In my recent downtime, I decided to go on a reading frenzy. I read everything from Simon Sinek, to Dj Khaled, to Tim Ferriss. You know what I learnt? We’ve all come from difficult places. Everyone has a story to tell and that story is incredible.
Who’s Tim Ferriss?
Tim was a depressed college kid, who nearly ended his life because of a culmination of negative events that all occurred in a short space of time. One day, he borrowed a book from his university on how to commit suicide. His downfall? He tried to borrow a second book on suicide, but someone else was borrowing it so that they could do the same thing Tim wanted to do…end it all.
As a result, the library sent out a note to remind Tim the book was back in, but they accidentally sent it to his parent’s place. Tim’s mom called him and as he was able to break his own destructive thought pattern, and stop himself from committing suicide. Now Tim is one of the most iconic self-help, motivational figures on the planet.
If we’d asked him back during the time he was thinking of committing suicide what he’d become, he would have never dreamt of what he is right now. What we think we can be and what we’re capable of is vastly different.
I challenge you to read a few books from some of the greats mentioned above. You’ll quickly see that we all come from pretty ordinary, often challenging, environments. Whatever tough period you may be going through right now, we’ve all been there.
What I thought I could be
I always thought I was an entrepreneur at heart and not much else. I tried to be a DJ one time, but I lacked the mindset and the understanding to be successful.
I thought being a DJ was about how many friends you could bring to a gig, or how good-looking you were. I thought that there must have been something that I didn’t have because all of my DJ buddies were selling out nightclubs all over the world.
“As it turned out, I could have done the same if I just believed in myself”
As my life went on, another side of me started to emerge. It was that side that stopped giving a F$%# about what people thought, and concentrated on giving everything I had. It was the side of me that said: “I can achieve the impossible and I can inspire and change the world if I want to!”
It started as a subtle shift in the way I was thinking that was sparked by a giant man called Tony Robbins. He didn’t accept my ridiculous excuses anymore, and he wanted me to take action and stop living in fear. Tony wanted me to travel the world, make people smile and give something meaningful so that my life would leave a legacy for others.
Even after this transformation in 2013, I still didn’t really think that little old me could be outstanding. I thought that I would continue my business interests, and maybe live a happy life once and for all.
The success junkie
Then I started writing for Addicted2Success. Completely under-qualified and really a horrible writer, I just started sharing my thoughts. I wrote from the heart and wanted to share the lessons I’ve learned.
I spoke about anything from almost being murdered, to my crazy diet and fasts, to meeting different influential people. I didn’t make it about me; I made it about the advice and helping anyone who would listen.
Fast-forward a few years, and I am now reaching over 25 million people a month with my blogging. Every day I get the privilege of waking up to emails of thanks and inspiration from people all around the world.
I’ve been able to connect with leaders, entrepreneurs and ordinary people from hundreds of countries. It’s changed my perspective on life. I don’t tell you this to impress you; I tell you this because I want you to see that we are all so much more than we think we can ever be.
I thought I was a “B” Grade entrepreneur that would never do anything memorable. Social media has proven that idea to be a total myth. That’s right I was wrong!
Just like all of you, I regularly experience rock bottom, catastrophic and sometimes absurd situations. The advantage I have now is that I can deal with these challenges. It’s no walk in the park, but I’ve developed a way to navigate my way through the storms, and I’m currently coaching people privately to do the same.
We can easily fall into the trap of thinking that we can’t be more than we are right now because we have this big problem that is stopping us dead in our tracks. It’s the sort of problem that occupies 80% of our thinking time, and it even drowns out the movie we are trying to watch when we get home from work to relax.
When you realize that what you are going through is probably happening to someone else just like you, it puts things into perspective. It makes your problem so much smaller so that you can chunk it down and deal with it. For me, I can’t be down for too long because people look up to me for inspiration and practical strategies.
I’m forced to see the positive in everything because to not do so would go against everything I preach to my supporters on social media. How is this relevant to you? Because you can do the same by getting someone to be accountable too.
Don’t let this negative world win
This negative world can drag us all down. It’s so easy to believe that everything is too hard and that you will never amount to anything. I’m here to tell you that that’s total crap! There’s someone on the other side of the planet begging to have your life and your problems.
“There’s someone who would give everything they had to live where you live, work where you work and eat what you eat”
Rewind the tape and go back to what you do have. We can never go back to a single moment. You’ll never read this blog post again with the same perspective.
You’re more than you think you can ever be. Your special, you’re you and that’s why you are going to change the world in some crazy way and blow away all the critics, haters, has-beens and procrastinators with your unique gift. Now get to work.
If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net
How to Stay Motivated to Achieve Your Goals
Time is the raw material of our lives. How we choose to spend it, shapes our life accordingly. So having the motivation to spend it on achieving goals is crucial to creating a life we want.
What is Motivation?
The Oxford dictionary defines motivation as the desire or willingness to do something – our drive to take action.
Scientifically, motivation has its roots in the dopamine pathways of our brains. When we do something that feels good, that’s dopamine kicking in. Our actions are driven by the desire for that reward (the good feeling).
Author Steven Pressfield describes motivation more practically. He says we hit a point where the pain of not doing something becomes greater than the pain of doing it. He sees motivation as crossing the threshold where it’s easier to take action than it is to be idle. Like choosing to feel awkward while making sales calls over feeling disappointed about a diminishing bank account.
However you choose to think about it, we all want to harness motivation to achieve our goals.
How to Get Motivated
James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, says that most people misunderstand motivation. They think that motivation is what gets us to take action. In reality, motivation is often the result of action, not the cause of it. Once we start a task, it’s easier to continue making progress. Like Isaac Newton’s first law: objects in motion stay in motion.
This means most of the resistance when working on your goals comes right before we start. Since motivation naturally occurs after we start, we need to focus on making starting easier.
4 Ways to Make Starting Easier
1. Schedule it
One reason people can’t get started on things is that they haven’t planned when to do it.
When things aren’t scheduled it’s easier for them to fall by the wayside. You’ll end up hoping motivation falls in your lap or hoping that you’ll muster enough willpower to get it done.
An article in the Guardian said, “If you waste resources trying to decide when or where to work, you’ll impede your capacity to do the work.”
2. Measure something
It’s easy to feel uninspired when you don’t know if you’re making progress or what you’re even working towards. That’s why you need to make your success measurable in some way. Starting is easy when you know exactly how much closer your current actions will bring you to achieving your goal.
3. Extrinsic motivation
This type of motivation is from external factors. It can be either positive or negative. Positive motivation consists of incentives like money, prizes, and grades. Negative motivation consists of deterrents like being fired, having a fight, or being fined. Extrinsic motivation doesn’t work effectively long-term, but it can work well in the short term to get you started on something.
4. Make it public
Keep yourself accountable by telling friends and family your goals, or even sharing them on social media. This makes it easier to start something because you’re pressured to not let others down.
How to Stay Motivated Long Term
When we say we want to feel motivated to do something, we don’t want to be pushed or guilted into doing a task. We want to be so attracted and drawn to the idea that we can’t resist not taking action. That’s why it’s important to build a foundation that will set you up for consistency.
These are 5 techniques that will help you do just that:
1. Stay in your goldilocks zone
The goldilocks zone is when a task is the perfect level of difficulty—not too hard and not too easy. In this zone, we reach peak motivation and focus.
For example, let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match against a 4-year-old. On this level of difficulty, you’ll quickly become bored and not want to play. Now let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match against Serena Williams. On this level of difficulty, you’ll quickly become demotivated because the match is too challenging.
The Goldilocks zone is in the middle of that spectrum. You want to face someone with equal skill as you. That way you have a chance to win, but you have to focus and try for it. Adjusting your workload and goals over time to stay within your Goldilocks zone keeps you engaged and motivated long-term.
2. Pursue intrinsically motivated goals
Being intrinsically motivated to achieve a goal is when you want to achieve it for what it is. There are no external factors like a reward or the risk of being fired. The drive behind your actions is coming from within.
For most intrinsic goals we pursue them because they will enrich our lives or bring us closer to fulfillment. That makes these goals extremely sustainable long-term because they directly affect our quality of life and the things we care about.
3. Use “chunking”
Chunking is the technique of breaking down a goal into smaller short-term targets. By doing this you achieve multiple successes in your pursuit of the main goal. This triggers the brain’s reward system and drives you to keep going.
Traditionally, you may set a goal that you expect to achieve in one year. That’s a long time to commit without seeing any results along the way. By chunking your goals into monthly or quarterly targets, you get the consistent positive reinforcement you need to stay motivated long-term.
For example, instead of trying to lose 50 pounds in one year, try to lose 4 pounds every month for 12 months.
4. Be flexible
We’re all victims of circumstance. Things happen along our journey that we can either adjust to or quit because of. That’s why it’s important to have leeway and flexibility when you’re pursuing a goal. If you expect everything to go perfectly, the inevitable failure can make you disengaged and desireless. When you plan for things to go wrong, you make sure you can keep up for the long haul.
5. Pursue your goals in a sustainable fashion
Don’t lose hope when you’re not an overnight success. Overnight successes are the 1%—for the most part, they don’t exist. What we see as an “overnight success” is actually countless hours of work behind the scenes finally hitting a tipping point. Pursuing goals is a story of patience, persistence, and unseen effort.
Don’t compare yourself to others. Comparison is a recipe for a drop in self-confidence and satisfaction. It also cultivates a mindset where you think you haven’t done enough. As a result, you may raise your expectations and put more pressure on yourself.
This is pointless because things worth achieving take time. So we obviously won’t compare to the things around us when starting.
Mastering motivation is a superpower. With that ability at your fingertips, you can accomplish your goals and shape a life you want to live in.
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