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7 Easy Ways To Start Moving Towards Your Dreams Today

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You have a picture of what you would like your life to be, and it excites you. The picture of your perfect dream life consumes your every waking moment, and it keeps you up at night wondering “what if?”—but it just seems too far off to ever become a reality.

We all want to live the life of our dreams, but so few of us are at that stage in our life right now. We don’t want to fully take the leap into pursuing our passions because we don’t want to lose the security of a steady paycheck, and we’re scared of the unknown. What frustrates us most is we just don’t know what steps we can take to pursue our dream life now, rather than later.

What if you could start living your dream life now, instead of waiting until a “better” time—would you take the opportunity then?

Here are seven ways to help you start moving towards your dreams today, instead of waiting until a “better” time around the corner:

1. Realize you’re just as talented and capable as others

We’re all humans, and we all have our strong points. Find your strengths and capitalize on them to avoid running into constant brick walls, and above all be persistent—that’s key! Your dream life is possible. Reminding yourself of your inner greatness every day you can feel more confident about pursuing your dreams even when it would be easier to stop.

 “If you can dream it, you can do it.” – Walt Disney 

2. Develop a mantra relevant to your own success

Muhammad Ali’s was “I am the greatest,” and did anyone question him? Every morning I wake up and tell myself “I’m a writer, and writers write,” because if I didn’t do it then who would? My mantra helps affirm my belief in myself, which allows me to step into my power and tackle my goals with a newfound energy every day. Each day you wake up, ask yourself where your strengths are, and how they make you great—and use your answers to fuel your path to success.

 

3. Personalize your life plan

In their book Living Forward, Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy urge their readers to develop a life plan that symbolizes the life they want to live and the steps they need to take to get there. By developing a concrete life plan that’s unique to you and your goals, you’ll prevent yourself from reaching burn-out and losing sight of the end-game you have in mind throughout your day-to-day life. You can also review your plan on a weekly basis to remind yourself of the steps you need to take today towards your dreams, as this will help you visualize your own future success and keep you on track.

 

4. Embrace the power of baby steps

Don’t get consumed by doubt and lose sight of your plan by focusing on the larger scope of your dreams. Instead refine your path and always move forward in whatever ways you can every day, no matter what. Your dreams don’t have to become unwieldy and untouchable, no matter how big they are. Little steps can help you reach your goals even while working a full-time job, regardless of how small they may seem at the time.

 

5. Always show gratitude

Never forget the precious gift of life, and the possibilities that it presents to all of us every day of our lives. You always need to stay positive and remain thankful for yourself and others around you. This will help you keep a positive outlook when the going gets tough and it can prevent you from losing sight of your goal when you’d rather quit.

 

6. Meditate on your successes

Think about your version of your ideal self, and always think about how you can move your current self closer to your dream goals. What have you done that’s worked for you in the past, and what could you do better in the future? Reflecting on your life plan every day can help you keep a laser-focus on your dreams, especially when the going gets tough. This will remind you of the progress you’ve made towards your eventual dream life.

 

7. Embrace the power of your ideas

You always have the power to change the world around you, but first you have to step into the shoes that were made for you to wear all along. Your dreams matter, and you can be your dream self if you only try and never, ever give up—because despite your failures, every single step you take towards your dreams are small wins and they never stop counting towards your bigger dream goals.

I know you have that one thing that keeps you up at night, deep inside of you. But before you can achieve it, you have to believe in the power of your dreams yourself and know that they’re not far-fetched, despite how far away they seem right now.

“I’m open for possibilities. I’m open for choices. I always welcome new ideas. I’m always eager to learn. I’m never going to close my mind from learning.” – Cesar Millan

You can’t allow the candle of your dreams to burn out, because if you do then you’re admitting they don’t matter.Even if they do burn out, it’s never too late to light them back up again—because despite what people may tell you, your dreams aren’t small or insignificant.

How will you start moving towards your dreams today? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

"Blake Powell helps writers step into their creative power and start living the life of their dreams. You can downloadThe Bulletproof Writer’s Handbook for free today to learn how to supercharge your writing and conquer the blank page once and for all."

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21 Comments

21 Comments

  1. transformice

    Aug 1, 2017 at 8:47 am

    Valuable info. Lucky me I found your website by accident. I bookmarked it. This article is genuinely good and I have learned lot of things from it concerning blogging. thanks.

  2. maya breeze

    May 16, 2016 at 7:17 am

    hi blake – i love the post … i also think if we will dare to dream (and to bring it) we will discover our way . i think we like to think we dare, but the word is a verb, and it has a few meanings :

    1. to have the necessary courage or boldness for something; be bold enough:
    2. to have the boldness to try; venture; hazard.
    3. to meet defiantly; face courageously.
    4. to challenge or provoke (a person) into a demonstration of courage

    what if we had the courage to actually dare ourselves …

    thoreau said:

    … if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams,
    and endeavors to live the life he has imagined,
    he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.

    ours is to dream it and to bring it … how and when are not up to us. we must make of our own selves the desire of the dream, and then be enough (in ourselves) to dare to live it.

    thanks again – i love the idea that we are told by wayshowers that we can, and that we are able to be in life as we wish …
    maya

    • Blake Powell

      May 20, 2016 at 1:27 am

      Hey Maya, thanks so much for your comment. Sorry for the late reply.

      I think as you say, having the dream in place is important but daring to take action on that impulse is equally as important to that. A lot of what you say is similar to what Napoleon Hill says in his book “Think and Grow Rich”, in that we must put a face to our desires and believe that we can do it before we can take action and later reap the benefits of that action. But dreaming is nothing without doing, so we can’t get tripped up by the daring part – we must “dare to do” and actually do, which is the critical point of turning our dreams into reality.

      Thank you so much for your insights, and the quote by Thoreau. I love seeing what readers come up with, and many times it adds to the post itself ten-fold – so thank you for that. I really appreciate it 🙂

      Cheers,
      Blake

  3. Tim Denning

    May 4, 2016 at 4:12 am

    Blake I think that taking little steps is the most important point in your article. I practice this daily and it has really helped me. Thanks for sharing your advice.

    • Blake Powell

      May 4, 2016 at 1:54 pm

      Tim, little steps are huge! They make more of an impact than you’d think. Thanks for your reply 🙂

  4. Dennis

    May 2, 2016 at 4:22 am

    I’m one of those who really get started well but get frustrated shortly. Was asking myself why and the answer was ‘u are biting too big man.’ Thanx for all the advice. I owe so much to so many people who have made me who I am today, including u. I must make a positive impact in as many lives as I can.

    • Blake Powell

      May 4, 2016 at 1:58 pm

      Hey Dennis, you’re welcome! Glad to help. Maybe the problem isn’t biting off too much but taking it all in too quickly.

      I like the Chinese proverb “be not afraid of going slowly, be afraid only of standing still.” Baby steps add up to more than we’d think over the long term of things, as long as you cut your big goals into small pieces you should be fine 🙂

  5. Ohita Afeisume

    Apr 28, 2016 at 5:25 am

    Thanks Blake,
    For me, gratitude works marvelously. The more I am thankful to God for my life, family and friends, the more empowered I am to follow my goals and be creative.

    • Blake Powell

      Apr 29, 2016 at 1:28 am

      Hey, no problem Ohita! Glad to help 🙂
      Gratitude is a huge one, and I don’t think it can be practiced enough. It is a huge part of happiness, which can fuel us to live out our dreams in many ways. Thanks for your comment.

  6. James Arq

    Apr 25, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    Wonderful post, Blake!

    Your writing is just awesome, straight to the point! You make me (just a tiny bit) jealous. 😉

    I especially liked this line on your last point “…every single step you take towards your dreams are small wins and they never stop counting towards your bigger dream goals.”

    I agree with it. We can very much enjoy life with the small things, and in fact, we should. Let us celebrate mini victories and daily conquers, after all, milestones are as equally important as goals. And most importantly, never stop moving forward, no matter how small the steps. In time, those small steps would reveal to be miles away from where we started.

    Awesome post!

    • Blake Powell

      Apr 26, 2016 at 12:31 am

      Hey James,

      Thanks so much for the comment, and I appreciate the feedback. I’m glad to hear that you find my advice practical, useful, and straight to the point. Means a lot to me to hear that from a reader.

      Life is a daily battle, and if we don’t stand up and face the drums every day then we lose a little bit of our passion, and ourselves in the process. We need to fight for our dreams, even if we work a 9-5, even if it’s just for 5-10 minutes a day. Every little bit counts, and a snowball can turn into an avalanche over time (pardon the metaphor). I think we can all surprise with what we could do when we get down to it, rather than just wondering about it.

      Thanks James!

  7. Dan Western

    Apr 25, 2016 at 10:28 am

    Awesome article Blake! Thanks for sharing this.

    P.S. I love the quote at the end! It fits perfectly.

    Dan

    • Blake Powell

      Apr 26, 2016 at 12:27 am

      Hey Dan, you’re very welcome man. Thanks for the comment and glad I could help. 🙂

  8. Mike McClement

    Apr 25, 2016 at 9:30 am

    Linked to #1 – never compare yourself to others. Sure, check out what they’re doing / how they’re succeeding. Learn if you can from that but don’t focus on their strengths, focus on your own.

    I try this approach and it seems to work although it does require self-discipline. Silencing the negative voice in your head encouraging you to doubt yourself is always challenging. It’s perfectly possible though if you keep in a positive frame of mind.

    Thanks Blake for a helpful article.

    • Blake Powell

      Apr 26, 2016 at 12:38 am

      Hey Mike, thanks for the shout-out – really appreciate it. Definitely, comparing ourselves to others can only get us disheartened in the end. While it’s good to work up to where others are and see the value in their ideas, if we focus too much on their progress and their strengths (which highlight our own weaknesses) we lose sight of our own selves, our own strength, and our own potential – which can be poisonous for our own goals and motivation.

      It definitely requires telling that self-doubting voice “no”, as hard as it may be at times. But I don’t think we can ever turn it off completely or ignore it, only acknowledge it and work past it. It may always be there, but that doesn’t mean we have to adhere to it or fuel its fire.

      Thanks for the comment Mike. You’re very welcome, and I’m glad you found it helpful 🙂

  9. Jared

    Apr 24, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    I agree making baby steps is a way to move forward. I also have to stay patient because I want to move faster but at this time in my life it’s difficult. As long as I keep moving forward I know ill achieve my dreams. Thanks Blake.

    • Blake Powell

      Apr 26, 2016 at 12:44 am

      Hey Jared,

      Patience, like Gary Vee says, is HUGE. Almost even more so than baby steps. Because while we can slowly persist towards our larger goals every day, if we don’t have patience and respect for the whole process then it’s too easy to lose hope and turn to doubting ourselves and stopping our forward progress (we might even forget what progress looks like, too, if we get too wrapped up in the process).

      As cliche as it is, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Great things take time, just like your dreams take time to achieve. But they are most certainly achievable.

      Thanks for engaging, and glad you found it helpful! 🙂

  10. Mark Tong

    Apr 24, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    Hi Blake – love the article especially ‘ Embrace the power of your ideas ‘ – and blow yourself away:)

    • Blake Powell

      Apr 26, 2016 at 12:40 am

      Hey Mark,

      Yes, absolutely blow yourself away! You might just be surprised with what you can do and can achieve. I think we all can, but we need to light our fire first.

      Thanks for the comment!

  11. Quinn Eurich

    Apr 24, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    Loved the post Blake. You always have such great and straight-forwards advice.

    I especially love this: “first you have to step into the shoes that were made for you to wear all along.”

    It’s such a wonderful metaphor. The shoes are always there. They may be in a forgotten box in the back of a closet, or in a corner of the attic, or even lying in the shadows under the bed, but they are there.

    Sometimes you’ve tried them on and thought they were too big, but sooner or later you’ll grow into them, and when you do, it’s magic.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Quinn

    • Blake Powell

      Apr 24, 2016 at 11:10 pm

      Hey Quinn, thanks so much. I really appreciate the feedback and I’m glad the post helped you out. I loved your comment on the shoes, and think it’s pretty much perfect so I won’t add anything to it, but yes it’s so easy to put our dreams away and try and hide from them and ignore them when they’re just waiting for us to follow them. And I think the power of little steps towards bigger, more long-term goals are very underrated, as they’ve done wonders for me!

      Thanks for your comment 🙂

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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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Success Advice

5 Simple Ways to Supercharge Your Happiness

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With so many demands on our time, energy, wallet from work, family and friends, figuring out what makes you happy and going after it can be a challenge. If you don’t prioritize your happiness, nobody else will. These five simple hacks will help you supercharge your happiness so you can avoid burnout, overwhelm, and going to that second cousin twice removed’s barbeque just because you “should.”

1. Schedule plenty of YOU time into your week

Let’s face it, most of our lives revolve around other people. Work, friends, spouses and partners, family, etc., the majority of our day requires us to interact with other people and that can be really exhausting. It’s important to schedule at least an hour a day – and more if you can – of YOU time into your calendar to take care of yourself.

Doing things that you enjoy, whether that’s listening to a podcast, reading, or working out, and doing them alone allows you to reconnect to who you are and have something positive to look forward to every single day.

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” – Ludwig Jacobowski

2. Make “no” the most important word in your vocabulary

Making other people happy is something that we all want. It feels good to help someone out or make their lives easier. The problem is that we often sacrifice our own well-being when we say “yes” too much, especially for opportunities, work, or interactions that don’t personally fulfill us.

So whether it’s with friends, co-workers, or colleagues, learning to say no not only increases your productivity, but also your quality of life. When you set clear boundaries for the things that you don’t want and won’t accept, it leaves more room for the people and experiences that do make you happy. And remember: You don’t owe anyone an explanation if you say no to them.

3. Create a “shake the day off” routine

Even the happiest people go through stressful periods. One of the biggest issues that leads to serial unhappiness, burnout, and chronic stress is not having a release to clear out the stress that’s built up over the course of the day.

So once you’ve closed your laptop or walked through the door, it’s important to have a routine that you do that helps you get everything you’ve been bottling up off your chest. Whether that’s playing loud music and ranting for 10 minutes, spending 20 minutes with a partner where you both get to talk about the stresses of the day, or just putting on your favorite playlist and dancing it out, it’s crucial to give your mind and your body the opportunity to let go of stress on a consistent basis.

Having a place to channel negative emotion at the end of the day will help you move through the emotions, honor them, and not dwell on them incessantly. And if you had an absolutely amazing day, flip your routine on its head – spend 10 minutes celebrating.

4. Do a closet purge

Our closets hold a lot of memories – good and bad, and they tend to be where we hoard a lot of emotional baggage, both metaphorically and literally. Go through your closet and find your favorite outfits that you wear currently, whether it’s sweatpants and a t-shirt or a really well-tailored outfit, that’s your starting point.

Everything in your closet and drawers should make you feel that amazing. So get rid of any clothes that are too big or too small, any emotionally-charged pieces of clothing (for example, if you’ve still got your wedding outfit after a divorce, donate it), or anything that doesn’t represent who you are.

Your style is an opportunity to make a statement about who you are and the clothes you wear should boost your mood. Even if you’re a minimalist, you should be proud of the quality of your pieces and how they fit.

“Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.” – Dale Carnegie

5. Get up close and personal with your bank account every day

Money doesn’t buy happiness, but it does give you options. So many people have a fear of money and they avoid it like the plague. Checking their bank balance is their least favorite to do, they hate paying bills, and they avoid opening mail or screen phone calls to make sure it’s not the bank.

Facing the reality of your money situation, whether it needs fixing or it’s great, will only help you improve it. You can also seek the advice of a financial planner at your bank to help you with this and create a plan to shift your situation. You might have more options available than you know.

Getting clear about the gap between your spending and your income can help push you to start looking for that job or new opportunity that you’ve been procrastinating on. Tracking your finances on a daily or weekly basis can help you come up with creative solutions to make more money and provide yourself with more options for financial freedom.

Maybe you’re paying for cable, Netflix, and Hulu, but it’d be more cost effective to just get Netflix and HBO Go because that’s all you ever watch anyways. You’ll never know where more options are hiding until you get up close and personal with the reality of your financial situation.

Comment below with the happiness-boosting tip that you’ll be implementing today!

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Success Advice

5 Goal-Setting Myths That Are Busted Once and for All

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Brian Tracy said it a long time ago “People with clear, written goals accomplish far more in a shorter period of time than people without them can ever imagine.” Today, it’s scientifically proven that people with goals are more successful.  

Why? Because, setting goals will drive you to take action. Having clearly defined goals is like having a GPS System leading the way. But to be led, first you have to know where you want to go. And let’s be honest the vast majority of us don’t have even the slightest idea of where to start to make our dreams come true.

If you decide to join the 3% to 5% of people who set daily, weekly and quarterly goals, take it one step at a time and remain flexible, then over time, you can achieve things that you couldn’t even imagine before.

Lets start by busting 5 goal-setting myths:

1. Your goals have to be S.M.A.R.T.

Not true. It might be better to have smart goals, but simply having goals and writing them down already sets you apart from around 97% of people who don’t have them. My first goal which was starting my whole process about five years ago was to read more. Not a smart goal because it was not specific, measurable, or time-bound, but enough for a start. I went from not reading any books in five years to reading one book per week.

My five-year goal was “Write a book.” Again not a smart goal, but 4 1/2 years later I’m a bestselling author with more than 180,000 sales and downloads on Amazon, my books have been translated into Japanese, Korean, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Indonesian, etc. and I’m currently working on my seventh book. This is proof your goals don’t have to be SMART.

“The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.” – Bill Copeland

2. You have to set realistic goals

What is realistic? If I had told people a couple of years ago: “In two years I’m going to be a bestselling author, I’m going to be on TV, radio, and my books will be read around the world”, chances are I’d rather have ended up in a madhouse than on the Amazon Bestseller list.

So it depends. If you tend to beat yourself up for not reaching your goals, then I would advise you to set smaller, more realistic goals. For example, if you set the goal of earning $100,000 USD a year and end up earning $97,000 USD and then beat yourself up feeling like a failure, I recommend you to set small, realistic goals.

If you are like me and always celebrate how far you have come even if you didn’t reach your goals, then set huge unrealistic goals. You want to earn $150,000 USD a year? Great, but if you only get to $50,000 USD in the first year, celebrate it. It’s better than $40,000. Analyze what went wrong, make a new plan and go for the $150,000 USD next year.

3. You have to reach all your goals

Actually, you don’t. I dare to bet that if you reach 50% of the goals you set, your life will be so much better, than not setting goals at all. Again, this depends on your personality. If you are a perfectionist, you might want to learn this kind of approach. In the last two years, I have only reached 40-50% of my goals, but it was by far the two best years of my life. I celebrated the goals I reached, and the goals I didn’t reach were discarded or turned into new goals for next year.

4. Reaching your goals will make you happier

Again, not true. Reaching your goals will not make you happier. It will only give you temporary highs before you go back to your base-level of happiness and set new goals. Goals properly understood will make you happier. It’s not the attaining of the goal that leads to happiness, it’s the having of the goal that leads to happiness. The role of your goals is to liberate us to enjoy the present.

If you go on a road trip and don’t know where to go or don’t have a destination, you are less likely to enjoy the present moment because every minute you have to look around. Every crossroads or turn you reach becomes an important decision. This is stressful. If you know where you are going, you have a sense of direction. You will feel liberated.

You are much more likely to enjoy the process, the environment, the landscape or the proverbial “flowers on the side of the way.” Not only that, if you have a clear sense of direction, you are much more likely to be happy. We need a goal for future orientation so that we can enjoy the present more

5. Having goals will make your more successful

Although science has shown that people who set goals are generally more successful, because they are more focused, having goals will not make you more successful. Many have people have goals and dreams and never reach them. They might even have written them down and try to use the “Law of Attraction” to reach their goals.

There is only one problem, nobody reaches their goals sitting on the sofa and imagining good things to happen. The most important ingredient is missing: TAKING ACTION. Having goals and working your butt off to reach them will make you more successful.

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Tony Robbins

I meet many people that have no goals and are happy. That’s totally okay. There is a time for everything. If you don’t have goals and are happy…keep on not having goals. No need to change what’s working, you will know when the time comes. Just listen very closely to the “I don’t need goals. I’m happy without goals” voice because comfort and fear talk the same talk.

Keep in mind that if you want to have an even better life, go set some goals, write them down and start working on them. It will be worth it.

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5 Ways to Realize Your Authentic Self

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I was a scared kid throughout my younger years. Overly-cautious and wildly unsure were just a few of my characteristics as I headed into adulthood. Unfortunately for me, I wasn’t present to many of the decisions I made in my youth in regards to navigating life thus I was blindly going along with it. (more…)

Dan Whalen is a franchise operator with College Hunks Hauling Junk & Moving, personal development writer, and NLP master practitioner. He has a background in business management and team leadership spanning nearly a decade, and has a deeply-rooted passion for helping people experience fulfilling lives. You can find him on Twitter at @DanielJWhalen.

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21 Comments

21 Comments

  1. transformice

    Aug 1, 2017 at 8:47 am

    Valuable info. Lucky me I found your website by accident. I bookmarked it. This article is genuinely good and I have learned lot of things from it concerning blogging. thanks.

  2. maya breeze

    May 16, 2016 at 7:17 am

    hi blake – i love the post … i also think if we will dare to dream (and to bring it) we will discover our way . i think we like to think we dare, but the word is a verb, and it has a few meanings :

    1. to have the necessary courage or boldness for something; be bold enough:
    2. to have the boldness to try; venture; hazard.
    3. to meet defiantly; face courageously.
    4. to challenge or provoke (a person) into a demonstration of courage

    what if we had the courage to actually dare ourselves …

    thoreau said:

    … if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams,
    and endeavors to live the life he has imagined,
    he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.

    ours is to dream it and to bring it … how and when are not up to us. we must make of our own selves the desire of the dream, and then be enough (in ourselves) to dare to live it.

    thanks again – i love the idea that we are told by wayshowers that we can, and that we are able to be in life as we wish …
    maya

    • Blake Powell

      May 20, 2016 at 1:27 am

      Hey Maya, thanks so much for your comment. Sorry for the late reply.

      I think as you say, having the dream in place is important but daring to take action on that impulse is equally as important to that. A lot of what you say is similar to what Napoleon Hill says in his book “Think and Grow Rich”, in that we must put a face to our desires and believe that we can do it before we can take action and later reap the benefits of that action. But dreaming is nothing without doing, so we can’t get tripped up by the daring part – we must “dare to do” and actually do, which is the critical point of turning our dreams into reality.

      Thank you so much for your insights, and the quote by Thoreau. I love seeing what readers come up with, and many times it adds to the post itself ten-fold – so thank you for that. I really appreciate it 🙂

      Cheers,
      Blake

  3. Tim Denning

    May 4, 2016 at 4:12 am

    Blake I think that taking little steps is the most important point in your article. I practice this daily and it has really helped me. Thanks for sharing your advice.

    • Blake Powell

      May 4, 2016 at 1:54 pm

      Tim, little steps are huge! They make more of an impact than you’d think. Thanks for your reply 🙂

  4. Dennis

    May 2, 2016 at 4:22 am

    I’m one of those who really get started well but get frustrated shortly. Was asking myself why and the answer was ‘u are biting too big man.’ Thanx for all the advice. I owe so much to so many people who have made me who I am today, including u. I must make a positive impact in as many lives as I can.

    • Blake Powell

      May 4, 2016 at 1:58 pm

      Hey Dennis, you’re welcome! Glad to help. Maybe the problem isn’t biting off too much but taking it all in too quickly.

      I like the Chinese proverb “be not afraid of going slowly, be afraid only of standing still.” Baby steps add up to more than we’d think over the long term of things, as long as you cut your big goals into small pieces you should be fine 🙂

  5. Ohita Afeisume

    Apr 28, 2016 at 5:25 am

    Thanks Blake,
    For me, gratitude works marvelously. The more I am thankful to God for my life, family and friends, the more empowered I am to follow my goals and be creative.

    • Blake Powell

      Apr 29, 2016 at 1:28 am

      Hey, no problem Ohita! Glad to help 🙂
      Gratitude is a huge one, and I don’t think it can be practiced enough. It is a huge part of happiness, which can fuel us to live out our dreams in many ways. Thanks for your comment.

  6. James Arq

    Apr 25, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    Wonderful post, Blake!

    Your writing is just awesome, straight to the point! You make me (just a tiny bit) jealous. 😉

    I especially liked this line on your last point “…every single step you take towards your dreams are small wins and they never stop counting towards your bigger dream goals.”

    I agree with it. We can very much enjoy life with the small things, and in fact, we should. Let us celebrate mini victories and daily conquers, after all, milestones are as equally important as goals. And most importantly, never stop moving forward, no matter how small the steps. In time, those small steps would reveal to be miles away from where we started.

    Awesome post!

    • Blake Powell

      Apr 26, 2016 at 12:31 am

      Hey James,

      Thanks so much for the comment, and I appreciate the feedback. I’m glad to hear that you find my advice practical, useful, and straight to the point. Means a lot to me to hear that from a reader.

      Life is a daily battle, and if we don’t stand up and face the drums every day then we lose a little bit of our passion, and ourselves in the process. We need to fight for our dreams, even if we work a 9-5, even if it’s just for 5-10 minutes a day. Every little bit counts, and a snowball can turn into an avalanche over time (pardon the metaphor). I think we can all surprise with what we could do when we get down to it, rather than just wondering about it.

      Thanks James!

  7. Dan Western

    Apr 25, 2016 at 10:28 am

    Awesome article Blake! Thanks for sharing this.

    P.S. I love the quote at the end! It fits perfectly.

    Dan

    • Blake Powell

      Apr 26, 2016 at 12:27 am

      Hey Dan, you’re very welcome man. Thanks for the comment and glad I could help. 🙂

  8. Mike McClement

    Apr 25, 2016 at 9:30 am

    Linked to #1 – never compare yourself to others. Sure, check out what they’re doing / how they’re succeeding. Learn if you can from that but don’t focus on their strengths, focus on your own.

    I try this approach and it seems to work although it does require self-discipline. Silencing the negative voice in your head encouraging you to doubt yourself is always challenging. It’s perfectly possible though if you keep in a positive frame of mind.

    Thanks Blake for a helpful article.

    • Blake Powell

      Apr 26, 2016 at 12:38 am

      Hey Mike, thanks for the shout-out – really appreciate it. Definitely, comparing ourselves to others can only get us disheartened in the end. While it’s good to work up to where others are and see the value in their ideas, if we focus too much on their progress and their strengths (which highlight our own weaknesses) we lose sight of our own selves, our own strength, and our own potential – which can be poisonous for our own goals and motivation.

      It definitely requires telling that self-doubting voice “no”, as hard as it may be at times. But I don’t think we can ever turn it off completely or ignore it, only acknowledge it and work past it. It may always be there, but that doesn’t mean we have to adhere to it or fuel its fire.

      Thanks for the comment Mike. You’re very welcome, and I’m glad you found it helpful 🙂

  9. Jared

    Apr 24, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    I agree making baby steps is a way to move forward. I also have to stay patient because I want to move faster but at this time in my life it’s difficult. As long as I keep moving forward I know ill achieve my dreams. Thanks Blake.

    • Blake Powell

      Apr 26, 2016 at 12:44 am

      Hey Jared,

      Patience, like Gary Vee says, is HUGE. Almost even more so than baby steps. Because while we can slowly persist towards our larger goals every day, if we don’t have patience and respect for the whole process then it’s too easy to lose hope and turn to doubting ourselves and stopping our forward progress (we might even forget what progress looks like, too, if we get too wrapped up in the process).

      As cliche as it is, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Great things take time, just like your dreams take time to achieve. But they are most certainly achievable.

      Thanks for engaging, and glad you found it helpful! 🙂

  10. Mark Tong

    Apr 24, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    Hi Blake – love the article especially ‘ Embrace the power of your ideas ‘ – and blow yourself away:)

    • Blake Powell

      Apr 26, 2016 at 12:40 am

      Hey Mark,

      Yes, absolutely blow yourself away! You might just be surprised with what you can do and can achieve. I think we all can, but we need to light our fire first.

      Thanks for the comment!

  11. Quinn Eurich

    Apr 24, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    Loved the post Blake. You always have such great and straight-forwards advice.

    I especially love this: “first you have to step into the shoes that were made for you to wear all along.”

    It’s such a wonderful metaphor. The shoes are always there. They may be in a forgotten box in the back of a closet, or in a corner of the attic, or even lying in the shadows under the bed, but they are there.

    Sometimes you’ve tried them on and thought they were too big, but sooner or later you’ll grow into them, and when you do, it’s magic.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Quinn

    • Blake Powell

      Apr 24, 2016 at 11:10 pm

      Hey Quinn, thanks so much. I really appreciate the feedback and I’m glad the post helped you out. I loved your comment on the shoes, and think it’s pretty much perfect so I won’t add anything to it, but yes it’s so easy to put our dreams away and try and hide from them and ignore them when they’re just waiting for us to follow them. And I think the power of little steps towards bigger, more long-term goals are very underrated, as they’ve done wonders for me!

      Thanks for your comment 🙂

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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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Success Advice

5 Simple Ways to Supercharge Your Happiness

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With so many demands on our time, energy, wallet from work, family and friends, figuring out what makes you happy and going after it can be a challenge. If you don’t prioritize your happiness, nobody else will. These five simple hacks will help you supercharge your happiness so you can avoid burnout, overwhelm, and going to that second cousin twice removed’s barbeque just because you “should.”

1. Schedule plenty of YOU time into your week

Let’s face it, most of our lives revolve around other people. Work, friends, spouses and partners, family, etc., the majority of our day requires us to interact with other people and that can be really exhausting. It’s important to schedule at least an hour a day – and more if you can – of YOU time into your calendar to take care of yourself.

Doing things that you enjoy, whether that’s listening to a podcast, reading, or working out, and doing them alone allows you to reconnect to who you are and have something positive to look forward to every single day.

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” – Ludwig Jacobowski

2. Make “no” the most important word in your vocabulary

Making other people happy is something that we all want. It feels good to help someone out or make their lives easier. The problem is that we often sacrifice our own well-being when we say “yes” too much, especially for opportunities, work, or interactions that don’t personally fulfill us.

So whether it’s with friends, co-workers, or colleagues, learning to say no not only increases your productivity, but also your quality of life. When you set clear boundaries for the things that you don’t want and won’t accept, it leaves more room for the people and experiences that do make you happy. And remember: You don’t owe anyone an explanation if you say no to them.

3. Create a “shake the day off” routine

Even the happiest people go through stressful periods. One of the biggest issues that leads to serial unhappiness, burnout, and chronic stress is not having a release to clear out the stress that’s built up over the course of the day.

So once you’ve closed your laptop or walked through the door, it’s important to have a routine that you do that helps you get everything you’ve been bottling up off your chest. Whether that’s playing loud music and ranting for 10 minutes, spending 20 minutes with a partner where you both get to talk about the stresses of the day, or just putting on your favorite playlist and dancing it out, it’s crucial to give your mind and your body the opportunity to let go of stress on a consistent basis.

Having a place to channel negative emotion at the end of the day will help you move through the emotions, honor them, and not dwell on them incessantly. And if you had an absolutely amazing day, flip your routine on its head – spend 10 minutes celebrating.

4. Do a closet purge

Our closets hold a lot of memories – good and bad, and they tend to be where we hoard a lot of emotional baggage, both metaphorically and literally. Go through your closet and find your favorite outfits that you wear currently, whether it’s sweatpants and a t-shirt or a really well-tailored outfit, that’s your starting point.

Everything in your closet and drawers should make you feel that amazing. So get rid of any clothes that are too big or too small, any emotionally-charged pieces of clothing (for example, if you’ve still got your wedding outfit after a divorce, donate it), or anything that doesn’t represent who you are.

Your style is an opportunity to make a statement about who you are and the clothes you wear should boost your mood. Even if you’re a minimalist, you should be proud of the quality of your pieces and how they fit.

“Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.” – Dale Carnegie

5. Get up close and personal with your bank account every day

Money doesn’t buy happiness, but it does give you options. So many people have a fear of money and they avoid it like the plague. Checking their bank balance is their least favorite to do, they hate paying bills, and they avoid opening mail or screen phone calls to make sure it’s not the bank.

Facing the reality of your money situation, whether it needs fixing or it’s great, will only help you improve it. You can also seek the advice of a financial planner at your bank to help you with this and create a plan to shift your situation. You might have more options available than you know.

Getting clear about the gap between your spending and your income can help push you to start looking for that job or new opportunity that you’ve been procrastinating on. Tracking your finances on a daily or weekly basis can help you come up with creative solutions to make more money and provide yourself with more options for financial freedom.

Maybe you’re paying for cable, Netflix, and Hulu, but it’d be more cost effective to just get Netflix and HBO Go because that’s all you ever watch anyways. You’ll never know where more options are hiding until you get up close and personal with the reality of your financial situation.

Comment below with the happiness-boosting tip that you’ll be implementing today!

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Success Advice

5 Goal-Setting Myths That Are Busted Once and for All

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Brian Tracy said it a long time ago “People with clear, written goals accomplish far more in a shorter period of time than people without them can ever imagine.” Today, it’s scientifically proven that people with goals are more successful.  

Why? Because, setting goals will drive you to take action. Having clearly defined goals is like having a GPS System leading the way. But to be led, first you have to know where you want to go. And let’s be honest the vast majority of us don’t have even the slightest idea of where to start to make our dreams come true.

If you decide to join the 3% to 5% of people who set daily, weekly and quarterly goals, take it one step at a time and remain flexible, then over time, you can achieve things that you couldn’t even imagine before.

Lets start by busting 5 goal-setting myths:

1. Your goals have to be S.M.A.R.T.

Not true. It might be better to have smart goals, but simply having goals and writing them down already sets you apart from around 97% of people who don’t have them. My first goal which was starting my whole process about five years ago was to read more. Not a smart goal because it was not specific, measurable, or time-bound, but enough for a start. I went from not reading any books in five years to reading one book per week.

My five-year goal was “Write a book.” Again not a smart goal, but 4 1/2 years later I’m a bestselling author with more than 180,000 sales and downloads on Amazon, my books have been translated into Japanese, Korean, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Indonesian, etc. and I’m currently working on my seventh book. This is proof your goals don’t have to be SMART.

“The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.” – Bill Copeland

2. You have to set realistic goals

What is realistic? If I had told people a couple of years ago: “In two years I’m going to be a bestselling author, I’m going to be on TV, radio, and my books will be read around the world”, chances are I’d rather have ended up in a madhouse than on the Amazon Bestseller list.

So it depends. If you tend to beat yourself up for not reaching your goals, then I would advise you to set smaller, more realistic goals. For example, if you set the goal of earning $100,000 USD a year and end up earning $97,000 USD and then beat yourself up feeling like a failure, I recommend you to set small, realistic goals.

If you are like me and always celebrate how far you have come even if you didn’t reach your goals, then set huge unrealistic goals. You want to earn $150,000 USD a year? Great, but if you only get to $50,000 USD in the first year, celebrate it. It’s better than $40,000. Analyze what went wrong, make a new plan and go for the $150,000 USD next year.

3. You have to reach all your goals

Actually, you don’t. I dare to bet that if you reach 50% of the goals you set, your life will be so much better, than not setting goals at all. Again, this depends on your personality. If you are a perfectionist, you might want to learn this kind of approach. In the last two years, I have only reached 40-50% of my goals, but it was by far the two best years of my life. I celebrated the goals I reached, and the goals I didn’t reach were discarded or turned into new goals for next year.

4. Reaching your goals will make you happier

Again, not true. Reaching your goals will not make you happier. It will only give you temporary highs before you go back to your base-level of happiness and set new goals. Goals properly understood will make you happier. It’s not the attaining of the goal that leads to happiness, it’s the having of the goal that leads to happiness. The role of your goals is to liberate us to enjoy the present.

If you go on a road trip and don’t know where to go or don’t have a destination, you are less likely to enjoy the present moment because every minute you have to look around. Every crossroads or turn you reach becomes an important decision. This is stressful. If you know where you are going, you have a sense of direction. You will feel liberated.

You are much more likely to enjoy the process, the environment, the landscape or the proverbial “flowers on the side of the way.” Not only that, if you have a clear sense of direction, you are much more likely to be happy. We need a goal for future orientation so that we can enjoy the present more

5. Having goals will make your more successful

Although science has shown that people who set goals are generally more successful, because they are more focused, having goals will not make you more successful. Many have people have goals and dreams and never reach them. They might even have written them down and try to use the “Law of Attraction” to reach their goals.

There is only one problem, nobody reaches their goals sitting on the sofa and imagining good things to happen. The most important ingredient is missing: TAKING ACTION. Having goals and working your butt off to reach them will make you more successful.

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Tony Robbins

I meet many people that have no goals and are happy. That’s totally okay. There is a time for everything. If you don’t have goals and are happy…keep on not having goals. No need to change what’s working, you will know when the time comes. Just listen very closely to the “I don’t need goals. I’m happy without goals” voice because comfort and fear talk the same talk.

Keep in mind that if you want to have an even better life, go set some goals, write them down and start working on them. It will be worth it.

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