A perfectly good decision that seems like the most rational choice at the moment can turn out to be a disaster later. We aren’t intentionally stupid or try to make bad decisions. Most of the time we jump to a conclusion and stick to it because we lack a framework to make better decisions. We fail to realize that good decision-making simply boils down to eliminating bad choices and that requires asking good questions.

Making consistently high-quality decisions isn’t reserved for a few talented people who are born with the art of decision-making. It’s a skill that can be learned. Learning to ask the right questions will profoundly enhance the success of all your future decision-making by preventing you from making choices you end up regretting.

1. Am I stating the problem correctly? 

How you frame the problem statement and what you wish to achieve from the decision can make all the difference. Stating the problem by assuming a certain solution, starting with assumptions, or missing the larger problem by trying to fix the symptoms will always lead to a wrong decision. Identify if your question is biased towards a specific solution or starts with certain assumptions. Make sure you are addressing the right problem. 

2. Is this decision reversible or irreversible? 

We make thousands of decisions throughout the day and not each one of our decisions deserves our equal attention. While low-consequence reversible decisions can be made real quick, it’s the high-consequence irreversible decisions that must be made with extra care. 

Jeff Bezos explains this in his 2015 annual shareholder letter “Some decisions are consequential and irreversible or nearly irreversible – one-way doors – and these decisions must be made methodically, carefully, slowly, with great deliberation and consultation. If you walk through and don’t like what you see on the other side, you can’t get back to where you were before. We can call these Type 1 decisions. But most decisions aren’t like that – they are changeable, reversible – they’re two-way doors. If you’ve made a suboptimal Type 2 decision, you don’t have to live with the consequences for that long. You can reopen the door and go back through.”

Separate reversible from irreversible decisions to determine the process, time, energy, and strategy you need to apply to make that decision.

3. How important is this decision to me and why?

Knowing why the decision matters to you or how a wrong decision can impact you can be a powerful motivator to re-examine your process. It can make you look beyond obvious and easy options to the other choices that may seem hard at first but are more promising and better suited to your problem. Identify your stake in the decision and ask yourself why you really care about the right decision. Disconnect your identity from your idea and focus on actually making the right decision. Because what matters in the end is making the right decision and not you being right.

“Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.” – Tony Robbins

4. What costs am I willing to pay to delay this decision?

Delaying decision-making is one of the most common tactics to avoid facing our real fears. Fear is a very real feeling and left unattended it can wreak havoc in our lives. Fear can make us imagine the worst possible scenarios that are highly unlikely and use them as an excuse for inaction. 

Getting stuck with analysis-paralysis by looking up more and more information or avoiding the decision with the fear of making a wrong one can prevent you from grabbing the right opportunities at the right time. The cost of indecision is often higher than the cost of making a wrong decision.

Get rid of unwanted fears that might hold you back by defining them. Compare the cost of delaying the decision to the worst that can happen. Then, set yourself a reasonable date to make a decision and work backward from it to actually complete it in time. 

5. What are the different alternatives?

With confirmation bias at play, we interpret and selectively gather data to fit our beliefs while rejecting other plausible alternatives. Asking this question sets the expectation that there’s more than one possible solution. It will open you to the idea of exploring alternative explanations. 

Annie Duke, a former professional poker player and author of Thinking in Bets, writes in her book “What makes a decision great is not that it has a great outcome. A great decision is the result of a good process, and that process must include an attempt to accurately represent our own state of knowledge. That state of knowledge, in turn, is some variation of I’m not sure.”

Instead of trying to make a decision where you are 100% sure, embrace uncertainty. Evaluate different options based on the probability that a specific outcome will occur. Include others’ opinions. Your experience and knowledge of those around you will determine the accuracy of your evaluations. 

6. How will this decision look in the future?

Most of the time we think just one step ahead and make a decision without evaluating the potential impact of our decision way into the future. We try to optimize for a small gain in the present while ignoring the potential downsides of this decision in the future.

By understanding the consequences of your decision, you can rid yourself of choices that you will regret later. By factoring your future into your decision process and visualizing how the decision will play out, you can avoid the avoidable.

Once you include these questions into your decision-making process, you will notice a tremendous improvement in the quality of your decisions. While mastering them and building upon them will take practice, noticing subtle changes in your thought process that these questions invoke will help you make even better decisions.

Read more: addicted2success.com

Too many business leaders think the latest marketing or sales strategies are the key to growth and building a freedom-based business. They fail to realize that all the strategies in the world won’t work without a strong mindset.

The concept and idea behind developing your mindset have been relegated to cute Instagram Memes. It’s not taken seriously enough, and it shows in the lack of growth for too many business leaders. Spending the time and energy to develop your mindset creates a successful life and helps you accomplish your goals.

There are some core growth mindset shifts every leader should consider making to accomplish their goals. Using solid growth strategies is essential to double your revenue, make more of an impact, and create a free life.

Here are three practical and powerful growth mindset adjustments that help leaders foster success, accomplish their goals, and experience true freedom.

1. Stop trying to live up to outside expectations. 

The question you have to ask yourself is, whose life are you living? If you sat and thought about how you spent your time and the things you focused on, you’d probably be a little surprised. It’s not uncommon for too many people to live their life based on outside expectations. 

You’ll never live a successful life or create your freedom if the goals you are working towards aren’t your own. A growth-optimized mindset happens when you have absolute clarity about what you want to accomplish and how you want to spend your time. 

You’ll create amazing growth when you stop caring about others’ thoughts and stop trying to live up to outside expectations. Your goals and how you spend your time working to achieve those goals have to come from knowing what you want for yourself. 

Your goal is to become the best version of yourself in every area of your life. It’s to embrace who you are and what makes you tick. Creating success means you become the strongest and most authentic version of yourself.

2. Start each day with YOU activities. 

It’s not uncommon for other people’s priorities and the pings of life to be the first thing you think about when you wake up. You’re pulled to take care of all the things that feel urgent instead of thinking about how you want to spend the first part of your day. The path to doubling your revenue starts with prioritizing the things you need to do to get there.

Instead of starting your day working on tasks for others, you should start your day working on tasks that help you grow your life and business. Starting your day being focused on YOU activities leads to accomplishing more and increasing your revenue. 

Starting each day with you activities is a form of self-love and self-care. It’s how you make sure you have the first priority and that your needs are taken care of before you think about the outside world. Give yourself permission to treat yourself better. As you take better care of yourself, the result will be growth and freedom in other areas of your life.

“Change your language, change your mindset, change your actions, change your life.” – Danny Stone

3. Take everything you do in your business seriously. 

Gary Vaynerchuk has said, “one is greater than zero.” There is a temptation to only focus on the numbers when you’re starting out. When those numbers are low, it feeds into negative self-limiting beliefs. This then creates a situation where the business leader does not take things seriously enough.

The path to more revenue and a life of freedom happens when you take everything you do seriously from day one — no matter who is watching. You create content as if one million people are reading it, you show up powerfully even if it feels like no one is watching, and you put your best into everything you do. 

Taking everything seriously puts your best work out of the world, and when more eyeballs see that, they tell others — you grow. Be your biggest cheerleader and shine even though no one may be looking. Treat everything you do seriously, and it will pay dividends later. 

Nothing is stopping you from living an unlimited free life in which you experience growth and true happiness. You can double your revenue and have the financial freedom to help you enjoy all the benefits of life. It starts in your mind.

These growth mindset adjustments help you prioritize yourself and practice healthy mental wellness habits. A strong mindset will be the fuel that enables you to grow for years to come.

Read more: addicted2success.com

I am lucky. I believe in luck. BUT My success did not come from luck.

You see, what we do every day lays the groundwork for our luck in many ways. When we achieve our goals, the actions we take and habits we create inform elevated versions of ourselves. From that place luck can spring eternal.

Before we talk about the practical steps to setting ourselves up for success and luck, let’s take a look at what we’re searching for in the first place. 

OH, WHAT A FEELING

Right now, you may be anticipating what you expect to feel when you achieve your goal. Life will be better when you get there. You can already see yourself basking in the sunlight of your personal achievement. 

I want to give you an insider’s secret. You don’t have to get to the finish line to start feeling the way you expect to feel when you reach the goal. We set goals, yes, because we have things we want to achieve in our lifetime but we really set them because we are going after the feeling we expect to have when we achieve those goals. 

Simply put, our thoughts are what drive our feelings and emotions and you are in control of your thoughts. Yes, you are in control of your feelings, right now, at this moment.

Your first action step is to get clear on the feelings that your end goal will bring, then start to bring those feelings into your here and now. 

For example, do you think hitting a certain revenue goal will make you feel abundant and less concerned about paying your bills? Do you want to make more income so you can be more generous? How can you start to practice those feelings of generosity and abundance today? What do you need to think to become more generous? When you are abundant what thoughts are you thinking as you fall asleep at night? 

When you start thinking the thoughts that make you feel the emotions of your desires you are really on to something because you’ve tapped into the energy of flow, and that will get you to your goal so much faster. 

MEET THE NEW YOU

92% of people don’t reach their goals. Why? Because it’s hard work. Part of that hard work is becoming a new person. The person who climbs Mt Everest is not the same person who can currently hike a hill. Years ago I did a triathlon — I always was last as in physical education. I wasn’t an athlete… to finish a triathlon I had to become a new version of myself. The version of me who was a triathlete.
Since I had never done a triathlon, nor was I anything close to an athlete I had no past experience to pull from. So I had to sit down and get clear on what the version of me who had completed a triathlon looked like and even more importantly felt like. 

Feelings of accomplishment, fitness, strength, and confidence came to mind. Tapping into what I had to think and do to feel these feelings gave me a roadmap to who I needed to become before I ever crossed the finish line. 

You become the person who has achieved the goal while you’re in the process of getting to your goal.  

Understanding the feeling you want and visualizing the person you need to become sets a rock solid foundation for the tactical part of reaching your goals. Not having this foundation in place is the difference between goal achievers and goal wishers.

“Luck is when an opportunity comes along and you’re prepared for it.” – Denzel Washington

YES, YOU NEED NEW HABITS 

To become the new version of you, you need to put new habits into place. Here’s why… 

95% of our day is run by our subconscious mind. 95%! This means, for the most mindful person, only 5% of our day is actually run through our prefrontal cortex, the part of our brain where we do thought work. The other 95%? You guessed it, it comes from your habits. 

So when you want to create sustainable change in your life, you set yourself up for success by rewiring that change into your habits.

5 TRICKS TO HELP YOU CREATE NEW HABITS 
#1. Get super specific about what you want to do.  

Habits need clarity and routine. To form a new habit, you need to get detailed on what that habit looks like and how you will execute it. 

Let’s take a look at the difference:

Unclear habit without a routine: “I need to spend time on LinkedIn to help build my business.” 
Clear habit with a routine: “On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, right after lunch, I’m going to spend 30 minutes on LinkedIn.” Then you schedule this habit right into your calendar. 

#2. Habits instill when they are comorbid.

Everyone talks about brushing your teeth and putting your workout clothes next to your toothbrush! But how many things can you put next to your toothbrush?! 

To spare your toothbrush think about other habits you can use to connect your new habit. 

Eating lunch 
Getting dressed 
Taking a shower 
Cleaning the house 
Cooking dinner 

Remember, you already have so many subconscious day-to-day habits… get creative and think about where you can leverage the habits you already have in place. 

#3. Habits that require PHYSICAL movement are much easier to embed.

It’s so much easier to set a new habit by doing something versus desperately trying to NOT do something. Consider this, going for a walk is much easier than willing yourself to not snack after dinner.
Your new habit doesn’t have to involve an all out workout, but think about how you can create new physical cues around something. Maybe after dinner you boil water for a cup of tea instead of eating cookies.

#4. Incorporating your senses makes it easier to rewire new habits.

I’m a full blown chocoholic. I seriously did not think that I could go a day without eating it. When I found myself eating too much of it, I knew I had to bring in the habit reinforcements. I found a cinnamon tea that I love. Smelling and tasting this tea has replaced my need for chocolate every day. A miracle, indeed. 

#5. Lower the barrier of entry for your new habit. 

Simply put, set yourself up for success. Want to cut down the amount of time you spend on social media? Delete the app from your phone. This will also kick up your awareness factor.
When you are aware of what you are or aren’t doing, you are using the 5% of your brain that can make a thoughtful decision versus relying on the 95% of your brain that makes decisions based on your subconscious.

CELEBRATE YOUR LUCK!

Knowing that you have the ability to create your own success and yes luck is life changing. However, let’s not underestimate all of your hard work. Be sure to celebrate your success and luck. 

Read more: addicted2success.com

If you’re asked to give a presentation in the final hours of a four-day conference, then brace yourself, because you’re facing some serious impediments. Your audience members have been on a fevered engagement high for half a week. They’re exhausted. They’re ready to catch flights back home. And they’re tapped out on charts and data.

So what do you do if you’re in one of the more unfavorable positions that a public speaker can face? How do you keep an audience engaged during a presentation? You let down your guard — and you let your audience in.

A Tale of Effective Professional Storytelling

If your immediate response is, “Great idea, but a story won’t keep an audience engaged,” you’re incorrect. I’ve seen how powerful storytelling can be, even if your listeners’ minds seem to be wandering.

Take the case of a presenter at a convention I attended. It was the final dinner. About 1,500 of us were sipping coffee, clanking cutlery, and feeling wary of listening to another speech. Our presenter, seemingly unfazed, walked onto the stage full of confidence.

Her speech began on a typical note: She introduced herself as an employee of an organization committed to helping people who have served jail time successfully reintegrate into society. She shared some alarming statistics on how difficult it is for incarcerated people to get a fair shake on the other side of justice.

So far, her approach had been informative. We stirred cream into our coffee, listening politely (but not totally engaged in her speech). Then, it happened: She went into full storytelling mode. With a notable change in her cadence and demeanor, she began talking about how she became a single parent years ago. After giving birth, she worked three jobs while trying to finish school. She regaled us with stories about school bake sales and late-night essays.

Many of us in the audience could relate to her hectic schedule and inability to juggle everything. That is, until she shared a story about the night that a co-worker offered her methamphetamine to help her stay awake. Within a few weeks, she was hooked. And we were riveted by a presentation that had turned very personal.

When the pills ran out, our speaker told us, she became desperate. She stole money from an employer, bought drugs off the streets, and eventually landed in jail for 18 months. She lost everything — including precious time with her daughter.

No one in the audience breathed. No one moved. No one reached for sugar packets across the table. We were all connected by a brilliant woman who understood how to keep an audience truly engaged during a presentation. She wasn’t just telling a story. She was the story. And that changed everything for the audience.

“There’s always room for a story that can transport people to another place.” – J.K. Rowling

Using Storytelling to Become a Better Speaker

Now, you might never give a speech under such challenging circumstances. However, if you work long enough, you’ll give some kind of presentation or speech during your career. When you’re preparing, remember that one of the most effective strategies to become a better speaker is to use storytelling.

Why do we love stories? Chalk it up to human nature: Stories are how we connect; they help us belong. And when we belong to something, we feel connected to something.

Consider how many times you’ve turned something that has happened in your life into a story, used a story to illustrate a principle, or told a story to emphasize a point. We rely upon these narratives constantly, but we often forget to engage in storytelling when giving professional presentations. As a result, we weaken our connections with our audiences. But often, it’s challenging to share ourselves as storytellers — especially in professional settings.

Eager to find out the secrets of how to become a better presenter and engage your audience with storytelling? Consider these techniques:

1. Show, don’t tell.

Although nitty-gritty details are important, just “telling” facts isn’t the best way to engage an audience. Instead, use sensory descriptions — sights, sounds, and smells — to invite your audience members into the story instead of just telling them about it. This creates a more visceral presentation for your listeners, bringing them into the moment with you and, in turn, sharing the experience directly with them instead of just talking at them.

2. Remember the ‘why.’

Stories are powerful and transformative, but only if you allow them to paint a complete picture as hers did. In order to do this, you need to know the “why” of the story you’re sharing. What are you trying to tell the audience members? What do you want them to take away from your time with them?

The presenter mentioned earlier in the article had a goal: to help her audience understand the difference her organization could make. She could have spent her time sharing a plethora of statistics, but those numbers wouldn’t have been nearly as powerful or transformative as her story. She found a way to help us connect with her company’s purpose on a deeper level by sharing the “why.”

3. Resist the temptation to read aloud.

One of the biggest mistakes speakers make is reading from a script. Although children typically adore being read to, teen and adult audiences require more engagement. The less you rely on reading off a page, the more you’ll be able to connect physically and emotionally with your audience and create a richer experience. Put aside the cue cards in favor of making eye contact, gesturing with your hands, and conveying emotion through facial expressions.

4. Tether your speech to something personal.

Whenever possible, share yourself and your personality in your presentations and speeches. If you’re naturally funny, add humor. If you’re a golfer, use the sport as a metaphor for your message. Above all, offer personal experiences that tie back to the speech you’re giving.

When you share from experience, you invite everyone’s humanity to the table. And this changes the dynamics between you and your audience for the better. The more heartfelt and authentic you are while telling your personal story, the more memorable the presentation will be.

5. Allow yourself to get emotional.

It’s often thought that being emotional in professional settings is inappropriate. But emotions are the gateway to seeing another human being and the road they’ve walked. When listeners see a genuine tear in the corner of a keynote speaker’s eye, for example, they become riveted with the person’s presentation. Showing your feelings gives audience members permission to embrace their feelings, too.

Stories are an art form in and of themselves. And mastering the art of storytelling is one of the primary ways to become a better speaker. The more you allow stories to organically arise in your presentations — whether that’s in a five-minute speech to the Rotary Club about your newest product or a 40-minute TED-style talk — the more you can create richer and deeper experiences for your audiences.

Read more: addicted2success.com

Not every internship works out, let alone an unpaid internship. Internship experience can range from coffee runs to hands-on project management. Regardless of the actual responsibilities you have in your role, an internship is what you make of it. My most successful internship was the one I took straight out of graduate school that inspired the idea behind a big-name Hollywood entertainment business.

I sold the business that would turn into Gofobo.Com to Terry Hines and Associates before even turning thirty. It’s one of my greatest achievements, and the story of how I got to the finish line might come as a surprise. My journey of success did not start with a trust fund, but with an unpaid internship and a “no.” 

The origin lies in pushing myself during every stage of my life— from working the paper route as a child, being a janitor in my high school, to signing up for countless other volunteer positions as a young adult. This tenacity reared its head as I began to encounter roadblocks that now serve as a cornerstone in one of my earliest success stories.

No Job is Too Small

I took an unpaid internship at Allied Entertainment after I got my MBA, promoting movie screenings and mailing paper tickets to those who secured them. Sorting through movies like Harry Potter and The Notebook in the backroom, noting who actually showed up and who did not. A seemingly menial task, right? 

The thing is: being down in the nitty-gritty of this kind of work is the best way to see what’s going right or wrong. I was the one to notice that at screenings we would either have too many or too few people show up. In the growing digital age, I realized this was a prime moment to transition to electronic tickets. In short: my “aha” moment may have happened on unpaid time, but boy did it pay off.

Good ideas are good ideas, and they come from everyone in the workplace. After all, it is the lack of confidence that will shrink you down, not your job title. If you treat your work like it is insignificant, you will feel insignificant yourself. However, if you treat every action like it can be groundbreaking, it will be. The sooner you take that lesson, the sooner you will see results.

Go Against the Flow, It’s Worth It

I brought the idea of electronic tickets to the CEO of the company, absolutely itching with eagerness. After all, who wouldn’t want that easy data at their fingertips? Well, apparently not him— or at least not yet. He brushed it off, saying to keep going about business as usual. It’s easier to do things as they have always been done. 

This didn’t sit right with me though. My business motto has always been to give my 100% effort, even if that means undertaking a more daunting task. Only then can you expect and see results. It’s the way I live my life most authentically: giving it my 100% over and over again. After all, hard work pays off; there’s a reason why that cliche exists in the first place. The idea of just continuing along one path because it’s the most familiar felt like a long-winded oversight. 

Faith unshaken, my vision of these electronic tickets just couldn’t go away. I knew it would make a splash in the market and was in an area no one else had explored yet. So, I went down the discouraged path and carried on with my idea anyway. I reached out to a friend from college who was similarly excited about the future of this project and we got to work. 

“There’s no shortage in remarkable ideas, what’s missing is the will to execute them.” – Seth Godin

Be Relentless

I trusted my gut feeling that the CEO’s “no” wasn’t a dead end. I recognized I had done the research and that my concept wasn’t foolhardy, but relentless. And being relentless ends in results. 

I know firsthand that putting in the time and effort will help see a project through. I’ll be up at the crack of dawn to get my projects finished as soon as possible, trying to check as many things off a list as I can. That’s right, I was that kid in college who finished his homework for the whole semester over the first two weekends so I can spend the rest of my time focusing on other extracurriculars.

So, over the course of two years, we worked hard. We got up early and stayed up late. Ran our pencils dull as our eyes glossed over computer screens. And thank goodness we did.

Stay Good-Natured and Listen

This story ends when I’m in my late 20s, standing in a boardroom at the end of my two years of persistent work— no longer the unpaid intern. I was an accomplished businessman face to face again with the original man that told me to drop the idea behind gofobo.com. This time, however, I had sold the idea of gofobo.com and it merged with Alliance Entertainment, becoming what it’s known for today. That’s when he told me he’d “never turn me down again.”

Make a name for yourself this way. Don’t be afraid to be bold— one day those who doubted you will no longer be your superior, but your equal. Forge partnerships with everyone. Every individual in your company is valuable with their own unique, original, and potentially groundbreaking ideas who deserve to be heard and taken seriously. 

Yes, even the unpaid intern.

Read more: addicted2success.com

The coronavirus pandemic disrupted our lives in ways most of us never imagined could be possible. COVID-19 didn’t just affect us physically. It also affects us emotionally and financially. Yet not all these effects were bad. It also prompted us to feel grateful. For some, gratitude was a coping mechanism. For others, gratitude meant focusing on what they had instead of what they lost.

We’ll be very happy to let go of many habits we developed during coronavirus lockdowns. But this habit is not just one to keep. It’s also one to apply to other areas of your life. Gratitude for what you have alters your financial perspective in several ways. After all, financial success often isn’t about getting more. Instead, financially successful people usually know how to hold onto what they have. An attitude change could unlock this secret in your life.

Direct Effects of Gratitude

Most advertisers attempt to trigger emotional responses which prompt people to buy certain products. For example, many car commercials say almost nothing about the vehicle advertised. Instead, the commercials focus on product use, like fun road trips, which trigger that emotional response.

Gratitude redirects these emotional responses. If you are grateful for the vehicle in your garage and the road trips you’ve been on, you are less likely to reach out to a dealer. 

Instant gratification impulses are a related issue. When you drive by a fast-food restaurant on your way home after a long day, you are most likely tempted to pick up dinner. This decision is also rather easy to rationalize. Latent advertising effects remind us of the convenience that fast food offers.

Gratitude eases these temptations. One recent study indicated that gratitude increases patience and makes delayed gratification more appealing. On a related note, gratitude decreases impulse buying. The carefully-displayed products at grocery stores look much less appealing if you are grateful for the food which is already in your refrigerator.

Hedonic Adaptation is a closely-related concept. Essentially, we all have a base happiness level. Life’s ups and downs do not permanently change this baseline. We simply feel better, or worse, for a brief period of time. Admittedly, that “brief period of time” could seem like an eternity in some cases.

So, gratitude helps you avoid the buying-happiness trap. Once we realize that acquisition is just a quick fix, we normally look inward for happiness.

There are other direct effects as well. For example, gratitude usually increases generosity. In this context, “generosity” doesn’t necessarily mean giving things away. Instead, generosity is more about respecting the people in your life who have had a positive impact. This respect usually prompts people to make a positive impact in other people’s lives.

Such generosity always comes back to you. Some people call it karma. Others call it reaping what you sow or paying it forward. This benefit could be financial. Generosity also makes you memorable to others, so they are more likely to think of you when they are hiring, need a contractor, and so on.

“Remember, happiness doesn’t depend upon who you are or what you have; it depends solely upon what you think. So start each day by thinking of all the things you have to be thankful for.” – Dale Carnegie

Indirect Effects

As mentioned, gratitude is often related to respect. This respect includes self-respect. Several studies suggest that grateful people have better diets, exercise more, sleep better, and otherwise take care of themselves. So, they have fewer illness symptoms. Better physical health and lower materialistic impulses is a good combination for anyone.

What does this combination mean to your finances? Gratitude increases productivity. Instead of worrying about your health or your next purchase, you are focused on the task at hand.

Financially successful people usually make good decisions and have strong willpower. Gratitude supports these traits.

There have been a number of delayed gratification experiments over the years. For example, study participants might have a choice between a $50 payment today and a $75 payment in thirty days. These studies consistently show that people who are grateful for what they have and can resist immediate “get more now” impulses are happier and more productive.

On a related note, bosses know how much simple expressions of gratitude increase productivity. One former President of the United States noted that Congressmen and Senators were much more likely to back controversial new proposals if he thanked them for their support of a previous initiative. The evidence is not just anecdotal. One study suggested that such expressions increased a work team’s productivity by 50 percent.

How to Be More Grateful

Knowing the benefits of gratitude is one thing. Incorporating gratitude into your daily life is something else. How can you unlock these benefits and reap the financial benefits they bring?

Toward the end of every day, write, don’t type, five events or things that you are grateful for. The items themselves aren’t necessarily important. These lists help convince us that overall, life is pretty good. That understanding is usually the foundation of gratitude.

Allow your mood to affect your decisions. When you are feeling good, that’s a good time to make spending decisions. Make an extra IRA contribution or donate some money to charity. Later, if you feel depressed, you are less likely to spend money frivolously, since you have already “spent” it elsewhere.

Finally, focus on the positive aspects of your everyday life. Avoid negative people and negative social media posts. The positive energy these habits generate make it easier to be a grateful person.

Read more: addicted2success.com

Making a mistake on a spreadsheet; getting the boot from your job; or choosing the wrong career path. Failure, in many different guises, impacts every single one of us at some point, even the most successful of us.

Ever heard of the old saying, “form is temporary, class is permanent”, and failure can be just that – temporary. In fact, I know from my own journey that with the right mindset and attitude, failure can become the very thing that pushes you to greater things. 

It’s really all about reframing what you think you know about failure and recognising that going two steps forward and one step back is an often-necessary feature of the path to success. 

Obviously, this is rather easier said than done. Our culture rewards those who strive for perfection, but as we all know, perfection doesn’t exist, so why hold yourself to such unrealistic expectations? 

It’s not about deciding what do if you are to fail, but rather knowing how to respond when you do fail.

Five Ways to Become Firm Friends with Failure:

#1: Understand the Cause

To accept your failure, you must have the courage to stand and face your fear. Never underestimate how important this first stage really is. It’s a natural human reaction to attempt to turn your back on uncomfortable situations and emotions. After all, we have all made a mistake and tried to bury it under the sand, pass the buck, or make excuses. 

However, if you really want to grow and embrace failure, this just isn’t an option anymore.

In the immediate aftermath of something going wrong, don’t concern yourself with trying to repair a mistake or who might have been affected by it – first and foremost you need to understand what went wrong.

Own up, and rather than beating yourself up, realistically assess the outcome of your misstep and why you allowed it to come about. It’s crucial to do this before anything else.

#2: Take Ownership

Once you’ve determined the how’s, why’s and what’s of what has gone wrong, and how you might prevent this issue in the future, it’s time to take ownership. 

Whether you’re an employee or a business owner, everyone in that organisation will want you to summon the maturity, courage and strength of character to say that something hasn’t quite gone the way you wanted it to. 

This doesn’t need to be a long-drawn-out process. It’s as easy as sitting down with your colleagues, or even by yourself to examine why your start-up failed, why you forgot to send that important email and most importantly, what you’re doing to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“There is no such thing as failure, there are only results.” – Tony Robbins

#3: Learn Your Lesson

Learning from your failure is the key aspect to making peace with your yourself. When you rearrange your thought process, you can give yourself the space to turn failure into opportunity

Think about any great achievement in your life – that promotion, buying your first home, or having children – each and every one of these required a certain aspect of changing the way you think, particularly the later. 

The same applies to when you make mistakes – after all, what’s the point in hammering yourself for something that is inherently human? And that’s all mistakes, and ultimately failure really are.

Once you’ve looked at yourself in the mirror and you’ve accepted your fate, vow to learn something from it. 

Before pressing ahead though, give yourself a pat on the back. While, yes, you’ve made a misstep somewhere along the line, celebrate the fact that you’ve learned something new on your journey.

#4: Move On

Quite often, it’s not the mistake itself that causes the damage. It’s the lasting impact of not being able to manage your guilt and regret. 

Do not allow the experience of failure to mar your future; don’t let it define your life and how you interact with the pursuit of success. Replaying your past repeatedly and wishing things had been different, will solve nothing.

Life isn’t fair, it never has been and never will be so; never fall into the trap of feeling as though you’re a victim, you’re not and it’s important to come to terms with that and move on.

Forgiving yourself is the most important part of embracing failure. You will slide into the victim trap if you cling on to those memories as a negative experience. Instead, continually remind yourself of what you learnt during this time.

#5: Share Your Experience 

Sharing your experiences about what you’ve learnt with those around you is great way to free yourself from the shackles of failure. Having said that though, it’s important to frame your narrative in the right way, no matter if you’re speaking as an employer, employee or even as a friend.

Don’t tow the usual line of, “Jeez, I’m so stupid, guess what happened to me a few weeks back.” Don’t give yourself the opportunity to fall into old habits and claim back your own narrative. 

Lead the story with your newly found viewpoint, “Guess what happened to me a few weeks back. It was a tough day, but I really learned a hard lesson.”

By telling the story in this way, you can incorporate each of the five points we’ve talked about in this piece.

Read more: addicted2success.com

As solopreneurs, we are susceptible to overthinking. With the number of things we have to juggle, we can easily get overwhelmed. You need ways to release the torrent of thoughts swirling around your head to be able to regain clarity for solving problems. That’s where the brain dump comes in. In today’s article, I’m going to talk about the purpose of a brain dump, some of the benefits, and tips for success with this powerful exercise.

What Is It and What’s the Purpose

You may have heard the term, but what effectively is a “brain dump”? Simply put, a brain dump is an exercise that helps you release the endless stream of thoughts you’ve accumulated over the course of the day onto some external medium. Think of a brain dump as metaphorically taking out the garbage. Once the trash gets full you have to take it out before it overflows or starts to stink, which then can affect the cleanliness of your home. 

In much the same way, a brain dump serves as a removal of the garbage in your head. Let’s face it, most of the thoughts we have are unproductive and cause unnecessary clutter, which can distract and fog up our mental lens. A brain dump can help you to regain focus and spark new creative ideas. The mental chatter will cease and you’ll feel physically lighter and energized. 

On a philosophical note, there’s no escaping the mind. Evolution has given us the gift of consciousness and for the ambitious thinkers of the world, sometimes our minds can overwhelm us. Naturally we have many thoughts about our experiences, some good and some bad. 

A lot of the time though, negative thoughts slip by unnoticed and they can cause perpetual frustration throughout the day. Rumination plays a large role in detracting from our emotional wellbeing. So many of us live outside of the present moment ruminating, for instance, on a less than ideal client interaction we’ve just had. As a means of letting those thoughts go, the brain dump exercise can be transformative.

How To Do a Brain Dump

Sit down, crack open your journal and start writing. It’s as simple as that. Now, you may find that in doing this, especially at first, it’s hard to start writing. Your mind may wander or you may procrastinate. What I’ve found to help get me going is to set a timer for 5 or 10 minutes. This creates a sense of urgency and gets you writing fast. There can sometimes be a barrier to entry with writing because you’re not sure how to start which causes procrastination. Having a timer is like an external accountability device to help you start.

“Productivity is less about what you do with your time. And more about how you run your mind.” – Robin Sharma

Intention

With this style of journaling, the goal is not necessarily to have creative breakthroughs or work through specific problems. Although as a byproduct of the exercise, you may get creative breakthroughs after the fact because you’ve emptied your mind allowing new ideas to flood in. However, the ultimate goal is to release all thoughts in a stream of consciousness style. You don’t have to worry about structure or grammar. It doesn’t have to follow any linear path, just write thoughts as they come to you and try to keep momentum without pausing.

You don’t need to worry about length either. If you feel clear after writing a half-page, one page or several, there is no right amount. The goal here is to cultivate a sense of emptiness and refreshment. The end result is increased clarity and focus. Once you start to feel lighter you can stop. This may sound like an indefinite way to go about it – feeling your way through, but you’ll know when you’ve reached that point. 

Tips for success

While doing a brain dump is relatively straight forward, I’ve provided a few tips to help you get more out of the exercise. 

Choose a specific time. I’ve found it helpful to do this exercise either at the end of the day or early in the morning. You may find that doing it at the end of the day is best because it clears your mind before bed and eases you into sleep. 
Choose your medium. I recommend writing in a journal, but if you find that typing works better for you then do that.
Get on a routine. Build a habit of sitting down and emptying your mind each day.

Benefits of the Brain Dump

There are many benefits derived from the brain dump. As mentioned above, its ability to refresh and help you regain clarity and focus is paramount especially for the number of problems we have to solve on a daily basis. Another benefit I’d like to mention is its ability to help you wind down from the day. I know a lot of solopreneurs including myself struggle with “turning off work mode”. How do you effectively wind down from the day to get restful sleep?

It’s challenging to turn off the problem-solving brain and get some shut-eye. This is where the brain dump may be more beneficial to you if done at the end of the day. Sit down with your journal away from any distractions and keep your writing space clutter-free. Put your phone and other devices to bed and block this time out for yourself. 

I hope you find this exercise helpful and a way to refresh your mind to increase clarity and focus while building your business. As Henry David Thoreau said, “Renew thyself completely each day; do it again, and again, and forever again.” Add this exercise to your toolkit and do it every day to see the best results. Over time, it can be transformative for your productivity.

Read more: addicted2success.com

Have you watched Suits yet? Anyone who has watched this fascinating and intriguing American TV series is obsessed with the character of Harvey Specter. His enchanting personality, witty outlook, and intrepid attitude, leave a gravitating influence on the audience. If there is a fictional character people would want to impersonate, it would be Harvey Specter. Suits is an acclaimed TV series with an IMDb rating of 8.5, which is stellar. A larger part of the show’s profound success can be attributed to the impression Harvey Specter leaves on every mind.

Here are 7 lessons on success we can learn from Harvey Specter:

1. It all starts with appearance 

It may seem like an unpopular opinion, but dressing sense has a lot to do with success. The way you dress defines your confidence and your zeal to win. In Suits, Harvey is always seen in the finest tailored suits. Of course, that is where the name of the TV series comes from. Harvey is always dressed as an accomplished gentleman. Also, he has excellent people skills to make the perfect first impression. 

How you present yourself and conduct yourself in front of others is critical to their perception of you. So, Harvey teaches us that dressing exquisitely while meeting people is no less than a success mantra. Hence, have your best outfits always ready to facilitate your pursuit of success. Because Harvey often tells Michael Ross that the first impression is the last!

2. No detail is too small 

There is one thing that remains common in every episode of Suits. Harvey always stays one step ahead of his competitors. This is because Harvey does not like to ignore any detail, no matter massive or menial. He inspires us not to be complacent and to not be over the top flamboyant. Of course, he has a lot of flamboyance and vanity, but that does not make him ignorant. He pays attention to all details and new facts to scrutinize every aspect. He believes in staying informed on the ins and outs of people trying to outsmart him. Therefore, you should not have that ‘I know it all’ attitude in life. If you have to be successful, you have to be aware and vigilant.

3. The romanticization of risks is paramount

In a famous dialogue from the show, Harvey Says, “That’s the difference between you and me, you wanna lose small, and I wanna win big.” This has a deep life lesson inscribed in it. The crux is that you cannot enlarge your victories until you limit yourself to minimizing the losses. Success does not start with an idea. The pursuit of success begins when you decide to take risks associated with an idea. It is Harvey’s risk-taking ability that defines his winning attitude. Harvey knows how to win the unwinnable because he rewrites the rules. You have to make your own fortune and do whatever it takes. Conviction to risk it is the key! Harvey is the prodigy of what top performers do to win.

4. Staying poised in crisis is a winning strategy 

Throughout the series, you will never see Harvey Specter freaking out. This is because he has profuse self-belief to face every challenge. Besides, he always has a plan B, and he prepares well for all vulnerabilities. He charmingly keeps all causes of stress at bay. People often tend to get nervous in situations that test their character. Out of this nervousness, they cripple their own abilities and potential. 

But Harvey Specter shows us how to have the best attitude amid the odds. He is always chilled out and smiling no matter how hard it gets. This is a character trait of someone who backs his ability a lot. Do you back yourself to overcome insurmountable odds? Explore yourself, realize your strengths and develop a temperament like him. Harvey shows us how to maintain the perfect relationship between money and mental health. Poise can be a competitive advantage, after all!

“Win a no win situation by rewriting the rules.” – Harvey Specter

5. Dreams demand action 

Of course, you would have dreams but do you have goals? Or do you make an effort to translate your dreams into goals? In one of the arguments in the show, Harvey says, “I do not have dreams; I have goals.” Now you see how influential the power of goals is. We might forget our dreams someday, but we do not forget our goals. 

Having said that, unless your dreams turn into goals, they may be useless. This is the simple reason why every dreamer is not an achiever. Harvey has a staunch belief in aims and objectives, and that is what makes him so successful. The lawyer in him and the person in him are exemplary, given how they prioritize their ambitions.

6. Win the battle and not the battleground 

Harvey knows how to win a no-win situation, and that is a rare trait to have. People who have watched Suits will already know that Harvey likes to settle most of his lawsuits outside the court. He believes in winning the battle even before it goes to the battleground. It is obvious that it saves a lot of time and effort. So, for all those who are big fans of procrastination, this is a lesson for them to learn. To attain success and recognition, you need to act in time and eliminate escalations. If you do it the Harvey way, you can make victory a beloved friend. Managing time and resources in an effective way is crucial to success.

7. Fixing problems is far better than complaining about them 

If you are working on something, your job is to complete it and fix the loose ends. You cannot keep cribbing about the problems you are facing to complete the task. You volunteered for the task, or you self-assigned a task to yourself because you are capable enough. Others do not have the time to listen to your complaints, and you do not have much time to waste. 

This is where a lot of people miss the bus. They keep waiting for miracles to fix things. In this large amount of time they waste, others take the lead. But you have to fend for yourself and fix your own problems. If you are going to enjoy the credit of the achievement all by yourself, why not fix the issues on your own? 

To wrap up, first, you need to start watching Suits if you have not watched it yet. Once you do, you will, by default, feel the urge to learn from Harvey’s cunning and positive character. Besides, if you are an aspiring lawyer, Harvey can be a perfect epitome for you. The charm with which he expresses meaningful learnings of life and success is astonishing. He keeps it simple, uncomplicated and pays more heed to triumphs than fearing losses. He may be a fictional character at the end of the day, but we can always learn a few tricks from his illustrious aura. Living life the Harvey Specter way can be a way to success!

Read more: addicted2success.com

Cracking the code to truly unlock your potential in life or in business has been researched by many over the years. Everyone is looking for the “secret” to success. The truth is, the outcome of our pursuits in life comes down to the choices we make on a daily basis. Do we choose to play Xbox, watch reality tv and binge hours of Netflix or do we choose the things that are going to move the needle in our lives?

See, we are at choice from the moment we wake up to the moment we hit the sack. Therefore, choosing our time wisely is the most crucial piece of the puzzle when it comes to success. Making the right choices will allow you to create the space to incorporate daily habits that will catapult you forward in life and in business.

Here are 3 habits that will turn you into a High Performer.

1. Creating Space for Inner Work

Taking the time to self-reflect and meditate is one of the most profound experiences one can bring into their life. Not only will you begin to discover aspects of our life that you weren’t aware of but you will begin to gain the ability to manifest all your dreams and desires.

Not to mention, meditating on a daily basis increases inner wellbeing and joy. Two things that are absolutely crucial to become successful. If all of your time is spent in emotional disarray, it will be very difficult to progress. Meditation can help one remove the emotional drama from their life.

Once you begin to approach your life with your emotions kept aside, when you need them kept aside, you will see your life change in many profound ways. Note, the goal isn’t to remove emotions from your life and become a robot but to gain mastery over them and not let them rule your life.

2. Exercise and Healthy Diet

Creating space in your life for rigorous physical activity can enhance your life in many ways. Not only will you begin to hit goals you may have sought in the appearance department, but you will begin to get more focused. When you’re exercising on the daily, your energy levels rise. It becomes easier and easier to get in motion every day. It simply comes down to the law of inertia: an object in motion, stays in motion. 

If that isn’t amazing enough on its own, throw in a healthy diet and now you have a recipe for unlocking some serious potential. No pun intended. In order to truly focus on your more productive tasks, you need to maintain mental clarity. It becomes an uphill battle to maintain that mental clarity if you are giving your brain and body the right fuel. It’s like putting the gasoline in a car that takes diesel.

When you put food in your body with little to no nutrition, your body has to go into overdrive just to process it. So not only are you not getting the nutrients you need but now a huge portion of your energy is being directed to your digestive system just to pass the food through. If all your energy is spent on digestion alone, your brain will be left high and dry.

“A high performer is someone who says, I want to be the best at what I’m doing.” – Brendon Burchard

3. The Not To-Do List

Everyone and their mother will tell you to focus on your list of tasks if you want to be highly productive. But when we make our lists of tasks, we are only adding things to do into our daily routine. If we are adding things that are going to move the needle in our lives, we need to make room and subtract the things that don’t.

This was picked up from Dean Graziosi and Tony Robbins. The Not To-Do List is a list of things that you are not going to do anymore. The list of things that you are certifying, by writing them down, that you will no longer take part in.

It could be a plethora of things like not going on social media during the daytime, not watching tv during the week & not hanging out with friends so much when you have things to do (especially if they’re toxic, then they sadly take the boot). It’s incredibly important to start holding yourself accountable by bringing some awareness to where your time is going. If you want to be successful, understand that TIME is your most valuable asset.

The Bottom Line

The truth is there is no real secret to success. Everyone has their own way of approaching their ambitions in life. But in order for us to figure out how we are going to get there (which there really is no destination, it’s a lifelong journey) we need to begin to start from within.

We need to peek inside ourselves, begin the work and simultaneously start taking action towards creating the lives we truly desire. Devise the plan of attack, make the commitment and TAKE ACTION. Emphasis on the action because most people will do the first two and never follow through and it leads them down the road of misery and unfulfillment.

Whether you become successful or not doesn’t depend on who you are so much as the choices you decide to make day in and day out, every minute of every day. And just know, habits like these are like tinder just waiting for you to set you ablaze.

Read more: addicted2success.com