We all start somewhere. We may not know what our dream is to begin with.
This was certainly the case for me back in 2011. I’d hit rock bottom and everything in my life had gone wrong. There was no meaning in anything I was doing and I didn’t know why I existed. I had no dream and zero goals other than to survive the day.
My anxiety and stress levels were so high at that point in my life that just getting to go to bed at night was good enough.
So how do we begin anything?
I believe the way we begin is often by accident. We don’t always know when an idea is going to hit us or our life is going to change. For me, I certainly had no clue. My life up until that fateful day was spent chasing money and things that I thought mattered.
These were not things that mattered to me; they were things that mattered to society. Getting to where I was on that day was a complete accident. I always thought I was going to be this big time businessman importing stuff from China.
I thought that because I was born in the lucky country of Australia that I was entitled to success. This fateful day would soon teach me how wrong I was.
“Being wrong is often where it starts. Being wrong is where the accident of your success journey can begin”
There is one common trigger
That trigger is a low point where you decide that enough is enough. It often all begins when your pain levels reach and extreme point. It feels like your life is going to implode and that if you died tomorrow, it wouldn’t even matter.
My low point in 2011 became the defining moment where everything changed. I was not purposeful about my new path, but I had definitely had enough. Many of us get this same trigger. What I’ve found is that too many of us don’t use it. These low points are a gift and when you come face to face with one, you need to make the most of it.
These low points are the motivation and change in mindset that you need. I took my sign that my life needed to change and became obsessed.
What does the start of the journey look like?
It doesn’t look all that flash to begin with. The start of a journey towards success never does look amazing.
Mine was so simple it almost seems make-believe. I want to describe it for you in extreme detail so you can see just how simple it was.
On that fateful day where everything collapsed, I made a very small decision. It’s probably the smallest change in my life I have ever made. This decision changed everything.
“All I did was decide to walk around the neighborhood block, where I lived, once per day”
The duration was so short that it was impossible not to do. At this stage in my life, I was not conscious of anything and knew nothing about success or psychology.
I did this walk for a few days and then my mind told me that I wasn’t maximising the time. See, I am one of those crazy people who always has to be hyper productive. In this case, my hyper-productive mind was the greatest gift I had been given.
The next part is still a bit blurry. Having had no clue what to do other than doing my daily walk, I did what all millennials do: I asked Google for answers. I’m not sure what the series of search terms was that led me to Tony Robbins, nor do I care.
Once I found a Tony Robbins video on Youtube, I became hooked. All the answers I was seeking became instantly available to me. At this point, I turned into a total freak.
I got my iPod, downloaded a whole bunch of Tony Robbins audiotapes, and went for a walk every single day. Many of these walks became longer than one hour. I walked as fast as I could and I had a look of determination on my face that made me look like I had been possessed by the devil.
So the turning point was really these walks, combined with listening to audiotapes.
What does all of this mean for you?
That’s a damn good question cowboy. What it means for you is that you may be over thinking your next move. Your next move needs to be a decision. I recommend making lots of small decisions and trying many new things.
The thing that will take you on the next journey that could lead to your life’s purpose and / or dream is probably way simpler than you think. As humans, we over think success and we look for gianormous triggers or external factors before we’re willing to make a decision.
I believe it’s the small decisions that help you begin. It’s the little things you’re dismissing like taking a walk around the neighborhood block that could potentially change your circumstances.
Finding that trigger or habit is not enough
Even if you discover something like walking, which has a major effect on you, it’s not enough. You still need to get off your ass and make a decision. What is that decision you ask?
That decision is to no longer to accept your current results. It’s a decision to cut off from everything else and become intensely focused on one pursuit. If all you do is find a new habit that keeps you in the same rut you’ve been in, you’ll never start your own journey.
I used to be so lazy, indecisive and lack discipline. These were the traits that were holding me back. On many of these walks I went on, I decided that I’d no longer settle for these loser behaviors.
See yourself for what you can become, not who you currently are
“When you begin a new road towards success, you have to think of yourself differently. You absolutely must see yourself as who you can become and not who you currently are”
During my transformation, I focused on all the potential that I had and what I would look like in the future. I thought about standing on stages in front of thousands of people and doing something that filled me with joy and passion. I saw videos of thought leaders like Eric Thomas and told myself that I could live my life at the same level.
To this day, those thoughts have never left me and I never will let them go. Until you’ve been all the way to the lowest of lows, you’ll never know what it’s like to dream big.
You have so much more within you. Yes, people will laugh at you and think you’re dumb. The only reason they think like that is because they are pissed off at their own failures and misfortunes.
Going to Mars
Let me give you an example of people not believing. I’m coaching this young kid right now and he had the idea to take his product to Mars. When he told me that, he thought I’d laugh like everyone else. What he didn’t expect was for me to encourage him.
I told him that if he truly believed that his product could be on Mars, that he should shout it from the rooftop. I told him that he should look people in the eye and tell them he was going to Mars with his product!
If he focuses on who he is right now – a young kid with no money, no work experience and no product – he would never get started.
If he believed all the critics who have never achieved any such goal as going to Mars, he’d never begin.
The way to begin is not just to make a decision, but be bold and believe in yourself. You must believe before anyone will believe in what you’re starting.
If that means you are going to take your product to Mars then so be it.
Don’t let any outside force stop you from beginning any longer. You’ve wasted enough time as it is and life is too short to waste any more time. Go out there and begin. The start is always the hardest part, but it’s also the most rewarding.
Remember what I said before: the beginning will be made up of a few very small decisions and actions. Don’t look for that massive defining moment because chances are it will never come.
Get started right now and believe you were born to do something incredible. We’re all capable of greatness once we find a way to begin. Beginning the journey is where it all starts. No one knows what the end will look like and that’s half the fun.
Time to take the first step.
If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net
4 Simple Yet Effective Ways to Boost Your Team’s Motivation as a Startup
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!
5 Ways to Remain Undefeated In Life and Cherish Each Moment Successfully
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.
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.
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.
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.
3 Ways to Rethink Motivation in a Busy World
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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