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Why Global Influencers And Entrepreneurs Use Stories To Start Movements

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Elon Musk Using Stories To Start Glboal Movements in Transportation

A lot of my time currently has been spent studying successful people and global influencers. The one’s who have started global movements all seem to have one critical skill; they are great communicators who use stories to effectively get their point across.

The idea of stories has been around for thousands of years but more and more it’s becoming the most important way to communicate. I was listening to a podcast interview with a Ted Talk expert the other day who suggested that up to eighty percent of communication is best done through story telling.

He explained that the reason why people in business fail at communicating is that they don’t use real world stories. My recommendation to you is to investigate the art of storytelling as much as you can. It’s a skill that will help you in whatever you are doing, and it’s something that can always be improved upon.

The five reasons stories start global movements are:

 

1. Stories inspire

Out of all the reasons why stories start global movements, the number one reason is that they inspire people. A movement is a group of people that all believe something similar and form a community around this idea or belief.

Movements are made up of people, and people are moved by other people. In order for people to move people (I hope I’m making sense), there has to be some human element that moves them into action.

Action requires people to feel differently than they did before and the best way to do this is through a story. See if you look at every successful business, brand, location or person (all could be considered movements) they were all started by someone who shared a story.

Through my research, there was not a single example I could find where a story wasn’t responsible for a movement. When someone attempts to influence you with facts, chunks of data, and content that is not story based, you start to feel like you are in some boring corporate presentation.

Stories have the power to inspire people because they are relatable and something that people can grab hold of. The way people latch onto a story is through finding a story in their own life that aligns with the story being told by the person starting the movement.

For example, when Wholefoods says that they stand for more than just healthy, and they are about food that nourishes, win-win supplier relationships, satisfying customers, food education, and advance environment stewardship (I’ll be honest I have no idea what this is), some of what they stand for connects with me.

Now not all the things they stand for align with me personally, but their point about food education aligns with me because I never got food education in school and I wish I did. If I was given food education, then I may have a much better level of health than I do now.

So my point is that I have taken one part of the Wholefoods story, and then applied part of my own story to it, and that’s what inspires me to be part of their global movement. If they tried to get me onboard through something other than the story of their vision and why they began, I wouldn’t have the leverage needed to be inspired by them.

“What a company sells doesn’t inspire me, it’s why they sell it that inspires me and their story is what delivers that message”

 

2. Stories are personal and require vulnerability

Think about when you buy something. Why do you ask people you know about their experience of the product you want to buy? Simple, because the story of how they use it is personal and free from advertising hype and marketing spin.

The reason you ask your friends about a product is because you are more inclined to listen to a story about it from someone you trust because then it’s a personal shopping experience.

Stories ae powerful because nine times out of ten they are personal. To share personal stories, like the ones I share on Addicted2Success, requires some degree of vulnerability. Not everyone wants to share a personal story because they are worried what others might think about them after reading it.

Well, if you haven’t figured out already, I don’t really care, and you shouldn’t either. For me, I want to be part of a global movement, and I know that the only way to do this from experience is by being real. It requires me to put myself on the line and not to be afraid or blocked by fear.

The more vulnerable you are about sharing your deepest darkest stories, the more likely you are to have people join your movement. One of the best examples I have seen of vulnerable storytelling was from a fellow success junkie Lewis Howes.

Now here’s a guy who some might perceive to be a tall, athletic, footy jock kind of guy that has always been “Mr Popular.” Lewis shared a few years ago his story of how he was raped by another boy when he was a kid.

Sharing this type of story would be considered by most to be career suicide, but Lewis has built a global movement of millions of people by being vulnerable and sharing his story. It’s what the 0.1% of people do like Lewis, such as telling vulnerable stories, that creates success and can lead to global movements.

Stop being afraid and don’t just share stories, make them vulnerable and personal wherever possible.

 

3. Stories create raw emotion

To get any person to take action towards anything, or to get someone to join a global movement, you must use emotion. Emotion get’s people to take action and it taps into our human potential in every sense of the word.

When you tell a great story, if you’re doing it correctly, there should be raw emotion behind it. If you look at well-known singers that make the big time, the one thing they do is deliver songs (a form of a story) with raw emotion.

The difference between singers who make it and singers who don’t are the one’s that make it link their heart and communicate emotion with every single performance. As thick as your skin can be, it’s hard not to be moved by a story when it makes you feel some type of emotion.

Those of us who have done sales training know that people don’t make buying decisions based on logic; they make buying decisions based on emotion. If you make someone feel really good, even if your product is not the best in the market, there is a high chance that the person will buy from you.

“Stories create emotion and emotion is like a magnet that brings people towards your movement faster than you have ever seen before”

4. Stories are unforgettable

As many of you know, I have been doing Toastmasters to improve my public speaking skills because it’s helping me with my vision to inspire the world. One of the first questions I had when I started was “how the heck do I remember all the words in the speeches I write?”

I reached out to my network, and the response was interesting. Apparently, the reason why I would often forget words in some presentations was that I was supposedly speaking about something I wasn’t passionate about.

See, it turns out that when you tell stories, you are speaking from experience, and often on things that you are passionate about. When you try and communicate without stories, it’s easy to forget things because you are asking your brain to remember something that frankly, you don’t give a damn about!

Global influencers use stories because they don’t have to remember them. They can get up and tell a story for hours without forgetting any part of it because the story is something that is easy to remember.

The same is true for the audience. Stories are unforgettable and can attract people to a movement because they are very hard to forget if told well with the right ingredients. So many times in business I share stories with perspective clients when the product I am offering is by no means the best thing they can get.

To my surprise, these perspective clients usually go with me, not for the product I am offering them, but for the unforgettable stories that I shared with them about why I do what I do. By looking at every article I have posted on Addicted2Success, you will see that almost every single one is made up of powerful stories that have happened to me.

The reason for this is because that’s how I get people to join our movement and for them not to forget what we stand for. Stories are the reason why I get so many people reaching out via social media and why our movement is growing stronger than it ever has before.

People want to be inspired, and the best way to do that is to make them never forget you through the power of stories!

Tim Denning - Story Quote copy
 

5. Stories demonstrate growth

The key reason why global influencers use stories is because a story does one very powerful thing; a story demonstrates growth. If you analyse what a lot of stories are made up of you pretty quickly realise that they have a starting point and an end point that demonstrates some type of change or growth from where the story initially began.

It’s this growth that people are attracted to because the natural reaction when you hear a story that includes growth is to say to yourself “if they could do that then maybe I could do that, or maybe I could overcome the same thing they did.”

What story do you have that inspires people? Share your answer in the comments section below or on my website timdenning.net and 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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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Toño

    May 10, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    You know Tim, I have been thinking, what separates your articles from any other, and why I was attracted to your work and passion in the first place. For the last few years I have read lots and lots of stuff and sometimes there’s a good title like ‘5 tips to improve your motivation’ or ’10 reasons why you have no success’ and you read it just as your favourite book, from cover to cover and feels like something wrong there. I mean, it’s all good, valuable information, but no personal attachment. The story you can easily remember and then share, is missing, and few hours later you cannot remember the title name, who was the author and what was he actually trying to tell you?

    Your ability and desire to share personal experience keeps me coming here daily (well, not only that really, but your stories helped me find that common ground and sense of friendship, if you like) and check if there’s un update from you. I read almost anything on A2S, and there are many talented people here, and again, once there’s a story involved, a personal experience or perhaps an honest opinion about subject, it easily provides additional thrill to read it.

    Stories have been a huge inspiration for me for a long time and I used lots of them as an example to other people, and for myself of course. I think it is a unique gift or skill to tell a good story, to conquer your fears and be vulnerable.

    You mentioned Lewis Howes here, and I watched one of the series on youtube where he was talking about that. It was powerful. I think being vulnerable gives you more strength and energy, and just unchain your inner self. It will heal you at the end.

    My appreciation and gratitude for that great read, Tim. I enjoyed it very much! Thank you for being authentic and vulnerable, have a wonderful day and stay well and healthy!

    • Tim Denning

      May 10, 2016 at 7:16 pm

      Toño thank you for helping me to understand more about what I do. I have always believed that if there is no personal attachment and no stories then you are really just sharing facts or somebody else’s information. I really do appreciate the effort you put in to read each of the articles and take the time to share your thoughts. Keep well chief and we’ll speak again soon.

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Success Advice

You Don’t Have To Listen To Every Bit Of Career Feedback. Some People Just Don’t Get You And That’s Fine!

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I recently got rejected from what I thought was a fantastic career opportunity. I was told that I was “Not entrepreneurial enough.”

Those that know me well know that it’s probably one of the few things I’m good at. Many of my mentors who I told this story to laughed out loud.

These three words were career feedback and I was always led to believe that to ignore this feedback would be ignorant and stupid.

I pondered that thought for a few days and then had a revelation: “I don’t have to listen to every bit of feedback I get.”

 

Pissed off is a natural first reaction.

That’s how I felt after someone told me I was crap at the very thing I love and have dedicated most of my time to. Our brain wants to be angry and fight back. Our first reaction, though, is often not what we should pay attention to.

“Empty space and time to reflect is how we process career feedback for what it really is: an opinion”

Don’t let your first reaction dominate how you think about the feedback. Maturity that can come at any age will show you to question everything – even your reaction.

 

Some people just don’t get you.

You’re not their type, they don’t like you, you speak a different language or you may have different values. Not everyone is going to get you and what you stand for and that’s okay. In my case, I didn’t connect.

Buying into the circus that is me is not for everyone. If you don’t like vulnerability or breaking comfort zones, then you probably won’t like me.

If you’re not obsessed with big goals, doing the impossible and trying to improve just a little bit every day, then you probably won’t like me.

That’s okay and I forgive you. I don’t have all the answers and I’m far from perfect – like the rest of us.

Learn to accept that some people will never get you and what you’re about.

That realization is how we overcome career feedback that we may not agree with.

 

Sometimes it’s any excuse. The real answer is something different.

Feedback can be disguised by the truth. The truth is maybe there was someone else the whole time and I never had a chance at this career opportunity. Maybe it wasn’t me at all.

Sometimes feedback is given because the real reason is much harder to deliver. It’s not easy to say “Tim, thanks but we hired someone else and you were never in the running.”

Admitting you never even had a chance is something many of us would never want to say. Being brutally honest takes courage, and courage is not everyone’s kind of kebab with garlic sauce on top, sprinkles and chili flakes.

 

We all get rejected.

I nearly forgot this fact. Everyone gets rejected. In fact, right now, someone is being rejected.

Rejection is not limited to you and me; learning to deal with it will only help us, not hinder our ability to achieve success in any field.

“We’ve all got 99 problems and thinking you’re special will only create more pointless thoughts that won’t serve you or your goals”

 

You’re responsible.

The thing about career feedback is that you have to take responsibility. Maybe in my case, I didn’t deliver the message of how obsessed and skilled I am at entrepreneurship. Maybe I could have done a better job at explaining my entrepreneurial background and passion.

It’s highly likely that I am entrepreneurial enough for this career opportunity and that it’s not a lack of skill at play here but a lack of effective communication.

“Responsibility always trumps the blame game and it helps us grow more as a person”

 

There’s always one lesson.

Mine was to develop more skills in strategy.

Let’s stop for one second: I hate the word strategy. The other career feedback I got was to do more strategy yet that’s not a skill of mine and I have no desire to do lots of that in my career.

The key here is that there’s always a lesson from all feedback and it might not be the intended lesson that the giver left you with.

There’s either a great lesson in the feedback or a reminder in the feedback of what you stand for. Don’t let any feedback compromise your values and who you are.

 

You are good enough.

You just have to believe in yourself and eventually, the right opportunity will find you.

Don’t give up your hopes and dreams because of one rejection. Interrupt the story in your head that plays on repeat and focuses on anger towards another person.

Replace that story with thoughts of how you can do better and get to the next opportunity.

Through rejection and bad career feedback, you find your way to what you’ve always wanted. That’s the hack and it works.

I’m off to suck up the rejection and take my own advice. Much respect.

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

6 Important Lessons That Will Lead You to Success

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Failure is a part of life and it’s nothing to be ashamed of because the most highly successful people are the ones who have experienced failures the most in their life. The general public usually learns about people and their work when they become successful but only a handful of people know about the immense struggles that those people have gone through. Unfortunately, we do not have the stories of their failures to which we can relate our own setbacks and this is why we perceive failure to be a bad thing.

People are afraid of failure because, from a very young age, they are taught that making mistakes and being wrong is a bad thing so when a person suffers from a failure, it’s possible for that person to experience some form of depression. It is important for you to understand failure is a way for you to learn and move on from the experience. It is literally impossible to live life forever without failing at something, unless you live your life so carefully that you forget to live at all.

Here are 6 lessons that you should embrace that will change in your life:

1. Keep Your Expectations Low

When it comes to life, people often expect things like family, business, and marriage to be constant and consistent throughout the years. However, this is not the case because life is not that simple and there are always ups and downs which you need to confront.

Having low expectations is totally understandable and justifiable but having high expectations from relationships and businesses could prove to be harmful if those things don’t last forever. In addition to this, keeping your expectations low helps you accept whatever comes from the situation. High expectations tend to result in disappointment, pain, and loss, so it’s better for you to have low expectations, yet continue to work hard with what you are doing.

2. Acknowledge the Change

Most of the time, people think they may not experience change at all in their life because they are expecting things to last forever, but little do they know that change is always waiting to take place and can happen at any point in time. Acknowledging change means you’re fully aware of the situation and this will help when change occurs and you move from the stage of shock to acceptance.

“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” – Charles Darwin

3. Accept the Change

The acceptance of change can be difficult and you might resist it at first, but you need to understand the fact that accepting the change will help you make the necessary adjustments that you need in your life. Preventing and stopping the change from happening can prove to be disastrous for you because you are rejecting the fact that the situation has changed and are still living in the past.

Things turn out to be different from the way you expected them to be and this is completely  fine because you will be able to deal with the change more effectively by embracing the new situation.

4. Learn from Your Past

Once you accept the change and are ready to embrace it, it will start making sense and you will find lessons from which you can learn a lot. It is important to learn from your previous mistakes because learning and moving on eliminates the probability of you making those mistakes again in future.

5. Grow Stronger than Before

Accepting, embracing and learning from the change makes you stronger and better than you were in the past. The ability to learn from your past makes you a better person who is able to deal with the changes more easily and is able to move on without having any regrets in life. Moreover, this change will take away the fear of making new adjustments in life.

“Embrace uncertainty. Some of the most beautiful chapters in our lives won’t have a title until much later.” – Bob Goff

6. Acknowledge the Wisdom and Embrace it

The more you permit change to happen in your life, the better you grow as an individual. Embracing the wisdom will bring new found energy and strength into your life with inner peace and calmness. Embracing the change proactively and accepting it as a part of your life will result in you being calmer and stronger than ever. Change is not your enemy but the greatest teacher from whom you will learn most of your life lessons.

It is worth mentioning that during the process of accepting change, you need to be brutally honest with yourself because most people are in denial and fail to realize the real reason behind the change. It is insane to repeat the same mistakes again and again with the expectations of a different result. So, if you do not learn from your mistakes, you are doomed to fail again.

Failure can find you again, but if the situation is different from the previous one, then it’s just another experience. You need to stand up after you fall since you cannot stop problems from occurring in your life. What you can do is handle them in a more strategic way.

Problems are a part of your journey, however, the important thing is to keep your eyes on the final destination. Once you reach your final destination, you will realize that all those problems you faced were totally worth the success.

Failure is the one who falls and never stands back up. When you stand back up and keep on trying to achieve what you want, you’re not a failure but a winner in life. So, never lose hope and always look for the positive side, even in the toughest of situations because this is what successful people do.

How do you embrace change and keep pushing forward in life? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

5 Simple Ways to Supercharge Your Happiness

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With so many demands on our time, energy, wallet from work, family and friends, figuring out what makes you happy and going after it can be a challenge. If you don’t prioritize your happiness, nobody else will. These five simple hacks will help you supercharge your happiness so you can avoid burnout, overwhelm, and going to that second cousin twice removed’s barbeque just because you “should.”

1. Schedule plenty of YOU time into your week

Let’s face it, most of our lives revolve around other people. Work, friends, spouses and partners, family, etc., the majority of our day requires us to interact with other people and that can be really exhausting. It’s important to schedule at least an hour a day – and more if you can – of YOU time into your calendar to take care of yourself.

Doing things that you enjoy, whether that’s listening to a podcast, reading, or working out, and doing them alone allows you to reconnect to who you are and have something positive to look forward to every single day.

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” – Ludwig Jacobowski

2. Make “no” the most important word in your vocabulary

Making other people happy is something that we all want. It feels good to help someone out or make their lives easier. The problem is that we often sacrifice our own well-being when we say “yes” too much, especially for opportunities, work, or interactions that don’t personally fulfill us.

So whether it’s with friends, co-workers, or colleagues, learning to say no not only increases your productivity, but also your quality of life. When you set clear boundaries for the things that you don’t want and won’t accept, it leaves more room for the people and experiences that do make you happy. And remember: You don’t owe anyone an explanation if you say no to them.

3. Create a “shake the day off” routine

Even the happiest people go through stressful periods. One of the biggest issues that leads to serial unhappiness, burnout, and chronic stress is not having a release to clear out the stress that’s built up over the course of the day.

So once you’ve closed your laptop or walked through the door, it’s important to have a routine that you do that helps you get everything you’ve been bottling up off your chest. Whether that’s playing loud music and ranting for 10 minutes, spending 20 minutes with a partner where you both get to talk about the stresses of the day, or just putting on your favorite playlist and dancing it out, it’s crucial to give your mind and your body the opportunity to let go of stress on a consistent basis.

Having a place to channel negative emotion at the end of the day will help you move through the emotions, honor them, and not dwell on them incessantly. And if you had an absolutely amazing day, flip your routine on its head – spend 10 minutes celebrating.

4. Do a closet purge

Our closets hold a lot of memories – good and bad, and they tend to be where we hoard a lot of emotional baggage, both metaphorically and literally. Go through your closet and find your favorite outfits that you wear currently, whether it’s sweatpants and a t-shirt or a really well-tailored outfit, that’s your starting point.

Everything in your closet and drawers should make you feel that amazing. So get rid of any clothes that are too big or too small, any emotionally-charged pieces of clothing (for example, if you’ve still got your wedding outfit after a divorce, donate it), or anything that doesn’t represent who you are.

Your style is an opportunity to make a statement about who you are and the clothes you wear should boost your mood. Even if you’re a minimalist, you should be proud of the quality of your pieces and how they fit.

“Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.” – Dale Carnegie

5. Get up close and personal with your bank account every day

Money doesn’t buy happiness, but it does give you options. So many people have a fear of money and they avoid it like the plague. Checking their bank balance is their least favorite to do, they hate paying bills, and they avoid opening mail or screen phone calls to make sure it’s not the bank.

Facing the reality of your money situation, whether it needs fixing or it’s great, will only help you improve it. You can also seek the advice of a financial planner at your bank to help you with this and create a plan to shift your situation. You might have more options available than you know.

Getting clear about the gap between your spending and your income can help push you to start looking for that job or new opportunity that you’ve been procrastinating on. Tracking your finances on a daily or weekly basis can help you come up with creative solutions to make more money and provide yourself with more options for financial freedom.

Maybe you’re paying for cable, Netflix, and Hulu, but it’d be more cost effective to just get Netflix and HBO Go because that’s all you ever watch anyways. You’ll never know where more options are hiding until you get up close and personal with the reality of your financial situation.

Comment below with the happiness-boosting tip that you’ll be implementing today!

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Success Advice

5 Goal-Setting Myths That Are Busted Once and for All

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Brian Tracy said it a long time ago “People with clear, written goals accomplish far more in a shorter period of time than people without them can ever imagine.” Today, it’s scientifically proven that people with goals are more successful.  

Why? Because, setting goals will drive you to take action. Having clearly defined goals is like having a GPS System leading the way. But to be led, first you have to know where you want to go. And let’s be honest the vast majority of us don’t have even the slightest idea of where to start to make our dreams come true.

If you decide to join the 3% to 5% of people who set daily, weekly and quarterly goals, take it one step at a time and remain flexible, then over time, you can achieve things that you couldn’t even imagine before.

Lets start by busting 5 goal-setting myths:

1. Your goals have to be S.M.A.R.T.

Not true. It might be better to have smart goals, but simply having goals and writing them down already sets you apart from around 97% of people who don’t have them. My first goal which was starting my whole process about five years ago was to read more. Not a smart goal because it was not specific, measurable, or time-bound, but enough for a start. I went from not reading any books in five years to reading one book per week.

My five-year goal was “Write a book.” Again not a smart goal, but 4 1/2 years later I’m a bestselling author with more than 180,000 sales and downloads on Amazon, my books have been translated into Japanese, Korean, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Indonesian, etc. and I’m currently working on my seventh book. This is proof your goals don’t have to be SMART.

“The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.” – Bill Copeland

2. You have to set realistic goals

What is realistic? If I had told people a couple of years ago: “In two years I’m going to be a bestselling author, I’m going to be on TV, radio, and my books will be read around the world”, chances are I’d rather have ended up in a madhouse than on the Amazon Bestseller list.

So it depends. If you tend to beat yourself up for not reaching your goals, then I would advise you to set smaller, more realistic goals. For example, if you set the goal of earning $100,000 USD a year and end up earning $97,000 USD and then beat yourself up feeling like a failure, I recommend you to set small, realistic goals.

If you are like me and always celebrate how far you have come even if you didn’t reach your goals, then set huge unrealistic goals. You want to earn $150,000 USD a year? Great, but if you only get to $50,000 USD in the first year, celebrate it. It’s better than $40,000. Analyze what went wrong, make a new plan and go for the $150,000 USD next year.

3. You have to reach all your goals

Actually, you don’t. I dare to bet that if you reach 50% of the goals you set, your life will be so much better, than not setting goals at all. Again, this depends on your personality. If you are a perfectionist, you might want to learn this kind of approach. In the last two years, I have only reached 40-50% of my goals, but it was by far the two best years of my life. I celebrated the goals I reached, and the goals I didn’t reach were discarded or turned into new goals for next year.

4. Reaching your goals will make you happier

Again, not true. Reaching your goals will not make you happier. It will only give you temporary highs before you go back to your base-level of happiness and set new goals. Goals properly understood will make you happier. It’s not the attaining of the goal that leads to happiness, it’s the having of the goal that leads to happiness. The role of your goals is to liberate us to enjoy the present.

If you go on a road trip and don’t know where to go or don’t have a destination, you are less likely to enjoy the present moment because every minute you have to look around. Every crossroads or turn you reach becomes an important decision. This is stressful. If you know where you are going, you have a sense of direction. You will feel liberated.

You are much more likely to enjoy the process, the environment, the landscape or the proverbial “flowers on the side of the way.” Not only that, if you have a clear sense of direction, you are much more likely to be happy. We need a goal for future orientation so that we can enjoy the present more

5. Having goals will make your more successful

Although science has shown that people who set goals are generally more successful, because they are more focused, having goals will not make you more successful. Many have people have goals and dreams and never reach them. They might even have written them down and try to use the “Law of Attraction” to reach their goals.

There is only one problem, nobody reaches their goals sitting on the sofa and imagining good things to happen. The most important ingredient is missing: TAKING ACTION. Having goals and working your butt off to reach them will make you more successful.

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Tony Robbins

I meet many people that have no goals and are happy. That’s totally okay. There is a time for everything. If you don’t have goals and are happy…keep on not having goals. No need to change what’s working, you will know when the time comes. Just listen very closely to the “I don’t need goals. I’m happy without goals” voice because comfort and fear talk the same talk.

Keep in mind that if you want to have an even better life, go set some goals, write them down and start working on them. It will be worth it.

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5 Ways to Realize Your Authentic Self

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I was a scared kid throughout my younger years. Overly-cautious and wildly unsure were just a few of my characteristics as I headed into adulthood. Unfortunately for me, I wasn’t present to many of the decisions I made in my youth in regards to navigating life thus I was blindly going along with it. (more…)

Dan Whalen is a franchise operator with College Hunks Hauling Junk & Moving, personal development writer, and NLP master practitioner. He has a background in business management and team leadership spanning nearly a decade, and has a deeply-rooted passion for helping people experience fulfilling lives. You can find him on Twitter at @DanielJWhalen.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Toño

    May 10, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    You know Tim, I have been thinking, what separates your articles from any other, and why I was attracted to your work and passion in the first place. For the last few years I have read lots and lots of stuff and sometimes there’s a good title like ‘5 tips to improve your motivation’ or ’10 reasons why you have no success’ and you read it just as your favourite book, from cover to cover and feels like something wrong there. I mean, it’s all good, valuable information, but no personal attachment. The story you can easily remember and then share, is missing, and few hours later you cannot remember the title name, who was the author and what was he actually trying to tell you?

    Your ability and desire to share personal experience keeps me coming here daily (well, not only that really, but your stories helped me find that common ground and sense of friendship, if you like) and check if there’s un update from you. I read almost anything on A2S, and there are many talented people here, and again, once there’s a story involved, a personal experience or perhaps an honest opinion about subject, it easily provides additional thrill to read it.

    Stories have been a huge inspiration for me for a long time and I used lots of them as an example to other people, and for myself of course. I think it is a unique gift or skill to tell a good story, to conquer your fears and be vulnerable.

    You mentioned Lewis Howes here, and I watched one of the series on youtube where he was talking about that. It was powerful. I think being vulnerable gives you more strength and energy, and just unchain your inner self. It will heal you at the end.

    My appreciation and gratitude for that great read, Tim. I enjoyed it very much! Thank you for being authentic and vulnerable, have a wonderful day and stay well and healthy!

    • Tim Denning

      May 10, 2016 at 7:16 pm

      Toño thank you for helping me to understand more about what I do. I have always believed that if there is no personal attachment and no stories then you are really just sharing facts or somebody else’s information. I really do appreciate the effort you put in to read each of the articles and take the time to share your thoughts. Keep well chief and we’ll speak again soon.

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Success Advice

You Don’t Have To Listen To Every Bit Of Career Feedback. Some People Just Don’t Get You And That’s Fine!

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I recently got rejected from what I thought was a fantastic career opportunity. I was told that I was “Not entrepreneurial enough.”

Those that know me well know that it’s probably one of the few things I’m good at. Many of my mentors who I told this story to laughed out loud.

These three words were career feedback and I was always led to believe that to ignore this feedback would be ignorant and stupid.

I pondered that thought for a few days and then had a revelation: “I don’t have to listen to every bit of feedback I get.”

 

Pissed off is a natural first reaction.

That’s how I felt after someone told me I was crap at the very thing I love and have dedicated most of my time to. Our brain wants to be angry and fight back. Our first reaction, though, is often not what we should pay attention to.

“Empty space and time to reflect is how we process career feedback for what it really is: an opinion”

Don’t let your first reaction dominate how you think about the feedback. Maturity that can come at any age will show you to question everything – even your reaction.

 

Some people just don’t get you.

You’re not their type, they don’t like you, you speak a different language or you may have different values. Not everyone is going to get you and what you stand for and that’s okay. In my case, I didn’t connect.

Buying into the circus that is me is not for everyone. If you don’t like vulnerability or breaking comfort zones, then you probably won’t like me.

If you’re not obsessed with big goals, doing the impossible and trying to improve just a little bit every day, then you probably won’t like me.

That’s okay and I forgive you. I don’t have all the answers and I’m far from perfect – like the rest of us.

Learn to accept that some people will never get you and what you’re about.

That realization is how we overcome career feedback that we may not agree with.

 

Sometimes it’s any excuse. The real answer is something different.

Feedback can be disguised by the truth. The truth is maybe there was someone else the whole time and I never had a chance at this career opportunity. Maybe it wasn’t me at all.

Sometimes feedback is given because the real reason is much harder to deliver. It’s not easy to say “Tim, thanks but we hired someone else and you were never in the running.”

Admitting you never even had a chance is something many of us would never want to say. Being brutally honest takes courage, and courage is not everyone’s kind of kebab with garlic sauce on top, sprinkles and chili flakes.

 

We all get rejected.

I nearly forgot this fact. Everyone gets rejected. In fact, right now, someone is being rejected.

Rejection is not limited to you and me; learning to deal with it will only help us, not hinder our ability to achieve success in any field.

“We’ve all got 99 problems and thinking you’re special will only create more pointless thoughts that won’t serve you or your goals”

 

You’re responsible.

The thing about career feedback is that you have to take responsibility. Maybe in my case, I didn’t deliver the message of how obsessed and skilled I am at entrepreneurship. Maybe I could have done a better job at explaining my entrepreneurial background and passion.

It’s highly likely that I am entrepreneurial enough for this career opportunity and that it’s not a lack of skill at play here but a lack of effective communication.

“Responsibility always trumps the blame game and it helps us grow more as a person”

 

There’s always one lesson.

Mine was to develop more skills in strategy.

Let’s stop for one second: I hate the word strategy. The other career feedback I got was to do more strategy yet that’s not a skill of mine and I have no desire to do lots of that in my career.

The key here is that there’s always a lesson from all feedback and it might not be the intended lesson that the giver left you with.

There’s either a great lesson in the feedback or a reminder in the feedback of what you stand for. Don’t let any feedback compromise your values and who you are.

 

You are good enough.

You just have to believe in yourself and eventually, the right opportunity will find you.

Don’t give up your hopes and dreams because of one rejection. Interrupt the story in your head that plays on repeat and focuses on anger towards another person.

Replace that story with thoughts of how you can do better and get to the next opportunity.

Through rejection and bad career feedback, you find your way to what you’ve always wanted. That’s the hack and it works.

I’m off to suck up the rejection and take my own advice. Much respect.

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

6 Important Lessons That Will Lead You to Success

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Failure is a part of life and it’s nothing to be ashamed of because the most highly successful people are the ones who have experienced failures the most in their life. The general public usually learns about people and their work when they become successful but only a handful of people know about the immense struggles that those people have gone through. Unfortunately, we do not have the stories of their failures to which we can relate our own setbacks and this is why we perceive failure to be a bad thing.

People are afraid of failure because, from a very young age, they are taught that making mistakes and being wrong is a bad thing so when a person suffers from a failure, it’s possible for that person to experience some form of depression. It is important for you to understand failure is a way for you to learn and move on from the experience. It is literally impossible to live life forever without failing at something, unless you live your life so carefully that you forget to live at all.

Here are 6 lessons that you should embrace that will change in your life:

1. Keep Your Expectations Low

When it comes to life, people often expect things like family, business, and marriage to be constant and consistent throughout the years. However, this is not the case because life is not that simple and there are always ups and downs which you need to confront.

Having low expectations is totally understandable and justifiable but having high expectations from relationships and businesses could prove to be harmful if those things don’t last forever. In addition to this, keeping your expectations low helps you accept whatever comes from the situation. High expectations tend to result in disappointment, pain, and loss, so it’s better for you to have low expectations, yet continue to work hard with what you are doing.

2. Acknowledge the Change

Most of the time, people think they may not experience change at all in their life because they are expecting things to last forever, but little do they know that change is always waiting to take place and can happen at any point in time. Acknowledging change means you’re fully aware of the situation and this will help when change occurs and you move from the stage of shock to acceptance.

“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” – Charles Darwin

3. Accept the Change

The acceptance of change can be difficult and you might resist it at first, but you need to understand the fact that accepting the change will help you make the necessary adjustments that you need in your life. Preventing and stopping the change from happening can prove to be disastrous for you because you are rejecting the fact that the situation has changed and are still living in the past.

Things turn out to be different from the way you expected them to be and this is completely  fine because you will be able to deal with the change more effectively by embracing the new situation.

4. Learn from Your Past

Once you accept the change and are ready to embrace it, it will start making sense and you will find lessons from which you can learn a lot. It is important to learn from your previous mistakes because learning and moving on eliminates the probability of you making those mistakes again in future.

5. Grow Stronger than Before

Accepting, embracing and learning from the change makes you stronger and better than you were in the past. The ability to learn from your past makes you a better person who is able to deal with the changes more easily and is able to move on without having any regrets in life. Moreover, this change will take away the fear of making new adjustments in life.

“Embrace uncertainty. Some of the most beautiful chapters in our lives won’t have a title until much later.” – Bob Goff

6. Acknowledge the Wisdom and Embrace it

The more you permit change to happen in your life, the better you grow as an individual. Embracing the wisdom will bring new found energy and strength into your life with inner peace and calmness. Embracing the change proactively and accepting it as a part of your life will result in you being calmer and stronger than ever. Change is not your enemy but the greatest teacher from whom you will learn most of your life lessons.

It is worth mentioning that during the process of accepting change, you need to be brutally honest with yourself because most people are in denial and fail to realize the real reason behind the change. It is insane to repeat the same mistakes again and again with the expectations of a different result. So, if you do not learn from your mistakes, you are doomed to fail again.

Failure can find you again, but if the situation is different from the previous one, then it’s just another experience. You need to stand up after you fall since you cannot stop problems from occurring in your life. What you can do is handle them in a more strategic way.

Problems are a part of your journey, however, the important thing is to keep your eyes on the final destination. Once you reach your final destination, you will realize that all those problems you faced were totally worth the success.

Failure is the one who falls and never stands back up. When you stand back up and keep on trying to achieve what you want, you’re not a failure but a winner in life. So, never lose hope and always look for the positive side, even in the toughest of situations because this is what successful people do.

How do you embrace change and keep pushing forward in life? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

5 Simple Ways to Supercharge Your Happiness

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With so many demands on our time, energy, wallet from work, family and friends, figuring out what makes you happy and going after it can be a challenge. If you don’t prioritize your happiness, nobody else will. These five simple hacks will help you supercharge your happiness so you can avoid burnout, overwhelm, and going to that second cousin twice removed’s barbeque just because you “should.”

1. Schedule plenty of YOU time into your week

Let’s face it, most of our lives revolve around other people. Work, friends, spouses and partners, family, etc., the majority of our day requires us to interact with other people and that can be really exhausting. It’s important to schedule at least an hour a day – and more if you can – of YOU time into your calendar to take care of yourself.

Doing things that you enjoy, whether that’s listening to a podcast, reading, or working out, and doing them alone allows you to reconnect to who you are and have something positive to look forward to every single day.

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” – Ludwig Jacobowski

2. Make “no” the most important word in your vocabulary

Making other people happy is something that we all want. It feels good to help someone out or make their lives easier. The problem is that we often sacrifice our own well-being when we say “yes” too much, especially for opportunities, work, or interactions that don’t personally fulfill us.

So whether it’s with friends, co-workers, or colleagues, learning to say no not only increases your productivity, but also your quality of life. When you set clear boundaries for the things that you don’t want and won’t accept, it leaves more room for the people and experiences that do make you happy. And remember: You don’t owe anyone an explanation if you say no to them.

3. Create a “shake the day off” routine

Even the happiest people go through stressful periods. One of the biggest issues that leads to serial unhappiness, burnout, and chronic stress is not having a release to clear out the stress that’s built up over the course of the day.

So once you’ve closed your laptop or walked through the door, it’s important to have a routine that you do that helps you get everything you’ve been bottling up off your chest. Whether that’s playing loud music and ranting for 10 minutes, spending 20 minutes with a partner where you both get to talk about the stresses of the day, or just putting on your favorite playlist and dancing it out, it’s crucial to give your mind and your body the opportunity to let go of stress on a consistent basis.

Having a place to channel negative emotion at the end of the day will help you move through the emotions, honor them, and not dwell on them incessantly. And if you had an absolutely amazing day, flip your routine on its head – spend 10 minutes celebrating.

4. Do a closet purge

Our closets hold a lot of memories – good and bad, and they tend to be where we hoard a lot of emotional baggage, both metaphorically and literally. Go through your closet and find your favorite outfits that you wear currently, whether it’s sweatpants and a t-shirt or a really well-tailored outfit, that’s your starting point.

Everything in your closet and drawers should make you feel that amazing. So get rid of any clothes that are too big or too small, any emotionally-charged pieces of clothing (for example, if you’ve still got your wedding outfit after a divorce, donate it), or anything that doesn’t represent who you are.

Your style is an opportunity to make a statement about who you are and the clothes you wear should boost your mood. Even if you’re a minimalist, you should be proud of the quality of your pieces and how they fit.

“Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.” – Dale Carnegie

5. Get up close and personal with your bank account every day

Money doesn’t buy happiness, but it does give you options. So many people have a fear of money and they avoid it like the plague. Checking their bank balance is their least favorite to do, they hate paying bills, and they avoid opening mail or screen phone calls to make sure it’s not the bank.

Facing the reality of your money situation, whether it needs fixing or it’s great, will only help you improve it. You can also seek the advice of a financial planner at your bank to help you with this and create a plan to shift your situation. You might have more options available than you know.

Getting clear about the gap between your spending and your income can help push you to start looking for that job or new opportunity that you’ve been procrastinating on. Tracking your finances on a daily or weekly basis can help you come up with creative solutions to make more money and provide yourself with more options for financial freedom.

Maybe you’re paying for cable, Netflix, and Hulu, but it’d be more cost effective to just get Netflix and HBO Go because that’s all you ever watch anyways. You’ll never know where more options are hiding until you get up close and personal with the reality of your financial situation.

Comment below with the happiness-boosting tip that you’ll be implementing today!

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Success Advice

5 Goal-Setting Myths That Are Busted Once and for All

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Brian Tracy said it a long time ago “People with clear, written goals accomplish far more in a shorter period of time than people without them can ever imagine.” Today, it’s scientifically proven that people with goals are more successful.  

Why? Because, setting goals will drive you to take action. Having clearly defined goals is like having a GPS System leading the way. But to be led, first you have to know where you want to go. And let’s be honest the vast majority of us don’t have even the slightest idea of where to start to make our dreams come true.

If you decide to join the 3% to 5% of people who set daily, weekly and quarterly goals, take it one step at a time and remain flexible, then over time, you can achieve things that you couldn’t even imagine before.

Lets start by busting 5 goal-setting myths:

1. Your goals have to be S.M.A.R.T.

Not true. It might be better to have smart goals, but simply having goals and writing them down already sets you apart from around 97% of people who don’t have them. My first goal which was starting my whole process about five years ago was to read more. Not a smart goal because it was not specific, measurable, or time-bound, but enough for a start. I went from not reading any books in five years to reading one book per week.

My five-year goal was “Write a book.” Again not a smart goal, but 4 1/2 years later I’m a bestselling author with more than 180,000 sales and downloads on Amazon, my books have been translated into Japanese, Korean, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Indonesian, etc. and I’m currently working on my seventh book. This is proof your goals don’t have to be SMART.

“The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.” – Bill Copeland

2. You have to set realistic goals

What is realistic? If I had told people a couple of years ago: “In two years I’m going to be a bestselling author, I’m going to be on TV, radio, and my books will be read around the world”, chances are I’d rather have ended up in a madhouse than on the Amazon Bestseller list.

So it depends. If you tend to beat yourself up for not reaching your goals, then I would advise you to set smaller, more realistic goals. For example, if you set the goal of earning $100,000 USD a year and end up earning $97,000 USD and then beat yourself up feeling like a failure, I recommend you to set small, realistic goals.

If you are like me and always celebrate how far you have come even if you didn’t reach your goals, then set huge unrealistic goals. You want to earn $150,000 USD a year? Great, but if you only get to $50,000 USD in the first year, celebrate it. It’s better than $40,000. Analyze what went wrong, make a new plan and go for the $150,000 USD next year.

3. You have to reach all your goals

Actually, you don’t. I dare to bet that if you reach 50% of the goals you set, your life will be so much better, than not setting goals at all. Again, this depends on your personality. If you are a perfectionist, you might want to learn this kind of approach. In the last two years, I have only reached 40-50% of my goals, but it was by far the two best years of my life. I celebrated the goals I reached, and the goals I didn’t reach were discarded or turned into new goals for next year.

4. Reaching your goals will make you happier

Again, not true. Reaching your goals will not make you happier. It will only give you temporary highs before you go back to your base-level of happiness and set new goals. Goals properly understood will make you happier. It’s not the attaining of the goal that leads to happiness, it’s the having of the goal that leads to happiness. The role of your goals is to liberate us to enjoy the present.

If you go on a road trip and don’t know where to go or don’t have a destination, you are less likely to enjoy the present moment because every minute you have to look around. Every crossroads or turn you reach becomes an important decision. This is stressful. If you know where you are going, you have a sense of direction. You will feel liberated.

You are much more likely to enjoy the process, the environment, the landscape or the proverbial “flowers on the side of the way.” Not only that, if you have a clear sense of direction, you are much more likely to be happy. We need a goal for future orientation so that we can enjoy the present more

5. Having goals will make your more successful

Although science has shown that people who set goals are generally more successful, because they are more focused, having goals will not make you more successful. Many have people have goals and dreams and never reach them. They might even have written them down and try to use the “Law of Attraction” to reach their goals.

There is only one problem, nobody reaches their goals sitting on the sofa and imagining good things to happen. The most important ingredient is missing: TAKING ACTION. Having goals and working your butt off to reach them will make you more successful.

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Tony Robbins

I meet many people that have no goals and are happy. That’s totally okay. There is a time for everything. If you don’t have goals and are happy…keep on not having goals. No need to change what’s working, you will know when the time comes. Just listen very closely to the “I don’t need goals. I’m happy without goals” voice because comfort and fear talk the same talk.

Keep in mind that if you want to have an even better life, go set some goals, write them down and start working on them. It will be worth it.

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