The term rewiring your brain has become a psychological revolution in recent times. We now know that you can literally rewire your brain by choosing the thoughts that you allow in and standing guard at the door of your mind.
Thoughts stem from the ideas that you pick up in your day to day life. All it takes is one idea to interrupt your minds pattern and to take a different course in your life. I hope I can be the catalyst for you to upgrade your two-million-year-old brain software and consume a few simple ideas that will begin the rewiring process in your brain.
Below are 11 ideas that will rewire your brain:
1. You’re only a millimeter away from success
While attending a seminar, I heard a fascinating idea; according to a well-known cosmetic surgeon, the difference between you being butt ugly and a super model is a millimeter in a few spots of your face. That’s it!
Tiger Woods also explains that the difference between getting the ball close to the hole on the first shot, and hitting the ball in the water, is a millimeter either side of your swing.
There are times when you might think you are a million miles away from your desired goal. Remember next time that this is false, and you are only a millimeter away from success.
2. Increase your rejection rate
Asking out your dream romantic partner is nerve racking. What if you ruin the friendship, what if they tell everyone what you did, what if you get rejected and can’t handle it? The answer to all these questions is increase your rejection rate.
If you are wanting to hook up with a beautiful person both inside and out, there are going to be a long line of potential partners in front of you. That’s perfectly okay because no one worth caring about has ever laughed at someone for having a go.
Getting used to being rejected helps you to build mental muscle that will eventually get you a yes from someone that you may never have thought was in the same league as you. Poke your chest out, pop a smile on your face, and go get em, amigo!
3. Embrace the negative
There are probably over a billion things that could go wrong for you every day and produce a negative experience for you. If you don’t learn to embrace the negative, then you are going to be choosing to be unhappy a heck of a lot, and that is 100% your fault buddy.
Reframe your brain to understand that negative experiences stop you from going down a path that is not truly in line with your goals and dreams.
“Negative experiences are destiny’s way of moving away the boulders that lie in front of you and helping focus your mind” – Tim Denning
Because of evolution, our brains are supposed to notice more of the negative than anything else so that it can protect us from ancient predators who died millions of years ago. The negative in your life doesn’t really exist because you are the one that is labeling these experiences in such a way.
Use a different language when you label a thought, and you will experience something totally new. Think to yourself, “Isn’t it great that it’s raining today. Now I get to stay inside and read a book or call my friends.”
4. Don’t follow others
It’s so easy to lack passion and follow other people instead. Stop becoming a follower and start becoming a leader. Program your brain with the idea that you are highly valuable to others and you can absorb knowledge and take action better than anyone.
Coach others without even being asked to and always look for a way to help out. Learn to think on your own and draw your own opinions out of a situation. Rather than being fed by someone else’s opinion, take control, and make your own decisions.
5. Drop the scarcity mindset
We all think we need more of everything to get what we want and be happy. The truth is that we need less of everything, so we can give more, and be much better focused on our vision. Stop your brain from wanting dopamine hits by not giving into wanting more all the time.
There are many more people that have a whole lot less than you so start practicing living below your means. There are enough resources on this planet for all of us, and you have significant value to give, so you will be able to harness plenty for yourself.
Whenever you feel like you are in a scarcity mindset, rewire your brain by practicing a form of giving. Find one thing to give and do so straight away. After doing this, you will no longer have a scarcity mindset.
6. If you’ve always wanted to do it, then do it
Our brain gives us 101 reasons why we can’t do things that we’ve always wanted to do. For me, I always wanted to go to the USA and never did because I thought there was always something else that had to be done first.
When I forgot about the stupid excuses and just booked the trip so there was no turning back, my brain found ways to deal with the potential time clashes and forced me to find a way.
Make a commitment to take action on the experiences that you’ve been longing for and stop waiting for the right time. The right time doesn’t exist and it never will. There is never a good time to follow your dreams. Now is the best time to do anything and the decision lies with you.
“What’s killing your success are the thoughts that you never let come to fruition and the goals that you keep ignoring” – Tim Denning
7. Failure is only the beginning
All success begins with failure. You don’t read that in your college books now do ya! When something doesn’t work out, our brains are wired to find another way. The trick is to string together as many failures as you can in the same area of your life, and if practiced enough, you’ll eventually translate them all into one giant success.
This is something we are never taught, and we all poo our pants at the thought of something not working out the way we had hoped. Treat your life like a science experiment and start trying new things to see what formulas for success work for you, and which one’s don’t work at all.
8. Action is all that matters
You can read as many blogs like this as you want and you can surround yourself with rah rah rah positivity. None of this will help your success. What will help your success the most is taking action on the knowledge you learn from all the different references in your life.
When I say action, though, I mean immediate action, not delayed action. Delayed action is often too late, and it gives us an excuse for when we fail. Fear is what get’s in the way of taking immediate action which is why you have to learn to tango with these scary moments.
I get asked all the time whether entrepreneurs should ask for non-disclosure agreements when talking about their business ideas. I tell them the cold hard truth; an idea means nothing what so ever. The value in an idea is only revealed when action is taken.
I’m sure we all had the idea for Uber in the back of our minds somewhere. Only two intelligent folks decided to put in the effort and take action on a tough business. Are you going to take action or let someone else experience your success instead while you sit back and continue gaining useless knowledge?
9. You can be the catalyst for change
Amazing things in the world are not created by special people who have superhuman powers. The way to rewire your brain is to understand that people just like you do extraordinary things every single day.
You’re one of those people, and all it takes is for you to put something out in the world that has the energy to provide value to your fellow humans. We’re all just as special as each other, and your ideas are just as good as the next person’s. Have faith in yourself and become the catalyst for something.
10. Love is easier to find than you think
We all have days where we don’t feel loved. The truth is love is everywhere around us, and we don’t even need to search for it. The easiest place to find it is in a park full of puppy dogs. Puppy dogs will love you even if they have only met you for thirty seconds.
Hold the door open for someone and watch the love and appreciation be reflected back to you through their eyes. Do a nice gesture for a friend and see how they can love you unconditionally.
“Love is not hard to find it’s just that you have to give it first before you can receive it yourself”
11. Tomorrow could be your last day
All those dream holidays you keep putting off could become permanent. Our brains are wired to think that we are going to live forever, but we are not! We need to wire our brains to understand that nothing is guaranteed and that we have to be happy with right now.
It’s too easy to keep procrastinating and never take action. Once you can truly become okay with the fact that you’re not here forever, you’ll find a new urgency start to emerge. You will no longer waste time with people you don’t like.
You will follow your passion every day and stop taking marching orders from everyone else. Take control of your life once and for all and stop living like you are going to live for two hundred and fifty years – you’re not going to!
How are you going to rewire your brain? Let me know on my website timdenning.net or my Facebook.
Why You Should Prefer Emails to Phone Calls if You Want to Be More Productive
“Email” and “productivity” rarely go together in a sentence. Emails have been declared as one of our largest time wasters. A McKinsey report stated that people spend around 2.6 hours each day responding to emails. That’s 13 hours a week, 52 hours a month and over 60 days a year! Imagine what you could’ve achieved in 60 days!
Emails also negatively affect our cognitive resources. When we think of responding to them while doing other important tasks, it takes up to 23 minutes and 15 seconds after being disrupted to return to full attention to a current task. Imagine how much our cognition and productivity gets fractured when we get distracted over and over again.
Constant emailing also drains us mentally. And at the end of a day, we realize that we’ve achieved nothing worth mentioning. With a phone call, you can sort issues and solve problems quickly, right? In theory, you’re right. But we live in a practical world where many variables come into play.
Below are three variables that make phone calls adversely affect our productivity, and why emails are a better alternative:
1. Wasting Time
Most “five-minute conversations” can quickly turn into 35-minute calls because people ramble about irrelevant aspects. This derailment, several times a day, severely limits the limited time and energy you have for important tasks.
Emails, on the other hand, force writers to streamline their thoughts and stick to the point. Emails can save you plenty of time and energy because you avoid lengthy phone calls. The constant strife to keep your own emails short and crisp also makes you a clearer thinker, which rewards you in other aspects of your life.
“It’s better to waste money, than it is to waste time. You can always get more money.” – Hal Sparks
2. Inaccurate Responses
An unexpected phone call can catch me caught off guard on a topic. I might respond emotionally or give an answer that doesn’t do justice to what I want to share. In a world dominated by panic buttons and fire-fighting, these don’t just stress me out but the caller as well.
Emails give me flexibility to prepare a coherent response and share it when I’m satisfied. If I feel a surge of emotion, I can sleep over the thought and share a better (more rational) response the next day. Many page-long email responses to emails that upset me have turned into a simple “thank you for your email” the next day.
3. Constant Back-and-Forth
Phone calls often are ineffective to solve business problems. Accounting for multiple people, their views, their timelines… One phone call can quickly turn into three.
Emails are quicker and more effective than even conference calls. They let you communicate with multiple people at the same time. You can share information, assign tasks and give status updates while being as specific as possible.
You must be wondering, “What about back-and-forth emails then? Why do we waste precious time on them?” Yes, email has earned a bad rap. But it’s not because of the medium; it’s because we handle it ineffectively.
A Better Approach to Emailing
For most people, constantly refreshing the inbox is part of the daily to-do list. It keeps them busy and gives them a kick of dopamine – the feel-good chemical.
Ironically, this quest to remain busy makes people compromise on taking action that can move them forward. Using emails prudently, rewards you with plenty of energy and mind space to focus on tasks that truly matter.
Here are three steps that benefited me without succumbing to the side effects of email:
1. Checking Them Less
I check emails just 3 times a day – at 9:30 AM, 12:00 PM, and 4:30 PM. If you don’t have the luxury to do the same, you can start by checking your emails for ten minutes at the end of each hour. Most senders expect a response in a little over an hour. So they won’t mind a slightly delayed response. This gives you 45 undisturbed minutes each hour to work on your core tasks.
2. Responding Quickly
People delay responding to emails at least 37% of the time, which turns finding emails and responding to them into additional tasks that cost time and lead to attention residue. Most emails take under two minutes to respond. When you can respond to an email, do so instead of putting it off. This won’t just put your mind at peace, it’ll also reduce the number of “did-you-see-this” follow-up emails in your inbox.
“I do love email. Wherever possible I try to communicate asynchronously. I’m really good at email.” – Elon Musk
3. The If-Then Technique
The If-Then technique helps you address multiple scenarios at once. For instance, an email that says, “Can we meet at 3:00 PM?” becomes, “Can we meet at 3:00 PM? If not, please advise three other times that work for you.”
This technique is also effective when you want to suggest ideas or provide instructions on alternative steps. For example, “Here’s Plan A. If it doesn’t work, connect with [name] and ask for [specific information]. If you don’t get what you need, inform me.”
I’ll admit. This sounds like more work in the current moment, but it drastically cuts down the number of trail mails, confused correspondences, and fire-fighting instances that occur due to miscommunication.
The If-Then formula is the single most effective technique I’ve learned from The 4-Hour Workweek. All of this doesn’t mean that you abandon phone calls, In fact, it’s better to use the phone for sensitive topics or if an email conversation gets dragged. But remain mindful to not let phone calls waste your time.
If you want to pursue a meaningful life, place a premium on your time. Do things that create time for you to pursue meaningful actions and avoid doing what pulls you away from them. In the knowledge economy, this is the key to success.
Do you prefer email or talking on the phone? Share your thoughts below!
4 Questions You Need to Answer Before You Reach the Level of Success You So Desperately Crave
It’s normal that every person in the world wants to reach success and happiness. Yet, everyone defines both of these things differently. For some, success is making a whole bunch of money while for others this can be to become a good parent. Happiness is defined differently as well. Some people need to own a jet, boat and 3 cars to be truly happy, while others are happy just to be able to wake up in the morning.
It doesn’t matter how you define success and happiness, the truth is, you want to achieve them both. But, to be able to reach success and happiness, you need to answer 4 questions for yourself.
Here are the 4 questions you need to answer before you can achieve success and happiness:
1. Where Are You?
No, not geographically. It doesn’t matter where you live. What matters is where are you in life. Where are you in your way to success and happiness. Let’s say you are lost in the woods. You know exactly where you want to go, but you don’t know where you are. Even a map doesn’t help you with that.
The same is true in life. You may have a goal, but until you truly define where you are in the moment, you can’t move toward this goal. So, step 1 on your way to success and happiness is to define where you are right now.
“Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.” – Jim Rohn
2. Where Do You Want to Go?
When you define where you are in life, then you can think of where you want to be.
There’s this saying: When you don´t know your final destination, you´ll end up somewhere you didn’t want to be. Until you don’t know clearly where you want to be in life and who you want to become, your life doesn’t have a true purpose.
Without purpose, there´s no motivation. Without motivation, there´s no energy. And without energy, you´re not living, you´re just existing. I am sure you know someone who looks like a walking corpse everytime you see them. Do you think this person lives a successful and happy life? Most likely not.
So, step 2 on your way to success and happiness is to clearly define your goal. What do you want to accomplish and who do you want to become?
3. Why Do You Want It?
Okay, you know the basics. You know where you are and where you want to be. But, as Rocky Balboa said, “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows.” And as you already know, life usually doesn’t go according to your plan. There will be hard times and to overcome those and not give up, you need to know WHY you do what you do.
You need to know WHY you want to accomplish your goals. When you answer this for yourself, you don’t struggle so much to motivate yourself. You will be motivated every minute of every day.
So, as a step 3, sit down and think of WHY you want to accomplish your goals. What’s the big purpose?
“We can change our lives. We can do, have, and be exactly what we wish.” – Tony Robbins
4. How Are You Going to Get There?
And finally, how are you going to get there? What’s your plan? You may know where you are, where you want to be and why you want to do it, but until you truly understand how you are going to get there, there won’t be much success and happiness in your life.
For example, you want to become a bodybuilder. You want to do it because you want to have big muscles and you want to look fit. But, you have no idea how to work out, how to build muscle and how to lose fat. Do you think, you´re going to be happy? No. As Tony Robbins says, “true happiness comes from progress.”
To make progress, you need to have a specific plan; how to get from point A (where you are) to point B (where you want to be). So, as a step 4, sit down and make a specific plan for how you’re going to get what you want in life.
In order to reach success and happiness, there are 4 questions you need to answer for yourself. Without answering them, you´re not going to get ahead in life, you´re just bouncing around. Success and happiness never come from just bouncing around in life.
Good news is, that these questions are really simple. It won’t take much time to answer them. Just be aware of where you are and where you want to be. Don´t forget to understand why you are pursuing your dream and finally, how are you going to get what you want.
Answer these 4 simple questions today and you won’t struggle with finding success and happiness in life anymore.
Which one of the above 4 questions resonated most with you and why? Share your thoughts and ideas below!
The Empathetic Heart: How The CHO of VaynerMedia Is Changing The Way We Work
A month after I had joined LinkedIn back in July of 2018, I sent Claude Silver a connection request and began following her content. One day she made a post saying “Ask and you shall receive, what can I do to help you today?”. I commented on that post asking for a 5 minute interview and to my surprise she agreed by asking me to send her a message (I was given a full hour). This was the first example of pure kindness I witnessed from Claude.
The first message you see on Claude’s website is: People need people. People need people that listen and then do something. That message spoke to me on an emotional level, and I believe it will speak to you too. I wanted to know how she created such an amazing culture, what being a “culture carrier” meant, and how the employees at VaynerMedia have been changed by her work there.
A culture carrier in Claude’s own words is “someone who is aligned with our values, I can’t teach someone to be kind they have to already be kind. The process of developing a culture carrier takes about 6 months. It’s about bringing people together and having strong core values of kindness and empathy.”
Gary Vaynerchuk, co-founder of VaynerMedia, is often referred to as a combination of hustle and heart. With the hiring of Claude and the work she has accomplished within the company, it speaks to the level of empathy that can be felt throughout the entire operation.
Although business can be a challenging, tough, and often cut-throat terrain, by putting employees first and providing honest feedback the company has grown to include offices in New York, Chattanooga, Los Angeles and London, and continues to dominate the market.
Below we’ll see 3 different ways the CHO of VaynerMedia is changing the way people work:
1. By being unafraid to share her own story
Claude has been an influential part of breaking the stigma surrounding vulnerability in the business arena. Not only does she openly share her own story, but she sits down with employees to better understand their vulnerabilities and how to use characteristics that previously would have been considered weaknesses as strengths.
When asked what her biggest adventure to date was she replied “Having Shalom (her daughter). I have had an amazing life, I moved, worked hard, landed an amazing job and fell in love but it didn’t come without its challenges.”
Claude is openly gay and is living proof your sexual orientation doesn’t matter. Nothing matters but your character, your track record, and if you leave people a little better off than before you met them. From Claude, business leaders, employees and entrepreneurs can learn to be more open both on social media and in person, allowing them to build more meaningful relationships and connect on a deeper level. A deeper connection can mean more leverage but it also means a more lasting impact on the world.
“Everyone has something they can share. I’m not famous. I don’t have anything that would be newsworthy, but I have stories.” – Tafta Johnson Watson
2. Committing to a strong value system
VaynerMedia has some serious values for such a large company and those values are expected to be upheld by every employee and visitor. Values like kindness, empathy, honesty, hustle and the art of not complaining.
With Claude holding the title of Chief Heart Officer, she is the guiding light for others. When recruiting, she says she “takes the time to evaluate an individual’s talents but most importantly their own heart”.
Gary Vaynerchuk is quoted as saying:”To me, there’s no debate that kindness is a strength. And it breaks my heart to know that so many people believe it’s a weakness. So many people are afraid that other people will take advantage of their kindness or make them feel “used.” But the truth is, those who take advantage of your kindness are weak on the inside. Feel bad for them, don’t let them make you feel bad about yourself“.
Both Claude and Gary teach aspiring entrepreneurs that it is okay to live with an open heart and that having the strength to commit to and live with a strong value system, will be a powerful tool during the hustle journey. It also allows you to go to bed at night actually liking the person that you are, nothing will kill a business faster than going to bed at night and hating yourself.
3. Listening with action
As mentioned above Claude’s slogan is: People need people. People need people that listen and then do something. As a woman who wears many hats, she is also an Outward Bound Instructor, taking individuals on amazing adventures in the outdoors.
Taking action on any given day can mean a number of different things but it speaks to her own character and driving force that she is able to not only guide people through the world of office politics but also through the serene and sometimes challenging wilderness.
Claude cultivates an environment of trust by first offering individuals her own trust. It is a huge and vulnerable action that leads to a relationship of love – heart – and productivity. Listening as an action is something that has the power to change an entire organization from an unproductive, toxic environment to one that promotes creativity, passion, inclusion and positivity.
“Relationships are leverage. If you give value to someone else first, you have leverage.” – Gary Vaynerchuk
To get the truest sense of how Claude was changing the way people work, I asked her co-workers to tell me what working alongside Claude has done for them. Here is one of the answers I received:
“During my time working alongside Claude, I’ve really come to appreciate her example of being a good listener. As a society, we tend to praise the power of speaking. But Claude demonstrates on a daily basis that the most important thing everybody wants is to be heard.” – Steve Babcock, Chief Creative Officer VaynerMedia.
I tried looking for images of Claude on her website and I think it speaks to how focused she is on holding space for others, because I couldn’t find a single full sized image of her to use. I googled. Writing this piece has opened me up to evaluate my own values and the way I connect with people in my daily life.
From this article, it is my own hope that entrepreneurs come to the understanding that although tenacity and true grit are really important, the whole of what Claude represents is something to strive towards. The “soft” skills you develop are humongous strengths and to truly impact an entire organization.
What’s the last random act of kindness you did for someone? Share with us below!
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