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Success Advice

16 Things Your Successful Friends Have Given Up

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Sit down and think, for a moment, about what your successful friends do compared to your loser friends that complain. If you don’t have any successful friends, then you need these tips I’m about to share more than anyone.

Your successful friends think differently, speak differently, and work 10 times harder than your loser friends. Success is easier than you think it is, but you’ve got to model and learn from the right people. Your unsuccessful loser friends are the ones that are feeding your mind lies.

They’re telling you that you can’t do it, or it’s too hard, or there’s no meaning in it all anyway. What total crap! Listen to your successful friends. Divorce your unsuccessful friends once and for all. You’re destined for big things, young Skywalker.

Here are 16 things your successful friends have given up:

1. They’ve given up believing they can’t change the world

Your successful friends believe that it’s not where you are born, how much education you have, or how much money you start out with; success is about believing you can change the world. All of us have the power to do something incredible.

We don’t need anyone to tell us we are worthy, or deserve to be phenomenal. Your successful friends let the belief in themselves guide their vision for a better world. Your successful friends believe they can be part of the positive change that helps humanity rise to a higher level.

2. They’ve given up on luck

“Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity” – Oprah Winfrey

Luck is a myth straight out. Your successful friends stopped believing in it a long time ago and have replaced luck with “hustle.”

Get out there and make stuff happen. Stop waiting for the right time because it’s never the right time to do anything. You’re in charge of your success, and you’ve got to grab it by the curly ones. The lottery is not going to make you have good luck and be rich; your mind is.

3. They’ve given up on numbing pain

Your successful friends are not trying to escape life by numbing the pain; they’re trying to discover the pain and then push through it like a bulldozer. Rather than sit at the pub and drink beer, indulge on carbs/salt and mingle with the other losers, they’re out there having meetings and making the stars align towards their vision.

They’re frustrated not at the world, but at how much harder they’ve got to work to make their dream come true. Instead of forgetting their failures by numbing the pain, they’re trying to etch their failures into their brain so they can ensure they learn from them, rather than be pushed into darkness by them.

4. They’ve given up on negative people

More than anything, your successful friends have left their loser friends behind. They’re no longer going to sit down and listen to people who have no idea about anything. Your successful friends avoid losers and treat them like they’re infected with malaria.

The only time your successful friends are willing to hang out with a loser is when that person has committed to turning their life around, and they’re asking for help. Your successful friends believe in helping others and sharing their advice.

Don’t let negative people tell you how the world is supposed to be. Find out for your yourself. Grab a piece of the map that guides your life from each of your successful friends. Combine all of their knowledge, and then stop consuming content like this. Then go out and execute on it.

5. They’ve given up on time wasting

Procrastinating is something your successful friends are really bad at. They have faith in what they can achieve and just get started on the goal. They treat life like every moment is precious, and they don’t want to waste a second of it.

When your successful friends are old and have gray hair one day, they want to be proud of how they spent their time. Ideally, they want to have changed the world in some significant way, and for their legacy to last generations to come.

When they enter a room, they want to be given a standing ovation for the way they have lived their life. They are humbled by the gift of wisdom that they first saw, and then embraced with every cell in their body.

6. They’ve given up only consuming

Rather than consume YouTube videos all day long, your successful friends have given up consuming for creating. They spend as much time as possible doing the “doing” instead of sitting there watching others have the success they’ve always dreamt of.

As a rule of thumb, spend more than 50% of your time creating and leave the rest of the time for consuming.

7. They’ve given up selfishness

Your successful friends put their vision, family and goals before everything else. They also are insanely focused on giving and serving others. Put simply: life is not just all about them.

8. They’ve given up wasting their money

Money is one of the key differences. Successful people pay themselves first and invest a large amount of their income. They also never forget to make giving money a habit, even when they don’t have much money to give. How much you give will determine how rich you become.

9. They’ve given up on not believing in people

You can’t build Rome if you don’t have people to help with the workload. Your successful friends believe in other people, and pick their “A Team” wisely. They see raw talent, and love to polish certain people into beautifully shining diamonds. Your successful friends want to create more leaders rather than be the sole leader.

Your successful friends can see through all the imperfections someone might have, and notice the light that is desperately trying to shine through. They love to help people transform, and they believe anyone can be successful.

10. They’ve given up on negative thoughts

“World War 3 is not being fought on the battlefield like prior wars; it’s being fought in our own minds” – Tim Denning

Your successful friends have oodles of discipline when it comes to their minds. It’s the center of their universe, and they know that all success starts in this one place. They train their mind every single day to avoid the default response of the brain that tells us negative things.

Rather than embrace their negative thoughts, your successful friends do everything they can to let these thoughts pass by like clouds in the sky. They’re an observer of their thoughts, and they choose to focus on the rare positive thoughts that come into their consciousness.

11. They’ve given up on BS

Life is full of so much meaningless nonsense. Your successful friends have made a conscious choice to give up on bullsh*t. Things that don’t serve them, like the news, are eliminated from their schedule. Meetings for the sake of meetings are frowned upon.

People who only serve their own interest and have disgustingly ugly egos are forgotten about, like last year’s bottom-of-the-ladder football team. Being successful is centered around not letting BS get in your way. You’ve got to sort through the dirt to find the golden nugget tasks that make you fulfilled.

Your BS tolerance has to be at an all-time low for you to be successful. Don’t put up with your own BS and other people’s BS anymore. Make a change for the better and do what successful people do: make a habit of permanently escaping it for the dream island called “meaning.” Now that’s an island we should all want to live on for the rest of our human existence on this beautiful planet we take for granted.

12. They’ve given up on being stuck in failure

“Failure is a cheap lesson in what’s not going to make you successful” – Tim Denning

Your successful friends don’t let failure stop them; they use it to become more. Failure allows your successful friends to learn things they didn’t know. Failure equals education rather than a negative experience that stops them in their tracks.

13. They’ve given up on being single

Now to love: your successful friends have figured out that being single is a myth. Their partner is the one who supports them through all of the challenging times, and reinforces their successful nature. Your successful friends know that they need a good man or woman to come home to.

Your successful friends know that love is what makes all of the madness of life worthwhile. Rather than avoiding love or postponing it, they make it their life mission to stop at nothing until they find it while they work away at their vision.

Being single is cool for about thirty seconds until you’re an old wrinkly person sitting in your chair and watching all the happy couples dance at the charity ball. You’ll have that sinking feeling that somehow you missed out. Somehow you got so busy with achieving that you forgot what we were put on this planet to do: Love.

14. They’ve given up on wearing a mask

Unlike the corporate politicians, your successful friends have taken the mask away. They’re happy to be vulnerable, and they share even the most personal of stories. Being fake is the ultimate crime to them, and letting who they are shine through is the only way they will live their life.

15. They’ve given up on people’s opinions of them

Your successful friends couldn’t give a rats a$$ what anyone thinks about them. They’re not trying to impress anyone other than themselves. That’s why they’re not afraid to have a go and fail.

16. They’ve given up on giving up

You’ve come a long way so far. The final thing your successful friends have given up is giving up. They’ve figured out that you can’t work three months on something and then say, “I’m not getting enough traction and quit.”

Your successful friends are not quitters. They push through all of the struggle and pain to earn the title of “successful.” It doesn’t come easy and what they do, more than any of the tips I’ve mentioned above, is NEVER GIVE UP!

Quitting is not an option, and they let their passion push through all the barriers. They’re insanely obsessed not to lose, and nothing is going to stop them. Could you adopt this mindset and then go on to join your successful friends on cloud nine where they all hang out after a day of winning at life? I believe you can. Do you?

What are you going to decide today to give up on so you can be successful?

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 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

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. vuphongsolar.com

    Oct 28, 2018 at 1:58 pm

    Hmm it looks like your website ate my first
    comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.
    I as well am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to the
    whole thing. Do you have any points for newbie blog writers?
    I’d certainly appreciate it.

  2. Celine White

    Jul 9, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    I disagree with the comments made about being single. I think relationships are great and I agree get someone who supports you. But all people are not the same and actually function better being single as the relationship can be distracting. Being single also pushes your limits as well.

  3. Zel

    May 19, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    I love this!

  4. Dr Joe

    Apr 27, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    Quite a collection of principles to live by, Tim.
    I particularly like the points about negative thoughts and giving up on negative people. Those two points are intertwined. Negative thoughts and negative people are energy suckers.

    Both drain all the positivity you had yesterday and today. Why bother with negative energy? Ditch it.
    I however, don’t agree with the coupling issue. Being single does not negatively impact on your chances of success. I know a lot of single people who have been successful. In fact, in a tenuous link to my first point, a partner with a negative mindset will be a drag on your ambitions. So, why bother? Having said that if you find a very supportive partner who is equally driven, then that’s another string to your ambitious bow.

  5. Jeanette Metz

    Apr 14, 2017 at 5:59 am

    Very truthful and straightforward post. All of these items are candid and real. #6 stands out to me as so many people are consuming what is on the internet while the truly successful people are the ones creating it. Great post!

    • Tim Denning

      Apr 15, 2017 at 11:02 am

      When someone says I have made things simple I take that as the ultimate compliment. Thank you so much Jeanette!

  6. Sanchita Pandey

    Apr 11, 2017 at 4:30 am

    Loved reading your articles. All valid points that can change our life for the better. Congratulations! You write simple yet truly informative articles..

    • Tim Denning

      Apr 15, 2017 at 11:02 am

      Sanchita thanks for always reading my stuff and been a supporter. Hope you can use a few of these tips in your own life. Best of luck.

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Success Advice

Why You Should Prefer Emails to Phone Calls if You Want to Be More Productive

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productivity tips
Image Credit: Unsplash

“Email” and “productivity” rarely go together in a sentence. Emails have been declared as one of our largest time wasters. A McKinsey report stated that people spend around 2.6 hours each day responding to emails. That’s 13 hours a week, 52 hours a month and over 60 days a year! Imagine what you could’ve achieved in 60 days!

Emails also negatively affect our cognitive resources. When we think of responding to them while doing other important tasks, it takes up to 23 minutes and 15 seconds after being disrupted to return to full attention to a current task. Imagine how much our cognition and productivity gets fractured when we get distracted over and over again.

Constant emailing also drains us mentally. And at the end of a day, we realize that we’ve achieved nothing worth mentioning. With a phone call, you can sort issues and solve problems quickly, right? In theory, you’re right. But we live in a practical world where many variables come into play.

Below are three variables that make phone calls adversely affect our productivity, and why emails are a better alternative:

1. Wasting Time

Most “five-minute conversations” can quickly turn into 35-minute calls because people ramble about irrelevant aspects. This derailment, several times a day, severely limits the limited time and energy you have for important tasks.

Emails, on the other hand, force writers to streamline their thoughts and stick to the point. Emails can save you plenty of time and energy because you avoid lengthy phone calls. The constant strife to keep your own emails short and crisp also makes you a clearer thinker, which rewards you in other aspects of your life.

“It’s better to waste money, than it is to waste time. You can always get more money.” – Hal Sparks

2. Inaccurate Responses

An unexpected phone call can catch me caught off guard on a topic. I might respond emotionally or give an answer that doesn’t do justice to what I want to share. In a world dominated by panic buttons and fire-fighting, these don’t just stress me out but the caller as well.

Emails give me flexibility to prepare a coherent response and share it when I’m satisfied. If I feel a surge of emotion, I can sleep over the thought and share a better (more rational) response the next day. Many page-long email responses to emails that upset me have turned into a simple “thank you for your email” the next day.

3. Constant Back-and-Forth

Phone calls often are ineffective to solve business problems. Accounting for multiple people, their views, their timelines… One phone call can quickly turn into three.

Emails are quicker and more effective than even conference calls. They let you communicate with multiple people at the same time. You can share information, assign tasks and give status updates while being as specific as possible.

You must be wondering, “What about back-and-forth emails then? Why do we waste precious time on them?” Yes, email has earned a bad rap. But it’s not because of the medium; it’s because we handle it ineffectively.

A Better Approach to Emailing

For most people, constantly refreshing the inbox is part of the daily to-do list. It keeps them busy and gives them a kick of dopamine – the feel-good chemical.

Ironically, this quest to remain busy makes people compromise on taking action that can move them forward. Using emails prudently, rewards you with plenty of energy and mind space to focus on tasks that truly matter.

Here are three steps that benefited me without succumbing to the side effects of email:

1. Checking Them Less

I check emails just 3 times a day – at 9:30 AM, 12:00 PM, and 4:30 PM. If you don’t have the luxury to do the same, you can start by checking your emails for ten minutes at the end of each hour. Most senders expect a response in a little over an hour. So they won’t mind a slightly delayed response. This gives you 45 undisturbed minutes each hour to work on your core tasks.

2. Responding Quickly

People delay responding to emails at least 37% of the time, which turns finding emails and responding to them into additional tasks that cost time and lead to attention residue. Most emails take under two minutes to respond. When you can respond to an email, do so instead of putting it off. This won’t just put your mind at peace, it’ll also reduce the number of “did-you-see-this” follow-up emails in your inbox.

“I do love email. Wherever possible I try to communicate asynchronously. I’m really good at email.” – Elon Musk

3. The If-Then Technique

The If-Then technique helps you address multiple scenarios at once. For instance, an email that says, “Can we meet at 3:00 PM?” becomes, “Can we meet at 3:00 PM? If not, please advise three other times that work for you.”

This technique is also effective when you want to suggest ideas or provide instructions on alternative steps. For example, “Here’s Plan A. If it doesn’t work, connect with [name] and ask for [specific information]. If you don’t get what you need, inform me.”

I’ll admit. This sounds like more work in the current moment, but it drastically cuts down the number of trail mails, confused correspondences, and fire-fighting instances that occur due to miscommunication.

The If-Then formula is the single most effective technique I’ve learned from The 4-Hour Workweek. All of this doesn’t mean that you abandon phone calls, In fact, it’s better to use the phone for sensitive topics or if an email conversation gets dragged. But remain mindful to not let phone calls waste your time.

If you want to pursue a meaningful life, place a premium on your time. Do things that create time for you to pursue meaningful actions and avoid doing what pulls you away from them. In the knowledge economy, this is the key to success.

Do you prefer email or talking on the phone? Share your thoughts below!

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Success Advice

4 Questions You Need to Answer Before You Reach the Level of Success You So Desperately Crave

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how to be happy and successful
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It’s normal that every person in the world wants to reach success and happiness. Yet, everyone defines both of these things differently. For some, success is making a whole bunch of money while for others this can be to become a good parent. Happiness is defined differently as well. Some people need to own a jet, boat and 3 cars to be truly happy, while others are happy just to be able to wake up in the morning.

It doesn’t matter how you define success and happiness, the truth is, you want to achieve them both. But, to be able to reach success and happiness, you need to answer 4 questions for yourself.

Here are the 4 questions you need to answer before you can achieve success and happiness:

1. Where Are You?

No, not geographically. It doesn’t matter where you live. What matters is where are you in life. Where are you in your way to success and happiness. Let’s say you are lost in the woods. You know exactly where you want to go, but you don’t know where you are. Even a map doesn’t help you with that.

The same is true in life. You may have a goal, but until you truly define where you are in the moment, you can’t move toward this goal. So, step 1 on your way to success and happiness is to define where you are right now.

“Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.” – Jim Rohn

2. Where Do You Want to Go?

When you define where you are in life, then you can think of where you want to be.

There’s this saying:  When you don´t know your final destination, you´ll end up somewhere you didn’t want to be. Until you don’t know clearly where you want to be in life and who you want to become, your life doesn’t have a true purpose.

Without purpose, there´s no motivation. Without motivation, there´s no energy. And without energy, you´re not living, you´re just existing. I am sure you know someone who looks like a walking corpse everytime you see them. Do you think this person lives a successful and happy life? Most likely not.

So, step 2 on your way to success and happiness is to clearly define your goal. What do you want to accomplish and who do you want to become?

3. Why Do You Want It?

Okay, you know the basics. You know where you are and where you want to be. But, as Rocky Balboa said, “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows.” And as you already know, life usually doesn’t go according to your plan. There will be hard times and to overcome those and not give up, you need to know WHY you do what you do.

You need to know WHY you want to accomplish your goals. When you answer this for yourself, you don’t struggle so much to motivate yourself. You will be motivated every minute of every day.

So, as a step 3, sit down and think of WHY you want to accomplish your goals. What’s the big purpose?

“We can change our lives. We can do, have, and be exactly what we wish.” – Tony Robbins

4. How Are You Going to Get There?

And finally, how are you going to get there? What’s your plan? You may know where you are, where you want to be and why you want to do it, but until you truly understand how you are going to get there, there won’t be much success and happiness in your life.

For example, you want to become a bodybuilder. You want to do it because you want to have big muscles and you want to look fit. But, you have no idea how to work out, how to build muscle and how to lose fat. Do you think, you´re going to be happy? No. As Tony Robbins says, “true happiness comes from progress.”

To make progress, you need to have a specific plan; how to get from point A (where you are) to point B (where you want to be). So, as a step 4, sit down and make a specific plan for how you’re going to get what you want in life.

In order to reach success and happiness, there are 4 questions you need to answer for yourself. Without answering them, you´re not going to  get ahead in life, you´re just bouncing around. Success and happiness never come from just bouncing around in life.

Good news is, that these questions are really simple. It won’t take much time to answer them. Just be aware of where you are and where you want to be. Don´t forget to understand why you are pursuing your dream and finally, how are you going to get what you want.

Answer these 4 simple questions today and you won’t struggle with finding success and happiness in life anymore.

Which one of the above 4 questions resonated most with you and why? Share your thoughts and ideas below!

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Success Advice

The Empathetic Heart: How The CHO of VaynerMedia Is Changing The Way We Work

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Claude Silver CHO of Vaynermedia
Image Credit: VaynerMedia

A month after I had joined LinkedIn back in July of 2018, I sent Claude Silver a connection request and began following her content. One day she made a post saying “Ask and you shall receive, what can I do to help you today?”. I commented on that post asking for a 5 minute interview and to my surprise she agreed by asking me to send her a message (I was given a full hour). This was the first example of pure kindness I witnessed from Claude.

The first message you see on Claude’s website is: People need people. People need people that listen and then do something. That message spoke to me on an emotional level, and I believe it will speak to you too. I wanted to know how she created such an amazing culture, what being a “culture carrier” meant, and how the employees at VaynerMedia have been changed by her work there.

A culture carrier in Claude’s own words is “someone who is aligned with our values, I can’t teach someone to be kind they have to already be kind. The process of developing a culture carrier takes about 6 months. It’s about bringing people together and having strong core values of kindness and empathy.”

Gary Vaynerchuk, co-founder of VaynerMedia, is often referred to as a combination of hustle and heart. With the hiring of Claude and the work she has accomplished within the company, it speaks to the level of empathy that can be felt throughout the entire operation.

Although business can be a challenging, tough, and often cut-throat terrain, by putting employees first and providing honest feedback the company has grown to include offices in New York, Chattanooga, Los Angeles and London, and continues to dominate the market.

Below we’ll see 3 different ways the CHO of VaynerMedia is changing the way people work:

1. By being unafraid to share her own story

Claude has been an influential part of breaking the stigma surrounding vulnerability in the business arena. Not only does she openly share her own story, but she sits down with employees to better understand their vulnerabilities and how to use characteristics that previously would have been considered weaknesses as strengths.

When asked what her biggest adventure to date was she replied “Having Shalom (her daughter). I have had an amazing life, I moved, worked hard, landed an amazing job and fell in love but it didn’t come without its challenges.”

Claude is openly gay and is living proof your sexual orientation doesn’t matter. Nothing matters but your character, your track record, and if you leave people a little better off than before you met them. From Claude, business leaders, employees and entrepreneurs can learn to be more open both on social media and in person, allowing them to build more meaningful relationships and connect on a deeper level. A deeper connection can mean more leverage but it also means a more lasting impact on the world.

“Everyone has something they can share. I’m not famous. I don’t have anything that would be newsworthy, but I have stories.” – Tafta Johnson Watson

2. Committing to a strong value system

VaynerMedia has some serious values for such a large company and those values are expected to be upheld by every employee and visitor. Values like kindness, empathy, honesty, hustle and the art of not complaining.

With Claude holding the title of Chief Heart Officer, she is the guiding light for others. When recruiting, she says she “takes the time to evaluate an individual’s talents but most importantly their own heart”.  

Gary Vaynerchuk is quoted as saying:”To me, there’s no debate that kindness is a strength. And it breaks my heart to know that so many people believe it’s a weakness. So many people are afraid that other people will take advantage of their kindness or make them feel “used.” But the truth is, those who take advantage of your kindness are weak on the inside. Feel bad for them, don’t let them make you feel bad about yourself“.

Both Claude and Gary teach aspiring entrepreneurs that it is okay to live with an open heart and that having the strength to commit to and live with a strong value system, will be a powerful tool during the hustle journey. It also allows you to go to bed at night actually liking the person that you are, nothing will kill a business faster than going to bed at night and hating yourself.

3. Listening with action

As mentioned above Claude’s slogan is: People need people. People need people that listen and then do something.  As a woman who wears many hats, she is also an Outward Bound Instructor, taking individuals on amazing adventures in the outdoors.

Taking action on any given day can mean a number of different things but it speaks to her own character and driving force that she is able to not only guide people through the world of office politics but also through the serene and sometimes challenging wilderness.

Claude cultivates an environment of trust by first offering individuals her own trust. It is a huge and vulnerable action that leads to a relationship of love – heart – and productivity. Listening as an action is something that has the power to change an entire organization from an unproductive, toxic environment to one that promotes creativity, passion, inclusion and positivity.

“Relationships are leverage. If you give value to someone else first, you have leverage.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

To get the truest sense of how Claude was changing the way people work, I asked her co-workers to tell me what working alongside Claude has done for them. Here is one of the answers I received:

“During my time working alongside Claude, I’ve really come to appreciate her example of being a good listener. As a society, we tend to praise the power of speaking. But Claude demonstrates on a daily basis that the most important thing everybody wants is to be heard.” – Steve Babcock, Chief Creative Officer VaynerMedia.

I tried looking for images of Claude on her website and I think it speaks to how focused she is on holding space for others, because I couldn’t find a single full sized image of her to use. I googled. Writing this piece has opened me up to evaluate my own values and the way I connect with people in my daily life.

From this article, it is my own hope that entrepreneurs come to the understanding that although tenacity and true grit are really important, the whole of what Claude represents is something to strive towards. The “soft” skills you develop are humongous strengths and to truly impact an entire organization.

What’s the last random act of kindness you did for someone? Share with us below!

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Success Advice

The 7 Secrets of High Achievers Revealed

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high achievers
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We all have goals in life, but very few of us ever learn to consciously set, work on and see our goals through. In our naturalness bias, we marvel at those who have set and reached their goals thinking they have some esoteric abilities that we don’t. We overlook that the final product is the result of a series of mistake-ridden, unrecorded pains. What if we could learn from the process, the habits and rituals of the high achievers? (more…)

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