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The Music You’re Listening to Is Keeping You Broke

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In 2015, the recording industry brought in just over 15 billion dollars in revenue. The music industry as a whole is constantly updating and shifting to accommodate the latest updates in trends. From vinyl to cassette tapes then cd’s to digital downloads (and a few other developments along the way). The music industry has learned how to adapt with culture and actually play a part in leading it.

Though most don’t want to hear it, humans operate with a herd mentality. New fashion comes out, we rush to buy it. New technology comes out, we wait in line for hours, sometimes days, to get it. It’s kind of like “monkey see, monkey do”. Now this is not meant to be offensive, but to help you break free from one of the things that is holding you back from success in life.

The music industry, in order to stay relevant, must adopt culture into music to keep people engaged. The artists sing about current events, their lives, what distracts them from their lives, and the ups and the downs. During the 60’s the most popular artists were Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and Elvis Presley.

The 1960’s was the time of the Vietnam War as well as the fight for Civil Rights. A lot of the music of this era told of drugs, war, and prejudice. Music reflects society and society reflects what we see in the media. We listen to the songs and we sing along, as we do so, we teach our brain to agree with the words we are reciting.

Be careful what you’re feeding your brain

It is a common belief, proved by science, that what you think — you become. Your brain is a web of trees and those trees grow based off of thoughts that you allow yourself to believe and what you choose to not believe.

The damaging thing about the cycle with the media, the music industry, and society is this: The media will set the standard of how we should see the world and society reflects those standards.

Societies standards are picked up by the music industry and the media publishes it. When you sing along to songs like “Billionaire” by Bruno Mars that says, “Toss a couple milli in the air just for the heck of it.” Or “Time Of Our Lives” By Pitbull sings, “I knew my rent was gon’ be late ‘bout a week ago… This is the last $20 I got. But I’mma have a good time ballin’ or out.”

Songs like these, and so many more, depict people being reckless with their money and choosing to go out instead of hustling harder to pay the bills. Song after song on today’s popular channels sing of money — spending it frivolously, of women — in a degrading manner, and of drugs — as a norm.

“Don’t let the opinions of the average man sway you. Dream, and he thinks you’re crazy. Succeed, and he thinks you’re lucky…Pay no attention. He simply doesn’t understand” – Robert Allen

Singing is good for the soul

An article in Times Magazine describes how healthy it is to sing. “When you sing, musical vibrations move through you, altering your physical and emotional landscape.” Singing along with songs in general can be healthy for you, science proves that songs and what you speak has an impact on how you think.

If you have noticed that you want to change your thoughts, you need to change what you are exposing yourself to. According to Dave Ramsey, “63% of the wealthy listen to audio books during commute to work vs. 5% of poor people.” Why do you think the wealthy listen to audio books whereas only 5% of the poor do? Do you want to act like the poor or do you want to act like the wealthy?

I’ve said this many times, you are what you eat. If you want to be rich and you want to be successful, you have to surround yourself with tools that will get you there. Cut out the negative music, cut out the BS television, the negative friends, and the thoughts that are holding you back.

Listen to podcasts and audiobooks and surround yourself with people that will push you to be successful and grow, not people who will encourage you to stay broke.

“Music is the movement of sound to reach the soul for the education of its virtue.” – Plato

What are you listening to today that is setting you up for a better future? Leave your thoughts below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Stephen Dela Cruz is a best selling author, speaker and serial entrepreneur who specializes in helping budding entrepreneurs double their income in their first year. He’s built several 7 figure businesses and in his online school, The Mastermind Experience, he shares strategies around time and money management to help beginning entrepreneurs soar. You can see more about Stephen on his website and follow him on his Facebook page.

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Bokar Diaw

    Dec 19, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    Music is definitely a form of “incantations”
    It gets ingrained deeply in our subconscious and we all know that it is the most powerful part of our brain.
    I listen to these tracks when working out. But a lot of times I counter balance it with “Drive time university” in my car or at home.
    Great article!

  2. Faith Daniel

    Jul 5, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    Wonderful piece! Just of recent i had to cut myself off the trending genre of songs and I found instrumentals (Not just any instrumental), mostly strings looped for hours to be soul lifting for me and gives me that feel for meditation. Find what works for you!

  3. Rahul Nair

    Jun 10, 2017 at 5:56 am

    Wow! That was a kind of revelation to me. I’m really prepared to make the required change to live successfully. Thank you for the article and wish you success in all your future endeavors.

  4. Ruth Henry-Ovid

    Apr 30, 2017 at 5:46 am

    I literally only listen to pop that uplifts me, from specific country music, even specific Paramore songs. I don’t watch horror movies (Paranormal was a comedy btw) and keep friends with negative tendencies to a minimum (I don’t totally cut them lose because we should encourage and uplift others when we can). We should be filling ourselves up with music, movies, books etc that help us stay in that high vibe. There are some emails I receive from coaches, leaders, trainers etc that use headlines to make you feel bad about yourself so you work with them. They are about to get an unsubscribe notification right now 😉

  5. Andrew Marais

    Apr 30, 2017 at 12:24 am

    Just as I have learnt. We eat our thoughts and our words before the target remember that.

  6. Pritish Sai

    Apr 30, 2017 at 12:23 am

    I was waiting for someone to express their opinion about this topic. I strongly and I do mean strongly agree with the author’s views. My musical tastes were initially geared towards ear blasting metal which I still enjoy today, but in strict moderation because it makes me too aggressive. I’ve now moved to listening to audiobooks and extremely ambient music to keep my mind focused on relevant matters and topics.

  7. Miguel Ramos

    Apr 27, 2017 at 4:29 am

    Excellent article. I believe 100% that music makes us vibrate in bad or good frequencies. I personally use music everyday to have more energy and improve my mood. There are many good playlists for whatever you need: creativity, concentration, meditation, workout, relax, uplifting music, energy. Search in Spotify for those words and find the music that fits you better for each purpose.
    P.S.: right now I’m listening this list for concentration. It works: https://open.spotify.com/user/spotify/playlist/37i9dQZF1DX720GaRlTmKS

  8. Joann

    Apr 24, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    Love this! thanks Stephen. I like the phrase, “you are what you eat” as depicted in this article.

  9. Icy

    Apr 24, 2017 at 4:46 am

    can you give a small list of positive songs for success(if you can)

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Success Advice

I’ll Tell You How To Be Confident Without The Self-Help BS: You Just Do It.

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One of the most popular topics on blogs right now is content about how to have more confidence. It’s driving me bonkers! I’m unsure what the fascination is with the subject.

Having gone through the whole confidence battle myself and come out the other side on top, I think I can share a few things that will help everybody.

 

Act as if.

Rather than be caught up in the foreplay of overthinking, considering and asking too many questions, just do.

“Quite simply, what has worked for me is to just get on with the task and tell myself I’m becoming an expert while being in motion”

Getting going is the part we’re all missing when it comes to confidence. You can’t be confident unless you get some experience at whatever you want to be confident at. This advice sounds simplistic because it is.

I’ve become more confident over the last five years by running up miles in the beaten-up VW Beetle that was my mind and body. Through gaining experience, I turned that VW Beetle into a Lamborghini by trying things and executing.

There’s no pretending when it comes to confidence. You only start to believe you are confident when you begin taking action. I could probably wrap it up right there and you’d be done when it comes to confidence. No more self-help secrets and private masterminds are required.

Act as if you are already confident and your mind will believe you. Your mind only believes what you tell it. Tell your mind you are confident and you will gain more confidence in the execution. That extraordinary mind will then do as you tell it.

 

Sit up and stand up straight soldier!

I always believed this one was total hocus pocus or maybe even a Jedi Mind Trick. It’s not. Confidence is also in the way you move. People feel confidence in you through your presence. If you need to perform at 110% in say a speech as an example, you have to stand up straight and physically be confident.

Now this is harder than it looks so here’s what I did: I stood on the stage with my back straight. I then rolled my shoulders back and poked my chest out slightly. Each movement on stage was acted out as if I was Arnold Schwarzenegger posing for the Mr Olympia Final (that’s hard as I look nothing like him but stay with me peeps).

Simply having a confident physical presence allowed the audience to be confident with the words and advice I was delivering. Even if each point I presented was not completely thought through, the effect was still the same. I came across as confident.

So, next time you want to be confident, try this out for yourself. Pick your own hero who’s oozing confidence, to be the person you imagine when you go into your confident pose. No matter how ridiculous this seems, it works. Don’t question, just do.

 

Self-talk is key: three words to confidence.

Okay, let’s not overdo this confidence lesson. The self-talk in my head when I need to be confident is very dumb and easy to copy. The three words I use are:

“You got this!”

Say those three words whenever you need to be confident. Say them over and over until they drown out your negative inner voice that wants to doubt your ability.

“Doubt is the disease that sabotages your confidence”

I had no idea about blogging as an example. I just believed I’d find a way and I did. My doubting brain told me that I was hopeless at English and couldn’t master grammar to save my life. That aside, I just used these three words to silence the inner critic.

Your inner critic is only right if you let it be. Back yourself. Talk to yourself like a winner (not a loser) and you’ll have more confidence. No need to buy that book on confidence anymore. No need to read another self-help, pump up blog post that gets you all warm and sweaty.

 

Disconnect from the outcome.

Confidence is about putting the outcome aside. Everything you do is a lesson and will give you confidence. Being tied to the idea of what the outcome looks like allows your doubting mind and your inner critic to come back to the main stage of your attention.

Where your energy flows to, is where your focus goes. Focusing on anything other than being confident about your daily battles will give you the results you hate. Nine times out of ten you can’t control the outcome anyway.

So focusing on doing your best and being confident will take you so much further. Like I keep saying “You got this!”

Swag it out like whatever outcome you achieve is phenomenal because you are incredible for waking up each day and just giving it a crack!

 

Say yes and learn later.

Confidence comes from saying yes and deciding to figure out the strategy later. If an offer or idea resonates with you, then say yes. You’ll find yourself gaining more experience by doing so. My superman complex used to make me carefully think about each offer I was presented with to assess whether I had the skills and capability.

Now I choose offers and proposals that bring me joy instead, and I use my newfound confidence to say yes, and know that I’ll learn what I need to execute properly along the way. Failing that, there’s someone I know in my network that can fill any blanks in regardless so I’m very unlikely to fail.

BUT even if I fail it’s all good because I still learned heaps, got experience and had fun in the meantime. All of which made me more confident. Confidence is unstoppable when it starts to compound through experience and taking action.

 

Remember that all of us have no idea including me.

This was something I learned through a podcast. If you look at your heroes and get to know them as friends, you’ll quickly realize, like I did with my own heroes, that they have no idea. Your heroes just act as if and see what sticks.

When approaching any goal with this in mind, you find an inner confidence to have a go and see what happens.

“When you realize we’re all flawed, it sets you free to try stuff and execute on a few wild goals that you may not succeed at”

I have no clue about most things and that’s where the beauty lies. Stop idolizing and be confident in your ability to get sh*t done.

 

We’re all extraordinary when we believe we are.

Belief in yourself is key to having confidence. The truth is that all of us can be extraordinary no matter where we come from, our nationality, the struggles we’ve gone through, what books we’ve read or who our current friends are.

The opportunity to be extraordinary exists for all of us. Let this very idea give you the confidence you need to change the world because you can.

You don’t need more self-help articles on confidence: You need to understand you’re already extraordinary.

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

2 Ways To End Suffering Forever.

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This year I have learned so much. I’ve learned that we all suffer no matter what. No one can avoid it. That’s not what I want to share with you though. What I want to tell you is that you have the power to end suffering.

I have proven it in my own life. We don’t need to suffer. We can end it all and the silly thing is it’s so simple. I do not want you to avoid this advice any longer. I want you to use it even if you think it’s a load of mumbo-jumbo.

Here are the two ways I’ve found to end suffering forever:

 

1. Find a way to give to other people.

You only suffer when life is all about you and your success. Once you move from being all about you, into a state of mind that is focused on giving, your problems become insignificant.

I had a couple of situations this year that have nearly knocked me flat on my ass. One was my romantic life falling to pieces and the other was my career collapsing. When both these events occurred, I used giving to other people as the way out of the maze that my mind created.

The moment suffering begun, I went straight to finding ways to serve other people. I helped friends with their businesses, I spoke at events to inspire people, I did some volunteering and I doubled down on my blogging so I could inspire as many people as possible.

Shifting the focus away from what was wrong and using my focus to give to others ended the suffering.

“There wasn’t time to suffer because the purpose of my life during those months was far bigger than me and my stupid life challenges. Giving to others gave me a way to find happiness when I probably would have hidden away and suffered in silence”

Seeing the solutions to other people’s problems and sharing them, gave me a way to put my career and relationships into perspective.

Giving is the example you need when times get tough and things get complicated. You suffer the most when you get stuck in your head and repeat the pattern of telling yourself how wrong your circumstances are.

Suffering can make you depressed, feel lonely, become selfish, go into a downward spiral and take away everything that’s good in your life.

Finding ways to give on the other hand, can cure all of those problems. I know it sounds so cliché what I’m saying but it surprises me how many people never use this strategy. Like I always say: the answers we seek are right in front of our nose.

Next time you feel yourself suffering, get out of your head and try this strategy.

 

 

2. Practice gratitude.

Okay, I thought this strategy was so dumb when I discovered it. It’s so obvious and it sounds way too easy. I mean how can writing down a few things you’re grateful for really end your suffering?

I mean you could lie to yourself and pretend that you’re grateful for something when you’re not. Well, that’s exactly what I did at the beginning. When I was suffering this year, I started writing down three things each day that I was grateful for.

In the first week, I lied about things I was grateful for and found the exercise completely ridiculous. This advice is so common that I decided to persist with this ridiculous self-help hack anyway.

What I found as I kept doing it was that your brain makes a shift subconsciously. Instead of being pissed off and suffering, your brain has to work extra hard to find three things every day to be grateful for.

To make this habit work even better I forced my brain to describe in detail each thing I was grateful for and ideally why. Some days sucked so bad that I thought I would never find three things. Once the challenge became a must, I spent my days working my butt off trying to find things I was grateful for.

While doing various activities during the day, I’d find moments when I was grateful for something and stop. I’d stop and see how I felt at that moment and I would have a mini celebration because I knew I had something for my gratitude list.

Then I tried to aim for five things each day instead of three. This shifted my focus even more. I should have been suffering but because I was forcing myself to see good things that were happening to me, I was distracted.

As I said earlier, this new habit seemed so dumb at the beginning. Once you really do it for a while, you see how it has the power to end suffering. You can’t be pissed off and be grateful at the same time. So, choose gratitude and then your suffering will be sidelined, and in my case, forgotten about.

 

***Life doesn’t need to be full of low points***

The suffering that we all experience is a choice. It probably doesn’t seem like that but these two hacks will demonstrate this to you. Your decision-making power is incredible and all you need to do is select one of these hacks to end suffering.

Don’t let the quality of your life be jeopardized by your default human mode to suffer. You’ll find these two hacks will not only end your suffering; these two hacks will give you purpose.

Here’s what I learned: most people are pissed off and suffer because they have no purpose. Once you find a purpose for your life, you’ll become addicted.

Now that’s a huge win don’t you think? You can end suffering and find purpose, all by using these two hacks. That’s the best gift I can give you.

Don’t just read this advice. Try these two hacks yourself.

It’s time to end suffering forever.

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

7 Steps to Conquering the Fears That Are Holding You Back From Success

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I remember the day in vivid detail. I was on a weekend trip visiting my girlfriend at the time in Arizona. She had decided that we should join her friends to go “cliff jumping.”  We were early on in our dating and she obviously had no idea that I was not fond of heights. So “cliffs” and jumping off of them… No thanks!

I inevitably found myself on the edge of a 40-foot cliff peering down at a vast blue canvas of water. Then I realized if I didn’t jump, I’d have to start the walk of shame back down the cliff. This was a lose-lose situation for me.

Fear had me. I didn’t want to jump, but I also didn’t want to look bad in front of my girlfriend’s friends. So I jumped and in that moment, I had defied my brain and my neurochemistry.

Our brains are wired to protect us, not to push us towards our goals. Our brains are wired to look for anything that could be potentially dangerous or threatening and keep us as far away from it as possible by using fear. The problem is not all situations warrant fear.

There is a saying in neuroscience that says, “the brain wires the way it fires”, meaning the more you do a certain activity, the more the brain lays down wiring to make that action or activity easier.

‘Fears are educated into us, and can, if we wish, be educated out.’ – Karl Augustus Menninger

When we let fear keep us stagnant and we continue to do the same things that are comfortable, our brain gets “hardwired” to stay comfortable. We become “stagnant.” This can become debilitating for some of us and prevent us from encountering the very experiences we need to grow and succeed.

When we, in spite of our fear, do the challenging things that are outside our comfort zone, we begin to hardwire into our brain change, adaptability, creativity, growth, perspective, and happiness because we stretch the boundaries of our brain’s capabilities and force it to adapt rather than “playing it safe.”

An elite athlete didn’t make it where they are today by going into their training and never pushing past their comfort zone. They constantly pushed their limits of comfort to force their bodies and minds to grow to that of a top performer. The same principle applies to our brains. If we let fear dictate our actions in any area of our lives, it will stunt your growth in that area.

So what’s the first step? How do we go about conquering our fears whether it’s public speaking, starting a business, or launching the product or service? See below:

1. Journal Your Fears

Write down all the fears you have, big or small. Contrary to opinion “size does not matter.” Your brain still operates the same with all types of fear. The key is to first acknowledge what you are fearful about and bring it to light. Be as specific as possible.

2. Prioritize Your Fears

I then rank my fears from highest to lowest in terms of how often I think about this fear and/or how much it disrupts my life. You may find some fears combine into a broader category and that’s ok — we’ll get to that. So for now identify your biggest fear.

3. Support Your Belief in Yourself

I don’t mean just “believe in yourself.” What I mean is to build in support systems that will support your belief in yourself, so that when you start taking action, your support systems will solidify those new experiences and form deeper, more meaningful, and lasting beliefs in yourself.

It may look like building a list of affirmations that you say every morning or a meditation. Whatever it is, it needs to be uplifting and empowering you towards conquering your goals.

4. Take Action & Start Small

Look at your list and identify what your biggest fear is. That’s the beast we’re going to tackle long term, but for some that may seem like a big stretch at first. So instead, see what your 5th biggest fear is, and that’s where you’ll start.

What we will then do is build our way up and take a ride on the “Momentum Train.” Starting small with taking actions toward your lower priority fears and then building up helps your brain build momentum, which provides your brain with plenty of courage and motivation to tackle the #1 fear on your list.

‘Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold.’ – Helen Keller

5. No Time Limit, Just Consistency

Most goals should be limited to a time domain. For the goal of tackling a fear, time can be a challenging factor to set. Some of these fears may have been unknowingly building up for decades without your knowledge. So I don’t recommend setting a time on when you are “going to conquer your fear.”

Instead set appointments to regularly meet and address your fear. If you’re fear is public speaking, then go to a local Toastmasters once a week. The more consistent you can be, the better.

6. Reframe and Reinforce

As you begin to address these fears, make sure you are reinforcing the experiences you have in a positive perspective. For instance, if you want to be less fearful of public speaking and decide to try out a local toastmasters group, your first time speaking to the group might feel like a train wreck, but when you look back on the situation you can acknowledge that that actually pushed past your fear and accomplished your goal.

7. Rinse and Repeat

This isn’t a quick fix. It may take some time. There’s always a new fear or challenge awaiting us. The key is to have systems like this in place to address those challenges properly rather than allowing ourselves to succumb to fear and derail our lives from their fullest potential.

How do you handle your fears? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Success Advice

30 Straightforward Reminders to Help You Supercharge Your Life in 2018

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how to supercharge your life

This time of year it’s easy to be overwhelmed by well-meaning advice. Everyone seems to have a solution to your procrastination or a remedy for your lack of motivation. Unfortunately, most advice is either too general or irrelevant because it doesn’t address your main concerns.

I’ve spent the last year trying to hone in on some of the best tips and tricks I’ve learned to stay ahead and maintain a positive mindset.

Here are 30 straightforward reminders and tips to help you supercharge your life in 2018:

1. Get the basics right. Take care of your body, your mind and your soul. Make a list of what you know is good for you and what you know is bad for you in each category. Consider ways to reduce the bad and increase the good.

2. Reduce distractions that sap your energy. When you’re planning big changes, it’s easy to get pulled into many different directions. You get excited about a certain idea which pulls you down the rabbit hole into numerous other directions. Focus on one thing at a time.

3. Make a new friend. Start a conversation with a stranger in the elevator. Compliment someone. Provide some positive reinforcement. Do something without expecting anything in return.

4. Smile more. Smiling takes less effort than frowning. It’s also scientifically proven to make you feel better even if you don’t necessarily feel like smiling.

5. Walk 30 minutes a day. Just 30 minutes of exercise a day can help you stimulate your immune system, increase your metabolism and improve your mood.

6. Do one push-up for every year old you are. Or do twice as many sit-ups for every year old you are. Making sure you work the muscles in different parts of your body stimulates hormone production and helps increase fat burning.

7. Find your intrinsic drivers. Intrinsic drivers are what inspire you based on internal motivation, rather than external motivation. Find something you think of as beautiful, peaceful, relaxing. Embrace it. Appreciate it. Try to understand why you like it

8. Speak to an old friend. Reach out in an email, a text, a phone call. Check in and just let them know you’re thinking about them.

“Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together.” – Woodrow T. Wilson

9. Invest in your health. Join a gym. Buy some type of sports equipment or clothing that is comfortable and that you enjoy being in. Consider joining a pick up sports team.

10. Study something that interests you. Buy a book about someone you admire. Pick a time period that you’re fascinated with. Make a point of becoming an expert on something that matters to you.

11. Teach someone something. Take a topic, any topic, and try to break it down into its component parts so that you can teach someone how to do it. The concentration and the effort it takes to teach someone something is often exactly the kind of effort that is required to truly understand it for yourself.

12. Delegate to someone. Find a task that needs to be done that you could do. Don’t do that task. Instead, look for someone you can ask to help you. Pay them or ask them for a favor. The key is to learn to delegate actions to others.

13. Meditate. Mindfulness and meditation are trending right now, but that’s not the reason you should consider adopting a meditation practice. The real reason is that meditation will help you focus on your key goals while cutting out the noise in the world around you.  

14. Learn to manage your personal finances. One of the biggest causes of stress that we as humans experience is the pressure to make money and control our finances. There are tons of free resources available online to help you learn about finances and help get your money in order.

15. Read more. No, I’m not talking about reading your Facebook News Feed. Read more books. Try to read a book a month, either fiction or nonfiction. At the beginning of the month choose a book and break down the number of pages. See how many you have to read a day to finish… then get started.

16. Cook at home at least 5 days a week. Cooking at home is cheap, easy and fun. You can hone skills in creativity and planning all at once, and it’s a great way to save money.

“My New Year’s resolution is to stick to a good workout plan that will keep me healthy and happy.” – James Lafferty

17. Sell someone. No, not into human bondage. Sell someone on an idea or a product. Learn to market yourself and your skills. Everyone sells as they move through life, but most of us are average salespeople.

18. Hone your principles. What principles define your life? What are your strongly held beliefs? Be honest with yourself and what principles you feel you must uphold.

19. Embrace the power of positive thought. Listen to positive audio tapes, surround yourself with positive people. Look at the positive side of life. Easier said than done, but truth be told one of the best ways to improve your mood is to look for sources of positive mood and inspiration.

20. Practice willpower. Habits are formed over time. Willpower is one of the most important habits you will ever build, so it is integral you continue to practice it through all aspects of your life. Look to the stoic philosophers for a primer on how to tackle this.

21. Write better hooks. A hook is the bit of a song that catches a listener’s attention and repeats your core message in an intriguing way. Similarly, in writing a hook is the quirky or fascinating intro that makes readers want to continue to read. Think about your own hooks and how you can get people interested in what you have to say.

22. Don’t sweat the small stuff. We often become obsessed with daily minutiae and avoid thinking about the big picture. Don’t let yourself worry too much about the small day-to-day struggles. Instead, put your head down and get to work.

23. Don’t overthink the big stuff. Too often we avoid taking leaps of faith because we’re worried about making a mistake on something big. We don’t buy the new house. We avoid marrying the person we love. We put off going to the doctor for that regular scan. Try not to overthink the big decisions (or seemingly small decisions) that may have larger ramifications. If it’s not overly dangerous or illegal, take the plunge and go for it.

24. Learn a new word a day. Increasing your vocabulary helps you see the world in different ways and makes you rethink your core beliefs.

“You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.” – Richard Branson

25. Become a moderate. Extremists are divisive and often at odds with a large portion of the population. Look for ways to bring people together through collaboration and consensus rather than through division.

26. Think big(ger). Many self-help books talk about setting big goals or envisioning massive success in your lifetime. If you want to become a true leader and attain greater fulfillment. Look for ways to think beyond creating success in your lifetime. Think about the legacy you’ll leave for future generations.

27. Learn universal processes. Assess how you work best and find ways to carry standardized processes over into other aspects of your life.

28. Develop support structures. What do you do if things aren’t going according to plan? Do you reach out to friends for support, meditate on the problem alone, or use some mixture of different coping mechanisms? Be aware of what works for you, and what doesn’t.

29. Don’t compare yourself to others. We fall into this trap far too often. We use others as a benchmark for our own progress, but we must remember that it is unhealthy to put too much weight on comparisons, as everyone has their own background and their own perspective.

30. Know when to let go. At the end of the day, you must try your best and let the cards fall as they may. All you can do is put your heart and soul into your effort and learn from the results.

Which one of these things are you going to implement into your life immediately? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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6 Stepping Stones to Become Your Best Self in 2018

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become your best self

New Year resolutions are often wishful thinking. Being your best self is not something to be ticked off a checklist,  it is part of a never-ending continuum of learning and self-discovery. (more…)

Angela Kambouris used to work with high risk kids in the streets of Melbourne, now she has her own consultancy business and writes for large publications. As a leadership coach and business leader having spent over 20 years in the field of vulnerability and trauma, she has built a high-level career as an executive and transitioned into a business owner. She has spoken on stages and worked with thousands of people in self-development, leadership, mindset, human behavior and business. Love to travel, experience difference cultures and mastermind with leaders and expert authorities in personal development and business all over the world. Connect with her through her website http://angelakambouris.com/ or through her Facebook.

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Bokar Diaw

    Dec 19, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    Music is definitely a form of “incantations”
    It gets ingrained deeply in our subconscious and we all know that it is the most powerful part of our brain.
    I listen to these tracks when working out. But a lot of times I counter balance it with “Drive time university” in my car or at home.
    Great article!

  2. Faith Daniel

    Jul 5, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    Wonderful piece! Just of recent i had to cut myself off the trending genre of songs and I found instrumentals (Not just any instrumental), mostly strings looped for hours to be soul lifting for me and gives me that feel for meditation. Find what works for you!

  3. Rahul Nair

    Jun 10, 2017 at 5:56 am

    Wow! That was a kind of revelation to me. I’m really prepared to make the required change to live successfully. Thank you for the article and wish you success in all your future endeavors.

  4. Ruth Henry-Ovid

    Apr 30, 2017 at 5:46 am

    I literally only listen to pop that uplifts me, from specific country music, even specific Paramore songs. I don’t watch horror movies (Paranormal was a comedy btw) and keep friends with negative tendencies to a minimum (I don’t totally cut them lose because we should encourage and uplift others when we can). We should be filling ourselves up with music, movies, books etc that help us stay in that high vibe. There are some emails I receive from coaches, leaders, trainers etc that use headlines to make you feel bad about yourself so you work with them. They are about to get an unsubscribe notification right now 😉

  5. Andrew Marais

    Apr 30, 2017 at 12:24 am

    Just as I have learnt. We eat our thoughts and our words before the target remember that.

  6. Pritish Sai

    Apr 30, 2017 at 12:23 am

    I was waiting for someone to express their opinion about this topic. I strongly and I do mean strongly agree with the author’s views. My musical tastes were initially geared towards ear blasting metal which I still enjoy today, but in strict moderation because it makes me too aggressive. I’ve now moved to listening to audiobooks and extremely ambient music to keep my mind focused on relevant matters and topics.

  7. Miguel Ramos

    Apr 27, 2017 at 4:29 am

    Excellent article. I believe 100% that music makes us vibrate in bad or good frequencies. I personally use music everyday to have more energy and improve my mood. There are many good playlists for whatever you need: creativity, concentration, meditation, workout, relax, uplifting music, energy. Search in Spotify for those words and find the music that fits you better for each purpose.
    P.S.: right now I’m listening this list for concentration. It works: https://open.spotify.com/user/spotify/playlist/37i9dQZF1DX720GaRlTmKS

  8. Joann

    Apr 24, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    Love this! thanks Stephen. I like the phrase, “you are what you eat” as depicted in this article.

  9. Icy

    Apr 24, 2017 at 4:46 am

    can you give a small list of positive songs for success(if you can)

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Success Advice

I’ll Tell You How To Be Confident Without The Self-Help BS: You Just Do It.

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One of the most popular topics on blogs right now is content about how to have more confidence. It’s driving me bonkers! I’m unsure what the fascination is with the subject.

Having gone through the whole confidence battle myself and come out the other side on top, I think I can share a few things that will help everybody.

 

Act as if.

Rather than be caught up in the foreplay of overthinking, considering and asking too many questions, just do.

“Quite simply, what has worked for me is to just get on with the task and tell myself I’m becoming an expert while being in motion”

Getting going is the part we’re all missing when it comes to confidence. You can’t be confident unless you get some experience at whatever you want to be confident at. This advice sounds simplistic because it is.

I’ve become more confident over the last five years by running up miles in the beaten-up VW Beetle that was my mind and body. Through gaining experience, I turned that VW Beetle into a Lamborghini by trying things and executing.

There’s no pretending when it comes to confidence. You only start to believe you are confident when you begin taking action. I could probably wrap it up right there and you’d be done when it comes to confidence. No more self-help secrets and private masterminds are required.

Act as if you are already confident and your mind will believe you. Your mind only believes what you tell it. Tell your mind you are confident and you will gain more confidence in the execution. That extraordinary mind will then do as you tell it.

 

Sit up and stand up straight soldier!

I always believed this one was total hocus pocus or maybe even a Jedi Mind Trick. It’s not. Confidence is also in the way you move. People feel confidence in you through your presence. If you need to perform at 110% in say a speech as an example, you have to stand up straight and physically be confident.

Now this is harder than it looks so here’s what I did: I stood on the stage with my back straight. I then rolled my shoulders back and poked my chest out slightly. Each movement on stage was acted out as if I was Arnold Schwarzenegger posing for the Mr Olympia Final (that’s hard as I look nothing like him but stay with me peeps).

Simply having a confident physical presence allowed the audience to be confident with the words and advice I was delivering. Even if each point I presented was not completely thought through, the effect was still the same. I came across as confident.

So, next time you want to be confident, try this out for yourself. Pick your own hero who’s oozing confidence, to be the person you imagine when you go into your confident pose. No matter how ridiculous this seems, it works. Don’t question, just do.

 

Self-talk is key: three words to confidence.

Okay, let’s not overdo this confidence lesson. The self-talk in my head when I need to be confident is very dumb and easy to copy. The three words I use are:

“You got this!”

Say those three words whenever you need to be confident. Say them over and over until they drown out your negative inner voice that wants to doubt your ability.

“Doubt is the disease that sabotages your confidence”

I had no idea about blogging as an example. I just believed I’d find a way and I did. My doubting brain told me that I was hopeless at English and couldn’t master grammar to save my life. That aside, I just used these three words to silence the inner critic.

Your inner critic is only right if you let it be. Back yourself. Talk to yourself like a winner (not a loser) and you’ll have more confidence. No need to buy that book on confidence anymore. No need to read another self-help, pump up blog post that gets you all warm and sweaty.

 

Disconnect from the outcome.

Confidence is about putting the outcome aside. Everything you do is a lesson and will give you confidence. Being tied to the idea of what the outcome looks like allows your doubting mind and your inner critic to come back to the main stage of your attention.

Where your energy flows to, is where your focus goes. Focusing on anything other than being confident about your daily battles will give you the results you hate. Nine times out of ten you can’t control the outcome anyway.

So focusing on doing your best and being confident will take you so much further. Like I keep saying “You got this!”

Swag it out like whatever outcome you achieve is phenomenal because you are incredible for waking up each day and just giving it a crack!

 

Say yes and learn later.

Confidence comes from saying yes and deciding to figure out the strategy later. If an offer or idea resonates with you, then say yes. You’ll find yourself gaining more experience by doing so. My superman complex used to make me carefully think about each offer I was presented with to assess whether I had the skills and capability.

Now I choose offers and proposals that bring me joy instead, and I use my newfound confidence to say yes, and know that I’ll learn what I need to execute properly along the way. Failing that, there’s someone I know in my network that can fill any blanks in regardless so I’m very unlikely to fail.

BUT even if I fail it’s all good because I still learned heaps, got experience and had fun in the meantime. All of which made me more confident. Confidence is unstoppable when it starts to compound through experience and taking action.

 

Remember that all of us have no idea including me.

This was something I learned through a podcast. If you look at your heroes and get to know them as friends, you’ll quickly realize, like I did with my own heroes, that they have no idea. Your heroes just act as if and see what sticks.

When approaching any goal with this in mind, you find an inner confidence to have a go and see what happens.

“When you realize we’re all flawed, it sets you free to try stuff and execute on a few wild goals that you may not succeed at”

I have no clue about most things and that’s where the beauty lies. Stop idolizing and be confident in your ability to get sh*t done.

 

We’re all extraordinary when we believe we are.

Belief in yourself is key to having confidence. The truth is that all of us can be extraordinary no matter where we come from, our nationality, the struggles we’ve gone through, what books we’ve read or who our current friends are.

The opportunity to be extraordinary exists for all of us. Let this very idea give you the confidence you need to change the world because you can.

You don’t need more self-help articles on confidence: You need to understand you’re already extraordinary.

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

2 Ways To End Suffering Forever.

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This year I have learned so much. I’ve learned that we all suffer no matter what. No one can avoid it. That’s not what I want to share with you though. What I want to tell you is that you have the power to end suffering.

I have proven it in my own life. We don’t need to suffer. We can end it all and the silly thing is it’s so simple. I do not want you to avoid this advice any longer. I want you to use it even if you think it’s a load of mumbo-jumbo.

Here are the two ways I’ve found to end suffering forever:

 

1. Find a way to give to other people.

You only suffer when life is all about you and your success. Once you move from being all about you, into a state of mind that is focused on giving, your problems become insignificant.

I had a couple of situations this year that have nearly knocked me flat on my ass. One was my romantic life falling to pieces and the other was my career collapsing. When both these events occurred, I used giving to other people as the way out of the maze that my mind created.

The moment suffering begun, I went straight to finding ways to serve other people. I helped friends with their businesses, I spoke at events to inspire people, I did some volunteering and I doubled down on my blogging so I could inspire as many people as possible.

Shifting the focus away from what was wrong and using my focus to give to others ended the suffering.

“There wasn’t time to suffer because the purpose of my life during those months was far bigger than me and my stupid life challenges. Giving to others gave me a way to find happiness when I probably would have hidden away and suffered in silence”

Seeing the solutions to other people’s problems and sharing them, gave me a way to put my career and relationships into perspective.

Giving is the example you need when times get tough and things get complicated. You suffer the most when you get stuck in your head and repeat the pattern of telling yourself how wrong your circumstances are.

Suffering can make you depressed, feel lonely, become selfish, go into a downward spiral and take away everything that’s good in your life.

Finding ways to give on the other hand, can cure all of those problems. I know it sounds so cliché what I’m saying but it surprises me how many people never use this strategy. Like I always say: the answers we seek are right in front of our nose.

Next time you feel yourself suffering, get out of your head and try this strategy.

 

 

2. Practice gratitude.

Okay, I thought this strategy was so dumb when I discovered it. It’s so obvious and it sounds way too easy. I mean how can writing down a few things you’re grateful for really end your suffering?

I mean you could lie to yourself and pretend that you’re grateful for something when you’re not. Well, that’s exactly what I did at the beginning. When I was suffering this year, I started writing down three things each day that I was grateful for.

In the first week, I lied about things I was grateful for and found the exercise completely ridiculous. This advice is so common that I decided to persist with this ridiculous self-help hack anyway.

What I found as I kept doing it was that your brain makes a shift subconsciously. Instead of being pissed off and suffering, your brain has to work extra hard to find three things every day to be grateful for.

To make this habit work even better I forced my brain to describe in detail each thing I was grateful for and ideally why. Some days sucked so bad that I thought I would never find three things. Once the challenge became a must, I spent my days working my butt off trying to find things I was grateful for.

While doing various activities during the day, I’d find moments when I was grateful for something and stop. I’d stop and see how I felt at that moment and I would have a mini celebration because I knew I had something for my gratitude list.

Then I tried to aim for five things each day instead of three. This shifted my focus even more. I should have been suffering but because I was forcing myself to see good things that were happening to me, I was distracted.

As I said earlier, this new habit seemed so dumb at the beginning. Once you really do it for a while, you see how it has the power to end suffering. You can’t be pissed off and be grateful at the same time. So, choose gratitude and then your suffering will be sidelined, and in my case, forgotten about.

 

***Life doesn’t need to be full of low points***

The suffering that we all experience is a choice. It probably doesn’t seem like that but these two hacks will demonstrate this to you. Your decision-making power is incredible and all you need to do is select one of these hacks to end suffering.

Don’t let the quality of your life be jeopardized by your default human mode to suffer. You’ll find these two hacks will not only end your suffering; these two hacks will give you purpose.

Here’s what I learned: most people are pissed off and suffer because they have no purpose. Once you find a purpose for your life, you’ll become addicted.

Now that’s a huge win don’t you think? You can end suffering and find purpose, all by using these two hacks. That’s the best gift I can give you.

Don’t just read this advice. Try these two hacks yourself.

It’s time to end suffering forever.

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

7 Steps to Conquering the Fears That Are Holding You Back From Success

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how to conquer your fears

I remember the day in vivid detail. I was on a weekend trip visiting my girlfriend at the time in Arizona. She had decided that we should join her friends to go “cliff jumping.”  We were early on in our dating and she obviously had no idea that I was not fond of heights. So “cliffs” and jumping off of them… No thanks!

I inevitably found myself on the edge of a 40-foot cliff peering down at a vast blue canvas of water. Then I realized if I didn’t jump, I’d have to start the walk of shame back down the cliff. This was a lose-lose situation for me.

Fear had me. I didn’t want to jump, but I also didn’t want to look bad in front of my girlfriend’s friends. So I jumped and in that moment, I had defied my brain and my neurochemistry.

Our brains are wired to protect us, not to push us towards our goals. Our brains are wired to look for anything that could be potentially dangerous or threatening and keep us as far away from it as possible by using fear. The problem is not all situations warrant fear.

There is a saying in neuroscience that says, “the brain wires the way it fires”, meaning the more you do a certain activity, the more the brain lays down wiring to make that action or activity easier.

‘Fears are educated into us, and can, if we wish, be educated out.’ – Karl Augustus Menninger

When we let fear keep us stagnant and we continue to do the same things that are comfortable, our brain gets “hardwired” to stay comfortable. We become “stagnant.” This can become debilitating for some of us and prevent us from encountering the very experiences we need to grow and succeed.

When we, in spite of our fear, do the challenging things that are outside our comfort zone, we begin to hardwire into our brain change, adaptability, creativity, growth, perspective, and happiness because we stretch the boundaries of our brain’s capabilities and force it to adapt rather than “playing it safe.”

An elite athlete didn’t make it where they are today by going into their training and never pushing past their comfort zone. They constantly pushed their limits of comfort to force their bodies and minds to grow to that of a top performer. The same principle applies to our brains. If we let fear dictate our actions in any area of our lives, it will stunt your growth in that area.

So what’s the first step? How do we go about conquering our fears whether it’s public speaking, starting a business, or launching the product or service? See below:

1. Journal Your Fears

Write down all the fears you have, big or small. Contrary to opinion “size does not matter.” Your brain still operates the same with all types of fear. The key is to first acknowledge what you are fearful about and bring it to light. Be as specific as possible.

2. Prioritize Your Fears

I then rank my fears from highest to lowest in terms of how often I think about this fear and/or how much it disrupts my life. You may find some fears combine into a broader category and that’s ok — we’ll get to that. So for now identify your biggest fear.

3. Support Your Belief in Yourself

I don’t mean just “believe in yourself.” What I mean is to build in support systems that will support your belief in yourself, so that when you start taking action, your support systems will solidify those new experiences and form deeper, more meaningful, and lasting beliefs in yourself.

It may look like building a list of affirmations that you say every morning or a meditation. Whatever it is, it needs to be uplifting and empowering you towards conquering your goals.

4. Take Action & Start Small

Look at your list and identify what your biggest fear is. That’s the beast we’re going to tackle long term, but for some that may seem like a big stretch at first. So instead, see what your 5th biggest fear is, and that’s where you’ll start.

What we will then do is build our way up and take a ride on the “Momentum Train.” Starting small with taking actions toward your lower priority fears and then building up helps your brain build momentum, which provides your brain with plenty of courage and motivation to tackle the #1 fear on your list.

‘Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold.’ – Helen Keller

5. No Time Limit, Just Consistency

Most goals should be limited to a time domain. For the goal of tackling a fear, time can be a challenging factor to set. Some of these fears may have been unknowingly building up for decades without your knowledge. So I don’t recommend setting a time on when you are “going to conquer your fear.”

Instead set appointments to regularly meet and address your fear. If you’re fear is public speaking, then go to a local Toastmasters once a week. The more consistent you can be, the better.

6. Reframe and Reinforce

As you begin to address these fears, make sure you are reinforcing the experiences you have in a positive perspective. For instance, if you want to be less fearful of public speaking and decide to try out a local toastmasters group, your first time speaking to the group might feel like a train wreck, but when you look back on the situation you can acknowledge that that actually pushed past your fear and accomplished your goal.

7. Rinse and Repeat

This isn’t a quick fix. It may take some time. There’s always a new fear or challenge awaiting us. The key is to have systems like this in place to address those challenges properly rather than allowing ourselves to succumb to fear and derail our lives from their fullest potential.

How do you handle your fears? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Success Advice

30 Straightforward Reminders to Help You Supercharge Your Life in 2018

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how to supercharge your life

This time of year it’s easy to be overwhelmed by well-meaning advice. Everyone seems to have a solution to your procrastination or a remedy for your lack of motivation. Unfortunately, most advice is either too general or irrelevant because it doesn’t address your main concerns.

I’ve spent the last year trying to hone in on some of the best tips and tricks I’ve learned to stay ahead and maintain a positive mindset.

Here are 30 straightforward reminders and tips to help you supercharge your life in 2018:

1. Get the basics right. Take care of your body, your mind and your soul. Make a list of what you know is good for you and what you know is bad for you in each category. Consider ways to reduce the bad and increase the good.

2. Reduce distractions that sap your energy. When you’re planning big changes, it’s easy to get pulled into many different directions. You get excited about a certain idea which pulls you down the rabbit hole into numerous other directions. Focus on one thing at a time.

3. Make a new friend. Start a conversation with a stranger in the elevator. Compliment someone. Provide some positive reinforcement. Do something without expecting anything in return.

4. Smile more. Smiling takes less effort than frowning. It’s also scientifically proven to make you feel better even if you don’t necessarily feel like smiling.

5. Walk 30 minutes a day. Just 30 minutes of exercise a day can help you stimulate your immune system, increase your metabolism and improve your mood.

6. Do one push-up for every year old you are. Or do twice as many sit-ups for every year old you are. Making sure you work the muscles in different parts of your body stimulates hormone production and helps increase fat burning.

7. Find your intrinsic drivers. Intrinsic drivers are what inspire you based on internal motivation, rather than external motivation. Find something you think of as beautiful, peaceful, relaxing. Embrace it. Appreciate it. Try to understand why you like it

8. Speak to an old friend. Reach out in an email, a text, a phone call. Check in and just let them know you’re thinking about them.

“Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together.” – Woodrow T. Wilson

9. Invest in your health. Join a gym. Buy some type of sports equipment or clothing that is comfortable and that you enjoy being in. Consider joining a pick up sports team.

10. Study something that interests you. Buy a book about someone you admire. Pick a time period that you’re fascinated with. Make a point of becoming an expert on something that matters to you.

11. Teach someone something. Take a topic, any topic, and try to break it down into its component parts so that you can teach someone how to do it. The concentration and the effort it takes to teach someone something is often exactly the kind of effort that is required to truly understand it for yourself.

12. Delegate to someone. Find a task that needs to be done that you could do. Don’t do that task. Instead, look for someone you can ask to help you. Pay them or ask them for a favor. The key is to learn to delegate actions to others.

13. Meditate. Mindfulness and meditation are trending right now, but that’s not the reason you should consider adopting a meditation practice. The real reason is that meditation will help you focus on your key goals while cutting out the noise in the world around you.  

14. Learn to manage your personal finances. One of the biggest causes of stress that we as humans experience is the pressure to make money and control our finances. There are tons of free resources available online to help you learn about finances and help get your money in order.

15. Read more. No, I’m not talking about reading your Facebook News Feed. Read more books. Try to read a book a month, either fiction or nonfiction. At the beginning of the month choose a book and break down the number of pages. See how many you have to read a day to finish… then get started.

16. Cook at home at least 5 days a week. Cooking at home is cheap, easy and fun. You can hone skills in creativity and planning all at once, and it’s a great way to save money.

“My New Year’s resolution is to stick to a good workout plan that will keep me healthy and happy.” – James Lafferty

17. Sell someone. No, not into human bondage. Sell someone on an idea or a product. Learn to market yourself and your skills. Everyone sells as they move through life, but most of us are average salespeople.

18. Hone your principles. What principles define your life? What are your strongly held beliefs? Be honest with yourself and what principles you feel you must uphold.

19. Embrace the power of positive thought. Listen to positive audio tapes, surround yourself with positive people. Look at the positive side of life. Easier said than done, but truth be told one of the best ways to improve your mood is to look for sources of positive mood and inspiration.

20. Practice willpower. Habits are formed over time. Willpower is one of the most important habits you will ever build, so it is integral you continue to practice it through all aspects of your life. Look to the stoic philosophers for a primer on how to tackle this.

21. Write better hooks. A hook is the bit of a song that catches a listener’s attention and repeats your core message in an intriguing way. Similarly, in writing a hook is the quirky or fascinating intro that makes readers want to continue to read. Think about your own hooks and how you can get people interested in what you have to say.

22. Don’t sweat the small stuff. We often become obsessed with daily minutiae and avoid thinking about the big picture. Don’t let yourself worry too much about the small day-to-day struggles. Instead, put your head down and get to work.

23. Don’t overthink the big stuff. Too often we avoid taking leaps of faith because we’re worried about making a mistake on something big. We don’t buy the new house. We avoid marrying the person we love. We put off going to the doctor for that regular scan. Try not to overthink the big decisions (or seemingly small decisions) that may have larger ramifications. If it’s not overly dangerous or illegal, take the plunge and go for it.

24. Learn a new word a day. Increasing your vocabulary helps you see the world in different ways and makes you rethink your core beliefs.

“You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.” – Richard Branson

25. Become a moderate. Extremists are divisive and often at odds with a large portion of the population. Look for ways to bring people together through collaboration and consensus rather than through division.

26. Think big(ger). Many self-help books talk about setting big goals or envisioning massive success in your lifetime. If you want to become a true leader and attain greater fulfillment. Look for ways to think beyond creating success in your lifetime. Think about the legacy you’ll leave for future generations.

27. Learn universal processes. Assess how you work best and find ways to carry standardized processes over into other aspects of your life.

28. Develop support structures. What do you do if things aren’t going according to plan? Do you reach out to friends for support, meditate on the problem alone, or use some mixture of different coping mechanisms? Be aware of what works for you, and what doesn’t.

29. Don’t compare yourself to others. We fall into this trap far too often. We use others as a benchmark for our own progress, but we must remember that it is unhealthy to put too much weight on comparisons, as everyone has their own background and their own perspective.

30. Know when to let go. At the end of the day, you must try your best and let the cards fall as they may. All you can do is put your heart and soul into your effort and learn from the results.

Which one of these things are you going to implement into your life immediately? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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