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Becoming Bulletproof: How to Transform Your Lowest Moments Into Your Greatest Opportunities



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I was devastated. I had spent six weeks promoting one of my company’s first ever events, and needed to sell at least twelve tickets to break even. Despite pouring my heart, soul and every spare minute I had into marketing the event, with a week to go, I had only sold six tickets. I was having major doubts whether my business was going to be viable going forward.

Then, with two days to go, the ticket sales started to roll in; 7, 8, 9, 12, and on the day before, I reached 17. I was profitable! Things were looking up. I could hardly contain my excitement as I signed people in to the event that morning. After registering, attendees grabbed a cup of coffee and took their seats in the classroom. We were due to start at 10am. 

As 10am drew nearer, I became concerned that there was no sign of the course leader. I tried calling a few times – no answer. Sent a text – no reply. The clock hit 10. Then 10.05. Then 10.15. He never showed.

I walked into the room, explained what had happened, and proceeded to refund every single penny in revenue I had spent six weeks working to generate. Later, the course leader called me and told me he’d made a ‘scheduling error’. To date, this was my biggest setback in business, and in this post, I’ll share three ideas that helped me get through it.

1. Experience is Raw Material

Years before, I had read Victor Frankl’s: ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’. Frankl was an Austrian psychiatrist who was imprisoned in Nazi Concentration Camps during World War Two. One of his key insights was that it is our responsibility to determine what experiences mean to us. Having read Frankl’s work, I realised it was now my choice to decide what the setback meant to me.

On one hand, I could take it as a sign that maybe I’m not cut out for entrepreneurship and I should just give up the dream, be realistic and get a ‘real job’. On the other, I could use it as fuel. I could see it as an opportunity to develop resilience in overcoming adversity. If I could come back from this, then I’d become the kind of person that is able to land on his feet; no matter what life throws at him.

Both interpretations were potentially true. But I realised that the actions I took from then on in, would determine which future would materialise.

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” – Victor Frankl

2. The Circle of Influence

Steven Covey was an American educator and author of ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’. One of his core ideas is that there are two areas where you can spend your time and energy: The circle of influence and the circle of concern.

The circle of influence contains everything that is directly within your control. E.g. Your health, relationships, the amount of effort you put in, etc. The circle of concern contains things you have no direct control over. E.g. The weather, other peoples’ opinions, nuclear war, etc.

Proactive people spend most of their time in the circle of influence. Reactive people spend their time in the circle of concern. 

When the setback happened, I realised I had a choice about what to focus on. On one hand, I could spend it in the circle of concern; thinking about how I’d been screwed over, blaming the course leader, and worrying that my business was going to fail. 

On the other, I could spend it in the circle of influence. I could focus on what I now had control over; refunding attendees, scheduling a new date, getting a new venue, and arranging more courses. I opted for the latter. We re-ran the course two weeks later and made a profit overall.

3. Extreme Ownership

Extreme ownership is an idea from Jocko Willink. It involves taking as much responsibility as possible for the negative things that happen in your life. If something goes wrong, you ask: ‘In what way did I contribute to the negative outcome that occurred?’

You then take ownership of it, identify where you screwed up, and do your best to ensure history doesn’t repeat. As human beings, we have a natural tendency to only want to see the good in ourselves. We really want to see ourselves in a positive light.

If something challenges this, we feel threatened, insecure, and look to put the blame elsewhere. In my case, my brain went into blame-overdrive. But I knew if I was going to make sure it didn’t happen again, I needed to figure out what part I had played in the outcome, and take action to prevent it happening again in the future. 

“A mistake repeated more than once is a decision.” – Paulo Coelho

When I reflected, I realised my communication had let me down. If I had effectively communicated with the course leader leading up to the event, the situation would never have happened as it did. Since, I’ve now developed a system where I email clear information about the date, timing and location to speakers six days before my events.

Extreme ownership allowed me to learn from my mistake and put systems in place to ensure it never happens again. As a result, I have a better, and less risky business. Had I simply blamed the course leader, then I’d be vulnerable to the same mistake in the future. Worse still, all the pain I went through would have been for nothing.

​No matter what you do, life is going to throw problems at you. It’s an inevitable part of the human experience. The goal then, shouldn’t be a life free of problems and adversity. But rather, it should be to become the kind of person who can overcome them. As John Kabat-Zinn said: ‘You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.’

Realising that it’s your choice what meaning you give to any situation, spending your time in the circle of influence, and taking extreme ownership, are three powerful ways to do this.

Niall McKeever is a writer and Founder of The Weekend University - which aims to make the best minds and ideas in psychology more accessible to the general public. To do this, they organise monthly conferences, which host talks from world-leading psychologists, authors and university professors. You can get early access to their latest talks here.

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Success Advice

How to Ignite the Spark Within for Future Success

All of us come to this world with our own reserve of magic unfortunately, not everyone can unleash it



Igniting your spark
Image Credit: Midjourney

What is it that makes some people great leaders while others remain followers? What magic do they have that others don’t? What special blessing gives them the power to bring significant change?  (more…)

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Success Advice

How Your Beliefs Can Supercharge or Sabotage Your Success

Your life is dictated by beliefs and biases that drive your thinking, behaviors, and decisions



Your Beliefs Can Supercharge or Sabotage Your Success (1)
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Success Advice

How to Break the Cycles of Mediocrity and Manifest Your Greatness

There is no greatness without becoming and there is no becoming with authenticity



Image Credit: Midjourney

In just a few weeks, we will be wrapping up 2023. Can you believe it? This year has been absolutely incredible for me.

I have seen amazing doors opened, new relationships formed and I am seeing dreams realized in my life. While this seems like the hallmarks of a great year, this has also been the most challenging year of my life. With all of the change happening in my life, I have been forced out of my comfort zone and challenged to grow in every area of my life.

I can truly say that I have made the most of my moments this year and I have used everything as a catalyst for maximizing my greatest potential.

As a revolutionary leader, I have the pleasure of consulting and advising leaders around the world to fulfill purpose, realize their greatest potential and make an impact.

I want to share some insights with you that will help you to break cycles of mediocrity and manifest your greatness

Everything legal must come through the matrix

I am sure that some of you are wondering why I am using the term matrix. However, what you have to understand is that I am trying to make a highly complex spiritual principle practical to understand.

Regardless of your spiritual beliefs, every life has an origin and I believe that origin is divine and begins with eternity. You are birthed from eternity and into time to fulfill a unique purpose and assignment in your lifetime and generation.

The matrix is simply the portal or vehicle that brings something out of the invisible realm and into tangible form. The problem with much of the teaching today is that it excludes the matrix. We are told to believe that success is instantaneous and overnight.

Nobody talks about how a dream progresses through stages beginning with visualization and ultimately culminating in manifestation. Without a matrix or portal then everything that you attempt to birth and build will be illegal.

The matrix not only makes you legal but it gives you the authority and power to function as the greatest expression of who you were created to be. 

Every matrix has an incubation process

While many people admire and respect me today, I remember a time when nobody knew who I was or the significance of my message. How did I get to where I am today? I got here through an incubation process.

In other words, everything that has been destined for your life is incubating and awaiting a set time of manifestation. The problem is that most people live their entire lives idle and never initiate the incubation process.

What do I meany by that? Most people are living reckless and very few people are living intentionally. I am amazed at the number of people I have conversations with that have no vision, goals or strategies for their lives. They show great promise and they have undeniable potential.

However, without development they will die with their dreams still in them.

Everything that has been destined for your life must be incubated and converted to become realities born to time. 

“Visualize this thing that you want, see it, feel it, believe in it. Make your mental blueprint and begin to build.” – Robert Collier

You must give expression to that which is not yet born to time

When you think about a matrix or a prophetic incubation process, you have to understand that potential is often unrealized and untapped. In other words, your potential is in raw form and your potential cannot serve you as long as it is untapped.

The thing that makes me valuable is that I have the ability to convert potential into power. I have done it in my own life and I have empowered leaders around the world to do the same. How do you convert potential into power?

First, it is important to note that you have to perceive potential. If you cannot perceive your potential then you can never cultivate your potential. In addition, you must take the time to cultivate your potential. We often get excited about our capabilities; however, we never expand our capacity in order to realize our greatest potential.

In other words, the strength of your potential is only discovered through your willingness to stretch. The more we are challenged the more we are empowered to expand our capacity for greatness. Most of all, you must begin to express your potential. The expression of potential is different for every person.

For example, the expression of my potential is best demonstrated through the thoughts, ideas, products, services, books, etc.

For another person the expression of potential may look like a screenplay, artwork, sports, scientific discoveries, medical breakthroughs, etc.

Regardless of the form of expression, I know that you will live empty and unfulfilled until you make the decision to express your potential. The expression of your potential gives voice to your dreams, life to your vision, significance to your moments and activates your true power.

You must manifest your greatness

As a revolutionary thinker and leader, my work has impacted people around the world. I am grateful that my life is a source of empowerment to so many people. However, before anyone could ever benefit from my life, I had to make a non-negotiable decision to become who I was born to be.

I wish I could tell you that this journey is easy and that you will get there overnight. However, in a world that celebrates us for doing we are often criticized for being. As a result, I wasted a lot of time trying to be who other people wanted me to be instead of being who I was born to be.

There is no greatness without becoming and there is no becoming with authenticity. It is through our bravery to be vulnerable that we ultimately manifest our greatness. We do not bless the world by being a duplicate. We bless the world when we honor our difference. When you honor your difference you honor your potential.

Ultimately, your difference is how you manifest your greatness.

When you present anything but your authentic self to the world, you are playing small and you are robbing the world of your significance. Manifesting your greatness requires you to master your gifts.

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Success Advice

Here’s a Young Man’s Antidote for the Uncertainty of the Modern World

Why do a lot of young guys lack confidence in today’s world? 



How to boost your confidence
Image Credit: Midjourney

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