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6 Reasons To Chase Your Dream Not The Money

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Chase Your Dream - Soccer Dream

So we have all been there (including myself), where we get stuck in a rut trying to make as much money as possible. Now, don’t get me wrong money is a fantastic resource but I am seeing a lot of people still fall into the money trap rather than what will help them be fulfilled.

Having been lucky enough to experience both wealth and poverty, I have learnt a few lessons along the way. If you can grasp the concept of making your dream come true rather than always chasing money, you will reach new levels of success.

Now this topic has been covered lots before but I want to add some points to it that you may not have considered before. If you’re at that point in your life where you feel stuck and are unfulfilled, then your beliefs about money are absolutely contributing to your unhappiness!

It’s easy to walk down the street and see so many people eating nice food, driving fancy cars, and dressing well, but what you can’t see is what they are like when they get home. Unfortunately, platforms like Instagram can easily give you the impression that everyone is living an amazing life – I hate to break it to you, but they’re not, in fact, most of us are chronically unhappy.

This is a great problem to have, though because it’s easy to work on and the solutions are straightforward. The solutions will only work though if you have an open mind and have personally developed your brain over time (fed it with quality ideas and content).

So, below are six reasons to stop chasing money and start chasing your dream.

 

1. Reaching your dream can give you money automatically

This first one is my favourite because it’s poorly understood. When you care about something a lot (like a dream), and you give it everything you have, you will eventually succeed. And guess what? When you succeed, you create value for other people, and that value can easily become money.

The fastest way to have money is to forget about making it, and think about how you can create it. Creating money requires a big dream (something you’re passionate about) and a set of beliefs that makes you think you can achieve it.

The skills to achieve the dream can be acquired, so they are not a necessity to begin with. Now, if you are thinking I am making it sound too simplistic, it’s because I am. I have always said success is simple but you have to start somewhere, and you must work on your mind every day.

 

2. Money can go as quick as it comes

Now I probably shouldn’t say this but one thing I love about money is that it shows who people really are. If you lack the beliefs and mindsets to add value, then even if you win the lottery tomorrow, you will almost certainly lose everything.

That’s because once you have made money by achieving a dream (the real way), even if you lose everything the next day, you can rebuild it by following your passion. Rebuilding from nothing is not as hard because you know what it takes to do it, and all you have to do is do what you love again to build your wealth back.

It’s a strange feeling when you see someone who is rich and then the next day they have no money. It can happen so quickly, which is why you should always focus on your dream and everything else will fall into place.

 

3. Achieving a goal feels much better

The sad thing is that having lots of money actually doesn’t feel that good, in fact, there is no such thing as enough money – this is why dreams are more important. Working towards a dream feels amazing, and as you hit each milestone, it makes you fulfilled beyond your wildest dreams.

All of a sudden, you are achieving success at something that has the possibility to be your life’s work. When your dream becomes your life work, it gives you a sense of meaning that no amount of money can give you.

Now, have you ever seen someone who is angry, has lots of money and became happy, spent it, and the next week they are angry again? We all have, and that’s what money can do to you if you let it. I am not saying you should forget about money and waste it, just don’t let it be your focus.

“Let money be the sign from the universe that you are creating value for other people, not the measuring stick of your success or status in society”

 

4. Money doesn’t necessarily give you unforgettable experiences

Having a lot of money can make you feel great in the short term, but it will never give you unforgettable experiences. Yes, you can buy holidays or experiences but what you will quickly realise is that the people you are with are far more important than the experience itself.female_traveller

You can do something as simple as a dinner party, and it can be the best night of your life not because of how much it costs to host, but because of the great people and stories you share. Also, when you have experiences that are paid for, there is no sense of purpose.

“When you have an experience as part of a dream you are chasing, it becomes a critical building block to the story and meaning of your life. Suddenly, every experience has its place, and you learn to love the negative experiences at the same time” – Tim Denning

Money can’t do this and will buy you experiences that on the surface seem perfect until you realise at the end that it wasn’t that great after all, and you have done something similar before.

 

5. When one area thrives, other areas can die

A critical law of nature is that not all areas of your life can thrive at 100% all the time. As you watch the person walk down the street with big muscles, remember that it’s because they focused all of their time and energy into one area of their life while other areas didn’t progress,

What you can’t see is that they may have no intimate relationship, they might have no savings, they could be very unhealthy, their career might be going nowhere, their car could be broken down – there are things that you can’t see, but I can guarantee they have had to give up something.

What are you prepared to give up for your own dream?

So, when you go after a dream just remember that there may be sacrifices and areas of your life that won’t grow, and you have to be prepared to make those sacrifices.

The reason I tell you all of this is because money is just like the person with the big muscles, it’s one area of a persons life that can be going well, but that is meaningless if all other areas are failing miserably.

Focus on your dream, stimulate the areas of your life that matter, and the “money thing” can tie all of this together when you eventually achieve your goal – assuming your goal will make you money.

 

6. Your money status is meaningless

Don’t forget that your money status is meaningless and people don’t care about how much money you have made. When Richard Branson walks into the room people are impressed by how many dreams he has accomplished, not by his money.

It’s the impossible tasks he has done, the person he has become and the way he gives back that make him successful. The more you fulfil your purpose, the more you achieve the impossible, the more you become obsessed with creating value, the higher your social status will be.

Walk into a bar and shout out to everyone that you have a million dollars in your bank account – no one will turn around. Walk into the same bar and tell people you just walked on the moon, and people will stand on their chairs and cheer you for the rest of your life.

If you have your own stories of money to tell then, please do so in the comments section below or send them to me via timdenning.net

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared millions of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around personal development and entrepreneurship. You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net

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27 Comments

27 Comments

  1. Benjamin Ehinger

    Aug 24, 2017 at 9:10 pm

    Money should ALWAYS be the by-product not the goal. If you chase money, you’ll end up lonely, desperate, broke, empty and simply not joyful. Money cannot buy happiness or joy. It’s a tool to be used, but not something to shoot for.

    It’s always best to chase your calling/passion/purpose and work for joy and happiness. If you do this, the money will be there, whether it’s enough to be rich or just enough to pay the bills. Regardless, when you love your work, the money part of things just has a way of working out.

  2. Emily

    Dec 1, 2016 at 12:50 am

    I know I’m late to the comment party in this article, but this was an eye-opening piece that I needed to read right now. I’ve recently set out on an entrepreneurial path and this article has helped me realize that my priorities need a bit of an adjustment. Also, I’ve been seeing quite a few articles lately that emphasize the need to provide value for people, and that’s something else I should focus on. (Rather than thinking, “Ugh, I’m smart and talented, why isn’t the universe throwing money at me??”)

  3. Kweku Addy

    Jun 8, 2016 at 2:29 am

    Having been on either side of the spectrum- rich and poor, you know what you’re talking about. Lovely article. In my opinion, people would best grasp this concept of having a passion over money during their post traumatic growth phase; after experiencing absolute wealth only then would they understand it. Experience is the best teacher.

    • Tim Denning

      Jun 8, 2016 at 8:42 pm

      Kweku thanks for being so open and sharing your advice. The few sentences you wrote really connected with me. I know the most traumatic part of my life was definitely the best teacher.

  4. shaheen

    Apr 6, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    Our identity is our Passion,Have courage to follow your heart.the two things which i learnt from your article.thanks mr.tim denning for updating such a wonderful article.

    • Tim Denning

      Apr 16, 2016 at 5:31 am

      No problem Shaheen and I’m glad you were able to pull two valuable lessons that you can use in your own life.

  5. Ransom

    Dec 19, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    I do agree with this topic. Many people follow money and at the end, they miss all.
    We have to follow our dreams, the money will always be there. Energy is conserved.

    • Tim Denning

      Dec 22, 2015 at 8:40 am

      Cheers Ransom. You are spot on; money can always be obtained if it is truly your primary goal but it will never make you fulfilled.

  6. Charlene Rhinehart

    Dec 19, 2015 at 4:36 am

    Thanks for sharing! I have an Accounting and Finance background so money is often a hot topic in conversations with colleagues. I realized that in order to be my best self and maximize my value, I had to do what I love. Following your dreams may be the unpopular path initially because there is a false appearance of having more uncertainties as an entrepreneur versus an employee, but I would never want to live with the uncertainty of asking myself, “What would have happened if I focused on impact versus instant income”. I’m giving my dreams all of me and ready to enjoy the journey. Thank you, Tim!

    • Tim Denning

      Dec 22, 2015 at 8:38 am

      Charlene, I love your point of you and thanks for putting is so eloquently for all of us. Being an entrepreneur is not for everyone but I think people need to try both to figure out which one works for them. The good thing is that the rise of intrapreneurs is filling the gap and creating a hybrid opportunity for those who may not want to be an entrepreneur.

      Thank you again Charlene.

  7. Aleksandra

    Nov 23, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    I must say that being in my 20s, I appreciate the fact that this article will show you which path you should choose in life. It’s also a great motivation and reminder to chase your dreams and goals no matter what!!
    Coming from a poor family, I used to think that If I want to have a successful and happy life I need to chase the money, not my dreams… And I did that 2 years ago, but those were the most unhappy years of my life! From that experience I can say that we young people need to learn that money isn’t everything in life. If we want to achieve wealth, we need to make our dreams come true because money will follow after you chase your dream and your passion!
    Right now, I’m giving my best to reach all my goals and I know that sooner or later the money will come!
    Thanks Tim Denning for this great article that motivates and encourages me to chase my dreams day by day!!

    Best Regards
    Aleksandra

    • Tim Denning

      Nov 24, 2015 at 11:56 am

      Aleksandra, I know exactly where you are coming from and I fell into the same track. It often takes age to get the wisdom to understand how money works and my goal is to share that with the young adults so they can realise what you and I have realised much earlier. Thanks for reading!

  8. Doug Sullivan

    Nov 21, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    really good article Tim! Interestingly, the point that landed on me the most was not one of your 6, but something you said in the opening… “Having been lucky enough to experience both wealth and poverty”. This statement speaks volumes about your mindset and also carries a great lesson itself! We must embrace ALL of life’s experiences and learn from them… even the most painful. For in those painful times comes to opportunity to build the foundation of wisdom upon which we grow… our money, our life. Thanks for the good writing!

    • Tim Denning

      Nov 22, 2015 at 5:26 am

      Thanks Doug for the kind words. You are spot on, having been on both sides it gives you a really great perspective and you can see the benefits of money in a different light.

  9. Jacqueline Gillam Fairchild

    Nov 20, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    I loved this article and posted it and passed it on. Your words are always an inspiration. Thank you. And true. Like a diet or a recipe, if you keep putting in the right ingredients, you will have great results.

  10. Abraham

    Nov 20, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    Thanks Tim,
    I have always had this thought that money is just an effect of a cause. And that cause is passion to live your dream. I am now complete in mind and spirit about my own thoughts. I thank God for your wisdom. God give u more

    • Tim Denning

      Nov 20, 2015 at 8:58 pm

      Thank you so much Abraham for being so kind and I hope you find success in whatever you are doing.

  11. Paul Braddock

    Nov 19, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    Thanks for the article Tim and also for Peter’s comment. I know people who are passionate about God and serving others, but unfortunately have not figured out how to monetize it…me included. I look forward to the day when these two paths meet. Always open to learning.

    • Tim Denning

      Nov 20, 2015 at 8:57 pm

      Paul, maybe you already have something that people will pay money for but you have a limiting belief about asking people to pay you. If you can get over that then you can monetise your work. Keep an open mind and find out what others in your space are doing to make a living from their work. Best of luck Paul.

  12. Abiodun

    Nov 19, 2015 at 9:00 am

    These are awesome bullets. They really need to penetrate into the blood of our youths so that they can realize money comes after following your passion. Great bullets there.

    • Tim Denning

      Nov 20, 2015 at 2:45 am

      Abiodun, I totally agree. Often we don’t realise this until we are much older. It would be great if it was a concept we were given in our youth. Thanks for your comment.

  13. Nick Scuderi

    Nov 19, 2015 at 3:30 am

    I learned that spending money on experiences rather than things can create happiness. Things may make us happy in the beginning, but like money, you can only enjoy it so much. The more you have does not mean the happier you are.

    • Tim Denning

      Nov 19, 2015 at 4:30 am

      Spot on Nick and you got the message of the article perfectly!

  14. Peter Banerjea

    Nov 18, 2015 at 1:14 am

    Hi Tim,
    Great points! It’s surprising why a lot of people people don’t realize point number 1. Success comes from offering immense value to people and if people value your offering, then revenue will follow.
    Great companies have always been built primarily on passion.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Peter

    • Tim Denning

      Nov 19, 2015 at 1:50 am

      Agreed and thanks for reading Peter.

  15. Sushma

    Nov 17, 2015 at 11:50 pm

    Awesome article. I really loved it. This article should be required to help every youngster achieve his dream and to understand how money works.

    • Tim Denning

      Nov 18, 2015 at 8:29 pm

      Sushma, glad you like the advice and I also agree that these principles are the foundation of knowing how to manage and create money in your life. Thanks for reading.

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Success Advice

The Three P’s You Need to Master to Become a Better Leader

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Leadership
Image Credit: Unsplash

I have been a fan and a student of Steve Jobs, Ray Kroc and Jack Welsh for many years. It is very valuable to find similar traits in these great leaders and aggregate them, basically come up with some common denominators of their leadership success. By doing so, we can then begin to reflect their great skills into our own leadership profile. My goal here is to give you some very quick and applicable tools to modify your behavior for greater leadership skills.

Here are the 3 P’s for you to develop greater leadership skills based upon my findings:

1. Passion

If there is one thing that I found in most leaders, it is passion. They love what they do, they love talking about what they do and they love getting others involved in what they do. Passion has different ways of emoting. Some people move very quickly on stage with arms flaying, voice pitching from a diminuendo to a crescendo with 100 giant television screens behind them.

Remember Steve Jobs when the iPhone was being introduced? I’ve seen other people standing behind the podium speaking from written notes but the emotional intensity in the room grew thick and reaching the level of static discharge. I’ve seen everything in between. There is an old saying that we have a leadership theory and that is, “if you think you’re leading and you turn around and no one is following, you’re just taking a walk!” It is passion that prevents that from happening.

“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” – John D. Rockefeller

You may be asking yourself how you can develop more passion in your life and in your leadership repertoire. The answer to that is fairly simple but the application can be somewhat deceptive in its apparent simplicity. If you wait to feel passionate before you act passionate, you’re allowing outside circumstance to control your emotions. However, if you begin to act passionate even if, by chance you don’t feel it, you will begin to. Thus, it is better for us to act our way into a new set of feelings than it is for us to feel our way into a new set of actions.

2. Planning

All leaders are planners; it’s a requirement of the job. By virtue of leading it means that you must be planning for the future. Planning can in fact be learned and is not that difficult of a process. If you want to become a better planner study chess. Notice I did not say play chess, although that will be the natural outcome of your studying. Study chess and notice how the minds of the great masters develop a strategy and implant tactics around that strategy. Chess is an amazing process to develop planning skills.

Another thing you can do is think about how you planned your last vacation, or even a weekend getaway. Think about the steps you took, the research you did based on those steps and their outcomes. Both the study of chess and personal planning will assist you in developing planning for your leadership skills.

3. Persistence

Leaders never give up! If there is something they want, they find a way around, over, or through the obstacle. Too many people never develop their full leadership birthright because of the mental script running through their minds saying, “It’s too tough for me. I Should just go home and get a good nights sleep.” Leaders know that the only possibility of failure is in giving up. If you fall down 10 times but get up on the 11th, you have not failed 10 times – you have succeeded. Period!

You may be wondering how to develop that no nonsense, I will not be denied attitude of persistence. The real question is not how do I develop persistence, but how do I develop the courage to go after what I want? Persistence is a by-product of courage! When there is something that should be yours, developing the impassioned desire to obtain that through raw courage will develop sheer persistence.

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” – Colin Powell

Maybe I should’ve included a 4th P with this article. That of POWER! The best thing I can say about power is that if you want a more powerful leadership dynamic, develop a repertoire that contains passion, planning and persistence. The three of them combined will be a powerful leadership punch that should lead you to getting what you want and assisting others in believing that they should follow you because there is great value in you leading them.

How do you define a leader? Comment below!

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Success Advice

The Secret Power of Storytelling That You Need to Know

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storytelling
Image Credit: Fortune

What does the power of storytelling mean to you? Do you visualize your mom or dad telling you a bedtime story, or do you think about an enjoyable summer read? Every single conversation that we have with an individual or group is us sharing a story about the past, present and future. If we have a product or service that we offer to others, we tell a story about it when we do a pitch or a presentation.

The reason why we tell stories is because we know the power of stories. We know how being able to tell a captivating story can affect and change the lives of the people for better or worse. Hitler used stories about the Jews in the 1930’s which caused Germany to rally the youth and the German people to go to war, and in England, the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, used the power of stories to rally the British in a movement of never surrendering to the Germans.

Not everyone knows how to tell stories

Our abilities to tell captivating stories is one of the greatest assets we possess. However the problem is that not everyone has the skills to be a good storyteller, and the ability to be a good storyteller is critical in our success whether it’s in our personal or business life.

The power of storytelling goes way beyond just our everyday conversations, it goes far beyond simply giving facts and data. Stories emotionalize information. They bring life and depth to otherwise bland material, and they allow people to connect with the message in a deeper, more meaningful way.

Tony Robbins, the world famous motivational speaker and strategist interviewed Peter Guber, the Chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment whose films has earned more than $3 billion and over 50 Academy Awards nomination. Guber stated “emotion combined with information becomes memorable and actionable.  Where were you on 9/11? Chances are that you can remember exactly where you were when you learned about the tragic events that transpired that day. But if you had to think where you were the day before that – that memory is probably hazier. Because information attached to pain or pleasure creates an emotional connection that resonates within you.”

He goes on to also say “Keeping in mind that a story is not a monologue, but a dialogue, helps you to give your audience proprietorship. They become emotional owners of the story you are telling. Then they become advtes –oca of your product, your service, your business, your brand.”

The power of storytelling can transform lives when useful and relevant information is combined with emotions. The next time you speak to another person regardless of the situation, remember you are being a storyteller, because you are in the process of transferring information to that person or group.

“Stories are a communal currency of humanity.” –Tahir Shah

Our most powerful tool

Our ability to communicate effectively is the most powerful tool we have, and when we strategically use our communication skills to transfer bland information into masterful stories we also have the power to transform lives.

If done correctly, our stories will have a massive effect on our listening audience. It will inspire and influence them. It will move them to act. So never underestimate the power of storytelling. Make it relevant–connect emotionally, create a dialogue, and you will see why the power of storytelling is the most powerful tool you have.

Don’t just take my word on for it, Look at some of the greatest leaders throughout history

You will see that they all had the ability to tell stories and bring people together through their words. The greatest motivational speakers in the world use the power of storytelling to emotionalize their audience, because there is no quicker or more effective way to get your audience engaged.

Les Brown who has been one of my mentors and one of the greatest motivational speakers that has ever lived, uses stories masterfully. He shares stories about his upbringing in Miami, and how he and his twin brother were adopted at birth and he is somehow able to transition those stories into whatever relevant topic needs to be heard by his audience, but he first draws them in with his stories.

“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” – Les Brown

Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar, Earl Nightingale, Tony Robbins, the list is endless, but one thing they all have in common is their ability to tell stories masterfully. Some of the greatest philosophers have told us that there is a blueprint for success, and obviously storytelling is part of that blue print.

There is no greater power that we possess than the ability to transform regular words into captivating stories that can take your audience on whatever journey you want to take them on.

Being a great storyteller is like being a puppet master, because when you can draw people in to your stories you will have your audience on a string taking them on any emotional roller coaster. The secret power of storytelling is to be treated with respect, because with great power comes great responsibility, and this power should only be used for good.

Do you enjoy storytelling? If so, do you have any techniques or advice to share? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

5 Signs You’re on the Right Path to Success

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success
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Every successful person had his own moment(s) of doubt. The road to success is full of obstacles and sweet hardships that will frequently make you stop and ask, ‘Am I on the right track?’ Even legends and billionaires had moments like that. Just imagine how 62 year old Colonel Sanders felt when he was rejected time and time again trying to franchise his famous chicken recipe.

It felt harsh and I bet he stopped, at least for a moment, to question his entire existence, not just the success of his business idea. But I also bet that there were probably some signs that told Sanders —and any other successful person— ‘You`re going to make it, just hang in there.”

Here are the 5 signs that will tell you whether you`re going to be successful or not:

1. You’re good at the consistency game

I don`t like the fable of the Tortoise and the Hare, and I believe that a restless hare would smash them both, but there`s a reason why that slow tortoise crossed the finish line; It`s called consistency.

Success eventually favors the most consistent, and if you`re not disciplined with the things that make you successful, then your chances to succeed are slimmer than Marlon Brando`s chances of winning the lottery (Marlon Brando is dead, and one of every 175 million tickets wins the lotto).  

Systems and routines (i.e., consistency), predict success, so take a look at your habits. Are they positive? Do you practice them regularly? If the answer to both questions is “Yes,” then sooner or later you`re going to be successful.

“The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same.” – Colin R. Davis

2. You stopped having a toxic relationship with money

Success is no longer a zero-sum game to you; opportunities are everywhere, and there`s room for everybody to make money, including you. When you check the news, the success of other people no longer makes you envious. A celebrity buying a new mansion or a $150 million contract for a LeBron or Federer-like athlete, doesn`t bother you but instead makes you believe there`s plenty of money out there for ambitious, hard-working people like you. When you switch from worrying about not having enough money to having faith that you will make the money you want, then you know you`re on the way to success.

3. You know the right people

Another sign is having a big social network. I read it somewhere that business owners prefer to hire those they know over those who are skilled. Sounds skewed, I know, but it helps a lot if you combine your technical skills with excellent people skills. To want success is more like wishing to enter a nightclub on a busy Friday night. If you know the bouncers or have enough skills to befriend them, you won`t stay long in the line. The same thing happens in business, the more people you know, the easier it will be to find the right job, get proper funding and save time waiting in the line.

Social skills will help you more than you can ever imagine. There`s a guy I used to work with, he`s not that good looking, but he`s the slickest I`ve ever seen. When that guy hit rock bottom, he dropped out of school, bought a one-way ticket to Dubai, became a real estate agent and made his first million before reaching 30. I`ve also read about Michael Bloomberg who used to come to work at six in the morning to distribute coffee and tea to CEOs who come to work early when others are sleeping. For $.99 each, Bloomberg befriended at least a dozen bigwigs who later helped him launch a billion dollar business after he quit Wall Street.

4. You know what makes you tick

The successful people are better than most people at understanding themselves and overcoming —to a greater extent—the five foundations of poverty: sleep, fear, anger, laziness, and procrastination. They have worked on themselves so deeply and have made so many mistakes that they now know their soft spots as well as what motivates them.

Do you know what makes you sad, angry or excited? Do you know when you`re more likely to cheat on a diet or skip a workout? What are your strengths? Can you motivate yourself at will? And how? Having answers to most or, preferably, all of these questions will help you tap into your full potential and sets you on the path to massive success.

“All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.” – Michael John Bobak

5. You have faith

Faith in the yet to be seen, is a huge sign of success. When you think about the future, there should be a positive energy around you that says “I`m gonna make it.” You may not know exactly when you`re going to succeed, but you`re sure it’s a matter of time. This faith, or certainty, comes from having a solid plan – It`s when you know your goal, how you`ll achieve it, and how you`re going to react if things go south and deciding to believe in the unknown

If you think about it, hard work doesn`t always come as the first cause of success. It`s the faith that you`ll achieve the goal that makes you work hard, and thus, achieve the goal. I was reading a book on Michael Jordan by Roland Lazenby —who also wrote Kobe Bryant`s biography— and it stopped me that part of Jordan`s extraordinary success goes to expectations.

He expected every single ball he shot to go in. Jordan used that mindset over and over and didn`t stop when one of his shots was missed. He merely understood that even though nobody wins all the time, believing you`ll win every single time makes you win most of the time, which is enough to get a career like his. The most prominent success sign is the certainty. To believe, and act, as if you`re going to succeed, and then let that belief lead manifest into actions.

What are some things you do to say on track? Comment below!

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Success Advice

Instead of Always Trying to Be Right, Do This Instead

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stop trying to be right
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A colleague of mine was obnoxious, over eager, and completely out of line. Yet, all of this was overshadowed by the fact he was just plain wrong. If he were to go through with it, it would derail the company by at least 6 months. Yet, arguing with him when he was in this state was of no use. While hitting him over the head with the laptop seemed appealing for a second, it was probably not a great long-term strategy for the business or my laptop.

Galileo once said, “You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him find it within himself.” This is especially true when it comes to emotionally charged matters and negotiations.

When you are right, you become attached to that idea. It’s so clear, how can they not see it? Yet, your meticulously clear logic might as well be written in braille as your focus intensifies on proving yourself right, instead of reaching an agreement.

Below are 3 ways you can step out of your emotions and help someone find the right answer when money and time are on the line:

1. Separate the Person From the Issue

Imagine if a four-year-old child was adamant about something. You wouldn’t try to reason logically for hours in such a case. When trying to speak through a person’s emotions, often you might have better luck with the four year old.

In order to break this barrier you must stop seeing them as the problem and see the issue at hand. Instead of seeing the other person as stupid or obnoxious, try viewing them as simply lost or misguided. The job now becomes not to prove them wrong, but to guide them to the truth. Adopting this mindset changes your entire approach as you get out of your own emotions and take control of the situation.

“Each of us guard a gate of change that can only be opened from the inside.” – Stephen Covey

2. Show Them A Mirror

Somewhere in between trying to hammer a point, both sides usually forget to listen. No matter the situation, you must make sure that person is never you. Instead, shift the focus from “me vs you” and make it completely about the other person. Really listen and validate their emotions, creating enough trust and safety to begin a real exchange. Make sure they feel heard and slow the conversation down. When you slow the process down, you also calm down.

Remember, it’s not what you say, but how you say it. About 93% of communication is nonverbal, thus maintaining your body language immediately provides an edge. A playful (not childlike or mocking) voice puts someone in a positive frame of mind, where they are more likely to collaborate and problem solve.

Always remember to repeat back the most important three words from their sentence and make them elaborate on whatever they said. The more a person is allowed to speak, the more they feel heard. The more they feel heard, the more open they are to receive new information.

3. Lead With Empathy, Not Sympathy

Taking the time to make sure the other side feels heard and understood does not mean you bend to their will. It does not mean you give up, agree, feel sorry for, or even compromise. Empathy is the ability to recognize another’s perspective and the vocalization of that recognition. This is the difference between empathy and sympathy.

When you can label a person’s emotions in an argument, you seize the chance to discover what is behind those feelings. As you begin to drill down, you gain leverage. This should be done very gracefully. Instead of saying, I think you’re angry and being stubborn, trying saying, It seems like you are feeling frustrated because you really care about this and wish it was moving along quicker.

“Sometimes all a person wants is an empathetic ear; all he or she needs is to talk it out. Just offering a listening ear and an understanding heart for his or her suffering can be a big comfort.” – Roy T. Bennett

Using labels, you mold their feelings into words, moving information from the emotional part of the brain to the rational. Whatever behavior a person may be presenting, there is always an underlying feeling triggering it. Your job is to make the person aware of that feeling. The faster you do this, the faster you eliminate the risk of a complete breakdown in communication.

After their emotions are labeled, asking how or why calibrated questions allow them to solve their problems for you. In order to do this effectively you don’t need to study every type of calibrated question there is, but rather adopt a specific mindset. You are not their opponent, but a guide, leading the lost to the truth. Your truth.

In my case, the presenting behavior of my colleague was an obnoxious know-it-all attitude. However, the underlying emotion was fear of falling behind. Once I was able to stop asking the question, “Why is he doing this to me?” and focus on looking deeper, the conversation took a turn. The conversation was no longer about my ideas versus his, but about him and his fear.

Instead of arguing with me, he spent the rest of the time, essentially, arguing with himself. After helping him dissect his fear in the rational part of the brain, he realized that many of the worst case scenarios were highly improbable and acting hasty might exacerbate things. Most importantly, at the end of the conversation, he said, “I think I made the right choice.”

He believed that the decision was entirely his. He never acknowledged the fact that I was right and announced to everyone the sudden spark of genius that hit him. Yet, at the end of the day you need to ask yourself what is more important to you; being right or doing whatever it takes to win.  

How do you handle conflict? Let us know your tips and advice in the comments below!

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7 Powerful and Inspiring Words of Encouragement to Help Lift You Up

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When you’re going through tough times, all you need is sympathy. You just need someone to tell you how strong you are and how you can cope with the situation. Essentially, you’re waiting for a soothing voice that can calm your inner storm and genuinely help with your troubles. (more…)

I am Eliana Jags, Co-Founder & Author at beinginsightful.com. I'm passionate about writing motivational and inspirational articles. Before I became a full-time blogger, I was a Software Engineer but left the job to fulfill my dream of becoming a writer and thus I've committed myself completely to my passion of writing. You can connect with me on my Facebook page here.

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27 Comments

27 Comments

  1. Benjamin Ehinger

    Aug 24, 2017 at 9:10 pm

    Money should ALWAYS be the by-product not the goal. If you chase money, you’ll end up lonely, desperate, broke, empty and simply not joyful. Money cannot buy happiness or joy. It’s a tool to be used, but not something to shoot for.

    It’s always best to chase your calling/passion/purpose and work for joy and happiness. If you do this, the money will be there, whether it’s enough to be rich or just enough to pay the bills. Regardless, when you love your work, the money part of things just has a way of working out.

  2. Emily

    Dec 1, 2016 at 12:50 am

    I know I’m late to the comment party in this article, but this was an eye-opening piece that I needed to read right now. I’ve recently set out on an entrepreneurial path and this article has helped me realize that my priorities need a bit of an adjustment. Also, I’ve been seeing quite a few articles lately that emphasize the need to provide value for people, and that’s something else I should focus on. (Rather than thinking, “Ugh, I’m smart and talented, why isn’t the universe throwing money at me??”)

  3. Kweku Addy

    Jun 8, 2016 at 2:29 am

    Having been on either side of the spectrum- rich and poor, you know what you’re talking about. Lovely article. In my opinion, people would best grasp this concept of having a passion over money during their post traumatic growth phase; after experiencing absolute wealth only then would they understand it. Experience is the best teacher.

    • Tim Denning

      Jun 8, 2016 at 8:42 pm

      Kweku thanks for being so open and sharing your advice. The few sentences you wrote really connected with me. I know the most traumatic part of my life was definitely the best teacher.

  4. shaheen

    Apr 6, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    Our identity is our Passion,Have courage to follow your heart.the two things which i learnt from your article.thanks mr.tim denning for updating such a wonderful article.

    • Tim Denning

      Apr 16, 2016 at 5:31 am

      No problem Shaheen and I’m glad you were able to pull two valuable lessons that you can use in your own life.

  5. Ransom

    Dec 19, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    I do agree with this topic. Many people follow money and at the end, they miss all.
    We have to follow our dreams, the money will always be there. Energy is conserved.

    • Tim Denning

      Dec 22, 2015 at 8:40 am

      Cheers Ransom. You are spot on; money can always be obtained if it is truly your primary goal but it will never make you fulfilled.

  6. Charlene Rhinehart

    Dec 19, 2015 at 4:36 am

    Thanks for sharing! I have an Accounting and Finance background so money is often a hot topic in conversations with colleagues. I realized that in order to be my best self and maximize my value, I had to do what I love. Following your dreams may be the unpopular path initially because there is a false appearance of having more uncertainties as an entrepreneur versus an employee, but I would never want to live with the uncertainty of asking myself, “What would have happened if I focused on impact versus instant income”. I’m giving my dreams all of me and ready to enjoy the journey. Thank you, Tim!

    • Tim Denning

      Dec 22, 2015 at 8:38 am

      Charlene, I love your point of you and thanks for putting is so eloquently for all of us. Being an entrepreneur is not for everyone but I think people need to try both to figure out which one works for them. The good thing is that the rise of intrapreneurs is filling the gap and creating a hybrid opportunity for those who may not want to be an entrepreneur.

      Thank you again Charlene.

  7. Aleksandra

    Nov 23, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    I must say that being in my 20s, I appreciate the fact that this article will show you which path you should choose in life. It’s also a great motivation and reminder to chase your dreams and goals no matter what!!
    Coming from a poor family, I used to think that If I want to have a successful and happy life I need to chase the money, not my dreams… And I did that 2 years ago, but those were the most unhappy years of my life! From that experience I can say that we young people need to learn that money isn’t everything in life. If we want to achieve wealth, we need to make our dreams come true because money will follow after you chase your dream and your passion!
    Right now, I’m giving my best to reach all my goals and I know that sooner or later the money will come!
    Thanks Tim Denning for this great article that motivates and encourages me to chase my dreams day by day!!

    Best Regards
    Aleksandra

    • Tim Denning

      Nov 24, 2015 at 11:56 am

      Aleksandra, I know exactly where you are coming from and I fell into the same track. It often takes age to get the wisdom to understand how money works and my goal is to share that with the young adults so they can realise what you and I have realised much earlier. Thanks for reading!

  8. Doug Sullivan

    Nov 21, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    really good article Tim! Interestingly, the point that landed on me the most was not one of your 6, but something you said in the opening… “Having been lucky enough to experience both wealth and poverty”. This statement speaks volumes about your mindset and also carries a great lesson itself! We must embrace ALL of life’s experiences and learn from them… even the most painful. For in those painful times comes to opportunity to build the foundation of wisdom upon which we grow… our money, our life. Thanks for the good writing!

    • Tim Denning

      Nov 22, 2015 at 5:26 am

      Thanks Doug for the kind words. You are spot on, having been on both sides it gives you a really great perspective and you can see the benefits of money in a different light.

  9. Jacqueline Gillam Fairchild

    Nov 20, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    I loved this article and posted it and passed it on. Your words are always an inspiration. Thank you. And true. Like a diet or a recipe, if you keep putting in the right ingredients, you will have great results.

  10. Abraham

    Nov 20, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    Thanks Tim,
    I have always had this thought that money is just an effect of a cause. And that cause is passion to live your dream. I am now complete in mind and spirit about my own thoughts. I thank God for your wisdom. God give u more

    • Tim Denning

      Nov 20, 2015 at 8:58 pm

      Thank you so much Abraham for being so kind and I hope you find success in whatever you are doing.

  11. Paul Braddock

    Nov 19, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    Thanks for the article Tim and also for Peter’s comment. I know people who are passionate about God and serving others, but unfortunately have not figured out how to monetize it…me included. I look forward to the day when these two paths meet. Always open to learning.

    • Tim Denning

      Nov 20, 2015 at 8:57 pm

      Paul, maybe you already have something that people will pay money for but you have a limiting belief about asking people to pay you. If you can get over that then you can monetise your work. Keep an open mind and find out what others in your space are doing to make a living from their work. Best of luck Paul.

  12. Abiodun

    Nov 19, 2015 at 9:00 am

    These are awesome bullets. They really need to penetrate into the blood of our youths so that they can realize money comes after following your passion. Great bullets there.

    • Tim Denning

      Nov 20, 2015 at 2:45 am

      Abiodun, I totally agree. Often we don’t realise this until we are much older. It would be great if it was a concept we were given in our youth. Thanks for your comment.

  13. Nick Scuderi

    Nov 19, 2015 at 3:30 am

    I learned that spending money on experiences rather than things can create happiness. Things may make us happy in the beginning, but like money, you can only enjoy it so much. The more you have does not mean the happier you are.

    • Tim Denning

      Nov 19, 2015 at 4:30 am

      Spot on Nick and you got the message of the article perfectly!

  14. Peter Banerjea

    Nov 18, 2015 at 1:14 am

    Hi Tim,
    Great points! It’s surprising why a lot of people people don’t realize point number 1. Success comes from offering immense value to people and if people value your offering, then revenue will follow.
    Great companies have always been built primarily on passion.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Peter

    • Tim Denning

      Nov 19, 2015 at 1:50 am

      Agreed and thanks for reading Peter.

  15. Sushma

    Nov 17, 2015 at 11:50 pm

    Awesome article. I really loved it. This article should be required to help every youngster achieve his dream and to understand how money works.

    • Tim Denning

      Nov 18, 2015 at 8:29 pm

      Sushma, glad you like the advice and I also agree that these principles are the foundation of knowing how to manage and create money in your life. Thanks for reading.

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Success Advice

The Three P’s You Need to Master to Become a Better Leader

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I have been a fan and a student of Steve Jobs, Ray Kroc and Jack Welsh for many years. It is very valuable to find similar traits in these great leaders and aggregate them, basically come up with some common denominators of their leadership success. By doing so, we can then begin to reflect their great skills into our own leadership profile. My goal here is to give you some very quick and applicable tools to modify your behavior for greater leadership skills.

Here are the 3 P’s for you to develop greater leadership skills based upon my findings:

1. Passion

If there is one thing that I found in most leaders, it is passion. They love what they do, they love talking about what they do and they love getting others involved in what they do. Passion has different ways of emoting. Some people move very quickly on stage with arms flaying, voice pitching from a diminuendo to a crescendo with 100 giant television screens behind them.

Remember Steve Jobs when the iPhone was being introduced? I’ve seen other people standing behind the podium speaking from written notes but the emotional intensity in the room grew thick and reaching the level of static discharge. I’ve seen everything in between. There is an old saying that we have a leadership theory and that is, “if you think you’re leading and you turn around and no one is following, you’re just taking a walk!” It is passion that prevents that from happening.

“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” – John D. Rockefeller

You may be asking yourself how you can develop more passion in your life and in your leadership repertoire. The answer to that is fairly simple but the application can be somewhat deceptive in its apparent simplicity. If you wait to feel passionate before you act passionate, you’re allowing outside circumstance to control your emotions. However, if you begin to act passionate even if, by chance you don’t feel it, you will begin to. Thus, it is better for us to act our way into a new set of feelings than it is for us to feel our way into a new set of actions.

2. Planning

All leaders are planners; it’s a requirement of the job. By virtue of leading it means that you must be planning for the future. Planning can in fact be learned and is not that difficult of a process. If you want to become a better planner study chess. Notice I did not say play chess, although that will be the natural outcome of your studying. Study chess and notice how the minds of the great masters develop a strategy and implant tactics around that strategy. Chess is an amazing process to develop planning skills.

Another thing you can do is think about how you planned your last vacation, or even a weekend getaway. Think about the steps you took, the research you did based on those steps and their outcomes. Both the study of chess and personal planning will assist you in developing planning for your leadership skills.

3. Persistence

Leaders never give up! If there is something they want, they find a way around, over, or through the obstacle. Too many people never develop their full leadership birthright because of the mental script running through their minds saying, “It’s too tough for me. I Should just go home and get a good nights sleep.” Leaders know that the only possibility of failure is in giving up. If you fall down 10 times but get up on the 11th, you have not failed 10 times – you have succeeded. Period!

You may be wondering how to develop that no nonsense, I will not be denied attitude of persistence. The real question is not how do I develop persistence, but how do I develop the courage to go after what I want? Persistence is a by-product of courage! When there is something that should be yours, developing the impassioned desire to obtain that through raw courage will develop sheer persistence.

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” – Colin Powell

Maybe I should’ve included a 4th P with this article. That of POWER! The best thing I can say about power is that if you want a more powerful leadership dynamic, develop a repertoire that contains passion, planning and persistence. The three of them combined will be a powerful leadership punch that should lead you to getting what you want and assisting others in believing that they should follow you because there is great value in you leading them.

How do you define a leader? Comment below!

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Success Advice

The Secret Power of Storytelling That You Need to Know

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What does the power of storytelling mean to you? Do you visualize your mom or dad telling you a bedtime story, or do you think about an enjoyable summer read? Every single conversation that we have with an individual or group is us sharing a story about the past, present and future. If we have a product or service that we offer to others, we tell a story about it when we do a pitch or a presentation.

The reason why we tell stories is because we know the power of stories. We know how being able to tell a captivating story can affect and change the lives of the people for better or worse. Hitler used stories about the Jews in the 1930’s which caused Germany to rally the youth and the German people to go to war, and in England, the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, used the power of stories to rally the British in a movement of never surrendering to the Germans.

Not everyone knows how to tell stories

Our abilities to tell captivating stories is one of the greatest assets we possess. However the problem is that not everyone has the skills to be a good storyteller, and the ability to be a good storyteller is critical in our success whether it’s in our personal or business life.

The power of storytelling goes way beyond just our everyday conversations, it goes far beyond simply giving facts and data. Stories emotionalize information. They bring life and depth to otherwise bland material, and they allow people to connect with the message in a deeper, more meaningful way.

Tony Robbins, the world famous motivational speaker and strategist interviewed Peter Guber, the Chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment whose films has earned more than $3 billion and over 50 Academy Awards nomination. Guber stated “emotion combined with information becomes memorable and actionable.  Where were you on 9/11? Chances are that you can remember exactly where you were when you learned about the tragic events that transpired that day. But if you had to think where you were the day before that – that memory is probably hazier. Because information attached to pain or pleasure creates an emotional connection that resonates within you.”

He goes on to also say “Keeping in mind that a story is not a monologue, but a dialogue, helps you to give your audience proprietorship. They become emotional owners of the story you are telling. Then they become advtes –oca of your product, your service, your business, your brand.”

The power of storytelling can transform lives when useful and relevant information is combined with emotions. The next time you speak to another person regardless of the situation, remember you are being a storyteller, because you are in the process of transferring information to that person or group.

“Stories are a communal currency of humanity.” –Tahir Shah

Our most powerful tool

Our ability to communicate effectively is the most powerful tool we have, and when we strategically use our communication skills to transfer bland information into masterful stories we also have the power to transform lives.

If done correctly, our stories will have a massive effect on our listening audience. It will inspire and influence them. It will move them to act. So never underestimate the power of storytelling. Make it relevant–connect emotionally, create a dialogue, and you will see why the power of storytelling is the most powerful tool you have.

Don’t just take my word on for it, Look at some of the greatest leaders throughout history

You will see that they all had the ability to tell stories and bring people together through their words. The greatest motivational speakers in the world use the power of storytelling to emotionalize their audience, because there is no quicker or more effective way to get your audience engaged.

Les Brown who has been one of my mentors and one of the greatest motivational speakers that has ever lived, uses stories masterfully. He shares stories about his upbringing in Miami, and how he and his twin brother were adopted at birth and he is somehow able to transition those stories into whatever relevant topic needs to be heard by his audience, but he first draws them in with his stories.

“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” – Les Brown

Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar, Earl Nightingale, Tony Robbins, the list is endless, but one thing they all have in common is their ability to tell stories masterfully. Some of the greatest philosophers have told us that there is a blueprint for success, and obviously storytelling is part of that blue print.

There is no greater power that we possess than the ability to transform regular words into captivating stories that can take your audience on whatever journey you want to take them on.

Being a great storyteller is like being a puppet master, because when you can draw people in to your stories you will have your audience on a string taking them on any emotional roller coaster. The secret power of storytelling is to be treated with respect, because with great power comes great responsibility, and this power should only be used for good.

Do you enjoy storytelling? If so, do you have any techniques or advice to share? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

5 Signs You’re on the Right Path to Success

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Every successful person had his own moment(s) of doubt. The road to success is full of obstacles and sweet hardships that will frequently make you stop and ask, ‘Am I on the right track?’ Even legends and billionaires had moments like that. Just imagine how 62 year old Colonel Sanders felt when he was rejected time and time again trying to franchise his famous chicken recipe.

It felt harsh and I bet he stopped, at least for a moment, to question his entire existence, not just the success of his business idea. But I also bet that there were probably some signs that told Sanders —and any other successful person— ‘You`re going to make it, just hang in there.”

Here are the 5 signs that will tell you whether you`re going to be successful or not:

1. You’re good at the consistency game

I don`t like the fable of the Tortoise and the Hare, and I believe that a restless hare would smash them both, but there`s a reason why that slow tortoise crossed the finish line; It`s called consistency.

Success eventually favors the most consistent, and if you`re not disciplined with the things that make you successful, then your chances to succeed are slimmer than Marlon Brando`s chances of winning the lottery (Marlon Brando is dead, and one of every 175 million tickets wins the lotto).  

Systems and routines (i.e., consistency), predict success, so take a look at your habits. Are they positive? Do you practice them regularly? If the answer to both questions is “Yes,” then sooner or later you`re going to be successful.

“The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same.” – Colin R. Davis

2. You stopped having a toxic relationship with money

Success is no longer a zero-sum game to you; opportunities are everywhere, and there`s room for everybody to make money, including you. When you check the news, the success of other people no longer makes you envious. A celebrity buying a new mansion or a $150 million contract for a LeBron or Federer-like athlete, doesn`t bother you but instead makes you believe there`s plenty of money out there for ambitious, hard-working people like you. When you switch from worrying about not having enough money to having faith that you will make the money you want, then you know you`re on the way to success.

3. You know the right people

Another sign is having a big social network. I read it somewhere that business owners prefer to hire those they know over those who are skilled. Sounds skewed, I know, but it helps a lot if you combine your technical skills with excellent people skills. To want success is more like wishing to enter a nightclub on a busy Friday night. If you know the bouncers or have enough skills to befriend them, you won`t stay long in the line. The same thing happens in business, the more people you know, the easier it will be to find the right job, get proper funding and save time waiting in the line.

Social skills will help you more than you can ever imagine. There`s a guy I used to work with, he`s not that good looking, but he`s the slickest I`ve ever seen. When that guy hit rock bottom, he dropped out of school, bought a one-way ticket to Dubai, became a real estate agent and made his first million before reaching 30. I`ve also read about Michael Bloomberg who used to come to work at six in the morning to distribute coffee and tea to CEOs who come to work early when others are sleeping. For $.99 each, Bloomberg befriended at least a dozen bigwigs who later helped him launch a billion dollar business after he quit Wall Street.

4. You know what makes you tick

The successful people are better than most people at understanding themselves and overcoming —to a greater extent—the five foundations of poverty: sleep, fear, anger, laziness, and procrastination. They have worked on themselves so deeply and have made so many mistakes that they now know their soft spots as well as what motivates them.

Do you know what makes you sad, angry or excited? Do you know when you`re more likely to cheat on a diet or skip a workout? What are your strengths? Can you motivate yourself at will? And how? Having answers to most or, preferably, all of these questions will help you tap into your full potential and sets you on the path to massive success.

“All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.” – Michael John Bobak

5. You have faith

Faith in the yet to be seen, is a huge sign of success. When you think about the future, there should be a positive energy around you that says “I`m gonna make it.” You may not know exactly when you`re going to succeed, but you`re sure it’s a matter of time. This faith, or certainty, comes from having a solid plan – It`s when you know your goal, how you`ll achieve it, and how you`re going to react if things go south and deciding to believe in the unknown

If you think about it, hard work doesn`t always come as the first cause of success. It`s the faith that you`ll achieve the goal that makes you work hard, and thus, achieve the goal. I was reading a book on Michael Jordan by Roland Lazenby —who also wrote Kobe Bryant`s biography— and it stopped me that part of Jordan`s extraordinary success goes to expectations.

He expected every single ball he shot to go in. Jordan used that mindset over and over and didn`t stop when one of his shots was missed. He merely understood that even though nobody wins all the time, believing you`ll win every single time makes you win most of the time, which is enough to get a career like his. The most prominent success sign is the certainty. To believe, and act, as if you`re going to succeed, and then let that belief lead manifest into actions.

What are some things you do to say on track? Comment below!

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Success Advice

Instead of Always Trying to Be Right, Do This Instead

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A colleague of mine was obnoxious, over eager, and completely out of line. Yet, all of this was overshadowed by the fact he was just plain wrong. If he were to go through with it, it would derail the company by at least 6 months. Yet, arguing with him when he was in this state was of no use. While hitting him over the head with the laptop seemed appealing for a second, it was probably not a great long-term strategy for the business or my laptop.

Galileo once said, “You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him find it within himself.” This is especially true when it comes to emotionally charged matters and negotiations.

When you are right, you become attached to that idea. It’s so clear, how can they not see it? Yet, your meticulously clear logic might as well be written in braille as your focus intensifies on proving yourself right, instead of reaching an agreement.

Below are 3 ways you can step out of your emotions and help someone find the right answer when money and time are on the line:

1. Separate the Person From the Issue

Imagine if a four-year-old child was adamant about something. You wouldn’t try to reason logically for hours in such a case. When trying to speak through a person’s emotions, often you might have better luck with the four year old.

In order to break this barrier you must stop seeing them as the problem and see the issue at hand. Instead of seeing the other person as stupid or obnoxious, try viewing them as simply lost or misguided. The job now becomes not to prove them wrong, but to guide them to the truth. Adopting this mindset changes your entire approach as you get out of your own emotions and take control of the situation.

“Each of us guard a gate of change that can only be opened from the inside.” – Stephen Covey

2. Show Them A Mirror

Somewhere in between trying to hammer a point, both sides usually forget to listen. No matter the situation, you must make sure that person is never you. Instead, shift the focus from “me vs you” and make it completely about the other person. Really listen and validate their emotions, creating enough trust and safety to begin a real exchange. Make sure they feel heard and slow the conversation down. When you slow the process down, you also calm down.

Remember, it’s not what you say, but how you say it. About 93% of communication is nonverbal, thus maintaining your body language immediately provides an edge. A playful (not childlike or mocking) voice puts someone in a positive frame of mind, where they are more likely to collaborate and problem solve.

Always remember to repeat back the most important three words from their sentence and make them elaborate on whatever they said. The more a person is allowed to speak, the more they feel heard. The more they feel heard, the more open they are to receive new information.

3. Lead With Empathy, Not Sympathy

Taking the time to make sure the other side feels heard and understood does not mean you bend to their will. It does not mean you give up, agree, feel sorry for, or even compromise. Empathy is the ability to recognize another’s perspective and the vocalization of that recognition. This is the difference between empathy and sympathy.

When you can label a person’s emotions in an argument, you seize the chance to discover what is behind those feelings. As you begin to drill down, you gain leverage. This should be done very gracefully. Instead of saying, I think you’re angry and being stubborn, trying saying, It seems like you are feeling frustrated because you really care about this and wish it was moving along quicker.

“Sometimes all a person wants is an empathetic ear; all he or she needs is to talk it out. Just offering a listening ear and an understanding heart for his or her suffering can be a big comfort.” – Roy T. Bennett

Using labels, you mold their feelings into words, moving information from the emotional part of the brain to the rational. Whatever behavior a person may be presenting, there is always an underlying feeling triggering it. Your job is to make the person aware of that feeling. The faster you do this, the faster you eliminate the risk of a complete breakdown in communication.

After their emotions are labeled, asking how or why calibrated questions allow them to solve their problems for you. In order to do this effectively you don’t need to study every type of calibrated question there is, but rather adopt a specific mindset. You are not their opponent, but a guide, leading the lost to the truth. Your truth.

In my case, the presenting behavior of my colleague was an obnoxious know-it-all attitude. However, the underlying emotion was fear of falling behind. Once I was able to stop asking the question, “Why is he doing this to me?” and focus on looking deeper, the conversation took a turn. The conversation was no longer about my ideas versus his, but about him and his fear.

Instead of arguing with me, he spent the rest of the time, essentially, arguing with himself. After helping him dissect his fear in the rational part of the brain, he realized that many of the worst case scenarios were highly improbable and acting hasty might exacerbate things. Most importantly, at the end of the conversation, he said, “I think I made the right choice.”

He believed that the decision was entirely his. He never acknowledged the fact that I was right and announced to everyone the sudden spark of genius that hit him. Yet, at the end of the day you need to ask yourself what is more important to you; being right or doing whatever it takes to win.  

How do you handle conflict? Let us know your tips and advice in the comments below!

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