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How To Silence The Side Of Yourself That Wants To See You Fail

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Ever feel like you’re waging an internal war? It might not be bloody, but it does kill. It kills your self-esteem, confidence, and your dream.

One side wants to see you succeed, feel good about yourself, and exceed in all of your endeavors. The other is taking every chance it gets to drag you down. The fierce battle between the two sides can drive anyone crazy.

Becoming an entrepreneur means taking major steps outside your comfort zone. It will most likely trigger fear, disbelief, and doubt. It will probably make that mean voice inside seem louder and even more condescending.

If that’s the voice that’s running your inner dialogue today, it’s time to make it stop. It’s time to say goodbye once and for all.

Here are the 5 steps on how to silence the side of yourself that wants to see you fail:

1. Detach yourself from your toxic thoughts

The monkey. That’s what I call that destructive and mean voice that can come in and overpower us. Because let’s face it, it can behave just like a drunk, neurotic monkey who’s tirelessly jumping around and chattering in a desperate attempt to get our attention.

The monkey thinks he’s protecting you. But in reality, he’s hindering you from creating the life you truly desire. Why? Because the monkey is trying to protect what you’ve accepted as truth — whether it serves you or not.

If you believe that making money requires hard work and struggle, the monkey will want to prove you’re right. If you think you aren’t smart enough or consistently lack time, the monkey will do just about anything to prove that your belief is correct.

The thing is, if you’ve heard something repeatedly in the past, or if you’ve had an emotionally painful experience, your monkey will remember that. And he’ll do just about anything to protect you from feeling that pain again.

Now, it might sound like this little guy is your enemy. He’s not. He’s just a scared little monkey who needs you to take charge of the situation.

So, when you have these toxic thoughts, start by separating the monkey’s voice from your own. It’s not you talking, OK? Detach yourself by acknowledging and observing his presence. Don’t fight or get upset over his comments; that will only fuel him. Instead, be polite, and greet the little fellow by saying, “Well, hello little monkey!”

“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.” – Willie Nelson

2Take control over the chatter

So, now that you’ve acknowledged the monkey, it’s time to calm him down. How do you calm a drunk and neurotic monkey?

That’s right, by giving him a big hug. And by telling him soothing phrases such as, “Thanks for looking out for me, but don’t worry. I’ve got this under control.” You can even imagine yourself petting the little monkey on its head.

Remember that poking current beliefs is scary to the monkey. It will trigger him. To remain in control of your inner-dialogue, simply acknowledge what caused your monkey to go bananas. Play detective on yourself to get the bigger picture of the situation.

Maybe you’re stepping outside of familiar boundaries? Maybe you’re facing struggles on your path as an entrepreneur? Maybe you’re diving headfirst into something that scares you silly?

Remember, it’s probably a good thing you’re doing here. You’re probably stretching limits, breaking boundaries, and growing as a person. See the situation for what it is (and not through the eyes of a terrified and neurotic monkey).

So, sooth your monkey, and simply acknowledge what made him scared. That’s how you put yourself in the driving seat. That’s how you become the master of your monkey (and not the other way around).

 

3. Replace negative thoughts with better feeling ones

Now that you’ve calmed the monkey, look for better-feeling thoughts around the subject. The trick here is to find thoughts that are positive, but not too positive so that your mind asks, “What the heck are you talking about? This isn’t what you’ve been telling me!”

Thoughts gain momentum, so you can’t instantly go from “I can’t do this” to “I can totally do this!” without feeling like a big liar. So go step-by-step. First aim to reach a neutral place. Play around with thoughts until you find those you resonate with emotionally. Here are some of my favorites:

  • “I’ve done similar things in the past, and that’s gone well.”
  • “It doesn’t matter where I am today, when I know where I’m going.”

When you’ve managed to come to a neutral place, find more positive thoughts that can lift you toward a positive place. Once you’ve done that, reach for another one that makes you feel a little bit better than the previous one. Small and simple steps, that’s all.

 

4. Keep nurturing your positive thoughts

So, now that you’ve shifted focus to more positive thoughts, things start to become clearer. Ah, the haze is dissolving (love those moments!), and you can start building positive momentum that will propel you forward.

Now, think of your thoughts as a garden. Whatever you plant there will grow. The monkey loves a beautiful and prosperous garden where he can relax. If that’s what you’re growing, he doesn’t need to worry for you. Then he can just sit back and smell the flowers.

So, pay attention to what you’re planting in your garden. Are you growing appreciation or criticism? Is it a garden full of opportunities or limitations? Is it the successes or failures in your life that are in bloom? The flowers you take most care of will blossom and overshadow the others.

Simply, bask yourself in the feelings of already being, doing, and having what you want.

“You cannot have a positive life and a negative mind.” – Joyce Meyer

5. Leave room for the voice that will guide you right

Being bullied around by your inner voice is hard. Not only does it shatter your great vision – it leaves you feeling unworthy, disempowered, and frustrated.

You deserve to feel good about yourself. You deserve to live a life of excitement, exhilaration, and bliss. You deserve to make your dream a reality. That’s the whole purpose of a dream, isn’t it?

So, take control. Calm and soothe your monkey when he’s active, and nurture your positive thoughts. Don’t let your monkey master your life. Instead, master your monkey to master your life.

Leave space for that voice inside that wants to see you succeed and be happy. That’s the voice worth listening to. That’s the voice that knows what you’re truly capable of. That’s the voice that will guide you right.

What do you do to silence the side of yourself that wants to see you fail? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below!
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23 Comments

23 Comments

  1. Camilla Hallstrom

    Jan 11, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    Great article, Maria!

    I couldn’t agree more that becoming an entrepreneur requires you to go way beyond your comfort zone. It might be temporarily uncomfortable but the payoff is amazing 🙂

    • Maria Stenvinkel

      Jan 11, 2016 at 3:29 pm

      Thanks Camilla!

      Yes, you are so right. Well said. Got to keep our eyes on the prize 🙂

  2. Judy Parsons

    Jan 8, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    My inner voice is Cissy. She’s afraid of everything. We’re going to have some good conversations from now on.

  3. Nicki Lee

    Dec 29, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    Love your advice about talking to the monkey! “Thanks for looking out for me, but don’t worry. I’ve got this under control.” I’m going to try it today.

  4. akash

    Dec 29, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    Great article maria. I am really impressed with your writing skills.

    • Maria Stenvinkel

      Dec 30, 2015 at 12:34 pm

      Thanks a lot! You just put a BIG smile on my face.

      Have a great day!
      Maria

  5. Laura J. Tong

    Dec 27, 2015 at 10:44 am

    This so totally sums up that split of voices in my head that argue so often! Thank you for these great strategies.

    • Maria Stenvinkel

      Dec 30, 2015 at 12:33 pm

      You’re so right Laura. Thank you for your comment and have a great day! 🙂

  6. Ann

    Dec 25, 2015 at 8:01 am

    Hi Maria,

    You’re post is spot on, our thoughts can make or break us…the posts has great points on how to make it work.

  7. Tim Denning

    Dec 20, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    Maria thank you for sharing this advice. While I have been able to get the monkey off my back in recent times, I still find the chatter can be an issue. I will definitely use tip number two to try and settle this down in times of need. Thank you again for taking the time to write this piece.

    • Maria Stenvinkel

      Dec 21, 2015 at 9:38 am

      Hi Tim,

      Thanks for your comment and kind words!

      I’m happy to hear that, I hope it calms your monkey 😉

      Cheers,
      Maria

  8. Mike Harrington

    Dec 20, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    Ha-ha, love the monkey analogy.

    So true, as well. Our thoughts are truly the most powerful force in creating either the life of our dreams OR the life of our nightmares.

    I’m gonna go give my monkey a hug and tell him to go play in the garden now. 🙂

    • Maria Stenvinkel

      Dec 21, 2015 at 9:37 am

      Well put, Mike!

      Haha, that’ll make your monkey happy 😉

      Cheers!
      Maria

  9. Mark Tong

    Dec 20, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    Hi Maria – really helpful post, especially regards that pesky monkey:) Thanks

  10. Blaine Wilkerson

    Dec 20, 2015 at 11:12 am

    Very cool. Most posts talk about ditching the monkey. You suggest we master it.

    Is it purely metaphorical? Or do you believe we should “master the monkey” cuz there are times we may need to use it?

    I instantly thought of Peter Gabriel’s “Shock the Monkey” and Aerosmith’s “Monkey on my back” 🙂

    • Maria Stenvinkel

      Dec 20, 2015 at 12:00 pm

      Hi Blaine,

      I believe the money (the ego) always will be a part of our life. But we decide how much. By mastering him, we can allow him work for us, instead of against us. I don’t believe he wants to lead the way, he just wants to make sure we step in and take control 🙂

      Thanks for your comment!
      Maria

    • Maria Stenvinkel

      Dec 21, 2015 at 9:35 am

      Hi Blaine,

      Thanks for your comment!

      I believe that the monkey (the ego) always will be a part of our life. Our job is to stop making it work against us, and instead, allow it to work for us. Ditching it might work, but that usually just ends up with the noise getting louder. So, not really sustainable (plus it makes you feel pretty insane when you think one thing and then do another). ) Instead of dismissing it and pushing it away, I believe it’s way more powerful to actually allow it to be there. To acknowledge it and learn how to master it.

      Cheers!
      Maria

  11. Benjamin Worika

    Dec 20, 2015 at 6:42 am

    Thanks Maria, for this truly insightful and action oriented piece.
    I think the greatest challenge, to taming the Monkey, is getting to “Detachment” most folks have come to a state where the Monkeys voice “Cloaks” their own voice and they erroneously believe that “The Monkey is Me”
    Exercises that aid the detachment process would go a long way…I especially love the visualizing part of patting the Monkeys head.
    Love your piece, you just won a heart in Nigeria.
    Cheers.

    • Maria Stenvinkel

      Dec 20, 2015 at 11:23 am

      Hi Benjamin,

      Thanks a lot for your very nice comment!

      I couldn’t agree more. It’s so easy to believe that we are our thoughts. And it’s such a relief to realize that they simply are thoughts – not the truth or who we are.

      Again, thanks for your last sentence. It made my day and warmed my heart 🙂

      Cheers,
      Maria

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Success Advice

Never Forget Where You Can From.

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Last week, my mentor and friend Joel Brown, asked me to speak at one of his Circle Of Influence, Mastermind sessions.

What I thought would be a routine call with me sharing blogging tips, turned into a mini pep talk. I want to share the same advice with you because I know it can help you.

That advice is this: Never forget where you came from.

 

We all start somewhere.

On the mastermind call, I told the story of how I was a spoilt brat that had come to a crossroads in life. I was searching for what was next when I met Joel Brown for the first time in Perth. I’d followed his blog, Addicted2Success, for many years after a friend of a friend, Dave Nelson, introduced me to it.

Through a series of strange events, I started writing inspiring content for Joel’s blog. This was peculiar because I hated writing and saw myself as useless with the English language. None the less, I just got started with no plan in mind.

My online following through Addicted2Success soon became much larger than I expected. I started writing for other websites but always made sure Addicted2Success was at the center of everything.

 

Why acknowledge the source of your success?

Because without it you’d have nothing. Without being grateful for the good fortune you have been given, you’d become someone who thinks they did it all on their own.

None of us did it alone. We all had help whether we admit it or not. Without Joel’s help, I’d be nowhere and inspiring nobody.

That’s why every podcast interview I do, every guest post I do, I never forget where I came from.

 

It doesn’t matter what you start with.

I shared a story on the mastermind call that is not well known. Joel started his now infamous blog by writing other people’s ideas in his own voice and adding his thoughts to it.

“He didn’t start as some enlightened genius: he started with nothing”

He to came from nowhere and had help. A man named Jordan Belfort and another man named Tony Robbins inspired him. They were the catalyst for him reaching hundreds of millions of people through his content and blog.

Just like me, he also never forgets where he came from. He also points back to these early influences as being how he got his big break.

The secret to every successful person is they never forget where they came from.

They never forget what it was like to be broke. They never forget how bad their talent was in the beginning. They never forget how much they hated their 9-5 job.

“By not forgetting where you came from, you ensure you never go backward. You ensure you always remain grateful and humble so you can keep doing what you love”

 

Loyalty is never forgotten.

Sure I’ve had many opportunities to forget where I came from. I could produce content for any website I want yet I still remain loyal to the cause, and the people who helped me. This loyalty is never forgotten. When an opportunity comes up that is in your field, these people your loyal to remember you.

Loyalty is so rare and that’s why it’s not forgotten. The opportunities you’re missing may be caused by the fact that you’re not building in-depth, loyal relationships with people who’ve helped and mentored you.

 

Pay it forward.

Remembering where you came from is not enough. Once you reach some level of success, you must pay it forward. Otherwise, it’s a one-way street and your ego takes over. Great mentors like Joel have taught me that leaders breed more inspirational leaders.

If you’ve had your chance in the spotlight, help others get theirs. You don’t need to spend that much of your free time either. There are a few people I mentor and it’s mostly done through short email messages. It takes me no time at all. The growth these mentees’ have received has impressed me.

Seeing them grow has allowed me to grow at the same time. Their growth keeps me focused on the idea that any of us can achieve phenomenal results.

 

Where you came from is the inspiration.

Only seeing the success stops all of us from pursuing our own passions. When you share where you’ve come from, you show us how incredibly straightforward it can be. Success looks complicated until we see where our heroes started.

It’s how people get their big break that gives us the strategies and tools to do the same. You may think where you’ve come from isn’t that crucial: It is.

We need to see the tipping point in your success to see the same in our own success. Your beginning has more golden nuggets than you could possibly ever imagine and it’s your duty to share them with us. It’s your duty to duplicate your success in others.

It’s your duty to pay it forward and never forget where you came from.

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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7 Radical Productivity Hacks You Should Implement Into Your Daily Routine

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productivity hack

When your productivity goes up, you get more stuff done, and when you get more stuff done, you feel a lot more accomplished. Even better, you get closer to your goals, you enjoy more success, and you feel a lot happier. Additionally, the huge, stress-inducing to-do list gets a whole lot shorter! If it were that simple, though, you wouldn’t be reading this.

The truth is that productivity evades a lot of us for different reasons. There are people who are insanely productive, and then there are people who claim small victories when they manage to get out of bed before noon.

What separates us? Most of the time, the pain of making a start outweighs the pleasure of getting stuff done. When this happens, you need to adjust your mindset — which I will show you how to do.

These are 7 productivity hacks anyone can add to their daily routine which will turbocharge your week:

1. Shrink that to-do list

First things first, you’ve got to shrink that to-do list. A huge to-do list makes us feel stressed and pressured. Sometimes, we don’t start because of the amount of stuff we have to do. Write down a list of all your tasks and separate them into three categories: High value, semi-value and no value.

Find a way to ditch or delegate the least valuable stuff, and then go through the tasks that would offer your life some value (but not loads) if you completed them. Are there any of these you can ditch? If so, ditch ‘em — or delegate them.

Cutting down your to-do list so that you’re only focusing on tasks that add value to your life, work, and your close ones, is a sure fire way of firing up your productivity levels. However, make sure to evaluate the least important tasks correctly before ditching them — sometimes there are things that you just have to do because no one else will.

2. Start saying no to people

Interestingly, even the most productive people on the planet struggle with saying no sometimes. Serial entrepreneur and author Tim Ferriss recently spoke to Gary Vaynerchuk about this, and the core of what he says is true: Saying no to people matters a lot. When you stop feeling an obligation to help people and realize that saying no doesn’t make you a bad person, you suddenly have so much more time on your hands.

Saying no to people isn’t being mean. It’s simply a case of asserting yourself and letting people know what you will and won’t do. It’s about defining your boundaries and standing up for your right to be happy. Some people will think you’re being mean, but you’ve just got to deal with this.

Put yourself first when possible. Don’t feel a need to take on other people’s burdens or project their frustration and neediness onto you. You’ve already got too much of your own stuff to deal with.

Of course, there are times when you should say yes. But if there is something you really don’t want to do, have no time to do, and have no obligation to do, then don’t do it. And, no, you’re not allowed to give a “maybe” response. Just say “Sorry, can’t do it” and move on.

“Say no to everything, so you can say yes to the one thing.” – Richie Norton

3. Eat that frog already

This is a great tip I first heard from Brian Tracy, but it’s based on a famous Mark Twain quote: “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, eat the biggest one first.”

Eating frogs sounds icky and disgusting. Why would anyone want to do that?! What Twain and Tracy mean is that we all have tasks we don’t look forward to. We associate more pain with doing the task than not doing it, and so we keep putting it off.

The problem is that the horrible task won’t just go away. We have to eat the frog at some point, and knowing this causes us more stress and worry. As such, it’s much better to eat the frog in the morning because it’s rewarding to get on with your day knowing that the most difficult task has already been completed.

In other words, do the hardest task first in the AM. All of a sudden, you’ll have a song in your heart because the rest of the day doesn’t look so bad.

4. Keep your “Why” in mind at all times

Discovering what motivates us helps to keep us on track with our goals. What’s the real reason you don’t stay productive? Perhaps you were super productive last Tuesday, but decided to be lazy on Wednesday and Thursday.

A lot of us are like this. We experience a major high where we get lots of stuff done and make a Facebook post about being productive, before lying in bed all of the next day.

It’s usually because we don’t have a strong enough why. Higher purposes and goals are so important for sustained productivity, otherwise, we’ll just ask ourselves, “What’s the point? Why are we working so hard when we could just be chilling?” Define your “Why” for yourself once and for all. If you know why you want to do stuff and keep reminding yourself of it, you’ll be much more motivated to stay on track.

5. Take a 20 minute nap each day

The late afternoon tiredness is real. However, rather than call it quits at 6 PM because your focus is dwindling, take a nap so that you can go for longer. Anyone who isn’t a napper might raise an eyebrow at this, but that’s okay. However, from now on you should consider joining the 20 Minute Nap Club (it’s free).

Studies have shown that a brief cat nap boosts short-term alertness. If you put your head down for 20 minutes during the afternoon, you get to restore your energy levels so that you can get more stuff down without losing focus. If you are still not convinced then start with a 20-minute relaxing meditation. This works, I swear.

6. Wake up early

You’ll need a nap if you wake up early. As well as having the time to get more stuff done, waking up early also gives you a psychological boost. While everyone else is still in bed snoozing, you’re up and being productive. From experience, that feels great, and it gives you an edge. Night owls, fret not: even 15 minutes earlier tomorrow will do the trick.

“Morning is an important time of day, because how you spend your morning can often tell you what kind of day you are going to have.” – Lemony Snicket

7. Work weekends

Technically, this is one for the weekends, but it still counts. Few people, especially those who work 9-5, want to be told that they should be working weekends. But the thing is that, if you see the weekend as precious time where you refuse to do any sort of work whatsoever because sports/cocktails/friends/family/tequila comes first, your tasks really will start to pile up.

Chill time on the weekend is important, and it’s super important that you connect with friends and family, but don’t be a massive stickler on this. If you’ve got a two-hour window on Sunday where all you’ll be doing is lying on the sofa or catching up on a box set, use this time to get some stuff done. You’ll feel productive, and it will save you a major headache during the week.

These are seven radical productivity hacks you should implement into your daily routine. Some of them will seem hard at first, but no one said being productive was easy and that’s the reason many of us fail at it! However, the more often you incorporate these into your daily routine, the easier things will become.

Have any radical tips of your own? Share them in the comment section above!

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Success Advice

The Absolute No No’s Of Social Media: Break These And Everybody Tunes Out.

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Everyone talks about what to do on social media. No one talks about the things that don’t work. What not to do is where the recipe for success on social media lies.

I’ve spent the last 12 months getting more engagement on social media than ever so that I can spread more good in the world.

Here is my absolute list of no no’s for social media:

 

Too much self-promotion.

“Here’s a selfie with the Alibaba founder.”

“Here’s me at blah blah blah exhibition.”

“Here’s me taking a break after working so hard.”

This nonsense doesn’t work. It’s all about you and it comes across as self-promotion. I still want you to share photos of inspirational people you met. I still want you to talk about taking a break and the places you’ve visited. I still want you to share events you attend.

There’s a subtle difference though – share the lessons and value these experiences gave you rather than sharing your ego’s proximity to them.

“Make your social media posts about how you can help and add value rather than putting your name on everything and trying to sound important”

 

Tagging people without permission.

Ever seen one of those posts where there are twenty names at the bottom that are tagged?

Ever wondered why you’re tagged in someone’s post who you’ve never met?

This careless tagging occurs because the originator wants to reach more people. They think by tagging strangers with lots of followers, they’ll reach more people and get more attention for their ego.

“Tagging without permission is rude and doesn’t work”

I want you to tag people and reach more people. I want you to do it with respect. How?

Reach out and tell the person you’re going to tag them first and why the post is relevant to their audience. Don’t be lazy and tag them because they’ll do nothing and most likely unfollow you. Also, don’t overdo it. Aim to tag three people or so instead of twenty. Less is more.

 

Linking out.

If I only teach you one thing it’s this: Don’t link out.

In plain English, this means that you should avoid posting a link that takes people off the social media platform they are viewing your post on. For example, if you’re on Facebook, don’t put a link in your post that takes me to YouTube.

Always post natively.

In plain English again, post your content directly on the platform. Instead of linking to YouTube, upload the video to Facebook directly.

 

Scheduling doesn’t work as well. It’s all about live.

We’ve all used software like Buffer to schedule posts and make people think that we are content machines that write something new every 2.5 hours and then upload it at peak times of the day.

The algorithm that runs a lot of these social media platforms and decides who see’s your content has figured out the game. Live, original content that is unplanned will always get priority. Try doing things on the fly. Upload your content in real time. Better yet, create your content in real time.

 

Polished is getting old.

Joel Brown taught me this lesson. One day, he was getting ready to shoot a video in the park. He was going to get a haircut beforehand, so he looked good for the camera. Laziness took over and he decided to shoot the video on his iPhone, with messy bed hair.

This video got lots of engagement because he shot it in a moment of passion and it was unpolished.

We’ve all seen the polished YouTube videos with perfectly positioned product placement, special lighting and high definition cameras. All of this pre-preparation kills the idea and the creativity that is attached to it.

Try being raw.
Try being authentic.
Try keeping it simple.
Try to avoid the temptation of becoming a gear/technology junkie.

 

Be original (thoughts on resharing).

I get people I work with all the time saying “How do you get so many people to engage with your posts?” I then click their social media profiles and look at their own posts. Every one of them is a reshare of someone else’s content.

At least 70% of the posts you put up should be original. Just resharing someone else’s stuff is boring. Create original pieces. When you reshare, put some detail around why you liked the content and how it helped you. Make your resharing personal.

You can’t just regurgitate other people’s content and then expect to get noticed.

 

Don’t post the same piece on every social platform.

Every social platform has a different voice and different functionality. Creating one piece of content and then sharing it on every social platform doesn’t work.

For starters, focus your attention on one or two platforms. Go deep on a few social channels rather than going wide and posting on many.

 

The time of day.

Consider the time of day when you post but don’t be obsessed with it. Good content will get people sharing it regardless of when it’s posted. Great is great and the time of the day won’t change that.

With that said, early shares of your posts is important for gaining traction and getting the social platforms algorithm to let you be seen by more people. Consider avoiding times like Sunday nights when people are having family dinners and not on social media.

 

What you’re forgetting is what not to do.

So to wrap all this up, it’s what you don’t do on social media that will elevate your success to the next level. Breaking this list of no no’s will see the social media platforms you’re posting to limit your audience. Play by these rules, and you’ll have more engagement than you can poke a stick at it.

Use this engagement to do good in the world.

 

PS.

I don’t shoot videos of me driving in a Lamborghini or taking selfies with Oprah. I’m just a humble guy from Australia who’s living the dream, working hard and trying to inspire all of you to do big things, and use social media to elevate your message.

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

13 Ways I Totally Changed My Life Story And So Can You.

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In 2011 my entire life story changed. I went from having nothing and having a disgusting, toxic mindset, to changing my life story and inspiring millions online.

I don’t tell you that to brag; I tell you because if I can do it, so can you.

The reason I changed my life story is because of a website called Addicted2Success. It all started with one new opportunity that I decided not to waste.

I concluded – after hours of personal development – that if Tony Robbins, Martin Luther King and Tim Ferriss can come from the darkest of places, to change history, then so can I.

Here are the 13 super simple, easy to implement tips that can change your life story:

 

1. Look who you are surrounded by.

The people that you spend time with transfer their beliefs and mindset to you without you even realizing it. Make a list of all the people you spend time with and then put a red line through any who are toxic and bring you down.

Do a second pass through and delete anyone else that is not serving you or always complains. By the end, you should be left with the people to keep. That list will be short and that’s the whole point. You need to make room for new connections and new friends.

This exercise is harsh and so is life. Doing the difficult stuff is how you change your life story.

 

2. Become a podcast junkie.

Stop being pissed off at traffic or long waits at medical appointments. This forced spare time is a gift. The challenge is most of you don’t use it. You sit there and look at your phone rather than doing something that will alter the course of your life.

Your life story will only change when you get some new inputs and a few fresh ideas. Podcasts are the quickest way to get these free sources of inspiration. During 2011 when I went through a change in my life story, I started by doing short walks around my local neighborhood and listening to audio tapes from Tony Robbins.

His opinions and thoughts were different to everything that people around me were saying. He planted new seeds in my mind that eventually turned into massive success several years later.

“School taught me how to follow the rules; podcasts taught me how to break the rules and forget everything I thought I knew”

Podcasts disrupted my thought patterns and that’s exactly what you need too.

 

3. Start creating something online.

Building an online presence in what I loved was the start of something new. When I began sharing my message with the world, it helped me refine my thoughts and ideas. I also got to engage with lots of other people who shared their wisdom with me for free because I had given them free content.

Before I changed my life story, I was scared to create something online because I was worried I’d be judged or not good enough.

“As soon as I dropped this superman complex and started creating something online, I became comfortable in my own skin and with who I was”

The story of your life is best told online. Pick a channel (any channel, just pick one!) and then stick to it. Post on their as much as you can. Don’t hold back, be vulnerable and tell stories. This will alter the course of your life.

 

4. Turn your media habits upside down.

Take your TV and put it in the closet. Replace your daily habits of watching the news with audiobooks or podcasts. Take those endless TV shows that make you stupid and read a book instead. Most of the traditional media is negative because that’s what sells.

“Media is a business to get your attention and make money from you. Disconnect from that Ponzi Scheme and consume media that educates and transforms your life story”

Watch a documentary on Warren Buffett, listen to Oprah’s online show that interviews extraordinary people crushing their field, and see what Tim Ferriss is experimenting with on Facebook.

Just stop consuming endless amounts of information that doesn’t serve you. Focus is key and media will distract it if you don’t make the right decision.

 

5. Sell your car and buy a juicer.

That’s what Tony Robbins said in a book I read and he’s right. My life story changed when I started to have more energy. Giving my body a metaphorical injection of nutrients every morning stopped me from getting sick, and made me feel like I had just consumed 15 espressos.

 

If you need to sell your car to buy the juicer, then great. The extra energy you get from juicing will double your productivity which will give you extra income. Within a year you’ll probably have enough extra income to buy two cars. Energy is king.

 

6. Bounce your way to a new story.

For me to help you create this new life story you’re going to need even more energy. Bouncing on a trampoline gets the blood flowing and your passions started.

You feel good after bouncing (I won’t go through the science of why as Google can tell you that) and it will give you another block of time to listen to podcasts. Bounce baby bounce!

 

7. Become ruthless with negative talk.

The bloke behind you want’s to chew the fat about how bad his day was? No thanks.

Lunch lady wants to tell you how she lost money in cryptocurrency? Sorry, she’s not qualified and you got enough to think about already.

These meaningless, negative conversations are screwing with your mind. Negative people love to complain yet they forget how lucky they are to have even been born.

If someone starts a conversation with you and it’s not serving you, politely excuse yourself and make something up if you have to. Just escape like you’re stuck in Alcatraz.

“Walking away from negative conversations will teach you discipline and demonstrate to yourself that you’re in control”

 

8. You’ll never know the answer.

Racking your brain over any obstacle that’s put in your way will chew up time that you could be using to create something phenomenal. No matter how much you plan, you’ll never predict correctly the outcome of every challenge.

So if I don’t know, and if the universe can’t tell you, and your mentors can’t tell you, then don’t worry. Worrying is not going to get you anywhere. Stop getting lost in the desert with no water and take a drink from the fountain of faith. Faith that says:

“I am good enough.”
“I will find the answer.”
“I can be amazing.”

These are the answers you should seek. Believe in yourself.

 

9. See the world.

With your own two eyes. Not on social media or through your mates Instagram account. This whole “Work Till You Die Hoax” is stopping you from changing your story.

“Warren Buffett spends time every single day doing deep thinking and that’s one of the reasons he’s a billionaire”

Deep thinking happens naturally when you’re traveling. You begin to compare your surroundings at home, with the paradise you’re visiting (Notice I said paradise? That’s because the world is beautiful when you get off the couch and see it).

 

My 2011 change in circumstances all started when I got out of Melbourne and saw places I had always dreamed of. The subtle art of getting on planes and carrying suitcases through customs became a quarterly experience.

The first trip to Sydney showed me that I could fly 60 minutes and not get trapped in a storm and die in a horrible plane crash. The fear of flying subsided and the love of travel began a new page in my life story. Seeing new countries gives you inspiration and that’s exactly what you need if you’re stuck in a rut and going nowhere fast.

 

10. Quit your current job.

This one’s not straight out of one of those self-help blog posts that says we can all be rich if we quit our 9-5. That’s BS advice. There’s a good chance though that you hate your current income-producing activity known as a job.

I was at this same point in 2011 and it bugged the crap out of me. So if you really are serious about changing your life story then let’s get serious for a minute and make a decision to quit your job. The cool thing about quitting your job is that you’ll be forced to find another one (unless you don’t like eating). Urgency will motivate you to do something else.

You’ve got to where you are now based on your previous decisions and so we can’t create any change without making some new decisions. The biggest benefits will come from the hardest decisions. The more tough decisions you make in a short space of time, the greater the change in your life story.

We all get bored in our career and quitting your job is how you escape this nightmare.

 

11. Use the Internet to reach out.

The cliché of “We’re all connected” has been beaten into our head like a boxer that’s taken one too many punches to the temple. We know we can talk to anyone yet we still mingle with the same people. It’s similar to when you go to a seminar with a friend and the speaker asks you to find a partner and you pick the same person you came with.

My life changed when I backed myself and began using tools like LinkedIn to reach out to interesting people that I could create mutual value with. Out of the ten requests you send, probably half of them will be declined or ignored. The rest will probably lead to conversations.

These new conversations will demonstrate to you that anyone can be reached. Therefore, you can access the blueprint for almost any successful person’s life. Then you can copy part of those blueprints and paste bits of them on the pages of your life story.

I’ll say it again: You need new inputs and to mix with different people who won’t accept your lame excuses.

The cold reach out that transformed my life story was thanks to a man named Joel Brown. He’s why I am here today typing these words to you.

 

12. Experiment with giving.

In the early stages, I gave back through writing blog posts like this one. As my formula for life became more evolved, I started volunteering at homeless shelters. This year I’m taking it a step further and trying to impact the lives of 300 disadvantaged / victims of domestic violence.

Even if you impact only one person, that one person could become the next Mother Teresa. I’ve been like a scientist in a lab for the last five years testing the act of giving. I’ve bought cars and tech that made me happy for a short while, and then I’ve experimented with giving my money and knowledge to people who have nothing.

The second experiment has given me the most growth and fulfillment. The material things literally did nothing to change my life story. Try the act of giving. Watch it transform the story of your life!

 

13. Give up the perfection game.

Wanting people to follow the rules of how you play the game of life is sabotaging your success. No one is ever going to act the way you want them to so quit expecting this false idea to come true. Accept the fact that humans make mistakes and piss each other off.

Get used to quickly moving on from disappointments that are created by your circle of colleagues and family, and get back to reality. What’s that reality? Creating something that will be remembered long after you’re gone.

Create a blog, business, a family, a charitable cause, speech, a funny stand-up routine.

The story of your life won’t be perfect either so leave your expectations at the door and get to work showing us all what you got. You’re capable of achieving so much more than you have done to date. I want to see you double your results by getting focused and cutting out all the noise.

Life can be full of disappointment or packed with joy and happiness. The story is yours to write so get the pen out and make a decision which one will be true for you.

Go all out. Be you. Change the world.

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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How To Make The Next Big Decision In Your Life.

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At regular intervals in your life, you have to make that challenging next big decision.

Life goes along just fine until one day you instinctively know that you have to make a giant change. This change comes about because we need to keep growing. Otherwise we die inside.

Making that next big decision has been something I’ve had to become an expert in over the last 12 months. I had to make the following big decisions:

– Am I always going to be a salesperson or can I go back to being a leader again?
– Is it possible to overcome my fear of public speaking so I can inspire people?
– Is traveling the world something I’m always going to be stopped from doing?
– Where is my love life going? Will I always be single or with someone who’s not right?

These have been very tough decisions to make.

I’ve had some epic failures trying to answer these questions. Here are some examples:

– I tried becoming more technical in my career. I hated it. I only enjoy high-level technical info.
– I gave a few speeches and sucked big time. My face was as red as a tomato.
– I went on a few overseas trips and fear nearly got the best of me.
– I made a bold move to go on lots of dates and find a girl that was right for me. Most of my attempts failed – except one.

Right now, the reason I’m writing this blog post is because I need to change my career. I’ve stopped learning. I’m starting to think I know everything in my field of expertise. I’ve become comfortable. I’m experiencing frustration because I’m surrounded by the wrong people.

These are all warning signs that it’s time to make the next big decision in your life.

 

Making the next big decision is playing on the offense.

Playing on the offense means that you are being proactive. It means you are skating to where the puck in Ice Hockey is going, not where it is right at this point in time.

The moment you start playing defense and protecting your position, you stop growing.

“Standing still is like being in the middle of a battlefield with no gun and no ammo and hoping not to get shot”

To stay on the offense, you have to recognize the signs I mentioned above and then make that big decision. When you’re forced to make that next big decision, that’s when you’re screwed. Being forced to make the decision means that you no longer have time on your side.

You end up settling for second best because you are in a hurry to make that big decision and you can’t proactively figure out what’s right for you. You don’t get the chance to speak with your network or your mentors and sense check what your next move is going to be.

 

Become comfortable with not having all the answers.

Making the next big decision will require you to be okay with not having all the answers. While you can do your research and speak to people who you trust about the decision, you won’t know the outcome until you try.

Maybe you’ll hate your next career move.
Maybe starting a business is the worst idea for you.
Maybe marrying that person will end in divorce.

It’s impossible to know the answers beforehand so you have to understand that things could go your way or they could end in disaster. This is a positive.

“You either get what you want, or you get to learn one of those life lessons that will help you become more self-aware and make you more resilient”

 

Not making that big decision is far worse.

You’ll know when you’ve reached the crossroad. Deep down you’ll know when it’s time to make that next gigantic step. Ignoring the signs is far worse than making that big decision and then having it all blow up in your face.

Failing to make that big decision ends up in regret.

“Regret slowly eats away at your confidence and your ability to be courageous”

Your head becomes full of white noise that drowns out the good ideas and clear thinking that will make you successful.

Go and meet people who are seventy years of age and older at a retirement village. Listen to their regrets and the decisions they wish they made. This will give you perspective. Continually dreaming about where that next big decision could lead is a waste of your energy.

Try something new for three months and then if it doesn’t work out it’s cool. There are thousands of opportunities and there is no one thing, no one person, no one idea, no one business that will give you everything you want.

 

Prepare and execute.

Big decisions creep up on you like a snake ready to bite you in the ass for disrupting its sunbaking session with your loud ass walking. If you don’t prepare, then you’ll get taken by surprise. Get good at writing lists on your phone.

Be prepared for the possible outcomes of your big decision and work out if there are more positives than negatives.

Once you are prepared, face into the decision and execute. Take the island and burn the boats behind you. Rip up your Plan B and execute like your life depends on it (well it does actually).

 

Be prepared to be blindsided.

That’s right. Surprises are going to happen. You can plan and still have the whole decision blow up in your face. Be prepared for stuff to come out of nowhere and risk everything you’ve put on the line.

I’m about to make my next career move and there are going to be things I can’t see. People are always going to tell you that working with them in their business is going to be amazing. They sell you the dream work-life balance, how great the people are, how you’re going to change the world.

It’s near impossible to know if they’re full of the brown stuff, but that’s okay. Trust your gut. If it all falls apart, then you get to make the next big decision far quicker than you expected.

In my case, I’ve had so many big decisions go wrong that I’ve become an expert in making big decisions and preparing for the myriad of outcomes that could transpire.

 

When would now be a good time?

That’s what I tell myself when I’m faced with a big decision. The best time to decide is right now. It will never be the right time. You’ll never have enough knowledge, you’ll never be perfect, you’ll never be ready, the economy will never be right.

So if there’s never a good time, then the best time has to be now. You can’t predict the future so you may as well focus on right now and take the wild bull that is your life by the horns.

Act with courage and now will always be a good time. Keep jumping at pretend shadows and you’ll never make a decision.

 

Failing to make decisions is what’s stopping you from moving forward.

If you feel you’re not where you want to be or you’re unhappy with any part of your life, it’s because you haven’t made the big decisions.

You’re fat? Change your diet and go to the gym.
You’re broke? Learn to control your spending.
You’re unhappy? Decide to stop focusing on yourself and focus on others.
You’re poor? Go on the Internet and find ways to make extra money.

There’s always an answer to your problems. The answer is always to make the next big decision with courage. The answer is always to believe in yourself. Everything will work out for the best. Trust me.

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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23 Comments

23 Comments

  1. Camilla Hallstrom

    Jan 11, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    Great article, Maria!

    I couldn’t agree more that becoming an entrepreneur requires you to go way beyond your comfort zone. It might be temporarily uncomfortable but the payoff is amazing 🙂

    • Maria Stenvinkel

      Jan 11, 2016 at 3:29 pm

      Thanks Camilla!

      Yes, you are so right. Well said. Got to keep our eyes on the prize 🙂

  2. Judy Parsons

    Jan 8, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    My inner voice is Cissy. She’s afraid of everything. We’re going to have some good conversations from now on.

  3. Nicki Lee

    Dec 29, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    Love your advice about talking to the monkey! “Thanks for looking out for me, but don’t worry. I’ve got this under control.” I’m going to try it today.

  4. akash

    Dec 29, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    Great article maria. I am really impressed with your writing skills.

    • Maria Stenvinkel

      Dec 30, 2015 at 12:34 pm

      Thanks a lot! You just put a BIG smile on my face.

      Have a great day!
      Maria

  5. Laura J. Tong

    Dec 27, 2015 at 10:44 am

    This so totally sums up that split of voices in my head that argue so often! Thank you for these great strategies.

    • Maria Stenvinkel

      Dec 30, 2015 at 12:33 pm

      You’re so right Laura. Thank you for your comment and have a great day! 🙂

  6. Ann

    Dec 25, 2015 at 8:01 am

    Hi Maria,

    You’re post is spot on, our thoughts can make or break us…the posts has great points on how to make it work.

  7. Tim Denning

    Dec 20, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    Maria thank you for sharing this advice. While I have been able to get the monkey off my back in recent times, I still find the chatter can be an issue. I will definitely use tip number two to try and settle this down in times of need. Thank you again for taking the time to write this piece.

    • Maria Stenvinkel

      Dec 21, 2015 at 9:38 am

      Hi Tim,

      Thanks for your comment and kind words!

      I’m happy to hear that, I hope it calms your monkey 😉

      Cheers,
      Maria

  8. Mike Harrington

    Dec 20, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    Ha-ha, love the monkey analogy.

    So true, as well. Our thoughts are truly the most powerful force in creating either the life of our dreams OR the life of our nightmares.

    I’m gonna go give my monkey a hug and tell him to go play in the garden now. 🙂

    • Maria Stenvinkel

      Dec 21, 2015 at 9:37 am

      Well put, Mike!

      Haha, that’ll make your monkey happy 😉

      Cheers!
      Maria

  9. Mark Tong

    Dec 20, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    Hi Maria – really helpful post, especially regards that pesky monkey:) Thanks

  10. Blaine Wilkerson

    Dec 20, 2015 at 11:12 am

    Very cool. Most posts talk about ditching the monkey. You suggest we master it.

    Is it purely metaphorical? Or do you believe we should “master the monkey” cuz there are times we may need to use it?

    I instantly thought of Peter Gabriel’s “Shock the Monkey” and Aerosmith’s “Monkey on my back” 🙂

    • Maria Stenvinkel

      Dec 20, 2015 at 12:00 pm

      Hi Blaine,

      I believe the money (the ego) always will be a part of our life. But we decide how much. By mastering him, we can allow him work for us, instead of against us. I don’t believe he wants to lead the way, he just wants to make sure we step in and take control 🙂

      Thanks for your comment!
      Maria

    • Maria Stenvinkel

      Dec 21, 2015 at 9:35 am

      Hi Blaine,

      Thanks for your comment!

      I believe that the monkey (the ego) always will be a part of our life. Our job is to stop making it work against us, and instead, allow it to work for us. Ditching it might work, but that usually just ends up with the noise getting louder. So, not really sustainable (plus it makes you feel pretty insane when you think one thing and then do another). ) Instead of dismissing it and pushing it away, I believe it’s way more powerful to actually allow it to be there. To acknowledge it and learn how to master it.

      Cheers!
      Maria

  11. Benjamin Worika

    Dec 20, 2015 at 6:42 am

    Thanks Maria, for this truly insightful and action oriented piece.
    I think the greatest challenge, to taming the Monkey, is getting to “Detachment” most folks have come to a state where the Monkeys voice “Cloaks” their own voice and they erroneously believe that “The Monkey is Me”
    Exercises that aid the detachment process would go a long way…I especially love the visualizing part of patting the Monkeys head.
    Love your piece, you just won a heart in Nigeria.
    Cheers.

    • Maria Stenvinkel

      Dec 20, 2015 at 11:23 am

      Hi Benjamin,

      Thanks a lot for your very nice comment!

      I couldn’t agree more. It’s so easy to believe that we are our thoughts. And it’s such a relief to realize that they simply are thoughts – not the truth or who we are.

      Again, thanks for your last sentence. It made my day and warmed my heart 🙂

      Cheers,
      Maria

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Success Advice

Never Forget Where You Can From.

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Last week, my mentor and friend Joel Brown, asked me to speak at one of his Circle Of Influence, Mastermind sessions.

What I thought would be a routine call with me sharing blogging tips, turned into a mini pep talk. I want to share the same advice with you because I know it can help you.

That advice is this: Never forget where you came from.

 

We all start somewhere.

On the mastermind call, I told the story of how I was a spoilt brat that had come to a crossroads in life. I was searching for what was next when I met Joel Brown for the first time in Perth. I’d followed his blog, Addicted2Success, for many years after a friend of a friend, Dave Nelson, introduced me to it.

Through a series of strange events, I started writing inspiring content for Joel’s blog. This was peculiar because I hated writing and saw myself as useless with the English language. None the less, I just got started with no plan in mind.

My online following through Addicted2Success soon became much larger than I expected. I started writing for other websites but always made sure Addicted2Success was at the center of everything.

 

Why acknowledge the source of your success?

Because without it you’d have nothing. Without being grateful for the good fortune you have been given, you’d become someone who thinks they did it all on their own.

None of us did it alone. We all had help whether we admit it or not. Without Joel’s help, I’d be nowhere and inspiring nobody.

That’s why every podcast interview I do, every guest post I do, I never forget where I came from.

 

It doesn’t matter what you start with.

I shared a story on the mastermind call that is not well known. Joel started his now infamous blog by writing other people’s ideas in his own voice and adding his thoughts to it.

“He didn’t start as some enlightened genius: he started with nothing”

He to came from nowhere and had help. A man named Jordan Belfort and another man named Tony Robbins inspired him. They were the catalyst for him reaching hundreds of millions of people through his content and blog.

Just like me, he also never forgets where he came from. He also points back to these early influences as being how he got his big break.

The secret to every successful person is they never forget where they came from.

They never forget what it was like to be broke. They never forget how bad their talent was in the beginning. They never forget how much they hated their 9-5 job.

“By not forgetting where you came from, you ensure you never go backward. You ensure you always remain grateful and humble so you can keep doing what you love”

 

Loyalty is never forgotten.

Sure I’ve had many opportunities to forget where I came from. I could produce content for any website I want yet I still remain loyal to the cause, and the people who helped me. This loyalty is never forgotten. When an opportunity comes up that is in your field, these people your loyal to remember you.

Loyalty is so rare and that’s why it’s not forgotten. The opportunities you’re missing may be caused by the fact that you’re not building in-depth, loyal relationships with people who’ve helped and mentored you.

 

Pay it forward.

Remembering where you came from is not enough. Once you reach some level of success, you must pay it forward. Otherwise, it’s a one-way street and your ego takes over. Great mentors like Joel have taught me that leaders breed more inspirational leaders.

If you’ve had your chance in the spotlight, help others get theirs. You don’t need to spend that much of your free time either. There are a few people I mentor and it’s mostly done through short email messages. It takes me no time at all. The growth these mentees’ have received has impressed me.

Seeing them grow has allowed me to grow at the same time. Their growth keeps me focused on the idea that any of us can achieve phenomenal results.

 

Where you came from is the inspiration.

Only seeing the success stops all of us from pursuing our own passions. When you share where you’ve come from, you show us how incredibly straightforward it can be. Success looks complicated until we see where our heroes started.

It’s how people get their big break that gives us the strategies and tools to do the same. You may think where you’ve come from isn’t that crucial: It is.

We need to see the tipping point in your success to see the same in our own success. Your beginning has more golden nuggets than you could possibly ever imagine and it’s your duty to share them with us. It’s your duty to duplicate your success in others.

It’s your duty to pay it forward and never forget where you came from.

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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7 Radical Productivity Hacks You Should Implement Into Your Daily Routine

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productivity hack

When your productivity goes up, you get more stuff done, and when you get more stuff done, you feel a lot more accomplished. Even better, you get closer to your goals, you enjoy more success, and you feel a lot happier. Additionally, the huge, stress-inducing to-do list gets a whole lot shorter! If it were that simple, though, you wouldn’t be reading this.

The truth is that productivity evades a lot of us for different reasons. There are people who are insanely productive, and then there are people who claim small victories when they manage to get out of bed before noon.

What separates us? Most of the time, the pain of making a start outweighs the pleasure of getting stuff done. When this happens, you need to adjust your mindset — which I will show you how to do.

These are 7 productivity hacks anyone can add to their daily routine which will turbocharge your week:

1. Shrink that to-do list

First things first, you’ve got to shrink that to-do list. A huge to-do list makes us feel stressed and pressured. Sometimes, we don’t start because of the amount of stuff we have to do. Write down a list of all your tasks and separate them into three categories: High value, semi-value and no value.

Find a way to ditch or delegate the least valuable stuff, and then go through the tasks that would offer your life some value (but not loads) if you completed them. Are there any of these you can ditch? If so, ditch ‘em — or delegate them.

Cutting down your to-do list so that you’re only focusing on tasks that add value to your life, work, and your close ones, is a sure fire way of firing up your productivity levels. However, make sure to evaluate the least important tasks correctly before ditching them — sometimes there are things that you just have to do because no one else will.

2. Start saying no to people

Interestingly, even the most productive people on the planet struggle with saying no sometimes. Serial entrepreneur and author Tim Ferriss recently spoke to Gary Vaynerchuk about this, and the core of what he says is true: Saying no to people matters a lot. When you stop feeling an obligation to help people and realize that saying no doesn’t make you a bad person, you suddenly have so much more time on your hands.

Saying no to people isn’t being mean. It’s simply a case of asserting yourself and letting people know what you will and won’t do. It’s about defining your boundaries and standing up for your right to be happy. Some people will think you’re being mean, but you’ve just got to deal with this.

Put yourself first when possible. Don’t feel a need to take on other people’s burdens or project their frustration and neediness onto you. You’ve already got too much of your own stuff to deal with.

Of course, there are times when you should say yes. But if there is something you really don’t want to do, have no time to do, and have no obligation to do, then don’t do it. And, no, you’re not allowed to give a “maybe” response. Just say “Sorry, can’t do it” and move on.

“Say no to everything, so you can say yes to the one thing.” – Richie Norton

3. Eat that frog already

This is a great tip I first heard from Brian Tracy, but it’s based on a famous Mark Twain quote: “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, eat the biggest one first.”

Eating frogs sounds icky and disgusting. Why would anyone want to do that?! What Twain and Tracy mean is that we all have tasks we don’t look forward to. We associate more pain with doing the task than not doing it, and so we keep putting it off.

The problem is that the horrible task won’t just go away. We have to eat the frog at some point, and knowing this causes us more stress and worry. As such, it’s much better to eat the frog in the morning because it’s rewarding to get on with your day knowing that the most difficult task has already been completed.

In other words, do the hardest task first in the AM. All of a sudden, you’ll have a song in your heart because the rest of the day doesn’t look so bad.

4. Keep your “Why” in mind at all times

Discovering what motivates us helps to keep us on track with our goals. What’s the real reason you don’t stay productive? Perhaps you were super productive last Tuesday, but decided to be lazy on Wednesday and Thursday.

A lot of us are like this. We experience a major high where we get lots of stuff done and make a Facebook post about being productive, before lying in bed all of the next day.

It’s usually because we don’t have a strong enough why. Higher purposes and goals are so important for sustained productivity, otherwise, we’ll just ask ourselves, “What’s the point? Why are we working so hard when we could just be chilling?” Define your “Why” for yourself once and for all. If you know why you want to do stuff and keep reminding yourself of it, you’ll be much more motivated to stay on track.

5. Take a 20 minute nap each day

The late afternoon tiredness is real. However, rather than call it quits at 6 PM because your focus is dwindling, take a nap so that you can go for longer. Anyone who isn’t a napper might raise an eyebrow at this, but that’s okay. However, from now on you should consider joining the 20 Minute Nap Club (it’s free).

Studies have shown that a brief cat nap boosts short-term alertness. If you put your head down for 20 minutes during the afternoon, you get to restore your energy levels so that you can get more stuff down without losing focus. If you are still not convinced then start with a 20-minute relaxing meditation. This works, I swear.

6. Wake up early

You’ll need a nap if you wake up early. As well as having the time to get more stuff done, waking up early also gives you a psychological boost. While everyone else is still in bed snoozing, you’re up and being productive. From experience, that feels great, and it gives you an edge. Night owls, fret not: even 15 minutes earlier tomorrow will do the trick.

“Morning is an important time of day, because how you spend your morning can often tell you what kind of day you are going to have.” – Lemony Snicket

7. Work weekends

Technically, this is one for the weekends, but it still counts. Few people, especially those who work 9-5, want to be told that they should be working weekends. But the thing is that, if you see the weekend as precious time where you refuse to do any sort of work whatsoever because sports/cocktails/friends/family/tequila comes first, your tasks really will start to pile up.

Chill time on the weekend is important, and it’s super important that you connect with friends and family, but don’t be a massive stickler on this. If you’ve got a two-hour window on Sunday where all you’ll be doing is lying on the sofa or catching up on a box set, use this time to get some stuff done. You’ll feel productive, and it will save you a major headache during the week.

These are seven radical productivity hacks you should implement into your daily routine. Some of them will seem hard at first, but no one said being productive was easy and that’s the reason many of us fail at it! However, the more often you incorporate these into your daily routine, the easier things will become.

Have any radical tips of your own? Share them in the comment section above!

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The Absolute No No’s Of Social Media: Break These And Everybody Tunes Out.

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Everyone talks about what to do on social media. No one talks about the things that don’t work. What not to do is where the recipe for success on social media lies.

I’ve spent the last 12 months getting more engagement on social media than ever so that I can spread more good in the world.

Here is my absolute list of no no’s for social media:

 

Too much self-promotion.

“Here’s a selfie with the Alibaba founder.”

“Here’s me at blah blah blah exhibition.”

“Here’s me taking a break after working so hard.”

This nonsense doesn’t work. It’s all about you and it comes across as self-promotion. I still want you to share photos of inspirational people you met. I still want you to talk about taking a break and the places you’ve visited. I still want you to share events you attend.

There’s a subtle difference though – share the lessons and value these experiences gave you rather than sharing your ego’s proximity to them.

“Make your social media posts about how you can help and add value rather than putting your name on everything and trying to sound important”

 

Tagging people without permission.

Ever seen one of those posts where there are twenty names at the bottom that are tagged?

Ever wondered why you’re tagged in someone’s post who you’ve never met?

This careless tagging occurs because the originator wants to reach more people. They think by tagging strangers with lots of followers, they’ll reach more people and get more attention for their ego.

“Tagging without permission is rude and doesn’t work”

I want you to tag people and reach more people. I want you to do it with respect. How?

Reach out and tell the person you’re going to tag them first and why the post is relevant to their audience. Don’t be lazy and tag them because they’ll do nothing and most likely unfollow you. Also, don’t overdo it. Aim to tag three people or so instead of twenty. Less is more.

 

Linking out.

If I only teach you one thing it’s this: Don’t link out.

In plain English, this means that you should avoid posting a link that takes people off the social media platform they are viewing your post on. For example, if you’re on Facebook, don’t put a link in your post that takes me to YouTube.

Always post natively.

In plain English again, post your content directly on the platform. Instead of linking to YouTube, upload the video to Facebook directly.

 

Scheduling doesn’t work as well. It’s all about live.

We’ve all used software like Buffer to schedule posts and make people think that we are content machines that write something new every 2.5 hours and then upload it at peak times of the day.

The algorithm that runs a lot of these social media platforms and decides who see’s your content has figured out the game. Live, original content that is unplanned will always get priority. Try doing things on the fly. Upload your content in real time. Better yet, create your content in real time.

 

Polished is getting old.

Joel Brown taught me this lesson. One day, he was getting ready to shoot a video in the park. He was going to get a haircut beforehand, so he looked good for the camera. Laziness took over and he decided to shoot the video on his iPhone, with messy bed hair.

This video got lots of engagement because he shot it in a moment of passion and it was unpolished.

We’ve all seen the polished YouTube videos with perfectly positioned product placement, special lighting and high definition cameras. All of this pre-preparation kills the idea and the creativity that is attached to it.

Try being raw.
Try being authentic.
Try keeping it simple.
Try to avoid the temptation of becoming a gear/technology junkie.

 

Be original (thoughts on resharing).

I get people I work with all the time saying “How do you get so many people to engage with your posts?” I then click their social media profiles and look at their own posts. Every one of them is a reshare of someone else’s content.

At least 70% of the posts you put up should be original. Just resharing someone else’s stuff is boring. Create original pieces. When you reshare, put some detail around why you liked the content and how it helped you. Make your resharing personal.

You can’t just regurgitate other people’s content and then expect to get noticed.

 

Don’t post the same piece on every social platform.

Every social platform has a different voice and different functionality. Creating one piece of content and then sharing it on every social platform doesn’t work.

For starters, focus your attention on one or two platforms. Go deep on a few social channels rather than going wide and posting on many.

 

The time of day.

Consider the time of day when you post but don’t be obsessed with it. Good content will get people sharing it regardless of when it’s posted. Great is great and the time of the day won’t change that.

With that said, early shares of your posts is important for gaining traction and getting the social platforms algorithm to let you be seen by more people. Consider avoiding times like Sunday nights when people are having family dinners and not on social media.

 

What you’re forgetting is what not to do.

So to wrap all this up, it’s what you don’t do on social media that will elevate your success to the next level. Breaking this list of no no’s will see the social media platforms you’re posting to limit your audience. Play by these rules, and you’ll have more engagement than you can poke a stick at it.

Use this engagement to do good in the world.

 

PS.

I don’t shoot videos of me driving in a Lamborghini or taking selfies with Oprah. I’m just a humble guy from Australia who’s living the dream, working hard and trying to inspire all of you to do big things, and use social media to elevate your message.

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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13 Ways I Totally Changed My Life Story And So Can You.

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In 2011 my entire life story changed. I went from having nothing and having a disgusting, toxic mindset, to changing my life story and inspiring millions online.

I don’t tell you that to brag; I tell you because if I can do it, so can you.

The reason I changed my life story is because of a website called Addicted2Success. It all started with one new opportunity that I decided not to waste.

I concluded – after hours of personal development – that if Tony Robbins, Martin Luther King and Tim Ferriss can come from the darkest of places, to change history, then so can I.

Here are the 13 super simple, easy to implement tips that can change your life story:

 

1. Look who you are surrounded by.

The people that you spend time with transfer their beliefs and mindset to you without you even realizing it. Make a list of all the people you spend time with and then put a red line through any who are toxic and bring you down.

Do a second pass through and delete anyone else that is not serving you or always complains. By the end, you should be left with the people to keep. That list will be short and that’s the whole point. You need to make room for new connections and new friends.

This exercise is harsh and so is life. Doing the difficult stuff is how you change your life story.

 

2. Become a podcast junkie.

Stop being pissed off at traffic or long waits at medical appointments. This forced spare time is a gift. The challenge is most of you don’t use it. You sit there and look at your phone rather than doing something that will alter the course of your life.

Your life story will only change when you get some new inputs and a few fresh ideas. Podcasts are the quickest way to get these free sources of inspiration. During 2011 when I went through a change in my life story, I started by doing short walks around my local neighborhood and listening to audio tapes from Tony Robbins.

His opinions and thoughts were different to everything that people around me were saying. He planted new seeds in my mind that eventually turned into massive success several years later.

“School taught me how to follow the rules; podcasts taught me how to break the rules and forget everything I thought I knew”

Podcasts disrupted my thought patterns and that’s exactly what you need too.

 

3. Start creating something online.

Building an online presence in what I loved was the start of something new. When I began sharing my message with the world, it helped me refine my thoughts and ideas. I also got to engage with lots of other people who shared their wisdom with me for free because I had given them free content.

Before I changed my life story, I was scared to create something online because I was worried I’d be judged or not good enough.

“As soon as I dropped this superman complex and started creating something online, I became comfortable in my own skin and with who I was”

The story of your life is best told online. Pick a channel (any channel, just pick one!) and then stick to it. Post on their as much as you can. Don’t hold back, be vulnerable and tell stories. This will alter the course of your life.

 

4. Turn your media habits upside down.

Take your TV and put it in the closet. Replace your daily habits of watching the news with audiobooks or podcasts. Take those endless TV shows that make you stupid and read a book instead. Most of the traditional media is negative because that’s what sells.

“Media is a business to get your attention and make money from you. Disconnect from that Ponzi Scheme and consume media that educates and transforms your life story”

Watch a documentary on Warren Buffett, listen to Oprah’s online show that interviews extraordinary people crushing their field, and see what Tim Ferriss is experimenting with on Facebook.

Just stop consuming endless amounts of information that doesn’t serve you. Focus is key and media will distract it if you don’t make the right decision.

 

5. Sell your car and buy a juicer.

That’s what Tony Robbins said in a book I read and he’s right. My life story changed when I started to have more energy. Giving my body a metaphorical injection of nutrients every morning stopped me from getting sick, and made me feel like I had just consumed 15 espressos.

 

If you need to sell your car to buy the juicer, then great. The extra energy you get from juicing will double your productivity which will give you extra income. Within a year you’ll probably have enough extra income to buy two cars. Energy is king.

 

6. Bounce your way to a new story.

For me to help you create this new life story you’re going to need even more energy. Bouncing on a trampoline gets the blood flowing and your passions started.

You feel good after bouncing (I won’t go through the science of why as Google can tell you that) and it will give you another block of time to listen to podcasts. Bounce baby bounce!

 

7. Become ruthless with negative talk.

The bloke behind you want’s to chew the fat about how bad his day was? No thanks.

Lunch lady wants to tell you how she lost money in cryptocurrency? Sorry, she’s not qualified and you got enough to think about already.

These meaningless, negative conversations are screwing with your mind. Negative people love to complain yet they forget how lucky they are to have even been born.

If someone starts a conversation with you and it’s not serving you, politely excuse yourself and make something up if you have to. Just escape like you’re stuck in Alcatraz.

“Walking away from negative conversations will teach you discipline and demonstrate to yourself that you’re in control”

 

8. You’ll never know the answer.

Racking your brain over any obstacle that’s put in your way will chew up time that you could be using to create something phenomenal. No matter how much you plan, you’ll never predict correctly the outcome of every challenge.

So if I don’t know, and if the universe can’t tell you, and your mentors can’t tell you, then don’t worry. Worrying is not going to get you anywhere. Stop getting lost in the desert with no water and take a drink from the fountain of faith. Faith that says:

“I am good enough.”
“I will find the answer.”
“I can be amazing.”

These are the answers you should seek. Believe in yourself.

 

9. See the world.

With your own two eyes. Not on social media or through your mates Instagram account. This whole “Work Till You Die Hoax” is stopping you from changing your story.

“Warren Buffett spends time every single day doing deep thinking and that’s one of the reasons he’s a billionaire”

Deep thinking happens naturally when you’re traveling. You begin to compare your surroundings at home, with the paradise you’re visiting (Notice I said paradise? That’s because the world is beautiful when you get off the couch and see it).

 

My 2011 change in circumstances all started when I got out of Melbourne and saw places I had always dreamed of. The subtle art of getting on planes and carrying suitcases through customs became a quarterly experience.

The first trip to Sydney showed me that I could fly 60 minutes and not get trapped in a storm and die in a horrible plane crash. The fear of flying subsided and the love of travel began a new page in my life story. Seeing new countries gives you inspiration and that’s exactly what you need if you’re stuck in a rut and going nowhere fast.

 

10. Quit your current job.

This one’s not straight out of one of those self-help blog posts that says we can all be rich if we quit our 9-5. That’s BS advice. There’s a good chance though that you hate your current income-producing activity known as a job.

I was at this same point in 2011 and it bugged the crap out of me. So if you really are serious about changing your life story then let’s get serious for a minute and make a decision to quit your job. The cool thing about quitting your job is that you’ll be forced to find another one (unless you don’t like eating). Urgency will motivate you to do something else.

You’ve got to where you are now based on your previous decisions and so we can’t create any change without making some new decisions. The biggest benefits will come from the hardest decisions. The more tough decisions you make in a short space of time, the greater the change in your life story.

We all get bored in our career and quitting your job is how you escape this nightmare.

 

11. Use the Internet to reach out.

The cliché of “We’re all connected” has been beaten into our head like a boxer that’s taken one too many punches to the temple. We know we can talk to anyone yet we still mingle with the same people. It’s similar to when you go to a seminar with a friend and the speaker asks you to find a partner and you pick the same person you came with.

My life changed when I backed myself and began using tools like LinkedIn to reach out to interesting people that I could create mutual value with. Out of the ten requests you send, probably half of them will be declined or ignored. The rest will probably lead to conversations.

These new conversations will demonstrate to you that anyone can be reached. Therefore, you can access the blueprint for almost any successful person’s life. Then you can copy part of those blueprints and paste bits of them on the pages of your life story.

I’ll say it again: You need new inputs and to mix with different people who won’t accept your lame excuses.

The cold reach out that transformed my life story was thanks to a man named Joel Brown. He’s why I am here today typing these words to you.

 

12. Experiment with giving.

In the early stages, I gave back through writing blog posts like this one. As my formula for life became more evolved, I started volunteering at homeless shelters. This year I’m taking it a step further and trying to impact the lives of 300 disadvantaged / victims of domestic violence.

Even if you impact only one person, that one person could become the next Mother Teresa. I’ve been like a scientist in a lab for the last five years testing the act of giving. I’ve bought cars and tech that made me happy for a short while, and then I’ve experimented with giving my money and knowledge to people who have nothing.

The second experiment has given me the most growth and fulfillment. The material things literally did nothing to change my life story. Try the act of giving. Watch it transform the story of your life!

 

13. Give up the perfection game.

Wanting people to follow the rules of how you play the game of life is sabotaging your success. No one is ever going to act the way you want them to so quit expecting this false idea to come true. Accept the fact that humans make mistakes and piss each other off.

Get used to quickly moving on from disappointments that are created by your circle of colleagues and family, and get back to reality. What’s that reality? Creating something that will be remembered long after you’re gone.

Create a blog, business, a family, a charitable cause, speech, a funny stand-up routine.

The story of your life won’t be perfect either so leave your expectations at the door and get to work showing us all what you got. You’re capable of achieving so much more than you have done to date. I want to see you double your results by getting focused and cutting out all the noise.

Life can be full of disappointment or packed with joy and happiness. The story is yours to write so get the pen out and make a decision which one will be true for you.

Go all out. Be you. Change the world.

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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