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11 Ways To Become A Master Communicator – Colin James

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When we talk about success one of the biggest factors that determine whether we will reach our goals, is our communication. To make life easy for everyone on Addicted2Success, I decided to interview the world expert on the subject, Colin James.

The part of the interview that left me speechless was when Colin talked about his recent battle with cancer where he had half his bottom lip cut out and cancer on his face. He told me that we are all going to die at some point, and a lot of people live in denial of this fact.

Colin’s way of thinking is “hey I survived cancer twice… so who really cares about anything – just go for it.” I absolutely loved the way he reframed this difficult experience and how he is 100% committed to delivering the best knowledge and insights he can to help people in different area’s of their life.

The business that Colin has run for 27 years is mostly centred on teaching corporates and individuals in the areas of leadership, communication and followership. Leading up to the interview I attended one of Colin’s master classes to find out if all the talk was just marketing hype or genuine.

That night, while watching Colin, I took pages and pages of notes and laughed harder than when I used to watch Seinfeld. It usually takes a lot to make me laugh, but Colin had me thoroughly entertained and educated the whole time. Check him out; he will redefine who you are!

Below are Colin’s eleven ways for anyone to build mastery as a communicator.

 

1. Belief is part of the skill

One of the difficulties with communication is that people don’t believe that they can master it. Everything in your life that you believe is an arbitrary intellectual construct that you created and can be changed at any time.

During one of Colin’s events, he proves this by getting the audience to draw a three-dimensional, artist quality picture in sixty minutes that most believe they can’t do. One hour later, Colin, has them holding their finished portrait in their hands. Every skill can be learned.

After deconstructing the ‘talent vs skill’ paradigm (for example, the belief that artistic ability is a talent), he then tells them “if it’s possible in the world then it’s possible for you. It’s only a question of how, and a skill is just the how.”

 

2. Follow what good leaders do and pretend you know how

Good leaders pretend they know what they are doing. When you are the leader, there is an assumption or a presumption that you know what you’re doing in regards to managing the business and the strategy. This phenomenon creates an artificial sensibility that these leaders are somehow in an elite level of capability.

Have you ever been in a room when the CEO walks in? The whole vibe of the room instantly changes and people all of a sudden become self-conscious, they talk differently, they change their posture, their tonality alters, and they become more formal

The moment the CEO walks out of the room people then visibly start to relax again. What’s going on here is that a human being has walked into the room and the assumption of this person is that they have some sort of prowess or elevated state. The reality is that this human being is just making things up as they go along just like everybody else is.

“Everyone tries to make up their version of reality and then try and encourage other people to comply”

The future leaders will be the ones who have the courage to say and reflect that they too are in a state of creation on a daily basis. What the CEO has isn’t some special capability or gift, but more likely a result of circumstance and intent, rather than a gift they have been given.

This trait amongst senior leaders is a weakness because it creates a divide between the senior executives and their staff. Finding more of a sense of equality would be a lot healthier for the business.

“Millennials aren’t impressed with status anymore; they are impressed by competence”

3. Become “other conscious”

Always think and design everything you communicate from the audience’s points of view. The way you position or frame your messages needs to be within their reality.

Let’s say you have an idea or strategy you want to get across. You can’t persuade someone from your position towards theirs, you must start with their world view first. There are a couple of benefits to this way of communicating. First of all you start to think the way that they think which means you understand their frames of references and what’s important to them – this will give you the framing references for your content.

The other benefit is that you are focusing on someone other than yourself. The biggest mistake people have in communicating is that they become self-conscious, and they worry what people will think of them. I am sure everyone has been in an interview where you have thought to yourself while communicating an idea, “I hope this is making sense, and I am making a good impression.”

An internal dialogue that is self-conscious in its origins will immediately impact on your ability to communicate a concept to someone. Become what Colin calls “other conscious.”

 

4. Change the self-talk in your head

Try to get yourself familiar with the idea of consistent commitment to excellence, which is that you never have a bad day or an average meeting. Every meeting you attend, you should go in with the intent that the meeting is going to be significant rather than being in cruise control like most people.Colin James Interview With Tim Denning 2

Tell yourself that this meeting will be useful and that what you will say, do and participate in will leave the people you encounter better off as a result of your contribution – this is how reputation is built.

Most people will have good days or moments rather than having excellence as the norm. Ever noticed how in sport the great players are consistently great? The reason this occurs is because of their consistency, which ends up building their reputation.

 

5. Your smartphone determines your status when communicating

Most people are drawn to their smartphone rather than communicating with people around them. In more sophisticated countries like Japan and Korea, it’s already becoming socially embarrassing if you are looking at your device in a social context. To be on public transport in one of these countries and to be looking at your smartphone, is considered to be as bad as spitting on the ground.

“Technology has changed the way young people think, and they don’t necessarily think in hierarchies anymore but rather in networks”

In places like Singapore, if you go to a meeting and put your smartphone on the table, it instantly signifies you as low in status. This one act shows that you are a junior because you are at the beck and call of others and are not important enough to be fully present in the room.

At the start of a meeting, from now on, ask everyone if they can put their phones away and off the table. Watch how this transforms the way you communicate. By creating some boundaries around this smartphone requirement in meetings, you will find that people respect the rule.

You need to be committed in meetings to context and context means to be present. As the communicator, it is your role to set the context, and this goes for technology as well.

“Everyone’s busy. The person at the reception is as busy as the executive sitting at their desk. Somehow there appears to be a hierarchy of busyness these days “

 

6. Tell stories that meet your contention

Stories are the most powerful way to influence and a core skill that any communicator has to develop. The best stories are true, from your experience and link to your communication outcome. It’s best delivered in a punchy way without excessive detail.

Through the telling of a story it allows you to embed a recommendation around behaviour, an invitation to overcome resistance and objections, alleviate stress and anxiety, or it can be social proof to validate your argument or theory.

In other words, your story needs to have a point and link to your outcome or theory. Stories also have to have the little touches of truthful detail that give it context and legitimacy like a persons name, the time, and the location.

 

7. Stop killing people with weapons of mass destruction (Powerpoint)

“Death by Powerpoint” has become a popular catchphrase and the best way to avoid this is to rarely use it. If you must use Powerpoint slides, keep them outcome focused and make sure they validate what you’re saying, not act as a script of what you’re saying.

Love the B button!

If you have a Powerpoint showing for the whole time you are communicating with an audience, the attention of your audience will be unconsciously drawn to the slides rather than you. The best way to use Powerpoint is to display a slide that validates your point, and then once you have made your point, flick the presentation back to the all black screen.

“Powerpoint should only be on when it’s adding value otherwise it should be off”

Powerpoint is starting to become banned in large companies like Australian Banks, Yahoo and Apple because people are using Powerpoint for their own benefit, so they can remember their talk, rather than for the benefit of the audience.

 

8. Reframe your thinking to deal with public speaking nervousness

With public speaking, a lot of nervousness is linked to self-belief. This self-belief is sometimes clouded by a lack of perspective or being too focused on what the audience will think of you.

Shift your attention to the audience and only think of being generous and giving value. This one adjustment can be a significant game changer in anyone’s capacity to communicate and will immediately eliminate self-consciousness.

“Focus on what you can give, rather than what people might think”

If you have ever been in the emergency section in a hospital late at night you would have seen that there are drunks and drug addicts yelling at the nurses, but even with all the shouting, the nurses just focus on being professional and caring for them as a patient. They don’t take it personally – that’s how you need to be with public speaking. The nurses weren’t self-conscious, they were doing their jobs.

Your job in public speaking is to deliver the content. Getting that matter of fact about it can help with the nerves. While you’re thinking about presenting in front of a group, this same group hardly even know you’re alive, and they will more than likely forget that you exist the moment you leave the room.

What they want is to hear something that will make their day to day challenges easier to deal with and their outcomes, easier to achieve. Help them to do that and they will love you…they won’t care if you aren’t word perfect and polished. To demonstrate this point, Colin told me about a woman that attended his seminar who was a high profile, actuary.

Colin James AudienceBefore Colin’s training, she was terrified of public speaking and lacked communication confidence. After two days of Colin’s seminar her voice filled the room, she stood with total confidence and spoke with such eloquence that people were shocked by her transformation.

When Colin asked the woman how she changed so rapidly she said it was all about the shift in her perspective. At first she thought public speaking was all about her, but when she realised it was about the audience, she no longer felt nervous and she began to feel free and completely liberated.

Even though this woman was a subject matter expert, she learned that all she had to do was stand in her strength and deliver her content; after all she knew it better than anyone else. The shift began when she believed that she could be of immense value when she stood in front of a group and spoke.

 

9. Communication is not a perfectly practiced play

Memorising speeches is death. A good communicator does not go off and memorise text. A good communicator has a structure and free forms around this structure. This is more elegant because then you can adjust to the audience in front of you. Memorising text is a play, and that’s not communicating.

 

10. Be careful using acronyms out of context

It’s all about context. As an example, describing scientific processes can be a challenge because the full terms will make your sentences very long, and science has convoluted descriptions for almost everything. In this scenario, acronyms can be very handy when communicating your point.

Where the risk is with acronyms is that there is a presumption of understanding. When presenting acronyms to an audience, it’s always best to do it this way:

– Say the acronym in its long form description

– Introduce the acronym

– Repeat the long form of the acronym

– Reinforce the acronym

Before using an acronym ask yourself, does it serve the context and does it provide a neat shorthand, if it ticks these two boxes then its use is valid. The way you know not to use an acronym is if its use is lazy, doesn’t respect the audience’s level of knowledge or makes assumptions that people know what it means.

 

11. Your body has a language of its own – USE IT

Posture the way you carry yourself communicates something about you. All of us have been in situations Colin James - Posturewhere someone walks into the room, and you say to the person next to you, “who is that person?”

What makes you say that is because the person looks like they carry themself with dignity and authority. There is an assumption of some competence just in their physicality, and most of this is posture related (this doesn’t mean that you strut around like some arrogant peacock, though).

So if you are going to walk up to the front of the room to deliver a presentation, you should be walking as tall as you can be right from the start.

 

Gestures you need to develop a gesture vocabulary Colin says. One habit to avoid with gestures is your hands becoming a distracter. If you have ever seen someone speak who is flapping their hands all over the place, it becomes very distracting, and the hand becomes the focus instead of what the person is saying.Colin James Hand Gestures

To demonstrate this, imagine you’re in a room with a speaker and the speaker says, “are there any questions?” If they did this with their hands open (palms facing up), you would feel that they are genuinely interested in the audience asking questions.

If they did this with their palms down it means the exact opposite and that they’re closing the conversation. Your hands have their own vocabulary, and they can give very different meanings to what you are saying.

 

Movement if you are going to move then move with purpose – you’re not just supposed to waltz around a Colin James Movementspace. If you’re in a meeting, and you’re facing somebody, and you’re trying to influence them, everything you do should be from their left to right, not your left to right.

As an example, if you are tapping the table with your hand to signal three things that you want to talk about, you would tap them out from your right to left (their left to right). That’s the linear progression for them to follow what you are doing in the clearest possible way.

 

Facial expressions be aware that your face is another communication tool. People seek meaning and cue off your facial expressions and voice tone more than off the words you are speaking. Colin used an example of a video he saw of me where he said that my words were very passionate, but my face came across very masked and not reflecting the same passion. It could cause a person to doubt my words.

Colin James - Facial Expression (Jim Carrey)A tip Colin gave me to help solve this issue when shooting a video for Youtube, is to make my facial expressions exaggerated and animate my face. To animate my face I could say something like “I am passionate,” so my whole face now goes into an expression of passion.

This might result in my mouth opening, my eyes closing, my face lighting up. After you have the first take, you go back and have a look at what you have recorded. If you have followed Colin’s tips, your face might look over the top although sometimes, Colin says, you look fine.

The reason for this is because at first we can think we are being over the top but in fact we are being appropriate, ask others for their feedback. On the second take, you might just modify your facial expressions to be one notch back if the first take looked too over the top.

Learn your face, play with expressions in the mirror. Go for exaggeration initially and then pull back a little bit from there. Most people in a corporate environment mask their face and become very formal which is why a lot of presentations in this context become very dull.

Colin James Standards Quote

If you would like to know more about Colin’s training programs or watch some videos of him in action, then visit his website colinjamesmethod.com

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared hundreds of thousands of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around success, personal development, motivation, and entrepreneurship. During the day Tim works with the most iconic tech companies in the world, as an adviser, to assist them in expanding into Australia. By night, Tim coaches his students on the principles of personal development and the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net or through his Facebook.

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Success Advice

Where Will You Be in 3 Years? How to Strategically Transform Your Life

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Let’s settle the debate once and for all. Which is more important? What you know or who you know? Well, as it turns out, it’s a trick question. The answer: Both.

Progressing in your career or in growing a business is never easy without the right relationships. But, when you finally do get to meet the kind of people who have the power to put you on the fast track to success, you’d better have something to contribute.

By the time we finish college, we’ve spent years and years developing what we know. This knowledge and competence is added upon as we gain on-the-job experience. But, there’s a good chance that you haven’t given nearly as much thought to developing the other side of the equation. Many of us don’t invest sufficient effort to expand who we know. Often, this pattern of behavior persists throughout a person’s entire career.

Don’t Be Random, Be Strategic

We have a tendency to view education very methodically. We plan it out years in advance. Seeing as how that’s only half the battle, shouldn’t we also create a plan to methodically build our network?

Throughout his impressive career, networking expert Keith Ferrazzi has created a method that could change the way you think about developing and nurturing business relationships.

In his bestselling book, Never Eat Alone, Ferrazzi writes: ”The tool I use is something I call the Relationship Action Plan. The most simple version of the plan is separated into three distinct parts: The first part is devoted to the development of the goals that will help you fulfill your mission. The second part is devoted to connecting those goals to the people, places, and things that will help you get the job done. And the third part helps you determine the best way to reach out to the people who will help you to accomplish your goals. This means choosing a medium to connect, but, more important, it means finding a way to lead with generosity.”

For many of us, networking refers to an activity during which we:

  • Congregate in large groups of people (many of whom may be unemployed)
  • Spend a few hours engaging in friendly small talk with strangers
  • Exchanging business cards, followed by never speaking to each other again

There are multiple flaws in this method, not the least of which being that it’s far too random. For the most part, you likely have no idea who’s going to be at the next networking event that you plan to attend. You don’t know if the people that you talk to will be in a position to help you achieve your goals.

“Personal relationships are always the key to good business. You can buy networking; you can’t buy friendships.” – Lindsay Fox

Is Research Creepy?

Take time to plan ahead. Do your best to determine which people have the greatest potential to assist you in accomplishing your professional objectives. Research these people and try to learn how you can meet, connect and build ongoing relationships with them.

As you do so, be sure to keep in mind what Ferrazzi says about “finding a way to lead with generosity”. When reaching out to these people, your first concern should be how to add meaningful value to their lives so that you can establish a positive relationship.

There are those who would probably consider this type of behavior to be borderline stalking. After all, the plan is to diligently study a group of people, some of whom are probably strangers. You want to learn about their likes, dislikes, habits, hobbies, family, friends, etc.

When you think about it this way, it is admittedly a little bit weird. That said, keep in mind that your goal is to create a mutually beneficial relationship by leading with generosity and value. In other words, you’re studying these people in order to learn how to best help them.

Obviously, there are boundaries that you don’t want to cross. Be tactful and respect privacy. Luckily, these days, you can often learn plenty with things like Google, social media and company websites. For the most part, this is information that the person has chosen to publicly share with the world.

In the end, this type of planning may still make you a little uncomfortable. But, honestly, those who refuse to leave their comfort zones tend to have a low propensity for success. If it makes you feel any better, think of yourself as a spy gathering vital intel that will help you accomplish your mission to do good and fight for justice.

What Do You Want Out Of Life?

In your efforts to create and execute your own “Relationship Action Plan” (RAP), remember that this is about achieving your goals… which means you need to have goals. Those goals need to be specific, well thought out and realistic. They also need to have deadlines. (Otherwise they’re just dreams.) 

“I list what I’d like to accomplish three years from today. I then work backward in both one-year and three-month increments to develop mid-and short-term goals that will help me reach my mission.” – Keith Ferrazzi

Where Do You See Yourself In 3 Years?

Imagine what you could accomplish after three years of executing a well thought out Relationship Action Plan!

You probably spent somewhere between one and two decades in school developing and increasing what you know. Now you can add to that knowledge by expanding who you know, so you can achieve the kind of success that we all want.

What do you think is most important: what you know or who you know? Let us know by commenting below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Success Advice

The Ugly Truth About Success and Why You’re Not Achieving It

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As human beings, most of us have this tendency to overcomplicate things. Maybe you’ve had this experience of trying to find success, but for some reason, it keeps eluding you.  In our pursuit to win, hardly anyone tells us the ugly truth about why most of our dreams seem to evade us.

Today, I’m going to share with you why so many people are held back from fully realizing their dreams as well as how to overcome those obstacles.   

By creating a resolve to not make these three mistakes and falling prey to these common weaknesses – we can shift our success and assure that our goals are attained. Getting to the finish line isn’t as hard as you think – that is, if you don’t let yourself fall into these three traps.

1. You Don’t Follow A Plan Long Enough

In today’s society, we’re used to microwave results – we are accustomed to zapping our results. Push a button and voila your food is ready. Watch a movie and just like that in two hours the hero has experienced pain, sadness, and triumph. Sadly though, success doesn’t happen with a push of a button or in a two-hour window.

An example of where I fell prey to this ‘fast results mentality’ was when I wanted to create my ideal body. I hired trainers, tried systems, diets, and fads, yet none of it worked…or so I told myself. But the reality was this: I gave up too soon. It was never the plan, the diet, or the trainer. It wasn’t my lack of expertise or lack of potential. The only thing that stopped me was my inability to stick to a plan long enough.

In my conversations with Jack Canfield, Elliott Hulse, Robert Kiyosaki and numerous highly-successful individuals, I’ve learned they all made a plan and stuck to it for years. If you want to achieve greatness, you must make the plan and then work that plan every single day. Be consistent and be willing to let the results blossom with time.

“Plan your work and work your plan.” – Napolean Hill

2. We Don’t Hold Our Belief Long Enough

Einstein was once asked if he was a genius, to which he gave a simple response:  “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” I love his response.

To live out and embody is one that has taken me a long time to understand. You see, for a long time I’ve had this terrible habit, it’s a habit I don’t want to admit to anyone I ever had. For decades, I’ve been a quitter. Not just outwardly, but in faith, I’ve tended to quit.

If you’re struggling to achieve some great result, it’s likely you’ve also come across this stumbling block. Losing faith too soon can make us quit when in reality a few more steps could mean reaching Graceland.

After working hard at attaining my ideal body, I finally achieved it. The plan was simple when I stuck to it because I ate specific food and worked out. I repeated this process every day for several years. It wasn’t instantaneous or easy, but it was simple. The same goes for writing, creating wealth, and creating just about anything – create a plan and work that system day-after-day.

It’s not sexy, but it’s the truth. Big wins are a bunch of small actions taken on a regular basis. A home is built one nail, one board, one screw at a time. Create a plan and work that plan.

In the world of Hollywood and marketing, we often dress up success in a fancy costume, fancy perfume, and an elegant story. But at the end of the day, every dress is stitched the same with threads of hope, intense hours of sewing, and focused labor.

3. We Don’t Seek Roads That Have Been Paved For Us

One of my favorite coaches of all time is Anthony Robbins. One of my favorite quotes from him is this: “Success leaves traces.” In my desire to achieve greatness, I’ve made one fatal mistake time after time. That mistake was always seeking to get there on my own, in my own way, without the help of anyone.

If I had listened to Anthony, I would have looked for those traces and followed them to the finish line. For those of us who are strong, capable, and want to achieve greatness, the desire to ‘do it our way’ can be our greatest strength or hindrance.

In my case, it made my work a lot harder. When I first tried to sell high-end consulting, I thought I could just figure it out. I didn’t want to listen to anyone, hire anyone, or study. I had achieved so much in business I thought I could do it my way. In doing so, I delayed my success.

Once I admitted to myself and others that I didn’t know how to pave the road to success in this area I opened up new roads to success. I was introduced to people who had already paved a way and thus made my work much easier. Instead of whacking my way through the weeds and wild growth of my own ignorance, I was shown the highway to success, and instead of weed-whacking, it was like driving a Ferrari down I-90.

“Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.” – Tony Robbins

If you’re having a tough time achieving some results, I want you to have a finely tuned mind and heart which will take perseverance, follow-through, and faith. Lastly, it’s going to help you immensely if you can find a pre-paved path. If you want the highway to success, it does exist, it just takes looking for pre-paved paths and then working the plan to get there.

How are you making sure you become successful in life? Please share your thoughts below!

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Success Advice

Always Choose Love, Not Fear

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A few weeks ago, I met a woman that seriously changed my perspective. It was one of those chance encounters that I believe was meant to happen for a reason.

This woman had been involved in the same tragedy that I had been caught up in. As I shared my story, I quickly realized that hers was much more challenging. Her sister had lost her young baby to a man on drugs. Once she told me this, I was lost for words.

How does one even comprehend that situation? How do you not choose fear? How do you choose not to hate? These were the questions I pondered afterward.

Here’s why you should choose love:

 

1. Love conquers fear

As humans, the easiest decision we can make is to choose love. Love destroys our fear and helps us see a deeper meaning in everything that happens in life. Love is the ever-conquering force in our life that will happen if we let it.

When you’re surrounded by love, it’s impossible to be conquered by the crippling disease that is fear. Love restarts the heart like a defibrillator. Fear causes a heart attack that can kill you if you let it.

Always choose love over fear.

 

2. Everything happens for a reason

When this young girls sister lost her baby, she chose to believe that it was meant to happen for a reason. She chose to believe that the loss of life would mean something far greater than death itself. This opinion was the result of love being the only answer she could comprehend.

After the tragedy, her community got around her and showed her more love than she had ever known. The death of her nephew started her entire family on a different path.

“While they couldn’t control the circumstances of the young baby’s death, what they could control was love”

They allowed the love that everybody showed them to take them to an entirely different level. Some days were good and other days were a nightmare.

Through it all, they chose to believe in love. Love is nothing more than a belief. It can only enter your life when you believe it exists. You must be accepting and you have to give love at the same time. They are the rules of the love game.

 

3. Think love not hate

When this tragic event occurred, it would have been so easy to hate the man hooked on drugs who caused this young baby to die. This girl taught me that hate has no place in the healing process. As a matter of fact, hate has no place in our lives.

Feelings of hate can cause us to go into a downward spiral. This spiral involves us becoming very selfish and only focusing on our own needs. From this place, we can’t do the inner work required to come back from adversity. Train your brain to always assume love as the default reason for everything.

“Spending our precious energy and time on this planet hating others for things we can’t control, will block us from our dreams”

Hate will transport us to a land far far away that resembles hell. Hell is where your nightmares come true, your fears are born and the person you become is something you despise for eternity.

 

4. Love is the best feeling in the world

There are lots of types of love but no matter what; love is the best feeling in the world. When you choose love your life seems extraordinary. You feel like you are on cloud nine and nothing can stop you. Love helps you to connect with your fellow human beings on an entirely different level.

Your success in life compounds because love attracts everything you could ever want in your life. You can’t be pissed off at the world when love is your default choice.

Love is what brings us closer together. Love is what creates human life through the coming together of a man and women. Love is what lights us up and fuels our intuition. Seek out love and you’ll know what it feels like to be invincible. If the worst happens, and a young baby close to you is killed, you’ll have all the answers.

 

5. Choose love by giving love

The best gift you can give while you’re alive is love. It costs nothing, but it takes every part of you to give. If a tragedy like the one described above occurs, you have the opportunity to give love.

When you do so, and you go through a difficult time, love finds its way back into your life. Choosing love is the beginner level: giving love is the expert level.

There are so many ways to give love. You could:

– Hug someone
– Do something nice for someone
– Write something beautiful to someone
– Be there for someone who is going through a tough time
– Smile at someone who looks down

The list is endless. Love is endless. Your capacity to give love is endless. What comes into your life can also be endless when you choose love. Think about that for a minute.

 

6. Love can cause a deranged man or women to see the light

 

If you talked to a terrorist and told them that you loved them, what would happen? While I don’t know for sure, what I do know is that there is a possibility you could interrupt their pattern. Part of the reason they do what they do is that they haven’t felt love.

Because they lack love in their life, they have adopted a set of false beliefs in the hope that this will fill the void they feel, due to the lack of love they’ve experienced.

 

“Terrorists, criminals and people on drugs, all have one thing in common: they need to be shown what love is so they can conquer the fear that’s been controlling their life – the fear that’s driven them to madness and to harm people”

 

***Final thought***

It’s time to wake up and stand for love. It’s what we were born to do. It takes no effort when we try it. Love can save us from just about anything. Love is about understanding that we are all on the same mission and that ultimately we are all part of the same cause and the same existence.

When you understand the idea of love, your consciousness goes to another level. People may begin to think that you’ve transcended their reality and that you have loads of wisdom. What’s really happened is that you’ve discovered the most powerful force on Earth: LOVE.

RIP to the young mothers baby. Love will transcend everything and bring you happiness again. I hope you can find it in your hearts to one day forgive the mean that caused you so much pain. Show him the love that he’s been lacking so desperately.

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Success Advice

5 Unusual Productivity Tips From Famous Procrastinators

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Do you often procrastinate? Are you doing it now by reading this article? If yes – awesome, continue reading.

Most of us consider procrastination the biggest troublemaker and productivity killer. You see it as a vice, consequently, you try to overcome its effects, kill the procrastination beast and cheat with all the possible means.

But what if it’s not quite so? What if procrastination can virtually lead to productivity? Have you ever thought about this aspect? Many outstanding productive people, in fact, were chronic procrastinators. How did they manage to achieve success? What tips did successful people use to beat procrastination?

Here are five unusual tips from hard-core procrastinators that will help you boost your productivity level:

1. Victor Hugo: Lock away your clothes

The author of Les Misérables, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and many more tremendously famous novels was beating procrastination with the most extraordinary and radical means. One episode from his life is the most illustrative here.

Hugo started writing The Hunchback of Notre Dame quite close to the deadline – in the fall of 1830. While the deadline was in February 1831. His preparation was thorough, but he did not feel like writing. Thus, he did something that didn’t leave a choice – he got naked and locked away his clothes.

The aim of all that was to avoid temptations of going outside. Hugo had nothing to wear but a shawl. And for many months, this rag (as his wife claimed) was his daily uniform. Did it work? Absolutely. He finished the book weeks before the actual deadline.

2. Gerhard Richter: Create a crisis

Gerhard Richter, world known German artist and procrastinator, got millions with his paintings. For example, Abstrakis Bild was sold for $20,802,500 at Sotheby’s.  How did he manage to procrastinate and, at the same time, complete paintings of photos, abstracts, “blur” photo paintings, and many more works of art?

It’s striking that he actually wastes time on garden and not on his paintings. In one of the interviews, Richter described his daily routines:  “I could spend my life arranging things. Weeks go by, and I don’t paint until finally I can’t stand it any longer. I get fed up. I almost don’t want to talk about it, because I don’t want to become self-conscious about it, but perhaps I create these little crises as a kind of a secret strategy to push myself.

It is a danger to wait around for an idea to occur to you. You have to find the idea.” Thus, his secret strategy to become more productive is a simple crisis.

“Chance determines our lives in important ways.” – Gerhard Richter

3. Bill Clinton: Take criticism seriously, not personally

The 42nd president of the United States, Bill Clinton, was described as a “chronic procrastinator” by Time magazine. Could you believe that a two-time Grammy winner may be addicted to postponing? Clinton had weeks or sometimes months to make comments on the drafts of his speeches, but, eventfully, it all ended with cut-and-paste in the end.

Even his Vice President Al Gore called Clinton “punctually challenged”. However, despite all the criticism, he managed to never give up. The key secret to productivity is the way you perceive criticism, according to Bill Clinton. If you take it too personally, you won’t be able to resist the feeling of deficiency that finally leads to the inferiority complex. Therefore, keep your cool when you are criticized. Then, you have more chances to stay productive.

4. Franz Kafka: Try to wake up the night productivity

The Czech writer worked as an insurance clerk and it was the time to existential thinking. The novelist though didn’t put his ideas into action. After Kafka had been promoted, he had more time and procrastination infected him for good.

His routine day after work, as he mentioned it on one of his letters, looked like this: “Lunch till 3:30 … sleep until 7:30 … ten minutes of exercises, naked at the open window … an hour’s walk … then dinner with my family.” There is nothing about writing though. When did he actually write? Beginning from approximately 11 p.m. and continuing up to 6 a.m. Not the perfect system, for sure, but that’s was the most productive time for Kafka. It appears that he spent most of the daytime napping.

“Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell ’em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.” – Theodore Roosevelt

5. Leonardo Da Vinci: Start several things at a time and make notes

An artist, mathematician, sculptor, writer, inventor, military engineer, Leonardo Da Vinci, is an outstanding figure in history. But despite the success he achieved, he was never focused on one thing at a time.

During his lifetime, he managed to complete only 20 paintings. The Virgin of the Rocks took him 13 years to put the final changes.  While his most illustrious work The Mona Lisa – as many as 16 years. The reason for that was his multi-tasking capacity. He was an incredibly broad-minded and all-round personality with so many genius plans. To improve a willpower, he had a rule book where he had more than 7,000 pages of notes.

His procrastination wasn’t already a secret for his benefactors. And some of them threatened him with bankruptcy in order to have his work done at last.

What if procrastination can be a way to extreme productivity and perfectionism? And still, you have structured procrastination as an option and a solution.

Would you use any of these tips to boost productivity flows? Comment below!
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Your Competition Is Magnificent – Quit Being A Sook

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I’ve got this friend and he’s always crying about the competition. He spends a lot of time sooking about them and coming up with plans to take them down.

I’ve put up with it for a while, but now it’s driving me nuts. I started to think: how can we learn to love our competition in business?

Here are some thoughts I had about your competition:

 

Thought #1 – You say they’re lying. Good!

My friend says his competition is lying. Many businesses lie and that’s fantastic news for you. When a business lies, they are playing the short game.

“The long game in business is about being so vulnerable, authentic and real that it punches your ideal customer in the face every time they hear about your brand”

Trust in business, leads to incredible progress. All those marketing campaigns your competitor’s use are mostly to make them sound like something they are not. When your business is trustworthy, you don’t need to market as much.

Being honest cuts through the hype and because it’s so rare, your ideal customer runs towards you at 110km, with their arms wide open. Right behind them are all of their network who are begging to hear from a business that is a real – a business that is like you and me.

Don’t hate your dishonest competition: learn to love them from the bottom of your heart. See the love in your competition.

 

Thought #2 – There’s enough room for everyone

This scarcity mindset that you have to own 100% of the market in your first three years of operations is bulldust. There’s room for you and your competitors. It’s not a sprint; it’s a marathon to reach the unicorn status that is success/world domination.

Feeling like you’re drowning in competition is exactly that. Focusing on your competition 24/7 makes you feel like absolute garbage after a while. It stops you from having a good night sleep full of dreams that contain growth, prosperity, optimism and triumph towards your businesses mission.

I used to be that guy that couldn’t sleep because of competition. Every time someone brought out the same product that was cheaper than mine, I cracked it. I thought that business was so hard because there were so many people that wanted to cut my lunch.

What I forgot is that despite all the competition, people were still buying. Even if we weren’t the cheapest, it didn’t matter. Some people would find us and buy, and others wouldn’t.

The competition can only cut your lunch for so long. If you stick at it and not let the thoughts of their horrible shadows upset you, you’ll be soon making the lunches and cutting theirs.

 

Thought #3 – It’s ugly

Sooking like a pissed off brown bear with a crown on its head is ugly. You’re showing everyone you work with that you are a sore loser. Winners worry about their own business first.

“Winners know that their business isn’t an immaculate diamond on day one”

Every time my friend complained about his competitors; it made his business seem ugly. I stopped becoming drawn to it as I did at the start. The conversations became more about his competitors than his own business. The focus was lost on competitors which he couldn’t control.

 

Thought #4 – You can’t win every deal

No business wins 100% of the opportunities that are presented. There’s this lie that you have to be always winning to be successful. There’s this belief that some people have that says their business is unique and therefore it’s only normal that when they pitch, they will always win.

Again, this is total BS. Your business might have some unique strengths, but there’s always competition. Some deals you’ll win and some deals you won’t. You don’t need to win all the time to put food on the table and be successful.

I’m also competitive by nature and I’ve had to settle sometimes for the simple fact that I won’t win all the time. Sometimes losing a deal is only the beginning. The opportunities you lose are where all the lessons are.

“Your lost opportunities are what strengthen your entire value proposition to the market”

 

Thought #5 – Seeing your competitors suck is inspiring

When a competitor of yours has a major failure, you should be inspired. What I mean is that you should never want your own client base to suffer the same gunshot to the head. Instead of trash talking your competitors for their mistakes, use them as inspiration to not be like them.

Your competitors should form part of the reason why you exist. You should exist not to make the same dumb mistakes they do. You should exist so your customers have a better alternative. Having horrendous companies within the same industry has inspired many businesses like Uber and Airbnb.

Being a business full of inspiring people is easier when everyone else sucks.

 

Thought #6 – Complaining shows insecurity

By my friend complaining about his competition, what he revealed to me was his insecurity. He was showing me that he lacked the confidence in his own product and so it made sense for him to talk down everyone else’s.

The thing is when you love your product and genuinely believe it’s the best in its field, you forget about everyone else’s. Believing in your product offering comes from the confidence that as a business you believe in yourselves.

If you believe, your ideal customer will believe. Bagging your competition may make you feel better in the short term, but it will never make your business grow.

Thought #7 – You only have so much thinking space

Don’t waste it thinking about your competitors. Use your thinking space to come up with new ideas, to innovate and to WOW your customers. These habits will stop you from living in the scarcity that comes with being obsessed by your competition.

Thinking about your competitors is not going to make them go away. Complaining about them will not improve your product or service. To have a good business, you have to operate from a place of creativity. Being creative is hard work and so you don’t want throw away your thinking space.

Dreaming about your competitors puts you in a spiral of negative thoughts. These thoughts start to overtake the positive ones and pretty soon you can’t be relentlessly optimistic anymore. It’s this optimism that helps you come up with ideas that will change the world.

Much like we compare ourselves to the lives we live through looking at other people’s social media, focusing on your competitor’s forces you to always believe you don’t have enough.

I’m here to say you are good enough. Your business is good enough. Your business can be one of the great’s.

 

Thought #8 – You can actually do business with your competitors

Here’s the really stupid thing: You can actually do business with your competitors. See, your business can’t fulfill every customer need. Instead of saying “We don’t do that,” use your competitors as referral partners.

I can remember in a business that I was a part of, where we used our competitors over the road to supply us with stock when we ran out and had items on back order. We would do the same thing for them when they ran out of stock. As a result, we always had stock.

“Our competitors over the road taught us lots of things we would have never known if we tried to play the solo game. Business is a team sport”

 

***Final thought***

Your competition is not the problem. They’re not the reason why you are losing sales. The real reason you are focused on your competition is because something is wrong with the way you are thinking. Your competitors can force you to sabotage your own success if you don’t stop focusing on them.

Complaining about your competitors never get’s you anywhere. The way to fast-track your success is to get intimate with your competitors and find a way to be uniquely you. Find a way to be bold, authentic, real, sexy and unwavering in your businesses values. Be the honest, cool company that is friends with everybody. That’s how you go from being a sook to being the best in your field.

I want you to use your competition to be world-class. You deserve it.

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

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared hundreds of thousands of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around success, personal development, motivation, and entrepreneurship. During the day Tim works with the most iconic tech companies in the world, as an adviser, to assist them in expanding into Australia. By night, Tim coaches his students on the principles of personal development and the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net or through his Facebook.

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Success Advice

Where Will You Be in 3 Years? How to Strategically Transform Your Life

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Let’s settle the debate once and for all. Which is more important? What you know or who you know? Well, as it turns out, it’s a trick question. The answer: Both.

Progressing in your career or in growing a business is never easy without the right relationships. But, when you finally do get to meet the kind of people who have the power to put you on the fast track to success, you’d better have something to contribute.

By the time we finish college, we’ve spent years and years developing what we know. This knowledge and competence is added upon as we gain on-the-job experience. But, there’s a good chance that you haven’t given nearly as much thought to developing the other side of the equation. Many of us don’t invest sufficient effort to expand who we know. Often, this pattern of behavior persists throughout a person’s entire career.

Don’t Be Random, Be Strategic

We have a tendency to view education very methodically. We plan it out years in advance. Seeing as how that’s only half the battle, shouldn’t we also create a plan to methodically build our network?

Throughout his impressive career, networking expert Keith Ferrazzi has created a method that could change the way you think about developing and nurturing business relationships.

In his bestselling book, Never Eat Alone, Ferrazzi writes: ”The tool I use is something I call the Relationship Action Plan. The most simple version of the plan is separated into three distinct parts: The first part is devoted to the development of the goals that will help you fulfill your mission. The second part is devoted to connecting those goals to the people, places, and things that will help you get the job done. And the third part helps you determine the best way to reach out to the people who will help you to accomplish your goals. This means choosing a medium to connect, but, more important, it means finding a way to lead with generosity.”

For many of us, networking refers to an activity during which we:

  • Congregate in large groups of people (many of whom may be unemployed)
  • Spend a few hours engaging in friendly small talk with strangers
  • Exchanging business cards, followed by never speaking to each other again

There are multiple flaws in this method, not the least of which being that it’s far too random. For the most part, you likely have no idea who’s going to be at the next networking event that you plan to attend. You don’t know if the people that you talk to will be in a position to help you achieve your goals.

“Personal relationships are always the key to good business. You can buy networking; you can’t buy friendships.” – Lindsay Fox

Is Research Creepy?

Take time to plan ahead. Do your best to determine which people have the greatest potential to assist you in accomplishing your professional objectives. Research these people and try to learn how you can meet, connect and build ongoing relationships with them.

As you do so, be sure to keep in mind what Ferrazzi says about “finding a way to lead with generosity”. When reaching out to these people, your first concern should be how to add meaningful value to their lives so that you can establish a positive relationship.

There are those who would probably consider this type of behavior to be borderline stalking. After all, the plan is to diligently study a group of people, some of whom are probably strangers. You want to learn about their likes, dislikes, habits, hobbies, family, friends, etc.

When you think about it this way, it is admittedly a little bit weird. That said, keep in mind that your goal is to create a mutually beneficial relationship by leading with generosity and value. In other words, you’re studying these people in order to learn how to best help them.

Obviously, there are boundaries that you don’t want to cross. Be tactful and respect privacy. Luckily, these days, you can often learn plenty with things like Google, social media and company websites. For the most part, this is information that the person has chosen to publicly share with the world.

In the end, this type of planning may still make you a little uncomfortable. But, honestly, those who refuse to leave their comfort zones tend to have a low propensity for success. If it makes you feel any better, think of yourself as a spy gathering vital intel that will help you accomplish your mission to do good and fight for justice.

What Do You Want Out Of Life?

In your efforts to create and execute your own “Relationship Action Plan” (RAP), remember that this is about achieving your goals… which means you need to have goals. Those goals need to be specific, well thought out and realistic. They also need to have deadlines. (Otherwise they’re just dreams.) 

“I list what I’d like to accomplish three years from today. I then work backward in both one-year and three-month increments to develop mid-and short-term goals that will help me reach my mission.” – Keith Ferrazzi

Where Do You See Yourself In 3 Years?

Imagine what you could accomplish after three years of executing a well thought out Relationship Action Plan!

You probably spent somewhere between one and two decades in school developing and increasing what you know. Now you can add to that knowledge by expanding who you know, so you can achieve the kind of success that we all want.

What do you think is most important: what you know or who you know? Let us know by commenting below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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The Ugly Truth About Success and Why You’re Not Achieving It

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As human beings, most of us have this tendency to overcomplicate things. Maybe you’ve had this experience of trying to find success, but for some reason, it keeps eluding you.  In our pursuit to win, hardly anyone tells us the ugly truth about why most of our dreams seem to evade us.

Today, I’m going to share with you why so many people are held back from fully realizing their dreams as well as how to overcome those obstacles.   

By creating a resolve to not make these three mistakes and falling prey to these common weaknesses – we can shift our success and assure that our goals are attained. Getting to the finish line isn’t as hard as you think – that is, if you don’t let yourself fall into these three traps.

1. You Don’t Follow A Plan Long Enough

In today’s society, we’re used to microwave results – we are accustomed to zapping our results. Push a button and voila your food is ready. Watch a movie and just like that in two hours the hero has experienced pain, sadness, and triumph. Sadly though, success doesn’t happen with a push of a button or in a two-hour window.

An example of where I fell prey to this ‘fast results mentality’ was when I wanted to create my ideal body. I hired trainers, tried systems, diets, and fads, yet none of it worked…or so I told myself. But the reality was this: I gave up too soon. It was never the plan, the diet, or the trainer. It wasn’t my lack of expertise or lack of potential. The only thing that stopped me was my inability to stick to a plan long enough.

In my conversations with Jack Canfield, Elliott Hulse, Robert Kiyosaki and numerous highly-successful individuals, I’ve learned they all made a plan and stuck to it for years. If you want to achieve greatness, you must make the plan and then work that plan every single day. Be consistent and be willing to let the results blossom with time.

“Plan your work and work your plan.” – Napolean Hill

2. We Don’t Hold Our Belief Long Enough

Einstein was once asked if he was a genius, to which he gave a simple response:  “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” I love his response.

To live out and embody is one that has taken me a long time to understand. You see, for a long time I’ve had this terrible habit, it’s a habit I don’t want to admit to anyone I ever had. For decades, I’ve been a quitter. Not just outwardly, but in faith, I’ve tended to quit.

If you’re struggling to achieve some great result, it’s likely you’ve also come across this stumbling block. Losing faith too soon can make us quit when in reality a few more steps could mean reaching Graceland.

After working hard at attaining my ideal body, I finally achieved it. The plan was simple when I stuck to it because I ate specific food and worked out. I repeated this process every day for several years. It wasn’t instantaneous or easy, but it was simple. The same goes for writing, creating wealth, and creating just about anything – create a plan and work that system day-after-day.

It’s not sexy, but it’s the truth. Big wins are a bunch of small actions taken on a regular basis. A home is built one nail, one board, one screw at a time. Create a plan and work that plan.

In the world of Hollywood and marketing, we often dress up success in a fancy costume, fancy perfume, and an elegant story. But at the end of the day, every dress is stitched the same with threads of hope, intense hours of sewing, and focused labor.

3. We Don’t Seek Roads That Have Been Paved For Us

One of my favorite coaches of all time is Anthony Robbins. One of my favorite quotes from him is this: “Success leaves traces.” In my desire to achieve greatness, I’ve made one fatal mistake time after time. That mistake was always seeking to get there on my own, in my own way, without the help of anyone.

If I had listened to Anthony, I would have looked for those traces and followed them to the finish line. For those of us who are strong, capable, and want to achieve greatness, the desire to ‘do it our way’ can be our greatest strength or hindrance.

In my case, it made my work a lot harder. When I first tried to sell high-end consulting, I thought I could just figure it out. I didn’t want to listen to anyone, hire anyone, or study. I had achieved so much in business I thought I could do it my way. In doing so, I delayed my success.

Once I admitted to myself and others that I didn’t know how to pave the road to success in this area I opened up new roads to success. I was introduced to people who had already paved a way and thus made my work much easier. Instead of whacking my way through the weeds and wild growth of my own ignorance, I was shown the highway to success, and instead of weed-whacking, it was like driving a Ferrari down I-90.

“Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.” – Tony Robbins

If you’re having a tough time achieving some results, I want you to have a finely tuned mind and heart which will take perseverance, follow-through, and faith. Lastly, it’s going to help you immensely if you can find a pre-paved path. If you want the highway to success, it does exist, it just takes looking for pre-paved paths and then working the plan to get there.

How are you making sure you become successful in life? Please share your thoughts below!

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Success Advice

Always Choose Love, Not Fear

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A few weeks ago, I met a woman that seriously changed my perspective. It was one of those chance encounters that I believe was meant to happen for a reason.

This woman had been involved in the same tragedy that I had been caught up in. As I shared my story, I quickly realized that hers was much more challenging. Her sister had lost her young baby to a man on drugs. Once she told me this, I was lost for words.

How does one even comprehend that situation? How do you not choose fear? How do you choose not to hate? These were the questions I pondered afterward.

Here’s why you should choose love:

 

1. Love conquers fear

As humans, the easiest decision we can make is to choose love. Love destroys our fear and helps us see a deeper meaning in everything that happens in life. Love is the ever-conquering force in our life that will happen if we let it.

When you’re surrounded by love, it’s impossible to be conquered by the crippling disease that is fear. Love restarts the heart like a defibrillator. Fear causes a heart attack that can kill you if you let it.

Always choose love over fear.

 

2. Everything happens for a reason

When this young girls sister lost her baby, she chose to believe that it was meant to happen for a reason. She chose to believe that the loss of life would mean something far greater than death itself. This opinion was the result of love being the only answer she could comprehend.

After the tragedy, her community got around her and showed her more love than she had ever known. The death of her nephew started her entire family on a different path.

“While they couldn’t control the circumstances of the young baby’s death, what they could control was love”

They allowed the love that everybody showed them to take them to an entirely different level. Some days were good and other days were a nightmare.

Through it all, they chose to believe in love. Love is nothing more than a belief. It can only enter your life when you believe it exists. You must be accepting and you have to give love at the same time. They are the rules of the love game.

 

3. Think love not hate

When this tragic event occurred, it would have been so easy to hate the man hooked on drugs who caused this young baby to die. This girl taught me that hate has no place in the healing process. As a matter of fact, hate has no place in our lives.

Feelings of hate can cause us to go into a downward spiral. This spiral involves us becoming very selfish and only focusing on our own needs. From this place, we can’t do the inner work required to come back from adversity. Train your brain to always assume love as the default reason for everything.

“Spending our precious energy and time on this planet hating others for things we can’t control, will block us from our dreams”

Hate will transport us to a land far far away that resembles hell. Hell is where your nightmares come true, your fears are born and the person you become is something you despise for eternity.

 

4. Love is the best feeling in the world

There are lots of types of love but no matter what; love is the best feeling in the world. When you choose love your life seems extraordinary. You feel like you are on cloud nine and nothing can stop you. Love helps you to connect with your fellow human beings on an entirely different level.

Your success in life compounds because love attracts everything you could ever want in your life. You can’t be pissed off at the world when love is your default choice.

Love is what brings us closer together. Love is what creates human life through the coming together of a man and women. Love is what lights us up and fuels our intuition. Seek out love and you’ll know what it feels like to be invincible. If the worst happens, and a young baby close to you is killed, you’ll have all the answers.

 

5. Choose love by giving love

The best gift you can give while you’re alive is love. It costs nothing, but it takes every part of you to give. If a tragedy like the one described above occurs, you have the opportunity to give love.

When you do so, and you go through a difficult time, love finds its way back into your life. Choosing love is the beginner level: giving love is the expert level.

There are so many ways to give love. You could:

– Hug someone
– Do something nice for someone
– Write something beautiful to someone
– Be there for someone who is going through a tough time
– Smile at someone who looks down

The list is endless. Love is endless. Your capacity to give love is endless. What comes into your life can also be endless when you choose love. Think about that for a minute.

 

6. Love can cause a deranged man or women to see the light

 

If you talked to a terrorist and told them that you loved them, what would happen? While I don’t know for sure, what I do know is that there is a possibility you could interrupt their pattern. Part of the reason they do what they do is that they haven’t felt love.

Because they lack love in their life, they have adopted a set of false beliefs in the hope that this will fill the void they feel, due to the lack of love they’ve experienced.

 

“Terrorists, criminals and people on drugs, all have one thing in common: they need to be shown what love is so they can conquer the fear that’s been controlling their life – the fear that’s driven them to madness and to harm people”

 

***Final thought***

It’s time to wake up and stand for love. It’s what we were born to do. It takes no effort when we try it. Love can save us from just about anything. Love is about understanding that we are all on the same mission and that ultimately we are all part of the same cause and the same existence.

When you understand the idea of love, your consciousness goes to another level. People may begin to think that you’ve transcended their reality and that you have loads of wisdom. What’s really happened is that you’ve discovered the most powerful force on Earth: LOVE.

RIP to the young mothers baby. Love will transcend everything and bring you happiness again. I hope you can find it in your hearts to one day forgive the mean that caused you so much pain. Show him the love that he’s been lacking so desperately.

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Success Advice

5 Unusual Productivity Tips From Famous Procrastinators

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Do you often procrastinate? Are you doing it now by reading this article? If yes – awesome, continue reading.

Most of us consider procrastination the biggest troublemaker and productivity killer. You see it as a vice, consequently, you try to overcome its effects, kill the procrastination beast and cheat with all the possible means.

But what if it’s not quite so? What if procrastination can virtually lead to productivity? Have you ever thought about this aspect? Many outstanding productive people, in fact, were chronic procrastinators. How did they manage to achieve success? What tips did successful people use to beat procrastination?

Here are five unusual tips from hard-core procrastinators that will help you boost your productivity level:

1. Victor Hugo: Lock away your clothes

The author of Les Misérables, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and many more tremendously famous novels was beating procrastination with the most extraordinary and radical means. One episode from his life is the most illustrative here.

Hugo started writing The Hunchback of Notre Dame quite close to the deadline – in the fall of 1830. While the deadline was in February 1831. His preparation was thorough, but he did not feel like writing. Thus, he did something that didn’t leave a choice – he got naked and locked away his clothes.

The aim of all that was to avoid temptations of going outside. Hugo had nothing to wear but a shawl. And for many months, this rag (as his wife claimed) was his daily uniform. Did it work? Absolutely. He finished the book weeks before the actual deadline.

2. Gerhard Richter: Create a crisis

Gerhard Richter, world known German artist and procrastinator, got millions with his paintings. For example, Abstrakis Bild was sold for $20,802,500 at Sotheby’s.  How did he manage to procrastinate and, at the same time, complete paintings of photos, abstracts, “blur” photo paintings, and many more works of art?

It’s striking that he actually wastes time on garden and not on his paintings. In one of the interviews, Richter described his daily routines:  “I could spend my life arranging things. Weeks go by, and I don’t paint until finally I can’t stand it any longer. I get fed up. I almost don’t want to talk about it, because I don’t want to become self-conscious about it, but perhaps I create these little crises as a kind of a secret strategy to push myself.

It is a danger to wait around for an idea to occur to you. You have to find the idea.” Thus, his secret strategy to become more productive is a simple crisis.

“Chance determines our lives in important ways.” – Gerhard Richter

3. Bill Clinton: Take criticism seriously, not personally

The 42nd president of the United States, Bill Clinton, was described as a “chronic procrastinator” by Time magazine. Could you believe that a two-time Grammy winner may be addicted to postponing? Clinton had weeks or sometimes months to make comments on the drafts of his speeches, but, eventfully, it all ended with cut-and-paste in the end.

Even his Vice President Al Gore called Clinton “punctually challenged”. However, despite all the criticism, he managed to never give up. The key secret to productivity is the way you perceive criticism, according to Bill Clinton. If you take it too personally, you won’t be able to resist the feeling of deficiency that finally leads to the inferiority complex. Therefore, keep your cool when you are criticized. Then, you have more chances to stay productive.

4. Franz Kafka: Try to wake up the night productivity

The Czech writer worked as an insurance clerk and it was the time to existential thinking. The novelist though didn’t put his ideas into action. After Kafka had been promoted, he had more time and procrastination infected him for good.

His routine day after work, as he mentioned it on one of his letters, looked like this: “Lunch till 3:30 … sleep until 7:30 … ten minutes of exercises, naked at the open window … an hour’s walk … then dinner with my family.” There is nothing about writing though. When did he actually write? Beginning from approximately 11 p.m. and continuing up to 6 a.m. Not the perfect system, for sure, but that’s was the most productive time for Kafka. It appears that he spent most of the daytime napping.

“Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell ’em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.” – Theodore Roosevelt

5. Leonardo Da Vinci: Start several things at a time and make notes

An artist, mathematician, sculptor, writer, inventor, military engineer, Leonardo Da Vinci, is an outstanding figure in history. But despite the success he achieved, he was never focused on one thing at a time.

During his lifetime, he managed to complete only 20 paintings. The Virgin of the Rocks took him 13 years to put the final changes.  While his most illustrious work The Mona Lisa – as many as 16 years. The reason for that was his multi-tasking capacity. He was an incredibly broad-minded and all-round personality with so many genius plans. To improve a willpower, he had a rule book where he had more than 7,000 pages of notes.

His procrastination wasn’t already a secret for his benefactors. And some of them threatened him with bankruptcy in order to have his work done at last.

What if procrastination can be a way to extreme productivity and perfectionism? And still, you have structured procrastination as an option and a solution.

Would you use any of these tips to boost productivity flows? Comment below!
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