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How To Go From Being A Dreamer To A High Achiever

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We’ve all got something we want to achieve in our life, but why do many of us never smash our goals to pieces? Why do we talk for years about what we’d like to bring to fruition and then never take action?

The answer to these two questions is that we’re stuck in a pattern of dreaming. Dreaming feels good and it doesn’t require us to do any work. We can romanticize for years and think about all the nice feelings that our dream could bring us.

Screw pretend feelings, I want the real feelings that you get from living your life’s purpose and succeeding at your goals! I want everyone reading this to go from being a dreamer to a high achiever.

First, you need to know what dreamers do and then I’ll talk about what high achievers do differently.

 

Dreamers talk a lot

Lot’s of talking and not much action. There is lot’s of “I should do this” or “I am going to do that.” High achievers just take action and apologize for their stuff ups later.

 

Dreamers over plan

Ever met a dude who has three degrees, and is in their thirties and still studying? They’re lost in the planning and knowledge stage and haven’t yet moved to the “It’s time to take freaking action and get on with the job stage.”

Planning can drown you in fear of how something may work out. The truth is no one really knows for sure whether your plan will unfold the way you want it to. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have one; it just means you shouldn’t waste years on figuring out what you’re going to do and how.

You’ll figure things out along the way and your plan will need to change to adapt to your learning’s consistently.

 

Dreamer’s waffle on when they communicate

That’s because they are not sure what they stand for, what their goals are and who their audience is. When you know what you want and the goals you want to achieve, you get very good at being able to communicate in a straightforward, succinct and clear manner. Get to the point.

 

Dreamers chop and change

That’s not to say you can’t make changes, but dreamers always seem to have a new idea or goal every week. They chop and change more than they change their underwear. At some point, you need to get clear and commit to focusing on a small number of goals.

“Dabbling leads to mediocrity. Focus leads to mastery”

 

Dreamers talk but they don’t listen

The keys to their dream are in the listening, but they stand in their own way. When you hear what people have to say, you learn a hell of a lot. None of us know everything which means we need to listen to those who have the knowledge we seek.

Listening is a skill and it’s something high achievers do very well. It’s also about listening and then filtering out what is not relevant to your specific goals. Blindly listening and applying everything you’re told will see you move away from your vision, and towards something you don’t want.

Here’s what high achievers do:

 

High achievers follow their passion

Unlike dreamers, high achievers base their entire life around a passion. They don’t dabble in things that they’re not passionate about as a way to try and impress others or create wealth (even though it may take years). High achievers know that their passion is the only thing that will drive them forward when they suffer a setback.

High achievers know that it’s so easy to lose the game when you don’t have passion to keep you going.

“Passion is what get’s you started and it’s what will keep you going. Without passion, your goals become unfulfilled dreams. You give up without knowing why”

High achievers also know that your passion can take time to find. They try lots of different pursuits until they find something that does the following:

– Lights them up
– Is something they would do for free if they had to
– Is something that can serve others
– Is something that can get them out of bed in the morning

 

High achievers take action before they lose a thought

In this new age where we have an intention span that’s less than a gold fish, high achievers know that they have to take action before they lose a thought. It might be an idea they had that they email to themselves straight away.

It might be making a phone call after hearing something that aligns with their vision. It might be signing up for a program because it has the content they have been missing. To sum up, it’s the following:

Taking action in the moment rather than saying I’ll look at that tomorrow.

It’s a subtle difference and it’s the single biggest thing that sets apart dreamers, from achievers.

 

High achievers ask for help

Nothing worth achieving can be done by yourself. Even if it’s only having someone tell you what they did to achieve a similar goal, you must have other people on your journey. This requires you to be strong and not be afraid to ask for help. Asking for help doesn’t make you weak; it makes you a high achiever.

“Stick to what you know best and don’t try and be the ‘Eddie Expert’ of everything”

 

High achievers know their strengths and they exploit them

Out of all the tools you have at your disposal, you’ll suck at most of them. You don’t need every single tool in existence to bring your goals to life; you only need a few. Hitting your head against the wall trying to improve your weaknesses is time-consuming.

High achievers prefer to focus their energy on the things that they are good at so they can reach a level of mastery that puts them in the top 1% of their field. It’s a different way of thinking and I’ve seen it work for me firsthand.

 

High achievers pursue happiness and fulfillment above all else

The reason why you want to achieve your goals is the part you must figure out. Dreamers don’t know why they want to achieve a goal or they are copying someone else’s definition of success.

High achievers have worked out their why and it’s always tied to a sense of fulfillment which produces happiness. Chasing fulfillment is much more powerful than chasing a goal. Goals provide you with a strategy and a game plan for achieving success, but they are not what high achievers think about as the end result.

 

 

High achievers know the power of their thoughts

Primarily because they are masters of their own mind. At some point they have become curious at how their mind works and probably read at least one book on psychology. Before saying what’s on their mind, they think first.

Before any major decision, they weigh up the positives and the negatives. They then use their intuition and experience to execute with a high level of faith.

You could say that high achievers are obsessed with keeping their mindset in line. They reward themselves for keeping their mind in control. They may even celebrate this weird achievement.

“A positive mindset is what allows them to go from dreaming to achieving. It’s the secret sauce in their burrito. It’s the yummy melted cheese on top of their nachos”

 

High achievers don’t outsource the blame

That’s because they know that they are in control of every little thing that happens. Their dream is won or lost because of them, not some catastrophic event that they didn’t see coming. A disastrous event can wipe out your dream. The lessons you get from this failure allow you to come back ten times harder, so it’s no excuse, only a blessing.

 

High achievers rise early

4 am to be exact. Just kidding! They do, however, rise early. While everyone is wasting away their life sleeping because they’ve overdosed on the many indulgences that society can shoot at us like an out of control fire hose, high achievers are rising early and working while the world sleeps.

By the time everyone else wakes, high achievers have already achieved more than most people will get done in a day. There’s something so beautiful about waking up while the city sleeps. It’s a strange kind of peace that helps you see your dream in the flesh rather than imagine it for eternity.

 

High achievers don’t give up

It ain’t all lolly pops and meat pies. High achievers expect roadblocks. They expect the worst kind of stuff ups imaginable. They go to F Up nights and think of what could potentially happen to them. Because they’re prepared, setbacks don’t faze them

Expecting the unexpected stops you from giving up when times get tough (and they will). Knowing that your setbacks are not unique to you helps stop you from getting romantic. You stop telling stories of hard luck because you know luck has nothing to do with it.


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

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 or through his Facebook.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Ruben

    Aug 4, 2017 at 8:31 am

    Regarding “High achievers rise early”
    I find this statement to be generic or wishful of a high achiever
    and not the actual doing of high achievers … IMO
    Most successful Computer/Electrical engineers do not rise early and actually
    work late nights sometimes through the night … In that case whether they are high achievers or not they are still doers . I honestly think that there needs to be a good balance between the two . A high achiever can not be successful without having a Good Dream .

  2. Trey James

    Aug 3, 2017 at 9:42 pm

    Being a high achiever and the doer is so important. In my opinion, it’s the only thing that guarantees results. You can read books all day long but only when you take action you achieve something.

    So, being a high achiever instead of a dreamer is crucial. Thank you for the comprehensive article.

  3. Nick Fuller

    Aug 3, 2017 at 12:28 am

    Well written article. Great way to justify the differences in being a ‘doer’ or a ‘high achiever’. I can definitely relate to both of these traits and will look to make myself into more of a high achiever.
    Great work!

  4. Matthew

    Aug 2, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    Good job comparing and contrasting dreamers and doers … I still need to work on a few areas myself!

  5. Tim

    Aug 2, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    Nice post. I think you point out some important aspects with saying that high achievers don’t life the commond standard. They rise up early and hustle. Still they manage to be balanced because they know the need of balance to hustle again and again. Keep up your work!

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Success Advice

10 Amazing Leadership Lessons From Design Thinking

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design thinking leadership

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

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

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

1. Solution Focused Approach

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

2. Connect the Dots

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

3. Empathy & Inclusiveness

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

4. Constant Improvement with Regular Feedback

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

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

5. Open Mindedness

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

6. Empower Team and Create Synergy

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

7. Sense of Purpose

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

8. Dealing with Uncertainties

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

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

9. Decisiveness

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

10. Persistence

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

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

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

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Success Advice

What If You Never Took Another Selfie Again?

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

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

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

Instead of taking a selfie do this:

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

It’s not about “I” it’s about “We.”

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

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

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

 

Selfies cause your followers to compare themselves to you.

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

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

You’re so much better than a selfie.

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

 

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

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

Perfection is ugly.

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

 

Life before selfies….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Success Advice

Build From Within – Why Success Is All About People

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happy team

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

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

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

1. Success Comes From Within

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

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

2. A Balancing Act

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

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

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

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

3. Happiness is a Choice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Success Advice

You Need To Be Real And Authentic, I’m Sorry – Here’s How.

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With me, there are no games.
There’s no fakery.
What you see is what you get.

It’s taken a long time to get to this level of authenticity. I don’t tell you I’m real to brag; I tell you because you can be too. The reality is you need to be if you want the good life.

 

Your individuality is what’s real.

If you’re into comic magazines, tell us. If you’re into punk rock, then that’s great too. Your individuality is what brings out your authenticity. It’s what makes you different and it’s how we can learn a different set of lessons from the ones our own life teaches us.

Sometimes I watch those reality TV shows that show off musical talent. As a grown man, that might sound weird…. who cares. It’s what makes up who I am.

“Hiding who you are only damages your true purpose and the value you can deliver to the world”

We need to see who you are so we can find ourselves. Loud and proud is the best way to live. That’s why I voted for gay marriage because I don’t ever want anyone to hide who they truly are.

 

I’m not out there to become famous.

That’s what makes each of us real. The moment we chase fame, we become lost in a game that we can never win. We’ll never be the most famous.

Fame is not what it’s cracked up to be. It’s designed to make you someone you’re not. You’re supposed to be perfect because all of a sudden, you’re now a role model. The thing is that role models mess up too.

Authenticity comes from not giving a F and trading in fame for being real instead.

I don’t spend half my day on social media trying to make you feel bad through my content. My goal is to use the lessons from my life to inspire yours.

 

I’m only competing against yesterday’s version of me.

“Beating you is not my goal; helping you win is”

The only person I want to beat is yesterday’s version of myself. I want to beat yesterday’s version so I can deliver more of my authentic self today. Increasing the value of my advice and life experience is all that I’m about. With this tool, I can give more. Who are you competing with?

 

I’m not afraid.

I’m not afraid to tell you I don’t have a blue Lambo – only a model car one.
I’m not afraid to tell you I get scared when I do public speaking.
I’m not afraid to tell you that I wish I could always be young.
I’m not afraid to tell you I got my first grey hair the other day.

If you ask me how to be authentic, it starts with being vulnerable and sharing things. The same fears you have are in common with many of us.

“Your deepest fear is my deepest fear. So, let’s share those fears and help each other crush them”

Life doesn’t need to be a solo journey. Show up being real, authentic and wearing your fears on the outside.

 

I’m not about the high life.

The Benz or the Bimmer is not who I am. I write these words in my office with a lava lamp turned on. I’m kind of old school in that way.

Instead of the fake high life, I put my soul into these words I write. Authenticity can buy you the high life, but once you’ve lived a life that is real, you won’t be that interested in gold chains and diamond rings.

On the surface, loads of cash seems appealing. The reality, having lived it, is that I’m my most authentic without all of the distractions and materials possessions. These things take away my focus and stop me from seeing my vision.

I don’t ever want you to lose sight of your vision which is why I remind you of the perils of money so much. Once you get over six figures, it’s all the same mostly. Money doesn’t make you real.

 

Authenticity breeds a killer network.

Cutting out the fake life and being authentic has bought the same kind of people to my life. People that are real, I’ve found, tend to be successful in the true sense. They’re fun to be around and they’re loyal like a puppy dog.

Your network around you will inspire you towards your goal or distract you from that which you seek. People are naturally attracted to people that are real and you can be that way with discipline. Avoid bragging (although celebrate your wins) and say what’s on your mind.

 

Authenticity requires no validation.

You just do it by being honest. Being real is about being honest with the world, and most of all, yourself. Ditch the habit of lying and you’ll get rich on the life you’ve always wanted. No one has to give you permission to be real.

Try saying what you think with respect.

I did so via my blogging and it turns out people can learn from you when you’re real.

 

Final Thought

I’ve given you a ton of reasons to be authentic. No more excuses.

Be who you were always meant to be.
Who you know you can be.
Who you know you should be.

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

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Success Advice

10 Amazing Leadership Lessons From Design Thinking

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design thinking leadership

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

Apoorve Dubey is the founder and C.E.O of Kreyon Systems Pvt. Ltd, a fast growing Software company that serves clients in more than 10 countries. He is an alumnus of IIT Madras. He is the author of the best-selling book, “The Flight of Ambition” published by Macmillan and a co-author of “Successful organisations in action”. The driving passion in his life remains to be able to contribute to the success of others. To know more about Apoorve and his work, you can visit www.kreyonsystems.com, his twitter handle is @ApoorveDubey

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Ruben

    Aug 4, 2017 at 8:31 am

    Regarding “High achievers rise early”
    I find this statement to be generic or wishful of a high achiever
    and not the actual doing of high achievers … IMO
    Most successful Computer/Electrical engineers do not rise early and actually
    work late nights sometimes through the night … In that case whether they are high achievers or not they are still doers . I honestly think that there needs to be a good balance between the two . A high achiever can not be successful without having a Good Dream .

  2. Trey James

    Aug 3, 2017 at 9:42 pm

    Being a high achiever and the doer is so important. In my opinion, it’s the only thing that guarantees results. You can read books all day long but only when you take action you achieve something.

    So, being a high achiever instead of a dreamer is crucial. Thank you for the comprehensive article.

  3. Nick Fuller

    Aug 3, 2017 at 12:28 am

    Well written article. Great way to justify the differences in being a ‘doer’ or a ‘high achiever’. I can definitely relate to both of these traits and will look to make myself into more of a high achiever.
    Great work!

  4. Matthew

    Aug 2, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    Good job comparing and contrasting dreamers and doers … I still need to work on a few areas myself!

  5. Tim

    Aug 2, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    Nice post. I think you point out some important aspects with saying that high achievers don’t life the commond standard. They rise up early and hustle. Still they manage to be balanced because they know the need of balance to hustle again and again. Keep up your work!

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

Success Advice

10 Amazing Leadership Lessons From Design Thinking

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design thinking leadership

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

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

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

1. Solution Focused Approach

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

2. Connect the Dots

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

3. Empathy & Inclusiveness

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

4. Constant Improvement with Regular Feedback

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

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

5. Open Mindedness

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

6. Empower Team and Create Synergy

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

7. Sense of Purpose

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

8. Dealing with Uncertainties

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

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

9. Decisiveness

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

10. Persistence

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

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

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

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Success Advice

What If You Never Took Another Selfie Again?

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

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

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

Instead of taking a selfie do this:

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

It’s not about “I” it’s about “We.”

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

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

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

 

Selfies cause your followers to compare themselves to you.

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

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

You’re so much better than a selfie.

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

 

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

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

Perfection is ugly.

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

 

Life before selfies….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Success Advice

Build From Within – Why Success Is All About People

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happy team

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

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

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

1. Success Comes From Within

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

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

2. A Balancing Act

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

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

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

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

3. Happiness is a Choice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Success Advice

You Need To Be Real And Authentic, I’m Sorry – Here’s How.

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With me, there are no games.
There’s no fakery.
What you see is what you get.

It’s taken a long time to get to this level of authenticity. I don’t tell you I’m real to brag; I tell you because you can be too. The reality is you need to be if you want the good life.

 

Your individuality is what’s real.

If you’re into comic magazines, tell us. If you’re into punk rock, then that’s great too. Your individuality is what brings out your authenticity. It’s what makes you different and it’s how we can learn a different set of lessons from the ones our own life teaches us.

Sometimes I watch those reality TV shows that show off musical talent. As a grown man, that might sound weird…. who cares. It’s what makes up who I am.

“Hiding who you are only damages your true purpose and the value you can deliver to the world”

We need to see who you are so we can find ourselves. Loud and proud is the best way to live. That’s why I voted for gay marriage because I don’t ever want anyone to hide who they truly are.

 

I’m not out there to become famous.

That’s what makes each of us real. The moment we chase fame, we become lost in a game that we can never win. We’ll never be the most famous.

Fame is not what it’s cracked up to be. It’s designed to make you someone you’re not. You’re supposed to be perfect because all of a sudden, you’re now a role model. The thing is that role models mess up too.

Authenticity comes from not giving a F and trading in fame for being real instead.

I don’t spend half my day on social media trying to make you feel bad through my content. My goal is to use the lessons from my life to inspire yours.

 

I’m only competing against yesterday’s version of me.

“Beating you is not my goal; helping you win is”

The only person I want to beat is yesterday’s version of myself. I want to beat yesterday’s version so I can deliver more of my authentic self today. Increasing the value of my advice and life experience is all that I’m about. With this tool, I can give more. Who are you competing with?

 

I’m not afraid.

I’m not afraid to tell you I don’t have a blue Lambo – only a model car one.
I’m not afraid to tell you I get scared when I do public speaking.
I’m not afraid to tell you that I wish I could always be young.
I’m not afraid to tell you I got my first grey hair the other day.

If you ask me how to be authentic, it starts with being vulnerable and sharing things. The same fears you have are in common with many of us.

“Your deepest fear is my deepest fear. So, let’s share those fears and help each other crush them”

Life doesn’t need to be a solo journey. Show up being real, authentic and wearing your fears on the outside.

 

I’m not about the high life.

The Benz or the Bimmer is not who I am. I write these words in my office with a lava lamp turned on. I’m kind of old school in that way.

Instead of the fake high life, I put my soul into these words I write. Authenticity can buy you the high life, but once you’ve lived a life that is real, you won’t be that interested in gold chains and diamond rings.

On the surface, loads of cash seems appealing. The reality, having lived it, is that I’m my most authentic without all of the distractions and materials possessions. These things take away my focus and stop me from seeing my vision.

I don’t ever want you to lose sight of your vision which is why I remind you of the perils of money so much. Once you get over six figures, it’s all the same mostly. Money doesn’t make you real.

 

Authenticity breeds a killer network.

Cutting out the fake life and being authentic has bought the same kind of people to my life. People that are real, I’ve found, tend to be successful in the true sense. They’re fun to be around and they’re loyal like a puppy dog.

Your network around you will inspire you towards your goal or distract you from that which you seek. People are naturally attracted to people that are real and you can be that way with discipline. Avoid bragging (although celebrate your wins) and say what’s on your mind.

 

Authenticity requires no validation.

You just do it by being honest. Being real is about being honest with the world, and most of all, yourself. Ditch the habit of lying and you’ll get rich on the life you’ve always wanted. No one has to give you permission to be real.

Try saying what you think with respect.

I did so via my blogging and it turns out people can learn from you when you’re real.

 

Final Thought

I’ve given you a ton of reasons to be authentic. No more excuses.

Be who you were always meant to be.
Who you know you can be.
Who you know you should be.

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

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