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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

2 Ways To End Suffering Forever.

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

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

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

 

1. Find a way to give to other people.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

2. Practice gratitude.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s time to end suffering forever.

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

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Success Advice

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

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how to conquer your fears

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Journal Your Fears

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

2. Prioritize Your Fears

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

3. Support Your Belief in Yourself

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

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

4. Take Action & Start Small

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

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

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

5. No Time Limit, Just Consistency

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

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

6. Reframe and Reinforce

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

7. Rinse and Repeat

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

How do you handle your fears? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Success Advice

30 Straightforward Reminders to Help You Supercharge Your Life in 2018

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how to supercharge your life

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Success Advice

5 Things Generation Z Needs to Know in Order to Succeed

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generation z success tips

If you were born from 1995 through 2012, you are part of a special demographic—Generation Z. Congratulations! You are a very important person. First, you make up the largest percentage of the US population at 25.9 percent. Second, you’re an iGeneration kid, which means people like you write product reviews, click web ads, and build online businesses. In short, you run the Internet show.

Finally, you contribute $44 billion to the American economy. You have great potential, but your Internet addiction and reckless behavior are your biggest roadblocks to success. How do you limit the time you spend on Snapchat, focus on building a career, and break through the bars that block your way to success?

Try these five hacks for success:

1. Have a bold vision

Your life is your business. If you’re serious about making it profitable, you’ve got to have a bold vision and work tirelessly to achieve it. Start by redefining yourself. Just because you grew up with Snapchat and YouTube, doesn’t mean you have to use them carelessly. Of course, you can watch the dancing cats on YouTube, but you’ll have to find time for that.

Be a doer, not a chatter, watcher, or browser. Great visionaries are doers, not chatters. If you want success, examine your purpose in life, just like a CEO spends time crafting his company’s mission, then start doing.

Create your vision. Once you make sense of your goal in life, you can set a vision so high that it scares you. Finally, keep working—not chatting—to realize your vision.

2. Never dilute your vision

When I was in high school, I always had the highest grades in my class. However, a new student came to my school, and she began to outshine me in class, answering every question and making me look dumb. One night, I told my mom that I had disappointed her.

I told her that I had new competition, and didn’t have the intellectual capability to face the new girl in the arena. My mom’s response? She laughed out loud before saying anything. She then reminded me, “You told me, remember, that you’ll always be the top student. Why let this girl, a stranger that I believe is no match for you, change your mind?”

Those few words changed my mindset completely. I ended up taking the first position for that year. The moral of the story? Never dilute your vision. It’s scary to face competitors or naysayers who laugh at your idea, but bear in mind that all masters were laughed at before they were revered.

“The only limits are, as always, those of vision.” – James Broughton

3. Win big with small tasks

How do you keep winning and moving closer to realizing your vision? You win the small tasks. I get it, you truly want to create your own app making you the next success story in your industry. In addition, you want to start blogging and profit in the gig economy.  

However, accomplishing these things, all of them, is not possible. They are bigger projects that you can’t accomplish all at once. What is possible is to pick only one thing and work fiercely on it. Deconstruct the dream job.

If you have decided to become a successful blogger, break down that blogging job into smaller tasks. Determine your niche, buy a domain name, design your WordPress site, and start writing and publishing your posts. Successful people move from zero to hero by accomplishing the smaller tasks first. So, get each task done, one step at a time.

4. Stay laser focused on one task

Focus is the secret key that will unlock the code for your success. Unfortunately, for post-millennials living in the world of instant notifications, staying focused is hard. How can you stay focused, for one whole hour, on the single most important task of your day?

Well, here are some simple tips that worked for me:

  • Dedicate certain days to your work. These are your creative days. Whether it’s weekdays or weekends, whatever you choose, just make sure that you do nothing but work on those days.
  • Go tech-free on your creative days. Turn off your Wi-Fi. Power off your Smartphone (or leave it in another room on silent). Divorce the Internet before you sit down to work because too much online activity is dangerous for your physical health, mental faculty, and productivity.
  • Pick one task, only one task, and work on it for an hour.

Of course, you can’t get it done flawlessly when you first start. You’ll feel the urge to look at your phone and possibly check your social media feed or play a game. However, you must keep focusing on the task at hand over and over until it becomes a habit. Consider limiting your Internet time on your non-work days, too.

“The biggest challenge is to stay focused. It’s to have the discipline when there are so many competing things.” – Alexa Hirschfeld

5. Stay consistent

One of the most crucial success hacks is consistency. The rule is to show up every day and do the work required if you truly want to succeed.

Learn from the former American tennis champion Andrea Agassi. Before he made a name for himself, Agassi’s father instructed him to hit 5000 balls every day. Just lace some sneakers, show up at the court, hit 5000 balls, and go home to relax.

Show up and do the same tomorrow. This consistent routine was what elevated Agassi to becoming “the biggest worldwide star in the sport’s history.” If you want to achieve that level of success, set down your smartphone and get to work. “The doing,” as Arthur Ashe beautifully puts it, “is more important than the outcome.”

Which one of these tasks is more challenging for you? How will you improve on it this year? Let us know so we can help!

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10 “Brick-In-The-Head” Moments You’ll Encounter as an Entrepreneur

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entrepreneurship

The entrepreneurial life is one of the most challenging, stressful and risky avenues to success you could possibly choose. The issue with doing it alone in business ventures is exactly that; you’re alone. To be a successful entrepreneur, you have to be driven, thick-skinned, and ready for any curve balls. (more…)

Vladimir Yakimenko is a CEO, Investor and Founder of Kanbanchi, a popular project management add-on for G Suite. Kanbanchi is one of the fastest growing add-ons for G Suite and has over 80,000 active users. Our work has been featured on Today.com, Lifehacker, Lifehack and more.

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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

2 Ways To End Suffering Forever.

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

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

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

 

1. Find a way to give to other people.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

2. Practice gratitude.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s time to end suffering forever.

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

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Success Advice

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

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how to conquer your fears

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Journal Your Fears

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

2. Prioritize Your Fears

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

3. Support Your Belief in Yourself

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

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

4. Take Action & Start Small

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

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

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

5. No Time Limit, Just Consistency

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

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

6. Reframe and Reinforce

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

7. Rinse and Repeat

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

How do you handle your fears? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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30 Straightforward Reminders to Help You Supercharge Your Life in 2018

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how to supercharge your life

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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5 Things Generation Z Needs to Know in Order to Succeed

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If you were born from 1995 through 2012, you are part of a special demographic—Generation Z. Congratulations! You are a very important person. First, you make up the largest percentage of the US population at 25.9 percent. Second, you’re an iGeneration kid, which means people like you write product reviews, click web ads, and build online businesses. In short, you run the Internet show.

Finally, you contribute $44 billion to the American economy. You have great potential, but your Internet addiction and reckless behavior are your biggest roadblocks to success. How do you limit the time you spend on Snapchat, focus on building a career, and break through the bars that block your way to success?

Try these five hacks for success:

1. Have a bold vision

Your life is your business. If you’re serious about making it profitable, you’ve got to have a bold vision and work tirelessly to achieve it. Start by redefining yourself. Just because you grew up with Snapchat and YouTube, doesn’t mean you have to use them carelessly. Of course, you can watch the dancing cats on YouTube, but you’ll have to find time for that.

Be a doer, not a chatter, watcher, or browser. Great visionaries are doers, not chatters. If you want success, examine your purpose in life, just like a CEO spends time crafting his company’s mission, then start doing.

Create your vision. Once you make sense of your goal in life, you can set a vision so high that it scares you. Finally, keep working—not chatting—to realize your vision.

2. Never dilute your vision

When I was in high school, I always had the highest grades in my class. However, a new student came to my school, and she began to outshine me in class, answering every question and making me look dumb. One night, I told my mom that I had disappointed her.

I told her that I had new competition, and didn’t have the intellectual capability to face the new girl in the arena. My mom’s response? She laughed out loud before saying anything. She then reminded me, “You told me, remember, that you’ll always be the top student. Why let this girl, a stranger that I believe is no match for you, change your mind?”

Those few words changed my mindset completely. I ended up taking the first position for that year. The moral of the story? Never dilute your vision. It’s scary to face competitors or naysayers who laugh at your idea, but bear in mind that all masters were laughed at before they were revered.

“The only limits are, as always, those of vision.” – James Broughton

3. Win big with small tasks

How do you keep winning and moving closer to realizing your vision? You win the small tasks. I get it, you truly want to create your own app making you the next success story in your industry. In addition, you want to start blogging and profit in the gig economy.  

However, accomplishing these things, all of them, is not possible. They are bigger projects that you can’t accomplish all at once. What is possible is to pick only one thing and work fiercely on it. Deconstruct the dream job.

If you have decided to become a successful blogger, break down that blogging job into smaller tasks. Determine your niche, buy a domain name, design your WordPress site, and start writing and publishing your posts. Successful people move from zero to hero by accomplishing the smaller tasks first. So, get each task done, one step at a time.

4. Stay laser focused on one task

Focus is the secret key that will unlock the code for your success. Unfortunately, for post-millennials living in the world of instant notifications, staying focused is hard. How can you stay focused, for one whole hour, on the single most important task of your day?

Well, here are some simple tips that worked for me:

  • Dedicate certain days to your work. These are your creative days. Whether it’s weekdays or weekends, whatever you choose, just make sure that you do nothing but work on those days.
  • Go tech-free on your creative days. Turn off your Wi-Fi. Power off your Smartphone (or leave it in another room on silent). Divorce the Internet before you sit down to work because too much online activity is dangerous for your physical health, mental faculty, and productivity.
  • Pick one task, only one task, and work on it for an hour.

Of course, you can’t get it done flawlessly when you first start. You’ll feel the urge to look at your phone and possibly check your social media feed or play a game. However, you must keep focusing on the task at hand over and over until it becomes a habit. Consider limiting your Internet time on your non-work days, too.

“The biggest challenge is to stay focused. It’s to have the discipline when there are so many competing things.” – Alexa Hirschfeld

5. Stay consistent

One of the most crucial success hacks is consistency. The rule is to show up every day and do the work required if you truly want to succeed.

Learn from the former American tennis champion Andrea Agassi. Before he made a name for himself, Agassi’s father instructed him to hit 5000 balls every day. Just lace some sneakers, show up at the court, hit 5000 balls, and go home to relax.

Show up and do the same tomorrow. This consistent routine was what elevated Agassi to becoming “the biggest worldwide star in the sport’s history.” If you want to achieve that level of success, set down your smartphone and get to work. “The doing,” as Arthur Ashe beautifully puts it, “is more important than the outcome.”

Which one of these tasks is more challenging for you? How will you improve on it this year? Let us know so we can help!

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