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10 Ridiculous Beliefs That Are Killing Your Success

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You have big dreams!

But there are too many obstacles in your path, aren’t there?

You aren’t as ‘lucky‘ as those who have made it big.

Do you really believe that?

What if the only things holding you back from success are your limiting beliefs?

What if these ‘limitations‘ are only in your mind?

Our reality is defined by what we believe.

Some of these beliefs are useful, but others are simply shackles that hold us back.

Many of these beliefs are nothing short of ridiculous!

After all, haven’t thousands of people faced the same ‘problems‘, had the same ‘limitations‘, and yet attained outstanding success and built fortunes?

 

Here are 10 ridiculous beliefs that are killing your success…

 

1. “I don’t have enough time”

You are really busy aren’t you?

We all are!

Yet people like Sabeer Bhatia (founder Hotmail), Noah Kagan (founder AppSumo) and many others built startups while holding full time jobs.

Look closely – can’t you find time anywhere?

What activities in your life you can eliminate, outsource, or delegate?

Get rid of TV, movies, social networks, social outings, etc.

What’s more important – your dream or watching reruns of ‘Friends’?

 

2. “I need to wait for the perfect moment”

Someday…

Every 3 out of 10 people I meet want to become an entrepreneur…someday.

Most of the time, someday never comes!

Because there is no perfect moment. You will always face challenges.

But why are you waiting for the perfect moment?

Often, it’s because of the next belief…

 

3. “I only have one chance”

Ever heard of a company called Traf-O-Data?

I guess not. After all, it was a failure.

But everyone has heard of Microsoft!

Here’s the surprise: Traf-O-Data was actually the first company founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen!

Numerous people have failed several times before finally attaining success.

You have multiple chances to get it right.

Never give up, even if you are like 99 years old!

 

4. “I don’t have enough money”

Of course you don’t! Who does?

Is the business idea you have in mind impossible without a large investment?

Just ask yourself “What business can I start with the limited money that I do have?

An easy way to make revenues with little investment is to offer services like consulting, website maintenance or maybe even ghost-write!

If you have a ‘dream business‘ in mind, you can start that after you have made enough money with your first venture.

Elon Musk, Paypal founder, now has a company that develops spacecraft – SpaceX. He didn’t have the money to build SpaceX 25 years ago.

That didn’t stop him!

Richard-Branson-Entrepreneur-Picture-Quote-For-Success
 

5. “I don’t have an Ivy League education”

Seriously, do you think that will stop you?

An Ivy League degree helps, but is it essential?

Richard Branson was dyslexic, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were dropouts.

You don’t need a fancy education. You just need the right skills.

 

6. “I don’t have the right skills”

Are planning to build the next rocket to mars or develop a cure for cancer?

If not, how is this a drawback?

Most skills that you need to become a CEO or build a successful company can be learned.

Jeff Walker, one of the titans of internet marketing knew nothing about the field when he started out!

If you don’t have time to learn, team up with a co-founder or just hire people with the right skills.

 

7. “I don’t have connections”

If you don’t have them, what’s stopping you from going out there and building them?

Attend industry events, startup events, join a networking group or simply use Twitter or LinkedIn to build your network.

Is that really difficult in today’s digital world?

 

8. “I have responsibilities”

Yes, you do.

Leo Babauta, founder of Zen Habits, has six kids and he also had a full time job. That didn’t stop him from building one of the biggest blogs in the world!

Remember, ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’? It’s based on a true story. What drove Chris Gardner to succeed and make millions began with the basic need to put a roof over his son’s head.

If you have a family to take care of, isn’t that a bigger reason to work towards greater success?

 

9. “I don’t have enough experience”

Nearly every person you meet will tell you that you don’t have enough experience.

Richard Branson started his first venture when he was 16. If corporate experience was a key factor would his 400 companies exist today?

If you have a great idea and have the means to execute it, how is experience a limitation?

 

10. “I need to be perfect”

I was guilty of this myself!

I spent 6 months developing my first product, which a shamefully low number of companies bought.

Eric Ries, made a similar mistake with his first company IMVU, which inspired him to write ‘The Lean Startup’.

In this bestseller, he advises us to create a ‘minimum viable product‘ for your target customers. Develop the product further based on their feedback rather than on your assumptions.

We want things to be perfect because we are afraid of failure.

Ironically, our quest for perfection is what often causes us to fail!

 Believe that you can!

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.” –Henry Ford

If you want to realize your dreams, take a good look at what you believe your limitations are. Question your beliefs and you will discover a whole new world of possibilities!

 

What other beliefs are holding you back from success?

Peter Banerjea is co-founder of SuccessIsWhat, a success coaching firm that helps people achieve their goals faster, by becoming productivity ninjas and building life changing habits. Get his latest free e-book "Productivity Secrets of 7 Billionaires You can put into Action Right Now" here.

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29 Comments

29 Comments

  1. Rohit sharma

    Oct 2, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    Amazing post peter:/
    this beliefs are bad thing which holding us back from being Happy
    and from now i will try to avoid such “limiting belief”/
    thnx bro

    • Peter Banerjea

      Oct 28, 2015 at 5:45 am

      Hey Rohit,
      Yes, its crucial to be mindful of our beliefs. Its not simple to be cognizant of them, but this post might help in identifying the most common ones. Thanks for reading!
      Peter

  2. Alberto

    Aug 3, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    In my case, it was somehow forced upon. I switched from a full-time job to freelancing due to some unacceptable situations at work, and yes, there is that awkward moment before jumping into the open waters, when all your fears come to meet you. For example, I was afraid of not being able to win enough customers for my consulting business. What happened was exactly the opposite: I couldn’t keep up with demand and had to turn down a number of projects. So the next logical step was to be more selective and to raise the rates, and now I’m thinking of hiring more people in order to tackle bigger projects – which is yet another fear that must be overcome. It’s not easy, of course. But the only regret I have is not having taken this step some years ago!

    • Peter Banerjea

      Aug 4, 2015 at 9:24 am

      Great to hear that Alberto!
      Yup – each stage has its challenges and fears and we don’t really know what’s around the corner! But anything which is worth fighting for is tough. It’s great to see that you are meeting your fears head on and pushing your limits. You are an inspiration!
      Cheers,
      Peter

  3. henry kanyike

    Jun 15, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    Thanks peter for such an inspiring article, i call those ”defence mechanisms” people give to justify their weakness, some times i find myself a culprit of giving them too, but with the help of such articles, and books. I kick that inner self conforter and move ahead.
    Thanks peter once again

    • Peter Banerjea

      Jun 16, 2015 at 12:25 pm

      Happens to all of us Henry! All of us need reminders every now and then that our ‘limitations’ are in our head. As the old saying goes, where there is a will, there is a way! Sounds cliche but its true.
      Peter

  4. Susan Suehr

    Jun 10, 2015 at 11:51 am

    Peter what a great article. I think mine is not having the right connections. I love what you said at the end there, is it that difficult in the digital world? Boy, we have really come a long way and making connections is so much easier these days.

    What I really like about your post is how easily you debunk these beliefs.

    What a great list for people to work through. I ignored your pop-up, so now I’ll have to open a new browser so I can sign up for your blog.

    Susan

    • Peter Banerjea

      Jun 11, 2015 at 12:18 pm

      Hi Susan,
      Great to see you here! Yes – having a network is a lot easier than it was 10 years back. We just need to put in some work and keep expanding our networks.
      Cheers!
      Peter

  5. Tor Refsland

    Apr 16, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    Great post, Peter.

    I like your tips, especially #10.

    Perfection is more of a curse than a blessing.

    I know, because I used to be a perfectionist.

    Then I realized that all you do don`t actually have to be perfect, it`s okay if it`s very good 😉

    My tips is to know the acceptable performance, and then give the little extra.

    Example:

    You need to deliver a report to your boss. Acceptable is level 4/10.

    This means that it will be a total overkill to spend 2 extra hours delivering a report that is level 10.

    You should give the little extra to make the report stand out.

    Give the extra 10 minutes delivering the little extra.

    The result? The report has a level 5, still above average and making you stick out from the crowd.

    Spending more time than necessary is a waste of time.

    It`s all about working smart and spending your time in the best way possible.

    Tor

    • Peter Banerjea

      Apr 17, 2015 at 1:57 am

      Well said Tor! That’s the balance that we need to learn to strike. Having seen you for the past 3 months, I think you are doing a great job of doing that.
      Cheers,
      Peter

  6. Euan

    Apr 15, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    Hey Peter,
    I really enjoyed reading this article. It astounds me that some people continue to find excuses as to why they can’t do or achieve something. I really think one of the biggest contributors is a lack of confidence. Most people are too worried about what others think about them, and lack the will to stand out from the crowd. In order to counteract this problem, I really believe the only solution is to completely disregard what anyone thinks or has to say about you.
    I’d be interested to hear what you think…
    Cheers!

    • Peter Banerjea

      Apr 18, 2015 at 9:24 am

      Hi Euan,
      You are perfectly right! Most of us are worried about what people might think. Since human beings are driven by social proof, that’s hardwired into our DNA.
      However, we need to move beyond our natural tendency to simply follow the herd!
      Yes, it’s crucial to take risks, form independent opinions and take actions on those opinions.

      Having said that, there are people that we should listen to. Listening to our mentors and customers is crucial for success.
      For example, before writing a blog post, I ask myself – what do people want to read about?

      It’s about listening to the right people at the right time.
      It’s not an easy thing to do, but people who can do it well are usually the more successful ones.

      What do you think?
      Cheers!
      Peter

  7. Peggy Nolan

    Apr 13, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    Awesome post Peter and I couldn’t agree more. Our thoughts are what limit us!

    Peggy

    • Peter Banerjea

      Apr 14, 2015 at 2:49 am

      Thanks Peggy! As someone once said, we need to ‘think different’!

  8. Heather Sanders

    Apr 13, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    Peter, these are “on point”, thank you.

    I gave up TV. Well, we don’t have TV, but I gave up shows I downloaded and watched. It was hard at first, but I committed to 30 days of it, and then, I noticed I didn’t miss them.

    Great article!

    • Peter Banerjea

      Apr 14, 2015 at 2:52 am

      Hi Heather, that’s very commendable!
      I watch very little TV. I prefer to read instead. Maybe I should try out what you did and dump it altogether!

  9. H RAVI KUMAR

    Apr 13, 2015 at 9:50 am

    What to do ? is perhaps a question in the mind of many remain unanswered
    Dream will probably answer this question. How, when, where will follow
    Success is not in waelth accumulation. It is in satisfaction you derive from your performance

  10. Pat

    Apr 12, 2015 at 8:59 am

    Really enjoyed this post Peter! In my opinion, I think all your examples in your post shows all the excuses many of us give, including myself, to make ourselves feel better when we don’t succeed. It’s always easier to blame something else rather than taking personal responsibility for our own success. I was waiting for that perfect moment to leave a comment but in success the perfect moment is always.

    • Peter Banerjea

      Apr 13, 2015 at 6:05 am

      Hey Pat, thanks for your thoughts!
      Yes, its easy to blame our circumstances and our limited resources for our shortcomings, but there are thousands of examples of people who have had far less and done so much more. Once we realize that, an entirely new world of opportunities opens up!
      Peter

  11. abhijit

    Apr 12, 2015 at 1:41 am

    Such a great post..
    Everyone face those problems, examples &
    solutions are also awsome!

    • Peter Banerjea

      Apr 13, 2015 at 6:06 am

      Hi Abhijit,
      Glad you liked the examples!
      Cheers,
      Peter

  12. Wayne Caswell

    Apr 11, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    Ridiculous Belief #11 — Sleeping Less leaves more time to get stuff done. This is a very dangerous myth, because sleeping less can actually make your wakeful hours far less productive. It also affects your health and safety (e.g. drowsy driving) and can result in early death. Our bodies have evolved over millions of years to synchronize with the day-night cycle, but artificial lights and personal electronics have disrupted this, and our DNA has not caught up

    • Peter Banerjea

      Apr 13, 2015 at 6:03 am

      Hi Wayne,
      Thanks for adding this! Yes – this is really one of the most common misconceptions I have come across.
      I was guilty of sleeping less than 6 hours when I first started working. No wonder my productivity used to be far less than ideal during those days. Now, this is one of the most important things that I recommend to my clients – get a good nights sleep and see the difference yourself!
      Peter

  13. Anthony Metivier

    Apr 11, 2015 at 11:25 am

    Great post, Peter.

    In a world where so many successful entrepreneurs barely got through high school, education hasn’t got much of a competitive edge. 🙂

    • Peter Banerjea

      Apr 11, 2015 at 12:24 pm

      Great point Anthony! Now that I look back, I wonder how useful my MBA really is!

  14. Linda

    Apr 11, 2015 at 10:30 am

    Great post Peter! I really like all the examples you have given about Richard Branson, Elon Musk, Bill Gates and even Traf o data. If we examine carefully, the only thing holding us back are our own beliefs.

    • Peter Banerjea

      Apr 11, 2015 at 1:28 pm

      Thanks Linda! Yes – our beliefs determine what actions we take and consequently what we achieve.
      BTW – the traf o data bit is an interesting fact. I got to know about it quite recently.

      • Stephanie Taylor

        Aug 22, 2015 at 3:19 am

        I totally believe in this! Except for #1 – sometimes you have to let your brain rest with mindless TV or whatever…Many people get overwhelmed, and not taking time out for #1, or getting enough sleep can be success killers. Some of our greatest leaders in business have mental disorders, ADHD, ADD, or whatever. You must take care of yourself first and foremost or nothing else can be accomplished completely.
        Otherwise, a great read! Thanks!

        • Peter Banerjea

          Oct 28, 2015 at 5:43 am

          Hi Stephanie,
          Completely agree that it’s important to get enough sleep and have ‘me time’ too! The point I am trying to make is that everyone has time. If someone really has a dream, he/she has to make sacrifices and find time.
          Thanks for reading!
          Cheers! Peter

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

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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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29 Comments

29 Comments

  1. Rohit sharma

    Oct 2, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    Amazing post peter:/
    this beliefs are bad thing which holding us back from being Happy
    and from now i will try to avoid such “limiting belief”/
    thnx bro

    • Peter Banerjea

      Oct 28, 2015 at 5:45 am

      Hey Rohit,
      Yes, its crucial to be mindful of our beliefs. Its not simple to be cognizant of them, but this post might help in identifying the most common ones. Thanks for reading!
      Peter

  2. Alberto

    Aug 3, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    In my case, it was somehow forced upon. I switched from a full-time job to freelancing due to some unacceptable situations at work, and yes, there is that awkward moment before jumping into the open waters, when all your fears come to meet you. For example, I was afraid of not being able to win enough customers for my consulting business. What happened was exactly the opposite: I couldn’t keep up with demand and had to turn down a number of projects. So the next logical step was to be more selective and to raise the rates, and now I’m thinking of hiring more people in order to tackle bigger projects – which is yet another fear that must be overcome. It’s not easy, of course. But the only regret I have is not having taken this step some years ago!

    • Peter Banerjea

      Aug 4, 2015 at 9:24 am

      Great to hear that Alberto!
      Yup – each stage has its challenges and fears and we don’t really know what’s around the corner! But anything which is worth fighting for is tough. It’s great to see that you are meeting your fears head on and pushing your limits. You are an inspiration!
      Cheers,
      Peter

  3. henry kanyike

    Jun 15, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    Thanks peter for such an inspiring article, i call those ”defence mechanisms” people give to justify their weakness, some times i find myself a culprit of giving them too, but with the help of such articles, and books. I kick that inner self conforter and move ahead.
    Thanks peter once again

    • Peter Banerjea

      Jun 16, 2015 at 12:25 pm

      Happens to all of us Henry! All of us need reminders every now and then that our ‘limitations’ are in our head. As the old saying goes, where there is a will, there is a way! Sounds cliche but its true.
      Peter

  4. Susan Suehr

    Jun 10, 2015 at 11:51 am

    Peter what a great article. I think mine is not having the right connections. I love what you said at the end there, is it that difficult in the digital world? Boy, we have really come a long way and making connections is so much easier these days.

    What I really like about your post is how easily you debunk these beliefs.

    What a great list for people to work through. I ignored your pop-up, so now I’ll have to open a new browser so I can sign up for your blog.

    Susan

    • Peter Banerjea

      Jun 11, 2015 at 12:18 pm

      Hi Susan,
      Great to see you here! Yes – having a network is a lot easier than it was 10 years back. We just need to put in some work and keep expanding our networks.
      Cheers!
      Peter

  5. Tor Refsland

    Apr 16, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    Great post, Peter.

    I like your tips, especially #10.

    Perfection is more of a curse than a blessing.

    I know, because I used to be a perfectionist.

    Then I realized that all you do don`t actually have to be perfect, it`s okay if it`s very good 😉

    My tips is to know the acceptable performance, and then give the little extra.

    Example:

    You need to deliver a report to your boss. Acceptable is level 4/10.

    This means that it will be a total overkill to spend 2 extra hours delivering a report that is level 10.

    You should give the little extra to make the report stand out.

    Give the extra 10 minutes delivering the little extra.

    The result? The report has a level 5, still above average and making you stick out from the crowd.

    Spending more time than necessary is a waste of time.

    It`s all about working smart and spending your time in the best way possible.

    Tor

    • Peter Banerjea

      Apr 17, 2015 at 1:57 am

      Well said Tor! That’s the balance that we need to learn to strike. Having seen you for the past 3 months, I think you are doing a great job of doing that.
      Cheers,
      Peter

  6. Euan

    Apr 15, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    Hey Peter,
    I really enjoyed reading this article. It astounds me that some people continue to find excuses as to why they can’t do or achieve something. I really think one of the biggest contributors is a lack of confidence. Most people are too worried about what others think about them, and lack the will to stand out from the crowd. In order to counteract this problem, I really believe the only solution is to completely disregard what anyone thinks or has to say about you.
    I’d be interested to hear what you think…
    Cheers!

    • Peter Banerjea

      Apr 18, 2015 at 9:24 am

      Hi Euan,
      You are perfectly right! Most of us are worried about what people might think. Since human beings are driven by social proof, that’s hardwired into our DNA.
      However, we need to move beyond our natural tendency to simply follow the herd!
      Yes, it’s crucial to take risks, form independent opinions and take actions on those opinions.

      Having said that, there are people that we should listen to. Listening to our mentors and customers is crucial for success.
      For example, before writing a blog post, I ask myself – what do people want to read about?

      It’s about listening to the right people at the right time.
      It’s not an easy thing to do, but people who can do it well are usually the more successful ones.

      What do you think?
      Cheers!
      Peter

  7. Peggy Nolan

    Apr 13, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    Awesome post Peter and I couldn’t agree more. Our thoughts are what limit us!

    Peggy

    • Peter Banerjea

      Apr 14, 2015 at 2:49 am

      Thanks Peggy! As someone once said, we need to ‘think different’!

  8. Heather Sanders

    Apr 13, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    Peter, these are “on point”, thank you.

    I gave up TV. Well, we don’t have TV, but I gave up shows I downloaded and watched. It was hard at first, but I committed to 30 days of it, and then, I noticed I didn’t miss them.

    Great article!

    • Peter Banerjea

      Apr 14, 2015 at 2:52 am

      Hi Heather, that’s very commendable!
      I watch very little TV. I prefer to read instead. Maybe I should try out what you did and dump it altogether!

  9. H RAVI KUMAR

    Apr 13, 2015 at 9:50 am

    What to do ? is perhaps a question in the mind of many remain unanswered
    Dream will probably answer this question. How, when, where will follow
    Success is not in waelth accumulation. It is in satisfaction you derive from your performance

  10. Pat

    Apr 12, 2015 at 8:59 am

    Really enjoyed this post Peter! In my opinion, I think all your examples in your post shows all the excuses many of us give, including myself, to make ourselves feel better when we don’t succeed. It’s always easier to blame something else rather than taking personal responsibility for our own success. I was waiting for that perfect moment to leave a comment but in success the perfect moment is always.

    • Peter Banerjea

      Apr 13, 2015 at 6:05 am

      Hey Pat, thanks for your thoughts!
      Yes, its easy to blame our circumstances and our limited resources for our shortcomings, but there are thousands of examples of people who have had far less and done so much more. Once we realize that, an entirely new world of opportunities opens up!
      Peter

  11. abhijit

    Apr 12, 2015 at 1:41 am

    Such a great post..
    Everyone face those problems, examples &
    solutions are also awsome!

    • Peter Banerjea

      Apr 13, 2015 at 6:06 am

      Hi Abhijit,
      Glad you liked the examples!
      Cheers,
      Peter

  12. Wayne Caswell

    Apr 11, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    Ridiculous Belief #11 — Sleeping Less leaves more time to get stuff done. This is a very dangerous myth, because sleeping less can actually make your wakeful hours far less productive. It also affects your health and safety (e.g. drowsy driving) and can result in early death. Our bodies have evolved over millions of years to synchronize with the day-night cycle, but artificial lights and personal electronics have disrupted this, and our DNA has not caught up

    • Peter Banerjea

      Apr 13, 2015 at 6:03 am

      Hi Wayne,
      Thanks for adding this! Yes – this is really one of the most common misconceptions I have come across.
      I was guilty of sleeping less than 6 hours when I first started working. No wonder my productivity used to be far less than ideal during those days. Now, this is one of the most important things that I recommend to my clients – get a good nights sleep and see the difference yourself!
      Peter

  13. Anthony Metivier

    Apr 11, 2015 at 11:25 am

    Great post, Peter.

    In a world where so many successful entrepreneurs barely got through high school, education hasn’t got much of a competitive edge. 🙂

    • Peter Banerjea

      Apr 11, 2015 at 12:24 pm

      Great point Anthony! Now that I look back, I wonder how useful my MBA really is!

  14. Linda

    Apr 11, 2015 at 10:30 am

    Great post Peter! I really like all the examples you have given about Richard Branson, Elon Musk, Bill Gates and even Traf o data. If we examine carefully, the only thing holding us back are our own beliefs.

    • Peter Banerjea

      Apr 11, 2015 at 1:28 pm

      Thanks Linda! Yes – our beliefs determine what actions we take and consequently what we achieve.
      BTW – the traf o data bit is an interesting fact. I got to know about it quite recently.

      • Stephanie Taylor

        Aug 22, 2015 at 3:19 am

        I totally believe in this! Except for #1 – sometimes you have to let your brain rest with mindless TV or whatever…Many people get overwhelmed, and not taking time out for #1, or getting enough sleep can be success killers. Some of our greatest leaders in business have mental disorders, ADHD, ADD, or whatever. You must take care of yourself first and foremost or nothing else can be accomplished completely.
        Otherwise, a great read! Thanks!

        • Peter Banerjea

          Oct 28, 2015 at 5:43 am

          Hi Stephanie,
          Completely agree that it’s important to get enough sleep and have ‘me time’ too! The point I am trying to make is that everyone has time. If someone really has a dream, he/she has to make sacrifices and find time.
          Thanks for reading!
          Cheers! Peter

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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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