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Success Advice

The 10 Worst Habits Holding You Back From Success

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bad habits holding you back from success

The path of success is often littered by our own trash, obstacles that we place ourselves. Habits, by definition are behaviors that are so ingrained that we no longer become conscious of them; actions that turn into autopilot. The power of habit is severely under-recognized as driving force toward success. When the incredible Brian Tracy was asked about the key to success, he replied, “Successful people are simply those with successful habits.”

While there are many people that possess many successful habits, these habits are being undermined by toxic habits- it is taking one step forward but then two steps back. Breaking the bad habit could be the game-changer that you are desperately needing.

 

 

Here are 10 of the worst habits that are holding you back from success:

 

1. Waiting for the ‘right’ moment

How many times have you said, “I’m just going to wait until I have enough money saved up,” or “I need to research more.” As the Chinese proverb goes, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

Stop waiting for the unicorn and take the bull by the horns now. Any action is better than no action.

 

2. The approval of others

While it is important to receive validation for your work, constantly seeking that pat on the back from others will get you nowhere. Do not feed into the ego of your ever-needy self-esteem. It is nice to receive good comments on your work. But do not mix up what is good for the ego for what is good for your productivity.

 

3. The need to always be perfect

Perfectionism is crippling. By all means strive for excellence and seek to produce the best product you are able to deliver. But spending far too much time on any task can become detrimental when you have people waiting for you to deliver. If your work meets their expectations, then drop the product. If you exceed it, even better. But do not keep them waiting too long. You could spend an eternity improving a product.

 

4. Giving too much respect

Even Einstein made mistakes. Just because someone is in a prominent position, it does not mean they have all the answers. This habit cripples many people who listen to ‘respectable’ figures who are in a completely different field to them.

How many times have you seen an actor endorsing a product they know nothing about and people listening just because they are famous? Terrible habit.

 

5. Germophobia

It should not only be great leaders that aren’t afraid of getting their hands dirty, but anyone striving after success. Getting your hands dirty means engaging in a task that is outside of your responsibility.

Win the respect of others by doing something beyond your duty.

 

6. Not learning from people ‘less’ than you

Pride is like putting poison into your own glass of water. Great knowledge can come from anyone. But if you simply shut someone off because they do not have a PhD or they are not a CEO, you are potentially robbing yourself of a golden nugget. You never know what kind of experience a person has or who the person may be connected with.

 

7. Rushing the last look

You are so excited with finishing your work that you just want to ship it straight out the door without giving it a final once-over. This is the Achilles Heel for most writers. But what separates a good writer from an average writer is patience- many writers will let an article sit overnight and then make more edits in the morning before sending it. This applies for other industries also, take time to give it one last thorough check. Even get someone else to have a look before you ship or hit the send button.

 

8. Not being vulnerable

It is easy to feel the need to put on a mask in your career, particularly if you are in leadership. No doubt there is a clear line that needs to be drawn between employers and employees. But you need to take off the iron suit every now and then.

Admit to making mistakes, make apologies when you are in the wrong. You will be respected.

 

9. Too stubborn to let go

While grit, tenacity, and perseverance are all great qualities, they can be crippling when they are directed toward the wrong goal. This is difficult with any project that you have poured your heart and soul into. But if it is not profitable nor bringing you closer to your goal, then you need to recognize when you are being stubborn and let go. Treat any humiliation like water off a duck’s back and direct your energy toward the next project.

 

10. The contentment plateau

There is a dark side to being satisfied with your work and accomplishments. Being content and comfortable is the enemy of improvement. Take time during your journey to stop and smell the roses, but do not let be left standing there when the roses are long gone.

Keep setting the bar higher. Knock down a goal, celebrate it, move on.

 

On a final note, Samuel Johnson gives a great warning on the crucial need to break detrimental habits – “The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.” If you are suffering from any of these 10 toxic habits, then you need to nip it in the bud today.

A refugee from Vietnam, raised in Australia, with a BA from Texas, Thai writes for many publications including The Huffington Post, Entrepreneur.com, and Addicted2Success. A professional chef, international kickboxer, and spiritual teacher, Thai is passionate about helping people become the best version of themselves. Signup for his free weekly Infographics at TheUtopianLife.com | Connect @ThaiWins | On Facebook 

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25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. Mary Nguyen

    May 29, 2014 at 1:33 am

    Thanks for the article Thai.

  2. Thai Nguyen

    Mar 8, 2014 at 6:13 am

    Glad to hear you are encouraged! Keep up the great work!

  3. Thai Nguyen

    Mar 8, 2014 at 6:12 am

    You are very welcome Marc! Wishing you all the best in your personal growth my friend.

  4. Gliceria

    Mar 7, 2014 at 2:32 am

    Thank you for sharing your great ideas .So true that any action is better than no action ! In my case I will start my work now because I’m already delayed in my time table.I have to double time and rush things effect of bad habit but Im learning thru your positive ideas and motivations

  5. Marc Erick

    Mar 6, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    Thank you, Thai. I really got alot from this article and the comments. I just joined addicted 2 success.

    • # I'm addicted to success!

      Nov 16, 2015 at 6:38 pm

      #I’m addicted to success!!

  6. Adamshone@yahoo.co.uk

    Mar 1, 2014 at 11:03 pm

    I appreciate taking work outside of your realm but how do I deal with peers who constantly don’t pull their weight and a manager who watches it happen? It seems good works only reward is more work whilst others cruise along with very little

    • thai1984

      Mar 4, 2014 at 4:33 am

      Good point Adam. I have found who cruise along with very little and managers who watch it happen ride a very short wave. Successful works flows out of a successful person. When you look at the greatest men in women throughout history- their work ethic is not only unrivalled but indiscriminate, they do what is in front of them and then if they see something that needs to be done- they do it, no racing around trying to find someone else, just get the job done.

      Those who do little, and managers who expect little, will only ever achieve little.

      • Adam shone

        Mar 4, 2014 at 2:29 pm

        Thanks for the reply. I think, when I have a chance to, that it has actually been a great learning tool as I have now vowed to never let it happen with my team. I want to be a role model but also personally challenge myself day in and day out. This desire helps me sleep at night knowing I have done the best job I could have

  7. Naomi@business start ups

    Feb 28, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    Hi Thai,

    My biggest demon is #3. The need to always be perfect.

    I’ve always been a natural perfectionist and like when you said these habits turn on auto pilot and are too weak to be felt until to strong to be broken.

    When it comes to my work there is always something I can add, change or tweak. I now practice daily and I’m aware when I slipping into ‘impossibly perfect’ mode. It’s an ongoing process.

    I also really like #6. Not learning from people ‘less’ than you. Life is a learning journey, you just never know who will be teaching you that something new today!

    Naomi

    • Jeremy

      Feb 28, 2014 at 12:31 pm

      Very right, Naomi. Sometimes, it’s not even just about what these ‘lesser’ people can teach you. It’s also about the life lessons you can learn from teaching/helping these people, that you would otherwise not get from someone ‘higher’ than you. Life is beautiful that way, huh?

      #3 is one my demons too by the way, heh. In the end when I’m finally ready, it NEVER became perfect anyway.

  8. Frank @WallStCollege

    Feb 27, 2014 at 2:49 am

    I think #1 is really important. There is never a “perfect” timing, you take the time and make it perfect!!

  9. Thai Nguyen

    Feb 26, 2014 at 8:22 am

    Hi Jared, yeah social media is definitely a double edge sword- it can be so useful and yet so distracting. Great addition to the list!

  10. Thai Nguyen

    Feb 26, 2014 at 8:21 am

    Keep pressing forward Collena! Glad you were able to receive some motivation. Wishing you all the best!

  11. Alison

    Feb 26, 2014 at 6:20 am

    So true, thank you!

    • Thai Nguyen

      Feb 28, 2014 at 6:39 am

      You’re very welcome Alison. All the best!

  12. Jared Damman (@JaredDamman)

    Feb 25, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    I’m definitely guilty of #4 and I’ve been making great strides in dealing with #3.But, I want to say “too much time on social media” could be a bad habit these days as well.

  13. Collena Maybee

    Feb 24, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    I just wanted to say I love this! Where I live, a sad desert in southern California, I constantly need to remind myself of these. So Thank You for giving me some great motivation.

  14. Nikola Gjakovski

    Feb 23, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    Great article Jeremy! I must tweet the Chinese proverb 🙂 The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.

    • Jeremy

      Feb 23, 2014 at 6:10 pm

      I think you meant Thai Nguyen?

      • Thai N

        Feb 23, 2014 at 10:56 pm

        Haha! As long as it was helpful, I’m not fussed about who gets the credit!

      • Nikola Gjakovski

        Feb 24, 2014 at 11:15 am

        I got confused with the first comment since I rushed to go out 😀 Yes I meant Thai good job and sorry for throwing your credit in Jeremy’s hands 🙂

  15. Jeremy

    Feb 23, 2014 at 11:28 am

    I like #5. Lots of people are always telling themselves “why should I do this? It’s not part of my job scope.”

    I always respect people who get shit throw at them and still do the things outside their responsibility to the best of their ability.

    But then also, sometimes we must question the kind of environment they are in as well. Not saying that justifies anything.

    • Thai N

      Feb 23, 2014 at 10:59 pm

      You are right Jeremy, respect always goes to the person stepping outside their responsibility. “The person that gets ahead is the one that does more than necessary. And keeps doing it.” Not sure who said that but very true.

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Success Advice

Stop Denying Your Negative Thoughts and Start Embracing Them

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Image Credit: Twenty20.com

Over the years, many of the talking heads and pundits in the personal development and success science industry have talked about the immediate replacement of negative thoughts with positive thoughts. The logic behind that particular behavioral strategy seems to make sense on the surface. Think about it, when a negative thought rears its ugly head, we should immediately dive into the repository of positive thoughts that we have available to us so that we could immediately begin to dwell on it.

Even further, some gurus of the genre suggest removing any chance of having a negative thought by the constant repetition of affirmations. Again, tried-and-true motivational technology that is very workable and still useful. I would suggest, however, that you view the above behaviors as tactics more than strategies.

I will further suggest to you that you do not abhor your negative thoughts but rather embrace them, examine them, and place them under a spotlight. My reasoning behind this goes back over 100 years into psychology with stimulus/response, that is, the cause and effect of certain behaviors. Many individuals look at a negative thought as a causative driver. The negative thought exists as a cause, and our behavior toward that cause will determine the effect.

So, following this logic, if an individual has a negative thought which makes them feel sad, and that sadness causes them to binge drink, by removing the negative thought you’ll have removed the motivation for binge drinking. Doesn’t that sound kind of silly? The suggestion here is to turn off the negative thought so that it will turn off the consumption of alcohol.

Of course, this makes sense if we view the negative thought as a primal force in behavior. So, what if we started to think of the negative thought more as the result of something else? It means that the “something else” must change first. What if we took a different approach? What if we looked at a negative thought as an effect of some larger causal factor?

“You’re going to go through tough times – that’s life. But I say, ‘Nothing happens to you, it happens for you.’ See the positive in negative events.” – Joel Osteen

By reversing the cause-and-effect motion of negative thinking (saying that the negative thought is an effect), we now can ask a deeper, more penetrative question: Why are we thinking that negative thought? What is the underlying cause of that specific train of thinking? By reversing the cause-and-effect relationship of negative thinking, it allows the negative thinker to assume the role of diagnostician!

Below is a three-step process you can use to examine your negative thoughts, the role of it in your life, and how you can get rid of them:

1. Simply acknowledge the negative thought

Recognize the fact that there’s a negative thought in your mind instead of trying to go through a process of emotionally overlaying positive thoughts on top of it. Can you see how this exacerbates the issue? You have a negative thought, you immediately recognize that it must be changed, and you frantically scurry through the museum of your mind to find a positive thought to replace it.

In the meantime, while you are trying to find that positive thought, you’re feeling anxious, nervous, and guilty! When you finally find a positive thought to replace that negative thought, the normal process is to squash it. But you can’t! It’s like trying to get rid of weeds by covering them with rocks.

They will always find another way around the rock. It is the same with negative thoughts. Consequently, try acknowledging the negative thought.

2. Affirm the negative thought

It is a part of you. Instead of denying its existence, accept that it is there in front of you and that you are now willing to deal with it. If any of you reading this are dog lovers, you will know that the best way to get a dog next to you is by attempting to push it away from you. Every time you push the dog away it gets closer. This is the same with negative thinking because the harder you push the closer it gets.

“Always turn a negative situation into a positive situation.” – Michael Jordan

3. Acquit the thought

Give it permission to leave you. Thank it for its past importance in your life and allow it to be on its way! At this point feel free to replace the negative thought with a positive thought. What will begin to happen when you place the negative thought under the spotlight is that you will see how insignificantly small it actually is.

This is a process I’ve been using for quite some time, and it works! Oh sure, I still use affirmations on a daily basis; as a matter fact I have them right here in front of me. I find that affirmations are a tremendous way to stay positive because it doesn’t allow any room for bad things to grow. But since the average person thinks 60,000 to 65,000 thoughts per day, let’s face it, a few negative thoughts have to squeak in there!

The best advice that I can give is to not freak out over a negative thought. Acknowledge it, affirm it, and acquit it! This is magic. Watch what happens!

How do you handle negative thoughts? Let us know your tips below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Success Advice

One Thing I Can Teach You About Life That Will Help You Forever.

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Image Credit: Unsplash

I used to be a very anxious person.

I was embarrassed by what I couldn’t do and every day was a struggle. From the moment I would wake up to the moment I’d go to bed, everything felt impossibly overwhelming. It’s a battle I’ve dealt with most of my life.

This daily struggle with mental illness taught me that the satisfaction didn’t lie in beating it; the satisfaction was in helping other people beat mental illness through my success in fighting it.


Recently, I was at work. It was a pretty standard day — nothing too exciting. I then had a catch up with one of the leaders I worked with.

She said something that got my attention: “One of our colleagues is battling a mental illness.”

I really wanted to help. My eyes lit up. There was no need to uncover my plan with anyone else. I knew that staying discrete was fundamental.

I approached the person in question and asked for a few minutes of their time.

I didn’t ask them to admit their mental illness struggle; I just shared my story.

I talked about the anxiety stopping me from having a normal life, eating the right foods, going on dates with girls, having the career I wanted and traveling the world.

I wasn’t sure if any of it was sinking in or even helping. I felt compelled to go on. One thing I knew was that he was paying attention. I could see it in his eyes.

I then went on to talk about how I beat mental illness. Strategies such as:

  • Creating fear lists
  • Seeking professional help
  • Working on myself
  • Books I read
  • Events I attended

Out of nowhere, he started opening up about his own struggle. I was shocked.
It wasn’t pretty. He had an extreme case of mental illness that I certainly couldn’t diagnose or give professional advice on.

All I could do was show him through my own story that there was hope

I offered him access to all the resources I had. I told him that he had my full support and I’d be happy to help in any way I could. He then said:

“What was your psychologist’s name?”

I told him I’d look it up and send it to him. I didn’t have the answer in front of me, but I was determined when I got home to find it.

At the end of the catch-up, he smiled. I don’t think he’d smiled like that in a very long time.

That smile gave me so much satisfaction. It made my own struggle with mental illness worth it. All those sleepless nights, times spent vomiting into the toilet and dark days where I didn’t want to go on made sense.


“It took more than seven years for me to understand that my own battle with mental illness actually had a benefit”

That benefit was the satisfaction in seeing someone beat their mental illness because I was able to defeat mine.

It’s probably the greatest satisfaction of my entire life.

That’s one thing I can teach you about life that will help you forever.

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Success Advice

5 Productivity Shifts You Need to Make to Make 2019 Your Best Year Yet

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Everyone wants more time, that is something almost all of us share. Time is the most valuable resource and when you learn how to make your time work for you and how to get the most out of it – you experience life differently.  

Improving how you manage your time is one of the biggest gifts you can give yourself – it’s a real game changer in your business and personal life. There are many ways that you can get more productive and get the right things done sooner; but not all of them are obvious or bring the same results.

Here are 5 productivity shifts you want to make if you are trying to make the most out of 2019:

1. Ditch your to do list

Productive people don’t keep to-do lists, they schedule everything they need to do in their calendar and work directly from their calendar!  To-Do lists are just ineffective and they are impeding your productivity. A never ending list of items only leaves you overwhelmed and with a false sense of ‘productivity’.  

If you schedule your To Do’s directly into your calendar at a time to get them done, you commit to it and you are more likely to get it done. Less is more – you don’t need a separate list to remind you what you need to do.

“Productivity is less about what you do with your time and more about how you run your mind.” – Robin Sharma

2. Give up on motivation

Productive people don’t always have to be motivated before starting something. They balance discipline with motivation and do what they need to do, regardless of motivation. When we come up with resistance to take action on what we have planned, we might tell ourselves that we are not motivated and we believe that we need to be motivated to complete any task.

If you want to increase your productivity, you need to challenge yourself more in the moment to take action and give up on motivation sometimes. Do what you need to in order to get the results you want in the future. Don’t make decisions based on how you feel now, make them based on what result you are really after.

3. Master your mornings

Wake up early and get yourself into the productive mindset with your routine and diet! Productive people start the day with some sort of routine, whether it’s meditation, exercise or visualization, etc. AND they have a healthy breakfast to fuel them for the day. Your health is everything when it comes to productivity, what you eat directly affects your productivity.

We can just no longer ignore the direct connection any more. Get in the right mindset to start your day and fuel your mind and body to get the most out of it. Starting your day off in any other way undermines your success – there is no doubt.

4. Schedule according to energy

Productive people know their energy cycles and they plan tasks around their energy levels. Why plan something at a time when you know it will be hard to rise to the challenge? Schedule tasks that require focus and concentration for those times of day that you feel the best and you will find it’s easier to follow through and you will be at your best to perform. Identify your filler tasks and complete those when your energy drops. Be more realistic when scheduling your tasks and set yourself up for wins.

“Productivity is never an accident it’s the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning & focused effort.” – Paul Meyer

5. Working backwards

Productive people always focus on those activities that will take them to the next level. They plan backwards, they look at their goals, then identify the tasks they need to do to support those goals. Those tasks get broken down into weekly actions. That’s how they plan.

Don’t only plan on tasks that come in or those which you ‘feel’ or ‘think’ you should be doing. Your day needs to consist of at least one activity that directly supports your longer term objectives, your big project. What sounds like common sense is definitely not common practice.

Create the right habits to achieve your goals, work on adopting easy tips and techniques so you can manage your time and yourself better to get things done.

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Success Advice

You Need to Grow Your Memory in Order to Grow Your Life

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Image Credit: Unsplash

We all have access to the most powerful computer ever created in the universe…our brain. Unfortunately, few of us have ever been taught how to use our minds efficiently, and even fewer have learned how to develop a fabulous memory. Thankfully, like any skill, memorising can be learned and using the correct strategies, your memory can be improved in only days.

One of the best coaches on memory is Dominic O’Brien the eight-time world memory champion. Self-taught after watching Creighton Carvello memorise a pack of cards on the BBC’s Record Breakers programme. Dominic, through his work on memory, has given us many tools and techniques for improving memory.

Below are 5 rules that will help you develop a better memory:

1. The Rule of Five

Probably seen as one of the most significant contributions to the body of knowledge on memory is O’Brien’s Rule of Five. This rule details how to remember things using a strategy of regular staged repetition.

These stages are as follows:

  • First Review:Immediately
  • Second Review:Twenty-four hours later
  • Third Review:One week later
  • Fourth Review:One month later
  • Fifth Review:Three months later

Utilising stage repetition at these intervals ingrains the memory for the long term.

2. The Dominic System

The Dominic System is a system for remembering numbers. The system is a Person Action system where the association between two sets of paired numbers is the person with the action of the next person.

1139 would become Andre Agassi doing a roundhouse kick which is the action of Chuck Norris. This system combined with the journey method allows for long random numbers to be easily recalled without error. The fantastic thing about this system is that you get to customise for yourself with memorable people and unique actions which when combined really make it easy for you to recall numbers. The table below associates each number to a letter.

Number     0     1    2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9
Letter     O     A     B     C     D    E     S     G     H     N

Creating a simple document with pairs of numbers in one column, the letter pairs in the next and an action column will help you learn this system quickly.

“Nothing can substitute for just plain hard work. I had to put in the time to get back. And it was a grind. It meant training and sweating every day. But I was completely committed to working out to prove to myself that I still could do it.” – Andre Agassi

3. The Link Method

This method relies on two essential elements of memory, association and exaggeration. Utilising these two elements, it is possible to link together unrelated objects to allow you to remember them.

Trying to remember a list of five separate words such as: balloon, papaya, gold, football and hat, might go something like this. You imagine seeing a giant balloon and inside the balloon you can see a small papaya, in bursting the balloon the papaya falls out and as it hits the floor a gold football bounces into a large sombrero.

4. The Journey Method

Using location has been a fundamental part of mnemonics almost since time began. Before humans, writing elders would pass knowledge to others using stories of journeys, with each piece of knowledge being associated with a location on the journey.

O’Brien’s system utilises journeys that you would undertake on a daily basis, like your commute to work or train stations on well-known line. Items are then associated and exaggerated along the journey, so for instance if you were trying to remember a list of ten random things you would associate each piece along with a unique ten stop journey and utilise exaggeration to make the items more memorable.

“You are well equipped with an incredible potential for absorbing knowledge…Anything’s possible.” – Dominic O’Brien

5. The Story Method

To remember groups of information, create a story that links them together. Remembering the planets of the solar system and their position relative to the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

Imagine that Mercury was hitting the nineties as Venus tossed the tennis ball into the air, striking the ball it soared over the net striking the earth and bouncing high into the air, knocking the mars bar out of Jupiter’s hand, and so on.

Developing a good memory will assist markedly in all of your personal development goals as well as assisting greatly in your daily life. The methods above are tried and tested by one of the leading memory champions. Whether you want to become the next World Memory Champion or just improve your recall, the techniques outlined above will assist greatly.

Combining the various elements will create an exponential improvement in your memory that you will find hard to believe, and you will be kicking yourself for not applying them sooner. The best part about using these methods is that they are fun, so enjoy using them.

Which one of these memorizing methods sounds most interesting to you? Share with us below!

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Entrepreneurs

Building a Knockout Team With the 4 Stages of Learning

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building a team
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I’m sure you’ve heard that running a business alone can be challenging, but if that’s true, then running a business of 5, 50 or 500 must be extremely challenging! This can be made much simpler by building from a solid foundation. By that I mean a strong core of team members around you. (more…)

Demitrez Butler is the President of RealTeam Consulting, Inc. in San Diego, CA. He worked with Air Force Security Forces for 4 years before starting in an entry-level sales position and growing within the sales and marketing industry. He later opened a marketing firm in eastern Washington that changed the dynamic of the telecom market in that region. Most recently he works as a consultant for high level network marketers. When he isn’t working you can find him on a plane traveling to the next must see city on his list.

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25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. Mary Nguyen

    May 29, 2014 at 1:33 am

    Thanks for the article Thai.

  2. Thai Nguyen

    Mar 8, 2014 at 6:13 am

    Glad to hear you are encouraged! Keep up the great work!

  3. Thai Nguyen

    Mar 8, 2014 at 6:12 am

    You are very welcome Marc! Wishing you all the best in your personal growth my friend.

  4. Gliceria

    Mar 7, 2014 at 2:32 am

    Thank you for sharing your great ideas .So true that any action is better than no action ! In my case I will start my work now because I’m already delayed in my time table.I have to double time and rush things effect of bad habit but Im learning thru your positive ideas and motivations

  5. Marc Erick

    Mar 6, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    Thank you, Thai. I really got alot from this article and the comments. I just joined addicted 2 success.

    • # I'm addicted to success!

      Nov 16, 2015 at 6:38 pm

      #I’m addicted to success!!

  6. Adamshone@yahoo.co.uk

    Mar 1, 2014 at 11:03 pm

    I appreciate taking work outside of your realm but how do I deal with peers who constantly don’t pull their weight and a manager who watches it happen? It seems good works only reward is more work whilst others cruise along with very little

    • thai1984

      Mar 4, 2014 at 4:33 am

      Good point Adam. I have found who cruise along with very little and managers who watch it happen ride a very short wave. Successful works flows out of a successful person. When you look at the greatest men in women throughout history- their work ethic is not only unrivalled but indiscriminate, they do what is in front of them and then if they see something that needs to be done- they do it, no racing around trying to find someone else, just get the job done.

      Those who do little, and managers who expect little, will only ever achieve little.

      • Adam shone

        Mar 4, 2014 at 2:29 pm

        Thanks for the reply. I think, when I have a chance to, that it has actually been a great learning tool as I have now vowed to never let it happen with my team. I want to be a role model but also personally challenge myself day in and day out. This desire helps me sleep at night knowing I have done the best job I could have

  7. Naomi@business start ups

    Feb 28, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    Hi Thai,

    My biggest demon is #3. The need to always be perfect.

    I’ve always been a natural perfectionist and like when you said these habits turn on auto pilot and are too weak to be felt until to strong to be broken.

    When it comes to my work there is always something I can add, change or tweak. I now practice daily and I’m aware when I slipping into ‘impossibly perfect’ mode. It’s an ongoing process.

    I also really like #6. Not learning from people ‘less’ than you. Life is a learning journey, you just never know who will be teaching you that something new today!

    Naomi

    • Jeremy

      Feb 28, 2014 at 12:31 pm

      Very right, Naomi. Sometimes, it’s not even just about what these ‘lesser’ people can teach you. It’s also about the life lessons you can learn from teaching/helping these people, that you would otherwise not get from someone ‘higher’ than you. Life is beautiful that way, huh?

      #3 is one my demons too by the way, heh. In the end when I’m finally ready, it NEVER became perfect anyway.

  8. Frank @WallStCollege

    Feb 27, 2014 at 2:49 am

    I think #1 is really important. There is never a “perfect” timing, you take the time and make it perfect!!

  9. Thai Nguyen

    Feb 26, 2014 at 8:22 am

    Hi Jared, yeah social media is definitely a double edge sword- it can be so useful and yet so distracting. Great addition to the list!

  10. Thai Nguyen

    Feb 26, 2014 at 8:21 am

    Keep pressing forward Collena! Glad you were able to receive some motivation. Wishing you all the best!

  11. Alison

    Feb 26, 2014 at 6:20 am

    So true, thank you!

    • Thai Nguyen

      Feb 28, 2014 at 6:39 am

      You’re very welcome Alison. All the best!

  12. Jared Damman (@JaredDamman)

    Feb 25, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    I’m definitely guilty of #4 and I’ve been making great strides in dealing with #3.But, I want to say “too much time on social media” could be a bad habit these days as well.

  13. Collena Maybee

    Feb 24, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    I just wanted to say I love this! Where I live, a sad desert in southern California, I constantly need to remind myself of these. So Thank You for giving me some great motivation.

  14. Nikola Gjakovski

    Feb 23, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    Great article Jeremy! I must tweet the Chinese proverb 🙂 The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.

    • Jeremy

      Feb 23, 2014 at 6:10 pm

      I think you meant Thai Nguyen?

      • Thai N

        Feb 23, 2014 at 10:56 pm

        Haha! As long as it was helpful, I’m not fussed about who gets the credit!

      • Nikola Gjakovski

        Feb 24, 2014 at 11:15 am

        I got confused with the first comment since I rushed to go out 😀 Yes I meant Thai good job and sorry for throwing your credit in Jeremy’s hands 🙂

  15. Jeremy

    Feb 23, 2014 at 11:28 am

    I like #5. Lots of people are always telling themselves “why should I do this? It’s not part of my job scope.”

    I always respect people who get shit throw at them and still do the things outside their responsibility to the best of their ability.

    But then also, sometimes we must question the kind of environment they are in as well. Not saying that justifies anything.

    • Thai N

      Feb 23, 2014 at 10:59 pm

      You are right Jeremy, respect always goes to the person stepping outside their responsibility. “The person that gets ahead is the one that does more than necessary. And keeps doing it.” Not sure who said that but very true.

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Success Advice

Stop Denying Your Negative Thoughts and Start Embracing Them

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Over the years, many of the talking heads and pundits in the personal development and success science industry have talked about the immediate replacement of negative thoughts with positive thoughts. The logic behind that particular behavioral strategy seems to make sense on the surface. Think about it, when a negative thought rears its ugly head, we should immediately dive into the repository of positive thoughts that we have available to us so that we could immediately begin to dwell on it.

Even further, some gurus of the genre suggest removing any chance of having a negative thought by the constant repetition of affirmations. Again, tried-and-true motivational technology that is very workable and still useful. I would suggest, however, that you view the above behaviors as tactics more than strategies.

I will further suggest to you that you do not abhor your negative thoughts but rather embrace them, examine them, and place them under a spotlight. My reasoning behind this goes back over 100 years into psychology with stimulus/response, that is, the cause and effect of certain behaviors. Many individuals look at a negative thought as a causative driver. The negative thought exists as a cause, and our behavior toward that cause will determine the effect.

So, following this logic, if an individual has a negative thought which makes them feel sad, and that sadness causes them to binge drink, by removing the negative thought you’ll have removed the motivation for binge drinking. Doesn’t that sound kind of silly? The suggestion here is to turn off the negative thought so that it will turn off the consumption of alcohol.

Of course, this makes sense if we view the negative thought as a primal force in behavior. So, what if we started to think of the negative thought more as the result of something else? It means that the “something else” must change first. What if we took a different approach? What if we looked at a negative thought as an effect of some larger causal factor?

“You’re going to go through tough times – that’s life. But I say, ‘Nothing happens to you, it happens for you.’ See the positive in negative events.” – Joel Osteen

By reversing the cause-and-effect motion of negative thinking (saying that the negative thought is an effect), we now can ask a deeper, more penetrative question: Why are we thinking that negative thought? What is the underlying cause of that specific train of thinking? By reversing the cause-and-effect relationship of negative thinking, it allows the negative thinker to assume the role of diagnostician!

Below is a three-step process you can use to examine your negative thoughts, the role of it in your life, and how you can get rid of them:

1. Simply acknowledge the negative thought

Recognize the fact that there’s a negative thought in your mind instead of trying to go through a process of emotionally overlaying positive thoughts on top of it. Can you see how this exacerbates the issue? You have a negative thought, you immediately recognize that it must be changed, and you frantically scurry through the museum of your mind to find a positive thought to replace it.

In the meantime, while you are trying to find that positive thought, you’re feeling anxious, nervous, and guilty! When you finally find a positive thought to replace that negative thought, the normal process is to squash it. But you can’t! It’s like trying to get rid of weeds by covering them with rocks.

They will always find another way around the rock. It is the same with negative thoughts. Consequently, try acknowledging the negative thought.

2. Affirm the negative thought

It is a part of you. Instead of denying its existence, accept that it is there in front of you and that you are now willing to deal with it. If any of you reading this are dog lovers, you will know that the best way to get a dog next to you is by attempting to push it away from you. Every time you push the dog away it gets closer. This is the same with negative thinking because the harder you push the closer it gets.

“Always turn a negative situation into a positive situation.” – Michael Jordan

3. Acquit the thought

Give it permission to leave you. Thank it for its past importance in your life and allow it to be on its way! At this point feel free to replace the negative thought with a positive thought. What will begin to happen when you place the negative thought under the spotlight is that you will see how insignificantly small it actually is.

This is a process I’ve been using for quite some time, and it works! Oh sure, I still use affirmations on a daily basis; as a matter fact I have them right here in front of me. I find that affirmations are a tremendous way to stay positive because it doesn’t allow any room for bad things to grow. But since the average person thinks 60,000 to 65,000 thoughts per day, let’s face it, a few negative thoughts have to squeak in there!

The best advice that I can give is to not freak out over a negative thought. Acknowledge it, affirm it, and acquit it! This is magic. Watch what happens!

How do you handle negative thoughts? Let us know your tips below!

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Success Advice

One Thing I Can Teach You About Life That Will Help You Forever.

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I used to be a very anxious person.

I was embarrassed by what I couldn’t do and every day was a struggle. From the moment I would wake up to the moment I’d go to bed, everything felt impossibly overwhelming. It’s a battle I’ve dealt with most of my life.

This daily struggle with mental illness taught me that the satisfaction didn’t lie in beating it; the satisfaction was in helping other people beat mental illness through my success in fighting it.


Recently, I was at work. It was a pretty standard day — nothing too exciting. I then had a catch up with one of the leaders I worked with.

She said something that got my attention: “One of our colleagues is battling a mental illness.”

I really wanted to help. My eyes lit up. There was no need to uncover my plan with anyone else. I knew that staying discrete was fundamental.

I approached the person in question and asked for a few minutes of their time.

I didn’t ask them to admit their mental illness struggle; I just shared my story.

I talked about the anxiety stopping me from having a normal life, eating the right foods, going on dates with girls, having the career I wanted and traveling the world.

I wasn’t sure if any of it was sinking in or even helping. I felt compelled to go on. One thing I knew was that he was paying attention. I could see it in his eyes.

I then went on to talk about how I beat mental illness. Strategies such as:

  • Creating fear lists
  • Seeking professional help
  • Working on myself
  • Books I read
  • Events I attended

Out of nowhere, he started opening up about his own struggle. I was shocked.
It wasn’t pretty. He had an extreme case of mental illness that I certainly couldn’t diagnose or give professional advice on.

All I could do was show him through my own story that there was hope

I offered him access to all the resources I had. I told him that he had my full support and I’d be happy to help in any way I could. He then said:

“What was your psychologist’s name?”

I told him I’d look it up and send it to him. I didn’t have the answer in front of me, but I was determined when I got home to find it.

At the end of the catch-up, he smiled. I don’t think he’d smiled like that in a very long time.

That smile gave me so much satisfaction. It made my own struggle with mental illness worth it. All those sleepless nights, times spent vomiting into the toilet and dark days where I didn’t want to go on made sense.


“It took more than seven years for me to understand that my own battle with mental illness actually had a benefit”

That benefit was the satisfaction in seeing someone beat their mental illness because I was able to defeat mine.

It’s probably the greatest satisfaction of my entire life.

That’s one thing I can teach you about life that will help you forever.

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Success Advice

5 Productivity Shifts You Need to Make to Make 2019 Your Best Year Yet

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Everyone wants more time, that is something almost all of us share. Time is the most valuable resource and when you learn how to make your time work for you and how to get the most out of it – you experience life differently.  

Improving how you manage your time is one of the biggest gifts you can give yourself – it’s a real game changer in your business and personal life. There are many ways that you can get more productive and get the right things done sooner; but not all of them are obvious or bring the same results.

Here are 5 productivity shifts you want to make if you are trying to make the most out of 2019:

1. Ditch your to do list

Productive people don’t keep to-do lists, they schedule everything they need to do in their calendar and work directly from their calendar!  To-Do lists are just ineffective and they are impeding your productivity. A never ending list of items only leaves you overwhelmed and with a false sense of ‘productivity’.  

If you schedule your To Do’s directly into your calendar at a time to get them done, you commit to it and you are more likely to get it done. Less is more – you don’t need a separate list to remind you what you need to do.

“Productivity is less about what you do with your time and more about how you run your mind.” – Robin Sharma

2. Give up on motivation

Productive people don’t always have to be motivated before starting something. They balance discipline with motivation and do what they need to do, regardless of motivation. When we come up with resistance to take action on what we have planned, we might tell ourselves that we are not motivated and we believe that we need to be motivated to complete any task.

If you want to increase your productivity, you need to challenge yourself more in the moment to take action and give up on motivation sometimes. Do what you need to in order to get the results you want in the future. Don’t make decisions based on how you feel now, make them based on what result you are really after.

3. Master your mornings

Wake up early and get yourself into the productive mindset with your routine and diet! Productive people start the day with some sort of routine, whether it’s meditation, exercise or visualization, etc. AND they have a healthy breakfast to fuel them for the day. Your health is everything when it comes to productivity, what you eat directly affects your productivity.

We can just no longer ignore the direct connection any more. Get in the right mindset to start your day and fuel your mind and body to get the most out of it. Starting your day off in any other way undermines your success – there is no doubt.

4. Schedule according to energy

Productive people know their energy cycles and they plan tasks around their energy levels. Why plan something at a time when you know it will be hard to rise to the challenge? Schedule tasks that require focus and concentration for those times of day that you feel the best and you will find it’s easier to follow through and you will be at your best to perform. Identify your filler tasks and complete those when your energy drops. Be more realistic when scheduling your tasks and set yourself up for wins.

“Productivity is never an accident it’s the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning & focused effort.” – Paul Meyer

5. Working backwards

Productive people always focus on those activities that will take them to the next level. They plan backwards, they look at their goals, then identify the tasks they need to do to support those goals. Those tasks get broken down into weekly actions. That’s how they plan.

Don’t only plan on tasks that come in or those which you ‘feel’ or ‘think’ you should be doing. Your day needs to consist of at least one activity that directly supports your longer term objectives, your big project. What sounds like common sense is definitely not common practice.

Create the right habits to achieve your goals, work on adopting easy tips and techniques so you can manage your time and yourself better to get things done.

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Success Advice

You Need to Grow Your Memory in Order to Grow Your Life

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We all have access to the most powerful computer ever created in the universe…our brain. Unfortunately, few of us have ever been taught how to use our minds efficiently, and even fewer have learned how to develop a fabulous memory. Thankfully, like any skill, memorising can be learned and using the correct strategies, your memory can be improved in only days.

One of the best coaches on memory is Dominic O’Brien the eight-time world memory champion. Self-taught after watching Creighton Carvello memorise a pack of cards on the BBC’s Record Breakers programme. Dominic, through his work on memory, has given us many tools and techniques for improving memory.

Below are 5 rules that will help you develop a better memory:

1. The Rule of Five

Probably seen as one of the most significant contributions to the body of knowledge on memory is O’Brien’s Rule of Five. This rule details how to remember things using a strategy of regular staged repetition.

These stages are as follows:

  • First Review:Immediately
  • Second Review:Twenty-four hours later
  • Third Review:One week later
  • Fourth Review:One month later
  • Fifth Review:Three months later

Utilising stage repetition at these intervals ingrains the memory for the long term.

2. The Dominic System

The Dominic System is a system for remembering numbers. The system is a Person Action system where the association between two sets of paired numbers is the person with the action of the next person.

1139 would become Andre Agassi doing a roundhouse kick which is the action of Chuck Norris. This system combined with the journey method allows for long random numbers to be easily recalled without error. The fantastic thing about this system is that you get to customise for yourself with memorable people and unique actions which when combined really make it easy for you to recall numbers. The table below associates each number to a letter.

Number     0     1    2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9
Letter     O     A     B     C     D    E     S     G     H     N

Creating a simple document with pairs of numbers in one column, the letter pairs in the next and an action column will help you learn this system quickly.

“Nothing can substitute for just plain hard work. I had to put in the time to get back. And it was a grind. It meant training and sweating every day. But I was completely committed to working out to prove to myself that I still could do it.” – Andre Agassi

3. The Link Method

This method relies on two essential elements of memory, association and exaggeration. Utilising these two elements, it is possible to link together unrelated objects to allow you to remember them.

Trying to remember a list of five separate words such as: balloon, papaya, gold, football and hat, might go something like this. You imagine seeing a giant balloon and inside the balloon you can see a small papaya, in bursting the balloon the papaya falls out and as it hits the floor a gold football bounces into a large sombrero.

4. The Journey Method

Using location has been a fundamental part of mnemonics almost since time began. Before humans, writing elders would pass knowledge to others using stories of journeys, with each piece of knowledge being associated with a location on the journey.

O’Brien’s system utilises journeys that you would undertake on a daily basis, like your commute to work or train stations on well-known line. Items are then associated and exaggerated along the journey, so for instance if you were trying to remember a list of ten random things you would associate each piece along with a unique ten stop journey and utilise exaggeration to make the items more memorable.

“You are well equipped with an incredible potential for absorbing knowledge…Anything’s possible.” – Dominic O’Brien

5. The Story Method

To remember groups of information, create a story that links them together. Remembering the planets of the solar system and their position relative to the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

Imagine that Mercury was hitting the nineties as Venus tossed the tennis ball into the air, striking the ball it soared over the net striking the earth and bouncing high into the air, knocking the mars bar out of Jupiter’s hand, and so on.

Developing a good memory will assist markedly in all of your personal development goals as well as assisting greatly in your daily life. The methods above are tried and tested by one of the leading memory champions. Whether you want to become the next World Memory Champion or just improve your recall, the techniques outlined above will assist greatly.

Combining the various elements will create an exponential improvement in your memory that you will find hard to believe, and you will be kicking yourself for not applying them sooner. The best part about using these methods is that they are fun, so enjoy using them.

Which one of these memorizing methods sounds most interesting to you? Share with us below!

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