 2014 at 10:16 pm

      You don’t need a to become a Chem. E. for that. I should know because I am a chemical engineering major about to graduate.

  10. Izzy

    Aug 15, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    Hi Betty (I’m assuming that’s your name).

    Teaching is darn hard work. I believe it can be one of the most fulfilling job if a person truly loves it. But on the flip side it can also be a very painful job if you don’t enjoy it. Kids are so darn honest. You have to be on your toes and ready at all times.

    I’m glad this story inspires you but I really hope it compels you to take action.

  11. bettybuttonsblog

    Aug 15, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    Love this article and can totally empathise as an out of work, unemployable and disengaged teacher.
    I am working towards finding my dream and this article is inspiring and will definitely help on the journey.

    How awesome to be a ninja : )

Leave a Reply

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

Motivation

How I Spent The Last 3 Years Becoming Minimalist And Why You Should Too

Published

on

It started after a record few years of earning more money than I could spend.

I accumulated junk and things I didn’t need.

I’d buy ten pairs of black shoes, a new shirt for every birthday party I attended and every piece of audio software that some guy I didn’t know told me to get. It got out of hand quickly. It was a time in my life where I hadn’t begun working on myself and I was pretty down a lot of the time.

Buying useless junk numbed the pain but only for a short while. The lies I’d tell myself about my bad habit were incredible. I’ve been having a serious go at becoming minimalist for the last three years. I actually started a few years prior and ended up having a few false starts.

Here’s how I became minimalist (I’d suggest doing the same if you can):

 

Start with the big stuff.

That BMW had to go. It was taking up so much of my time and money to keep on the road. It was like a screaming child, always wanting something. Unlike a child, I had no passion or drive to take care of this European piece of crap that society told me I needed to be successful.

I put the car online for sale. It was a painful process and every person that came to see it found problems with what I thought was a spotless car.

It was a negotiation tactic and it was stopping me from beginning a new life with this whole minimalist dream.

I ended up selling the car for much less than it was worth. I did the numbers and no matter what, even losing a bit of money on it still made sense. Once the car was gone, the process of becoming minimalist began.

 

You can easily forget how out of control you are.

At the start of this minimalism process I had 4 computers, 5 microphones, 2 laptops, 5 mobile phones, 2 iPads, 2 soundcards, 2 large sized wardrobes of clothes, more than 20 pairs of shoes, multiple spare car stereos, and a whole pile of CDs and DVDs that were overflowing from my draws.

As I read back the list I just wrote, I now see how out of control I was. Oh and I even had an old VCR with heaps of old cassette tapes that I kept telling myself I’d watch one day even though I hate the idea of having to fast forward through in real-time to find out what’s on the tapes. I was delusional about my junk habit, to say the least.

 

Trying to give stuff away is useless.

The delusion that is giving stuff away is why you are still not a minimalist. The key lesson I had to learn time and time again was to stop trying to give stuff away, Some of the stuff I wanted to chuck out was valuable to someone, somewhere.

The trouble is that it’s hard to find the right person, at the right time who may have the space for your item. I thought about all the time wasted giving stuff away. I thought about the effort it took to deliver my junk to people’s homes. I thought about all the space my junk took up in my life.

 

It just wasn’t worth it. If you are serious about becoming minimalist and the benefits that come with this lifestyle, you’ve got to marry the idea that you’ll need to throw things away.

 

Not used it in 12 months? Chuck it.

This question sent my minimalist quest into hyperdrive. When I looked at how much stuff I had that in some cases hadn’t been used for more than 5 years, I figured out that these were things that I should discard. We tell ourselves that one day we’ll use a particular item.

That one day never comes and these items become a burden the longer we hold onto them.

 

Support charity where you can.

You may be reading this blog post thinking “Who is this a**hole who’s so disrespectful to the environment?”

Well, you’d be wrong. I did consider the environment and people less fortunate than me. Where possible, I gave away lots of clothes, shoes and electronic items to charity. If you want to be minimalist, then I’d strongly urge you to do the same.

The cool thing is you get to clear out your junk, feel good, and help someone in need. There are just so many good reasons to become minimalist. Jump on the bandwagon!

 

Get some external motivation.

While going through the journey of becoming minimalist, I coincidently interviewed a blogger named Joshua Becker. He runs a blog called Becoming Minimalist. Joshua taught me so many awesome little hacks to clear out junk and he changed the way I was thinking about material possessions.

 

It’s not just the physical junk.

I was trying to be the next big music producer before my minimalism quest started and so I kept buying more audio gear. I somehow thought that the more gear I had, the more cool sounds I could create. The trouble was I always had to learn how to use new gear, so I never mastered one instrument or audio effect.

Meanwhile, back in France, Daft Punk would brag about how old their computer was and how they always used the same small number of instruments. No wonder they had such cool music.

“Daft Punk went for minimalism that led to mastery, while I was dabbling in being a master of everything”

 

The other point to consider is that junk is not just your material things. We also collect digital garbage now as well. I still have more than 10 TB of data to sort through. This excess storage on our computers slows our operating system down, makes it hard to find stuff and requires us to keep buying more storage.

Having lots of data also makes it difficult to back stuff up because storing things in the cloud becomes an expensive pursuit for a data hoarder.

 

Some of us like the idea of becoming minimalist but never do.

Is that you? It was certainly me. Having dreams of taking action is what’s holding you back. It may be affecting more than just your goal to get rid of junk. Don’t think about taking action: commit to it.

Here’s how:

Aim to throw away one piece of junk every week.

I did this little hack and it’s how I’ve now been able to free up space in my life for things that matter.

 

Minimalism allows for more of the good stuff.

Once I had heaps of room from clearing out my junk, I noticed my mind was less busy. One of the key pieces of junk that was very hard to throw away was my old Mac Pro computer. I kept telling myself I may need it in the future even though my current Mac laptop is more than good enough.

I’m dumbfounded at how much time I would spend every day thinking about whether I should throw out my very old 2009 Mac. Finally, I got pissed off. The thinking time wasted on this idea could be used to do other stuff. Ultimately, what convinced me to throw it away was the time I’d get back to keep blogging for all of you.

Having space in your home and mind allows you room for the stuff and ideas you actually want in your life. You feel so free when you get to this point.

 

It’s a long journey.

Keeping junk out of your life becomes the next challenge once you are free of all of your garbage. Every holiday I go on I’m tempted to collect souvenirs I’ll never look at again.

“Every trip to the shopping centre makes me feel like a gambler trying not to place a bet”

The temptation at these giant concrete shopping centres is to buy more clothes, more shoes and more things that will supposedly make you happy.

I’ve learned through minimalism that less is more and that’s what leaves me space to be happy. I can’t be happy when I’m simultaneously pissed off with all of the junk in my life.

 

Junk sucks up our time and that’s the one thing we should never waste.

Do you want to waste time thinking about and maintaining your junk or would you prefer to live a life where you have room for what personally matters to you?

Not being minimalist is costing you more than you think. It’s leading you down a path that makes other people big profits while keeping you both broke and with a mind not focused on your goals.

Get a divorce from the material world. Marry the empty space of what you love instead.

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

Continue Reading

Motivation

How A 45 Year Old Co-worker Inspired Me To Date Again

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Wow, it sucks to go through another breakup, especially as it’s been less than a year since the last one! I thought I would never date again until a 45-year-old co-worker said this to me:

“If at 45 I can go on Tinder being massively overweight, and not the best to look at, and have lots of guys wanting to date me, then so can you.”

This co-worker had been single for over a decade. She smoked heavily and swore never to date again. That was until her slightly quirky family decided to create a dating profile for her on Tinder.

She met many men on Tinder. There was:

– Tony Soprano with his gambling addiction
– There was chef with his quirkiness
– There was “Tradie” with his 30-year-old model body and six pack
– There was “bikie” who attempted a forced kiss in the middle of a dark car park

All of this got me thinking: “If a 45-year-old who claims that they are not much to look at can have success in dating, then why can’t a young buck like me sort this stuff out?”

Seeing my co-worker’s success inspired me. I vowed to set myself a goal to get this area of my life sorted out. The only problem is I become like an assassin when there’s a goal I want to achieve.

I became obsessed with this whole dating game.

I had no idea what a dating app was.

I had never sent texts to girls that I had never met in person before.

I was terrified of the potential rejection.

What did I do? I just did it anyway and you can do the same.

The myth is that dating isn’t challenging for all of us. It is. We are all afraid to date after a major breakup because we fear that we might someday die lonely.

 

For the next 5 months, I became obsessed with this dating goal.

I figured if I were going to reach this goal of finding someone through online dating, I would have to put in the work to shorten the time it takes. Many of my friends have been single for more than 5 years and I decided that was not going to happen to me.

I signed up for dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, Coffee Meets Bagel, eHarmony and Happn.
I went on coffee dates before work.
I went on coffee dates during lunchtime.
I went on coffee dates after work.

 

And then I made sure I was in the zone.

No matter the day or time I was doing something to push my dating game further.

I bought new clothes.
I bought new shoes.
I bought new aftershave.

Not to impress the girls, but to make sure I was feeling good before each date. I wanted to put in the maximum effort I could so that if I failed, I knew that I had given it everything I could.

 

The start was full of fear.

The first date was horrible. It was a friend of a friend that had been crowdsourced via Facebook for me. I wasn’t ready and she was not really my type. She was into pole dancing and collecting these crystals that apparently heal you or something like that. It was sooooo not me.

I rolled up to the date one hour early to ensure I didn’t miss getting car parking. I waited around until 8 pm for her. She messaged at 8 pm and said she was leaving home now and would be late. I thought to myself, “Clearly this whole dating thing is going to be hard, especially given I am obsessed with productivity and don’t like having my time wasted.”

“Instead of being pissed off, I committed not to tell myself negative stories. I became committed to not getting upset easily like most people do in life”

She finally arrived and I felt quite sick for some bizarre reason. I ordered the drinks and then she paid without me getting a chance to stop her because she felt bad for being late. This was already a mini failure as letting the girl pay on the first date is usually seen as a very bad idea.

At the end of the date, I stupidly asked for a second date and she said yes. I never ended up getting the second date and thank god for that. It did hurt my ego a little.

 

I then went on more than 50 dates with 50 different women.

This might seem like freaking madness but I believe that to be successful at any goal you need to get really good at your chosen task. On the first date, I sucked big time at dating. After a few dates though, I became really good at it. I figured out quickly what I wanted which I had never done before.

The fear started to dissipate and before long I was completely comfortable. I’d check the apps throughout the day to get fresh leads, meet them, narrow down the list, and then attempt to close them by asking for a second date.

My process was a lot like managing a sales pipeline through a piece of software like Salesforce. It was methodical, intentional, unwavering and organized chaos.

 

You can date anyone if you believe you can. You can do anything.

The reason I had failed relationships in the past was that I never thought carefully about what I wanted. I somehow thought I wasn’t good enough. Because of this belief, I limited the parameters of my dating apps only to include girls who were no more than two years younger.

I secretly wanted a younger girlfriend but never thought they would go for me. I thought I was too old and that they wouldn’t be able to relate to me. I didn’t swipe right on the good-looking profile pictures because I thought they would never go for an average looking guy like me.

Somewhere along the way when I wasn’t succeeding at my goal, I revaluated what I was doing. I realized I was selling myself short.

I started swiping on stunners.
I opened the age range right up.

To my own disbelief, I was stunned.

Amazing looking models wanted to go on dates with me. Girls that were near geniuses wanted to go on dates with me. Girls who were a lot younger than me were throwing themselves at me. It turns out that I was limiting my chances, not the real world.

The lesson here is to be careful what you filter out. You may be filtering out exactly what you want.

 

My friends thought I was mad.

They told me it could take 5 years. They told me I may never find someone and I needed to potentially accept this concept. I told myself this was BS. I knew that if I kept trying and didn’t let all of the fear and failure defeat me, I’d be triumphant. I visualized the day I would get my goal.

“Being obsessed with a goal looks like madness to the average Joe; the truth is that it’s how you get stuff done and get what you want in life”

 

Watching Netflix and saying The universe will make it happen doesn’t work.

There’s a lot of this “Law Of Attraction,” praise a statue mumbo jumbo that’s floating around nowadays. People say that it will happen when it’s meant to happen. This mindset will destroy your goal and any chance of being successful at dating.

“Your goal will happen when you put in the work and make it happen”

The dating gods are not going to ride in on a rainbow unicorn and give you some drop-dead gorgeous person who’s got a perfectly tanned body, and an amazing ass, with an incredible personality.

Get to work and stop allowing wet dreams to ruin your life.

Sitting on the couch numbing your brain with Netflix doesn’t work either.

 

Don’t let desperation overcome you.

One of the girls I met decided to go for someone else. I was shortlisted and lost. She then messaged me to tell me that after a couple of days, her new man forced her head down to the bed and wouldn’t let her leave the room.

She asked me what she should do. Naturally, I told her to leave this horrible man as violence is never acceptable. This girl came across as desperate with every interaction I had with her. She also showed me that she would make other bad decisions and then blame the world.

All of this was due to desperation. Don’t let your need of finding someone allow you to make dumb decisions. You’ll regret it later.

 

Never be anyone’s Plan B.

This same girl then came back to me later after she dumped this violent man and tried to go on another date with me. I’ve learned over the years that it’s never a good idea to be someone’s Plan B. If you weren’t good enough from the start, then you never will be. I told this girl no and moved on.

 

What I didn’t do!

Use the apps as a way to randomly sleep with as many girls as possible. In the short term this will stroke your ego; in the long term, you’ll feel like garbage. Dating is not designed to boost your ego and is far better when you concentrate on your long-term happiness.

I also didn’t attempt to date multiple girls at the same time. This doesn’t work and you’ll get found out. Lying destroys all of your hopes and dreams except you never find out that it’s the true cause. Lying gets disguised in other people’s opinions about why you failed.

You will fail if you lie or become a whore.

 

The problem with online dating.

You start to believe there’s always someone better. You never settle for any prospect that comes your way. The slightest thing that annoys you about the other person can make you think you should keep looking through more profiles.

One girl told me that everything about me was good but she couldn’t deal with the fact I’m vegetarian. Being this trivial is stupid.

Every person you want to date has flaws including you.
You’ll learn to love their flaws in the long-term.
Having a shopping list of wants is great way to be disappointed and remain single.

 

How to avoid all the pitfalls of online dating and failing at any goal.

Be relentless.
Keep trying.
Believe in yourself.
Don’t settle for second best.
Don’t look for perfect – it doesn’t exist.
Be a really nice person and treat others nicely.
Don’t try and sleep with them too quickly – you’ll trick yourself into falling for them afterward.

 

So here’s what happened….

I got what I wanted. I found an intelligent, beautiful, elegant little gem. She’s funny, interesting, clever, successful and has good values.

It took some time and lot’s of dates but I got there. People look at me still like I got lucky although I don’t believe in luck. I gave it everything I could and it was an emotional rollercoaster. I showed the best of me and tried to be the best human being I could.

I practiced being kind, compassionate and humble. With forced intent and continued practice, I got my goal. You can do the same.

Before I go, I want to point out that I don’t tell this very personal story I’d rather not share to make myself look good, so don’t bother leaving comments to this effect. I tell you this very personal story to inspire you to greatness and learn from my foolish mistakes.

Don’t let this negative dating world beat you down. Fight back!

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

The Mentors That Dominate My Social Media Newsfeed And Why

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Scrolling through my LinkedIn feed, I saw the same three online mentors appear over and over again. It’s amazing what your social media can teach you about yourself. The pattern of who you become is determined by your external inputs.

To change your life, you need new inputs. Your social media is unconsciously defining you and it needs a cleanup.

Delete the Kardashians.
Delete all the negative news.
Remove fake people.
Remove toxic friends.

Once you have all of that beautiful space to play with, fill some of it up with some new mentors.

Here are the ones that dominate my social newsfeeds and teach me everything I know. I have never met any of them and only see them through social media.

 

Tony Robbins

From a guy that was physically abused by his mother to one of the most successful leaders on the planet, Tony has a personality that’s bigger than life. He takes really complex psychology concepts, rebadges them, and dumbs them down so average people like me can understand them.

Tony was the catalyst for me changing my life back in 2011 and I owe all of my success to him. He was the one person that made me see clearly the selfish, entitled, brat I’d become. If you don’t read another word of this article, make sure you look him up. I want you to have the same experience.

 

Gary Vaynerchuk

He started out as an online influencer with a very loud voice and more F-bombs than you and I would probably want to hear in a single video. As you get to know him better, you realize he’s nothing more than someone who wants to inspire people.

Below his seemingly thug like New York personality, he’s actually a very kind and innocent man that means well. He started out with a social media agency and preaching about the power of social media, and now he’s become a lot like Tony Robbins.

Gary spends a lot of time talking about why he’s not perfect and you’re not either. He preaches a few key ideas:

– Ideas are nothing and execution is everything
– Social media works when it’s not all about your ego
– Hard work pays off
– The best work is something you’re passionate about
– Disruption will happen whether you like it or not
– Everyone can be successful
– It doesn’t matter where you come from

There’s a lot of you that spend too much time planning and romanticising (borrowed that word off Gary) instead of getting to work. Many of you are seeking perfection or admiration rather than the truth. The truth is that adding value is the crux of business.

“The truth is that life is about more than zeroes on your Internet Banking screen”

 

Richard Branson

This guy’s been around for decades and I use him mainly for thoughts on work-life balance and business culture. Richard believes that instead of trying to be the best at everything, you need to find the right people and let them do the work. Having not met him, I actually think he probably doesn’t know that much (I mean that with a lot of respect by the way).

Richard focuses on the ideas and then he rallies together people to do the execution. He’ll teach you a lot about taking calculated risks as opposed to gambling, and he’s obsessed with disrupting the way things have always been done.

This way of thinking is fundamental to your social media newsfeed reinvention.

 

Manu Goswami (Swish)

I met this dude via Skype. His claim to fame was becoming a 19-Year-Old award-winning entrepreneur. He has businesses with people you and I could only dream of collaborating with. Beyond all of that, he was headhunted to go and work for Gary Vaynerchuk.

The kid has swag on top of swag multiplied by five. His main channel is LinkedIn and for such a young chappy he’s taught me a lot. Swish hasn’t just curated a tremendous social media newsfeed; he’s used social media to reach out to his mentors and become their friends.

He spent hours tagging his mentors and heroes on social media. He sent them messages. When he couldn’t get to his mentors like Gary Vaynerchuk, he made friends with their inner circles instead. Swish has taught me that age means nothing. I also love the way he tells stories.

Stories are a great way to achieve your goals and influence people. Suss this kid out.

 

Steve Jobs

I’m so simple and minimalistic that it’s crazy stupid. This wasn’t always the case though. Thanks to Steve Jobs and his creation that is Apple, he taught me how to strip back all of the layers. He’s taught me that a phone only needs one button.

Even though he’s passed now, his legacy lives on and there are still some incredible videos of him being released.

“Steve will teach you how to be succinct and how to be obsessed with your customer if you’re in business. By no means was he a perfect man or someone that treated everyone fairly”

Like any mentor, take the lessons of simplicity and minimalism from him and ignore other parts of his personality which may be less beneficial to your success.

 

Tim Ferriss

We share the same first name so it’s sort of a given that I’d be attracted to his work. I never really understood the Four Hour Work Week but what got me obsessed with Tim’s work was his podcast. The way he can extract wisdom from his guests and make them share things they’ve never shared is mind-blowing.

Tim will expose you to subjects like fasting and experimenting with various substances that you’d never find yourself normally being interested in. Through Tim’s work, I’ve learned that even with all of his success, at forty years of age, he’s still looking for the answers to life’s biggest questions.

We often think that people with Tim’s success have it all. Tim has taught me that’s not the case at all and his vulnerability, and honesty has become something I’ve replicated in my own life.

Your social media newsfeed needs the Ferris Wheel that is Timbo.

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Motivation

5 of The Best Motivational Speeches of All Time

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motivational speech

What could we possibly achieve by listening to motivational speeches? Isn’t that a waste of time? It’s not. A great motivational speech can be a trigger to action. It inspires you to do something. Powerful speeches make you realize you’re not just a useless individual in this world. Everyone matters. You matter, too.

Have you been feeling that inner drive to seek a higher purpose for a long time? If so, you need to take action. First, you need a trigger that will get you to that action. Try to think of an influential person. Let’s take an example: Jim Morrison. He was one of the most charismatic individuals of his time.

“Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.” That’s only one of the many pieces of wisdom he gave to humanity. These are not only words. They shrink deep inside you. They make you think. They make you act.

Jim Morrison said that during an interview. Back then, motivational speeches were not a big thing. Now, great individuals are trying to make a difference through that specific method. Are you ready to start exploring the best motivational speeches that will make you act?

Here’s a list of 5 of the best motivational speeches of all time:

1. Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address

This is one of the most emotional and inspiring speeches you’ll ever listen to. Although Jobs presented it way before TED talks became popular, you’ll notice it has a similar flow to an inspiring TED talk. It is relatively short, it has a theme, and it proves a point through a story.

Through this speech, Jobs tells us how we can find triumph through struggle. Jobs gave this speech one year after he was diagnosed with cancer. He had surgery and he was fine at that point. That’s the most important part of this speech: understanding our time here is limited. What are we going to do with it? That’s what matters.

2. Al Pacino’s Inch by Inch

Have you seen the movie Any Given Sunday? It’s a great one. The moment when Al Pacino gives one of the greatest speeches seen on the big screen is priceless. It’s not just a speech about football. It’s about winning. It’s about overcoming obstacles. It’s about becoming stronger. It’s about life in general!

“… In either game life or football the margin for error is so small. I mean one-half step too late or too early you don’t quite make it. One-half second too slow or too fast and you don’t quite catch it. The inches we need are everywhere around us. They are in every break of the game, every minute, every second.” That’s only a part of this great speech. Funny enough, it starts with “I don’t know what to say, really.”

3. J.K. Rowling’s Harvard Commencement Speech

This one will make you laugh at first. J.K Rowling has a rare talent to make the listeners laugh and think at the same time. At one point, the writer gets serious and gives out the main point of this speech: sharing things she wishes she had known at her own graduation, and the important lessons she has learned between that day and the day of the speech.

There’s one aspect of this speech that makes it different from most others on our list: the talk about poverty. The writer tells the truth about it. There’s no romanticizing of poverty. As she says, only fools do that. This situation entails fear, stress, and depression… “it means a thousand petty humiliations and hardships.” However, what she feared most for herself when she was young wasn’t poverty. It was a failure.

Essentially, this is a speech about the benefits of failure. Yes, there is such thing as a benefit from failure. J.K. Rowling is a living proof for that.

4. Bill Gates’ Harvard Commencement Address 2007

“I’ve been waiting more than 30 years to say this: ‘Dad, I always told you I’d come back and get my degree.’” That’s one of the funniest parts of this speech. Gates didn’t graduate. He is Harvard’s most successful dropout. He makes a big point, though: the fact that he dropped out doesn’t make academic life less of an important experience. Gates used to sit in on classes he hadn’t even signed up for.

As he says in his speech, one of his most precious memories of Harvard is being in the midst of so much energy and intelligence. Education is important, and it is a privilege. However, getting to know the wider world is also important, even though it’s shocking for the most part.

5. Jim Carrey’s Commencement Address at the 2014 MUM Graduation

You would expect a funny speech from one of the funniest men on Earth, wouldn’t you? Well, here is a surprise: Jim Carrey is deep. This speech is enlightening, to say the least. The main message is to choose love over fear.

And yes, the speech is funny. It’s Jim Carrey, after all. However, it’s also very, very serious. “I am here to plant a seed that will inspire you to move forward in life with enthusiastic hearts and a clear sense of wholeness.”

Even if you take the safe route through, life, you might fail. If you follow your dreams, you might fail, too. But, you might achieve them – and that’s what makes the difference. In the speech, Jim shares an example: his father. He could have been a great comedian, but he made a safe choice: accounting. When Kim was 12 years old, his father lost that job that was supposed to be safe. That was the point when the actor learned the most important lesson in life: “… You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”

If you’re in the middle of a crossroad and you’re wondering what road to choose, listen to this speech. It inspires you to choose the right thing. It inspires you to choose love over fear.

How do you pick yourself up from bad moments in the day? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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