The most precious thing we have in our life is our dreams. Your dreams are unique to you, and no one has a dream that is exactly like yours in every way. Everything you think you have you don’t, nothing will last forever.
Your life can be summed up with two words: “Your Dream.” When all is said and done, whether you did or didn’t achieve your dream is the only measure of success there is. Every component of your life and everything you think about is indirectly related to your dream, so you better be damn sure you get some clarity on exactly what that dream is!
When you step on stage to sing or go to the gym to work on your fitness goal, you have to give every ounce of emotion and energy that you have. You have to picture in your mind every time that this is your last day on Earth and that it’s now or never to achieve your goal, and feel great in the moment about it.
The journey of your dream is really just the journey of your life. It’s going to be the hardest thing you ever try and achieve, and there are going to be times where it seems like your dream is not meant for you, and it’s all too hard.
If your life dream were easy, then we all would have achieved our ultimate purpose, and we would all be flocking to Hawaii to relax on the beach. To give up on your dream is to give up on life. To give up on life is to defy the reason you were given the opportunity to live in the first place.
Until you place your dream as the single most important thing in your life, you will always be wondering why you are unhappy and disappointed with your life.
Below are the six things you can expect when you chase your dreams:
1. When your life changes forever, you feel it
If your dream doesn’t make you consistently emotional every step of the way, and you don’t feel it, then there is something wrong. As your dream starts to go from a foggy haze to a crystal clear reality, your life changes forever, and you finally feel it.
This initial feeling is strange, and it will bring tears to your eyes. Grown men with huge muscles will cry like baby puppy dogs and the people around them will wonder what is going on. The forty-year-old boy has now become a man.
The tears are caused by the fact that your mind has now connected to the path of your dream. The emotion is caused because you now know what you must do, and the remainder of your life will be dedicated to this cause.
This shift in your life will cause everything else to be forgotten about, and all the other parts of your life will become secondary. When that phone call comes through asking you to go to the pub for a drink, you say no without even thinking about it. Nothing can replace the feeling you get from your dream once it is realised.
2. Your turn will come so be ready to take it
There is a point in everyone’s life when our turn comes. This turn is an opportunity for us to rise to our higher self. We have to compound all the years of preparation and emotion to this single moment and let it unleash in a short period.
You’ll know when your time comes, and everyone get’s at least one chance. You’ll need to show up with your game face on and have nothing else in your mind other than your dream. If you cease this moment and take your turn, then your life will never be the same because you will have turned the corner and taken the path of your dream forever.
3. The bigger the dream, the greater the reward
The dream you chase will never become a reality and give you what you are looking for if you don’t dream big! Dreams have an element of self-motivation, but that motivation will only be enough if the dream is of a sufficient size.
For example, if your goal is to be a singer, then your dream should be to become a worldwide superstar and for everyone to know you’re the best at singing. There is no point having a dream if you don’t have the belief to back it up and know that you can be world-class in your endeavor.
Seemingly large dreams usually attract enormous rewards for those who dare to think in this way. If you think about the opposite, small dreams by themselves deliver mediocre rewards and so you get left with a feeling of, is this all there is?
There is nothing wrong with small dreams but they need to form the basis for one massive overarching dream. I have a smaller dream of being good at public speaking, but it’s part of an overall dream to inspire millions of people worldwide through entrepreneurship and personal development.
Have a think about your own dreams and see if you have a big enough dream. If the result is you don’t, then it’s time to think about it long and hard, and come up with one.
“Everyone has a dream hiding inside of them, and only you can let it out and show the world”
4. Your dream becomes more than what people see
Let’s just say your dream is to be a singer. When people look at you, they think you are just singing, but the thing about dreams is it’s more than that. To everyone else, your dream looks like a hobby or some boring everyday activity, to you, it should be the only thing you wake up for.
What starts out as recreational singing becomes something you do more and more of. Then, one day, you are asked to sing somewhere. Before you know it, you’re being paid to do what you love, and you work even harder. Finally, at the point in which you have been able to link emotion to what you do, the tide turns, and an opportunity comes your way that you have always visualised.
The thing about this opportunity is that it doesn’t just come from nowhere; it comes from you following your dream and perfecting your craft. The opportunity that leads you to the greatest thing you will ever do in your life was earned by you. It’s not a fluke, and no one can ever take it away from you.
Forget what other people see your dream as, and concentrate only on visualising on what you see your dream looking like. In the end, you will be the captain of the ship sailing towards your dream – no one else.
Of course, what you do might be singing to some, and what they do may be a joke to you, just worry about your dream, and your struggle, cause your one pursuit will take every ounce of positive energy you have. You won’t have any extra energy to waste on anything else.
5. Stand tall and hold your head up
As you stand between the short gap of darkness of where you are right now and your dream, it will be scary. You will be very emotional, and people will think you have gone slightly nuts. When this moment comes your way – and it will – stand tall and hold your head up high.
Have the belief that everyone is supposed to find their dream including you. Know that this is your moment and no one can spoil it for you.
6. This dream is all you got
The last words I am going to say on this matter are that your dream is all you got. To illustrate this, I am going to tell you a story.
For years, I put my time into different endeavors and always gave up just before reaching success. I kept chasing the next so called dream and never planned a single day. I let life happen to me and didn’t believe in dreams.
I thought dreams were something that only special people got to achieve who were lucky or had the right surroundings. Later on, I figured out that the wrong surroundings are where all dreams worth talking about are made from.
I busted my chops every day and put emotion into things that gave me nothing back. Whether it was drums, djing, music producing, or business; I always focused on what everyone else was doing. I had no idea that what I was seeing in other people’s dreams was only what they wanted me to see.
Everything looked so easy because I never saw the struggle. I never saw how much time these so called successful people who were achieving their dreams put in. I never saw the tears, the broken relationships, the alcohol-fuelled nights. It all just looked so easy for these high achievers.
I wondered to myself “why can’t I ever have my dream?” I was asking the wrong questions, and that’s why I was getting the wrong answers to my dreams. Through these different dreams, my mind became like a maze that had no exit.
My thoughts were busy, and I couldn’t see anything clearly. Through all of these experiences, I ultimately gave up on everything. I never achieved any of the dreams I thought I was destined for. As it turns out, without dreams, life looks pretty bleak.
That’s why your dreams are all you got my friends. Every second of every day should be spent chasing them no matter what. Just don’t do what I did and give up, or think there is something else in life other than your dreams – there isn’t.
“There is one rabbit hole you should fall down, and that is the one that contains your dream” – Tim Denning
Now is your time. Get some paper. Brainstorm your dreams. Reconfirm your dreams. Then, follow your dreams until you have no oxygen left in your lungs, and you’re on the way out through the gates of life as we know it. Look back, be proud, and know when this time comes, that your dreams were all you had, and you’re glad you followed them, and never gave up.
I would love to know, what is your dream? Let me know in the comments section below or on my website timdenning.net and my Facebook.
Why You Should Prefer Emails to Phone Calls if You Want to Be More Productive
“Email” and “productivity” rarely go together in a sentence. Emails have been declared as one of our largest time wasters. A McKinsey report stated that people spend around 2.6 hours each day responding to emails. That’s 13 hours a week, 52 hours a month and over 60 days a year! Imagine what you could’ve achieved in 60 days!
Emails also negatively affect our cognitive resources. When we think of responding to them while doing other important tasks, it takes up to 23 minutes and 15 seconds after being disrupted to return to full attention to a current task. Imagine how much our cognition and productivity gets fractured when we get distracted over and over again.
Constant emailing also drains us mentally. And at the end of a day, we realize that we’ve achieved nothing worth mentioning. With a phone call, you can sort issues and solve problems quickly, right? In theory, you’re right. But we live in a practical world where many variables come into play.
Below are three variables that make phone calls adversely affect our productivity, and why emails are a better alternative:
1. Wasting Time
Most “five-minute conversations” can quickly turn into 35-minute calls because people ramble about irrelevant aspects. This derailment, several times a day, severely limits the limited time and energy you have for important tasks.
Emails, on the other hand, force writers to streamline their thoughts and stick to the point. Emails can save you plenty of time and energy because you avoid lengthy phone calls. The constant strife to keep your own emails short and crisp also makes you a clearer thinker, which rewards you in other aspects of your life.
“It’s better to waste money, than it is to waste time. You can always get more money.” – Hal Sparks
2. Inaccurate Responses
An unexpected phone call can catch me caught off guard on a topic. I might respond emotionally or give an answer that doesn’t do justice to what I want to share. In a world dominated by panic buttons and fire-fighting, these don’t just stress me out but the caller as well.
Emails give me flexibility to prepare a coherent response and share it when I’m satisfied. If I feel a surge of emotion, I can sleep over the thought and share a better (more rational) response the next day. Many page-long email responses to emails that upset me have turned into a simple “thank you for your email” the next day.
3. Constant Back-and-Forth
Phone calls often are ineffective to solve business problems. Accounting for multiple people, their views, their timelines… One phone call can quickly turn into three.
Emails are quicker and more effective than even conference calls. They let you communicate with multiple people at the same time. You can share information, assign tasks and give status updates while being as specific as possible.
You must be wondering, “What about back-and-forth emails then? Why do we waste precious time on them?” Yes, email has earned a bad rap. But it’s not because of the medium; it’s because we handle it ineffectively.
A Better Approach to Emailing
For most people, constantly refreshing the inbox is part of the daily to-do list. It keeps them busy and gives them a kick of dopamine – the feel-good chemical.
Ironically, this quest to remain busy makes people compromise on taking action that can move them forward. Using emails prudently, rewards you with plenty of energy and mind space to focus on tasks that truly matter.
Here are three steps that benefited me without succumbing to the side effects of email:
1. Checking Them Less
I check emails just 3 times a day – at 9:30 AM, 12:00 PM, and 4:30 PM. If you don’t have the luxury to do the same, you can start by checking your emails for ten minutes at the end of each hour. Most senders expect a response in a little over an hour. So they won’t mind a slightly delayed response. This gives you 45 undisturbed minutes each hour to work on your core tasks.
2. Responding Quickly
People delay responding to emails at least 37% of the time, which turns finding emails and responding to them into additional tasks that cost time and lead to attention residue. Most emails take under two minutes to respond. When you can respond to an email, do so instead of putting it off. This won’t just put your mind at peace, it’ll also reduce the number of “did-you-see-this” follow-up emails in your inbox.
“I do love email. Wherever possible I try to communicate asynchronously. I’m really good at email.” – Elon Musk
3. The If-Then Technique
The If-Then technique helps you address multiple scenarios at once. For instance, an email that says, “Can we meet at 3:00 PM?” becomes, “Can we meet at 3:00 PM? If not, please advise three other times that work for you.”
This technique is also effective when you want to suggest ideas or provide instructions on alternative steps. For example, “Here’s Plan A. If it doesn’t work, connect with [name] and ask for [specific information]. If you don’t get what you need, inform me.”
I’ll admit. This sounds like more work in the current moment, but it drastically cuts down the number of trail mails, confused correspondences, and fire-fighting instances that occur due to miscommunication.
The If-Then formula is the single most effective technique I’ve learned from The 4-Hour Workweek. All of this doesn’t mean that you abandon phone calls, In fact, it’s better to use the phone for sensitive topics or if an email conversation gets dragged. But remain mindful to not let phone calls waste your time.
If you want to pursue a meaningful life, place a premium on your time. Do things that create time for you to pursue meaningful actions and avoid doing what pulls you away from them. In the knowledge economy, this is the key to success.
Do you prefer email or talking on the phone? Share your thoughts below!
4 Questions You Need to Answer Before You Reach the Level of Success You So Desperately Crave
It’s normal that every person in the world wants to reach success and happiness. Yet, everyone defines both of these things differently. For some, success is making a whole bunch of money while for others this can be to become a good parent. Happiness is defined differently as well. Some people need to own a jet, boat and 3 cars to be truly happy, while others are happy just to be able to wake up in the morning.
It doesn’t matter how you define success and happiness, the truth is, you want to achieve them both. But, to be able to reach success and happiness, you need to answer 4 questions for yourself.
Here are the 4 questions you need to answer before you can achieve success and happiness:
1. Where Are You?
No, not geographically. It doesn’t matter where you live. What matters is where are you in life. Where are you in your way to success and happiness. Let’s say you are lost in the woods. You know exactly where you want to go, but you don’t know where you are. Even a map doesn’t help you with that.
The same is true in life. You may have a goal, but until you truly define where you are in the moment, you can’t move toward this goal. So, step 1 on your way to success and happiness is to define where you are right now.
“Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.” – Jim Rohn
2. Where Do You Want to Go?
When you define where you are in life, then you can think of where you want to be.
There’s this saying: When you don´t know your final destination, you´ll end up somewhere you didn’t want to be. Until you don’t know clearly where you want to be in life and who you want to become, your life doesn’t have a true purpose.
Without purpose, there´s no motivation. Without motivation, there´s no energy. And without energy, you´re not living, you´re just existing. I am sure you know someone who looks like a walking corpse everytime you see them. Do you think this person lives a successful and happy life? Most likely not.
So, step 2 on your way to success and happiness is to clearly define your goal. What do you want to accomplish and who do you want to become?
3. Why Do You Want It?
Okay, you know the basics. You know where you are and where you want to be. But, as Rocky Balboa said, “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows.” And as you already know, life usually doesn’t go according to your plan. There will be hard times and to overcome those and not give up, you need to know WHY you do what you do.
You need to know WHY you want to accomplish your goals. When you answer this for yourself, you don’t struggle so much to motivate yourself. You will be motivated every minute of every day.
So, as a step 3, sit down and think of WHY you want to accomplish your goals. What’s the big purpose?
“We can change our lives. We can do, have, and be exactly what we wish.” – Tony Robbins
4. How Are You Going to Get There?
And finally, how are you going to get there? What’s your plan? You may know where you are, where you want to be and why you want to do it, but until you truly understand how you are going to get there, there won’t be much success and happiness in your life.
For example, you want to become a bodybuilder. You want to do it because you want to have big muscles and you want to look fit. But, you have no idea how to work out, how to build muscle and how to lose fat. Do you think, you´re going to be happy? No. As Tony Robbins says, “true happiness comes from progress.”
To make progress, you need to have a specific plan; how to get from point A (where you are) to point B (where you want to be). So, as a step 4, sit down and make a specific plan for how you’re going to get what you want in life.
In order to reach success and happiness, there are 4 questions you need to answer for yourself. Without answering them, you´re not going to get ahead in life, you´re just bouncing around. Success and happiness never come from just bouncing around in life.
Good news is, that these questions are really simple. It won’t take much time to answer them. Just be aware of where you are and where you want to be. Don´t forget to understand why you are pursuing your dream and finally, how are you going to get what you want.
Answer these 4 simple questions today and you won’t struggle with finding success and happiness in life anymore.
Which one of the above 4 questions resonated most with you and why? Share your thoughts and ideas below!
The Empathetic Heart: How The CHO of VaynerMedia Is Changing The Way We Work
A month after I had joined LinkedIn back in July of 2018, I sent Claude Silver a connection request and began following her content. One day she made a post saying “Ask and you shall receive, what can I do to help you today?”. I commented on that post asking for a 5 minute interview and to my surprise she agreed by asking me to send her a message (I was given a full hour). This was the first example of pure kindness I witnessed from Claude.
The first message you see on Claude’s website is: People need people. People need people that listen and then do something. That message spoke to me on an emotional level, and I believe it will speak to you too. I wanted to know how she created such an amazing culture, what being a “culture carrier” meant, and how the employees at VaynerMedia have been changed by her work there.
A culture carrier in Claude’s own words is “someone who is aligned with our values, I can’t teach someone to be kind they have to already be kind. The process of developing a culture carrier takes about 6 months. It’s about bringing people together and having strong core values of kindness and empathy.”
Gary Vaynerchuk, co-founder of VaynerMedia, is often referred to as a combination of hustle and heart. With the hiring of Claude and the work she has accomplished within the company, it speaks to the level of empathy that can be felt throughout the entire operation.
Although business can be a challenging, tough, and often cut-throat terrain, by putting employees first and providing honest feedback the company has grown to include offices in New York, Chattanooga, Los Angeles and London, and continues to dominate the market.
Below we’ll see 3 different ways the CHO of VaynerMedia is changing the way people work:
1. By being unafraid to share her own story
Claude has been an influential part of breaking the stigma surrounding vulnerability in the business arena. Not only does she openly share her own story, but she sits down with employees to better understand their vulnerabilities and how to use characteristics that previously would have been considered weaknesses as strengths.
When asked what her biggest adventure to date was she replied “Having Shalom (her daughter). I have had an amazing life, I moved, worked hard, landed an amazing job and fell in love but it didn’t come without its challenges.”
Claude is openly gay and is living proof your sexual orientation doesn’t matter. Nothing matters but your character, your track record, and if you leave people a little better off than before you met them. From Claude, business leaders, employees and entrepreneurs can learn to be more open both on social media and in person, allowing them to build more meaningful relationships and connect on a deeper level. A deeper connection can mean more leverage but it also means a more lasting impact on the world.
“Everyone has something they can share. I’m not famous. I don’t have anything that would be newsworthy, but I have stories.” – Tafta Johnson Watson
2. Committing to a strong value system
VaynerMedia has some serious values for such a large company and those values are expected to be upheld by every employee and visitor. Values like kindness, empathy, honesty, hustle and the art of not complaining.
With Claude holding the title of Chief Heart Officer, she is the guiding light for others. When recruiting, she says she “takes the time to evaluate an individual’s talents but most importantly their own heart”.
Gary Vaynerchuk is quoted as saying:”To me, there’s no debate that kindness is a strength. And it breaks my heart to know that so many people believe it’s a weakness. So many people are afraid that other people will take advantage of their kindness or make them feel “used.” But the truth is, those who take advantage of your kindness are weak on the inside. Feel bad for them, don’t let them make you feel bad about yourself“.
Both Claude and Gary teach aspiring entrepreneurs that it is okay to live with an open heart and that having the strength to commit to and live with a strong value system, will be a powerful tool during the hustle journey. It also allows you to go to bed at night actually liking the person that you are, nothing will kill a business faster than going to bed at night and hating yourself.
3. Listening with action
As mentioned above Claude’s slogan is: People need people. People need people that listen and then do something. As a woman who wears many hats, she is also an Outward Bound Instructor, taking individuals on amazing adventures in the outdoors.
Taking action on any given day can mean a number of different things but it speaks to her own character and driving force that she is able to not only guide people through the world of office politics but also through the serene and sometimes challenging wilderness.
Claude cultivates an environment of trust by first offering individuals her own trust. It is a huge and vulnerable action that leads to a relationship of love – heart – and productivity. Listening as an action is something that has the power to change an entire organization from an unproductive, toxic environment to one that promotes creativity, passion, inclusion and positivity.
“Relationships are leverage. If you give value to someone else first, you have leverage.” – Gary Vaynerchuk
To get the truest sense of how Claude was changing the way people work, I asked her co-workers to tell me what working alongside Claude has done for them. Here is one of the answers I received:
“During my time working alongside Claude, I’ve really come to appreciate her example of being a good listener. As a society, we tend to praise the power of speaking. But Claude demonstrates on a daily basis that the most important thing everybody wants is to be heard.” – Steve Babcock, Chief Creative Officer VaynerMedia.
I tried looking for images of Claude on her website and I think it speaks to how focused she is on holding space for others, because I couldn’t find a single full sized image of her to use. I googled. Writing this piece has opened me up to evaluate my own values and the way I connect with people in my daily life.
From this article, it is my own hope that entrepreneurs come to the understanding that although tenacity and true grit are really important, the whole of what Claude represents is something to strive towards. The “soft” skills you develop are humongous strengths and to truly impact an entire organization.
What’s the last random act of kindness you did for someone? Share with us below!
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