Husband & foster father of 3. PhD candidate in Organizational Psychology. Get my 2 free eBooks (on productivity & blogging strategy)@ https://benjaminhardy.com/
Jack Canfield once said, “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”And he’s right. But I’m going to take it one step further.
Pain, discomfort, shock, boredom, impostor syndrome, awkwardness, fear, being wrong, failing, ignorance, looking stupid: your avoidance of these feelingsis stopping you from a life beyond your wildest imagination.
These are the feelings that accompany a life of success. And yet, these are the very feelings you relentlessly avoid!
Interesting how that works, right?
Wealth, optimal health, incredible relationships, deep spiritual maturity are all available to you. But you have to pay the price to have these things. The primary obstacle in your way is how you feel about what you need to do to have these things.
Most people aren’t willing to feel difficult emotions on a regular basis. However, if you’re willing to disregard how you feel in the moment, you’ll have access to a world of opportunity unavailable to 99% of the population.
When you feel the fear and do it anyways, you get the satisfaction of living life on your terms. Instead of being a hostage to your emotions, you get to experience them more deeply.
Hilariously, once you break past the emotional blocks and just act, it’s never as bad as you think it will be.
Make the decision and act
Napoleon Hill said, “When your desires are strong enough, you will appear to possess superhuman powers to achieve.” Similarly, Tim Grover has said, “When you crave the end result, the hard work becomes irrelevant.”
Put most simply: when the why is strong enough, you’ll be willing to do anyhow. The clearer and bigger the why, the bolder the how. Hence, if you 10X your why, you’ll have insights about how to do things far more effectively than the norm. As Dan Sullivan has said, “When 10X is your measuring stick, you immediately see how you can bypass what everyone else is doing.”
If your dreams are big enough, you’ll have to do different things than you’ve been doing. Not all “hows” are created equal. You’ll have to do things you don’t feel in the momentlike doing. You’ll resist the actions you need to take.
If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got. What got you here, won’t get you there.
If you want bold results, you need bold actions.
If you want it bad enough, your momentary feelings won’t stop you. How you feel right now is irrelevant. Of course it’s out of your comfort zone. Of course it may not feel good in the moment.
Said Tim Ferriss, “A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.”
Are you willing to disregard your momentary feelings to achieve a particular results?
Life is practice.
Every day is practice. Right now, you’re practicing; you’re experimenting.
Start with small stuff and work your way up.
For me, taking cold showers is great practice. Even after doing it for years, I still often experience a moment of resistance. But I feel the resistance and do it anyways. Within seconds, the resistance I was feeling is replaced with confidence and satisfaction.
Confidence is an effect, not a cause.
Identity is an effect, not a cause.
Your behaviors and your choices of environment shape you from the outside, in.
What you do alters how you see yourself and the world.
The more frequently you can confront and walk past emotional blocks, the more powerful of a person you will become. You’ll begin to believe in yourself, because you’ll have watched yourself act in a believable way.
You will ride some amazing emotional waves.
You’ll find yourself in situations and ask yourself, “How did I get here? How am I going to pull this off?”
But your confidence will grow.
Because your behaviors, and the situations you find yourself lead you to believe in yourself.
“Wow! I’m really doing this…” you’ll say to yourself.
Your beliefs and identity will change. They’ll follow your courageous behaviors.
You just need to walk past the emotional wall — the electrical fence — which paralyzes and imprisons 99% of people.
Because people remain imprisoned, they doubt themselves. They develop a victim mentality.
Their confidence crumbles.
Rather than building the life they want, the settle for the life they have.
Rather than living in an environment created by them, they live in an environment created for them.
If you want something different, you need to act different. It doesn’t matter how you feel in the moment.
If that life is different than what you have now, you can expect it will feel terrible. You haven’t yet adapted to your new life.
What do you expect?
Change is always an uncomfortable transition — until you develop a tolerance for change, uncertainty, and even fear.
Are you willing to go there?
How big is the emotional roller-coaster of life you’re going to ride? Small rises and dips? Or huge rises, drops, spins, and twists? Life is meant to be lived, emotions are meant to be felt and experienced. You get to design the roller-coaster.
Do you want the result bad enough that you’re willing to feel absurd, horrible,amazing, ridiculous, and stupid to get there?
Or, would you prefer feeling safe and regretful?
The choice is yours. But everything you want is available. And the more extreme the emotional shock you’re willing to walk through, the faster you’ll get the results you’re seeking.
There must come a point when you stop worrying yourself over the opinions of others. Even the opinions of your heroes.
Your work and ideas must eventually come completely and unapologetically through you.
Only when you fully trust yourself and your ideas will you be able to create in a bold, honest, and beautiful manner.
No matter how “successful” you become, trusting yourself never gets easier. In fact, it only gets harder with more external noise and pressure. But you will never be happy with yourself or satisfied with your work if you don’t do what you truly felt inspired to do.
Your most honest work will always be your best work. More than likely, it will also be your most successful work.
What matters to an active man is to do the right thing; whether the right thing comes to pass should not bother him. — Goethe
Belisarius is one of the greatest yet unknown military generals in all of history. His name has been so obscured and forgotten by history that he makes the under appreciated General George Marshall seem positively famous. At least they named the Marshall Plan after George. As Rome’s highest ranking commander under the Byzantine emperor Justinian, Belisarius saved Western civilization on at least three occasions. As Rome collapsed and the seat of the empire moved to Constantinople, Belisarius was the only bright light in a dark time for Christianity.
He won brilliant victories at Dara, Carthage, Naples, Sicily, and Constantinople. He saved a cowardly Justinian from a riotous mob. He reclaimed far flung territories and recaptured Rome for the first time since it fell — all before he was 40.
His thanks? He was not given public triumphs. Instead, he was repeatedly placed under suspicion by the paranoid emperor he served. His victories and sacrifices were undone with bad politics. Later, he was relieved of command. His only remaining title was the deliberately humiliating “Commander of the Royal Stable.” Oh, and at the end of his illustrious career, Belisarius was stripped of his wealth, and according to the legend, blinded, and forced to beg in the streets to survive.
Historians, scholars, and artists have lamented and argued about this treatment for centuries. Like all fair minded people, they’re outraged at the stupidity, the ungratefulness, and injustice that this great and unusual man was subjected to. The one person we don’t hear complaining about any of this? Not at the time, not at the end of his life, not even in private letters: Belisarius himself.
Ironically, as the head of the army he likely could have taken the throne on numerous occasions, though it appears he was never even tempted. While the Emperor Justinian fell prey to all the vices of absolute power — control, paranoia, selfishness, greed — we see none in Belisarius. Belisarius just did his job. He did it well. That was enough for him.
In life, there will be times when we do everything right, perhaps even perfectly. Yet the results will somehow be negative: failure, disrespect, jealousy, or even a resounding yawn from the world.
Depending on what motivates us, this response can be crushing. If ego holds sway, we’ll accept nothing less than full appreciation.
A dangerous attitude because when someone works on a project — whether it’s a book or a business or otherwise — at a certain point, that thing leaves their hands and enters the realm of the world. It is judged, received, and acted on by other people. It stops being something he controls and it depends on them.
Belisarius could win his battles. He could lead his men. He could determine his personal ethics. He could not control whether his work was appreciated or whether it aroused suspicion. He had no ability to control whether a powerful dictator would treat him well.
This reality rings essentially true for everyone in every kind of life. What was so special about Belisarius was that he accepted the bargain. Doing the right thing was enough. Serving his country, his God, and doing his duty faithfully was all that mattered. Any adversity could be endured and any rewards were considered extra.
Which is good, because not only was he often not rewarded for the good he did, he was punished for it. That seems galling at first. Indignation is the reaction we’d have if it happened to us or someone we know. What was his alternative? Should he have done the wrong thing instead?
We are all faced with this same challenge in the pursuit of our own goals: Will we work hard for something that can be taken away from us? Will we invest time and energy even if an outcome is not guaranteed? With the right motives we’re willing to proceed. With ego, we’re not.
It takes humility to admit that we have only minimal control over the rewards for our work and effort — other people’s validation, recognition, rewards.
Think of all the activists who will find that they can only advance their cause so far. The leaders who are assassinated before their work is done. The inventors whose ideas languish “ahead of their time.” According to society’s main metrics, these people were not rewarded for their work. Should they have not done it? Should they not be kind, not work hard, not produce, because there is a chance it wouldn’t be reciprocated? C’mon.
Yet in ego, every one of us has considered doing precisely that. Wanted to say: “Fuck ’em, they don’t appreciate me anyway.”
It’s far better (and more resilient) when doing good work is sufficient. In other words, the less attached we are to outcomes the better.
When fulfilling our own standards is what fills us with pride and self respect. When the effort — not the results, good or bad — is enough.
With ego, this is not nearly sufficient. No, we need to be recognized. We need to be compensated. Especially problematic is the fact that, often, we get that. We are praised, we are paid, and we start to assume that the two things always go together. The “expectation hangover” inevitably ensues.
It calls to mind the encounter Alexander the Great and the famous Cynic philosopher Diogenes. Allegedly, Alexander approached Diogenes, who was lying down, enjoying the summer air, and stood over him and asked what he, the most powerful man in the world, might be able to do for this notoriously poor man. Diogenes could have asked for anything. What he requested was epic: “Stop blocking my sun.” Even two thousand years later we can feel exactly where in the solar plexus that must have hit Alexander, a man who always wanted to prove how important he was. As the author Robert Louis Stevenson later observed about this meeting, “It is a sore thing to have labored along and scaled arduous hilltops, and when all is done, find humanity indifferent to your achievement.”
Well, get ready for it. It will happen. Maybe your parents will never be impressed. Maybe your girlfriend won’t care. Maybe the investor won’t see the numbers. Maybe the audience won’t clap. But we have to be able to push through. We can’t let that be what motivates us.
Belisarius had one last run. He was found innocent of the charges and his honors restored — just in time to save the empire as a white haired old man.
Except no, life is not a fairy tale. He was again wrongly suspected of plotting against the emperor. In the famous Longfellow poem about our poor general, at the end of his life he is impoverished and disabled. Yet he concludes with great strength:
This, too, can bear; — I still Am Belisarius!
You will be unappreciated. You will be sabotaged. You will experience surprising failures. Your expectations will not be met. You will lose. You will fail.
How do you carry on then? How do you take pride in yourself and your work? John Wooden’s advice to his players says it: Change the definition of success. “Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.” “Ambition,” Marcus Aurelius reminded himself, “means tying your well-being to what other people say or do . . . Sanity means tying it to your own actions.” Do your work. Do it well. Then “let go and let God.“ That’s all there needs to be.
Recognition and rewards — those are just extra. Rejection, that’s on them, not on us. John Kennedy Toole’s great book A Confederacy of Dunces was universally turned down by publishers, news that so broke his heart that he later committed suicide in his car on an empty road in Biloxi, Mississippi. After his death, his mother discovered the book, advocated on its behalf until it was published, and it eventually won the Pulitzer Prize.
Think about that for a second. What changed between those submissions? Nothing. The book was the same. It was equally great when Toole had it in manuscript form and had fought with editors about it as it was when the book was published, sold copies, and won awards. If only he could have realized this, it would have saved him so much heartbreak. He couldn’t, but from his painful example we can at least see how arbitrary many of the breaks in life are.
This is why we can’t let externals determine whether something was worth it or not. It’s on us.
The world is, after all, indifferent to what we humans “want.” If we persist in wanting, in needing, we are simply setting ourselves up for resentment or worse.
How to have an old person’s wisdom in a young person’s body
“Young people are stupid. Old people are wise. Which do you want to be?” -Ryan Holiday
Most people are following a very conventional path right now.
They’re planning on doing things when everybody else does them. They’re getting the same kinds of jobs, dating the same kinds of people, and spending money on the same kinds of things.
Most people are triggered by the actions of others, not what they have decided within their own mind. They are reactionary, not intentional.
As a result, most people are broke, empty, and behind the game.
In the words of Neil Patel:
“It’s absurd that we would prioritize the hottest new device, the cool car, or trendy toy over owning that which makes us feel the most engaged and most alive.”
In every part of life, there is a conventional path and an unconventional path. Most people choose the former.
But this is exactly how you delay success. By taking the conventional road everyone else is taking, you ensure you’ll reach the destination as late as everybody else.
Here’s how to achieve enormous success faster than 99% percent of people.
There is No Such Thing as Time Management
“Most people have no clue what they are doing with their time but still complain that they don’t have enough.” -Grant Cardone
Most people have no idea how time actually works. They still believe in the “average timelines” for things, like how long it takes to buy a house, write a book, or retire.
They don’t understand time is relative; an hour for you is an eternity for a hyper-focused winner. Someone else could complete 1000x times more than you in the same amount of time.
There is no such thing as time management.
Most people think of time as an “either/or” construct. They fear time shortages, and believe there’s never enough time.
But there’s plenty of time when you use the time you’re given.
If you want to experience enormous success decades earlier than most people, then quit striving for a “balanced” life. The world’s most successful people understand there is an abundance of time, and cultivate their ability to maximize every second.
Once you understand the concept that you can move as fast as you want:
You can do anything you want, as fast as you want.
But most people will delay for years on unnecessary “conventional” paths.
There are no limits to time. You can accomplish your life’s goals in a few months (or weeks) of hyper-focused intensity.
“When you have less time available for work, you have to make better choices about what to work on (and what not to).” -Tim Metz
You Can Absolutely Use Your Youth as an Excuse. But You Don’t Need To.
“The awakening to your own ignorance is the beginning of wisdom.” -Frank Crane
I have an old friend from college that I talk with every once in a while.
He makes a lot of money, but he’s broke. He wants to travel the world, and he finally has a chance to take some time off for the first time in years. But since he’s living paycheck-to-paycheck, he can’t afford to leave.
He can use his age as an excuse. Many young people do. “I’m only 26, I don’t really have things figured out yet.”
None of us did at 26. You can absolutely use that as an excuse, and lots of people would nod their heads in support.
But you don’t need to.
You can choose to become a 26-year old who is well ahead of her years.
You can choose to be a young person known for her wisdom and planning.
You can choose to be that 20-something that makes people think, “Wow. This guy has his shit together.”
No one will fault a kid for using training wheels.
But you can choose to take them off before most people do.
You can choose to be an old person in a young person’s body.
You can choose to not waste your time with silly time-wasters like everyone else.
And you will be glad you did.
“Why give to old age the privilege of wisdom? What would be thought of one who prided himself on possessing bracelets when had lost his arms in war?” -Yoritomo
Stop Playing By Everyone’s Rules — They Don’t Apply To You
“You cannot allow the actions of others to define your reality.” -Steven Pressfield
Society loves telling people exactly how to do things.
Go to a good college, and pick a good degree (not like English or Philosophy, there aren’t any jobs).
Get a good job at a good company.
Get a good mid-sized sedan (nothing older than 5 years).
Keep your head down for a few years until that promotion comes. Don’t rock the boat.
Stay here for years.
Most people follow this conventional path, even if it makes them wildly unhappy and miserable. They don’t realize taking the conventional path is delaying their success not by months, but by years.
Most people will waste unnecessary years on slow, conventional paths where the pace is dictated by someone else.
This is exactly how you delay success — by following the rules.
“Would you be as successful if you followed all the rules and always behaved and never took chances? No, you’d be just like everyone else, scared about failing and worried about being liked.” -Tim Grover
The rules don’t apply to you. You can be as successful as you want, as fast as you want.
We live in a society where technology makes everything possible. If you don’t know how to do something, there’s no excuse not to learn — there are hundreds of books, blogs, coaches, and training courses on every topic under the sun.
Most people follow everyone else’s rules. There’s comfort in the crowd; it’s safe, secure, with lots of people who will pat you on the back for staying.
But if you want to experience enormous success decades before anyone else, it’s time to leave the crowd.
Stop following the rules.
Once you stop letting others dictate your pace in life, you can go as fast and as far as you want.
“To get different results, you’re going to have to do things differently.” -Darren Hardy
If You Want Rapid Improvement, Prepare for Powerful Criticism
“The great achievements in this world are reserved for those willing to look like a fool in the eyes of society.” -Chad Grills
The majority doesn’t like deserters.
Once you decide you’re going to achieve massive success no matter what, and declare the rules don’t apply to you, get ready for powerful criticism.
Much of these criticisms come from those closest to you. Well-intentioned family and friends urge caution and to “play it safe.” You will be warned against the risks, the unknown, and what disasters might happen.
Most people can’t handle this new criticism. They operate out of fear, not hope and belief. So they go back to the conventional path, where success is delayed and the pace is slow.
In the words of Casey Neistat:
“Life shrinks and expands in direct proportion to your willingness to assume risks.”
Enormous success is reserved for those who are willing to look foolish in front of others.
As ancient Stoic philosopher Epictetus once remarked, “If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.” You can’t be an enormous success without garnering enormous criticism.
That doesn’t matter. What matters is your growth, learning, and improvement. You’ve seen “the man behind the curtain;” you know the rules are made up and you can have whatever you want, as fast as you want.
You just need to leave the safety of the crowd.
If you want to experience enormous success decades before you ever thought possible, it’s time to start operating with a new mindset, with new rules.
You will be criticized for this thinking. People will warn you, insult you, coddle you, and urge you to not risk losing everything.
Don’t listen to the criticism. Because if you keep going, you’ll achieve far bigger success faster than you ever thought possible.
“Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.” -Jim Rohn
The World’s Most Successful People Kept Knocking After Everyone Else Stopped
“Most people knock on the door of their dreams once, then run away before anyone has a chance to open the door. But if you keep knocking, persistently and endlessly, eventually the door will open.” -Les Brown
If you knew it was going to take writing 41 articles before anyone ever read your stuff, would you keep writing?
If you knew it would take going to the gym 41 times before you noticed any improvement, would you keep going?
Most people wouldn’t. The constant doubt and the never-ending failure are more than enough to destroy their motivation. This constant action with tiny results will make you feel like a loser.
But it’s the ones who keep going despite this feeling that reach enormous success.
I’ve been blogging for 5 years now.
Across 4 years of publishing hundreds of articles into cyber-oblivion, I had gained a mere 200 subscribers. Nobody read my stuff. Nobody cared.
But while all my “blogger” friends quit writing out of boredom, I kept going. I got serious. I became a student of the craft and stopped dicking around.
In the past 6 months, I’ve gained 14,000+ new email subscribers. I receive hundreds of thousands of views a month. I spoke with a book publisher this morning about writing my first book.
There’s only one explanation I can give:
I just kept knocking while everyone else quit.
Most people who attempt to seize their goals quit after a few unsuccessful tries. Then, they laugh at and make fun of those who never give up, even though they wish they hadn’t given up.
If you want incredible success this year, this month, and not years from now, you need to keep knocking on the door, incessantly. That’s how you achieve enormous success decades before most people — if they ever will.
Author Grant Cardone instructs his students to be “unreasonable in their actions,” making people think they’ve gone crazy with their level of commitment.
Consistency will make you feel silly. People will make fun of you, your efforts will seem futile, and you’ll wonder how much longer you’ll look like a fool in your efforts to succeed.
Be encouraged: feeling foolish is precisely the indicator you’re heading in the right direction. It means you’re following through. It means you’re being consistent.
It means you will absolutely reach your goal if you keep going, no matter what.
“Repetition can be boring or tedious — which is why so few people ever master anything.” -Hal Elrod
“Life is long if you know how to use it.” -Seneca
You have all the time in the world, if you know how to utilize the time you’ve given.
Most people won’t ever be successful. Their version of success is always defined by others, and they never quite reach it. They spend years of toil and hard work on the conventional path that leads them places they don’t want to go.
If you want to achieve enormous success decades before anyone else, choose the unconventional path.
Remember: the rules are made up. They don’t apply to you. You can go as fast and as far as you want — no one can tell you otherwise.
Don’t make excuses. The most successful people in the world take full responsibility for everything — they don’t let their age, social class, where they grew up, or what people think of them affect anything. They just do what they need to do.
The more willing you are to take risks, attract criticism, and go your own way…
Anything involving you being “fake” will turn people away from you. We’re all sick of fake and people that are not authentic. Vulnerable is in fashion and is the new black.
We’re all just “winging it.”
I know you think that person who’s the CEO is successful but the truth is they’re just winging it. They don’t have all the answers. The truth is none of us really know what we’re doing.
We keep the L Plates on for our entire life. We’re always learning and no one has all the wisdom or knowledge that’s available. So instead of trying to be perfect, learn to wing it like the people you look up to as “successful.”
You should value your time more than you do.
You procrastinate more than you realize. Your not so smartphone is the new form of procrastination. You tell yourself that looking at your phone is work, but it’s not. Your phone wastes your time and you’re fooling yourself if you think otherwise.
Time is what allows you to think and make smart decisions. Time is where your dreams can be created and it’s how you start a side hustle. If you have a 9–5, time is also what you need to escape and start your own thing. Stop wasting your time!
Saying no is the discipline you need.
There’s no point having goals if you say yes to every Joe Blow that comes your way wanting your precious time for their own project. Learn to say no. Only say yes if it feels good in the moment; otherwise, you’ll end up with too many priorities and not enough time to work on your dream.
No will give you space. Yes will exhaust you.
You really shouldn’t have “just one more.”
The phrase “just one more” is the sign to stop. It’s never just one more. Stop lying to yourself homie and understand that giving in to temptation hurts your success big time.
You don’t need one more beer to numb your life.
You don’t need one more episode of that TV show to numb your life.
Enough is enough. No more.
You’re not that much of a big deal.
I know it’s easy to believe you’re a big deal — especially now with the power social media gives us all. The truth is you’re not a big deal and neither am I.We’re all human and kind of the same. Turning the dial down on your ego will make you more sociable. People want to know someone who is interested in them and not just themselves.
Your job title is not that cool.
Your car is meaningless in the scheme of things.
Your Gucci sunglasses aren’t impressing anyone.
Finding your unique value is a moment of awakening.
The day you discover how you can bring value to the world, is the day everything changes. Spend as much time as you can discovering what your value proposition is. In simple terms: How can you help us all? What do you know that we do not? What problem can you solve?
My day came when I realized I could inspire people through blogging. I want your day to arrive. Be patient and it will.
Honesty is super sexy.
Exaggeration has become the new lying. Talking things up all the time is tiring. When you stretch the truth or lie, you’ll get found out — eventually. So now you know, there’s no point. Tell the truth because it’s easy. You’ll never be lost for words. Tell the truth through your experience.
Honesty leads to effective communication and that’s what we all suck at.Problems stem from a lack of clarity and many of us make assumptions about stuff we have no clue about. Make the decision to become sexy through honesty. Hubba Hubba!
We all have our own problems.
That’s why I don’t have time to be focused on yours. So, therefore, no one’s thinking for more than a second about the fact you messed up. Now you’re free. You can make mistakes and have the piece of mind that no one is going to remember what you did wrong.
We’re all toddlers at heart trying to explore the world and find what’s true and what’s not. We’re all trying to find the meaning of life and that will come through taking huge risks with no understanding of what might occur. Next time you stuff up that speech, remember it’s all gravy.
Your idea of success changes over time.
When you’re 18, you’ll think having a car is success. When you’re 25, you’ll think graduating university is success. When you finish university, you’ll think getting a corporate job is success. When you hit your 30’s, you’ll think owning a home and having a family is success.
When you hit 50, you’ll think seeing your kids grow up to fend for themselves is success. When you’re 65, you’ll think retirement is success. When you’re 70 plus, you’ll think just being alive is success. Your vision for success changes based on your age. Learn what true success is at the youngest possible age and your life will get better.
Success is living your purpose.
Success is finding a way to give to others.
Success is finding and understanding love.
Success is being grateful instead of being pissed off.
Success is seeing the world for its infinite positivity.
Saying WTF is making you sound dumb.
Really dumb. Acronyms are for lazy people who are going nowhere. Don’t use them.
Doing what you say you’re going to do is a superpower.
Ever been promised something and then not received it? The next time that same person promises something, do you believe them? No, you don’t. Doing what you say you’re going to do is a superpower because no one does it.
Rather than over promising, set lower expectations. Then when you deliver, you’ll find people are over the moon when really they shouldn’t be. Try it. It works.
We all have to build something.
A life. A business. A family. A romantic relationship. A house. If you’re not building, then you’re not growing. Things that don’t grow die (like many of the people you meet who are alive, but dead inside).
You don’t work as hard as you think.
Yep that’s another lie you tell yourself. Most of us don’t know what hard work is. We do one hour of emails and then take a break to watch something on YouTube to reward ourselves. Hard work is going ten hours with nothing but a glass of water in front of you.
Put the hours in.
Do the extra reps.
Work your butt off.
Then your hard work will translate into something special.
You also don’t take a break as often as you should.
Almost sounds like a contradiction — it’s not. Working hard is important but so is taking a break a few times a year. If you don’t recharge your mind through travel, you’ll become comfortable and bored. This is the worst feeling in the universe.
Quitting is sometimes necessary and really hard to do.
Do it regardless.
Quit if you hate it.
Quit if you’ve had enough.
Stop talking and start doing. You don’t have to “put up” with anything if you don’t want to. Stop being so soft. Quitting leads to opportunities.
Being you is attractive to the opposite sex.
The opposite sex is only interested in your “washboard abs,” car, money or clothes for maybe a split second. The truth is being you without all of that fakeness layered on top that impresses nobody is the game you want to play.Being you and being authentic is attractive because it’s so rare.
Subtract rather than add.
If you’ve missed your goals, it’s because you need to subtract more. Focus comes from subtracting, not adding more things to that stupid to-do list that makes you feel like a failure.
Subtracting gives you time back in your day to reallocate towards the goals that you care about.
Less is more. Minimalism is funky.
Show me your Ferrari and I’ll show you what really matters.
How you feel is what you want. That’s the only reason you’d buy a chunk of red metal to feel differently. Nothing wrong with Ferrari’s, but let’s focus on making you feel incredible instead.
Who am I?
Ask this question to yourself a lot.
Self-reflection brings the answers you’ve been seeking. These answers will steer you down the right path and stop you becoming incongruent.
Being nice for the sake of it is rare.
So be nicer for no reason if you want to stand out and make people smile.
Smiles take your life up a notch.
Your neighbor is not that fly.
They look successful. They tell you they’re successful. They throw big parties with all of their friends to appear successful. Whether they truly are, you’ll probably never know. That’s a good outcome because you don’t have time to think about your neighbor. You’ve got your own party to prepare for called “life.”
Don’t tell us, show us.
Talk is cheap amigo. Most people can talk a head off a chicken. Stop telling and start showing through action.
Action, Action, Action. More success comes from action.
Pat yourself on the back when you fail.
That’s right. Enjoy it! That’s another lesson you can reflect on and share with others. That failure forms part of how you can help others and create value. I think you should celebrate again. Shall we?
It’s not who you are; it’s who you become.
Don’t worry about who you are right now. Yes, there may be some cracks and that’s fine and dandy. The truth is that who you are becoming is the most important way to step up to the next level of your life. You’ve got to start somewhere so about where you are right now?
How To Succeed With People According To The Most Connected Man In Business
What’s the point of developing skills and “expertise”?
Is it to make money?
Is it to be famous?
Is it to eventually become so skilled that you barely have to work anymore?
The answer to the last three questions is no.
So why do you develop skills?
What’s the point of making “connections” with influencers and other smart people?
The point is to do HIGH QUALITY WORK for those people.
Most people aren’t successful because they are lazy. Specifically, they want other people to help them, but they don’t really want to help other people.
Joe Polish is the founder of GENIUS NETWORK, considered by many to be the top-tier of entrepreneurial masterminds.
Joe Polish has a list of “rules” that he expects of those whom he interacts with. He calls it his “Magic Rapport Formula.” The principles of his formula are:
Focus on how you will help them reduce their suffering
Invest time, money, and energy on relationships
Be the type of person they would always answer the phone for
Be useful, grateful, and valuable
Treat others how you would love to be treated
Avoid formalities, be fun and memorable, not boring
Give value on the spot
Get as close to in-person as you can
So, let’s assume you’ve developed some awesome skills and abilities.
How exactly are you using those, in the act of service, to help other people?
There are two very important concepts embedded in that last statement.
In the act of service — meaning you GIVE, first, before you get
You give to the RIGHT PEOPLE
Interestingly, the more successful people become, the more they want others to HELP THEM become more successful. And the less they want to help others.
At some people, these people stop doing the very things that made them successful.
You become successful by developing skills and abilities — and by using those skills to serve and provide value to others.
But then success can make a person lazy, and they stop using the very skills and abilities they worked so hard to develop.
Joe Polish is spot on: You should help other people ON THE SPOT.
When you’re trying to connect with people, give them MEANINGFUL SERVICE.
Develop highly useful skills that you can use to dramatically help other people. Then spend MOST OF YOUR TIME focused on their success.
You need to get to the point where you care more about the success and results of other people than you care about the success and results of yourself.
You need to find joy — genuine pleasure and excitement — watching other people succeed as a result of your help and skills. It’s even better when you are completely anonymous to outside observers. Of course you’re not anonymous to the people you’re helping.
If you develop some brilliant skills and generously use those skills to help the right types of people, you will become VERY, VERY SUCCESSFUL.
You’ll be successful because life gives to the givers and takes from the takers.And that idea is at the foundation of Joe Polish’s philosophy of success and relationships.
Moreover, when you dedicate your skills to helping other people, you’re being USEFUL in your relationships, rather than lazy.
So many people want stuff out of relationships, but how much are they willing to put into those relationships?
Why be lazy in your relationships?
Why develop skills only for the purpose of being around successful people, rather than using those skills to help successful (and non-successful) people?
When you’re proactive about service, and when your service makes an enormous impact, people will do incredible things for you. They’ll do it not out of need for reciprocity. But because they genuinely love and appreciate you.
They’ll help you because you’re a person who deserves to be helped.
Because you’re a great person.
Because you’re a servant-leader.
Because you give so much.
So, what’s the one way to be successful?
It’s to develop real skill-sets and then generously USE those skill-sets to help as many people as possible.
If you get really good at something, you’ll eventually become relatively successful.
This is when most people plateau in their skill-development, and become complacent and comfortable with their relative success.
It’s at THIS point that people seek relationships with influential people, and other “successful” people.
Yet, they want these relationships, not to help their new friends. But as a means for USING those relationships to further their own success.
Real relationships don’t work this way.
Success can’t happen this way.
You need to be proactive in your relationships.
You need to initiate and take the relationship further. You need to be what Joe Polish calls, “The first domino.”
You be the first domino by offering RADICAL and generous service, in a very specific and meaningful way.
You then spend the majority of your time helping others — and often it won’t be in a contractual way for money (although plenty of money will be created and shares). But of your own free will and love. Love to serve. Love for your craft. Love for the person.
You care more about the success of others than you care about the success of yourself.
This doesn’t mean you neglect your own success.
But you will further develop and hone your skills far more by helping others than by attempting to help yourself.
You can then use your continually deepening skill-sets to further your own success — such as in the form of developing products, or marketing your own products.
Be a giver.
Not a taker.
Don’t be lazy in your relationships.
Be of service.
Blow people away by what you do for them.
They’ll love you.
You’ll become brilliant at what you do.
You’ll be happy, because you’ll be outward focused.
You’ll also be happy because you’ll be useful.
You’ll also be happy because you’ll be connecting deeply with people.
And because you’ll come to LOVE, truly love and care about other people, rather than only pretending to love other people so long as they are helping you move forward.
How to Permanently Change Any Behavior and Evolve Into the Best Version of Yourself
“There is one thing that 99% of failures and successful people have in common: they all hate doing the same things. The difference is successful people do them anyway.” -Darren Hardy
Most people will spend their whole lives trying to change negative behaviors, but will never really have lasting success.
Changing behaviors is hard, no doubt about it. Evolving into better versions of yourself takes sacrifice, energy, and focus. Most people see the price and simply say no.
In his book, The 10x Rule, author Grant Cardone wrote that maintaining an average life takes about as much energy as developing an extraordinary life. Benjamin Hardy put it similarly: “It’s actually far more exhausting to not work than it is to work. It takes far more energy to sit with internal conflict than it does to get to work.”
Changing your negative behaviors might seem like more work, but in the long run, it actually saves you energy, time, and money than if you never changed.
This is because negative behaviors cost you so much.
In a fascinating video, the NFL had an average guy race against speedy NFL players. Of course, the NFL players won. But even the largest, “slowest” players — a linebacker — soundly beat the average Joe. They even gave the average guy a head start.
How did this happen? The linebacker is a trained runner. He knows how to move as efficiently as possible, even if he weighs twice as much. The average Joe’s form was terrible — he could probably run far faster with a few simple tweaks.
Evolving into better versions of yourself allows you to be more productive, focused, creative, energized, and fulfilled. Shedding old habits that only held you back will allow you to experience some of the deepest fulfillment of your life so far.
Here’s how to permanently change any behavior and evolve into the best version of yourself, starting right now.
“If you want to have more, you must become more.” -Jim Rohn
98% Is Harder Than 100%
“When you build a habit, you don’t have to spend mental energy deciding what to do.” –David Kadavy
Imagine an alcoholic who knows she needs to stop drinking. So, she vows to not drink the entire day. But she tells herself she can drink for 5 minutes at the end of the day, as a reward.
The entire day, that little treat — the cheat meal, the sugary coffee, a little porn, a little drugs — hangs over your head. That’s all you can think about. In a twisted way, the source of the problem actually becomes the source of motivation.
Giving yourself this little out makes the process of quitting 100x harder.
98% is harder than 100%.
In the words of Tony Robbins:
“If you want lasting change, you have to give up this idea of just trying something, and you have to commit yourself to mastery. That means not just “dabbling,” but fully immersing yourself. Because your life is not controlled by what you do some of the time, but by what you do consistently.”
If you want to truly change any behavior, you need to let go of this idea of “98%” and commit to 100%.
You need to stop dabbling and actually commit. You need to be consistent. Otherwise, you’ll always be wasting energy trying to motivate yourself.
Most people dabble. They promise they’ll be good, but they leave themselves an out. This little safety net is a powerful message to their mind that says, “I probably can’t do this task.”
This message becomes incredibly powerful in your subconscious. Author David Schwartz described it like this: “Disbelief is negative power. When the mind disbelieves or doubts, the mind attracts reasons to support the disbelief.”
On the other hand, he says, “Belief, strong belief, triggers the mind to figure out ways and means how to.”
Alcoholics Anonymous describes how many new alcoholics often “hide bottles,” saving away secret booze as they pretend to look sober. To the outside observer, there’s no more alcohol. But it’s a lie.
You are more powerful than you think. You don’t need hidden bottles and safety nets.
You’ll be OK. The process of evolving in a better version of yourself feels like you’re literally killing off parts of you.
The truth is, you are. But that’s OK — you’re killing off the old so the new can thrive.
“Success is measured by the size of your belief. Think little goals and expect little achievements. Think big goals and win big success.” -David Schwartz
Changing One Part of Your Life Affects Every Other Part
“A man cannot do right in one department of life whilst he is occupied doing wrong in any other department.” -Gandhi
The smallest improvements in even one area of your life has ripple effects.
Change creates momentum, always.
Positively changing one part of your life, even just a little bit, creates powerful momentum. The key is utilizing this momentum to leverage a little bit more change, every day.
Said David Kadavy:
“Every day, check these 4 boxes: Have I improved 1% on physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health?”
The more you improve, the more you want to improve.
The more you learn, the more you discover what else you need to learn.
The smallest evolutions are addicting. There is great power in knowing you are a better version today than you were yesterday. Imagine what you’ll be tomorrow?
The past month, I’ve spent every hour of my free time into creating my first ever online course on behavioral change, a dream I’ve had for 5 years.
And boy, it was hard as hell. I’ve spent hours going back-and-forth with tech support across multiple platforms, solving problems I still don’t understand.
But the course is finally live (you can learn more by subscribing at the end). And a few nights ago, I was laying in bed, marveling at the new evolution I had become.
Before, I was just a “writer.” I had no technical skills to speak of, and I truly didn’t believe I would be able to do the things I had done this month.
Now, I’m a new evolution. I’m a businessman. I’ve (kinda) mastered the tech needed for me to reach my next series of goals.
If you don’t know where to start, that’s fine. It doesn’t even matter where you start — only that you do.
In the words of Jim Collins in his book Good to Great, “Good-to-great transformations never happen in one fell swoop. There is no single defining action, no grand program, no one killer innovation, no solitary lucky break, no miracle moment.”
I promise you — you can evolve into a better version of yourself by tomorrow.
It just starts with a little change in one area.
“When we sit down day after day and keep grinding, something mysterious starts to happen. A process is set in motion by which, inevitably and infallibly, heaven comes to our aid. Unseen forces enlist our cause. Serendipity reinforces our purpose.” -Steven Pressfield
You Will Never Get More Than You Think You Can Get
“You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.” -Michael Jordan
The size of your future depends on the size of your thinking.
The quality of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.
What you focus on, grows.
Most people do not have high-quality or world-class thoughts. They are surrounded by influences that seek “good-enough” circumstances, and nothing more. So, their lives and choices are not world-class.
“All of us, more than we recognize, are products of the thinking around us. And much of this thinking is small.” -David Schwartz
You’re not going to receive more than you think you will get.
Therefore, your first task is to address your thinking.
Are my goals as big as they should be? (Do I even have any long-term goals?)
If I expanded my goals 10x bigger, what would happen?
Do I believe I can succeed? Or am I just pretending?
Deep down, most people don’t think an extraordinary life is possible. Their ideal future — traveling the world, making a ton of money, being incredibly fit and enormously fulfilled with their life — just isn’t a reasonable goal for them.
This sad mode of thinking is directly a result of small thinking. Remember, if you think small, you’ll get small results. If you think big, then you can expect big success.
If you want to change any behavior and continue evolving into better versions of yourself, you must believe you can improve.
You might not be able to envision your entire future yet. But you must envision something greater, some better circumstances than what you have now.
This builds momentum. This forward thinking makes small evolutions possible. These small victories build on each other.
Small things become big things.
Back when I was hopelessly addicted to pornography, I truly didn’t believe I could stop. I remember thinking, as a teenager, how I was going to have to hide this habit from my future wife someday, because I knew I couldn’t stop.
It wasn’t until years of counseling and therapy later that I began to believe I had a future without pornography and addiction.
And here I am. I haven’t looked at porn in years. I plan to never look at it again. In fact, I expect I won’t.
This is only possible because I believe it is.
What do you believe about yourself?
What is the most you think you are worthy to receive?
“One will never get any more than he thinks he can get.” -Bruce Lee
The Quality of Your Environment Determines the Level of Your Success
“If we do not create and control our environment, our environment creates and controls us.” -Marshall Goldsmith
This is one of the most important factors of behavioral change most people miss.
When attempting to change a behavior, most people don’t address their environment. They think their mental declaration made in a surge of inspiration is enough to combat years of routine behavior.
If your environment remains the same, you can’t expect any meaningful behavioral change.
A reader of mine emailed me the other day, and asked, “I know the people I hang around have negative mindsets, and that’s pulling me down. But what should I do? Should I just leave them?
I couldn’t answer the question for her, but I did tell her what Darren Hardy once wrote:
“You can’t hang around negative people and expect a positive result.”
You may find it very difficult to change some parts of your environment. There may be parts that seem impossible to change.
That’s OK. Do what you can. Benjamin Hardy once wrote, “Don’t worry about the output when you’re trying to build momentum. Instead, just get yourself to do whatever you feel you need to do.”
If you constantly operate in negative environments, you can’t expect to see enormously positive results.
Developing world-class behaviors and evolving into better versions of yourself starts with your environment. The outside of you usually reflects the inside of you.
If you keep having problems with behavioral change, it’s probably because your environment made it difficult.
“Tiny steps will take you much farther than infrequent home runs.”
In the past 3 months, I’ve gained 10,000 new email subscribers.
Do you want to know how many subscribers I got over my first 4 years of blogging?
For 4 years, I published article and article into cyber-nothingness. Then, in one month, I gained 100 subscribers. The next month, 1,000. The next month, 3,000.
And so on.
The science of evolving into something better isn’t complicated. In the words of Jim Rohn, “Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals.”
Darren Hardy echoed this sentiment: “Small, seemingly inconsistent steps completed consistently over time will create a radical difference.”
Personal evolution happens slowly. Often, it seems like nothing is happening at all.
But success is sneaky. It often comes all at once, and you suddenly realize you’re 10x the person you were just a few months ago.
“When money begins to come, it comes in such abundance that you wonder where it has been hiding all those lean years.” -Napoleon Hill
“Set the kind of goals that will make something of you if you achieve them.” -Jim Rohn
Most people practice dozens of negative behaviors and actions, every single day.
Most people don’t take the time to consciously design their environment so that success is inevitable. They don’t realize 98% is far harder than 100%, and how their subconscious lack of self-belief cripples every other part of their life.
You are extremely fluid. You can adapt and change just about anything.
This requires sacrifice. Achieving an extraordinary life and constantly becoming better versions of yourself requires immense energy and commitment — perhaps more than you’ve ever had to give.
Your ideal life is possible. The road there isn’t crowded. Most people are content to live in “good-enough,” and so forfeit their chance to achieve greatness.
Your best self is only a few slightly better daily choices away.
If we’re talking about success, men need to understand that success can be defined in an infinite amount of ways.
If we’re talking about attracting the “ideal partner,” men need to understand that “ideal” is always a reflection of where you’re at in life — and also, what emotional state you’re bringing to the table, yourself.
If we’re talking historically and philosophically, men need to understand that patterns always repeat themselves, and the best way to predict the future is to study the past.
All men need to understand a lot of things in order to become their best selves while here on earth.
But here are 3 truths every man needs to understand about life sooner than later:
1. Success is a paradox.
The more you achieve, the more you will want to achieve.
The more you will want to achieve, the easier it will be to see others as “below” you — and push them away.
The more you push them away, the smaller your circle gets. The less opportunities present themselves. The more you begin to live in emotional isolation.
The less opportunities present themselves, the less you can become externally successful.
The more you begin to live in emotional isolation, the less you feel fulfilled.
Success, and the constant conquest of, is a paradox.
The bigger you get, the harder you need to work on remaining small.
2. If you cannot find love, it’s because you have not unlocked love within yourself.
Love is a reflection.
When you are “in love,” what you’re really feeling is your own openness.
It is impossible to love someone else fully without being able to also fully receive their love. It’s symbiotic.
People who “can’t find love” think it’s about the other person. They think they just can’t find anyone good enough.
In reality, they are not taking ownership of the emotions they themselves are bringing to the table — how open they are, willing, vulnerable.
If you want to find love, you have to first reveal your own love.
In a nutshell: it’s the classic chicken before the egg scenario. What comes first? Should someone else love you first, before you can give your own love? Or should you willingly open your heart, and keep it open until someone willingly receives it — and gives it back?
3. Showing your “dominance” only ends up revealing weakness.
From one of my favorite movies, American Gangster: “The loudest one in the room is the weakest one in the room.”
As you get older as a man, you start to realize that it’s the men who feel the constant need to try to prove themselves that are actually the weakest. They need everyone to know how successful they are, how wealthy they are, how powerful they are, how “confident” they are.
Little do they know, however, that anyone with a honed sense of self-awareness and a careful eye can see right through their facade.
Confidence isn’t found in a gold watch or an expensive car. It’s not found in a promotion, a title, a fatter paycheck. It’s not found with status, or achievement, or by “defeating” someone else.
True confidence is a low hum that exists in who you are, the energy you exude, and your willingness to be open to the world.