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Success Advice

3 Simple Steps To Achieve Any Goal You Desire

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How many times have you become inspired to do, be or have something, only to give up on that pursuit before you even start?

You love the idea of achieving your new found desire, however, once you start to process the amount of time, energy and effort it will take to reach, you abandon ship altogether.

I, for example, have always wanted to complete a particular ‘12 week bikini body’ workout program I have heard so much about. I was pumped after seeing all the transformation pictures, reading the testimonials and seeing the inciting bonuses (tshirt, water bottle, wristband) you get when you sign up. I was so pumped in fact, that I purchased the $170 program right then and there.

Sitting in front of my laptop, I started reading the exhausting step by step exercise routine I would have to do 3 times a week. I glanced at the new eating plan I would have to follow, which was filled with foods I didn’t like and none of the food I did like.

I spent the next 30 minutes scrolling through Instagram comments highlighting how hard each workout would be – and all of a sudden, the motivation and excitement I had to complete the program began to whither away.

Within an hour of purchasing the program, I had psyched myself out to the point of never even stepping into the gym once.

Why do I tell you this?

I know for a fact you have gone through a similar situation before, it may not have been exercise related, however, you’ve set a goal to do or achieve something – only to not even start once you have understood just how much time, energy and effort achieving that goal would take.

So, how do you overcome this challenge?

 

1. Find your WHY behind your goal

The first step to ensuring you actually stick to your goals is making sure this goal is ultimately what YOU want. A lot of the time we think we want to be, have or do a certain thing but really it’s just someone else’s goal that sounds good or it’s societies way of conditioning us.

Let me explain, you may think that having the goal to move up in rank for the company you work at is a great goal, however, you actually visualize yourself opening your own business doing something completely different. You will never do what it takes to reach the goal of CEO in the company you currently work for if that position is not what you truly want in life.

Goals set from your WHY are extremely powerful. Your WHY is that emotion and reasoning deep down that forces you to persevere in adversity. You will often find yourself overcoming obstacles with ease and continually having the inspiration to move forward if your goal comes from a place of an absolute burning desire.

To understand your WHY better, watch this TedTALK by Simon Sinek

 

2. Take each day as it comes and focus on what you can do NOW

Start living in the NOW. Focus all your efforts on what you can do to reach your goal today, instead of thinking about all the work and time you need to invest in the future.

For example, if your goal is around fitness – push yourself 110% during todays workout. Be present in the gym right now and stop thinking about the workouts left in this week and begin taking it easy thinking you will put more effort in tomorrow. Do that extra set, run that extra mile and lift that little bit more TODAY.

If your goal is work related – do that little bit more TODAY that most wouldn’t. Make 10 extra sales calls, complete those last 2 tasks on your ‘to do list’, start that project you keep putting off you know you have to do.

go-the-extra-mile
 

By focusing on what you can achieve today and putting that little bit extra effort in – you set yourself up for success and propel your efforts to reach your goal quicker.

 

3. Split your goal into bite sized chunks

You know what your overall goal is, now break it down into smaller, more manageable sized tasks. Often we become overwhelmed by the enormity of our goal and it paralyses us from taking any progressive action.

The solution to this self sabotage is to set smaller, more achievable goals that lead you in the direction of your desired outcome.

What sounds more doable? Writing one chapter or writing and completing an entire book?

 

What steps have you found to help you achieve your goals?
Share them with us! 🙂

A young entrepreneur, author and speaker, Carla Schesser is a woman who is passionate about inspiring and educating youth to live a life they love. Carla's book, ‘#Success - Mastering the Basics to a Happy, Healthy & Wealthy Life’ is a simple, practical and motivating guide which young adults will enjoy reading while learning important skills which empower them and allow them to discover how to live a peaceful, successful, and healthy life. Carla has a rare ability to connect with her readers. She has been in the same shoes many aspiring young adults wear today and this allows her to reach her audience and inspire them in a way most people can’t.

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Aniket

    May 1, 2015 at 7:32 am

    Wow!!! Great advice…
    Thanks Carla

  2. Amelia Critchlow

    Mar 29, 2015 at 10:05 am

    This is great. The steps I’ve found to achieve my goals is definitely to know why I need to do what I need to do (art). By knowing that it was impacting my health negatively by not doing my passion. Believing that the greater risk was not doing it all (life is too short and I didn’t want to end up old and full of regret about what I didn’t do!).
    Amelia

  3. Merlene Campbell

    Feb 19, 2015 at 10:27 am

    Very well expressed! I think maximizing your potential is about doing things you never knew you could do and reaching heights that you can only dream about. It’s about pushing yourself to become a better and stronger person.

    • Carla Schesser

      Feb 25, 2015 at 3:05 am

      Yes! Be the best YOU, you can be 🙂 Thanks Merlene for your comment.

  4. Stephen Reed

    Feb 12, 2015 at 9:40 am

    Hey

    Thanks for posting this article. You bring up some good points. I love that Simon Sinek TED talk, and his book is awesome too.

    I’ve struggled for much of my life to actually make progress and see success, until relatively recently. In fact, I think the stats show that almost NO-ONE reaches ant of the goals they set for themselves in their lives. I think that is a crying shame that billions of dreams and aspirations are resigned to the virtual waste bin every day, people choosing more of the same, a life of mediocrity and low level depression, because the goal just seems too hard. Easier to give up and ‘make do with your lot’, than to battle through.

    Another great book is The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson, where he explains that the reason most people (all?) fail to make progress is because every micro-decision and action we make, whether taking us closer to the goal or further away, is as easy NOT to do, as it is to do. And on that day, or even that week, the visible results won’t look much different.

    For someone who’s goal it is to lose 50 pounds, eating a salad, or choosing a Big Mac with a Big Gulp 7-Up, and why not? extra fries on the side, is not going to have any meaningful impact on their waistline. Just as eating one cake does no a diabetic make. 🙂

    So, once that realisation is in place, it becomes easy to evaluate each choice you make, and consider if it takes you closer or further from the goals iin question. The problem here is that the instant gratification society we live in doens’t really like the idea that anything worth achieving takes time. But it does, but there is good news.

    As with the compounding effect of interest on your bank balance, regular, small, seemingly insignificant actions has a compounding effect over time. The idea that you need to take MASSIVE ACTION to achieve success is not realistic, especially when you are just starting out. I recommend small, easy to do actions every day, breaking things down into doable chunks as you recommend.

    But what if you struggle to do those small things? There is a mindset issue for many people, but I’ve put in place a simple yet effective system to get my ass into gear and actually get shit done. They are called Trigger Actions, and are nothing new, but sometimes we miss the obvious altogether.

    Here is an example. I recently wrote a book called LEAN IN (shameless plug). 20 something thousand words. The goal was to write it in a month, all edited and published on Amazon Kindle. Problem was, it seemed like a tight deadline. And I know that when I work at home, I get terribly distracted.

    So, I chose to write it ALL in a cafe, where I know I do actually put the work in.

    So, my trigger action, 4-6 times per week, is to only focus on getting the laptop into my bag, and leaving the house at 9 am. I know that if I do this, I will get in the car, go out, and as if by magic, I’ll come home 3 hours later with 2000 words added to the book.

    I forget about the endgame, as long as I get in the car each morning, the book will be written. I was talking to a guy who wears his gym shorts to bed before gym day, and has his shoes right by where he gets out of bed. He knows that wearing the shorts will ensure he gets out the door.

    So, to add to this great article, breaking goals into daily activities is awesome, and then set a trigger action that acts as a pre-action to the actual activity. This has made me far more productive in a short space of time.

    Oh, and make sure that the goals you set are for things you genuinely love to do. Trying to force yourself into habits for stuff you hate rarely works, and hell, we all owe it to ourselves to be happy.

    Thanks again, enjoyed the article.

    -S

    • Carla Schesser

      Feb 25, 2015 at 3:06 am

      Wow – awesome comment Stephen, thank you. Loved reading your thoughts. 🙂

  5. Tejaswi

    Feb 11, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    Why…. Now and Divide… Thanks for such great advice…

  6. Art

    Feb 9, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    Simon Sinek always has good ideas to present!

    • Carla Schesser

      Feb 10, 2015 at 8:27 am

      Yes he does! 🙂

  7. Aly Shah

    Feb 8, 2015 at 8:31 am

    Practicality is quite difficult to find now a days online but this post you have written is just too good!! Truly amazing no filler crap but practical advice on a subject which many people try to ignore and most people just day dream instead of working on their dreams today. Would like to add a fourth step which is to know when to say NO. We get so many request that are some time detrimental to our own success, but most people are sacred to say NO because they think it will decrease their good will with the person who requested something from them.

    • Carla Schesser

      Feb 10, 2015 at 8:40 am

      Thank you for the awesome props Aly, means a lot! So cool to know people value what others are passionate about. 🙂 I agree! Let’s add that forth step to the list. Reminds me of what Steve Jobs said…”It’s only by saying “no” that you can concentrate on the things that are really important”.

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Success Advice

Stop Denying Your Negative Thoughts and Start Embracing Them

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Simply acknowledge the negative thought

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

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

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

2. Affirm the negative thought

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

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

3. Acquit the thought

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

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

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

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

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Success Advice

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

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I used to be a very anxious person.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What was your psychologist’s name?”

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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Success Advice

5 Productivity Shifts You Need to Make to Make 2019 Your Best Year Yet

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Everyone wants more time, that is something almost all of us share. Time is the most valuable resource and when you learn how to make your time work for you and how to get the most out of it – you experience life differently.  

Improving how you manage your time is one of the biggest gifts you can give yourself – it’s a real game changer in your business and personal life. There are many ways that you can get more productive and get the right things done sooner; but not all of them are obvious or bring the same results.

Here are 5 productivity shifts you want to make if you are trying to make the most out of 2019:

1. Ditch your to do list

Productive people don’t keep to-do lists, they schedule everything they need to do in their calendar and work directly from their calendar!  To-Do lists are just ineffective and they are impeding your productivity. A never ending list of items only leaves you overwhelmed and with a false sense of ‘productivity’.  

If you schedule your To Do’s directly into your calendar at a time to get them done, you commit to it and you are more likely to get it done. Less is more – you don’t need a separate list to remind you what you need to do.

“Productivity is less about what you do with your time and more about how you run your mind.” – Robin Sharma

2. Give up on motivation

Productive people don’t always have to be motivated before starting something. They balance discipline with motivation and do what they need to do, regardless of motivation. When we come up with resistance to take action on what we have planned, we might tell ourselves that we are not motivated and we believe that we need to be motivated to complete any task.

If you want to increase your productivity, you need to challenge yourself more in the moment to take action and give up on motivation sometimes. Do what you need to in order to get the results you want in the future. Don’t make decisions based on how you feel now, make them based on what result you are really after.

3. Master your mornings

Wake up early and get yourself into the productive mindset with your routine and diet! Productive people start the day with some sort of routine, whether it’s meditation, exercise or visualization, etc. AND they have a healthy breakfast to fuel them for the day. Your health is everything when it comes to productivity, what you eat directly affects your productivity.

We can just no longer ignore the direct connection any more. Get in the right mindset to start your day and fuel your mind and body to get the most out of it. Starting your day off in any other way undermines your success – there is no doubt.

4. Schedule according to energy

Productive people know their energy cycles and they plan tasks around their energy levels. Why plan something at a time when you know it will be hard to rise to the challenge? Schedule tasks that require focus and concentration for those times of day that you feel the best and you will find it’s easier to follow through and you will be at your best to perform. Identify your filler tasks and complete those when your energy drops. Be more realistic when scheduling your tasks and set yourself up for wins.

“Productivity is never an accident it’s the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning & focused effort.” – Paul Meyer

5. Working backwards

Productive people always focus on those activities that will take them to the next level. They plan backwards, they look at their goals, then identify the tasks they need to do to support those goals. Those tasks get broken down into weekly actions. That’s how they plan.

Don’t only plan on tasks that come in or those which you ‘feel’ or ‘think’ you should be doing. Your day needs to consist of at least one activity that directly supports your longer term objectives, your big project. What sounds like common sense is definitely not common practice.

Create the right habits to achieve your goals, work on adopting easy tips and techniques so you can manage your time and yourself better to get things done.

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Success Advice

You Need to Grow Your Memory in Order to Grow Your Life

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We all have access to the most powerful computer ever created in the universe…our brain. Unfortunately, few of us have ever been taught how to use our minds efficiently, and even fewer have learned how to develop a fabulous memory. Thankfully, like any skill, memorising can be learned and using the correct strategies, your memory can be improved in only days.

One of the best coaches on memory is Dominic O’Brien the eight-time world memory champion. Self-taught after watching Creighton Carvello memorise a pack of cards on the BBC’s Record Breakers programme. Dominic, through his work on memory, has given us many tools and techniques for improving memory.

Below are 5 rules that will help you develop a better memory:

1. The Rule of Five

Probably seen as one of the most significant contributions to the body of knowledge on memory is O’Brien’s Rule of Five. This rule details how to remember things using a strategy of regular staged repetition.

These stages are as follows:

  • First Review:Immediately
  • Second Review:Twenty-four hours later
  • Third Review:One week later
  • Fourth Review:One month later
  • Fifth Review:Three months later

Utilising stage repetition at these intervals ingrains the memory for the long term.

2. The Dominic System

The Dominic System is a system for remembering numbers. The system is a Person Action system where the association between two sets of paired numbers is the person with the action of the next person.

1139 would become Andre Agassi doing a roundhouse kick which is the action of Chuck Norris. This system combined with the journey method allows for long random numbers to be easily recalled without error. The fantastic thing about this system is that you get to customise for yourself with memorable people and unique actions which when combined really make it easy for you to recall numbers. The table below associates each number to a letter.

Number     0     1    2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9
Letter     O     A     B     C     D    E     S     G     H     N

Creating a simple document with pairs of numbers in one column, the letter pairs in the next and an action column will help you learn this system quickly.

“Nothing can substitute for just plain hard work. I had to put in the time to get back. And it was a grind. It meant training and sweating every day. But I was completely committed to working out to prove to myself that I still could do it.” – Andre Agassi

3. The Link Method

This method relies on two essential elements of memory, association and exaggeration. Utilising these two elements, it is possible to link together unrelated objects to allow you to remember them.

Trying to remember a list of five separate words such as: balloon, papaya, gold, football and hat, might go something like this. You imagine seeing a giant balloon and inside the balloon you can see a small papaya, in bursting the balloon the papaya falls out and as it hits the floor a gold football bounces into a large sombrero.

4. The Journey Method

Using location has been a fundamental part of mnemonics almost since time began. Before humans, writing elders would pass knowledge to others using stories of journeys, with each piece of knowledge being associated with a location on the journey.

O’Brien’s system utilises journeys that you would undertake on a daily basis, like your commute to work or train stations on well-known line. Items are then associated and exaggerated along the journey, so for instance if you were trying to remember a list of ten random things you would associate each piece along with a unique ten stop journey and utilise exaggeration to make the items more memorable.

“You are well equipped with an incredible potential for absorbing knowledge…Anything’s possible.” – Dominic O’Brien

5. The Story Method

To remember groups of information, create a story that links them together. Remembering the planets of the solar system and their position relative to the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

Imagine that Mercury was hitting the nineties as Venus tossed the tennis ball into the air, striking the ball it soared over the net striking the earth and bouncing high into the air, knocking the mars bar out of Jupiter’s hand, and so on.

Developing a good memory will assist markedly in all of your personal development goals as well as assisting greatly in your daily life. The methods above are tried and tested by one of the leading memory champions. Whether you want to become the next World Memory Champion or just improve your recall, the techniques outlined above will assist greatly.

Combining the various elements will create an exponential improvement in your memory that you will find hard to believe, and you will be kicking yourself for not applying them sooner. The best part about using these methods is that they are fun, so enjoy using them.

Which one of these memorizing methods sounds most interesting to you? Share with us below!

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Life

The Guide to Coping With Stress, Anxiety and Failure

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Image Credit: Twenty20.com

Instead of complaining about the ebb and flow of tough times, we need to learn how to overcome them. We often let bad news cast a pall on our day, but taking it in and moving on with life is what we need to do and that’s a challenge. (more…)

David Lim is a Private Tutor at ChampionTutor. And he is very willing to discuss how to live a stress-free life.

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Aniket

    May 1, 2015 at 7:32 am

    Wow!!! Great advice…
    Thanks Carla

  2. Amelia Critchlow

    Mar 29, 2015 at 10:05 am

    This is great. The steps I’ve found to achieve my goals is definitely to know why I need to do what I need to do (art). By knowing that it was impacting my health negatively by not doing my passion. Believing that the greater risk was not doing it all (life is too short and I didn’t want to end up old and full of regret about what I didn’t do!).
    Amelia

  3. Merlene Campbell

    Feb 19, 2015 at 10:27 am

    Very well expressed! I think maximizing your potential is about doing things you never knew you could do and reaching heights that you can only dream about. It’s about pushing yourself to become a better and stronger person.

    • Carla Schesser

      Feb 25, 2015 at 3:05 am

      Yes! Be the best YOU, you can be 🙂 Thanks Merlene for your comment.

  4. Stephen Reed

    Feb 12, 2015 at 9:40 am

    Hey

    Thanks for posting this article. You bring up some good points. I love that Simon Sinek TED talk, and his book is awesome too.

    I’ve struggled for much of my life to actually make progress and see success, until relatively recently. In fact, I think the stats show that almost NO-ONE reaches ant of the goals they set for themselves in their lives. I think that is a crying shame that billions of dreams and aspirations are resigned to the virtual waste bin every day, people choosing more of the same, a life of mediocrity and low level depression, because the goal just seems too hard. Easier to give up and ‘make do with your lot’, than to battle through.

    Another great book is The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson, where he explains that the reason most people (all?) fail to make progress is because every micro-decision and action we make, whether taking us closer to the goal or further away, is as easy NOT to do, as it is to do. And on that day, or even that week, the visible results won’t look much different.

    For someone who’s goal it is to lose 50 pounds, eating a salad, or choosing a Big Mac with a Big Gulp 7-Up, and why not? extra fries on the side, is not going to have any meaningful impact on their waistline. Just as eating one cake does no a diabetic make. 🙂

    So, once that realisation is in place, it becomes easy to evaluate each choice you make, and consider if it takes you closer or further from the goals iin question. The problem here is that the instant gratification society we live in doens’t really like the idea that anything worth achieving takes time. But it does, but there is good news.

    As with the compounding effect of interest on your bank balance, regular, small, seemingly insignificant actions has a compounding effect over time. The idea that you need to take MASSIVE ACTION to achieve success is not realistic, especially when you are just starting out. I recommend small, easy to do actions every day, breaking things down into doable chunks as you recommend.

    But what if you struggle to do those small things? There is a mindset issue for many people, but I’ve put in place a simple yet effective system to get my ass into gear and actually get shit done. They are called Trigger Actions, and are nothing new, but sometimes we miss the obvious altogether.

    Here is an example. I recently wrote a book called LEAN IN (shameless plug). 20 something thousand words. The goal was to write it in a month, all edited and published on Amazon Kindle. Problem was, it seemed like a tight deadline. And I know that when I work at home, I get terribly distracted.

    So, I chose to write it ALL in a cafe, where I know I do actually put the work in.

    So, my trigger action, 4-6 times per week, is to only focus on getting the laptop into my bag, and leaving the house at 9 am. I know that if I do this, I will get in the car, go out, and as if by magic, I’ll come home 3 hours later with 2000 words added to the book.

    I forget about the endgame, as long as I get in the car each morning, the book will be written. I was talking to a guy who wears his gym shorts to bed before gym day, and has his shoes right by where he gets out of bed. He knows that wearing the shorts will ensure he gets out the door.

    So, to add to this great article, breaking goals into daily activities is awesome, and then set a trigger action that acts as a pre-action to the actual activity. This has made me far more productive in a short space of time.

    Oh, and make sure that the goals you set are for things you genuinely love to do. Trying to force yourself into habits for stuff you hate rarely works, and hell, we all owe it to ourselves to be happy.

    Thanks again, enjoyed the article.

    -S

    • Carla Schesser

      Feb 25, 2015 at 3:06 am

      Wow – awesome comment Stephen, thank you. Loved reading your thoughts. 🙂

  5. Tejaswi

    Feb 11, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    Why…. Now and Divide… Thanks for such great advice…

  6. Art

    Feb 9, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    Simon Sinek always has good ideas to present!

    • Carla Schesser

      Feb 10, 2015 at 8:27 am

      Yes he does! 🙂

  7. Aly Shah

    Feb 8, 2015 at 8:31 am

    Practicality is quite difficult to find now a days online but this post you have written is just too good!! Truly amazing no filler crap but practical advice on a subject which many people try to ignore and most people just day dream instead of working on their dreams today. Would like to add a fourth step which is to know when to say NO. We get so many request that are some time detrimental to our own success, but most people are sacred to say NO because they think it will decrease their good will with the person who requested something from them.

    • Carla Schesser

      Feb 10, 2015 at 8:40 am

      Thank you for the awesome props Aly, means a lot! So cool to know people value what others are passionate about. 🙂 I agree! Let’s add that forth step to the list. Reminds me of what Steve Jobs said…”It’s only by saying “no” that you can concentrate on the things that are really important”.

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Success Advice

Stop Denying Your Negative Thoughts and Start Embracing Them

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Simply acknowledge the negative thought

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

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

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

2. Affirm the negative thought

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

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

3. Acquit the thought

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

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

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

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

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Success Advice

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

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I used to be a very anxious person.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What was your psychologist’s name?”

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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Success Advice

5 Productivity Shifts You Need to Make to Make 2019 Your Best Year Yet

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Everyone wants more time, that is something almost all of us share. Time is the most valuable resource and when you learn how to make your time work for you and how to get the most out of it – you experience life differently.  

Improving how you manage your time is one of the biggest gifts you can give yourself – it’s a real game changer in your business and personal life. There are many ways that you can get more productive and get the right things done sooner; but not all of them are obvious or bring the same results.

Here are 5 productivity shifts you want to make if you are trying to make the most out of 2019:

1. Ditch your to do list

Productive people don’t keep to-do lists, they schedule everything they need to do in their calendar and work directly from their calendar!  To-Do lists are just ineffective and they are impeding your productivity. A never ending list of items only leaves you overwhelmed and with a false sense of ‘productivity’.  

If you schedule your To Do’s directly into your calendar at a time to get them done, you commit to it and you are more likely to get it done. Less is more – you don’t need a separate list to remind you what you need to do.

“Productivity is less about what you do with your time and more about how you run your mind.” – Robin Sharma

2. Give up on motivation

Productive people don’t always have to be motivated before starting something. They balance discipline with motivation and do what they need to do, regardless of motivation. When we come up with resistance to take action on what we have planned, we might tell ourselves that we are not motivated and we believe that we need to be motivated to complete any task.

If you want to increase your productivity, you need to challenge yourself more in the moment to take action and give up on motivation sometimes. Do what you need to in order to get the results you want in the future. Don’t make decisions based on how you feel now, make them based on what result you are really after.

3. Master your mornings

Wake up early and get yourself into the productive mindset with your routine and diet! Productive people start the day with some sort of routine, whether it’s meditation, exercise or visualization, etc. AND they have a healthy breakfast to fuel them for the day. Your health is everything when it comes to productivity, what you eat directly affects your productivity.

We can just no longer ignore the direct connection any more. Get in the right mindset to start your day and fuel your mind and body to get the most out of it. Starting your day off in any other way undermines your success – there is no doubt.

4. Schedule according to energy

Productive people know their energy cycles and they plan tasks around their energy levels. Why plan something at a time when you know it will be hard to rise to the challenge? Schedule tasks that require focus and concentration for those times of day that you feel the best and you will find it’s easier to follow through and you will be at your best to perform. Identify your filler tasks and complete those when your energy drops. Be more realistic when scheduling your tasks and set yourself up for wins.

“Productivity is never an accident it’s the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning & focused effort.” – Paul Meyer

5. Working backwards

Productive people always focus on those activities that will take them to the next level. They plan backwards, they look at their goals, then identify the tasks they need to do to support those goals. Those tasks get broken down into weekly actions. That’s how they plan.

Don’t only plan on tasks that come in or those which you ‘feel’ or ‘think’ you should be doing. Your day needs to consist of at least one activity that directly supports your longer term objectives, your big project. What sounds like common sense is definitely not common practice.

Create the right habits to achieve your goals, work on adopting easy tips and techniques so you can manage your time and yourself better to get things done.

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Success Advice

You Need to Grow Your Memory in Order to Grow Your Life

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We all have access to the most powerful computer ever created in the universe…our brain. Unfortunately, few of us have ever been taught how to use our minds efficiently, and even fewer have learned how to develop a fabulous memory. Thankfully, like any skill, memorising can be learned and using the correct strategies, your memory can be improved in only days.

One of the best coaches on memory is Dominic O’Brien the eight-time world memory champion. Self-taught after watching Creighton Carvello memorise a pack of cards on the BBC’s Record Breakers programme. Dominic, through his work on memory, has given us many tools and techniques for improving memory.

Below are 5 rules that will help you develop a better memory:

1. The Rule of Five

Probably seen as one of the most significant contributions to the body of knowledge on memory is O’Brien’s Rule of Five. This rule details how to remember things using a strategy of regular staged repetition.

These stages are as follows:

  • First Review:Immediately
  • Second Review:Twenty-four hours later
  • Third Review:One week later
  • Fourth Review:One month later
  • Fifth Review:Three months later

Utilising stage repetition at these intervals ingrains the memory for the long term.

2. The Dominic System

The Dominic System is a system for remembering numbers. The system is a Person Action system where the association between two sets of paired numbers is the person with the action of the next person.

1139 would become Andre Agassi doing a roundhouse kick which is the action of Chuck Norris. This system combined with the journey method allows for long random numbers to be easily recalled without error. The fantastic thing about this system is that you get to customise for yourself with memorable people and unique actions which when combined really make it easy for you to recall numbers. The table below associates each number to a letter.

Number     0     1    2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9
Letter     O     A     B     C     D    E     S     G     H     N

Creating a simple document with pairs of numbers in one column, the letter pairs in the next and an action column will help you learn this system quickly.

“Nothing can substitute for just plain hard work. I had to put in the time to get back. And it was a grind. It meant training and sweating every day. But I was completely committed to working out to prove to myself that I still could do it.” – Andre Agassi

3. The Link Method

This method relies on two essential elements of memory, association and exaggeration. Utilising these two elements, it is possible to link together unrelated objects to allow you to remember them.

Trying to remember a list of five separate words such as: balloon, papaya, gold, football and hat, might go something like this. You imagine seeing a giant balloon and inside the balloon you can see a small papaya, in bursting the balloon the papaya falls out and as it hits the floor a gold football bounces into a large sombrero.

4. The Journey Method

Using location has been a fundamental part of mnemonics almost since time began. Before humans, writing elders would pass knowledge to others using stories of journeys, with each piece of knowledge being associated with a location on the journey.

O’Brien’s system utilises journeys that you would undertake on a daily basis, like your commute to work or train stations on well-known line. Items are then associated and exaggerated along the journey, so for instance if you were trying to remember a list of ten random things you would associate each piece along with a unique ten stop journey and utilise exaggeration to make the items more memorable.

“You are well equipped with an incredible potential for absorbing knowledge…Anything’s possible.” – Dominic O’Brien

5. The Story Method

To remember groups of information, create a story that links them together. Remembering the planets of the solar system and their position relative to the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

Imagine that Mercury was hitting the nineties as Venus tossed the tennis ball into the air, striking the ball it soared over the net striking the earth and bouncing high into the air, knocking the mars bar out of Jupiter’s hand, and so on.

Developing a good memory will assist markedly in all of your personal development goals as well as assisting greatly in your daily life. The methods above are tried and tested by one of the leading memory champions. Whether you want to become the next World Memory Champion or just improve your recall, the techniques outlined above will assist greatly.

Combining the various elements will create an exponential improvement in your memory that you will find hard to believe, and you will be kicking yourself for not applying them sooner. The best part about using these methods is that they are fun, so enjoy using them.

Which one of these memorizing methods sounds most interesting to you? Share with us below!

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