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How To Raise Your Standards And Avoid Being A Useless Slob

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Raising Your Standards Article

Your success is predicated on the building blocks of your personal standards. The quickest way towards making progress in your life, which ultimately will lift your happiness levels, is to force yourself to become conscious of your standards, and then to redefine them.

There are so many useless slobs that exist all around the world and I don’t say this to be mean to them, but I do say it to get you to take action, and not become one of them. Even useless slobs can change their level of success as long as they stop procrastinating.

The standards that you currently have in your life can be very hard to change because they have been programmed in you for a long period of time.

First of all, who cares what success other people are having because nine times out of ten they are only telling you the good bits about their life, and behind all the fake money, cars and Instagram selfies, they’re life probably sucks big time!

Raising Your Standards Picture Quote - Tim Denning
 

Why raise your standards?

Your entire life is the result of the one percenters that you do each day. Having a Coke while watching a movie may seem harmless, but the twenty other things each day that you do that also don’t serve you, are the reasons why you are guaranteed for failure if you don’t do anything about them.

Until you make the bold decision to redefine your standards, your life is going to suck one way or another. Your life is going to feel draining and you are not going to be able to smile at anything. Since I raised my own standards, I find myself smiling at people a lot for no good reason.

You’ll know when you have raised your standards to the right level because you will feel like your life is working and that you have progressed in some way, hopefully, over a short period of time.

If I look at who I was just six months ago, I am now a totally unrecognisable person.

When I catch up with people that I haven’t seen for a while they often comment on how they can hardly recognise me both physically and through the way I talk. This, my friends, is where you want to get too and I believe you can. Hopefully, you can see why you must now raise your standards!

Here are the nine ways to raise your standards from today onwards:

 

1. Write down your current standards

The first way to raise your standards is to acknowledge honestly what your current standards are. Think about what time you go to bed, how many hours you work, what you eat, who your closest friends and colleagues are.

These are the areas where your current standards are formed. Once you know what they are, rewrite them with a slightly higher standard. For example, if you currently go to bed at 11 pm, rewrite this to say that your new standard is now 9:30 pm to go to sleep.

If you have trouble raising your standards, then make the adjustments to your current standards in a less drastic way. Using the above example, you could start by making your bedtime 10:30 pm instead of 9:30 pm to begin with.

 

2. Stop being a victim

The biggest barrier to raising your standards is whether you are behaving like a victim or not. By thinking that others should give you money (parents, lovers, friends) or expecting the government to help you in life, you are living the life of a victim.

Victims expect everyone else to take the action for them and hold their hand in life. All of us, including me, have some element of victim behaviour in our life and we all need to drop the excuses. You are where you are right now because of you and no one else.

The beautiful thing is that you have the power to change it all and it just starts by changing one standard for how you are going to live your life going forward. The keys to the kingdom are within your reach as long as you start taking responsibility.

Victims are the lazy slobs you see wasting their life away in gambling venues, or going to shopping centres and spending money that they don’t have, or money that would be better put into some other income producing purchase instead.

I’ve got your back and we are going to succeed at life one blog post at a time, but just make sure you drop that victim mindset.

 

3. Insist on doing things that are uncomfortable

Lazy slobs are obsessed with always being comfortable. They can’t go outside because they are scared it’s too cold, or too hot, or too something. Continually being uncomfortable is a critical component of raising your standards.

My standard for weekends, for a very long time, was to try and forget about the weekdays. I did everything in my power to forget, and drown my negative thoughts with parties and alcohol. Where did that get me? Absolutely nowhere and I made zero progress throughout this period of my life.

It’s hard to change your ways or live life differently. It’s challenging to avoid social activities, and stay at home and work on your dream. It’s hard to get up and talk in front of hundreds of people.

The Reality Of Not Pushing Yourself And Being Uncomfortbale - Tim Denning Quote
 

If you don’t know where to start then think about it this way; what are all the things you have avoided doing or that you fear? Then, just go do all of those things right now! Don’t think about them just schedule them in your diary.

A classic example for me is going to the hospital. I absolutely hate having to go for any reason and avoid it like the plague. A new standard, by embracing that uncomfortable feeling, is just to book it in and then not think about.

The more I think about hospital, the more I don’t book in my appointment, and the more I live in fear of having an illness take over my life. I try and find the good in the activity so it makes being uncomfortable worth it.

The act of going to the hospital for me is now reframed as a chance to take a day or two off work and do nothing but read books. Hospital now equals, time to relax, time to learn, and time to grow. Pretty powerful huh?

 

4. Get away from emotionally challenged people

We all have emotionally challenged people in our life who are not in control of their emotions. They are either constantly depressed, always angry, or not caring towards others, or even worse, all of the above.

These people will drain your energy and force your standards even lower without you knowing. There are only two ways to fix this problem; either get rid of them or minimise your exposure to them. One of my best standards is not to associate with toxic people. This standard serves me the most.

 

5. Analyse where your time is going

Your standards have a lot to do with how much time you have. To raise your standards in a particular area of your life, you need to spend time in that area. For three days, try writing down everything you do in a day and the amount of time you spend on each activity.

You will quickly see where your time is going and then all you need to do is set a new standard, and cut out activities that don’t meet your new standard. A simple example of this in my life is TV. I make sure this is the last thing I ever do and I will only ever let myself consume a maximum of thirty minutes of TV in one day.

My goal is to reduce this to zero and based on the sixty minutes of TV I watched for all of last week, I feel like I am nearly there. I have now reallocated this time into reading one chapter of a book per day, and I actually feel a bit smarter already…haha.

 

6. Check in on your energy levels

Lazy slobs, who have low standards, all have one trait in common: they have very low energy levels. When your body has to operate on low amounts of energy, your mind and emotions are often all over the place.

The only chance you have to raise your standards is to lift your energy levels. The quickest way to do this is by doing the following: getting more sleep, eating more plant-based foods, doing more exercise (even if that’s only walking more), and by being around people that have higher levels of energy.

When your energy levels increase, it’s much easier to begin the process of raising your standards. What makes someone a slob is a lack of energy and I know that’s just not you. An easy hack I use to have more energy is always to try and sit up straight and walk with a straight back. This might sound incredibly dumb but it works well – try it for yourself.

 

7. Find the hidden cause

To be able to raise your standards you need to find the hidden cause of the habit that is not serving you.

For example, if you want to give up coffee then you need to find out why you drink coffee. In my life, the root cause went like this: I would need coffee because I was tired, which was because I went to bed late, which was because I was out drinking booze two nights in a row, which was because I was unhappy with life and because I couldn’t say no to invitations from friends out of fear that I would upset them.

The reason you are not raising your standards in life is probably because there is a host of contributing factors. Lift the carpet of your standards and analyse the hidden causes about why you are living the current pattern of your life.

You are going to upset people in the process who don’t agree with your new standards but that’s a problem with them not with you. You want to change the world and you’re prepared to build your life one layer at a time.

 

8. Redefine the niche of your passion

A lot of the reason why you want to raise your standards is so you can have more success within the niche that relates to your passion. My recommendation is that you do whatever you can to redefine the niche of your passion and change people’s perception of how things have always been done.

Many years ago I was an emerging dance music producer and I never got to the level of success I wanted. Looking back, the reason was that I tried to copy other types of dance music rather than redefine the category as a whole.

Back then, the artists that were having all the success – like Eric Prydz, Deadmau5 and Axwell – all redefined dance music and you could tell a song was made by them from a mile away. Whatever your passion is, you need to redefine your niche and stop copying what everyone else is doing.

“Approach your passion from an entirely different angle. Redefining your passion will help you raise your standards by focusing your mind on what’s important and honing your skills in one area of growth” – Tim Denning

Your standards will become like the rules for how you operate when time stands still, and you are engaged in your passion.

 

9. Put your indulgences at the end not the start

Falling down the rabbit hole of distraction is easy when you let your indulgences always come first. I see so many people who want to sit down to work on their dream but insist on indulging in some other useless activity before they get started.

This pointless activity – like social media, cleaning the house, or shopping – then wastes the small amount of time they have before they return to the job they hate, and they never make any progress on their dream.

How do you overcome this? Simple, you flip the equation back the front. Hard work on your dream, equals a quick reward of some indulgence, rather than indulge first, and work later. This is a powerful life hack that is not hard to implement right away. Again, dream first, indulgences and distractions later.

How have you changed your own standards? What are some of your new standards? Let me know in the comments section below or on my website timdenning.net and 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 or through his Facebook.

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19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Christine Zacharias

    May 2, 2016 at 1:25 am

    This was a great article. What we view as our standards could be completely off to what our actual reality is. It is no wonder people wake up one day so dissatisfied with themselves. I know that that being honest about the time we spend indulging things that are not really conducive to work can be hard. I have a bad habit of cleaning and workout if I need to study for my classes. I can be twice as more productive if I study first, and do that stuff later. I definitely took some time out of the day to go through each point and see what I am doing in life. One thing I noticed is that I might want higher standards but I am not creating the habits and daily tasks that make me reach the next level. I hopefully can get the ball rolling for the next few weeks!

    • Tim Denning

      May 3, 2016 at 5:04 am

      Thanks for sharing your story Christine and I can definitely relate especially when it comes to cleaning. One part that can be a challenge is sitting down to do something creative like writing and not being able to concentrate because your workspace is a mess. There is definitely research that shows have a clean workspace creates a ZEN kind of feeling but anything outside of the space I rok in, I wait till later to clean.

      Glad you liked the article!

  2. Sam

    Apr 26, 2016 at 8:50 am

    Wow, point 9 is spot on. Whenever I plan to study, code or learn something new, I have a habit of wasting first 30 mins on social networking & shopping online BUT I wasn’t aware habit is so common. Glad that this article made me realise that I have a problem and I need to improve. Thanks 🙂

    • Tim Denning

      Apr 27, 2016 at 2:43 am

      Sam we all suffer from point 9. It’s not a problem for you though, its actually an opportunity to progress further than you are right now. The fact that you have realized what you are doing and committed to take action in a new direction is where the true power lies my friend.

      Thanks for reading

  3. Sathish

    Apr 25, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    Hi Tim,

    great article, your nine steps are surely a great way to raise standards. I like the 6, 7 and 8 those are something in my opinion we overlook when trying to raise our standards.

    Thanks, sathish

    • Tim Denning

      Apr 27, 2016 at 2:40 am

      Thanks Sathish for taking the time to read each point and I’m glad some of the advice resonated with you 🙂

  4. Zachary Walsh

    Apr 23, 2016 at 3:02 am

    Thanks for the insight Tim, definitely something everyone can relate to. Even if you do “Raise your Standards” there is always more you can do.

    • Tim Denning

      Apr 27, 2016 at 2:39 am

      Not a problem Zachary. Defining your standards and raising them is a never ending process but each time you do, you one-up your life at the same time.

  5. Keith

    Apr 22, 2016 at 9:37 am

    Thanks Tim. I especially love your use of the word “indulgence” to describe those distractions that we allow ourselves take. Live for the dream!!

    • Tim Denning

      Apr 27, 2016 at 2:38 am

      Cheers Keith for reading! The word “indulgence” is one of my favourites

  6. Stefanie

    Apr 22, 2016 at 6:42 am

    Another great one, Tim! I changed one of my standards last year by deciding on going to work by bike (13 km one way) instead of taking the subway, and I feel so much better! I noticed that it’s really important to back up your new standard by creating the circumstances to really make it work. In my case, it meant checking out where to shower at work, getting the equipment, preparing a delicious green smoothie in the morning.

    • Tim Denning

      Apr 27, 2016 at 2:37 am

      Sounds like a great daily habit you have created Stefanie. I am also a sucker for a morning green smoothie / juice 🙂

  7. Jim LaValley

    Apr 21, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    Tim,
    Another great article! I appreciate the topic and can empathize with your statement about your old weekend standards. Keep up the great writing!

    JIM

    • Tim Denning

      Apr 21, 2016 at 8:26 pm

      Thanks Jim. I don’t miss those old weekends and I’m sure you don’t either 🙂

  8. Katherine

    Apr 21, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    Omg this is golden. I love number 4! 🙂

  9. Ram Vijay

    Apr 21, 2016 at 6:54 am

    Worth reading all the steps ! Great article indeed

    • Tim Denning

      Apr 21, 2016 at 8:26 pm

      Thanks Ram for taking the time to read it.

  10. Gokul

    Apr 21, 2016 at 2:29 am

    This is one of the best article I’ve seen. So great if you Mr. Denning to share such a great insight.

    • Tim Denning

      Apr 21, 2016 at 8:25 pm

      Cheers Gokul I’m glad you like reading it.

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Success Advice

How I Work Smarter: The Practical And Really Dumbed Down Strategies.

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Working Smarter. Productivity Hacks

I’m somewhat of a productivity freak. I like having time.

Time allows me to work smarter, and so I protect it like a rare and beautiful diamond. If you want to steal my time, you better be prepared for one hell of a battle. I’d happily give up money before I would ever give up time.

Here’s how I work smart and how you can do the same:

 

I take the stairs.

While everybody is lining up for the lift or going 1 meter every ten minutes on the escalator, I take the stairs. It keeps me fit and I get where I want to go faster. Nothing in life worth achieving is easy so get used to taking the stairs and doing some physical work.

 

I keep it simple (decision fatigue).

Water instead of wine/soft drink/coffee etc.
One big goal at any point in time instead of a to-do list of goals that lead nowhere.
One email address instead of multiple inboxes.
One computer and one phone instead of a Fitbit, laptop, phone, tablet and Apple Watch.

“Vanilla options are easy and low fuss. Decisions fatigue you”

 

I have lunch before midday.

Lunch can be done in 15 minutes. The trick is to buy or make your lunch before the rush. Standing in lines and getting frustrated is unnecessary. Get some time in your day back by doing lunch earlier. I recommend 11:45. With the extra time you gain back, try adding in 10 minutes of meditation.

 

Leave the car at home.

When I go to the city, I leave the car at home. By the time I get into the car, battle against the seven seas that is traffic and then get parking, I could have already been there by train or equivalent. This transit time also becomes my portable learning time. I use this time to listen to podcasts and audiobooks instead of having to think about driving.

 

One day a week in isolation.

Being alone with your thoughts and complete silence, once a week, makes you mega productive. A few moments of quietness are far more valuable than hours of busyness and noise. In complete isolation, you have no choice but to focus and complete your goals.

 

I use tiredness to do housework.

People hate tiredness. I love it. Tiredness tells me to stop working on my goals and do the things we all have to do like housework. I don’t need any energy or inspiration to do housework so why waste my high energy states on it?

Having said that, I aim to eliminate tiredness. This is a work in progress and requires exercise combined with an excellent diet. Until then, housework I love you!

 

Notifications are turned off except for SMS

That word “notifications” feels like grand larceny. Companies used to steal my time through notifications and now I’ve declared war on them. When you’re powering through a task, the last thing you want is an interruption in the form of a notification.

That small amount of time you spend getting distracted takes you out of the zone and away from the focused state you’re in. Go to settings and turn off notifications – especially Facebook.

 

I don’t play computer games.

As a kid, I loved computer games. That’s why I know to stay away from them as an adult because they are designed to get me to fight someone else’s mission. There’s no such thing as a quick game. Games are designed to keep you engaged and continually challenge you.

 

I get up before everybody else.

Yes, sir! I get up when it’s dark so I can do the big stuff first. Before the rest of the world can wake up and distract me, I’m getting my game on in the early hours of the morning. I really think you should wake up early. If you ignored everything else I said and just woke up early, I’d be proud.

 

I tell myself no before saying yes.

Yes has become a first world disease. You can’t work smart if you say yes to every offer that comes your way. That’s why I tell myself no first, and then try to convince myself of yes. If I can’t convince myself, I say no. Auto responding with yes answers will make you busy.

 

Busy is not smart.

If you think you are busy, and you verbally say so regularly, you’re not working smart. Busy is dumb. Busy will cripple your time and make your mindset go into meltdown. Humans can only focus on a small number of things so stop being busy!

Tell people the truth. Say no more. Guard your time. Avoid the trap of busy.

 

I chunk down big tasks.

If I have to give a big speech then in the same week, I move away any other big goals that might distract me. Too many big goals all in a small space of time can become overwhelming quickly. Stick to one or two big goals at a time and you’ll achieve a lot more. Less is more.

 

I own less stuff.

That way I don’t need to worry about maintaining things, securing things, thinking about objects, spending money on things I can’t afford. Sell, sell, sell yourself out of living the dumb life.

“Stuff does not equal progress; personal growth does and money can’t buy that”

 

I invest in dumb stuff.

With almost no knowledge, anyone can invest in index funds and not have to worry about the burden of trying to predict the next biggest thing. In reality, this strategy will probably beat all of the people who waste their lives away trying to be fortune tellers.

All I do is buy low-cost index funds of major economies like the USA. I invest the same amount each time so I’m not affected by the rise and fall of the stock market. Thank you, Tony Robbins and Warren Buffet for this strategy.

I don’t have video streaming.

Time looking at a screen is better spent reading a book. Fictional TV shows are not teaching me about life. Reading biographies, books about life lessons and the latest research in human psychology does that for me. One up on mediocrity and cancel your subscription.

 

Simplify your subscriptions.

Here’s the thing: Subscriptions equal time.

Companies have moved their business models to subscriptions because it helps keep you engaged and addicted to what they have to sell because you’re paying a recurring fee for it. Delete as many subscriptions as you can. I have one for my meditation app, one for the gym and one for my writing software.

 

Delete apps from your reading device.

Okay, so I do use Kindle which means that there is a temptation to look at apps. Delete apps from your reading device so you can actually read.

 

I take summer holidays when everyone returns to the office.

In Australia, everyone goes away in December and January. I take my holidays when they return to work. This means:

– More time in the office when it’s less busy
– Cheaper flights and accommodation during low peak times
– More chances to step up to leader roles while others are away

Everything is just less busy when you holiday off-peak.

 

I avoid junk food during major goal weeks.

This week I have a public speaking competition. I need all the practice I can get which requires energy. That’s why, in big goal weeks like the one I’m in right now, I cut out junk food. Energy equals time. Do a cheat day to celebrate at the end if you must.

 

I split my resources like this.

– Travel
– Necessities like food, clothes and rent
– Money for family and my girlfriend
– Unplanned indulgences (cheat day)

A balanced life requires resources (money). Splitting your money across these four areas allows you to work smart. You only have to work dumb when you waste your resources and therefore have to work ten times harder than you need to. When in doubt, less is more.

 

Stimulants are neglected.

Coffee only makes us get the jitters and be nervous. I find when I’m on coffee I become more fearful. My relaxed state disappears.

 

I do regular breaks.

We’re not machines. I do regular breaks of trampoline, walking, and eating fresh food in-between hours of writing on the weekend.

 

I outsource stuff I’m bad at.

If I do things I’m horrible at, I do them badly. This stops me from working smart and can cause negativity. That’s why I outsource stuff I’m bad at wherever possible.

 

I get enough sleep.

7 hours works for me. You have to sleep otherwise you’ll get tired which will cause negativity and a poor quality of work. This “sleep when you’re dead” tend is a fallacy.

 

I value you my time.

I’ve placed a very high dollar value on my time. Because I consciously value it, I’m always reconciling how much time I have. By valuing your time, you become aware of it. You can’t focus on something you are not aware of.

 

I do phone first, instead of coffee catch-ups.

LinkedIn sends me multiple requests a day for coffee catch ups. Most of them don’t state any valid reason for the catch-up. Now if you just say no to them all you could be missing out on the gift of socializing, learning new things and meeting people you can do business with.

The hack I use is this: Always do the first conversation via phone. That way you can tell if there is value or a need for a coffee catch up.

Second hack: do a video call instead of an audio-only call. Video lets you see the other person and connect better. It’s more personal and you’ll quickly figure out if you need that coffee after all. I personally don’t drink coffee, so these sort of catch ups take me out of rapport with the other person from the start.

 

Happy partner, happy life.

I spend less time arguing because I do stuff that my partner wants to do even if I don’t. She does the same. This way everybody wins and I don’t need to waste time arguing and lighting a fire under my mindset that causes me to want to evacuate to the world of temptation (coffee, Netflix, games, useless crap).

 

I cheat on my phone regularly.

That’s right! I sleep around with any activity that doesn’t involve looking at my phone.

“The small glass window of my phone feels like such a tiny part of what the world has to offer. I choose to look out of the window of life instead and see limitless possibility”

 

I do exercise to boost my mindset.

Being smart is only possible when you have a positive mindset served on the side. Exercise has helped me relieve stress and get back to feeling good again. Do it.

 

I don’t allow people to steal my time.

People will gladly rob you of your time and waste it. They do this primarily because they have their own selfish goals, or they’re bored with life and wasting your time makes them feel better. Prosecute these time thieves’ by telling them your expectations and referencing your calendar if you have to.

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

7 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Own Success

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sabotaging your success

Success is your birthright. It is a mindset, ingrained within your identity. Let’s go in one step further. Success is a choice. When you believe you are worthy of success, you recognize your irrational thoughts, you break them down and replace them with a forward focus positive belief. You move from victimisation to becoming your own hero, your own inspiration. You ditch counterproductive self-critical patterns and undermine your success. You reject familiarity and choose expansion to build your confidence, character and conquer negativity bias.

The biggest obstacle in life you will face is you. Our brain is wired to value negative information more than positive information. Negativity bias affects every human being as you hold on to, ruminate and recall negative experiences more quickly. You undermine your progress, keep yourself stuck in bad habits and set up an unconscious platform for failure. People will default to the “devil you know” when placed under pressure. You create your own worst enemy – YOU.

If you think you have no power over your emotions, it’s time to learn how to manage your state, lead your feelings and choose the story of how you will respond.

Here are 7 ways you’re sabotaging your success:

1. You think mistakes are your failures

We start off with great intentions, confidence booming and iron clad attitude of “we have got this”. We make a mistake and then we squirm in our pants. Self-doubt manifests and within minutes it magnifies. Success feels like it has been ripped away from us.

Mistakes happen, and they happen often. Mistakes have the power to turn us into something better than we were before. When we adopt that failure is feedback, we embrace how mistakes are useful and necessary. Failure is moving forward. As Seth Godin highlights “if l fail more than you do, l win”. To disrupt the status quo in life, you need a gargantuan quantity of failure.

2. You think your past equates to your future

Each person has a past. What comes with past is opportunity for growth and it is your greatest teacher. You invested in taking a risk and have the golden moment to apply the lessons learnt. You get to choose who and how to be at any moment. Stop waiting for someone else to believe or validate you. Become your own hero.

“If you want to succeed in your life, remember this phrase: That past does not equal the future…All that matters is: What are you going to do, right now?” – Tony Robbins

3. You don’t appreciate what you already have

We live in a world where we measure success by the things we gain. We buy things to make us happy and we succeed temporarily. New things are exciting at first and then we adapt. The anticipation of a desired outcome is generally more satisfying than the outcome itself. Once we get what we want, we adapt and excitement fades. How often do you see children demanding a toy or their world will end? What’s crazier is how quickly their joy fades as they want something else. Once you appreciate what you currently have, more won’t make life better.

4. You ignore who you are becoming

To experience any level of success, you must be whatever it is you want to be (ie. Happy, satisfied, inspired), and start doing things from this space to create the things you will have. We attract into our lives what we are. Shawn Achor , Harvard psychologist, explains that science shows that happiness facilitates success.

Often people use affirmations as a basis for creating a mindset shift and to feed the unconscious mind with golden treasure. By writing in the positive and present tense, you create a platform to step into who you are being. This will determine what you need to do to step into who you are becoming.

5. You burn all your bridges

There is nothing more heartbreaking when people create any level of success and espouse that they are solely the driver of their success. People succumb to their environment and forget where they came from along with the sacrifices others made to support them in achieving their level of success. Having a level of humility and gratitude keeps your success in perspective.

6. You have a sense of entitlement

The 21st century is reaping of people feeling entitled. It is playing out throughout all generations whether it be driven by someone’s need for job security or a specific salary amount. Stop complaining and be grateful for your ability to contribute to the bigger picture and make a difference in the world. You need to work a little to earn the credibility and trust from your environment.

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey

7. You don’t invest in working out the outcome, you wing it

Reverse engineering is where the game is played to create success. Start from the end and work backwards. As Stephen Covey in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People outlines “begin with the end in mind”. Once your clear, reverse engineer the Wildly Important Goal for the year and break down to quarterly, monthly and weekly goals. Then identify the 5 actions that you will take weekly to bring you closer to your success.

What are you doing to become successful? Let us know by commenting below!

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Success Advice

Want To Become Twice As Productive? Read This.

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Productivity Hacks. Steve Cutts

Productivity is how you find more time in your day to do what you love, and achieve greater results. It’s time to stop being lazy and make a few small changes that will help you win back extra time.

“Productivity is not about doing more; it’s about doing less”

After you’ve had a productive day, you feel so much better. The difficulty is that doing tasks that are on some never-ending to-do list creates a feeling of emptiness. To-do lists are not enough and they rarely make you more productive.

This is my very short, simple, no-brainer list of how you can become twice as productive:

 

Do the big stuff at the start of the day.

If you follow no other advice than this, then you’re already most of the way there. Start your day with the hardest, most fulfilling tasks. If there’s something you’ve been putting off, then do it when you first wake up the next day.

Save your boring and repetitive tasks like ironing and chasing up bills for late in the day when your energy starts to slump. I do my blogging in the morning and my housework just before I go to bed. This allows me to focus on trying to inspire people during the morning when I have the most energy and feel like I can do anything.

 

Chunk down and delete items off your to-do list.

Many tasks on your to-do list are actually part of the same single task. Chunk these tasks into one task. Next, take the tasks that are really not important and don’t matter to you, and consider deleting them off your to-do list.

Finally, don’t let other people’s tasks dominate the order in which you tackle your list. Do the tasks that serve you first. You’ll feel much better and more productive for doing so.

 

Phone over email for the win.

Never-ending text messages and emails lead nowhere. Instant messaging apps are not much better because the conversation never stops. Things get lost in translation and it’s tiring replying back on a tiny little keyboard while looking at a miniature little screen. Not to mention it makes you anti-social.

Be more productive by picking up the phone. A 5-minute conversation is way better than an endless line of messages that interrupt you from the task you’re focusing on each time a new response is received.

 

Have phone blackouts.

What’s this you ask? It’s blackout periods from your phone. Similar to a trading blackout if you’ve ever worked in a publically listed company. Have times of the day and week where you are banned from your phone. Enable flight mode, put it on silent, lock it in your car.

Escape from your phone so you can be focused and work without distraction for a set period of time. Avoid the temptation that has become your phone. The temptation that has become the destroyer of your success.

 

Don’t check social or email first thing.

Checking email and social media first thing in the morning sends your mind into reactive mode. Start your day with time to think and plan what you’re going to do. Be intentional about your day rather than let technology dictate what you’ll focus your time on and therefore what areas you’ll be productive at.

 

Schedule rest periods.

Always being on is not making you productive. We’re not robots, and we need to rest once in a while. Regular periods of rest, outside of sleep, allow us to be more productive. Chunk your day into blocks and rest in-between productive periods of work.

That rest might be eating a proper lunch, doing 10-minutes of meditation, listening to a podcast, or staring at your office window and doing absolutely nothing.

Give your mind space. It’s in these brief moments of nothingness that you will come up with the ideas, solutions and strategies to win in your career and in life. At the same time, it will make you productive.

 

Don’t lie to yourself.

“Creating a meeting, having a lunch, planning a strategy session and sending an email trick your brain into thinking you’re being productive rather than the truth: you do these things to put off doing the real work”

It allows you to be lazy and not think you’re being lazy. Look for ways to get to the solution or complete the task in the most productive way. If you find yourself not being in the mood for doing the hard work, schedule it for the next day, first thing in the morning.

It’s not that difficult to be productive. We can all do it with a little bit of effort and very focused discipline.

How do you increase your productivity?

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

The Best Way to Accelerate Your Success According to James Altucher

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James Altucher

I recently interviewed author and serial entrepreneur James Altucher and asked him a simple question:  What is the best way to accelerate success in any endeavor? To which James gave me a golden nugget. Or maybe 3 golden nuggets. He gave me what he calls the plus (+), equals (=), and minus (-) process and it blew me away. So simple yet so profound.

The +: Find People who are far ahead of you in your field of endeavor and learn from them

There are 4 kinds of people who fall under this category: Real Mentors, Virtual Mentors, Coaches and stars. We need all of them in order to be able to accelerate our progress.

Real Mentors are people who you personally know, and they help you out in giving you guidance and feedback. Mentors are usually emotionally vested in your success and can be called upon to guide you when you need that help.  

Virtual Mentors are usually people you do not personally know but they still have a huge impact on your lives. They can be historic figures, great current figures, titans of industry or anyone you look up to but do not have any contact with. You can read their books, watch their videos and just absorb any knowledge they put out there.

Coaches are people who have an obligation to guide you in your journey. It could either be that they have been hired by you or your organization to help you move forward. In sports, coaching is a well established phenomenon. In fact, every team and every great sports figure has one or multiple coaches.

Stars are people who are crushing it in your field of endeavor. They are operating at a much higher level than you are. Your job is to find them and associate with them. What you will find is that when you start spending time with them, you will automatically start stepping up your game. When you see that someone else is able to do something, suddenly that becomes possible for you and you are able to break through that barrier.

This is something I also learned from Tony Robbins at one of his live seminars. He kept on saying that he had given us a lot of strategies to accelerate success, but there was one strategy that stood above all else. He called it “compressing decades into days.”  He said in order to compress decades into days, we must find people who are much better than us in that field of endeavor and learn from them.

“Without a mentor in life, one can easily succumb to folly. Without a mentor in life, one can easily become self-centered, capricious and arrogant.”

The =: Find equals in your current field of endeavor and work/grow with them

In order to grow fast, you must find peers who are at similar level to you in the field of endeavor and find ways to:

  • Associate with them
  • Spend time with them
  • Exchange ideas with them
  • Ask for their help
  • Help them
  • Compete with them

The reason this works so well is because your peers are going through similar challenges as you are. What you are struggling with, someone else might have figured out. What someone else is struggling with, you might have figured out.

Napoleon Hill talked about the power of mastermind in one of the greatest personal development books ever written called “Think and Grow Rich.” He defined it as “Coordination of knowledge and effort in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose.” He goes on to say that masterminds have been the basis of nearly every great fortune.

One of the best things you can do for yourself is to start a mastermind group with your peers. If you are starting a business, go find people who are at a similar level to you and start a mastermind group with them. A mastermind group can be something as simple as a weekly meeting with 3 of your peers where each of you talk about the progress you made and the challenges you encountered.

The –: Find someone you can teach and help them

You might have often heard the saying that one of the best ways to learn something is to teach it. When you read something or listen to it or watch it you only absorb less than 50% of it. However, when you start teaching those ideas, your learning goes to a whole new level. That is because, in order to teach something you have to be able to break those ideas down, simplify them, and organize them into coherent structures.

In order to be able to teach, you need to have clarity in your own head about the ideas. Teaching requires a complete understanding of the concept. You can’t just “wing it.” Your student’s questions will force you to think deeper.

Teaching has a multitude of benefits which go beyond learning. Helping others can be incredibly gratifying and can make us feel much more fulfilled in our journey of life. Go find your protege.

“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.” – Dalai Lama

So, if there is any area of life where you feel that your progress is slower than what you want in to be, examine your +/=/- and make changes accordingly.

How are you making sure you achieve your goals? Comment below and let us know!

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Motivation

Whenever I Am Fearful Of What People Think, I Do This.

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I’ve had some days recently where I’ve been plagued with that question “What will people think?”

“If I say that, will people hate it and could it ruin my career?”
‘If I say the truth and people dislike it, could that ruin an upcoming opportunity?”
‘If they don’t like it, will I ever get another chance?

Whenever I find myself becoming fearful of people’s opinions, I do this:

 

I compare their opinion to my mortality.

This is the main hack so let’s start with this. Whenever I find myself worrying about what people think and how it may affect my success, I remember that in the scheme of things I am only on this Earth for a short amount of time.

Anything that I say will likely be forgotten pretty quickly. People are so caught up in all the troubles of their own life that they don’t have space in their mind to remember all of my flaws and silly moments. So if people are highly unlikely to remember, then who cares what people think?

Comparing opinions to your own mortality is a fantastic way to get a reality check. This way of thinking always gets me out of my head. Death is a good motivator that will make you take action and not get caught up in your head trying to win a war against opinions.

 

I’d rather try for greatness than never know because of fear.

Being paralyzed by people’s opinions stops you from ever reaching your full potential. You end up second-guessing yourself and not taking certain actions out of fear for what people may think. You can’t enter their mind and steal their thoughts (not yet, anyway) so you’ll never know for sure.

Maybe people love what you said. Maybe what you hypothesize they’re thinking is wrong. So the truth is you’ll never know for sure.

“What I do know for sure is that greatness is within all of us and it can only be unleashed when you stop giving an F”

Greatness is achieved when you say what you think, you take vulnerable actions, you’re authentic and most of all, you don’t hold back. People’s opinions are holding you back and they don’t matter. What matters is your opinion of yourself.

 

What matters is you tried.

And your critics probably didn’t. By not being held back by opinions you end up trying things that you’d normally not do. Here are some of my own examples:

  • I went to a high interval training workout class. Normally I wouldn’t because I’m currently unfit, but because I don’t care what people think, I did it anyway and loved it.
  • I entered a public speaking competition and won against very tough competition. Normally I wouldn’t but I told myself that I can say cool stuff too.
  • I took a long plane trip overseas. Normally I wouldn’t because I have a fear of flying but because I’ve now flown enough times, flying is actually fun.
  • I started this whole blogging thing. Normally I wouldn’t of because I used to hate writing and found it dead boring. I thought people would think what I had to say was dumb. Then I discovered my passion for blogging and now it’s what I’m known for by millions of people

How much success are you leaving on the table by being shackled down with the opinions of others? Just do what you love and if people hate it then screw them. They’re obviously not your target audience or don’t get your unique talent. Giving it a go will show you more than doing nothing.

 

I think about not living my dream life.

If people’s horrible opinions of you are weighing you down, then try this reverse hack: Think about what would happen if you didn’t live your dream.

Whenever I second guess myself about giving a talk, I think about what would happen if I never discovered this whole inspiring others gift that I had secretly hidden inside of me.

When you weigh up in your head the difference between people’s thoughts of you, and living your dream life, you’ll find your mind always pushing towards the later. Use this super-sized hack to destroy your fear of opinions.

 

I remind myself of what the great’s do.

If fear of public reticule is holding me back, I think in my mind about what the greats would do. Would Steve Jobs let someone tell him that his phone needs more buttons?

“Would Martin Luther King let someone tell him that black people’s rights don’t matter and to stay at home today by the warm fire? Not in a million, trillion years”

So if the greats wouldn’t allow opinions to stop them in their tracks, why the heck would you?

 

I think of what I’m doing in comparison to the world.

An excellent way to put your actions and the opinions about them into perspective is to compare what you’re doing with the world. If you say something stupid in front of your co-workers, in the scheme of things, does that one event change the rest of the world?

Does your little mistake really matter compared with the billions of other mistakes that are happening at the same moment? Probably not.

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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19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Christine Zacharias

    May 2, 2016 at 1:25 am

    This was a great article. What we view as our standards could be completely off to what our actual reality is. It is no wonder people wake up one day so dissatisfied with themselves. I know that that being honest about the time we spend indulging things that are not really conducive to work can be hard. I have a bad habit of cleaning and workout if I need to study for my classes. I can be twice as more productive if I study first, and do that stuff later. I definitely took some time out of the day to go through each point and see what I am doing in life. One thing I noticed is that I might want higher standards but I am not creating the habits and daily tasks that make me reach the next level. I hopefully can get the ball rolling for the next few weeks!

    • Tim Denning

      May 3, 2016 at 5:04 am

      Thanks for sharing your story Christine and I can definitely relate especially when it comes to cleaning. One part that can be a challenge is sitting down to do something creative like writing and not being able to concentrate because your workspace is a mess. There is definitely research that shows have a clean workspace creates a ZEN kind of feeling but anything outside of the space I rok in, I wait till later to clean.

      Glad you liked the article!

  2. Sam

    Apr 26, 2016 at 8:50 am

    Wow, point 9 is spot on. Whenever I plan to study, code or learn something new, I have a habit of wasting first 30 mins on social networking & shopping online BUT I wasn’t aware habit is so common. Glad that this article made me realise that I have a problem and I need to improve. Thanks 🙂

    • Tim Denning

      Apr 27, 2016 at 2:43 am

      Sam we all suffer from point 9. It’s not a problem for you though, its actually an opportunity to progress further than you are right now. The fact that you have realized what you are doing and committed to take action in a new direction is where the true power lies my friend.

      Thanks for reading

  3. Sathish

    Apr 25, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    Hi Tim,

    great article, your nine steps are surely a great way to raise standards. I like the 6, 7 and 8 those are something in my opinion we overlook when trying to raise our standards.

    Thanks, sathish

    • Tim Denning

      Apr 27, 2016 at 2:40 am

      Thanks Sathish for taking the time to read each point and I’m glad some of the advice resonated with you 🙂

  4. Zachary Walsh

    Apr 23, 2016 at 3:02 am

    Thanks for the insight Tim, definitely something everyone can relate to. Even if you do “Raise your Standards” there is always more you can do.

    • Tim Denning

      Apr 27, 2016 at 2:39 am

      Not a problem Zachary. Defining your standards and raising them is a never ending process but each time you do, you one-up your life at the same time.

  5. Keith

    Apr 22, 2016 at 9:37 am

    Thanks Tim. I especially love your use of the word “indulgence” to describe those distractions that we allow ourselves take. Live for the dream!!

    • Tim Denning

      Apr 27, 2016 at 2:38 am

      Cheers Keith for reading! The word “indulgence” is one of my favourites

  6. Stefanie

    Apr 22, 2016 at 6:42 am

    Another great one, Tim! I changed one of my standards last year by deciding on going to work by bike (13 km one way) instead of taking the subway, and I feel so much better! I noticed that it’s really important to back up your new standard by creating the circumstances to really make it work. In my case, it meant checking out where to shower at work, getting the equipment, preparing a delicious green smoothie in the morning.

    • Tim Denning

      Apr 27, 2016 at 2:37 am

      Sounds like a great daily habit you have created Stefanie. I am also a sucker for a morning green smoothie / juice 🙂

  7. Jim LaValley

    Apr 21, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    Tim,
    Another great article! I appreciate the topic and can empathize with your statement about your old weekend standards. Keep up the great writing!

    JIM

    • Tim Denning

      Apr 21, 2016 at 8:26 pm

      Thanks Jim. I don’t miss those old weekends and I’m sure you don’t either 🙂

  8. Katherine

    Apr 21, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    Omg this is golden. I love number 4! 🙂

  9. Ram Vijay

    Apr 21, 2016 at 6:54 am

    Worth reading all the steps ! Great article indeed

    • Tim Denning

      Apr 21, 2016 at 8:26 pm

      Thanks Ram for taking the time to read it.

  10. Gokul

    Apr 21, 2016 at 2:29 am

    This is one of the best article I’ve seen. So great if you Mr. Denning to share such a great insight.

    • Tim Denning

      Apr 21, 2016 at 8:25 pm

      Cheers Gokul I’m glad you like reading it.

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Success Advice

How I Work Smarter: The Practical And Really Dumbed Down Strategies.

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Working Smarter. Productivity Hacks

I’m somewhat of a productivity freak. I like having time.

Time allows me to work smarter, and so I protect it like a rare and beautiful diamond. If you want to steal my time, you better be prepared for one hell of a battle. I’d happily give up money before I would ever give up time.

Here’s how I work smart and how you can do the same:

 

I take the stairs.

While everybody is lining up for the lift or going 1 meter every ten minutes on the escalator, I take the stairs. It keeps me fit and I get where I want to go faster. Nothing in life worth achieving is easy so get used to taking the stairs and doing some physical work.

 

I keep it simple (decision fatigue).

Water instead of wine/soft drink/coffee etc.
One big goal at any point in time instead of a to-do list of goals that lead nowhere.
One email address instead of multiple inboxes.
One computer and one phone instead of a Fitbit, laptop, phone, tablet and Apple Watch.

“Vanilla options are easy and low fuss. Decisions fatigue you”

 

I have lunch before midday.

Lunch can be done in 15 minutes. The trick is to buy or make your lunch before the rush. Standing in lines and getting frustrated is unnecessary. Get some time in your day back by doing lunch earlier. I recommend 11:45. With the extra time you gain back, try adding in 10 minutes of meditation.

 

Leave the car at home.

When I go to the city, I leave the car at home. By the time I get into the car, battle against the seven seas that is traffic and then get parking, I could have already been there by train or equivalent. This transit time also becomes my portable learning time. I use this time to listen to podcasts and audiobooks instead of having to think about driving.

 

One day a week in isolation.

Being alone with your thoughts and complete silence, once a week, makes you mega productive. A few moments of quietness are far more valuable than hours of busyness and noise. In complete isolation, you have no choice but to focus and complete your goals.

 

I use tiredness to do housework.

People hate tiredness. I love it. Tiredness tells me to stop working on my goals and do the things we all have to do like housework. I don’t need any energy or inspiration to do housework so why waste my high energy states on it?

Having said that, I aim to eliminate tiredness. This is a work in progress and requires exercise combined with an excellent diet. Until then, housework I love you!

 

Notifications are turned off except for SMS

That word “notifications” feels like grand larceny. Companies used to steal my time through notifications and now I’ve declared war on them. When you’re powering through a task, the last thing you want is an interruption in the form of a notification.

That small amount of time you spend getting distracted takes you out of the zone and away from the focused state you’re in. Go to settings and turn off notifications – especially Facebook.

 

I don’t play computer games.

As a kid, I loved computer games. That’s why I know to stay away from them as an adult because they are designed to get me to fight someone else’s mission. There’s no such thing as a quick game. Games are designed to keep you engaged and continually challenge you.

 

I get up before everybody else.

Yes, sir! I get up when it’s dark so I can do the big stuff first. Before the rest of the world can wake up and distract me, I’m getting my game on in the early hours of the morning. I really think you should wake up early. If you ignored everything else I said and just woke up early, I’d be proud.

 

I tell myself no before saying yes.

Yes has become a first world disease. You can’t work smart if you say yes to every offer that comes your way. That’s why I tell myself no first, and then try to convince myself of yes. If I can’t convince myself, I say no. Auto responding with yes answers will make you busy.

 

Busy is not smart.

If you think you are busy, and you verbally say so regularly, you’re not working smart. Busy is dumb. Busy will cripple your time and make your mindset go into meltdown. Humans can only focus on a small number of things so stop being busy!

Tell people the truth. Say no more. Guard your time. Avoid the trap of busy.

 

I chunk down big tasks.

If I have to give a big speech then in the same week, I move away any other big goals that might distract me. Too many big goals all in a small space of time can become overwhelming quickly. Stick to one or two big goals at a time and you’ll achieve a lot more. Less is more.

 

I own less stuff.

That way I don’t need to worry about maintaining things, securing things, thinking about objects, spending money on things I can’t afford. Sell, sell, sell yourself out of living the dumb life.

“Stuff does not equal progress; personal growth does and money can’t buy that”

 

I invest in dumb stuff.

With almost no knowledge, anyone can invest in index funds and not have to worry about the burden of trying to predict the next biggest thing. In reality, this strategy will probably beat all of the people who waste their lives away trying to be fortune tellers.

All I do is buy low-cost index funds of major economies like the USA. I invest the same amount each time so I’m not affected by the rise and fall of the stock market. Thank you, Tony Robbins and Warren Buffet for this strategy.

I don’t have video streaming.

Time looking at a screen is better spent reading a book. Fictional TV shows are not teaching me about life. Reading biographies, books about life lessons and the latest research in human psychology does that for me. One up on mediocrity and cancel your subscription.

 

Simplify your subscriptions.

Here’s the thing: Subscriptions equal time.

Companies have moved their business models to subscriptions because it helps keep you engaged and addicted to what they have to sell because you’re paying a recurring fee for it. Delete as many subscriptions as you can. I have one for my meditation app, one for the gym and one for my writing software.

 

Delete apps from your reading device.

Okay, so I do use Kindle which means that there is a temptation to look at apps. Delete apps from your reading device so you can actually read.

 

I take summer holidays when everyone returns to the office.

In Australia, everyone goes away in December and January. I take my holidays when they return to work. This means:

– More time in the office when it’s less busy
– Cheaper flights and accommodation during low peak times
– More chances to step up to leader roles while others are away

Everything is just less busy when you holiday off-peak.

 

I avoid junk food during major goal weeks.

This week I have a public speaking competition. I need all the practice I can get which requires energy. That’s why, in big goal weeks like the one I’m in right now, I cut out junk food. Energy equals time. Do a cheat day to celebrate at the end if you must.

 

I split my resources like this.

– Travel
– Necessities like food, clothes and rent
– Money for family and my girlfriend
– Unplanned indulgences (cheat day)

A balanced life requires resources (money). Splitting your money across these four areas allows you to work smart. You only have to work dumb when you waste your resources and therefore have to work ten times harder than you need to. When in doubt, less is more.

 

Stimulants are neglected.

Coffee only makes us get the jitters and be nervous. I find when I’m on coffee I become more fearful. My relaxed state disappears.

 

I do regular breaks.

We’re not machines. I do regular breaks of trampoline, walking, and eating fresh food in-between hours of writing on the weekend.

 

I outsource stuff I’m bad at.

If I do things I’m horrible at, I do them badly. This stops me from working smart and can cause negativity. That’s why I outsource stuff I’m bad at wherever possible.

 

I get enough sleep.

7 hours works for me. You have to sleep otherwise you’ll get tired which will cause negativity and a poor quality of work. This “sleep when you’re dead” tend is a fallacy.

 

I value you my time.

I’ve placed a very high dollar value on my time. Because I consciously value it, I’m always reconciling how much time I have. By valuing your time, you become aware of it. You can’t focus on something you are not aware of.

 

I do phone first, instead of coffee catch-ups.

LinkedIn sends me multiple requests a day for coffee catch ups. Most of them don’t state any valid reason for the catch-up. Now if you just say no to them all you could be missing out on the gift of socializing, learning new things and meeting people you can do business with.

The hack I use is this: Always do the first conversation via phone. That way you can tell if there is value or a need for a coffee catch up.

Second hack: do a video call instead of an audio-only call. Video lets you see the other person and connect better. It’s more personal and you’ll quickly figure out if you need that coffee after all. I personally don’t drink coffee, so these sort of catch ups take me out of rapport with the other person from the start.

 

Happy partner, happy life.

I spend less time arguing because I do stuff that my partner wants to do even if I don’t. She does the same. This way everybody wins and I don’t need to waste time arguing and lighting a fire under my mindset that causes me to want to evacuate to the world of temptation (coffee, Netflix, games, useless crap).

 

I cheat on my phone regularly.

That’s right! I sleep around with any activity that doesn’t involve looking at my phone.

“The small glass window of my phone feels like such a tiny part of what the world has to offer. I choose to look out of the window of life instead and see limitless possibility”

 

I do exercise to boost my mindset.

Being smart is only possible when you have a positive mindset served on the side. Exercise has helped me relieve stress and get back to feeling good again. Do it.

 

I don’t allow people to steal my time.

People will gladly rob you of your time and waste it. They do this primarily because they have their own selfish goals, or they’re bored with life and wasting your time makes them feel better. Prosecute these time thieves’ by telling them your expectations and referencing your calendar if you have to.

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

7 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Own Success

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sabotaging your success

Success is your birthright. It is a mindset, ingrained within your identity. Let’s go in one step further. Success is a choice. When you believe you are worthy of success, you recognize your irrational thoughts, you break them down and replace them with a forward focus positive belief. You move from victimisation to becoming your own hero, your own inspiration. You ditch counterproductive self-critical patterns and undermine your success. You reject familiarity and choose expansion to build your confidence, character and conquer negativity bias.

The biggest obstacle in life you will face is you. Our brain is wired to value negative information more than positive information. Negativity bias affects every human being as you hold on to, ruminate and recall negative experiences more quickly. You undermine your progress, keep yourself stuck in bad habits and set up an unconscious platform for failure. People will default to the “devil you know” when placed under pressure. You create your own worst enemy – YOU.

If you think you have no power over your emotions, it’s time to learn how to manage your state, lead your feelings and choose the story of how you will respond.

Here are 7 ways you’re sabotaging your success:

1. You think mistakes are your failures

We start off with great intentions, confidence booming and iron clad attitude of “we have got this”. We make a mistake and then we squirm in our pants. Self-doubt manifests and within minutes it magnifies. Success feels like it has been ripped away from us.

Mistakes happen, and they happen often. Mistakes have the power to turn us into something better than we were before. When we adopt that failure is feedback, we embrace how mistakes are useful and necessary. Failure is moving forward. As Seth Godin highlights “if l fail more than you do, l win”. To disrupt the status quo in life, you need a gargantuan quantity of failure.

2. You think your past equates to your future

Each person has a past. What comes with past is opportunity for growth and it is your greatest teacher. You invested in taking a risk and have the golden moment to apply the lessons learnt. You get to choose who and how to be at any moment. Stop waiting for someone else to believe or validate you. Become your own hero.

“If you want to succeed in your life, remember this phrase: That past does not equal the future…All that matters is: What are you going to do, right now?” – Tony Robbins

3. You don’t appreciate what you already have

We live in a world where we measure success by the things we gain. We buy things to make us happy and we succeed temporarily. New things are exciting at first and then we adapt. The anticipation of a desired outcome is generally more satisfying than the outcome itself. Once we get what we want, we adapt and excitement fades. How often do you see children demanding a toy or their world will end? What’s crazier is how quickly their joy fades as they want something else. Once you appreciate what you currently have, more won’t make life better.

4. You ignore who you are becoming

To experience any level of success, you must be whatever it is you want to be (ie. Happy, satisfied, inspired), and start doing things from this space to create the things you will have. We attract into our lives what we are. Shawn Achor , Harvard psychologist, explains that science shows that happiness facilitates success.

Often people use affirmations as a basis for creating a mindset shift and to feed the unconscious mind with golden treasure. By writing in the positive and present tense, you create a platform to step into who you are being. This will determine what you need to do to step into who you are becoming.

5. You burn all your bridges

There is nothing more heartbreaking when people create any level of success and espouse that they are solely the driver of their success. People succumb to their environment and forget where they came from along with the sacrifices others made to support them in achieving their level of success. Having a level of humility and gratitude keeps your success in perspective.

6. You have a sense of entitlement

The 21st century is reaping of people feeling entitled. It is playing out throughout all generations whether it be driven by someone’s need for job security or a specific salary amount. Stop complaining and be grateful for your ability to contribute to the bigger picture and make a difference in the world. You need to work a little to earn the credibility and trust from your environment.

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey

7. You don’t invest in working out the outcome, you wing it

Reverse engineering is where the game is played to create success. Start from the end and work backwards. As Stephen Covey in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People outlines “begin with the end in mind”. Once your clear, reverse engineer the Wildly Important Goal for the year and break down to quarterly, monthly and weekly goals. Then identify the 5 actions that you will take weekly to bring you closer to your success.

What are you doing to become successful? Let us know by commenting below!

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Success Advice

Want To Become Twice As Productive? Read This.

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Productivity Hacks. Steve Cutts

Productivity is how you find more time in your day to do what you love, and achieve greater results. It’s time to stop being lazy and make a few small changes that will help you win back extra time.

“Productivity is not about doing more; it’s about doing less”

After you’ve had a productive day, you feel so much better. The difficulty is that doing tasks that are on some never-ending to-do list creates a feeling of emptiness. To-do lists are not enough and they rarely make you more productive.

This is my very short, simple, no-brainer list of how you can become twice as productive:

 

Do the big stuff at the start of the day.

If you follow no other advice than this, then you’re already most of the way there. Start your day with the hardest, most fulfilling tasks. If there’s something you’ve been putting off, then do it when you first wake up the next day.

Save your boring and repetitive tasks like ironing and chasing up bills for late in the day when your energy starts to slump. I do my blogging in the morning and my housework just before I go to bed. This allows me to focus on trying to inspire people during the morning when I have the most energy and feel like I can do anything.

 

Chunk down and delete items off your to-do list.

Many tasks on your to-do list are actually part of the same single task. Chunk these tasks into one task. Next, take the tasks that are really not important and don’t matter to you, and consider deleting them off your to-do list.

Finally, don’t let other people’s tasks dominate the order in which you tackle your list. Do the tasks that serve you first. You’ll feel much better and more productive for doing so.

 

Phone over email for the win.

Never-ending text messages and emails lead nowhere. Instant messaging apps are not much better because the conversation never stops. Things get lost in translation and it’s tiring replying back on a tiny little keyboard while looking at a miniature little screen. Not to mention it makes you anti-social.

Be more productive by picking up the phone. A 5-minute conversation is way better than an endless line of messages that interrupt you from the task you’re focusing on each time a new response is received.

 

Have phone blackouts.

What’s this you ask? It’s blackout periods from your phone. Similar to a trading blackout if you’ve ever worked in a publically listed company. Have times of the day and week where you are banned from your phone. Enable flight mode, put it on silent, lock it in your car.

Escape from your phone so you can be focused and work without distraction for a set period of time. Avoid the temptation that has become your phone. The temptation that has become the destroyer of your success.

 

Don’t check social or email first thing.

Checking email and social media first thing in the morning sends your mind into reactive mode. Start your day with time to think and plan what you’re going to do. Be intentional about your day rather than let technology dictate what you’ll focus your time on and therefore what areas you’ll be productive at.

 

Schedule rest periods.

Always being on is not making you productive. We’re not robots, and we need to rest once in a while. Regular periods of rest, outside of sleep, allow us to be more productive. Chunk your day into blocks and rest in-between productive periods of work.

That rest might be eating a proper lunch, doing 10-minutes of meditation, listening to a podcast, or staring at your office window and doing absolutely nothing.

Give your mind space. It’s in these brief moments of nothingness that you will come up with the ideas, solutions and strategies to win in your career and in life. At the same time, it will make you productive.

 

Don’t lie to yourself.

“Creating a meeting, having a lunch, planning a strategy session and sending an email trick your brain into thinking you’re being productive rather than the truth: you do these things to put off doing the real work”

It allows you to be lazy and not think you’re being lazy. Look for ways to get to the solution or complete the task in the most productive way. If you find yourself not being in the mood for doing the hard work, schedule it for the next day, first thing in the morning.

It’s not that difficult to be productive. We can all do it with a little bit of effort and very focused discipline.

How do you increase your productivity?

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

The Best Way to Accelerate Your Success According to James Altucher

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James Altucher

I recently interviewed author and serial entrepreneur James Altucher and asked him a simple question:  What is the best way to accelerate success in any endeavor? To which James gave me a golden nugget. Or maybe 3 golden nuggets. He gave me what he calls the plus (+), equals (=), and minus (-) process and it blew me away. So simple yet so profound.

The +: Find People who are far ahead of you in your field of endeavor and learn from them

There are 4 kinds of people who fall under this category: Real Mentors, Virtual Mentors, Coaches and stars. We need all of them in order to be able to accelerate our progress.

Real Mentors are people who you personally know, and they help you out in giving you guidance and feedback. Mentors are usually emotionally vested in your success and can be called upon to guide you when you need that help.  

Virtual Mentors are usually people you do not personally know but they still have a huge impact on your lives. They can be historic figures, great current figures, titans of industry or anyone you look up to but do not have any contact with. You can read their books, watch their videos and just absorb any knowledge they put out there.

Coaches are people who have an obligation to guide you in your journey. It could either be that they have been hired by you or your organization to help you move forward. In sports, coaching is a well established phenomenon. In fact, every team and every great sports figure has one or multiple coaches.

Stars are people who are crushing it in your field of endeavor. They are operating at a much higher level than you are. Your job is to find them and associate with them. What you will find is that when you start spending time with them, you will automatically start stepping up your game. When you see that someone else is able to do something, suddenly that becomes possible for you and you are able to break through that barrier.

This is something I also learned from Tony Robbins at one of his live seminars. He kept on saying that he had given us a lot of strategies to accelerate success, but there was one strategy that stood above all else. He called it “compressing decades into days.”  He said in order to compress decades into days, we must find people who are much better than us in that field of endeavor and learn from them.

“Without a mentor in life, one can easily succumb to folly. Without a mentor in life, one can easily become self-centered, capricious and arrogant.”

The =: Find equals in your current field of endeavor and work/grow with them

In order to grow fast, you must find peers who are at similar level to you in the field of endeavor and find ways to:

  • Associate with them
  • Spend time with them
  • Exchange ideas with them
  • Ask for their help
  • Help them
  • Compete with them

The reason this works so well is because your peers are going through similar challenges as you are. What you are struggling with, someone else might have figured out. What someone else is struggling with, you might have figured out.

Napoleon Hill talked about the power of mastermind in one of the greatest personal development books ever written called “Think and Grow Rich.” He defined it as “Coordination of knowledge and effort in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose.” He goes on to say that masterminds have been the basis of nearly every great fortune.

One of the best things you can do for yourself is to start a mastermind group with your peers. If you are starting a business, go find people who are at a similar level to you and start a mastermind group with them. A mastermind group can be something as simple as a weekly meeting with 3 of your peers where each of you talk about the progress you made and the challenges you encountered.

The –: Find someone you can teach and help them

You might have often heard the saying that one of the best ways to learn something is to teach it. When you read something or listen to it or watch it you only absorb less than 50% of it. However, when you start teaching those ideas, your learning goes to a whole new level. That is because, in order to teach something you have to be able to break those ideas down, simplify them, and organize them into coherent structures.

In order to be able to teach, you need to have clarity in your own head about the ideas. Teaching requires a complete understanding of the concept. You can’t just “wing it.” Your student’s questions will force you to think deeper.

Teaching has a multitude of benefits which go beyond learning. Helping others can be incredibly gratifying and can make us feel much more fulfilled in our journey of life. Go find your protege.

“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.” – Dalai Lama

So, if there is any area of life where you feel that your progress is slower than what you want in to be, examine your +/=/- and make changes accordingly.

How are you making sure you achieve your goals? Comment below and let us know!

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