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Success Advice

8 Reasons Why You Keep Hitting A Plateau

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The Plateau Effect - How To Become Unstuck To Be Successful

The following is an excerpt from The Plateau Effect: Getting from Stuck to Success by Bob Sullivan and Herbert Thompson.

We all hit plateaus from time to time.

Bodybuilders and dieters know this well. They begin a new regimen of weightlifting or starvation. For 10 days or so, the results are fantastic, even inspiring. Down 4 pounds, or up another 10 on the military press. But somewhere near that two-week mark, they hit a wall. The scale seems frozen in place. The strength gains top out.  They have, cruelly, plateaued.

Plateaus rob you of success. They make hard work worthless. They turn beginner’s luck into sophomore slumps. They can even make you look lazy, dumb, careless, or unloving. You aren’t any of these things. You’ve just been fighting an invisible enemy.

We believe the Plateau Effect is a law of nature, as real and as impactful as gravity or friction. It’s built directly into the genetic code of our bodies, and into the planet we inhabit. The Plateau Effect explains why the world is full of one-hit-wonders, why all good things come to an end, why all trends eventually fall, why most people get less for more, and how you can break through, again and again.

If you’re stuck, one of these devils is probably to blame. Remember, what helps you break out of your plateau today will one day stop working – and you’ll have to try another method. Breaking through plateaus requires constant recalibration – it takes a little of this and a bit of that. In the list below, we show you what “this” and “that” really are for you, today, and into the future.

 

Element 1: Immunity

People, relationships, businesses and even physical processes become immune to the same techniques, the same approaches, the same solutions. Immunity is perhaps the most basic force of the Plateau Effect. Everybody has experienced what it’s like to become immune to something: maybe it’s the complements of your spouse, the smell of garlic at an Italian restaurant, or the effects of your second beer. Immunity can be frustrating – what worked so well yesterday just won’t work today.

Solution: Diversity

Immunity’s Kryptonite is diversity. You’ve got to shake things up and be radical. Trying different approaches, techniques or procedures can shake you out of an immunity plateau.

 

Element 2: Greedy Algorithm

The greedy algorithm is a concept borrowed from the field of mathematics. Here’s how it works: you always pick the best short-term solution and ignore the long-term outcome. As it is in mathematics – and in life – the best short-term solution hardly ever leads to the best long-term outcome.

Solution: Extend your gratification horizon

Short-term greed is bad but long-term greed is actually good. To get beyond the greedy algorithm, you need to think about solutions on a bigger timescale. Someone following the greedy algorithm (driven by short-term greed) would never go to medical school – the student is building debt with no income year after year. Someone who’s thinking about a 10-year horizon instead of a 1-2 year horizon sees the six-figure checks that will eventually start coming in.

 

Element 3: Bad Timing

If you’re working hard but you’re stuck in a plateau, maybe it’s as simple as taking a break. When you do something – and more precisely, when you don’t do something – is critical. The key is to take control of when you apply effort, not just how much effort you apply.

Solution: Wait

If bad timing has you stuck in a plateau, remember, the periods of rest and inactivity are just as important as the periods of great effort, just as silence between the notes is part of the music. If you use time as a tool, you can literally wait your way out of a plateau.

 

Element 4: Flow Issues

Whenever things seem to be sailing along, sometimes the engine just breaks down. Specifically, you can run into one of four dysfunctions:

Erosion: Sometimes we deplete the resources that we need to be successful. Maybe we run out of capital, or time, or skilled workers. When you hit an erosion plateau, progress tends to degrade slowly as some critical resource is gobbled up over time.

Solution: Find a counterbalance, something that replaces the resource you consume. If you can’t find a counterbalance, you might not be in a plateau at all. You may have reached a terminal point.

Step Function: Sometimes you want to add just a little more of something, but that thing is only available in bundles. The result is a jump in cost, effort, or benefit. We call these things “step functions.” If you aren’t aware that something you need follows a step function, you can hit a plateau because incremental investment won’t lead to incremental improvement.

Solution: Try to smooth out your step function. Sometimes this can be done by identifying some other person or business that has complementary peaks to your own. If you can pool your resources, you can share the cost of the step and make it look more like a comfortable ramp.

Choke points: A choke point is the part of the system that breaks first and slows everything else down. Failing to identify a chokepoint can bring a gushing flow to an unexpected trickle.

Solution: The trick is to find out where the choke point is and creatively route your way around it.

 

Element 5: Distorted Data

We often react based on distorted data. It’s like walking through a hall of mirrors, and basing a major decision on the crazy fat (or skinny) image you see. Sometimes we measure the wrong things or inappropriately assess risk. In other cases, we fall victim to common psychological errors with data, such as overreacting to the most recent piece of information we’ve received, we get hung up on sunk costs, or we conform to what we think the data is telling us.

Solution: Recognize the signal, ignore the noise

The Enlightenment brought us the scientific method because smart people realized that they couldn’t trust their own eyes. The key is to boil out the impurities of data and recognize that you are looking through a lens that might be deceptive. Each type of distortion has its own remedy, but the tie that binds them is to look for a ground truth of data amidst the chaos.

 

Element 6: Distraction

It’s easy to fall victim to the illusion of multitasking and become distracted. Distraction is the enemy of adaptation and can lead you straight towards a plateau. How do we know when and what we need to change to live in a world of unrelenting distraction?

Solution: Radical Listening

If you take a page from improv comedy – where you look for the truth in what others are saying and build on it through the “yes…and” strategy – you get to a skill we call radical listening. It’s a mode of active engagement, where you are attuned to your surroundings, listening, and adapting.

 

Element 7: Failing slow

Failing slow is natural because it’s difficult to tell that a situation is incrementally getting worse. Often the incremental worsening of a situation happens slower than what psychophysicists call the just noticeable difference. The just noticeable difference helps explain why we continue forging ahead when we’re in the throes of a plateau – we just don’t realize how much less we’re getting for our efforts.

Solution: Fail fast

Once you understand the just noticeable difference you can counteract its effects.  By setting clear markers, you can objectively see how you’re progressing, figure out what’s working and what’s failing, correct it and move on. It’s important to realize if your efforts will eventually fail by accelerating failure. This ability to fail fast is key, especially when the problems are changing quickly.

 

Element 8: Perfectionism

Perfect is the enemy of good. The desire for perfection kills beginnings – it’s never the right time to start, and even if you do, a task is never complete because it is held up to an impossible standard. A plateau of perfection is similar to a plateau of inaction.

Solution: First Steps, etc.

Accept that perfection isn’t achievable. Focus on taking the first step, and then the next step. There are some tricks that can help, such as structured procrastination and setting hard (but liberating) deadlines.

Understanding why we reach a plateau can help us stop wasting time on things that we’ve stopped getting value from and focus on other things that leverage our time and energy better. Instead of being stuck on a series of plateaus, you’ll find yourself scaling mountains that always seemed far out of reach. And when you reach the peak, as all mountaineers know, you’ll see there are always new mountains to climb. This time, however, you won’t feel like you’re going in circles. You’ll be going up, and up, and up.

Those who master The Effect, who can identify a plateau and break through, will leave one-hit wonders in the dust.

Bob Sullivan and Herbert Thompson are the authors of The Plateau Effect: Getting from Stuck to Success. With more than 40 years of experience between them researching, writing, and analyzing systems and human nature, their new book helps you bust through the plateaus in your own life.

I am the the Founder of Addicted2Success.com and I am so grateful you're here to be part of this awesome community. I love connecting with people who have a passion for Entrepreneurship, Self Development & Achieving Success. I started this website with the intention of educating and inspiring likeminded people to always strive for success no matter what their circumstances. I'm proud to say through my podcast and through this website we have impacted over 60 million lives in the last 4 and a half years.

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. pav

    Dec 27, 2014 at 9:08 am

    Great article. Never really thought about step two before but it is actually true

  2. dineo

    Jun 23, 2013 at 7:08 am

    Wow! This is such a great insight in my life, an eye opener and encouragement. I’m actually at a point where I was stuck with what I was doing and didn’t know what else to do bcos whenever I make a plan to go ahead something else gets broken. You have no idea how enlightened I am and glad I am for this article. Would love to receive more or these.

  3. Irma

    Jun 18, 2013 at 6:53 am

    Thank you. One of the best articles i have ever read

  4. Sihegee USA / Tea (@Sihegee)

    May 9, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    Love it.

  5. Renée Fishman (@reneefishman)

    May 9, 2013 at 5:53 am

    This is a great article. Definitely curious to read the book. Just a question: under Element 4: Flow Issues, you mention there are 4 dysfunctions, but you describe only (1) erosion (2) step function and (3) choke points. What’s the 4th?

  6. Jeff Zelaya

    May 3, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    I about to bust some plateaus! Thank you for the insights. Great lessons learned from this article.

  7. Burton

    May 2, 2013 at 12:08 am

    Awesome. I personally really liked the bad timing part. It’s amazing how just taking a break can make a huge difference. it doesn’t have to be a long one. Just a day or two away from things really recharges me. It gives me the time to reflect on what I am doing and in its absence I get really excited to get back to work on myself. Thanks for the great post.

    • maros

      Jun 5, 2013 at 12:02 am

      parang ako lng yan kc wala pang lovelife ehhhh

  8. Gabriel

    May 1, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    Great article! You’re a great writer man. Its like magic when you put those sentences together, keep doing your thing

    • Nikki

      May 2, 2013 at 1:45 pm

      I agree, please keep your words of encouragement flowing!!!!!

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Success Advice

The Super Power Of Charisma – How You Can Adopt It For Yourself

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There’s this dude at the office. He’s fucking unstoppable.

His shit don’t stink and everything he touches turns to gold. At least that’s what I used to think.

Really, in reality, he’s just charismatic.

That’s how he got the cool job, the hot wifey and why everyone wants to be friends with him including me.

What does he do? Let’s delve a little deeper and discuss the eight things that lead to being charismatic:

 

1. Being confident baby!

This dude at work has swag. He backs himself even if he has no freaking idea what’s going to go down homey. In a business context, people that are confident are proven to be more trustworthy.

We trust confident people because it’s infectious. We want to work and be around confident people because it feels good. When something feels good, we do it, and do it lots!

My buddy at work walks into the room and people shake his hand because his presence changes the game. He also does these few things:

– He dresses confidently
– He pops his chest out just a fraction (not like the guy on the Bonds Singlet packet)
– He looks people in the eye

Out of these three, looking people in the eye is the hardest to do. To look into someone’s eye is the most vulnerable state you can put yourself in.

“The difference is that when you’re vulnerable, you connect with people better”

It also shows that you’ve got guts and allows you to enter their world. Okay, that’s wacky stuff and I may sound like I’ve read one too many “Power Of the Universe” type books. Take it or leave it chief.

 

2. Passion surrounds them. It pours out of their eyeballs!

Even the words I write demonstrate this. You can tell from everything I’m saying right now that passion pours out of me. I freaking love what I do and it shows even though you can’t see me or hear my voice. Okay, that’s a fraction creepy…enough about me.

This almighty bloke at work is charismatic because his values and beliefs are based on his passion. Passion is like a magnet according to science. When we see passion, it makes us start acting with more passion. You’re drawn to charisma in the same way because you want more of it.

There’s no point pretending you don’t like to be passionate because we all do. Sometimes, we just get lost and lose our passion for life or our career. That’s okay! None of us are perfect souls who don’t lose our way once in a while. I’m fucking lost more than I’m on track half the time.

Bottom-line: charismatic people are surrounded by passion. I don’t care if it’s collecting matchsticks or building sand castles – find something to get excited about and then show your passion for it.

 

3. They’re not vain: selfies are not their highest priority.

This charismatic chappy at work doesn’t spend half his days taking selfies of himself and then posting it on social media.

He doesn’t take photos of his food and then post it on social – he just eats it. He’d rather jump off a bridge than be a pretentious snob who’s insecure and has an inflated ego to compensate.

“The number one sign of a pretentious person vs a charismatic person is that they take credit for things they didn’t do”

Or they make things sound ten times bigger than they actually are in reality. Don’t fall for this trap young Indiana Jones. You’re better than that!

 

4. Expressing yourself through great stories

Storytelling is one of the many traits a charismatic person has. If you listen closely to their stories, you’ll notice they use strong phrases like “I know X to be true” instead of phrases like “I think,” or “I hope” which sounds weak.

Through stories, you can be: funny, vulnerable and share embarrassing moments. That’s what charismatic people do and they draw everyone in through their stories. As a side note, their stories don’t go on forever and they know how to get to the point.

Become a charismatic poet through stories about your experiences. Educate and inspire people around you and you’ll be acting charismatic by default.

 

5. Make other people feel comfortable around you

Not everyone is a hero and is comfortable being charismatic and confident. You can demonstrate charisma by learning to make others feel relaxed around you. Make other people the center of attention and let them feel special. There’s a subtle difference between charisma and hogging the conversation with your own bombastic, overpowering, unnecessary and selfish talk.

Back down; you’re not that big of a deal. Once you do that, you’ll have entered the universe of charisma.

 

6. A clear purpose and vision. In other words, they know why.

Part of what makes up the DNA of a charismatic person is their purpose or vision for their life. Quite simply, they know what they’re on this planet to do. They have a goal, it’s measurable, and they’ll stop at nothing until they achieve it.

To be in this state requires a certain sort of self-confidence that charismatic people have in spades. People seem to rally around a person who knows their purpose.

You can’t do anything and be motivated unless you know why. Without a why you’ll never build up enough momentum to reach any sort of peak performance. Mediocrity happens to us when we give up too easily. When we start a new pursuit for 4 weeks and then give up.

Map the seven seas of why you exist. Do a heap of self-reflection if you need to, to find this vision and bring it to the surface.

 

7. They look approachable

Most people look like they’re zombies when you walk past them and they almost look like they’re going to explode if you dare talk to them. That’s not charisma pal!

That unapproachable zombie look is called being scared, fearful and afraid due to a lack of self-awareness and a lack of self-improvement. It’s not the end of the world and it can be turned around.

The difference with charismatic people is one little, tiny thing: they smile. All you have to do is change one little thing – smile a bit more. Smiling is contagious and it makes people feel confident. It also makes you feel freaking amazing too!

 

8. They give more than anyone else and expect jack in return

This last one is the toughest trait of charismatic people. It sounds incredibly difficult and that’s because it is. We all have our own selfish desires that make us feel good, although only for a moment.

Charismatic people wow everyone around them by always going above and beyond to give. They either give time, money, knowledge or a listening ear to those who need it. The crazy, passionate, charismatic people even combine several of these to produce an outcome that can only be described as extraordinary.

Many of us do in fact give; the challenge is we expect something back. Worse, we even complain when we do an honorable act and get nothing in return. This is not how to play the game of life. This selfish behavior will make you very unhappy until you cut it the hell out!

“The secret to living is giving ” Tony Robbins

So let’s go over this one more time boss. To harness the superpower of giving that leads to charisma you must:

– Be prepared to give more than anybody else
– Expect nothing in return
– Ensure your own foolish and selfish desires are not front of mind every day

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

The Real Reason Why Your Dreams Don’t Become a Reality According to ‘The 10x Rule’ by Grant Cardone

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Everyone has dreams. We all want to make something of ourselves yet it’s only a tiny percentage of people ever follow through. The self-help world encourages us to “Think Big”, “Follow Your Passions”, “Live as if there was no such thing as failure” and it usually just leads to keeping people stuck in a dream state, wishing, hoping and fantasizing yet never actually moving forward.

Why is this? Thinking big is just one part of the equation. This missing piece in the jigsaw is a bias towards massive action. Big Dreams + Little Action = disappointment and frustration.

Thinking and dreaming big must match with the equal and equivalent amount of action for it to go anywhere. When you combine big thinking with massive action you will be surprised at how much you are capable of, once you tap into the power of momentum.

What stops most people from achieving their goals?

I’ve been reading Grant Cardone’s “The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure” and in his view success comes from taking 10 times more action than you previously anticipated.

What stops most people from achieving a goal is underestimating the time, effort and energy involved in completing the project. They don’t spend enough time listing the steps required to succeed, the adversity they will need to overcome to push things through and the price they must pay to attain the goal.

If the number one sticking point in goal attainment is a lack of action then it’s obvious that the solution is in massive action. So what happens is they give up at the first sign of frustration or disappointment.

“Never reduce a target. Instead increase actions. When you start rethinking your targets, making up excuses, and letting yourself off the hook, you are giving up on your dreams.” – Grant Cardone

When I look back on my own life, anything I have ever achieved that was worthwhile did take an extraordinary amount of effort. Anytime I have ever coasted or done a “normal” amount of work, I would fall short of my target and feel the pain of frustration and disappointment which lead to reducing my targets.

In “The 10 X Rule” Cardone talks about his own failures in business and how he bounced back; “I committed to making this work by increasing my efforts 10 times. And as soon as I did that, everything started to change – immediately. I went back into the marketplace with the right estimation of effort and started seeing results. Instead of making two to three calls a day, I started doing 20 to 30

Most people fail only because they are operating at the wrong degree of action. There are 4 degrees of action which you can choose from:

  1. Do Nothing
  2. Retreat
  3. Take Normal Levels of Action
  4. Take Massive Action

At the “do nothing” level people are just accepting what comes their way. They are not pushing themselves or motivated to improve any area of their lives.

Retreaters are those who have taken action, experienced some setbacks or failures and retreated back into “doing nothing”. Examples of this include “Most businesses fail anyway so I am going to give up”, “Marriages aren’t working out these days so I will stay single”, “Businesses aren’t employing so I am going to file for unemployment benefit”.

The third degree is normal levels of action which is usually considered adequate. Grant says this is the most dangerous level where most people blend in, never stand out and thus never achieve the real success they wanted.

Lastly there is massive action which Cardone states is our most natural state. This is where you burst forth with 10 times the action you previously anticipated. “The goal is to be seen, thought of and considered – in one way or another. Your only problem is obscurity not talent”.

Obscurity is your only problem not talent. I like that. I am sure you all know someone who is less capable than you but experiencing much more success than you are. Why? Because they are more known and fearlessly putting themselves “out there”. So which degree of action are you taking currently? And will you commit to taking 10x action?

“Regardless of which degree of action you operate in, they all require work in their own way.” – Grant Cardone

So why not set your goals and actions higher than you ever imagined because it is highly likely you are not only underestimating the time, energy and effort involved in your endeavour, you are also likely underestimating your own capabilities and potential. Set high goals and never stop fighting.

Share with us one goal you have for 2017, and how you plan on achieving it. Comment below so we can see!

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Success Advice

My Thoughts On Money After Being Both Rich And Poor

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I’ve been in financial situations where I couldn’t even afford a pizza.

I know what it’s like to have more money than you can spend. I know what it’s like to see your goals turn into cold hard cash.

Through these two extremes of poverty and wealth, I’ve learned a thing or two about money.

 

Your mind constructs money

Whether you feel rich or not has to do with your mind.

You can have $100 in your bank account and feel like the richest guy or girl in California. How rich you feel comes down to your internal programming. If you practice being grateful, then you’ll find yourself believing that you are already rich. You can have all the money this world has to offer and still feel poor.

“The time I felt the poorest was when I had the most money, but zero meaning for my life”

I always felt at this time in my life like I needed more. I always felt I wasn’t enough. When I went through the whole personal development transformation phase of my life, all of a sudden, just having money to buy a hot chocolate felt amazing!

Be careful what the world tells you about money. You get to decide the difference between rich vs. poor. The money you have in your bank account doesn’t answer this question for you.

 

Meaning Vs. Money

When I discovered a meaning for my life, suddenly money wasn’t as important. The dumb thing was that money started to find its way into my life again without me focusing on it. People were attracted to the meaning I had created for my life which then bought me more abundance.

My advice to anyone reading this is to focus on finding out the meaning of your life. If you can’t figure it out, then create one. Think about who you admire and the meaning they have for their life, and create something similar for yourself.

If you want to inspire people, then do it.
If you want to create a business that gives back, then do it.
If you want to write blog posts like this one to help people in life, then do it.

During the time I had more money than I knew what to do with, I had no idea what I was put on this Earth to do. I would import widget A, make some money, import widget B, and then start all over again. I felt like a robot repeating a pattern. At the end of the process, I got another couple of zeroes in my bank account.

Those zeros on the screen of my Internet banking got very boring, very quickly.

As soon as I found something that lit me up and helped others, the focus on seeing more zero’s on my Internet banking screen disappeared.

 

Im not saying money doesn’t matter

If you just read that Tim Denning thinks money doesn’t matter, then you didn’t get me.

Money does matter, but it shouldn’t be your primary focus. Your primary focus should be finding meaning which will lead you to something that self-motivates you. This self-motivating activity can then be monetized to give you the resources you need to live like food, shelter and maybe a vacation once in a while.

What I want you to feel is that your focus is on something other than money.

“Having been both rich and poor, I’ve mostly felt nothing at both extremes”

 

Meaning can also be found in life’s simple pleasures

I remember the feeling I got from reading Unlimited Power.
I remember what it was like when I fell in love for the first time.
I remember how cool it was to go on my very first overseas holiday.

All of these memories gave me a meaning for my life and made me feel something. Each memory created a variety of emotions that I can still remember as I reminisce on these pastimes.

Meaning came to me through the simplest of pleasures. I didn’t need a million dollar Lamborghini to make me feel like I was on top of the world. Lying on a beach with friends spending no money gave me far more than I could ever imagine.

If you’d told me this five years ago, I would have called you a liar. Having been both rich and poor, I now understand what meaning money gives me: not much.

 

Final words on money…

Focus on who you can become. Find or create a meaning for your life than transcends money.

Go beyond what society tells you about money. Most of it is a lie. Money will not give you meaning or make you happy.

Only you can create happiness and meaning for yourself.

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

5 Powerful Lessons About Success From Highly Successful Mentors

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We can’t help it. When we read an interview with a high flying, successful person, we secretly compare ourselves to them with our mind making little mental notes. Their lives seem perfect, and they seem so poised and confident. I wish I could be like that. Why do they seem to have it all, while I am struggling? When will things ever go my way?

For the longest time, I too believed in these popular myths of success, until I met several CEOs who became my mentors. When I asked each one of them what is the one biggest lesson they would like to share, their answers were unexpected, powerful and humbling.

These are the 5 powerful and humbling lessons they shared about success:

1. Nobody has Their Stuff Together

Just when you least expect it, an obstacle pops up, threatening to derail you from your goal. And sometimes, the bad news just keeps coming, which kicks you in the gut and you feel ready to give up. In comparison, successful people seem to be blazing trails of success. It almost seems unfair. While they appear to be picture perfect, where nothing can go wrong, the truth of it is this:

Nobody has their stuff together. We see these crowning moments of glory. But we don’t see the private, vulnerable moments behind the scenes. The sleepless nights worrying about what to do, where a series of wrong decisions resulted in people getting laid off. The endless meals alone in yet another soulless hotel room, with no one to share the burden with, because they don’t have the time to make a relationship work.

Obstacles and problems will always exist, no matter who you are. However, the challenges appearing to each of us is unique, and help us grow beyond the level we are at. A successful life is not about a lack of challenges, it’s about navigating and growing through the challenges so that we continue evolving to become the fullest potential of who we are.

2. Uncertainty Never Disappears

Brimming with confidence and well spoken, they always seem to know exactly what to say, and what to do in any situation. They seem to be the last people on earth to flail and feel vulnerable.

While on the surface they appear to be confident, the struggle with not knowing what to do plagues them as much as us. This can be the uncertainty of making a project work, because they have never done it before or lacking the necessary experience.

They can be worried that by taking this on, they might be biting off more than they can chew and experience massive failure and disastrous consequences. Nonetheless, the difference for them is despite their fears, they say yes and go ahead.

“Human spirit is the ability to face the uncertainty of the future with curiosity and optimism. It is the belief that problems can be solved, differences resolved. It is a type of confidence. And it is fragile. It can be blackened by fear and superstition.” – Bernard Beckett

3. Jump Before You Are Ready

Uncertainty and not knowing is a part of life. It never goes away. If you stay where you are, it feels safe and comfortable. But, it is a guarantee that you would not rise beyond where you are now if you don’t step out and make your move.

To take the leap of faith, your work through the uncertainty is the only way to grow. The fear of the unknown is not as scary as we make it out to be. All you have to do is to ask yourself “Do I believe I have what it takes to figure it out?” If your gut says yes, go for it.

4. It’s Not about External Motivation

Most successful people come with the traditional markers of success. Wealth. Status. A comfortable lifestyle. However, external motivation – the cars, the houses, the jewelry etc – can only motivate them so much.

Their motivation stems not from the outside – but from within themselves. It’s about their internal drive to be better thus building and expanding a grander vision of what they wish to create, and where they want to be.

That internal motivation is the driving force that pushes them through when things start to fall apart, because then it’s a battle within to overcome these setbacks and achieve their vision.

5. They Are Mental Ninja Masters

When everything that could go wrong, would go wrong, it’s natural to beat ourselves up. This negative feedback loop keeps replaying in our minds, and we start believing our negative self-talk, which threatens to spiral out of control and bring us down.

A few years ago, one of the CEOs I interviewed, Dave, was going through a particularly difficult time. Several major business deals fell through in quick succession. He emptied his life savings trying to keep things afloat, only for it to backfire and lost his life savings in the process.

He was faced with the real possibility of laying off hundreds of people at the company. Many lives were at stake here, and the pressure was on. He faltered, but only for a day.

He then rallied and continued to hustle. He hustled harder, stronger and faster than ever before. It was fascinating and impressive. What was his secret to bouncing back so fast from all the punches thrown at him?

He didn’t allow the negativity to control him. He controlled and directed his mind. Half the battle is with ourselves. We are often our own worst enemy with our negative self-talk.

Mastering control over your mind, instead of letting your mind control you is half the battle. Stop the negative self-talk when it happens. Redirect it towards positive action to achieve the outcome you desire.

“Protect your enthusiasm from the negativity of others.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Ready For Your Next Step?

Success is not out of reach. All it takes is showing up each day and having the courage to take one small step towards the direction of your goals. Your new life of freedom and possibility awaits.

How will you make sure to achieve the success you are looking for? Please comment below and let us know!

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How to Build an Unstoppable Mindset According to These 5 Popular Entrepreneurs

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mental toughness

If you ask any of the top entrepreneurs, or any entrepreneur for that matter, they’ll tell you that the one quality you need to become successful is mental toughness. Becoming mentally tough is probably something you’ve already heard about before in your life. It’s something that seems easy, yet most people take it granted. They’d rather think about it than become it. (more…)

Trevor Oldham is a 19-year-old entrepreneur who’s had eleutheromania ever since he can remember. When he’s not working or studying, you can catch him by the ocean taking photos of the world in which surrounds us. Trevor is the co-founder of Become The Lion and founder of Trevor James Products.

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. pav

    Dec 27, 2014 at 9:08 am

    Great article. Never really thought about step two before but it is actually true

  2. dineo

    Jun 23, 2013 at 7:08 am

    Wow! This is such a great insight in my life, an eye opener and encouragement. I’m actually at a point where I was stuck with what I was doing and didn’t know what else to do bcos whenever I make a plan to go ahead something else gets broken. You have no idea how enlightened I am and glad I am for this article. Would love to receive more or these.

  3. Irma

    Jun 18, 2013 at 6:53 am

    Thank you. One of the best articles i have ever read

  4. Sihegee USA / Tea (@Sihegee)

    May 9, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    Love it.

  5. Renée Fishman (@reneefishman)

    May 9, 2013 at 5:53 am

    This is a great article. Definitely curious to read the book. Just a question: under Element 4: Flow Issues, you mention there are 4 dysfunctions, but you describe only (1) erosion (2) step function and (3) choke points. What’s the 4th?

  6. Jeff Zelaya

    May 3, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    I about to bust some plateaus! Thank you for the insights. Great lessons learned from this article.

  7. Burton

    May 2, 2013 at 12:08 am

    Awesome. I personally really liked the bad timing part. It’s amazing how just taking a break can make a huge difference. it doesn’t have to be a long one. Just a day or two away from things really recharges me. It gives me the time to reflect on what I am doing and in its absence I get really excited to get back to work on myself. Thanks for the great post.

    • maros

      Jun 5, 2013 at 12:02 am

      parang ako lng yan kc wala pang lovelife ehhhh

  8. Gabriel

    May 1, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    Great article! You’re a great writer man. Its like magic when you put those sentences together, keep doing your thing

    • Nikki

      May 2, 2013 at 1:45 pm

      I agree, please keep your words of encouragement flowing!!!!!

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Success Advice

The Super Power Of Charisma – How You Can Adopt It For Yourself

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There’s this dude at the office. He’s fucking unstoppable.

His shit don’t stink and everything he touches turns to gold. At least that’s what I used to think.

Really, in reality, he’s just charismatic.

That’s how he got the cool job, the hot wifey and why everyone wants to be friends with him including me.

What does he do? Let’s delve a little deeper and discuss the eight things that lead to being charismatic:

 

1. Being confident baby!

This dude at work has swag. He backs himself even if he has no freaking idea what’s going to go down homey. In a business context, people that are confident are proven to be more trustworthy.

We trust confident people because it’s infectious. We want to work and be around confident people because it feels good. When something feels good, we do it, and do it lots!

My buddy at work walks into the room and people shake his hand because his presence changes the game. He also does these few things:

– He dresses confidently
– He pops his chest out just a fraction (not like the guy on the Bonds Singlet packet)
– He looks people in the eye

Out of these three, looking people in the eye is the hardest to do. To look into someone’s eye is the most vulnerable state you can put yourself in.

“The difference is that when you’re vulnerable, you connect with people better”

It also shows that you’ve got guts and allows you to enter their world. Okay, that’s wacky stuff and I may sound like I’ve read one too many “Power Of the Universe” type books. Take it or leave it chief.

 

2. Passion surrounds them. It pours out of their eyeballs!

Even the words I write demonstrate this. You can tell from everything I’m saying right now that passion pours out of me. I freaking love what I do and it shows even though you can’t see me or hear my voice. Okay, that’s a fraction creepy…enough about me.

This almighty bloke at work is charismatic because his values and beliefs are based on his passion. Passion is like a magnet according to science. When we see passion, it makes us start acting with more passion. You’re drawn to charisma in the same way because you want more of it.

There’s no point pretending you don’t like to be passionate because we all do. Sometimes, we just get lost and lose our passion for life or our career. That’s okay! None of us are perfect souls who don’t lose our way once in a while. I’m fucking lost more than I’m on track half the time.

Bottom-line: charismatic people are surrounded by passion. I don’t care if it’s collecting matchsticks or building sand castles – find something to get excited about and then show your passion for it.

 

3. They’re not vain: selfies are not their highest priority.

This charismatic chappy at work doesn’t spend half his days taking selfies of himself and then posting it on social media.

He doesn’t take photos of his food and then post it on social – he just eats it. He’d rather jump off a bridge than be a pretentious snob who’s insecure and has an inflated ego to compensate.

“The number one sign of a pretentious person vs a charismatic person is that they take credit for things they didn’t do”

Or they make things sound ten times bigger than they actually are in reality. Don’t fall for this trap young Indiana Jones. You’re better than that!

 

4. Expressing yourself through great stories

Storytelling is one of the many traits a charismatic person has. If you listen closely to their stories, you’ll notice they use strong phrases like “I know X to be true” instead of phrases like “I think,” or “I hope” which sounds weak.

Through stories, you can be: funny, vulnerable and share embarrassing moments. That’s what charismatic people do and they draw everyone in through their stories. As a side note, their stories don’t go on forever and they know how to get to the point.

Become a charismatic poet through stories about your experiences. Educate and inspire people around you and you’ll be acting charismatic by default.

 

5. Make other people feel comfortable around you

Not everyone is a hero and is comfortable being charismatic and confident. You can demonstrate charisma by learning to make others feel relaxed around you. Make other people the center of attention and let them feel special. There’s a subtle difference between charisma and hogging the conversation with your own bombastic, overpowering, unnecessary and selfish talk.

Back down; you’re not that big of a deal. Once you do that, you’ll have entered the universe of charisma.

 

6. A clear purpose and vision. In other words, they know why.

Part of what makes up the DNA of a charismatic person is their purpose or vision for their life. Quite simply, they know what they’re on this planet to do. They have a goal, it’s measurable, and they’ll stop at nothing until they achieve it.

To be in this state requires a certain sort of self-confidence that charismatic people have in spades. People seem to rally around a person who knows their purpose.

You can’t do anything and be motivated unless you know why. Without a why you’ll never build up enough momentum to reach any sort of peak performance. Mediocrity happens to us when we give up too easily. When we start a new pursuit for 4 weeks and then give up.

Map the seven seas of why you exist. Do a heap of self-reflection if you need to, to find this vision and bring it to the surface.

 

7. They look approachable

Most people look like they’re zombies when you walk past them and they almost look like they’re going to explode if you dare talk to them. That’s not charisma pal!

That unapproachable zombie look is called being scared, fearful and afraid due to a lack of self-awareness and a lack of self-improvement. It’s not the end of the world and it can be turned around.

The difference with charismatic people is one little, tiny thing: they smile. All you have to do is change one little thing – smile a bit more. Smiling is contagious and it makes people feel confident. It also makes you feel freaking amazing too!

 

8. They give more than anyone else and expect jack in return

This last one is the toughest trait of charismatic people. It sounds incredibly difficult and that’s because it is. We all have our own selfish desires that make us feel good, although only for a moment.

Charismatic people wow everyone around them by always going above and beyond to give. They either give time, money, knowledge or a listening ear to those who need it. The crazy, passionate, charismatic people even combine several of these to produce an outcome that can only be described as extraordinary.

Many of us do in fact give; the challenge is we expect something back. Worse, we even complain when we do an honorable act and get nothing in return. This is not how to play the game of life. This selfish behavior will make you very unhappy until you cut it the hell out!

“The secret to living is giving ” Tony Robbins

So let’s go over this one more time boss. To harness the superpower of giving that leads to charisma you must:

– Be prepared to give more than anybody else
– Expect nothing in return
– Ensure your own foolish and selfish desires are not front of mind every day

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

The Real Reason Why Your Dreams Don’t Become a Reality According to ‘The 10x Rule’ by Grant Cardone

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the 10x rule

Everyone has dreams. We all want to make something of ourselves yet it’s only a tiny percentage of people ever follow through. The self-help world encourages us to “Think Big”, “Follow Your Passions”, “Live as if there was no such thing as failure” and it usually just leads to keeping people stuck in a dream state, wishing, hoping and fantasizing yet never actually moving forward.

Why is this? Thinking big is just one part of the equation. This missing piece in the jigsaw is a bias towards massive action. Big Dreams + Little Action = disappointment and frustration.

Thinking and dreaming big must match with the equal and equivalent amount of action for it to go anywhere. When you combine big thinking with massive action you will be surprised at how much you are capable of, once you tap into the power of momentum.

What stops most people from achieving their goals?

I’ve been reading Grant Cardone’s “The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure” and in his view success comes from taking 10 times more action than you previously anticipated.

What stops most people from achieving a goal is underestimating the time, effort and energy involved in completing the project. They don’t spend enough time listing the steps required to succeed, the adversity they will need to overcome to push things through and the price they must pay to attain the goal.

If the number one sticking point in goal attainment is a lack of action then it’s obvious that the solution is in massive action. So what happens is they give up at the first sign of frustration or disappointment.

“Never reduce a target. Instead increase actions. When you start rethinking your targets, making up excuses, and letting yourself off the hook, you are giving up on your dreams.” – Grant Cardone

When I look back on my own life, anything I have ever achieved that was worthwhile did take an extraordinary amount of effort. Anytime I have ever coasted or done a “normal” amount of work, I would fall short of my target and feel the pain of frustration and disappointment which lead to reducing my targets.

In “The 10 X Rule” Cardone talks about his own failures in business and how he bounced back; “I committed to making this work by increasing my efforts 10 times. And as soon as I did that, everything started to change – immediately. I went back into the marketplace with the right estimation of effort and started seeing results. Instead of making two to three calls a day, I started doing 20 to 30

Most people fail only because they are operating at the wrong degree of action. There are 4 degrees of action which you can choose from:

  1. Do Nothing
  2. Retreat
  3. Take Normal Levels of Action
  4. Take Massive Action

At the “do nothing” level people are just accepting what comes their way. They are not pushing themselves or motivated to improve any area of their lives.

Retreaters are those who have taken action, experienced some setbacks or failures and retreated back into “doing nothing”. Examples of this include “Most businesses fail anyway so I am going to give up”, “Marriages aren’t working out these days so I will stay single”, “Businesses aren’t employing so I am going to file for unemployment benefit”.

The third degree is normal levels of action which is usually considered adequate. Grant says this is the most dangerous level where most people blend in, never stand out and thus never achieve the real success they wanted.

Lastly there is massive action which Cardone states is our most natural state. This is where you burst forth with 10 times the action you previously anticipated. “The goal is to be seen, thought of and considered – in one way or another. Your only problem is obscurity not talent”.

Obscurity is your only problem not talent. I like that. I am sure you all know someone who is less capable than you but experiencing much more success than you are. Why? Because they are more known and fearlessly putting themselves “out there”. So which degree of action are you taking currently? And will you commit to taking 10x action?

“Regardless of which degree of action you operate in, they all require work in their own way.” – Grant Cardone

So why not set your goals and actions higher than you ever imagined because it is highly likely you are not only underestimating the time, energy and effort involved in your endeavour, you are also likely underestimating your own capabilities and potential. Set high goals and never stop fighting.

Share with us one goal you have for 2017, and how you plan on achieving it. Comment below so we can see!

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Success Advice

My Thoughts On Money After Being Both Rich And Poor

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I’ve been in financial situations where I couldn’t even afford a pizza.

I know what it’s like to have more money than you can spend. I know what it’s like to see your goals turn into cold hard cash.

Through these two extremes of poverty and wealth, I’ve learned a thing or two about money.

 

Your mind constructs money

Whether you feel rich or not has to do with your mind.

You can have $100 in your bank account and feel like the richest guy or girl in California. How rich you feel comes down to your internal programming. If you practice being grateful, then you’ll find yourself believing that you are already rich. You can have all the money this world has to offer and still feel poor.

“The time I felt the poorest was when I had the most money, but zero meaning for my life”

I always felt at this time in my life like I needed more. I always felt I wasn’t enough. When I went through the whole personal development transformation phase of my life, all of a sudden, just having money to buy a hot chocolate felt amazing!

Be careful what the world tells you about money. You get to decide the difference between rich vs. poor. The money you have in your bank account doesn’t answer this question for you.

 

Meaning Vs. Money

When I discovered a meaning for my life, suddenly money wasn’t as important. The dumb thing was that money started to find its way into my life again without me focusing on it. People were attracted to the meaning I had created for my life which then bought me more abundance.

My advice to anyone reading this is to focus on finding out the meaning of your life. If you can’t figure it out, then create one. Think about who you admire and the meaning they have for their life, and create something similar for yourself.

If you want to inspire people, then do it.
If you want to create a business that gives back, then do it.
If you want to write blog posts like this one to help people in life, then do it.

During the time I had more money than I knew what to do with, I had no idea what I was put on this Earth to do. I would import widget A, make some money, import widget B, and then start all over again. I felt like a robot repeating a pattern. At the end of the process, I got another couple of zeroes in my bank account.

Those zeros on the screen of my Internet banking got very boring, very quickly.

As soon as I found something that lit me up and helped others, the focus on seeing more zero’s on my Internet banking screen disappeared.

 

Im not saying money doesn’t matter

If you just read that Tim Denning thinks money doesn’t matter, then you didn’t get me.

Money does matter, but it shouldn’t be your primary focus. Your primary focus should be finding meaning which will lead you to something that self-motivates you. This self-motivating activity can then be monetized to give you the resources you need to live like food, shelter and maybe a vacation once in a while.

What I want you to feel is that your focus is on something other than money.

“Having been both rich and poor, I’ve mostly felt nothing at both extremes”

 

Meaning can also be found in life’s simple pleasures

I remember the feeling I got from reading Unlimited Power.
I remember what it was like when I fell in love for the first time.
I remember how cool it was to go on my very first overseas holiday.

All of these memories gave me a meaning for my life and made me feel something. Each memory created a variety of emotions that I can still remember as I reminisce on these pastimes.

Meaning came to me through the simplest of pleasures. I didn’t need a million dollar Lamborghini to make me feel like I was on top of the world. Lying on a beach with friends spending no money gave me far more than I could ever imagine.

If you’d told me this five years ago, I would have called you a liar. Having been both rich and poor, I now understand what meaning money gives me: not much.

 

Final words on money…

Focus on who you can become. Find or create a meaning for your life than transcends money.

Go beyond what society tells you about money. Most of it is a lie. Money will not give you meaning or make you happy.

Only you can create happiness and meaning for yourself.

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

5 Powerful Lessons About Success From Highly Successful Mentors

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successful mentors

We can’t help it. When we read an interview with a high flying, successful person, we secretly compare ourselves to them with our mind making little mental notes. Their lives seem perfect, and they seem so poised and confident. I wish I could be like that. Why do they seem to have it all, while I am struggling? When will things ever go my way?

For the longest time, I too believed in these popular myths of success, until I met several CEOs who became my mentors. When I asked each one of them what is the one biggest lesson they would like to share, their answers were unexpected, powerful and humbling.

These are the 5 powerful and humbling lessons they shared about success:

1. Nobody has Their Stuff Together

Just when you least expect it, an obstacle pops up, threatening to derail you from your goal. And sometimes, the bad news just keeps coming, which kicks you in the gut and you feel ready to give up. In comparison, successful people seem to be blazing trails of success. It almost seems unfair. While they appear to be picture perfect, where nothing can go wrong, the truth of it is this:

Nobody has their stuff together. We see these crowning moments of glory. But we don’t see the private, vulnerable moments behind the scenes. The sleepless nights worrying about what to do, where a series of wrong decisions resulted in people getting laid off. The endless meals alone in yet another soulless hotel room, with no one to share the burden with, because they don’t have the time to make a relationship work.

Obstacles and problems will always exist, no matter who you are. However, the challenges appearing to each of us is unique, and help us grow beyond the level we are at. A successful life is not about a lack of challenges, it’s about navigating and growing through the challenges so that we continue evolving to become the fullest potential of who we are.

2. Uncertainty Never Disappears

Brimming with confidence and well spoken, they always seem to know exactly what to say, and what to do in any situation. They seem to be the last people on earth to flail and feel vulnerable.

While on the surface they appear to be confident, the struggle with not knowing what to do plagues them as much as us. This can be the uncertainty of making a project work, because they have never done it before or lacking the necessary experience.

They can be worried that by taking this on, they might be biting off more than they can chew and experience massive failure and disastrous consequences. Nonetheless, the difference for them is despite their fears, they say yes and go ahead.

“Human spirit is the ability to face the uncertainty of the future with curiosity and optimism. It is the belief that problems can be solved, differences resolved. It is a type of confidence. And it is fragile. It can be blackened by fear and superstition.” – Bernard Beckett

3. Jump Before You Are Ready

Uncertainty and not knowing is a part of life. It never goes away. If you stay where you are, it feels safe and comfortable. But, it is a guarantee that you would not rise beyond where you are now if you don’t step out and make your move.

To take the leap of faith, your work through the uncertainty is the only way to grow. The fear of the unknown is not as scary as we make it out to be. All you have to do is to ask yourself “Do I believe I have what it takes to figure it out?” If your gut says yes, go for it.

4. It’s Not about External Motivation

Most successful people come with the traditional markers of success. Wealth. Status. A comfortable lifestyle. However, external motivation – the cars, the houses, the jewelry etc – can only motivate them so much.

Their motivation stems not from the outside – but from within themselves. It’s about their internal drive to be better thus building and expanding a grander vision of what they wish to create, and where they want to be.

That internal motivation is the driving force that pushes them through when things start to fall apart, because then it’s a battle within to overcome these setbacks and achieve their vision.

5. They Are Mental Ninja Masters

When everything that could go wrong, would go wrong, it’s natural to beat ourselves up. This negative feedback loop keeps replaying in our minds, and we start believing our negative self-talk, which threatens to spiral out of control and bring us down.

A few years ago, one of the CEOs I interviewed, Dave, was going through a particularly difficult time. Several major business deals fell through in quick succession. He emptied his life savings trying to keep things afloat, only for it to backfire and lost his life savings in the process.

He was faced with the real possibility of laying off hundreds of people at the company. Many lives were at stake here, and the pressure was on. He faltered, but only for a day.

He then rallied and continued to hustle. He hustled harder, stronger and faster than ever before. It was fascinating and impressive. What was his secret to bouncing back so fast from all the punches thrown at him?

He didn’t allow the negativity to control him. He controlled and directed his mind. Half the battle is with ourselves. We are often our own worst enemy with our negative self-talk.

Mastering control over your mind, instead of letting your mind control you is half the battle. Stop the negative self-talk when it happens. Redirect it towards positive action to achieve the outcome you desire.

“Protect your enthusiasm from the negativity of others.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Ready For Your Next Step?

Success is not out of reach. All it takes is showing up each day and having the courage to take one small step towards the direction of your goals. Your new life of freedom and possibility awaits.

How will you make sure to achieve the success you are looking for? Please comment below and let us know!

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