Connect with us

Success Advice

12 Vital Life Lessons I Wish They Taught Me In School

Published

on

Vital Life Lessons From School - Successful Education

Being a millennial, I have very few regrets as I was fortunate to grow up in an education system that was entrenched in technology. My one frustration with the education system though is that it didn’t prepare me well for being an adult. School still skips the fundamentals of what we all need in life to be successful.

It didn’t give me the toolbox that I discovered later on which could have made me more successful earlier on in life. The one positive thing it did though was push me off the traditional path and towards entrepreneurship in the hope that something better must have existed compared to what I was being taught at the time.

Don’t get me wrong; I am not anti-education or anything like that, I just feel that the high school and university phases of our lives still have a lot of gaps. In this blog post, I hope to address what I think should be covered and the reasons why.

Below are the twelve vital lessons I wish they taught me at school:

 

1. Passive learning doesn’t work

I’m sure we can all remember days at school where we sit and listen to the teacher speak for two hours while we listen and copy notes from the whiteboard. The reason the vast majority of this information never get’s retained in our minds is that we are consuming the information passively.

Passive learning of information without emotion means that we will not get the results from what we are learning. Every thirty minutes of learning should have a change in state to allow our bodies to wake up and stay on the ball.

The second component to this idea is the need to link more emotion to our learning. When we learn a concept through a story that is emotional, we are much more likely to retain the knowledge and understand what the message is that we should be getting.

When I was studying, I found it hard to remember the stories I was taught because the stories were often outdated and not relatable to my classmates or me. Fast forward to the present, and I am learning new ideas every day because I link emotion to the learning process.

Even if the content I am learning doesn’t have any emotion, I will throw in some emotive YouTube videos every thirty minutes to anchor my state and create emotion.

 

2. You must develop yourself every day

In school, I never heard the phrase personal development. It was only when I was in my twenties that I discovered what it meant. The concept of developing yourself every day can really affect your success in life.

By taking small steps every day to be better than you were the previous day, you very quickly compound your results, your value, and your skills. The concepts of personal development have been around for a long time, and I would love to see these become part of the school system.

Even if you learnt no facts, no mathematics, and did no sport at school, I still believe you can be highly successful if you understand the vital content of personal development. It’s a big call I know, but it’s something I have seen first hand.

 

3. Money is not power

Society, the media, and school taught me that money is power, and it’s something I should strive for. I can vividly remember back to year ten when my high school careers councillor started talking about possible careers I might want.

She tried to lure me into different careers based on the promise of money. For those of you who are in Australia, you can probably guess what she recommended – become a tradie (tradesperson).

Money Is Not Power EntrepreneurIt’s true that in Australia tradespeople make a very good income, but a lot of them are also very depressed and unhappy in their occupation. Rather than trying to help me find my purpose, school just wanted to help me find a job or an income I would settle for.

With any negative comes a positive. For me, I discovered entrepreneurship because I didn’t want someone giving me orders or telling me how much I should earn. I liked having ideas and then testing them. I liked that my annual income was determined by how much valued I added and how good I was at pleasing customers.

Money will never make you happy: finding out your dream and then pursuing it until your last day on Earth will.

 

4. Giving is the lifeblood of your success

We’ve all had an experience where we watch an awesome movie and then the first thing we want to do is call our friends and tell them how great it was. The best thing often about an experience is not the experience itself; it’s the opportunity to share it with our friends, which is why social media has exploded.

This simple idea is very similar to giving. The look on people’s faces when you give something to someone that they weren’t expecting is priceless. You will feel better than you have ever felt when you do things for other people and put a smile on their face.

This philosophy of giving was not what I was taught at school. School taught me that giving was all about charity and only giving to large, not for profit organisations. The donations made to these companies are often invisible, and the person receiving the assistance never see’s you.

Worse still, a large proportion of your donation often never get’s to the person who needs it because it’s eaten up in administrative costs. Giving is so much more than just throwing money at something and hoping it will fix itself.

“The concept of giving is to create value for other people without expecting anything in return. It’s about doing things for the greater good and not operating from a mindset of scarcity” – Tim Denning

Giving is actually not about donations at all. Giving is what makes the world go round, and if everybody did it religiously every day then, the world’s challenges would be far fewer than they are right now.

Giving involves using the gifts you have been given to make people’s lives better. Whether that’s through a blog like Addicted2Success or some other means, there are limited ways for you to give back without necessarily going down the path of charity. I wish school taught me this.

 

5. The strategies you need are found in non-fiction and autobiographies

At school, there was always a strong focus on fictional stories. These stories can be great for the imagination; the challenge is the story is made up, making it hard to relate too. The books I discovered later in life were non-fiction and autobiographies.Richard Branson - Losing My Virginity Book

There is no better way to be successful in life than read about people who have already done remarkable things and learn exactly what they did to achieve their goals. These stories highlight the barriers to greatness and show how failure is critical for any pursuit of success.

School should have books like Think And Grow Rich, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, and The Alchemist as part of the syllabus.

These books are named by so many successful entrepreneurs as being a significant contributor to their success. Imagine if all school children got the same benefit as a mandatory part of their education.
I wish I were made to read these books when I was at school.

 

6. How to make an income

School is a lot about the theory of how the world should work. The part that was missing for me at school was the practical steps to make an income whether that was through entrepreneurship or working for someone else.

In school, I was led to believe that if I wanted to work for someone else, I would be asked detailed questions about my education. The reality, after having interviewed for lots of high ranking corporate jobs, is that most organisations will never ask you about your education.

There are some specialised fields like medicine and law that will ask, outside of that; it’s becoming less and less relevant. It’s quite easy for any of us to rack up a huge university debt and get a piece of paper in a field such as business or marketing, but most other people can do that as well.

Don’t get me wrong, university degrees are great to have, it’s just that they will not be the saving grace that the school system makes out they are. Experience in business, passion, rapport, strong emotional intelligence, a good imagination, and the guts to have a go will get you much further. I wish I learnt this in school and not later in life. Better late than never.

 

7. The truth about failure

Failure is your real education. Failure gives you the mental toughness. Nothing is easy, and nothing can prepare you for the challenges you will face. School taught me to try and be perfect and get straight A’s. Perfection was my downfall because it’s an impossible requirement to meet.

It was only later when I studied electronic music outside of school that I learned that imperfection is where all the beauty is. Imperfection is what makes rock music so addictive and it’s the foundation of all popular music.

Failing on a maths test was the greatest lesson I learned in my school career. Why? Because I realised I had no interest in maths, and I was able not to waste too much time on it. Had I not have failed, I could have put hours of work into something I hated which is the recipe for disaster.

It wasn’t until after I finished school that I learned this lesson. I wish I had learnt it earlier.

 

8. You whole life is about salesmanship

Everything you do every single day revolves around selling something. You are either selling your business idea, selling a concept to internal stakeholders, selling the benefits of cleaning up to your children, or selling the idea of a holiday to your partner.

I never learned any sales skills at school and I wish I had. Learning how to sell and attending yearly sales training events has allowed me to communicate an idea, and get people to join me on my mission both in business and in my personal life.

 

9. Public speaking will put you ahead of the pack

Dale-Partridge-Ted copySchool always made me think that public speaking was for politicians. To be an entrepreneur, thought leader, sales person, or just anyone that matters, you need to be able to speak in front of other people. The better you get at it, the easier it will be to get buy-in from other people to follow your vision.

I wish I had known about Toastmasters at school. I wish I were forced to do it. Since joining Toastmasters, I have learned why public speaking is so difficult and how to overcome the fear of audiences. With a little practice, it’s perfectly achievable to get good at it.

Forget about yourself, concentrate on delivering value to your audience, and not about everyone’s opinion. That pretty much sums up public speaking. Now go practice it!

 

10. Alkaline food will give you the energy you need

Thinking back to my school days, I didn’t have a lot of success with studying because I regularly suffered from low levels of energy and frequent colds. This was not uncommon, and many of my school friends had similar challenges.

If I analyse my school diet it consisted of zero water, lots of soft drink, pizza, pasta, sausage rolls, hot dogs, and ice creams. Unfortunately, not a lot has changed at schools although there is some awareness about soft drink nowadays.

In terms of nutritional education, there wasn’t a whole lot except for the lie that is the food pyramid which still appears in my doctor’s office when I see him once a year. Had I have known just how large the proportion of fruits and vegetables needed to be, and more importantly, just how good the benefits were to eating more from this food group, my health would have turned out a lot different.

There’s no point dwelling too much on the past (this subject has been a frustration for me), but it’s my hope that nutrition will play a bigger part in school life going forward. Thankfully, we have ambassadors like Jamie Oliver, who are carrying the message.

 

11. Advanced computer skills will give you a voice

In adult life, you enter a very noisy world where it’s even harder to be heard. The ability to be able to put together websites, create content, and share your message on social media is critical. If you can learn basic coding, then you will be even more ahead than the average person.

I was lucky that I first got onto the Internet as a kid in 1996. Before then, I had worked on MS-Dos and Windows 95 computers. This gave me an edge because a lot of my friends didn’t have this luxury. A computer allowed me to solve modern problems far quicker and hone in on my computer skills.

I was fortunate enough to be an earlier adopter of Google, eBay, and Amazon. These websites showed me where the world was heading at its part of what has allowed me to work in tech day-to-day. It was the gentle inspiration I needed at a time in teenage life when we have no idea what our future looks like.

While traditional education has an element of IT subjects, I still wish that there was an even greater focus on the more advanced computer skills that are needed in an ever-changing global economy. These skills during my own schooling would have been very valuable to me, and many of you reading.

 

12. Everyone should try entrepreneurship

A lot of my school life centred on the fact that I should work for someone else. The idea of starting a business was almost like a taboo subject that only suicidal base jumpers would dare try. I wish school had taught me that everyone should try entrepreneurship at least once.

Even if you choose to work for someone else, you are still an entrepreneur in a way because you have a small (or large) slice of someone else’s business you have to manage. You can’t escape entrepreneurship, and I believe it’s good to try it.

You can learn anything you put your mind to even if you don’t meet the wah wah entrepreneur personality type that is portrayed on TV. Hopefully, though, you like working with other people because you can’t do everything yourself.

What do you wish you learned at school? Are any of these above skills missing for you? Let me know in the comments section below or on my website timdenning.net or my Facebook. 

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared millions of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around personal development and entrepreneurship. You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net

Advertisement
13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Robert

    Jun 28, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    I think schools should also pay more attention to personal finance. Your points are also very good and well founded.

    Robert

  2. Sascha Rutledge

    Feb 8, 2017 at 4:38 am

    Awesome post. about Batching is a huge one for me. I always give myself way more tasks than I can complete in a reasonable amount of time so the annoying small tasks pile up until I can batch them.

  3. Thea Dunlap

    Jul 12, 2016 at 3:16 am

    Wonderful article. Love the advice here and they are very beneficial. Made me want to rethink of my plans. 🙂

  4. Pam Bowers

    Jul 6, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    Love this article! I am a home based social worker nearly 60 and while I love my job, the best thing Ive done for balance is become a small business owner selling antiques on eBay. I think we all need to stretch out of our comfort zone, continue to grow and expand in what we are passionate about to maximize what we get from life and give to the world. And a bit of mad money in upcoming retirement never hurts either : ) All the best, Pam

    • Tim Denning

      Jul 11, 2016 at 7:37 am

      Thanks Pam for reading. I love that you are 60 and still have the drive to run a small business. You’re never to old to start I don’t think! Best of luck with your business.

  5. Bright

    Jul 2, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    great post Tim, since i’m still a student, i’ll try some of those tricks.
    Many thanks

    • Tim Denning

      Jul 3, 2016 at 7:34 pm

      Bright we are all students – students of life. Let me know how you go with implementing this knowledge in your life and thanks for reading.

  6. Asad Meah

    Jul 2, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    Excellent article Tim as always, very beneficial advice.

    • Tim Denning

      Jul 3, 2016 at 7:33 pm

      Asad thanks for the compliment and for taking the time to read it. Take care.

  7. Stephanie Figuerado

    Jun 30, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    Another great article Tim! I think some sort of spirituality should be taught in school also. My journey would have started a lot sooner if so, but i’m on it now and that’s all that matters!

    • Tim Denning

      Jun 30, 2016 at 8:19 pm

      Totally agree Stephanie. Thanks for reading.

  8. Charlene Rhinehart

    Jun 29, 2016 at 11:53 pm

    Great post!! It’s so important to never stop learning, growing, and becoming a better you everyday. I love your point about Public Speaking. This is a skill that is often overlooked but essential to advance in EVERY aspect of your life. I am a Toastaholic and fully support toastmasters. It is a game-changer for anyone who is trying to advance in their career or entrepreneurial pursuits. I just went to my club toastmaster meeting yesterday (after traveling the world for 6 months) and spoke about the importance of traveling. It reignited my fire and speaking goals. I can’t wait to see you deliver a Ted or Tedx Talk! That’s on my bucket list: )

    • Tim Denning

      Jun 30, 2016 at 1:36 am

      Thanks so much Charlene for your continued inspiring words! A Ted / Tedx talk would be awesome but I have a little way to go yet. Hope your travels were enjoyable!

Leave a Reply

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

Success Advice

Success is for the Self-Taught

Published

on

self education
Image Credit: Unsplash

Truman Capote, Jimi Hendrix, Steve Jobs, Nikola Tesla. Those are four names you never thought you’d see in a sentence together. As it happens, these four individuals have more in common than their success, ingenuity, and fame. They were all autodidacts. In other words, they were self-taught learners.

The talents and innovations that skyrocketed them to fame were the products of their own teachings. Make no mistake, this doesn’t mean a formal education is a waste of time. However, it goes to show that success is crafted solely by commitment and focus. While college and traineeships can prepare us for the groundwork of what we pursue, it’s ultimately up to us as individuals to teach ourselves how to refine our knowledge for success.

It’s the self-taught principles that allow us to distinguish our own work from that of others. With the help of the internet, self-taught success is more possible than ever. And there are plenty of ways to reach our inner autodidact.

Elon Musk had science degrees from top Ivy League universities, but he still credits most of his knowledge to the textbooks he allegedly “committed to memory.” Reading is just one way to teach yourself everything you need to know. Aspiring inventors can surely learn a lot by sacrificing some of their leisure time to sit down with a textbook.

For writers and artists, the best study is to just read. Read anything. Inspiration can be derived from poetry, works of fiction, etc. These also help you develop your writing skills, which is an important asset for any aspiring entrepreneur.

“Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.” – Isaac Asimov

With the help of online Master Classes, Youtube videos, and apps – where online courses developed by some of the top U.S. educational institutions can be accessed remotely – self-taught success is more attainable than ever.

What’s more, we learn through practice. We can publish our own eBooks through Amazon without the publishing house bureaucracy. We can advertise our product, brand, or service through social media savvy without astronomical advertising costs. And as we practice, we learn. We gain feedback from our followers, learn from our mistakes, and do it better the second time around.

Even when you’re teaching yourself, others are always helping. However, you get to decide which lessons are most constructive, and you get to apply them to the real world in real-time.

The Science of Self-Taught

People have a tendency to romanticize the concept of self-taught success. It’s not a solution for laziness, or an excuse for lack of motivation. In many cases, teaching yourself is more work than being taught. The level of accountability rises when you are both teacher and student. Furthermore, it requires more discipline. Without a structured schedule or a guaranteed reward at the end of your efforts, your only hope is your dedication.

Beyond this, however, the only thing stopping most people from teaching themselves is insecurity. Fear of failure and inadequacy halts self-taught learners in their tracks. Especially because with self-teaching, inevitably, comes occasional failure. Unfortunately, the self-taught often feel they have nobody to blame the failure on but themselves – no teachers, mentors, or trainers as scapegoats.

According to Psychology Today, there is nothing that makes certain people better self-taught learners than others. The only difference is motivation, and willingness to overcome that lingering insecurity. Even the concept of “learning styles” is erroneous, says Psychology Today. While each individual is different, ability to learn is not based on preference, but expertise.

Beginners learn better from examples, while experts learn better by solving problems. This builds yet another case for autodidacts, who are more likely to learn by experience – the most effective method.

“Wisdom is not a product of schooling but a lifelong attempt to acquire it.” – Albert Einstein

The Rewards of Being Self-Taught

The fruits of your labor taste sweeter when you’ve taught yourself how to grow them. As such, success is more enjoyable when your self-education has contributed to it. All successful individuals have something in common: they’ve taken the initiative to teach themselves new things, or to supplement their formal education with self-teaching, as well.

Therefore, not all groundbreaking inventors, artists, and philosophers are solely self-taught. However, they’ve still accompanied their college training with their own individual quest for knowledge.

There is a simple reason why autodidacts thrive the most: because they’re always learning. The one mistake people who solely rely on formal education and training make is the mistake of stopping their learning process altogether once it’s over. Not only does this prevent you from being up-to-date on the latest concepts and advancements in your field, but it obstructs your brain’s thirst for mental stimulation.

By constantly learning and teaching ourselves new things, no matter how small or large they might be, we could change the course of our overall health and well-being. Research even shows that mental stimulation (consisting of practicing memorization, learning new things, and improving our skill in existing hobbies) is key to slowing down the development of, and possibly even reversing, Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Motivational speaker and entrepreneur Jim Rohn was noted for saying, “Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.” This does not mean you should abandon the pursuit of formal education, as it often serves as the foundation for self-education. But, it does mean we should maintain, cater to, and quench our thirst for knowledge as much as we possibly can.

Continue Reading

Success Advice

6 Expert Tips for Building Relationships With Those You Idolize

Published

on

building relationships
Image Credit: Unsplash

Many of us dream of one day meeting a celebrity. Be it a movie star or a pro football player, we have a tendency to idolize these individuals, even looking to them for guidance as we make life decisions. In business, we can also find people we idolize. Individuals who have achieved great success with their own company or even revolutionized an industry.

From these people, we can learn key skills, gain valuable insights or even form partnerships to take our own business ventures to the next level. Yes, it is possible to form real relationships with your business idols or industry influencers. But like any other relationship, it requires work.

Here’s 6 ways you can start forming the relationships that will make a lasting difference for your entrepreneurial goals:

1. Do Your Research

Facebook stalking may be creepy for normal relationships, but doing some online research is perfectly okay for business leaders and influencers. After all, most influencers are extremely active online, either through social media, their own website or guest blogging. This basic research gives you a chance to better understand your business idol.

What do they like or dislike? What are their opinions on current trends? What do they talk like? These simple bits of information will help you better know how to approach them and determine if a relationship could prove beneficial.

“The richest people in the world look for and build networks. Everyone else looks for work.” – Robert Kiyosaki

2. Comment Carefully

Your initial research also serves as your first chance for engagement with your business idol. By liking social media posts or leaving thoughtful comments on blog articles, you can make a positive first impression.

Of course, leaving quality comments is sometimes easier said than done. As Kevin Duncan of SmartBlogger explains, thoughtfully contributing to the discussion with personal experiences or meaningful questions are a great way to get the conversation started.

“When you share a personal insight, bloggers can more easily relate to you. You’re no longer just an unfamiliar name making a comment that could have been left by anyone …the more personal your insight, the more unique it will be. And the more unique your insight, the more memorable your comment will be and the more you’ll stand out.”

3. Group Participation

Business leaders and influencers won’t only be found on blogs. Many are also active participants in online industry groups. Whether on Facebook or LinkedIn, these groups allow industry professionals to discuss current trends, ask for advice, or share new opportunities.

If you wish to make a positive impression, you should seek out, join and actively participate in these online groups. Avoid the temptation to promote yourself or your business. Instead, engage in conversations much like you would with a quality blog comment. By sharing your unique experiences and insights, you’ll build a stronger reputation among your peers.

4. Face Time

Online discussions are a great place to start, but the best relationships typically require some face-to-face interaction. You make a much more lasting impression when you have an in-person conversation. Industry conventions or lectures are great places to connect with others in your field. When you show yourself as a living, breathing human being, rather than just a name behind the computer, it becomes so much easier to make a personal connection and form a real, lasting relationship — and that can pay big dividends for future pitches.

Setting up a face-to-face meeting can be tricky. After all, you don’t want to come off as creepy. However, if you’ve already established an online rapport, asking if an influencer would like to briefly meet in person at an event you’re both attending shouldn’t be a problem.

5. Add Value

All relationships have a bit of give and take — and this is especially true when forming relationships in the business world. If you’re only approaching a business idol because you hope to gain something (like an extra investor in your startup), you likely won’t have success. Instead, find ways that you can contribute value.

As leadership consultant Randy Hain explains, “‘What can I do to help you?’ is absolutely one of the best ways to get business relationships off to a great start. Invest in the other person first, with no expectation of return. Do not keep score. Simply make the investment and over time you will benefit from the seeds of generosity you have planted.”

“Networking is the No. 1 unwritten rule of success in business.” – Sallie Krawcheck

6. Focus On the Long-Term

The aforementioned tactics aren’t “one and done” tips. Instead, you’ll need to continually practice them to show your genuine interest and build the kinds of friendships that can pay lasting dividends for everyone involved.

Relationships aren’t a short-term investment — and this is especially true if you want help on your own road to success. Real relationships need time to grow. They need continual nurturing. With a patient, long-term approach, you’ll be less tempted to jump right into a sales pitch and more likely to focus on a genuine friendship that delivers a real payoff.

Becoming an entrepreneur may put you in the role of the underdog — but this doesn’t mean you have to go at it alone. As you form genuine relationships with influencers and other business professionals, you’ll gain access to new sources of knowledge.

You’ll find friends who are willing to help or mentors willing to share their time. You may even find a new business partner. Relationship-building is a lifelong endeavor, but it will always pay off in the end.

Continue Reading

Success Advice

Stop Denying Your Negative Thoughts and Start Embracing Them

Published

on

negative thoughts
Image Credit: Twenty20.com

Over the years, many of the talking heads and pundits in the personal development and success science industry have talked about the immediate replacement of negative thoughts with positive thoughts. The logic behind that particular behavioral strategy seems to make sense on the surface. Think about it, when a negative thought rears its ugly head, we should immediately dive into the repository of positive thoughts that we have available to us so that we could immediately begin to dwell on it.

Even further, some gurus of the genre suggest removing any chance of having a negative thought by the constant repetition of affirmations. Again, tried-and-true motivational technology that is very workable and still useful. I would suggest, however, that you view the above behaviors as tactics more than strategies.

I will further suggest to you that you do not abhor your negative thoughts but rather embrace them, examine them, and place them under a spotlight. My reasoning behind this goes back over 100 years into psychology with stimulus/response, that is, the cause and effect of certain behaviors. Many individuals look at a negative thought as a causative driver. The negative thought exists as a cause, and our behavior toward that cause will determine the effect.

So, following this logic, if an individual has a negative thought which makes them feel sad, and that sadness causes them to binge drink, by removing the negative thought you’ll have removed the motivation for binge drinking. Doesn’t that sound kind of silly? The suggestion here is to turn off the negative thought so that it will turn off the consumption of alcohol.

Of course, this makes sense if we view the negative thought as a primal force in behavior. So, what if we started to think of the negative thought more as the result of something else? It means that the “something else” must change first. What if we took a different approach? What if we looked at a negative thought as an effect of some larger causal factor?

“You’re going to go through tough times – that’s life. But I say, ‘Nothing happens to you, it happens for you.’ See the positive in negative events.” – Joel Osteen

By reversing the cause-and-effect motion of negative thinking (saying that the negative thought is an effect), we now can ask a deeper, more penetrative question: Why are we thinking that negative thought? What is the underlying cause of that specific train of thinking? By reversing the cause-and-effect relationship of negative thinking, it allows the negative thinker to assume the role of diagnostician!

Below is a three-step process you can use to examine your negative thoughts, the role of it in your life, and how you can get rid of them:

1. Simply acknowledge the negative thought

Recognize the fact that there’s a negative thought in your mind instead of trying to go through a process of emotionally overlaying positive thoughts on top of it. Can you see how this exacerbates the issue? You have a negative thought, you immediately recognize that it must be changed, and you frantically scurry through the museum of your mind to find a positive thought to replace it.

In the meantime, while you are trying to find that positive thought, you’re feeling anxious, nervous, and guilty! When you finally find a positive thought to replace that negative thought, the normal process is to squash it. But you can’t! It’s like trying to get rid of weeds by covering them with rocks.

They will always find another way around the rock. It is the same with negative thoughts. Consequently, try acknowledging the negative thought.

2. Affirm the negative thought

It is a part of you. Instead of denying its existence, accept that it is there in front of you and that you are now willing to deal with it. If any of you reading this are dog lovers, you will know that the best way to get a dog next to you is by attempting to push it away from you. Every time you push the dog away it gets closer. This is the same with negative thinking because the harder you push the closer it gets.

“Always turn a negative situation into a positive situation.” – Michael Jordan

3. Acquit the thought

Give it permission to leave you. Thank it for its past importance in your life and allow it to be on its way! At this point feel free to replace the negative thought with a positive thought. What will begin to happen when you place the negative thought under the spotlight is that you will see how insignificantly small it actually is.

This is a process I’ve been using for quite some time, and it works! Oh sure, I still use affirmations on a daily basis; as a matter fact I have them right here in front of me. I find that affirmations are a tremendous way to stay positive because it doesn’t allow any room for bad things to grow. But since the average person thinks 60,000 to 65,000 thoughts per day, let’s face it, a few negative thoughts have to squeak in there!

The best advice that I can give is to not freak out over a negative thought. Acknowledge it, affirm it, and acquit it! This is magic. Watch what happens!

How do you handle negative thoughts? Let us know your tips below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Continue Reading

Success Advice

One Thing I Can Teach You About Life That Will Help You Forever.

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

I used to be a very anxious person.

I was embarrassed by what I couldn’t do and every day was a struggle. From the moment I would wake up to the moment I’d go to bed, everything felt impossibly overwhelming. It’s a battle I’ve dealt with most of my life.

This daily struggle with mental illness taught me that the satisfaction didn’t lie in beating it; the satisfaction was in helping other people beat mental illness through my success in fighting it.


Recently, I was at work. It was a pretty standard day — nothing too exciting. I then had a catch up with one of the leaders I worked with.

She said something that got my attention: “One of our colleagues is battling a mental illness.”

I really wanted to help. My eyes lit up. There was no need to uncover my plan with anyone else. I knew that staying discrete was fundamental.

I approached the person in question and asked for a few minutes of their time.

I didn’t ask them to admit their mental illness struggle; I just shared my story.

I talked about the anxiety stopping me from having a normal life, eating the right foods, going on dates with girls, having the career I wanted and traveling the world.

I wasn’t sure if any of it was sinking in or even helping. I felt compelled to go on. One thing I knew was that he was paying attention. I could see it in his eyes.

I then went on to talk about how I beat mental illness. Strategies such as:

  • Creating fear lists
  • Seeking professional help
  • Working on myself
  • Books I read
  • Events I attended

Out of nowhere, he started opening up about his own struggle. I was shocked.
It wasn’t pretty. He had an extreme case of mental illness that I certainly couldn’t diagnose or give professional advice on.

All I could do was show him through my own story that there was hope

I offered him access to all the resources I had. I told him that he had my full support and I’d be happy to help in any way I could. He then said:

“What was your psychologist’s name?”

I told him I’d look it up and send it to him. I didn’t have the answer in front of me, but I was determined when I got home to find it.

At the end of the catch-up, he smiled. I don’t think he’d smiled like that in a very long time.

That smile gave me so much satisfaction. It made my own struggle with mental illness worth it. All those sleepless nights, times spent vomiting into the toilet and dark days where I didn’t want to go on made sense.


“It took more than seven years for me to understand that my own battle with mental illness actually had a benefit”

That benefit was the satisfaction in seeing someone beat their mental illness because I was able to defeat mine.

It’s probably the greatest satisfaction of my entire life.

That’s one thing I can teach you about life that will help you forever.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Write for A2S

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending

Success Advice

Success is for the Self-Taught

Published

on

self education
Image Credit: Unsplash

Truman Capote, Jimi Hendrix, Steve Jobs, Nikola Tesla. Those are four names you never thought you’d see in a sentence together. As it happens, these four individuals have more in common than their success, ingenuity, and fame. They were all autodidacts. In other words, they were self-taught learners. (more…)

Ellie Batchiyska is a writer for Every USB, helping business and entrepreneurs with their branding through the use of custom flash drives.

Advertisement
13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Robert

    Jun 28, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    I think schools should also pay more attention to personal finance. Your points are also very good and well founded.

    Robert

  2. Sascha Rutledge

    Feb 8, 2017 at 4:38 am

    Awesome post. about Batching is a huge one for me. I always give myself way more tasks than I can complete in a reasonable amount of time so the annoying small tasks pile up until I can batch them.

  3. Thea Dunlap

    Jul 12, 2016 at 3:16 am

    Wonderful article. Love the advice here and they are very beneficial. Made me want to rethink of my plans. 🙂

  4. Pam Bowers

    Jul 6, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    Love this article! I am a home based social worker nearly 60 and while I love my job, the best thing Ive done for balance is become a small business owner selling antiques on eBay. I think we all need to stretch out of our comfort zone, continue to grow and expand in what we are passionate about to maximize what we get from life and give to the world. And a bit of mad money in upcoming retirement never hurts either : ) All the best, Pam

    • Tim Denning

      Jul 11, 2016 at 7:37 am

      Thanks Pam for reading. I love that you are 60 and still have the drive to run a small business. You’re never to old to start I don’t think! Best of luck with your business.

  5. Bright

    Jul 2, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    great post Tim, since i’m still a student, i’ll try some of those tricks.
    Many thanks

    • Tim Denning

      Jul 3, 2016 at 7:34 pm

      Bright we are all students – students of life. Let me know how you go with implementing this knowledge in your life and thanks for reading.

  6. Asad Meah

    Jul 2, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    Excellent article Tim as always, very beneficial advice.

    • Tim Denning

      Jul 3, 2016 at 7:33 pm

      Asad thanks for the compliment and for taking the time to read it. Take care.

  7. Stephanie Figuerado

    Jun 30, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    Another great article Tim! I think some sort of spirituality should be taught in school also. My journey would have started a lot sooner if so, but i’m on it now and that’s all that matters!

    • Tim Denning

      Jun 30, 2016 at 8:19 pm

      Totally agree Stephanie. Thanks for reading.

  8. Charlene Rhinehart

    Jun 29, 2016 at 11:53 pm

    Great post!! It’s so important to never stop learning, growing, and becoming a better you everyday. I love your point about Public Speaking. This is a skill that is often overlooked but essential to advance in EVERY aspect of your life. I am a Toastaholic and fully support toastmasters. It is a game-changer for anyone who is trying to advance in their career or entrepreneurial pursuits. I just went to my club toastmaster meeting yesterday (after traveling the world for 6 months) and spoke about the importance of traveling. It reignited my fire and speaking goals. I can’t wait to see you deliver a Ted or Tedx Talk! That’s on my bucket list: )

    • Tim Denning

      Jun 30, 2016 at 1:36 am

      Thanks so much Charlene for your continued inspiring words! A Ted / Tedx talk would be awesome but I have a little way to go yet. Hope your travels were enjoyable!

Leave a Reply

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

Success Advice

Success is for the Self-Taught

Published

on

self education
Image Credit: Unsplash

Truman Capote, Jimi Hendrix, Steve Jobs, Nikola Tesla. Those are four names you never thought you’d see in a sentence together. As it happens, these four individuals have more in common than their success, ingenuity, and fame. They were all autodidacts. In other words, they were self-taught learners.

The talents and innovations that skyrocketed them to fame were the products of their own teachings. Make no mistake, this doesn’t mean a formal education is a waste of time. However, it goes to show that success is crafted solely by commitment and focus. While college and traineeships can prepare us for the groundwork of what we pursue, it’s ultimately up to us as individuals to teach ourselves how to refine our knowledge for success.

It’s the self-taught principles that allow us to distinguish our own work from that of others. With the help of the internet, self-taught success is more possible than ever. And there are plenty of ways to reach our inner autodidact.

Elon Musk had science degrees from top Ivy League universities, but he still credits most of his knowledge to the textbooks he allegedly “committed to memory.” Reading is just one way to teach yourself everything you need to know. Aspiring inventors can surely learn a lot by sacrificing some of their leisure time to sit down with a textbook.

For writers and artists, the best study is to just read. Read anything. Inspiration can be derived from poetry, works of fiction, etc. These also help you develop your writing skills, which is an important asset for any aspiring entrepreneur.

“Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.” – Isaac Asimov

With the help of online Master Classes, Youtube videos, and apps – where online courses developed by some of the top U.S. educational institutions can be accessed remotely – self-taught success is more attainable than ever.

What’s more, we learn through practice. We can publish our own eBooks through Amazon without the publishing house bureaucracy. We can advertise our product, brand, or service through social media savvy without astronomical advertising costs. And as we practice, we learn. We gain feedback from our followers, learn from our mistakes, and do it better the second time around.

Even when you’re teaching yourself, others are always helping. However, you get to decide which lessons are most constructive, and you get to apply them to the real world in real-time.

The Science of Self-Taught

People have a tendency to romanticize the concept of self-taught success. It’s not a solution for laziness, or an excuse for lack of motivation. In many cases, teaching yourself is more work than being taught. The level of accountability rises when you are both teacher and student. Furthermore, it requires more discipline. Without a structured schedule or a guaranteed reward at the end of your efforts, your only hope is your dedication.

Beyond this, however, the only thing stopping most people from teaching themselves is insecurity. Fear of failure and inadequacy halts self-taught learners in their tracks. Especially because with self-teaching, inevitably, comes occasional failure. Unfortunately, the self-taught often feel they have nobody to blame the failure on but themselves – no teachers, mentors, or trainers as scapegoats.

According to Psychology Today, there is nothing that makes certain people better self-taught learners than others. The only difference is motivation, and willingness to overcome that lingering insecurity. Even the concept of “learning styles” is erroneous, says Psychology Today. While each individual is different, ability to learn is not based on preference, but expertise.

Beginners learn better from examples, while experts learn better by solving problems. This builds yet another case for autodidacts, who are more likely to learn by experience – the most effective method.

“Wisdom is not a product of schooling but a lifelong attempt to acquire it.” – Albert Einstein

The Rewards of Being Self-Taught

The fruits of your labor taste sweeter when you’ve taught yourself how to grow them. As such, success is more enjoyable when your self-education has contributed to it. All successful individuals have something in common: they’ve taken the initiative to teach themselves new things, or to supplement their formal education with self-teaching, as well.

Therefore, not all groundbreaking inventors, artists, and philosophers are solely self-taught. However, they’ve still accompanied their college training with their own individual quest for knowledge.

There is a simple reason why autodidacts thrive the most: because they’re always learning. The one mistake people who solely rely on formal education and training make is the mistake of stopping their learning process altogether once it’s over. Not only does this prevent you from being up-to-date on the latest concepts and advancements in your field, but it obstructs your brain’s thirst for mental stimulation.

By constantly learning and teaching ourselves new things, no matter how small or large they might be, we could change the course of our overall health and well-being. Research even shows that mental stimulation (consisting of practicing memorization, learning new things, and improving our skill in existing hobbies) is key to slowing down the development of, and possibly even reversing, Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Motivational speaker and entrepreneur Jim Rohn was noted for saying, “Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.” This does not mean you should abandon the pursuit of formal education, as it often serves as the foundation for self-education. But, it does mean we should maintain, cater to, and quench our thirst for knowledge as much as we possibly can.

Continue Reading

Success Advice

6 Expert Tips for Building Relationships With Those You Idolize

Published

on

building relationships
Image Credit: Unsplash

Many of us dream of one day meeting a celebrity. Be it a movie star or a pro football player, we have a tendency to idolize these individuals, even looking to them for guidance as we make life decisions. In business, we can also find people we idolize. Individuals who have achieved great success with their own company or even revolutionized an industry.

From these people, we can learn key skills, gain valuable insights or even form partnerships to take our own business ventures to the next level. Yes, it is possible to form real relationships with your business idols or industry influencers. But like any other relationship, it requires work.

Here’s 6 ways you can start forming the relationships that will make a lasting difference for your entrepreneurial goals:

1. Do Your Research

Facebook stalking may be creepy for normal relationships, but doing some online research is perfectly okay for business leaders and influencers. After all, most influencers are extremely active online, either through social media, their own website or guest blogging. This basic research gives you a chance to better understand your business idol.

What do they like or dislike? What are their opinions on current trends? What do they talk like? These simple bits of information will help you better know how to approach them and determine if a relationship could prove beneficial.

“The richest people in the world look for and build networks. Everyone else looks for work.” – Robert Kiyosaki

2. Comment Carefully

Your initial research also serves as your first chance for engagement with your business idol. By liking social media posts or leaving thoughtful comments on blog articles, you can make a positive first impression.

Of course, leaving quality comments is sometimes easier said than done. As Kevin Duncan of SmartBlogger explains, thoughtfully contributing to the discussion with personal experiences or meaningful questions are a great way to get the conversation started.

“When you share a personal insight, bloggers can more easily relate to you. You’re no longer just an unfamiliar name making a comment that could have been left by anyone …the more personal your insight, the more unique it will be. And the more unique your insight, the more memorable your comment will be and the more you’ll stand out.”

3. Group Participation

Business leaders and influencers won’t only be found on blogs. Many are also active participants in online industry groups. Whether on Facebook or LinkedIn, these groups allow industry professionals to discuss current trends, ask for advice, or share new opportunities.

If you wish to make a positive impression, you should seek out, join and actively participate in these online groups. Avoid the temptation to promote yourself or your business. Instead, engage in conversations much like you would with a quality blog comment. By sharing your unique experiences and insights, you’ll build a stronger reputation among your peers.

4. Face Time

Online discussions are a great place to start, but the best relationships typically require some face-to-face interaction. You make a much more lasting impression when you have an in-person conversation. Industry conventions or lectures are great places to connect with others in your field. When you show yourself as a living, breathing human being, rather than just a name behind the computer, it becomes so much easier to make a personal connection and form a real, lasting relationship — and that can pay big dividends for future pitches.

Setting up a face-to-face meeting can be tricky. After all, you don’t want to come off as creepy. However, if you’ve already established an online rapport, asking if an influencer would like to briefly meet in person at an event you’re both attending shouldn’t be a problem.

5. Add Value

All relationships have a bit of give and take — and this is especially true when forming relationships in the business world. If you’re only approaching a business idol because you hope to gain something (like an extra investor in your startup), you likely won’t have success. Instead, find ways that you can contribute value.

As leadership consultant Randy Hain explains, “‘What can I do to help you?’ is absolutely one of the best ways to get business relationships off to a great start. Invest in the other person first, with no expectation of return. Do not keep score. Simply make the investment and over time you will benefit from the seeds of generosity you have planted.”

“Networking is the No. 1 unwritten rule of success in business.” – Sallie Krawcheck

6. Focus On the Long-Term

The aforementioned tactics aren’t “one and done” tips. Instead, you’ll need to continually practice them to show your genuine interest and build the kinds of friendships that can pay lasting dividends for everyone involved.

Relationships aren’t a short-term investment — and this is especially true if you want help on your own road to success. Real relationships need time to grow. They need continual nurturing. With a patient, long-term approach, you’ll be less tempted to jump right into a sales pitch and more likely to focus on a genuine friendship that delivers a real payoff.

Becoming an entrepreneur may put you in the role of the underdog — but this doesn’t mean you have to go at it alone. As you form genuine relationships with influencers and other business professionals, you’ll gain access to new sources of knowledge.

You’ll find friends who are willing to help or mentors willing to share their time. You may even find a new business partner. Relationship-building is a lifelong endeavor, but it will always pay off in the end.

Continue Reading

Success Advice

Stop Denying Your Negative Thoughts and Start Embracing Them

Published

on

negative thoughts
Image Credit: Twenty20.com

Over the years, many of the talking heads and pundits in the personal development and success science industry have talked about the immediate replacement of negative thoughts with positive thoughts. The logic behind that particular behavioral strategy seems to make sense on the surface. Think about it, when a negative thought rears its ugly head, we should immediately dive into the repository of positive thoughts that we have available to us so that we could immediately begin to dwell on it.

Even further, some gurus of the genre suggest removing any chance of having a negative thought by the constant repetition of affirmations. Again, tried-and-true motivational technology that is very workable and still useful. I would suggest, however, that you view the above behaviors as tactics more than strategies.

I will further suggest to you that you do not abhor your negative thoughts but rather embrace them, examine them, and place them under a spotlight. My reasoning behind this goes back over 100 years into psychology with stimulus/response, that is, the cause and effect of certain behaviors. Many individuals look at a negative thought as a causative driver. The negative thought exists as a cause, and our behavior toward that cause will determine the effect.

So, following this logic, if an individual has a negative thought which makes them feel sad, and that sadness causes them to binge drink, by removing the negative thought you’ll have removed the motivation for binge drinking. Doesn’t that sound kind of silly? The suggestion here is to turn off the negative thought so that it will turn off the consumption of alcohol.

Of course, this makes sense if we view the negative thought as a primal force in behavior. So, what if we started to think of the negative thought more as the result of something else? It means that the “something else” must change first. What if we took a different approach? What if we looked at a negative thought as an effect of some larger causal factor?

“You’re going to go through tough times – that’s life. But I say, ‘Nothing happens to you, it happens for you.’ See the positive in negative events.” – Joel Osteen

By reversing the cause-and-effect motion of negative thinking (saying that the negative thought is an effect), we now can ask a deeper, more penetrative question: Why are we thinking that negative thought? What is the underlying cause of that specific train of thinking? By reversing the cause-and-effect relationship of negative thinking, it allows the negative thinker to assume the role of diagnostician!

Below is a three-step process you can use to examine your negative thoughts, the role of it in your life, and how you can get rid of them:

1. Simply acknowledge the negative thought

Recognize the fact that there’s a negative thought in your mind instead of trying to go through a process of emotionally overlaying positive thoughts on top of it. Can you see how this exacerbates the issue? You have a negative thought, you immediately recognize that it must be changed, and you frantically scurry through the museum of your mind to find a positive thought to replace it.

In the meantime, while you are trying to find that positive thought, you’re feeling anxious, nervous, and guilty! When you finally find a positive thought to replace that negative thought, the normal process is to squash it. But you can’t! It’s like trying to get rid of weeds by covering them with rocks.

They will always find another way around the rock. It is the same with negative thoughts. Consequently, try acknowledging the negative thought.

2. Affirm the negative thought

It is a part of you. Instead of denying its existence, accept that it is there in front of you and that you are now willing to deal with it. If any of you reading this are dog lovers, you will know that the best way to get a dog next to you is by attempting to push it away from you. Every time you push the dog away it gets closer. This is the same with negative thinking because the harder you push the closer it gets.

“Always turn a negative situation into a positive situation.” – Michael Jordan

3. Acquit the thought

Give it permission to leave you. Thank it for its past importance in your life and allow it to be on its way! At this point feel free to replace the negative thought with a positive thought. What will begin to happen when you place the negative thought under the spotlight is that you will see how insignificantly small it actually is.

This is a process I’ve been using for quite some time, and it works! Oh sure, I still use affirmations on a daily basis; as a matter fact I have them right here in front of me. I find that affirmations are a tremendous way to stay positive because it doesn’t allow any room for bad things to grow. But since the average person thinks 60,000 to 65,000 thoughts per day, let’s face it, a few negative thoughts have to squeak in there!

The best advice that I can give is to not freak out over a negative thought. Acknowledge it, affirm it, and acquit it! This is magic. Watch what happens!

How do you handle negative thoughts? Let us know your tips below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Continue Reading

Success Advice

One Thing I Can Teach You About Life That Will Help You Forever.

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

I used to be a very anxious person.

I was embarrassed by what I couldn’t do and every day was a struggle. From the moment I would wake up to the moment I’d go to bed, everything felt impossibly overwhelming. It’s a battle I’ve dealt with most of my life.

This daily struggle with mental illness taught me that the satisfaction didn’t lie in beating it; the satisfaction was in helping other people beat mental illness through my success in fighting it.


Recently, I was at work. It was a pretty standard day — nothing too exciting. I then had a catch up with one of the leaders I worked with.

She said something that got my attention: “One of our colleagues is battling a mental illness.”

I really wanted to help. My eyes lit up. There was no need to uncover my plan with anyone else. I knew that staying discrete was fundamental.

I approached the person in question and asked for a few minutes of their time.

I didn’t ask them to admit their mental illness struggle; I just shared my story.

I talked about the anxiety stopping me from having a normal life, eating the right foods, going on dates with girls, having the career I wanted and traveling the world.

I wasn’t sure if any of it was sinking in or even helping. I felt compelled to go on. One thing I knew was that he was paying attention. I could see it in his eyes.

I then went on to talk about how I beat mental illness. Strategies such as:

  • Creating fear lists
  • Seeking professional help
  • Working on myself
  • Books I read
  • Events I attended

Out of nowhere, he started opening up about his own struggle. I was shocked.
It wasn’t pretty. He had an extreme case of mental illness that I certainly couldn’t diagnose or give professional advice on.

All I could do was show him through my own story that there was hope

I offered him access to all the resources I had. I told him that he had my full support and I’d be happy to help in any way I could. He then said:

“What was your psychologist’s name?”

I told him I’d look it up and send it to him. I didn’t have the answer in front of me, but I was determined when I got home to find it.

At the end of the catch-up, he smiled. I don’t think he’d smiled like that in a very long time.

That smile gave me so much satisfaction. It made my own struggle with mental illness worth it. All those sleepless nights, times spent vomiting into the toilet and dark days where I didn’t want to go on made sense.


“It took more than seven years for me to understand that my own battle with mental illness actually had a benefit”

That benefit was the satisfaction in seeing someone beat their mental illness because I was able to defeat mine.

It’s probably the greatest satisfaction of my entire life.

That’s one thing I can teach you about life that will help you forever.

Continue Reading

Trending