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21 Reasons Why Successful People Meditate

Joel Brown (Founder of Addicted2Success.com)

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Russell Brand Meditation

A little over a year ago I was fortunate enough to learn Transcendental Meditation while I was staying in LA. I was very close minded about Meditation and felt that I was able to manage my day to day life just find without it. My fiance’ Charlene insisted that I give it a try, even if I just try it one time. So I did, and I am so happy I followed it through.

I have been meditating twice a day, ever since, and the benefits are  amazing and very evident when it comes to a positive change in mood/focus and energy.

I discovered this great article on Huffington Post about the benefits of meditation and thought that it would be a great read for all of those who are looking at getting a handle on their mental and physical balance.

 

1. It lowers stress – literally

Research published just last month in the journal Health Psychology shows that mindfulness is not only associated with feeling less stressed, it’s also linked with decreased levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

 

2. It makes your brain plastic

Quite literally, sustained meditation leads to something called neuroplasticity, which is defined as the brain’s ability to change, structurally and functionally, on the basis of environmental input.

For much of the last century, scientists believed that the brain essentially stopped changing after adulthood.

But research by University of Wisconsin neuroscientist Richard Davidson has shown that experienced meditators exhibit high levels of gamma wave activity and display an ability — continuing after the meditation session has attended — to not get stuck on a particular stimulus. That is, they’re automatically able to control their thoughts and reactiveness.

 

3. It lets us get to know our true selves

Mindfulness can help us see beyond those rose-colored glasses when we need to really objectively analyze ourselves.

A study in the journal Psychological Science shows that mindfulness can help us conquer common “blind spots,” which can amplify or diminish our own flaws beyond reality.

 

4. It can make your grades better

Researchers from the University of California, Santa Barbara, found that college students who were trained in mindfulness performed better on the verbal reasoning section of the GRE, and also experienced improvements in their working memory.

“Our results suggest that cultivating mindfulness is an effective and efficient technique for improving cognitive function, with widereaching consequences,” the researchers wrote in the Psychological Science study.

 

5. It improves performance and ability

The U.S. Marine Corps is in the process of seeing how mindfulness meditation training can improve troops’ performance and ability to handle — and recover from — stress.

 

6. It could help people with arthritis better handle stress

A 2011 study in the journal Annals of Rheumatic Disease shows that even though mindfulness training may not help to lessen pain for people with rheumatoid arthritis, it could help to lower their stress and fatigue.

 

7. It changes the brain in a protective way

University of Oregon researchers found that integrative body-mind training — which is a meditation technique — can actually result in brain changes that may be protective against mental illness. The meditation practice was linked with increased signaling connections in the brain, something called axonal density, as well as increased protective tissue (myelin) around the axons in the anterior cingulate brain region.

 

8. It works as the brain’s “volume knob”

Ever wondered why mindfulness meditation can make you feel more focused and zen? It’s because it helps the brain to have better control over processing pain and emotions, specifically through the control of cortical alpha rhythms (which play a role in what senses our minds are attentive to), according to a study in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

 

9. It makes music sound better

Mindfulness meditation improves our focused engagement in music, helping us to truly enjoy and experience what we’re listening to, according to a study in the journal Psychology of Music.

 

10. It has four elements that help us in different ways

The health benefits of mindfulness can be boiled down to four elements, according to a Perspectives on Psychological Science study: body awareness, self-awareness, regulation of emotion and regulation of attention.

 

11. It helps us even when we’re not actively practicing it

You don’t have to actually be meditating for it to still benefit your brain’s emotional processing. That’s the finding of a study in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, which shows that the amygdala brain region’s response to emotional stimuli is changed by meditation, and this effect occurs even when a person isn’t actively meditating.

 

The Positive Benefits of Meditation

 

12. It could make going through cancer just a little less stressful

Research from the Jefferson-Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine shows that mindfulness coupled with art therapy can successfully decrease stress symptoms among women with breast cancer. And not only that, but imaging tests show that it is actually linked with brain changes related to stress, emotions and reward.

 

13. It could help doctors be better at his/her job

Doctors, listen up: Mindfulness meditation could help you better care for your patients. Research from the University of Rochester Medical Center shows that doctors who are trained in mindfulness meditation are less judgmental, more self-aware and better listeners when it comes to interacting with patients.

 

14. It makes you a better person

Sure, we love all the things meditation does for us. But it could also benefit people we interact with, by making us more compassionate, according to a study in the journal Psychological Science.

Researchers from Northeastern and Harvard universities found that meditation is linked with more virtuous, “do-good” behavior.

 

15. It could help the elderly feel less lonely

Loneliness among seniors can be dangerous, in that it’s known to raise risks for a number of health conditions. But researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, found that mindfulness meditation helped to decrease these feelings of loneliness among the elderly, and boost their health by reducing the expression of genes linked with inflammation.

 

16. It lowers depression risk among pregnant women

As many as one in five pregnant women will experience depression, but those who are at especially high risk for depression may benefit from some mindfulness yoga.

“Research on the impact of mindfulness yoga on pregnant women is limited but encouraging,” study researcher Dr. Maria Muzik, M.D., an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Michigan, said in a statement. “This study builds the foundation for further research on how yoga may lead to an empowered and positive feeling toward pregnancy.”

 

17. It could make your health care bill a little lower

Not only will your health benefit from mindfulness meditation training, but your wallet might, too.

Research in the American Journal of Health Promotion shows that practicing Transcendental Meditation is linked with lower yearly doctor costs, compared with people who don’t practice the meditation technique.

 

18. It comes in handy during cold season

Aside from practicing good hygiene, mindfulness meditation and exercise could lessen the nasty effects of colds.

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Health found that people who engage in the practices miss fewer days of work from acute respiratory infections, and also experience a shortened duration and severity of symptoms.

 

19. It also lowers depression risk among teens

Teaching teens how to practice mindfulness through school programs could help them experience less stress, anxiety and depression, according to a study from the University of Leuven.

 

20. It helps you sleep better

We saved the best for last! A University of Utah study found that mindfulness training can not only help us better control our emotions and moods, but it can also help us sleep better at night.

“People who reported higher levels of mindfulness described better control over their emotions and behaviors during the day. In addition, higher mindfulness was associated with lower activation at bedtime, which could have benefits for sleep quality and future ability to manage stress,” study researcher Holly Rau said in a statement.

 

21. It supports your weight-loss goals

Trying to shed a few pounds to get to a healthier weight? Mindfulness could be your best friend, according to a survey of psychologists conducted by Consumer Reports and the American Psychological Association.

Mindfulness training was considered an “excellent” or “good” strategy for weight loss by seven out of 10 psychologists in the survey.

 

Meditation Quote

 

Article originally appeared on: Huffington Post

I am the the Founder of Addicted2Success.com and I am so grateful you're here to be part of this awesome community. I love connecting with people who have a passion for Entrepreneurship, Self Development & Achieving Success. I started this website with the intention of educating and inspiring likeminded people to always strive for success no matter what their circumstances. I'm proud to say through my podcast and through this website we have impacted over 100 million lives in the last 6 and a half years.

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Lucy Miller

    Feb 14, 2018 at 12:07 pm

    Even doing soliloquy is one way to meditate as long as you feel relaxed and stress-free.

  2. Corey Hinde

    Jun 12, 2016 at 7:41 am

    Good summary – I have really enjoyed the comments too which have some great concise tips on starting out. Thanks Joel

  3. Nigel Wraight

    Aug 5, 2015 at 7:11 am

    Great information, have only tried once since reading this (earlier today) and feel a little bit more in control. Running your own business can be over whelming at times and the opportunities which you created yesterday can be missed today because your head is all over the place. So far, much better than coffee.
    Great article,
    Thank you

  4. Louis

    Mar 14, 2015 at 12:30 am

    I meditate and have been for the last few months straight. I love it and actually love doing it in the morning. I started using something called ‘headspace’ and it is awesome for simple guided meditations.

    Thanks A2S!

  5. Naomi@business start ups

    Jun 23, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    HI Joel,

    There is nothing better than a good uninterrupted meditation session!

    All you need is 10 minute a day

    Great list. Most people really do underestimate the power of mediating. Start today if you don’t

    Naomi

  6. Ryan Biddulph

    Jun 21, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    Amen Joel! Everyday meditating for years here. At least 10 minutes, most days more. Thanks!

  7. Heiko Lade

    Jun 20, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    To start meditation is very easy. You don’t have to go to some place or club or group to start. You don’t have to wear coloured robes or get funny haircuts or wear beads. You don’t have to look at deities , breath in a special way or say stuff over and over in your mind. You don’t have to pay anyone to learn to meditate.

    If you are a type of person that can’t go on a diet without doing it with someone else or need the social interaction of belonging to a gym to get motivation to train etc , then yes , go and find some Guru or place where you can meditate together.

    But the reality is all you have to do is sit down on the floor cross legged and close your eyes. Keep your back straight but without forcing it too much. Try resting your hands on your knees. If you have back trouble etc, just sit in a chair. Don’t try to breath more deeply , just let it happen. Just let your thoughts come and go. With time you will find that you don’t have to forcefully try remove unwanted thoughts or day dreaming. Ideally aim for about 1 hour. I have meditative type trance music like Steve Roach in the background. I know the CD is about an hour long long so when the music stops, you session is finished. When you start you won’t be able to (well most people anyway) sit for that long without the discomfort getting to you, sore buttocks, numbness in feet and so forth.

    That is why they invented yoga and kung fu to toughen and stretch the body so the physical body could stay in the lotus meditation position longer. For those really wanting to get the most of meditation, sit in the lotus position. Anatomically, it switches blood supply from femoral artery and sends more blood to the brain…

    How do you know when you are really in a deep meditative state. Get one finger now and block one nostril and breath and then do the other side. You will find that one side is more blocked than the other. In 2 hours time or so, it will switch around. This is normal. When you have reached a certain point in meditation, you will feel both nostrils suddenly open up as if you have suddenly cleared your sinuses, At the same time you feel centred , clear, relaxed etc all at the same time, and your breathing will automatically just be relaxingly deep .

    If you need an excuse and motivation to start meditation, remember all the great success books, Think and Grow Rich, Dale Carnegie, and numerous other “successful” people all talk about focusing and visualising your goals, and developing concentrating, being decisive etc. You can tell yourself to ” concentrate better” or be “decisive” all that you want, but if your constitution and brain power is lacking, you will never get it. But luckily meditation will build that mental strength. Some people will say, I can’t meditate because my mind is too busy etc. That makes as much sense as saying, I won’t take up running because I am not fit or I won’t start saving money because I am broke.

    If you have enough strength to just make one decision, decide to give up 1 hour of TV or checking emails and meditate each night instead.

    • gagan

      Aug 5, 2014 at 2:55 pm

      u r an angel to describe it so beautifully and kindly 🙂

  8. Frank Ciccone

    Jun 17, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    I second Jazzel’s comment. What is the the best way to get started?

  9. Tyler McConville

    Jun 17, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    I meditate every night before I go to bed. I find it’s not about just letting go of the stress from your day and life, but to reconnect with yourself and have some nice one-on-one time.

  10. Koko

    Jun 17, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    I think it’s more than obvious that meditation, yoga, workout, and eating healthy foods can help you chase your vision x1000 times more than avoiding them. Everybody knows that, we all know the benefits, and yet we don’t do it. It’s like people don’t want happiness.

    Read this post, remember it, bookmark it, and wherever you feel anxious, sad, tired, just re-read it again and start meditating. It’s very easy sometimes.

  11. Jazzel Yousef

    Jun 17, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    how do I do it? How can I start?

    • Deane Alban

      Jun 17, 2014 at 3:50 pm

      Hi Jazzel, Here’s one way to meditate. Sit quietly and comfortably. Focus on your breath going in and out. As thoughts come – as they inevitably will – simply notice that you’ve had a thought, then get back to concentrating on your breath. Do for 10 minutes per day. Simple but not easy!

  12. Santiago Sánchez

    Jun 17, 2014 at 11:00 am

    Hello, where i can found a good start course to learn meditation?

    Thanks

  13. Joel Annesley

    Jun 17, 2014 at 8:05 am

    Hey Joel,

    Thanks for sharing, and also glad to hear you’re meditating daily! I’m a big believer in the power of meditation, especially for us entrepreneurs who can easily burn out if we don’t get that much needed down time to defrag our minds! I’ve found it’s made a huge difference for me too and certainly helps maintain a longer term focus… It’s totally worth the time investment!

    Thanks again 🙂

  14. Matthew Ozolins

    Jun 17, 2014 at 6:13 am

    Steve Jobs loved it.

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Success Advice

Are You Really a Leader? 3 Questions That Will Help You Find the Answer

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Being a leader is a lot of responsibility. People look to you to make decisions, direct them, provide support, and get results. A true leader is an amazing presence: a humble yet confident person who inspires those around them.

Unfortunately, a lot of people think they’re leaders, but really aren’t. In fact, according to talent scientist Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, 80% of people believe they are better-than-average leaders, which is objectively impossible. I see people claiming to be leaders all the time, but they’re all talk and no substance.

What is Leadership?

A lot of the people I talk to seem to think that you become a leader just by having a job managing people. That’s simply not true. Leadership is a balancing act that would make a master juggler impressed.

True leadership involves making sure that there is a happy balance between employees’ needs and the company’s needs. If only the employees’ needs are prioritized, the company won’t be profitable. Likewise, if only the company’s needs are considered, employees will leave.

True leaders have the self-awareness and strategic skills to understand this delicate balance and understand their role in creating those key compromises.

“The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.” – Ken Blanchard

Can You Be a True Leader?

Although there are a number of different leadership styles and theories out there, leadership boils down to a few essentials. Leaders need the emotional intelligence to navigate difficult and uncomfortable situations while being able to inspire others to take action. There’s a big difference between saying you’re a leader and acting like one.

If you want to increase your self-awareness and find out if you’re a leader others can rely on, start by asking yourself these three questions:

1. Do you want to be a leader?

It may seem unfair, but in my experience, the people who make the best leaders don’t necessarily want to be. You only want what you don’t have, and same rings true here. If you want to be a leader then you probably aren’t focusing on the right aspects of leadership.

True leaders are natural trail-blazers, but they don’t set out to lead anyone. People just happen to take note of their talents and confidence and look to the person for advice and guidance.

2. Do you have an original vision, or are you just power-hungry?

Why do you want to be a leader? Is it so you have the final say, or do you have actual goals you want to accomplish with a team? True leaders don’t feel threatened by others—they’re too busy getting stuff done. Leaders typically don’t need to test or confirm their power.

If you think good leaders give directions and just want others to listen, you’ve got it wrong. The best leaders often don’t need to speak a whole lot—they listen and observe, they think deeply, and when they do speak, it’s meaningful.

A true leader acts and others follow those actions because they trust and respect the leader. It isn’t about a power battle or an ego trip. Leaders have a true vision.  

3. Are you willing to do the dirty work?

You don’t get to be a leader if all you do is sit around, give orders, and let other people do the dirty work. Real leaders are humble, and no work is “beneath” them.

They want to know what’s going on at the ground level, and they want to help their people when they’re struggling. If you’re not willing to talk to a customer or back your employee up in a bad situation, you don’t get to call yourself a leader.

“Leadership is a choice, not a position.” – Stephen Covey

Becoming a Self-Aware Leader

How did you do? Maybe you’re not cut out to be a leader. Maybe you are. Maybe you need to work on a few things first.

Real talk: being a good leader isn’t easy. However, becoming a true leader benefits everyone around you and can be extremely fulfilling. If you’re more determined than ever to become the best, most self-aware leader you can be, that’s great news: we need more leaders out there.

What are the characteristics of a great leader in your opinion? Share with us below!

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Success Advice

Capitalize on the 80% of Business That You Are Missing Out on Right Now With This Method

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Most of us are aware of Pareto’s Principle, the 80/20 rule. This principle states that 20% of the input gives us 80% of the output. The top 20% of your salespeople account for 80% of your business. The top 20% skills you have, account for 80% of your success. The top 20% of our customers will give us 80% of business. When we use this principle it allows us to narrow in and focus on the most important clients who are in our target market.

You’ll find that most people tell you to focus on your top 20%. Here’s the big question: What do you do with the other 80% of people who you do not work with?

Most of us let this 80% of potential business fall to the wayside because they are not our target market and we have no system set up to still do some form of business with them. However, this is not the case for Tim Johnson.

Just last year, he generated $11 million dollars from REFERRALS! He is the master of building a referral based business. By sending clients that he cannot work with to his friends and referral partners, he is able to receive commission for the introduction and new business.

Imagine having the potential to make money from EVERY business conversation! Tim speaks to about 3,000 people per year, and if he cannot help them personally, he knows someone in his Global Renegade network who can.

The thing is, we can all do this if we are intentional about it. As Tim puts it, “We need to date our referral partners. We put so much time and effort into people that do nothing for our business, yet we do not build strong relationships and invest time into our referral partners.”

Tim is a speaker, author, real estate developer, and business coach who is well known around the world. He starts each business conversation by saying, “Is it okay with you that if at anytime during this conversation I realize that I am not the right fit for you, I introduce you to someone in my network who is?”

Each time he is met with a resounding YES! Who would say no to this offer? This strong referral network has built Tim a net worth of over $4 million dollars. Tim uses a framework called SOLD and if you use this framework you can build a strong referral network as well.

Below, is the exact SOLD framework Tim uses:

Strategy

According to Tim, everything is mathematical. He approaches each conversation looking to learn and serve. When you approach conversations in this way, you focus on relationship building instead of feeling like you have an agenda to do business.

Ask great questions here and give the person you’re speaking with an opportunity to share their situation and what they are going through. Tim always asks, “What do you need and how can I serve you?” This is a powerful question that most people neglect and it’s the reason they are not experiencing as much sales success as Tim.

“Here is a powerful yet simple rule. Always give people more than they expect to get.” – Nelson Boswell

Objections = Opportunities

As the old wise quote states, “We were given two ears and one mouth for a reason.” This means we need to speak less and listen more.

Too often, people pitch and become salesy instead of being human and having a conversation where they are listening to the person they are sitting with. When you are listening, you give yourself the opportunity to learn their problems, obstacles, and needs in order to identify new opportunities.

Leverage referral partners

As you are gathering information you will identify if you are able to provide the solution that your prospect needs. If you cannot, it is time to leverage your referral partners and make the introduction.

By starting out the conversation saying, “Is it okay with you that if at anytime during our conversation I realize that I am not the right fit that I introduce you to someone who is?” you have already pre-framed yourself appropriately to leverage your referral network if you cannot provide a solution that is needed.

Your prospect will be very appreciative for your honesty and will trust your judgement. You get a lot of brownie points when you have the integrity to say that you are not the right fit, but let me introduce you to someone who is.

“People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message. A trusted referral is the Holy Grail of advertising.” – Mark Zuckerberg

Duplicate

Rinse and repeat this process. Having conversations in this way will enable you to work with the top 20% of people you speak with, and still provide value to the other 80%. In this way, every conversation opens up the opportunity for new business.

SOLD is business growth through asking great questions, active listening, and leveraging referral partners. Start to capitalize on the 80% of business that you are missing out on by referring these people to other service providers in your network.

If you think about providing value in service of others first, then you can leverage the SOLD framework for increased revenue in your business by simply being a connector and receiving commissions of 10%-25%.

Do you have referral partners in your business? Would love to hear your experience in the comment section below!

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Success Advice

A 5 Step Morning Routine That Leads to Explosive Growth and Success

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Have you ever noticed that how your day starts can dictate how the rest of your day goes? If you start your day on a positive and productive note, you feel a sense of excitement, pride, and accomplishment. And then those feelings power you through the rest of your day. You knock things off your to do list and find yourself in a great mood. Yet, when you wake up later than you were planning on, it can throw your entire day off. So make a decision to take control of your mornings and come up with a routine that will set you up for success.

When trying to construct a morning routine that fits your life, one thing to take into consideration is how important the night before is. Most people with winning morning routines, also take nighttime rituals into consideration. Before going to bed each night, plan your next day out in a journal, so you know exactly what you’re getting into. Nothing is worse than going into a day without a plan, and that’s a great way to lose control of the day.

Here’s a list of some of the most important things you can start each morning with to get off to a good start:

Step 1: Hydration: The elixir of life

One of the most important things you can do each morning is start your day off by drinking at least one glass of water. After 6-8 hours without any water, it’s essential to hydrate your body when you wake up and get it ready for the day. Your body is composed of mostly water and a lot of times, the importance of water is overlooked. Dehydration can lead to fatigue and headaches, so starting the day with water can help prevent dehydration. Because of that, staying hydrated means more energy and a lot of times, clearer thinking. There are a lot of health benefits to staying hydrated.

“Your day is pretty much formed by how you spend your first hour. Check your thoughts, attitude and heart.”

Step 2: Priming: The key to self transformation

Anthony (Tony) Robbins, one of the biggest motivational speakers, always talks about the importance of starting your day with priming. His priming exercise combines two important elements; gratitude and visualization. The priming exercise is about 15 minutes and the purpose is to get you into a good mental and physical state before you start your day. First, Tony asks you to think about 3 things that you are grateful for, and to step into those memories like you are there.

Next, he asks you to think of three things that you want to accomplish (short or long term). The purpose of these exercises is simple; start your day with gratitude and visualizing yourself accomplishing what you want to accomplish, whether it’s a short term goal or a long term goal.

If you don’t want to do that exact exercise, you can also do a combination of meditation and visualization. There are a lot of guided audios that you can use to help you get the most out of meditation and visualization.

Step 3: Exercise/Movement – Jumpstart your brain and your body

Exercise has massive benefits, both physical and mental. Starting your day with even 30 minutes of movement can give you increased energy and endorphins. It’s also a great way to start your day on a positive note. Think of how amazing you feel after you finish a good workout.

Step 4: Journaling – Create your future and write your goals into existence

Everyone has their own way of journaling; you need to find what works best for you. Some things you can do while journaling are making a list of 3-5 things you are grateful for, writing your goals down (daily or long term goals), or setting your intention for the day. Journaling can make you more productive as well as remind you what your goals/ targets are so that you stay focused on what you need to get done.

“Your morning routine generates a 10x return for good or for bad. Make it good.” – Todd Stocker

Step 5: Attack the day- conquer your biggest task that you have to do first thing

A lot of people tend to procrastinate on their most important task of the day. They’ll find any excuse to push it off. “Later” becomes “tomorrow.” And then somehow, the end of the week rolls around and the task still isn’t complete. However, if you prioritize your most important task and get it accomplished first thing in the morning, it gives you a sense of discipline and accomplishment.

Starting your morning with a routine can help transform your day. It can help you build new habits but even if you start with 2 or 3 of these, you will begin to see a big difference in how your days go. If you already have a morning routine but you are missing some of these steps, test them out and see what kind of an impact they have on your days.

What is your morning routine like? Comment below!

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Success Advice

Here’s Why Goals Are for Losers

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If you enter the word “goals” into your browser, more than 1.6 BILLION search results pop up. Safe to say, there’s no shortage of goal setting advice as a stepping-stone on your path to success. Yet, there’s a contrarian willing to risk criticism, challenge the status quo, and debunk goals at face value.

In his book “How To Fail At Almost Everything And Still Win Big,” Scott Adams is an author, cartoonist and Periscope streamer, who sees goals differently than most everyone else. Adams observes that if you study people who succeed, you’ll see most of them follow systems, not goals.

Goals vs. Systems

Adams defines goals as “reach it and be done objectives.” Whereas systems, is what you do on a regular basis with an expectation that you’ll build on and improve your chances of success.

In Adams book, he says he didn’t have a goal to write it by a specific date. He had a “process” that included blogging daily (for practice) believing this consistency would lead him down a path to where he wanted to be.

Other examples:

  • dieting to lose 10 lbs. is a goal. Learning to eat right, and doing so on a regular basis, is a system.
  • making a million dollars is a goal. Being a serial entrepreneur, is system.
  • running a marathon in under 3 hours is a goal. Exercising daily, is a system (forming a habit).

Could goals create tunnel vision? The problem with goals, says Adams, is that they’re laser-focused and could block awareness of other opportunities around you. If you have your head down pursuing a goal, you may miss better opportunities that could potentially advance you, perhaps even faster.

In contrast, says Adams, systems are flexible, leaving you wide open for new and better ways of doing things. “A system, performed daily, is moving you from a place with low odds to a place with better odds.”

Adams concedes, goals aren’t completely off the table. Goals are useful in “simple” situations that are “narrow, simplistic and have predictable pursuits.” They’re ok for short tasks with a clear purpose.

Two examples of different goals would be an “ok goal,” which would be entering a contest, while a “great goal” is to win. “It’s simple, it’s near term, it’s manageable.” Nonetheless, for success, goals are terrible for long-term endeavors like personal health and career success goals.

So are goals for losers? Adams says goals are psychological. If you haven’t reached your goal, you could be in a perpetual state of frustration and disappointment, possibly feeling like a failure.

Goals proceed with blinders on, expecting certain results at the end of weeks, months or years. Then once you’ve achieved that goal, what are you prepared for? Whereas systems are skill-based that add up, and can serve you on future projects.

“Never settle for average.” – Steve Jobs

Talent Stacking for Success

Talent stacking is the process of increasing your personal value by “layering together several mediocre skills” until you have something unique.

Although Adams says most of his undertakings can be considered failures from the standpoint of goals, they’re actually successes from the standpoint of systems. Gaining transferable skills has allowed him to achieve success in the long run.

In a Wall Street Journal interview, Adams shares how he stacked his talents of “mediocre artist, an ok writer, somewhat humorous, and some business knowledge” to create the wildly successful comic strip Dilbert (seen online in 2,000 newspapers, 65 countries in 25 languages) and substantial economic value.

Previously we outlined the four principles of success. Here, we add talent stacking, allowing you to capitalize on the array of opportunities that come your way. Adams recommends choosing to acquire ‘talents’ that build assets you can apply to future projects.

The assets you build will lead you down the path of eventual success over time. In today’s fast-paced world, Adams feels we’d all benefit from adding t­he following skills to your main talent:

  • public speaking
  • persuasion (to understand psychology)
  • some business sense
  • some technology sense

Adams recommends to not worry about the end result. Focus on daily execution and over time, there will be a payday.

Passion will follow

Ask a billionaire what’s the most important element to success and he’ll likely say “passion.” Adams disagrees. He says someone’s passion may not be realistic. In addition, he feels you can develop passion with success.

Adams’ observation is that people who have a good business plan probably do well. As things start working, and you start making money, suddenly passion appears!

The crossroads of luck

Adams believes the flexibility of systems increases your odds of luck finding you. By adding to your talent stack, more opportunities cross your path, with success following close behind.

There are many kids today with better programming skills than Bill Gates had. Yet, Gates was born in a time in history where he had access to computers when other people didn’t, and that luck has made him billions and billions of dollars. Adams says go where the luck is, tune yourself into the vibration of luck and increase the chances you’ll get it.

“Success is luck multiplied by the skills you obtain” – Scott Adams

So there you have it, systems are better if you have a complicated situation and a long time frame. Goals are fine if you have a simple situation and a short time frame.

The thread that ties this highly recommended book together is that if you develop good systems and follow them daily, then your efforts eventually overlap with luck.

What do you think about goals now? Looking forward to hearing from you in the comments area below.

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Life

How You Can Effectively Achieve Your Goals by Using the Puzzle Analogy

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I was building a 500 piece puzzle the other day with many tiny little pieces. When I opened the box, I was completely overwhelmed. There were so many pieces and many of them were very similar in color. I took a breath and thought “just do one piece at a time”. I knew that I had to come up with a plan and organize the pieces into groups before I got started. This helped me to focus and take away some of the overwhelming feelings that were coming up. I came up with a plan and executed that plan. (more…)

Meghan Olsgard is the creator and writer of www.infinitesoulblueprint.com where she writes articles about self-empowerment and creating a fulfilling life. She shares her personal experiences and the obstacles she has overcame to help and inspire others to do the same. You can get more information at her website or follow her on Facebook.

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Lucy Miller

    Feb 14, 2018 at 12:07 pm

    Even doing soliloquy is one way to meditate as long as you feel relaxed and stress-free.

  2. Corey Hinde

    Jun 12, 2016 at 7:41 am

    Good summary – I have really enjoyed the comments too which have some great concise tips on starting out. Thanks Joel

  3. Nigel Wraight

    Aug 5, 2015 at 7:11 am

    Great information, have only tried once since reading this (earlier today) and feel a little bit more in control. Running your own business can be over whelming at times and the opportunities which you created yesterday can be missed today because your head is all over the place. So far, much better than coffee.
    Great article,
    Thank you

  4. Louis

    Mar 14, 2015 at 12:30 am

    I meditate and have been for the last few months straight. I love it and actually love doing it in the morning. I started using something called ‘headspace’ and it is awesome for simple guided meditations.

    Thanks A2S!

  5. Naomi@business start ups

    Jun 23, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    HI Joel,

    There is nothing better than a good uninterrupted meditation session!

    All you need is 10 minute a day

    Great list. Most people really do underestimate the power of mediating. Start today if you don’t

    Naomi

  6. Ryan Biddulph

    Jun 21, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    Amen Joel! Everyday meditating for years here. At least 10 minutes, most days more. Thanks!

  7. Heiko Lade

    Jun 20, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    To start meditation is very easy. You don’t have to go to some place or club or group to start. You don’t have to wear coloured robes or get funny haircuts or wear beads. You don’t have to look at deities , breath in a special way or say stuff over and over in your mind. You don’t have to pay anyone to learn to meditate.

    If you are a type of person that can’t go on a diet without doing it with someone else or need the social interaction of belonging to a gym to get motivation to train etc , then yes , go and find some Guru or place where you can meditate together.

    But the reality is all you have to do is sit down on the floor cross legged and close your eyes. Keep your back straight but without forcing it too much. Try resting your hands on your knees. If you have back trouble etc, just sit in a chair. Don’t try to breath more deeply , just let it happen. Just let your thoughts come and go. With time you will find that you don’t have to forcefully try remove unwanted thoughts or day dreaming. Ideally aim for about 1 hour. I have meditative type trance music like Steve Roach in the background. I know the CD is about an hour long long so when the music stops, you session is finished. When you start you won’t be able to (well most people anyway) sit for that long without the discomfort getting to you, sore buttocks, numbness in feet and so forth.

    That is why they invented yoga and kung fu to toughen and stretch the body so the physical body could stay in the lotus meditation position longer. For those really wanting to get the most of meditation, sit in the lotus position. Anatomically, it switches blood supply from femoral artery and sends more blood to the brain…

    How do you know when you are really in a deep meditative state. Get one finger now and block one nostril and breath and then do the other side. You will find that one side is more blocked than the other. In 2 hours time or so, it will switch around. This is normal. When you have reached a certain point in meditation, you will feel both nostrils suddenly open up as if you have suddenly cleared your sinuses, At the same time you feel centred , clear, relaxed etc all at the same time, and your breathing will automatically just be relaxingly deep .

    If you need an excuse and motivation to start meditation, remember all the great success books, Think and Grow Rich, Dale Carnegie, and numerous other “successful” people all talk about focusing and visualising your goals, and developing concentrating, being decisive etc. You can tell yourself to ” concentrate better” or be “decisive” all that you want, but if your constitution and brain power is lacking, you will never get it. But luckily meditation will build that mental strength. Some people will say, I can’t meditate because my mind is too busy etc. That makes as much sense as saying, I won’t take up running because I am not fit or I won’t start saving money because I am broke.

    If you have enough strength to just make one decision, decide to give up 1 hour of TV or checking emails and meditate each night instead.

    • gagan

      Aug 5, 2014 at 2:55 pm

      u r an angel to describe it so beautifully and kindly 🙂

  8. Frank Ciccone

    Jun 17, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    I second Jazzel’s comment. What is the the best way to get started?

  9. Tyler McConville

    Jun 17, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    I meditate every night before I go to bed. I find it’s not about just letting go of the stress from your day and life, but to reconnect with yourself and have some nice one-on-one time.

  10. Koko

    Jun 17, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    I think it’s more than obvious that meditation, yoga, workout, and eating healthy foods can help you chase your vision x1000 times more than avoiding them. Everybody knows that, we all know the benefits, and yet we don’t do it. It’s like people don’t want happiness.

    Read this post, remember it, bookmark it, and wherever you feel anxious, sad, tired, just re-read it again and start meditating. It’s very easy sometimes.

  11. Jazzel Yousef

    Jun 17, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    how do I do it? How can I start?

    • Deane Alban

      Jun 17, 2014 at 3:50 pm

      Hi Jazzel, Here’s one way to meditate. Sit quietly and comfortably. Focus on your breath going in and out. As thoughts come – as they inevitably will – simply notice that you’ve had a thought, then get back to concentrating on your breath. Do for 10 minutes per day. Simple but not easy!

  12. Santiago Sánchez

    Jun 17, 2014 at 11:00 am

    Hello, where i can found a good start course to learn meditation?

    Thanks

  13. Joel Annesley

    Jun 17, 2014 at 8:05 am

    Hey Joel,

    Thanks for sharing, and also glad to hear you’re meditating daily! I’m a big believer in the power of meditation, especially for us entrepreneurs who can easily burn out if we don’t get that much needed down time to defrag our minds! I’ve found it’s made a huge difference for me too and certainly helps maintain a longer term focus… It’s totally worth the time investment!

    Thanks again 🙂

  14. Matthew Ozolins

    Jun 17, 2014 at 6:13 am

    Steve Jobs loved it.

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Success Advice

Are You Really a Leader? 3 Questions That Will Help You Find the Answer

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leadership
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Being a leader is a lot of responsibility. People look to you to make decisions, direct them, provide support, and get results. A true leader is an amazing presence: a humble yet confident person who inspires those around them.

Unfortunately, a lot of people think they’re leaders, but really aren’t. In fact, according to talent scientist Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, 80% of people believe they are better-than-average leaders, which is objectively impossible. I see people claiming to be leaders all the time, but they’re all talk and no substance.

What is Leadership?

A lot of the people I talk to seem to think that you become a leader just by having a job managing people. That’s simply not true. Leadership is a balancing act that would make a master juggler impressed.

True leadership involves making sure that there is a happy balance between employees’ needs and the company’s needs. If only the employees’ needs are prioritized, the company won’t be profitable. Likewise, if only the company’s needs are considered, employees will leave.

True leaders have the self-awareness and strategic skills to understand this delicate balance and understand their role in creating those key compromises.

“The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.” – Ken Blanchard

Can You Be a True Leader?

Although there are a number of different leadership styles and theories out there, leadership boils down to a few essentials. Leaders need the emotional intelligence to navigate difficult and uncomfortable situations while being able to inspire others to take action. There’s a big difference between saying you’re a leader and acting like one.

If you want to increase your self-awareness and find out if you’re a leader others can rely on, start by asking yourself these three questions:

1. Do you want to be a leader?

It may seem unfair, but in my experience, the people who make the best leaders don’t necessarily want to be. You only want what you don’t have, and same rings true here. If you want to be a leader then you probably aren’t focusing on the right aspects of leadership.

True leaders are natural trail-blazers, but they don’t set out to lead anyone. People just happen to take note of their talents and confidence and look to the person for advice and guidance.

2. Do you have an original vision, or are you just power-hungry?

Why do you want to be a leader? Is it so you have the final say, or do you have actual goals you want to accomplish with a team? True leaders don’t feel threatened by others—they’re too busy getting stuff done. Leaders typically don’t need to test or confirm their power.

If you think good leaders give directions and just want others to listen, you’ve got it wrong. The best leaders often don’t need to speak a whole lot—they listen and observe, they think deeply, and when they do speak, it’s meaningful.

A true leader acts and others follow those actions because they trust and respect the leader. It isn’t about a power battle or an ego trip. Leaders have a true vision.  

3. Are you willing to do the dirty work?

You don’t get to be a leader if all you do is sit around, give orders, and let other people do the dirty work. Real leaders are humble, and no work is “beneath” them.

They want to know what’s going on at the ground level, and they want to help their people when they’re struggling. If you’re not willing to talk to a customer or back your employee up in a bad situation, you don’t get to call yourself a leader.

“Leadership is a choice, not a position.” – Stephen Covey

Becoming a Self-Aware Leader

How did you do? Maybe you’re not cut out to be a leader. Maybe you are. Maybe you need to work on a few things first.

Real talk: being a good leader isn’t easy. However, becoming a true leader benefits everyone around you and can be extremely fulfilling. If you’re more determined than ever to become the best, most self-aware leader you can be, that’s great news: we need more leaders out there.

What are the characteristics of a great leader in your opinion? Share with us below!

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Success Advice

Capitalize on the 80% of Business That You Are Missing Out on Right Now With This Method

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Most of us are aware of Pareto’s Principle, the 80/20 rule. This principle states that 20% of the input gives us 80% of the output. The top 20% of your salespeople account for 80% of your business. The top 20% skills you have, account for 80% of your success. The top 20% of our customers will give us 80% of business. When we use this principle it allows us to narrow in and focus on the most important clients who are in our target market.

You’ll find that most people tell you to focus on your top 20%. Here’s the big question: What do you do with the other 80% of people who you do not work with?

Most of us let this 80% of potential business fall to the wayside because they are not our target market and we have no system set up to still do some form of business with them. However, this is not the case for Tim Johnson.

Just last year, he generated $11 million dollars from REFERRALS! He is the master of building a referral based business. By sending clients that he cannot work with to his friends and referral partners, he is able to receive commission for the introduction and new business.

Imagine having the potential to make money from EVERY business conversation! Tim speaks to about 3,000 people per year, and if he cannot help them personally, he knows someone in his Global Renegade network who can.

The thing is, we can all do this if we are intentional about it. As Tim puts it, “We need to date our referral partners. We put so much time and effort into people that do nothing for our business, yet we do not build strong relationships and invest time into our referral partners.”

Tim is a speaker, author, real estate developer, and business coach who is well known around the world. He starts each business conversation by saying, “Is it okay with you that if at anytime during this conversation I realize that I am not the right fit for you, I introduce you to someone in my network who is?”

Each time he is met with a resounding YES! Who would say no to this offer? This strong referral network has built Tim a net worth of over $4 million dollars. Tim uses a framework called SOLD and if you use this framework you can build a strong referral network as well.

Below, is the exact SOLD framework Tim uses:

Strategy

According to Tim, everything is mathematical. He approaches each conversation looking to learn and serve. When you approach conversations in this way, you focus on relationship building instead of feeling like you have an agenda to do business.

Ask great questions here and give the person you’re speaking with an opportunity to share their situation and what they are going through. Tim always asks, “What do you need and how can I serve you?” This is a powerful question that most people neglect and it’s the reason they are not experiencing as much sales success as Tim.

“Here is a powerful yet simple rule. Always give people more than they expect to get.” – Nelson Boswell

Objections = Opportunities

As the old wise quote states, “We were given two ears and one mouth for a reason.” This means we need to speak less and listen more.

Too often, people pitch and become salesy instead of being human and having a conversation where they are listening to the person they are sitting with. When you are listening, you give yourself the opportunity to learn their problems, obstacles, and needs in order to identify new opportunities.

Leverage referral partners

As you are gathering information you will identify if you are able to provide the solution that your prospect needs. If you cannot, it is time to leverage your referral partners and make the introduction.

By starting out the conversation saying, “Is it okay with you that if at anytime during our conversation I realize that I am not the right fit that I introduce you to someone who is?” you have already pre-framed yourself appropriately to leverage your referral network if you cannot provide a solution that is needed.

Your prospect will be very appreciative for your honesty and will trust your judgement. You get a lot of brownie points when you have the integrity to say that you are not the right fit, but let me introduce you to someone who is.

“People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message. A trusted referral is the Holy Grail of advertising.” – Mark Zuckerberg

Duplicate

Rinse and repeat this process. Having conversations in this way will enable you to work with the top 20% of people you speak with, and still provide value to the other 80%. In this way, every conversation opens up the opportunity for new business.

SOLD is business growth through asking great questions, active listening, and leveraging referral partners. Start to capitalize on the 80% of business that you are missing out on by referring these people to other service providers in your network.

If you think about providing value in service of others first, then you can leverage the SOLD framework for increased revenue in your business by simply being a connector and receiving commissions of 10%-25%.

Do you have referral partners in your business? Would love to hear your experience in the comment section below!

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A 5 Step Morning Routine That Leads to Explosive Growth and Success

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Have you ever noticed that how your day starts can dictate how the rest of your day goes? If you start your day on a positive and productive note, you feel a sense of excitement, pride, and accomplishment. And then those feelings power you through the rest of your day. You knock things off your to do list and find yourself in a great mood. Yet, when you wake up later than you were planning on, it can throw your entire day off. So make a decision to take control of your mornings and come up with a routine that will set you up for success.

When trying to construct a morning routine that fits your life, one thing to take into consideration is how important the night before is. Most people with winning morning routines, also take nighttime rituals into consideration. Before going to bed each night, plan your next day out in a journal, so you know exactly what you’re getting into. Nothing is worse than going into a day without a plan, and that’s a great way to lose control of the day.

Here’s a list of some of the most important things you can start each morning with to get off to a good start:

Step 1: Hydration: The elixir of life

One of the most important things you can do each morning is start your day off by drinking at least one glass of water. After 6-8 hours without any water, it’s essential to hydrate your body when you wake up and get it ready for the day. Your body is composed of mostly water and a lot of times, the importance of water is overlooked. Dehydration can lead to fatigue and headaches, so starting the day with water can help prevent dehydration. Because of that, staying hydrated means more energy and a lot of times, clearer thinking. There are a lot of health benefits to staying hydrated.

“Your day is pretty much formed by how you spend your first hour. Check your thoughts, attitude and heart.”

Step 2: Priming: The key to self transformation

Anthony (Tony) Robbins, one of the biggest motivational speakers, always talks about the importance of starting your day with priming. His priming exercise combines two important elements; gratitude and visualization. The priming exercise is about 15 minutes and the purpose is to get you into a good mental and physical state before you start your day. First, Tony asks you to think about 3 things that you are grateful for, and to step into those memories like you are there.

Next, he asks you to think of three things that you want to accomplish (short or long term). The purpose of these exercises is simple; start your day with gratitude and visualizing yourself accomplishing what you want to accomplish, whether it’s a short term goal or a long term goal.

If you don’t want to do that exact exercise, you can also do a combination of meditation and visualization. There are a lot of guided audios that you can use to help you get the most out of meditation and visualization.

Step 3: Exercise/Movement – Jumpstart your brain and your body

Exercise has massive benefits, both physical and mental. Starting your day with even 30 minutes of movement can give you increased energy and endorphins. It’s also a great way to start your day on a positive note. Think of how amazing you feel after you finish a good workout.

Step 4: Journaling – Create your future and write your goals into existence

Everyone has their own way of journaling; you need to find what works best for you. Some things you can do while journaling are making a list of 3-5 things you are grateful for, writing your goals down (daily or long term goals), or setting your intention for the day. Journaling can make you more productive as well as remind you what your goals/ targets are so that you stay focused on what you need to get done.

“Your morning routine generates a 10x return for good or for bad. Make it good.” – Todd Stocker

Step 5: Attack the day- conquer your biggest task that you have to do first thing

A lot of people tend to procrastinate on their most important task of the day. They’ll find any excuse to push it off. “Later” becomes “tomorrow.” And then somehow, the end of the week rolls around and the task still isn’t complete. However, if you prioritize your most important task and get it accomplished first thing in the morning, it gives you a sense of discipline and accomplishment.

Starting your morning with a routine can help transform your day. It can help you build new habits but even if you start with 2 or 3 of these, you will begin to see a big difference in how your days go. If you already have a morning routine but you are missing some of these steps, test them out and see what kind of an impact they have on your days.

What is your morning routine like? Comment below!

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Success Advice

Here’s Why Goals Are for Losers

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If you enter the word “goals” into your browser, more than 1.6 BILLION search results pop up. Safe to say, there’s no shortage of goal setting advice as a stepping-stone on your path to success. Yet, there’s a contrarian willing to risk criticism, challenge the status quo, and debunk goals at face value.

In his book “How To Fail At Almost Everything And Still Win Big,” Scott Adams is an author, cartoonist and Periscope streamer, who sees goals differently than most everyone else. Adams observes that if you study people who succeed, you’ll see most of them follow systems, not goals.

Goals vs. Systems

Adams defines goals as “reach it and be done objectives.” Whereas systems, is what you do on a regular basis with an expectation that you’ll build on and improve your chances of success.

In Adams book, he says he didn’t have a goal to write it by a specific date. He had a “process” that included blogging daily (for practice) believing this consistency would lead him down a path to where he wanted to be.

Other examples:

  • dieting to lose 10 lbs. is a goal. Learning to eat right, and doing so on a regular basis, is a system.
  • making a million dollars is a goal. Being a serial entrepreneur, is system.
  • running a marathon in under 3 hours is a goal. Exercising daily, is a system (forming a habit).

Could goals create tunnel vision? The problem with goals, says Adams, is that they’re laser-focused and could block awareness of other opportunities around you. If you have your head down pursuing a goal, you may miss better opportunities that could potentially advance you, perhaps even faster.

In contrast, says Adams, systems are flexible, leaving you wide open for new and better ways of doing things. “A system, performed daily, is moving you from a place with low odds to a place with better odds.”

Adams concedes, goals aren’t completely off the table. Goals are useful in “simple” situations that are “narrow, simplistic and have predictable pursuits.” They’re ok for short tasks with a clear purpose.

Two examples of different goals would be an “ok goal,” which would be entering a contest, while a “great goal” is to win. “It’s simple, it’s near term, it’s manageable.” Nonetheless, for success, goals are terrible for long-term endeavors like personal health and career success goals.

So are goals for losers? Adams says goals are psychological. If you haven’t reached your goal, you could be in a perpetual state of frustration and disappointment, possibly feeling like a failure.

Goals proceed with blinders on, expecting certain results at the end of weeks, months or years. Then once you’ve achieved that goal, what are you prepared for? Whereas systems are skill-based that add up, and can serve you on future projects.

“Never settle for average.” – Steve Jobs

Talent Stacking for Success

Talent stacking is the process of increasing your personal value by “layering together several mediocre skills” until you have something unique.

Although Adams says most of his undertakings can be considered failures from the standpoint of goals, they’re actually successes from the standpoint of systems. Gaining transferable skills has allowed him to achieve success in the long run.

In a Wall Street Journal interview, Adams shares how he stacked his talents of “mediocre artist, an ok writer, somewhat humorous, and some business knowledge” to create the wildly successful comic strip Dilbert (seen online in 2,000 newspapers, 65 countries in 25 languages) and substantial economic value.

Previously we outlined the four principles of success. Here, we add talent stacking, allowing you to capitalize on the array of opportunities that come your way. Adams recommends choosing to acquire ‘talents’ that build assets you can apply to future projects.

The assets you build will lead you down the path of eventual success over time. In today’s fast-paced world, Adams feels we’d all benefit from adding t­he following skills to your main talent:

  • public speaking
  • persuasion (to understand psychology)
  • some business sense
  • some technology sense

Adams recommends to not worry about the end result. Focus on daily execution and over time, there will be a payday.

Passion will follow

Ask a billionaire what’s the most important element to success and he’ll likely say “passion.” Adams disagrees. He says someone’s passion may not be realistic. In addition, he feels you can develop passion with success.

Adams’ observation is that people who have a good business plan probably do well. As things start working, and you start making money, suddenly passion appears!

The crossroads of luck

Adams believes the flexibility of systems increases your odds of luck finding you. By adding to your talent stack, more opportunities cross your path, with success following close behind.

There are many kids today with better programming skills than Bill Gates had. Yet, Gates was born in a time in history where he had access to computers when other people didn’t, and that luck has made him billions and billions of dollars. Adams says go where the luck is, tune yourself into the vibration of luck and increase the chances you’ll get it.

“Success is luck multiplied by the skills you obtain” – Scott Adams

So there you have it, systems are better if you have a complicated situation and a long time frame. Goals are fine if you have a simple situation and a short time frame.

The thread that ties this highly recommended book together is that if you develop good systems and follow them daily, then your efforts eventually overlap with luck.

What do you think about goals now? Looking forward to hearing from you in the comments area below.

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