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The 10 Golden Rules for Success According to Michael Phelps Swimming Coach

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Bob Bowman
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Michael Phelps is a legendary swimmer who won 82 medals in his career, including 23 medals over the course of 3 Olympics. His coach, Bob Bowman, released a book in 2016 with many of the secrets to performance and excellence fueling the success of his many gold-medal winning athletes, including Phelps. He shares with us the method in his book, “The Golden Rules: 10 Steps to World Class Excellence in Your Life and Work”, a series of rules you can apply in your own life to achieve personal fulfillment and excellence.

Here are the 10 golden rules for success from Bob Bowman:

1. Have a vision

You need a vision of where you want to go, what you want to do and who you want to be someday down the road. Think creatively about what it is you want out of life and where it is you want to go.”

Dream, fantasize and allow yourself to suspend your beliefs to envision the life you want. Put yours visions in writing. Dream creatively of the future you want and be open to lots of possibilities. Remember the vision should excite you and make you jump out of bed every morning to achieve it.

2. Be All-In

The right attitude matters which even Bob agrees. He says, “The right attitude, the All-In Attitude, can turn long shots into legends.” Use positive energy to go after your dreams. Double down on what it is you want, allowing no room for doubts or negativity. Bring enthusiasm to whatever you are pursuing. Be enthusiastic, take enthusiastic action and be enthusiastic about your vision. Be committed to forging ahead when you feel like getting out.

“We were not chasing medals…we were chasing excellence.” – Bob Bowman

3. Be a risk taker

According to Bob, “Risks provide the fuel needed to get on the road to… wherever you want to go.” Get out of your comfort zone and push yourself. When you don’t take risks and challenge yourself, you stagnate and get complacent. Turn risk-taking into a habit so you propel yourself forward to achieve your dreams.

The more risks you take, the bigger your achievements will be. When you have an all-in attitude, it will become easier to take risks in pursuit of your vision. Practice taking risks and build up your risk taking ability.  

4. Have a game plan

Build yourself a foundation to achieve your vision. You do this by creating a game plan, or strategy on how to get there, for yourself. The extent of your game plan has to be how big your vision is. Make your game plan specific, well-thought out and ambitious. It’s a roadmap to help you get from where you are today to where you’d like to be. Work backwards from the grand plan that you have plotting out key dates, smaller goals and stepping stones to help you achieve your vision.

5. Live the vision daily

You have to incorporate the above qualities every day of your life and keep your mission at the top of your daily agenda. “Success becomes routine when you have a routine,” Bowman writes.  Create daily habits that push you towards your life vision and mission.

Map out the day and try to stick to a daily schedule that pushes you forward. Go about the task at hand professionally, and set high standards for yourself. The more consistent to your daily goal work, the more likely you’ll succeed. Keep doing something daily but also ratchet up the pressure and challenge yourself to do a little more daily.

6. Have a team

Have a collection of personal coaches on your side. Bob says, “Look at the big picture and ask yourself, ‘Where can I be better and who can help me get better?’” Search for people who can help you, ask around, get referrals to help you build up a team of confidantes and supporters. Look for “like-minded” people who will be in the trenches with you when you face challenges and obstacles. Avoid people who will bring you down.

7. Stay motivated over time

For you to stick to things in the long run, you’ll need passion. You’ll need motivation to keep going day after day since you might lose sometimes. To stay passionate and motivated, you might have to “fake” your interest until the sparks reignites the fire in you.

Change up your routine to make things significant each day. Add exercises, outings, educational events, fun or celebrations to help yourself or your team feel more motivated. Use morale-boosting strategies to boost morale and encourage people to keep going.

“You see, achieving intermediary, progressive goals on a regular basis produces everyday excellence – and keeps your game plan aligned with your vision.” – Bob Bowman

8. Use adversity as an advantage

Do not let one failure get in the way of your dream. Instead, use that failure to help propel you forward. Nurture resilience. When roadblocks come up, find alternative solutions, find ways to get through or simply to cope in that moment.

Practice being in uncomfortable situations. Use tests, pressure, and rehearsals to practice putting yourself in uncertain and uncomfortable scenarios. Let go of disappointments and failures to move on to the next thing. As said from the coach himself, “Take something from failure and use it to move your vision along.”

9. Perform with confidence

As you pursue each progressive goal, you will have more experience and continue building your confidence. Use each experience you have as a learning experience so you get better and more proficient at what you do. Stay focused on the task at hand and only take on what’s in front of you, not what’s in the future.

Focusing on the task, not multitasking, is the key to success. As Bob says, “When you face a pressure situation, stay true to yourself and the plan. Remain in the present and do what you have worked weeks and months to perfect. If you follow this prescription, the desired results should come.”

10. Celebrate success

Use celebrations as a marker of your growth and how far you are progressing. It’s important to acknowledge your achievements on your path to achieving your vision. Even if you haven’t achieved the results you want, celebrate the results since the Method strategies which Bowman professes is about the process of growth, not the end achievement.

Along the way, you might have gaffes, blunders and setbacks as well. When they happen, you could feel disappointment and a sense that your dreams have disappeared. Coach Bowman’s advice to you is this, “Keep moving forward, like a swimmer with practiced strokes, and let the wisdom you’ve gained over time guide you. Your destination may be closer than you think.”

Which one of these principles will you implement and how? Let us know in the comments below!

Vishnu Virtues is the writer behind the popular personal growth and spirituality blog for people starting over in life. You can find his weekly blog posts at www.vishnusvirtues.com and his Amazon books on love and relationships here.

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Success Advice

5 Questions You Need to Ask Yourself to Stay Cool in Difficult Situations

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how to stay calm
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We all face challenging situations at work and in our personal lives, yet few of us deal with these experiences in a systematic way. We encounter obnoxious bosses, rude customers, and infuriating family members on a daily basis, yet we often don’t articulate the best way of dealing with these situations. Over time, these strains on our emotions and our mental resources take their toll, so it’s important to find ways to deal with challenging experiences efficiently and with the least about of work.

What do you do when you find yourself becoming overwhelmed or frustrated? Do you lash out or disengage from those around you? If you’re like me, you struggle to hold back your strong reactions when you experience a setback or a challenge.

Here are 5 questions you can ask yourself to help slow down your reactive brain and assess your current situation so that you can respond more effectively to challenging situations:

1. Why do I feel triggered by this situation?

Start by asking yourself a broad question to assess the current situation. Why do you feel the way you do about this situation? This question allows you to take a brief pause to examine why you feel the way you do about a specific situation. Asking why is powerful because it forces you to consider your own feelings and emotions more closely. Sometimes, you may not even be fully aware that you are feeling stressed, angry, or threatened by a particular situation. Take the time to recognise those feelings and ask yourself why you are feeling them.

“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” – Henry Ford

2. What would I be thinking if I was in the other person’s shoes right now?

Often times, emotional stress or strain comes from an interaction with someone else – be it a work colleague, a client, or a loved one. Most of our lives we live in a bubble of “me”. We constantly think about our situation as it relates to ourselves, rather than those around us. Ask yourself what the other person is thinking in this situation, and why they might be acting the way they are. Maybe they aren’t lashing out at you because they’re rude, rather, they may be worried about their own job or career.

3. How would an outsider look at what is going on right now?

Take one more step back and look at the situation from the perspective of an outsider. If the situation is too close to your heart, chances are that putting yourself in the other person’s shoes may prove impossible. Instead, consider how an outsider would react to this situation if they were in the room with you. The outsider’s point of view will be more well rounded, and you will have the opportunity to judge whether your reactions are being influenced by the situation itself or by unconscious biases, thoughts, worries or concerns.

4. If I wasn’t tired, hungry, grumpy, sad, how would I react to this same experience?

Chances are, if you still feel the need to react or lash out in a forceful way, you may be experiencing a weakened mental state brought on by being tired, hungry, grumpy, sad, etc. By asking yourself how you might react if you were well rested and clear headed, you will give yourself a few much needed seconds to slow down and cool off before reacting emotionally. Just by realising that your mental state may be compromised, you will give yourself valuable insight before overreacting to a situation.

“I didn’t get there by wishing for it or hoping for it, but by working for it.” – Estée Lauder

5. In a week’s time, what would your best self think about this situation?

By thinking about how your “best self” would react to a certain situation in a week’s time, you are doing two things. First, you are shifting your perspective to think about the problem through the lens of your “best self”. This means understanding that you are coming to this situation from a state that is less than perfect, and you must adjust your expectations. Second, you are distancing yourself from the situation by forcing your mind to consider what things would look like in a week’s time. By doing both of these things, you are ensuring you react in a balanced way.

The more you practice asking yourself these questions in times of stress, the better you will be at reacting to any challenges that come your way.

Are there any questions you ask yourself to frame problems or challenges differently?

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3 Ways to Uncover Your Blind Spots and Live Life on Your Terms

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Do you ever start to say something you know you shouldn’t, but cannot help to say it anyway? How about a specific relationship breaking down again, despite employing an array of differing strategies? I’m talking about the times where it seems no matter what you do, history has no choice but to repeat itself.

This, ladies and gentlemen, can be attributed to our blind spots. The areas where our ways of thinking hide the key to unlocking our full potential. We assert we’ve looked everywhere, but we cannot look where we cannot see. These barriers to awareness cannot be distinguished with the same thinking that got us there. A new mind and a new heart must be fashioned to break old, embedded patterns. For a life we truly love, we must take to the hills for a new vantage point.

Here are three essentials to uncovering your blind spots and living life on your terms:

1. Deal With Your Ego

Your ego, more than anything, is a protective device. Fashioned from the most primitive parts of your brain, such as the amygdala, your ego puts up a wall as you make mistakes or fall victim to your weaknesses. This component of your psyche, essentially your false self, makes it increasingly difficult for you to address your shortcomings logically and riddle them with emotion.

Because your survival and safety is paramount, responsibility is dodged and allocated elsewhere. Worse off, these areas of the brain are not accessible to our conscious awareness.

The saving grace however, is the part of the brain responsible for logic and reason. This higher-level, non-reactive consciousness can guide you in the right direction if you allow it. Understanding you have a war going on in your mind is the first step — with the second being, who you allow to win.

Your ego is insecure, underdeveloped, irrational, and painfully selfish. Calling it out when it attempts to run wild is up to you. Ironically, because it will stop at nothing to ensure your superficial needs — attention, love, praise, connection, etc. — are met, it typically jeopardizes them by being too attached. It’s a question of what you want the most versus what you want right now. You’ve got Jekyll and Hyde at odds in your head — who are you going to give the hammer to?

“Check your ego at the door. The ego can be the great success inhibitor. It can kill opportunities, and it can kill success.” – Dwayne Johnson

2. Question Everything

Success is not final. What works in producing results may not work for as long as we want to believe. With certain approaches having produced results for us in the past, we’re naturally inclined to lean into a sunk-cost bias and ride them out ignorantly. No one wants to give up their beliefs. Where we are in our lives right now is because of a sum of the choices we’ve made based on those beliefs.

Of the same token, what got you here won’t get you there. This is where many people struggle to stay in the game and begin to suffer — helplessness sets in when it appears all you know won’t make any difference. The only way to keep the door open to possibility is through inquiry.

By constantly questioning the approach, the mindset, the attitude and the focus on which you employ, you sift through the options objectively until you land on what you choose to try. Even if you’re wrong the first time, you simply go back to the drawing board and try something else. It gets messy when we over-identify with what we think. You can have strong opinions, but go easy on the Kung Fu grip.

3. Seek Feedback From Thoughtful People

This step is listed last for obvious reasons — it’s the most difficult. Putting yourself out there in the open for potential harm is no easy feat. When you realize the reward far outweighs the risk however, you’ll act every time.

Find a few close confidants whose opinions you value. Maybe they’ve accomplished some success in their lives or maybe they just know how to strike a chord with you. Set up regular conversations with them to provide feedback on what you’re up to in life, assuring them your feelings are suspended throughout the sit-down. Create a safe space for them to provide honest, thoughtful feedback for you to look at from a third person perspective and make a decision on whether or not you’re going to add it to your arsenal. Remember, they can see what you cannot.

This isn’t an open forum for someone to trash you. It’s simply a training ground for you to be with the perceptions that you’ve created for yourself through your attitudes and actions. By honoring and valuing others’ opinions, you’ll be one step closer to getting in the minds and hearts of the people you wish to influence most — as well as one step further away from your ego.

“One of the greatest values of mentors is the ability to see ahead what others cannot see and to help them navigate a course to their destination.” John C. Maxwell

People can’t appreciate what they don’t know is there. There’s more than one lens in life and you just happen to possess one of the billions. Life isn’t the way you see it, but merely the way it is. Staying grounded in situations and seeing your emotions for what they are (i.e. a cry for help) will allow you to continue to heighten your perspective and gain a panoramic view.

You don’t access your peripherals without stretching your sight. Try these three techniques today to take a break from informational learning and discover for yourself what’s been in your way this whole time.

How do you discover what’s holding you back from achieving success in your life? Do you have any techniques? If so, please let us know in the comments below!

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7 of the Best Time Management Tips From the Master of Success, Jim Rohn

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Becoming a master at time management will allow you to design and improve every aspect of your life. Jim Rohn was one of the most influential speakers when it came to this. His tips and tricks are very actionable and revive a sense of motivation in millions of people to date. Managing your time meticulously is easier said than done but just like anything great you will ever accomplish, the hardest step is to begin. Try not to just read through these steps but to put them into action.

Here are 7 time management tips from Jim Rohn:

1. If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan

Designing your life is a nice way of saying ‘don’t let life happen to you, make your life happen’. A ship that leaves its dock without a planned destination will wonder the seas aimlessly and guess what, it will never get to where it was meant to be. Every day is an accumulation of time, therefore, managing your time is managing your day. This will lead to having your life planned out, day by day until you realize you have achieved most, if not all, of your goals.

2. Think on paper

Write down your goals and dreams. This might be a document, app, or the old-fashioned pen to paper, but this is not an option. There is something special that happens when we jot down our goals, because the mind begins to see them as actionable steps not just dreams.

Most people say they want to be successful and dream about being great, but have never written it out the steps to get there. Meticulously plan and schedule your life in real time on paper. This will lead to the next step which is planning out how you will achieve your goals.

3. When you don’t control your time, your time will control you

Have you ever experienced a day in which you did not plan out your time and before you knew it, you had gotten nothing done? This is how most people’s lives go by. They have no specific plan for their time and therefore for their lives. Your choices determine the person you end up being. See every moment as an opportunity to savor the time and make the most of it.. If you control how you spend your time, you can control your successes and failures.

Days are expensive. When you spend a day you have one less day to spend. So make sure you spend each one wisely.” – Jim Rohn

4. If it’s easy to do, it’s easy to NOT do

We kid ourselves, ‘Ah, that’s simple, why should I plan it out, I’ll just do it!’ This has proven not to work time and time again. Simply because if it’s easy to do, it is easy not to do. We are a product of the things we continuously do.

The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy is structured around a simple principle. Every single action, no matter how small, if done over and over again will compound to a much larger product. The small things we ignore and don’t do because we never plan for them will eventually accumulate to some big action we now have to take which will be much harder.

5. Without a sense of urgency, desire loses value

If you don’t plan out your time you are not putting a timeline on your goals. Having deadlines creates a sense of urgency. This is why we start to work on a month-long project around the last week to the deadline. The pressure makes it seem dire and will act as a type of motivator to completing and accomplishing our goals. Put a deadline on your dreams, otherwise they are just that, dreams.

6. Study the art of setting goals

Every day, write your goals fresh without focusing on yesterday. This is a good way to weed out non-priorities and refocus on your true goals. Focus is something lacking in today’s society. Don’t fall ‘victim’ to this, so review your goals on a daily basis to reinforce them and make realizing them practical. Derek Mills suggests a Daily Standards system where we don’t necessarily work towards a long time goal but focus on daily goals which eventually turn into long-term successes.

Either you run the day or the day runs you.” – Jim Rohn

7. We all have the same amount of time in a day  

Start where you are, it doesn’t matter where you are now. 90% of millionaires started out broke. The key to success is taking a lot of action on a great idea and the only way to do this is to manage your time. Plan around every single action, no matter how simple. You can turn your life around at any given moment. The best way to do this is by time management.

Start simple by having a notebook where you write down how you spend every hour of your time. If you surf the web for 2 hours, write it down. If it takes you 30 minutes to stalk your favourite celebrity, write it down. Everything you do, for one week, write it down. In the end, you will see where most of your time goes.

You will also start to resent having to write down that you spent one hour looking at pictures of a car you could only afford if you actually used that time wisely. This is a great place to start, from there you can follow the many time management tips available to you and see what works best for you.

How do you manage your time to get the best results? Let us know in the comments below!

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8 Ways to Help You Stay Productive Even When You Think You Can’t

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To succeed big, you must work your butt off. I just read a book about the routines of billionaires and some of history]s most successful figures, and every single one of them were super productive…and you should be too. If you want better things in your life, then you must stay productive regardless of how lazy you feel or how hard a task seems to you.  

Here are 8 ways to help you stay productive even when you think you can’t:

1. Calm the HALT down

HALT is an acronym for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired. These four moments are when you`re emotionally at your lowest, and all you can think of is bad food and a bed. Ever notice that you eat more on the days you feel tired or lonely? A great productivity tip is to take notice of when you’re at the HALT, and take some time to cool down before getting back to work. Take some time off, call a friend, take a nap, see a movie or eat something refreshing. The key is to realize that what you’re feeling is normal and to be okay with it. Once you feel better, you can get back to work.

2. Take tasks to their simplest form

“Open Gmail + type client’s email address.” This is a task I scheduled on my calendar yesterday. I was negotiating new rates with a client and because asking for a raise will always be intimidating, no matter how often you do it, I chose only to schedule the first step (Open my Gmail, then type in the client`s email), and let the ball roll from there.

I’ve been using this anti-procrastination trick for a decade, and it has never failed me. And in case you`re wondering, I wrote the email and scheduled a Zoom meeting. He said no, and we broke off. But I’m overbooked and happy.

Whenever I’m intimidated by a task, I look for the easiest thing I can do about it, and I do it. Then I look for the new “easiest” thing to do, and again I do it. Then again and again until I`m invested in the task that I no longer want to quit until I finish it.

“Being rich is having money; being wealthy is having time.” – Margaret Bonnano

3. Put everything on a calendar

I couldn`t believe how much working with a calendar was awesome until I tried it. The best thing about using a calendar is that it puts time constraints on everything you do. Each task has its start and end time which makes you feel like a player before a scheduled game; you can`t reschedule the game or delay it, so you`d better pull your things together and get back to work.

4. Take no emails when you feel bad

Avoid taking emails early in the morning or when you feel bad. It`s part of the anti-HALT process discussed shortly. Emails usually come with an unexpected change in plans and sometimes worse —take an angry customer for example. So, it makes sense that you schedule emails two or three hours after you wake up to stay in a perfect mood for productivity. It`s what many productivity experts do, including Tim Ferris.

5. Eat your frog first

Eat the frog is a term made by Brian Tracy, the Steph Curry of productivity. The frog is the most significant, most difficult and the most important task on your calendar and to Tracy, that should be the first thing you do every morning. Guess what? Eating the frog does work, and if you make a habit of it, you`ll be extraordinarily productive because of the amount of motivation it will give you. It`s like passing the first exam of the semester, which happens to be the toughest. All the following will be pieces of cake to you.

6. Try the power pose

Anytime you feel unproductive, stand up, breathe deeply and take the power pose or do some stretches. Changing your physiology can improve your mood, that`s what science discovered many years ago. If your time allows, you can hit the gym or go for a run. The pump you feel, and the accomplishment will regulate your mood and motivate you to take more action.

“To think is easy. To act is difficult. To act as one thinks is the most difficult.” – Johann Wolfgang Von Goeth

7. Work from the most boring place you can find

A tiny mean room with just a bed, a bible and a deck of cards – that`s where Maya Angelou, the great poet, did her daily writing. “I can’t work in a pretty surrounding. It throws me,” she said in an interview. Maybe this can work for you too. My first ever writing coach gave this tip in my quest to make writing a daily habit. He told me the reason why most writers, including Angelou, love to write in dull environments is that it rushes them to get things done. It makes sense because if you can`t stand the place, then you`d do anything to get out.

8. Every now and then, Work only when you feel like working

When it comes to productivity, Georges Simenon is the man. He lived 86 years and wrote over 425 novels while only working two weeks every other month. As Mason Currey wrote about him in his book, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work, “The Belgian-French novelist worked in intense bursts of literary activity, each lasting two or three weeks, separated by weeks or months of no writing at all. Even during his productive weeks, Simenon didn’t write for very long each day” writes Currey.

Realizing that all you need is three hours of hard work before calling it a day may motivate you.  It`s bizarre, uncommon, and may not work for you, but maybe it does. So, why not give it a try? Pick a day this week, or the next, and set to work for only three, undistracted, hours then try to squeeze out every ounce of creativity and work in those hours. Once the clock ticks, take the rest of the day off.

How do you stay productive? Comment below!

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5 Questions You Need to Ask Yourself to Stay Cool in Difficult Situations

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We all face challenging situations at work and in our personal lives, yet few of us deal with these experiences in a systematic way. We encounter obnoxious bosses, rude customers, and infuriating family members on a daily basis, yet we often don’t articulate the best way of dealing with these situations. Over time, these strains on our emotions and our mental resources take their toll, so it’s important to find ways to deal with challenging experiences efficiently and with the least about of work. (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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Success Advice

5 Questions You Need to Ask Yourself to Stay Cool in Difficult Situations

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how to stay calm
Image Credit: Unsplash

We all face challenging situations at work and in our personal lives, yet few of us deal with these experiences in a systematic way. We encounter obnoxious bosses, rude customers, and infuriating family members on a daily basis, yet we often don’t articulate the best way of dealing with these situations. Over time, these strains on our emotions and our mental resources take their toll, so it’s important to find ways to deal with challenging experiences efficiently and with the least about of work.

What do you do when you find yourself becoming overwhelmed or frustrated? Do you lash out or disengage from those around you? If you’re like me, you struggle to hold back your strong reactions when you experience a setback or a challenge.

Here are 5 questions you can ask yourself to help slow down your reactive brain and assess your current situation so that you can respond more effectively to challenging situations:

1. Why do I feel triggered by this situation?

Start by asking yourself a broad question to assess the current situation. Why do you feel the way you do about this situation? This question allows you to take a brief pause to examine why you feel the way you do about a specific situation. Asking why is powerful because it forces you to consider your own feelings and emotions more closely. Sometimes, you may not even be fully aware that you are feeling stressed, angry, or threatened by a particular situation. Take the time to recognise those feelings and ask yourself why you are feeling them.

“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” – Henry Ford

2. What would I be thinking if I was in the other person’s shoes right now?

Often times, emotional stress or strain comes from an interaction with someone else – be it a work colleague, a client, or a loved one. Most of our lives we live in a bubble of “me”. We constantly think about our situation as it relates to ourselves, rather than those around us. Ask yourself what the other person is thinking in this situation, and why they might be acting the way they are. Maybe they aren’t lashing out at you because they’re rude, rather, they may be worried about their own job or career.

3. How would an outsider look at what is going on right now?

Take one more step back and look at the situation from the perspective of an outsider. If the situation is too close to your heart, chances are that putting yourself in the other person’s shoes may prove impossible. Instead, consider how an outsider would react to this situation if they were in the room with you. The outsider’s point of view will be more well rounded, and you will have the opportunity to judge whether your reactions are being influenced by the situation itself or by unconscious biases, thoughts, worries or concerns.

4. If I wasn’t tired, hungry, grumpy, sad, how would I react to this same experience?

Chances are, if you still feel the need to react or lash out in a forceful way, you may be experiencing a weakened mental state brought on by being tired, hungry, grumpy, sad, etc. By asking yourself how you might react if you were well rested and clear headed, you will give yourself a few much needed seconds to slow down and cool off before reacting emotionally. Just by realising that your mental state may be compromised, you will give yourself valuable insight before overreacting to a situation.

“I didn’t get there by wishing for it or hoping for it, but by working for it.” – Estée Lauder

5. In a week’s time, what would your best self think about this situation?

By thinking about how your “best self” would react to a certain situation in a week’s time, you are doing two things. First, you are shifting your perspective to think about the problem through the lens of your “best self”. This means understanding that you are coming to this situation from a state that is less than perfect, and you must adjust your expectations. Second, you are distancing yourself from the situation by forcing your mind to consider what things would look like in a week’s time. By doing both of these things, you are ensuring you react in a balanced way.

The more you practice asking yourself these questions in times of stress, the better you will be at reacting to any challenges that come your way.

Are there any questions you ask yourself to frame problems or challenges differently?

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3 Ways to Uncover Your Blind Spots and Live Life on Your Terms

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uncover your blind spots
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Do you ever start to say something you know you shouldn’t, but cannot help to say it anyway? How about a specific relationship breaking down again, despite employing an array of differing strategies? I’m talking about the times where it seems no matter what you do, history has no choice but to repeat itself.

This, ladies and gentlemen, can be attributed to our blind spots. The areas where our ways of thinking hide the key to unlocking our full potential. We assert we’ve looked everywhere, but we cannot look where we cannot see. These barriers to awareness cannot be distinguished with the same thinking that got us there. A new mind and a new heart must be fashioned to break old, embedded patterns. For a life we truly love, we must take to the hills for a new vantage point.

Here are three essentials to uncovering your blind spots and living life on your terms:

1. Deal With Your Ego

Your ego, more than anything, is a protective device. Fashioned from the most primitive parts of your brain, such as the amygdala, your ego puts up a wall as you make mistakes or fall victim to your weaknesses. This component of your psyche, essentially your false self, makes it increasingly difficult for you to address your shortcomings logically and riddle them with emotion.

Because your survival and safety is paramount, responsibility is dodged and allocated elsewhere. Worse off, these areas of the brain are not accessible to our conscious awareness.

The saving grace however, is the part of the brain responsible for logic and reason. This higher-level, non-reactive consciousness can guide you in the right direction if you allow it. Understanding you have a war going on in your mind is the first step — with the second being, who you allow to win.

Your ego is insecure, underdeveloped, irrational, and painfully selfish. Calling it out when it attempts to run wild is up to you. Ironically, because it will stop at nothing to ensure your superficial needs — attention, love, praise, connection, etc. — are met, it typically jeopardizes them by being too attached. It’s a question of what you want the most versus what you want right now. You’ve got Jekyll and Hyde at odds in your head — who are you going to give the hammer to?

“Check your ego at the door. The ego can be the great success inhibitor. It can kill opportunities, and it can kill success.” – Dwayne Johnson

2. Question Everything

Success is not final. What works in producing results may not work for as long as we want to believe. With certain approaches having produced results for us in the past, we’re naturally inclined to lean into a sunk-cost bias and ride them out ignorantly. No one wants to give up their beliefs. Where we are in our lives right now is because of a sum of the choices we’ve made based on those beliefs.

Of the same token, what got you here won’t get you there. This is where many people struggle to stay in the game and begin to suffer — helplessness sets in when it appears all you know won’t make any difference. The only way to keep the door open to possibility is through inquiry.

By constantly questioning the approach, the mindset, the attitude and the focus on which you employ, you sift through the options objectively until you land on what you choose to try. Even if you’re wrong the first time, you simply go back to the drawing board and try something else. It gets messy when we over-identify with what we think. You can have strong opinions, but go easy on the Kung Fu grip.

3. Seek Feedback From Thoughtful People

This step is listed last for obvious reasons — it’s the most difficult. Putting yourself out there in the open for potential harm is no easy feat. When you realize the reward far outweighs the risk however, you’ll act every time.

Find a few close confidants whose opinions you value. Maybe they’ve accomplished some success in their lives or maybe they just know how to strike a chord with you. Set up regular conversations with them to provide feedback on what you’re up to in life, assuring them your feelings are suspended throughout the sit-down. Create a safe space for them to provide honest, thoughtful feedback for you to look at from a third person perspective and make a decision on whether or not you’re going to add it to your arsenal. Remember, they can see what you cannot.

This isn’t an open forum for someone to trash you. It’s simply a training ground for you to be with the perceptions that you’ve created for yourself through your attitudes and actions. By honoring and valuing others’ opinions, you’ll be one step closer to getting in the minds and hearts of the people you wish to influence most — as well as one step further away from your ego.

“One of the greatest values of mentors is the ability to see ahead what others cannot see and to help them navigate a course to their destination.” John C. Maxwell

People can’t appreciate what they don’t know is there. There’s more than one lens in life and you just happen to possess one of the billions. Life isn’t the way you see it, but merely the way it is. Staying grounded in situations and seeing your emotions for what they are (i.e. a cry for help) will allow you to continue to heighten your perspective and gain a panoramic view.

You don’t access your peripherals without stretching your sight. Try these three techniques today to take a break from informational learning and discover for yourself what’s been in your way this whole time.

How do you discover what’s holding you back from achieving success in your life? Do you have any techniques? If so, please let us know in the comments below!

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7 of the Best Time Management Tips From the Master of Success, Jim Rohn

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Becoming a master at time management will allow you to design and improve every aspect of your life. Jim Rohn was one of the most influential speakers when it came to this. His tips and tricks are very actionable and revive a sense of motivation in millions of people to date. Managing your time meticulously is easier said than done but just like anything great you will ever accomplish, the hardest step is to begin. Try not to just read through these steps but to put them into action.

Here are 7 time management tips from Jim Rohn:

1. If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan

Designing your life is a nice way of saying ‘don’t let life happen to you, make your life happen’. A ship that leaves its dock without a planned destination will wonder the seas aimlessly and guess what, it will never get to where it was meant to be. Every day is an accumulation of time, therefore, managing your time is managing your day. This will lead to having your life planned out, day by day until you realize you have achieved most, if not all, of your goals.

2. Think on paper

Write down your goals and dreams. This might be a document, app, or the old-fashioned pen to paper, but this is not an option. There is something special that happens when we jot down our goals, because the mind begins to see them as actionable steps not just dreams.

Most people say they want to be successful and dream about being great, but have never written it out the steps to get there. Meticulously plan and schedule your life in real time on paper. This will lead to the next step which is planning out how you will achieve your goals.

3. When you don’t control your time, your time will control you

Have you ever experienced a day in which you did not plan out your time and before you knew it, you had gotten nothing done? This is how most people’s lives go by. They have no specific plan for their time and therefore for their lives. Your choices determine the person you end up being. See every moment as an opportunity to savor the time and make the most of it.. If you control how you spend your time, you can control your successes and failures.

Days are expensive. When you spend a day you have one less day to spend. So make sure you spend each one wisely.” – Jim Rohn

4. If it’s easy to do, it’s easy to NOT do

We kid ourselves, ‘Ah, that’s simple, why should I plan it out, I’ll just do it!’ This has proven not to work time and time again. Simply because if it’s easy to do, it is easy not to do. We are a product of the things we continuously do.

The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy is structured around a simple principle. Every single action, no matter how small, if done over and over again will compound to a much larger product. The small things we ignore and don’t do because we never plan for them will eventually accumulate to some big action we now have to take which will be much harder.

5. Without a sense of urgency, desire loses value

If you don’t plan out your time you are not putting a timeline on your goals. Having deadlines creates a sense of urgency. This is why we start to work on a month-long project around the last week to the deadline. The pressure makes it seem dire and will act as a type of motivator to completing and accomplishing our goals. Put a deadline on your dreams, otherwise they are just that, dreams.

6. Study the art of setting goals

Every day, write your goals fresh without focusing on yesterday. This is a good way to weed out non-priorities and refocus on your true goals. Focus is something lacking in today’s society. Don’t fall ‘victim’ to this, so review your goals on a daily basis to reinforce them and make realizing them practical. Derek Mills suggests a Daily Standards system where we don’t necessarily work towards a long time goal but focus on daily goals which eventually turn into long-term successes.

Either you run the day or the day runs you.” – Jim Rohn

7. We all have the same amount of time in a day  

Start where you are, it doesn’t matter where you are now. 90% of millionaires started out broke. The key to success is taking a lot of action on a great idea and the only way to do this is to manage your time. Plan around every single action, no matter how simple. You can turn your life around at any given moment. The best way to do this is by time management.

Start simple by having a notebook where you write down how you spend every hour of your time. If you surf the web for 2 hours, write it down. If it takes you 30 minutes to stalk your favourite celebrity, write it down. Everything you do, for one week, write it down. In the end, you will see where most of your time goes.

You will also start to resent having to write down that you spent one hour looking at pictures of a car you could only afford if you actually used that time wisely. This is a great place to start, from there you can follow the many time management tips available to you and see what works best for you.

How do you manage your time to get the best results? Let us know in the comments below!

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8 Ways to Help You Stay Productive Even When You Think You Can’t

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To succeed big, you must work your butt off. I just read a book about the routines of billionaires and some of history]s most successful figures, and every single one of them were super productive…and you should be too. If you want better things in your life, then you must stay productive regardless of how lazy you feel or how hard a task seems to you.  

Here are 8 ways to help you stay productive even when you think you can’t:

1. Calm the HALT down

HALT is an acronym for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired. These four moments are when you`re emotionally at your lowest, and all you can think of is bad food and a bed. Ever notice that you eat more on the days you feel tired or lonely? A great productivity tip is to take notice of when you’re at the HALT, and take some time to cool down before getting back to work. Take some time off, call a friend, take a nap, see a movie or eat something refreshing. The key is to realize that what you’re feeling is normal and to be okay with it. Once you feel better, you can get back to work.

2. Take tasks to their simplest form

“Open Gmail + type client’s email address.” This is a task I scheduled on my calendar yesterday. I was negotiating new rates with a client and because asking for a raise will always be intimidating, no matter how often you do it, I chose only to schedule the first step (Open my Gmail, then type in the client`s email), and let the ball roll from there.

I’ve been using this anti-procrastination trick for a decade, and it has never failed me. And in case you`re wondering, I wrote the email and scheduled a Zoom meeting. He said no, and we broke off. But I’m overbooked and happy.

Whenever I’m intimidated by a task, I look for the easiest thing I can do about it, and I do it. Then I look for the new “easiest” thing to do, and again I do it. Then again and again until I`m invested in the task that I no longer want to quit until I finish it.

“Being rich is having money; being wealthy is having time.” – Margaret Bonnano

3. Put everything on a calendar

I couldn`t believe how much working with a calendar was awesome until I tried it. The best thing about using a calendar is that it puts time constraints on everything you do. Each task has its start and end time which makes you feel like a player before a scheduled game; you can`t reschedule the game or delay it, so you`d better pull your things together and get back to work.

4. Take no emails when you feel bad

Avoid taking emails early in the morning or when you feel bad. It`s part of the anti-HALT process discussed shortly. Emails usually come with an unexpected change in plans and sometimes worse —take an angry customer for example. So, it makes sense that you schedule emails two or three hours after you wake up to stay in a perfect mood for productivity. It`s what many productivity experts do, including Tim Ferris.

5. Eat your frog first

Eat the frog is a term made by Brian Tracy, the Steph Curry of productivity. The frog is the most significant, most difficult and the most important task on your calendar and to Tracy, that should be the first thing you do every morning. Guess what? Eating the frog does work, and if you make a habit of it, you`ll be extraordinarily productive because of the amount of motivation it will give you. It`s like passing the first exam of the semester, which happens to be the toughest. All the following will be pieces of cake to you.

6. Try the power pose

Anytime you feel unproductive, stand up, breathe deeply and take the power pose or do some stretches. Changing your physiology can improve your mood, that`s what science discovered many years ago. If your time allows, you can hit the gym or go for a run. The pump you feel, and the accomplishment will regulate your mood and motivate you to take more action.

“To think is easy. To act is difficult. To act as one thinks is the most difficult.” – Johann Wolfgang Von Goeth

7. Work from the most boring place you can find

A tiny mean room with just a bed, a bible and a deck of cards – that`s where Maya Angelou, the great poet, did her daily writing. “I can’t work in a pretty surrounding. It throws me,” she said in an interview. Maybe this can work for you too. My first ever writing coach gave this tip in my quest to make writing a daily habit. He told me the reason why most writers, including Angelou, love to write in dull environments is that it rushes them to get things done. It makes sense because if you can`t stand the place, then you`d do anything to get out.

8. Every now and then, Work only when you feel like working

When it comes to productivity, Georges Simenon is the man. He lived 86 years and wrote over 425 novels while only working two weeks every other month. As Mason Currey wrote about him in his book, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work, “The Belgian-French novelist worked in intense bursts of literary activity, each lasting two or three weeks, separated by weeks or months of no writing at all. Even during his productive weeks, Simenon didn’t write for very long each day” writes Currey.

Realizing that all you need is three hours of hard work before calling it a day may motivate you.  It`s bizarre, uncommon, and may not work for you, but maybe it does. So, why not give it a try? Pick a day this week, or the next, and set to work for only three, undistracted, hours then try to squeeze out every ounce of creativity and work in those hours. Once the clock ticks, take the rest of the day off.

How do you stay productive? Comment below!

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