If you have some larger than life goals you want to accomplish, it’s going to take more than determination to get you there—at least if you want to get there in the most efficient way possible. Thinking big is great, but if you don’t have a system for exactly how you see yourself crossing the finish line of your goals, you can expect some delays in getting there.

When faced with larger and more complex goals, it can be easy to get lost in the weeds along the way and wind up off track. That’s why utilizing a system that will keep you focused and steadily moving towards your goal is critical. One system, called the 4DX Method, helps you do just that. 

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Tony Robbins

The 4DX method is an execution methodology based on four critical components of execution: focus, leverage, engagement, and accountability. When used correctly, they allow you to find more clarity, sustainability, and momentum on the path towards your goals. This visual designed by CreditRepair outlines what you need to know to execute the 4DX method and apply it to your own goals, so you can stay on the fast track to success. Dream big!

how-to-prepare-for-retirement

Read more: addicted2success.com

I’ve spent hundreds of dollars on self-help books and seminars over the past three years. I’ve devoted thousands of hours reading blogs and listening to podcasts about personal growth and self-improvement with the goal of finding the answers that would “fix” me. After my divorce I became addicted to the idea that the answer to my happiness and healing was in a book, podcast or a blog. I kept waiting to read or hear that magic “Ah Ha” tip that would change my life forever.

“Hi, I’m Jasmine. And I’m a recovering self-improvement addict”.  When I was faced with several unexpected challenging transitions in my life, all in a very short period of time, I became compulsively consumed and obsessed with self-improvement and personal growth. Don’t get me wrong, some of the most powerful breakthroughs I have had in my personal growth have been due to a seminar I attended, a book I read or a life coach that I worked with. But it was as if I was never satisfied with what I read or heard, I wanted MORE MORE MORE!

What Is Self-Improvement?

Let’s start with talking about what self-improvement is. Self-improvement is wanting to improve upon your knowledge, thought patterns, or character by one’s own efforts. The goal is to reach a point where you no longer feel the need to improve yourself.

Comparable to nirvana. A transcendent state in which there is no longer desire. It’s as if some people strive to get a Self-Improvement PhD and life will be perfect. If you find yourself picking yourself apart and comparing yourself to others when you are reading self-help books, is that really helping? Can self-improvement be poisoning your mind?

“Things do not grow better; they remain as they are. It is we who grow better, by the changes we make in ourselves.” ― Swami Vivekananda

Can you be addicted to self-improvement?

The Webster Dictionary defines addiction as: A compulsive, chronic, physiological, or psychological need for a habit-forming substance, behavior, or activity having harmful, physical, psychological or social effects and typically causing well-defined symptoms (such as anxiety, irritability, tremors, or nausea) upon withdrawal.

When you think of an addict, you probably envision someone who is addicted to alcohol, drugs or sex; not a 40-something professional who is reading “Girl Wash Your Face” before she turns in for the night.

Placing importance on self-improvement doesn’t necessarily mean that you are addicted. When looking at whether or not there is an addiction, ask yourself this, do you keep repeating the same patterns and behaviors no matter how much you try to improve yourself?

According to Market Research, the self-improvement market in the United States was worth $9.9 billion in 2016 and is estimated to grow to $13.2 billion by 2022.

So, if it works so great, why are people constantly waiting for the next self-help best seller by Tony Robbins to be released or the next TED Talk by Brene Brown to go live? Wouldn’t you read one book, listen to one seminar and have achieved self-improvement nirvana?

The truth is that self-improvement, personal growth and self-care are all constant. That is why there are millions of book options and thousands of seminars with different approaches.

It is healthy to want to work on continuing to develop yourself, but do you ever take time to be in the present and appreciate who you are in that moment? Take a minute to process the tips and tools you have read and reflect on how you want to implement them into your life before you buy the next best seller.

I’m certainly not suggesting you should never purchase another self-help book again. But keep in mind, those books, blogs, podcasts or seminars, all they can do is give you ideas, suggestions and recommendations. It’s YOU that has to put all of it into motion.

Those tools are just someone else’s opinion on what you should do or they’ve done research on what “could” work for some people. They are just that, opinions.

If you have focused on self-improvement for quite some time and feel as if it may be taking over your life, I encourage you to take a break. In your efforts to continually improve, you can end up sending yourself the message that you are not enough, you are lacking, or that you are not worthy just as you are.

As you take time to slow down and look at all that you are trying to improve, it can be helpful to allow yourself to look at the ways you are succeeding in life and give yourself credit for even your baby steps.

“No matter who you are, no matter what you did, no matter where you’ve come from, you can always change, become a better version of yourself.” ― Madonna

Accepting Yourself Does Not Mean Complacency

Just as placing importance on self-improvement doesn’t mean you have an addiction; accepting yourself does not mean that you stop growing or improving. Accepting yourself simply means that you are able to look at the big picture and acknowledge your strengths in conjunction with the areas you would like to develop.

Striving to develop yourself and work on self-improvement can be positive if you are balancing it with acceptance. It becomes toxic when it becomes your addiction. Acceptance doesn’t mean that you can’t still read the books, listen to podcasts and attend seminars to develop who you are. It means that you allow yourself to also see the amazing qualities you currently have, today.  

Self-improvement can become a never-ending project; you can always find something else that needs to be changed. To break the self-improvement addiction, you have to take a step back and decide to be happy with who you are now.

Read more: addicted2success.com

If you’d like to learn how to become more productive so you can accomplish more on a daily basis, sign up for the free 90-Day Master Class hosted by the founder of Addicted2Success.com, Joel Brown.

Last night, a friend of mine (let’s call him Jameel) took me to his mentor. He was going to get some business advice and wanted someone to tag along for the ride. Having nothing to do for the rest of the day, I decided to go. After waiting for about an hour at his office, we finally got that chance to meet him: A simple looking guy (supposed to be a guru in his field) with a twitchy left eye.

Jameel and his mentor talked for about half an hour or so, and I sat there quietly nodding my head. To be honest, the entire discourse was quite engrossing and truly inspiring to say the least. But if there is one thing that clicked (and that I’d like to share it with you guys) is his reply to my friend’s doubts of failure.

“I am doing everything right,” asked the now vulnerable Jameel, “but there is this looming fear, this doubt that is eating me alive. What should I do about it?” “I am not the kind of person you should be asking this question,” was the reply. “I have never had the fear of failure so I don’t know what to say to you. All I have ever done in my life is done each day’s work to the best of my abilities. That’s it, and I would advise you to do the same.”

“Will you succeed?” He went on. “Will you fail? No one can guarantee that. That is something out of your jurisdiction. Even if you do everything right, there is still a chance that you might fail. And even if you do fail, then what? Will the Earth shatter? Or will the skies fall over? Businesses fail, that’s the fact of life and you should be strong enough to take that bet.

Either you do everything right, one step a time, one task a day and trust the journey and increase your chances of success. Or you keep on obsessing about the future, fretting about failure, instead of doing the actual work and increasing your chances of failure.

Your best bet is to do each task to the best of your abilities and leave the rest to God.”

The reason this mini-speech hit me is because that is exactly what I did to become a better person than I was a couple of years ago. And even if you’re not a proponent of fate or a believer in God, there’s a practical truth to what the mentor said. In fact, the great stoics also had a similar approach to life.

“Do right. Do your best. Treat others as you want to be treated.” – Lou Holtz

What did the ancient stoics say?

Stoics are proponents of Stoicism, a philosophical school of thought that believes human virtue lies in knowledge, and the wise are the ones that are at peace with providence (good or bad).

The great stoic Epictetus put forth his “dichotomy of control” illustrating that the world is divided into things that are in our control (thoughts, emotions, and actions) and things that are out of our control (possessions, looks, or privilege).

If you carefully differentiate the things that are in your control from the things that are not, you influence the things that are in your control to make your life the way you visualize it. You also stop worrying about things that are not under your control. You come to realize how pointless it is and that saves you a great deal of time and energy.

Putting the philosophy into practice

What’s the point to philosophy when there is little to no practicality when it comes to actual meaningful changes in your life? That is exactly why I am a strong proponent of Stoicism as it is the most practical of all philosophies.

Still, being stuck in a place for too long tends to make it difficult to get out and one needs a little more than philosophy to get one out of the mess. 

Here are a few practical steps that I took to make my life a little bit better:
1. Write down your goals

I know how big of a cliché this is, but there’s a reason why it is such a big cliché, it works. Take out a pen and a paper, and write down all of the things you want to achieve.

Think of something that you want to do or need to do. It can be anything from your homework to an art project or maybe as trivial as cleaning up your room. List out as many things as possible.

“Everybody has their own Mount Everest they were put on this earth to climb.” – Seth Godin

2. Prioritize your goals

Divide them based on priorities. An assignment due this week should be at the top, an art project, a bit lower.

3. Break them down

Break down each goal into little ones that you know you can easily accomplish. Make sure to also spread them across a few weeks or months (depending upon the estimated time for the project).

For example, if your goal is to read a book. Don’t force yourself to read a hundred pages in one go because that’s plain stupid. Think about it this way, if you want to become a swimmer, would you simply dive into a sea or would you first start learning in a pool?

Start by reading 10 pages a day. After a week, turn it up to 12 or 15 a day and keep on increasing each week until you have reached your goal of reading 100 pages a day.

4. Become accountable

The ultimate goal is to live a better life and to do that we have to take one step at a time and for that we require consistency. How do you ensure consistency in productivity?

Here’s how I did it:

At the start of my freelancing career, I only took projects when I felt like it. Some months I’d earn more while on others I’d be asking for financial help. After months of going nowhere and almost sabotaging my career, I decided to do a simple thing that changed everything for the better.

I committed myself to writing 1000 words a day, except weekends, for the entire month. This was an easy goal because there were days when I wrote 2500-3000 words a day when one of my deadlines was tight.

The idea was to become consistent. To keep track of it, I decided to create a simple spreadsheet on google docs. The first couple of days were easy because I was feeling motivated. The third day was a bit difficult because I was losing motivation. The magic happened on the fourth day when I didn’t feel like doing the work but ended up doing it because of the sheer fact that I had to report it on my spreadsheet.

At the end of this little experiment, I had earned more than I had ever earned in a month. If there is anything that I would like you to take away from all this is to set yourself a goal every night and complete it every day without fearing the outcome.

Do you have any tactics on how to become more productive? Share them with us below!

Read more: addicted2success.com

If you’d like to learn how to properly set sustainable goals so you can accomplish them and improve your life, sign up for the free 90-Day Master Class hosted by the founder of Addicted2Success.com, Joel Brown.

Most people get goal setting all wrong. Goal setting is not a complicated thing. In fact, once you know what you’re doing, it’s quite straightforward. However, somewhere along the line, people seemed to confuse goal setting with resolutions. They can also confuse goal setting with daydreaming or with wishful thinking. That’s not goal setting. Saying I want to:

Lose weight – isn’t a goal
Run a marathon someday – isn’t a goal
Start a business eventually – isn’t a goal

These are aspirations and yes, they are fantastic. But they are not goals, or at least they aren’t goals that you are going to achieve. Why? Because they lack the correct structure.

Weight loss

Years ago, I made one of those classic goal setting mistakes that I just touched on. I set a goal to lose weight. In fact, I declared that I would lose something like 30 pounds in six months. A very noble endeavor.

Jump ahead to the end of the story and, wow, I ended up losing those 30 pounds! Congrats to me! Better yet, I’ve been able to keep that weight off all these years. But…I didn’t do it within six months. Instead, it took me roughly three years.

It’s great that I achieved my goal, eventually, but it would’ve saved me so much struggle and frustration if I had been aware of the right way to set things up from the beginning.

“Begin with the end in mind.” – Stephen Covey

Reading more

This year I set a goal to read two books a month. This is a huge goal for me because I am a notoriously slow reader so reading one book a month is tough. Getting two done is a real stretch, but nevertheless, that was the goal I set for myself.

Applying the lessons I’ve learned over many years of goal setting, I planned out my goal.

I formulated my strategies for how I would read more (like speed reading and listening to audiobooks)
Decided when I would read each day (mostly during lunchtime)
And created better systems for myself (especially in regards to note-taking)

And… how am I doing? Well, as of May I’ve already completed 17 books. I’m reading way more than just two books a month and am doing it all while growing my business, being a devoted first-time parent to my teething six-month-old, and pursuing 10+ other goals. If I can do it, so can you.

That said, I’ve learned a great deal about goal setting over the years. And what I’ve found is that, among other things, there are three rules you need to follow to set goals that you actually achieve:
1. Set goals that you can control

The first rule of effective goal setting is to set ones you can control. Control is important because many people give up on their goals when things don’t work out for them. But more often than not, those things that don’t work for them are outside their realm of influence.

Sure, you can set a goal to make $1,000 more this month than last month, but you have no control over whether or not someone buys your product. What you can control though is how many sales calls you make. So instead of setting a goal to – make more money this month – you should set one to – make 50 sales calls a day.

You have no control over the former, but you have full control over the latter. And because you have control over it, whether or not you achieve it is on you. You either make the calls or you don’t. Success or failure is within your grasp and no one else’s – it’s a good thing.

2. Don’t overdo it

Rule number two is to only set one goal per each area of your life, max. Your time is finite so if you set numerous goals for your job, you are going to constantly feel pulled in every direction. This strain will eventually cause you to either burn out and quit or make mistakes. 

Instead, set just one goal per area of your life. Have just one fitness goal, one education goal, one career goal. That way you increase your focus and decrease feelings of stress.

“A goal properly set is halfway reached.” – Zig Ziglar

3. Make adjustments as needed

Rule three is to never get “locked-in” with your goals. Another common reason people give up on their goals is because they either set ones that are unsustainable or they miss a day and decide to quit.

For example, let’s say you set a goal to run 30 minutes a day, seven days a week. Great! Now, you may do that for a week or two, but by the end of the month you’re exhausted. You may have even missed a few runs here or there.

You’re ready to give up. You feel burnt out on running and want to quit because you didn’t do all the runs you set out to do. Resist that urge! Instead, celebrate the runs you did complete and recognize that you simply need to adjust your goal to make it more sustainable.

Seven days a week might be too much, but five is just enough to push you without burning out. Much better! With that in mind, don’t be afraid to adjust your goals when you find yourself getting exhausted or coming up short.

Your turn

Follow my three rules when setting goals moving forward. Remember to set ones within your scope of control so that you can be in charge of the progress you make. To avoid spreading yourself too thin, only set one goal per each area of your life. And above all else, if you find yourself giving up or burning out, feel free to adjust your goals so that they are more sustainable.

You will achieve your goals. Just keep taking one positive step after another.

Do you have a process for setting goals in your life? If so, please share it with us below!

Read more: addicted2success.com

Self improvement tips can certainly help to get started with your quest for personal growth, new levels of success and fulfilment. If you are interested in self improvement and personal growth, then you most likely are on the lookout for the most effective strategies to get you the personal development you want.

When you want to achieve success in life, it is often wise to seek out the best strategy that will ensure you reach your personal growth, goals and achieve results that you imagine. So, calling on years of experience studying personal achievement, I produced seven really simple self improvement tips. This is my way of giving back and assisting those who are just discovering the potential for greater success in their lives.

1. Keep A Daily Journal

Achievers are writers. This seems to be the lesson from history’s greatest, who were all prolific writers. The process of journaling gives you a chance to empty your mind of thoughts and get a clearer understanding of what’s going on. You can use a journal to help develop your self-awareness, which, in turn, boosts self-confidence and flexibility in character.

“Writing in a journal each day allows you to direct your focus to what you accomplished, what you’re grateful for and what you’re committed to doing better tomorrow.” – Hal Elrod

2. Raise Your Standards

What separates achievers from the average person? Studies show that it isn’t education or intelligence that makes the difference. They seem to have a quality that differentiates them from the pack. This quality is the ability to see themselves as a success in a particular venture, long before they have any idea how they will achieve this success. They have a high standard for what they expect to happen. Then they usually have a high motivational drive towards the goal.

3. Meditation

This one of the more important self improvement tips, and the most neglected. With meditation, you can achieve a reduction in stress by ridding your mind of “toxic thoughts” that build anxiety and worry behaviours. You can also improve your general health by allowing yourself to recover in this way. If you practice meditation along with the other six tips outlined here, you will find the power increase in each of the other methods.

4. Affirmations

Positive affirmations are a very powerful way of making changes in your personality, your behaviour and your life. It is recommended that you create one positive affirmation for each aspect of your life you would like to change. For example: relationships, money, health, career etc. It is then down to you to commit to reading them to yourself, out loud, two times each day. I think you’ll like the results.

5. Written Goals

It’s surprising how many people know about the importance of proper goal-setting for achieving success, and yet few people actually accomplish many of them. Writing out your goals is a vital process, because it begins the process of resetting your expectations from not having the goal, to feeling what it will be like to achieve it. As you do this, you reset your expectations in your mind. You can further break down goals into a plan of action that you can act on every day. This makes success of your long term goals more likely.

“Goals. There’s no telling what you can do when you get inspired by them. There’s no telling what you can do when you believe in them. And there’s no telling what will happen when you act upon them.” – Jim Rohn

6. Balance

The effects of one area of your life usually has an impact on all the others, in one way or another. The act of self improvement must take this into account and seek a balanced approach. For example, if you are having challenges in your relationship, then your financial and physical health could suffer if focused exclusively there. If your health is getting neglected, you may find it hard to achieve your financial and relationship goals, and so on.

Regardless of what your goals are, you will want to be well balanced and strive to achieve success in every area, holistically. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts, and each area in balance will bestow benefits on every other area. This is the foundation of great success.

7. Become a Teacher To Deepen Learning

Of all these self improvement tips, this is probably the most important. When you teach others about what you have learned about personal growth, you give them a valuable gift, but you also deepen your own understanding at the same time. You don’t even need to have a direct relationship with those you are teaching these principles to. The internet gives you an easy way to write about your experiences and philosophy.

As you can see, it is not difficult to become a motivated and highly productive person. You just should follow the above-mentioned advice. Besides, you can elaborate your own tips that reflect your life goals properly or adopt these ones. In any case, you must start moving forward to “new you” if you want to succeed in passing this stage. Keep calm and be passionate.

Read more: addicted2success.com

Starting your business can be a high-five moment with fist thumping and back slaps for many. While for some, it can be intimidating. It’s not an everyday routine you indulge in. It’s a defining moment that can change the way you live your life. As the new decade begins, realign your thinking to start your business on the right note. It can improve your chances of reaching your goals faster. It can also lead to many life-changing moments, both big and small.

Below are seven high-impact ways to help you avoid the mistakes most businesses only realize way too late:
1. Be realistic on your goals

It’s a good thing to aim high when setting your goals. But often they can be hard to achieve. Take a long hard look at your goals and if they are realistic. Market research is excellent, but with deep introspection, your goals can become a reality. Consider your strengths, skills, knowledge, and resources to achieve them in a given timeframe.

2. Time block 

We are often guilty of taking on too much work. It spills into your personal life and impact it in a negative way. One popular way to guard your time is time blocking. As simple as it sounds, it’s ensuring you prepare, plan, and block time for large and small projects often in batches or patterns. 

With the Ivy Lee method, you first pick and work on the six crucial tasks for the day. Doing so reduces the stress with the daily activities and gives you clarity on your vital tasks that will move the needle in your business. Before you choose the top five to six tasks, take a bit of me time to get to know yourself better.

“To do two things at once is to do neither.” – Publilius Syrus

3. Know yourself better

When starting a business, most often, you will be the sole owner or probably begin with a small team. That’s an additional responsibility for making the right decisions that impact everyone positively. It might not always be possible if you are feeling stressed or worried most of the time.

To avoid getting in this zone, take a bit of me-time for self-realization every day. Journaling is an excellent way to make a quick five-minute account of the best decisions, wins, and not so good moments of the day. It never hurts to indulge in a hobby once a week that keeps you motivated, especially when you’re often fighting yourself when it comes to feeling confident, being calm, or taking risks at work.

4. Outsource

Doing many things at once can lead to overwhelm, burnout, and making poor decisions. Most often, it’s reactive decision-making where you end up fire-fighting. On the other hand, consider a scenario where you are mentally charged up, and you know what’s coming. 

Focus on what you are good at, and outsource other tasks to people outside of your team.

5. Be specific

When you allocate work to others, it’s wise to be specific to your expectations. Else, it might be a downward spiral for the team or the vendor or yourself.

Some questions to ponder on:

Are you communicating what you want the other person to understand?
Has the other person understood what you meant to say?
Is there a pre-decided timeframe that can balance the expectations?
Are there are gaps in work and your expectations?

“I have discovered that you will achieve nothing if you pursue everything. Be specific and stay focused.” – Israelmore Ayivor

6. Declutter

As your business grows, you’ll find yourself buried in paperwork. Goal-setting and tracking, payments, shipments, marketing, operations are some of the areas you need to track regularly. 

Declutter and focus on one thing at a time. This will help you perform the task at hand in a more impactful way. 

7. Look for opportunities

Once you have your systems in place with a loyal audience, it’s time to reach out to a new audience. Even as you navigate the ups and downs in your business, networking will play a vital role in expanding your reach. It lets you learn and speed up your growth faster than you would otherwise do.

One way to ensure you are always in front of your audience is to network with like-minded businesses. It gives you a general feeling of the kind of work they do and how you can collaborate for business growth.

Regardless of where you’re at in the year, make sure to focus on the activities that’ll help you reach your goals. Starting with the seven steps outlined above will ensure you are mentally and emotionally ready to take on every challenge in your business.

How are you going to make sure you have your best year yet? Share your plans below so we can keep you accountable!

Read more: addicted2success.com

One day in the early 1960s, 44-year old Sam Walton founded his first department store in Bentonville, Arkansas a few years after being forced to let go of his first successful store for contract problems. Since this day, July 2nd, 1962, Walmart has grown to be the most successful retailer in the world (now is second to Amazon) with over ten thousand stores and more than $200 billion in market value. All that because of one dedicated and hard-working man who lived by his principles and gave many ambitious people, including me, the inspiration to do and grow more.

I have read Walton`s autobiography, ‘Sam Walton: Made In America’ and these are my top four lessons for you:
1. Understand the value of the dollar

Walton never believed in a having a flashy lifestyle and was capable of balancing the love of life with keeping expenses at bay. He had seen people selling their companies for little to enjoy the rich experience, then suffer later when it all goes down the drain. He also believed that to provide value to his customers he had to cut his expenses and be wise with spending money.

So he built a philosophy that every penny he saves, is a penny saved for his customers and created the famous Walmart motto: Save money. Live better. Walton dined at family restaurants, slept two to a room when traveling with his executives and among all of the eighteen airplanes he bought in his lifetime, none of them were brand new.

”Every time Wal-Mart spends one dollar foolishly, it comes right out of our customers’ pockets. Every time we save them a dollar, that puts us one more step ahead of the competition” – Sam Walton

2. Protect your success and learn from every mistake

After five years of hard work in Arkansas, Walton eventually managed to outperform his competitors and build the largest and most profitable variety store in the whole region. Unfortunately, he lost everything over a contract mistake. His landlord got greedy and wanted to give Walton’s store to his son, so he refused to renew his lease at any price.

To be honest, the man did offer Walton a fair price in exchange of his franchise name and inventory but this wasn’t what Walton wanted, and he had to leave behind all the success he’d just built and go.

But because of his positive mindset, Walton blamed nobody but himself for that mistake and vowed to learn from that mistake and spend double the time reading any future lease. He also realized his family needed someone with law experience who can also hold their best interest so, he encouraged his oldest son, Rob, to become a lawyer.

3. Learn everything you can about your business

Be desperate to learn everything about business and hang around those who know better than you. Wal-Mart stores have dominated the retail industry for years but did you know who made Walton interested in such business? His barber. The first rules Walton ever learned about retail work came from his barber and his brothers who had later grown their variety store into a sixty-store chain.

Walton also spent most of his Sundays at his manager`s house learning the business and talking about retailing. Even when he later left JCPenney and moved to Arkansas, he had to find someone experienced to learn from so he spent his lunch breaks at his competitor`s store and copied his best practices.

“Commit to your business. Believe in it more than anybody else.” – Sam Walton

4. Be competitive

The best word to describe Walton is competitive. He got that from his mother who taught him to take life seriously and try to be the best at everything he did. He worked as a lifeguard, waited tables in exchange for meals and stopped getting allowance as soon as high school began.  He also made a considerable sum of money during college despite living through the most prolonged, and most prevalent depression of the 20th century.

Walton was so competitive that he played baseball, football, and basketball all at the same time and won the state championship in two different sports. Not mentioning climbing up the Boy Scout ranks at a very young age and being elected president of the town’s Bible Class.

This intense experience helped Walton set his mindset towards success and understand the importance of teamwork. He realized that publicly exercising his ego wasn’t the right way to build a strong business, so he invested much in attracting the best, most talented, and most loyal people to his team.

What do you think of the entrepreneur who built one of the largest retail empires in the world? Comment below!

Read more: addicted2success.com

I remember the day in vivid detail. I was on a weekend trip visiting my girlfriend at the time in Arizona. She had decided that we should join her friends to go “cliff jumping.”  We were early on in our dating and she obviously had no idea that I was not fond of heights. So “cliffs” and jumping off of them… No thanks!

I inevitably found myself on the edge of a 40-foot cliff peering down at a vast blue canvas of water. Then I realized if I didn’t jump, I’d have to start the walk of shame back down the cliff. This was a lose-lose situation for me.

Fear had me. I didn’t want to jump, but I also didn’t want to look bad in front of my girlfriend’s friends. So I jumped and in that moment, I had defied my brain and my neurochemistry.

Our brains are wired to protect us, not to push us towards our goals. Our brains are wired to look for anything that could be potentially dangerous or threatening and keep us as far away from it as possible by using fear. The problem is not all situations warrant fear.

There is a saying in neuroscience that says, “the brain wires the way it fires”, meaning the more you do a certain activity, the more the brain lays down wiring to make that action or activity easier.

‘Fears are educated into us, and can, if we wish, be educated out.’ – Karl Augustus Menninger

When we let fear keep us stagnant and we continue to do the same things that are comfortable, our brain gets “hardwired” to stay comfortable. We become “stagnant.” This can become debilitating for some of us and prevent us from encountering the very experiences we need to grow and succeed.

When we, in spite of our fear, do the challenging things that are outside our comfort zone, we begin to hardwire into our brain change, adaptability, creativity, growth, perspective, and happiness because we stretch the boundaries of our brain’s capabilities and force it to adapt rather than “playing it safe.”

An elite athlete didn’t make it where they are today by going into their training and never pushing past their comfort zone. They constantly pushed their limits of comfort to force their bodies and minds to grow to that of a top performer. The same principle applies to our brains. If we let fear dictate our actions in any area of our lives, it will stunt your growth in that area.

So what’s the first step? How do we go about conquering our fears whether it’s public speaking, starting a business, or launching the product or service? See below:
1. Journal Your Fears

Write down all the fears you have, big or small. Contrary to opinion “size does not matter.” Your brain still operates the same with all types of fear. The key is to first acknowledge what you are fearful about and bring it to light. Be as specific as possible.

2. Prioritize Your Fears

I then rank my fears from highest to lowest in terms of how often I think about this fear and/or how much it disrupts my life. You may find some fears combine into a broader category and that’s ok — we’ll get to that. So for now identify your biggest fear.

3. Support Your Belief in Yourself

I don’t mean just “believe in yourself.” What I mean is to build in support systems that will support your belief in yourself, so that when you start taking action, your support systems will solidify those new experiences and form deeper, more meaningful, and lasting beliefs in yourself.

It may look like building a list of affirmations that you say every morning or a meditation. Whatever it is, it needs to be uplifting and empowering you towards conquering your goals.

4. Take Action & Start Small

Look at your list and identify what your biggest fear is. That’s the beast we’re going to tackle long term, but for some that may seem like a big stretch at first. So instead, see what your 5th biggest fear is, and that’s where you’ll start.

What we will then do is build our way up and take a ride on the “Momentum Train.” Starting small with taking actions toward your lower priority fears and then building up helps your brain build momentum, which provides your brain with plenty of courage and motivation to tackle the #1 fear on your list.

‘Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold.’ – Helen Keller

5. No Time Limit, Just Consistency

Most goals should be limited to a time domain. For the goal of tackling a fear, time can be a challenging factor to set. Some of these fears may have been unknowingly building up for decades without your knowledge. So I don’t recommend setting a time on when you are “going to conquer your fear.”

Instead set appointments to regularly meet and address your fear. If you’re fear is public speaking, then go to a local Toastmasters once a week. The more consistent you can be, the better.

6. Reframe and Reinforce

As you begin to address these fears, make sure you are reinforcing the experiences you have in a positive perspective. For instance, if you want to be less fearful of public speaking and decide to try out a local toastmasters group, your first time speaking to the group might feel like a train wreck, but when you look back on the situation you can acknowledge that that actually pushed past your fear and accomplished your goal.

7. Rinse and Repeat

This isn’t a quick fix. It may take some time. There’s always a new fear or challenge awaiting us. The key is to have systems like this in place to address those challenges properly rather than allowing ourselves to succumb to fear and derail our lives from their fullest potential.

How do you handle your fears? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Read more: addicted2success.com

Joe Rogan is a stand-up comedian, a figure in the MMA space, and former host of Fear Factor.  But Rogan is more recognized his famous podcast The Joe Rogan Experience which is at the top of many iTunes charts.  Each week, Joe Rogan sits down with a public figure to have a raw conversation to discuss their story, passions, and life in general.  These people range from actors & scientists, to controversial figures in the news.  Rogan is well known for dropping knowledge bombs in his show and is respected & looked up to by people in a variety of spaces as a motivational & inspirational figure.

Here are some of Joe Rogan’s best quotes:

1. “I love a success story, but even more than a success story; I like a dude who fucks his life up and gets his life together again story.” – Joe Rogan

2. “That’s my only goal.  Surround myself with funny people, and make sure everyone has a good time and works hard.” – Joe Rogan

3. “Reality really is a theatre.  There’s no other way to describe it.  It’s all so nonsensical, ridiculous and chaotic.” – Joe Rogan

4. “Someone else’s success does not equal a failure for you.” – Joe Rogan

5. “The universe rewards calculated risk and passion.” – Joe Rogan

6. “If you can control what you eat, you can control all other aspects of your life.” – Joe Rogan

7. “Here’s the craziest thing about life, this is the thing that nobody really considers; you know as much about what life is all about as anybody who’s ever lived, ever.  That’s the craziest thing about us.  We’re all just kinda wandering through this going “‘You know what you’re doing?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Oh, I do too.  I know what I’m doing.’ ‘Okay.  Good, then.’” But really no one has a clue.” – Joe Rogan

8. “Work for that feeling that you have accomplished something…Don’t waste your time on this earth without making a mark.” – Joe Rogan

9. “If you are the greatest, why would you go around talking about it?” – Joe Rogan

10. “When someone comes along and expresses him or herself as freely as they think, people flock to it.  They enjoy it.” – Joe Rogan

11. “There’s a direct correlation between positive energy and positive results in the physical form.” – Joe Rogan

12. “So instead of investing your time in a passion, you’ve sold your life to work for an uncaring machine that doesn’t understand you.  That’s the problem with our society.  And what’s the reward?  Go home and get a big TV.” – Joe Rogan

13. “Once you understand what excellence is all about…you see how excellence manifests itself in any discipline.” – Joe Rogan

14. “There’s only one way to get good at anything; you surround yourself with the bad motherfuckers who are doing exactly you do and you forced yourself to keep up and inspire each other.” – Joe Rogan

15. “Life is strange.  You keep moving and keep moving.  Before you know it, you look back and thing, ‘What was that?’” – Joe Rogan

16. “If you ever start taking things too seriously, just remember that we are talking monkeys on an organic spaceship flying through the universe.” – Joe Rogan

17. “Be cool to people.  Be nice to as many people as you can.  Smile to as many people as you can, and have them smile back at you.” – Joe Rogan

18. “I realized a long time ago that instead of being jealous you can be inspired and appreciative.  It carries more energy to you.  That can be an awesome and motivating force that can improve your life if you choose to be inspired and not jealous.  One has no benefit whatsoever, the other is an incredible resource for creating momentum and improvement.” – Joe Rogan

19. “To really appreciate life you got to know you’re going to die.” – Joe Rogan

20. “Live your life like you’re the hero in your own movie.” – Joe Rogan

21. “People want their 15 minutes and are willing to do anything to get it.” – Joe Rogan

22. “I had a sense of who I was before I got famous.” – Joe Rogan

23. “I think that one of the reasons why people look towards the end of humanity is that people are afraid to die alone.  If you die alone, the people you love will miss you, or if they die, you miss them – the sorrow is inevitable.  When you truly love someone, the thought of losing them forever is horrible.” – Joe Rogan

24. “One of the most fascinating lessons I’ve absorbed about life is that the struggle is good.” – Joe Rogan

25. “The time you spend hating on someone robs you of your own time.  You are literally hating on yourself and you don’t even realize it.” – Joe Rogan

26. “The key to happiness doesn’t lay in numbers in a bank account but in the way we make others feel and the way they make us feel.” – Joe Rogan

27. “I’m obsessed to extreme winners because I think there’s a madness to it.  I truly believe that in order to truly be great at something you have to give into a certain amount of madness.” – Joe Rogan

28. “There’s a never-ending ocean of techniques out there.” – Joe Rogan

29. “The quicker we all realize that we’ve been taught how to live life by the people that were operating on the momentum of an ignorant past the quicker we can move to a global ethic of community that doesn’t value invented borders or the monopolization of natural resources, but rather the goal of a happier more loving humanity.” – Joe Rogan

30. “People for the most part can smell lies.” – Joe Rogan

31. “Life is about the pursuit of excellence.  That pursuit is probably more exciting to me now more than ever.” – Joe Rogan

32. “We define ourselves far too often by our past failures.  That’s not you.  You are this person right now.  You’re the person who has learned from those failures.  Build confidence and momentum with each good decision you make from here on out and choose to be inspired.” – Joe Rogan

33. “Greatness and madness are next door neighbors and they often borrow each other’s sugar.” – Joe Rogan

34. “Haters are all failures.  It’s 100% across the board.  No one who is truly brilliant at anything is a hater.” – Joe Rogan

35. “In all my travelings, all my life adventures; I have to say I still don’t know what life is, absolutely no clue, and it is a subject that is constantly on my mind.  One thing I do know for a fact is that the nicer we are to our fellow human beings, the nicer the universe is to us.” – Joe Rogan

36. “Kindness is one of the best gifts you can bestow…We know that inherently that feels great.” – Joe Rogan

37. “Excellence in anything increases your potential in everything.” – Joe Rogan

38. “You can’t measure what’s inside a man’s heart.” – Joe Rogan

39. “I truly believe that in order to truly be great at something you have to give into a certain amount of madness.” – Joe Rogan

40. “It’s very important to help people figure out how to manage life, to help people figure out how to think, help inspire them, help show them what can be gained from setting goals and achieving them and that excellent feeling – and that becomes contagious.” – Joe Rogan

41. “Write down things you want to improve. Write down things you won’t tolerate from yourself. Write down things you never want to see yourself do again.” – Joe Rogan

42. “Live your life like there is a documentary crew following you around and you are analysing your own behavior.” – Joe Rogan

43. “One thing I do know for a fact is that the nicer we are to our fellow human beings, the nicer the universe is to us.” – Joe Rogan

44. “The people I know that have the hardest time keeping it together emotionally are people that don’t work out.” – Joe Rogan

45. “Treat everyone as if they were you. If we really are one, then I am you and you are me.” – Joe Rogan

46. “It’s very possible that everybody is exactly the same at the core.” – Joe Rogan

47. “100% of all haters in the world are unrealised potential.” – Joe Rogan

48. “Pretend that your life was a movie and it started now, what would the hero do? What would the person that you respect do? What would the person that you admire, and inspires you do? Do that.” – Joe Rogan

49. “If things aren’t going the way you want them to go, then do something about it. Quit talking about your problems and go out and do something to fix them.” – Joe Rogan

50. “All the time that you spend complaining, you could instead be hustling. You could be chasing your dream. You could be figuring out what you’re doing wrong and improving your life.” – Joe Rogan

51. “Your attitude has a giant effect not just on your life, but on other peoples lives around you.” – Joe Rogan

52. “Get better at whatever you’re doing. So what if you suck at it now. Everybody sucks at everything when they start. But if you love it, and don’t lie to yourself, then get better at it.” – Joe Rogan

53. “Do things that are difficult. It’s very important to struggle. You don’t get to know yourself without struggle. You don’t know who you are until you get tested.” – Joe Rogan

54. “Faith itself is a horrible mechanism that stunts the growth of ideas. It also stunts the act of questioning, and it does this by pushing the idea that you have to have faith – and that nothing has to be proven.” – Joe Rogan

Read more: addicted2success.com

Why are so many working professionals struggling to find the time to work on their own personal goals? Sure, we have obligations to meet the mandatory deliverables of our employers. But I’m guessing you currently have your own goals that are sitting on the shelf—and despite the many outside-of-work hours available to you, you just can’t seem to make the time for your own vision. Why do you think that is?

Whether you’re readily aware of it or not—truthfully, we all know the answer. It varies from: “I don’t have the time, because I’m burnt out after work” or “Once I’m off, I have plans and then so much to do afterwards”. Realistically, there’s never truly one answer to pinpoint. Reason being, the answer can—and typically does, change from day-to-day; being that every new day brings its unique challenges.

But wait! Here’s how the coin reads on the other side: One may say that they’re burnt out after work—but then they somehow find time to binge watch three 1- hour episodes of a great new series that they just started watching on Netflix before going to sleep. Another may say that they have plans to take care of so many personal tasks after work. Yet they get home, take a few moments to decompress from the draining day in the office, and end up doing absolutely nothing for the remainder of the night—putting their ‘plans’ on tomorrows to-do list.

The next person may say that they have to make dinner and feed the kids, but the kids wanted fast-food, which left the parent time to work on their own goals once they got home, but instead they chose to finish the report that they were working on before they left the office to get the kids—as if their own action-items aren’t worthy of entertaining.

“The greatest gift that you can give yourself is a little bit of your own attention.” – Anthony J. D’Angelo

All of these, in fact, are excuses. Excuses that we all use to justify why we can’t seem to work toward completing the goals that we often fantasize about, while we remain on the job working toward someone else’s vision. The old saying, “If you don’t have your own goals, you’ll always work for those that do” is very true. So, do yourself a favor and TAKE A BREAK.

TAKE A BREAK from all of the excuses you come up with that keep you from starting your goals. TAKE A BREAK from all of the so-called “distractions” that you blame your inabilities on, because in reality, you give the breath of life to what you entertain—good or bad. Truthfully speaking, you should TAKE A BREAK from your current job, and allocate a little time to yourself, whether it be during lunch, on your 15-minute break, when you get up to grab a cup of coffee, or whenever is convenient for you.

It doesn’t have to necessarily be at work; it can be in or out of the office. Be deliberate in taking time out for yourself and take baby steps toward building the meaningful thing, company, or vision that will ultimately make you happy. You have to remember, goals that aren’t being worked towards will forever and only be dreams, and nothing more.

Here are 5 simple tips that can help you BREAK from all that’s happening around you, so that you can BUILD on your dreams and invest in the greatest asset that you have—YOURSELF:
1. Write on a piece of paper one daily goal

Write down one goal each day however small, that feeds into your ultimate goal and look to accomplish that one goal for the day. Take the note, put it in your purse, pants pocket, wallet or even inside your cell phone case. Place it anywhere that you’ll be forced to see it again, and it will bring attention to your consciousness. This will empower you and give you the urge to execute that one goal, because to your immediate consciousness—it will seem ‘so easy to do’ because it’s not time consuming.

2. Use a descriptive reminder for that daily goal

Put an hourly or bi-hourly reminder with a descriptive message relative to your daily goal in your cell phone. When it goes off, you’ll know to execute what you’re passively telling yourself what to do. Repeated awareness of a thing, trains the conscious mind and over time becomes a part of your subconscious belief system. You’ll begin to believe more and more that it’s worth taking out the time to execute your goals.

3. Use a picture of your loved one your goal will directly affect

Take a picture of a loved one that you care for, who will benefit from you following your dreams and chipping away at your daily/or ultimate goal. This accountability will empower you to be more conscious of what interim goals you have in place to reach…because now you’re not only doing this for yourself.

4. Take a break and repeat this affirmation

Stop what you’re doing, take 10 seconds to yourself and repeat this affirmation as often as you can: “BREAK (… inhale… exhale) BREATHE (…inhale… exhale) BUILD (… inhale… exhale)”.

5. Keep a meaningful object within reach at all times

Keep a meaningful object (big or small) within arm’s reach, so that it’s visible to your consciousness, so that when you see it—it reminds you that you have work to do, and not work relative to your current job, but work relative to your individual goals and the process of attaining what your see in your minds eye.

These 5 simple tips, through repetition and discipline, can create an entire wave of new habits that subconsciously get you closer to completing your goals. All that you have to do is believe that your goals are worth reaching and completing. You deserve to experience the life that you dream about, and having and working toward your goals on a daily basis will get you there.

Read more: addicted2success.com