The more you learn, the more you know, the more you realise how little you actually know.
One person’s rubbish is another person’s treasure.
Letting go of expectations might well reduce suffering, while at the same time lessening the drive to take action and chase down goals.
The more we have, the more we have to lose.
The more you give, the more you get. “Givers gain” is a popular quote.
The more in need you are, the greater the tendency to “grab” at opportunities, but the less others are willing to give you as a result of this.
Is it best to aim for specialised learning, to go deep and narrow, or generalise by learning wide and shallow, to keep options open, and allowing for easier pivoting in the future, if needed?
There are contradictions everywhere.
Maybe nothing has any meaning other than the one we give it. Maybe life is about experiencing the rich tapestry of existence, and learning to break free of social conditioning and find our own meaning of experience. Maybe we should aim to break free of judging and labeling, or at least improve awareness of the process.
When we read a book with the intention to learn, we are encouraging our mind to shift perspective, to see things from a different position. We are seeking permission to think and feel differently than before, by reading the wise words of someone who may know better than us.
So should we live a life where we chase down dreams and pursue goals, in which we are driven to succeed?
Do we live life in gratitude and contentment, happy to live spiritually in the moment, free of attachments to thoughts, possessions and people, like a monk would do?
I guess, the beauty of life is, we get to decide as individuals.
Sure we might come across difficulties, obstacles and even pressure from people around us, who want us to serve their agendas, but in the end, we have the choice to either put up and shut up or take action to do something for ourselves.
Aligning the inner world of what makes us tick, with the outer world of what we spend time doing is key to living a fulfilling life, so we should perhaps try to live a life that best achieves that aim.
People who have been told to stop smoking for health reasons, still smoke. Research says this is as high as 70%.
People who hate themselves because they are too fat, go eat more chocolate.
People who have never followed through, suddenly do.
Have you ever wondered why some people don’t take action when others do?
Why do people buy educational products and not get results?
How great would it be if everyone who bought them, actually used them, and did something with the information they provided?
I think people buy products to escape that feeling of lack, they buy for the feeling of hope it gives them, even if only for a short time.
What turns a person on, and what pisses them off is RELATIVE. It’s different for everyone.
People that don’t take action are in a DESIRE situation, they have dreams and ambitions, but not in a MUST situation.
People that do take action fear not following through more than taking action. They fear what they will miss out on, or they have a strong enough reason to follow through.
And they get validation when it works. Once they’ve proven it to themselves, they do more of it, often at a higher level. They leverage their results.
Some create rituals to allow them to get another skill to help them be even more productive/capable of earning more, being more and having more.
Breakthroughs come by feeding your mind, and creating a ritual every day, building momentum.
Surround yourself with more successful people, to help change your perspective. Shift your desires, your standards change by being in situations which show you better.
Alternatively, find something your excited about doing.
What would you do if you had a gun to your head? What would you do if you could not fail?
The holy grail between someone taking action or not is CERTAINTY or BELIEF. If you know it will change your life, you will take action.
Non-believers buy the product event though they don’t believe it will work. The product has to prove itself to them first, before they will believe it. They also lower their expectations. But to be a critic, you don’t have to have guts.
GUTS are needed to BELIEVE, but people don’t want to get their hopes up, for fear of disappointment.
Success is about 2 things…
MINDSET – It’s about potential. Practice in your head, so that you believe it, and body will get you through. The belief in their potential is key. You might say “I’m not like Tony Robbins, or Jim Rohn, so you take no action. So what would happen if you were certain you would not fail?
WHAT ACTION YOUR TAKE – will determine the results you get. Each success, builds on the last, via momentum.
So how do you produce certainty when the world is not giving it to you? Get results in your head, before you actually have them in reality. Visualise what your life is going to be like, believe it. Increase your EXPECTATIONS. Condition your mind so that you know you will achieve x.
Studies show MIND affects PERFORMANCE. So VISUALISE, perfect practice makes perfect. Through mentally practicing many times you develop certainty.
We have beliefs we aren’t even aware of. The POTENTIAL is always there, but you must change you feeling of CERTAINTY.
Don’t focused on the action, visualise the results. The action becomes automatic, you’re in flow state.
CONDITION YOUR MIND by making it a RITUAL, create CERTAINTY and BELIEF that you can and will succeed.
So in summary…
DECIDE – enough is enough
VISUALISATION – success
CONDITIONING – develop rituals, and create certainty. keep moving forwards
For much of my 50 years I’ve tried to be a student of life, and I’ve collated a number of principles I think have helped me live a better life. I thought I’d share them with you, hopefully you can find some value in them.
They are listed below:
Become a master at Selling – get to know what turns people on, their passions, think of the seven deadly sins for this (lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, pride). Alternative consider what keeps people awake at night (fears/anxiety). Use well known sales structures to hang your sales message on such as A.I.D.A. or S.U.C.C.E.S.
Be a business owner – don’t work in a business, work on it, there’s a world of difference. If you find your not suited to the running of business, but you’re interested in it, be an investor in businesses.
Become an investor – Learn to spot undervalued assets and sell for a profit or derive income from them.
Identify where things are headed. Pattern recognition. Map to the future.
Stay ahead of the trend not behind it. Look for expanding markets, otherwise you’ll have to work harder each year for same profit.
Disrupt your own business model. Don’t focus on how it’s always been done. Find the perfect solution and get as close to that as possible. Don’t just try to do it the best you can, do it the best it can be done. Seek the perfect solution and work back to what is currently possible, and work to fill the gap going forwards. Consider convenience, affordability, increase of SOS.
Under promise and over deliver. Manage expectations and try to exceed them.
Go the extra mile.
Pay attention to detail.
Add value in all exchanges – even if it’s just a smile, or a kind word.
Customers are not interested in your story, only how you can help them increase their sense of self. Align your needs to theirs and you’ll win. Provide a solution to help them.
Be memorable – people won’t remember what you did, they will remember how you made them feel. Use mnemonics, like velcro with lots of sensory hooks, for example baker versus Baker.
Be a problem solver – not just a problem spotter. See what people are moaning and complaining about. Providing workable solutions is where the value is created . Stop moaning and do something about it. Be a solution provider.
Don’t let your resume hold you back. Be open to opportunities and say YES, then figure out the HOW after.
Leverage is key to wealth success. It magnifies effort exponentially (to the power of..). Leverage of debt, compound interest, leverage of resources. For example; multiple shops, multiple assets all bringing income. Leverage your contacts. You don’t need money, you need a better strategy. If you can’t make money without money, you probably can’t make money with money. Leverage other people resources. Who benefits from what you are trying to do? If you need £50k to buy a new business, If supplier going to get £100k more business ask them for £25k investment, offer seller £10k more if they accept the remainder in instalments. Ask “who will benefit” and work out a way to leverage other people’s resources.
Focus – concentrates energy through a narrow conduit, reducing drag and increasing speed and effectiveness, like a magnifying glass intensifying the sun’s rays so that it is powerful enough to start a fire. Do the one thing such by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary.
Adaptable – ability to shift perspective and flexibility of thought. Open minded to new and better ways of thinking /behaving. Look for the best way it can be done rather than the best way you can do it. Try to disprove what you think you know and challenge assumptions/inferences. What worked yesterday may not tomorrow. Don’t resist chance. Be a predator of chance rather than s victim of circumstance. There are winners and losers in every situation. Try to put yourself out of business (be a disrupter).
Be a lifelong learner – Seek out the best way it can be done, not the best you can do it. Master of what you know, apprentice of what you don’t. Question everything test everything.
Don’t just believe everything you hear, even from authority figures or so called experts. Ask “how do you know? Point me to the research/evidence !” Look to have hypotheses that you try to disprove (like science does) rather than beliefs you try to confirm. It is the most effect way to uncover the truth.
There are lessons all around you all the time, with lessons of what to do, what not to do, everyone has something to teach you, whether they know it or not – watch and listen more than talking.
Learn from your mistakes, don’t be fearful of making them. They are the best teacher.
Find accurate information from reliable sources, curiosity, disprove rather than prove – prevents confirmation bias and self reinforcement, scientific approach.
Allow reflective time to absorb and assimilate information. Talk to others out loud (real or imaginary) as if you were teaching them about what you have learned, or blog about what you’ve learned, this will help you organise your learning into a coherent form.
Beware the Curse of knowledge. Use what you have/know to help others who want to know what you know, in layman’ terms. Break things down. If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it enough.
Choose love over fear – Fearfulness is self defeating, and Ego-centric. Be in the moment, observe thought, don’t react or be controlled by it.
Think abundance rather than scarcity – When one door closes another opens, if you miss a door opening, don’t worry another will. They are always opening.
Givers gain – Of your time, experience attention, support, experience, money.
Get results – Know and do what’s needed, whilst not doing anything counter. Knowledge, motivation, productivity.
Stop using Coping strategies to excuse failure – Justifying is a method to alleviate cognitive stress, and allows us to settle/make do with the current status quo.
Goal setting – Make sure the method you choose to achieve your goal is congruent/ aligned with you, otherwise you won’t act. Ideally do something you like which leads to your goal. If you like business but don’t like the day to day responsibilities of running a business, be an investor instead.
E to P (Entrepreneur to purposeful) – don’t keep bouncing off outer wall of ability, you have to figure out a way to expand your boundary, because life will keep testing you until you do. Even if you give up and do something else, the time will come again when you need to push passed.
Know that beliefs, values and consequently, principles, rules, conditions, judgements, views, opinions, conjecture, predictions are built largely on assumptions and inferences and testimony (of perceived experts/authority figures via social conditioning), rather than truths, formed by repetition, revision, practice. Yet they play a huge role in shaping our perceptions/perspective and consequently behaviour/actions. Our Senses take incoming stimuli and our mind then runs a storytelling narrative over them, as we attempt to interpret and make sense of what we see, hear, taste, touch and smell. Our senses can be fooled, our thoughts and consequently our perceptions/perspective misguided.
Question thoughts, beliefs, assumptions /inferences – start researching to find if they’re accurate/true
Be wary of having fixed/rigid beliefs and values. When someone tells you something, ask “How do you know?”
Expectations worth having;
Expect that if it can go wrong it will and at the worst possible time – prepare for it!
Expect nothing – drop any sense of entitlement – life and people don’t owe you anything, whether politeness, favours, forgiveness, a place in society, the right to make a living, good health, relationships, friends, family. Each day is a gift, appreciate everything you have, while you have it. Replace Expectation with Appreciation.
Expect change – Nothing stays the same, everything changes, change is a natural part of life, you can’t get stuck (in a situation)forever because things are constantly shifting. There are winners and losers in every situation, position yourself to win, be a predator of chance, rather than a victim of circumstance.
Expect things/situations to be more complex than initially meets the eye. i.e. political issues, skills etc. If something doesn’t seem to make sense, look into further to find out the complexities, rather than just giving an uninformed opinion.
Bertrand Arthur William Russell who lived between 18 May 1872 and 2 February 1970, was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, writer, social critic, political activist, he was a prominent anti-war activist and a Nobel laureate.
In the video below, filmed doing an interview with John Freeman for the BBC’s Face to Face programme in 1959, Russell is asked by Freeman what advice would he give to future generations, based on his own life lessons.
Russell splits his answer into 2 parts, first intellectual advice and secondly moral advice.
The INTELLECTUAL advice
When studying anything, ask yourself what are the facts and what is the truth the facts bare out. Don’t get diverted by what you wish to believe or by what would have beneficial social effects if it were to be believed, only look at the facts
The MORAL advice
Love is wise, hatred is foolish. In an ever more interconnected world, we have to learn to tolerate each other and the learn to live with the fact that some people will say things we don’t like. This is the only way forwards, if we are to live together and not die together.
Following the list below will inevitably improve your quality of life, and those who you share it with. Remember it’s not about what happens to you, but rather how you deal with whatever happens to you.
How do you find the best path to achieving your goal?
There may be many paths you can take to reach your GOAL.
Some paths may cross one another.
Some paths are longer than others.
Some paths may run into a dead end, requiring you to retrace your steps, at least partially, to get back on track.
Some paths lead you to places you never expected, but come to love.
The only paths that fail, are those you abandon.
So to answer the question posed above….
You must TAKE ACTION, deliberately and purposefully, measuring your progress or lack of, as you go.
You should adjust your approach based on your MEASUREMENT feedback.
You should cycle through a process of 1. testing, 2. measuring, and 3. tweaking your execution.
Remain open to alternative methodology; be an humble apprentice, questioning your assumptions and knowledge, always. The moment you decide you know, is the moment you close yourself off from learning anything more.
When it comes to finding the best path to your goal, you would be best to first focus on two coordinates;
#1 – Where you’re starting from and
#2 -Where you want to end up (GOAL)
Without either of these, particularly a well defined GOAL, you have no sense of direction. You cannot know if you are closer or further away, at any point in your journey.
Tony Robbins is a big proponent of MODELLING, when it comes to achieving goals. He teaches his followers to dissect the success of those that have done what you want to do and identify the key ingredients to achieving a positive result.
Once you know what is required to be successful in achieving your goal, you can work out a strategy for making the most of your existing skills and talents, replacing those of the person you are modelling. For instance if someone is amassing a large following on the back of providing great HOW TO.. advice via say, a podcast, but you don’t have the vocal presence or skills needed, you could, maybe, provide the same information via the written word, if you’re a good writer and your skill-set is better suited to that form of delivery. Alternatively you could practice and improve your vocal skills, to the best of your ability, or even put a unique twist on it, to make it more palatable for the audience.
When you’re modeling, separate out the STYLE and STRATEGY that you’re chosen role model is employing. Employ the same strategy they are using, but marry that with your own style to make it authentic and unique to you.
When you have a list of key requirements and/or stages for achieve your goal, use each as a gauge of your progress. Ask “am closer to being able to achieve my goal today, than I was yesterday?”
Once you have fulfilled all the requirements, you should have achieved your goal. If you are still unsuccessful, then look for what ingredient(s) you might have missed. There must be something else missing.
Just a word of warning, when modelling, be aware of the fact that things may have moved on. What worked yesterday may no longer work in the same way today or be relevant to the needs of the market (if your goal is business/marketing related). So make sure that your approach is also up-to-date. For example television advertising was once very profitable for big brands but is no longer so, the audience’s attention is focused online today, via their smartphones. However while this is the case for the likes of business and marketing, which are fast moving and fluid environments, if your goal is fitness or health related, then what worked yesterday is still relevant today.
Getting results in any aspect of life, whether it be work, business, health, relationships, requires knowing what to do and doing what needs to be done. You must have the know how, motivation, and be productive.
We would all like to be more successful in one way or another. Success is not just about having a profitable business, or achieving great wealth, but comes in the form of successfully achieving good health, having great relationships and being more fulfilled spiritually.
I’ve listed 10 great secrets for improving your chances of success, there are others and you can find more ideas throughout this website, so check them out at your leisure, there’s lots to read and watch on the site. Also please consider signing up to our newsletter to get content updates and exclusive material, not available on the website.
So let’s get on with it…
Embrace CHANGE and RISK
There are winners and losers in every situation. You can focus on blaming and complaining, or you can look to position yourself to win. Be a predator of chance, rather than a victim of circumstance.
We resist CHANGE because it brings uncertainty and risk, but it also brings opportunity. Changing your mindset, changes your results.
For example during the financial crisis of 2007-2008, which brought down most of the major economies, some financial institutions were quick to identify the problem and take positions to benefit from it, by shorting stocks.
Every crisis opens up opportunities, you just have to be clear minded enough to be able to take advantage, often in the face of fear and imminent disaster.
Change your PERSPECTIVE
Challenge your perceptions, expectations, assumptions and interpretations.
Accepting the possibility of being wrong takes courage, and self-confidence
The aim is to have a more rounded perspective of the world and to be open to alternative ideas, views and methods of doing things.
Stop EXCUSING failure
Procrastination, blaming and complaining are clever psychological tricks aimed at making yourself feel better for not trying, or failing.
For instance procrastination allows you to delay the necessity to take action, you say, “I’ll start my diet tomorrow or at the beginning of next week or I’ll make it a new year resolution”. They are excuses that allow you to remain unchanged.
Blaming and complaining passes responsibility to others so you can feel better and free yourself from guilt, but passing responsibility passes power, the very power you need to make progress.
Be wary of what you choose to believe. Many belief systems are based on little more than assumptions. Assumptions about what we are being told and assumptions about the people who are telling us, assumptions about what is true and what is not.
You might see your Facebook feed taken up by people commenting on social and political issues, and if you’re like me you wonder how many of these opinions are nothing other than unresearched re-parroting of mis-truths.
In his book “Think and grow rich”, Napoleon Hill advises to always ask “How do you know?” when somebody tells you something, and if their answer happens to be anything other than “from first hand experience”, take it with a pinch of salt.
Going all-in, burning bridges, reaching the point of no return. However you want to term it, making sure you are committed means you have to make it work or else…
When you do anything half heartedly, with one foot in and one foot out, things seem to take much more time to reach a successful conclusion, if at all.
Success needs determination and perseverance, particularly when the going gets tough, and commitment means you’re more likely to push on rather than give up and throw in the towel. Road blocks and obstructions will inevitably halt your progress, to test your resolve. If you are to get passed them you have to be resolute, or don’t even bother starting.
Make your goals dynamic rather than static. What I mean by this is, don’t focus on being a millionaire, instead make goals more action oriented such as… helping a million people get out of poverty by using [your solution]. This helps you link your GOAL back to where you are starting out from.
Start by focusing on helping one person then get better and more effective at doing it. The aim from there is to leverage your results to help more and more people. Ask “How can I help one person?” and progress from there.
Once you start on this defined path, progress is easy to measure and you are in a groove from the word go.
Narrow your FOCUS
Have you ever used a magnifying glass to concentrate the sun’s rays and burn grass, insects or even a friend’s hand for a bit of, so called fun? Then you’ll appreciate the power of focused energy.
In the same way the sun’s energy is intensified into a small beam of heat, when you concentrate your energy onto a single thing, the power of that energy, of effort, in this case, is greatly intensified to much greater effect than would be the case if you were covering a wide number of different things.
When you spread yourself thin, your energy dissipates to a large extent. You are bound to get a drop in consequences and outcomes. Focus will maximise the return on energy invested, otherwise known as energy return on investment.
Put in the HARD WORK
If you believe you can be an overnight success, make a website and earn thousands of pounds in passive income, you’re deluded.
There are many sharks hoping to sell you the next money making system for just $49. Forget it, the only person you’re going to make rich is the person selling you the system.
Success takes work, don’t be persuaded otherwise. Knuckle down and do something you love, and “GRAFT AT YOUR CRAFT“. Get into a virtuous cycle of continual improvement based on action and feedback, and learn as you practice.
The ability to leverage resources is the key to riches. Leverage requires employing a system to grow from one to many.
Think of opening a shop, and then two, three and more. You find a method that can deliver value to customers in one area. When you have it cracked you open in a new area and repeat.. If you drive a taxi for a living, you get a second car, pay someone to drive it for you, pocket any profit, repeat and rinse.
You can personally only work so many hours, there is a ceiling to your earning power. Businesses leverage the power of the many, for a common cause, and the owner makes a killing in the process.
The ability to manage thoughts and emotions is often the difference between achieving greatness or failing.
Think of the football player stepping up to take a penalty in a big match, with the world on the edge of their seats watching, half the people wishing for a miss, and the other half completely emotionally invested in a successful outcome. A place in history or abject failure, the consequences couldn’t be more stark.
If you’re not a football fan you might not appreciate this scenario fully, so instead think of a situation where success and failure hang on the outcome of one thing, one action, and try to imagine the pressure that builds, the self-doubt that surge’s through your mind and the impact on physiology. The stomach churns, the legs go weak, the mouth is as dry as a bone, the flight or fight mechanism kicks in.
Managing your thoughts is key to managing your emotions. Gain some perspective: if it’s not truly life and death, don’t build it up to be. Don’t believe your whole future happiness depends on this one break, because it doesn’t. Stop manifesting pressure that doesn’t need to be there. Improve your EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE because it will improve your performance.
BE HONEST with yourself
The ability to look in the mirror and admit your shortcomings, your weakness and know what you would prefer to be doing is all important when crafting a life you love, but it’s not easy.
You have to let go of the image of yourself you HOPE TO BE or would like to see yourself being, and embrace the reality. If you suffer from low self esteem, this can be painful, but it is for the best, because it will allow you to move forward in a more realistic way.
There is no point in fooling yourself and wasting precious time. Bite the bullet, be honest with yourself and start moving down the right path, armed with a strong sense of self awareness.
The building blocks to success can be accessed through the following links, covering MOTIVATION, PRODUCTIVITY and KNOWLEDGE.
Simultaneously seeking Spirituality and Ambition can seem like a contradiction but they aren’t, if you approach them in the right way.
The seeming juxtaposition comes from the fact that spiritualism tells us we are already enough, and that when we try to find ourselves in DOING, we, in fact, lose ourselves in DOING. It tells us that salvation comes from this moment consciousness, and that psychological time only serves to trap us in the Ego (identification with thought), which is only concerned with past and future and uses the present as a stepping stone to the future, with no intrinsic value of its own.
Ambition on the other hand has, at its very core, discontentment with the present situation and the desire for some future salvation, something better than what is. Ambition is also accessed through thought and if we identify with these thoughts, we are lost in the Ego.
So how can you reconcile the two? How can you be content with the present, yet yearn enough to motivate you to go for more or better? Well the answer comes from understanding that, you are already enough and that you really won’t find yourself in DOING, or in HAVING, or WANTING, and you shouldn’t be motivated to be better or have more, or be richer, for any self gain, or constantly losing yourself in thoughts of what might or could be.
Instead seek ambition only for selfless reasons, focusing on a present moment perspective. To contribute more, participate in the game of life as much as possible, not for yourself but in the service of others or the planet, or whatever floats your boat. See ambition as a game to be enjoyed, and an opportunity to express yourself, not for the serious pursuit of gain, for doing so is false, it’s Ego motivated and will keep you away from your true spiritual self. Instead do it as a method of expression, aimed at helping and contributing to make the world we live in a better place, even if it’s in a very small or narrow way. After all we can make the world a better place, even by the simple act of smiling at a stranger, as they walk by.
The Ego wants more, better, and seeks gain for selfish reasons, because it is consumed with fear… of loss, and of not being enough, and in that pursuit comes greed, fear and the desire for power, which ultimately are doomed to end in pain. When you fight to be better, you position yourself separate from others, and adopt a competitive mindset, classic Ego positioning.
Alternatively when you act to serve others, for the good of others, you take up an inclusive mindset. It maximises your impact, without using it to serve your Ego, or trying to pump yourself up. When you do it to make yourself feel better, you have moved under the influence of the Ego. Use your Ego to serve you, don’t let it take over as master. The difference is subtle, but vastly different at the same time.
Live you life by focusing your attention on this moment, the moment you live your life though. Stop living in and identifying with thought. You can still use thought for goal setting and planning purposes, when necessary, but even that process can be done while remaining in the moment, without getting lost in thought and letting it take over you.