The Purpose Of Life Is Not Happiness: It’s Usefulness

Midsection of Woman Making Heart Shape With Hands

The Purpose Of Life Is Not Happiness: It’s Usefulness

For the longest time, I believed that there’s only purpose of life: And that is to be happy.

Right? Why else go through all the pain and hardship? It’s to achieve happiness in some way.

And I’m not the only person who believed that. In fact, if you look around you, most people are pursuing happiness in their lives.

That’s why we collectively buy shit we don’t need, go to bed with people we don’t love, and try to work hard to get approval of people we don’t like.

Why do we do these things? To be honest, I don’t care what the exact reason is. I’m not a scientist. All I know is that it has something to do with history, culture, media, economy, psychology, politics, the information era, and you name it. The list is endless.

We are who we are.

Let’s just accept that. Most people love to analyze why people are not happy or don’t live fulfilling lives. I don’t necessarily care about the why.

I care more about how we can change.

Just a few short years ago, I did everything to chase happiness.

  • You buy something, and you think that makes you happy.
  • You hook up with people, and think that makes you happy.
  • You get a well-paying job you don’t like, and think that makes you happy.
  • You go on holiday, and you think that makes you happy.

But at the end of the day, you’re lying in your bed (alone or next to your spouse), and you think: “What’s next in this endless pursuit of happiness?”

Well, I can tell you what’s next: You, chasing something random that you believe makes you happy.

It’s all a façade. A hoax. A story that’s been made up.

Did Aristotle lie to us when he said:

“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.”

I think we have to look at that quote from a different angle. Because when you read it, you think that happiness is the main goal. And that’s kind of what the quote says as well.

But here’s the thing: How do you achieve happiness?

Portrait of Young Woman With Yellow Flowers in Field

Happiness can’t be a goal in itself. Therefore, it’s not something that’s achievable.

I believe that happiness is merely a byproduct of usefulness.

When I talk about this concept with friends, family, and colleagues, I always find it difficult to put this into words. But I’ll give it a try here.

Most things we do in life are just activities and experiences.

  • You go on holiday.
  • You go to work.
  • You go shopping.
  • You have drinks.
  • You have dinner.
  • You buy a car.

Those things should make you happy, right? But they are not useful. You’re not creating anything. You’re just consuming or doing something. And that’s great.

Don’t get me wrong. I love to go on holiday, or go shopping sometimes. But to be honest, it’s not what gives meaning to life.

What really makes me happy is when I’m useful. When I create something that others can use. Or even when I create something I can use.

For the longest time I found it difficult to explain the concept of usefulness and happiness. But when I recently ran into a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, the dots finally connected.

Emerson says:

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”

And I didn’t get that before I became more conscious of what I’m doing with my life. And that always sounds heavy and all. But it’s actually really simple.

It comes down to this: What are you DOING that’s making a difference?

Woman in Floral Headdress Sniffing on Red Flowers

Did you do useful things in your lifetime? You don’t have to change the world or anything. Just make it a little bit better than before you were born.

If you don’t know how, here are some ideas.

  • Help your boss with something that’s not your responsibility.
  • Take your mother to a spa.
  • Create a collage with pictures (not a digital one) for your spouse.
  • Write an article about the stuff you learned in life.
  • Help the pregnant lady who also has a 2-year old with her stroller.
  • Call your friend and ask if you can help with something.
  • Build a standing desk.
  • Start a business and hire an employee and treat them well.

That’s just some stuff I like to do. You can make up your own useful activities.

You see? It’s not anything big. But when you do little useful things every day, it adds up to a life that is well lived. A life that mattered.

The last thing I want is to be on my deathbed and realize there’s zero evidence that I ever existed.

Recently I read Not Fade Away by Laurence Shames and Peter Barton. It’s about Peter Barton, the founder of Liberty Media, who shares his thoughts about dying from cancer.

It’s a very powerful book and it will definitely bring tears to your eyes. In the book, he writes about how he lived his life and how he found his calling. He also went to business school, and this is what he thought of his fellow MBA candidates:

“Bottom line: they were extremely bright people who would never really do anything, would never add much to society, would leave no legacy behind. I found this terribly sad, in the way that wasted potential is always sad.”

You can say that about all of us. And after he realized that in his thirties, he founded a company that turned him into a multi-millionaire.

Another person who always makes himself useful is Casey Neistat. I’ve been following him for a year and a half now, and every time I watch his YouTube show, he’s doing something.

He also talks about how he always wants to do and create something. He even has a tattoo on his forearm that says “Do More.”

Most people would say, “why would you work more?” And then they turn on Netflix and watch back to back episodes of Daredevil.

A different mindset.

Mindset Opposite Positivity Negativity Thinking Concept

Being useful is a mindset. And like with any mindset, it starts with a decision. One day I woke up and thought to myself: What am I doing for this world? The answer was nothing.

And that same day I started writing. For you it can be painting, creating a product, helping elderly, or anything you feel like doing.

Don’t take it too seriously. Don’t overthink it. Just DO something that’s useful. Anything.

Why you shouldn’t share your goals

Originally published on JOTFORM.COM

The race to get the world’s first plane in the sky was a hard fought battle between The Wright Brothers and a lesser-known gentleman by the name of Samuel Pierpont Langley.

You will discover why you’ve never heard of the latter here shortly.

As you probably read somewhere inside that history textbook you were forced to lug around through elementary — The Wright Brothers were responsible for creating the first successful airplane. You remember how the story goes

“… it was a cold windy day on December 17th, 1903 in the Kill Devil Hills of North Carolina… Orville watched nervously as his brother Wilbur climbed inside the plane they had spent years perfecting… miraculously it flew for 59 seconds for a distance of 852 feet…”

While today “The Wright Brothers” is the first name that comes to anyone’s mind when they hear the word fly, once upon a time the pair were major underdogs.

In fact, during the race to the sky, most of America had its money on the man I mentioned earlier, Langley.

Hewas an extremely outspoken astronomer, physicist and aviation pioneer who was on a mission to make history. Langley’s high stature as the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution gave him both the credibility and hype he needed to get America on his side.

Not to mention, he was extremely well-backed by the War Department who contributed $50,000 to help him be the first to get a bird in the sky.

Long story short, despite all the hype, Langley’s flying machine ended up crashing and burning while The Wright Brother’s plane ended up soaring.

One party had the entire world, vast resources and plenty of moolah on his side, while the other just had a small bike shop and a passion to fly.

So, let me ask you this… can you guess why The Wright Brothers achieved their goal to take flight while Langley failed?

Early praise feels like you’ve already won.

The Wright Brothers victory over Langley came down to passion, intrinsic motivation (Langley was very status driven) and perhaps praise.

While Langley was sharing his ambitions with the world and being heavily praised for feats he had not yet achieved, The Wright Brothers were receiving little to no attention whatsoever.

Some experts argue that early praise can leave the individual receiving the praise feeling like he or she has already won… in turn causing them to beless likely to follow through with their goals.

For example, in Peter Gollwitzer’s research article, When Intentions Go Publiche raises this very question:

Are scientists more likely to write papers if they tell colleagues about their intentions or if they keep their intentions to themselves?

Gollwitzer and his team of researchers carried out a handful of studies, here is a brief excerpt from their findings:

“Other people’s taking notice of one’s identity-relevant intentions apparently engenders a premature sense of completeness regarding the identity goal.”

In English, what Gollwitzer found was that when individuals set a goal that is closely tied to their identity and then share their intentions with others, they are less likely to achieve the goal.

For example, if your goal is to start drinking more water and you tell your friends and family that you’re going to start drinking more water, this would probably have little to no impact on whether or not you actually drink more water.

Why? Because drinking more water isn’t something you hold close to your identity.

Onthe other hand, if your goal is to lose 40 lbs and drop 2–3 waist sizes, it might not be the best idea to post about it all over Facebook. Your appearance is something you very much so identify with. So, if you tell people you plan to lose weight and everyone tells you how awesome you are and how great you’re going to look, you might be less likely to lose the weight.

This finding is a bit counterintuitive, considering we were told by our teachers and coaches growing up to set our goals, share our goals, hold ourselves accountable.

But, the theory certainly holds some weight (pun very much intended), and is one that has been adopted by highly successful serial entrepreneurs like Derek Siversfounder of CD Baby.

Sivers gave a TED Talk on this very topic nearly a decade back. To prove his point, he asked the audience to imagine how they felt when they shared their goals with others:

“Imagine their congratulations and their high image of you. Doesn’t it feel good to say it out loud? Don’t you feel one step closer already? Like, it’s already becoming part of your identity?

Well, bad news. You should have kept your mouth shut. That good feeling makes you less likely to do it.”

Sivers goes on to explain that it’s this “warm feeling” that keeps us from battling on to actually achieve our goals.

When we openly share our goals, we experience a feeling of success that normally only takes place upon completion of the goal.

The result? We don’t ever actually pursue the goal.

Alternatives to sharing your goals.

I’ve recently shared 3 real-life business tactics to achieve your “big hairy goals”. But now, let’s talk about what can actually work when it comes to successfully reaching your goals.

For two counterintuitive yet effective approaches to this, we look to a philosophy called “fear-setting” and making an effort to surround yourself with competition.

Embrace fear-setting over goal-sharing.

Entrepreneur, angel investor and writer, Tim Ferriss, gave an incredible TED Talk where he discussed how fear-setting is instrumental in achieving one’s goals.

He recommends that instead of obsessively sharing your goals, you should come to terms with all the fears that are preventing you from achieving them.

For example, let’s say your goal is to start your own business. Ferriss recommends that you write down all of your fears that are associated with starting a business.

These might include… “Losing all my money”… “Getting fired from my day job”… “Getting laughed at or judged if I fail”.

Once you write down these fears, you should then write down how you would go about preventing these fears (or mitigating the likelihood) of them actually happening.

For example, for the first fear “losing all my money”, your prevention might be… “I’m only going to invest $2,500 that way I can’t lose it all.”

Finally, after you have written down your preventions, you should then write down how you will repair what you fear from happening… if it actually ends up happening.

So, to repair losing the $2,500, you might write down, “Get a part time job as a bartender in addition to my day job until I make the $2,500 back.”

By concentrating on fear-setting over goal-sharing, it allows you to remove the fear that is keeping you from actually achieving your goals.

Surround yourself with competition.

In addition to fear-setting, it might also be a good idea to surround yourself with competition.

A healthy dose of competition can be good for your business, too. At JotForm, we love to use competition to our advantage with events like hackweeks to achieve our product release goals.

study published two years ago in the journal Preventive Medicine Reports, sheds some light on the impact that competition has on our goals.

The study put 800 undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Pennsylvania through an 11-week exercise program where each person was assigned to work out alone or in a team.

In addition, the teams were designed to be either supportive or competitive.

Bythe end of the study, researchers found that students involved in the competitive team programs were 90% more likely to attend their scheduled exercise sessions than any other group.

Not only is this number staggering, but it also proves that competition can create a higher level of commitment among people chasing down goals.

When you surround yourself with competition, it doesn’t mean that you have to share your goals with the competition. You don’t have to tell the other folks in the spin class, cross-fit training or pick-up basketball leagues that your goal is to lose 50 lbs.

But, by simply showing up and placing yourself in a competitive environment, you will be more likely to push harder and show up more often — two factors that can help your reach your goals.


The science behind achieving goals has always been an interesting topic.

While some entrepreneurs advocate the idea that you should never have a goal, I’ve recently explained why setting big goals can make you miserable.

Whether you decide to share your goals or not, what I’ve found out across 12 years of entrepreneurship is that you should craft your own path.

What works for others won’t always work for you. And what works for you today won’t always work tomorrow.

Daily Habits That Will Improve Your Life

10 Daily Habits That Will Improve Your Life

In the sea of habits that could enhance your life, only a few of them stand outfrom the rest and give you an edge in life.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. “

— Aristotle


1. Get Continuous Rest

Working in a high capacity for a long period of time can exhaust anyone, andif you are not taking the proper amount of time to rest, your body will crash,and it will have consequences on everything you do.

That’s why it makes a lot of sense to start everything here. Now, I won’t tell you to sleep for 8 hours every night or to wake up at a specific hour. That’sentirely up to you.

Instead, your goal should be to find the right time to go to bed and the right time to wake up, so you can get enough rest, remain healthy and feelenergized.


2. Wake up Early

The moment you step outside and let the daily momentum kick in, you slowlyreduce the control over how your day pans out. That control is difficult to re-gain later in the day.

That’s why it’s essential to wake up earlier and use the first couple of hours so that you can take control over your state of mind and your body. In those few hours, you’ll kickstart the day in the way it suits you best.


3. Eat Healthy & Exercise

The sedentary lifestyle is slowly killing us, and we are not even noticing it.

You need to make a deal with yourself that no matter what happens in your life, health comes first — which means that you need to take care of yourself first before you engage in anything else.

There are only two things you need to keep in mind:

  • Healthy Diet
  • Physical Activity

Make small actions every day, and let the compound effect do its thing.


4. Meditate

We live in a world where everything is designed to steal your attention(including this article), and that makes it challenging to find a peaceful moment just for yourself.

And these moments are necessary if we’re going to keep clarity and calmnessof our mind.

That’s why you need to find few minutes a day — preferably earlier in the day,to create a grounding effect that will help you center yourself, and re-focus on what’s important.

If nothing, just to breathe and calm your thoughts.


5. Plan

It’s easy to get swept away with the dynamic environment we live in.

Because of this, you need to constantly pull yourself back and plan out how you want your life to unfold instead of letting the external circumstances do it for you.

Execution is what matters, but this depends solely on your ability to plan and follow through on that plan.


6. Focus on High Leverage Activities

Not all things you do will give you a high return on investment.

Your time is precious, and you should be careful where you’re allocating it.

Whenever in doubt, look at your plan, and ask yourself:

What are the 20% of activities that will yield the 80% of the results?

And then do it.


7. Acquire New Skills

Know that your goals dictate what you need to learn.

You should never randomly acquire skills. Try instead to learn the skills that will help you achieve your goals, no matter in what area of your life.

Know that every skill you acquire will not be beneficial on its own but will stack up with every skill you’ve acquired earlier, and you will start movingforward.


8. Read

Reading, no matter the genre sparks creativity and unleashes your imagination.

The reason for this is because every new idea a book can offer (no matter how small it seems) interacts with the knowledge you already have.

So whenever you open a book, look for just one idea, and see how you canapply it in everyday life.


9. Interact with Doers

If you are the most active person in the room, you are in the wrong room.

Find people that are doing something incredible with their lives and learn from them.

Even interacting with people who are driven and are accomplishingsomething in their life will serve as an inspiration. It will get you to take action.


10. Reflect & Evaluate

Time is passing by faster than ever because we have more things thatpreoccupy us.

This makes it challenging to take a break to reflect and evaluate how our lives are turning out.

So, just before you go to bed, give yourself a goal to evaluate your day and what can be improved the next day.

Not only this but every couple of months you should take a day or two to evaluate your plans. To see what delivers results, and what needs to be cut.

Then, adapt your plan and don’t be afraid to pivot if necessary.

LIFE – TOP IDEAS

 

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

 

19 Of The “Top Highlighted” Ideas From 1,000,000’s Of Readers

“You pile up enough tomorrows, and you’ll find you are left with nothing but a lot of empty yesterdays.” — Meredith Willson

What are you doing right now to change your life?

How much time do you think you really have?

In the incredible book, THE GOAL, authors Eliyahu Goldratt and Jeff Cox explain that making progress is all about bottlenecks.

If you don’t give the proper attention to the areas of your life that are slowing everything else down, you won’t make great progress.

Most people are completely inconsistent. They have a good day here followed by a few bad days there.

There’s something going on here. Yet, few people will figure out what’s truly going on.

If you want consistent and rapid growth in your life, you need better ideas and systems. You need to completely change up your approach.

According to Dan Sullivan, the founder of Strategic Coach, true learning means you now can produce a desired result. If you can’t produce new results, you haven’t learned.

Most people’s lives are continuous patterns. Some things they do well, but most of their life is kind of a mess.

If you want a new approach to continuous and rapid learning, this article could potentially change your life. To be clear, the principles and strategies discussed in this article aren’t commonly practiced.

Without question, if you apply even a few of these, your whole life will be different in 12 months.

You’ll be making more money.

You’ll have more freedom and autonomy to do what you love.

Your relationships will be more powerful.

You’ll be able to more fully experience the incredible world we live in.

Ready?

If You’re Not Motivated, You’re Either Not Experiencing Enough Pain, Or You’re Not Curious Enough

“If you’re not feeling motivated — you’re either not experiencing enough pain to change, or you’re not curious enough about the power of possibility.” — Chris Smith

If you’re not making tangible progress, things can feel boring or not worth the time.

So you need to start making tangible progress.

You need a future vision that seems exciting. And you need to get back to feeling like what you want to achieve is a game.

In the book, MY LIFE IN ADVERTISING, Claude Hopkins says, “If a thing is useful they call it work, if useless they call it play. One is as hard as the other. One can be just as much a game as the other. In both there is rivalry. There’s a struggle to excel the rest. All the difference I see lies in attitude of mind.”

Your work needs to become “play” again.

Ordinary People Seek Entertainment; Extraordinary People Seek Education

“If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ordinary people seek entertainment. Extraordinary people seek education and learning. When you want to become the best at what you do, you never stop learning. You never stop improving and honing your skills and knowledge.

Nearly every second spent on social media is consumed time. You can’t have that time back. Rather than making your future better, it actually made your future worse. Just like eating bad food, every consumed moment leaves you worse off. Every invested moment leaves you better off.

When you learn something, you should get a return on that learning. Far too many people read books now just to say they’ve read lots of books. If you’re not applying what you’re learning, your consuming and wasting your time. Moreover, the quality of books you read matters. To quote Ryan Holiday, “If you read what everyone else reads, you’ll think like everyone else thinks.”

Entertainment is all well and good. But only when that entertainment is an investment in your relationships or yourself. You’ll know if it was an investment if that entertainment continues to yield returns over and over in your future. That may include positive memories, transformational learning, or deepened relationships.

Even still, life isn’t purely about being entertained. Education and learning is also key. And although both are essential, education will provide far greater returns in your future.

The world’s most successful people are intense learners. They are hard readers. They know that what they know determines how well they see the world. They know that what they know determines the quality of relationships they can have and the quality of work they can do.

If you are constantly consuming junk media, how can you possibly expect to create high value work? Your input directly translates to your output. Garbage in, garbage out.

Work On Yourself, Not On Your Job

“Work hard at your job and you can make a living. Work hard on yourself and you can make a fortune.” — Jim Rohn

Your work is a reflection of you. If you’re not getting the results you’re looking for, stop looking for better strategies.

Instead, look inside.

Are you currently the person who would attract the level of success you seek?Your outer conditions are a reflection of your inner reality. As James Allen has saidYour circumstances reveal you to yourself.

Where you are right now: that’s you.

If you want something different: improve you.

Most people focus on their craft or their “job.” That’s all well and good. However, you’ll get far more bang-for-your-buck by focusing on yourself.

  • 20% of your energy should be devoted to your work.
  • 80% of your energy should be devoted to rest and self-improvement. This is what fuels your work and makes it better than anyone else’s. Self-improvement is more than books and true rest is renewal.

When You Get An Idea, Take A Second To Pause And Reflect

When you get a core insight, pause and reflect. Pull out your journal and begin connecting that idea with your most pressing goals and priorities and relationships. Quickly, another connection will be made. A deeper insight will present itself. Eventually, you’ll stumble upon something very practical. Something you’ll need to act on immediately.

That “something” may be a conversation you need to have. It may be an article you need to write that morning. It may be something you can do for someone to dramatically move the needle.

You need THAT insight. The one that leads to immediate action and makes immediate impact on what you’re trying to do.

This is how you make quantum leaps, day-by-day, in your progression. When you’re getting powerful insights that improve how you live, your life changes. That’s why learning every day is so important.

If It Doesn’t Suck, It’s Not Worth Doing

“The pain is a kind of challenge your mind presents — will you learn how to focus and move past boredom, or like a child will you succumb to the need for immediate pleasure and distraction?” — Robert Greene

In his book, Living with a SEALJesse Itzler tells the story of being inspired by a certain Navy SEAL and consequently inviting him to live at Itzler’s home for a month. Itzler admitted being in a personal rut and wanted to shake himself out of his routine.

  • Day 1: “SEAL” asked Itzler, “How many pull-ups can you do?” Itzler squeaked out eight shaky pull-ups.
  • “Take 30 seconds and do it again,” SEAL said. 30 seconds later, Itzler got on the bar and did six, struggling.
  • “Take 30 seconds and do it one more time,” SEAL said. 30 seconds later, Itzler got on the bar and did three, at which point his arms were exhausted.
  • “Alright, we’re not leaving here until you do 100 more,” SEAL stated. Itzler was puzzled. “Alright, we’re gonna be here a long-time. Cause there’s no way I could do 100.” However, Itzler ended-up completing the challenge, doing one pull-up at a time. Thus, SEAL convinced Itzler that he could do way more than he thought he could.

The principle SEAL taught is what he calls the 40% rule — which essentially means people feel maxed-out mentally and physically, and thus stop, when they are at only 40% of their actual capacity. Going past this 40% capacity is when it becomes uncomfortable. Thus, SEAL’s mantra, “If it doesn’t suck, we don’t do it.”

Like Itzler who shattered a mental barrier by completing 100 pull-ups, you too can get out of your rut by pursuing tangible objectives.

The concept is: Do something and don’t stop until it’s complete, no matter how long it takes.

Commitment Is External More Than Internal

“If you’re interested, you come up with stories, excuses, reasons, and circumstances about why you can’t or why you won’t. If you’re committed, those go out the window. You just do whatever it takes.” — John Assaraf

What is commitment?

How do you know if you’re truly committed to something?

When it comes to achieving goals, commitment involves:

  • Investing upfront
  • Making it public
  • Setting a timeline
  • Installing several forms of feedback/accountability
  • Removing or altering everything in your environment that opposes your commitment

If you’re truly committed to something, in your mind, it’s as though you’ve already succeeded. All doubt and disbelief are gone.

If you’re committed to running a marathon, you’re going to put everything in place to make sure it happens. You’re not going to leave it up to chance.

You’re going to start by signing up for a race (investment). You’re going to make it public (phase one of accountability). You’re going to get a running partner who holds you accountable. You’re going to track your progress (feedback) and account your progress to your accountability partner. Lastly, you’re going to remove things in your life that keep you from running.

Commitment means you build external defense systems around your goals. Your internal resolve, naked to an undefended and opposing environment is not commitment.

No matter how much internal resolve you have, you will fail to change your life if you don’t change your environment.

This is where the willpower approach fails. The willpower approach doesn’t focus on changing the environment, but instead, on increasing personal efforts to overcome the current environment. What ends up happening?Eventually you succumb to your environment despite your greatest efforts to resist.

The environment is more powerful than your internal resolve. As a human-being, you always take on the form of the environments you continually place yourself.

You Aren’t Stopped By Obstacles, But By Easier Paths To “Lesser Goals”

“We are kept from our goal not by obstacles but by a clear path to a lesser goal.” — Robert Brault

You want clarity so bad that you’re willing to settle for lesser goals, simply because the path to getting your true goal is less obvious.

You’re The Average Of The 5 People Around You

What stands in nearest proximity to you has enormous implications. As Jim Rohn has wisely said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Similarly, Tim Sanders, former Yahoo! director, said, “Your network is your net worth.”

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

If you want to improve and succeed in your life, you need to surround yourself with people who have higher standards than you do. As Tony Robbins has said, your life is a reflection of your standards, or what you’re willing to tolerate. Most people are willing to tolerate unhealthy relationships, poor finances, and jobs they hate. If not so, those things wouldn’t be in their lives.

Most people are a direct reflection of those around them. If the people around them have lower standards, they drop theirs’ as well. If the people around them have higher standards, they raise their game.

You’ve been around people who, simply by being around them, elevated your thinking and energy. Those are the kinds of people you need to surround yourself with. Those are the kinds of people you need to be like yourself, so that others are better simply by being around you.

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. If you’re fine doing mediocre work, than those around you are as well.

If you genuinely want to become better, you must surround yourself with people who will hold you to a higher standard than you currently hold yourself. You want to be around people with a higher and better vantage-point than you have, so that you can quickly learn from them.

Your level of talent and “potential” are irrelevant if you’re surrounded by people who don’t help you realize it. We all know many people who have unfulfilled potential. Don’t let that be you.

Successful People Initiate, They Don’t Wait (They Are Agents, Not Objects)

Most people only do what they are asked, doing only the minimum requirement. They need specific instructions on most things they do.

Conversely, those who become successful are anxiously engaged in a good cause. They don’t need to be managed in all things. They don’t just do the job, they do it right and complete. They also influence the direction for how certain ideas and projects go.

Most importantly, those who become successful initiate. They reach out to people, ask questions, make recommendations, offer to help, and pitch their ideas.

RIGHT NOW… there are brilliant opportunities around you. But it doesn’t matter how many resources you have. What matters is how resourceful you are with those assets.

Right now, the most influential and successful people in your industry are available to you. You could learn from them. You could be mentored by them. You could collaborate with them. But you have to initiate. You have to be a giver, first. You have to come up with ideas and use those ideas to help other people solve their problems and achieve their goals.

This is how you accomplish MULTIPLE goals at one time.

  • You work to learn, not to earn
  • You give you time and energy to the RIGHT PEOPLE’s goals, not your own at first
  • You learn from the right people and promote their work, or help them grow their business
  • All the while, you’re learning and developing deep connections that will take you 10X or 100X further than you could ever go on your own
  • Win-win-win-win relationships are the best. Where there are multiple parties all going further than they could go without each other

Initiation always involves some degree of risk. You’re putting yourself out there and there is a chance you could fail.

Every Next Level Of Life Will Demand A “Different” You

“Every next level of life will demand a different you.”— Leonardo DiCaprio

According to meta-analytic data, confidence isn’t what leads to success. Instead, successful behavior is what creates confidence.

Unlike dopamine which only lasts short-term, confidence is something you own, once you’ve earned it. Short-term pleasure and long-term joy are twofundamentally different outcomes.

Once you’ve begun succeeding at any endeavor, you’ll reach a threshold where you must decide if you’re ready to go to the next level. Most people get comfortable at a certain stage because they don’t want to deal with the emotional purging involved in up-leveling.

When you decide to up-level and go bigger, your life becomes very difficult for a short period of time. You may have mastered algebra, but now you’re in a calculus class and feel completely disoriented. As bestselling author, Shane Snow has said, “If you’re freaked-out, that means you’re a professional.”

Lobsters are soft squishy creates that house themselves within hard shells with rigid and spiky insides. As a lobster grows, its shell becomes constraining, even suffocating and painful.

Once the lobster becomes too uncomfortable: it hides from predators under a rock, jettisons its old shell, and fashions a new one. This process repeats throughout the lobster’s life.

Each of the lobster’s shells may look drastically different from the previous one. Indeed, in its new shell, the lobster may be unrecognizable to its closest friends and even to itself.

Likewise, the various scenes in your life may demand you to be someone you never intended to be. Although you may have been timid and quiet in the previous scenes, your new situation may require you to lead and speak boldly.

Each situation is different.

Don’t Plant A Tree, Plant An Orchard

Before writing the first chapter of Harry Potter, J. K. Rowling planned for seven years at Hogwarts. Harry Potter is one of the most read books of all-time.

Before creating the first Stars Wars movie in the 1970’s, George Lucas planned for at least six films and started at episode four, rather than episode one. Almost 40 years later, the entire world continues to be excited with the release of a new Star Wars film. This would not be possible if Lucas hadn’t thoughtfully and largely planned ahead.

The principle is simple: Don’t just plant a tree, plant an orchard.

How different might Harry Potter have been if Rowling started the book without any intentions or plans beyond the first book? It may have just been a book about a boy who went to school and killed a bad guy. Perhaps, at the conclusion of that story, Rowling might or might not have decided to write a sequel.

Yet, by “beginning with the end in mind,” Rowling was able to direct and position the first book much differently. The first book, although amazing in itself, was a means to an end, clearly leading the reader to the next book.

Not only that, but by having a long-term objective, Rowling was able to create a much bigger story. She was able to foreshadow to things the reader wouldn’t learn about for sometimes several years!

But she planted those seeds early and thoughtfully, and as a result, each book was a continuation of the next, rather than several disconnected and random stories.

6 Other Life-Changing Ideas

  • Success is taking 20 steps in one direction rather than one step in 20 directions. Take one step in the right direction. Then do it again. Productivity and success are not complicated.
  • “A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” — Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
  • “Lose an hour in the morning, and you will spend all day looking for it.” — Richard Whately
  • Success is continuously improving who you are, how you live, how you serve, and how you relate.
  • Every area of your life affects every other area of your life. Hence the saying, “How you do anything is how you do everything.”
  • If you measure your current-self against your previous-self — where you were when you set your goals (and even before) — you’ll experience happiness, satisfaction, and confidence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Truths You Don’t Want To Hear But Must

19 Harsh Truths You Don’t Want To Hear But Must (You’ll Be 10 Times Better For It)

Image Credit: Young Pope

As a blogger, I cop a lot of heat for delivering the truth rather than sugar-coating it with Instagram selfies, perfect image filters and nice words. I’ve written about ditching your loser friends, giving up porn, being spat at by haters online and everything under the sun.

I’m not here to impress you; I’m here to give you the truth so you can grow. It’s not about me or some BS personal brand; it’s about how all of us can smash our goals using the truth and leave a legacy behind that will stop us from having regrets.

Here are the 19 harsh truths you must hear:


1. We all have the same problems.

My problems are the same as your problems. You might be dealing with some BS, but you’re not alone. That divorce, person that passed away, rejection letter you got or redundancy you were forced to take is happening to many other people, at exactly the same time.

Knowing your problems are all the same is how you stop yourself from getting stuck and feeling sorry for yourself. All your problems are simply a process that you have to deal with.

This process is part of the human experience and it’s what you were forced to sign up for when your parents decided to have sex and create you in the first place.


2. You don’t need experience — ever.

So many people in the workforce resist applying for their dream career because it says in the advertisement “5 years of X skill required with a proven track record.”

This line is part of every template for every job ad ever written.

This line is in the ad to stop time wasters and people that don’t have the killer instinct to see past the obstacle that’s been laid in front of them. If you give up on your career dream just because of one line, in one job ad, you’re probably not cut out to work for most companies.

Experience often leads to a fixed mindset that makes you think you know everything when you don’t.

Sometimes the best experience is no experience and a brilliant mindset.


3. We’re all going to have someone die on us — expect it.

I’ve lost many relatives in the last few years including my grandma who died at 104 because she stopped eating and decided she lived enough. On the day the doctors told me she didn’t have long to live, I was out of town.

I hurried back and went to see her. The doctors said to hurry up as she was close to death. I got there just in time to see her eyes still open. I held her hand and told her that I loved her very much. She squeezed my hand, closed her eyes and passed away shortly after. It’s like she was waiting for me the whole time.

All of us are going to lose someone, so enjoy the time you have with your family and friends. Don’t take a moment of it for granted and never leave people you care about on bad terms.

The last thing you want is someone to die on you having the relationship tarnished because of something stupid like a disagreement over money or a difference in beliefs.

“Death is guaranteed for all of us. It’s the only certainty we have and it’s the only motivation you should ever need”


4. Complaining is a F*cking waste of time.

It achieves nothing and is for cry babies who don’t want to face the harsh truth: we’re in control of everything that happens to us. Meaning: we’re in control of how we interpret all events.

Complaining is a disease that carries an antidote called “Freaking stop it, now, please.”

No one likes a complainer and it’s only making you get stuck in your head instead of charging forward towards your goals and doing something cool.


5. No one gives a hoot about your personal brand.

All these personal brand courses and “building a brand on LinkedIn” are ridiculous.

No one cares about your ego, how good you think you are or your company. All we care about is what’s in it for us. If you deliver something of value, then we will all like your stuff. There’s nothing else to it.

Your brand is just a perception based on the results you’ve proven in the past. Your brand is only as good as what you can teach us, give us or inspire us to do.

6. Other people’s opinions don’t matter.

Being bogged down by what other people think of you is crazy! Half the time, the people who are sharing these opinions are complete failures and are projecting their wants, needs, failures and desires onto you. They are hoping they can live vicariously through your life because their life sucks.

The only opinion that matters is yours. If you believe you can do the impossible, then you will.


7. You don’t need education or permission — they’re both optional.

A colleague asked me the other day if she should do a course in social media to get a job in the field. I told her “Screw that and build a presence online which will demonstrate your ability.”

I also told her “There’s a bunch of podcasts that you can listen to for free that don’t ever require you to do anything other than listening. Then all it comes down is picking the people who’ve already crushed it and following their strategies — seeing as they’re proven.”

You don’t need education to achieve your goals. You also don’t need anybody’s permission. If no one will hire you to build their website, then start your own company and generate business for yourself.

“Whatever you do, don’t waste time seeking approval. This habit comes out of overthinking, laziness or lack of execution”


8. You never want to have regrets.

There have been several studies conducted of what people dying think before they pass away. Uniformly, the vast majority have regrets about things they didn’t get to do.

When you realize that there are no barriers and you should just try everything that your heart desires (well maybe not drugs), you live a life of no regrets.

You experience life for the miracle that it is. If you like to travel then go do it. If you want a career in a certain field, then go do it. The strategies, resources, people, etc. will find their way into your life when you commit to taking action and not having regrets.


9. The human experience is full of suffering. Time to master it.

In some ways, you could describe our lives as torture. From day one, we’re going to suffer — guaranteed. On the other hand, suffering is only torture when you allow yourself to suffer.

When you see suffering as a necessity and you learn to use it to your advantage, that same suffering becomes fuel for your goals and dreams. All of a sudden, when suffering enters your life, you know what to do with it.

Suffering is part of the struggle which will help you do wonderful things in this world.


10. Quit wasting your time and throwing it down the toilet.

Pissing your time up against the wall doing useless activities rather than pursuing your passion(s) is the dumbest thing you can do. All of the things you want to achieve and haven’t yet can be done in the time you waste.

You think you don’t have time to write, make music, train for a sport but you do. You have just as much time as I do so why not use it to do the activities that will make you feel a sense of accomplishment?


11. Create value ahead of everything else.

That’s why I have no payment walls, masterminds or courses. When you create massive value for free, everything you need comes at you at 100 miles an hour.

The question is whether you’ll help other people get what they need so you can get what you need.

You’ll never have to worry about money again when you focus on creating the most value you can and growing through personal development.


12. Gratitude is a bloody superpower!

Ever since I started keeping a gratitude journal, I’ve learned to see so much good in the world. Even on days when I hit a major crisis, on the outskirts of that crisis is still so much good.

Gratitude is how you turn the balance of thoughts in your mind from negative to positive. This will never happen by default, so you have to make it a habit to deliberately be grateful every single day.


13. Hate to break it to you; money won’t make you happy.

I know what it’s like to have more money than you can spend. It means nothing. Sorry.

Deep down you know money won’t make you happy, yet you chase it because everyone else on the hamster wheel is doing the same.

The harsh truth is that meaning and purpose (which sound corny) are far more powerful than money will ever be.

We’re all chasing feelings, not money. You don’t want the money you want the feeling you get when you have it and buy stuff with it. Meaning and purpose give you even better feelings and they are free.

The most depressed I’ve ever been in my life is when I was rich in financial terms and poor in my own mind.

Everything changed when I found a purpose bigger than myself.

The exact same opportunity is available to you. Will you take it? Will you accept this harsh truth?


14. Be you and stop being an actor.

The right people will be attracted into your life when you quit being a Hollywood actor and pretending you don’t have problems and that life is like spending every day in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory licking lollipops and having Oompa Loompas serve you everything you could ever want.

The word “actor” is what I use to describe someone who’s not being vulnerable, authentic and real with everybody.

Telling people you’re not okay is fine. Asking for help is the greatest gift you can have in times of pain and suffering.

If you’re hiding the real you because you’re ashamed of who you are then know this: you can always become the person you’ve dreamt of being. It takes discipline, courage and a sense of fight to grow, adapt and admit when you’re wrong.

Accept where you are and move mountains to get where you know you can be in the future. We’re all capable of so much more than our current circumstances.


15. The only currency is time (Apologies crypto traders)

Quit trading time for money, distractions, toxic friends, bad habits and anything else you know is not serving what you stand for. Time is the one thing you can’t get more of. Time lets you work on those passions that send shivers down your spine.

Guard your time like you guard your life. Protect your time and spend it on things that will cause you to help others, live without regrets and be passionate.


16. Some people dream and others just execute. Do the later.

We’ve all got hopes and dreams but how many people do you know who actually do what they dream of. The answer is very few. That’s because dreaming is like an orgasm: it feels amazing.

“Dreaming has become a form of masturbation and it doesn’t lead to anything meaningful. Execution separates those people you deem to be successful from those people you deem to be mediocre, or worse yet, failures”

Execution is about not having all the answers and putting in the work. It’s spending five hours writing a blog post or doing a hundred laps of the running track to get your fitness level up.

We all want to become the best in our field but that will only happen if you experiment like crazy, learn, grow and continue executing.

You’ll gain the skills you need by executing and learning what doesn’t work. Please quit dreaming and start believing through executing.


17. Trying to meet society’s idea of success is a loser’s game.

What you see on the Internet as success is a lie. Success is whatever you make it and it varies to some degree for each and every person.

Most of what society thinks is success is built on outdated ideas.

For us millennials, our idea of success stems from our parents who value home ownership, cars, university and stuff that doesn’t align with who we are.

We have this inner conflict because we want to chase our own version of success, but then we lose society’s acceptance because we don’t fit the criteria of the majority.

Screw the majority. Following the herd is not how you become extraordinary: being you is.


18. Perfection doesn’t exist and never will.

Perfection is the belief that there’s some Havana where nothing goes wrong. Perfection ignores failure, mistakes, a growth mindset and an unrealistic view of reality.

“We’re all incredibly imperfect and that’s what makes us human and truly beautiful beyond what the eye can see. Perfection is a joke and that’s the harsh truth”


19. We’re all going to die. The End.

The clock is ticking amigo. Stop reading this article and use the time you have left to create a legacy that’s bigger than you could ever dream of. Inspire the world through your gifts, take care of your family and come to terms with the fact you’ll have to say goodbye one day.

Death is guaranteed for all of us. It’s the only certainty we have and it’s the only motivation you will ever need.

Originally posted on Addicted2Success.com


Call To Action

Things You Need To Do After a Failure

3 Things You Need To Do After a Failure

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” — Winston Churchill

It’s no secret. At some point, everyone, including the most successful, fail. Things don’t go as planned and even the most intense effort feels as though it’s not enough. The disappointment can be crushing and disheartening in many ways.

While failure is unpleasant and uncomfortable, it is still not something you can avoid completely, so the best thing to do is to set yourself up to bounce back quicker. Conquering your fears isn’t easy, but why stay the same when you have the opportunity to discover a new perspective? Use your experiences to your advantage.

1. Note what you learned

Failure is life’s best teacher. Don’t waste more time and effort making the same mistakes. Ask yourself what you have learned from your experience and what new insights you have gained from it. How will this affect your future decisions and actions?

Successful people keep moving forward. If they had given up early, how would they be successful today? Create your reality with what you have and make the most of it. The worst thing you can do now is nothing at all.

“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” — Michael Jordan

2. Evaluate your plan

What went wrong? Reflect on what you did and leave your emotions out of the picture. Fully assess your actions and plans objectively. Consider what you’ve planned and check it against what actually happened. Note what improvements you should consider and to what areas you should shift your focus. You don’t need immediate solutions — just know what places need improvement and wait until you can think of something better. Research further into where to direct your attention and spend more time on what needs to be changed. When you construct your next plan, incorporate these findings.

As you are creating your next plan of action, follow your steps as if you were someone else and collect feedback from others. Find your weaknesses, so you know where to focus and what to replace. Think of your plan as a war strategy in which knowing your strengths and weaknesses allows you place reinforcements wisely.

“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” — Henry Ford

3. Recognize that you’re only seeing short-term results

Your failures do not define you because as long as you keep trying, the low moment will soon become a distant memory. Success is not immediate and no one is entitled to it. You shouldn’t expect to become successful overnight. Continue pushing forward and set yourself up with a strong foundation for future success by learning what works best. If you keep trying, you will achieve it.

“A man can fail many times, but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.” — John Burroughs

Summary:

Success always follows many attempts and failures. Even the successful, famous people you admire didn’t fulfill their potential on their first try. For instance, Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Companyfailed the first two times he tried to start his own automobile company. The first time, his investor, William H. Murphy, a prominent Detroit businessman, lost faith in the project because of the time it was taking Ford to refine his design for consumers. Ford then tried again to repurpose his design, again convincing Murphy to believe and invest in it. This time, it was Ford who left the company, despite all of the money and time put into it, because he didn’t want Murphy’s people to interfere with his designs. Everyone wrote Ford off as incapable.

With a growing number of competitors emerging and much time wasted, no one expected Ford to succeed with his automobile. However, Ford soon found a new investor and was finally able to focus on his final product, now known as the Model A. Today, Ford is a household name, known as one of the biggest U.S.-based automobile manufacturers.

6-Word Sentence Will Give You Complete Freedom And High Performance

This 6-Word Sentence Will Give You Complete Freedom And High Performance

The worst possible advice is to “lower your expectations.”

Instead, it is far more powerful to:


“Expect everything and attach to nothing.”

— Carrie Campbell


The recent hit film, Molly’s Game, written and produced by Aaron Sorkin, is about the story of Molly Bloom.

She grew up in Colorado, moved to LA, and got mixed-up in the wrong crowd. Ultimately, she found herself hosting the highest paying private poker games in the world.

It’s a true story and totally worth learning about.

Molly couldn’t be stopped. Eventually, the FBI and many other organizations were out to stop her. But she was past her point of no return, fueled by “unsustainably high dopamine hits.”

Molly hosted private games and her clients were the richest and most famous people in the world. The biggest surprise was that these people were terribly unhappy. They were disconnected and had no “center of gravity.”

When you have all the money and fame in the world, everything can become numb — and you seek bigger and bigger thrills just to feel anything.

This is what Molly got sucked and absorbed into. Eventually, it all came crashing down. She was arrested, and lost everything — all of her money, friends, and reputation.

Complete Removal Of Ego

“Until you’ve lost your reputation, you never realize what a burden it was or what freedom really is.” — Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind

Once she lost everything, and had to face the cold hard truth that she’d made some horrible mistakes, she was free to become whoever she wanted to be.

Her low was so low that she became completely devoid of ego. She started going to 12-step programs and working relentlessly on herself.

She knew she was a mess. She owned-up to everything she did. Rather than seeking “unsustainable” dopamine hits, she realized that she needed to re-center and internalize her center of gravity.

She needed to learn to sit with the discomfort and boredom — rather than impulsively seeking any form of distraction she could find to numb and suppress the restlessness.

She eventually realized that she needed a personal re-branding. She decided that the best bet for re-invention would be to have a film made of her life.

After doing some research, she decided that Aaron Sorkin could do the best job. She then spent 4 months trying to get a meeting with Sorkin. That involved getting rejected over and over and over.

Yet, she didn’t experience any pain in all of that rejection. She was already leveled to the dust in humility. She had no ego left. She had lost BIG. She had lost everything. Her reputation was as bad as it could get. She was a felon who had shamed herself and her family.

She was willing to move forward because:

  • She had spent a considerable time clarifying and justifying her thesis: that a movie about her life could actually be a viable option
  • She followed intuition
  • She went for it with abandon
  • She stayed connected to herself, her center of gravity, and those around her who had her back
  • She didn’t let the noise get it (others will try to convince you not to pursue your dream because they don’t believe they could do it or because they believe you can succeed)

Eventually, she got the meeting with Sorkin. She pitched her idea. At the end of the meeting, Sorkin said, “I’ve never met someone so down on their luck and so sure of themselves.”

Bloom responded, “I have lost everything. I have nothing to lose. I have no ego. If you don’t want to do this project, that’s fine.”


How To Have Raw And Uninhibited Performance

Whether you worry about the outcome or not, everything will turn out okay. You might as well let go of the worry. In the realm of creativity, the moment you realize you can try and fail — and that everything will be okay — then you are free to create.

In an interview with Success Magazine, actor Jeremy Piven explained that as an actor, the only way to work is to go out and audition for specific roles.

The challenge most actors/actresses face is that they get in their own way. It doesn’t matter how much homework they’ve done. If they’re too tied to a specific result, they can’t be present in the moment. They can’t truly perform their art. They come off as desperate. They get in their own way. Their performance isn’t what it could have been.

Jeremy said that when he quit worrying about a specific result, he was able to be present during his auditions. He was able to be completely who he wanted to be. He wasn’t trying to be what he thought others wanted him to be. He performed his art.

If he didn’t get the gig, either they didn’t get it or it just wasn’t the right fit. So he moves on to the next. In this way, he’s able to get the jobs he’s supposed to have. He’s not just trying to get anything he can get.

According to Robert Kegan, Harvard Psychologist, the only way to truly experience the highest levels of transformation and “conscious evolution” is to detach from the need for specific outcomes.

THIS specific outcomes isn’t what matters. THIS outcome, regardless of what it is — win or lose — has no bearing on what you’re committed to doing and being. You’re fully committed and invested. You’ve already made the decision. And in your mind, you already know what you are. So THIS outcome doesn’t affect any of that.

You won’t be derailed by success nor defeat — as most people are. You’ve already made a decision. You’re committed to that decision. And you will move forward regardless of what happens here.

Expect Everything; Attach To Nothing

Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.” — Yoda

According to the “Expectancy Theory of Motivation,” three things must occur for a person to have high motivation for achieving their goals:

  • You must believe you can do what it takes to achieve your goal.
  • You must believe that you know how to achieve it (you have the proper methods).
  • Finally, you must believe that the rewards of the particular goal are personally meaningful.

Napoleon Hill put it this way, “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.”

If you believe you can do it, you probably can. Dan Sullivan has said, “The brain can only find what it’s looking for.” Most people assume something is impossible because that’s all their mental filter allows for. Ellen Langer said, “If something is presented as an accepted truth, alternative ways of thinking do not even come up for consideration.”

Yet, the common advice is to “lower your expectations,” in order to protect yourself from the pain of being let down.

Lowing your expectations is horrible advice.

The reason people are told to lower their expectations is because they don’t understand the power of confidence, commitment, and expectancy. They don’t realize, like Molly Bloom, that they could create the outcomes they wanted.

How did Bloom do it?

She internalized her center of gravity. She did the deep inner work of completely removing her ego. She faced all of her demons and faced the truth.

Then, she made a committed conclusion, removed all the external noise, and made it real. All of a sudden, she’s on the Ellen show and there’s a major motion picture about her life.

She could maintain inner security because she was completely detached from the outcomes.

She completely believed she would be successful. She could create the impossible. She expected to succeed — and her expectations and hopes were sky-high.

She wanted to work with the absolute best.

She held nothing back.

Yet, she was completely detached from every outcome. And in fact, that’s why she was able to pursue with such tenacity. The outcome didn’t really matter, and paradoxically she was internally resolved to make it happen.

This is freedom.

To expect the best and be completely detached from whatever happens.

Attachment to outcomes leads to being desperate and dissolving your personal values to get that outcome. You become unhealthily obsessed and can’t stay present.

When you know things will work out, and yet can be detached to whatever happens, you can live in congruence and integrity. If you succeed, you’re not defined by that success. If you fail, you’re not defined by that failure.

Your future is bigger and better than your past.

You’re constantly growing.

You’re aligned.

You’re clear.

You’re free.

Conclusion

If you attach to an outcome — whether a good or bad — you freeze your personality. The worst thing you can do for your success is get attached to what happened in the past.

  • Prior success defines you, and stops you from re-inventing yourself in the present.
  • Prior failure defines you, and stops you from taking bigger and bolder risks in the present.

Attach to people, absolutely.

But detach completely from outcomes.

Expect EVERYTHING. Raise your expectations. Surround yourself with people who expect the best. According to what psychologists call, “The Pygmalion Effect,” people rise or fall to the expectations of those around them.

The best thing you can do is surround yourself with people who hold you to a higher standard than you hold yourself.

Very few people want REAL accountability in their lives. I’ve watched it. It takes a considerable amount of persuasion to convince someone to make a change THEY WANT TO MAKE in their lives.

Most people resent accountability. They don’t want to be pushed. They don’t want high expectations.

They want lower and lowering expectations. Even when they pay someone to hold them accountable.

But if you want real growth — surround yourself with people who expect you to show up bigger than you’ve ever watched yourself show up. Surround yourself with people who see enormously more in you than you could ever see in yourself.

Expect success.

Attach to nothing.

Play.

Fail.

7 Reasons People Give Up on Their Goals Too Early  

Nicolas Cole Instagram

Too many people judge success by the day — which isn’t realistic, and here’s why.

They set a really big goal, usually something that combines the proficiency of multiple skill sets, each of which would take years to master. That goal is then tied to some sort of hope relating to external validation: “When I achieve thisthen everyone will respect me!” And finally, to top it all off, they vow to themselves to work relentlessly toward said goal, all without first examining their daily and questioning where in their busy schedule they are actually going to put pen to pad, brush to easel, nose to the grindstone and do the work required.

In short: they have failed before they’ve even begun.

Chances are, you are one of those people.

That’s because everyone on earth is “one of those people.” We all, no matter how goal oriented we proclaim ourselves to be, have a knack for expecting things of ourselves that are unrealistic.

The dream chasers take a statement like that and say, “You can’t stop me!” But even they fail to realize that their own success is not the result of brute force. Succeeding over the long term has far more to do with stepping back and subtracting distractions, rather than voraciously pushing forward. The latter is how you burn out.

All of that is really just the tip of the iceberg.

Here are the real reasons people give up on their goals far too early:

1. They want the outcome more than they want to obtain a skill.

How many people do you know that speak often of something prestigious they want to be, and yet never actually take the necessary steps in order to become that very thing?

A lot.

Human beings love to fall in love with the idea of something grand. We love the thought of being a famous tech entrepreneur, far more than we love sitting in a dark room for years on end learning how to code. And what happens when that first road block is reached? Failure is assumed and the whole path is given up entirely. Because knowledge and mastery over a skill wasn’t the driving force — the shiny reward at the end was.

2. They care too much about what people think (and fear judgment in failure).

Sabotage.

It’s what people do to avoid the fear of rejection. You see, by sabotaging yourself, you can see the failure coming ahead of time. You can prepare for it. You can make up a whole story about how it wasn’t your fault. And all of that is much safer than putting it all on the line and giving the world a front row seat.

People give up because they fear what other people will think if they fail.

3. They mistake failure for lessons learned.

The best goal-setters know that failure is nothing more than a lesson in disguise.

In fact, a quote I live by is, “Never mistakes, always lessons, forever masters.” This is the motto for the path of true mastery.

Those that give up on their goals, however, treat failure as a label. “I’ve failed,” they repeat to themselves over and over, entirely missing the opportunity right in front of their eyes.

It’s only a failure if you see it that way. To everyone else succeeding, it’s nothing more than a hard-earned lesson.

4. They would rather throw in the towel than pivot.

Find me one company that knew exactly what it was going to be in every way, shape, and form from the onset.

It doesn’t exist.

That’s because companies, brands, ideas, and visions are not stationary ships. They are not constructed at a table in advance and then brought to life in exact form. They evolve over time, they grow, they gather feedback and adjust.

People who give up on their goals stay entirely too attached to what their vision was at the onset, unwilling to compromise with the new information their journey has provided. They would rather chalk it all up as a failed venture than take what they’ve learned along the way, apply it, and allow their idea to change shape.

In short: they can’t let go of their original expectation.

5. They do not have the discipline to stick with their idea long enough to see it live.

Everybody wants to be “the idea guy” (or girl).

Everybody wants to walk into the room, listen for five minutes, shout out a crazy thought, and then drop the mic and leave. Very few people want to get in the weeds and bring that idea to life.

The reason is because being in the weeds is hard work. You have to get your hands dirty. You have to really, really know your stuff. You have to embrace the unknown every single day, and push forward regardless of what challenges arise.

Most of the time, people give up on their goals simply because they lack discipline. They can’t get themselves to see something through to the end, regardless of how small the project. They haven’t yet cultivated the habits required to work not just on the days they feel inspired, but the days they feel uninspired as well.

6. They get distracted by what someone else is doing.

Entrepreneurs are notorious for wanting to build the company someone else is building successfully.

In an analogy, people give up eating what’s on their plate because they want what they see on someone else’s. Especially when what you’re looking at appears to be an easier-to-execute business model (which it rarely, if ever, is), it can be so easy to be distracted.

What this leads to is a lack of patience, which encourages a lack of discipline, which only speeds up the process of your giving up.

7. They don’t believe in themselves enough.

And of course, the most overused but brutally true cliché known to man: the fastest route to abandoning your goals is a lack of self belief.

Mindset is everything, and without an iron clad and positive frame of mind, you will fail. That’s just the cold hard truth of it all. No matter how talented you are, no matter how many opportunities are handed to you on a silver platter, if you lack belief in yourself you will find a way to squander it all.

On the flip-side, those with a finely tuned mindset prepared to endure can and will see an idea through to its success. An average person with average skill sets but a persistent mind can make it past the finish line. A talented individual with no self belief cannot.

If any of the above resonate with you, I highly suggest you question how you can begin forming positive habits to shift its direction.

Success is yours for the taking.

This article originally appeared on Inc. Magazine.

20 Things Nobody Tells You About Growing Up

Life.

It’s a journey of twists and turns, peaks and valleys, mountains to climb and oceans to explore. Good times and bad times. Happy times and sad times. But always, life is a movement forward.

No matter where you are on the journey, in some way, you are continuing on — and that’s what makes it so magnificent.

What nobody ever tells you, though, when you are a wide-eyed child, are all the little things that come along with “growing up.” The things pull you down from your dreaming cloud and force you to plant your feet on the ground.

1. Most people are scared of imagination.

They’ve disconnected with their inner child. They don’t feel they are “creative.” They like things “just the way they are.”

2. Your dream doesn’t really matter to anyone else.

Some people might take interest. Some may support you in your quest. But at the end of the day, nobody cares, or will ever care about your dream as much as you.

3. Friends are relative to where you are in your life.

Most friends only stay for a period of time — usually in reference to your current interest. But when you move on, or your priorities change, so too do the majority of your friends.

4. Your potential increases with age.

As people get older, they tend to think that they can do less and less — when in reality, they should be able to do more and more, because they have had time to soak up more knowledge. Being great at something is a daily habit. You aren’t just “born” that way.

5. Spontaneity is the sister of creativity.

If all you do is follow the exact same routine every day, you will never leave yourself open to moments of sudden discovery. Do you remember how spontaneous you were as a child? Anything could happen, at any moment!

6. You forget the value of “touch” later on.

When was the last time you played in the rain?

When was the last time you sat on a sidewalk and looked closely at the cracks, the rocks, the dirt, the one weed growing between the concrete and the grass nearby.

Do that again.

You will feel so connected to the playfulness of life.

7. Most people don’t do what they love.

It’s true.

The “masses” are not the ones who live the lives they dreamed of living. And the reason is because they didn’t fight hard enough. They didn’t make it happen for themselves. And the older you get, and the more you look around, the easier it becomes to believe that you’ll end up the same.

Don’t fall for the trap.

8. Many stop reading after college.

Ask anyone you know the last good book they read, and I’ll bet most of them respond with, “Wow, I haven’t read a book in a long time.”

9. People talk more than they listen.

There is nothing more ridiculous to me than hearing two people talk “at” each other, neither one listening, but waiting for the other person to stop talking so they can start up again.

10. Creativity takes practice.

It’s funny how much we as a society praise and value creativity, and yet seem to do as much as we can to prohibit and control creative expression unless it is in some way profitable.

If you want to keep your creative muscle pumped and active, you have to practice it on your own.

11. “Success” is a relative term.

As kids, we’re taught to “reach for success.”

What does that really mean? Success to one person could mean the opposite for someone else.

Define your own Success.

12. You can’t change your parents.

A sad and difficult truth to face as you get older: You can’t change your parents.

They are who they are.

Whether they approve of what you do or not, at some point, no longer matters. Love them for bringing you into this world, and leave the rest at the door.

13. The only person you have to face in the morning is yourself.

When you’re younger, it feels like you have to please the entire world.

You don’t.

Do what makes you happy, and create the life you want to live for yourself. You’ll see someone you truly love staring back at you every morning if you can do that.

14. Nothing feels as good as something you do from the heart.

No amount of money or achievement or external validation will ever take the place of what you do out of pure love.

Follow your heart, and the rest will follow.

15. Your potential is directly correlated to how well you know yourself.

Those who know themselves and maximize their strengths are the ones who go where they want to go.

Those who don’t know themselves, and avoid the hard work of looking inward, live life by default. They lack the ability to create for themselves their own future.

16. Everyone who doubts you will always come back around.

That kid who used to bully you will come asking for a job.

The girl who didn’t want to date you will call you back once she sees where you’re headed. It always happens that way.

Just focus on you, stay true to what you believe in, and all the doubters will eventually come asking for help.

17. You are a reflection of the 5 people you spend the most time with.

Nobody creates themselves, by themselves.

We are all mirror images, sculpted through the reflections we see in other people. This isn’t a game you play by yourself. Work to be surrounded by those you wish to be like, and in time, you too will carry the very things you admire in them.

18. Beliefs are relative to what you pursue.

Wherever you are in life, and based on who is around you, and based on your current aspirations, those are the things that shape your beliefs.

Nobody explains, though, that “beliefs” then are not “fixed.” There is no “right and wrong.” It is all relative.

Find what works for you.

19. Anything can be a vice.

Be wary.

Again, there is no “right” and “wrong” as you get older. A coping mechanism to one could be a way to relax on a Sunday to another. Just remain aware of your habits and how you spend your time, and what habits start to increase in frequency — and then question where they are coming from in you and why you feel compelled to repeat them.

Never mistakes, always lessons.

As I said, know yourself.

20. Your purpose is to be YOU.

What is the meaning of life?

To be you, all of you, always, in everything you do — whatever that means to you. You are your own creator. You are your own evolving masterpiece.

Growing up is the realization that you are both the sculpture and the sculptor, the painter and the portrait. Paint yourself however you wish.

This article originally appeared on Inc Magazine.

Why people don’t achieve their personal goals?

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I’ve been thinking quite a bit about why I didn’t achieve some goals in the past and I realised a few things. I believe many of these reasons would be the same or similar for most of you as well (please comment below if you agree!)

  1. I achieve goals IF I’m asked to do them by someone important at work or at a university. So if a lecturer tells me to write a 5,000-word essay in 3 weeks, I’ll write a 5,000-word essay within 3 weeks. I asked for an extension a few times while studying my two degrees and working at the same time but an extension meant 3-7 additional days. No more. If I tell myself to write 2,000 words in 2 weeks sometimes it may take me 2 or 4 months!

I keep postponing my deadlines because they are MY deadlines. It’s kind of understandable. If I don’t perform well at work, I may lose my job and have no income for a while. If I don’t execute my own goals ‘nothing’ really happens … except that my well-being will probably decrease and I’ll feel like a failure. I’ll also complain about not being able to achieve my aims, and get all sorts of negative thoughts about not progressing much and staying at the same point of my personal growth for too long.

It’s quite disappointing that actually many of us don’t take our own personal objectives seriously enough. We don’t think of ourselves and our aims as priorities and complete them only when everything else is done. I must admit it’s difficult, especially for a working parent, to manage to do a lot when each day has only 24 hours but I’m confident that this can be improved. I don’t believe in making excuses because most people on the Earth DON’T have perfect conditions, resources and circumstances. Yet, some are more disciplined, consistent and perhaps stubborn, and are able to achieve what they want to and dream about!

  1. I’m too strict and I tend to expect too much from myself. I plan and want to do too many tasks in too short a time without thinking much about all the unpredictable things that can happen in life.

I’ve been impressed with writer Gretchen Rubin’s goal to blog 6 days a week. It’s actually a very challenging task, especially if you are a working parent. You may simply not feel well enough some days. Sometimes I don’t have any Me Time at all! HOWEVER, as with everything, I’ve learnt that there is actually a solution for such a problem! My friend (talented author Carol Browne – please see her blog here ) taught me that anyone can schedule their blog posts. How great is that!

I believe I can still expect QUITE a lot from myself but then I also need to:

be more self-disciplined,

try to work smarter and harder

and have a bit more flexible approach which means:

  • to review goals and action plans, e.g. on a weekly basis, think of ways of how to change them to make them work better
  • and try out more consistently various productivity tips.

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    3. Fear is another big factor. Consciously or sub-consciously I don’t always believe that I’m good enough, that I have enough knowledge or skills or qualifications to do something I enjoy doing. So yes, there is fear of not being able to do my goals to the standard that I want (perfectionism!). I wouldn’t say it aloud much but surely there is some fear of criticism and some days I  lack of confidence while working on my goals! It’s difficult to be highly motivated all the time especially when you don’t see progress quickly. Then you lose focus and try to find the reasons as to why your goals haven’t been achieved yet … But – everything worth doing takes time – they say.

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4. Most of the time I didn’t have an action plan at all, let alone a good one. The idea of writing down goals and steps/actions in the form of an action plan always sounded a bit ridiculous to me … BUT there has been a lot of research which proves that people who write their goals down and who have action plans are A LOT more likely to achieve their objectives.

5. Often I used to think I work hard on my goals but when I think about it now I can      see that I didn’t put enough effort in, or I stopped doing some of the tasks and taking action for days, weeks or even months (!) due to other commitments (work, family, taking care of the house). How can you achieve anything if you work in such an ineffective way?

Phew … It was really difficult to get to the bottom of the issue and to find out why I don’t achieve some of my personal goals. The answers aren’t always as straightforward as we think they may be. This didn’t feel like a very comfortable task but it’s definitely something that finally HAD TO be done in order for me to better myself and consider how I can achieve my goals in the coming year.