Entrepreneurship

Screw Excuses, Don’t Overthink, and Act — A Recipe to End Inaction

Photo by  Cristina Pop  on  Unsplash

An Important Lesson From Richard Branson

“Screw it, let’s do it” — Richard Branson

That attitude has led him to start, or help start, over 100 companies. He crossed the Atlantic ocean on a hot hair balloon, made the craziest product announcements the world has ever seen (look it up!), met and befriended Nelson Mandala, Barack Obama and other world leaders, and more.

Another interesting thing I highlighted from his latest book, Finding my Virginity, was:

I do almost everything on emotion” — Richard Branson

Now that interested me a lot because we’re always told to contain our emotions and act rationally. Truth be told, I believe in acting rationally, but where has this led us really?

Rationality oftentimes leads us to inaction.

We analyze something for too long and find a detail we think we can’t overcome, and then voila! we don’t even try. Gone was that good idea we had. We don’t even give it the chance to become a great idea.

I started having this go-getter attitude about 13 months ago when I left Canada to be a nomad.

 

How I Personally Apply This

Everything, with the exception of my game company, is a manifestation of Screw it, let’s do it.

My writing? I gave close to zero thought about writing before I started. I just wanted to improve it, so I wrote on Medium.

My first book? It was an idea I had in the shower, and I put it together, with help, in less than two weeks while working full-time on Soul Reaper and other projects. I did research on how to make this happen after the shower and acted on it right away.

My website? Someone asked me if I had one at the co-working space I was working from. I didn’t. He was right that I needed one though. So I put it together the next day and launched it the day after.

Viking Boutique? I saw a webinar on dropshipping and was intrigued. I put a Shopify store together that same night just to test it out. When I knew how things worked, after one or two more nights of playing around, I decided I would do something serious. That was the first version of Viking Boutique. I put it up in 4 hours.

My photography gigs? I volunteered to take photos for Sundara for a project of theirs in Uganda. I had no clue what I was doing. Back in April, I took photos of the opening of a new WeWork location in Bangalore. I simply asked if they needed professional shots.

This story? Just like 95% of the other stories I write, I have no clue what I’m going to write about when I wake up. Heck, I never even know until I start writing. And somehow, according to Medium, I’ve written more than 400 stories (includes replies).

You see my point?

I’ve left quite a few jobs in the past. Almost every time I thought about switching jobs, I did so at most two weeks after having the thought.

I remember some previous colleagues repeatedly mentioning they would quit; a thought that, at the time, had never occurred to me for myself. And he said it for at least a year. When I decided to quit, I quit. I was gone much before him, and I heard he left one or two years after me.

 

Conclusion

Whenever you catch yourself saying: “I will do <x>”, you should stop yourself and think: “why not now?”. Chances are, you’ll have a pitiful excuse (sorry).

If time is your excuse, I’d say that 95% of the time, it’s a case of bad time management. It’s not the point of this story to explain how to manage time, but reflect on that the next time not-having-time is your excuse. Elon Musk and Richard Branson are busier than you, yet they make things happen.

“If you don’t have time for small things, you won’t have time for big things.” — Richard Branson

So I give you this challenge:

Whatever idea you’ve been off-putting for a while, just put it in motion. Just dip your feet and see how it feels. Slowly, little by little, you’ll catch yourself being in the pool and acting on things you thought were impossible for you.

You can do this!

Thanks for reading, clapping, sharing and following! :)

First published here: https://medium.com/swlh/screw-excuses-dont-overthink-and-act-a-recipe-to-end-inaction-364b9bf02e4

Thinking of Giving Up? Try This Mindset Change To Keep Going

Photo by  Sydney Sims  on  Unsplash

Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” — Thomas A. Edison

Recently, I shared a story about how negativity is poison for your brain and some tips on how to clear it. It was a very personal story on how I had “failed” on three of my recent photography assignments and how I could only have negative thoughts as a result.

Digging myself out was not easy for me.

The failure was difficult to swallow and I was trying to come up with a multitude of ways to get out of my contract.

I was close to calling it a “failure”.

As Ray Dalio wrote in his book Principles: “You will think you have failed — but that won’t be true unless you give up”.

  • How many times have you considered failure to be an option?

  • How many times have you considered giving up?

  • How many times have you given up?

  • How did it feel?

  • Was it the right choice?

I’m in the camp that it’s okay to give up sometimes. It’s also okay to not give up. There’s no right or wrong. It’s circumstantial and personal.

The important thing is that you learn from the experience.

In which case, can you really call it a failure? Maybe it’s more of a failed experiment. And failed experiments are great.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” — Thomas A. Edison

See Edison’s persistence?

10,000 ways might be a little exaggerated, but the point is there: he never gave up on the things he believed in. Now we all know him for all the great things he did for humanity.

If Thomas Edison, Ray Dalio and all the great people who achieved so much in life tell me to not give up, I won’t give up.

 

Not Giving Up

That was my mentality going into my fourth assignment at the Z.P. Urdu school.

I dug into the “why” the other assignments were failed experiments. Some of the things were out of my control, but some of the things were my fault, and I took ownership of my mistakes.

In the previous assignments, I was using the wrong settings, relying on semi-automatic modes. As a result, a lot of my shots were too blurry.

Also, I was also not being assertive enough to tell people to do things for me. I was paralysed by the fear of telling the wrong things and wasting people’s time. It was my first time directing a photoshoot after all.

I made myself a mental map of all the things I needed to do better for the next assignment.

I was pumped. I wanted to ace that next one.

I was positive and had a clear idea of how I could do better.

And I executed really well. I was so happy.

My photography really improved thanks to my past failed experiments. I wasn’t cocky in my abilities to take photos and approached the assignment with an opened mind.

 

Conclusion

If you really care about something, do yourself a favour and don’t give up on it.

Change your mentality. Don’t view failure as a negative experience, but rather a formative one. One that puts you back to reality, and shows you that there are always lessons to learn.

Life is a series of experiments, most of which will “fail”. Learn from these experiments, grow stronger, prosper.

Remember, it’s not a failure if you don’t give up.

Don’t give up on your dreams.

You can do this!

Thanks for reading, clapping, and sharing! :)

First published here: https://medium.com/on-the-rise/thinking-of-giving-up-try-this-mindset-change-to-keep-going-224869cb6db4

Screw it, Just Do It

An Important Lesson From Richard Branson

Having lived in Canada for most of my life, I haven’t been exposed to the Virgin group, or Richard Branson’s story, much growing up. I knew about Virgin, but that was about it.

I’m currently reading Finding My Virginity, the latest auto-biography from Richard Branson. Now I feel like a complete ignorant fool for not really knowing about him before. That guy has just done EVERYTHING!

His biography is obviously one side of a coin, but his story is one of the most inspiring stories I’ve ever read myself. I never want to finish it, and I’m looking forward to reading his other books.

  • Have you read his books?

  • What did you think?

  • Any particular one of his stories inspire you?

For me, it’s not any particular story that inspires me, it’s his attitude. I’ve rarely seen someone less afraid of failing or living out of his comfort zone all the time. He summed his attitude up in this short sentence:

“Screw it, let’s do it” — Richard Branson

That attitude has led him to start, or help start, over 100 companies. He crossed the Atlantic ocean on a hot hair balloon, made the craziest product announcements the world has ever seen (look it up!), met and befriended Nelson Mandala, Barack Obama and other world leaders, and more.

Another interesting thing I highlighted from the book was: “I do almost everything on emotion”.

Now that interested me a lot because we’re always told to contain our emotions and act rationally. Truth be told, I believe in acting rationally, but where has this led us really?

Rationality oftentimes leads us to inaction.

We analyze something for too long and find a detail we think we can’t overcome, and then voila! we don’t even try. Gone was that good idea we had. We don’t even give it the chance to become a great idea.

I started having this go-getter attitude about 7 months ago when I left Canada to be a nomad. Especially “business”-wise.

How I Personally Apply This

Everything, with the exception of my game company, is a manifestation of Screw it, let’s do it.

My writing? I gave close to zero thought about writing before I started. I just wanted to improve it, so I wrote on Medium.

My book? It was an idea I had in the shower, and I put it together, with help, in less than two weeks while working full-time on Soul Reaper and other projects. I did research on how to make this happen after the shower and acted on it right away.

My website? Someone asked me if I had one at the co-working space I was working from. I didn’t. He was right that I needed one though. So I put it together the next day and launched it the day after.

Viking Boutique? I saw a webinar on dropshipping and was intrigued. I put a Shopify store together that same night just to test it out. When I knew how things worked, after one or two more nights of playing around, I decided I would do something serious. That was the first version of Viking Boutique. I put it up in 4 hours.

My photography gigs? I volunteered to take photos for Sundara for a project of theirs in Uganda. I had no clue what I was doing. If you look at my Instagram’s older photos, you’ll see that I was grossly underprepared to take photos of a company’s operations and capturing moments. Now I’ll be taking photos of the opening of a new WeWork location in Bangalore next month.

This story? Just like 95% of the other stories I write, I have no clue what I’m going to write about when I wake up. Heck, I never even know until I start writing. And somehow, according to Medium, I’ve written more than 200 stories (includes replies).

You see my point?

I’ve left quite a few jobs in the past. Almost every time I thought about switching jobs, I did so at most two weeks after having the thought.

I remember some previous colleagues repeatedly mentioning they would quit; a thought that, at the time, had never occurred to me for myself. And he said it for at least a year. When I decided to quit, I quit. I was gone much before him, and I heard he left one or two years after me.

Conclusion

Whenever you catch yourself saying: “I will do <x>”, you should stop yourself and think: “why not now?”. Chances are, you’ll have a pitiful excuse (sorry).

If time is your excuse, I’d say that 95% of the time, it’s a case of bad time management. It’s not the point of this story to explain how to manage time, but reflect on that the next time not-having-time is your excuse. Elon Musk and Richard Branson are busier than you, yet they make things happen.

“If you don’t have time for small things, you won’t have time for big things.” — Richard Branson

So I give you this challenge:

Whatever idea you’ve been off-putting for a while, just put it in motion. Just dip your feet and see how it feels. Slowly, little by little, you’ll catch yourself being in the pool and acting on things you thought were impossible for you.

You can do this!

Thanks for reading and sharing! :)

First published here: https://medium.com/swlh/screw-it-just-do-it-1bf56162b61b

Learn More Skills, For Your Future’s Sake!

“The future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways.” ― Robert Greene, Mastery

I personally love that quote! Truly understanding it was the first step in my journey to improve my future.

And I KNOW you can do the same!

Not that my future was necessarily bad, but I knew there had to be more to life than waking up at 8am, doing a 9–5 job, going back home, cooking, eating, playing video games, and sleeping.

Rinse and repeat.

Do you feel that way too?

Isn’t it missing some kind of “higher” purpose?

What does me doing this job bring to the world?

I don’t want to just “be” on earth. I want to “do” on earth. Or I guess maybe Mars too in the near future!

It’s not that my “9–5” job sucked. It was great actually. I was learning constantly and working with a deeply skilled bunch. I like to think that my performance was great and I was doing a good job, but there was something missing deep inside, but I didn’t know what it was.

When Things Started To Change

When I left Toronto to become a nomad 9 months ago, I had started focusing my full attention on my startup. It was great. I was accomplishing so much.

Yet there was still something missing: I was not learning much at all.

“Live life as if this will be your last day; Learn as if you will live forever.” — Mahatma Gandhi

Learn, learnLEARN.

There’s no limit to what you can learn. I didn’t know that to be true until I started researching how to quickly learn new skills.

The only true way that I found to learn faster in my 5 months learning 3 new skills a month is by learning more diverse skills.

The more you learn, the more you learn.

Your brain remembers patterns and stores them in your memory. The more patterns you’ve “stored”, the faster it becomes to make new connections and quickly assimilate new patterns.

Now, I’m not brain expert, but that seems to align with the more scientific things I’ve been reading on the subject for the past year or so.

Isn’t this great news though?

To learn faster, you just gotta learn more!

Learning is a very enjoyable and painful process all at the same time. Your experiments will fail constantly. And it’s when you don’t give up on them that your learning improves. But once you’ve acquired the knowledge, there’s no limit to what you can do with it. Especially if you take into account the quote from above: “learn more skills and combine them in creative ways”.

The Future And Success

By most modern standards, I’m probably quite less successful than I was a year ago:

  • I don’t have a place to call home;

  • I don’t have a salary;

  • None of my startups have really taken off yet.

Yet somehow I feel more successful than I’ve ever been. You know why? Because I’m freaking happy, and I’m doing more impactful things!

And I’m freaking skilled.

I’m doing so many things I never knew I could. If I never tried, I would still be coding my life away, not knowing that I actually have other things I’m capable of doing.

That’s why I reject the idea of focusing on one thing only. Because, seriously, who really knows what their the best at until they even try other things. Many things. A buttload of things! Seriously!

I didn’t know I could draw until I tried back in October of last year. I didn’t know I could figure out how retailing works until November of last year. I didn’t know I could write until I tried back in January.

A Recent Manifestation Of Skill Combination

Now, I don’t want you to think that the whole point of this story is to advertise my latest business, but I just think it’s a great example of a way to combine skills in a creative way.

I opened up the Viking Boutique yesterday after some time thinking about the concept. To be honest, I actually hadn’t figured it out until yesterday.

On the surface, it may look like a regular store (I hope not), but it really isn’t.

I’ve combined my writing skills, my commerce skills and my drawing skills all together to make it happen.

The Viking Boutique is the story of Harald Goldskin, a Viking from the 8th century. Everything he sells has a story behind it. I wrote the stories. I drew the images. And every week, he sells new wares that he found during a recent raid. Every raid has a story. The Mead Hall is where the stories are told. It’s the store’s blog. It’s not all about selling cheap sh*t from China.

The Evolution Of Learning So Many Skills

If you had told me 9 months ago that I would:

I would have told you that you were crazy.

Yet I strongly believe that this all started with making the conscious decision of planning and working hard on learning 3 new skills a month.

Once you’re committed to your self-improvement and you’ve found a framework that works, there’s no stopping you!

Conclusion

“Who you are today is not who you have to be tomorrow.” — Zdravko Cvijetic

Remember that!

A surefire way to make that happen is to commit to constantly and consistently learn new skills.

You will change in ways you never expected. You will do and achieve so much more than you ever thought you could. You will accomplish your goals. You’ll do things that are impactful, for you, your surroundings, and beyond.

You can do this!

Thanks for reading and sharing! :) 

First published here: https://medium.com/swlh/learn-more-skills-for-your-futures-sake-e816b09472fa

You Don’t Fail Unless You Give Up

Photo by me for  Sundara  at Z.P. Urdu School near Palghar, India

Photo by me for Sundara at Z.P. Urdu School near Palghar, India

Recently, I shared a story about how negativity is poison for your brain and some tips on how to clear it. It was a very personal story on how I had “failed” on three of my recent photography assignments and how I could only have negative thoughts as a result.

Digging myself out was not easy for me.

The failure was difficult to swallow and I was trying to come up with a multitude of ways to get out of my contract.

I was close to calling it a “failure”.

As Ray Dalio wrote in his book Principles: “You will think you have failed — but that won’t be true unless you give up”.

How many times have you considered failure to be an option?

How many times have you considered giving up?

How many times have you given up?

How did it feel?

Was it the right choice?

I’m in the camp that it’s okay to give up sometimes. It’s also okay to not give up. There’s no right or wrong. It’s circumstantial and personal.

The important thing is that you learn from the experience.

In which case, can you really call it a failure? Maybe it’s more of a failed experiment. And failed experiments are great.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” — Thomas A. Edison

See Edison’s persistence?

10,000 ways might be a little exaggerated, but the point is there: he never gave up on the things he believed in. Now we all know him for all the great things he did for humanity.

If Thomas Edison, Ray Dalio and all the great people who achieved so much in life tell me to not give up, I won’t give up.

Not Giving Up

That was my mentality going into my fourth assignment at the Z.P. Urdu school.

I dug into the “why” the other assignments were failed experiments. Some of the things were out of my control, but some of the things were my fault, and I took ownership of my mistakes.

In the previous assignments, I was using the wrong settings, relying on semi-automatic modes. As a result, a lot of my shots were too blurry.

Also, I was also not being assertive enough to tell people to do things for me. I was paralyzed by the fear of telling the wrong things and wasting people’s time. It was my first time directing a photoshoot after all.

I made myself a mental map of all the things I needed to do better for the next assignment.

I was pumped. I wanted to ace that next one.

I was positive and had a clear idea of how I could do better.

And I executed really well. I was so happy.

My photography really improved thanks to my past failed experiments. I wasn’t cocky in my abilities to take photos and approached the assignment with an opened mind.

Conclusion

If you really care about something, do yourself a favour and don’t give up on it.

Change your mentality. Don’t view failure as a negative experience, but rather a formative one. One that puts you back to reality, and shows you that there are always lessons to learn.

Life is a series of experiments, most of which will “fail”. Learn from these experiments, grow stronger, prosper.

Remember, it’s not a failure if you don’t give up.

Don’t give up on your dreams.

You can do this!

Thanks for reading and sharing! :)

First published here: https://medium.com/swlh/you-dont-fail-unless-you-give-up-2027fd755788

An Introvert’s Top Tips On How To Be A Great Storyteller

Almost all the world leaders are great storytellers. It’s one of the most important skills you can ever pick up, and for introverts like me, one of the hardest.

Introverts have a hard time telling epic stories. By nature, introverts don’t like to attract too much attention, therefore lack the practice in telling their story, or any story really.

You’re not sure if you’re an introvert or not? No worries, read these 8 Signs You Are an Introvert article and you’ll know.

I’ve always considered myself to be an introvert. Yet in the past 7 months, the people I met on the road would never believe me. Without knowing it, I had become good at storytelling. Not the best, but good enough that people started listening to what I had to say. Like any skill, it’s something you need to develop over time.

Before we jump into the tips, think about people you met or know who are good at story telling.

  • What do they have in common?

  • How do they behave?

  • What kinds of stories do they tell?

  • How do they tell the story?

  • What is their body language?

In my months of passive-to-active research on the topic, I came to some observations that helped me become more skilled at the art of story telling, and that’s what I want to share with you here.

The following tips should help introverts kick-start their learning of story-telling:

Do and Observe

Think about a recent (good) story you were told by someone else.

What was it about?

Chances are it was something the storyteller experienced at one point in time.

Was the experience great?

Probably not. In fact, most of the best stories are bad experiences, because they tend to be more eventful. “Event” being the key here. A story is all about unexpected events and how the “actors” react to them.

Now on the point of doing. Have you noticed how when you asked someone who’s doing the same routine every day, they always answers “same old, same old”? Doesn’t make for great stories now does it?

You don’t have to be doing epic things either. The best stories are not fabricated, they are experienced. The more you do, whatever it is, the more things you experience, and the more likely you are going to encounter unexpected events.

Even, a lot of times, a great story is about something you witnessed. By seeing the event unfold, you have a clearer picture of what happened and can recall it with greater detail and accuracy.

“All great literature is one of two stories; a man goes on a journey or a stranger comes to town.” — Leo Tolstoy

In short: do and be inspired by unforeseen events happening around you.

Write and Visualize

So now that you’ve witnessed or have been part of an interesting event, you have to organize your thoughts clearly.

Being an introvert, my words don’t come out as easily by speaking as they do in writing. In writing, I have time to think about things and do a vivid and interesting recollection.

Start by writing the main events. Then add the details. Make the story as visually appealing as possible.

By writing it down and visualizing it in your mind, you’ll be better equipped to remember the important details of the story.

Tell and Refine

You can’t be a great storyteller if you don’t practice telling your story. It’s true for everyone, introvert or not.

Have you noticed how people tell really compelling stories that happened in their no-so-recent past? Their stories are awesome. There are no useless details.

The more you leave out, the more you highlight what you leave in.” — Henry Green

The reason it’s so good is because it’s not their first time telling it.

They told it hundreds of times. They observed people’s interest when telling it and refined the story over the years, cutting things out and adding juicy details here and there.

Conclusion

Storytelling is a skill. The more you do it, the better you get at it. Most of my good stories come from a distant past, simply because I wrote more about them. I told them repeatedly.

Most of the basic material a writer works with is acquired before the age of fifteen.” — Willa Cather

Do more. Write more. Tell more. Rinse and repeat.

You can do this!

Thanks for reading and sharing ! :)

First published here: https://medium.com/swlh/an-introverts-top-tips-on-how-to-be-a-great-storyteller-c6c85ee51364

5 Valuable Lessons From Winston Churchill

Photo Credit:Winston Churchill in 1941  Wikimedia Commons

Photo Credit:Winston Churchill in 1941 Wikimedia Commons

I don’t pretend to know all about Winston Churchill. But as many people, I’ve been inspired by some of his quotes.

I’m sharing with you here 5 lessons I learned over the past few weeks reading various pieces on such an important figure of history:

Be Perseverant, Be A Better Person

“Continuous effort — not strength or intelligence — is the key to unlocking our potential” — Winston Churchill

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” — Winston Churchill

I don’t consider myself a particularly strong or intelligent person. However, I’m able to accomplish a lot because I’m consistent in acting towards my goals.

But it wasn’t always so.

The day I decided to learn 3 new skills every month and continually practice every day is the day I unlocked my potential in so many areas I didn’t know I could actually do.

What good is it to think that we don’t have the strength or intelligence to do something?

A lot of times we don’t even give ourselves the chance. We don’t even try.

I challenge you to try something you don’t think you have the strength or intelligence to do. Deconstruct it. Plan how you’ll be able to achieve it in a month. Or something longer, it doesn’t matter.

You’ll notice that if put continuous effort, you will eventually accomplish it.

Be Courageous

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” — Winston Churchill

In the face of defeat, finding the courage to move forward is all but easy.

In order to achieve some of our higher goals, we will have failures. These failures defeat us. We need not let that happen.

That’s one thing I like about reading biographies. We all know how great people are in their peak, yet we forget all the hardships they had to go through to get where they are today.

They had the courage to press on during hard times. I don’t know of anyone who achieved great things without failing, many times, but picking themselves up and having the courage to move forward.

Be A Giver

“We make a living by what we get, but we make life by what we give.” — Winston Churchill

This is a very powerful quote for me personally.

After traveling the world for a year, I realized that life is all about giving back.

There’s nothing more satisfying than helping others achieve their goals.

I want to make giving a part of my life going forward.

Back when I was a kid, I didn’t understand why my mother gave everything she had for everyone even though she had nothing. She has always been a giver, yet never seemed to get anything back in return.

I was wrong. Happiness from others is more than enough.

Genuinely give and you’ll get genuine love back.

Be Forward-Thinking

“What is the use of living, if it be not to strive for noble causes and to make this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone?”— Winston Churchill

It’s not by chance that a lot of people see Elon Musk as their role model. He’s one of the few entrepreneurs who is willing to risk all his assets in order to move humanity forward.

Not everyone agrees with his ideas, yet no one can deny that at least he’s one of the most forward-thinking entrepreneurs of our time.

And I’m not comparing Musk’s achievements, with Churchill’s, I’m just giving a more recent example.

Just yesterday, I was watching “Daughters of Destiny” on Netflix. It’s a documentary about Shanti Bhavan, a school that educates kids of the lowest cast so they have a chance at accomplishing great things in life. It’s more complex than that, so I encourage you to watch it also to have a better understanding.

What I’m coming at is: Dr. George started that school with the future in mind. He recognized that to bring change to a country with deep traditions, it has to start from a new generation. They onboard kids from the age of 4.

Imagine.

To see the results of their labour, they have to wait 14 years until the kid is ready to make their own space in the world!

I personally feel like he’s on the right track and it resonates very well with Churchill’s quote.

Conclusion

Apply continuous effort, become a better person, have the courage to withstand failure, give back and make the world a better place.

These are 5 great lessons from one of Britain’s most influential figure.

Any of these quotes or lessons resonate with you?

Thanks for reading and sharing ! :)

First published here: https://medium.com/@danny_forest/5-valuable-lessons-from-winston-churchill-86fbb242de16

The Six-Word Formula For Success

How often do you procrastinate doing things?

Sometimes even the things we want to do, we can’t find the energy to actually do them.

I’d say this is a normal human behaviour. We are not programmed to do things out of our comfort zone.

Our inaction towards our goals is a major factor in us not attaining “success”, however you define the word.

But why do we not execute on the things we want to do?

After all, most of the time, we have a “clear” path to “success”. We know that to reach goal ‘x’, we must do action ‘y’. Yet we don’t do action ‘y’.

The problem is we don’t really know goal ‘x’ and action ‘y’. I mean, we don’t know their details. We don’t go deep enough.

To become a bodybuilder, we must workout at the gym.

Everyone knows that.

I would procrastinate like hell if that was my plan to become a bodybuilder!

The Six-Word Formula For Success

Think things through, then follow through.” — Eddie Rickenbacker

Think things through, then follow through. Eddie Rickenbacker said it right.

When I first read that, I didn’t immediately get it. I mean, it’s obvious isn’t it?

But here’s the key in my opinion, and experience:

Think things through

Go freaking deep in your thinking.

  1. Research every detail on how to reach your goal. Break everything down to the fundamentals.

  2. Craft a solid plan of actionable items to reach your goal. Be precise with quantities and quality. Set a timeline. Make the deadlines hard, but achievable.

  3. Execute consistently. Don’t skip a day. Measure your increments towards your goal. Every actionable item you tick is success towards your goal.

  4. Adjust your plan as you go. It won’t be perfect on first try. Keep researching as you go.

  5. Rinse and repeat.

By having a solid plan of action, you can’t help but follow through. I write a lot about gaining momentum. I’ll link to some stories at the bottom here.

We procrastinate because a task seems too hard to achieve. It requires too much energy. With carefully planned bite-sized actionable items, you are constantly winning.

Each task is so small and achievable that thinking-of-not-doing-it is almost harder than actually doing it.

And by having a timeline, you never want to push anything further. It’s a dreadful domino effect.

I set monthly goals personally. I never want to carry a goal over to the next month, because that means next month I’ll either have way too much on my plate, or I’ll have to drop other goals I may have.

Conclusion

It bears repeating:

“There’s a six-word formula for success: Think things through, then follow through.” — Eddie Rickenbacker

Craft a solid plan, and following through will instantly become easier. The doing is often times the easy part once you have a clear direction of where you’re going.

The more you follow through, the easier it gets. You build momentum and become unstoppable.

Think. Research. Break every down. Plan. Execute, execute, execute. Rinse and Repeat.

You can do this!

Thanks for reading and sharing ! :)

First published here:

https://medium.com/swlh/the-six-word-formula-for-success-6bf476ab3f5b

It’s Your Fault If You “Fail”, And How To Grow From That

Photo Credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/WdJkXFQ4VHY

Photo Credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/WdJkXFQ4VHY

The other day I read the follow quote:

“The moment you accept total responsibility for EVERYTHING in your life is the day you claim the power the change ANYTHING in your life.” — Hal Elrod

So many times in life we “fail” at something and find every good reason to point the finger at someone else, trying to find a culprit for our failure.

We are terrible when it comes to self-reflection. It’s just so much easier to look at the surface and draw false conclusions.

But Hal Elrod is right in his quote. Once you accept responsibility for every bad thing that happens to you, everything changes.

A Recent “Failure”

I was recently rejected for a dream job I felt very qualified for.

Who’s fault is it?

Mine of course.

Now, I didn’t get a reason for my rejection. There may be a lot of things that are seemingly out of my control on the surface. But because it’s my fault, I peel down the layers:

  • I have become too confident in my programming skills, thinking I had reached the top. This could prove I was wrong.

  • I didn’t answer the pre-interview questions in a way that showcased how well-suited I was for the job.

  • Maybe there was a lot of typos in my answers.

  • I didn’t have the right network and connections.

Grow From “Failure”

I didn’t beat myself over it. Instead, when reflecting on the things I could have done wrong, I have a new sense of purpose.

Now, what I wrote above are simply assumptions, but nonetheless, there’s nothing to lose from working on those. It may not get me that job, but it may get me another one that’s equally good, or better.

There’s never anything to lose from working on yourself. Being a better programmer, being more persuasive, becoming a better writer and making more connections are all incredible things for any potential employers.

And this applies to every “failure” in your life, whether professional or personal.

The next time you “fail” at something, search deeper into the “why”. Most of the time, you’ll be able to see that you are indeed the cause of failure.

Embrace it. List key reasons why. Plan how you will improve. Execute. Measure. Reflect. Fail. Repeat.

Conclusion

For a lot of us, it’s not easy to “blame” ourselves for things that happen to us. Yet once you change your mindset and take responsibility for the bad things that happen to you, you grow way beyond whatever you could imagine before.

First published here: https://medium.com/swlh/its-your-fault-if-you-fail-and-how-to-grow-from-that-224c9bc417aa

When People Think You Are Crazy, You Are On The Right Track

People thought I was crazy when:

  • I left my stable job working for the government;

  • I bought a condo as a poor student;

  • I dropped out of university to start my own business;

  • I decided to gain 6kg of mass in one month;

  • I left Canada to travel the world for a year;

  • I left another awesome high-paying job to become a nomad;

  • I applied for a grant competing against big names in the video game industry;

  • I decided to write one article a day on Medium or Quora.

You get the point.

I’m sure you’ve had similar experiences when people thought you were doing something crazy. Something that’s out of the norms of the society we live in. Something they thought you would fail because the odds were against you.

Sometimes you gave in, sometimes you persevered.

Which times do you regret the most? I’m willing to bet it’s the times you listened to them and gave in.

Of the things above that people said I was crazy for, I succeed at all of them.

Every time I “quit” something, I got something better in return.

The condo I bought, I sold for 28% more than what I paid for, after one year only.

I started four companies. Some were “successful”, some “failed”. The lessons I learned from both made me a better person and a better entrepreneur.

Not only did I gain 6.9kg of mass, I lost 3% body fat. I’m doing that again this month.

Traveling the world for a year changed me in so many good ways. I always considered myself an introvert. That’s definitely not how people see me today. I’m not afraid to approach people anymore. I’m more confident and I’m more proficient at speaking. In multiple languages now. And I used to be a much pickier eater. Now I eat many more things.

The grant I applied for, I got it two years in row, beating some of the best Canadian video game studios. My studio has no track record, and I was competing against much larger and successful game studios.

In my very short journey as a writer (7 days to be precise), I got a top answer on Quora and 3 articles published by The Startup.

And I’m not saying any of this to brag. I’m saying to make you believe in your crazy ideas, because they can work.

Think about times when people said you were crazy.

Make a list. I’m sure it didn’t only happen once.

Were they right?

How has not listening to them changed you? For better? For worse?

Do that same exercise I did above.

Can you see that you’re on the right track?

Conclusion

Dare do things out of your comfort zone — out of any normal person’s comfort zone. Be special. Be on the right track. The right track for you!

Leaving on you on a very powerful quote from Steve Jobs:

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes, the ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things — they push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do. — Steve Jobs

If that doesn’t inspire you to be crazy, you’re crazy(?).

Stay crazy my friends.

Feel free to leave a comment about what people thought you were crazy for and why they were wrong.

Thanks for reading! :)

First published here: https://medium.com/swlh/when-people-think-you-are-crazy-you-are-on-the-right-track-adfb9d1bd2f8