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Success Advice

5 Ways To Stop Consuming And Start Producing

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5 Ways To Stop Consuming And Start Producing

Click, click, click. You go through a number of websites, absorbing as much as you can about a topic. Before you know it, hours pass and you’re still reading article after article.The problem is: You haven’t actually done anything. Sound familiar?

I used to do this for hours at a time. I would research on a topic, whether it was on exercise, writing, or even how to become productive, but nothing would get done. I would take in a lot of information, but none of it seemed to help.

Doing of an analysis of what we’re supposed to do is often a way of making ourselves feel productive. It seems as if we’re doing something to reach our goals. But there’s a difference between being busy and productive.

Busy means performing tasks that may or may not produce results, while being productive is when you take concrete steps to achieve a goal.

Consuming information rather than doing something is a way of putting off what we know we should be doing. Postponing what’s important masks our deep-rooted fears, whether they include fear of change, fear of failure, or even a fear that we may become successful.

But if you go through each of these 5 steps, you’ll find it a lot easier to start taking steps towards what you want to achieve:

 

1. Stop obsessing over minutiae

We’re bombarded with decisions all the time. From the moment we wake up, we have to decide what to wear, what to eat, and what we need to do. And that’s before any real work gets done!

Every day, you’re faced with a range of small to big decisions to make. It’s important that you differentiate between the two in order to set priorities. For example, deciding what to eat for breakfast is a small decision, while considering whether to leave your job is a large decision.

At first, it sounds obvious that we should be putting more energy into critical decisions that may impact us for years to come. But surprisingly, it can be tempting to obsess over insignificant details and choices, which takes up the finite energy we have for more critical decisions.

So instead, plan ahead of time for the smaller details of your day so that you can think more clearly when it comes to big decisions.

 

Leroy-Hood
 

2. Know that things don’t have to be perfect

It’s easy to keep yourself from starting anything by telling yourself, “It’s not the right time”, or “I just need to get this one thing before I can start working towards my goal.”

But the truth is, now is the best time to get started on your goals. Things will never be perfect. And if you keep waiting until you are in the perfect situation, what if that moment never arrives?

Waiting until later can mean increased responsibilities, whether it’s finances, family, or whatever life decides to throw at you. So instead of stalling and waiting for an opportune moment, a better way to approach your goal is to think: What is one small task I can do today that will get me closer to what I can to achieve?

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” – Milton Berle

3. Set a deadline

There’s a difference between urgent and important. Sometimes, what’s important to us isn’t necessarily urgent. This might include your desire to write a book, get into shape, or start a business.

We don’t feel a need to do any of these immediately because no one’s pushing us to do so and nothing bad will happen if we choose not to. Unfortunately, the nature of these things makes them easy to put off until later.

Instead, create a sense of self-inflicted urgency. Make something that is important, urgent as well, so that you feel compelled to do something about it. For example, if you’re looking to get into shape and haven’t exercised in months, just set a simple task. Your simple task could be to stretch in front of the TV by tonight or to go on a walk by the end of the week.

The deadline should be sometime close, and the task should be simple enough that it’s hard to make excuses.

 

4. Take a small step each day

You’ve probably heard of the term “overnight success”. You know, the people who went from nothing to instant riches and fame. It seems as if those individuals were chosen from obscurity to become successful.

However, what you don’t see underneath is all the years of work and dedication it took to get there. As billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban says, “Everyone tells you how they are going to be special, but few do the work to get there. Do the work.” He didn’t become successful overnight. It took years of work, experimenting and failing, in order to get where he and other successful people are today.

And doing the work starts with just doing one thing right now.

 

5. Quit over planning

When people first set out to accomplish something, they soon find themselves overwhelmed with all sorts of information. How do I set this up? What if there’s nobody interested in my product? It worked for him, but it might not work for me…

A number of reasons begin to pop up in our heads about why we can’t do something. We plan ahead in our minds about all the problems that are likely to pop up, before we’ve even done anything yet.

So the first thing to keep in mind is, stop planning out everything. It’s good to know where you’re headed, but also realize that when obstacles do come up, you’ll deal with them when the time comes.

“If you feel like there’s something out there that you’re supposed to be doing, if you have a passion for it, then stop wishing and just do it.” – Wanda Sykes

I believe that success is something you acquire gradually, each and every single day. The more work you put into your craft, the more you’ll get out of it. All you need is the courage to know that the road to success is in front of you, if you’re willing to travel on it.

Thank you for reading my article! What’s keeping you from reaching your goals?

Melissa Chu is the founder of Jumpstart Your Dream Life, where she helps people get productive and incorporate positive habits into their everyday lives. You can download the guide that shows you how to achieve your goals (without giving up). So get started today. Download the guide here.

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. William

    Sep 23, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    Hi Melissa , Great post. I share all you said! Completely true!
    Thank u so much.

  2. Steven

    Sep 23, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    The dont-over-plan-point is spot on. Just get to work on the stuff that matters today and the rest will follow.

  3. Lawrence Berry

    Sep 23, 2015 at 4:06 am

    The hardest thing to do is to get started, but after you get started and stay with whatever you want to achieve, the momentum starts to build and it gets a little easier as it becomes a habit. Many people are not where they want to be in life simply because they have not started. To me, there are two simple steps to success: 1) Knowing what needs to be done 2) Doing it. Well-written article.

  4. Amey

    Sep 21, 2015 at 10:45 am

    I laughed when I read number 2. As a perfectionist, this is always something to remember. I have taken a screenshot of it. Absolutely superb advice. Thank you.

  5. Theodore Nwangene

    Sep 20, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    Hello Melissa,
    This is really a very awesome guide. We are always presented with so many choices and this usually make it very very hard for us to be decisive and while you’re trying to figure out which way to go or which to choose from, time will be going.

    I love the idea of starting small. If you form the habit of starting everything you dream of even if its in small batches at a time before you know it, you will complete the whole task.

    • Melissa Chu

      Sep 21, 2015 at 3:30 pm

      Hey Theodore,

      We’ve run into each other a few times now! Yes sometimes just thinking of all the steps you need to take can lead to overwhelm and make it hard to get started. But if you just break it down into one important thing you need to do today, it’s much easier to do what you need.

      Thanks for your comments!
      Melissa

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Success Advice

Practice These 4 No’s for Greater Success

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In much of the success literature and in the applied motivational literature that is developed today, the explicit suggestions contained within are to practice certain behaviors for a certain outcome. So, you may see information with titles such as, “Do these four things for greater happiness”, or, “Perform the seven steps every morning for more focus”.

Not only am I a large proponent of these quick and distilled attributes of behavior change to bring about greater levels of whatever the outcome should be, I am also an author of a great many of them. The notion of cause and effect is explicit in applied motivation. If you want to change and affect then do not work on the effect directly, work on the cause that will invariably change the outcome.

So many of us try to psychologically bully our conscious mind into various effects, when all we really need to do is understand the causes. Thoughts drive behavior. If you change the thought the behavior must change. But can you increase your level of overall well-being by NOT doing certain things? And I know the answer is yes. It all begins with a shift in our perception and the thought process.

“If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.” – Peace Pilgrim

Here are four NO’s that you may want to stop practicing. And by virtue of not doing these things you will have more mental room, and idea space between your positive notions for greater levels of contentment and well-being.

1. There are no justified discontentment’s

If the laws of cause and effect, and the law of attraction hold true, then we are where we are right now by virtue of our past behaviors, which are a direct result of our past beginning. So don’t be mad over your current situation, you created it! If you want to be happy, change it! But don’t just sit there and bask in your discontentment; bring about the necessary changes that you require.

In the words of James Ray, “a person of power embraces challenges and complete gratitude. No matter the situation life may bring, discontent is never justified, but rather all is experienced as an opportunity and privilege to adventure and grow.”

2. There are no justified excuses

The present is a doorway that balances past events with future circumstances. When we begin to fully grasp the idea that there is no dress rehearsal, we are on Broadway; that there is no scrimmage, today we are in the Super Bowl, we begin to realize that our life is a series of micro adjustments and that we are in total and complete control over them. Instead of wasting time making excuses for poor decisions, spend that time in fine-tuning future decisions to make up for those poor decisions of the past.

3. There are no justified complaints

We complain about a situation for one of two reasons. One, to elicit pity from another and, two, to transfer the issue we are complaining about to somebody else. Either behavior is destructive to the current personal relationship and will only serve to undermine future transactions with that individual.

Be a person of higher self-esteem; handle your issues in silence then speak to another individual about your successful outcomes. By doing so, you have altered your focus on a positive outcome instead of our negative conditions. By the way, there is always a successful outcome! If you can find it, look deeper, it’s there!

“Champions never complain, they are too busy getting better.” – John Wooden

4. There are no justified resentments

None, zip, zilch, zero! That person that borrowed $500 off you and never paid you back, forgive them. That significant other that dropped you like a hot coal just when you needed them the most, forgive them. That business partner that screwed you to the wall and caused you to lose a vast amount of money, forgive them. Remember, forgiveness is not about them, it’s about you. By letting go of the resentments that you have toward other people you open yourself up to the endless possibilities of bountiful manifestations that can occur because of your positive attitude and constructive optimism.

Think of these four big No’s! Number them, with number one being the one which you practice and think about the most. Then answer the following questions:

  • What can I do to alter this behavior and/or thought process?
  • What situations do I encounter and lead me in this behavior and/or thought process?
  • Can I avoid those situations?
  • If so, am I willing to avoid those situations?

Then do that with the second the third and the fourth big No’s. What will happen after enough time is that you will no longer be looking for situations to offend you, rather you will begin to open up to the possibilities of what the world and the universe have to offer you in a positive, enthusiastic, and engaging light.

I look forward to your comments, opinions, and suggestions. Please feel free to write them below.

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Success Advice

9 Ways To Build Unbreakable Confidence From The Outside In

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Build Self Confidence

There are a million different resources and pieces of advice out there from “experts” on how to build confidence, particularly self-confidence.

A vulnerable and anxious population consumes this guidance like they are starving for it… probably because they are. The dream of being able to overcome all fear and self-imposed limits by simply reading some advice is a very tempting dish indeed.

After lifetimes of being subject to images and ideals that they cannot possibly live up to, people start to feel like they are “less than.” This fear of being a substandard human being drives some of us to seek guidance, bringing us into contact with the murky, over-crowded world of self-help products and services.

Look, some of the stuff out there is good – I know, I’ve tried most of it. However, some of it is very misguided and even delusional.

People who lack self-confidence themselves can take a class on basic theoretical knowledge of psychological research, and use it to excrete volumes of garbage about how to build self-esteem and confidence. They then charge copious amounts of money for this drivel, which usually makes you feel great temporarily but does absolutely nothing to change your long term situation.

I’m not going to pretend I know it all, yet what I do have to offer is that I have completed the full journey, from shy, “nice,” and trying to please everyone, all the way through to where I am now.

You may ask, where is that, and what does being confident mean to me? It means that these things now occur in my life where they didn’t before:

  • I regularly seek out opportunities to push boundaries and expand my comfort zone, running towards fear rather than away from it
  • I can go into a situation full of anxiety and quickly push through that to enable me to feel competent and at ease
  • I feel comfortable being honest in all situations. Rather than hide my views, I express them calmly and diplomatically where required, but also without compromise
  • I place my needs above everything else. I am selfish about developing my life and inner-self, because I know that ultimately the people in my life will benefit from me being a better person
  • Most importantly from my point of view, I can’t remember the last time I felt jealousy or envy, and it’s been many, many years since I entertained the idea of wanting to be anyone else

So how did I get to this from being a “nice” guy that did all I could to avoid confrontation and anxiety-provoking situations? Well, it wasn’t easy! I have taken some time to break down the steps I took to achieve this in order to help others out there who are similar to me and serious about developing true, unbreakable inner confidence.

See the secret is really no secret at all – it’s about constantly taking action in a way that pushes your comfort zone further out until you learn how to make any situation feel like it’s in your comfort zone.

Below are 9 ways to build unbreakable confidence from the outside in:

1. Identifying your ultimate dream lifestyle

Something that is a real confidence drainer is not knowing where you’re going in life. The great thing is you don’t even need to be sure about it; you just need to have a direction to travel in.

Try taking 30 minutes to write down a descriptive paragraph or two about what your life would look like if you could wave a magic wand and choose anything. I’ve found with my clients that answering these three questions in detail is a great structure to use:

1What will you have / what will you be doing?

2) How would other people describe you?

3) What will you think about yourself?

Writing down the detailed answers to these questions, using emotional and descriptive language. Once you’ve done this, make sure you re-read it regularly (at least twice per week) to remind yourself constantly about why it is you are getting out of bed.

This will increase your sense of purpose in life, a reason to live in a way, which will increase your confidence. Of course, to actually achieve this dream lifestyle, there are further steps you need to take… (read on).

2. Writing down goals and striving to achieve them

I remember reading about a study at Oxford University: researchers asked all students in a class who had written down their goals. I can’t remember the exact details but about 3% of them did this.

When the researchers revisited the students again 20 years later, the small group who had written down goals were earning a combined income that was greater than the combined income of all 97% of their classmates.

There are plenty of free resources out there on how to write goals (including The Inspirational Lifestyle). The general key I recommend is that rather than write outcome based goals (e.g. “I will get a promotion”) try writing action-based goals that are under your control (e.g. “I will take a management course and then apply for a promotion”).

By making sure the goals are under your control, your confidence is not subject to luck. Remove luck by making sure that nothing and no-one can affect the achievement of your goal except for you.

3. Reading popular self-development books by successful business people

While there are far too many refuse-bin-worthy self-development books out there, your safest bet is to read the memoirs and how-to books which are written by people who have actually achieved something.

It really is simple; if someone like Richard Branson is a billionaire, he’s probably a pretty reliable source of information on how to make money. It’s much better to listen to him than someone fresh from completing an MBA and spilling a bunch of inexperienced theory-based conjecture.

4Learning how to manage your state of mind

Most of the time the reason you feel anxious or nervous about a situation you’re about to go into, such as public speaking, is because you’re in the wrong frame of mind.

Imagine this: you’ve been studying accounting for three straights hours without interruption, when all of a sudden you’re dragged to a party. Straight away you feel anxiety even though going to a party is not an unusual situation for you. So what’s the problem?

Your brain was set into the “studying” state, which is secluded, quiet, and antisocial. You are then thrown into a situation which requires you to be extroverted, talkative and social. This is a really uncomfortable imbalance for your brain to handle. The solution? Taking baby steps.

When you realize you are feeling anxiety about an upcoming situation and you suspect that it is because of being in the wrong state, try to figure out some in-between steps you can take.

Using our example above, rather than going straight to the party, you could have a chat on the phone with some close friends, followed by pre-drinks at your house with just a few people. This way by the time you get to the party your state has gone from withdrawn to outgoing in easy to manage steps.

confidence picture quote

5Understanding the balance between learning, mentoring and action

One of the most common barriers to success is too much thinking and not enough doing. It’s the doing that builds confidence, not the learning.

As a general rule, for every hour you spend reading or watching videos (passive learning), you will benefit most by complementing this with two hours of mentoring or coaching, and seven hours practicing or otherwise taking action. It’s the 10/20/70 rule.

This is why I’ve titled this article “9 ways to build confidence from the outside in,” because building confidence goes far beyond just reading inspirational or educational books. It’s about taking action so you will start seeing results and positive changes.

6. Approaching strangers

This is one of the scariest things for people to do – very few can do it sober without a background in cold-calling or sales of some kind. Doing this is a really powerful way to build confidence, particularly if you’re single and approaching strangers with the intention of potential romance.

If you can get yourself to do this sober and during the day, it makes everything else seem a lot less scary. You can learn to love rejection as the learning and feedback experience it really is.

7. Trying new things regularly

Having a routine can kill your creativity and make your life boring. It’s important to seek new adventures, and always try new things regularly because it can boost your confidence through the following two ways.

1) By learning a range of skills and having varied experiences, you start building up transferable abilities. Over time less situations will seem totally unknown because you will have done something similar before.

For example, I found I really enjoyed salsa dancing despite never having danced before, because it combined my previous experiences of playing in a band and doing martial arts.

2) You will eventually find those things that bring you the most pleasure and satisfaction (in a non-creepy way of course).

Confidence is often also described as “conscious competence,” which basically means that if you are doing something that you are skilled at, and you know that you are skilled, you feel confident.

8. Surrounding yourself with successful people

Successful people always say “how can we do this?” whereas unsuccessful people generally say “why should we do this?

What kind of people do you spend the most time with? Until you develop a strong inner core of confidence that others cannot touch, you need to surround yourself with “can do” people in order to feed on their confidence.

People showing you that anything is possible, and that they believe you are capable of anything will go a long way towards helping you believe this yourself.

9. Making a conscious effort to stop caring about other’s opinions of you

Finally, the biggest lesson I ever really learned about developing true all-round confidence is that the only person I should compare myself to is… myself. There is nothing to be gained in comparing myself to others or trying to live to others expectations.

Confidence comes from setting your own expectations of yourself and then trying your best to live up to them. I am not saying that you shouldn’t compete with others, because that’s a great motivator too, but your results and progress should only be measured against your past self.

Well that’s it. There’s a million other things you can do, but I am sure that if you start with this list and TAKE ACTION rather than just read this and do nothing, then you will start to see big changes in how you feel about yourself.

Which one of the above 9 ways to build unbreakable confidence resonated most with you and why?

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Success Advice

It’s Not How Smart You Are That Defines Your Career — It’s This

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Look around the office you work in. Some people are managers. Some people make six-figure salaries. Some people are senior executives. Some people work in customer service on the frontline.

It’s a big mistake to think that where you are in your career has something to do with how smart you are.

I’ve met many smart people who crash and burn in their careers because they have to be always right or they overthink, or they know a lot about the wrong things or they have very low emotional intelligence causing them to upset many people at the same time.

If being smart made us successful then we’d all go and consume endless information and become millionaires shortly after.

Being smart is not enough.

So what does define your career and the success you have?


1. How badly you want it

The woman/man that became CEO wanted it more.

The person with the 7-figure business wanted it more.

The woman that won an Olympic Gold Medal wanted it more.

You have to want your goals really, really, really bad.

Wanting something so badly that you’re prepared to do anything to get there (ethically) is how you get the energy to overcome the rejection and failure it’s going to take to get reach that point.

I wanted to share my story and inspire people with it very badly. I thought of creating a WordPress website, but I had no idea how to and had zero technical skill. My knowledge of how to market that website was also zero.
I tried creating a Facebook Page and to date, it still has less than 3000 followers which means I fall short by a lot in terms of my target to inspire millions of people.

I tried using Twitter and reaching people that way. I was never able to get any real engagement. I’d tweet Elon Musk. I’d message Tony Robbins. I’d write the best tweet humanly possible. It all led nowhere.

I tried using a blogging platform called Medium. I was able to build a small following, but most people in my area of the world don’t use it. I still came up short of my goal.

Then, I tried writing on a blog that already had lots of viewers called Addicted2Success and began posting on LinkedIn daily.

Everything changed. I wanted to inspire people so badly that I kept trying until I found a platform that worked for what I had to say. Wanting it badly enough was what helped me keep going from 2014 until now. It didn’t stop there, though.

When my career took a turn down a black hole, my motivation died. Suddenly, writing on Addicted2Success and LinkedIn became hard. I didn’t want it as bad because the pain caused by my work life was too much. I let things slip temporarily for about 3 weeks. Engagement went to an all-time low.

It didn’t last long, though. Why? My thinking changed when I reminded myself how upset I would be if I didn’t achieve my goal. It meant far too much and in the back of my mind, I still wanted it badly.

I went back over all the emails from people I’d helped and that spark came back. Deep down, I still wanted it badly. I still wanted to inspire millions of people.

Wanting it bad was what helped me to revive my blogging career and continue helping millions of people.

Wanting it badly will define your career.


2. What you think is possible

I met a guy earlier in the year that came from a farm in the middle of Outback Australia.

He’d sold his digital marketing business for a lot of money and banked a huge amount of coin as a result. He had no tech background. He had no business knowledge. He didn’t have seven-figure friends that drove Bentley’s.

What he had was an uncanny ability to think anything was possible. He saw himself rising above his circumstances even though he had no evidence to prove that he could do so. He worked long hours and built up a team of cult followers. They learned together how to get businesses exposure through social media and search engines.

For many of the people on his team, it was their first job. He didn’t pay them well because he couldn’t. All he thought was that one day, together, they’d do something incredible — and they did.

A lot of what happens in your career is based on how you think. If you think you can never be a manager, entrepreneur or executive, then you won’t be.

If you think you can be good at public speaking, you might.
If you think you can hit your sales target, you might.
If you think you can start a successful business, you might.
If you’re not successful right now, you will be.

It’s only a matter of time until one of the bets in your career pays off

It’s a combination of being ready, being humble, thinking right and having the skills to execute. Not thinking you can achieve big will rob you of whatever it is that you want in your career.

I shouldn’t be a successful blogger because I can’t write that well, I have bad spelling/grammar skills, I don’t own a blog and I’m not filthy rich. Despite all that I’ve achieved my blogging goal.

I saw my goal become possible before anybody else did.

I told myself that every major challenge was necessary for me to eventually get what I wanted. I thought my goal was possible even though all the facts suggested it wasn’t. Instead of relying on data I relied on my own mind to lead me down the right path.

I chose to believe when no one else did.

This very way of thinking is not unique to me. Many of the leaders around the world that shape the human race think in the same way.

What you think is possible in your career will define what goals you can achieve.

Your thinking defines your career.
Being smart isn’t enough.

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Success Advice

How to Create Your Own Version of Success

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Success is in the eye of the beholder. And because every human being sees life and all the things that come with it through their lens of experience, everyone’s individual idea of life, growth and success is defined by what they see, hear, think, feel and taste. This means that you have the power to determine what success means to you.

Many of the greatest thought-leaders, business people and influencers throughout history have provided their thoughts and opinions about success –  how to achieve it, how to manage it and how to be it. They’ve written books that are supposed to share with the world how success is merely a feeling and a wish. While many of the most successful people have warned that success is what you make of it, society has coined “success” as being wealthy, influential, famous, and lavish.

You may be thinking, “I’m not rich, but I’m well off,” or “I’m not a social media influencer, so I don’t have much clout.” But here is the truth: You, just the way you are, are already a success. Here’s why. Think of all the things that have happened in your life – the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful. Up until this very moment, you have made a series of choices that have shaped your reality.

Therefore, you have created the life you have, and you have set the terms of how you decide to live your life. Not to suggest that your life is perfect because no ones life is exactly as they want it, but the fact that you have created your reality shows that you are a creator. It also shows that you are in charge of creating the success you desire.

“Success is not in what you have, but who you are.” – Bo Bennett

Even if you feel like you should be so much further along than you are today, you still made it to today and that’s a good thing. If you are reading this feeling like you need to shift things around in your life so that you can feel like a success, try these three things below.

  1. Jot down all the words that you think of when you read the word “success,” and mark the words that align with who you are. Ask yourself what you believe you need to feel like a success. Only write down what resonates with you, not what you think people expect of you. Remember, that you are defining your journey, so you get to make up all the rules.
  2. Now, write down all the words you think about when you read the word “unsuccessful,” and mark all the words that may describe some aspect of you that you want to eliminate. Don’t just consider the big stuff, small stuff matters too! Procrastinating to get out of bed in the morning, drinking too much soda, or even spending too much time watching television are all examples of habits that could in some way affect your personal growth.
  3. Lastly, create an SAP (Success Attack Plan) to align yourself with more of the descriptive words that you associate with success and start to eliminate the characteristics you may possess that depict you as less than who you desire to be.

Your Success Attack Plan doesn’t have to be elaborate. It can start with an actionable idea as simple as, “Read one book this month about personal development,” or “Connect with someone who can mentor me.” Sometimes, you have to look to those who have been where you are to help you get where you desire to be. Just remember, your journey won’t look like theirs so pay attention to your inner being at all times and do what feels natural and right to your situation.

“There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way and not starting.” – Buddha

When you create your lists, be as imaginative as possible. Consider those people, places and things around you. Think about what you like and don’t like. Ponder on energy you want to attract that you do not already have and things you want to repel.

Don’t worry about setting a timeline for this. Creating a vision for your life starts with setting an intention at this moment and allowing that intention to lead you in the days to come. To see yourself five years from now, you have to do the things today that will help you get to the future.

Don’t allow others to tell you what you should aspire to be when it comes to success. You are in command, and you are in charge of your present and your future. Own it, own your success and own you.

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Are Your SMART Goals Keeping You Stuck in Mediocrity?

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SMART Goals – they are often seen as the gospel in the personal and professional development industry for goal setting, but are they doing more harm than good? For the most part, I can appreciate the motivation behind setting SMART goals. Do we need goals that are specific, measurable, actionable and time based? Absolutely! My sticking point, however, comes to the “realistic” part. (more…)

Tiffany Toombs is a mindset coach, trainer, and presenter that specializes in helping people rewire their brains to overcome self-sabotage and limiting beliefs that stop them from finding success. Tiffany runs courses and workshops all over the world to empower people to take control of their lives and their minds so they can achieve their true potential in life. She believes that everyone has a message to share and helps her clients reconnect with themselves to find their passion and purpose. Tiffany has a range of valuable resources for people to understand their minds and how to access the power of their unconscious minds on YouTube or in her eBook “Unlocking The Secrets To The Unconscious Mind”.

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. William

    Sep 23, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    Hi Melissa , Great post. I share all you said! Completely true!
    Thank u so much.

  2. Steven

    Sep 23, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    The dont-over-plan-point is spot on. Just get to work on the stuff that matters today and the rest will follow.

  3. Lawrence Berry

    Sep 23, 2015 at 4:06 am

    The hardest thing to do is to get started, but after you get started and stay with whatever you want to achieve, the momentum starts to build and it gets a little easier as it becomes a habit. Many people are not where they want to be in life simply because they have not started. To me, there are two simple steps to success: 1) Knowing what needs to be done 2) Doing it. Well-written article.

  4. Amey

    Sep 21, 2015 at 10:45 am

    I laughed when I read number 2. As a perfectionist, this is always something to remember. I have taken a screenshot of it. Absolutely superb advice. Thank you.

  5. Theodore Nwangene

    Sep 20, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    Hello Melissa,
    This is really a very awesome guide. We are always presented with so many choices and this usually make it very very hard for us to be decisive and while you’re trying to figure out which way to go or which to choose from, time will be going.

    I love the idea of starting small. If you form the habit of starting everything you dream of even if its in small batches at a time before you know it, you will complete the whole task.

    • Melissa Chu

      Sep 21, 2015 at 3:30 pm

      Hey Theodore,

      We’ve run into each other a few times now! Yes sometimes just thinking of all the steps you need to take can lead to overwhelm and make it hard to get started. But if you just break it down into one important thing you need to do today, it’s much easier to do what you need.

      Thanks for your comments!
      Melissa

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Success Advice

Practice These 4 No’s for Greater Success

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In much of the success literature and in the applied motivational literature that is developed today, the explicit suggestions contained within are to practice certain behaviors for a certain outcome. So, you may see information with titles such as, “Do these four things for greater happiness”, or, “Perform the seven steps every morning for more focus”.

Not only am I a large proponent of these quick and distilled attributes of behavior change to bring about greater levels of whatever the outcome should be, I am also an author of a great many of them. The notion of cause and effect is explicit in applied motivation. If you want to change and affect then do not work on the effect directly, work on the cause that will invariably change the outcome.

So many of us try to psychologically bully our conscious mind into various effects, when all we really need to do is understand the causes. Thoughts drive behavior. If you change the thought the behavior must change. But can you increase your level of overall well-being by NOT doing certain things? And I know the answer is yes. It all begins with a shift in our perception and the thought process.

“If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.” – Peace Pilgrim

Here are four NO’s that you may want to stop practicing. And by virtue of not doing these things you will have more mental room, and idea space between your positive notions for greater levels of contentment and well-being.

1. There are no justified discontentment’s

If the laws of cause and effect, and the law of attraction hold true, then we are where we are right now by virtue of our past behaviors, which are a direct result of our past beginning. So don’t be mad over your current situation, you created it! If you want to be happy, change it! But don’t just sit there and bask in your discontentment; bring about the necessary changes that you require.

In the words of James Ray, “a person of power embraces challenges and complete gratitude. No matter the situation life may bring, discontent is never justified, but rather all is experienced as an opportunity and privilege to adventure and grow.”

2. There are no justified excuses

The present is a doorway that balances past events with future circumstances. When we begin to fully grasp the idea that there is no dress rehearsal, we are on Broadway; that there is no scrimmage, today we are in the Super Bowl, we begin to realize that our life is a series of micro adjustments and that we are in total and complete control over them. Instead of wasting time making excuses for poor decisions, spend that time in fine-tuning future decisions to make up for those poor decisions of the past.

3. There are no justified complaints

We complain about a situation for one of two reasons. One, to elicit pity from another and, two, to transfer the issue we are complaining about to somebody else. Either behavior is destructive to the current personal relationship and will only serve to undermine future transactions with that individual.

Be a person of higher self-esteem; handle your issues in silence then speak to another individual about your successful outcomes. By doing so, you have altered your focus on a positive outcome instead of our negative conditions. By the way, there is always a successful outcome! If you can find it, look deeper, it’s there!

“Champions never complain, they are too busy getting better.” – John Wooden

4. There are no justified resentments

None, zip, zilch, zero! That person that borrowed $500 off you and never paid you back, forgive them. That significant other that dropped you like a hot coal just when you needed them the most, forgive them. That business partner that screwed you to the wall and caused you to lose a vast amount of money, forgive them. Remember, forgiveness is not about them, it’s about you. By letting go of the resentments that you have toward other people you open yourself up to the endless possibilities of bountiful manifestations that can occur because of your positive attitude and constructive optimism.

Think of these four big No’s! Number them, with number one being the one which you practice and think about the most. Then answer the following questions:

  • What can I do to alter this behavior and/or thought process?
  • What situations do I encounter and lead me in this behavior and/or thought process?
  • Can I avoid those situations?
  • If so, am I willing to avoid those situations?

Then do that with the second the third and the fourth big No’s. What will happen after enough time is that you will no longer be looking for situations to offend you, rather you will begin to open up to the possibilities of what the world and the universe have to offer you in a positive, enthusiastic, and engaging light.

I look forward to your comments, opinions, and suggestions. Please feel free to write them below.

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Success Advice

9 Ways To Build Unbreakable Confidence From The Outside In

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Build Self Confidence

There are a million different resources and pieces of advice out there from “experts” on how to build confidence, particularly self-confidence.

A vulnerable and anxious population consumes this guidance like they are starving for it… probably because they are. The dream of being able to overcome all fear and self-imposed limits by simply reading some advice is a very tempting dish indeed.

After lifetimes of being subject to images and ideals that they cannot possibly live up to, people start to feel like they are “less than.” This fear of being a substandard human being drives some of us to seek guidance, bringing us into contact with the murky, over-crowded world of self-help products and services.

Look, some of the stuff out there is good – I know, I’ve tried most of it. However, some of it is very misguided and even delusional.

People who lack self-confidence themselves can take a class on basic theoretical knowledge of psychological research, and use it to excrete volumes of garbage about how to build self-esteem and confidence. They then charge copious amounts of money for this drivel, which usually makes you feel great temporarily but does absolutely nothing to change your long term situation.

I’m not going to pretend I know it all, yet what I do have to offer is that I have completed the full journey, from shy, “nice,” and trying to please everyone, all the way through to where I am now.

You may ask, where is that, and what does being confident mean to me? It means that these things now occur in my life where they didn’t before:

  • I regularly seek out opportunities to push boundaries and expand my comfort zone, running towards fear rather than away from it
  • I can go into a situation full of anxiety and quickly push through that to enable me to feel competent and at ease
  • I feel comfortable being honest in all situations. Rather than hide my views, I express them calmly and diplomatically where required, but also without compromise
  • I place my needs above everything else. I am selfish about developing my life and inner-self, because I know that ultimately the people in my life will benefit from me being a better person
  • Most importantly from my point of view, I can’t remember the last time I felt jealousy or envy, and it’s been many, many years since I entertained the idea of wanting to be anyone else

So how did I get to this from being a “nice” guy that did all I could to avoid confrontation and anxiety-provoking situations? Well, it wasn’t easy! I have taken some time to break down the steps I took to achieve this in order to help others out there who are similar to me and serious about developing true, unbreakable inner confidence.

See the secret is really no secret at all – it’s about constantly taking action in a way that pushes your comfort zone further out until you learn how to make any situation feel like it’s in your comfort zone.

Below are 9 ways to build unbreakable confidence from the outside in:

1. Identifying your ultimate dream lifestyle

Something that is a real confidence drainer is not knowing where you’re going in life. The great thing is you don’t even need to be sure about it; you just need to have a direction to travel in.

Try taking 30 minutes to write down a descriptive paragraph or two about what your life would look like if you could wave a magic wand and choose anything. I’ve found with my clients that answering these three questions in detail is a great structure to use:

1What will you have / what will you be doing?

2) How would other people describe you?

3) What will you think about yourself?

Writing down the detailed answers to these questions, using emotional and descriptive language. Once you’ve done this, make sure you re-read it regularly (at least twice per week) to remind yourself constantly about why it is you are getting out of bed.

This will increase your sense of purpose in life, a reason to live in a way, which will increase your confidence. Of course, to actually achieve this dream lifestyle, there are further steps you need to take… (read on).

2. Writing down goals and striving to achieve them

I remember reading about a study at Oxford University: researchers asked all students in a class who had written down their goals. I can’t remember the exact details but about 3% of them did this.

When the researchers revisited the students again 20 years later, the small group who had written down goals were earning a combined income that was greater than the combined income of all 97% of their classmates.

There are plenty of free resources out there on how to write goals (including The Inspirational Lifestyle). The general key I recommend is that rather than write outcome based goals (e.g. “I will get a promotion”) try writing action-based goals that are under your control (e.g. “I will take a management course and then apply for a promotion”).

By making sure the goals are under your control, your confidence is not subject to luck. Remove luck by making sure that nothing and no-one can affect the achievement of your goal except for you.

3. Reading popular self-development books by successful business people

While there are far too many refuse-bin-worthy self-development books out there, your safest bet is to read the memoirs and how-to books which are written by people who have actually achieved something.

It really is simple; if someone like Richard Branson is a billionaire, he’s probably a pretty reliable source of information on how to make money. It’s much better to listen to him than someone fresh from completing an MBA and spilling a bunch of inexperienced theory-based conjecture.

4Learning how to manage your state of mind

Most of the time the reason you feel anxious or nervous about a situation you’re about to go into, such as public speaking, is because you’re in the wrong frame of mind.

Imagine this: you’ve been studying accounting for three straights hours without interruption, when all of a sudden you’re dragged to a party. Straight away you feel anxiety even though going to a party is not an unusual situation for you. So what’s the problem?

Your brain was set into the “studying” state, which is secluded, quiet, and antisocial. You are then thrown into a situation which requires you to be extroverted, talkative and social. This is a really uncomfortable imbalance for your brain to handle. The solution? Taking baby steps.

When you realize you are feeling anxiety about an upcoming situation and you suspect that it is because of being in the wrong state, try to figure out some in-between steps you can take.

Using our example above, rather than going straight to the party, you could have a chat on the phone with some close friends, followed by pre-drinks at your house with just a few people. This way by the time you get to the party your state has gone from withdrawn to outgoing in easy to manage steps.

confidence picture quote

5Understanding the balance between learning, mentoring and action

One of the most common barriers to success is too much thinking and not enough doing. It’s the doing that builds confidence, not the learning.

As a general rule, for every hour you spend reading or watching videos (passive learning), you will benefit most by complementing this with two hours of mentoring or coaching, and seven hours practicing or otherwise taking action. It’s the 10/20/70 rule.

This is why I’ve titled this article “9 ways to build confidence from the outside in,” because building confidence goes far beyond just reading inspirational or educational books. It’s about taking action so you will start seeing results and positive changes.

6. Approaching strangers

This is one of the scariest things for people to do – very few can do it sober without a background in cold-calling or sales of some kind. Doing this is a really powerful way to build confidence, particularly if you’re single and approaching strangers with the intention of potential romance.

If you can get yourself to do this sober and during the day, it makes everything else seem a lot less scary. You can learn to love rejection as the learning and feedback experience it really is.

7. Trying new things regularly

Having a routine can kill your creativity and make your life boring. It’s important to seek new adventures, and always try new things regularly because it can boost your confidence through the following two ways.

1) By learning a range of skills and having varied experiences, you start building up transferable abilities. Over time less situations will seem totally unknown because you will have done something similar before.

For example, I found I really enjoyed salsa dancing despite never having danced before, because it combined my previous experiences of playing in a band and doing martial arts.

2) You will eventually find those things that bring you the most pleasure and satisfaction (in a non-creepy way of course).

Confidence is often also described as “conscious competence,” which basically means that if you are doing something that you are skilled at, and you know that you are skilled, you feel confident.

8. Surrounding yourself with successful people

Successful people always say “how can we do this?” whereas unsuccessful people generally say “why should we do this?

What kind of people do you spend the most time with? Until you develop a strong inner core of confidence that others cannot touch, you need to surround yourself with “can do” people in order to feed on their confidence.

People showing you that anything is possible, and that they believe you are capable of anything will go a long way towards helping you believe this yourself.

9. Making a conscious effort to stop caring about other’s opinions of you

Finally, the biggest lesson I ever really learned about developing true all-round confidence is that the only person I should compare myself to is… myself. There is nothing to be gained in comparing myself to others or trying to live to others expectations.

Confidence comes from setting your own expectations of yourself and then trying your best to live up to them. I am not saying that you shouldn’t compete with others, because that’s a great motivator too, but your results and progress should only be measured against your past self.

Well that’s it. There’s a million other things you can do, but I am sure that if you start with this list and TAKE ACTION rather than just read this and do nothing, then you will start to see big changes in how you feel about yourself.

Which one of the above 9 ways to build unbreakable confidence resonated most with you and why?

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Success Advice

It’s Not How Smart You Are That Defines Your Career — It’s This

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Look around the office you work in. Some people are managers. Some people make six-figure salaries. Some people are senior executives. Some people work in customer service on the frontline.

It’s a big mistake to think that where you are in your career has something to do with how smart you are.

I’ve met many smart people who crash and burn in their careers because they have to be always right or they overthink, or they know a lot about the wrong things or they have very low emotional intelligence causing them to upset many people at the same time.

If being smart made us successful then we’d all go and consume endless information and become millionaires shortly after.

Being smart is not enough.

So what does define your career and the success you have?


1. How badly you want it

The woman/man that became CEO wanted it more.

The person with the 7-figure business wanted it more.

The woman that won an Olympic Gold Medal wanted it more.

You have to want your goals really, really, really bad.

Wanting something so badly that you’re prepared to do anything to get there (ethically) is how you get the energy to overcome the rejection and failure it’s going to take to get reach that point.

I wanted to share my story and inspire people with it very badly. I thought of creating a WordPress website, but I had no idea how to and had zero technical skill. My knowledge of how to market that website was also zero.
I tried creating a Facebook Page and to date, it still has less than 3000 followers which means I fall short by a lot in terms of my target to inspire millions of people.

I tried using Twitter and reaching people that way. I was never able to get any real engagement. I’d tweet Elon Musk. I’d message Tony Robbins. I’d write the best tweet humanly possible. It all led nowhere.

I tried using a blogging platform called Medium. I was able to build a small following, but most people in my area of the world don’t use it. I still came up short of my goal.

Then, I tried writing on a blog that already had lots of viewers called Addicted2Success and began posting on LinkedIn daily.

Everything changed. I wanted to inspire people so badly that I kept trying until I found a platform that worked for what I had to say. Wanting it badly enough was what helped me keep going from 2014 until now. It didn’t stop there, though.

When my career took a turn down a black hole, my motivation died. Suddenly, writing on Addicted2Success and LinkedIn became hard. I didn’t want it as bad because the pain caused by my work life was too much. I let things slip temporarily for about 3 weeks. Engagement went to an all-time low.

It didn’t last long, though. Why? My thinking changed when I reminded myself how upset I would be if I didn’t achieve my goal. It meant far too much and in the back of my mind, I still wanted it badly.

I went back over all the emails from people I’d helped and that spark came back. Deep down, I still wanted it badly. I still wanted to inspire millions of people.

Wanting it bad was what helped me to revive my blogging career and continue helping millions of people.

Wanting it badly will define your career.


2. What you think is possible

I met a guy earlier in the year that came from a farm in the middle of Outback Australia.

He’d sold his digital marketing business for a lot of money and banked a huge amount of coin as a result. He had no tech background. He had no business knowledge. He didn’t have seven-figure friends that drove Bentley’s.

What he had was an uncanny ability to think anything was possible. He saw himself rising above his circumstances even though he had no evidence to prove that he could do so. He worked long hours and built up a team of cult followers. They learned together how to get businesses exposure through social media and search engines.

For many of the people on his team, it was their first job. He didn’t pay them well because he couldn’t. All he thought was that one day, together, they’d do something incredible — and they did.

A lot of what happens in your career is based on how you think. If you think you can never be a manager, entrepreneur or executive, then you won’t be.

If you think you can be good at public speaking, you might.
If you think you can hit your sales target, you might.
If you think you can start a successful business, you might.
If you’re not successful right now, you will be.

It’s only a matter of time until one of the bets in your career pays off

It’s a combination of being ready, being humble, thinking right and having the skills to execute. Not thinking you can achieve big will rob you of whatever it is that you want in your career.

I shouldn’t be a successful blogger because I can’t write that well, I have bad spelling/grammar skills, I don’t own a blog and I’m not filthy rich. Despite all that I’ve achieved my blogging goal.

I saw my goal become possible before anybody else did.

I told myself that every major challenge was necessary for me to eventually get what I wanted. I thought my goal was possible even though all the facts suggested it wasn’t. Instead of relying on data I relied on my own mind to lead me down the right path.

I chose to believe when no one else did.

This very way of thinking is not unique to me. Many of the leaders around the world that shape the human race think in the same way.

What you think is possible in your career will define what goals you can achieve.

Your thinking defines your career.
Being smart isn’t enough.

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Success Advice

How to Create Your Own Version of Success

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Success is in the eye of the beholder. And because every human being sees life and all the things that come with it through their lens of experience, everyone’s individual idea of life, growth and success is defined by what they see, hear, think, feel and taste. This means that you have the power to determine what success means to you.

Many of the greatest thought-leaders, business people and influencers throughout history have provided their thoughts and opinions about success –  how to achieve it, how to manage it and how to be it. They’ve written books that are supposed to share with the world how success is merely a feeling and a wish. While many of the most successful people have warned that success is what you make of it, society has coined “success” as being wealthy, influential, famous, and lavish.

You may be thinking, “I’m not rich, but I’m well off,” or “I’m not a social media influencer, so I don’t have much clout.” But here is the truth: You, just the way you are, are already a success. Here’s why. Think of all the things that have happened in your life – the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful. Up until this very moment, you have made a series of choices that have shaped your reality.

Therefore, you have created the life you have, and you have set the terms of how you decide to live your life. Not to suggest that your life is perfect because no ones life is exactly as they want it, but the fact that you have created your reality shows that you are a creator. It also shows that you are in charge of creating the success you desire.

“Success is not in what you have, but who you are.” – Bo Bennett

Even if you feel like you should be so much further along than you are today, you still made it to today and that’s a good thing. If you are reading this feeling like you need to shift things around in your life so that you can feel like a success, try these three things below.

  1. Jot down all the words that you think of when you read the word “success,” and mark the words that align with who you are. Ask yourself what you believe you need to feel like a success. Only write down what resonates with you, not what you think people expect of you. Remember, that you are defining your journey, so you get to make up all the rules.
  2. Now, write down all the words you think about when you read the word “unsuccessful,” and mark all the words that may describe some aspect of you that you want to eliminate. Don’t just consider the big stuff, small stuff matters too! Procrastinating to get out of bed in the morning, drinking too much soda, or even spending too much time watching television are all examples of habits that could in some way affect your personal growth.
  3. Lastly, create an SAP (Success Attack Plan) to align yourself with more of the descriptive words that you associate with success and start to eliminate the characteristics you may possess that depict you as less than who you desire to be.

Your Success Attack Plan doesn’t have to be elaborate. It can start with an actionable idea as simple as, “Read one book this month about personal development,” or “Connect with someone who can mentor me.” Sometimes, you have to look to those who have been where you are to help you get where you desire to be. Just remember, your journey won’t look like theirs so pay attention to your inner being at all times and do what feels natural and right to your situation.

“There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way and not starting.” – Buddha

When you create your lists, be as imaginative as possible. Consider those people, places and things around you. Think about what you like and don’t like. Ponder on energy you want to attract that you do not already have and things you want to repel.

Don’t worry about setting a timeline for this. Creating a vision for your life starts with setting an intention at this moment and allowing that intention to lead you in the days to come. To see yourself five years from now, you have to do the things today that will help you get to the future.

Don’t allow others to tell you what you should aspire to be when it comes to success. You are in command, and you are in charge of your present and your future. Own it, own your success and own you.

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