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10 Life Changing Lessons That Helping Homeless People Taught Me

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In the organisation I work at, I am asked to spend two days a year volunteering to help the community. I will be honest and say that most people I work with just choose something easy or use it as an excuse to do a team-building day. This year I decided to be bold and do the exact opposite.

I was scrolling through the list of approved activities and most of them just seemed like they weren’t really helping anyone. I then came across one that caught my eye, which was “helping the homeless.” Right now I am focused on getting out of my comfort zone and growing in any way that I can.

This activity seemed like the perfect way to do that, so I signed up. When the day came around, I rolled up to the homeless shelter and was not sure what to expect. I have never been homeless myself, nor have I ever seen what it’s like to have nowhere to live.

While I think I have some of the answers to their problems, I am conscious that everyone has the right to make their own choices, and it’s not up to me to judge them or think that I am somehow superior to them.

Below are ten reasons why helping the homeless allowed me to learn so many life changing lessons:

 

1. It’s all in the beliefs and mindset

The number one lesson I learnt at the homeless shelter was that the one thing every person there was lacking was the belief systems they needed to be successful. When I asked some of the people there why they were homeless, they told me a whole range of excuses and believed that even having a meal was a major challenge.

If each of them were to spend a small amount of time each day changing their mindset, then I am positive they could turn their life around. What I learnt though was that it’s easy for me to do that because I want to, but it’s not so easy for them.

Many of the people I met were happy with their current circumstances or had accepted where they were at so there was no need for them to make any changes. It all starts with a will to change and then the strategy can come later.

 

2. Giving back feels amazing (trust me)

A selfish lesson I learnt that applies to my own life, which I knew but not to this extent, was that giving back to the community and helping other people feels amazing. My natural behaviour came through my work on the day, and I was nicknamed “The Salesman.”

Even when I am not in a business environment, my true personality shines through, which kind of surprised me. In case you’re wondering, I was nicknamed the salesman because apparently I was overselling the meal options that were available on the day – I can’t help it, it’s my job!

The whole time I was there I had a big smile on my face while I handed out meals, explained how delicious the food was going to be and topped up people’s cups with coffee. I felt privileged to be able to do something for someone else without expecting anything in return.

 

3. Change your story

One gentleman I met told me how he used to run the train system here in Melbourne before he was made redundant. For the last ten years, he has been homeless. The man was warm, kind, humorous and very charismatic.

Unfortunately, he had lost his identity and had a recurring story in his mind that he couldn’t have that type of responsibility again. He then asked me if he could have a job working for me. I told him how hard he would have to work and at the end of the conversation, he chose to ignore my offer, which was genuine – I don’t think he was ready for change, and it’s not up to me to force him.

Homeless Train Controller

Image Credit – Alexandra Jordankova

What it came down to was that he hadn’t got over the failure of losing his previous job, and he didn’t have the will to change his situation. The story he told himself was now so strong in his mind that it had become his identity.

I got the feeling that he though being homeless was cool in some weird way because it shocked people and got him the attention that he once had when he was the master of the train system.

Sometimes you have to realise that you can’t help everybody even if you want to because not everyone wants to be helped. None the less, if your story is an empowering one, then you will become a leader and attract more followers than you could possibly imagine. Change your story!

 

4. The environment can bring you down

The people at the homeless shelter mostly came there each day, not so much for the food, but to meet other people in the same situation. This creates a downward spiral for many of them because when they are trying to improve their situation, they are surrounded by people telling them to do the exact opposite.

This is why all successful people know that who you spend time with, and your daily environment, is the difference in you achieving your goals or living on the streets. If you’re someone who is going through a tough time, or you are not sure why you are miserable, then change your environment.

If you spend time with someone who is inspirational for long enough, then the effect will rub off on you. Just like the homeless people experience, the same goes in the opposite direction too. Imagine if we could get a homeless person away from their environment for a few days – do you think it would help them to change their situation?

 

5. Sugar is used to numb the pain

The thing that scared me at the homeless shelter, which I was not prepared for, was just the sheer volume of sugar that each person consumed. When I asked the chef what the number one item was on the food list each week he told me it was sugar.

Homeles People And Too Much Sugar - Success.jpgI am not joking when I say that some of the people were filling half their coffee cup with sugar. I began to see that sugar for homeless people was a drug-free way of numbing the pain, and it was relatively low cost for them to have access to.

Health and sugar intake are directly linked to people’s socioeconomic status. Most millionaires I have met know that eating healthy is essential to their success, whereas the lower classes in society don’t have the same beliefs.

Be careful of your sugar intake, as it will suck all of your positive energy!

 

6. One kind act can transform someone’s day

While I was serving breakfast, I noticed a lady that came in crying, and she was very upset. Rather than go over and talk to her (she was in no state) I decided to not judge her and just bring her food. The moment I put a plate of food down and asked her if she wanted coffee, her day was transformed.

Sometimes it’s not what you say but what you do that can change people. One act that shows you care can change the way you are perceived and have a positive impact on other people. It even made me feel good because she stopped crying and enjoyed her food.

 

7. Clothing and hygiene are essential

The appearance of a homeless person is most noticeable by their clothing. Even if they were to go for a job interview tomorrow, they would probably not be successful because they don’t appear in a good state due to the way they dress.

At the shelter, there is a shower section where homeless people can clean themselves up. As I was coming out of the bathroom, I noticed a man who had just had a shower and was having a shave. He had brand new runners on, but the rest of his clothes were quite old.

By looking at his face, you could tell that he felt better about himself and was going to be able to attack the day with some confidence. This all comes from the way he was dressed and the fact he was clean after his shower. Compared to everyone else, he was the closest person to reaching success that I met.

This lesson applies to everyone. Make sure you try and dress well at all times, brush your teeth, have a shower once a day, keep your facial hair under control and take pride in your appearance. If you don’t, you could be turning away relationships before people even have a chance to get to know you.

 

8. Reading can be the difference

Image Credit: Big Stock

I noticed in the crowd of homeless people that the ones that appeared to be the least affected by their situation were the ones who were reading books. Many people donate books to the shelter so the homeless people can pick one up and read it.

Some of them used their tough situation to pick up a book and try and learn something that might help them think differently and get beyond where they are in their life. This lesson can apply to us all and I strongly encourage you to read a book or blog post to get some skills and grow your knowledge.

 

9. All skills are transferable

Even though I have never run a homeless shelter, the skills I have learnt in business are 100% transferrable. Within a few hours I was following the system, assessing stock levels, using my organising skills (keep everything simple) and going to the food bank warehouse to negotiate some more food supplies.

My personality and ability to sell can work in any environment no matter what, and so can yours. It doesn’t matter how little experience you have at something, if you understand the basics of success then you can apply it in any field.

 

10. The way to solve problems is not through money

Upon entering the homeless shelter, I thought that the ay to solve everybody’s problems there was to go down to the local supermarket and buy everyone’s food (I was naively contemplating doing this). What I learnt by the end of the day is that money is not the issue.

The people that suffer from homelessness suffer from mostly psychological issues that have come from the way they live their life and the values they stand for. Even if I gave each of them ten thousand dollars, they would probably be back to the same scenario in a few weeks.

If we invest money in changing the way homeless people think, and counselling them, then they will have the beliefs they need to create their own success, rather than rely on society. This is because money is just an exchange of value, and you have to have a positive mindset in order to give more than is expected to other people, which in turn creates value (aka money).

You have to have hope - Homeless Story - Addicted2Success
So there you have it, if you haven’t already, go out and spend a day at a homeless shelter and see what lessons you can learn that could help you grow as a person and in your business.

To stay in touch with me, you can follow me on Facebook or Twitter. If you have experienced any of these lessons before I would love to hear from you in the comments section below.

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared hundreds of thousands of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around success, personal development, motivation, and entrepreneurship. During the day Tim works with the most iconic tech companies in the world, as an adviser, to assist them in expanding into Australia. By night, Tim coaches his students on the principles of personal development and the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net or through his Facebook.

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20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Sonjamoss

    Nov 28, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    I was inspired by this article. I once was a victim of homelessness. I resided in the shelter system for years. With that being said, most of the social worker’s and counselors that I was assigned to gave no inspiration to the people nor did they lead people to intervention or help. You see, I worked.

    • Tim Denning

      Dec 30, 2015 at 2:28 am

      Your story is inspiring Sonjamoss and congrats on getting through it. It’s now time for you to be that inspiration for other homeless people that these counselors you met lacked. All the best and I wish you all the success.

  2. denny

    Sep 16, 2015 at 12:53 am

    Thanks for taking time to document your experience. You have shared some important lessons that remind me how vigilant to be with my own habits and behaviors.

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 18, 2015 at 11:58 pm

      Anytime Denny and thanks for reading!

  3. Tanveer Malik

    Sep 15, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    Thank you Tim for sharing 🙂

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 15, 2015 at 7:52 pm

      No worries Tanveer thank you for reading and I’m glad you enjoyed the article.

  4. Theodore Nwangene

    Sep 14, 2015 at 4:04 am

    Great post Tim,
    I’ve never been homeless myself but i can imagine how it feels like not to have anywhere you can call your home. It can really be a very boring and painful situation.

    However, i agree with all you said. Most times, it all begins with our mindset. We usually build obstacles for ourselves through what we think and believe.

    Its obvious that those people already have the belief that there is nothing they can do for themselves and if they can change that mindset for even once, there will be a tremendous difference in their life.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 14, 2015 at 7:07 am

      Thanks for your comment Theo. Most of us have some sort of obstacle in our mind or limiting belief that stops us reaching our potential. The good news is that we can shift our mindset at anytime and change our neural pathways through small steps. These steps could be as simple as watching certain videos, reading books, going on sites like Addicted2Success and talking with the right people. These small habits can begin to shift the way you think as long as you are open to change and challenging everything you have ever believed. Glad you enjoyed the article Theo!

  5. Iggy

    Sep 10, 2015 at 3:49 am

    Hi Tim

    I have a 5 am group of friends. We wake up every day at 5 am to wake on our selves. We lack consistency as a group and some of these fundamentals provide answers to why this is the case.

    Please Google News24 Ex Beggar gives up second chance. A fascinating tale that is mind boggling and got me really thinking.

    Your article Tim, settled me and sort of understand the why in both cases. Keep writing and sharing.

    Thank you

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 10, 2015 at 10:06 am

      Iggy, I just read the news story that you told me to read. More and more I am reading stories like this of people who have so little yet they keep on giving without expecting anything in return. As you start to evolve as a person you begin to be able to see the positive in everything (or for some, the negative). Inspiring stories like this are everywhere, but the problem is that as a society, we are addicted to bad news. Thankfully, all of us on Addicted2Success are trying to change this and to encourage people to shift their mindset and do some personal development. The benefits are endless and i can see that you have already done a lot of development yourself. Thanks for your support and sharing this amazing story, I can;t thank you enough.

  6. Tayo Giwa

    Sep 9, 2015 at 11:52 pm

    Hi Tim,

    Great observation coupled with deep insight. I struggled for years to understand the foundation of people making such choices in life to be “Homeless”. I got to a point I decided to move to a very unfavorable vicinity just to understand and socialize with such individuals without them seeing any bias with my interaction. I must say it was a complacent journey at the end. After spending a great amount of time with one addict and hopeless young fellow, I was able to get her back on track utilizing different life changing techniques designed not to pin point errors but to showcase what life could be like in both good and bad while giving her the option to make a choice with no pressure. I can’t explain the satisfaction and level of accomplishment I felt after seeing this young lady working as a cook and following her dreams in life especially when she busted into tears one day and told me ” I can’t talk about my life history without mentioning your name and impact” I was inclined to drop tears and held her tight while we both shared tears of joy. Thank you for sharing your experience I hope to collaborate with someone like you some day to share ideas and experiences on how to help few that are willing to change their lives. I strongly believe 70% of homeless people will accept and harness change by providing them with the right answers to their questions with no pressure or differential treatment.

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 10, 2015 at 9:58 am

      I really admire you Tayo for conducting this experiment and being able to influence someone else’s life for the better. Your story really inspired me and I got chills down my spine as I read it. Thank you so much for sharing your story with everyone. Much Respect.

  7. Catherine M. J. Mary Evans

    Sep 9, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    Hi Tim,

    I’m proud of you and your kindness to help, I’m sure you didn’t mean everyone there had a medical issue. Although I read somewhere that 40% of office workers seek help so it could be kind of high there, too. 😉

    You are right about the economic viewpoint, money in the US represents something. So hands on help (as guided by those experienced) could be a mutually beneficial positive encounter!

    Congratulations on stepping out of the comfort zone! Are you bringing a coworker next time?

    Catherine

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 10, 2015 at 12:27 am

      Catherine, you are spot on, not everyone had a medical issue although the majority were sick from trying to numb the pain with smoking, alcohol and sugar treats. I will definitely be bringing a co-worker next time and have already encouraged others to do the same thing. Thanks for reading and keep doing what your doing.

  8. colin

    Sep 9, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    Hi very very much inspiring article. I love reading it. That’s precisely the type message we want to convey to other entrepreneurs to always have a positive mindset and to reprogram your mind for success… Awesome article. Thank you

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 10, 2015 at 12:23 am

      Thanks Colin. These lessons are not just for entrepreneurs, they are for everyone who wants to reach their potential and do more than just make themselves feel good. Good vibes are infectious and helping others is how every entrepreneur succeeds. Money comes and goes, but true fulfillment in your life is permanent. Thanks for reading mate.

  9. Lawrence Berry

    Sep 9, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    Very inspiring article! I love uplifting people and I can tell you that when you give your time to someone else and feel like you are making some type of difference in the world, no matter how small that difference is, you feel a sense of happiness and fulfillment in your life. I have been working with a nonprofit organization taking in abandoned and abused children, and I have been with a program to help mentor one of them. It is an awesome feeling. I agree with all the lessons you have given here. Also, reiterating here that dressing well and grooming makes you feel better about yourself, help me to see just how much that is true. I loved this article and your good spirit.

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 10, 2015 at 12:21 am

      Lawrence every time I read your comments you inspire me with your wisdom. I am not surprised that you are out there helping others and mentoring people. Keep doing what your doing and thanks for your ongoing support as always.

  10. Esther Mellar

    Sep 9, 2015 at 7:16 am

    Hi Tim,

    It sounds you had really nice life experience and received so much by giving. It is also fantastic that you can help others on this blog by sharing your experiences.
    For me the biggest difficulty is to accept that not everybody wants to be helped, just as you write.
    It is a powerful way living life when you can learn from everybody and every life situation.
    Thank you so much.

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 10, 2015 at 12:19 am

      Thanks Esther for your kind words. The fact that not everyone wants to be helped is one of the hardest things to come to grips with.

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Success Advice

The Ugly Truth About Success and Why You’re Not Achieving It

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As human beings, most of us have this tendency to overcomplicate things. Maybe you’ve had this experience of trying to find success, but for some reason, it keeps eluding you.  In our pursuit to win, hardly anyone tells us the ugly truth about why most of our dreams seem to evade us.

Today, I’m going to share with you why so many people are held back from fully realizing their dreams as well as how to overcome those obstacles.   

By creating a resolve to not make these three mistakes and falling prey to these common weaknesses – we can shift our success and assure that our goals are attained. Getting to the finish line isn’t as hard as you think – that is, if you don’t let yourself fall into these three traps.

1. You Don’t Follow A Plan Long Enough

In today’s society, we’re used to microwave results – we are accustomed to zapping our results. Push a button and voila your food is ready. Watch a movie and just like that in two hours the hero has experienced pain, sadness, and triumph. Sadly though, success doesn’t happen with a push of a button or in a two-hour window.

An example of where I fell prey to this ‘fast results mentality’ was when I wanted to create my ideal body. I hired trainers, tried systems, diets, and fads, yet none of it worked…or so I told myself. But the reality was this: I gave up too soon. It was never the plan, the diet, or the trainer. It wasn’t my lack of expertise or lack of potential. The only thing that stopped me was my inability to stick to a plan long enough.

In my conversations with Jack Canfield, Elliott Hulse, Robert Kiyosaki and numerous highly-successful individuals, I’ve learned they all made a plan and stuck to it for years. If you want to achieve greatness, you must make the plan and then work that plan every single day. Be consistent and be willing to let the results blossom with time.

“Plan your work and work your plan.” – Napolean Hill

2. We Don’t Hold Our Belief Long Enough

Einstein was once asked if he was a genius, to which he gave a simple response:  “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” I love his response.

To live out and embody is one that has taken me a long time to understand. You see, for a long time I’ve had this terrible habit, it’s a habit I don’t want to admit to anyone I ever had. For decades, I’ve been a quitter. Not just outwardly, but in faith, I’ve tended to quit.

If you’re struggling to achieve some great result, it’s likely you’ve also come across this stumbling block. Losing faith too soon can make us quit when in reality a few more steps could mean reaching Graceland.

After working hard at attaining my ideal body, I finally achieved it. The plan was simple when I stuck to it because I ate specific food and worked out. I repeated this process every day for several years. It wasn’t instantaneous or easy, but it was simple. The same goes for writing, creating wealth, and creating just about anything – create a plan and work that system day-after-day.

It’s not sexy, but it’s the truth. Big wins are a bunch of small actions taken on a regular basis. A home is built one nail, one board, one screw at a time. Create a plan and work that plan.

In the world of Hollywood and marketing, we often dress up success in a fancy costume, fancy perfume, and an elegant story. But at the end of the day, every dress is stitched the same with threads of hope, intense hours of sewing, and focused labor.

3. We Don’t Seek Roads That Have Been Paved For Us

One of my favorite coaches of all time is Anthony Robbins. One of my favorite quotes from him is this: “Success leaves traces.” In my desire to achieve greatness, I’ve made one fatal mistake time after time. That mistake was always seeking to get there on my own, in my own way, without the help of anyone.

If I had listened to Anthony, I would have looked for those traces and followed them to the finish line. For those of us who are strong, capable, and want to achieve greatness, the desire to ‘do it our way’ can be our greatest strength or hindrance.

In my case, it made my work a lot harder. When I first tried to sell high-end consulting, I thought I could just figure it out. I didn’t want to listen to anyone, hire anyone, or study. I had achieved so much in business I thought I could do it my way. In doing so, I delayed my success.

Once I admitted to myself and others that I didn’t know how to pave the road to success in this area I opened up new roads to success. I was introduced to people who had already paved a way and thus made my work much easier. Instead of whacking my way through the weeds and wild growth of my own ignorance, I was shown the highway to success, and instead of weed-whacking, it was like driving a Ferrari down I-90.

“Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.” – Tony Robbins

If you’re having a tough time achieving some results, I want you to have a finely tuned mind and heart which will take perseverance, follow-through, and faith. Lastly, it’s going to help you immensely if you can find a pre-paved path. If you want the highway to success, it does exist, it just takes looking for pre-paved paths and then working the plan to get there.

How are you making sure you become successful in life? Please share your thoughts below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Success Advice

Always Choose Love, Not Fear

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A few weeks ago, I met a woman that seriously changed my perspective. It was one of those chance encounters that I believe was meant to happen for a reason.

This woman had been involved in the same tragedy that I had been caught up in. As I shared my story, I quickly realized that hers was much more challenging. Her sister had lost her young baby to a man on drugs. Once she told me this, I was lost for words.

How does one even comprehend that situation? How do you not choose fear? How do you choose not to hate? These were the questions I pondered afterward.

Here’s why you should choose love:

 

1. Love conquers fear

As humans, the easiest decision we can make is to choose love. Love destroys our fear and helps us see a deeper meaning in everything that happens in life. Love is the ever-conquering force in our life that will happen if we let it.

When you’re surrounded by love, it’s impossible to be conquered by the crippling disease that is fear. Love restarts the heart like a defibrillator. Fear causes a heart attack that can kill you if you let it.

Always choose love over fear.

 

2. Everything happens for a reason

When this young girls sister lost her baby, she chose to believe that it was meant to happen for a reason. She chose to believe that the loss of life would mean something far greater than death itself. This opinion was the result of love being the only answer she could comprehend.

After the tragedy, her community got around her and showed her more love than she had ever known. The death of her nephew started her entire family on a different path.

“While they couldn’t control the circumstances of the young baby’s death, what they could control was love”

They allowed the love that everybody showed them to take them to an entirely different level. Some days were good and other days were a nightmare.

Through it all, they chose to believe in love. Love is nothing more than a belief. It can only enter your life when you believe it exists. You must be accepting and you have to give love at the same time. They are the rules of the love game.

 

3. Think love not hate

When this tragic event occurred, it would have been so easy to hate the man hooked on drugs who caused this young baby to die. This girl taught me that hate has no place in the healing process. As a matter of fact, hate has no place in our lives.

Feelings of hate can cause us to go into a downward spiral. This spiral involves us becoming very selfish and only focusing on our own needs. From this place, we can’t do the inner work required to come back from adversity. Train your brain to always assume love as the default reason for everything.

“Spending our precious energy and time on this planet hating others for things we can’t control, will block us from our dreams”

Hate will transport us to a land far far away that resembles hell. Hell is where your nightmares come true, your fears are born and the person you become is something you despise for eternity.

 

4. Love is the best feeling in the world

There are lots of types of love but no matter what; love is the best feeling in the world. When you choose love your life seems extraordinary. You feel like you are on cloud nine and nothing can stop you. Love helps you to connect with your fellow human beings on an entirely different level.

Your success in life compounds because love attracts everything you could ever want in your life. You can’t be pissed off at the world when love is your default choice.

Love is what brings us closer together. Love is what creates human life through the coming together of a man and women. Love is what lights us up and fuels our intuition. Seek out love and you’ll know what it feels like to be invincible. If the worst happens, and a young baby close to you is killed, you’ll have all the answers.

 

5. Choose love by giving love

The best gift you can give while you’re alive is love. It costs nothing, but it takes every part of you to give. If a tragedy like the one described above occurs, you have the opportunity to give love.

When you do so, and you go through a difficult time, love finds its way back into your life. Choosing love is the beginner level: giving love is the expert level.

There are so many ways to give love. You could:

– Hug someone
– Do something nice for someone
– Write something beautiful to someone
– Be there for someone who is going through a tough time
– Smile at someone who looks down

The list is endless. Love is endless. Your capacity to give love is endless. What comes into your life can also be endless when you choose love. Think about that for a minute.

 

6. Love can cause a deranged man or women to see the light

 

If you talked to a terrorist and told them that you loved them, what would happen? While I don’t know for sure, what I do know is that there is a possibility you could interrupt their pattern. Part of the reason they do what they do is that they haven’t felt love.

Because they lack love in their life, they have adopted a set of false beliefs in the hope that this will fill the void they feel, due to the lack of love they’ve experienced.

 

“Terrorists, criminals and people on drugs, all have one thing in common: they need to be shown what love is so they can conquer the fear that’s been controlling their life – the fear that’s driven them to madness and to harm people”

 

***Final thought***

It’s time to wake up and stand for love. It’s what we were born to do. It takes no effort when we try it. Love can save us from just about anything. Love is about understanding that we are all on the same mission and that ultimately we are all part of the same cause and the same existence.

When you understand the idea of love, your consciousness goes to another level. People may begin to think that you’ve transcended their reality and that you have loads of wisdom. What’s really happened is that you’ve discovered the most powerful force on Earth: LOVE.

RIP to the young mothers baby. Love will transcend everything and bring you happiness again. I hope you can find it in your hearts to one day forgive the mean that caused you so much pain. Show him the love that he’s been lacking so desperately.

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Success Advice

5 Unusual Productivity Tips From Famous Procrastinators

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Do you often procrastinate? Are you doing it now by reading this article? If yes – awesome, continue reading.

Most of us consider procrastination the biggest troublemaker and productivity killer. You see it as a vice, consequently, you try to overcome its effects, kill the procrastination beast and cheat with all the possible means.

But what if it’s not quite so? What if procrastination can virtually lead to productivity? Have you ever thought about this aspect? Many outstanding productive people, in fact, were chronic procrastinators. How did they manage to achieve success? What tips did successful people use to beat procrastination?

Here are five unusual tips from hard-core procrastinators that will help you boost your productivity level:

1. Victor Hugo: Lock away your clothes

The author of Les Misérables, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and many more tremendously famous novels was beating procrastination with the most extraordinary and radical means. One episode from his life is the most illustrative here.

Hugo started writing The Hunchback of Notre Dame quite close to the deadline – in the fall of 1830. While the deadline was in February 1831. His preparation was thorough, but he did not feel like writing. Thus, he did something that didn’t leave a choice – he got naked and locked away his clothes.

The aim of all that was to avoid temptations of going outside. Hugo had nothing to wear but a shawl. And for many months, this rag (as his wife claimed) was his daily uniform. Did it work? Absolutely. He finished the book weeks before the actual deadline.

2. Gerhard Richter: Create a crisis

Gerhard Richter, world known German artist and procrastinator, got millions with his paintings. For example, Abstrakis Bild was sold for $20,802,500 at Sotheby’s.  How did he manage to procrastinate and, at the same time, complete paintings of photos, abstracts, “blur” photo paintings, and many more works of art?

It’s striking that he actually wastes time on garden and not on his paintings. In one of the interviews, Richter described his daily routines:  “I could spend my life arranging things. Weeks go by, and I don’t paint until finally I can’t stand it any longer. I get fed up. I almost don’t want to talk about it, because I don’t want to become self-conscious about it, but perhaps I create these little crises as a kind of a secret strategy to push myself.

It is a danger to wait around for an idea to occur to you. You have to find the idea.” Thus, his secret strategy to become more productive is a simple crisis.

“Chance determines our lives in important ways.” – Gerhard Richter

3. Bill Clinton: Take criticism seriously, not personally

The 42nd president of the United States, Bill Clinton, was described as a “chronic procrastinator” by Time magazine. Could you believe that a two-time Grammy winner may be addicted to postponing? Clinton had weeks or sometimes months to make comments on the drafts of his speeches, but, eventfully, it all ended with cut-and-paste in the end.

Even his Vice President Al Gore called Clinton “punctually challenged”. However, despite all the criticism, he managed to never give up. The key secret to productivity is the way you perceive criticism, according to Bill Clinton. If you take it too personally, you won’t be able to resist the feeling of deficiency that finally leads to the inferiority complex. Therefore, keep your cool when you are criticized. Then, you have more chances to stay productive.

4. Franz Kafka: Try to wake up the night productivity

The Czech writer worked as an insurance clerk and it was the time to existential thinking. The novelist though didn’t put his ideas into action. After Kafka had been promoted, he had more time and procrastination infected him for good.

His routine day after work, as he mentioned it on one of his letters, looked like this: “Lunch till 3:30 … sleep until 7:30 … ten minutes of exercises, naked at the open window … an hour’s walk … then dinner with my family.” There is nothing about writing though. When did he actually write? Beginning from approximately 11 p.m. and continuing up to 6 a.m. Not the perfect system, for sure, but that’s was the most productive time for Kafka. It appears that he spent most of the daytime napping.

“Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell ’em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.” – Theodore Roosevelt

5. Leonardo Da Vinci: Start several things at a time and make notes

An artist, mathematician, sculptor, writer, inventor, military engineer, Leonardo Da Vinci, is an outstanding figure in history. But despite the success he achieved, he was never focused on one thing at a time.

During his lifetime, he managed to complete only 20 paintings. The Virgin of the Rocks took him 13 years to put the final changes.  While his most illustrious work The Mona Lisa – as many as 16 years. The reason for that was his multi-tasking capacity. He was an incredibly broad-minded and all-round personality with so many genius plans. To improve a willpower, he had a rule book where he had more than 7,000 pages of notes.

His procrastination wasn’t already a secret for his benefactors. And some of them threatened him with bankruptcy in order to have his work done at last.

What if procrastination can be a way to extreme productivity and perfectionism? And still, you have structured procrastination as an option and a solution.

Would you use any of these tips to boost productivity flows? Comment below!
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Success Advice

The Lie That Is My Overnight Success

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I started writing unprofessionally three years ago. Some would say my whole career is unprofessional and I’d agree. Imperfection is damn sexy though.

I began writing only because my mentor Joel Brown said I should and I stupidly said yes without knowing why. Now, of course, I’m crystal clear about why I write: it’s to inspire. I remember uploading articles to Addicted2Success.com and seeing no one like them. I remember thinking I was a failure.

In the early days, I was writing articles about entrepreneurs I had interviewed and I wasn’t that passionate about it. Every article felt like really hard work and it required an incredible amount of willpower. Everyone at the time was doing entrepreneur interviews and there was nothing special.

Then one day, I wrote an article for the fun of it that had nothing to do with anything. It was essentially a brain fart that I concocted after dinner, late one night. It took less than one hour to write and it was written with passion. The words came out of me without even trying.

Since that day, the words have continued to pour out of me in the same way. I get into a state of flow and then it happens. Words appear, people get inspired and we all have one big party that has been named “life.” From the day I wrote that article, thousands of people shared it and they still do today.

 

I didn’t stop

After my big moment on the internet going viral, everything stopped. The tumbleweed that drifted through the desert with an eerie silence continued. Everything calmed down and people stopped caring again.

I didn’t stop though because I found my writing therapeutical.

“My blog posts became like my own personal journey and it was a way for me to escape from the Alcatraz that was my head. This prison that lived inside my head kept telling me that no one cared and I’d never be successful.”

I decided to keep finding ways to break out of Alcatraz and check in to the Ritz Hotel that was me becoming a conscious, passionate, crazy online leader.

 

I stopped giving a damn

Over the next eighteen months, I kept writing every moment I got. No one paid attention but I did. I started paying attention to the shift that was happening inside of me. The leader that had always been stuck inside of me started to unleash.

The things that used to hold me back disappeared. I didn’t give two hoots about what anyone thought and I only cared about inspiring those who wanted to be inspired. I worked my butt off and started waking up at 4 am to post new blog articles. People couldn’t understand how I had the time to write working a full-time job.

The part they didn’t get was that because the words flowed out of me so easily, it didn’t take that long at all to write something of value. People watched me posting articles and thought I was crazy. They thought what I was doing was career suicide in the big bad world of corporate politics.

I never liked politics anyway, so I stuck my middle finger up at the way things were traditionally done. I decided to be a rebel writer and live my dream. I continued to make no money and people kept on questioning what I was doing.

 

I believed

A few people believed, but most didn’t. What stuck out like tomato sauce on a freshly dry cleaned white shirt was that I believed and that’s all that mattered. I saw something that no one else could see: my real potential versus my current success.

I had the motivation to continue on when no one cared because I believed I could change the world. I saw myself as someone who had the potential to serve millions of people online. I kept telling myself never to give up and I also spread the same message throughout everything I wrote.

“I thought my writing was going to save everybody else, but what it really did is save myself”

My writing saved me from living a life without meaning and it helped me discover who I really was. I saw the pattern between every goal I’d ever had: to inspire and evoke emotion from strangers.

This clarity fuelled me and I became relentless. I reached out to every blogger, leader and person that had done cool stuff that inspired me. Originally I thought they’d all ignore me: none of them did. See when you have energy and passion oozing out of you, people can’t say no. An unwavering belief in what you’re doing is all that matters.

 

The tipping point happened

I began to see a change when each day I started to get a message from a reader/fan. It started as one message per day, then two, then three. Now I get more messages of support every day than I have time to read. Success often doesn’t become a reality in a single moment.

Success is something that is hard to measure in the early days until one giant moment happens that everyone sees. The part no one sees is the many smaller moments that happened beforehand. The small successes that may not have looked like a textbook example of “success.”

 

That big day finally came

So the big day happened when an article I wrote went viral. This was the third time it had happened, although this time the success became permanent. All those years, when I thought no one was reading, people were. What had occurred was that they were too scared to show they were reading because my success was still largely unproven.

It was only after the big success moment that people felt it was okay to come out of the metaphorical closet and say they were inspired by what I was doing. All those nights spent locked away in my office being anti-social was worth it. All those cups of green tea, takeaway meals, indoor plants, and weird emails to myself with possible headlines for articles had meant something.

More publications reached out to me and pretty soon I wasn’t just writing for Addicted2Success; I was writing for the biggest sites on the entire internet. The ones where the editors get pitched one hundred times a day by people who want to do nothing more than self-promote and build a BS “personal brand.”

Before I knew it, I was getting offered book deals, business opportunities, podcast interviews and public speaking gigs. I took some but ignored most. I remembered what was important and the fact that unwavering focus had got me to where I was.

I knew I was ready for some opportunities and not for others like public speaking. The journey had begun, but I was far from the summit of the mountain of my dreams.

 

Nothing changed

Strangely, though, it was all one ginormous anti-climax moment. Nothing had changed. Even today nothing has changed. I still want to inspire people and I still like sharing stories. I still want to live with passion and I still want to create a meaning for my life that outlives me.

What has changed is that people have seen my success as something that’s happened recently – what total BS that is. It’s taken my entire existence to discover the meaning of my life, find a medium to share it on and go after it with relentless optimism.

 

What you didn’t see with my success

You didn’t see the person that existed before all of this. You didn’t see the selfish, rude, arrogant, brat who lived for material possessions and felt like he was entitled to success because he grew up in Australia, the land of the free. I can say those horrible things because I’m talking about myself. Thankfully that’s the opposite of who I am now.

You didn’t see the transformation that occurred after that one big rock bottom moment. When everything made no sense and I had to look inside of myself to crawl out of that black hole that had become my existence. You didn’t see me step out of the darkness and into the light.

All you saw was me in the light and assumed I had always been there shining away brightly, and living the good life that is passion and purpose. How wrong that lie is. How wrong the whole concept of overnight success is.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Motivation

The Letter I Wrote To A Broken Man

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Every day I get lots of emails from readers asking me how to solve a major life issue.

I got one last week and realized that my advice is often the same. I thought that it might be easier to write my advice about how to stop being so broken. That way, every time I get one of these emails I can point people to it.

Here’s the advice I gave this broken man that wrote to me:

 

1. Find someone who is going to change your thinking

This man had a whole list of problems that he tried to tell me were impossible to solve. He listed them in such detail and made each one sound beyond impossible to solve. He was hoping that he would bamboozle me and that I’d reply and say “Mate you’re right, those problems are impossible to solve and I can’t help you.”

The first step I always tell these so called “broken people” is that they need to get out of their head. They’ve become obsessed with their challenges and they need to interrupt their thinking. The easiest and quickest way to do this is to find someone to change your thinking.

To make this broken man’s life easy, I gave him the answer of who to start with. He needed a rapid change of thinking and the best person I know to do this is Tony Robbins. Now I could have let him find his own person to assist, but it would have ended up becoming another excuse.

What he needed to hear was something radically different to the story that he’d memorized and become an expert narrator in. Tony sure knows how to change the way you think and slap you in the face when you need it. This is always the beginning.

 

2. Quit your job

This broken man blamed a lot of his problems on his job. This is common in all the letters I get from people who think they’re broken. They all have an issue that stems from what they do for a living.

What’s crazy is that your job or business is your decision. If you don’t like the result, then quit. It’s not rocket science; it’s just the reality.

“Quitting something you hate is the best decision you’ll ever make”

You can always find another source of income. The best thing about quitting is that you’ll be forced to find a new way to make a living pretty quickly so you can pay your bills.

Make it a slow transition if you need to, but just know that you must quit. Don’t let anything piss you off anymore. Stop doing what you don’t love. If your work doesn’t light you up, then quit!

 

3. Failing a lot is good. Stop being afraid.

My friend, the broken man, tried to tell me that he was failing a lot. I stood up in my seat and gave him a metaphorical round of applause (he obviously couldn’t see me do this). If you’re failing a lot, then that’s the best bloody news I’ve ever heard! Don’t be down about it; be excited about it.

This means your giving it a go and taking action. That’s better than 99% of other people who are doing nothing and sitting on the couch hoping to get lucky. You’ll eventually find a way if you keep failing. It’s inevitable.

Being afraid is unnecessary and it’s delusional. You’re not supposed to know exactly what to do and no one who is successful does.

“You’re supposed to take action, and then learn from the outcomes and adjust the sails of your ship as you go”

 

4. Go and volunteer at a homeless shelter

I’ve said this one a lot because I’ve personally found it very effective – In fact, I was just at the homeless shelter again last week. It’s the idea that you need to see problems far bigger than your own. I’ve never seen anyone walk into a homeless shelter and spend a day there, who hasn’t come out the other side with a new way of looking at life.

You’re forced into helping others and you do whatever you can because many of the people you’ll meet are beyond desperate. In reality, your problems are not desperate where as there’s is. Once you’ve seen the worst there is to see, then you’ll be able to break your pattern of misery.

 

5. Your problems are the same

This broken man was so stuck in his circumstances that he couldn’t see the rest of the world. He stopped seeing the hardships that others are going through and he somehow believed the lie that he was the only one facing these problems. I told him something he didn’t expect: “Your problems are the same as every other email I get.”

This was true. Every email I get with these so-called “impossible challenges” is the same. It’s the same issue with a different character playing the lead role of the story. Your problems are not unique or special. Your problems yesterday were vanilla and my problems today are strawberry. They’re all flavors of the same milkshake.

 

6. You’re being selfish

The last very blunt thing I said to this broken man (out of love and respect) was: “You’re being selfish.” I told him that his entire story was about him and his own selfish desires.

Nowhere in the story was there room for anybody else. Nowhere in the story was there a purpose to unite people, or serve people or give something to someone. It was all just about him and how important he was and how he must have all the answers.

“The way you become broken in the first place is when you’re 100% focused on yourself”

Selfishness is at the heart of so many life problems. It’s not all about you, you know. I’d go as far as saying that you should make your life about much more than you.

Once you move away from being entirely selfish, new opportunities start to find their way to you. These opportunities are not luck; these opportunities are the result of you moving beyond just caring about yourself. Until you give a damn about other people, you’re going to continue to be broken.

You started to become broken in the first place when you forgot about everyone else and became obsessed with yourself. Kill the obsession and you’ll find the answer to your dreams.

These are the things I told this young man. These are the same tools you can use if you feel broken.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared hundreds of thousands of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around success, personal development, motivation, and entrepreneurship. During the day Tim works with the most iconic tech companies in the world, as an adviser, to assist them in expanding into Australia. By night, Tim coaches his students on the principles of personal development and the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net or through his Facebook.

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20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Sonjamoss

    Nov 28, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    I was inspired by this article. I once was a victim of homelessness. I resided in the shelter system for years. With that being said, most of the social worker’s and counselors that I was assigned to gave no inspiration to the people nor did they lead people to intervention or help. You see, I worked.

    • Tim Denning

      Dec 30, 2015 at 2:28 am

      Your story is inspiring Sonjamoss and congrats on getting through it. It’s now time for you to be that inspiration for other homeless people that these counselors you met lacked. All the best and I wish you all the success.

  2. denny

    Sep 16, 2015 at 12:53 am

    Thanks for taking time to document your experience. You have shared some important lessons that remind me how vigilant to be with my own habits and behaviors.

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 18, 2015 at 11:58 pm

      Anytime Denny and thanks for reading!

  3. Tanveer Malik

    Sep 15, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    Thank you Tim for sharing 🙂

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 15, 2015 at 7:52 pm

      No worries Tanveer thank you for reading and I’m glad you enjoyed the article.

  4. Theodore Nwangene

    Sep 14, 2015 at 4:04 am

    Great post Tim,
    I’ve never been homeless myself but i can imagine how it feels like not to have anywhere you can call your home. It can really be a very boring and painful situation.

    However, i agree with all you said. Most times, it all begins with our mindset. We usually build obstacles for ourselves through what we think and believe.

    Its obvious that those people already have the belief that there is nothing they can do for themselves and if they can change that mindset for even once, there will be a tremendous difference in their life.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 14, 2015 at 7:07 am

      Thanks for your comment Theo. Most of us have some sort of obstacle in our mind or limiting belief that stops us reaching our potential. The good news is that we can shift our mindset at anytime and change our neural pathways through small steps. These steps could be as simple as watching certain videos, reading books, going on sites like Addicted2Success and talking with the right people. These small habits can begin to shift the way you think as long as you are open to change and challenging everything you have ever believed. Glad you enjoyed the article Theo!

  5. Iggy

    Sep 10, 2015 at 3:49 am

    Hi Tim

    I have a 5 am group of friends. We wake up every day at 5 am to wake on our selves. We lack consistency as a group and some of these fundamentals provide answers to why this is the case.

    Please Google News24 Ex Beggar gives up second chance. A fascinating tale that is mind boggling and got me really thinking.

    Your article Tim, settled me and sort of understand the why in both cases. Keep writing and sharing.

    Thank you

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 10, 2015 at 10:06 am

      Iggy, I just read the news story that you told me to read. More and more I am reading stories like this of people who have so little yet they keep on giving without expecting anything in return. As you start to evolve as a person you begin to be able to see the positive in everything (or for some, the negative). Inspiring stories like this are everywhere, but the problem is that as a society, we are addicted to bad news. Thankfully, all of us on Addicted2Success are trying to change this and to encourage people to shift their mindset and do some personal development. The benefits are endless and i can see that you have already done a lot of development yourself. Thanks for your support and sharing this amazing story, I can;t thank you enough.

  6. Tayo Giwa

    Sep 9, 2015 at 11:52 pm

    Hi Tim,

    Great observation coupled with deep insight. I struggled for years to understand the foundation of people making such choices in life to be “Homeless”. I got to a point I decided to move to a very unfavorable vicinity just to understand and socialize with such individuals without them seeing any bias with my interaction. I must say it was a complacent journey at the end. After spending a great amount of time with one addict and hopeless young fellow, I was able to get her back on track utilizing different life changing techniques designed not to pin point errors but to showcase what life could be like in both good and bad while giving her the option to make a choice with no pressure. I can’t explain the satisfaction and level of accomplishment I felt after seeing this young lady working as a cook and following her dreams in life especially when she busted into tears one day and told me ” I can’t talk about my life history without mentioning your name and impact” I was inclined to drop tears and held her tight while we both shared tears of joy. Thank you for sharing your experience I hope to collaborate with someone like you some day to share ideas and experiences on how to help few that are willing to change their lives. I strongly believe 70% of homeless people will accept and harness change by providing them with the right answers to their questions with no pressure or differential treatment.

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 10, 2015 at 9:58 am

      I really admire you Tayo for conducting this experiment and being able to influence someone else’s life for the better. Your story really inspired me and I got chills down my spine as I read it. Thank you so much for sharing your story with everyone. Much Respect.

  7. Catherine M. J. Mary Evans

    Sep 9, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    Hi Tim,

    I’m proud of you and your kindness to help, I’m sure you didn’t mean everyone there had a medical issue. Although I read somewhere that 40% of office workers seek help so it could be kind of high there, too. 😉

    You are right about the economic viewpoint, money in the US represents something. So hands on help (as guided by those experienced) could be a mutually beneficial positive encounter!

    Congratulations on stepping out of the comfort zone! Are you bringing a coworker next time?

    Catherine

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 10, 2015 at 12:27 am

      Catherine, you are spot on, not everyone had a medical issue although the majority were sick from trying to numb the pain with smoking, alcohol and sugar treats. I will definitely be bringing a co-worker next time and have already encouraged others to do the same thing. Thanks for reading and keep doing what your doing.

  8. colin

    Sep 9, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    Hi very very much inspiring article. I love reading it. That’s precisely the type message we want to convey to other entrepreneurs to always have a positive mindset and to reprogram your mind for success… Awesome article. Thank you

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 10, 2015 at 12:23 am

      Thanks Colin. These lessons are not just for entrepreneurs, they are for everyone who wants to reach their potential and do more than just make themselves feel good. Good vibes are infectious and helping others is how every entrepreneur succeeds. Money comes and goes, but true fulfillment in your life is permanent. Thanks for reading mate.

  9. Lawrence Berry

    Sep 9, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    Very inspiring article! I love uplifting people and I can tell you that when you give your time to someone else and feel like you are making some type of difference in the world, no matter how small that difference is, you feel a sense of happiness and fulfillment in your life. I have been working with a nonprofit organization taking in abandoned and abused children, and I have been with a program to help mentor one of them. It is an awesome feeling. I agree with all the lessons you have given here. Also, reiterating here that dressing well and grooming makes you feel better about yourself, help me to see just how much that is true. I loved this article and your good spirit.

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 10, 2015 at 12:21 am

      Lawrence every time I read your comments you inspire me with your wisdom. I am not surprised that you are out there helping others and mentoring people. Keep doing what your doing and thanks for your ongoing support as always.

  10. Esther Mellar

    Sep 9, 2015 at 7:16 am

    Hi Tim,

    It sounds you had really nice life experience and received so much by giving. It is also fantastic that you can help others on this blog by sharing your experiences.
    For me the biggest difficulty is to accept that not everybody wants to be helped, just as you write.
    It is a powerful way living life when you can learn from everybody and every life situation.
    Thank you so much.

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 10, 2015 at 12:19 am

      Thanks Esther for your kind words. The fact that not everyone wants to be helped is one of the hardest things to come to grips with.

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Success Advice

The Ugly Truth About Success and Why You’re Not Achieving It

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As human beings, most of us have this tendency to overcomplicate things. Maybe you’ve had this experience of trying to find success, but for some reason, it keeps eluding you.  In our pursuit to win, hardly anyone tells us the ugly truth about why most of our dreams seem to evade us.

Today, I’m going to share with you why so many people are held back from fully realizing their dreams as well as how to overcome those obstacles.   

By creating a resolve to not make these three mistakes and falling prey to these common weaknesses – we can shift our success and assure that our goals are attained. Getting to the finish line isn’t as hard as you think – that is, if you don’t let yourself fall into these three traps.

1. You Don’t Follow A Plan Long Enough

In today’s society, we’re used to microwave results – we are accustomed to zapping our results. Push a button and voila your food is ready. Watch a movie and just like that in two hours the hero has experienced pain, sadness, and triumph. Sadly though, success doesn’t happen with a push of a button or in a two-hour window.

An example of where I fell prey to this ‘fast results mentality’ was when I wanted to create my ideal body. I hired trainers, tried systems, diets, and fads, yet none of it worked…or so I told myself. But the reality was this: I gave up too soon. It was never the plan, the diet, or the trainer. It wasn’t my lack of expertise or lack of potential. The only thing that stopped me was my inability to stick to a plan long enough.

In my conversations with Jack Canfield, Elliott Hulse, Robert Kiyosaki and numerous highly-successful individuals, I’ve learned they all made a plan and stuck to it for years. If you want to achieve greatness, you must make the plan and then work that plan every single day. Be consistent and be willing to let the results blossom with time.

“Plan your work and work your plan.” – Napolean Hill

2. We Don’t Hold Our Belief Long Enough

Einstein was once asked if he was a genius, to which he gave a simple response:  “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” I love his response.

To live out and embody is one that has taken me a long time to understand. You see, for a long time I’ve had this terrible habit, it’s a habit I don’t want to admit to anyone I ever had. For decades, I’ve been a quitter. Not just outwardly, but in faith, I’ve tended to quit.

If you’re struggling to achieve some great result, it’s likely you’ve also come across this stumbling block. Losing faith too soon can make us quit when in reality a few more steps could mean reaching Graceland.

After working hard at attaining my ideal body, I finally achieved it. The plan was simple when I stuck to it because I ate specific food and worked out. I repeated this process every day for several years. It wasn’t instantaneous or easy, but it was simple. The same goes for writing, creating wealth, and creating just about anything – create a plan and work that system day-after-day.

It’s not sexy, but it’s the truth. Big wins are a bunch of small actions taken on a regular basis. A home is built one nail, one board, one screw at a time. Create a plan and work that plan.

In the world of Hollywood and marketing, we often dress up success in a fancy costume, fancy perfume, and an elegant story. But at the end of the day, every dress is stitched the same with threads of hope, intense hours of sewing, and focused labor.

3. We Don’t Seek Roads That Have Been Paved For Us

One of my favorite coaches of all time is Anthony Robbins. One of my favorite quotes from him is this: “Success leaves traces.” In my desire to achieve greatness, I’ve made one fatal mistake time after time. That mistake was always seeking to get there on my own, in my own way, without the help of anyone.

If I had listened to Anthony, I would have looked for those traces and followed them to the finish line. For those of us who are strong, capable, and want to achieve greatness, the desire to ‘do it our way’ can be our greatest strength or hindrance.

In my case, it made my work a lot harder. When I first tried to sell high-end consulting, I thought I could just figure it out. I didn’t want to listen to anyone, hire anyone, or study. I had achieved so much in business I thought I could do it my way. In doing so, I delayed my success.

Once I admitted to myself and others that I didn’t know how to pave the road to success in this area I opened up new roads to success. I was introduced to people who had already paved a way and thus made my work much easier. Instead of whacking my way through the weeds and wild growth of my own ignorance, I was shown the highway to success, and instead of weed-whacking, it was like driving a Ferrari down I-90.

“Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.” – Tony Robbins

If you’re having a tough time achieving some results, I want you to have a finely tuned mind and heart which will take perseverance, follow-through, and faith. Lastly, it’s going to help you immensely if you can find a pre-paved path. If you want the highway to success, it does exist, it just takes looking for pre-paved paths and then working the plan to get there.

How are you making sure you become successful in life? Please share your thoughts below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Success Advice

Always Choose Love, Not Fear

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A few weeks ago, I met a woman that seriously changed my perspective. It was one of those chance encounters that I believe was meant to happen for a reason.

This woman had been involved in the same tragedy that I had been caught up in. As I shared my story, I quickly realized that hers was much more challenging. Her sister had lost her young baby to a man on drugs. Once she told me this, I was lost for words.

How does one even comprehend that situation? How do you not choose fear? How do you choose not to hate? These were the questions I pondered afterward.

Here’s why you should choose love:

 

1. Love conquers fear

As humans, the easiest decision we can make is to choose love. Love destroys our fear and helps us see a deeper meaning in everything that happens in life. Love is the ever-conquering force in our life that will happen if we let it.

When you’re surrounded by love, it’s impossible to be conquered by the crippling disease that is fear. Love restarts the heart like a defibrillator. Fear causes a heart attack that can kill you if you let it.

Always choose love over fear.

 

2. Everything happens for a reason

When this young girls sister lost her baby, she chose to believe that it was meant to happen for a reason. She chose to believe that the loss of life would mean something far greater than death itself. This opinion was the result of love being the only answer she could comprehend.

After the tragedy, her community got around her and showed her more love than she had ever known. The death of her nephew started her entire family on a different path.

“While they couldn’t control the circumstances of the young baby’s death, what they could control was love”

They allowed the love that everybody showed them to take them to an entirely different level. Some days were good and other days were a nightmare.

Through it all, they chose to believe in love. Love is nothing more than a belief. It can only enter your life when you believe it exists. You must be accepting and you have to give love at the same time. They are the rules of the love game.

 

3. Think love not hate

When this tragic event occurred, it would have been so easy to hate the man hooked on drugs who caused this young baby to die. This girl taught me that hate has no place in the healing process. As a matter of fact, hate has no place in our lives.

Feelings of hate can cause us to go into a downward spiral. This spiral involves us becoming very selfish and only focusing on our own needs. From this place, we can’t do the inner work required to come back from adversity. Train your brain to always assume love as the default reason for everything.

“Spending our precious energy and time on this planet hating others for things we can’t control, will block us from our dreams”

Hate will transport us to a land far far away that resembles hell. Hell is where your nightmares come true, your fears are born and the person you become is something you despise for eternity.

 

4. Love is the best feeling in the world

There are lots of types of love but no matter what; love is the best feeling in the world. When you choose love your life seems extraordinary. You feel like you are on cloud nine and nothing can stop you. Love helps you to connect with your fellow human beings on an entirely different level.

Your success in life compounds because love attracts everything you could ever want in your life. You can’t be pissed off at the world when love is your default choice.

Love is what brings us closer together. Love is what creates human life through the coming together of a man and women. Love is what lights us up and fuels our intuition. Seek out love and you’ll know what it feels like to be invincible. If the worst happens, and a young baby close to you is killed, you’ll have all the answers.

 

5. Choose love by giving love

The best gift you can give while you’re alive is love. It costs nothing, but it takes every part of you to give. If a tragedy like the one described above occurs, you have the opportunity to give love.

When you do so, and you go through a difficult time, love finds its way back into your life. Choosing love is the beginner level: giving love is the expert level.

There are so many ways to give love. You could:

– Hug someone
– Do something nice for someone
– Write something beautiful to someone
– Be there for someone who is going through a tough time
– Smile at someone who looks down

The list is endless. Love is endless. Your capacity to give love is endless. What comes into your life can also be endless when you choose love. Think about that for a minute.

 

6. Love can cause a deranged man or women to see the light

 

If you talked to a terrorist and told them that you loved them, what would happen? While I don’t know for sure, what I do know is that there is a possibility you could interrupt their pattern. Part of the reason they do what they do is that they haven’t felt love.

Because they lack love in their life, they have adopted a set of false beliefs in the hope that this will fill the void they feel, due to the lack of love they’ve experienced.

 

“Terrorists, criminals and people on drugs, all have one thing in common: they need to be shown what love is so they can conquer the fear that’s been controlling their life – the fear that’s driven them to madness and to harm people”

 

***Final thought***

It’s time to wake up and stand for love. It’s what we were born to do. It takes no effort when we try it. Love can save us from just about anything. Love is about understanding that we are all on the same mission and that ultimately we are all part of the same cause and the same existence.

When you understand the idea of love, your consciousness goes to another level. People may begin to think that you’ve transcended their reality and that you have loads of wisdom. What’s really happened is that you’ve discovered the most powerful force on Earth: LOVE.

RIP to the young mothers baby. Love will transcend everything and bring you happiness again. I hope you can find it in your hearts to one day forgive the mean that caused you so much pain. Show him the love that he’s been lacking so desperately.

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Success Advice

5 Unusual Productivity Tips From Famous Procrastinators

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procrastination

Do you often procrastinate? Are you doing it now by reading this article? If yes – awesome, continue reading.

Most of us consider procrastination the biggest troublemaker and productivity killer. You see it as a vice, consequently, you try to overcome its effects, kill the procrastination beast and cheat with all the possible means.

But what if it’s not quite so? What if procrastination can virtually lead to productivity? Have you ever thought about this aspect? Many outstanding productive people, in fact, were chronic procrastinators. How did they manage to achieve success? What tips did successful people use to beat procrastination?

Here are five unusual tips from hard-core procrastinators that will help you boost your productivity level:

1. Victor Hugo: Lock away your clothes

The author of Les Misérables, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and many more tremendously famous novels was beating procrastination with the most extraordinary and radical means. One episode from his life is the most illustrative here.

Hugo started writing The Hunchback of Notre Dame quite close to the deadline – in the fall of 1830. While the deadline was in February 1831. His preparation was thorough, but he did not feel like writing. Thus, he did something that didn’t leave a choice – he got naked and locked away his clothes.

The aim of all that was to avoid temptations of going outside. Hugo had nothing to wear but a shawl. And for many months, this rag (as his wife claimed) was his daily uniform. Did it work? Absolutely. He finished the book weeks before the actual deadline.

2. Gerhard Richter: Create a crisis

Gerhard Richter, world known German artist and procrastinator, got millions with his paintings. For example, Abstrakis Bild was sold for $20,802,500 at Sotheby’s.  How did he manage to procrastinate and, at the same time, complete paintings of photos, abstracts, “blur” photo paintings, and many more works of art?

It’s striking that he actually wastes time on garden and not on his paintings. In one of the interviews, Richter described his daily routines:  “I could spend my life arranging things. Weeks go by, and I don’t paint until finally I can’t stand it any longer. I get fed up. I almost don’t want to talk about it, because I don’t want to become self-conscious about it, but perhaps I create these little crises as a kind of a secret strategy to push myself.

It is a danger to wait around for an idea to occur to you. You have to find the idea.” Thus, his secret strategy to become more productive is a simple crisis.

“Chance determines our lives in important ways.” – Gerhard Richter

3. Bill Clinton: Take criticism seriously, not personally

The 42nd president of the United States, Bill Clinton, was described as a “chronic procrastinator” by Time magazine. Could you believe that a two-time Grammy winner may be addicted to postponing? Clinton had weeks or sometimes months to make comments on the drafts of his speeches, but, eventfully, it all ended with cut-and-paste in the end.

Even his Vice President Al Gore called Clinton “punctually challenged”. However, despite all the criticism, he managed to never give up. The key secret to productivity is the way you perceive criticism, according to Bill Clinton. If you take it too personally, you won’t be able to resist the feeling of deficiency that finally leads to the inferiority complex. Therefore, keep your cool when you are criticized. Then, you have more chances to stay productive.

4. Franz Kafka: Try to wake up the night productivity

The Czech writer worked as an insurance clerk and it was the time to existential thinking. The novelist though didn’t put his ideas into action. After Kafka had been promoted, he had more time and procrastination infected him for good.

His routine day after work, as he mentioned it on one of his letters, looked like this: “Lunch till 3:30 … sleep until 7:30 … ten minutes of exercises, naked at the open window … an hour’s walk … then dinner with my family.” There is nothing about writing though. When did he actually write? Beginning from approximately 11 p.m. and continuing up to 6 a.m. Not the perfect system, for sure, but that’s was the most productive time for Kafka. It appears that he spent most of the daytime napping.

“Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell ’em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.” – Theodore Roosevelt

5. Leonardo Da Vinci: Start several things at a time and make notes

An artist, mathematician, sculptor, writer, inventor, military engineer, Leonardo Da Vinci, is an outstanding figure in history. But despite the success he achieved, he was never focused on one thing at a time.

During his lifetime, he managed to complete only 20 paintings. The Virgin of the Rocks took him 13 years to put the final changes.  While his most illustrious work The Mona Lisa – as many as 16 years. The reason for that was his multi-tasking capacity. He was an incredibly broad-minded and all-round personality with so many genius plans. To improve a willpower, he had a rule book where he had more than 7,000 pages of notes.

His procrastination wasn’t already a secret for his benefactors. And some of them threatened him with bankruptcy in order to have his work done at last.

What if procrastination can be a way to extreme productivity and perfectionism? And still, you have structured procrastination as an option and a solution.

Would you use any of these tips to boost productivity flows? Comment below!
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Success Advice

The Lie That Is My Overnight Success

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I started writing unprofessionally three years ago. Some would say my whole career is unprofessional and I’d agree. Imperfection is damn sexy though.

I began writing only because my mentor Joel Brown said I should and I stupidly said yes without knowing why. Now, of course, I’m crystal clear about why I write: it’s to inspire. I remember uploading articles to Addicted2Success.com and seeing no one like them. I remember thinking I was a failure.

In the early days, I was writing articles about entrepreneurs I had interviewed and I wasn’t that passionate about it. Every article felt like really hard work and it required an incredible amount of willpower. Everyone at the time was doing entrepreneur interviews and there was nothing special.

Then one day, I wrote an article for the fun of it that had nothing to do with anything. It was essentially a brain fart that I concocted after dinner, late one night. It took less than one hour to write and it was written with passion. The words came out of me without even trying.

Since that day, the words have continued to pour out of me in the same way. I get into a state of flow and then it happens. Words appear, people get inspired and we all have one big party that has been named “life.” From the day I wrote that article, thousands of people shared it and they still do today.

 

I didn’t stop

After my big moment on the internet going viral, everything stopped. The tumbleweed that drifted through the desert with an eerie silence continued. Everything calmed down and people stopped caring again.

I didn’t stop though because I found my writing therapeutical.

“My blog posts became like my own personal journey and it was a way for me to escape from the Alcatraz that was my head. This prison that lived inside my head kept telling me that no one cared and I’d never be successful.”

I decided to keep finding ways to break out of Alcatraz and check in to the Ritz Hotel that was me becoming a conscious, passionate, crazy online leader.

 

I stopped giving a damn

Over the next eighteen months, I kept writing every moment I got. No one paid attention but I did. I started paying attention to the shift that was happening inside of me. The leader that had always been stuck inside of me started to unleash.

The things that used to hold me back disappeared. I didn’t give two hoots about what anyone thought and I only cared about inspiring those who wanted to be inspired. I worked my butt off and started waking up at 4 am to post new blog articles. People couldn’t understand how I had the time to write working a full-time job.

The part they didn’t get was that because the words flowed out of me so easily, it didn’t take that long at all to write something of value. People watched me posting articles and thought I was crazy. They thought what I was doing was career suicide in the big bad world of corporate politics.

I never liked politics anyway, so I stuck my middle finger up at the way things were traditionally done. I decided to be a rebel writer and live my dream. I continued to make no money and people kept on questioning what I was doing.

 

I believed

A few people believed, but most didn’t. What stuck out like tomato sauce on a freshly dry cleaned white shirt was that I believed and that’s all that mattered. I saw something that no one else could see: my real potential versus my current success.

I had the motivation to continue on when no one cared because I believed I could change the world. I saw myself as someone who had the potential to serve millions of people online. I kept telling myself never to give up and I also spread the same message throughout everything I wrote.

“I thought my writing was going to save everybody else, but what it really did is save myself”

My writing saved me from living a life without meaning and it helped me discover who I really was. I saw the pattern between every goal I’d ever had: to inspire and evoke emotion from strangers.

This clarity fuelled me and I became relentless. I reached out to every blogger, leader and person that had done cool stuff that inspired me. Originally I thought they’d all ignore me: none of them did. See when you have energy and passion oozing out of you, people can’t say no. An unwavering belief in what you’re doing is all that matters.

 

The tipping point happened

I began to see a change when each day I started to get a message from a reader/fan. It started as one message per day, then two, then three. Now I get more messages of support every day than I have time to read. Success often doesn’t become a reality in a single moment.

Success is something that is hard to measure in the early days until one giant moment happens that everyone sees. The part no one sees is the many smaller moments that happened beforehand. The small successes that may not have looked like a textbook example of “success.”

 

That big day finally came

So the big day happened when an article I wrote went viral. This was the third time it had happened, although this time the success became permanent. All those years, when I thought no one was reading, people were. What had occurred was that they were too scared to show they were reading because my success was still largely unproven.

It was only after the big success moment that people felt it was okay to come out of the metaphorical closet and say they were inspired by what I was doing. All those nights spent locked away in my office being anti-social was worth it. All those cups of green tea, takeaway meals, indoor plants, and weird emails to myself with possible headlines for articles had meant something.

More publications reached out to me and pretty soon I wasn’t just writing for Addicted2Success; I was writing for the biggest sites on the entire internet. The ones where the editors get pitched one hundred times a day by people who want to do nothing more than self-promote and build a BS “personal brand.”

Before I knew it, I was getting offered book deals, business opportunities, podcast interviews and public speaking gigs. I took some but ignored most. I remembered what was important and the fact that unwavering focus had got me to where I was.

I knew I was ready for some opportunities and not for others like public speaking. The journey had begun, but I was far from the summit of the mountain of my dreams.

 

Nothing changed

Strangely, though, it was all one ginormous anti-climax moment. Nothing had changed. Even today nothing has changed. I still want to inspire people and I still like sharing stories. I still want to live with passion and I still want to create a meaning for my life that outlives me.

What has changed is that people have seen my success as something that’s happened recently – what total BS that is. It’s taken my entire existence to discover the meaning of my life, find a medium to share it on and go after it with relentless optimism.

 

What you didn’t see with my success

You didn’t see the person that existed before all of this. You didn’t see the selfish, rude, arrogant, brat who lived for material possessions and felt like he was entitled to success because he grew up in Australia, the land of the free. I can say those horrible things because I’m talking about myself. Thankfully that’s the opposite of who I am now.

You didn’t see the transformation that occurred after that one big rock bottom moment. When everything made no sense and I had to look inside of myself to crawl out of that black hole that had become my existence. You didn’t see me step out of the darkness and into the light.

All you saw was me in the light and assumed I had always been there shining away brightly, and living the good life that is passion and purpose. How wrong that lie is. How wrong the whole concept of overnight success is.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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