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What I Learned In My 20’s: The Advice That Will Give You Massive Success

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Lessons From My 20's On Addicted2Success

Your 20’s are one of the best times of your life, but actually, your whole life should be that way. As I hit another birthday, which means nothing to me, I reflect on what I have learned in my 20’s with the hope that people from around the world can learn from my experience.

My life can be divided up into three phases so far: the music phase, the entrepreneur phase, and the phase I am in now to inspire the world through personal development and entrepreneurship. In a nutshell, that’s it.

When you chunk it down these three phases of life, have taught me so much, and I promise you there is some real value if you take the time to read to the end of the article.

Below are the 10 life lessons from my 20’s that will lead you to massive success:

 

1. Success is rare

My number one tip without a doubt is that success is rare. That’s right, most people will fail miserably in life and will never know why. I don’t say that to get you down; I say it because it doesn’t have to be that way for you.

My twenties showed me what the world wanted me to believe was success, but I learned in the last few years that this was all wrong. When you’re happy, passionate and filled with purpose, only then will you be successful. Everything outside of these three areas is BS and will guarantee you of failure.

 

2. Purpose equals success (find your freakin why)

Every day in your 20’s you wake up and do a series of things. When you do those things and have no idea why you’re doing them, you become like a zombie. You operate your mind on autopilot and become numb the majority of emotions. Any emotion that you have is further numbed through alcohol, junk food, drugs, mindless entertainment, your phone, and outside stimulants.

When you find your why your 20’s can setup the rest of your life. If you don’t, that’s fine, but at least try and get in the direction of your why. If you end up nowhere near the direction of your why in your 20’s, your probability of failure increases. That said, you can change your life at any moment in time.

 

3. You are only three contacts away from a global influencer

It’s easy to think that it can be hard to reach people like Richard Branson, but it’s really not. Throughout my twenties, I have learned that we are around three contacts away from reaching anyone we want. Global influencers all have big networks, and all you need to do is find someone who is close enough to them.

If your reason for reaching out is compelling enough, and you try and give value back to the person who is going to introduce you, then you will have no problems getting a hold of a global influencer. Make sure, though that you use the opportunity to do something amazing in the world!

 

4. Anything can be learned

In our teens we are told that we have to learn a specialty and that we are then stuck with it for the rest of our life, so we should choose our education and career wisely. THIS IS A MYTH! Anything can be learned at any stage in life and thanks to the internet; anyone can have whatever knowledge they want.

“It’s not the learning, but the action we take from the learning, that really matters. I would almost go as far as saying the less you know about something, the more you are likely to succeed” – Tim Denning

Naivety is a great thing that causes disruption and creates companies like Uber.

Forget about how hard you think something is and pick up the basics so you can learn in your 20’s what you will make your life’s purpose about.

 

5. No amount of money will make you happy

We are somehow led to believe in our 20’s that money will solve all our problems. What I learned in my 20’s through being an entrepreneur is that money means nothing. It’s what you do with your resources such as money that will give you massive success.

The fewer resources you have, the more creative with your approach you have to be. Creativity equals entrepreneurship, which equals starting a business, which equals purpose. Purpose equals fulfilment.

So get your fancy luxury car and give it to a friend!!! That’s right; you will feel better by doing this and save lots of money in depreciation. The people that you know who brag about the money they have are doing so because they are insecure. Money gives them status, which allows them to hide from life.

 

6. We all want attention

Whether we are willing to admit it or not, we all want attention even me. The difference is that I believe we should want attention (eyeballs) to do something good with it and inspire others. Most of what you see people do on social media is for attention.

Attention seekers without a good enough reason for the attention will ultimately fail. In your 20’s your goal should be to build some level of influence so you can use it in a positive way and create value for others. As you create value, you will feel fulfilled. Then, sit back and be grateful for what you have created.

 

7. Change is guaranteed

The next few years are going to be the years of biggest change thanks to our friend (my best friend) technology. Your 20’s need to set you up for life to be able to deal with change like it’s not a problem. When you see change; tragedy, failure or loss, as a bad thing, you will reward yourself with massive pain. Pain equals unhappiness followed my negative emotions that create a toxic inner world.

If you create a toxic inner world, then your outer world becomes miserable. Use your 20’s to try lots of things and to become comfortable with how remarkable change can be.

“Use significant change in your life as a turning point towards success and see it as a doorway to everything you ever wanted” – Tim Denning

Walking away from a business for me was a massive change. If I hadn’t done so, then I wouldn’t be here right now writing this advice for you with a big fat smile on my face. I would never have been able to understand my true purpose and find my ideal happiness. That’s how crucial change is for you.

 

8. Everyone’s has got their problems

It’s easy in our 20’s to be tricked into thinking the people around us don’t have the same problems we do. The reality is that everyone has the same problems in their 20’s and no one, just like me, has got any clue what the hell they are doing.

The whole point of your 20’s is to understand that problems are common, and no one is perfect. Your sexy friend on Instagram with the flawless skin, nice car, and that’s covered in tattoos is probably more unhappy than you. Tattoos can often be a sign of unresolved pain and the past. Live in the present and stop looking at your pain that’s tattooed on your body, or your mind, or both.

 

9. Look after the inside or the outside will suck

In my 20’s I learned later on that success is about the inside of you. By inside I mean your health and what you put into your body each day, and your mind. When you conquer your health and unlock the power of your mind, you get two vital things: boundless amounts of energy and a clarity and focus that not many people have.

How do you look after these two parts of you? You feed your body alkaline foods and liquids, and you feed your mind positive thoughts, emotions, and information. The combination of these three things will set you on a path for massive success and help make your 20’s phenomenal.

 

10. Stop Giving A *&^%$!

My final lesson from my twenties is to stop giving a *&^%$! about things that don’t matter. Stuff is going to go wrong, and people are going to judge you no matter what. Instead of caring about everything that happens, focus on caring about things that matter to you like your purpose or your passion.

In your 20’s, the more you get distracted by the little things that don’t matter and that you can’t change, the less time you will have to change the world with your sheer brilliance that is locked away inside of you. We are all brilliant if we will just get out of our own way and let our light shine brightly.

 

***Final Thought***

Even though I have passed another birthday, I don’t care because I feel younger than ever before. Time will always pass by, but I refuse to let that time be wasted. We all have a limited amount of time on this planet so forget whether you are in your 20’s, 30’s, 40’s or 100’s and concentrate on what matters.

I feel like I will always be like Peter Pan and live forever because my world will live on through generations and yours can too if you focus your mind on the right activities. Put the cell phone down, bring yourself back to the present, and enjoy life man!

What are or what were your 20’s about for you? What did you learn? Let me know in the comments section below or on my website timdenning.net or my Facebook.

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared hundreds of thousands of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around success, personal development, motivation, and entrepreneurship. During the day Tim works with the most iconic tech companies in the world, as an adviser, to assist them in expanding into Australia. By night, Tim coaches his students on the principles of personal development and the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net or through his Facebook.

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23 Comments

23 Comments

  1. Rawlings Lyson

    Nov 29, 2016 at 9:28 pm

    lm passionate about business thank you for the article

  2. Cecelia Jernegan

    Nov 17, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    Great article. I am a 65 year young retired grandma and you nail it! Good job. Keep up the great work.

  3. Apoorv Sharma

    Nov 12, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    Very inspiring article Tim , and very much true . I have observed most of the things mentioned here .
    I believe everyone should aim in their 20 s to be the best version of themselves and improve on daily basis. I won’t say i’m “killing it” in this aim, but i’m not ready to give up until i become the person i want to be.

    Such Article , like yours motivates me to skyrocket my enthusiasm and double my efforts .
    Keep up the great work . Cheers .

  4. Rob Malone

    May 23, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    Great article. I wish I would have learned all this in my twenties.

    I think you point about money can’t buy happiness is huge. People just don’t understand this until they have money and think “why am still miserable”. It is finding your “why” and pursuing it that will bring happiness.

    Also your perspective on tattoos was really interesting. I always felt that tattoos represented something hidden down deep and I find your analogy very plausible.

    Thanks for sharing the article.

    • Tim Denning

      May 27, 2016 at 9:37 pm

      Rob thanks for the kind words. Money is always something that mankind will struggle with but I hope the message eventually get’s out there – money will not make you happy. Glad you liked the tattoo’s piece of the article. I am not someone that likes tattoos but I respect people’s right to choose what they do with their body.

  5. shahwc

    May 22, 2016 at 3:39 am

    Thanks for your article Tim! This is really inspiring as me myself in my 20’s. Hope my 20’s will bring something in my life and my family.

    • Tim Denning

      May 27, 2016 at 9:35 pm

      Shah I am sure your 20’s will be successful. Make sure you enjoy them and don’r look back. Thanks for reading!

  6. Kat

    May 18, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    I just turned 20 and graduated with a Marketing degree! Deciding what to do now is driving me crazy! Thanks for this article!!

    • Tim Denning

      May 20, 2016 at 3:27 am

      No problem Kat. Best of luck with your marketing degree and don’t overthink it.

  7. Aleksandra

    May 16, 2016 at 10:21 pm

    I’m 24 now and I must say that this article is like winning in a lottery. Thank you Tim for this great motivation and inspiration to continue to reach my goals and dreams and just enjoy life, focus on present and be happy and wealthy.
    I have many small and big goals for myself and I know that this is a great period to successfully reach them all!
    Stay cool and I’m waiting for a new great article from you! 🙂

    • Tim Denning

      May 17, 2016 at 12:43 am

      Wow thanks Aleksandra for the massive compliment. Plenty more articles to come so stay tuned.

  8. Toño

    May 16, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    As I have approached my another B’day as well month ago I can tell my 20s have been the craziest time and full of events I would never wished or imagined. I haven’t achieved any success during that time, but through all the struggle, hustle and tragedy I was able to grow and become a better, new person. It was a preparation for a big journey I am now. If to describe my 20s in one sentence it has to be my favourite quote by Thomas Edison: ‘I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work’ 🙂

    Now I can take those lessons of yours to turn my 30s into something big. I don’t count the age, as Time is a man-made concept which most often does not define thyself.

    You’ve listed amazing lessons which will help me on my journey, and I’m going to use them well. I want to highlight those lessons I will the most attachemnt with at the moment:

    #1. The very first lesson. Success is rare, and that not everyone will reach it, taste it and experience it. It got me deep. I am still don’t quite know yet what success really is and whether I’m going to achieve it. You are right about it rarity, and that most people will fail, I’ve been there and know what it is and it gives me another reason to appreciate things more and value my time. I have to define success first, and I am still not quite there yet. I may never learn it, but I will never give up.

    The next lesson is to find your freaking why, man. Exactly! Just few days ago I have been thinking exact same thing, like what is the reason behind most of my daily actions and routine and how to overcome some stress if you really have to do something? Find you WHY, that’s how!
    And then your article comes up with like the same line. Yeah, eyeballs. Amazing!

    For a long time I was convinced you should be young, talented and awesome to do special and particular things, but slowly I realized it does not have to be that. I have been limiting myself out for so long that it seems like I just started to re-learn some regular stuff now. Taking another lesson, anything can be learned, I now can fully agree with you. We have to try multiple things out to find out what it’s like and what we are here to do, and it doesn’t have to be complicated. Back to the Monk WHo Sold His Ferrari story, I have been emptying my cup so I can fill it with new knowledge.

    Oh, and I have watched ‘In pursuit of Happyness’ (this time I spelled it right) as I’ve finally found it in English (surprisingly through my old xbox 360 account!). I think this movie reflect perfectly well on the sunject and on some of the lessons of yours. Thank you SO very much for suggestion, my friend, it was amazing experience and I enjoyed this movie so much. Still feel the emotion, what a beautiful story and what an amazing actors play. I will show it to my sister, she will greatly appreciate it I am sure!

    My gratitude and much love for this article, Tim, you tought me well! Speak with you soon, have a great day and stay healthy!

    • Tim Denning

      May 17, 2016 at 12:46 am

      Toño we always seem to be on a similar journey my friend. I love how you practice what you learn and the fact you are beginning to empty your cup. The Pursuit Of Happyness is my all time favourite movie. It’s what success is all about. The struggles are where all the beauty lies and it’s what will make you successful .

      Keep in touch my friend.

  9. Sophia

    May 16, 2016 at 2:32 am

    Hi Tim,
    Wished you wrote this peace a decade ago and I had a chance to read it. I would have changed scripts that were installed by my culture, surrounding, and myself.
    I would add additional point to the list: choose carefully who are you friends and how much your family can influence you. On subconscious level we always want to fit, be excepted by others, and be part of a tribe. Our social environment affects our mindset, which directly result in our choices for actions. Unless we have good role models, we will fall in trap of following tribe habits which may not be in our personal best interests.
    Thanks again

    • Tim Denning

      May 16, 2016 at 4:52 am

      Sophia I wish I wrote this a decade ago as well…lol, although it’s taken me a while to gain the knowledge Your points are spot on and your environment is very important although not as important as your internal environment that governs everything you do.

      Thanks for reading Sophia.

  10. france

    May 15, 2016 at 9:08 am

    thank you for this inspirational article.greets from grom germany

    • Tim Denning

      May 15, 2016 at 10:33 am

      Not a problem France and thanks for reading 🙂

  11. Rayon

    May 15, 2016 at 7:30 am

    Hey Tim,

    Firstly this line “I would almost go as far as saying the less you know about something, the more you are likely to succeed.” I agree with this 100%.
    In fact a friend and I were having a conversation about this just the other day. We both came to the conclusion that knowing too much sometimes hinder one from getting off the ground and doing the epic. Sometimes even to the point where you’ve dug so deep that you talk yourself out of a very good idea.

    Next, “The fewer resources you have, the more creative with your approach you have to be.” This is a must.
    I remember in high school’s Technical Drawing I had one pencil that I used for every type of line and my drawing table was an enamel stove top that I drew on at home, however, those drawings always stood out to the point where students wanted me to draw for them.
    We can’t allow lack of resources to hold us back. Use what is available to do what we must, eventually all the resources required will show up and whenever they break down and they usually do, working without them won’t be an issue.

    Lastly, “Walking away from a business for me was a massive change.” I’m curious to know how you managed this. Would love to hear more.

    You’ve dropped great points here and this article is definitely worth sharing. Thanks for another great post man.

    Rayon.

    • Tim Denning

      May 15, 2016 at 10:33 am

      Rayon thank you for sharing what you took away from the post. I love your story about your technical drawing experience it highlights my point perfectly.

      The part where I mention the business is something I am happy to share with you. Feel free to drop me a line on Facebook or through my website.

  12. Chipokota

    May 15, 2016 at 6:27 am

    Wow. Beautiful article. As I turn 28 at the end of the year I have so much to reflect on. I couldn’t have read a better article of encouragement that I have lived my twenties not too badly! And should continue making the most out of life! Biggest of all for that comment that I am just three contacts away from a global influencer. I agree totally and I see it all the time in my life! The world is not as big as it seems. Let’s do this!

    • Tim Denning

      May 15, 2016 at 7:16 am

      Chipokota glad to see you are also doing some reflecting. I’m sure you have done fine thus far in life. The global influencer point will serve you well my friend if you use it. Take care!

  13. Gabriel DoCarmo

    May 14, 2016 at 9:51 pm

    Great article Tim, thank you so much for writing. For me, my 20s are freakin awesome! I’m extremely happy with the man I’m becoming and the direction I’m headed in life. I’ve learned that You determine your Reality 100%, nothing happens to you everything happens BECAUSE of You. If you want something you go get it, period. Nobody is coming to the rescue. We live in the best Possible time in the history of the world and country with huge amount of abundance and Opportunity (US) I’m turning 22 next week and looking forward to learning much much more! Life is Awesome
    -Gabriel DoCarmo

    • Tim Denning

      May 14, 2016 at 10:56 pm

      Thanks for the inspiring message and I’m sure the rest of your 20’s will be outstanding. Technology and the internet are brining us so many opportunities. Exciting times!

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Success Advice

10 Things We Can Learn From the Incredible Steve Jobs

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Steve Jobs

Steven Paul Jobs was one of the greatest visionaries and pioneers of the 21st century. He wasn’t an engineer, did not completed his college degree, yet he was able to turnaround the near-bankrupt Apple into the most valuable brand in the world. He not only transformed one industry but several others such as mobile phones, computers, and movies.

Here are 10 life lessons which everyone can learn from Steve Jobs and apply to their lives:

1. Always focus on the positive & let go of the negative

Steve Jobs went through many ups and downs in his life. He was given up by his biological parents for adoption. Such an event could have easily pushed him into the negative; however he chose to focus on the positive in life. He loved his adopted father and mother and he also found the things which kept him happy and positive (i.e. computers).

You should also utilize the power of positive thinking. Don’t become the person who always sees the glass half-empty. Just focus all your energy and dedication on the positive things in your life. If something is negative, it will always drain your energy and you would not be able to live your life to the fullest.

2. Travel the world and learn new things

When Steve Jobs was 19 years old he visited India, and he said in multiple interviews that his travels helped him broaden his perspective. The journey to somewhere far away from his land expanded his thoughts, and opened his mind to unlimited possibilities.

We should also travel more in order to experience the various cultures and lifestyle of people living in different corners of the world. You will not only experience new things but it will also broaden your horizons.

3. Always take a calculated risk

Steve Jobs was a risk-taker, and this set him apart from his competitors. Hardly any CEOs would have agreed to develop a new product which would cannibalize/decrease the sale of the company’s top-selling product. But, Steve Jobs took the risk to develop and market the iPhone when the iPod was their top selling product.

The iPhone cannibalized the sales of the iPod but the iPhone made a huge profit by dominating the emerging smartphone market. In order to move forward, we have to take risks in life. But we must make sure that the risk should be calculated.

Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” – Steve Jobs

4. Be wise in the company you choose to keep

Steve Jobs always hired and surrounded himself with great minds. He hired Steve Wozniak because he knew that he was better than Jobs in building computers. Some of the more prominent people who worked with Jobs were John Lasseter and Tim Cook. These people helped Steve Jobs to achieve massive success in making Apple the most valuable brand in the world.

You should learn to surround yourself with great people in order to achieve success. Don’t let your ego get in the way of who you choose to interact and work with.

5. Learn from the failures and keep moving forward

In 1984, Apple fired Steve Jobs. He could have chosen the option of feeling depressed about it but he took it in a positive way.

At Stanford’s 2005 commencement address, he said;

“I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”

We should also not fear failure because it is not the end of the end. We should treat failure as an opportunity to improve oneself.

6. Do only what you truly love

While addressing the students and faculty members of Stanford University, Steve Jobs said  The only thing which kept him going while facing challenges and obstacles was the fact that he was doing what he loved. He also said to find what you love both in your professional and personal life.

If we do what we truly love then we do that particular work with complete passion. We don’t make any excuses for not giving everything we have.

7. Learn from others

When Steve Jobs was in high school, he attended lectures at Hewlett-Packard. Before the age of 21, he had already worked for HP and Atari. He worked there and learned what these companies were doing and he implemented those strategies at Apple.

You too should learn from others. If you don’t see any results while working towards a certain goal, then you should take advice from the experts in that field. Sometimes, a little help is all you need to achieve success.

8. It is never too early to get started

Steve Jobs was still a teenager when he was working with HP and Atari. At the age of 20, the young enthusiastic entrepreneur had started Apple Inc. He was young daring man open to new ideas thus who he focused all his energy on the company.

If a young entrepreneur starts a venture at a young age, then he doesn’t have much pressure. After a certain age, you are more focused on your family or career at some other company. At a young age, you can take risks professionally as you are are more free to fail and restart.

9. Obstacles are the opportunity to succeed

Steve Jobs and Wozniak were the co-founders of Apple Inc. While they were developing the first Apple computer they ran out of money. They could have given up on their dream of building a computer but instead, they choose to thrive. Steve Jobs sold his van and Wozniak sold his graphing calculator to raise some money.

Learn to see your obstacles as an opportunity to succeed. If you really want to do something, you will always find a way to complete it. Once you have this mindset, then nothing can stop you from overcoming your obstacles.

“I’m convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the non successful ones is pure perseverance.” – Steve Jobs

10. Always remember you are not immortal

While addressing the students at Stanford University, Jobs said “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because of almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure–these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.”

Whenever you feel depressed, confused, embarrassed or have any negative feelings, only remember one thing; you are not immortal. You will be dead soon, so instead of feeling depressed make sure that you utilize every second of life.

Though Steve Jobs has passed away, his legacy will be with us forever. He was an inspiring human being who was and is respected by many. The way he lived his life both personally and professionally is commendable and if we can learn from his teachings, then it will definitely help us in achieving success in life.

Which one of these 10 qualities of Steve Jobs is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

How I Work Smarter: The Practical And Really Dumbed Down Strategies.

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Working Smarter. Productivity Hacks

I’m somewhat of a productivity freak. I like having time.

Time allows me to work smarter, and so I protect it like a rare and beautiful diamond. If you want to steal my time, you better be prepared for one hell of a battle. I’d happily give up money before I would ever give up time.

Here’s how I work smart and how you can do the same:

 

I take the stairs.

While everybody is lining up for the lift or going 1 meter every ten minutes on the escalator, I take the stairs. It keeps me fit and I get where I want to go faster. Nothing in life worth achieving is easy so get used to taking the stairs and doing some physical work.

 

I keep it simple (decision fatigue).

Water instead of wine/soft drink/coffee etc.
One big goal at any point in time instead of a to-do list of goals that lead nowhere.
One email address instead of multiple inboxes.
One computer and one phone instead of a Fitbit, laptop, phone, tablet and Apple Watch.

“Vanilla options are easy and low fuss. Decisions fatigue you”

 

I have lunch before midday.

Lunch can be done in 15 minutes. The trick is to buy or make your lunch before the rush. Standing in lines and getting frustrated is unnecessary. Get some time in your day back by doing lunch earlier. I recommend 11:45. With the extra time you gain back, try adding in 10 minutes of meditation.

 

Leave the car at home.

When I go to the city, I leave the car at home. By the time I get into the car, battle against the seven seas that is traffic and then get parking, I could have already been there by train or equivalent. This transit time also becomes my portable learning time. I use this time to listen to podcasts and audiobooks instead of having to think about driving.

 

One day a week in isolation.

Being alone with your thoughts and complete silence, once a week, makes you mega productive. A few moments of quietness are far more valuable than hours of busyness and noise. In complete isolation, you have no choice but to focus and complete your goals.

 

I use tiredness to do housework.

People hate tiredness. I love it. Tiredness tells me to stop working on my goals and do the things we all have to do like housework. I don’t need any energy or inspiration to do housework so why waste my high energy states on it?

Having said that, I aim to eliminate tiredness. This is a work in progress and requires exercise combined with an excellent diet. Until then, housework I love you!

 

Notifications are turned off except for SMS

That word “notifications” feels like grand larceny. Companies used to steal my time through notifications and now I’ve declared war on them. When you’re powering through a task, the last thing you want is an interruption in the form of a notification.

That small amount of time you spend getting distracted takes you out of the zone and away from the focused state you’re in. Go to settings and turn off notifications – especially Facebook.

 

I don’t play computer games.

As a kid, I loved computer games. That’s why I know to stay away from them as an adult because they are designed to get me to fight someone else’s mission. There’s no such thing as a quick game. Games are designed to keep you engaged and continually challenge you.

 

I get up before everybody else.

Yes, sir! I get up when it’s dark so I can do the big stuff first. Before the rest of the world can wake up and distract me, I’m getting my game on in the early hours of the morning. I really think you should wake up early. If you ignored everything else I said and just woke up early, I’d be proud.

 

I tell myself no before saying yes.

Yes has become a first world disease. You can’t work smart if you say yes to every offer that comes your way. That’s why I tell myself no first, and then try to convince myself of yes. If I can’t convince myself, I say no. Auto responding with yes answers will make you busy.

 

Busy is not smart.

If you think you are busy, and you verbally say so regularly, you’re not working smart. Busy is dumb. Busy will cripple your time and make your mindset go into meltdown. Humans can only focus on a small number of things so stop being busy!

Tell people the truth. Say no more. Guard your time. Avoid the trap of busy.

 

I chunk down big tasks.

If I have to give a big speech then in the same week, I move away any other big goals that might distract me. Too many big goals all in a small space of time can become overwhelming quickly. Stick to one or two big goals at a time and you’ll achieve a lot more. Less is more.

 

I own less stuff.

That way I don’t need to worry about maintaining things, securing things, thinking about objects, spending money on things I can’t afford. Sell, sell, sell yourself out of living the dumb life.

“Stuff does not equal progress; personal growth does and money can’t buy that”

 

I invest in dumb stuff.

With almost no knowledge, anyone can invest in index funds and not have to worry about the burden of trying to predict the next biggest thing. In reality, this strategy will probably beat all of the people who waste their lives away trying to be fortune tellers.

All I do is buy low-cost index funds of major economies like the USA. I invest the same amount each time so I’m not affected by the rise and fall of the stock market. Thank you, Tony Robbins and Warren Buffet for this strategy.

I don’t have video streaming.

Time looking at a screen is better spent reading a book. Fictional TV shows are not teaching me about life. Reading biographies, books about life lessons and the latest research in human psychology does that for me. One up on mediocrity and cancel your subscription.

 

Simplify your subscriptions.

Here’s the thing: Subscriptions equal time.

Companies have moved their business models to subscriptions because it helps keep you engaged and addicted to what they have to sell because you’re paying a recurring fee for it. Delete as many subscriptions as you can. I have one for my meditation app, one for the gym and one for my writing software.

 

Delete apps from your reading device.

Okay, so I do use Kindle which means that there is a temptation to look at apps. Delete apps from your reading device so you can actually read.

 

I take summer holidays when everyone returns to the office.

In Australia, everyone goes away in December and January. I take my holidays when they return to work. This means:

– More time in the office when it’s less busy
– Cheaper flights and accommodation during low peak times
– More chances to step up to leader roles while others are away

Everything is just less busy when you holiday off-peak.

 

I avoid junk food during major goal weeks.

This week I have a public speaking competition. I need all the practice I can get which requires energy. That’s why, in big goal weeks like the one I’m in right now, I cut out junk food. Energy equals time. Do a cheat day to celebrate at the end if you must.

 

I split my resources like this.

– Travel
– Necessities like food, clothes and rent
– Money for family and my girlfriend
– Unplanned indulgences (cheat day)

A balanced life requires resources (money). Splitting your money across these four areas allows you to work smart. You only have to work dumb when you waste your resources and therefore have to work ten times harder than you need to. When in doubt, less is more.

 

Stimulants are neglected.

Coffee only makes us get the jitters and be nervous. I find when I’m on coffee I become more fearful. My relaxed state disappears.

 

I do regular breaks.

We’re not machines. I do regular breaks of trampoline, walking, and eating fresh food in-between hours of writing on the weekend.

 

I outsource stuff I’m bad at.

If I do things I’m horrible at, I do them badly. This stops me from working smart and can cause negativity. That’s why I outsource stuff I’m bad at wherever possible.

 

I get enough sleep.

7 hours works for me. You have to sleep otherwise you’ll get tired which will cause negativity and a poor quality of work. This “sleep when you’re dead” tend is a fallacy.

 

I value you my time.

I’ve placed a very high dollar value on my time. Because I consciously value it, I’m always reconciling how much time I have. By valuing your time, you become aware of it. You can’t focus on something you are not aware of.

 

I do phone first, instead of coffee catch-ups.

LinkedIn sends me multiple requests a day for coffee catch ups. Most of them don’t state any valid reason for the catch-up. Now if you just say no to them all you could be missing out on the gift of socializing, learning new things and meeting people you can do business with.

The hack I use is this: Always do the first conversation via phone. That way you can tell if there is value or a need for a coffee catch up.

Second hack: do a video call instead of an audio-only call. Video lets you see the other person and connect better. It’s more personal and you’ll quickly figure out if you need that coffee after all. I personally don’t drink coffee, so these sort of catch ups take me out of rapport with the other person from the start.

 

Happy partner, happy life.

I spend less time arguing because I do stuff that my partner wants to do even if I don’t. She does the same. This way everybody wins and I don’t need to waste time arguing and lighting a fire under my mindset that causes me to want to evacuate to the world of temptation (coffee, Netflix, games, useless crap).

 

I cheat on my phone regularly.

That’s right! I sleep around with any activity that doesn’t involve looking at my phone.

“The small glass window of my phone feels like such a tiny part of what the world has to offer. I choose to look out of the window of life instead and see limitless possibility”

 

I do exercise to boost my mindset.

Being smart is only possible when you have a positive mindset served on the side. Exercise has helped me relieve stress and get back to feeling good again. Do it.

 

I don’t allow people to steal my time.

People will gladly rob you of your time and waste it. They do this primarily because they have their own selfish goals, or they’re bored with life and wasting your time makes them feel better. Prosecute these time thieves’ by telling them your expectations and referencing your calendar if you have to.

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 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Own Success

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sabotaging your success

Success is your birthright. It is a mindset, ingrained within your identity. Let’s go in one step further. Success is a choice. When you believe you are worthy of success, you recognize your irrational thoughts, you break them down and replace them with a forward focus positive belief. You move from victimisation to becoming your own hero, your own inspiration. You ditch counterproductive self-critical patterns and undermine your success. You reject familiarity and choose expansion to build your confidence, character and conquer negativity bias.

The biggest obstacle in life you will face is you. Our brain is wired to value negative information more than positive information. Negativity bias affects every human being as you hold on to, ruminate and recall negative experiences more quickly. You undermine your progress, keep yourself stuck in bad habits and set up an unconscious platform for failure. People will default to the “devil you know” when placed under pressure. You create your own worst enemy – YOU.

If you think you have no power over your emotions, it’s time to learn how to manage your state, lead your feelings and choose the story of how you will respond.

Here are 7 ways you’re sabotaging your success:

1. You think mistakes are your failures

We start off with great intentions, confidence booming and iron clad attitude of “we have got this”. We make a mistake and then we squirm in our pants. Self-doubt manifests and within minutes it magnifies. Success feels like it has been ripped away from us.

Mistakes happen, and they happen often. Mistakes have the power to turn us into something better than we were before. When we adopt that failure is feedback, we embrace how mistakes are useful and necessary. Failure is moving forward. As Seth Godin highlights “if l fail more than you do, l win”. To disrupt the status quo in life, you need a gargantuan quantity of failure.

2. You think your past equates to your future

Each person has a past. What comes with past is opportunity for growth and it is your greatest teacher. You invested in taking a risk and have the golden moment to apply the lessons learnt. You get to choose who and how to be at any moment. Stop waiting for someone else to believe or validate you. Become your own hero.

“If you want to succeed in your life, remember this phrase: That past does not equal the future…All that matters is: What are you going to do, right now?” – Tony Robbins

3. You don’t appreciate what you already have

We live in a world where we measure success by the things we gain. We buy things to make us happy and we succeed temporarily. New things are exciting at first and then we adapt. The anticipation of a desired outcome is generally more satisfying than the outcome itself. Once we get what we want, we adapt and excitement fades. How often do you see children demanding a toy or their world will end? What’s crazier is how quickly their joy fades as they want something else. Once you appreciate what you currently have, more won’t make life better.

4. You ignore who you are becoming

To experience any level of success, you must be whatever it is you want to be (ie. Happy, satisfied, inspired), and start doing things from this space to create the things you will have. We attract into our lives what we are. Shawn Achor , Harvard psychologist, explains that science shows that happiness facilitates success.

Often people use affirmations as a basis for creating a mindset shift and to feed the unconscious mind with golden treasure. By writing in the positive and present tense, you create a platform to step into who you are being. This will determine what you need to do to step into who you are becoming.

5. You burn all your bridges

There is nothing more heartbreaking when people create any level of success and espouse that they are solely the driver of their success. People succumb to their environment and forget where they came from along with the sacrifices others made to support them in achieving their level of success. Having a level of humility and gratitude keeps your success in perspective.

6. You have a sense of entitlement

The 21st century is reaping of people feeling entitled. It is playing out throughout all generations whether it be driven by someone’s need for job security or a specific salary amount. Stop complaining and be grateful for your ability to contribute to the bigger picture and make a difference in the world. You need to work a little to earn the credibility and trust from your environment.

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey

7. You don’t invest in working out the outcome, you wing it

Reverse engineering is where the game is played to create success. Start from the end and work backwards. As Stephen Covey in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People outlines “begin with the end in mind”. Once your clear, reverse engineer the Wildly Important Goal for the year and break down to quarterly, monthly and weekly goals. Then identify the 5 actions that you will take weekly to bring you closer to your success.

What are you doing to become successful? Let us know by commenting below!

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Success Advice

Want To Become Twice As Productive? Read This.

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Productivity Hacks. Steve Cutts

Productivity is how you find more time in your day to do what you love, and achieve greater results. It’s time to stop being lazy and make a few small changes that will help you win back extra time.

“Productivity is not about doing more; it’s about doing less”

After you’ve had a productive day, you feel so much better. The difficulty is that doing tasks that are on some never-ending to-do list creates a feeling of emptiness. To-do lists are not enough and they rarely make you more productive.

This is my very short, simple, no-brainer list of how you can become twice as productive:

 

Do the big stuff at the start of the day.

If you follow no other advice than this, then you’re already most of the way there. Start your day with the hardest, most fulfilling tasks. If there’s something you’ve been putting off, then do it when you first wake up the next day.

Save your boring and repetitive tasks like ironing and chasing up bills for late in the day when your energy starts to slump. I do my blogging in the morning and my housework just before I go to bed. This allows me to focus on trying to inspire people during the morning when I have the most energy and feel like I can do anything.

 

Chunk down and delete items off your to-do list.

Many tasks on your to-do list are actually part of the same single task. Chunk these tasks into one task. Next, take the tasks that are really not important and don’t matter to you, and consider deleting them off your to-do list.

Finally, don’t let other people’s tasks dominate the order in which you tackle your list. Do the tasks that serve you first. You’ll feel much better and more productive for doing so.

 

Phone over email for the win.

Never-ending text messages and emails lead nowhere. Instant messaging apps are not much better because the conversation never stops. Things get lost in translation and it’s tiring replying back on a tiny little keyboard while looking at a miniature little screen. Not to mention it makes you anti-social.

Be more productive by picking up the phone. A 5-minute conversation is way better than an endless line of messages that interrupt you from the task you’re focusing on each time a new response is received.

 

Have phone blackouts.

What’s this you ask? It’s blackout periods from your phone. Similar to a trading blackout if you’ve ever worked in a publically listed company. Have times of the day and week where you are banned from your phone. Enable flight mode, put it on silent, lock it in your car.

Escape from your phone so you can be focused and work without distraction for a set period of time. Avoid the temptation that has become your phone. The temptation that has become the destroyer of your success.

 

Don’t check social or email first thing.

Checking email and social media first thing in the morning sends your mind into reactive mode. Start your day with time to think and plan what you’re going to do. Be intentional about your day rather than let technology dictate what you’ll focus your time on and therefore what areas you’ll be productive at.

 

Schedule rest periods.

Always being on is not making you productive. We’re not robots, and we need to rest once in a while. Regular periods of rest, outside of sleep, allow us to be more productive. Chunk your day into blocks and rest in-between productive periods of work.

That rest might be eating a proper lunch, doing 10-minutes of meditation, listening to a podcast, or staring at your office window and doing absolutely nothing.

Give your mind space. It’s in these brief moments of nothingness that you will come up with the ideas, solutions and strategies to win in your career and in life. At the same time, it will make you productive.

 

Don’t lie to yourself.

“Creating a meeting, having a lunch, planning a strategy session and sending an email trick your brain into thinking you’re being productive rather than the truth: you do these things to put off doing the real work”

It allows you to be lazy and not think you’re being lazy. Look for ways to get to the solution or complete the task in the most productive way. If you find yourself not being in the mood for doing the hard work, schedule it for the next day, first thing in the morning.

It’s not that difficult to be productive. We can all do it with a little bit of effort and very focused discipline.

How do you increase your productivity?

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

10 Things We Can Learn From the Incredible Steve Jobs

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Steve Jobs

Steven Paul Jobs was one of the greatest visionaries and pioneers of the 21st century. He wasn’t an engineer, did not completed his college degree, yet he was able to turnaround the near-bankrupt Apple into the most valuable brand in the world. He not only transformed one industry but several others such as mobile phones, computers, and movies. (more…)

Katherine Dilworth is a wife, mother and a blogger and she writes on Caseydilworth.com, this blog provides exclusive information on Snoring.

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23 Comments

23 Comments

  1. Rawlings Lyson

    Nov 29, 2016 at 9:28 pm

    lm passionate about business thank you for the article

  2. Cecelia Jernegan

    Nov 17, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    Great article. I am a 65 year young retired grandma and you nail it! Good job. Keep up the great work.

  3. Apoorv Sharma

    Nov 12, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    Very inspiring article Tim , and very much true . I have observed most of the things mentioned here .
    I believe everyone should aim in their 20 s to be the best version of themselves and improve on daily basis. I won’t say i’m “killing it” in this aim, but i’m not ready to give up until i become the person i want to be.

    Such Article , like yours motivates me to skyrocket my enthusiasm and double my efforts .
    Keep up the great work . Cheers .

  4. Rob Malone

    May 23, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    Great article. I wish I would have learned all this in my twenties.

    I think you point about money can’t buy happiness is huge. People just don’t understand this until they have money and think “why am still miserable”. It is finding your “why” and pursuing it that will bring happiness.

    Also your perspective on tattoos was really interesting. I always felt that tattoos represented something hidden down deep and I find your analogy very plausible.

    Thanks for sharing the article.

    • Tim Denning

      May 27, 2016 at 9:37 pm

      Rob thanks for the kind words. Money is always something that mankind will struggle with but I hope the message eventually get’s out there – money will not make you happy. Glad you liked the tattoo’s piece of the article. I am not someone that likes tattoos but I respect people’s right to choose what they do with their body.

  5. shahwc

    May 22, 2016 at 3:39 am

    Thanks for your article Tim! This is really inspiring as me myself in my 20’s. Hope my 20’s will bring something in my life and my family.

    • Tim Denning

      May 27, 2016 at 9:35 pm

      Shah I am sure your 20’s will be successful. Make sure you enjoy them and don’r look back. Thanks for reading!

  6. Kat

    May 18, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    I just turned 20 and graduated with a Marketing degree! Deciding what to do now is driving me crazy! Thanks for this article!!

    • Tim Denning

      May 20, 2016 at 3:27 am

      No problem Kat. Best of luck with your marketing degree and don’t overthink it.

  7. Aleksandra

    May 16, 2016 at 10:21 pm

    I’m 24 now and I must say that this article is like winning in a lottery. Thank you Tim for this great motivation and inspiration to continue to reach my goals and dreams and just enjoy life, focus on present and be happy and wealthy.
    I have many small and big goals for myself and I know that this is a great period to successfully reach them all!
    Stay cool and I’m waiting for a new great article from you! 🙂

    • Tim Denning

      May 17, 2016 at 12:43 am

      Wow thanks Aleksandra for the massive compliment. Plenty more articles to come so stay tuned.

  8. Toño

    May 16, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    As I have approached my another B’day as well month ago I can tell my 20s have been the craziest time and full of events I would never wished or imagined. I haven’t achieved any success during that time, but through all the struggle, hustle and tragedy I was able to grow and become a better, new person. It was a preparation for a big journey I am now. If to describe my 20s in one sentence it has to be my favourite quote by Thomas Edison: ‘I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work’ 🙂

    Now I can take those lessons of yours to turn my 30s into something big. I don’t count the age, as Time is a man-made concept which most often does not define thyself.

    You’ve listed amazing lessons which will help me on my journey, and I’m going to use them well. I want to highlight those lessons I will the most attachemnt with at the moment:

    #1. The very first lesson. Success is rare, and that not everyone will reach it, taste it and experience it. It got me deep. I am still don’t quite know yet what success really is and whether I’m going to achieve it. You are right about it rarity, and that most people will fail, I’ve been there and know what it is and it gives me another reason to appreciate things more and value my time. I have to define success first, and I am still not quite there yet. I may never learn it, but I will never give up.

    The next lesson is to find your freaking why, man. Exactly! Just few days ago I have been thinking exact same thing, like what is the reason behind most of my daily actions and routine and how to overcome some stress if you really have to do something? Find you WHY, that’s how!
    And then your article comes up with like the same line. Yeah, eyeballs. Amazing!

    For a long time I was convinced you should be young, talented and awesome to do special and particular things, but slowly I realized it does not have to be that. I have been limiting myself out for so long that it seems like I just started to re-learn some regular stuff now. Taking another lesson, anything can be learned, I now can fully agree with you. We have to try multiple things out to find out what it’s like and what we are here to do, and it doesn’t have to be complicated. Back to the Monk WHo Sold His Ferrari story, I have been emptying my cup so I can fill it with new knowledge.

    Oh, and I have watched ‘In pursuit of Happyness’ (this time I spelled it right) as I’ve finally found it in English (surprisingly through my old xbox 360 account!). I think this movie reflect perfectly well on the sunject and on some of the lessons of yours. Thank you SO very much for suggestion, my friend, it was amazing experience and I enjoyed this movie so much. Still feel the emotion, what a beautiful story and what an amazing actors play. I will show it to my sister, she will greatly appreciate it I am sure!

    My gratitude and much love for this article, Tim, you tought me well! Speak with you soon, have a great day and stay healthy!

    • Tim Denning

      May 17, 2016 at 12:46 am

      Toño we always seem to be on a similar journey my friend. I love how you practice what you learn and the fact you are beginning to empty your cup. The Pursuit Of Happyness is my all time favourite movie. It’s what success is all about. The struggles are where all the beauty lies and it’s what will make you successful .

      Keep in touch my friend.

  9. Sophia

    May 16, 2016 at 2:32 am

    Hi Tim,
    Wished you wrote this peace a decade ago and I had a chance to read it. I would have changed scripts that were installed by my culture, surrounding, and myself.
    I would add additional point to the list: choose carefully who are you friends and how much your family can influence you. On subconscious level we always want to fit, be excepted by others, and be part of a tribe. Our social environment affects our mindset, which directly result in our choices for actions. Unless we have good role models, we will fall in trap of following tribe habits which may not be in our personal best interests.
    Thanks again

    • Tim Denning

      May 16, 2016 at 4:52 am

      Sophia I wish I wrote this a decade ago as well…lol, although it’s taken me a while to gain the knowledge Your points are spot on and your environment is very important although not as important as your internal environment that governs everything you do.

      Thanks for reading Sophia.

  10. france

    May 15, 2016 at 9:08 am

    thank you for this inspirational article.greets from grom germany

    • Tim Denning

      May 15, 2016 at 10:33 am

      Not a problem France and thanks for reading 🙂

  11. Rayon

    May 15, 2016 at 7:30 am

    Hey Tim,

    Firstly this line “I would almost go as far as saying the less you know about something, the more you are likely to succeed.” I agree with this 100%.
    In fact a friend and I were having a conversation about this just the other day. We both came to the conclusion that knowing too much sometimes hinder one from getting off the ground and doing the epic. Sometimes even to the point where you’ve dug so deep that you talk yourself out of a very good idea.

    Next, “The fewer resources you have, the more creative with your approach you have to be.” This is a must.
    I remember in high school’s Technical Drawing I had one pencil that I used for every type of line and my drawing table was an enamel stove top that I drew on at home, however, those drawings always stood out to the point where students wanted me to draw for them.
    We can’t allow lack of resources to hold us back. Use what is available to do what we must, eventually all the resources required will show up and whenever they break down and they usually do, working without them won’t be an issue.

    Lastly, “Walking away from a business for me was a massive change.” I’m curious to know how you managed this. Would love to hear more.

    You’ve dropped great points here and this article is definitely worth sharing. Thanks for another great post man.

    Rayon.

    • Tim Denning

      May 15, 2016 at 10:33 am

      Rayon thank you for sharing what you took away from the post. I love your story about your technical drawing experience it highlights my point perfectly.

      The part where I mention the business is something I am happy to share with you. Feel free to drop me a line on Facebook or through my website.

  12. Chipokota

    May 15, 2016 at 6:27 am

    Wow. Beautiful article. As I turn 28 at the end of the year I have so much to reflect on. I couldn’t have read a better article of encouragement that I have lived my twenties not too badly! And should continue making the most out of life! Biggest of all for that comment that I am just three contacts away from a global influencer. I agree totally and I see it all the time in my life! The world is not as big as it seems. Let’s do this!

    • Tim Denning

      May 15, 2016 at 7:16 am

      Chipokota glad to see you are also doing some reflecting. I’m sure you have done fine thus far in life. The global influencer point will serve you well my friend if you use it. Take care!

  13. Gabriel DoCarmo

    May 14, 2016 at 9:51 pm

    Great article Tim, thank you so much for writing. For me, my 20s are freakin awesome! I’m extremely happy with the man I’m becoming and the direction I’m headed in life. I’ve learned that You determine your Reality 100%, nothing happens to you everything happens BECAUSE of You. If you want something you go get it, period. Nobody is coming to the rescue. We live in the best Possible time in the history of the world and country with huge amount of abundance and Opportunity (US) I’m turning 22 next week and looking forward to learning much much more! Life is Awesome
    -Gabriel DoCarmo

    • Tim Denning

      May 14, 2016 at 10:56 pm

      Thanks for the inspiring message and I’m sure the rest of your 20’s will be outstanding. Technology and the internet are brining us so many opportunities. Exciting times!

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Success Advice

10 Things We Can Learn From the Incredible Steve Jobs

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Steve Jobs

Steven Paul Jobs was one of the greatest visionaries and pioneers of the 21st century. He wasn’t an engineer, did not completed his college degree, yet he was able to turnaround the near-bankrupt Apple into the most valuable brand in the world. He not only transformed one industry but several others such as mobile phones, computers, and movies.

Here are 10 life lessons which everyone can learn from Steve Jobs and apply to their lives:

1. Always focus on the positive & let go of the negative

Steve Jobs went through many ups and downs in his life. He was given up by his biological parents for adoption. Such an event could have easily pushed him into the negative; however he chose to focus on the positive in life. He loved his adopted father and mother and he also found the things which kept him happy and positive (i.e. computers).

You should also utilize the power of positive thinking. Don’t become the person who always sees the glass half-empty. Just focus all your energy and dedication on the positive things in your life. If something is negative, it will always drain your energy and you would not be able to live your life to the fullest.

2. Travel the world and learn new things

When Steve Jobs was 19 years old he visited India, and he said in multiple interviews that his travels helped him broaden his perspective. The journey to somewhere far away from his land expanded his thoughts, and opened his mind to unlimited possibilities.

We should also travel more in order to experience the various cultures and lifestyle of people living in different corners of the world. You will not only experience new things but it will also broaden your horizons.

3. Always take a calculated risk

Steve Jobs was a risk-taker, and this set him apart from his competitors. Hardly any CEOs would have agreed to develop a new product which would cannibalize/decrease the sale of the company’s top-selling product. But, Steve Jobs took the risk to develop and market the iPhone when the iPod was their top selling product.

The iPhone cannibalized the sales of the iPod but the iPhone made a huge profit by dominating the emerging smartphone market. In order to move forward, we have to take risks in life. But we must make sure that the risk should be calculated.

Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” – Steve Jobs

4. Be wise in the company you choose to keep

Steve Jobs always hired and surrounded himself with great minds. He hired Steve Wozniak because he knew that he was better than Jobs in building computers. Some of the more prominent people who worked with Jobs were John Lasseter and Tim Cook. These people helped Steve Jobs to achieve massive success in making Apple the most valuable brand in the world.

You should learn to surround yourself with great people in order to achieve success. Don’t let your ego get in the way of who you choose to interact and work with.

5. Learn from the failures and keep moving forward

In 1984, Apple fired Steve Jobs. He could have chosen the option of feeling depressed about it but he took it in a positive way.

At Stanford’s 2005 commencement address, he said;

“I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”

We should also not fear failure because it is not the end of the end. We should treat failure as an opportunity to improve oneself.

6. Do only what you truly love

While addressing the students and faculty members of Stanford University, Steve Jobs said  The only thing which kept him going while facing challenges and obstacles was the fact that he was doing what he loved. He also said to find what you love both in your professional and personal life.

If we do what we truly love then we do that particular work with complete passion. We don’t make any excuses for not giving everything we have.

7. Learn from others

When Steve Jobs was in high school, he attended lectures at Hewlett-Packard. Before the age of 21, he had already worked for HP and Atari. He worked there and learned what these companies were doing and he implemented those strategies at Apple.

You too should learn from others. If you don’t see any results while working towards a certain goal, then you should take advice from the experts in that field. Sometimes, a little help is all you need to achieve success.

8. It is never too early to get started

Steve Jobs was still a teenager when he was working with HP and Atari. At the age of 20, the young enthusiastic entrepreneur had started Apple Inc. He was young daring man open to new ideas thus who he focused all his energy on the company.

If a young entrepreneur starts a venture at a young age, then he doesn’t have much pressure. After a certain age, you are more focused on your family or career at some other company. At a young age, you can take risks professionally as you are are more free to fail and restart.

9. Obstacles are the opportunity to succeed

Steve Jobs and Wozniak were the co-founders of Apple Inc. While they were developing the first Apple computer they ran out of money. They could have given up on their dream of building a computer but instead, they choose to thrive. Steve Jobs sold his van and Wozniak sold his graphing calculator to raise some money.

Learn to see your obstacles as an opportunity to succeed. If you really want to do something, you will always find a way to complete it. Once you have this mindset, then nothing can stop you from overcoming your obstacles.

“I’m convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the non successful ones is pure perseverance.” – Steve Jobs

10. Always remember you are not immortal

While addressing the students at Stanford University, Jobs said “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because of almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure–these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.”

Whenever you feel depressed, confused, embarrassed or have any negative feelings, only remember one thing; you are not immortal. You will be dead soon, so instead of feeling depressed make sure that you utilize every second of life.

Though Steve Jobs has passed away, his legacy will be with us forever. He was an inspiring human being who was and is respected by many. The way he lived his life both personally and professionally is commendable and if we can learn from his teachings, then it will definitely help us in achieving success in life.

Which one of these 10 qualities of Steve Jobs is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

How I Work Smarter: The Practical And Really Dumbed Down Strategies.

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Working Smarter. Productivity Hacks

I’m somewhat of a productivity freak. I like having time.

Time allows me to work smarter, and so I protect it like a rare and beautiful diamond. If you want to steal my time, you better be prepared for one hell of a battle. I’d happily give up money before I would ever give up time.

Here’s how I work smart and how you can do the same:

 

I take the stairs.

While everybody is lining up for the lift or going 1 meter every ten minutes on the escalator, I take the stairs. It keeps me fit and I get where I want to go faster. Nothing in life worth achieving is easy so get used to taking the stairs and doing some physical work.

 

I keep it simple (decision fatigue).

Water instead of wine/soft drink/coffee etc.
One big goal at any point in time instead of a to-do list of goals that lead nowhere.
One email address instead of multiple inboxes.
One computer and one phone instead of a Fitbit, laptop, phone, tablet and Apple Watch.

“Vanilla options are easy and low fuss. Decisions fatigue you”

 

I have lunch before midday.

Lunch can be done in 15 minutes. The trick is to buy or make your lunch before the rush. Standing in lines and getting frustrated is unnecessary. Get some time in your day back by doing lunch earlier. I recommend 11:45. With the extra time you gain back, try adding in 10 minutes of meditation.

 

Leave the car at home.

When I go to the city, I leave the car at home. By the time I get into the car, battle against the seven seas that is traffic and then get parking, I could have already been there by train or equivalent. This transit time also becomes my portable learning time. I use this time to listen to podcasts and audiobooks instead of having to think about driving.

 

One day a week in isolation.

Being alone with your thoughts and complete silence, once a week, makes you mega productive. A few moments of quietness are far more valuable than hours of busyness and noise. In complete isolation, you have no choice but to focus and complete your goals.

 

I use tiredness to do housework.

People hate tiredness. I love it. Tiredness tells me to stop working on my goals and do the things we all have to do like housework. I don’t need any energy or inspiration to do housework so why waste my high energy states on it?

Having said that, I aim to eliminate tiredness. This is a work in progress and requires exercise combined with an excellent diet. Until then, housework I love you!

 

Notifications are turned off except for SMS

That word “notifications” feels like grand larceny. Companies used to steal my time through notifications and now I’ve declared war on them. When you’re powering through a task, the last thing you want is an interruption in the form of a notification.

That small amount of time you spend getting distracted takes you out of the zone and away from the focused state you’re in. Go to settings and turn off notifications – especially Facebook.

 

I don’t play computer games.

As a kid, I loved computer games. That’s why I know to stay away from them as an adult because they are designed to get me to fight someone else’s mission. There’s no such thing as a quick game. Games are designed to keep you engaged and continually challenge you.

 

I get up before everybody else.

Yes, sir! I get up when it’s dark so I can do the big stuff first. Before the rest of the world can wake up and distract me, I’m getting my game on in the early hours of the morning. I really think you should wake up early. If you ignored everything else I said and just woke up early, I’d be proud.

 

I tell myself no before saying yes.

Yes has become a first world disease. You can’t work smart if you say yes to every offer that comes your way. That’s why I tell myself no first, and then try to convince myself of yes. If I can’t convince myself, I say no. Auto responding with yes answers will make you busy.

 

Busy is not smart.

If you think you are busy, and you verbally say so regularly, you’re not working smart. Busy is dumb. Busy will cripple your time and make your mindset go into meltdown. Humans can only focus on a small number of things so stop being busy!

Tell people the truth. Say no more. Guard your time. Avoid the trap of busy.

 

I chunk down big tasks.

If I have to give a big speech then in the same week, I move away any other big goals that might distract me. Too many big goals all in a small space of time can become overwhelming quickly. Stick to one or two big goals at a time and you’ll achieve a lot more. Less is more.

 

I own less stuff.

That way I don’t need to worry about maintaining things, securing things, thinking about objects, spending money on things I can’t afford. Sell, sell, sell yourself out of living the dumb life.

“Stuff does not equal progress; personal growth does and money can’t buy that”

 

I invest in dumb stuff.

With almost no knowledge, anyone can invest in index funds and not have to worry about the burden of trying to predict the next biggest thing. In reality, this strategy will probably beat all of the people who waste their lives away trying to be fortune tellers.

All I do is buy low-cost index funds of major economies like the USA. I invest the same amount each time so I’m not affected by the rise and fall of the stock market. Thank you, Tony Robbins and Warren Buffet for this strategy.

I don’t have video streaming.

Time looking at a screen is better spent reading a book. Fictional TV shows are not teaching me about life. Reading biographies, books about life lessons and the latest research in human psychology does that for me. One up on mediocrity and cancel your subscription.

 

Simplify your subscriptions.

Here’s the thing: Subscriptions equal time.

Companies have moved their business models to subscriptions because it helps keep you engaged and addicted to what they have to sell because you’re paying a recurring fee for it. Delete as many subscriptions as you can. I have one for my meditation app, one for the gym and one for my writing software.

 

Delete apps from your reading device.

Okay, so I do use Kindle which means that there is a temptation to look at apps. Delete apps from your reading device so you can actually read.

 

I take summer holidays when everyone returns to the office.

In Australia, everyone goes away in December and January. I take my holidays when they return to work. This means:

– More time in the office when it’s less busy
– Cheaper flights and accommodation during low peak times
– More chances to step up to leader roles while others are away

Everything is just less busy when you holiday off-peak.

 

I avoid junk food during major goal weeks.

This week I have a public speaking competition. I need all the practice I can get which requires energy. That’s why, in big goal weeks like the one I’m in right now, I cut out junk food. Energy equals time. Do a cheat day to celebrate at the end if you must.

 

I split my resources like this.

– Travel
– Necessities like food, clothes and rent
– Money for family and my girlfriend
– Unplanned indulgences (cheat day)

A balanced life requires resources (money). Splitting your money across these four areas allows you to work smart. You only have to work dumb when you waste your resources and therefore have to work ten times harder than you need to. When in doubt, less is more.

 

Stimulants are neglected.

Coffee only makes us get the jitters and be nervous. I find when I’m on coffee I become more fearful. My relaxed state disappears.

 

I do regular breaks.

We’re not machines. I do regular breaks of trampoline, walking, and eating fresh food in-between hours of writing on the weekend.

 

I outsource stuff I’m bad at.

If I do things I’m horrible at, I do them badly. This stops me from working smart and can cause negativity. That’s why I outsource stuff I’m bad at wherever possible.

 

I get enough sleep.

7 hours works for me. You have to sleep otherwise you’ll get tired which will cause negativity and a poor quality of work. This “sleep when you’re dead” tend is a fallacy.

 

I value you my time.

I’ve placed a very high dollar value on my time. Because I consciously value it, I’m always reconciling how much time I have. By valuing your time, you become aware of it. You can’t focus on something you are not aware of.

 

I do phone first, instead of coffee catch-ups.

LinkedIn sends me multiple requests a day for coffee catch ups. Most of them don’t state any valid reason for the catch-up. Now if you just say no to them all you could be missing out on the gift of socializing, learning new things and meeting people you can do business with.

The hack I use is this: Always do the first conversation via phone. That way you can tell if there is value or a need for a coffee catch up.

Second hack: do a video call instead of an audio-only call. Video lets you see the other person and connect better. It’s more personal and you’ll quickly figure out if you need that coffee after all. I personally don’t drink coffee, so these sort of catch ups take me out of rapport with the other person from the start.

 

Happy partner, happy life.

I spend less time arguing because I do stuff that my partner wants to do even if I don’t. She does the same. This way everybody wins and I don’t need to waste time arguing and lighting a fire under my mindset that causes me to want to evacuate to the world of temptation (coffee, Netflix, games, useless crap).

 

I cheat on my phone regularly.

That’s right! I sleep around with any activity that doesn’t involve looking at my phone.

“The small glass window of my phone feels like such a tiny part of what the world has to offer. I choose to look out of the window of life instead and see limitless possibility”

 

I do exercise to boost my mindset.

Being smart is only possible when you have a positive mindset served on the side. Exercise has helped me relieve stress and get back to feeling good again. Do it.

 

I don’t allow people to steal my time.

People will gladly rob you of your time and waste it. They do this primarily because they have their own selfish goals, or they’re bored with life and wasting your time makes them feel better. Prosecute these time thieves’ by telling them your expectations and referencing your calendar if you have to.

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 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Own Success

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sabotaging your success

Success is your birthright. It is a mindset, ingrained within your identity. Let’s go in one step further. Success is a choice. When you believe you are worthy of success, you recognize your irrational thoughts, you break them down and replace them with a forward focus positive belief. You move from victimisation to becoming your own hero, your own inspiration. You ditch counterproductive self-critical patterns and undermine your success. You reject familiarity and choose expansion to build your confidence, character and conquer negativity bias.

The biggest obstacle in life you will face is you. Our brain is wired to value negative information more than positive information. Negativity bias affects every human being as you hold on to, ruminate and recall negative experiences more quickly. You undermine your progress, keep yourself stuck in bad habits and set up an unconscious platform for failure. People will default to the “devil you know” when placed under pressure. You create your own worst enemy – YOU.

If you think you have no power over your emotions, it’s time to learn how to manage your state, lead your feelings and choose the story of how you will respond.

Here are 7 ways you’re sabotaging your success:

1. You think mistakes are your failures

We start off with great intentions, confidence booming and iron clad attitude of “we have got this”. We make a mistake and then we squirm in our pants. Self-doubt manifests and within minutes it magnifies. Success feels like it has been ripped away from us.

Mistakes happen, and they happen often. Mistakes have the power to turn us into something better than we were before. When we adopt that failure is feedback, we embrace how mistakes are useful and necessary. Failure is moving forward. As Seth Godin highlights “if l fail more than you do, l win”. To disrupt the status quo in life, you need a gargantuan quantity of failure.

2. You think your past equates to your future

Each person has a past. What comes with past is opportunity for growth and it is your greatest teacher. You invested in taking a risk and have the golden moment to apply the lessons learnt. You get to choose who and how to be at any moment. Stop waiting for someone else to believe or validate you. Become your own hero.

“If you want to succeed in your life, remember this phrase: That past does not equal the future…All that matters is: What are you going to do, right now?” – Tony Robbins

3. You don’t appreciate what you already have

We live in a world where we measure success by the things we gain. We buy things to make us happy and we succeed temporarily. New things are exciting at first and then we adapt. The anticipation of a desired outcome is generally more satisfying than the outcome itself. Once we get what we want, we adapt and excitement fades. How often do you see children demanding a toy or their world will end? What’s crazier is how quickly their joy fades as they want something else. Once you appreciate what you currently have, more won’t make life better.

4. You ignore who you are becoming

To experience any level of success, you must be whatever it is you want to be (ie. Happy, satisfied, inspired), and start doing things from this space to create the things you will have. We attract into our lives what we are. Shawn Achor , Harvard psychologist, explains that science shows that happiness facilitates success.

Often people use affirmations as a basis for creating a mindset shift and to feed the unconscious mind with golden treasure. By writing in the positive and present tense, you create a platform to step into who you are being. This will determine what you need to do to step into who you are becoming.

5. You burn all your bridges

There is nothing more heartbreaking when people create any level of success and espouse that they are solely the driver of their success. People succumb to their environment and forget where they came from along with the sacrifices others made to support them in achieving their level of success. Having a level of humility and gratitude keeps your success in perspective.

6. You have a sense of entitlement

The 21st century is reaping of people feeling entitled. It is playing out throughout all generations whether it be driven by someone’s need for job security or a specific salary amount. Stop complaining and be grateful for your ability to contribute to the bigger picture and make a difference in the world. You need to work a little to earn the credibility and trust from your environment.

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey

7. You don’t invest in working out the outcome, you wing it

Reverse engineering is where the game is played to create success. Start from the end and work backwards. As Stephen Covey in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People outlines “begin with the end in mind”. Once your clear, reverse engineer the Wildly Important Goal for the year and break down to quarterly, monthly and weekly goals. Then identify the 5 actions that you will take weekly to bring you closer to your success.

What are you doing to become successful? Let us know by commenting below!

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Success Advice

Want To Become Twice As Productive? Read This.

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Productivity Hacks. Steve Cutts

Productivity is how you find more time in your day to do what you love, and achieve greater results. It’s time to stop being lazy and make a few small changes that will help you win back extra time.

“Productivity is not about doing more; it’s about doing less”

After you’ve had a productive day, you feel so much better. The difficulty is that doing tasks that are on some never-ending to-do list creates a feeling of emptiness. To-do lists are not enough and they rarely make you more productive.

This is my very short, simple, no-brainer list of how you can become twice as productive:

 

Do the big stuff at the start of the day.

If you follow no other advice than this, then you’re already most of the way there. Start your day with the hardest, most fulfilling tasks. If there’s something you’ve been putting off, then do it when you first wake up the next day.

Save your boring and repetitive tasks like ironing and chasing up bills for late in the day when your energy starts to slump. I do my blogging in the morning and my housework just before I go to bed. This allows me to focus on trying to inspire people during the morning when I have the most energy and feel like I can do anything.

 

Chunk down and delete items off your to-do list.

Many tasks on your to-do list are actually part of the same single task. Chunk these tasks into one task. Next, take the tasks that are really not important and don’t matter to you, and consider deleting them off your to-do list.

Finally, don’t let other people’s tasks dominate the order in which you tackle your list. Do the tasks that serve you first. You’ll feel much better and more productive for doing so.

 

Phone over email for the win.

Never-ending text messages and emails lead nowhere. Instant messaging apps are not much better because the conversation never stops. Things get lost in translation and it’s tiring replying back on a tiny little keyboard while looking at a miniature little screen. Not to mention it makes you anti-social.

Be more productive by picking up the phone. A 5-minute conversation is way better than an endless line of messages that interrupt you from the task you’re focusing on each time a new response is received.

 

Have phone blackouts.

What’s this you ask? It’s blackout periods from your phone. Similar to a trading blackout if you’ve ever worked in a publically listed company. Have times of the day and week where you are banned from your phone. Enable flight mode, put it on silent, lock it in your car.

Escape from your phone so you can be focused and work without distraction for a set period of time. Avoid the temptation that has become your phone. The temptation that has become the destroyer of your success.

 

Don’t check social or email first thing.

Checking email and social media first thing in the morning sends your mind into reactive mode. Start your day with time to think and plan what you’re going to do. Be intentional about your day rather than let technology dictate what you’ll focus your time on and therefore what areas you’ll be productive at.

 

Schedule rest periods.

Always being on is not making you productive. We’re not robots, and we need to rest once in a while. Regular periods of rest, outside of sleep, allow us to be more productive. Chunk your day into blocks and rest in-between productive periods of work.

That rest might be eating a proper lunch, doing 10-minutes of meditation, listening to a podcast, or staring at your office window and doing absolutely nothing.

Give your mind space. It’s in these brief moments of nothingness that you will come up with the ideas, solutions and strategies to win in your career and in life. At the same time, it will make you productive.

 

Don’t lie to yourself.

“Creating a meeting, having a lunch, planning a strategy session and sending an email trick your brain into thinking you’re being productive rather than the truth: you do these things to put off doing the real work”

It allows you to be lazy and not think you’re being lazy. Look for ways to get to the solution or complete the task in the most productive way. If you find yourself not being in the mood for doing the hard work, schedule it for the next day, first thing in the morning.

It’s not that difficult to be productive. We can all do it with a little bit of effort and very focused discipline.

How do you increase your productivity?

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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