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Success Advice

5 Lessons You Can Learn From The Quotes Of Abraham Lincoln

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Everyone knows Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of United States, the one who signed the Emancipation Proclamation which freed the slaves within the Confederacy in 1863 and also according to Hollywood, a vampire hunter.

Over the years, his stories have been used in several best-selling books including “How to win friends and influence people” by Dale Carnegie and “Give and Take” by Adam Grant.

There are a lot of life lessons we can learn from Abraham Lincoln’s stories. But today, we are going to learn some lessons just from his notable quotes.

 

1. Develop a positive mindset

“Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.” -Abraham Lincoln

If you have read Stephen R. Covey’s book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, you will understand the lesson within this quote.

Most of the time, the problem itself is not the real problem. The way you perceive the problem is the real problem.

As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “No one can hurt you without your consent.”

To put it simply, you are the one who decides how you respond to the circumstances you face.

If you make up your mind to be positive, you will see positives in the negative events.

“The mind is everything. What you think you become.” -Buddha

Your mindset influences how you perceive a problem. A positive mindset brings positive outcomes and vice versa.

Be proactive.

Don’t blame anything on circumstances. You will be happy if you make up your mind to be happy.

“And in the end it is not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.” – Abraham Lincoln

2. Prepare yourself

“I will prepare and some day my chance will come.” – Abraham Lincoln

If you want to succeed one day, preparations are what you need to do right now. When an opportunity comes, it won’t last long.

If you’re not fully prepared to grab it, you will miss the opportunity. But if you’ve done your part and are prepared, you can seize the opportunity and make a difference in your life.

If you prepare, your chance will come eventually. Remember, chances come and go in life, the difference is whether one is ready to seize it.

When it comes, seize it and prove yourself. If you fail to prepare, there may be chances for you, but will you be able to grab it?

Let’s take a look at what Benjamin Franklin has to say: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” -Benjamin Franklin

Apparently, he agrees. As the quote says, if you fail to prepare, then you will certainly be facing failure in your near future. So, start preparing right now, as long as you’re not preparing to fail!

 

3. It is okay to be slow, just keep moving forward

“I’m a slow walker, but I never walk back.” – Abraham Lincoln

Being fast doesn’t mean anything.

Was the Great Pyramid built in a short time? No! According to the ancient Greek historian, Herodotus, it took 20 years to build the pyramid.

Success never happens overnight.

When we are faced with hardship, we often choose the easiest way which is giving up. It is easy to quit.

It’s probably the easiest thing to do, but it won’t get you elsewhere.

Instead of giving up, we should move forward. Never do anything that will drag your progress backwards.

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” -Confucius

It is okay to be slow in your progress as long as you don’t stop. Move forward step by step, and one day you will be shocked by how far you have come.

Abraham-Lincoln-Quotes-19-500x281

4. Don’t wait for your dreams to happen, make it happen

“The best way to predict your future is to create it.” -Abraham Lincoln

Your future is created by what you do today. Start doing what is necessary to achieve your dreams today.

You want to be a healthy person in the future? Start exercising today and eat a healthy diet. It is just that simple.

Create your future, don’t wait for it.

You want to be successful in your career? Stop dreaming and start taking action.

Success won’t just come and look for you. You have to go out there, work hard, and chase after it.

Amelia Earhart once said, “The most effective way to do it is to do it”.

The best way to create your desired future is to do what is necessary right now.

What you desire for your future will always come true if you create it yourself. Know, that you are the one who is in charge of your future.

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” – Abraham Lincoln

5. Be a generous person

“Whatever you are, be a good one.”- Abraham Lincoln

No matter who you are, always strive to be a kind person. Be a giver, not a taker. Be generous.

Helping others will lead you towards success. In the process of helping others, you will be learning yourself.

You will become better in that field, and more importantly, you will build up positive relationships with others.

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” – Winston S. Churchill

Have you ever felt bad after helping others? Of course not!

If you help people genuinely, it will make you feel better while also boosting your self-esteem.

Scientific studies have proven that helping others, leads to a higher level of happiness in a person.

Never request anything in return when you help others, instead tell them to pay it forward to some other person who needs help.  Also, have faith in karma!

Abraham Lincoln is a very admirable human being. If there are any quotes by Abraham Lincoln, that have helped you at a certain time in your life, please feel free to share them below!

Kevin is the founder of MotivationK. Inspired to go the extra mile by others and now wants to inspire others to pursue their dreams and live their lives to the fullest. Check out their twitter.

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Luis

    Sep 9, 2015 at 12:00 am

    “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will the first four sharpening the axe” about parkinson’s law and how to use in your favor… Amazing!

  2. Samson

    Jun 4, 2015 at 8:11 pm

    Very Inspiring:walking Slowly But Steady,thanks Alot.Waiting For More!!!!!

  3. Nigel

    Apr 26, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    Abe was a truly inspiring man, who also had lots of great quotes. He was a real positive force!

  4. EVANS ADU

    Apr 24, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    i am motivated by Abraham Lincoln article today.the best way to predict your future is by creating it.

  5. JERSON

    Apr 21, 2015 at 10:09 am

    VERY THANKFUL FOR THE WONDERFUL INSPIRATIONAL MESSAGE:d

  6. Vusi

    Apr 17, 2015 at 11:54 am

    Thanks a lot Kevin, Abraham Lincoln was one of the greatest man to ever walked this earth

  7. Jamar Davis

    Apr 17, 2015 at 3:59 am

    “The best way to predict your future is to create it.” -Abraham Lincoln

  8. Sakib

    Apr 17, 2015 at 2:06 am

    Really very motivating. Gonna read about him now. Thanks.

  9. Samuel

    Apr 16, 2015 at 11:29 pm

    Kevin just wow nice work and am really blessed.how can I contact you directly got somethings to share

  10. Divsdivya

    Apr 16, 2015 at 2:47 am

    Thanks kevin for discussing about the great assets that abraham lincoln had….as a student i personally lyk da beliefs of abraham lincoln who thought and who percieved every moment in hs lyf as a positive one…. A great article which ever1 has to go through once….

    • Kevin Choong

      Apr 16, 2015 at 6:49 am

      You’re welcome. I’m glad that you like it. Having a positive mindset is really important in our lives.

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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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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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