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Success Advice

The Most Important Thing That Determines Your Success in Any Endeavour

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success

For the majority of my schooling years, I was a problematic student. I wouldn’t pay attention in class. I never turned in any of the assignments that I was supposed to. I failed multiple classes and amassed a good number of Ds and Fs. Unmotivated, living from day to day and just hoping to get by. Wandering along without any purpose.

You would recognise me. Perhaps you were just like me. Hopefully you aren’t in the situation that I was in. That changed when I finally made up my mind to do well in school. I found good reasons to excel academically. I desired success.

Desire

In his landmark book, Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill wrote that “desire is the starting point of all achievement”.

Desire is what motivates you to change the status quo, even if the present is comfortable. The strength of your desire is what motivates you to press on in the face of obstacles. It is what enables one to overcome overwhelming odds.

“Human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge.” – Plato

In 207 BC, the great Chinese warlord Xiang Yu led 20,000 troops across a river to attack his foes. After crossing the river, he ordered his men to burn all his ships and destroy all but three days worth of rations. He then made it clear to his men that there was no way of retreat – that they had to defeat the enemy in three days or perish.

As you might have guessed, the Chu army led by Xiang Yu triumphed over the 300,000 strong Qin enemy. The warlord had managed to tap into the human’s biologically wired fight or flight response, with only the former being an option. Each Chu soldier was taken over by their natural instinct of self preservation – the deep hidden desire within them. Against their opponents who were mostly just following orders and going with the flow, their force of will prevailed easily.

When you make something a burning obsession, you will do whatever it takes to achieve that goal. You will invest all your time, energy and willpower into attaining what you desire. You will constantly be taking action in the pursuit of that single desire, removing the inertia that accompanies the start of all change. You intentionally set yourself up for success by design.

What’s Your Why?

The number one reason why most people are stuck and unable to make progress is because they don’t want something badly enough. They ‘kind of’ want it, but they aren’t willing to pay the price. They would rather be making merry and staying in their comfort zone – it’s just not worth it to them.   

What’s your why? Knowing the reason behind your desire is the key to understanding how far you will go. You may have heard about individuals achieving greater success after going through an experience that deeply affected them. These individuals walked away from their trials and tribulations understanding what they truly desired. They knew their purpose.

When the going gets tough, the only thing that keeps you going is your desire. Without a sufficiently strong desire to carry on, you will find yourself quitting the moment you encounter resistance. Conversely, you will be able to overcome any obstacle if your desire is strong enough.

“The reason why you don’t give 120% every time, cause you ain’t got a why for what you do! – Eric Thomas

Is It Enough?

I can hear you asking – is desire alone enough to succeed? The answer is no. However, desire is the glue that holds all other factors together. If you want something badly enough, you will develop the discipline to devote yourself to deliberate practice every single day.

You will give up the bad habits that are holding you back, and cultivate good ones that accelerate your progress. You will have the will to prepare, and not just the will to win. Without desire, all else is inconsequential.

It is on you to ensure that you sufficiently desire something enough. You will never succeed if you cannot find something that you can give up everything for. Find that desire, and the world is yours.

Do you find desire to be the most important element to success? Leave your thoughts below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Louis helps people lead productive and purposeful lives at Constant Renewal. He shares stories and ideas on learning, self-improvement, and personal growth. You can connect deeper with him and get his latest articles through his newsletter.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Louis

    Mar 18, 2017 at 4:37 am

    Desire backed by action is certainly everything. Keep going Gabriel – all the best for your future endeavours!

  2. Gabriel DoCarmo

    Mar 11, 2017 at 8:04 pm

    Awesome article. Desire is everything !

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Success Advice

7 Everyday Methods Go-Getters Use to Train Their Minds

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train your mind

A lot of importance is given to physical fitness, yet have you met anyone who says, “I am training my mind?” The world gives so much attention to a pretty package but what about the inside?

Training your mind is just as important as training the body, thus here are 7 everyday methods to train your mind:

1. Learn one new thing a day

The brain goes through a good amount of work every time you learn a new skill. Various studies prove that the most challenging task for a brain is to learn a new language.

Learning a foreign language is a complex process giving the brain a good workout in order to improve one’s Cognitive skills and overall brain function. In addition to this, there are many other benefits such as better focus, mental flexibility, and listening skills.

To train your mind, learn one new thing every day. Get to know a new fact or if you have a lot of time, learn a new language. Fun Fact: The toughest language in the world is Mandarin. (Why don’t you give it a try?)

2. Solve a Puzzle

The next obvious way to train your mind is to solve puzzles. Crosswords, Sudoku, and other puzzles can activate the synapses of your brain and improve its functioning.

Studies have found solving puzzles can help you remember things better along with boosting your productivity and memory.

There are many apps to train your brain. Lumosity, Personal Zen, and Happify are a few apps which have simple and complex levels of games which can challenge your brain.  Lumosity gives you a brain performance index which will denote your mental performance. The next time you have some free time on hand, solve a puzzle instead of watching a movie!

“How am I going to live today in order to create the tomorrow I’m committed to?” – Tony Robbins

3. Get Enough Sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep has become very rare these days. Smartphones and other electronic gadgets are so addictive that we do not end up getting proper sleep. Research by the University of Pennsylvania shows sleep and memory to be strongly connected. Missing out on adequate sleep for a couple of days can significantly erode your memory.

There are 3 primary mechanisms involved in learning and memory. Acquisition is the first step in which your brain learns the new information. Consolidation is the process where the memory becomes stabilized into your mind. Lastly, recall is the ability to access the information after it has been stored.

While acquisition and recall happen when you are awake, consolidation happens when you are asleep. When you miss out on sleep, the second step fails, and you have difficulty recalling information.

4. Follow A Healthy Diet

What you eat also plays a role in training your mind. There are many memory superfoods which can significantly improve the functioning of your brain such as, antioxidant-rich fruits, vegetables, low glycemic carbs, and omega-3 fatty acid rich foods all fall under this category.

Since fresh fruits and vegetables protect your brain from harmful free radicals, it becomes a superfood. Another great diet is the mediterranean one which includes nuts, legumes, fish, blueberries, avocado, and beets which are great for your brain functioning.  

5. Arts and Crafts

My favorite class in school was arts and crafts because it was incredibly fun. Science proves that it’s more than just fun because creative activities such as painting, handicrafts, and origami significantly improve the functioning of the brain.

Doing things which involve repetitive actions such as knitting improves your focus. It was found in a study that, crafts can calm the mind and effectively treat depression. Practice brain boosting hobbies like painting, dancing, or playing a musical instrument to stay focused.

6. Challenge Your Mind

When your day involves the usual chores, there is obviously no challenge to the brain. It enters into a stagnation mode as there is not much change. To avoid this from happening, it is essential you challenge your brain often.

Use your non-dominant hand to do stuff like brushing your teeth and writing in order to activate your other senses. For example, close your eyes when you take a shower which will use the sense of touch to find things. These things are fun to do, and at the same time, they throw a challenge to your mind.

“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.” – Lou Holtz

7. Read

Reading is one of the best methods to train your mind. It relieves stress and tension of the brain cells, and most importantly it can help you get a new perspective on things. When you read, there is a lot of acquisition happening, and this boosts the functionality of the brain. Practice the habit of reading every day even if it can even be the everyday paper.

Conclusion

Training your mind can be a tricky business as it takes time and effort yet it will eventually pay off. Other than these hacks I told you, the most important one is to keep learning because it is a never-ending process that will get you going forever.

Which one of these tips was your favorite? Let us know by commenting below!

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Success Advice

Starting A Business On Instagram? Here Are 7 Things You Need to Do

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Instagram business

Instagram is one of the hottest social media platforms today with over 700 million monthly active users, a more engaged audience, and less competition than any other social networking giants such as Twitter or Facebook. This presents a golden opportunity for businesses to market their products to a more interested and targeted audience without spending a ton of money on paid advertising.

Whether your business strategy needs an update or you are a social media novice, the following 7 tips to start an Instagram business will be extremely helpful:

1. Beta Testing (And Involve the Community)

When you are launching a new business, it is critical to get feedback on your new concepts, ideas, and product in the early stages. But in order to make your business successful on Instagram, you will want to include Instagram members in your testing for useful feedback.

Beta testing is a type of testing where a sampling of the intended audience tries out the product before it is launched on wide scale. The goal of beta testing is to place your application in the hands of actual users outside of your business development team for the purpose of discovering any flaws or problems in your final version.

2. Make Instagram the Hub of Your Social Media Marketing

If you are planning to launch your business on Instagram, it is important to make your Instagram the one spot to visit with relevant information regarding the product offerings, launch date and anything else you will want to talk about. By diverting all traffic to your Instagram account from emails, blog posts, and your website, you will have a head start on establishing your Instagram community.

Keep in mind that this strategy may not be the best for all businesses – some businesses might want to divert all of their traffic to newsletter sign up page, for instance – however, if your aim is to make a stir on Instagram, your best plan of action is to push everyone to your Instagram profile before you launch your product or service.

Engage, Enlighten, Encourage and especially…just be yourself! Social media is a community effort, everyone is an asset.” – Susan Cooper

3. Create a Buzz Before You Launch

Keeping your customers interested in your product or service is a key part of any effective marketing strategy. Reward your loyal followers with exclusive content, and let them be the first ones to know about your new products, events or services. Create a range of fun and interesting teaser photos or trailers that will arouse anticipation or satisfy curiosity for your new stores, office openings or releases. This type of screening makes your Instagram followers feel curious and special, and likely to keep coming back for more insider information.

4. Create an Eye-catching Preview of Your Instagram Feed

Before you start attracting new followers to your Instagram account, make sure it is in the best condition possible. You shouldn’t have an empty profile when you send your followers, family, and friends to your Instagram channel because it gives off a bad impression. You should have already uploaded 4 to 5 posts to give them an idea of what to expect from you, along with captivating visual content communicating what your brand business is all about.

Make a habit of updating your bio section every now and then, and think of creative ways to use that opportunity for your own good. Think, app downloads, purchases or event registrations. Instagram has also introduced an option of adding phone numbers in bios, especially for businesses through Instagram Business profiles.

5. Choose the Right Name

Another important thing that acts a make or break factor for many potential customers is your Instagram name. Besides wanting an Instagram username that is already available, you will also want to think about the hashtags.

Since creative hashtag schemes are rapidly popularizing, having a dynamic branded hashtag that your followers and customers really want to use is the key to success when it comes to establishing an Instagram business. If you are initiating a new business, you need a brand name which doubles as an aspiring hashtag as this could be the pot of gold at the end of your Instagram glory.

6. Offer Instagram-Specific Rewards

Once you have built your Instagram fan base and have a killer Instagram feed, you will want to retain your followers and community, and this can only be done by keeping them engaged and curious about your brand. An easy way to do it is by offering Instagram-specific rewards, incentives discount, or perks. Whether it is a reward that your followers can only find on Instagram, or an Instagram giveaway, giving a little can guarantee a lot.

Another good idea is to host an Instagram contest, as it will help you build a fan base, increase awareness, increase engagement and boost sales. There are various ways to host a contest, and the best one will depend on your audience.

“Social media is about the people! Not about your business. Provide for the people and the people will provide you.” – Matt Goulart

7. Don’t Forget Hashtags

Expanding an Instagram business takes determination, patience, and proper planning. Scheduling your Instagram posts beforehand is a good way to keep your business organized and ahead of the competition. Once you have launched your business, you will want to invest in connecting with other Instagrammers with the help of hashtags. To do this, you will first need to find hashtags that your audience is scrolling through. Next, you will need to start using those hashtags in your posts so people can find you.

Hashtagging is a great way to deliver a strong call to action. When you post content for your Instagram account, make sure all posts include a strong call to action in the form of a relevant hashtag. Some of the popular forms of call to action on Instagram that you can ask your followers to incorporate include “double tap”, “tag a friend in the post”, and “sign up today for free” to receive newsletters/emails. Instagram allows a minimum of 30 hashtags per post, but many users fail to make the most out of this ability.

Do you use instagram for social purposes or have you tried to build it into a business? Let us know your thoughts below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Success Advice

How Writing For 1000 Days Straight Made Me A Real Man

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Writing was never my thing. I didn’t think of it as an art although in school I was told I was good at it. I never believed this compliment ever.

For more than 1000 days straight I’ve written consistently. While on holiday in San Fran, New Zealand and Japan I wrote. Waiting at the doctor’s office, I wrote. In line at the local vegetarian burger joint, I wrote. The things I’ve learned from writing have changed me from a spoilt little kid, into a real man.

Writing for 1000 days straight taught me:

 

Writing is my therapy.

My mentor Joel got a bit annoyed at me one day because he saw a few swear words in a blog post I published. I quickly realized what I’d done and then it came to me: I was swearing because it was how I released my frustration.

By writing about the things that upset me, I somehow felt less compelled to be angry at the world.

 

I found that my problems could be a source of inspiration for others.

You may not believe me but now I actually look forward to having problems.

Problems are what give me the fuel I need to write. Every problem becomes a solution for all of the readers that sit down and absorb my writing. Writing can inspire others and that’s what has helped me become a real man.

A real man, I believe, does things for more than just himself.

 

It taught me to stop chopping and changing.

I used to be a kid and would always throw in the towel when my passion or hobby got hard. Instead of pushing through the pain I’d just start something new. Writing made me a man by helping me realize that mastery and sticking at it is the real magic trick.

 

Happiness can be found in the strangest of places.

My dad was a writer and I always thought it was dumb. I never thought I’d ever do it myself. Doing something for more than 1000 days straight teaches you that you can find happiness in places you’d least expect. Try new things, find something that feels cool and stick at it.

 

It doesn’t have to be a book or blog.

Some days when I’m busy, I count my writing as inspiring emails to fans that can help them. Other days it’s replying to comments that people leave on my social media. We can fall into the trap of believing that writing only happens when it’s in the form of a book or blog post.

Let yourself off the hook. Write whenever you can and stop being so hard on yourself. Writing is writing chief.

 

Energy will determine the outcome.

I used the following to get more energy:
– On writing days I would sleep more the night before
– I didn’t drink alcohol on days where I planned to write a lot
– I drank mushroom coffee (recommended by Tim Ferriss) for a quick fix
– I ate energy-rich foods like fruits, veggies, and the odd avocado for brain power

“If you’re a sleepy zombie then you’ll never be able to find the energy to keep pushing through all of the hurdles you’re going to encounter with writing or any pursuit for that matter”

 

The power of a deadline.

Here’s an awesome little hack I used. I’m the biggest procrastinator you’ll ever meet. If I have all day to write, then I’ll spend the last hour before dinner writing if I’m lucky. What I did instead was book in social catch-ups, trips to the cinema’s, outings with the girlfriend and anything I could that involved other people.

This gave me a perceived sense of urgency and a deadline I couldn’t miss. What’s funny is the tighter the deadline, the more productive I became. Here’s what’s even crazier:

The blog posts I’ve written, that had the tightest deadline and the least amount of time to write them, have been my most popular.

Over thinking kills creativity and so does having too much time to fluff around. These deadlines have allowed me to produce lots of writing that have contributed to me becoming a real man.

 

Writing has uncovered raw emotion in me.

Raw emotion has changed the game for me. As I got past the 10-day mark, I stopped giving a F more and more. This brought out raw emotion in me that couldn’t be faked like an Instagram filter. It’s this raw emotion that got me more readers and allowed me to make a bigger difference in the world.

There’s something about someone who makes the bold decision to wear their heart on their sleeve. Writing heaps forces you to think deeper and to dig deeper every time you sit down at the computer.

Writing for more than 1000 days became like a game to see how much I could learn about myself. The words began to paint a picture of me that I had never seen or even dreamt of.

“These words that became pictures redefined who I was”

I used these pictures to become a new man and one I could be proud of. I want you to discover raw emotion for yourself. I want you to paint beautiful pictures with words that come from deep inside of you.

 

Just get started.

There were days when I couldn’t be bothered writing. I found that once I got started, the words would pour out of me. It was as if the words were dying to get out of me some days. Instead of giving yourself excuses, don’t try and have every day be the day you produce your best work.

Some of the blog posts I’ve written I thought were barely okay. These same posts have been highly shareable more than my so-called serious stuff. 1000 days of writing teaches you to disconnect yourself from the outcome and focus on the practice itself. Discipline has made me a real man.

 

You must like the topic.

I tried writing about stuff that people told me too. I found myself hating the process every time. Have a list of suggested topics that you’ve come up with and then write about the one that makes you feel good at the time.

 

Make it up as you go.

I invent words all the time like self-disrupt, fakepreneur and too many other ridiculous ones to mention here. I break grammar rules to suit myself and to make my writing easy on the eye. What will separate you from everyone else is when you decide to make up the rules.

It’s easier to be different than it is to be a better writer, or saxophone player or artist. A rule forces you to conform to everyone else’s expectations. What made me a real man was discovering the power of my own creativity and not listening to all the hype out there.

There’s a lot of noise and people that will tell you they have the secret chicken sauce. They’re selling lies to you to benefit their own selfish goals.

Be you and make up the rest as you go.

 

Reading fuels your creative brain.

I get asked all the time “Tim, where do you get all these writing ideas from?”

I wish I could tell you that I was some idea factory that could mass-produce amazing writing pieces. The truth is I’m not that smart. In conjunction with writing, I’ve also been reading like a KFC junkie addicted to hot sauce.

Books have opened up my world to what’s possible. Books have helped me see things in my life that I had previously ignored.

“Books sold me a truth that I couldn’t get from the Internet or TV”

Every word you read get’s stored in your computer brain and can be recalled later on without you probably even realizing. Reading has taught me the lessons that have made me a man and a blogger.

 

Authenticity and transparency, plus brutal honesty, is where it’s at.

In the beginning, I was a bit of a pussy. I hid parts of myself and didn’t tell the full story. In the first 10 days, I tried to be brutal. By the 1000th day, I had enough practice and had seen the audience react enough, that I showed everything in my stories. No detail was left out.

People read my stuff because they know it’s authentic and real. I’m brutally honest and not afraid to make fun of myself. I’m not afraid to admit that I too have once been a self-obsessed, immature, coward too. It’s okay; we’ve all been there.

This brutal honesty helps you be honest with yourself too. Through these honest moments, you learn a lot about who you are and who you can become. I think real honesty helped me become a real man. A man I can be proud of.

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

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Success Advice

3 Practical Ways Successful People Attract Money

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successful men

It takes more than just hard work, grinding and strategies to become successful. Do you actually know what subtle changes to make in order to reach the level of success and financial wealth you desire?

In our constantly changing world, those who are getting ahead in the game are individuals who are learning to raise their standards both personally and professionally. The age of the Internet has certainly brought a new dawn for the average person dialing up that inner craving for more freedom and a higher quality of life.

The opportunities and technological advancements are here, but one thing seems to be lagging: Our ability to produce and maintain the money we actually need to enjoy all that is currently available.

Everywhere you turn there is a new, sleeker, more advanced version of your favorite gizmo. Whether it’s your dream phone, car, computer, or designer clothes, they keep getting better and who doesn’t enjoy having the best of the best?

However, how can we have the best of the best when increasing income continues to be a struggle? As traditional methods of working and doing business radically transform, certain confusion arises especially amongst entrepreneurs.

This is why a recent conversation with my friend and owner of Walletisland, Adrian Brown, challenged me to reassess how I am approaching some of the things we tend to consider unimportant in the entrepreneurial space. I realised there are simple everyday shifts that are often overlooked by entrepreneurs which could be the key to increasing success and income.

For the majority of aspiring and budding entrepreneurs, the backstory is pretty much the same. We all grew up in less than abundant conditions. Our approach is for the most part pretty old fashioned when it comes to personal grooming and our relationship with money. But if there’s one thing I have come to realize when it comes to producing extraordinary results, it is this: Success and attracting money is all about mindset and the attitude one carries.

“Your mindset matters. It affects everything – from the business and investment decisions you make, to the way you raise your children, to your stress levels and overall well-being.” – Peter Diamandis

This is a law based truth I am proving more and more as I interact, connect with and learn from other successful entrepreneurs. In my most recent mastermind with a like-minded individuals, we were able to uncover a few blind spots that continue to hinder many hard working entrepreneurs.

More specifically, we came to a consensus when it comes to attracting more wealth that most individuals hit these three blind spots which hopefully after today, you will no longer fall victim to.

  • Too many success seekers are neglecting their personal appearance and self-grooming. As entrepreneurs, we think only our skillsets should matter, but that’s never the case.
  • Most people are neglecting their everyday personal interaction with money. In other words, aside from the big general numbers they have to deal with in business, most men aren’t deliberately working on improving how they handle, carry and interact with money. Part of this might be old negative paradigms around money running the show.
  • Many business owners are struggling with unattractiveness and low confidence, which certainly hinders their ability to shine, stand out and magnetize success.

If any or all of these resonate, here’s what you can do about it today:

1. Polish your self-image and outer appearance

This doesn’t have to take up too much time. With a little more deliberate thought on the shoes you wear, the wallet you carry, the combination of your clothing, hair, body language and attitude you will not only raise your professional appearance but there is much research proving your earnings will increase too.  Keep it clean, simple, clutter free and corresponding to your business role.

2. Prep yourself for a “money shift”

Is there a psychological relationship between a someones’s wallet and their money? Absolutely. In fact when Adrian got into men’s fashion it was because he experienced firsthand “the money shift”. This happened when he stopped carrying around cheap, worn-out wallets and started carefully choosing the kind that made him feel most opulent.

I’m passionate about helping men strengthen their connection and interaction with money because I realize it’s not about fashion trends. A man’s wallet is something he interacts with daily. It should be a symbol of prosperity and help him de-clutter. It should also be a demonstration of his modern take on money because in our digital society, money is transforming and it’s in our best interest to catch up lest we suffer the consequences of holding on to limiting beliefs around money.”

I couldn’t agree more. Most of us will need to shed limiting beliefs, heal money wounds and learn to handle, carry and interact with money in ways that promote its presence. What money story is your wallet telling right now?

3. Work on your self-confidence and attractiveness

Those struggling with low self-confidence and feelings of unattractiveness need to make drastic changes. Why? According to research by Payscale, over the course of a lifetime, an “attractive person will end up making about 230,000 more than an unattractive person.”

That’s ridiculous especially since being attractive and confident isn’t just for the chosen few. Now that you are in business for yourself, you can’t afford to be bullied by invisible limiting beliefs that question how capable, attractive and confident you are.

If it naturally doesn’t come to you, there are various exercises you can do and small changes you can make in order to build yourself up and make up for any disadvantages you may have had in your upbringing.

“With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.” – Dalai Lama

As entrepreneurs, we are inclined to focus more on strategies and tactics which will help us close the sale sometimes at the expense of our personal health and grooming. Let us refrain from assuming appearances do not count just because we are no longer climbing the corporate ladder.

If the vision is to enjoy a more opulent and enriching lifestyle, take time to align every aspect of your life with this new self-made, inspiring, influential leader you are aspiring to be. All successful people go into the game prepared for that win.

What personal changes will you make to prepare you for more wealth?

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Success Advice

7 Everyday Methods Go-Getters Use to Train Their Minds

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train your mind

A lot of importance is given to physical fitness, yet have you met anyone who says, “I am training my mind?” The world gives so much attention to a pretty package but what about the inside? (more…)

Luke writes about mental wellness and benefits of brain supplements at nootrina. He’s a big fan of Yoga and mindfulness and feels that these two are the real key to mental well-being. Being a foodie, Luke loves cooking and brings several cuisines to bear at his dinner table. He’s looking to improve the awareness about mental health issues and share ways to handle them among people of all ages.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Louis

    Mar 18, 2017 at 4:37 am

    Desire backed by action is certainly everything. Keep going Gabriel – all the best for your future endeavours!

  2. Gabriel DoCarmo

    Mar 11, 2017 at 8:04 pm

    Awesome article. Desire is everything !

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Success Advice

7 Everyday Methods Go-Getters Use to Train Their Minds

Published

on

train your mind

A lot of importance is given to physical fitness, yet have you met anyone who says, “I am training my mind?” The world gives so much attention to a pretty package but what about the inside?

Training your mind is just as important as training the body, thus here are 7 everyday methods to train your mind:

1. Learn one new thing a day

The brain goes through a good amount of work every time you learn a new skill. Various studies prove that the most challenging task for a brain is to learn a new language.

Learning a foreign language is a complex process giving the brain a good workout in order to improve one’s Cognitive skills and overall brain function. In addition to this, there are many other benefits such as better focus, mental flexibility, and listening skills.

To train your mind, learn one new thing every day. Get to know a new fact or if you have a lot of time, learn a new language. Fun Fact: The toughest language in the world is Mandarin. (Why don’t you give it a try?)

2. Solve a Puzzle

The next obvious way to train your mind is to solve puzzles. Crosswords, Sudoku, and other puzzles can activate the synapses of your brain and improve its functioning.

Studies have found solving puzzles can help you remember things better along with boosting your productivity and memory.

There are many apps to train your brain. Lumosity, Personal Zen, and Happify are a few apps which have simple and complex levels of games which can challenge your brain.  Lumosity gives you a brain performance index which will denote your mental performance. The next time you have some free time on hand, solve a puzzle instead of watching a movie!

“How am I going to live today in order to create the tomorrow I’m committed to?” – Tony Robbins

3. Get Enough Sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep has become very rare these days. Smartphones and other electronic gadgets are so addictive that we do not end up getting proper sleep. Research by the University of Pennsylvania shows sleep and memory to be strongly connected. Missing out on adequate sleep for a couple of days can significantly erode your memory.

There are 3 primary mechanisms involved in learning and memory. Acquisition is the first step in which your brain learns the new information. Consolidation is the process where the memory becomes stabilized into your mind. Lastly, recall is the ability to access the information after it has been stored.

While acquisition and recall happen when you are awake, consolidation happens when you are asleep. When you miss out on sleep, the second step fails, and you have difficulty recalling information.

4. Follow A Healthy Diet

What you eat also plays a role in training your mind. There are many memory superfoods which can significantly improve the functioning of your brain such as, antioxidant-rich fruits, vegetables, low glycemic carbs, and omega-3 fatty acid rich foods all fall under this category.

Since fresh fruits and vegetables protect your brain from harmful free radicals, it becomes a superfood. Another great diet is the mediterranean one which includes nuts, legumes, fish, blueberries, avocado, and beets which are great for your brain functioning.  

5. Arts and Crafts

My favorite class in school was arts and crafts because it was incredibly fun. Science proves that it’s more than just fun because creative activities such as painting, handicrafts, and origami significantly improve the functioning of the brain.

Doing things which involve repetitive actions such as knitting improves your focus. It was found in a study that, crafts can calm the mind and effectively treat depression. Practice brain boosting hobbies like painting, dancing, or playing a musical instrument to stay focused.

6. Challenge Your Mind

When your day involves the usual chores, there is obviously no challenge to the brain. It enters into a stagnation mode as there is not much change. To avoid this from happening, it is essential you challenge your brain often.

Use your non-dominant hand to do stuff like brushing your teeth and writing in order to activate your other senses. For example, close your eyes when you take a shower which will use the sense of touch to find things. These things are fun to do, and at the same time, they throw a challenge to your mind.

“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.” – Lou Holtz

7. Read

Reading is one of the best methods to train your mind. It relieves stress and tension of the brain cells, and most importantly it can help you get a new perspective on things. When you read, there is a lot of acquisition happening, and this boosts the functionality of the brain. Practice the habit of reading every day even if it can even be the everyday paper.

Conclusion

Training your mind can be a tricky business as it takes time and effort yet it will eventually pay off. Other than these hacks I told you, the most important one is to keep learning because it is a never-ending process that will get you going forever.

Which one of these tips was your favorite? Let us know by commenting below!

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Starting A Business On Instagram? Here Are 7 Things You Need to Do

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Instagram business

Instagram is one of the hottest social media platforms today with over 700 million monthly active users, a more engaged audience, and less competition than any other social networking giants such as Twitter or Facebook. This presents a golden opportunity for businesses to market their products to a more interested and targeted audience without spending a ton of money on paid advertising.

Whether your business strategy needs an update or you are a social media novice, the following 7 tips to start an Instagram business will be extremely helpful:

1. Beta Testing (And Involve the Community)

When you are launching a new business, it is critical to get feedback on your new concepts, ideas, and product in the early stages. But in order to make your business successful on Instagram, you will want to include Instagram members in your testing for useful feedback.

Beta testing is a type of testing where a sampling of the intended audience tries out the product before it is launched on wide scale. The goal of beta testing is to place your application in the hands of actual users outside of your business development team for the purpose of discovering any flaws or problems in your final version.

2. Make Instagram the Hub of Your Social Media Marketing

If you are planning to launch your business on Instagram, it is important to make your Instagram the one spot to visit with relevant information regarding the product offerings, launch date and anything else you will want to talk about. By diverting all traffic to your Instagram account from emails, blog posts, and your website, you will have a head start on establishing your Instagram community.

Keep in mind that this strategy may not be the best for all businesses – some businesses might want to divert all of their traffic to newsletter sign up page, for instance – however, if your aim is to make a stir on Instagram, your best plan of action is to push everyone to your Instagram profile before you launch your product or service.

Engage, Enlighten, Encourage and especially…just be yourself! Social media is a community effort, everyone is an asset.” – Susan Cooper

3. Create a Buzz Before You Launch

Keeping your customers interested in your product or service is a key part of any effective marketing strategy. Reward your loyal followers with exclusive content, and let them be the first ones to know about your new products, events or services. Create a range of fun and interesting teaser photos or trailers that will arouse anticipation or satisfy curiosity for your new stores, office openings or releases. This type of screening makes your Instagram followers feel curious and special, and likely to keep coming back for more insider information.

4. Create an Eye-catching Preview of Your Instagram Feed

Before you start attracting new followers to your Instagram account, make sure it is in the best condition possible. You shouldn’t have an empty profile when you send your followers, family, and friends to your Instagram channel because it gives off a bad impression. You should have already uploaded 4 to 5 posts to give them an idea of what to expect from you, along with captivating visual content communicating what your brand business is all about.

Make a habit of updating your bio section every now and then, and think of creative ways to use that opportunity for your own good. Think, app downloads, purchases or event registrations. Instagram has also introduced an option of adding phone numbers in bios, especially for businesses through Instagram Business profiles.

5. Choose the Right Name

Another important thing that acts a make or break factor for many potential customers is your Instagram name. Besides wanting an Instagram username that is already available, you will also want to think about the hashtags.

Since creative hashtag schemes are rapidly popularizing, having a dynamic branded hashtag that your followers and customers really want to use is the key to success when it comes to establishing an Instagram business. If you are initiating a new business, you need a brand name which doubles as an aspiring hashtag as this could be the pot of gold at the end of your Instagram glory.

6. Offer Instagram-Specific Rewards

Once you have built your Instagram fan base and have a killer Instagram feed, you will want to retain your followers and community, and this can only be done by keeping them engaged and curious about your brand. An easy way to do it is by offering Instagram-specific rewards, incentives discount, or perks. Whether it is a reward that your followers can only find on Instagram, or an Instagram giveaway, giving a little can guarantee a lot.

Another good idea is to host an Instagram contest, as it will help you build a fan base, increase awareness, increase engagement and boost sales. There are various ways to host a contest, and the best one will depend on your audience.

“Social media is about the people! Not about your business. Provide for the people and the people will provide you.” – Matt Goulart

7. Don’t Forget Hashtags

Expanding an Instagram business takes determination, patience, and proper planning. Scheduling your Instagram posts beforehand is a good way to keep your business organized and ahead of the competition. Once you have launched your business, you will want to invest in connecting with other Instagrammers with the help of hashtags. To do this, you will first need to find hashtags that your audience is scrolling through. Next, you will need to start using those hashtags in your posts so people can find you.

Hashtagging is a great way to deliver a strong call to action. When you post content for your Instagram account, make sure all posts include a strong call to action in the form of a relevant hashtag. Some of the popular forms of call to action on Instagram that you can ask your followers to incorporate include “double tap”, “tag a friend in the post”, and “sign up today for free” to receive newsletters/emails. Instagram allows a minimum of 30 hashtags per post, but many users fail to make the most out of this ability.

Do you use instagram for social purposes or have you tried to build it into a business? Let us know your thoughts below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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How Writing For 1000 Days Straight Made Me A Real Man

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Writing was never my thing. I didn’t think of it as an art although in school I was told I was good at it. I never believed this compliment ever.

For more than 1000 days straight I’ve written consistently. While on holiday in San Fran, New Zealand and Japan I wrote. Waiting at the doctor’s office, I wrote. In line at the local vegetarian burger joint, I wrote. The things I’ve learned from writing have changed me from a spoilt little kid, into a real man.

Writing for 1000 days straight taught me:

 

Writing is my therapy.

My mentor Joel got a bit annoyed at me one day because he saw a few swear words in a blog post I published. I quickly realized what I’d done and then it came to me: I was swearing because it was how I released my frustration.

By writing about the things that upset me, I somehow felt less compelled to be angry at the world.

 

I found that my problems could be a source of inspiration for others.

You may not believe me but now I actually look forward to having problems.

Problems are what give me the fuel I need to write. Every problem becomes a solution for all of the readers that sit down and absorb my writing. Writing can inspire others and that’s what has helped me become a real man.

A real man, I believe, does things for more than just himself.

 

It taught me to stop chopping and changing.

I used to be a kid and would always throw in the towel when my passion or hobby got hard. Instead of pushing through the pain I’d just start something new. Writing made me a man by helping me realize that mastery and sticking at it is the real magic trick.

 

Happiness can be found in the strangest of places.

My dad was a writer and I always thought it was dumb. I never thought I’d ever do it myself. Doing something for more than 1000 days straight teaches you that you can find happiness in places you’d least expect. Try new things, find something that feels cool and stick at it.

 

It doesn’t have to be a book or blog.

Some days when I’m busy, I count my writing as inspiring emails to fans that can help them. Other days it’s replying to comments that people leave on my social media. We can fall into the trap of believing that writing only happens when it’s in the form of a book or blog post.

Let yourself off the hook. Write whenever you can and stop being so hard on yourself. Writing is writing chief.

 

Energy will determine the outcome.

I used the following to get more energy:
– On writing days I would sleep more the night before
– I didn’t drink alcohol on days where I planned to write a lot
– I drank mushroom coffee (recommended by Tim Ferriss) for a quick fix
– I ate energy-rich foods like fruits, veggies, and the odd avocado for brain power

“If you’re a sleepy zombie then you’ll never be able to find the energy to keep pushing through all of the hurdles you’re going to encounter with writing or any pursuit for that matter”

 

The power of a deadline.

Here’s an awesome little hack I used. I’m the biggest procrastinator you’ll ever meet. If I have all day to write, then I’ll spend the last hour before dinner writing if I’m lucky. What I did instead was book in social catch-ups, trips to the cinema’s, outings with the girlfriend and anything I could that involved other people.

This gave me a perceived sense of urgency and a deadline I couldn’t miss. What’s funny is the tighter the deadline, the more productive I became. Here’s what’s even crazier:

The blog posts I’ve written, that had the tightest deadline and the least amount of time to write them, have been my most popular.

Over thinking kills creativity and so does having too much time to fluff around. These deadlines have allowed me to produce lots of writing that have contributed to me becoming a real man.

 

Writing has uncovered raw emotion in me.

Raw emotion has changed the game for me. As I got past the 10-day mark, I stopped giving a F more and more. This brought out raw emotion in me that couldn’t be faked like an Instagram filter. It’s this raw emotion that got me more readers and allowed me to make a bigger difference in the world.

There’s something about someone who makes the bold decision to wear their heart on their sleeve. Writing heaps forces you to think deeper and to dig deeper every time you sit down at the computer.

Writing for more than 1000 days became like a game to see how much I could learn about myself. The words began to paint a picture of me that I had never seen or even dreamt of.

“These words that became pictures redefined who I was”

I used these pictures to become a new man and one I could be proud of. I want you to discover raw emotion for yourself. I want you to paint beautiful pictures with words that come from deep inside of you.

 

Just get started.

There were days when I couldn’t be bothered writing. I found that once I got started, the words would pour out of me. It was as if the words were dying to get out of me some days. Instead of giving yourself excuses, don’t try and have every day be the day you produce your best work.

Some of the blog posts I’ve written I thought were barely okay. These same posts have been highly shareable more than my so-called serious stuff. 1000 days of writing teaches you to disconnect yourself from the outcome and focus on the practice itself. Discipline has made me a real man.

 

You must like the topic.

I tried writing about stuff that people told me too. I found myself hating the process every time. Have a list of suggested topics that you’ve come up with and then write about the one that makes you feel good at the time.

 

Make it up as you go.

I invent words all the time like self-disrupt, fakepreneur and too many other ridiculous ones to mention here. I break grammar rules to suit myself and to make my writing easy on the eye. What will separate you from everyone else is when you decide to make up the rules.

It’s easier to be different than it is to be a better writer, or saxophone player or artist. A rule forces you to conform to everyone else’s expectations. What made me a real man was discovering the power of my own creativity and not listening to all the hype out there.

There’s a lot of noise and people that will tell you they have the secret chicken sauce. They’re selling lies to you to benefit their own selfish goals.

Be you and make up the rest as you go.

 

Reading fuels your creative brain.

I get asked all the time “Tim, where do you get all these writing ideas from?”

I wish I could tell you that I was some idea factory that could mass-produce amazing writing pieces. The truth is I’m not that smart. In conjunction with writing, I’ve also been reading like a KFC junkie addicted to hot sauce.

Books have opened up my world to what’s possible. Books have helped me see things in my life that I had previously ignored.

“Books sold me a truth that I couldn’t get from the Internet or TV”

Every word you read get’s stored in your computer brain and can be recalled later on without you probably even realizing. Reading has taught me the lessons that have made me a man and a blogger.

 

Authenticity and transparency, plus brutal honesty, is where it’s at.

In the beginning, I was a bit of a pussy. I hid parts of myself and didn’t tell the full story. In the first 10 days, I tried to be brutal. By the 1000th day, I had enough practice and had seen the audience react enough, that I showed everything in my stories. No detail was left out.

People read my stuff because they know it’s authentic and real. I’m brutally honest and not afraid to make fun of myself. I’m not afraid to admit that I too have once been a self-obsessed, immature, coward too. It’s okay; we’ve all been there.

This brutal honesty helps you be honest with yourself too. Through these honest moments, you learn a lot about who you are and who you can become. I think real honesty helped me become a real man. A man I can be proud of.

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

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3 Practical Ways Successful People Attract Money

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successful men

It takes more than just hard work, grinding and strategies to become successful. Do you actually know what subtle changes to make in order to reach the level of success and financial wealth you desire?

In our constantly changing world, those who are getting ahead in the game are individuals who are learning to raise their standards both personally and professionally. The age of the Internet has certainly brought a new dawn for the average person dialing up that inner craving for more freedom and a higher quality of life.

The opportunities and technological advancements are here, but one thing seems to be lagging: Our ability to produce and maintain the money we actually need to enjoy all that is currently available.

Everywhere you turn there is a new, sleeker, more advanced version of your favorite gizmo. Whether it’s your dream phone, car, computer, or designer clothes, they keep getting better and who doesn’t enjoy having the best of the best?

However, how can we have the best of the best when increasing income continues to be a struggle? As traditional methods of working and doing business radically transform, certain confusion arises especially amongst entrepreneurs.

This is why a recent conversation with my friend and owner of Walletisland, Adrian Brown, challenged me to reassess how I am approaching some of the things we tend to consider unimportant in the entrepreneurial space. I realised there are simple everyday shifts that are often overlooked by entrepreneurs which could be the key to increasing success and income.

For the majority of aspiring and budding entrepreneurs, the backstory is pretty much the same. We all grew up in less than abundant conditions. Our approach is for the most part pretty old fashioned when it comes to personal grooming and our relationship with money. But if there’s one thing I have come to realize when it comes to producing extraordinary results, it is this: Success and attracting money is all about mindset and the attitude one carries.

“Your mindset matters. It affects everything – from the business and investment decisions you make, to the way you raise your children, to your stress levels and overall well-being.” – Peter Diamandis

This is a law based truth I am proving more and more as I interact, connect with and learn from other successful entrepreneurs. In my most recent mastermind with a like-minded individuals, we were able to uncover a few blind spots that continue to hinder many hard working entrepreneurs.

More specifically, we came to a consensus when it comes to attracting more wealth that most individuals hit these three blind spots which hopefully after today, you will no longer fall victim to.

  • Too many success seekers are neglecting their personal appearance and self-grooming. As entrepreneurs, we think only our skillsets should matter, but that’s never the case.
  • Most people are neglecting their everyday personal interaction with money. In other words, aside from the big general numbers they have to deal with in business, most men aren’t deliberately working on improving how they handle, carry and interact with money. Part of this might be old negative paradigms around money running the show.
  • Many business owners are struggling with unattractiveness and low confidence, which certainly hinders their ability to shine, stand out and magnetize success.

If any or all of these resonate, here’s what you can do about it today:

1. Polish your self-image and outer appearance

This doesn’t have to take up too much time. With a little more deliberate thought on the shoes you wear, the wallet you carry, the combination of your clothing, hair, body language and attitude you will not only raise your professional appearance but there is much research proving your earnings will increase too.  Keep it clean, simple, clutter free and corresponding to your business role.

2. Prep yourself for a “money shift”

Is there a psychological relationship between a someones’s wallet and their money? Absolutely. In fact when Adrian got into men’s fashion it was because he experienced firsthand “the money shift”. This happened when he stopped carrying around cheap, worn-out wallets and started carefully choosing the kind that made him feel most opulent.

I’m passionate about helping men strengthen their connection and interaction with money because I realize it’s not about fashion trends. A man’s wallet is something he interacts with daily. It should be a symbol of prosperity and help him de-clutter. It should also be a demonstration of his modern take on money because in our digital society, money is transforming and it’s in our best interest to catch up lest we suffer the consequences of holding on to limiting beliefs around money.”

I couldn’t agree more. Most of us will need to shed limiting beliefs, heal money wounds and learn to handle, carry and interact with money in ways that promote its presence. What money story is your wallet telling right now?

3. Work on your self-confidence and attractiveness

Those struggling with low self-confidence and feelings of unattractiveness need to make drastic changes. Why? According to research by Payscale, over the course of a lifetime, an “attractive person will end up making about 230,000 more than an unattractive person.”

That’s ridiculous especially since being attractive and confident isn’t just for the chosen few. Now that you are in business for yourself, you can’t afford to be bullied by invisible limiting beliefs that question how capable, attractive and confident you are.

If it naturally doesn’t come to you, there are various exercises you can do and small changes you can make in order to build yourself up and make up for any disadvantages you may have had in your upbringing.

“With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.” – Dalai Lama

As entrepreneurs, we are inclined to focus more on strategies and tactics which will help us close the sale sometimes at the expense of our personal health and grooming. Let us refrain from assuming appearances do not count just because we are no longer climbing the corporate ladder.

If the vision is to enjoy a more opulent and enriching lifestyle, take time to align every aspect of your life with this new self-made, inspiring, influential leader you are aspiring to be. All successful people go into the game prepared for that win.

What personal changes will you make to prepare you for more wealth?

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