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Success Advice

How To Write Game Changing Goals In Six Easy Steps

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Goal Setting Inspirational Travel Picture

In every self-help book, you will ever read there is almost guaranteed to be a section on goal setting. Most of us, including me, seem to get this simple task wrong so I am going to attempt to address goal setting in this article.

My personal view on goal setting is that it’s been thought about and talked about way too much in the last few decades. It has become over complicated and continues to be something that we just don’t follow through on – I am very guilty of this myself.

What has been successful for me is just to cut through all the noise and develop a way of goal setting that is easy to follow, and doesn’t require hours and hours of your time. The quicker you can complete a list of your goals, the more likely you are not to overthink them.

 

Why should you write goals???

This realisation has taken a long time to come to me so I want to keep this part very straightforward so that anyone can understand it. The reason you need to write goals is because goals will assist you in improving your present-moment reality.

Properly written goals will help to inspire, create hope and fill you with desire. Anything that can make you feel better and help you re-focus in the present moment is going to be highly useful for you on your own journey of success.

So, every time you write a goal you are actually inspiring yourself in the present moment as well as assisting yourself to take action right now instead of tomorrow!

Below are the six easy steps that I follow to write game-changing goals. Feel free to use some or all of them when you write your own.

 

1. Try to aim for less than ten

I have found that when you start attempting to write more than ten goals for a year, you begin to tell yourself that what you want is too hard. The key to writing goals is not to write every single goal down but to concentrate your effort on your major goals.

Don’t let small goals confuse you. Often when people think of their smaller goals they are actually referring to tasks that are required to be completed as part of an overarching major goal. Find another way to track these if you can.

Recently, when I completed my goal list, I ended up with seven major goals. These seven were refined down from the initial nine that I came up with. It’s important to cull a few if they are things that are not a priority or might happen beyond the next twelve months.

 

2. Link them to your vision

One of the goals I wrote down on my list was to join Toastmasters and learn public speaking. After I had reread the goal, I realised that public speaking is not part of my vision, and it’s an ugly phrase that the majority of us are scared of.

So, what I advise to fix these types of issues is to write the goal down and mention your vision in the description. For me, this meant rewriting the goal to say “complete three months of Toastmasters, so I can start to inspire people with my talks.”

By adding in the part about inspiring people, I am directly linking the goal to a section of my vision which is to inspire the world through my work. For your own goals, you absolutely must do this.

If you look at your goals each day, and they don’t inspire you or make you feel passionate, then you will never follow through on them. You wouldn’t want that now would you?

 

3. Set a deadline

Notice how this step mentions deadline and not timeframe? That’s because a deadline has to be met but a timeframe is negotiable.

As you write your goals down you should have a separate column that says deadline. Next to each goal you should write a date that this goal must be completed by. Once all your goals are written down go back and look at the dates. Make sure the date you have put for each goal is realistic and as accurate as you can.

Then, check to see when deadlines fall. Try to have at least one goal expiring every three months (obviously this will depend on the size of the goal). This creates the feeling of progress which all of us humans crave, and it will subconsciously keep you motivated.

If all of your goals expire on the same date or in the same month, then you should rewrite your deadlines again.

Tim Denning - Hopes And Dreams Quote
 

4. Write them down in the right state of mind

Writing your goals down when you are in an angry or frustrated state will usually result in an uninspiring list of goals. Before you set aside some time to write your goals down, watch an inspiring movie, read something inspiring or do some exercise with high energy music.

This easy step will allow you to get the most out of writing your goals down. Ideally, you want to feel like nothing can stop you and everything in your life is moving in the direction you want it too. We don’t feel like this all the time, but we can create this feeling if we want too.

Try this and see the difference it has on the way your goals are worded. The movie I recommend watching before a goal setting session is Remember The Titans and the book I would recommend is The Motivation Manifesto if you’re stuck for ideas.

 

5. Keep them in your wallet

When you have finished writing your goals down, you need to display them somewhere where you won’t forget them. It’s useless going through a goal setting exercise if you never look at them again.

As soon as you have written your goals down you should print them out on a small piece of paper and keep them in your wallet. If you want to go the extra mile (and a lot of you will), then print your goals out and stick them on your desk, bedside table, and anywhere else that you will see them constantly.

This simple task helps you remember what’s important and why you should ignore distractions as much as possible that don’t relate to these goals. I have found that goals create focus and for anyone like me who constantly gets distracted, it keeps you in control.

 

6. Create accountability with some key people

The moment I finished writing down my own goals I emailed them to some key people. The reason why I recommend you do the same is that by doing this, you create leverage. It means that there other people out there who you have told what you have committed too.

The other major benefit is not so obvious and let me give you an example. One of the goals I wrote down was to meet a certain Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist named Bill Tai. The reason I included him was that I wanted the people reading my goals to know what’s important to me.

When key people around you know what’s important to you, they also keep a lookout for ways they can help you to achieve your goals (especially if that key person is fundamental to one of your goals). So far, I haven’t had luck in meeting Bill Tai yet, but as long as I keep telling people that this is important to me, eventually this goal will be realised.

Now, I just used this very point and demonstrated it to you. How? By telling all of you that this is my goal on the off chance that maybe one of you knows Bill Tai. Maybe it will help me achieve the goal or maybe it won’t say but what it will do is increase the chances of me achieving this goal.

It’s time to create some leverage. Share your goals in the comments section below or with me directly on my Facebook and Twitter.

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

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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Praveen Regmi

    Jan 11, 2016 at 4:38 am

    I found the term goal setting too confusing previously. This gave a great insight. Definitely helpful for me. Thanks a lot Tim.

    • Tim Denning

      Jan 11, 2016 at 10:20 am

      Praveen I am glad the article was helpful for you. Thanks for reading!

  2. Wes Graham

    Jan 7, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    Thank you for such a wise and alturistic coontribution. I was going to list the wonderful portions of your content, but it was too long. Everything you contribute is a blessing to me and obviously others as well. I am new to goal setting and have only generally had goals and met them with great success and not so great. I have read a couple of goal setting specific books and systems, but your six easy steps clearly are game changing. You clearly are an asset to your clients and those who are fortunate enough to have come across your free content.

    Thank you, Tim. You have blessed me considerably. I know now that I don’t have to read much more, or search for a system or tool to attain my goals in a game-changing way. I look forward to reading more and connecting with you on twitter and facebook and email.
    To your success,
    Wes Graham

    • Tim Denning

      Jan 9, 2016 at 1:37 am

      Wes thank you for your very generous comments I don;t think anyone has been that positive about my work so far. There loads of books on goals but I find they are over-complicated. I hope these steps will help you to reach the success you deserve. Thanks again for reading.

  3. Emna

    Jan 7, 2016 at 8:27 am

    Great post. Thank you.

    • Tim Denning

      Jan 9, 2016 at 1:38 am

      Cheers Emma.

  4. Addicted 2 The Grind

    Jan 6, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    Tim this is another great read

    • Tim Denning

      Jan 7, 2016 at 8:12 am

      Thanks guys!

  5. Peter

    Jan 6, 2016 at 4:07 am

    Thank you for another fine article.

    I stopped using the term “deadline” years ago. To me it’s a very negative and depressing term. I like to stay positive, and so I set “goal times” instead of “deadlines”.

    Best wishes

    • Tim Denning

      Jan 6, 2016 at 7:25 am

      Cheers Peter for the nice words. I agree about the word deadline although I still use it on some rare occasions 🙂

  6. Toño

    Jan 6, 2016 at 3:27 am

    This very article is incredibly right on time for me, once again. I think the law of attraction somehow works here, as one of the youtubers I watch love to say, ‘your vibe attract your tribe’!

    I have set, and eventually achieved goals just at edge of the year and was very delighted & satisfied. I did move into a new place and paid all my debts, and my job is constantly improving as well as my attitude towards it. Howevere for the last few days I felt empty inside, like something was missing. I realized it is so called ‘post-achivement’ syndrome when after you got what you wanted you feel depressed. So now I need new goals to pursue. Goals, that will drives me to better version of myself.

    But for the last year I thought about goals setting in a different way. More often I felt huge pressure instead of inspiration by writting them off and you said it quite precisely, it’s been talked and thought about way too much and more you think of that process, more overwhelmed you become. I smiled at your line here ‘.. and for anyone like me who constantly gets distracted ..’ as it’s the same with me. I still working on my ability to focus, but reading Tony Robbins ‘Awaken the Giant Within’ has helped me find a ground.

    Thus, back to setting your goals, I think it is necessary, it may be or feel like that, but I begin to like the idea to go with the flow, naturally. You will need attributes to do so, like discipline, courage, your morning/daily routine, passion, motivation and clear idea (I like your quote in the picture by the way!) or at least to follow passion (and if you don’t have one – keep looking). I think, once again, you need to find a balance here, because there moments in your life when you just have to let it all go and be yourself, live your life and enjoy the very present moment, because not a single one of us guaranteed to have tomorrow. What do you think of it, Tim?

    Oh, and your last point about benefits of accountability and telling key people (or just good people, or all people) is actually pretty awesome. I’ve never thought about it that way as I love to keep my dreams and goals to myself, but hey, you cannot control everything, right? I love the idea to allow the universe work for you by telling your goals which may help to attract the exact circumstances and help you on your journey. That is just wonderful! Yesterday I shared some of ideas with people around me and it felt good.

    Thank you so much once again Tim, I enjoyed this morning reading and get my mind stretched and ready for the new and awesome day, my appreciation for your work and passion!

    ps: one more thing, I wake up today still under impression of movie you suggested, ‘The Blind Side’. Watched it last night and was speechless for a while. It touched so many aspects withing me that I barely had all my attention to think about all of it. Such inspiriational movie that gave me something I cannot explain yet. I going yo follow your advise and watch those movies you talked about in this article, as I am quite passionate about it. I am very grateful!

    Have a great day and stay well!

    • Tim Denning

      Jan 6, 2016 at 7:25 am

      Toño great to hear from you as always. Congrats on getting your life back together. You have come so far since you initially started some of the articles I posted so congrats. In relation to goals, I am in the same space as you and needing to challenge myself. That’s why I am going to learn the art of public speaking so wish me luck!

      I think you are spot on about living in the moment and you are clearly doing that my friend. Glad you watched The Blind Side it’s one of my favourite movies. Everyone I have told to watch it has said the same thing as you.

      Keep doing what you’re doing and been inspired. You will get where you want to go I am sure of it.

      • Toño

        Jan 7, 2016 at 3:09 am

        Thank you, Tim, it is always a pleasure to read your replies. I am still far away from the dream life I desire and lots of work ahead. I am still having my high & lows every day and my life is like rollercoaster. But sometimes I think I just cannot be satisfied and always want more..

        The art of public speaking is a great carft and actually I would love to hear from you one day your message, your pasion and your ideas, so I wish you all the good luck to achieve it! Even though I think we create our own luck, some magic help from the Universe will be beneficial 🙂

        Thank you for all kind words and support, I appreciate it greatly and it means a lot as additional motivation for me!

  7. Naman Kumar

    Jan 5, 2016 at 10:10 am

    Great article.
    Thanks for explaining and sharing the way one can fix up his goals in a better way.

    • Tim Denning

      Jan 5, 2016 at 9:12 pm

      No problem Naman. Hopefully there are a few tools you can use when writing your own goals. Cheers

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Success Advice

How to Use the “Small Victories” Method to Avoid Burning Out

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Have you had a goal you begin to work toward only to run out of steam? Do you know what you need to do to get to where you want to be, but the necessary work feels overwhelming? “Small Victories” is the method to eliminate procrastination, dramatically increase productivity, and to make every part of the process not just bearable, but fun.

The journey from novice to rockstar is filled with a thousand small victories. Each victory increases your skill, your confidence, your positive expectation, and is ultimately the only way to really do something truly great.

Imagine you have a band in which everything was fun- fun to practice, fun to get together and create. The first victory was writing your first song. Afterwards, some friends come to watch you practice, and they cheer you on giving you another boost. Then you play your first show, do your first band photoshoot, and create a band website. After all this hard work, you record your first song as a band, have your first major show, your first tour, and develop the best thing so far which are your first true fans.

Each victory gives you the energy to get to the next victory

If you told the kid, it was going to take ten years of work to get to the end goal, without celebrating the small important victories in between, it would be illogical for any human to hunker down and work 10 years to get there. So how is this relevant? When starting a business or following your dream, incentivizing yourself with small victories will make you far more likely to make you continue on to your end goal. Without it, your willpower only lasts so long.

The small victories are the positive fuel to make it to the next milestone. You create small victories by finding a way to interact with people as a way to have an impact even if it’s small. For example, when people try to start businesses, often they try to get everything together before selling their first product. It could be months or years of work before they are at the level of their competition.

I am a series of small victories and large defeats and I am as amazed as any other that I have gotten from there to here. Charles Bukowski

Say you’re creating a bakery, it could be a year before anyone tried your first baked good if you go the traditional brick and mortar route without any small victories. This comes with great financial cost and energy. You also lose out on the opportunity to improve your craft, your products, your image and your connections with others who can take your business to greater heights.

However, if you go with the method of small victories instead, you would start by creating a cult following amongst friends and family with your decadent treats. Next, you would bake them at home and sell them at local events, farmers markets, and maybe even at local businesses. This can give you the opportunity to create a strong local and social media following well before the opening of your first actual store.

Work and effort without small victories lead to burnout

We need to build rewards along the way into our endeavors, because this provides encouragement to keep going. Each moment is a separate gift, an experience where something was fulfilled, where something was accomplished, no matter how small, and being a recluse until the grand unveiling will have so many missed opportunities along the way.

Small victories are also an opportunity to develop your skills, get feedback – positive or constructive – and considerably increase opportunities. Small victories increase your credibility by showing a track record and the trajectory you’re on by increasing your ability to attract investors and partners.

“Success is rarely the result of one swell swoop, but more often the culmination of many, many small victories.” – Joseph M. Marshall III

The idea of celebrating small victories can be applied to any subject. In weight loss, for instance, seeing pounds melt away will give you the positive mindset to continue and even improve the choices you make to enhance your physique. Sharing your success with others will bring in the element of positive encouragement. It can also motivate others to come with you on the journey. Your small victories can inspire others to start their own journey.

What small victory did you achieve today which will bring you a step closer to your goals? Let us know below!

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Success Advice

Setting Up Your Mindset to Win: How to Achieve Success in Your Life and Career

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How did Usain Bolt become so successful? He seems superhuman, doesn’t he? Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Paul Bocuse… all these people have something special in them. They became the stars in their niche. Have you ever wondered why? No, they do not have any superhuman capacity. They are simple people, just like you and I. They, too, had flaws. Their mindset, however, is what set them apart. If you want to win in your career and in life, generally, you need the mindset of a winner. You have to think like a true champion, so you’ll overcome your flaws and emphasize your strengths.

So how do you set the mindset to win? Here are 5 suggestions to get you started:

1. When You Can’t Achieve a Goal, Get Help

Have you heard of Paul Bocuse? He was one of the most famous chefs of his time, and he was named as the chef of the century. This is a good example of the point we’re about to make. Even the best are not almighty, they have to learn from someone. Paul Bocuse learned from another famous chef. He constantly worked to improve his skills and he learned along the way.

The lesson is: you cannot do everything on your own. This is the first thing you have to do: learn and find the right person to learn from. Are there any books by the champions of your chosen niche? Get them and read them. Can you get a mentor? Of course, you can! Start connecting with people on LinkedIn. Your alumni network is a great source of mentorship opportunities, too. Don’t be afraid to reach out and say that you want to learn from someone.   

“Don’t let the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning.” – Robert Kiyosaki

2. Work on Your Resilience

Here’s the most important life lesson you’ll ever learn: things don’t always go as expected. When you strive towards a particular goal, the chances of failure are real. When Usain Bolt started training, he wasn’t the fastest man on Earth. He worked towards that goal and he was resilient enough to go through all the obstacles he faced. We couldn’t possibly assume that such success came easily for him.

The journey towards a successful life is not a straight line, it’s a bumpy road full of difficulties and setbacks. The average person would give up along the way, but a champion would stay resilient. It’s the mindset that makes a true difference. The good news is that the more obstacles you overcome, the more resilient you become.

3. Focus

What do you want in your career and in your life? This is not something that can go with the flow. You cannot simply live your life one random day after another and expect great things to come your way. You have to focus on particular goals and work your way up there.

Ken Chenault, CEO of American Express, has a nice tip for everyone who wants to become successful: “Dedicate yourself to a core set of values. Without them, you will never be able to find personal fulfillment, and you will never be able to lead effectively.”

Simple and straight to the point, right? So set your goals! Find that major goal you want to achieve and break it up into smaller achievements. Then, start accomplishing things on a daily basis. You need to devote your life to achieving that goal.

4. Be Bold

Steve Jobs wasn’t focused on getting an average job, achieving average results and living an average life. He had big dreams and bold goals. All successful people have something in common at the starting point, a bold dream. Being afraid to dream big is a huge mistake. Set your imagination free! What’s the biggest thing you’d like to achieve? If you believe in yourself and you start working towards that goal one day after another, you’ll unlock your true potential. You’ll realize that not many things are impossible. You can achieve much more than you believe you’re capable of.

“If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.” – Steve Jobs

5. If You Fall, Get Back Up

Have you ever wondered why Richard Branson became so successful? The answer is simple: never gave up, no matter what hardships he faced. His first company didn’t make money. The test flight of Virgin Atlantic Airlines almost crashed because of a flock of birds. Virgin Cola, his soda company, failed miserably. He almost got himself killed during his trip around the world. Richard Branson has done many things, but do you know what he never did? Give up. No matter how serious the failure was, he always found the strength to get back up on his feet and carry on with life. That’s the mindset of a champion!

Never allow yourself to get disappointed from failure. Do not fall back into average just because your big dream doesn’t seem to be working. Failure is not a big deal. It’s just part of the journey, and everyone has to face it. If you carry on, you’ll find success along the way.

So you want to be a champion? You better start working towards that goal without wasting any time. The first step is changing your mindset. Hopefully, the tips above inspired you to do that.

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Success Advice

3 Important Principles You Need to Know That All Billionaires Have in Common

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I’ve always been highly interested in the similarities amongst the world’s wealthiest. Their habits, successes, mindset, and failures have fascinated me. The journey to great prosperity can seem overwhelming, but if you apply success principles to any endeavor you can quickly and efficiently overcome challenges and expand.

Michael J. Gabrielli, founder of WeRunAds, has spent hundreds of hours and tens of thousands of dollars studying billionaires and their habits. Michael has also studied over 2000 different billionaires and from this experience he’s found three principles they all had in common.

Here are the 3 principles the billionaires all had in common:

1. Be in a rapid growth industry at the right time

Timing is so important. Billionaires know when the time is right to enter a market. Most billionaires do not enter first or second into a market because of the inherent risks involved. Many billionaires let the pioneers pave the way and then leverage the knowledge gained to innovate and optimize in order to create something that works.

The key is to find an industry that is soon to take off. Stepping in at the right time is important. Let’s take a real life example that is known all too well– the founder and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg. When he entered the scene, the idea of a social network was moderately known, but it was still not quite predicted to be the monster it is today.

Others like Friendster, Myspace, etc. had made some headway into this fledgeling industry and then Facebook entered leveraging the knowledge and expertise gained from the early pioneers. Zuckerberg saw the huge potential of social networking, took what was done previously and made it better.

He is presently worth over $66 Billion and the company has surpassed the 2 billion users mark with 1.4 billion using the platform daily. Not surprisingly, many billionaires were not the first to pioneer the industry they would later find success in. They came in at the right moment, learned from the mistakes and triumphs of their predecessors, and made a lasting final product.

Here’s a practical 3 question exercise you can do to judge if you have the right timing with your current venture:

  1. Look at your industry and say—is this brand new?
  2. Am I trying to invent something that doesn’t exist?
  3. Am I too late to the party?

2. Position yourself better

In addition to finding the right industry and getting in at the right time, billionaires position themselves in the best way. They provide the solution to the need and they think outside the box to do it. Optimal positioning is a commonality amongst billionaires. For example, during the California Gold Rush, people rushed to mine for the gold itself blinded by the promise of large profits.

However, it turned out that Sam Brannan had the better idea for how to position himself for success. He knew the chances of finding gold were risky, so instead he committed to a sure thing. He manufactured the tools that were needed by all the miners to mine gold. As each new miner migrated West, they were happily met by Brannan and his company who were ready and waiting to sell these new hopefuls the shovels and tools they’d need to strike it rich.

Digging for gold seemed to be the most profitable route, however, greater returns were yielded in the supplying of materials required to mine for gold! A good company that also illustrates this concept is Microsoft. They did not seek to create their own computer, but the software that computers would run on. Most people mistakenly think they have to “go for the gold” to attain wealth, but it’s evident in history that selling the necessary tools to the gold miners can be far more profitable.

The two questions you need to ask yourself to see how you could position yourself correctly are, “What industries will need the supplies that I could provide? And, “Am I following the trend instead of innovating?

“Big shots are only little shots that keep shooting. I can see your sun rise out of obscurity. Keep shooting” – Ikechukwu Joseph

3. Take calculated risks

Most people choose the safe bet that is secure, however, this is not common among billionaires. Billionaires take big calculated risks in order to propel themselves to higher levels of influence and success. The most important thing to note here is that while to others the risks seem big—to billionaires, they are calculated.Risk and Calculated Risk are not the same. Calculated risk is measured and well-thought-out. Risk is impulsive and immeasurable. Understanding the difference between the two is a commonality among billionaires. The world’s most prominent figures have at some point in their lives disagreed with the ordinary and took a shot at the unknown. Proper calculation and clever thinking certainly accompanied the bold moves they made in their careers.

Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, is a great example of this. He had grown up in poverty and made his way out to earn a comfortable wage as an executive at a company that manufactured coffeemakers.

“Risk more than others think safe.” – Howard Schultz

He risked it all when he discovered a small coffee shop named “Starbucks” in Seattle that prompted him to quit his job and step out to create a company that was inspired by the Italian coffee culture and personal relationship people could have with their coffee.

Of the 242 people he spoke to, 217 said no to investing with him. Despite the discouragement, lack of agreement, and investment, Schultz kept pushing on. Fast forward to present time, and Starbucks’ is a massive success. Strong intuition and unshakeable belief is common among high achievers. Many successful billionaires risked their safe jobs, personal assets, and even their reputation to take calculated risks that they knew would pay off huge in the end.

The questions you need to ask yourself now are, “where can I take a calculated risk? Am I holding back when I should be going forward? What tangible steps can I take today to move forward?”

These 3 success principles are staple elements that are common among many billionaires. Now, there are more principles that you must discover and implement in order to become a billionaire. Work diligently and do all that can be done each day. Be inquisitive and study those that you wish to emulate.

Which one of these principles do you need to work on more this year? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

One Question You Must Answer to Ensure Personal Success

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Lack of vision

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

2. Lack of goals

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

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

3. You don’t believe you can get there

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

4. You are lazy

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

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

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

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Life

5 Counterintuitive Ways to Make the Most Out of Your Time

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Do you think you’ll accomplish everything you want to before you die? Do you sometimes worry you won’t reach your goals? Do you have a plan to get what you want? If you’re like most people, you often have trouble squeezing in everything you want to do during the day, week or month, let alone everything you might want to accomplish in a lifetime. Updates from friends on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat come in to your phone at all hours of the day and night. Invites to activities, events, festivals, etc. blow up your phone on a regular basis. (more…)

McVal Osborne is the author of Start Up your Life: Why we don’t know what we want, and how to set goals that really matter. McVal writes about motivation, decision making, and strategic thinking. He graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2011 with a degree in Spanish, and has since worked as a market researcher and business consultant in Washington D.C., New York City and London. You can reach him on Twitter @mcval or on IG @mcvaliant.

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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Praveen Regmi

    Jan 11, 2016 at 4:38 am

    I found the term goal setting too confusing previously. This gave a great insight. Definitely helpful for me. Thanks a lot Tim.

    • Tim Denning

      Jan 11, 2016 at 10:20 am

      Praveen I am glad the article was helpful for you. Thanks for reading!

  2. Wes Graham

    Jan 7, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    Thank you for such a wise and alturistic coontribution. I was going to list the wonderful portions of your content, but it was too long. Everything you contribute is a blessing to me and obviously others as well. I am new to goal setting and have only generally had goals and met them with great success and not so great. I have read a couple of goal setting specific books and systems, but your six easy steps clearly are game changing. You clearly are an asset to your clients and those who are fortunate enough to have come across your free content.

    Thank you, Tim. You have blessed me considerably. I know now that I don’t have to read much more, or search for a system or tool to attain my goals in a game-changing way. I look forward to reading more and connecting with you on twitter and facebook and email.
    To your success,
    Wes Graham

    • Tim Denning

      Jan 9, 2016 at 1:37 am

      Wes thank you for your very generous comments I don;t think anyone has been that positive about my work so far. There loads of books on goals but I find they are over-complicated. I hope these steps will help you to reach the success you deserve. Thanks again for reading.

  3. Emna

    Jan 7, 2016 at 8:27 am

    Great post. Thank you.

    • Tim Denning

      Jan 9, 2016 at 1:38 am

      Cheers Emma.

  4. Addicted 2 The Grind

    Jan 6, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    Tim this is another great read

    • Tim Denning

      Jan 7, 2016 at 8:12 am

      Thanks guys!

  5. Peter

    Jan 6, 2016 at 4:07 am

    Thank you for another fine article.

    I stopped using the term “deadline” years ago. To me it’s a very negative and depressing term. I like to stay positive, and so I set “goal times” instead of “deadlines”.

    Best wishes

    • Tim Denning

      Jan 6, 2016 at 7:25 am

      Cheers Peter for the nice words. I agree about the word deadline although I still use it on some rare occasions 🙂

  6. Toño

    Jan 6, 2016 at 3:27 am

    This very article is incredibly right on time for me, once again. I think the law of attraction somehow works here, as one of the youtubers I watch love to say, ‘your vibe attract your tribe’!

    I have set, and eventually achieved goals just at edge of the year and was very delighted & satisfied. I did move into a new place and paid all my debts, and my job is constantly improving as well as my attitude towards it. Howevere for the last few days I felt empty inside, like something was missing. I realized it is so called ‘post-achivement’ syndrome when after you got what you wanted you feel depressed. So now I need new goals to pursue. Goals, that will drives me to better version of myself.

    But for the last year I thought about goals setting in a different way. More often I felt huge pressure instead of inspiration by writting them off and you said it quite precisely, it’s been talked and thought about way too much and more you think of that process, more overwhelmed you become. I smiled at your line here ‘.. and for anyone like me who constantly gets distracted ..’ as it’s the same with me. I still working on my ability to focus, but reading Tony Robbins ‘Awaken the Giant Within’ has helped me find a ground.

    Thus, back to setting your goals, I think it is necessary, it may be or feel like that, but I begin to like the idea to go with the flow, naturally. You will need attributes to do so, like discipline, courage, your morning/daily routine, passion, motivation and clear idea (I like your quote in the picture by the way!) or at least to follow passion (and if you don’t have one – keep looking). I think, once again, you need to find a balance here, because there moments in your life when you just have to let it all go and be yourself, live your life and enjoy the very present moment, because not a single one of us guaranteed to have tomorrow. What do you think of it, Tim?

    Oh, and your last point about benefits of accountability and telling key people (or just good people, or all people) is actually pretty awesome. I’ve never thought about it that way as I love to keep my dreams and goals to myself, but hey, you cannot control everything, right? I love the idea to allow the universe work for you by telling your goals which may help to attract the exact circumstances and help you on your journey. That is just wonderful! Yesterday I shared some of ideas with people around me and it felt good.

    Thank you so much once again Tim, I enjoyed this morning reading and get my mind stretched and ready for the new and awesome day, my appreciation for your work and passion!

    ps: one more thing, I wake up today still under impression of movie you suggested, ‘The Blind Side’. Watched it last night and was speechless for a while. It touched so many aspects withing me that I barely had all my attention to think about all of it. Such inspiriational movie that gave me something I cannot explain yet. I going yo follow your advise and watch those movies you talked about in this article, as I am quite passionate about it. I am very grateful!

    Have a great day and stay well!

    • Tim Denning

      Jan 6, 2016 at 7:25 am

      Toño great to hear from you as always. Congrats on getting your life back together. You have come so far since you initially started some of the articles I posted so congrats. In relation to goals, I am in the same space as you and needing to challenge myself. That’s why I am going to learn the art of public speaking so wish me luck!

      I think you are spot on about living in the moment and you are clearly doing that my friend. Glad you watched The Blind Side it’s one of my favourite movies. Everyone I have told to watch it has said the same thing as you.

      Keep doing what you’re doing and been inspired. You will get where you want to go I am sure of it.

      • Toño

        Jan 7, 2016 at 3:09 am

        Thank you, Tim, it is always a pleasure to read your replies. I am still far away from the dream life I desire and lots of work ahead. I am still having my high & lows every day and my life is like rollercoaster. But sometimes I think I just cannot be satisfied and always want more..

        The art of public speaking is a great carft and actually I would love to hear from you one day your message, your pasion and your ideas, so I wish you all the good luck to achieve it! Even though I think we create our own luck, some magic help from the Universe will be beneficial 🙂

        Thank you for all kind words and support, I appreciate it greatly and it means a lot as additional motivation for me!

  7. Naman Kumar

    Jan 5, 2016 at 10:10 am

    Great article.
    Thanks for explaining and sharing the way one can fix up his goals in a better way.

    • Tim Denning

      Jan 5, 2016 at 9:12 pm

      No problem Naman. Hopefully there are a few tools you can use when writing your own goals. Cheers

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Success Advice

How to Use the “Small Victories” Method to Avoid Burning Out

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Have you had a goal you begin to work toward only to run out of steam? Do you know what you need to do to get to where you want to be, but the necessary work feels overwhelming? “Small Victories” is the method to eliminate procrastination, dramatically increase productivity, and to make every part of the process not just bearable, but fun.

The journey from novice to rockstar is filled with a thousand small victories. Each victory increases your skill, your confidence, your positive expectation, and is ultimately the only way to really do something truly great.

Imagine you have a band in which everything was fun- fun to practice, fun to get together and create. The first victory was writing your first song. Afterwards, some friends come to watch you practice, and they cheer you on giving you another boost. Then you play your first show, do your first band photoshoot, and create a band website. After all this hard work, you record your first song as a band, have your first major show, your first tour, and develop the best thing so far which are your first true fans.

Each victory gives you the energy to get to the next victory

If you told the kid, it was going to take ten years of work to get to the end goal, without celebrating the small important victories in between, it would be illogical for any human to hunker down and work 10 years to get there. So how is this relevant? When starting a business or following your dream, incentivizing yourself with small victories will make you far more likely to make you continue on to your end goal. Without it, your willpower only lasts so long.

The small victories are the positive fuel to make it to the next milestone. You create small victories by finding a way to interact with people as a way to have an impact even if it’s small. For example, when people try to start businesses, often they try to get everything together before selling their first product. It could be months or years of work before they are at the level of their competition.

I am a series of small victories and large defeats and I am as amazed as any other that I have gotten from there to here. Charles Bukowski

Say you’re creating a bakery, it could be a year before anyone tried your first baked good if you go the traditional brick and mortar route without any small victories. This comes with great financial cost and energy. You also lose out on the opportunity to improve your craft, your products, your image and your connections with others who can take your business to greater heights.

However, if you go with the method of small victories instead, you would start by creating a cult following amongst friends and family with your decadent treats. Next, you would bake them at home and sell them at local events, farmers markets, and maybe even at local businesses. This can give you the opportunity to create a strong local and social media following well before the opening of your first actual store.

Work and effort without small victories lead to burnout

We need to build rewards along the way into our endeavors, because this provides encouragement to keep going. Each moment is a separate gift, an experience where something was fulfilled, where something was accomplished, no matter how small, and being a recluse until the grand unveiling will have so many missed opportunities along the way.

Small victories are also an opportunity to develop your skills, get feedback – positive or constructive – and considerably increase opportunities. Small victories increase your credibility by showing a track record and the trajectory you’re on by increasing your ability to attract investors and partners.

“Success is rarely the result of one swell swoop, but more often the culmination of many, many small victories.” – Joseph M. Marshall III

The idea of celebrating small victories can be applied to any subject. In weight loss, for instance, seeing pounds melt away will give you the positive mindset to continue and even improve the choices you make to enhance your physique. Sharing your success with others will bring in the element of positive encouragement. It can also motivate others to come with you on the journey. Your small victories can inspire others to start their own journey.

What small victory did you achieve today which will bring you a step closer to your goals? Let us know below!

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Setting Up Your Mindset to Win: How to Achieve Success in Your Life and Career

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How did Usain Bolt become so successful? He seems superhuman, doesn’t he? Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Paul Bocuse… all these people have something special in them. They became the stars in their niche. Have you ever wondered why? No, they do not have any superhuman capacity. They are simple people, just like you and I. They, too, had flaws. Their mindset, however, is what set them apart. If you want to win in your career and in life, generally, you need the mindset of a winner. You have to think like a true champion, so you’ll overcome your flaws and emphasize your strengths.

So how do you set the mindset to win? Here are 5 suggestions to get you started:

1. When You Can’t Achieve a Goal, Get Help

Have you heard of Paul Bocuse? He was one of the most famous chefs of his time, and he was named as the chef of the century. This is a good example of the point we’re about to make. Even the best are not almighty, they have to learn from someone. Paul Bocuse learned from another famous chef. He constantly worked to improve his skills and he learned along the way.

The lesson is: you cannot do everything on your own. This is the first thing you have to do: learn and find the right person to learn from. Are there any books by the champions of your chosen niche? Get them and read them. Can you get a mentor? Of course, you can! Start connecting with people on LinkedIn. Your alumni network is a great source of mentorship opportunities, too. Don’t be afraid to reach out and say that you want to learn from someone.   

“Don’t let the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning.” – Robert Kiyosaki

2. Work on Your Resilience

Here’s the most important life lesson you’ll ever learn: things don’t always go as expected. When you strive towards a particular goal, the chances of failure are real. When Usain Bolt started training, he wasn’t the fastest man on Earth. He worked towards that goal and he was resilient enough to go through all the obstacles he faced. We couldn’t possibly assume that such success came easily for him.

The journey towards a successful life is not a straight line, it’s a bumpy road full of difficulties and setbacks. The average person would give up along the way, but a champion would stay resilient. It’s the mindset that makes a true difference. The good news is that the more obstacles you overcome, the more resilient you become.

3. Focus

What do you want in your career and in your life? This is not something that can go with the flow. You cannot simply live your life one random day after another and expect great things to come your way. You have to focus on particular goals and work your way up there.

Ken Chenault, CEO of American Express, has a nice tip for everyone who wants to become successful: “Dedicate yourself to a core set of values. Without them, you will never be able to find personal fulfillment, and you will never be able to lead effectively.”

Simple and straight to the point, right? So set your goals! Find that major goal you want to achieve and break it up into smaller achievements. Then, start accomplishing things on a daily basis. You need to devote your life to achieving that goal.

4. Be Bold

Steve Jobs wasn’t focused on getting an average job, achieving average results and living an average life. He had big dreams and bold goals. All successful people have something in common at the starting point, a bold dream. Being afraid to dream big is a huge mistake. Set your imagination free! What’s the biggest thing you’d like to achieve? If you believe in yourself and you start working towards that goal one day after another, you’ll unlock your true potential. You’ll realize that not many things are impossible. You can achieve much more than you believe you’re capable of.

“If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.” – Steve Jobs

5. If You Fall, Get Back Up

Have you ever wondered why Richard Branson became so successful? The answer is simple: never gave up, no matter what hardships he faced. His first company didn’t make money. The test flight of Virgin Atlantic Airlines almost crashed because of a flock of birds. Virgin Cola, his soda company, failed miserably. He almost got himself killed during his trip around the world. Richard Branson has done many things, but do you know what he never did? Give up. No matter how serious the failure was, he always found the strength to get back up on his feet and carry on with life. That’s the mindset of a champion!

Never allow yourself to get disappointed from failure. Do not fall back into average just because your big dream doesn’t seem to be working. Failure is not a big deal. It’s just part of the journey, and everyone has to face it. If you carry on, you’ll find success along the way.

So you want to be a champion? You better start working towards that goal without wasting any time. The first step is changing your mindset. Hopefully, the tips above inspired you to do that.

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3 Important Principles You Need to Know That All Billionaires Have in Common

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I’ve always been highly interested in the similarities amongst the world’s wealthiest. Their habits, successes, mindset, and failures have fascinated me. The journey to great prosperity can seem overwhelming, but if you apply success principles to any endeavor you can quickly and efficiently overcome challenges and expand.

Michael J. Gabrielli, founder of WeRunAds, has spent hundreds of hours and tens of thousands of dollars studying billionaires and their habits. Michael has also studied over 2000 different billionaires and from this experience he’s found three principles they all had in common.

Here are the 3 principles the billionaires all had in common:

1. Be in a rapid growth industry at the right time

Timing is so important. Billionaires know when the time is right to enter a market. Most billionaires do not enter first or second into a market because of the inherent risks involved. Many billionaires let the pioneers pave the way and then leverage the knowledge gained to innovate and optimize in order to create something that works.

The key is to find an industry that is soon to take off. Stepping in at the right time is important. Let’s take a real life example that is known all too well– the founder and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg. When he entered the scene, the idea of a social network was moderately known, but it was still not quite predicted to be the monster it is today.

Others like Friendster, Myspace, etc. had made some headway into this fledgeling industry and then Facebook entered leveraging the knowledge and expertise gained from the early pioneers. Zuckerberg saw the huge potential of social networking, took what was done previously and made it better.

He is presently worth over $66 Billion and the company has surpassed the 2 billion users mark with 1.4 billion using the platform daily. Not surprisingly, many billionaires were not the first to pioneer the industry they would later find success in. They came in at the right moment, learned from the mistakes and triumphs of their predecessors, and made a lasting final product.

Here’s a practical 3 question exercise you can do to judge if you have the right timing with your current venture:

  1. Look at your industry and say—is this brand new?
  2. Am I trying to invent something that doesn’t exist?
  3. Am I too late to the party?

2. Position yourself better

In addition to finding the right industry and getting in at the right time, billionaires position themselves in the best way. They provide the solution to the need and they think outside the box to do it. Optimal positioning is a commonality amongst billionaires. For example, during the California Gold Rush, people rushed to mine for the gold itself blinded by the promise of large profits.

However, it turned out that Sam Brannan had the better idea for how to position himself for success. He knew the chances of finding gold were risky, so instead he committed to a sure thing. He manufactured the tools that were needed by all the miners to mine gold. As each new miner migrated West, they were happily met by Brannan and his company who were ready and waiting to sell these new hopefuls the shovels and tools they’d need to strike it rich.

Digging for gold seemed to be the most profitable route, however, greater returns were yielded in the supplying of materials required to mine for gold! A good company that also illustrates this concept is Microsoft. They did not seek to create their own computer, but the software that computers would run on. Most people mistakenly think they have to “go for the gold” to attain wealth, but it’s evident in history that selling the necessary tools to the gold miners can be far more profitable.

The two questions you need to ask yourself to see how you could position yourself correctly are, “What industries will need the supplies that I could provide? And, “Am I following the trend instead of innovating?

“Big shots are only little shots that keep shooting. I can see your sun rise out of obscurity. Keep shooting” – Ikechukwu Joseph

3. Take calculated risks

Most people choose the safe bet that is secure, however, this is not common among billionaires. Billionaires take big calculated risks in order to propel themselves to higher levels of influence and success. The most important thing to note here is that while to others the risks seem big—to billionaires, they are calculated.Risk and Calculated Risk are not the same. Calculated risk is measured and well-thought-out. Risk is impulsive and immeasurable. Understanding the difference between the two is a commonality among billionaires. The world’s most prominent figures have at some point in their lives disagreed with the ordinary and took a shot at the unknown. Proper calculation and clever thinking certainly accompanied the bold moves they made in their careers.

Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, is a great example of this. He had grown up in poverty and made his way out to earn a comfortable wage as an executive at a company that manufactured coffeemakers.

“Risk more than others think safe.” – Howard Schultz

He risked it all when he discovered a small coffee shop named “Starbucks” in Seattle that prompted him to quit his job and step out to create a company that was inspired by the Italian coffee culture and personal relationship people could have with their coffee.

Of the 242 people he spoke to, 217 said no to investing with him. Despite the discouragement, lack of agreement, and investment, Schultz kept pushing on. Fast forward to present time, and Starbucks’ is a massive success. Strong intuition and unshakeable belief is common among high achievers. Many successful billionaires risked their safe jobs, personal assets, and even their reputation to take calculated risks that they knew would pay off huge in the end.

The questions you need to ask yourself now are, “where can I take a calculated risk? Am I holding back when I should be going forward? What tangible steps can I take today to move forward?”

These 3 success principles are staple elements that are common among many billionaires. Now, there are more principles that you must discover and implement in order to become a billionaire. Work diligently and do all that can be done each day. Be inquisitive and study those that you wish to emulate.

Which one of these principles do you need to work on more this year? Let us know in the comments below!

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One Question You Must Answer to Ensure Personal Success

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Lack of vision

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

2. Lack of goals

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

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

3. You don’t believe you can get there

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

4. You are lazy

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

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

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

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