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7 Reasons Why You Have Lost Your Creativity

Joel Brown (Founder of Addicted2Success.com)

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Losing Creativity

In a fast paced innovative world where attention spans are shrinking by the minute, we are becoming more and more ‘under the pump’ to think and be creative. We tend to hit a block and stay frustrated and impatient in hopes of a creative flow to come our way again.

We here at Addicted2Success, see this as a HUGE problemo and have therefore decided to research and share with you, the 7 Reasons Why You Have Lost Your Creativity, so that you may be able to pin point your vice and get the creative juices pumping out again.

 

Why You Have Lost Your Creativity

1. You Grew Up!

grow upAll young kids have creative ideas. They make up imaginary playmates, play with dolls and action figures, bake cookies in imaginary ovens, solve imaginary mysteries when they play detective with the other kids in the neighborhood, they sing songs they make up, they dance in free form, and when they draw pictures it doesn’t matter that horses aren’t purple in real life.

Somewhere along the way, we become more rational, even jaded sometimes, about the world. Those few among us who stay creative as adults often exhibit a child-like spirit. If you walk into the office of creative types like graphic artists, website designers, engineers, and programmers, it is very likely that you find toys around. Think about Google, a company known for hiring creative individuals. They turn their their workspace into a playground of sorts with large shiny slides to carry you in kid-like fashion from one floor to the next and they have bean bags for chairs in some of their boardrooms.

 

2. Your Need To ‘Make Money’ May Have Squelched Your Creative Side

make moneyAs we near adulthood, our parents, teachers, school counsellors, and even our peers start talking to us about the practical side of life. Our parents might say, “You need to have a way to support yourself.” Our guidance counsellors may steer us toward a certain college degree program or specialized training program because it pays well and we have an aptitude for it, not because we enjoy it. Our need to make money and take care of ourselves often squelches our creative side.

Those young adults who rebel and become musicians and artists may hear things like, “When are you going to get a real job?” even if they are working 60 hours a week! If you follow these same people into their thirties and forties, most of the time you’ll find that they finally give in too and go and get a “real job” to support themselves and their family.

 

3. Pharmaceuticals Are Zapping Our Creativity

Attention DeficitAccording to the United States Centers For Disease and Prevention (CDC), more than 5.2 million children are diagnosed each year with attention deficient disorder (ADD). These kids tend to be harder to manage in the classroom so schools and doctors have been pushing Ritalin, a pharmaceutical that calms them down and also zaps their creativity! In fact, according to the CDC, as many as 70 percent of all children in some areas are given Ritalin.

Creativity altering and behavior modifying pharmaceuticals are also given to those individuals who are considered bi-polar, manic, or depressed. Then there are those individuals who have Asperger’s Syndrome or so called “personality disorders” who are given pharmaceuticals that crush creativity too. Some of the most famous creative individuals that have ever lived are thought to have had Asperger’s Syndrome, bouts of depression, mania, ADD, and bi-polarism. Think what we would have lost if Mozart or Van Gogh would have been given pharmaceuticals to subdue their creativity!

 

4. You May Not Be Getting Enough Sleep or the Right Kind Of Sleep

sleepWhen we sleep, there are two basic phases: REM sleep and deep sleep. REM sleep is a light form of sleep named after the fact that we often have “rapid eye movements” during REM sleep. It takes about a hour and a half to move out of REM sleep into deep sleep. Deep sleep is when our brains sort out and catalog all the information we have taken in during the day. If we don’t get enough of this type of sleep, we lose our ability to be creative and imaginative.

 

5. You May Be Vegging Out In Front Of the TV Too Much

watch TVThere is a famous TV viewing experiment conducted by Herbert Krugman dating back to 1969. Herbert found that in less than one minute of TV viewing, our dominant brain waves switch from beta waves to alpha waves. It puts us in a vegetative state where our conscious mind goes on autopilot. While this can be good in small quantities to relieve stress, most Americans are watching on average more hours of TV than any other country.

Too much TV stifles creativity.

 

6. You May Be Just Too Darn Tired!

TiredIn our modern day society, we are on the go all the time. We are racing the clock trying to get our work done, get to meetings, fit in time with the kids and our spouse so we don’t feel guilty, and generally we sacrifice sleep to make more hours in the waking day. Over time, this raises our cortisol levels and puts us in a chronic state of stress and anxiety which depletes our energy.

Under these circumstances, most people find it very difficult to even think about being creative.

 

 

 

7. Standardized Tests, Stereotyping, and One Correct Answer

family guy funnyOur educational systems, including K-12 and advanced metriculation, have by and large resorted to standardized tests. These tests have one right answer. In school and college, we are given multiple choice tests designed to have one right answer. We are given true and false tests where we have to pick one or the other with no room for exceptions or creative thinking. The images and common examples used are stereotyped. Even as older adults, we have to take driver’s license tests and other tests that have only one correct answer for each question.

We have created a society that is taught from a young age to zero in on one way of thinking about each issue and topic. This squelches creative ideas.

 

Creativity Picture Quote

Just remember this:

creativity picture quote

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am the the Founder of Addicted2Success.com and I am so grateful you're here to be part of this awesome community. I love connecting with people who have a passion for Entrepreneurship, Self Development & Achieving Success. I started this website with the intention of educating and inspiring likeminded people to always strive for success no matter what their circumstances. I'm proud to say through my podcast and through this website we have impacted over 100 million lives in the last 6 and a half years.

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Lima

    Dec 30, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    How can I bring mine back. I lost mine

  2. otang obi

    Jul 26, 2015 at 8:10 am

    thank God for this truth,we should put this in mind we are al created for greatness,live in it.

  3. raypaulepatrick

    May 9, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    Take it one step further and tell people that it’s quite possible that the ‘ yearning ” of the soul in need to create is more than a need to create and that energy for the need to create comes simply by the soul placement in an alien type shell called human understanding of itself ….My soul desires to UNLEARN unsee/unhear/unfeel/UNREAD .. all the things that MY soul never volunteered for ….. My soul yerns to show what it has ALWAYS POSSESSED and that is the INHERENT genius we are all born with ! …..
    A new energy is coming into our little community called ” Plannit Earth ” and has already shown signs of life …. the soul is genius with clipped wings ….. that in its own interchangeable BY THE SECOND creativity makes for all living people a gift to each other …….

    I salute you Joel … heres a beer !!! keep the Arch Strong ! 🙂 Brother

  4. Alex Westergaard

    Jan 25, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    As i have always said: “Don’t do it because you want the money. Do it for money because you want to keep doing it!”

  5. Janis

    Nov 24, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    Let’s not forget all the suicides that robbed humanity of great creative output. Take your meds, but remember they’re not to make your life perfect. In the end, you are in charge of your meds and your life. Be wise.

  6. Study Abroad in Cyprus

    Nov 24, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    correct, some… new stuff to take in. All in all, thanks for the info.
    But… is it ABSOLUTELY impossible to have deep sleep after 2 or 3 hours?

  7. sas

    Nov 23, 2012 at 10:32 am

    reviews a great problem in the made man to always hone and develop creativity in life and life. Thank you so much

  8. jp

    Nov 16, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    this is a great website by the way. very uplifting

  9. jp

    Nov 16, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    all good points. i dont know about u but if im not in the mood, i cant come up with anything.
    and most of the things i look back on with a smile…are things that just happened by chance.
    drugs, also, dont help. they just make you feel like whatever you’re doing at the moment is next level.
    as far as growing up…that will probably never happen. there’s not enough grown up activities.
    grown up seems to mean deadened by responsibility and forced into silence.
    on the flip side, these times have everyone on edge about their finances, its hard to feel light hearted when you can’t make ends meet. but i’m used to that now. one thing to remember is…when we hear stories of people from the past…just having a lot of money never sounds very interesting. especially when every decade now the decade before looks pre historic. i dont think there’s a key to creativity though. sometimes it works. almost all the time…it doesn’t. to me, the key is continuing…if u can do that…at some point you’ll hit the nail on the head. even “naturals” aren’t naturals. they work at their craft. i mean, how many of those “musical savants” have composed a song you listen to on a daily basis. technical skill is great but it leaves out the human element of actually connecting with your audience. i dont know, im just rambling… the beauty of blogging. people can’t tell you to shut your trap until you’ve already said your piece. and by then…you’re rambling someone where else, bothering some other guy.. lol

  10. Milkah

    Nov 16, 2012 at 8:42 am

    It’s good to know that being ‘childish’ may be such a bad thing..sparingly though….

  11. Tunji

    Nov 13, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    Great post!

    But the big question is, how do we Re-connect with our creative sides?

  12. Corin Porter

    Nov 13, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    Yes, I am guilty of a few of these, but I’m aware of it and getting better. That said, I will never “grow up”, so I’ll always be able to find my way back to creativity! 😀

  13. Thomas Di Leva

    Nov 13, 2012 at 2:30 am

    Thanks for a great post! I find that curiosity is a good starting point for creativity.

  14. TraderRach

    Nov 12, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    I find there’s nothing like a walk along a beach without headphones for creativity. An empty mind gets filled. When I’m in pleasant beautiful surroundings I find my mind gets filled with creative thoughts. A walk is a very valuable time for me.

    Cheers Rach

  15. Deji R Yusuf

    Nov 11, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    All of the above are just so true!
    My God Help Us!
    It’s very important to be creative,Creativity breeds profit,happiness and …and even fresh New Things! 😉

    • Tunji

      Nov 13, 2012 at 6:06 pm

      Hi Deji,

      Nice to know that another bro read this.

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Success Advice

How to Use the “Small Victories” Method to Avoid Burning Out

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Have you had a goal you begin to work toward only to run out of steam? Do you know what you need to do to get to where you want to be, but the necessary work feels overwhelming? “Small Victories” is the method to eliminate procrastination, dramatically increase productivity, and to make every part of the process not just bearable, but fun.

The journey from novice to rockstar is filled with a thousand small victories. Each victory increases your skill, your confidence, your positive expectation, and is ultimately the only way to really do something truly great.

Imagine you have a band in which everything was fun- fun to practice, fun to get together and create. The first victory was writing your first song. Afterwards, some friends come to watch you practice, and they cheer you on giving you another boost. Then you play your first show, do your first band photoshoot, and create a band website. After all this hard work, you record your first song as a band, have your first major show, your first tour, and develop the best thing so far which are your first true fans.

Each victory gives you the energy to get to the next victory

If you told the kid, it was going to take ten years of work to get to the end goal, without celebrating the small important victories in between, it would be illogical for any human to hunker down and work 10 years to get there. So how is this relevant? When starting a business or following your dream, incentivizing yourself with small victories will make you far more likely to make you continue on to your end goal. Without it, your willpower only lasts so long.

The small victories are the positive fuel to make it to the next milestone. You create small victories by finding a way to interact with people as a way to have an impact even if it’s small. For example, when people try to start businesses, often they try to get everything together before selling their first product. It could be months or years of work before they are at the level of their competition.

I am a series of small victories and large defeats and I am as amazed as any other that I have gotten from there to here. Charles Bukowski

Say you’re creating a bakery, it could be a year before anyone tried your first baked good if you go the traditional brick and mortar route without any small victories. This comes with great financial cost and energy. You also lose out on the opportunity to improve your craft, your products, your image and your connections with others who can take your business to greater heights.

However, if you go with the method of small victories instead, you would start by creating a cult following amongst friends and family with your decadent treats. Next, you would bake them at home and sell them at local events, farmers markets, and maybe even at local businesses. This can give you the opportunity to create a strong local and social media following well before the opening of your first actual store.

Work and effort without small victories lead to burnout

We need to build rewards along the way into our endeavors, because this provides encouragement to keep going. Each moment is a separate gift, an experience where something was fulfilled, where something was accomplished, no matter how small, and being a recluse until the grand unveiling will have so many missed opportunities along the way.

Small victories are also an opportunity to develop your skills, get feedback – positive or constructive – and considerably increase opportunities. Small victories increase your credibility by showing a track record and the trajectory you’re on by increasing your ability to attract investors and partners.

“Success is rarely the result of one swell swoop, but more often the culmination of many, many small victories.” – Joseph M. Marshall III

The idea of celebrating small victories can be applied to any subject. In weight loss, for instance, seeing pounds melt away will give you the positive mindset to continue and even improve the choices you make to enhance your physique. Sharing your success with others will bring in the element of positive encouragement. It can also motivate others to come with you on the journey. Your small victories can inspire others to start their own journey.

What small victory did you achieve today which will bring you a step closer to your goals? Let us know below!

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Success Advice

Setting Up Your Mindset to Win: How to Achieve Success in Your Life and Career

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How did Usain Bolt become so successful? He seems superhuman, doesn’t he? Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Paul Bocuse… all these people have something special in them. They became the stars in their niche. Have you ever wondered why? No, they do not have any superhuman capacity. They are simple people, just like you and I. They, too, had flaws. Their mindset, however, is what set them apart. If you want to win in your career and in life, generally, you need the mindset of a winner. You have to think like a true champion, so you’ll overcome your flaws and emphasize your strengths.

So how do you set the mindset to win? Here are 5 suggestions to get you started:

1. When You Can’t Achieve a Goal, Get Help

Have you heard of Paul Bocuse? He was one of the most famous chefs of his time, and he was named as the chef of the century. This is a good example of the point we’re about to make. Even the best are not almighty, they have to learn from someone. Paul Bocuse learned from another famous chef. He constantly worked to improve his skills and he learned along the way.

The lesson is: you cannot do everything on your own. This is the first thing you have to do: learn and find the right person to learn from. Are there any books by the champions of your chosen niche? Get them and read them. Can you get a mentor? Of course, you can! Start connecting with people on LinkedIn. Your alumni network is a great source of mentorship opportunities, too. Don’t be afraid to reach out and say that you want to learn from someone.   

“Don’t let the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning.” – Robert Kiyosaki

2. Work on Your Resilience

Here’s the most important life lesson you’ll ever learn: things don’t always go as expected. When you strive towards a particular goal, the chances of failure are real. When Usain Bolt started training, he wasn’t the fastest man on Earth. He worked towards that goal and he was resilient enough to go through all the obstacles he faced. We couldn’t possibly assume that such success came easily for him.

The journey towards a successful life is not a straight line, it’s a bumpy road full of difficulties and setbacks. The average person would give up along the way, but a champion would stay resilient. It’s the mindset that makes a true difference. The good news is that the more obstacles you overcome, the more resilient you become.

3. Focus

What do you want in your career and in your life? This is not something that can go with the flow. You cannot simply live your life one random day after another and expect great things to come your way. You have to focus on particular goals and work your way up there.

Ken Chenault, CEO of American Express, has a nice tip for everyone who wants to become successful: “Dedicate yourself to a core set of values. Without them, you will never be able to find personal fulfillment, and you will never be able to lead effectively.”

Simple and straight to the point, right? So set your goals! Find that major goal you want to achieve and break it up into smaller achievements. Then, start accomplishing things on a daily basis. You need to devote your life to achieving that goal.

4. Be Bold

Steve Jobs wasn’t focused on getting an average job, achieving average results and living an average life. He had big dreams and bold goals. All successful people have something in common at the starting point, a bold dream. Being afraid to dream big is a huge mistake. Set your imagination free! What’s the biggest thing you’d like to achieve? If you believe in yourself and you start working towards that goal one day after another, you’ll unlock your true potential. You’ll realize that not many things are impossible. You can achieve much more than you believe you’re capable of.

“If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.” – Steve Jobs

5. If You Fall, Get Back Up

Have you ever wondered why Richard Branson became so successful? The answer is simple: never gave up, no matter what hardships he faced. His first company didn’t make money. The test flight of Virgin Atlantic Airlines almost crashed because of a flock of birds. Virgin Cola, his soda company, failed miserably. He almost got himself killed during his trip around the world. Richard Branson has done many things, but do you know what he never did? Give up. No matter how serious the failure was, he always found the strength to get back up on his feet and carry on with life. That’s the mindset of a champion!

Never allow yourself to get disappointed from failure. Do not fall back into average just because your big dream doesn’t seem to be working. Failure is not a big deal. It’s just part of the journey, and everyone has to face it. If you carry on, you’ll find success along the way.

So you want to be a champion? You better start working towards that goal without wasting any time. The first step is changing your mindset. Hopefully, the tips above inspired you to do that.

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Success Advice

3 Important Principles You Need to Know That All Billionaires Have in Common

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I’ve always been highly interested in the similarities amongst the world’s wealthiest. Their habits, successes, mindset, and failures have fascinated me. The journey to great prosperity can seem overwhelming, but if you apply success principles to any endeavor you can quickly and efficiently overcome challenges and expand.

Michael J. Gabrielli, founder of WeRunAds, has spent hundreds of hours and tens of thousands of dollars studying billionaires and their habits. Michael has also studied over 2000 different billionaires and from this experience he’s found three principles they all had in common.

Here are the 3 principles the billionaires all had in common:

1. Be in a rapid growth industry at the right time

Timing is so important. Billionaires know when the time is right to enter a market. Most billionaires do not enter first or second into a market because of the inherent risks involved. Many billionaires let the pioneers pave the way and then leverage the knowledge gained to innovate and optimize in order to create something that works.

The key is to find an industry that is soon to take off. Stepping in at the right time is important. Let’s take a real life example that is known all too well– the founder and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg. When he entered the scene, the idea of a social network was moderately known, but it was still not quite predicted to be the monster it is today.

Others like Friendster, Myspace, etc. had made some headway into this fledgeling industry and then Facebook entered leveraging the knowledge and expertise gained from the early pioneers. Zuckerberg saw the huge potential of social networking, took what was done previously and made it better.

He is presently worth over $66 Billion and the company has surpassed the 2 billion users mark with 1.4 billion using the platform daily. Not surprisingly, many billionaires were not the first to pioneer the industry they would later find success in. They came in at the right moment, learned from the mistakes and triumphs of their predecessors, and made a lasting final product.

Here’s a practical 3 question exercise you can do to judge if you have the right timing with your current venture:

  1. Look at your industry and say—is this brand new?
  2. Am I trying to invent something that doesn’t exist?
  3. Am I too late to the party?

2. Position yourself better

In addition to finding the right industry and getting in at the right time, billionaires position themselves in the best way. They provide the solution to the need and they think outside the box to do it. Optimal positioning is a commonality amongst billionaires. For example, during the California Gold Rush, people rushed to mine for the gold itself blinded by the promise of large profits.

However, it turned out that Sam Brannan had the better idea for how to position himself for success. He knew the chances of finding gold were risky, so instead he committed to a sure thing. He manufactured the tools that were needed by all the miners to mine gold. As each new miner migrated West, they were happily met by Brannan and his company who were ready and waiting to sell these new hopefuls the shovels and tools they’d need to strike it rich.

Digging for gold seemed to be the most profitable route, however, greater returns were yielded in the supplying of materials required to mine for gold! A good company that also illustrates this concept is Microsoft. They did not seek to create their own computer, but the software that computers would run on. Most people mistakenly think they have to “go for the gold” to attain wealth, but it’s evident in history that selling the necessary tools to the gold miners can be far more profitable.

The two questions you need to ask yourself to see how you could position yourself correctly are, “What industries will need the supplies that I could provide? And, “Am I following the trend instead of innovating?

“Big shots are only little shots that keep shooting. I can see your sun rise out of obscurity. Keep shooting” – Ikechukwu Joseph

3. Take calculated risks

Most people choose the safe bet that is secure, however, this is not common among billionaires. Billionaires take big calculated risks in order to propel themselves to higher levels of influence and success. The most important thing to note here is that while to others the risks seem big—to billionaires, they are calculated.Risk and Calculated Risk are not the same. Calculated risk is measured and well-thought-out. Risk is impulsive and immeasurable. Understanding the difference between the two is a commonality among billionaires. The world’s most prominent figures have at some point in their lives disagreed with the ordinary and took a shot at the unknown. Proper calculation and clever thinking certainly accompanied the bold moves they made in their careers.

Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, is a great example of this. He had grown up in poverty and made his way out to earn a comfortable wage as an executive at a company that manufactured coffeemakers.

“Risk more than others think safe.” – Howard Schultz

He risked it all when he discovered a small coffee shop named “Starbucks” in Seattle that prompted him to quit his job and step out to create a company that was inspired by the Italian coffee culture and personal relationship people could have with their coffee.

Of the 242 people he spoke to, 217 said no to investing with him. Despite the discouragement, lack of agreement, and investment, Schultz kept pushing on. Fast forward to present time, and Starbucks’ is a massive success. Strong intuition and unshakeable belief is common among high achievers. Many successful billionaires risked their safe jobs, personal assets, and even their reputation to take calculated risks that they knew would pay off huge in the end.

The questions you need to ask yourself now are, “where can I take a calculated risk? Am I holding back when I should be going forward? What tangible steps can I take today to move forward?”

These 3 success principles are staple elements that are common among many billionaires. Now, there are more principles that you must discover and implement in order to become a billionaire. Work diligently and do all that can be done each day. Be inquisitive and study those that you wish to emulate.

Which one of these principles do you need to work on more this year? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

One Question You Must Answer to Ensure Personal Success

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I don’t believe in quick fixes, in get-rich-quick schemes, or any other system that guarantees instant success with only a modicum of effort. But, I do believe it’s possible to condense great strings of logical thought and intellectual algorithms into basics. I like to keep things simple! Many of my clients love the fact that I don’t overly complete things, and frankly, so do I! I like to ask simple questions whose answers can be had quickly but require some focus in obtaining the outcome.

Here’s the question I always ask: What is standing between your current reality (where you are now) and your ultimate vision (where you want to be)? Are the impediments psychological, physical, emotional or some other reason?

Until you answer what is causing the difference between your AS IS and your SHOULD BE, you will be stuck spinning your wheels in the mud and the muck of the former. This is an important question that requires a level of mental self-examination. And the answer to this question may require a lifetime of introspection. It is an important question to answer because if you know where you want to go that provides direction but examining why you are not there yet can provide momentum. (In other words, by answering the question it may get you there faster!)

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston S. Churchill

It’s just like following a road map. A map is useless unless you know two things, where you are, and where you want to go. What might be stopping you (or at least slowing you down) from the ultimate destination of your passion and life’s fulfilment?

I’ve asked many people about this over the years and have heard these four reasons that keep people from moving forward.

1. Lack of vision

How do you plan to get there, if you don’t know where “there” is? The most difficult undertaking in the world is to sit quietly with a blank sheet of paper and chart out your life. I know, I have many blank sheets of paper to prove it. However, I also found out that it only takes one sheet, with a few well-crafted lines of thought to give you the direction you need. But you need to start!

2. Lack of goals

So, you know where you want to go, you just don’t know how to get there. The second hardest thing in the world is to have a sheet of paper with your ultimate destination on top, and the rest blank as you ask yourself, now what or how do I get to my vision? The process of functional decomposition means breaking down the larger process into steps that are both actionable and motivational. In other words, the steps are small enough to do and you remain motivated because they are so small.

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

3. You don’t believe you can get there

You want to, but there is a script running through your head telling you to go home, make some chicken soup and don’t leave the house until these foolish notions of greatness are gone. Think about it, your parents never did what you are trying to do, no one in your family has ever done it, you are far too old (or too young) to do that, you don’t have the right education…your rationalizing can go on for a lifetime! Here is my suggestion when it comes to running those self-deprecating scripts: STOP IT!

4. You are lazy

You won’t admit this to yourself, but perhaps you are just plain lazy. I’ve seen it so many times; individuals majoring in minors. Performing high fun, low payoff activities instead of the low fun, high payoff activities. (And, by the way, who ever said that a high payoff activity can’t be fun? There’s that darn script again.) As a species we are inclined to take the path of least resistance, but that path may not lead us to our vision, but you must admit, we are having a great time NOT moving toward our vision! Laziness is not “doing nothing.” It’s doing the wrong thing because that’s what you want to do, and, very often, we know it’s the wrong thing to do!

There you have the four possible things that might be holding you back from the realization of your vision. Are any of them hitting home? Answer this question before you move on:

What is standing between my current reality and my ultimate vision of success?

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Life

5 Counterintuitive Ways to Make the Most Out of Your Time

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Do you think you’ll accomplish everything you want to before you die? Do you sometimes worry you won’t reach your goals? Do you have a plan to get what you want? If you’re like most people, you often have trouble squeezing in everything you want to do during the day, week or month, let alone everything you might want to accomplish in a lifetime. Updates from friends on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat come in to your phone at all hours of the day and night. Invites to activities, events, festivals, etc. blow up your phone on a regular basis. (more…)

McVal Osborne is the author of Start Up your Life: Why we don’t know what we want, and how to set goals that really matter. McVal writes about motivation, decision making, and strategic thinking. He graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2011 with a degree in Spanish, and has since worked as a market researcher and business consultant in Washington D.C., New York City and London. You can reach him on Twitter @mcval or on IG @mcvaliant.

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Lima

    Dec 30, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    How can I bring mine back. I lost mine

  2. otang obi

    Jul 26, 2015 at 8:10 am

    thank God for this truth,we should put this in mind we are al created for greatness,live in it.

  3. raypaulepatrick

    May 9, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    Take it one step further and tell people that it’s quite possible that the ‘ yearning ” of the soul in need to create is more than a need to create and that energy for the need to create comes simply by the soul placement in an alien type shell called human understanding of itself ….My soul desires to UNLEARN unsee/unhear/unfeel/UNREAD .. all the things that MY soul never volunteered for ….. My soul yerns to show what it has ALWAYS POSSESSED and that is the INHERENT genius we are all born with ! …..
    A new energy is coming into our little community called ” Plannit Earth ” and has already shown signs of life …. the soul is genius with clipped wings ….. that in its own interchangeable BY THE SECOND creativity makes for all living people a gift to each other …….

    I salute you Joel … heres a beer !!! keep the Arch Strong ! 🙂 Brother

  4. Alex Westergaard

    Jan 25, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    As i have always said: “Don’t do it because you want the money. Do it for money because you want to keep doing it!”

  5. Janis

    Nov 24, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    Let’s not forget all the suicides that robbed humanity of great creative output. Take your meds, but remember they’re not to make your life perfect. In the end, you are in charge of your meds and your life. Be wise.

  6. Study Abroad in Cyprus

    Nov 24, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    correct, some… new stuff to take in. All in all, thanks for the info.
    But… is it ABSOLUTELY impossible to have deep sleep after 2 or 3 hours?

  7. sas

    Nov 23, 2012 at 10:32 am

    reviews a great problem in the made man to always hone and develop creativity in life and life. Thank you so much

  8. jp

    Nov 16, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    this is a great website by the way. very uplifting

  9. jp

    Nov 16, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    all good points. i dont know about u but if im not in the mood, i cant come up with anything.
    and most of the things i look back on with a smile…are things that just happened by chance.
    drugs, also, dont help. they just make you feel like whatever you’re doing at the moment is next level.
    as far as growing up…that will probably never happen. there’s not enough grown up activities.
    grown up seems to mean deadened by responsibility and forced into silence.
    on the flip side, these times have everyone on edge about their finances, its hard to feel light hearted when you can’t make ends meet. but i’m used to that now. one thing to remember is…when we hear stories of people from the past…just having a lot of money never sounds very interesting. especially when every decade now the decade before looks pre historic. i dont think there’s a key to creativity though. sometimes it works. almost all the time…it doesn’t. to me, the key is continuing…if u can do that…at some point you’ll hit the nail on the head. even “naturals” aren’t naturals. they work at their craft. i mean, how many of those “musical savants” have composed a song you listen to on a daily basis. technical skill is great but it leaves out the human element of actually connecting with your audience. i dont know, im just rambling… the beauty of blogging. people can’t tell you to shut your trap until you’ve already said your piece. and by then…you’re rambling someone where else, bothering some other guy.. lol

  10. Milkah

    Nov 16, 2012 at 8:42 am

    It’s good to know that being ‘childish’ may be such a bad thing..sparingly though….

  11. Tunji

    Nov 13, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    Great post!

    But the big question is, how do we Re-connect with our creative sides?

  12. Corin Porter

    Nov 13, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    Yes, I am guilty of a few of these, but I’m aware of it and getting better. That said, I will never “grow up”, so I’ll always be able to find my way back to creativity! 😀

  13. Thomas Di Leva

    Nov 13, 2012 at 2:30 am

    Thanks for a great post! I find that curiosity is a good starting point for creativity.

  14. TraderRach

    Nov 12, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    I find there’s nothing like a walk along a beach without headphones for creativity. An empty mind gets filled. When I’m in pleasant beautiful surroundings I find my mind gets filled with creative thoughts. A walk is a very valuable time for me.

    Cheers Rach

  15. Deji R Yusuf

    Nov 11, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    All of the above are just so true!
    My God Help Us!
    It’s very important to be creative,Creativity breeds profit,happiness and …and even fresh New Things! 😉

    • Tunji

      Nov 13, 2012 at 6:06 pm

      Hi Deji,

      Nice to know that another bro read this.

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Success Advice

How to Use the “Small Victories” Method to Avoid Burning Out

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Have you had a goal you begin to work toward only to run out of steam? Do you know what you need to do to get to where you want to be, but the necessary work feels overwhelming? “Small Victories” is the method to eliminate procrastination, dramatically increase productivity, and to make every part of the process not just bearable, but fun.

The journey from novice to rockstar is filled with a thousand small victories. Each victory increases your skill, your confidence, your positive expectation, and is ultimately the only way to really do something truly great.

Imagine you have a band in which everything was fun- fun to practice, fun to get together and create. The first victory was writing your first song. Afterwards, some friends come to watch you practice, and they cheer you on giving you another boost. Then you play your first show, do your first band photoshoot, and create a band website. After all this hard work, you record your first song as a band, have your first major show, your first tour, and develop the best thing so far which are your first true fans.

Each victory gives you the energy to get to the next victory

If you told the kid, it was going to take ten years of work to get to the end goal, without celebrating the small important victories in between, it would be illogical for any human to hunker down and work 10 years to get there. So how is this relevant? When starting a business or following your dream, incentivizing yourself with small victories will make you far more likely to make you continue on to your end goal. Without it, your willpower only lasts so long.

The small victories are the positive fuel to make it to the next milestone. You create small victories by finding a way to interact with people as a way to have an impact even if it’s small. For example, when people try to start businesses, often they try to get everything together before selling their first product. It could be months or years of work before they are at the level of their competition.

I am a series of small victories and large defeats and I am as amazed as any other that I have gotten from there to here. Charles Bukowski

Say you’re creating a bakery, it could be a year before anyone tried your first baked good if you go the traditional brick and mortar route without any small victories. This comes with great financial cost and energy. You also lose out on the opportunity to improve your craft, your products, your image and your connections with others who can take your business to greater heights.

However, if you go with the method of small victories instead, you would start by creating a cult following amongst friends and family with your decadent treats. Next, you would bake them at home and sell them at local events, farmers markets, and maybe even at local businesses. This can give you the opportunity to create a strong local and social media following well before the opening of your first actual store.

Work and effort without small victories lead to burnout

We need to build rewards along the way into our endeavors, because this provides encouragement to keep going. Each moment is a separate gift, an experience where something was fulfilled, where something was accomplished, no matter how small, and being a recluse until the grand unveiling will have so many missed opportunities along the way.

Small victories are also an opportunity to develop your skills, get feedback – positive or constructive – and considerably increase opportunities. Small victories increase your credibility by showing a track record and the trajectory you’re on by increasing your ability to attract investors and partners.

“Success is rarely the result of one swell swoop, but more often the culmination of many, many small victories.” – Joseph M. Marshall III

The idea of celebrating small victories can be applied to any subject. In weight loss, for instance, seeing pounds melt away will give you the positive mindset to continue and even improve the choices you make to enhance your physique. Sharing your success with others will bring in the element of positive encouragement. It can also motivate others to come with you on the journey. Your small victories can inspire others to start their own journey.

What small victory did you achieve today which will bring you a step closer to your goals? Let us know below!

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Success Advice

Setting Up Your Mindset to Win: How to Achieve Success in Your Life and Career

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How did Usain Bolt become so successful? He seems superhuman, doesn’t he? Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Paul Bocuse… all these people have something special in them. They became the stars in their niche. Have you ever wondered why? No, they do not have any superhuman capacity. They are simple people, just like you and I. They, too, had flaws. Their mindset, however, is what set them apart. If you want to win in your career and in life, generally, you need the mindset of a winner. You have to think like a true champion, so you’ll overcome your flaws and emphasize your strengths.

So how do you set the mindset to win? Here are 5 suggestions to get you started:

1. When You Can’t Achieve a Goal, Get Help

Have you heard of Paul Bocuse? He was one of the most famous chefs of his time, and he was named as the chef of the century. This is a good example of the point we’re about to make. Even the best are not almighty, they have to learn from someone. Paul Bocuse learned from another famous chef. He constantly worked to improve his skills and he learned along the way.

The lesson is: you cannot do everything on your own. This is the first thing you have to do: learn and find the right person to learn from. Are there any books by the champions of your chosen niche? Get them and read them. Can you get a mentor? Of course, you can! Start connecting with people on LinkedIn. Your alumni network is a great source of mentorship opportunities, too. Don’t be afraid to reach out and say that you want to learn from someone.   

“Don’t let the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning.” – Robert Kiyosaki

2. Work on Your Resilience

Here’s the most important life lesson you’ll ever learn: things don’t always go as expected. When you strive towards a particular goal, the chances of failure are real. When Usain Bolt started training, he wasn’t the fastest man on Earth. He worked towards that goal and he was resilient enough to go through all the obstacles he faced. We couldn’t possibly assume that such success came easily for him.

The journey towards a successful life is not a straight line, it’s a bumpy road full of difficulties and setbacks. The average person would give up along the way, but a champion would stay resilient. It’s the mindset that makes a true difference. The good news is that the more obstacles you overcome, the more resilient you become.

3. Focus

What do you want in your career and in your life? This is not something that can go with the flow. You cannot simply live your life one random day after another and expect great things to come your way. You have to focus on particular goals and work your way up there.

Ken Chenault, CEO of American Express, has a nice tip for everyone who wants to become successful: “Dedicate yourself to a core set of values. Without them, you will never be able to find personal fulfillment, and you will never be able to lead effectively.”

Simple and straight to the point, right? So set your goals! Find that major goal you want to achieve and break it up into smaller achievements. Then, start accomplishing things on a daily basis. You need to devote your life to achieving that goal.

4. Be Bold

Steve Jobs wasn’t focused on getting an average job, achieving average results and living an average life. He had big dreams and bold goals. All successful people have something in common at the starting point, a bold dream. Being afraid to dream big is a huge mistake. Set your imagination free! What’s the biggest thing you’d like to achieve? If you believe in yourself and you start working towards that goal one day after another, you’ll unlock your true potential. You’ll realize that not many things are impossible. You can achieve much more than you believe you’re capable of.

“If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.” – Steve Jobs

5. If You Fall, Get Back Up

Have you ever wondered why Richard Branson became so successful? The answer is simple: never gave up, no matter what hardships he faced. His first company didn’t make money. The test flight of Virgin Atlantic Airlines almost crashed because of a flock of birds. Virgin Cola, his soda company, failed miserably. He almost got himself killed during his trip around the world. Richard Branson has done many things, but do you know what he never did? Give up. No matter how serious the failure was, he always found the strength to get back up on his feet and carry on with life. That’s the mindset of a champion!

Never allow yourself to get disappointed from failure. Do not fall back into average just because your big dream doesn’t seem to be working. Failure is not a big deal. It’s just part of the journey, and everyone has to face it. If you carry on, you’ll find success along the way.

So you want to be a champion? You better start working towards that goal without wasting any time. The first step is changing your mindset. Hopefully, the tips above inspired you to do that.

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Success Advice

3 Important Principles You Need to Know That All Billionaires Have in Common

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I’ve always been highly interested in the similarities amongst the world’s wealthiest. Their habits, successes, mindset, and failures have fascinated me. The journey to great prosperity can seem overwhelming, but if you apply success principles to any endeavor you can quickly and efficiently overcome challenges and expand.

Michael J. Gabrielli, founder of WeRunAds, has spent hundreds of hours and tens of thousands of dollars studying billionaires and their habits. Michael has also studied over 2000 different billionaires and from this experience he’s found three principles they all had in common.

Here are the 3 principles the billionaires all had in common:

1. Be in a rapid growth industry at the right time

Timing is so important. Billionaires know when the time is right to enter a market. Most billionaires do not enter first or second into a market because of the inherent risks involved. Many billionaires let the pioneers pave the way and then leverage the knowledge gained to innovate and optimize in order to create something that works.

The key is to find an industry that is soon to take off. Stepping in at the right time is important. Let’s take a real life example that is known all too well– the founder and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg. When he entered the scene, the idea of a social network was moderately known, but it was still not quite predicted to be the monster it is today.

Others like Friendster, Myspace, etc. had made some headway into this fledgeling industry and then Facebook entered leveraging the knowledge and expertise gained from the early pioneers. Zuckerberg saw the huge potential of social networking, took what was done previously and made it better.

He is presently worth over $66 Billion and the company has surpassed the 2 billion users mark with 1.4 billion using the platform daily. Not surprisingly, many billionaires were not the first to pioneer the industry they would later find success in. They came in at the right moment, learned from the mistakes and triumphs of their predecessors, and made a lasting final product.

Here’s a practical 3 question exercise you can do to judge if you have the right timing with your current venture:

  1. Look at your industry and say—is this brand new?
  2. Am I trying to invent something that doesn’t exist?
  3. Am I too late to the party?

2. Position yourself better

In addition to finding the right industry and getting in at the right time, billionaires position themselves in the best way. They provide the solution to the need and they think outside the box to do it. Optimal positioning is a commonality amongst billionaires. For example, during the California Gold Rush, people rushed to mine for the gold itself blinded by the promise of large profits.

However, it turned out that Sam Brannan had the better idea for how to position himself for success. He knew the chances of finding gold were risky, so instead he committed to a sure thing. He manufactured the tools that were needed by all the miners to mine gold. As each new miner migrated West, they were happily met by Brannan and his company who were ready and waiting to sell these new hopefuls the shovels and tools they’d need to strike it rich.

Digging for gold seemed to be the most profitable route, however, greater returns were yielded in the supplying of materials required to mine for gold! A good company that also illustrates this concept is Microsoft. They did not seek to create their own computer, but the software that computers would run on. Most people mistakenly think they have to “go for the gold” to attain wealth, but it’s evident in history that selling the necessary tools to the gold miners can be far more profitable.

The two questions you need to ask yourself to see how you could position yourself correctly are, “What industries will need the supplies that I could provide? And, “Am I following the trend instead of innovating?

“Big shots are only little shots that keep shooting. I can see your sun rise out of obscurity. Keep shooting” – Ikechukwu Joseph

3. Take calculated risks

Most people choose the safe bet that is secure, however, this is not common among billionaires. Billionaires take big calculated risks in order to propel themselves to higher levels of influence and success. The most important thing to note here is that while to others the risks seem big—to billionaires, they are calculated.Risk and Calculated Risk are not the same. Calculated risk is measured and well-thought-out. Risk is impulsive and immeasurable. Understanding the difference between the two is a commonality among billionaires. The world’s most prominent figures have at some point in their lives disagreed with the ordinary and took a shot at the unknown. Proper calculation and clever thinking certainly accompanied the bold moves they made in their careers.

Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, is a great example of this. He had grown up in poverty and made his way out to earn a comfortable wage as an executive at a company that manufactured coffeemakers.

“Risk more than others think safe.” – Howard Schultz

He risked it all when he discovered a small coffee shop named “Starbucks” in Seattle that prompted him to quit his job and step out to create a company that was inspired by the Italian coffee culture and personal relationship people could have with their coffee.

Of the 242 people he spoke to, 217 said no to investing with him. Despite the discouragement, lack of agreement, and investment, Schultz kept pushing on. Fast forward to present time, and Starbucks’ is a massive success. Strong intuition and unshakeable belief is common among high achievers. Many successful billionaires risked their safe jobs, personal assets, and even their reputation to take calculated risks that they knew would pay off huge in the end.

The questions you need to ask yourself now are, “where can I take a calculated risk? Am I holding back when I should be going forward? What tangible steps can I take today to move forward?”

These 3 success principles are staple elements that are common among many billionaires. Now, there are more principles that you must discover and implement in order to become a billionaire. Work diligently and do all that can be done each day. Be inquisitive and study those that you wish to emulate.

Which one of these principles do you need to work on more this year? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

One Question You Must Answer to Ensure Personal Success

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I don’t believe in quick fixes, in get-rich-quick schemes, or any other system that guarantees instant success with only a modicum of effort. But, I do believe it’s possible to condense great strings of logical thought and intellectual algorithms into basics. I like to keep things simple! Many of my clients love the fact that I don’t overly complete things, and frankly, so do I! I like to ask simple questions whose answers can be had quickly but require some focus in obtaining the outcome.

Here’s the question I always ask: What is standing between your current reality (where you are now) and your ultimate vision (where you want to be)? Are the impediments psychological, physical, emotional or some other reason?

Until you answer what is causing the difference between your AS IS and your SHOULD BE, you will be stuck spinning your wheels in the mud and the muck of the former. This is an important question that requires a level of mental self-examination. And the answer to this question may require a lifetime of introspection. It is an important question to answer because if you know where you want to go that provides direction but examining why you are not there yet can provide momentum. (In other words, by answering the question it may get you there faster!)

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston S. Churchill

It’s just like following a road map. A map is useless unless you know two things, where you are, and where you want to go. What might be stopping you (or at least slowing you down) from the ultimate destination of your passion and life’s fulfilment?

I’ve asked many people about this over the years and have heard these four reasons that keep people from moving forward.

1. Lack of vision

How do you plan to get there, if you don’t know where “there” is? The most difficult undertaking in the world is to sit quietly with a blank sheet of paper and chart out your life. I know, I have many blank sheets of paper to prove it. However, I also found out that it only takes one sheet, with a few well-crafted lines of thought to give you the direction you need. But you need to start!

2. Lack of goals

So, you know where you want to go, you just don’t know how to get there. The second hardest thing in the world is to have a sheet of paper with your ultimate destination on top, and the rest blank as you ask yourself, now what or how do I get to my vision? The process of functional decomposition means breaking down the larger process into steps that are both actionable and motivational. In other words, the steps are small enough to do and you remain motivated because they are so small.

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

3. You don’t believe you can get there

You want to, but there is a script running through your head telling you to go home, make some chicken soup and don’t leave the house until these foolish notions of greatness are gone. Think about it, your parents never did what you are trying to do, no one in your family has ever done it, you are far too old (or too young) to do that, you don’t have the right education…your rationalizing can go on for a lifetime! Here is my suggestion when it comes to running those self-deprecating scripts: STOP IT!

4. You are lazy

You won’t admit this to yourself, but perhaps you are just plain lazy. I’ve seen it so many times; individuals majoring in minors. Performing high fun, low payoff activities instead of the low fun, high payoff activities. (And, by the way, who ever said that a high payoff activity can’t be fun? There’s that darn script again.) As a species we are inclined to take the path of least resistance, but that path may not lead us to our vision, but you must admit, we are having a great time NOT moving toward our vision! Laziness is not “doing nothing.” It’s doing the wrong thing because that’s what you want to do, and, very often, we know it’s the wrong thing to do!

There you have the four possible things that might be holding you back from the realization of your vision. Are any of them hitting home? Answer this question before you move on:

What is standing between my current reality and my ultimate vision of success?

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