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7 Habits of Highly Effective Mediocre People

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Habits of Effective Mediocre People

The following article is by a highly interesting author by the name of James Altucher, who outlines the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Mediocre People. With a plethora of great points and amazing lessons to learn, read on my friends and you’ll see why it may not be so bad after all to consider yourself as “Mediocre“.

The following is an excerpt from Choose Yourself: Be Happy, Make Millions, Live the Dream by James Altucher,  founder of  StockPickr,  and writer for TechCrunch, HuffPo, and Forbes.

 

 

 

7 Habits of Highly Effective Mediocre People

 

I’m pretty mediocre. I’m not even being sarcastic or self-deprecating. I’ve never done anything that stands out as, “Woah! This guy made it into outer space! Or…this guy has a bestselling novel! Or…if only Google had thought of this!” I’ve had some successes and some failures but never reached any of the goals I had initially set. Always slipped off along the way, off the yellow brick road, into the wilderness.

I’ve started a bunch of companies. Sold some. Failed at most. I’ve invested in a bunch of startups. Sold some. Failed at some, and the jury is still sequestered on a few others. I’ve written some books, most of which I no longer like. I can tell you overall, though, everything I have done has been distinguished by its mediocrity, its lack of a grand vision, and any success I’ve had can be just as much put in the luck basket as the effort basket.

That said, all people should be so lucky. We can’t all be grand visionaries. We can’t all be Picassos. We want to make our business, make our art, sell it, make some money, raise a family, and try to be happy. My feeling, based on my own experience, is that aiming for grandiosity is the fastest route to failure. For every Mark Zuckerberg there are 1000 Jack Zuckermans. Who is Jack Zuckerman? I have no idea. That’s my point. If you are Jack Zuckerman and are reading this, I apologize. You aimed for the stars and missed. Your re-entry into the atmosphere involved a broken heat shield and you burned to a crisp by the time you hit the ocean. Now we have no idea who you are.

If you want to get rich, sell your company, have time for your hobbies, raise a halfway decent family, and enjoy the sunset with your wife on occasion, here are some of my highly effective recommendations.

 

1 – Procrastination

Procrastination is your body telling you you need to back off a bit and think more about what you are doing. When you procrastinate as an entrepreneur it could mean that you need a bit more time to think about what you are pitching a client. It could also mean you are doing work that is not your forte and that you are better off delegating. I find that many entrepreneurs are trying to do everything when it would be cheaper and more time-efficient to delegate, even if there are up front monetary costs associated with that. In my first business, it was like a lightbulb went off in my head the first time I delegated a programming job to someone other than me. Why did I decide finally to delegate then at that particular point? I had a hot date. Which was infinitely better than me sweating all night on some stupid programming bug.

Try to figure out why you are procrastinating. Maybe you need to brainstorm more to improve an idea. Maybe the idea is no good as is. Maybe you need to delegate. Maybe you need to learn more. Maybe you don’t enjoy what you are doing. Maybe you don’t like the client whose project you were just working on. Maybe you need to take a break. There’s only so many seconds in a row you can think about something before you need to take time off and rejuvenate the creative muscles. This is not for everyone. Great people can storm right through. Steve Jobs never needed to take a break. But I do.

Procrastination could also be a strong sign that you are a perfectionist. That you are filled with shame issues. This will block you from building and selling your business. Examine your procrastination from every side. It’s your body trying to tell you something. Listen to it.

 

2 – Zero-tasking

There’s a common myth that great people can multi-task efficiently. This might be true but I can’t do it. I have statistical proof. I have a serious addiction. If you ever talk on the phone with me there’s almost a 100% chance I am simultaneously playing chess online. The phone rings and one hand reaches for the phone and the other hand reaches for the computer to initiate a one minute game. Chess rankings are based on a statistically generated rating system. So I can compare easily how well I do when I’m on the phone compared with when I’m not on the phone. There is a three standard deviation difference. Imagine if I were talking on the phone and driving. It’s the same thing I’m assuming: phone calls cause a three standard deviation subtraction in intelligence. And that’s the basic multi-tasking we all do at some point or other.

So great people can multi-task. But since, by definition, most of us are not great , it’s much better to single-task. Just do one thing at a time.

Often, the successful mediocre entrepreneur should strive for excellence in ZERO-tasking. Do nothing. We always feel like we have to be “doing something” or we feel ashamed. Sometimes it’s better to just be quiet, to not think of anything at all. A very successful, self-made businessman once told me, “Never underestimate the power of a long, protracted silence.”

 

3 – Failure

As far as I can tell, Larry Page has never failed. He went straight from graduate school to billions. Ditto for Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and a few others. But again, by definition, most of us are pretty mediocre. We can strive for greatness but we will never hit it. That means we will often fail. Not ALWAYS fail. But often.

My last 16 out of 17 business attempts were failures. Ultimately, life is a sentence of failures, punctuated only by the briefest of successes. So the mediocre entrepreneur learns two things from failure: First, he learns directly how to overcome that particular failure. He’s highly motivated to not repeat the same mistakes. Second, he learns how to deal with the psychology of failure. Mediocre entrepreneurs fail A LOT. So they get this incredible skill of getting really good at dealing with failure. This translates to monetary success.

The mediocre entrepreneur understands that persistence is not the self-help cliché “Keep going until you hit the finish line!” It’s, “Keep failing until you accidentally no longer fail.” That’s persistence.

 

4 – Not Original

I’ve never come up with an original idea in my life. My first successful business was making web software, strategies, and websites for Fortune 500 companies. Not an original idea but at the time, in the 90s, people were paying exorbitant multiples for such businesses. My successful investments all involved situations where I made sure the CEOs and other investors were smarter than me. 100% of my zeros as an angel investor were situations where I thought I was smart. I wasn’t. I’m mediocre.

The best ideas are when you take two older ideas that have nothing to do with each other, make them have sex with each other, and then build a business around the bastard, ugly child that results. Look at Facebook: combine the internet with stalking. Amazing!

And, by the way, it was about the fifth attempt at such a social network. Twitter, combine internet with antiquated SMS protocols. Ugly! But it works. Ebay, combine ecommerce with auctions. If Justin Bieber sang John Lennon’s “Imagine” it would be a huge hit. I might even listen to it.

 

5 – Poor Networking

I’m that guy. You know the one at the party that doesn’t talk to anyone and stands in the corner. I usually say no to very nice networking dinner invitations. I like to stay home and read. When I was running businesses I was often too shy to talk to my employees. I would call my secretary from downstairs and ask if the hallway was clear, then ask her to unlock my door and I’d hurry upstairs and lock the door behind me. That particular company failed disastrously.

But many people network too much. Entrepreneurship is hard enough. It’s 20 hours a day of managing employees, customers, meetings, and product development. And then what are you going to do? Network all night? Save that for the great entrepreneurs. Or the ones who are about to fail. The mediocre entrepreneur works his 20 hours, then relaxes when he can. It’s tough to make money.

 

6 – Do Anything To Get A “Yes.”

Here’s a negotiation I did. I was starting stockpickr.com and meeting with the CEO of thestreet.com. He wanted his company to have a percentage of stockpickr.com and in exchange he would fill up all of our ad inventory. I was excited to do the deal. I said, “Ok, I was thinking you would get 10% of the company.” He laughed and said, “No. 50%”. He didn’t even say “We would like 50%”. He just said, “50%”. I then used all my negotiating skills and came up with a reply. “Okay. Deal.”

I’m a salesman. I like people to say yes to me. When I started a company doing websites we were pitching to do “miramax.com”. I said, “$50,000″. They said, “No more than $1,000 and that’s a stretch.” I used my usual technique: “Deal!”

But the end results: in one case thestreet.com had a significant financial stake so that gave them more psychological stake. And for my first business, Miramax was now on my client list. That’s why Con Edison had to pay a lot more. Often, the secret poor negotiators keep is that we get more deals done. I get the occasional loss leader, and then ultimately the big fish gets reeled in if I get enough people to say “yes”. It’s like asking every girl on the street to have sex with you. One out of 100 will say “yes”. In my case it might be one out of a million but you get the idea.

 

7 – Poor Judge of People

The mediocre entrepreneur doesn’t “Blink” in the Malcolm Gladwell sense. In Gladwell’s book he often talks about people who can form snap correct judgments in two or three seconds. My initial judgment when I meet or even see people is this: I hate you.

And then I veer from that to too trusting. Finally, after I bounce back and forth, and through much trial and error, I end up somewhere in the middle. I also tend to drop people I can’t trust very quickly. I think the great entrepreneur can make snap judgments and be very successful with it. But that doesn’t work for most people.

At this point, when I meet someone, I make sure I specifically don’t trust my first instincts. I get to know people more. I get to understand what their motivations are. I try to sympathize with whatever their position is. I try not to argue or gossip about them before I know anything. I have to do this because I’m mediocre and I’m a lot more at risk of bringing the wrong people into my circle.

So by the time I’ve decided to be close to someone–a client, an employee, an acquirer, an acquiree, a wife, etc–I’ve already done a lot of the thinking about them. This means I can’t waste time thinking about other things, like how to put a rocket ship on Jupiter. But overall it’s worked.

“I thought being mediocre is supposed to be bad?” one might think. Shouldn’t we strive for greatness? And the answer is: “Of course we should! But let’s not forget that 9 out of 10 motorists think they are ‘above average drivers.’” People overestimate themselves. Don’t let overestimation get in the way of becoming fabulously rich, or at least successful enough that you can have your freedom, feed your family, and enjoy other things in life.

 

Final Words

Being mediocre doesn’t mean you won’t change the world. It means being honest with yourself and the people around you. And being honest at every level is really the most effective habit of all if you want to have massive success.

 

Feature Image Courtesy of NBC

James Altucher is the author of Choose Yourself: Be Happy, Make Millions, Live the Dream. With dozens of case studies, interviews and examples–including his own heartbreaking and inspiring story– James Altucher’s new book will show you how to illuminate your personal path to building a bright, new world out of the wreckage of the old by choosing yourself.

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Jay

    Jul 4, 2013 at 12:49 am

    A mediocre article…

  2. Reuben

    Jun 23, 2013 at 2:50 am

    I think you made a very good point about procrastination. It can be debilitating but installing a trigger to stop and look more deeply at what’s going on is a great idea. Thanks.

  3. Jason Bennick

    Jun 16, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    A good read. A humorous take on mediocrity without branding it as a failure or success. Anyone reading this will get out of it what they want to.

  4. Motivational Speaker

    Jun 13, 2013 at 7:33 am

    Written tongue in cheek surely.

  5. tangomike88

    Jun 10, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    I agree with Jeremy

  6. Jeremy Wiseman

    Jun 8, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    you lost me right at justin beiber. i must not be anything like you at all. subtract from mediocre i have just branded you pathetic.

  7. Edward Rapka

    Jun 8, 2013 at 5:28 am

    It’s absolutely true that talent, skill, competence and just about every other human characteristic exists on a statistical curve where most of us fall in the vast middle, “average” — or mediocre — portion. Only a few populate the ends as the truly great, or the abject worst. Nevertheless, the equation in Life is: Success = Talent (inate) + Skill (learned), and there have been countless numbers of quantifiably mediocre people who have achieved moderate, and even great, successes in life, by having the intention to be successful. Opportunities abound for those with a drive to succeed, if they choose to competently use the tools available to them, as I explore on my site. As James stresses, acknowledging your own “mediocrity” can be the first step to greatness, and to achieve your destiny the world.

  8. Nicola Jones (@nicolajonesTV)

    Jun 7, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    Great article, fresh perspective, continued success and mediocrity.

  9. Nancy Whitney-Conway

    Jun 6, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    I’ve learned so much from this article. Thank you for sharing.

  10. Steve May

    Jun 6, 2013 at 5:53 am

    Okay this article is freakin awesome. You are right Joel this writer is interesting. I will make sure that I share this with my friends and family now. thanks

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Success Advice

One Thing I Can Teach You About Life That Will Help You Forever.

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I used to be a very anxious person.

I was embarrassed by what I couldn’t do and every day was a struggle. From the moment I would wake up to the moment I’d go to bed, everything felt impossibly overwhelming. It’s a battle I’ve dealt with most of my life.

This daily struggle with mental illness taught me that the satisfaction didn’t lie in beating it; the satisfaction was in helping other people beat mental illness through my success in fighting it.


Recently, I was at work. It was a pretty standard day — nothing too exciting. I then had a catch up with one of the leaders I worked with.

She said something that got my attention: “One of our colleagues is battling a mental illness.”

I really wanted to help. My eyes lit up. There was no need to uncover my plan with anyone else. I knew that staying discrete was fundamental.

I approached the person in question and asked for a few minutes of their time.

I didn’t ask them to admit their mental illness struggle; I just shared my story.

I talked about the anxiety stopping me from having a normal life, eating the right foods, going on dates with girls, having the career I wanted and traveling the world.

I wasn’t sure if any of it was sinking in or even helping. I felt compelled to go on. One thing I knew was that he was paying attention. I could see it in his eyes.

I then went on to talk about how I beat mental illness. Strategies such as:

  • Creating fear lists
  • Seeking professional help
  • Working on myself
  • Books I read
  • Events I attended

Out of nowhere, he started opening up about his own struggle. I was shocked.
It wasn’t pretty. He had an extreme case of mental illness that I certainly couldn’t diagnose or give professional advice on.

All I could do was show him through my own story that there was hope

I offered him access to all the resources I had. I told him that he had my full support and I’d be happy to help in any way I could. He then said:

“What was your psychologist’s name?”

I told him I’d look it up and send it to him. I didn’t have the answer in front of me, but I was determined when I got home to find it.

At the end of the catch-up, he smiled. I don’t think he’d smiled like that in a very long time.

That smile gave me so much satisfaction. It made my own struggle with mental illness worth it. All those sleepless nights, times spent vomiting into the toilet and dark days where I didn’t want to go on made sense.


“It took more than seven years for me to understand that my own battle with mental illness actually had a benefit”

That benefit was the satisfaction in seeing someone beat their mental illness because I was able to defeat mine.

It’s probably the greatest satisfaction of my entire life.

That’s one thing I can teach you about life that will help you forever.

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Success Advice

5 Productivity Shifts You Need to Make to Make 2019 Your Best Year Yet

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Everyone wants more time, that is something almost all of us share. Time is the most valuable resource and when you learn how to make your time work for you and how to get the most out of it – you experience life differently.  

Improving how you manage your time is one of the biggest gifts you can give yourself – it’s a real game changer in your business and personal life. There are many ways that you can get more productive and get the right things done sooner; but not all of them are obvious or bring the same results.

Here are 5 productivity shifts you want to make if you are trying to make the most out of 2019:

1. Ditch your to do list

Productive people don’t keep to-do lists, they schedule everything they need to do in their calendar and work directly from their calendar!  To-Do lists are just ineffective and they are impeding your productivity. A never ending list of items only leaves you overwhelmed and with a false sense of ‘productivity’.  

If you schedule your To Do’s directly into your calendar at a time to get them done, you commit to it and you are more likely to get it done. Less is more – you don’t need a separate list to remind you what you need to do.

“Productivity is less about what you do with your time and more about how you run your mind.” – Robin Sharma

2. Give up on motivation

Productive people don’t always have to be motivated before starting something. They balance discipline with motivation and do what they need to do, regardless of motivation. When we come up with resistance to take action on what we have planned, we might tell ourselves that we are not motivated and we believe that we need to be motivated to complete any task.

If you want to increase your productivity, you need to challenge yourself more in the moment to take action and give up on motivation sometimes. Do what you need to in order to get the results you want in the future. Don’t make decisions based on how you feel now, make them based on what result you are really after.

3. Master your mornings

Wake up early and get yourself into the productive mindset with your routine and diet! Productive people start the day with some sort of routine, whether it’s meditation, exercise or visualization, etc. AND they have a healthy breakfast to fuel them for the day. Your health is everything when it comes to productivity, what you eat directly affects your productivity.

We can just no longer ignore the direct connection any more. Get in the right mindset to start your day and fuel your mind and body to get the most out of it. Starting your day off in any other way undermines your success – there is no doubt.

4. Schedule according to energy

Productive people know their energy cycles and they plan tasks around their energy levels. Why plan something at a time when you know it will be hard to rise to the challenge? Schedule tasks that require focus and concentration for those times of day that you feel the best and you will find it’s easier to follow through and you will be at your best to perform. Identify your filler tasks and complete those when your energy drops. Be more realistic when scheduling your tasks and set yourself up for wins.

“Productivity is never an accident it’s the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning & focused effort.” – Paul Meyer

5. Working backwards

Productive people always focus on those activities that will take them to the next level. They plan backwards, they look at their goals, then identify the tasks they need to do to support those goals. Those tasks get broken down into weekly actions. That’s how they plan.

Don’t only plan on tasks that come in or those which you ‘feel’ or ‘think’ you should be doing. Your day needs to consist of at least one activity that directly supports your longer term objectives, your big project. What sounds like common sense is definitely not common practice.

Create the right habits to achieve your goals, work on adopting easy tips and techniques so you can manage your time and yourself better to get things done.

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Success Advice

You Need to Grow Your Memory in Order to Grow Your Life

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We all have access to the most powerful computer ever created in the universe…our brain. Unfortunately, few of us have ever been taught how to use our minds efficiently, and even fewer have learned how to develop a fabulous memory. Thankfully, like any skill, memorising can be learned and using the correct strategies, your memory can be improved in only days.

One of the best coaches on memory is Dominic O’Brien the eight-time world memory champion. Self-taught after watching Creighton Carvello memorise a pack of cards on the BBC’s Record Breakers programme. Dominic, through his work on memory, has given us many tools and techniques for improving memory.

Below are 5 rules that will help you develop a better memory:

1. The Rule of Five

Probably seen as one of the most significant contributions to the body of knowledge on memory is O’Brien’s Rule of Five. This rule details how to remember things using a strategy of regular staged repetition.

These stages are as follows:

  • First Review:Immediately
  • Second Review:Twenty-four hours later
  • Third Review:One week later
  • Fourth Review:One month later
  • Fifth Review:Three months later

Utilising stage repetition at these intervals ingrains the memory for the long term.

2. The Dominic System

The Dominic System is a system for remembering numbers. The system is a Person Action system where the association between two sets of paired numbers is the person with the action of the next person.

1139 would become Andre Agassi doing a roundhouse kick which is the action of Chuck Norris. This system combined with the journey method allows for long random numbers to be easily recalled without error. The fantastic thing about this system is that you get to customise for yourself with memorable people and unique actions which when combined really make it easy for you to recall numbers. The table below associates each number to a letter.

Number     0     1    2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9
Letter     O     A     B     C     D    E     S     G     H     N

Creating a simple document with pairs of numbers in one column, the letter pairs in the next and an action column will help you learn this system quickly.

“Nothing can substitute for just plain hard work. I had to put in the time to get back. And it was a grind. It meant training and sweating every day. But I was completely committed to working out to prove to myself that I still could do it.” – Andre Agassi

3. The Link Method

This method relies on two essential elements of memory, association and exaggeration. Utilising these two elements, it is possible to link together unrelated objects to allow you to remember them.

Trying to remember a list of five separate words such as: balloon, papaya, gold, football and hat, might go something like this. You imagine seeing a giant balloon and inside the balloon you can see a small papaya, in bursting the balloon the papaya falls out and as it hits the floor a gold football bounces into a large sombrero.

4. The Journey Method

Using location has been a fundamental part of mnemonics almost since time began. Before humans, writing elders would pass knowledge to others using stories of journeys, with each piece of knowledge being associated with a location on the journey.

O’Brien’s system utilises journeys that you would undertake on a daily basis, like your commute to work or train stations on well-known line. Items are then associated and exaggerated along the journey, so for instance if you were trying to remember a list of ten random things you would associate each piece along with a unique ten stop journey and utilise exaggeration to make the items more memorable.

“You are well equipped with an incredible potential for absorbing knowledge…Anything’s possible.” – Dominic O’Brien

5. The Story Method

To remember groups of information, create a story that links them together. Remembering the planets of the solar system and their position relative to the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

Imagine that Mercury was hitting the nineties as Venus tossed the tennis ball into the air, striking the ball it soared over the net striking the earth and bouncing high into the air, knocking the mars bar out of Jupiter’s hand, and so on.

Developing a good memory will assist markedly in all of your personal development goals as well as assisting greatly in your daily life. The methods above are tried and tested by one of the leading memory champions. Whether you want to become the next World Memory Champion or just improve your recall, the techniques outlined above will assist greatly.

Combining the various elements will create an exponential improvement in your memory that you will find hard to believe, and you will be kicking yourself for not applying them sooner. The best part about using these methods is that they are fun, so enjoy using them.

Which one of these memorizing methods sounds most interesting to you? Share with us below!

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Compassion Is the Cornerstone of Inner and Outer Success

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Tapping into this emotional state of being can make the difference between thriving or surviving in business and life. In today’s journey towards success, people are more apt to respond to a compassionate and caring individual than one too full of themselves.

Just do what I call the “holy scroll of social media” and you will have men and women seeking your attention. They have the magic pill, formula, or mixture that will lead you out of despair and into the promised land of prosperity.

Here’s one way to see if they are legit: Is there a tone of compassion in their written and verbal words? Do they really care about you as a person or simply give off the vibe of “ah, got another sucker to get my stuff?”

If you want to truly know how much a person can deeply care about people, then watch their actions. Many people run around, screaming from the tops of buildings and church steeples that “I am the one to follow.”

Stop chasing those people. They really don’t have their act together and lack compassion. People are drawn to those who are successful, prosperous, and abundant. It’s a natural drawing card. Those people have something that you want, so you follow them and take up their mannerisms like it’s some kind of gospel message.

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” – Dalai Lama

You have the ability to be an amazing success in business through using the power of compassion. So, why don’t more people do it? Well, it simply takes time and effort to become compassionate if your whole success model has been toward the profit margin. Anyone who owns or runs a business has to watch their finances, so it’s understandable. Yet, are you going to do so without thinking of others in a heartfelt way? That will come back to haunt you.

Compassion is the one thing that makes truly all-around successful people stand above the noise. People of great financial wealth like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates have come to understand that philanthropy is a way of supporting advancements around the world. Anthony Robbins has taken portions of his own wealth and helped feed other people who don’t have the means to get their own groceries. In turn, look at the many community centers and religious and spiritual institutions that have been established for the sole purpose of being a light of compassion and care for those in their own darkness.

What does this have to do with having an attitude bent towards success? Everything. Right now, you have a powerful wellspring of compassion inside waiting to be shared. It is a way of life that transcends what you know from data and numbers.

Truly successful individuals dial within regularly and get in tune with the times. Compassion might feel like it is a lost art, but it is not. Compassion leaves people not only feeling better but having more of a get-to-it attitude instead of just going along and saying “whatever” to obstacles in their path.

You might be someone who just doesn’t know how to be compassionate. The concept feels and sounds foreign to you because all you have been fed is a bunch of “suck it up, buttercup” mentalities. At times, we all need a good kick in the behind to take action.

If you are a lost sheep who doesn’t even know where to start on the compassionate way of life, then here are three simple suggestions:

1. Be humble

Humility and humiliation are two different things so don’t get them mixed up here. Being humble is a state of being where you remember where you came from and feel a deep sense of gratitude for where you were and where you are now. People in businesses and corporations all over the world know that humility is a game-changing path toward success.

2. Be grateful

If you have two eyes and a heartbeat and are reading this article, then you have three reasons right there to be and feel grateful. One technique that I have found helpful in recent months is to simply say “thank you” upon waking up. Giving thanks for all the things in my life is a way of expressing inner gratitude in an outward way. You can do this in your very own business by saying “thank you” for more clients, more business, more income streams, more freedom, and so on.

“Compassion is an action word with no boundaries.” – Prince

3. Be a good listener

Do you wonder how in the world you can ever hear another person’s heart when they always seem to be talking? Stop talking so much and listen more. Look, a core strength of compassionate people is they tend to listen more and bark less. Success is what you make it up to be in your business and life. Notice, though, the action takers and their ability to truly listen, take in what they need, and let go of the rest. Listening to others with a compassionate and empathetic ear will lead you to the road of success.

Compassion is not just another silly marketing trend. It’s been around as long as humans have had a pulse. The measure of compassion that you give to others will be given back to you. This is seen over and over again in business and other places.

It’s a reciprocal circle of life. Compassion can open doors for you that you’d never thought of walking through at all. Tap into your own compassionate side and make a successful difference in other people’s lives.

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5 Pillars to Creating an Unfair Advantage in Your Business

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All of us want to create unfair advantages in our business that separate us from our competition. Nonetheless, doing this is easier said than done as everyday your competition is innovating and getting better. With today’s technology, overachievers are reaching higher levels of success than ever before. Naturally, if you are here reading Addicted2Success, then this means you too are an overachiever who is addicted to success. (more…)

Rob Fajardo is 23 year old Thought Leader from NJ. He founded a brand called Leave Normal Behind, a content, community, and events hub for purpose driven people. The mission of LNB is to bring together purpose driven people and inspire them to become the best versions of themselves by creating things that matter and encouraging others to do the same. He is also the viral marketing mastermind behind fidget spinners (check @fidget360 on IG) and helped Gerard Adams, Co-Founder of Elite Daily, establish the executive team at Fownders responsible for building the Seed-2-Scale program there. If you want to get connect with Rob you can email him rob@leavenormalbehind.com.

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Jay

    Jul 4, 2013 at 12:49 am

    A mediocre article…

  2. Reuben

    Jun 23, 2013 at 2:50 am

    I think you made a very good point about procrastination. It can be debilitating but installing a trigger to stop and look more deeply at what’s going on is a great idea. Thanks.

  3. Jason Bennick

    Jun 16, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    A good read. A humorous take on mediocrity without branding it as a failure or success. Anyone reading this will get out of it what they want to.

  4. Motivational Speaker

    Jun 13, 2013 at 7:33 am

    Written tongue in cheek surely.

  5. tangomike88

    Jun 10, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    I agree with Jeremy

  6. Jeremy Wiseman

    Jun 8, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    you lost me right at justin beiber. i must not be anything like you at all. subtract from mediocre i have just branded you pathetic.

  7. Edward Rapka

    Jun 8, 2013 at 5:28 am

    It’s absolutely true that talent, skill, competence and just about every other human characteristic exists on a statistical curve where most of us fall in the vast middle, “average” — or mediocre — portion. Only a few populate the ends as the truly great, or the abject worst. Nevertheless, the equation in Life is: Success = Talent (inate) + Skill (learned), and there have been countless numbers of quantifiably mediocre people who have achieved moderate, and even great, successes in life, by having the intention to be successful. Opportunities abound for those with a drive to succeed, if they choose to competently use the tools available to them, as I explore on my site. As James stresses, acknowledging your own “mediocrity” can be the first step to greatness, and to achieve your destiny the world.

  8. Nicola Jones (@nicolajonesTV)

    Jun 7, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    Great article, fresh perspective, continued success and mediocrity.

  9. Nancy Whitney-Conway

    Jun 6, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    I’ve learned so much from this article. Thank you for sharing.

  10. Steve May

    Jun 6, 2013 at 5:53 am

    Okay this article is freakin awesome. You are right Joel this writer is interesting. I will make sure that I share this with my friends and family now. thanks

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Success Advice

One Thing I Can Teach You About Life That Will Help You Forever.

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I used to be a very anxious person.

I was embarrassed by what I couldn’t do and every day was a struggle. From the moment I would wake up to the moment I’d go to bed, everything felt impossibly overwhelming. It’s a battle I’ve dealt with most of my life.

This daily struggle with mental illness taught me that the satisfaction didn’t lie in beating it; the satisfaction was in helping other people beat mental illness through my success in fighting it.


Recently, I was at work. It was a pretty standard day — nothing too exciting. I then had a catch up with one of the leaders I worked with.

She said something that got my attention: “One of our colleagues is battling a mental illness.”

I really wanted to help. My eyes lit up. There was no need to uncover my plan with anyone else. I knew that staying discrete was fundamental.

I approached the person in question and asked for a few minutes of their time.

I didn’t ask them to admit their mental illness struggle; I just shared my story.

I talked about the anxiety stopping me from having a normal life, eating the right foods, going on dates with girls, having the career I wanted and traveling the world.

I wasn’t sure if any of it was sinking in or even helping. I felt compelled to go on. One thing I knew was that he was paying attention. I could see it in his eyes.

I then went on to talk about how I beat mental illness. Strategies such as:

  • Creating fear lists
  • Seeking professional help
  • Working on myself
  • Books I read
  • Events I attended

Out of nowhere, he started opening up about his own struggle. I was shocked.
It wasn’t pretty. He had an extreme case of mental illness that I certainly couldn’t diagnose or give professional advice on.

All I could do was show him through my own story that there was hope

I offered him access to all the resources I had. I told him that he had my full support and I’d be happy to help in any way I could. He then said:

“What was your psychologist’s name?”

I told him I’d look it up and send it to him. I didn’t have the answer in front of me, but I was determined when I got home to find it.

At the end of the catch-up, he smiled. I don’t think he’d smiled like that in a very long time.

That smile gave me so much satisfaction. It made my own struggle with mental illness worth it. All those sleepless nights, times spent vomiting into the toilet and dark days where I didn’t want to go on made sense.


“It took more than seven years for me to understand that my own battle with mental illness actually had a benefit”

That benefit was the satisfaction in seeing someone beat their mental illness because I was able to defeat mine.

It’s probably the greatest satisfaction of my entire life.

That’s one thing I can teach you about life that will help you forever.

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Success Advice

5 Productivity Shifts You Need to Make to Make 2019 Your Best Year Yet

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Everyone wants more time, that is something almost all of us share. Time is the most valuable resource and when you learn how to make your time work for you and how to get the most out of it – you experience life differently.  

Improving how you manage your time is one of the biggest gifts you can give yourself – it’s a real game changer in your business and personal life. There are many ways that you can get more productive and get the right things done sooner; but not all of them are obvious or bring the same results.

Here are 5 productivity shifts you want to make if you are trying to make the most out of 2019:

1. Ditch your to do list

Productive people don’t keep to-do lists, they schedule everything they need to do in their calendar and work directly from their calendar!  To-Do lists are just ineffective and they are impeding your productivity. A never ending list of items only leaves you overwhelmed and with a false sense of ‘productivity’.  

If you schedule your To Do’s directly into your calendar at a time to get them done, you commit to it and you are more likely to get it done. Less is more – you don’t need a separate list to remind you what you need to do.

“Productivity is less about what you do with your time and more about how you run your mind.” – Robin Sharma

2. Give up on motivation

Productive people don’t always have to be motivated before starting something. They balance discipline with motivation and do what they need to do, regardless of motivation. When we come up with resistance to take action on what we have planned, we might tell ourselves that we are not motivated and we believe that we need to be motivated to complete any task.

If you want to increase your productivity, you need to challenge yourself more in the moment to take action and give up on motivation sometimes. Do what you need to in order to get the results you want in the future. Don’t make decisions based on how you feel now, make them based on what result you are really after.

3. Master your mornings

Wake up early and get yourself into the productive mindset with your routine and diet! Productive people start the day with some sort of routine, whether it’s meditation, exercise or visualization, etc. AND they have a healthy breakfast to fuel them for the day. Your health is everything when it comes to productivity, what you eat directly affects your productivity.

We can just no longer ignore the direct connection any more. Get in the right mindset to start your day and fuel your mind and body to get the most out of it. Starting your day off in any other way undermines your success – there is no doubt.

4. Schedule according to energy

Productive people know their energy cycles and they plan tasks around their energy levels. Why plan something at a time when you know it will be hard to rise to the challenge? Schedule tasks that require focus and concentration for those times of day that you feel the best and you will find it’s easier to follow through and you will be at your best to perform. Identify your filler tasks and complete those when your energy drops. Be more realistic when scheduling your tasks and set yourself up for wins.

“Productivity is never an accident it’s the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning & focused effort.” – Paul Meyer

5. Working backwards

Productive people always focus on those activities that will take them to the next level. They plan backwards, they look at their goals, then identify the tasks they need to do to support those goals. Those tasks get broken down into weekly actions. That’s how they plan.

Don’t only plan on tasks that come in or those which you ‘feel’ or ‘think’ you should be doing. Your day needs to consist of at least one activity that directly supports your longer term objectives, your big project. What sounds like common sense is definitely not common practice.

Create the right habits to achieve your goals, work on adopting easy tips and techniques so you can manage your time and yourself better to get things done.

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Success Advice

You Need to Grow Your Memory in Order to Grow Your Life

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We all have access to the most powerful computer ever created in the universe…our brain. Unfortunately, few of us have ever been taught how to use our minds efficiently, and even fewer have learned how to develop a fabulous memory. Thankfully, like any skill, memorising can be learned and using the correct strategies, your memory can be improved in only days.

One of the best coaches on memory is Dominic O’Brien the eight-time world memory champion. Self-taught after watching Creighton Carvello memorise a pack of cards on the BBC’s Record Breakers programme. Dominic, through his work on memory, has given us many tools and techniques for improving memory.

Below are 5 rules that will help you develop a better memory:

1. The Rule of Five

Probably seen as one of the most significant contributions to the body of knowledge on memory is O’Brien’s Rule of Five. This rule details how to remember things using a strategy of regular staged repetition.

These stages are as follows:

  • First Review:Immediately
  • Second Review:Twenty-four hours later
  • Third Review:One week later
  • Fourth Review:One month later
  • Fifth Review:Three months later

Utilising stage repetition at these intervals ingrains the memory for the long term.

2. The Dominic System

The Dominic System is a system for remembering numbers. The system is a Person Action system where the association between two sets of paired numbers is the person with the action of the next person.

1139 would become Andre Agassi doing a roundhouse kick which is the action of Chuck Norris. This system combined with the journey method allows for long random numbers to be easily recalled without error. The fantastic thing about this system is that you get to customise for yourself with memorable people and unique actions which when combined really make it easy for you to recall numbers. The table below associates each number to a letter.

Number     0     1    2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9
Letter     O     A     B     C     D    E     S     G     H     N

Creating a simple document with pairs of numbers in one column, the letter pairs in the next and an action column will help you learn this system quickly.

“Nothing can substitute for just plain hard work. I had to put in the time to get back. And it was a grind. It meant training and sweating every day. But I was completely committed to working out to prove to myself that I still could do it.” – Andre Agassi

3. The Link Method

This method relies on two essential elements of memory, association and exaggeration. Utilising these two elements, it is possible to link together unrelated objects to allow you to remember them.

Trying to remember a list of five separate words such as: balloon, papaya, gold, football and hat, might go something like this. You imagine seeing a giant balloon and inside the balloon you can see a small papaya, in bursting the balloon the papaya falls out and as it hits the floor a gold football bounces into a large sombrero.

4. The Journey Method

Using location has been a fundamental part of mnemonics almost since time began. Before humans, writing elders would pass knowledge to others using stories of journeys, with each piece of knowledge being associated with a location on the journey.

O’Brien’s system utilises journeys that you would undertake on a daily basis, like your commute to work or train stations on well-known line. Items are then associated and exaggerated along the journey, so for instance if you were trying to remember a list of ten random things you would associate each piece along with a unique ten stop journey and utilise exaggeration to make the items more memorable.

“You are well equipped with an incredible potential for absorbing knowledge…Anything’s possible.” – Dominic O’Brien

5. The Story Method

To remember groups of information, create a story that links them together. Remembering the planets of the solar system and their position relative to the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

Imagine that Mercury was hitting the nineties as Venus tossed the tennis ball into the air, striking the ball it soared over the net striking the earth and bouncing high into the air, knocking the mars bar out of Jupiter’s hand, and so on.

Developing a good memory will assist markedly in all of your personal development goals as well as assisting greatly in your daily life. The methods above are tried and tested by one of the leading memory champions. Whether you want to become the next World Memory Champion or just improve your recall, the techniques outlined above will assist greatly.

Combining the various elements will create an exponential improvement in your memory that you will find hard to believe, and you will be kicking yourself for not applying them sooner. The best part about using these methods is that they are fun, so enjoy using them.

Which one of these memorizing methods sounds most interesting to you? Share with us below!

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Success Advice

Compassion Is the Cornerstone of Inner and Outer Success

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Tapping into this emotional state of being can make the difference between thriving or surviving in business and life. In today’s journey towards success, people are more apt to respond to a compassionate and caring individual than one too full of themselves.

Just do what I call the “holy scroll of social media” and you will have men and women seeking your attention. They have the magic pill, formula, or mixture that will lead you out of despair and into the promised land of prosperity.

Here’s one way to see if they are legit: Is there a tone of compassion in their written and verbal words? Do they really care about you as a person or simply give off the vibe of “ah, got another sucker to get my stuff?”

If you want to truly know how much a person can deeply care about people, then watch their actions. Many people run around, screaming from the tops of buildings and church steeples that “I am the one to follow.”

Stop chasing those people. They really don’t have their act together and lack compassion. People are drawn to those who are successful, prosperous, and abundant. It’s a natural drawing card. Those people have something that you want, so you follow them and take up their mannerisms like it’s some kind of gospel message.

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” – Dalai Lama

You have the ability to be an amazing success in business through using the power of compassion. So, why don’t more people do it? Well, it simply takes time and effort to become compassionate if your whole success model has been toward the profit margin. Anyone who owns or runs a business has to watch their finances, so it’s understandable. Yet, are you going to do so without thinking of others in a heartfelt way? That will come back to haunt you.

Compassion is the one thing that makes truly all-around successful people stand above the noise. People of great financial wealth like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates have come to understand that philanthropy is a way of supporting advancements around the world. Anthony Robbins has taken portions of his own wealth and helped feed other people who don’t have the means to get their own groceries. In turn, look at the many community centers and religious and spiritual institutions that have been established for the sole purpose of being a light of compassion and care for those in their own darkness.

What does this have to do with having an attitude bent towards success? Everything. Right now, you have a powerful wellspring of compassion inside waiting to be shared. It is a way of life that transcends what you know from data and numbers.

Truly successful individuals dial within regularly and get in tune with the times. Compassion might feel like it is a lost art, but it is not. Compassion leaves people not only feeling better but having more of a get-to-it attitude instead of just going along and saying “whatever” to obstacles in their path.

You might be someone who just doesn’t know how to be compassionate. The concept feels and sounds foreign to you because all you have been fed is a bunch of “suck it up, buttercup” mentalities. At times, we all need a good kick in the behind to take action.

If you are a lost sheep who doesn’t even know where to start on the compassionate way of life, then here are three simple suggestions:

1. Be humble

Humility and humiliation are two different things so don’t get them mixed up here. Being humble is a state of being where you remember where you came from and feel a deep sense of gratitude for where you were and where you are now. People in businesses and corporations all over the world know that humility is a game-changing path toward success.

2. Be grateful

If you have two eyes and a heartbeat and are reading this article, then you have three reasons right there to be and feel grateful. One technique that I have found helpful in recent months is to simply say “thank you” upon waking up. Giving thanks for all the things in my life is a way of expressing inner gratitude in an outward way. You can do this in your very own business by saying “thank you” for more clients, more business, more income streams, more freedom, and so on.

“Compassion is an action word with no boundaries.” – Prince

3. Be a good listener

Do you wonder how in the world you can ever hear another person’s heart when they always seem to be talking? Stop talking so much and listen more. Look, a core strength of compassionate people is they tend to listen more and bark less. Success is what you make it up to be in your business and life. Notice, though, the action takers and their ability to truly listen, take in what they need, and let go of the rest. Listening to others with a compassionate and empathetic ear will lead you to the road of success.

Compassion is not just another silly marketing trend. It’s been around as long as humans have had a pulse. The measure of compassion that you give to others will be given back to you. This is seen over and over again in business and other places.

It’s a reciprocal circle of life. Compassion can open doors for you that you’d never thought of walking through at all. Tap into your own compassionate side and make a successful difference in other people’s lives.

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