Connect with us

Success Advice

7 Reasons To Have A Painful Habit

Published

on

painful habit

Do you do any activities for the sole purpose of challenging yourself? I’m referring to any activity that puts a beat-down on you. Perhaps physically, mentally, emotionally, or even all of the above.  

There are legions of options out there such as physical exercise, memory games, bikini waxes, trying to sit down for an extended period of time without thinking (meditation), public speaking, cold showers, rock climbing, skydiving, and so many more…

My thing is running.Truth is, I hated running. So boring. Plus, I never wanted to exert myself physically (l-a-z-y). But in early 2014, I did the unthinkable and started running in the mornings. Tuesday-Friday. Every week.

One rule: No walking. I run the entire thing. Every time. That was my self-commitment when I began this painful habit, and I am dead serious about it.

The funny thing is, though, it was never about fitness or getting in shape. It was about proving to myself that I could do it—a personal challenge I guess you could say. I’m grateful because it’s been a life changing habit. It can change your life, too.

Here are 7 reasons to have your own painful habit:

1It motivates you 

Have you ever been challenged by someone? How did you respond? You were probably motivated to prove them wrong, right? Well, this offers you the ability to challenge yourself regularly. Show yourself who’s boss!

“Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.” – George S. Patton

2. It puts you in the right mindset for completing tough tasks

If you’re constantly trying to put in as little effort as possible, everything that does require effort will seem insurmountable. Your painful habit will keep you from falling into that trap because you will be used to challenging situations. You’ll assume that everything requires hard work, and that’s the perspective you’ll take with you into every new challenge. 

 

3. You’ll be more accepting of the uncomfortable

Getting used to change or new environments won’t be a big deal anymore. You “train” every day in uncomfortable circumstances, so nothing will seem daunting to you.

Have to network in a room full of unfamiliar faces? No big deal, you just jumped out of an airplane! Or maybe this, the hotel you’re staying at doesn’t offer hot showers. Yikes! But wait…you’re grinning because that’s the only type of shower you take!  

 

4. It will make you solution oriented

The lazy comfort-mind looks for ways out. It doesn’t want to exert effort. The result is you get reasons why everything won’t work instead of ideas on how to make it work. The good news is that your painful habit prepares you for that resistance.    

 

5. Your belief will soar

The more often you endure this painful habit, the more belief gets added to your confidence piggy bank. With belief comes the ability to take massive action. My advice is to make deposits as often as you can.

“There have been so many people who have said to me, ‘You can’t do that,’ but I’ve had an innate belief that they were wrong. Be unwavering and relentless in your approach.” – Halle Berry

6. You’re ready to go at all times

You’re always in a state of “it’s go time!” No longer will you have to spend the majority of time thinking about doing, you’ve been ready. Your habit keeps you on high alert.  

 

7. You can use it to overcome fear

This is a powerful tool that can be used for overcoming unrelated fears. I’ve drawn on my painful habit of running in order to overcome the fear of public speaking. It might sound strange, but it works.

One way it can work for this purpose is by comparison. I’d say to myself, “This morning I felt like I was going to die after trekking up that hill, there’s no way this compares. Bring it on!”

Very effective. There you go, you’ve seen what it can do for you.

So what are you going to challenge yourself with? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Matt Kramer used to get bullied by death’s evil twin every time he spoke in front of a group, now he loves it. Overcoming the fear of public speaking has changed his life. In less than a year since he has competed and won 3 separate public speaking competitions, wrote a book about how to overcome the fear of public speaking, and spoke at one of the top universities in southern California (SDSU). His focus is to help you overcome the fear of public speaking so you can build the belief to go after your dreams. Join him at TacticalTalks.com/blog

Advertisement
12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Tim Denning

    May 7, 2016 at 7:06 am

    Pain for me means that I am growing and doing what 99% of people are not prepared to do. Greatness requires pain and it requires you to go beyond your limits. Thanks you Matt for this reminder.

  2. Mauro D'Andrea

    Mar 25, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    Hi Matt, great post, I loved it!

    For you it was running, for me it was going to the gym…I guess physical exercise challenge lots of people 🙂

    The strange thing is that I have been a very active person since I was 15 or so…I just couldn’t go the the gym (tried a couple of times just to give up after less than a month from the start). The time it took to go to the gym, feeling my muscles exhausted and doing repetitive movements….I just couldn’t handle it.

    This till I decided that I wanted to push my limits and joined a gym in September 2015. Since that, I’ve committed to go to the gym regularly and now I can’t skip a training session! And it isn’t just for health purpose, it’s also for the challenge and the reasons you just explained.

    • Matt Kramer

      Apr 6, 2016 at 7:37 pm

      Thanks Mauro! Definitely. The fitness part is a nice bonus 🙂 And keep it up! It’s not always easy to do, but it’s worth it in the long run.

  3. Tim Denning

    Mar 12, 2016 at 2:36 am

    I think the best painful habit to have is exercise. There are so many benefits and it’s a great way to start your day.

    • Matt Kramer

      Mar 15, 2016 at 9:37 pm

      I agree Tim. We don’t need any outside resources to do it. The health benefits are a nice bonus, too 🙂

  4. addicted 2 The Grind

    Mar 7, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    Hey matt it also tests you. It tests how much you can endure. It also highlights your strengths and weaknesses, definitely great for self awareness.

    Great article

    • Matt Kramer

      Mar 7, 2016 at 8:45 pm

      Great points! It definitely tests your endurance (physical and mental). Thank for bringing those up.

  5. Matt Kramer

    Mar 7, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    I completely agree Stefanie! Your mind definitely has a six-pack with all those challenging habits 🙂

  6. jenny

    Mar 7, 2016 at 11:22 am

    No pain, no gain.

    • Matt Kramer

      Mar 8, 2016 at 9:18 pm

      Right on Jenny! I pictured Arnold Schwarzenegger’s voice as I read your comment.

  7. Stefanie

    Mar 7, 2016 at 8:12 am

    Hi Matt, thanks for this great article! Love the topic. I share this point of view, your willpower and mindset are like a muscle. You can train it by continuously making challenging (but not too tough) habits part of your life.
    I do rock climbing which many times is both a huge physical and mental challenge. I do public speaking. Instead of going by car, I go to work by bike (16 miles from Monday to Friday), even in winter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Success Advice

Why You Should Prefer Emails to Phone Calls if You Want to Be More Productive

Published

on

productivity tips
Image Credit: Unsplash

“Email” and “productivity” rarely go together in a sentence. Emails have been declared as one of our largest time wasters. A McKinsey report stated that people spend around 2.6 hours each day responding to emails. That’s 13 hours a week, 52 hours a month and over 60 days a year! Imagine what you could’ve achieved in 60 days!

Emails also negatively affect our cognitive resources. When we think of responding to them while doing other important tasks, it takes up to 23 minutes and 15 seconds after being disrupted to return to full attention to a current task. Imagine how much our cognition and productivity gets fractured when we get distracted over and over again.

Constant emailing also drains us mentally. And at the end of a day, we realize that we’ve achieved nothing worth mentioning. With a phone call, you can sort issues and solve problems quickly, right? In theory, you’re right. But we live in a practical world where many variables come into play.

Below are three variables that make phone calls adversely affect our productivity, and why emails are a better alternative:

1. Wasting Time

Most “five-minute conversations” can quickly turn into 35-minute calls because people ramble about irrelevant aspects. This derailment, several times a day, severely limits the limited time and energy you have for important tasks.

Emails, on the other hand, force writers to streamline their thoughts and stick to the point. Emails can save you plenty of time and energy because you avoid lengthy phone calls. The constant strife to keep your own emails short and crisp also makes you a clearer thinker, which rewards you in other aspects of your life.

“It’s better to waste money, than it is to waste time. You can always get more money.” – Hal Sparks

2. Inaccurate Responses

An unexpected phone call can catch me caught off guard on a topic. I might respond emotionally or give an answer that doesn’t do justice to what I want to share. In a world dominated by panic buttons and fire-fighting, these don’t just stress me out but the caller as well.

Emails give me flexibility to prepare a coherent response and share it when I’m satisfied. If I feel a surge of emotion, I can sleep over the thought and share a better (more rational) response the next day. Many page-long email responses to emails that upset me have turned into a simple “thank you for your email” the next day.

3. Constant Back-and-Forth

Phone calls often are ineffective to solve business problems. Accounting for multiple people, their views, their timelines… One phone call can quickly turn into three.

Emails are quicker and more effective than even conference calls. They let you communicate with multiple people at the same time. You can share information, assign tasks and give status updates while being as specific as possible.

You must be wondering, “What about back-and-forth emails then? Why do we waste precious time on them?” Yes, email has earned a bad rap. But it’s not because of the medium; it’s because we handle it ineffectively.

A Better Approach to Emailing

For most people, constantly refreshing the inbox is part of the daily to-do list. It keeps them busy and gives them a kick of dopamine – the feel-good chemical.

Ironically, this quest to remain busy makes people compromise on taking action that can move them forward. Using emails prudently, rewards you with plenty of energy and mind space to focus on tasks that truly matter.

Here are three steps that benefited me without succumbing to the side effects of email:

1. Checking Them Less

I check emails just 3 times a day – at 9:30 AM, 12:00 PM, and 4:30 PM. If you don’t have the luxury to do the same, you can start by checking your emails for ten minutes at the end of each hour. Most senders expect a response in a little over an hour. So they won’t mind a slightly delayed response. This gives you 45 undisturbed minutes each hour to work on your core tasks.

2. Responding Quickly

People delay responding to emails at least 37% of the time, which turns finding emails and responding to them into additional tasks that cost time and lead to attention residue. Most emails take under two minutes to respond. When you can respond to an email, do so instead of putting it off. This won’t just put your mind at peace, it’ll also reduce the number of “did-you-see-this” follow-up emails in your inbox.

“I do love email. Wherever possible I try to communicate asynchronously. I’m really good at email.” – Elon Musk

3. The If-Then Technique

The If-Then technique helps you address multiple scenarios at once. For instance, an email that says, “Can we meet at 3:00 PM?” becomes, “Can we meet at 3:00 PM? If not, please advise three other times that work for you.”

This technique is also effective when you want to suggest ideas or provide instructions on alternative steps. For example, “Here’s Plan A. If it doesn’t work, connect with [name] and ask for [specific information]. If you don’t get what you need, inform me.”

I’ll admit. This sounds like more work in the current moment, but it drastically cuts down the number of trail mails, confused correspondences, and fire-fighting instances that occur due to miscommunication.

The If-Then formula is the single most effective technique I’ve learned from The 4-Hour Workweek. All of this doesn’t mean that you abandon phone calls, In fact, it’s better to use the phone for sensitive topics or if an email conversation gets dragged. But remain mindful to not let phone calls waste your time.

If you want to pursue a meaningful life, place a premium on your time. Do things that create time for you to pursue meaningful actions and avoid doing what pulls you away from them. In the knowledge economy, this is the key to success.

Do you prefer email or talking on the phone? Share your thoughts below!

Continue Reading

Success Advice

4 Questions You Need to Answer Before You Reach the Level of Success You So Desperately Crave

Published

on

how to be happy and successful
Image Credit: Unsplash

It’s normal that every person in the world wants to reach success and happiness. Yet, everyone defines both of these things differently. For some, success is making a whole bunch of money while for others this can be to become a good parent. Happiness is defined differently as well. Some people need to own a jet, boat and 3 cars to be truly happy, while others are happy just to be able to wake up in the morning.

It doesn’t matter how you define success and happiness, the truth is, you want to achieve them both. But, to be able to reach success and happiness, you need to answer 4 questions for yourself.

Here are the 4 questions you need to answer before you can achieve success and happiness:

1. Where Are You?

No, not geographically. It doesn’t matter where you live. What matters is where are you in life. Where are you in your way to success and happiness. Let’s say you are lost in the woods. You know exactly where you want to go, but you don’t know where you are. Even a map doesn’t help you with that.

The same is true in life. You may have a goal, but until you truly define where you are in the moment, you can’t move toward this goal. So, step 1 on your way to success and happiness is to define where you are right now.

“Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.” – Jim Rohn

2. Where Do You Want to Go?

When you define where you are in life, then you can think of where you want to be.

There’s this saying:  When you don´t know your final destination, you´ll end up somewhere you didn’t want to be. Until you don’t know clearly where you want to be in life and who you want to become, your life doesn’t have a true purpose.

Without purpose, there´s no motivation. Without motivation, there´s no energy. And without energy, you´re not living, you´re just existing. I am sure you know someone who looks like a walking corpse everytime you see them. Do you think this person lives a successful and happy life? Most likely not.

So, step 2 on your way to success and happiness is to clearly define your goal. What do you want to accomplish and who do you want to become?

3. Why Do You Want It?

Okay, you know the basics. You know where you are and where you want to be. But, as Rocky Balboa said, “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows.” And as you already know, life usually doesn’t go according to your plan. There will be hard times and to overcome those and not give up, you need to know WHY you do what you do.

You need to know WHY you want to accomplish your goals. When you answer this for yourself, you don’t struggle so much to motivate yourself. You will be motivated every minute of every day.

So, as a step 3, sit down and think of WHY you want to accomplish your goals. What’s the big purpose?

“We can change our lives. We can do, have, and be exactly what we wish.” – Tony Robbins

4. How Are You Going to Get There?

And finally, how are you going to get there? What’s your plan? You may know where you are, where you want to be and why you want to do it, but until you truly understand how you are going to get there, there won’t be much success and happiness in your life.

For example, you want to become a bodybuilder. You want to do it because you want to have big muscles and you want to look fit. But, you have no idea how to work out, how to build muscle and how to lose fat. Do you think, you´re going to be happy? No. As Tony Robbins says, “true happiness comes from progress.”

To make progress, you need to have a specific plan; how to get from point A (where you are) to point B (where you want to be). So, as a step 4, sit down and make a specific plan for how you’re going to get what you want in life.

In order to reach success and happiness, there are 4 questions you need to answer for yourself. Without answering them, you´re not going to  get ahead in life, you´re just bouncing around. Success and happiness never come from just bouncing around in life.

Good news is, that these questions are really simple. It won’t take much time to answer them. Just be aware of where you are and where you want to be. Don´t forget to understand why you are pursuing your dream and finally, how are you going to get what you want.

Answer these 4 simple questions today and you won’t struggle with finding success and happiness in life anymore.

Which one of the above 4 questions resonated most with you and why? Share your thoughts and ideas below!

Continue Reading

Success Advice

The Empathetic Heart: How The CHO of VaynerMedia Is Changing The Way We Work

Published

on

Claude Silver CHO of Vaynermedia
Image Credit: VaynerMedia

A month after I had joined LinkedIn back in July of 2018, I sent Claude Silver a connection request and began following her content. One day she made a post saying “Ask and you shall receive, what can I do to help you today?”. I commented on that post asking for a 5 minute interview and to my surprise she agreed by asking me to send her a message (I was given a full hour). This was the first example of pure kindness I witnessed from Claude.

The first message you see on Claude’s website is: People need people. People need people that listen and then do something. That message spoke to me on an emotional level, and I believe it will speak to you too. I wanted to know how she created such an amazing culture, what being a “culture carrier” meant, and how the employees at VaynerMedia have been changed by her work there.

A culture carrier in Claude’s own words is “someone who is aligned with our values, I can’t teach someone to be kind they have to already be kind. The process of developing a culture carrier takes about 6 months. It’s about bringing people together and having strong core values of kindness and empathy.”

Gary Vaynerchuk, co-founder of VaynerMedia, is often referred to as a combination of hustle and heart. With the hiring of Claude and the work she has accomplished within the company, it speaks to the level of empathy that can be felt throughout the entire operation.

Although business can be a challenging, tough, and often cut-throat terrain, by putting employees first and providing honest feedback the company has grown to include offices in New York, Chattanooga, Los Angeles and London, and continues to dominate the market.

Below we’ll see 3 different ways the CHO of VaynerMedia is changing the way people work:

1. By being unafraid to share her own story

Claude has been an influential part of breaking the stigma surrounding vulnerability in the business arena. Not only does she openly share her own story, but she sits down with employees to better understand their vulnerabilities and how to use characteristics that previously would have been considered weaknesses as strengths.

When asked what her biggest adventure to date was she replied “Having Shalom (her daughter). I have had an amazing life, I moved, worked hard, landed an amazing job and fell in love but it didn’t come without its challenges.”

Claude is openly gay and is living proof your sexual orientation doesn’t matter. Nothing matters but your character, your track record, and if you leave people a little better off than before you met them. From Claude, business leaders, employees and entrepreneurs can learn to be more open both on social media and in person, allowing them to build more meaningful relationships and connect on a deeper level. A deeper connection can mean more leverage but it also means a more lasting impact on the world.

“Everyone has something they can share. I’m not famous. I don’t have anything that would be newsworthy, but I have stories.” – Tafta Johnson Watson

2. Committing to a strong value system

VaynerMedia has some serious values for such a large company and those values are expected to be upheld by every employee and visitor. Values like kindness, empathy, honesty, hustle and the art of not complaining.

With Claude holding the title of Chief Heart Officer, she is the guiding light for others. When recruiting, she says she “takes the time to evaluate an individual’s talents but most importantly their own heart”.  

Gary Vaynerchuk is quoted as saying:”To me, there’s no debate that kindness is a strength. And it breaks my heart to know that so many people believe it’s a weakness. So many people are afraid that other people will take advantage of their kindness or make them feel “used.” But the truth is, those who take advantage of your kindness are weak on the inside. Feel bad for them, don’t let them make you feel bad about yourself“.

Both Claude and Gary teach aspiring entrepreneurs that it is okay to live with an open heart and that having the strength to commit to and live with a strong value system, will be a powerful tool during the hustle journey. It also allows you to go to bed at night actually liking the person that you are, nothing will kill a business faster than going to bed at night and hating yourself.

3. Listening with action

As mentioned above Claude’s slogan is: People need people. People need people that listen and then do something.  As a woman who wears many hats, she is also an Outward Bound Instructor, taking individuals on amazing adventures in the outdoors.

Taking action on any given day can mean a number of different things but it speaks to her own character and driving force that she is able to not only guide people through the world of office politics but also through the serene and sometimes challenging wilderness.

Claude cultivates an environment of trust by first offering individuals her own trust. It is a huge and vulnerable action that leads to a relationship of love – heart – and productivity. Listening as an action is something that has the power to change an entire organization from an unproductive, toxic environment to one that promotes creativity, passion, inclusion and positivity.

“Relationships are leverage. If you give value to someone else first, you have leverage.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

To get the truest sense of how Claude was changing the way people work, I asked her co-workers to tell me what working alongside Claude has done for them. Here is one of the answers I received:

“During my time working alongside Claude, I’ve really come to appreciate her example of being a good listener. As a society, we tend to praise the power of speaking. But Claude demonstrates on a daily basis that the most important thing everybody wants is to be heard.” – Steve Babcock, Chief Creative Officer VaynerMedia.

I tried looking for images of Claude on her website and I think it speaks to how focused she is on holding space for others, because I couldn’t find a single full sized image of her to use. I googled. Writing this piece has opened me up to evaluate my own values and the way I connect with people in my daily life.

From this article, it is my own hope that entrepreneurs come to the understanding that although tenacity and true grit are really important, the whole of what Claude represents is something to strive towards. The “soft” skills you develop are humongous strengths and to truly impact an entire organization.

What’s the last random act of kindness you did for someone? Share with us below!

Continue Reading

Success Advice

The 7 Secrets of High Achievers Revealed

Published

on

high achievers
Image Credit: Unsplash

We all have goals in life, but very few of us ever learn to consciously set, work on and see our goals through. In our naturalness bias, we marvel at those who have set and reached their goals thinking they have some esoteric abilities that we don’t. We overlook that the final product is the result of a series of mistake-ridden, unrecorded pains. What if we could learn from the process, the habits and rituals of the high achievers? (more…)

Continue Reading

Trending