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
It’s What You Do On A ‘Bad Day’ That Matters.
Last Friday was a bad day for me. I woke up late, missed the gym and didn’t meditate.
None of this was intentional.
I then turned my computer on to do what I do every day: blog. I was not prepared for the whirlwind that followed.
As I opened up my social media channels, there were a lot more than usual, direct messages. I started reading each one and they were from colleagues and friends who wanted to warn me that I had a large amount of hate-fuelled comments on social media. I’m usually pretty good at dealing with hate comments. Not on that day, though — I was having a ‘bad day.’
I turned off the computer and didn’t respond to anybody. In the same week, I’d been told I was now a LinkedIn Top Voice for 2018.
I should have been celebrating and I didn’t because I didn’t feel worthy. If anything, I wanted to give up there and then. Luckily I didn’t follow through with any of these ideas. I knew it was just noise in my awful day.
I went away to sit on the couch and think about what I’d just read. Without really thinking about what I was going to do for the rest of the day, I began thinking about my team at work. There were several leadership challenges that I had to solve.
One was from a customer that was being abusive to female staff. Another was a rejection I had to deliver to someone that wanted to work with us. The hardest part about delivering the rejection was that I’d already said yes.
Despite the day being bad, I made a fundamental decision — to keep doing what I do and not stop. I said to myself “How can I inspire people while simultaneously solving both these challenges?”
I’m a big believer that it’s not what you say that matters; it’s what you do. Talk is cheap. I came up with a bold plan to address both challenges.
I was going to do something that made me see the good in the people involved.
Even if the people in both situations had let me down, I was going to assume they were still good.
I concocted a plan to help both people and try and show them a more positive way to move forward. If I break down the plan, it was about being an inspiration in both situations.
I didn’t feel like being inspiring.
It was not the day to be inspiring.
But it was the only way I could motivate myself to finish off this bad day and wake up the next morning fresh. It’s funny how a good nights sleep takes away all the pain and negativity from the day before.
So, by the end of the day, I enabled both plans. I set out to release inspiration in both scenarios and that was my only focus. I didn’t look at anymore hate fuelled comments or go near social media.
On that bad day last Friday, my actions helped me keep moving forward and not give up.
It’s not about necessarily seeing the good in your bad day.
I’ve read this sort of advice heaps, but it requires a lot of willpower.
“Using your actions to make the day better rather than trying to think your way out of your bad day seems to be a lot easier to implement”
It’s not about the bad day.
Bad days will happen.
It’s what you do on a bad day that determines if you’ll feel the full effect of all the negativity that can potentially knock you out like a Tsunami that comes your way when all you wanted to do was lay on the beach and soak up some sun.
I’ve learned to find situations during a day that’s not working out well for me, to do something good, and often that’s not something that benefits me. If I was to look at it another way it would be “How do I not focus on my own bad day?”
Trying to make someone else’s day good distracts you from your own bad day.
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This Is How An Ordinary Person Can Make Their Country Better.
Someone asked on the internet how they can make their country better.
They considered themselves ordinary and felt that they had to be someone special to make a difference in their country, India.
Their question made me feel a bit emotional because I can relate. I too have also dreamt of making my country better.
The most common answer to this question is to get involved in politics.
Many of you reading this find politics really boring including me. I’ve learned through my own experience that politics is not the only way you can make your country better.
Here’s how you can make your country better:
Use your voice
When I was faced with the question “How do I make my country better?” I decided to use my voice.
It was this decision that changed everything. I spent every day using my voice to stand for something. I wanted to inspire the world through entrepreneurship and personal development.
So, I started using my voice by posting on LinkedIn. I used my voice and transcribed it into words to tell the citizens of my country what I think they needed to hear.
Using your voice is incredibly scary at first. As soon as you start sharing your thoughts, many people will say nothing. You’ll get almost no feedback. As your voice starts to get louder over time (probably years) the opposite will happen and you’ll attract trolls and critics.
The hardest part about using your voice is having the courage every day to use it and not being obsessed with the outcome.
By using my voice online through blogging and LinkedIn, I managed to get a 35,000 person bank to start talking about my ideas with staff and customers, and I was voted LinkedIn Australia’s Top Voice that year.
Using the power of your voice is the number one way you can change your country.
It’s in your experiences, ideas and thoughts that you can find what it is that can help your country.
In my country, Australia, we are quite well off, but we still lack a positive mindset. Some of us work jobs we hate and we like things that only money can buy. There’s a competition to get the biggest house or the most expensive car.
It’s not a problem everyone in Australia suffers from, but it’s widespread. I believe by using my own voice to inspire people to seek alternatives, I can change my country.
The results thus far suggest I’m well on the way to changing my country.
Changing your country seems like a huge task. It sounds like something only a Nelson Mandela sort of fella can achieve. That’s not true.
A simple understanding of the power of kindness can change your country.
There was this guy I read about online that changed his country by giving out free hugs because he couldn’t run in the local marathon. He embraced his kind nature and ended up impacting millions of people in his country.
Being kind is infectious because we’re wired to do it. When we see one person be kind, we want to do the same.
The problem in my country (and many others) is that we’ve sacrificed kindness for greed.
We’ve let our country’s economy become the most important factor instead of measuring the way we treat people and the ability of a country’s nation to overcome adversity together.
Kindness is so important because every one of our countries will face adversity, and kindness is the solution to that inevitable problem.
Pick up the trash
This one seems even smaller in impact. It’s not.
I found that by picking up the rubbish I saw in places like my apartment lobby, I was able to show myself that I care about my country.
When we care about our country, we choose to make it look beautiful so others can enjoy it. Something simple like picking up the trash can take you a long way towards helping your country.
Every country has an environmental problem and picking up rubbish can help solve it. If we all picked up one piece of trash, then each of our country’s would be a hell of a lot cleaner.
Don’t think you can’t make your country better
A lot of what I’ve learned, by trying to make my own country better, has come from the belief that I can have an impact.
There are so many people who want to do nothing more than complain which wastes time and energy and doesn’t make anyone’s country better.
The way you make your country better is by believing you can and taking one or two small actions to start the process.
The people that change their country believe they can.
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