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10 Ways to Cultivate a Creative Mind

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cultivate a creative mind - creativity

More often than not, success is synonymous with creativity. Thomas Edison is known as successful because he created the lightbulb. Richard Branson’s mega success came from his unique creations and branding of the Virgin company. Jony Ive, who has repeatedly been described as the creative genius behind Apple’s greatest products is indeed notorious due to his creativity. The list goes on and on with the numerous creative minds behind successful products.

If success comes with being creative, the crucial question then, is what does it take to possess a creative mind?

Creativity has been defined by neuroscientists as the ability to take disparate or scattered ideas and bring them together in new and useful combinations. Not surprisingly, the creative process of the mind is similar in bringing together different parts of your brain. Thankfully, much of the research in modern neuroscience has demonstrated that mental capabilities such as creativity are a result of a person’s own intentional activation of different parts of the brain. It is something that can be harnessed through practice, cultivation, and development.

Here are ten ways to spark off your creative mind!

 

 

1. The cloud exercise

You probably had to do this when you were a child, but do not let the simpleness of this cause you to think that it is not effective!

Clouds are notorious for resembling something else. Take a look up at a few different cloud formations and note what some of the shapes resemble. A tree? A Cat?

 

2. Increase your vocabulary

Most online dictionaries will always have a “word of the day” already featured. No need to try and chew up a ton of words in one go, just add one word a day to your vocabulary. Most importantly, find a way to use it during a conversation- that even makes it challenging and fun.

 

3. Pick any object and describe it ten different ways

What is in front of you right now? Most likely your laptop or computer. How many different ways can you describe it? Shiny…sleek…modern…silver…try and come up with ten adjectives for it.

 

4. Pick up a pencil and draw

Studies have shown that drawing activates certain parts of your right brain. You do not need to be the next Da Vinci to reap the creative benefits of trying to draw something you see. Just take a look out the window, or try and draw the coffee mug in front of you.

 

creativity picture quote

 

5. Do something with your non-dominant hand

Doing something unfamiliar will give your brain a kick in the pants and fire off neurons that will support your overall creativity. Whether it is brushing your teeth, combing your hair, or writing your name on a piece of paper, try it with your less dominant hand.

 

6. Learn a few phrases in a different language

Always wanted to throw out a couple of romantic French or Italian phrases? Learning a language activates the left temporal lobe of your brain. You will not only be able to impress someone with your bilingual talents but also do your creative brain a favor! Pick up a little phrase book from a used book store for a couple of dollars.

 

7. Play devil’s advocate to yourself

Come at a conversation or discussion from a different angle. Argue with yourself and force your brain to wrestle with a different side. Stretch your mind into having to reason through a different perspective.

 

8. Experiment

Try something new. If you are a foodie, step out and try a different ingredient or a style of cooking you have never had. If you are into concerts and music, try listening to something different. Uncharted waters gets the brain to lay some new creative networks. Ask yourself, “when was the last time you did something for the first time?

 

9. Learn a musical instrument

Most songs are a repetition or variation of four simple chords which are easy to learn on a guitar or a piano. Music is immensely powerful tool in activating creative parts of your brain as it stimulates multiple areas of your brain.

 

10. Find a different use for an item

A pillow could be used as a chair cushion- you do not have to actually go ahead and use it, unless you really want to, but come up with alternative uses for items in your possession. An empty jar of strawberry jam could be used as a drinking glass.

All these exercises are designed to activate dormant parts of your brain and cause different portions to work together in ways that they usually would not. This unique cooperation of different portions of the brain will create the perfect environment for your mind to be at its creative best.

A refugee from Vietnam, raised in Australia, with a BA from Texas, Thai writes for many publications including The Huffington Post, Entrepreneur.com, and Addicted2Success. A professional chef, international kickboxer, and spiritual teacher, Thai is passionate about helping people become the best version of themselves. Signup for his free weekly Infographics at TheUtopianLife.com | Connect @ThaiWins | On Facebook 

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. rayano

    Oct 28, 2015 at 3:31 am

    Nice articles thank you it even let less stress

  2. Band Grrl

    Mar 4, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    Each week go somewhere new… Julia Cameron (The Artist’s Way) called it “The Artist’s Date”. Great book by the way.

    • Thai Nguyen

      Mar 14, 2014 at 6:08 am

      Thanks for the recommendation! Will definitely check it out.

  3. Daniel

    Feb 5, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    The drawing idea is actually interesting. Way back I would sit down and draw my dining room from my point of view. When I finished the replica blew me away. Now that’s creative.

    • Thai Nguyen

      Mar 14, 2014 at 6:07 am

      Hi Daniel, I gave drawing a shot a little while ago and had a similar experience! Worth doing just for that experience.

  4. Thai N

    Feb 5, 2014 at 4:24 am

    Glad you enjoyed it Ankit- hope you are able to start incorporating some of them into your life!

  5. Ankit

    Feb 4, 2014 at 5:52 am

    Hey Thai, the article is awesome. I am completely agree with you.

  6. Ve Dixon

    Jan 31, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    Great Article.

  7. Steve

    Jan 31, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    Great article!

    • Thai Nguyen

      Feb 1, 2014 at 9:22 am

      Thanks Steve. Wishing you all the best!

  8. Naomi@quitmyjob

    Jan 31, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Hi Thai,

    Creativity is important for success. A good business can’t survive without it.

    Meditation is also supposed to be very good from improving your creativity.

    I like the idea about musical instruments. I’ve been meaning to start learning how to play guitar for about a year now. Knowing it can help with my business is all a better reason.

    Thanks for the good read

    Naomi

    • Thai Nguyen

      Feb 1, 2014 at 2:03 am

      Yes, meditation! Great addition to the list Naomi! Thanks for your contribution. I taught myself guitar a few years ago and it has been great for giving my brain creative spurts! Wishing you all the best!

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Success Advice

The Super Power Of Charisma – How You Can Adopt It For Yourself

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There’s this dude at the office. He’s fucking unstoppable.

His shit don’t stink and everything he touches turns to gold. At least that’s what I used to think.

Really, in reality, he’s just charismatic.

That’s how he got the cool job, the hot wifey and why everyone wants to be friends with him including me.

What does he do? Let’s delve a little deeper and discuss the eight things that lead to being charismatic:

 

1. Being confident baby!

This dude at work has swag. He backs himself even if he has no freaking idea what’s going to go down homey. In a business context, people that are confident are proven to be more trustworthy.

We trust confident people because it’s infectious. We want to work and be around confident people because it feels good. When something feels good, we do it, and do it lots!

My buddy at work walks into the room and people shake his hand because his presence changes the game. He also does these few things:

– He dresses confidently
– He pops his chest out just a fraction (not like the guy on the Bonds Singlet packet)
– He looks people in the eye

Out of these three, looking people in the eye is the hardest to do. To look into someone’s eye is the most vulnerable state you can put yourself in.

“The difference is that when you’re vulnerable, you connect with people better”

It also shows that you’ve got guts and allows you to enter their world. Okay, that’s wacky stuff and I may sound like I’ve read one too many “Power Of the Universe” type books. Take it or leave it chief.

 

2. Passion surrounds them. It pours out of their eyeballs!

Even the words I write demonstrate this. You can tell from everything I’m saying right now that passion pours out of me. I freaking love what I do and it shows even though you can’t see me or hear my voice. Okay, that’s a fraction creepy…enough about me.

This almighty bloke at work is charismatic because his values and beliefs are based on his passion. Passion is like a magnet according to science. When we see passion, it makes us start acting with more passion. You’re drawn to charisma in the same way because you want more of it.

There’s no point pretending you don’t like to be passionate because we all do. Sometimes, we just get lost and lose our passion for life or our career. That’s okay! None of us are perfect souls who don’t lose our way once in a while. I’m fucking lost more than I’m on track half the time.

Bottom-line: charismatic people are surrounded by passion. I don’t care if it’s collecting matchsticks or building sand castles – find something to get excited about and then show your passion for it.

 

3. They’re not vain: selfies are not their highest priority.

This charismatic chappy at work doesn’t spend half his days taking selfies of himself and then posting it on social media.

He doesn’t take photos of his food and then post it on social – he just eats it. He’d rather jump off a bridge than be a pretentious snob who’s insecure and has an inflated ego to compensate.

“The number one sign of a pretentious person vs a charismatic person is that they take credit for things they didn’t do”

Or they make things sound ten times bigger than they actually are in reality. Don’t fall for this trap young Indiana Jones. You’re better than that!

 

4. Expressing yourself through great stories

Storytelling is one of the many traits a charismatic person has. If you listen closely to their stories, you’ll notice they use strong phrases like “I know X to be true” instead of phrases like “I think,” or “I hope” which sounds weak.

Through stories, you can be: funny, vulnerable and share embarrassing moments. That’s what charismatic people do and they draw everyone in through their stories. As a side note, their stories don’t go on forever and they know how to get to the point.

Become a charismatic poet through stories about your experiences. Educate and inspire people around you and you’ll be acting charismatic by default.

 

5. Make other people feel comfortable around you

Not everyone is a hero and is comfortable being charismatic and confident. You can demonstrate charisma by learning to make others feel relaxed around you. Make other people the center of attention and let them feel special. There’s a subtle difference between charisma and hogging the conversation with your own bombastic, overpowering, unnecessary and selfish talk.

Back down; you’re not that big of a deal. Once you do that, you’ll have entered the universe of charisma.

 

6. A clear purpose and vision. In other words, they know why.

Part of what makes up the DNA of a charismatic person is their purpose or vision for their life. Quite simply, they know what they’re on this planet to do. They have a goal, it’s measurable, and they’ll stop at nothing until they achieve it.

To be in this state requires a certain sort of self-confidence that charismatic people have in spades. People seem to rally around a person who knows their purpose.

You can’t do anything and be motivated unless you know why. Without a why you’ll never build up enough momentum to reach any sort of peak performance. Mediocrity happens to us when we give up too easily. When we start a new pursuit for 4 weeks and then give up.

Map the seven seas of why you exist. Do a heap of self-reflection if you need to, to find this vision and bring it to the surface.

 

7. They look approachable

Most people look like they’re zombies when you walk past them and they almost look like they’re going to explode if you dare talk to them. That’s not charisma pal!

That unapproachable zombie look is called being scared, fearful and afraid due to a lack of self-awareness and a lack of self-improvement. It’s not the end of the world and it can be turned around.

The difference with charismatic people is one little, tiny thing: they smile. All you have to do is change one little thing – smile a bit more. Smiling is contagious and it makes people feel confident. It also makes you feel freaking amazing too!

 

8. They give more than anyone else and expect jack in return

This last one is the toughest trait of charismatic people. It sounds incredibly difficult and that’s because it is. We all have our own selfish desires that make us feel good, although only for a moment.

Charismatic people wow everyone around them by always going above and beyond to give. They either give time, money, knowledge or a listening ear to those who need it. The crazy, passionate, charismatic people even combine several of these to produce an outcome that can only be described as extraordinary.

Many of us do in fact give; the challenge is we expect something back. Worse, we even complain when we do an honorable act and get nothing in return. This is not how to play the game of life. This selfish behavior will make you very unhappy until you cut it the hell out!

“The secret to living is giving ” Tony Robbins

So let’s go over this one more time boss. To harness the superpower of giving that leads to charisma you must:

– Be prepared to give more than anybody else
– Expect nothing in return
– Ensure your own foolish and selfish desires are not front of mind every day

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

The Real Reason Why Your Dreams Don’t Become a Reality According to ‘The 10x Rule’ by Grant Cardone

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the 10x rule

Everyone has dreams. We all want to make something of ourselves yet it’s only a tiny percentage of people ever follow through. The self-help world encourages us to “Think Big”, “Follow Your Passions”, “Live as if there was no such thing as failure” and it usually just leads to keeping people stuck in a dream state, wishing, hoping and fantasizing yet never actually moving forward.

Why is this? Thinking big is just one part of the equation. This missing piece in the jigsaw is a bias towards massive action. Big Dreams + Little Action = disappointment and frustration.

Thinking and dreaming big must match with the equal and equivalent amount of action for it to go anywhere. When you combine big thinking with massive action you will be surprised at how much you are capable of, once you tap into the power of momentum.

What stops most people from achieving their goals?

I’ve been reading Grant Cardone’s “The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure” and in his view success comes from taking 10 times more action than you previously anticipated.

What stops most people from achieving a goal is underestimating the time, effort and energy involved in completing the project. They don’t spend enough time listing the steps required to succeed, the adversity they will need to overcome to push things through and the price they must pay to attain the goal.

If the number one sticking point in goal attainment is a lack of action then it’s obvious that the solution is in massive action. So what happens is they give up at the first sign of frustration or disappointment.

“Never reduce a target. Instead increase actions. When you start rethinking your targets, making up excuses, and letting yourself off the hook, you are giving up on your dreams.” – Grant Cardone

When I look back on my own life, anything I have ever achieved that was worthwhile did take an extraordinary amount of effort. Anytime I have ever coasted or done a “normal” amount of work, I would fall short of my target and feel the pain of frustration and disappointment which lead to reducing my targets.

In “The 10 X Rule” Cardone talks about his own failures in business and how he bounced back; “I committed to making this work by increasing my efforts 10 times. And as soon as I did that, everything started to change – immediately. I went back into the marketplace with the right estimation of effort and started seeing results. Instead of making two to three calls a day, I started doing 20 to 30

Most people fail only because they are operating at the wrong degree of action. There are 4 degrees of action which you can choose from:

  1. Do Nothing
  2. Retreat
  3. Take Normal Levels of Action
  4. Take Massive Action

At the “do nothing” level people are just accepting what comes their way. They are not pushing themselves or motivated to improve any area of their lives.

Retreaters are those who have taken action, experienced some setbacks or failures and retreated back into “doing nothing”. Examples of this include “Most businesses fail anyway so I am going to give up”, “Marriages aren’t working out these days so I will stay single”, “Businesses aren’t employing so I am going to file for unemployment benefit”.

The third degree is normal levels of action which is usually considered adequate. Grant says this is the most dangerous level where most people blend in, never stand out and thus never achieve the real success they wanted.

Lastly there is massive action which Cardone states is our most natural state. This is where you burst forth with 10 times the action you previously anticipated. “The goal is to be seen, thought of and considered – in one way or another. Your only problem is obscurity not talent”.

Obscurity is your only problem not talent. I like that. I am sure you all know someone who is less capable than you but experiencing much more success than you are. Why? Because they are more known and fearlessly putting themselves “out there”. So which degree of action are you taking currently? And will you commit to taking 10x action?

“Regardless of which degree of action you operate in, they all require work in their own way.” – Grant Cardone

So why not set your goals and actions higher than you ever imagined because it is highly likely you are not only underestimating the time, energy and effort involved in your endeavour, you are also likely underestimating your own capabilities and potential. Set high goals and never stop fighting.

Share with us one goal you have for 2017, and how you plan on achieving it. Comment below so we can see!

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Success Advice

My Thoughts On Money After Being Both Rich And Poor

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I’ve been in financial situations where I couldn’t even afford a pizza.

I know what it’s like to have more money than you can spend. I know what it’s like to see your goals turn into cold hard cash.

Through these two extremes of poverty and wealth, I’ve learned a thing or two about money.

 

Your mind constructs money

Whether you feel rich or not has to do with your mind.

You can have $100 in your bank account and feel like the richest guy or girl in California. How rich you feel comes down to your internal programming. If you practice being grateful, then you’ll find yourself believing that you are already rich. You can have all the money this world has to offer and still feel poor.

“The time I felt the poorest was when I had the most money, but zero meaning for my life”

I always felt at this time in my life like I needed more. I always felt I wasn’t enough. When I went through the whole personal development transformation phase of my life, all of a sudden, just having money to buy a hot chocolate felt amazing!

Be careful what the world tells you about money. You get to decide the difference between rich vs. poor. The money you have in your bank account doesn’t answer this question for you.

 

Meaning Vs. Money

When I discovered a meaning for my life, suddenly money wasn’t as important. The dumb thing was that money started to find its way into my life again without me focusing on it. People were attracted to the meaning I had created for my life which then bought me more abundance.

My advice to anyone reading this is to focus on finding out the meaning of your life. If you can’t figure it out, then create one. Think about who you admire and the meaning they have for their life, and create something similar for yourself.

If you want to inspire people, then do it.
If you want to create a business that gives back, then do it.
If you want to write blog posts like this one to help people in life, then do it.

During the time I had more money than I knew what to do with, I had no idea what I was put on this Earth to do. I would import widget A, make some money, import widget B, and then start all over again. I felt like a robot repeating a pattern. At the end of the process, I got another couple of zeroes in my bank account.

Those zeros on the screen of my Internet banking got very boring, very quickly.

As soon as I found something that lit me up and helped others, the focus on seeing more zero’s on my Internet banking screen disappeared.

 

Im not saying money doesn’t matter

If you just read that Tim Denning thinks money doesn’t matter, then you didn’t get me.

Money does matter, but it shouldn’t be your primary focus. Your primary focus should be finding meaning which will lead you to something that self-motivates you. This self-motivating activity can then be monetized to give you the resources you need to live like food, shelter and maybe a vacation once in a while.

What I want you to feel is that your focus is on something other than money.

“Having been both rich and poor, I’ve mostly felt nothing at both extremes”

 

Meaning can also be found in life’s simple pleasures

I remember the feeling I got from reading Unlimited Power.
I remember what it was like when I fell in love for the first time.
I remember how cool it was to go on my very first overseas holiday.

All of these memories gave me a meaning for my life and made me feel something. Each memory created a variety of emotions that I can still remember as I reminisce on these pastimes.

Meaning came to me through the simplest of pleasures. I didn’t need a million dollar Lamborghini to make me feel like I was on top of the world. Lying on a beach with friends spending no money gave me far more than I could ever imagine.

If you’d told me this five years ago, I would have called you a liar. Having been both rich and poor, I now understand what meaning money gives me: not much.

 

Final words on money…

Focus on who you can become. Find or create a meaning for your life than transcends money.

Go beyond what society tells you about money. Most of it is a lie. Money will not give you meaning or make you happy.

Only you can create happiness and meaning for yourself.

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

5 Powerful Lessons About Success From Highly Successful Mentors

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successful mentors

We can’t help it. When we read an interview with a high flying, successful person, we secretly compare ourselves to them with our mind making little mental notes. Their lives seem perfect, and they seem so poised and confident. I wish I could be like that. Why do they seem to have it all, while I am struggling? When will things ever go my way?

For the longest time, I too believed in these popular myths of success, until I met several CEOs who became my mentors. When I asked each one of them what is the one biggest lesson they would like to share, their answers were unexpected, powerful and humbling.

These are the 5 powerful and humbling lessons they shared about success:

1. Nobody has Their Stuff Together

Just when you least expect it, an obstacle pops up, threatening to derail you from your goal. And sometimes, the bad news just keeps coming, which kicks you in the gut and you feel ready to give up. In comparison, successful people seem to be blazing trails of success. It almost seems unfair. While they appear to be picture perfect, where nothing can go wrong, the truth of it is this:

Nobody has their stuff together. We see these crowning moments of glory. But we don’t see the private, vulnerable moments behind the scenes. The sleepless nights worrying about what to do, where a series of wrong decisions resulted in people getting laid off. The endless meals alone in yet another soulless hotel room, with no one to share the burden with, because they don’t have the time to make a relationship work.

Obstacles and problems will always exist, no matter who you are. However, the challenges appearing to each of us is unique, and help us grow beyond the level we are at. A successful life is not about a lack of challenges, it’s about navigating and growing through the challenges so that we continue evolving to become the fullest potential of who we are.

2. Uncertainty Never Disappears

Brimming with confidence and well spoken, they always seem to know exactly what to say, and what to do in any situation. They seem to be the last people on earth to flail and feel vulnerable.

While on the surface they appear to be confident, the struggle with not knowing what to do plagues them as much as us. This can be the uncertainty of making a project work, because they have never done it before or lacking the necessary experience.

They can be worried that by taking this on, they might be biting off more than they can chew and experience massive failure and disastrous consequences. Nonetheless, the difference for them is despite their fears, they say yes and go ahead.

“Human spirit is the ability to face the uncertainty of the future with curiosity and optimism. It is the belief that problems can be solved, differences resolved. It is a type of confidence. And it is fragile. It can be blackened by fear and superstition.” – Bernard Beckett

3. Jump Before You Are Ready

Uncertainty and not knowing is a part of life. It never goes away. If you stay where you are, it feels safe and comfortable. But, it is a guarantee that you would not rise beyond where you are now if you don’t step out and make your move.

To take the leap of faith, your work through the uncertainty is the only way to grow. The fear of the unknown is not as scary as we make it out to be. All you have to do is to ask yourself “Do I believe I have what it takes to figure it out?” If your gut says yes, go for it.

4. It’s Not about External Motivation

Most successful people come with the traditional markers of success. Wealth. Status. A comfortable lifestyle. However, external motivation – the cars, the houses, the jewelry etc – can only motivate them so much.

Their motivation stems not from the outside – but from within themselves. It’s about their internal drive to be better thus building and expanding a grander vision of what they wish to create, and where they want to be.

That internal motivation is the driving force that pushes them through when things start to fall apart, because then it’s a battle within to overcome these setbacks and achieve their vision.

5. They Are Mental Ninja Masters

When everything that could go wrong, would go wrong, it’s natural to beat ourselves up. This negative feedback loop keeps replaying in our minds, and we start believing our negative self-talk, which threatens to spiral out of control and bring us down.

A few years ago, one of the CEOs I interviewed, Dave, was going through a particularly difficult time. Several major business deals fell through in quick succession. He emptied his life savings trying to keep things afloat, only for it to backfire and lost his life savings in the process.

He was faced with the real possibility of laying off hundreds of people at the company. Many lives were at stake here, and the pressure was on. He faltered, but only for a day.

He then rallied and continued to hustle. He hustled harder, stronger and faster than ever before. It was fascinating and impressive. What was his secret to bouncing back so fast from all the punches thrown at him?

He didn’t allow the negativity to control him. He controlled and directed his mind. Half the battle is with ourselves. We are often our own worst enemy with our negative self-talk.

Mastering control over your mind, instead of letting your mind control you is half the battle. Stop the negative self-talk when it happens. Redirect it towards positive action to achieve the outcome you desire.

“Protect your enthusiasm from the negativity of others.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Ready For Your Next Step?

Success is not out of reach. All it takes is showing up each day and having the courage to take one small step towards the direction of your goals. Your new life of freedom and possibility awaits.

How will you make sure to achieve the success you are looking for? Please comment below and let us know!

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How to Build an Unstoppable Mindset According to These 5 Popular Entrepreneurs

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mental toughness

If you ask any of the top entrepreneurs, or any entrepreneur for that matter, they’ll tell you that the one quality you need to become successful is mental toughness. Becoming mentally tough is probably something you’ve already heard about before in your life. It’s something that seems easy, yet most people take it granted. They’d rather think about it than become it. (more…)

Trevor Oldham is a 19-year-old entrepreneur who’s had eleutheromania ever since he can remember. When he’s not working or studying, you can catch him by the ocean taking photos of the world in which surrounds us. Trevor is the co-founder of Become The Lion and founder of Trevor James Products.

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. rayano

    Oct 28, 2015 at 3:31 am

    Nice articles thank you it even let less stress

  2. Band Grrl

    Mar 4, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    Each week go somewhere new… Julia Cameron (The Artist’s Way) called it “The Artist’s Date”. Great book by the way.

    • Thai Nguyen

      Mar 14, 2014 at 6:08 am

      Thanks for the recommendation! Will definitely check it out.

  3. Daniel

    Feb 5, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    The drawing idea is actually interesting. Way back I would sit down and draw my dining room from my point of view. When I finished the replica blew me away. Now that’s creative.

    • Thai Nguyen

      Mar 14, 2014 at 6:07 am

      Hi Daniel, I gave drawing a shot a little while ago and had a similar experience! Worth doing just for that experience.

  4. Thai N

    Feb 5, 2014 at 4:24 am

    Glad you enjoyed it Ankit- hope you are able to start incorporating some of them into your life!

  5. Ankit

    Feb 4, 2014 at 5:52 am

    Hey Thai, the article is awesome. I am completely agree with you.

  6. Ve Dixon

    Jan 31, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    Great Article.

  7. Steve

    Jan 31, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    Great article!

    • Thai Nguyen

      Feb 1, 2014 at 9:22 am

      Thanks Steve. Wishing you all the best!

  8. Naomi@quitmyjob

    Jan 31, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Hi Thai,

    Creativity is important for success. A good business can’t survive without it.

    Meditation is also supposed to be very good from improving your creativity.

    I like the idea about musical instruments. I’ve been meaning to start learning how to play guitar for about a year now. Knowing it can help with my business is all a better reason.

    Thanks for the good read

    Naomi

    • Thai Nguyen

      Feb 1, 2014 at 2:03 am

      Yes, meditation! Great addition to the list Naomi! Thanks for your contribution. I taught myself guitar a few years ago and it has been great for giving my brain creative spurts! Wishing you all the best!

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

Success Advice

The Super Power Of Charisma – How You Can Adopt It For Yourself

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There’s this dude at the office. He’s fucking unstoppable.

His shit don’t stink and everything he touches turns to gold. At least that’s what I used to think.

Really, in reality, he’s just charismatic.

That’s how he got the cool job, the hot wifey and why everyone wants to be friends with him including me.

What does he do? Let’s delve a little deeper and discuss the eight things that lead to being charismatic:

 

1. Being confident baby!

This dude at work has swag. He backs himself even if he has no freaking idea what’s going to go down homey. In a business context, people that are confident are proven to be more trustworthy.

We trust confident people because it’s infectious. We want to work and be around confident people because it feels good. When something feels good, we do it, and do it lots!

My buddy at work walks into the room and people shake his hand because his presence changes the game. He also does these few things:

– He dresses confidently
– He pops his chest out just a fraction (not like the guy on the Bonds Singlet packet)
– He looks people in the eye

Out of these three, looking people in the eye is the hardest to do. To look into someone’s eye is the most vulnerable state you can put yourself in.

“The difference is that when you’re vulnerable, you connect with people better”

It also shows that you’ve got guts and allows you to enter their world. Okay, that’s wacky stuff and I may sound like I’ve read one too many “Power Of the Universe” type books. Take it or leave it chief.

 

2. Passion surrounds them. It pours out of their eyeballs!

Even the words I write demonstrate this. You can tell from everything I’m saying right now that passion pours out of me. I freaking love what I do and it shows even though you can’t see me or hear my voice. Okay, that’s a fraction creepy…enough about me.

This almighty bloke at work is charismatic because his values and beliefs are based on his passion. Passion is like a magnet according to science. When we see passion, it makes us start acting with more passion. You’re drawn to charisma in the same way because you want more of it.

There’s no point pretending you don’t like to be passionate because we all do. Sometimes, we just get lost and lose our passion for life or our career. That’s okay! None of us are perfect souls who don’t lose our way once in a while. I’m fucking lost more than I’m on track half the time.

Bottom-line: charismatic people are surrounded by passion. I don’t care if it’s collecting matchsticks or building sand castles – find something to get excited about and then show your passion for it.

 

3. They’re not vain: selfies are not their highest priority.

This charismatic chappy at work doesn’t spend half his days taking selfies of himself and then posting it on social media.

He doesn’t take photos of his food and then post it on social – he just eats it. He’d rather jump off a bridge than be a pretentious snob who’s insecure and has an inflated ego to compensate.

“The number one sign of a pretentious person vs a charismatic person is that they take credit for things they didn’t do”

Or they make things sound ten times bigger than they actually are in reality. Don’t fall for this trap young Indiana Jones. You’re better than that!

 

4. Expressing yourself through great stories

Storytelling is one of the many traits a charismatic person has. If you listen closely to their stories, you’ll notice they use strong phrases like “I know X to be true” instead of phrases like “I think,” or “I hope” which sounds weak.

Through stories, you can be: funny, vulnerable and share embarrassing moments. That’s what charismatic people do and they draw everyone in through their stories. As a side note, their stories don’t go on forever and they know how to get to the point.

Become a charismatic poet through stories about your experiences. Educate and inspire people around you and you’ll be acting charismatic by default.

 

5. Make other people feel comfortable around you

Not everyone is a hero and is comfortable being charismatic and confident. You can demonstrate charisma by learning to make others feel relaxed around you. Make other people the center of attention and let them feel special. There’s a subtle difference between charisma and hogging the conversation with your own bombastic, overpowering, unnecessary and selfish talk.

Back down; you’re not that big of a deal. Once you do that, you’ll have entered the universe of charisma.

 

6. A clear purpose and vision. In other words, they know why.

Part of what makes up the DNA of a charismatic person is their purpose or vision for their life. Quite simply, they know what they’re on this planet to do. They have a goal, it’s measurable, and they’ll stop at nothing until they achieve it.

To be in this state requires a certain sort of self-confidence that charismatic people have in spades. People seem to rally around a person who knows their purpose.

You can’t do anything and be motivated unless you know why. Without a why you’ll never build up enough momentum to reach any sort of peak performance. Mediocrity happens to us when we give up too easily. When we start a new pursuit for 4 weeks and then give up.

Map the seven seas of why you exist. Do a heap of self-reflection if you need to, to find this vision and bring it to the surface.

 

7. They look approachable

Most people look like they’re zombies when you walk past them and they almost look like they’re going to explode if you dare talk to them. That’s not charisma pal!

That unapproachable zombie look is called being scared, fearful and afraid due to a lack of self-awareness and a lack of self-improvement. It’s not the end of the world and it can be turned around.

The difference with charismatic people is one little, tiny thing: they smile. All you have to do is change one little thing – smile a bit more. Smiling is contagious and it makes people feel confident. It also makes you feel freaking amazing too!

 

8. They give more than anyone else and expect jack in return

This last one is the toughest trait of charismatic people. It sounds incredibly difficult and that’s because it is. We all have our own selfish desires that make us feel good, although only for a moment.

Charismatic people wow everyone around them by always going above and beyond to give. They either give time, money, knowledge or a listening ear to those who need it. The crazy, passionate, charismatic people even combine several of these to produce an outcome that can only be described as extraordinary.

Many of us do in fact give; the challenge is we expect something back. Worse, we even complain when we do an honorable act and get nothing in return. This is not how to play the game of life. This selfish behavior will make you very unhappy until you cut it the hell out!

“The secret to living is giving ” Tony Robbins

So let’s go over this one more time boss. To harness the superpower of giving that leads to charisma you must:

– Be prepared to give more than anybody else
– Expect nothing in return
– Ensure your own foolish and selfish desires are not front of mind every day

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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The Real Reason Why Your Dreams Don’t Become a Reality According to ‘The 10x Rule’ by Grant Cardone

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Everyone has dreams. We all want to make something of ourselves yet it’s only a tiny percentage of people ever follow through. The self-help world encourages us to “Think Big”, “Follow Your Passions”, “Live as if there was no such thing as failure” and it usually just leads to keeping people stuck in a dream state, wishing, hoping and fantasizing yet never actually moving forward.

Why is this? Thinking big is just one part of the equation. This missing piece in the jigsaw is a bias towards massive action. Big Dreams + Little Action = disappointment and frustration.

Thinking and dreaming big must match with the equal and equivalent amount of action for it to go anywhere. When you combine big thinking with massive action you will be surprised at how much you are capable of, once you tap into the power of momentum.

What stops most people from achieving their goals?

I’ve been reading Grant Cardone’s “The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure” and in his view success comes from taking 10 times more action than you previously anticipated.

What stops most people from achieving a goal is underestimating the time, effort and energy involved in completing the project. They don’t spend enough time listing the steps required to succeed, the adversity they will need to overcome to push things through and the price they must pay to attain the goal.

If the number one sticking point in goal attainment is a lack of action then it’s obvious that the solution is in massive action. So what happens is they give up at the first sign of frustration or disappointment.

“Never reduce a target. Instead increase actions. When you start rethinking your targets, making up excuses, and letting yourself off the hook, you are giving up on your dreams.” – Grant Cardone

When I look back on my own life, anything I have ever achieved that was worthwhile did take an extraordinary amount of effort. Anytime I have ever coasted or done a “normal” amount of work, I would fall short of my target and feel the pain of frustration and disappointment which lead to reducing my targets.

In “The 10 X Rule” Cardone talks about his own failures in business and how he bounced back; “I committed to making this work by increasing my efforts 10 times. And as soon as I did that, everything started to change – immediately. I went back into the marketplace with the right estimation of effort and started seeing results. Instead of making two to three calls a day, I started doing 20 to 30

Most people fail only because they are operating at the wrong degree of action. There are 4 degrees of action which you can choose from:

  1. Do Nothing
  2. Retreat
  3. Take Normal Levels of Action
  4. Take Massive Action

At the “do nothing” level people are just accepting what comes their way. They are not pushing themselves or motivated to improve any area of their lives.

Retreaters are those who have taken action, experienced some setbacks or failures and retreated back into “doing nothing”. Examples of this include “Most businesses fail anyway so I am going to give up”, “Marriages aren’t working out these days so I will stay single”, “Businesses aren’t employing so I am going to file for unemployment benefit”.

The third degree is normal levels of action which is usually considered adequate. Grant says this is the most dangerous level where most people blend in, never stand out and thus never achieve the real success they wanted.

Lastly there is massive action which Cardone states is our most natural state. This is where you burst forth with 10 times the action you previously anticipated. “The goal is to be seen, thought of and considered – in one way or another. Your only problem is obscurity not talent”.

Obscurity is your only problem not talent. I like that. I am sure you all know someone who is less capable than you but experiencing much more success than you are. Why? Because they are more known and fearlessly putting themselves “out there”. So which degree of action are you taking currently? And will you commit to taking 10x action?

“Regardless of which degree of action you operate in, they all require work in their own way.” – Grant Cardone

So why not set your goals and actions higher than you ever imagined because it is highly likely you are not only underestimating the time, energy and effort involved in your endeavour, you are also likely underestimating your own capabilities and potential. Set high goals and never stop fighting.

Share with us one goal you have for 2017, and how you plan on achieving it. Comment below so we can see!

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My Thoughts On Money After Being Both Rich And Poor

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I’ve been in financial situations where I couldn’t even afford a pizza.

I know what it’s like to have more money than you can spend. I know what it’s like to see your goals turn into cold hard cash.

Through these two extremes of poverty and wealth, I’ve learned a thing or two about money.

 

Your mind constructs money

Whether you feel rich or not has to do with your mind.

You can have $100 in your bank account and feel like the richest guy or girl in California. How rich you feel comes down to your internal programming. If you practice being grateful, then you’ll find yourself believing that you are already rich. You can have all the money this world has to offer and still feel poor.

“The time I felt the poorest was when I had the most money, but zero meaning for my life”

I always felt at this time in my life like I needed more. I always felt I wasn’t enough. When I went through the whole personal development transformation phase of my life, all of a sudden, just having money to buy a hot chocolate felt amazing!

Be careful what the world tells you about money. You get to decide the difference between rich vs. poor. The money you have in your bank account doesn’t answer this question for you.

 

Meaning Vs. Money

When I discovered a meaning for my life, suddenly money wasn’t as important. The dumb thing was that money started to find its way into my life again without me focusing on it. People were attracted to the meaning I had created for my life which then bought me more abundance.

My advice to anyone reading this is to focus on finding out the meaning of your life. If you can’t figure it out, then create one. Think about who you admire and the meaning they have for their life, and create something similar for yourself.

If you want to inspire people, then do it.
If you want to create a business that gives back, then do it.
If you want to write blog posts like this one to help people in life, then do it.

During the time I had more money than I knew what to do with, I had no idea what I was put on this Earth to do. I would import widget A, make some money, import widget B, and then start all over again. I felt like a robot repeating a pattern. At the end of the process, I got another couple of zeroes in my bank account.

Those zeros on the screen of my Internet banking got very boring, very quickly.

As soon as I found something that lit me up and helped others, the focus on seeing more zero’s on my Internet banking screen disappeared.

 

Im not saying money doesn’t matter

If you just read that Tim Denning thinks money doesn’t matter, then you didn’t get me.

Money does matter, but it shouldn’t be your primary focus. Your primary focus should be finding meaning which will lead you to something that self-motivates you. This self-motivating activity can then be monetized to give you the resources you need to live like food, shelter and maybe a vacation once in a while.

What I want you to feel is that your focus is on something other than money.

“Having been both rich and poor, I’ve mostly felt nothing at both extremes”

 

Meaning can also be found in life’s simple pleasures

I remember the feeling I got from reading Unlimited Power.
I remember what it was like when I fell in love for the first time.
I remember how cool it was to go on my very first overseas holiday.

All of these memories gave me a meaning for my life and made me feel something. Each memory created a variety of emotions that I can still remember as I reminisce on these pastimes.

Meaning came to me through the simplest of pleasures. I didn’t need a million dollar Lamborghini to make me feel like I was on top of the world. Lying on a beach with friends spending no money gave me far more than I could ever imagine.

If you’d told me this five years ago, I would have called you a liar. Having been both rich and poor, I now understand what meaning money gives me: not much.

 

Final words on money…

Focus on who you can become. Find or create a meaning for your life than transcends money.

Go beyond what society tells you about money. Most of it is a lie. Money will not give you meaning or make you happy.

Only you can create happiness and meaning for yourself.

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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5 Powerful Lessons About Success From Highly Successful Mentors

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We can’t help it. When we read an interview with a high flying, successful person, we secretly compare ourselves to them with our mind making little mental notes. Their lives seem perfect, and they seem so poised and confident. I wish I could be like that. Why do they seem to have it all, while I am struggling? When will things ever go my way?

For the longest time, I too believed in these popular myths of success, until I met several CEOs who became my mentors. When I asked each one of them what is the one biggest lesson they would like to share, their answers were unexpected, powerful and humbling.

These are the 5 powerful and humbling lessons they shared about success:

1. Nobody has Their Stuff Together

Just when you least expect it, an obstacle pops up, threatening to derail you from your goal. And sometimes, the bad news just keeps coming, which kicks you in the gut and you feel ready to give up. In comparison, successful people seem to be blazing trails of success. It almost seems unfair. While they appear to be picture perfect, where nothing can go wrong, the truth of it is this:

Nobody has their stuff together. We see these crowning moments of glory. But we don’t see the private, vulnerable moments behind the scenes. The sleepless nights worrying about what to do, where a series of wrong decisions resulted in people getting laid off. The endless meals alone in yet another soulless hotel room, with no one to share the burden with, because they don’t have the time to make a relationship work.

Obstacles and problems will always exist, no matter who you are. However, the challenges appearing to each of us is unique, and help us grow beyond the level we are at. A successful life is not about a lack of challenges, it’s about navigating and growing through the challenges so that we continue evolving to become the fullest potential of who we are.

2. Uncertainty Never Disappears

Brimming with confidence and well spoken, they always seem to know exactly what to say, and what to do in any situation. They seem to be the last people on earth to flail and feel vulnerable.

While on the surface they appear to be confident, the struggle with not knowing what to do plagues them as much as us. This can be the uncertainty of making a project work, because they have never done it before or lacking the necessary experience.

They can be worried that by taking this on, they might be biting off more than they can chew and experience massive failure and disastrous consequences. Nonetheless, the difference for them is despite their fears, they say yes and go ahead.

“Human spirit is the ability to face the uncertainty of the future with curiosity and optimism. It is the belief that problems can be solved, differences resolved. It is a type of confidence. And it is fragile. It can be blackened by fear and superstition.” – Bernard Beckett

3. Jump Before You Are Ready

Uncertainty and not knowing is a part of life. It never goes away. If you stay where you are, it feels safe and comfortable. But, it is a guarantee that you would not rise beyond where you are now if you don’t step out and make your move.

To take the leap of faith, your work through the uncertainty is the only way to grow. The fear of the unknown is not as scary as we make it out to be. All you have to do is to ask yourself “Do I believe I have what it takes to figure it out?” If your gut says yes, go for it.

4. It’s Not about External Motivation

Most successful people come with the traditional markers of success. Wealth. Status. A comfortable lifestyle. However, external motivation – the cars, the houses, the jewelry etc – can only motivate them so much.

Their motivation stems not from the outside – but from within themselves. It’s about their internal drive to be better thus building and expanding a grander vision of what they wish to create, and where they want to be.

That internal motivation is the driving force that pushes them through when things start to fall apart, because then it’s a battle within to overcome these setbacks and achieve their vision.

5. They Are Mental Ninja Masters

When everything that could go wrong, would go wrong, it’s natural to beat ourselves up. This negative feedback loop keeps replaying in our minds, and we start believing our negative self-talk, which threatens to spiral out of control and bring us down.

A few years ago, one of the CEOs I interviewed, Dave, was going through a particularly difficult time. Several major business deals fell through in quick succession. He emptied his life savings trying to keep things afloat, only for it to backfire and lost his life savings in the process.

He was faced with the real possibility of laying off hundreds of people at the company. Many lives were at stake here, and the pressure was on. He faltered, but only for a day.

He then rallied and continued to hustle. He hustled harder, stronger and faster than ever before. It was fascinating and impressive. What was his secret to bouncing back so fast from all the punches thrown at him?

He didn’t allow the negativity to control him. He controlled and directed his mind. Half the battle is with ourselves. We are often our own worst enemy with our negative self-talk.

Mastering control over your mind, instead of letting your mind control you is half the battle. Stop the negative self-talk when it happens. Redirect it towards positive action to achieve the outcome you desire.

“Protect your enthusiasm from the negativity of others.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Ready For Your Next Step?

Success is not out of reach. All it takes is showing up each day and having the courage to take one small step towards the direction of your goals. Your new life of freedom and possibility awaits.

How will you make sure to achieve the success you are looking for? Please comment below and let us know!

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