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Success Advice

The 4 Major Things That Are Keeping You from Greatness

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holding you back from being great

As humans, we naturally have a high level of negative self talk going on that holds us a majority of us back from leaping into a future of success.

But what if that wasn’t the only thing holding us back?

What if there were a handful of other factors that are disabling us from moving closer to our goals?

We are all victims of these disempowering factors and we let them get us down at the best of times.

Today I will outline the 4 major things that are keeping you from greatness, so that you can be aware of them in order to remove them from your course towards success.

 

1. Lack of Vision…

A focused and purpose driven mentality is the defining difference between the successful and the mediocre. Every sane healthy person everywhere is born with the same amount of potential and ability. The only thing that will truly change someones outcome of success is their actions motivated by a focused vision.

If I asked you to walk into a room and find something as common and recognizable as a pencil I have little doubt the task could be completed within seconds. However, what if I asked you to accomplish the same task while closing your eyes. Unless you somehow developed a sixth sense of sonar this seemingly simple job would take several minutes, if not hours of stumbling around blindly and directionless, and it is still very likely that the pencil would remain unfound.

My point is this:

“We tend to get what we focus on, and what we don’t focus on, we don’t even come close to”.

The same principle is painstakingly true with our goals and dreams. We can talk about how we want to be rich, or how we dream of being successful and self-satisfied, however if we do not know what our dreams look like in specific detail, we will never reach our full potential.

It is imperative that you are consistently focusing on your goals, and visualizing what exactly your success should look like. It’s not enough to want to be wealthy, or to wish you were successful, you must set specific measurable goals that you can be constantly visualizing and achieving.

You cannot expect success if you don’t know what success looks like.

 

2. An Average Mentality…

To be average is to be nothing. The opposite of greatness is not failure, the opposite of greatness is mediocrity. To have an average mentality is to resign yourself to a life of unreached potential.

An average mindset is the most destructive type of mentality to have simply because it is fully accepted by our culture and no one will ever challenge you to expand your perspective and break out of that mediocre state ­of ­mind.

You are the only one who can challenge yourself to take on a bigger “think” and explore your full potential. The state of your vision or mentality will determine your level of activity and what you will be able to accomplish.

An average mentality produces an average lifestyle, but a focused goal­ setting mindset renders a self­ fulfilled life of accomplishing goals, and achieving massive success.

 

Think Big Picture Quote
 

3. Waiting till you feel like it…

Let’s get something perfectly clear when it comes to working towards accomplishing goals;

“You will never “always” feel like doing it”.

It doesn’t matter how passionate you are about the work you are doing, there will always be days where you do not feel like doing the labor. However it is crucial to know that if we only did things when we felt like doing them, our goals and aspirations would never become a reality.

The act of being productive can be extremely counterintuitive. It’s common to think that in order to start working toward achieving something you must feel motivated. In reality, the opposite is true.

The distinguished artist Pablo Picasso himself said:

“Inspiration exists, but it must find you working”.

We actually begin to feel motivated about doing something when we begin taking action and gaining some ground toward accomplishing a task. Once action is taken your mind develops a certain amount of commitment toward the goal and we start to feel passionate and motivated which spurs us on even further.

 

4. Listening to criticism…

As soon as you start taking massive action toward your goals and dreams you may receive criticism from the people around you, usually these people are your friends, and even your family.

Remember: it is expected and accepted to be average and ordinary, and as soon as you start taking massive action toward a dream you will stick out as odd, overly passionate, and maybe even obsessive, and the people around you may try to pull you back down to an average state.

Somewhere along the line, people will attack your ideas your dreams, and even you personally. Your reaction to their taunts and discouragement determines your level of success.

You can react to negative criticism in one of two different ways:

1. Retreat and succumb to the pressures of criticism, returning to an average state of being.

2. The less chosen option which is to react in a way that views criticism as proof that you are on the right track.

As crazy as it sounds the more you are criticized for your goals and your efforts toward achieving them, the more you increase your chances for success. It takes someone who is truly willing to move against the world’s way of thinking and what is accepted as normal to create something incredible of themselves.

 

Still not sold? Just look at what history has to say

Thomas Edison’s school professors used to tell him “he was too stupid to learn anything. He then went on to revolutionize the lifestyle of people everywhere, inventing world­ changing devices such as the phonograph, the lightbulb, and the movie camera.

During his early career, Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because “he lacked imagination, and had no good ideas”. He touched the lives of billions of children everywhere with his creativity and passion.

Steve Jobs was kicked out of his own tech company several times, and still he went on to develop and design some of the most influential technology products of the century.

Every great person was criticized before they were admired.

 

What has been holding you back from achieving your greatness? And what are you going to do about it from now on? I’d love to see your comments in the section below.

Aaron is a 19 year old passionate entrepreneur, consultant, avid speaker, and full-time student. Associated with several organizations geared toward professional development and youth empowerment, Aaron works to grow his own career and inspire others to achieve their full potential. Visit www.aaronhuie.com to learn more and contact Aaron directly.

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25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. Bertie

    Feb 15, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    For me, the biggest hurdle is to mantain the vision in the long term. I can begin a project with a very clearly defined picture of what I want it to be, but then there is the need to go through all the weary, tedious tasks needed to achieve the goal. And this is the most dangerous point. You begin to feel tired, bored and drained out of energy, and that clear initial vision begins to fade away, so you end up like lost in the forest. Are there any hints to deal with this state of mind?

  2. ankit soni

    Apr 15, 2015 at 10:20 pm

    Great

  3. bosede omisore

    Feb 16, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    what if you are faced with unseen circumstances . forces and all people can do is to pity you . you tried and tried and it seems nothing happened . you keep on stugling and struggling.
    even all the men of God you come in contact with told you that what you need is God special mercy and help. what can you do in such circumstances

  4. DP

    Jan 23, 2015 at 2:48 am

    Defining your vision is key. Without it, you have no direction. Good read!

  5. DP

    Jan 22, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    Good read. Letting doubt creep in is a momentum killer. Any time you spend moping and feeling bad about your situation is time not spent focusing on your goal. Forcing yourself to be positive in the face of adversity eventually becomes second nature and your brain starts to subconsciously guide you towards achievement. It focuses your body to work towards your goal, without you even knowing it. Your entire demeanor starts to change and the results start to follow.

    -DP

  6. Robinson Nkumba

    Jan 21, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    iam learning that to achieve something extra ordinary , i have to think outside the common box and am determined. I will achieve greatness no matter what!

  7. Harry

    Jan 19, 2015 at 3:38 am

    I don’t know how it happened , but my mum and dad wanted to throw a lavish birthday party for me . Everything went okay during that time , until the family video was released and I awoke to a cold truth. I had kyphosis and after seeing myself on camera was pretty much disgusted with myself . People at school and college used to call me hunchback and I can’t tell you how much that smashed into pieces . I told my mum please don’t show this to anyone , but instead she shared it with the whole world . I was also as a child played with by a white woman , I’m actually asian , which I think determines my sexuality today . And then with a white teacher who used to place the books on my crotch just to feel me .
    I have only ever had 1 or 2 not long lasting relationships with women , and maybe 2 or 3 potential other partners but I never shared that with them . I became addicted to cannabis for a long time , say 20 years . I have had long periods where I stopped . Now I think I have overcome that addiction , as well as alcohol through myself . I am blessed in some other ways but do get angry sometimes when I think about the past , and sometimes view the world as a white mans playground . I wanted to be one of those Hollywood type actors when I was young . I told Steve at the end of the day we are all products of environment , circumstance , genes and society and even if you become Mr or misses action tomorrow and be successful that theory will always hold true . Im fortunate to have my own house and car through some family work and generosity from my parents .
    All I want to do now is become Mr muscle while I am trying to find the right goals for me , and I want a beautiful wife and also children in the future . The only thing I have to quit now is tobacco . We all need to make smarter choices , but can’t punish ourselves Everytime we get it wrong .

  8. prisca

    Jan 16, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    I so much enjoyed this article. Thanks.

  9. RAGHAV KALRA

    Jan 11, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    Thanx Emily.

  10. RAGHAV KALRA

    Jan 11, 2015 at 7:02 am

    But if we have all the solutions and resources…then there is still a big enemy known as PROCRASTINATION. I think if we want to overcome it we need to think more about the positive outcomes of the impossible task( which is in our mind).

    • Emily Filloramo

      Jan 11, 2015 at 4:21 pm

      Raghav,

      Procrastination is a protective mechanism that keeps us from taking the steps to achieving our greatness.

      This is a part of us that is afraid of success. It’s afraid of success because it is stuck in some memory from the past (from authority figures and the school) that has us believe that it is not safe to be in the spotlight of success. That’s why we procrastinate.

      In order to overcome procrastination, again, as I’ve said in the comments below, the flashlight must shine into the dark corners of our minds and release the burdens and limiting beliefs that were acquired from significant emotional events. This will erase the negative self-talk for good and stop procrastination all together.

      Hope this explanation helps. It’s not you that’s procrastinating, it’s your parts from the past. -Emily

  11. William

    Jan 11, 2015 at 12:18 am

    Great article, but Thomas Edison was a sadistic psychopath who loved torturing animals. I definitely do not admire him. He thought the crying and yelping sounds animals made was no different that a machine squeaking.

  12. Keith Rozairo

    Jan 10, 2015 at 9:11 pm

    Right on Raghav! The more I read these posts and the comments, the more it steels me to achieve.
    Cheers

  13. Elizabeth Anderson

    Jan 10, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    I am blown away by your wisdom that I will probably create the points in this article as a poster on my wall or (and!) my computer wallpaper. I am overwhelming impressed by your ability and accomplishments at your age. (NOT an ageism statement: I’m just getting out of my way in my early 60s–imagine that) Thank you! I have hope for our future.

  14. Emily Filloramo

    Jan 9, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    Great post Aaron! The ONE thing that so many people lack is the BELIEF in themselves that they can be extraordinary and achieve big.

    The fears are all rooted in the past – the parts of them that are stuck in old memories of shame, rejection and unworthiness. These old significant negative emotional events from childhood run 90% of our subconscious. We can dream big all we want but the “skeletons in the closet” put the brakes on our lives.

    How to fix it? Well… you have to shine the flashlight into the dark corners of your mind and invest in personal growth to unburden and release the negative energies at the source. For some, that means investing in a psychotherapist, for others, the high functioning, psychologically healthy, it means investing in a coach.

    The most powerful modality of healing and getting unstuck from the negative self-talk and inner conflict is the “Internal Family Systems” modality of healing and self-leadership. You will get unstuck for good and your self-esteem will soar permanently, really.

    I have a book coming out in April ’15 (New Chapter Press), that will talk about all of this.

    Book title is “Erase Negative Self-Talk Now! How to Unleash Your Best Self”

    • Richard L Wiseman

      Jan 9, 2015 at 8:10 pm

      You’re absolutely right and I’ll be buying your book. I know that I was programmed by my family life as a child to be negative about myself and I’ve struggled for nearly 50 years, been to therapy etcetera and I’ve made progress, but deep inside I can’t escape the power those everyday criticism and negative remarks have over me. I try to fight hard against making myself fail and yet I just can’t get rid of the negative fibres in the woven fabric of my ‘self’. So I’ll buy your book in April, for sure and I believe you are right.

  15. Venkatesha N

    Jan 8, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    1. Fear of rejection
    2. Consists action
    3. Low self image
    4, being comfort zone

    Action
    Work hard
    Get the clear picture and put action to achieve the goals

  16. Mathias

    Jan 8, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    Nice write-up! I think it’s important to start focusing more on these limiting factors, as that is the first step to overcoming them! It’s true that you need to clarify a strong vision and cultivate an extraordinary mentality in order to achieve greatness.

    I think a number 5 could be added though; The fear of responsibility. Being afraid of taking responsibility for your actions, behavior and life is what is keeping so many people from giving up the comfortable conformity of our mediocre society.

  17. madan

    Jan 8, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    Lucky enough to have learnt about addicted2success.com.

  18. Rose Costas

    Jan 8, 2015 at 7:37 am

    Thanks Aaron for this encouragement. This is a new year and the perfect time to take a look at ones self and to make that decision to go out and make things happen. I too have lived in the mediocrity area of society for too long and have decided to take it to the next level and that is to be great for the rest of my life. Thanks for sharing.

  19. Arthur Morta

    Jan 8, 2015 at 6:55 am

    Its the dominant thoughts in between your ears that determine the destiny of your Life! Concentrating on the mundane that trip you up in the here and now will derail you from the success of the end goal

  20. RAGHAV KALRA

    Jan 8, 2015 at 5:17 am

    Holding me to achieve my success:
    1 Fear of failure
    2 constant worry about future
    3 fear that i will be noticed and fear of judging by others
    4 and i am not that physically strong, so fear of someone beating me.
    Steps taken by me:
    1 started doing the things which i used to fear like public speaking.

    • Joel Brown

      Joel Brown

      Jan 8, 2015 at 12:34 pm

      Thanks for sharing these with us Raghav 🙂

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Success Advice

One Question You Must Answer to Ensure Personal Success

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Lack of vision

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

2. Lack of goals

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

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

3. You don’t believe you can get there

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

4. You are lazy

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

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

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

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Success Advice

4 Character Traits Blocking Success From Entering Your Life

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Some days you wake up full of energy and ready to face the day. The challenges you gave yourself the day before seems almost too easy. However, there are also other days where you find yourself without the desire and energy to move forward. Operating from this mindset, you lose productive time, counted first in minutes, then hours. Sometimes your loss of productivity can be measured in days, weeks and months of missed opportunities.   

Since you will not wake up every day bursting with excitement, you must find a way to summon the energy necessary to pound out another story for a publication, work on your social media content plan and write new copy for your website.

To understand why you are unable to take the actions required for success, you must first identify what blocks you. You can’t overcome challenges you aren’t aware of, and this is the juncture separating those who succeed from those who don’t.

Here are the four main character defects that block success:

1. Apathy

Apathy is exhibited as a lack of concern. It shows up when you are tired or stretched too thin. Many entrepreneurs work one or more jobs while attempting to launch a business, whether online or brick and mortar. When progress can’t be seen, it is easy to stop caring and give up.

2. Procrastination

Procrastination can occur when you get up ready to give all you’ve got to your endeavor, but first you check out an episode of your favorite Netflix show while you have coffee. After eight hours of binge-watching, your productive mindset is gone which leaves you demoralized. This in turn brings you back to apathy, triggers fear and causes more procrastinating.

3. Fear

Fear is a corrosive emotion everyone struggles with, and if you are not careful, it will absolutely stop you in your tracks. Fear will say you cannot obtain your dreams. The most successful entrepreneurs and business leaders grapple with anxiety, worry and apprehension, yet you rarely see them paralyzed by their fearfulness. Like them, you can’t defeat your fear unless you identify it. With an insightful mentor, you can easily determine what you are afraid of. Once it is recognized, you’ll find the strength to walk through it.   

“Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will.” – James Stephens

4. Overwhelm

Overwhelm occurs when you commit to more than you are capable of doing. Balance and giving the appropriate amount of time to all aspects of life is a tremendous challenge. Have you found yourself overwhelmed when a friend asks a favor of you while you are trying to meet a deadline at work and maintain focus on your entrepreneurial side project? Do you worry how you’ll ever find the time to get it all done? Often when this occurs, we may mentally shut down and accomplish nothing.

To counter the deficits listed above, you must identify, then develop the opposite, positive traits necessary for success. It’s important to understand the “why” of each attribute because only then can you fully tap into the power they offer to help you accomplish your goals.

Here are the four traits to counter the above traits with:

1. Purpose

Purpose gives voice to why you are alive. It tells you and others what you are working toward and why. Living out your purpose is the single greatest weapon against apathy. Knowing your purpose gives you a standard with which you can measure your progress. It motivates you to think, act and ultimately, to succeed.

2. Action

Action is the opposite of procrastination. When your effort is focused on achieving an objective, action propels you forward. Breaking a large project down into small, manageable steps, you’ll gain the needed traction to successfully reach your goal!

3. Courage

Courage is built by first facing, then walking through your fears. Courage gives you strength to do what you think is impossible. Developing a relationship with a mentor, someone willing to tell you the truth about what they see, is crucial to success in this area. With help, you can first identify, then make the adjustments necessary to identify and release the fear blocking you.

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

4. Focus

Focus is the final attribute. What you give your attention to is the single most important factor influencing your success. You become what you focus on. When you focus on your purpose, take the necessary actions and develop the courage to bust through, you win!

This is not an all-inclusive list, it’s simply a starting point. As you tackle and overcome your grosser defects, the subtler ones will begin to surface. Slowly, with help from your trusted mentor, you will work and grow through these challenges.  

As you become stronger, you’ll be able to withstand additional demands. You meet them head-on with the new skill set you’ll develop as you let your old ones go. You will be more effective, positive and energetic along with ready to take any action necessary. You are a winner!

Which one of the character traits above do you need to focus on most in order to achieve success? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

6 Important Decisions to Make to Have a Successful Career

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Would you rather paint your bedroom blue or beige? What is your usual coffee go-to order: a mocha or a macchiato? Should you take the bus or the train to work today? Decisions are everywhere. They are the ones behind our choices and the ones behind all consequences that we face for those choices.

Life is riddled with decisions at every intersection, and some say that those who are the best decision-makers can actually make the most of their time on this planet. Sure, inspirational and spiritual speakers have a lot to say when it comes to the matters of fate, luck or destiny, but only the successful know that a man is truly capable of shaping their own as per their choices.

From choosing on whom to delegate that difficult task to knowing when to bring up a tricky topic during a meeting with shareholders, decisions have the potential to shape your careers as well. If you have been wondering about the ways that you can improve your career, you can consider bringing in some smart decisions in your life right now.

What are the decisions that can help you have a successful career? Since decisions play such a huge role in shaping our lives and careers, you may wish to pick up a few that help you scale higher in your career as well.

Here are 6 of the most important decisions to bring into your life today so that you can take your career to newer heights:

1. Put your goals on paper

Sure, it’s great to have goals for your career, but simply letting them wander about in your mind is not going to help you achieve them, you know. That is why you need to have a list of goals that you have set for yourself – on paper.

Maintain a journal (virtual or offline, whichever works for you) that enlists your career objectives and goals according to short-term and long-term ones. For example, you can put upskilling in short-term goals and moving to a higher managerial position by the end of three years as a long-term goal.

Establish parity in the short-term and long-term goals so that you can synthesise them when the time comes. Jotting down the objectives will help you have a clear idea of where you stand and the way that you should go to bring about the positive changes in your career.

2. Bring in a daily dose of positivity

Let’s face it, all of us have encountered setbacks in our professional lives. The most important lesson to take from those setbacks is to never become pessimistic about what you can achieve. Positivity has helped many to soar the skies when it comes to their careers, and with a conscious decision to eliminate all sorts of negative thoughts from your mind can help you in doing the same too.

You will find a bunch of success stories that all start and end with how important it is to persevere in the face of adversities and letting your positive aura shine through in dark times. One of the smartest things that you can thus do for your career is to decide to chuck all negativity (as well as toxic acquaintances) that make you doubt your abilities and pull you down.

“Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.” – James Cash Penney

3. Hone your writing skills

No matter which industry you belong to, an impressive writing style in this fast-paced age of digital communication truly has the power to take you places when it comes to becoming more successful in your career.

The blessing that is the web has brought on a range of online tools and resources that you can put to good use for improving your writing skills. If you need to review your official documents and emails, then try online tools to edit and proofread your documents efficiently. You can also use online tools and tutorials to pick up tricks that help you sharpen your writing and make it devoid of common mistakes we all prone to making.

4. Upskill yourself proactively

Whether it is learning to code or taking up creative writing classes, you should decide to upskill proactively throughout your career. Upskilling has benefited more than one, and when the time comes for a job switch to move on to better prospects, you can always leverage the additional skills picked up earlier. As we move towards a faster and more digitised work sphere, it is best to attune oneself to the latest trends and in-demand skills of your industry and beyond to make sure that you are prepared when it is time to take the plunge.

5. Reflect on each day

When you are at work, the days seem to go by in a dizzying blur, leaving you breathless from the sheer pressure of work and tasks that you have to manage throughout the day. Deciding to spare time for yourself despite your busy schedule ensures both personal and professional growth, as leading psychologists opine.

Treat each day as a lesson, and you will end up with a long list of things that you learnt from each of them as they went by. An excellent way to do this is to keep a journal, but if you do not feel up to writing at the end of the busy day, you can always unwind while listening to your favourite music and reflect on the day that was.

6. Pick up a healthy lifestyle

Lastly, it is important to decide to be healthy and fit for only by that will you be at your productive peak to help you achieve all that you want to in your professional sphere. Devote some time to exercise every day and have a healthy diet.

You are sure to find many benefits of having a healthy lifestyle when you rise and shine to go to work with renewed vigour every day that helps you create innovative designs or brainstorm for killer marketing tactics. You never know which hidden potential of yours gets unlocked by facing work with a positive and beaming attitude every day, so why not take a leap of faith?

“Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.” – Napoleon Hill

Staying ahead of the competition, working overtime, managing piles of emails and getting stuck in the daily conundrums of work may sometimes leave you wondering as to where it is that you are headed when it comes to your career. Cruise through your career like a pro as these six decisions present a world of benefits for your personal and professional growth.

What decisions have you made that have helped you grow professionally? Comment below!

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Success Advice

4 of the World’s Greatest Thinkers Share Their Secrets to Living the Good Life

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It takes a lot of effort, dedication, and open-mindedness to lead a good life of excellent health, wealth, love and happiness. As a personal trainer, and a human being, part of my life revolves around understanding how the human mind works and how to help myself, and the people around me, make decisions that put their lives on the right track.

We only live once thus we have to make the best out of our journey. One of the greatest ways to learn how to live is by learning from those who have lead the good life themselves.

Here are four of the greatest thinkers secrets to live a good life:

1. Jordan Peterson: Treat yourself like someone you’re responsible for helping

Ever heard of the term, ‘Treat yourself like you treat your best friend?” As corny as it sounds, this tip holds water. You need to be kind to yourself, and you must be compassionate. In fact, studies suggest that self-compassion is more critical to your well being than self-esteem.

If this is true, why is it hard for many people to make friends with themselves? The answer, according to Jordan Peterson, lies in the fact that you`ve been around your imperfect self for so long that all you can see is a flawed human being.

A person, still according to Peterson, will deride his whole existence just because, in his eyes, he’s the ugly, ashamed, frightened, worthless, inadequate, insignificant, resentful, defensive descendant of Adam. Peterson suggests you will gain inner peace when you see yourself through the eyes of a loving coach trying to lead their imperfect mentee to the best possible results.

2. Leonardo da Vinci: Understand how your mind works

Michael J. Gelb, the author of How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every day, believes Dimostrazione – the Italian translation of demonstration – is one of Da Vinci`s seven principles to his unmatched intelligence. The Italian sculpture, inventor, musician, geologist, and mathematician had a special knack for examining how things work, including his mind, and he made sure to document his musings on paper so he could understand himself better. Before he died, Da Vinci left one of his trustees a 10,000-paper journal full of notes, questions, designs and even jokes and fables.

To reap the benefits of dimonstrazione, you need to regularly detach yourself from the digital world for a few minutes of ruminating and journaling. Question your thoughts, beliefs, and why you/people do things in specific ways. Doing this will spark your creativity and help you solve deeply-rooted problems much easier.

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci

3. Richard Dawkins: Avoid the trial/error trap

Some may think making lots of mistakes is the best way to learn how to do something. According to Richard Dawkins, making so many mistakes is a waste of time and can sometimes be fatal. In his opinion, most of what you learn should come from “simulation.” He believes one should study the best and worst types of people, emulate their good and avoid their bad.

Most of the time, all you need is to follow someone else`s wheel instead of trying to invent your own – at least until you`re strong enough to lead your way. Additional tip: Get coaching or a mentor who`s 20 years older than you. A good one will save you lots of time, effort and money.

4. Carl Sagan: The universe is not required to be in harmony with ambition

Be flexible and formless, then adapt to the universe instead of trying to bend it to your will – which may not happen. To Carl Sagan, a man should understand that life won’t always give him what he wants, but he must use what life gives him for his better good. If life throws you a  tomato, make a soup of it. Many successful people spent decent parts of their lives drifting between careers only to realize later that they wouldn’t have made it without those career wanderings.

You must also understand that the purpose of a goal isn’t to hit the target but to evolve into the type of person who can achieve his goals. You won’t always win if you swing for the fences with every shot, but your track record will be far better than someone who plays it safe not because of your extraordinary genes but because the type of goal you chose for yourself forced you to step out of your shell and grow.

“Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.” – Carl Sagan

Take great care of your mind. Read good books, understand your cognitive biases and take courses in lateral thinking and problem solving. Your mind is your most important asset and it’s a great shame if you fail to use it well.

What is your secret to living the good life? Let us know your secrets in the comments below!

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Success Advice

One Question You Must Answer to Ensure Personal Success

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

Biagio Sciacca, known to his friends as Bill, was a lifelong resident of Pittston, PA. He is the owner of Intelligent Motivation, Inc. a global consulting and training firm specializing in management and leadership training as well as psychological assessment for hiring and staff development. He is the author of several books relating to goal setting, and his third book, Provocative Leadership, is publishing soon. Now residing in Tamarindo, Costa Rica, he divides his time between his international coaching and training clients, writing his next book and wandering aimlessly on the beach. Feel free to contact Bill at bill@intelligentmotivationinc.com or schedule a call with him by going to www.intelligentmotivationinc.com and clicking on the “set up a call” tab.

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25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. Bertie

    Feb 15, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    For me, the biggest hurdle is to mantain the vision in the long term. I can begin a project with a very clearly defined picture of what I want it to be, but then there is the need to go through all the weary, tedious tasks needed to achieve the goal. And this is the most dangerous point. You begin to feel tired, bored and drained out of energy, and that clear initial vision begins to fade away, so you end up like lost in the forest. Are there any hints to deal with this state of mind?

  2. ankit soni

    Apr 15, 2015 at 10:20 pm

    Great

  3. bosede omisore

    Feb 16, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    what if you are faced with unseen circumstances . forces and all people can do is to pity you . you tried and tried and it seems nothing happened . you keep on stugling and struggling.
    even all the men of God you come in contact with told you that what you need is God special mercy and help. what can you do in such circumstances

  4. DP

    Jan 23, 2015 at 2:48 am

    Defining your vision is key. Without it, you have no direction. Good read!

  5. DP

    Jan 22, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    Good read. Letting doubt creep in is a momentum killer. Any time you spend moping and feeling bad about your situation is time not spent focusing on your goal. Forcing yourself to be positive in the face of adversity eventually becomes second nature and your brain starts to subconsciously guide you towards achievement. It focuses your body to work towards your goal, without you even knowing it. Your entire demeanor starts to change and the results start to follow.

    -DP

  6. Robinson Nkumba

    Jan 21, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    iam learning that to achieve something extra ordinary , i have to think outside the common box and am determined. I will achieve greatness no matter what!

  7. Harry

    Jan 19, 2015 at 3:38 am

    I don’t know how it happened , but my mum and dad wanted to throw a lavish birthday party for me . Everything went okay during that time , until the family video was released and I awoke to a cold truth. I had kyphosis and after seeing myself on camera was pretty much disgusted with myself . People at school and college used to call me hunchback and I can’t tell you how much that smashed into pieces . I told my mum please don’t show this to anyone , but instead she shared it with the whole world . I was also as a child played with by a white woman , I’m actually asian , which I think determines my sexuality today . And then with a white teacher who used to place the books on my crotch just to feel me .
    I have only ever had 1 or 2 not long lasting relationships with women , and maybe 2 or 3 potential other partners but I never shared that with them . I became addicted to cannabis for a long time , say 20 years . I have had long periods where I stopped . Now I think I have overcome that addiction , as well as alcohol through myself . I am blessed in some other ways but do get angry sometimes when I think about the past , and sometimes view the world as a white mans playground . I wanted to be one of those Hollywood type actors when I was young . I told Steve at the end of the day we are all products of environment , circumstance , genes and society and even if you become Mr or misses action tomorrow and be successful that theory will always hold true . Im fortunate to have my own house and car through some family work and generosity from my parents .
    All I want to do now is become Mr muscle while I am trying to find the right goals for me , and I want a beautiful wife and also children in the future . The only thing I have to quit now is tobacco . We all need to make smarter choices , but can’t punish ourselves Everytime we get it wrong .

  8. prisca

    Jan 16, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    I so much enjoyed this article. Thanks.

  9. RAGHAV KALRA

    Jan 11, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    Thanx Emily.

  10. RAGHAV KALRA

    Jan 11, 2015 at 7:02 am

    But if we have all the solutions and resources…then there is still a big enemy known as PROCRASTINATION. I think if we want to overcome it we need to think more about the positive outcomes of the impossible task( which is in our mind).

    • Emily Filloramo

      Jan 11, 2015 at 4:21 pm

      Raghav,

      Procrastination is a protective mechanism that keeps us from taking the steps to achieving our greatness.

      This is a part of us that is afraid of success. It’s afraid of success because it is stuck in some memory from the past (from authority figures and the school) that has us believe that it is not safe to be in the spotlight of success. That’s why we procrastinate.

      In order to overcome procrastination, again, as I’ve said in the comments below, the flashlight must shine into the dark corners of our minds and release the burdens and limiting beliefs that were acquired from significant emotional events. This will erase the negative self-talk for good and stop procrastination all together.

      Hope this explanation helps. It’s not you that’s procrastinating, it’s your parts from the past. -Emily

  11. William

    Jan 11, 2015 at 12:18 am

    Great article, but Thomas Edison was a sadistic psychopath who loved torturing animals. I definitely do not admire him. He thought the crying and yelping sounds animals made was no different that a machine squeaking.

  12. Keith Rozairo

    Jan 10, 2015 at 9:11 pm

    Right on Raghav! The more I read these posts and the comments, the more it steels me to achieve.
    Cheers

  13. Elizabeth Anderson

    Jan 10, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    I am blown away by your wisdom that I will probably create the points in this article as a poster on my wall or (and!) my computer wallpaper. I am overwhelming impressed by your ability and accomplishments at your age. (NOT an ageism statement: I’m just getting out of my way in my early 60s–imagine that) Thank you! I have hope for our future.

  14. Emily Filloramo

    Jan 9, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    Great post Aaron! The ONE thing that so many people lack is the BELIEF in themselves that they can be extraordinary and achieve big.

    The fears are all rooted in the past – the parts of them that are stuck in old memories of shame, rejection and unworthiness. These old significant negative emotional events from childhood run 90% of our subconscious. We can dream big all we want but the “skeletons in the closet” put the brakes on our lives.

    How to fix it? Well… you have to shine the flashlight into the dark corners of your mind and invest in personal growth to unburden and release the negative energies at the source. For some, that means investing in a psychotherapist, for others, the high functioning, psychologically healthy, it means investing in a coach.

    The most powerful modality of healing and getting unstuck from the negative self-talk and inner conflict is the “Internal Family Systems” modality of healing and self-leadership. You will get unstuck for good and your self-esteem will soar permanently, really.

    I have a book coming out in April ’15 (New Chapter Press), that will talk about all of this.

    Book title is “Erase Negative Self-Talk Now! How to Unleash Your Best Self”

    • Richard L Wiseman

      Jan 9, 2015 at 8:10 pm

      You’re absolutely right and I’ll be buying your book. I know that I was programmed by my family life as a child to be negative about myself and I’ve struggled for nearly 50 years, been to therapy etcetera and I’ve made progress, but deep inside I can’t escape the power those everyday criticism and negative remarks have over me. I try to fight hard against making myself fail and yet I just can’t get rid of the negative fibres in the woven fabric of my ‘self’. So I’ll buy your book in April, for sure and I believe you are right.

  15. Venkatesha N

    Jan 8, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    1. Fear of rejection
    2. Consists action
    3. Low self image
    4, being comfort zone

    Action
    Work hard
    Get the clear picture and put action to achieve the goals

  16. Mathias

    Jan 8, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    Nice write-up! I think it’s important to start focusing more on these limiting factors, as that is the first step to overcoming them! It’s true that you need to clarify a strong vision and cultivate an extraordinary mentality in order to achieve greatness.

    I think a number 5 could be added though; The fear of responsibility. Being afraid of taking responsibility for your actions, behavior and life is what is keeping so many people from giving up the comfortable conformity of our mediocre society.

  17. madan

    Jan 8, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    Lucky enough to have learnt about addicted2success.com.

  18. Rose Costas

    Jan 8, 2015 at 7:37 am

    Thanks Aaron for this encouragement. This is a new year and the perfect time to take a look at ones self and to make that decision to go out and make things happen. I too have lived in the mediocrity area of society for too long and have decided to take it to the next level and that is to be great for the rest of my life. Thanks for sharing.

  19. Arthur Morta

    Jan 8, 2015 at 6:55 am

    Its the dominant thoughts in between your ears that determine the destiny of your Life! Concentrating on the mundane that trip you up in the here and now will derail you from the success of the end goal

  20. RAGHAV KALRA

    Jan 8, 2015 at 5:17 am

    Holding me to achieve my success:
    1 Fear of failure
    2 constant worry about future
    3 fear that i will be noticed and fear of judging by others
    4 and i am not that physically strong, so fear of someone beating me.
    Steps taken by me:
    1 started doing the things which i used to fear like public speaking.

    • Joel Brown

      Joel Brown

      Jan 8, 2015 at 12:34 pm

      Thanks for sharing these with us Raghav 🙂

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Success Advice

One Question You Must Answer to Ensure Personal Success

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Lack of vision

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

2. Lack of goals

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

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

3. You don’t believe you can get there

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

4. You are lazy

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

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

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

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4 Character Traits Blocking Success From Entering Your Life

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Some days you wake up full of energy and ready to face the day. The challenges you gave yourself the day before seems almost too easy. However, there are also other days where you find yourself without the desire and energy to move forward. Operating from this mindset, you lose productive time, counted first in minutes, then hours. Sometimes your loss of productivity can be measured in days, weeks and months of missed opportunities.   

Since you will not wake up every day bursting with excitement, you must find a way to summon the energy necessary to pound out another story for a publication, work on your social media content plan and write new copy for your website.

To understand why you are unable to take the actions required for success, you must first identify what blocks you. You can’t overcome challenges you aren’t aware of, and this is the juncture separating those who succeed from those who don’t.

Here are the four main character defects that block success:

1. Apathy

Apathy is exhibited as a lack of concern. It shows up when you are tired or stretched too thin. Many entrepreneurs work one or more jobs while attempting to launch a business, whether online or brick and mortar. When progress can’t be seen, it is easy to stop caring and give up.

2. Procrastination

Procrastination can occur when you get up ready to give all you’ve got to your endeavor, but first you check out an episode of your favorite Netflix show while you have coffee. After eight hours of binge-watching, your productive mindset is gone which leaves you demoralized. This in turn brings you back to apathy, triggers fear and causes more procrastinating.

3. Fear

Fear is a corrosive emotion everyone struggles with, and if you are not careful, it will absolutely stop you in your tracks. Fear will say you cannot obtain your dreams. The most successful entrepreneurs and business leaders grapple with anxiety, worry and apprehension, yet you rarely see them paralyzed by their fearfulness. Like them, you can’t defeat your fear unless you identify it. With an insightful mentor, you can easily determine what you are afraid of. Once it is recognized, you’ll find the strength to walk through it.   

“Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will.” – James Stephens

4. Overwhelm

Overwhelm occurs when you commit to more than you are capable of doing. Balance and giving the appropriate amount of time to all aspects of life is a tremendous challenge. Have you found yourself overwhelmed when a friend asks a favor of you while you are trying to meet a deadline at work and maintain focus on your entrepreneurial side project? Do you worry how you’ll ever find the time to get it all done? Often when this occurs, we may mentally shut down and accomplish nothing.

To counter the deficits listed above, you must identify, then develop the opposite, positive traits necessary for success. It’s important to understand the “why” of each attribute because only then can you fully tap into the power they offer to help you accomplish your goals.

Here are the four traits to counter the above traits with:

1. Purpose

Purpose gives voice to why you are alive. It tells you and others what you are working toward and why. Living out your purpose is the single greatest weapon against apathy. Knowing your purpose gives you a standard with which you can measure your progress. It motivates you to think, act and ultimately, to succeed.

2. Action

Action is the opposite of procrastination. When your effort is focused on achieving an objective, action propels you forward. Breaking a large project down into small, manageable steps, you’ll gain the needed traction to successfully reach your goal!

3. Courage

Courage is built by first facing, then walking through your fears. Courage gives you strength to do what you think is impossible. Developing a relationship with a mentor, someone willing to tell you the truth about what they see, is crucial to success in this area. With help, you can first identify, then make the adjustments necessary to identify and release the fear blocking you.

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

4. Focus

Focus is the final attribute. What you give your attention to is the single most important factor influencing your success. You become what you focus on. When you focus on your purpose, take the necessary actions and develop the courage to bust through, you win!

This is not an all-inclusive list, it’s simply a starting point. As you tackle and overcome your grosser defects, the subtler ones will begin to surface. Slowly, with help from your trusted mentor, you will work and grow through these challenges.  

As you become stronger, you’ll be able to withstand additional demands. You meet them head-on with the new skill set you’ll develop as you let your old ones go. You will be more effective, positive and energetic along with ready to take any action necessary. You are a winner!

Which one of the character traits above do you need to focus on most in order to achieve success? Let us know in the comments below!

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6 Important Decisions to Make to Have a Successful Career

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Would you rather paint your bedroom blue or beige? What is your usual coffee go-to order: a mocha or a macchiato? Should you take the bus or the train to work today? Decisions are everywhere. They are the ones behind our choices and the ones behind all consequences that we face for those choices.

Life is riddled with decisions at every intersection, and some say that those who are the best decision-makers can actually make the most of their time on this planet. Sure, inspirational and spiritual speakers have a lot to say when it comes to the matters of fate, luck or destiny, but only the successful know that a man is truly capable of shaping their own as per their choices.

From choosing on whom to delegate that difficult task to knowing when to bring up a tricky topic during a meeting with shareholders, decisions have the potential to shape your careers as well. If you have been wondering about the ways that you can improve your career, you can consider bringing in some smart decisions in your life right now.

What are the decisions that can help you have a successful career? Since decisions play such a huge role in shaping our lives and careers, you may wish to pick up a few that help you scale higher in your career as well.

Here are 6 of the most important decisions to bring into your life today so that you can take your career to newer heights:

1. Put your goals on paper

Sure, it’s great to have goals for your career, but simply letting them wander about in your mind is not going to help you achieve them, you know. That is why you need to have a list of goals that you have set for yourself – on paper.

Maintain a journal (virtual or offline, whichever works for you) that enlists your career objectives and goals according to short-term and long-term ones. For example, you can put upskilling in short-term goals and moving to a higher managerial position by the end of three years as a long-term goal.

Establish parity in the short-term and long-term goals so that you can synthesise them when the time comes. Jotting down the objectives will help you have a clear idea of where you stand and the way that you should go to bring about the positive changes in your career.

2. Bring in a daily dose of positivity

Let’s face it, all of us have encountered setbacks in our professional lives. The most important lesson to take from those setbacks is to never become pessimistic about what you can achieve. Positivity has helped many to soar the skies when it comes to their careers, and with a conscious decision to eliminate all sorts of negative thoughts from your mind can help you in doing the same too.

You will find a bunch of success stories that all start and end with how important it is to persevere in the face of adversities and letting your positive aura shine through in dark times. One of the smartest things that you can thus do for your career is to decide to chuck all negativity (as well as toxic acquaintances) that make you doubt your abilities and pull you down.

“Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.” – James Cash Penney

3. Hone your writing skills

No matter which industry you belong to, an impressive writing style in this fast-paced age of digital communication truly has the power to take you places when it comes to becoming more successful in your career.

The blessing that is the web has brought on a range of online tools and resources that you can put to good use for improving your writing skills. If you need to review your official documents and emails, then try online tools to edit and proofread your documents efficiently. You can also use online tools and tutorials to pick up tricks that help you sharpen your writing and make it devoid of common mistakes we all prone to making.

4. Upskill yourself proactively

Whether it is learning to code or taking up creative writing classes, you should decide to upskill proactively throughout your career. Upskilling has benefited more than one, and when the time comes for a job switch to move on to better prospects, you can always leverage the additional skills picked up earlier. As we move towards a faster and more digitised work sphere, it is best to attune oneself to the latest trends and in-demand skills of your industry and beyond to make sure that you are prepared when it is time to take the plunge.

5. Reflect on each day

When you are at work, the days seem to go by in a dizzying blur, leaving you breathless from the sheer pressure of work and tasks that you have to manage throughout the day. Deciding to spare time for yourself despite your busy schedule ensures both personal and professional growth, as leading psychologists opine.

Treat each day as a lesson, and you will end up with a long list of things that you learnt from each of them as they went by. An excellent way to do this is to keep a journal, but if you do not feel up to writing at the end of the busy day, you can always unwind while listening to your favourite music and reflect on the day that was.

6. Pick up a healthy lifestyle

Lastly, it is important to decide to be healthy and fit for only by that will you be at your productive peak to help you achieve all that you want to in your professional sphere. Devote some time to exercise every day and have a healthy diet.

You are sure to find many benefits of having a healthy lifestyle when you rise and shine to go to work with renewed vigour every day that helps you create innovative designs or brainstorm for killer marketing tactics. You never know which hidden potential of yours gets unlocked by facing work with a positive and beaming attitude every day, so why not take a leap of faith?

“Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.” – Napoleon Hill

Staying ahead of the competition, working overtime, managing piles of emails and getting stuck in the daily conundrums of work may sometimes leave you wondering as to where it is that you are headed when it comes to your career. Cruise through your career like a pro as these six decisions present a world of benefits for your personal and professional growth.

What decisions have you made that have helped you grow professionally? Comment below!

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4 of the World’s Greatest Thinkers Share Their Secrets to Living the Good Life

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It takes a lot of effort, dedication, and open-mindedness to lead a good life of excellent health, wealth, love and happiness. As a personal trainer, and a human being, part of my life revolves around understanding how the human mind works and how to help myself, and the people around me, make decisions that put their lives on the right track.

We only live once thus we have to make the best out of our journey. One of the greatest ways to learn how to live is by learning from those who have lead the good life themselves.

Here are four of the greatest thinkers secrets to live a good life:

1. Jordan Peterson: Treat yourself like someone you’re responsible for helping

Ever heard of the term, ‘Treat yourself like you treat your best friend?” As corny as it sounds, this tip holds water. You need to be kind to yourself, and you must be compassionate. In fact, studies suggest that self-compassion is more critical to your well being than self-esteem.

If this is true, why is it hard for many people to make friends with themselves? The answer, according to Jordan Peterson, lies in the fact that you`ve been around your imperfect self for so long that all you can see is a flawed human being.

A person, still according to Peterson, will deride his whole existence just because, in his eyes, he’s the ugly, ashamed, frightened, worthless, inadequate, insignificant, resentful, defensive descendant of Adam. Peterson suggests you will gain inner peace when you see yourself through the eyes of a loving coach trying to lead their imperfect mentee to the best possible results.

2. Leonardo da Vinci: Understand how your mind works

Michael J. Gelb, the author of How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every day, believes Dimostrazione – the Italian translation of demonstration – is one of Da Vinci`s seven principles to his unmatched intelligence. The Italian sculpture, inventor, musician, geologist, and mathematician had a special knack for examining how things work, including his mind, and he made sure to document his musings on paper so he could understand himself better. Before he died, Da Vinci left one of his trustees a 10,000-paper journal full of notes, questions, designs and even jokes and fables.

To reap the benefits of dimonstrazione, you need to regularly detach yourself from the digital world for a few minutes of ruminating and journaling. Question your thoughts, beliefs, and why you/people do things in specific ways. Doing this will spark your creativity and help you solve deeply-rooted problems much easier.

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci

3. Richard Dawkins: Avoid the trial/error trap

Some may think making lots of mistakes is the best way to learn how to do something. According to Richard Dawkins, making so many mistakes is a waste of time and can sometimes be fatal. In his opinion, most of what you learn should come from “simulation.” He believes one should study the best and worst types of people, emulate their good and avoid their bad.

Most of the time, all you need is to follow someone else`s wheel instead of trying to invent your own – at least until you`re strong enough to lead your way. Additional tip: Get coaching or a mentor who`s 20 years older than you. A good one will save you lots of time, effort and money.

4. Carl Sagan: The universe is not required to be in harmony with ambition

Be flexible and formless, then adapt to the universe instead of trying to bend it to your will – which may not happen. To Carl Sagan, a man should understand that life won’t always give him what he wants, but he must use what life gives him for his better good. If life throws you a  tomato, make a soup of it. Many successful people spent decent parts of their lives drifting between careers only to realize later that they wouldn’t have made it without those career wanderings.

You must also understand that the purpose of a goal isn’t to hit the target but to evolve into the type of person who can achieve his goals. You won’t always win if you swing for the fences with every shot, but your track record will be far better than someone who plays it safe not because of your extraordinary genes but because the type of goal you chose for yourself forced you to step out of your shell and grow.

“Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.” – Carl Sagan

Take great care of your mind. Read good books, understand your cognitive biases and take courses in lateral thinking and problem solving. Your mind is your most important asset and it’s a great shame if you fail to use it well.

What is your secret to living the good life? Let us know your secrets in the comments below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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