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Success Advice

5 Steps To Defining Your Own Success

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Defining Your Success To Be Successful

“What does success look like to you?”

The most pivotal question I have ever been asked.

From a young age, I’ve been obsessed with the concept of being successful. Being the best on the team, the fastest in the race, writing the best stories or having the most Pokémon cards. No matter what I set my mind to, I wanted to be successful at it.

So when it came to running my own blog, I wanted to be the best. I wanted to turn it in to a successful blog that made me money. And that’s what I set out to do. I started writing, posting blogs and waiting for the response.

And I got nothing.

My mum, my aunt and an ex-personal training client read my posts, barely reaching anybody else. For months and months, this was my life. And although my reach grew, it never extended past my friends or the occasional Reddit forum.

So I packed it in.

I got flustered, shut up shop and walked away. I wasn’t successful, so I gave it up.

Then one day, I sat down to have a coffee with my mentor and poured my heart out. I explained how unfair it was, why I should have been successful and that it was a complete waste of time.

Sitting back in his chair, he sipped his coffee and asked me “James, what does success even look like?“.

I was stuck. I couldn’t think about what it was I wanted – I just knew I wanted something. I sat there in silence, the cogs ticking in the back of my head, waiting for something to pop up.

The reason I’d failed was because I had no idea what success was. I hadn’t decided how many readers I wanted, what my market was, how many hours I would be working. And that was a key lesson to learn.

In order to achieve success, you must define it.

You’re probably thinking, ‘Well, duh!’ right now. And when you realise it, it’s so simple to understand. But the reason a lot of us fail, and we don’t achieve success is simply this: We don’t know what success is, we just know we want it.

So with that in mind, I worked hard on what success looked like for me. What I wanted to achieve, how I wanted to do it and why it was important to me. It lead me to complete my first book, start my freelance writing career and rekindle my love for blogging.

Now, it’s time for you to do the same. To truly understand what success is to you, and how to make it drive you forward.

All you need is somewhere to write your thoughts, and 10 minutes of your time.

 

Decide Commit Succeed

 

5 Steps To Defining Your Own Success

 

Step 1: Ask Yourself The Question

What does success look like?

Write down whatever springs to mind. Think about what success actually looks like for you. It can be as big and bold as you like, or if you can’t think of an answer, leave it blank. We’ll be coming back to this later.

Done? Good.

 

Step 2: Forget What Other People Think

This step is the most crucial.

Did your parents ever used to make you measure your growth on a doorframe next to your siblings to see how much you’d grown, and mark it off each month against each other? With the biggest sibling always rubbing in the fact they had that third of an inch of height over you?

That’s how most of us view success. That we’re being measured against each other, and that someone with slightly ‘more success’ is further ahead than we are, or that they’re better than us in some way.

The truth? Other people’s success doesn’t matter.

Success to them is not success to you, and the other way around. It is not measured in money, sports cars or bragging rights; it’s measured purely against what you want.

Forget what other people want, or other people’s successes for a second and remember the question – what does success look like to you?

Is it having more time with kids? Getting a promotion? Owning a new car? Moving house? Having the money to redecorate the bathroom? Having the freedom to travel whenever you want? Being able to play Golf on a Wednesday morning?

You can only define it against your life and what suits you. If it’s money and fast cars, feel free to measure it in that. But make sure it’s something that you wholeheartedly want. It’ll keep you from quitting when times get hard.

 

Step 3: Get Specific

In this step I really want you to get in to depth with what it is you want. You’ve decided what success looks like to you, now begin to create the scene in your head.

I’ll use spending more time with your kids as an example.

What days would you spend with your kids? Would it be a whole day, an afternoon, or a few days? What would you do? Where would you go? Would the days be sunny or rainy? Would your partner be there, or just you on your own? Do you need a certain amount of money?

And so on and so forth.

The more specific you make it in your mind, the more attached to it you become. It becomes real, focused and a part of your life. When times get tough, you just picture yourself pushing you kids on the swings (or whatever your success looks like) and it keeps you moving forward.

People fail at diets and workout plans because they don’t know how they want to look at the other end. They want to be lighter, fitter and healthier of course. But those terms mean nothing to you if they aren’t tangible. Fitting in to a size 32 Jean is more achievable than ‘dropping weight off your waist’.

 

Step 4: Ask Yourself The Question, Again

Now, I want you to ask yourself the question again – What does success look like to you?

Write it down, taking in to account everything we’ve spoken about.

Make it specific, make it real and keep that piece of paper in a place where you’re constantly reminded of it.

If you didn’t have an answer at first, you should have an answer by now. If you already had one, how does it compare to what you thought initially? Has it changed, grown, or gotten more specific?

 

Step 5: Make It Happen

Now you know what success looks like, the only thing that’s left for you to do is make it happen.

The more specific the goal, the clearer the path. The easier decisions become to make in line with your definition, and the more likely you are to achieve it (as long as you put the work in).

James is the founder of the Freelance Writers School where he teaches normal people how to make money through freelance writing even if they failed English at school and have no idea about business.

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12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Greg

    Feb 23, 2016 at 12:36 am

    Thank you, i needed this right now as well. I’ve always talked about goal setting and having goals that you want to attain. But I needed a refresher and to take a serious moment and define WHY I’m doing what I’m doing and what exactly I’m working towards. I need a clear vision and a clear defined goal. Thank you.

  2. s. stewart

    Apr 6, 2015 at 2:57 am

    Very Well Said

  3. Carol Record (@CarolRecord)

    Aug 1, 2014 at 4:13 am

    I really needed this reminder right about now. I wish more people understood this, especially #2, and it just so happens that one of my current primary goals is to get away from people that don’t understand #2 and spread negativity because of it.

  4. mommylovestocook

    Jun 27, 2014 at 3:24 am

    Worth reading. I agree that success is not to be chased and you wont be successful if without a definite plan.

    • James Johnson

      Jul 4, 2014 at 11:09 am

      I’ve always felt that success is not the destination, it’s surviving the journey. It’s hard to do that without a plan!

  5. Austin Zulauf

    Jun 18, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    Very good! It’s hard to hit a destination you haven’t mapped out, you have to know where you’re going. Success is the same way, you have to know what success is to YOU.
    I know clearly written goals have helped me tremendously! A mentor of mine gave me 8 steps to effectively setting & achieving goals & I’ve lived by that!
    Thanks for the great content 😉

    • James Johnson

      Jul 4, 2014 at 11:08 am

      Hey Austin! Thanks for your comment, I’m sorry for the slow reply to this – I’ve been out of town.

      I’d love to hear your 8 Steps if you hit me up at jamesthinksthings@gmail.com.

  6. Ben Granville Kyle

    Jun 16, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    Asking ourselves the right type of questions plays a huge role in how our lives turns out. If you want to change any results you are getting, you must change your thinking( or the questions you ask). i also like what the author says:” Other people’s successes doesn’t matter”. So often we are caught up in the success of other people that we forget how important success should be for us. Hence, i agree with the author: “The more specific the goal-(or question), the clearer the path. The easier decisions become to make in line with your definition, and the more likely you are to achieve it (as long as you put the work in).”

    Everything—everything!—starts there.

    • James Johnson

      Jul 4, 2014 at 11:07 am

      Correct, Ben! Sorry for the slow reply to this. Asking the right Questions helps keep your attitude in-line with your goals.

  7. James Johnson (@JamesJohnson_PL)

    Jun 13, 2014 at 7:00 am

    My motto for a long time has been, ‘Do not strive to be rich, strive to be free’.

    Personally, I can’t get behind the concept of money. In terms that, it won’t motivate me anywhere near as much as something more important to me.

  8. Beau Norton

    Jun 12, 2014 at 4:30 am

    Awesome! I used to think that I had to be a millionaire to be successful. Well, i still believe I will be one day, but for the moment I am perfectly happy with living a comfortable life with no financial pressure. The average person doesn’t need that much money at all to feel comfortable and secure. If you can afford to go out to eat at a fancy restaurant and not worry about the bill, then I’d say you’re doing pretty well. Haha. But many people have an obsession with money and will always want more. I think it’s important to define success for yourself so you have a clear income goal. When you reach that, it should be a signal to you that you need to stop chasing the money and start doing more of what you love. Money can buy freedom, but once you are free, there’s nothing more money can do for you! Besides buy more things that is…and that’s more like slavery than freedom.

    • Abel

      Jun 12, 2014 at 7:39 pm

      Awesome article, Step 2 is so crucial I wish more people would follow it, if your goal is to graduate & secure a job to provide for your family you are successful. My goal personally is to grow my business to generate a steady income enough for me to be self-employed. Both examples are different but each successful in their desires & objectives. Thanks Author.

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Success Advice

What If You Never Took Another Selfie Again?

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That’s the question I want you to ponder right now.

What if taking a selfie only made the world ignore you?
What if life is not all about you?
What if no one cares who you took a photo with?

And finally, how did we ever live without selfies before the front-facing camera got invented?

Instead of taking a selfie do this:

Try focusing on other people.
Try not to document every moment.
Try to think about life before selfies.

We all take selfies because that’s what we were told to do.
And that’s exactly why we need to question this habitual flaw that we’re now indulging in.

 

I have A/B tested selfies vs. no selfies.

The result? When I took photos of cool stuff like mountains in Japan and shared a profound thought, people liked that more than a selfie with my overly large head in it. I’ve done this test multiple times over the last few years.

The result is always the same. People are over you and your selfies.

 

It’s not about “I” it’s about “We.”

Sounds cliché, and that’s because most brilliant advice is.

Selfies have deluded us into thinking that life is about us and our big audacious goals. Where life will change for you is when you focus on the “We.”

Everything I write is for the audience I want to inspire. It’s not to show off or to share dumb selfies of me in a weak attempt to appear superior.

 

Selfies cause your followers to compare themselves to you.

And that’s not fair. If each of us tried to be the same, then society would be pretty dull.

“We don’t need a selfie to teach us how to copy each other and be jealous little so-and-sos who want to win a beauty pagan of nothingness”

You’re so much better than a selfie.

I believe you care about your followers so let’s stop drowning them in selfies. Selfies are proving nothing to no one. Selfies stop you from standing out in the crowd and inspiring others.

 

The time you spend “selfieing” could be used for…..

Enjoying this current moment and the breath you have in your lungs. One day that breath is going to stop and all that time selfieing won’t matter. You’re literally using up magical moments trying to take a hundred selfies that you filter and post, hoping for perfection.

Perfection is ugly.

“Right now, is the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen if you’ll only stop selfieing and notice it”

 

Life before selfies….

Life was much the same. The selfie didn’t put us on Cloud 9 with a bunch of our fantasies and an unlimited amount of cash being shot up into the sky via an air cannon.

Life before selfies was fun.
We ate our food instead of looking at it with our phones and letting it get cold.
We had phenomenal conversations with our friends instead of taking endless, mindless selfies.

Life before selfies was not about one’s self.
You took photos of other people. Often, you took two photos max instead of fifty in a row.

I’d like you to imagine a life without selfies.

What does the selfie really mean to you and can you live without it?

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Success Advice

Build From Within – Why Success Is All About People

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happy team

What is it that makes a company successful? Money? Technology? A driven CEO? While money certainly doesn’t hurt, technology is essential and it’s nice to have a well poised leader. These things are not what guarantees success in a corporation. It is all about the people. The employees working for an organization are the backbone of the company. Without great people, success can only go so far.

And if this is indeed true, successful business models should revolve around people – attracting top talent, and retaining them. Before ever serving external customers, companies should serve internally. This is where true success is built.

Walid Halty, founder of Dvinci energy, explains 3 reasons as to why people are the bottom line of success and how to build a team for continued growth:

1. Success Comes From Within

How do you continuously create an impeccable experience for your customers? While you may start listing out things such as innovation, efficient delivery and quality, you’d be wrong. All of those factors are quite necessary to attract and retain happy clients. At the same time, you never have to worry about any of that if you have a dedicated and talented team behind your organization or business. When your employees are happy with their work and love what they do, they automatically do great work every single day.

So, how do you get dedicated and talented individuals in your business, and how do you retain them? Dedicated and talented people all share a couple commonalities. They love to be challenged, and they love to grow. You need to challenge your people and give them opportunities to grow: “We have a culture that demands the best out of people. We offer them world class training and give opportunities for growth within our company. We invest in our people: ”Challenge and grow your people, and they will challenge and grow your business.

2. A Balancing Act

Gone are the 12 hour work days and good riddance! There is a new reality in the interconnected and digital world that we live in today. That reality is that there is an abundance of opportunity for anyone who strives for it. People don’t want to miss soccer games, dance recitals and family dinner time. They want balance. They want to do fulfilling, good work at a place where they feel valued, engaged and share a common vision. If this is not the case, then they will be willing to explore other opportunities if they don’t get exactly what they’re looking for.

“Your people don’t need your company’s way of making money, they need a community that creates purpose and order in their lives and an environment that empowers them rather than tries to hold them down out of fear.”

Find out what your people want and then do your best to give it to them. Flexible programs like remote work and adjustable schedules go a long way in making your employees happy and bringing balance: “At Dvinci, we consistently ask our people, what can we be doing better? How can we better serve you? How do WE make doing your job easier?”

You have to care about your people and what they experience on a daily basis when they come to work for you. Deliver a positive people experience, and you will retain your top talent, and they will share your vision and your success.

3. Happiness is a Choice

Emotions are at the root of all the decisions we make. We make hundreds of choices a day, and we make those decisions based off what we think will make us happy. They are why our customers buy from us, and it is why our employees stay with us. We all want to operate in a world (and a place of work) where we have the ability to control our happiness and improve our lives. This simple truth is one of the foundations companies should build their business models around.

Give your people a choice. Allow them to make decisions on how successful they want to be, how much money they want to earn, and what kind of impact they want to have based on what they believe will make them happy. Put the ball in their court. Allow your people to decide to be happy. By doing this, your top talent will excel and your employees will be happy.

“When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.” – Simon Sinek

In case you’ve ever been curious about how to make your business more profitable, more innovative or have a bigger impact, the answer lies within. Serve your people first. Build a community of inspired, engaged and talented employees.

Build your business model around people. The rest will fall into place naturally. When you focus on people, they will care about your business, they will care about your mission and they will care about your customers.

Do you think building from within will equal more success? Share your thoughts with us below!

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Success Advice

You Need To Be Real And Authentic, I’m Sorry – Here’s How.

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With me, there are no games.
There’s no fakery.
What you see is what you get.

It’s taken a long time to get to this level of authenticity. I don’t tell you I’m real to brag; I tell you because you can be too. The reality is you need to be if you want the good life.

 

Your individuality is what’s real.

If you’re into comic magazines, tell us. If you’re into punk rock, then that’s great too. Your individuality is what brings out your authenticity. It’s what makes you different and it’s how we can learn a different set of lessons from the ones our own life teaches us.

Sometimes I watch those reality TV shows that show off musical talent. As a grown man, that might sound weird…. who cares. It’s what makes up who I am.

“Hiding who you are only damages your true purpose and the value you can deliver to the world”

We need to see who you are so we can find ourselves. Loud and proud is the best way to live. That’s why I voted for gay marriage because I don’t ever want anyone to hide who they truly are.

 

I’m not out there to become famous.

That’s what makes each of us real. The moment we chase fame, we become lost in a game that we can never win. We’ll never be the most famous.

Fame is not what it’s cracked up to be. It’s designed to make you someone you’re not. You’re supposed to be perfect because all of a sudden, you’re now a role model. The thing is that role models mess up too.

Authenticity comes from not giving a F and trading in fame for being real instead.

I don’t spend half my day on social media trying to make you feel bad through my content. My goal is to use the lessons from my life to inspire yours.

 

I’m only competing against yesterday’s version of me.

“Beating you is not my goal; helping you win is”

The only person I want to beat is yesterday’s version of myself. I want to beat yesterday’s version so I can deliver more of my authentic self today. Increasing the value of my advice and life experience is all that I’m about. With this tool, I can give more. Who are you competing with?

 

I’m not afraid.

I’m not afraid to tell you I don’t have a blue Lambo – only a model car one.
I’m not afraid to tell you I get scared when I do public speaking.
I’m not afraid to tell you that I wish I could always be young.
I’m not afraid to tell you I got my first grey hair the other day.

If you ask me how to be authentic, it starts with being vulnerable and sharing things. The same fears you have are in common with many of us.

“Your deepest fear is my deepest fear. So, let’s share those fears and help each other crush them”

Life doesn’t need to be a solo journey. Show up being real, authentic and wearing your fears on the outside.

 

I’m not about the high life.

The Benz or the Bimmer is not who I am. I write these words in my office with a lava lamp turned on. I’m kind of old school in that way.

Instead of the fake high life, I put my soul into these words I write. Authenticity can buy you the high life, but once you’ve lived a life that is real, you won’t be that interested in gold chains and diamond rings.

On the surface, loads of cash seems appealing. The reality, having lived it, is that I’m my most authentic without all of the distractions and materials possessions. These things take away my focus and stop me from seeing my vision.

I don’t ever want you to lose sight of your vision which is why I remind you of the perils of money so much. Once you get over six figures, it’s all the same mostly. Money doesn’t make you real.

 

Authenticity breeds a killer network.

Cutting out the fake life and being authentic has bought the same kind of people to my life. People that are real, I’ve found, tend to be successful in the true sense. They’re fun to be around and they’re loyal like a puppy dog.

Your network around you will inspire you towards your goal or distract you from that which you seek. People are naturally attracted to people that are real and you can be that way with discipline. Avoid bragging (although celebrate your wins) and say what’s on your mind.

 

Authenticity requires no validation.

You just do it by being honest. Being real is about being honest with the world, and most of all, yourself. Ditch the habit of lying and you’ll get rich on the life you’ve always wanted. No one has to give you permission to be real.

Try saying what you think with respect.

I did so via my blogging and it turns out people can learn from you when you’re real.

 

Final Thought

I’ve given you a ton of reasons to be authentic. No more excuses.

Be who you were always meant to be.
Who you know you can be.
Who you know you should be.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Success Advice

A Timeline That Shows How To Find Yourself.

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March 2009

I had just bought my dream car, was making loads of cash and chicks thought the fact I was a DJ and Music Producer was cool. My ego was big, I’d never given to a charity or volunteered for anything and I loved to talk my mouth off at anyone who questioned me.

At this point, I had no idea who I was. I honestly believed I could end up discovering drugs and losing myself.

 

June 2011

Nothing had changed except the business I had spent five years creating died.

Along with the death of what I thought was going to be my entire life, and my one big success. Rock bottom came quickly. I couldn’t face the world. I thought I was a failure that would never recover and would work some $15 an hour job for the rest of my life.

At this point, I was even further away from finding myself. The money had gone to my head.

 

April 2013

I’d spent the last two years reading every self-help book and watching lots of Ted Talks. I was more self-aware but still had no idea what I was doing. The fear I had in my life combined with the anxiety was crippling. My health started to fall off a cliff.

Through all of this self-help content, somehow, I discovered Tony Robbins. I went to his seminar by flying 45 minutes to another state of Australia. Flying was a massive fear and I thought I was going to die mid-air.

I got to the seminar and within minutes felt stupid. It seemed like some sort of cult where you drank the cool-aid and then gave your life (literally) at the end.

By that night, I was walking on fire and had a major breakthrough.

At this point, I still had not found myself, but I’d discovered a catalyst for the discovery to begin.

 

June 2014 (roughly I forget what month)

A mate shares a link to a blog called Addicted2Success. The name of the website gets my attention. On the bottom of the site is a phone number which I ring. I talk to the founder’s girlfriend, get the correct mobile number, fly to Perth with no meeting booked, and call him.

He meets me for coffee. There’s no agenda and no topic of conversation. I offer him something for free that he wants and then he asks me to write for his blog. I’ve never written anything professionally and the word ‘writer’ appears lame.

At this point, I had an opportunity but still had no idea who I was.

 

March 2015

My first blog post goes viral and I experience some success. It feels good. The success becomes the validation that I can be a blogger and inspire the world through personal development and entrepreneurship.

I believed in myself before this moment through the self-improvement work but this success compounded the results and my own belief.

At this point, a glimpse of who I was started to shine through. It was satisfying.

 

April 2015

I go to the doctor for a routine check after a few stomach aches, and he sends me to the hospital. While asleep for a few hours, the surgeon finds a lump the size of a golf ball in my guts which was months away from being cancerous.

My whole life changes. Nothing else matters. I begin feeling the following:

– What is my purpose in life?
– Will I be single forever?
– What will be my legacy once I’m gone?
– How can I give back and create more joy?
– Could I inspire millions of people?

These five questions changed everything. These questions were how I began to discover my true self.

 

January 2016

More publications wanted me to write for them. I did and as a result, had more viral blog posts. The daily emails of thank you’s was overwhelming. Inspiring others through my two passions of entrepreneurship and personal development became the pillar of everything I did.

At the same time, I also started crushing my fear of public speaking. This gave me the confidence boost I needed to believe in myself and to continue to discover who I wanted to be.

 

2018 and beyond

I learned the following:

– You’ll never know what will be the catalyst that will change your life
– The things you think you’ll never do, you will
– Once you understand the power of time and legacy through a near-death experience, you’ll never live life the same way again
– Whatever you find your true to self to be, you’ll end up giving back in some way

 

Finding yourself is a lifelong journey.

That’s right! You never arrive. You’re always going to evolve.

What I’ve learned is that once you know who you are and it’s tied to some meaningful purpose – like inspiring millions of people online – the rest will take care of itself.

“It’s the discovery process and being prepared to try new things that will help you uncover that purpose”

Nothing is static. Suffering is guaranteed. In the end, finding yourself is fun when you look back. Thinking about all my ridiculous fears and mistakes makes me laugh. Without them, though, I’d never be who I am today.

And I now know that tomorrow’s potential is created by what you do today.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Life

5 Simple Things to Do Right Now if You Feel Stuck in Life

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feeling stuck in life

As a success-blogger, I normally have a great deal of clarity about what I need to be working on. I’m also really driven by a sense of purpose in helping others get unstuck and make an impact in their lives. There aren’t many times that I find myself at a loss for what to do next.

Nonetheless, I recently hit a dry spell. I felt entirely stuck and a little burnt out. It felt like I was in a pit, emotionally unempowered and unable to move forward. Due to this, I decided to sit down and write out a list of ways that I could get myself moving and build up some momentum again. (more…)

Aaron Force is a blogger from Seattle, Washington. He writes to help others live their most powerful life by allowing them to find their purpose, get unstuck, and impact the world. He can be found at www.aaronforce.net or at https://www.facebook.com/aforce01/.

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12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Greg

    Feb 23, 2016 at 12:36 am

    Thank you, i needed this right now as well. I’ve always talked about goal setting and having goals that you want to attain. But I needed a refresher and to take a serious moment and define WHY I’m doing what I’m doing and what exactly I’m working towards. I need a clear vision and a clear defined goal. Thank you.

  2. s. stewart

    Apr 6, 2015 at 2:57 am

    Very Well Said

  3. Carol Record (@CarolRecord)

    Aug 1, 2014 at 4:13 am

    I really needed this reminder right about now. I wish more people understood this, especially #2, and it just so happens that one of my current primary goals is to get away from people that don’t understand #2 and spread negativity because of it.

  4. mommylovestocook

    Jun 27, 2014 at 3:24 am

    Worth reading. I agree that success is not to be chased and you wont be successful if without a definite plan.

    • James Johnson

      Jul 4, 2014 at 11:09 am

      I’ve always felt that success is not the destination, it’s surviving the journey. It’s hard to do that without a plan!

  5. Austin Zulauf

    Jun 18, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    Very good! It’s hard to hit a destination you haven’t mapped out, you have to know where you’re going. Success is the same way, you have to know what success is to YOU.
    I know clearly written goals have helped me tremendously! A mentor of mine gave me 8 steps to effectively setting & achieving goals & I’ve lived by that!
    Thanks for the great content 😉

    • James Johnson

      Jul 4, 2014 at 11:08 am

      Hey Austin! Thanks for your comment, I’m sorry for the slow reply to this – I’ve been out of town.

      I’d love to hear your 8 Steps if you hit me up at jamesthinksthings@gmail.com.

  6. Ben Granville Kyle

    Jun 16, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    Asking ourselves the right type of questions plays a huge role in how our lives turns out. If you want to change any results you are getting, you must change your thinking( or the questions you ask). i also like what the author says:” Other people’s successes doesn’t matter”. So often we are caught up in the success of other people that we forget how important success should be for us. Hence, i agree with the author: “The more specific the goal-(or question), the clearer the path. The easier decisions become to make in line with your definition, and the more likely you are to achieve it (as long as you put the work in).”

    Everything—everything!—starts there.

    • James Johnson

      Jul 4, 2014 at 11:07 am

      Correct, Ben! Sorry for the slow reply to this. Asking the right Questions helps keep your attitude in-line with your goals.

  7. James Johnson (@JamesJohnson_PL)

    Jun 13, 2014 at 7:00 am

    My motto for a long time has been, ‘Do not strive to be rich, strive to be free’.

    Personally, I can’t get behind the concept of money. In terms that, it won’t motivate me anywhere near as much as something more important to me.

  8. Beau Norton

    Jun 12, 2014 at 4:30 am

    Awesome! I used to think that I had to be a millionaire to be successful. Well, i still believe I will be one day, but for the moment I am perfectly happy with living a comfortable life with no financial pressure. The average person doesn’t need that much money at all to feel comfortable and secure. If you can afford to go out to eat at a fancy restaurant and not worry about the bill, then I’d say you’re doing pretty well. Haha. But many people have an obsession with money and will always want more. I think it’s important to define success for yourself so you have a clear income goal. When you reach that, it should be a signal to you that you need to stop chasing the money and start doing more of what you love. Money can buy freedom, but once you are free, there’s nothing more money can do for you! Besides buy more things that is…and that’s more like slavery than freedom.

    • Abel

      Jun 12, 2014 at 7:39 pm

      Awesome article, Step 2 is so crucial I wish more people would follow it, if your goal is to graduate & secure a job to provide for your family you are successful. My goal personally is to grow my business to generate a steady income enough for me to be self-employed. Both examples are different but each successful in their desires & objectives. Thanks Author.

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Success Advice

What If You Never Took Another Selfie Again?

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That’s the question I want you to ponder right now.

What if taking a selfie only made the world ignore you?
What if life is not all about you?
What if no one cares who you took a photo with?

And finally, how did we ever live without selfies before the front-facing camera got invented?

Instead of taking a selfie do this:

Try focusing on other people.
Try not to document every moment.
Try to think about life before selfies.

We all take selfies because that’s what we were told to do.
And that’s exactly why we need to question this habitual flaw that we’re now indulging in.

 

I have A/B tested selfies vs. no selfies.

The result? When I took photos of cool stuff like mountains in Japan and shared a profound thought, people liked that more than a selfie with my overly large head in it. I’ve done this test multiple times over the last few years.

The result is always the same. People are over you and your selfies.

 

It’s not about “I” it’s about “We.”

Sounds cliché, and that’s because most brilliant advice is.

Selfies have deluded us into thinking that life is about us and our big audacious goals. Where life will change for you is when you focus on the “We.”

Everything I write is for the audience I want to inspire. It’s not to show off or to share dumb selfies of me in a weak attempt to appear superior.

 

Selfies cause your followers to compare themselves to you.

And that’s not fair. If each of us tried to be the same, then society would be pretty dull.

“We don’t need a selfie to teach us how to copy each other and be jealous little so-and-sos who want to win a beauty pagan of nothingness”

You’re so much better than a selfie.

I believe you care about your followers so let’s stop drowning them in selfies. Selfies are proving nothing to no one. Selfies stop you from standing out in the crowd and inspiring others.

 

The time you spend “selfieing” could be used for…..

Enjoying this current moment and the breath you have in your lungs. One day that breath is going to stop and all that time selfieing won’t matter. You’re literally using up magical moments trying to take a hundred selfies that you filter and post, hoping for perfection.

Perfection is ugly.

“Right now, is the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen if you’ll only stop selfieing and notice it”

 

Life before selfies….

Life was much the same. The selfie didn’t put us on Cloud 9 with a bunch of our fantasies and an unlimited amount of cash being shot up into the sky via an air cannon.

Life before selfies was fun.
We ate our food instead of looking at it with our phones and letting it get cold.
We had phenomenal conversations with our friends instead of taking endless, mindless selfies.

Life before selfies was not about one’s self.
You took photos of other people. Often, you took two photos max instead of fifty in a row.

I’d like you to imagine a life without selfies.

What does the selfie really mean to you and can you live without it?

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Success Advice

Build From Within – Why Success Is All About People

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happy team

What is it that makes a company successful? Money? Technology? A driven CEO? While money certainly doesn’t hurt, technology is essential and it’s nice to have a well poised leader. These things are not what guarantees success in a corporation. It is all about the people. The employees working for an organization are the backbone of the company. Without great people, success can only go so far.

And if this is indeed true, successful business models should revolve around people – attracting top talent, and retaining them. Before ever serving external customers, companies should serve internally. This is where true success is built.

Walid Halty, founder of Dvinci energy, explains 3 reasons as to why people are the bottom line of success and how to build a team for continued growth:

1. Success Comes From Within

How do you continuously create an impeccable experience for your customers? While you may start listing out things such as innovation, efficient delivery and quality, you’d be wrong. All of those factors are quite necessary to attract and retain happy clients. At the same time, you never have to worry about any of that if you have a dedicated and talented team behind your organization or business. When your employees are happy with their work and love what they do, they automatically do great work every single day.

So, how do you get dedicated and talented individuals in your business, and how do you retain them? Dedicated and talented people all share a couple commonalities. They love to be challenged, and they love to grow. You need to challenge your people and give them opportunities to grow: “We have a culture that demands the best out of people. We offer them world class training and give opportunities for growth within our company. We invest in our people: ”Challenge and grow your people, and they will challenge and grow your business.

2. A Balancing Act

Gone are the 12 hour work days and good riddance! There is a new reality in the interconnected and digital world that we live in today. That reality is that there is an abundance of opportunity for anyone who strives for it. People don’t want to miss soccer games, dance recitals and family dinner time. They want balance. They want to do fulfilling, good work at a place where they feel valued, engaged and share a common vision. If this is not the case, then they will be willing to explore other opportunities if they don’t get exactly what they’re looking for.

“Your people don’t need your company’s way of making money, they need a community that creates purpose and order in their lives and an environment that empowers them rather than tries to hold them down out of fear.”

Find out what your people want and then do your best to give it to them. Flexible programs like remote work and adjustable schedules go a long way in making your employees happy and bringing balance: “At Dvinci, we consistently ask our people, what can we be doing better? How can we better serve you? How do WE make doing your job easier?”

You have to care about your people and what they experience on a daily basis when they come to work for you. Deliver a positive people experience, and you will retain your top talent, and they will share your vision and your success.

3. Happiness is a Choice

Emotions are at the root of all the decisions we make. We make hundreds of choices a day, and we make those decisions based off what we think will make us happy. They are why our customers buy from us, and it is why our employees stay with us. We all want to operate in a world (and a place of work) where we have the ability to control our happiness and improve our lives. This simple truth is one of the foundations companies should build their business models around.

Give your people a choice. Allow them to make decisions on how successful they want to be, how much money they want to earn, and what kind of impact they want to have based on what they believe will make them happy. Put the ball in their court. Allow your people to decide to be happy. By doing this, your top talent will excel and your employees will be happy.

“When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.” – Simon Sinek

In case you’ve ever been curious about how to make your business more profitable, more innovative or have a bigger impact, the answer lies within. Serve your people first. Build a community of inspired, engaged and talented employees.

Build your business model around people. The rest will fall into place naturally. When you focus on people, they will care about your business, they will care about your mission and they will care about your customers.

Do you think building from within will equal more success? Share your thoughts with us below!

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Success Advice

You Need To Be Real And Authentic, I’m Sorry – Here’s How.

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With me, there are no games.
There’s no fakery.
What you see is what you get.

It’s taken a long time to get to this level of authenticity. I don’t tell you I’m real to brag; I tell you because you can be too. The reality is you need to be if you want the good life.

 

Your individuality is what’s real.

If you’re into comic magazines, tell us. If you’re into punk rock, then that’s great too. Your individuality is what brings out your authenticity. It’s what makes you different and it’s how we can learn a different set of lessons from the ones our own life teaches us.

Sometimes I watch those reality TV shows that show off musical talent. As a grown man, that might sound weird…. who cares. It’s what makes up who I am.

“Hiding who you are only damages your true purpose and the value you can deliver to the world”

We need to see who you are so we can find ourselves. Loud and proud is the best way to live. That’s why I voted for gay marriage because I don’t ever want anyone to hide who they truly are.

 

I’m not out there to become famous.

That’s what makes each of us real. The moment we chase fame, we become lost in a game that we can never win. We’ll never be the most famous.

Fame is not what it’s cracked up to be. It’s designed to make you someone you’re not. You’re supposed to be perfect because all of a sudden, you’re now a role model. The thing is that role models mess up too.

Authenticity comes from not giving a F and trading in fame for being real instead.

I don’t spend half my day on social media trying to make you feel bad through my content. My goal is to use the lessons from my life to inspire yours.

 

I’m only competing against yesterday’s version of me.

“Beating you is not my goal; helping you win is”

The only person I want to beat is yesterday’s version of myself. I want to beat yesterday’s version so I can deliver more of my authentic self today. Increasing the value of my advice and life experience is all that I’m about. With this tool, I can give more. Who are you competing with?

 

I’m not afraid.

I’m not afraid to tell you I don’t have a blue Lambo – only a model car one.
I’m not afraid to tell you I get scared when I do public speaking.
I’m not afraid to tell you that I wish I could always be young.
I’m not afraid to tell you I got my first grey hair the other day.

If you ask me how to be authentic, it starts with being vulnerable and sharing things. The same fears you have are in common with many of us.

“Your deepest fear is my deepest fear. So, let’s share those fears and help each other crush them”

Life doesn’t need to be a solo journey. Show up being real, authentic and wearing your fears on the outside.

 

I’m not about the high life.

The Benz or the Bimmer is not who I am. I write these words in my office with a lava lamp turned on. I’m kind of old school in that way.

Instead of the fake high life, I put my soul into these words I write. Authenticity can buy you the high life, but once you’ve lived a life that is real, you won’t be that interested in gold chains and diamond rings.

On the surface, loads of cash seems appealing. The reality, having lived it, is that I’m my most authentic without all of the distractions and materials possessions. These things take away my focus and stop me from seeing my vision.

I don’t ever want you to lose sight of your vision which is why I remind you of the perils of money so much. Once you get over six figures, it’s all the same mostly. Money doesn’t make you real.

 

Authenticity breeds a killer network.

Cutting out the fake life and being authentic has bought the same kind of people to my life. People that are real, I’ve found, tend to be successful in the true sense. They’re fun to be around and they’re loyal like a puppy dog.

Your network around you will inspire you towards your goal or distract you from that which you seek. People are naturally attracted to people that are real and you can be that way with discipline. Avoid bragging (although celebrate your wins) and say what’s on your mind.

 

Authenticity requires no validation.

You just do it by being honest. Being real is about being honest with the world, and most of all, yourself. Ditch the habit of lying and you’ll get rich on the life you’ve always wanted. No one has to give you permission to be real.

Try saying what you think with respect.

I did so via my blogging and it turns out people can learn from you when you’re real.

 

Final Thought

I’ve given you a ton of reasons to be authentic. No more excuses.

Be who you were always meant to be.
Who you know you can be.
Who you know you should be.

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Success Advice

A Timeline That Shows How To Find Yourself.

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March 2009

I had just bought my dream car, was making loads of cash and chicks thought the fact I was a DJ and Music Producer was cool. My ego was big, I’d never given to a charity or volunteered for anything and I loved to talk my mouth off at anyone who questioned me.

At this point, I had no idea who I was. I honestly believed I could end up discovering drugs and losing myself.

 

June 2011

Nothing had changed except the business I had spent five years creating died.

Along with the death of what I thought was going to be my entire life, and my one big success. Rock bottom came quickly. I couldn’t face the world. I thought I was a failure that would never recover and would work some $15 an hour job for the rest of my life.

At this point, I was even further away from finding myself. The money had gone to my head.

 

April 2013

I’d spent the last two years reading every self-help book and watching lots of Ted Talks. I was more self-aware but still had no idea what I was doing. The fear I had in my life combined with the anxiety was crippling. My health started to fall off a cliff.

Through all of this self-help content, somehow, I discovered Tony Robbins. I went to his seminar by flying 45 minutes to another state of Australia. Flying was a massive fear and I thought I was going to die mid-air.

I got to the seminar and within minutes felt stupid. It seemed like some sort of cult where you drank the cool-aid and then gave your life (literally) at the end.

By that night, I was walking on fire and had a major breakthrough.

At this point, I still had not found myself, but I’d discovered a catalyst for the discovery to begin.

 

June 2014 (roughly I forget what month)

A mate shares a link to a blog called Addicted2Success. The name of the website gets my attention. On the bottom of the site is a phone number which I ring. I talk to the founder’s girlfriend, get the correct mobile number, fly to Perth with no meeting booked, and call him.

He meets me for coffee. There’s no agenda and no topic of conversation. I offer him something for free that he wants and then he asks me to write for his blog. I’ve never written anything professionally and the word ‘writer’ appears lame.

At this point, I had an opportunity but still had no idea who I was.

 

March 2015

My first blog post goes viral and I experience some success. It feels good. The success becomes the validation that I can be a blogger and inspire the world through personal development and entrepreneurship.

I believed in myself before this moment through the self-improvement work but this success compounded the results and my own belief.

At this point, a glimpse of who I was started to shine through. It was satisfying.

 

April 2015

I go to the doctor for a routine check after a few stomach aches, and he sends me to the hospital. While asleep for a few hours, the surgeon finds a lump the size of a golf ball in my guts which was months away from being cancerous.

My whole life changes. Nothing else matters. I begin feeling the following:

– What is my purpose in life?
– Will I be single forever?
– What will be my legacy once I’m gone?
– How can I give back and create more joy?
– Could I inspire millions of people?

These five questions changed everything. These questions were how I began to discover my true self.

 

January 2016

More publications wanted me to write for them. I did and as a result, had more viral blog posts. The daily emails of thank you’s was overwhelming. Inspiring others through my two passions of entrepreneurship and personal development became the pillar of everything I did.

At the same time, I also started crushing my fear of public speaking. This gave me the confidence boost I needed to believe in myself and to continue to discover who I wanted to be.

 

2018 and beyond

I learned the following:

– You’ll never know what will be the catalyst that will change your life
– The things you think you’ll never do, you will
– Once you understand the power of time and legacy through a near-death experience, you’ll never live life the same way again
– Whatever you find your true to self to be, you’ll end up giving back in some way

 

Finding yourself is a lifelong journey.

That’s right! You never arrive. You’re always going to evolve.

What I’ve learned is that once you know who you are and it’s tied to some meaningful purpose – like inspiring millions of people online – the rest will take care of itself.

“It’s the discovery process and being prepared to try new things that will help you uncover that purpose”

Nothing is static. Suffering is guaranteed. In the end, finding yourself is fun when you look back. Thinking about all my ridiculous fears and mistakes makes me laugh. Without them, though, I’d never be who I am today.

And I now know that tomorrow’s potential is created by what you do today.

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