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Motivation

The Ultimate Guide To Living On Purpose

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The Ultimate Guide To Living On Purpose

When I look at my boys, I am both excited and terrified, for them. I am excited because their life’s journey has just started. At this stage of their young lives, they have no limitations, no worries, and they are highly motivated to invent their world.

My youngest voraciously attacks each day; he climbs, he falls, he cries, only to do it all over again. My oldest has a fearless imagination and is predisposed to telling wild stories; of sea monsters living in the midnight zone.

And failure for them is not the end of the story, it sets in motion a series of questions, learning moments and even goals.

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo.”
– Steve Jobs

Yes, you are unremarkably average

I am terrified because, their journey must yield to the reality that they must become members of society. An ordered community that has little tolerance for the round pegs in the square holes and covets conformity above all else.

As my boys comply, they will gradually lose the voracity to forge their path and eventually graduate to what Chris Guillebeau, author of The $100 Startup, defines as — the unremarkable average.

Guillebeau illustrates that the unremarkable average live by a set of rules, commandments if you will:

  1. Accept what people tell you at face value
  2. Don’t question authority
  3. Go to college because you’re supposed to, not because you want to learn something
  4. Go overseas once or twice in your life, to somewhere safe like England
  5. Don’t try to learn another language, everyone else will eventually learn English
  6. Think about starting your own business, but never do it.
  7. Think about writing a book, but never do it
  8. Get the largest mortgage you qualify for and spend 30 years paying for it
  9. Sit at a desk 40 hours a week for an average of 10 hours of productive work
  10. Don’t stand out or draw attention to yourself
  11. Jump through hoops. Check off boxes.

Does this life sound strangely familiar to you? Don’t be afraid to say, “Yes.” This set of rules is what conformity looks like, and no one will ever challenge you to be different.

 

Why regret will lead you to live on purpose

Richard Leider, the author of the Life Reimagined, found that most people regretted living an average life. They wished they had gotten more from their lives; to live on purpose.

Leider interviewed hundreds of people over the age of 65 and asked them one question, “If you could live your life over again what would you do differently?” And three themes kept repeating:

  1. I would be more reflective; I would stop to enjoy the moments of my life.
  2. I would be more courageous; I would not be fearful of not conforming.
  3. I would understand my purpose; because my life needs to matter.

If this small sample of people regretted living an average life, for the sake of argument, I would say that everyone has the same regret. So the real question is why are you living your life the way other people expect you too?

Tony Robbins explains that, “The difference with anyone that has followed through is that we are more afraid of what life would be like if we don’t follow through – than the person that is willing to settle with what they have and hoping that it will change.”

So fear if allowed can retard your choices. Now knowing this, how do you leverage fear and start taking small steps to living on purpose?

 

purpose quote
 

Committing to new skills will lead you to success

You commit to the skills that will give you the most freedom. And how do you know what skills you need? You need to ask yourself these two questions:

  1. What do I really want out of my life?
  2. What will I give back to my community for supporting me?

Now you turn your dream into a project and like any project you begin by creating three lists:

  1. A list of everything a project needs to be considered a good project
  2. A list of all the skills you don’t have that are important to the project’s success
  3. A list of everything you are afraid of and out of your control

At the beginning of most new projects, you will lack mastery of key skills that are critical for the success of the project. Understanding this issue is critical and will condition you to focus on those necessary skills.

You could focus on mastering all the skills at once. But experience has taught me that dividing your limited energy is counterproductive. Instead, first, focus on that one skill that will create the most freedom for you.

Once you have identified the skill to master, you must not only create a set of habits, but you must also have a provocative ”why” is the skill important. This strategy will place you in the proper mindset to keep you growing the new skill until it’s mastered.

Once you have mastered the necessary skills and you have achieved your goal — it becomes a game for you. Why – because progress is happiness. Therefore, you start asking yourself — “what is next” or “what else can I do to create more freedom and happiness in my life?”

You then revisit these two questions:

  1. What do I really want out of my life?
  2. What will I give back to my community for supporting me?

…and the game starts all over again.

 

The Iron Cowboy Story

A story that recently caught my attention is about James “Iron Cowboy” Lawrence. In 2014 Lawrence set a new world record by achieving a personal goal of the 50, 50, 50 — that’s 50 iron distance triathlon races in 50 consecutive days in 50 states.

If you are unfamiliar with what an iron distance triathlon is, here is the breakdown:

  • A 2.4-mile swim
  • An 112-mile bike ride
  • A 26.2 marathon run

The interesting thing is that Lawrence is a regular guy, married with five kids. So what separates him from you — his why.

James ran a 4-mile fun race one Thanksgiving and during that race everything hurt — lungs, heart, legs, etc. At the end of that race Lawrence decided his life had to change. Why, because James was not going to allow that moment to define his life.

“It’s not a matter of how to get to the other side of that mountain. It’s which way am I going to do it — am I going to go over it, am I going to go around it, am I going to go through it? But ultimately at the end of the day I am going to make it to the other side of that mountain. Come hell or high water.”
– James Lawrence

James never thought that completing the 50, 50, 50 was not going to be worth it. He was on a mission, not only to prove to himself that it could be done. But teach his children that when you set a goal there needs to be 100% conviction that you will achieve that goal. And if you lack that conviction then there is no point in setting the goal, in the first place.

Lawrence’s mission had a welcomed side effect, James began to inspire others to do something outside of themselves. The hardest moments for James was not listening to the people that told him “you can’t do it.” It was shocking to him that it was the overwhelming majority of the people that told him – “You will fail. This is impossible.”

So he needed to turn down the volume on all the negativity and to focus on the things that are positive, uplifting and the things that drove him forward — to the finish line.

One of those positive moments for Lawrence was his 27th race. James helped a little boy named Dayton compete in his first triathlon. This race was particularly important to Lawrence because Dayton has cerebral palsy.

 

Conclusion

We spend a lot of our lives being average and focusing on the wrong thing. What if you took that same energy and focused on becoming a better version of you? What if you focused on helping others achieve their dreams?

Your goals may never get national attention like James “Iron Cowboy” Lawrence, but what if they help put a smile on the face of a boy like Dayton. Wouldn’t that be more amazing than living an unremarkably average life?

Thank you for reading my article! Please tell me how my article has helped you in the comment section below!

Ramon B. Nuez Jr. studies leadership. Ramon interviews leaders across a broad range of disciplines such as CEOs, entrepreneurs, and founders — to uncover what makes them exceptional leaders. Ramon writes about leadership in world famous blogs like the Huffington Post,  Addicted2Success, Lifehack, and Business2Community. He has also been an editor for the World Wide Web Foundation and Crowdsourcing Week. Ramon is working on self-publishing his first book; tentatively titled “The Growth Journal | a notebook for living with impact.” Ramon is endlessly conducting research on entrepreneurship, skill acquisition, productivity, behavioral psychology and leverages the investigation to help high achievers become so valuable that they can’t be ignored. Visit him online at www.ramonbnuezjr.com.

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Bikash Bhandary

    Jul 25, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    An amazing read, discovered about Iron Cowboy, followed him on twitter.
    Thanks for inspiration.

  2. Maina

    Jan 11, 2016 at 9:14 am

    A nice read there.
    Your articles motivate me.
    Thanks

  3. Gary

    Oct 2, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    Awesome article!!! Very sobering as well in that I follow those set of 11 rules and makes me feel ashamed. Being 47 and not feeling like I have found my purpose because of fear stings but doesn’t have to define me.

    Thanks for taking the time to write a inspiring article!!!

  4. Eva

    Sep 15, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    What a great reminder that you can make a difference in your life as well as others. Starting at this moment, it is your choice as to how you live your life. Great read!

  5. Axel Page

    Sep 1, 2015 at 8:41 pm

    Phenomenal read. I had never heard of James Lawrence before reading this article. A perfect example of someone who dictates his happiness through dedication to his goals. He took something that seemed impossible to the average eye and smashed through it.

    • Ramon B. Nuez Jr.

      Sep 6, 2015 at 10:37 am

      Axel. thanks for the kind words. Until I wrote this article I had never heard of the Iron Cowboy. Either through fate or luck I ran across a YouTube JayBird advertisement. It was a 2-minute B-Roll and I was captivated. So much so that it inspired me to write this article and start running. I am running 2 5k’s and a 15k this year. And I plan to run the NYC Marathon in 2016.

      I hope this article has inspired you to go out there and accomplish something that you see as impossible. Good luck.

  6. Steven

    Sep 1, 2015 at 10:03 am

    A very inspiring read — thank you. “Sit at a desk 40 hours a week for an average of 10 hours of productive work” — that one always hits home :-).

  7. johnleyo

    Sep 1, 2015 at 1:20 am

    niiiice 🙂

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Motivation

4 Simple Yet Effective Ways to Boost Your Team’s Motivation as a Startup

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Many startup leaders are able to grow their organizations quickly, thanks to their off-the-charts motivation and productivity. Unfortunately, when the organization is no longer a one-man show, it becomes very difficult to equip their team members with the same degree of motivation. This can negatively affect the organization’s morale, productivity, and possibly revenue.

Below are the four simple and effective ways to boost your team’s motivation as a startup:

1. Evaluate your own leadership as a leader

Many leaders had their own share of experience with bad leadership. Tim Denning, Addicted2Success contributor, also goes as far as saying, “working with a bad boss is a soul crushing dream killer.” No leaders want to be known as a bad leader. Unfortunately, some startup leaders unintentionally fall into the trap of micromanaging and never listening to the team members because they might not always have an experience as a leader.

If your team is big enough, you can also consider doing an anonymous survey that evaluates your leadership. But if that is not an option, there are tools that allow you to assess your own leadership performance. Go through the assessment, and focus on implementing the changes. Even if the team members’ motivation does not skyrocket overnight, there will be an improvement overtime.

“The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not a bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.” – Jim Rohn

2. Focus more on intrinsic motivation

A study of 200,000 U.S public sector employees by Yoon Jik Cho and James Perry showed that intrinsic motivation, rather than extrinsic motives such as position and salary, makes triple the impact on employee motivation and engagement. This study shows that motivating team members through position and salary is important, yet the biggest transformation will show when you get team members to focus on internal rewards.

For startups and teams with a limited budget, this represents a powerful way to be able to attract and retain the best team members. Though there will be some team members that might be disengaged because they are more motivated by position and salary, there will also be team members that may choose to stay in the organization because of the team’s culture– even if they get other job offers that might be more extrinsically appealing.

Challenge your team members with bigger responsibilities and goals. Encourage them to continue developing their skills or learn new ones. Show them you appreciate their loyalty. The internal rewards and the personal loyalty that your team members develop by working with your team will ensure that they can continue to stay engaged to the work and stay motivated to get the work done.

3. Be specific on HOW their work matters, and how much you care

Most leaders are aware of the importance of great team members and focus on recognizing the team’s efforts. However, when specificity as to how their work makes a difference in the team is added on, it can become extremely powerful. Team members want to know that the business cares about their work and jobs, but also about making a positive impact on the society.

Everytime you remind your team members about how their work makes a difference in the company’s growth, and how the organization makes a difference in the community, your team member will not only feel pride in their work, but they will also be fired up with an extra dose of motivation.

“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” – Henry Ford

4.  Encourage team members to become self leaders

An article by HR Digest shows that 25% of millennial team members are looking for a chance to prove their leadership skills. Although it is highly encouraged for startup leaders to challenge their team members and give them opportunities to showcase their leadership abilities, it can be risky if they do not have a previous leadership experience. That is when self leadership comes in.

Self leadership is a concept developed by Bryant and Kazan and is about having a clear individual identity as a leader. This can mean having a clear understanding of the vision, who they are as a leader and what their capabilities are as a leader. This helps your team members embody an identity of a good leader while developing their leadership skills.

There are many ways of empowering team members to develop self-leadership, such as encouraging them to take on new challenges or allowing them to partake in professional development activities. It can also mean giving them room to innovate and make their own decisions with their authority.

As the team gets bigger and the organization is no longer a one-man show, it can be challenging for leaders to keep their team members motivated. However, with these simple ways, it’ll be easier to equip your team members with the extra dose of motivation to continue doing their best and boost the team’s performance as a whole.

How do you keep your team motivated and excited? Share your ideas and thoughts below!

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Motivation

5 Ways to Remain Undefeated In Life and Cherish Each Moment Successfully

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Life is an amalgamation of existence and survival. It often replicates Pandora’s box. When we talk about existence, it relates to one’s identity. When we talk about survival, stories of struggles, success, victories, and defeats come into the panorama. Survival defines the continuation of existence.

The concept of existence makes us curious about, “who am I”?  Whereas, instincts of survival raise queries about “how to know who I am”? This journey from Who to How comprises several halts and platforms to make life interesting and beautiful.

Let’s Have a Look at the Surroundings

Have you ever seen a bird building its nest? It appears beautiful yet simple, right? Stop and think about the efforts they have put behind its construction. They collect sticks, twigs, yarn, grass, leaves, mud, and many other things. They prove to be skilled architects of nature. This is one of their necessities to survive.

When the eggs hatched, the baby birds come into existence and struggle to survive in the external environment. They adapt and try to fly. They fall and get scared but never give up because they know this is vital for their survival. Then a day comes when they fly higher and soar in the sky.

Why doesn’t their survival seem complicated to us? Why don’t they have any emotional and mental breakdowns? Human beings have evolved and are privileged to experience emotions.

What Makes Life Interesting and Brings Meaning to Your Existence?

There are 3 things that brings mean to your existence: Desire, Determination and Struggle.

Desire

Human beings have desire to achieve things. Sometimes desires become the cause of one’s misery, but desires can also be the driving force which let you manifest your highest potential. Having desires is important. It motivates us to forge ahead towards victory. It gives us a reason to work and strive for more.

But desire should not dominate you, and you should not depend on it to be happy. Your willpower and attitude determine your approach towards its fulfilment.Many times we don’t get the desired results. Sometimes it is better than what we thought, and sometimes it’s the opposite. A wise person neither gets swayed away with the victory nor disheartened with failure.

Determination

If the desire is the force, then determination is the velocity. Their product gives us the power to become courageous and fight like an invincible spirit. The determination provides a direction and illuminates your way to success. Hence, determined, every time you get a setback in life. When life throws curve balls, apply the technique of self-motivation and wisdom.

Struggle

When we do not achieve a set goal, we consider ourselves failures. When life doesn’t seem easy, when things turn out to be contrary or opposite of our expectations, we define the situation as tough and full of struggles.

The real struggle in life is not with the situation but with ourselves. If you succeed to win over the lowest state of your mind, your weaknesses, you win half of the battle. We win the other half with courage, hope, and a never give up attitude.

Winning is important, but to never get defeated is something even more important. If you remain undefeated no matter what, that’s a success.

Here are 5 Ways to Remain Undefeated:

1. Build a Habit of Reading and Self-Motivation

In the moment of delusion and doubt, books prove to be a guiding force and a loyal companion, capable of empowering and motivating you. When we are stuck in a situation and not able to figure anything out, reading an article, blog, book or magazine has been proven to be a saviour.

A habit of reading helps you to learn and grow. It’s like self-help pills. You keep yourself motivated. Whenever doubt comes, you seek the writings of ancient wisdom, derive its meaning according to you and keep yourself in a high life state.

2. Thinking and Introspection

Thinking is an art, and introspection is the tool to perform this art. When we spend time with the inner self, we contemplate many things. When we dwell in the dialogue with ourself, we find answers to many questions, and our vision becomes more explicit.

We know ourselves. We don’t get affected by people’s criticism or applause. We consistently focus on our thoughts and keep moving forward along the chosen path, and that is the key to achieve your goal.

3. Seek Inspiration from a Mentor

A mentor is someone who guides you throughout and enables you to achieve success in your life. A mentor is a source of inspiration. A mentor can be anyone; a teacher, a friend, your parents, grandparents, or even some celebrity. When you get down and gloomy, look at your mentor and many deadlocks of your life open automatically.

4. Connect Yourself to Spirituality

Spirituality is the way of living one’s life unaffected by worldly affairs. When we open the gate to eternity, we leave behind our footprints. It will not only guide others but also paves their way to a peaceful life.

Practicing Yoga brings you closer to spirituality and meditation and helps with mental health. Hence, Yoga and meditation have the quality of a lotus flower. No matter what condition you are going through, you will bloom.

It calms your mind, relaxes your body, and improves your concentration. Your stress levels reduce and you achieve the hormonal balance your body and mind is looking for. This balance boosts your confidence and your belief system.It is a capsule for the overall development of your personality and inculcating this habit in our daily routine takes us to a higher level of success.

5. Be Courageous and Never Get Defeated

Courage is a virtue which enables us to make our dreams come true. To keep fighting the battle of life, you must have courage. It helps you to overcome your fear. When you win over your phobias, you increase your potential. You never get defeated, and that is an epic victory one can report.

In the weakest of your moments, when life seems unfair and ruthless, calm down, take a deep breath, close your eyes, and talk to yourself. Pay gratitude for whatever you have. You will find the meaning of your existence and that ethos to survive will never let you get defeated. You will triumph.

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Motivation

3 Ways to Rethink Motivation in a Busy World

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I’ve been thinking a lot about the nature of motivation recently. For me, motivation comes at different points during the day. I tend to be most motivated first thing in the morning. I’m not a night owl by any means, but sometimes I wish I could be. Other people are hopeless in the mornings, but they can stay up until the wee hours working on a project that inspires them.

Unfortunately, sometimes motivation doesn’t strike when you need it to. Sometimes you’re not able to arrange your day to align with specific spikes in motivation, and you’re forced to find opportunities to be productive at the corners of the day.

Below, are several ways you can set yourself up for victory, despite a busy schedule or an inability to find the right time to feel motivated:

1. Tee yourself up for a motivation session

I’m not much of a golfer, so the fact that I’m using a golf phrase to preface this tip probably doesn’t make sense. But the point is that sometimes you have to make it easy for yourself to succeed when it’s time to make a leap. You can break a task down into its component parts, and pretty soon it doesn’t seem so difficult.

That’s what motivation is about sometimes. You can take that first step towards getting things progressed. You can set up everything so you just have to jump in with both feet first thing when you have the energy. Sometimes this means creating a to do list for yourself the night before to start tackling first thing in the morning.

Sometimes it can mean drafting an email or creating a template for a phone conversation that you’re planning to have first thing the next day. Whatever you can do to get your head right and set up the right incentives for you to take that swing the very next day when you’re feeling prepared, the better off you will be. Try it next time you’re feeling tired. Take 10 minutes to tee up your next move.

“Wanting something is not enough. You must hunger for it. Your motivation must be absolutely compelling in order to overcome the obstacles that will invariably come your way.” – Les Brown

2. Fire, then aim

Unfortunately, sometimes teeing up a solution isn’t going far enough. What really works best is to put your head down and try to at least make a start at that “thing” you want to accomplish, that product you want to create, or that goal you want to reach. This can mean putting pen to paper, picking up the phone, typing out that email, or asking for that advice.

Do something, do anything. Whatever it takes, force yourself to make a minuscule action to move the ball forward. If you had a gun to your head or you were forced to do something to avoid losing everything in one moment, what would you do?

Perhaps this is a bit drastic, but by building a sense of urgency in the moment, even when it’s the last thing you want to do, you can find a deep source of motivation within you and set yourself up to tweak your efforts the next day.

Too often you’re overwhelmed and frozen into inaction when you reach for a large goal. This is the point of the “fire, then aim” approach.

3. Rid yourself of self doubt

One of the best ways to set yourself up for victory in the long run is to build your self confidence. If you truly believe in yourself, you will find the motivation to persist and persevere.

If you truly have faith in yourself and your ability to deliver what you set out to deliver, you can do it. The world will align to your dreams. But this won’t happen if you let yourself be talked down by self-doubt and worry about what others will think.

“The moment you feel yourself hesitate on something you know you should do, count 5-4-3-2-1 to activate your prefrontal cortex and interrupt the habit of overthinking, self-doubt, and fear.” – Mel Robbins

Some worry and concern is rational and even important, but for the most part, fear will only hinder your progress. Get the negative voices out of your head by tapping into the inner ego and reminding yourself that you can accomplish what you set out to accomplish.

If you put your mind to something, and you are stubborn in your resistance to listening to other people’s’ opinions of what you do, then you will be hard pressed to not succeed.

The hardest part is the start. Finding ways to make that start even a little bit less painful can make the time that it takes to create something amazing all that much easier.

How do you motivate yourself? Share your ideas below!

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Motivation

A Step by Step Process That Will Help You Make the Impossible, Possible

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We have all been there, looking at something and wishing we had it. The girl, the car, the money, the family, the lifestyle…but then we tell ourselves “Yeah, but that’s not me”. The people who get that are cut from a different cloth and we keep telling ourselves that until it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. We waste the wings we got believing the entire time that we can’t fly and that it’s impossible for us. We don’t even see our wings most of the time. (more…)

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