Accountable

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

3 Ways to Triumph Over Your Couch-Potato Habits

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing — that’s why we recommend it daily” — Zig Ziglar

Even the best of us procrastinate sometimes. We are not programmed to do things that are hard for us. We’re creatures of habit. Creatures of comfort.

Almost everything we do, we do it to be in a state of comfort. And when we reach a satisfactory level of comfort, we stay there. We procrastinate doing things out of our comfort zone.

I’ve been there. You’ve been there. We’ve all been there.

In the last 9 months or so, I can’t think of a time when I’ve procrastinated.

I pondered how I stopped procrastinating, and it all came down to the 3 things that follow.

I should point out that none of these tips are new. Everyone talks about them. But I’ll share my own experience in hopes to illustrate just how good these tips are.

 

1. Sunk Cost Bias

This is a powerful one, and really, everyone knows it, but maybe doesn’t recognize it enough.

A sunk cost is a cost that has already been incurred and cannot be recovered.

Think about memberships. A gym membership is a good example.

You know why a yearly membership at anything sucks?

A year is just too long a period for a brain to “remember” the sunk cost. That’s why when you sign up for the gym in January, you stop going one or two months after.

It’s not frequent enough. By paying monthly, you’re always reminded that you are sinking money into the membership, therefore you’re more prone to do it.

I signed up for the gym in January. I went to the priciest gym in Málaga. Truth be told, I couldn’t really afford it. And that’s the point.

I had to do it. I sacrificed spending money on other things so I could afford it. I had to go.

15 days in, I wanted to go. It wasn’t just that I needed to. Now that it’s expired, I miss it. But I’ve built so much momentum that I created a fitness routine for myself that I can do from home.

But think about it though.

Think about things you’ve spent money on vs things you haven’t. Which one were you more motivated to do.

And it doesn’t have to just be money either. Anything that’s high stakes for you. Money is easy since it’s measurable, but basically anything you don’t want to part with should work.

 

2. Group activities

I’ve seen that almost on a daily basis back at the co-working space I was working from back in Málaga.

I accidentally started a fitness group in January.

I was so motivated in my fitness that I also did 100 pushups after work. That was a friend’s idea, which he had not executed on. But seeing me do it, he shortly joined in on my efforts.

Then people started joining. We grew from 2 “members” to 15 in one month.

And every morning, there was at least one person who didn’t feel like doing it. But then they see 7 other people go. And all of a sudden, they wanted to do it. They weren’t alone. The other’s motivation inspired them to also do it.

  • You see that effect in any team-based sport.

  • You see that effect in offices.

  • You see that everywhere.

A party where you’re alone is a freaking boring party. You just want to leave.

Surround yourself with like-minded people. Be accountable. Accomplish things with other people. Share your victories.

 

3. Point of no return

One of my favourite, but a harder one to pull off.

I’ll give three quick examples:

  1. Getting a mortgage to buy a house;

  2. Investing in your business or that of someone else; or

  3. Having a baby.

Once you receive your mortgage, it’s go-time. You have to buy the house. The only way you’ll rid of the debt is by selling the house back. That requires a lot of time and effort.

It’s easier to go forward than go backward from there.

That is the key here. Going backward being the harder choice of the two.

If you open up a physical store, you have to buy all the equipment in order to be operational. As soon as you buy, the material depreciates in value. Selling it back comes at a cost you’re likely not willing to pay.

  • What are some of the points of no return you’ve had in your life?

  • Did you procrastinate?

  • Do you ever intentionally create points of no return for yourself?

 

Conclusion

So I challenge you here.

The next time you have a goal you’d like to accomplish but are prone to procrastinate working towards it, think about these 3 tips.

When planning for executing your goal, answer these questions:

  • Can you sink money, or something else you care for into the process of achieving your goal? Like a membership for examples.

  • Can you find a partner or a group of people to do it with?

  • Can you make it so it’s harder to go backward than to go forward?

If you can do all these 3 things, it’s almost guaranteed you won’t procrastinate.

You can do this!

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

First published here: https://medium.com/redoubtable/3-ways-to-triumph-over-your-couch-potato-habits-449dce4e3e70

How These 23 Key Principles Helped Me Overcome My Challenges and Made Me Unstoppable

The definitive guide to building lasting momentum

It’s Wednesday morning, 5:00am.

I’m pumped to start working. I did not hit the snooze button, and had no intention to.

For the past few days, I’ve felt it. I felt something was changing. Something positive was building up inside my mind.

The reason I hadn’t written much on that topic in the past few months is not because it was an untrue statement, on the contrary, it’s extremely powerful!

But I had lost it and couldn’t get it back.

 

Wanna know if you’ve ever felt it — True Momentum?

Have you seen the movie Limitless with Bradley Cooper? To a smaller degree, that’s how True Momentum feels.

But don’t get me wrong, it’s not easy to reach it. In Bradley’s case, he “cheated” with NZT. I’m talking about legit stuff here. Building it yourself. Doing everything you can to build it up.

Before we get into the guide on how to build it for yourself, here’s how I would define True Momentum in practical terms:

True Momentum is when you’re so invested in something that going in the opposite direction has become very difficult. Moving forward happens more easily and at a better pace.

It’s like pushing a boulder down a hill. At first, it goes slowly, but as it goes down the slope, it goes faster and faster, to a point where stopping it becomes much harder. It’s near-unstoppable.

Now that I’ve got True Momentum for the third time, it made me want to revisit the topic. I want to give you a definitive guide on how to build it yourself.

I wasn’t completely right in my first story on the subject back in January. I couldn’t see at the time. But now that I had lost it badly and regained it, I have a better idea of how it works to get it, and I’ll give you as many hands-on tips I can.

In this story, I’ll put other linked stories in-line, but please read the whole story first, then you can revisit the ones that interest you most. It’s better to keep the flow of reading.

Suggested Stories For After:

True Momentum Really Makes You Unstoppable
It’s Sunday. I told myself I wouldn’t do anything today. I didn’t put an alarm the night before. I “wanted” to sleep…medium.com

Poco A Poco — How To Build Lasting Momentum
Writing wisdom says to not give the answer in the headline. Well, I just did.medium.com

 

23 Key Principles For Building True Momentum

I’ll start by saying that doing everything on that list is near-impossible. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to building True Momentum, it’s a combination of many of the following things, and what works for one person may not for another.

So here’s how I would plan this if I were you:

  1. Read the suggestions below and note those you think you can implement easily, or already have.

  2. Try to implement them for 1 month straight.

  3. At the end of the month, take note of what worked and what didn’t.

  4. Read this guide again, start from 1.

It’s an iterative process, like most things in life. You won’t get it right the first time.

You’ll know it once you’ve reached True Momentum.

The list below is not in any particular order, pick and choose from there.

And take note of this very important thing:

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing — that’s why we recommend it daily.” — Zig Ziglar

You have to keep doing the things on this list to have lasting True Momentum. I lost it twice. I’ll lose it again. It’s inevitable. But I’ll do everything I can to keep it as long as I can!

 

1. Keep or Make Good Habits, Drop The Bad Ones

This is the starting point, and most likely the most important one. Habits are strong. We’re creatures of habits. Good or bad. Keep the good ones. Make new, better ones. Drop the negative or ineffective ones.

Suggested Reading

Books:

Stories:

A Morning Routine Really Does Set You Up For Success — Here’s A 6 Step Process To Create One
It’s 6am on a Tuesday morning. It’s been two weeks since I’ve lost my hard-earned momentum.medium.com

Habits Are Indeed Powerful, Don’t Fall Behind On The Good Ones
6 Tips For Keeping Your Good Habitsmedium.com

 

2. Reading Uplifting Content Before Going To Bed

Don’t let yourself go to bed in a bad mood, or by filling your brain with “crap”. I understand that you need to decompress before going to bed. I completely get that.

But what you do before bed affects how you wake up, and the state of mind you’re going to be in for the first part of the day.

My top recommendation here is to read biographies or self-help books. I find them so uplifting. It’s always nice to hear that even the inspiring people in our lives are just as imperfect as we are, sometimes even more so.

Suggested Reading

Books:

Stories:

In Need Of Motivation? Try These Simple Tried And True Productivity Tips
Think about this simple idea: Productivity leads to wins. Wins lead to momentum. Momentum makes you unstoppable. Being…medium.com

You Are, Or Will Become What you Read
This morning I woke up to a really nice message from a reader of this story I wrote: Stop Being What You Can, Start…medium.com

 

3. Listen To Uplifting Music, Podcasts And People

It might seem strange, but my most productive days seem to be when I’m dancing to music on my chair. Great music puts me in flow state. I feel like I can do anything!

In terms of podcasts, nothing gets me more than the Tim Ferriss Show.

For people, I like to listen to people smarter than I around myself. Or TED talks.

Suggested Reading

Stories:

You Are, Or Will Become What You Listen To
What do you listen to?theascent.pub

 

4. Keep Inspiring Quotes Near You

Quotes are insanely powerful. One thing I had realized early on when I started writing was that things people highlighted most in my stories were the quotes I put in them.

And I get it. People far smarter than me have said far smarter things I have.

Reading at least one good quote a day puts you in the right mood. Keep it on your fridge/desk. Let it be in your face as frequently as possible.

The one I kept the longest the last time I had True Momentum was this one:

“It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.” — Markus Aurelius

Suggested Website

https://addicted2success.com/category/quotes/

Suggested Reading

Stories:

41 Short And Powerful Quotes To Make You Feel Unstoppable
Let these strong quotes inspire you; motivate you to be what you want to be; motivate you to dare act, change, and…medium.com

 

5. Work Out, Even If Just A Little

The best months of my life was when I was doing physical activity. I was feeling great in my body.

I’ve always been a skinny guy, but when I’m working out and seeing even small gains in muscles, I feel incredible.

Whatever your goals are health-wise, be active, measure every little gain, and keep going.

Suggested Reading

Books:

Stories:

The Ultimate Daily Excuse-Free 20 Minute Workout Routine
I’m not fit. I’m busy. I’m working 15 hours per day, from 4am to 7pm. I’m a nomad, I don’t stay in the same place for…medium.com

Let’s All Learn This Lesson From Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold’s story is an amazing one. If you haven’t read his biography: “Total Recall: My Unbelievable True Life Story”…medium.com

 

6. Have Monthly Goals And Track Them

New Year resolutions suck. They’re near-impossible to achieve.

Monthly goals, on the other hand, are excellent. Committing to goals for a month is doable, and leads to building great habits. It’s great to experiment and see what works for you, and what doesn’t.

Suggested Tools

Suggested Reading

Stories:

Make Next Month Your Most Productive Month Ever Using This 3 Steps Strategy
April is just around the corner. I’m personally really excited for it!medium.com

What Do You Want To Be Most Proud Of In The Next 3 Months?
A few days ago, I wrote about a question I was asked by a friend I hadn’t seen in four months: What are you most proud…medium.com

 

7. Make A Clear Task List

I work on at least 4 projects on a daily basis. A lot of people would say this is insane and counter-productive, and they would be mostly right.

I’ve been disorganized and lost many times. I was using simple To Do lists and had a really hard time tracking my progress on the various projects.

A few weeks ago, I started using TeamWeek and my productivity sky-rocketed!

My task list on TeamWeek

My task list on TeamWeek

TeamWeek is basically a Gantt chart. The colours are different project. You can see a lot of tasks in there. But you’re missing about half of them…

Suggested Tools

Suggested Reading

Books:

Stories:

Tried and True: 7 tips on staying motivated and productive
I’ve been working on Soul Reaper on and off for more than 2 years. It’s a lot of time working on the same project…medium.com

 

8. Aim Freaking High

Always make your lists bigger than you can chew. We, as humans, like comfort. If we allow ourselves to be comfortable, we end up doing close to nothing.

Make your lists big. But make sure the tasks are small and achievable. I have about 15–20 things to do every day. Most are 10 minute tasks.

If I aim to accomplish 10 tasks. I will. And I will be “satisfied”. Now if I aim to accomplish 20 tasks and complete 15–18 of them, I’ll be pumped. I won’t see time go by and the dopamine rush I’ll get rush for accomplishing so much will strongly contribute to building that True Momentum up.

Suggested Website

www.dannyforest.com

Suggested Reading

Stories:

Embrace The Word “Impossible”
One of my favourite word in this world is the word Impossible.medium.com

Fuel On Crazy Goals
Yesterday, a co-worker asked me how I was able to consistently wake up at 5:45am every day. It’s then that I realized…medium.com

Can You Handle the Obsession Needed to Reach Your Most Insane Goals?
We all have big goals, whether they be short term or long term. Goals that, even in our wildest dreams, would seem…medium.com

 

9. Prepare Your Next Day The Night Before

What I’m proposing you here is to simply make a list of things you want to accomplish for the next day a few hours before bed, and then review it shortly before “calling it a night”.

Don’t make it too complex. Just a simple list. It shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes. I usually come up with a list of anywhere between 10–20 things to do.

Here’s what happens when you prepare your next day the night before:

While you sleep, your subconscious is “working on” things you “fed it” before going to bed. When you feed it with things you want to accomplish for the next day, it will “prepare” you for them.

Suggested Reading

Stories:

This 5-Minute Habit Will Make You More Productive And Build Your Momentum
What do you do one or two hours before you go to bed?medium.com

 

10. Write For Yourself

Writing has been a powerful medium for me to express myself. I never knew I had so much to say, let alone inspire people along the way.

I did it for myself, really.

Yet putting all my thoughts in writing has been a phenomenal way to free my mind and think clearly, ultimately leading to some momentum.

Suggested Website

https://findingtom.com/, by Tom Kuegler

Suggested Reading

Stories:

How To Be A Remarkable Writer
You Can’t Be Remarkable By Following The Herdmedium.com

Should You Write One Story A Day? Here’s What I Learned From The Last Two Months
I really didn’t want to write yet another post about “writing a story a day”. Many people have done that before me.medium.com

 

11. Delegate To People You Trust

This is WAY underrated! I thought people who delegated were lazy. I didn’t get the 4-Hour Workweek the first time I read it.

There was a guy I worked with who was so proud of letting others do the work for him. Turns out he was secretly a genius.

There are so many things I was doing that could easily be done by someone either more qualified, or with more time doing simpler things.

Since I hired my assistant in February, I was able to focus on the things I’m good at, and have increased my productivity up to 10x.

Suggested Reading

Books:

Stories:

How To Accomplish Your Goals 10x Faster And Better
If it wasn’t for the people helping me, I certainly wouldn’t have accomplished all that I have.medium.com

 

12. Have A Semi-Strict Routine

My wife hates my daily schedule/routine. It’s pretty obsessive indeed. But damn it works. The more I stick to it, the more productive I am.

I tweak it every month. Here’s what it looks like for this month:

may.png

As you can see, most items in the list are not *that* detailed. I don’t say what I’ll be working on, what my workout is, what I’ll be eating, etc — that changes every day.

Suggested Reading

Stories:

Make Next Month Your Most Productive Month Ever Using This 3 Steps Strategy
April is just around the corner. I’m personally really excited for it!medium.com

 

13. Don’t Stop When It Hurts

How do you build muscles? You continue when it starts hurting.

And you know what? That’s how you grow in anything in life. No pain no gain.

If you stop when it’s hard, you just wasted valuable energy and will NOT build momentum. Recognize when you’re in a dip, and then get out of it!

Suggested Reading

Books:

Stories:

When You Think You Are An Impostor, You Are On The Right Track
Have you ever felt like you shouldn’t be doing something because you felt under-qualified, yet circumstances made it so…medium.com

It’s Your Fault If You “Fail”, And How To Grow From That
The other day I read the follow quote:medium.com

 

14. Surround Yourself With Motivated People

Here’s one of my favourite quote of all times:

“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” — Jim Rohn

This is so true.

I seek mentors. I seek positive people. I seek people who get stuff done.

I can only work from co-working spaces, mostly because of that. This, along with delegating, are the main cause for intense productivity.

Suggested co-working spaces

Suggested Reading

Stories:

You Want To Achieve More? Be In The Right Room
Let’s start with a little reflexion here:medium.com

Are You Even Mentor-able?
“When the student is ready the teacher will appear.” — Buddhamedium.com

 

15. Walk To Work, and Limit Wasted Time

Walking to work is one of the most “meditative” things you can do. Going in, you can prepare for what’s to come. Going out, you can disconnect from work.

When back home, analyze how you spend your time. We all waste time on “useless” things. And I’m not saying to not watch TV or play video games, but realize that there’s a time when you need it, and a time when it’s a waste.

Suggested Reading

Stories:

Want To Be More Productive? Start This Simple Daily Habit
I walk fast. Really fast.medium.com

Analyze How You Spend Your Time, And You will Realize There Is Plenty Of Free Time
Last night I saw one of my brothers for the first time in 6 months. It was really nice catching up with him.medium.com

 

16. Constantly Learn New Things

That’s probably what I’ve written the most about, and what contributed the most to the changes in my life.

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

Everything I’m doing today — my “successes”, my “failures” — it’s all because I had decided I wanted to consciously learn 3 new skills every month back in September 2017.

Suggested Website

www.dannyforest.com

Suggested Reading

Books:

Stories:

How To Learn 108 New Skills In The Next 3 Years
The moment I read and understood the following quote is the moment I knew I had to turn my life around and become a…medium.com

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, Masterymedium.com

Improve Everything In Your Life by Learning 3 New Skills Every Month
As I frequently write about, I learn 3 new skills every month. It’s a “calculated” approach that helps improve…medium.com

 

17. Learn To Power Nap

Power napping is a skill, and it’s hard to master. I’ve mastered it over the years, and it’s been a key ingredient to my productivity.

We can’t be alert 100% of the time during the day. When my energy levels are low, I power nap. Once. Twice. Three times a day! Who cares.

15 minutes after power napping, I’m back in peak state and accomplish so much more than if I didn’t nap.

Suggested Reading

Stories:

Quick Tip On How To Stay Awake During The Day When Waking Up Really Early
How I wake up at 4:30am and still manage to be productive until 7pm.medium.com

Pro Tips For Power Napping Like A King
I power nap almost every day. And I swear I’m no lazy bastard.medium.com

 

18. Learn To Meditate and Journal

I knew meditation would be hard when I decided to start doing it. But what I didn’t realize was that it’s a skill and it needs practice. I quickly learned that I had the wrong expectations, and that held me back. Meditation is not about “not thinking”, it’s about being aware.

When I started journaling, I had the preconception that it was a dumb idea and that I wouldn’t have anything to say. I could not have been more wrong. On my first journaling session, I wrote for 3 hours without even noticing.

It’s a powerful tool that frees up your mind and aligns your goals together. You become more aware and focused.

Suggested Tools

Suggested Reading

Books:

 

19. Take A Well-Deserved Vacation

It’s hard to brake when your pedal is all the way back. But you know what, sometimes that’s exactly when you need to brake.

You can’t function at peak state when you’re constantly under pressure.

Dare take vacations, you need them!

Suggested Reading

Stories:

Work Hard, Brake Hard
When I left Canada 7 months ago, I went to a co-working/co-living space in Siem Reap, Cambodia. My goal was to focus on…medium.com

Resting Really Is A Crucial Part Of Your Success — Embrace It
“I regularly take a vacation from all my productive activities.”medium.com

 

20. Don’t Be Alone

I’m an introvert. I like solitude. I’m so drained whenever I’m surrounded by people.

But I need to have people around me once in a while, to share my stories, my experiences, my “successes”, my “failures”, etc. Everyone does.

Everyone needs to be uplifted, and you can’t (easily) do it alone.

Suggested Reading

Stories:

We All Need Someone Who Truly Understands Us
I don’t live a conventional life by any means.medium.com

How Many Meaningful Relationships Do You Have, And Why Does It Matter?
A meaningful relationship is one that’s open and honest in a way that lets people be straight with each othermedium.com

You Want To Achieve More? Be In The Right Room
Let’s start with a little reflexion here:medium.com

 

21. Meet New People, Attend Events, Do Things Outside Of Work

Meeting new people and doing things outside of work is very important both for your sanity and for making important connections.

I voluntarily go out to seek and talk to people that are now helping with some of my projects. And of course, I help in return!

You gotta have things outside of work. You can’t be all work and no play. Work hard, play hard. Cliché I know, but it’s true.

Suggested Reading

Stories:

It’s All About Who You Meet
Plus, 4 Tested Tips On Meeting More Interesting Peoplemedium.com

You Are, Or Will Become, your Environment
A lot of the inspiration comes from my own experience living in completely different areas of the world in the last few…medium.com

Do Talk To Strangers And Get Inspired By Their Stories
Yesterday I was walking down the streets of Montreal with my wife in search of an independent coffee shop so we could…medium.com

 

22. Do Good, Be Grateful

I don’t know of anyone who has True Momentum and are not doing good. Doing good is so rewarding and gives you such a high.

And when someone does good to you, be grateful. Gratefulness is almost as powerful as doing good yourself.

Suggested Reading

Stories:

I Helped Someone, And I Liked It
How Being Selfish Is Not The Waymedium.com

Become Happier By Recognizing And Thanking People Who Inspire You
How many people around you inspire you?medium.com

Be Aware Of All The Greatness Around You
When’s the last time you stopped and looked around?medium.com

 

23. Celebrate The Small Wins

If you’re like most of us, you don’t get many big wins in a month. It’s hard to keep our motivation when we don’t win frequently. It’s not by accident that people, including myself, rush to video games — you are constantly being rewarded. That’s also why we’re trying to gamify everything now.

So I say to you, every time a small event happens where it could be considered a “win”, acknowledge it. Take note of it. Have a “success” journal. Here’s an example of things I saved yesterday:

1_NcDRnhcR69VR4KmCBfWkNw.png

That’s it! These are not big wins, but they totally uplifted me, and is the main reason I’m writing on this topic today!

Suggested Reading

Books:

Stories:

Celebrate The Small Wins, Reach For The Big Wins
Constantly Winning Is The Best Boost You Can Getmedium.com

 

Conclusion

Here’s what I suggest you do:

Bookmark this, and refer to it regularly.

Here’s a quick recap of ideas to build True Momentum (makes for a good list on your fridge!):

 

  • Keep or Make Good Habits, Drop The Bad Ones

  • Reading Uplifting Content Before Going To Bed

  • Listen To Uplifting Music, Podcasts And People

  • Keep Inspiring Quotes Near You

  • Work Out, Even If Just A Little

  • Have Monthly Goals And Track Them

  • Make A Clear Task List

  • Aim Freaking High

  • Prepare Your Next Day The Night Before

  • Write For Yourself

  • Delegate To People You Trust

  • Have A Semi-Strict Routine

  • Don’t Stop When It Hurts

  • Surround Yourself With Motivated People

  • Walk To Work, and Limit Wasted Time

  • Constantly Learn New Things

  • Learn To Power Nap

  • Learn To Meditate and Journal

  • Take A Well-Deserved Vacation

  • Don’t Be Alone

  • Meet New People, Attend Events, Do Things Outside Of Work

  • Do Good, Be Grateful

  • Celebrate The Small Wins

 

Be consistent in working towards your goals. Don’t skip. Do. Even when you don’t want to. Every small gain builds your momentum. Momentum makes you unstoppable!

You can do this!

Thanks for reading and sharing! :) Follow me for more similar stories!

First published here: https://medium.com/swlh/how-these-23-key-principles-helped-me-overcome-my-challenges-and-made-me-unstoppable-e68a2a9eb6e1

How Being Accountable Got Me Off the Couch Once and for All

Photo by  Naomi Hébert  on  Unsplash

And it’s not as hard as you think

“There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow, so today is the right day to love, believe, do and mostly live.” — Dalai Lama

It was a hot summer, 16 years ago, I still see the image in my head. I think about it frequently, especially when I reflect on what I’ve become.

I was laying on the couch, playing my video games on my Gameboy Advance. That was my ritual after school or after work.

My older brother came back from work and saw me there. He looked at me and said this sentence I can never forget:

“You’ll never do anything in life.” — nameless brother

Ouch.

But he wasn’t completely wrong though. After all, all he was seeing was this kid “wasting” his life playing video games on the couch every single day.

From that moment, I decided I would do something with my life. I had to prove him wrong. It’s been 16 years, and every time I think about a new achievement in my life, I think of that moment and can’t help but think to myself: “Ha! Proved you wrong!”.

I’ve actually never told him that story. He probably doesn’t recall telling me this anyway.

My point is, I had something to prove to someone, and that has carried me far.

 

Accountability in the More Recent Years

I was in a similar dip a little over a year ago when I was still working at my 9–5 job. It was a great job, but I really needed to satisfy my entrepreneurship itch.

Everything changed when I received a grant to work on Soul Reaper, my company’s first ambitious game project. And around the same time, my wife was about to start a new adventure and go on her first Medecins Sans Frontiere mission. That meant we would be apart for 6 months.

It’s around that time I started making all my goals public, with the people around me at coworking spaces, but also publicly on Medium.com. By telling people about what I set out to do, I couldn’t let them down. I didn’t want to be perceived as someone who’s all talk and no game.

Essentially, I started being more accountable for my actions and goals.

In the short span of six months, I was able to accomplish the following:

  • I learned 18 new skills, including fiction and non-fiction writing, drawing, NGO photography, storytelling, public speaking, day-to-day Spanish conversations, learning to learn, eComm management, and more;

  • I got involved in more than 7 projects, most of which I’ve started;

  • I met prolific writers and other personalities;

  • I gained 7kg of muscles;

  • I wrote and published 2 books;

  • I released a video game;

  • I opened up the world’s first and only story-driven online store;

  • I diversified my revenue sources, getting paid for 4+ different projects;

  • I got published by top Medium publications like The Startup;

  • I contributed to Entrepreneur Magazine, Thought Catalog, and Thrive Global;

  • I became a top writer in 15 categories on Medium;

  • and more!

That’s the power of accountability!

 

How YOU Can Be Accountable Too and Get Out of Bed

Step 1: Low-risk, low-effort, low-effectiveness

Involve a friend in you weekly and monthly goal-setting. Meet weekly and discuss what went right, what went wrong, how you can do better, what your goals are for next week, and what actions will you take towards these goals.

Step 2: Medium-risk, medium-effort, medium-effectiveness

Make your goals and progress public, just like I did around the coworking space and through my writing on Medium. No one wants to look like a fool in public.

Step 3: High-risk, medium-effort, high-effectiveness

Join an accountability program. An accountability program is a system that puts incentives for you to do things. There are many different approaches to this, including gamification, fear of loss, social recognition, coaching, and more.

 

Conclusion

Being accountable changed my life forever. I went from a completely unambitious kid to a serial entrepreneur. I went from having no credibility to being a mentor to people.

If you feel stuck in life, start being accountable. It’s a great first step towards taking back control of your life.

Start by involving friends. Then make your goals and progress public. When you’re ready for the next step, give an accountability program a try.

Like me, you CAN get out of bed and achieve more!

You can do this!

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

First published here: https://writingcooperative.com/how-being-accountable-got-me-off-the-couch-once-and-for-all-aa7be79bebb7

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

3 Alternatives to 10x Your Productivity Almost Instantly

Photo by  Raw Pixel  on  Unsplash

Photo by Raw Pixel on Unsplash

Using a Simple, Yet Scientifically Proven Method

Are you like I was and would LOVE to work on side projects or start a business on the side while still working at your current job?

We all know that is a smarter decision than downright quitting. Trust me, I’ve been there.

You come back from work completely exhausted and can’t conjure the energy to make it happen.

I was like that too. And believe it or not, there are millions of people like us too.

Imagine all the wasted potential.

You could be working on your dream project and make an impact in this world, if only you could find it in you to just start, build some momentum and keep at it.

And it’s so freaking hard. Again, I know, I’ve been there.

But things changed when I changed this aspect of my life:

I became ACCOUNTABLE for the things I’m doing.

In the short span of six months, I was able to accomplish the following:

  • I learned 18 new skills, including fiction and non-fiction writing, drawing, NGO photography, storytelling, public speaking, day-to-day Spanish conversations, learning to learn, eComm management, and more;

  • I got involved in more than 7 projects, most of which I’ve started;

  • I met prolific writers and other personalities;

  • I gained 7kg of muscles;

  • I wrote and published 2 books;

  • I released a video game;

  • I opened up the world’s first and only story-driven online store;

  • I diversified my revenue sources, getting paid for 4+ different projects;

  • I got published by top Medium publications like The Startup;

  • I contributed to Entrepreneur Magazine, Thought Catalog, and Thrive Global;

  • I became a top writer in 15 categories on Medium;

  • and more!

Feeling inspired?

What Does Being Accountable Mean?

In its simplest form, it means you owe “something” to “someone”.

The most powerful “something” are:

  1. Money; and

  2. Results.

The most powerful “someone” are:

  1. People you love; and

  2. People you care about.

Think about your previous attempts at starting something. A side project for example.

  • Why did you (want to) do it?

  • Who did you do it for?

  • Was it necessary?

  • What/who forced you to do it?

  • What were the resources associated with doing it (money, people, etc)?

A powerful method to push you to action is what’s called the SUNK COST.

Think of any membership really. An easy example is a gym membership.

  • If you have a gym in your house or building, how frequently do you actually use it?

  • Now, if you spent money on your gym membership, are you going more frequently?

Very likely, right?

Back in January, I was in Málaga, Spain, and looked up the most expensive gym. I couldn’t really afford it. If I went there, it meant I had to cut other places I didn’t really want to.

But I decided to go there anyway. Getting up and going there was easy. I “sacrificed much” to have access to that gym. I HAD TO go, otherwise, I would have wasted precious money and time. After it became a habit to go, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Not working out had actually become harder than working out.

This is KEY: Not doing had become harder than doing!

THAT is the power of being accountable!

 

3 Ways to Become Accountable

1. Involve a Friend in Your Weekly Planning and Reflection

Average Effectiveness Rating: 2-3x

This is probably the cheapest and easiest option but is the least effective in my opinion.

Here’s how it works:

You find a partner/friend to participate with you. Every week, you meet and exchange on:

  • Your goals for the week;

  • What was — and was not — accomplished towards these goals;

  • How you can do better next week;

  • What your goals are for the next week; and

  • How you will accomplish these goals.

This method is less effective because there’s only one other person involved, and therefore you both have to be accountable to even have the meeting.

In day to day craziness, it’s easy to forget to do it or set it aside because of other “priorities”.

If you fail to achieve your goals, you make a fool of yourself to one person only, usually someone who won’t make you feel bad for it anyway.

2. Make Your Goals and Progress Public

Average Effectiveness Rating: 5x+

This is how it all started for me. I did not do it intentionally, but I did it nonetheless.

At the co-working space I was working from in Málaga, everyone knew my goals every month. They were displayed on my screen at all times, I’d talk about them with people, and they’d ask questions about the progress.

But also, I had started writing on Medium back in January. To make my stories more relatable, I often wrote about my goals and how I accomplished them.

By having everything public, I don’t want to look like a fool that’s all talk and no game. I had to show results. Since I was the top #5 writer in Inspiration for a bit, I also had to make sure that my achievements were indeed inspiring.

I strongly encourage you to try this method.

3. Join an Accountability Program

Average Effectiveness Rating: 10x+

An accountability program is a system that puts incentives for you to do things. Some try the gamification approach, some try punishment, some try community, some try the coaching approach, etc.

There’s no right or wrong here. It depends on your personality.

If you’re driven by gratification, the gamification approach may work for you. Some programs give you rewards in the form of digital currencies or goods, discount coupons, or more. You receive them when you accomplish a goal you set for yourself.

If you’re driven by fear of losing something, the punishment method may work for you. Some programs implement it by having you set a goal and putting a “bet” that you’ll accomplish your goal in time. If you don’t, the money is taken from your account and put somewhere else. Basically, it costs you money to not accomplish your goal.

If you’re driven by social recognition, the community method may work for you. Basically, it’s a paid membership to a group where people report weekly goals and activities for every member to see.

The coaching approach is the next level. It’s more similar to the friend/partner approach from above, but is paid and more importantly, gives the person expert feedback, tips and truly pushes the person. Think of it almost like a mentor-mentee relationship.

 

Conclusion

Not all accountability methods yield the same results, but one thing is for sure:

Being accountable for what you do does dramatically increase your productivity and motivation.

I’d suggest trying all three methods from above to see what works best for you. I included my personal effectiveness ratings above based on my own experience, but I think it’s important to try for yourself.

The important part is that you can start being accountable NOW, at no cost, and with minimal effort. I can’t promise you the results I’ve had for myself, because we’re all different, but I can promise you it will help your productivity and motivation.

So think about this now:

  • Who can I be accountable with?

  • Can I make my goals public?

  • Do I want to join a program?

  • Which program is right for me?

I’m hoping this reflection will bring clarity to you will push you to try to become accountable for what you’re doing.

You can do this!

Thanks for reading, clapping, and sharing! :)

First published here: https://medium.com/swlh/3-alternatives-to-10x-your-productivity-almost-instantly-c507ca6c4c53

Stop Convincing Yourself You Can’t Do Something. Now.

Photo by  Jason Rosewell  on  Unsplash

Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you’re right.” — Henry Ford

How many times have you not done something because you thought it would be too hard to do?

If you’re like most of us, frequently right?

For the longest time I thought there was no way I could draw. I’m a programmer by trade, and perform well with things that relate to logic.

I had tried a few times but always ended stopping before even really giving it a chance.

It was too hard for me to do. I had given up.

Similarly, I’ve always had tiny legs. It had been pointed out to me on many occasions while in high-school. Some might call it bullying, but maybe I was too dumb to realize I was actually getting bullied.

I’m an ectomorph. For me, gaining weight is terribly hard. I know a lot of people would love to have this problem, but they’re wrong. It’s just as bad as being overweight. Especially for men.

I was never able to put weight on. I tried eating ridiculous amounts of calories. Simple workouts. Nothing worked.

It was too hard for me to do. I had given up.

 

The Turning Point

I can now draw, and my legs have started growing in ways I never thought would be possible.

But what changed you ask?

I think it comes down to two things:

1. A Mindset Shift

When you reject the idea that something is not feasible, it becomes feasible.

Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you’re right.” — Henry Ford

I know this sounds cliché or too obvious, but it’s not.

Next time you think you can’t do something, stop yourself.

Take time to think.

Can you really not do it?

With careful planning, consistent execution and constant monitoring of results, you can achieve almost anything.

Kyle Maynard is a quadruple amputee. That guy climbed Kilimanjaro! If that doesn’t inspire you to do things you think you can’t, I don’t know what will.

When I started writing a few months ago, I shared a short story about a guy named Phil.

I won’t go into details, but the guy didn’t have a truck or a car to pick up a bookshelf I was selling, so he brought it on two public buses home. Who does that? Anyone would have given up on the bookshelf, but man did he want it!

2. A Simple Habit

Around the same time that mindset shift happened to me, I developed a framework I never knew would set me up for success.

I frequently write about it, so I won’t go into the details here, but basically, every month, I learn 3 new skills. I plan for it every end of month. I execute consistently every day for the whole month. I quantify and qualify the results.

At the end of the month, I’m usually quite good doing the skill.

This is how I learned to draw.

I rejected the idea that a programmer cannot draw.

I planned my learning process. I set deadlines. I set milestones. I drew every day by following tutorials online. By the end of the month, I could sketch, do line art, and colouring.

I won’t make a career out of it, but now I can sketch for my artists as needed and understand when they tell me things related to art.

When I rejected the fact that my legs could never grow bigger, I figured out a path to success. I did the right exercises and the right amount of repetitions. I was consistent in doing them everyday.

When I rejected the idea that an introvert can’t tell a good story, I studied methods that work. I practiced public speaking and writing consistently. I researched what makes a good story good. I learned to be authentic. That’s how I became a top writer on Medium.

 

It’s Actually Easy

It turns out, it wasn’t even hard to learn to draw. It wasn’t even hard to grow the legs. It wasn’t even hard to tell stories.

“Showing up is half the battle.” — Woody Allen

I believe that. I’ve been there.

In the course of 6 months, I learned to draw, I learned some machine learning techniques, I learned a lot of Spanish, I learned to give public speeches, I learned to tell stories, I learned to write, I learned some basic Norwegian, I learned to Meditate, I learned to Journal. And more.

I’ve since become a top writer on Medium, started two new businesses, got my third professional photography gig, built my own personal brand, hired 5 people, wrote two books, released a video game, and more.

And I’m not saying that to brag.

I just want you to realize that things are not always as hard as they seem.

You can do this!

Thanks for reading, clapping, and sharing ! :)

First published here: https://theascent.pub/stop-convincing-yourself-you-cant-do-something-now-5704d48fd149

How to Perform at Your Best Using This Most Simple Concept

Choose your room carefully

Let’s start with a little reflexion here:

  • Who shows up the most frequently at the gym? The people who take classes.

  • Who procrastinates the least for work? The people who have co-workers.

  • Who reads the most? People who are part of a book club.

See the pattern?

If you want to achieve more, you need to surround yourself with like-minded people.

But that’s only the first step!

If you are the most active person in the room, you are in the wrong room. — Zdravko Cvijetic

 

Working With Even Harder Working People

I used to think that I was one of the hardest working people out there.

Back in Toronto, everyone works hard, but it wasn’t common for someone to do 12-hour days.

When I left Toronto to work in Cambodia, I realized I wasn’t alone. In fact, there were people working even harder than I was.

And I’m sure some of you work harder than me too.

At AngkorHUB, where I was working from, Jeff Laflamme, the owner of the place, and his partner Jan, were working at least 12 hours per day, 6 days a week. They enjoy what they do, but they also do it out of necessity, which makes them work even harder. The stakes are high.

Working with and alongside them changed me. I worked harder and more efficiently. They elevated my standards for hard work.

I achieved so much more simply because they were in the same room, literally.

 

Getting More Fit

In January, I had the crazy goal of gaining 5kg of mass while losing 3% body fat. For an ectomorph like myself, it’s near impossible. In fact, it was 8+% of my total body weight. I was eating 4500 calories of healthy food every day. To put that into perspective, Dwayne Johnson eats 5000. The guy is 3 times my size.

I reached my mass gain goal in 26 days. I ended up losing 2% body fat. I was already very lean, so I’m more than satisfied.

During that period of time, I inspired other people at the co-working space I worked from in Málaga to get fit as well. I accidentally started a “fitness squad” and we grew from 2 members to 15 in less than a month.

I certainly didn’t see myself as a leader, but they followed me. They saw my results. They want to achieve more. Everyone, without exception, achieved way more than they thought they could.

We did 100 pushups every day. Most people who started thought they could only do about 10. Everyone ended up doing more than 20 on their first session. Most reached over 60 over the course of the day.

These people were in the right room, following others who were more fit than them.

 

Getting Even More Fit

The problem with the fitness squad for me is that I was in the wrong room. And I knew it.

But this changed in February. I had started journaling.

I thought it would be dumb. I thought I’d have nothing to write. But every “successful” person mention how great it is, so I decided it would be one of the 3 skills I pick up this month.

I won’t go into the details, but needless to say, I had SO MUCH to write about. I journaled for two and a half hours at the beach. For the last 30 minutes or so, there was a guy who came stretching close to me. We both noticed each other, simply because we were both doing unusual things.

After my journaling session, I went to talk to him. Turns out I actually played Pádel with him the previous weekend!

Gerrit is a fit guy. He’s always been into fitness. I learned more about fitness in my hour-long chat with him than I learned in my entire life I think. I had finally found a guy way more fit than me abroad.

That happy accident made it so I now know where the right room is for me to achieve more in fitness.

 

Conclusion

What is it you want to achieve?

Look around yourself.

Can you think of anyone who does what you want to achieve, but at a greater level?

If not, how can you turn that around?

The power of peers is unquestionable. We see it everywhere, in health, at work, in our recreational activities, etc.

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” — Jim Rohn

When we see people do, we do. When people do it better, we do it better. When we do it better, we want to do it even better.

When we achieve our goals, we have bigger goals. When we achieve bigger goals, we become unstoppable!

Be in the right room. Do more. Be better. Achieve more!

Feel free to share your own experiences in the comments below!

You can do this!

Thanks for reading, clapping and sharing ! :)

First published here: https://theascent.pub/how-to-perform-at-your-best-using-this-most-simple-concept-a8125e021668