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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

 

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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

How to Overcome Stage Fright in 5 Simple Steps

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Fear of public speaking, also known as glossophobia (which literally means fear of the tongue) is the apprehension that one experiences when speaking in public. It’s reported that 1 in every 4 individuals reports some sort of anxiety when presenting ideas in front of an audience. Regardless of one’s personal or professional background, being able to communicate ideas confidently and eloquently is of utmost importance. So, how can you overcome stage fright?

Here are 5 simple steps to help you overcome the fear of speaking publicly or in a group:

1. Success Visualization

A great deal of the fear we experience stems from the negative self-talk that goes on in our minds. Thoughts such as “I don’t think I can do it; I’m going to forget my notes; what makes me think people want to listen to me?” The first step in trying to counter the negative self-talk is through what I call Success Visualization. It’s a well-known scientifically-proven fact that the best way to counter negative mental chatters is with positivity.

Find a quiet place where you can be undisturbed for at least 15 minutes, create a mental image of the speech being a complete success. See the audience cheering and learning. See the equipment working properly. See yourself sharing your ideas with confidence. After all, no one goes to a speech to see a speaker embarrass themselves. Visualize what you want (success), not what you dread.

2. Purposeful Practice

How many times have you heard this well-intentioned advice: “Practice makes perfect”? You might wonder, “I’ve practiced over and over again, why am I not improving?” We’ve been told to practice, but no one ever told us how. In his bestselling book Peak, Anders Ericsson introduces the concept of purposeful practice that he defines as a focused process toward a well-defined and specific goal.

What we’re all engaged in is called naive practice, which is repeating a particular task and expecting to get better. That kind of practice as it relates to public speaking is highly ineffective. There is a myriad of skills that need to be mastered in order to become an effective public speaker. As such, purposeful practice is the right way to go since it allows you to focus on one skill at a time with timely feedback on what is and what isn’t working. Always practice with a goal in mind!

3. Energy Reversal

Science claims that we experience the same physiological changes whether excited or stressed. Our adrenal glands release epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol which are the flight or fight chemicals. From a physiological perspective, being ready to fight, or afraid, ready to run away, are two sides of the same coin. Henceforth, we can channel that same energy resulting from stage fright to psyche ourselves up for the speech.

Positive affirmations such as “I am excited! I rock”, can help trick your subconscious mind into believing that you’re excited. Our subconscious mind is impersonal. It doesn’t discriminate or rationalize, it accepts as true and brings to us whatever we suggest. Positive powerful autosuggestions sink deep into our subconscious mind, and manifest themselves in the way you feel, think, and act. Never tell yourself not to be afraid! Well, I mean always tell yourself you are excited and ready to rock.

4. Action

No great results are to be obtained without consistent and persistent actions. Many of us attend speeches, workshops, and seminars expecting to get the desired outcomes right away. It doesn’t work that way, it never did, and it never will. The three previous steps mean nothing if you don’t have a structure that you can use to help reach your goal.

Knowledge alone won’t bring any result. Knowledge coupled with deliberate, systematic actions, will. What are you going to do? Are you going to join a local Toastmasters Club? How many times a week are you willing to practice? Do you have a support group? You reading this article is vibrant proof that you’ve had enough of stage fright. So, why not grab a pen and paper, and write your next action?

5. Know your purpose, audience, and materials

Three things must be absolutely clear in your mind before giving a speech: Your purpose, the audience, and your materials. First, on a blank sheet of paper, at the very top; make sure you have this question answered: Why am I doing this? Or in the form of a similar statement: By the end of my speech, the audience will have learned. Without a purpose to give you direction and bring value to your audience, you don’t have a speech.

Next, Who am I talking to? Before getting on stage, basic information about the audience’s age group, cultural background, and level of knowledge is essential. Those insights empower you to appropriately frame your message, so you can engage the audience and get your message across more effectively. Speaking isn’t about you, it’s all about the audience.

Finally, make sure you’ve mastered your materials. Specifically, the introduction, main ideas, and the conclusion. Part of why we are afraid results from doubts of not being fully prepared. Never get in front of an audience without having fully mastered your materials. Complete mastery of your materials will boost your self-confidence which will, in turn, reduce your public speaking apprehension.

I hope these techniques serve you well as they have me and the many others who’ve attended my workshops. Your willingness to try, fail, and improve is what makes magic happens. As you may have realized by now, all you have to do to transform your fear from a foe to a friend is to S-P-E-A-K despite your fears.

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Success Advice

3 Steps to Overcome Your Brain Biases and Become a Better Leader

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If I asked you what time it was, you would likely look at your watch or a clock and read the time out to me. And if I were to ask you where you were, you would likely tell me the exact place, city, or state. If I were to then ask you who you were, you would likely identify yourself by your name, demographics, and perhaps a work description. On the surface, answering these questions correctly would indicate that you were not delirious. But are these answers technically correct?

Biological research indicates that superficial orientation to time, place, or person is actually far from accurate. Rather, leaders might benefit from tending toward a non-dual awareness of the world, or at least offer themselves the opportunity to see the world this way. For time, place, and person, the biological realities differ from what we might initially think.

1. Don’t let the past dictate the future

We are not ever-present in the moment, nor should we be. In the human brain, the past, present, and future are all represented at the same time. Although we consciously organize our experiences using this segmentation of time, each of these networks can intrude upon the other. In fact, what you remember can influence what you can imagine for yourself in the future as well.

As a leader, ensure that you frequently examine your memory for positive reminders and biases, take advantage of your presence circuits by incorporating mindfulness practices into your day, and use your “possibility” circuits to imagine or simulate future scenarios. In fact, in the brain, imagination is a lot like reality.

Using all three components at all times will help you to become aware of biases and could also help you escape traps or an impasse. For instance, when a possible solution for product development is vague, thinking in terms of what you want and then reverse-engineering this process to make what you imagine could be helpful.

Walt Disney saw great success after building Disneyland in Anaheim, California, but outside interests began crowding his theme park. When he decided to build another park in Florida, Disney didn’t let the experience of California dissuade him. He expanded his vision to something greater — a city of tomorrow. He created fake companies to secretly purchase acres upon acres of land near where Interstate 4 intersected with the Florida turnpike so his company could develop the area around the theme park.

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney

2. Think beyond your reach

We are not where we think we are. The notion of “place” has become increasingly irrelevant in a globalized world. With the increasing interconnectedness of societies, cultures, and economies, leaders need to be careful not to think of themselves too locally. When leaders are global in their thinking, they are likely to elicit more widespread cooperation from international markets.

Ask yourself, “What communities beyond my local community do I want to impact?” and “What communities am I impacting?” When you take this approach, it can help your advertising strategies, for example, become more congruous with specific or global markets. Also, leaders who think globally will be more aware of competition from afar and opportunities for collaboration, too.

Jack Ma can be credited with being a global thinker for founding Alibaba, allowing Chinese consumers to access domestic and international markets that they could not previously access. By moving into e-commerce, online banking, and cloud computing, Alibaba has expanded into India and Southeast Asia. Alibaba’s Electronic World Trade Platform has even enabled farmers in Rwanda to sell coffee in China. This is a perfect example of thinking beyond your reach.

3. Connect the body and mind

We are not what we think we are. We are made up of 50% human and 50% bacterial cells. And water comprises 60% of our body weight. So we are basically bags of water and bacteria — with a dash of human cells thrown in for good measure.

Also, though we might think of ourselves as being separate from other people and things, many people or things you encounter in your life are stored in your brain’s memory centers. Our brain tissue contains images, voices, and other attributes of people and things, too. We are not actually as separate as we think.

Take care of your bacteria, and they will take care of you. Having the right balance of bacteria is of paramount importance to effective functioning because the wrong balance can make you depressed or anxious. Taking a probiotic can help restore this balance. Understanding that you are part human, part bacteria can change the way you take care of your moods by essentially reminding you to take care of your gut.

Mindy Grossman, the CEO of WW International — formerly Weight Watchers — is a good example of someone who understands the mind-body connection. Grossman has led the company’s focus from strictly weight loss to wellness through healthy habits. Part of the transformation includes a partnership with meditation app Headspace to help members maintain a positive mindset.

“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.” – Mahatma Gandhi

When you engage in non-dual awareness by recognizing that your brain fuses and connects time, places, and people, your leadership capacities might also be enhanced. As Warren Bennis, founding chairman of the Leadership Institute at the University of Southern California, suggests, “Becoming a leader is synonymous with becoming yourself.” And your “self” is more intriguing and mysterious than you might first imagine.

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Success Advice

3 Ways to Optimize Your Life for Success

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Welcome to the 21st Century! The era of the Internet and computers, lack of focus and superficiality. I know it sounds scary, maybe a little more exaggerated, but it’s true. We live in a world of short posts and 3-minute videos. We barely engage in deep learning, deep thinking, and deep focus to produce iPhone-level products or services. So, the majority of us are actually a failure, thousands of miles away from achieving our life goals and business visions. How do we turn things around? We need to optimize our lives.

Here are 3 tried and tested tips that will help optimize your life for success:

1. Upgrade your sleep

When I started my freelance writing career—about seven years ago—I was passionate and excited at the beginning. I’d fill my To-Do list with 6-10 items, worked until 12 am, set my alarm to go off at 3 am, and had my running shoes close to my bed before I went to sleep. However, I barely accomplished anything. I usually became weak and bored before noon.

I noticed that I was putting a huge strain on myself. I was sleep deprived, which is the primary reason why I didn’t have the energy and the drive to accomplish my tasks. Many studies have shown that sleep-deprivation affects productivity.

As soon as I began increasing my sleeping time from 4 hours to 7 hours, my whole life changed. I started producing a lot and earning a lot more than before while also improving my health. With more sleep, I get the emotional energy and willpower I need to read, learn, and optimize my career.

“By helping us keep the world in perspective, sleep gives us a chance to refocus on the essence of who we are. And in that place of connection, it is easier for the fears and concerns of the world to drop away.” – Arianna Huffington

2. Read every day

I get it. You’re in the middle-class struggling to survive. You simply have enough to deal with. Reading? That’s not included on your to-do list. Well, if that’s you, then you’re not alone. The global literacy rates are at an all-time high at 84 percent, which means people don’t read as much anymore.

We already have enough on our plates. In fact, a study by the National Endowment for the Arts has found that the reading culture among American adults has drastically declined. That’s a big issue in our world.

Nothing can prevent you from reading, not even your plate that’s chock-full of other life’s priorities. If you want to produce more and impact the world around you, you’ve got to read more and learn more.

Take a look at the visionaries and business titans in our world. All of them are avid readers and avid learners. Bill Gates is a bibliophile and Phil Knight, the founder of Nike, reveres books. In fact, Knight customized his library to the extent that, before you enter into his library, you have to take off your shoes and bow.

So, what would you do next? Take Roald Dahl’s advice, captured in this beautiful line of the poem: “So please, oh please, we beg, we pray / go throw your TV set away / and in its place, you can install / a lovely bookshelf on the wall.”

3. Use Pomodoro to time yourself

You can’t go far in life if you can’t stay totally focused on a task. If you want to achieve your goals, you have got to stay laser-focused on a single task before jumping on to another. Why? Because goals are not achieved in one session, they’re achieved in a series of tasks, one after the other.

To install the focus habit in your system; therefore, you need to use a time-management kind of “system” that will keep you firm and attentive on a specific project. Pomodoro is that time-management tool that will help you stay focused.

It’s an excellent app that lets you set a timer for a particular task. You can set it for 30, 60, or 90 minutes and stop working when it goes off. I use it all the time, and I can’t imagine my work life without it.

“I know when I stay focused, good things will undoubtedly happen.” – Marc Trestman

Optimizing your life for more power, passion, and productivity is not about working hard late at night or running multiple projects at a time. It’s about maintaining your health and recharging your energy (having a deep, quality sleep), updating your knowledge (by reading every day), and staying focused on a project—until you accomplished it (by using Pomodoro technique to boost your concentration).

Of course, developing these sets of habits is not easy. You’ll fail and get frustrated, but as the productivity guru Robin Sharma beautifully puts it, “all changes are hard at first, messy at the middle, and beautiful at the end.”

Which one of these three ways to optimize your life resonated most with you and why? Share your thoughts below!

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Success Advice

If You Want Your Business to Grow, You Need to Increase Your Capacity in the Following 4 Areas

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Image Credit: Pixabay

Every entrepreneur must come face to face with the reality that there is only a limited amount of time, money, and people that you can use within your current position. The question is how do we increase or maximize the things that we find limiting?

As we walk through our hectic and often over packed ten, twelve, or fourteen hour work days, one of the questions that we should be asking is “What can I do to get more, to do more?” Instead, we just put our heads down and plow through the ever growing mountain of work. We are limited by capacity.

Webster’s dictionary defines capacity as “the maximum amount that something can contain.” As an entrepreneur, we have to be a little more creative than the average person and find ways to increase our capacity.

Below, we’ll identify the four areas where we need more capacity and ways to get more with less:

1. Time

Every human on this planet is granted twenty-four hours a day. That is it. Your capacity is a total of twenty-four hours. Within that amount of time you must manage several different demands. Our goal is to buy back our time, when we can, and operate at peak performance when we are accomplishing our daily task list.

First, without staying in performance shape, you will lose the ability to stay at optimal performance levels. Our bodies are truly a machine with an amazing capacity, but when it is abused by lack of sleep, improper nutrition, and lack of exercise, you are reducing the capacity at which you are able to work and function. The closer you are to peak performance, the more you are able to accomplish in a shorter amount of time.

Second is our mental condition. Here is what my experience has taught me. If I am mentally rested, I can think and make decisions faster because I can reason more quickly in addition to understanding the circumstances and information at an extremely fast pace. 

When your brain is healthy, it becomes easier to absorb and process information at a lightning fast rate. Taking the time to allow your brain to rest will give it the ability to function at peak performance.

Third is our ability to train and delegate. So often, entrepreneurs are control freaks. No one can do it as good, as fast, or with the same passion as they can. While that may be true in most cases, you are only one person with twenty-four hours in a day. 

You’ve got to delegate and accept people’s help. If you add one person that’s willing to give you eight hours of work a day, you have now bought back hours in your day to focus on activities that will generate more income and grow your business. Why wouldn’t you want to add more hours to your day by delegating out the appropriate task to qualified individuals?

“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.” – Zig Ziglar

2. Money

Money tends to be a sensitive topic. We all have beliefs that were formed through our childhood on the concept of money. With many different views and beliefs on this topic, let’s just focus on the fact that money is a tool that will either help grow the company or a tool that limits a company’s growth.

It is always amazing that the faster a company grows, the greater the challenge of money becomes, and this could potentially cause the company to implode on its own success. How do we then increase the capacity and have more money available to keep the company healthy?

Here are a couple of things to watch out for: 

  • Keep an eye on your budget and get accurate figures. 
  • Look at your Accounts Receivables. If they get too long, they could cause significant cash flow issues. 
  • Find investment opportunities. There are many private investors that are often willing to invest in companies that have true growth with solid foundations. 
  • Look at additional profit generators, products, or services that fit within your current business model. 

Each of these are ways to increase the capacity that money contributes to the growth of your business.

3. Space and Supply

I will never forget exactly where I was standing when I had a manufacture call and tell me they were unable to supply anymore products. They had sold us everything they had, and they weren’t going to have anything available to sell for at least another six months. At that time, we were selling customer printed t-shirts and had tens of thousands of orders that we needed to fulfill within the next thirty days.

Space and Supply are tied closely together. Space is often associated with the production. Do you have a space large enough to meet the demands of the supply? If production can only create 1,000 products a day and buyers need 5,000 a day, there is a conflict. 

A business needs to understand that challenge, and there are only 3 solutions to this problem: The business figures out how to increase production within the current workable hours, adds more workable hours with the equipment and space, or adds more equipment and space to increase production.

Space and supplies are assets that can be used towards the business advantage. Here are a few questions to ask when making decisions based on space and supply. 

  • Evaluate your supply channel. Are they able to maintain a solid supply of your raw product materials to match your growth as a company? 
  • Are there back up supply manufactures that can create a safety net for your raw products? 
  • Evaluate the amount of space you have available along with the time the space is usable. Can you run a second or third shift with the current space and equipment?

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

4. People

Your employees are likely going to be the most important way to create more capacity. We talked briefly about delegating to qualified individuals to increase capacity around your own personal time. The next phase is to create more capacity by adding additional, trained people. 

You need to create leaders of leaders instead of you being the leader of followers. Don’t miss this because the greatest of all companies focuses on increasing their capacity by training leaders of leaders and not just a loyal following.

Entrepreneurs tend to be a lonely bunch of souls. Too often, we are misunderstood and looked at with slight amount of annoyance. Others just don’t always know how to take someone that is passionately thinking outside the box. 

People skills are a must in order to have more than just yourself work to achieve that dream. As an entrepreneur, develop the social skills to work with individuals that are different than yourself.  

Here is a 3 step plan to have great capacity with people as your allies:

  1. Start by learning how to delegate your own tasks to buy back your time. Identify the tasks that are easiest to delegate and document how you do them. This will give you a specific job description, set achievable goals, and create a daily action plan that is now something that is teachable. 
  2. Use this system and apply it to the other things you are currently doing. I would suggest building out an organization chart and dividing the different tasks you do within the company. Then create a plan that will allow you to hire the right person and move you onto the next area in the organization that you will systematize. 
  3. Finally, create the culture. Culture is like a child, it will grow whether or not you pay attention to it. So be intentional. Learn what it takes to build a culture that attracts the employees that want to be there and grow with the company. 

Each of these four areas has an incredible amount of potential to increase your capacity, and allow your business to grow. Don’t attempt to tackle everything at once. Identify just one area that you will commit to grow within the next three to six months. Take action and implement. 

What is your next step? Share with us below!

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