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Why Your Big Fat Ego Could Be Decimating Your Success

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Your Big Fat Ego

Your ego is the image you have of yourself and how important you are. For many people, this part of their being can get out of control really quickly. The biggest way to fuel someone’s ego is through the very subject that we are all so addicted to on this site; success.

When you become successful at something you have two choices; to be humble and grateful for the opportunity you have been given, or to let it get to your head and allow your ego to take over. With any level of success, there is always a small amount of luck needed along with heaps of skill, hard work, and patience.

The tipping point for a lot of success is just a small dose of luck, but this ingredient can quickly turn against you when you add ego with it. Egotistic people are not able to sustain luck because the energy they put out into the world doesn’t attract anything of value in return.

The 9 things you need to remember so your ego doesn’t decimate your success are:

 

1. It’s not a good idea to talk down to people

When a person’s ego is out of control, they begin to feel superior to their fellow human beings. This idea can become like a virus and it will create the disease of “talking down to people.” It’s never okay to talk down to someone and act as if you are better than them.

By doing so, you’re showing that you lack life experience and wisdom. It’s not about being better than everyone else it’s about being able to give something to the world that no one else can do. Leaders come up with solutions; egotistically driven people use brute force.

 

2. As quick as you can make a million dollars you can lose it all

The whole reason I am writing this article is because of a business encounter that happened in my own life a few weeks ago. Someone that I consider to be a friend made over a million dollars and everyone around them was very supportive of their success.

Within a matter of weeks, this person has gone from being a humble businessperson, to an ego driven maniac. Out of nowhere, they are treating all the people that helped make them a millionaire like they are better than them on every level.

Because they are the leader of the business that made them a millionaire, their toxic ego has flowed through the company and made everyone high on the fumes. Suddenly, quiet, timid, business leaders, have begun talking over the top of people and swearing unnecessarily.

What it most disappointing about this situation is that this person has lost it all before. Losing everything is supposed to make you wiser and give you the skills to succeed. By not getting the lesson the first time, this new ego fuelled state has the power to bring them down. In business, when you let your ego get out of control, you take unnecessary risks and think you’re invincible.

“An inflated ego can cloud your judgement and make you think you have super powers that you don’t”

I’m sorry to report, but no one gives a damn how much money you’ve made or what car you drive. People care about how you treat others when you become successful, and more importantly, the type of person you become. Do you give money to charity? Do you start your own charity? Do you coach other people to start a business?

It's A Trap - EgoHaving been someone that has been in this situation before, the only thing that I repeatedly say is “as quick as you can make a million dollars you can lose it all.” It doesn’t take a lot to bring a business down or for the people you work with to lose confidence in your ability to lead.

If you let your ego take over before you know it, the million bucks is gone, and you’re alone, on the street, consuming large amounts of alcohol, trying to understand what happen to your so-called “success.”

Don’t fall for the ego trap and become conscious of how you treat people. Joel Brown, who owns this website, has millions of followers and more success than most people I know; yet he’s a nice guy and always looking to serve people.

He’s not out there claiming he’s some miracle worker, he’s just getting on with the job of giving everything he has and leaving a legacy that we will all remember. At the heart of it, that’s what success is all about my friends.

 

3. It’s not cool to play people off against each other

In business, there are often multiple suppliers that you can work with to deliver a product or service. The last thing you want to do is let your ego get in the way, and think that you can treat these people like dirt.

There is one fundamental lesson that you have to understand: businesses talk to each other and when you go out of the way to treat them poorly, the people you hurt all of a sudden want to share their negative experience with their other friends in their network (i.e., the other businesses someone may choose to work with).

Making enemies in business never works out because people do business with people. Even if you have an incredible business, if you let your ego get out of control, people won’t be attracted to work with you. The quickest way to the welfare office is through your ego – don’t let this be you.

 

4. Manners will stop your ego

All of us can get caught up in our ego sometimes, and that’s okay. What we can do to cure yourself of this fever is to remember your manners. When you’re tempted to act in an egotistic way in front of someone, try being polite instead.

By using your manners, you bring yourself back to caring less about you, and more about the other person. I’ve even found that manners can become a sort of mindfulness trigger that helps me to come back to the moment and not get lost in an anxiety ridden, egotistical states of mind.

I’ve found the fastest way to attract customers and suppliers in business is to treat them well. Treat them Law Of Attracting New Clientswith respect and be known as the nice guy. Last week, I had a client I did this with. This client had been more agreeable than I expected. On an email, they asked me if they could slightly change something in a contract and I agreed without hesitation.

I told them how much I liked doing business with them and how I appreciated their willingness to come from a place of gratitude in a sometimes hostile business environment. Sure enough, the business relationship is as strong as it can be.

Manners and the way you treat people matter. Entrepreneurship is not about you; it’s about serving everyone else.

 

5. Everything is negotiable

By coming from an egotistical state, you automatically rule out a good negotiating position. In the conversation I had with the millionaire mentioned earlier, their ego and bad language automatically put the guard up of every person in the room.

All we wanted to do was escape, and no one had a kind listening ear to hear the person out. Kindness quickly disappears when an inflated ego is present. Rather than let your ego get ahead of you and throw in the used car salesman line of “I can get a better deal elsewhere,” try lowering your ego and asking positive, open-ended questions.

The reality is that everything is negotiable but only when you come from a non-egotistic state. It’s all in the way you ask and how you come across. The amount of times I have been able to negotiate a great deal by asking questions and saying “would it be possible to do it this way,” or “could we try lowering this rate, and removing X Y and Z?”

You’d be surprised what you can achieve when your personality is attractive and not full of the moles of ego. People will bend over backwards to work with someone who doesn’t let success get to their head.

“In any business negotiation, the person with the bigger ego always loses in the long term” – Tim Denning

 

6. Your ego blocks your ability to listen

How To ListenThe only way you can learn in life is by listening to other people, and then deciding if what they’ve said is something you can learn from. Not all opinions will be positive, but you will never learn if you let your ego get in the way and make you think that you know everything.

You don’t know even 1/1000th of what there is to know in the world, and there is no point pretending you do. Instead, realise how little you know in the scheme of things and be a learner in life. Become adaptable, flexible, nimble and able to adapt to change. Know that there is no right answer and that everyone has an opinion rightly or wrongly.

 

7. Face into challenges with a mature, calm dimenna, not your ego

A mind that has regularly been meditating is calm and able to come from a place of reason, even in the face of adversity. When a situation gets heated always come back to it after a good night’s sleep – your perspective will be different.

A calm mind notices your ego and stops you from making an idiot of yourself. Often, if you fail to deal with stress or anxiety, the door to your ego get’s left wide open. Having control of your life is all about the control of your mind and thoughts.

Replace disempowering thoughts that tell you you’re better than everyone else, with thoughts of how you can create something spectacular.

“When you start comparing who has the bigger third leg, ego will take over and ruin all the rapport that you had previously”

 

8. The moment you get nasty, people go out of their way to take you down

Your ego can make you say things you don’t mean. Whenever you become nasty towards other people and make threats, the person on the other side will go out of their way to take you down. We’ve all heard of the concept of a “raving fan.”

When you turn people against you with your ego, you create the opposite effect of a raving fan. Pretty soon, these people will be talking to everyone they come across to tell them about how full of yourself you are. A lot of the so-called bad luck in our life can be directly linked to our inflated ego.

The bottom line is we have to get over ourselves and how good we are. Having said that, don’t mistake what I am saying about your ego for confidence. There is nothing wrong with being confident about what you are doing in life, just don’t confuse confidence with ego otherwise, you’re in trouble.

 

9. Nice people always win, smart alecs do not

Sustained success in any field comes down to one simple principle, “nice people always win.” Coming across as a smart alec who knows it all will not give you the success you want in years to come. Your ego can create short term massive high’s and long term major lows if you’re not careful.

Look at any well-respected actor and you’ll see that they are humble and genuinely nice people. The more they are like everyone else, the more success they seem to have. The reality is this: people are looking for other people just like them. Once you understand this concept, you can use rapport rather than your ego, to fight conflict in business and in life.

Do you feel your ego is under control? Let me know in the comments section below or on my website timdenning.net and my Facebook.

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared millions of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around personal development and entrepreneurship. You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. AZ

    Oct 1, 2017 at 7:55 am

    It’s hard to tame the beast of ego. But I’ve noticed my ego has its ups and downs and on days I feel I’m better than everyone else I’m also less happy.

  2. AKAYEZU Aime Angelique Noela

    Aug 29, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    I love the article, especially tips on how to manage our ego or at least refrain it from destroying our relationship with others. it is hard to manage ego, noticing and acknowledging ways that it is not serving you is the first step. thanking you for sharing suck article that helps us to deeply analyse ourselves, to re-evaluate our behaviours and attitude. We can’t reach high when our ego is the one messing us up all way long. I believe success is a journey you work hard to achieve, knowing how to avoid some of the traps on your path is a valuable asset. Thanks a lot

  3. Norah Bird Hamilton

    Jul 28, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    Excellent article. So important to receive those reminders that there are some extra miles we can go to better tap down that ego that gets in our way. Also appreciate Tano’s thoughts about service. It is so wonderful when someone treats you in a manner that makes you check the mirror to see what they are seeing that is special. How wonderful to be the person to provide such a quality of service that someone checks their mirror. I am going to make that level of service a daily goal.

    • Tim Denning

      Aug 4, 2016 at 9:30 pm

      Norah thanks for reading and I’m so glad you are going to take some action.

  4. Toño

    Jul 28, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    Today I took another lesson from you, Tim, and you are a very good teacher.

    I meet different people every day and as I work in sales I see rich and poor, greedy and generous. It is funny how you can spot the law of attraction works when a rich person becomes richer and poor, well, gets, even more suffering because of their state of mind. Ego is a huge part of the game here, and I will not hide, I like and appreciate rich people more than poor. But here’s the thing: some of those luxury folks act like they are the kings of the world, gods among mortals and you can sense the ignorance. They think money is the only currency here and it speaks loud. On the other side, there are people who rich, yet humble, professional, passionate, delicate and ethic in their behavior and they treat everyone as equal. Those are rare kinds, but real pleasure to have any business with. Their attitude is a real success, and they attract even more. Now, you can see some of them are not exactly that money rich rather manner rich. True leaders help others, not bring them down, they encourage success for people around them and share knowledge. That’s where ego is silently watching in despare for those rare kinds of human being.

    I like your #4 example as I have experienced today with simple VIP taxi driver. The guy was on top of his work ethic and was the most professional driver I have had the pleasure to know. Yet it was just a regular Uber trip, quite cheap and short. The person treats me like I was one of The Beatles or Hollywood actor, and this led me to think about my own behavior. How often do I provide such service for others, not paying attention to their status, clothing, manner of speaking or personal preference. Not much, I will admit, not that often. But why? Because I think too high of myself, perhaps, or judge them all. I know how much it may mean for someone to receive a top notch service and feels like a really important person. it feels really good and simply can make your day. It does not require much of the effort often yet, sometimes we just tend to act like a jerk without even thinking. Well, I can do it, and shame on me for that. But thanks to that kind and beautiful man I can now re-think some of my actions. It does not matter how tough your life may be, you can always light someone’s day up. Just magick.

    I have lowered my ego during last year and I still have lots of work to do. With my daily meditation going now (today was 101-day streak for me, yayyy!) I feel less anger and can control my mind better. It’s a fine gift to have an ability to look at yourself from the different perspective, from the other side and get some realization, who you are. It’s wonderful.

    Much appreciation for that reminder of my ego still working hard, I enjoyed the article and took some good lessons today. Thank you so very much, Tim. Much love for your hard work, and sharing your life experience. I always enjoy it.

    Take care, my friend!

    • Tim Denning

      Aug 4, 2016 at 9:34 pm

      Toño I’m so glad that you see the importance of ego and how it can mess you up. You’ve never come across as a guy with a big ego and I’m glad to hear that you have worked on it a lot over the last 12 months. I love when Uber drivers treat me well even if it’s only a short trip. I have met so many cool entrepreneurs that do Uber part time and I enjoy encouraging them to live their passion.

      Thanks again Toño for your lengthy summary!

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Success Advice

The Secret Power of Storytelling That You Need to Know

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Image Credit: Fortune

What does the power of storytelling mean to you? Do you visualize your mom or dad telling you a bedtime story, or do you think about an enjoyable summer read? Every single conversation that we have with an individual or group is us sharing a story about the past, present and future. If we have a product or service that we offer to others, we tell a story about it when we do a pitch or a presentation.

The reason why we tell stories is because we know the power of stories. We know how being able to tell a captivating story can affect and change the lives of the people for better or worse. Hitler used stories about the Jews in the 1930’s which caused Germany to rally the youth and the German people to go to war, and in England, the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, used the power of stories to rally the British in a movement of never surrendering to the Germans.

Not everyone knows how to tell stories

Our abilities to tell captivating stories is one of the greatest assets we possess. However the problem is that not everyone has the skills to be a good storyteller, and the ability to be a good storyteller is critical in our success whether it’s in our personal or business life.

The power of storytelling goes way beyond just our everyday conversations, it goes far beyond simply giving facts and data. Stories emotionalize information. They bring life and depth to otherwise bland material, and they allow people to connect with the message in a deeper, more meaningful way.

Tony Robbins, the world famous motivational speaker and strategist interviewed Peter Guber, the Chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment whose films has earned more than $3 billion and over 50 Academy Awards nomination. Guber stated “emotion combined with information becomes memorable and actionable.  Where were you on 9/11? Chances are that you can remember exactly where you were when you learned about the tragic events that transpired that day. But if you had to think where you were the day before that – that memory is probably hazier. Because information attached to pain or pleasure creates an emotional connection that resonates within you.”

He goes on to also say “Keeping in mind that a story is not a monologue, but a dialogue, helps you to give your audience proprietorship. They become emotional owners of the story you are telling. Then they become advtes –oca of your product, your service, your business, your brand.”

The power of storytelling can transform lives when useful and relevant information is combined with emotions. The next time you speak to another person regardless of the situation, remember you are being a storyteller, because you are in the process of transferring information to that person or group.

“Stories are a communal currency of humanity.” –Tahir Shah

Our most powerful tool

Our ability to communicate effectively is the most powerful tool we have, and when we strategically use our communication skills to transfer bland information into masterful stories we also have the power to transform lives.

If done correctly, our stories will have a massive effect on our listening audience. It will inspire and influence them. It will move them to act. So never underestimate the power of storytelling. Make it relevant–connect emotionally, create a dialogue, and you will see why the power of storytelling is the most powerful tool you have.

Don’t just take my word on for it, Look at some of the greatest leaders throughout history

You will see that they all had the ability to tell stories and bring people together through their words. The greatest motivational speakers in the world use the power of storytelling to emotionalize their audience, because there is no quicker or more effective way to get your audience engaged.

Les Brown who has been one of my mentors and one of the greatest motivational speakers that has ever lived, uses stories masterfully. He shares stories about his upbringing in Miami, and how he and his twin brother were adopted at birth and he is somehow able to transition those stories into whatever relevant topic needs to be heard by his audience, but he first draws them in with his stories.

“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” – Les Brown

Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar, Earl Nightingale, Tony Robbins, the list is endless, but one thing they all have in common is their ability to tell stories masterfully. Some of the greatest philosophers have told us that there is a blueprint for success, and obviously storytelling is part of that blue print.

There is no greater power that we possess than the ability to transform regular words into captivating stories that can take your audience on whatever journey you want to take them on.

Being a great storyteller is like being a puppet master, because when you can draw people in to your stories you will have your audience on a string taking them on any emotional roller coaster. The secret power of storytelling is to be treated with respect, because with great power comes great responsibility, and this power should only be used for good.

Do you enjoy storytelling? If so, do you have any techniques or advice to share? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

5 Signs You’re on the Right Path to Success

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Every successful person had his own moment(s) of doubt. The road to success is full of obstacles and sweet hardships that will frequently make you stop and ask, ‘Am I on the right track?’ Even legends and billionaires had moments like that. Just imagine how 62 year old Colonel Sanders felt when he was rejected time and time again trying to franchise his famous chicken recipe.

It felt harsh and I bet he stopped, at least for a moment, to question his entire existence, not just the success of his business idea. But I also bet that there were probably some signs that told Sanders —and any other successful person— ‘You`re going to make it, just hang in there.”

Here are the 5 signs that will tell you whether you`re going to be successful or not:

1. You’re good at the consistency game

I don`t like the fable of the Tortoise and the Hare, and I believe that a restless hare would smash them both, but there`s a reason why that slow tortoise crossed the finish line; It`s called consistency.

Success eventually favors the most consistent, and if you`re not disciplined with the things that make you successful, then your chances to succeed are slimmer than Marlon Brando`s chances of winning the lottery (Marlon Brando is dead, and one of every 175 million tickets wins the lotto).  

Systems and routines (i.e., consistency), predict success, so take a look at your habits. Are they positive? Do you practice them regularly? If the answer to both questions is “Yes,” then sooner or later you`re going to be successful.

“The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same.” – Colin R. Davis

2. You stopped having a toxic relationship with money

Success is no longer a zero-sum game to you; opportunities are everywhere, and there`s room for everybody to make money, including you. When you check the news, the success of other people no longer makes you envious. A celebrity buying a new mansion or a $150 million contract for a LeBron or Federer-like athlete, doesn`t bother you but instead makes you believe there`s plenty of money out there for ambitious, hard-working people like you. When you switch from worrying about not having enough money to having faith that you will make the money you want, then you know you`re on the way to success.

3. You know the right people

Another sign is having a big social network. I read it somewhere that business owners prefer to hire those they know over those who are skilled. Sounds skewed, I know, but it helps a lot if you combine your technical skills with excellent people skills. To want success is more like wishing to enter a nightclub on a busy Friday night. If you know the bouncers or have enough skills to befriend them, you won`t stay long in the line. The same thing happens in business, the more people you know, the easier it will be to find the right job, get proper funding and save time waiting in the line.

Social skills will help you more than you can ever imagine. There`s a guy I used to work with, he`s not that good looking, but he`s the slickest I`ve ever seen. When that guy hit rock bottom, he dropped out of school, bought a one-way ticket to Dubai, became a real estate agent and made his first million before reaching 30. I`ve also read about Michael Bloomberg who used to come to work at six in the morning to distribute coffee and tea to CEOs who come to work early when others are sleeping. For $.99 each, Bloomberg befriended at least a dozen bigwigs who later helped him launch a billion dollar business after he quit Wall Street.

4. You know what makes you tick

The successful people are better than most people at understanding themselves and overcoming —to a greater extent—the five foundations of poverty: sleep, fear, anger, laziness, and procrastination. They have worked on themselves so deeply and have made so many mistakes that they now know their soft spots as well as what motivates them.

Do you know what makes you sad, angry or excited? Do you know when you`re more likely to cheat on a diet or skip a workout? What are your strengths? Can you motivate yourself at will? And how? Having answers to most or, preferably, all of these questions will help you tap into your full potential and sets you on the path to massive success.

“All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.” – Michael John Bobak

5. You have faith

Faith in the yet to be seen, is a huge sign of success. When you think about the future, there should be a positive energy around you that says “I`m gonna make it.” You may not know exactly when you`re going to succeed, but you`re sure it’s a matter of time. This faith, or certainty, comes from having a solid plan – It`s when you know your goal, how you`ll achieve it, and how you`re going to react if things go south and deciding to believe in the unknown

If you think about it, hard work doesn`t always come as the first cause of success. It`s the faith that you`ll achieve the goal that makes you work hard, and thus, achieve the goal. I was reading a book on Michael Jordan by Roland Lazenby —who also wrote Kobe Bryant`s biography— and it stopped me that part of Jordan`s extraordinary success goes to expectations.

He expected every single ball he shot to go in. Jordan used that mindset over and over and didn`t stop when one of his shots was missed. He merely understood that even though nobody wins all the time, believing you`ll win every single time makes you win most of the time, which is enough to get a career like his. The most prominent success sign is the certainty. To believe, and act, as if you`re going to succeed, and then let that belief lead manifest into actions.

What are some things you do to say on track? Comment below!

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Success Advice

Instead of Always Trying to Be Right, Do This Instead

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A colleague of mine was obnoxious, over eager, and completely out of line. Yet, all of this was overshadowed by the fact he was just plain wrong. If he were to go through with it, it would derail the company by at least 6 months. Yet, arguing with him when he was in this state was of no use. While hitting him over the head with the laptop seemed appealing for a second, it was probably not a great long-term strategy for the business or my laptop.

Galileo once said, “You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him find it within himself.” This is especially true when it comes to emotionally charged matters and negotiations.

When you are right, you become attached to that idea. It’s so clear, how can they not see it? Yet, your meticulously clear logic might as well be written in braille as your focus intensifies on proving yourself right, instead of reaching an agreement.

Below are 3 ways you can step out of your emotions and help someone find the right answer when money and time are on the line:

1. Separate the Person From the Issue

Imagine if a four-year-old child was adamant about something. You wouldn’t try to reason logically for hours in such a case. When trying to speak through a person’s emotions, often you might have better luck with the four year old.

In order to break this barrier you must stop seeing them as the problem and see the issue at hand. Instead of seeing the other person as stupid or obnoxious, try viewing them as simply lost or misguided. The job now becomes not to prove them wrong, but to guide them to the truth. Adopting this mindset changes your entire approach as you get out of your own emotions and take control of the situation.

“Each of us guard a gate of change that can only be opened from the inside.” – Stephen Covey

2. Show Them A Mirror

Somewhere in between trying to hammer a point, both sides usually forget to listen. No matter the situation, you must make sure that person is never you. Instead, shift the focus from “me vs you” and make it completely about the other person. Really listen and validate their emotions, creating enough trust and safety to begin a real exchange. Make sure they feel heard and slow the conversation down. When you slow the process down, you also calm down.

Remember, it’s not what you say, but how you say it. About 93% of communication is nonverbal, thus maintaining your body language immediately provides an edge. A playful (not childlike or mocking) voice puts someone in a positive frame of mind, where they are more likely to collaborate and problem solve.

Always remember to repeat back the most important three words from their sentence and make them elaborate on whatever they said. The more a person is allowed to speak, the more they feel heard. The more they feel heard, the more open they are to receive new information.

3. Lead With Empathy, Not Sympathy

Taking the time to make sure the other side feels heard and understood does not mean you bend to their will. It does not mean you give up, agree, feel sorry for, or even compromise. Empathy is the ability to recognize another’s perspective and the vocalization of that recognition. This is the difference between empathy and sympathy.

When you can label a person’s emotions in an argument, you seize the chance to discover what is behind those feelings. As you begin to drill down, you gain leverage. This should be done very gracefully. Instead of saying, I think you’re angry and being stubborn, trying saying, It seems like you are feeling frustrated because you really care about this and wish it was moving along quicker.

“Sometimes all a person wants is an empathetic ear; all he or she needs is to talk it out. Just offering a listening ear and an understanding heart for his or her suffering can be a big comfort.” – Roy T. Bennett

Using labels, you mold their feelings into words, moving information from the emotional part of the brain to the rational. Whatever behavior a person may be presenting, there is always an underlying feeling triggering it. Your job is to make the person aware of that feeling. The faster you do this, the faster you eliminate the risk of a complete breakdown in communication.

After their emotions are labeled, asking how or why calibrated questions allow them to solve their problems for you. In order to do this effectively you don’t need to study every type of calibrated question there is, but rather adopt a specific mindset. You are not their opponent, but a guide, leading the lost to the truth. Your truth.

In my case, the presenting behavior of my colleague was an obnoxious know-it-all attitude. However, the underlying emotion was fear of falling behind. Once I was able to stop asking the question, “Why is he doing this to me?” and focus on looking deeper, the conversation took a turn. The conversation was no longer about my ideas versus his, but about him and his fear.

Instead of arguing with me, he spent the rest of the time, essentially, arguing with himself. After helping him dissect his fear in the rational part of the brain, he realized that many of the worst case scenarios were highly improbable and acting hasty might exacerbate things. Most importantly, at the end of the conversation, he said, “I think I made the right choice.”

He believed that the decision was entirely his. He never acknowledged the fact that I was right and announced to everyone the sudden spark of genius that hit him. Yet, at the end of the day you need to ask yourself what is more important to you; being right or doing whatever it takes to win.  

How do you handle conflict? Let us know your tips and advice in the comments below!

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Success Advice

What You Can Learn From My Ultimate “I Am Screwed” Moment.

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When I was 16 years old, I had the ultimate “I am screwed moment.”

Everything from this point on happened in slow motion. What I’m about to describe probably happened in the space of thirty minutes but it felt like five hours.

I was walking down the street with my buddy one night, eating a paddle pop ice cream. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a group of about twenty teenagers running towards us, dressed in black.

I instantly knew that something was up and as they got closer, we both realized we were screwed and there was nowhere to run to.

Seconds later the gang of teenagers came straight towards us as fast as they could.

“I got lucky and copped a baseball bat to the head. My friend wasn’t so lucky. He was repeatedly stabbed by several different people and there was blood everywhere.”

As I saw what happened to my friend, I knew I’d be next. I was hit so many times with the baseball bat that I was numb from the pain. Everything started to go white.

Then I heard a faint voice. The voice was calling my name out.

I listened to what the young man was saying and realized he was saying that his little brother knew me. All of a sudden, he put out his hand, lifted me off the ground and told me to run in the other direction, or I’d end up like my friend.

I somehow managed to get on my feet and run, but I was not giving up on my friend. I ran around the back of the shopping center that we were standing outside of and entered the building. I ran to the first security guard I saw and told them I needed help.

In my search to get help, miraculously, my friend had made it into the shopping center and he was being treated by a number of bystanders for his massive knife wounds.

I went over and spoke to him. He was okay and things looked better than I expected. I had about sixty seconds of calmness. Then I looked to my left.

Through the glass doors, I could see the same gang of teenagers running into the shopping center. Everyone including the two security guards ran in opposite directions.

My friend with his multiple knife wounds also ran and there were bandages everywhere as he made a run for it (I’m not even sure how he was able to move).

This time I was the unlucky one. I ran into the part of the shopping center that was closed for the night and three of the youths followed me. I’d never been so afraid because I saw what they did to my friend.

I ended up in the shopping centers food court and I hid in the darkness. I tried to control my breathing, but it was hard to silence the fear inside of me. I still remember the white Nike pants I was wearing and the bright red Sean John jumper I had on (I later discarded them because of the memory they left).

Again, through some kind of miracle, the three boys did not see me. They ran off in another direction and I stayed under the table.

The pain of my wounds started to set in. I knew deep down I was safe and so the fight or flight response was turned off. All of a sudden, moving and walking felt very painful.

I could feel broken bits of teeth in my mouth.


The aftermath.

After some time had passed, I manage to reconnect with my friend. By that time there was an ambulance on the scene and he managed to get his knife wounds treated. He got lucky and no vital organs were affected.

The next day I went to school and people could see I had gone through one hell of an ordeal. One of my friends in the year level below, came and found me and explained to me that it was his older brother and friends that attacked me.

They had mistakenly thought that we had come from a party, because of the direction we came from, where he was beaten up. He told me that because they had recognized me, to some degree, I was spared.

The story doesn’t end here though (I wish it did). Even after the brutal event, one of the attackers was still upset with me. I didn’t know why and it made no sense. I had multiple times where he and his friends were waiting for me in certain places and I was told they would harm me.

Through a mutual friend, I was able to resolve the conflict and I found out that a few of them were close friends with a few of my friends. In the coming years, I got to know my attackers.

“They were not the horrible violent people I encountered on that night. They slowly changed their ways and one of them has gone on to do extraordinary kind acts all over the world.”


A revelation from this “I am screwed” moment.

After this horrible event had occurred, I tried to make sense of it. I was not a violent person in any way but in a way, I had created this path for myself.

During my teenage years, I let rap music and violence dominate my life. I thought they were both cool.

The revelation from all of this was that I knew I had to change my life. I knew that the path I was on had led me to this moment and only I could change things. The next time an attack like this happened, I may not be as lucky.

I gave up rap music, I changed my group of friends, I started a business with my brother, I quit smoking and I disengaged from anything that was violent. Looking back, an “I am screwed” moment can be extremely valuable. It’s during these difficult times that we learn about who we are and what we can do to change our lives.

I would never have become obsessed with legacy, giving back and personal development if I hadn’t had this life or death experience.

I’m now fully aware of my mortality and I’m never going to take another day for granted.

Everything can change in a split second for better or for worse. What you do in that moment is up to you.

Nothing happens randomly (even this attack). Everything happens for a reason and when you ensure you get the lesson from it, you can go on to do extraordinary things.

I’m typing these words and reaching millions of people with them, partly because of this “I am screwed” moment.


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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How to Prevent Social Media From Stunting Your Personal Growth

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Image Credit: Twenty20.com

Over the years, social media has taken over our lives. Our society has become so addicted to social media to where we’re not only missing out on enjoying some of life’s most precious moments, but we’re also losing valuable interpersonal skills. The introverts have become more introverted, and the extroverts are becoming more recluse. (more…)

Patrice K. Cokley is a Marketing Consultant that specializes in brand development, social media marketing, and creative project management. Holding both a BS and MBA in Marketing, she is widely known for her work with Beyoncé & Solange’s dad/former manager Dr. Mathew Knowles. Her work has been seen on major media outlets such as Entertainment Tonight, The Insider, Billboard, Ebony, The Wendy Williams Show and more; and she has spoken on panels at Soho House Chicago, Social Media Week Chicago, LakeFX Chicago and others. You can find Patrice online at www.patricekcokley.com.

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. AZ

    Oct 1, 2017 at 7:55 am

    It’s hard to tame the beast of ego. But I’ve noticed my ego has its ups and downs and on days I feel I’m better than everyone else I’m also less happy.

  2. AKAYEZU Aime Angelique Noela

    Aug 29, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    I love the article, especially tips on how to manage our ego or at least refrain it from destroying our relationship with others. it is hard to manage ego, noticing and acknowledging ways that it is not serving you is the first step. thanking you for sharing suck article that helps us to deeply analyse ourselves, to re-evaluate our behaviours and attitude. We can’t reach high when our ego is the one messing us up all way long. I believe success is a journey you work hard to achieve, knowing how to avoid some of the traps on your path is a valuable asset. Thanks a lot

  3. Norah Bird Hamilton

    Jul 28, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    Excellent article. So important to receive those reminders that there are some extra miles we can go to better tap down that ego that gets in our way. Also appreciate Tano’s thoughts about service. It is so wonderful when someone treats you in a manner that makes you check the mirror to see what they are seeing that is special. How wonderful to be the person to provide such a quality of service that someone checks their mirror. I am going to make that level of service a daily goal.

    • Tim Denning

      Aug 4, 2016 at 9:30 pm

      Norah thanks for reading and I’m so glad you are going to take some action.

  4. Toño

    Jul 28, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    Today I took another lesson from you, Tim, and you are a very good teacher.

    I meet different people every day and as I work in sales I see rich and poor, greedy and generous. It is funny how you can spot the law of attraction works when a rich person becomes richer and poor, well, gets, even more suffering because of their state of mind. Ego is a huge part of the game here, and I will not hide, I like and appreciate rich people more than poor. But here’s the thing: some of those luxury folks act like they are the kings of the world, gods among mortals and you can sense the ignorance. They think money is the only currency here and it speaks loud. On the other side, there are people who rich, yet humble, professional, passionate, delicate and ethic in their behavior and they treat everyone as equal. Those are rare kinds, but real pleasure to have any business with. Their attitude is a real success, and they attract even more. Now, you can see some of them are not exactly that money rich rather manner rich. True leaders help others, not bring them down, they encourage success for people around them and share knowledge. That’s where ego is silently watching in despare for those rare kinds of human being.

    I like your #4 example as I have experienced today with simple VIP taxi driver. The guy was on top of his work ethic and was the most professional driver I have had the pleasure to know. Yet it was just a regular Uber trip, quite cheap and short. The person treats me like I was one of The Beatles or Hollywood actor, and this led me to think about my own behavior. How often do I provide such service for others, not paying attention to their status, clothing, manner of speaking or personal preference. Not much, I will admit, not that often. But why? Because I think too high of myself, perhaps, or judge them all. I know how much it may mean for someone to receive a top notch service and feels like a really important person. it feels really good and simply can make your day. It does not require much of the effort often yet, sometimes we just tend to act like a jerk without even thinking. Well, I can do it, and shame on me for that. But thanks to that kind and beautiful man I can now re-think some of my actions. It does not matter how tough your life may be, you can always light someone’s day up. Just magick.

    I have lowered my ego during last year and I still have lots of work to do. With my daily meditation going now (today was 101-day streak for me, yayyy!) I feel less anger and can control my mind better. It’s a fine gift to have an ability to look at yourself from the different perspective, from the other side and get some realization, who you are. It’s wonderful.

    Much appreciation for that reminder of my ego still working hard, I enjoyed the article and took some good lessons today. Thank you so very much, Tim. Much love for your hard work, and sharing your life experience. I always enjoy it.

    Take care, my friend!

    • Tim Denning

      Aug 4, 2016 at 9:34 pm

      Toño I’m so glad that you see the importance of ego and how it can mess you up. You’ve never come across as a guy with a big ego and I’m glad to hear that you have worked on it a lot over the last 12 months. I love when Uber drivers treat me well even if it’s only a short trip. I have met so many cool entrepreneurs that do Uber part time and I enjoy encouraging them to live their passion.

      Thanks again Toño for your lengthy summary!

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Success Advice

The Secret Power of Storytelling That You Need to Know

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What does the power of storytelling mean to you? Do you visualize your mom or dad telling you a bedtime story, or do you think about an enjoyable summer read? Every single conversation that we have with an individual or group is us sharing a story about the past, present and future. If we have a product or service that we offer to others, we tell a story about it when we do a pitch or a presentation.

The reason why we tell stories is because we know the power of stories. We know how being able to tell a captivating story can affect and change the lives of the people for better or worse. Hitler used stories about the Jews in the 1930’s which caused Germany to rally the youth and the German people to go to war, and in England, the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, used the power of stories to rally the British in a movement of never surrendering to the Germans.

Not everyone knows how to tell stories

Our abilities to tell captivating stories is one of the greatest assets we possess. However the problem is that not everyone has the skills to be a good storyteller, and the ability to be a good storyteller is critical in our success whether it’s in our personal or business life.

The power of storytelling goes way beyond just our everyday conversations, it goes far beyond simply giving facts and data. Stories emotionalize information. They bring life and depth to otherwise bland material, and they allow people to connect with the message in a deeper, more meaningful way.

Tony Robbins, the world famous motivational speaker and strategist interviewed Peter Guber, the Chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment whose films has earned more than $3 billion and over 50 Academy Awards nomination. Guber stated “emotion combined with information becomes memorable and actionable.  Where were you on 9/11? Chances are that you can remember exactly where you were when you learned about the tragic events that transpired that day. But if you had to think where you were the day before that – that memory is probably hazier. Because information attached to pain or pleasure creates an emotional connection that resonates within you.”

He goes on to also say “Keeping in mind that a story is not a monologue, but a dialogue, helps you to give your audience proprietorship. They become emotional owners of the story you are telling. Then they become advtes –oca of your product, your service, your business, your brand.”

The power of storytelling can transform lives when useful and relevant information is combined with emotions. The next time you speak to another person regardless of the situation, remember you are being a storyteller, because you are in the process of transferring information to that person or group.

“Stories are a communal currency of humanity.” –Tahir Shah

Our most powerful tool

Our ability to communicate effectively is the most powerful tool we have, and when we strategically use our communication skills to transfer bland information into masterful stories we also have the power to transform lives.

If done correctly, our stories will have a massive effect on our listening audience. It will inspire and influence them. It will move them to act. So never underestimate the power of storytelling. Make it relevant–connect emotionally, create a dialogue, and you will see why the power of storytelling is the most powerful tool you have.

Don’t just take my word on for it, Look at some of the greatest leaders throughout history

You will see that they all had the ability to tell stories and bring people together through their words. The greatest motivational speakers in the world use the power of storytelling to emotionalize their audience, because there is no quicker or more effective way to get your audience engaged.

Les Brown who has been one of my mentors and one of the greatest motivational speakers that has ever lived, uses stories masterfully. He shares stories about his upbringing in Miami, and how he and his twin brother were adopted at birth and he is somehow able to transition those stories into whatever relevant topic needs to be heard by his audience, but he first draws them in with his stories.

“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” – Les Brown

Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar, Earl Nightingale, Tony Robbins, the list is endless, but one thing they all have in common is their ability to tell stories masterfully. Some of the greatest philosophers have told us that there is a blueprint for success, and obviously storytelling is part of that blue print.

There is no greater power that we possess than the ability to transform regular words into captivating stories that can take your audience on whatever journey you want to take them on.

Being a great storyteller is like being a puppet master, because when you can draw people in to your stories you will have your audience on a string taking them on any emotional roller coaster. The secret power of storytelling is to be treated with respect, because with great power comes great responsibility, and this power should only be used for good.

Do you enjoy storytelling? If so, do you have any techniques or advice to share? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

5 Signs You’re on the Right Path to Success

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Every successful person had his own moment(s) of doubt. The road to success is full of obstacles and sweet hardships that will frequently make you stop and ask, ‘Am I on the right track?’ Even legends and billionaires had moments like that. Just imagine how 62 year old Colonel Sanders felt when he was rejected time and time again trying to franchise his famous chicken recipe.

It felt harsh and I bet he stopped, at least for a moment, to question his entire existence, not just the success of his business idea. But I also bet that there were probably some signs that told Sanders —and any other successful person— ‘You`re going to make it, just hang in there.”

Here are the 5 signs that will tell you whether you`re going to be successful or not:

1. You’re good at the consistency game

I don`t like the fable of the Tortoise and the Hare, and I believe that a restless hare would smash them both, but there`s a reason why that slow tortoise crossed the finish line; It`s called consistency.

Success eventually favors the most consistent, and if you`re not disciplined with the things that make you successful, then your chances to succeed are slimmer than Marlon Brando`s chances of winning the lottery (Marlon Brando is dead, and one of every 175 million tickets wins the lotto).  

Systems and routines (i.e., consistency), predict success, so take a look at your habits. Are they positive? Do you practice them regularly? If the answer to both questions is “Yes,” then sooner or later you`re going to be successful.

“The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same.” – Colin R. Davis

2. You stopped having a toxic relationship with money

Success is no longer a zero-sum game to you; opportunities are everywhere, and there`s room for everybody to make money, including you. When you check the news, the success of other people no longer makes you envious. A celebrity buying a new mansion or a $150 million contract for a LeBron or Federer-like athlete, doesn`t bother you but instead makes you believe there`s plenty of money out there for ambitious, hard-working people like you. When you switch from worrying about not having enough money to having faith that you will make the money you want, then you know you`re on the way to success.

3. You know the right people

Another sign is having a big social network. I read it somewhere that business owners prefer to hire those they know over those who are skilled. Sounds skewed, I know, but it helps a lot if you combine your technical skills with excellent people skills. To want success is more like wishing to enter a nightclub on a busy Friday night. If you know the bouncers or have enough skills to befriend them, you won`t stay long in the line. The same thing happens in business, the more people you know, the easier it will be to find the right job, get proper funding and save time waiting in the line.

Social skills will help you more than you can ever imagine. There`s a guy I used to work with, he`s not that good looking, but he`s the slickest I`ve ever seen. When that guy hit rock bottom, he dropped out of school, bought a one-way ticket to Dubai, became a real estate agent and made his first million before reaching 30. I`ve also read about Michael Bloomberg who used to come to work at six in the morning to distribute coffee and tea to CEOs who come to work early when others are sleeping. For $.99 each, Bloomberg befriended at least a dozen bigwigs who later helped him launch a billion dollar business after he quit Wall Street.

4. You know what makes you tick

The successful people are better than most people at understanding themselves and overcoming —to a greater extent—the five foundations of poverty: sleep, fear, anger, laziness, and procrastination. They have worked on themselves so deeply and have made so many mistakes that they now know their soft spots as well as what motivates them.

Do you know what makes you sad, angry or excited? Do you know when you`re more likely to cheat on a diet or skip a workout? What are your strengths? Can you motivate yourself at will? And how? Having answers to most or, preferably, all of these questions will help you tap into your full potential and sets you on the path to massive success.

“All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.” – Michael John Bobak

5. You have faith

Faith in the yet to be seen, is a huge sign of success. When you think about the future, there should be a positive energy around you that says “I`m gonna make it.” You may not know exactly when you`re going to succeed, but you`re sure it’s a matter of time. This faith, or certainty, comes from having a solid plan – It`s when you know your goal, how you`ll achieve it, and how you`re going to react if things go south and deciding to believe in the unknown

If you think about it, hard work doesn`t always come as the first cause of success. It`s the faith that you`ll achieve the goal that makes you work hard, and thus, achieve the goal. I was reading a book on Michael Jordan by Roland Lazenby —who also wrote Kobe Bryant`s biography— and it stopped me that part of Jordan`s extraordinary success goes to expectations.

He expected every single ball he shot to go in. Jordan used that mindset over and over and didn`t stop when one of his shots was missed. He merely understood that even though nobody wins all the time, believing you`ll win every single time makes you win most of the time, which is enough to get a career like his. The most prominent success sign is the certainty. To believe, and act, as if you`re going to succeed, and then let that belief lead manifest into actions.

What are some things you do to say on track? Comment below!

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Success Advice

Instead of Always Trying to Be Right, Do This Instead

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A colleague of mine was obnoxious, over eager, and completely out of line. Yet, all of this was overshadowed by the fact he was just plain wrong. If he were to go through with it, it would derail the company by at least 6 months. Yet, arguing with him when he was in this state was of no use. While hitting him over the head with the laptop seemed appealing for a second, it was probably not a great long-term strategy for the business or my laptop.

Galileo once said, “You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him find it within himself.” This is especially true when it comes to emotionally charged matters and negotiations.

When you are right, you become attached to that idea. It’s so clear, how can they not see it? Yet, your meticulously clear logic might as well be written in braille as your focus intensifies on proving yourself right, instead of reaching an agreement.

Below are 3 ways you can step out of your emotions and help someone find the right answer when money and time are on the line:

1. Separate the Person From the Issue

Imagine if a four-year-old child was adamant about something. You wouldn’t try to reason logically for hours in such a case. When trying to speak through a person’s emotions, often you might have better luck with the four year old.

In order to break this barrier you must stop seeing them as the problem and see the issue at hand. Instead of seeing the other person as stupid or obnoxious, try viewing them as simply lost or misguided. The job now becomes not to prove them wrong, but to guide them to the truth. Adopting this mindset changes your entire approach as you get out of your own emotions and take control of the situation.

“Each of us guard a gate of change that can only be opened from the inside.” – Stephen Covey

2. Show Them A Mirror

Somewhere in between trying to hammer a point, both sides usually forget to listen. No matter the situation, you must make sure that person is never you. Instead, shift the focus from “me vs you” and make it completely about the other person. Really listen and validate their emotions, creating enough trust and safety to begin a real exchange. Make sure they feel heard and slow the conversation down. When you slow the process down, you also calm down.

Remember, it’s not what you say, but how you say it. About 93% of communication is nonverbal, thus maintaining your body language immediately provides an edge. A playful (not childlike or mocking) voice puts someone in a positive frame of mind, where they are more likely to collaborate and problem solve.

Always remember to repeat back the most important three words from their sentence and make them elaborate on whatever they said. The more a person is allowed to speak, the more they feel heard. The more they feel heard, the more open they are to receive new information.

3. Lead With Empathy, Not Sympathy

Taking the time to make sure the other side feels heard and understood does not mean you bend to their will. It does not mean you give up, agree, feel sorry for, or even compromise. Empathy is the ability to recognize another’s perspective and the vocalization of that recognition. This is the difference between empathy and sympathy.

When you can label a person’s emotions in an argument, you seize the chance to discover what is behind those feelings. As you begin to drill down, you gain leverage. This should be done very gracefully. Instead of saying, I think you’re angry and being stubborn, trying saying, It seems like you are feeling frustrated because you really care about this and wish it was moving along quicker.

“Sometimes all a person wants is an empathetic ear; all he or she needs is to talk it out. Just offering a listening ear and an understanding heart for his or her suffering can be a big comfort.” – Roy T. Bennett

Using labels, you mold their feelings into words, moving information from the emotional part of the brain to the rational. Whatever behavior a person may be presenting, there is always an underlying feeling triggering it. Your job is to make the person aware of that feeling. The faster you do this, the faster you eliminate the risk of a complete breakdown in communication.

After their emotions are labeled, asking how or why calibrated questions allow them to solve their problems for you. In order to do this effectively you don’t need to study every type of calibrated question there is, but rather adopt a specific mindset. You are not their opponent, but a guide, leading the lost to the truth. Your truth.

In my case, the presenting behavior of my colleague was an obnoxious know-it-all attitude. However, the underlying emotion was fear of falling behind. Once I was able to stop asking the question, “Why is he doing this to me?” and focus on looking deeper, the conversation took a turn. The conversation was no longer about my ideas versus his, but about him and his fear.

Instead of arguing with me, he spent the rest of the time, essentially, arguing with himself. After helping him dissect his fear in the rational part of the brain, he realized that many of the worst case scenarios were highly improbable and acting hasty might exacerbate things. Most importantly, at the end of the conversation, he said, “I think I made the right choice.”

He believed that the decision was entirely his. He never acknowledged the fact that I was right and announced to everyone the sudden spark of genius that hit him. Yet, at the end of the day you need to ask yourself what is more important to you; being right or doing whatever it takes to win.  

How do you handle conflict? Let us know your tips and advice in the comments below!

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Success Advice

What You Can Learn From My Ultimate “I Am Screwed” Moment.

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When I was 16 years old, I had the ultimate “I am screwed moment.”

Everything from this point on happened in slow motion. What I’m about to describe probably happened in the space of thirty minutes but it felt like five hours.

I was walking down the street with my buddy one night, eating a paddle pop ice cream. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a group of about twenty teenagers running towards us, dressed in black.

I instantly knew that something was up and as they got closer, we both realized we were screwed and there was nowhere to run to.

Seconds later the gang of teenagers came straight towards us as fast as they could.

“I got lucky and copped a baseball bat to the head. My friend wasn’t so lucky. He was repeatedly stabbed by several different people and there was blood everywhere.”

As I saw what happened to my friend, I knew I’d be next. I was hit so many times with the baseball bat that I was numb from the pain. Everything started to go white.

Then I heard a faint voice. The voice was calling my name out.

I listened to what the young man was saying and realized he was saying that his little brother knew me. All of a sudden, he put out his hand, lifted me off the ground and told me to run in the other direction, or I’d end up like my friend.

I somehow managed to get on my feet and run, but I was not giving up on my friend. I ran around the back of the shopping center that we were standing outside of and entered the building. I ran to the first security guard I saw and told them I needed help.

In my search to get help, miraculously, my friend had made it into the shopping center and he was being treated by a number of bystanders for his massive knife wounds.

I went over and spoke to him. He was okay and things looked better than I expected. I had about sixty seconds of calmness. Then I looked to my left.

Through the glass doors, I could see the same gang of teenagers running into the shopping center. Everyone including the two security guards ran in opposite directions.

My friend with his multiple knife wounds also ran and there were bandages everywhere as he made a run for it (I’m not even sure how he was able to move).

This time I was the unlucky one. I ran into the part of the shopping center that was closed for the night and three of the youths followed me. I’d never been so afraid because I saw what they did to my friend.

I ended up in the shopping centers food court and I hid in the darkness. I tried to control my breathing, but it was hard to silence the fear inside of me. I still remember the white Nike pants I was wearing and the bright red Sean John jumper I had on (I later discarded them because of the memory they left).

Again, through some kind of miracle, the three boys did not see me. They ran off in another direction and I stayed under the table.

The pain of my wounds started to set in. I knew deep down I was safe and so the fight or flight response was turned off. All of a sudden, moving and walking felt very painful.

I could feel broken bits of teeth in my mouth.


The aftermath.

After some time had passed, I manage to reconnect with my friend. By that time there was an ambulance on the scene and he managed to get his knife wounds treated. He got lucky and no vital organs were affected.

The next day I went to school and people could see I had gone through one hell of an ordeal. One of my friends in the year level below, came and found me and explained to me that it was his older brother and friends that attacked me.

They had mistakenly thought that we had come from a party, because of the direction we came from, where he was beaten up. He told me that because they had recognized me, to some degree, I was spared.

The story doesn’t end here though (I wish it did). Even after the brutal event, one of the attackers was still upset with me. I didn’t know why and it made no sense. I had multiple times where he and his friends were waiting for me in certain places and I was told they would harm me.

Through a mutual friend, I was able to resolve the conflict and I found out that a few of them were close friends with a few of my friends. In the coming years, I got to know my attackers.

“They were not the horrible violent people I encountered on that night. They slowly changed their ways and one of them has gone on to do extraordinary kind acts all over the world.”


A revelation from this “I am screwed” moment.

After this horrible event had occurred, I tried to make sense of it. I was not a violent person in any way but in a way, I had created this path for myself.

During my teenage years, I let rap music and violence dominate my life. I thought they were both cool.

The revelation from all of this was that I knew I had to change my life. I knew that the path I was on had led me to this moment and only I could change things. The next time an attack like this happened, I may not be as lucky.

I gave up rap music, I changed my group of friends, I started a business with my brother, I quit smoking and I disengaged from anything that was violent. Looking back, an “I am screwed” moment can be extremely valuable. It’s during these difficult times that we learn about who we are and what we can do to change our lives.

I would never have become obsessed with legacy, giving back and personal development if I hadn’t had this life or death experience.

I’m now fully aware of my mortality and I’m never going to take another day for granted.

Everything can change in a split second for better or for worse. What you do in that moment is up to you.

Nothing happens randomly (even this attack). Everything happens for a reason and when you ensure you get the lesson from it, you can go on to do extraordinary things.

I’m typing these words and reaching millions of people with them, partly because of this “I am screwed” moment.


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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