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Success Advice

Why You Should Study Great Historical Men

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Julius Caesar

There’s a common fallacy among the mainstream that success happens quickly.

One reason why it looks this way is because success seems to happen almost instantly – like an explosion. Gangnam Style gaining a billion views on YouTube, What Does the Fox Say going viral, 13 things mentally strong people avoid being covered on Forbes, and so on.

These are recent online examples where success did happen almost instantly.

But what most people don’t think about is that these occurrences are not the rule – they are the exception. These examples are extremely rare. It’s just that they’re the ones you notice – just as you notice the big time lottery winner being shown on TV, but not the thousands of people who bought lottery tickets and drew blank.

This occurrence is explained by the availability heuristic.

We see a disproportionate amount of winners, while not seeing how many losers there are. This distorts our view and makes it seem like it’s easier to become successful that it really is.

Another example of the availability heuristic is that most people are more afraid of flying than they are of driving a car, because they think flying is riskier. But it’s not –it’s just that whenever a plane crashes or explodes, it’s newsworthy, which means that you’re much more likely to hear about it.

A little car accident on the other hand is not newsworthy. Car crashes happen every day, but you’re still a lot less likely to hear about them.

 

The Greatness of Julius Caesar?

By the exact same logic – because of the availability heuristic – many people get a distorted view of historic men, such as Julius Caesar.

They think: “Well, of course it was easy for Caesar – C’mon he was Caesar! He crossed the Rubicon, he came, he saw, and he conquered!”

Then they think: “But I’m no Caesar, I’m just little old me… How could I possibly do something remarkable like that?”

If they had studied Caesar more closely they would understand that it wasn’t necessarily easy for him. They would also understand that he spent years practicing public speaking, years networking with the right people, and years studying politics.

Caesar also borrowed enormous sums of money. He borrowed more money than he was statistically likely to ever make. He needed the money to pursue his political ambitions.

While Caesar did make that money back, many of his political peers did the same thing and were unable to repay their creditors. Some of these men resorted to suicide. But you don’t hear about that because history is written by winners.

Many things had to go right for Caesar to become the man he is now believed to have been. A lot of things could’ve gone wrong along the way – it’s just that they didn’t.

Caesar – just as Napoleon, Churchill, JFK, Mandela, and many others – has become an icon for something much greater.  It’s easy to think that these men were chosen by destiny to succeed – heck, many of them even believed it themselves.

 

This is why you need to study great historic men – so that you to get a less distorted view about what really happened.

So that you can: 

  • Understand that before these men became iconized they were human beings just as you are. Figure out what they did that made them brilliant.
  • Understand just how many things had to fall in place for them to become the icons they are now regarded as. See how many losers there are for each historic winner.
  • Understand that they too went through many hardships, just as you do now. But they overcame these hardships by being creative and putting in a ton of effort.

 

Going Through Hardships

Julius Caesar

Julius CaesarWhen Caesar was sixteen years old his father died, making him the new man of the family. At eighteen, Caesar was forced to divorce his wife Cornelia by the Roman dictator Sulla.

Caesar refused to obey the most powerful man in the Roman Empire and as a result had to go on the run with a bounty on his head equivalent to 100 yearly wages of a Legionnaire.

 

Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon BonaparteBefore Napoleon Bonaparte was acknowledged as a military genius at around age 20, he spent a considerable amount of time walking the streets aimlessly, dressed in shabby clothes. He even wrote a pathetic copy of the book The Sorrows of The Young Werther.  In Napoleon’s book the protagonist was a version of himself instead of Werther. The book ended with the young male protagonist – a French soldier – killing himself because he was unlucky in love.

 

Vincent van Gogh

Vincent van GoghFor as long as he lived, Vincent van Gogh never achieved the recognition that he so desperately craved as an artist. His life story is one of the most tragic in history. He was so poor that he couldn’t even afford his own brushes and canvases, but repeatedly had to write letters asking his brother for money.  The same paintings that van Gogh then traded for a warm meal and a place to stay for the night are now traded for millions of dollars.

Van Gogh never saw much success during his short life, but he never stopped believing in his own abilities. He is the perfect example of a man whose life has become iconized and distorted after his death.

 

Winston Churchill

Winston ChurchillThe young Winston Churchill sought out as many war zones as possible in pursuit of adventure. He risked his life over and over and survived only through coincidence and freakish luck. Thousands of other people died where he survived time and again.

Did Churchill learn his lesson, pack up, and go back home to safety?

No. He kept it up until he was eventually captured as a POW and imprisoned in Pretoria.  When the rest of the British inmates chickened out, Churchill escaped by himself and nearly died from starvation in the process.

 

What’s the Point?

Do you see how strongly these men must have wanted to become successful?

Strong enough for them to risk their lives repeatedly.

Ask yourself:

What price are you willing to pay for being able to do what you want to do and become successful at it?

 

The Reason You Should Study Highly Successful People

Why should you take time out of your busy life to read about these remarkable men?

 

1. To learn more about them and understand how they overcame their shortcomings.

For example:

–Churchill lisped and was unable to spontaneously retort to political opponents. He had to write and practice every little thing he was going to say.  Do you see what a huge impediment this constitutes to a politician?

Yet Churchill overcame this by spending hours preparing  in advance the things he would say to his opponents in parliament.

If an opponent unexpectedly said something clever Churchill knew that he was screwed, so he had to try to anticipate everything that would come up – and practice a counter argument until he had it memorized.  He described this process as preparing ammunition, where some of the things he had prepared would work, and some wouldn’t.

 

2. To become inspired as result of teaching your mind that it is possible for one man to have a profound impact on the world.

By getting a clearer view of the lives of these historical men you get a much better understanding of what success means – and what it takes to accomplish it.

Studying these men teaches you that someone who aims his life at a very specific purpose – a man who fine-tunes his actions by consistently putting in that tiny bit of extra effort every day –is likely to become successful.

 

But here’s the thing:

Most people don’t even believe that they can do the things they’d like to do. So they’re rarely motivated to remain completely consistent.

The difference between these historically great men and average people lies in consistency and luck. They were fiercely consistent in practicing their skills, meeting influential people, and reading books every day for many years.

You can do nothing about luck, but consistency can be mastered.

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” – Seneca

 

The next time you struggle with willpower or consistency – remind yourself of the following:

 

1. The availability heuristic is making it seem like success is easier, and happens more quickly, than it really does.

2. Some of the greatest men in history had it far worse than you do and they still managed to turn it around.

3. These men overcame their shortcomings by being more creative and more consistent than their peers. They stuck to their crafts day in and day out for many years.

 

And if that doesn’t help you there one more trick that you can use:

— View your current situation as if you were reading a biography written about yourself hundreds of years from now on.

Ask yourself many times daily:

What would that biography say?

Ludvig Sunström runs Start Gaining Momentum where he writes about practical self-development and gives no-nonsense tips for becoming more efficient and stepping up in life. He is also the author of Breaking out of Homeostasis , a book about claiming more control over your life by overcoming the brain's innate mechanism for staying the same. Feel free to connect with him on Twitter and Google+.

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21 Comments

21 Comments

  1. Joe Greco

    Jun 30, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    Interesting read, there are some great points and interesting facts making a great case as why people should study great historical people.
    Thanks for the article 🙂

  2. Nathalia

    Feb 13, 2015 at 3:06 am

    It is a great article! Those mans inspire me a lot! But as a woman I think you should add some great historical females that made history too!

  3. James Hughes

    Feb 12, 2015 at 5:57 am

    Great article Ludwig.

    This just shows that to become successful you need to face a number of hardships to get there.
    Go through the pain to get power.

    Many people don’t see or realise this they just see the success which they put down to luck.

    Great read.

    James Hughes

  4. Shane Peterec

    Feb 12, 2015 at 1:17 am

    Great article, history is so underated.

  5. Tirzah Libert

    Feb 11, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    The reason why success might seem easy is because we admire and even adore poeple after they achieve ‘financial’ success. I wrote an article Adversity is my University where I dare to be vulnerable and share my entrepreneurial struggles in the prime of hardship. My unofficial degrees are:
    Phd: persistence humility determination
    Bsc: bold sincere courageous
    Msc: motivation simplicity commitment

  6. Scott Campbell (@SharkAnalogy)

    Oct 7, 2014 at 2:29 am

    Great Article. The book “Think and Grow Rich” should be mandatory reading for everyone. The author is right, success doesn’t happen overnight. The reason why I think that book is timeless is because he literally spent hundreds, if not thousands of hours studying and interviewing great men such as Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, etc….

  7. Jeremy

    Feb 9, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    From what I’ve noticed and read, it seems most successful people had a very strong why due to the kind of life and environment they started out with. The second thing is that they are all obsessed with succeeding. And the third is that they are freakin persistent about it. There’s no stopping them.

  8. Daniel

    Feb 5, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    Can you be a success story without undergoing hardship?

  9. tsam21

    Jan 24, 2014 at 4:16 am

    woow! this is a great way to stir up the greatest in us,if they did it back then,when things were super tough,then we can surely do great and amazing things too!

  10. Sebastian

    Jan 19, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    Spot on. I don’t really study historical men that much but I do study the people that did what I want to do. Rebels, rockstars, revolutionaries, weird and crazy people.

    • LudvigSunström

      Jan 20, 2014 at 9:46 pm

      Close enough, Sebastian!
      You’ll learn a lot from doing that.

  11. Boy Toy

    Jan 18, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    Great point about the fact that we mostly see the successes and not the failures.
    It’s everywhere: tv, online, facebook, radio, magazines: Always successful people.
    But hey, it’s good – gives us a kick in the ass to strive for more. I appreciate that 😉

    • LudvigSunström

      Jan 20, 2014 at 9:45 pm

      I agree with you. It’s just that most people seem to be getting the wrong idea.

  12. Naomi@BusinessPlanning

    Jan 16, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    Hi Ludvig,

    Really great advice. And a lesson I learnt about a year ago. Success is not a overnight thing. Some of world’s biggest entrepreneurs have started out selling ice-creams. But unfortunately we don’t get to see the years of hard work and consistency.

    They only show us the £100,000 car and £3 million pound house. I think the celebrity culture (similar to the Gangnam Style effect) of stars who shoot to fame and riches overnight lead us to believe this is a common occurrence. As a results more kids in the UK are more likely to want ‘overnight success’ careers like footballers, singers and glamour models rather than teachers and doctors which require years of studying.

    Good going media!

    Thanks for great read.

    Naomi

    • LudvigSunström

      Jan 16, 2014 at 4:11 pm

      Naomi,

      Haha. Yes, Good going media! This is why I don’t own a TV.

      “As a results more kids in the UK are more likely to want ‘overnight success’”

      —> That seems familiar. I recently read “How to Get Rich” by Felix Dennis. In that book he says the following:

      “It came as a shock to me to read in The Week that 20 % of British teenagers in school claim they would abandon their education if they could just get themselves on television. In any capacity whatever. Just to be a “celebrity”. Which probably explains the queues clamoring to be humiliated on “reality TV”, a modern equivalent to ancient Rome’s gladiator circuses.”

      Thanks for reading and leaving a great comment Naomi.

  13. Jared

    Jan 15, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    My new goal is to read one biography a month and learn from these great historical figures.. Thanks for sharing!

    • LudvigSunström

      Jan 16, 2014 at 4:04 pm

      That sounds like a great plan Jared,

      Here’s two tips that might be helpful:
      1. If you’re an avid reader, be sure to seek out the most credible biographies — even if they are less fun to read than those without many references.

      2. If you’re not an avid reader, try reading an easy and short book to become acquainted with the topic first. Then you dive in for real and start reading heavier books once the interest has been established. It becomes easier and more fun this way because now you already have some associations in place.

  14. Amanda B

    Jan 15, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    Interesting thing about Van Gogh becoming an icon.

    Sure he is now successful. But I just wonder if it was worth it… Maybe he should have quit it and enjoyed his life?

    You do make a good point though.

    • LudvigSunström

      Jan 16, 2014 at 4:01 pm

      Amanda,
      Good question. But what makes you think he COULD quit?

      From what I’ve read about Van Gogh it seems he was rather obsessed with his art, that he couldn’t have stopped painting even if he had wanted to.

    • Solomon

      Jan 16, 2014 at 4:40 pm

      @ Amanda B, it was his passion to paint (Van Gogh) to quit would simply mean to cease breathing. Maybe he should have got a proper job to Subsidies his passion for art.

  15. Derek Brettell

    Jan 15, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Great article! I read it over breakfast in Scotland and it’s set next up for the day. Thank you

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Success Advice

5 Ways a Young Salesperson Can Excel in Their Role

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young professional
Image Credit: Unsplash

Sales is a great first job to get out of college for the lessons it teaches. A new salesperson quickly experiences rejection, learns they are not as good as they thought they were, and gets a real understanding that their path is not going to be an easy one.  The market chews them up and spits them out, and there is very little they can do about it.

I can say this because I recently completed two years of sales experience and learned these lessons the hard way. To find a semblance of success, I had to set my ego aside and modify my expectations.

This introduction to sales taught me five lessons that helped me overcome roadblocks, penetrate gatekeepers, and settle into the workforce:

1. Education Doesn’t Equal Performance

Like most recent graduates I felt prepared to conquer the world right out of college and was confident I could understand anything I set my mind to.  Fresh off the high of achieving my academic goals, I realized within days that there was a small problem – the skillset did not translate.

As great of a job formal education does to expand your mind and teach you new thought patterns, it is very theoretical. When it comes to practically applying that knowledge, young professionals often find themselves underprepared.  This disconnect is a result of the way their performance is measured – A student is evaluated based on a test, which is predictable and objective.

A salesperson is evaluated on their sales numbers, which has a lot of built in unpredictability.  On top of that, the execution of a sales call is much more difficult to objectively quantify. Due to this, when a young professional first finds themself in a sales environment, they are vulnerable to their inexperience in that setting and their performance suffers.

A technique that helps me be more confident in this new arena is role-playing.  Simulating an unpredictable environment has been a great exercise for me because it has provided me with experience in this new setting.

2. Know How to Be Old-Fashioned

A fundamental part of sales is meeting your customer at their level.  Young salespeople often come across targets who prefer traditional business practices and struggle with selling to them.  Choosing to match a customers’ old-fashioned demeanor helps relate with them because it aligns with how they are accustomed to doing business.

A few things that worked for me. First, whenever possible, I choose to write things down with pen and paper.  This action resonates with customers who are slower to adopt technology. On top of that, following up with hard copies may better meet your customer’s expectations and fit into their decision making workflow.  

Along with taking written notes, I also make a point to overdress for the occasion, arrive early, be clean-shaven, and use titles when addressing people. Taking steps to be old-fashioned is conducive to doing business with tenured customers because it works against the prejudices the customer might have about millennials.

“A smart salesperson listens to emotions not facts.”

3. Understand Emerging Technology

Today’s young professionals grew up in the exciting age of the digital revolution. This means that young salespeople are expected to be early adopters of new workplace technologies and have a high technological competency.  While it is true that young professionals may have a better intuition for the technology, it still takes a good deal of additional work to be informed.

I quickly realized not only that I should pay special attention to the latest workplace tech, but that I needed to proactively learn it to meet expectations. As expected I became the default resource whenever there was a technical issue or question, and in an operating room setting, it was a particularly important role to hold.

I used this responsibility to my advantage by taking it as an opportunity to be valuable. I spent additional time learning the nuances of the technology so that I was confident in my execution when people turned to me for answers. As a young salesperson it is important to understand others’ expectations of your technological competency because any opportunity to add value is a sales opportunity.

4. Constant Judgment

Young salespeople are very affected by this – there is an association between youth and immaturity in the workplace, and colleagues pay close attention to the behavior of their younger counterparts.  I concede that this connection between maturity and years might be fair, and as a result young professionals are given a different threshold for how much their behavior will be tolerated.

I understand that there is a fine line between personal and professional settings after hours, but it is best practice for young professionals to be conservative to avoid negative judgment in casual settings. When I am around coworkers I always try to stay “turned on,” meaning that I take precautions to act appropriately. I limit my drinks, defer contentious conversational topics, and avoid workplace controversy and gossip. It is part of our reality that young professionals need to come to terms with.

However, judgment exists differently in a professional setting. Instead of being evaluated on the appropriateness of your behavior, young professionals are judged on their competency and ability to contribute. The most effective way to be viewed as a positive contributor is by displaying confidence, both in the quality of your work and in the way you carry yourself.  

“Most people think “selling” is the same as “talking”. But the most effective salespeople know that listening is the most important part of their job.” – Roy Bartell

5. Own Your Youth

A young salesperson should definitely use their age to their advantage. Young professionals offer a unique perspective, skill-set, and way of operating that is invaluable to any business.  Leaning into those qualities is the best thing a young salesperson can do because it offers a truly unique value proposition.

If employing this, it is first critical for a young salesperson to address their age and be transparent about their experience level before being exposed of it. This approach disarms customers by handling their first objection without them having to ask it, and conveys respect through humility. I have found customers are much more receptive to hearing my message after ground-rules have been set and this deference has been established.  

Also, something young professionals should leverage is their colleagues’ interest in their exciting young lifestyles. What works particularly well is using major life events to build rapport and relate to customers. Talking about buying a house, getting married, or having a child begins a conversation that becomes an opportunity to advance the relationship.

What techniques have you incorporated in your sales routine that have helped you get your message heard?

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Success Advice

The One Mindset Change That Helped Me Read 47 Books in a Year With Ease

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reading books
Image Credit: Twenty20.com

There is an elusive truth about life that we tend to miss in today’s world. Everything is moving so fast that we don’t have time to stand still and truly absorb the information we receive. We skim through articles like we skim through relationships, always searching for a better one in a sharper form. That is the way the majority of the world operates today. We must be people who take control over their lives and implement their dreams no matter who or what stands in front of them.

To do that, we must be willing to learn, change, and adapt our models of reality and here is one that ultimately changed the way I see life as a whole. The one mindset shift I made that changed my entire life is that life isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon and here is what that means.

How to read 47 books in one year with ease

I used to live in a fast-paced world as you did and I was going haywire. My health was deteriorating fast and my mental state wasn’t far behind. What was even worse is that my results weren’t getting any better. Here I was, working 20 hours a day, mentally stressed out and having physical manifestations of stress and yet, my results were horrible. I knew I needed to change something and it needed to happen fast.

That is when I discovered the compound effect and it completely blew my mind. It basically means that you take small actions every single day and they give interest over time. And those interests compound over time if you keep doing small actions. I thought this was the solution to all my problems but I had to test it out. So I tried reading 20 pages of a book every single day, hoping I would manage to prove to myself that this works for me.

Reading only 20 pages a day compounded into 47 books just one year later and I managed to prove to myself that life really is a marathon, not a sprint. But all of this sounds easy when I tell it like this- I want to show you the work that went into reading these 20 pages a day.

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss

How it really looks like

Imagine getting back from work tired from all the daily chores and tasks. You grab some food, sit down on your couch and want to eat while watching TV. However, then you remember, “Oh damn, I forgot to read 20 pages of a book today.”

So you eat fast, hop from the couch to grab your book and start reading. 30 minutes later, done!

And that is day 1/365 done. You need to do this for 364 more days (at least). I am telling you this because I want to emphasize that even though this is easy and simple to do, most of you don’t do it. The reason we don’t do it isn’t because it’s hard or complicated, the reason we don’t do it is that we haven’t taken the time to stop in our tracks and absorb this information.

When you read that it took someone 10 years to become an overnight success, we nod our head with understandment. However, do we really know how much 10 years is? If you go back 10 years ago, there was no Instagram or Snapchat. Have you really taken the time to think about what this information means? I know I didn’t for a long, long time and that is why my life was on stand-by.

Only when I took the time to stop and think about the information I just read was I able to absorb what it means in its entirety. And I want you to do the same thing right now with the one shown above. I will repeat it here: By reading 20 pages a day, you can read 47 books in a year. Let it fall in, absorb it fully. Understand and internalize it. Feel it like it’s happening right now, like you’re holding a book in your hands and being sucked into the story. Now, you are ready for the next step.

“To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting.” – Edmund Burke

Every journey starts the same way – with a single step

Now that you’ve absorbed this mentality of life being a marathon and not a sprint, now it’s time to prove it (to you). You should take upon reading 20 pages of a book every single day and do it for one year. After a couple of months, you will start noticing a change happening in the way you hold yourself and you will be more knowledgeable.

It’s time to take the thing you already know and make it a reality for you. We are the people who make their dreams come true no matter what stands in front of them. Always remember, the first obstacle toward your dream life is always you. It’s time to move it.

What’s the best book you’ve read this year and why? Let us know in the comments below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Success Advice

How To Make People Feel Your Emotion So They Will Hire You For Anything.

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Do you want to know how to get hired to do almost anything? You have to make people feel your emotion.

You can have experiences, connections, money, and a family that supports you. Yet without your emotion, you can’t move people to cut off all the other options and back you!

The way to win and be hired for almost anything is to put massive amounts of emotion into it. You want your audience to feel your emotion and not judge you based on society’s standards of a resume.

Emotion defeats all other criteria when it comes to hiring. The thing is, you’ll never be told that. No one is ever going to tell you that. That’s because the human spirit tells us to choose based on emotion.

Choose emotion and you will be chosen.

Here’s how to make people feel your emotion so they’ll hire you for almost anything:


Prepare a paragraph beforehand.

Last week, I had the chance to be hired for something extraordinary. Over-preparing never seems to work well, because then everything becomes scripted which only makes you more nervous.

Instead, I prepared a paragraph (call it a speech if you will) to say to the people I’d be meeting. Before writing this paragraph, I watched a video of a man that has had every health challenge you could imagine.

The video made me very emotional and I immediately used that raw emotion to write

Having a few lines to use during a pitch will help you bring out that emotion. You’ll have a trigger point to use, that will become the basis for making people feel your emotion too.

I’ll share my paragraph with you at the end of this post.


Tie back the opportunity to an emotional moment in your life.

In my pitch to get hired for my dream career, I talked about my near miss with cancer, several bad breakups and leaving behind a business I co-founded.

While in front of them, I mentioned these important moments in my life to make the audience I was pitching to feel the emotion of what I’d gone through in my past.

“I wanted them to feel the emotion of my journey and use it as inspiration for their own. Even if I didn’t win the gig, at least I would have made a difference and that’s how you get remembered”

To me, it is the very act of remembrance that can be used to your advantage when there’s another opportunity in the future. If it holds true, then you will be first on their list.


Lead with inspiration.

In these situations, I try to imagine giving a speech to a room full of people that are terminally ill and don’t have long to live.

How would I want them to leave this world?

What difference could I make on their last day?

Out of all the tools you can use to make people feel your emotion, the best one from my experience is inspiration. There’s so much negativity in the world. The quandary in that is that a lot of the time, all any of us want is to be inspired.

“Even if it’s just for a moment, that brief encounter with inspiration seems to make us think differently — and more importantly, act differently”

Choose inspiration. All of us want to be inspired, whether we admit it or not.


Don’t hold back.

Forget about how you might come across and give it your everything.

Show every ounce of yourself and appeal to their human spirit through emotion. Be vulnerable, bold and present the biggest vision you can.

Everyone else you’re up against will probably do the opposite.

People can’t feel your emotion unless you put your heart and soul into it. You have to try hard at this. It’s not easy to disrupt people’s thought patterns and make them feel something.

The moment the audience feels you’re holding back or not telling them everything, it puts up a barrier between you and them. You can’t see this barrier, but it exists.

Remember, you have nothing to lose. You can give it all you’ve got and try to get them to feel your emotion, or you can hold back and risk being ordinary and getting less than desirable results.

The people that inspire and make us feel their emotion don’t hold back.


Pretend it’s your last shot. Act as if it’s your legacy.

I always communicate to people that may want to hire me like it’s my last shot. I think of everything in my life and career as a legacy. You should too.

When you enter a room and have to sell yourself, pretending it’s your last shot changes the way you communicate.

Connecting your thoughts, emotion and words to your legacy gives you an unfair advantage.

“Legacy reminds your mind about death and that’s the best ‘in the moment’ motivation you’ll ever need”

You’ll say things you never thought you’d say in front of other people. You’ll show how badly you want the opportunity that’s being presented. You’ll come across driven, motivated and inspired.

Acting as if it’s your legacy makes you feel like you’re becoming someone you’d hope to be in the future.

Think about the end of your life and then work backwards to the moment you’re faced with right now where you have to convince people to hire you.

This counter-intuitive process helps put you in a state of flow where you transcend all your limitations, beliefs and everything that everyone has ever told you that you can’t do.

In other words, linking to your legacy gives you confidence and belief in yourself.

Using all of the points I just mentioned, here’s a real-life example of a paragraph I prepared for an interview last week:

You want me not for endless meetings.

You want me not to bitch about other departments within the business.

You want me because I’m going to do something great. You can see it in my eyes right now.

I can change how people think.

I can inspire millions of people and I’ve demonstrated that already.

I can lead.

And, I can build relationships better than anyone you’ve ever met.

Most of all, I’m never going to give up. You can’t knock me down or defeat me. There will be obstacles. Some may give up — but not me.

If I can survive a near miss with cancer, multiple bad breakups, and leave a multi-million-dollar business behind, then I can do this role.

Regardless of whether you hire me for this opportunity, you will remember me. I believe I can come to this business and make a massive impact. The bottom line is this:

If I can change the world through this company and social media, then here I am.

That — ladies and gentlemen — is how you make people feel your emotion and get hired to do anything. Go out there and try it for yourself.

<<<>>>

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

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Success Advice

3 Destructive Habits That Are Holding You Back From Success

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destructive habits
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You want to wake up at 5 a.m., do the work that matters, and realize your vision. You want to be the heavyweight champion of your craft, dominate your industry, and achieve massive success.

You want to achieve all of that, but there’s a problem. Anytime you come up with an idea, a nagging voice deep inside your psyche whispers through the corridors of your mind that you’re not capable.

So you put off your idea, cower in fear, or maybe blame others for your plight. The thing is, you need to check in with yourself. Deep inside, you have some destructive habits that are holding you back from pursuing your goals and achieving success.

Let’s explore them and give you some tips to counter them head-on.

1. Self-doubt

One of the worst things you can do is develop the habit of self-doubt, the tendency to distrust everything about yourself. It’s not that you hate yourself or your capabilities, it’s just that you question yourself, your judgments, and your actions. Whenever you plan to give that speech or launch that business or initiate that tough conversation, something deep inside you whispers, “You can’t do it.”

And you listen to that inner voice and bury your ideas in self-doubt. Your self-doubt is your biggest enemy. If you don’t counter that habit with all your might, it will hold you back from reaching the mountaintop, achieving your potential, and succeeding in your life, in your business and in your career.

The way to break through this chain of self-doubt is simple. Anytime you hear that voice weighing you down, tell it, “No, I can do it. I can make it happen.” Don’t ignore the voice, because it will talk to you again. Just have a ready-made response, and take the necessary action to prove it wrong.

“I didn’t get there by wishing for it or hoping for it, but by working for it.” – Estée Lauder

2. Blaming others for your failures

Another ugly habit many of us have is we often blame others for our own failures. In my first startup, I was determined to succeed. I woke up every morning and worked for about fifteen hours a day, writing, emailing prospects, promoting my services on social media, optimizing my products. But after about a year, I still didn’t have enough customers and I quit.

However, I put all the blame on my competitors. “There are simply too many people doing the same thing I do,” I concluded. “That’s why I failed.” Is that the true reason for my failure? No. I failed because I was not targeting the right customers, my product was inferior, or my marketing did not appeal to my prospective clients.

The best way to change this habit is to be very critical of ourselves. I know, it is not that simple. We can easily be critical of others, but not of ourselves. Still, we have to try to build the habit if we want to succeed.

You have to question your decisions, scrutinize your actions, and change course. If what you’re doing is not working, then you’re not doing the right thing. You have to try something else and stop blaming others for your failure.

3. Multi-tasking

What’s wrong with multi-tasking? Think about this, you’re eating lunch while checking your social media feed, and your laptop is on your lap open to a client’s project. Suddenly, a prospect emails you. You read the message, reply to them, and then get back to your other tasks.

You’re multitasking, doing many things at a time. However, you’re not investing your undivided attention in any particular area. That’s what’s wrong with multi-tasking. Your productivity level decreases by 40 percent when you focus on more than one thing at the same time. Your IQ also decreases by ten points when you multi-task, according to Peter Bregman of Harvard Business Review. The multitasking process actually consumes much of your time, and it’s stressful.

You need to cut that unproductive, destructive habit out. How? By working in the wee hours of the morning before your social media feeds begin to buzz, your friends start calling you, and your kids wake up. Next, silence your notifications as you work. That way, you can focus on your work without the distractions.

“Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” – Joshua J. Marine

Finally, set a deadline for yourself and stick to it—so you’ll have the discipline to concentrate on the project and the resistance to divert your attention away from other things. It worked for me, and it will work for you, too. The idea is to do whatever it takes to stop or minimize multitasking so you can pour your heart and soul into one project, and execute it flawlessly.

To become the heavyweight champion of your industry, start replacing your bad habits with good ones. Beat your self-doubt with self-confidence. Stop blaming others and start taking responsibilities. Stop multitasking and start focusing on one task. Then, watch as your success blossoms.

What habits are holding you back? Comment below!

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Motivation

5 Daily Habits to Remain Highly Motivated

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While some of us can naturally maintain a relatively high constant level of motivation, others find it more difficult. This is actually a normal fact of life. After all, the beauty and richness of life is in our attempt to reconcile and manage our different states. (more…)

My name is Bachir Bastien. Being the sparkle that will ignite the fire of possibilities in as many people as possible is how I define myself. I was born and raised in Haiti by my mother. My life has been a struggle since conception. I decided that I was going to use my stories to empower others. These experiences may have been lemons, but I can use them to make sweet lemonade. This is what I have decided to do. That became my life purpose. My first name Bachir means messenger of good news in Arabic; I have been doing just that for the past two years here in Taiwan through articles, workshops, seminars and speeches. I have seen students changing behaviors, increase in confidence, watched students conquer stage fright, etc. This in turn gives me the unwavering certitude that I can empower more people.

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21 Comments

21 Comments

  1. Joe Greco

    Jun 30, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    Interesting read, there are some great points and interesting facts making a great case as why people should study great historical people.
    Thanks for the article 🙂

  2. Nathalia

    Feb 13, 2015 at 3:06 am

    It is a great article! Those mans inspire me a lot! But as a woman I think you should add some great historical females that made history too!

  3. James Hughes

    Feb 12, 2015 at 5:57 am

    Great article Ludwig.

    This just shows that to become successful you need to face a number of hardships to get there.
    Go through the pain to get power.

    Many people don’t see or realise this they just see the success which they put down to luck.

    Great read.

    James Hughes

  4. Shane Peterec

    Feb 12, 2015 at 1:17 am

    Great article, history is so underated.

  5. Tirzah Libert

    Feb 11, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    The reason why success might seem easy is because we admire and even adore poeple after they achieve ‘financial’ success. I wrote an article Adversity is my University where I dare to be vulnerable and share my entrepreneurial struggles in the prime of hardship. My unofficial degrees are:
    Phd: persistence humility determination
    Bsc: bold sincere courageous
    Msc: motivation simplicity commitment

  6. Scott Campbell (@SharkAnalogy)

    Oct 7, 2014 at 2:29 am

    Great Article. The book “Think and Grow Rich” should be mandatory reading for everyone. The author is right, success doesn’t happen overnight. The reason why I think that book is timeless is because he literally spent hundreds, if not thousands of hours studying and interviewing great men such as Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, etc….

  7. Jeremy

    Feb 9, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    From what I’ve noticed and read, it seems most successful people had a very strong why due to the kind of life and environment they started out with. The second thing is that they are all obsessed with succeeding. And the third is that they are freakin persistent about it. There’s no stopping them.

  8. Daniel

    Feb 5, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    Can you be a success story without undergoing hardship?

  9. tsam21

    Jan 24, 2014 at 4:16 am

    woow! this is a great way to stir up the greatest in us,if they did it back then,when things were super tough,then we can surely do great and amazing things too!

  10. Sebastian

    Jan 19, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    Spot on. I don’t really study historical men that much but I do study the people that did what I want to do. Rebels, rockstars, revolutionaries, weird and crazy people.

    • LudvigSunström

      Jan 20, 2014 at 9:46 pm

      Close enough, Sebastian!
      You’ll learn a lot from doing that.

  11. Boy Toy

    Jan 18, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    Great point about the fact that we mostly see the successes and not the failures.
    It’s everywhere: tv, online, facebook, radio, magazines: Always successful people.
    But hey, it’s good – gives us a kick in the ass to strive for more. I appreciate that 😉

    • LudvigSunström

      Jan 20, 2014 at 9:45 pm

      I agree with you. It’s just that most people seem to be getting the wrong idea.

  12. Naomi@BusinessPlanning

    Jan 16, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    Hi Ludvig,

    Really great advice. And a lesson I learnt about a year ago. Success is not a overnight thing. Some of world’s biggest entrepreneurs have started out selling ice-creams. But unfortunately we don’t get to see the years of hard work and consistency.

    They only show us the £100,000 car and £3 million pound house. I think the celebrity culture (similar to the Gangnam Style effect) of stars who shoot to fame and riches overnight lead us to believe this is a common occurrence. As a results more kids in the UK are more likely to want ‘overnight success’ careers like footballers, singers and glamour models rather than teachers and doctors which require years of studying.

    Good going media!

    Thanks for great read.

    Naomi

    • LudvigSunström

      Jan 16, 2014 at 4:11 pm

      Naomi,

      Haha. Yes, Good going media! This is why I don’t own a TV.

      “As a results more kids in the UK are more likely to want ‘overnight success’”

      —> That seems familiar. I recently read “How to Get Rich” by Felix Dennis. In that book he says the following:

      “It came as a shock to me to read in The Week that 20 % of British teenagers in school claim they would abandon their education if they could just get themselves on television. In any capacity whatever. Just to be a “celebrity”. Which probably explains the queues clamoring to be humiliated on “reality TV”, a modern equivalent to ancient Rome’s gladiator circuses.”

      Thanks for reading and leaving a great comment Naomi.

  13. Jared

    Jan 15, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    My new goal is to read one biography a month and learn from these great historical figures.. Thanks for sharing!

    • LudvigSunström

      Jan 16, 2014 at 4:04 pm

      That sounds like a great plan Jared,

      Here’s two tips that might be helpful:
      1. If you’re an avid reader, be sure to seek out the most credible biographies — even if they are less fun to read than those without many references.

      2. If you’re not an avid reader, try reading an easy and short book to become acquainted with the topic first. Then you dive in for real and start reading heavier books once the interest has been established. It becomes easier and more fun this way because now you already have some associations in place.

  14. Amanda B

    Jan 15, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    Interesting thing about Van Gogh becoming an icon.

    Sure he is now successful. But I just wonder if it was worth it… Maybe he should have quit it and enjoyed his life?

    You do make a good point though.

    • LudvigSunström

      Jan 16, 2014 at 4:01 pm

      Amanda,
      Good question. But what makes you think he COULD quit?

      From what I’ve read about Van Gogh it seems he was rather obsessed with his art, that he couldn’t have stopped painting even if he had wanted to.

    • Solomon

      Jan 16, 2014 at 4:40 pm

      @ Amanda B, it was his passion to paint (Van Gogh) to quit would simply mean to cease breathing. Maybe he should have got a proper job to Subsidies his passion for art.

  15. Derek Brettell

    Jan 15, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Great article! I read it over breakfast in Scotland and it’s set next up for the day. Thank you

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Success Advice

5 Ways a Young Salesperson Can Excel in Their Role

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Sales is a great first job to get out of college for the lessons it teaches. A new salesperson quickly experiences rejection, learns they are not as good as they thought they were, and gets a real understanding that their path is not going to be an easy one.  The market chews them up and spits them out, and there is very little they can do about it.

I can say this because I recently completed two years of sales experience and learned these lessons the hard way. To find a semblance of success, I had to set my ego aside and modify my expectations.

This introduction to sales taught me five lessons that helped me overcome roadblocks, penetrate gatekeepers, and settle into the workforce:

1. Education Doesn’t Equal Performance

Like most recent graduates I felt prepared to conquer the world right out of college and was confident I could understand anything I set my mind to.  Fresh off the high of achieving my academic goals, I realized within days that there was a small problem – the skillset did not translate.

As great of a job formal education does to expand your mind and teach you new thought patterns, it is very theoretical. When it comes to practically applying that knowledge, young professionals often find themselves underprepared.  This disconnect is a result of the way their performance is measured – A student is evaluated based on a test, which is predictable and objective.

A salesperson is evaluated on their sales numbers, which has a lot of built in unpredictability.  On top of that, the execution of a sales call is much more difficult to objectively quantify. Due to this, when a young professional first finds themself in a sales environment, they are vulnerable to their inexperience in that setting and their performance suffers.

A technique that helps me be more confident in this new arena is role-playing.  Simulating an unpredictable environment has been a great exercise for me because it has provided me with experience in this new setting.

2. Know How to Be Old-Fashioned

A fundamental part of sales is meeting your customer at their level.  Young salespeople often come across targets who prefer traditional business practices and struggle with selling to them.  Choosing to match a customers’ old-fashioned demeanor helps relate with them because it aligns with how they are accustomed to doing business.

A few things that worked for me. First, whenever possible, I choose to write things down with pen and paper.  This action resonates with customers who are slower to adopt technology. On top of that, following up with hard copies may better meet your customer’s expectations and fit into their decision making workflow.  

Along with taking written notes, I also make a point to overdress for the occasion, arrive early, be clean-shaven, and use titles when addressing people. Taking steps to be old-fashioned is conducive to doing business with tenured customers because it works against the prejudices the customer might have about millennials.

“A smart salesperson listens to emotions not facts.”

3. Understand Emerging Technology

Today’s young professionals grew up in the exciting age of the digital revolution. This means that young salespeople are expected to be early adopters of new workplace technologies and have a high technological competency.  While it is true that young professionals may have a better intuition for the technology, it still takes a good deal of additional work to be informed.

I quickly realized not only that I should pay special attention to the latest workplace tech, but that I needed to proactively learn it to meet expectations. As expected I became the default resource whenever there was a technical issue or question, and in an operating room setting, it was a particularly important role to hold.

I used this responsibility to my advantage by taking it as an opportunity to be valuable. I spent additional time learning the nuances of the technology so that I was confident in my execution when people turned to me for answers. As a young salesperson it is important to understand others’ expectations of your technological competency because any opportunity to add value is a sales opportunity.

4. Constant Judgment

Young salespeople are very affected by this – there is an association between youth and immaturity in the workplace, and colleagues pay close attention to the behavior of their younger counterparts.  I concede that this connection between maturity and years might be fair, and as a result young professionals are given a different threshold for how much their behavior will be tolerated.

I understand that there is a fine line between personal and professional settings after hours, but it is best practice for young professionals to be conservative to avoid negative judgment in casual settings. When I am around coworkers I always try to stay “turned on,” meaning that I take precautions to act appropriately. I limit my drinks, defer contentious conversational topics, and avoid workplace controversy and gossip. It is part of our reality that young professionals need to come to terms with.

However, judgment exists differently in a professional setting. Instead of being evaluated on the appropriateness of your behavior, young professionals are judged on their competency and ability to contribute. The most effective way to be viewed as a positive contributor is by displaying confidence, both in the quality of your work and in the way you carry yourself.  

“Most people think “selling” is the same as “talking”. But the most effective salespeople know that listening is the most important part of their job.” – Roy Bartell

5. Own Your Youth

A young salesperson should definitely use their age to their advantage. Young professionals offer a unique perspective, skill-set, and way of operating that is invaluable to any business.  Leaning into those qualities is the best thing a young salesperson can do because it offers a truly unique value proposition.

If employing this, it is first critical for a young salesperson to address their age and be transparent about their experience level before being exposed of it. This approach disarms customers by handling their first objection without them having to ask it, and conveys respect through humility. I have found customers are much more receptive to hearing my message after ground-rules have been set and this deference has been established.  

Also, something young professionals should leverage is their colleagues’ interest in their exciting young lifestyles. What works particularly well is using major life events to build rapport and relate to customers. Talking about buying a house, getting married, or having a child begins a conversation that becomes an opportunity to advance the relationship.

What techniques have you incorporated in your sales routine that have helped you get your message heard?

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Success Advice

The One Mindset Change That Helped Me Read 47 Books in a Year With Ease

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Image Credit: Twenty20.com

There is an elusive truth about life that we tend to miss in today’s world. Everything is moving so fast that we don’t have time to stand still and truly absorb the information we receive. We skim through articles like we skim through relationships, always searching for a better one in a sharper form. That is the way the majority of the world operates today. We must be people who take control over their lives and implement their dreams no matter who or what stands in front of them.

To do that, we must be willing to learn, change, and adapt our models of reality and here is one that ultimately changed the way I see life as a whole. The one mindset shift I made that changed my entire life is that life isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon and here is what that means.

How to read 47 books in one year with ease

I used to live in a fast-paced world as you did and I was going haywire. My health was deteriorating fast and my mental state wasn’t far behind. What was even worse is that my results weren’t getting any better. Here I was, working 20 hours a day, mentally stressed out and having physical manifestations of stress and yet, my results were horrible. I knew I needed to change something and it needed to happen fast.

That is when I discovered the compound effect and it completely blew my mind. It basically means that you take small actions every single day and they give interest over time. And those interests compound over time if you keep doing small actions. I thought this was the solution to all my problems but I had to test it out. So I tried reading 20 pages of a book every single day, hoping I would manage to prove to myself that this works for me.

Reading only 20 pages a day compounded into 47 books just one year later and I managed to prove to myself that life really is a marathon, not a sprint. But all of this sounds easy when I tell it like this- I want to show you the work that went into reading these 20 pages a day.

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss

How it really looks like

Imagine getting back from work tired from all the daily chores and tasks. You grab some food, sit down on your couch and want to eat while watching TV. However, then you remember, “Oh damn, I forgot to read 20 pages of a book today.”

So you eat fast, hop from the couch to grab your book and start reading. 30 minutes later, done!

And that is day 1/365 done. You need to do this for 364 more days (at least). I am telling you this because I want to emphasize that even though this is easy and simple to do, most of you don’t do it. The reason we don’t do it isn’t because it’s hard or complicated, the reason we don’t do it is that we haven’t taken the time to stop in our tracks and absorb this information.

When you read that it took someone 10 years to become an overnight success, we nod our head with understandment. However, do we really know how much 10 years is? If you go back 10 years ago, there was no Instagram or Snapchat. Have you really taken the time to think about what this information means? I know I didn’t for a long, long time and that is why my life was on stand-by.

Only when I took the time to stop and think about the information I just read was I able to absorb what it means in its entirety. And I want you to do the same thing right now with the one shown above. I will repeat it here: By reading 20 pages a day, you can read 47 books in a year. Let it fall in, absorb it fully. Understand and internalize it. Feel it like it’s happening right now, like you’re holding a book in your hands and being sucked into the story. Now, you are ready for the next step.

“To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting.” – Edmund Burke

Every journey starts the same way – with a single step

Now that you’ve absorbed this mentality of life being a marathon and not a sprint, now it’s time to prove it (to you). You should take upon reading 20 pages of a book every single day and do it for one year. After a couple of months, you will start noticing a change happening in the way you hold yourself and you will be more knowledgeable.

It’s time to take the thing you already know and make it a reality for you. We are the people who make their dreams come true no matter what stands in front of them. Always remember, the first obstacle toward your dream life is always you. It’s time to move it.

What’s the best book you’ve read this year and why? Let us know in the comments below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Success Advice

How To Make People Feel Your Emotion So They Will Hire You For Anything.

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Do you want to know how to get hired to do almost anything? You have to make people feel your emotion.

You can have experiences, connections, money, and a family that supports you. Yet without your emotion, you can’t move people to cut off all the other options and back you!

The way to win and be hired for almost anything is to put massive amounts of emotion into it. You want your audience to feel your emotion and not judge you based on society’s standards of a resume.

Emotion defeats all other criteria when it comes to hiring. The thing is, you’ll never be told that. No one is ever going to tell you that. That’s because the human spirit tells us to choose based on emotion.

Choose emotion and you will be chosen.

Here’s how to make people feel your emotion so they’ll hire you for almost anything:


Prepare a paragraph beforehand.

Last week, I had the chance to be hired for something extraordinary. Over-preparing never seems to work well, because then everything becomes scripted which only makes you more nervous.

Instead, I prepared a paragraph (call it a speech if you will) to say to the people I’d be meeting. Before writing this paragraph, I watched a video of a man that has had every health challenge you could imagine.

The video made me very emotional and I immediately used that raw emotion to write

Having a few lines to use during a pitch will help you bring out that emotion. You’ll have a trigger point to use, that will become the basis for making people feel your emotion too.

I’ll share my paragraph with you at the end of this post.


Tie back the opportunity to an emotional moment in your life.

In my pitch to get hired for my dream career, I talked about my near miss with cancer, several bad breakups and leaving behind a business I co-founded.

While in front of them, I mentioned these important moments in my life to make the audience I was pitching to feel the emotion of what I’d gone through in my past.

“I wanted them to feel the emotion of my journey and use it as inspiration for their own. Even if I didn’t win the gig, at least I would have made a difference and that’s how you get remembered”

To me, it is the very act of remembrance that can be used to your advantage when there’s another opportunity in the future. If it holds true, then you will be first on their list.


Lead with inspiration.

In these situations, I try to imagine giving a speech to a room full of people that are terminally ill and don’t have long to live.

How would I want them to leave this world?

What difference could I make on their last day?

Out of all the tools you can use to make people feel your emotion, the best one from my experience is inspiration. There’s so much negativity in the world. The quandary in that is that a lot of the time, all any of us want is to be inspired.

“Even if it’s just for a moment, that brief encounter with inspiration seems to make us think differently — and more importantly, act differently”

Choose inspiration. All of us want to be inspired, whether we admit it or not.


Don’t hold back.

Forget about how you might come across and give it your everything.

Show every ounce of yourself and appeal to their human spirit through emotion. Be vulnerable, bold and present the biggest vision you can.

Everyone else you’re up against will probably do the opposite.

People can’t feel your emotion unless you put your heart and soul into it. You have to try hard at this. It’s not easy to disrupt people’s thought patterns and make them feel something.

The moment the audience feels you’re holding back or not telling them everything, it puts up a barrier between you and them. You can’t see this barrier, but it exists.

Remember, you have nothing to lose. You can give it all you’ve got and try to get them to feel your emotion, or you can hold back and risk being ordinary and getting less than desirable results.

The people that inspire and make us feel their emotion don’t hold back.


Pretend it’s your last shot. Act as if it’s your legacy.

I always communicate to people that may want to hire me like it’s my last shot. I think of everything in my life and career as a legacy. You should too.

When you enter a room and have to sell yourself, pretending it’s your last shot changes the way you communicate.

Connecting your thoughts, emotion and words to your legacy gives you an unfair advantage.

“Legacy reminds your mind about death and that’s the best ‘in the moment’ motivation you’ll ever need”

You’ll say things you never thought you’d say in front of other people. You’ll show how badly you want the opportunity that’s being presented. You’ll come across driven, motivated and inspired.

Acting as if it’s your legacy makes you feel like you’re becoming someone you’d hope to be in the future.

Think about the end of your life and then work backwards to the moment you’re faced with right now where you have to convince people to hire you.

This counter-intuitive process helps put you in a state of flow where you transcend all your limitations, beliefs and everything that everyone has ever told you that you can’t do.

In other words, linking to your legacy gives you confidence and belief in yourself.

Using all of the points I just mentioned, here’s a real-life example of a paragraph I prepared for an interview last week:

You want me not for endless meetings.

You want me not to bitch about other departments within the business.

You want me because I’m going to do something great. You can see it in my eyes right now.

I can change how people think.

I can inspire millions of people and I’ve demonstrated that already.

I can lead.

And, I can build relationships better than anyone you’ve ever met.

Most of all, I’m never going to give up. You can’t knock me down or defeat me. There will be obstacles. Some may give up — but not me.

If I can survive a near miss with cancer, multiple bad breakups, and leave a multi-million-dollar business behind, then I can do this role.

Regardless of whether you hire me for this opportunity, you will remember me. I believe I can come to this business and make a massive impact. The bottom line is this:

If I can change the world through this company and social media, then here I am.

That — ladies and gentlemen — is how you make people feel your emotion and get hired to do anything. Go out there and try it for yourself.

<<<>>>

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

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Success Advice

3 Destructive Habits That Are Holding You Back From Success

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You want to wake up at 5 a.m., do the work that matters, and realize your vision. You want to be the heavyweight champion of your craft, dominate your industry, and achieve massive success.

You want to achieve all of that, but there’s a problem. Anytime you come up with an idea, a nagging voice deep inside your psyche whispers through the corridors of your mind that you’re not capable.

So you put off your idea, cower in fear, or maybe blame others for your plight. The thing is, you need to check in with yourself. Deep inside, you have some destructive habits that are holding you back from pursuing your goals and achieving success.

Let’s explore them and give you some tips to counter them head-on.

1. Self-doubt

One of the worst things you can do is develop the habit of self-doubt, the tendency to distrust everything about yourself. It’s not that you hate yourself or your capabilities, it’s just that you question yourself, your judgments, and your actions. Whenever you plan to give that speech or launch that business or initiate that tough conversation, something deep inside you whispers, “You can’t do it.”

And you listen to that inner voice and bury your ideas in self-doubt. Your self-doubt is your biggest enemy. If you don’t counter that habit with all your might, it will hold you back from reaching the mountaintop, achieving your potential, and succeeding in your life, in your business and in your career.

The way to break through this chain of self-doubt is simple. Anytime you hear that voice weighing you down, tell it, “No, I can do it. I can make it happen.” Don’t ignore the voice, because it will talk to you again. Just have a ready-made response, and take the necessary action to prove it wrong.

“I didn’t get there by wishing for it or hoping for it, but by working for it.” – Estée Lauder

2. Blaming others for your failures

Another ugly habit many of us have is we often blame others for our own failures. In my first startup, I was determined to succeed. I woke up every morning and worked for about fifteen hours a day, writing, emailing prospects, promoting my services on social media, optimizing my products. But after about a year, I still didn’t have enough customers and I quit.

However, I put all the blame on my competitors. “There are simply too many people doing the same thing I do,” I concluded. “That’s why I failed.” Is that the true reason for my failure? No. I failed because I was not targeting the right customers, my product was inferior, or my marketing did not appeal to my prospective clients.

The best way to change this habit is to be very critical of ourselves. I know, it is not that simple. We can easily be critical of others, but not of ourselves. Still, we have to try to build the habit if we want to succeed.

You have to question your decisions, scrutinize your actions, and change course. If what you’re doing is not working, then you’re not doing the right thing. You have to try something else and stop blaming others for your failure.

3. Multi-tasking

What’s wrong with multi-tasking? Think about this, you’re eating lunch while checking your social media feed, and your laptop is on your lap open to a client’s project. Suddenly, a prospect emails you. You read the message, reply to them, and then get back to your other tasks.

You’re multitasking, doing many things at a time. However, you’re not investing your undivided attention in any particular area. That’s what’s wrong with multi-tasking. Your productivity level decreases by 40 percent when you focus on more than one thing at the same time. Your IQ also decreases by ten points when you multi-task, according to Peter Bregman of Harvard Business Review. The multitasking process actually consumes much of your time, and it’s stressful.

You need to cut that unproductive, destructive habit out. How? By working in the wee hours of the morning before your social media feeds begin to buzz, your friends start calling you, and your kids wake up. Next, silence your notifications as you work. That way, you can focus on your work without the distractions.

“Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” – Joshua J. Marine

Finally, set a deadline for yourself and stick to it—so you’ll have the discipline to concentrate on the project and the resistance to divert your attention away from other things. It worked for me, and it will work for you, too. The idea is to do whatever it takes to stop or minimize multitasking so you can pour your heart and soul into one project, and execute it flawlessly.

To become the heavyweight champion of your industry, start replacing your bad habits with good ones. Beat your self-doubt with self-confidence. Stop blaming others and start taking responsibilities. Stop multitasking and start focusing on one task. Then, watch as your success blossoms.

What habits are holding you back? Comment below!

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