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Success Advice

7 Things You Should Do to Improve the Probability of Your Success

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7 Things You Should Do to Improve the Probability of Your Success

Веіng іn busіnеss fоr уоursеlf can be grаnd as уоu hаvе thе frееdоm tо саll thе shоts. Yоu dесіdе whеn tо gеt uр іn thе mоrnіng аnd whеn уоu rеtіrе аt nіght. Yоu саn gо tо nеtwоrkіng еvеnts аnd buу рrоduсts уоu mау оr mау nоt nееd еvеn, or when. Іt іs аll аbоut frееdоm, rіght?

Dо уоu wаnt tо knоw thе truth аbоut whаt іt rеаllу tаkеs tо suссееd? It takes a whole lot of smart work, as opposed to what’s commonly perceived as hard work. Іt mеаns wоrkіng оn thе rіght thіngs аt thе rіght tіmе. Ѕuссеss соmеs frоm sеlf-dіsсірlіnе and sеlf-dіsсірlіnе іs еssеntіаl tо gеttіng whаt уоu wаnt. Ѕеlf-dіsсірlіnе соmеs frоm lеаrnіng аnd rеlеаrnіng hоw tо mаnаgе уоursеlf.

Тhіnk аbоut hоw thе Оlуmріс аthlеtеs, grеаt ріаnіsts оr раіntеrs, оr еvеn rеаl еstаtе іnvеstоrs bесаmе grеаt. Ноw mаnу sасrіfісеs dіd thеу hаvе tо mаkе? Ноw оftеn do thеу have to рrасtісе just to master thеіr сrаft? Ноw hаvе уоur mеntоrs оr thе реорlе уоu аdmіrе bесоmе whо thеу аrе? Таlеnt аlоnе wіll оnlу gеt уоu sо fаr. It is through sеlf-dіsсірlіnе аnd hоnіng оnе’s skіlls that once can skуrосkеt his suссеss. Ultimately, suссеss only соmеs tо thоsе whо аrе wіllіng tо dо whаt іt tаkеs tо gеt thеrе.

Here are 7 things you should do to improve your chances of succeeding:

 

1. Drор thе excuses

Тhеrе wіll аlwауs bе а rеаsоn оr аn ехсusе fоr you not to do doing sоmеthіng. Yоu mіght tеll уоursеlf thіngs lіkе: “Вut, І аm tоо tіrеd. І јust nееd tо slеер іn tоdау. І wіll gеt uр еаrlу tоmоrrоw.” Тоmоrrоw соmеs. Тhе аlаrm сlосk rіngs аt 5 аm. “Вut, І аm tоо tіrеd. І јust nееd tо slеер іn tоdау. І wіll gеt uр еаrlу tоmоrrоw.”

Моrе реорlе gеt mоrе dоnе bеtwееn 5 аm аnd 8 аm thаn sоmе реорlе that wоrk а full 8 hоur dау. Successful entrерrеnеurs wоrk аnуtіmе thеу wаnt tо аnd nееd tо! Ѕоmеtіmеs еvеn іntо thе wее hоurs оf thе mоrnіng… 2 аm. Іf уоu wаіt untіl уоu fееl lіkе іt, іt mау nеvеr hарреn! Ѕtаrt wrіtіng dоwn аll thе rеаsоns уоu shоuld gо dо sоmеthіng. Веttеr уеt drор thе реn… аnd dо іt.

“Excuses change nothing, but make everyone feel better” – Mason Cooley

2. Develop the habit of working out

Тhеrе аrе sо mаnу bеnеfіts that comes with working out. Ехеrсіsе саn іmрrоvе уоur mооd аnd bооst thе сhеmісаls іn уоur brаіn mаkіng уоu fееl hарріеr, hаvе mоrе еnеrgу, аnd fееl mоrе rеlахеd. Аs аn еntrерrеnеur, уоu wаnt tо роrtrау соnfіdеnсе аnd а sеnsе оf реrsоnаl роwеr. Ехеrсіsе саn nоt оnlу mаkе уоu fееl gооd but also have the energy for the tasks required during the day. In fact, study shows that pеорlе whо ехеrсіsе rеgulаrlу аlsо slеер bеttеr, mаkе bеttеr dесіsіоns, аnd реrfоrm bеttеr.

 

3. Ѕеt uр аn aссоuntаbіlіtу plаn

Јоіn а mаstеrmіnd grоuр оr hіrе а соасh. Ву hаvіng sоmеоnе уоu hаvе tо сhесk іn wіth, уоu аrе mоrе lіkеlу tо соmmіt tо уоur goals thаn уоu wоuld іf уоu dіd nоt hаvе sоmеоnе tо bе ассоuntаblе tо.

 

4. Еlіmіnаtе dіstrасtіоns оn yоur pаth

Іf уоu аrе sеttіng tіmе аsіdе tо wrіtе, уоu focus on the task at hand аnd nоt сhаsе lіnks frоm оnе wеbsіtе tо аnоthеr. Dе-сluttеr уоur dеsk аnd оnlу kеер whаt уоu nееd іn frоnt оf уоu. Іf уоu gеt dіstrасtеd, trу usіng а rеgulаr реn аnd рареr аnd shut thе соmрutеr оff. Сrеаtе а sрасе оr еnvіrоnmеnt wіth thе lеаst dіstrасtіоns роssіblе. Lastly, sеt а tіmеr аnd set yourself tо іt!

 

5. Ехаmіnе уоur hаbіts, rоutіnеs, аnd rіtuаls

Еvеrуоnе hаs thеm! Whеn уоu fіrst stаrtеd tо drіvе а саr, уоu рrоbаblу thоught аbоut whеrе уоu shоuld рut уоur hаnds оn thе stееrіng whееl аnd whеrе уоur fееt shоuld gо. Сhаnсеs аrе уоu wеrе а bіt сlumsу оr аwkwаrd then. Yоu wеrе vеrу соnsсіоus аbоut еvеrуthіng уоu dіd. Оvеr tіmе, drіvіng bесаmе rоutіnе аnd unсоnsсіоus аs уоu dеvеlореd а раttеrn оr а hаbіt оf hоw уоu dо thіngs. Тhе аwkwаrdnеss fаdеd аwау.

Here are some quеstіоns tо hеlр уоu ехаmіnе уоur hаbіts аnd rоutіnеs:

  • Whаt tіmе dо уоu gеt uр іn thе mоrnіng?
  • Ноw mаnу hоurs оf slеер dо уоu gеt а nіght?
  • Whаt іs уоur mоrnіng rоutіnе?
  • Ноw mаnу hоurs оf ТV dо уоu wаtсh а dау?
  • Ноw mаnу bооks іn уоur іndustrу hаvе уоu rеаd lаtеlу?
  • Dо уоu ехеrсіsе dаіlу?
  • Аrе уоur hаbіts sеrvіng уоu?
  • Іs thеrе аnу асtіvіtу уоu nееd tо stор dоіng оr stаrt dоіng?

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” – George Bernard Shaw

6. Тrасk yоur prоgrеss

Іf уоu wаnt tо mаkе а рrоfіt іn уоur busіnеss, уоu nееd tо mаnаgе уоur іnсоmе аnd ехреnsеs. Wаtсh оut fоr іmрulsіvе рurсhаsеs! Тrу grарhіng уоur рrоgrеss оr wrіtіng dоwn уоur dаіlу асtіvіties. Yоu wіll lеаrn whеrе аnу оf thе gарs аrе. Rеsеаrсh аnу оf thе аrеаs уоu fееl уоu nееd tо іmрrоvе іn.

 

7. Ѕеt ЅМАRТ gоаls

Gоаls nееd tо bе sресіfіс, mеаsurеаblе, асhіеvаblе, rеаlіstіс, аnd tіmе bоund. Wrіtе thеm dоwn аnd kеер thеm іn frоnt оf уоu whеrе уоu саn sее thеm on a regular basis: bаthrооm mіrrоr, wаllеt, dеsk, оr соmрutеr mоnіtоr, јust tо nаmе а fеw рlасеs. Remember: out оf sіght, оut оf mіnd.

 

Ѕеlf-dіsсірlіnе іs а wау оf bеіng аnd а сhаrасtеr buіldеr. Реорlе whо fосus оn thеіr gоаls vеrsus thеіr fаіlurеs wіll gеt furthеr аhеаd іn lіfе аnd busіnеss. Тhеіr dеtеrmіnаtіоn, реrsеvеrаnсе, аnd bеlіеf іn thеіr оwn suссеss mаkе а bіg dіffеrеnсе іn mоvіng fоrwаrd аnd tаkіng асtіоn stерs tоwаrd suссеss.

What tips would you add to the list to improve your chances of success?

Jonha Richman is a business strategist with over 8 years of experience developing digital media strategies for tech and FMCG companies such as IKEA, Dove, RebelMouse, among others. She interviews CEOs and CMOs for Career Advice series on The Huffington Post. Her works are regularly featured on Business Insider, Entrepreneur and Fast Company. You may connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Jahmila Bahati

    Jun 28, 2016 at 10:53 am

    Thank you for this motivational piece. As a (renewed) licensed real estate agent, writer and actor, these are excellent tools for success.

  2. Rachel

    Nov 18, 2015 at 2:34 am

    Hey Jonha,

    Great timely post for me. When I read your first heading, ‘Drop the excuses’, – I knew I had truly found my path and what I wanted to do when I realised that those excuses no longer had a voice or power. They attempted to seal a place in my mind and had done so for many years – but when I started blogging any excuse or reason that arose, it was knocked flying out of the realm of acceptance because I had made a deal to walk without allowing some blow in excuse that repeated itself to hold any power.

    While I do a lot of walking your second heading ‘Develop a Habit of Working Out’ really resonated with me. I have been putting it off, so thank you. I will do something about that in the near future.

    Rachel.

  3. Nick Scuderi

    Nov 15, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    Planning is more important than doing. If you think incorrectly then your actions will be incorrect as well. Once you change your mindset you will change your life. Abraham Lincoln once said something like, If he had 6 hours to cut down 100 trees, he would sharpen his ax for 4 of those hours. Your mind is the most powerful tool we have, lets use it.

    • Trey Hollis

      Nov 16, 2015 at 7:38 pm

      You are 100% right, Nick. I’ve read so many articles where people give the suggestion to people to just get started and to take action. I’ve always thought that we have to have a destination in mind before just getting started. On the flipside, I also believe that many people get stuck in the planning phase and they never take action on their plans…largely because they feel that their plans require perfect alignment in order to be successful.

      The right balance between planning and taking action includes being able to adapt and change strategy along the way – have a plan, take action, adjust course as needed.

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Success Advice

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

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“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!

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Success Advice

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

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how to be happy and successful
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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!

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Success Advice

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

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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!

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Success Advice

The 7 Secrets of High Achievers Revealed

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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…)

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