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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 millions of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around personal development and entrepreneurship. You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net

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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

Are You Really a Leader? 3 Questions That Will Help You Find the Answer

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Being a leader is a lot of responsibility. People look to you to make decisions, direct them, provide support, and get results. A true leader is an amazing presence: a humble yet confident person who inspires those around them.

Unfortunately, a lot of people think they’re leaders, but really aren’t. In fact, according to talent scientist Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, 80% of people believe they are better-than-average leaders, which is objectively impossible. I see people claiming to be leaders all the time, but they’re all talk and no substance.

What is Leadership?

A lot of the people I talk to seem to think that you become a leader just by having a job managing people. That’s simply not true. Leadership is a balancing act that would make a master juggler impressed.

True leadership involves making sure that there is a happy balance between employees’ needs and the company’s needs. If only the employees’ needs are prioritized, the company won’t be profitable. Likewise, if only the company’s needs are considered, employees will leave.

True leaders have the self-awareness and strategic skills to understand this delicate balance and understand their role in creating those key compromises.

“The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.” – Ken Blanchard

Can You Be a True Leader?

Although there are a number of different leadership styles and theories out there, leadership boils down to a few essentials. Leaders need the emotional intelligence to navigate difficult and uncomfortable situations while being able to inspire others to take action. There’s a big difference between saying you’re a leader and acting like one.

If you want to increase your self-awareness and find out if you’re a leader others can rely on, start by asking yourself these three questions:

1. Do you want to be a leader?

It may seem unfair, but in my experience, the people who make the best leaders don’t necessarily want to be. You only want what you don’t have, and same rings true here. If you want to be a leader then you probably aren’t focusing on the right aspects of leadership.

True leaders are natural trail-blazers, but they don’t set out to lead anyone. People just happen to take note of their talents and confidence and look to the person for advice and guidance.

2. Do you have an original vision, or are you just power-hungry?

Why do you want to be a leader? Is it so you have the final say, or do you have actual goals you want to accomplish with a team? True leaders don’t feel threatened by others—they’re too busy getting stuff done. Leaders typically don’t need to test or confirm their power.

If you think good leaders give directions and just want others to listen, you’ve got it wrong. The best leaders often don’t need to speak a whole lot—they listen and observe, they think deeply, and when they do speak, it’s meaningful.

A true leader acts and others follow those actions because they trust and respect the leader. It isn’t about a power battle or an ego trip. Leaders have a true vision.  

3. Are you willing to do the dirty work?

You don’t get to be a leader if all you do is sit around, give orders, and let other people do the dirty work. Real leaders are humble, and no work is “beneath” them.

They want to know what’s going on at the ground level, and they want to help their people when they’re struggling. If you’re not willing to talk to a customer or back your employee up in a bad situation, you don’t get to call yourself a leader.

“Leadership is a choice, not a position.” – Stephen Covey

Becoming a Self-Aware Leader

How did you do? Maybe you’re not cut out to be a leader. Maybe you are. Maybe you need to work on a few things first.

Real talk: being a good leader isn’t easy. However, becoming a true leader benefits everyone around you and can be extremely fulfilling. If you’re more determined than ever to become the best, most self-aware leader you can be, that’s great news: we need more leaders out there.

What are the characteristics of a great leader in your opinion? Share with us below!

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Success Advice

Capitalize on the 80% of Business That You Are Missing Out on Right Now With This Method

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referral marketing
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Most of us are aware of Pareto’s Principle, the 80/20 rule. This principle states that 20% of the input gives us 80% of the output. The top 20% of your salespeople account for 80% of your business. The top 20% skills you have, account for 80% of your success. The top 20% of our customers will give us 80% of business. When we use this principle it allows us to narrow in and focus on the most important clients who are in our target market.

You’ll find that most people tell you to focus on your top 20%. Here’s the big question: What do you do with the other 80% of people who you do not work with?

Most of us let this 80% of potential business fall to the wayside because they are not our target market and we have no system set up to still do some form of business with them. However, this is not the case for Tim Johnson.

Just last year, he generated $11 million dollars from REFERRALS! He is the master of building a referral based business. By sending clients that he cannot work with to his friends and referral partners, he is able to receive commission for the introduction and new business.

Imagine having the potential to make money from EVERY business conversation! Tim speaks to about 3,000 people per year, and if he cannot help them personally, he knows someone in his Global Renegade network who can.

The thing is, we can all do this if we are intentional about it. As Tim puts it, “We need to date our referral partners. We put so much time and effort into people that do nothing for our business, yet we do not build strong relationships and invest time into our referral partners.”

Tim is a speaker, author, real estate developer, and business coach who is well known around the world. He starts each business conversation by saying, “Is it okay with you that if at anytime during this conversation I realize that I am not the right fit for you, I introduce you to someone in my network who is?”

Each time he is met with a resounding YES! Who would say no to this offer? This strong referral network has built Tim a net worth of over $4 million dollars. Tim uses a framework called SOLD and if you use this framework you can build a strong referral network as well.

Below, is the exact SOLD framework Tim uses:

Strategy

According to Tim, everything is mathematical. He approaches each conversation looking to learn and serve. When you approach conversations in this way, you focus on relationship building instead of feeling like you have an agenda to do business.

Ask great questions here and give the person you’re speaking with an opportunity to share their situation and what they are going through. Tim always asks, “What do you need and how can I serve you?” This is a powerful question that most people neglect and it’s the reason they are not experiencing as much sales success as Tim.

“Here is a powerful yet simple rule. Always give people more than they expect to get.” – Nelson Boswell

Objections = Opportunities

As the old wise quote states, “We were given two ears and one mouth for a reason.” This means we need to speak less and listen more.

Too often, people pitch and become salesy instead of being human and having a conversation where they are listening to the person they are sitting with. When you are listening, you give yourself the opportunity to learn their problems, obstacles, and needs in order to identify new opportunities.

Leverage referral partners

As you are gathering information you will identify if you are able to provide the solution that your prospect needs. If you cannot, it is time to leverage your referral partners and make the introduction.

By starting out the conversation saying, “Is it okay with you that if at anytime during our conversation I realize that I am not the right fit that I introduce you to someone who is?” you have already pre-framed yourself appropriately to leverage your referral network if you cannot provide a solution that is needed.

Your prospect will be very appreciative for your honesty and will trust your judgement. You get a lot of brownie points when you have the integrity to say that you are not the right fit, but let me introduce you to someone who is.

“People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message. A trusted referral is the Holy Grail of advertising.” – Mark Zuckerberg

Duplicate

Rinse and repeat this process. Having conversations in this way will enable you to work with the top 20% of people you speak with, and still provide value to the other 80%. In this way, every conversation opens up the opportunity for new business.

SOLD is business growth through asking great questions, active listening, and leveraging referral partners. Start to capitalize on the 80% of business that you are missing out on by referring these people to other service providers in your network.

If you think about providing value in service of others first, then you can leverage the SOLD framework for increased revenue in your business by simply being a connector and receiving commissions of 10%-25%.

Do you have referral partners in your business? Would love to hear your experience in the comment section below!

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Success Advice

A 5 Step Morning Routine That Leads to Explosive Growth and Success

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Have you ever noticed that how your day starts can dictate how the rest of your day goes? If you start your day on a positive and productive note, you feel a sense of excitement, pride, and accomplishment. And then those feelings power you through the rest of your day. You knock things off your to do list and find yourself in a great mood. Yet, when you wake up later than you were planning on, it can throw your entire day off. So make a decision to take control of your mornings and come up with a routine that will set you up for success.

When trying to construct a morning routine that fits your life, one thing to take into consideration is how important the night before is. Most people with winning morning routines, also take nighttime rituals into consideration. Before going to bed each night, plan your next day out in a journal, so you know exactly what you’re getting into. Nothing is worse than going into a day without a plan, and that’s a great way to lose control of the day.

Here’s a list of some of the most important things you can start each morning with to get off to a good start:

Step 1: Hydration: The elixir of life

One of the most important things you can do each morning is start your day off by drinking at least one glass of water. After 6-8 hours without any water, it’s essential to hydrate your body when you wake up and get it ready for the day. Your body is composed of mostly water and a lot of times, the importance of water is overlooked. Dehydration can lead to fatigue and headaches, so starting the day with water can help prevent dehydration. Because of that, staying hydrated means more energy and a lot of times, clearer thinking. There are a lot of health benefits to staying hydrated.

“Your day is pretty much formed by how you spend your first hour. Check your thoughts, attitude and heart.”

Step 2: Priming: The key to self transformation

Anthony (Tony) Robbins, one of the biggest motivational speakers, always talks about the importance of starting your day with priming. His priming exercise combines two important elements; gratitude and visualization. The priming exercise is about 15 minutes and the purpose is to get you into a good mental and physical state before you start your day. First, Tony asks you to think about 3 things that you are grateful for, and to step into those memories like you are there.

Next, he asks you to think of three things that you want to accomplish (short or long term). The purpose of these exercises is simple; start your day with gratitude and visualizing yourself accomplishing what you want to accomplish, whether it’s a short term goal or a long term goal.

If you don’t want to do that exact exercise, you can also do a combination of meditation and visualization. There are a lot of guided audios that you can use to help you get the most out of meditation and visualization.

Step 3: Exercise/Movement – Jumpstart your brain and your body

Exercise has massive benefits, both physical and mental. Starting your day with even 30 minutes of movement can give you increased energy and endorphins. It’s also a great way to start your day on a positive note. Think of how amazing you feel after you finish a good workout.

Step 4: Journaling – Create your future and write your goals into existence

Everyone has their own way of journaling; you need to find what works best for you. Some things you can do while journaling are making a list of 3-5 things you are grateful for, writing your goals down (daily or long term goals), or setting your intention for the day. Journaling can make you more productive as well as remind you what your goals/ targets are so that you stay focused on what you need to get done.

“Your morning routine generates a 10x return for good or for bad. Make it good.” – Todd Stocker

Step 5: Attack the day- conquer your biggest task that you have to do first thing

A lot of people tend to procrastinate on their most important task of the day. They’ll find any excuse to push it off. “Later” becomes “tomorrow.” And then somehow, the end of the week rolls around and the task still isn’t complete. However, if you prioritize your most important task and get it accomplished first thing in the morning, it gives you a sense of discipline and accomplishment.

Starting your morning with a routine can help transform your day. It can help you build new habits but even if you start with 2 or 3 of these, you will begin to see a big difference in how your days go. If you already have a morning routine but you are missing some of these steps, test them out and see what kind of an impact they have on your days.

What is your morning routine like? Comment below!

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Success Advice

Here’s Why Goals Are for Losers

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If you enter the word “goals” into your browser, more than 1.6 BILLION search results pop up. Safe to say, there’s no shortage of goal setting advice as a stepping-stone on your path to success. Yet, there’s a contrarian willing to risk criticism, challenge the status quo, and debunk goals at face value.

In his book “How To Fail At Almost Everything And Still Win Big,” Scott Adams is an author, cartoonist and Periscope streamer, who sees goals differently than most everyone else. Adams observes that if you study people who succeed, you’ll see most of them follow systems, not goals.

Goals vs. Systems

Adams defines goals as “reach it and be done objectives.” Whereas systems, is what you do on a regular basis with an expectation that you’ll build on and improve your chances of success.

In Adams book, he says he didn’t have a goal to write it by a specific date. He had a “process” that included blogging daily (for practice) believing this consistency would lead him down a path to where he wanted to be.

Other examples:

  • dieting to lose 10 lbs. is a goal. Learning to eat right, and doing so on a regular basis, is a system.
  • making a million dollars is a goal. Being a serial entrepreneur, is system.
  • running a marathon in under 3 hours is a goal. Exercising daily, is a system (forming a habit).

Could goals create tunnel vision? The problem with goals, says Adams, is that they’re laser-focused and could block awareness of other opportunities around you. If you have your head down pursuing a goal, you may miss better opportunities that could potentially advance you, perhaps even faster.

In contrast, says Adams, systems are flexible, leaving you wide open for new and better ways of doing things. “A system, performed daily, is moving you from a place with low odds to a place with better odds.”

Adams concedes, goals aren’t completely off the table. Goals are useful in “simple” situations that are “narrow, simplistic and have predictable pursuits.” They’re ok for short tasks with a clear purpose.

Two examples of different goals would be an “ok goal,” which would be entering a contest, while a “great goal” is to win. “It’s simple, it’s near term, it’s manageable.” Nonetheless, for success, goals are terrible for long-term endeavors like personal health and career success goals.

So are goals for losers? Adams says goals are psychological. If you haven’t reached your goal, you could be in a perpetual state of frustration and disappointment, possibly feeling like a failure.

Goals proceed with blinders on, expecting certain results at the end of weeks, months or years. Then once you’ve achieved that goal, what are you prepared for? Whereas systems are skill-based that add up, and can serve you on future projects.

“Never settle for average.” – Steve Jobs

Talent Stacking for Success

Talent stacking is the process of increasing your personal value by “layering together several mediocre skills” until you have something unique.

Although Adams says most of his undertakings can be considered failures from the standpoint of goals, they’re actually successes from the standpoint of systems. Gaining transferable skills has allowed him to achieve success in the long run.

In a Wall Street Journal interview, Adams shares how he stacked his talents of “mediocre artist, an ok writer, somewhat humorous, and some business knowledge” to create the wildly successful comic strip Dilbert (seen online in 2,000 newspapers, 65 countries in 25 languages) and substantial economic value.

Previously we outlined the four principles of success. Here, we add talent stacking, allowing you to capitalize on the array of opportunities that come your way. Adams recommends choosing to acquire ‘talents’ that build assets you can apply to future projects.

The assets you build will lead you down the path of eventual success over time. In today’s fast-paced world, Adams feels we’d all benefit from adding t­he following skills to your main talent:

  • public speaking
  • persuasion (to understand psychology)
  • some business sense
  • some technology sense

Adams recommends to not worry about the end result. Focus on daily execution and over time, there will be a payday.

Passion will follow

Ask a billionaire what’s the most important element to success and he’ll likely say “passion.” Adams disagrees. He says someone’s passion may not be realistic. In addition, he feels you can develop passion with success.

Adams’ observation is that people who have a good business plan probably do well. As things start working, and you start making money, suddenly passion appears!

The crossroads of luck

Adams believes the flexibility of systems increases your odds of luck finding you. By adding to your talent stack, more opportunities cross your path, with success following close behind.

There are many kids today with better programming skills than Bill Gates had. Yet, Gates was born in a time in history where he had access to computers when other people didn’t, and that luck has made him billions and billions of dollars. Adams says go where the luck is, tune yourself into the vibration of luck and increase the chances you’ll get it.

“Success is luck multiplied by the skills you obtain” – Scott Adams

So there you have it, systems are better if you have a complicated situation and a long time frame. Goals are fine if you have a simple situation and a short time frame.

The thread that ties this highly recommended book together is that if you develop good systems and follow them daily, then your efforts eventually overlap with luck.

What do you think about goals now? Looking forward to hearing from you in the comments area below.

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Life

How You Can Effectively Achieve Your Goals by Using the Puzzle Analogy

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Image Credit: Twenty20.com

I was building a 500 piece puzzle the other day with many tiny little pieces. When I opened the box, I was completely overwhelmed. There were so many pieces and many of them were very similar in color. I took a breath and thought “just do one piece at a time”. I knew that I had to come up with a plan and organize the pieces into groups before I got started. This helped me to focus and take away some of the overwhelming feelings that were coming up. I came up with a plan and executed that plan. (more…)

Meghan Olsgard is the creator and writer of www.infinitesoulblueprint.com where she writes articles about self-empowerment and creating a fulfilling life. She shares her personal experiences and the obstacles she has overcame to help and inspire others to do the same. You can get more information at her website or follow her on 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

Are You Really a Leader? 3 Questions That Will Help You Find the Answer

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Being a leader is a lot of responsibility. People look to you to make decisions, direct them, provide support, and get results. A true leader is an amazing presence: a humble yet confident person who inspires those around them.

Unfortunately, a lot of people think they’re leaders, but really aren’t. In fact, according to talent scientist Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, 80% of people believe they are better-than-average leaders, which is objectively impossible. I see people claiming to be leaders all the time, but they’re all talk and no substance.

What is Leadership?

A lot of the people I talk to seem to think that you become a leader just by having a job managing people. That’s simply not true. Leadership is a balancing act that would make a master juggler impressed.

True leadership involves making sure that there is a happy balance between employees’ needs and the company’s needs. If only the employees’ needs are prioritized, the company won’t be profitable. Likewise, if only the company’s needs are considered, employees will leave.

True leaders have the self-awareness and strategic skills to understand this delicate balance and understand their role in creating those key compromises.

“The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.” – Ken Blanchard

Can You Be a True Leader?

Although there are a number of different leadership styles and theories out there, leadership boils down to a few essentials. Leaders need the emotional intelligence to navigate difficult and uncomfortable situations while being able to inspire others to take action. There’s a big difference between saying you’re a leader and acting like one.

If you want to increase your self-awareness and find out if you’re a leader others can rely on, start by asking yourself these three questions:

1. Do you want to be a leader?

It may seem unfair, but in my experience, the people who make the best leaders don’t necessarily want to be. You only want what you don’t have, and same rings true here. If you want to be a leader then you probably aren’t focusing on the right aspects of leadership.

True leaders are natural trail-blazers, but they don’t set out to lead anyone. People just happen to take note of their talents and confidence and look to the person for advice and guidance.

2. Do you have an original vision, or are you just power-hungry?

Why do you want to be a leader? Is it so you have the final say, or do you have actual goals you want to accomplish with a team? True leaders don’t feel threatened by others—they’re too busy getting stuff done. Leaders typically don’t need to test or confirm their power.

If you think good leaders give directions and just want others to listen, you’ve got it wrong. The best leaders often don’t need to speak a whole lot—they listen and observe, they think deeply, and when they do speak, it’s meaningful.

A true leader acts and others follow those actions because they trust and respect the leader. It isn’t about a power battle or an ego trip. Leaders have a true vision.  

3. Are you willing to do the dirty work?

You don’t get to be a leader if all you do is sit around, give orders, and let other people do the dirty work. Real leaders are humble, and no work is “beneath” them.

They want to know what’s going on at the ground level, and they want to help their people when they’re struggling. If you’re not willing to talk to a customer or back your employee up in a bad situation, you don’t get to call yourself a leader.

“Leadership is a choice, not a position.” – Stephen Covey

Becoming a Self-Aware Leader

How did you do? Maybe you’re not cut out to be a leader. Maybe you are. Maybe you need to work on a few things first.

Real talk: being a good leader isn’t easy. However, becoming a true leader benefits everyone around you and can be extremely fulfilling. If you’re more determined than ever to become the best, most self-aware leader you can be, that’s great news: we need more leaders out there.

What are the characteristics of a great leader in your opinion? Share with us below!

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Success Advice

Capitalize on the 80% of Business That You Are Missing Out on Right Now With This Method

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Most of us are aware of Pareto’s Principle, the 80/20 rule. This principle states that 20% of the input gives us 80% of the output. The top 20% of your salespeople account for 80% of your business. The top 20% skills you have, account for 80% of your success. The top 20% of our customers will give us 80% of business. When we use this principle it allows us to narrow in and focus on the most important clients who are in our target market.

You’ll find that most people tell you to focus on your top 20%. Here’s the big question: What do you do with the other 80% of people who you do not work with?

Most of us let this 80% of potential business fall to the wayside because they are not our target market and we have no system set up to still do some form of business with them. However, this is not the case for Tim Johnson.

Just last year, he generated $11 million dollars from REFERRALS! He is the master of building a referral based business. By sending clients that he cannot work with to his friends and referral partners, he is able to receive commission for the introduction and new business.

Imagine having the potential to make money from EVERY business conversation! Tim speaks to about 3,000 people per year, and if he cannot help them personally, he knows someone in his Global Renegade network who can.

The thing is, we can all do this if we are intentional about it. As Tim puts it, “We need to date our referral partners. We put so much time and effort into people that do nothing for our business, yet we do not build strong relationships and invest time into our referral partners.”

Tim is a speaker, author, real estate developer, and business coach who is well known around the world. He starts each business conversation by saying, “Is it okay with you that if at anytime during this conversation I realize that I am not the right fit for you, I introduce you to someone in my network who is?”

Each time he is met with a resounding YES! Who would say no to this offer? This strong referral network has built Tim a net worth of over $4 million dollars. Tim uses a framework called SOLD and if you use this framework you can build a strong referral network as well.

Below, is the exact SOLD framework Tim uses:

Strategy

According to Tim, everything is mathematical. He approaches each conversation looking to learn and serve. When you approach conversations in this way, you focus on relationship building instead of feeling like you have an agenda to do business.

Ask great questions here and give the person you’re speaking with an opportunity to share their situation and what they are going through. Tim always asks, “What do you need and how can I serve you?” This is a powerful question that most people neglect and it’s the reason they are not experiencing as much sales success as Tim.

“Here is a powerful yet simple rule. Always give people more than they expect to get.” – Nelson Boswell

Objections = Opportunities

As the old wise quote states, “We were given two ears and one mouth for a reason.” This means we need to speak less and listen more.

Too often, people pitch and become salesy instead of being human and having a conversation where they are listening to the person they are sitting with. When you are listening, you give yourself the opportunity to learn their problems, obstacles, and needs in order to identify new opportunities.

Leverage referral partners

As you are gathering information you will identify if you are able to provide the solution that your prospect needs. If you cannot, it is time to leverage your referral partners and make the introduction.

By starting out the conversation saying, “Is it okay with you that if at anytime during our conversation I realize that I am not the right fit that I introduce you to someone who is?” you have already pre-framed yourself appropriately to leverage your referral network if you cannot provide a solution that is needed.

Your prospect will be very appreciative for your honesty and will trust your judgement. You get a lot of brownie points when you have the integrity to say that you are not the right fit, but let me introduce you to someone who is.

“People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message. A trusted referral is the Holy Grail of advertising.” – Mark Zuckerberg

Duplicate

Rinse and repeat this process. Having conversations in this way will enable you to work with the top 20% of people you speak with, and still provide value to the other 80%. In this way, every conversation opens up the opportunity for new business.

SOLD is business growth through asking great questions, active listening, and leveraging referral partners. Start to capitalize on the 80% of business that you are missing out on by referring these people to other service providers in your network.

If you think about providing value in service of others first, then you can leverage the SOLD framework for increased revenue in your business by simply being a connector and receiving commissions of 10%-25%.

Do you have referral partners in your business? Would love to hear your experience in the comment section below!

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Success Advice

A 5 Step Morning Routine That Leads to Explosive Growth and Success

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Have you ever noticed that how your day starts can dictate how the rest of your day goes? If you start your day on a positive and productive note, you feel a sense of excitement, pride, and accomplishment. And then those feelings power you through the rest of your day. You knock things off your to do list and find yourself in a great mood. Yet, when you wake up later than you were planning on, it can throw your entire day off. So make a decision to take control of your mornings and come up with a routine that will set you up for success.

When trying to construct a morning routine that fits your life, one thing to take into consideration is how important the night before is. Most people with winning morning routines, also take nighttime rituals into consideration. Before going to bed each night, plan your next day out in a journal, so you know exactly what you’re getting into. Nothing is worse than going into a day without a plan, and that’s a great way to lose control of the day.

Here’s a list of some of the most important things you can start each morning with to get off to a good start:

Step 1: Hydration: The elixir of life

One of the most important things you can do each morning is start your day off by drinking at least one glass of water. After 6-8 hours without any water, it’s essential to hydrate your body when you wake up and get it ready for the day. Your body is composed of mostly water and a lot of times, the importance of water is overlooked. Dehydration can lead to fatigue and headaches, so starting the day with water can help prevent dehydration. Because of that, staying hydrated means more energy and a lot of times, clearer thinking. There are a lot of health benefits to staying hydrated.

“Your day is pretty much formed by how you spend your first hour. Check your thoughts, attitude and heart.”

Step 2: Priming: The key to self transformation

Anthony (Tony) Robbins, one of the biggest motivational speakers, always talks about the importance of starting your day with priming. His priming exercise combines two important elements; gratitude and visualization. The priming exercise is about 15 minutes and the purpose is to get you into a good mental and physical state before you start your day. First, Tony asks you to think about 3 things that you are grateful for, and to step into those memories like you are there.

Next, he asks you to think of three things that you want to accomplish (short or long term). The purpose of these exercises is simple; start your day with gratitude and visualizing yourself accomplishing what you want to accomplish, whether it’s a short term goal or a long term goal.

If you don’t want to do that exact exercise, you can also do a combination of meditation and visualization. There are a lot of guided audios that you can use to help you get the most out of meditation and visualization.

Step 3: Exercise/Movement – Jumpstart your brain and your body

Exercise has massive benefits, both physical and mental. Starting your day with even 30 minutes of movement can give you increased energy and endorphins. It’s also a great way to start your day on a positive note. Think of how amazing you feel after you finish a good workout.

Step 4: Journaling – Create your future and write your goals into existence

Everyone has their own way of journaling; you need to find what works best for you. Some things you can do while journaling are making a list of 3-5 things you are grateful for, writing your goals down (daily or long term goals), or setting your intention for the day. Journaling can make you more productive as well as remind you what your goals/ targets are so that you stay focused on what you need to get done.

“Your morning routine generates a 10x return for good or for bad. Make it good.” – Todd Stocker

Step 5: Attack the day- conquer your biggest task that you have to do first thing

A lot of people tend to procrastinate on their most important task of the day. They’ll find any excuse to push it off. “Later” becomes “tomorrow.” And then somehow, the end of the week rolls around and the task still isn’t complete. However, if you prioritize your most important task and get it accomplished first thing in the morning, it gives you a sense of discipline and accomplishment.

Starting your morning with a routine can help transform your day. It can help you build new habits but even if you start with 2 or 3 of these, you will begin to see a big difference in how your days go. If you already have a morning routine but you are missing some of these steps, test them out and see what kind of an impact they have on your days.

What is your morning routine like? Comment below!

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Success Advice

Here’s Why Goals Are for Losers

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If you enter the word “goals” into your browser, more than 1.6 BILLION search results pop up. Safe to say, there’s no shortage of goal setting advice as a stepping-stone on your path to success. Yet, there’s a contrarian willing to risk criticism, challenge the status quo, and debunk goals at face value.

In his book “How To Fail At Almost Everything And Still Win Big,” Scott Adams is an author, cartoonist and Periscope streamer, who sees goals differently than most everyone else. Adams observes that if you study people who succeed, you’ll see most of them follow systems, not goals.

Goals vs. Systems

Adams defines goals as “reach it and be done objectives.” Whereas systems, is what you do on a regular basis with an expectation that you’ll build on and improve your chances of success.

In Adams book, he says he didn’t have a goal to write it by a specific date. He had a “process” that included blogging daily (for practice) believing this consistency would lead him down a path to where he wanted to be.

Other examples:

  • dieting to lose 10 lbs. is a goal. Learning to eat right, and doing so on a regular basis, is a system.
  • making a million dollars is a goal. Being a serial entrepreneur, is system.
  • running a marathon in under 3 hours is a goal. Exercising daily, is a system (forming a habit).

Could goals create tunnel vision? The problem with goals, says Adams, is that they’re laser-focused and could block awareness of other opportunities around you. If you have your head down pursuing a goal, you may miss better opportunities that could potentially advance you, perhaps even faster.

In contrast, says Adams, systems are flexible, leaving you wide open for new and better ways of doing things. “A system, performed daily, is moving you from a place with low odds to a place with better odds.”

Adams concedes, goals aren’t completely off the table. Goals are useful in “simple” situations that are “narrow, simplistic and have predictable pursuits.” They’re ok for short tasks with a clear purpose.

Two examples of different goals would be an “ok goal,” which would be entering a contest, while a “great goal” is to win. “It’s simple, it’s near term, it’s manageable.” Nonetheless, for success, goals are terrible for long-term endeavors like personal health and career success goals.

So are goals for losers? Adams says goals are psychological. If you haven’t reached your goal, you could be in a perpetual state of frustration and disappointment, possibly feeling like a failure.

Goals proceed with blinders on, expecting certain results at the end of weeks, months or years. Then once you’ve achieved that goal, what are you prepared for? Whereas systems are skill-based that add up, and can serve you on future projects.

“Never settle for average.” – Steve Jobs

Talent Stacking for Success

Talent stacking is the process of increasing your personal value by “layering together several mediocre skills” until you have something unique.

Although Adams says most of his undertakings can be considered failures from the standpoint of goals, they’re actually successes from the standpoint of systems. Gaining transferable skills has allowed him to achieve success in the long run.

In a Wall Street Journal interview, Adams shares how he stacked his talents of “mediocre artist, an ok writer, somewhat humorous, and some business knowledge” to create the wildly successful comic strip Dilbert (seen online in 2,000 newspapers, 65 countries in 25 languages) and substantial economic value.

Previously we outlined the four principles of success. Here, we add talent stacking, allowing you to capitalize on the array of opportunities that come your way. Adams recommends choosing to acquire ‘talents’ that build assets you can apply to future projects.

The assets you build will lead you down the path of eventual success over time. In today’s fast-paced world, Adams feels we’d all benefit from adding t­he following skills to your main talent:

  • public speaking
  • persuasion (to understand psychology)
  • some business sense
  • some technology sense

Adams recommends to not worry about the end result. Focus on daily execution and over time, there will be a payday.

Passion will follow

Ask a billionaire what’s the most important element to success and he’ll likely say “passion.” Adams disagrees. He says someone’s passion may not be realistic. In addition, he feels you can develop passion with success.

Adams’ observation is that people who have a good business plan probably do well. As things start working, and you start making money, suddenly passion appears!

The crossroads of luck

Adams believes the flexibility of systems increases your odds of luck finding you. By adding to your talent stack, more opportunities cross your path, with success following close behind.

There are many kids today with better programming skills than Bill Gates had. Yet, Gates was born in a time in history where he had access to computers when other people didn’t, and that luck has made him billions and billions of dollars. Adams says go where the luck is, tune yourself into the vibration of luck and increase the chances you’ll get it.

“Success is luck multiplied by the skills you obtain” – Scott Adams

So there you have it, systems are better if you have a complicated situation and a long time frame. Goals are fine if you have a simple situation and a short time frame.

The thread that ties this highly recommended book together is that if you develop good systems and follow them daily, then your efforts eventually overlap with luck.

What do you think about goals now? Looking forward to hearing from you in the comments area below.

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