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7 Transformational Lessons From The Philosophy Of Success

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Marcus Aurelius Stoicism Philosophy and Success

If Addicted2Success was founded in ancient times, the majority of readers would be Stoics. Some of the greatest leaders in history were Stoics—Cicero, Epictetus, Seneca, Marcus Aurelius. Stoicism goes hand-in-hand with success because of its emphasis on self-mastery.

The key to happiness and a fulfilled life was found in responding—not reacting to external world circumstances. Stoics taught although we can’t control what happens to us in life, we can certainly control our response. Responding requires being mindful, aware, and in charge of your emotions and behaviours.

In any event, we can choose to perceive it in a productive way, or a destructive way. Stoics chose to see the glass always half-full.

Whatever philosophy is driving your life, these 7 lessons from Stoicism will no doubt bring positive change to your life.

 

1. Think About Thinking

Stoicism taught a clear distinction between your thoughts and your behaviour. It’s that old adage, think before you act. The mindless person acts without thinking. The ability to pause, and assess a situation before responding is crucial—and the sign of a healthy Stoic mind.

Marcus Aurelius said, “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”

Only a healthy attentive mind can filter and revoke unhealthy thoughts, and ultimately, unhealthy behaviours.

The next time you encounter something unexpected, pause for a moment—ask yourself, What just happened? How am I going to respond? Create a break between your thoughts and your actions.

 

2. New Day, New Beginnings

“Begin at once to live, and count each separate day as a separate life.” — Seneca

Stoics saw each day brimming with exciting opportunities. Remember, it only takes a single event, a single conversation, to completely change the trajectory of your life.

On the other hand, an awful day doesn’t have to be an awful week. What’s done is done, there’s no point in crying over spilt milk. The Stoics taught a form of mental compartmentalisation—not only to see the whole, but also to see the pieces that make up the whole; to put things in a box and take out the trash when needed.

A new day, a clean slate.

 

3. Purposed Action

“If a person doesn’t know to which port they sail, no wind is favourable.” — Seneca

The Stoic wakes up and knows exactly what they want out of their day. They have a clear destination and clear goals. The emphasis wasn’t only on human action and being busy, but being productive. There’s a big difference between the two. You can be busy and get things done, but none of those things may bring you closer to your goal.

You can sail all day, and end up right where you started. Know your port—your destination—and make sure your actions are steered toward that point.

 

4. You’re Already There

We’e got it all backward. Almost everyone will agree achievement and success brings happiness. Wrong. It’s happiness that brings success:

“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.” — Seneca

What the Stoics knew for centuries, science has recently clued into. Harvard Psychologist Shawn Achor shared his research during a Ted Talk—professionals from various careers who took part in a gratitude practice at the start of their day performed at a much better level than those who didn’t do the gratitude exercises. Achor showed that starting with a positive mindset yields greater results than starting at neutral.

Happiness should never come at the finish-line of anything, but rather as the starting block.

 

epictetus quote

5. Follow The Natural Flow

“No great thing is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig. If you tell me that you desire a fig, I answer you that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen. – Epictetus

Ambitious people live ten years in the future. We’re never where we want to be, and patience isn’t our strongest virtue. Stoicism not only taught living according to our inner flow, but also to the external flow of life.

Everything has it’s season—we can’t expect to be harvesting in Winter. And we all know it takes 10-years to become an overnight success.

Constantly trying to find shortcuts will send you round in circles. Just like a great movie, follow the storyline, rather than walking in mid-way.

 

6. Authenticity

“Were I a nightingale, I would act the part of a nightingale; were I a swan, the part of a swan.” – Epictetus

It’s so important to have mentors and role-models. But emulation can easily turn into imitation, and all you become is a second-rate product. Another foundation in Stocism is the perfect balance between fate and free will.

It’s a mysterious paradox—having the power to change everything, yet being powerless to change anything. The leopard can’t change it’s spots, but at the same time, you can always teach an old dog new tricks.

Practically, it means embracing your unchangeable quirks and leveraging your uniqueness. Figure out what your gifts and talents are, and exploit them. Seek change in order to grow into the best version of you, not so you become more like someone else.

 

7. Make Peace With Death

“Rehearse death. To say this is to tell a person to rehearse his freedom. A person who has learned how to die has unlearned how to be a slave.” – Seneca

Not something we like to talk about, but if there’s one thing we all have in common, it’s the certainty of death. Whether we realise it or not, death is at the root of all our fears. Our fight/flight mechanisms work to preserve life, to flee from death. But it often gets triggered way before death even enters into the picture—and cripples us from doing what we’re passionate, but afraid of.

The fear of death is the greatest form of slavery. Stoicism encouraged seeing death as a natural part of life, to stare death in the face, see it as normal, and be released from it’s fear.

Steve Jobs said it beautifully, “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

A refugee from Vietnam, raised in Australia, with a BA from Texas, Thai writes for many publications including The Huffington Post, Entrepreneur.com, and Addicted2Success. A professional chef, international kickboxer, and spiritual teacher, Thai is passionate about helping people become the best version of themselves. Signup for his free weekly Infographics at TheUtopianLife.com | Connect @ThaiWins | On Facebook 

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Shepherd Miti

    Oct 8, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    Wow… This ia great knowledge… I have liked it so much and have learned something great and powerful.

  2. Jamie

    Aug 28, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    This may be the most insightful and true article I have ever read. What powerful words and lessons. Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. Prema KV

    Sep 5, 2014 at 8:37 am

    Great Thoughts…! Thanks for Sharing…!

  4. Phil Janecic

    Aug 9, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    Hell yeah, this is truly philosophy of success. Great article!

    • Thai Nguyen

      Aug 10, 2014 at 1:58 pm

      Thanks Phil, glad you enjoyed it. All the best.

  5. kcooper1102

    Aug 8, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    Wow..I really loved this post and resonated with all of it. Number one jumped out at me in particular. I have been meditating for many years now, and by far, this is the most beneficial tool I have used to improve my mindset, which as we know, will then improve every aspect of your life. That tendency we have to react out of habit, let our thoughts get totally out of control, and the like, can wreak much havoc in our personal and professional lives. Number 4 was also poignant for me. As someone into personal development, finding ways to be happy is definitely something of great interest to me, and I realized that I need to be happy now; we do do it backwards don’t we? We decide there are all these things we need to be happy, and at some indefinite point in the future, once we get all our ‘stuff’, we will have finally captured it. But, that definitely doesn’t work. Great stuff!

    • Thai Nguyen

      Aug 8, 2014 at 8:04 pm

      Thanks kcooper. Likewise, separating myself from my thoughts was a huge game-channger. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    • khode manish v

      Aug 9, 2014 at 3:56 am

      hi Joel…very good morn dear friend…Again its a good topic to drop.but i want to be more open and clear with words,philosophy is something which is mostly depending on self oneself individual of seeing the things in different way,as it should be not the same one coming from the culture from dynasty to dynasty….the world change and the same as the living life style of every individual…so each morn rise and most of start with the different attitude of than following the philosophy of yesterday.so its not the matter of sticking on the one aim or the principles to making the way of ones individual subject by making the one particular object to find for….but your upgrade is very knowledgble …and will help too….have a nice acheving days of life for further and future prospects….keep smiling brother

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

Success Advice

The 3 C’s of Leadership That Determines Your Success

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leadership

Have you caught the seasonal flu or a common cold this winter season? If so, you likely received advice to drink a glass of orange juice for the benefits associated with consuming Vitamin C. To repair an immune system that has been weakened by the common cold or flu, Vitamin C can provide the body with nutrition that can expedite recovery time. When it comes to exhibiting positive leadership behaviors there exists three qualities that also begin with the letter “C” and are helpful.  

To receive the Vitamin C’s of leadership, you must start with a desire to improve. One camp might endorse that you find mentorship from a senior colleague. Another person or group may recommend that you spend more time reading articles or books discussing leadership experiences and advice. With either point of origin, it can open a path to growth and improvement as a leader. However, you chose to proceed with the second inquiry which is why you are here!

We often believe that leadership is a cumbersome and daunting process. It can be difficult, but if we are strategic about cultivating a few characteristics, the mountain to positive impact is a little more feasible to climb. From school teachers and administrators to business executives and their employees, I have found that all great leaders possess a minimum of three dominant characteristics.

These three dominant features can provide an individual with the strength to continue during the difficult times that often accompany leadership; they are similar to the Vitamin C that can make you feel better when battling a cold or the flu.

Enough already, what are the Vitamin C’s of leadership and success? See below:

1. Confidence

Leaders believe in themselves and the people they serve. This positive self-awareness or confidence that effective leaders have, often radiates in every aspect of their work from communication with others to informed decisions. One strategy you can use to develop confidence is the commitment to being the first one to speak during a meeting or class. Successful leaders are willing to express themselves in a variety of capacities, even when they may possess less common viewpoints or modes of behavior.

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” – John C. Maxwell

2. Competency

Building on the importance of confidence, effective leadership is about being able to create a personal development plan that consistently encourages you to improve. Some of the most revered leaders in our society, strategically make time to read daily. Warren Buffett and Oprah Winfrey are two of the most common examples of this relentless thirst for knowledge.

They have committed to life-long learning that continues, despite reaching nearly every financial and business goal possible. To become more competent, you can create a schedule that allows for the investment in activities such as reading articles and books to stay informed.

3. Charisma

You might call it SWAG or a gift, but the ability to attract other people who support you and your work are essential. It is not necessary to resemble a supermodel to get people to like you, but you do need to carry yourself with a certain level of pride to effectively encourage others to follow your advice and instructions.

Charisma is a byproduct of possessing confidence in yourself to serve as a useful leader. You can build more charisma in your life, by being more mindful to genuinely listen and respond to your colleagues, family, and friends in conversations. Don’t allow yourself to become intimidated by the responsibilities that can come with the roles of a leader.

“I attract a crowd, not because I’m an extrovert or I’m over the top or I’m oozing with charisma. It’s because I care.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

In many cases, you would not be in the position to earn followers without the necessary qualifications or skill set. Excelling in leadership is possible for you when you are consistent with tapping into the power of the Vitamin C’s of leadership and success.

Confidence, Competency, and Charisma can offer a bountiful number of resources to serve others in authoritative roles of professional and personal environments. Confident leaders believe in themselves, their products, and their services. Competent leaders commit to a lifetime of learning. Charismatic leaders make use of their confidence to attract other people who can support the vision of a group or individual. With the engagement of consistent activities and the reinforcement from positive examples of leadership, nothing is impossible for you to achieve!

How do you display confidence, competency, and charisma on a daily basis with people? Let us know your advice below!

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Success Advice

10 Amazing Leadership Lessons From Design Thinking

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design thinking leadership

Leadership is a challenging proposition in a world of disruptions and changes due to the rate of change being overwhelming. How do leaders cope with constant changes, enormous expectations and an unpredictable future? Well, a lot of the top organisations including Pepsi, Nike, Apple and Google use Design Thinking for leadership matters.

Design thinking is coming up with visual patterns that lead to the desired solutions. In other words, it is about connecting the dots to come up with solutions to practical problems that you want to solve. The Design thinking approach is widely appreciated and adopted by leaders around the globe.

Below, we look at 10 intriguing leadership lessons from design thinking:

1. Solution Focused Approach

Design thinking helps leaders to develop a solution centric mindset. The emphasis is on identifying and defining the core problem and then arriving at the best solution. Corporates and teams are looking for leaders who have a solution focused approach. The best leaders understand that they create value by offering solutions to complex problems. They resolve conflicts, solve problems and relish the idea of making the difference.

2. Connect the Dots

Leaders need to look at the complete picture for connecting and correlating things. Design thinking provides visualisation of the problem, constraints, desired solution and complete picture of things. It is a great way leaders can visualise abstract concepts. Leaders can use visual mapping of the assumptions, constraints, existing state and the goal state to align their teams in the right direction.

3. Empathy & Inclusiveness

Leadership starts with empathy. To earn the respect of your team, clients and other people involved, it is important to show empathy and understand their needs. When you care for your team, customers and other stakeholders, they in turn care for you. Design thinking starts with the end users in mind; it creates a thinking framework where you build empathy and inclusiveness.

4. Constant Improvement with Regular Feedback

The design thinking methodology involves iterations and user feedback for continuous improvement of products and services. Feedback is crucial for growth and improvement. Also, what works today may not work tomorrow thus it is important for leaders to touch base with ground reality and ensure consistent improvements. A leader needs to provide constant feedback for improvement of products, services and individuals. Consistent improvement and a growth mindset is crucial for success.

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” – Maya Angelou

5. Open Mindedness

Design thinking encourages experiments, creativity and innovation. When working on different concepts and ideas, leaders need to be open minded which helps create an environment of learning and experimentation. They build individuals and teams that take pride in their work. Open minded leaders are continuously seeking ways to improve things, because they welcome divergent ideas that may challenge or stretch them with an open mind.

6. Empower Team and Create Synergy

Design thinking empowers everyone to contribute effectively. It encourages the teams to work collaboratively and creates a synergising effect. When everyone has a say during the development of a product or service, teams feel empowered. The team feels accountable for results and takes complete ownership of things. Leaders can use design thinking for listening to people, getting them to contribute ideas, and empowering them with opportunities to make a difference.

7. Sense of Purpose

In an era of distractions, it is hard for teams to stay focused. People are more focused and productive when they know what they are doing and why they are doing it. Leaders can use design thinking for clarity and articulating their vision. A great leader effectively communicates the purpose & mission of their work to connect everyone. Teams are more likely to achieve their goals when they are given clear and consistent messages.

8. Dealing with Uncertainties

Dealing with change is hard. It gets even harder when you don’t know what is going to change. In the technology driven world, companies need to be well prepared to face competition not just from the competitors but also from digital innovations. With design thinking leaders can evaluate options, see the complete picture of things and choose the best options. Design thinking is a strategy that relies on iterations, feedback and constant improvement to deal with the changing times.

“Uncertainty and expectation are the joys of life. Security is an insipid thing.” -. William Congreve

9. Decisiveness

A leader needs to make decisions all the time. Some of these decisions are crucial in shaping the lives of individuals and organisations. Design thinking helps leaders to improve their decision making by offering alternatives and complete visualisation of information. Leaders can overcome biases and take informed decisions when they are presented with alternatives. Design thinking is now being employed by corporates in different areas of their company to make strategic decisions.

10. Persistence

Great leaders are persistent and never give up their pursuit until they reach their goals. Design thinking is a journey that requires persistence. It is an ongoing process to reach excellence. It is a process that teaches leaders to observe incremental additions, iterate and persist till the desired solution is achieved.

Leaders are learners. They learn from the past, keep an eye on the present and evolve with changing demands of the future. Design thinking is playing an increasingly vital role in creating more effective leaders. These leaders are capable of building strong teams, solve complex problems, show empathy and constantly improvise to unleash great value for everyone involved. Design thinking is a sure fire way for leaders to ensure that the sum total of the team is greater than the sum of their individual parts.

How will you use design thinking for your own business or job? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

What If You Never Took Another Selfie Again?

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That’s the question I want you to ponder right now.

What if taking a selfie only made the world ignore you?
What if life is not all about you?
What if no one cares who you took a photo with?

And finally, how did we ever live without selfies before the front-facing camera got invented?

Instead of taking a selfie do this:

Try focusing on other people.
Try not to document every moment.
Try to think about life before selfies.

We all take selfies because that’s what we were told to do.
And that’s exactly why we need to question this habitual flaw that we’re now indulging in.

 

I have A/B tested selfies vs. no selfies.

The result? When I took photos of cool stuff like mountains in Japan and shared a profound thought, people liked that more than a selfie with my overly large head in it. I’ve done this test multiple times over the last few years.

The result is always the same. People are over you and your selfies.

 

It’s not about “I” it’s about “We.”

Sounds cliché, and that’s because most brilliant advice is.

Selfies have deluded us into thinking that life is about us and our big audacious goals. Where life will change for you is when you focus on the “We.”

Everything I write is for the audience I want to inspire. It’s not to show off or to share dumb selfies of me in a weak attempt to appear superior.

 

Selfies cause your followers to compare themselves to you.

And that’s not fair. If each of us tried to be the same, then society would be pretty dull.

“We don’t need a selfie to teach us how to copy each other and be jealous little so-and-sos who want to win a beauty pagan of nothingness”

You’re so much better than a selfie.

I believe you care about your followers so let’s stop drowning them in selfies. Selfies are proving nothing to no one. Selfies stop you from standing out in the crowd and inspiring others.

 

The time you spend “selfieing” could be used for…..

Enjoying this current moment and the breath you have in your lungs. One day that breath is going to stop and all that time selfieing won’t matter. You’re literally using up magical moments trying to take a hundred selfies that you filter and post, hoping for perfection.

Perfection is ugly.

“Right now, is the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen if you’ll only stop selfieing and notice it”

 

Life before selfies….

Life was much the same. The selfie didn’t put us on Cloud 9 with a bunch of our fantasies and an unlimited amount of cash being shot up into the sky via an air cannon.

Life before selfies was fun.
We ate our food instead of looking at it with our phones and letting it get cold.
We had phenomenal conversations with our friends instead of taking endless, mindless selfies.

Life before selfies was not about one’s self.
You took photos of other people. Often, you took two photos max instead of fifty in a row.

I’d like you to imagine a life without selfies.

What does the selfie really mean to you and can you live without it?

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Success Advice

Build From Within – Why Success Is All About People

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happy team

What is it that makes a company successful? Money? Technology? A driven CEO? While money certainly doesn’t hurt, technology is essential and it’s nice to have a well poised leader. These things are not what guarantees success in a corporation. It is all about the people. The employees working for an organization are the backbone of the company. Without great people, success can only go so far.

And if this is indeed true, successful business models should revolve around people – attracting top talent, and retaining them. Before ever serving external customers, companies should serve internally. This is where true success is built.

Walid Halty, founder of Dvinci energy, explains 3 reasons as to why people are the bottom line of success and how to build a team for continued growth:

1. Success Comes From Within

How do you continuously create an impeccable experience for your customers? While you may start listing out things such as innovation, efficient delivery and quality, you’d be wrong. All of those factors are quite necessary to attract and retain happy clients. At the same time, you never have to worry about any of that if you have a dedicated and talented team behind your organization or business. When your employees are happy with their work and love what they do, they automatically do great work every single day.

So, how do you get dedicated and talented individuals in your business, and how do you retain them? Dedicated and talented people all share a couple commonalities. They love to be challenged, and they love to grow. You need to challenge your people and give them opportunities to grow: “We have a culture that demands the best out of people. We offer them world class training and give opportunities for growth within our company. We invest in our people: ”Challenge and grow your people, and they will challenge and grow your business.

2. A Balancing Act

Gone are the 12 hour work days and good riddance! There is a new reality in the interconnected and digital world that we live in today. That reality is that there is an abundance of opportunity for anyone who strives for it. People don’t want to miss soccer games, dance recitals and family dinner time. They want balance. They want to do fulfilling, good work at a place where they feel valued, engaged and share a common vision. If this is not the case, then they will be willing to explore other opportunities if they don’t get exactly what they’re looking for.

“Your people don’t need your company’s way of making money, they need a community that creates purpose and order in their lives and an environment that empowers them rather than tries to hold them down out of fear.”

Find out what your people want and then do your best to give it to them. Flexible programs like remote work and adjustable schedules go a long way in making your employees happy and bringing balance: “At Dvinci, we consistently ask our people, what can we be doing better? How can we better serve you? How do WE make doing your job easier?”

You have to care about your people and what they experience on a daily basis when they come to work for you. Deliver a positive people experience, and you will retain your top talent, and they will share your vision and your success.

3. Happiness is a Choice

Emotions are at the root of all the decisions we make. We make hundreds of choices a day, and we make those decisions based off what we think will make us happy. They are why our customers buy from us, and it is why our employees stay with us. We all want to operate in a world (and a place of work) where we have the ability to control our happiness and improve our lives. This simple truth is one of the foundations companies should build their business models around.

Give your people a choice. Allow them to make decisions on how successful they want to be, how much money they want to earn, and what kind of impact they want to have based on what they believe will make them happy. Put the ball in their court. Allow your people to decide to be happy. By doing this, your top talent will excel and your employees will be happy.

“When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.” – Simon Sinek

In case you’ve ever been curious about how to make your business more profitable, more innovative or have a bigger impact, the answer lies within. Serve your people first. Build a community of inspired, engaged and talented employees.

Build your business model around people. The rest will fall into place naturally. When you focus on people, they will care about your business, they will care about your mission and they will care about your customers.

Do you think building from within will equal more success? Share your thoughts with us below!

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How to Get Better at Anything by Using This Self Encouragement Practice

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Whether you’re turning your sidehustle into a career, sculpting a fitter body, or perfecting your favourite sport, getting better at anything requires a simple yet specific sequence: (more…)

Daniel Dowling is waging a war against distraction at MillennialSuccess.io, where he teaches the art of planning and making sh!# happen.

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Shepherd Miti

    Oct 8, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    Wow… This ia great knowledge… I have liked it so much and have learned something great and powerful.

  2. Jamie

    Aug 28, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    This may be the most insightful and true article I have ever read. What powerful words and lessons. Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. Prema KV

    Sep 5, 2014 at 8:37 am

    Great Thoughts…! Thanks for Sharing…!

  4. Phil Janecic

    Aug 9, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    Hell yeah, this is truly philosophy of success. Great article!

    • Thai Nguyen

      Aug 10, 2014 at 1:58 pm

      Thanks Phil, glad you enjoyed it. All the best.

  5. kcooper1102

    Aug 8, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    Wow..I really loved this post and resonated with all of it. Number one jumped out at me in particular. I have been meditating for many years now, and by far, this is the most beneficial tool I have used to improve my mindset, which as we know, will then improve every aspect of your life. That tendency we have to react out of habit, let our thoughts get totally out of control, and the like, can wreak much havoc in our personal and professional lives. Number 4 was also poignant for me. As someone into personal development, finding ways to be happy is definitely something of great interest to me, and I realized that I need to be happy now; we do do it backwards don’t we? We decide there are all these things we need to be happy, and at some indefinite point in the future, once we get all our ‘stuff’, we will have finally captured it. But, that definitely doesn’t work. Great stuff!

    • Thai Nguyen

      Aug 8, 2014 at 8:04 pm

      Thanks kcooper. Likewise, separating myself from my thoughts was a huge game-channger. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    • khode manish v

      Aug 9, 2014 at 3:56 am

      hi Joel…very good morn dear friend…Again its a good topic to drop.but i want to be more open and clear with words,philosophy is something which is mostly depending on self oneself individual of seeing the things in different way,as it should be not the same one coming from the culture from dynasty to dynasty….the world change and the same as the living life style of every individual…so each morn rise and most of start with the different attitude of than following the philosophy of yesterday.so its not the matter of sticking on the one aim or the principles to making the way of ones individual subject by making the one particular object to find for….but your upgrade is very knowledgble …and will help too….have a nice acheving days of life for further and future prospects….keep smiling brother

Leave a Reply

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

Success Advice

The 3 C’s of Leadership That Determines Your Success

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leadership

Have you caught the seasonal flu or a common cold this winter season? If so, you likely received advice to drink a glass of orange juice for the benefits associated with consuming Vitamin C. To repair an immune system that has been weakened by the common cold or flu, Vitamin C can provide the body with nutrition that can expedite recovery time. When it comes to exhibiting positive leadership behaviors there exists three qualities that also begin with the letter “C” and are helpful.  

To receive the Vitamin C’s of leadership, you must start with a desire to improve. One camp might endorse that you find mentorship from a senior colleague. Another person or group may recommend that you spend more time reading articles or books discussing leadership experiences and advice. With either point of origin, it can open a path to growth and improvement as a leader. However, you chose to proceed with the second inquiry which is why you are here!

We often believe that leadership is a cumbersome and daunting process. It can be difficult, but if we are strategic about cultivating a few characteristics, the mountain to positive impact is a little more feasible to climb. From school teachers and administrators to business executives and their employees, I have found that all great leaders possess a minimum of three dominant characteristics.

These three dominant features can provide an individual with the strength to continue during the difficult times that often accompany leadership; they are similar to the Vitamin C that can make you feel better when battling a cold or the flu.

Enough already, what are the Vitamin C’s of leadership and success? See below:

1. Confidence

Leaders believe in themselves and the people they serve. This positive self-awareness or confidence that effective leaders have, often radiates in every aspect of their work from communication with others to informed decisions. One strategy you can use to develop confidence is the commitment to being the first one to speak during a meeting or class. Successful leaders are willing to express themselves in a variety of capacities, even when they may possess less common viewpoints or modes of behavior.

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” – John C. Maxwell

2. Competency

Building on the importance of confidence, effective leadership is about being able to create a personal development plan that consistently encourages you to improve. Some of the most revered leaders in our society, strategically make time to read daily. Warren Buffett and Oprah Winfrey are two of the most common examples of this relentless thirst for knowledge.

They have committed to life-long learning that continues, despite reaching nearly every financial and business goal possible. To become more competent, you can create a schedule that allows for the investment in activities such as reading articles and books to stay informed.

3. Charisma

You might call it SWAG or a gift, but the ability to attract other people who support you and your work are essential. It is not necessary to resemble a supermodel to get people to like you, but you do need to carry yourself with a certain level of pride to effectively encourage others to follow your advice and instructions.

Charisma is a byproduct of possessing confidence in yourself to serve as a useful leader. You can build more charisma in your life, by being more mindful to genuinely listen and respond to your colleagues, family, and friends in conversations. Don’t allow yourself to become intimidated by the responsibilities that can come with the roles of a leader.

“I attract a crowd, not because I’m an extrovert or I’m over the top or I’m oozing with charisma. It’s because I care.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

In many cases, you would not be in the position to earn followers without the necessary qualifications or skill set. Excelling in leadership is possible for you when you are consistent with tapping into the power of the Vitamin C’s of leadership and success.

Confidence, Competency, and Charisma can offer a bountiful number of resources to serve others in authoritative roles of professional and personal environments. Confident leaders believe in themselves, their products, and their services. Competent leaders commit to a lifetime of learning. Charismatic leaders make use of their confidence to attract other people who can support the vision of a group or individual. With the engagement of consistent activities and the reinforcement from positive examples of leadership, nothing is impossible for you to achieve!

How do you display confidence, competency, and charisma on a daily basis with people? Let us know your advice below!

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Success Advice

10 Amazing Leadership Lessons From Design Thinking

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design thinking leadership

Leadership is a challenging proposition in a world of disruptions and changes due to the rate of change being overwhelming. How do leaders cope with constant changes, enormous expectations and an unpredictable future? Well, a lot of the top organisations including Pepsi, Nike, Apple and Google use Design Thinking for leadership matters.

Design thinking is coming up with visual patterns that lead to the desired solutions. In other words, it is about connecting the dots to come up with solutions to practical problems that you want to solve. The Design thinking approach is widely appreciated and adopted by leaders around the globe.

Below, we look at 10 intriguing leadership lessons from design thinking:

1. Solution Focused Approach

Design thinking helps leaders to develop a solution centric mindset. The emphasis is on identifying and defining the core problem and then arriving at the best solution. Corporates and teams are looking for leaders who have a solution focused approach. The best leaders understand that they create value by offering solutions to complex problems. They resolve conflicts, solve problems and relish the idea of making the difference.

2. Connect the Dots

Leaders need to look at the complete picture for connecting and correlating things. Design thinking provides visualisation of the problem, constraints, desired solution and complete picture of things. It is a great way leaders can visualise abstract concepts. Leaders can use visual mapping of the assumptions, constraints, existing state and the goal state to align their teams in the right direction.

3. Empathy & Inclusiveness

Leadership starts with empathy. To earn the respect of your team, clients and other people involved, it is important to show empathy and understand their needs. When you care for your team, customers and other stakeholders, they in turn care for you. Design thinking starts with the end users in mind; it creates a thinking framework where you build empathy and inclusiveness.

4. Constant Improvement with Regular Feedback

The design thinking methodology involves iterations and user feedback for continuous improvement of products and services. Feedback is crucial for growth and improvement. Also, what works today may not work tomorrow thus it is important for leaders to touch base with ground reality and ensure consistent improvements. A leader needs to provide constant feedback for improvement of products, services and individuals. Consistent improvement and a growth mindset is crucial for success.

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” – Maya Angelou

5. Open Mindedness

Design thinking encourages experiments, creativity and innovation. When working on different concepts and ideas, leaders need to be open minded which helps create an environment of learning and experimentation. They build individuals and teams that take pride in their work. Open minded leaders are continuously seeking ways to improve things, because they welcome divergent ideas that may challenge or stretch them with an open mind.

6. Empower Team and Create Synergy

Design thinking empowers everyone to contribute effectively. It encourages the teams to work collaboratively and creates a synergising effect. When everyone has a say during the development of a product or service, teams feel empowered. The team feels accountable for results and takes complete ownership of things. Leaders can use design thinking for listening to people, getting them to contribute ideas, and empowering them with opportunities to make a difference.

7. Sense of Purpose

In an era of distractions, it is hard for teams to stay focused. People are more focused and productive when they know what they are doing and why they are doing it. Leaders can use design thinking for clarity and articulating their vision. A great leader effectively communicates the purpose & mission of their work to connect everyone. Teams are more likely to achieve their goals when they are given clear and consistent messages.

8. Dealing with Uncertainties

Dealing with change is hard. It gets even harder when you don’t know what is going to change. In the technology driven world, companies need to be well prepared to face competition not just from the competitors but also from digital innovations. With design thinking leaders can evaluate options, see the complete picture of things and choose the best options. Design thinking is a strategy that relies on iterations, feedback and constant improvement to deal with the changing times.

“Uncertainty and expectation are the joys of life. Security is an insipid thing.” -. William Congreve

9. Decisiveness

A leader needs to make decisions all the time. Some of these decisions are crucial in shaping the lives of individuals and organisations. Design thinking helps leaders to improve their decision making by offering alternatives and complete visualisation of information. Leaders can overcome biases and take informed decisions when they are presented with alternatives. Design thinking is now being employed by corporates in different areas of their company to make strategic decisions.

10. Persistence

Great leaders are persistent and never give up their pursuit until they reach their goals. Design thinking is a journey that requires persistence. It is an ongoing process to reach excellence. It is a process that teaches leaders to observe incremental additions, iterate and persist till the desired solution is achieved.

Leaders are learners. They learn from the past, keep an eye on the present and evolve with changing demands of the future. Design thinking is playing an increasingly vital role in creating more effective leaders. These leaders are capable of building strong teams, solve complex problems, show empathy and constantly improvise to unleash great value for everyone involved. Design thinking is a sure fire way for leaders to ensure that the sum total of the team is greater than the sum of their individual parts.

How will you use design thinking for your own business or job? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

What If You Never Took Another Selfie Again?

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That’s the question I want you to ponder right now.

What if taking a selfie only made the world ignore you?
What if life is not all about you?
What if no one cares who you took a photo with?

And finally, how did we ever live without selfies before the front-facing camera got invented?

Instead of taking a selfie do this:

Try focusing on other people.
Try not to document every moment.
Try to think about life before selfies.

We all take selfies because that’s what we were told to do.
And that’s exactly why we need to question this habitual flaw that we’re now indulging in.

 

I have A/B tested selfies vs. no selfies.

The result? When I took photos of cool stuff like mountains in Japan and shared a profound thought, people liked that more than a selfie with my overly large head in it. I’ve done this test multiple times over the last few years.

The result is always the same. People are over you and your selfies.

 

It’s not about “I” it’s about “We.”

Sounds cliché, and that’s because most brilliant advice is.

Selfies have deluded us into thinking that life is about us and our big audacious goals. Where life will change for you is when you focus on the “We.”

Everything I write is for the audience I want to inspire. It’s not to show off or to share dumb selfies of me in a weak attempt to appear superior.

 

Selfies cause your followers to compare themselves to you.

And that’s not fair. If each of us tried to be the same, then society would be pretty dull.

“We don’t need a selfie to teach us how to copy each other and be jealous little so-and-sos who want to win a beauty pagan of nothingness”

You’re so much better than a selfie.

I believe you care about your followers so let’s stop drowning them in selfies. Selfies are proving nothing to no one. Selfies stop you from standing out in the crowd and inspiring others.

 

The time you spend “selfieing” could be used for…..

Enjoying this current moment and the breath you have in your lungs. One day that breath is going to stop and all that time selfieing won’t matter. You’re literally using up magical moments trying to take a hundred selfies that you filter and post, hoping for perfection.

Perfection is ugly.

“Right now, is the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen if you’ll only stop selfieing and notice it”

 

Life before selfies….

Life was much the same. The selfie didn’t put us on Cloud 9 with a bunch of our fantasies and an unlimited amount of cash being shot up into the sky via an air cannon.

Life before selfies was fun.
We ate our food instead of looking at it with our phones and letting it get cold.
We had phenomenal conversations with our friends instead of taking endless, mindless selfies.

Life before selfies was not about one’s self.
You took photos of other people. Often, you took two photos max instead of fifty in a row.

I’d like you to imagine a life without selfies.

What does the selfie really mean to you and can you live without it?

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Success Advice

Build From Within – Why Success Is All About People

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What is it that makes a company successful? Money? Technology? A driven CEO? While money certainly doesn’t hurt, technology is essential and it’s nice to have a well poised leader. These things are not what guarantees success in a corporation. It is all about the people. The employees working for an organization are the backbone of the company. Without great people, success can only go so far.

And if this is indeed true, successful business models should revolve around people – attracting top talent, and retaining them. Before ever serving external customers, companies should serve internally. This is where true success is built.

Walid Halty, founder of Dvinci energy, explains 3 reasons as to why people are the bottom line of success and how to build a team for continued growth:

1. Success Comes From Within

How do you continuously create an impeccable experience for your customers? While you may start listing out things such as innovation, efficient delivery and quality, you’d be wrong. All of those factors are quite necessary to attract and retain happy clients. At the same time, you never have to worry about any of that if you have a dedicated and talented team behind your organization or business. When your employees are happy with their work and love what they do, they automatically do great work every single day.

So, how do you get dedicated and talented individuals in your business, and how do you retain them? Dedicated and talented people all share a couple commonalities. They love to be challenged, and they love to grow. You need to challenge your people and give them opportunities to grow: “We have a culture that demands the best out of people. We offer them world class training and give opportunities for growth within our company. We invest in our people: ”Challenge and grow your people, and they will challenge and grow your business.

2. A Balancing Act

Gone are the 12 hour work days and good riddance! There is a new reality in the interconnected and digital world that we live in today. That reality is that there is an abundance of opportunity for anyone who strives for it. People don’t want to miss soccer games, dance recitals and family dinner time. They want balance. They want to do fulfilling, good work at a place where they feel valued, engaged and share a common vision. If this is not the case, then they will be willing to explore other opportunities if they don’t get exactly what they’re looking for.

“Your people don’t need your company’s way of making money, they need a community that creates purpose and order in their lives and an environment that empowers them rather than tries to hold them down out of fear.”

Find out what your people want and then do your best to give it to them. Flexible programs like remote work and adjustable schedules go a long way in making your employees happy and bringing balance: “At Dvinci, we consistently ask our people, what can we be doing better? How can we better serve you? How do WE make doing your job easier?”

You have to care about your people and what they experience on a daily basis when they come to work for you. Deliver a positive people experience, and you will retain your top talent, and they will share your vision and your success.

3. Happiness is a Choice

Emotions are at the root of all the decisions we make. We make hundreds of choices a day, and we make those decisions based off what we think will make us happy. They are why our customers buy from us, and it is why our employees stay with us. We all want to operate in a world (and a place of work) where we have the ability to control our happiness and improve our lives. This simple truth is one of the foundations companies should build their business models around.

Give your people a choice. Allow them to make decisions on how successful they want to be, how much money they want to earn, and what kind of impact they want to have based on what they believe will make them happy. Put the ball in their court. Allow your people to decide to be happy. By doing this, your top talent will excel and your employees will be happy.

“When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.” – Simon Sinek

In case you’ve ever been curious about how to make your business more profitable, more innovative or have a bigger impact, the answer lies within. Serve your people first. Build a community of inspired, engaged and talented employees.

Build your business model around people. The rest will fall into place naturally. When you focus on people, they will care about your business, they will care about your mission and they will care about your customers.

Do you think building from within will equal more success? Share your thoughts with us below!

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