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Motivation

The Ultimate Guide To Recognizing And Conquering Crippling Beliefs

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Do you know that feeling?

That urge calling you to do better. To establish firm goals and go after each in a predestined, unfaltering and decisive manner.

But something holds you back.

You can’t quite put your finger on it, yet something inside you is stopping you from manifesting the greatest version of yourself.

And while working out this problem, life is passing you by.

But it isn’t your fault.

Schools, parents, and peers don’t teach you the inner workings of the mind — the device responsible for your most spectacular successes and ugliest failures.

You see, most often than not, the way you think about things is the root cause of your unhappiness.

 

The biggest liar in the world

Your mind is undoubtedly brilliant. Though it has a dark side.

Whispering in your ear, moment after moment, telling you things you wouldn’t even tolerate from your worst enemy.

It can behave like a paranoid schizophrenic, convincing you that everyone is out to get you, you’re not good enough and you must change who you are to fit in.

To top it off, all the proof is there of your inadequacy. You find it difficult to connect with people, you’re in a job that sucks and you keep making silly mistakes over and over again. Sure signs of failure.

There comes a point when you can no longer separate yourself from these “truths” – you are one with your beliefs. That’s when you stop trying to make meaningful change in your life.

But listening to your mind is like living with a liar. The internal chatter becomes so overpowering, it’s almost impossible to recognize that thoughts are only words the mind strings together at any given moment.

The good news? It’s never too late to cut through the fog, flip your unhelpful beliefs and create a life of success.

“If one can only see things according to one’s own belief system, one is destined to become virtually deaf, dumb and blind.” – Robert Anton Wilson

Canny ways to uncover your limiting beliefs:

  • What’s your body telling you? What thoughts go through your mind when you have tension in your stomach? Your mind and body are connected, and even when your mind blinds you, your body will be a better place to look for answers. I had stomach pains for many years, but I accepted them as part of being anxious most of the time. Had I listened to my stomach earlier, I could’ve explored the reasons behind the constant churning.
  • What do you avoid? Things that you’re afraid to do can point to your stubborn, unhelpful beliefs. I don’t mean you have to jump off a bridge with a rope attached to your legs if you’re terrified of heights – though you could try that too. What I’m saying is that you habitually stop doing things you think are hard. Maybe you’re asked to give a presentation and your immediate reaction is to refuse it. Go in and explore why you reject this. Often what you most avoid is what you should be doing to progress.
  • Who offends you and why? People who hurt you can act like a mirror giving a glimpse into underlying beliefs you hold tight. Your friends will rarely point out your blind spots. I’m not suggesting the offenders are right; instead, think of those as areas where you can make improvements in your attitude. It doesn’t help you to be angry and bottle up emotions against someone else. These emotions can indicate that you need to ease up some feelings when someone says the wrong thing to you. Your anger won’t hurt them. It only harms you.
  • Can you stare at a wall … and do nothing? Most people are unable to do it for long (unless they’re experienced monks). I guarantee, even before 10 seconds pass your mind will jump into as many different ideas, worries and concerns. Which is an ideal opportunity for taking note of the chain of thoughts your mind created in that short time. And most of those sub-conscious thoughts will have an unpleasant undertone as studies have shown, because that’s the way minds work. So don’t be surprised of what you uncover.

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The art of taming unhelpful beliefs:

So you now have some ideas about what those negative beliefs are, but how do you get rid of them? You don’t actually have to. It’s enough to turn the volume down on them to lessen their power over you.

  • Say, “Hello.” Receive your negative thoughts, beliefs and feelings with open arms instead of fighting them. Acceptance does not equal defeat. It’s more like a friendly acknowledgement. Once you’re better at recognizing your thoughts and beliefs, you can give them a little nod, as if to say, “Yes, I can see you’re there.” But they don’t have to bother you.
  • Don’t take them seriously. You can try not taking negative blabber seriously. Since laughter is the best form of medicine, do what it takes to ridicule them. Repeat troubling phrases in your head in a funny voice (Yoda is my favorite). Or try recording your most intrusive phrase, like “I’m not good enough” for about five minutes to a recording device. Then re-listen – if you can bear it for that long, you’ll understand that these are merely harmless words repeated over and over again.
  • Join a community. Find a support group (online or off) – the type of people whom you aspire to be. They’ll soon make you realize that your most precious beliefs could be just fantasies. They’ve been through where you are now and know the shortcuts to overcoming your problems. They’ll inspire you and show you how to thrive in your skin. There’s no easier way to grow than by taking advantage of the power of an experienced group.

 “Limits, like fear, is often an illusion” – Michael Jordan

Transforming the noise into action

Your mind will always try and trip you up, no matter how self-developed you are. That’s the nature of minds.

But you can outsmart it by staying one step ahead and understanding its workings.

Every day, you have oodles of chances to acquaint yourself with the real meaning behind your sub-conscious thoughts.

Knowing how to catch the unhelpful chatter and turn them into a source of power will help you fling into the orbit of change and onto a rich life that’s worth living.

And there isn’t a more ideal day than today – so you’d better get started.

 

Andrea, a quiet spirit, helps to make you feel at ease when interacting with others. A fledgling writer and speaker, she's driven to take the fear out of hanging out. If you want to know how to easily start talking to people, download your copy of Never be Tongue-Tied around People

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28 Comments

28 Comments

  1. Mike Cross

    May 7, 2015 at 10:34 am

    hi – im the proud volunteer chairman of a grassroots football club in cheshire england – its the little negative comments that always push me over the edge – i need to get rid of my fixed mindset on everything – love the funny voice idea “words will never hurt me”
    Im actually really positive most of the time – i need to focus on fewer things & do them better & just listen to the odd negative & turn it in to a positive

  2. Ilka

    Apr 30, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    Hi Andrea!

    That was a really wonderful post with a lot of deep insights. It is interesting how our sub-conscious can trick us and even lead us to sabotage ourselves.

    I love the idea of starring at a wall. I will definitely try this 🙂

    Thanks for sharing, Ilka

    • Andrea

      May 4, 2015 at 11:02 am

      Hi Ilka,

      Thank you for taking time to comment.

      The subconscious can be both a source of pain and the vehicle to guarantee our success. Once we are aware this, can we use it to our advantage and achieve goals we never thought was possible with a previous mindset.

      Best,
      Andrea

  3. Ashley trexler

    Apr 28, 2015 at 11:47 am

    great read! I especially love the part about exploring why you want to refuse something, and finding what the real problem is. That’s so true, for me. Often when I don’t want to do something (a presentation, a meeting) it’s because I’m not confident in my knowledge. When I truly know a subject, presenting isn’t a problem….there’s no fear because there’s no unknown. Great work, Andrea! Keep it up.

    • Andrea

      May 4, 2015 at 11:06 am

      Thanks you Ashley! Yes, I found that to be very true about resisting certain things. There’s always a reason for that and it’s better to look into it and asking ourselves the (sometimes painful) question of what really is the source of problem here…. It is rare that people achieve their goals without going through some kind of discomfort in the process. I’m learning to get on with things, however hard they may seem 🙂

  4. Mark Tong

    Apr 28, 2015 at 7:49 am

    Really, really useful tips on a universal problem. I love the silly voice idea – have used that often in the past – I use to try and listen to what my ‘inner voice’ was babbling about but it scared the hell out of me, so now I’ve got a retraining order on it – if it comes within 100 feet, I call the cops.

    • Andrea

      May 4, 2015 at 11:09 am

      What a great idea Mark, I haven’t considered that as an option but you’re right! That will do some serious damage to it 😉

  5. Kim

    Apr 27, 2015 at 11:17 pm

    The mind-body connection that you talk about is so true. It is only now that I realize the power of it and work to understand why I’m feeling a certain way instead of simply worrying or doing “whatever it takes,” to avoid it. I’m not always successful, but I am always glad I’ve tried. Thanks for the great article.

    • Andrea

      May 4, 2015 at 11:13 am

      Nice to see you here Kim 🙂

      Yes, we have to keep trying. It’s better to get a handle on these thoughts and emotions than let them handle us!! The good thing is that it becomes easier with time, and once you understand their workings.

      Thanks
      Andrea

  6. Rob

    Apr 23, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    Andrea, amazing! I’m inspired to think of our minds having a dark side and that listening to our own minds can be like listening to a liar! Now there’s a scary thought.

    I love the idea of exploring why we reject certain opportunities to see what we can find. Areas for improvements, perhaps, or at least conscious recognition of something that deeply concerns us. As you put it so well: acceptance. There’s a sense of empowerment that comes with that and also not taking the negative blabber, as you call it, so seriously.

    For me, the most exciting insight (and affirmation) is surrounding ourselves with the people we aspire to be: those who have trodden the path and know the territory. Those who know how to outsmart the mind and overcome limiting beliefs with ease (great choice on the Michael Jordan quote!)

    I’d go further to say that the sooner, or younger, we do what you suggest, the better our chances of outsmarting the negative self-banter of the mind and the more powerful we become.

    Here’s food for thought: if the ideas and suggestions you share here were offered to young children, what may their chances of greater success be like in adulthood?

    Inspiring stuff, thank you!

    • Andrea

      Apr 27, 2015 at 4:42 pm

      Thank you for your wonderful comment Rob. 🙂

      Indeed, by the time we reach adulthood, we should be all equipped with recognizing when the unhelpful beliefs take over. Alas, a lot of us aren’t even aware of these powerful subconscious trends that define our every being.

      Cheers,
      Andrea

  7. Nicki Lee

    Apr 23, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    “Often what you most avoid is what you should be doing to progress.” I really wish you were wrong about this, so I could continue avoiding certain situations (particularly social ones), but you are so right! Even as I say no, there is a little voice telling me that I need to say yes. But, I stomp out that voice and feel relieved that I have avoided discomfort. Really must work on pushing through the discomfort!

    • Andrea

      Apr 27, 2015 at 3:07 pm

      Hi Nicki,

      My answer to that would be, you have to make yourself push through the first few occasions. Then there will come a time when you start thinking “What was I worrying about?”. I can think of lots of times when I was terrified of entering a situation, but I actually enjoyed the process. I wouldn’t have known that if I carried on avoiding it. I’m afraid to say you can only do it by taking action. But once you start doing it and you build up enough momentum – you’ll be well on your way to accomplishing some bigger challenges you set.

      Thanks for reading and I hope that helps 🙂

  8. Debashish

    Apr 23, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    Great post, Andrea!

    Our brain gives birth to our beliefs, both positive and negative. If we do the hard work to change our limiting beliefs into beliefs that support us, we can become limitless!

    For starters though, I’ll settle with turning down the volume of the unhelpful beliefs. Acceptance and community seem like brilliant strategies for doing so. Like you said, I better get started.

    • Andrea

      Apr 27, 2015 at 3:37 pm

      Thanks Debashish, and precisely! We are in charge whether we give power to the beliefs that hold us back, or choose to allow those to surface that help us ultimately. I love the idea of growing with a community too – you can make results manifest so much faster than if you were to create those on your own. 🙂

  9. newton emase

    Apr 23, 2015 at 3:46 am

    Thank you andrea for this inspiring article, am a student and this are my limits and for now am trying to prove the inner critic wrong

    • Andrea

      Apr 27, 2015 at 3:11 pm

      As human beings we are gifted with ability to change our thoughts/behaviors and therefore our perceived limits. Good luck with proving your inner critic wrong Newton!

  10. Ann

    Apr 22, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    Andrea, Thanks for the reminder on how to tame my unhelpful beliefs.

  11. Ellen

    Apr 22, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    Great article Andrea. I especially like the point about checking in with your body. I often find I have tension in my shoulders in certain situations, and it’s a message that usually points to feeling tension about the person or situation for some reason.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Andrea

      Apr 27, 2015 at 3:17 pm

      Thanks for leaving a comment Ellen. The body has so much more wisdom than we can explain in terms of science – I guess we can intuitively feel what is wrong if we really tune into and get familiar with these bodily signals.

  12. Wilfried

    Apr 22, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    Hi Andrea,

    Great article!
    I like especially that you address negative beliefs, like so many of us have, and how do you get rid of them?

    Cheers
    Wilfried

    • Andrea

      Apr 27, 2015 at 3:42 pm

      Hey Wifried,

      It’s funny you know only the other day I was talking to a friend, and we were discussing how so many of us are even unaware of these negative beliefs inside our minds. Shows how powerfully the mind conceals this from our very own eyes. So yes, locate them first, then you can start dealing with them!

  13. Lynn

    Apr 22, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    Well done, Andrea. You’ve provided life-changing advice in a straightforward, sensible way.

    I’d sum up as “Don’t always believe what you believe”! So my meditation teacher says 🙂

    • Andrea

      Apr 22, 2015 at 3:29 pm

      Thanks Lynn. I agree with your meditation teacher, though one of the hardest things to do! After all, it all seems so real… and that’s what’s so scary about it. 🙂

  14. Tejaswi

    Apr 22, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    Thanks a lot for a great article.
    I really needed this advice… Acknowledging and accepting the limiting beliefs before taming is the most important.

    Thanks again.
    Tejaswi

    • Andrea

      Apr 22, 2015 at 3:30 pm

      My pleasure Tejaswi. Thanks for stopping by and I’m glad if it helped 🙂

  15. Raymond Lamar Lee

    Apr 22, 2015 at 10:18 am

    Great Article, love the pic

  16. Divsdivya

    Apr 22, 2015 at 3:10 am

    Thanks andrea for sharing the article…..since few days i was reading the articles about the subconcious mind and how will it work in shaping our believes …this articles a simple with nice understandable examples…i liked the way you presented the article…

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Motivation

50 Cent Scored Half a Billion Dollars – How 50 Made a Killing Off Water

Joel Brown (Founder of Addicted2Success.com)

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Image Credit | The Source

In “The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop,” author Dan Charnas traces how rap grew from its obscure roots in the ghettos of 1970s New York to its culmination as the world’s predominant youth pop culture and a multibillion-dollar industry.

The event that epitomized just how far hip-hop had come was the headline-grabbing partnership between the rapper 50 Cent and the upstart beverage company Glaceau, the maker of VitaminWater. It may well have been the biggest deal in hip-hop history, propelling 50 Cent’s personal net worth toward a half-billion dollars.

In this excerpt, Charnas outlines how it happened.

By the summer of 2003, 50 Cent’s debut album, “Get Rich or Die Tryin’,” had sold more than 5 million copies, and he was easily on his way to becoming a multimillionaire on these sales alone.

Nonetheless, the rapper from Queens, who was born Curtis Jackson and had begun his career on the reputation of being shot nine times (a bullet was still lodged in his tongue), wasn’t content to remain a recording artist.

His young manager, Chris Lighty, himself a Bronx street kid turned businessman, was well-positioned to exploit 50’s stardom by creating multiple income streams. Lighty had come out of the Def Jam fold and managed such stars as Missy Elliott and LL Cool J.

With Lighty, 50 Cent created the “G-Unit” brand, including a record company, a clothing company, and a sneaker deal with Reebok’s RBK line. The G-Unit Clothing Company was a joint-venture deal, with hip-hop-influenced designer Marc Ecko fronting the money, handling the manufacturing and distribution, and splitting the profits fifty-fifty with 50.

At his Violator management company (named after a rough crew that Lighty ran with as a kid), Lighty helped pioneer the use of 900 numbers for his artists.

Over a decade later, he negotiated a different kind of phone deal: 50 Cent cellular ringtones to be sold for up to $2.99 per download. Lighty inked other agreements, too: a video game and a biopic with MTV Films and Paramount Pictures. When the agency that represented Lighty, CAA, balked at representing a rapper so closely associated with violence, Lighty secured a deal with an eager William Morris.

One of Lighty’s business acquaintances was Rohan Oza, a marketing executive who has just moved from Coca-Cola to a small Queens, N.Y., beverage company called Glaceau. Oza considered himself not a brand manager, but a brand messiah. He believed that passionate proselytizing of his products could transcend costly corporate ad campaigns.

Oza’s Vitamin Water brand was doing well at more than $100 million in sales, second only to Pepsi’s Propel brand in the $245 million “enhanced-water” market. He knew how to take them out.

Stealing a page from the hip-hop street-team and word-of-mouth ethos, Oza created a fleet of 10 “Glaceau Vitamin Water Tasting Vehicles,” staffed by 200 “hydrologists,” to cross the country and spread the gospel of Vitamin Water’s growing line. But hydrologists working one-on-one with consumers wouldn’t break Vitamin Water out of the gourmet-deli and new-age-health-food market.

Oza needed more than brand messiahs to convert individuals. He needed brand ambassadors to influence millions. That’s when Oza saw a commercial for RBK sneakers in which Lighty, rather sneakily, had his artist, 50 Cent, chug a bottle of Vitamin Water.

In a phone call soon thereafter, Lighty told Oza that he wanted to find a way to work together to make Vitamin Water huge. It turned out that 50 Cent  had a true love of the product. He had grown up around alcoholics, so he didn’t drink. Instead, he spent hours a day working out and ate healthy. Like Oza who got bored with imbibing the recommended eight glasses of plain water a day, 50 had found Vitamin Water a more pleasurable way to hydrate.

On Oza’s desk in his New York office, at that very moment, was a test bottle of a new Vitamin Water flavor, recently formulated by Glaceau’s head of product development, Carol Dollard, who had worked hard to get more vitamins and nutrients into their drinks – much more than the 2 to 3 percent of the recommended daily allowance in other “enhanced” waters.

Recently, Oza had asked Dollard for a product that would make it easy to highlight this difference. She had returned with a flavor that contained 50 percent of the RDA of seven different vitamins and minerals. Oza’s marketing team responded with a great name for the new variety: Formula 50.

What better way to collaborate, Oza suggested, than to have 50 Cent endorse this new product? But Lighty didn’t want an endorsement deal. He didn’t want cash. “We want to invest,” Lighty said.

By 2004, 50 Cent was undoubtedly one of the world’s biggest pop stars. But it took some amount of convincing on Oza’s part to overcome the trepidation of Glaceau CEO Darius Bikoff and president Mike Repole. 50 Cent’s association with gunplay presented a problem: What if their chief spokesperson ended up dead in a rap beef?

But the 50 Cent who showed up for his first meeting with Bikoff was surprisingly different from the rapper’s public image: calm, respectful and deliberate, without too many flamboyant flourishes. Lighty was the rapper’s perfect business complement.

In the weeks and months thereafter, Lighty and Oza hammered out the terms of a deal. 50 Cent would take a stake in the privately owned company, one that would graduate over time and escalate if the company hit certain numbers.

The two entities – 50 Cent on one hand and Glaceau on the other – signed an agreement of mutual confidentiality. Still, word got around that Lighty had negotiated something close to, but not more than, 10 percent of the value of the company. During these discussions, Lighty and 50 deliberated the attributes of their new product. Oza presented the pair with several flavor options for Formula 50. For Chris Lighty, the choice was simple.

Despite the high-minded science of Glaceau, their product was basically a smarter, more upscale, more aspirational version of the ultimate ghetto beverage on which Lighty and 50 had grown up: the “quarter-waters” sold in every bodega, deli and convenience store from Queens to Compton.

The quarter-waters (so named because they once cost 25 cents) were just like the Kool-Aid everybody drank at home. However, nobody drank wild flavors like strawberry and kiwi in the ‘hood, because they drank grape. Formula 50 had to be grape. Oza hated the comparison to such base beverages, but he had to admire the thought process of his new partners.

vitamin water 50 centThe 50 Cent-Vitamin Water deal was announced in October 2004. Behind the scenes, the relationship between the two parties wasn’t always smooth. When Lighty, in one of his first interviews about the deal, spoke of building the brand with the ultimate goal of selling it, Darius Bikoff phoned Lighty, screaming at him for disclosing the strategy. Within a few hours, Bikoff looked up to find a livid Lighty in his office, glowering at him. Lighty had driven from Manhattan to Queens to tell Bikoff one thing. “Don’t curse at me,” Lighty said, a heartbeat away from becoming a Violator once more.

Once they understood each other, Bikoff and Lighty, Vitamin Water and 50 Cent built a strong alliance. Soon billboards and bus stops across the country linked the images and joined the fates of two upstarts from Queens – one a scrappy, new-age beverage company; the other a pugnacious, provocative rapper with an eye for opportunity and a history of hitching himself to winners.

In March 2007, Chris Lighty and his friend Sean Combs were riding together from Heathrow airport to a London hotel in the back of a Maybach when Combs got some news over the phone. Fellow rap superstar Jay-Z and his two fashion-entrepreneur partners, Alex Bize and Norton Cher, had just sold the rights to their Rocawear trademark to a public company, the Iconix Brand Group.

Lighty could not stop repeating the number he heard, as he stared at Combs in disbelief. “Two hundred million? Two hundred million?” Actually, at $219 million, the sale of the Rocawear brand name was, at the time, the biggest deal in hip-hop history. Combs responded in the only way he knew how. “I need a billion for mine,” he huffed. But of those two men, it would be Lighty who reached that symbolic mark first.

Just two month later, in May 2007, the Coca-Cola Company purchased Glaceau for $4.1 billion. In the media, initial reports put 50 Cent’s cashout at $400 million, calculated by dividing the purchase amount by 50 Cent’s reputed 10 percent share. But in reality, 50 Cent’s take was much less. Another stakeholder needed to be paid off first – the diversified Indian conglomerate Tata had invested $677 million for 30 percent of Glaceau in 2006, and got $1.2 billion when Coca-Cola bought them out.

When all the other costs had been deducted, 50 Cent was thought to have walked away with a figure somewhere between $60 million and $100 million, putting his net worth at nearly a half billion dollars.

On his next album, 50 Cent could barely contain his own incredulity at the power of the dollar. “I took quarter-water, sold it in bottles for two bucks,” he rapped. “Coca-Cola came and bought it for billions. What the [f#!k]?” But Lighty silently pocketed his 15 percent and kept it moving.

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Motivation

8 Powerful and Inspiring Words of Encouragement to Help Lift You Up

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Image Credit: Twenty20.com

When you’re going through tough times, all you need is sympathy. You just need someone to tell you how strong you are and how you can cope with the situation. Essentially, you’re waiting for a soothing voice that can calm your inner storm and genuinely help with your troubles.

If you’re in a situation like this, then know you’re not alone. You might be feeling down due to a reason like failing at something, breaking up with someone you dearly loved, losing your loved one, not getting a good job, or being betrayed by the person you trusted the most or anything along those lines.

Remember this; there is hope for everyone including you. You are going to come back from all of this no matter what. That’s why there is a saying, “Every dark cloud has a silver lining.”

Here are 7 powerful quotes to help lift you up in your time of need:

1. “There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday, and the other one is called tomorrow. Today is the right day to Love, Believe, Do and mostly Live.” – Dalai Lama

This quote said by his holy highness Dalai Lama is so compelling about life. You live in the present, neither in the past nor the future.

Think about it this way, can you change what is already done or can you change what is going to be done? The answer is, no, you can’t because nobody can. It’s wise to forget the bad things from the past and do something in the present that will help improve your future.

2. “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein

Have you ever thought of these beautiful words of encouragement from Sir Albert Einstein? It is so profound and practical. Sometimes we are miserable because people try to fit us into a mold where we don’t belong, and thus we too start feeling that we are useless. However, that’s not the case.

We all are gifted with abilities that we overlook only because of the fear of being rejected or neglected. You are not supposed to rely on people’s perspective about you if you know what your real potential is.

3. “Every time you state what you want or believe, you’re the first to hear it. It’s a message to both you and others about what you think is possible. Don’t put a ceiling on yourself.” – Oprah Winfrey

These words of encouragement from Oprah Winfrey gave me so much strength that I couldn’t resist to quote it here.

Many times we give up on our dreams and wishes only because we think it is impossible. We must believe in ourselves and tell ourselves that we can do it and it is possible. You shouldn’t be afraid of failures and setbacks but instead welcome them.

4. “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” – Will Rogers

Think about this, still water is stagnant water. Because of this, even water has to keep flowing to remain useful. If you want to become successful, you must keep lifting yourself up and keep moving.

Always remember to not let the hardships hold you down and wait for a miracle to happen. You’re already on the right track so nothing should stop you from going further in your life.

5. “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.” – Mahatma Gandhi

All our activities, throughout this life, are controlled by our mind. Believe it or not, it’s true. It is correctly said that what you think you become.

People around you are not always going to pull you up, and you might meet people who are going to supply negativity to your mind. However, it is up to you whom to let in your mind and whom you should never. When you are in control of your thoughts and mind, nothing and nobody can distract you.

6. “What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.” – Oscar Wilde

Difficult times are very tricky, because they can make you believe that there is no light at the end of the tunnel. We don’t realize that today’s struggles are for a better tomorrow.

They’re not permanent, and they’re not going to last forever. Once you are determined to change your situation then even God will help you with that. Just remember the saying, “God helps those who help themselves.”

7. “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

We are influenced by our environment, friends, family, and work, yet it’s up to us to make what we want of our life.

For example, if you want to be a writer, do everything you possibly can to do it. Surround yourself with people who truly want to write, and make sure to write every single day. You’re the only one who can make your dreams a reality, so make sure you do whatever it takes to keep pushing your limits.

8. “In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.”  – Deepak Chopra

This quote is too profound and subtle that summarizes this whole article. It might change the way you look at your problems right now.

There are circumstances to knock you down, issues you are not able to solve, and they seem completely out of your control. It is not at all easy to keep calm at this point, however, if you learn how to be still in the midst of all the chaos, you are a winner. You have won half the battle just by doing this.

Winning and losing is just a part of life. No matter in which phase of your life you are, remember that there is a purpose behind it and you will know what that purpose is at the right time.

One day you will be grateful for all the struggles and mistakes because they will make you a stronger, better, and a more beautiful human being.

Which one of these quotes inspired you the most and why? Let us know in the comments below!

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Motivation

Music Motivation: Every Superhero Needs Theme Music and That Includes You

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Image Credit: Twenty20.com

Every superhero, fictional or real, needs theme music. And every one of us underdogs needs theme music too! The unmistakable sound of the intro beat starts, your energy level rises, you hear “…the eye of the tiger,  it’s the thrill of the fight…”, instantly you are ready to take on your next challenge as if Creed or Rocky, or some old school Wu-Tang song comes on and suddenly you’re reminded of Marvel’s Luke Cage action scenes and are now ready to, figuratively, save Harlem, your neighborhood, and the world!

Music is part of our daily lives. It’s often around us, even when we don’t mean for it to be. To reach peak performance in our day-to-day routine, it’s crucial to be aware of the music around us and work to consciously choose the music we are around.

Music moves us in more ways than you might think, and just like our friends, our hobbies, our meals and anything else which gives us that extra swagger, music is a powerful tool that can create all the difference in our mood, our productivity, and our results. Whether you are on the come up, the comeback, or fighting to keep what you hustled so hard to create, the journey is a daily grind and music can help you keep that grind going, and going strong.

Groovy Science

Your daily hustle can be stressful. Listening to music, according to Medical News Today, has many health benefits. Music can reduce your stress and anxiety, ramp up your memory and improve medical conditions such as seizures or brain damage caused from strokes.

Music can even help you ideate differently because it makes you more creative overall, according to a team of researchers at the University of Technology Sydney and Radboud University in Nijmegen. So, cue up some music and get your creative juices flowing. Your stress will go down and your creativity will go up, leading you to feel happier about yourself and your life overall.

“Whenever humans come together for any reason, music is there… weddings, funerals, graduation from college, men marching off to war, stadium sporting events, a night on the town, prayer, a romantic dinner, mothers rocking their infants to sleep and college students studying with music as a background… music is and was [always] part of the fabric of everyday life.” – Daniel Levitin

Sometimes when you’re on the long road to success you start losing motivation for your goals. Eventually, many of us come to a crossroads of moving forward or turning back, and sometimes all it takes is a quick motivational activity to get your energy back. You could make a vision board, refine your core value, update your bucket list, create a to-do list, and so on.

I’m all for each of those as ways to get your swagger back and keep it, but at the same time, sometimes daily motivation calls for new approaches too. Especially approaches that are easily accessible at any moment and don’t require a huge investment of time, money or other resources you may or may not have.

An intentional use of music could be the new approach that you take to help you get through those days when you feel like giving up. Time for you to have your “Eye of the Tiger” and make a comeback. And “Protect ‘Yo Neck” and others to save the day like Luke Cage. Then “Cheers” with everybody that knows your name and always glad you came. Let’s create our own theme music and intentionally enjoy the health benefits and swagger of music.

Your Theme Music

Here’s how to create your personal soundtrack so you can have something to motivate you anytime you need it, no matter where you’re at. Begin with a playlist of about five songs. Pick songs that will raise your energy level and remind you of your purpose, important goals, and/or your core values.

Then create a name for your playlist and a nickname for yourself. You can refresh your personal soundtrack as your priorities and goals change. And for us underdog music junkies already bothered by the five song limit, you can create an additional playlist called “The B-Side” for all other songs.

Here’s an example (You’ll get to see mine!):

Playlist NameThe Voice of the Underdog!

Your NicknameThe O.G. aka The Original Gregory aka Mr. Reset Button

Five Songs Playlist:

1: “The People” by Common. – I do what I do for the people aka the Underdogs!

2: “The Point of It All” by Anthony Hamilton – …because a healthy love life is part of a healthy life.

3: “Reach” by Robyn Hood – I’m gonna keep reaching and hustling hard.

4: “Sky’s The Limit” by Biggie Smalls – I mean, the title says it all, right?!  

5: “Hate It or Love It” by The Game, 50 Cent – Hate it or love it Underdogs will be on top!

Bonus Track: “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” by Gil Scott-Heron – All of the turnaround won’t be televised, but it will happen. Keep pushin!

Playlist Playful Description:

I do it for “The People” and the people I love, that’s “The Point of It All.” Now is the time I “Reach” even higher because “The Sky’s The Limit.” “Hate It or Love It” Underdogs are gonna be on top. “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” but there will be music playing and I will make it happen!

“Music can change the world because it can change people.” – Bono

Press Play Daily

Well, what ya waiting for!? Music helps with creativity so turn on some of your favorite music right now and start brainstorming the songs that have meaning to you, will motivate you and inspire your daily hustle.

When you’re done creating your personal soundtrack, you’ll have mobile motivation that is only a press of the play button away. What will be your theme music? Really, what will it be? Because every one of us underdogs needs theme music so we can get and stay motivated to get from Front Street to Swaggerback Boulevard.

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Motivation

The One Crucial Ingredient for Success That Motivation Can’t Give You

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Some people say motivation is literally the only thing you need to be successful. They say it is the crucial element in setting and attaining goals. But is that really true? A lot of content is produced online that’s aimed to motivate and move you into massive action in the hopes that you’ll finally become successful.

While I do think the intentions behind such claims are noble, most people totally misunderstand how motivation works. More importantly, they’re totally unaware of the real determining factor behind an individual’s success.

Let me start off by debunking a colossal myth about motivation: Motivation equals success. This is not true. Here’s the truth: Motivation does not equal success for you. The only thing that equals success for you is you and the way you develop and rearrange your mind.

You can spend as much time as you like watching, following and investing your money on motivational courses or seminars but there’s no guarantee your life will transform. It’s a great marketing line, but certainly not the way success works.

Yes, your guru knows just how to press the right buttons. Each time he or she speaks and shares a rags to riches story, you feel yourself rising from that pit of despair threatening your very existence. Nonetheless, just writing down those goals or visualizing success is not how results are created in your life. If you’ve been an avid personal development student, this has probably started sinking in.

So am I saying you should abandon your current craving for watching Abraham Hicks and Tony Robbins or those well crafted Goalcast videos? Heck no. These videos and seminars pump you up and keep your fire burning. It’s awesome! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with strategically setting aside some time to regularly feed yourself content that raises your spirits. The problem is when that’s all you do.

“Don’t think, just do.” – Horace

As it so happens, most people are stuck at this point, which is why they see no results even after reading the books, watching the videos and attending the seminars. Sure, a few things may change here and there, but true and permanent transformation – that’s something not enough people are experiencing. And here’s why.

Most people are still missing this crucial ingredient that is fundamental to both permanent transformation and success: True conviction and habit formation. In other words, they lack the belief which forms the habit that results in success.

Your results are determined by your actions. The actions you take are determined by your behavior which is under the direct influence of your habits and as we all know, your habits are not formed through intellectual reasoning or applied force. In fact, your habits and beliefs can’t even be formed instantly.

In other words, it doesn’t matter what anyone else says or does, if your creative mind and powerhouse does not get impressed upon with that idea of riches and success, no physical result will appear.

This is perhaps the one thing most motivational gurus don’t emphasize enough. If they did, we’d see more people invested  in doing “inner work” instead of scrolling through Instagram feeds hungry for another motivational quote.

“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.” – Pele

The point to take home is simply this: Your inner convictions and the habits you form constitute your ruling mental state. After that motivational video is over, and the shot of adrenaline dies out, you’ll jump back into whatever ruling state your mind has set as the default pattern.

Therefore if you truly want to experience the success your gurus are painting for you as a possibility, master the skill of habit formation.

Get good at creating habits that prompt actions that lead to success; develop deep beliefs that serve you and consistently impress your creative powerhouse with the right feeling and the end result will inevitably be success.

Everything else you find externally is at best a clue and at worst a distraction but definitely not “the magical ingredient.” If at all there is such a thing as a magical ingredient to fast track your success, it will only be found by looking within.

So take an honest self-inventory right now. How much time each day goes into feeding your motivational craving, and how much real inner work and habit formation are you invested in?

What is one goal you’d like to succeed in accomplishing before the end of the year? Share with us below!

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Are Your SMART Goals Keeping You Stuck in Mediocrity?

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SMART Goals – they are often seen as the gospel in the personal and professional development industry for goal setting, but are they doing more harm than good? For the most part, I can appreciate the motivation behind setting SMART goals. Do we need goals that are specific, measurable, actionable and time based? Absolutely! My sticking point, however, comes to the “realistic” part. (more…)

Tiffany Toombs is a mindset coach, trainer, and presenter that specializes in helping people rewire their brains to overcome self-sabotage and limiting beliefs that stop them from finding success. Tiffany runs courses and workshops all over the world to empower people to take control of their lives and their minds so they can achieve their true potential in life. She believes that everyone has a message to share and helps her clients reconnect with themselves to find their passion and purpose. Tiffany has a range of valuable resources for people to understand their minds and how to access the power of their unconscious minds on YouTube or in her eBook “Unlocking The Secrets To The Unconscious Mind”.

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28 Comments

28 Comments

  1. Mike Cross

    May 7, 2015 at 10:34 am

    hi – im the proud volunteer chairman of a grassroots football club in cheshire england – its the little negative comments that always push me over the edge – i need to get rid of my fixed mindset on everything – love the funny voice idea “words will never hurt me”
    Im actually really positive most of the time – i need to focus on fewer things & do them better & just listen to the odd negative & turn it in to a positive

  2. Ilka

    Apr 30, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    Hi Andrea!

    That was a really wonderful post with a lot of deep insights. It is interesting how our sub-conscious can trick us and even lead us to sabotage ourselves.

    I love the idea of starring at a wall. I will definitely try this 🙂

    Thanks for sharing, Ilka

    • Andrea

      May 4, 2015 at 11:02 am

      Hi Ilka,

      Thank you for taking time to comment.

      The subconscious can be both a source of pain and the vehicle to guarantee our success. Once we are aware this, can we use it to our advantage and achieve goals we never thought was possible with a previous mindset.

      Best,
      Andrea

  3. Ashley trexler

    Apr 28, 2015 at 11:47 am

    great read! I especially love the part about exploring why you want to refuse something, and finding what the real problem is. That’s so true, for me. Often when I don’t want to do something (a presentation, a meeting) it’s because I’m not confident in my knowledge. When I truly know a subject, presenting isn’t a problem….there’s no fear because there’s no unknown. Great work, Andrea! Keep it up.

    • Andrea

      May 4, 2015 at 11:06 am

      Thanks you Ashley! Yes, I found that to be very true about resisting certain things. There’s always a reason for that and it’s better to look into it and asking ourselves the (sometimes painful) question of what really is the source of problem here…. It is rare that people achieve their goals without going through some kind of discomfort in the process. I’m learning to get on with things, however hard they may seem 🙂

  4. Mark Tong

    Apr 28, 2015 at 7:49 am

    Really, really useful tips on a universal problem. I love the silly voice idea – have used that often in the past – I use to try and listen to what my ‘inner voice’ was babbling about but it scared the hell out of me, so now I’ve got a retraining order on it – if it comes within 100 feet, I call the cops.

    • Andrea

      May 4, 2015 at 11:09 am

      What a great idea Mark, I haven’t considered that as an option but you’re right! That will do some serious damage to it 😉

  5. Kim

    Apr 27, 2015 at 11:17 pm

    The mind-body connection that you talk about is so true. It is only now that I realize the power of it and work to understand why I’m feeling a certain way instead of simply worrying or doing “whatever it takes,” to avoid it. I’m not always successful, but I am always glad I’ve tried. Thanks for the great article.

    • Andrea

      May 4, 2015 at 11:13 am

      Nice to see you here Kim 🙂

      Yes, we have to keep trying. It’s better to get a handle on these thoughts and emotions than let them handle us!! The good thing is that it becomes easier with time, and once you understand their workings.

      Thanks
      Andrea

  6. Rob

    Apr 23, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    Andrea, amazing! I’m inspired to think of our minds having a dark side and that listening to our own minds can be like listening to a liar! Now there’s a scary thought.

    I love the idea of exploring why we reject certain opportunities to see what we can find. Areas for improvements, perhaps, or at least conscious recognition of something that deeply concerns us. As you put it so well: acceptance. There’s a sense of empowerment that comes with that and also not taking the negative blabber, as you call it, so seriously.

    For me, the most exciting insight (and affirmation) is surrounding ourselves with the people we aspire to be: those who have trodden the path and know the territory. Those who know how to outsmart the mind and overcome limiting beliefs with ease (great choice on the Michael Jordan quote!)

    I’d go further to say that the sooner, or younger, we do what you suggest, the better our chances of outsmarting the negative self-banter of the mind and the more powerful we become.

    Here’s food for thought: if the ideas and suggestions you share here were offered to young children, what may their chances of greater success be like in adulthood?

    Inspiring stuff, thank you!

    • Andrea

      Apr 27, 2015 at 4:42 pm

      Thank you for your wonderful comment Rob. 🙂

      Indeed, by the time we reach adulthood, we should be all equipped with recognizing when the unhelpful beliefs take over. Alas, a lot of us aren’t even aware of these powerful subconscious trends that define our every being.

      Cheers,
      Andrea

  7. Nicki Lee

    Apr 23, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    “Often what you most avoid is what you should be doing to progress.” I really wish you were wrong about this, so I could continue avoiding certain situations (particularly social ones), but you are so right! Even as I say no, there is a little voice telling me that I need to say yes. But, I stomp out that voice and feel relieved that I have avoided discomfort. Really must work on pushing through the discomfort!

    • Andrea

      Apr 27, 2015 at 3:07 pm

      Hi Nicki,

      My answer to that would be, you have to make yourself push through the first few occasions. Then there will come a time when you start thinking “What was I worrying about?”. I can think of lots of times when I was terrified of entering a situation, but I actually enjoyed the process. I wouldn’t have known that if I carried on avoiding it. I’m afraid to say you can only do it by taking action. But once you start doing it and you build up enough momentum – you’ll be well on your way to accomplishing some bigger challenges you set.

      Thanks for reading and I hope that helps 🙂

  8. Debashish

    Apr 23, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    Great post, Andrea!

    Our brain gives birth to our beliefs, both positive and negative. If we do the hard work to change our limiting beliefs into beliefs that support us, we can become limitless!

    For starters though, I’ll settle with turning down the volume of the unhelpful beliefs. Acceptance and community seem like brilliant strategies for doing so. Like you said, I better get started.

    • Andrea

      Apr 27, 2015 at 3:37 pm

      Thanks Debashish, and precisely! We are in charge whether we give power to the beliefs that hold us back, or choose to allow those to surface that help us ultimately. I love the idea of growing with a community too – you can make results manifest so much faster than if you were to create those on your own. 🙂

  9. newton emase

    Apr 23, 2015 at 3:46 am

    Thank you andrea for this inspiring article, am a student and this are my limits and for now am trying to prove the inner critic wrong

    • Andrea

      Apr 27, 2015 at 3:11 pm

      As human beings we are gifted with ability to change our thoughts/behaviors and therefore our perceived limits. Good luck with proving your inner critic wrong Newton!

  10. Ann

    Apr 22, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    Andrea, Thanks for the reminder on how to tame my unhelpful beliefs.

  11. Ellen

    Apr 22, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    Great article Andrea. I especially like the point about checking in with your body. I often find I have tension in my shoulders in certain situations, and it’s a message that usually points to feeling tension about the person or situation for some reason.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Andrea

      Apr 27, 2015 at 3:17 pm

      Thanks for leaving a comment Ellen. The body has so much more wisdom than we can explain in terms of science – I guess we can intuitively feel what is wrong if we really tune into and get familiar with these bodily signals.

  12. Wilfried

    Apr 22, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    Hi Andrea,

    Great article!
    I like especially that you address negative beliefs, like so many of us have, and how do you get rid of them?

    Cheers
    Wilfried

    • Andrea

      Apr 27, 2015 at 3:42 pm

      Hey Wifried,

      It’s funny you know only the other day I was talking to a friend, and we were discussing how so many of us are even unaware of these negative beliefs inside our minds. Shows how powerfully the mind conceals this from our very own eyes. So yes, locate them first, then you can start dealing with them!

  13. Lynn

    Apr 22, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    Well done, Andrea. You’ve provided life-changing advice in a straightforward, sensible way.

    I’d sum up as “Don’t always believe what you believe”! So my meditation teacher says 🙂

    • Andrea

      Apr 22, 2015 at 3:29 pm

      Thanks Lynn. I agree with your meditation teacher, though one of the hardest things to do! After all, it all seems so real… and that’s what’s so scary about it. 🙂

  14. Tejaswi

    Apr 22, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    Thanks a lot for a great article.
    I really needed this advice… Acknowledging and accepting the limiting beliefs before taming is the most important.

    Thanks again.
    Tejaswi

    • Andrea

      Apr 22, 2015 at 3:30 pm

      My pleasure Tejaswi. Thanks for stopping by and I’m glad if it helped 🙂

  15. Raymond Lamar Lee

    Apr 22, 2015 at 10:18 am

    Great Article, love the pic

  16. Divsdivya

    Apr 22, 2015 at 3:10 am

    Thanks andrea for sharing the article…..since few days i was reading the articles about the subconcious mind and how will it work in shaping our believes …this articles a simple with nice understandable examples…i liked the way you presented the article…

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Motivation

50 Cent Scored Half a Billion Dollars – How 50 Made a Killing Off Water

Joel Brown (Founder of Addicted2Success.com)

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In “The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop,” author Dan Charnas traces how rap grew from its obscure roots in the ghettos of 1970s New York to its culmination as the world’s predominant youth pop culture and a multibillion-dollar industry.

The event that epitomized just how far hip-hop had come was the headline-grabbing partnership between the rapper 50 Cent and the upstart beverage company Glaceau, the maker of VitaminWater. It may well have been the biggest deal in hip-hop history, propelling 50 Cent’s personal net worth toward a half-billion dollars.

In this excerpt, Charnas outlines how it happened.

By the summer of 2003, 50 Cent’s debut album, “Get Rich or Die Tryin’,” had sold more than 5 million copies, and he was easily on his way to becoming a multimillionaire on these sales alone.

Nonetheless, the rapper from Queens, who was born Curtis Jackson and had begun his career on the reputation of being shot nine times (a bullet was still lodged in his tongue), wasn’t content to remain a recording artist.

His young manager, Chris Lighty, himself a Bronx street kid turned businessman, was well-positioned to exploit 50’s stardom by creating multiple income streams. Lighty had come out of the Def Jam fold and managed such stars as Missy Elliott and LL Cool J.

With Lighty, 50 Cent created the “G-Unit” brand, including a record company, a clothing company, and a sneaker deal with Reebok’s RBK line. The G-Unit Clothing Company was a joint-venture deal, with hip-hop-influenced designer Marc Ecko fronting the money, handling the manufacturing and distribution, and splitting the profits fifty-fifty with 50.

At his Violator management company (named after a rough crew that Lighty ran with as a kid), Lighty helped pioneer the use of 900 numbers for his artists.

Over a decade later, he negotiated a different kind of phone deal: 50 Cent cellular ringtones to be sold for up to $2.99 per download. Lighty inked other agreements, too: a video game and a biopic with MTV Films and Paramount Pictures. When the agency that represented Lighty, CAA, balked at representing a rapper so closely associated with violence, Lighty secured a deal with an eager William Morris.

One of Lighty’s business acquaintances was Rohan Oza, a marketing executive who has just moved from Coca-Cola to a small Queens, N.Y., beverage company called Glaceau. Oza considered himself not a brand manager, but a brand messiah. He believed that passionate proselytizing of his products could transcend costly corporate ad campaigns.

Oza’s Vitamin Water brand was doing well at more than $100 million in sales, second only to Pepsi’s Propel brand in the $245 million “enhanced-water” market. He knew how to take them out.

Stealing a page from the hip-hop street-team and word-of-mouth ethos, Oza created a fleet of 10 “Glaceau Vitamin Water Tasting Vehicles,” staffed by 200 “hydrologists,” to cross the country and spread the gospel of Vitamin Water’s growing line. But hydrologists working one-on-one with consumers wouldn’t break Vitamin Water out of the gourmet-deli and new-age-health-food market.

Oza needed more than brand messiahs to convert individuals. He needed brand ambassadors to influence millions. That’s when Oza saw a commercial for RBK sneakers in which Lighty, rather sneakily, had his artist, 50 Cent, chug a bottle of Vitamin Water.

In a phone call soon thereafter, Lighty told Oza that he wanted to find a way to work together to make Vitamin Water huge. It turned out that 50 Cent  had a true love of the product. He had grown up around alcoholics, so he didn’t drink. Instead, he spent hours a day working out and ate healthy. Like Oza who got bored with imbibing the recommended eight glasses of plain water a day, 50 had found Vitamin Water a more pleasurable way to hydrate.

On Oza’s desk in his New York office, at that very moment, was a test bottle of a new Vitamin Water flavor, recently formulated by Glaceau’s head of product development, Carol Dollard, who had worked hard to get more vitamins and nutrients into their drinks – much more than the 2 to 3 percent of the recommended daily allowance in other “enhanced” waters.

Recently, Oza had asked Dollard for a product that would make it easy to highlight this difference. She had returned with a flavor that contained 50 percent of the RDA of seven different vitamins and minerals. Oza’s marketing team responded with a great name for the new variety: Formula 50.

What better way to collaborate, Oza suggested, than to have 50 Cent endorse this new product? But Lighty didn’t want an endorsement deal. He didn’t want cash. “We want to invest,” Lighty said.

By 2004, 50 Cent was undoubtedly one of the world’s biggest pop stars. But it took some amount of convincing on Oza’s part to overcome the trepidation of Glaceau CEO Darius Bikoff and president Mike Repole. 50 Cent’s association with gunplay presented a problem: What if their chief spokesperson ended up dead in a rap beef?

But the 50 Cent who showed up for his first meeting with Bikoff was surprisingly different from the rapper’s public image: calm, respectful and deliberate, without too many flamboyant flourishes. Lighty was the rapper’s perfect business complement.

In the weeks and months thereafter, Lighty and Oza hammered out the terms of a deal. 50 Cent would take a stake in the privately owned company, one that would graduate over time and escalate if the company hit certain numbers.

The two entities – 50 Cent on one hand and Glaceau on the other – signed an agreement of mutual confidentiality. Still, word got around that Lighty had negotiated something close to, but not more than, 10 percent of the value of the company. During these discussions, Lighty and 50 deliberated the attributes of their new product. Oza presented the pair with several flavor options for Formula 50. For Chris Lighty, the choice was simple.

Despite the high-minded science of Glaceau, their product was basically a smarter, more upscale, more aspirational version of the ultimate ghetto beverage on which Lighty and 50 had grown up: the “quarter-waters” sold in every bodega, deli and convenience store from Queens to Compton.

The quarter-waters (so named because they once cost 25 cents) were just like the Kool-Aid everybody drank at home. However, nobody drank wild flavors like strawberry and kiwi in the ‘hood, because they drank grape. Formula 50 had to be grape. Oza hated the comparison to such base beverages, but he had to admire the thought process of his new partners.

vitamin water 50 centThe 50 Cent-Vitamin Water deal was announced in October 2004. Behind the scenes, the relationship between the two parties wasn’t always smooth. When Lighty, in one of his first interviews about the deal, spoke of building the brand with the ultimate goal of selling it, Darius Bikoff phoned Lighty, screaming at him for disclosing the strategy. Within a few hours, Bikoff looked up to find a livid Lighty in his office, glowering at him. Lighty had driven from Manhattan to Queens to tell Bikoff one thing. “Don’t curse at me,” Lighty said, a heartbeat away from becoming a Violator once more.

Once they understood each other, Bikoff and Lighty, Vitamin Water and 50 Cent built a strong alliance. Soon billboards and bus stops across the country linked the images and joined the fates of two upstarts from Queens – one a scrappy, new-age beverage company; the other a pugnacious, provocative rapper with an eye for opportunity and a history of hitching himself to winners.

In March 2007, Chris Lighty and his friend Sean Combs were riding together from Heathrow airport to a London hotel in the back of a Maybach when Combs got some news over the phone. Fellow rap superstar Jay-Z and his two fashion-entrepreneur partners, Alex Bize and Norton Cher, had just sold the rights to their Rocawear trademark to a public company, the Iconix Brand Group.

Lighty could not stop repeating the number he heard, as he stared at Combs in disbelief. “Two hundred million? Two hundred million?” Actually, at $219 million, the sale of the Rocawear brand name was, at the time, the biggest deal in hip-hop history. Combs responded in the only way he knew how. “I need a billion for mine,” he huffed. But of those two men, it would be Lighty who reached that symbolic mark first.

Just two month later, in May 2007, the Coca-Cola Company purchased Glaceau for $4.1 billion. In the media, initial reports put 50 Cent’s cashout at $400 million, calculated by dividing the purchase amount by 50 Cent’s reputed 10 percent share. But in reality, 50 Cent’s take was much less. Another stakeholder needed to be paid off first – the diversified Indian conglomerate Tata had invested $677 million for 30 percent of Glaceau in 2006, and got $1.2 billion when Coca-Cola bought them out.

When all the other costs had been deducted, 50 Cent was thought to have walked away with a figure somewhere between $60 million and $100 million, putting his net worth at nearly a half billion dollars.

On his next album, 50 Cent could barely contain his own incredulity at the power of the dollar. “I took quarter-water, sold it in bottles for two bucks,” he rapped. “Coca-Cola came and bought it for billions. What the [f#!k]?” But Lighty silently pocketed his 15 percent and kept it moving.

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Motivation

8 Powerful and Inspiring Words of Encouragement to Help Lift You Up

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Image Credit: Twenty20.com

When you’re going through tough times, all you need is sympathy. You just need someone to tell you how strong you are and how you can cope with the situation. Essentially, you’re waiting for a soothing voice that can calm your inner storm and genuinely help with your troubles.

If you’re in a situation like this, then know you’re not alone. You might be feeling down due to a reason like failing at something, breaking up with someone you dearly loved, losing your loved one, not getting a good job, or being betrayed by the person you trusted the most or anything along those lines.

Remember this; there is hope for everyone including you. You are going to come back from all of this no matter what. That’s why there is a saying, “Every dark cloud has a silver lining.”

Here are 7 powerful quotes to help lift you up in your time of need:

1. “There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday, and the other one is called tomorrow. Today is the right day to Love, Believe, Do and mostly Live.” – Dalai Lama

This quote said by his holy highness Dalai Lama is so compelling about life. You live in the present, neither in the past nor the future.

Think about it this way, can you change what is already done or can you change what is going to be done? The answer is, no, you can’t because nobody can. It’s wise to forget the bad things from the past and do something in the present that will help improve your future.

2. “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein

Have you ever thought of these beautiful words of encouragement from Sir Albert Einstein? It is so profound and practical. Sometimes we are miserable because people try to fit us into a mold where we don’t belong, and thus we too start feeling that we are useless. However, that’s not the case.

We all are gifted with abilities that we overlook only because of the fear of being rejected or neglected. You are not supposed to rely on people’s perspective about you if you know what your real potential is.

3. “Every time you state what you want or believe, you’re the first to hear it. It’s a message to both you and others about what you think is possible. Don’t put a ceiling on yourself.” – Oprah Winfrey

These words of encouragement from Oprah Winfrey gave me so much strength that I couldn’t resist to quote it here.

Many times we give up on our dreams and wishes only because we think it is impossible. We must believe in ourselves and tell ourselves that we can do it and it is possible. You shouldn’t be afraid of failures and setbacks but instead welcome them.

4. “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” – Will Rogers

Think about this, still water is stagnant water. Because of this, even water has to keep flowing to remain useful. If you want to become successful, you must keep lifting yourself up and keep moving.

Always remember to not let the hardships hold you down and wait for a miracle to happen. You’re already on the right track so nothing should stop you from going further in your life.

5. “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.” – Mahatma Gandhi

All our activities, throughout this life, are controlled by our mind. Believe it or not, it’s true. It is correctly said that what you think you become.

People around you are not always going to pull you up, and you might meet people who are going to supply negativity to your mind. However, it is up to you whom to let in your mind and whom you should never. When you are in control of your thoughts and mind, nothing and nobody can distract you.

6. “What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.” – Oscar Wilde

Difficult times are very tricky, because they can make you believe that there is no light at the end of the tunnel. We don’t realize that today’s struggles are for a better tomorrow.

They’re not permanent, and they’re not going to last forever. Once you are determined to change your situation then even God will help you with that. Just remember the saying, “God helps those who help themselves.”

7. “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

We are influenced by our environment, friends, family, and work, yet it’s up to us to make what we want of our life.

For example, if you want to be a writer, do everything you possibly can to do it. Surround yourself with people who truly want to write, and make sure to write every single day. You’re the only one who can make your dreams a reality, so make sure you do whatever it takes to keep pushing your limits.

8. “In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.”  – Deepak Chopra

This quote is too profound and subtle that summarizes this whole article. It might change the way you look at your problems right now.

There are circumstances to knock you down, issues you are not able to solve, and they seem completely out of your control. It is not at all easy to keep calm at this point, however, if you learn how to be still in the midst of all the chaos, you are a winner. You have won half the battle just by doing this.

Winning and losing is just a part of life. No matter in which phase of your life you are, remember that there is a purpose behind it and you will know what that purpose is at the right time.

One day you will be grateful for all the struggles and mistakes because they will make you a stronger, better, and a more beautiful human being.

Which one of these quotes inspired you the most and why? Let us know in the comments below!

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Motivation

Music Motivation: Every Superhero Needs Theme Music and That Includes You

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Image Credit: Twenty20.com

Every superhero, fictional or real, needs theme music. And every one of us underdogs needs theme music too! The unmistakable sound of the intro beat starts, your energy level rises, you hear “…the eye of the tiger,  it’s the thrill of the fight…”, instantly you are ready to take on your next challenge as if Creed or Rocky, or some old school Wu-Tang song comes on and suddenly you’re reminded of Marvel’s Luke Cage action scenes and are now ready to, figuratively, save Harlem, your neighborhood, and the world!

Music is part of our daily lives. It’s often around us, even when we don’t mean for it to be. To reach peak performance in our day-to-day routine, it’s crucial to be aware of the music around us and work to consciously choose the music we are around.

Music moves us in more ways than you might think, and just like our friends, our hobbies, our meals and anything else which gives us that extra swagger, music is a powerful tool that can create all the difference in our mood, our productivity, and our results. Whether you are on the come up, the comeback, or fighting to keep what you hustled so hard to create, the journey is a daily grind and music can help you keep that grind going, and going strong.

Groovy Science

Your daily hustle can be stressful. Listening to music, according to Medical News Today, has many health benefits. Music can reduce your stress and anxiety, ramp up your memory and improve medical conditions such as seizures or brain damage caused from strokes.

Music can even help you ideate differently because it makes you more creative overall, according to a team of researchers at the University of Technology Sydney and Radboud University in Nijmegen. So, cue up some music and get your creative juices flowing. Your stress will go down and your creativity will go up, leading you to feel happier about yourself and your life overall.

“Whenever humans come together for any reason, music is there… weddings, funerals, graduation from college, men marching off to war, stadium sporting events, a night on the town, prayer, a romantic dinner, mothers rocking their infants to sleep and college students studying with music as a background… music is and was [always] part of the fabric of everyday life.” – Daniel Levitin

Sometimes when you’re on the long road to success you start losing motivation for your goals. Eventually, many of us come to a crossroads of moving forward or turning back, and sometimes all it takes is a quick motivational activity to get your energy back. You could make a vision board, refine your core value, update your bucket list, create a to-do list, and so on.

I’m all for each of those as ways to get your swagger back and keep it, but at the same time, sometimes daily motivation calls for new approaches too. Especially approaches that are easily accessible at any moment and don’t require a huge investment of time, money or other resources you may or may not have.

An intentional use of music could be the new approach that you take to help you get through those days when you feel like giving up. Time for you to have your “Eye of the Tiger” and make a comeback. And “Protect ‘Yo Neck” and others to save the day like Luke Cage. Then “Cheers” with everybody that knows your name and always glad you came. Let’s create our own theme music and intentionally enjoy the health benefits and swagger of music.

Your Theme Music

Here’s how to create your personal soundtrack so you can have something to motivate you anytime you need it, no matter where you’re at. Begin with a playlist of about five songs. Pick songs that will raise your energy level and remind you of your purpose, important goals, and/or your core values.

Then create a name for your playlist and a nickname for yourself. You can refresh your personal soundtrack as your priorities and goals change. And for us underdog music junkies already bothered by the five song limit, you can create an additional playlist called “The B-Side” for all other songs.

Here’s an example (You’ll get to see mine!):

Playlist NameThe Voice of the Underdog!

Your NicknameThe O.G. aka The Original Gregory aka Mr. Reset Button

Five Songs Playlist:

1: “The People” by Common. – I do what I do for the people aka the Underdogs!

2: “The Point of It All” by Anthony Hamilton – …because a healthy love life is part of a healthy life.

3: “Reach” by Robyn Hood – I’m gonna keep reaching and hustling hard.

4: “Sky’s The Limit” by Biggie Smalls – I mean, the title says it all, right?!  

5: “Hate It or Love It” by The Game, 50 Cent – Hate it or love it Underdogs will be on top!

Bonus Track: “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” by Gil Scott-Heron – All of the turnaround won’t be televised, but it will happen. Keep pushin!

Playlist Playful Description:

I do it for “The People” and the people I love, that’s “The Point of It All.” Now is the time I “Reach” even higher because “The Sky’s The Limit.” “Hate It or Love It” Underdogs are gonna be on top. “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” but there will be music playing and I will make it happen!

“Music can change the world because it can change people.” – Bono

Press Play Daily

Well, what ya waiting for!? Music helps with creativity so turn on some of your favorite music right now and start brainstorming the songs that have meaning to you, will motivate you and inspire your daily hustle.

When you’re done creating your personal soundtrack, you’ll have mobile motivation that is only a press of the play button away. What will be your theme music? Really, what will it be? Because every one of us underdogs needs theme music so we can get and stay motivated to get from Front Street to Swaggerback Boulevard.

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Motivation

The One Crucial Ingredient for Success That Motivation Can’t Give You

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Image Credit: Unsplash

Some people say motivation is literally the only thing you need to be successful. They say it is the crucial element in setting and attaining goals. But is that really true? A lot of content is produced online that’s aimed to motivate and move you into massive action in the hopes that you’ll finally become successful.

While I do think the intentions behind such claims are noble, most people totally misunderstand how motivation works. More importantly, they’re totally unaware of the real determining factor behind an individual’s success.

Let me start off by debunking a colossal myth about motivation: Motivation equals success. This is not true. Here’s the truth: Motivation does not equal success for you. The only thing that equals success for you is you and the way you develop and rearrange your mind.

You can spend as much time as you like watching, following and investing your money on motivational courses or seminars but there’s no guarantee your life will transform. It’s a great marketing line, but certainly not the way success works.

Yes, your guru knows just how to press the right buttons. Each time he or she speaks and shares a rags to riches story, you feel yourself rising from that pit of despair threatening your very existence. Nonetheless, just writing down those goals or visualizing success is not how results are created in your life. If you’ve been an avid personal development student, this has probably started sinking in.

So am I saying you should abandon your current craving for watching Abraham Hicks and Tony Robbins or those well crafted Goalcast videos? Heck no. These videos and seminars pump you up and keep your fire burning. It’s awesome! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with strategically setting aside some time to regularly feed yourself content that raises your spirits. The problem is when that’s all you do.

“Don’t think, just do.” – Horace

As it so happens, most people are stuck at this point, which is why they see no results even after reading the books, watching the videos and attending the seminars. Sure, a few things may change here and there, but true and permanent transformation – that’s something not enough people are experiencing. And here’s why.

Most people are still missing this crucial ingredient that is fundamental to both permanent transformation and success: True conviction and habit formation. In other words, they lack the belief which forms the habit that results in success.

Your results are determined by your actions. The actions you take are determined by your behavior which is under the direct influence of your habits and as we all know, your habits are not formed through intellectual reasoning or applied force. In fact, your habits and beliefs can’t even be formed instantly.

In other words, it doesn’t matter what anyone else says or does, if your creative mind and powerhouse does not get impressed upon with that idea of riches and success, no physical result will appear.

This is perhaps the one thing most motivational gurus don’t emphasize enough. If they did, we’d see more people invested  in doing “inner work” instead of scrolling through Instagram feeds hungry for another motivational quote.

“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.” – Pele

The point to take home is simply this: Your inner convictions and the habits you form constitute your ruling mental state. After that motivational video is over, and the shot of adrenaline dies out, you’ll jump back into whatever ruling state your mind has set as the default pattern.

Therefore if you truly want to experience the success your gurus are painting for you as a possibility, master the skill of habit formation.

Get good at creating habits that prompt actions that lead to success; develop deep beliefs that serve you and consistently impress your creative powerhouse with the right feeling and the end result will inevitably be success.

Everything else you find externally is at best a clue and at worst a distraction but definitely not “the magical ingredient.” If at all there is such a thing as a magical ingredient to fast track your success, it will only be found by looking within.

So take an honest self-inventory right now. How much time each day goes into feeding your motivational craving, and how much real inner work and habit formation are you invested in?

What is one goal you’d like to succeed in accomplishing before the end of the year? Share with us below!

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