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How To Be A World-Class Mentor To Others

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World Class Mentor - Yoda Mentoring Luke Skywalker

Becoming successful in your own right is one thing; where the real fulfillment starts to come from is when you can use your skills to help someone else achieve their dreams. Through helping someone achieve their dreams, you get a similar but more powerful result yourself.

I’ve never been a formal mentor to anyone and recently I somehow fell into this role. No one told me what I had to do; I just did what I thought was right. Looking back, I wish someone had told me some of the basics of mentoring.

To stop you having the same problem, I have put together 6 skills that you need to become a world-class mentor:

 

1. Help them find what’s missing

Your most important role as a mentor is to help the mentee find what’s missing. What is missing in 99.9% of cases is a lack of passion or purpose. The person you’re mentoring wants to take it to the next level, and they feel lost.

In order to define where they want to go, and what they want to do with their remaining time on planet earth, you have to help them see what get’s them going. In my own mentoring situation, my student couldn’t work out what made him feel great about his life.

He is a spectacular leader, much older than me, a lot smarter than me, and has some entrepreneurial traits. When it came down to it, the only thing he did without fail, and that made him happy, was to lead people towards their destiny and keep them motivated.

All I did was look at his facial expressions and language when he responded to my questions, and within a few minutes, I could see that leadership was the correct path for him. When you mentor your own mentee’s go above and beyond to follow this strategy and uncover what’s missing.

 

2. Inspire your mentee to a new level

One valuable resource you have to offer as a mentor is inspiration. It’s easy to lose motivation and feel like you’re getting nowhere. Those of us who have achieved some level of success know that the road is long and treacherous.

With my mentee, I found that he had no idea he was a phenomenal leader. He took his number one skill for granted and didn’t realise that people loved working with him. He didn’t realise that all the un-complex tasks he did for his team every day were a rare trait that not many leaders have.

“As a mentor, sometimes all you need to do is become a magnifying glass for everything that is right in another person “

 

3. Challenge them

It’s not all fun and rainbows when you are a mentor. Being a world-class mentor as opposed to a mediocre mentor requires you to challenge your mentee. It’s your job not to let them slack off and tell them what they may not want to hear.

Challenging SomoneIt’s easy to pump people up with artificial motivation, but it’s much harder to find out where the improvements lie and to deliver them on a cold bed of raw potato. My mentee had to be told that while there was some entrepreneurial spark inside of them, it wasn’t standing out enough for me to recommend they start a business.

The myth that you start a business and you all of a sudden get more time and more money is rarely ever true. You have to love what your business is about and be happy to do it for free, for as long as it takes – that’s what true entrepreneurship is.

4. Use leverage

Giving terrific advice is rarely enough. Your job as a mentor is to get your mentee into action. The best way to do this is through people that they respect. These respected people need to become the mentee’s accountability partners.

What sucks about having me as a mentor is that I don’t waste any time and take my role very seriously. My mentee mentioned that they were having trouble getting their belt on because they had gained a little weight.

I instantly planted the idea about fasting. They thought the idea was good and asked me “when should I start?” I replied with “when would now be a good time.” They wanted to think about it, and I just went straight to, “you should have your last meal tonight before 8 pm.”

When they agreed to my proposal, I then started telling everybody I saw about what they were going to do to create leverage. While spreading the news, I saw someone else that looked like they could join in on the fast. Fasting Challenge - MentorI told them they had to give me an answer straight away.

When they agreed, they called their wife to tell them what they were going to do. Within minutes, I had emailed a leader they both respected to tell them of what the two of them had committed to. This approach had created unstoppable momentum and leverage that there was no going back from.

As of this writing, they have both finished their five day fast and have learned some valuable lessons that would have never been possible without leverage.

 

5. Intro them to others

It’s common in the business world to hold your Rolodex of contacts closely to your chest. As a mentor, you must relinquish this ridiculous practice and open up your book of contacts to your mentee. Find out who could add value to their life and then start introducing people to them.

I’ve been lucky in the last few weeks to have someone do this for me, and it has resulted in the opportunity to meet with some of the most famous technology brands on the planet. The effect on my life has been drastic, and this can only be achieved through generosity.

When you share what you have with others, you get ten times the return back. I recently shared some of my best contacts with someone, and now my friend and my contacts are conspiring together to help me achieve my dream. Bottom line; give everything you have without thinking.

 

6. Share your stories

magic open book of fantasy stories

As a mentor, there’re no training books or how to guide for mentee’s that lays out everything both of you must do. The training manual is the mentor’s repertoire of stories. In my coaching sessions, I regularly roll out stories from my entrepreneurial endeavors as a way to show people what’s possible.

Many of my stories demonstrate that you don’t need any qualifications or skills, just sheer determination, wit, courage, and the ability to take action. Every session you have with a mentee is your opportunity to bring out a story from the archives that relates to the battle they are having.

The more stories you share with them, the more references they have for achieving their individual goals. Stories are a unique way of teaching, and they keep the mentee engaged. Try to keep the stories sharp and to the point, and share even the bits that might make you vulnerable.

Do you believe you can be a world-class mentor? If not, why? Let me know in the comments section below or on my website timdenning.net or my Facebook.

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared hundreds of thousands of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around success, personal development, motivation, and entrepreneurship. During the day Tim works with the most iconic tech companies in the world, as an adviser, to assist them in expanding into Australia. By night, Tim coaches his students on the principles of personal development and the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Jonathan Magnin

    Aug 11, 2016 at 4:48 am

    Tim – Brilliant article.
    Short, to the point and super valuable.
    I’m about to coach (officially) for the first time a few people, and your advice came up at the perfect timing 🙂

    • Tim Denning

      Aug 13, 2016 at 2:14 am

      Jonathan thanks for taking the time to give your feedback. I’m glad you found this article at just the right time and best of luck coaching your first clients; it’s the start of something big for you!

  2. Chris Targett

    Aug 10, 2016 at 5:49 am

    Thanks again for an awesome article Tim.

    It’s great to read articles with case studies in them, seeing how you practice what you preach.

    I love your phrase “Bottom line; give everything you have without thinking” If we help as many people as we can we will receive the same help back if not more in the long run.

    Thanks again

    • Tim Denning

      Aug 10, 2016 at 6:33 am

      No problem Chris and thanks for reading. Giving is a key ingredient that all successful people practice as a daily habit. Change from a scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset and you will see a shift in your level of success.

  3. Lawrence Berry

    Aug 9, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    Great article. I think being a great mentor and being a great leader are two of the same things. If you have the characteristics to be a great leader, you will be a great mentor. The two most important things that I think a mentor should give their mentee is inspiration and challenge. I actually mentor a kid who is in the adoption system and reading this article gives me more insight into what I can do better as a leader and mentor. Thanks for sharing!

    • Tim Denning

      Aug 9, 2016 at 11:46 pm

      Thanks Lawrence for the kind words. You’re observation is spot on and I love that you are mentoring someone and found value in this article. Keep in touch my friend.

  4. Bryan Oliver

    Aug 9, 2016 at 10:40 am

    Great article, Tim. I was just coaching someone new to a senior leader role and we talked about your points. It got me thinking about the mentors I’ve had and how there are times, more often these days, that I need to be my own mentor and do exactly what you point out in areas 1-4. Of course, great reads like this, videos, books etc are all part of the mentoring process as well. Do you find that you mentor yourself as you mentor others?

    • Tim Denning

      Aug 9, 2016 at 7:31 pm

      Bryan thanks for the feedback. I don’t tend to think of mentoring myself but what i do find is that by mentoring others I learn a lot about my own circumstances. Through other people’s struggles there is great learning at the same time for me. Mentoring to me is all about being a leader and caring about the people you serve. It has been incredibly rewarding.

  5. Toño

    Aug 9, 2016 at 2:44 am

    The theme of this article for me is: ‘When you share what you have with others, you get ten times the return back.’ Beautiful!

    Tim, I have to be honest with you. When you started to work 5x harder, engaging yourself and others into this grind habit of awesomeness, I did not relate to it. I felt like resisting that path and resistance make it even stronger. I, and forgive me for saying that, thought that in pursuit of the quantity you may lose quality, that you’ll push yourself through, will stress out things in order to give life more and more articles every single day, and yes, that was fear that guided me to these thinking. The fear you may drop the level of your writing while chasing the hard work ethic and numbers. I thought you did it wrong, but that was me who mistakenly doubt the greatness you were about to embrace. I admit that with an open heart.

    Some time later I contemplate about it and realized, what am I complaining about? Now I have even more wisdom and knowledge, I have a far better chance to improve myself, I have this inspiration on a DAILY basis from an awesome teacher, guide and leader, one of the best, who tries his best, gives his best and do his best to motivate others to their success! Isn’t it something to be happy for, to be grateful for, to have a thing to celebrate? This world is the one we create and how we perceive it will define it’s role to our journey. Use what you have to make what you want.

    You’re a great motivational writer, Tim, humble human being, awesome and beautiful. Never let others gets you down, neither foe nor friend, don’t you ever give up and keep going every single day on your journey to inspire the world and make it better than it was yesterday! You have the greatness within, you know you can and will, in times of doubt and uncertainty you knows best. If you believe it is right, go for it, do not listen to anyone. They don’t know, only you do.

    Thank you so much for being you, you are amazing, peace and infinite love!

    • Tim Denning

      Aug 9, 2016 at 5:39 am

      Toño I appreciate that you are happy to provide critical feedback and some of my articles can be a bit strange because they are designed to be thought provoking. We all resist hard work and changing our life (even me). Admitting this struggle is the first step. Thanks for your very nice words Toño and I love that you think deeply about all the advice that I give. The fact you are a real thinker is what will make you successful in the long term.

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Success Advice

One Question You Must Answer to Ensure Personal Success

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Lack of vision

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

2. Lack of goals

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

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

3. You don’t believe you can get there

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

4. You are lazy

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

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

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

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4 Character Traits Blocking Success From Entering Your Life

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Some days you wake up full of energy and ready to face the day. The challenges you gave yourself the day before seems almost too easy. However, there are also other days where you find yourself without the desire and energy to move forward. Operating from this mindset, you lose productive time, counted first in minutes, then hours. Sometimes your loss of productivity can be measured in days, weeks and months of missed opportunities.   

Since you will not wake up every day bursting with excitement, you must find a way to summon the energy necessary to pound out another story for a publication, work on your social media content plan and write new copy for your website.

To understand why you are unable to take the actions required for success, you must first identify what blocks you. You can’t overcome challenges you aren’t aware of, and this is the juncture separating those who succeed from those who don’t.

Here are the four main character defects that block success:

1. Apathy

Apathy is exhibited as a lack of concern. It shows up when you are tired or stretched too thin. Many entrepreneurs work one or more jobs while attempting to launch a business, whether online or brick and mortar. When progress can’t be seen, it is easy to stop caring and give up.

2. Procrastination

Procrastination can occur when you get up ready to give all you’ve got to your endeavor, but first you check out an episode of your favorite Netflix show while you have coffee. After eight hours of binge-watching, your productive mindset is gone which leaves you demoralized. This in turn brings you back to apathy, triggers fear and causes more procrastinating.

3. Fear

Fear is a corrosive emotion everyone struggles with, and if you are not careful, it will absolutely stop you in your tracks. Fear will say you cannot obtain your dreams. The most successful entrepreneurs and business leaders grapple with anxiety, worry and apprehension, yet you rarely see them paralyzed by their fearfulness. Like them, you can’t defeat your fear unless you identify it. With an insightful mentor, you can easily determine what you are afraid of. Once it is recognized, you’ll find the strength to walk through it.   

“Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will.” – James Stephens

4. Overwhelm

Overwhelm occurs when you commit to more than you are capable of doing. Balance and giving the appropriate amount of time to all aspects of life is a tremendous challenge. Have you found yourself overwhelmed when a friend asks a favor of you while you are trying to meet a deadline at work and maintain focus on your entrepreneurial side project? Do you worry how you’ll ever find the time to get it all done? Often when this occurs, we may mentally shut down and accomplish nothing.

To counter the deficits listed above, you must identify, then develop the opposite, positive traits necessary for success. It’s important to understand the “why” of each attribute because only then can you fully tap into the power they offer to help you accomplish your goals.

Here are the four traits to counter the above traits with:

1. Purpose

Purpose gives voice to why you are alive. It tells you and others what you are working toward and why. Living out your purpose is the single greatest weapon against apathy. Knowing your purpose gives you a standard with which you can measure your progress. It motivates you to think, act and ultimately, to succeed.

2. Action

Action is the opposite of procrastination. When your effort is focused on achieving an objective, action propels you forward. Breaking a large project down into small, manageable steps, you’ll gain the needed traction to successfully reach your goal!

3. Courage

Courage is built by first facing, then walking through your fears. Courage gives you strength to do what you think is impossible. Developing a relationship with a mentor, someone willing to tell you the truth about what they see, is crucial to success in this area. With help, you can first identify, then make the adjustments necessary to identify and release the fear blocking you.

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

4. Focus

Focus is the final attribute. What you give your attention to is the single most important factor influencing your success. You become what you focus on. When you focus on your purpose, take the necessary actions and develop the courage to bust through, you win!

This is not an all-inclusive list, it’s simply a starting point. As you tackle and overcome your grosser defects, the subtler ones will begin to surface. Slowly, with help from your trusted mentor, you will work and grow through these challenges.  

As you become stronger, you’ll be able to withstand additional demands. You meet them head-on with the new skill set you’ll develop as you let your old ones go. You will be more effective, positive and energetic along with ready to take any action necessary. You are a winner!

Which one of the character traits above do you need to focus on most in order to achieve success? Let us know in the comments below!

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6 Important Decisions to Make to Have a Successful Career

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Would you rather paint your bedroom blue or beige? What is your usual coffee go-to order: a mocha or a macchiato? Should you take the bus or the train to work today? Decisions are everywhere. They are the ones behind our choices and the ones behind all consequences that we face for those choices.

Life is riddled with decisions at every intersection, and some say that those who are the best decision-makers can actually make the most of their time on this planet. Sure, inspirational and spiritual speakers have a lot to say when it comes to the matters of fate, luck or destiny, but only the successful know that a man is truly capable of shaping their own as per their choices.

From choosing on whom to delegate that difficult task to knowing when to bring up a tricky topic during a meeting with shareholders, decisions have the potential to shape your careers as well. If you have been wondering about the ways that you can improve your career, you can consider bringing in some smart decisions in your life right now.

What are the decisions that can help you have a successful career? Since decisions play such a huge role in shaping our lives and careers, you may wish to pick up a few that help you scale higher in your career as well.

Here are 6 of the most important decisions to bring into your life today so that you can take your career to newer heights:

1. Put your goals on paper

Sure, it’s great to have goals for your career, but simply letting them wander about in your mind is not going to help you achieve them, you know. That is why you need to have a list of goals that you have set for yourself – on paper.

Maintain a journal (virtual or offline, whichever works for you) that enlists your career objectives and goals according to short-term and long-term ones. For example, you can put upskilling in short-term goals and moving to a higher managerial position by the end of three years as a long-term goal.

Establish parity in the short-term and long-term goals so that you can synthesise them when the time comes. Jotting down the objectives will help you have a clear idea of where you stand and the way that you should go to bring about the positive changes in your career.

2. Bring in a daily dose of positivity

Let’s face it, all of us have encountered setbacks in our professional lives. The most important lesson to take from those setbacks is to never become pessimistic about what you can achieve. Positivity has helped many to soar the skies when it comes to their careers, and with a conscious decision to eliminate all sorts of negative thoughts from your mind can help you in doing the same too.

You will find a bunch of success stories that all start and end with how important it is to persevere in the face of adversities and letting your positive aura shine through in dark times. One of the smartest things that you can thus do for your career is to decide to chuck all negativity (as well as toxic acquaintances) that make you doubt your abilities and pull you down.

“Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.” – James Cash Penney

3. Hone your writing skills

No matter which industry you belong to, an impressive writing style in this fast-paced age of digital communication truly has the power to take you places when it comes to becoming more successful in your career.

The blessing that is the web has brought on a range of online tools and resources that you can put to good use for improving your writing skills. If you need to review your official documents and emails, then try online tools to edit and proofread your documents efficiently. You can also use online tools and tutorials to pick up tricks that help you sharpen your writing and make it devoid of common mistakes we all prone to making.

4. Upskill yourself proactively

Whether it is learning to code or taking up creative writing classes, you should decide to upskill proactively throughout your career. Upskilling has benefited more than one, and when the time comes for a job switch to move on to better prospects, you can always leverage the additional skills picked up earlier. As we move towards a faster and more digitised work sphere, it is best to attune oneself to the latest trends and in-demand skills of your industry and beyond to make sure that you are prepared when it is time to take the plunge.

5. Reflect on each day

When you are at work, the days seem to go by in a dizzying blur, leaving you breathless from the sheer pressure of work and tasks that you have to manage throughout the day. Deciding to spare time for yourself despite your busy schedule ensures both personal and professional growth, as leading psychologists opine.

Treat each day as a lesson, and you will end up with a long list of things that you learnt from each of them as they went by. An excellent way to do this is to keep a journal, but if you do not feel up to writing at the end of the busy day, you can always unwind while listening to your favourite music and reflect on the day that was.

6. Pick up a healthy lifestyle

Lastly, it is important to decide to be healthy and fit for only by that will you be at your productive peak to help you achieve all that you want to in your professional sphere. Devote some time to exercise every day and have a healthy diet.

You are sure to find many benefits of having a healthy lifestyle when you rise and shine to go to work with renewed vigour every day that helps you create innovative designs or brainstorm for killer marketing tactics. You never know which hidden potential of yours gets unlocked by facing work with a positive and beaming attitude every day, so why not take a leap of faith?

“Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.” – Napoleon Hill

Staying ahead of the competition, working overtime, managing piles of emails and getting stuck in the daily conundrums of work may sometimes leave you wondering as to where it is that you are headed when it comes to your career. Cruise through your career like a pro as these six decisions present a world of benefits for your personal and professional growth.

What decisions have you made that have helped you grow professionally? Comment below!

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4 of the World’s Greatest Thinkers Share Their Secrets to Living the Good Life

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It takes a lot of effort, dedication, and open-mindedness to lead a good life of excellent health, wealth, love and happiness. As a personal trainer, and a human being, part of my life revolves around understanding how the human mind works and how to help myself, and the people around me, make decisions that put their lives on the right track.

We only live once thus we have to make the best out of our journey. One of the greatest ways to learn how to live is by learning from those who have lead the good life themselves.

Here are four of the greatest thinkers secrets to live a good life:

1. Jordan Peterson: Treat yourself like someone you’re responsible for helping

Ever heard of the term, ‘Treat yourself like you treat your best friend?” As corny as it sounds, this tip holds water. You need to be kind to yourself, and you must be compassionate. In fact, studies suggest that self-compassion is more critical to your well being than self-esteem.

If this is true, why is it hard for many people to make friends with themselves? The answer, according to Jordan Peterson, lies in the fact that you`ve been around your imperfect self for so long that all you can see is a flawed human being.

A person, still according to Peterson, will deride his whole existence just because, in his eyes, he’s the ugly, ashamed, frightened, worthless, inadequate, insignificant, resentful, defensive descendant of Adam. Peterson suggests you will gain inner peace when you see yourself through the eyes of a loving coach trying to lead their imperfect mentee to the best possible results.

2. Leonardo da Vinci: Understand how your mind works

Michael J. Gelb, the author of How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every day, believes Dimostrazione – the Italian translation of demonstration – is one of Da Vinci`s seven principles to his unmatched intelligence. The Italian sculpture, inventor, musician, geologist, and mathematician had a special knack for examining how things work, including his mind, and he made sure to document his musings on paper so he could understand himself better. Before he died, Da Vinci left one of his trustees a 10,000-paper journal full of notes, questions, designs and even jokes and fables.

To reap the benefits of dimonstrazione, you need to regularly detach yourself from the digital world for a few minutes of ruminating and journaling. Question your thoughts, beliefs, and why you/people do things in specific ways. Doing this will spark your creativity and help you solve deeply-rooted problems much easier.

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci

3. Richard Dawkins: Avoid the trial/error trap

Some may think making lots of mistakes is the best way to learn how to do something. According to Richard Dawkins, making so many mistakes is a waste of time and can sometimes be fatal. In his opinion, most of what you learn should come from “simulation.” He believes one should study the best and worst types of people, emulate their good and avoid their bad.

Most of the time, all you need is to follow someone else`s wheel instead of trying to invent your own – at least until you`re strong enough to lead your way. Additional tip: Get coaching or a mentor who`s 20 years older than you. A good one will save you lots of time, effort and money.

4. Carl Sagan: The universe is not required to be in harmony with ambition

Be flexible and formless, then adapt to the universe instead of trying to bend it to your will – which may not happen. To Carl Sagan, a man should understand that life won’t always give him what he wants, but he must use what life gives him for his better good. If life throws you a  tomato, make a soup of it. Many successful people spent decent parts of their lives drifting between careers only to realize later that they wouldn’t have made it without those career wanderings.

You must also understand that the purpose of a goal isn’t to hit the target but to evolve into the type of person who can achieve his goals. You won’t always win if you swing for the fences with every shot, but your track record will be far better than someone who plays it safe not because of your extraordinary genes but because the type of goal you chose for yourself forced you to step out of your shell and grow.

“Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.” – Carl Sagan

Take great care of your mind. Read good books, understand your cognitive biases and take courses in lateral thinking and problem solving. Your mind is your most important asset and it’s a great shame if you fail to use it well.

What is your secret to living the good life? Let us know your secrets in the comments below!

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One Question You Must Answer to Ensure Personal Success

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

Biagio Sciacca, known to his friends as Bill, was a lifelong resident of Pittston, PA. He is the owner of Intelligent Motivation, Inc. a global consulting and training firm specializing in management and leadership training as well as psychological assessment for hiring and staff development. He is the author of several books relating to goal setting, and his third book, Provocative Leadership, is publishing soon. Now residing in Tamarindo, Costa Rica, he divides his time between his international coaching and training clients, writing his next book and wandering aimlessly on the beach. Feel free to contact Bill at bill@intelligentmotivationinc.com or schedule a call with him by going to www.intelligentmotivationinc.com and clicking on the “set up a call” tab.

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Jonathan Magnin

    Aug 11, 2016 at 4:48 am

    Tim – Brilliant article.
    Short, to the point and super valuable.
    I’m about to coach (officially) for the first time a few people, and your advice came up at the perfect timing 🙂

    • Tim Denning

      Aug 13, 2016 at 2:14 am

      Jonathan thanks for taking the time to give your feedback. I’m glad you found this article at just the right time and best of luck coaching your first clients; it’s the start of something big for you!

  2. Chris Targett

    Aug 10, 2016 at 5:49 am

    Thanks again for an awesome article Tim.

    It’s great to read articles with case studies in them, seeing how you practice what you preach.

    I love your phrase “Bottom line; give everything you have without thinking” If we help as many people as we can we will receive the same help back if not more in the long run.

    Thanks again

    • Tim Denning

      Aug 10, 2016 at 6:33 am

      No problem Chris and thanks for reading. Giving is a key ingredient that all successful people practice as a daily habit. Change from a scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset and you will see a shift in your level of success.

  3. Lawrence Berry

    Aug 9, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    Great article. I think being a great mentor and being a great leader are two of the same things. If you have the characteristics to be a great leader, you will be a great mentor. The two most important things that I think a mentor should give their mentee is inspiration and challenge. I actually mentor a kid who is in the adoption system and reading this article gives me more insight into what I can do better as a leader and mentor. Thanks for sharing!

    • Tim Denning

      Aug 9, 2016 at 11:46 pm

      Thanks Lawrence for the kind words. You’re observation is spot on and I love that you are mentoring someone and found value in this article. Keep in touch my friend.

  4. Bryan Oliver

    Aug 9, 2016 at 10:40 am

    Great article, Tim. I was just coaching someone new to a senior leader role and we talked about your points. It got me thinking about the mentors I’ve had and how there are times, more often these days, that I need to be my own mentor and do exactly what you point out in areas 1-4. Of course, great reads like this, videos, books etc are all part of the mentoring process as well. Do you find that you mentor yourself as you mentor others?

    • Tim Denning

      Aug 9, 2016 at 7:31 pm

      Bryan thanks for the feedback. I don’t tend to think of mentoring myself but what i do find is that by mentoring others I learn a lot about my own circumstances. Through other people’s struggles there is great learning at the same time for me. Mentoring to me is all about being a leader and caring about the people you serve. It has been incredibly rewarding.

  5. Toño

    Aug 9, 2016 at 2:44 am

    The theme of this article for me is: ‘When you share what you have with others, you get ten times the return back.’ Beautiful!

    Tim, I have to be honest with you. When you started to work 5x harder, engaging yourself and others into this grind habit of awesomeness, I did not relate to it. I felt like resisting that path and resistance make it even stronger. I, and forgive me for saying that, thought that in pursuit of the quantity you may lose quality, that you’ll push yourself through, will stress out things in order to give life more and more articles every single day, and yes, that was fear that guided me to these thinking. The fear you may drop the level of your writing while chasing the hard work ethic and numbers. I thought you did it wrong, but that was me who mistakenly doubt the greatness you were about to embrace. I admit that with an open heart.

    Some time later I contemplate about it and realized, what am I complaining about? Now I have even more wisdom and knowledge, I have a far better chance to improve myself, I have this inspiration on a DAILY basis from an awesome teacher, guide and leader, one of the best, who tries his best, gives his best and do his best to motivate others to their success! Isn’t it something to be happy for, to be grateful for, to have a thing to celebrate? This world is the one we create and how we perceive it will define it’s role to our journey. Use what you have to make what you want.

    You’re a great motivational writer, Tim, humble human being, awesome and beautiful. Never let others gets you down, neither foe nor friend, don’t you ever give up and keep going every single day on your journey to inspire the world and make it better than it was yesterday! You have the greatness within, you know you can and will, in times of doubt and uncertainty you knows best. If you believe it is right, go for it, do not listen to anyone. They don’t know, only you do.

    Thank you so much for being you, you are amazing, peace and infinite love!

    • Tim Denning

      Aug 9, 2016 at 5:39 am

      Toño I appreciate that you are happy to provide critical feedback and some of my articles can be a bit strange because they are designed to be thought provoking. We all resist hard work and changing our life (even me). Admitting this struggle is the first step. Thanks for your very nice words Toño and I love that you think deeply about all the advice that I give. The fact you are a real thinker is what will make you successful in the long term.

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Success Advice

One Question You Must Answer to Ensure Personal Success

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Lack of vision

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

2. Lack of goals

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

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

3. You don’t believe you can get there

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

4. You are lazy

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

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

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

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Success Advice

4 Character Traits Blocking Success From Entering Your Life

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Some days you wake up full of energy and ready to face the day. The challenges you gave yourself the day before seems almost too easy. However, there are also other days where you find yourself without the desire and energy to move forward. Operating from this mindset, you lose productive time, counted first in minutes, then hours. Sometimes your loss of productivity can be measured in days, weeks and months of missed opportunities.   

Since you will not wake up every day bursting with excitement, you must find a way to summon the energy necessary to pound out another story for a publication, work on your social media content plan and write new copy for your website.

To understand why you are unable to take the actions required for success, you must first identify what blocks you. You can’t overcome challenges you aren’t aware of, and this is the juncture separating those who succeed from those who don’t.

Here are the four main character defects that block success:

1. Apathy

Apathy is exhibited as a lack of concern. It shows up when you are tired or stretched too thin. Many entrepreneurs work one or more jobs while attempting to launch a business, whether online or brick and mortar. When progress can’t be seen, it is easy to stop caring and give up.

2. Procrastination

Procrastination can occur when you get up ready to give all you’ve got to your endeavor, but first you check out an episode of your favorite Netflix show while you have coffee. After eight hours of binge-watching, your productive mindset is gone which leaves you demoralized. This in turn brings you back to apathy, triggers fear and causes more procrastinating.

3. Fear

Fear is a corrosive emotion everyone struggles with, and if you are not careful, it will absolutely stop you in your tracks. Fear will say you cannot obtain your dreams. The most successful entrepreneurs and business leaders grapple with anxiety, worry and apprehension, yet you rarely see them paralyzed by their fearfulness. Like them, you can’t defeat your fear unless you identify it. With an insightful mentor, you can easily determine what you are afraid of. Once it is recognized, you’ll find the strength to walk through it.   

“Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will.” – James Stephens

4. Overwhelm

Overwhelm occurs when you commit to more than you are capable of doing. Balance and giving the appropriate amount of time to all aspects of life is a tremendous challenge. Have you found yourself overwhelmed when a friend asks a favor of you while you are trying to meet a deadline at work and maintain focus on your entrepreneurial side project? Do you worry how you’ll ever find the time to get it all done? Often when this occurs, we may mentally shut down and accomplish nothing.

To counter the deficits listed above, you must identify, then develop the opposite, positive traits necessary for success. It’s important to understand the “why” of each attribute because only then can you fully tap into the power they offer to help you accomplish your goals.

Here are the four traits to counter the above traits with:

1. Purpose

Purpose gives voice to why you are alive. It tells you and others what you are working toward and why. Living out your purpose is the single greatest weapon against apathy. Knowing your purpose gives you a standard with which you can measure your progress. It motivates you to think, act and ultimately, to succeed.

2. Action

Action is the opposite of procrastination. When your effort is focused on achieving an objective, action propels you forward. Breaking a large project down into small, manageable steps, you’ll gain the needed traction to successfully reach your goal!

3. Courage

Courage is built by first facing, then walking through your fears. Courage gives you strength to do what you think is impossible. Developing a relationship with a mentor, someone willing to tell you the truth about what they see, is crucial to success in this area. With help, you can first identify, then make the adjustments necessary to identify and release the fear blocking you.

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

4. Focus

Focus is the final attribute. What you give your attention to is the single most important factor influencing your success. You become what you focus on. When you focus on your purpose, take the necessary actions and develop the courage to bust through, you win!

This is not an all-inclusive list, it’s simply a starting point. As you tackle and overcome your grosser defects, the subtler ones will begin to surface. Slowly, with help from your trusted mentor, you will work and grow through these challenges.  

As you become stronger, you’ll be able to withstand additional demands. You meet them head-on with the new skill set you’ll develop as you let your old ones go. You will be more effective, positive and energetic along with ready to take any action necessary. You are a winner!

Which one of the character traits above do you need to focus on most in order to achieve success? Let us know in the comments below!

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6 Important Decisions to Make to Have a Successful Career

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Would you rather paint your bedroom blue or beige? What is your usual coffee go-to order: a mocha or a macchiato? Should you take the bus or the train to work today? Decisions are everywhere. They are the ones behind our choices and the ones behind all consequences that we face for those choices.

Life is riddled with decisions at every intersection, and some say that those who are the best decision-makers can actually make the most of their time on this planet. Sure, inspirational and spiritual speakers have a lot to say when it comes to the matters of fate, luck or destiny, but only the successful know that a man is truly capable of shaping their own as per their choices.

From choosing on whom to delegate that difficult task to knowing when to bring up a tricky topic during a meeting with shareholders, decisions have the potential to shape your careers as well. If you have been wondering about the ways that you can improve your career, you can consider bringing in some smart decisions in your life right now.

What are the decisions that can help you have a successful career? Since decisions play such a huge role in shaping our lives and careers, you may wish to pick up a few that help you scale higher in your career as well.

Here are 6 of the most important decisions to bring into your life today so that you can take your career to newer heights:

1. Put your goals on paper

Sure, it’s great to have goals for your career, but simply letting them wander about in your mind is not going to help you achieve them, you know. That is why you need to have a list of goals that you have set for yourself – on paper.

Maintain a journal (virtual or offline, whichever works for you) that enlists your career objectives and goals according to short-term and long-term ones. For example, you can put upskilling in short-term goals and moving to a higher managerial position by the end of three years as a long-term goal.

Establish parity in the short-term and long-term goals so that you can synthesise them when the time comes. Jotting down the objectives will help you have a clear idea of where you stand and the way that you should go to bring about the positive changes in your career.

2. Bring in a daily dose of positivity

Let’s face it, all of us have encountered setbacks in our professional lives. The most important lesson to take from those setbacks is to never become pessimistic about what you can achieve. Positivity has helped many to soar the skies when it comes to their careers, and with a conscious decision to eliminate all sorts of negative thoughts from your mind can help you in doing the same too.

You will find a bunch of success stories that all start and end with how important it is to persevere in the face of adversities and letting your positive aura shine through in dark times. One of the smartest things that you can thus do for your career is to decide to chuck all negativity (as well as toxic acquaintances) that make you doubt your abilities and pull you down.

“Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.” – James Cash Penney

3. Hone your writing skills

No matter which industry you belong to, an impressive writing style in this fast-paced age of digital communication truly has the power to take you places when it comes to becoming more successful in your career.

The blessing that is the web has brought on a range of online tools and resources that you can put to good use for improving your writing skills. If you need to review your official documents and emails, then try online tools to edit and proofread your documents efficiently. You can also use online tools and tutorials to pick up tricks that help you sharpen your writing and make it devoid of common mistakes we all prone to making.

4. Upskill yourself proactively

Whether it is learning to code or taking up creative writing classes, you should decide to upskill proactively throughout your career. Upskilling has benefited more than one, and when the time comes for a job switch to move on to better prospects, you can always leverage the additional skills picked up earlier. As we move towards a faster and more digitised work sphere, it is best to attune oneself to the latest trends and in-demand skills of your industry and beyond to make sure that you are prepared when it is time to take the plunge.

5. Reflect on each day

When you are at work, the days seem to go by in a dizzying blur, leaving you breathless from the sheer pressure of work and tasks that you have to manage throughout the day. Deciding to spare time for yourself despite your busy schedule ensures both personal and professional growth, as leading psychologists opine.

Treat each day as a lesson, and you will end up with a long list of things that you learnt from each of them as they went by. An excellent way to do this is to keep a journal, but if you do not feel up to writing at the end of the busy day, you can always unwind while listening to your favourite music and reflect on the day that was.

6. Pick up a healthy lifestyle

Lastly, it is important to decide to be healthy and fit for only by that will you be at your productive peak to help you achieve all that you want to in your professional sphere. Devote some time to exercise every day and have a healthy diet.

You are sure to find many benefits of having a healthy lifestyle when you rise and shine to go to work with renewed vigour every day that helps you create innovative designs or brainstorm for killer marketing tactics. You never know which hidden potential of yours gets unlocked by facing work with a positive and beaming attitude every day, so why not take a leap of faith?

“Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.” – Napoleon Hill

Staying ahead of the competition, working overtime, managing piles of emails and getting stuck in the daily conundrums of work may sometimes leave you wondering as to where it is that you are headed when it comes to your career. Cruise through your career like a pro as these six decisions present a world of benefits for your personal and professional growth.

What decisions have you made that have helped you grow professionally? Comment below!

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Success Advice

4 of the World’s Greatest Thinkers Share Their Secrets to Living the Good Life

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It takes a lot of effort, dedication, and open-mindedness to lead a good life of excellent health, wealth, love and happiness. As a personal trainer, and a human being, part of my life revolves around understanding how the human mind works and how to help myself, and the people around me, make decisions that put their lives on the right track.

We only live once thus we have to make the best out of our journey. One of the greatest ways to learn how to live is by learning from those who have lead the good life themselves.

Here are four of the greatest thinkers secrets to live a good life:

1. Jordan Peterson: Treat yourself like someone you’re responsible for helping

Ever heard of the term, ‘Treat yourself like you treat your best friend?” As corny as it sounds, this tip holds water. You need to be kind to yourself, and you must be compassionate. In fact, studies suggest that self-compassion is more critical to your well being than self-esteem.

If this is true, why is it hard for many people to make friends with themselves? The answer, according to Jordan Peterson, lies in the fact that you`ve been around your imperfect self for so long that all you can see is a flawed human being.

A person, still according to Peterson, will deride his whole existence just because, in his eyes, he’s the ugly, ashamed, frightened, worthless, inadequate, insignificant, resentful, defensive descendant of Adam. Peterson suggests you will gain inner peace when you see yourself through the eyes of a loving coach trying to lead their imperfect mentee to the best possible results.

2. Leonardo da Vinci: Understand how your mind works

Michael J. Gelb, the author of How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every day, believes Dimostrazione – the Italian translation of demonstration – is one of Da Vinci`s seven principles to his unmatched intelligence. The Italian sculpture, inventor, musician, geologist, and mathematician had a special knack for examining how things work, including his mind, and he made sure to document his musings on paper so he could understand himself better. Before he died, Da Vinci left one of his trustees a 10,000-paper journal full of notes, questions, designs and even jokes and fables.

To reap the benefits of dimonstrazione, you need to regularly detach yourself from the digital world for a few minutes of ruminating and journaling. Question your thoughts, beliefs, and why you/people do things in specific ways. Doing this will spark your creativity and help you solve deeply-rooted problems much easier.

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci

3. Richard Dawkins: Avoid the trial/error trap

Some may think making lots of mistakes is the best way to learn how to do something. According to Richard Dawkins, making so many mistakes is a waste of time and can sometimes be fatal. In his opinion, most of what you learn should come from “simulation.” He believes one should study the best and worst types of people, emulate their good and avoid their bad.

Most of the time, all you need is to follow someone else`s wheel instead of trying to invent your own – at least until you`re strong enough to lead your way. Additional tip: Get coaching or a mentor who`s 20 years older than you. A good one will save you lots of time, effort and money.

4. Carl Sagan: The universe is not required to be in harmony with ambition

Be flexible and formless, then adapt to the universe instead of trying to bend it to your will – which may not happen. To Carl Sagan, a man should understand that life won’t always give him what he wants, but he must use what life gives him for his better good. If life throws you a  tomato, make a soup of it. Many successful people spent decent parts of their lives drifting between careers only to realize later that they wouldn’t have made it without those career wanderings.

You must also understand that the purpose of a goal isn’t to hit the target but to evolve into the type of person who can achieve his goals. You won’t always win if you swing for the fences with every shot, but your track record will be far better than someone who plays it safe not because of your extraordinary genes but because the type of goal you chose for yourself forced you to step out of your shell and grow.

“Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.” – Carl Sagan

Take great care of your mind. Read good books, understand your cognitive biases and take courses in lateral thinking and problem solving. Your mind is your most important asset and it’s a great shame if you fail to use it well.

What is your secret to living the good life? Let us know your secrets in the comments below!

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