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Success Advice

8 Fundamentals For Developing Mental Strength

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Mental strength is the most important quality any entrepreneur, businessman, or human being for that matter, can possess. Without it everything is difficult, happiness is evasive and life is mostly confusing.

Your capacity to view things in a way that allows you to be positive and enthusiastic, regardless of your setbacks or the challenges you face, can be the defining characteristic between merely getting by in life and achieving true success.

I am a firm believer that anything in life worth having can be obtained through specific and direct effort towards its attainment, and creating mental strength is no exception. Building mental strength will be vital to your success. Below, I have listed a few ways to develop your mental strength.

Here are 8 tips for creating mental strength:

1. Find the positive within every situation

Say you’re twelve months into your first start up. You’ve poured all of your savings into this venture and worked tirelessly day and night in an attempt to build your business and work towards making a profit. Unfortunately things haven’t gone to plan. Your product isn’t selling as well as expected and your consumers just aren’t taking to it as well as you’d hoped.

Right now you have two choices: You could get angry at your customers for not taking to the fantastic product you’ve created, and tell yourself that things just aren’t going to work out for you and your business or you could seek the positive in the situation by using it as an opportunity to learn what your consumers dislike about your product and how you can improve it to better suit their needs.

Seeking to uncover the good amongst the bad in your life is an important and necessary skill to have when developing your mental capacity, and not to mention you’ll be more content and happy when you do.

 

2. Read books. Lots of them

What better way to learn to enhance your mental strength than to learn from the experiences of mentally strong people. If you want to accelerate your progress, read, read and read some more. Why bother spending your whole life figuring things out through trial and error when you can learn lessons from those who have travelled before you?

Here are 5 great books for improving your mental strength:

 

3. View failure as a prerequisite to success

Failure is merely an opportunity to learn so that you can do better the next time. Nobody is perfect, everyone makes mistakes, and you will fail at many things before you die. Being mentally strong means viewing failure not as the end, but merely a stepping stone on the way to achieving your goals. When you fail, learn the lesson and move on.

“It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another.” – Franklin D Roosevelt

4. Learn to be present

Most people spend the majority of their lives either reflecting on the past or fearing what the future might hold. Being in this mental state is dangerous as we’re rarely satisfied with what we’ve achieved or where our lives are at currently. This forces us to dwell on the past and live within our dreams for what we want tomorrow, instead of focusing on living our lives today.

Try taking up Yoga, learning to meditate and simply try and focus on the ‘now’ and restrain your mind from wandering from the task at hand. This means staying off your phone while having a conversation with someone, and focusing intently on your duties throughout the day.

 

5. Take responsibility for everything that happens to you

We all know of the salesmen who blames the economy, his environment, his employer and anything but his own work output for not achieving his targets. The under developed mind has a tendency to look elsewhere when things go wrong, instead of looking inside for the reason for it’s failure.

One of the most important steps when working towards creating mental strength is to take responsibility for every outcome in your life. Don’t blame anyone or anything. Work out what you could have done better, learn from it, and make better decisions in the future. It is not until we learn to accept complete responsibility for the outcomes in our life that we can expect to come close to achieving our mental potential.

 

6. Realize that regardless of where you’re at in your life, you can always learn something new

To develop a strong mind, you have to have an open mind. Regardless of your position or experience you can always learn something new. Make an effort to network and meet new people, and seek to learn everything you can from whom you come into contact with. Never be so confident in your own knowledge that you are ignorant to learning new things or understanding different perspectives and points of view.

Make an effort to ask questions to whom you come into contact with, seek to view the world from their point of view, and be open to new perspectives. An open mind and a fierce desire for continuous education is a prerequisite to building mental strength.

 

7. Exercise and eat well

Creating a peak metal state is impossible without caring for your physical self. Your brain’s capacity is greatly increased when you exercise regularly and consume nutrient dense, high quality foods.

Mild dehydration or simple nutrient deficiencies developed through not consuming the foods your brain and body requires can lead to headaches, poor attention and ‘cloudy brain’, just to name a few. Not the characteristics you’re looking for when striving to develop mental strength. Think of it like this – do you think a high performance motor vehicle is going to perform to its capacity when it’s filled with poor quality fuel? I think you get the picture.

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” – Jim Rohn

8. Learn the art of resilience

Without a resilient mental fortitude, huge success stories such as Starbucks, Harry Potter and Disney would be non existent. You’ll find it common practice for those who achieve great things to suffer through adversity, failure and setbacks in order to become successful. Your ability to be resilient and to never give up, regardless of the obstacle or challenge in your way is not only important, it is absolutely necessary to build your mental strength and achieve anything worthwhile in your life.

Instead of viewing failure and adversity as a hindrance to your efforts, expect it, plan for it, and make the best of every situation.

Which one of these do you think is most important and why? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Owen Hone is the creator and author of Evolve By O.H. He writes engaging content, designed to educate and inspire his readers to develop their body and mind synergistically, in order to achieve their potential in life. He has a passion for self development and pushing his body and mind to the limit, and enjoys travel, sports and good coffee! Feel free to connect with him on Facebook.

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24 Comments

24 Comments

  1. ezekiel damilola

    Mar 27, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    I think it’s the “fundamental 2” that talks about reading coz I see it as the finest way to develop the mind. It equally affords an individual the privilege of connecting most time with people he or she usually cannot or may not meet in person.

  2. Syed Aslam

    Jan 10, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    It’s really all good points. Thanks for the post.

  3. Jim Carlén

    Jan 10, 2016 at 12:38 am

    Really good, I did connect with it a a lot! I will share it at my blog tomorrow! =)

    • Owen Hone

      Jan 11, 2016 at 1:19 am

      Thanks Jim, and I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  4. S K Jain

    Jan 9, 2016 at 5:32 am

    Nice article. Addicted2Success seems to be a modern version of Dale Carnegie!

  5. Joel S

    Jan 5, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    Great article. It reminded me of of several core concepts that I’ve let slip from the forefront of my mind, where they belong! My only question is: What would you recommend doing to maintain a positive state of mind? Do you have any daily rituals, practices, or mental exercises you do? Thanks!

    • Owen Hone

      Jan 6, 2016 at 8:41 pm

      Hey Joel! I’m glad you enjoyed it. Something that works really well for me, is that whenever I’m faced with a difficult situation, I say to myself “If you can’t control the situation, control your reaction to it”. The most important component of mental strength is realizing that you have the power to choose your reaction to every situation. Always try and seek the positive in the situation. If you look hard enough, you’ll always find it.

      I have recently starting trying my hand at meditating, which I have found really beneficial. If you’re new to it, try using the ‘Headspace’ app. Hope this helps. – Owen.

  6. Paul Damson Mwanelo

    Jan 3, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    Hello Owen! Let me say that you have done a commendable job with such a superb article.I have really enjoyed reading through it.I am really eager to try my best to find the books you listed above so that I can improve my mental strength if possible because I am not sure I will get them in bookshops here in Malawi.But I am willing to have them.Once again thanks for your unbeatable and great article!

    • Owen Hone

      Jan 4, 2016 at 2:23 am

      Hey Paul! Thank you for your kind words, I appreciate the positive feedback! Unfortunately I am not sure where you could get your hands on these books in Malawi, although it might be possible to purchase an e-book version off Amazon.com? I hope you are able to get your hands on them, they will certainly help! Seeing that you liked this post, feel free to check out some of my other content on my personal site, evovlebyoh.com – Cheers!

  7. Usman Mahmood

    Jan 2, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    Great article and love all the points.

    The one that I feel connected to the most is point number 4 learning to be in the present. In life we have to control our mental state on a daily and likewise it is dangerous to be doubtful of what may happen. Eliminating such thoughts will help one be more appreciative of life because there are people in the world that are in more difficult situations than yourself. The best a person can do is try their hardest and any failure should be seen as a learning experience and another step to success. It also leads to a person being more happier; disciplined, goal orientated and optimistic.

    Never Give up!

    • Owen Hone

      Jan 3, 2016 at 5:16 am

      Thanks Usman, I appreciate the feedback! You provide some great insight.

  8. Owen

    Jan 1, 2016 at 6:17 am

    Thanks for the feedback gentlemen. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. All the best to you in the new year!

  9. Douglas

    Jan 1, 2016 at 2:57 am

    Thank you sincerely from my heart for sharing this article ^^

    • Owen Hone

      Jan 1, 2016 at 3:20 pm

      You’re welcome Douglas. All the best to you mate!

  10. Lawrence Berry

    Jan 1, 2016 at 1:39 am

    Learning mental strength is a valuable tool that can help you be more successful and ultimately happier in life. When you are mentally strong, you have the power to be more optimistic and more self-disciplined, two characteristics vital to success and happiness. I love the tips you have given here and learning to see the positives in everything, including failure is one of my favorites on the list. I also use meditation to help me as well.

    • Owen Hone

      Jan 1, 2016 at 3:19 pm

      So true Lawrence. Mental strength gives you the power to create your own happiness and success, specific to you and your own goals. I have only just recently started meditating and have found it very useful, if you have any tips feel free to share. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Cheers!

  11. Owen Hone

    Jan 1, 2016 at 1:28 am

    Thanks

  12. Tim Denning

    Dec 31, 2015 at 10:51 pm

    Great article Owen and perfect advice for the New Year!

    • Owen Hone

      Jan 1, 2016 at 1:24 am

      Thanks Tim, glad you enjoyed it!

  13. George

    Dec 31, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    All excellent pointers heading into 2016 … thanks!

    • Owen

      Dec 31, 2015 at 10:10 pm

      Thanks George, I’m glad you enjoyed the post! All the best to you in the new year. – Owen

  14. Jean-Paul Blommaert

    Dec 31, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    Great post. Definitely gonna read more about Mr Maxwell. I like nr 5. I would say and take it even a bit further is that never really “happens to us” we are all creating and attracting it with the thoughts & emotions we hold in our subconscious mind!

    • Owen Hone

      Dec 31, 2015 at 5:17 pm

      Thanks for your feedback Jean-Paul. I’m glad you enjoyed the post!

      I agree with you 100% – what we think and feel eventually becomes reality. All the best to you in the New Year! Owen

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Success Advice

Stop Denying Your Negative Thoughts and Start Embracing Them

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Over the years, many of the talking heads and pundits in the personal development and success science industry have talked about the immediate replacement of negative thoughts with positive thoughts. The logic behind that particular behavioral strategy seems to make sense on the surface. Think about it, when a negative thought rears its ugly head, we should immediately dive into the repository of positive thoughts that we have available to us so that we could immediately begin to dwell on it.

Even further, some gurus of the genre suggest removing any chance of having a negative thought by the constant repetition of affirmations. Again, tried-and-true motivational technology that is very workable and still useful. I would suggest, however, that you view the above behaviors as tactics more than strategies.

I will further suggest to you that you do not abhor your negative thoughts but rather embrace them, examine them, and place them under a spotlight. My reasoning behind this goes back over 100 years into psychology with stimulus/response, that is, the cause and effect of certain behaviors. Many individuals look at a negative thought as a causative driver. The negative thought exists as a cause, and our behavior toward that cause will determine the effect.

So, following this logic, if an individual has a negative thought which makes them feel sad, and that sadness causes them to binge drink, by removing the negative thought you’ll have removed the motivation for binge drinking. Doesn’t that sound kind of silly? The suggestion here is to turn off the negative thought so that it will turn off the consumption of alcohol.

Of course, this makes sense if we view the negative thought as a primal force in behavior. So, what if we started to think of the negative thought more as the result of something else? It means that the “something else” must change first. What if we took a different approach? What if we looked at a negative thought as an effect of some larger causal factor?

“You’re going to go through tough times – that’s life. But I say, ‘Nothing happens to you, it happens for you.’ See the positive in negative events.” – Joel Osteen

By reversing the cause-and-effect motion of negative thinking (saying that the negative thought is an effect), we now can ask a deeper, more penetrative question: Why are we thinking that negative thought? What is the underlying cause of that specific train of thinking? By reversing the cause-and-effect relationship of negative thinking, it allows the negative thinker to assume the role of diagnostician!

Below is a three-step process you can use to examine your negative thoughts, the role of it in your life, and how you can get rid of them:

1. Simply acknowledge the negative thought

Recognize the fact that there’s a negative thought in your mind instead of trying to go through a process of emotionally overlaying positive thoughts on top of it. Can you see how this exacerbates the issue? You have a negative thought, you immediately recognize that it must be changed, and you frantically scurry through the museum of your mind to find a positive thought to replace it.

In the meantime, while you are trying to find that positive thought, you’re feeling anxious, nervous, and guilty! When you finally find a positive thought to replace that negative thought, the normal process is to squash it. But you can’t! It’s like trying to get rid of weeds by covering them with rocks.

They will always find another way around the rock. It is the same with negative thoughts. Consequently, try acknowledging the negative thought.

2. Affirm the negative thought

It is a part of you. Instead of denying its existence, accept that it is there in front of you and that you are now willing to deal with it. If any of you reading this are dog lovers, you will know that the best way to get a dog next to you is by attempting to push it away from you. Every time you push the dog away it gets closer. This is the same with negative thinking because the harder you push the closer it gets.

“Always turn a negative situation into a positive situation.” – Michael Jordan

3. Acquit the thought

Give it permission to leave you. Thank it for its past importance in your life and allow it to be on its way! At this point feel free to replace the negative thought with a positive thought. What will begin to happen when you place the negative thought under the spotlight is that you will see how insignificantly small it actually is.

This is a process I’ve been using for quite some time, and it works! Oh sure, I still use affirmations on a daily basis; as a matter fact I have them right here in front of me. I find that affirmations are a tremendous way to stay positive because it doesn’t allow any room for bad things to grow. But since the average person thinks 60,000 to 65,000 thoughts per day, let’s face it, a few negative thoughts have to squeak in there!

The best advice that I can give is to not freak out over a negative thought. Acknowledge it, affirm it, and acquit it! This is magic. Watch what happens!

How do you handle negative thoughts? Let us know your tips below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Success Advice

One Thing I Can Teach You About Life That Will Help You Forever.

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I used to be a very anxious person.

I was embarrassed by what I couldn’t do and every day was a struggle. From the moment I would wake up to the moment I’d go to bed, everything felt impossibly overwhelming. It’s a battle I’ve dealt with most of my life.

This daily struggle with mental illness taught me that the satisfaction didn’t lie in beating it; the satisfaction was in helping other people beat mental illness through my success in fighting it.


Recently, I was at work. It was a pretty standard day — nothing too exciting. I then had a catch up with one of the leaders I worked with.

She said something that got my attention: “One of our colleagues is battling a mental illness.”

I really wanted to help. My eyes lit up. There was no need to uncover my plan with anyone else. I knew that staying discrete was fundamental.

I approached the person in question and asked for a few minutes of their time.

I didn’t ask them to admit their mental illness struggle; I just shared my story.

I talked about the anxiety stopping me from having a normal life, eating the right foods, going on dates with girls, having the career I wanted and traveling the world.

I wasn’t sure if any of it was sinking in or even helping. I felt compelled to go on. One thing I knew was that he was paying attention. I could see it in his eyes.

I then went on to talk about how I beat mental illness. Strategies such as:

  • Creating fear lists
  • Seeking professional help
  • Working on myself
  • Books I read
  • Events I attended

Out of nowhere, he started opening up about his own struggle. I was shocked.
It wasn’t pretty. He had an extreme case of mental illness that I certainly couldn’t diagnose or give professional advice on.

All I could do was show him through my own story that there was hope

I offered him access to all the resources I had. I told him that he had my full support and I’d be happy to help in any way I could. He then said:

“What was your psychologist’s name?”

I told him I’d look it up and send it to him. I didn’t have the answer in front of me, but I was determined when I got home to find it.

At the end of the catch-up, he smiled. I don’t think he’d smiled like that in a very long time.

That smile gave me so much satisfaction. It made my own struggle with mental illness worth it. All those sleepless nights, times spent vomiting into the toilet and dark days where I didn’t want to go on made sense.


“It took more than seven years for me to understand that my own battle with mental illness actually had a benefit”

That benefit was the satisfaction in seeing someone beat their mental illness because I was able to defeat mine.

It’s probably the greatest satisfaction of my entire life.

That’s one thing I can teach you about life that will help you forever.

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Success Advice

5 Productivity Shifts You Need to Make to Make 2019 Your Best Year Yet

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Everyone wants more time, that is something almost all of us share. Time is the most valuable resource and when you learn how to make your time work for you and how to get the most out of it – you experience life differently.  

Improving how you manage your time is one of the biggest gifts you can give yourself – it’s a real game changer in your business and personal life. There are many ways that you can get more productive and get the right things done sooner; but not all of them are obvious or bring the same results.

Here are 5 productivity shifts you want to make if you are trying to make the most out of 2019:

1. Ditch your to do list

Productive people don’t keep to-do lists, they schedule everything they need to do in their calendar and work directly from their calendar!  To-Do lists are just ineffective and they are impeding your productivity. A never ending list of items only leaves you overwhelmed and with a false sense of ‘productivity’.  

If you schedule your To Do’s directly into your calendar at a time to get them done, you commit to it and you are more likely to get it done. Less is more – you don’t need a separate list to remind you what you need to do.

“Productivity is less about what you do with your time and more about how you run your mind.” – Robin Sharma

2. Give up on motivation

Productive people don’t always have to be motivated before starting something. They balance discipline with motivation and do what they need to do, regardless of motivation. When we come up with resistance to take action on what we have planned, we might tell ourselves that we are not motivated and we believe that we need to be motivated to complete any task.

If you want to increase your productivity, you need to challenge yourself more in the moment to take action and give up on motivation sometimes. Do what you need to in order to get the results you want in the future. Don’t make decisions based on how you feel now, make them based on what result you are really after.

3. Master your mornings

Wake up early and get yourself into the productive mindset with your routine and diet! Productive people start the day with some sort of routine, whether it’s meditation, exercise or visualization, etc. AND they have a healthy breakfast to fuel them for the day. Your health is everything when it comes to productivity, what you eat directly affects your productivity.

We can just no longer ignore the direct connection any more. Get in the right mindset to start your day and fuel your mind and body to get the most out of it. Starting your day off in any other way undermines your success – there is no doubt.

4. Schedule according to energy

Productive people know their energy cycles and they plan tasks around their energy levels. Why plan something at a time when you know it will be hard to rise to the challenge? Schedule tasks that require focus and concentration for those times of day that you feel the best and you will find it’s easier to follow through and you will be at your best to perform. Identify your filler tasks and complete those when your energy drops. Be more realistic when scheduling your tasks and set yourself up for wins.

“Productivity is never an accident it’s the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning & focused effort.” – Paul Meyer

5. Working backwards

Productive people always focus on those activities that will take them to the next level. They plan backwards, they look at their goals, then identify the tasks they need to do to support those goals. Those tasks get broken down into weekly actions. That’s how they plan.

Don’t only plan on tasks that come in or those which you ‘feel’ or ‘think’ you should be doing. Your day needs to consist of at least one activity that directly supports your longer term objectives, your big project. What sounds like common sense is definitely not common practice.

Create the right habits to achieve your goals, work on adopting easy tips and techniques so you can manage your time and yourself better to get things done.

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Success Advice

You Need to Grow Your Memory in Order to Grow Your Life

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We all have access to the most powerful computer ever created in the universe…our brain. Unfortunately, few of us have ever been taught how to use our minds efficiently, and even fewer have learned how to develop a fabulous memory. Thankfully, like any skill, memorising can be learned and using the correct strategies, your memory can be improved in only days.

One of the best coaches on memory is Dominic O’Brien the eight-time world memory champion. Self-taught after watching Creighton Carvello memorise a pack of cards on the BBC’s Record Breakers programme. Dominic, through his work on memory, has given us many tools and techniques for improving memory.

Below are 5 rules that will help you develop a better memory:

1. The Rule of Five

Probably seen as one of the most significant contributions to the body of knowledge on memory is O’Brien’s Rule of Five. This rule details how to remember things using a strategy of regular staged repetition.

These stages are as follows:

  • First Review:Immediately
  • Second Review:Twenty-four hours later
  • Third Review:One week later
  • Fourth Review:One month later
  • Fifth Review:Three months later

Utilising stage repetition at these intervals ingrains the memory for the long term.

2. The Dominic System

The Dominic System is a system for remembering numbers. The system is a Person Action system where the association between two sets of paired numbers is the person with the action of the next person.

1139 would become Andre Agassi doing a roundhouse kick which is the action of Chuck Norris. This system combined with the journey method allows for long random numbers to be easily recalled without error. The fantastic thing about this system is that you get to customise for yourself with memorable people and unique actions which when combined really make it easy for you to recall numbers. The table below associates each number to a letter.

Number     0     1    2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9
Letter     O     A     B     C     D    E     S     G     H     N

Creating a simple document with pairs of numbers in one column, the letter pairs in the next and an action column will help you learn this system quickly.

“Nothing can substitute for just plain hard work. I had to put in the time to get back. And it was a grind. It meant training and sweating every day. But I was completely committed to working out to prove to myself that I still could do it.” – Andre Agassi

3. The Link Method

This method relies on two essential elements of memory, association and exaggeration. Utilising these two elements, it is possible to link together unrelated objects to allow you to remember them.

Trying to remember a list of five separate words such as: balloon, papaya, gold, football and hat, might go something like this. You imagine seeing a giant balloon and inside the balloon you can see a small papaya, in bursting the balloon the papaya falls out and as it hits the floor a gold football bounces into a large sombrero.

4. The Journey Method

Using location has been a fundamental part of mnemonics almost since time began. Before humans, writing elders would pass knowledge to others using stories of journeys, with each piece of knowledge being associated with a location on the journey.

O’Brien’s system utilises journeys that you would undertake on a daily basis, like your commute to work or train stations on well-known line. Items are then associated and exaggerated along the journey, so for instance if you were trying to remember a list of ten random things you would associate each piece along with a unique ten stop journey and utilise exaggeration to make the items more memorable.

“You are well equipped with an incredible potential for absorbing knowledge…Anything’s possible.” – Dominic O’Brien

5. The Story Method

To remember groups of information, create a story that links them together. Remembering the planets of the solar system and their position relative to the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

Imagine that Mercury was hitting the nineties as Venus tossed the tennis ball into the air, striking the ball it soared over the net striking the earth and bouncing high into the air, knocking the mars bar out of Jupiter’s hand, and so on.

Developing a good memory will assist markedly in all of your personal development goals as well as assisting greatly in your daily life. The methods above are tried and tested by one of the leading memory champions. Whether you want to become the next World Memory Champion or just improve your recall, the techniques outlined above will assist greatly.

Combining the various elements will create an exponential improvement in your memory that you will find hard to believe, and you will be kicking yourself for not applying them sooner. The best part about using these methods is that they are fun, so enjoy using them.

Which one of these memorizing methods sounds most interesting to you? Share with us below!

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10 Small Startups That You Can Build on Your Own Right Now

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Image Credit: Twenty20.com

Having a business of our own is a dream that is very obvious and common all throughout. With the rise in startups and funding options, the market is blooming with successful entrepreneurs. And rightly so! But many ambitious people are seen dropping out of their dream of building a business only because of the funds involved in setting up one! We forget to acknowledge that the idea if planned and executed well, is strong enough to pull in all the investments. (more…)

Bronte Price is Australia’s First Certified Gay Wedding Celebrant. He stands strongly for marriage equality and takes immense pleasure in marrying any couples in love. He has also co-founded The Equality Network to help wedding suppliers create a better wedding experience for LGBTI couples. He is a regular volunteer newsreader at Joy 94.9, and a member of GLOBE (Gay and Lesbian Organization for Business and Enterprise). Beyond this you will find him either in his organic backyard vegetable garden or taking walks with his fiancée Clint and their four legged fur baby – Bingo.

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24 Comments

24 Comments

  1. ezekiel damilola

    Mar 27, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    I think it’s the “fundamental 2” that talks about reading coz I see it as the finest way to develop the mind. It equally affords an individual the privilege of connecting most time with people he or she usually cannot or may not meet in person.

  2. Syed Aslam

    Jan 10, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    It’s really all good points. Thanks for the post.

  3. Jim Carlén

    Jan 10, 2016 at 12:38 am

    Really good, I did connect with it a a lot! I will share it at my blog tomorrow! =)

    • Owen Hone

      Jan 11, 2016 at 1:19 am

      Thanks Jim, and I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  4. S K Jain

    Jan 9, 2016 at 5:32 am

    Nice article. Addicted2Success seems to be a modern version of Dale Carnegie!

  5. Joel S

    Jan 5, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    Great article. It reminded me of of several core concepts that I’ve let slip from the forefront of my mind, where they belong! My only question is: What would you recommend doing to maintain a positive state of mind? Do you have any daily rituals, practices, or mental exercises you do? Thanks!

    • Owen Hone

      Jan 6, 2016 at 8:41 pm

      Hey Joel! I’m glad you enjoyed it. Something that works really well for me, is that whenever I’m faced with a difficult situation, I say to myself “If you can’t control the situation, control your reaction to it”. The most important component of mental strength is realizing that you have the power to choose your reaction to every situation. Always try and seek the positive in the situation. If you look hard enough, you’ll always find it.

      I have recently starting trying my hand at meditating, which I have found really beneficial. If you’re new to it, try using the ‘Headspace’ app. Hope this helps. – Owen.

  6. Paul Damson Mwanelo

    Jan 3, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    Hello Owen! Let me say that you have done a commendable job with such a superb article.I have really enjoyed reading through it.I am really eager to try my best to find the books you listed above so that I can improve my mental strength if possible because I am not sure I will get them in bookshops here in Malawi.But I am willing to have them.Once again thanks for your unbeatable and great article!

    • Owen Hone

      Jan 4, 2016 at 2:23 am

      Hey Paul! Thank you for your kind words, I appreciate the positive feedback! Unfortunately I am not sure where you could get your hands on these books in Malawi, although it might be possible to purchase an e-book version off Amazon.com? I hope you are able to get your hands on them, they will certainly help! Seeing that you liked this post, feel free to check out some of my other content on my personal site, evovlebyoh.com – Cheers!

  7. Usman Mahmood

    Jan 2, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    Great article and love all the points.

    The one that I feel connected to the most is point number 4 learning to be in the present. In life we have to control our mental state on a daily and likewise it is dangerous to be doubtful of what may happen. Eliminating such thoughts will help one be more appreciative of life because there are people in the world that are in more difficult situations than yourself. The best a person can do is try their hardest and any failure should be seen as a learning experience and another step to success. It also leads to a person being more happier; disciplined, goal orientated and optimistic.

    Never Give up!

    • Owen Hone

      Jan 3, 2016 at 5:16 am

      Thanks Usman, I appreciate the feedback! You provide some great insight.

  8. Owen

    Jan 1, 2016 at 6:17 am

    Thanks for the feedback gentlemen. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. All the best to you in the new year!

  9. Douglas

    Jan 1, 2016 at 2:57 am

    Thank you sincerely from my heart for sharing this article ^^

    • Owen Hone

      Jan 1, 2016 at 3:20 pm

      You’re welcome Douglas. All the best to you mate!

  10. Lawrence Berry

    Jan 1, 2016 at 1:39 am

    Learning mental strength is a valuable tool that can help you be more successful and ultimately happier in life. When you are mentally strong, you have the power to be more optimistic and more self-disciplined, two characteristics vital to success and happiness. I love the tips you have given here and learning to see the positives in everything, including failure is one of my favorites on the list. I also use meditation to help me as well.

    • Owen Hone

      Jan 1, 2016 at 3:19 pm

      So true Lawrence. Mental strength gives you the power to create your own happiness and success, specific to you and your own goals. I have only just recently started meditating and have found it very useful, if you have any tips feel free to share. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Cheers!

  11. Owen Hone

    Jan 1, 2016 at 1:28 am

    Thanks

  12. Tim Denning

    Dec 31, 2015 at 10:51 pm

    Great article Owen and perfect advice for the New Year!

    • Owen Hone

      Jan 1, 2016 at 1:24 am

      Thanks Tim, glad you enjoyed it!

  13. George

    Dec 31, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    All excellent pointers heading into 2016 … thanks!

    • Owen

      Dec 31, 2015 at 10:10 pm

      Thanks George, I’m glad you enjoyed the post! All the best to you in the new year. – Owen

  14. Jean-Paul Blommaert

    Dec 31, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    Great post. Definitely gonna read more about Mr Maxwell. I like nr 5. I would say and take it even a bit further is that never really “happens to us” we are all creating and attracting it with the thoughts & emotions we hold in our subconscious mind!

    • Owen Hone

      Dec 31, 2015 at 5:17 pm

      Thanks for your feedback Jean-Paul. I’m glad you enjoyed the post!

      I agree with you 100% – what we think and feel eventually becomes reality. All the best to you in the New Year! Owen

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Success Advice

Stop Denying Your Negative Thoughts and Start Embracing Them

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Over the years, many of the talking heads and pundits in the personal development and success science industry have talked about the immediate replacement of negative thoughts with positive thoughts. The logic behind that particular behavioral strategy seems to make sense on the surface. Think about it, when a negative thought rears its ugly head, we should immediately dive into the repository of positive thoughts that we have available to us so that we could immediately begin to dwell on it.

Even further, some gurus of the genre suggest removing any chance of having a negative thought by the constant repetition of affirmations. Again, tried-and-true motivational technology that is very workable and still useful. I would suggest, however, that you view the above behaviors as tactics more than strategies.

I will further suggest to you that you do not abhor your negative thoughts but rather embrace them, examine them, and place them under a spotlight. My reasoning behind this goes back over 100 years into psychology with stimulus/response, that is, the cause and effect of certain behaviors. Many individuals look at a negative thought as a causative driver. The negative thought exists as a cause, and our behavior toward that cause will determine the effect.

So, following this logic, if an individual has a negative thought which makes them feel sad, and that sadness causes them to binge drink, by removing the negative thought you’ll have removed the motivation for binge drinking. Doesn’t that sound kind of silly? The suggestion here is to turn off the negative thought so that it will turn off the consumption of alcohol.

Of course, this makes sense if we view the negative thought as a primal force in behavior. So, what if we started to think of the negative thought more as the result of something else? It means that the “something else” must change first. What if we took a different approach? What if we looked at a negative thought as an effect of some larger causal factor?

“You’re going to go through tough times – that’s life. But I say, ‘Nothing happens to you, it happens for you.’ See the positive in negative events.” – Joel Osteen

By reversing the cause-and-effect motion of negative thinking (saying that the negative thought is an effect), we now can ask a deeper, more penetrative question: Why are we thinking that negative thought? What is the underlying cause of that specific train of thinking? By reversing the cause-and-effect relationship of negative thinking, it allows the negative thinker to assume the role of diagnostician!

Below is a three-step process you can use to examine your negative thoughts, the role of it in your life, and how you can get rid of them:

1. Simply acknowledge the negative thought

Recognize the fact that there’s a negative thought in your mind instead of trying to go through a process of emotionally overlaying positive thoughts on top of it. Can you see how this exacerbates the issue? You have a negative thought, you immediately recognize that it must be changed, and you frantically scurry through the museum of your mind to find a positive thought to replace it.

In the meantime, while you are trying to find that positive thought, you’re feeling anxious, nervous, and guilty! When you finally find a positive thought to replace that negative thought, the normal process is to squash it. But you can’t! It’s like trying to get rid of weeds by covering them with rocks.

They will always find another way around the rock. It is the same with negative thoughts. Consequently, try acknowledging the negative thought.

2. Affirm the negative thought

It is a part of you. Instead of denying its existence, accept that it is there in front of you and that you are now willing to deal with it. If any of you reading this are dog lovers, you will know that the best way to get a dog next to you is by attempting to push it away from you. Every time you push the dog away it gets closer. This is the same with negative thinking because the harder you push the closer it gets.

“Always turn a negative situation into a positive situation.” – Michael Jordan

3. Acquit the thought

Give it permission to leave you. Thank it for its past importance in your life and allow it to be on its way! At this point feel free to replace the negative thought with a positive thought. What will begin to happen when you place the negative thought under the spotlight is that you will see how insignificantly small it actually is.

This is a process I’ve been using for quite some time, and it works! Oh sure, I still use affirmations on a daily basis; as a matter fact I have them right here in front of me. I find that affirmations are a tremendous way to stay positive because it doesn’t allow any room for bad things to grow. But since the average person thinks 60,000 to 65,000 thoughts per day, let’s face it, a few negative thoughts have to squeak in there!

The best advice that I can give is to not freak out over a negative thought. Acknowledge it, affirm it, and acquit it! This is magic. Watch what happens!

How do you handle negative thoughts? Let us know your tips below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Success Advice

One Thing I Can Teach You About Life That Will Help You Forever.

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I used to be a very anxious person.

I was embarrassed by what I couldn’t do and every day was a struggle. From the moment I would wake up to the moment I’d go to bed, everything felt impossibly overwhelming. It’s a battle I’ve dealt with most of my life.

This daily struggle with mental illness taught me that the satisfaction didn’t lie in beating it; the satisfaction was in helping other people beat mental illness through my success in fighting it.


Recently, I was at work. It was a pretty standard day — nothing too exciting. I then had a catch up with one of the leaders I worked with.

She said something that got my attention: “One of our colleagues is battling a mental illness.”

I really wanted to help. My eyes lit up. There was no need to uncover my plan with anyone else. I knew that staying discrete was fundamental.

I approached the person in question and asked for a few minutes of their time.

I didn’t ask them to admit their mental illness struggle; I just shared my story.

I talked about the anxiety stopping me from having a normal life, eating the right foods, going on dates with girls, having the career I wanted and traveling the world.

I wasn’t sure if any of it was sinking in or even helping. I felt compelled to go on. One thing I knew was that he was paying attention. I could see it in his eyes.

I then went on to talk about how I beat mental illness. Strategies such as:

  • Creating fear lists
  • Seeking professional help
  • Working on myself
  • Books I read
  • Events I attended

Out of nowhere, he started opening up about his own struggle. I was shocked.
It wasn’t pretty. He had an extreme case of mental illness that I certainly couldn’t diagnose or give professional advice on.

All I could do was show him through my own story that there was hope

I offered him access to all the resources I had. I told him that he had my full support and I’d be happy to help in any way I could. He then said:

“What was your psychologist’s name?”

I told him I’d look it up and send it to him. I didn’t have the answer in front of me, but I was determined when I got home to find it.

At the end of the catch-up, he smiled. I don’t think he’d smiled like that in a very long time.

That smile gave me so much satisfaction. It made my own struggle with mental illness worth it. All those sleepless nights, times spent vomiting into the toilet and dark days where I didn’t want to go on made sense.


“It took more than seven years for me to understand that my own battle with mental illness actually had a benefit”

That benefit was the satisfaction in seeing someone beat their mental illness because I was able to defeat mine.

It’s probably the greatest satisfaction of my entire life.

That’s one thing I can teach you about life that will help you forever.

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Success Advice

5 Productivity Shifts You Need to Make to Make 2019 Your Best Year Yet

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Everyone wants more time, that is something almost all of us share. Time is the most valuable resource and when you learn how to make your time work for you and how to get the most out of it – you experience life differently.  

Improving how you manage your time is one of the biggest gifts you can give yourself – it’s a real game changer in your business and personal life. There are many ways that you can get more productive and get the right things done sooner; but not all of them are obvious or bring the same results.

Here are 5 productivity shifts you want to make if you are trying to make the most out of 2019:

1. Ditch your to do list

Productive people don’t keep to-do lists, they schedule everything they need to do in their calendar and work directly from their calendar!  To-Do lists are just ineffective and they are impeding your productivity. A never ending list of items only leaves you overwhelmed and with a false sense of ‘productivity’.  

If you schedule your To Do’s directly into your calendar at a time to get them done, you commit to it and you are more likely to get it done. Less is more – you don’t need a separate list to remind you what you need to do.

“Productivity is less about what you do with your time and more about how you run your mind.” – Robin Sharma

2. Give up on motivation

Productive people don’t always have to be motivated before starting something. They balance discipline with motivation and do what they need to do, regardless of motivation. When we come up with resistance to take action on what we have planned, we might tell ourselves that we are not motivated and we believe that we need to be motivated to complete any task.

If you want to increase your productivity, you need to challenge yourself more in the moment to take action and give up on motivation sometimes. Do what you need to in order to get the results you want in the future. Don’t make decisions based on how you feel now, make them based on what result you are really after.

3. Master your mornings

Wake up early and get yourself into the productive mindset with your routine and diet! Productive people start the day with some sort of routine, whether it’s meditation, exercise or visualization, etc. AND they have a healthy breakfast to fuel them for the day. Your health is everything when it comes to productivity, what you eat directly affects your productivity.

We can just no longer ignore the direct connection any more. Get in the right mindset to start your day and fuel your mind and body to get the most out of it. Starting your day off in any other way undermines your success – there is no doubt.

4. Schedule according to energy

Productive people know their energy cycles and they plan tasks around their energy levels. Why plan something at a time when you know it will be hard to rise to the challenge? Schedule tasks that require focus and concentration for those times of day that you feel the best and you will find it’s easier to follow through and you will be at your best to perform. Identify your filler tasks and complete those when your energy drops. Be more realistic when scheduling your tasks and set yourself up for wins.

“Productivity is never an accident it’s the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning & focused effort.” – Paul Meyer

5. Working backwards

Productive people always focus on those activities that will take them to the next level. They plan backwards, they look at their goals, then identify the tasks they need to do to support those goals. Those tasks get broken down into weekly actions. That’s how they plan.

Don’t only plan on tasks that come in or those which you ‘feel’ or ‘think’ you should be doing. Your day needs to consist of at least one activity that directly supports your longer term objectives, your big project. What sounds like common sense is definitely not common practice.

Create the right habits to achieve your goals, work on adopting easy tips and techniques so you can manage your time and yourself better to get things done.

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Success Advice

You Need to Grow Your Memory in Order to Grow Your Life

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We all have access to the most powerful computer ever created in the universe…our brain. Unfortunately, few of us have ever been taught how to use our minds efficiently, and even fewer have learned how to develop a fabulous memory. Thankfully, like any skill, memorising can be learned and using the correct strategies, your memory can be improved in only days.

One of the best coaches on memory is Dominic O’Brien the eight-time world memory champion. Self-taught after watching Creighton Carvello memorise a pack of cards on the BBC’s Record Breakers programme. Dominic, through his work on memory, has given us many tools and techniques for improving memory.

Below are 5 rules that will help you develop a better memory:

1. The Rule of Five

Probably seen as one of the most significant contributions to the body of knowledge on memory is O’Brien’s Rule of Five. This rule details how to remember things using a strategy of regular staged repetition.

These stages are as follows:

  • First Review:Immediately
  • Second Review:Twenty-four hours later
  • Third Review:One week later
  • Fourth Review:One month later
  • Fifth Review:Three months later

Utilising stage repetition at these intervals ingrains the memory for the long term.

2. The Dominic System

The Dominic System is a system for remembering numbers. The system is a Person Action system where the association between two sets of paired numbers is the person with the action of the next person.

1139 would become Andre Agassi doing a roundhouse kick which is the action of Chuck Norris. This system combined with the journey method allows for long random numbers to be easily recalled without error. The fantastic thing about this system is that you get to customise for yourself with memorable people and unique actions which when combined really make it easy for you to recall numbers. The table below associates each number to a letter.

Number     0     1    2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9
Letter     O     A     B     C     D    E     S     G     H     N

Creating a simple document with pairs of numbers in one column, the letter pairs in the next and an action column will help you learn this system quickly.

“Nothing can substitute for just plain hard work. I had to put in the time to get back. And it was a grind. It meant training and sweating every day. But I was completely committed to working out to prove to myself that I still could do it.” – Andre Agassi

3. The Link Method

This method relies on two essential elements of memory, association and exaggeration. Utilising these two elements, it is possible to link together unrelated objects to allow you to remember them.

Trying to remember a list of five separate words such as: balloon, papaya, gold, football and hat, might go something like this. You imagine seeing a giant balloon and inside the balloon you can see a small papaya, in bursting the balloon the papaya falls out and as it hits the floor a gold football bounces into a large sombrero.

4. The Journey Method

Using location has been a fundamental part of mnemonics almost since time began. Before humans, writing elders would pass knowledge to others using stories of journeys, with each piece of knowledge being associated with a location on the journey.

O’Brien’s system utilises journeys that you would undertake on a daily basis, like your commute to work or train stations on well-known line. Items are then associated and exaggerated along the journey, so for instance if you were trying to remember a list of ten random things you would associate each piece along with a unique ten stop journey and utilise exaggeration to make the items more memorable.

“You are well equipped with an incredible potential for absorbing knowledge…Anything’s possible.” – Dominic O’Brien

5. The Story Method

To remember groups of information, create a story that links them together. Remembering the planets of the solar system and their position relative to the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

Imagine that Mercury was hitting the nineties as Venus tossed the tennis ball into the air, striking the ball it soared over the net striking the earth and bouncing high into the air, knocking the mars bar out of Jupiter’s hand, and so on.

Developing a good memory will assist markedly in all of your personal development goals as well as assisting greatly in your daily life. The methods above are tried and tested by one of the leading memory champions. Whether you want to become the next World Memory Champion or just improve your recall, the techniques outlined above will assist greatly.

Combining the various elements will create an exponential improvement in your memory that you will find hard to believe, and you will be kicking yourself for not applying them sooner. The best part about using these methods is that they are fun, so enjoy using them.

Which one of these memorizing methods sounds most interesting to you? Share with us below!

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