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7 Fatal Habits Slowing Your Entrepreneurial Success

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7 Fatal Habits Slowing Your Entrepreneurial Success

You work hard. You buy the courses, read the books, go to the seminars, but your business is still growing small or maybe even non-existent.

You just KNOW that the secret to your success is in there somewhere. If you could just copy their talent, or their skills or even some daily habit you know you will see your productivity increase and your results skyrocket. But is that really the case?

So many times when we see successful people we wonder what can we do to copy them, or what are we not doing that we could be to follow in their footsteps and see those same results. But the reality is that it is not necessarily about learning a new skill or talent, or even adding something new at all. Sometimes the biggest gains we get are from stopping or altering your current habits.

 

Fatal Habit #1: Letting others control your morning

If you are having trouble getting a lot of things done, first look at your morning routine. You probably wake up groggy almost every morning, hit the snooze button once or twice before dragging yourself out of bed, and what is the first thing you are likely to do? Probably check your phone.

That’s the problem. Right away you are putting other people’s agendas ahead of your own. Their texts, their emails, their Facebook posts. Why not make yourself the first priority in the morning? What could you do instead that puts your goals and your life as the main priority?

Here are a few options:

  • Read a book, just a chapter, heck just a few pages would be better for you than checking email. It will give you some new ideas just to start your day. It might trigger a new idea for a blog post, or someone you should be reaching out to. Either way, your business improves right from the start of the day. Your mind actually has all day to work on developing solutions for whatever ideas you got from your early morning reading.
  • Meditate, either on your own or with one of many awesome guided meditations out there (I personally love guided meditations because I struggle to sit there myself…my mind tends to wander).
  • Listen to an audio book (same benefits as reading a book without even needing to open your eyes).
  • Listen to a podcast. This might take a little bit longer than the other options, but again it will teach you some interesting things that can foster creativity and inspire new ideas for your business.

All of these are fine. They will wake up your mind and get you ready to attack your day far better than the useless junk that is probably in your inbox or on your newsfeed. In fact, try turning email off on your phone and see how much better your morning is.

The best part of this change in your morning routine is that it takes up less than 10 minutes of your morning. If you say you don’t have 10 minutes in the morning, try getting up 10 minutes earlier to get this done. The result will be huge for you.

The MOST IMPORTANT thing that you can do first thing in the morning, is to work on your biggest, most pressing challenge for at least 25 minutes before you ever think about looking at your phone or checking your email. I would recommend giving yourself a full hour. By working on your biggest challenge first thing in morning you will ensure that you are putting in enough time to eventually blow past it and move on to other tasks to continue growing your business.

 

Fatal Habit #2: Losing focus from your current project

This is one of the more common habits we face as entrepreneurs today, as there are just so many distractions: television, social media, netflix etc. And then there’s all the things going on in your social life, the text messages from your significant other, kids running around the house. Sometimes it is just hard to stay focused and it gets us knocked off track, costing us valuable work time trying to restart after each interruption.

Additionally, sometimes even when our phones aren’t going crazy and the kids are not running around the house, we still are not as productive as we could be because we are not entirely sure what we should be doing. We have all seen tons of people who recommend creating huge “to-do” lists with like 8-10 tasks on them, but this is not ideal.

Why? Because it is incredibly difficult to get 8-10 things done each day, especially if the business is not your only focus. Instead of motivating you, it ends up demoralizing you because everyday you feel incomplete because you are never completing your entire list. Try creating a list of just the three most important tasks for you to get done that day. This gives you an achievable number of tasks each day. You actually look forward to getting them all done because then you can enjoy some time with your family, your friends or a hobby guilt free.

But here’s the trick to really make sure you get things done. So many times we will write down that we need to get this done, but will stop completely when we hit any kind of resistance. So how do we ensure that we know exactly what to do to complete our three daily tasks? The night before, write them down before you go to bed.

By writing down the necessary steps to complete each task you will be able to plan out the exact steps you will be taking to complete each task. This helps you from getting stuck or being unsure what your next move is. When you complete all the steps for each task, you are done, go enjoy yourself for a bit, write your three tasks for tomorrow and do it all over again the next day.

“Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes closed.” – Paulo Coelho

Fatal Habit #3: Doing non-income producing activities first

Far too often we get bogged down in unimportant tasks that do not grow our business. But because we are doing something we think we are being busy and/or productive. The reality is that we are actually neither. The reality is that all tasks are not created equally and you need to know how to prioritize which tasks to do first, and which tasks can be put off until later, outsourced or scrapped entirely.

There are 4 different types of Business Activities:

1. Income Producing Activities

These are the activities that will immediately provide you with sales. This can include webinars, writing sales pages, writing email launches or creating sales videos (for a service based business this would be actually performing the service). The simple rule for this group is if it won’t make you money it doesn’t belong here, this will be your top priority tasks.

2. Asset Creation

These are the tasks that will create useful pieces of your income producing processes. This includes creating products, making website pages (for sales or products), building out new sales funnels and guest posting. These activities are generally related to either product creation or list building.

3. Active Asset Nurturing

Once you have an asset created this is when you are providing additional work/value to the asset. Tasks in this category include creating new bonus modules for courses or sending out a value adding email to your list (notice how I did not just say send out an email, a sales pitch email…whether your product or an affiliate product does NOT qualify here, that actually is higher up). Basically, these tasks are providing additional value to assets that are already up and running.

4. Everything Else

This is everything else. The basic rule here is that if it’s not one of the first three tasks you either delay it, delegate it (outsource it) or discard it. There’s nothing here that is an immediate priority and you should avoid spending as much time on these tasks as possible. Doing $10/hr work will not get you moving toward your goals.

Set up a spreadsheet with the 4 types of tasks, list all the tasks you do or need to do and put them in each category. List all the tasks that you do, whether daily, weekly, monthly or even yearly. For the category 4s, figure out what you will delay until you have free time, what you will outsource and what you will just delete from your list of tasks.

 

Fatal Flaw #4: Poor personal health habits

Many times we expect that we have to “grind” our way to success. Unfortunately that means we end up thinking we need to just work on business and ignore everything else: fun, family, friends, but the most important thing that we cannot ignore is our personal health.

Sir Richard Branson has said the number one “secret” to improved productivity is to work out. Because our body is the single most important investment in your life. Working out increases your energy, your sleep and your focus, all things that you need to do your best work. The good news is that you can work out fairly easily, because you don’t need to be the next Mr. Olympia to receive the benefits of regular exercise.

For me, I like to do some kind of quick workout right after getting out of bed to get the blood flowing, and also because getting in a light workout before eating a meal allows your body to burn more fat as it will pull from your reserves since you haven’t recently fed it anything for it to burn.

This can be a simple program consisting of stretching, pushups and body squats (or whatever types of bodyweight exercises you like to do). You can do a full workout later in the day, or after work if still at a 9 to 5 job. If you are a morning person feel free to go nuts and do your full workout first thing in the morning. Additionally you have to fuel your body properly in order to get peak performance. If you eat better your body will react better: better focus, more energy, happier.

Again, much like workout plans there are tons of options for nutrition plans online. I personally like the Tim Ferris Slow Carb Diet. It is simple, easy to follow and starts giving you immediate results (I lost 5 pounds the first week I did it, that made it easier to get past the adjustment period and keep going). This allows you to be healthy and still enjoy your cheat day (FREE TIP: Don’t drink away your calories…save that for your cheat days).

 

Fatal Flaw #5: Not taking action

It is great if you have the best morning routine, you eat the best foods, drink enough water and even find time to workout. But what about your business? It’s great that you have the entire Dan Kennedy library of products (Dan Kennedy ROCKS, by the way), but your business will not grow unless you take ACTION. The only way you will make money is by taking action.

All those “think about the money and it will come” mantras are simply woo woo crap. It takes real work to build a business that makes money versus one that is just an expensive hobby. Why expensive? Think of all those courses that we buy, hoping that each one provides that ONE secret that explodes our business. So we just keep consuming course, after course after course, and yet the results never seem to come.

A good course is not designed to be consumed in full. It is designed for you to go through a module, and then take action on what you’ve learned, and then go to the next module. Rinse, wash and repeat.

A good rule of thumb is that for every one hour of training you should take 3 hours worth of action. Now some will take longer and some will be shorter, but that should be the goal (especially since you should end up having some ongoing tasks that you will have to keep doing over and over again, such as writing emails, making sales funnels or writing guest posts).

“Never confuse motion with action.” – Benjamin Franklin

Fatal Flaw #6: Allowing negative influences into your life

Honestly, I was tempted to make this #1, because one of the biggest flaws that we make is keeping negative influences in our life, this can include television, radio or even other people. To be successful we need to RUTHLESSLY keep those negative influences away from us. They can be poison to our mood, our minds, and our productivity.

Both television and radio have too many things you cannot control. Things like commercials or news stories that will not help you. Food commercials that give you unhealthy food cravings, medicine commercials about different diseases and side effects…it is all just really sad and depressing. And they both hurt you physically, mentally and emotionally.

But I’m also not going to tell you that you have to cut it out entirely (although that is obviously ideal), as I’d be a hypocrite because I love Shark Tank, The Profit, and Major League Baseball. As for the radio, that one is much easier to replace. You can listen to an audio book from a source like Audible or your local library, or use an app to listen to one of your favorite podcasts. By turning your car into a classroom you can get literally days worth of extra learning in during the down time of driving.

But use it as a welcome break from your hard work rather than something that you do out of habit. Treat it like a small reward for a good couple days of work rather than an everyday event.

The worst negative influences of all, can be our friends and family. While you cannot let them try to destroy your dreams (and they will if you let them). So you really have two options: Avoid spending time with them as much as possible (understanding that they are your family and friends so you will likely see some of them a bit even if they don’t support your business goals) or try to turn them into an ally by asking them for advice, put them in your shoes and then asking what they would do if they were you.

And finally there are those people who are just so negative that you may just need to cut them out of your life entirely. I had former teammates who I haven’t spoken with in years now because of how unsupportive they were about my entrepreneurial ventures.

“Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.” – Oprah Winfrey 

Fatal Flaw #7: Not measuring your progress & results

Baseball great Yogi Berra once said “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” This is true with our businesses as well. We can do all this work to try and get results, but how do we know what is working and what isn’t? One word; metrics.

But not just any metrics, pick metrics that are based on your goals. For example, if you want to get to 1000 subscribers on your email list, you will likely care about metrics such as total subscribers each month, and your conversion rates from your opt-in page or other lead capture devices. If your goals are mostly based on income then our metrics will be based more along sales and expenses.

But the key is to give yourself specific numbers to shoot for: 1000 subscribers, 25% conversion rate, $100k in sales etc. Then give yourself specific time frames to measure (I personally like monthly, quarterly and yearly goals). This gives you a few short term goals to make changes on, as well as the full year goals that give you a full picture of your business.

 

Thank you for reading my article! I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below!

BJ Pivonka is the founder of Athletic Entrepreneurs (bjpivonka.com), where he helps former college and professional athletes successfully transition from their playing career into their own profitable entrepreneurial venture. At his website you can get hisFREE 5-day email course to get your first profitable idea and start earning money even if you do not have an idea yet.

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26 Comments

26 Comments

  1. Alexander

    Sep 27, 2017 at 10:08 am

    Great article, it help everyone to be more focus
    benz service

  2. Matt Lancaster

    Jan 21, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    Habits can be very powerful – or destroying, holding you back.
    Really Really nice article.
    Thanks

  3. MD Farhad Hussain

    Jan 7, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    Great Article. I was suffering with #6. Even though I know what to do, this article clarifies all things again.

  4. Geraldo Angel

    Jul 11, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    That was amazing! Sometimes one of those habits happened to me but with the time I get better and better

    • BJ Pivonka

      Jul 12, 2015 at 9:48 pm

      Geraldo,

      Thanks for the kind words.

      And yes, as long as you know about the habits, you can work on fixing them and continuously getting better.

  5. Mohinish Nirwal

    Jul 11, 2015 at 2:08 am

    Great article. I had my tongue in teeth on 4th one… From past few years I am not able to do physical exercises the way I used to do in college and later… I’ll stick to it.
    Thanks BJ Pivonka.
    Mohinish Nirwal

    • BJ Pivonka

      Jul 12, 2015 at 9:50 pm

      Thanks Mohinish!

      You don’t even need to go crazy and do some instanity type stuff, James Altucher just goes for walks everyday. I know guys who do sprints.

      And then there are sites about doing five minute workouts to do some high quality exercisein a short time.

      You have tons of options, just find something that works for you and keep doing it.

  6. Sija Mafu

    Jul 10, 2015 at 9:09 am

    Geez! I see a lot of my own flaws in this article. I’ll do what I need to in order to adhere to them. Thanks for sharing,

    • BJ Pivonka

      Jul 10, 2015 at 1:39 pm

      Sija,

      Glad you enjoyed the article. It’s a matter of just taking small steps to keep getting better in each area. Once you keep that up you’ll starting disproportionate results.

  7. Ernie

    Jul 10, 2015 at 12:56 am

    Very wise advice my friend! Even correcting just one or two of these flaws is enough to build some solid momentum. Great article.

    • BJ Pivonka

      Jul 10, 2015 at 2:28 am

      Thanks Ernie!

      glad you enjoyed the article.

      And I agree, you don’t need to fix all 7 right away. Fix one or 2 at a time and you’ll start seeing huge results.

  8. Janette

    Jul 9, 2015 at 11:01 pm

    Oh wow! #1 is definitely talking to me! ” Right away you are putting other people’s agendas ahead of your own. Their texts, their emails, their Facebook posts” that’s exactly what I do…but not from tomorrow morning that’s for sure!

    Thank you! Mwah x

    • BJ Pivonka

      Jul 10, 2015 at 2:29 am

      That is what I’m talking about Janette!!

      Great start.

  9. Adrian

    Jul 9, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    Yes, negativity is one of the worst thing ever if you want to start good life.

    I started making money online because my goal was that $$$ per day and I reached it in 12 months.

  10. Arnold Chitwa

    Jul 9, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    I think i want to use this article as a daily guide, to make improvements on areas that i have been underachieving, its reaching out to me in practical and Big ways, i have to give a shot to every piece of advice i have received here.

    • BJ Pivonka

      Jul 9, 2015 at 9:23 pm

      Thanks Arnold. Glad you found this useful.

      Come back here and let us know how it went.

      or just shoot me an email with the results: bj@bjpivonka.com

  11. Muqadas

    Jul 9, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    Woho, What an article. Agreed on each of it’s point.

    • BJ Pivonka

      Jul 9, 2015 at 9:25 pm

      Muqadas,

      Glad you enjoyed it. Each point is CRUCIAL.

      Let me know what kinds of results you get.

  12. Matimba Ngwenya

    Jul 9, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    This article hit me hard. Fatal Flaw #5 speaks to me most. I know what to do, and how to do it. My follow through however is not consistent, and I have not been prioritizing my action. Thanks for the wake up call Pivonka

  13. ssenyonjo wilberforce

    Jul 9, 2015 at 9:49 am

    wow!!!!!,its a good information en it has given me courage.

  14. Stefanie

    Jul 9, 2015 at 7:46 am

    Great article! I totally agree, that habits can be very powerful – or destroying, holding you back. Your article reminded me it’s important to continuously check my own habits. Thank you!

    • BJ Pivonka

      Jul 9, 2015 at 4:48 pm

      Thanks Stefanie, glad you enjoyed it.

      I picked out these specific habits for a reason. They can not only set the tone for you day, but determine your energy level for the rest of the day when you should be doing income producing activities.

      Thanks for your support!

  15. Lawrence Berry

    Jul 9, 2015 at 12:56 am

    This is some great information and I completely agree with everyone of them. I think your morning routine is what will determine if you make it in business or not. The morning is the foundation for your day, so you should really take care of yourself and your mindset. I have read about alot of successful people and they all do something in the morning that get them started for the day, such as meditating, exercising, or just eating a great breakfast. Take care of yourself and your mind. Great post.

    • BJ Pivonka

      Jul 9, 2015 at 4:49 pm

      Lawrence, YES. That is exactly the case. The morning routine sets the tone for the rest of the day and also determines what kind of energy you have left for the rest of the day. That’s why I made it #1 on the list.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  16. Heitem Ak

    Jul 8, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    Nice one Pivonka!

    I completely agree on the metrics.

    Specific goals keeps you on track through hard times!

    Just like jogging, if you run without metrics, you are likely to stop running as soon as you start getting tired!

    Keep them up,

    Heitem Ak

    • BJ Pivonka

      Jul 9, 2015 at 4:50 pm

      Heitem, absolutely. You need to know what direction you are headed so you know whether to change course or not.

      Otherwise you’ll just wander around aimlessly doing things that won’t get the results you want and never actually get there.

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Success Advice

I’ll Tell You How To Be Confident Without The Self-Help BS: You Just Do It.

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One of the most popular topics on blogs right now is content about how to have more confidence. It’s driving me bonkers! I’m unsure what the fascination is with the subject.

Having gone through the whole confidence battle myself and come out the other side on top, I think I can share a few things that will help everybody.

 

Act as if.

Rather than be caught up in the foreplay of overthinking, considering and asking too many questions, just do.

“Quite simply, what has worked for me is to just get on with the task and tell myself I’m becoming an expert while being in motion”

Getting going is the part we’re all missing when it comes to confidence. You can’t be confident unless you get some experience at whatever you want to be confident at. This advice sounds simplistic because it is.

I’ve become more confident over the last five years by running up miles in the beaten-up VW Beetle that was my mind and body. Through gaining experience, I turned that VW Beetle into a Lamborghini by trying things and executing.

There’s no pretending when it comes to confidence. You only start to believe you are confident when you begin taking action. I could probably wrap it up right there and you’d be done when it comes to confidence. No more self-help secrets and private masterminds are required.

Act as if you are already confident and your mind will believe you. Your mind only believes what you tell it. Tell your mind you are confident and you will gain more confidence in the execution. That extraordinary mind will then do as you tell it.

 

Sit up and stand up straight soldier!

I always believed this one was total hocus pocus or maybe even a Jedi Mind Trick. It’s not. Confidence is also in the way you move. People feel confidence in you through your presence. If you need to perform at 110% in say a speech as an example, you have to stand up straight and physically be confident.

Now this is harder than it looks so here’s what I did: I stood on the stage with my back straight. I then rolled my shoulders back and poked my chest out slightly. Each movement on stage was acted out as if I was Arnold Schwarzenegger posing for the Mr Olympia Final (that’s hard as I look nothing like him but stay with me peeps).

Simply having a confident physical presence allowed the audience to be confident with the words and advice I was delivering. Even if each point I presented was not completely thought through, the effect was still the same. I came across as confident.

So, next time you want to be confident, try this out for yourself. Pick your own hero who’s oozing confidence, to be the person you imagine when you go into your confident pose. No matter how ridiculous this seems, it works. Don’t question, just do.

 

Self-talk is key: three words to confidence.

Okay, let’s not overdo this confidence lesson. The self-talk in my head when I need to be confident is very dumb and easy to copy. The three words I use are:

“You got this!”

Say those three words whenever you need to be confident. Say them over and over until they drown out your negative inner voice that wants to doubt your ability.

“Doubt is the disease that sabotages your confidence”

I had no idea about blogging as an example. I just believed I’d find a way and I did. My doubting brain told me that I was hopeless at English and couldn’t master grammar to save my life. That aside, I just used these three words to silence the inner critic.

Your inner critic is only right if you let it be. Back yourself. Talk to yourself like a winner (not a loser) and you’ll have more confidence. No need to buy that book on confidence anymore. No need to read another self-help, pump up blog post that gets you all warm and sweaty.

 

Disconnect from the outcome.

Confidence is about putting the outcome aside. Everything you do is a lesson and will give you confidence. Being tied to the idea of what the outcome looks like allows your doubting mind and your inner critic to come back to the main stage of your attention.

Where your energy flows to, is where your focus goes. Focusing on anything other than being confident about your daily battles will give you the results you hate. Nine times out of ten you can’t control the outcome anyway.

So focusing on doing your best and being confident will take you so much further. Like I keep saying “You got this!”

Swag it out like whatever outcome you achieve is phenomenal because you are incredible for waking up each day and just giving it a crack!

 

Say yes and learn later.

Confidence comes from saying yes and deciding to figure out the strategy later. If an offer or idea resonates with you, then say yes. You’ll find yourself gaining more experience by doing so. My superman complex used to make me carefully think about each offer I was presented with to assess whether I had the skills and capability.

Now I choose offers and proposals that bring me joy instead, and I use my newfound confidence to say yes, and know that I’ll learn what I need to execute properly along the way. Failing that, there’s someone I know in my network that can fill any blanks in regardless so I’m very unlikely to fail.

BUT even if I fail it’s all good because I still learned heaps, got experience and had fun in the meantime. All of which made me more confident. Confidence is unstoppable when it starts to compound through experience and taking action.

 

Remember that all of us have no idea including me.

This was something I learned through a podcast. If you look at your heroes and get to know them as friends, you’ll quickly realize, like I did with my own heroes, that they have no idea. Your heroes just act as if and see what sticks.

When approaching any goal with this in mind, you find an inner confidence to have a go and see what happens.

“When you realize we’re all flawed, it sets you free to try stuff and execute on a few wild goals that you may not succeed at”

I have no clue about most things and that’s where the beauty lies. Stop idolizing and be confident in your ability to get sh*t done.

 

We’re all extraordinary when we believe we are.

Belief in yourself is key to having confidence. The truth is that all of us can be extraordinary no matter where we come from, our nationality, the struggles we’ve gone through, what books we’ve read or who our current friends are.

The opportunity to be extraordinary exists for all of us. Let this very idea give you the confidence you need to change the world because you can.

You don’t need more self-help articles on confidence: You need to understand you’re already extraordinary.

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

2 Ways To End Suffering Forever.

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This year I have learned so much. I’ve learned that we all suffer no matter what. No one can avoid it. That’s not what I want to share with you though. What I want to tell you is that you have the power to end suffering.

I have proven it in my own life. We don’t need to suffer. We can end it all and the silly thing is it’s so simple. I do not want you to avoid this advice any longer. I want you to use it even if you think it’s a load of mumbo-jumbo.

Here are the two ways I’ve found to end suffering forever:

 

1. Find a way to give to other people.

You only suffer when life is all about you and your success. Once you move from being all about you, into a state of mind that is focused on giving, your problems become insignificant.

I had a couple of situations this year that have nearly knocked me flat on my ass. One was my romantic life falling to pieces and the other was my career collapsing. When both these events occurred, I used giving to other people as the way out of the maze that my mind created.

The moment suffering begun, I went straight to finding ways to serve other people. I helped friends with their businesses, I spoke at events to inspire people, I did some volunteering and I doubled down on my blogging so I could inspire as many people as possible.

Shifting the focus away from what was wrong and using my focus to give to others ended the suffering.

“There wasn’t time to suffer because the purpose of my life during those months was far bigger than me and my stupid life challenges. Giving to others gave me a way to find happiness when I probably would have hidden away and suffered in silence”

Seeing the solutions to other people’s problems and sharing them, gave me a way to put my career and relationships into perspective.

Giving is the example you need when times get tough and things get complicated. You suffer the most when you get stuck in your head and repeat the pattern of telling yourself how wrong your circumstances are.

Suffering can make you depressed, feel lonely, become selfish, go into a downward spiral and take away everything that’s good in your life.

Finding ways to give on the other hand, can cure all of those problems. I know it sounds so cliché what I’m saying but it surprises me how many people never use this strategy. Like I always say: the answers we seek are right in front of our nose.

Next time you feel yourself suffering, get out of your head and try this strategy.

 

 

2. Practice gratitude.

Okay, I thought this strategy was so dumb when I discovered it. It’s so obvious and it sounds way too easy. I mean how can writing down a few things you’re grateful for really end your suffering?

I mean you could lie to yourself and pretend that you’re grateful for something when you’re not. Well, that’s exactly what I did at the beginning. When I was suffering this year, I started writing down three things each day that I was grateful for.

In the first week, I lied about things I was grateful for and found the exercise completely ridiculous. This advice is so common that I decided to persist with this ridiculous self-help hack anyway.

What I found as I kept doing it was that your brain makes a shift subconsciously. Instead of being pissed off and suffering, your brain has to work extra hard to find three things every day to be grateful for.

To make this habit work even better I forced my brain to describe in detail each thing I was grateful for and ideally why. Some days sucked so bad that I thought I would never find three things. Once the challenge became a must, I spent my days working my butt off trying to find things I was grateful for.

While doing various activities during the day, I’d find moments when I was grateful for something and stop. I’d stop and see how I felt at that moment and I would have a mini celebration because I knew I had something for my gratitude list.

Then I tried to aim for five things each day instead of three. This shifted my focus even more. I should have been suffering but because I was forcing myself to see good things that were happening to me, I was distracted.

As I said earlier, this new habit seemed so dumb at the beginning. Once you really do it for a while, you see how it has the power to end suffering. You can’t be pissed off and be grateful at the same time. So, choose gratitude and then your suffering will be sidelined, and in my case, forgotten about.

 

***Life doesn’t need to be full of low points***

The suffering that we all experience is a choice. It probably doesn’t seem like that but these two hacks will demonstrate this to you. Your decision-making power is incredible and all you need to do is select one of these hacks to end suffering.

Don’t let the quality of your life be jeopardized by your default human mode to suffer. You’ll find these two hacks will not only end your suffering; these two hacks will give you purpose.

Here’s what I learned: most people are pissed off and suffer because they have no purpose. Once you find a purpose for your life, you’ll become addicted.

Now that’s a huge win don’t you think? You can end suffering and find purpose, all by using these two hacks. That’s the best gift I can give you.

Don’t just read this advice. Try these two hacks yourself.

It’s time to end suffering forever.

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7 Steps to Conquering the Fears That Are Holding You Back From Success

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I remember the day in vivid detail. I was on a weekend trip visiting my girlfriend at the time in Arizona. She had decided that we should join her friends to go “cliff jumping.”  We were early on in our dating and she obviously had no idea that I was not fond of heights. So “cliffs” and jumping off of them… No thanks!

I inevitably found myself on the edge of a 40-foot cliff peering down at a vast blue canvas of water. Then I realized if I didn’t jump, I’d have to start the walk of shame back down the cliff. This was a lose-lose situation for me.

Fear had me. I didn’t want to jump, but I also didn’t want to look bad in front of my girlfriend’s friends. So I jumped and in that moment, I had defied my brain and my neurochemistry.

Our brains are wired to protect us, not to push us towards our goals. Our brains are wired to look for anything that could be potentially dangerous or threatening and keep us as far away from it as possible by using fear. The problem is not all situations warrant fear.

There is a saying in neuroscience that says, “the brain wires the way it fires”, meaning the more you do a certain activity, the more the brain lays down wiring to make that action or activity easier.

‘Fears are educated into us, and can, if we wish, be educated out.’ – Karl Augustus Menninger

When we let fear keep us stagnant and we continue to do the same things that are comfortable, our brain gets “hardwired” to stay comfortable. We become “stagnant.” This can become debilitating for some of us and prevent us from encountering the very experiences we need to grow and succeed.

When we, in spite of our fear, do the challenging things that are outside our comfort zone, we begin to hardwire into our brain change, adaptability, creativity, growth, perspective, and happiness because we stretch the boundaries of our brain’s capabilities and force it to adapt rather than “playing it safe.”

An elite athlete didn’t make it where they are today by going into their training and never pushing past their comfort zone. They constantly pushed their limits of comfort to force their bodies and minds to grow to that of a top performer. The same principle applies to our brains. If we let fear dictate our actions in any area of our lives, it will stunt your growth in that area.

So what’s the first step? How do we go about conquering our fears whether it’s public speaking, starting a business, or launching the product or service? See below:

1. Journal Your Fears

Write down all the fears you have, big or small. Contrary to opinion “size does not matter.” Your brain still operates the same with all types of fear. The key is to first acknowledge what you are fearful about and bring it to light. Be as specific as possible.

2. Prioritize Your Fears

I then rank my fears from highest to lowest in terms of how often I think about this fear and/or how much it disrupts my life. You may find some fears combine into a broader category and that’s ok — we’ll get to that. So for now identify your biggest fear.

3. Support Your Belief in Yourself

I don’t mean just “believe in yourself.” What I mean is to build in support systems that will support your belief in yourself, so that when you start taking action, your support systems will solidify those new experiences and form deeper, more meaningful, and lasting beliefs in yourself.

It may look like building a list of affirmations that you say every morning or a meditation. Whatever it is, it needs to be uplifting and empowering you towards conquering your goals.

4. Take Action & Start Small

Look at your list and identify what your biggest fear is. That’s the beast we’re going to tackle long term, but for some that may seem like a big stretch at first. So instead, see what your 5th biggest fear is, and that’s where you’ll start.

What we will then do is build our way up and take a ride on the “Momentum Train.” Starting small with taking actions toward your lower priority fears and then building up helps your brain build momentum, which provides your brain with plenty of courage and motivation to tackle the #1 fear on your list.

‘Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold.’ – Helen Keller

5. No Time Limit, Just Consistency

Most goals should be limited to a time domain. For the goal of tackling a fear, time can be a challenging factor to set. Some of these fears may have been unknowingly building up for decades without your knowledge. So I don’t recommend setting a time on when you are “going to conquer your fear.”

Instead set appointments to regularly meet and address your fear. If you’re fear is public speaking, then go to a local Toastmasters once a week. The more consistent you can be, the better.

6. Reframe and Reinforce

As you begin to address these fears, make sure you are reinforcing the experiences you have in a positive perspective. For instance, if you want to be less fearful of public speaking and decide to try out a local toastmasters group, your first time speaking to the group might feel like a train wreck, but when you look back on the situation you can acknowledge that that actually pushed past your fear and accomplished your goal.

7. Rinse and Repeat

This isn’t a quick fix. It may take some time. There’s always a new fear or challenge awaiting us. The key is to have systems like this in place to address those challenges properly rather than allowing ourselves to succumb to fear and derail our lives from their fullest potential.

How do you handle your fears? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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30 Straightforward Reminders to Help You Supercharge Your Life in 2018

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This time of year it’s easy to be overwhelmed by well-meaning advice. Everyone seems to have a solution to your procrastination or a remedy for your lack of motivation. Unfortunately, most advice is either too general or irrelevant because it doesn’t address your main concerns.

I’ve spent the last year trying to hone in on some of the best tips and tricks I’ve learned to stay ahead and maintain a positive mindset.

Here are 30 straightforward reminders and tips to help you supercharge your life in 2018:

1. Get the basics right. Take care of your body, your mind and your soul. Make a list of what you know is good for you and what you know is bad for you in each category. Consider ways to reduce the bad and increase the good.

2. Reduce distractions that sap your energy. When you’re planning big changes, it’s easy to get pulled into many different directions. You get excited about a certain idea which pulls you down the rabbit hole into numerous other directions. Focus on one thing at a time.

3. Make a new friend. Start a conversation with a stranger in the elevator. Compliment someone. Provide some positive reinforcement. Do something without expecting anything in return.

4. Smile more. Smiling takes less effort than frowning. It’s also scientifically proven to make you feel better even if you don’t necessarily feel like smiling.

5. Walk 30 minutes a day. Just 30 minutes of exercise a day can help you stimulate your immune system, increase your metabolism and improve your mood.

6. Do one push-up for every year old you are. Or do twice as many sit-ups for every year old you are. Making sure you work the muscles in different parts of your body stimulates hormone production and helps increase fat burning.

7. Find your intrinsic drivers. Intrinsic drivers are what inspire you based on internal motivation, rather than external motivation. Find something you think of as beautiful, peaceful, relaxing. Embrace it. Appreciate it. Try to understand why you like it

8. Speak to an old friend. Reach out in an email, a text, a phone call. Check in and just let them know you’re thinking about them.

“Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together.” – Woodrow T. Wilson

9. Invest in your health. Join a gym. Buy some type of sports equipment or clothing that is comfortable and that you enjoy being in. Consider joining a pick up sports team.

10. Study something that interests you. Buy a book about someone you admire. Pick a time period that you’re fascinated with. Make a point of becoming an expert on something that matters to you.

11. Teach someone something. Take a topic, any topic, and try to break it down into its component parts so that you can teach someone how to do it. The concentration and the effort it takes to teach someone something is often exactly the kind of effort that is required to truly understand it for yourself.

12. Delegate to someone. Find a task that needs to be done that you could do. Don’t do that task. Instead, look for someone you can ask to help you. Pay them or ask them for a favor. The key is to learn to delegate actions to others.

13. Meditate. Mindfulness and meditation are trending right now, but that’s not the reason you should consider adopting a meditation practice. The real reason is that meditation will help you focus on your key goals while cutting out the noise in the world around you.  

14. Learn to manage your personal finances. One of the biggest causes of stress that we as humans experience is the pressure to make money and control our finances. There are tons of free resources available online to help you learn about finances and help get your money in order.

15. Read more. No, I’m not talking about reading your Facebook News Feed. Read more books. Try to read a book a month, either fiction or nonfiction. At the beginning of the month choose a book and break down the number of pages. See how many you have to read a day to finish… then get started.

16. Cook at home at least 5 days a week. Cooking at home is cheap, easy and fun. You can hone skills in creativity and planning all at once, and it’s a great way to save money.

“My New Year’s resolution is to stick to a good workout plan that will keep me healthy and happy.” – James Lafferty

17. Sell someone. No, not into human bondage. Sell someone on an idea or a product. Learn to market yourself and your skills. Everyone sells as they move through life, but most of us are average salespeople.

18. Hone your principles. What principles define your life? What are your strongly held beliefs? Be honest with yourself and what principles you feel you must uphold.

19. Embrace the power of positive thought. Listen to positive audio tapes, surround yourself with positive people. Look at the positive side of life. Easier said than done, but truth be told one of the best ways to improve your mood is to look for sources of positive mood and inspiration.

20. Practice willpower. Habits are formed over time. Willpower is one of the most important habits you will ever build, so it is integral you continue to practice it through all aspects of your life. Look to the stoic philosophers for a primer on how to tackle this.

21. Write better hooks. A hook is the bit of a song that catches a listener’s attention and repeats your core message in an intriguing way. Similarly, in writing a hook is the quirky or fascinating intro that makes readers want to continue to read. Think about your own hooks and how you can get people interested in what you have to say.

22. Don’t sweat the small stuff. We often become obsessed with daily minutiae and avoid thinking about the big picture. Don’t let yourself worry too much about the small day-to-day struggles. Instead, put your head down and get to work.

23. Don’t overthink the big stuff. Too often we avoid taking leaps of faith because we’re worried about making a mistake on something big. We don’t buy the new house. We avoid marrying the person we love. We put off going to the doctor for that regular scan. Try not to overthink the big decisions (or seemingly small decisions) that may have larger ramifications. If it’s not overly dangerous or illegal, take the plunge and go for it.

24. Learn a new word a day. Increasing your vocabulary helps you see the world in different ways and makes you rethink your core beliefs.

“You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.” – Richard Branson

25. Become a moderate. Extremists are divisive and often at odds with a large portion of the population. Look for ways to bring people together through collaboration and consensus rather than through division.

26. Think big(ger). Many self-help books talk about setting big goals or envisioning massive success in your lifetime. If you want to become a true leader and attain greater fulfillment. Look for ways to think beyond creating success in your lifetime. Think about the legacy you’ll leave for future generations.

27. Learn universal processes. Assess how you work best and find ways to carry standardized processes over into other aspects of your life.

28. Develop support structures. What do you do if things aren’t going according to plan? Do you reach out to friends for support, meditate on the problem alone, or use some mixture of different coping mechanisms? Be aware of what works for you, and what doesn’t.

29. Don’t compare yourself to others. We fall into this trap far too often. We use others as a benchmark for our own progress, but we must remember that it is unhealthy to put too much weight on comparisons, as everyone has their own background and their own perspective.

30. Know when to let go. At the end of the day, you must try your best and let the cards fall as they may. All you can do is put your heart and soul into your effort and learn from the results.

Which one of these things are you going to implement into your life immediately? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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6 Stepping Stones to Become Your Best Self in 2018

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New Year resolutions are often wishful thinking. Being your best self is not something to be ticked off a checklist,  it is part of a never-ending continuum of learning and self-discovery. (more…)

Angela Kambouris used to work with high risk kids in the streets of Melbourne, now she has her own consultancy business and writes for large publications. As a leadership coach and business leader having spent over 20 years in the field of vulnerability and trauma, she has built a high-level career as an executive and transitioned into a business owner. She has spoken on stages and worked with thousands of people in self-development, leadership, mindset, human behavior and business. Love to travel, experience difference cultures and mastermind with leaders and expert authorities in personal development and business all over the world. Connect with her through her website http://angelakambouris.com/ or through her Facebook.

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26 Comments

26 Comments

  1. Alexander

    Sep 27, 2017 at 10:08 am

    Great article, it help everyone to be more focus
    benz service

  2. Matt Lancaster

    Jan 21, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    Habits can be very powerful – or destroying, holding you back.
    Really Really nice article.
    Thanks

  3. MD Farhad Hussain

    Jan 7, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    Great Article. I was suffering with #6. Even though I know what to do, this article clarifies all things again.

  4. Geraldo Angel

    Jul 11, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    That was amazing! Sometimes one of those habits happened to me but with the time I get better and better

    • BJ Pivonka

      Jul 12, 2015 at 9:48 pm

      Geraldo,

      Thanks for the kind words.

      And yes, as long as you know about the habits, you can work on fixing them and continuously getting better.

  5. Mohinish Nirwal

    Jul 11, 2015 at 2:08 am

    Great article. I had my tongue in teeth on 4th one… From past few years I am not able to do physical exercises the way I used to do in college and later… I’ll stick to it.
    Thanks BJ Pivonka.
    Mohinish Nirwal

    • BJ Pivonka

      Jul 12, 2015 at 9:50 pm

      Thanks Mohinish!

      You don’t even need to go crazy and do some instanity type stuff, James Altucher just goes for walks everyday. I know guys who do sprints.

      And then there are sites about doing five minute workouts to do some high quality exercisein a short time.

      You have tons of options, just find something that works for you and keep doing it.

  6. Sija Mafu

    Jul 10, 2015 at 9:09 am

    Geez! I see a lot of my own flaws in this article. I’ll do what I need to in order to adhere to them. Thanks for sharing,

    • BJ Pivonka

      Jul 10, 2015 at 1:39 pm

      Sija,

      Glad you enjoyed the article. It’s a matter of just taking small steps to keep getting better in each area. Once you keep that up you’ll starting disproportionate results.

  7. Ernie

    Jul 10, 2015 at 12:56 am

    Very wise advice my friend! Even correcting just one or two of these flaws is enough to build some solid momentum. Great article.

    • BJ Pivonka

      Jul 10, 2015 at 2:28 am

      Thanks Ernie!

      glad you enjoyed the article.

      And I agree, you don’t need to fix all 7 right away. Fix one or 2 at a time and you’ll start seeing huge results.

  8. Janette

    Jul 9, 2015 at 11:01 pm

    Oh wow! #1 is definitely talking to me! ” Right away you are putting other people’s agendas ahead of your own. Their texts, their emails, their Facebook posts” that’s exactly what I do…but not from tomorrow morning that’s for sure!

    Thank you! Mwah x

    • BJ Pivonka

      Jul 10, 2015 at 2:29 am

      That is what I’m talking about Janette!!

      Great start.

  9. Adrian

    Jul 9, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    Yes, negativity is one of the worst thing ever if you want to start good life.

    I started making money online because my goal was that $$$ per day and I reached it in 12 months.

  10. Arnold Chitwa

    Jul 9, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    I think i want to use this article as a daily guide, to make improvements on areas that i have been underachieving, its reaching out to me in practical and Big ways, i have to give a shot to every piece of advice i have received here.

    • BJ Pivonka

      Jul 9, 2015 at 9:23 pm

      Thanks Arnold. Glad you found this useful.

      Come back here and let us know how it went.

      or just shoot me an email with the results: bj@bjpivonka.com

  11. Muqadas

    Jul 9, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    Woho, What an article. Agreed on each of it’s point.

    • BJ Pivonka

      Jul 9, 2015 at 9:25 pm

      Muqadas,

      Glad you enjoyed it. Each point is CRUCIAL.

      Let me know what kinds of results you get.

  12. Matimba Ngwenya

    Jul 9, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    This article hit me hard. Fatal Flaw #5 speaks to me most. I know what to do, and how to do it. My follow through however is not consistent, and I have not been prioritizing my action. Thanks for the wake up call Pivonka

  13. ssenyonjo wilberforce

    Jul 9, 2015 at 9:49 am

    wow!!!!!,its a good information en it has given me courage.

  14. Stefanie

    Jul 9, 2015 at 7:46 am

    Great article! I totally agree, that habits can be very powerful – or destroying, holding you back. Your article reminded me it’s important to continuously check my own habits. Thank you!

    • BJ Pivonka

      Jul 9, 2015 at 4:48 pm

      Thanks Stefanie, glad you enjoyed it.

      I picked out these specific habits for a reason. They can not only set the tone for you day, but determine your energy level for the rest of the day when you should be doing income producing activities.

      Thanks for your support!

  15. Lawrence Berry

    Jul 9, 2015 at 12:56 am

    This is some great information and I completely agree with everyone of them. I think your morning routine is what will determine if you make it in business or not. The morning is the foundation for your day, so you should really take care of yourself and your mindset. I have read about alot of successful people and they all do something in the morning that get them started for the day, such as meditating, exercising, or just eating a great breakfast. Take care of yourself and your mind. Great post.

    • BJ Pivonka

      Jul 9, 2015 at 4:49 pm

      Lawrence, YES. That is exactly the case. The morning routine sets the tone for the rest of the day and also determines what kind of energy you have left for the rest of the day. That’s why I made it #1 on the list.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  16. Heitem Ak

    Jul 8, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    Nice one Pivonka!

    I completely agree on the metrics.

    Specific goals keeps you on track through hard times!

    Just like jogging, if you run without metrics, you are likely to stop running as soon as you start getting tired!

    Keep them up,

    Heitem Ak

    • BJ Pivonka

      Jul 9, 2015 at 4:50 pm

      Heitem, absolutely. You need to know what direction you are headed so you know whether to change course or not.

      Otherwise you’ll just wander around aimlessly doing things that won’t get the results you want and never actually get there.

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Success Advice

I’ll Tell You How To Be Confident Without The Self-Help BS: You Just Do It.

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One of the most popular topics on blogs right now is content about how to have more confidence. It’s driving me bonkers! I’m unsure what the fascination is with the subject.

Having gone through the whole confidence battle myself and come out the other side on top, I think I can share a few things that will help everybody.

 

Act as if.

Rather than be caught up in the foreplay of overthinking, considering and asking too many questions, just do.

“Quite simply, what has worked for me is to just get on with the task and tell myself I’m becoming an expert while being in motion”

Getting going is the part we’re all missing when it comes to confidence. You can’t be confident unless you get some experience at whatever you want to be confident at. This advice sounds simplistic because it is.

I’ve become more confident over the last five years by running up miles in the beaten-up VW Beetle that was my mind and body. Through gaining experience, I turned that VW Beetle into a Lamborghini by trying things and executing.

There’s no pretending when it comes to confidence. You only start to believe you are confident when you begin taking action. I could probably wrap it up right there and you’d be done when it comes to confidence. No more self-help secrets and private masterminds are required.

Act as if you are already confident and your mind will believe you. Your mind only believes what you tell it. Tell your mind you are confident and you will gain more confidence in the execution. That extraordinary mind will then do as you tell it.

 

Sit up and stand up straight soldier!

I always believed this one was total hocus pocus or maybe even a Jedi Mind Trick. It’s not. Confidence is also in the way you move. People feel confidence in you through your presence. If you need to perform at 110% in say a speech as an example, you have to stand up straight and physically be confident.

Now this is harder than it looks so here’s what I did: I stood on the stage with my back straight. I then rolled my shoulders back and poked my chest out slightly. Each movement on stage was acted out as if I was Arnold Schwarzenegger posing for the Mr Olympia Final (that’s hard as I look nothing like him but stay with me peeps).

Simply having a confident physical presence allowed the audience to be confident with the words and advice I was delivering. Even if each point I presented was not completely thought through, the effect was still the same. I came across as confident.

So, next time you want to be confident, try this out for yourself. Pick your own hero who’s oozing confidence, to be the person you imagine when you go into your confident pose. No matter how ridiculous this seems, it works. Don’t question, just do.

 

Self-talk is key: three words to confidence.

Okay, let’s not overdo this confidence lesson. The self-talk in my head when I need to be confident is very dumb and easy to copy. The three words I use are:

“You got this!”

Say those three words whenever you need to be confident. Say them over and over until they drown out your negative inner voice that wants to doubt your ability.

“Doubt is the disease that sabotages your confidence”

I had no idea about blogging as an example. I just believed I’d find a way and I did. My doubting brain told me that I was hopeless at English and couldn’t master grammar to save my life. That aside, I just used these three words to silence the inner critic.

Your inner critic is only right if you let it be. Back yourself. Talk to yourself like a winner (not a loser) and you’ll have more confidence. No need to buy that book on confidence anymore. No need to read another self-help, pump up blog post that gets you all warm and sweaty.

 

Disconnect from the outcome.

Confidence is about putting the outcome aside. Everything you do is a lesson and will give you confidence. Being tied to the idea of what the outcome looks like allows your doubting mind and your inner critic to come back to the main stage of your attention.

Where your energy flows to, is where your focus goes. Focusing on anything other than being confident about your daily battles will give you the results you hate. Nine times out of ten you can’t control the outcome anyway.

So focusing on doing your best and being confident will take you so much further. Like I keep saying “You got this!”

Swag it out like whatever outcome you achieve is phenomenal because you are incredible for waking up each day and just giving it a crack!

 

Say yes and learn later.

Confidence comes from saying yes and deciding to figure out the strategy later. If an offer or idea resonates with you, then say yes. You’ll find yourself gaining more experience by doing so. My superman complex used to make me carefully think about each offer I was presented with to assess whether I had the skills and capability.

Now I choose offers and proposals that bring me joy instead, and I use my newfound confidence to say yes, and know that I’ll learn what I need to execute properly along the way. Failing that, there’s someone I know in my network that can fill any blanks in regardless so I’m very unlikely to fail.

BUT even if I fail it’s all good because I still learned heaps, got experience and had fun in the meantime. All of which made me more confident. Confidence is unstoppable when it starts to compound through experience and taking action.

 

Remember that all of us have no idea including me.

This was something I learned through a podcast. If you look at your heroes and get to know them as friends, you’ll quickly realize, like I did with my own heroes, that they have no idea. Your heroes just act as if and see what sticks.

When approaching any goal with this in mind, you find an inner confidence to have a go and see what happens.

“When you realize we’re all flawed, it sets you free to try stuff and execute on a few wild goals that you may not succeed at”

I have no clue about most things and that’s where the beauty lies. Stop idolizing and be confident in your ability to get sh*t done.

 

We’re all extraordinary when we believe we are.

Belief in yourself is key to having confidence. The truth is that all of us can be extraordinary no matter where we come from, our nationality, the struggles we’ve gone through, what books we’ve read or who our current friends are.

The opportunity to be extraordinary exists for all of us. Let this very idea give you the confidence you need to change the world because you can.

You don’t need more self-help articles on confidence: You need to understand you’re already extraordinary.

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Success Advice

2 Ways To End Suffering Forever.

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This year I have learned so much. I’ve learned that we all suffer no matter what. No one can avoid it. That’s not what I want to share with you though. What I want to tell you is that you have the power to end suffering.

I have proven it in my own life. We don’t need to suffer. We can end it all and the silly thing is it’s so simple. I do not want you to avoid this advice any longer. I want you to use it even if you think it’s a load of mumbo-jumbo.

Here are the two ways I’ve found to end suffering forever:

 

1. Find a way to give to other people.

You only suffer when life is all about you and your success. Once you move from being all about you, into a state of mind that is focused on giving, your problems become insignificant.

I had a couple of situations this year that have nearly knocked me flat on my ass. One was my romantic life falling to pieces and the other was my career collapsing. When both these events occurred, I used giving to other people as the way out of the maze that my mind created.

The moment suffering begun, I went straight to finding ways to serve other people. I helped friends with their businesses, I spoke at events to inspire people, I did some volunteering and I doubled down on my blogging so I could inspire as many people as possible.

Shifting the focus away from what was wrong and using my focus to give to others ended the suffering.

“There wasn’t time to suffer because the purpose of my life during those months was far bigger than me and my stupid life challenges. Giving to others gave me a way to find happiness when I probably would have hidden away and suffered in silence”

Seeing the solutions to other people’s problems and sharing them, gave me a way to put my career and relationships into perspective.

Giving is the example you need when times get tough and things get complicated. You suffer the most when you get stuck in your head and repeat the pattern of telling yourself how wrong your circumstances are.

Suffering can make you depressed, feel lonely, become selfish, go into a downward spiral and take away everything that’s good in your life.

Finding ways to give on the other hand, can cure all of those problems. I know it sounds so cliché what I’m saying but it surprises me how many people never use this strategy. Like I always say: the answers we seek are right in front of our nose.

Next time you feel yourself suffering, get out of your head and try this strategy.

 

 

2. Practice gratitude.

Okay, I thought this strategy was so dumb when I discovered it. It’s so obvious and it sounds way too easy. I mean how can writing down a few things you’re grateful for really end your suffering?

I mean you could lie to yourself and pretend that you’re grateful for something when you’re not. Well, that’s exactly what I did at the beginning. When I was suffering this year, I started writing down three things each day that I was grateful for.

In the first week, I lied about things I was grateful for and found the exercise completely ridiculous. This advice is so common that I decided to persist with this ridiculous self-help hack anyway.

What I found as I kept doing it was that your brain makes a shift subconsciously. Instead of being pissed off and suffering, your brain has to work extra hard to find three things every day to be grateful for.

To make this habit work even better I forced my brain to describe in detail each thing I was grateful for and ideally why. Some days sucked so bad that I thought I would never find three things. Once the challenge became a must, I spent my days working my butt off trying to find things I was grateful for.

While doing various activities during the day, I’d find moments when I was grateful for something and stop. I’d stop and see how I felt at that moment and I would have a mini celebration because I knew I had something for my gratitude list.

Then I tried to aim for five things each day instead of three. This shifted my focus even more. I should have been suffering but because I was forcing myself to see good things that were happening to me, I was distracted.

As I said earlier, this new habit seemed so dumb at the beginning. Once you really do it for a while, you see how it has the power to end suffering. You can’t be pissed off and be grateful at the same time. So, choose gratitude and then your suffering will be sidelined, and in my case, forgotten about.

 

***Life doesn’t need to be full of low points***

The suffering that we all experience is a choice. It probably doesn’t seem like that but these two hacks will demonstrate this to you. Your decision-making power is incredible and all you need to do is select one of these hacks to end suffering.

Don’t let the quality of your life be jeopardized by your default human mode to suffer. You’ll find these two hacks will not only end your suffering; these two hacks will give you purpose.

Here’s what I learned: most people are pissed off and suffer because they have no purpose. Once you find a purpose for your life, you’ll become addicted.

Now that’s a huge win don’t you think? You can end suffering and find purpose, all by using these two hacks. That’s the best gift I can give you.

Don’t just read this advice. Try these two hacks yourself.

It’s time to end suffering forever.

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

7 Steps to Conquering the Fears That Are Holding You Back From Success

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I remember the day in vivid detail. I was on a weekend trip visiting my girlfriend at the time in Arizona. She had decided that we should join her friends to go “cliff jumping.”  We were early on in our dating and she obviously had no idea that I was not fond of heights. So “cliffs” and jumping off of them… No thanks!

I inevitably found myself on the edge of a 40-foot cliff peering down at a vast blue canvas of water. Then I realized if I didn’t jump, I’d have to start the walk of shame back down the cliff. This was a lose-lose situation for me.

Fear had me. I didn’t want to jump, but I also didn’t want to look bad in front of my girlfriend’s friends. So I jumped and in that moment, I had defied my brain and my neurochemistry.

Our brains are wired to protect us, not to push us towards our goals. Our brains are wired to look for anything that could be potentially dangerous or threatening and keep us as far away from it as possible by using fear. The problem is not all situations warrant fear.

There is a saying in neuroscience that says, “the brain wires the way it fires”, meaning the more you do a certain activity, the more the brain lays down wiring to make that action or activity easier.

‘Fears are educated into us, and can, if we wish, be educated out.’ – Karl Augustus Menninger

When we let fear keep us stagnant and we continue to do the same things that are comfortable, our brain gets “hardwired” to stay comfortable. We become “stagnant.” This can become debilitating for some of us and prevent us from encountering the very experiences we need to grow and succeed.

When we, in spite of our fear, do the challenging things that are outside our comfort zone, we begin to hardwire into our brain change, adaptability, creativity, growth, perspective, and happiness because we stretch the boundaries of our brain’s capabilities and force it to adapt rather than “playing it safe.”

An elite athlete didn’t make it where they are today by going into their training and never pushing past their comfort zone. They constantly pushed their limits of comfort to force their bodies and minds to grow to that of a top performer. The same principle applies to our brains. If we let fear dictate our actions in any area of our lives, it will stunt your growth in that area.

So what’s the first step? How do we go about conquering our fears whether it’s public speaking, starting a business, or launching the product or service? See below:

1. Journal Your Fears

Write down all the fears you have, big or small. Contrary to opinion “size does not matter.” Your brain still operates the same with all types of fear. The key is to first acknowledge what you are fearful about and bring it to light. Be as specific as possible.

2. Prioritize Your Fears

I then rank my fears from highest to lowest in terms of how often I think about this fear and/or how much it disrupts my life. You may find some fears combine into a broader category and that’s ok — we’ll get to that. So for now identify your biggest fear.

3. Support Your Belief in Yourself

I don’t mean just “believe in yourself.” What I mean is to build in support systems that will support your belief in yourself, so that when you start taking action, your support systems will solidify those new experiences and form deeper, more meaningful, and lasting beliefs in yourself.

It may look like building a list of affirmations that you say every morning or a meditation. Whatever it is, it needs to be uplifting and empowering you towards conquering your goals.

4. Take Action & Start Small

Look at your list and identify what your biggest fear is. That’s the beast we’re going to tackle long term, but for some that may seem like a big stretch at first. So instead, see what your 5th biggest fear is, and that’s where you’ll start.

What we will then do is build our way up and take a ride on the “Momentum Train.” Starting small with taking actions toward your lower priority fears and then building up helps your brain build momentum, which provides your brain with plenty of courage and motivation to tackle the #1 fear on your list.

‘Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold.’ – Helen Keller

5. No Time Limit, Just Consistency

Most goals should be limited to a time domain. For the goal of tackling a fear, time can be a challenging factor to set. Some of these fears may have been unknowingly building up for decades without your knowledge. So I don’t recommend setting a time on when you are “going to conquer your fear.”

Instead set appointments to regularly meet and address your fear. If you’re fear is public speaking, then go to a local Toastmasters once a week. The more consistent you can be, the better.

6. Reframe and Reinforce

As you begin to address these fears, make sure you are reinforcing the experiences you have in a positive perspective. For instance, if you want to be less fearful of public speaking and decide to try out a local toastmasters group, your first time speaking to the group might feel like a train wreck, but when you look back on the situation you can acknowledge that that actually pushed past your fear and accomplished your goal.

7. Rinse and Repeat

This isn’t a quick fix. It may take some time. There’s always a new fear or challenge awaiting us. The key is to have systems like this in place to address those challenges properly rather than allowing ourselves to succumb to fear and derail our lives from their fullest potential.

How do you handle your fears? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Success Advice

30 Straightforward Reminders to Help You Supercharge Your Life in 2018

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This time of year it’s easy to be overwhelmed by well-meaning advice. Everyone seems to have a solution to your procrastination or a remedy for your lack of motivation. Unfortunately, most advice is either too general or irrelevant because it doesn’t address your main concerns.

I’ve spent the last year trying to hone in on some of the best tips and tricks I’ve learned to stay ahead and maintain a positive mindset.

Here are 30 straightforward reminders and tips to help you supercharge your life in 2018:

1. Get the basics right. Take care of your body, your mind and your soul. Make a list of what you know is good for you and what you know is bad for you in each category. Consider ways to reduce the bad and increase the good.

2. Reduce distractions that sap your energy. When you’re planning big changes, it’s easy to get pulled into many different directions. You get excited about a certain idea which pulls you down the rabbit hole into numerous other directions. Focus on one thing at a time.

3. Make a new friend. Start a conversation with a stranger in the elevator. Compliment someone. Provide some positive reinforcement. Do something without expecting anything in return.

4. Smile more. Smiling takes less effort than frowning. It’s also scientifically proven to make you feel better even if you don’t necessarily feel like smiling.

5. Walk 30 minutes a day. Just 30 minutes of exercise a day can help you stimulate your immune system, increase your metabolism and improve your mood.

6. Do one push-up for every year old you are. Or do twice as many sit-ups for every year old you are. Making sure you work the muscles in different parts of your body stimulates hormone production and helps increase fat burning.

7. Find your intrinsic drivers. Intrinsic drivers are what inspire you based on internal motivation, rather than external motivation. Find something you think of as beautiful, peaceful, relaxing. Embrace it. Appreciate it. Try to understand why you like it

8. Speak to an old friend. Reach out in an email, a text, a phone call. Check in and just let them know you’re thinking about them.

“Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together.” – Woodrow T. Wilson

9. Invest in your health. Join a gym. Buy some type of sports equipment or clothing that is comfortable and that you enjoy being in. Consider joining a pick up sports team.

10. Study something that interests you. Buy a book about someone you admire. Pick a time period that you’re fascinated with. Make a point of becoming an expert on something that matters to you.

11. Teach someone something. Take a topic, any topic, and try to break it down into its component parts so that you can teach someone how to do it. The concentration and the effort it takes to teach someone something is often exactly the kind of effort that is required to truly understand it for yourself.

12. Delegate to someone. Find a task that needs to be done that you could do. Don’t do that task. Instead, look for someone you can ask to help you. Pay them or ask them for a favor. The key is to learn to delegate actions to others.

13. Meditate. Mindfulness and meditation are trending right now, but that’s not the reason you should consider adopting a meditation practice. The real reason is that meditation will help you focus on your key goals while cutting out the noise in the world around you.  

14. Learn to manage your personal finances. One of the biggest causes of stress that we as humans experience is the pressure to make money and control our finances. There are tons of free resources available online to help you learn about finances and help get your money in order.

15. Read more. No, I’m not talking about reading your Facebook News Feed. Read more books. Try to read a book a month, either fiction or nonfiction. At the beginning of the month choose a book and break down the number of pages. See how many you have to read a day to finish… then get started.

16. Cook at home at least 5 days a week. Cooking at home is cheap, easy and fun. You can hone skills in creativity and planning all at once, and it’s a great way to save money.

“My New Year’s resolution is to stick to a good workout plan that will keep me healthy and happy.” – James Lafferty

17. Sell someone. No, not into human bondage. Sell someone on an idea or a product. Learn to market yourself and your skills. Everyone sells as they move through life, but most of us are average salespeople.

18. Hone your principles. What principles define your life? What are your strongly held beliefs? Be honest with yourself and what principles you feel you must uphold.

19. Embrace the power of positive thought. Listen to positive audio tapes, surround yourself with positive people. Look at the positive side of life. Easier said than done, but truth be told one of the best ways to improve your mood is to look for sources of positive mood and inspiration.

20. Practice willpower. Habits are formed over time. Willpower is one of the most important habits you will ever build, so it is integral you continue to practice it through all aspects of your life. Look to the stoic philosophers for a primer on how to tackle this.

21. Write better hooks. A hook is the bit of a song that catches a listener’s attention and repeats your core message in an intriguing way. Similarly, in writing a hook is the quirky or fascinating intro that makes readers want to continue to read. Think about your own hooks and how you can get people interested in what you have to say.

22. Don’t sweat the small stuff. We often become obsessed with daily minutiae and avoid thinking about the big picture. Don’t let yourself worry too much about the small day-to-day struggles. Instead, put your head down and get to work.

23. Don’t overthink the big stuff. Too often we avoid taking leaps of faith because we’re worried about making a mistake on something big. We don’t buy the new house. We avoid marrying the person we love. We put off going to the doctor for that regular scan. Try not to overthink the big decisions (or seemingly small decisions) that may have larger ramifications. If it’s not overly dangerous or illegal, take the plunge and go for it.

24. Learn a new word a day. Increasing your vocabulary helps you see the world in different ways and makes you rethink your core beliefs.

“You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.” – Richard Branson

25. Become a moderate. Extremists are divisive and often at odds with a large portion of the population. Look for ways to bring people together through collaboration and consensus rather than through division.

26. Think big(ger). Many self-help books talk about setting big goals or envisioning massive success in your lifetime. If you want to become a true leader and attain greater fulfillment. Look for ways to think beyond creating success in your lifetime. Think about the legacy you’ll leave for future generations.

27. Learn universal processes. Assess how you work best and find ways to carry standardized processes over into other aspects of your life.

28. Develop support structures. What do you do if things aren’t going according to plan? Do you reach out to friends for support, meditate on the problem alone, or use some mixture of different coping mechanisms? Be aware of what works for you, and what doesn’t.

29. Don’t compare yourself to others. We fall into this trap far too often. We use others as a benchmark for our own progress, but we must remember that it is unhealthy to put too much weight on comparisons, as everyone has their own background and their own perspective.

30. Know when to let go. At the end of the day, you must try your best and let the cards fall as they may. All you can do is put your heart and soul into your effort and learn from the results.

Which one of these things are you going to implement into your life immediately? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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