Archives For Positive thinking

Superman

“If you want to have more, you have to become more. Success is not something your pursue. What you pursue will elude you; it will elude you; it can be like trying to chase butterflies. Success is something you attract by the person you become. For things to improve, you have to improve. For things to get better, you have to get better. For things to change, you have to change. When you change, everything changes for you.”

– Jim Rohn

(This is post is an excerpt from my upcoming 30 day course coming out next week.)

When most people set a new goal they think, “Ok what do I need to do to get it?” They find the steps and just follow them. It’s natural to think that and it’s not a bad question. But it’s not the first question we should ask.

The question we should ask ourselves is “Who do I need to become?”

If you’ve never realized this, then this post will change how you achieve success.

When I learned this, I figured I would try it this way. I needed to stop doing it the way I had done it before, which was just finding out what I needed to do. My past efforts at change in all areas of my life all failed since college. On the outside, life may have seemed great, but on the inside I felt hollow.

I did what most people do, which was try and change my external world. If I did that, I figured I would change as a person on the inside.

Well…that strategy never worked out for me. This time I needed to take a different approach.

It turned out Jim Rohn’s words were the important to my current personal development success.

Before my goal was to make money to become financially independent. If I could do that, life would be great. I thought all my self-confidence, unhappiness, and motivation problems would go away.

I didn’t find success though for a long time. The reason I didn’t was because of ME. I didn’t become the type of person that would achieve the goal I wanted. I just tried to do step 1, step 2, step 3, etc.

I thought knowing how to do it was enough, but it wasn’t.

If you’ve been failing at changing your life and achieving your biggest goals in life, you need a new approach.

It’s all about us

No matter what it is we want to change, we’ll never achieve lasting change until WE change. Once WE improve, everything else around us will improve. When it comes to achieving our goals, remember it is not our goals that need to be worked on; it is US.

It is important to understand that we don’t get in life what we want; we get in life what we are. We will only achieve the level of success in our life that equals our level of self-worth.

Re-read these last two sentences so you really understand it.

But it’s natural tendency to look at the results and figure out why we didn’t get what we wanted, while giving little attention to the cause.

This time when I finally decided I was tired of how my life was, I looked to change myself from the inside out first. It wasn’t about writing down a list of goals (again), putting my head down, and focus on achieving it. I had to change first. I didn’t like the type of person I had become. I was pessimistic, didn’t take responsibility for my life, hated life, jealous, and frustrated cause I felt stuck.

My level of self-worth sucked. Yes I wanted to reach these big goals I had. Yes I wanted to change my life. But I didn’t truly believe I could achieve it. I still felt success was hopeless.

I needed to change myself FIRST, so I could have success. Not the other way around.

Let me give you an example of how I used to approach my goals. I’ve tried to make money online for so long. I’ve always loved how I could do work from anywhere. I spent a lot of time online so it interested me. I’ve joined courses that taught me how to do it. For example, I tried to set up niche websites and make money from Google ads. I followed the steps, worked hard to set it up, tweaked it, and waited to see what kind of results I would get. I didn’t get much. I quit that and move to the next get rich quick opportunity.

I had the steps I need to take to make money. The reason I never found success was because I didn’t change. I didn’t have the attributes that a successful online entrepreneur would possess.

With my mindset, I also believe I didn’t attract the type of opportunities that were right for me either. My mindset was get rich quick with as little work as possible. Guess what? That’s what I attracted because that’s what I was looking for.

I was the same old Benny trying to make money online with every new opportunity I came across.

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Lego Titanic

How are those big new plans you’ve decided for yourself working out for you so far? Still on the right path? Great. Losing some motivation? Oh no. Already quit? That’s not good.

Getting started is the easy part. We’ve started so many times to achieve goals or form a new habit. The hardest part is finishing what we’ve started. At the end of the year, are you going to be better off than you are now or getting ready to make the same New Year’s resolutions?

Here are ten ways to make sure you stick to your big goals for the year.

1. Don’t call them resolutions

A friend of mine posted on her Facebook that she has been doing really bad with her New Year’s resolution of cursing. In fact, she felt like she was cursing more than normal. I replied that she should have made a resolution to curse more, then she wouldn’t be cursing at all.

That’s how resolutions usually turn out. Whatever we set out to do, the opposite will happen, which is not the result we’re aiming for.

I stopped making resolutions a long time ago. Before I would make them and quit after a month like the 99%. I’m not a fan of the word anymore cause of how we treat resolutions. We treat them like crap. When I now hear people making resolutions, I view it as a feeble attempt making a change in their life.

A resolution is a decision to do something. That’s it. It’s just an idea in your mind to want to make a change. It sounds so weak. I wish we could all just decide to do something, and we’d do it forever. It doesn’t work that way though. We face challenges. We lose motivation. We give up.

So instead of calling them resolutions, call them goals and treat them as more than just a decision. There needs to be a plan of action and a way to ensure you don’t give up after the first month.

2. Accountability

One ways to stick with your goals is to make them public. When you tell others about what you intend to do, it puts pressure on you to keep working at it.

You could also find an accountability partner to check up on your progress once a week or bi-weekly. Do it over coffee, over Skype, the phone, or email. You could be each other’s accountability partner, which would be even better. Just go over what went well that week and what didn’t. Then state what you will achieve for that next week.

What’s the punishment for not doing it? You both could come up with a punishment or just knowing that you didn’t accomplish what you said you could can be punishment enough.

3. Put your money where your mouth is

Aren’t the two biggest motivating factors in life money and sex? I could be wrong, but both definitely make people do crazy things.

One way to make sure you follow through with your goals is to put some money on the line.

There are a couple ways you could do it.

Let’s say you have a goal of running four days a week for a minimum of thirty minutes each time. Set aside an amount of money that if you lost it, it wouldn’t be cool. Everyone has a different amount. Someone might not care about losing $50 bucks, while others will hate it.

Give someone you can trust (important) your money. Let’s say you give them $300. Set a time frame. Maybe you want to run for twelve weeks. So every week that you complete your goal, that trusted person will give you $25 back ($300/12 weeks = $25 each week). If you run less than four times (no excuses allowed) that person keeps $25. Then the next week you start over and it’ll end with you getting $25 or your friend keeping $25.

Most likely you’re going to have to be accountable to yourself. If you missed a day, sure you can lie and say you did it, but what’s the point in that? The whole point of putting money where your mouth is to get you to take action.

You can do this for anything goal or habit. Set a time frame, guidelines, and an amount of money.

Do it with a friend you trust! This is so important. If you don’t, your friend is going to spend the money you gave them and say they’ll pay you back as soon as they can, which means kiss it goodbye.

Also make sure you do it with a friend who’s going to support you and not try and try to sabotage your progress just so he/she can collect money. If all your friends are like that, then you need to find new friends.

Another way to do it is to give your friend a lump sum of money if you don’t do what you say you will do by a certain date. For example, if you don’t finish the first outline of your book by June 1st, you’ll give your friend $300. Be accountable for it by letting others know the plan.

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Recently wife and I were watching a show about a 625 pound woman (sneak peak in the video). She was a single mother of six who’s bad eating habits over many years led her to that weight.

She lives in Haiti and has been a prisoner in her own home for nearly twenty years. Her daughters do everything for her since she obviously can’t move.

She felt that gastric bypass surgery would save her, but it wasn’t that simple.

The show followed her journey as she tried to lose enough weight so a doctor would be comfortable enough to the surgery. He needed her at 500 pounds because at her current weight, too many risks were involved.

Another doctor worked with her to come up with a weight loss program. He really wanted her to succeed. He periodically came to the house to check up on her. He told her daughters to take turns preparing meals for her.

I thought she had everything she needed to succeed. She had cameras documenting her. I thought it would keep her accountable for her actions. She had a doctor checking up on her. She had another doctor waiting for her so he could do the surgery. I am assuming they were doing it for free or the show was paying for it.

Despite all these resources available to her, it was a struggle to lose the weight.

As I was watching the show I felt her journey was the same as many of us who are or have felt stuck in life. We aren’t 600 pounds and trapped at home on the outside, but we do feel like that on the inside. So many years of doubt, failures, poor choices, and lack of inaction have made us feel like we’re stuck in life and don’t know how to change.

We want a new life. We want freedom. Her freedom was to just be able to walk and feel human again.

Because she eventually ballooned to 689 pounds and her life was in danger, her doctor found a surgeon who would perform the surgery. It was the last hope. The clock was ticking on her life.

She had the surgery and all was good right? Nope she didn’t want to stay in rehab after the surgery. She actually called an ambulance one night to pick her up from rehab. She got transported to the hospital where clearly nothing was wrong. She just didn’t want to be at rehab. They took her back to rehab anyways.

Sadly she passed away not too long after the surgery. The surgery came too late. Who knows if she got to 500 pounds and had the surgery if she would still be alive. The chances would be much higher though.

We were shocked that she died. Usually shows like this have a happy ending.

While watching it, I could see the old me making the same mistakes she was making. I wasn’t obese, but I tried for many years to turn my life around.

The reason I didn’t find change and always failed was why she couldn’t lose the weight.

She wanted a quick fix

She felt like if she had the gastric bypass surgery, her life would change. She wanted the surgery right away. I don’t know too much about it, but I know it does shrink your stomach, making you feel fuller with less food.

However I do know that the surgery does not fix everything. To lose the weight after the surgery it still takes eating healthy and exercise. You can’t eat a large pizza, watch TV and expect the weight to melt off.

It takes time and effort. A lifetime of gaining weight doesn’t just all come off in months.

She needed to lose about 125 pounds just to qualify for the surgery. There was no quick fix to get there and for her it was a struggle.

At one point she actually gained weight over a four month period! The doctor wanted to know how that was possible if she was suppose to follow his diet program.

She said she used this powder she saw on TV and sprinkled it on her food. It was suppose to burn more calories or suppress your appetite. So she often ate her favorite Haitian food, sprinkled lots of that stuff, thinking she would be fine.

It’s a shame she fell for a product that sounded too good to be true, but it fit with her mindset of wanting instant results.

Instant gratification won

*It wasn’t a one time slip-up it was a systematic assassination of her weight loss program.*

That’s what her doctor said was the reason she couldn’t lose weight.

There were times when she ate only a bowl of oatmeal or whatever one of her daughters prepared. That’s great.

But there were also many times when the doctor came over to check on her when he would find a bottle of soda or some food item clearly not allowed. She would make some excuse why she had it. She told the cameras she was hungry and tired of eating bland food. At times she’d make her daughters feel guilty and they’d get her food she shouldn’t be eating.

One time she wanted fried foods and the daughters said no. She called the police to have her daughters kicked out of the house.

Also the daughters told the doctor when they weren’t home the mom would get neighbors to go buy her food. How did the neighbors get into the house? From her bedroom she would throw the key out the window and the neighbor would let themselves in.

I’m sure it felt good to eat her favorite foods, but it moved her further and further away from her goal.

She didn’t want it badly enough

We think we just need enough willpower and we can achieve anything. Willpower is not enough.

It about digging deeper and finding why you want to do something.

She wanted to walk again and be able to be free. I felt that was enough motivation to lose weight. Her actions didn’t show it.

Even when she did have the gastric bypass surgery, she didn’t want to be in rehab where they were monitoring her diet and doing daily exercises in bed. She called an ambulance to take her out!

She would have rather satisfied her food cravings instead of imagining one day walking freely again with her daughters.

That’s just not trying hard enough to turn her life around. Wouldn’t the high risk of dying be enough to make a change? I guess not.

She didn’t believe she could

She never said she didn’t believe it, but I’m willing to guess she doubted herself because all the results we get in life start from our beliefs.

If we believe we will succeed, we will act in a way that aligns with our beliefs. If we believe we will fail, we’re going to not try hard, and have no confidence that it’s possible to succeed.

In that case, why bother right? Why even try if we will just fail? If we do try, we just barely try.

If our results come from our beliefs, her beliefs must have been it wasn’t possible to lose over 100 pounds. She believed she just needed gastric bypass surgery, yet didn’t realize she wasn’t going to get it unless she could get to 500 pounds.

Despite having resources around her to help, I think her belief that change was not possibly contributed to her not losing weight.

Don’t make the same mistakes

I’ve made these same mistakes. I know many others have as well. Making the same mistakes should be avoided when wanting to go from where you are now to where you want to be.

Her actions to create positive change didn’t work and it won’t for you. Here’s what you should do instead.

Change takes time

There are no quick fixes for the big aspirations you have. Money doesn’t grow on trees. Pigs don’t fly. There is no overnight success.

When you see others making a lot of money, losing a lot of weight, or in a place where they are finally happy in life, it took a lot work behind the scenes.

We live in a time when things get faster and faster like our computers, cars, planes, and fast food. We expect the same to happen with our results.

There is no quick fix. Yes you can do some hacking like Tim Ferris and get results quicker like being fluent in Spanish in three months, or increase your productivity by following the 80/20 rule, but you still have to do the work.

Enjoy the process and just focus on taking one step at a time. I know it’s cliched, but that’s what it takes to succeed.

You can’t hire people to do your pushups

Creating the change you want in life isn’t going to happen unless you do the work. Ask anyone who has had success. You can outsource the work, like I do with my iPhone apps, but you need to do the work to get it started.

You can hire the best performance coaches to help you on a weekly basis, but it’s up to you to take massive action.

Consistency will get you what you want

The doctor said it wasn’t one slip up, but a bunch of them that caused her to gain weight. It makes total sense. Consistent behavior over time will always give you the results you’ve created. It can be good or bad.

It’s not one large pizza that’s going to make you gain weight. You’ll hardly notice the next day. Instead it’s two pizzas a week for a year that makes your clothes feel a bit tighter.

So whatever you’re trying to achieve whether it’s losing weight, starting an online business, creating an app, or finding love, one screw up isn’t the end of the world.

You can still recover from it. It’s what you do the majority of the time that will determine your results.

When I trained for my first half marathon, I had to skip two or three running days. I just picked up with where I left off the next day. In the end missing a few days didn’t affect me finishing the race. I felt great when I finished.

Had I went from running six days a week, to four days a week, to only running two days a week, I would have been poorly prepared for the race.

I know the approach of slow and steady is hard because the actions we take won’t give us any visible results. Without seeing results, we believe what we’re doing isn’t working.

Believe in the power of compounding. One day all those little steps you take is going to turn into a huge leap in life.

Find your why

When we were a baby and we were just learning to walk, we fell a bunch. Yet we got up every time and kept on trying. With each passing day we got better and better.

Why didn’t we just give up and cry forever?

I bet our reason why we wanted to walk was so strong. We wanted to be able to run around the house. We wanted to move freely and not depend on our parents. We wanted to be like everyone else who could walk.

Of course we don’t remember that, but the same determination that we had to learn to walk is the same that can get you to achieve anything you want. We fell down and we got up.

If you want it badly enough, you will do whatever it takes. If it means eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to save money, not taking a vacation for five years to grow your business, skipping a nights out with friends to stay home and work, or whatever it is, you’re willing to make those sacrifices.

I’ll be honest at times I get frustrated with my progress. I push myself, but sometimes not hard enough. I feel like I’m not where I wanted to be by now. Sure I get thoughts of quitting when I get frustrated, but I remember my reasons why I’m doing what I’m doing. It reminds me to keep putting one foot in front of the other even though I don’t see any progress.

I know it’ll all pay off sooner than later.

Asking You

What mistakes have you made in the past that you’ve learned from?

If you’ve been able to create positive change, what helped you?

Please share in the comments below cause it’ll be helpful for others who seek guidance and advice!

 

 

Roadblock

You want to reach your potential in life. I know because you’re reading this blog. You wouldn’t be if you didn’t want to.

So we’re both alike in that we want to be more and do more in life.

That outcome doesn’t appear from thin air. Just hoping you’ll achieve it one day isn’t going to work. It’s an ongoing process of taking deliberate action and being aware of what you need to do and do it.

I was reading my monthly issue of Success magazine, which is one of my favorites, and there was a story about John C. Maxwell. You may or may not know him, but if you don’t, he’s a author, speaker, entrepreneur and leadership consultant. He’s sold 19 million copies of his books.

So the man know something about his area of expertise.

He mentioned these eight growth gaps that prevent people from reaching their potential. I related to all of them because I faced each one at one point in my life. I knew many of you could benefit from being aware of them.

If you’re not living up to your potential, see how many of these are holding you back.

If you’re feeling stuck and lost in life, it might be because of these reasons.

The Assumption Gap – “I assume that I will automatically grow.”

I nodded my head when I read that one because that’s what I used to believe.

I figured I could just keep on living my life the way I was, which was doing nothing, watching television, playing video games, eating anything I wanted, wasting hours on the internet, and wishing my life would change.

I thought growth would come automatically. Older and wiser right? With each year, I’d be closer to being the type of person I wanted to be. I just needed to be patient.

I’m sure that’s why it took till I was 32 to finally start to grow! I wish someone would have knocked some sense into me at an earlier age.

My wife tells me I’m such a different person than when I met her four years ago. (I’m not just talking about a little big heavier either.)

After we started dating, she got to really know me and understood a lot of the frustrations I had in life.

My wife has noticed I’ve grown up a lot and in a good way.

That growth finally came from being deliberate about wanting to make changes. I looked at the areas in my life I wanted to change and made the decision to take action.

Growth didn’t happen overnight. It’s been small changes consistently over time.

Have I slipped up along the way? Of course, I’m not perfect. Some bad habits went away, but now have come back. Overall, I’m still much better off than I was just two years ago.

So don’t assume change will automatically happen. You don’t grow by simply living. No one improves by accident.

If your life isn’t the way you want it to be, don’t believe for a second that by thinking the same thoughts and doing the same things will bring change in the future.

You must be 100% responsible for everything in your life. All your thoughts, choices, behaviors and actions. No pointing fingers or placing blame.

When you have that attitude, growth is in your control. You are not living life on auto-pilot like some people people do.

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Smile

Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”  ~ Abraham Lincoln

In the last post, I told you science has proven that our brains can be wired differently. It doesn’t happen by accident. Like Abe said, we can be as happy as we make make our minds to be.

Since we aren’t born optimistic, why do some people have beliefs that push them towards success while others have beliefs that only help them fail?

It comes from a mindset that develops over time. So where does this mindset come from? It comes from things that you can change starting today.

Your environment plays a role of breeding success or failure

It’s not where you live that’s the main factor. You could live in the suburbs or the ghetto.

It’s the effect the environment has on beliefs and dreams. How does it affect your mindset? If all you see is failure and hopelessness, it’s very hard for you to form the internal images that will nurture success.

If you grow up in an environment that provided examples of people who had overcome great odds to produce a happy life, you’ll believe it’s possible.

That’s why it’s important to take a closer look at the people you associate with the most. They have influence over you that you may not realize. If you’re surrounded by a bunch of lazy and whiny people, it’ll rub off on you.

If you surround yourself with positive and hard working people, guess how that is going to make you?

Think about the environment you’re in. Does it nurture you or bring you down? Do the five people you hang out with the most represent the type of person you aspire to be like?

Environment may be a big factor of fostering optimisim, but it’s not the only one. If it were, we’d live in a world where only the rich stay rich and the poor stay poor.

Small or big events can form the beliefs that change our lives

There are some events that we will never forget. Do you remember where you were on 9/11? I’m sure you know and will never forget. I still remember how I found out the news and my initial reaction when I turned on the TV. It shook our beliefs on how safe our country is from terrorism.

Most of us have experiences we will never forget. Experiences that had such an impact on us that they are permanently in our brains forever.

A grandmother lifted a car off her grandson and saved his life. That experience had such an impact on her that it changed her beliefs.

She didn’t like talking about the event because it challenged her beliefs about what she could and could not do. She said, “If I was able to do this when I didn’t think I could, what does that say about the rest of my life? Have I wasted it?”

The story has a happy ending. Because of that experience, she believed anything was possible for her. She went back to college, got her degree, and pursued her passion of teaching geology.

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The Statue of Liberty

Seeing her gave all immigrants optimism for their new life

Do you want to know the secret trait of every entrepreneur? I know you do.

I did too and since I read about it in an article, I realized it’s gotten me to this point right now and it’s going to take me wherever I want to go.

Okay so you’re ready? Here it is.

One of the qualities that is most helpful in an aspiring entrepreneur is optimism. Without it you would be foolish to attempt risk. Consider those before us who against the greatest odds managed to start and build successful businesses.

Just as there is no atheist in a foxhole, the writer states, there is no pessimist in a successful start-up.

As an entrepreneur, so many of us have great ideas for businesses, but it isn’t the fear of failure that’s stopping us. Instead it’s the lack of optimism.

Let’s take a closer look at being an optimist.

Being an optimist

According to Webster, the definition of optimism is an inclination to put the most favorable construction upon actions and events or to anticipate the best possible outcome.

Why is it important to be an optimist?

As you taken in what’s happening in your life, it’s best to interpret the information and events with an optimistic mind-set, viewing what you see, hear and experience as more positive than negative. It’s seeing the glass as half full.

Being an optimist means that you view things in a good light and remain hopefully confident that things will turn out well for you.

When bad things happen, optimisim helps keeps things in perspective.

That’s why optimist view negative situations as temporary and something that can be handled or resolved.

Pessimists think it’s the end of the world.

Optimist don’t just sit around with a huge smile on their face, pretend everything is great, and use the power of positive thinking to make bad situations go away.

In fact, optimists are more likely to take action to address the problem than pessimists are.

Why?

Pessimits think that the problem can’t be resolved! There’s no solution. They see negative events and experiences as things that cannot be controlled or stopped so why even bother taking action to resolve it.

Optimists do something about it. There’s always a way. Because they have that attitude, optimists general have found to be happier, live longer, handle situations better, have better relationsips, and live healthier lifestyles.

Which came first? Optimism or success?

Chicken

You might think “Well I’ll be an optimist when I’m successful and living the life I have always dreamt of. Till then, it’s hard to be an optimist when my life sucks.”

WRONG

Think about someone successful you look up to. Do you think they got there because they are optimists? Or do you think they’re optimist because they’re successful?

I think it’s the former.

Did Michael Jordan come into the NBA with doubts of his abilities? No. Failure wasn’t an option for him. He wanted to be the greatest of all time.

The London Summer Olympics are this summer. What type of attitude do you think have gone through the athletes’ minds while training? They envision themselves as the best. Training hard isn’t enough. Anyone can do that.

There has to be optimism. Often times in sports, the mental edge is what separates the great from the good.

It’s the same in business and in life.

If you believe in success, you’ll be empowered to achieve it.

If you believe in failure, those messages will tend to lead you to experience that as well.

Which one will you choose?

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