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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

What You Can Learn From My Ultimate “I Am Screwed” Moment.

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Image Credit: Unsplash / Gold Chain

When I was 16 years old, I had the ultimate “I am screwed moment.”

Everything from this point on happened in slow motion. What I’m about to describe probably happened in the space of thirty minutes but it felt like five hours.

I was walking down the street with my buddy one night, eating a paddle pop ice cream. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a group of about twenty teenagers running towards us, dressed in black.

I instantly knew that something was up and as they got closer, we both realized we were screwed and there was nowhere to run to.

Seconds later the gang of teenagers came straight towards us as fast as they could.

“I got lucky and copped a baseball bat to the head. My friend wasn’t so lucky. He was repeatedly stabbed by several different people and there was blood everywhere.”

As I saw what happened to my friend, I knew I’d be next. I was hit so many times with the baseball bat that I was numb from the pain. Everything started to go white.

Then I heard a faint voice. The voice was calling my name out.

I listened to what the young man was saying and realized he was saying that his little brother knew me. All of a sudden, he put out his hand, lifted me off the ground and told me to run in the other direction, or I’d end up like my friend.

I somehow managed to get on my feet and run, but I was not giving up on my friend. I ran around the back of the shopping center that we were standing outside of and entered the building. I ran to the first security guard I saw and told them I needed help.

In my search to get help, miraculously, my friend had made it into the shopping center and he was being treated by a number of bystanders for his massive knife wounds.

I went over and spoke to him. He was okay and things looked better than I expected. I had about sixty seconds of calmness. Then I looked to my left.

Through the glass doors, I could see the same gang of teenagers running into the shopping center. Everyone including the two security guards ran in opposite directions.

My friend with his multiple knife wounds also ran and there were bandages everywhere as he made a run for it (I’m not even sure how he was able to move).

This time I was the unlucky one. I ran into the part of the shopping center that was closed for the night and three of the youths followed me. I’d never been so afraid because I saw what they did to my friend.

I ended up in the shopping centers food court and I hid in the darkness. I tried to control my breathing, but it was hard to silence the fear inside of me. I still remember the white Nike pants I was wearing and the bright red Sean John jumper I had on (I later discarded them because of the memory they left).

Again, through some kind of miracle, the three boys did not see me. They ran off in another direction and I stayed under the table.

The pain of my wounds started to set in. I knew deep down I was safe and so the fight or flight response was turned off. All of a sudden, moving and walking felt very painful.

I could feel broken bits of teeth in my mouth.


The aftermath.

After some time had passed, I manage to reconnect with my friend. By that time there was an ambulance on the scene and he managed to get his knife wounds treated. He got lucky and no vital organs were affected.

The next day I went to school and people could see I had gone through one hell of an ordeal. One of my friends in the year level below, came and found me and explained to me that it was his older brother and friends that attacked me.

They had mistakenly thought that we had come from a party, because of the direction we came from, where he was beaten up. He told me that because they had recognized me, to some degree, I was spared.

The story doesn’t end here though (I wish it did). Even after the brutal event, one of the attackers was still upset with me. I didn’t know why and it made no sense. I had multiple times where he and his friends were waiting for me in certain places and I was told they would harm me.

Through a mutual friend, I was able to resolve the conflict and I found out that a few of them were close friends with a few of my friends. In the coming years, I got to know my attackers.

“They were not the horrible violent people I encountered on that night. They slowly changed their ways and one of them has gone on to do extraordinary kind acts all over the world.”


A revelation from this “I am screwed” moment.

After this horrible event had occurred, I tried to make sense of it. I was not a violent person in any way but in a way, I had created this path for myself.

During my teenage years, I let rap music and violence dominate my life. I thought they were both cool.

The revelation from all of this was that I knew I had to change my life. I knew that the path I was on had led me to this moment and only I could change things. The next time an attack like this happened, I may not be as lucky.

I gave up rap music, I changed my group of friends, I started a business with my brother, I quit smoking and I disengaged from anything that was violent. Looking back, an “I am screwed” moment can be extremely valuable. It’s during these difficult times that we learn about who we are and what we can do to change our lives.

I would never have become obsessed with legacy, giving back and personal development if I hadn’t had this life or death experience.

I’m now fully aware of my mortality and I’m never going to take another day for granted.

Everything can change in a split second for better or for worse. What you do in that moment is up to you.

Nothing happens randomly (even this attack). Everything happens for a reason and when you ensure you get the lesson from it, you can go on to do extraordinary things.

I’m typing these words and reaching millions of people with them, partly because of this “I am screwed” moment.


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

3 Things We Can Learn About Success From a 13 Year Old Girls School Project

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Dog Do or Dog Don’t
Image Credit: Aiden Horwitz

Success comes in all shapes and sizes. So, when I read about a 13 year old that was solving a major problem in the dog adoption industry, I was intrigued. It turns out that many families often choose the wrong dog for their family and end up giving them up to a shelter.

When a school project came up, this young girl decided she would try to tackle the problem. First, she created a survey that would help potential dog foster parents determine which dog would be a good fit for them. Then, she teamed up with a local shelter who gave her information on the dogs. Finally, she added the survey to a website she built called Dog Do or Dog Don’t. So far, it’s seen success in just a few months by pairing 5 dogs with the perfect home.

Here are 3 important points we can learn about success from this little girl’s innovation:

1. Focus on your why

No matter what we do in life, we need to know why we are doing it. This girl didn’t care about the end result of making money or getting attention from local news channels. She wanted to solve a problem and her why was clearly defined. “I wanted to come up with a way to help get dogs adopted or help people get the right dog for them and their family,” she says on her website. That was her why and it drove her to the success of what she eventually created.

When we have a goal in life, we need to focus on why we want to achieve it. It doesn’t matter if it’s being successful in business, raising our family or traveling the world, we need to clarify why. Without passion behind what we are doing, the dedication required to achieve success is hard to come by. Only when we focus on our why will we really be on the path to success.

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” – Simon Sinek

2. Define what success looks like

It sounds simple when I say to define success, but oftentimes we don’t. We set goals of working out more or making more money or even adopting more dogs. However, if we don’t define what that actually means, it’s really hard to know when we have hit the success we are working toward.

Success can quickly become like a bully on the playground that draws a line and when you cross it, he draws another line. When that happens, it’s hard to understand what we have achieved and keep moving onto the next goal.

When this survey for the dog adoption was built out, the goal was to adopt a dog to the perfect home. Now that the goal has been achieved, it’s time to set another goal and keep moving forward. By defining success clearly, we can make sure that when we work our plan and hit our goal, we will know it. Then, we can define another goal and work toward that.

3. Do the important work

What I didn’t mention earlier was that this was actually called the “Passion Project” and they were given an hour and a half each week to work on something they were passionate about. She found her topic through research and discovered that about half the dogs at shelters were there because they were the wrong type for the family.

This girl didn’t do this for accolades or attention as she was focused on doing the important work on something she was passionate about. It was only then that she found the problem she could solve and decided it was important to do so.

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein

Real world problems are all around us from financial issues to poverty to famine and much more. Often, we look at a problem and think to ourselves that it’s too big for us to solve or there’s nothing that can be done about it anyway.

This young girl has a lot to teach us about looking at a problem and finding a solution for it. We need to pay attention to the things she has taught us about achieving success by doing the important work which is close to our heart.

What do you think is the most important aspect to success? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

How to 10X the Likelihood of Completing Your Next Big Project

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project management
Image Credit: Unsplash

According to Bob Proctor, you have a 95% chance of making personal change happen if you make a plan and set a specific time to share your progress with someone. At the opposite end of the spectrum, you only have a 10% chance of making a change if you say “that’s a good idea” to your next inspirational brain wave without doing anything else.

Now think about it, how many times have you thought “that’s a good idea” and been inspired to do something without actually pulling the trigger to take one single, simple step towards doing something? This is one of the biggest challenges standing in the way of people from achieving their fullest potential.

Here are 6 steps to help you jump-start your next project and take action right away:

1. Identify which ideas are actually good

Not all ideas are created equal, and not all ideas are worth pursuing. In fact, some ideas and goals should be actively avoided. Warren Buffett tells a story about having someone write out their top 25 career goals on a piece of paper. After looking at the list, he asks the individual to circle the top 5 goals on their list. After that, he tells the person that the 20 remaining goals should be “avoided at all costs” until the first 5 goals are met.

It is a mistake to think that you can split your energy in multiple directions and succeed at anything. Instead, focus on the top 2 or 3 things that are most important to you, and actively avoid anything that takes you away from pursuing those goals or ideas.

2. Tell yourself you will do something with this new idea

Once you’ve decided that something is important enough to pursue, make a point of telling yourself you will do something to further explore the idea. This doesn’t mean making a commitment to quit your day job to pursue a vague idea for a startup. Nor does it mean dropping everything to travel the world for 6 months. Rather, it means that you commit to looking into something to get a better idea of what’s involved before taking the leap on a project.

“Ideas are commodity. Execution of them is not.” – Michael Dell

3. Choose a deadline or create a window of time to get something shipped

Outline a specific window of time to accomplish something, and then write out that plan in a calendar. The most important thing is to make sure the deadline is reasonable and that you are realistic. If you make a goal to double your income and launch a new business in the next 12 months, you may find yourself becoming disheartened when things aren’t working out after 3 weeks. I typically choose to work on tasks and projects in 1-3 month sprints, at which point I check in and reevaluate my progress.

4. Outline a specific plan of action on how to do it based on the timeline you have created

I use a variety of tools to help plan out my tasks and remind myself what I’m supposed to be working on, but at the end of the day, the best tool I use to schedule activities is a simple Excel spreadsheet to track tasks on a day by day basis. Check out the book “12 Week Year” for some ideas on how to choose specific action items and tasks which will help you move the needle on your work.

“Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard.” – Guy Kawasaki

5. Make a commitment to accomplish something specific based on the timeline and plan

Now that you have spent the time to research your idea, develop a timeline for the idea and structured a plan with specific tasks to accomplish this idea. You must make a commitment to yourself to carry out the tasks on your list and to strive to complete everything on time.

This task is incredibly important because it requires that you tap into a deeper level of motivation that goes beyond acceptance by the group or fear of failure. Instead, you need to reach deep down and make a commitment based on a deep need to accomplish the task that goes beyond recognition.

6. Set a specific time to review and be accountable for your plan and progress with someone else

We all know that even the most powerful source of internal motivation may not be enough to keep you going when times get tough. This is why you should make a habit of meeting up with a friend, mentor or colleague to review your progress on a certain project and to get ideas on how best to proceed. Make this meeting at a time that you both agree on well in advance, be clear on the feedback you want, and then don’t miss your deadlines!

At the end of the day, taking action is perhaps the biggest deciding factor that will directly contribute to your success and your ability to achieve your goals. If you don’t act, you’re dead in the water. So make a commitment to yourself today to give this a shot.

Think this system would work for you? Let us know!

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Success Advice

5 Easy Ways to Apply the Law of Attraction in Your Business

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law of attraction
Image Credit: Unsplash

Are you a great fan of The Secret? Then you must absolutely be a great believer in the underlying principle of the Law of Attraction. We can attract all that we desire right into our lives. You may be familiar with applying these principles in your personal life, to your health, wealth and relationships. Have you ever wondered about applying this to your business as well? Can business success be a consequence of applying the law of attraction? We say Yes!

Here are 5 easy ways to apply the Law of Attraction to your business:

1. Imagine how you want your day to go down to the last detail

This is the most critical step. You know what is lined up for the day, now it is up to you to imagine with great detail and enormous positivity how you want to see each element playing out. Say, you have 3 meetings lined up for today. The first one is a morning meeting to negotiate the pricing terms of a contract. It is not enough if you have only visualized the how’s and what’s of the contract. Think and plan to excruciating levels of detailing.

Imagine yourself, what you are wearing, how you will arrive at the meeting, the time when you will be going, how your body language will be during the discussion. Preempt their moves and visualize your responses well ahead. Then imagine how you will commute to the next meeting and carry forward your victorious attitude from this one.

“Greater self-esteem produces greater success, and greater success produces more high self-esteem, so it keeps on spiralling up.” – Jack Canfield

2. Visualize clinching the deal

Once you have planned down to the last detail, visualize your victory. Try to imagine beforehand the moments just before finalizing the deal. How do you imagine it? What are your words going to be? What is the spirit of your counterpart’s response then? Imagine the actual deal signing. Think of this like a wedding rehearsal and plan accordingly.

3. Conjure the ideal client

It is not enough to just visualize the business transactions and negotiations, you have to conjure the client you want as well. All clients are not the same. There is no one who is a perfect client. You have to convert all clients into the ideal client. Think of each client listing their positives and ending with what you would like to change about them. For example, say to yourself that I love this client for their clear briefs and great team spirit, however, it would be much better if only they would pay on time.

Now visualize them paying you on time. What is happening that is making them pay on time? Perhaps you have visualized sending invoices earlier or sending a friendly reminder their way by way of a personal chat or a quick call. Visualizing the ideal client and then your own set of actions that can help convert every client into the ideal client is the way of applying the law of attraction principle to client relationships.

4. Dream up the perfect team

Great business ideas, amazing discussions and the ideal client still do not make for great success. The dream team is what creates success. We all know this. Just like perfect clients, there are no perfect employees, however, the good news is that you can shape your team into the ideal team.

Say you have a great team with skills in Strategy, Distributor relationships, Retail merchandising but lacking in Marketing skills. Visualize as having a great team with all skills except an acquirable skill of Marketing. Visualize every smaller team being equipped with Marketing skills.

How do you see this happening? Are you going to be employing a marketing skill set equipped person in each team? Are you going to train team members who have the aptitude for it to perform marketing tasks as well? It could also be a mix of both approaches. Whatever it is, you need to visualize it to the last detail, even to the degree of what kind of training you would be providing to them.  

“Sweat equity is the most valuable equity there is. Know your business and industry better than anyone else in the world. Love what you do or don’t do it.” – Mark Cuban

5. Count your highs at the end of the day

This is the only part where future oriented visualization has no place. You have to go over the entire business day and religiously note down all the positives. Sometimes the positives may not be tangible acquisitions such as a contract or a payment or project completion. There would be intangible acquisitions such as the realization of what was needed to improve your team, or the first steps taken towards visualizing your negotiation.

It doesn’t matter, you have to count the positives that today has brought. Celebrate the key notes of the day with your team and verbalize why you are celebrating. This brings the entire team to apply the law of attraction in their own business days as well.

Successful entrepreneurs apply these skills with great mastery. Follow these easy ways and apply the Law of Attraction to your business as well. Your success is certain and imminent. Are you ready for it?

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Success Advice

What You Can Learn From My Ultimate “I Am Screwed” Moment.

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Image Credit: Unsplash / Gold Chain

When I was 16 years old, I had the ultimate “I am screwed moment.”

Everything from this point on happened in slow motion. What I’m about to describe probably happened in the space of thirty minutes but it felt like five hours.

I was walking down the street with my buddy one night, eating a paddle pop ice cream. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a group of about twenty teenagers running towards us, dressed in black.

I instantly knew that something was up and as they got closer, we both realized we were screwed and there was nowhere to run to.

Seconds later the gang of teenagers came straight towards us as fast as they could.

“I got lucky and copped a baseball bat to the head. My friend wasn’t so lucky. He was repeatedly stabbed by several different people and there was blood everywhere.”

As I saw what happened to my friend, I knew I’d be next. I was hit so many times with the baseball bat that I was numb from the pain. Everything started to go white.

Then I heard a faint voice. The voice was calling my name out.

I listened to what the young man was saying and realized he was saying that his little brother knew me. All of a sudden, he put out his hand, lifted me off the ground and told me to run in the other direction, or I’d end up like my friend.

I somehow managed to get on my feet and run, but I was not giving up on my friend. I ran around the back of the shopping center that we were standing outside of and entered the building. I ran to the first security guard I saw and told them I needed help.

In my search to get help, miraculously, my friend had made it into the shopping center and he was being treated by a number of bystanders for his massive knife wounds.

I went over and spoke to him. He was okay and things looked better than I expected. I had about sixty seconds of calmness. Then I looked to my left.

Through the glass doors, I could see the same gang of teenagers running into the shopping center. Everyone including the two security guards ran in opposite directions.

My friend with his multiple knife wounds also ran and there were bandages everywhere as he made a run for it (I’m not even sure how he was able to move).

This time I was the unlucky one. I ran into the part of the shopping center that was closed for the night and three of the youths followed me. I’d never been so afraid because I saw what they did to my friend.

I ended up in the shopping centers food court and I hid in the darkness. I tried to control my breathing, but it was hard to silence the fear inside of me. I still remember the white Nike pants I was wearing and the bright red Sean John jumper I had on (I later discarded them because of the memory they left).

Again, through some kind of miracle, the three boys did not see me. They ran off in another direction and I stayed under the table.

The pain of my wounds started to set in. I knew deep down I was safe and so the fight or flight response was turned off. All of a sudden, moving and walking felt very painful.

I could feel broken bits of teeth in my mouth.


The aftermath.

After some time had passed, I manage to reconnect with my friend. By that time there was an ambulance on the scene and he managed to get his knife wounds treated. He got lucky and no vital organs were affected.

The next day I went to school and people could see I had gone through one hell of an ordeal. One of my friends in the year level below, came and found me and explained to me that it was his older brother and friends that attacked me.

They had mistakenly thought that we had come from a party, because of the direction we came from, where he was beaten up. He told me that because they had recognized me, to some degree, I was spared.

The story doesn’t end here though (I wish it did). Even after the brutal event, one of the attackers was still upset with me. I didn’t know why and it made no sense. I had multiple times where he and his friends were waiting for me in certain places and I was told they would harm me.

Through a mutual friend, I was able to resolve the conflict and I found out that a few of them were close friends with a few of my friends. In the coming years, I got to know my attackers.

“They were not the horrible violent people I encountered on that night. They slowly changed their ways and one of them has gone on to do extraordinary kind acts all over the world.”


A revelation from this “I am screwed” moment.

After this horrible event had occurred, I tried to make sense of it. I was not a violent person in any way but in a way, I had created this path for myself.

During my teenage years, I let rap music and violence dominate my life. I thought they were both cool.

The revelation from all of this was that I knew I had to change my life. I knew that the path I was on had led me to this moment and only I could change things. The next time an attack like this happened, I may not be as lucky.

I gave up rap music, I changed my group of friends, I started a business with my brother, I quit smoking and I disengaged from anything that was violent. Looking back, an “I am screwed” moment can be extremely valuable. It’s during these difficult times that we learn about who we are and what we can do to change our lives.

I would never have become obsessed with legacy, giving back and personal development if I hadn’t had this life or death experience.

I’m now fully aware of my mortality and I’m never going to take another day for granted.

Everything can change in a split second for better or for worse. What you do in that moment is up to you.

Nothing happens randomly (even this attack). Everything happens for a reason and when you ensure you get the lesson from it, you can go on to do extraordinary things.

I’m typing these words and reaching millions of people with them, partly because of this “I am screwed” moment.


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

What You Can Learn From My Ultimate “I Am Screwed” Moment.

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Image Credit: Unsplash / Gold Chain

When I was 16 years old, I had the ultimate “I am screwed moment.”

Everything from this point on happened in slow motion. What I’m about to describe probably happened in the space of thirty minutes but it felt like five hours.

I was walking down the street with my buddy one night, eating a paddle pop ice cream. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a group of about twenty teenagers running towards us, dressed in black.

I instantly knew that something was up and as they got closer, we both realized we were screwed and there was nowhere to run to.

Seconds later the gang of teenagers came straight towards us as fast as they could.

“I got lucky and copped a baseball bat to the head. My friend wasn’t so lucky. He was repeatedly stabbed by several different people and there was blood everywhere.”

As I saw what happened to my friend, I knew I’d be next. I was hit so many times with the baseball bat that I was numb from the pain. Everything started to go white.

Then I heard a faint voice. The voice was calling my name out.

I listened to what the young man was saying and realized he was saying that his little brother knew me. All of a sudden, he put out his hand, lifted me off the ground and told me to run in the other direction, or I’d end up like my friend.

I somehow managed to get on my feet and run, but I was not giving up on my friend. I ran around the back of the shopping center that we were standing outside of and entered the building. I ran to the first security guard I saw and told them I needed help.

In my search to get help, miraculously, my friend had made it into the shopping center and he was being treated by a number of bystanders for his massive knife wounds.

I went over and spoke to him. He was okay and things looked better than I expected. I had about sixty seconds of calmness. Then I looked to my left.

Through the glass doors, I could see the same gang of teenagers running into the shopping center. Everyone including the two security guards ran in opposite directions.

My friend with his multiple knife wounds also ran and there were bandages everywhere as he made a run for it (I’m not even sure how he was able to move).

This time I was the unlucky one. I ran into the part of the shopping center that was closed for the night and three of the youths followed me. I’d never been so afraid because I saw what they did to my friend.

I ended up in the shopping centers food court and I hid in the darkness. I tried to control my breathing, but it was hard to silence the fear inside of me. I still remember the white Nike pants I was wearing and the bright red Sean John jumper I had on (I later discarded them because of the memory they left).

Again, through some kind of miracle, the three boys did not see me. They ran off in another direction and I stayed under the table.

The pain of my wounds started to set in. I knew deep down I was safe and so the fight or flight response was turned off. All of a sudden, moving and walking felt very painful.

I could feel broken bits of teeth in my mouth.


The aftermath.

After some time had passed, I manage to reconnect with my friend. By that time there was an ambulance on the scene and he managed to get his knife wounds treated. He got lucky and no vital organs were affected.

The next day I went to school and people could see I had gone through one hell of an ordeal. One of my friends in the year level below, came and found me and explained to me that it was his older brother and friends that attacked me.

They had mistakenly thought that we had come from a party, because of the direction we came from, where he was beaten up. He told me that because they had recognized me, to some degree, I was spared.

The story doesn’t end here though (I wish it did). Even after the brutal event, one of the attackers was still upset with me. I didn’t know why and it made no sense. I had multiple times where he and his friends were waiting for me in certain places and I was told they would harm me.

Through a mutual friend, I was able to resolve the conflict and I found out that a few of them were close friends with a few of my friends. In the coming years, I got to know my attackers.

“They were not the horrible violent people I encountered on that night. They slowly changed their ways and one of them has gone on to do extraordinary kind acts all over the world.”


A revelation from this “I am screwed” moment.

After this horrible event had occurred, I tried to make sense of it. I was not a violent person in any way but in a way, I had created this path for myself.

During my teenage years, I let rap music and violence dominate my life. I thought they were both cool.

The revelation from all of this was that I knew I had to change my life. I knew that the path I was on had led me to this moment and only I could change things. The next time an attack like this happened, I may not be as lucky.

I gave up rap music, I changed my group of friends, I started a business with my brother, I quit smoking and I disengaged from anything that was violent. Looking back, an “I am screwed” moment can be extremely valuable. It’s during these difficult times that we learn about who we are and what we can do to change our lives.

I would never have become obsessed with legacy, giving back and personal development if I hadn’t had this life or death experience.

I’m now fully aware of my mortality and I’m never going to take another day for granted.

Everything can change in a split second for better or for worse. What you do in that moment is up to you.

Nothing happens randomly (even this attack). Everything happens for a reason and when you ensure you get the lesson from it, you can go on to do extraordinary things.

I’m typing these words and reaching millions of people with them, partly because of this “I am screwed” moment.


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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3 Things We Can Learn About Success From a 13 Year Old Girls School Project

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Dog Do or Dog Don’t
Image Credit: Aiden Horwitz

Success comes in all shapes and sizes. So, when I read about a 13 year old that was solving a major problem in the dog adoption industry, I was intrigued. It turns out that many families often choose the wrong dog for their family and end up giving them up to a shelter.

When a school project came up, this young girl decided she would try to tackle the problem. First, she created a survey that would help potential dog foster parents determine which dog would be a good fit for them. Then, she teamed up with a local shelter who gave her information on the dogs. Finally, she added the survey to a website she built called Dog Do or Dog Don’t. So far, it’s seen success in just a few months by pairing 5 dogs with the perfect home.

Here are 3 important points we can learn about success from this little girl’s innovation:

1. Focus on your why

No matter what we do in life, we need to know why we are doing it. This girl didn’t care about the end result of making money or getting attention from local news channels. She wanted to solve a problem and her why was clearly defined. “I wanted to come up with a way to help get dogs adopted or help people get the right dog for them and their family,” she says on her website. That was her why and it drove her to the success of what she eventually created.

When we have a goal in life, we need to focus on why we want to achieve it. It doesn’t matter if it’s being successful in business, raising our family or traveling the world, we need to clarify why. Without passion behind what we are doing, the dedication required to achieve success is hard to come by. Only when we focus on our why will we really be on the path to success.

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” – Simon Sinek

2. Define what success looks like

It sounds simple when I say to define success, but oftentimes we don’t. We set goals of working out more or making more money or even adopting more dogs. However, if we don’t define what that actually means, it’s really hard to know when we have hit the success we are working toward.

Success can quickly become like a bully on the playground that draws a line and when you cross it, he draws another line. When that happens, it’s hard to understand what we have achieved and keep moving onto the next goal.

When this survey for the dog adoption was built out, the goal was to adopt a dog to the perfect home. Now that the goal has been achieved, it’s time to set another goal and keep moving forward. By defining success clearly, we can make sure that when we work our plan and hit our goal, we will know it. Then, we can define another goal and work toward that.

3. Do the important work

What I didn’t mention earlier was that this was actually called the “Passion Project” and they were given an hour and a half each week to work on something they were passionate about. She found her topic through research and discovered that about half the dogs at shelters were there because they were the wrong type for the family.

This girl didn’t do this for accolades or attention as she was focused on doing the important work on something she was passionate about. It was only then that she found the problem she could solve and decided it was important to do so.

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein

Real world problems are all around us from financial issues to poverty to famine and much more. Often, we look at a problem and think to ourselves that it’s too big for us to solve or there’s nothing that can be done about it anyway.

This young girl has a lot to teach us about looking at a problem and finding a solution for it. We need to pay attention to the things she has taught us about achieving success by doing the important work which is close to our heart.

What do you think is the most important aspect to success? Let us know in the comments below!

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How to 10X the Likelihood of Completing Your Next Big Project

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project management
Image Credit: Unsplash

According to Bob Proctor, you have a 95% chance of making personal change happen if you make a plan and set a specific time to share your progress with someone. At the opposite end of the spectrum, you only have a 10% chance of making a change if you say “that’s a good idea” to your next inspirational brain wave without doing anything else.

Now think about it, how many times have you thought “that’s a good idea” and been inspired to do something without actually pulling the trigger to take one single, simple step towards doing something? This is one of the biggest challenges standing in the way of people from achieving their fullest potential.

Here are 6 steps to help you jump-start your next project and take action right away:

1. Identify which ideas are actually good

Not all ideas are created equal, and not all ideas are worth pursuing. In fact, some ideas and goals should be actively avoided. Warren Buffett tells a story about having someone write out their top 25 career goals on a piece of paper. After looking at the list, he asks the individual to circle the top 5 goals on their list. After that, he tells the person that the 20 remaining goals should be “avoided at all costs” until the first 5 goals are met.

It is a mistake to think that you can split your energy in multiple directions and succeed at anything. Instead, focus on the top 2 or 3 things that are most important to you, and actively avoid anything that takes you away from pursuing those goals or ideas.

2. Tell yourself you will do something with this new idea

Once you’ve decided that something is important enough to pursue, make a point of telling yourself you will do something to further explore the idea. This doesn’t mean making a commitment to quit your day job to pursue a vague idea for a startup. Nor does it mean dropping everything to travel the world for 6 months. Rather, it means that you commit to looking into something to get a better idea of what’s involved before taking the leap on a project.

“Ideas are commodity. Execution of them is not.” – Michael Dell

3. Choose a deadline or create a window of time to get something shipped

Outline a specific window of time to accomplish something, and then write out that plan in a calendar. The most important thing is to make sure the deadline is reasonable and that you are realistic. If you make a goal to double your income and launch a new business in the next 12 months, you may find yourself becoming disheartened when things aren’t working out after 3 weeks. I typically choose to work on tasks and projects in 1-3 month sprints, at which point I check in and reevaluate my progress.

4. Outline a specific plan of action on how to do it based on the timeline you have created

I use a variety of tools to help plan out my tasks and remind myself what I’m supposed to be working on, but at the end of the day, the best tool I use to schedule activities is a simple Excel spreadsheet to track tasks on a day by day basis. Check out the book “12 Week Year” for some ideas on how to choose specific action items and tasks which will help you move the needle on your work.

“Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard.” – Guy Kawasaki

5. Make a commitment to accomplish something specific based on the timeline and plan

Now that you have spent the time to research your idea, develop a timeline for the idea and structured a plan with specific tasks to accomplish this idea. You must make a commitment to yourself to carry out the tasks on your list and to strive to complete everything on time.

This task is incredibly important because it requires that you tap into a deeper level of motivation that goes beyond acceptance by the group or fear of failure. Instead, you need to reach deep down and make a commitment based on a deep need to accomplish the task that goes beyond recognition.

6. Set a specific time to review and be accountable for your plan and progress with someone else

We all know that even the most powerful source of internal motivation may not be enough to keep you going when times get tough. This is why you should make a habit of meeting up with a friend, mentor or colleague to review your progress on a certain project and to get ideas on how best to proceed. Make this meeting at a time that you both agree on well in advance, be clear on the feedback you want, and then don’t miss your deadlines!

At the end of the day, taking action is perhaps the biggest deciding factor that will directly contribute to your success and your ability to achieve your goals. If you don’t act, you’re dead in the water. So make a commitment to yourself today to give this a shot.

Think this system would work for you? Let us know!

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5 Easy Ways to Apply the Law of Attraction in Your Business

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law of attraction
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Are you a great fan of The Secret? Then you must absolutely be a great believer in the underlying principle of the Law of Attraction. We can attract all that we desire right into our lives. You may be familiar with applying these principles in your personal life, to your health, wealth and relationships. Have you ever wondered about applying this to your business as well? Can business success be a consequence of applying the law of attraction? We say Yes!

Here are 5 easy ways to apply the Law of Attraction to your business:

1. Imagine how you want your day to go down to the last detail

This is the most critical step. You know what is lined up for the day, now it is up to you to imagine with great detail and enormous positivity how you want to see each element playing out. Say, you have 3 meetings lined up for today. The first one is a morning meeting to negotiate the pricing terms of a contract. It is not enough if you have only visualized the how’s and what’s of the contract. Think and plan to excruciating levels of detailing.

Imagine yourself, what you are wearing, how you will arrive at the meeting, the time when you will be going, how your body language will be during the discussion. Preempt their moves and visualize your responses well ahead. Then imagine how you will commute to the next meeting and carry forward your victorious attitude from this one.

“Greater self-esteem produces greater success, and greater success produces more high self-esteem, so it keeps on spiralling up.” – Jack Canfield

2. Visualize clinching the deal

Once you have planned down to the last detail, visualize your victory. Try to imagine beforehand the moments just before finalizing the deal. How do you imagine it? What are your words going to be? What is the spirit of your counterpart’s response then? Imagine the actual deal signing. Think of this like a wedding rehearsal and plan accordingly.

3. Conjure the ideal client

It is not enough to just visualize the business transactions and negotiations, you have to conjure the client you want as well. All clients are not the same. There is no one who is a perfect client. You have to convert all clients into the ideal client. Think of each client listing their positives and ending with what you would like to change about them. For example, say to yourself that I love this client for their clear briefs and great team spirit, however, it would be much better if only they would pay on time.

Now visualize them paying you on time. What is happening that is making them pay on time? Perhaps you have visualized sending invoices earlier or sending a friendly reminder their way by way of a personal chat or a quick call. Visualizing the ideal client and then your own set of actions that can help convert every client into the ideal client is the way of applying the law of attraction principle to client relationships.

4. Dream up the perfect team

Great business ideas, amazing discussions and the ideal client still do not make for great success. The dream team is what creates success. We all know this. Just like perfect clients, there are no perfect employees, however, the good news is that you can shape your team into the ideal team.

Say you have a great team with skills in Strategy, Distributor relationships, Retail merchandising but lacking in Marketing skills. Visualize as having a great team with all skills except an acquirable skill of Marketing. Visualize every smaller team being equipped with Marketing skills.

How do you see this happening? Are you going to be employing a marketing skill set equipped person in each team? Are you going to train team members who have the aptitude for it to perform marketing tasks as well? It could also be a mix of both approaches. Whatever it is, you need to visualize it to the last detail, even to the degree of what kind of training you would be providing to them.  

“Sweat equity is the most valuable equity there is. Know your business and industry better than anyone else in the world. Love what you do or don’t do it.” – Mark Cuban

5. Count your highs at the end of the day

This is the only part where future oriented visualization has no place. You have to go over the entire business day and religiously note down all the positives. Sometimes the positives may not be tangible acquisitions such as a contract or a payment or project completion. There would be intangible acquisitions such as the realization of what was needed to improve your team, or the first steps taken towards visualizing your negotiation.

It doesn’t matter, you have to count the positives that today has brought. Celebrate the key notes of the day with your team and verbalize why you are celebrating. This brings the entire team to apply the law of attraction in their own business days as well.

Successful entrepreneurs apply these skills with great mastery. Follow these easy ways and apply the Law of Attraction to your business as well. Your success is certain and imminent. Are you ready for it?

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