Archive for the ‘ Personal ’ Category

How To Have A Fulfilling Life

How To Have A Fulfilling Life


Remember, for the majority of your waking hours, you’ll be at work. That’s a lot of time to spend being miserable and/or surrounded by people whose company you don’t enjoy.

Is there a key to living a happy and fulfilling life? Science, it seems, says yes. According to the Harvard Grant Study, which followed several hundred American men — all of them white but of different backgrounds — over the course of 70 to 80 years, happiness isn’t achieved by material gain, professional success or the wielding of power, though those do, of course, matter. 

More important, says George Vaillant, who directed the study for over 30 years and recently published a book on it, is the sense of connectivity with other people: your relationships and love. According to Vaillant, the friendships and connections you make with other people ultimately matter more to your happiness, especially later in life, than amassing wealth. The old adage that “Money doesn’t buy happiness” is now officially sanctioned by science. 

Vaillant adds that being connected to your work also matters (again, to a degree — more so for some than others). But to a growing number of young entrepreneurs, happiness, professional satisfaction, relationships and financial stability are all part of the same package — and are all achievable. 

Some of them are at the forefront of what’s called the B-Corp movement: benefit corporations, companies that do good while making money, whether by donating a pair of glasses or shoes for every one sold retail, or selling better construction materials

Here are some people who decided that the best way to live life is on their terms, and the lessons you can learn from their success. 

Enjoy Whatever It Is You Are Doing

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s always worth emphasizing. Remember, for the majority of your waking hours, you’ll be at work. That’s a lot of time to spend being miserable and/or surrounded by people whose company you don’t enjoy. 

Jon Rose founded Waves for Water in 2009. The charity provides simple, cheap and easy-to-use water filters to people who, due to natural disasters or lack of infrastructure, don’t have access to clean water. It’s done using an unusual delivery system: footloose surfers. Rose recruits fellow surfers and asks them to bring the filters along with them as they travel the globe looking for waves to ride. 

And although surfing and surfers have certain peculiar lifestyle associations tagged to them, delivering water filters is an important job, with very serious real world consequences. But that hasn’t stopped the 35-year-old from having a good time. 

“I always like to bring everything back to center, to my driving force, my DNA, which is completely based around fun,” he says. “My dad used to ask me when I was a kid if I was having fun when I was doing something. If I said no, he’d say, ‘Then why are you doing it?’ I’ve never lost sight of this. Our entire mantra for W4W is, Go do what you love, and help along the way. So that’s exactly what we do — we go out into the world and follow our passion, and then we plug the purpose into that — not the other way around.” 


Be True to Your Yourself

Everyone knows the story of the scorpion and the frog, right? Aesop’s story about the scorpion stinging the frog, even though it means they both will drown, because the scorpion cannot fight its own nature? There are a couple of morals there, aside from not giving a lift to a scorpion. One is, your true nature will come out, one way or another, so it’s best you don’t fool yourself into thinking you’re something you’re not, even if you are making a lot of money doing it. If you want to give up an advertising career to pursue comics, for instance, you can do it; you’ll make a lot less money, but you may very well wind up being happy — and you might inspire someone else to do the same. 

Bill Watterson should know. The reclusive creator of Calvin and Hobbes, arguably the greatest newspaper comic strip in history, quit a lousy job as a graphic designer before he became a full-time comics artist. There’s a good chance you’ve read his inspiring quote that’s everywhere on social media these days, the one attached to a wonderfully drawn homage to Watterson by Australian illustrator Gavin Aung Than. It goes like this: “Creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your soul is a rare achievement. In a culture that relentlessly promotes avarice and excess as the good life, a person happy doing his own work is usually considered an eccentric, if not a subversive. Ambition is only understood if it’s to rise to the top of some imaginary ladder of success… To invent your own life’s meaning is not easy, but it’s still allowed, and I think you’ll be happier for the trouble.” 

Aung Than thinks the quote pretty much describes his life: He himself gave up an unsatisfying though lucrative job as a graphic designer to concentrate on his own personal projects. The point, though, isn’t that creative people are better people than suits — it’s that creative people will usually be unhappy if forced to adopt a suit’s values and lifestyle. 

Watterson is right. Creating the right life for you can be tough, but it is still allowed.

Passion Is Its Own Reward

If you really want to make a difference, be prepared to shed sweat and tears (probably not blood, though). For some, the desire to make life better for others makes their life harder. Take Steve Larosiliere of STOKED, a nonprofit that mentors at-risk youth through action sports like surfing and snowboarding. The 37-year-old took a big risk and, happily, it paid off — eventually. 

“When I first started, I made a lot of personal sacrifices,” he says.” I didn’t know anyone in the action sports industry and had no experience running a nonprofit. I personally went into debt, couch surfed and relied on mentors to guide me along the way. I wouldn’t change anything about my path; because of it I, too, feel like the young people that we serve.” 

Note that Larosiliere says he relied on mentors. So as well as providing the kindness of strangers, he benefited from it too. Mentoring can have an invaluable impact on people’s lives, both for the mentor and the protégé. Mentors build leadership and communication skills, learn new perspectives and enjoy the satisfaction of seeing a young person advance in his or her field. The protégé takes in benefits of experience, learns about the field, understands issues from different angles and builds a professional network. 


Take A Look Around

Who gets help? There are billions of people around the world who could benefit from a helping hand in one way or another, but sober realities — time, money, mortality, general lack of superpowers — ensure that help is better given by focusing on specific needs. So that means zeroing in on achievable, tangible goals. They don’t have to be modest — by all means, aim as high as you dare. But sharing inspiration and opportunity can be easier, more efficient and more rewarding by doing it close to home. 

Over at STATE Bags, 34-year-old Scot Tatelman realized that the best way to make a difference for underfunded communities was to go there and immerse himself in them. Thus the GiveBackPack program. Tatelman’s company donates one backpack to underprivileged kids for every one it sells retail, and does so by sending child-development specialists — usually young, hyper-energetic people — to schools to giving upbeat, fun, motivational speeches. 

There are billions of people around the world who could benefit from a helping hand in one way or another, but sober realities — time, money, mortality, general lack of superpowers — ensure that help is better given by focusing on specific needs.

“There is a genuine need right here in the States,” says Tatelman. “I try and engulf myself as much as I can in the neighborhoods so I am continually reminded as to why we do what we do… and why it’s essential to strive to do it differently.” 

He adds that his company doesn’t end its connection with the kids it helps after they drop off the bags. He thinks engaging with them, talking with them and being interested in their lives will inspire them long after the STATE PackMen (the child-development specialists) leave. “We are about more than just a material handout,” he says. They’re about “positive messaging and role-modeling as well.” 

Take It All In

Everybody needs a kick in the rear from time to time. Having the willingness to do something good for someone else is easy; the hard part is getting up the gumption to actually do it. All it took for Aran Dasan was quitting a boring technical job to pursue his passion of getting people to eat bugs. 

The 27-year-old Londoner behind ento, a company that is pushing insect-based cuisine on an unsuspecting Western palate, wants us to change the way we eat to something more sustainable and healthy. As anyone interested in eating insects will tell you, a lot of them are chock full of protein, low in fat and cholesterol, and a good source of nutrients like omega-3. He argues that insects are also a far more efficient way of consuming protein per pound and take up for less arable land to cultivate. 

But what Aran and his co-founders did was look at edible insect production systemically — putting their engineering background to use to develop a sustainable method of harvesting food in a rapidly growing, and ever hungry, world. 

He says he actively seeks people whose energy and passion seep into him. He gets jazzed by “looking up my heroes — people that really inspire me, whose work I really enjoy, or who live life with a philosophy I admire (a lot of these people I enjoy having as friends). Whenever I’m in a rut, or need a change in general, I talk to these people, and get excited about projects, plans and life again.” 

But Dasan also adds that he likes to be the one inspiring other people, too. Whether it’s by having the drive to take a concept that might repel most people and running with it, or by simply being a good friend, the choices we make and the things we do have a ripple effect on the people around us. So even if your choices don’t lead to immediate tangible benefits, be aware that what you are doing is not going unnoticed.

Care About Others, But Don’t Forget To Care About Yourself

Giving back is good. But, like a tired parent, even the best givers need a break. Q-Mars Imandel is an expert on investing in yourself, despite his young age (29). Although he runs The GIVE Project, a small organization in L.A. that does raw- and natural-food-related good deeds like giving the homeless fresh juice, Imandel says that by living the life you want, the life that you envisioned for yourself and feel is your destiny, you set the example and inspire others to do the same.

Imandel writes in an email, “One time I posted a YouTube video about ‘Investing in YOU,’ sharing about how important it is to not only invest in business, real estate and other financial avenues… but also to invest in YOURSELF by doing things that feel good to you and make you feel like you are caring for yourself. This could be a massage every week, going horseback riding regularly or anything that makes you feel good.”

Imandel says that by living the life you want, the life that you envisioned for yourself and feel is your destiny, you set the example and inspire others to do the same.

It makes sense: Who’d take advice, or anything else, from people who are always crabby because they spend all their time thinking of other people? Treat yourself right, and others may want to treat themselves right, too.

Change Is (Almost) Always Good

On a planet with a growing population and dwindling resources, everyone from local governments to international agencies are worrying about access to vital, life-sustaining necessities like food and water, and how to share them properly. One movement that’s been gaining traction over the past decade or so is that of rooftop farming — growing sustainable, healthy food right in the heart of the city, and selling them in large (-ish) quantities.

One of the more successful entrepreneurs who got into the rooftop gardening game in a big way is Montreal’s Mohamed Hage. The 32-year-old’s Lufa Farms opened its first commercial rooftop greenhouse in 2011 and is committed to growing urban farming as a large-scale supplement to traditional factory farming. All its food is organically grown, produced locally and pesticide-free, and uses recycled and rainwater to avoid overtaxing the city’s water system. By moving away from traditional industrial growing techniques, he says Lufa is “rethinking the food chain.”

It’s a pretty bold rethink of the way we consume, but Hage believes that’s the point: We have to adapt to changing circumstances. It’s not a new concept, but it is a powerful one if you approach it with the right frame of mind. “I think of change as evolution that we can directly affect,” he says. “I believe that we need to constantly strive to make our lives better. Every day is an opportunity to advance.”


11 Extremely Successful People Share Their Best Productivity Hacks

11 Extremely Successful People Share Their Best Productivity Hacks

Virgin Group Chairman Richard Branson

Most of us have had those days when we’ve come in to work, been confronted by a massive to-do list, and had no idea how to get it all accomplished.

For people running large organizations, that can be the case nearly every day. Many manage the chaos with a variety of techniques and hacks that increase their effectiveness and reduce their workloads.

LinkedIn asked more than 60 of its influencers to share the best productivity hack they’ve developed. We’ve broken out a few of our favorites.

Virgin Group Chairman Richard Branson: Take care of your eyes. 

“One of the things that helped improve my productivity more than anything was right in front of my eyes all along: it was my glasses.

“… While some people have 20/20 vision, and many people will have differing eyesight that can be helped in different ways, concentrating on your eyesight can help you be far more productive.

“As so many of us spend hours glued to our mobile, laptop or tablet screens, if you aren’t careful you can damage your creativity as well as your eyes. By resting your eyes from the screen you can also relax your mind and create the space to come up with new ideas.”

Warby Parker CEO Neil Blumenthal: Skillful delegation is the most powerful productivity hack.

“Being productive is not about the sheer quantity of stuff you get done — it’s about maximizing your effectiveness. That’s why the ultimate productivity boost is delegation. Delegation is about creating high-functioning teams by dividing and conquering — but in order to conquer, it’s critical to divide thoughtfully.”

GE CMO Beth Comstock: Create a Venn diagram for how you use your time.

“Almost everyone remembers Venn diagrams, those circles with the shaded areas where they overlap. For me, they’re more than a throwback to high school; they’re the key to how I can make the best use of my time. When I think of my schedule, I picture three interlocking circles: what I love to do, what I have to do and what I hate to do. My creative challenge is finding the intersection between what I have to do and what I love to do. And turning the hate to do into something more tolerable (especially when it can’t be outsourced).

“… A few years ago, my boss, GE CEO Jeff Immelt, told me that he controls his calendar very strategically, so I thought I would do well to follow. I call it my weekly workout with my calendar. It’s how I align to the Venn.”

Kabam CEO Kevin Chou: Hold stand-up meetings every day.

“The productivity hack I’d like to discuss is not one that increases my personal productivity, but my team’s productivity. As a CEO, my focus is on ensuring a much broader set of people beyond me can make the most productive use of time. I think this holds true for anyone that manages or influences other people, and I hope this advice will be helpful to you. My best productivity hack is this: I hold daily stand-ups for my direct team every morning at 9:15 a.m. that lasts for about 10 minutes.

“Our daily stand-ups are like a football huddle, in which the team quickly discusses execution and roadblocks. It’s not meant to be the in-depth Monday after game discussion that is deep in strategy or a business review. The goal is to simply make sure everyone is making the best use of their time for the next 24 hours.”

Bloomberg News editor-at-large Tom Keene: Read more by reading less.

“There are things to read cover to cover. I read Meghnad Desai’s “Marx’s Revenge” cover-to-cover. I am reading every word of The McKinsey Global Institute’s QE and Ultra-low Interest Rates: Distributional Effects and Risks.

“But for most reading the great hack is to cut the paragraphs by two-thirds. Call it a planned and highly practiced skim. It can be as simple as take in the top, pound through a part of the next several paragraphs then, and this takes nothing but a practiced eye, find the author’s key idea. Longer pieces may have more than a few key ideas…a 20-page report may take about 7 pages of reading. And, always search for the single chart that floats your Euclidian boat. With opinion pieces, always read the top then the last two paragraphs in search of the author’s main point.”

Former Bank of America executive Sallie Krawcheck: You get the most work done when everyone else is sleeping.

“When I was in corporate America, I tried for awhile to schedule no meetings on a couple of Fridays every month, thereby giving myself the luxury of blocks of time to think. It worked … sort of. But I had one significant problem: email. Some people can ignore email, but I have never formed the discipline of not checking email repeatedly and obsessively during the course of the day.

“So now I work when others sleep.

“I am never more productive than at 4 a.m. I brew a cup of coffee, I keep the lights pretty low, I sometimes light a fire in the fireplace, and I let my daughter’s cat sleep next to my computer. My mind is clear, not yet caught up in the multiple internal conversations that we all conduct with ourselves once we gear up for our first meeting of the day.”

New York Magazine writer Kevin Roose: Turn your computer into a typewriter when you need to get real work done.

“A few years ago, I bought a vintage typewriter at a flea market, hoping that it would make me more productive. I was halfway through my latest book, and I was sick of getting distracted by emails, Facebook messages, and Twitter notifications while slogging through a particularly tough part of the manuscript.

“A day later, I’d given up. I liked the old-timey feel of the typewriter’s keys, and I was more focused without the diversions my iMac offered. But typewriters are slow, and I was spending far too much time typing over errors, aligning sheets of paper, and hitting the carriage return. I missed my computer’s speed, its automated spell-check, and the ability to manipulate and move around large chunks of text with ease.”

Roose instead uses Freedom, an app which lets you shut off internet connectivity for a set period of time, and full screen view in Microsoft Word to effectively turn his computer into a typewriter.

BP Capital Management Chairman T. Boone Pickens: Actually talk to the people at your company.

“Want to work smarter in 2014? Try talking to people. Not tweeting them or texting them but good, old-fashioned conversation.

“Talking generates ideas, and it makes companies – and individuals – grow. Our public affairs director, Jay Rosser, tells me I would have been a good reporter. I work a beat constantly. I like to walk into people’s offices and hear what they’ve got to say. I want to know what my people are hearing, reading, and thinking. If they aren’t talking to me, I’ll reach out and ask them. And they know that I listen.”

Asana CEO Justin Rosenberg: Figure out the reason you’re procrastinating.

“I procrastinate. But it’s not because I’m lazy. I procrastinate because something about my highest-priority task makes me subtly (or not-so-subtly) uncomfortable. Fortunately, I’ve found an indispensable three-step process for reliably moving from procrastination to action: (1) face whatever I’m putting off, (2) be honest with myself or a friend about why it’s uncomfortable, and (3) identify one easeful next step.”

Bloomberg anchor and editor-at-large Trish Regan: Always get the airline app. 

“Travel apps make a serious difference — I’d estimate that they save me, on average, at least 40 minutes per trip — and, perhaps most importantly, a lot of stress. You can check in while still in the car, you don’t need to print a boarding pass, and perhaps most importantly, the app saves you from getting frustrated with those ticket machines at the airport that always promise to read your credit card but never actually can.

“I was recently on a return trip home from London and as I surveyed the masses of people at Heathrow airport and counted the number of people waiting in line to print their boarding passes, I thought, thank god for technology. So, why aren’t more people embracing it? Why is anyone with a phone waiting in line to print a boarding pass?”

Venture Capitalist Brad Feld: Eliminate business travel.

“For the past 20 years I’ve traveled 75% of the time during the week. The companies I’ve invested in are distributed around the U.S., in Boston, New York, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Austin, Kansas City, and a few other places.

“Last June I quit. Cold turkey. No more travel. I simply cancelled all of my upcoming trips and declared myself a no-fly zone through the end of 2013.

“… For seven months I got up and went to sleep in my own bed, next to my wife Amy with our dog Brooks at the foot of our bed. I didn’t experience the stale smell of an airplane a single time. I didn’t have any delayed or missed flights. A TSA person didn’t feel me in any inappropriate places. I didn’t have grab an imitation candy bar, disguised as an energy bar, a single time.”

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Why The First Step To Succeeding In Anything Is Saying ‘Yes’

Read this and thought it was interesting , but funnily enough I just watched ‘Yes Man ‘ and it was the same kind of concept . Worth a try for some individuals .

Why The First Step To Succeeding In Anything Is Saying ‘Yes’

Paul HudsonJan 18, 2014 – 1:36pm

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Every mark of success originates in the same way: answering a question with “yes.” We are presented with opportunities every single day. Whether or not we choose to accept those opportunities and act upon them is a different story. Most people will complain that they never get a break, that things never just fall into their lap, like they seem to for everyone else.

The thing is, nothing just “falls” into anyone’s lap. In order to encounter an opportunity, you must seek it out. There are two steps to attracting opportunities: The first step is to find and recognize an opportunity when one presents itself, and the second is to say “yes.” If you don’t say yes and take proactive action, you’ll never get anywhere in life.

Opportunities come in the form of persons. It’s not like your dream job will come knocking on your door; dreams don’t have fists. Only people can present you with opportunities. For this reason, we have to maximize the efficiency of our interactions with other people. You will need to meet new people because new people are much more likely to present you with opportunities than the people you come across on a regular basis.

Sure, the people you know may present you with opportunities from time to time, but the fastest way to stumble upon fresh opportunity is to expand your network. Before you go out and start introducing yourself to every person you meet — which may actually be quite fun — I recommend talking to the right people.

What makes someone the right person to approach depends on the type of opportunity you are looking for. If you are looking for a job in a certain field — say, the medical field — then you’d be best off going to places and events where you can mingle with doctors.

If you are looking for a relationship, go to places where you are most likely to find single people also looking to be in a relationship — Google it and you’ll find more than enough places to meet your future husband. Go to places that focus on the things you enjoy, like museums, bookstores, clothing stores, the park…

You are most likely to land the right opportunity going to places where you’re most likely to find good opportunities. Why do you think people go to Ivy League schools? It’s not for the education; it’s for the networking.

Recognizing an opportunity is not as simple as it sounds, unfortunately. It can be very difficult to figure out what is a great chance to make progress in your life or career and what is most likely a waste of time. It’s impossible to know what the future holds in any given circumstance, so trying to recognize an opportunity for what it is near impossible. The only thing you can do is give it your best guess. If you think something may lead to a great opportunity, then take the leap of faith and go after it. In order to do this, you have to do what many people find to be the most difficult step in finding opportunity: saying yes.

Opportunities aren’t so much found as they are created. You create the possibility for opportunity every time you say yes to a request. For example, I landed my job with Elite Daily because I said yes to a friend of mine when he asked me to go out for drinks. I ended up meeting a certain Mr. Cuffin, and then, a week later, I’m at the Elite Daily headquarters.

One year later and I’ve written several articles that have received hundreds of thousands of shares. Because I was given the opportunity to work with Elite, I was also able to introduce myself to the right people.

Now, I’m launching my own startup: lilHub. All of this opportunity presented itself and led to my success, only because I said yes. I said yes to something that did not present itself as an opportunity, at all; it was just a fun night out. If it weren’t for that one “yes,” you wouldn’t be reading this article and I wouldn’t be living my dream. I’ll be honest with you, my initial response was to say no and stay home; I needed a little convincing.

We will often say no instead of yes as a result of our fears or our laziness. No, we don’t want to go out because we’re too tired. No, we don’t want to quit our jobs and start our own company because we’re afraid we’ll fail. No, we don’t want to see her again because we’re not very good with commitment and she seems like a girl that we may end up falling for. It’s illogical. Of course, sometimes it is better to say no. Unfortunately, there’s no way of knowing until after the fact.

My advice is to say yes as often as you can in order to maximize the possibility of a great opportunity presenting itself. Only say no when you truly believe you will be better off saying no. You may not be right, but we literally can’t say yes to everything because we’ll spread ourselves too thin.

Eliminate These 8 Things From Your Daily Routine

Eliminate These 8 Things From Your Daily Routine

If you get decent value from making to-do lists, you’ll get huge returns — in productivity, in improved relationships, and in your personal well-being — from adding these items to your not to-do list:

Every day, make the commitment not to:

1. Check my phone while I’m talking to someone.

You’ve done it. You’ve played the, “Is that your phone? Oh, it must be mine,” game. You’ve tried the you-think-sly-but-actually-really-obvious downwards glance. You’ve done the, “Wait, let me answer this text…” thing.

Maybe you didn’t even say, “Wait.” You just stopped talking, stopped paying attention, and did it.

Want to stand out? Want to be that person everyone loves because they make you feel, when they’re talking to you, like you’re the most important person in the world?

Stop checking your phone. It doesn’t notice when you aren’t paying attention.

Other people? They notice.

And they care.

2. Multitask during a meeting.

The easiest way to be the smartest person in the room is to be the person who pays the most attention to the room.

You’ll be amazed by what you can learn, both about the topic of the meeting and about the people in the meeting if you stop multitasking and start paying close attention. You’ll flush out and understand hidden agendas, you’ll spot opportunities to build bridges, and you’ll find ways to make yourself indispensable to the people who matter.

It’s easy, because you’ll be the only one trying.

And you’ll be the only one succeeding on multiple levels.

3. Think about people who don’t make any difference in my life.

Trust me: The inhabitants of planet Kardashian are okay without you.

But your family, your friends, your employees–all the people that really matter to you–are not. Give them your time and attention.

They’re the ones who deserve it.

4. Use multiple notifications.

You don’t need to know the instant you get an email. Or a text. Or a tweet. Or anything else that pops up on your phone or computer.

If something is important enough for you to do, it’s important enough for you to do without interruptions. Focus totally on what you’re doing. Then, on a schedule you set–instead of a schedule you let everyone else set–play prairie dog and pop your head upto see what’s happening.

And then get right back to work. Focusing on what you are doing is a lot more important than focusing on other people might be doing.

They can wait. You, and what is truly important to you, cannot.

5. Let the past dictate the future.

Mistakes are valuable. Learn from them.

Then let them go.

Easier said than done? It all depends on your perspective. When something goes wrong, turn it into an opportunity to learn something you didn’t know–especially about yourself.

When something goes wrong for someone else, turn it into an opportunity to be gracious, forgiving, and understanding.

The past is just training. The past should definitely inform but in no way define you —unless you let it.

6. Wait until I’m sure I will succeed.

You can never feel sure you will succeed at something new, but you can always feel sure you are committed to giving something your best.

And you can always feel sure you will try again if you fail.

Stop waiting. You have a lot less to lose than you think, and everything to gain.

7. Talk behind someone’s back.

If only because being the focus of gossip sucks. (And so do the people who gossip.)

If you’ve talked to more than one person about something Joe is doing, wouldn’t everyone be better off if you stepped up and actually talked to Joe about it? And if it’s “not your place” to talk to Joe, it’s probably not your place to talk about Joe.

Spend your time on productive conversations. You’ll get a lot more done–and you’ll gain a lot more respect.

8. Say “yes” when I really mean “no.”

Refusing a request from colleagues, customers, or even friends is really hard. But rarely does saying no go as badly as you expect. Most people will understand, and if they don’t, should you care too much about what they think?

When you say no, at least you’ll only feel bad for a few moments. When you say yes to something you really don’t want to do you might feel bad for a long time — or at least as long as it takes you to do what you didn’t want to do in the first place.

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19 Hard Things You Need To Do To Be Successful

19 Hard Things You Need To Do To Be Successful

You have to do the hard things. 

  • You have to make the call you’re afraid to make.
  • You have to get up earlier than you want to get up.
  • You have to give more than you get in return right away.
  • You have to care more about others than they care about you.
  • You have to fight when you are already injured, bloody, and sore.
  • You have to feel unsure and insecure when playing it safe seems smarter.
  • You have to lead when no one else is following you yet.
  • You have to invest in yourself even though no one else is.
  • You have to look like a fool while you’re looking for answers you don’t have.
  • You have to grind out the details when it’s easier to shrug them off.
  • You have to deliver results when making excuses is an option.
  • You have to search for your own explanations even when you’re told to accept the “facts.”
  • You have to make mistakes and look like an idiot.
  • You have to try and fail and try again.
  • You have to run faster even though you’re out of breath.
  • You have to be kind to people who have been cruel to you.
  • You have to meet deadlines that are unreasonable and deliver results that are unparalleled.
  • You have to be accountable for your actions even when things go wrong.
  • You have to keep moving towards where you want to be no matter what’s in front of you.

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Why You Need To Cut Ties: If Your Friendships Aren’t Benefitting You, They’re Holding You Back

Interesting article , thought I would share .

Why You Need To Cut Ties: If Your Friendships Aren’t Benefitting You, They’re Holding You Back

Paul HudsonJan 13, 2014 – 3:15pm

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Relationships are essential to leading a happy life. In fact, one could make the argument that all that matters in life is our interaction with each other. Human interaction is necessary; our minds feed off it in order to function properly. In a sense, interaction is what makes us human; healthy, strong relationships teach us to be compassionate and to value life. For this reason, it is crucial we only allow ourselves to engage in good relationships, avoiding negative ones.

However, there is always more we can do to profit from our lives and our relationships. We can focus our energy only on beneficial relationships. Good relationships can be beneficial, but that isn’t always the case. Sometimes, what we consider a good relationship would be better referred to as a relationship that isn’t bad: It’s not exactly good, but it’s not bad, so it’s good by default. The majority of us have at least one or two of these “not bad” relationships. While it may not seem like a big deal to entertain such relationships, it is.

Those who are most present in our lives become significant in our lives, whether we wish for it or not. By simply being present and by our awareness of their presence, these people become a part of our lives, part of us. The brain doesn’t so much forget as it does misfile; all the people that you’ve ever met, those you’ve even just noticed, are floating around in that head of yours, affecting your thoughts in one way or another — at least on some occasions.

You won’t notice this, of course, but our memories become points on an intricate web of memories, which connects to full thoughts and later to actions. The more present a person is in our life, the more we interact with him or her, and the more we tend to think about this person. The more we think about him or her, the more he or she influences every other thought that goes on in our heads.

Of course, who’s to say that some poor, or even terrible, relationships don’t lead to great ideas and amazing results? However, seeing as positive relationships lead to a happier you, and since a happier you is a more efficient you, it would be wise to stick with beneficial relationships.

Beneficial relationships come in many shapes and sizes, but what it comes down to is whether or not the total benefit of each relationship has a positive or negative effect on your life. It’s simple math. Take out a piece of paper and list all the perks of being in any given relationship, as well as all the ways you are worse off because of the relationship.

If the difference is positive, the relationship may be worth keeping. The values you assign to each benefit and negative impact are completely up to you. It really depends on what you value the most. For some, relationships are completely about honesty and support; for other’s, it’s all about access to a rooftop pool and a 72-inch TV on game day.

Next, you can’t forget to adjust for the tradeoffs. There is only so much time in a day, and socializing takes up a lot of time. The busier you are with other things, the less time you have to spend on friends and lovers. If we wish to have the best lives we can possibly have, then we have no choice but to prioritize our relationships.

When it comes down to it, for every relationship you have, you are technically giving up the time that could have been occupied by another social interaction, another relationship. This is the tradeoff. Statistically speaking, you’ll be happier if you keep your “close” relationships to about five.

Once you start hitting double digits, each relationship you have begins to suffer because you simply don’t have enough time to maintain them. That’s something I should have mentioned earlier: Relationships require maintenance. But you already knew that.

Deciding which relationships you should keep requires some calculation and deep thought. Usually, relationships don’t need to be cut off entirely. It’s really more about spending time on the relationships that count and, most importantly, decapitating those that are destructive. Unfortunately, this is usually easier said than done.

Even more difficult than ending friendships is cutting off romantic relationships. Usually, the more poisonous these relationships are, the more we try to hang on to them and convince ourselves that they’re actually good for us. Getting your life together takes courage; no one is saying otherwise. It really comes down to how badly you want to reach your full potential, and how happy you’ll be getting there.

7 Ways To Start The Day


Interesting article might help a few people .

7 Ways To Start The Day

Some people find mornings filled with optimism, while others would just as soon stay in bed until the clock passes the noon hour. 

For most, however, the workday beckons and the morning is a mad rush to get everyone ready and out the door. By the time you reach the office, you’ve probably already dealt with the stress of family, weather, traffic and other distractions. Unless everything goes perfectly, you’ll carry all that stress into your office and share it throughout the day with your employees and colleagues.

Fear not,  it is possible to get the day started right, no matter what comes your way.  Try one of these tips each day of the week or combine them. Either way, you’ll start out on your terms and be prepared to make it a great day.

1. Plan the night before. Why start your day unorganized? If you organize your to-do-list, breakfast menu and your clothes the night before, you’ll wake up feeling in control and relaxed. Taking 20 minutes to lay out everything can save you a 30-minute fashion crisis or search for the car keys. With a little efficiency, you’ll save the frustration and scrambling, leaving you ready to tackle more important issues.

2. Try 15 minutes of meditation. Some might be afraid that a meditation session early in the morning could just put you back to sleep. But genuine meditation actually stimulates the brain in a deep and thoughtful way. It allows you to clear distractions from your mind and purge negative energy. Center yourself with thoughtful introspection or prayer and be open to the positive energy the world brings your way.

3.  Begin with inspirational reading. Part of my morning ritual easily allows for reading first thing. Many read the news, which can be a sad way to start the day. Buy a few books that are uplifting, inspiring, or even humorous for your first brain stimulus. This will give you positive, fun thoughts to keep you energized throughout the day.

4. Open your eyes to fresh flowers. If the first thing you see when you wake up is a dingy wall or barren winter yard, you can certainly improve those critical few minutes with a pleasing splash of color. Research suggests that exposure to bright colors in the early morning raises your spirits and energy. So pick up a pleasant bouquet every few days and set it right in your view.

5. Trade coffee for green tea. Coffee is a great stimulant, but sometimes it can over-stimulate and the acid can make your stomach uncomfortable. Try a soothing cup of green tea to start instead. You’ll still get the caffeine you crave (just a bit less), plus healthy antioxidants. It’s cheaper and healthier than a double caramel mochaccino, too. You can still get the java mid-morning if you want it, but you may find you don’t even need it since the crash won’t be as severe.

6. Do some yoga. Exercise is a great stimulant to wake you up, and make you feel good. It’s good for the body and pumping those endorphins makes your mind happy and alert.  Cardio is great, but for the whole body approach, add a little yoga into your routine. You’ll control your breath, stretch your muscles and generate energy. Your body and mind will be one and ready to conquer the world.

7. Schedule a hopeful appointment. I never feel more energized getting out of bed than when I have an important meeting about an exciting opportunity. The prospect of a fun and productive encounter usually wakes me with a smile and often without an alarm clock. I purposefully schedule as many meetings like this as possible. That way I get as many great days as I want.

Read more:

This is Why Productive People Always Wake Up So Early

This is Why Productive People Always Wake Up So Early

Successful people are very often early risers. From Churchill to Obama, from Branson to Darwin, all were known to rise with the morning sun. Whatever their motivations, they all reaped the benefits of putting their feet on the floor before the cock opened its beak.

“Mind over Mattress”

Robin Sharma

But why is rising early such a common trait? What is it about “Mind Over Mattress” that attracts so many famous and successful people to its clutches? Why do they drag their tired bodies to start the day super early when the rest of us are still dreaming?

The Winner’s Mindset

There is a sense of control acquired from beating the inner voice. If your mind wins the battle between victim and success, things start on a high note and usually only get better. Recognizing the voice is your best defense against him. When the alarm goes off and the voice tells you that you went to bed far too late to get up this early, or that five more minutes won’t hurt, DON’T LISTEN! Those who stay in bed won’t be competition for the big guys, but they will have to watch out for you. When you are in charge of the inner voice, there will be no stopping you.

More Time

If you were to get up just one hour earlier each morning you would gain 15 days in a year. Scary when you put it like that. How many days of our lives do we waste sleeping? I don’t know about you, but I have too much I want to achieve to waste my life in this way. If you are time deficient, sleep less. We only need six to seven hours a night. Any more is wasting life.

Get Active

The morning is a great time to exercise. It sets you up for the day with energy, focus, and enthusiasm. Some mornings when I come back from my new habit of running, I feel invincible. Stress has to work a lot harder to get hold of me, and all my relationships are happier and calmer. Exercising in the morning will make you more productive and contribute to making you more successful.

Quiet Time

With three boys in my house, I rarely find quiet time. If I want to meditate or do something undisturbed, I do it early morning. Rising early gives me the time to fit it in. You could also use this time to write, paint, or do something else creative.

Find Your Muse

Many early risers cite increased creativity and inspiration in the morning hours. Great works of art and novels got written in the early hours of the day. So if you have a masterpiece waiting to unfold, maybe rising an hour earlier might unlock the secret.

Time for Food

Breakfast is an important meal that we often neglect due to time constraints. Rushing to work with a bagel isn’t going to give you the energy or focus required to kick ass. By taking more time in the morning, you have have a healthier meal, which will make you more productive and effective.

One Step Ahead

The early risers are one step ahead of the crowd: calm, collected, and accomplished when everyone else is rushing to the office. The early bird has it under control. When you wake up early, you have more time for planning, strategic thinking, and getting organized. You will find you waste less time from being disorganized or making bad decisions. The added benefit of getting to the office first means fewer distractions from colleagues and getting done what you planned to get done.

5Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do

Something I been working on a lot more for the list but I thought I start with 5 :

  1. Give Up !

Obvious but its true , if you going to succeed personally / business then quitting is never an option . This is qhy goals are so important to help you through and give you strength .

  1. Looking backwards

Looking backwards and focusing on the now . Strong individuals focus on the present moment and on tomorrow .

  1. Stay in the comfort zone

The most dangerous place for success , as it never is found there . Pushing oneself out of the comfort zine will mean new success and experiences

  1. Read & discuss for peoples opinion .

Educating oneself with ideas a point of view through education of through discussion .

  1. Change /Adapt :

Every second the world changes and as such will never be the same again . So we need to as the saying goes ‘change and adapt to survive’


Tony Evans , Tokyo

11th January 2014

The Five People Who Determine Your Success

The Five People Who Determine Your Success


(Photo credit: Mashable)

Anyone who has accomplished anything of significance didn’t do it alone. Neither should you. Think about the five people you spend the most time with and answer this blindingly simple yet imperative question: Do they make you better?

If they don’t, the question then becomes: Who does makes you better?

Who’s In Your Top Five?

Below is how you identify your Top Five — or as I have often called them, your ‘Allies of Glory’These are the people with a unique set of skills and expertise who encourage you, inspire you, empower you, challenge you and push you to be the absolute best version of yourself.

A good way to look at this is like the starting five of a basketball team. Each player has a unique role to play. Here are the key positions for you to identify:

  1. Point Guard – The Facilitator. The point guard is the floor general. They see the big picture and support you in managing the flow of information. They’re good at knowing when you can speed things up or slow things down. In short, they can see things that you can’t.
  2. Shooting Guard – The Playmaker. The playmaker is the Molotov Cocktail. They light the scoreboard up. They are in the midst of making great things happen in their life and when you need a jolt of creativity, business brainstorming or a push, they are your person. They move fast and don’t have much patience for indecision. They remind you that if you miss a shot, just keep shooting.
  3. Small Forward – The Encourager. The role player is one of the most underestimated players on a team. They do the work that many don’t see and they don’t regularly show up in the post-game statistics. But when they’re around, you always seem to be at your best. During tough spells they support you with perspective and their never wavering commitment.
  4. Power Forward – The Bruiser. As much as you love your power forward, you may equally hate them. Their genius is holding you accountable to what you said you were going to do. If you tell them you’re writing a book, they’ll ask questions like, “When will it be finished?” They are metric-based and measure success by the progress you do or don’t make.
  5. Center – The Rock. This is the veteran. When all hell is breaking loose, they help you remember what’s most important. They make sure you don’t mistake the forest for the trees. They know that goals are great but sometimes we just lose sight of why we are doing whatever we are doing in the first place. You need them to keep you grounded and supported.

Spending time with top performers isn’t always easy. Why? Because they’re going to push your buttons. They’re not going to accept excuses. They’re going to make you do what you say. They’re going to get you outside of your comfort zone. The good news is that this positive friction is where growth, development and breakthroughs happen.

Your starting five aren’t always going to be your best friends. You may not even talk daily. But when it’s time to play ball, they will bring out the best in you every time. And sure, there will be talented players on the bench, who come in from time to time. But your starting five play a key role in determining your success or lack thereof.

Don’t be afraid to work with the best. Surround yourself with greatness.


Courtesy of YEC

Antonio Neves is an executive coach, speaker and award-winning business journalist. He’s the founder of the consultancy THINQACTION and the co-founder of international accelerator, The Ignition Lab.

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