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Success Advice

25 Cruel Lessons That Will Help You Get To The Next Level Of Life.

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You don’t fake it till you make it.

Anything involving you being “fake” will turn people away from you. We’re all sick of fake and people that are not authentic. Vulnerable is in fashion and is the new black.

We’re all just “winging it.”

I know you think that person who’s the CEO is successful but the truth is they’re just winging it. They don’t have all the answers. The truth is none of us really know what we’re doing.

We keep the L Plates on for our entire life. We’re always learning and no one has all the wisdom or knowledge that’s available. So instead of trying to be perfect, learn to wing it like the people you look up to as “successful.”

You should value your time more than you do.

You procrastinate more than you realize. Your not so smartphone is the new form of procrastination. You tell yourself that looking at your phone is work, but it’s not. Your phone wastes your time and you’re fooling yourself if you think otherwise.

Time is what allows you to think and make smart decisions. Time is where your dreams can be created and it’s how you start a side hustle. If you have a 9-5, time is also what you need to escape and start your own thing. Stop wasting your time!

Saying no is the discipline you need.

There’s no point having goals if you say yes to every Joe Blow that comes your way wanting your precious time for their own project. Learn to say no. Only say yes if it feels good in the moment; otherwise, you’ll end up with too many priorities and not enough time to work on your dream.

No will give you space. Yes will exhaust you.

You really shouldn’t have “just one more.”

The phrase “just one more” is the sign to stop. It’s never just one more. Stop lying to yourself homie and understand that giving in to temptation hurts your success big time.

You don’t need one more beer to numb your life.

You don’t need one more episode of that TV show to numb your life.

Enough is enough. No more.

You’re not that much of a big deal.

I know it’s easy to believe you’re a big deal – especially now with the power social media gives us all. The truth is you’re not a big deal and neither am I. We’re all human and kind of the same. Turning the dial down on your ego will make you more sociable. People want to know someone who is interested in them and not just themselves.

Your job title is not that cool.

Your car is meaningless in the scheme of things.

Your Gucci sunglasses aren’t impressing anyone.

Finding your unique value is a moment of awakening.

The day you discover how you can bring value to the world, is the day everything changes. Spend as much time as you can discovering what your value proposition is. In simple terms: How can you help us all? What do you know that we do not? What problem can you solve?

My day came when I realized I could inspire people through blogging. I want your day to arrive. Be patient and it will.

Honesty is super sexy.

Exaggeration has become the new lying. Talking things up all the time is tiring. When you stretch the truth or lie, you’ll get found out – eventually. So now you know, there’s no point. Tell the truth because it’s easy. You’ll never be lost for words. Tell the truth through your experience.

Honesty leads to effective communication and that’s what we all suck at. Problems stem from a lack of clarity and many of us make assumptions about stuff we have no clue about. Make the decision to become sexy through honesty. Hubba Hubba!


We all have our own problems.

That’s why I don’t have time to be focused on yours. So, therefore, no one’s thinking for more than a second about the fact you messed up. Now you’re free. You can make mistakes and have the piece of mind that no one is going to remember what you did wrong.

We’re all toddlers at heart trying to explore the world and find what’s true and what’s not. We’re all trying to find the meaning of life and that will come through taking huge risks with no understanding of what might occur. Next time you stuff up that speech, remember it’s all gravy.

Your idea of success changes over time.

When you’re 18, you’ll think having a car is success. When you’re 25, you’ll think graduating university is success. When you finish university, you’ll think getting a corporate job is success. When you hit your 30’s, you’ll think owning a home and having a family is success.

When you hit 50, you’ll think seeing your kids grow up to fend for themselves is success. When you’re 65, you’ll think retirement is success. When you’re 70 plus, you’ll think just being alive is success. Your vision for success changes based on your age. Learn what true success is at the youngest possible age and your life will get better.

Success is living your purpose.

Success is finding a way to give to others.

Success is finding and understanding love.

Success is being grateful instead of being pissed off.

Success is seeing the world for its infinite positivity.

Saying WTF is making you sound dumb.

Really dumb. Acronyms are for lazy people who are going nowhere. Don’t use them.

Doing what you say you’re going to do is a superpower.

Ever been promised something and then not received it? The next time that same person promises something, do you believe them? No, you don’t. Doing what you say you’re going to do is a superpower because no one does it.

Rather than over promising, set lower expectations. Then when you deliver, you’ll find people are over the moon when really they shouldn’t be. Try it. It works.

We all have to build something.

A life. A business. A family. A romantic relationship. A house. If you’re not building, then you’re not growing. Things that don’t grow die (like many of the people you meet who are alive, but dead inside).

You don’t work as hard as you think.

Yep that’s another lie you tell yourself. Most of us don’t know what hard work is. We do one hour of emails and then take a break to watch something on YouTube to reward ourselves. Hard work is going ten hours with nothing but a glass of water in front of you.

Put the hours in.

Do the extra reps.

Work your butt off.

Then your hard work will translate into something special.

You also don’t take a break as often as you should.

Almost sounds like a contradiction – it’s not. Working hard is important but so is taking a break a few times a year. If you don’t recharge your mind through travel, you’ll become comfortable and bored. This is the worst feeling in the universe.

Quitting is sometimes necessary and really hard to do.

Do it regardless.

Quit if you hate it.

Quit if you’ve had enough.

Stop talking and start doing. You don’t have to “put up” with anything if you don’t want to. Stop being so soft. Quitting leads to opportunities.

Being you is attractive to the opposite sex.

The opposite sex is only interested in your “washboard abs,” car, money or clothes for maybe a split second. The truth is being you without all of that fakeness layered on top that impresses nobody is the game you want to play. Being you and being authentic is attractive because it’s so rare.

Subtract rather than add.

If you’ve missed your goals, it’s because you need to subtract more. Focus comes from subtracting, not adding more things to that stupid to-do list that makes you feel like a failure.

Subtracting gives you time back in your day to reallocate towards the goals that you care about.

Less is more. Minimalism is funky. 

Show me your Ferrari and I’ll show you what really matters.

How you feel is what you want. That’s the only reason you’d buy a chunk of red metal to feel differently. Nothing wrong with Ferrari’s, but let’s focus on making you feel incredible instead.

Who am I?

Ask this question to yourself a lot.

Self-reflection brings the answers you’ve been seeking. These answers will steer you down the right path and stop you becoming incongruent.

Being nice for the sake of it is rare.

So be nicer for no reason if you want to stand out and make people smile.

Smiles take your life up a notch.

Your neighbor is not that fly.

They look successful. They tell you they’re successful. They throw big parties with all of their friends to appear successful. Whether they truly are, you’ll probably never know. That’s a good outcome because you don’t have time to think about your neighbor. You’ve got your own party to prepare for called “life.”

Don’t tell us, show us.

Talk is cheap amigo. Most people can talk a head off a chicken. Stop telling and start showing through action.

Action, Action, Action. More success comes from action.

Pat yourself on the back when you fail.

That’s right. Enjoy it! That’s another lesson you can reflect on and share with others. That failure forms part of how you can help others and create value. I think you should celebrate again. Shall we?

It’s not who you are; it’s who you become.

Don’t worry about who you are right now. Yes, there may be some cracks and that’s fine and dandy. The truth is that who you are becoming is the most important way to step up to the next level of your life. You’ve got to start somewhere so about where you are right now?

Enough reading this blog post. Trust yourself and the unlimited potential you have. Time for action.

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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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Jordan Peterson

    Feb 28, 2018 at 8:53 pm

    “Success if finding and Understanding Love” – My gosh that’s a great line.

  2. Fawaz

    Oct 30, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    Thanks a lot for this Tim. Many times I feel like I am not working hard enough but that is because I get discouraged when I do not see results. Eventually, I have learnt to keep on working because that is when the results will come. I am beginning to see results of my “hard work” now.

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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
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“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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