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Success Advice

10 Signs You Are Addicted To Failure

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If you’re searching for the secrets to success, they aren’t hard to find. There are thousands of books, seminars, podcasts, articles, interviews, videos, and courses all dedicated to teaching you how to succeed. And yet even with all of this incredible information available at little to no cost, so many of us continue to live in mediocrity and will never taste success.

The reality is that you can have all the right knowledge, but if you hold on to the wrong beliefs or behaviors, you are more likely to meet with failure than you are with success. Failure is not always a bad thing, as long as you are learning from the mistakes and are correcting your behaviors and actions to reach success. Fortunately there are signs that serve as warnings that you may be on the path to constant failure. By acknowledging these signs, and making changes when necessary, you increase your odds of success dramatically.

Listed below are 10 signs that you’re addicted to constant failure:

 

How To Stop Failing By Changing Your Behaviors

 

1. You’re addicted to the approval of others

When it’s time to make an important decision, instead of trusting your logic and intuition, you consult with the people around you first. You value the opinions of others more than you value your own. This emotional addiction to the approval of others stems from your lack of self-confidence, and your desire to please everyone.

Successful people are very particular about whose advice they ask for. They make sure to only consider the opinion of someone who has a track record of success with the issue at hand. They don’t concern themselves with the opinions of anyone and everyone, especially when it comes to issues that those people have little or no experience with. At the end of the day, they do what they feel is right – not what other people convince them to do.

 

2. You entertain yourself instead of educating yourself

You work a full time job and you might even have a decent career, but you haven’t opened a book since college, and the only extra training you’ve taken was required by your employer. The thought of going to networking events in your industry, reading books, listening to podcasts, or going to seminars to learn new skills and get new ideas is completely foreign to you.

Instead of spending your spare time investing in yourself and your ability to provide more value to the marketplace, you distract yourself with entertainment that adds no real value to your life or your productivity. You watch television often, you always know who won the game, and you can be found in nightclubs regularly.

 

3. You blame others for your circumstances

You’re not satisfied with where you are in life, but you have a perfect explanation for it. Essentially, none of it is your fault. You blame your boss, your coworkers, your parents, your educators, your childhood, even the economy for your lack of success.

You refuse to take 100% responsibility for your results. You refuse to acknowledge that YOU are in control of your life, and you get to steer yourself in whatever direction you choose.

 

4. You’re afraid of making mistakes

You’re afraid of failure, so you do whatever you can do avoid making mistakes. You forget that in the real world failure is not good or bad, it is simply feedback. But instead of learning from the valuable feedback that failure provides, you try to avoid it entirely. When you make a mistake, you cover it up and hope no one notices. You also put off making decisions because you’re afraid of making the wrong one. It takes you a long time to finally make a decision, and you change your mind often.

 

5. You stay in relationships that obviously aren’t working

You have a tendency to date people who bring you more problems than pleasure. You often tolerate behaviors that you know are unacceptable, and because you tolerate them they continue. Maybe you carry unresolved issues from previous relationships into your current one. Maybe you struggle with a low self-image so the standard you have for others isn’t very high. Whatever the case is, you must understand that your choice of spouse has a major impact on your life and success. If the person you’re with now is inhibiting your happiness and success, cut them lose and raise your standards.

 

6. You’re addicted to drama

Your life is a lot like an episode from a reality TV show. You are rarely on good terms with all of the people around you. You gossip about others often, and surprise surprise, they gossip about you too. The people you spend time with are known for arguing with each other, flirting with each other’s spouses, lying, and generally just causing problems between each other regularly. Instead of disassociating yourself from these types of people, you jump right in and add fuel to the fire. Heck, maybe you’re even the star of the show.

 

7. You spend time with people who are going nowhere

Jim Rohn, who was considered to be America’s Foremost Business Philosopher, once said that you become the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Unfortunately you spend most of your time with people who do not support or encourage your success. The people around you have no ambitions, no goals, and no concrete plans to improve their life. They seem to think that success is something that happens to other people, but not to them. You sometimes share an ambitious idea with these people, but they are quick to crush it.

Successful people know that the attitudes of the people around them are contagious, so they intentionally surround themselves with people who will encourage them and push them to higher levels. They know that they can’t afford to adopt the beliefs, thoughts, and habits of mediocre people if they are going to continue succeeding.

 

8. You’re careless with money

You often run out of money before you run out of month. You’re living paycheck to paycheck and you invest nothing for the future. You carry a balance on your credit cards, you take vacations you can’t afford, and you often buy expensive things impulsively. You spend money trying to look successful, but your balance sheet tells a different story. You hardly have any savings. You certainly don’t have a retirement plan. You don’t have any assets that make money for you, and your spending habits are your biggest liability.

You sometimes come close to acknowledging the truth about your situation, but instead of facing it and changing it, you let it continue. Thinking about your finances gives you a headache, and you prefer to avoid the subject entirely.

 

9. You have dreams (great) but no set goals (not so great)

You often imagine a more desirable version of your life, but instead of working towards making that vision a reality, you settle for your present circumstances. You complain often, but change little. You say you want certain things, but you do nothing to obtain them. You wish for your life to get better, but you make no commitment to improve yourself or your circumstances.

Successful people are driven by clear, specific goals. Their goals are what guide their decisions and their daily activities, and they rarely let a day pass by without doing something to bring them closer to achieving them. Their dreams aren’t something they sleep with at night; their dreams are something they wake up and chase.

 

10. You think successful people got lucky

The final sign that you’re addicted to failure is you believe that people who are successful got lucky – that they had some sort of advantage that you don’t have. You believe their parents helped them, or they went to the right school, or grew up in the right neighbourhood, or got in at the right time, or knew the right person, etc.

You think success is something that people stumble upon – a “right place at the right time” sort of situation. But the reality is people succeed by being the right person in the right place at the right time. In other words, they work relentlessly to prepare themselves for specific opportunities, and when those opportunities present themselves, they seize them. They don’t sit around waiting for the life they want to fall into their lap. They also typically don’t buy lottery tickets.

Change your actions

 

Tyler Basu is the Author of the #1 Amazon Bestselling book Lifestyle Business Blueprint, and the Publisher & Editor of Lifestyle Business Magazine, a digital magazine for lifestyle entrepreneurs. He also hosts the Lifestyle Business Magazine Podcast. To get in touch with Tyler visit www.tylerbasu.com.

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27 Comments

27 Comments

  1. Honey

    Apr 23, 2017 at 10:51 am

    man you have written a nice post

  2. mazharoddin

    Mar 6, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    Excellent post and inspiring one, its true our surroundings and people have lot of impact on us, reading good books or articles like this one will definitely help to be in good company.

  3. Joseph Hotto

    Jul 4, 2015 at 9:43 pm

    Excellent Advice! I am 18 years old and I have Asperger’s Syndrome. Ever since my junior year of high school when college admissions and academic performance started, I was obsessed with getting into the “best” college in my state and not acknowledging my own strengths and weaknesses, and I crashed more than succeeded. This was also the case with my friends: I kept looking at the big picture than focusing on smaller steps that could lead me to where I want to go to. Also, I must say that indulging on how great your future will turn out is a WASTE of time: you are essentially doing nothing and you decrease your motivation. Nobody is perfect, and it is even hard for me to realize.

  4. fostergrowthdotbiz

    Aug 27, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    Great article. Many persons and their careers would benefit if more time was spent on this topic. Of course, the key challenge is that there are so many not very successful people. One needs to look hard and be disciplined to find achievers. And, sometimes those “average” persons are very enjoyable to be with. @fostergrowth

  5. Paul

    Apr 14, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Good post!

  6. james simwanza

    Mar 14, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    You have truely made your point James,but hey this post was for those who feel they need a change in there life,no harm about it.Its take it or leave it,I Believe we all can make choices.The auther did a great job for those who will go by it.THANKYOU

  7. Naomi@business start ups

    Mar 6, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    Hi Tyler,

    Jonathan’s comment is great! You’re seeing your valuable advice being put into action already.

    All great points. Well done

    Naomi

  8. James

    Mar 6, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    In general I agree, many of the point you make are good general life advice, but you’re clearly successful and successful people tend to attribute their success to their own personal characteristics (hard work, intelligence, ingenuity etc) whereas the reality is that luck does play a role in many people’s success. Because of this I disagree with numbers 3 and 10, particularly the bold text in number 3. People are not in control of their lives and the worse off you are the less in control you are and the harder it is to take control.

    The way you write show that your frame of reference is already a relatively privileged subset of society. You talk about not reading books since college, going to networking events in your industry, listening to podcasts and making important decisions. You’re talking about university educated professionals not those in minimum wage jobs and on zero hour contracts. The points you put forward don’t really work for anyone but this subset.

    Obviously I’m not saying all successful people got lucky, just that points 3 and 10 are inaccurate. No one is 100% responsible for their results, that’s just something successful people like to claim. In reality other people have a huge effect on your success and failure and luck does play a part in the vast majority of people’s careers.

    • Jeremy

      Mar 7, 2014 at 12:44 pm

      I agree that no one is 100% responsible for their results, but you cannot take this at face value. What it means is that you have to take control of your life by not staying down when fallen and blaming others for your unfortunate setbacks. Even when it wasn’t your fault.

      Yes, luck sure plays a role. But successful people are too busy increasing the odds than bothering about whether or not they will ever hit the jackpot.

    • Ike Chidolue

      Mar 9, 2014 at 12:43 am

      Come off it, James, Tyler has written some most valuable suggestions on how anyone could reposition themselves positively and hopefully become more successful. If you truly define success, then you must add #3 & #10 back to it. Hard work & masterly intelligence is a must. Playing the blame game won’t cut it. Success is not like playing the lottery. I believe that successful were prepared, became equipped technical authority in tgeir field, and showed up always waiting for/ or anticipating the opportunity to showcase their expertise/skill/discipline to a larger audience or the game changer.

      Even in the unlikely event where anyone who applied themselves to all the 10 guides above but did not hit it big, such persons should walk away gladly with the fact that they are a lot better positively build person, with a new can – do attitude to life and that in itself is success.

      Thanks, Tyler for this write up, it jolted me up from bed, & got me taking stock of where I may have missed it & what changes I need to make. Time now is 1:41AM & I’m in Nigeria.

      • Jeremy

        Mar 10, 2014 at 3:35 am

        “Even in the unlikely event where anyone who applied themselves to all the 10 guides above but did not hit it big, such persons should walk away gladly with the fact that they are a lot better positively build person, with a new can – do attitude to life and that in itself is success.” ==> 100%.

        People are always thinking about whether they will hit the end result. But it’s not always about the end result. It’s hardly about it in fact. It’s more about the person you become as a result of going all out to achieve those goals.

        Well said, Ike.

    • tylerbasu

      Mar 9, 2014 at 4:48 am

      Hi James, thank you for the well thought out comment – you have brought up some interesting points. Respectfully, I would like to offer a few insights. I believe you are right in saying that no one is 100% responsible for their results. In reality there is an interdependence between all people who contribute to any specific result together.That being said, it is having the MENTALITY that you are responsible for your results that is important. That mentality will prevent you from placing blame on others when things don’t work out as you hope, which is what point #3 is about: not blaming others, and taking responsibility. I am just now reminded of a great quote: “great leaders share the credit for their successes, but take responsibility for their failures.”

      Secondly, as much as I appreciate you calling me “clearly successful” and of a “privileged subset of society” I would like to shed some light on some more facts. I did not start here. I got here by choice. Yes, I have spent some time in college, but all those things I mentioned (read books, attend networking events, listen to podcasts, etc.) are things that I did BEFORE I went to college and that I still do today. College or university alone is NOT the key to success, and there is plenty of evidence of this in the marketplace today. It was precisely by doing those things that I was able to rise above limiting circumstances, and ALL of those things didn’t cost much in time or money and are certainly not unavailable to all individuals regardless of their social or economic status.

      When you say that those points don’t work for certain people you are enabling them to allow their circumstances to define their opportunities, rather than encourage them to meet people and utilize resources that can help them to rise above those circumstances. If you believe yourself to be in some “subset” that prevents you from investing in yourself in this manner, I challenge you to not be defined by your environment, stop making excuses, and start creating the environment you want for your life.

      Respectfully,
      Tyler

      • James

        Mar 14, 2014 at 1:57 pm

        Well worth watching (if you’re in the UK) to challenge the idea that people are in control of their success and understand how much of a disadvantage some people are at.

        The best quote comes from Rachel Johnson (Boris Johnston’s sister):
        “In a sense I care a lot more about these people’s children because Jackie and Mick have made, and they would say it first, very poor choices and very bad decisions. Their choices are going to take away their children’s ability to make good choices and to have the opportunities my children have had.”
        Its a shame she doesn’t make the leap to realising that the parents (Jackie and Mick) have had their ability to make good choices taken away by their parents, and their parents by their grandparents and so on.

        Ike and Tyler, you talk about “coming prepared”, “equipped with technical authority”, “anticipating the opportunity to showcase their expertise/skill/discipline” and having “the MENTALITY that you are responsible for your results”. The point I’m making is that many people, through no fault of their own, simply do not have the mentality, skills, organisation and initiative to do these things. Growing up in certain areas, going to bad schools etc leaves people unequipped and unable to make good life choices, resulting of a vicious circle generation after generation after generation.

        Its not about passing the blame or people making excuses, its about realising that some people are not being prepared to compete in the environment where the 10 points Tyler lays out become relevant. These people don’t have the options not to be defined by their environment. They’re trapped in a cycle of poverty, desperation and necessity.

        • Jeremy

          Mar 14, 2014 at 2:35 pm

          You definitely have valid points here, James. But then again, don’t you think anyone who is able to read this article should be well educated and equipped to make good life choices?

          • James

            Mar 14, 2014 at 3:22 pm

            That was exactly the point I made in my first comment. By accepting that this article is only for people who are well educated equipped to make good life choices you’ve already limited the relevance of the points above to a very small, privileged, and in relative terms successful subset of the population.

            You’re not “addicted to failure” if you’re a well educated professional who perhaps isn’t getting promoted as fast as they want, in fact you’re already very successful. Obviously you can change your behaviours to optimise your chances of being where you want to be but that’s more about your own expectations and your perception of your own worth vs. reality than transforming yourself from a failure to a success.

            The points are not helpful or even relevant to people who are truly “failing” in our society and the article shows a lack of understanding of what it truly means to be failing and how difficult it can be for people to change their circumstances.

            • Jeremy

              Mar 14, 2014 at 3:39 pm

              “you’ve already limited the relevance of the points above to a very small, privileged, and in relative terms successful subset of the population.” ==> Even if that is so, that is probably 100% of all people reading this and that’s all that matters right?

              Also, don’t take things at face value!! I’m talking about being “addicted to failure”. In this article’s context, I would believe “failure” to be anyone desiring change in their life, but either not taking action, or not changing their mindset/mentality/attitude.

              You are right in saying that the article isn’t helpful for people who are truly “failing” in our society. That’s because, like you said, it’s directed at “a very small, privileged, and in relative terms successful subset of the population.” Which happens to be about 100% of the readers here!!

              I can totally understand where you’re coming from, James. But again, please don’t take things at face value. A lot of these articles have attention grabbing headlines like this one. And you can’t say the headline is irrelevant.

  9. Nick Giordano

    Mar 6, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    You really opened my eyes and my heart, with your quotes. The one that said: ” I have dreams but no set goals, was so true. God bless you for writing these quotes and inspiring others in looking at their lives. This was just the wake up call that I needed.

  10. ayushi parsheera

    Mar 6, 2014 at 9:50 am

    perfect mirror, introspected myself ,head to toe in last 5 minutes, wow!! thank you!! i got to be working on it

  11. Roderick

    Mar 6, 2014 at 5:34 am

    Didn’t know I was addicted to anything until now. True eye opener…ready to make changes!!!

  12. Jeremy

    Mar 5, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    Surrounding yourself with the people that will bring you up is so important.

    Just as you say, “Successful people know that the attitudes of the people around them are contagious, so they intentionally surround themselves with people who will encourage them and push them to higher levels.” Plus being around people who are doing the impossible and have the courage to pursue their dreams.

    Trouble is, a lot of people think otherwise. They think that they can rely on themselves which is not always the case.

    I think that this is one of the most powerful life hacks that will really get you ahead in life, as Scott Dinsmore says. You don’t even have to change your goals. You just need to get inspired by these people and many things will take care of itself.

  13. jonathan brantley

    Mar 4, 2014 at 11:27 pm

    This article was an eye-opening slap in the face. I knew I was committing many of these offenses, but instead of taking action I chose to play the victim. I love and hate you, Tyler Basu, for writing this article.

    No more excuses. Thank you, Tyler Basu, for the kick in the pants!

    • tylerbasu

      Mar 5, 2014 at 5:55 am

      Love your response! You’re probably not the only one who felt this way after reading this. Having the courage to accept the reality you’ve created is the first step to making positive changes. I wish you the best of luck =)

  14. james simwanza

    Mar 4, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    very very educative,thanx alot i hv learnt more than i needed

  15. Nikola Gjakovski

    Mar 4, 2014 at 11:38 am

    Great post Tyler. You got some great quotes such as “The final sign that you’re addicted to failure is you believe that people who are successful got lucky”. I find myself so much in the mistakes and I’m really glad I flew into this article !

    • tylerbasu

      Mar 4, 2014 at 10:18 pm

      Thank you Nikola! I wrote this article knowing that it would likely offend certain people, but at the same time hoping that it would give them a chance to truly reflect on any habits or beliefs they have that do not support their success. See you at the top champion!

      • Cristina R

        Mar 5, 2014 at 12:08 pm

        No offense taken here, great post, thank you!

  16. Dor

    Mar 3, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    Great article! The close friends and the environment effect us more than we think. One step towards leaving failure behind is choosing who we want to surround us and with whom we need to disconnect.

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Success Advice

Stop Replying To Everyone.

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Many of you are running around like mad trying to manage your time. You’re reading productivity hacks, taking cold showers and waking up at 5 am.

You’re doing all of this because you want more time to do what you love.

Let me hit you in the face with one technique that has allowed me to win back time, so I can do what I love.

Stop replying to everyone…

You get emails asking you to do stuff.
You get asked to do an intro.
You get asked to speak at an event for free about your area of expertise.

Here’s the problem:
YOU KEEP RESPONDING TO EVERY REQUEST OF YOUR TIME.


What’s the answer?

The answer is really simple like everything I write. Are you ready?
Stop replying to everyone.

I learned this technique the hard way. When I was looking to interview entrepreneurs in 2014 about their story and share it in the form of a blog post, I didn’t get many replies.

I’d email very successful people who have achieved the impossible and get nothing.

Radio silence.
Donuts.


Why don’t your idols respond to requests for their time?

There’s many reasons.

  1. They have too many requests and could never humanly answer every single one.
  2. They have limited time and can’t fit everybody into their schedule.

The second reason is the most important. Your idols don’t respond because that’s their way of saying no.


No response is the best response.

By responding to every request of your time, you go down the rabbit hole of endless back and forth conversations.

Let me illustrate this point with a short story.

A US startup approached me on LinkedIn and asked me to advise them on their social media strategy. They offered me equity in return for my expertise.

The product was not something that aligned with who I am, and I was heading off to Europe on holidays and had no time to draft a proper reply.

I sent no response to their request.
They messaged me a second time.
I sent no response to their request.

Then, I got sucked into responding. I felt my moral compass telling me to reply and tell them no. On top of that, the startup had a very well known person in the social media industry join them. FOMO kicked in.

I replied and that’s where everything went wrong.

Once I replied to the request I got daily reminders and emails with pitch decks trying to convince me why they were the one startup who could beat Instagram. The claims of how much traction they had got more and more ridiculous.

“Eventually, a simple request of my time turned into a daily debate”

They wouldn’t leave me alone. I began to regret my stupidity for responding in the first place.

If a request of your time doesn’t resonate with you, and you don’t feel like saying “Fuck Yes” when presented with an opportunity, say NO.

Don’t be tempted by a request of your time. 
Say no.


Not replying is what works.

People generally give up after one email or direct message asking for your time. I’ve tested this theory a lot and it has almost always turned out to be true.

As soon as you reply, you become like a lawyer in the High Court trying to defend someone who is accused of murder. Your time is yours. You only get one life.

“You don’t need to justify yourself, your time, or your goals to anybody”

YOU HEAR ME? NOBODY!

The way you win back time and make room for what’s important to you is to fight the temptation to reply to every request that comes your way.

Quit giving away your time like free balloons at a car expo.


You end up making up lies.

The problem with replying to every request of your time is you can end up making up lies to get out of doing something. Or you may end up exaggerating or putting forward excuses that aren’t entirely true.

This causes even more problems for you because if the requester knows people within your network, they may find out you’re not being honest.

Why construct a grand plan that takes more of your time to respond to a request?

It’s easier to say nothing at all.


Silence says it all.

Smart people who ask you for stuff will know that after a week, if you haven’t responded, you’re probably not interested.

Silence is the best response. After all, if someone really wants you to do something they’ll chase you, they’ll follow you up and they may get a mutual connection to intro them to you.

Many pitches and requests are poorly written or incredibly selfish.

Fight back with silence. Don’t reply. Stop replying.


You’re not missing anything.

The temptation to respond can also be caused by the fear that you’re missing out.

Maybe someone is contacting you to fund your idea.
Maybe something you wrote is going to be published in the New York Times.
Maybe the request will lead you to direct a Hollywood Movie.

All of these false ideas are what’s causing you to respond to everybody.You’re worried you could miss the jackpot or your lucky break.

The harsh truth is that these opportunities are earned through hard work.Genuine opportunities that will excite you are clearly articulated and your gut feeling will guide you better than you think.

You’re not going to miss out on winning an Oscar for a movie you made because you didn’t reply to an email”


Not replying isn’t rude.

We feel we must reply to every request of our time. We have a fear that we will be accused of being rude.

This belief is false also. There’s nothing rude about not replying. We all get lots of emails and messages online and we can’t answer them all. People will understand when you don’t reply. If they don’t understand then that’s a problem with them, not you.

Don’t feel you have to reply out of politeness.

<<<>>>

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

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Success Advice

Practice These 4 No’s for Greater Success

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how to achieve greater success
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In much of the success literature and in the applied motivational literature that is developed today, the explicit suggestions contained within are to practice certain behaviors for a certain outcome. So, you may see information with titles such as, “Do these four things for greater happiness”, or, “Perform the seven steps every morning for more focus”.

Not only am I a large proponent of these quick and distilled attributes of behavior change to bring about greater levels of whatever the outcome should be, I am also an author of a great many of them. The notion of cause and effect is explicit in applied motivation. If you want to change and affect then do not work on the effect directly, work on the cause that will invariably change the outcome.

So many of us try to psychologically bully our conscious mind into various effects, when all we really need to do is understand the causes. Thoughts drive behavior. If you change the thought the behavior must change. But can you increase your level of overall well-being by NOT doing certain things? And I know the answer is yes. It all begins with a shift in our perception and the thought process.

“If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.” – Peace Pilgrim

Here are four NO’s that you may want to stop practicing. And by virtue of not doing these things you will have more mental room, and idea space between your positive notions for greater levels of contentment and well-being.

1. There are no justified discontentment’s

If the laws of cause and effect, and the law of attraction hold true, then we are where we are right now by virtue of our past behaviors, which are a direct result of our past beginning. So don’t be mad over your current situation, you created it! If you want to be happy, change it! But don’t just sit there and bask in your discontentment; bring about the necessary changes that you require.

In the words of James Ray, “a person of power embraces challenges and complete gratitude. No matter the situation life may bring, discontent is never justified, but rather all is experienced as an opportunity and privilege to adventure and grow.”

2. There are no justified excuses

The present is a doorway that balances past events with future circumstances. When we begin to fully grasp the idea that there is no dress rehearsal, we are on Broadway; that there is no scrimmage, today we are in the Super Bowl, we begin to realize that our life is a series of micro adjustments and that we are in total and complete control over them. Instead of wasting time making excuses for poor decisions, spend that time in fine-tuning future decisions to make up for those poor decisions of the past.

3. There are no justified complaints

We complain about a situation for one of two reasons. One, to elicit pity from another and, two, to transfer the issue we are complaining about to somebody else. Either behavior is destructive to the current personal relationship and will only serve to undermine future transactions with that individual.

Be a person of higher self-esteem; handle your issues in silence then speak to another individual about your successful outcomes. By doing so, you have altered your focus on a positive outcome instead of our negative conditions. By the way, there is always a successful outcome! If you can find it, look deeper, it’s there!

“Champions never complain, they are too busy getting better.” – John Wooden

4. There are no justified resentments

None, zip, zilch, zero! That person that borrowed $500 off you and never paid you back, forgive them. That significant other that dropped you like a hot coal just when you needed them the most, forgive them. That business partner that screwed you to the wall and caused you to lose a vast amount of money, forgive them. Remember, forgiveness is not about them, it’s about you. By letting go of the resentments that you have toward other people you open yourself up to the endless possibilities of bountiful manifestations that can occur because of your positive attitude and constructive optimism.

Think of these four big No’s! Number them, with number one being the one which you practice and think about the most. Then answer the following questions:

  • What can I do to alter this behavior and/or thought process?
  • What situations do I encounter and lead me in this behavior and/or thought process?
  • Can I avoid those situations?
  • If so, am I willing to avoid those situations?

Then do that with the second the third and the fourth big No’s. What will happen after enough time is that you will no longer be looking for situations to offend you, rather you will begin to open up to the possibilities of what the world and the universe have to offer you in a positive, enthusiastic, and engaging light.

I look forward to your comments, opinions, and suggestions. Please feel free to write them below.

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Success Advice

9 Ways To Build Unbreakable Confidence From The Outside In

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Build Self Confidence

There are a million different resources and pieces of advice out there from “experts” on how to build confidence, particularly self-confidence.

A vulnerable and anxious population consumes this guidance like they are starving for it… probably because they are. The dream of being able to overcome all fear and self-imposed limits by simply reading some advice is a very tempting dish indeed.

After lifetimes of being subject to images and ideals that they cannot possibly live up to, people start to feel like they are “less than.” This fear of being a substandard human being drives some of us to seek guidance, bringing us into contact with the murky, over-crowded world of self-help products and services.

Look, some of the stuff out there is good – I know, I’ve tried most of it. However, some of it is very misguided and even delusional.

People who lack self-confidence themselves can take a class on basic theoretical knowledge of psychological research, and use it to excrete volumes of garbage about how to build self-esteem and confidence. They then charge copious amounts of money for this drivel, which usually makes you feel great temporarily but does absolutely nothing to change your long term situation.

I’m not going to pretend I know it all, yet what I do have to offer is that I have completed the full journey, from shy, “nice,” and trying to please everyone, all the way through to where I am now.

You may ask, where is that, and what does being confident mean to me? It means that these things now occur in my life where they didn’t before:

  • I regularly seek out opportunities to push boundaries and expand my comfort zone, running towards fear rather than away from it
  • I can go into a situation full of anxiety and quickly push through that to enable me to feel competent and at ease
  • I feel comfortable being honest in all situations. Rather than hide my views, I express them calmly and diplomatically where required, but also without compromise
  • I place my needs above everything else. I am selfish about developing my life and inner-self, because I know that ultimately the people in my life will benefit from me being a better person
  • Most importantly from my point of view, I can’t remember the last time I felt jealousy or envy, and it’s been many, many years since I entertained the idea of wanting to be anyone else

So how did I get to this from being a “nice” guy that did all I could to avoid confrontation and anxiety-provoking situations? Well, it wasn’t easy! I have taken some time to break down the steps I took to achieve this in order to help others out there who are similar to me and serious about developing true, unbreakable inner confidence.

See the secret is really no secret at all – it’s about constantly taking action in a way that pushes your comfort zone further out until you learn how to make any situation feel like it’s in your comfort zone.

Below are 9 ways to build unbreakable confidence from the outside in:

1. Identifying your ultimate dream lifestyle

Something that is a real confidence drainer is not knowing where you’re going in life. The great thing is you don’t even need to be sure about it; you just need to have a direction to travel in.

Try taking 30 minutes to write down a descriptive paragraph or two about what your life would look like if you could wave a magic wand and choose anything. I’ve found with my clients that answering these three questions in detail is a great structure to use:

1What will you have / what will you be doing?

2) How would other people describe you?

3) What will you think about yourself?

Writing down the detailed answers to these questions, using emotional and descriptive language. Once you’ve done this, make sure you re-read it regularly (at least twice per week) to remind yourself constantly about why it is you are getting out of bed.

This will increase your sense of purpose in life, a reason to live in a way, which will increase your confidence. Of course, to actually achieve this dream lifestyle, there are further steps you need to take… (read on).

2. Writing down goals and striving to achieve them

I remember reading about a study at Oxford University: researchers asked all students in a class who had written down their goals. I can’t remember the exact details but about 3% of them did this.

When the researchers revisited the students again 20 years later, the small group who had written down goals were earning a combined income that was greater than the combined income of all 97% of their classmates.

There are plenty of free resources out there on how to write goals (including The Inspirational Lifestyle). The general key I recommend is that rather than write outcome based goals (e.g. “I will get a promotion”) try writing action-based goals that are under your control (e.g. “I will take a management course and then apply for a promotion”).

By making sure the goals are under your control, your confidence is not subject to luck. Remove luck by making sure that nothing and no-one can affect the achievement of your goal except for you.

3. Reading popular self-development books by successful business people

While there are far too many refuse-bin-worthy self-development books out there, your safest bet is to read the memoirs and how-to books which are written by people who have actually achieved something.

It really is simple; if someone like Richard Branson is a billionaire, he’s probably a pretty reliable source of information on how to make money. It’s much better to listen to him than someone fresh from completing an MBA and spilling a bunch of inexperienced theory-based conjecture.

4Learning how to manage your state of mind

Most of the time the reason you feel anxious or nervous about a situation you’re about to go into, such as public speaking, is because you’re in the wrong frame of mind.

Imagine this: you’ve been studying accounting for three straights hours without interruption, when all of a sudden you’re dragged to a party. Straight away you feel anxiety even though going to a party is not an unusual situation for you. So what’s the problem?

Your brain was set into the “studying” state, which is secluded, quiet, and antisocial. You are then thrown into a situation which requires you to be extroverted, talkative and social. This is a really uncomfortable imbalance for your brain to handle. The solution? Taking baby steps.

When you realize you are feeling anxiety about an upcoming situation and you suspect that it is because of being in the wrong state, try to figure out some in-between steps you can take.

Using our example above, rather than going straight to the party, you could have a chat on the phone with some close friends, followed by pre-drinks at your house with just a few people. This way by the time you get to the party your state has gone from withdrawn to outgoing in easy to manage steps.

confidence picture quote

5Understanding the balance between learning, mentoring and action

One of the most common barriers to success is too much thinking and not enough doing. It’s the doing that builds confidence, not the learning.

As a general rule, for every hour you spend reading or watching videos (passive learning), you will benefit most by complementing this with two hours of mentoring or coaching, and seven hours practicing or otherwise taking action. It’s the 10/20/70 rule.

This is why I’ve titled this article “9 ways to build confidence from the outside in,” because building confidence goes far beyond just reading inspirational or educational books. It’s about taking action so you will start seeing results and positive changes.

6. Approaching strangers

This is one of the scariest things for people to do – very few can do it sober without a background in cold-calling or sales of some kind. Doing this is a really powerful way to build confidence, particularly if you’re single and approaching strangers with the intention of potential romance.

If you can get yourself to do this sober and during the day, it makes everything else seem a lot less scary. You can learn to love rejection as the learning and feedback experience it really is.

7. Trying new things regularly

Having a routine can kill your creativity and make your life boring. It’s important to seek new adventures, and always try new things regularly because it can boost your confidence through the following two ways.

1) By learning a range of skills and having varied experiences, you start building up transferable abilities. Over time less situations will seem totally unknown because you will have done something similar before.

For example, I found I really enjoyed salsa dancing despite never having danced before, because it combined my previous experiences of playing in a band and doing martial arts.

2) You will eventually find those things that bring you the most pleasure and satisfaction (in a non-creepy way of course).

Confidence is often also described as “conscious competence,” which basically means that if you are doing something that you are skilled at, and you know that you are skilled, you feel confident.

8. Surrounding yourself with successful people

Successful people always say “how can we do this?” whereas unsuccessful people generally say “why should we do this?

What kind of people do you spend the most time with? Until you develop a strong inner core of confidence that others cannot touch, you need to surround yourself with “can do” people in order to feed on their confidence.

People showing you that anything is possible, and that they believe you are capable of anything will go a long way towards helping you believe this yourself.

9. Making a conscious effort to stop caring about other’s opinions of you

Finally, the biggest lesson I ever really learned about developing true all-round confidence is that the only person I should compare myself to is… myself. There is nothing to be gained in comparing myself to others or trying to live to others expectations.

Confidence comes from setting your own expectations of yourself and then trying your best to live up to them. I am not saying that you shouldn’t compete with others, because that’s a great motivator too, but your results and progress should only be measured against your past self.

Well that’s it. There’s a million other things you can do, but I am sure that if you start with this list and TAKE ACTION rather than just read this and do nothing, then you will start to see big changes in how you feel about yourself.

Which one of the above 9 ways to build unbreakable confidence resonated most with you and why?

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Success Advice

It’s Not How Smart You Are That Defines Your Career — It’s This

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Look around the office you work in. Some people are managers. Some people make six-figure salaries. Some people are senior executives. Some people work in customer service on the frontline.

It’s a big mistake to think that where you are in your career has something to do with how smart you are.

I’ve met many smart people who crash and burn in their careers because they have to be always right or they overthink, or they know a lot about the wrong things or they have very low emotional intelligence causing them to upset many people at the same time.

If being smart made us successful then we’d all go and consume endless information and become millionaires shortly after.

Being smart is not enough.

So what does define your career and the success you have?


1. How badly you want it

The woman/man that became CEO wanted it more.

The person with the 7-figure business wanted it more.

The woman that won an Olympic Gold Medal wanted it more.

You have to want your goals really, really, really bad.

Wanting something so badly that you’re prepared to do anything to get there (ethically) is how you get the energy to overcome the rejection and failure it’s going to take to get reach that point.

I wanted to share my story and inspire people with it very badly. I thought of creating a WordPress website, but I had no idea how to and had zero technical skill. My knowledge of how to market that website was also zero.
I tried creating a Facebook Page and to date, it still has less than 3000 followers which means I fall short by a lot in terms of my target to inspire millions of people.

I tried using Twitter and reaching people that way. I was never able to get any real engagement. I’d tweet Elon Musk. I’d message Tony Robbins. I’d write the best tweet humanly possible. It all led nowhere.

I tried using a blogging platform called Medium. I was able to build a small following, but most people in my area of the world don’t use it. I still came up short of my goal.

Then, I tried writing on a blog that already had lots of viewers called Addicted2Success and began posting on LinkedIn daily.

Everything changed. I wanted to inspire people so badly that I kept trying until I found a platform that worked for what I had to say. Wanting it badly enough was what helped me keep going from 2014 until now. It didn’t stop there, though.

When my career took a turn down a black hole, my motivation died. Suddenly, writing on Addicted2Success and LinkedIn became hard. I didn’t want it as bad because the pain caused by my work life was too much. I let things slip temporarily for about 3 weeks. Engagement went to an all-time low.

It didn’t last long, though. Why? My thinking changed when I reminded myself how upset I would be if I didn’t achieve my goal. It meant far too much and in the back of my mind, I still wanted it badly.

I went back over all the emails from people I’d helped and that spark came back. Deep down, I still wanted it badly. I still wanted to inspire millions of people.

Wanting it bad was what helped me to revive my blogging career and continue helping millions of people.

Wanting it badly will define your career.


2. What you think is possible

I met a guy earlier in the year that came from a farm in the middle of Outback Australia.

He’d sold his digital marketing business for a lot of money and banked a huge amount of coin as a result. He had no tech background. He had no business knowledge. He didn’t have seven-figure friends that drove Bentley’s.

What he had was an uncanny ability to think anything was possible. He saw himself rising above his circumstances even though he had no evidence to prove that he could do so. He worked long hours and built up a team of cult followers. They learned together how to get businesses exposure through social media and search engines.

For many of the people on his team, it was their first job. He didn’t pay them well because he couldn’t. All he thought was that one day, together, they’d do something incredible — and they did.

A lot of what happens in your career is based on how you think. If you think you can never be a manager, entrepreneur or executive, then you won’t be.

If you think you can be good at public speaking, you might.
If you think you can hit your sales target, you might.
If you think you can start a successful business, you might.
If you’re not successful right now, you will be.

It’s only a matter of time until one of the bets in your career pays off

It’s a combination of being ready, being humble, thinking right and having the skills to execute. Not thinking you can achieve big will rob you of whatever it is that you want in your career.

I shouldn’t be a successful blogger because I can’t write that well, I have bad spelling/grammar skills, I don’t own a blog and I’m not filthy rich. Despite all that I’ve achieved my blogging goal.

I saw my goal become possible before anybody else did.

I told myself that every major challenge was necessary for me to eventually get what I wanted. I thought my goal was possible even though all the facts suggested it wasn’t. Instead of relying on data I relied on my own mind to lead me down the right path.

I chose to believe when no one else did.

This very way of thinking is not unique to me. Many of the leaders around the world that shape the human race think in the same way.

What you think is possible in your career will define what goals you can achieve.

Your thinking defines your career.
Being smart isn’t enough.

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Success Advice

Stop Replying To Everyone.

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Many of you are running around like mad trying to manage your time. You’re reading productivity hacks, taking cold showers and waking up at 5 am.

You’re doing all of this because you want more time to do what you love.

Let me hit you in the face with one technique that has allowed me to win back time, so I can do what I love.

Stop replying to everyone…

You get emails asking you to do stuff.
You get asked to do an intro.
You get asked to speak at an event for free about your area of expertise.

Here’s the problem:
YOU KEEP RESPONDING TO EVERY REQUEST OF YOUR TIME.


What’s the answer?

The answer is really simple like everything I write. Are you ready?
Stop replying to everyone.

I learned this technique the hard way. When I was looking to interview entrepreneurs in 2014 about their story and share it in the form of a blog post, I didn’t get many replies.

I’d email very successful people who have achieved the impossible and get nothing.

Radio silence.
Donuts.


Why don’t your idols respond to requests for their time?

There’s many reasons.

  1. They have too many requests and could never humanly answer every single one.
  2. They have limited time and can’t fit everybody into their schedule.

The second reason is the most important. Your idols don’t respond because that’s their way of saying no.


No response is the best response.

By responding to every request of your time, you go down the rabbit hole of endless back and forth conversations.

Let me illustrate this point with a short story.

A US startup approached me on LinkedIn and asked me to advise them on their social media strategy. They offered me equity in return for my expertise.

The product was not something that aligned with who I am, and I was heading off to Europe on holidays and had no time to draft a proper reply.

I sent no response to their request.
They messaged me a second time.
I sent no response to their request.

Then, I got sucked into responding. I felt my moral compass telling me to reply and tell them no. On top of that, the startup had a very well known person in the social media industry join them. FOMO kicked in.

I replied and that’s where everything went wrong.

Once I replied to the request I got daily reminders and emails with pitch decks trying to convince me why they were the one startup who could beat Instagram. The claims of how much traction they had got more and more ridiculous.

“Eventually, a simple request of my time turned into a daily debate”

They wouldn’t leave me alone. I began to regret my stupidity for responding in the first place.

If a request of your time doesn’t resonate with you, and you don’t feel like saying “Fuck Yes” when presented with an opportunity, say NO.

Don’t be tempted by a request of your time. 
Say no.


Not replying is what works.

People generally give up after one email or direct message asking for your time. I’ve tested this theory a lot and it has almost always turned out to be true.

As soon as you reply, you become like a lawyer in the High Court trying to defend someone who is accused of murder. Your time is yours. You only get one life.

“You don’t need to justify yourself, your time, or your goals to anybody”

YOU HEAR ME? NOBODY!

The way you win back time and make room for what’s important to you is to fight the temptation to reply to every request that comes your way.

Quit giving away your time like free balloons at a car expo.


You end up making up lies.

The problem with replying to every request of your time is you can end up making up lies to get out of doing something. Or you may end up exaggerating or putting forward excuses that aren’t entirely true.

This causes even more problems for you because if the requester knows people within your network, they may find out you’re not being honest.

Why construct a grand plan that takes more of your time to respond to a request?

It’s easier to say nothing at all.


Silence says it all.

Smart people who ask you for stuff will know that after a week, if you haven’t responded, you’re probably not interested.

Silence is the best response. After all, if someone really wants you to do something they’ll chase you, they’ll follow you up and they may get a mutual connection to intro them to you.

Many pitches and requests are poorly written or incredibly selfish.

Fight back with silence. Don’t reply. Stop replying.


You’re not missing anything.

The temptation to respond can also be caused by the fear that you’re missing out.

Maybe someone is contacting you to fund your idea.
Maybe something you wrote is going to be published in the New York Times.
Maybe the request will lead you to direct a Hollywood Movie.

All of these false ideas are what’s causing you to respond to everybody.You’re worried you could miss the jackpot or your lucky break.

The harsh truth is that these opportunities are earned through hard work.Genuine opportunities that will excite you are clearly articulated and your gut feeling will guide you better than you think.

You’re not going to miss out on winning an Oscar for a movie you made because you didn’t reply to an email”


Not replying isn’t rude.

We feel we must reply to every request of our time. We have a fear that we will be accused of being rude.

This belief is false also. There’s nothing rude about not replying. We all get lots of emails and messages online and we can’t answer them all. People will understand when you don’t reply. If they don’t understand then that’s a problem with them, not you.

Don’t feel you have to reply out of politeness.

<<<>>>

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

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared 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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27 Comments

27 Comments

  1. Honey

    Apr 23, 2017 at 10:51 am

    man you have written a nice post

  2. mazharoddin

    Mar 6, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    Excellent post and inspiring one, its true our surroundings and people have lot of impact on us, reading good books or articles like this one will definitely help to be in good company.

  3. Joseph Hotto

    Jul 4, 2015 at 9:43 pm

    Excellent Advice! I am 18 years old and I have Asperger’s Syndrome. Ever since my junior year of high school when college admissions and academic performance started, I was obsessed with getting into the “best” college in my state and not acknowledging my own strengths and weaknesses, and I crashed more than succeeded. This was also the case with my friends: I kept looking at the big picture than focusing on smaller steps that could lead me to where I want to go to. Also, I must say that indulging on how great your future will turn out is a WASTE of time: you are essentially doing nothing and you decrease your motivation. Nobody is perfect, and it is even hard for me to realize.

  4. fostergrowthdotbiz

    Aug 27, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    Great article. Many persons and their careers would benefit if more time was spent on this topic. Of course, the key challenge is that there are so many not very successful people. One needs to look hard and be disciplined to find achievers. And, sometimes those “average” persons are very enjoyable to be with. @fostergrowth

  5. Paul

    Apr 14, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Good post!

  6. james simwanza

    Mar 14, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    You have truely made your point James,but hey this post was for those who feel they need a change in there life,no harm about it.Its take it or leave it,I Believe we all can make choices.The auther did a great job for those who will go by it.THANKYOU

  7. Naomi@business start ups

    Mar 6, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    Hi Tyler,

    Jonathan’s comment is great! You’re seeing your valuable advice being put into action already.

    All great points. Well done

    Naomi

  8. James

    Mar 6, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    In general I agree, many of the point you make are good general life advice, but you’re clearly successful and successful people tend to attribute their success to their own personal characteristics (hard work, intelligence, ingenuity etc) whereas the reality is that luck does play a role in many people’s success. Because of this I disagree with numbers 3 and 10, particularly the bold text in number 3. People are not in control of their lives and the worse off you are the less in control you are and the harder it is to take control.

    The way you write show that your frame of reference is already a relatively privileged subset of society. You talk about not reading books since college, going to networking events in your industry, listening to podcasts and making important decisions. You’re talking about university educated professionals not those in minimum wage jobs and on zero hour contracts. The points you put forward don’t really work for anyone but this subset.

    Obviously I’m not saying all successful people got lucky, just that points 3 and 10 are inaccurate. No one is 100% responsible for their results, that’s just something successful people like to claim. In reality other people have a huge effect on your success and failure and luck does play a part in the vast majority of people’s careers.

    • Jeremy

      Mar 7, 2014 at 12:44 pm

      I agree that no one is 100% responsible for their results, but you cannot take this at face value. What it means is that you have to take control of your life by not staying down when fallen and blaming others for your unfortunate setbacks. Even when it wasn’t your fault.

      Yes, luck sure plays a role. But successful people are too busy increasing the odds than bothering about whether or not they will ever hit the jackpot.

    • Ike Chidolue

      Mar 9, 2014 at 12:43 am

      Come off it, James, Tyler has written some most valuable suggestions on how anyone could reposition themselves positively and hopefully become more successful. If you truly define success, then you must add #3 & #10 back to it. Hard work & masterly intelligence is a must. Playing the blame game won’t cut it. Success is not like playing the lottery. I believe that successful were prepared, became equipped technical authority in tgeir field, and showed up always waiting for/ or anticipating the opportunity to showcase their expertise/skill/discipline to a larger audience or the game changer.

      Even in the unlikely event where anyone who applied themselves to all the 10 guides above but did not hit it big, such persons should walk away gladly with the fact that they are a lot better positively build person, with a new can – do attitude to life and that in itself is success.

      Thanks, Tyler for this write up, it jolted me up from bed, & got me taking stock of where I may have missed it & what changes I need to make. Time now is 1:41AM & I’m in Nigeria.

      • Jeremy

        Mar 10, 2014 at 3:35 am

        “Even in the unlikely event where anyone who applied themselves to all the 10 guides above but did not hit it big, such persons should walk away gladly with the fact that they are a lot better positively build person, with a new can – do attitude to life and that in itself is success.” ==> 100%.

        People are always thinking about whether they will hit the end result. But it’s not always about the end result. It’s hardly about it in fact. It’s more about the person you become as a result of going all out to achieve those goals.

        Well said, Ike.

    • tylerbasu

      Mar 9, 2014 at 4:48 am

      Hi James, thank you for the well thought out comment – you have brought up some interesting points. Respectfully, I would like to offer a few insights. I believe you are right in saying that no one is 100% responsible for their results. In reality there is an interdependence between all people who contribute to any specific result together.That being said, it is having the MENTALITY that you are responsible for your results that is important. That mentality will prevent you from placing blame on others when things don’t work out as you hope, which is what point #3 is about: not blaming others, and taking responsibility. I am just now reminded of a great quote: “great leaders share the credit for their successes, but take responsibility for their failures.”

      Secondly, as much as I appreciate you calling me “clearly successful” and of a “privileged subset of society” I would like to shed some light on some more facts. I did not start here. I got here by choice. Yes, I have spent some time in college, but all those things I mentioned (read books, attend networking events, listen to podcasts, etc.) are things that I did BEFORE I went to college and that I still do today. College or university alone is NOT the key to success, and there is plenty of evidence of this in the marketplace today. It was precisely by doing those things that I was able to rise above limiting circumstances, and ALL of those things didn’t cost much in time or money and are certainly not unavailable to all individuals regardless of their social or economic status.

      When you say that those points don’t work for certain people you are enabling them to allow their circumstances to define their opportunities, rather than encourage them to meet people and utilize resources that can help them to rise above those circumstances. If you believe yourself to be in some “subset” that prevents you from investing in yourself in this manner, I challenge you to not be defined by your environment, stop making excuses, and start creating the environment you want for your life.

      Respectfully,
      Tyler

      • James

        Mar 14, 2014 at 1:57 pm

        Well worth watching (if you’re in the UK) to challenge the idea that people are in control of their success and understand how much of a disadvantage some people are at.

        The best quote comes from Rachel Johnson (Boris Johnston’s sister):
        “In a sense I care a lot more about these people’s children because Jackie and Mick have made, and they would say it first, very poor choices and very bad decisions. Their choices are going to take away their children’s ability to make good choices and to have the opportunities my children have had.”
        Its a shame she doesn’t make the leap to realising that the parents (Jackie and Mick) have had their ability to make good choices taken away by their parents, and their parents by their grandparents and so on.

        Ike and Tyler, you talk about “coming prepared”, “equipped with technical authority”, “anticipating the opportunity to showcase their expertise/skill/discipline” and having “the MENTALITY that you are responsible for your results”. The point I’m making is that many people, through no fault of their own, simply do not have the mentality, skills, organisation and initiative to do these things. Growing up in certain areas, going to bad schools etc leaves people unequipped and unable to make good life choices, resulting of a vicious circle generation after generation after generation.

        Its not about passing the blame or people making excuses, its about realising that some people are not being prepared to compete in the environment where the 10 points Tyler lays out become relevant. These people don’t have the options not to be defined by their environment. They’re trapped in a cycle of poverty, desperation and necessity.

        • Jeremy

          Mar 14, 2014 at 2:35 pm

          You definitely have valid points here, James. But then again, don’t you think anyone who is able to read this article should be well educated and equipped to make good life choices?

          • James

            Mar 14, 2014 at 3:22 pm

            That was exactly the point I made in my first comment. By accepting that this article is only for people who are well educated equipped to make good life choices you’ve already limited the relevance of the points above to a very small, privileged, and in relative terms successful subset of the population.

            You’re not “addicted to failure” if you’re a well educated professional who perhaps isn’t getting promoted as fast as they want, in fact you’re already very successful. Obviously you can change your behaviours to optimise your chances of being where you want to be but that’s more about your own expectations and your perception of your own worth vs. reality than transforming yourself from a failure to a success.

            The points are not helpful or even relevant to people who are truly “failing” in our society and the article shows a lack of understanding of what it truly means to be failing and how difficult it can be for people to change their circumstances.

            • Jeremy

              Mar 14, 2014 at 3:39 pm

              “you’ve already limited the relevance of the points above to a very small, privileged, and in relative terms successful subset of the population.” ==> Even if that is so, that is probably 100% of all people reading this and that’s all that matters right?

              Also, don’t take things at face value!! I’m talking about being “addicted to failure”. In this article’s context, I would believe “failure” to be anyone desiring change in their life, but either not taking action, or not changing their mindset/mentality/attitude.

              You are right in saying that the article isn’t helpful for people who are truly “failing” in our society. That’s because, like you said, it’s directed at “a very small, privileged, and in relative terms successful subset of the population.” Which happens to be about 100% of the readers here!!

              I can totally understand where you’re coming from, James. But again, please don’t take things at face value. A lot of these articles have attention grabbing headlines like this one. And you can’t say the headline is irrelevant.

  9. Nick Giordano

    Mar 6, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    You really opened my eyes and my heart, with your quotes. The one that said: ” I have dreams but no set goals, was so true. God bless you for writing these quotes and inspiring others in looking at their lives. This was just the wake up call that I needed.

  10. ayushi parsheera

    Mar 6, 2014 at 9:50 am

    perfect mirror, introspected myself ,head to toe in last 5 minutes, wow!! thank you!! i got to be working on it

  11. Roderick

    Mar 6, 2014 at 5:34 am

    Didn’t know I was addicted to anything until now. True eye opener…ready to make changes!!!

  12. Jeremy

    Mar 5, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    Surrounding yourself with the people that will bring you up is so important.

    Just as you say, “Successful people know that the attitudes of the people around them are contagious, so they intentionally surround themselves with people who will encourage them and push them to higher levels.” Plus being around people who are doing the impossible and have the courage to pursue their dreams.

    Trouble is, a lot of people think otherwise. They think that they can rely on themselves which is not always the case.

    I think that this is one of the most powerful life hacks that will really get you ahead in life, as Scott Dinsmore says. You don’t even have to change your goals. You just need to get inspired by these people and many things will take care of itself.

  13. jonathan brantley

    Mar 4, 2014 at 11:27 pm

    This article was an eye-opening slap in the face. I knew I was committing many of these offenses, but instead of taking action I chose to play the victim. I love and hate you, Tyler Basu, for writing this article.

    No more excuses. Thank you, Tyler Basu, for the kick in the pants!

    • tylerbasu

      Mar 5, 2014 at 5:55 am

      Love your response! You’re probably not the only one who felt this way after reading this. Having the courage to accept the reality you’ve created is the first step to making positive changes. I wish you the best of luck =)

  14. james simwanza

    Mar 4, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    very very educative,thanx alot i hv learnt more than i needed

  15. Nikola Gjakovski

    Mar 4, 2014 at 11:38 am

    Great post Tyler. You got some great quotes such as “The final sign that you’re addicted to failure is you believe that people who are successful got lucky”. I find myself so much in the mistakes and I’m really glad I flew into this article !

    • tylerbasu

      Mar 4, 2014 at 10:18 pm

      Thank you Nikola! I wrote this article knowing that it would likely offend certain people, but at the same time hoping that it would give them a chance to truly reflect on any habits or beliefs they have that do not support their success. See you at the top champion!

      • Cristina R

        Mar 5, 2014 at 12:08 pm

        No offense taken here, great post, thank you!

  16. Dor

    Mar 3, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    Great article! The close friends and the environment effect us more than we think. One step towards leaving failure behind is choosing who we want to surround us and with whom we need to disconnect.

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Success Advice

Stop Replying To Everyone.

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Many of you are running around like mad trying to manage your time. You’re reading productivity hacks, taking cold showers and waking up at 5 am.

You’re doing all of this because you want more time to do what you love.

Let me hit you in the face with one technique that has allowed me to win back time, so I can do what I love.

Stop replying to everyone…

You get emails asking you to do stuff.
You get asked to do an intro.
You get asked to speak at an event for free about your area of expertise.

Here’s the problem:
YOU KEEP RESPONDING TO EVERY REQUEST OF YOUR TIME.


What’s the answer?

The answer is really simple like everything I write. Are you ready?
Stop replying to everyone.

I learned this technique the hard way. When I was looking to interview entrepreneurs in 2014 about their story and share it in the form of a blog post, I didn’t get many replies.

I’d email very successful people who have achieved the impossible and get nothing.

Radio silence.
Donuts.


Why don’t your idols respond to requests for their time?

There’s many reasons.

  1. They have too many requests and could never humanly answer every single one.
  2. They have limited time and can’t fit everybody into their schedule.

The second reason is the most important. Your idols don’t respond because that’s their way of saying no.


No response is the best response.

By responding to every request of your time, you go down the rabbit hole of endless back and forth conversations.

Let me illustrate this point with a short story.

A US startup approached me on LinkedIn and asked me to advise them on their social media strategy. They offered me equity in return for my expertise.

The product was not something that aligned with who I am, and I was heading off to Europe on holidays and had no time to draft a proper reply.

I sent no response to their request.
They messaged me a second time.
I sent no response to their request.

Then, I got sucked into responding. I felt my moral compass telling me to reply and tell them no. On top of that, the startup had a very well known person in the social media industry join them. FOMO kicked in.

I replied and that’s where everything went wrong.

Once I replied to the request I got daily reminders and emails with pitch decks trying to convince me why they were the one startup who could beat Instagram. The claims of how much traction they had got more and more ridiculous.

“Eventually, a simple request of my time turned into a daily debate”

They wouldn’t leave me alone. I began to regret my stupidity for responding in the first place.

If a request of your time doesn’t resonate with you, and you don’t feel like saying “Fuck Yes” when presented with an opportunity, say NO.

Don’t be tempted by a request of your time. 
Say no.


Not replying is what works.

People generally give up after one email or direct message asking for your time. I’ve tested this theory a lot and it has almost always turned out to be true.

As soon as you reply, you become like a lawyer in the High Court trying to defend someone who is accused of murder. Your time is yours. You only get one life.

“You don’t need to justify yourself, your time, or your goals to anybody”

YOU HEAR ME? NOBODY!

The way you win back time and make room for what’s important to you is to fight the temptation to reply to every request that comes your way.

Quit giving away your time like free balloons at a car expo.


You end up making up lies.

The problem with replying to every request of your time is you can end up making up lies to get out of doing something. Or you may end up exaggerating or putting forward excuses that aren’t entirely true.

This causes even more problems for you because if the requester knows people within your network, they may find out you’re not being honest.

Why construct a grand plan that takes more of your time to respond to a request?

It’s easier to say nothing at all.


Silence says it all.

Smart people who ask you for stuff will know that after a week, if you haven’t responded, you’re probably not interested.

Silence is the best response. After all, if someone really wants you to do something they’ll chase you, they’ll follow you up and they may get a mutual connection to intro them to you.

Many pitches and requests are poorly written or incredibly selfish.

Fight back with silence. Don’t reply. Stop replying.


You’re not missing anything.

The temptation to respond can also be caused by the fear that you’re missing out.

Maybe someone is contacting you to fund your idea.
Maybe something you wrote is going to be published in the New York Times.
Maybe the request will lead you to direct a Hollywood Movie.

All of these false ideas are what’s causing you to respond to everybody.You’re worried you could miss the jackpot or your lucky break.

The harsh truth is that these opportunities are earned through hard work.Genuine opportunities that will excite you are clearly articulated and your gut feeling will guide you better than you think.

You’re not going to miss out on winning an Oscar for a movie you made because you didn’t reply to an email”


Not replying isn’t rude.

We feel we must reply to every request of our time. We have a fear that we will be accused of being rude.

This belief is false also. There’s nothing rude about not replying. We all get lots of emails and messages online and we can’t answer them all. People will understand when you don’t reply. If they don’t understand then that’s a problem with them, not you.

Don’t feel you have to reply out of politeness.

<<<>>>

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

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Success Advice

Practice These 4 No’s for Greater Success

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In much of the success literature and in the applied motivational literature that is developed today, the explicit suggestions contained within are to practice certain behaviors for a certain outcome. So, you may see information with titles such as, “Do these four things for greater happiness”, or, “Perform the seven steps every morning for more focus”.

Not only am I a large proponent of these quick and distilled attributes of behavior change to bring about greater levels of whatever the outcome should be, I am also an author of a great many of them. The notion of cause and effect is explicit in applied motivation. If you want to change and affect then do not work on the effect directly, work on the cause that will invariably change the outcome.

So many of us try to psychologically bully our conscious mind into various effects, when all we really need to do is understand the causes. Thoughts drive behavior. If you change the thought the behavior must change. But can you increase your level of overall well-being by NOT doing certain things? And I know the answer is yes. It all begins with a shift in our perception and the thought process.

“If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.” – Peace Pilgrim

Here are four NO’s that you may want to stop practicing. And by virtue of not doing these things you will have more mental room, and idea space between your positive notions for greater levels of contentment and well-being.

1. There are no justified discontentment’s

If the laws of cause and effect, and the law of attraction hold true, then we are where we are right now by virtue of our past behaviors, which are a direct result of our past beginning. So don’t be mad over your current situation, you created it! If you want to be happy, change it! But don’t just sit there and bask in your discontentment; bring about the necessary changes that you require.

In the words of James Ray, “a person of power embraces challenges and complete gratitude. No matter the situation life may bring, discontent is never justified, but rather all is experienced as an opportunity and privilege to adventure and grow.”

2. There are no justified excuses

The present is a doorway that balances past events with future circumstances. When we begin to fully grasp the idea that there is no dress rehearsal, we are on Broadway; that there is no scrimmage, today we are in the Super Bowl, we begin to realize that our life is a series of micro adjustments and that we are in total and complete control over them. Instead of wasting time making excuses for poor decisions, spend that time in fine-tuning future decisions to make up for those poor decisions of the past.

3. There are no justified complaints

We complain about a situation for one of two reasons. One, to elicit pity from another and, two, to transfer the issue we are complaining about to somebody else. Either behavior is destructive to the current personal relationship and will only serve to undermine future transactions with that individual.

Be a person of higher self-esteem; handle your issues in silence then speak to another individual about your successful outcomes. By doing so, you have altered your focus on a positive outcome instead of our negative conditions. By the way, there is always a successful outcome! If you can find it, look deeper, it’s there!

“Champions never complain, they are too busy getting better.” – John Wooden

4. There are no justified resentments

None, zip, zilch, zero! That person that borrowed $500 off you and never paid you back, forgive them. That significant other that dropped you like a hot coal just when you needed them the most, forgive them. That business partner that screwed you to the wall and caused you to lose a vast amount of money, forgive them. Remember, forgiveness is not about them, it’s about you. By letting go of the resentments that you have toward other people you open yourself up to the endless possibilities of bountiful manifestations that can occur because of your positive attitude and constructive optimism.

Think of these four big No’s! Number them, with number one being the one which you practice and think about the most. Then answer the following questions:

  • What can I do to alter this behavior and/or thought process?
  • What situations do I encounter and lead me in this behavior and/or thought process?
  • Can I avoid those situations?
  • If so, am I willing to avoid those situations?

Then do that with the second the third and the fourth big No’s. What will happen after enough time is that you will no longer be looking for situations to offend you, rather you will begin to open up to the possibilities of what the world and the universe have to offer you in a positive, enthusiastic, and engaging light.

I look forward to your comments, opinions, and suggestions. Please feel free to write them below.

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Success Advice

9 Ways To Build Unbreakable Confidence From The Outside In

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Build Self Confidence

There are a million different resources and pieces of advice out there from “experts” on how to build confidence, particularly self-confidence.

A vulnerable and anxious population consumes this guidance like they are starving for it… probably because they are. The dream of being able to overcome all fear and self-imposed limits by simply reading some advice is a very tempting dish indeed.

After lifetimes of being subject to images and ideals that they cannot possibly live up to, people start to feel like they are “less than.” This fear of being a substandard human being drives some of us to seek guidance, bringing us into contact with the murky, over-crowded world of self-help products and services.

Look, some of the stuff out there is good – I know, I’ve tried most of it. However, some of it is very misguided and even delusional.

People who lack self-confidence themselves can take a class on basic theoretical knowledge of psychological research, and use it to excrete volumes of garbage about how to build self-esteem and confidence. They then charge copious amounts of money for this drivel, which usually makes you feel great temporarily but does absolutely nothing to change your long term situation.

I’m not going to pretend I know it all, yet what I do have to offer is that I have completed the full journey, from shy, “nice,” and trying to please everyone, all the way through to where I am now.

You may ask, where is that, and what does being confident mean to me? It means that these things now occur in my life where they didn’t before:

  • I regularly seek out opportunities to push boundaries and expand my comfort zone, running towards fear rather than away from it
  • I can go into a situation full of anxiety and quickly push through that to enable me to feel competent and at ease
  • I feel comfortable being honest in all situations. Rather than hide my views, I express them calmly and diplomatically where required, but also without compromise
  • I place my needs above everything else. I am selfish about developing my life and inner-self, because I know that ultimately the people in my life will benefit from me being a better person
  • Most importantly from my point of view, I can’t remember the last time I felt jealousy or envy, and it’s been many, many years since I entertained the idea of wanting to be anyone else

So how did I get to this from being a “nice” guy that did all I could to avoid confrontation and anxiety-provoking situations? Well, it wasn’t easy! I have taken some time to break down the steps I took to achieve this in order to help others out there who are similar to me and serious about developing true, unbreakable inner confidence.

See the secret is really no secret at all – it’s about constantly taking action in a way that pushes your comfort zone further out until you learn how to make any situation feel like it’s in your comfort zone.

Below are 9 ways to build unbreakable confidence from the outside in:

1. Identifying your ultimate dream lifestyle

Something that is a real confidence drainer is not knowing where you’re going in life. The great thing is you don’t even need to be sure about it; you just need to have a direction to travel in.

Try taking 30 minutes to write down a descriptive paragraph or two about what your life would look like if you could wave a magic wand and choose anything. I’ve found with my clients that answering these three questions in detail is a great structure to use:

1What will you have / what will you be doing?

2) How would other people describe you?

3) What will you think about yourself?

Writing down the detailed answers to these questions, using emotional and descriptive language. Once you’ve done this, make sure you re-read it regularly (at least twice per week) to remind yourself constantly about why it is you are getting out of bed.

This will increase your sense of purpose in life, a reason to live in a way, which will increase your confidence. Of course, to actually achieve this dream lifestyle, there are further steps you need to take… (read on).

2. Writing down goals and striving to achieve them

I remember reading about a study at Oxford University: researchers asked all students in a class who had written down their goals. I can’t remember the exact details but about 3% of them did this.

When the researchers revisited the students again 20 years later, the small group who had written down goals were earning a combined income that was greater than the combined income of all 97% of their classmates.

There are plenty of free resources out there on how to write goals (including The Inspirational Lifestyle). The general key I recommend is that rather than write outcome based goals (e.g. “I will get a promotion”) try writing action-based goals that are under your control (e.g. “I will take a management course and then apply for a promotion”).

By making sure the goals are under your control, your confidence is not subject to luck. Remove luck by making sure that nothing and no-one can affect the achievement of your goal except for you.

3. Reading popular self-development books by successful business people

While there are far too many refuse-bin-worthy self-development books out there, your safest bet is to read the memoirs and how-to books which are written by people who have actually achieved something.

It really is simple; if someone like Richard Branson is a billionaire, he’s probably a pretty reliable source of information on how to make money. It’s much better to listen to him than someone fresh from completing an MBA and spilling a bunch of inexperienced theory-based conjecture.

4Learning how to manage your state of mind

Most of the time the reason you feel anxious or nervous about a situation you’re about to go into, such as public speaking, is because you’re in the wrong frame of mind.

Imagine this: you’ve been studying accounting for three straights hours without interruption, when all of a sudden you’re dragged to a party. Straight away you feel anxiety even though going to a party is not an unusual situation for you. So what’s the problem?

Your brain was set into the “studying” state, which is secluded, quiet, and antisocial. You are then thrown into a situation which requires you to be extroverted, talkative and social. This is a really uncomfortable imbalance for your brain to handle. The solution? Taking baby steps.

When you realize you are feeling anxiety about an upcoming situation and you suspect that it is because of being in the wrong state, try to figure out some in-between steps you can take.

Using our example above, rather than going straight to the party, you could have a chat on the phone with some close friends, followed by pre-drinks at your house with just a few people. This way by the time you get to the party your state has gone from withdrawn to outgoing in easy to manage steps.

confidence picture quote

5Understanding the balance between learning, mentoring and action

One of the most common barriers to success is too much thinking and not enough doing. It’s the doing that builds confidence, not the learning.

As a general rule, for every hour you spend reading or watching videos (passive learning), you will benefit most by complementing this with two hours of mentoring or coaching, and seven hours practicing or otherwise taking action. It’s the 10/20/70 rule.

This is why I’ve titled this article “9 ways to build confidence from the outside in,” because building confidence goes far beyond just reading inspirational or educational books. It’s about taking action so you will start seeing results and positive changes.

6. Approaching strangers

This is one of the scariest things for people to do – very few can do it sober without a background in cold-calling or sales of some kind. Doing this is a really powerful way to build confidence, particularly if you’re single and approaching strangers with the intention of potential romance.

If you can get yourself to do this sober and during the day, it makes everything else seem a lot less scary. You can learn to love rejection as the learning and feedback experience it really is.

7. Trying new things regularly

Having a routine can kill your creativity and make your life boring. It’s important to seek new adventures, and always try new things regularly because it can boost your confidence through the following two ways.

1) By learning a range of skills and having varied experiences, you start building up transferable abilities. Over time less situations will seem totally unknown because you will have done something similar before.

For example, I found I really enjoyed salsa dancing despite never having danced before, because it combined my previous experiences of playing in a band and doing martial arts.

2) You will eventually find those things that bring you the most pleasure and satisfaction (in a non-creepy way of course).

Confidence is often also described as “conscious competence,” which basically means that if you are doing something that you are skilled at, and you know that you are skilled, you feel confident.

8. Surrounding yourself with successful people

Successful people always say “how can we do this?” whereas unsuccessful people generally say “why should we do this?

What kind of people do you spend the most time with? Until you develop a strong inner core of confidence that others cannot touch, you need to surround yourself with “can do” people in order to feed on their confidence.

People showing you that anything is possible, and that they believe you are capable of anything will go a long way towards helping you believe this yourself.

9. Making a conscious effort to stop caring about other’s opinions of you

Finally, the biggest lesson I ever really learned about developing true all-round confidence is that the only person I should compare myself to is… myself. There is nothing to be gained in comparing myself to others or trying to live to others expectations.

Confidence comes from setting your own expectations of yourself and then trying your best to live up to them. I am not saying that you shouldn’t compete with others, because that’s a great motivator too, but your results and progress should only be measured against your past self.

Well that’s it. There’s a million other things you can do, but I am sure that if you start with this list and TAKE ACTION rather than just read this and do nothing, then you will start to see big changes in how you feel about yourself.

Which one of the above 9 ways to build unbreakable confidence resonated most with you and why?

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Success Advice

It’s Not How Smart You Are That Defines Your Career — It’s This

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Look around the office you work in. Some people are managers. Some people make six-figure salaries. Some people are senior executives. Some people work in customer service on the frontline.

It’s a big mistake to think that where you are in your career has something to do with how smart you are.

I’ve met many smart people who crash and burn in their careers because they have to be always right or they overthink, or they know a lot about the wrong things or they have very low emotional intelligence causing them to upset many people at the same time.

If being smart made us successful then we’d all go and consume endless information and become millionaires shortly after.

Being smart is not enough.

So what does define your career and the success you have?


1. How badly you want it

The woman/man that became CEO wanted it more.

The person with the 7-figure business wanted it more.

The woman that won an Olympic Gold Medal wanted it more.

You have to want your goals really, really, really bad.

Wanting something so badly that you’re prepared to do anything to get there (ethically) is how you get the energy to overcome the rejection and failure it’s going to take to get reach that point.

I wanted to share my story and inspire people with it very badly. I thought of creating a WordPress website, but I had no idea how to and had zero technical skill. My knowledge of how to market that website was also zero.
I tried creating a Facebook Page and to date, it still has less than 3000 followers which means I fall short by a lot in terms of my target to inspire millions of people.

I tried using Twitter and reaching people that way. I was never able to get any real engagement. I’d tweet Elon Musk. I’d message Tony Robbins. I’d write the best tweet humanly possible. It all led nowhere.

I tried using a blogging platform called Medium. I was able to build a small following, but most people in my area of the world don’t use it. I still came up short of my goal.

Then, I tried writing on a blog that already had lots of viewers called Addicted2Success and began posting on LinkedIn daily.

Everything changed. I wanted to inspire people so badly that I kept trying until I found a platform that worked for what I had to say. Wanting it badly enough was what helped me keep going from 2014 until now. It didn’t stop there, though.

When my career took a turn down a black hole, my motivation died. Suddenly, writing on Addicted2Success and LinkedIn became hard. I didn’t want it as bad because the pain caused by my work life was too much. I let things slip temporarily for about 3 weeks. Engagement went to an all-time low.

It didn’t last long, though. Why? My thinking changed when I reminded myself how upset I would be if I didn’t achieve my goal. It meant far too much and in the back of my mind, I still wanted it badly.

I went back over all the emails from people I’d helped and that spark came back. Deep down, I still wanted it badly. I still wanted to inspire millions of people.

Wanting it bad was what helped me to revive my blogging career and continue helping millions of people.

Wanting it badly will define your career.


2. What you think is possible

I met a guy earlier in the year that came from a farm in the middle of Outback Australia.

He’d sold his digital marketing business for a lot of money and banked a huge amount of coin as a result. He had no tech background. He had no business knowledge. He didn’t have seven-figure friends that drove Bentley’s.

What he had was an uncanny ability to think anything was possible. He saw himself rising above his circumstances even though he had no evidence to prove that he could do so. He worked long hours and built up a team of cult followers. They learned together how to get businesses exposure through social media and search engines.

For many of the people on his team, it was their first job. He didn’t pay them well because he couldn’t. All he thought was that one day, together, they’d do something incredible — and they did.

A lot of what happens in your career is based on how you think. If you think you can never be a manager, entrepreneur or executive, then you won’t be.

If you think you can be good at public speaking, you might.
If you think you can hit your sales target, you might.
If you think you can start a successful business, you might.
If you’re not successful right now, you will be.

It’s only a matter of time until one of the bets in your career pays off

It’s a combination of being ready, being humble, thinking right and having the skills to execute. Not thinking you can achieve big will rob you of whatever it is that you want in your career.

I shouldn’t be a successful blogger because I can’t write that well, I have bad spelling/grammar skills, I don’t own a blog and I’m not filthy rich. Despite all that I’ve achieved my blogging goal.

I saw my goal become possible before anybody else did.

I told myself that every major challenge was necessary for me to eventually get what I wanted. I thought my goal was possible even though all the facts suggested it wasn’t. Instead of relying on data I relied on my own mind to lead me down the right path.

I chose to believe when no one else did.

This very way of thinking is not unique to me. Many of the leaders around the world that shape the human race think in the same way.

What you think is possible in your career will define what goals you can achieve.

Your thinking defines your career.
Being smart isn’t enough.

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