Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Are You Willing to Do Whatever It Takes?

by Kim Orlesky

As she sat across from me in the boardroom, having just finished telling me her goals for the next year, I could see a mix of excitement and insecurity in her eyes. Her goals were lofty—her financial goals, where she wanted to see her business flourish and the customers she wanted to reach. She told me she dreamed of retiring on a beach in Costa Rica within the next five years. Nothing she said was unreasonable, but I knew she had a difficult path in front of her.
That’s when I asked her the one question I ask everyone who sits across from me: “Are you willing to do whatever it takes?”
There are a lot of actions that we need to take to get where we are going. Those who are committed to do anything and everything to make their dreams a reality need to create momentum.

1. How determined are you?

Asking “are you willing to do whatever it takes?” creates a movement inside you and has you consider the actions you really need to take. If the answer is anything but yes, then the goal isn’t right. You need to go back and choose something you are willing to do anything to achieve. For many people, the answer is an immediate and resounding yes—the goal is so big, so lofty and so inspiring, they would do whatever it takes to get there.

2. Think outside the box.

If you are willing to do whatever it takes to get to your goal, the follow-up question is: “What do you need to get there?” This is where people start to struggle. In many cases, the actions people take are the correct ones—consistent actions that propel you toward your goal. But if that was enough, why aren’t you closer to your goal by now? Consider what else you could do to get there. Who could you contact that has succeeded in the past? What groups, classes or events could you join?

3. Step outside of your comfort zone.

If you are willing to do anything to achieve your goal, that also means taking actions you’ve never taken before. This might mean contacting people above you, making financial investments you might not feel entirely ready for, or seeking out opportunities for increased brand exposure. Whatever it is, you need to move past the fear and be willing to take the first step forward. If you stay where you are, you will never get closer to your goal.

4. Take massive action.

Beyond doing the actions that will bring you closer to your goals, you must also be willing to dream and act bigger. You cannot win big contracts if you’re not willing to reach out to decision makers at large organizations. You cannot be given opportunities to speak on large stages if you don’t contact the organizers. Those who are willing to do whatever it takes will look toward their ultimate dream and take the necessary massive action to bring immediate results, instead of hoping they will eventually work their way up to that point. There’s a saying that if you never ask, the answer will always be no, but if you just ask, you might get a yes.

5. Follow up and follow through.

It is not enough to take massive action once, you must do it over and over. You might put in your requests and never hear back. This could happen several times. People get busy; they forget about emails; they never check their voicemail—no different than you or me. You might have to follow up several times before receiving a response. You might have to make several presentations before you finally nail it. Once that moment hits, express it with gratitude and ensure the person and opportunity is not forgotten. Use that moment as momentum for your next big step, because you were willing to do whatever it takes to get to your goal—and you will be able to do it all over again.

Powerful Abundance Meditation - Manifest Your Dreams!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

These 5 Questions Will Define Where You’re Going in Life

Goal setting is a very important first step, but goal achievement is a continuous, lifelong process.
By Jim Rohn
Goals are important for a genuinely success-oriented person. Without them, you’re just playing around. The difference between a goal-directed individual and someone without goals is like the difference between a Wimbledon champion and a kid batting a tennis ball around on a court with no net, no opponent to bring out the best in him and no way of keeping score.
Despite everything that’s been written about the importance of goal setting, very few people actually put it into practice. It’s always amazed me, the way the average person devotes more thought and effort to planning his or her two-week vacation than to planning his or her life.
Goals represent challenge in its most positive form. Leaders have their personal goals, as well as those of their organization, clearly in focus. In fact, one of the principle responsibilities of leadership is defining goals for the vast majority of people who aren’t able to do it for themselves.
Over the years, I’ve developed some ideas about effective goal setting, and I’d like to share those with you. I also want to point out some traps of goal-directed behavior that aren’t usually talked about but certainly ought to be.
When I was a kid, I used to dream what it would be like to buy a ticket on a train and just go someplace. I didn’t really think about where I’d be going or how long it would take to get there. I just loved the idea of getting on the train and letting it take me somewhere.
I guess there’s still something appealing about that idea, but it’s not really the way you should live your life as a mature human being. When you grow up, you buy a ticket on a train or a plane because you want to go someplace, and you know exactly where you’re going.
You might have to change planes in a different city; your flight might be canceled; you might have to switch to another flight; you might not feel like talking to the person seated next to you. But you will persist. You know where you’re headed, and you’re quite determined to get there. That’s goal-directed behavior in its simplest form.
There are short-term goals and long-term goals. Sometimes you’re flying across the country; other times you’re just walking down to the corner grocery store. Long-term goals are the equivalent of a major journey. When you reach the point where you’ve achieved your long-term goals, your life will be fundamentally changed, and the process of getting to that point will have transformed you into a stronger, wiser and higher-performing person.
How can you identify your long-term goals? On a sheet of paper or in a notebook, write these five questions:
  1. What do I want to do?

  2. Who do I want to be?

  3. What do I want to see?

  4. What do I want to have?

  5. Where do I want to go?

Under each of these categories, write down several possible long-term goals. Be very relaxed about this. Just allow your mind to flow and come up with three to six ideas for each category. Don’t worry about a lot of details at this point, and don’t spend too much time describing a particular goal.

For example, refer to category one. Suppose you want to write a book about the history of your family going back to the arrival of your great grandparents in the U.S. Just quickly jot down, “family history.” Then it occurs to you that you’ve always wanted to see the pyramids in Egypt, so you write “pyramids.”
Keep writing down ideas as long as the list of categories continues to inspire you. You’ll probably be surprised at some of the things that turn up. You might have kept a great many desires and aspirations hidden in the back of your mind, but the opportunity to write them down will move them to the forefront of your consciousness. That’s one of the benefits of this technique.
When you’re satisfied with your list of long-term goals, read through the list once again. Then beside each item, write the number of years that you believe it will take you to achieve that particular goal.
It’s best to round off the numbers into one-year, three-year, five-year and 10-year time frames.
For example, you might estimate that it will take you 10 years to research and write the book on your family history, but you’ll need only five years to reach a position where you can take a trip to the pyramids. Create a time frame like this for every one of your long-term goals.
When you’re finished entering your time frames, there should be a fairly balanced distribution for all your goals. If there are many one-and three-year objectives but only a few in the 10-year category, maybe you need to think more about what you really want your life to add up to… what kind of life you really want to build over the long run. But if there’s a preponderance of 10-year goals and relatively few of the shorter-term variety, this might be an indication that you tend to put things off. Keep working on your list, adding and subtracting goals with various time frames, until you’ve created a more or less even distribution.
Now comes the really challenging and interesting part. So far you’ve just been adding things to the list. Now you’re going to start asking yourself what’s really important compared to what might just be fun.
Choose four goals from each of the four time frames: one-year, three-year, five-year and 10-year. You now have 16 separate goals. So far you’ve only referred to them in shorthand fashion., but now you’re going to start seeing them very clearly in your mind’s eye. You’re going to see each goal just as if it were being realized this very minute, and you’re going to write down a detailed description of exactly what you see.
Do you intend to open a handmade furniture store in three years? What will the store look like from the street? Will there be gold leaf lettering on the windows, or will there be a sign hanging over the door instead? How many square feet will the store contain? Will there be a showroom area for the furniture in front and a workspace in the back, or will the furniture be built at a different location? Do you intend to have any employees, or will you run the business entirely by yourself?
Think of all the questions that need to be answered in order to see your goal with absolute clarity, and then write the information down. That written record will become one of your most important personal possessions.
But that’s not all. Any goal is a powerful motivator only if there’s a powerful reason behind it. Why do you want to achieve your goals? Why do you want to own a handmade furniture store, or a private airplane, or a newspaper in a small town in Vermont? Why do you want to compete in a triathlon, or visit the Australian outback, or be the first woman in your family to earn a Ph.D.?
Write down your reasons for wanting each goal in the same degree of detail that you used to write your descriptions. If you can’t find a clear and convincing reason for each of your 16 goals, do some serious re-evaluating. You might have more whims or pipe dreams than real goals, and now is the right time to make that discovery.
Keep working on your list until you have 16 clearly envisioned, strongly motivating long-term goals. At regular intervals, review what you’ve written, and keep careful track of your progress toward these objectives.
Above all, persevere! Goal setting is a very important first step, but goal achievement is a continuous, lifelong process. That’s what makes it so challenging. That’s also why it’s so extremely rewarding to finally attain your long-term goals.

How To Teach Your Mind That Everything Is Available To You | Marisa Peer

How to Improve Work Ethic

How is your work ethic?

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Success Must Be Attracted, Not Pursued

Our objective must be to work harder on ourselves than we work on anything else.

by Jim Rohn

Personal value is the magnet that attracts all good things into our lives. The greater our value, the greater our reward. Since the solution for having more is becoming more, we must be in constant search for new ways to increase our value.
  • Self-control
  • The practice of discipline
  • Patience
  • Planning
  • Intensity of effort
  • The development of a well-balanced attitude
  • Consistent activity
  • The gathering of knowledge
  • Frequent reading
  • A sensible personal philosophy

All of these are examples of ways in which our value can be increased.
It is the acquisition of more value that we must pursue, not more valuables. Our objective must be to work harder on ourselves than we work on anything else. By giving careful attention to our philosophy, our attitude and our activity, we are making a positive contribution to what we are becoming, and in the process of becoming more than we now are we will attract more than we now have.
We become and then we attract. We grow personally and then we advance materially. Unfortunately, the vast majority seems to have the plan reversed. Their philosophy is this: “If I had more money, I would be a better person.” But that’s not the way life is designed to work. Having more doesn’t make us more. It merely magnifies what we already are. Those who cannot save a few pennies out of meager earnings will never be able to save dollars out of future fortunes. The same discipline it takes to put a few coins in a jar every week is the same discipline it takes to open a savings account or manage an investment portfolio.
Conversation about our intended progress will only take us so far and promises about the future will only buy us a little time. Promises must soon be matched by performance. If the results do not appear in a reasonable amount of time we run the risk of losing the trust of others in addition to our own self-respect. We may find that those who once believed no longer believe, and we will one day be left only with our well-intentioned, but unfulfilled, pronouncements. A loss of this magnitude is worth preventing. It is on the day when we discover our losses that we will taste the bitter pill of neglect. It is on that day when we will finally experience the agonizing consequences of self-delusion, procrastination and unkept promises.
Will we read the books, make the plans, make good use of time, invest a portion of all that we earn, polish our current skills, attend classes to develop new skills and get around better peoplein order to improve our chances for success? Will we tell the truth, improve our ability to communicate, use our journals and give careful attention to all the virtues that success requires? Or will we be content to let the time slip through our fingers like grains of sand while we slowly lose self-confidence, the respect of others, and perhaps even the few possessions and valuable relationships that our past efforts have managed to attract into our lives? Will we go on sitting idly by while our dreams diminish to memories, as hope gives way to remorse?
Surely not.

How to Give and Receive Positive Karma | Oprah's Lifeclass | Oprah Winfr...

How do you keep positive energy?

Saturday, November 26, 2016

4 Psychological Reasons You Aren’t Attracting Success Into Your Life

by Nathan Chai

Five years ago, I was lounging on a hammock when my friend handed me a copy of Rhonda Byrne’s best-selling personal development book, The Secret.
As I delved into the book, I became frustrated—“How could anyone believe this nonsense?” I asked my friend. She told me millions of people (including herself) had read the book and found it incredibly valuable in their lives.
The core tenant of The Secret is the “Law of Attraction,” which, to put it simply, is “like attracts like.” That is, when you wish for things, cosmic forces conspire to bring whatever you wished for into your life. But I’m a man of science! I don’t have time for cosmic forces (other than gravity).
So I began researching the concept.

What is the Law of Attraction?

“You always attract into your life the people, ideas, and resources in harmony with your dominant thoughts.” —Brian Tracy 

Celebrated sales trainer and personal development speaker Brian Tracy is one of the more prominent believers in the Law of Attraction. He says this about the mechanics behind the law, having studied philosophy, metaphysics, religion, spiritual development, psychology and success principals for 20 years:
“Law of Attraction is one of the oldest Universal Laws known to man, and when used the right way, it's incredibly powerful.”
But that didn’t satisfy me. It didn’t explain how the law works.
In David McRaney’s book You Are Not So Smart, he writes about how we build our personal stories about how the world works. Our brain's cognitive biases shape our very perception of reality.
Cognitive biases are thought-shortcuts (thoughtcuts, as I like to call them), that we use to think quicker or process information faster. Our brains will disregard sources of information, objective truths, and instead, apply ingrained beliefs (true or false) to interpret situations.
Thanks to these thoughtcuts, it is almost impossible for us to see the world as it actually is. That is to say, we are unable to view situations without our ego, experiences and emotions getting in the way. We filter the world through our belief systems and see what we want to see. But why?
To answer that question, I accepted The Law of Attraction as fact. We need to believe that we do indeed attract things into our life simply by wishing for them.

1. Confirmation Bias

We seek information that confirms what we already believe to be true. Surprisingly, we give less weight, or even ignore, evidence that disagrees with our beliefs.
If you believe that you can manifest things into your life by wishing, you'll find evidence that confirms that belief. If you believe that someone or something has appeared in your life to help you, then it's probable that you'll look for ways that they can help you.

2. The Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy/Apophenia

The Texas Sharpshooter fallacy is explained by a man randomly shooting a barn hundreds of times. He then paints a target where the majority of shots hit. It is then perceived that he is a particularly good shot. To put it another way, when random coincidences happen, we effectively paint a target around the random coincidences and ignore the rest of the events.
A key example from my life is that my mum’s name is Rachel and her husband's name is Phillip. A close friend of mine's mum’s name is Rachel and his Dad's name is Phillip. And we grew up in the same village of 800 people.
It’s super weird, until you realize that my friend and I are the same age. Our parents are roughly the same age. Rachel and Phillip were popular names when they were born. My friend’s family and I have similar socio-economic backgrounds that allowed our parents to move to the same location.
Related to the Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy is Apophenia, which is when we assign meaning to random events. For example, say you're discussing Star Wars with a friendThen, that very same evening, you flick through the TV channels and Star Wars is playing. Unbelievable! What are the odds? you muse, assuming some sort of higher power or cosmic being granted you the boon of watching a beloved movie.
Apophenia combined with confirmation bias suggests there is some sort of meaning to random events. In reality, it’s our brain’s thoughtcuts that give the situations meaning.

3. Self-fulfilling Prophecy/Behavorial Confirmation

Did you know our expectations directly affect our outcomes? We assign emotions and outcomes to events long before they happen. It’s going to be terrible, you tell yourself when your sister invites you to a raw-vegan restaurant, and you end up feeling annoyed and hungry. But that’s only because you've spent two hours mentally mocking the restaurant.
Now think about your everyday life. When you wake up and think, It's going to be one of thosedays. How often do you get it right? Now think of a time when you woke up and thought, Today ismy day; let’s go and be amazing! How did those days go?
Semi-similar is behavorial confirmation. This is when people behave in the way we expect them to. For example, if we expect a certain person to be standoffish, you might unconsciously behave standoffish toward them in defense. This makes them feel like they need to act standoffish.
We create the outcome we (consciously or unconsciously) expect. Once you start assuming the best in people and assuming there will be positive outcomes in all situations, you’ll be surprised how right you can be.

4. The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon/Selective Attention

Selective attention suggests that we can’t absorb all the information that we experience every day. The brain simply ignores most of what's going on. When you're driving, unless you really concentrate, how much are you aware of? Other than possible sources of danger, your favorite podcast and what’s for dinner, you probably didn't experience too much.
We effectively ignore anything that isn't relevant to our immediate thoughts, so our brain power can focus on what we think is important.
Think about it like this: When you’re single, how many couples do you see? They’re everywhere. When you’re driving, you know what colors the cars on the other side of the road are, but it’s only when you choose to think about it that you actually notice.
A similar thoughtcut is the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon, which is what happens when you learn a new word and then suddenly see it everywhere. Your brain prioritizes recent information and looks for more of it.
The two core things to remember from this section are relevancy and recency. By keeping your goals in the forefront of you mind, and thinking about them often, you’ll notice more (and better) ways to achieve them.
My research led me to believe that thoughtcuts power the Law of Attraction. Cognitive biases are always present as our brain is constantly trying to process large amounts of information. Use these four tips to make your brain's cognitive biases work in your favor:
  • Relevancy and recency: Keep your goals top of mind to keep them a priority for your brain.
  • Assume your goals will have positive outcomes.
  • You are in charge of assigning meaning to coincidence. Keep that in mind.
  • We seek information that confirms our beliefs. So change your beliefs and you’ll change the way you experience the world.

Friday, November 25, 2016

15 Traits of Unabashedly Successful Women

by Edie Berg

Every week for the past year I’ve interviewed a successful woman: scientists, athletes, a rabbi, activists, an astronaut, authors and entrepreneurs. Each woman has a story; each one is different. But perhaps unsurprisingly, there are traits and characteristics that they have in common. It’s fascinating to learn from them, and now I get to share those lessons with you. Here are 15 things 49 successful women have in common:

1. They play to their strengths.

This is not necessarily the same as doing what you love. You might love doing mosaics but you might not choose that for your career. Think about what you can do so well that you can dominate your field with time. You should also love it. But successful women often choose their career paths by thinking first about what they’re good at and second about what they love to do.

2. They have ambition.

Successful women do not dream about being the best in their section or department. Their eyes are set on the best in the state or country, at least. Most want to change the world.

3. They stay positive.

Successful women know how to deal with disappointment in a way that keeps them from getting down and staying down. They know the future will be bright for them.

4. They’re organized.

The vast majority of people I interviewed said yes quickly, checked their calendars, booked a date and did the interview. No extra emails. Not many reschedules. They decide what they want to do and then they just do it—simple and organized.

5. They’re constantly learning.

These women do not stay static. They are continually improving themselves, and use mentors and coaches to accelerate their improvement.

6. They have a strong support system.

Most of the women I spoke to have a partner or family member who is supportive of what they do. They know they have somebody to lean on when needed.

7. They know failure and success go together.

Everyone has their failures on their way to the top. That’s just how it is.

8. They remain grateful.

These women give credit to those who’ve helped them along the way. They are grateful for what they have. They don’t take their current position for granted.

9. They work hard and persistently.

Nobody got to where they are now without working hard and staying persistent during the tough times. This might be obvious, but it’s a lot easier to say than to do.

10. They don’t sweat the small stuff.

Successful people are good at separating the valuable from the worthless.

11. They choose their battles wisely.

Successful women don’t make a big deal about every little thing. But if there’s a real problem, you can be sure that it will be swiftly solved.

12. They do what they believe in.

This is crucial. The belief in the purpose of their work is the fuel behind years of hard work and dedication.

13. They have confidence.

Successful women believe in themselves. It’s a beautiful thing.

14. They have a vision for the future.

Successful women see a new and better world in the future and work toward achieving those changes. They are in it for the long haul.

15. They feel successful, but never done.

There’s always more, always better, always further to reach. These women are seemingly tireless, ultimately devoted and constantly curious.
The moral of this story for me, when listening and learning from these women over this past year, is that they are just like you and me. They were not born with silver spoons in their mouths. True, they’re intelligent and focused. But they don’t have superpowers; they have determination, vision and purpose.
We can be that! We can do that!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

How I Used The Law of Attraction To Manifest A Boyfriend

It was the summer of 2009. I was a 21-year-old college student who had just returned home from an amazing six months studying abroad in South Africa. I'd taught dance to schoolchildren at a local township. I spent four days in silent meditation on a Buddhist retreat. I sipped a few too many glasses of vino with my gaggle of new friends. I engaged in an assortment of brief romances with an Afrikaans beach bum, a singing/song-writing Jack Johnson doppelgänger, a saxophone-playing Texan and an elusive Nietzsche-reading hipster. Though my experience was amazing and soul enlivening, I craved something more when it came to my love life. It had been three years since my last real boyfriend, and I ached for a meaningful connection. I didn't want another fling; I wanted to fall in love and be loved deeply in return. Around this time, I was also getting more in touch with my spirituality and reading countless self-help books. 

One day, as I browsed through my mom's library, I stumbled across a book that caught my eye: “The Soul Mate Secret.” The book’s author, Arielle Ford, claimed that The Law of Attraction — the belief that “like attracts like” and by focusing on positive thoughts, you can bring about positive results — can manifest an ideal romantic partner. Hesitantly, yet hopefully, I decided to test Ford’s theory and, as she put it, prepare myself on all levels for love. 
This included: 1. Clearing out the past I wrote a letter expressing my hurt feelings toward an ex-boyfriend and wrote one back to me from his perspective. Then, I burned both letters. I also cleaned out my room and tossed everything that reminded me of past partners (love letters, photos, etc.).
 2. Getting specific about what I want in my next relationship and what I have to offer this person I made a list of the 10 qualities I most desire in a partner and a second list of my own most appealing traits. I also wrote down my non-negotiable deal-breakers for my next relationship. 
3. Visualizing what I want and acting as if it was already happening I listened to a guided meditation, which urged me to feel the feelings of love and joy I would experience once my new man entered my life. I also sent myself a text message from my future boyfriend, telling me how much he loved me and how glad he was that we'd met. Lastly, I created a visual collage using magazine clippings, which represented what I wanted in my next relationship. It included a couple holding hands on a beach and phrases like “sexy,” “exotic” and “treats me like a queen.” I put the collage under my bed. Then, I returned to school and pretty much forgot about all of it. I went about my life, took my classes, attended frat parties, binge-watched “Grey’s Anatomy” with my roommates, etc. For fall break, I decided to stay on campus to catch up on work and relax.

 That weekend, I ventured into to a near-deserted gym to get in a workout. Not expecting to see anyone I knew, I wore no makeup, some baggy, old sweatpants and pulled back my hair in a bun. About 10 minutes into my routine, a guy hopped onto the elliptical next to me and asked me what music I was listening to. He had an appealing energy and was definitely attractive, but I immediately dismissed him because of the Ed Hardy t-shirt he was wearing and the way he gelled his hair. 

Undeterred by my disinterest, however, the guy continued to chat me up and somehow convinced me into giving him my phone number. Texting turned into phone calls, which turned into actual dates. Even though I loved the way talking to him soothed my nerves and how adored he made me feel, I still resisted. He was just so not my usual type. But, despite my initial hesitation, pretty soon, we became an item. When I went home for winter break that December, I found the collage I made the summer before. It may sound silly, but at that moment, it suddenly clicked: He was the guy I manifested. As I held the collage, I literally felt chills. It was eerie how much our relationship resembled what and who was in front of me. That Valentines day, I gave him the collage as a gift; he was floored. He didn't believe I made it before ever meeting him. Long story short, we dated for a year, but ultimately parted ways after he moved to India and I went to DC post-graduation. It was a wonderful experience that I wouldn't trade for anything. While the relationship didn't last forever, the lessons I learned certainly will First, I realized I have the power to manifest love (or anything else I want) to existence in my life. 

Since that experiment, I have used the above exercises to manifest a job, a cute apartment, my business, other boyfriends, a trip to Costa Rica and even jewelry. The key to manifesting each of these things/experiences was getting super clear about what I want and focusing on the feeling behind the goal. Second, I learned that while you can essentially order whatever you desire from the universal buffet, it might not come in the exact flavor you imagined. Self-help guru Gabrielle Bernstein nails it when she advises focusing on the picture of what you want, rather than the frame in which it comes. In the case of my boyfriend, the picture was how he made me feel and our chemistry together. The frame was the Ed Hardy t-shirts and gelled hair (which, if I'm being honest, still make me cringe when I think about them). If my story inspires you, and you're ready to manifest an amazing partner, follow the steps I outlined above. 

Clear out the past, crystalize what you do and do not want, visualize your desire and act as if it has already come to fruition. This process may sound overly simple, but I have seen it work time and time again. And, if you have any additional tips or questions about calling in that special someone, feel free to post them in the comments below!

7 Mental Hacks to Be More Confident in Yourself

By LaRae Quy

On my first day at the FBI Academy, I didn’t feel like a superhero. In fact it wasn’t until after four grueling months of being placed in dangerous and awkward situations that I built the self-confidence necessary for my career. Boosting confidence is the primary goal of the Academy—before they send agents out with a gun and badge.
There were days when my heart raced and my palms sweat just thinking about the new challenges that faced me. But I learned that success would not make me confident—confidence in myself and my abilities would make me successful.
On the first day, I was filled with doubt. I had never shot a gun, made an arrest or investigated a foreign spy—these challenges pushed me outside my comfort zone. I felt like I was at the mercy of the unknown, not knowing how I would land on my feet. But I held onto my dream of becoming an agent and plodded forward.
I’d venture to guess entrepreneurs, leaders and business owners might share some of the same fears I faced at the FBI Academy: How can I pull this off? But in my 24 years in the FBI, the only four-letter word I didn’t hear was “can’t.”
Confidence is the cornerstone of leadership. If you don’t believe in yourself, how can others believe in you? Here are seven ways FBI agents learn to boost their confidence—mental hacks you can use to be more confident in yourself, too:

1. Push through self-limiting beliefs.

As children we think we can conquer the world, but somewhere between childhood and adulthood, our enthusiasm and natural inclinations to dream big are squashed. Parents and teachers start imposing their own beliefs—about what we can and can’t do in life—upon us.
If the instructors at the FBI Academy were not pushing us past our self-limiting beliefs, they weren’t doing their job.

How to make it work for you:

Find your limits by exposing yourself to different situations and pushing through the uncomfortable. Once you have confidence in yourself, you’ll be amazed what you can accomplish.

2. Never confuse memory with facts.

Our memory does not store information exactly as it’s presented to us. Instead we extract the gist of the experience and store it in ways that makes the most sense to us. That’s why different people witnessing the same event often have different versions.
Your brain has a built-in confirmation bias. That means it stores information that is consistent with your own beliefs, values and self-image. This selective memory system helps keep the brain from getting overloaded with too much information.
So recognize that your memory does not always provide you with accurate information. For example if you have low self-esteem, your brain tends to store information that confirms your lack of confidence. That will be all you remember about a specific event.

How to make it work for you:

Revisit the facts of a memory loaded with self-limiting beliefs and try to gain a more accurate perspective on the event. Talk with others that might have a different perspective.

3. Talk to yourself.

This might seem crazy, but it works. Talking to yourself can make you smarter, improve your memory, help you focus and even increase athletic performance. The documentary The Human Brain claims we say between 300 to 1,000 words to ourselves per minute. The Navy SEALS and Special Forces use the power of positive self-talk as a way of getting through tough times.
For example by instructing recruits to be mentally tough and speak positively to themselves, they can learn how to override fears resulting from the limbic brain system, a primal part of the brain that helps us deal with anxiety.

How to make it work for you:

Be positive, because the way you talk to yourself influences your neurobiological response to it. When you say, I know what to do here or see things as a challenge rather than a problem, you’ve turned your response into a positive one.
Related: 4 Ways to Be More Positive

4. Think positive to overcome your negativity bias.

Since the early days, humans learned to get lunch or be lunch. Our natural negativity bias has kept us safe from danger for thousands of years. But not every new or different thing is a threat to our survival. This negativity bias can chisel away at our confidence because we’re hardwired to pay attention to all that we’ve done wrong.
FBI agents are taught to hunt the good stuff. It can be hard at times because positive information is like Teflon and easily falls away. But negative information, like Velcro, sticks. 

How to make it work for you:

  1. Come up with five positive thoughts to counter every one negative thought.
  2. Let every positive thought sit for 20 seconds before moving to the next positive thought.
  3. Acknowledge both good and bad emotions.
  4. Do not try to suppress negative ones.
  5. Label the emotions for what they truly are and move on. Do not enter into inner dialogue about the negative emotion because then it becomes more powerful.

5. Raise your curiosity levels.

Curiosity is an important trait for FBI agents working investigations and anyone who wants to be confident and successful.
Curiosity is the foundation of life-long growth. If we remain curious, we remain teachable and our minds and hearts grow larger every day. We can retain our beginner’s mind by always looking forward and discovering new experiences and uncovering new information.

How to make it work for you:

Ask questions and be curious because:
  • It makes your mind active instead of passive.
  • It encourages you to be more observant of new ideas.
  • It opens up new worlds and possibilities.
  • It creates an adventurous response that leads you in a new direction.

6. Overcome self-doubt.

If you lack self-confidence, you will always feel like you’re at the mercy of other people. When you assume a victim mentality, you are no longer resilient to life’s inevitable obstacles and roadblocks.
FBI agents go where they are needed, not to where they feel most comfortable. I was assigned investigations I had no idea how to solve. But my thinking was this: Drop me into the middle of any squad or any situation, anywhere, anytime. I will not be scared because I am confident I will succeed wherever I am.

How to make it work for you:

No one but you is stopping you from achieving what you want to accomplish. It’s time to identify the areas in which you doubt yourself and remove those barriers.

7. Face your fears.

When we feel in control, we're not afraid. When we have a level of comfort with something, it's not scary. When we don’t feel in control, we don’t think clearly because our emotional brain is in the driver’s seat and takes over. This is why fear often seems random and irrational—our emotions are in control.
To increase safety, FBI agents are taught to move closer to the threat. It does no good to avoid, deny or ignore the fear.

How to make it work for you:

Harvard Medical School professor Ronald Siegel recommends this in his book, The Mindfulness Solution:
Think about your worst fear. Spend time with it. Now make your fear worse by getting closer to it. Imagine the worst that could happen. Now focus on your breathing. Feel your body relax. See, you didn’t die, did you? You’re on your way to conquering your fear.
If you don't believe in yourself, how do you expect anybody else to? Start today.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

25 Books for Success

Read these, achieve more.
by Erin Casey

Out of hundreds, the editors of SUCCESS have narrowed our list to 25 must-read books for achievers. The task wasn't easy, although our criteria were simple. These are books we've read, liked and that made a difference in our lives. We chose books that take a comprehensive approach to money, life and personal development because we know that one-dimensional success really isn't success at all.
You might wonder why your favorite book didn't make the list. Well, we could've filled the magazine with dozens more books. Our top 25 are by no stretch of the imagination the only books you should read. To the contrary, we know reading about and applying techniques and success strategies are the best ways to discover and stay focused on your life's journey.
We hope our list opens your eyes to something new, inspires you to pick up that volume you've always meant to read or to re-read a favorite classic. If you have suggestions on what we didn't include, we want to hear from you.
We encourage you to find a book that interests you and carve out a few minutes every day to read at least a few pages. You'll be amazed at the difference it will make in your journey toward success!

1. How To Win Friends and Influence People

First published in 1937, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie was an overnight success with staying power. Today, this book is regarded as one of the all-time best for its lessons on dealing with people.
The chapter titles seem, at first, a little manipulative: "Six ways to make people like you," "12 ways to win people to your way of thinking." But the reality of Carnegie's teachings is that none will work if the intent is manipulation. The word "genuine" appears repeatedly throughout the book. Only with authenticity and honesty will Carnegie's methods work consistently.
How to Win Friends and Influence People is packed with anecdotes from historical leaders and lessons learned or taught by some of history's greatest businessmen, making the read as interesting as it is enlightening. And the methods--calling a person by his or her name or looking at the situation from the other's point of view--work in business and in personal life with family and friends.
Carnegie's book is a classic. Though he credits many people for inspiring his ideas, his methods are the foundation for many of today's personal-development and business-management books.

2. The Richest Man in Babylon

Too often, life doesn't turn out as expected. And money, or the lack of money, plays a large role in people's ability to handle life's ups and downs. Perhaps that's why, in the 1920s, banks and insurance companies decided to distribute short parables written to educate people on important financial principles. The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason began in 1926 as a series of pamphlets, the most famous ones later compiled into one of the best-loved money guides of all time.
The book begins with two men realizing that, while they lived a meager existence, one of their childhood friends had become known as the wealthiest man in Babylon. Despite growing up in similar circumstances, their friend seemed to have created a life of gold while they barely scratched out a living.

The situation is all too familiar even today. And like the men who'd come to the realization that they'd failed to think beyond the day at hand, readers have the opportunity to sit at the feet of the richest man in Babylon and learn how to build wealth. They learn how to plan for the future, make wise investments and how to view money as a tool rather than a measure of success.
With time-tested principles and an engaging format, The Richest Man in Babylon is an excellent introduction to finance, and a classic.
Purchase The Richest Man in Babylon in the SUCCESS Store.

3. Think and Grow Rich

Napoleon Hill, inspired by business legend Andrew Carnegie, spent 20 years of his life studying the lives of some of history's most successful people. The culmination of his research was the in-depth series, The Laws of Success. In 1937, Hill published another book, Think and Grow Rich, founded on the same philosophies of success. This book condensed the wealth of knowledge he's accumulated into 13 principles for successful living.
Shorter and perhaps easier to get through than its multivolume predecessor, Think and Grow Rich is as applicable today as it was when it was first released. The title's principles are founded on Hill's belief in the power of the mind, and his famous quotes, such as, "Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve," have changed the way millions of people view their lives. When read in its entirety and its principles put into action, Think and Grow Rich not only helps people change their views on life, but also the way they behave and, ultimately, their reality.
More than 30 million copies of Think and Grow Rich have been bought by business students, entrepreneurs and goal-setters around the world. When it was re-released in 2004, it rocketed once again to the top, holding a place on BusinessWeek's Best Seller list for paperback business books for more than 20 months.
Think and Grow Rich is a timeless classic that should be read by everyone interested in improving their lives and reaching their goals.
4. The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom: Practical and Spiritual Steps So You Can Stop Worrying
Suze Orman (Crown, 1997) As a financial expert, Suze Orman offers advice on the nuts and bolts of managing money. But whether you're watching her on television or reading her advice in O, The Oprah Magazine, or in one of her best-selling books, such as 9 Steps to Financial Freedom, her message is clear: Wealth is an attitude and money isn't the key to acquiring true financial freedom.
In this acclaimed book, Orman challenges readers to face their financial fears and acknowledge the importance of planning for the future. With a three-pronged approach, Orman tackles the mental, physical and spiritual issues that keep people from reaching financial freedom. Also available in audio format, 9 Steps to Financial Freedom encourages personal growth while offering the education necessary to begin the process of building a rich life.
Again, it's the total approach to financial success that sets this and the other financial books on this list apart. Acquiring wealth isn't as simple as piling up the green stuff. Your beliefs about money, yourself and the world around you have as much to do with wealth as do the riches you acquire.

5. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

While Stephen Covey wasn't the first to write a book on becoming a better, more effective person, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People marked the beginning of a revitalized interest in personal development. With a 15th anniversary edition released in 2004 and more than 15 million copies sold, this book has helped millions change their perspective and their lives.
Unlike many authors of books in this genre, Covey doesn't promise a simple, quick fix for creating a better life. In fact, mastering the seven habits he outlines could take a lifetime. But as with many personal-development efforts, it's what you learn as you work toward becoming a truly effective person that matters.
The habits are divided into three sections: Private Victory, Public Victory and Renewal. Private Victory focuses on the individual's view of himself. The first three habits are: becoming proactive, beginning with the end in mind, and putting first things first. These habits will challenge you to take responsibility for your thoughts, beliefs and actions. The Public Victory section focuses on creating meaningful, mutually beneficial relationships. And because being effective requires energy and focus, the seventh habit, "Sharpening the Saw," encourages you to engage in activities that promote mental and physical renewal.
Covey says that when our behavior contradicts our beliefs or when our relationships consistently fail, any successes we achieve feel hollow. This book takes a total approach to success and encourages growth and maturity beginning with self, which leads to stronger relationships and greater success at home and at work. 

Monday, November 21, 2016

7 Ways to Bounce Back After a Mistake

Most mistakes aren’t as bad as they seem. Take a deep breath and keep moving forward.

Mistakes especially the ones that make us cringe long after they’ve happened—can make us feel as if we’ve taken one step forward only to take 20 steps backward. We can cripple ourselves analyzing why we made the mistake, our mind tricking us into thinking it’s irreversible, that we can’t move past this.
But good news: You can. So many mistakes are never as bad as they seem.

We asked members of the Young Entrepreneur Council how they deal with mistakes and how they learn to move past them to do better in the future. Here’s what they had to say.

1. Think about why you made the mistake.

When I make a mistake, I assess the mental and emotional state that led up to the decision. In some cases, I realize that I made the decision out of fear. If that’s the case, I dive into what generated that fear and build a mental model around the emotion. I take the time to reflect on it with the hope that I’ll recognize that emotion in the future and prevent it from affecting my day.
Andrew ThomasSkyBell Doorbell

2. Regroup.

Mistakes are inevitable. They happen to everyone. When I make a mistake, I use it as a time to reflect and regroup. Depending on what’s going on, it might mean stepping away from my desk for lunch, taking a day off or scheduling a vacation. The time away gives me an opportunity to let go of my initial emotion and start thinking about what I can do differently next time to achieve different results.
Amber AndersonMORE

3. Don’t let emotions get in the way.

I believe the key is not letting emotion get in the way. Problems are often much bigger in our minds than they are in reality. Instead of wallowing on the mistake you’ve made, focus on what you can do to correct the issue. You will begin to feel better when you start doing things to address the issue and feel like you are back in control.
—Matthew (American Consumer News, LLC)

4. Move on.

Unless the mistake is catastrophic, I’m normally just focused on the next task in the queue(which might be fixing the mistake). After a lot of catastrophic-seeming mistakes, I’ve come to realize that few mistakes are irreversible.
—Hongwei Liumappedin

5. Look for a positive outcome.

Mistakes are going to happen and we cannot live life in fear of mistakes. When mistakes do happen, it’s important to think about why that mistake happened and learn how to avoid making it again. It’s also important to find a positive outcome that came from making that mistake. Bouncing back is hard, but you bounce back with more experience than before.
—Shalyn Dever, Chatter Buzz

6. Make it right.

I cannot “bounce back” without righting the wrong—at least as much as possible. This means going to the person who was affected by my mistake and owning it. It also means, where appropriate, owning the mistake publicly as well.
—Kevin Conner, WireSeek

7. Make sure it doesn’t happen again.

The worst mistake in business (and in life) is one that you’re repeating. Don’t repeat the same mistake twice; make sure to not only learn from your mistakes but implement processes and have discussions with your team to ensure they don’t happen again. Also, don’t dwell on it; we all make mistakes. Positive thinking goes a long way.