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The 3 Vital Steps Of The Apprenticeship Phase In Mastering Anything

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Robert Greene - Master Skills in Apprenticeship

This post is an excerpt from Mastery by Robert Greene (Viking). Mastery is the latest book from the bestselling author of The 48 Laws of Power, The Art of Seduction, The 33 Strategies of War, and The 50th Law.

In the stories of the greatest Masters, past and present, we can inevitably detect a phase in their lives in which all of their future powers were in development, like the chrysalis of a butterfly. This part of their lives—a largely self-directed apprenticeship that lasts some five to ten years—receives little attention because it does not contain stories of great achievement or discovery. Often in their Apprenticeship Phase, these types are not yet much different from anyone else. Under the surface, however, their minds are transforming in ways we cannot see but contain all of the seeds of their future success.

Much of how such Masters navigate this phase comes from an intuitive grasp of what is most important and essential for their development, but in studying what they did right we can learn some invaluable lessons for ourselves. In fact, a close examination of their lives reveals a pattern that transcends their various fields, indicating a kind of Ideal Apprenticeship for mastery. And to grasp this pattern, to follow it in our own ways, we must understand something about the very idea and necessity for passing through an apprenticeship.

In childhood we are inculcated in culture through a long period of dependency—far longer than any other animal. During this period we learn language, writing, math, and reasoning skills, along with a few others. Much of this happens under the watchful and loving guidance of parents and teachers. As we get older, greater emphasis is placed on book learning—absorbing as much information as possible about various subjects. Such knowledge of history, science, or literature is abstract, and the process of learning largely involves passive absorption. At the end of this process (usually somewhere between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five) we are then thrust into the cold, harsh work world to fend for ourselves.

When we emerge from the youthful state of dependency, we are not really ready to handle the transition to an entirely independent phase. We carry with us the habit of learning from books or teachers, which is largely unsuited for the practical, self-directed phase of life that comes next. We tend to be somewhat socially naïve and unprepared for the political games people play. Still uncertain as to our identity, we think that what matters in the work world is gaining attention and making friends. And these misconceptions and naïveté are brutally exposed in the light of the real world.

If we adjust over time, we might eventually find our way; but if we make too many mistakes, we create endless problems for ourselves. We spend too much time entangled in emotional issues, and we never quite have enough detachment to reflect and learn from our experiences. The apprenticeship, by its very nature, must be conducted by each individual in his or her own way. To follow precisely the lead of others or advice from a book is self-defeating. This is the phase in life in which we finally declare our independence and establish who we are. But for this second education in our lives, so critical to our future success, there are some powerful and essential lessons that we all can benefit from, that can guide us away from common mistakes and save us valuable time.

These lessons transcend all fields and historical periods because they are connected to something essential about human psychology and how the brain itself functions. They can be distilled into one overarching principle for the Apprenticeship Phase, and a process that loosely follows three steps.

The principle is simple and must be engraved deeply in your mind: the goal of an apprenticeship is not money, a good position, a title, or a diploma, but rather the transformation of your mind and character—the first transformation on the way to mastery. You enter a career as an outsider. You are naïve and full of misconceptions about this new world. Your head is full of dreams and fantasies about the future. Your knowledge of the world is subjective, based on emotions, insecurities, and limited experience. Slowly, you will ground yourself in reality, in the objective world represented by the knowledge and skills that make people successful in it. You will learn how to work with others and handle criticism. In the process you will transform yourself from someone who is impatient and scattered into someone who is disciplined and focused, with a mind that can handle complexity. In the end, you will master yourself and all of your weaknesses.

This has a simple consequence: you must choose places of work and positions that offer the greatest possibilities for learning. Practical knowledge is the ultimate commodity, and is what will pay you dividends for decades to come—far more than the paltry increase in pay you might receive at some seemingly lucrative position that offers fewer learning opportunities. This means that you move toward challenges that will toughen and improve you, where you will get the most objective feedback on your performance and progress. You do not choose apprenticeships that seem easy and comfortable.

In this sense you must see yourself as following in the footsteps of Charles Darwin. You are finally on your own, on a voyage in which you will craft your own future. It is the time of youth and adventure—of exploring the world with an open mind and spirit. In fact, whenever you must learn a new skill or alter your career path later in life, you reconnect with that youthful, adventurous part of yourself. Darwin could have played it safe, collecting what was necessary, and spending more time on board studying instead of actively exploring. In that case, he would not have become an illustrious scientist, but just another collector. He constantly looked for challenges, pushing himself past his comfort zone. He used danger and difficulties as a way to measure his progress. You must adopt such a spirit and see your apprenticeship as a kind of journey in which you will transform yourself, rather than as a drab indoctrination into the work world.

 

The Apprenticeship Phase — The Three Steps or Modes

With the principle outlined above guiding you in your choices, you must think of three essential steps in your apprenticeship, each one overlapping the other. These steps are: Deep Observation (The Passive Mode), Skills Acquisition (The Practice Mode), and Experimentation (The Active Mode). Keep in mind that an apprenticeship can come in many different forms. It can happen at one place over several years, or it can consist of several different positions in different places, a kind of compound apprenticeship involving many different skills. It can include a mix of graduate school and practical experience. In all of these cases, it will help you to think in terms of these steps, although you may need to give added weight to a particular one depending on the nature of your field.

 

Step One: Deep Observation—The Passive Mode

Becoming A Master - Robert GreeneWhen you enter a career or new environment, you move into a world with its own rules, procedures, and social dynamic. For decades or even centuries, people have compiled knowledge of how to get things done in a particular field, each generation improving on the past. In addition, every workplace has its own conventions, rules of behavior, and work standards. There are also all kinds of power relationships that exist between individuals. All of this represents a reality that transcends your individual needs and desires. And so your task upon entering this world is to observe and absorb its reality as deeply as possible.

The greatest mistake you can make in the initial months of your apprenticeship is to imagine that you have to get attention, impress people, and prove yourself. These thoughts will dominate your mind and close it off from the reality around you. Any positive attention you receive is deceptive; it is not based on your skills or anything real, and it will turn against you. Instead, you will want to acknowledge the reality and submit to it, muting your colors and keeping in the background as much as possible, remaining passive and giving yourself the space to observe. You will also want to drop any preconceptions you might have about this world you are entering. If you impress people in these first months, it should be because of the seriousness of your desire to learn, not because you are trying to rise to the top before you are ready.

You will be observing two essential realities in this new world. First, you will observe the rules and procedures that govern success in this environment—in other words, “this is how we do things here.” Some of these rules will be communicated to you directly—generally the ones that are superficial and largely a matter of common sense. You must pay attention to these and observe them, but what is of more interest are the rules that are unstated and are part of the underlying work culture. These concern style and values that are considered important. They are often a reflection of the character of the man or woman on top.

You can observe such rules by looking at those who are on their way up in the hierarchy, who have a golden touch. More tellingly, you can observe those who are more awkward, who have been chastised for particular mistakes or even been fired. Such examples serve as negative trip wires: do things this way and you will suffer.

The second reality you will observe is the power relationships that exist within the group: who has real control; through whom do all communications flow; who is on the rise and who is on the decline. These procedural and political rules may be dysfunctional or counterproductive, but your job is not to moralize about this or complain, but merely to understand them, to get a complete lay of the land. You are like an anthropologist studying an alien culture, attuned to all of its nuances and conventions. You are not there to change that culture; you will only end up being killed, or in the case of work, fired. Later, when you have attained power and mastery, you will be the one to rewrite or destroy these same rules.

Every task you are given, no matter how menial, offers opportunities to observe this world at work. No detail about the people within it is too trivial. Everything you see or hear is a sign for you to decode. Over time, you will begin to see and understand more of the reality that eluded you at first. For instance, a person whom you initially thought had great power ended up being someone with more bark than bite. Slowly, you begin to see behind the appearances. As you amass more information about the rules and power dynamics of your new environment, you can begin to analyze why they exist, and how they relate to larger trends in the field. You move from observation to analysis, honing your reasoning skills, but only after months of careful attention.

We can see how Charles Darwin followed this step quite clearly. By spending the first few months studying life on board the ship and perceiving the unwritten rules, he made his time for science much more productive. By enabling himself to fit in, he was able to avoid needless battles that would have later disrupted his scientific work, not to mention the emotional turmoil these would have presented to him. He later practiced the same technique with gauchos and other local communities he came in contact with. This allowed him to extend the regions he could explore and the specimens he could collect. On another level, he slowly transformed himself into perhaps the most astute observer of nature the world has ever known. Emptying himself of any preconceptions about life and its origins, Darwin trained himself to see things as they are. He did not theorize or generalize about what he was seeing until he had amassed enough information. Submitting to and absorbing the reality of all aspects of this voyage, he ended up piercing one of the most fundamental realities of all—the evolution of all living forms.

Understand: there are several critical reasons why you must follow this step. First, knowing your environment inside and out will help you in navigating it and avoiding costly mistakes. You are like a hunter: your knowledge of every detail of the forest and of the ecosystem as a whole will give you many more options for survival and success. Second, the ability to observe any unfamiliar environment will become a critical lifelong skill. You will develop the habit of stilling your ego and looking outward instead of inward. You will see in any encounter what most people miss because they are thinking of themselves. You will cultivate a keen eye for human psychology, and strengthen your ability to focus. Finally, you will become accustomed to observing first, basing your ideas and theories on what you have seen with your eyes, and then analyzing what you find. This will be a very important skill for the next, creative phase in life.

 

Step Two: Skills Acquisition—The Practice Mode

Robert Greene - The Art Of MasteryAt some point, as you progress through the initial months of observation required in an apprenticeship, you will enter a critical stage: practice toward the acquisition of skills. Every human activity, endeavor, or career path involves the mastering of skills. In some fields, it is direct and obvious, like operating a tool or machine or creating something physical. In others, it is more of a mix of the physical and mental, such as the observing and collecting of specimens for Charles Darwin. In still others, the skills are more nebulous, such as handling people or researching and organizing information. As much as possible, you want to reduce these skills to something simple and essential—the core of what you need to get good at, skills that can be practiced.

In acquiring any kind of skill, there exists a natural learning process that coincides with the functioning of our brains. This learning process leads to what we shall call tacit knowledge—a feeling for what you are doing that is hard to put into words but easy to demonstrate in action. And to understand how this learning process operates, it is useful to look at the greatest system ever invented for the training of skills and the achievement of tacit knowledge—the apprenticeship system of the Middle Ages. This system arose as a solution to a problem: As business expanded in the Middle Ages, Masters of various crafts could no longer depend on family members to work in the shop. They needed more hands. But it was not worth it for them to bring in people who would come and go—they needed stability and time to build up skills in their workers. And so they developed the apprenticeship system, in which young people from approximately the ages of twelve to seventeen would enter work in a shop, signing a contract that would commit them for the term of seven years. At the end of this term, apprentices would have to pass a master test, or produce a master work, to prove their level of skill. Once passed, they were now elevated to the rank of journeymen and could travel wherever there was work, practicing the craft.

Because few books or drawings existed at the time, apprentices would learn the trade by watching Masters and imitating them as closely as possible. They learned through endless repetition and hands-on work, with very little verbal instruction (the word “apprentice” itself comes from the Latin prehendere, meaning to grasp with the hand). Because resources such as textiles, wood, and metals were expensive and could not be wasted on practice runs, apprentices would spend most of their time working directly on materials that would be used for the final product. They had to learn how to focus deeply on their work and not make mistakes.

If one added up the time that apprentices ended up working directly on materials in those years, it would amount to more than 10,000 hours, enough to establish exceptional skill level at a craft. The power of this form of tacit knowledge is embodied in the great Gothic cathedrals of Europe—masterpieces of beauty, craftsmanship, and stability, all erected without blueprints or books. These cathedrals represented the accumulated skills of numerous craftsmen and engineers.

What this means is simple: language, oral and written, is a relatively recent invention. Well before that time, our ancestors had to learn various skills—toolmaking, hunting, and so forth. The natural model for learning, largely based on the power of mirror neurons, came from watching and imitating others, then repeating the action over and over. Our brains are suited for this form of learning. In an activity such as riding a bicycle, we all know that it is easier to watch someone and follow their lead than to listen to or read instructions. The more we do it, the easier it becomes. Even with skills that are primarily mental, such as computer programming or speaking a foreign language, it remains the case that we learn best through practice and repetition—the natural learning process. We learn a foreign language by actually speaking it as much as possible, not by reading books and absorbing theories. The more we speak and practice, the more fluent we become.

Once you take this far enough, you enter a cycle of accelerated returns in which the practice becomes easier and more interesting, leading to the ability to practice for longer hours, which increases your skill level, which in turn makes practice even more interesting. Reaching this cycle is the goal you must set for yourself, and to get there you must understand some basic principles about skills themselves.

First, it is essential that you begin with one skill that you can master, and that serves as a foundation for acquiring others. You must avoid at all cost the idea that you can manage learning several skills at a time. You need to develop your powers of concentration, and understand that trying to multi task will be the death of the process.

Second, the initial stages of learning a skill invariably involve tedium. Yet rather than avoiding this inevitable tedium, you must accept and embrace it. The pain and boredom we experience in the initial stage of learning a skill toughens our minds, much like physical exercise. Too many people believe that everything must be pleasurable in life, which makes them constantly search for distractions and short-circuits the learning process. The pain is a kind of challenge your mind presents—will you learn how to focus and move past the boredom, or like a child will you succumb to the need for immediate pleasure and distraction? Much as with physical exercise, you can even get a kind of perverse pleasure out of this pain, knowing the benefits it will bring you. In any event, you must meet any boredom head-on and not try to avoid or repress it. Throughout your life you will encounter tedious situations, and you must cultivate the ability to handle them with discipline.

In practicing a skill in the initial stages, something happens neurologically to the brain that is important for you to understand. When you start something new, a large number of neurons in the frontal cortex (the higher, more conscious command area of the brain) are recruited and become active, helping you in the learning process. The brain has to deal with a large amount of new information, and this would be stressful and overwhelming if only a limited part of the brain were used to handle it. The frontal cortex even expands in size in this initial phase, as we focus hard on the task. But once something is repeated often enough, it becomes hardwired and automatic, and the neural pathways for this skill are delegated to other parts of the brain, farther down the cortex. Those neurons in the frontal cortex that we needed in the initial stages are now freed up to help in learning something else, and the area goes back to its normal size.

In the end, an entire network of neurons is developed to remember this single task, which accounts for the fact that we can still ride a bicycle years after we first learned how to do so. If we were to take a look at the frontal cortex of those who have mastered something through repetition, it would be remarkably still and inactive as they performed the skill. All of their brain activity is occurring in areas that are lower down and require much less conscious control.

This process of hardwiring cannot occur if you are constantly distracted, moving from one task to another. In such a case, the neural pathways dedicated to this skill never get established; what you learn is too tenuous to remain rooted in the brain. It is better to dedicate two or three hours of intense focus to a skill than to spend eight hours of diffused concentration on it. You want to be as immediately present to what you are doing as possible.

Once an action becomes automatic, you now have the mental space to observe yourself as you practice. You must use this distance to take note of your weaknesses or flaws that need correction—to analyze yourself. It helps also to gain as much feedback as possible from others, to have standards against which you can measure your progress so that you are aware of how far you have to go. People who do not practice and learn new skills never gain a proper sense of proportion or self-criticism. They think they can achieve anything without effort and have little contact with reality. Trying something over and over again grounds you in reality, making you deeply aware of your inadequacies and of what you can accomplish with more work and effort.

If you take this far enough, you will naturally enter the cycle of accelerated returns: As you learn and gain skills you can begin to vary what you do, finding nuances that you can develop in the work, so that it becomes more interesting. As elements become more automatic your mind is not exhausted by the effort and you can practice harder, which in turn brings greater skill and more pleasure. You can look for challenges, new areas to conquer, keeping your interest at a high level. As the cycle accelerates, you can reach a point where your mind is totally absorbed in the practice, entering a kind of flow in which everything else is blocked out. You become one with the tool or instrument or thing you are studying. Your skill is not something that can be put into words; it is embedded in your body and nervous system—it becomes tacit knowledge. Learning any kind of skill deeply prepares you for mastery. The sensation of flow and of being a part of the instrument is a precursor to the great pleasures that mastery can bring.

In essence, when you practice and develop any skill you transform yourself in the process. You reveal to yourself new capabilities that were previously latent, that are exposed as you progress. You develop emotionally. Your sense of pleasure becomes redefined. What offers immediate pleasure comes to seem like a distraction, an empty entertainment to help pass the time. Real pleasure comes from overcoming challenges, feeling confidence in your abilities, gaining fluency in skills, and experiencing the power this brings. You develop patience. Boredom no longer signals the need for distraction, but rather the need for new challenges to conquer.

Although it might seem that the time necessary to master the requisite skills and attain a level of expertise would depend on the field and your own talent level, those who have researched the subject repeatedly come up with the number of 10,000 hours. This seems to be the amount of quality practice time that is needed for someone to reach a high level of skill and it applies to composers, chess players, writers, and athletes, among others. This number has an almost magical or mystical resonance to it. It means that so much practice time—no matter the person or the field—leads to a qualitative change in the human brain. The mind has learned to organize and structure large amounts of information. With all of this tacit knowledge, it can now become creative and playful with it. Although the number of hours might seem high, it generally adds up to seven to ten years of sustained, solid practice—roughly the period of a traditional apprenticeship. In other words, concentrated practice over time cannot fail but produce results.

 

Step Three: Experimentation—The Active Mode

Experimenting and mastering a new skillThis is the shortest part of the process, but a critical component nonetheless. As you gain in skill and confidence, you must make the move to a more active mode of experimentation. This could mean taking on more responsibility, initiating a project of some sort, doing work that exposes you to the criticisms of peers or even the public. The point of this is to gauge your progress and whether there are still gaps in your knowledge. You are observing yourself in action and seeing how you respond to the judgments of others. Can you take criticism and use it constructively?

With Charles Darwin, as the voyage progressed and he began to entertain the notions that would lead to his theory of evolution, he decided to expose his ideas to others. First, on the Beagle, he discussed them with the captain and patiently absorbed his vehement criticisms of the idea. This, Darwin told himself, would be more or less the reaction of the public, and he would have to prepare himself for that. He also began to write letters to various scientists and scientific societies back in England. The responses he received indicated he was on to something, but that he would need some more research. For Leonardo da Vinci, as he progressed in his studio work for Verrocchio, he began to experiment and to assert his own style. He found to his surprise that the Master was impressed with his inventiveness. For Leonardo, this indicated that he was near the end of his apprenticeship.

Most people wait too long to take this step, generally out of fear. It is always easier to learn the rules and stay within your comfort zone. Often you must force yourself to initiate such actions or experiments before you think you are ready. You are testing your character, moving past your fears, and developing a sense of detachment to your work—looking at it through the eyes of others. You are getting a taste for the next phase in which what you produce will be under constant scrutiny.

You will know when your apprenticeship is over by the feeling that you have nothing left to learn in this environment. It is time to declare your independence or move to another place to continue your apprenticeship and expand your skill base. Later in life, when you are confronted with a career change or the need to learn new skills, having gone through this process before, it will become second nature. You have learned how to learn.

 

Robert Greene is an American author and speaker known for his books on strategy, power and seduction. He has written four international bestsellers: The 48 Laws of Power, The Art of Seduction, The 33 Strategies of War, and The 50th Law.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Richard Anderson

    Jun 8, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    Wow, that is one deep article and takes some reading! When I look back at my career and learning process (I’m 53) I never gave any of this a thought. For me personally, I was fired by my enthusiasm for my craft and the new opportunities that lay ahead. This is an interesting piece for sure and I believe Maxwell Maltz’s ‘The New Psycho-Cybernertics’ and Malcolm Gladwell in his book ‘Outliers’ add a clearer view of this complex subject for me.

  2. Rachel Hunter (TraderRach)

    May 20, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    The 3 steps of the Apprenticeship Phase describes the process to learn forex trading. I agree that many people take too long to get into the Active Mode out of fear. A comprehensive article thanks.

  3. Bakinson Olalekan

    May 12, 2013 at 11:16 am

    The very simple and careful delivery of this piece quickly brings to bare two things- confidence and assurance of success, if only one strictly adheres to these principles.

  4. dejiu

    May 11, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    WOW!
    That’s the best word to describe this article! You just gave ma a road map to become a Tycoon in any industry whatsoever! Thank you for the wonderful work!!

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Success Advice

5 Ways to Think Yourself Into Mind Blowing Results From Globally Renowned Leaders

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deep thought

Many wonder why someone who’s less qualified is achieving greater success even though you’re smarter, work harder, or even have more influential connections. The only way someone succeeds is by thinking correctly. It doesn’t matter who you know, what school you attended, or what grades you got; all that matters are your thoughts. Both men and women around the world have been telling people “the secret” to success for hundreds of years. It’s time to listen.

Here are five tactics to begin today:

1. Writing Goals the Napoleon Hill Way

Thinking yourself into mind blowing results starts with the end in mind. Athletes know exactly what their goal is and how to earn the points to win. Life’s exactly the same.  In nearly every Napoleon Hill book, he lays out a goal achieving formula which has helped millions around the world. By following this, you will accomplish something you currently believe is impossible.

Start by writing a clear statement of your desire, then formulate a clear plan to attain it. You’ll also need to know what you plan on giving up in return. Set a definite time limit. Everything you wrote down, memorize it and repeat it to yourself often. It’s imperative you express gratitude towards receiving the results you’re still working for. Be grateful you achieved your desired outcomes long before you actually materialize them into your world.

“If you cannot do great things yourself, remember that you may do small things in a great way.” – Napoleon Hill

2. Creating Your Mental Image How Bob Proctor Teaches

In Bob Proctor’s’ book, You Were Born Rich, he titled Chapter 3, “The Image Maker” because we think in pictures. Our thoughts are like movie clips being projected on the screens of our minds; control the pictures, control the outcomes.  It’s vital to manage our thoughts and expel the ones that don’t serve us. Knowing this, you’re now the ‘mental architect’ of your life, of your destiny!

Once you have your desired outcome, it’s time to put that image on the screen of your mind. See yourself already in possession of what you desire. Clearly watch yourself living it, hearing the sounds and feeling the feelings you’ll experience.

A powerful question to ask to know which moment should be on the screen of your mind is, “what’s the last thing that needs to happen in order for me to know I’ve achieved the result I’m after?” This is the moment to focus on!

3. Allow Dr. David Schwartz to Give Yourself a Daily Pep-Talk

Start thinking more of yourself through self-praise. You’ll begin to discover how much bigger and stronger you feel when you upgrade your thinking habits. In Dr. David Schwartz’s book, The Magic of Thinking Big, he provides you with a daily technique. Constantly reminding yourself that you’re top-notch by using his “Sell-Yourself-to-Yourself 60 Second Commercial.”

Developing the “commercial” is as easy as writing down your assets and points of superiority. What’ll separate you from the herd is practicing your “commercial” out loud in front of a mirror once a day with enthusiasm and determination. Lastly, read it silently many times throughout the day as a constant reminder of your greatness. Just like a written goal, keep this with you at all times. It’s a great mental tool to regain enthusiasm and determination after the inevitable setback.

4. Experience Unlimited Power Like Tony Robbins

Have you heard about Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)? It’s the study of success and how to emulate it; it’s the language of the mind and how to create concise results. From the many learnings gathered from both Tony Robbins and the study of NLP, controlling your state of mind is one thing that will drastically change the results you’re currently producing.

In his book, Unlimited Power, Tony Robbins gifted us with the technique, “memory management.” This is linking an emotion to a memory which instantly elicits that empowering feeling. Simply know your arsenal of positive memories to think about when you need that extra umph.

Successful people gain access to their most resourceful emotions on a consistent basis, you can too. What’s great about the mind is that they don’t even need to be real memories. Daydreaming about your fantasy life will do the trick too!

“People who succeed at the highest level are not lucky; they’re doing something differently than everyone else.” – Tony Robbins

5. Think Positive as if You Were Norman Vincent Peale

Believing in yourself is vital to succeed, but not crucial to begin. The path to attainment is by forming faith and expectancy that what you desire is going to happen. In Norman Vincent Peale’s book, The Power of Positive Thinking, he wrote a chapter for each of these important necessities; believing and expecting. By not having both of these right now, or even just one of them, that shouldn’t stop you from anything!

There’s an undeniable cure for both. To believe in yourself and have the full expectation that what you want will come to pass, the only tactic out there are autosuggestions, commonly known as affirmations.

Developing statements in the positive, present tense and repeating them thousands of times a day, you’ll reprogram your subconscious mind to a success-filled mindset. By convincing your subconscious to believe in your end game, soon enough, you’ll begin to expect it; just like you expect to go to sleep tonight.

Since our minds are the most powerful force in all of creation, it’s time to start using it to its fullest potential. Start today by writing your goal the Napoleon Hill way!

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Success Advice

2 Secret Roads to Success – Why Some People Have It All and How You Can Too

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road to success

Have you wondered how some people seem to have it all – the 6-figure pay check, a healthy and fit body and amazing relationships? On the other hand, others are successful in one aspect of our lives (perhaps we are happy with our careers) but there’s always something that’s missing – that strong body, that perfect someone or living a meaningful life.

I’ve personally experienced having a successful career but failed at having a healthy and strong body. When I finally succeeded at getting and staying healthy, I realized that there are two completely different approaches, both of which need to be mastered to find success in life – the goal-driven approach and the process-driven approach.

The Goal-Driven Approach

A goal-driven approach is one in which our goals themselves, are sufficient to motivate us to act until we achieve them. This works well for:

  1. Short-term goals lasting a few days or a few weeks, where we can see the end in sight and push ourselves to get there.
  2. Goals that are usually within or just outside our comfort zone.
  3. Goals that have some certainty of success at the end. For example, working overnight and acing the client presentation the next morning makes us feel proud of our achievement and gets us recognition from our boss.

This approach inherently rewards speed, agility and short bursts of intense work. We end up relying on quick wins or successes which make the task worth it and help us feel motivated to achieve our goals.

Most of us are very adept at using this approach because we’ve grown up in environments, traditional education and companies, which operate this way. Schools and universities set exams and corporate jobs require us to complete tasks upon which we get good grades or promotions.

When the Goal-Driven Approach Doesn’t Work

What a goal-driven approach doesn’t teach us though is how to approach long-term goals like staying healthy, having meaningful relationships or building our careers around our purpose in life.

  1. These goals are usually so big and so long-term that we don’t fully understand all the steps to reach them.
  2. They don’t have any immediate reward associated with them so our motivation to chase them decreases after the initial burst of inspiration. For example, it’s impossible to lose weight and keep it off by just eating healthy for a week.
  3. Because they are so long-term, any future action of ours can completely wipe out the gains made in the beginning of the process which is even more de-motivating. For example, a week of eating healthy can be wiped out by one night of bingeing.
  4. There is also no artificial sense of urgency like deadlines -so we need to find the motivation internally to engage in the task every day. If we ever try to impose timelines on these tasks, it only stresses us out and we compensate by completely sabotaging ourselves like eating an entire pack of cookies one fine night exhausted from a week of eating too little.

“If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.” – Yogi Berra

The Process-Driven Approach

The process-driven approach breaks down our big goals into minute goals and creates a habit to execute these minute goals regularly.

Putting such a habit into place is simple. Just follow these four steps:

  1. Break down your big vision into multiple long-term goals all of which have to work together to make your big vision come true. For example, for your big goal of feeling healthy and fit, you may break it down into eating healthier, exercising regularly and sleeping more.
  2. Pick one of the goals to focus on, ideally the one you think will have the biggest payoff.
  3. Break this goal down into a series of simple activities that you can do without much effort. For example, let’s say you picked eating healthier as your priority goal. One of the activities that might be sabotaging you is your regular McDonald’s dinner on the way back from work. A simple activity that can replace this is to stop driving by McDonald’s if it’s triggering your craving and take a different route back home instead.  This might take a little bit of willpower on the first day but as you get used to the new route over a couple of weeks, it’ll become an automatic habit.
  4. Once the first activity feels like a normal part of your day, stack on the second activity and so on. Similarly, once you’ve achieved the first goal, stack on the second, third and remaining goals to reach your long-term vision.

How to Succeed with the Process-Driven Approach

Though this seems simple in theory, there are two emotional and mindset changes needed to succeed with this method.

The first is to be patient – instead of focusing on the big shiny dream, measure progress against the habit that you’re trying to cultivate. Accept that seeing the big vision come true takes months and sometimes years. Our biggest Achilles heel is impatience and while this works well in academia and work, it backfires in building health and relationships because we end up taking short cuts that harm us long term.

The second is to build rewards into your process – Having rewards is the best way to motivate ourselves and makes our mini-habits easier to stick to. For example, if you don’t eat at McDonald’s then your reward could be having a spa massage at the end of the week.

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” – Thomas Jefferson

Find The Right Balance

At the end of the day, we need to master both goal-driven and process-driven approaches to succeed. Use the goal-driven approach for short-term goals or when you need a burst of energy to push you through a task. Use the process-driven approach for long-term lifestyle change journeys such as getting healthier, having more meaningful relationships or pursuing a career that resonates with your purpose in life. In this way, you too can soon be the person who seems to magically “have it all”.

What are you doing today to reach success later on? Let us know your tips in the comments below!

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Success Advice

You Don’t Have To Listen To Every Bit Of Career Feedback. Some People Just Don’t Get You And That’s Fine!

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I recently got rejected from what I thought was a fantastic career opportunity. I was told that I was “Not entrepreneurial enough.”

Those that know me well know that it’s probably one of the few things I’m good at. Many of my mentors who I told this story to laughed out loud.

These three words were career feedback and I was always led to believe that to ignore this feedback would be ignorant and stupid.

I pondered that thought for a few days and then had a revelation: “I don’t have to listen to every bit of feedback I get.”

 

Pissed off is a natural first reaction.

That’s how I felt after someone told me I was crap at the very thing I love and have dedicated most of my time to. Our brain wants to be angry and fight back. Our first reaction, though, is often not what we should pay attention to.

“Empty space and time to reflect is how we process career feedback for what it really is: an opinion”

Don’t let your first reaction dominate how you think about the feedback. Maturity that can come at any age will show you to question everything – even your reaction.

 

Some people just don’t get you.

You’re not their type, they don’t like you, you speak a different language or you may have different values. Not everyone is going to get you and what you stand for and that’s okay. In my case, I didn’t connect.

Buying into the circus that is me is not for everyone. If you don’t like vulnerability or breaking comfort zones, then you probably won’t like me.

If you’re not obsessed with big goals, doing the impossible and trying to improve just a little bit every day, then you probably won’t like me.

That’s okay and I forgive you. I don’t have all the answers and I’m far from perfect – like the rest of us.

Learn to accept that some people will never get you and what you’re about.

That realization is how we overcome career feedback that we may not agree with.

 

Sometimes it’s any excuse. The real answer is something different.

Feedback can be disguised by the truth. The truth is maybe there was someone else the whole time and I never had a chance at this career opportunity. Maybe it wasn’t me at all.

Sometimes feedback is given because the real reason is much harder to deliver. It’s not easy to say “Tim, thanks but we hired someone else and you were never in the running.”

Admitting you never even had a chance is something many of us would never want to say. Being brutally honest takes courage, and courage is not everyone’s kind of kebab with garlic sauce on top, sprinkles and chili flakes.

 

We all get rejected.

I nearly forgot this fact. Everyone gets rejected. In fact, right now, someone is being rejected.

Rejection is not limited to you and me; learning to deal with it will only help us, not hinder our ability to achieve success in any field.

“We’ve all got 99 problems and thinking you’re special will only create more pointless thoughts that won’t serve you or your goals”

 

You’re responsible.

The thing about career feedback is that you have to take responsibility. Maybe in my case, I didn’t deliver the message of how obsessed and skilled I am at entrepreneurship. Maybe I could have done a better job at explaining my entrepreneurial background and passion.

It’s highly likely that I am entrepreneurial enough for this career opportunity and that it’s not a lack of skill at play here but a lack of effective communication.

“Responsibility always trumps the blame game and it helps us grow more as a person”

 

There’s always one lesson.

Mine was to develop more skills in strategy.

Let’s stop for one second: I hate the word strategy. The other career feedback I got was to do more strategy yet that’s not a skill of mine and I have no desire to do lots of that in my career.

The key here is that there’s always a lesson from all feedback and it might not be the intended lesson that the giver left you with.

There’s either a great lesson in the feedback or a reminder in the feedback of what you stand for. Don’t let any feedback compromise your values and who you are.

 

You are good enough.

You just have to believe in yourself and eventually, the right opportunity will find you.

Don’t give up your hopes and dreams because of one rejection. Interrupt the story in your head that plays on repeat and focuses on anger towards another person.

Replace that story with thoughts of how you can do better and get to the next opportunity.

Through rejection and bad career feedback, you find your way to what you’ve always wanted. That’s the hack and it works.

I’m off to suck up the rejection and take my own advice. Much respect.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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6 Important Lessons That Will Lead You to Success

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success

Failure is a part of life and it’s nothing to be ashamed of because the most highly successful people are the ones who have experienced failures the most in their life. The general public usually learns about people and their work when they become successful but only a handful of people know about the immense struggles that those people have gone through. Unfortunately, we do not have the stories of their failures to which we can relate our own setbacks and this is why we perceive failure to be a bad thing.

People are afraid of failure because, from a very young age, they are taught that making mistakes and being wrong is a bad thing so when a person suffers from a failure, it’s possible for that person to experience some form of depression. It is important for you to understand failure is a way for you to learn and move on from the experience. It is literally impossible to live life forever without failing at something, unless you live your life so carefully that you forget to live at all.

Here are 6 lessons that you should embrace that will change in your life:

1. Keep Your Expectations Low

When it comes to life, people often expect things like family, business, and marriage to be constant and consistent throughout the years. However, this is not the case because life is not that simple and there are always ups and downs which you need to confront.

Having low expectations is totally understandable and justifiable but having high expectations from relationships and businesses could prove to be harmful if those things don’t last forever. In addition to this, keeping your expectations low helps you accept whatever comes from the situation. High expectations tend to result in disappointment, pain, and loss, so it’s better for you to have low expectations, yet continue to work hard with what you are doing.

2. Acknowledge the Change

Most of the time, people think they may not experience change at all in their life because they are expecting things to last forever, but little do they know that change is always waiting to take place and can happen at any point in time. Acknowledging change means you’re fully aware of the situation and this will help when change occurs and you move from the stage of shock to acceptance.

“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” – Charles Darwin

3. Accept the Change

The acceptance of change can be difficult and you might resist it at first, but you need to understand the fact that accepting the change will help you make the necessary adjustments that you need in your life. Preventing and stopping the change from happening can prove to be disastrous for you because you are rejecting the fact that the situation has changed and are still living in the past.

Things turn out to be different from the way you expected them to be and this is completely  fine because you will be able to deal with the change more effectively by embracing the new situation.

4. Learn from Your Past

Once you accept the change and are ready to embrace it, it will start making sense and you will find lessons from which you can learn a lot. It is important to learn from your previous mistakes because learning and moving on eliminates the probability of you making those mistakes again in future.

5. Grow Stronger than Before

Accepting, embracing and learning from the change makes you stronger and better than you were in the past. The ability to learn from your past makes you a better person who is able to deal with the changes more easily and is able to move on without having any regrets in life. Moreover, this change will take away the fear of making new adjustments in life.

“Embrace uncertainty. Some of the most beautiful chapters in our lives won’t have a title until much later.” – Bob Goff

6. Acknowledge the Wisdom and Embrace it

The more you permit change to happen in your life, the better you grow as an individual. Embracing the wisdom will bring new found energy and strength into your life with inner peace and calmness. Embracing the change proactively and accepting it as a part of your life will result in you being calmer and stronger than ever. Change is not your enemy but the greatest teacher from whom you will learn most of your life lessons.

It is worth mentioning that during the process of accepting change, you need to be brutally honest with yourself because most people are in denial and fail to realize the real reason behind the change. It is insane to repeat the same mistakes again and again with the expectations of a different result. So, if you do not learn from your mistakes, you are doomed to fail again.

Failure can find you again, but if the situation is different from the previous one, then it’s just another experience. You need to stand up after you fall since you cannot stop problems from occurring in your life. What you can do is handle them in a more strategic way.

Problems are a part of your journey, however, the important thing is to keep your eyes on the final destination. Once you reach your final destination, you will realize that all those problems you faced were totally worth the success.

Failure is the one who falls and never stands back up. When you stand back up and keep on trying to achieve what you want, you’re not a failure but a winner in life. So, never lose hope and always look for the positive side, even in the toughest of situations because this is what successful people do.

How do you embrace change and keep pushing forward in life? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

5 Ways to Think Yourself Into Mind Blowing Results From Globally Renowned Leaders

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deep thought

Many wonder why someone who’s less qualified is achieving greater success even though you’re smarter, work harder, or even have more influential connections. The only way someone succeeds is by thinking correctly. It doesn’t matter who you know, what school you attended, or what grades you got; all that matters are your thoughts. Both men and women around the world have been telling people “the secret” to success for hundreds of years. It’s time to listen. (more…)

Lucas Robak used to fly planes, now he leads various wisdom-sharing communities. Being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), Lucas began researching how to successfully live with it. Soon after, he was leading a health & wellness community and helping entrepreneurs use a published book for marketing. As a visionary, creative thinker, and strategist, Lucas discovered many mind hacks, health tips, and business tricks along the way which he loves sharing. To experience your own results from a #1 bestselling author, find him on LinkedIn or www.LucasRobak.com.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Richard Anderson

    Jun 8, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    Wow, that is one deep article and takes some reading! When I look back at my career and learning process (I’m 53) I never gave any of this a thought. For me personally, I was fired by my enthusiasm for my craft and the new opportunities that lay ahead. This is an interesting piece for sure and I believe Maxwell Maltz’s ‘The New Psycho-Cybernertics’ and Malcolm Gladwell in his book ‘Outliers’ add a clearer view of this complex subject for me.

  2. Rachel Hunter (TraderRach)

    May 20, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    The 3 steps of the Apprenticeship Phase describes the process to learn forex trading. I agree that many people take too long to get into the Active Mode out of fear. A comprehensive article thanks.

  3. Bakinson Olalekan

    May 12, 2013 at 11:16 am

    The very simple and careful delivery of this piece quickly brings to bare two things- confidence and assurance of success, if only one strictly adheres to these principles.

  4. dejiu

    May 11, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    WOW!
    That’s the best word to describe this article! You just gave ma a road map to become a Tycoon in any industry whatsoever! Thank you for the wonderful work!!

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Success Advice

5 Ways to Think Yourself Into Mind Blowing Results From Globally Renowned Leaders

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deep thought

Many wonder why someone who’s less qualified is achieving greater success even though you’re smarter, work harder, or even have more influential connections. The only way someone succeeds is by thinking correctly. It doesn’t matter who you know, what school you attended, or what grades you got; all that matters are your thoughts. Both men and women around the world have been telling people “the secret” to success for hundreds of years. It’s time to listen.

Here are five tactics to begin today:

1. Writing Goals the Napoleon Hill Way

Thinking yourself into mind blowing results starts with the end in mind. Athletes know exactly what their goal is and how to earn the points to win. Life’s exactly the same.  In nearly every Napoleon Hill book, he lays out a goal achieving formula which has helped millions around the world. By following this, you will accomplish something you currently believe is impossible.

Start by writing a clear statement of your desire, then formulate a clear plan to attain it. You’ll also need to know what you plan on giving up in return. Set a definite time limit. Everything you wrote down, memorize it and repeat it to yourself often. It’s imperative you express gratitude towards receiving the results you’re still working for. Be grateful you achieved your desired outcomes long before you actually materialize them into your world.

“If you cannot do great things yourself, remember that you may do small things in a great way.” – Napoleon Hill

2. Creating Your Mental Image How Bob Proctor Teaches

In Bob Proctor’s’ book, You Were Born Rich, he titled Chapter 3, “The Image Maker” because we think in pictures. Our thoughts are like movie clips being projected on the screens of our minds; control the pictures, control the outcomes.  It’s vital to manage our thoughts and expel the ones that don’t serve us. Knowing this, you’re now the ‘mental architect’ of your life, of your destiny!

Once you have your desired outcome, it’s time to put that image on the screen of your mind. See yourself already in possession of what you desire. Clearly watch yourself living it, hearing the sounds and feeling the feelings you’ll experience.

A powerful question to ask to know which moment should be on the screen of your mind is, “what’s the last thing that needs to happen in order for me to know I’ve achieved the result I’m after?” This is the moment to focus on!

3. Allow Dr. David Schwartz to Give Yourself a Daily Pep-Talk

Start thinking more of yourself through self-praise. You’ll begin to discover how much bigger and stronger you feel when you upgrade your thinking habits. In Dr. David Schwartz’s book, The Magic of Thinking Big, he provides you with a daily technique. Constantly reminding yourself that you’re top-notch by using his “Sell-Yourself-to-Yourself 60 Second Commercial.”

Developing the “commercial” is as easy as writing down your assets and points of superiority. What’ll separate you from the herd is practicing your “commercial” out loud in front of a mirror once a day with enthusiasm and determination. Lastly, read it silently many times throughout the day as a constant reminder of your greatness. Just like a written goal, keep this with you at all times. It’s a great mental tool to regain enthusiasm and determination after the inevitable setback.

4. Experience Unlimited Power Like Tony Robbins

Have you heard about Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)? It’s the study of success and how to emulate it; it’s the language of the mind and how to create concise results. From the many learnings gathered from both Tony Robbins and the study of NLP, controlling your state of mind is one thing that will drastically change the results you’re currently producing.

In his book, Unlimited Power, Tony Robbins gifted us with the technique, “memory management.” This is linking an emotion to a memory which instantly elicits that empowering feeling. Simply know your arsenal of positive memories to think about when you need that extra umph.

Successful people gain access to their most resourceful emotions on a consistent basis, you can too. What’s great about the mind is that they don’t even need to be real memories. Daydreaming about your fantasy life will do the trick too!

“People who succeed at the highest level are not lucky; they’re doing something differently than everyone else.” – Tony Robbins

5. Think Positive as if You Were Norman Vincent Peale

Believing in yourself is vital to succeed, but not crucial to begin. The path to attainment is by forming faith and expectancy that what you desire is going to happen. In Norman Vincent Peale’s book, The Power of Positive Thinking, he wrote a chapter for each of these important necessities; believing and expecting. By not having both of these right now, or even just one of them, that shouldn’t stop you from anything!

There’s an undeniable cure for both. To believe in yourself and have the full expectation that what you want will come to pass, the only tactic out there are autosuggestions, commonly known as affirmations.

Developing statements in the positive, present tense and repeating them thousands of times a day, you’ll reprogram your subconscious mind to a success-filled mindset. By convincing your subconscious to believe in your end game, soon enough, you’ll begin to expect it; just like you expect to go to sleep tonight.

Since our minds are the most powerful force in all of creation, it’s time to start using it to its fullest potential. Start today by writing your goal the Napoleon Hill way!

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Success Advice

2 Secret Roads to Success – Why Some People Have It All and How You Can Too

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road to success

Have you wondered how some people seem to have it all – the 6-figure pay check, a healthy and fit body and amazing relationships? On the other hand, others are successful in one aspect of our lives (perhaps we are happy with our careers) but there’s always something that’s missing – that strong body, that perfect someone or living a meaningful life.

I’ve personally experienced having a successful career but failed at having a healthy and strong body. When I finally succeeded at getting and staying healthy, I realized that there are two completely different approaches, both of which need to be mastered to find success in life – the goal-driven approach and the process-driven approach.

The Goal-Driven Approach

A goal-driven approach is one in which our goals themselves, are sufficient to motivate us to act until we achieve them. This works well for:

  1. Short-term goals lasting a few days or a few weeks, where we can see the end in sight and push ourselves to get there.
  2. Goals that are usually within or just outside our comfort zone.
  3. Goals that have some certainty of success at the end. For example, working overnight and acing the client presentation the next morning makes us feel proud of our achievement and gets us recognition from our boss.

This approach inherently rewards speed, agility and short bursts of intense work. We end up relying on quick wins or successes which make the task worth it and help us feel motivated to achieve our goals.

Most of us are very adept at using this approach because we’ve grown up in environments, traditional education and companies, which operate this way. Schools and universities set exams and corporate jobs require us to complete tasks upon which we get good grades or promotions.

When the Goal-Driven Approach Doesn’t Work

What a goal-driven approach doesn’t teach us though is how to approach long-term goals like staying healthy, having meaningful relationships or building our careers around our purpose in life.

  1. These goals are usually so big and so long-term that we don’t fully understand all the steps to reach them.
  2. They don’t have any immediate reward associated with them so our motivation to chase them decreases after the initial burst of inspiration. For example, it’s impossible to lose weight and keep it off by just eating healthy for a week.
  3. Because they are so long-term, any future action of ours can completely wipe out the gains made in the beginning of the process which is even more de-motivating. For example, a week of eating healthy can be wiped out by one night of bingeing.
  4. There is also no artificial sense of urgency like deadlines -so we need to find the motivation internally to engage in the task every day. If we ever try to impose timelines on these tasks, it only stresses us out and we compensate by completely sabotaging ourselves like eating an entire pack of cookies one fine night exhausted from a week of eating too little.

“If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.” – Yogi Berra

The Process-Driven Approach

The process-driven approach breaks down our big goals into minute goals and creates a habit to execute these minute goals regularly.

Putting such a habit into place is simple. Just follow these four steps:

  1. Break down your big vision into multiple long-term goals all of which have to work together to make your big vision come true. For example, for your big goal of feeling healthy and fit, you may break it down into eating healthier, exercising regularly and sleeping more.
  2. Pick one of the goals to focus on, ideally the one you think will have the biggest payoff.
  3. Break this goal down into a series of simple activities that you can do without much effort. For example, let’s say you picked eating healthier as your priority goal. One of the activities that might be sabotaging you is your regular McDonald’s dinner on the way back from work. A simple activity that can replace this is to stop driving by McDonald’s if it’s triggering your craving and take a different route back home instead.  This might take a little bit of willpower on the first day but as you get used to the new route over a couple of weeks, it’ll become an automatic habit.
  4. Once the first activity feels like a normal part of your day, stack on the second activity and so on. Similarly, once you’ve achieved the first goal, stack on the second, third and remaining goals to reach your long-term vision.

How to Succeed with the Process-Driven Approach

Though this seems simple in theory, there are two emotional and mindset changes needed to succeed with this method.

The first is to be patient – instead of focusing on the big shiny dream, measure progress against the habit that you’re trying to cultivate. Accept that seeing the big vision come true takes months and sometimes years. Our biggest Achilles heel is impatience and while this works well in academia and work, it backfires in building health and relationships because we end up taking short cuts that harm us long term.

The second is to build rewards into your process – Having rewards is the best way to motivate ourselves and makes our mini-habits easier to stick to. For example, if you don’t eat at McDonald’s then your reward could be having a spa massage at the end of the week.

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” – Thomas Jefferson

Find The Right Balance

At the end of the day, we need to master both goal-driven and process-driven approaches to succeed. Use the goal-driven approach for short-term goals or when you need a burst of energy to push you through a task. Use the process-driven approach for long-term lifestyle change journeys such as getting healthier, having more meaningful relationships or pursuing a career that resonates with your purpose in life. In this way, you too can soon be the person who seems to magically “have it all”.

What are you doing today to reach success later on? Let us know your tips in the comments below!

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Success Advice

You Don’t Have To Listen To Every Bit Of Career Feedback. Some People Just Don’t Get You And That’s Fine!

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I recently got rejected from what I thought was a fantastic career opportunity. I was told that I was “Not entrepreneurial enough.”

Those that know me well know that it’s probably one of the few things I’m good at. Many of my mentors who I told this story to laughed out loud.

These three words were career feedback and I was always led to believe that to ignore this feedback would be ignorant and stupid.

I pondered that thought for a few days and then had a revelation: “I don’t have to listen to every bit of feedback I get.”

 

Pissed off is a natural first reaction.

That’s how I felt after someone told me I was crap at the very thing I love and have dedicated most of my time to. Our brain wants to be angry and fight back. Our first reaction, though, is often not what we should pay attention to.

“Empty space and time to reflect is how we process career feedback for what it really is: an opinion”

Don’t let your first reaction dominate how you think about the feedback. Maturity that can come at any age will show you to question everything – even your reaction.

 

Some people just don’t get you.

You’re not their type, they don’t like you, you speak a different language or you may have different values. Not everyone is going to get you and what you stand for and that’s okay. In my case, I didn’t connect.

Buying into the circus that is me is not for everyone. If you don’t like vulnerability or breaking comfort zones, then you probably won’t like me.

If you’re not obsessed with big goals, doing the impossible and trying to improve just a little bit every day, then you probably won’t like me.

That’s okay and I forgive you. I don’t have all the answers and I’m far from perfect – like the rest of us.

Learn to accept that some people will never get you and what you’re about.

That realization is how we overcome career feedback that we may not agree with.

 

Sometimes it’s any excuse. The real answer is something different.

Feedback can be disguised by the truth. The truth is maybe there was someone else the whole time and I never had a chance at this career opportunity. Maybe it wasn’t me at all.

Sometimes feedback is given because the real reason is much harder to deliver. It’s not easy to say “Tim, thanks but we hired someone else and you were never in the running.”

Admitting you never even had a chance is something many of us would never want to say. Being brutally honest takes courage, and courage is not everyone’s kind of kebab with garlic sauce on top, sprinkles and chili flakes.

 

We all get rejected.

I nearly forgot this fact. Everyone gets rejected. In fact, right now, someone is being rejected.

Rejection is not limited to you and me; learning to deal with it will only help us, not hinder our ability to achieve success in any field.

“We’ve all got 99 problems and thinking you’re special will only create more pointless thoughts that won’t serve you or your goals”

 

You’re responsible.

The thing about career feedback is that you have to take responsibility. Maybe in my case, I didn’t deliver the message of how obsessed and skilled I am at entrepreneurship. Maybe I could have done a better job at explaining my entrepreneurial background and passion.

It’s highly likely that I am entrepreneurial enough for this career opportunity and that it’s not a lack of skill at play here but a lack of effective communication.

“Responsibility always trumps the blame game and it helps us grow more as a person”

 

There’s always one lesson.

Mine was to develop more skills in strategy.

Let’s stop for one second: I hate the word strategy. The other career feedback I got was to do more strategy yet that’s not a skill of mine and I have no desire to do lots of that in my career.

The key here is that there’s always a lesson from all feedback and it might not be the intended lesson that the giver left you with.

There’s either a great lesson in the feedback or a reminder in the feedback of what you stand for. Don’t let any feedback compromise your values and who you are.

 

You are good enough.

You just have to believe in yourself and eventually, the right opportunity will find you.

Don’t give up your hopes and dreams because of one rejection. Interrupt the story in your head that plays on repeat and focuses on anger towards another person.

Replace that story with thoughts of how you can do better and get to the next opportunity.

Through rejection and bad career feedback, you find your way to what you’ve always wanted. That’s the hack and it works.

I’m off to suck up the rejection and take my own advice. Much respect.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Success Advice

6 Important Lessons That Will Lead You to Success

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success

Failure is a part of life and it’s nothing to be ashamed of because the most highly successful people are the ones who have experienced failures the most in their life. The general public usually learns about people and their work when they become successful but only a handful of people know about the immense struggles that those people have gone through. Unfortunately, we do not have the stories of their failures to which we can relate our own setbacks and this is why we perceive failure to be a bad thing.

People are afraid of failure because, from a very young age, they are taught that making mistakes and being wrong is a bad thing so when a person suffers from a failure, it’s possible for that person to experience some form of depression. It is important for you to understand failure is a way for you to learn and move on from the experience. It is literally impossible to live life forever without failing at something, unless you live your life so carefully that you forget to live at all.

Here are 6 lessons that you should embrace that will change in your life:

1. Keep Your Expectations Low

When it comes to life, people often expect things like family, business, and marriage to be constant and consistent throughout the years. However, this is not the case because life is not that simple and there are always ups and downs which you need to confront.

Having low expectations is totally understandable and justifiable but having high expectations from relationships and businesses could prove to be harmful if those things don’t last forever. In addition to this, keeping your expectations low helps you accept whatever comes from the situation. High expectations tend to result in disappointment, pain, and loss, so it’s better for you to have low expectations, yet continue to work hard with what you are doing.

2. Acknowledge the Change

Most of the time, people think they may not experience change at all in their life because they are expecting things to last forever, but little do they know that change is always waiting to take place and can happen at any point in time. Acknowledging change means you’re fully aware of the situation and this will help when change occurs and you move from the stage of shock to acceptance.

“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” – Charles Darwin

3. Accept the Change

The acceptance of change can be difficult and you might resist it at first, but you need to understand the fact that accepting the change will help you make the necessary adjustments that you need in your life. Preventing and stopping the change from happening can prove to be disastrous for you because you are rejecting the fact that the situation has changed and are still living in the past.

Things turn out to be different from the way you expected them to be and this is completely  fine because you will be able to deal with the change more effectively by embracing the new situation.

4. Learn from Your Past

Once you accept the change and are ready to embrace it, it will start making sense and you will find lessons from which you can learn a lot. It is important to learn from your previous mistakes because learning and moving on eliminates the probability of you making those mistakes again in future.

5. Grow Stronger than Before

Accepting, embracing and learning from the change makes you stronger and better than you were in the past. The ability to learn from your past makes you a better person who is able to deal with the changes more easily and is able to move on without having any regrets in life. Moreover, this change will take away the fear of making new adjustments in life.

“Embrace uncertainty. Some of the most beautiful chapters in our lives won’t have a title until much later.” – Bob Goff

6. Acknowledge the Wisdom and Embrace it

The more you permit change to happen in your life, the better you grow as an individual. Embracing the wisdom will bring new found energy and strength into your life with inner peace and calmness. Embracing the change proactively and accepting it as a part of your life will result in you being calmer and stronger than ever. Change is not your enemy but the greatest teacher from whom you will learn most of your life lessons.

It is worth mentioning that during the process of accepting change, you need to be brutally honest with yourself because most people are in denial and fail to realize the real reason behind the change. It is insane to repeat the same mistakes again and again with the expectations of a different result. So, if you do not learn from your mistakes, you are doomed to fail again.

Failure can find you again, but if the situation is different from the previous one, then it’s just another experience. You need to stand up after you fall since you cannot stop problems from occurring in your life. What you can do is handle them in a more strategic way.

Problems are a part of your journey, however, the important thing is to keep your eyes on the final destination. Once you reach your final destination, you will realize that all those problems you faced were totally worth the success.

Failure is the one who falls and never stands back up. When you stand back up and keep on trying to achieve what you want, you’re not a failure but a winner in life. So, never lose hope and always look for the positive side, even in the toughest of situations because this is what successful people do.

How do you embrace change and keep pushing forward in life? Let us know in the comments below!

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