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How To Go 12 Months With No Alcohol And Come Back A Champion

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I’ve been completely sober now for twelve months. People keep asking me how an earth I did it. They had questions like how do you be social, how do you relax, how do you have fun, etc. All you need to go twelve months without alcohol and come back a champion are these seven simple steps.

1. Chunk it down

Initially, I told myself I was giving up for one month; then it became three months, then twelve months, and now I have completed a year, and I know I can give it up forever. If you want to give up alcohol for at least twelve months, then you have to chunk down the milestones.

Starting at twelve months won’t work because it’s too long. You need to have a few quick wins along the way and then once the twelve months comes around, you’ll realise that excessive drinking is for retards who are going nowhere in life, and are trying to escape their current circumstances – that’s not you.

2. Have a higher purpose

Not something small but something that is revolutionary. Start saying no to drinking nights regularly even though your friends and colleagues might be upset. In the beginning, it will be hard and you will feel lonely. You will feel like an outcast with no friends who can’t have fun anymore.

When you finish your work at the end of the week, go home early, and then wake up early the next day. When your friend’s text you to say how good their night was last night, just put the phone down and start working on your dream straight away.

As Saturday night comes around, have dinner with your friends and then leave when they all head to the bar. Go home, and work on your dream. When you are absolutely exhausted from all the work that night, go outside for a moment, look up, and see the stars.

See the one that is shining the brightest and realise that is you. Get your mind to understand that not drinking is the way for you to achieve everything you have ever wanted. Tell yourself that cold winter’s night that you were destined to do bigger things.

Seek comfort in knowing that you are not missing out on anything, and you are doing what you have always wanted. On Sunday, go to the market and try buying some vegetables. Come home, and eat them or juice them. Notice how freaking good you feel.

Ask yourself the question, what if I could feel this all the time? For the rest of your day keep working on your dream even when those around you think you’re nuts. Just before it get’s dark, make some tea, go outside, and watch the sunset.

Reflect on how great your day has been and how you have turned your circumstances around. As the yellow and orange from the sun shines on your face, commit to being in greater control of your life and notice how you are starting to feel more powerful each day.

Notice the champion beginning to awaken within you. As your phone alarm clock goes off for the start of Monday morning, wake up full of energy and go to your income-producing activity with a smile on your face. Even if everyone around you has a negative look on their face, smile at them.

Once your computer has booted up, go somewhere quiet, and do five minutes of meditation with the Calm app. Realise how easy it is to bring yourself back to the present. Remember how your thoughts used to be before you began meditating.

At lunchtime, get off your ass and go for a walk to find a healthy option to have for lunch. Forget all the people trying to call your phone and just have some time for you. On the way home, stop to fill up with petrol.

When you see a heroin addict getting ready to rob the store, warn the nice lady who always tries to serve customers with a smile. When she asks why you care, just tell her that you do and smile again. Get back in your car and drive home with the latest personal development podcast that you downloaded the week before.

Think about what your life was like before you discovered Tony Robbins and just how miserable alcohol made you when you tried to forget about your current circumstances. Remember all the girls you hooked up with when you were drunk and how none of them actually cared about you, and it was just the fake effects of the alcohol that made it all happen.

Hone in your thoughts to focus on how your life has become nothing more than you, your dream, eating healthy, meditating, and giving to others.

On Monday night, check out your Instagram account and see the photo of the last time you had an alcoholic beverage and be proud of yourself. Know that it was your thoughts and your dream that created this new reality.

Before you go to bed, stay up an extra hour and write a blog post like this so you can share your experiences with the world to help them with their own struggle with alcohol. Picture that Tim Ferriss is reading your blog post and that he would be proud of who you’ve become.

Visualise other game-changing human beings also reading this same blog post and waiting for you to get better at your craft. Visualise how great it will be when the world discovers your true talent which has nothing to do with alcohol or the losers you meet at the bar who are still trying to escape.

At 9 pm, tell yourself it’s time for bed and then stop yourself, and go back to your computer so you can create a design contest online for the purpose of creating your new ebook cover. Be excited about how good the design is going to look and how your dream is to inspire millions of people.

Make the act of inspiring others more important than everything else you do. In the coming weeks, when times get tough, think of what it’s going to be like standing on stage and sharing your story with thousands of people.

Take your mind into the future and picture yourself watching a movie that has been made about your life because you didn’t let alcohol win and you became a champion that everyone will remember. When you wake up on Tuesday, turn on your computer and see the email you have been waiting for that makes all of those sober days worthwhile. See the email that is your dream coming to life.

Realise you have now come back a champion!

3. Stop suppressing your thoughts

Booze is used mostly as a form of escape. This need for an escape is caused by the suppression of negative thoughts and one’s current life circumstances. Come to terms with your reality and make it a must to grow every single day. Booze will quickly become boring – trust me.

Then, when you work on yourself every day and find ways to have more positive thoughts than negative ones, there’s nothing to suppress anymore. Alcohol becomes a way to suppress positive thoughts, and you’ll realise pretty quickly that’s the last thing you want.

4. Find other ways to reward yourself for hard work

Alcohol is often used as a reward for hard work. What I found, and what you’ll find, is there are other ways to reward yourself. During my hiatus from alcohol I took up eating at my favorite restaurant Vegie Bar, drank delicious Chinese tea, and traveled the world.

These options are so much better than booze. Since quitting alcohol I have 10X’d my results further by giving up caffeine. Caffeine does us no favours, and I have since fell in love with “Caffeine Free Teas” that taste just as good as regular tea.

5. You’ll have more money

Booze is expensive nowadays. In Australia, it’s pretty easy for me to blow $150-$200 on alcohol with my eyes closed. It’s expensive and useless at the same time. A better use for the money is to put it into starting an online business or your next travel adventure (that’s what I did and you can too).

6. Think of the time you will get back

Boozy nights don’t just take up your time while you’re drinking. Drinking typically takes six hours or more to get into a dehydrated enough state that you feel drunk. At the end of the six hours, you will go on a downward spiral followed by either vomiting or sleep.

The next day you will try to wake up and probably decide to sleep a few extra hours because you feel strangely tired (I wonder why). When you do finally wake up your head will weigh more than those unused gym weights sitting in your garage that you swear you will regularly lift one day.

For the next few days, you will function, but you won’t feel overly productive – you’re basically doing a half-assed job at your work. Then, as if by magic, you will get a (insert illness here), and start taking medicine that makes you more sick.

Before you know it, two weeks will pass, and you will have got jack all done. That’s motivation to quit alcohol right there. Having all this time back in your life could completely change your circumstances and your success. I promise you booze is the problem for you right now.

7. Be a high performer

As I sped past those around me in terms of performance, I became motivated in a different way. High performers typically are not trying to escape life; they are trying to live life at the highest level. Most people that were around me when I gave up booze had no idea about my entrepreneurial background which gave me a taste of peak performance.

These same people didn’t know my one secret; personal development. That’s how you excel through the ranks and outperform everyone. Once you realise this, you will see that booze is the anchor that’s keeping you at the bottom of the ocean with the algae, where it’s dark and lonely.

What has alcohol cost you? 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 millions of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around personal development and entrepreneurship.You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Toño

    Jun 10, 2016 at 6:21 am

    This is an amazing story, Tim. I entirely adore how you described the whole journey of yours with such sense, style and honesty! Enjoyed it so very much 🙂 I am proud of you my friend and happy you found another way to actually have fun and spend the much valuable time with greater purpose.

    You know, it may sound discriminative or perhaps unfair, but I always try to hire people who didn’t fall into the habbit of drinking and dislike alcohol. The same with people around me. I don’t have that many friends, but those few who around, can spend time muchly better rather than hangout at bars. I want surround myslef only with best people, and I don’t want any losers.

    Benefits of going with clear and beautiful mind are simply endless and you will feel amazing, every single day, no excuses.

    I really like your vulnerable approach, Tim. I noticed how awesome is to read about simple yet so grounded things sometimes. We have much in common of course, but I like that you can speak about superhero skills one day, and the next you will chat about some daily things that may be common. I mean, it’s cool to bring up topics like how to be on top of the world, but how many of recent articles will bring alcohol addiction and talk about their own experiences? Not much, if any.
    I like that you can freely speak about anything you feel and want. You teching me be be vulnerable and open as well, and for that I am very grateful!

    Thank you again, amigo, much love and appreciation! Have a wonderful day! Speak soon 🙂

    • Tim Denning

      Jun 11, 2016 at 2:22 am

      Toño your feedback always helps me and the tips you have given me are the best I have been given. There are many blog posts on the topics I write about and what I hope I’m doing is adding a real world, personal touch to those topics. Reading facts can be pretty boring. We have plenty in common Toño and I’m glad your friends are not the ones that hangout in bars talking about whats wrong with the world.

      Speak soon my friend.

  2. Louis

    Jun 8, 2016 at 2:34 am

    I agree. I have been alcohol free since 2/14/13. It was at that point I was on the verge of slipping into a diabetic coma. My life has never been better. I realize that everytime I screwed up or caused some type of mayhem…it started with a drink. I don’t miss the “old” days one bit. Good luck to those who start the journey

    • Tim Denning

      Jun 9, 2016 at 12:57 am

      Thanks for sharing your story Louis. Alcohol can be responsible for so many negative things in our life so I am glad you have been able to see this.

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Success Advice

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

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productivity tips
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“Email” and “productivity” rarely go together in a sentence. Emails have been declared as one of our largest time wasters. A McKinsey report stated that people spend around 2.6 hours each day responding to emails. That’s 13 hours a week, 52 hours a month and over 60 days a year! Imagine what you could’ve achieved in 60 days!

Emails also negatively affect our cognitive resources. When we think of responding to them while doing other important tasks, it takes up to 23 minutes and 15 seconds after being disrupted to return to full attention to a current task. Imagine how much our cognition and productivity gets fractured when we get distracted over and over again.

Constant emailing also drains us mentally. And at the end of a day, we realize that we’ve achieved nothing worth mentioning. With a phone call, you can sort issues and solve problems quickly, right? In theory, you’re right. But we live in a practical world where many variables come into play.

Below are three variables that make phone calls adversely affect our productivity, and why emails are a better alternative:

1. Wasting Time

Most “five-minute conversations” can quickly turn into 35-minute calls because people ramble about irrelevant aspects. This derailment, several times a day, severely limits the limited time and energy you have for important tasks.

Emails, on the other hand, force writers to streamline their thoughts and stick to the point. Emails can save you plenty of time and energy because you avoid lengthy phone calls. The constant strife to keep your own emails short and crisp also makes you a clearer thinker, which rewards you in other aspects of your life.

“It’s better to waste money, than it is to waste time. You can always get more money.” – Hal Sparks

2. Inaccurate Responses

An unexpected phone call can catch me caught off guard on a topic. I might respond emotionally or give an answer that doesn’t do justice to what I want to share. In a world dominated by panic buttons and fire-fighting, these don’t just stress me out but the caller as well.

Emails give me flexibility to prepare a coherent response and share it when I’m satisfied. If I feel a surge of emotion, I can sleep over the thought and share a better (more rational) response the next day. Many page-long email responses to emails that upset me have turned into a simple “thank you for your email” the next day.

3. Constant Back-and-Forth

Phone calls often are ineffective to solve business problems. Accounting for multiple people, their views, their timelines… One phone call can quickly turn into three.

Emails are quicker and more effective than even conference calls. They let you communicate with multiple people at the same time. You can share information, assign tasks and give status updates while being as specific as possible.

You must be wondering, “What about back-and-forth emails then? Why do we waste precious time on them?” Yes, email has earned a bad rap. But it’s not because of the medium; it’s because we handle it ineffectively.

A Better Approach to Emailing

For most people, constantly refreshing the inbox is part of the daily to-do list. It keeps them busy and gives them a kick of dopamine – the feel-good chemical.

Ironically, this quest to remain busy makes people compromise on taking action that can move them forward. Using emails prudently, rewards you with plenty of energy and mind space to focus on tasks that truly matter.

Here are three steps that benefited me without succumbing to the side effects of email:

1. Checking Them Less

I check emails just 3 times a day – at 9:30 AM, 12:00 PM, and 4:30 PM. If you don’t have the luxury to do the same, you can start by checking your emails for ten minutes at the end of each hour. Most senders expect a response in a little over an hour. So they won’t mind a slightly delayed response. This gives you 45 undisturbed minutes each hour to work on your core tasks.

2. Responding Quickly

People delay responding to emails at least 37% of the time, which turns finding emails and responding to them into additional tasks that cost time and lead to attention residue. Most emails take under two minutes to respond. When you can respond to an email, do so instead of putting it off. This won’t just put your mind at peace, it’ll also reduce the number of “did-you-see-this” follow-up emails in your inbox.

“I do love email. Wherever possible I try to communicate asynchronously. I’m really good at email.” – Elon Musk

3. The If-Then Technique

The If-Then technique helps you address multiple scenarios at once. For instance, an email that says, “Can we meet at 3:00 PM?” becomes, “Can we meet at 3:00 PM? If not, please advise three other times that work for you.”

This technique is also effective when you want to suggest ideas or provide instructions on alternative steps. For example, “Here’s Plan A. If it doesn’t work, connect with [name] and ask for [specific information]. If you don’t get what you need, inform me.”

I’ll admit. This sounds like more work in the current moment, but it drastically cuts down the number of trail mails, confused correspondences, and fire-fighting instances that occur due to miscommunication.

The If-Then formula is the single most effective technique I’ve learned from The 4-Hour Workweek. All of this doesn’t mean that you abandon phone calls, In fact, it’s better to use the phone for sensitive topics or if an email conversation gets dragged. But remain mindful to not let phone calls waste your time.

If you want to pursue a meaningful life, place a premium on your time. Do things that create time for you to pursue meaningful actions and avoid doing what pulls you away from them. In the knowledge economy, this is the key to success.

Do you prefer email or talking on the phone? Share your thoughts below!

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Success Advice

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

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how to be happy and successful
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It’s normal that every person in the world wants to reach success and happiness. Yet, everyone defines both of these things differently. For some, success is making a whole bunch of money while for others this can be to become a good parent. Happiness is defined differently as well. Some people need to own a jet, boat and 3 cars to be truly happy, while others are happy just to be able to wake up in the morning.

It doesn’t matter how you define success and happiness, the truth is, you want to achieve them both. But, to be able to reach success and happiness, you need to answer 4 questions for yourself.

Here are the 4 questions you need to answer before you can achieve success and happiness:

1. Where Are You?

No, not geographically. It doesn’t matter where you live. What matters is where are you in life. Where are you in your way to success and happiness. Let’s say you are lost in the woods. You know exactly where you want to go, but you don’t know where you are. Even a map doesn’t help you with that.

The same is true in life. You may have a goal, but until you truly define where you are in the moment, you can’t move toward this goal. So, step 1 on your way to success and happiness is to define where you are right now.

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

2. Where Do You Want to Go?

When you define where you are in life, then you can think of where you want to be.

There’s this saying:  When you don´t know your final destination, you´ll end up somewhere you didn’t want to be. Until you don’t know clearly where you want to be in life and who you want to become, your life doesn’t have a true purpose.

Without purpose, there´s no motivation. Without motivation, there´s no energy. And without energy, you´re not living, you´re just existing. I am sure you know someone who looks like a walking corpse everytime you see them. Do you think this person lives a successful and happy life? Most likely not.

So, step 2 on your way to success and happiness is to clearly define your goal. What do you want to accomplish and who do you want to become?

3. Why Do You Want It?

Okay, you know the basics. You know where you are and where you want to be. But, as Rocky Balboa said, “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows.” And as you already know, life usually doesn’t go according to your plan. There will be hard times and to overcome those and not give up, you need to know WHY you do what you do.

You need to know WHY you want to accomplish your goals. When you answer this for yourself, you don’t struggle so much to motivate yourself. You will be motivated every minute of every day.

So, as a step 3, sit down and think of WHY you want to accomplish your goals. What’s the big purpose?

“We can change our lives. We can do, have, and be exactly what we wish.” – Tony Robbins

4. How Are You Going to Get There?

And finally, how are you going to get there? What’s your plan? You may know where you are, where you want to be and why you want to do it, but until you truly understand how you are going to get there, there won’t be much success and happiness in your life.

For example, you want to become a bodybuilder. You want to do it because you want to have big muscles and you want to look fit. But, you have no idea how to work out, how to build muscle and how to lose fat. Do you think, you´re going to be happy? No. As Tony Robbins says, “true happiness comes from progress.”

To make progress, you need to have a specific plan; how to get from point A (where you are) to point B (where you want to be). So, as a step 4, sit down and make a specific plan for how you’re going to get what you want in life.

In order to reach success and happiness, there are 4 questions you need to answer for yourself. Without answering them, you´re not going to  get ahead in life, you´re just bouncing around. Success and happiness never come from just bouncing around in life.

Good news is, that these questions are really simple. It won’t take much time to answer them. Just be aware of where you are and where you want to be. Don´t forget to understand why you are pursuing your dream and finally, how are you going to get what you want.

Answer these 4 simple questions today and you won’t struggle with finding success and happiness in life anymore.

Which one of the above 4 questions resonated most with you and why? Share your thoughts and ideas below!

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Success Advice

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

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Claude Silver CHO of Vaynermedia
Image Credit: VaynerMedia

A month after I had joined LinkedIn back in July of 2018, I sent Claude Silver a connection request and began following her content. One day she made a post saying “Ask and you shall receive, what can I do to help you today?”. I commented on that post asking for a 5 minute interview and to my surprise she agreed by asking me to send her a message (I was given a full hour). This was the first example of pure kindness I witnessed from Claude.

The first message you see on Claude’s website is: People need people. People need people that listen and then do something. That message spoke to me on an emotional level, and I believe it will speak to you too. I wanted to know how she created such an amazing culture, what being a “culture carrier” meant, and how the employees at VaynerMedia have been changed by her work there.

A culture carrier in Claude’s own words is “someone who is aligned with our values, I can’t teach someone to be kind they have to already be kind. The process of developing a culture carrier takes about 6 months. It’s about bringing people together and having strong core values of kindness and empathy.”

Gary Vaynerchuk, co-founder of VaynerMedia, is often referred to as a combination of hustle and heart. With the hiring of Claude and the work she has accomplished within the company, it speaks to the level of empathy that can be felt throughout the entire operation.

Although business can be a challenging, tough, and often cut-throat terrain, by putting employees first and providing honest feedback the company has grown to include offices in New York, Chattanooga, Los Angeles and London, and continues to dominate the market.

Below we’ll see 3 different ways the CHO of VaynerMedia is changing the way people work:

1. By being unafraid to share her own story

Claude has been an influential part of breaking the stigma surrounding vulnerability in the business arena. Not only does she openly share her own story, but she sits down with employees to better understand their vulnerabilities and how to use characteristics that previously would have been considered weaknesses as strengths.

When asked what her biggest adventure to date was she replied “Having Shalom (her daughter). I have had an amazing life, I moved, worked hard, landed an amazing job and fell in love but it didn’t come without its challenges.”

Claude is openly gay and is living proof your sexual orientation doesn’t matter. Nothing matters but your character, your track record, and if you leave people a little better off than before you met them. From Claude, business leaders, employees and entrepreneurs can learn to be more open both on social media and in person, allowing them to build more meaningful relationships and connect on a deeper level. A deeper connection can mean more leverage but it also means a more lasting impact on the world.

“Everyone has something they can share. I’m not famous. I don’t have anything that would be newsworthy, but I have stories.” – Tafta Johnson Watson

2. Committing to a strong value system

VaynerMedia has some serious values for such a large company and those values are expected to be upheld by every employee and visitor. Values like kindness, empathy, honesty, hustle and the art of not complaining.

With Claude holding the title of Chief Heart Officer, she is the guiding light for others. When recruiting, she says she “takes the time to evaluate an individual’s talents but most importantly their own heart”.  

Gary Vaynerchuk is quoted as saying:”To me, there’s no debate that kindness is a strength. And it breaks my heart to know that so many people believe it’s a weakness. So many people are afraid that other people will take advantage of their kindness or make them feel “used.” But the truth is, those who take advantage of your kindness are weak on the inside. Feel bad for them, don’t let them make you feel bad about yourself“.

Both Claude and Gary teach aspiring entrepreneurs that it is okay to live with an open heart and that having the strength to commit to and live with a strong value system, will be a powerful tool during the hustle journey. It also allows you to go to bed at night actually liking the person that you are, nothing will kill a business faster than going to bed at night and hating yourself.

3. Listening with action

As mentioned above Claude’s slogan is: People need people. People need people that listen and then do something.  As a woman who wears many hats, she is also an Outward Bound Instructor, taking individuals on amazing adventures in the outdoors.

Taking action on any given day can mean a number of different things but it speaks to her own character and driving force that she is able to not only guide people through the world of office politics but also through the serene and sometimes challenging wilderness.

Claude cultivates an environment of trust by first offering individuals her own trust. It is a huge and vulnerable action that leads to a relationship of love – heart – and productivity. Listening as an action is something that has the power to change an entire organization from an unproductive, toxic environment to one that promotes creativity, passion, inclusion and positivity.

“Relationships are leverage. If you give value to someone else first, you have leverage.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

To get the truest sense of how Claude was changing the way people work, I asked her co-workers to tell me what working alongside Claude has done for them. Here is one of the answers I received:

“During my time working alongside Claude, I’ve really come to appreciate her example of being a good listener. As a society, we tend to praise the power of speaking. But Claude demonstrates on a daily basis that the most important thing everybody wants is to be heard.” – Steve Babcock, Chief Creative Officer VaynerMedia.

I tried looking for images of Claude on her website and I think it speaks to how focused she is on holding space for others, because I couldn’t find a single full sized image of her to use. I googled. Writing this piece has opened me up to evaluate my own values and the way I connect with people in my daily life.

From this article, it is my own hope that entrepreneurs come to the understanding that although tenacity and true grit are really important, the whole of what Claude represents is something to strive towards. The “soft” skills you develop are humongous strengths and to truly impact an entire organization.

What’s the last random act of kindness you did for someone? Share with us below!

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Success Advice

The 7 Secrets of High Achievers Revealed

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We all have goals in life, but very few of us ever learn to consciously set, work on and see our goals through. In our naturalness bias, we marvel at those who have set and reached their goals thinking they have some esoteric abilities that we don’t. We overlook that the final product is the result of a series of mistake-ridden, unrecorded pains. What if we could learn from the process, the habits and rituals of the high achievers? (more…)

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