Irrational Fear: A Short Story About Overcoming Your Biggest Obstacle

Originally Written in August 2015

Derrick looked on as the beast staggered towards him with blood red eyes. This was the beast that was blocking Derrick’s journey into the vast, beautiful World of the Unknown. Normally afraid, today was different as he felt a strange sense of courage normally foreign to him. He needed to get past the beast and into the World of the Unknown at all costs. In that moment he knew, it was now or never. The beast or him. Brandishing his trusty dagger, Derrick ran at the beast full force with nothing held back.

Irrational Fear

The beast let out a roar and charged at Derrick with what looked like smoke puffing out of its nostrils. The two were nearly face-to-face when the beast suddenly stopped in its tracks as a look of fear flashed across its face. The beast quickly spun around and ran the other way as fast as it could.

Dismayed, Derrick skidded to a halt, looking on in disbelief as the beast scampered the opposite direction.

“What’s wrong, I thought you wanted a fight?” Derrick yelled as the beast ran the other way. Upon hearing this, the beast quickly stopped several yards away from Derrick and swung its long, scaly neck around to face him.

“A fight? Against you?” the beast scoffed, “I wouldn’t stand a chance against you!”

Derrick couldn’t believe what he was hearing. The beast was several feet taller than he was, had sharp claws, tough, scaly skin, and teeth that looked ten times sharper than his dagger. A creature like that shouldn’t fear anything. Derrick began to wonder if the beast was merely taunting him.

“I get it…you’re just playing with me, aren’t you? Do you really think I’m that stupid? Look at you! Your sharp claws and teeth, your tough skin and large frame! I know I’m probably going to lose to you, but I’d rather die in battle than lie down and let you have me without a fight!” Derrick shouted as he pointed his dagger at the beast.

“You really don’t get it, do you?” the beast sighed, “You’ve already beaten me.”

“What?” Derrick shouted.

“Look closer.”

Derrick squinted his eyes to get a better glimpse of the beast standing a few yards in front of him. Strangely enough, the beast’s previously large frame was suddenly a lot smaller than it was before, what was once a towering creature now looked more like a small house cat. Its skin was now more akin to soft, delicate fabric than the tough, impenetrable armor originally covering the beast before. Even its sharp claws and teeth were now much less intimidating and almost laughable. This was not the beast he had been terrified of his entire life.

“But…but I don’t understand,” Derrick said, confused, “Just a minute ago you were twice my size and had sharp teeth but now…now you’re nothing.”

“You see me for what I truly am, Derrick,” the beast said, “I am nothing. You spent your entire life avoiding me, worrying about me, changing yourself because of me, losing sleep because of me, not doing what you love because of me, hating yourself and others because of me…now do you see how ridiculous and irrational your fears were? Why have you made me out to be this terrible monster?”

Derrick, still in shock over this daunting revelation, sunk to his knees as he tried to process everything that the beast was telling him. Could it be that his fears were the whole time irrational? Was this beast really just…nothing? Had his imagination made this creature into something much more diabolical than it really was?

“This whole time…I was so afraid to face you and explore the World of the Unknown because I didn’t think I could defeat you. I had to hide from you…and yet, you were nothing more than a tiny, weak and pathetic creature that I could have crushed without any problem…” Derrick said as his anger increased with each word spoken.

“You’re correct, Derrick,” the beast said.

Derrick picked himself up off the ground, ran toward the beast and placed his dagger at the beast’s throat.

“Before I do this, tell me…what are you?” Derrick asked the beast as it lie helplessly under Derrick’s blade.

The beast looked up at Derrick as its body began to wither.

“I’m the Boogeyman when you were five, I’m the witch who almost boiled you alive in that dream you had when you were nine, I’m the shame you felt after that kid threw your lunchbox into the bushes when you were eleven, I’m the worthlessness you felt after your boss yelled at you when you were eighteen, I’m the business you were too scared to even start when you were twenty-two because you didn’t want to fail. Call me whatever you want, but ultimately we both know what I really am.”

“…you’re nothing,” Derrick said under his breath.

“The only one that kept you from exploring the World of the Unknown for all these years was you, not me,” the beast said as it drew its final gasp of air.

Derrick slashed the beast’s throat with his dagger but quickly realized the beast no longer had any substance. In fact, Derrick began to wonder if the beast ever had any substance, to begin with! The beast’s body continued to wither as Derrick lifted his eyes to see a vast, beautiful landscape in front of him that he had never seen before.

Derrick laid his dagger down on the spot where the beast had died. He no longer needed to fight, he knew he had won. Running full speed ahead, Derrick’s mind was now free to explore, create and innovate without fear that the beast of his past would rear its ugly head again.

And even if it did show up, he reasoned, he knew exactly what the beast was:

It was nothing.

And nothing would ever keep him from his destiny again.

4 Life Lessons I Would Teach My Younger Self

Things You Wish Someone Would Have Told You

I sometimes dream about one day being able to take a time machine back to 2003 on my first day of the 7th grade so I could reassure myself that everything was going to be OK. I then would proceed to give myself a sports almanac from my time so that I could become a millionaire by the time I was in my 20’s.

Silhouette of male skilled and confident businessman is thinking

All kidding aside, I think we all have certain things we wish someone would have told us when we were younger.

For me, I definitely have a laundry list of things, but here are four life lessons that I would have wanted to know.

1. College Isn’t Always Necessary to be Successful

If I had a nickel for every time I heard that I needed to go to college to be successful, I wouldn’t even come close to paying off my student loans.

Ouch.

While a college degree is viewed by many as the pinnacle of success, several of the most successful people today either dropped out of college, never went to college, or went to college but don’t really use their degree.

A few examples include Mark Zuckerberg, creator of Facebook, who dropped out of Harvard his sophomore year; Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, who dropped out of school altogether at 16; and Pat Flynn, founder of SmartPassiveIncome.com, who graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from Berkeley but after being laid off started his own online business in 2008.

Now, don’t get me wrong, college is a fantastic place that can provide a person with exceptional opportunities.

If my child wanted to go to college, I would do everything in my power to make it happen.

However, the idea that college is always a prerequisite to success is a myth, and many successful people today are proof of that.

I personally don’t regret going to college, as that’s where I met my fiancée, but I would explain to my younger self that college isn’t always needed to be successful despite what people might tell us.

With as many opportunities as there are today, many people are able to build successful businesses for themselves by being smart and not losing focus.

2. Play Less Video Games and Spend More Time Learning

I won’t lie: I am the master of Super Smash Bros. on the Nintendo 64.

Hands down (proof).

I spent more hours on that game than I can even begin to fathom, but if I would have spent even half of that time on things like learning entrepreneurship, business, wellness, writing, etc., I would have saved myself a lot of time and energy that could have been spent elsewhere.

Of course, I don’t regret being the master of Super Smash Bros., but if I could I would explain to my younger self that while video games are awesome, gaining valuable knowledge is far more awesome and can propel us to do amazing things in our lives.

3. Develop Your Creativity and Never Stop Dreaming

When we were children, all we did was create.

We built rocket ships, sailboats, forts, and imagined we were cowboys, pirates, and astronauts.

We wrote stories, invented things, and dared to dream the impossible like traveling to space or exploring the depths of the Mariana Trench.

Did any of us have to learn how to do these things?

No, it just seemed to come naturally.

Many people lose touch with their creative side after they’re told to “grow up” and eventually start working a desk job where they wonder how the heck creative geniuses like Steve Jobs or Elon Musk are able to do what they do.

It’s easy: they never stopped dreaming.

If I could, I would teach my younger self to always value their creativity, never stop dreaming, and let their imagination run wild with possibilities.

4. Spend More Time With the Ones You Love

After my grandpa died of cancer in April 2010, I realized how short this life is and how valuable our time spent with the ones we love truly is.

The last thing he said to me before he slipped into a coma on his hospital bed was, “I love you”, and as I left his room a new sense of purpose began to form in me as I desired to make every moment count not only for me but for the ones I loved.

Time is the most valuable asset we have, and spending it wisely can spell the difference between a life lived to the fullest and a life filled with regrets.

If I could, I would explain to my younger self that life is precious and should be spent with the ones we love and cherish.

We should find time each day to tell the ones we love how much they mean to us because we never know when they will draw their last breath and say, “I love you.”

Living a life of regrets is never a healthy way to live, but self-reflection like this can help us recognize how far we’ve come in our lives and give us valuable insight that we can teach our children as they discover life the same way we did growing up.

5 Reasons Why Michael Jackson Was Successful

Learn How to Dominate Your Arena Through the King of Pop's Example

Considered by many to be the greatest entertainer of all time, it’s no secret that Michael Jackson was one of the most successful performers of the 20th century. A phenomenal singer, dancer, and songwriter, Jackson is cited by many artists today as one of their biggest influences due to his artistic innovation and raw talent.

Michael Jackson

Though it seemed he was born to be famous, his success wasn’t the result of genetics. Instead, there were several things Jackson had to do to bring him to the level of success he had during his lifetime. Here are 5 reasons why Michael Jackson was successful.

1. He Strived to Be the Best in All He Did

Whether he was hitting the high notes or dancing the robot, Jackson made it his aim to be the best in all he did. He spent countless hours practicing his dancing alone or with choreographers, and even said that sometimes he would lock himself in his home, turn on some music, and just feel the rhythm as he perfected his steps in his dance studio. Jackson believed in working really, really hard and never settling for the ordinary, which no doubt greatly contributed to his success as an entertainer.

2. He Did Things That Had Never Been Done Before

At a time when MTV would predominately play music videos by white entertainers, Michael Jackson became the first black person to have their music videos played on the network in the early 80’s which paved the way for future black artists to do the same. With the release of his album Thriller, which broke the record for the most Grammy wins in 1984, he also released the groundbreaking music video of the same name which doubled as both a music video and a short film. This style of creating music videos was revolutionary, and since then countless artists after Jackson have used this technique for their own music videos. In all that he did, both in the recording studio and on the film set, Michael Jackson loved pushing the envelope and trying things no one had ever done before.

3. He Persevered Through Challenging Times in His Life

To say that Michael Jackson had challenging times in his life is an understatement. From the abuse he suffered from his father at an early age to things like third degree burns on his head and face, vitiligo, drug addiction, and false accusations of child molestation, Jackson had his fair share of misfortunes. However, rather than caving in to his surrounding circumstances, he channeled his emotions and used them to create fantastic music throughout the 90’s including the single You Are Not Alone which became the first song ever to debut at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Jackson fought hard to the end, planning to perform 50 consecutive shows at the London O2 arena before tragically dying from an overdose mistakenly administered by his doctor in 2009. Despite everything he went through, Michael Jackson persevered through incredibly challenging times in his life which no doubt greatly attributed to his success.

4. He Stayed Humble

Humility was an important virtue to Michael Jackson, and his actions spoke to this plainly. From starting charities for sick children to his efforts in helping save the environment, Jackson thought more of others than his own personal success. As a groundbreaking artist who literally changed the world with his talents, he never let the success get to his head and was able to continually churn out fantastic creative work by keeping his focus on others rather than himself. His humble attitude and heart to serve were no doubt a huge factor in his success.

5. He Valued His Audience

Though Michael Jackson had vocalized on numerous occasions how much he did not like to go on tour, he still did because he loved performing for his fans. While rehearsing, his main goal was to always blow his audience’s minds and give them the best performance possible. The reason is simple: he valued his audience. This is an important principle to live by because without an audience it doesn’t matter how great a person’s talents or ideas are, if nobody can see or hear them then there’s no point. A perfect example of why Jackson was so successful can be seen in how he treated his audience by providing them with insanely awesome content and recognizing each and every one of them as valuable.

Conclusion

Love him or hate him, there’s no denying that Michael Jackson’s success is notable and his journey to becoming a successful person can certainly teach us important lessons on building our own personal success.

3 Key Ways to Stay Motivated As An Entrepreneur

Simple But Effective Ways to Motivate Yourself

Motivation is definitely a big topic of discussion among business people, athletes, and artists from around the world.

Motivation

So many people try to find motivation in everything from YouTube videos to podcasts, but they just can’t figure out why they’re not able to get things accomplished.

Here are 3 key ways to stay motivated that sound too simple but are really all you need to get things done.

1. Just start

Looking back, there have been several projects that I wanted to accomplish as an entrepreneur but lost all my motivation before I even started!

Plenty of other people can honestly say this has happened to them as well.

Why does this happen?

The reason is simple: before starting a project, I would think of all the things I would have to do and how long it would take me to do them. I would start to wonder if I had the patience to complete my project, if it would even work, and if people would laugh at me if I screwed it up.

The whole thing eventually became too overwhelming so I never started anything.

Essentially, I threw in the towel before my feet were even planted on the starting line, and we’ve all done this at some point in our lives if we’re honest with ourselves.

Now look,

I get that the idea of starting a blog, eCommerce business, SEO consulting company, etc. sounds like an incredibly daunting task, and rightfully so, but it’s counterproductive to sit and worry about things that haven’t even happened yet.

Chances are, those things you’re worried about won’t even happen, and that’s just a fact.

The smartest approach is to just start, even if you’re not sure what direction your project will go, and focus on one little bit at a time.

Got an idea for a blog?

Great! Start it.

Looking to start a cupcake business?

Perfect! Start it.

Once you take that first step, that second step is that much easier and pretty soon, your motivation will snowball.

2. Show up

Not only should you just start a project, but you have to show up no matter what happens.

Studies show that 100% of the shots you don’t take…you can probably finish the rest.

I have committed myself to writing between 500-1000 words daily no matter what, and each time I show up to write I feel a rush of motivation that was never there before when I would put off showing up till tomorrow.

The best part is, after a while, our “showing up” becomes a habit that doesn’t require as much thought as before.

As James Clear puts it, the best way to stay motivated is to form a new habit around whatever it is you need to do to succeed.

For example: if your goal is to build a blog, then make a habit of writing at a specific time each day. If you’re wanting to get in shape, then make a habit of exercising at a specific time each day.

These things will eventually become second nature to you.

Studies have shown that it takes around 21 to 30 days to form a new habit, so if we keep showing up, after 30 days our new habit is solidified in our mind making it easier to show up each day.

Will there be challenging times?

Absolutely.

But all it takes is showing up even when things are sucking big time to get things done and reenergize our motivation.

It sounds simple, and it is, but nobody wants to do it.

Let’s be that 1%.

3. Track your progress

This here is the Mack Daddy of staying motivated: tracking your progress.

I keep a Google Sheets document in my toolbar that I use to keep track of everything that I am doing.

Here’s a quick snapshot of it:

Google Sheets

As you can see, I’m just getting started with things, and if you are too then that’s awesome!

Better late than never, right?

Each time I open that document and punch in the amount of work I did each day not only helps me stay accountable to myself, but it also excites me to see my progress over time and keeps me motivated to show up every day.

This simple strategy can help you so much, especially if you’re as unorganized as I tend to be!

Conclusion

Did this list sound too simple?

Good, it was supposed to be.

Motivation doesn’t have to be this big thing that people spend their lives trying to find because they think they don’t have it.

At its core: motivation is a learned behavior we all have access to, yet nobody seems to realize it.

You have all the motivation you need within you, simply start your project, show up every day, and track your progress until it becomes a habit.

You got this!

5 Lessons Learned the Hard Way From a Struggling Online Entrepreneur

The Struggle is Real, So Learn How to Overcome Self-Limiting Thoughts

Online entrepreneurship is hard. It’s like being a goldfish that’s suddenly dropped into an overcrowded pond. It can be frustrating, exhilarating, awesome, and miserable all at the same time.

Portrait of an upset businessman at desk in office. Businessman

Coming from a guy who spent nearly 3 years trying to “make it” but hit several bumps along the way, here are some invaluable tips I recommend anybody in the online entrepreneurial world should take to heart.

1. Don’t give up too quickly

When things get hard, we all have a natural tendency to just say, “screw it!” and throw in the towel, especially if we feel like we’re putting a lot of effort in and getting no results.

It reminds me of people who join a gym the first week of the year: they go to the gym everyday and workout for 2 hours straight, then after a week they don’t notice any change in their bodies so they cancel their membership before the month is even over.

Online marketing is the same way – don’t try going all gung-ho the second you learn how to create an ad campaign in PPC and then stop when your campaign fails miserably because “it obviously didn’t work for me”.

Instead, read how other people approach PPC, try a different method, learn from your mistakes, and repeat.

Before long, you’ll have a vast amount of knowledge of what works and what doesn’t because you spent time testing things for yourself.

2. Finish what you start

Over the course of 1 and a half years, I bought over 25+ domains and built websites using most of them thinking they would make me a millionaire.

Guess what happened? After one site didn’t make me anything 3 months in, I quit and started a new one.

This process repeated itself over 20 times before I threw in the towel and realized I was doing something wrong.

Don’t be like me, instead, actually finish what you start otherwise you’ll be jumping around trying to find the best way to make money when all you really need to do is find one thing and stick with it.

3. Have realistic expectations

I’ll never forget the day I first learned about online entrepreneurship, it was truly an exciting experience.

Unfortunately, as exciting as it was, I was introduced to the idea of making money online through a very slimy multi-level marketing program advertising itself on YouTube back in 2014.

I was basically fed the idea that all I needed to do was spam the link to my MLM website in a million different Facebook groups, message it to all my friends and before long, I would be a zillionaire.

Online entrepreneurship at its finest (or slimiest).

Well, as you can probably guess, that wasn’t really the case.

I almost got banned from my Facebook account and all my friends thought I was hacked.

Yeah, I was pretty ticked.

The point being, I was fed a narrative that making money online is easy when in reality it just isn’t.There’s no

There’s no push-button method, and if you see someone claiming there is then run like hell because they just want your money.

4. Be willing to put in the hard work

Hard work is the secret to becoming a successful entrepreneur. Period.

If you outwork your competition, you will be more likely to succeed.

This means showing up each day and spending hours at a time building up your campaigns, marketing strategies, content, social media accounts, video marketing, etc.

You know, the grunt work that nobody wants to do.

Take a look at Gary Vaynerchuk, one of my personal heroes: this dude started making videos on YouTube back in its early stages and though his content was great, he didn’t make it big till way later.

Gary put in the hard work of filming his videos, coming up content for his videos, editing them, and uploading them on a consistent basis and hasn’t stopped hustling since.

Now, he owns a highly successful business consulting company, Vaynermedia, and works his ass off every day because that’s how entrepreneurs roll.

Be like Gary, put in the hard work even when you don’t see the results right away and never stop learning.

5. Don’t be a perfectionist

Back when I first started learning WordPress in 2014, I remember spending almost 4 hours in one sitting trying to figure out how to move a small line of text out of the header and bring it to the footer.

In the grand scheme of things, that small line of text didn’t affect anything important and was merely a distraction that made me procrastinate doing other more important tasks.

Perfectionism will kill your business if you let it, as it leads to never being satisfied, putting things off, and ultimately inaction.

Nothing will ever be perfect, so the smartest thing to do is just start your project and don’t focus on the minor details.

As you continue to learn, those minor details will show themselves to be either irrelevant or easily fixable with the new knowledge you’ve attained.

Now that I’m experienced in WordPress, HTML and CSS, I could easily do what took me 4 hours to do almost 2 years ago in under a minute.

This doesn’t mean everything is perfect for me now, but things have definitely improved and will continue to improve as I focus on what’s most important.

My ducks will never all be in a row, and that’s fine…ducks are stupid anyway.

4 Things to Do When You Feel Overwhelmed As An Online Entrepreneur

Build Your Emotional Intelligence Effectively By Doing These 4 Things

Your heart starts beating as your mind races at a million miles an hour. You just finished reading a forum post about how somebody made a ton of money online using a method that you’re not too familiar with. Suddenly, you decide to drop everything you were doing beforehand and start using their methodology because you want results now.

frustrated young business man working on laptop computer at office

The problem is, you forgot to read the part where that person explained how they made a ton of money after testing for months and spending thousands of dollars, so after you don’t get the results you’re wanting, you feel desperate and start jumping from one thing to another to try and find something that works.

Sound familiar to anyone?

This is what many people refer to as “shiny coin syndrome” where you start chasing one big thing after another without properly finishing the first thing you were attempting to do because you get impatient and want faster results.

Here are 4 things I do when I start to lose focus and feel the need to find the easy way out.

1. Step Away From the Computer and Take a Breather

It’s always great to simply step away from an overwhelming circumstance and take a nice, deep breath.

You’ll not only clear your head, but you’ll get the chance to realign yourself with your goals.

If I start losing focus, I get up and go for a quick run or walk around my neighborhood and come back feeling refreshed and energized.

Taking small breaks can have a huge impact on your productivity as well.

2. Stop Reading Other People’s Content For a Bit

Sure, it can be an awesome motivational tool to read about how other people have been able to do the exact thing you’re trying to do now, but if you spend too much time listening to other people’s stories it can end up making you frustrated because you’re not seeing their results yet.

I love reading about how people’s blogs become incredibly popular and what they did to get there, but it can easily kill my personal motivation as I naturally wonder why I’m not where they are.

To save myself from the natural tendency to be cynical, I will sometimes take breaks from reading emails, blog posts, or forum posts by other people and focus solely on what I need to accomplish myself.

If you’re still in the learning stages, then, by all means, keep reading about people’s successes so you can get a good idea what you want to do, but if you begin to feel overwhelmed just take a quick break from reading and start trying things out for yourself.

3. Stick to One Thing at a Time

Can affiliate marketing make you money online?

Yes!

Can social media marketing, content marketing, and PPC make you money online?

Yes as well!

However, if you constantly jump from one thing to another without first focusing on just one of these methods and getting really good at it, you’re going to end up extremely frustrated because you have several unfinished ideas rather than one good one.

Try focusing on just one aspect of online business, whether it be writing a blog, an eCommerce site, social media marketing, etc. and slowly start to integrate the other aspects once you get the hang of it.

I’ve been guilty of this more times than I can count, and it can cost you a lot of unneeded freak out moments.

Pick just one thing and grind the hell out of it by watching tutorial videos, reading articles, and testing it out for yourself before moving on to learning something else.

4. Realize There is No Such Thing as Overnight Success

Overnight success is a myth.

Ouch.

I need to constantly remind myself that I will never, ever become successful in little time with little work.

That simply isn’t realistic, and the road to success is marked by failures, small victories, patience, and a lot of hard work.

If you come across an article of someone boasting about how much they make online (and assuming they’re legit), don’t fall for the trick that it didn’t take hard work to get there.

Even with times like these where anyone can become an entrepreneur thanks to the advances in technology, it’s still as hard as ever to get our ideas off the ground and make things happen.

Conclusion

I know what it feels like to think the world is against you and that you’ll never succeed – I’ve been there.

In fact, I’m still there most of the time.

The difference between someone who succeeds and someone who doesn’t is their ability to manage their emotions when times get hard.

If you can find a way to push through the overwhelming times, your possibilities will be limitless.

6 Spiritual Habits to Help Supercharge Your Focus

Strategies to Improve Your Focus Both at Work and at Home

We all have moments in our lives where we feel the desire for change. Whether it’s wanting to lose weight, quit smoking, or start a business, we all have goals we’d like to accomplish to better ourselves. However, many of us who start goals sometimes have a difficult time completing them.

Woman Meditation Beautiful Inspirational Landscape

A good example of this in my life was one of the (many) times I joined a gym after feeling the motivation to get in better shape but then ended up quitting less than a month later.

Why does this happen to so many of us? The answer is simple: we lose the motivation for change due to a lack of focus.

No new habits are formed to help cater to our desire for change, so when the going gets tough we just give up and go back to what is most familiar to us.

The secret is to create new, positive habits that can help supercharge our focus and motivate us to take on any challenge we bring ourselves.

Here are 6 spiritual habits that we can use to help sharpen our focus to complete our goals.

1. Meditation

This tried and true spiritual practice is so common it’s almost become a cliché among spiritual practitioners.

There’s a reason for this: it just flat out works.

Doctors have found that meditation helps decrease stress, improve heart health, and alter brain functions to help adherents focus better.

Whenever I meditate, I go to my room, turn off the lights, and sit quietly for 5-10 minutes while focusing on my breathing and not thinking of anything.

If my mind begins to wander, I acknowledge the thought and move back to focusing on my breathing.

I used to be skeptical about meditating, but I’ve found it to truly help my focus and overall performance.

2. Breathing Deeply

A simple but powerful technique that many people don’t utilize, breathing deeply can relieve emotional stress, help detoxify our bodies, and increase blood-flow to the brain.

When we breathe deeply, we are moving oxygen to the lower parts of our lungs which can help our body’s circulation.

I try to breathe deeply through my nose, engaging my diaphragm, and breathing out my mouth throughout the day.Some people even suggest spending 5-10 minutes each day breathing deeply, and many people accomplish this while meditating.

Some people even suggest spending 5-10 minutes each day breathing deeply, and many people accomplish this while meditating.

3. Affirmations

Spending more time speaking positively over our lives than negatively can have a huge impact on our overall focus and sense of well-being.

After learning about affirmations, I asked myself this question: have I spent more time building myself up with my words, or tearing myself down with my words?

I quickly realized that I spent way too much time tearing myself down with my words which severely crippled my motivation and sense of purpose.

Once I recognized this, I began developing an entirely new habit of affirming myself.

When I screwed up, I accepted the failure, affirmed that I was better than that, and moved on.

It was such a simple thing to do, and yet it was so powerful as it kept me focused.

Another thing I started doing is spending a few minutes each day speaking positive things over my life, including phrases like “I love and accept myself”, “I can and will accomplish my goals”, and “I am a light to the people around me”.

Positivity helps us stay motivated, so it’s important we form new habits of building ourselves up rather than tearing ourselves down.

4. Visualizations

The first time I heard about people using visualizations I thought they were crazy.

To me, it sounded like daydreaming and I didn’t see the point of doing it.

However, when I finally gave in and decided to try this practice for myself, I found it to be a strangely successful motivational tool to help me get through hard times.

There’s a lot of junk out there that teaches people things like continuously visualizing a Ferrari in our garage so that one day it can magically appear there, so let me give a perfect example of how this practice can actually be effective in helping people focus.

In his book The Miracle Morning, author Hal Elrod lays out his morning routine which includes visualizing himself accomplishing his goals.

However, he doesn’t stop there: instead of just visualizing himself enjoying the end result, he visualizes himself enjoying the process needed to get to the end result.

For example: while Hal was writing his book The Miracle Morning, during his morning routine he began to visualize himself happily typing away at his keyboard as he wrote sentence after sentence of his book.

When he actually went to write his book, he found himself feeling more motivated and focused since he had already “seen” himself write his book, so he believed he could do it!

Strangely enough, he also felt a deeper sense of enjoyment while writing his book than he did before he began practicing visualizations.

5. Gratitude

Being thankful shouldn’t be something reserved for the holidays, but should instead be a daily practice.

The simple practice of gratitude can have huge benefits for a person both physically and psychologically including an increase in overall positivity, vitality, sleep, and can even help boost our immune system.

It’s very easy to forget how much we truly have in our lives, even if it’s something as simple as having food on the table or having air in our lungs, so taking the time to acknowledge how thankful we are for what we have can help motivate us to keep moving forward.

I like to think of 10 things in my life that I am thankful for and write them down on a piece of paper.

After I’m finished, I carefully read over each item on my list and say aloud, “I am so thankful for ____ in my life”.

This is a super easy way to help us recognize how blessed we are and motivate us to remain focused on accomplishing our goals.

6. Slow Down

In a busy world, like the one we have today, everyone always seems to be in a hurry.

Whether we’re on our way to work or the gym, we all feel pressed for time.

When asked by someone how we’re doing, the patent answer after “good” always seems to be “I’ve been crazy busy!”

Because of this, the idea of going through life at a slower, more carefully planned pace taking heed to each moment as it passes by can sound insane to us.

The truth is, most people spend more time trying to get somewhere than actually being present where they are now.

Too much time is spent in either the past or the future and too little time is spent in the present.

Our past is over and done with, and our future can only be determined by what we do right now.

I try spending more time being present through every circumstance, whether I’m eating, driving, or being with my family.

Just taking a step back and recognizing each moment as it passes can truly help us focus on what’s most important in our lives.

As the spiritual teacher, Ram Dass says, “Be here now.”

4 Simple Productivity Hacks That Anyone Can Use to Stay Motivated

Stay Motivated and Get Stuff Done!

It’s a new year, and for some, that means new opportunity. Many people have decided that this is the year that they will take action and get things done. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg even announced that he would run a mile a day, 365 miles total.

Productivity

While a new year always brings new opportunity for some, others find it difficult to manage their time and get things done at home or in the workplace.

Here are 4 simple productivity hacks that you can use to help skyrocket your productivity for the new year.

1. Write Things Down

This is a simple discipline that I refused to use for years because I just didn’t see the point.

What would I do with all the paper that I wrote on?

Should I stick it on the wall?

My handwriting sucks so what if I can’t even read it?

I’ve got it all in my head, so why bother writing it down?

After years of arguing with myself, I finally buckled down and began writing things down either using the standard pen and paper or Google Keep on my phone.

What I found was really interesting: when I would write things down, I was able to retain them better.

Not only that but by writing my thoughts or ideas down, they now had a concrete, unchanging identity that I could come back to if I ended up forgetting them or feeling unmotivated to work on them.

This simple, tried-and-true productivity hack can work wonders if you’re a scatterbrain like myself who thinks he can remember everything.

2. Use Task Management Software

Working a corporate office job taught me a valuable lesson: task managers are a godsend.

With all of the tasks that I had to do on a daily basis, without task management software I wouldn’t have lasted a week.

Thankfully, using the software provided by my company, each day I could open up a page and view all of my daily tasks in an orderly fashion.

If you find yourself doing several daily tasks at your job or in your business, a task manager could seriously save you time and boost your productivity.

There are several free task managers out there that work well, including tools like Producteev and Freedcamp.Save yourself some unneeded stress at your job or in your business and start using a task manager!

Save yourself some unneeded stress at your job or in your business and start using a task manager!

3. Break Your Work into Smaller Blocks

When you first start building a business, it can be an incredibly daunting task.

So much to do with so little time to do it – at least that’s how I felt.Rather than try tackling everything at once, the smarter thing to do is to break your work into smaller, more manageable blocks of time.

Rather than try tackling everything at once, the smarter thing to do is to break your work into smaller, more manageable blocks of time.

For example: if you are wanting to write 100 blog posts in a year, that can sound like an overwhelming task up front.

However, if you instead broke that work up into writing just 2 blog posts per week, your task now sounds very manageable.

Never try to take on a big task all at once, as the saying goes: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

4. Take Breaks

Unless you’re some sort of highly evolved creature that can run 24/7 without stopping, you need to take a breather every now and again.

When I tackle any project, I tend to work in 90 minute intervals with a 10-20 minute break after each interval.

This helps me regain focus, stretch, get some fresh air, and not feel like crap for sitting in the same place for 8 hours straight.

It might sound counterintuitive to take several breaks throughout the day when you’re trying to be productive, but it actually helps tremendously as studies have shown that people who take breaks tend to get more accomplished than people who don’t.

Remember to work smarter, not harder!

There are plenty of other ways to help skyrocket your productivity and dominate the new year, so utilize what you know and make this your most productive year yet!

A New Dawn

Hello, internet!

Professional photographer takes photos with camera on tripod on rocky peak at sunset.

Thomas Adams here, and I’m pleased to announce my next project: an informational blog for entrepreneurs/marketers/etc.

Over the past 3 years I have been working hard (most of the time) in figuring out both how to build a business online as well as do digital marketing.

I am excited to share all the knowledge that I have gained with you.

No, this isn’t a lame MLM blog trying to get you to buy my system or whatever, I’m just going to share free information with all of you and not sugar coat anything.

I have nothing to sell as of right now, and I’m doing this for fun.

As of right now, I not only have an eCommerce business in the works, but I have a great job as an SEO Specialist that I would not have been able to have had I not spent countless hours researching and doing digital marketing.

Stay tuned for more information, and like I said I’m just doing this for fun so I don’t plan on being very polished with my writing.

Cheers!