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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

The Three P’s You Need to Master to Become a Better Leader

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Leadership
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I have been a fan and a student of Steve Jobs, Ray Kroc and Jack Welsh for many years. It is very valuable to find similar traits in these great leaders and aggregate them, basically come up with some common denominators of their leadership success. By doing so, we can then begin to reflect their great skills into our own leadership profile. My goal here is to give you some very quick and applicable tools to modify your behavior for greater leadership skills.

Here are the 3 P’s for you to develop greater leadership skills based upon my findings:

1. Passion

If there is one thing that I found in most leaders, it is passion. They love what they do, they love talking about what they do and they love getting others involved in what they do. Passion has different ways of emoting. Some people move very quickly on stage with arms flaying, voice pitching from a diminuendo to a crescendo with 100 giant television screens behind them.

Remember Steve Jobs when the iPhone was being introduced? I’ve seen other people standing behind the podium speaking from written notes but the emotional intensity in the room grew thick and reaching the level of static discharge. I’ve seen everything in between. There is an old saying that we have a leadership theory and that is, “if you think you’re leading and you turn around and no one is following, you’re just taking a walk!” It is passion that prevents that from happening.

“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” – John D. Rockefeller

You may be asking yourself how you can develop more passion in your life and in your leadership repertoire. The answer to that is fairly simple but the application can be somewhat deceptive in its apparent simplicity. If you wait to feel passionate before you act passionate, you’re allowing outside circumstance to control your emotions. However, if you begin to act passionate even if, by chance you don’t feel it, you will begin to. Thus, it is better for us to act our way into a new set of feelings than it is for us to feel our way into a new set of actions.

2. Planning

All leaders are planners; it’s a requirement of the job. By virtue of leading it means that you must be planning for the future. Planning can in fact be learned and is not that difficult of a process. If you want to become a better planner study chess. Notice I did not say play chess, although that will be the natural outcome of your studying. Study chess and notice how the minds of the great masters develop a strategy and implant tactics around that strategy. Chess is an amazing process to develop planning skills.

Another thing you can do is think about how you planned your last vacation, or even a weekend getaway. Think about the steps you took, the research you did based on those steps and their outcomes. Both the study of chess and personal planning will assist you in developing planning for your leadership skills.

3. Persistence

Leaders never give up! If there is something they want, they find a way around, over, or through the obstacle. Too many people never develop their full leadership birthright because of the mental script running through their minds saying, “It’s too tough for me. I Should just go home and get a good nights sleep.” Leaders know that the only possibility of failure is in giving up. If you fall down 10 times but get up on the 11th, you have not failed 10 times – you have succeeded. Period!

You may be wondering how to develop that no nonsense, I will not be denied attitude of persistence. The real question is not how do I develop persistence, but how do I develop the courage to go after what I want? Persistence is a by-product of courage! When there is something that should be yours, developing the impassioned desire to obtain that through raw courage will develop sheer persistence.

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” – Colin Powell

Maybe I should’ve included a 4th P with this article. That of POWER! The best thing I can say about power is that if you want a more powerful leadership dynamic, develop a repertoire that contains passion, planning and persistence. The three of them combined will be a powerful leadership punch that should lead you to getting what you want and assisting others in believing that they should follow you because there is great value in you leading them.

How do you define a leader? Comment below!

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Success Advice

The Secret Power of Storytelling That You Need to Know

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Image Credit: Fortune

What does the power of storytelling mean to you? Do you visualize your mom or dad telling you a bedtime story, or do you think about an enjoyable summer read? Every single conversation that we have with an individual or group is us sharing a story about the past, present and future. If we have a product or service that we offer to others, we tell a story about it when we do a pitch or a presentation.

The reason why we tell stories is because we know the power of stories. We know how being able to tell a captivating story can affect and change the lives of the people for better or worse. Hitler used stories about the Jews in the 1930’s which caused Germany to rally the youth and the German people to go to war, and in England, the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, used the power of stories to rally the British in a movement of never surrendering to the Germans.

Not everyone knows how to tell stories

Our abilities to tell captivating stories is one of the greatest assets we possess. However the problem is that not everyone has the skills to be a good storyteller, and the ability to be a good storyteller is critical in our success whether it’s in our personal or business life.

The power of storytelling goes way beyond just our everyday conversations, it goes far beyond simply giving facts and data. Stories emotionalize information. They bring life and depth to otherwise bland material, and they allow people to connect with the message in a deeper, more meaningful way.

Tony Robbins, the world famous motivational speaker and strategist interviewed Peter Guber, the Chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment whose films has earned more than $3 billion and over 50 Academy Awards nomination. Guber stated “emotion combined with information becomes memorable and actionable.  Where were you on 9/11? Chances are that you can remember exactly where you were when you learned about the tragic events that transpired that day. But if you had to think where you were the day before that – that memory is probably hazier. Because information attached to pain or pleasure creates an emotional connection that resonates within you.”

He goes on to also say “Keeping in mind that a story is not a monologue, but a dialogue, helps you to give your audience proprietorship. They become emotional owners of the story you are telling. Then they become advtes –oca of your product, your service, your business, your brand.”

The power of storytelling can transform lives when useful and relevant information is combined with emotions. The next time you speak to another person regardless of the situation, remember you are being a storyteller, because you are in the process of transferring information to that person or group.

“Stories are a communal currency of humanity.” –Tahir Shah

Our most powerful tool

Our ability to communicate effectively is the most powerful tool we have, and when we strategically use our communication skills to transfer bland information into masterful stories we also have the power to transform lives.

If done correctly, our stories will have a massive effect on our listening audience. It will inspire and influence them. It will move them to act. So never underestimate the power of storytelling. Make it relevant–connect emotionally, create a dialogue, and you will see why the power of storytelling is the most powerful tool you have.

Don’t just take my word on for it, Look at some of the greatest leaders throughout history

You will see that they all had the ability to tell stories and bring people together through their words. The greatest motivational speakers in the world use the power of storytelling to emotionalize their audience, because there is no quicker or more effective way to get your audience engaged.

Les Brown who has been one of my mentors and one of the greatest motivational speakers that has ever lived, uses stories masterfully. He shares stories about his upbringing in Miami, and how he and his twin brother were adopted at birth and he is somehow able to transition those stories into whatever relevant topic needs to be heard by his audience, but he first draws them in with his stories.

“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” – Les Brown

Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar, Earl Nightingale, Tony Robbins, the list is endless, but one thing they all have in common is their ability to tell stories masterfully. Some of the greatest philosophers have told us that there is a blueprint for success, and obviously storytelling is part of that blue print.

There is no greater power that we possess than the ability to transform regular words into captivating stories that can take your audience on whatever journey you want to take them on.

Being a great storyteller is like being a puppet master, because when you can draw people in to your stories you will have your audience on a string taking them on any emotional roller coaster. The secret power of storytelling is to be treated with respect, because with great power comes great responsibility, and this power should only be used for good.

Do you enjoy storytelling? If so, do you have any techniques or advice to share? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

5 Signs You’re on the Right Path to Success

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Every successful person had his own moment(s) of doubt. The road to success is full of obstacles and sweet hardships that will frequently make you stop and ask, ‘Am I on the right track?’ Even legends and billionaires had moments like that. Just imagine how 62 year old Colonel Sanders felt when he was rejected time and time again trying to franchise his famous chicken recipe.

It felt harsh and I bet he stopped, at least for a moment, to question his entire existence, not just the success of his business idea. But I also bet that there were probably some signs that told Sanders —and any other successful person— ‘You`re going to make it, just hang in there.”

Here are the 5 signs that will tell you whether you`re going to be successful or not:

1. You’re good at the consistency game

I don`t like the fable of the Tortoise and the Hare, and I believe that a restless hare would smash them both, but there`s a reason why that slow tortoise crossed the finish line; It`s called consistency.

Success eventually favors the most consistent, and if you`re not disciplined with the things that make you successful, then your chances to succeed are slimmer than Marlon Brando`s chances of winning the lottery (Marlon Brando is dead, and one of every 175 million tickets wins the lotto).  

Systems and routines (i.e., consistency), predict success, so take a look at your habits. Are they positive? Do you practice them regularly? If the answer to both questions is “Yes,” then sooner or later you`re going to be successful.

“The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same.” – Colin R. Davis

2. You stopped having a toxic relationship with money

Success is no longer a zero-sum game to you; opportunities are everywhere, and there`s room for everybody to make money, including you. When you check the news, the success of other people no longer makes you envious. A celebrity buying a new mansion or a $150 million contract for a LeBron or Federer-like athlete, doesn`t bother you but instead makes you believe there`s plenty of money out there for ambitious, hard-working people like you. When you switch from worrying about not having enough money to having faith that you will make the money you want, then you know you`re on the way to success.

3. You know the right people

Another sign is having a big social network. I read it somewhere that business owners prefer to hire those they know over those who are skilled. Sounds skewed, I know, but it helps a lot if you combine your technical skills with excellent people skills. To want success is more like wishing to enter a nightclub on a busy Friday night. If you know the bouncers or have enough skills to befriend them, you won`t stay long in the line. The same thing happens in business, the more people you know, the easier it will be to find the right job, get proper funding and save time waiting in the line.

Social skills will help you more than you can ever imagine. There`s a guy I used to work with, he`s not that good looking, but he`s the slickest I`ve ever seen. When that guy hit rock bottom, he dropped out of school, bought a one-way ticket to Dubai, became a real estate agent and made his first million before reaching 30. I`ve also read about Michael Bloomberg who used to come to work at six in the morning to distribute coffee and tea to CEOs who come to work early when others are sleeping. For $.99 each, Bloomberg befriended at least a dozen bigwigs who later helped him launch a billion dollar business after he quit Wall Street.

4. You know what makes you tick

The successful people are better than most people at understanding themselves and overcoming —to a greater extent—the five foundations of poverty: sleep, fear, anger, laziness, and procrastination. They have worked on themselves so deeply and have made so many mistakes that they now know their soft spots as well as what motivates them.

Do you know what makes you sad, angry or excited? Do you know when you`re more likely to cheat on a diet or skip a workout? What are your strengths? Can you motivate yourself at will? And how? Having answers to most or, preferably, all of these questions will help you tap into your full potential and sets you on the path to massive success.

“All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.” – Michael John Bobak

5. You have faith

Faith in the yet to be seen, is a huge sign of success. When you think about the future, there should be a positive energy around you that says “I`m gonna make it.” You may not know exactly when you`re going to succeed, but you`re sure it’s a matter of time. This faith, or certainty, comes from having a solid plan – It`s when you know your goal, how you`ll achieve it, and how you`re going to react if things go south and deciding to believe in the unknown

If you think about it, hard work doesn`t always come as the first cause of success. It`s the faith that you`ll achieve the goal that makes you work hard, and thus, achieve the goal. I was reading a book on Michael Jordan by Roland Lazenby —who also wrote Kobe Bryant`s biography— and it stopped me that part of Jordan`s extraordinary success goes to expectations.

He expected every single ball he shot to go in. Jordan used that mindset over and over and didn`t stop when one of his shots was missed. He merely understood that even though nobody wins all the time, believing you`ll win every single time makes you win most of the time, which is enough to get a career like his. The most prominent success sign is the certainty. To believe, and act, as if you`re going to succeed, and then let that belief lead manifest into actions.

What are some things you do to say on track? Comment below!

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Success Advice

Instead of Always Trying to Be Right, Do This Instead

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stop trying to be right
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A colleague of mine was obnoxious, over eager, and completely out of line. Yet, all of this was overshadowed by the fact he was just plain wrong. If he were to go through with it, it would derail the company by at least 6 months. Yet, arguing with him when he was in this state was of no use. While hitting him over the head with the laptop seemed appealing for a second, it was probably not a great long-term strategy for the business or my laptop.

Galileo once said, “You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him find it within himself.” This is especially true when it comes to emotionally charged matters and negotiations.

When you are right, you become attached to that idea. It’s so clear, how can they not see it? Yet, your meticulously clear logic might as well be written in braille as your focus intensifies on proving yourself right, instead of reaching an agreement.

Below are 3 ways you can step out of your emotions and help someone find the right answer when money and time are on the line:

1. Separate the Person From the Issue

Imagine if a four-year-old child was adamant about something. You wouldn’t try to reason logically for hours in such a case. When trying to speak through a person’s emotions, often you might have better luck with the four year old.

In order to break this barrier you must stop seeing them as the problem and see the issue at hand. Instead of seeing the other person as stupid or obnoxious, try viewing them as simply lost or misguided. The job now becomes not to prove them wrong, but to guide them to the truth. Adopting this mindset changes your entire approach as you get out of your own emotions and take control of the situation.

“Each of us guard a gate of change that can only be opened from the inside.” – Stephen Covey

2. Show Them A Mirror

Somewhere in between trying to hammer a point, both sides usually forget to listen. No matter the situation, you must make sure that person is never you. Instead, shift the focus from “me vs you” and make it completely about the other person. Really listen and validate their emotions, creating enough trust and safety to begin a real exchange. Make sure they feel heard and slow the conversation down. When you slow the process down, you also calm down.

Remember, it’s not what you say, but how you say it. About 93% of communication is nonverbal, thus maintaining your body language immediately provides an edge. A playful (not childlike or mocking) voice puts someone in a positive frame of mind, where they are more likely to collaborate and problem solve.

Always remember to repeat back the most important three words from their sentence and make them elaborate on whatever they said. The more a person is allowed to speak, the more they feel heard. The more they feel heard, the more open they are to receive new information.

3. Lead With Empathy, Not Sympathy

Taking the time to make sure the other side feels heard and understood does not mean you bend to their will. It does not mean you give up, agree, feel sorry for, or even compromise. Empathy is the ability to recognize another’s perspective and the vocalization of that recognition. This is the difference between empathy and sympathy.

When you can label a person’s emotions in an argument, you seize the chance to discover what is behind those feelings. As you begin to drill down, you gain leverage. This should be done very gracefully. Instead of saying, I think you’re angry and being stubborn, trying saying, It seems like you are feeling frustrated because you really care about this and wish it was moving along quicker.

“Sometimes all a person wants is an empathetic ear; all he or she needs is to talk it out. Just offering a listening ear and an understanding heart for his or her suffering can be a big comfort.” – Roy T. Bennett

Using labels, you mold their feelings into words, moving information from the emotional part of the brain to the rational. Whatever behavior a person may be presenting, there is always an underlying feeling triggering it. Your job is to make the person aware of that feeling. The faster you do this, the faster you eliminate the risk of a complete breakdown in communication.

After their emotions are labeled, asking how or why calibrated questions allow them to solve their problems for you. In order to do this effectively you don’t need to study every type of calibrated question there is, but rather adopt a specific mindset. You are not their opponent, but a guide, leading the lost to the truth. Your truth.

In my case, the presenting behavior of my colleague was an obnoxious know-it-all attitude. However, the underlying emotion was fear of falling behind. Once I was able to stop asking the question, “Why is he doing this to me?” and focus on looking deeper, the conversation took a turn. The conversation was no longer about my ideas versus his, but about him and his fear.

Instead of arguing with me, he spent the rest of the time, essentially, arguing with himself. After helping him dissect his fear in the rational part of the brain, he realized that many of the worst case scenarios were highly improbable and acting hasty might exacerbate things. Most importantly, at the end of the conversation, he said, “I think I made the right choice.”

He believed that the decision was entirely his. He never acknowledged the fact that I was right and announced to everyone the sudden spark of genius that hit him. Yet, at the end of the day you need to ask yourself what is more important to you; being right or doing whatever it takes to win.  

How do you handle conflict? Let us know your tips and advice in the comments below!

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Success Advice

The Three P’s You Need to Master to Become a Better Leader

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Leadership
Image Credit: Unsplash

I have been a fan and a student of Steve Jobs, Ray Kroc and Jack Welsh for many years. It is very valuable to find similar traits in these great leaders and aggregate them, basically come up with some common denominators of their leadership success. By doing so, we can then begin to reflect their great skills into our own leadership profile. My goal here is to give you some very quick and applicable tools to modify your behavior for greater leadership skills. (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

The Three P’s You Need to Master to Become a Better Leader

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Leadership
Image Credit: Unsplash

I have been a fan and a student of Steve Jobs, Ray Kroc and Jack Welsh for many years. It is very valuable to find similar traits in these great leaders and aggregate them, basically come up with some common denominators of their leadership success. By doing so, we can then begin to reflect their great skills into our own leadership profile. My goal here is to give you some very quick and applicable tools to modify your behavior for greater leadership skills.

Here are the 3 P’s for you to develop greater leadership skills based upon my findings:

1. Passion

If there is one thing that I found in most leaders, it is passion. They love what they do, they love talking about what they do and they love getting others involved in what they do. Passion has different ways of emoting. Some people move very quickly on stage with arms flaying, voice pitching from a diminuendo to a crescendo with 100 giant television screens behind them.

Remember Steve Jobs when the iPhone was being introduced? I’ve seen other people standing behind the podium speaking from written notes but the emotional intensity in the room grew thick and reaching the level of static discharge. I’ve seen everything in between. There is an old saying that we have a leadership theory and that is, “if you think you’re leading and you turn around and no one is following, you’re just taking a walk!” It is passion that prevents that from happening.

“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” – John D. Rockefeller

You may be asking yourself how you can develop more passion in your life and in your leadership repertoire. The answer to that is fairly simple but the application can be somewhat deceptive in its apparent simplicity. If you wait to feel passionate before you act passionate, you’re allowing outside circumstance to control your emotions. However, if you begin to act passionate even if, by chance you don’t feel it, you will begin to. Thus, it is better for us to act our way into a new set of feelings than it is for us to feel our way into a new set of actions.

2. Planning

All leaders are planners; it’s a requirement of the job. By virtue of leading it means that you must be planning for the future. Planning can in fact be learned and is not that difficult of a process. If you want to become a better planner study chess. Notice I did not say play chess, although that will be the natural outcome of your studying. Study chess and notice how the minds of the great masters develop a strategy and implant tactics around that strategy. Chess is an amazing process to develop planning skills.

Another thing you can do is think about how you planned your last vacation, or even a weekend getaway. Think about the steps you took, the research you did based on those steps and their outcomes. Both the study of chess and personal planning will assist you in developing planning for your leadership skills.

3. Persistence

Leaders never give up! If there is something they want, they find a way around, over, or through the obstacle. Too many people never develop their full leadership birthright because of the mental script running through their minds saying, “It’s too tough for me. I Should just go home and get a good nights sleep.” Leaders know that the only possibility of failure is in giving up. If you fall down 10 times but get up on the 11th, you have not failed 10 times – you have succeeded. Period!

You may be wondering how to develop that no nonsense, I will not be denied attitude of persistence. The real question is not how do I develop persistence, but how do I develop the courage to go after what I want? Persistence is a by-product of courage! When there is something that should be yours, developing the impassioned desire to obtain that through raw courage will develop sheer persistence.

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” – Colin Powell

Maybe I should’ve included a 4th P with this article. That of POWER! The best thing I can say about power is that if you want a more powerful leadership dynamic, develop a repertoire that contains passion, planning and persistence. The three of them combined will be a powerful leadership punch that should lead you to getting what you want and assisting others in believing that they should follow you because there is great value in you leading them.

How do you define a leader? Comment below!

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Success Advice

The Secret Power of Storytelling That You Need to Know

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Image Credit: Fortune

What does the power of storytelling mean to you? Do you visualize your mom or dad telling you a bedtime story, or do you think about an enjoyable summer read? Every single conversation that we have with an individual or group is us sharing a story about the past, present and future. If we have a product or service that we offer to others, we tell a story about it when we do a pitch or a presentation.

The reason why we tell stories is because we know the power of stories. We know how being able to tell a captivating story can affect and change the lives of the people for better or worse. Hitler used stories about the Jews in the 1930’s which caused Germany to rally the youth and the German people to go to war, and in England, the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, used the power of stories to rally the British in a movement of never surrendering to the Germans.

Not everyone knows how to tell stories

Our abilities to tell captivating stories is one of the greatest assets we possess. However the problem is that not everyone has the skills to be a good storyteller, and the ability to be a good storyteller is critical in our success whether it’s in our personal or business life.

The power of storytelling goes way beyond just our everyday conversations, it goes far beyond simply giving facts and data. Stories emotionalize information. They bring life and depth to otherwise bland material, and they allow people to connect with the message in a deeper, more meaningful way.

Tony Robbins, the world famous motivational speaker and strategist interviewed Peter Guber, the Chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment whose films has earned more than $3 billion and over 50 Academy Awards nomination. Guber stated “emotion combined with information becomes memorable and actionable.  Where were you on 9/11? Chances are that you can remember exactly where you were when you learned about the tragic events that transpired that day. But if you had to think where you were the day before that – that memory is probably hazier. Because information attached to pain or pleasure creates an emotional connection that resonates within you.”

He goes on to also say “Keeping in mind that a story is not a monologue, but a dialogue, helps you to give your audience proprietorship. They become emotional owners of the story you are telling. Then they become advtes –oca of your product, your service, your business, your brand.”

The power of storytelling can transform lives when useful and relevant information is combined with emotions. The next time you speak to another person regardless of the situation, remember you are being a storyteller, because you are in the process of transferring information to that person or group.

“Stories are a communal currency of humanity.” –Tahir Shah

Our most powerful tool

Our ability to communicate effectively is the most powerful tool we have, and when we strategically use our communication skills to transfer bland information into masterful stories we also have the power to transform lives.

If done correctly, our stories will have a massive effect on our listening audience. It will inspire and influence them. It will move them to act. So never underestimate the power of storytelling. Make it relevant–connect emotionally, create a dialogue, and you will see why the power of storytelling is the most powerful tool you have.

Don’t just take my word on for it, Look at some of the greatest leaders throughout history

You will see that they all had the ability to tell stories and bring people together through their words. The greatest motivational speakers in the world use the power of storytelling to emotionalize their audience, because there is no quicker or more effective way to get your audience engaged.

Les Brown who has been one of my mentors and one of the greatest motivational speakers that has ever lived, uses stories masterfully. He shares stories about his upbringing in Miami, and how he and his twin brother were adopted at birth and he is somehow able to transition those stories into whatever relevant topic needs to be heard by his audience, but he first draws them in with his stories.

“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” – Les Brown

Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar, Earl Nightingale, Tony Robbins, the list is endless, but one thing they all have in common is their ability to tell stories masterfully. Some of the greatest philosophers have told us that there is a blueprint for success, and obviously storytelling is part of that blue print.

There is no greater power that we possess than the ability to transform regular words into captivating stories that can take your audience on whatever journey you want to take them on.

Being a great storyteller is like being a puppet master, because when you can draw people in to your stories you will have your audience on a string taking them on any emotional roller coaster. The secret power of storytelling is to be treated with respect, because with great power comes great responsibility, and this power should only be used for good.

Do you enjoy storytelling? If so, do you have any techniques or advice to share? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

5 Signs You’re on the Right Path to Success

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Every successful person had his own moment(s) of doubt. The road to success is full of obstacles and sweet hardships that will frequently make you stop and ask, ‘Am I on the right track?’ Even legends and billionaires had moments like that. Just imagine how 62 year old Colonel Sanders felt when he was rejected time and time again trying to franchise his famous chicken recipe.

It felt harsh and I bet he stopped, at least for a moment, to question his entire existence, not just the success of his business idea. But I also bet that there were probably some signs that told Sanders —and any other successful person— ‘You`re going to make it, just hang in there.”

Here are the 5 signs that will tell you whether you`re going to be successful or not:

1. You’re good at the consistency game

I don`t like the fable of the Tortoise and the Hare, and I believe that a restless hare would smash them both, but there`s a reason why that slow tortoise crossed the finish line; It`s called consistency.

Success eventually favors the most consistent, and if you`re not disciplined with the things that make you successful, then your chances to succeed are slimmer than Marlon Brando`s chances of winning the lottery (Marlon Brando is dead, and one of every 175 million tickets wins the lotto).  

Systems and routines (i.e., consistency), predict success, so take a look at your habits. Are they positive? Do you practice them regularly? If the answer to both questions is “Yes,” then sooner or later you`re going to be successful.

“The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same.” – Colin R. Davis

2. You stopped having a toxic relationship with money

Success is no longer a zero-sum game to you; opportunities are everywhere, and there`s room for everybody to make money, including you. When you check the news, the success of other people no longer makes you envious. A celebrity buying a new mansion or a $150 million contract for a LeBron or Federer-like athlete, doesn`t bother you but instead makes you believe there`s plenty of money out there for ambitious, hard-working people like you. When you switch from worrying about not having enough money to having faith that you will make the money you want, then you know you`re on the way to success.

3. You know the right people

Another sign is having a big social network. I read it somewhere that business owners prefer to hire those they know over those who are skilled. Sounds skewed, I know, but it helps a lot if you combine your technical skills with excellent people skills. To want success is more like wishing to enter a nightclub on a busy Friday night. If you know the bouncers or have enough skills to befriend them, you won`t stay long in the line. The same thing happens in business, the more people you know, the easier it will be to find the right job, get proper funding and save time waiting in the line.

Social skills will help you more than you can ever imagine. There`s a guy I used to work with, he`s not that good looking, but he`s the slickest I`ve ever seen. When that guy hit rock bottom, he dropped out of school, bought a one-way ticket to Dubai, became a real estate agent and made his first million before reaching 30. I`ve also read about Michael Bloomberg who used to come to work at six in the morning to distribute coffee and tea to CEOs who come to work early when others are sleeping. For $.99 each, Bloomberg befriended at least a dozen bigwigs who later helped him launch a billion dollar business after he quit Wall Street.

4. You know what makes you tick

The successful people are better than most people at understanding themselves and overcoming —to a greater extent—the five foundations of poverty: sleep, fear, anger, laziness, and procrastination. They have worked on themselves so deeply and have made so many mistakes that they now know their soft spots as well as what motivates them.

Do you know what makes you sad, angry or excited? Do you know when you`re more likely to cheat on a diet or skip a workout? What are your strengths? Can you motivate yourself at will? And how? Having answers to most or, preferably, all of these questions will help you tap into your full potential and sets you on the path to massive success.

“All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.” – Michael John Bobak

5. You have faith

Faith in the yet to be seen, is a huge sign of success. When you think about the future, there should be a positive energy around you that says “I`m gonna make it.” You may not know exactly when you`re going to succeed, but you`re sure it’s a matter of time. This faith, or certainty, comes from having a solid plan – It`s when you know your goal, how you`ll achieve it, and how you`re going to react if things go south and deciding to believe in the unknown

If you think about it, hard work doesn`t always come as the first cause of success. It`s the faith that you`ll achieve the goal that makes you work hard, and thus, achieve the goal. I was reading a book on Michael Jordan by Roland Lazenby —who also wrote Kobe Bryant`s biography— and it stopped me that part of Jordan`s extraordinary success goes to expectations.

He expected every single ball he shot to go in. Jordan used that mindset over and over and didn`t stop when one of his shots was missed. He merely understood that even though nobody wins all the time, believing you`ll win every single time makes you win most of the time, which is enough to get a career like his. The most prominent success sign is the certainty. To believe, and act, as if you`re going to succeed, and then let that belief lead manifest into actions.

What are some things you do to say on track? Comment below!

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Success Advice

Instead of Always Trying to Be Right, Do This Instead

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Image Credit: Twenty20.com

A colleague of mine was obnoxious, over eager, and completely out of line. Yet, all of this was overshadowed by the fact he was just plain wrong. If he were to go through with it, it would derail the company by at least 6 months. Yet, arguing with him when he was in this state was of no use. While hitting him over the head with the laptop seemed appealing for a second, it was probably not a great long-term strategy for the business or my laptop.

Galileo once said, “You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him find it within himself.” This is especially true when it comes to emotionally charged matters and negotiations.

When you are right, you become attached to that idea. It’s so clear, how can they not see it? Yet, your meticulously clear logic might as well be written in braille as your focus intensifies on proving yourself right, instead of reaching an agreement.

Below are 3 ways you can step out of your emotions and help someone find the right answer when money and time are on the line:

1. Separate the Person From the Issue

Imagine if a four-year-old child was adamant about something. You wouldn’t try to reason logically for hours in such a case. When trying to speak through a person’s emotions, often you might have better luck with the four year old.

In order to break this barrier you must stop seeing them as the problem and see the issue at hand. Instead of seeing the other person as stupid or obnoxious, try viewing them as simply lost or misguided. The job now becomes not to prove them wrong, but to guide them to the truth. Adopting this mindset changes your entire approach as you get out of your own emotions and take control of the situation.

“Each of us guard a gate of change that can only be opened from the inside.” – Stephen Covey

2. Show Them A Mirror

Somewhere in between trying to hammer a point, both sides usually forget to listen. No matter the situation, you must make sure that person is never you. Instead, shift the focus from “me vs you” and make it completely about the other person. Really listen and validate their emotions, creating enough trust and safety to begin a real exchange. Make sure they feel heard and slow the conversation down. When you slow the process down, you also calm down.

Remember, it’s not what you say, but how you say it. About 93% of communication is nonverbal, thus maintaining your body language immediately provides an edge. A playful (not childlike or mocking) voice puts someone in a positive frame of mind, where they are more likely to collaborate and problem solve.

Always remember to repeat back the most important three words from their sentence and make them elaborate on whatever they said. The more a person is allowed to speak, the more they feel heard. The more they feel heard, the more open they are to receive new information.

3. Lead With Empathy, Not Sympathy

Taking the time to make sure the other side feels heard and understood does not mean you bend to their will. It does not mean you give up, agree, feel sorry for, or even compromise. Empathy is the ability to recognize another’s perspective and the vocalization of that recognition. This is the difference between empathy and sympathy.

When you can label a person’s emotions in an argument, you seize the chance to discover what is behind those feelings. As you begin to drill down, you gain leverage. This should be done very gracefully. Instead of saying, I think you’re angry and being stubborn, trying saying, It seems like you are feeling frustrated because you really care about this and wish it was moving along quicker.

“Sometimes all a person wants is an empathetic ear; all he or she needs is to talk it out. Just offering a listening ear and an understanding heart for his or her suffering can be a big comfort.” – Roy T. Bennett

Using labels, you mold their feelings into words, moving information from the emotional part of the brain to the rational. Whatever behavior a person may be presenting, there is always an underlying feeling triggering it. Your job is to make the person aware of that feeling. The faster you do this, the faster you eliminate the risk of a complete breakdown in communication.

After their emotions are labeled, asking how or why calibrated questions allow them to solve their problems for you. In order to do this effectively you don’t need to study every type of calibrated question there is, but rather adopt a specific mindset. You are not their opponent, but a guide, leading the lost to the truth. Your truth.

In my case, the presenting behavior of my colleague was an obnoxious know-it-all attitude. However, the underlying emotion was fear of falling behind. Once I was able to stop asking the question, “Why is he doing this to me?” and focus on looking deeper, the conversation took a turn. The conversation was no longer about my ideas versus his, but about him and his fear.

Instead of arguing with me, he spent the rest of the time, essentially, arguing with himself. After helping him dissect his fear in the rational part of the brain, he realized that many of the worst case scenarios were highly improbable and acting hasty might exacerbate things. Most importantly, at the end of the conversation, he said, “I think I made the right choice.”

He believed that the decision was entirely his. He never acknowledged the fact that I was right and announced to everyone the sudden spark of genius that hit him. Yet, at the end of the day you need to ask yourself what is more important to you; being right or doing whatever it takes to win.  

How do you handle conflict? Let us know your tips and advice in the comments below!

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