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Uncertainty Is Your Best Friend So Stop Freaking The Hell Out

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Embracing Uncertainty

Remember all the times every week that you think to yourself what the hell am I doing on this planet? Why am I here? These thoughts surround all of us, and we spend most of our time pondering what’s next and what our purpose is.

Guess what? These are the same thoughts that we all have; even the successful billionaires who we think have it all – they don’t by the way. Our lives are supposed to be an uncertain mess, and we aren’t supposed to have any clue why we are here.

Uncertainty is where all the fun is because if you knew every episode that was going to occur in the TV series that is your life, you’d get bored pretty quickly.

My own uncertainty

I’m about to embark on the journey of a lifetime and head over to my teenage fantasy destination: America. The so-called land of the free and happy where capitalism dominates and everyone is supposed to be living the American dream.

So far, from what I read on Tripadvisor, there are a lot more problems in the USA than the spectacular, picturesque postcards are showing me. Side note: does anyone remember getting a postcard? Man, I can still remember my grandparents sending me a postcard when they would go to Queensland every year.

I thought postcards were so cool when I was a kid, and I kept them in a photo album (another ancient, outdated artifact). Now, we get high definition photos emailed to us or posted on Instagram, and we spit at our computer screens if there is so much as one blemish on someone’s skin (I’m ranting again).

Back to uncertainty – as I embark on this trip to the USA to meet all of the tech giants that have become bigger than the manufacturers like Sony that we used to worship, I think about how I have no idea what I’m doing. This trip feels like the right thing for me but who knows in the end.

“Sometimes we have to follow our heart regardless of where it may lead us”

At the same time, I’m contemplating about a special someone who may become a girlfriend at some point in the future. Will I mess up again and am I even going to be able to find happiness?

Again, who knows. Your guess is as good as mine. All we can do is embrace the uncertainty and allow it to guide us in a direction that has fulfillment somewhere along the journey. As all of these thoughts buzz around my head, I think about my blogging and my public speaking.

Is anyone even listening and am I even the right guy to be doing this? Uncertainty rears its head again, and the only conclusion I’ve come to is that we must follow our passion no matter what. I know I’m at least inspiring ten people, and that has to be good enough to begin with.

It’s easy to race ahead and want to inspire a million people from day one but success doesn’t work like that my friends, and we all know that at some conscious level. Success starts with one small step, and just one follower admiring what you do.

If you only follow your passion to impress or influence other people, then you are heading for a whole lot of pain. You’ve got to impress yourself first and foremost before worrying about anyone else. If nothing more, if you can impress yourself and be happy with what you are achieving, that may even be enough.

Avoid the temptation to become and overnight success because there is no such thing. No one can be certain of anything least of all you and the dream that you hold. I hope that one day I can stand on stage and deliver a speech that moves the nation.

Right now, I’m still at the start of the journey and learning the basics. Maybe I’m meant to do this, or maybe I’m not. What I’ve learned is to have faith in the process, and if it doesn’t work out then at least I have the strategies, knowledge, and people I met along the way.

Practice being uncertain

The way to become best friends with uncertainty is to practice. It sounds self-explanatory people, and that’s because it is. Every day, try and do something that is uncomfortable. Maybe it’s hanging around people you don’t know or helping out at a local homeless shelter.

For me, I find traveling the world, and public speaking put me in states where I have no idea what the outcome will be. The awesome thing about travel for me is that I choose destinations I have never been to before, and I try not to plan too far ahead.

All these fools who plan every minute of their trip using an online planner are crazy. Go with the flow, relax, and travel at your own pace, and do the activities that feel right to you on the day. I’ve found that when I plan too far ahead, I bring back my old best friend called anxiety.

The friend that nearly made me lose it all, and that I finally conquered through personal development. Pull the pole out of your ass and ask yourself are you pushing the boundaries regularly? Are you truly taking it to the next level and breaking your own patterns?

I think of it like this: corporates are trying to become like startups and disrupt themselves. This trend is something you can use in your life to reach the same outcome.

“Twice a year, disrupt your thought patterns and go freakin a-wall”

Listen to music you’ve never heard, watch a film with nudity if you’ve always watched things that are prim and proper, change the way you dress, travel the world, talk to someone who’s not your type, read a fiction book if you always read non- fiction, shake things up guys.

I’ve done this recently by reading Harry Potter, and I never read books about wizards or magic. If that wasn’t enough, I changed my look and added some more swag. Then, I spoke to some people at work that I never speak to and ate a bunch of food like Pho (strange name) that I never eat.

When you are not disrupting your life regularly, you get the opposite effect of uncertainty: certainty. You need both to live a balanced life and an unbalanced life, but too much certainty will make you bored as bat sS@&^!

Time for an exercise

Uncertainty is a practice, and there are so many ways to master the art of being bold, and being fearless. Joel Brown gave me an idea the other day for an exercise that I want you all to try. Tim Ferriss has also taken up this challenge recently as well.

I want you to get your butt off the couch, and try for the next 21 days, making a Vlog (video blog) every single day. That’s right; pull out your smartphone with its HD camera and record your thoughts, some advice, or how you’re feeling and post it on social media for everyone to see.

The reason why this exercise is fantastic is because it forces you to come up with new ideas every day and embrace being uncertain. Without any scripts or preparation, I want you to make a video. You can begin with having multiple takes and then cutting them up, but after the first two weeks, I want you to record a video for a minimum of five minutes without stopping.

By doing this, you will become reunited with flow states. The state of flow and uncertainty go hand in hand. When you’re in flow, you stop thinking about the words that are coming out of your mouth and you dig deep inside yourself to bring out those golden nuggets that are linked to your passion.

***Final thought***

After writing this post, I came across a man who is known on the internet as the “30-year-old ninja.” This man was a teacher is the US and decided to give everything up and follow his heart. Since he was a child, he dreamed of becoming a ninja.

In an act that might seem a little crazy, he quit his job, sold his things, and moved to Japan to become a ninja. Through this experience, he looked uncertainty in the face and said: “Screw you, I’m following my heart, and I don’t care where it takes me!”

No longer did this man want to live his boring life and accept that where he had gotten to, was as far down the road to success as he could get. As I watched his ninja classes that are shown in the video, I saw a man who lived with purpose, and you could see the passion in his eyes.

Taking risks and doing things that seem bizarre to your family and friends is the way to live your life. When everyone thinks you’re crazy, then you’re probably somewhere near where you need to be to embrace uncertainty, and live your own hero’s journey into self-discovery and finding your passion.

How are you going to embrace uncertainty? Let me know on my website timdenning.net or my Facebook.

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared millions of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around personal development and entrepreneurship.You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Ingrid Gamero

    Aug 7, 2017 at 1:31 am

    This was a great, well-written article. Thank you for taking your time to motivate the readers of this website, you have done a wonderful job.

  2. Vanessa

    Oct 18, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    Hey Tim

    I was so inspired by your blog post that I mentioned you in a post I did on uncertainty. I had never seen uncertainty as a best friend, but I came to realize through your post how it guides, shields and helps us. It comforts us and in a way we wouldn’t be who we are today without it. I have traveled throughout the years, but at seventeen, nineteen and even twenty I didn’t know what my life was going to be like in a few months or years. I spent days thinking if I would even go to school and when I was at school if my parents would come up with the money for me to finish school. It’s funny how we only realize this the older we get and figure things out. I really enjoyed reading it and about what you went through to learn about your own uncertainty in life. I suppose that’s the only way we grow and evolve as people by figuring out our perceptions are mangled up versions of our thoughts and based on what other people see and feel.

  3. Simon Sprock

    Sep 16, 2016 at 10:51 am

    Great stuff and s important. Especially the topic with the travelling. I do (or did) it myself: Traveling alone, all I have is a flight and a room for the first nights. The rest comes after.

    I think, it is important to leave across the borders from time to time. You need to try new things, do things that provide uncertainty, challenge yourself. Especially people that keep on complaining: If you are not happy with your Status quo: Welcome it, leave your boundaries. Make the life as you want it to be and accept to be happy.

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 28, 2016 at 3:18 am

      Thanks Simon. I love your advice and traveling has had the same effect on me. I recently came back from the USA and it really opened my eyes – especially the homelessness problem in America.

  4. Toño

    Sep 13, 2016 at 4:23 am

    Hello Tim! How’s your Great American journey is going, mate?

    You know, this was amazing! The latest articles of yours have been absolutely beautiful. I really enjoyed the style and your ability to come out of shell and just be you. I felt like I was reading some personal blog about self-discovery, purpose, life and your dreams. Your latest work such ‘How to influence people through not giving an F’, ‘How To Build Unstoppable Confidence To Revolutionize Your Success’ & this about uncertainty just blew my freaking mind! Tim, you are amazing and you most likely have no idea how grateful I am for everything you have done dude!

    You said you have been inspiring like ten people? Well, count me as an eleven on your list. I was filling the survey at my job the other day for some research. There was a question about who motivates you most, and guess who I picked right next to Tony Robbins? Exactly. Tim Denning.

    You may not have many comments on articles like this but I love them most. I just feel you there, I know it’s you who typing the words on your MacBook or whatever the machine you use, I just feel it and enjoy to the very core.

    Those things will go viral one day and yeah, there many who read and listen! I believe it.

    Thank you so very much for passion, that drives you, every day I re-born with new realization how grateful I am for everything I have!

    Have a beautiful day mate, much love on your journey!

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 27, 2016 at 5:03 am

      Toño America was amazing and thanks for asking. Glad to see you have been reading all the posts and finding value – that’s what it’s all about. To be in the same sentence as Tony Robbins is a great compliment and thanks so much for that compliment.

      Speak soon my friend and thanks for reaching out.

  5. Omer

    Sep 11, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    Love it! Good stuff mate.

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Motivation

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

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

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

1. Evaluate your own leadership as a leader

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

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

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

2. Focus more on intrinsic motivation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4.  Encourage team members to become self leaders

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

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

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

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

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

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Motivation

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

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

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

Let’s Have a Look at the Surroundings

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

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

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

What Makes Life Interesting and Brings Meaning to Your Existence?

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

Desire

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

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

Determination

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

Struggle

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

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

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

Here are 5 Ways to Remain Undefeated:

1. Build a Habit of Reading and Self-Motivation

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

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

2. Thinking and Introspection

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

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

3. Seek Inspiration from a Mentor

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

4. Connect Yourself to Spirituality

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

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

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

5. Be Courageous and Never Get Defeated

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

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

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Motivation

3 Ways to Rethink Motivation in a Busy World

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

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

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

1. Tee yourself up for a motivation session

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

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

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

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

2. Fire, then aim

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

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

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

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

3. Rid yourself of self doubt

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

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

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

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

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

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

How do you motivate yourself? Share your ideas below!

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Motivation

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

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

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