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10 Life Lessons I Have Learnt That Have Made Me Successful

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Life Changing Lessons For Success - Tim Denning

Last week I embarked on one of the biggest challenges of my life, which is to cure myself of chronic illness. Thanks to Addicted2Success, I now have all the knowledge I need from the interviews I have been posting on this site.

While I am going through this journey of fasting, cleansing, juicing and detoxifying, I wanted to share with you lessons that could change your perspective. When we attempt to embark on a road less travelled, we know there are going to be challenges ahead.

It’s in these difficult times that the people around you will support you and your beliefs will be required to get your mind through the mental barriers. Whether it’s doing your first startup, healing yourself from sickness or attempting an expedition to Antarctica, don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t be successful!

Don’t ever let anyone stop you from following your passion and achieving your goals. Only you know what motivates you and only you have the power to bring change to the world. Stand up! Get inspired! Focus! Breathe! You have the power! Anything is possible!

To help you along your life journey, here are the ten lessons that have made me successful and I want you to have them.

 

1. Always be humble

There are going to be times when you get what everyone else wants. It’s during these times that you need to stay humble and never forget where you came from. I have achieved financial goals and career goals that most people have only dreamt of. I don’t tell you this to impress you; I tell you because I want you to understand how important being humble is.

Instead of being cocky when you reach a goal, use the result to inspire or teach someone else to do the same. It will feel much better than any amount of money and it will give you fulfilment. There is nothing more ugly in a person than arrogance and that’s not you – that’s not me either.

As quick as you can make a million dollars you can lose it too. Those who are humble are able to fail and still get back up and start again. Those who are arrogant have a much harder time because the people around them remember how they were when they had the million dollars.

It’s for this reason that I write these posts, rather than keep what I know to myself. I want you to do the same from now on – plain and simple.

 

2. Keep An Open Mind At All Times

If I could only teach you one lesson and nothing else then it would be this; the number one attribute that successful people have is an open mind. They are open to change and to think differently. This is why they see opportunities that normal people do not.

Remember that everything you know is only true if you believe it is. Question everything you have ever known and remember that there is no one answer to any question. People that fail do so because they think they have all the answers and they do not have an open mind.

You’re not a failure and that’s why you’re here. If there is someone who has totally different views to you then take them out to lunch, you might learn something. The greatest life lessons are learnt from your foes, not from people that just agree with everything you say.

 

3. Don’t be in love with yourself

Let’s face it, some people just love themselves. Have you ever met the person that has what sounds like a very polished script about their life and what they have been up to? Have you ever seen someone’s Instagram account that is full of photos of themselves?

Again, this is not you. Of course, it’s okay to have some photos of yourself, but don’t make everything all about you. If you want to attract amazing people into your life then do the reverse and focus on other people – it’s much more powerful and you know it.

 

4. The season will always change

I am sure you have heard of this by now, but if you haven’t, then I will introduce you to this concept; life is made up of seasons. There are times when you are in winter and everything is not going your way. Everything that can go wrong does.The Seasons Will Change But Your Success Won't

Then there are other times where everything goes right and you can’t believe how much you have grown (summer). As long as you tell yourself that the season will change and your struggle won’t last forever, the universe will work in your favour.

Remember that during the winter moments of your life, the greatest lessons are being learnt and your personal resilience is being built. You’ll look back someday and be grateful for all those cold blizzards because it will have shaped who you are and what you can do for others.

Also, keep in mind that while some may be complaining about the cold weather, people like you will decide to go skiing instead – it’s all a matter of perspective.

 

5. People have their own reasons for their decisions

A lot of people spend their valuable time on this earth trying to figure out what people’s reasons are for making certain decisions. The life lesson I want you to get from these situations is that people have their own reasons for doing things.

Humans are not logical and no matter how hard you try you will never really know why someone did something. For example, your startup might be turned down for a major business deal and you automatically think that it’s because of your product or your experience.

In reality, you might have been turned down for something stupid like you may resemble a character from a horror film and the person making the decision is reminded of this every time they meet you. My point is that there could be lots of reasons that a decision is made but all of your focus should not be on why they made the decision, but how you can learn from it and continue with your vision.

 

6. Give value as much as you take value

A rule of the universe that always works (I have seen this in my own life a lot) is that you need to give as much value as you take. In a relationship, if all you do is take and you never give anything in return, it’s guaranteed that the relationship will eventually fail.

I know what you’re thinking, “but Tim how do I know what to give someone else?”

The answer is you don’t, you just give them something that you think is valuable to them and do so with all of yourself. Even if your act creates no value for the other person, they will be so humbled that you tried and you will get a great outcome.

In a business context, for a partnership to work there has to be value exchanged on both sides. Instead of thinking about how much profit you are making and how you can extract more money from the other side, reframe your thinking to “how can I give more value?”

I guarantee you that if you give the other side of a business partnership more value than they expect, they will try and outdo you any way they can. This process creates disruption, innovation and a great people culture.

 

7. Be optimistic at all times (the universe is in your favour)

If you look at people who achieve the impossible, you will notice that they all seem to have an unwavering sense of optimism. The reality is that negative people end up nowhere, buying lottery tickets and hoping that someone is going to knock on their door with a pile of cash.

You wouldn’t be on this site if you believed that myth and so I want you to know that the best thing you can do for your mental toughness is work on being more optimistic. Every time someones says something that is overly negative and not constructive, be bold, and call it out.

Don’t let other people bring you down with them. If you find that these negative people are having this affect on you all the time, then change your environment. Work somewhere else, start your own business, find a new group of friends, etc.

“By working on the art that is optimism, you will reconstruct your neural pathways to point yourself in the direction of greatness and global success” – Tim Denning

 

8. Take a break from your passion

Some of you on here are dedicated and work on your passion every single day. While I applaud you for your hard work, I want you to take a break once in a while. It’s on these breaks that your moments of clarity will come.

It’s on these breaks that you will pivot your vision and expand it further than it was before. Being in the same environment every day will limit your knowledge and block you from innovating. My suggestion would be to go as far away from your passion as possible, at least every 3-6 months for a couple of days.

Unwind, take a break and relax. Life is an adventure and it’s meant to be fun. Yes, you need to do some hard work to achieve your goals but heck, just smell the roses once in a while and let yourself be grateful for who you are and what you’re becoming.

In the not so distant future, you are going to achieve amazing things with your passion and all the hard work will pay off – trust me.

 

9. Reevaluate where you are at regularly

Nothing stays the same ever! I tell you this because it means that you need to constantly reevaluate yourself and the direction you are heading. To be on an optimal path to greatness you should be checking your major goals monthly if not weekly.

Ensure that your time is not being wasted and that the small steps you are taking are leading you down theLife's Human Compass path you want to go. There will be times when you will veer off a little bit but that’s okay. If you don’t check your human GPS once in a while, you could end up on the other side of the planet thousands of miles away from your destination.

How do you revaluate things? You take a simple approach. Life is already complicated enough so keep this part of your life simple. Ask yourself:

Am I on track to achieving some or all of my goal?
Am I happy each day doing what I am doing?
What small changes could I make to better my results if any?
Have I asked other people who have achieved a similar goal, how I am tracking?

If you answer these questions on a regular basis, you will compound your results beyond what you thought was possible. Other people will be left scratching their head while you will be off in the distance doing the impossible.

 

10. Don’t be afraid to do the opposite of what people expect

I’m not sure what it is but I have always loved doing the opposite of what other people expect. By following other people’s expectations all you will ever do is achieve mediocre results that don’t align with what drives you and fulfils you.

Veering off track and doing your own thing requires you to be bold. When you don’t conform to how others want you to be and what others want you to achieve, you could get some negative feedback. That’s okay and if anything it usually proves to me that I am on the right track.

Even if you meet people that do what others expect, don’t judge them, it just means they haven’t found themselves yet or haven’t discovered their true passion and that’s okay – you were like that once before too.

Image Credit: Flickr Asian Development Bank

Image Credit: Flickr Asian Development Bank

 

***Final Thought***

I hope you learnt something from my mad rant and that you never forget these lessons. This advice has taken me many years to realise and I value it greatly. These truths have been echoed by many greats that I have been fortunate to meet. By sharing them with you I get immense fulfilment and I thank you for spending your time to read them.

Wish me luck with my life-changing journey to cure myself of chronic illness. Never settle for second best and always remember how important your energy is, without it you have nothing and can’t motivate others.

What life lessons have I forgotten? What can you share with me and teach me? Hit me up in the comments section below or on Facebook.

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

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Ruby

    Apr 10, 2016 at 8:39 am

    Thank you for I believe my prayer has been answered or my call for help I am so grateful for you have lit up my mind my life and I know exactly what I’m doing! Where to turn and who to trust wholly I feel like celebrating I’m so excited LOL! I’ve written my plans down here and there I got to write down everything. I know the man I’m asking to be my business partner! Amazing Thank You and I’m going to Smuge and pray for you right now my friend in spirit Tim Denning Peace and Health be with you In Jesus’s Name Amen!

  2. Audrey Power

    Nov 11, 2015 at 9:11 am

    Wonderful words, simple stuff really. We all know the tune(s) but just don’t sing the song!
    Tim has just defined our inner, often long forgotten knowledge, wisdom. Wise man, practiful and proactive.
    Now, if only we can put it into practice, the SKY’S the limit.

    • Tim Denning

      Nov 12, 2015 at 2:55 am

      Thanks Audrey. Most good advice I find is actually really simple. The important thing is to have references to back up the advice.

  3. Tayeb

    Nov 11, 2015 at 8:25 am

    Hi Tim,
    I really enjoyed your topic which I believe it came from the heart too deeper the roots!
    I will remember you in my prayers to get well soon Tim.

    May blessings descend on you and your family as well.

    Thank you!

    • Tim Denning

      Nov 12, 2015 at 2:55 am

      Thanks Tayeb for thinking of me and for your very kind words. Everything will be fine so I am not worried.

  4. Jerry Castillo

    Nov 10, 2015 at 6:02 am

    Thank you for writing and sharing this wonderful article it really helps. Hope to read more articles like this.

    • Tim Denning

      Nov 11, 2015 at 9:52 am

      No problems Jerry glad you enjoyed it and there is plenty more to come.

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Success Advice

Stop Denying Your Negative Thoughts and Start Embracing Them

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Over the years, many of the talking heads and pundits in the personal development and success science industry have talked about the immediate replacement of negative thoughts with positive thoughts. The logic behind that particular behavioral strategy seems to make sense on the surface. Think about it, when a negative thought rears its ugly head, we should immediately dive into the repository of positive thoughts that we have available to us so that we could immediately begin to dwell on it.

Even further, some gurus of the genre suggest removing any chance of having a negative thought by the constant repetition of affirmations. Again, tried-and-true motivational technology that is very workable and still useful. I would suggest, however, that you view the above behaviors as tactics more than strategies.

I will further suggest to you that you do not abhor your negative thoughts but rather embrace them, examine them, and place them under a spotlight. My reasoning behind this goes back over 100 years into psychology with stimulus/response, that is, the cause and effect of certain behaviors. Many individuals look at a negative thought as a causative driver. The negative thought exists as a cause, and our behavior toward that cause will determine the effect.

So, following this logic, if an individual has a negative thought which makes them feel sad, and that sadness causes them to binge drink, by removing the negative thought you’ll have removed the motivation for binge drinking. Doesn’t that sound kind of silly? The suggestion here is to turn off the negative thought so that it will turn off the consumption of alcohol.

Of course, this makes sense if we view the negative thought as a primal force in behavior. So, what if we started to think of the negative thought more as the result of something else? It means that the “something else” must change first. What if we took a different approach? What if we looked at a negative thought as an effect of some larger causal factor?

“You’re going to go through tough times – that’s life. But I say, ‘Nothing happens to you, it happens for you.’ See the positive in negative events.” – Joel Osteen

By reversing the cause-and-effect motion of negative thinking (saying that the negative thought is an effect), we now can ask a deeper, more penetrative question: Why are we thinking that negative thought? What is the underlying cause of that specific train of thinking? By reversing the cause-and-effect relationship of negative thinking, it allows the negative thinker to assume the role of diagnostician!

Below is a three-step process you can use to examine your negative thoughts, the role of it in your life, and how you can get rid of them:

1. Simply acknowledge the negative thought

Recognize the fact that there’s a negative thought in your mind instead of trying to go through a process of emotionally overlaying positive thoughts on top of it. Can you see how this exacerbates the issue? You have a negative thought, you immediately recognize that it must be changed, and you frantically scurry through the museum of your mind to find a positive thought to replace it.

In the meantime, while you are trying to find that positive thought, you’re feeling anxious, nervous, and guilty! When you finally find a positive thought to replace that negative thought, the normal process is to squash it. But you can’t! It’s like trying to get rid of weeds by covering them with rocks.

They will always find another way around the rock. It is the same with negative thoughts. Consequently, try acknowledging the negative thought.

2. Affirm the negative thought

It is a part of you. Instead of denying its existence, accept that it is there in front of you and that you are now willing to deal with it. If any of you reading this are dog lovers, you will know that the best way to get a dog next to you is by attempting to push it away from you. Every time you push the dog away it gets closer. This is the same with negative thinking because the harder you push the closer it gets.

“Always turn a negative situation into a positive situation.” – Michael Jordan

3. Acquit the thought

Give it permission to leave you. Thank it for its past importance in your life and allow it to be on its way! At this point feel free to replace the negative thought with a positive thought. What will begin to happen when you place the negative thought under the spotlight is that you will see how insignificantly small it actually is.

This is a process I’ve been using for quite some time, and it works! Oh sure, I still use affirmations on a daily basis; as a matter fact I have them right here in front of me. I find that affirmations are a tremendous way to stay positive because it doesn’t allow any room for bad things to grow. But since the average person thinks 60,000 to 65,000 thoughts per day, let’s face it, a few negative thoughts have to squeak in there!

The best advice that I can give is to not freak out over a negative thought. Acknowledge it, affirm it, and acquit it! This is magic. Watch what happens!

How do you handle negative thoughts? Let us know your tips below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Success Advice

One Thing I Can Teach You About Life That Will Help You Forever.

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Image Credit: Unsplash

I used to be a very anxious person.

I was embarrassed by what I couldn’t do and every day was a struggle. From the moment I would wake up to the moment I’d go to bed, everything felt impossibly overwhelming. It’s a battle I’ve dealt with most of my life.

This daily struggle with mental illness taught me that the satisfaction didn’t lie in beating it; the satisfaction was in helping other people beat mental illness through my success in fighting it.


Recently, I was at work. It was a pretty standard day — nothing too exciting. I then had a catch up with one of the leaders I worked with.

She said something that got my attention: “One of our colleagues is battling a mental illness.”

I really wanted to help. My eyes lit up. There was no need to uncover my plan with anyone else. I knew that staying discrete was fundamental.

I approached the person in question and asked for a few minutes of their time.

I didn’t ask them to admit their mental illness struggle; I just shared my story.

I talked about the anxiety stopping me from having a normal life, eating the right foods, going on dates with girls, having the career I wanted and traveling the world.

I wasn’t sure if any of it was sinking in or even helping. I felt compelled to go on. One thing I knew was that he was paying attention. I could see it in his eyes.

I then went on to talk about how I beat mental illness. Strategies such as:

  • Creating fear lists
  • Seeking professional help
  • Working on myself
  • Books I read
  • Events I attended

Out of nowhere, he started opening up about his own struggle. I was shocked.
It wasn’t pretty. He had an extreme case of mental illness that I certainly couldn’t diagnose or give professional advice on.

All I could do was show him through my own story that there was hope

I offered him access to all the resources I had. I told him that he had my full support and I’d be happy to help in any way I could. He then said:

“What was your psychologist’s name?”

I told him I’d look it up and send it to him. I didn’t have the answer in front of me, but I was determined when I got home to find it.

At the end of the catch-up, he smiled. I don’t think he’d smiled like that in a very long time.

That smile gave me so much satisfaction. It made my own struggle with mental illness worth it. All those sleepless nights, times spent vomiting into the toilet and dark days where I didn’t want to go on made sense.


“It took more than seven years for me to understand that my own battle with mental illness actually had a benefit”

That benefit was the satisfaction in seeing someone beat their mental illness because I was able to defeat mine.

It’s probably the greatest satisfaction of my entire life.

That’s one thing I can teach you about life that will help you forever.

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Success Advice

5 Productivity Shifts You Need to Make to Make 2019 Your Best Year Yet

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Everyone wants more time, that is something almost all of us share. Time is the most valuable resource and when you learn how to make your time work for you and how to get the most out of it – you experience life differently.  

Improving how you manage your time is one of the biggest gifts you can give yourself – it’s a real game changer in your business and personal life. There are many ways that you can get more productive and get the right things done sooner; but not all of them are obvious or bring the same results.

Here are 5 productivity shifts you want to make if you are trying to make the most out of 2019:

1. Ditch your to do list

Productive people don’t keep to-do lists, they schedule everything they need to do in their calendar and work directly from their calendar!  To-Do lists are just ineffective and they are impeding your productivity. A never ending list of items only leaves you overwhelmed and with a false sense of ‘productivity’.  

If you schedule your To Do’s directly into your calendar at a time to get them done, you commit to it and you are more likely to get it done. Less is more – you don’t need a separate list to remind you what you need to do.

“Productivity is less about what you do with your time and more about how you run your mind.” – Robin Sharma

2. Give up on motivation

Productive people don’t always have to be motivated before starting something. They balance discipline with motivation and do what they need to do, regardless of motivation. When we come up with resistance to take action on what we have planned, we might tell ourselves that we are not motivated and we believe that we need to be motivated to complete any task.

If you want to increase your productivity, you need to challenge yourself more in the moment to take action and give up on motivation sometimes. Do what you need to in order to get the results you want in the future. Don’t make decisions based on how you feel now, make them based on what result you are really after.

3. Master your mornings

Wake up early and get yourself into the productive mindset with your routine and diet! Productive people start the day with some sort of routine, whether it’s meditation, exercise or visualization, etc. AND they have a healthy breakfast to fuel them for the day. Your health is everything when it comes to productivity, what you eat directly affects your productivity.

We can just no longer ignore the direct connection any more. Get in the right mindset to start your day and fuel your mind and body to get the most out of it. Starting your day off in any other way undermines your success – there is no doubt.

4. Schedule according to energy

Productive people know their energy cycles and they plan tasks around their energy levels. Why plan something at a time when you know it will be hard to rise to the challenge? Schedule tasks that require focus and concentration for those times of day that you feel the best and you will find it’s easier to follow through and you will be at your best to perform. Identify your filler tasks and complete those when your energy drops. Be more realistic when scheduling your tasks and set yourself up for wins.

“Productivity is never an accident it’s the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning & focused effort.” – Paul Meyer

5. Working backwards

Productive people always focus on those activities that will take them to the next level. They plan backwards, they look at their goals, then identify the tasks they need to do to support those goals. Those tasks get broken down into weekly actions. That’s how they plan.

Don’t only plan on tasks that come in or those which you ‘feel’ or ‘think’ you should be doing. Your day needs to consist of at least one activity that directly supports your longer term objectives, your big project. What sounds like common sense is definitely not common practice.

Create the right habits to achieve your goals, work on adopting easy tips and techniques so you can manage your time and yourself better to get things done.

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Success Advice

You Need to Grow Your Memory in Order to Grow Your Life

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We all have access to the most powerful computer ever created in the universe…our brain. Unfortunately, few of us have ever been taught how to use our minds efficiently, and even fewer have learned how to develop a fabulous memory. Thankfully, like any skill, memorising can be learned and using the correct strategies, your memory can be improved in only days.

One of the best coaches on memory is Dominic O’Brien the eight-time world memory champion. Self-taught after watching Creighton Carvello memorise a pack of cards on the BBC’s Record Breakers programme. Dominic, through his work on memory, has given us many tools and techniques for improving memory.

Below are 5 rules that will help you develop a better memory:

1. The Rule of Five

Probably seen as one of the most significant contributions to the body of knowledge on memory is O’Brien’s Rule of Five. This rule details how to remember things using a strategy of regular staged repetition.

These stages are as follows:

  • First Review:Immediately
  • Second Review:Twenty-four hours later
  • Third Review:One week later
  • Fourth Review:One month later
  • Fifth Review:Three months later

Utilising stage repetition at these intervals ingrains the memory for the long term.

2. The Dominic System

The Dominic System is a system for remembering numbers. The system is a Person Action system where the association between two sets of paired numbers is the person with the action of the next person.

1139 would become Andre Agassi doing a roundhouse kick which is the action of Chuck Norris. This system combined with the journey method allows for long random numbers to be easily recalled without error. The fantastic thing about this system is that you get to customise for yourself with memorable people and unique actions which when combined really make it easy for you to recall numbers. The table below associates each number to a letter.

Number     0     1    2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9
Letter     O     A     B     C     D    E     S     G     H     N

Creating a simple document with pairs of numbers in one column, the letter pairs in the next and an action column will help you learn this system quickly.

“Nothing can substitute for just plain hard work. I had to put in the time to get back. And it was a grind. It meant training and sweating every day. But I was completely committed to working out to prove to myself that I still could do it.” – Andre Agassi

3. The Link Method

This method relies on two essential elements of memory, association and exaggeration. Utilising these two elements, it is possible to link together unrelated objects to allow you to remember them.

Trying to remember a list of five separate words such as: balloon, papaya, gold, football and hat, might go something like this. You imagine seeing a giant balloon and inside the balloon you can see a small papaya, in bursting the balloon the papaya falls out and as it hits the floor a gold football bounces into a large sombrero.

4. The Journey Method

Using location has been a fundamental part of mnemonics almost since time began. Before humans, writing elders would pass knowledge to others using stories of journeys, with each piece of knowledge being associated with a location on the journey.

O’Brien’s system utilises journeys that you would undertake on a daily basis, like your commute to work or train stations on well-known line. Items are then associated and exaggerated along the journey, so for instance if you were trying to remember a list of ten random things you would associate each piece along with a unique ten stop journey and utilise exaggeration to make the items more memorable.

“You are well equipped with an incredible potential for absorbing knowledge…Anything’s possible.” – Dominic O’Brien

5. The Story Method

To remember groups of information, create a story that links them together. Remembering the planets of the solar system and their position relative to the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

Imagine that Mercury was hitting the nineties as Venus tossed the tennis ball into the air, striking the ball it soared over the net striking the earth and bouncing high into the air, knocking the mars bar out of Jupiter’s hand, and so on.

Developing a good memory will assist markedly in all of your personal development goals as well as assisting greatly in your daily life. The methods above are tried and tested by one of the leading memory champions. Whether you want to become the next World Memory Champion or just improve your recall, the techniques outlined above will assist greatly.

Combining the various elements will create an exponential improvement in your memory that you will find hard to believe, and you will be kicking yourself for not applying them sooner. The best part about using these methods is that they are fun, so enjoy using them.

Which one of these memorizing methods sounds most interesting to you? Share with us below!

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5 Ways You Can Make the Most Out of Failure

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Image Credit: Twenty20.com

It’s been said that only two things are certain in life: death and taxes. I’d like to add another one to the list: rejection. No matter who you are and what life you live, there will be instances in your life when you experience rejection. (more…)

McVal is the author of How to Make $2,000 a Month Online and Start Up your Life: Why we don’t know what we want, and how to set goals that really matter. McVal writes about motivation, decision making, and strategic thinking. He graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2011 with a degree in Spanish, and has since worked as a market researcher and business consultant in Washington D.C., New York City and London. You can reach him on Twitter @mcval or on IG @mcvaliant.

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Ruby

    Apr 10, 2016 at 8:39 am

    Thank you for I believe my prayer has been answered or my call for help I am so grateful for you have lit up my mind my life and I know exactly what I’m doing! Where to turn and who to trust wholly I feel like celebrating I’m so excited LOL! I’ve written my plans down here and there I got to write down everything. I know the man I’m asking to be my business partner! Amazing Thank You and I’m going to Smuge and pray for you right now my friend in spirit Tim Denning Peace and Health be with you In Jesus’s Name Amen!

  2. Audrey Power

    Nov 11, 2015 at 9:11 am

    Wonderful words, simple stuff really. We all know the tune(s) but just don’t sing the song!
    Tim has just defined our inner, often long forgotten knowledge, wisdom. Wise man, practiful and proactive.
    Now, if only we can put it into practice, the SKY’S the limit.

    • Tim Denning

      Nov 12, 2015 at 2:55 am

      Thanks Audrey. Most good advice I find is actually really simple. The important thing is to have references to back up the advice.

  3. Tayeb

    Nov 11, 2015 at 8:25 am

    Hi Tim,
    I really enjoyed your topic which I believe it came from the heart too deeper the roots!
    I will remember you in my prayers to get well soon Tim.

    May blessings descend on you and your family as well.

    Thank you!

    • Tim Denning

      Nov 12, 2015 at 2:55 am

      Thanks Tayeb for thinking of me and for your very kind words. Everything will be fine so I am not worried.

  4. Jerry Castillo

    Nov 10, 2015 at 6:02 am

    Thank you for writing and sharing this wonderful article it really helps. Hope to read more articles like this.

    • Tim Denning

      Nov 11, 2015 at 9:52 am

      No problems Jerry glad you enjoyed it and there is plenty more to come.

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Success Advice

Stop Denying Your Negative Thoughts and Start Embracing Them

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negative thoughts
Image Credit: Twenty20.com

Over the years, many of the talking heads and pundits in the personal development and success science industry have talked about the immediate replacement of negative thoughts with positive thoughts. The logic behind that particular behavioral strategy seems to make sense on the surface. Think about it, when a negative thought rears its ugly head, we should immediately dive into the repository of positive thoughts that we have available to us so that we could immediately begin to dwell on it.

Even further, some gurus of the genre suggest removing any chance of having a negative thought by the constant repetition of affirmations. Again, tried-and-true motivational technology that is very workable and still useful. I would suggest, however, that you view the above behaviors as tactics more than strategies.

I will further suggest to you that you do not abhor your negative thoughts but rather embrace them, examine them, and place them under a spotlight. My reasoning behind this goes back over 100 years into psychology with stimulus/response, that is, the cause and effect of certain behaviors. Many individuals look at a negative thought as a causative driver. The negative thought exists as a cause, and our behavior toward that cause will determine the effect.

So, following this logic, if an individual has a negative thought which makes them feel sad, and that sadness causes them to binge drink, by removing the negative thought you’ll have removed the motivation for binge drinking. Doesn’t that sound kind of silly? The suggestion here is to turn off the negative thought so that it will turn off the consumption of alcohol.

Of course, this makes sense if we view the negative thought as a primal force in behavior. So, what if we started to think of the negative thought more as the result of something else? It means that the “something else” must change first. What if we took a different approach? What if we looked at a negative thought as an effect of some larger causal factor?

“You’re going to go through tough times – that’s life. But I say, ‘Nothing happens to you, it happens for you.’ See the positive in negative events.” – Joel Osteen

By reversing the cause-and-effect motion of negative thinking (saying that the negative thought is an effect), we now can ask a deeper, more penetrative question: Why are we thinking that negative thought? What is the underlying cause of that specific train of thinking? By reversing the cause-and-effect relationship of negative thinking, it allows the negative thinker to assume the role of diagnostician!

Below is a three-step process you can use to examine your negative thoughts, the role of it in your life, and how you can get rid of them:

1. Simply acknowledge the negative thought

Recognize the fact that there’s a negative thought in your mind instead of trying to go through a process of emotionally overlaying positive thoughts on top of it. Can you see how this exacerbates the issue? You have a negative thought, you immediately recognize that it must be changed, and you frantically scurry through the museum of your mind to find a positive thought to replace it.

In the meantime, while you are trying to find that positive thought, you’re feeling anxious, nervous, and guilty! When you finally find a positive thought to replace that negative thought, the normal process is to squash it. But you can’t! It’s like trying to get rid of weeds by covering them with rocks.

They will always find another way around the rock. It is the same with negative thoughts. Consequently, try acknowledging the negative thought.

2. Affirm the negative thought

It is a part of you. Instead of denying its existence, accept that it is there in front of you and that you are now willing to deal with it. If any of you reading this are dog lovers, you will know that the best way to get a dog next to you is by attempting to push it away from you. Every time you push the dog away it gets closer. This is the same with negative thinking because the harder you push the closer it gets.

“Always turn a negative situation into a positive situation.” – Michael Jordan

3. Acquit the thought

Give it permission to leave you. Thank it for its past importance in your life and allow it to be on its way! At this point feel free to replace the negative thought with a positive thought. What will begin to happen when you place the negative thought under the spotlight is that you will see how insignificantly small it actually is.

This is a process I’ve been using for quite some time, and it works! Oh sure, I still use affirmations on a daily basis; as a matter fact I have them right here in front of me. I find that affirmations are a tremendous way to stay positive because it doesn’t allow any room for bad things to grow. But since the average person thinks 60,000 to 65,000 thoughts per day, let’s face it, a few negative thoughts have to squeak in there!

The best advice that I can give is to not freak out over a negative thought. Acknowledge it, affirm it, and acquit it! This is magic. Watch what happens!

How do you handle negative thoughts? Let us know your tips below!

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One Thing I Can Teach You About Life That Will Help You Forever.

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I used to be a very anxious person.

I was embarrassed by what I couldn’t do and every day was a struggle. From the moment I would wake up to the moment I’d go to bed, everything felt impossibly overwhelming. It’s a battle I’ve dealt with most of my life.

This daily struggle with mental illness taught me that the satisfaction didn’t lie in beating it; the satisfaction was in helping other people beat mental illness through my success in fighting it.


Recently, I was at work. It was a pretty standard day — nothing too exciting. I then had a catch up with one of the leaders I worked with.

She said something that got my attention: “One of our colleagues is battling a mental illness.”

I really wanted to help. My eyes lit up. There was no need to uncover my plan with anyone else. I knew that staying discrete was fundamental.

I approached the person in question and asked for a few minutes of their time.

I didn’t ask them to admit their mental illness struggle; I just shared my story.

I talked about the anxiety stopping me from having a normal life, eating the right foods, going on dates with girls, having the career I wanted and traveling the world.

I wasn’t sure if any of it was sinking in or even helping. I felt compelled to go on. One thing I knew was that he was paying attention. I could see it in his eyes.

I then went on to talk about how I beat mental illness. Strategies such as:

  • Creating fear lists
  • Seeking professional help
  • Working on myself
  • Books I read
  • Events I attended

Out of nowhere, he started opening up about his own struggle. I was shocked.
It wasn’t pretty. He had an extreme case of mental illness that I certainly couldn’t diagnose or give professional advice on.

All I could do was show him through my own story that there was hope

I offered him access to all the resources I had. I told him that he had my full support and I’d be happy to help in any way I could. He then said:

“What was your psychologist’s name?”

I told him I’d look it up and send it to him. I didn’t have the answer in front of me, but I was determined when I got home to find it.

At the end of the catch-up, he smiled. I don’t think he’d smiled like that in a very long time.

That smile gave me so much satisfaction. It made my own struggle with mental illness worth it. All those sleepless nights, times spent vomiting into the toilet and dark days where I didn’t want to go on made sense.


“It took more than seven years for me to understand that my own battle with mental illness actually had a benefit”

That benefit was the satisfaction in seeing someone beat their mental illness because I was able to defeat mine.

It’s probably the greatest satisfaction of my entire life.

That’s one thing I can teach you about life that will help you forever.

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5 Productivity Shifts You Need to Make to Make 2019 Your Best Year Yet

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Everyone wants more time, that is something almost all of us share. Time is the most valuable resource and when you learn how to make your time work for you and how to get the most out of it – you experience life differently.  

Improving how you manage your time is one of the biggest gifts you can give yourself – it’s a real game changer in your business and personal life. There are many ways that you can get more productive and get the right things done sooner; but not all of them are obvious or bring the same results.

Here are 5 productivity shifts you want to make if you are trying to make the most out of 2019:

1. Ditch your to do list

Productive people don’t keep to-do lists, they schedule everything they need to do in their calendar and work directly from their calendar!  To-Do lists are just ineffective and they are impeding your productivity. A never ending list of items only leaves you overwhelmed and with a false sense of ‘productivity’.  

If you schedule your To Do’s directly into your calendar at a time to get them done, you commit to it and you are more likely to get it done. Less is more – you don’t need a separate list to remind you what you need to do.

“Productivity is less about what you do with your time and more about how you run your mind.” – Robin Sharma

2. Give up on motivation

Productive people don’t always have to be motivated before starting something. They balance discipline with motivation and do what they need to do, regardless of motivation. When we come up with resistance to take action on what we have planned, we might tell ourselves that we are not motivated and we believe that we need to be motivated to complete any task.

If you want to increase your productivity, you need to challenge yourself more in the moment to take action and give up on motivation sometimes. Do what you need to in order to get the results you want in the future. Don’t make decisions based on how you feel now, make them based on what result you are really after.

3. Master your mornings

Wake up early and get yourself into the productive mindset with your routine and diet! Productive people start the day with some sort of routine, whether it’s meditation, exercise or visualization, etc. AND they have a healthy breakfast to fuel them for the day. Your health is everything when it comes to productivity, what you eat directly affects your productivity.

We can just no longer ignore the direct connection any more. Get in the right mindset to start your day and fuel your mind and body to get the most out of it. Starting your day off in any other way undermines your success – there is no doubt.

4. Schedule according to energy

Productive people know their energy cycles and they plan tasks around their energy levels. Why plan something at a time when you know it will be hard to rise to the challenge? Schedule tasks that require focus and concentration for those times of day that you feel the best and you will find it’s easier to follow through and you will be at your best to perform. Identify your filler tasks and complete those when your energy drops. Be more realistic when scheduling your tasks and set yourself up for wins.

“Productivity is never an accident it’s the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning & focused effort.” – Paul Meyer

5. Working backwards

Productive people always focus on those activities that will take them to the next level. They plan backwards, they look at their goals, then identify the tasks they need to do to support those goals. Those tasks get broken down into weekly actions. That’s how they plan.

Don’t only plan on tasks that come in or those which you ‘feel’ or ‘think’ you should be doing. Your day needs to consist of at least one activity that directly supports your longer term objectives, your big project. What sounds like common sense is definitely not common practice.

Create the right habits to achieve your goals, work on adopting easy tips and techniques so you can manage your time and yourself better to get things done.

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You Need to Grow Your Memory in Order to Grow Your Life

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We all have access to the most powerful computer ever created in the universe…our brain. Unfortunately, few of us have ever been taught how to use our minds efficiently, and even fewer have learned how to develop a fabulous memory. Thankfully, like any skill, memorising can be learned and using the correct strategies, your memory can be improved in only days.

One of the best coaches on memory is Dominic O’Brien the eight-time world memory champion. Self-taught after watching Creighton Carvello memorise a pack of cards on the BBC’s Record Breakers programme. Dominic, through his work on memory, has given us many tools and techniques for improving memory.

Below are 5 rules that will help you develop a better memory:

1. The Rule of Five

Probably seen as one of the most significant contributions to the body of knowledge on memory is O’Brien’s Rule of Five. This rule details how to remember things using a strategy of regular staged repetition.

These stages are as follows:

  • First Review:Immediately
  • Second Review:Twenty-four hours later
  • Third Review:One week later
  • Fourth Review:One month later
  • Fifth Review:Three months later

Utilising stage repetition at these intervals ingrains the memory for the long term.

2. The Dominic System

The Dominic System is a system for remembering numbers. The system is a Person Action system where the association between two sets of paired numbers is the person with the action of the next person.

1139 would become Andre Agassi doing a roundhouse kick which is the action of Chuck Norris. This system combined with the journey method allows for long random numbers to be easily recalled without error. The fantastic thing about this system is that you get to customise for yourself with memorable people and unique actions which when combined really make it easy for you to recall numbers. The table below associates each number to a letter.

Number     0     1    2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9
Letter     O     A     B     C     D    E     S     G     H     N

Creating a simple document with pairs of numbers in one column, the letter pairs in the next and an action column will help you learn this system quickly.

“Nothing can substitute for just plain hard work. I had to put in the time to get back. And it was a grind. It meant training and sweating every day. But I was completely committed to working out to prove to myself that I still could do it.” – Andre Agassi

3. The Link Method

This method relies on two essential elements of memory, association and exaggeration. Utilising these two elements, it is possible to link together unrelated objects to allow you to remember them.

Trying to remember a list of five separate words such as: balloon, papaya, gold, football and hat, might go something like this. You imagine seeing a giant balloon and inside the balloon you can see a small papaya, in bursting the balloon the papaya falls out and as it hits the floor a gold football bounces into a large sombrero.

4. The Journey Method

Using location has been a fundamental part of mnemonics almost since time began. Before humans, writing elders would pass knowledge to others using stories of journeys, with each piece of knowledge being associated with a location on the journey.

O’Brien’s system utilises journeys that you would undertake on a daily basis, like your commute to work or train stations on well-known line. Items are then associated and exaggerated along the journey, so for instance if you were trying to remember a list of ten random things you would associate each piece along with a unique ten stop journey and utilise exaggeration to make the items more memorable.

“You are well equipped with an incredible potential for absorbing knowledge…Anything’s possible.” – Dominic O’Brien

5. The Story Method

To remember groups of information, create a story that links them together. Remembering the planets of the solar system and their position relative to the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

Imagine that Mercury was hitting the nineties as Venus tossed the tennis ball into the air, striking the ball it soared over the net striking the earth and bouncing high into the air, knocking the mars bar out of Jupiter’s hand, and so on.

Developing a good memory will assist markedly in all of your personal development goals as well as assisting greatly in your daily life. The methods above are tried and tested by one of the leading memory champions. Whether you want to become the next World Memory Champion or just improve your recall, the techniques outlined above will assist greatly.

Combining the various elements will create an exponential improvement in your memory that you will find hard to believe, and you will be kicking yourself for not applying them sooner. The best part about using these methods is that they are fun, so enjoy using them.

Which one of these memorizing methods sounds most interesting to you? Share with us below!

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