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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

The Super Power Of Charisma – How You Can Adopt It For Yourself

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There’s this dude at the office. He’s fucking unstoppable.

His shit don’t stink and everything he touches turns to gold. At least that’s what I used to think.

Really, in reality, he’s just charismatic.

That’s how he got the cool job, the hot wifey and why everyone wants to be friends with him including me.

What does he do? Let’s delve a little deeper and discuss the eight things that lead to being charismatic:

 

1. Being confident baby!

This dude at work has swag. He backs himself even if he has no freaking idea what’s going to go down homey. In a business context, people that are confident are proven to be more trustworthy.

We trust confident people because it’s infectious. We want to work and be around confident people because it feels good. When something feels good, we do it, and do it lots!

My buddy at work walks into the room and people shake his hand because his presence changes the game. He also does these few things:

– He dresses confidently
– He pops his chest out just a fraction (not like the guy on the Bonds Singlet packet)
– He looks people in the eye

Out of these three, looking people in the eye is the hardest to do. To look into someone’s eye is the most vulnerable state you can put yourself in.

“The difference is that when you’re vulnerable, you connect with people better”

It also shows that you’ve got guts and allows you to enter their world. Okay, that’s wacky stuff and I may sound like I’ve read one too many “Power Of the Universe” type books. Take it or leave it chief.

 

2. Passion surrounds them. It pours out of their eyeballs!

Even the words I write demonstrate this. You can tell from everything I’m saying right now that passion pours out of me. I freaking love what I do and it shows even though you can’t see me or hear my voice. Okay, that’s a fraction creepy…enough about me.

This almighty bloke at work is charismatic because his values and beliefs are based on his passion. Passion is like a magnet according to science. When we see passion, it makes us start acting with more passion. You’re drawn to charisma in the same way because you want more of it.

There’s no point pretending you don’t like to be passionate because we all do. Sometimes, we just get lost and lose our passion for life or our career. That’s okay! None of us are perfect souls who don’t lose our way once in a while. I’m fucking lost more than I’m on track half the time.

Bottom-line: charismatic people are surrounded by passion. I don’t care if it’s collecting matchsticks or building sand castles – find something to get excited about and then show your passion for it.

 

3. They’re not vain: selfies are not their highest priority.

This charismatic chappy at work doesn’t spend half his days taking selfies of himself and then posting it on social media.

He doesn’t take photos of his food and then post it on social – he just eats it. He’d rather jump off a bridge than be a pretentious snob who’s insecure and has an inflated ego to compensate.

“The number one sign of a pretentious person vs a charismatic person is that they take credit for things they didn’t do”

Or they make things sound ten times bigger than they actually are in reality. Don’t fall for this trap young Indiana Jones. You’re better than that!

 

4. Expressing yourself through great stories

Storytelling is one of the many traits a charismatic person has. If you listen closely to their stories, you’ll notice they use strong phrases like “I know X to be true” instead of phrases like “I think,” or “I hope” which sounds weak.

Through stories, you can be: funny, vulnerable and share embarrassing moments. That’s what charismatic people do and they draw everyone in through their stories. As a side note, their stories don’t go on forever and they know how to get to the point.

Become a charismatic poet through stories about your experiences. Educate and inspire people around you and you’ll be acting charismatic by default.

 

5. Make other people feel comfortable around you

Not everyone is a hero and is comfortable being charismatic and confident. You can demonstrate charisma by learning to make others feel relaxed around you. Make other people the center of attention and let them feel special. There’s a subtle difference between charisma and hogging the conversation with your own bombastic, overpowering, unnecessary and selfish talk.

Back down; you’re not that big of a deal. Once you do that, you’ll have entered the universe of charisma.

 

6. A clear purpose and vision. In other words, they know why.

Part of what makes up the DNA of a charismatic person is their purpose or vision for their life. Quite simply, they know what they’re on this planet to do. They have a goal, it’s measurable, and they’ll stop at nothing until they achieve it.

To be in this state requires a certain sort of self-confidence that charismatic people have in spades. People seem to rally around a person who knows their purpose.

You can’t do anything and be motivated unless you know why. Without a why you’ll never build up enough momentum to reach any sort of peak performance. Mediocrity happens to us when we give up too easily. When we start a new pursuit for 4 weeks and then give up.

Map the seven seas of why you exist. Do a heap of self-reflection if you need to, to find this vision and bring it to the surface.

 

7. They look approachable

Most people look like they’re zombies when you walk past them and they almost look like they’re going to explode if you dare talk to them. That’s not charisma pal!

That unapproachable zombie look is called being scared, fearful and afraid due to a lack of self-awareness and a lack of self-improvement. It’s not the end of the world and it can be turned around.

The difference with charismatic people is one little, tiny thing: they smile. All you have to do is change one little thing – smile a bit more. Smiling is contagious and it makes people feel confident. It also makes you feel freaking amazing too!

 

8. They give more than anyone else and expect jack in return

This last one is the toughest trait of charismatic people. It sounds incredibly difficult and that’s because it is. We all have our own selfish desires that make us feel good, although only for a moment.

Charismatic people wow everyone around them by always going above and beyond to give. They either give time, money, knowledge or a listening ear to those who need it. The crazy, passionate, charismatic people even combine several of these to produce an outcome that can only be described as extraordinary.

Many of us do in fact give; the challenge is we expect something back. Worse, we even complain when we do an honorable act and get nothing in return. This is not how to play the game of life. This selfish behavior will make you very unhappy until you cut it the hell out!

“The secret to living is giving ” Tony Robbins

So let’s go over this one more time boss. To harness the superpower of giving that leads to charisma you must:

– Be prepared to give more than anybody else
– Expect nothing in return
– Ensure your own foolish and selfish desires are not front of mind every day

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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The Real Reason Why Your Dreams Don’t Become a Reality According to ‘The 10x Rule’ by Grant Cardone

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the 10x rule

Everyone has dreams. We all want to make something of ourselves yet it’s only a tiny percentage of people ever follow through. The self-help world encourages us to “Think Big”, “Follow Your Passions”, “Live as if there was no such thing as failure” and it usually just leads to keeping people stuck in a dream state, wishing, hoping and fantasizing yet never actually moving forward.

Why is this? Thinking big is just one part of the equation. This missing piece in the jigsaw is a bias towards massive action. Big Dreams + Little Action = disappointment and frustration.

Thinking and dreaming big must match with the equal and equivalent amount of action for it to go anywhere. When you combine big thinking with massive action you will be surprised at how much you are capable of, once you tap into the power of momentum.

What stops most people from achieving their goals?

I’ve been reading Grant Cardone’s “The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure” and in his view success comes from taking 10 times more action than you previously anticipated.

What stops most people from achieving a goal is underestimating the time, effort and energy involved in completing the project. They don’t spend enough time listing the steps required to succeed, the adversity they will need to overcome to push things through and the price they must pay to attain the goal.

If the number one sticking point in goal attainment is a lack of action then it’s obvious that the solution is in massive action. So what happens is they give up at the first sign of frustration or disappointment.

“Never reduce a target. Instead increase actions. When you start rethinking your targets, making up excuses, and letting yourself off the hook, you are giving up on your dreams.” – Grant Cardone

When I look back on my own life, anything I have ever achieved that was worthwhile did take an extraordinary amount of effort. Anytime I have ever coasted or done a “normal” amount of work, I would fall short of my target and feel the pain of frustration and disappointment which lead to reducing my targets.

In “The 10 X Rule” Cardone talks about his own failures in business and how he bounced back; “I committed to making this work by increasing my efforts 10 times. And as soon as I did that, everything started to change – immediately. I went back into the marketplace with the right estimation of effort and started seeing results. Instead of making two to three calls a day, I started doing 20 to 30

Most people fail only because they are operating at the wrong degree of action. There are 4 degrees of action which you can choose from:

  1. Do Nothing
  2. Retreat
  3. Take Normal Levels of Action
  4. Take Massive Action

At the “do nothing” level people are just accepting what comes their way. They are not pushing themselves or motivated to improve any area of their lives.

Retreaters are those who have taken action, experienced some setbacks or failures and retreated back into “doing nothing”. Examples of this include “Most businesses fail anyway so I am going to give up”, “Marriages aren’t working out these days so I will stay single”, “Businesses aren’t employing so I am going to file for unemployment benefit”.

The third degree is normal levels of action which is usually considered adequate. Grant says this is the most dangerous level where most people blend in, never stand out and thus never achieve the real success they wanted.

Lastly there is massive action which Cardone states is our most natural state. This is where you burst forth with 10 times the action you previously anticipated. “The goal is to be seen, thought of and considered – in one way or another. Your only problem is obscurity not talent”.

Obscurity is your only problem not talent. I like that. I am sure you all know someone who is less capable than you but experiencing much more success than you are. Why? Because they are more known and fearlessly putting themselves “out there”. So which degree of action are you taking currently? And will you commit to taking 10x action?

“Regardless of which degree of action you operate in, they all require work in their own way.” – Grant Cardone

So why not set your goals and actions higher than you ever imagined because it is highly likely you are not only underestimating the time, energy and effort involved in your endeavour, you are also likely underestimating your own capabilities and potential. Set high goals and never stop fighting.

Share with us one goal you have for 2017, and how you plan on achieving it. Comment below so we can see!

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Success Advice

My Thoughts On Money After Being Both Rich And Poor

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I’ve been in financial situations where I couldn’t even afford a pizza.

I know what it’s like to have more money than you can spend. I know what it’s like to see your goals turn into cold hard cash.

Through these two extremes of poverty and wealth, I’ve learned a thing or two about money.

 

Your mind constructs money

Whether you feel rich or not has to do with your mind.

You can have $100 in your bank account and feel like the richest guy or girl in California. How rich you feel comes down to your internal programming. If you practice being grateful, then you’ll find yourself believing that you are already rich. You can have all the money this world has to offer and still feel poor.

“The time I felt the poorest was when I had the most money, but zero meaning for my life”

I always felt at this time in my life like I needed more. I always felt I wasn’t enough. When I went through the whole personal development transformation phase of my life, all of a sudden, just having money to buy a hot chocolate felt amazing!

Be careful what the world tells you about money. You get to decide the difference between rich vs. poor. The money you have in your bank account doesn’t answer this question for you.

 

Meaning Vs. Money

When I discovered a meaning for my life, suddenly money wasn’t as important. The dumb thing was that money started to find its way into my life again without me focusing on it. People were attracted to the meaning I had created for my life which then bought me more abundance.

My advice to anyone reading this is to focus on finding out the meaning of your life. If you can’t figure it out, then create one. Think about who you admire and the meaning they have for their life, and create something similar for yourself.

If you want to inspire people, then do it.
If you want to create a business that gives back, then do it.
If you want to write blog posts like this one to help people in life, then do it.

During the time I had more money than I knew what to do with, I had no idea what I was put on this Earth to do. I would import widget A, make some money, import widget B, and then start all over again. I felt like a robot repeating a pattern. At the end of the process, I got another couple of zeroes in my bank account.

Those zeros on the screen of my Internet banking got very boring, very quickly.

As soon as I found something that lit me up and helped others, the focus on seeing more zero’s on my Internet banking screen disappeared.

 

Im not saying money doesn’t matter

If you just read that Tim Denning thinks money doesn’t matter, then you didn’t get me.

Money does matter, but it shouldn’t be your primary focus. Your primary focus should be finding meaning which will lead you to something that self-motivates you. This self-motivating activity can then be monetized to give you the resources you need to live like food, shelter and maybe a vacation once in a while.

What I want you to feel is that your focus is on something other than money.

“Having been both rich and poor, I’ve mostly felt nothing at both extremes”

 

Meaning can also be found in life’s simple pleasures

I remember the feeling I got from reading Unlimited Power.
I remember what it was like when I fell in love for the first time.
I remember how cool it was to go on my very first overseas holiday.

All of these memories gave me a meaning for my life and made me feel something. Each memory created a variety of emotions that I can still remember as I reminisce on these pastimes.

Meaning came to me through the simplest of pleasures. I didn’t need a million dollar Lamborghini to make me feel like I was on top of the world. Lying on a beach with friends spending no money gave me far more than I could ever imagine.

If you’d told me this five years ago, I would have called you a liar. Having been both rich and poor, I now understand what meaning money gives me: not much.

 

Final words on money…

Focus on who you can become. Find or create a meaning for your life than transcends money.

Go beyond what society tells you about money. Most of it is a lie. Money will not give you meaning or make you happy.

Only you can create happiness and meaning for yourself.

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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5 Powerful Lessons About Success From Highly Successful Mentors

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successful mentors

We can’t help it. When we read an interview with a high flying, successful person, we secretly compare ourselves to them with our mind making little mental notes. Their lives seem perfect, and they seem so poised and confident. I wish I could be like that. Why do they seem to have it all, while I am struggling? When will things ever go my way?

For the longest time, I too believed in these popular myths of success, until I met several CEOs who became my mentors. When I asked each one of them what is the one biggest lesson they would like to share, their answers were unexpected, powerful and humbling.

These are the 5 powerful and humbling lessons they shared about success:

1. Nobody has Their Stuff Together

Just when you least expect it, an obstacle pops up, threatening to derail you from your goal. And sometimes, the bad news just keeps coming, which kicks you in the gut and you feel ready to give up. In comparison, successful people seem to be blazing trails of success. It almost seems unfair. While they appear to be picture perfect, where nothing can go wrong, the truth of it is this:

Nobody has their stuff together. We see these crowning moments of glory. But we don’t see the private, vulnerable moments behind the scenes. The sleepless nights worrying about what to do, where a series of wrong decisions resulted in people getting laid off. The endless meals alone in yet another soulless hotel room, with no one to share the burden with, because they don’t have the time to make a relationship work.

Obstacles and problems will always exist, no matter who you are. However, the challenges appearing to each of us is unique, and help us grow beyond the level we are at. A successful life is not about a lack of challenges, it’s about navigating and growing through the challenges so that we continue evolving to become the fullest potential of who we are.

2. Uncertainty Never Disappears

Brimming with confidence and well spoken, they always seem to know exactly what to say, and what to do in any situation. They seem to be the last people on earth to flail and feel vulnerable.

While on the surface they appear to be confident, the struggle with not knowing what to do plagues them as much as us. This can be the uncertainty of making a project work, because they have never done it before or lacking the necessary experience.

They can be worried that by taking this on, they might be biting off more than they can chew and experience massive failure and disastrous consequences. Nonetheless, the difference for them is despite their fears, they say yes and go ahead.

“Human spirit is the ability to face the uncertainty of the future with curiosity and optimism. It is the belief that problems can be solved, differences resolved. It is a type of confidence. And it is fragile. It can be blackened by fear and superstition.” – Bernard Beckett

3. Jump Before You Are Ready

Uncertainty and not knowing is a part of life. It never goes away. If you stay where you are, it feels safe and comfortable. But, it is a guarantee that you would not rise beyond where you are now if you don’t step out and make your move.

To take the leap of faith, your work through the uncertainty is the only way to grow. The fear of the unknown is not as scary as we make it out to be. All you have to do is to ask yourself “Do I believe I have what it takes to figure it out?” If your gut says yes, go for it.

4. It’s Not about External Motivation

Most successful people come with the traditional markers of success. Wealth. Status. A comfortable lifestyle. However, external motivation – the cars, the houses, the jewelry etc – can only motivate them so much.

Their motivation stems not from the outside – but from within themselves. It’s about their internal drive to be better thus building and expanding a grander vision of what they wish to create, and where they want to be.

That internal motivation is the driving force that pushes them through when things start to fall apart, because then it’s a battle within to overcome these setbacks and achieve their vision.

5. They Are Mental Ninja Masters

When everything that could go wrong, would go wrong, it’s natural to beat ourselves up. This negative feedback loop keeps replaying in our minds, and we start believing our negative self-talk, which threatens to spiral out of control and bring us down.

A few years ago, one of the CEOs I interviewed, Dave, was going through a particularly difficult time. Several major business deals fell through in quick succession. He emptied his life savings trying to keep things afloat, only for it to backfire and lost his life savings in the process.

He was faced with the real possibility of laying off hundreds of people at the company. Many lives were at stake here, and the pressure was on. He faltered, but only for a day.

He then rallied and continued to hustle. He hustled harder, stronger and faster than ever before. It was fascinating and impressive. What was his secret to bouncing back so fast from all the punches thrown at him?

He didn’t allow the negativity to control him. He controlled and directed his mind. Half the battle is with ourselves. We are often our own worst enemy with our negative self-talk.

Mastering control over your mind, instead of letting your mind control you is half the battle. Stop the negative self-talk when it happens. Redirect it towards positive action to achieve the outcome you desire.

“Protect your enthusiasm from the negativity of others.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Ready For Your Next Step?

Success is not out of reach. All it takes is showing up each day and having the courage to take one small step towards the direction of your goals. Your new life of freedom and possibility awaits.

How will you make sure to achieve the success you are looking for? Please comment below and let us know!

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Social Media Is Killing Your Success: 3 Ways You Can Use it to Your Advantage

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Social media success

I love social media. It can help you make friends, share your life, build a network, and even build a business. In the same token, social media can easily become an enemy of success as a hindrance and consumer of attention. (more…)

I used to be homeless and now run a six figure business with my partner and travel the world. My journey to help those in need has taken me from non-profit director to supporting holistic entrepreneurs have a life of freedom. I run the Thriving Launch Podcast, which features the most influential leaders in the areas of love, spirituality, business, and success. It's my mission to help heart-centered entrepreneurs get their message heard. Learn more on at my website ThrivingLaunch.com (http://www.thrivinglaunch.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

The Super Power Of Charisma – How You Can Adopt It For Yourself

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There’s this dude at the office. He’s fucking unstoppable.

His shit don’t stink and everything he touches turns to gold. At least that’s what I used to think.

Really, in reality, he’s just charismatic.

That’s how he got the cool job, the hot wifey and why everyone wants to be friends with him including me.

What does he do? Let’s delve a little deeper and discuss the eight things that lead to being charismatic:

 

1. Being confident baby!

This dude at work has swag. He backs himself even if he has no freaking idea what’s going to go down homey. In a business context, people that are confident are proven to be more trustworthy.

We trust confident people because it’s infectious. We want to work and be around confident people because it feels good. When something feels good, we do it, and do it lots!

My buddy at work walks into the room and people shake his hand because his presence changes the game. He also does these few things:

– He dresses confidently
– He pops his chest out just a fraction (not like the guy on the Bonds Singlet packet)
– He looks people in the eye

Out of these three, looking people in the eye is the hardest to do. To look into someone’s eye is the most vulnerable state you can put yourself in.

“The difference is that when you’re vulnerable, you connect with people better”

It also shows that you’ve got guts and allows you to enter their world. Okay, that’s wacky stuff and I may sound like I’ve read one too many “Power Of the Universe” type books. Take it or leave it chief.

 

2. Passion surrounds them. It pours out of their eyeballs!

Even the words I write demonstrate this. You can tell from everything I’m saying right now that passion pours out of me. I freaking love what I do and it shows even though you can’t see me or hear my voice. Okay, that’s a fraction creepy…enough about me.

This almighty bloke at work is charismatic because his values and beliefs are based on his passion. Passion is like a magnet according to science. When we see passion, it makes us start acting with more passion. You’re drawn to charisma in the same way because you want more of it.

There’s no point pretending you don’t like to be passionate because we all do. Sometimes, we just get lost and lose our passion for life or our career. That’s okay! None of us are perfect souls who don’t lose our way once in a while. I’m fucking lost more than I’m on track half the time.

Bottom-line: charismatic people are surrounded by passion. I don’t care if it’s collecting matchsticks or building sand castles – find something to get excited about and then show your passion for it.

 

3. They’re not vain: selfies are not their highest priority.

This charismatic chappy at work doesn’t spend half his days taking selfies of himself and then posting it on social media.

He doesn’t take photos of his food and then post it on social – he just eats it. He’d rather jump off a bridge than be a pretentious snob who’s insecure and has an inflated ego to compensate.

“The number one sign of a pretentious person vs a charismatic person is that they take credit for things they didn’t do”

Or they make things sound ten times bigger than they actually are in reality. Don’t fall for this trap young Indiana Jones. You’re better than that!

 

4. Expressing yourself through great stories

Storytelling is one of the many traits a charismatic person has. If you listen closely to their stories, you’ll notice they use strong phrases like “I know X to be true” instead of phrases like “I think,” or “I hope” which sounds weak.

Through stories, you can be: funny, vulnerable and share embarrassing moments. That’s what charismatic people do and they draw everyone in through their stories. As a side note, their stories don’t go on forever and they know how to get to the point.

Become a charismatic poet through stories about your experiences. Educate and inspire people around you and you’ll be acting charismatic by default.

 

5. Make other people feel comfortable around you

Not everyone is a hero and is comfortable being charismatic and confident. You can demonstrate charisma by learning to make others feel relaxed around you. Make other people the center of attention and let them feel special. There’s a subtle difference between charisma and hogging the conversation with your own bombastic, overpowering, unnecessary and selfish talk.

Back down; you’re not that big of a deal. Once you do that, you’ll have entered the universe of charisma.

 

6. A clear purpose and vision. In other words, they know why.

Part of what makes up the DNA of a charismatic person is their purpose or vision for their life. Quite simply, they know what they’re on this planet to do. They have a goal, it’s measurable, and they’ll stop at nothing until they achieve it.

To be in this state requires a certain sort of self-confidence that charismatic people have in spades. People seem to rally around a person who knows their purpose.

You can’t do anything and be motivated unless you know why. Without a why you’ll never build up enough momentum to reach any sort of peak performance. Mediocrity happens to us when we give up too easily. When we start a new pursuit for 4 weeks and then give up.

Map the seven seas of why you exist. Do a heap of self-reflection if you need to, to find this vision and bring it to the surface.

 

7. They look approachable

Most people look like they’re zombies when you walk past them and they almost look like they’re going to explode if you dare talk to them. That’s not charisma pal!

That unapproachable zombie look is called being scared, fearful and afraid due to a lack of self-awareness and a lack of self-improvement. It’s not the end of the world and it can be turned around.

The difference with charismatic people is one little, tiny thing: they smile. All you have to do is change one little thing – smile a bit more. Smiling is contagious and it makes people feel confident. It also makes you feel freaking amazing too!

 

8. They give more than anyone else and expect jack in return

This last one is the toughest trait of charismatic people. It sounds incredibly difficult and that’s because it is. We all have our own selfish desires that make us feel good, although only for a moment.

Charismatic people wow everyone around them by always going above and beyond to give. They either give time, money, knowledge or a listening ear to those who need it. The crazy, passionate, charismatic people even combine several of these to produce an outcome that can only be described as extraordinary.

Many of us do in fact give; the challenge is we expect something back. Worse, we even complain when we do an honorable act and get nothing in return. This is not how to play the game of life. This selfish behavior will make you very unhappy until you cut it the hell out!

“The secret to living is giving ” Tony Robbins

So let’s go over this one more time boss. To harness the superpower of giving that leads to charisma you must:

– Be prepared to give more than anybody else
– Expect nothing in return
– Ensure your own foolish and selfish desires are not front of mind every day

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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The Real Reason Why Your Dreams Don’t Become a Reality According to ‘The 10x Rule’ by Grant Cardone

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Everyone has dreams. We all want to make something of ourselves yet it’s only a tiny percentage of people ever follow through. The self-help world encourages us to “Think Big”, “Follow Your Passions”, “Live as if there was no such thing as failure” and it usually just leads to keeping people stuck in a dream state, wishing, hoping and fantasizing yet never actually moving forward.

Why is this? Thinking big is just one part of the equation. This missing piece in the jigsaw is a bias towards massive action. Big Dreams + Little Action = disappointment and frustration.

Thinking and dreaming big must match with the equal and equivalent amount of action for it to go anywhere. When you combine big thinking with massive action you will be surprised at how much you are capable of, once you tap into the power of momentum.

What stops most people from achieving their goals?

I’ve been reading Grant Cardone’s “The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure” and in his view success comes from taking 10 times more action than you previously anticipated.

What stops most people from achieving a goal is underestimating the time, effort and energy involved in completing the project. They don’t spend enough time listing the steps required to succeed, the adversity they will need to overcome to push things through and the price they must pay to attain the goal.

If the number one sticking point in goal attainment is a lack of action then it’s obvious that the solution is in massive action. So what happens is they give up at the first sign of frustration or disappointment.

“Never reduce a target. Instead increase actions. When you start rethinking your targets, making up excuses, and letting yourself off the hook, you are giving up on your dreams.” – Grant Cardone

When I look back on my own life, anything I have ever achieved that was worthwhile did take an extraordinary amount of effort. Anytime I have ever coasted or done a “normal” amount of work, I would fall short of my target and feel the pain of frustration and disappointment which lead to reducing my targets.

In “The 10 X Rule” Cardone talks about his own failures in business and how he bounced back; “I committed to making this work by increasing my efforts 10 times. And as soon as I did that, everything started to change – immediately. I went back into the marketplace with the right estimation of effort and started seeing results. Instead of making two to three calls a day, I started doing 20 to 30

Most people fail only because they are operating at the wrong degree of action. There are 4 degrees of action which you can choose from:

  1. Do Nothing
  2. Retreat
  3. Take Normal Levels of Action
  4. Take Massive Action

At the “do nothing” level people are just accepting what comes their way. They are not pushing themselves or motivated to improve any area of their lives.

Retreaters are those who have taken action, experienced some setbacks or failures and retreated back into “doing nothing”. Examples of this include “Most businesses fail anyway so I am going to give up”, “Marriages aren’t working out these days so I will stay single”, “Businesses aren’t employing so I am going to file for unemployment benefit”.

The third degree is normal levels of action which is usually considered adequate. Grant says this is the most dangerous level where most people blend in, never stand out and thus never achieve the real success they wanted.

Lastly there is massive action which Cardone states is our most natural state. This is where you burst forth with 10 times the action you previously anticipated. “The goal is to be seen, thought of and considered – in one way or another. Your only problem is obscurity not talent”.

Obscurity is your only problem not talent. I like that. I am sure you all know someone who is less capable than you but experiencing much more success than you are. Why? Because they are more known and fearlessly putting themselves “out there”. So which degree of action are you taking currently? And will you commit to taking 10x action?

“Regardless of which degree of action you operate in, they all require work in their own way.” – Grant Cardone

So why not set your goals and actions higher than you ever imagined because it is highly likely you are not only underestimating the time, energy and effort involved in your endeavour, you are also likely underestimating your own capabilities and potential. Set high goals and never stop fighting.

Share with us one goal you have for 2017, and how you plan on achieving it. Comment below so we can see!

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Success Advice

My Thoughts On Money After Being Both Rich And Poor

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I’ve been in financial situations where I couldn’t even afford a pizza.

I know what it’s like to have more money than you can spend. I know what it’s like to see your goals turn into cold hard cash.

Through these two extremes of poverty and wealth, I’ve learned a thing or two about money.

 

Your mind constructs money

Whether you feel rich or not has to do with your mind.

You can have $100 in your bank account and feel like the richest guy or girl in California. How rich you feel comes down to your internal programming. If you practice being grateful, then you’ll find yourself believing that you are already rich. You can have all the money this world has to offer and still feel poor.

“The time I felt the poorest was when I had the most money, but zero meaning for my life”

I always felt at this time in my life like I needed more. I always felt I wasn’t enough. When I went through the whole personal development transformation phase of my life, all of a sudden, just having money to buy a hot chocolate felt amazing!

Be careful what the world tells you about money. You get to decide the difference between rich vs. poor. The money you have in your bank account doesn’t answer this question for you.

 

Meaning Vs. Money

When I discovered a meaning for my life, suddenly money wasn’t as important. The dumb thing was that money started to find its way into my life again without me focusing on it. People were attracted to the meaning I had created for my life which then bought me more abundance.

My advice to anyone reading this is to focus on finding out the meaning of your life. If you can’t figure it out, then create one. Think about who you admire and the meaning they have for their life, and create something similar for yourself.

If you want to inspire people, then do it.
If you want to create a business that gives back, then do it.
If you want to write blog posts like this one to help people in life, then do it.

During the time I had more money than I knew what to do with, I had no idea what I was put on this Earth to do. I would import widget A, make some money, import widget B, and then start all over again. I felt like a robot repeating a pattern. At the end of the process, I got another couple of zeroes in my bank account.

Those zeros on the screen of my Internet banking got very boring, very quickly.

As soon as I found something that lit me up and helped others, the focus on seeing more zero’s on my Internet banking screen disappeared.

 

Im not saying money doesn’t matter

If you just read that Tim Denning thinks money doesn’t matter, then you didn’t get me.

Money does matter, but it shouldn’t be your primary focus. Your primary focus should be finding meaning which will lead you to something that self-motivates you. This self-motivating activity can then be monetized to give you the resources you need to live like food, shelter and maybe a vacation once in a while.

What I want you to feel is that your focus is on something other than money.

“Having been both rich and poor, I’ve mostly felt nothing at both extremes”

 

Meaning can also be found in life’s simple pleasures

I remember the feeling I got from reading Unlimited Power.
I remember what it was like when I fell in love for the first time.
I remember how cool it was to go on my very first overseas holiday.

All of these memories gave me a meaning for my life and made me feel something. Each memory created a variety of emotions that I can still remember as I reminisce on these pastimes.

Meaning came to me through the simplest of pleasures. I didn’t need a million dollar Lamborghini to make me feel like I was on top of the world. Lying on a beach with friends spending no money gave me far more than I could ever imagine.

If you’d told me this five years ago, I would have called you a liar. Having been both rich and poor, I now understand what meaning money gives me: not much.

 

Final words on money…

Focus on who you can become. Find or create a meaning for your life than transcends money.

Go beyond what society tells you about money. Most of it is a lie. Money will not give you meaning or make you happy.

Only you can create happiness and meaning for yourself.

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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5 Powerful Lessons About Success From Highly Successful Mentors

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successful mentors

We can’t help it. When we read an interview with a high flying, successful person, we secretly compare ourselves to them with our mind making little mental notes. Their lives seem perfect, and they seem so poised and confident. I wish I could be like that. Why do they seem to have it all, while I am struggling? When will things ever go my way?

For the longest time, I too believed in these popular myths of success, until I met several CEOs who became my mentors. When I asked each one of them what is the one biggest lesson they would like to share, their answers were unexpected, powerful and humbling.

These are the 5 powerful and humbling lessons they shared about success:

1. Nobody has Their Stuff Together

Just when you least expect it, an obstacle pops up, threatening to derail you from your goal. And sometimes, the bad news just keeps coming, which kicks you in the gut and you feel ready to give up. In comparison, successful people seem to be blazing trails of success. It almost seems unfair. While they appear to be picture perfect, where nothing can go wrong, the truth of it is this:

Nobody has their stuff together. We see these crowning moments of glory. But we don’t see the private, vulnerable moments behind the scenes. The sleepless nights worrying about what to do, where a series of wrong decisions resulted in people getting laid off. The endless meals alone in yet another soulless hotel room, with no one to share the burden with, because they don’t have the time to make a relationship work.

Obstacles and problems will always exist, no matter who you are. However, the challenges appearing to each of us is unique, and help us grow beyond the level we are at. A successful life is not about a lack of challenges, it’s about navigating and growing through the challenges so that we continue evolving to become the fullest potential of who we are.

2. Uncertainty Never Disappears

Brimming with confidence and well spoken, they always seem to know exactly what to say, and what to do in any situation. They seem to be the last people on earth to flail and feel vulnerable.

While on the surface they appear to be confident, the struggle with not knowing what to do plagues them as much as us. This can be the uncertainty of making a project work, because they have never done it before or lacking the necessary experience.

They can be worried that by taking this on, they might be biting off more than they can chew and experience massive failure and disastrous consequences. Nonetheless, the difference for them is despite their fears, they say yes and go ahead.

“Human spirit is the ability to face the uncertainty of the future with curiosity and optimism. It is the belief that problems can be solved, differences resolved. It is a type of confidence. And it is fragile. It can be blackened by fear and superstition.” – Bernard Beckett

3. Jump Before You Are Ready

Uncertainty and not knowing is a part of life. It never goes away. If you stay where you are, it feels safe and comfortable. But, it is a guarantee that you would not rise beyond where you are now if you don’t step out and make your move.

To take the leap of faith, your work through the uncertainty is the only way to grow. The fear of the unknown is not as scary as we make it out to be. All you have to do is to ask yourself “Do I believe I have what it takes to figure it out?” If your gut says yes, go for it.

4. It’s Not about External Motivation

Most successful people come with the traditional markers of success. Wealth. Status. A comfortable lifestyle. However, external motivation – the cars, the houses, the jewelry etc – can only motivate them so much.

Their motivation stems not from the outside – but from within themselves. It’s about their internal drive to be better thus building and expanding a grander vision of what they wish to create, and where they want to be.

That internal motivation is the driving force that pushes them through when things start to fall apart, because then it’s a battle within to overcome these setbacks and achieve their vision.

5. They Are Mental Ninja Masters

When everything that could go wrong, would go wrong, it’s natural to beat ourselves up. This negative feedback loop keeps replaying in our minds, and we start believing our negative self-talk, which threatens to spiral out of control and bring us down.

A few years ago, one of the CEOs I interviewed, Dave, was going through a particularly difficult time. Several major business deals fell through in quick succession. He emptied his life savings trying to keep things afloat, only for it to backfire and lost his life savings in the process.

He was faced with the real possibility of laying off hundreds of people at the company. Many lives were at stake here, and the pressure was on. He faltered, but only for a day.

He then rallied and continued to hustle. He hustled harder, stronger and faster than ever before. It was fascinating and impressive. What was his secret to bouncing back so fast from all the punches thrown at him?

He didn’t allow the negativity to control him. He controlled and directed his mind. Half the battle is with ourselves. We are often our own worst enemy with our negative self-talk.

Mastering control over your mind, instead of letting your mind control you is half the battle. Stop the negative self-talk when it happens. Redirect it towards positive action to achieve the outcome you desire.

“Protect your enthusiasm from the negativity of others.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Ready For Your Next Step?

Success is not out of reach. All it takes is showing up each day and having the courage to take one small step towards the direction of your goals. Your new life of freedom and possibility awaits.

How will you make sure to achieve the success you are looking for? Please comment below and let us know!

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