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Success Advice

6 Steps To Tap Into Your ‘Flow’

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tap into your flow to be happy and successful

Have you ever been so focused and engaged in a task that it feels like an out of body experience? You’ve got the midas touch- everything you do is done with ease, you completely lose track of time, no such thing as hunger or weariness, your ego just disappears from consciousness.

It’s called ‘flow.’

Athletes break records when they are in flow, musicians write hit songs because of flow, entrepreneurs seal deals when possessed by flow.

When it comes to understanding this incredible state that is available to all humans, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is the expert credited with identifying this incredible peak experience he refers to as flow. Your nervous system is only capable of processing about 110 bits of information per second, having a conversation with one person takes about 60 bits per second- the reason you struggle to listen to two people at the same time. When you enter into a state of flow however, every bit of your processing power is directed to the task. You become blissfully possessed by the work that you are doing.

Everything else disappears.

The key to human happiness and success, according to Mihaly, is the ability to tap into your state of flow.

 

Here are the 6 steps to tap into your flow:

 

1. Set the stage

Whatever task or work you are engaged in, create the optimum environment for flow to happen with an organised and tidy area free from ANY distractions. Some of the world’s greatest writers have a special room or space where they will only engage in writing- that becomes the place they enter into their flow state.

Where is your flow space? It could be in your attic, basement, or the quiet corner of your favourite coffee shop.

 

2. Intrinsic Motivation

Flow happens when what you are doing becomes worth it for its own sake. You need to value and enjoy your work ultimately and above anyone else; regardless of how others may profit or be affected from what you do.

Here is a great flow question: if you never received any recognition for what you’re doing, would you still love doing it?

 

3. A Trigger

This is where physiology meets psychology; a physical trigger to set off an emotional peak state. Tony Robbins is known for jumping up and down on an exercise trampoline and clapping his hands before walking out to a conference. A great technique is to squeeze your middle finger and thumb together and then think of an ecstatic flow experience in the past- a previous victory, accomplishment, or pinch-yourself moment. Then release and bring your mind back to an everyday mundane experience. Practicing stepping in and out of a heightened state.

From now on, every time you squeeze your fingers together your mind will immediate be taken to a flow experience.

 

4. No Destination

Once you have your mind primed and in flow, engage in the task at hand. A crucial key for being in flow is to cast away any expectations. Flow cannot be put into a box. Don’t cut flow off by only getting a certain amount of work done, and don’t try and force flow by continuing to engage when the state is over.

 

5. Too Deep, Too Shallow

Flow is the perfect balance between skill and challenge. If your skill level is too high for the task, then you don’t have enough of a challenge to be in flow. You fall into a state of “comfort.”  On the other hand, if the challenge is too high, you go into a state of “arousal.” This leads to frustration because you don’t have the skill to accomplish your task.

Whatever work you engage in, make sure that you are not over-qualified, nor under-qualified. The challenge should be just a little beyond your skill- to stretch you, but not break you!

 

6. Time-Out

The stages of getting into flow can be broken down into: Struggle – Relaxation – Flow – Consolidation. The final stage of consolidation is crucial for your brain to absorb and remember the new skills it was able to learn. The temptation will always be to chase after that next flow state. But you need to take a break and let your nervous system recover from the immersed experience.

Lastly, flow states must be incorporated in a holistic manner. You do not want to become dependant on a flow state to function regularly. Flow addiction can be very detrimental. This is what turns a person into an unhealthy workaholic- continually chasing the flow experience. Be engaged in a number of different creative tasks. This will allow you to enjoy the flow state without becoming dependant upon a single one that dominates your life.

 

The perfect moment picture quote

A refugee from Vietnam, raised in Australia, with a BA from Texas, Thai writes for many publications including The Huffington Post, Entrepreneur.com, and Addicted2Success. A professional chef, international kickboxer, and spiritual teacher, Thai is passionate about helping people become the best version of themselves. Signup for his free weekly Infographics at TheUtopianLife.com | Connect @ThaiWins | On Facebook 

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Marsha

    Jun 20, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    I like some of these strategies and will practice them. Thanks!

  2. Sid

    Mar 30, 2014 at 3:02 am

    One of the biggest problems in life was not living in the moment. I always had thought of what I’d do later.. Whether it came to a definite goal or pursuing a desire.. But when the time came to execute i never did.. Instead I rationalized that I’d do it later by making another plan.. I dint realise i wasn’t living in the moment! This opened my eyes

    • Thai Nguyen

      Apr 10, 2014 at 1:44 pm

      Very true Sid. Flow is much being being immersed in the moment. All the best to you.

  3. Thai Nguyen

    Mar 27, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    Thanks Joel, I’ll have to check out Pirsig’s work- thanks for the referral. Definitely, as writers, being in flow is crucial!! All the best to you mate.

  4. Joel

    Mar 19, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    Great post Thai. Much of what you’re saying resonates with Pirsig’s idea of the pursuit of quality in ‘Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance’, a fantastic book. As a writer, I find entering this mental state helps enormously with productivity, and most of all, creativity. Thanks for sharing these tips!

  5. Thai Nguyen

    Mar 16, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    Thanks Hristiqn,

    There really isn’t much that can stand in the way of passion, absolutely agree. Wishing you all the best mate.

  6. Thai Nguyen

    Mar 16, 2014 at 7:06 am

    There is definitely a mix of early birds and night owls when it comes to flow! Part of the fun is figuring it out.

  7. Jeremy

    Mar 14, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    I think I tend to get this flow late into the night… I can work from midnight until 8 in the morning and I’ll be very pumped up and inspired while at work. Unfortunately it’s good for my health I think.

  8. Thai Nguyen

    Mar 14, 2014 at 6:12 am

    Hi Naomi,

    Definitely some interesting debates going on about multi-tasking. You are right that there comes a point when it does get out of control. We all need that reminder reassess and refocus.

    All the best,

    Thai.

  9. Naomi@business start ups

    Mar 12, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Hi Thai,

    I’m a multi-tasking queen. I’ve spend my life juggling several tasks at once and persistently attempted to achieve the art of NOT just getting many tasks done at once – But getting them done well.

    As my task list grows I’m starting to realize sometimes I need to be in the moment and submerged within one single activity. Your post is a great reminder for me.

    Thanks, Naomi

  10. JALAL KHAN

    Mar 12, 2014 at 2:56 am

    I learn everyday something new, which are worth implementing in the work place. Keep this good work going. Any time you are coming to Chicago side,please do inform us.

    • Thai Nguyen

      Mar 12, 2014 at 4:53 am

      Learning something new everyday is a great habit! Thanks Jalal!

  11. Emily Filloramo

    Mar 11, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    Thai,

    Great reminders about the points of this groundbreaking book.

    I have find flow an “easier” state to get into since I have found my life’s calling. When I finally realized what the Universe has put me on this earth for, then it’s an obligation to do what I need to do to make a difference. This motivation helps me to tackle the challenging things I need to do to take my life to the next level.

    • Thai Nguyen

      Mar 12, 2014 at 4:52 am

      Well said Emily. I think it is very much a two-way street- finding your flow can help you understand your calling, and knowing your life’s calling makes it easier to find your flow. Wishing you all the best!

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Success Advice

5 Ways to Think Yourself Into Mind Blowing Results From Globally Renowned Leaders

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deep thought

Many wonder why someone who’s less qualified is achieving greater success even though you’re smarter, work harder, or even have more influential connections. The only way someone succeeds is by thinking correctly. It doesn’t matter who you know, what school you attended, or what grades you got; all that matters are your thoughts. Both men and women around the world have been telling people “the secret” to success for hundreds of years. It’s time to listen.

Here are five tactics to begin today:

1. Writing Goals the Napoleon Hill Way

Thinking yourself into mind blowing results starts with the end in mind. Athletes know exactly what their goal is and how to earn the points to win. Life’s exactly the same.  In nearly every Napoleon Hill book, he lays out a goal achieving formula which has helped millions around the world. By following this, you will accomplish something you currently believe is impossible.

Start by writing a clear statement of your desire, then formulate a clear plan to attain it. You’ll also need to know what you plan on giving up in return. Set a definite time limit. Everything you wrote down, memorize it and repeat it to yourself often. It’s imperative you express gratitude towards receiving the results you’re still working for. Be grateful you achieved your desired outcomes long before you actually materialize them into your world.

“If you cannot do great things yourself, remember that you may do small things in a great way.” – Napoleon Hill

2. Creating Your Mental Image How Bob Proctor Teaches

In Bob Proctor’s’ book, You Were Born Rich, he titled Chapter 3, “The Image Maker” because we think in pictures. Our thoughts are like movie clips being projected on the screens of our minds; control the pictures, control the outcomes.  It’s vital to manage our thoughts and expel the ones that don’t serve us. Knowing this, you’re now the ‘mental architect’ of your life, of your destiny!

Once you have your desired outcome, it’s time to put that image on the screen of your mind. See yourself already in possession of what you desire. Clearly watch yourself living it, hearing the sounds and feeling the feelings you’ll experience.

A powerful question to ask to know which moment should be on the screen of your mind is, “what’s the last thing that needs to happen in order for me to know I’ve achieved the result I’m after?” This is the moment to focus on!

3. Allow Dr. David Schwartz to Give Yourself a Daily Pep-Talk

Start thinking more of yourself through self-praise. You’ll begin to discover how much bigger and stronger you feel when you upgrade your thinking habits. In Dr. David Schwartz’s book, The Magic of Thinking Big, he provides you with a daily technique. Constantly reminding yourself that you’re top-notch by using his “Sell-Yourself-to-Yourself 60 Second Commercial.”

Developing the “commercial” is as easy as writing down your assets and points of superiority. What’ll separate you from the herd is practicing your “commercial” out loud in front of a mirror once a day with enthusiasm and determination. Lastly, read it silently many times throughout the day as a constant reminder of your greatness. Just like a written goal, keep this with you at all times. It’s a great mental tool to regain enthusiasm and determination after the inevitable setback.

4. Experience Unlimited Power Like Tony Robbins

Have you heard about Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)? It’s the study of success and how to emulate it; it’s the language of the mind and how to create concise results. From the many learnings gathered from both Tony Robbins and the study of NLP, controlling your state of mind is one thing that will drastically change the results you’re currently producing.

In his book, Unlimited Power, Tony Robbins gifted us with the technique, “memory management.” This is linking an emotion to a memory which instantly elicits that empowering feeling. Simply know your arsenal of positive memories to think about when you need that extra umph.

Successful people gain access to their most resourceful emotions on a consistent basis, you can too. What’s great about the mind is that they don’t even need to be real memories. Daydreaming about your fantasy life will do the trick too!

“People who succeed at the highest level are not lucky; they’re doing something differently than everyone else.” – Tony Robbins

5. Think Positive as if You Were Norman Vincent Peale

Believing in yourself is vital to succeed, but not crucial to begin. The path to attainment is by forming faith and expectancy that what you desire is going to happen. In Norman Vincent Peale’s book, The Power of Positive Thinking, he wrote a chapter for each of these important necessities; believing and expecting. By not having both of these right now, or even just one of them, that shouldn’t stop you from anything!

There’s an undeniable cure for both. To believe in yourself and have the full expectation that what you want will come to pass, the only tactic out there are autosuggestions, commonly known as affirmations.

Developing statements in the positive, present tense and repeating them thousands of times a day, you’ll reprogram your subconscious mind to a success-filled mindset. By convincing your subconscious to believe in your end game, soon enough, you’ll begin to expect it; just like you expect to go to sleep tonight.

Since our minds are the most powerful force in all of creation, it’s time to start using it to its fullest potential. Start today by writing your goal the Napoleon Hill way!

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Success Advice

2 Secret Roads to Success – Why Some People Have It All and How You Can Too

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road to success

Have you wondered how some people seem to have it all – the 6-figure pay check, a healthy and fit body and amazing relationships? On the other hand, others are successful in one aspect of our lives (perhaps we are happy with our careers) but there’s always something that’s missing – that strong body, that perfect someone or living a meaningful life.

I’ve personally experienced having a successful career but failed at having a healthy and strong body. When I finally succeeded at getting and staying healthy, I realized that there are two completely different approaches, both of which need to be mastered to find success in life – the goal-driven approach and the process-driven approach.

The Goal-Driven Approach

A goal-driven approach is one in which our goals themselves, are sufficient to motivate us to act until we achieve them. This works well for:

  1. Short-term goals lasting a few days or a few weeks, where we can see the end in sight and push ourselves to get there.
  2. Goals that are usually within or just outside our comfort zone.
  3. Goals that have some certainty of success at the end. For example, working overnight and acing the client presentation the next morning makes us feel proud of our achievement and gets us recognition from our boss.

This approach inherently rewards speed, agility and short bursts of intense work. We end up relying on quick wins or successes which make the task worth it and help us feel motivated to achieve our goals.

Most of us are very adept at using this approach because we’ve grown up in environments, traditional education and companies, which operate this way. Schools and universities set exams and corporate jobs require us to complete tasks upon which we get good grades or promotions.

When the Goal-Driven Approach Doesn’t Work

What a goal-driven approach doesn’t teach us though is how to approach long-term goals like staying healthy, having meaningful relationships or building our careers around our purpose in life.

  1. These goals are usually so big and so long-term that we don’t fully understand all the steps to reach them.
  2. They don’t have any immediate reward associated with them so our motivation to chase them decreases after the initial burst of inspiration. For example, it’s impossible to lose weight and keep it off by just eating healthy for a week.
  3. Because they are so long-term, any future action of ours can completely wipe out the gains made in the beginning of the process which is even more de-motivating. For example, a week of eating healthy can be wiped out by one night of bingeing.
  4. There is also no artificial sense of urgency like deadlines -so we need to find the motivation internally to engage in the task every day. If we ever try to impose timelines on these tasks, it only stresses us out and we compensate by completely sabotaging ourselves like eating an entire pack of cookies one fine night exhausted from a week of eating too little.

“If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.” – Yogi Berra

The Process-Driven Approach

The process-driven approach breaks down our big goals into minute goals and creates a habit to execute these minute goals regularly.

Putting such a habit into place is simple. Just follow these four steps:

  1. Break down your big vision into multiple long-term goals all of which have to work together to make your big vision come true. For example, for your big goal of feeling healthy and fit, you may break it down into eating healthier, exercising regularly and sleeping more.
  2. Pick one of the goals to focus on, ideally the one you think will have the biggest payoff.
  3. Break this goal down into a series of simple activities that you can do without much effort. For example, let’s say you picked eating healthier as your priority goal. One of the activities that might be sabotaging you is your regular McDonald’s dinner on the way back from work. A simple activity that can replace this is to stop driving by McDonald’s if it’s triggering your craving and take a different route back home instead.  This might take a little bit of willpower on the first day but as you get used to the new route over a couple of weeks, it’ll become an automatic habit.
  4. Once the first activity feels like a normal part of your day, stack on the second activity and so on. Similarly, once you’ve achieved the first goal, stack on the second, third and remaining goals to reach your long-term vision.

How to Succeed with the Process-Driven Approach

Though this seems simple in theory, there are two emotional and mindset changes needed to succeed with this method.

The first is to be patient – instead of focusing on the big shiny dream, measure progress against the habit that you’re trying to cultivate. Accept that seeing the big vision come true takes months and sometimes years. Our biggest Achilles heel is impatience and while this works well in academia and work, it backfires in building health and relationships because we end up taking short cuts that harm us long term.

The second is to build rewards into your process – Having rewards is the best way to motivate ourselves and makes our mini-habits easier to stick to. For example, if you don’t eat at McDonald’s then your reward could be having a spa massage at the end of the week.

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” – Thomas Jefferson

Find The Right Balance

At the end of the day, we need to master both goal-driven and process-driven approaches to succeed. Use the goal-driven approach for short-term goals or when you need a burst of energy to push you through a task. Use the process-driven approach for long-term lifestyle change journeys such as getting healthier, having more meaningful relationships or pursuing a career that resonates with your purpose in life. In this way, you too can soon be the person who seems to magically “have it all”.

What are you doing today to reach success later on? Let us know your tips in the comments below!

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Success Advice

You Don’t Have To Listen To Every Bit Of Career Feedback. Some People Just Don’t Get You And That’s Fine!

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I recently got rejected from what I thought was a fantastic career opportunity. I was told that I was “Not entrepreneurial enough.”

Those that know me well know that it’s probably one of the few things I’m good at. Many of my mentors who I told this story to laughed out loud.

These three words were career feedback and I was always led to believe that to ignore this feedback would be ignorant and stupid.

I pondered that thought for a few days and then had a revelation: “I don’t have to listen to every bit of feedback I get.”

 

Pissed off is a natural first reaction.

That’s how I felt after someone told me I was crap at the very thing I love and have dedicated most of my time to. Our brain wants to be angry and fight back. Our first reaction, though, is often not what we should pay attention to.

“Empty space and time to reflect is how we process career feedback for what it really is: an opinion”

Don’t let your first reaction dominate how you think about the feedback. Maturity that can come at any age will show you to question everything – even your reaction.

 

Some people just don’t get you.

You’re not their type, they don’t like you, you speak a different language or you may have different values. Not everyone is going to get you and what you stand for and that’s okay. In my case, I didn’t connect.

Buying into the circus that is me is not for everyone. If you don’t like vulnerability or breaking comfort zones, then you probably won’t like me.

If you’re not obsessed with big goals, doing the impossible and trying to improve just a little bit every day, then you probably won’t like me.

That’s okay and I forgive you. I don’t have all the answers and I’m far from perfect – like the rest of us.

Learn to accept that some people will never get you and what you’re about.

That realization is how we overcome career feedback that we may not agree with.

 

Sometimes it’s any excuse. The real answer is something different.

Feedback can be disguised by the truth. The truth is maybe there was someone else the whole time and I never had a chance at this career opportunity. Maybe it wasn’t me at all.

Sometimes feedback is given because the real reason is much harder to deliver. It’s not easy to say “Tim, thanks but we hired someone else and you were never in the running.”

Admitting you never even had a chance is something many of us would never want to say. Being brutally honest takes courage, and courage is not everyone’s kind of kebab with garlic sauce on top, sprinkles and chili flakes.

 

We all get rejected.

I nearly forgot this fact. Everyone gets rejected. In fact, right now, someone is being rejected.

Rejection is not limited to you and me; learning to deal with it will only help us, not hinder our ability to achieve success in any field.

“We’ve all got 99 problems and thinking you’re special will only create more pointless thoughts that won’t serve you or your goals”

 

You’re responsible.

The thing about career feedback is that you have to take responsibility. Maybe in my case, I didn’t deliver the message of how obsessed and skilled I am at entrepreneurship. Maybe I could have done a better job at explaining my entrepreneurial background and passion.

It’s highly likely that I am entrepreneurial enough for this career opportunity and that it’s not a lack of skill at play here but a lack of effective communication.

“Responsibility always trumps the blame game and it helps us grow more as a person”

 

There’s always one lesson.

Mine was to develop more skills in strategy.

Let’s stop for one second: I hate the word strategy. The other career feedback I got was to do more strategy yet that’s not a skill of mine and I have no desire to do lots of that in my career.

The key here is that there’s always a lesson from all feedback and it might not be the intended lesson that the giver left you with.

There’s either a great lesson in the feedback or a reminder in the feedback of what you stand for. Don’t let any feedback compromise your values and who you are.

 

You are good enough.

You just have to believe in yourself and eventually, the right opportunity will find you.

Don’t give up your hopes and dreams because of one rejection. Interrupt the story in your head that plays on repeat and focuses on anger towards another person.

Replace that story with thoughts of how you can do better and get to the next opportunity.

Through rejection and bad career feedback, you find your way to what you’ve always wanted. That’s the hack and it works.

I’m off to suck up the rejection and take my own advice. Much respect.

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

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Success Advice

6 Important Lessons That Will Lead You to Success

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success

Failure is a part of life and it’s nothing to be ashamed of because the most highly successful people are the ones who have experienced failures the most in their life. The general public usually learns about people and their work when they become successful but only a handful of people know about the immense struggles that those people have gone through. Unfortunately, we do not have the stories of their failures to which we can relate our own setbacks and this is why we perceive failure to be a bad thing.

People are afraid of failure because, from a very young age, they are taught that making mistakes and being wrong is a bad thing so when a person suffers from a failure, it’s possible for that person to experience some form of depression. It is important for you to understand failure is a way for you to learn and move on from the experience. It is literally impossible to live life forever without failing at something, unless you live your life so carefully that you forget to live at all.

Here are 6 lessons that you should embrace that will change in your life:

1. Keep Your Expectations Low

When it comes to life, people often expect things like family, business, and marriage to be constant and consistent throughout the years. However, this is not the case because life is not that simple and there are always ups and downs which you need to confront.

Having low expectations is totally understandable and justifiable but having high expectations from relationships and businesses could prove to be harmful if those things don’t last forever. In addition to this, keeping your expectations low helps you accept whatever comes from the situation. High expectations tend to result in disappointment, pain, and loss, so it’s better for you to have low expectations, yet continue to work hard with what you are doing.

2. Acknowledge the Change

Most of the time, people think they may not experience change at all in their life because they are expecting things to last forever, but little do they know that change is always waiting to take place and can happen at any point in time. Acknowledging change means you’re fully aware of the situation and this will help when change occurs and you move from the stage of shock to acceptance.

“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” – Charles Darwin

3. Accept the Change

The acceptance of change can be difficult and you might resist it at first, but you need to understand the fact that accepting the change will help you make the necessary adjustments that you need in your life. Preventing and stopping the change from happening can prove to be disastrous for you because you are rejecting the fact that the situation has changed and are still living in the past.

Things turn out to be different from the way you expected them to be and this is completely  fine because you will be able to deal with the change more effectively by embracing the new situation.

4. Learn from Your Past

Once you accept the change and are ready to embrace it, it will start making sense and you will find lessons from which you can learn a lot. It is important to learn from your previous mistakes because learning and moving on eliminates the probability of you making those mistakes again in future.

5. Grow Stronger than Before

Accepting, embracing and learning from the change makes you stronger and better than you were in the past. The ability to learn from your past makes you a better person who is able to deal with the changes more easily and is able to move on without having any regrets in life. Moreover, this change will take away the fear of making new adjustments in life.

“Embrace uncertainty. Some of the most beautiful chapters in our lives won’t have a title until much later.” – Bob Goff

6. Acknowledge the Wisdom and Embrace it

The more you permit change to happen in your life, the better you grow as an individual. Embracing the wisdom will bring new found energy and strength into your life with inner peace and calmness. Embracing the change proactively and accepting it as a part of your life will result in you being calmer and stronger than ever. Change is not your enemy but the greatest teacher from whom you will learn most of your life lessons.

It is worth mentioning that during the process of accepting change, you need to be brutally honest with yourself because most people are in denial and fail to realize the real reason behind the change. It is insane to repeat the same mistakes again and again with the expectations of a different result. So, if you do not learn from your mistakes, you are doomed to fail again.

Failure can find you again, but if the situation is different from the previous one, then it’s just another experience. You need to stand up after you fall since you cannot stop problems from occurring in your life. What you can do is handle them in a more strategic way.

Problems are a part of your journey, however, the important thing is to keep your eyes on the final destination. Once you reach your final destination, you will realize that all those problems you faced were totally worth the success.

Failure is the one who falls and never stands back up. When you stand back up and keep on trying to achieve what you want, you’re not a failure but a winner in life. So, never lose hope and always look for the positive side, even in the toughest of situations because this is what successful people do.

How do you embrace change and keep pushing forward in life? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

5 Ways to Think Yourself Into Mind Blowing Results From Globally Renowned Leaders

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deep thought

Many wonder why someone who’s less qualified is achieving greater success even though you’re smarter, work harder, or even have more influential connections. The only way someone succeeds is by thinking correctly. It doesn’t matter who you know, what school you attended, or what grades you got; all that matters are your thoughts. Both men and women around the world have been telling people “the secret” to success for hundreds of years. It’s time to listen. (more…)

Lucas Robak used to fly planes, now he leads various wisdom-sharing communities. Being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), Lucas began researching how to successfully live with it. Soon after, he was leading a health & wellness community and helping entrepreneurs use a published book for marketing. As a visionary, creative thinker, and strategist, Lucas discovered many mind hacks, health tips, and business tricks along the way which he loves sharing. To experience your own results from a #1 bestselling author, find him on LinkedIn or www.LucasRobak.com.

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Marsha

    Jun 20, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    I like some of these strategies and will practice them. Thanks!

  2. Sid

    Mar 30, 2014 at 3:02 am

    One of the biggest problems in life was not living in the moment. I always had thought of what I’d do later.. Whether it came to a definite goal or pursuing a desire.. But when the time came to execute i never did.. Instead I rationalized that I’d do it later by making another plan.. I dint realise i wasn’t living in the moment! This opened my eyes

    • Thai Nguyen

      Apr 10, 2014 at 1:44 pm

      Very true Sid. Flow is much being being immersed in the moment. All the best to you.

  3. Thai Nguyen

    Mar 27, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    Thanks Joel, I’ll have to check out Pirsig’s work- thanks for the referral. Definitely, as writers, being in flow is crucial!! All the best to you mate.

  4. Joel

    Mar 19, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    Great post Thai. Much of what you’re saying resonates with Pirsig’s idea of the pursuit of quality in ‘Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance’, a fantastic book. As a writer, I find entering this mental state helps enormously with productivity, and most of all, creativity. Thanks for sharing these tips!

  5. Thai Nguyen

    Mar 16, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    Thanks Hristiqn,

    There really isn’t much that can stand in the way of passion, absolutely agree. Wishing you all the best mate.

  6. Thai Nguyen

    Mar 16, 2014 at 7:06 am

    There is definitely a mix of early birds and night owls when it comes to flow! Part of the fun is figuring it out.

  7. Jeremy

    Mar 14, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    I think I tend to get this flow late into the night… I can work from midnight until 8 in the morning and I’ll be very pumped up and inspired while at work. Unfortunately it’s good for my health I think.

  8. Thai Nguyen

    Mar 14, 2014 at 6:12 am

    Hi Naomi,

    Definitely some interesting debates going on about multi-tasking. You are right that there comes a point when it does get out of control. We all need that reminder reassess and refocus.

    All the best,

    Thai.

  9. Naomi@business start ups

    Mar 12, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Hi Thai,

    I’m a multi-tasking queen. I’ve spend my life juggling several tasks at once and persistently attempted to achieve the art of NOT just getting many tasks done at once – But getting them done well.

    As my task list grows I’m starting to realize sometimes I need to be in the moment and submerged within one single activity. Your post is a great reminder for me.

    Thanks, Naomi

  10. JALAL KHAN

    Mar 12, 2014 at 2:56 am

    I learn everyday something new, which are worth implementing in the work place. Keep this good work going. Any time you are coming to Chicago side,please do inform us.

    • Thai Nguyen

      Mar 12, 2014 at 4:53 am

      Learning something new everyday is a great habit! Thanks Jalal!

  11. Emily Filloramo

    Mar 11, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    Thai,

    Great reminders about the points of this groundbreaking book.

    I have find flow an “easier” state to get into since I have found my life’s calling. When I finally realized what the Universe has put me on this earth for, then it’s an obligation to do what I need to do to make a difference. This motivation helps me to tackle the challenging things I need to do to take my life to the next level.

    • Thai Nguyen

      Mar 12, 2014 at 4:52 am

      Well said Emily. I think it is very much a two-way street- finding your flow can help you understand your calling, and knowing your life’s calling makes it easier to find your flow. Wishing you all the best!

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Success Advice

5 Ways to Think Yourself Into Mind Blowing Results From Globally Renowned Leaders

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deep thought

Many wonder why someone who’s less qualified is achieving greater success even though you’re smarter, work harder, or even have more influential connections. The only way someone succeeds is by thinking correctly. It doesn’t matter who you know, what school you attended, or what grades you got; all that matters are your thoughts. Both men and women around the world have been telling people “the secret” to success for hundreds of years. It’s time to listen.

Here are five tactics to begin today:

1. Writing Goals the Napoleon Hill Way

Thinking yourself into mind blowing results starts with the end in mind. Athletes know exactly what their goal is and how to earn the points to win. Life’s exactly the same.  In nearly every Napoleon Hill book, he lays out a goal achieving formula which has helped millions around the world. By following this, you will accomplish something you currently believe is impossible.

Start by writing a clear statement of your desire, then formulate a clear plan to attain it. You’ll also need to know what you plan on giving up in return. Set a definite time limit. Everything you wrote down, memorize it and repeat it to yourself often. It’s imperative you express gratitude towards receiving the results you’re still working for. Be grateful you achieved your desired outcomes long before you actually materialize them into your world.

“If you cannot do great things yourself, remember that you may do small things in a great way.” – Napoleon Hill

2. Creating Your Mental Image How Bob Proctor Teaches

In Bob Proctor’s’ book, You Were Born Rich, he titled Chapter 3, “The Image Maker” because we think in pictures. Our thoughts are like movie clips being projected on the screens of our minds; control the pictures, control the outcomes.  It’s vital to manage our thoughts and expel the ones that don’t serve us. Knowing this, you’re now the ‘mental architect’ of your life, of your destiny!

Once you have your desired outcome, it’s time to put that image on the screen of your mind. See yourself already in possession of what you desire. Clearly watch yourself living it, hearing the sounds and feeling the feelings you’ll experience.

A powerful question to ask to know which moment should be on the screen of your mind is, “what’s the last thing that needs to happen in order for me to know I’ve achieved the result I’m after?” This is the moment to focus on!

3. Allow Dr. David Schwartz to Give Yourself a Daily Pep-Talk

Start thinking more of yourself through self-praise. You’ll begin to discover how much bigger and stronger you feel when you upgrade your thinking habits. In Dr. David Schwartz’s book, The Magic of Thinking Big, he provides you with a daily technique. Constantly reminding yourself that you’re top-notch by using his “Sell-Yourself-to-Yourself 60 Second Commercial.”

Developing the “commercial” is as easy as writing down your assets and points of superiority. What’ll separate you from the herd is practicing your “commercial” out loud in front of a mirror once a day with enthusiasm and determination. Lastly, read it silently many times throughout the day as a constant reminder of your greatness. Just like a written goal, keep this with you at all times. It’s a great mental tool to regain enthusiasm and determination after the inevitable setback.

4. Experience Unlimited Power Like Tony Robbins

Have you heard about Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)? It’s the study of success and how to emulate it; it’s the language of the mind and how to create concise results. From the many learnings gathered from both Tony Robbins and the study of NLP, controlling your state of mind is one thing that will drastically change the results you’re currently producing.

In his book, Unlimited Power, Tony Robbins gifted us with the technique, “memory management.” This is linking an emotion to a memory which instantly elicits that empowering feeling. Simply know your arsenal of positive memories to think about when you need that extra umph.

Successful people gain access to their most resourceful emotions on a consistent basis, you can too. What’s great about the mind is that they don’t even need to be real memories. Daydreaming about your fantasy life will do the trick too!

“People who succeed at the highest level are not lucky; they’re doing something differently than everyone else.” – Tony Robbins

5. Think Positive as if You Were Norman Vincent Peale

Believing in yourself is vital to succeed, but not crucial to begin. The path to attainment is by forming faith and expectancy that what you desire is going to happen. In Norman Vincent Peale’s book, The Power of Positive Thinking, he wrote a chapter for each of these important necessities; believing and expecting. By not having both of these right now, or even just one of them, that shouldn’t stop you from anything!

There’s an undeniable cure for both. To believe in yourself and have the full expectation that what you want will come to pass, the only tactic out there are autosuggestions, commonly known as affirmations.

Developing statements in the positive, present tense and repeating them thousands of times a day, you’ll reprogram your subconscious mind to a success-filled mindset. By convincing your subconscious to believe in your end game, soon enough, you’ll begin to expect it; just like you expect to go to sleep tonight.

Since our minds are the most powerful force in all of creation, it’s time to start using it to its fullest potential. Start today by writing your goal the Napoleon Hill way!

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Success Advice

2 Secret Roads to Success – Why Some People Have It All and How You Can Too

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Have you wondered how some people seem to have it all – the 6-figure pay check, a healthy and fit body and amazing relationships? On the other hand, others are successful in one aspect of our lives (perhaps we are happy with our careers) but there’s always something that’s missing – that strong body, that perfect someone or living a meaningful life.

I’ve personally experienced having a successful career but failed at having a healthy and strong body. When I finally succeeded at getting and staying healthy, I realized that there are two completely different approaches, both of which need to be mastered to find success in life – the goal-driven approach and the process-driven approach.

The Goal-Driven Approach

A goal-driven approach is one in which our goals themselves, are sufficient to motivate us to act until we achieve them. This works well for:

  1. Short-term goals lasting a few days or a few weeks, where we can see the end in sight and push ourselves to get there.
  2. Goals that are usually within or just outside our comfort zone.
  3. Goals that have some certainty of success at the end. For example, working overnight and acing the client presentation the next morning makes us feel proud of our achievement and gets us recognition from our boss.

This approach inherently rewards speed, agility and short bursts of intense work. We end up relying on quick wins or successes which make the task worth it and help us feel motivated to achieve our goals.

Most of us are very adept at using this approach because we’ve grown up in environments, traditional education and companies, which operate this way. Schools and universities set exams and corporate jobs require us to complete tasks upon which we get good grades or promotions.

When the Goal-Driven Approach Doesn’t Work

What a goal-driven approach doesn’t teach us though is how to approach long-term goals like staying healthy, having meaningful relationships or building our careers around our purpose in life.

  1. These goals are usually so big and so long-term that we don’t fully understand all the steps to reach them.
  2. They don’t have any immediate reward associated with them so our motivation to chase them decreases after the initial burst of inspiration. For example, it’s impossible to lose weight and keep it off by just eating healthy for a week.
  3. Because they are so long-term, any future action of ours can completely wipe out the gains made in the beginning of the process which is even more de-motivating. For example, a week of eating healthy can be wiped out by one night of bingeing.
  4. There is also no artificial sense of urgency like deadlines -so we need to find the motivation internally to engage in the task every day. If we ever try to impose timelines on these tasks, it only stresses us out and we compensate by completely sabotaging ourselves like eating an entire pack of cookies one fine night exhausted from a week of eating too little.

“If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.” – Yogi Berra

The Process-Driven Approach

The process-driven approach breaks down our big goals into minute goals and creates a habit to execute these minute goals regularly.

Putting such a habit into place is simple. Just follow these four steps:

  1. Break down your big vision into multiple long-term goals all of which have to work together to make your big vision come true. For example, for your big goal of feeling healthy and fit, you may break it down into eating healthier, exercising regularly and sleeping more.
  2. Pick one of the goals to focus on, ideally the one you think will have the biggest payoff.
  3. Break this goal down into a series of simple activities that you can do without much effort. For example, let’s say you picked eating healthier as your priority goal. One of the activities that might be sabotaging you is your regular McDonald’s dinner on the way back from work. A simple activity that can replace this is to stop driving by McDonald’s if it’s triggering your craving and take a different route back home instead.  This might take a little bit of willpower on the first day but as you get used to the new route over a couple of weeks, it’ll become an automatic habit.
  4. Once the first activity feels like a normal part of your day, stack on the second activity and so on. Similarly, once you’ve achieved the first goal, stack on the second, third and remaining goals to reach your long-term vision.

How to Succeed with the Process-Driven Approach

Though this seems simple in theory, there are two emotional and mindset changes needed to succeed with this method.

The first is to be patient – instead of focusing on the big shiny dream, measure progress against the habit that you’re trying to cultivate. Accept that seeing the big vision come true takes months and sometimes years. Our biggest Achilles heel is impatience and while this works well in academia and work, it backfires in building health and relationships because we end up taking short cuts that harm us long term.

The second is to build rewards into your process – Having rewards is the best way to motivate ourselves and makes our mini-habits easier to stick to. For example, if you don’t eat at McDonald’s then your reward could be having a spa massage at the end of the week.

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” – Thomas Jefferson

Find The Right Balance

At the end of the day, we need to master both goal-driven and process-driven approaches to succeed. Use the goal-driven approach for short-term goals or when you need a burst of energy to push you through a task. Use the process-driven approach for long-term lifestyle change journeys such as getting healthier, having more meaningful relationships or pursuing a career that resonates with your purpose in life. In this way, you too can soon be the person who seems to magically “have it all”.

What are you doing today to reach success later on? Let us know your tips in the comments below!

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Success Advice

You Don’t Have To Listen To Every Bit Of Career Feedback. Some People Just Don’t Get You And That’s Fine!

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I recently got rejected from what I thought was a fantastic career opportunity. I was told that I was “Not entrepreneurial enough.”

Those that know me well know that it’s probably one of the few things I’m good at. Many of my mentors who I told this story to laughed out loud.

These three words were career feedback and I was always led to believe that to ignore this feedback would be ignorant and stupid.

I pondered that thought for a few days and then had a revelation: “I don’t have to listen to every bit of feedback I get.”

 

Pissed off is a natural first reaction.

That’s how I felt after someone told me I was crap at the very thing I love and have dedicated most of my time to. Our brain wants to be angry and fight back. Our first reaction, though, is often not what we should pay attention to.

“Empty space and time to reflect is how we process career feedback for what it really is: an opinion”

Don’t let your first reaction dominate how you think about the feedback. Maturity that can come at any age will show you to question everything – even your reaction.

 

Some people just don’t get you.

You’re not their type, they don’t like you, you speak a different language or you may have different values. Not everyone is going to get you and what you stand for and that’s okay. In my case, I didn’t connect.

Buying into the circus that is me is not for everyone. If you don’t like vulnerability or breaking comfort zones, then you probably won’t like me.

If you’re not obsessed with big goals, doing the impossible and trying to improve just a little bit every day, then you probably won’t like me.

That’s okay and I forgive you. I don’t have all the answers and I’m far from perfect – like the rest of us.

Learn to accept that some people will never get you and what you’re about.

That realization is how we overcome career feedback that we may not agree with.

 

Sometimes it’s any excuse. The real answer is something different.

Feedback can be disguised by the truth. The truth is maybe there was someone else the whole time and I never had a chance at this career opportunity. Maybe it wasn’t me at all.

Sometimes feedback is given because the real reason is much harder to deliver. It’s not easy to say “Tim, thanks but we hired someone else and you were never in the running.”

Admitting you never even had a chance is something many of us would never want to say. Being brutally honest takes courage, and courage is not everyone’s kind of kebab with garlic sauce on top, sprinkles and chili flakes.

 

We all get rejected.

I nearly forgot this fact. Everyone gets rejected. In fact, right now, someone is being rejected.

Rejection is not limited to you and me; learning to deal with it will only help us, not hinder our ability to achieve success in any field.

“We’ve all got 99 problems and thinking you’re special will only create more pointless thoughts that won’t serve you or your goals”

 

You’re responsible.

The thing about career feedback is that you have to take responsibility. Maybe in my case, I didn’t deliver the message of how obsessed and skilled I am at entrepreneurship. Maybe I could have done a better job at explaining my entrepreneurial background and passion.

It’s highly likely that I am entrepreneurial enough for this career opportunity and that it’s not a lack of skill at play here but a lack of effective communication.

“Responsibility always trumps the blame game and it helps us grow more as a person”

 

There’s always one lesson.

Mine was to develop more skills in strategy.

Let’s stop for one second: I hate the word strategy. The other career feedback I got was to do more strategy yet that’s not a skill of mine and I have no desire to do lots of that in my career.

The key here is that there’s always a lesson from all feedback and it might not be the intended lesson that the giver left you with.

There’s either a great lesson in the feedback or a reminder in the feedback of what you stand for. Don’t let any feedback compromise your values and who you are.

 

You are good enough.

You just have to believe in yourself and eventually, the right opportunity will find you.

Don’t give up your hopes and dreams because of one rejection. Interrupt the story in your head that plays on repeat and focuses on anger towards another person.

Replace that story with thoughts of how you can do better and get to the next opportunity.

Through rejection and bad career feedback, you find your way to what you’ve always wanted. That’s the hack and it works.

I’m off to suck up the rejection and take my own advice. Much respect.

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

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Success Advice

6 Important Lessons That Will Lead You to Success

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Failure is a part of life and it’s nothing to be ashamed of because the most highly successful people are the ones who have experienced failures the most in their life. The general public usually learns about people and their work when they become successful but only a handful of people know about the immense struggles that those people have gone through. Unfortunately, we do not have the stories of their failures to which we can relate our own setbacks and this is why we perceive failure to be a bad thing.

People are afraid of failure because, from a very young age, they are taught that making mistakes and being wrong is a bad thing so when a person suffers from a failure, it’s possible for that person to experience some form of depression. It is important for you to understand failure is a way for you to learn and move on from the experience. It is literally impossible to live life forever without failing at something, unless you live your life so carefully that you forget to live at all.

Here are 6 lessons that you should embrace that will change in your life:

1. Keep Your Expectations Low

When it comes to life, people often expect things like family, business, and marriage to be constant and consistent throughout the years. However, this is not the case because life is not that simple and there are always ups and downs which you need to confront.

Having low expectations is totally understandable and justifiable but having high expectations from relationships and businesses could prove to be harmful if those things don’t last forever. In addition to this, keeping your expectations low helps you accept whatever comes from the situation. High expectations tend to result in disappointment, pain, and loss, so it’s better for you to have low expectations, yet continue to work hard with what you are doing.

2. Acknowledge the Change

Most of the time, people think they may not experience change at all in their life because they are expecting things to last forever, but little do they know that change is always waiting to take place and can happen at any point in time. Acknowledging change means you’re fully aware of the situation and this will help when change occurs and you move from the stage of shock to acceptance.

“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” – Charles Darwin

3. Accept the Change

The acceptance of change can be difficult and you might resist it at first, but you need to understand the fact that accepting the change will help you make the necessary adjustments that you need in your life. Preventing and stopping the change from happening can prove to be disastrous for you because you are rejecting the fact that the situation has changed and are still living in the past.

Things turn out to be different from the way you expected them to be and this is completely  fine because you will be able to deal with the change more effectively by embracing the new situation.

4. Learn from Your Past

Once you accept the change and are ready to embrace it, it will start making sense and you will find lessons from which you can learn a lot. It is important to learn from your previous mistakes because learning and moving on eliminates the probability of you making those mistakes again in future.

5. Grow Stronger than Before

Accepting, embracing and learning from the change makes you stronger and better than you were in the past. The ability to learn from your past makes you a better person who is able to deal with the changes more easily and is able to move on without having any regrets in life. Moreover, this change will take away the fear of making new adjustments in life.

“Embrace uncertainty. Some of the most beautiful chapters in our lives won’t have a title until much later.” – Bob Goff

6. Acknowledge the Wisdom and Embrace it

The more you permit change to happen in your life, the better you grow as an individual. Embracing the wisdom will bring new found energy and strength into your life with inner peace and calmness. Embracing the change proactively and accepting it as a part of your life will result in you being calmer and stronger than ever. Change is not your enemy but the greatest teacher from whom you will learn most of your life lessons.

It is worth mentioning that during the process of accepting change, you need to be brutally honest with yourself because most people are in denial and fail to realize the real reason behind the change. It is insane to repeat the same mistakes again and again with the expectations of a different result. So, if you do not learn from your mistakes, you are doomed to fail again.

Failure can find you again, but if the situation is different from the previous one, then it’s just another experience. You need to stand up after you fall since you cannot stop problems from occurring in your life. What you can do is handle them in a more strategic way.

Problems are a part of your journey, however, the important thing is to keep your eyes on the final destination. Once you reach your final destination, you will realize that all those problems you faced were totally worth the success.

Failure is the one who falls and never stands back up. When you stand back up and keep on trying to achieve what you want, you’re not a failure but a winner in life. So, never lose hope and always look for the positive side, even in the toughest of situations because this is what successful people do.

How do you embrace change and keep pushing forward in life? Let us know in the comments below!

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