How To Deal With Uncomfortable Emotions And Reshape Your Identity

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 feelings is 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 moment like 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?

Start small.

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.

Trust Yourself

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.


How To Stop Letting Others Dictate Your Worth

How To Stop Letting Others Dictate Your Worth

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 legendblinded, 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.

Doing the work is enough.

If You’re Too Busy For These 5 Things: Your Life Is More Off-Course Than You Think

Despite turbulence and other conditions keeping airplanes off-course 90 percent of flight time, most flights arrive in the correct destination at the intended time.

The reason for this phenomenon is quite simple — through air traffic control and the inertial guidance system, pilots are constantly course correcting. When immediately addressed, these course corrections are not hard to manage. When these course corrections don’t regularly happen, catastrophe can result.

For example, in 1979, a passenger jet with 257 people on board left New Zealand for a sight seeing flight to Antarctica and back. However, the pilots were unaware that someone had altered the flight coordinates by a measly two degrees, putting them 28 miles east of where they assumed to be.

Approaching Antarctica, the pilots descended to give the passengers a view of the brilliant landscapes. Sadly, the incorrect coordinates had placed them directly in the path of the active volcano, Mount Erebus.

The snow on the volcano blended with the clouds above, deceiving the pilots into thinking they were flying above flat ground. When the instruments sounded a warning of the quickly rising ground, it was too late. The plane crashed into the volcano killing everyone on board.

An error of only a few degrees brought about an enormous tragedy.

Small things — if not corrected — become big things, always.

This flight is an analogy of our lives. Even seemingly inconsequential aspects of our lives can create ripples and waves of consequence — for better or worse.

How are you piloting your life?

What feedback are you receiving to correct your course?

How often do you check your guidance system? Do you even have a guidance system?

Where is your destination?

When are you going to get there?

Are you currently off-course? How long have you been off-course?

How would you know if you are on the right course?

How can you minimize the turbulence and other conditions distracting your path?

1. Organizing Your Life

I don’t think I’m alone in being slightly scattered and sloppy about certain areas of my life.

Life is busy.

It’s hard to keep everything organized and tidy. And maybe you don’t want to have an organized life. But moving forward will require far less energy if you remove the excessive baggage and tension. Everything in your life is energy. If you’re carrying too much — physical or emotional — your progress will be hampered.

In his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective PeopleStephen Covey explains that some things are important, and some things are urgent. Most people spend their life prioritizing urgent and “shallow” activity (e.g., answering emails, putting out proverbial fires, and just day-to-day stuff).

Very few people have organized their lives to prioritize almost exclusively important and “deep” activity (e.g., learning, health, relationships, travel, and goals).

No one cares about your success more than you do. If you’re not a meticulous accountant about the important details of your life, then you aren’t responsible enough to have what you say you want.

So how do you organize your life?

Environmental Energy

Is your living space cluttered and messy or simple and neat?

Do you keep stuff (like clothes) you no longer use?

If you have a car, is it clean or just another place to keep your clutter and garbage?

Does your environment facilitate the emotions you consistently want to experience?

Does your environment drain or improve your energy?

Financial Energy

Do you have unnecessary debt?

Do you know how many dollars you spend each month?

Do you know how many dollars you make each month?

Are you making as much money as you’d like to be?

What’s holding you back from creating more value in other people’s lives?

Most people don’t track their expenses. But if they did, they’d be shocked how much money they waste on stuff like eating out.

I’ll be honest, as a creative and right-brained person, administrative and logistical details bog me down. I procrastinate and avoid them. But this lackluster behavior is holding me back from the very goals I’m trying to accomplish.

Until I can hone in on my finances, I won’t have a healthier financial life, regardless of my income. Until I take complete responsibility of my finances,I’ll always be a slave to money.

And so will you.

Relational Energy

Are your relationships the most meaningful and enjoyable part of your life?

Do you spend enough time nurturing the relationships that really matter?

Do you maintain toxic relationships that no longer serve you?

Are you authentic and honest in your relationships?

Like money, most people’s relationships are not organized in a conscious manner. But with something so critical, we should take better stock of our relationships.

Health Energy

Do you eat with the end in mind?

Are you conscious of and in control of the foods you put in your body?

Does the food you eat improve or worsen the other areas of your life?

Does your body reflect your highest ideals?

Is your body as strong and fit as you want it to be?

Are you healthier now than you were three months ago?

Health is wealth. If you’re bed ridden, who cares how organized the other areas of your life are? It’s so easy to put our health on the side, such as foregoing sleep, over consuming stimulants, and making poor eating habits.

Little things become big things. And eventually everything catches up.

Spiritual Energy

Do you have a sense of purpose in life?

Have you come to terms with life and death in a way you resonate with?

How much power do you have in designing your future?

Death, it turns out, is not your greatest fear. Actually, your greatest fear is reaching death and having never truly lived.

When you organize your spiritual life, you become clear on what your life is about. You become clear on what you stand for, and how you want to spend each day. You develop conviction for what really matters to you, and what is a “distraction.”

No matter how well defined, everyone has a moral system governing their behavior. Most people believe in being honest and good people. But until you organize your spiritual life, you’ll experience internal conflict when acting contrary to your values and vision.


How much of your time do you feel in complete control of?

Is your time being wasted on things you don’t intrinsically enjoy?

Are the activities you spend your time doing moving you toward your ideal future?

Are you spending most of your time furthering your own agenda or someone else’s?

What activities should you remove from your life?

How much time do you waste each day?

What would your ideal day look like?

What activities could you outsource or automate that take up your time?

Until you organize your time, it will disappear and move quickly. Before you know it, you’ll wonder where all the time went.

Once you organize your time, it will slow down. You’ll be able to live more presently. You’ll be able to experience time as you want to. You’ll control your time rather than the other way around.

Stop What You’re Doing and Get Organized

Getting organized and conscious of your present circumstances (e.g., your environment, finances, relationships, purpose, and time) puts you in a position to build toward the future you want.

The fastest way to move forward in life is not doing more. It starts with stopping the behaviors holding you back.

If you want to get in shape, you’ll make more progress by stopping your negative behaviors than starting good ones. So, before you start exercising, purge the junk food from your diet. Until you stop the damage, you’ll always be taking one step forward and one step backward.

Before you focus on making more money, reduce your spending. Detach yourself from needing more and become content with what you have. Until you do this, it doesn’t matter how much money you make. You’ll always spend what you have (or more).

This is a matter of stewardship. Rather than wanting more, more, more , it’s key to take proper care of what you currently have. Organize yourself. Dial it in. Your life is a garden. What good is planting if you don’t prepare the soil and remove the weeds?

Why do most people stay stuck? They never organize. They try adding more, or being more productive, or taking a different approach. So before you “hustle,” get organized.

2. Plan And Invest In Your Future

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” — Chinese Proverb

Taking these foundational areas of life and organizing them is essential to creating your ideal future.

Very few people consciously plan and design their life. It’s actually startling how few Americans are investing in their future. Most Millennials are terrified of the stock market and long-term investing. Most Baby Boomers never developed the discipline to invest, but instead maintained an addiction to American consumption.

Even still, you have complete power over the details of your life the moment you decide you’re worthy of that power. That decision is manifest in tangible behaviors, like fixing or removing troubled relationships and saying “no” to activities that are nothing more than a waste of your time.

You get to decide right now.

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” — Benjamin Franklin

Your vision should be based on your whynot so much your what.

Your why is your reason, your what is how that is manifest. And your “what” can happen in a ton of different ways. For example, my why is to help people get clarity on the life they want to live, and to help them achieve their goals as quickly as possible. My what could be blogging, parenting, being a student, going out to dinner, and several other things.

Too many people think creating a vision is about nailing down exactly whatthey want in the next 20 years. The problem with this mega long-term approach to goal setting is that it actually slows your potential.

Instead of having a pre-set plan of what he wants to do, Tim Ferriss executes on 3–6 month experiments that he’s currently excited about. He told Darren Hardy in an interview that he has no clue what the outcome of his experiments might be. So there’s no point in making long-term plans. He has no clue what doors will open up, and he wants to be open to the best possibilities.

But his why doesn’t change.

When you are proactively creating and collaborating with many different people, the whole becomes different and better than the sum of its parts. This is why you can’t plan for everything. Because at the highest level, you’ve transcended your need to have things exactly how you want them. You know that with the help of other people, you can do things 10X, 100X, or 1,000X bigger and better than you could ever conceive on your own.

Rather than expecting a particular outcome, you are completely confident that the best outcome will ensue. This is how you create and contribute beyond anything you could ever comprehend. Collaboration and synergy lead to new innovations and ultimately, human evolution. It’s how the old and outdated rules are redefined and replaced with new and better ones, thus changing the global environment.

Invest in Your Future

When you choose to forego momentary gratification in order to have an enhanced future, you are investing in your future. Most people fail to do this successfully.

Most people don’t purposefully invest in their finances, relationships, health, and time. But when you invest in yourself (and your future),you ensure your future present moments will continue to get richer and more enjoyable.

Thus, your life will continue getting better and more in line with your ideal vision.

3. Tracking Important Metrics

“When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported, the rate of improvement accelerates. ” — Thomas Monson

Getting organized and investing in your future are futile if you’re not tracking. In regards to the most important areas of your life, you need to be on top of what’s going on.

Tracking is difficult. If you’ve tried it before, chances are, you quit within a few days.

Research has repeatedly found that when behavior is tracked and evaluated, it improves drastically.

If you’re not tracking the key areas of your life, than you’re probably more off-course than you think. If you were to be honest with yourself, you’d be stunned how out-of-control things have become. As J.M. Barrie, author of Peter Pan, has said:

“The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it.”

The cool part is, once you get organized, make a plan, and start tracking, desired change happens quickly.

Track the things that are closely related to your core priorities. As Jim Collins said in Good to Great, “If you have more than three priorities you have none.”

Your priorities reflect your why, and thus, your life should be build around your priorities. Not the other way around. Consequently, if you’re serious about improving upon the foundation of your life, track your priorities. For example:

  1. Your key relationships
  2. Your business and finances
  3. Self improvement (such as health or how you use your time)

You can track whatever priorities you have. But I can absolutely promise you that once you do, your conscious awareness of these things will increase. You’re ability to control these things will enhance. Your confidence will wax strong. And your life will become simpler.

You’ll be living a simple, yet organized and refined life. You’ll be responsible, which put another way is freedom.

4. Prayer and Meditation To Reduce Noise

“I have so much to do today that I’m going to need to spend three hours in prayer in order to be able to get it all done.” — Martin Luther

There’s a lot of emphasis on hustle these days.

Hustle, hustle, hustle.

But all the hustle in the wrong direction isn’t going to help you. Yes, by hustling you can fail often, fail fast, and fail forward. However, as Thomas Merton has said:

“People may spend their whole lives climbing the ladder of success only to find, once they reach the top, that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.”

This happens way too often. We get caught in the thick of thin thingsFar too late do we realize that in our mad rush, we were pursuing someone else’s goals instead of our own.

But spending a large chuck of time in prayer and/or meditation does more than provide clarity to what you’re doing. These things open your mind up to possibilities you can’t get while busy.

For example, a few days ago I spent the entire morning praying, thinking deeply, listening to inspirational music, and writing in my journal. A few hours into this process, an idea came to me that is absolute gold.

I also got insights regarding important relationships during that time, which when those insights came in, I immediately sent out emails or texts to those people. Amazing collaborations and mentorships were the resultant outcome.

But there’s more.

Your thoughts are incredibly powerful. They actually govern not only you but those around you. Think about it, if you think positively about the people you’re around, their lives are better. This is why people “send positive energy” or pray for other people. It actually makes a difference.

Your thoughts create endless ripples — even waves — of consequence all around you.

While praying and/or meditating for a large portion of time, the level of your thoughts will elevate. And interesting things will begin happening. If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of miracles, you can think of it as luck.

Whatever you call it, when you spend large portions of time every day in deep reflection mode, luck strikes. Stuff happens that is completely outside of your control for your benefit.

For instance, during my deep dive into my mind and soul, one of my favorite authors came across my blog. He re-tweeted one of my articles and reached out to me. Now we’re friends. We’ve spent lots of time together. He’s helped me get a book contract. He’s even had me speak at one of his events!

If you’re skeptical of these ideas. Give it a try. Why do you think the majority of the world’s most successful have rituals such as these? There is a higher realm you can tap into that unlocks limitless possibilities.

The only thing holding you back from those things is your mind.

5. Move Toward Your Goals Every Single Day

How many days go by where you did nothing to move toward your big goals?

Probably too many.

Life is busy.

If you don’t purposefully carve time out every day to progress and improve, then without question, your time will get lost in the vacuum of our increasingly crowded lives. Before you know it, you’ll be old and withered, wondering where all that time went.

As Harold Hill has said: “You pile up enough tomorrows, and you’ll find you are left with nothing but a lot of empty yesterdays.”

After you’ve gotten yourself organized, made plans, started tracking, and gotten into the habit of prayer/meditation, taking action and hustling will be automatic. You’ll be focused on the right thing and in the right frame of mind to actually execute.

Its good practice to do these kind of things at the beginning of your day before your will power depletes.

If you don’t, it simply will not get done. By the end of your day, you’ll be exhausted. You’ll be fried. There will be a million reasons to just start tomorrow. And you will start tomorrow — which is never.

So your mantra becomes: The worst comes first. Do that thing you’ve been needing to do. Then do it again tomorrow.

If you take just one step toward your big goals every day, you’ll realize those goals weren’t really far away.


It’s really easy to get off course in life. Like airplanes, we constantly need to make course corrections.

But we can ensure we get where we want in life by organizing ourselves, planning for our future, tracking our progress, heightening our mindset, and hustling.

Do this long enough and you’ll be shocked.


25 Cruel Lessons That Will Help You Get To The Next Level Of Life.

Image Credit: Thinkstock

You don’t fake it till you make it.

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

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
  • Appreciate people
  • 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.

  1. In the act of service — meaning you GIVE, first, before you get
  2. 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.

Give abundantly.

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

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 Ruleauthor 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.

Ask yourself:

  • 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

Photo by Daniel Jensen on Unsplash

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.

Choose to not tolerate mediocrity and subpar, “good-enough” mindsets.

You must control your environment, or it will end up controlling you.

“Remember: we all get what we tolerate. So stop tolerating excuses within yourself, limiting beliefs of the past, or half-assed or fearful states.” -Tony Robbins

Personal Evolution = Making Slightly Better Choices Daily

“Greatness is nothing more than the long-term investment of time.” –Nicolas Cole

Most people think creating significant life change happens quickly.

But that’s not how it works. It took a long time for you to build up those negative behaviors and mindset; it’ll take some time to develop a new one.

The problem most people face is their impatience with waiting for results, even if small progress is being made. In their eyes, small progress isn’t big enough.

This black-and-white thinking is responsible for many people’s failed attempts to change. Since they can’t see any big results soon, they impatiently give up and revert back to who they were.

In the words of Niklas Goeke:

“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

In Conclusion

“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.

Real Men Understand These 3 Truths About Life

Nicolas Cole Instagram

Men need to understand a lot of things.

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.

Someone who is open has nothing to fear.

10 Uncomfortable Things That Will Make You Successful and Happy

Life and success begin outside of your comfort zone — dare yourself to do these 10 things and be amazed at the results.

“Growth and comfort do not coexist” — Ginni Rometty

Wouldn’t it be fantastic if the road to success and happiness were an easy one?Unfortunately, as we all know, this isn’t the case. The reality is, you’ll only succeed once you force yourself to do things that you don’t necessarily want to. It’s true. You see, our brains are wired in such a way that we often don’t take action until we feel some sort of uneasiness or uncertainty.

Multiple studies have backed this claim up, showing that performance spikes when we’re doing something out of our norm. The act of stepping outside ourcomfort zone is not only vital to our success, but also our well being andability to grow as individuals too.

With a little understanding and a few minor adjustments, you can break free and achieve more than you ever dreamt possible. So step out of your bubble and embrace the following ten challenges:

Ask for what you want.

“Everything you want is out there waiting for you to ask.Everything you want also wants you. But you have to take action to get it.”- Jules Renard

Too often, people don’t achieve the success they want simply because they arenot willing to ask for it. Sure, this definitely requires some courage because we do face the possibility of being rejected, but the ever looming ‘what if’ will be much harder to live with than any turndown will. Ask yourself what’s the worst that could happen. If it’s a simple denial it should never hold you back.

Get up early.

Unless you’re just naturally a morning person, setting the alarm clock for earlier than usual is a sure shot way to take you out of your comfort zone (and cause some early morning cursing).

However, carving out some extra time for the beginning of your days can bewell worth it. Everybody from Bill Gates to Mark Zuckerberg swear by theirrigorous morning habits as a key to their success. And academic research shows that those who adopt morning routines have a greater “ability to take action to change a situation to one’s advantage.”

This will give you an opportunity to mentally prepare for what’s ahead,exercise, get a nutritious breakfast in (instead of eating something on the go like so many of us do) or simply take a few minutes for something you enjoy.

Say no.

Recent research showed that the more challenging it is for a person to say no,the more likely they are to experience stress. We all know that ‘no’ can be a powerful word, but it’s one that you should not be afraid to use and use often.

Saying no to new requests or invitations helps to honor your existingcommitments and gives you the opportunity to adequately fulfill them. When you learn to say no when necessary, you’ll free up your time and energy for the things that matter most in your life.

Take compliments.

When many of us are given a compliment, our knee jerk reaction is to immediately jump to how we didn’t measure up or what we could have done better. These reactions, however, can have a negative effect on our self-confidence, our future career and even our relationships.

If you work hard on something, why dismiss any positive feedback thatdeservingly comes your way? When you learn to accept compliments you’ll gain the chance to see yourself as your peers do, and odds are you’re confidence will soar.

Give and take critical feedback.

“We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve” — Bill Gates

Feedback develops humility and self-awareness and challenges perfectionism.Neither giving nor receiving critical feedback is ever easy, but remember that nothing worthwhile really ever is. However, if you learn to be open to feedback, you’ll see progress in your skill development and overall personal growth too.

Admit mistakes.

Uncomfortable doesn’t even begin to describe what making a mistake feels like. However, mistakes can almost always be turned around. The most effective way to replace that sinking feeling is to properly assess the situation and take action.

To become an effective leader we must take on the responsibility of understanding our successes and our failures. Learning to admit mistakes will help you to earn respect, lead by example and build a culture of trust with your peers and colleagues.

Network and make small talk.

Studies show that an overwhelming majority of jobs are found through networking, and small talk is where it all begins. You never really know where it can lead, it makes you more knowledgeable (yes, even if it’s on a subject matter you have no interest in), it opens your eyes and, finally, you really have no choice. It is a critical element to any profession. To really master small talk, learn to become fascinated by it and the person wielding it. With enough practice you’ll eventually learn to enjoy it.

Start practicing public speaking.

“There are only two types of speakers in the world. 1. Thenervous and 2. Liars.”– Mark Twain

We all know how common the fear of public speaking is. In fact, a whopping74 percent of Americans have glossophobia (the fancy word for it). So if this includes you, know that you’re nowhere close to being alone.

Whether you’re speaking in front of five people or five thousand, becoming a better public speaker can be a huge advantage to your career. Don’t just take my word for it: Warren Buffett says it will boost your career success by 50 percent.

While it might appear daunting to learn public speaking, so did learning to ride a bike at first. Thankfully, there are some fairly simple ways to start becoming a master at it. Although you won’t become a TED Talk star overnight, becoming great at this is a lot easier than it appears.

Overcome procrastination.

We all know that when the going gets tough, it can often be easy to just put off tasks until tomorrow. The problem is that ‘tomorrow’ often turns into the next day and then the next… before it eventually never comes. While we all procrastinate from time to time, successful individuals do something that most of us don’t- they stop making excuses and push past it.

The best way to beat procrastination is to of course never let it begin. Write out the things you’re “going to do tomorrow”, create a schedule for these tasks, keep yourself accountable and imagine how great you’ll feel once they’re accomplished.

A Bad Attitude Guarantees You’ll Never Achieve Massive Success – Your success depends heavily on who you associate with.

A Bad Attitude Guarantees You’ll Never Achieve Massive Success

Your success depends heavily on who you associate with.

“Attitude is greatly shaped by influence and association.” -Benjamin Hardy

Your level of talent and “potential” is irrelevant if you’re surrounded by people who don’t help you realize it.

Most people adapt to whatever environment they find themselves. Since most people’s environments are set up to produce mediocre results, most people’s lives look mediocre.

Unfortunately, most people don’t have a powerful network of close relationships. The biggest decisions of their life are made with the influence of largely-negative individuals with low standards.

Benjamin Hardy once wrote:

“The quality of your life and the quality of your work is determined by the standards you have for yourself, and the standards of those around you.”

Tony Robbins once made the point that your life is a reflection of your standards. What you tolerate is what you get. If you allow mediocrity, your life will be mediocre.

The majority of the world is willing to tolerate unhealthy relationships, poor finances, and jobs they hate. If not so, those things wouldn’t be in their lives.

Truly successful people living extraordinary lives of purpose are extremely rare. Most observers have no idea how to become that successful.

True success starts with attitude. In the words of James Allen, “As a man thinketh, so he is. As he continues to think, so he remains.

If you believe you’ll be successful, you’ll condition your mindset to attract success. But if you have a lazy, negative attitude towards your growth, odds are you won’t experience much success in anything.

Attitude is greatly shaped by influence and association. Who you spend time with has an enormous impact on your attitude, and therefore, future success.

Isn’t that sobering? Who you spend time with has a direct, powerful influence on your future.

If your closest friends have no desire to be successful, it’s very unlikely you’ll achieve enormous success.

It’s like being on a football team where nobody cares enough to play; even a great quarterback can’t win games if nobody else on the team cares.

“Success comes to those who are success-conscious.” Napoleon Hill

Surround Yourself With People Who Force You to Level Up

“I have never seen anyone who was successful who spent much time with people who have bad attitudes.” -Jim Rohn

Winners. Optimists. Doers. Believers.

These are the kinds of friends successful people have.

Incredibly successful people have extremely exclusive friend groups. If you have a bad attitude, if you complain, if you’re pessimistic and negative…it’s very likely you don’t know any successful people.

You probably don’t realize it, but successful people stay away from you if you have a bad attitude.

The most successful people in the world are grateful for just about everything. Problems and obstacles are opportunities to improve. Successful people are generous and help others. They see things not as they are, but how they could be.

“The mediocre have a very narrow perception of reality, and in turn, their lives. They see things as they are and not how they can be.” -Aditya Mehta

Surround yourself with people who force you to level up and become more than you are.

You have so much to learn and so far to go: you can’t afford to commiserate with those who would choose security and stagnation rather than the discomfort of growth.

Hal Elrod once wrote, “Where you are is a result of who you were, but where you go depends entirely on who you choose to be.

I would add that where you go also depends on who you surround yourself with.

You’re on a long journey right now. Thick forests, dry deserts, and frigid mountains lie in your path. You need to pass through all of them to achieve enormous success.

Ask yourself:

Will your current friends help you on this journey?

Or are they the type of people who just want to set up camp and never leave?

Photo by Arthur Poulin on Unsplash

The Mediocre Majority Would Rather You Didn’t Succeed

“For many people, the power of their excuse is more powerful than their dreams.” -Robert Kiyosaki

A friend of mine is an English teacher for a school in South Korea. She loves her life traveling the world and working with kids.

But she told me she’s haunted by what everyone “back home” is trying to tell her. They keep trying to define her success for her: “Come back home, start having kids, and find a job you’ll work at for the next 40 years.”

The majority of people around you would rather you lived a life theyapproved of.

In the words of Jon Westenberg:

“You’ll never reach a point in your life when people will stop telling you ‘no,’ and stop telling you about the failure you’re going to crash into headlong. It doesn’t matter. Fuck them.”

Your success will always be severely limited if you keep putting more stock in other’s opinions than you do of your own.

You must protect your attitude. Remember, your attitude directly determines future success, and negative people can destroy it. Your thoughts can be greatly shaped through the negativity of those around you.

It is your responsibility who you choose to associate with.

If someone is constantly trying to bring you down, they will probably succeed if you don’t remove yourself. That’s how powerful association is.

Who you hang around is a major determining factor in what your attitude becomes.

Your outer conditions are a reflection of your inner reality.

Ask yourself: Are you currently the person who would attract the level of success you seek?

“Those who build and perpetuate mediocrity are motivated more by the fear of being left behind.” -Jim Collins

You Are a Reflection of Who You Spend Time With

In the words of prolific writer, Nicolas Cole:

“We are all a reflection of who we spend time with.

Spend time with negative people, and you’ll turn negative.

Spend time with positive people, and you’ll turn positive.

It’s just how the Law of Attraction works.

Similarly, if you spend time around people who share the same goal as you, or have a goal that inspires you to work harder toward your own goals, you will move and grow 10x faster.”

Most people are simply a reflection of those around them. If those around you have low standards, it’s likely you’ll lower yours, too.

On the contrary, if the people around you have extremely high standards, you’ll start adopting those standards yourself.

If you find yourself stuck in dead-end routines, it’s likely others around you are experiencing the same problem. You often have the same problems as those around you.

You can’t transmit something you haven’t got — mediocre individuals can’t give extraordinary answers.

Big-time guys like Tony Robbins and Tim Ferriss have revealed they’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars just to be able to join a few Skype calls with other high-powered individuals.

Why? Because they understand if they surround themselves with people who hold them to a higher standard, their lives will improve dramatically. Their own standards will raise in response.

Back in the 1930’s, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien were largely unknown authors. But once they joined the exclusive writing group dubbed “The Inklings,” their quality went from average to extraordinary.

Through relentless feedback of far better writers, Lewis and Tolkien’s writing became 10x better than it was before. The quality of their writing began to reflect the much-higher quality of others.

You are a reflection of who you spend your time with.

Do you hang out with winners who care deeply about their personal growth?

Photo by Anthony DELANOIX on Unsplash

Surround Yourself With People Who Hold You to Higher Standards Than Your Own

“If you want to improve and succeed in your life, you need to surround yourself with people who have higher standards than you do.” -Benjamin Hardy

If you’re feeling stuck and struggling to make the progress you want, take a look around you.

Do these people hold you to a high standard? Or, do they hold you to an even lower standard than you hold yourself?

Most people perpetuate mediocrity. They don’t bother to make even the most basic self-improvements, let alone worry about your growth.

Said Bruce Lee:

“What you habitually think largely determines who you will become.” -Bruce Lee

Are you surrounded by people who will hold you to a higher standard than you do yourself?

Most people aren’t. They continue living lives that are, frankly, mediocre.

When I was growing up, I constantly used pornography as a crutch to get through the day. I always felt guilty and ashamed of it, but I never told anyone. I had no support.

Eventually, I finally decided to go to counseling for my addictive behavior. I met dozens of men and women who were now living lives free from other toxic addictions.

Without them, I don’t think I would’ve stopped. I didn’t believe I could have a fulfilling life without my crutch.

They began challenging me to do things I thought were literally impossible. They held me to a far higher standard than I held myself.

I haven’t looked at pornography in years. Now, I hold others to a higher standard than they do themselves.

Surround yourself with people who have far higher standards than you do.

In Conclusion

I refuse to work with people who aren’t smart, hardworking, disciplined or passionate about what they do.” -Nischal Shetty

It’s your responsibility who you hang out with.

Darren Hardy once said, “You cannot see what you don’t look for, and you cannot look for what you don’t believe in.” Most people don’t believe in their own success. They’ll never achieve success if they don’t first believe in it.

Believing in your success is greatly influenced by who you associate with.

Do you associate with winners? Are they optimistic about life? Are they excited about growth and have clear goals?

Or are they whiny and complain about how unfair life is? Do your friends have any meaningful goals? Do they believe they can succeed, or are they content to continue tolerating mediocrity?

Who you associate with largely determines how you see the world.

Surround yourself with winners. Make an effort to associate with people who are determined to succeed. Their success will rub off on you.

Attitude is greatly shaped by influence and association. Guard yourself from negative attitudes, and spend time building relationships with those who will make you a better version of yourself.

Stop Saying, “It’s Hard” Because It’s Really Not

“It’s just so hard.”

I keep hearing people say this. About writing. About business. About marketing and sharing your work and creating art and everything that is good for us that we are scared to do.

No. It’s not hard. And I’m so sick of hearing smart, competent people say it is.

Here’s a list of things that are hard (in no particular order):

  • Childbirth is hard (I’ve been told).
  • Parenting is hard.
  • Dealing with loss and pain and injustice is hard.
  • Being born in another era or another country where you don’t have access to incredible opportunities to create change right where you are, that’s hard.
  • Fighting tyranny to create a better future for your grandchildren is hard.

But writing? Making things? Doing work that matters? No. That’s not hard. The path has been laid before you. The manuals have been written, the precedents set. The formulas are already there for you.

All you have to do is take the first step.

Here’s a list of things that are not hard:

  • It’s not hard to write 500 words a day.
  • It’s not hard to start a blog.
  • It’s not hard to Google your biggest struggles and find free answers on YouTube or Quora.
  • It’s not hard to create something new every day and share it with the world. It’s not even hard to start a business.
  • It’s not hard to take advantage of the millions of opportunities available to you right now.

Facing reality

Is it scary?


Will there be failure?

You bet.

But is it hard?

No, I’m sorry. You can’t say that anymore.

We live in the most affluent era of history with the greatest advancements in technology the world has ever seen.

If you are reading this right now, you are privileged. Don’t waste that privilege by saying something absurd like “it’s hard.”

It’s never been easier to do work that matters, create the life you want, and change the world (albeit, perhaps in your own small way).

Telling yourself it’s hard isn’t helping you. It’s just another reason to stall.