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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

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

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

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

Really, in reality, he’s just charismatic.

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

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

 

1. Being confident baby!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

4. Expressing yourself through great stories

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

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

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

 

5. Make other people feel comfortable around you

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

7. They look approachable

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

“The secret to living is giving ” Tony Robbins

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

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

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

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Success Advice

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

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the 10x rule

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

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

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

What stops most people from achieving their goals?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Success Advice

My Thoughts On Money After Being Both Rich And Poor

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

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

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

 

Your mind constructs money

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

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

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

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

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

 

Meaning Vs. Money

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Im not saying money doesn’t matter

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

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

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

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

 

Meaning can also be found in life’s simple pleasures

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

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

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

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

 

Final words on money…

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

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

Only you can create happiness and meaning for yourself.

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

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Success Advice

5 Powerful Lessons About Success From Highly Successful Mentors

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successful mentors

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

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

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

1. Nobody has Their Stuff Together

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

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

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

2. Uncertainty Never Disappears

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

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

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

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

3. Jump Before You Are Ready

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

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

4. It’s Not about External Motivation

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

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

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

5. They Are Mental Ninja Masters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ready For Your Next Step?

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

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

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Social Media Is Killing Your Success: 3 Ways You Can Use it to Your Advantage

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Social media success

I love social media. It can help you make friends, share your life, build a network, and even build a business. In the same token, social media can easily become an enemy of success as a hindrance and consumer of attention. (more…)

I used to be homeless and now run a six figure business with my partner and travel the world. My journey to help those in need has taken me from non-profit director to supporting holistic entrepreneurs have a life of freedom. I run the Thriving Launch Podcast, which features the most influential leaders in the areas of love, spirituality, business, and success. It's my mission to help heart-centered entrepreneurs get their message heard. Learn more on at my website ThrivingLaunch.com (http://www.thrivinglaunch.com/)

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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

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

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

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

Really, in reality, he’s just charismatic.

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

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

 

1. Being confident baby!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

4. Expressing yourself through great stories

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

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

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

 

5. Make other people feel comfortable around you

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

7. They look approachable

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

“The secret to living is giving ” Tony Robbins

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

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

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

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Success Advice

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

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

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

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

What stops most people from achieving their goals?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Success Advice

My Thoughts On Money After Being Both Rich And Poor

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

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

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

 

Your mind constructs money

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

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

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

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

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

 

Meaning Vs. Money

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Im not saying money doesn’t matter

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

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

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

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

 

Meaning can also be found in life’s simple pleasures

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

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

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

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

 

Final words on money…

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

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

Only you can create happiness and meaning for yourself.

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

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5 Powerful Lessons About Success From Highly Successful Mentors

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

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

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

1. Nobody has Their Stuff Together

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

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

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

2. Uncertainty Never Disappears

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

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

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

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

3. Jump Before You Are Ready

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

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

4. It’s Not about External Motivation

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

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

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

5. They Are Mental Ninja Masters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ready For Your Next Step?

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

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

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